P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



BSP leader commits suicide, SHO booked
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, July 15
Unable to put up with humiliation by policemen, Yog Raj an ex-serviceman and BSP leader has committed suicide by consuming pesticide. The deceased was called to Shahpur Kandi police station yesterday allegedly by SHO Sulakhan Singh.

The police had been calling him time and again to the police station in the case of a girl who had eloped a few days ago. The police suspected that wife of Yog Raj had helped the girl elope with her paramour. They were asking him to give whereabouts of the girl. Yesterday the deceased was called to the police station and allegedly humiliated a lot by the SHO.

On returning home Yog Raj wrote a suicide note and consumed pesticide. He was brought to the Pathankot civil hospital where he died late in the evening. In his suicide note Yog Raj has stated that he was committing suicide as he could not put up with humiliation by Shahpur Kandi police station SHO.

He urged the BSP leadership to take care of his children and marry off his daughter as there was nobody to look after them after his death.

Death of Yog Raj today infuriated BSP workers. State president of the BSP, Avtar Singh Karimpuri reached Pathankot today morning. The BSP workers did not allow the district administration to remove body of the deceased from the civil hospital. They demanded suspension of and registration of a case against the Shahpur Kandi SHO, an ex-gratia grant of Rs 10 lakh and a government job for kin of the deceased. The BSP workers have threatened statewide agitation if their demands were not met by the district administration or the state government.

Deputy Commissioner Gurdaspur Vivek Pratap Singh and SSP Gurdaspur Pramod Bhan reached Pathankot and held consultations with BSP leaders to resolve the matter. Following discussions a case under Section 306 of the IPC was registered against Shahpur Kandi SHO Sulakhan Singh. However, impasse on other demands could not be resolved till the filing of the report.

Mr Avtar Singh Karimpuri told The Tribune that atrocities on Dalits had increased during the Congress government. The BSP would launch an agitation if justice was not given to the deceased ex-serviceman and BSP leader.

BSP workers allowed the board of doctors of the Pathankot civil hospital to carry out a post-mortem examination of the deceased today evening.


FIR against supplier to anganwadis
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 15
Following a news report in The Tribune on supply of rotten eatables to anganwadi centres, an FIR has been registered against the supplier, JVS Foods Pvt Ltd, Jaipur, at the Kotwali police station.

According to a district administration press note, it has questioned the Zila Parishad regarding the delay in the registration of the FIR. The parishad, said that as per the provisions of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, 15 days’ notice, along with the failed samples, had to be given to the firm.

The notice was issued to the firm on June 22 and since no reply was received from its side an FIR under Section 420 of the IPC and 16 of the Food Adulteration Act, 1954, has been registered against it.

A detailed report was also sought from the District Programme Officer who stated that some packets of eatables got spoiled due to the recent rainfall. The Zila Parishad has been asked not to release any payment in favour of the firm. The Rural Development Department has also been asked to make efforts to blacklist the firm.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Rahul Bhandari, said a meeting was held on July 12 to ensure that such cases did not recur. It was decided that within a month each centre would be provided with five steel jars for storage of material.

Similarly, it was decided that all CDPOs/ BDPOs would make random inspections to ensure proper quality of supplied material.

The Rural Development and Panchayat Department has been asked to take disciplinary action against the officers concerned. 


Mining in rivulet continues 
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, July 15
Illegal mining in the Khadi rivulet in Pathankot is continuing despite pending inquiry into earlier incidents by the SDM and ban orders by the Department of Mining. Two JCB machines and tractor-trolleys were being used by the contractors for illegal mining in the rivulet near Government Senior Secondary School Lamini today.

Sources here said that the illegally mined material was being taken by the contractors either for use in the ongoing works of the Drainage Department or in the construction of roads. The contractors were stealing material from the banned rivulet. On paper, in connivance with the departments concerned, they would show the material as being purchased, the sources added. About two months ago, the Drainage Department and the PWD contractors had resorted to large-scale illegal mining in the Khadi rivulet. The matter was reported in The Tribune, following which Deputy Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh ordered the SDM Pathankot to look into the matter. The SDM found that the mining carried out by the Irrigation Department and the PWD contractor in Khadi rivulet was illegal.

The General Manager, Industries, Batala, also wrote to the Deputy Commissioner stating that the mining in the Khadi rivulet had been banned. The Khadi rivulet passes through Pathankot town and illegal mining in it could change the course of water and threaten various habitations.

