P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



CAT order on pay not implemented
Punjab Govt in the dock
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
The Punjab Government is in the dock for not implementing orders issued by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) regarding pay fixation of 11 IPS officers belonging to the Punjab cadre.

Taking up an application filed by the officers seeking the initiation of contempt of court proceedings against the state Home Secretary, A.K. Dubey, and another state government officer, the CAT has issued notice for July 1.

In a related development, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has dismissed a petition filed by the state government against the CAT orders in the matter.

The sources in the state government’s Department of Home Affairs and Justice say that the authorities are now left with no alternative, but to implement the judgement. They assert that the authorities, instead of contesting the application, are likely to comply with the directions before the next date of hearing.

The officers posted as Deputy Inspectors-General of Police (DIGs) had earlier contended 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 the respondents on January 27, but so far nothing has been done to implement the orders.

In its order, the CAT had earlier imposed a cost of Rs 22,000 on the state and other respondents. It 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 salary than them. As such, they were “entitled to correct fixation of pay”.

The sources say that the matter was not handled properly since the beginning. Though the rules were “clear” and a clarification was issued by the Central Government in the officers’ favour, the government opposed the pay-fixation case. Then, the government did little to implement the orders issued by the CAT in favour of the officers.


SGPC plans campaign against French Govt
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
The SGPC today decided to launch a campaign against the French Government on the turban issue.
Even after a year of the ban imposed on the tying of turbans in schools by the French Government, the SGPC has failed to do much on this issue. It has only confined itself to making statements or writing letters to the Union Government.

The SGPC has not sent even its proposed delegation to the France yet whereas the president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, has already visited France to express solidarity with the Sikhs affected by the ban.

Informed sources said that the turban issue was discussed informally at a meeting of the Dharam Parchar Committee of the SGPC here today. The President of the SGPC, Bibi Jagir Kaur, presided over the meeting. Various members urged the launching of a campaign on the social, political, religious and human rights fronts against the French Government. “Sikhs in all parts of the world will be asked to start a peaceful campaign against the French Government on these fronts”, said the sources.

The sources said the SGPC would also target the Union Government headed by Dr Manmohan Singh on this issue. The Union Government had not responded to several letters written by the SGPC and the leadership of the Shiromani Akali Dal seeking its help in building pressure on the French Government to get the ban on the turban lifted, said the sources.

“The Union Government is silent on the turban issue and is doing nothing to take up the matter with the French Government”, said a senior leader of the SGPC. “Attacking the Centre on the issue at this stage also politically suits the SGPC”, he added.

Meanwhile, on the suggestion of the Dharam Parchar Committee, the SGPC has decided to set up the Mai Bhago Volunteer Seva Dal to launch a campaign against the use of drugs by youth in the rural areas.

The parchar committee also approved Rs 10 lakh for raising a memorial to Baba Banda Singh Bahadur at Kila Lohgarh in Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh. A separate mission will be set up for Himachal Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh to preach Sikhism in these states.

The parchar committee also passed a resolution against the setting up of a separate Sikh gurdwara management committee in Haryana by the Congress government of that state. Through the resolution, the Sikhs were urged to counter the move of the Haryana Government.


Jalandhar reeling under water shortage
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 26
Soaring temperature has not only left residents of Jalandhar fuming over water shortage, but, has also forced most of them to use water suction pumps tullu pumps to meet their daily water needs.

Prolonged and unexpected power cuts have made their lives miserable and what is irritating is that there is no hope of the situation changing in the coming next few weeks.

Though the Municipal Corporation has been making tall claims about its effort to ensure the proper supply of drinking water, yet, situation seems to be beyond its control. The biggest irritant for residents is that they don’t know when trickling of water supply will get tripped.

Enquiries by The Tribune revealed that there were some newly set up localities, which, were allegedly left devoid of regular supply for about a week altogether and there were others where water supply was ensured for just two to three hours a day. Residents of almost all areas, including plush Model Town, Lajpat Nagar, New Jawahar Nagar, Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar, Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar, Link Road, Green Wood Avenue, Avtaar Nagar, Adarsh Nagar and Guru Nanakpura and Bhargo Camp are largely dependent on additional water suction pumps. Due to the increasing demand and short supply, there is hardly any house in any locality, which is not dependent on the use of such pumps.

