P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Fissures in BJP come to the fore
Ex-ministers fail to attend function of Bhartiya Yuva Morcha
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, December 11
The fissures in the BJP became obvious once again at the concluding day function of the state-level training camp of Bhartiya Yuva Morcha held here today. The former BJP ministers from the area, Mr Mohan Lal and Mr Satpal Saini, failed to make it to the programme.

The state president of the Bhartiya Yuva Morcha, Mr Ashwani Sharma, who coordinated the function, when asked about the absence of former ministers, said both of them were invited at the function. Though Mr Satpal Saini was not available for comments, Mr Mohan Lal, flatly said he was not invited to the function.

He, however, declined to elaborate on the issue. The concluding function of the three-day camp was to be presided over by Mr Shah Nawaz Hussain, national leader of the party. He, however failed to make it to the programme. In his place, Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla, ex-MLA from Amritsar, presided over the function. This left the former ministers fuming, who expressed their annoyance by failing to make it to the function.

The sources available here said the former state presidents of the Bhartiya Yuva Morcha, which included former ministers, were also invited for addressing the delegates. They, however, declined to come owing to their differences with the present state leadership.

Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu was also expected, but he too failed to come. Mr Ashwani Sharma, however, declined that any of the former state presidents was called to address the function. He also declined that Mr Navjot Sidhu was invited to address the participants. He said the motive of the function was to train the cadre of Yuva Morcha regarding the ideology of the party. So, there was no need to call prominent leaders. He termed the function as successful.

Mr Vinod Khanna, the local MP and state president of the BJP, Mr Avinash Khanna, were the only prominent leaders who addressed the participants at the camp. Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla, while addressing the participants, urged them to fight against the social evils. The youth of the party should come out openly against evils in our society such as corruption, dowry and drug abuse, she said.

Mr Prashant Arora, Mr Anil Sareen, Mr Mahesh Chander Sharma, Mr Birbal Pahwa and Mr Rajesh Honey were among other Yuva Morcha leaders present on the occasion.


‘If Punjab is not a disturbed area, why this discrimination?’
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
“If Punjab is not a disturbed area, why this discrimination against Punjabis ? Why cannot trains or buses from Pakistan halt anywhere in the state. Why has every Punjabi to take a detour of 900 km each to get a visa or board a bus to Pakistan ?,” asks former Test cricketer and BJP MP from Amritsar Navjot Singh Sidhu.

“Are we doormats to be used at will?,” he rues maintaining that as far as normalisation of relations with Pakistan is concerned, the Union Government has been unfair to Punjab and Punjabis.

Appreciating confidence-building measures (CBMs) taken by the two neighbours, he says he does not decry facilities extended to people in the rest of the country. “But why deny them to Punjabis, or, to be specific, a farmer from the border belt of Amritsar or Gurdaspur or a sheep breeder from Ferozepore? Driven by economic reasons, if a breeder wants to take a goat across the border, he has to, unfortunately, move in the opposite direction to Delhi to get his visa as well as get his goat quarantined in the union Capital as Wagah (Amritsar) does not have the facility,” he states.

He further asks, “Why does a poor farmer or a resident of the border area have to go to Delhi for permission to visit his relatives living just 40-50 km away from him? If people in Kashmir can visit their relatives in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) without going to Delhi for visa, why not people in Punjab?”

Decrying the present policy of not allowing any visitor or returning Indian to alight either from the bus or the train anywhere else other than in Delhi, Navjot said it defied logic. “I do not understand how if a person is allowed to get down in Jalandhar or Ludhiana he becomes a bomb or a threat to security. But if the same person alights from the bus or train in Delhi, he or she becomes a welcome and friendly visitor.”

Navjot maintains that he will continue to fight against this discrimination. Even the Punjab Chief Minister was not happy over the manner in which visas were granted or denied. The grant of visas should be liberalised, he states.

Coming to the confusion over the disturbed area, he says the Union Government did not take this Act to the committee which was set up to recommend cancellation or annulment of various Acts which were no more required.

