P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Dosti bus has trial run
Neeraj Bagga

Wagah, December 13
The trial run of “Dosti” Lahore-Amritsar bus, bridging the oldest twin cities of Punjabi culture, entered the Indian side this morning to a rousing reception.

An eight-member delegation of the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC), headed by its Managing Director, Brig. Hasham Khan was travelling in it to understand the nitty gritty for the smooth run of the bus.

The bus brought the message of peace which was evident from the word, “Dosti”, written on the front portion and the national flags of both countries were printed on its either side.

Brig Hasham Khan said it took more than 50 years for the countries to start first bus. “Now we have introduced new buses and hoped that the process will not halt here”.

He said there was need to link the southern part of his country with India. For this, he said, the department would propose the government to begin a Karachi-Mumbai bus. He said the journey would be long but it would immensely benefit the people.

He stated that Pakistan had various sites of religious, cultural and historical interest and the government was working to exploit them. Temples of Sikhs, Buddhists and Hindus were located in Pakistan, he added. He said he would propose the next bus from Lahore to Ajmer Sharif.

When asked about the opening of visa centre at Amritsar, Brig Khan said it was not his area of jurisdiction but he would include this demand in his report to the Pakistan Government.

About high bus fare for covering merely 35 km journey, he said at the moment it was not possible to bring down the fare. He hoped that tariff would come down once the bus service became daily.

He said the date of starting the bus service would be decided during the two-day high-level discussion between India and Pakistan from December 20 in Islamabad.

For driver Mohammad Khalil, driving on Indian roads was not new. He has been driving Lahore-Delhi bus since its inception. He said “traffic condition in both countries is same. So it does not pose any problem to him”.


5000 Pak Ahmadiyas denied visa
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 13
Even as UK-based Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the fifth spiritual head of Ahmadiyyas Muslims would be visiting Qadian — the international headquarter of the community on December 15, more than 5000 Pakistan-based Ahmadiyas have been denied visas to attend the three-day 114th ‘jalsa salana’ (annual gathering), scheduled to be held at Qadian from December 26.

Mirza Masroor Ahmad would be the second spiritual head of Ahmadiyas who would visit Qadian after the Partition of the country. The first spiritual head visited Qadian in 1991 when more than 10,000 Pakistan Ahmadiya Muslims were given visas to attend the annual conference. Qadian Muslims are a persecuted community in Pakistan hence the government of Pakistan does not allow them to perform their religious rites freely. It is learnt that more than 20,000 Qadian Muslims had applied for visas to attend the ‘salana jalsa’.


Samjhauta Express running without guard
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 13
The “Samjhauta Express” has been running without Pakistan’s guard for more than two and half months as he could not get visa due to some technical reasons.

According to a senior Railway official, the presence of guard is mandatory as he who is responsible for checking the seals on the parcel wagons and the custom papers.

He said that at present the train examiner is doing the duty of guard as the visa of the Pakistani guard had expired on September 29 and the Indian Government had not issued the fresh visa.


Mian Mir Foundation’s Pak general secy suspended
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 13
The Sain Mian Mir International Foundation (SMMIF) today suspended its Pakistan chapter’s general secretary, Mr Azaz-ula- Naz following allegations of collecting money for getting visas to 70 Pakistani citizens who participated in the first festival held here in the memory of the great Muslim seer who had laid the foundation stone of Harmandar Sahib.

Mr Harbhajan Singh Brar, International president of SMMIF told The Tribune today that he had to take this step after receiving complaints from Pakistan’s residents, who participated in the festival that they had to give money ranging from Rs 2500 to Rs 7000 to get visa for India.

Mr Brar said, the SMMIF had constituted a two-member Inquiry Committee comprising Kudrat-ula-Chaudhary, Pak-based another general secretary of the Foundation and Group leader of Pakistan Times and Mr Hazi Badar, Chairman of the SMMIF, who would submit the report at the earliest. The SMMIF would remove Mr Naz from the primary membership in case he was found guilty of collecting money from his countrymen for visas. He, however, said till the submission of the report, Mr Naz won’t be allowed to bring any group from Pakistan on the basis of SMMIF.

Mr Brar also alleged that Makhdoom Sayyad Chann Pir Qadri, the Lahore-based 19th descendant of Sain Mian Mir had also collected huge offerings — more than Rs 4 lakh from India during his previous trip. He said the seer stayed for more than a month in his house and he took him to various parts of Punjab by spending from his pocket. He, said the seer was not invited this time to attend the mela as he was unable to bear more expenses of his visit.

