P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



No relief provided to flood-hit villages
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, July 10
Tall claims by the administration to provide necessary relief to the residents of flood-affected areas in the border areas of Narot and Bamial blocks of the Pathankot subdivision have been exposed, as till today the administration had not reportedly distributed relief among the affected people. After floods in the area, life of the villagers, residing near the Indo-Pak border, remains paralysed.

The administration had sounded a “red alert” for dozens of villages in the area and due to floods, the affected villages remained cut off from the rest of Punjab. A group of residents of Bamial village said the water of the Ravi had caused extensive damage to their standing crops and caused a huge loss to their properties. Despite assurances from the administration, nobody had come to assess their losses.

Flood Control Officer Yash Pal Sharma claimed that the water level had started falling in the flood-affected areas, bringing relief to the residents. According to reports, flood water has also damaged a newly constructed bridge in the area.

Mr Ram Lal, former BJP MLA of Narot, has demanded special relief for the villagers whose crops have been damaged due to flash floods.

Mr Yashpal Sharma said that the office of the Naib Tehsildar had been converted into flood control office, which would remain operational round the clock.

Meanwhile, the water level of Ranjit Sagar Dam was today the highest since it was commissioned. Today, the level rose to 518.61 m as against the previous highest registered three years ago when it was 518m.

Chief Engineer at the dam P.L.Saini informed that the maximum storage capacity of the dam was 527.9m.


Rain hits paddy crop, damages roads, bridges
Tribune News Service

Moga, July 10
A spell of heavy shower for about 24 hours on Friday wreaked havoc in Moga. Paddy crop, spread over about 3,000 acres, has submerged and road traffic has also been hit due to the collapse of a couple of bridges and inundation of roads.

According to sources, road traffic from Himmatpura to Badhani and Kot Ise Khan to Dharamkot has been affected, as the bridges connecting these places gave in to heavy rainfall that lashed the district last week. The road from Rauli to Fatehgarh Korotana was submerged even after a couple of days of rainfall.

About 500 acres of paddy was submerged in Behramke and Bajeke villages due to a overflowing drain that got choked. A breach was also reported in a drain at Bir Badhani village. About 200 acres of fields were inundated in Samalsar, Sekha Kalan, Sekha Khurd, and Kothe Samalsar villages.

About 2,000 acres of paddy crop in low-lying villages like Kokri Kalan, Kokri Her, Rauli, Kapure, Daya, Lopo, and Baude villages was inundated in 3-4 foot water. In some areas, the crop had fully submerged and had absolutely no chance of survival.

Sources said the situation was worse in Rauli village where water had entered residential areas and had forced people to take refuge on their terraces.

The water remained stagnant even after two days in a Dalit Basti carved out by the government in the village and no administration official had reached there.

The inundation of fields had also led to tiffs among farmers of various villages, as they were trying to dispose of water towards each other’s fields and villages. In such a scenario, many of them were disposing water towards link roads that had also submerged in some areas. Farmers of these villages rued that drains were not cleaned for the past many months that led to overflow in them and subsequent breaches. Some farmers were also disposing of water with the aid of pumps, especially those who had sown cotton. The inundated area largely comprised paddy crop.

Deputy Commissioner Mandeep Singh said various teams of the drain department had been engaged in the disposal of water and the situation would soon return to 


Crops of 12 villages still under flood water
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, July 10
Though the water level of the Ghaggar was recorded by the authorities at 744.8 feet at the RD 460 at Khanauri village this evening (as compared to the 749 feet last evening), crops in 12 villages of the Khanauri-Moonak area are still under flood water, covering more than 3000 acres.

Talking to The Tribune over the phone this evening, Mr Husan Lal, Deputy Commissioner, said with the decrease of water in the Ghaggar, the situation was now under control. He said the Ghaggar water had entered the fields of 12 villages, namely, Andana, Chandu, Mandvi, Baopur, Bushehra, Karrail, Nawan Gaon, Hotipur, Banga, Makror Sahib, Therri and Banarasi, and it would take two to three days to vacate the fields.

Mr Husan Lal also said that six to seven major breaches had occurred in the Khanauri-Moonak flood-prone belt during the past couple of days. These breaches would be plugged after the decrease of floodwater in the areas concerned in the days to come, he added.

Meanwhile, there are reports from Khanauri and Moonak areas that due to flood water in the fields, several areas are stinking and the villagers facing threat of breakout of diseases.


Indian education better than USA, UK: expert
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 10
In contrast to common perception, eminent UK-based veteran educationist M.C. Alaxandar is a firm believer that not USA, but India is a superpower in the new world order. The slot has been usurped by India for its relatively better education standards, huge manpower and vast usage of IT and other new technologies.

Mr Alaxandar, who was the Principal of the London-based St. James’ Park College, did not hesitate to give a due place to China as another superpower of the world, though the problem with China was that its people were not as proficient in English language as Indians were.

In an exclusive chat with The Tribune, Mr Alaxandar, asserted that it was a “total misconception” that the USA was still a superpower. “I am of firm opinion that India and China were two big powers in the new world order and India was already a superpower,” said 80 years old Mr Alaxandar, who, incidentally, was posted as an Army Officer in India between 1943 and 1947 and who has been passionately monitoring India since its Independence.

“The best thing about India and which has pushed it ahead is dynamism of its people. As a whole India has attained even better education standards than the USA and the UK, which, coupled with vast manpower or population and usage of latest technologies, including, the IT, has already made India a super power. The biggest thing about here (India) is that unlike in the USA and the UK education was available for everybody,” said Mr Alaxandar.

Asked if India, in his view, was a superpower, then why most of the world still accorded status of a superpower to the USA and that of a major power to the UK and other Western countries, Mr Alaxandar said, “the USA is no more a superpower and it is you people who think so and attach that status to these countries and other Western countries, but, practically it was not so. If you compare the common education standards of India, the USA and the UK, they stand nowhere. Actually, since education was free there, a large chunk of population there did not bother to attain it properly. You see, it is human tendency to show disinterest to whatever was available free of cost. That is why India has produced more computer professionals than the USA and the UK. West is not best,” feels Alaxandar.

Sharing his experiences about the longstanding relations between Indians and Britons, particularly, as he was a witness to the pre-Independence India, Mr Alaxandar observed. “The emotional bond was still there no matter that Britons were more multi-cultural people. The Britons have acquired a lot from India. The Indian curry is a big hit there and Indians, particularly, Punjabis and Patels, were doing a lot of business there,” said Mr Alaxandar.


Kanta sent ransom money to wife
Prabir kidnapping case
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 10
Kidnapper Kulwant Singh Kanta, the main accused in the infamed Prabir kidnapping case, allegedly sent an amount of Rs 35 lakh of the ransom money to his UK-based wife through hawala channels of Kuldip Singh, owner of the local Gujrat Palace.