“Why was the Disturbed Areas Act not forwarded to the committee for scrapping?” asks Navjot maintaining that perhaps the Union Government did not intend to scrap it altogether.

Setting up a consulate in Amritsar, having better interaction between people of the two Punjabs and facilitating visitors to and from Punjab are steps that can give a great boost not only to the economy but also the peace initiatives between the two countries, he states.

If the government can spend crores every year on facilitating people belonging to one community to visit their holiest shrine, why deny Punjabis, both Hindus and Sikhs, the facility to visit their shrines across the border the way they like, he wants to know.

Many countries have opened their visa application collection centres in Punjab (Jalandhar) and in Chandigarh. Why should visa collection centres not be opened either in Chandigarh or Punjab for the convenience of the people here for whom links with Pakistan are not only of blood but also of strong economic considerations, concludes Navjot.


Success eludes police in murder cases
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Hoshiarpur, December 11
Even after a fortnight of Dholbha killing in which two masked youth gunned down four persons and left one critically injured by spraying indiscriminate bullets from an AK 47 assault rifle at a liquor vend on November 23 night, Punjab police has failed to make any headway in the case.

The district police has deployed two commando companies in addition to the district police personnel in the locality and has laid nakas at each entry and exit point to the village. The village has virtually been converted into a cantonment. But success in solving the case has eluded the police so far.

This is the third major unsolved crime during the last three months and it has raised a question mark on the functioning of the district police.

On September 6, two masked assailants struck at a State Bank of Patiala branch in Alampur village, about 5 km from Tanda, and shot dead a bank employee before decamping with cash worth Rs 2.50 lakh.

Mr Kuldeep Singh Chakk, a member of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, was shot dead by two unidentified motorcyclists at the main gate of his residence in Mukerian on October 30. The district police too has failed to solve these murders.

Mr Paramjit Singh Gill, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Jalandhar Range, has been appointed investigation officer to look into the killings in which a certain militant outfit had shown its ‘presence’ in this sleepy village in Punjab on the inter-state border of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr Gill was not available for comments as he was busy in a conference in Jalandhar while repeated efforts to contact Mr Lok Nath Angra, SSP, Hoshiarpur, proved futile till late in the evening.

Enquiries by The Tribune revealed that the assailants used an AK 47 rifle in the crime. Moreover, the muffled assailants appeared from the backyard of the liquor-vend. Showering bullets indiscriminately, they left three persons dead on the spot and two others critically injured. Over half a dozen persons were consuming liquor in the courtyard of the liquor vend when the incident occurred.

Eyewitnesses revealed that though information was passed on to the police within minutes of the incident, police personnel reached the spot after over an hour. Interestingly, the cops started hunting the assailants, who disappeared from the spot on foot in the dark in an opposite direction. No footprints of the assailants were taken within 24 hours of the killings.

Now the question rises : from where the assailants acquired an AK 74 assault rifle? This is not a common weapon and could not be kept even after obtaining a legal licence. Only, police and other government defence forces are entitled to use the weapon. The use of the AK 47 and brand-new cartridges by the miscreants has become a mystery for the Punjab police till date.

Enquiries from the locals revealed that a majority of IPS and IAS officers and politicians have farmhouses in this belt. They have kept guards-cum-servants to look after their sprawling farmhouses. They have even provided them with weapons. It could be a possibility that the security guards of certain bureaucrat or politician owing farmhouses in the vicinity might have used the weapon for committing the crime.

A visit to the area revealed that residents of the locality, especially dhaba owners and other shopkeepers, have been facing harassment with the deployment of a heavy force. They complained that the police personnel have been causing them losses as they consume eatables without making any payments.

It may be recalled that three persons — Mr Manjit Singh of Fatehpur village, Mr Suresh of Dholbha village and Chhotu — were killed on the spot when armed assailants opened fire on them while they were consuming liquor in front of a liquor vend in Dholbha village, about 35 km from Hoshiarpur, on November 23 night.