However, when contacted, Mr Naz claimed that he had charged only Rs 1500 from each participant including visa fee, which was ‘negligible’. He further claimed that all those, who visited India as part of Sain Mian Mir Festival were satisfied with the arrangements. Mr Naz said that he would to clarify his position tomorrow before going back to Pakistan .

However, Mr Brar said that Mr Naz had not deposited passports of all participants with the SMMIF offices after their arrival and many of the Pakistanis were seen moving independently and hence caused a lot of problem for the organisers.


Terrorist victims’ body holds protest rally
Our Correspondent

Barnala, December 13
Activists of the Punjab Terrorists Victims Association organised a protest rally here today to express strong resentment against the conviction of six police officials involved in Mr Jaswant Singh Khalra case.

Under the leadership of Mr Bhushan Singla, the activists of the association started their demonstration in the form of a procession from the local railway station and concluded their protest by holding a rally infront of the office of the SDM.

The association submitted a memorandum to the Tehsildar for its forwarding to the President of India. The memorandum said that because of the pronouncement of punishment to six policemen by the court, including Mr Jaspal Singh, DSP and Mr Surinderpal Singh, Inspector, the terrorists victims were in terror. It further said that the morale of the security forces would come down.

Those who addressed the rally included Mr Bhushan Singla, Mr Rajiv Barnala, president, Punjab General Category Welfare Association and Mr Raghbir Chand, a BJP leader.


Sufis started dialogue on communal harmony
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 13
Highlighting the contribution of Sufis and their Silsilas to the socio-cultural tradition of undivided Punjab, historians from India and Pakistan today pointed out that the Sufis were the pioneers in starting irreligious dialogues for communal harmony and peace among the followers of different religions, particularly Islam and Hinduism.

Historians working on medieval Punjab gathered at Panjab University here today for the inauguration of a two-day seminar on ‘The role of Sufis in the making of Medieval Punjab’ organised by the Department of History in collaboration with the Iran Culture House, New Delhi.

Delivering the keynote address, Prof. I.H. Siddiqui from Aligarh said the magnanimity and tolerant attitude of the Sufi Silsilas towards people irrespective of their birth or creed paved the way for interaction between the followers of different religious traditions.

“This served to illuminate the relevance of Sufism to the speculative and intellectual traditions of theosophical learning, giving rise to the Bhakti cult,” he said, adding that the introduction of langar (public kitchen) by the Chishtis was an important contribution to our cultural heritage.

Earlier, Dr Surinder Singh and Dr I.D. Gaur, both of Panjab University, pointed out that it was in the medieval Punjab that Punjabi nationality began to sprout in its non-communitarian form and content. Unlike the socio- religious reformers of the colonial Punjab the medieval Punjabi reformers irrespective of their so-called caste and community affiliations shared a common genealogy of being non-conformists and non-sectarian.

Dr Tanvir Anjum from Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan, talked about the question of spiritual succession to the mystic heritage of Baba Farid, the famous Chishti saint of Ajodhan. She said according to the principles of Sufism, it was the spiritual lineage or the initiatic genealogy that was important; lineage by blood held no significance. Those who were unaware of these principles, including ordinary peoples and devotees as well as the rulers, approached the descendants of the Baba for various reasons.

Presenting a critique of the conversations of Sufi saints of Punjab, which was recorded by their disciples, Prof S.M. Azizuddin Hussain from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, said these records were known as malfuzat. He stated that malfuzat had greater historical value than any other category of historical literature for reconstructing social history of medieval India.

Prof Humaira Arif Dasti of the Department of History, Bahauddin Zakaria University, Multan, highlighted the contribution of Shaikh Bahauddin Zakariya to the growth of the Suhrawardi Sufi order. She demonstrated a relation between the Shaikh’s mystical ideas and their impact on the socio-economic conditions in Multan highlighting the differences between the Shaikh’s way and the Chishti beliefs and practices.

Prof Saeed Ahmad from Rawalpindi discussed the corpus of Punjabi Sufi poetry from Baba Farid and Khwaja Ghulam Farid. “Sufi poets of Punjab articulated the supreme significance of liberation of soul, union with God, sharing and caring, sacrifice, generosity, piety, compassion, fearlessness and humility,” he said, attributing their popularity to use of local expressions and dialects.

