P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Violence domain of Akalis: Amarinder
Govt trying to zero in on cause of cancer in Malwa
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, September 22
Denying that the battle of ballots in the state was going Bihar way, the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, said violence was the domain of Akalis and they had always been “aggressive and vicious” towards the Congress workers. The CM said this while answering a query on violent clashes between SAD and Congress workers in the recent civic polls while addressing a press conference here today.

The Chief Minister was in the town to inaugurate rural sports fair that was held as a part of Baba Sheikh Farid Aagman Purab.

On escalating cancer cases in Malwa region, Capt Amarinder Singh said the government had been receiving conflicting reports on the matter and right now its priority was to zero in on the exact reason behind the rising incidence of cancer in areas like Talwandi Sabo and Gidderbaha.

He denied any intention to take up state’s issues with the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, during his tomorrow’s Ludhiana visit stating that the PM had a fixed programme. Accusing the previous SAD regime of “neglecting” ex-servicemen and kin of Kargil martyrs, he said the Congress government had increased award money for gallantry awards, besides providing jobs and pensions to the family members of martyrs. He said the state government had spent Rs 4.5 crore on extending amenities to them. This figure has reached Rs 7.5 crore in the current year, while Rs 7 crore would be spent for the welfare of martyrs’ families next year.

He said his government would soon implement 85th amendment in the state paving the way for various amenities to Scheduled Castes on the pattern of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra.

Continuing with his endeavour to strengthen relations with Pakistan’s Punjab, the Chief Minister said Indo-Pak Punjab games would be held in Pakistan on December 21-27, in which 400 players from India would participate. He said he would be visiting Pakistan in the third week of October for installation of Guru Granth Sahib’s palanquin at Nankana Sahib and again during the Indo-Pak games in December.

Highlighting the ongoing development works, he said the repair work of 22,000-km link roads out of the total of 42,000 km and 3,500 km state highways out of total 7,300 km would be carried out till the end of this year. He said work on sewerage disposal and drinking water in all cities of the state was also in progress.

Addressing a gathering after declaring rural sports fair open, the Chief Minister said the construction work at the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences would begin in the next financial year. He also assured the filling up of vacant posts of doctors and nurses at the Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital. He announced setting up of a de-addiction institute on the medical college premises. He handed over a cheque for Rs 20 lakh to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Alok Shekhar, for the same. He also announced a grant of Rs 1 crore for development works in the city.

Earlier, the Chief Minister paid obeisance at Chilla Baba Farid, where he was presented a “siropa”. He also inaugurated a war memorial, which has names of 51 martyrs belonging to the district inscribed on it, besides laying the foundation stone of Bal Bhavan.

Chief Parliamentary Secretary Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, Punjab Cooperative Minister Jasjeet Singh Randhawa, state Youth Congress chief Raminder Awla, Congress leaders Karan Brar, Avtar Singh Brar, MLA Nathu Ram, DC Mr Alok Shekhar and SSP Mr MF Farooqui were also present.


Transfer of Chandigarh tops list of demands for PM
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
Punjab has kept an exhaustive list of demands ready for the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, who will be arriving here tomorrow on a two-day visit to Punjab and Chandigarh. The list has a mix of political and financial demands besides those relating to development projects.

Informed sources say that the officers concerned have dug up files on major projects which have been hanging fire for the past several months or years. The Union Government has a crucial role to play in the clearance or implementation of the projects.

The sources say the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, will raise the political demands during his one-to-one meeting with the Prime Minister. At the top of the agenda of the Chief Minister is the transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab. The sources say that the Chief Minister will not raise such an issue in the presence of others for certain reasons. “It will be ill-mannered to raise political issues with the Prime Minister in the presence of either officers or publicmen. The best way is to talk to the Prime Minister on the issues at the one-to-one meeting to avoid any embarrassment to him(PM)”, said a senior officer.

What has caused concern in the Punjab Government is a recent statement of the BJP leader, Mrs Sushma Swaraj, with regard to granting the status of a state to Chandigarh, for the transfer of which Punjab has been fighting for four decades. Now certain members of the Advisory Committee of the Union Home Ministry from Chandigarh have decided to raise the issue of granting that status at a meeting of the committee on September 26 in Delhi.

Another important issue is starting of the bus service between Nankana Sahib (Pakistan) and Amritsar. The sources say the Pakistan Government is not agreeing to run the bus service up to Nankana Sahib. It is only inclined to run it up to Lahore and that too after the completion of many formalities.

At the moment the starting of the bus service has hit a roadblock. Capt Amarinder Singh the sources say, wants the Prime Minister to intervene to get the bus service started at the earliest up to Nankana Sahib. Obviously, if the Punjab Government succeeds in this regard, the political advantage to the ruling party would be huge in the coming Assembly elections.

Besides seeking the setting up of a gas-based 1,000 MW thermal power plant near Doraha, Dr Manmohan Singh will be requested to extend the Kolkata-Delhi railway corridor to Amritsar. Such a corridor will not only ensure the fast movement of foodgrains from Punjab to deficit states but also improve the frequency of rail traffic from Delhi to Amritsar.

The state government will also take up the extension of the quadrilateral superhighway from Delhi to Amritsar and the Wagah border.

Under the super-highway project, Delhi is to be linked to four major metropolises in the North, the South, the East and the West. Punjab has a four-lane highway from the Shambu border, near Ambala, to Jalandhar via Sirhind, Khanna and Ludhiana. Amritsar, the city of the Golden Temple, which has emerged as one the most visited places in the world, is only linked through a single-lane road from Jalandhar. The promise made several times by the Union Government to link Amritsar to Jalandhar by a highway has not been fulfilled.