Huge pile up of undeclared PU results
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
Panjab University is sitting on a huge pile up of undeclared results of supplementary examinations, particularly for the post graduate courses, conducted earlier this year. Officials confirm that at least two third of the total 75 odd postgraduate examinations have not yet been declared which clearly means the list of the affected students runs into hundreds.

The list of pending results also includes cases of Result Later cases on different grounds, including fees, lack of awards or lack of evaluated papers and re-evaluation results.

Mr Ashok Raj Bhandari, acting Controller of Examination, conceded that the number of the affected students was very high. “I have sought the relevant data from the departments concerned and will be able to give the exact figures within a couple of days. There is no denying the fact that cases will run into hundreds”.

Student representatives have highlighted the concern of students who were reappearing because of having not qualified in the earlier examination. “Their fate for the earlier examination is not yet known and they are required to fill the forms for the examination of the next class which leads to a peculiar situation “, an office-bearer of the Panjab University Campus Student Council said.

Saying that the students’ concerns were very genuine, Mr Bhandari said the office had already initiated a serious exercise in streamlining the entire result compilation system. Within this month, we will make efforts to declare all the pending results. I have asked all officials concerned to file a report of the action taken report every Friday.”

Mr Bhandari, Finance and Development Officer, called for a meeting calling all senior officials concerned with different wings of the examination recently. Those who attended the meeting included Mr S.K.Sharma, Deputy Registrar(secrecy), Mr S.C.Tewari, Mr Harnam Singh, Mr Daljit Singh, Mrs Santosh Malhotra, all Assistant Registrars, (Examination), besides officials from the conduct and re-evaluation branches.

The office has asked the Deputy Registrar (Examination) to prepare a list of all those examinations whose results have not been declared by giving the specific reasons for the delay. An Assistant Registrar has “officially” accepted that a number of MA results were yet to be declared. Only a two weeks time has been given to the office concerned to speed up the work.

The Deputy Registrar has also been asked to prepare a complete list of Result Later cases. The office has been asked to specify the RL cases at the time of declaration of the normal results and the status today.

The office has made a very special mention of the pending re-evaluation cases. All cases in this specific category pertain to the students who had appeared in the examination conducted during April\May earlier this year.


PAU helped farmers cut cost of cotton cultivation: VC
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 11
Endeavour of Punjab Agricultural University in promoting public-private partnership to benefit farmers and industry had borne fruit, stated PAU VC, Dr KS Aulakh, during the Presidents visit to Gehri Buttar village yesterday.

Dr Aulakh described the outcome of networking between PAU and Consortium of Textile Mills and Banks as the opening of a new chapter. He said the PAU had helped farmers revive cotton cultivation making it cost-effective with higher yields. He said the PAU took the initiative for integrated pest management and resuscitating cotton at Kahnewal village in Mansa in 2001 and it success spurred the Vardhman to replicate the varsity’s experiment by adopting villages in the cotton belt. Following a dialogue between Dr Aulakh and the consortium head it was decided that PAU would provide technical know-how and scientific backup in village cluster adoption project.

The VC said the PAU had established insecticide resistance management laboratories in Mansa, KVK Bathinda, Regional Research Station, Abohar and Ferozepore, besides one on the varsity’s campus. Initiated in 32 villages in 2002, he said it was extended to 45 villages in 2004 and covered 120 villages at present.

In all 17,326 farmers belonging to 227 villages benefited from the insecticide resistance management project. He said the technique had helped reduce number of sprays by 40 per cent and gave farmers net profit of Rs 10,510 per hectare.

The PAU was concerned at the incidence of insecticide-induced problems among human beings, including cases of cancer reported from several villages. “Our scientists are deeply involved in studying that aspect as well.” This new niche in agricultural research-extension involving PAU and private sector was a triangular success, wherein scientists-industry-farmers stood to gain.

The gains, Dr Aulakh said ranged from cut in unnecessary sprays on cotton or over-irrigation besides giving up growing up of cotton varieties that were susceptible to leaf curl virus, right choice of cotton seed and application of recommended doses of fertilisers. There has been substantial gain in cotton yields obtained by the farmers in 2005 over 2003, he concluded.