The Department of Mining also wrote to the authorities of the PWD and drainage to deposit the cost of the material stolen from the banned rivulet. A former General Manager, Industries, Mr Randhawa, who carried out an inquiry into the matter, told The Tribune that material worth about Rs 30 lakh was stolen from the rivulet.

However, till date neither the district administration nor the department concerned had taken any action against the erring contractors. Inaction in the matter has emboldened the contractors to carry out the same act of theft once again.

Sources said that if an inquiry into the matter was carried out by the Vigilance Department, another scam involving the Drainage and PWD departments could come to the fore. In the scam, material worth crores was being stolen from government rivulets without payment of any royalty. On paper, the stolen material was shown as being bought at hefty prices. This was causing a huge loss of royalty to the government and panchayats from whose area material was lifted.


Farmers flout ban on well digging
4 deaths reported in 3 days
Anirudh Gupta

Ferozepore, July 15
Notwithstanding, the ban on the digging of wells beyond a certain limit, farmers of the Malwa belt due to their poor fiscal condition, are flouting the rules resulting in more than a dozen deaths till now.

Three persons — Ranjit Singh, Resham Singh and Rupinder Singh of Attari village, died here on July 10, due to asphyxiation when they went down to check the fault in the electric motor installed on the bottom of the well in their fields.

On Wednesday, Gurbaksh Singh of Gatti Madhar village met the same fate when he went down inside well in his fields to check the functioning of the electric motor.

Though, BSF jawans posted nearby took him out along with his companion Sukhdev Singh in an unconscious condition, he breathed his last in the hospital here today.

Although, the district authorities have made it mandatory for the farmers to obtain permission for the digging of wells from the Public Health Department before starting the work, the orders are being openly violated.

Mr B. C. Thakur, Deputy Commissioner, said he had already imposed a ban under Section 144 on the digging of wells without the written permission of the Executive Engineer, Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board. He said the officials of the Agriculture Department had also been instructed to guide the farmers on this issue and advise them on the ways to avoid contact with ammonium nitrate gas, which is produced in these wells resulting in several deaths.

With the ground water level continuously falling, more such cases are likely to come to the fore unless stringent action is taken on ground to stop this practice.


Hawara’s statement proves CM’s liking for extremists: Badal
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 15
Former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, while accusing Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh of creating fear psychosis among people by raising the ghost of terrorism alleged that statement made by Babbar Khalsa International chief Jagtar Singh Hawara in a section of press recently proved that he ( Capt Amarinder Singh) was having strong likings for those who were having extremists tendencies.

Jagtar Singh Hawara, the alleged assasin of late Chief Minister Beant Singh and one of the escapees from high security Burail Jail, has made a statement in which he has mentioned that he has strong likings for Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and dislikings for Mr Parkash Singh Badal as Mr Badal has been the main hurdle in the creation of Khalistan throughout.

Mr Badal while addressing a press conference at the residence of former SGPC chief Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar here pointed out that visit of Capt Amarinder Singh at Dixie Gurdwara in Canada, the roaming of Jagtar Singh Hawara in Punjab freely for more than one year after escaping from jail and statement of Hawara in favour of Capt Amarinder Singh were enough proofs which established that Capt Amarinder Singh was having strong likings for extremists.

“The Chief Minister has been indulging in such activities as he wants to drive political mileage out of it,” he alleged and added that SAD (Badal) had suffered huge losses as about its 24 candidates fell to the bullets of terrorists during the 1991 Assembly elections, which were aborted.

To a question, he said that he was not supposed to take any certificate from Hawara in connection with his panthic credentials. He added that SAD (B) had always fought against terrorism and violences and made great sacrifices for the maintenance of peace.

He claimed that people of Punjab, who had paid a lot on account of decade-long terrorism in state had now come to know that Congress was behind that game and now the ruling Congress had been doing the same again and trying to put the state in great trouble. He added that people of Punjab had also come to know that Capt Amarinder Singh visited Dubai secretly to enjoy the comforts in an expensive hotel.

He said that by visiting Dubai in that manner, Capt Amarinder Singh had brought shame to whole nation. he added that as the Central government was aware of each and every thing connected with Capt Amarinder’s Dubai visit, it should take action in this connection on its own.

He claimed that though Congress party would try to befool the people by giving them number of benefits including free power to farmers and abolishing of octroi, it would not fetch votes for the party as it had been exposed of its nefarious designs now.


