P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Dullo derides SAD for honouring ‘killers’
Govt jobs announced for two relatives of Shaheed Udham Singh
Tribune News Service

Sunam (Sangrur), July 31
Paying rich tributes to Shaheed Udham Singh on his 66th martyrdom day at a state-level function organised at the New Grain Market here today, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), criticised the Akalis for paying tributes to the militants killed during militancy period in Punjab and dubbed them as “cowards” for calling the “murderers” of innocent persons “martyrs.

Mr Dullo further said it was only the Congress which had paid tributes to martyrs like Shaheed Udham Singh while the Akalis paid tributes to the “killers” of innocent persons. This was the main difference between the Congress and the Akalis, he maintained.

Mr Dullo said leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) were neither the supporters of farmers nor of common people. They were also not patriots as they were “Tabbar bhagat” (only loyal to their families). He also stated that the Congress Government in the state had snatched all issues from Akalis, due to which they were now talking about baseless issues.

Mr Dullo also asked the Punjab Government to implement facilities, like free power supply to farmers, shagun scheme. He said every worker of the Congress would go to villages to strengthen the base of the Congress in a big way. He also said he would work with the Chief Minister as his younger brother.

Mr Dullo, who will visit Harmandir Sahib, Durgiana Temple and Jallianwala Bagh on August 2, after becoming president of the PPCC for the first time, said the Congress Government in the state would leave no stone unturned in solving the problems of the people of the state.

Paying tributes to the martyr Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh announced that the state government would set up a museum in the memory of Shaheed Udham Singh here to preserve the articles, related to the martyr. He also announced government jobs for two members of the families related to the martyr. He also announced a grant of Rs 10 lakh for the rose garden, developed here in memory of the martyr. He said the centre had decided to name Sunam after Shaheed Udham Singh.

Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister, said Shaheed Udham Singh was a true secularist as he had kept his name as Ram Mohammad Singh Azad.

Mr Surinder Singla, Finance Minister, said the 85th amendment of the Constitution would be implemented within two to three days as the Chief Minister had already signed the file, relating to it.

Mr Bachan Singh, Mr Khushi Anand, Mr Inder Singh, all nephews, and Ms Inder Kaur, a niece of Shaheed Udham Singh, were honoured, on the occasion.

Earlier, Capt Amarinder Singh, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Mr Surinder Singla, Ms Preneet Kaur, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo and Mr Parminder Singh, General Secretary, PPCC, paid tributes to the martyr at his memorial in the local stadium.


Tributes paid to Udham Singh
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 31
All those who sacrificed their lives for the nation are always remembered and become source of inspiration for the coming generations. The communities, which forget and don’t respect their martyrs can not make any progress and their future is not safe. This was stated by Dr Harbans Lal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, while paying tributes to Saheed Udham Singh during the commemoration of his martyrdom at memorial to Saheed Udham Singh at Rauza Sharif here today.

He said the memorial would be renovated and a concrete shed would be raised by the next year. Photographs of other martyrs, particularly Kargil martyrs belonging to district, would also be displayed at the memorial.

He announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh for the memorial and assured that he would contribute more.

Ms Jaspreet Talwar, Deputy Commissioner, while paying tributes, said it should be our moral responsibility that every Indian work to strengthen the unity and integrity of the country.

In 1975, as per the wishes of Saheed Udham Singh, he was named Ram Mohamad Singh Azad and his immortal remains were buried at Rauza Sharif by the then Chief Minister Giani Zail Singh. In 1992 the memorial was erected.

Mr Hari Krishan, president, DCC, Mr Natha Singh, of the CPI, Mr Harinder Singh Sidhu, president local unit of the BJP, Mr Ranjit Singh, Chairman, MC, Sirhind, Khalifa Sayeed Yahya Mohamd of Roza Sharif, also paid tributes.


Martyrdom day function evokes poor response
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, July 31
A function organised by the District Congress Committee at its party office here today to commemorate the 66th martyrdom day of Shaheed Udham Singh evoked poor response.

Mr Mohanjit Singh, General Secretary, PPCC, Intellectual Cell; Mr Jaswant Singh Kul, vice-president, DCC; Mr S.K. Gupta, a former chairman, Improvement Trust; and Mr Sajan Sharma, district president, Hind Kissan Sangathan, were present, among others, and paid tributes.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Mohanjit Singh said prior information should be given to all party leaders and workers regarding the function. He expressed concern over the failure of the government to convert the martyr’s house into a memorial.

Mr Kul said the message regarding the function was circulated through the media and some of the members were also contacted through the phone. However, in future efforts would be made to contact the party leaders and workers personally.


CPM to ensure tabling of Nanavati report in Parliament
Sacking of Boparai sought
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
The Communist Party of India (CPM) will ensure that the report of the Nanavati Commission, which probed the post Indira Gandhi assassination riots in Delhi in 1984, is tabled in both Houses of Parliament during the current session. The party has also demanded sacking of the Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor, Mr S.S. Boparai.

The CPM politburo member, Mr Sita Ram Yechury, who was here today, told The Tribune that his party would ensure that those guilty of the riots and killing of thousands of innocent persons in New Delhi were brought to the book. He observed, even the Central Government should not had any objections to the tabling of the report in the Parliament.

The state secretary of the CPM, Prof Balwant Singh, reiterated his charges that the Punjabi University had become a “den of anti-national forces”. Mr Yechhury, when asked, whether he agreed with Prof Balwant Singh’s charges against the Punjabi University VC, said, “he is speaking on my behalf on the issue”.