After laying his hands on over Rs 1 crore ransom money from the Amritsar-based parents of Prabir Singh, Kulwant Singh Kanta, who was later arrested and is lodged in the Amritsar Central Jail, had approached his alleged close associate Kuldip Singh, the owner of the local Gujrat Palace, and had ensured delivery of the money to his wife through his hawala channels. Within a week of the broad daylight kidnapping of Prabir Singh from the busy Majitha Road in Amritsar in February, Kanta’s wife had left for the UK to settle there, sources said.

Kuldip Singh landed in the police net on Saturday after his daughter Prabhjot Kaur, who had married Paramjit Singh of Pucca Bagh against the wishes of her parents, complained to the police that her father was conspiring to organise “supari killing” of her husband Paramjit Singh and that she had overheard him saying that he was ready to pay Rs 10 lakh to 15 lakh for the murder.

Prabhjot Kaur, and her husband approached Jalandhar SSP Ishwar Singh and explained the position to him. Mr Ishwar Singh deputed Mr Pawan Kumar Rai, SP-II, who supervised the arrest of Kuldip Singh.

During his interrogation, Kuldip Singh, who was sent to the Joint Interrogation Centre, Amritsar today for further questioning, is learnt to have confessed to the police that he had sent Rs 35 lakh of the ransom money, given to him by Kanta to his UK-based wife through his old hawala channels. Though no police official was ready to discuss the matter, Mr Pawan Rai, admitted that Kuldip Singh had links with Kanta and that he was an associate of Kanta apart from being a hawala peddler.


11 poppy husk bags trigger blame game in Punjab police
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
A mere 11 bags of poppy husk have snowballed into a “blame game” between senior police officers of the Punjab Police. They are now accusing each other of favouring the alleged drug dealers who were nabbed with the bags of poppy.

Even as the allegations are flying thick and fast, The Director-General of Punjab Police, Mr S.S. Virk, has asked a senior officer to conduct an enquiry to come out with “the truth”. The ADGP (Intelligence), Mr J.P. Birdi, is at present conducting the sensitive probe which involves several Punjab police officials.

The matter reached a flashpoint two months ago, when a former SSP of Moga, Mr Mukhwinder Singh Chhina, wrote to the DGP leveling allegations against the crime wing of the Punjab Police headed by the Additional Director-General of Police (ADGP), Mr Anil Kaushik. He alleged that an enquiry being conducted by the crime wing was with “the sole purpose of helping the accused drug dealers in the trial proceedings pending before the courts.”

Mr Kaushik says the allegations by Mr Chinna were all wrong. He has suggested to the DGP that action be taken against Mr Chinna for making unsubstantiated allegations against a senior officer (Kaushik).

Mr Chinna and his team in Moga had arrested two drug dealers carrying 11 bags of poppy husk in separate vehicles. The arrests were made in 2003 and 2004. The arrested drug dealers and their relatives lodged a complaint with the Punjab State Human Rights Commission which marked the enquiry to the ADGP crime. The enquiry was conducted by a DSP-level official.

Mr Kaushik in his reply to the DGP has pointed out that the Crime Branch conducted a fair enquiry and it was Mr Chinna who had concealed the fact that one of the persons booked in the poppy husk case was related to his wife. Actually Chinna’s wife and the wife of the accused Amrik Singh Grewal were first cousins, the ADGP alleges in his reply.

The ADGP goes on to add that Harpreet Singh, a former SHO of Rajpura had separately booked Grewal for carrying arms.

“Both Chhina and Harpreet Singh wanted the enquiry officer, Sukhbinder Singh Uppal, DSP Crime, Patiala, to be changed , a request to which I saw no reason to accept,” Kaushik adds.

Joining in the probe is the now SSP Moga, Ms V. Neeraja. In a communiqué to the DGP she has alleged that the enquiry conducted by the crime branch was “not as per facts” and sought that the matter be re-enquired by a senior police officer.

Mr Chinna, a Superintendent of Police rank official, has also raised the question as to how the crime branch got an enquiry conducted by a DSP, his junior. He says he was not even called into the probe thus disobeying the ruling of the Supreme Court on natural justice during enquiry proceedings. Mr Chinna has demanded that action under Section 218 of the Indian Penal Code be taken against the Crime Branch people.


Attack on London gurdwaras; Badal writes to PM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
The President of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Parkash Singh Badal today asked the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to take up the issue of racist attacks on gurdwaras in London with his British counterpart, Mr Tony Blair.

He also urged the Prime Minister to direct Indian missions abroad to work towards spreading awareness against the acts of violence against Indians in general and Sikhs in particular.

In a statement here, Mr Badal described racist attacks on a London gurdwaras as deplorable and a blow to the image of the British people as a tolerant and liberal society. He said Sikhs, the world over, had condemned the terrorist attacks in London. “We stand by the British people in their hour of crisis. At the same time, we want an ill-advised response of attacking a gurdwara be condemned by the society there,” Mr Badal said.

Punjabis have contributed immensely to the peace and prosperity in the land of their adoption worldwide.

Mr Badal said the Government of India should initiate comprehensive steps aimed at educating people across the world about the civilised outlook of Punjabis and Sikhs to global issues such as terrorism.


BJP seeks apology from PM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
The President of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Punjab unit, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, today demanded an apology from the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, for his reported remarks praising the British for “developmental” activities during the days of the British rule in India.

Mr Khanna went on to add: “For years the Congress has claimed a right to rule over the country for its role in the freedom struggle. The Prime Minister, by his remarks, has put to shame the entire nation.”


PM made Indians proud: Malti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
Dr Malti Thapar, a former Health and Family Welfare Minister of Punjab, has strongly condemned the critical reaction and criticism of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s address at Oxford University by the Bharatiya Janata Party maintaining it showed the bankruptcy of intellect of the party. This reaction was just to arouse the passions of the Indian public on false and pseudo pride, she said and added that Dr Manmohan Singh had made every Indian proud by his presence among galaxy of world leaders.

“How we can forget the 200 years when the British ruled our country against our wishes? We also cannot forget that we got in legacy a sound system of good governance and democratic values,” she said in a statement here today.

“Indian masses fought the battle for independence against the British, for which millions of our countrymen lost their lives. We are proud of that,” she concluded.


Uniform taxes on tourist vehicles planned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
In order to bring about uniformity in taxes levied on tourist vehicles, a high-level meeting of tourism and transport officers of northern states was held here today.

The Punjab Tourism Minister, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, said once implemented, this would provide for smoother collection of taxes and prevent evasion of taxes in tourist transportation.

Mr Kang said Punjab had taken the initiative to bring all contiguous northern states Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, J and K, Chandigarh and New Delhi on a common platform to work out a scheme. Once proposals were received, a meeting of transport and tourism ministers of these states would be convened for a final decision, he added.

Meanwhile, Mr Kang also reviewed the working of the Punjab Tourism Development Corporation. He said during the current financial year, complexes and petrol filling stations of the corporation had achieved an operational profit of Rs 27.99 lakh up to May.

A project of the PTDC, Trikuta Bhavan, Katra, had received a good response from pilgrims visiting the Mata Vaishno Devi. The corporation would seek more rooms at the complex, he added.