Attempt to sacrifice boy
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, July 15
Residents of Pathanchak village foiled an alleged attempt to sacrifice a 13-year-old boy by some persons yesterday evening. Panchayat members of the village, who collected in large numbers before the Sadar police station in Pathankot today, told The Tribune that Pradeep Kumar was called by his neighbours yesterday evening to their house.

When the parents of Pradeep failed to locate him for about three-four hours, they raised a hue and cry in the village. A hunt for the boy was launched in the village. Somebody informed the parents that the boy was seen going to the house of their neighbour.

The entire panchayat collected at the house of the suspects. The boy was recovered from their house. Pradeep later told the villagers that the accused were performing some “pooja”. They were also telling him that they would sacrifice him before “god” to fulfil their wishes.

The matter was reported to the police by the village panchayat. However, till the filing of this report the police had failed to take any action in the matter.

The villagers were alleging that the police was trying to hush up the matter. Hundreds of villagers, who had gathered before the police station, threatened to launch an agitation.

SSP Gurdaspur, Pramod Bhan, said he would investigate the matter.


Cows were poisoned, reveals lab report
Our Correspondent

Abohar, July 15
The laboratory report received from Patiala has confirmed that cows were poisoned to death at Gobindgarh village, 5 km from here, early last month. A deputation which met DSP Narinder Pal Singh here yesterday demanded that all those responsible for such incidents should be arrested immediately. The deputation comprised Mr Dev Mittar Ahuja, president, Gaushala Managing Committee, Mr Pramil Kalani, president, Sanatan Dharam Sabha, Mr Rawat Mal Nagori, Mr Hem Babu Sharma and other social activists.

Mr Sandeep Rinwa, general secretary, district BJP, and Mr Bhupinder Snehi, president of the city unit, said the administration had ignored complaints that certain people who had been given contract for removing dead animals, reportedly indulged in malpractices and had been targeting stray animals and killing them to achieve the targets.

According to available information, Mr Sheesh Pal, resident of Gobindgarh, had informed the Sadar police six weeks ago that his cow died under mysterious circumstances. Another resident, Mr Surja Ram, had also made a similar complaint. Another stray cow was found dead some distance away. Preliminary investigation indicated that a cyclist was seen serving pieces of processed flour to the cattle during a round of the village.

The police got a post-mortem conducted at the veterinary hospital here and the viscera had been sent to a government laboratory at Patiala. The report received here said aluminum phosphate was found in the viscera. It indicated that celphos had been served along with processed flour to the cows.

The police has already arrested Ramji Lal and Tara Chand under Section 8 of the Cow Slaughter Prevention Act 1955 but three others identified during the investigation have evaded arrest.

NGOs claimed that more than 50 cows, bulls and calves had been found dead in different localities during past seven months under mysterious circumstances but the authorities ignored the complaints under the pretext that the stray animals might have died after consuming polythene bags.


Probe into misuse of child project funds
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
A vigilance inquiry has been launched into the alleged misappropriation of funds of the National Child Labour Project in Amritsar. The project was running in more than 40 schools and the funds were coming direct from the Central Government.

The inquiry has been ordered against the project in charge and other officials concerned, Mr A.P. Pandey, Chief Director, Vigilance Bureau, Punjab, said here today. The scam was unearthed about three months ago and involved the misappropriation of funds meant for the diet money of poor children studying in these schools.

Public servants posted at the project, in connivance with audit staff members, allegedly misappropriated central funds and collected illegal gratification from 40 schools in Amritsar district.


Probe ordered into Mann’s charges
Tribune News Service

Ropar, July 15
DIG (Police Range), Ludhiana, Parag Jain, today ordered an inquiry into the allegation of SAD (Amritsar) President, Simranjit Singh Mann, that he was given inhuman treatment when he was in the custody of Ropar police in connection with a sedition case registered against him in Anandpur Sahib. Mr Jain has directed the Superintendent of Police (Detective), Ludhiana to look into the complaint.

Sources said the probe has been ordered as per the directions of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission. A police team headed by the SP (D), Ludhiana today met senior officials of the Ropar district at the police headquarter here in connection with Mr Mann allegations this afternoon. The SP (D) also collected cuttings of the newspapers carrying news of Mr Mann allegations and also the press note issued by the administration denying the allegation of Mr Mann.