Prof Balwant Singh disclosed that the state unit of the CPM had already submitted a memorandum to the Punjab Governor listing all the anti-national and anti-social activities taking place in the campus.

About the “role of Opposition” being performed by the Left, including the CPM, within the government, Mr Yechury said, there was nothing wrong in “issue based opposition” even when his party supported the Central Government.

He asserted that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre would complete its full term and Left would ensure its survival.

Mr Yechury, who was here to address a meeting of workers organised by various Left-affiliated trade unions, asserted that the left would not compromise on its basic ideology.

He said, at the same time it would not let the government fall over these issues.

He sought to dispel the notion that Left was not forward looking in the changed world order. He claimed that the left in general and the CPM in particular was aware of its responsibility and commitment to safeguard the interest of the common masses.

The CPM politburo member admitted that at certain levels it was very difficult to draw a balance. “While on the one hand some basic issues are involved, on the other there are certain responsibilities”, he remarked, while adding, the bottom line would always remain the interest of the common man.


Punjab needs new vision, says Yechury
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
Communist Party of India (Marxist) politbureau member Sita Ram Yechury says Punjab is standing at the crossroads where it needs to look for development opportunities in new areas like technology and information services. The state has reached a plateau so far as development is concerned, which is also leading to increasing labour problems here.

Mr Yechury, who was here today to address a district level rally of CITU, said, “Punjab needs a new vision.”

Expressing concern over the growing number of incidents pertaining to labour unrest, he said development was the only way to ensure a cordial environment for the industry and common man in the state.

He said growing industrial unrest was a matter of concern and measures must be taken to curb it. On reforms or amendment, to labour laws, he said the issue needed to be discussed threadbare before any final decision was taken.

Vehemently opposing the hire and fire policy, Mr Yechury said it existed nowhere in the world. “If the supporters of this policy cite an example of China, they ought to know that China provides a subsistence allowance to its workers in case they are out of job. Moreover, they are insured before they take up a job. The authorities have to take such factors in mind as well,” he said.

Non-committal on whether his party would support the hire and fire policy in case the facilities like insurance and subsistence allowance were made available to labourers, Mr Yechury said: “Let the government do it first, we would talk about the rest of it later.”

He said employers must assure job security to workers even if it was under the contractual system. Talking about issues like foreign investment and disinvestment, he said: “The Left is not anti-reforms. It is anti-reforms when a policy is anti-people. Otherwise we are pro-reforms.”

Elaborating on the party’s stand on foreign investment, he said any foreign investment must fulfil three criteria. One, it should increase production capacity so that the country benefited, second, it should lead to technological upgradation, and third, it should increase employment.

On disinvestment, he said the government’s priority should be revival of sick units and not selling away profit-making units. “And even if a decision is taken with regard to revival of sick units, workers’ interest should not be ignored,” he said. The CPM would continue to build a pressure on the UPA government on the issue of revival of sick units, he added.

Regarding the Honda incident, he said the company should have had a registered trade union so that communication did not reach a deadlock. However, it would not affect foreign investments, he opined.

Responding to another query, Mr Yechury claimed that there was no danger to the UPA government at the Centre. “It would complete its full term of five years,” he said.


Cong has failed to abolish octroi: BJP
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, July 31
Alleging that the Congress government has failed on all fronts in the state, BJP leaders said during its local bodies meeting that the inflation had increased manifold and the law and order situation in the state was at an all-time low.

The state unit of the BJP passed resolutions warning the government to be ready to face the ire of the common man. It demanded that the government should solve the various problems being faced by the people of Punjab, including high inflation.

Instead of spending lavishly on ministers and foreign tours of MLAs, the government must use the money for development purposes.

Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, president of the state unit of the BJP, addressing mediapersons said that the government had promised to waive octroi and phase out various taxes after introducing the Value-Added Tax (VAT) system.

However, the government had done none of these. He said the government had imposed VAT in a hurry, which had affected the interests of industrialists as well as the common man.

He said after imposing VAT, the government had reportedly generated an income of Rs 1,000 crore, which was more than the income, Rs 650 crore, generated by octroi.

The BJP state president said that withdrawal of grant-in-aid to private aided schools would harm the education system, which was already in doldrums.

He said Punjab had the infamous distinction of having 52 per cent dropout rate from schools, which was the highest in the country.

He said unemployed educated youth were forced to protest that about 30,000 government posts were vacant, but the government had not paid any attention on the pretext of a financial crunch.

Now, he said, the government had decided to increase bus fares by 10 per cent without giving any additional facility to the public.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Congress workers, including Bibi Dalbir Kaur and Mr Manjit Singh Dhillon, today joined the BJP.


CM: Punjab to abolish octroi soon
Tribune News Service

Sunam (Sangrur), July 31
The Punjab Government will not take a long time to abolish octroi as the financial condition of the state has now improved a lot after the increase of Rs 2,000 crore in the income of the government this year from VAT and an increase in the stamp duty, etc.

Talking to mediapersons, Capt Amarinder Singh, who was here today in connection with the martyrdom day function of Shaheed Udham Singh, said as the state government had lifted the ban on the recruitment, the process for recruiting 1,474 doctors and thousands of teacher would start now.

He justified the hike in the bus fares by saying that during the past four years the prices of diesel had hiked to Rs 28 from Rs 18, while the hike in the bus fares during the same period was only five paise per km.

The Chief Minister said the government would announce free power supply for small and marginal farmers on August 20, the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.