As far as the gas-based power plant is concerned, the Punjab Government will request the Prime Minister to direct Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) to set up such a plant. Of late, GAIL has been making huge investments in gas-based plants in various parts of the country. Capt Amarinder Singh, wants the state to be linked to the national gas grid. Punjab is, perhaps, the only state in the plains in North India that is not linked to the grid.

The Punjab Government will also ask the Prime Minister to meet the recurring costs on Beant Singh Memorial Medical Institute in Jalandhar. The institute is ready. Its annual operational cost will be around Rs 50 crore.


PM’s visit raises expectations
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, September 22
The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, is visiting Ludhiana and Chandigarh on September 23 and 24 and industry and trade of Punjab expect some important announcements.

The Prime Minister’s visits to Punjab have been few and far between ever since he assumed office. He visited Amritsar last year in September to participate in the 400th year celebrations of installation of Guru Granth Sahib and made some important announcements for the state. The announcements have since been implemented.

The visit of Dr Manmohan Singh to Ludhiana, the capital of small industries of Punjab, has special significance for the industry.

The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, is expected to brief the Prime Minister about the needs of the industry of Punjab as the state’s industrial development has suffered due to the package announced by the NDA Government for the neighbouring states of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttaranchal.

Following the package for these states, a number of industrial units from Ludhiana, Mandi Gobindgarh and other places have moved to Baddi, Chamba and Parwanoo.

In fact Punjab needs a package on similar lines to give a boost to industrial development. There is no doubt that there is much talk on IT revolution in Punjab particularly at Mohali, but the real hub of the industry is at Ludhiana Mandi Gobindgarh, Jalandhar, Rajpura and Amritsar which need concessions.

It will not be out of place to mention here that even states like Orissa are attracting Punjab industrialists. A steel magnate of Ludhiana is setting up a mega steel plant in Orissa. Ludhiana’s bicycle industry has suffered because of labour problem which has been taking an ugly turn during the past two years. Bicycle industry of Ludhiana is the mainstay of Ludhiana as more than 80 per cent needs are met by Ludhiana alone.

Mr Inderjit Singh Pradhan, president, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings, Ludhiana, has called upon the Prime Minister to fulfil his promises for industrial development of Ludhiana which he had made during his visit to Ludhiana during the Lok Sabha poll.


Dheer not connected with rape offence, says DGP
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 22
The Director General of Police (DGP), Punjab, Mr S.S. Virk, today informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that it was clear that Indian Express reporter Gautam Dheer was “in no way connected with the offence of rape registered in 2003 or with any other offence during the intervening period”.

In his opinion, which was submitted to the Bench of Mr Justice Amar Dutt and Mrs Justice Kiran Anand Lall through Advocate-General, Punjab, Rajinder Singh Cheema, Mr Virk has suggested that Dheer’s case should be delinked from the main case and it could be entrusted to a senior police officer, who could “also go into the details of the manner in which his arrest was affected”.

Another suggestion by the DGP, which, if accepted, could translate into a major change in the working of the Special Investigating Team (SIT) probing the Naya Gaon rape case, is that SIT probe be supervised by the ADGP (Crime).

It may be recalled that on September 20, the Bench had sought the opinion of the DGP on the issue of delinking of Dheer’s case from the rape case. The two-page communication constituting the opinion also raises questions on the manner of Dheer’s arrest.

“At the most, Gautam Dheer is guilty of threatening the witness on telephone. But, that threat even after a gap of 23 days remained a threat only and no other overt action is attributed to him. If the threat was so serious, he should have been picked up as soon as possible after he made the call and there was no need to wait till 28th”, the DGP has stated.

In the FIR, SIT has alleged that Dheer made the phone call on August 5. But, he was arrested on August 28, the day on which a news item filed by Dheer containing accusations against SIT appeared in the newspaper. Mr Virk has also pointed to this fact.

Mr Virk has opined, “Such hasty arrest was not justified and runs contrary to the guidelines issued from time to time. It is necessary that the investigation should not only be objective but should also seem to be objective.”

Saying that the arrest of Dheer on the evening of August 28 created a situation which invited unnecessary criticism and serious charges of personal vendetta against SIT “inspite of some good work done by it”, the DGP has added that “as the offence of Dheer is limited at the most to giving of threat or even being financially involved, it is my considered opinion that this case should be delinked from the offence of rape and the subsequent investigation during the past two years”.

Mr Virk has also suggested that in case a cognisable offence is made out against Dheer, a separate FIR can be registered and investigated. “In case there is no evidence on any count, the charge can be dropped,” he has suggested.

After taking the DGP’s opinion on record, the Bench adjourned the matter to September 27, directing that copies of police chief’s communication be provided to all the parties.


Underweight LPG cylinders in supply
Delivery boys use gadgets to pilfer gas
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 22
‘Underweight’ cooking gas cylinders are allegedly reaching doorsteps of 80 per cent of consumers due to pilferage of gas effected between LPG dealers’ godowns and consumers’ end by unscrupulous elements by using sophisticated gadgets.

With help of gadgets LPG is taken out and transferred from one cylinder to other cylinder with ease, and, a new seal can also be fix once again to make the underweight cylinder look as sealed one by the gas company, highly-placed trade sources, revealed.