Mr Jain said to conduct an independent inquiry into Mr Mann’s allegations, the SP (D) Ludhiana had been asked to find out the details.

Mr Mann on June 15 alleged that he was tortured by the Ropar police when he was in judicial custody here. He said that on the way to the Central Jail, Ludhiana, when the police team carrying him reached near Neelon bridge, a senior police officer allegedly abused and hit him. Thereafter, the police brought me back to the Police Lines, Ropar, Mr Mann had further alleged.

In the evening on same day Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, H.I.S Garewal, came to Mr Mann’s rescue and took him in his official car from Ropar to Ludhiana, Central Jail.


Mann’s counsel threatens to sue DGP for defamation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Counsel for the arrested Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) President, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, said today the party had received money for running its political affairs and not to revive terrorism, as alleged by the Director-General of Police, Mr S.S. Virk.

Talking to reporters here, counsel Ranjan Lakhanpal and Mr Mann’s son, Mr Iman Singh, said a legal notice would be served on Mr Virk, seeking an apology for giving a press statement that Mr Mann wanted to revive terrorism in Punjab. “Mr Virk is a DGP and not a politician and we will sue him for defamation if he does not tender an apology,” Mr Lakhanpal said.

They also demanded the removal of the DGP, pointing out that Mr Virk had been charge-sheeted by the Union Government for not obeying the Centre’s orders that instructed him to rejoin service in his cadre state, Maharashtra.

Mr Lakhanpal also pointed out that a petition for the DGP’s removal was pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. He said the DGP had no right to give a statement that Mr Mann intended to revive terrorism in Punjab without any evidence to back it.

Mr Iman Singh, the party’s Fatehgarh Sahib district chief, stated that the funds had come in the name of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) and not for any unlawful activity. When asked about the amount which the party had received from abroad, Mr Iman Singh said the party President would only be able to give an account of the funds.


Mann’s judicial remand extended

Amritsar, July 15
A local court today extended the judicial custody for Shiromani Akali Dal(Amritsar) President Simranjit Singh Mann till July 29.
Mann was produced before Judicial Magistrate D S Ralhon who remanded him to 14-day judicial custody in a sedition case filed at Kotwali police station here.

He was arrested on June 17 for allegedly raising anti-national slogans at a function in the Golden Temple complex on June 6 last.

Meanwhile, the accused Akali leader had sent, thought the court, another application to the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court praying for initiation of contempt of court proceedings against Punjab Director-General of Police (DGP) for making references against him (Mr Mann). — UNI


Stop privatisation, CPM tells Punjab Govt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The Punjab Committee of the CPM, in a statement here today, demanded that the Punjab Government should stop privatisation of the PSEB, education and the health sector. The party announced that it would hold district-level protest from August 16 to August 31 in the state.

Prof Balwant Singh, Secretary of the CPM, has expressed concern over the events in the past few months, saying that "the activities of terrorists had increased." The party had held its two-day meeting in which these resolutions had been passed.


Union leaders held captive
Our Correspondent

Abohar, July 15
Mr Narender Singh, Mr Baldev Singh and Mr Kuldip Singh, president, vice-president and joint secretary, respectively, of the Labour Union alleged that production manager of an oil mill and his associates held them captive for three hours inside the mills located in a nearby village for demanding wages for the last month.

The union leaders said here today that workers were forced to work for 12 hours, but wages were calculated for eight hour duty only. Working conditions inside the factory were not congenial and the management violated rules and regulations framed under the Labour Act.

As they were protesting for non-payment of wages, the production manager reportedly invited them for negotiations, and held them captive with help of his subordinates for more than three hours.

Two members of the village panchayat said the officer refused to listen to them when they tried to rescue the detained leaders saying that the mediators were defaulters.

A spokesman of the vegetable mills said the contractor, who was to make payment of wages to the workers, had gone to his home on July 3 and was yet to return. If he had been forcing the workers to work for extra hours, the management had no role in that.

The management alleged the union activists were trying to instigate other workers so they had to be isolated for some time, it could not be termed as illegal detention.


Punjabi ignored by UT, say writers
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The issue of neglect of the Punjabi language by the Administration of the Union Territory of Chandigarh, which is also the capital of Punjab, dominated a meeting of the Advisory Board of the Punjab Languages Department here today. Eminent writers of Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu are members of the board headed by the Deputy Chief Minister, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal.