Gill-Singla rift may hit development work
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 31
Even as the Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh,has managed to work out a truce between the Punjab Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla and the Improvement Trust Chairman, Mr Jagroop Singh Gill, it remains to be seen as to how far it would check bickering between the two warring Congress leaders.

Last week Mr Gill had kicked off a war of words at a press conference, where he accused Mr Singla of hampering the development of the city. A day later, Improvement Trust members considered close to Mr Singla retaliated and charged Mr Gill with favouring his relatives in carving out various schemes. They went to the extent of demanding his removal from the post of Improvement Trust Chairman as well as his expulsion from the party for what they called “his anti-party activities.”

However, the Chief Minister got a wind of their squabble and held a meeting with both of them. He asked them to work for development of the city. Though the Chief Minister has cleared air between the two leaders, if both of them kept nursing grudges against each other it would surely affect the development schemes of the Trust. A majority of trust members owe allegiance to Mr Singla and they would play a key role in giving nod to any of the development related works. The roadwork is on at the newly built Transport Nagar, while work regarding sewerage and water supply is on the cards. Similarly, ring road is another big project that can witness difference of opinion between the two sides. Trust member Anil Bhola, who is also the political secretary of Mr Singla, said they would take up the matter of ring road on priority basis in the next meeting of the trust. He said the Trust had already taken a loan of Rs 20 crore to acquire about 45 acres of land for the construction of road. However, a group of trustees had alleged recently that Mr Gill had been dilly-dallying the land acquisition, as a part of it belonged to his relatives. They stated that people whose land falls under the project were also ready to accept compensation. Mr Bhola said they would also raise the issue of payment to safai karamcharis employed in Trust colonies, removal of jhuggis, and installation of streetlights in these localities.

Sources said Mr Gill had shown little interest on both these fronts, especially the former, and the proactive approach of a section of trust members might lead to tension between the two groups. On the other hand, after meeting the Chief Minister Mr Gill is tight-lipped on the issue.

Meanwhile, speaking about the much-talked-about tiff the communist party leader, Mr Jagjeet Singh Joga, termed it to be a “war between two land mafia groups”. He said their tussle had nothing to do with political or ideological differences and added that none of them was fighting for public interest. He alleged that both the leaders were supporting land mafia groups that competed with each other. He rued that Improvement Trust and PUDA had turned into profit making bodies and were doing nothing to provide land and houses to lower middle class and poor at subsided rates.

He said private colonisers were already fleecing people and now Improvement Trust and PUDA had jumped on to the bandwagon. The district SAD president, Mr Sikandar Singh Malooka, said it was the internal matter of the Congress and he could not speak much on the issue. He alleged that both the leaders were fighting for their own interests and had nothing to do with the city’s development.


Political activists warned against joining Mahapanchayat
Raj Sadosh

Abohar, July 31
Telephonic calls made yesterday by district officials at Sriganganagar, neighbouring Abohar, to senior political activists warned them against attending Mahapanchayat, scheduled to be held on Monday at Gharsana, by Kisan Mazdoor Beopari Sangharsh Samiti on canal water sharing issue.

Official sources said that District Collector, Mr Kunji Lal Meena, and SP Mr Saurabh Srivastva, had issued instructions in this connection. Mr Sheopat Singh, former CPM MP, Mr Radhey Shyam, former Congress MLA, Mr Prithipal Singh Sandhu, president District Congress Committee, and Mr Paramjit Singh Randhawa, president, Kisan Mazdoor Beopari Sangharsh Samiti, were among those informed that the district administration had banned Mahapanchayat and enforced prohibitory orders restraining assembly of more than five persons in all the towns which had created trouble during “chakka jam” last week.

The authorities have requisitioned four more companies of armed constabulary. Forty companies have already been deployed in sensitive areas. Nine Executive Magistrates will be on duty at Gharsana on August 1 as the samiti had given a call to farmers of the adjoining areas to reach Gharsana to participate in the Mahapanchayat.

The samiti warned the state government that struggle would be intensified if Mr Het Ram Beniwal, former MLA, who was injured during clashes with police and arrested, was not released unconditionally.

Meanwhile, more than 200 policemen led by Mr Chandresh Gupta, DSP, Excise Department, and Mr Luxman Gaur, Addl. SP, stormed at village 22D located near Indo-Pak border in district Sriganganagar in a major offensive against manufacturing of illicit arms and ammunition as well as liquor distillation on Friday. The authorities believed that most of the miscreants who clashed with the police during “chakka jam” at a bridge near new grain market of Gharsana last week belonged to this village.

Official sources said that Mrs Birma Devi, Dalip Singh and Balwant Singh were arrested as they allegedly lobbed desi bombs on the police during combing operation. None was hurt. The police arrested 68 other residents of the village, including women, under Excise Act. The raids led to recovery of huge quantity of Lahan, illicit liquor, 9 drums, large quantities of capacity containers and pouches. Fourteen live desi bombs and scores of sharp edged weapons were also seized.

Lahan was destroyed on the spot. Arrested persons were taken to the police station, where cases were registered. The police claimed that similar bombs were lobbed on the police during “chakka jam” near new grain market of Gharsana last week.

However Mrs Gurdial Kaur, Mrs Prem Kaur, Mrs Gurmeet Kaur, Mrs Suman, Mr Swaran Singh, Mr Onkar Singh, Mr Arjun Singh, Mr Sameer Singh and Mr Angrej Singh told visiting newspersons that the police without any fault of theirs beat up women and minor children. The police allegedly took away currency notes and jewellery besides two wheelers from their houses without issuing any receipt.