“It is not possible to fetch drinking water from the tap even for drinking without help of tullu pumps. Without use of additional suction pumps you cannot get even a drop of drinking water even during announced water timings. One gets confused even during announced water supply timings when he or she sees helplessly that trickling of water has stopped all of a sudden,” said Dr Jasbir Dosanjh.

Mr Manoj Arora, a resident of the Model Town locality was aghast over what was happening on the water and power supply front. “There was no water supply in our area before 8 a.m. today so I had go out without having a bath. He said the usual water supply timings were not being adhered to by the Municipal Corporation authorities. “Similarly, unannounced power cuts have made life more miserable. You don’t know when you will have power cuts and resultantly you will have to leave your urgent work unfinished,” said Mr Arora.

Mr Satwant Singh Johl, Commissioner, was not available for comments.

According to Mr Kuldip, a resident of Model House, residents of his area did not get water supply after 8 a.m. yesterday and there was no water supply when there was no power in the area.

How grim the situation in certain areas is proved by residents of New Shivaji Nagar, who, were left with no alternative, but to resort to holding a protest by waving empty buckets yesterday as they were allegedly not getting water for about a week. “We have been complaining to the MC for long, but, no one has listened to our woes. Where we should go, we, don’t know,” said Surjit Ram, a resident. Situation is not much different in Basti Sheikh, Basti Danishmandan and Rainik Bazar area, it is learnt.


Residents take to streets due to erratic power supply
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 26
Residents of the city are sweating it out literally due to a highly inconsistent power supply during the past 56 hours. Some of the residential areas don’t have power supply for the last 48 hours.

Angry women of the Ajit Road locality took to the streets and downed the shutters of an electricity board office in their area and didn’t allow the board employees to come out for a few hours. A police party had to go there to pacify these women who were saying that the unscheduled power cuts had made their lives a “living hell” and that they didn’t get a drop of water for the last over 30 hours.

Annoyed city residents didn’t stop here. In the afternoon, they gheraoed the board office located at Gole Diggi and gave an ultimatum to the board staff to restore power supply. The police was then called for preventing any untoward incident. Interestingly, the angry mob also forced some board employees, who were staging a dharna in favour of their demands at Sirki Bazaar, to join duty.

The drinking water supply has also been affected in the city. Sources said the power supply was hit since 8.10 am on May 24 and it could not be restored even after 48 hours. However, SDO Deol of waterworks said that water supply would be normal by the evening. The executive officer of the municipal corporation, Mr Kamal Kant Goyal, said that water could not be supplied to various localities due to power failure. He said efforts were being made to supply water through tankers. They had deposited Rs 14 lakh with the PSEB for a hotline, but due to power failure even the hotline had stopped working.

Meanwhile, the district administration convened a meeting with the PSEB authorities to discuss the matter. The Superintending Engineer, PSEB, Bathinda, has intimated that to improve the power situation it was planned to convert the four surrounding grid stations from 33 KV to 66 KV, work on which was done on May 24. When the work was over, a problem in various installations of the thermal plant came to the light. Rectifying it consumed a lot of time. The PSEB authorities have assured that normal power supply would be restored by 5 pm today. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Rahul Bhandari, asked the PSEB authorities not to carry out such major upgradation during the peak summer season.

On the directions of the Deputy Commissioner, the Executive Engineer, Mr M.L. Garg has been deployed at the Gole Diggi complaint centre and he would stay there for the next two days. Any kind of complaint regarding power supply can be registered at this centre. Water supply complaints can be registered with the executive officer, Mr Kamal Kant Goyal, at 98141-30335.


Lahore to have billboard for Hindu pilgrims
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 26
The Pakistan Government is in the process of installing a billboard at Lahore that will have a map of prominent places of religious interest to Hindus and Sikhs. The step was aimed at facilitating Indian pilgrims, said Mr Jugal Kishore Sharma, MLA and chairman of the local Improvement Trust, who returned from Pakistan today.

Work on the Lahore-Nankana Sahib road was under way on a war footing and was expected to be completed within two months, he said, quoting Pakistani officials.

Work on a double carriageway on a 70-km road stretch was under way and was to be made operational for the start of the Amritsar-Lahore bus in August, he said.

The new road connecting Lahore with Nankana Sahib had been named “Baba Guru Nanak Dev Marg”, Mr Sharma said.

The MLA said a donation of Rs 11 lakh had collectively been announced for the Katasraj temples, which were in a dilapidated state, by ruling party MLAs from their discretionary fund.