Informed sources said that strong views were expressed at the meeting by various speakers against the top brass of the Chandigarh Administration for ignoring the Punjabi language. In fact, a resolution was adopted at the meeting urging the Chandigarh Administration to implement Punjabi wholeheartedly in all its offices and also put up signboards in this language in the city.

Mrs Bhattal, who presided over the meeting, was urged to take up the issue with the Administrator of the UT, Gen S.F. Rodrigues( retd), immediately.

The sources said that the issue was raised by Mr N.S. Parwana, a member of the board. He was supported by Dr Jaswant Singh Neki, former Director of the PGI and eminent writer of Punjabi. Dr Maheep Singh, another eminent writer from Delhi, Mr Jaswant Singh Kanwal, well-known Punjabi novelist, Mrs Dalip Kaur Tiwana, also a prominent writer, and others supported the views of Mr Parwana.

Members of the board said that if they could not sure the use of the Punjabi language in their own capital, it was a matter of shame for them. They said that ignoring Punjabi in City Beautiful, where 80 per cent of the residents spoke the language, amounted to an act of great injustice. This must be undone.

Mr Parwana said that the silence of the Punjab Government on this issue was not in the interest of the state. Punjabi as a language should get prominence in the functioning of the Chandigarh Administration which, by and large, catered to the needs of the people of Punjab, he added.

Meanwhile, Mrs Bhattal assured the members of the board that she would make all efforts to get the entire official work done in Punjabi by the administration in Punjab. She ordered the officials concerned to check whether officers of the rank of Financial Commissioner were doing their work in Punjabi.


Sahit Shiromani awards announced
Tribune News Service

Dalbir Singh
Dalbir Singh

Chandigarh, July 15
The Punjab Government today announced the Punjabi Sahit Shiromani awards while increasing the value of the award from Rs 1.25 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. However, it is still undecided whether the decision to hike the amount will be implemented from this year.

The following are the awardees under various categories:

Punjabi Sahit Purskar — Giani Kesar Singh Canadian; Punjabi Sahitkar Purskar — Ram Saroop Ankhi; Hindi Sahitkar Purskar — Dr Pushap Pal Singh; Urdu Sahitkar Purskar — Dr Naresh; Sanskrit Sahitkar Purskar — Dr Manjula Sehdev; Punjabi Patarkar Purskar — Dalbir Singh; Raagi/ Dhadi Purskar — Bhai Harjinder Singh; Punjabi Lekha Purskar — Dr Kulbir Singh Kang; Punjabi Kavi Purskar — Parminderjit; Punjabi Bal Sahit Lekhek Purskar — Dr Darshan Singh Ashit; Punjabi Sahitkar Purskar (for people living outside Punjab) — Bachint Kaur; Punjabi Sahitkar Purskar (for persons of foreign origin) — Janab Afzal Ahsan Randhawa; and Shiromani Punjabi Natak/Theatre Purskar — Surinderpal Singh.

In addition, Baba Amrik Singh Randhawa and Tara Singh’s sculpture have been chosen for the Dhadhi Purskar and Sculpture Award for the year 2004, respectively.

Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister and Minister in charge of the Department of Higher Education and Languages, said to provide financial assistance to writers honoured by the Sahitya Akademi, Gianpeeth, Kabir Purskar and Saraswati Purskar, a scheme to aid to eminent scholars with an amount of Rs 45 lakh, would be introduced shortly.

Mrs Bhattal further said that in order to popularize the Punjabi language, literature and culture, the Languages Department had prepared a multimedia project to make documentaries on the life and works of eminent writers.


48 cases of gastroenteritis in one mohalla
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, July15
Following reports of 48 cases of gastroenteritis in the local Ratanpura Mohalla, the Health Department and Nagar Council authorities today swung into action.
The SMO, Civil Hospital, Dr Yash Mitra, said as a preventive measure, chlorine tablets were distributed by the Heath Department in the locality. Residents had been asked to drink boiled water. The nagar Council had been asked to ensure proper sanitation in the area,said Dr Mitra.

A team of doctors was conducting a survey of the locality and would submit its report within three days, said Dr Mitra.

On about the outbreak of the disease, Dr Mitra asserted that no such patient had yet reported at the Civil Hospital.

Meanwhile, Nagar Council EO Jagir Singh Thind today visited Ratanpura and issued directions for its cleanliness.

Gastroenteritis had gripped street Nos 13 to 17 of Ratanpura Mohalla.