Addl. SP Mr. Gaur, denying the allegations, said that only two motorcycles were taken into custody. The administration had received reports from intelligence agencies that anti-social elements had made the “chakka jam” violent earlier and could create similar trouble on August 1. 


Hoarding on footbridge violates high court order
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 31
Throwing the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to the winds, the Jalandhar Municipal Corporation has allowed a mobile phone company to display its huge, about 70 feet long, advertisement hoarding on the top of a newly constructed footbridge in front of the Inter-State Bus Terminus on the G.T. Road here.

As if this was not enough, the civic body is learnt to have given a go-ahead to the company to display another hoarding on yet another upcoming controversial footbridge near the local BMC chowk.

Meanwhile, the two footbridges, which have been constructed on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis at about Rs 90 lakh, have generated controversy as Mr Krishana Dev Bhandari, leader of opposition in the House of the civic body, has alleged that a scam was involved in the construction of the two footbridges as the cost of bridges, according to his calculations, should not have exceeded the Rs 40-45 lakh mark.

The opposition, led by Mr. Bhandari, has also questioned the motives behind constructing the second footbridge near the BMC chowk, a short distance of about 100 metres from the first footbridge.

It has accused the civic body of “blatantly showering favours on a private company”, as there was no need of a footbridge at the BMC chowk.

Mr Bhandari has attacked the MC for allegedly violating the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which had clearly directed the states of Punjab, Haryana and UT about two years ago that no advertisement hoarding should be allowed to come up on or along the national highways, state highways and other important roads, as these could distract drivers and cause accidents.

Interestingly, Mr C. Talwar, Commissioner of the MC, expressed ignorance about the hoardings and said he would look into the matter.

He said, “I don’t know whether the Punjab and Haryana High Court directions regarding displaying hoardings were applicable within the municipal limits or whether together these were issued regarding state or national highways. Anyway we will look into it,” he said.

On the other hand, Mr S.K. Sharma, Inspector-General (Traffic), Punjab, said the spirit of the Punjab and Haryana High Court directions, which were issued in Nitin Kumar v/s states of Punjab, Haryana and UT of Chandigarh case, was clear that no hoarding should be allowed to come up on or along important roads, including, the national highways, state highways and GT roads.

“The spirit behind the directions was that people who were driving should not get distracted by catchy advertisements,” said Mr Sharma.

He said in his view, the huge and catchy advertisement on the footbridge on the GT road, in front of the Jalandhar Bus Stand, went against the spirit of the court directions.

Senior Congress leader Manoj Arora, also considers it to be a stark violation of traffic rules and alleged that the motive behind “constructing two footbridges was not to facilitate pedestrians, but something else.”

Mr Bhandari, who has demanded a probe by the Vigilance Bureau into what he called a “shady deal”, said that the MC had given the footbridge on rent to the mobilephone company for display of its advertisement for 81 months at the rate of Rs 3 lakh per month.

There was no need of the second bridge at the BMC chowk, which, in fact, was sanctioned to decongest traffic in front of the local Apeejay School, but since somebody got a stay on that, the MC authorities have tried to fulfil their “commitment” to a private company by constructing the bridge at the BMC chowk, said Mr Bhandari.

Interestingly, the Punjab Local Bodies Minister, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, had recently announced that overbridges at DAV College and at other places would be constructed with hoardings revenue, showing that he was not aware the Punjab and Haryana High Court guidelines.


Punjab afflicted with ‘culture of corruption’
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, July 31
Since huge funds were distributed at the ‘sangat darshan’ programme launched by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, the state was left in a financial mess.

When Captain Amarinder Singh became Chief Minister, he started with a bang. He had taken note of the situation prevailing in the state.

However, he diverted his whole energy towards his tirade against corruption that consumed much of his time and the shrill, it caused in the spine of the officers almost paraylsed the state government. After sometime, the campaign slowed down.

The tragedy of this phase of the Akali-Congress confrontation was that it was reduced to an individual fight between Captain Amarinder Singh and Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

Captain Amarinder Singh talked of reorganising the finances of the state and free power and water facility was withdrawn from the farm sector.

The grants of educational institutions were slashed and posts of teachers in government schools and the doctors in the Health Department were allowed to remain vacant for want of funds.

The Chief Minister tried to get some projects from the world bank but so far the success has eluded him. Efforts to rope in NRIs have also not met with success.

Despite efforts by the Chief Minister, the economic situation in the state is as dismal as ever. The industrialisation of the state has not witnessed any expansion notwithstanding the claims of the Chief Minister and Finance Minister Surinder Singla. Punjab is not attracting FDI. Social sectors like education and health are facing the most difficult situation.

Instead of filling vacant posts in government schools and health centres, the state government extended benefits to certain industrial houses worth several hundred crores of rupees.

Even some of the distilleries in the state have been given exemptions in state taxes as if the state has sufficient funds to meet the needs of the social sector.

The state government has been claiming that the finance management has improved and funds have been found for development and reconstruction of social sector. But the actual facts are otherwise. The fiscal deficit of the state has mounted to Rs 4400 crore and the revenue deficit is worth Rs 3300 crore.

Further, the economic status of the most prosperous state has declined. Local industry is not ready to make any investment and industrial unit which had shifted from Punjab to Himachal Pradesh have not come back.

The Chief Minister has not held any meeting with them to listen to their problems.