Meanwhile, Mr Muhammad Ilyas Bhatti of the Department of Archaeology, Pakistan, who is also the project director of the Katasraj temples, told TNS over the telephone from Pakistan that desilting of the holy sarovar, Amar Kund, at Katasraj was in progress.

He said cleaning operations were also under way in view of the visit of Mr L. K. Advani, former Union Home Minister, to the historical temples, scheduled for May 30.


Peacocks continue to perish
This time four die in Batala
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
In a shocking incident, four peacocks have been found dead along the Aliwal canal area, about 8 km from Batala in Gurdaspur. Two of them were recovered in a miserable state - their feathers ripped off from their bodies.

The case surfaced yesterday when the villagers living along the forested canal track dared the poachers who, they claim, were plucking the feathers of the birds before they escaped. Migrant hunters have been active in this belt, which abounds in partridges, rabbits and peacocks.

Incidentally, when the Punjab Wildlife Department was informed of the death of the peacocks yesterday, one of the birds was alive. It, however, succumbed to injuries at an animal husbandry centre in Batala today.

It is also reliably learnt that feathers were found scattered on the spot of peacock deaths. And though the locals maintain the feathers belonged to at least 10 dead peacocks that may have been killed over a period of time, Wildlife Department officers feel otherwise.

To begin with, they say the birds did not die due to hunting, although they extend no plausible explanation of the de-skinning of peacocks. Mr Jasmel Singh, District Forest Officer, Pathankot, told The Tribune the birds had been sent for a post mortem to Batala and that the reports confirmed they did not die due to hunting.

Initially Mr Jasmel Singh said the birds could not have been poisoned. Later, he said the chances could not be ruled out. “This is cauliflower sowing season. So the seeds could have been infected. But the birds could also have died due to a disease or a snake bite,” he said.

A snake biting all the birds together seems implausible, so does a disease striking all of them simultaneously. Also, these assumptions don’t explain these facts - if four birds died of a disease at the same time, which disease was it and what measures has the Forest Department taken to ensure the disease does not kill more birds; if the birds had not been hunted, why had their feathers been plucked out; if there were no hunters (though the villagers claim there were) how did the birds die when the weather was not hostile and when no poisonous substance was recovered from the site.

Even the postmortem report acquired from a local veterinary centre can be objected to, given the poor credibility some such reports have had in the past. In the case involving the alleged peacock killing by a former Pathankot SDM, Hoshiarpur Veterinary Hospital played a dubious role. Finally, the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun confirmed the birds died due to gun shots.

Even in the Batala case, experts insist the Wildlife Department should send the birds to Dehradun, if at all they wish to ascertain the real cause of deaths.


Row over gurdwara deepens
Tribune News Service

Rampura Phul, May 26
The controversy surrounding Gurdwara Madi Sahib has deepened with Sikh leaders coming out against the construction of a temple on the gurdwara premises.
Sikh leaders led by the manager of Gurusar Gurdwara, Mr Charan Singh, today held a press conference in this regard at Gurdwara Gurusar Mehraj. These leaders made it clear that there was no space for “samadhs” on a gurdwara premises.

They warned that they would demolish the Hanuman temple that had come up on the gurdwara campus. They also objected to the “samadhs” built at the gurdwara.

The manager accused the Congress of complicating the issue.

Highlighting the history of the gurdwara, Mr Charan Singh said the gurdwara complex spread over 13 acres was in the possession of the SGPC since the committee came into being. He said that since 1999 a 22-member committee formed from 22 villages was managing the affairs of the gurdwara. On the other hand, people of the Bhullar community, who are closely associated with the place due to “samadhs” of their ancestors on the gurdwara premises, had already said that they would not allow demolition of “samadhs” and the Hanuman temple.

Baba Hardeep Singh, gurdwara panel chief Jagjit Singh, Jathedar Avtar Singh, ex-sarpanch Birinder Singh, sarpanch Preetam Singh and Mr Pargat Singh Maluana were also present at the press conference.

When contacted, the SSP, Mr Kapil Dev, said he had asked the parties involved in the dispute to come to the negotiating table.

He said a delegation of the SGPC members had met him and he urged them to work for a peaceful solution to the matter.