Centre urged to help Indians in Saudi jails
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 10
A local Muslim youth has urged the Union Government to rescue hundreds of Indians who are languishing in jails in Saudi Arabia after being duped by travel agents and exploited by labour contractors. The youth himself has suffered due to greed of his brother.

Mr Sardar Ali, a local Muslim youth, who had spent around three months in central jails at Damam and Riad after being caught working illegally, claimed that more than 300 youths were languishing in those jails for the alleged indifferent attitude of the authorities there.

“Though the authorities from embassies of other countries visited those jails regularly and arranged for the repatriation of their citizens, nobody from the Indian Embassy bothered to rescue hundreds of youths starving there,” explained Mr Ali. He could return as a native of that country had helped him financially and in preparing Out-Passport.

He urged the Union Government to depute a special team to take the stock of situation in the jails of that country and take remedial steps for the repatriation of inmates.

Though the Muslim youths had some chance of getting released on the pretext of Umra Haz, non-Muslims were left on the mercy of the authorities there, observed Mr Ali.

Narrating the story of his own woes Mr Sardar Ali said he had gone to Saudi Arabia in search of greener pastures, but had landed in jail as his brother Faiz Mohamad, who had lured him to go there, did not give him documents regarding his work permit issued by the Saudi government.

Mr Ali was assured that he would get 120 rials (Rs 1,380 equivalent) daily by working as a carpenter in Saudi Arabia. He was pressurised by his parents to spend around Rs 1 lakh to go to his brother as he had already sent an open visa for his nephew, who had declined to go there.

“I was shocked to learn on my visit to my brother’s house that he had called me there with the ulterior motive of working for him without any consideration. All he gave me was misery and starvation and kept my wages with him,” narrated Mr Ali. Though he charged fee for getting issued ghama (legal permit), it was never handed over to Ali.

He had fallen from 35 feet high building in Fasla city, but his brother did not bother to take him to hospital. Some Pakistani nationals got him treated from a quack. In another incident Faiz had allegedly tried to eliminate him after taking him into a thick forest. A native and a Bengali saved him and took him to some Punjabis settled there. He had to live with a shepherd for a long period. Even on the eve of Id Faiz did not allow him pay obeisance at a mosque. Ali alleged that Faiz had duped many youths of the area during his visit back home around four years ago. He was rounded up by the local police then on the complaint of some victims. 


Factionalism bares rift in SAD
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 10
Though SAD(B) candidates have succeeded in winning all six seats of the Directors for Primary Agriculture Development Bank, Sirhind, by defeating ruling Congress party candidates, it seems they had succeeded because all factions of SAD(B) presented a united face. Similarly they won three seats out of five in Bassi Pathana zone, but the co-option of a Director to the PADB Bassi Pathana, has led to a controversy among the Libra and Cheema factions of SAD(B). Allegations and counter-allegation of support to a Congress candidate during co-option are being issued to mediapersons and a mud-slinging match has started between both the groups.

The supporters of Mr R.S.Cheema, a former minister, held a press conference yesterday and alleged that Mr Kirpal Singh Libra, former MLA, had supported Mr Balwinder Singh who is a Congress worker, for co-option. They have alleged that Libra has betrayed the party candidate and disciplinary action should be taken against him.

The group owing allegiance to Mr Kirpal Singh Libra, however, today held a press conference and alleged that Mr R.S.Cheema, former minister, had always betrayed the party and had never supported SAD(B). They alleged that the past record of Mr Cheema showed that he was in the habit of shifting loyalties for his personal interests and was never loyal to the SAD or to the party president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

They alleged that the Cheema group was levelling false allegations against Mr Libra due to frustration and jealousy.

They clarified that Mr Balwinder Singh, who has been co-opted is the grandson of senior Akali leader Chajja Singh Kalour and not a Congress worker as had been alleged by the Cheema group.

They said Mr Cheema’s track record made it evident that in order to achieve political posts and tickets he had been shifting loyalties regularly in his political career. In 1985 he had boycotted the election at the behest of Baba Joginder Singh , in 1986 with the blessing of Barnala he got chairmanships, in 1991 he opposed the SAD by fighting Assembly election on the ticket of Sikh students federation , in 1997 he opposed the SAD candidate Kirpal Singh Libra in Assembly election from Sirhind , in 2002 he again opposed the SAD candidate Didar Singh Bhatti from Sirhind .

Those present at the press conference included Mr Ajit Singh Lanedar, Kulwant Singh Dodar, former chairman Sugar Milk circle Bassi Pathana, Pardeep Singh, Harnek Singh Kular , Chajja Singh, Subedar Mohinder Singh, former SGPC member Jaswant Singh Tann, Kulwinder Singh Bilaspur , Surinder Singh Manali and Jagdeep Singh Lohar Majra. They also urged Mr Badal to expel Mr Cheema from the party for anti-party activities.


BJP rally against VAT
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 10
BJP leaders have decided to meet President of India to urge him to impose President’s rule in Punjab after dismissing Congress government for the alleged involvement of its Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh in criminal activities including his visit to Dixie Gurdwara in Canada and providing shelter to criminals at his stud farm.

BJP leaders addressing a state-level rally held to protest against implementation of VAT, rising prices, hike in the prices of diesel and petrol and harassment of traders by officials of Taxation Department.


Akali Dal (Mann) flays terrorist attack

Amritsar, July 10
The Akali Dal (Mann) here today condemned attacks in London. Mr Ram Singh, General Secretary, SAD (Mann), said no religion of the world preached killing of fellow human beings.

He said killing of innocent human beings did not serve any purpose. His party also denounced the attack of terrorists at Ayodhya on Ram Janamabhoomi-Babri Masjid site, he added.

He expressed his anguish that neither the central government nor any political party had condemned the attack on the Golden Temple in 1984.

Mr Harbir Singh Sandhu, Office-Secretary, SAD (Mann), said that though Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti had slammed terrorist strike in London but had not released any statement about the release of Sikh youths languishing in different jails. — OC


Vedanti flays activities of Nurmahalias

Moga, July 10
Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar of Akal Takht has criticised the “anti-Sikh activities” of Ashutosh Maharaj, head of Nurmahalia sect and his disciples and exploitation of Sikh youth.

Mr Vedanti has urged the State government and Moga district administration in particular to take stock of the activities of Nurmahalia disciples.

Mr Vedanti criticised the grooving “dera culture” in Punjab and exploitation of Sikh youths by the people who run these and cautioned the Sikh community against their designs.

Mr Vedanti told reporters here today Sikhs never believed in communal activities but asked Sikh Sangat to continue their peace protests against Ashutosh Maharaj and his followers.

“If the State government or administration fails to check anti-Sikh activities by Ashutosh and his followers that Sikhs will be asked to intensify their struggle to stop such activities”, he said.