However, the state of Punjab is witnessing a new phenomena — Multiplexes and malls are coming up in major cities as a result of which the land prices have shot up. But the malls will not bring prosperity to the man on the street.

Infrastructure like roads, power and water are in bad shape. A senior functionary of the state remarked that Punjab was afflicted with the ‘culture of corruption and culture of sloth’.

This sums up the attitude of the state bureaucracy towards the development of Punjab. Infrastructure like roads has suffered during the past 10 years.

This was because of the apathy of the senior political leadership.

Former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had got a helipad set up at his official residence in Chandigarh. He would fly from his residence and after attending functions would return to his residence by helicopter.

Thus he forgot the ground realities. Similar is the case with the present Chief Minister, who also moves by helicopter and is not concerned about the ground realities.

The political leadership of the state always talks of increasing drug menace. But who is responsible for the same.

Is it not a fact that these very politicians distribute ‘bhukki’ and opium and liquor to the youth and other people during the elections to the Vidhan Sabha and Parliament.

They even distribute drugs during the panchayat elections.


NRI forced to fight a legal battle
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
For over 20 years, Mr Kartar Singh, settled in Canada, led a good, contented life. Then, he committed, what he terms, his biggest mistake. He bought land in Punjab.

On a visit to Punjab, he participated in an open auction of a land at Jalandhar. The land, which originally belonged to a Jalandhar-based company, had been resumed by Punjab National Bank, with which it was mortgaged, for non-repayment of loan.

On September 5, 1994, Mr Kartar Singh participated in the auction and bought the land for Rs 7.50 lakh on behalf of his wife, who is also settled in Canada.

Since then, he has not been able to make use of the land - litigation by the family of the man holding power of attorney for the land meant that Mr Kartar Singh was not able to take its possession till January 9, 2003.

All courts, starting from the sub-judge to the Supreme Court at one point or the other confirmed the sale of land to the NRI. But, he is still fighting a legal battle; this time to save his skin literally.

On March 25, 2003, one Charanjit Singh, who earlier held the power of attorney for the land and who had “sold” the same to his wife and sons, lodged an FIR at Police Station, Jalandhar Sadar, against Mr Kartar Singh. Another complaint, this one dated July 27, 2003, was also filed by Mr Charanjit Singh. In both complaints, Mr Kartar Singh was accused of theft and trespass.

In his petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking quashing of the FIRs, Mr Kartar Singh has stated that one of the grievances of the complainant was that the property had not been properly demarcated and hence possession of the same could not have been taken.

But, the bailiff, sent by the executing court, in his report, said that the execution of warrants of possession was done in the presence of the complainant, prominent personalities of the area and police personnel.

An inquiry report submitted on May 9, 2003, by the SP (City-I), Jalandhar, gave a clean chit to the NRI, but the cases were not withdrawn.

In his report, the SP concluded that a false case seemed to have been got registered against Mr Kartar Singh by the complainants. He also observed that the complainant did not have any right on the property.

Mr Kartar’s repeated pleas to various state functionaries, including President of India, Prime Minister and Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh have not yielded anything.

Unable to do anything, all Mr Kartar Singh hopes is that justice would be done soon. Till then, he stands accused of trespassing in his own property!


Power restored after 24 hours in Sirhind
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 31
Residents of Sirhind are without any power and water from the last 24 hours.

Residents, who were getting drinking water from hand pumps, alleged that the Sirhind had become the most neglected town of the state.

They said there was no power in the town since the last 24 hours. It was only restored today noon. The council had also failed to supply of drinking water to the residents. To add their woes there was no one to redress their grievances, including the municipal authorities, elected representatives or PSEB officials.

Many residents, who had queued up at a hand pump early morning today clashed as some residents wanted to take two buckets, while others objected saying only one bucket would be allowed. They alleged that when there was no power from the last 24 hours no official was attending to their complaints. Rather the complaint center phone had been put on hold, where as higher officials of PSEB, including Chief Engineer, Senior, XEN and other officials were enjoying at a cocktail party of Rotary Club, Sirhind.

Similarly they alleged that Municipal Council had only one water tubewell to cater to the need of entire town.

Also the main motor at the tubewell near a cinema house had gone out of order and only a temporary motor had been installed. The newly-constructed tubewell had not been started.

They alleged that though the council had installed a high-power generator at water tubewell, but it was out of order, where as they alleged that the maintenance and diesel bills were regularly cleared.

The man posted at the tubewell said the real motor of this tubewell was lying with mechanic and he was not giving it back as the council had not cleared his repair bill.

When this reporter tried to contact different officials no one was available, including EO, Municipal Council, Sirhind-Fatehgarh Sahib, while XEN, PSEB, said that there was some fault in the line and it would be repaired soon. No satisfactory reply, which could pacify the public, was received from any quarter.


Cancer grips another village in Bathinda
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 31
After Jajal, Gayana and Malkana villages, cancer has spread its tentacles to Mansa Kalan village where five cancer deaths have been reported in the recent past.

Some of the families have lost their breadwinners and are finding it difficult to eke out their living.

According to sources, milkman Naib Singh, 50, and Kaku Singh, 45, died of cancer on July 18. Father of two girls and a boy, Naib Singh spent about Rs 1.5 lakh on his treatment. High treatment cost ate up all his savings and he was forced to withdraw his son Jagdev Singh from school. Kaku Singh owned a mere 1.5 acres and fought a battle for survival for about six months before breathing his last a couple of weeks back. He sold off his tractor, took loan from commission agents and relatives for his treatment but could not defeat death. His father, Bachan Singh, had also died of cancer in 1995. He left behind his wife, a son and a daughter.