Amarinder wants to avoid Assembly session: Mann
Tribune News Service

Mansa, December 11
Raising question on “dubious trip” of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to Dubai, the SAD (Amritsar) president, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, alleged that the Chief Minister wanted to avoid Assembly session, as his close relatives were involved in oil-for-food scam. He said this while interacting with mediapersons here today.

Mr Mann alleged — “Captain’s relatives, namely Mr Natwar Singh and Mr Jagat Singh were embroiled in the scam and they should be handed over to the police for committing sedition.” He asked as to why they were being treated with “velvet gloves”. Regarding the Chief Minister’s forthcoming Dubai trip, he said there was no need to take such a big delegation for a private function. “Why should state exchequer bear the cost of their tour,” he quipped. He said on one hand the Chief Minister termed Badals as “corrupt” and Mr Sukbir Badal as “ill-mannered”, while on the other he was taking along Mr Manpreet Badal to Dubai.


New traffic system in Pathankot
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, December 11
The local administration has finally taken steps to ease the traffic in the city. The traffic in the city was impaired by buses parked on roads, tempos, heavy vehicles of the Army and uncontrolled plying even on busy roads.

Mr Ashok Sharma, MLA and Chairman of the PTDC, inaugurated the new traffic system in the town. He was accompanied by the SDM, Mr Amarjit Paul.

While talking to The Tribune, Mr Paul said the new traffic system had been implemented on the directions of the local MLA. Army help was also sought to control the traffic. The heavy vehicles of the Army used to enter the narrow lanes of city which paralysed the traffic. The matter was taken with the higher authorities of the Army. They banned the heavy vehicles of the Army in the city. The military police personnel have been placed at the entrance points in the city. They have been directed to challan Army heavy vehicle entering the city. The heavy vehicle carrying men and machinery to railway station have, however, been exempted from the ban.

The tempos also used to be parked on roads sides. They were traffic hazard on road due to their size. The tempos have now been moved to outskirts of the city. Commuters travelling in tempos where bus service was not available. They can avail the service of tempos from the outskirts of the city.

There are about 5,000 autorickshaws plying in the city. However, specific roads have been earmarked for autorickshaws that has eased the traffic. Traffic on the Dhangu and Dalhouise has been converted to one way.

Mr Ashok Sharma thanked the Army authorities for cooperating in improving the traffic system in the city.


No-confidence notice to Samana MC chief
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Samana, December 11
Even as a section of councillors of the local Municipal Council have issued a notice to its chief in connection with the moving of no-confidence motion against him, the development has brought to the fore the difference prevailing between Patiala Member of Parliament (MP) Ms Preneet Kaur and one of her ‘important’ supporter, who used to manage her election campaign in this Assembly segment during the Lok Sabha elections.

Information gathered by The Tribune revealed that difference between Ms Preneet Kaur and her ‘important’ supporter came to the fore when Ms Preneet Kaur assured the president of the local Municipal Council Yash Pal Singla not to worry as she would not back the no- confidence motion exercise allegedly started by her kin.

Information revealed that the ‘important’ supporter had been putting his best to secure the votes of Municipal Councillors belonging to the SAD (B) and local MLA, Mr Surjit Singh Rakhra, to ensure the dislodging of Mr Singla from his post.

Mr Singla, who remained with Ms Preneet Kaur for hours together, when contacted, said Ms Preneet Kaur had asked him to continue when he offered his resignation from his post to her after a notice of no-confidence motion was given to him by seven councillors under a conspiracy.

He added that Ms Preneet Kaur while appreciating his work also made it clear that she was not associated with any such move and would also oppose the same. He, however, urged this correspondent not to carry out news item in connection with the affairs of local Municipal Council as it could cause him severe damage.