Dr Salim Muhammad from Malerkotla explored the role of Shaikh Sadruddin or Shaikh Haidar who emerged as the founder of the Malerkotla State in the 15th century. The scholar narrated the multiple role assumed by the shrine of the saint in the subsequent centuries, with particular reference to the development of a shared cultural space in which all strata of society acquired a dignified place.

Mr H.M. Muzaffari, Director of the Iran Culture House, discussed the different modes of defining the phenomenon of mysticism, particularly the contradiction between the form and essence of religion. 


Tarlok Singh’s death mourned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 13
The Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, Mr Tarlochan Singh, has mourned the death of Mr Tarlok Singh (93) in Delhi on December 10.

In a message, Mr Tarlochan Singh said Mr Tarlok Singh joined the Indian Civil Service in 1937. After Partition, he was appointed Director-General, Rehabilitation, Punjab, and was given the task of rehabilitation of lakhs of Hindus and Sikhs who migrated from Pakistan.

One could imagine his dedication and efficiency that during the period he was member of the Planning Commission, Yojana Bhavan, headquarters of the commission, was referred to as “Tarlok Bhavan”, Mr Tarlochan Singh added.


Dullo endorses CM’s religious agenda
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 13
Even as Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today geared himself up for the coming Assembly elections and started wooing the people by announcing a number of ‘gifts’ for the members of Bazigar community at its state rally held in Polo Ground, Punjab Congress chief Shamsher Singh Dullo endorsed the pursuing of ‘Sikh religion agenda by him by appreciating him for taking golden Palki to Nankana Sahib a few days ago.

While Capt Amarinder Singh announced that every member of the Bazigar community would be given ownership right of the land on which he had erected his house and the piece of land that he had been cultivating, Mr Dullo dubbed him a true devotee of Sikh religion for his efforts made in connection with the Palki. Mr Dullo criticised SAD leadership for boycotting the nagar kirtan, which carried Palki from Delhi to Nankana Sahib.

The Chief Minister also promised free education to members of the Bazigar community. Apart from it, they would be given reservation benefits and recruited in jobs in industries coming up in the state. He said a plot in Mohali and Rs 1 crore would be given for the Bazigar Bhavan. All Bazigar localities would be provided with the dharamshalas.

The Chief Minister also promised that prevalent contract system of labour for handling foodgrain in the markets would be eradicated and this job would be handed over to the members of the Bazigar community as per the old tradition.

The rally held by the Bazigar Sabha was attended by Mr Surinder Singla, Mr Lal Singh (both ministers) and Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Parliamentary Secretary and president of the All-India Bazigar Banzara Sabha.

Mr Dullo also urged the Chief Minister to fulfil some of the promises made in the Congress manifesto. He also urged him that the Congress government should defer the recovery of loans from the members of Scheduled Castes on the pattern of deferment of recovery of loans advanced to farmers.

Mr Surinder Singla alleged Mr Parkash Singh Badal had during his previous rule, destroyed the economy of the state.

He added that a package of Rs 800 crore would be given for urban areas, while a package of Rs 400 crore would be given for rural areas for development in trageted sectors.

Power Minister Lal Singh said the bazigar community had its own identity as on one one hand its members kept themselves away from the evils of crime and addiction, and on the other they also contributed a lot for the country in general and Punjab in particular. He said all 117 MLAs of Punjab should be asked to get training from the Bazigar community so that they could know how to speak in the Vidhan Sabha.

Mr Dharamsot condemned former Congress Chief Minister Harcharan Singh Brar for refusing to accept the genuine demands of the Bazigar community when he was in power.

A section of local leaders of the Congress also attended the rally.


Sarbjit to sing in Shah Rukh’s film
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 13
Shah Rukh Khan, too, seems to develop passion for Punjabi music as he has invited folk singer Sarbjit of “Koka” fame to lend her voice for a song in one of his coming films.

Sarbjit, who had shot into fame about a decade ago when her song, “Koka Khadwa de ve Mahiya Koka,” had turned into one of the biggest hits of those days, had a meeting with him in Delhi on November 9 at a wedding function.

After listening “Mirza” from Sarbjit, Shah Rukh was so impressed by her voice that he asked her to sing in his next home production.

“Shah Rukh is said to very choosy about praising some artiste but he was so happy at the end of my three-hour-long performance that he instantly offered me to sing in his next film, which would be weaved around the life of dreaded warrior “Changez Khan,” said Sarbjit.