Ex-sarpanch Gulab Singh, who was suffering from cancer for the past one and a half years, died 11 days back. His family also took a loan of Rs 1 lakh on heavy interest for his treatment.

Similarly, Mahinder Kaur, who lost her husband Najar Singh to cancer recently, said they came to know about his disease a couple of years back and sought treatment in Sangrur, Patiala, Ludhiana and Bikaner, but could not save him.

Sukhdev Singh of the village has also been under treatment for cancer for the past five years. His father, Gurditta Singh, also died of cancer sometime back. He told that he had spent Rs 1 lakh on his father’s treatment, besides another Rs 70,000 on his own.

The village also has a number of cancer patients who are under treatment. Surjeet Kaur, 50, has been operated upon for her throat cancer. Her husband, Atma Singh, said they had already spent Rs 50,000 on her treatment. Santa Singh also has throat cancer and has been under treatment at a Bikaner hospital. His wife, Paramjeet Kaur, said earlier he used to work as a daily wager or indulge in small-time dairy business, but now he could do neither. She said his medicines cost about Rs 2,000 for two months.


BSNL consumers a harassed lot
Tribune News Service

Sultanpur Lodhi (Kapurthala), July 31
BSNL consumers are a harassed lot in this subdivision as almost in every village and locality of the town unattended complaints have been piling up for months.

More than 8,000 telephone connections in 190 villages of the subdivision and the town of Sultanpur Lodhi are connected with eight telephone exchanges situated in different villages.

Most of the villagers in the area are suffering due to the failure of authorities to get their complaints attended.

In Maripur village connected with Dadwindi telephone exchange five telephones are lying out of order for the last one month.

“My telephone is completely out of order for the last one month, and nobody from the telecom department has bothered to attend my complaint even after sending repeated reminders to the authorities,” rued Mr Bhajan Singh, a resident of Fauji Colony, 5 km away from the town.

“Two weeks back the technicians from the DoT came to our village to repair the connections unsuccessfully which are still lying inoperative,” said Sardar Rajinder Singh, a resident of Jainpur village.

The situation in the town of Sultanpur Lodhi is not different.

“I’m feeling helpless at the hands of BSNL authorities as no one has come to attend my complaint.

Meanwhile, the BSNL authorities at Sultanpur Lodhi admitting the delay in attending the complaints of consumers in the area cited shortage of staff as the main reason.

“We need two SDOs, four JTOs with at least four Technical Telephone Assistants to handle the eight exchanges in the area. Though we are doing our utmost to attend the complaints of consumers as soon as possible still it is not possible to provide a satisfactorily service to them with a staff of one SDO with lone JTO and two TTAs,” said the authorities expressing their helplessness.


‘Sarhad Ke Rakshak’ to be released on Aug 7
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 31
‘Sarhad Ke Rakshak’ (Protectors of border) - a documentary film on the Border Security Force, which has highlighted the various aspects of the force, has been completed. The compact disc of the film would be released on August 7 at Wagah joint checkpost.

The film depicts vigilant jawans of the BSF, keeping watchful eyes to defeat any nefarious designs of the anti-India forces along the Punjab border, the retreat ceremony, a daily event at Wagah and Hussainiwala borders, training of the BSF personnel and a few other facts that were hitherto unknown to the countrymen.

Mr Akhil Bansal, Director and Producer of the film said that he developed this patriotic fervor drawing inspiration from his great grandfather Late Suraj Bhan Bansal, a freedom fighter. He said the BSF officials extended full cooperation to him accomplishing the task.

Mr Bansal said that to keep alive the patriotic feelings, which his family had always nurtured, he had provided free of cost service to decorate and renovate the Wagah and Hussainiwala borders in order to make them look more vibrant as compare to the Pakistan side.

He further said that the revenue generated from the sale of these CDs would be deposited in the various welfare funds of the BSF.


Rafi remembered
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 31
The Ramgharia Cultural Council, Punjab, today donated ration and fruit worth Rs 30,000 to the inmates of the local Pingala Ashram to mark the 25th death anniversary of Hindi film singer Mohammad Rafi.

Mr Paramjit Singh Parwana, honorary secretary of the council, said popular Punjabi singer Satwinder Bitti, who donated Rs 5,100 from her personal funds, distributed the ration to the inmates on behalf of the council.

Prominent among those present on the occasion were chief patron of the council Ranjit Singh, patron Kirpal Singh, Samana-based social worker Mohinder Singh and managing director of the Patiala CCO Naresh Mittal.


Two die in heatwave
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 31
With the revival of heatwave in the region, two persons lost their lives here today. One of them was a beggar.

Sources said an unidentified man was down with high fever at Patta Market. Sahara volunteers rushed him to the Civil Hospital where doctors declared him brought dead.

The sources said the deceased used to stay in the market and was surviving on alms.

In another case, an 80-year-old beggar died of heat near the MC office. Sahara volunteers informed the GRP and took his body to the hospital. Both the bodies were handed over to Sahara after a post-mortem examination.


Fair of Panj Peer organised
Our Correspondent

Abohar, July 31
A large number of devotees paid their obeisance on the eve of the annual fair of Panj Peers mazaars located on the outskirts of the subdivisional town by the evening. Mr Jagjit Puri, Special Secretary, Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Punjab, who visited the area recently had said that he would brought it on the tourism map of the state.