Large-scale felling of Khair trees detected
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Large-scale illicit felling of khair trees in the forest area of Tibbi Nangal village in Ropar district has been detected by the Punjab Forest Department. The entire area where the felling has been noticed is protected under the Forest Act.

This is second incident within a month when large-scale illegal felling of khair trees has been noticed in the district. Last time it was in Laddal village.

According to official sources, the reckless felling is the handiwork of certain inhabitants of neighbouring villages. In the past one month, unscrupulous elements have selectively axed the trees.

In the panchayat land of Tibbi Nangal village alone, unmarked stumps of over 100 khair trees have been noticed.

Members of the gram panchayat of the village told Chandigarh Tribune that the forest guard on duty had caught some lumberjacks red-handed while axing the trees. Some of the trees were confiscated and the Nurpur Bedi police station was informed about it. The guard had also informed the district forest officials in this regard, they added.

Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) S.S. Bhatti, said as per the procedure a damage report was prepared to realise the fine from the violators.

He added that the range officer was competent to proceed against the violation.

He added that he had to go through the report of the damaged trees being prepared at the headquarters.

Sarpanch of the village, Ram Lal, said despite being informed about the reckless felling, the forester concerned did not pursue the case with the police. The villagers claim that they had also sent a representation to the office of the DFO.

The fellers had uprooted trees of girth above 70 cm. Inquiries revealed that a full grown khair tree fetched around Rs 3,000 and the price could go higher if sold along with its roots. Villagers said since the trees fell in the panchayat land, they had informed the office of the Block Development Officer.

After the villagers complained to Conservator (Shivalik Hills) Surinder Kaur, a forest officer attached with the Conservator was sent to the spot a few days back. The villagers said the conservator also came to inspect the damage. A range officer of the area had also inspected the spot.


3 children die due to snake bite

Hoshiarpur, July 15
Sukh Ram (18), Kiran Kaur (13) and Sunil (12) all children of a farm labourer Jyoti, died due to snake bite at Panam village on Wednesday night. It is reported that a snake bit children while they were asleep in the house. Jyoti was also sleeping near them.

When he came to know about the snake bite, he killed the snake and rushed the children to Hoshiarpur for their treatment. But all of them died on the way. — OC


Rights panel a financial burden: LHRI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Terming the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) as a financial burden on the state exchequer, the Lawyers for Human Rights International (LHRI) today demanded the winding up of the commission.

In a letter to the Punjab Chief Minister, the LHRI president, Mr A.S. Chahal, alleged that the commission had failed to perform its duties with the result that the common man had secured little relief from it. In fact, the certain recent cases had shown that it had failed to safeguard human rights.

The LHRI also urged the commission members to resign from their posts in public interest.


Protesters burn Salman’s effigy

Punjab Youth Congress activists burn the effigy of Bollywood actor Salman Khan for allegedly threatening actress Aishwarya Rai and asking her to perform at a cultural extravaganza organised by an underworld don, in Amritsar on Friday Amritsar, July 15
Activists of the Youth Congress today held a demonstration and burnt film actor Salman Khan’s effigy for the latter’s alleged links with the underworld.
The demonstrators carried out a procession under the leadership of the organisation state general secretary Narinder Tinnu which culminated at Hall Gate where the film star’s effigy was burnt. — UNI

Punjab Youth Congress activists burn the effigy of Bollywood actor Salman Khan for allegedly threatening actress Aishwarya Rai and asking her to perform at a cultural extravaganza organised by an underworld don, in Amritsar on Friday. — A Tribune photograph


high court
Notices issued to Centre, ASI, Punjab on compensation issue
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 15
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued a notice of motion on the petition filed by Mr Ram Gopal and six other family members. The petitioners belong to Sanghol village in Fatehgarh Sahib district and are claiming compensation for their land and antique items discovered from it during excavations made by the respondents.

Today, a Division Bench comprising Mr Justice M.M. Kumar and Mr Justice Virender Singh issued notices to the Union of India, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the State of Punjab for October 4.

In their petition, Mr Gopal and the others have stated that in 1985, several historical and archaeological antiquities, such as a Buddhist stupa, were discovered from the land owned by them. These antiques dated to the first century AD and were related to the Kushana period. Saying that the possession of their land was taken by the respondents and since then it is in their unauthorised occupation, the petitioners have claimed that neither has the government paid any compensation to them nor has any order of compulsory purchase of the land been issued.