Earlier, Mr Vedanti participated in the inaugural function of newly constructed Gurdwara Gurusar here in memory of Sixth Sikh Guru, Hargobind. — PTI


Poor protection measures expose fertile land to erosion
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Mukerian, July 10
Changing course of Beas towards right bank has been eroding land of farmers. The river has been changing course due to the poor protection measures and the Mukerian hydel canal that enters the river in the area.

A visit to the areas revealed that the water of Beas had entered the fields on its banks eroding fertile land of farmers. The worst-effected were Chak Bhaina, Mehtabpur, Naushehra Pattan, Bagrori, Jahadpur Jattan, Dhanoa and Murrad Jattan villages.

Sarpanch of the village Dhanoa Bishan Singh told that several acres fertile land of their area has been lost to Beas. The Irrigation Department had constructed spurs to protect the land from erosion about three years ago. However, today all spurs have been washed away exposing the fertile land to erosion.

The villagers told that spurs were constructed using iron mesh wire and stones. However, due to use of poor quality mesh wire the spurs have not been able to withstand for long. At some of the places sand bags with jute ropes were used in place of iron mesh. The later spurs did not last even a few months and were washed away by water.

They also said that whenever they go to the Department of Irrigation, they cite the unavailability of funds as the reason for taking any preventive measure to protect their farm lands. The Irrigation Department authorities when contacted admitted to paucity of funds. They also blamed the PSEB for the changing course of river Beas. Generally the maximum flow of river Beas was towards left side. The Department of Irrigation has constructed bundh on that side to prevent erosion of land. The erosion of right side was being caused to the Mukerian hydel canal.

Every year boulders have to be put at the point where Mukerian hydel canal enters river Beas. However, the PSEB was not providing adequate funds to the Department of Irrigation for the purpose. Due to the water of the Mukerian hydel canal after entering the canal changes its course toward the right side of the river causing erosion of fertile land of farmers.


Food processing industry needed, says Kanwaljit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
Criticising the efforts of the Punjab Government on the economic front, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, a former Finance Minister of Punjab, said the agri-economy in the state was not growing.

The state needs a solid food processing industry base to revive the economy and also benefit the farmers, who are keen on diversifying away from the rice-wheat cycle of cropping, said a statement issued by him here today.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh, who was the Finance Minister during the previous government led by the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance, said the agri-economy was stagnant at a growth of a mere 1.1 per cent and this was not enough. Agriculture produce had to provide raw material to an industry to grow and the only industry the state needed was top-class food processing, he added.

Also, the state needed an integrated economic policy which would not only cover the agro-based industry, but also look into the needs of the traditional manufacturing industry and the Information Technology Industry, he said.

If the present decline continued, Punjab would be among the poorest states in the nation, opined Capt Kanwaljit Singh, who is also an MLA from the Banur constituency.

Accepting the new realities of governance, Capt Kanwaljit Singh went on to add, “The future of political parties in the state is not based on how they frame political policies, but how they frame economic policies.”


Postal stationery, stamps on your doorstep
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
Next time a postman comes to your house for sale of postal stamps or booking a registered letter, do not be surprised.

The conventional role of a “dakia” has been redefined, with the Punjab circle of the Department of Posts involving postmen in a unique project of mobile post offices.

Under the new role, the postmen have been authorised to sell stamps and stationery, book registered letters and speed post articles at the doorsteps of the customers. Already a run-away-success in selected pockets of Ludhiana, the pilot project is being extended to other 
parts of the city.

Admitting that the pilot project was also aimed to offset the loss due to decline in the volume of the traditional mail, the Chief Postmaster General, Punjab Circle, Mr L.K. Puri, said it was a customer friendly scheme as these days very few people had time to visit the post offices for small jobs like buying envelops or stamps.

He said the experiment could be extended to Chandigarh and other cities of the North, depending upon the requirement. The Postal Department was also authorising the postmen to sell the pre-paid SIM cards of certain mobile companies

Ms Manisha, Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, Ludhiana City Division, told The Tribune, that initially the pilot project had been started in three delivery post offices, Millerganj, Dhandari Kalan and Basant Avenue and within a period of nine months the postmen have been able to sell stamps and stationery worth Rs 89,9913 and book 9919 registered letters and 229 speed post articles. From July 11, the scheme is being extended to all other delivery post offices in Ludhiana.

To ensure that postmen do not sell their stock at one place, the department was tracking their movements with the help of its public relations and marketing wing.

In order to encourage the postmen, the department was offering certain incentives to make it a success.

Ms Manisha said the postmen were the most important human resources of the department as they shared a personal rapport with each and every household.

Due to their thorough knowledge of every locality, various mobile companies were using the knowledge for verification of addresses of their clients.

Mr Puri said the postman had been given special carriers to carry the booked postal articles.

The carriers could be offloaded once the postmen returned from duty. However, the facility of booking money orders had not been extended as it required money transaction.


High-tension wires threaten lives in grain market
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Sultanpur Lodhi (Kapurthala): The District Mandi Board and the PSEB authorities seem to be waiting for a mishap to occur before they will make necessary arrangements to raise the height of high-tension electric wires, which are just hanging at a height of 7 or 8 feet from the ground level at New Grain Market here.

The District Mandi Board recently set up New Grain Market on the Kapurthala- Sultanpur Lodhi road at a cost of Rs 3 crore to cater to the needs of farmers, private traders and government agencies, particularly during the procurement season.

But the Mandi Board authorities have failed to raise the height of high-tension wires passing through the market thus posing a threat to the lives of the farmers and workers, who used to frequent the market on a daily basis.

The wires pass just 7 or 8 feet above the platform set up for loading and un-loading of grains, which can prove fatal any moment, alleged a worker, who maintained that despite informing the authorities concerned about risk factor involved in this regard, nothing has been done so far.

Heavy vehicles, including truck and tractor-trolleys, cannot pass through these wires which are carrying 11000 volts, 33000 volts and 66000 volts separately. Besides, it’s very difficult to always keep a watch on these wires during the busy season, while doing the job of loading and unloading of grains,” said a private trader.

The farmers resented that the Mandi Board had spent crores of rupees to set up this New Grain Market, but it had failed to solve this problem during the past more than six months, which was highly deplorable. These aggrieved farmers maintained that they would take up the issue with the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and the Chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board to get this problem solved.

The Deputy Chief Engineer of the PSEB, Kapurthala, Mr K.D. Parti, maintained that though they had submitted the estimates to shift these high-tension wires and poles to other suitable place, but the Mandi Board authorities had failed to deposit requisite amount with them to start the process further. “As soon as the estimated cost of the shifting of high-tension wires will be deposited with us, we will immediately start the work on the project,” he added.

Sultanpur Lodhi Market Committee officials maintained that the funds for shifting of 11000 volts wires would be deposited with the PSEB very soon. “As far as, wires carrying 33000 volts and 66000 volts are concerned, we have not received estimate from the PSEB till date,” they added.


Proposed ‘India Gate’ turns into cart stand
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 10
The site for proposed ‘Gateway of India’ on the Amritsar-Lahore road, has virtually become a horse-cart stand, since 27 years of its foundation-laying ceremony .