On an average, one kilogram of gas was pilfered from almost every one of 80 per cent cylinders supplied to consumers, and if it was so, it means that weight of gas from each domestic gas cylinder was reduced from 14.2 kilograms to about 13.2 kilograms. If every gas cylinder was made lighter by one kilogram, this would mean that every one 80 per cent consumers of the state was being left poorer by Rs 21 on every cylinder received by him or her.

Fed up with consumers complaints about underweight cylinders on one hand and facing heat from oil companies in the wake of ex-godown detection of underweight cylinders, mostly on the way or at the end of consumers, the Punjab unit of the All-India LPG Distributors Federation (NWR), has urged all major companies to change ongoing gas delivery system.

Led by Mrs Harsimarjit Kaur, LPG distributors of Punjab and members of the Punjab Chapter of the Federation has conveyed it to all major all companies, including the Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and the HP, that improvement in the system could only be achieved by eliminating delivery staff and by ensuring measure of correct weight of cylinders as these are off-loaded by contracted truck operators at doorsteps of LPG godowns.

“The distribution staff, according to the federation, was the “weakest link” in the existing delivery chain, which, starts from bottling plant and ends at doorsteps of the consumer. The federation feels that ‘despite best efforts by distributors, the delivery men, at times, do not supply correct weight cylinders to consumers and as a result of this the onus of supplying underweight cylinders is shifted to the distributors, while, the delivery staff go scot free.’

“All distributors of Punjab are the opinion that present delivery system should be changed so that consumers get products with correct weight and rate. As a remedial measure, we, have suggested an alternative way by which, we have ask oil companies and district administrators to set up nodal points at a distance of one km from each other in residential areas of various cities and townships, from where consumers could collect their refills after booking with their respective agencies. If the authorities do not agree to our proposal then the onus of responsibility of supplying underweight cylinders should lie on the delivery staff. Our this demand is also lying pending with the Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry,” said Ms Harsimarjit Kaur.

She said by adopting the suggested method, the diversion of subsidised domestic cylinders for commercial use could also be checked.

Trade sources revealed that not all of them, but, a large number of members of the LPG delivery staff use a modus operandi, wherein, a kilogram of gas from each cylinder, to be delivered to a consumer, was taken out and shifted in other cylinders after tearing company seals. These company seals are replaced by look alike “company seals”, which, were affixed on cylinders with the help of a machine available in the market.

“Why distributors, which, were freedom fighters, war widows, eminent sports persons, unemployed graduates and other respectable members of society should take the blame, when the mischief is done by some other quarter. We want that consumer should get full value of his money and suggested measures were to ensure that,” said Ms Harsimarjit Kaur.


Heavy rain inundates streets, homes
Child dies in Bathinda house collapse
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 22
Heavy rainfall today lashed the city, claiming the life of a child in a house collapse and throwing normal life out of gear. Scores of houses were submerged in various localities, compelling people to move to safer places.

Strong winds accompanying rainfall led to a house collapse in which 10-year-old Suraj was killed, while his mother Rajkumari sustained serious injuries.

Houses in low-lying areas near Dhobiana Basti were submerged. About 40 families were forced to bring out their household goods to road. Rainwater also made way into small government quarters and their residents had to keep their goods in the open.

People came out of their submerged houses in Kamla Nehru Colony and Bharat Nagar. The entire court complex and Civil Lines police station were inundated.

Traffic came to a standstill on the Power House road, while Sirki Bazar had four feet water.

Mr Amrit Lal, a resident of LIG flats in Housing Board Colony, rued that 2.5 feet rainwater had collected inside their houses and there was no proper arrangement for disposal of water in their colony. He said they were disposing of water since the morning. Jaswant Singh of Sarabha Nagar too had a similar complaint.

Erratic power supply added to the woes of the city residents, as motors to drain out water could not function. Rainwater entered into houses at localities like Veer Colony, Vishal Nagar, Ganesh Basti, Harpal Nagar, Power House Road, Housing Board Colony and Shant Nagar.

Stagnant water hampered traffic on the Mall Road, Amrik Singh Road, Goniana Road, and Bibiwala Road.

Two-wheeler riders had a tough time wading through water and they had to get down for the same.

Localities in the trans-railway area were also submerged in two feet water. Walls of a house collapsed in Awa Basti as its newly laid sewerage gave way in just three days.

An outer wall of DAV College also collapsed.

Schools and government offices recorded low attendance today, as people were unable to move out due to inundated streets. Reports of falling of trees were also received from various parts of the city.


Followers of Dera Sacha Sauda protest against CBI ‘high-handedness’
Tribune Reporters

Sangrur, September 22
Alleging that the CBI was trying to implicate Sant Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and members of the Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa, in false cases, followers of the dera today took out a protest march in the town and later held a rally in front of the district administrative complex here.

A deputation of the followers of the dera, led by Mr Ram Singh, a member of 10-member committee of the Dera Sacha Sauda, Punjab, later submitted a memorandum to the Assistant Commissioner (General) here to forward the same to the Punjab Chief Minister.

Some leaders of different political parties also attended the rally. However, the organisers did not give them time to address the rally. Among the leaders who were present at the protest rally included Mr Gobind Singh Kanjhla, Mr Gobind Singh Longowal, Mr Malkeet Singh Keetu, Mr Surjit Singh Dhiman, all MLAs from Sangrur district; Mr Parkash Chand Garg, national vice-president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD); Mr Ranjit Singh Balian, former Punjab minister; Mr Rajinder Deepa and Ms Harchand Kaur Ghanauri, both leaders of the Congress party from the district.

Addressing the rally, Mr Ram Singh said the CBI was making a false propaganda against the dera on the basis of an anonymous letter. He said the conspirators thought to involve the dera in murder cases of a journalist, Ram Chander Chhattarpati, and Ranjeet Singh, a follower of the dera. He said the followers of the dera were against violence and also wanted capital punishment for the killers of Chhattarpati.

Mr Ram Singh also alleged that though the CBI was a responsible agency, but some of its officers were now doing “wrong deeds to defame the dera. He said if the CBI wanted to investigate the cases with honesty, they should cooperate the CBI. but they would not tolerate the “wrong doings” of the CBI.

Other speakers, including Ms Narinderjit Kaur from Bhadaur, Mr Taranjit Singh from Sangrur and Mr Bhushan Garg from Dhuri also warned the government that if they did not get justice, the followers of the dera would be compelled to intensify their struggle to get justice.

Yamunanagar: More than 6,000 members belonging to the dera today took out a rally in the twin townships of Jagadhri and Yamunanagar and later submitted copies of memorandum to the Chief Minister, Governor, President, Prime Minister and others through the SDM office here.

The members demanded that the investigations should be impartial and no member of the management should be unnecessarily harassed.

The members alleged that CBI officials were harassing volunteers on the pretext of investigations. They also alleged that efforts were on to implicate their head, Sant Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh.

The rally, which started from Military Grounds, Jagadhri ended at the civil secretariat before passing through several places in the two townships. The rally was headed by Mr Sudagar Singh, a member of 10-member committee of the dera for Haryana. He said that it has been three years since the CBI started investigations but till date it has not been able to trace out the anonymous complainant.

KAITHAL: Thousands of followers of Sant Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh organised a procession in the town here today to protest against the alleged highhandedness of the investigation team of the CBI.

The protestors marched to the Mini-Secretariat and submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr B.S.Malik, to be forwarded to the Chief Minister, Haryana, in which a demand has been made to reign in the CBI officials who were allegedly trying to implicate dera head and his followers in false cases

The memorandum, which was signed by members of a 10-member committee constituted for this purpose, has served a warning that if the CBI continued its tirade against the dera head and his followers, they would be forced to intensify their agitation and the government would be responsible for the consequences.


Attack on NRI: police ‘delaying’ arrest of accused
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, September 22
A fugitive wanted in many criminal cases by the United States of America is living in Begowal village of Kapurthala district and was one of the accused who attacked Mr Surjit Singh (65) an NRI from USA on September 2 on the Nadala-Begowal road here. Mr Charanjeet Singh, a son of Mr Surjit Singh, who reached here from the USA to see his father, allegedly blamed the local police for delaying the arrest of the accused here today.

Producing a Xerox copy of a Presentence Investigation Report of the United States District Courts, Eastern District of California Mr Charanjit Singh further alleged that accused Davinder Singh alias Shera wanted to eliminate his father as he had a land dispute in the village with his father and his father threatened him to disclose his alleged criminal record to the police. To suppress evidence of his criminal past Davinder Singh tried to kill my father, alleged Mr Charanjeet Singh.

Though Narinder Singh alias Pintoo, a brother of Davinder Singh was in a US jail for crimes perpetrated with his brother the accused fled the states, alleged Mr Charanjeet Singh.

Due to political influence of the accused the police is delaying the action, said Mr Charanjit Singh blaming the police.

Mr Surjit Singh, who is a builder in America, is building a charitable hospital in Begowal village on the Nadala Road, was attacked by some people when he was leaving site of the hospital. The attackers fled the spot after the labourers present on the site reached to save him. Later an FIR was lodged by Mr Surjit Singh accusing Mr Davinder Singh alias Shera and Mr Kuldeep Singh Babbu residents of Begowal village of the attack. It was alleged that the attackers robbed Mr Surjit Singh of Rs 80000, his mobile phone and wrist watch also.

In report to the police Mr Surjit Singh alleged that Davinder Singh wanted to eliminate him because he had a land dispute in the village. Meanwhile Mr Davinder Singh denying all allegations said he was ready to face any investigation in the allegations levelled by Mr Charanjeet Singh against him and blamed that as his wife was a Congress candidate in the Nagar Panchayat elections he was named as accused in the report lodged with the police regarding the attack on Mr Surjit Singh to take political mileage as the victim was a supporter of the Akali Dal.

Mr Rajiv Ahir, SSP, Kapurthala said Mr Amrik Singh Powar, DSP, Bholath was investigating the case of attempt to murder on NRI Surjit Singh but the police had no information regarding criminal record of accused in the USA.


Duped youths land in Moscow jails
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, September 22
Duped by fake travel agents, two Punjabi youths have landed in Moscow jails.

They were assured by the agents that they would be sent to Italy, but they were sent to Moscow, where they were nabbed by the police.

The Patti police has booked three travel agents. A case under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered.

The police said the accused had been identified as Harjit Singh of Chhehrata, Kashmir Singh of Chohla Sahib and Gurwinder Singh of Ratta Gudda.

Mr Ajmer Singh of Bangla Rai village in his complaint to the police had alleged that the fake travel agents had taken Rs 7 lakh to send his son and the son of Mr Gurcharan Singh of the same village to Italy, but the travel agents sent their sons to Moscow, where they were nabbed by the police and put in jail.


Cong woos SCs, blasts SAD
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 22
It is only during the Congress rule that Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have got respect and various welfare schemes were initiated for them, said Dr Harbans Lal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, at Dalit Chetna function in Sirhind today.

The Congress has always cared for them and protected their rights, where as the SAD government always ignored them, he alleged.

The function was organised by the SC and ST cell of the PPCC under the chairmanship of Mr Mohinder Singh Kalyan, former MP.

Dr Lal said there was a time when SC and ST sections of society were considered as second-class citizens and were not allowed to go to places of worship.

He said that it was the Congress which gave them the status of equality through the Indian Constitution, Dr Lal added that these parties were not interested in their welfare rather wanted to misguide them.

He criticised Mayawati and alleged that in name of Dalits, she has collected millions of rupees and other unaccountable valuable goods.

Mr Mohinder Singh Kalyan, former MP and Chairman of the SC and ST Cell of the PPCC, said that he had submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh and also to the PPCC president, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, in which he had urged them to concede to various demands related to SCs and STs.

The demands were to stop the BPL survey in urban areas, to provide free electricity to Dalits, to activate leather corporation etc.


Charge sheet filed against cop’s kin
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
The Punjab Police has presented a charge sheet against five persons, including four relatives of a senior Punjab police officer and a Moga-based advocate.

Among those charge-sheeted in the court of Mr Jaspinder Singh, Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Barnala, are the cop’s mother Surinder Kaur, wife Deepinder Kaur Sandhu, maternal uncle Gurtej Singh Gill, cousin Hareet Singh and advocate Satinder Sharma.

They have been charge-sheeted for their role in a case of forgery of a will and power of attorney. Incidentally, the case had hit the headlines after the police failed to arrest any of them even after the registration of an FIR in 2003 and denial of anticipatory bail to them by the Barnala Additional Sessions Judge. The complainant, Mrs Manpreet Kant, a resident of Gurgaon, had charged the Barnala Police with not arresting the accused inspite of the fact that the Forensic Laboratory at Chandigarh had concluded that her signatures had been forged.

In the FIR, Mrs Kant had stated that she and accused Hareet Singh were sister and brother. She said their mother Narinder Kaur died on May 5, 2001, and left properties worth crores of rupees to be shared equally by her and her brother on account of natural succession.

However, her brother allegedly hatched a criminal conspiracy with Mr Gurtej Singh, Ms Surinder Kaur Sandhu, Ms Deepinder Kaur and Mr Satinder Sharma to grab her share of the property. They allegedly forged and fabricated a will purportedly executed by her mother giving the entire property to her brother. She further alleged in the FIR that Mr Satinder Sharma, an advocate from Moga, appeared in the court of the SDM, Barnala, and filed a forged and fabricated power of attorney purporting to have been given by her (Mrs Kant) in his favour.

On the basis of this misinformation, the mutation had been sanctioned by the Barnala SDM, she added.

Following the charge-sheet, the accused have been ordered to be tried for the offence. The trial will commence on November 23.


Bus stand planned at Sujanpur
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 22
Sujanpur in Gurdaspur district which acts as a gateway to Punjab from Jammu and Kashmir will have a bus stand. A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting held under the chairmanship of Mr Raghunath Sahai Puri, Minister for Housing and Urban Development, held at the PUDA Bhawan here today.

According to a press note issued by the authority, the construction of a bus stand on the national highway at Sujanpur by PUDA would be undertaken shortly. Besides this the new bus stand at Jagraon would be made operational from October 1, 2005.

A spokesperson said in order to promote public conveniences and bring all district administration offices under one roof, a new district administrative complex would be constructed at Gurdaspur.

Mr Mohinder Singh Kaypee, Transport Minister, Punjab, Mr A.R. Talwar, Secretary, Transport, Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, Secretary, Housing and Urban Development, Mr A.S. Chhatwal, Chief Administrator, PUDA, Mr Iqbal Singh Sidhu, State Transport Commissioner and Mr Rakesh Verma, Director, Transport were among those present at the meeting.


Work on deep tubewell begins
Our Correspondent

Kharar, September 22
Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Minister for Animal Husbandry, Punjab, inaugurated the work of boring a deep tubewell at Kansal village, near here, today.

Mr Kang said in order to provide adequate water to the village, a Nabard-assisted project was being executed at a cost of Rs 31.63 lakh. Under the project, a deep bore tubewell and a water-storage tank would be constructed. He said the project would be completed within six months and with the commissioning of the tubewell, daily requirement of 2,79,020 litres of water would be met for the next 15 years.

Later, Mr Kang took a round of the ongoing work at the Nada bridge being constructed on the Patiala ki Rao rivulet.

He announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh for civil veterinary dispensary, Rs 30,000 for the PSEB complaint centre at Nayagaon and Rs 1 lakh for the construction of a boundary wall around the cremation at Kansal village.


Army observes ‘Dograi Day’
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 22
The Army today observed “Dograi Day “ to commemorate the battle of Dograi which was fought in the Indo-Pak war of 1965.

The solemn ceremony was observed at the Dograi memorial located at New Amritsar military station.


Paddy lifting arrangements complete: DM
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 22
Though there is no official intimation about the start of procurement of paddy by government agencies, yet all arrangements for the smooth procurement of paddy in the district have been completed, said Ms Sweety Devgan, District Food and Supply Officer.

She said the staff from the department and other procurement agencies had been posted in all purchase centres and the required quantity of gunny bags had been arranged. The department had also made arrangement for the lifting and storage of paddy. All labour and transport contracts had been completed. The meetings with Mandi Board officials and officials of different procurement agencies in this regard were held by Capt Vij, DFSC.

Meanwhile, Mrs Jaspreet Talwar, District Magistrate, has issued ban orders on the plying of harvesting combines and burning of paddy straw under section 144 IPC. The District Magistrate has banned the harvesting of paddy through combines from 8PM to 7AM, so that the moisturised paddy is not harvested. She has warned that if any one found violating the prohibitory orders will be booked. She has urged farmers to bring only dry and clean paddy to mandis, so that it can be purchased immediately.


28 buildings face MC axe
Anuradha Shukla

Jalandhar, September 22
The Jalandhar Municipal Corporation will demolish 28 unsafe buildings in the city. As per a survey conducted by the corporation, 65 buildings have been identified as unsafe and they have been further specified on the basis of their physical position, safe or unsafe. Notices will be sent to the owners of the buildings within 15 days. The survey was conducted in the Old City area.

The MC has categorised 37 buildings as safe but which require repair work. These safe buildings have been described as either having tilted or damaged or both as per the report of the MC.

The MC’s axe will fall on the remaining 28 buildings, which have been declared unsafe and no repair work can be undertaken for these buildings.

The physical condition of these buildings has also been described and details included regarding the specific damage to some of the buildings.

The unsafe buildings, mostly residential houses, are in Thapran Mohalla, Chowk Nanak Chand, Modia Mohalla, Mitha Bazar, Malkan Mohalla, Bazar Charat Singh, Mahindru Mohalla, Mai Hiran Gate, Krishan Nagar, Mohalla Gobind Garh, premises near Punjab Machinery Store whose owner is not known, Old Railway Road whose court case is with the tenant, Saidan Gate, Mohalla Kahlowali, a portion of which has already fallen, barring one wall, Rasta Mohalla., Purian Mohalla in Bohr Wala Chawk, Panj Peer Bazaar, Khingran Gate, Sehgal Mohalla, Dhan Mohalla.

The buildings identified by the MC for repair work are in Chowk Nanak Chand, Ram Malkan Mohalla, Malkan Chowk, Saidan Chowk, Chowk Kadian Shah, Mohalla Kahlowali, Rasta Mohalla, Mohalla Kot Pakshian and Central Town areas of the city.


PSEB SDO suspended
Tribune News Service

Hoshiarpur, September 22
Taking serious note of the 10-day-long protest by members of different industrialists’ associations against a Subdivisional Officer (SDO), the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) today placed the erring officer under suspension.

Mr Y.S. Ratra, Chairman of the PSEB, today issued the suspension letter against Kulwinder Singh Dasonjh, SDO of Sub-Urban Division, Hoshiarpur Circle, who was accused of demanding woman and money from Mr Vishal Puri, proprietor of a rubber products manufacturing unit located at Nasrala village, near here. The SDO has allegedly placed the demands for the replacement of a power meter of the unit.

Members of different local industrial associations had been protesting against the SDO and had even given representations to the Punjab Chief Minister, the PSEB Chairman and the Member Secretary.


Two alleged kidnappers shot
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, September 22
The police killed two alleged kidnappers in an encounter that took place yesterday night on defence road near Madhopur. One of the kidnappers was arrested, while three others absconded.

Yesterday, a local contractor, Mr Raman Mahajan got a call from his former employee Bodh Raj who offered to felicitate his meeting with some persons who wanted to set up an industrial unit in the area. Bodh Raj offered him to get contract for the unit.

He called Raman to defence road. At about 9 pm, Raman reached at the decided destination. As soon as he came near the kidnappers, they forced him into their Ford Ikon car. One of the kidnappers drove Maruti car of Raman.

The kidnappers asked Raman to ask his father to pay them Rs 30 lakh as ransom. He rang up his uncle who further informed his father Sita Ram Majahan about the kidnapping. Mr Sita Ram contacted the SP Pathankot, Mr Manminder Singh, who informed the SSP, Gurdaspur, Mr Pramod Bhan.

The policemen along with Mr Sita Ram waited for a call from kidnappers that came soon. He asked the kidnappers to reduce the ransom amount expressing his inability to collect an amount of Rs 30 lakh immediately.

After repeated negotiations the amount was settled at Rs 5 lakh. The kidnappers asked Mr Sita Ram to come with the amount on a scooter at the defence road near Madhopur.

The police laid a trap on the decided place. As soon Mr Sita Ram handed over the bag containing cash to the kidnappers and when they tried to flee in the Maruti car of Raman. The police party hiding nearby challenged them and asked them to stop. This spread panic among the kidnappers.

They fired upon the police party. In the ensuing encounter two kidnappers were killed on the spot. The police managed to nab one of kidnappers who was later identified as, Ashwani Kumar, a resident of Kathua. The other three kidnappers escape.

When The Tribune team reached the spot today morning the bodies of two kidnappers identified as Vicky and Arun Messih, both residents of Kathua

The DIG border range, Mr HS Randhawa, said that all those involved in kidnapping had been identified on the basis of information provided by Ashwani Kumar, one of the kidnappers, who has been arrested.

The plan to kidnap Raman Mahajan was hatched by Bodh Raj, who was the leader of the gang. Bodh Raj used to work for Raman during the construction of Ranjit Sagar Dam. Bodh Raj also had a criminal background. A case has been registered against him at Kathua for trying to kill his brother-in-law.