They have also stated that the government has not declared the land as protected area under the provisions of the 1958 Act. The petitioners have said they were earlier being paid a meagre compensation between Rs 4,000 and Rs 5,000 per annum only in respect of their land which was enhanced to Rs 14,000 in 2001.

However, since 2002 even the annual rent has not been paid to them, they claim, adding that their families depend on this land for their livelihood

Direction to Baba Farid varsity

A Bench of the High Court headed by Chief Justice Mr Justice D.K. Jain has asked Baba Farid University, Faridkot, to inform the court on the next date of hearing as to what all it intends to do to plug loopholes in the conduct of PMET exam.

During hearing of a PIL filed by the Union of Civil Liberties and Human Rights through its president, Mr Sandeep Sharma, of Jalandhar, the Bench gave this direction.

In its petition, the NGO has referred to some news items, including one in The Tribune, which said medical college seats of the colleges affiliated to the university were on sale. The news item also mentioned several contact numbers in Mumbai and Delhi.

The petition has also referred to the leakage of the PMET exam paper and the subsequent fresh exam conducted by Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. It also alleges that such malpractices are a regular feature in the university. The Bench also asked the NGO to come up with suggestions that can be taken to prevent these things.


Compensation sought for rain-hit farmers
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 15
Various farmer organisations today staged a dharna in support of their demands in front of the SDM office here. The protesters later handed over a charter of demands to the SDM.

Addressing the protesters, union leaders of the BKU Ekta and the Kisan Sabha demanded that a compensation of Rs 10,000 per acre be given to the farmers who had suffered losses due to incessant rainfall and breaches in canals.

They also sought compensation for the poor whose houses had collapsed in rain. Protesting against the hike in diesel prices, they demanded 50 per cent subsidy on diesel. They urged the Congress government to fulfil its electoral promise of providing free power and water to farmers.

Farmer leader Jagjit Singh Joga said about 50,000 acres of cotton crop was destroyed in Sangrur, Mansa, Bathinda and Muktsar districts while the remaining crop was facing the threat of poor yield and worm attack.

Due to the failure of the previous Akali regime in providing quality pesticides during its rule cotton farmers of Malwa became debt-ridden and some even chose to commit suicide, he alleged. By denying compensation to rain-hit farmers of the cotton belt, the Congress government was pushing them in trouble, he added.

He demanded the implementation of the Crop Insurance Scheme formulated during the United Front government at the Centre in Punjab. He rued that 26 irrigation schemes approved by the Centre were not being implemented in the state and the funds being sent under them were being returned unused for the past 10 years.

With the implementation of these schemes about 3.5 lakh acres of land would be irrigated, he claimed. The farmer bodies announced that they would stage a dharna in front of the Talwandi Sabo SDM’s office on July 19.


‘Call girl’ given age test
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 15
The recent call girl episode, wherein a Delhi-based girl, Sapna, was arrested along with a Kapurthala-based rice mill owner, Narinder, from Kumar hotel here last week, took a new turn today as the girl was subjected to an age determination test at a local hospital by the police in its bid to ascertain whether Sapna was a minor.

The accused, along with the owner of the hotel, Ved Parkash, were arrested by the police on July 8. The girl was projected as a Delhi-based call girl who had been brought to the city.

It was now being alleged that Sapna was a minor, which if proved, the police could book Narinder under rape charges. The girl was allegedly "booked and brought" by a local pimp for Rs 15,000, but the latter could not be arrested so far.

Sapna, who was sent to the Ludhiana-based Bal Sudhar Grah, on court orders, was brought here for the medical examination at the local Civil Hospital. 


Ex-MP’s son booked for brawl
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 15
Guggu, a son of a former Jalandhar MP, Mr Balbir Singh, and his associates have been booked by the local police for allegedly indulging in a brawl with a resident of the Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar locality in the New Jawahar Nagar market on last night.

The police was said to be conducting raids to nab Guggu and his associates who had allegedly attacked Gurmukh Singh. Gurmukh Singh had alleged that Guggu and his associates thrashed him after he had asked Guggu to move his car to make way for his car.

It was also alleged that Guggu fired some shots from his licensed pistol and also beat up a relative of Gurmukh Singh who was accompanying him. A case has been registered.


Boy charged with rape
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, July 15
A case of rape of a girl of Mansoorpur village was reported at the Mukerian police station on Wednesday. Mandeep Singh his, mother Sukhwinder Kaur, sister Rozi, Raj and Niki of Kaleechpur Kalota, have been booked under Section 376 and 34 of the IPC.