The NGOs who run free kitchen for the devotees regretted that caretakers of the mazaars were interested in raising money, they were not concerned about development of the religious place.


Steps to supply clean water
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, July 31
The Deputy Director, Local Bodies, Jalandhar Region, Mrs Sarojini Gautam Sharda, has directed the Nagar Council officials to take weekly samples of the drinking water and later make it a regular practice of taking monthly samples for ensuring clean drinking water to the residents these days.

She gave these directions last evening to the municipal EO, Mr Jagir Singh Thind, it was learnt today.


56 cases settled at Lok Adalats
Our Correspondent

Batala, July 31
Three Lok Adalats were held under the chairmanship of Mr K.K. Kakkar, Civil Judge, Senior Division, here yesterday. The adalats settled 56 of the 71 cases and awarded Rs 14,51,804 as compensation to litigants.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Kakkar emphasised the need of free legal aid scheme in which the poor can avail of the services of legal experts besides getting quick justice.


Gang of robbers busted
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, July 31
Broken door handle of a Maruti car led to the arrest of a gang of robbers involved in snatching of a briefcase from the branch manager of Allahabad Bank at Rattewal, disclosed Mr Arun Pal Singh, SSP, in a press release issued here on Saturday. He claimed to have busted a gang of robbers by arresting as many as five persons namely Kulwinder Singh of Simbal Mazara village, Dilawer Singh, alias Sindhu, of Garhi Kanugo village, Surinder Singh, alias Soma, of Ghagon Guru village, Simranjit Singh of Mehndipur village, Sandeep Singh, alias Deepu, of Boothgarh village.

The police has recovered a Maruti car, a countrymade 315 bore pistol, as many as four ‘datars’ (sharp-edged weapons) and the briefcase, diary and papers etc. snatched from the bank manager.

They were arrested by a special naka by a police party led by SHO Kathgarh, Mr Vinod Kumar, near MSR Petrol Pump on the Nawanshahr-Chandigarh road.

The SHO, when intercepted the Maruti car bearing number PB-08-A-6214 and found that the door handle of the car was broken.

The SHO informed the SSP about the suspected persons. The SSP along with Mr Manjit Singh, DSP, Balachaur, and Mr Jagtar Singh, DSP(D), Nawanshahr, reached the spot immediately and the suspected persons were interrogated.

During interrogation, they confessed that they had snatched the bag from the branch manager, Allahabad Bank. They also disclosed that the original number of the Maruti car recovered from them was DL-2C-3417, which they had stolen from near Gurudwara Charan Kanwal, Banga.

They revealed that the countrymade pistol used by them in the burglaries was kept with Prem Singh, alias Bittu, of Mehatpur Ulladhani village. The police has also recovered the countrymade pistol.


Gang of looters busted
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 31
The district police today claimed to have busted a five-member gang of looters and seized a .12 bore pistol, several other sharp-edged weapons and three mobile phones from them.

The accused persons had attacked a head constable and constable of a PCR team in medical enclave area on July 22.

The arrested persons were Kapil Kumar of Karampura area, Chaman Lal of Faizpura, Sukhwinder Singh of Nangali Bhatha, Harpal Singh and Sunny Sharma of Lahori Gate areas.

Mr R.P.S. Brar, district police chief, said the accused were involved in dacoities at Green Avenue, Basant Avenue and Circular road area. He said criminal cases were registered against them in various police stations. He said their accomplice, Kuldip Singh, was escaped.


Gang busted, five held
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 31
The police has arrested five members of an inter-state gang of auto-lifters. The gang was specialised in stealing tractor trailers.

Two tractors and 11 trailers have been recovered from them. The police claimed that it had solved 21 theft cases. Mr Ishwar Singh, SSP, said the gang was busted by a team led by the SP, Mr S.K. Kalia.

The accused have been identified as Nirmal Singh Sona, Gur Prem Pal Singh, Suraj, Rakesh Kumar and Ravinder Kumar. The sixth member of the gang was identified as Manjit Kaur, who is yet to be arrested.


Mystery shrouds widow’s murder
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 31
A widow has been brutally murdered at Maur Khurd village reportedly with the intention of robbery.

Sources said the deceased, Shimla Devi, was staying alone, and her murder came to light today morning.

Her neighbours informed her relatives. The victim’s nephews reached there and entered into the house after scaling a wall. They found her body in a locked room and she seemed to have died of strangulation. Her gold earrings were missing, which points out to a possibility of robbery being the motive behind her murder.

Police officials rushed to the crime scene. Ajaib Singh of the village said he had gone to Shimla Devi’s home on July 29, to repair a water tap. He said Lakha Singh was also present at her home and was offering ‘kheer’ to her. He said he too consumed ‘kheer’ at that time and felt sleepy on reaching home and soon fell unconscious. On the basis of suspicion, when the police tried to round up Lakha Singh he got admitted in a hospital. A case has been registered.


6 held under child marriage Act

Ropar, July 31
Family members and husband and in-laws of 15-year girl from a poor family were today arrested under the child marriage Act during the marriage function at a gurdwara in Kurali here.

The incident took place at about 11 am today when the police personnel from Sadar Police Station on a tip off, reached Hargobind Sahib Gurdwara and found that the bride and the groom were both under age.

The police arrested six persons, including the girl’s mother Surjit Kaur, brother Gurmeet Singh, and a relative Preet Kaur, 20-year-old groom Parvinder Singh, a resident of Bideshi Kalna in Fatehgarh Sahib, his father Gurnam Singh and Viloshan Shauri.