Manch members protest against privatisation policies
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, May 26
Members of the Jan Hit Manch today organised a dharna and blocked traffic against the privatisation policies of the Punjab Government. About 500 members of the manch, including a large number of women, initially gathered on the Government Senior Secondary School ground this morning.

They marched in procession to the post-office crossing raising slogans against the Punjab Government and blocked the traffic. The Gurdaspur-Amritsar road traffic remained blocked for about half an hour. In a rally organised subsequently, Mr Ajit Singh Kahlon, convener of the manch, alleged that the government was shirking from all its responsibilities.

It has been talking of privatising everything within its ambit. About 25,000 posts of teacher were lying vacant in government schools across the state. Many schools in remote areas are lying closed due to lack of teachers. However, instead of recruiting teachers, the government was thinking of privatising the schools. The move of the government to privatise the schools was motivated by private investors. They want to gain control of the prime properties of the government schools in cities for peanuts.

Education was non-profit making business in the country. Only charitable societies can run education institutes as per the law. So if the government was really serious about improving education by inviting investment from charitable societies, it should ask them to invest in rural areas rather than handing them over government properties.

Mr Bodh Singh Ghuman, spokesperson for the manch, flayed the move of the government to privatise cooperative sugar mills. He said the cooperative movements in Gujarat and Maharashtra were a big success. They had improved the economic status of the farmers in these states. In Punjab also, the cooperative movement had saved the farmers from the clutches of the middlemen.

However, now the government was hell-bent on privatising cooperative sugar mills of the state at the behest of an influential liquor lobby from Uttar Pradesh. The liquor lobby by taking over sugar mills wanted to control the molasses that are used in producing liquor. While the government sugar mills were being forced the sell molasses to distilleries at just Rs 75 per quintal, the private mills were charging Rs 500 per quintal for it.

The other leaders of the manch, including Prof Yogi, flayed the government for trying to privatise hospitals in the state.

The members of the manch later submitted a memorandum of their demands to the Deputy Commissioner, Gurdaspur, Mr Vivek Pratap Singh.


Traders, admin lock horns over statue site
Our Correspondent

Nabha, May 26
Traders and administration of the town are at loggerheads over the site for the installation of a statue of Dr B. R. Ambedkar. The statue, which is likely to be unveiled by Capt Amarinder Singh on June 3, has been installed in the main post officer chowk, the only parking place available in the town.

Unfazed by the objections of the traders of Sadar Bazar, MC officials have not only put up the statue but have also started constructing a perimeter in the name of its beautification.

Surinder Bawa, president of local vyopar mandal and a senior councillor lamented that this action of the MC had eroded the parking space available for the shoppers and was likely to affect their business.

He said the vyopar mandal had decided to take up the issue with the SDM and maintained that if no action was taken by him, shopkeepers would be forced to greet Capt Amarinder Singh with black flags during his visit on June 3 apart from observing a strike. He said the trading community owe had respect for B.R. Ambedkar but wanted a proper place for his statue.


2 of family die as wall collapses
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, May 26
Two members of a family, including a two-year-old girl and her 30-year-old mother, were killed while two others were injured when the wall of an upcoming building of a factory collapsed today in the Basti Bawa Khel area here late in the evening.

According to the police, the building was under construction for the past some weeks. The incident occurred late in the evening when suddenly one of the walls of the building collapsed and its debris fell on the “jhuggis” adjoining to the factory.

The inhabitants of a “jhuggi,” Bhagya Devi (30) and her two-year-old daughter Suman Kumari died on the spot. Two persons were injured in the mishap. They were identified as Santosh Kumar and Aadam. The victims were engaged in scrap business and originally hailed from Bihar.

Senior police officials, including SP (City) Pawan Kumar Rai, visited the site of the mishap. The injured were shifted to the local Civil Hospital.

The police was investigating the cause of the collapse. A case has been registered even as no arrest has been made in this regard so far.


Another fire on PNFCL campus
Tribune News Service

Nangal, May 26
A fire again broke out on the campus of the Punjab National Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited (PNFCL) here this afternoon but was brought into control with the help of fire engines from the National Fertilizers Limited (NFL).

The fire was noted by the administrative official who immediately called the fire engines from the NFL.

It was a minor fire which had been erupted in the forest areas but was controlled within a few minutes, said the ADC (Development), Mr Surjit Singh Sain. He added that the PNFCL was again sealed today. 


Semen banks to be upgraded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
For providing certified semen to dairy farmers in Punjab and to improve the conception rate of cattle, the semen banks in the state are being updated and upgraded as per ISO-9002 specifications.

The Secretary, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development, Mr D.S. Bains, said the ISO-9002 certificate would help increase the credibility of “semen straws being produced by government semen banks in the state. These will also be exported.”


high court
Father of Bir Devinder’s gunman moves HC
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 26
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice of motion on the petition filed by the father of Nawab Singh, the gunman of Kharar MLA Bir Devinder Singh, who was found dead some days back.

In his petition, Mr Rajwant Singh, has alleged that despite various requests, the Fatehgarh Sahib police are not investigating the case properly.

Nawab Singh’s body was fished out of the Narwana Branch Canal on May 7, a day after he went missing. The family of the deceased has accused the MLA of being responsible for his death.

Even in his suicide note, Nawab Singh had accused the Congress politician of harassing him and driving him to his death. The suicide note also asked his family to take revenge from Bir Devinder.

In his petition, Mr Rajwant Singh has stated that he met the IGP, Patiala Zone, on May 13, seeking proper investigation. But no action was taken. Nothing happened after over 200 villagers met the Fatehgarh Sahib SSP for registration of case.

The petitioner has sought registration of FIR against the MLA and handing over investigation to the CBI or some independent agency. He has claimed that fair investigation cannot be expected to be held by the Punjab Police as the MLA’s brother is a senior police officer.

After hearing his counsel, Mr Justice S.K. Mittal issued notice for July 8.


Slump in vegetable prices hits farmers
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, May 26
Vegetable growers and small farmers of the district are incurring heavy losses these days on account of throwaway prices of their produce in the market. Their financial position is going from bad to worse.

Dharamjit Singh of Purhiran, who took to farming after his retirement from the post of teacher, told this correspondent here today that tomatoes were being sold in the range from Rs 200 to 250 per quintal, pumpkin at Rs 20 per quintal, cucumber from Rs 250 to 300 per quintal, capsicum at Rs 200 per qunital, biter gourd from Rs 300 to 400 per qunital, A class “tinda” from Rs 300 to 400 per quintal and “chapan “kaddu” at Rs 175 per quintal in the wholesale market of the Subzi Mandi.

He said the cost of production of the above said vegetables ranged from Rs 800 to 1000 per quintal. There was great competition between the vegetable growers of other districts and states with local farmers. The local vegetable growers were small farmers who generally owned 2 to 5 acres of land in which they grow seasonal vegetables. If the prevailing trend in vegetable markets continues, these marginal farmers would come under heavy debts.

Referring to the working of the local market committee, he alleged that it had done nothing for the welfare of farmers. Though the committee was collecting more than Rs 1 crore annually from the farmers as 4 per cent market committee fee, but it had not maintained any of the rural road for smooth flowing of vehicular traffic to enable farmers to bring their agriculture produce to the Subzi Mandi, he alleged.


Samples of spurious eatables collected
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, May 26
Panic gripped traders in Pathankot as a team from the Directorate of Health collected samples of eatables. The health directorate team has collected about 12 samples of different food products from Pathankot in the past three days.

Sources in the department of health told that the samples of desi ghee, soft drinks and other grocery items had been collected by the raiding team. The samples would be taken by the team to Chandigarh for testing.

The team had come to collect the samples after the matter of confiscation 2,600 kg spurious Nova desi ghee was reported in these columns.

The issue of spurious food items flooding the market in Pathankot had come to the fore due to a tussle between the traders.

The original dealers of the branded food items in Pathankot had been at the receiving end as some traders were selling the same products at much lower costs in the same market. In the case of Nova desi ghee while the company wholesale dealers claimed that he received the product at Rs 130 per kg, some dealers were selling the same product for even below Rs 100 per kg.

Sources revealed that most of the spurious products were coming to the area from Delhi. Interestingly, the food and civil supplies authorities found that many traders did not have the bills for their supplies coming through the railways. They just have the papers that indicate the number of boxes coming rather than specifying the kind or quantity of material contained in them. The Railways authorities or the local sales tax never care to ask for bills from the traders whose supplies come through trains.

Sources in the Food and Civil Supplies Department told that on an average about 800 to 900 quintal of desi ghee was entering the markets of Punjab every day. However, milk production in the entire state was not enough to produce such a large quantity of desi ghee in a single day. This indicates that large quantity of spurious desi ghee was being sold in the markets of the state.

The Civil Surgeon of Gurdaspur, Mr Niranjan Singh Suman, admitted that the team from the Directorate of Health had collected samples of branded food products from the Pathankot market.


Murdered woman’s husband ‘confesses’ to crime
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Kharar, May 26
“We killed Kulbir since she had brought disrepute to our family. Her actions can never be forgiven and she deserved the treatment we gave her,” said the unrepentant Bhupinder Singh, husband of Kulbir Kaur, who was murdered in Gharuan village two days ago. Bhupinder Singh along with his brother Avtar Singh and Kulbir’s brother Karamjit Singh, had allegedly murdered 33-year-old Kulbir who had reportedly got involved in flesh trade in Nayagaon.

While Avtar Singh had been arrested the same day, Bhupinder and Karamjit were apprehended by the Kharar police today.

Confessing before the police that they had planned the murder, Bhupinder and Karamjit said they had done it to protect the honour of the family. “She had made our life miserable and we decided to murder her before she forced us all to commit suicide,” said Bhupinder.

Relating the circumstances that “forced” a brother to kill his sister and a husband to kill his wife, Bhupinder said he was living happily till three years ago when his mother died. “My wife started going and living with other men in the village and nearby villages. She would be absent for days and many a time we had to accompany the village Sarpanch to get her out of trouble with the police,” said Bhupinder Singh adding that she soon procured a mobile and would contact people using visiting cards.

“The entire family did their best to convince her to stop these activities but she continued. My father encouraged her since she started paying for my mother’s treatment who is suffering from cancer,” added Karamjit Singh. “It became impossible for us to go out in the streets without people commenting about my sister. I could not tolerate it. I often thought I should kill myself rather than suffer the humiliation,” he added.

Finally when Kulbir shifted to Chandigarh nine months ago, Bhupinder asked for a divorce but Kulbir reportedly refused. “A week ago I went and lovingly convinced her to leave all this. She told me that she too was unhappy with herself and cried all night. She promised me she would come home and change herself,” related Bhupinder.

Kulbir shifted to her father’s house in Fatehpur on Bhupinder’s insistence. “She stayed for barely two days and she back to her activities,” said Karamjit. “I could not tolerate it and told my family and Bhupinder that I was going to kill her,” he added.

The murder was planned and Kulbir was brought on the motorcycle by Bhupinder from Fatehpur to Gharuan. “I took her to all her relatives place in Ropar and even told them that she was visiting them for the last time. Then I brought her to the fields where Karamjit was waiting. We used a piece of cloth to strangulate her. Then we put her body on the motorcycle and threw it near village Mamupur,” said Bhupinder. The two would be presented before the court tomorrow.


Gang of robbers busted, 3 held
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, May 26
The district police has succeeded in busting a five-member gang of robbers with the arrest of its three members, including the kingpin of the gang.
Mr Ishwar Singh, SSP, stated here today that the gang was responsible for recent snatching cases, wherein; cash and mobile phone cash cards worth Rs 1.25 lakh were looted in the Bhogpur area.

According to the police, a case was registered on the statement of Dinesh Bhardwaj, a resident of Tanda in Hoshiarpur and an employee of a mobile phone company on April 21. Dinesh used to visit Bhogpur and surrounding areas to sell cash cards of mobile phones through dealers. When he was returning to Tanda after collecting payments, he was intercepted by a group of five youths who were on two motorcycles. All of them had muffled their faces and they snatched the bag containing nearly Rs 65,000 in cash and cash cards worth Rs 60,000.

Following a tip-off, the Bhogpur police laid a naka near Garhi Baksha village and stopped three youths on two motorcycles for regular checking. The police party got suspicious and the three were subjected to sustained questioning and it was revealed that they belonged to a five-member gang of robbers, which had looted Dinesh. They were subsequently taken into custody and their personal search led to the recovery of cash cards worth Rs 41,041 and Rs 26000 in cash.

The arrested persons were identified as Hardeep Singh and Jaspal Singh, both residents of Beas village in Adampur and Harkishan of Alawalpur in Adampur. During the preliminary interrogation, the arrested persons revealed that other two members of the gang were Satnam and Gurpreet. The arrested persons were being produced in the court.

Meanwhile, the police has busted a racket of pilfering oil from oil tankers and its sale in the black market. According to Mr P.K. Rai, SP, the police got a tip-off that a 10-member gang specialised in pilfering oil from oil tankers being loaded from the sale point of the Indian Oil Corporation at Suchi Pind. Subsequently, a raid was conducted and the driver of a three-wheeler, identified as Rajesh Kumar of Jaimal nagar, was arrested. His interrogation led to subsequent raids on three godowns situated near Choggitti Bypass and a large quantity of oil was recovered from the spot. The police has registered a case.


Wife, paramour held for man’s murder
Our Correspondent

Abohar, May 26
The police has arrested Raj Rani (32) and her paramour Kulwant Singh Kanta for the murder of her husband Bachan Singh (45), whose body was recovered on May 13 from a screening chamber by sanitation workers of the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board.

Kanta, a daily wage worker, lived opposite the house of the victim in the Indira Nagri locality, which had reported over six cases of killings due to illicit relations in the past, sources said.Raj Rani was the second wife of Bachan Singh. His first wife had died due to illness. She reportedly developed illicit relations with Kanta.

On May 12, Raj Rani reportedly asked Bachan Singh out for a walk and left him alone for a few minutes. Kanta, who was already waiting there, allegedly attacked Bachan with a sharp-edged weapon, resulting in his death on the spot.

Both of them then dragged the body and dumped it in a manhole. They have confessed to the murder.


11 quintals of poppy husk seized, three held
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, May 26
The police has seized about 11 quintals of poppy husk in two different cases. While three persons have been arrested, two have absconded.
Police sources said the CIA in charge, Mr Ram Prakash, spotted a truck on the Abohar road at 5.45 am today and signalled it to stop.

But, the truck driver stopped as soon as he saw the police at some distance. The police nabbed him.

On interrogation, he revealed his identity as Rachhpal Singh, alias Pala. Two others identified as Kuldeep Singh and Gurcharan Singh were arrested and 23 sacks containing 8 quintals of poppy husk were seized.

They have been arrested and booked under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act.

In another case, Mr Paramjit Singh, in charge, Chowki Bhaikera, seized over 3 quintals of poppy husk from two carborne youths at a check-post near Phullu Khera.

The youths, who were in an Opel Astra car, fled from the spot. The police has registered a case against them under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act.


Aided schools to remain closed tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
All affiliated and private-aided schools in Punjab will remain closed on May 28 in protest against the non-arrest of several persons who had damaged and torched a school in Kot Mangal Singh Colony in mid-April after a student had committed suicide over an alleged love affair with a teacher of the school.

The decision was taken by the Association of Affiliated Schools (Punjab) at a meeting held here today. The association has given a deadline till May 28 to the district administration and the police to arrest the accused and withdraw a case of abetment to suicide by the youth against Sukhpal Singh, director of Guru Angad Dev Model School.

The association and the teachers have shown solidarity with the school management more than a month after the incident. Association leaders said they were quite all these days as the police had assured them of speedy action against about 30 persons who had damaged and torched the school.

On April 15, a Class-XII student of the school had committed suicide after he was allegedly reprimanded by the school director Sukhpal Singh for having an affair with a teacher of the primary classes. The boy had consumed poison and his relatives had accused the director of beating and humiliating the youth in the school.

The boy’s death sparked protests and a strong mob damaged and torched the school building. Sukhpal Singh had surrendered a day later. The police had also booked nearly 30 unidentified persons for the attack but none was arrested.

Mr Rajinder Sharma, president of the association, said they had a meeting with SP (City-II) on the subject and he assured the delegation of a fresh inquiry into the case but nothing was done.


Bardwal girl tops in Class X in district
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 26
Kalpana Singla, a student of a rural school, Shri Guru Teg Bahadur Public School, Bardwal (Dhuri), has topped in Sangrur district by securing 95.8 per cent marks in the Class X examination of the CBSE this year.

Mr Madhu Soodan, Principal of the school, said the names of other meritorious students of the school, who secured more than 90 per cent marks in the examination, were Kamaljeet (95 per cent), Yash Gupta (94.2 per cent), Mohammad Qaseem Khan (94 per cent), Arshdeep (92.6 per cent), Puneet Kumar (92.4 per cent), Mehak Singla (91.2 per cent), Hardeep (90.8 per cent) and Mandeep (90.6 per cent).

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