He said out of total 18 Municipal Councillors, 7 had issued him a notice in connection with calling a meeting of the House within 14 days of receipt of that notice so that no-confidence motion could be passed against him. He added that he would fix a meeting in that connection within three or four days. He said the no-confidence motion, if moved against him, would be defeated in a significant manner as majority of Municipal Councillors were with him. He pointed out that he would resign from his post whenever Ms Preneet Kaur would ask him to do so as he was working as president of the Municipal Council with her blessings only.

Those, who have issued a joint letter to Mr Singla for calling a meeting for moving no-confidence motion included Mr Balwinder Pal Singh, Mr Sat Pal, Mr Des Raj, Mr Sudarshan Kumar, Ms Nisha Bala, Mr Gurdev Singh Saggu and Mrs Bhan.


Traffic control volunteers honoured
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 11
The Senior Superintendent of Police, Patiala, Mr A.S. Rai, honoured Mr Gurdep Singh Dhillon, Chief Warden, along with Mr Parvesh Chahal and Mr Parminder Pal Kaur, Divisional Wardens, for valuable support in selecting and training 29 civil defence volunteers as city traffic patrol volunteers.

Mr Rai said the police was committed to protecting, guide and guard and citizens in homes and on roads. He said NGOs were requested to get training in traffic management but civil defence only provided volunteers and these volunteers were assisting the traffic police at roundabouts.

He also honoured Inspector Gurcharan Singh, ASI Gobinder Singh, Mr H.S. Pal Singh and Mr Gurjap Singh for training and motivating youth. He honoured Mr K.R.Verma, DTS, Red Cross, for valuable support in traffic activities and first aid training to help victims of road accidents.

He honoured Mr Rajeev Bhatnagar, Mr Manpreet Mehra, Mr Vishal Kumar, Mr Gautam Kumar and Mr Vishal Ravinder Kumar as well as 24 other volunteers for regular traffic services. Mr Gurdeep Singh Dhillon said every citizen should take civil defence and traffic training and devote some time for social service and safety of the people.


BKU demand accepted, officials to be shifted
Our Correspondent

Abohar, December 11
The BKU late last night lifted a dharna when the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr Rahul Tiwari assured it that the Deputy Commissioner would recommend the transfer of Mr Chanan Singh, secretary of the Market Committee, to the Secretary of the Punjab Mandi Board, Chandigarh, tomorrow.

Mr Tiwari travelled over 100 km following instructions from the Deputy Commissioner and had a 25-minute meeting with BKU members.

He said Mr Het Ram, mandi supervisor, would also be shifted and both transfers would be effected within a week.

Mr Jaskiran Singh, SDM, said but for the transfer of the officials of the Market Committee, all demands of the BKU had been accepted.


Bhai Vir Singh remembered
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 11
The Chief Khalsa Diwan (CKD) here today recalled the contributions of one of its founders, Bhai Vir Singh, a renowned Punjabi writer, by organising a programme on his 133rd birth anniversary at Sri Guru Harkrishan Senior Secondary Public School.

Supreet Singh Arora and Harjas Kaur jointly won the first place in the painting contest. A declamation contest on the life of Bhai Vir Singh was held in which Gurshabad Singh and Arshdeep Singh were jointly declared winners.

Mr Charanjit Singh Chadda, president, CKD, and Mr Dharamvir Singh, principal of the school, distributed the prizes among the winners.


Tension in Sunam village

Sangrur, December 11
Tension today reportedly gripped Khadial village, 7 km from Sunam, following alleged “misbehaviour” with two “siris” (agricultural workers) by the landlords. In view of the dispute between the landlords and the workers and tension in the village, Sunam SDM Ravinder Singh and DSP Harbhajan Singh visited the village. — TNS


Dam authorities, Fisheries Dept lock horns over fishing
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, December 11
The Ranjit Sagar dam authorities and Department of Fisheries have locked horns over the auctioning fish produce of the lake. Both authorities have floated tender separately for auctioning the produce.

Sources avail here said that the stand-off between both the departments was due to bureaucratic anomaly. The dam was inaugurated five years ago in papers but the area still exists as a river. After the construction of the dam the government was to notify the area submerged due to Ranjit Sagar dam as a lake. Since it has not been done so far in papers the lake is free still flowing Ravi river.