SAD asks tainted MPs to resign
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, December 13
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today asked the 11 MPs of different political parties, allegedly involved in the “cash for questions in Parliament” scam, to resign on moral grounds. Accepting money for raising questions in Parliament was a “shameful act” on part of the “erring” MPs and a blot on the forehead of the country’s democratic set-up.

Talking to The Tribune on phone this evening, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, secretary-general of the SAD and MP from Sangrur, said in case these “erring” MPs declined to resign, their parties should take stern action against them.

He asked the parties concerned not to hesitate even expelling these persons, in case they did not resign.

He said the downfall in political morality was an outcome of the “faulty” election system as every candidate had to spend a lot of money to win the Lok Sabha or Assembly elections.

He said the election expenditure encouraged corruption among the politicians. He asked the Union Government to take effective steps to bear the entire expenditure of the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in future to curb corruption in the existing political system.

In reply to a question whether the relations between the SAD and the BJP would suffer due to the alleged involvement of some MPs of the BJP in the scam, he answered in the negative.

He said the SAD was prepared for the ensuing Assembly elections in the state.

AMRITSAR: Meanwhile, Ms Lakshmi Kanta Chawla, vice-president of the state unit of the BJP, on Tuesday demanded stern action against those MPs who were caught on camera while accepting bribe for raising questions in Parliament.

In a press note issued here, she said the actions of such MPs had bowed the head of Indian democracy in shame. She said these MPs deserved stern action and should immediately be arrested. She said they should not be forgiven on any condition.


Arrest tainted MPs, demands SAD (A)
Our Correspondent

Barnala, December 13
The SAD (Amritsar), Barnala region, has demanded an immediate arrest of all MPs involved in cash for questions in Parliament scam.

The party made this demand at an emergency meeting of its office-bearers at the residence of Mr Pritam Singh Toni, Sanghera, general secretary, today which was attended by Dr Jasvir Singh Daangon, Municipal Councillor, Sanghera (Barnala), Mr Gurjit Singh, president of the Sanghera Co-operative Agriculture Service Society, Mr Darshan Singh Bihla, president, PenduVikas Seva Society, Mr Ginder Singh Jwandha and Mr Bara Singh.


Applications invited for PSERC chairmanship
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 13
The Punjab Government today issued orders to invite applications for the post of Chairman of the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC). The commission decides on power tariff and other crucial matters relating to the power sector in the state.

The five-year tenure of the Chairman, Mr R.S. Mann, a former Chief Secretary, ends in the first week of January.

It was widely expected that the government would simply appoint a successor to Mr Mann. However, the decision to invite applications is being seen as an unprecedented step. Normally, the chairmen of such commissions are appointed direct by the Chief Minister.

It was being speculated that the outgoing Chief Secretary, Mr Jai Singh Gill, would be the new Chairman of the PSERC. Now the field in wide open and several new applicants may be interested, a senior official told The Tribune here tonight. The search would not be restricted to only the bureaucracy and would include persons with a background in the power and finance sectors, the official said.

The government has also invited applications to fill the post of member of the PSERC. This had fallen vacant after the death of Mr H.K. Sood.

Today's orders of the Department of Power said that an applicant for the post of chairman should be working or should have worked in a pay scale equal to or higher than that of a principal secretary to the government or as a member of the state electricity board or as director of any central power sector undertaking. Applicants having a working knowledge of the Punjabi language would be given preference.

In the case of member of the PSERC, the government made it clear that the applicant should be at least a graduate in electrical or mechanical engineering and should be working or have worked in the power sector in the pay scale higher than that of a chief engineer.

The last date for applications is January 9, 2006. The applicant should not be more than 62 years of age as on February 1, 2006. The tenure is five years.

The government had earlier constituted a committee comprising judges and officials to select the Chairman of the PSERC. The committee had decided to invite applications.


Dharna against police inaction
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 13
Residents of Ajnala, under the banner of Anti-Repression Action Committee, today staged a dharna in protest against police inaction against those who had “illegally” razed the house of a retired teacher and included the land in an adjoining Gurdwara area.

Mr Gurnam Singh, general secretary, Dhahati Mazdoor Sabha Punjab, while addressing the crowd said the police had failed to nab the culprits and take action even after nearly two months of the incident.

The house of retired Punjab Government teacher Jaswant Singh was razed allegedly by the head of Gurdwara Tahli Sahib on the Ajnala-Chuganwa road.

Mr Jaswant Singh along with family members had gone to Amritsar for some domestic exigency and had come to know about the incident on September 26th from his elder brother with whom he had kept the keys of the house. They alleged that the police instead of taking action helped the accused in grabbing and demolishing his property.


Removal of hoarding flayed
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, December 13
The Dal Khalsa today took to task those BJP leaders who were allegedly instrumental in removal of the hoarding put by it on the outskirts of the Amritsar railway station by dubbing it communal.

Leaders of the organisation, including Mr Harcharanjit Singh Dhami, Dr Manjinder Singh Jandi, both members of the executive committee, and Mr Gurdeep Singh, district president of the Hoshiarpur unit, said there was nothing unlawful written on the hoarding. It was put up to welcome Golden Palki being taken from Delhi to Nankana Sahib by the DSGPC. The banner read “Sikh Quam Di Rajdhani Amritsar Vich Aapda Swagat Hai”, besides showing a huge picture of Darbar Sahib. They criticised the administration for falling in line with the BJP by removing the hoarding and making the issue out of a non-issue.

In a press statement here today, they alleged there were different sets of rules and laws for majority and minority communities in the country. They wanted to know why a similar board put by the Akhil Bharti Prishad mentioning Delhi as the capital of Hindu Rashtar at the Delhi railway station was not removed.


Medical camp organised
Tribune News Service

Kharar, December 13
A general medical check-up camp was organised by the Shahid Bhagat Singh, Memorial Society, Punjab, in collaboration with the Youth Welfare Club, Mundi Kharar, here. The society president, Mr Arun Sharma and the club president, Mr Bunty Jain, said 325 patients were checked during the camp.

The society’s general secretary, Mr Darshan Singh Sodhi, and the club’s general secretary, Mr Gurjit Singh, said doctors from the Civil Hospital, Kharar, conducted the camp.


high court
Verdict on PIL reserved
Job for Minister’s son
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 13
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today reserved its verdict on a PIL challenging the selection and appointment as Inspector on compassionate grounds of the son of Punjab Excise and Taxation Minister Sardul Singh under the category of terrorist-affected family.

The petition has been filed by Mr Surjit Singh of Patiala, who has alleged that the appointment was a clear-cut case of nepotism. He has stated that invoking the provisions of the 1996 policy relating to the relief and assistance for terrorism-affected families was illegal.

Today, after hearing all the parties, the Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Mr Justice D.K. Jain and Mr Justice Hemant Gupta reserved the judgement.

The son of Mr Sardul Singh, Tejinder Pal Singh, was appointed directly as an Inspector in the Punjab Police on the ground that the family had suffered during terrorism. The Minister had claimed to have been injured in 1992, when a grenade was hurled at the then member of Parliament, Mr Surinder Singh Kairon, at Amritsar.

However, during hearing, counsel for the petitioner told the Bench that while the minister’s son had been appointed Inspector in Punjab Police, nothing had been done for the family of the gunman of Mr Kairon who was killed in the incident. He also stated that the minister’s injury was not due to any attack on him by terrorists. He was merely present at a place, where terrorists had lobbed a grenade.

The petitioner has also questioned the action of the Home Department in preparing a special case for the benefit of the minister’s son.


Bail for Nayagaon rape accused
Tribune News Service

Ropar, December 13
The four accused in the Nayagoan minor rape case, including Satpal, Rajwinder, Surinder Mohan and Labha Singh were today granted bail by a local court. The four accused had been arrested by the SIT for allegedly harbouring the accused in the case.

The SIT constituted by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, had filed a challan against 23 accused involved in the case in the special court, Ropar.

The victim, daughter of a Punjab police driver residing in Khuda Ali Sher, was allegedly raped by a group of men. At that time, she was barely 12 years old and was studying in class VIII. For the next two years, the victim had allegedly been raped by some of the accused. The victim complained to the police only when she got pregnant and delivered a child in the PGI on March 5, 2003.

Finding the police incapable of arresting the accused in the case, the victim’s father had moved a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on October 2003 alleging that after release of her daughter from PGI on March 5, 2003 she, her younger brother and mother had been abducted by the accused from Nayagaon.

They were detained in Mani Majra.

Besides, the victim’s father also alleged that on very next day, he was also kidnapped by Gurbachan Singh, a resident of Karoran village and others, including Ramkesh, his two brothers Mohinder Singh and Sajan Singh. The accused had committed crime with connivance of some of the police officials he had alleged.