According to police sources, the young girl was a student of plus two. She reportedly had an affair with Mandeep Singh in 2002. Mandeep with the consent of his family members, reportedly assured the girl that he would marry her. Later Mandeep allegedly raped her many times.

A few days ago when the girl along with her uncle approached Mandeep Singh and his family for finalising the marriage, they flatly refused. 


Couple held  for making porno CDs
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 15
A case of breach of trust by a lover to earn easy money has come to light with the seizure of pornographic CDs from the local market by the district police. The youth allegedly had had illicit relations with his beloved for some time and during the course of their affair, he made a pornographic video of the two.

He later sold the video on CDs and sent MMS on cell phones of various people. On complaint by some recipients of clips, the police traced the couple and arrested them.

The police has seized two CDs and registered a case under Sections 292, 293 and 294 of the IPC.

The two were produced in the court of Senior Division Magistrate, Amloh, Baljinder Singh today and were remanded in police custody for one day. While talking to Chandigarh Tribune, SSP Varinder Kumar said the police had received complaints from certain quarters of receiving vulgar MMS on their cell phones. They also complained of the sale of local-made pornographic CDs in the market.

He said the police developed information and nabbed the girl, Sandeep Kaur, alias Sonia, a resident of Nasrali, Mandi Gobindgarh. The girl works as a dancer with an orchestra.

The SSP said after her arrest, the police arrested the youth, Samsher Singh, alias Bobby, a resident of Mandi Gobindgarh. He said both had an illicit relationship. The girl told the police that she was not aware of the fact that her paramour had made a pornographic video and sold it in the market.

The SSP said they had prepared pornographic clips from the movie and passed these on in the form of MMS to school and college going students. He said they would interrogate the couple and other associates of the lover, who had helped them in making the movie, and arrest them.


Homoeopathic college president’s plea
Our Correspondent

Abohar, July 15
Mr Tara Singh Ahuja, president, Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, in a written statement submitted to the Chief Vigilance Officer on Wednesday said the Municipal Council had leased 17600 square feet to the HMCA in 1979 but 2700 sqft had been used by the Council to construct its rest house adjacent to the hospital. 

The Council had not shown any fresh favour to the college but resolved to give 2100 sqft on the main road to compensate the loss suffered by the HMCA due to loss of land for the rest house. The college had been paying Rs 8,000 per annum to the Council as lease money which, would be increased by 40 per cent now.

While countering the stand taken by the Executive Officer of the Council that the HMCA had illegally encroached upon the land for constructing 10 shops on the road side, Mr Ahuja said the general secretary of the HMCA, to meet the daily expenditure and provide better facilities to the people, had applied for allotment of a strip of land lying vacant on both sides of the entrance gate for construction of shops. The Council had processed the application and the site plan was submitted with the requisite fee on June 5, 1987. Surprisingly the council had never objected to construction of the shops for eight years.

According to Mr Ahuja, the Council initiated ejectment proceedings in 1994 before Mr R.L. Mehta, then Deputy Director, Local Bodies, who passed orders against the tenants. The HMCA management filed an appeal before the Commissioner Ferozepore Division. He accepted the plea and directed for demarcation of 17600 sqft area under possession of the college hospital. The demarcation map dated December 26, 1997 clearly showed that the council had taken some area for construction of the rest house that was used by the DSP as official residence.

He said the Commissioner, Ferozepore Division, in his orders passed on December 17, 1996 had said that the area under the shops was a part of the lease.

The Municipal Council will have no case and it will be between the college and individual occupants to settle terms and conditions regarding the occupancy of the shops.


‘No move’ to privatise PSEB, govt schools
Tribune News Service

Ropar, July 15
Marginal farmers in the state would have free power supply and octroi would also be lifted from all the cities in the state soon. The decision in this regard was taken by the government after making alternate arrangement of income generation.

The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, will soon make announcement about implementation of the decision, said the Parliamentary Secretary (Industry and Commerce), Punjab, Mr K.P.S Rana, here today.

The Punjab Government has been generating crores of rupees by introducing VAT in the state and same amount is now being utilising to give pensions to people under old-age pension scheme, he said during function organised by the Sahibzada Ajit Singh academy here.

There was no move of privatisation of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) and government schools in Punjab. This was rumour spread by our opposition parties to create panic among the people, he added.

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |