P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Protest against delay in paddy procurement
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, October 11
Protesting against the non-procurement of paddy for the past several days in various grain markets and procurement centres of this district, farmers in large numbers today staged protest dharnas and blocked roads in various parts of the district. The local arhtiyas also staged a dharna against the non-procurement of paddy in the New Grain Market here.

On the Sangrur-Malerkotla road at Sangala village, near Bhasaur, the farmers blocked road for about two hours against the non-procurement of paddy for the past many days in the procurement centre.

Mr Megh Singh, a former Sarpanch of Sangali village, said the paddy of some farmers had not been procured by the agencies even more than 10 days after the arrival of the crop at the procurement centre. Ms Indu Malhotra, SDM, Malerkotla, told The Tribune that when she came to know that a road blockade was set up at Sangala village was brought to her notice, she sent the Tehsildar there, who got the blockade lifted. She said she also ordered the starting of procurement of paddy there.

She said about 3000 quintals of paddy had been procured at the Sangala-Sangali centre today.

A large number of farmers under the banner of BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) today blocked traffic for about two hours on the Sangrur-Delhi highway at Dirba village, about 26 km from here, to force the government agencies to procure their paddy.

The protesters were addressed, among others, by Mr Nath Singh Ubhian and Mr Darbara Singh Chhajla, district vice-president and treasurer, respectively of the BKU (Ugrahan); and Mr Dilbag Singh Harigarh, block president of the union.

The arhtiyas of the local New Grain Market, led by Mr Bhim Sain, president of the Sangrur Arhtiyas Association, today also staged a dharna in the Grain Market in support of the farmers’ demand, regarding early procurement of paddy. The arhtiyas said they were with the farmers and would continue supporting the farmers in this hour of crisis.

A number of farmers also blocked the Sangrur-Barnala highway at Badrukhan village against the non-procurement of paddy. They were addressed , among others, by Mr Gurjant Singh Mangwal, district president of the BKU (Rajewal); and Mr Malkiat Singh, a leader of farmers.

The farmers also blocked a road at Changal village, near Badrukhan, in protest against the non-procurement of paddy. They demanded immediate starting of paddy procurement to save the farmers from miseries and harassment. 


Give bonus to check distress sale: CPI

Sangrur, October 11
Dr Joginder Dayal, a member of the national executive of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and former secretary of Punjab CPI, today asked the Punjab Government to announce bonus to check distress sale of paddy in the grain markets this year.

Talking to The Tribune here today, Dr Dayal said the paddy growers of the state would lose crores of rupees this season by selling paddy at Rs 50 to Rs 60 less per quintal than the MSP.

Dr Dayal said the UPA chairperson, Ms Sonia Gandhi, and the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, were not taking concrete steps for the welfare of farmers.

Dr Dayal further said the Punjab Chief Minister should immediately convene an all- party meeting to check the distress sale of cotton. Besides, an all-party deputation should also meet the Prime Minister to ensure payment to the farmers as per the MSP of paddy and cotton.

Dr Dayal also asked the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) to buy from all 41 cotton markets of Punjab, instead of the 16 now as it had purchased only 8,000 cotton bales from the total 85,000 in the state. He also said Punjab was being discriminated against even in fixing the MSP. Cotton growers in Punjab were getting Rs 150 less as compared to the cotton growers of Maharashtra and Gujarat. — TNS


Minister asks FCI to speed up paddy purchase
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, October 11
Taking a serious notice of the slow pace of paddy procurement by the Food Corporation of India (FCI), Punjab Animal Husbandry Minister Jagmohan Kang has asked its officials to speed up paddy purchase.

In the city to preside over a meeting of the District Grievances Committee, the minister also told the Markfed and Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) officials to ensure that not even a single heap of cotton was sold below the MSP of Rs 1,835. Mr Kang visited the grain markets of Malout and Muktsar and heard grievances of farmers and arhtiyas. He assured the farmers that the government would not allow sale of paddy and cotton below the MSP. During the meeting, the minister said the food and civil supplies department would start work on new ration cards in the district from November 1. He said the district administration had already given 2 lakh ration cards to the department. On committee members’ query regarding poor state of roads, he said the state had sent the proposal for the Bathinda-Muktsar, the Gidderbaha-Malout, the Muktsar-Kotkapura, and Malout-Ganganagar roads to the Union Government for its consent. He said the work on these roads would begin on the priority after receiving the funds. The meeting also discussed raising the height of a Railway bridge on Chautra Minor and drinking water arrangements in Malout sub-tehsil. The DC informed the meeting that Rs 70 lakh had been sanctioned for the repair of houses to 222 beneficiaries of Indira Awas Yojana. Muktsar MLA Sukhdarshan Singh Marar, Malout MLA Nathu Ram, DCC chief Gursant Singh Brar, Youth Congress general secretary Karanbir Singh Brar, DC Dalip Kumar, and ADC Kirpal Singh also attended the meeting.

Meanwhile, flaying murder of BJP leader Shanti Swaroop’s grandson Gaurav, the minister said the case would soon be solved.


Markfed entry eyewash, say farmers

Faridkot, October 11
Several farmers of the Faridkot block have described the entry of Markfed at the local grain market yesterday after eight years to procure cotton as eyewash.

They said if the government was keen to bring out the formers from a financial crisis, it should enhance the MSP of various crops.

They also regretted the “indifferent” attitude of the PSEB to provide power supply connections in several rural areas. Of the nearly 150 quintal of cotton crop that arrived in the local grain market today, Markfed purchased over 100 quintal at an MSP of Rs 1,835 per quintal.


Man on procurement duty attacked

Phagwara, October 11
Jaswant Singh, an arhtiya, his muneem Satish Kumar and others assaulted and injured Kulwinder Singh, a Punsup employee on procurement duty, allegedly at Ranipur mandi village today.

Kulwinder had to be admitted to the Civil Hospital. He was deployed on procurement duty. He found two “dheris” of paddy which were not up to the mark and said these could not be procured. When Kulwinder was returning to his native Palahi village last night, he was followed by people of the arhtiya and was allegedly threatened. When Kulwinder went to duty today, he found that even though the dheris were not officially procured, the men of the arhtiya had filled these in government gunny bags. When he objected to it, he was attacked by them. — OC


Tenders: tubewell corpn vice-chairman for transparency
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 11
A controversy has arisen in the Punjab State Tubewell Corporation. The Vice- Chairman of the corporation , Mr Raj Kumar Dhaipi, has shot off a letter to the Managing Director of the corporation and the Secretary, Irrigation, Punjab, demanding transparency in the matter of tenders for carrying out work.

The corporation is scheduled to hand over work of Rs 10 crore to brickline water channels (khals) on October 18. The process relating to tenders for the same work was cancelled on September 11 when large-scale bungling was alleged, said Mr Dhaipi, adding that this had lowered the image of the corporation in the eyes of farmers who were users of the water flowing in these khals.

Mr Dhaipi has demanded that a committee should be formed to deal with the entire process. He has suggested that an engineer of the Punjab Irrigation Department, a representative of the Command Area Development Authority and a member of the Water Users Association should be included in the process.

When contacted, Mr Dhaipi confirmed that he had written the letter, but refused to reveal its contents saying it was a department matter.

Another proposal in the department is that the tender forms should be available on the website allowing contractors to download these freely. The pick-and-choose policy on issuing tender forms should be done away with, says the proposal. 


MC owes PSEB Rs 1.80 cr
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, October 10
The faction-ridden municipal committee (MC) is once again under a cloud, ironically this time not due to poor sanitation or water supply, but for non-payment of electricity dues to the PSEB, which amounts to staggering Rs 1.80 Crore.

Officials from the PSEB had to cut the power supply to some tubewells causing inconvenience to public but this had no effect on the councillors.

Finally, the district administration coerced the MC to pay at least a part of its dues, which has now led to resentment among the councillors.

The councillors now accuse the administration of high-handedness and as a result both the administration and a number of councillors led by its president, Mrs Nirmal Sahota, are at loggerheads.

According to sources, the PSEB had sent a bill of Rs 72,74,920 to the MC against electricity charges of four of its water supply tubewells and threatened to cut the electricity supply if the dues were not paid before September 27.

The DC, Mr B C Thakur told the Executive Officer of the MC to make a part payment of the dues so that the PSEB officials do not cut the electricity supply which otherwise would have invited public wrath. The MC had an amount of Rs 27.12 Lakh in its account which had been earned by way of selling some of its property.

Mr Thakur said when the President of MC, Mrs Nirmal Sahota refused to sign the cheque presented to her by the EO, in order to make a part payment to PSEB, he used the powers vested in him under the Punjab Municipal Act and signed the cheque himself .

Mr Thakur said the PSEB had already slapped a penalty of Rs 20 Lakh on the MC for non-payment of its dues and if this bill had not been paid in time, another penalty at the rate of Rs 21,514 per month would have been imposed.

On the other hand, Mrs Sahota said the cheque was never put up before her by the EO and neither was she contacted before making the payment to the PSEB.

She said the state government owes crores of rupees to the MC, Ferozepore, against excise duty collection and the bill could have been settled once that amount was released.

Reacting to it, Mr Thakur said the PSEB officials, who have already cut down the power supply twice in the past, would not have waited till that time as the Chairman, PSEB, Mr Y S Ratra, had given relaxation for only one month and that too, after his personal request to him.

While justifying his move, Mr. Thakur said he has also written to the Chief Secretary, Mr Jai Singh Gill, explaining the entire situation.


Rs 2.43 cr relief for hailstorm-hit
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 11
The state government has released a grant of Rs 2.43 crore towards compensation to the farmers whose crop was damaged in hailstorm on February 9 this year.

Chief Minister, captain Amarinder Singh had ordered a special girdawari to assess agricultural losses, which revealed that 20,633 acres of crop in Bathinda and 14,637 acres in Talwandi Sabo suffered damage. Deputy Commissioner, Rahul Bhandari said that the state government had ordered payment of compensation to the affected farmers from the Natural Calamity Relief Fund. The state government has sent Rs 2.43 crore to the district on October 4, of which Rs 1.24 crore and Rs 1.19 crore had been forwarded to the SDMs of Bathinda and Talwandi Sabo blocks respectively for distribution among the farmers. The DC said the officials concerned had been told to disburse compensation among eligible persons and ensure that there was no irregularity in the distribution.


Politicians have lost trust of people, says MP
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, October 11
Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, MP said that due to their false promises and un-accountability, Indian politicians had lost trust of people and it had widened gap between them and had encouraged opportunists to come to the forefront. Mr Sidhu was talking to reporters here this afternoon. He said this situation could prove to be a disaster for the country.

To overcome this every politician should listen the voice of his soul and adopt path of truth, which would bridge the gap and restore faith of public in them. Transparency was required in the functioning of the government, so that accountability of politicians could be made possible.

Mr Sidhu said ever-increasing population was a major problem of the country and it should be controlled. He had raised this issue in Parliament twice, but with no result. The bill relating to control the population, introduced in parliament earlier, was lying in cold store. None of the political party was serious to overcome this problem which could ruin the country.

Referring to existing structure of taxes, he said that there was no uniformity in taxes. Each state had own policy in this regard. He said that though India has followed VAT system of taxes of other countries, but it had not made uniformity in the tax structure, which was now proving harmful for traders. He pleaded the introduction of uniform tax system in all states to save the business community.

Comparing regime of the NDA Government with the UPA, he said that prices of essential commodities had increased manifold during one year’s governance of the latter. He alleged that many commodities including LPG had disappeared from the market as a result artificial shortage.

To a question Mr Sidhu said that though Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, was an honest and sincere man and wanted to do result-oriented work, but constituents of the UPA especially leftists were not allowing him to achieve his goal.

To another question he said that a specific cell attached with some ministry should be formed to deal with the cases of riots and terrorists effected victims for getting compensations released. There was no such cell in any of the ministry which could keep record of riots and terrorists-affected cases in the country.

He criticised Capt Amarinder Singh’s Government for farmers crises in state. He said that after three and a half years, Capt Amarinder Singh announced free power supply to agriculture sector which was a stunt to lure farmers in favour of the Congress.

Earlier Mr Sidhu inaugurated, Aggarwal Teleservices, a business associate of Tata Teleservices here.

Later, he addressed workers of the BJP. He was accompanied by Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, MP and BJP Punjab Chief.


Sidhu seeks disturbed area economic package
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, October 11
Navjot Singh Sidhu, the BJP MP from Amritsar, today demanded that either Punjab should be given the accompanying economic package or it should not be treated as a disturbed area.

Talking to newsmen at the residence of Phagwara Block BJP President Tejasavi Bhardwaj here in presence of Punjab BJP President Avinash Rai Khanna, Mr Sidhu said even though Punjab had been declared as a disturbed area since the past one decade, it was being denied the accompanying economic benefits.

So what was the logic of keeping Punjab in the list of disturbed areas if the economic package was not to be given, he asked.

The disturbed area listing should be ended, he demanded.

He also demanded a tax holiday for Punjab on the pattern of neighbouring states like Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

He said even though the Centre had promised to give Rs 1700 crore to Punjab for setting up an economic zone in the border area of Amritsar, the Punjab Government had not earmarked an area where it will be set up.

In all 64 economic zones will be set up in the country and all other states, barring Punjab, had selected land for them, he claimed.

But the Amarinder Singh government was still indecisive about earmarking the land for the zone, he rued.

Mr Sidhu also demanded the grant of cargo rights and the custodianship of the Raja Sansi International Airport in Amritsar. In case it was done, the airport alone could shoulder 30 per cent of the air traffic and cargo of the Indira Gandhi International Airport, he claimed.

He also demanded the opening of a visa centre at Amritsar for the promotion of Indo-Pak trade.

He regretted that politicians had the penchant for taking voters and public for a ride with their ‘lara-lappa’ policies.

“I don’t promise, I give my word and redeem the pledge,” he claimed.

“I had given word to my voters of Amritsar that I would stay at Amritsar and I am doing it,” he said.


BJP protests against rape of Dalit girl
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 11
The BJP has decided to put up the Nayagaon rape case before the party chief, Mr Lal Krishan Advani who is scheduled to visit the city on October 23 a Dalit rally.

Protesting against the rape of a minor girl belonging to the Dalit community by persons belonging to the influential community in Nayagaon, the SC Morcha of the BJP has decided to step up the agitation if the challans against the accused are not presented in court by October 18 as ordered by the court.

The BJP Dalit Morcha has also decided that the party workers will hold rallies in front of the Chief Minister’s residence to demand action against the accused in the case. The party unit has also condemned the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and the Punjab DGP for allegedly interfering in the functioning of the Special Investigating Team (SIT) looking into the case.

The party has alleged that the government is now proposing another inquiry into the case only to hush up the matter and to do away with the findings of the SIT, to allegedly shield the involved ministers, IAS and IPS officers.

The girl who later gave birth to a male child as a result of the rape at age of just 14 is fighting the intimidation and coercion faced by the family.

The police officers are also threatening the family according to the district president of the SC Morcha BJP, Mr. Deepak Telu. 


Vigilance inspections annoy Singla
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 11
About a fortnight after the Vigilance angered the Punjab Minister of State for Technical Education, Mr Rakesh Pandey, by nabbing the Deputy Director, Technical Education, Mr N.S. Bhatia, while reportedly accepting a bribe, it has irked yet another Cabinet minister of the state.

This time it is the Punjab Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, who is unhappy with the Vigilance carrying out inspections at various institutes in Bathinda and Faridkot districts a few days ago.

Expressing displeasure, the minister has asked the Vigilance SSP, Mr Amrik Singh Waraich, and the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Rahul Bhandari, to apprise him of the details of the inspections. He has also asked the Vigilance SSP to explain whose permission was sought before carrying out these inspections.

The SSP has said the inspections were carried out consequent to the arrest of Mr Bhatia. He also informed that five teams were constituted to conduct the inspections at Indian ITI, Shaheed Bhagat Technical Institute, Faridkot, Hari Memorial Adarsh Art and Craft Teachers Training Centre, Talwandi Sabo, Baba Farid ITI Art and Craft Teachers Training Institute, Kot Shamir, and Sheikh Farid ITI, Faridkot, on October 6.

Mr Singla said the inspections had caused harassment to these institutes and carrying out such inspections did not fall under the domain of the Vigilance Department.

The minister expressed surprise that most of the panel members of the inspection teams were Junior Engineers of various departments and there was no technical expert. He also said neither the permission of the Bathinda DC nor the Faridkot DC was sought before the inspections. 


Bibi’s silence over attack on jathedar condemned
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 11
“By not criticising the attack on Takht Sri Damdama Sahib Jathedar Balwant Singh Nandgarh by dera follower in Mansa district, SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur and SAD president Parkash Singh Badal were promoting dera culture in Punjab,” alleged Mr Nirmal Singh Sangha, Chairman of the Chappel Town Gurdwara Management Committee in England.

During a visit to Takht Sri Damdama Sahib, he rued that no takht jathedar had condemned the attack.

He said though the SGPC had an annual budget of Rs 250 crore, hardly anything was spent on spreading Sikhism. Its funds were “being exploited for political activities,” he alleged.

He said after visiting Punjab and takhts outside the state he would submit a report to Sikh organisations abroad to apprise them of the ground reality.


2 jawans die in quake
Tribune News Service

Hoshiarpur, October 11
The earthquake that claimed thousands of lives did not spare two jawans — Baljit Singh and Balbir Kumar — of Hoshiarpur district who were posted in the Uri Sector.

A pall of gloom descended on Dugri village in Garhshankar and Keharwali Mohalla in Dasayu when news of deaths of their sons reached their places last night. Family members of these jawans, were inconsolable.

Balbir Kumar (23) of Dugri village joined duty 10 days ago after one month’s leave. Son of Mr Jagdish Chand, Balbir Kumar (of 56 APO) along with two other jawans from Hoshiarpur district was deployed at a bunker when the tremor hit and they were buried along with their colleagues.

Mr Kuldeep Singh, a resident of Keharwali mohalla, Dasuya, received the news of the death of his son Baljit Singh of 7 Dogra Regiment due to earthquake in Uri Sector, last night.

Baljit Singh was also posted in the Uri Sector when he along with some other jawans died on Saturday morning. 


Relief team leaves for Srinagar today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 11
A team of the Punjab Government, led by a minister, would leave for Srinagar tomorrow to coordinate relief and rehabilitation operations there.

The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today deputed the Animal Husbandry Minister, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, and the Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Sports, Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, to go to Srinagar.

They would be accompanied by a team of officials, a spokesperson of the Punjab Government said adding that the team would handle all aid being sent by Punjab.

The Chief Minister also reviewed the arrangements for the despatch of relief material to Jammu and Kashmir.

A spokesperson of the Punjab Government said the Chief Minister was in constant touch with the AICC General Secretary, Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, who had been deputed by the Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, to oversee the relief and rehabilitation operation in the quake-affected parts of the valley.

The Chief Minister was also keeping a close contact with the GOC of the Western Command to facilitate lifting of the relief material from IAF station, Adampur, to Srinagar.


SGPC delegation leaves for valley

Amritsar, October 11
The SGPC today sent a high-level delegation to earthquake-hit areas of J&K for arranging langar for the victims. Bibi Jagir Kaur SGPC chief, said the delegation led by Mr Sucha Singh Langah also included Mr Harsurinder Singh Gill, and Mr Harbir Singh Bhanwer.

Meanwhile, the DSGMC along with Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC) arranged langar at various places in Pakistan for quake-hit victims. — OC


Punjab Govt hikes financial aid to ex-servicemen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 11
The Punjab Government has decided to enhance the financial assistance to ex-servicemen and their widows over the age of 65 years from Rs 300 per month to Rs 500 per month.

Presiding over a meeting of the State Advisory Committee of the Defence Services Welfare, Sports, Youth Welfare and Freedom Fighters, Punjab Chief Minster Capt Amarinder Singh said this decision would cover over 10,000 eligible beneficiaries as a welfare measure.

The committee also decided in principle to enhance the amount of marriage grant for the daughters of ex-servicemen from Rs5,000 to Rs6,100 on the pattern of the Ashirwad Scheme and raised the ceiling of annual income to be eligible for the grant from Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000. The Chief Minister asked the Directorate of Defence Services Welfare to work out a comprehensive package for the Monetary Compensation to the Gallantry Awardees who could not be given land due to its non-availability.

The Chief Minister also directed the department to put up a detailed proposal for the re-imbursement of additional excise duty collected on the consumption of the liquor consumed outside the cantonment limits to the Punjab Amalgamated Fund. 


Bonus for Markfed staff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 11
The Punjab Government today ordered the release of bonus/ex-gratia payment to employees of Markfed.

This afternoon employees received payment of Rs 7,500 each.

The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, has approved the proposal of Markfed on bonus in principle subject to clearance by the Cabinet Subcommittee on fiscal management.

Mr Harbhajan Singh, president, Markfed Employees Union, and Mr Bhupinder Singh, convener of the Joint Action Committee, immediately called off the strike by the staff. 


BJP to raise land grab issue in Assembly

Phagwara October 11
Punjab BJP President and MP Avinash Rai Khanna today declared that his party’s MLAs from Punjab would raise the issue of Nayagaon land grab case in the Assembly.

Talking to newsmen at the residence of Phagwara BJP block president Tejasavi Bhardwaj here, Mr Khanna said that he would ask the MLAs to forcefully raise the matter involving the official and political bigwigs in the landgrab in Nayagaon which had, of late, been in news due to a rape incidence and the subsequent implication of a Chandigarh journalist.

He said the BJP would hold a Dalit rally “Dalit Bolla, Singhasan Dolla” at Jalandhar on October 23 to highlight the anti-Dalit policies of the Congress government. He alleged that Amarinder Singh government’s 200 units free power to Dalits was an election gimmick.

He ruled out any organisational change in the party in Punjab. MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, former Punjab minister, Ch Swarna Ram were also present. 


Killing of 8 Ahmadiyas in Pak flayed
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, October 11
Khalifa Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad condemned the barbaric incident of killing of eight Ahmadiyas Muslims in Pakistani Punjab on October 7.

In a press note issued here yesterday it was stated that eight Ahmadiya Muslim worshippers were shot dead and 25 seriously injured when they were offering Fajar namaz in the Mong town near Mandi Bahaduddin in Pakistan.

The deceased included two real brothers, Raja Muhammad Ashraf, Raja Abid and their other family members.

The Ahmadiyas have demanded that the security should be beefed up at religious places all over Pakistan following the incident. Strict security measures were also demanded for Jummah prayer congregations. In Pakistan Ahmadiya Muslims are declared non-Muslim by the Pakistani Government. They are not allowed to say Adhan or read Kalima in Pakistan.


J&K kids in Patiala on goodwill visit
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 11
As many as 30 children from remote villages of Jammu and Kashmir visited Patiala today as part of their nationwide tour, organised by the Army under Operation Sadhbhavna.

The tour aims to help children of Jammu and Kashmir understand the rich and multicultural heritage of the country. It will also help them feel connected with the rest of the nation.

During their stay in Patiala, they visited NIS, Barandari Gardens, Sheesh Mahal, Moti Bagh, Bahadurgarh fort, Gurdwara Dukhniwaran and Kali Mandir. The children also interacted with Maj-Gen Chetinder Singh and other senior Army officers.


Shatabdi delayed

Phagwara, October 11
Traffic on the Ludhiana-Jalandhar rail section remained disrupted for about 20 minutes following panel failure at Phillaur railway station today. Railway sources said the Amritsar bound 2029 up Shatabdi Express was detained between Ladhuwal and Phillaur railway stations for 15 minutes. — UNI


CM reviews work on park

Chandigarh, October 11
Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today reviewed the progress of the Theme Park to be developed at Chamkaur Sahib in memory of Sahibzadas Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh.

Mr S.L. Kaushal, Chief Architect, explained the concept. — TNS


Dy Director refused bail

Ropar, October 11
The court here today rejected the bail application moved by Deputy Director Technical Education, N.S. Bhatia, who was arrested recently by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau in a case of corruption.

In his application, Mr N.S Bhatia, had pleaded that he had been in custody since September 28 and falsely implicated. Therefore he deserve the concession of bail.

The Vigilance Bureau had arrested the Deputy Director for accepting a bribe of Rs 65,000 to allow re-affiliation to Malwa Arts and Crafts College, Sangrur. The Vigilance Bureau claimed to have recovered National Savings Certificates and FDRs amounting to Rs 3.86 lakh, 28 tolas of gold, Rs 15,000 and a bank locker key during a search in his home. — TNS


Nayagaon rape: hearing adjourned

Ropar, October 11
All 22 accused involved in the Nayagaon rape case today appeared before the Ropar Special Judge, Mr S.K Goel. Four accused in the case had been released on bail while 18 others were in judicial custody. The Special Judge adjourned the hearing of the case till October 25. TNS


Two held in fake recruitment case
Our Correspondent

Pathankot October 11
The police achieved a major breakthrough yesterday when they arrested two members of fake recruitment racket, who had allegedly duped youths to the tune of lakhs of rupees. The kingpin of the racket, Baba Paramjit Singh, was reportedly still at large.

The arrested have been identified as Harjinder Singh and Romesh Singh of Baba Bakala and Fateh Garh Churian.

According to reports, over 12 unemployed youths, belonging to Pathankot, have been duped of lakhs of rupees by a man posing as Superintendent of Police (SP) on the pretext of getting them recruited in the police.

The kingpin of the gang, fake SP, has been identified as Baba Paramjit Singh of Fatehgarh Churian.

The police has registered a case against the fake SP and his accomplices under various sections of the IPC. The police said Baba Paramjit Singh had been operating the racket by adopting a unique modus operandi. He had taken a house on rent near the SDM court. He started his operation about two years ago. He identified and allured unemployed youths through his accomplices and, on false assurances of getting them recruited in the police, charged heavy amount from them.

According to victims, the Baba had started training the youths and even provided them with police uniforms. The bogus training camp continued for about a couple of months.

He also clicked photographs of the victims during the training period on the pretext of forwarding these to “the headquarters”.

When he failed to hand over appointment letters to the victims, some raised a hue and cry. Baba then fled, along with his accomplices.

The arrested accused were produced before SDJM R.K. Garg, who remanded in police custody till October 13.


Four held for bid to snatch cops’ arms

Jalandhar, October 11
The police here today arrested four persons for alleged bid to snatch weapons from the PCR personnel at Rama Mandi Chowk near here late last night.

Two PCR cops Gurcharan Singh and Gurdeep Singh were on duty at a check post near Rama Mandi chowk on the Jalandhar-Ludhiana road last night police sources said adding that as a reached near the post, the cops flagged it down.

Subsequently, the occupants were asked to come out from the vehicle but instead of answering the queries of the cops, four persons identified as Lakhwinder Singh, Paramdeep Singh, Sarabjot and Kulwinder Masih, all of them resident of Batala, started fighting with the cops.

Sources claimed that all of them were under influence of liquor and tried to snatch weapons of one of the cops. The police reached the spot and arrested the accused.

Earlier, the arrested persons created a scene in a marriage party at a marriage palace near Paragpur octroi post and had a brawl with its manager before fleeing the spot.

The manager informed the SSP about the incident and the police laid nakas to apprehend them.

A case under Sections 186 and 353 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered. — PTI


Girl kidnapped by granthi

Tarn Taran, October 11
A teenaged girl of Marrimegha village was kidnapped by Jasbir Singh, granthi of a gurdwara on Sunday.

Police sources yesterday said the accused belonged to Badhur village in Hisar district and had been here for the past two to three years and had developed illicit relations with the girl. The police has registered a case under Sections 363, 366 of the IPC against the accused. — OC


Four cops dismissed, one booked for fraud
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, October 11
Four constables, including one woman constable, have been dismissed for producing bogus certificates to get jobs. One head constable has also been booked for committing fraud in the police district.

Mr Paramjit Singh Grewal, SSP, told this correspondent here today that the services of constables Amarjit Kaur and Pritam Singh, Pargat Singh and Kashmir Singh had been terminated. It is alleged that they had produced bogus certificates to get jobs. The SSP stated that a criminal case too was pending in the court in this regard when in a department inquiry they were found guilty.

The SSP further stated that head constable Harpal Singh, who was posted at Khemkaran police station, has been booked under Sections 420, IPC, and 13(2), PC Act. He said the accused had collected huge amount of money from SC youths of border area for providing them guidance with regard to recruitment in military services. 


Teachers to gherao Assembly on Oct 14
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 11
Serving and retired teachers of government-aided schools in Punjab will hold a protest in Chandigarh on October 14.

Disclosing this, the adviser of the Punjab State Aided-School Teachers and Other Employees Union, Mr Manohar Lal Chopra, said the plan was to ‘gherao’ the state Assembly. If the protesters got stopped by the police, they would court arrest, he said adding that the protest was to highlight the demand for pension benefits.

The Punjab Government in May, 2003, had decided that it would come out with a contributory scheme for aided-school teachers and decided to stop the payment of pension to teachers retiring after June 1, 2003.


Teachers assured on DA merger

Patiala, October 11
The Punjab Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Kumar Singla, has assured a delegation of the Punjab State Aided School Teachers and Other Employees Progressive Front that a notification regarding 50 per cent merger of DA with the basic pay will be issued soon, according to the press secretary of the front.

The delegation also discussed the demands which have already been agreed upon. The delegation included Upjit Singh Brar, K.K. Sharma, Prem Kumar Sharma, Jaswinder Singh, Net Dhaliwal, Mahesh Bhalla and Deepak Kad. TNS

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