Gurmeet Singh, a brother of the girl, said that he was unemployed and the family had sold its land to get the girl married. His sister had studied till Class VIII. “We decided to get Supinder Kaur married as we have been facing financial crisis. We could not resist when a proposal of marriage came from a family from Fatehgarh Sahib.” He claimed that his family was not aware of the legal troubles they had to face. TNS


Four held on forgery charge
Tribune News Service

Kharar, July 31
Four Mohali residents have been arrested by the Kharar police on the charges of cheating and forgery. A Kharar resident, Mr Didar Singh, working with the Punjab State Electricity Board in Sangrur had alleged that the accused, his relatives had “fraudulently grabbed” his land, measuring more than 4 kanals, costing Rs 30 lakh in Sante Majra village, after “drugging” him.

On his complaint, a case has been registered against his nephew Amarjeet Singh, Amarjeet’s wife Surinder Kaur, both of Sector 70, here, Amarjeet’s father-in-law Swaran Singh and friend Vijay Kumar of Phase VI here.

Mr Didar Singh had complained to the Ropar SSP that on March 5, 2005, the accused had brought him in their car in an inebriated state from Sherpur in Sangrur, where he was serving as an assistant lineman. They had offered him more liquor laced some intoxicant.

The accused then allegedly made him sign papers and got his land transferred to their name.


Seminar on education
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 31
The newly formed Rotary Club Of Fatehgarh Sahib in collaboration with Rotary Club, Patiala Greater, today organised a district level seminar on “ Excellence in service, literacy and education” at Mata Gujri College hall. Representatives of more than 72 Rotary Clubsfalling in Rotary District 3090 attended the seminar.

Mr S.K.Ahluwalia, Commissioner Patiala Corporation, was the chief guest, where as Mr. Harbans Pathak, Rotary Governor presided over the function. Psychologist Dr. D.R. Vij delivered key note address, while Principal Gurnam Singh Walia also spoke.

In his address Dr. Vij said that education did not mean getting only degrees rather empowering the people, so that we should convert our liabilities into assets and create social empowerment. He stressed the need educate ourselves only then we could educate the others.

Dr. Gurmohan Singh Walia, in his address, said that education was an investment for the future of the nation. He said that all our saints, scholars and teachers have not only given us the concept of education and also stressed the need for education. He appreciated the efforts of Rotary for working in this field.

Mr. S.K.Ahluwalia, called upon the social organisations to come forward so as to root out social evils from the society. He said the Govt. alone could not achieve anything. He advocated the concept of service above self.

Mr. Harbans Pathak, District Governor in his address highlighted the areas in which the Rotary would work in the current year. He stressed the need for providing education, opening of libraries and adopting poor children for imparting education. He said that in changing scenario the Rotary would be given a new look.

Mr. Surjit Singh Sahi, president of host club said that Rotary Club Fatehgarh Sahib would adopt three villages to achieve 100 per cent literacy and educate people to come forward against social evils.

Mr. Bhupinder Singh Jaggi, DGN, Ramesh Rana DGE 3070, and Dr. Dharminder Singh Ubha also addressed.


National seminar on mergers
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, July 31
The Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes, in collaboration with the Punjab Commerce and Management Association (PCMA) organised the 4th National Seminar on “Mergers and acquisitions in India” today at Desh Bhagat Institute of Management and Computer Sciences. The seminar was organised to impart the skills required by managers for the merger and acquisition. The seminar was attended by professionals of the industry, academicians and students.

Ms Jaspreet Kaur Talwar, Deputy Commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib, inaugurated the seminar. She lauded the efforts of the institute for organising the seminar in this district. She released a souvenir. Dr H. P. Mathur, Professor, Business Management, Banaras Hindu University, was the keynote speaker.

The seminar comprised two technical sessions. The first technical session was headed by Dr R. K. Mittal, Head, Business Manage-ment Department, Kuru-kshetra University, along with Dr Narinder Singh, Reader, Kurukshetra University. The second technical session was headed by Dr Kamal Ghosh, Professor, Indian Institute of Law Management (IILM), New Delhi, and Dr A. K. Vishisht, Professor, University Business School. The valedictory note was given by Dr S. P. Singh, Professor, University Business School, Mr J. P. Singh, President, Steel Chamber, was the guest of honour of valedictory function. Chaudhary Satya Parkash, founder President of GPS was also present.

Dr Zora Singh, Chairman, Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes, welcomed the guests. Dr Prem Kumar, President, Punjab Commerce and Management Association emphasised mergers which was one of the greatest strategic tools for the Indian Industrial Corporate Growth. He also said such type of seminars provided a valuable platform for the academicians. Ms Shalini Gupta, Director of the institute, gave the valedictory address.


Students trained in home science
Our Correspondent

Abohar, July 31
Students at Gopi Chand Arya Mahila College here are getting free of charge training during the Handicrafts Week being observed for the first time to explore talent in home science. The college building has recently been renovated, and it wears a pleasing look now.

College Principal Dr Achla Kant said yesterday that the students had shown keen interest in pot, candle and flower making and glass and tiles painting. They were trained in gel candle making today by Ms Manisha Goyal. Efforts were also being made to develop interest among students for better environment with the plantation of rare ornamental and shady saplings. The purpose behind observing the Handicrafts Week was not only confined to make the students commanding in household affairs but also try to be self dependent by entering into marketing of handicrafts. Training would conclude on August 3.

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