The site has turned into one of the ugliest spots in the city, even as the route caters to VIPs crossing through the Wagah joint check-post as well as to the international “Sada-e-Sarhad” Delhi-Lahore bus service.

It was on October 24, 1977 that Mr Parkash Singh Badal, then Chief Minister, laid the foundation stone of the this project in the middle of the Amritsar-Lahore road to mark commemoration of the 400th year of Amritsar’s foundation. Many trees were cut to build an “ajooba” (wonder) to greet people from across the border that come to India by road or rail. The apathy of the state government continued even during successive Congress rules .

After laying the foundation stone, the site became so beautiful that people from nearby areas would come for an evening walk. However, with the passage of time, the project became an “abandoned child” of the administration.

However, for the past 27 years, successive governments failed to complete the project. So much so Mr Badal, who had laid the foundation stone 27 years ago, did not bother to complete the project even though the Prime Minister had inaugurated the Delhi-Lahore bus service on March 20, 1999 and crossed over to Pakistan by using this road.

Instead of ‘Gateway of India’, slums have come up on the site. The site is in a deplorable condition. Deep potholes had made the area accident-prone. Farmers of the area keep their cattle at the site, especially in summer due to the shaddy trees. A room constructed by the department for a caretaker of the project is also in a dilapidated condition. The caretaker, Jagdish Parshad who was allegedly not paid his dues by the department, had vacated the room several years ago. Earlier, the foundation stone was found in a broken condition from the room of Jagdish Parshad. Now, the broken pieces too are missing from the site after the care-taker left the place .

With the site becoming accident-prone, vehicles, coming from the Atari Road, sometimes ram into the low-boundary wall encircling the three-way crossing. This is mainly due to the absence of streetlights and reflectors. From this bypass, one road leads to the international Atari Railway Station and the Wagah joint check-post and the second to the Rajasansi/ Amritsar International Airport. On an average, one accident is reported here daily in the late evenings, especially at a time when tourists return from the Wagah joint check-post after witnessing the retreat.


Relocated memorial gets new lease of life
Anirudh Gupta

FEROZEPORE: The Golden Arrow Division of the Indian Army has given a new lease of life to the war memorial erected in the memory of the Sutlej Campaign of 1845. it was lying in a state of apathy and neglect in the grounds adjacent to St Andrews Church on the Jhoke Road in the cantonment here.

The monument, raised in the memory of those soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the service of the nation during the Sutlej Campaign in 1845-46, was not being maintained with the reverence and honour it richly deserved. The Army authorities finally took the initiative and re-fabricated the defaced memorial which has now been placed amidst the three beautiful war memorials at the Flag Staff House crossing on The Mall here.

The VI KEO Cavalry memorial, Brownlow’s Punjabis, the war memorial of the 20th Duke Cambridge’s own infantry and another memorial constructed in the memory of those British and Indian officers, NCOs and men of the 19th Bn, 22nd Bn and 24th Bn of the Punjab Regiment who laid down their lives during the First World War were already situated at the Flag Staff House Crossing. An emblazoned feeling of astute patriotism engulfs your heart and soul, the moment you walk past these war memorials on The Mall. Now, with the relocation of the Sutlej Campaign memorial from the Church ground to this crossing, the Army has made this sacred place complete and added grandeur to its pristine glory.

Residents feel that this memorial will further add to the splendour of The Mall, where hundreds of health conscious people come daily for morning and evening walks.


Get status for schools, Ramoowalia to minorities
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, July 10
The National Commission for Minorities Education Institutions, a quasi-judicial body, has dealt with 165 cases ever since its inception three months ago, said Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, a senior member of the commission and National President Lok Bhalai Party, here today.

On July 4, the commission had adjudicated 80 cases, he claimed. He called upon minorities to get minority status for their educational institutions by filing cases with the commission. The commission would clear hurdles put up by states, universities and the Centre this to claim this status.

He asserted that Article 30 of the Constitution guaranteed that minorities had the right to establish and manage educational institutions of their choice.

Listing its benefits, Mr Ramoowalia said that minority status for institutions would assure 50 per cent reservation in the institutions for the benefit of that particular minority, secure right of grants, loans for students and safety cover against infringement of these rights by the authorities.

He advocated that 70 per cent of locals should be employed in industries in Punjab for combating the unemployment problem. There were 40 lakh unemployed persons in Punjab.

On his favourite issue, Ramoowalia claimed that he had either resolved 1100 marriage cases of NRIs who had deserted their brides or he got jailed the in-laws. At present, there were 15,000 brides in Punjab whose NRI grooms had run abroad after “holiday” marriages, “I would either ensure that these daughters of Punjab settle abroad with their husbands or the ditching NRI grooms would face the music”, he declared.

Mr Ramoowalia, who was re-elected President of Lok Bhalai Party in its delegates session two days ago at Jalandhar, dared both the ruling Congress and the main Opposition Akali Dal for an open public debate with him on the issues of Punjab

He asserted that while his party was an issue-based party, the SAD and Congress were making issue of non-issues for diverting public attention from the real issues.

People were fed up with these parties and were looking for an alternative which we would provide. Rather than quick results, the public wanted lasting solutions of their problems related to economy, and other issues.

To a question about emergence of a third front, Mr Ramoowalia said that five parties had already come together for fighting on a common minimum programme in Punjab. The Lok Bhalai Party was the main player in this arrangement. He did not rule out adjustment with like-minded progressive, issue-wedded outfits for contesting coming Assembly elections with LBP at the centrestage.

Mr Avtar Singh Mullanpuri, acting president, LBP, was with him 


Norway leader visits Golden Temple
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 10
To woo Indian voters for the forthcoming election, Ms Kristin Halvorsen, leader of the Opposition in Norway’s Parliament, today announced to extend citizenship rights to persons of Indian origin settled in Norway after her party comes to power.

She was addressing a gathering of family members of Punjabis residing in Norway at a hotel here today. She was accompanied by Ambassador of Norway to India Mr Jon Westvorg.

The President of Leftist Socialist Party Ms Halvorsen praised Indians and Punjabis for contributing to development of Norway.

She went to the Golden Temple to pay obeisance. Bibi Jagir Kaur, President, SGPC, apprised her of Sikh philosophy and religion.

The SGPC President honoured her with a siropa (robe of honour), a model of the Golden Temple and a set of religious books.

She also visited Jallianwala Bagh and Durgiana Temple.


Punjab to appoint 1400 veterinary doctors

Amritsar, July 10
The Punjab Government will appoint fresh staff of 1400 veterinary doctors in the state on contract in a period of two months.

State’s Secretary for Animal Husbandry Department, D.S. Bains said that Punjab government would appoint 1400 beterinary doctors and pharmacists on priority.

Mr Bains ruled out the possibility that due to “financial crises the Punjab government would close down the government veterinary hospitals in the state. — PTI


Lack of funds delays opening of special ward
Our Correspondent

Barnala, July 10
Paucity of funds has delayed the opening of a special ward comprising six special rooms in the local Civil Hospital.

