P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Agreement amended to favour company
Government to lose Rs 40 crore
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, May 28
The much-publicised anti-corruption campaign of the Punjab Government is at stake. In an alleged act of corruption, the government has changed the tripartite agreement for micro-hydel projects with a particular company to give it an undue benefit of about Rs 40 crore.

The tripartite agreements for setting up mini-hydel projects on 41 sites at different canals in the state were executed among the Punjab Irrigation Department, the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) and the private developers in 2001.

The tripartite agreement was entered into with M/s Kotla Hydro Power Limited on November 6, 2001, for setting up micro-hydel projects on the Bugra, Harigarh, Babbanpur, Killa and Sahoke sites. The company is a subsidiary concern of M/s Polyplex Corporation that had been awarded contract for setting up microhydel projects at 28 sites.

As per Clause 3 of the original agreement the Punjab Irrigation Department was to allow the construction of water storage in the upstream of the proposed power houses. The strengthening and maintenance of the canal banks was the responsibility of the Irrigation Department. However, the maintenance of canal works connected with the power house was to be done by the Irrigation Department at the expense of the company or promoter.

On February 25 this year the government amended Clause 3 of the agreement to suit the company. Under the amended clause, the maintenance of the canal would be done by the company at its own cost.

Clause 8 of the original agreement states that the work for realignment or re-canalisation was to be done by the Irrigation Department. The company or the promoter was to deposit the estimated amount for the realignment or recanalisation with the department in advance.

Under the amended provision, the company would carry out the re-canalisation work at its own cost under the supervision of the Punjab Irrigation Department.

The sources said after the allotment of the work, Ms Kotla Hydro Power Ltd proposed to combine the Burga-Killa sites at Killa and Harigarh-Sahoke sites at Sohoke. This involved major re-canalisation and realignment works of the original canal. The Punjab Irrigation Department worked out an estimate running into several crores for the realignment.

The sources said there was a huge difference in the estimates of the Irrigation Department and the company for re-canalisation and re-alignment works. Besides, if the Irrigation Department had carried out the work, the company was liable to pay 27.5 per cent of the total estimate as overhead charges. These overhead charges included the labour charges which alone amounted to about Rs 40 crore. This amount would have flown into the coffers of the government had the Irrigation Department used its work force for re-canalisation works.

The Chief Engineer, Canal, Mr Mant Rao, who is a signatory to the amended tripartite agreement, when contacted, said he did not have the details of the reviewed agreement. When asked about the loss to the government due to the changed agreement, he said it had been changed on the recommendation of PEDA and only it could answer queries regarding its job. About the loss of 27.5 per cent overhead charges to the government, Mr Rao said the government was yet to decide on it.


Dhesi given permission to travel abroad
Harpreet murder case hearing
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 28
The court of Additional Sessions Judge today granted permission to travel abroad to Ms Dalwinder Kaur Dhesi one of the main accused in the case pertaining to the alleged murder of Harpreet Kaur, daughter of SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur.

When the case came up for hearing today in the court of Mr Bhupinder Singh, Additional Sessions Judge, the defence counsel, Mr Satnam Singh Kler, submitted bank guarantees of Rs 2 crore and also furnished a personal bond of the same amount following which the court agreed to release the passport of Ms Dalwinder Kaur Dhesi.

All main accused in the case turned up in the court today. They included Bibi Jagir Kaur, President of the SGPC, Ms Dalwinder Kaur Dhesi, Mr Paramjit Singh Raipur, Mr Nishan Singh, Personal Security Officer of the SGPC chief, Satya, a maid of Bibi Jagir Kaur and drivers Harvinder Pal and Sanjeev Kumar.

The defence counsel conducted the examination in chief of government approver Dr B.S. Sohal who was asked questions relating to his stay in Jasdill mansion in Phagwara.

Since the defence counsel’s examination remained inconclusive, the court fixed May 30 as the next date of hearing in the case.

Meanwhile, workers of the SAD (Amritsar) burnt effigies of former Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Bibi Jagir Kaur outside the court complex. Bibi Jagir Kaur, in an attempt to avoid a direct confrontation with the agitating SAD (Amritsar) workers, entered into the court complex through a back door. 


Haryana gurdwara panel: Badal meets PM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
Shiromani Akali Dal President Parkash Singh Badal yesterday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh “to intervene directly and immediately to stop the Haryana Government from pushing matters to a flashpoint through its move to set up a separate body for the management of Sikh shrines in that state in defiance of the Act through which the SGPC had been set up.”

Mr Badal called on the Prime Minister, along with party, secretary general Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and general secretary Balwinder Singh Bhunder, in New Delhi last evening and impressed upon him “the need for bringing a sober and far-sighted approach to bear upon the highly provocative move of the Haryana Government. The meeting lasted about half an hour, according to the party secretary Dr Daljit Singh Cheema.

Later Mr Badal described the Prime Minister’s attitude as “responsive”.

In a detailed memorandum to the Prime Minister, Mr Badal drew his attention to the resentment and anger in the Sikh community over the increasing number of instances of government interference in the religious affairs of the Sikhs.

He said this in the backdrop of what he described as “a highly explosive move” by the government in Haryana to gain access to the management of the Sikh shrines by engineering a move which was aimed at depriving the SGPC of its legitimate control in the matter.”

Mr Badal said that “the reported move in this direction was fundamentally flawed not only in religio-political conception but also in law, precedent and practice. This was also in defiance of the historic pact between Master Tara Singh as leader of the Sikh community and Jawahar Lal Nehru as Prime Minister of India on April 8, 1959.

Mr Badal also referred to the “strong religio-ideological dimension” to the problem. The sole rationale behind such moves was the belief of some leaders that it was only by gaining control over the Sikh shrines that they could ensure a permanent political hold over the community. 


Jagir Kaur warns Haryana on gurdwara panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee President (SGPC), Bibi Jagir Kaur, today challenged the Congress government in Haryana to create a separate body for managing Sikh shrines in the state.

Warning the government of dire consequences, she said Sikhs from all over the world would unite and launch an agitation that would “shake the globe” if Haryana tried to interfere and break the SGPC into fragments. The Sikhs, she said, were not afraid of making sacrifices if the need arose.

Speaking at a meet-the-Press programme organised by the Chandigarh Press Club, Bibi Jagir Kaur also lambasted the Congress governments at the Centre and in the states for their failure to look after the interests of the Sikh community at the national and international levels.

For all practical purposes, the gurdwaras in Pakistan were still being managed by members of the Muslim community and the turban issue was yet to be resolved because the case was not properly pleaded by the Indian authorities, she said.

Giving details of the reasons behind their protests, she said in no uncertain terms that Haryana was not in a position to legally carve another body. The SGPC’s functioning was governed by an Act. Any amendment to it had to be done by a two-thirds majority,” she said. “In any case, we have called a meeting on May 31 to discuss the next course of action.”

In an attempt to clarify that money was not the motive behind their opposition to the carving out of another body, she asserted that the SGPC was spending more in Haryana than it was earning from the gurdwaras in the state.

Describing most of the gurdwaras in Haryana as defaulters, she said many of them were not even paying a single penny, though 25 per cent of the donations were to be deposited with the SGPC.

Moreover, schools and other institutions were also being set up in Haryana.

As far as “Jo Bole So Nihal” was concerned, she asserted that the Censor Board should ensure against the inclusion of objectionable scenes. “Till a Sikh representative is taken on the Censor Board, the authorities should consult us before clearing movies.”

Bibi Jagir Kaur announced a grant of Rs 2.5 lakh for the Chandigarh Press Club. The SGPC chief said she was more than willing to extend full support and cooperation to the club in case it was planning to set up a wing in the name of the Sikh scholar, Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha. She was presented with a memento by the club President.


Rivals refuse to accept Baba Dhumma as taksal chief
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Chowk Mehta, May 28
Uneasy calm prevails at Gurdwara Gurdarshan Parkash, headquarters of Damdami Taksal here, following the ‘dastarbandi’ (turban tying) ceremony of Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma who was declared the 16th chief of the taksal in a hush hush manner on May 25.

The rival group of Baba Dhumma, including Jathedar Amrik Singh who had deserted the taksal following differences with the new chief, has announced that it would accept anybody else as Jathedar of taksal except Baba Dhumma. Bhai Balwant Singh, a supporter of Jathedar Amrik Singh, said they were ready to accept Bhai Jasbir Singh Rode, Bhai Mohkam Singh , Bhai Malkit Singh or Baba Mahan Singh as the new chief of the taksal.

Earlier, Bhai Mohkam Singh, spokesman for the taksal, had raised objections over the ‘dastarbandi’ of Baba Dhumma. Neither Bhai Mohkam Singh nor other senior functionaries of the taksal were taken into confidence while the ‘dastarbandi’ was performed.

Meanwhile, Bhai Manjit Singh, senior vice-president of the SAD has said that he would approach Akal Takht to summon those who had been misguiding the Sikhs that Sant Jarnail Singh Bhinderanwale was in ‘high spirits’ for 21 years. He said such ‘great liars’ were answerable to the Sikh Sangat.

He claimed that Bhai Ram Singh, who was given ‘turban’ by the then acting chief of the taksal, Baba Thakur Singh, was the ‘real Jathedar’ and would take over the charge of Gurdarshan Parkash at an appropriate time.

He said those who had been supporting the theory that Sant Bhinderanwale was ‘still alive’ must clarify their positions as to why they tried to ‘belittle’ the death of the sant.

The forthcoming ‘shaheedi divas’ of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhinderanwale on June 12 here is likely to be a stormy one.


IFS officers unhappy at denial of cadre posts
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
Officers of the Indian Forest Service (IFS) are an unhappy lot in Punjab. Their major grievance is the denial of cadre posts to them. They have been arguing their case with the state government authorities concerned for several months to seek their due but to no avail.

Besides submitting several representations to the state government, they have also met the Punjab Governor, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), to ask for the redress of their grievances. A detailed representation stating the demands has been submitted to the Governor by them.

They have also served notice on the government urging it to either do justice or face litigation on this issue. “The rules are in our favour but the authorities have been doing injustice to us”, says the Punjab chapter of the Indian Forest Service Association.

There are clearly earmarked posts for IFS cadre officers in Punjab at the divisonal and higher levels. However, the state government has posted many state-cadre officers belonging to the Punjab Forest Service (PFS) on IFS-cadre posts. The association says that in the field eight posts of divisonal forest officer meant for IFS-cadre officers are manned by state-cadre officers in violation of the rules.

Similarly, four posts in the Punjab State Forest Development Corporation have been kept outside the ambit of the IFS cadre. These posts have been continuing since 1983. After three years of their continuation, these should have been declared as IFS-cadre posts but this was not done.

The association says that recently Indian Police Service (IPS) officers had moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the posting of non-IPS cadre officers on posts meant for them. The IPS Officers Association won its battle in the court. Ultimately, the state government had to post IPS-cadre officers on all posts earmarked for them in the field. “A similar plea will be taken by our association in court”, says a spokesman of the forest service association.

He says, that on certain insignificant posts, IFS-cadre officers have been posted. They have been pushed out from important posts to make way for state-cadre officers. There are also state-cadre officers who have been posted on important posts even though they have not passed the mandatory department examinations. It is again a serious violation of the rules, says the association.


Amarinder hails Sonia’s re-election

Chandigarh, May 28
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today hailed the re-election of Ms Sonia Gandhi as the President of the All-India Congress Committee.

In a communication addressed to Ms Gandhi, Capt Amarinder Singh felicitated her and said it would boost the morale of the party’s rank and file. — TNS


Satire on working of govt officials
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 28
History of sorts was created in the field of Punjabi theatre when the “naatshala”, the first ever fully computerised revolving stage, today successfully followed international during “Faasle”, a Punjabi play, written by Jatinder Singh Brar, staged here.

The audience was mesmerised when they received rainfall while it was sultry weather outside the theatre. The creation of artificial rain was like a charisma to the traditional audience.

The play had artistically highlighted the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor, the upper and the lower caste and the privileged and the underprivileged sections of society.

The story, which revolves around the unvoiced liking of a young girl named Noori (a snake charmer) for a government-employed doctor, is set in a village situated in a backward area of Mand.

The play depicted the role of present day corrupt government employees and their nefarious practices to exploit and fleece money from villagers. The play sends a strong message among the audience to do away with social evils and disparities by inculcating a spirit of brotherhood.

Veteran artistes like Pavel Sandhu, Sukhi Pawar, Vedh Sharma, Jaswant Jas, Pawandeep, Satwinder Soni, Sarbjeet Ladda, Harmeet Kaur Sanghi, Soni Sidhu, Dolly Saddal, Bharati, Mamta, Vinod Mehra, Rajinder Nagi, Chowdhry, Gurpreet, Master Harjot Singh and Baby Sandeep have performed to the best of their abilities.

Set designer Balwant Singh, light in charge Jaswinder Singh and sound in charge Subash Rao have made a contribution to make the play a success.

Jatinder Brar claimed that for the first time in the Punjabi theatre that theatrical skills and effects equivalent to international standard had been used to present various scenes of the play. He further said the theatre boasted of sophisticated light and sound systems.

“What started as a mere passion has now become a 250-seater, fully air-conditioned auditorium, thanks to the active support of theatre buffs,” added Brar.


Intellectuals divided over dossier issue
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 28
Sikh intellectuals stand divided over the proposed World Heritage Status for the Golden Temple by unesco even as Bibi Kiranjot Kaur, executive member of the Shiromani Committee, described the decision of the SGPC to reject the document as a ‘blunder’.

Addressing a seminar, organised by Sain Mian Mir International Foundation (SMMIF), here today, a majority of Sikh intellectuals said total rejection of the dossier had brought much embarrassment to the Sikh community all over the world. They said it was surprising that the SGPC had submitted the dossier to unesco through Centre Government and then had withdrawn the same only after a year. They were of the view that instead of rejecting the dossier, the SGPC should have removed the discrepancies and distortions in it.

Bibi Kiranjot Kaur, who was coordinator for preparing the dossier, alleged that the sub-committee, constituted by the Shiromani Committee, had misrepresented the facts and recommended immediate withdrawal of the dossier. She alleged that Director General of ASI, who wanted to clarify the position of Centre Government to dispel the apprehensions raised by a section of Sikh community, was disallowed to meet the members. She said the ASI had clearly mentioned in its communication that after getting the heritage status, there won’t be any interference by the Centre in the management of Darbar Sahib. Even then the dossier was rejected without any reason, she alleged.

She said the Director General of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) was not heard before the rejection of the dossier. However, Dr Jasbir Singh Sabar , one of the five members of the sub-committee which had recommended the rejection of the dossier, alleged that the contents of the dossier were ‘anti-Sikh’.

Principal Amarjit Singh Parag, while speaking on the occasion, fully supported the idea of getting WHS for the Golden Temple. He, however, said the distortions, if any, could be removed from the dossier and WHS would help in preserving the age-old heritage of the Sikhs, which was being destroyed during ‘kar sewa’ by ‘unskilled babas. He alleged that the SGPC could not be described as ‘autonomous’ as it was working under direct control of politicians. He said the Sikh Gurdwara Act has failed to come up to the expectations of the Sikh masses as it was enacted during the British rule . The ‘Patit’ (apostate) Deputy Commissioner normally presides over the first meeting of the General House of the SGPC.

He said the SGPC had taken a hasty decision to withdraw the dossier. He said unesco won’t intervene in ‘maryada’ of the Golden Temple and hence there was no harm in getting the heritage status.

Sikh intellectuals came heavily on the religious Sikh babas who had destroyed the rich heritage in the name of ‘kar sewa’. Dr Gurnam Kaur, a former Head of Guru Nanak Studies, Punjabi University, Patiala, said heritage status would definitely help in stopping the ‘babas’ from causing further damage to heritage buildings in future .

However, Dr Balwant Singh Dhillon, Head Guru Nanak Studies, Guru Nanak Dev University, who was one of the members who wetted the dossier alleged that some of the important corrections, as suggested by him were not incorporated in the final draft of the dossier.

He, however, supported the move of WHS for Darbar Sahib. Dr Harpal Singh Pannu said the dossier was kept ‘top secret’ initially, which had created a lot of confusion and apprehensions.

Mr Rachhpal Singh, a former Director Punjab Languages Department, Dr Gurbachan Singh Bachan, a former SGPC Secretary, Dr Sukhdev Singh, State Convener INTACH, Mr Balvinder Singh, Dr Jatinder Singh Jolly and Dr Bikramjit Singh Sekhon also spoke on the occasion.


Rs 250 cr to be spent on lining canals
Raj Sadosh

Abohar, May 28
The Command Area Development Agency has financed Rs 250-crore projects for lining of the Upper Bari Doab Canal (UBDC) covering Gurdaspur and Amritsar districts and Eastern Canal Division areas and the Kotla branch to benefit Mansa and Bathinda regions.

This was stated by Dr Mohinder Rinwa, MLA and Chairman, Punjab State Tubewell Corporation, while interacting mediapersons at the annual prize distribution function of the D AV College of Education here today.