Those who absconded yesterday night, besides, Bodh Raj, have been identified as Preet and Sonu. All the kidnappers belonged to Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir.

The DIG said further investigation into the case was going on. The police was trying to verify if any of kidnappers had links with terrorists. He also announced award for the police team that successfully carried out the operation.


BJP leader, six others booked in murder case
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 22
The Islamabad police today booked Ms Mansa Tiwari, secretary, BJP Mahila Mandal, with six other persons for allegedly killing Jagdish Bhargav, district secretary, Shiv Sena (Hindustan).

The body of deceased was found in the railway B-block colony here today. The other accused include Ashwani Kumar, Kapil Kumar, Prince, Sunny, Vishal and Sonu.

An ASI’s name is also being figured in the case. However, his name was not mentioned in the FIR. Mr Ajay Seth, a leader of the Shiv Sena (Hindustan) said they were filing supplementary letter to police official concerned, including the alleged accused police official’s name in the case.

It is pertinent to mention here that Mansa Tiwari had earlier lodged a complaint against Mr Ajay Seth and the deceased for allegedly harassing her after which Jagdish Bhargav was arrested by the police. Later, he was released on bail. Mr Ajay Seth alleged that Ms Tiwari used to threaten them.

Mr Gurjit Singh, SHO, Islamabad, police station, said that police teams were sent to arrest the accused and further investigations were on in this regard.

A case has been registered under Section 302 of the IPC. However, no arrest has been made so far.


4 held for making fake currency notes
Raj Sadosh

Abohar, September 22
Four persons, including a diploma holder in computer science, have been arrested for preparing and marketing fake currency notes.

The DSP, Mr Narinderpal Singh Waring, said today that the sub-divisional police conducted a raid at Jaitu yesterday and recovered a computer, scanner and printer etc from Prince Photo Studio. The culprits had been using the same to run the illicit business.

Mr Waring said Balwinder Singh, son of Natha Singh proprietor of Prince Photo Studio at Jaitu, Kulwinder Singh, son of Gurdev Singh resident of Kareerwala, and two residents of Sandhukhurd village near Phul in the Bathinda area identified as Happy Sharma, son of Dev Raj, and Parvinder Singh, son of Harbans Singh, were nabbed, on a tipoff, at a petrol filling station near Ramsara village here yesterday.

The police recovered 12 currency notes of Rs 100 which were found to be fake.

Interrogation indicated that Balwinder Singh was the kingpin of the gang that had already distributed 1,750 such notes in the neighbouring area of Rajasthan state.

They were now on their way to show samples of fresh notes, prepared at the Jaitu based photo studio, to a middleman in Hanumangarh but were caught by the police.


Hooch claims 3 lives
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 22
Three residents of a locality in this town, including a woman, have died in the past 48 hours under mysterious circumstances.

Though the police is awaiting the post-mortem reports of all three deceased for finding out the reason of the deaths, information gathered by the TNS revealed that they had died after consuming hooch, which was available freely in the locality in which they were residing.

The locality is incidentally located just behind the Sadar police station.

It was further revealed that Janak Raj, who was about 40, was taken to the Rajindra Hospital around noon yesterday after his condition deteriorated. He died within two hours.

The other two deceased identified as Gajjan Singh, an 80-year-old beggar and a woman, Veena Rani, aged 70, died late last night.

Both Gajjan Singh and Veena Rani were found dead under mysterious circumstances in their respective hutments.

It was found that an unknown person had been carrying out the trade of hooch. Yesterday, some persons took hooch from him.

The condition of a section of those who consumed hooch deteriorated within a few hours.

Mr Krishan Kant, SHO, City Police Station, said an action under Section 174 of Cr PC had been taken in connection with the death of these three persons.

He added that after the post-mortem reports were received, the police would proceed further.

He said that no smell of liquor or hooch was emanating from the bodies of the deceased. Neither it was being suspected that they had consumed poison to commit suicide.

The SHO pointed out that as the cremation of deceased had taken place today, the police did not conduct raids in the locality to find out any clue to know the reasons behind the death of the three persons.

He added that information was being worked upon and shortly mystery behind these deaths would be unravelled.


Man gets life imprisonment for murder
Tribune News Service

Phagwara, September 22
The District and Sessions Judge, Kapurthala, Mr Shyam Sunder Gupta, yesterday sentenced Sunil Kumar of Jharkhand to life imprisonment in a murder case.

According to prosecution, the accused Sunil Kumar, originally hailing from Jharkhand, had murdered Amrik Singh of Phagwara on March 30, 2005, following an altercation and scuffle.

Mr Lakhbir Singh, who had lodged a complaint on March 31, 2005 with the Rawalpindi police station, was running a tractor repair workshop near the Rawalpindi bus stand.

According to report, the deceased, Amrik Singh, a tractor mechanic and Sunil Kumar, a helper, were working in the workshop. In the ensuing altercation and scuffle, when they were about to leave the workshop at about, 5 p.m. Sunil Kumar inflicted serious injuries on Amrik Singh’s head with a hammer. During treatment at a hospital he succumbed to his injuries.

The Judge has also ordered him to deposit a fine of Rs 2,000 failing which he will have to undergo imprisonment for one month more.


Seven held for various crimes
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, September 22
The district police has arrested seven persons for their alleged involvement in different crimes.