As per rules the department of fisheries has the right to auction fish produce of all natural water sources in state including rivers and rivulets. They maintain since the area has not been notified as a lake, they had the right to auction the fish produce.

On the other hand the secretary irrigation has directed the dam authorities to auction fish produce on the plea that notification of the area as lake was a mere official formality.

The dam authorities also maintain that they were responsible for the security of the strategically sensitive dam. The Department of Fisheries should at least coordinate with them regarding the area in which fishing is to be allowed in lake.

Earlier fishing was not allowed in the lake due to perceived security reasons. However, illegal fishing continued. Many contractors with political connections stole fish worth lakhs every year from the lake.

Contractors employ poor residents of the villages situated on the banks of the lake. Locals spread nets across the lake at night and collect the produce in morning hours. Trucks of contractors then collect the produce from the village paying them peanuts.

The district administration wrote to the government for permission to allow licensed fishing in the lake area following which the contracts are now being floated.

The villagers residing along the lake have lost most of their land to the lake. Instead of giving the contract to big contractors the department should give licence to locals for fishing in the area.

A cooperative of the villagers can also be formed for the purpose. This would give regular source of income to the villager residing on the banks of the lake.

The experiment has been a success at Gobind Sagar lake where the villagers are given licence by the Fisheries Department of Himachal.


Polio drops administered
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 11
Dr G.L. Goyal, Director, Health Services, today inspected various pulse polio camps in the district. He also administered polio drops to children at the local Civil Hospital.

The district police also joined hands with the civil administration to root out polio from the district.

Dr Harcharn Singh, Civil Surgeon, said the Health Department had organised 535 polio camps to administer drops to 70,000 children between the age group of 0 to 5. Besides, five mobile teams administered drops in rural and slum areas. He said teams would go from door to door in the next two days to ensure that no child remains without polio drops.


One more held in abduction case
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, December 11
Mr Lok Nath Angra, SSP, in a press release said here today that one more accused, involved in kidnapping of six-year-old Ronaq, Ashok Kumar, alias Tanti, a resident of Bangla Basti, Amritsar had been arrested last night.

Five accused had already been arrested and abducted boy was recovered from Garha Mohalla of Jalandhar on December 7, 2005.

It may be recalled that Ronaq, son of Vishwanath Rawat of Sunder Nagar Mohalla, was missing from the house since December 3, 2005.

The kidnappers contacted Mr Rawat on telephone and demanded a ransom of Rs 2 lakh for the release of boy on December 5.

Then, it was known that the boy was kidnapped. A case under Sections 363 and 364 of the IPC was registered by the Sadar Police station.

With the joint efforts of district police of Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar and Amritsar, the boy was recovered and the kidnappers were arrested.

He further said after the kidnapping, the boy was held captive at the residence of Ashok Kumar in Amritsar.

Ashok Kumar was one of the accomplice of kidnappers and was absconding.

He was also involved in demanding ransom from Mr Rawat. He said that Ashok Kumar had confessed his involvement in the crime.


Badal’s nephew booked for theft of water
Our Correspondent

Abohar, December 11
Mr Pawanpreet Singh, alias Bobby Badal, a nephew of the SAD supremo and former Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal, has been booked under Sections 430, 389 of the IPC for alleged theft of water from a canal, sources in the divisional irrigation complex here confirmed on Sunday.

According to information, the action was taken on a complaint lodged by Mr Malkiat Singh, a farmer from Mehna village of Lambi area, where the PPCC was going to hold a rally on December 17. Sources said that Mr Jasbir Singh Badal, a cousin of the SAD chief, had developed a fish farm.

There were reports that the owners were deriving water from the Badal Minor (sub canal) of Teona Rajbaha connected to the Sirhind feeder using 6 inches plastic pipes illegally. This affected supply at the tail-end villages, including Bhagu, Mehna and Kheowali.