Giving details the victim’s father had alleged that the petitioner further stated that the group along with the SHO managed to browbeat the family into giving a false statement before the judicial magistrate.

The high court on May 31, 2005 had passed a strong order directing that the investigations in the case be completed within three months.


Notice to Punjab on election of panchayat chief
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, December 13
The Supreme Court today issued notices to the Punjab Government and the Sangrur District Panchayat Officer (DPO) on a petition alleging that the latter had interfered with the Kanauri nagar panchayat election and got defeated candidate “declared” elected president.

The notices were also issued to councillor Girdhari Lal Garg, who was “declared” elected even when he had lost by a vote in the 13-member nagar panchayat when the councillors had assembled to elect the president on September 30.

A Bench of Chief Justice Y.K. Sabharwal, Mr Justice C.K. Thakker and Mr Justice P.K. Balasubramanyan sought replies from the government and DPO Kuldeep Singh within four weeks to a special leave petition (SLP) by seven councillors.

Petitioners’ counsel said all seven members, including elected candidate Satgur Singh, had not appended any signature on the resolution electing Gagar as president as they had only signed the register for the day’s proceeding.


Charges framed against ex-chief of Forest Corpn 
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 13
The local court framed charges against the former Chairman of the Forest Corporation and the Akali leader, Mr Manjinder Singh Kang, in a case of amassing properties disproportionate to known sources of income after the Vigilance Bureau presented the challan against him.

According to information, besides the allegations of having properties disproportionate to his known sources of income, he was also charged by the Vigilance for misusing his official powers for his vested interest. The VB submitted the necessary documents containing challan in the court of Mr Justice M.S. Randhawa, Additional Sessions Judge, here today. 


BKU decides not to pay power dues
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 13
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Ekta has decided not to pay power dues of farm motors and stage protest against the electricity board employees bid to recover it forcibly.

A meeting was held under the senior vice-president, Mr Jhanda Singh Jethuke. Representatives of farmers from various districts said they had forced the Congress government to implement its poll promise of free power by boycotting power bills in the past three years and would now agitate to write off the dues and reimburse the bills paid in the past for the complete fulfillment of poll promise.

The union’s general secretary, Mr Sukhdev Singh Kokri, said they would gherao the board officials who would snap their power connection or would deny changing defunct transformers.

The union also demanded that the electronic meters should not be installed for domestic power supply and wherever installed they be replaced with old meters.

The union leaders said they had received a number of complaints of electronic meters inflated bills and technical snags in a short span of time.

Mr Kokri said they had submitted a charter of demands to the PSEB management and warned that if the electronic meters were not replaced, they would mobilise the consumers to take them off and submit them to the board’s offices.


Wages of Home Guards to be hiked
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 13
Punjab Finance Minister Surinder Singla said today that the wages of Punjab Home Guard (PHG) jawans would be hiked to Rs 150 from Rs 90 per day shortly.

While talking to TNS, Mr Singla said the hike in the wages would be made only if jawans would maintain discipline and would not adopt any agitational path.

He added that though the jawans were demanding that their daily wages should be increased to Rs 120 from existing Rs 90, he decided to give them Rs 150 as their daily wage. This was being done as the state government was having sound fiancial health now and could afford this increase.

Hundreds of jawans staged a dharna in this town and block traffic yesterday for putting pressure on the state government to provide them all those facilities, which were being given to Punjab Police personnel.


Two held for murder
Tribune News Service

Kharar, December 13
The police today booked two persons on charges of causing death due to negligence and hiding the dead body. The two Manjit Singh alias Mani and Gurvinder Singh alias Mithu have been arrested by the police for the death of Foopinder Singh, a resident of Allahpur village whose blood stained body was found lying in open fields in Radiala village on the Kharar-Kurali road early this week.

According to the DSP Kharar, Mr Rajbachan Singh Sandhu, Foopinder who worked as a truck driver had gone with the two accused in a tractor trolley on the evening of December 5. The three were friends and were drank. On their way back, Foopinder reportedly fell off the tractor and was crushed to death under the trolley’s tyres. The two in a state of panic picked up the injured Foopinder and threw him in the fields on the way.

A case under Sections 279 and 304 was lodged when Foopinder’s body was recovered by a passerby the next morning. Section 201 (getting rid of the dead body) was added by the police today. Foopinder’s family had identified his body which remained unidentified with the police for a day after the incident.

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