In a press note issued here yesterday, Mr Kapil Dev, SSP, said Rajinder Kumar was arrested for stealing vehicles. One stolen Indica car was recovered from him. In another case, Ashok Kumar, Rajinder Kumar and Satpal Sharma, all local residents, were arrested for the smuggling of liquor. About 144 bottles of the IMFL were recovered from them.

Banjam Singh and Prem Singh were arrested for possessing 100 kg of lahan while 100 kg of lahan and two bottles of illegal liquor were recovered from Bakhtaur Singh. Mr Dev said cases were registered against all accused.


Parents resent double fee by PTU
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, September 22
Parents, whose wards have taken admission in the local Beant Singh College of Engineering and Technology, are ruing Punjab Technical University (PTU) decision to charge double fee for 1st semester from the students.

In a letter written to the Vice-Chancellor of the PTU, a copy of which was provided to The Tribune, the parents have alleged that their wards took admission in the college after first and second counselling organised by the university.

They deposited the dues of about Rs 45,000. Some seats were lying vacant in the college even after the second counselling. The college organised the direct counselling of those seats for which their wards also appeared. The counselling helped them opt for better streams.

However, despite the fact that their children changed streams in the same college they were forced to pay an additional fee of Rs 34,300 for the first semester. The other universities did not charge any additional fee from the students, who just changed their streams. By charging addition fee the college authorities forced them to pay about Rs 80,000 for the first semester and that was totally unjustified. The students had already suffered due to the bungling in the CET merit list, they alleged.

The Principal of the college justified the charging of the additional fee from the students who had changed streams. He said the students, who changed streams, appeared in direct counselling organised by the college. As per the university rules and conditions given in the advertisement, students who appear in the direct counselling are liable to pay fees once again.


Confused, varsity seeks reply over PUSC constitution
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 22
The Punjabi University authorities today decided to seek a written reply from student organisations regarding the constitution, leadership and structure of the Punjabi University Students Confederation (PUSC) to work out the modalities for participation in a public debate to be held in connection with the ongoing agitation on the campus and student’s issues.

Mr B.S. Sandhu, Director, Public Relations, Punjabi University, in a press note said the university authorities took this decision when they found themselves helpless in the face of increasing demands according to the whims of student leaders.

He said the student organisations under the banner of the PUSC had formally submitted a letter to the university authorities for participation in the public debate. After perusal of demand charters and memoranda submitted by the students, the university authorities were feeling confused.

On September 2, a demand charter was submitted by the Student Federation of India (SFI) and the Punjab Student Union (PSU) under the name of PUSC and contained only four demands. On September 5, the demand charter submitted to the Vice-Chancellor by the SFI, PSU, PRSU and PUSH contained six demands.

He said in other charter of demands, a number of student organisations did not take part and these things had been creating confusion. Hence, the university authorities had decided to seek the constitution of the PUSC.

Meanwhile, activists of the SFI on the call given by the PUSC held a gate rally in front of Mohindra College and meetings at various education institutions to prepare for tomorrow’s strike and the march towards New Moti Bagh Palace, the private residence of the Chief Minister.


Students end stir following assurance by management
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 22
The 40-day-long relay fast by the students, who were denied admission by the Academic Council of the college today ended when the management led by Mr Raj Mohinder Singh Majithia, Chancellor, Mr Charanjit Singh Chadda, Vice-President and Mr Bhag Singh Ankhi, former honorary secretary and member of the management respectively, with 15 other office-bearers and members assured support to the students.

After a stay order from a court against any protest, the students were sitting on fast outside 300 metres periphery of the college. The seven students who were blacklisted from the college also presented their case before the management members. They asked the students to withdraw their strike till the final judgment of Punjab and Haryana High Court where a petition was filed by protesting students reportedly against the college Principal and Academic Council for denial of admission.

Addressing the students, Mr Ankhi alleged that these students were last year used by a group of the management against the then Principal and this year they were also being used by another group and denied admission on several pretexts. He said that politics was tarnishing the century-old educational institute.

Mr Chadda said they would take up the issue of admission of the students at the meeting of the management on September 30.

The Students Welfare Association of the college urged the management members to hold an independent inquiry against the Principal for allegedly selling vacant seats after taking donations for the college, a charge that was refuted by Principal Dr Daljit Singh. The students claimed to have proofs in support of their claims. Mr Parampal Singh, a leader of the students appealed to the members not to allow the Principal to play with future of the students.


Students decry poor facilities, hold protest
Our Correspondent

Kharar, September 22
Students of Government Polytechnic, Khoonimajra, held a demonstration here today in protest against the failure of the government to provide adequate facilities at the institute. The students blocked the main gate of the institute in support of their demands.

The students said they had taken admission for diploma courses in a government-run institute thinking that it would have adequate infrastructure but there was a shortage of staff and no computer laboratory.

The students living in the hostel were also not satisfied with the facilities. Some protesters alleged that even though the institute had a generator set, it was not used during power shutdown.

The Principal said he had been taking up the problem with the higher authorities concerned from time to time. He said the generator set was used when it was needed by students for their work and not otherwise because of limited funds.


Scholarship for poor students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
Punjab Government College Retired Teachers Welfare Association has decided to give10 scholarship of Rs 500 each (one time) to deserving, poor students studying in degree/professional colleges of Punjab. Those desirous can apply on prescribed forms by October 10, 2005.

The forms are available with Prof B.K.Bhalla, House No. 1292, Sector 15-B or Prof S.P. Dhawan, 2280, Sector 35-C, Chandigarh.

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