Small farmers were not getting sufficient water for irrigation. Some of them escorted by ASI Sukhpal Singh and a few newsmen went to the fish farm on Friday. They reportedly asked migrant labourers deployed there to remove the pipes. The farmers alleged that the labourers carrying sharp-edged weapons, threatened to chop off their hands if anyone dared to remove the pipes. Meanwhile, Bobby Badal and six others reached there. They were reportedly carrying 315-bore rifle and other firearms.

Bobby claimed having legal permission from the irrigation authorities for piping out water for the fish farm. But he refused to show the document to the ASI.

SHO Atma Singh in charge of the Lambi police station rushed to the spot but he too was not shown the permission letter. The Executive Engineer Irrigation, when contacted, denied having given any permission.


Gunshots cause stampede; 3 hurt
Tribune News Service

Kharar, December 11
Three persons, including the president of BJP (Panchayati Raj) Ropar unit, were injured during a stampede that followed the firing of gunshots, at Ballomajra village, near here, this afternoon. According to the police, the firing of shots was done by a resident of the village during a fight between two groups regarding ownership of land in the village.

The police said two residents of the village, Gurdeep Singh and Shamsher Singh, were building a wall around a piece of land near the village pond, which was objected to by Mr Manjit Singh Kaka, a local BJP leader. While Mr Kaka said the land belonged to the village panchayat, Gurdeep and Shamsher claimed ownership of the land.

Heated arguments ensued, during which Sukhvinder Singh, Shamsher’s son, allegedly brought out a gun and started firing in the air.

A stampede followed the firing since a large number of villagers had gathered at the spot. Mr Manjit Singh was severely injured in the stampede, along with Gurdeep and Shamsher.

The three were rushed to the Civil Hospital at Kharar, from where Mr Kaka was shifted to the PGI in Chandigarh following deterioration in his condition. The police said an FIR would be lodged after the statements of the injured were recorded.


Stamp duty evasion scam detected
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, December 11
A stamp duty evasion scam has been unearthed here by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Krishan Kumar. The simple but dexterously managed scam may be just the tip of the iceberg. The accused would affix notary stamps worth Rs 10 in a manner that these would look like stamps worth Rs 15 on affidavits. A notary stamp worth Rs 5 was cut from the middle and affixed on the affidavit at some distance. Another stamp was affixed in the middle to look like three stamps worth Rs 5 had been affixed.

Two such affidavits were recently detected by the Deputy Commissioner, who suspended the licence of the stamp vendor concerned.

The Deputy Commissioner said a probe was on and who all were involved in the scam would be revealed then.


Pirated CDs seized
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 11
The CIA Staff in a joint raid seized a large quantity of pirated CDs of newly released and unreleased movies.

The arrested include Ajit Singh, alias Raju, of Katra Karam Singh and owner of Shiv Shakti Shop with another person Rinku.

Mr Ramesh Lakhanpal of Film and Folk and Sansar Chand of IMI said the accused were involved in making pirated CDs.


SD College holds blood camp
Our Correspondent

Barnala, December 11
As many as 90 blood donors, including students, faculty members and others, donated blood at a blood donation camp organised by S.D. College, on in the college campus yesterday.

Group Captain S.B. Deo, VM, Commanding Officer, Air Force Station, Barnala, was the chief guest and inaugurated the camp. Speaking on the occasion, Gp Captain Deo said youth were future of a nation.

Prof Hazari Lal Bansal, a guiding star of the blood donation movement in the region, graced the occasion as a guest of honour. Prof Bansal stressed on the need to speed up blood donation movement in the region.

Dr M.L. Bansal, Principal of the college, said the college would organise such camps in future too.


Quiz contest results
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, December 11
Priyanka and Hitesh Thakur won the quiz competition organised by the Swami Vivekanand Group of Institutes at Ram Nagar, near here, today. While Gagandeep and Deepak attained the second position, Neetu and Upasana secured the third position. About 160 students appeared in the preliminary round comprising 25 objective type questions.

The Chief Executive Officer, Mr Man Mohan Garg, said the institute would organise such events regularly to provide an opportunity to the students to develop their personality.

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