Mr Rajinder Gupta, Managing Director, Trident Group of Industries, had laid the foundation stone of this ward in 2004. The special rooms in the ward are ready but there is no furniture and other facilities.

Dr Baldev Raj Gupta, SMO, said paucity of funds was delaying the starting of the ward. He said the welfare society was trying to get funds for the purchase of fridges and air-conditioners which might take sometime.


Abandoned newborn finds love in SOS village
Bipin Bhardwaj

Rajpura, July 10
Abandoned by his parents just after 24 hours of birth, a baby boy was found near a causeway on a road linking Madanpur Chalehri village with the busy GT Road, about 8 km from here, early this morning.

Wrapped in a dupatta, the baby was noticed by a farmer, known in the area as Jatt, a resident of Madanpur Chalehri village. Jatt saw the newborn when he was driving his tractor to his fields at about 6 am. He noticed a part of the dupatta fluttering along the roadside and heard cries of an infant. He rushed to Dera Baba Sri Chand, a religious place, and informed the sewadars about the abandoned infant.

Four sewadars from the dera reached the site and picked up the baby and subsequently information was given to the Shambhoo police post. Following the directions of the cops, the sewadars took the baby to the Civil Hospital, Rajpura, for medical examination.

While talking to Chandigarh Tribune, sewadars claimed that the doctors refused to handle the case terming it to be a Medical-Legal Case. The baby was later medically examined and treated at the hospital after policemen from Sadar Police Station intervened. The doctors declared the baby “normal and healthy”.

The infant was later shifted to the SOS village, Rajpura, where Mother Shanti Lata, named him, Sahil. With the arrival of the boy the number of the SOS village inmates has increased to 176.

Meanwhile, the police has started investigating the case and a hunt for the child’s mother is on. According to the police a case would be registered against the parents (mother) if found. The police did not rule out possibility of an unmarried mother who had abandoned the baby along the road in the wee hours on Sunday. 


Protest march by kin of Kanshi Ram
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 10
Hundreds of activists of the Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram Bachao Sangharsh Committee led by relatives of Mr Kanshi Ram, including his mother Ms Bishan Kaur today took out a march in this city to lodge their protest against the illegal confinement of Mr Kanshi Ram by former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Ms Mayawati.

The activists, who had come from nook and corner of state, also tried to proceed towards the venue where the Bahujan Samaj Party (Mayawati) group was holding its rally. The others who participated in the march included Mr Harbans Singh and Mr Darbara Singh (brothers) and Ms Swaran Kaur, (sister) of Mr Kanshi Ram.

A galaxy of leaders, who addressed the gathering, alleged that Ms Mayawati alongwith other leaders had keeping Mr Kanshi Ram confined at a secret place after kidnapping him. They added that certain leaders of the Bahujan Samaj Party, who had been supporting Ms Mayawati, were betraying the samaj. 


Seminar on heart ailments organised
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 10
Noted Cardiologist Dr Upendra Kaul today said stress upon the need of community programmes for the recognition and prevention of heart ailments.

Dr Kaul was speaking at a seminar on the control of heat ailments held here today which was attended among others by eminent Cardiologists, including Dr Manmohan Singh and Physicians, Dr J.R Sachdeva, and Dr M.M Gupta.

While addressing, Dr Kaul said heart attacks in the country were common and potentially fatal in about 40 per cent of the cases. He added that the major hindrance in the management of heart attacks was denial or inappropriate home medication which often led to late arrivals of patients in hospitals. For this, Dr Kaul said, there was a need for proper community awareness prgrammes in which even students could be trained to extend basic life support measures.

He said there was also a need to start treatment at the door step of a patient and to expedite it with drugs which were meant to dissolve the thickness of blood.


Punjab to observe Save Girl Child Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
The Punjab Government is making concerted efforts to improve the female sex ratio in the state, which has witnessed a decline from 882 in 1991 to 876 in 2001. In the age group of 0-6 years, in particular, the ratio of 975 girls to 1000 boys in 1991 has sharply declined to 798 in 2001.

The state will observe the World Population Day tomorrow as Save the Girl Child Day.

A state-level function will be held at the Polo Grounds, Patiala, tomorrow in which 12,000 participating children will sport T-shirts with a logo, “Save the Girl Child,” printed on them.

Rallies and debates will be organised at different places in the state for sensitising the participants as well as the community on the career of the girl child.

The state Health Department was strictly enforcing pre-conception and the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act, 1994, to curb the menace of female foeticide.


Rotary Club formed at Fatehgarh Sahib
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 10
Service to mankind is service to God and the Rotary International has always served the downtrodden section of the society. Besides, the thrust area of Rotary is to build and enhance public image.

Rotary International is the most democratic institution in the world because it rotates its leadership voluntarily said Dr Harbans Pathak, District Governor of Rotary District 3090 while addressing mediapersons at Aam Khas Bagh Sirhind today. He was here to preside over the ceremony of forming a new Rotary Club named as Rotary Club of Fatehgarh Sahib.

Explaining the need of forming a new club, he said that his main aim to form a new club at Fatehgarh Sahib was that he wanted to bring this historic city at the international map of Rotary. He said at present, Rotary International had its existence in 167 countries of the world having 32,000 clubs, whose 12 lakh members had been serving with full devotion and commitment in the various spheres of social service.

He said that Rotary International was working in the area of club services, community services, vocational services and international services and the motto of the Rotary was service above self. He further said that he would arrange interaction of his district members with the counterparts in Bangkok, Thailand, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sweden and Denmark.

He appointed Mr Surjit Singh Sahi, a journalist as the charter president, Prof Kashmir Singh as the charter secretary and Prof Jagjit Singh as the treasurer of the newly formed Rotary Club Fatehgarh Sahib besides other office-bearers.

Rtn Bhupinder Singh Jaggi, DGN of the district, while speaking on the occasion said that Dr Harbans Pathak was a versatile and dynamic personality and a widely travelled person. Under his leadership , Rotary would reach glorious heights. He said it was for the first time in the history of the district that an intellectual of international repute had taken over the reins of the Rotary. He also appreciated the efforts of Dr Pathak in forming a new club at Fatehgarh Sahib.

Mr Surjit Singh Sahi, newly appointed president, thanked the governor for forming the club and assured that he would leave no stone unturned for the cause of Rotary with his work and commitment. 


Naib Subedar cremated
Tribune News Service

(Bhagomajra), Kurali, July 10
Body of naib subedar Avtar Singh who died fighting militants near Poonch was today brought here by Army personnel this morning. Family members of Avtar Singh and the villagers were waiting for the body since Friday night after they received news of his death.

The body was taken in a procession in which villagers of nearby town and senior officials, politicians and ex-Army personnel, a team of army from 13-Sikh regiment join. A group of 13 Sikh Regiment soldiers reversed arms and fired rounds into the air before cremation. Fourteen-year-old Amit, soldier’s son lit funeral pyre at the cremation ground.