He said the UBDC project would be launched next month. As per terms and conditions, the development agency would bear 50 per cent of the cost, 40 per cent to be paid by the state government and the users have to contribute rest of the amount. Earlier there was no provision of repairing water courses. The corporation would get a financial assistance from the Nabard for digging tubewells in sub-mountain regions. Work on eight tubewells had already started in the Garhshankar area.

According to terms of reference, 50 tubewells would be installed this year and 25 tubewells by next year. Work on the Kotla branch canal was being taken up by shifting tubewell corporation divisions to Patti and Bhikhiwind areas and work on the Eastern Division Canal would start by November. The 100-year-old canal needed lining to ensure supply of water at the tail end of Ladhuka, Mamdot and Fazilka.

Claiming that water position was better than the last year, Dr Rinwa said cotton had been sown as per schedule. Eight-hour electricity supply for tubewells and canal water for the rest of the areas would be made available from June 10.

He said the Local Bodies Department had permitted the Municipal Council, Fazilka, to auction surplus 22 acres land on June 6 for raising development funds. Work on sewerage construction and the treatment plant at Fazilka would be completed by December.

Earlier, speaking at the function, Dr Rinwa said Narayan Dass Grover had started this college 45 years ago. It was really a matter of pride that toppers in the university generally emerged from this college.

Regretting that materialistic style of life had gripped pious professions like education and medical science, Dr Rinwa said only the DAV institutions taught the students about Indian culture and developed moral values.

Songs and dances made the function lively. Students were given academic and co-curricular activities excellence prizes. Dr R.P. Asija, Principal, presented the annual report.


Senior citizen status: Punjab lowers age limit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
The Punjab Government has lowered the age limit for granting the senior citizen status to men from 65 to 60, said Minister of State for Social Security, Development of Women and Children Gurkanwal Kaur.

The minister said most of the senior citizens were yet to get identity card’ prepared. She said so far only 31,350 senior citizens had identity cards even though their population was much higher.

The minister said the procedure of issuing identity cards for senior citizen had been simplified. The applicant was required to fill a form and get his proof of residence attested from a councillor or a sarpanch, besides getting proof of age attested from Medical Officer.

At the tehsil-level, Sub- Divisional Magistrate, at the district-level, District Social Security Officer and at the state-level the Directorate of Social Security and Women and Child Development Department would provide the identity cards.


VB may use spy cameras in graft cases
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau is considering the feasibility of purchasing spy cameras for ruling out the possibility of false implication in “trap” cases, and also to establish foolproof cases against government officers demanding and accepting bribes.

Sources at the Punjab police headquarters say that the proposal to buy the cameras is part of a major plan aimed at modernising the bureau.

Such cameras are already being used in a clandestine manner by television channels throughout the country in sting operations to expose corruption, the sources add.

They claim that the bureau is having a look at the cameras available in the market and studying ways to use the digital devices. Some of them do not cost more than US $ 50.

Punjab’s Additional Director-General of Police-cum-Vigilance chief A.P. Pandey refuses to give details, but says the use of such cameras will be a welcome step. In several cases, the complainants themselves furnish false information. Such a move will help initiate proceedings against them also.

The sources, meanwhile, add that the development is significant because the bureau every other day manages to nab one or two government officials while pocketing money. However, in some of the cases doubts about the authenticity of the trap are created by accused persons claiming false implication.


Fire at petrol station
Tribune News Service

Kharar, May 28
A major tragedy was averted at the Chawla petrol station, Daun, located along the Chandigarh-Kharar highway when a fire broke out in a store being used to store boxes of engine oil and gear oil at the rear side of the station. No loss of life or injuries were reported in the blaze.

Firemen were able to control the fire minutes before it was nearing an underground tank containing petrol, according to the in charge of the Mohali fire station, Mr D.S. Dogra.

Three fire tenders each from the Mohali station and Chandigarh were rushed to the spot and the employees at the station were evacuated.

The cause of the fire is suspected to be a short circuit. The owner of the petrol station, Mr J.S. Chawla, said the loss in the blaze had not been ascertained yet.

Mr Dogra said the fire was brought under control with the help of the staff at the filing station. But he pointed out that the employees did not have the number of the Mohali fire station and instead called up the Chandigarh fire service.


Senior citizen status: Punjab lowers age limit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
The Punjab Government has lowered the age limit for granting the senior citizen status to men from 65 to 60, said Minister of State for Social Security, Development of Women and Children Gurkanwal Kaur.

The minister said most of the senior citizens were yet to get identity card’ prepared. She said so far only 31,350 senior citizens had identity cards even though their population was much higher.

The minister said the procedure of issuing identity cards for senior citizen had been simplified. The applicant was required to fill a form and get his proof of residence attested from a councillor or a sarpanch, besides getting proof of age attested from Medical Officer.

At the tehsil-level, Sub- Divisional Magistrate, at the district-level, District Social Security Officer and at the state-level the Directorate of Social Security and Women and Child Development Department would provide the identity cards.


JEs meet PSEB chief
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 28
The Junior Engineers, Association (JEA) of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has condemned the decision of the board to restrict the quota for recruitment of junior engineers.

In a press note, Mr Jagdesh Singh Rana, general secretary of the association, said the PSEB issued a circular on May 3 to restrict the recruitment of junior engineer from the ITI (lineman).

To express their displeasure against the board management, a JEA delegation met the PSEB Chairman Mr Y.S. Ratra, who assured them that the decision would be reconsidered.


Fire near Dauteha village
Tribune News Service

Ropar, May 28
A fire that broke out in the forest area near Dauteha village destroyed several trees while a number of wild animals are feared dead. The villagers who noticed the fire at 9.30 a.m. sought the help of fire engines from the Bhakra Beas Management Board fire station.


Orders issued to prevent cholera
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 28
Taking precautionary measures, Mrs Jaspreet Talwar, Deputy Commissioner, has issued orders under Section 2 of the Epidemic Disease Act 1897 to prevent the spread of cholera within the limits of Fatehgarh Sahib district. She has directed all Municipal Councils in the district supplying drinking water to people through water works to get it chlorinated. She has banned the sale or exposure of all kinds of food, cakes, biscuits, lassi, sharbat etc.

The sale and manufacture of ice, ice candy, ice gola, mineral water, aerated water is prohibited unless certified by the bacteriologist of the Punjab Government. The sale of cut fruit and sugar cane, juice has been prohibited unless prepared under hygienic conditions.

The sale of over ripe or raw fruit and vegetables has been prohibited. She has also directed the Civil Surgeon to establish medical inspection posts to prevent the spread of cholera in the district.


Finance company booked for fraud
Our Correspondent

Batala, May 28
A finance company has cheated people of lakhs of rupees here in the name of a monthly income scheme. The police has registered a case against five persons in this connection but they are all absconding.

Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, chief of Batala police district, told mediapersons here today that Sukhjit Singh, son of Mr Ajaib Singh, a resident of Sanghera village had made a written complaint to the police about Sakshi Finance Investment Company located in Ganesh Market near New Hansli Bridge. The company has five partners, Sukhdev Singh, Rakesh, Pardeep Kumar Nanda, Rachhpal Singh and Amit Nanda.

According to the complaint, these five persons had launched a finance company in 1999, when under a monthly scheme they had formed a group of 999 members and a sum of Rs 300 was collected every month from each member. The scheme was to run for 50 months.

The company announced prizes worth Rs 50,000 per month while the members who did not win any prize were assured a sum of Rs 15,000 each at the end of the scheme. Mr Sukhjit Singh informed the police that at the expiry of the scheme, he was refunded only Rs 10,000 and was snubbed when he demanded the remaining amount of Rs 5,000.

Dr Jain said a case had been registered against Pardeep Kumar Nanda and Rachhpal Singh.


BJP worker shoots grandmother, wife; commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Abohar, May 28
A senior BJP worker, Amrik Singh Brar, reportedly committed suicide today after firing at his grandmother and wife at Gulabewala village, 61 km from here, on Padampur road. While his grandmother, Bhagwan Kaur (90), died on the spot, his wife Paramjit Kaur (38), succumbed to a bullet injury at the civil hospital in the afternoon.

According to the police Amrik Singh Brar (40), who was the general secretary of the district BJP Rural Development Wing, was seen moving around in streets of the village in the morning and even met his friends. He looked normal. He returned home at 1.30 a.m. and villagers heard sound of shots being fired at 11 a.m. However, they came to know about the incident when a home-servant, Maina Devi, rushed out in panic. It was learnt that Amrik Singh had entered the bedroom of his grandmother and shot her dead using a .12-bore licensed rifle. As Paramjit Kaur, a former member of the Panchayat Samiti, rushed in, she too was hit by a bullet. After this Amrik Singh reloaded the rifle and committed suicide by firing in his face.

Maina Devi entered the house at 11.15 a.m. and injured Paramjit Kaur asked her to save Amrik Singh. People rushed in and took Paramjit to the hospital where she died later. Amrik was a close relative of Mr Surinderpal Singh, Minister of State for Agriculture, Rajasthan. He and other senior leaders rushed to the hospital after hearing about the shocking incident.

Amrik and Paramjit had no child even after 6 years of marriage. Amrik’s younger brother and mother had gone to Badopal to attend a function. The bodies were handed over to the family after post-mortem examination.


Principal’s services terminated
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 28
The Board of Governors of General Gurnam Singh Public School terminated the services of the Principal of the school, Ms Raveen Pandey, here today.

When contacted, Mr Husan Lal, Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chairman of the school trust, told The Tribune, that the services of the Principal had been terminated with immediate effect.

The Chairman further said it had come to the notice of the school trust that she did not possess the requisite qualifications and experience as per the guidelines laid down by the CBSE. He said since the school had started the plus I class this year, an inspection team of the CBSE had noticed the discrepancy.

Mr Lal said the Vice-Principal of the school, Mr Kulwinder Singh, had been asked to take charge of the Principal till further orders.


SGPC to set up 5 schools
Tribune News Service

Anandpur Sahib, May 28
The SGPC at a special meeting of the executive members yesterday decided to set up five new schools with cost of Rs 2.5 crore each in different places in the state and a sangeet academy for girls at Sultanpur Lodhi. The foundation stone the schools and academy would be laid next month.

The committee has decided to set up 100 schools in Punjab and Haryana in five years.

Giving details after a meeting at Anandpur Sahib, the SGPC President, Bibi Jagir Kaur, said the SGPC executive members’ committee decided to set up printing press in the USA to print Guru Granth Sahib and other literature. The decision to set up printing press there was taken as the Guru Granth Sahib could not be taken in religious way to various countries including America, by air or by ship.

She said the SGPC executive committee also decided to set up two schools in Haryana, a sangeet academy, and a printing press at Ambala.


ETT teachers block roads
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 28
Protesting against the decision of the state government to hold contractual appointments and move to privatise government schools, hundreds of members of the Unemployed Elementary Teachers Union blocked traffic outside the bus stand here this afternoon.

Carrying placards and banners, the teachers raised slogans against the government. They staged dharna and burnt the effigy of Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister.

Addressing the rallyists, Mr Jaswinder Singh Sidhu, president of the union, said they had planned to intensify their struggle by holding frequent dharnas in different districts. They said that a massive rally was being planned at Lehra Gaga, the constituency of Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister.


Private schools closed in protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
All affiliated and private schools in the city remained closed today in protest against the failure of the police to arrest the persons who had damaged and torched a school in Kot Mangal Singh colony in mid-April after a student committed suicide over an alleged love affair with a teacher of the school.

A delegation of the Association of Affiliated Schools (Punjab) also submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner and the SSP this afternoon. The delegation demanded the withdrawal of a case of abetment to suicide by the youth against Sukhpal Singh, director, Guru Angad Dev Model School.

The association leaders said the police had taken one-sided action in the incident in which a Class 12 student of the school had committed suicide on April 15 after he was allegedly reprimanded by school director Sukhpal Singh for having an affair with a teacher of the primary classes.

The boy had consumed poison and relatives had accused the director of beating up and humiliating the boy in the school.


Thapar institute among top 10
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 28
The Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology has been ranked among the top 10 engineering colleges in the country in a survey conducted by IDC-Dataquest-Nasscom.

The ranking was based on the placement record, intellectual capital, infrastructure and industry interface.

In a press note issued by Mr K.K Raina, Registrar of the institute it has been disclosed that the institute has been placed ninth in the overall ranking, third in the intellectual capital in the entire country and again third in the northern region of the country in the overall ranking.

It was further claimed that this year the average salary of the placed students witnessed a rise of 15 to 20 per cent as compared to last year.


Founder’s day of bank

Patiala, May 28
The local branch of Dena Bank celebrated its 68th founder’s day by organising a function at the Dharampura branch here yesterday.

The function, which was organised by branch manager Neelam Aggarwal and other staff members, was attended by 60 customers of the bank. The proceedings started with the manager reading out a speech of the Chief Managing Director of the bank and it ended with customers, Vimil Panjratna and M.S. Bhudiraja giving speeches. TNS

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