Naib Subedar Avtar Singh, leaves a wife, a son and parents.

The district administration announced Rs 2 lakh to the family members of the soldier and a job for one member of his family as per the government policy. MLA, Chamkaur Sahib, Satwant Kaur, DC, Ropar, H.I.S Garewal, DSP, Sarabjit Pandher, Col Didar Singh, (retd.) Col Jasmer Singh (retd.) also paid tributes to the brave soldier.


Soldier cremated with full honours
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, July 10
Lance Naik Kuldip Singh, who laid down his life while fighting infiltrators along the Line of Control in Poonch Sector of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday, was today cremated with full military honours at his native Bihla Khurd village, (near Bhadaurh) in Barnala Subdivision. He is survived by wife, a three and half years’ old son, and other members of the family including mother and father.

Among others who were present on the occasion, included Mr Balbir Singh Ghunas, Mr Malkeet Singh Keetu, both MLAs; Mr Mukand Singh Malhi, DSP from Tapa, and Mr Jagsir Singh Sran, Naib Tehsildar.


Sharma’s book, a comment on life of common man
Tribune News Service

Ropar, July 10
Expressing the superficial existence of common man in every walk of life a book of poems “The Ballad of Noman” in English written by Ashok Sharma was released at a function held at Shalki English Academy Complex here today. This is the first book written by Ashok Sharma who has experimented to express the views of a common man.

He claimed that the book did not contain his view in the poems but the poems were a reflection of the different character of society which wanted to remain silent over certain issues.


6 hurt as cars collide
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 10
Six persons were seriously injured when two cars collided head-on on the Bathinda-Goniana road here last night.

According to sources, the accident occurred when a Maruti Esteem (HR01 M7465) collided with an Indica coming from the opposite direction. Both the vehicles collided with so much impact that the front portions of both the cars got crushed. Police patrol vehicles and volunteers of an NGO rushed to the spot and admitted the injured to the Civil Hospital. The accident also disrupted road traffic for some time. The injured were identified as Rajan, Vishal, Harcharan Singh, and Munish, of Khad Factory Colony, who were occupying Maruti, while occupants of Indica, Jagtar Singh and Bachitar Singh of Moga also sustained serious injuries.

Meanwhile, in another incident, six persons, including a woman and two children, were injured in a road accident near Naruana village. The injured were rushed to emergency ward of the hospital. Sources said Gagandeep Singh got off from a tractor-trolley in the middle of the road and collided with a motorcycle occupied by a couple and their two children. 


Opting for cotton proved dear to small farmers
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 10
Depleting water table, shortage of power and high diesel prices had forced farmers in Malwa region to prefer cotton to paddy, but today they are ruing the day they made the decision with thousands of acres of crop submerged after a spell of heavy shower.

Initially, there were reports of damage to cotton crop due to breaches in canals, minors and distributaries, but losses due to water logging came to light a day after the incessant rains stopped.

Talking to The Tribune, Joga Singh of Gayana village, said he had sown Bt cotton on five acres that he took on contract at the rate of Rs 4,500, but unexpected rainfall washed away his hopes of earning some profit from the cash crop. He said the crop in about 200 acres had submerged in the village.

Najar Singh of Jajal village, who had sown cotton in three acres, said, “I changed my mind at the last moment in favour of cotton, as the weather has become quite unpredictable in the past few years. I was apprehensive whether it would rain in time or not. Being a small farmer, I could not afford generator during power crisis to water paddy,” he averred.

Another farmer, Malla Singh, said he had taken a loan for the costly Bt cotton seed and was looking forward to repay his debt, besides making some money. A group of farmers in Jajal village said about 100 acres of cotton crop had inundated. Sources said small farmers could not afford to install a pump to dispose of water stagnant in their fields.

However, some well-to-do farmers in Talwandi Sabo block were spotted pumping out water from their fields, but even they were not sure as to how far they would succeed in saving their crop. A section of farmers who had lost their cotton crop to heavy rainfall had ploughed their field and were now contemplating sowing paddy in the wake of good monsoon showers.

Mr Ashok Kapur of North India Cotton Association said loss to cotton crop had been reported from small pockets of the district and it was not big enough.

However, he admitted that more heavy showers could spell disaster for the crop and the rainfall recorded till now was enough. He said dry and clear weather was now needed for good cotton harvest. He said the chances of revival in the areas where some breach had taken place were very less, adding that the farmers who had lost their crop and were going for paddy had no other way out as the sowing period for cotton was over.


Admn takes over Service Club
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 10
The district administration yesterday took over the Service Club.

The situation became tense when opposition group led by Mr S.S. Chhina, a retired IPS officer, entered the club and declared Dr A.L. Adlakha as president in the parallel extraordinary general house meeting. Earlier, Mr Sarbjit Singh Sandhu was declared elected president by getting the nomination papers of Dr Adlakha rejected.

Mr A.S. Randhawa, Tehsildar, was deputed to bring normalcy in the club as the warring groups started assembling on the club premises. He said the administration would abide by the order of the Punjab & Haryana High Court where the case had been listed for hearing on July 12.

The election, which was scheduled to be held on July 10, has been postponed.


Missing doctor’s body found after 17 days
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, July 10
The police here recovered today decomposed body of Dr. Tirath Singh, resident of the town who was kidnapped by four persons of the area on last June 23. The body has been recovered from near the backside of drain passing near Lidhar village falling under Beas police station.

The police sources said Section 302 of the IPC has been added the case registered under Section 364 of the IPC against four persons allegedly responsible for the crime. The accused have been identified as Satnam Singh Jhamke of Dhotian village Partap Singh of Khilchian, Narinder Singh alias Bhutto of Bath village and Sahib Singh of Jarmastpur village. Satnam Singh is said to be absconding while Partap, Narinder and Sahib have been arrested. The police said that the accused confessed that they took him to Lidhar village where they hanged Tirath Singh the same day and also stabbed him as a result of which he died on the spot.

During the period of past 17 days the body was eaten by animals and decomposed body was found today.


Five arrested for looting petrol station
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, July 10
The police here has arrested the robbers who had robbed a petrol station on the Kalanaur-Batala road yesterday. At a press conference here the SSP Gurdaspur said that all five involved in the crime had been arrested. The Rs 50,000 amount, vehicles and arms used in the crime have also been recovered.

They had set up nakas on almost all the exit points from Gurdaspur. The robbers had committed the robbery in a red Esteem car. They had plans to flee the area in a Sumo. The police nabbed them before they changed the vehicle near old Shala yesterday night.

Those arrested include Ram Sahni resident of Janakpur district of Nepal, Jagir Singh, Sahib Singh, Phani Masseih and Mangu Masseih all residents of rural areas of Gurdaspur. During interrogation the accused told that they had stolen a German-made revolver and 13 cartridges and US made Carbine and 12 cartridges from the residence of sarpanch in Jammu areas. With the help of the stolen arms they initially tried to rob a bank in rural area of Gurdaspur. They failed in the attempt, but escaped.

The said arms that were used in yesterday’s robbery have been recovered the SSP said.


Three held in murder case
Our Correspondent

Batala, July 10
In a brawl in Sunnaia village (7-km from here) on the Batala-Fatehgarh Churian Road, Sardara Masih was injured who later died in Civil Hospital on July 07, 2005. The police registered a case against three persons who were absconding. The accused have been nabbed by the police.

The police said here today that Sardara Masih’s family suspected their neighbour Amir Chand of practicing black magic. Sardara Masih feared that Amir Chand was trying to harm his family through black magic. Sardara Masih confronted Amir Chand on the issue which led to heated arguments and fisticuffs. Sardara Masih (70), was injured seriously in the fight and died in the Civil Hospital.

The police has registered a case of murder against Amir Chand, his wife Nazira and son Jasraf alias Jasru on the basis of the statement made by Sardara Masih’s son, Patras.


Woman accused of killing husband
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 10
Darshna Devi, a local resident, allegedly killed her husband late last night after she got fed up with him due to his habit of drinking excessively.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that Darshna Devi killed her husband Inderjit, who was running a small business in his house only, by hitting him on his head with a wooden log repeatedly. She later covered the body of her husband, who died within a few minutes of being hit by the wooden log.

Today morning, Darshna Devi raised alarm and claimed that her husband had died due to excessive consumption of liquor. However, the policemen, who reached on the spot came to know about the fact that Darshana Devi and her husband used to fight very frequently. A case in this connection has been registered. However, whether Darshana Devi had been arrested or not could not be known.


Fugitive Armyman held for ‘spying’
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 10
The police has arrested a fugitive Army man who was reportedly giving secret information to some foreign agency.

According to sources, the accused, who is a resident of Uttaranchal, was arrested near the building of Bhana Mal Trust. He was part of an Indian military band during his stint with the army. He has been identified as Suraj Negi. The police has established contact with the Uttaranchal police to know about the background of the accused. He has been sent in police remand till July 13. Police sources said he had been residing at different places to hide his identity and was gathering key information by roaming around the cantonment area. The police has recovered an I-card, military uniform, and some documents from his possession, besides a motorcycle on which he came to Bathinda. He even tried to escape at the time of his arrest. A case has been registered against him under Sections 124A and 170 of the IPC at Kotwali police station.


Travel agent nabbed
Tribune News Service

Phagwara, July 10
The police has arrested Avtar Singh, a travel agent who had duped two persons of Rs 7 lakh.

This was disclosed here today by Lakhwinder Singh Mall, SHO, Sadar police station.

It may be mentioned here that Avtar Singh and Kewal Singh of Samrawan village, falling under Noormehal police station, were yesterday booked under Sections 420/406 IPC for duping Ranjit Singh of Sarhal Kalan village and his brother-in-law Daljit Singh of Mehtan village of Rs 7 lakh on the pretext of sending them to Spain.

It was learnt that while Ranjit Singh had given the agents Rs 2 lakh, his brother-in-law Daljit singh had shelled out Rs 5 lakh. However, Ranjit was sent to Thailand while Daljit was sent to China.


Blind murder case solved
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, July 10
The police yesterday claimed to have solved a blind murder case with the arrest of two persons. The body of Gurditt Singh, an ex-policeman was found on the Goniana road on June 27.

According to police sources, the family of the deceased was looking for a match for his granddaughter Beant Kaur. The family contacted Varinder Singh, one of the accused, in this regard a few months ago but it did not materialise. Despite this Varinder, who is a granthi at Balamgarh gurdwara, kept frequenting their house and Gurditt Singh opposed his visits. Police sources said irked at his opposition Varinder along with his friend Kamaljeet Singh conspired to kill him. 


One held in dowry case
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, July 10
The local Sadar police today arrested a person in connection with a dowry harassment case. Disclosing this, SHO Lakhwinder Singh Mall said Nirmal Singh of Chak Kalan village falling under the Nakodar police station was arrested under Sections 498-A and 406 of the IPC for subjecting his wife Radha Rani, alias Rajwinder Kaur, to cruelty and for criminal breach of trust.

Mr Mall said Radha of Derveshpind village was married to Nirmal in February last year. However, the husband started pestering her for more dowry. On her complaint, a case was registered against the husband and others. 


ETT teachers end fast after assurance

Jalandhar, July 10
Unemployed ETT teachers today discontinued their two-day fast after an assurance given by Punjab Minister for Food and Civil Supplies Avtar Henry to meet their demands as soon as possible.

District Institute of Training (DIET) Students Welfare Association Chief Ranjit Singh said that the minister today assured them that the government would meet their demands.

He said that if the government would not fulfil the demands of unemployed ETT teachers including recruitment of teachers on regular basis and to make amendments in the report presented by the committee led by Deputy Chief Minister Punjab Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, the union would continue its struggle against the state government.

The union would hold a meeting tomorrow at Ludhiana to give a pace to their struggle, he added. — PTI


Jobless ETT teachers block traffic
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, July 10
Activists of the unemployed Elementary Teachers Union jammed traffic for one hour at Multania bridge here after their two-day fast in front of residence of Mr Surinder Singla, Finance Minister, Punjab concluded today. About 300 unemployed ETT teachers from Bathinda, Muktsar and Ferozepore districts raised slogans against the state government. Mr Jagsir Singh Sahota, vice-president of the union said instead of accepting the demands of the teachers, the state government had arrested the activists of the union at Ludhiana. 


PCCTU to observe ‘awareness week’
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 10
The Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) has decided to observe a “Demands Awareness Week” in the state from July 26 to July 30, during, which, memorandums about problems of college teachers would be sent to Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh through ministers, MLAs and Deputy Commissioners.

The decision to draw attention of the Punjab government towards hardships and grievances of college teachers was taken at the first state executive committee meeting of the PCCTU, which, was held under chairmanship of the PCCTU chairman Prof R.S. Brar at the DAV College here today.

Dr Jagwant Singh, General Secretary of the PCCTU, said apart from sending memorandums, the PCCTU would organise a state-level educational conference to highlight the higher education scenario in the first week of August and a “Personal Contact Campaign” would be followed by it during which MLAs and ministers would be contacted for discussion of teachers’ problems and they would be reminded about the year 2002 manifesto of the Congress, which, envisaged grant of incentives and solving of problems of teachers. The organisation has also demanded implementation of the Johl Committee Report and maintained that it was agitated over non-implementation of 58 percent DA with the basic pay of teachers, denial of parity to them with their government college counterparts and non-grant of the HRA to rural private college teachers.


Girls excel in Guru Nanak varsity exams
Tribune News Service

Phagwara, July 10
Shivani Beoli of Kamla Nehru College for Women, Phagwara, stood first in Guru Nanak Dev University’s Postgraduate Diploma in Textile Designing securing 463 marks out of 500. In M.Com-I, Raman was first position while Harleen Kaur stood second in Kapurthala district.

According to Principal of the college in all 37 students appeared for M.Com-I out of which 36 got first division.

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