P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



DGP: terrorists still getting training in Pak
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Small groups of Punjab terrorists are still getting training in Pakistan even though major training camps for insurgents have closed down there, said the Director-General of Police, Punjab, Mr S.S. Virk, while addressing the customary annual press conference here today.

Information in this regard was based on the interrogation of terrorists arrested in the past one year. “The training camps are gone and support for the insurgents has come down,” the DGP said. He admitted that small “modules” of terrorists were still active in Punjab and even outside the state.

The Punjab Police was determined to neutralise the remaining splinter groups of terrorists in the state, Mr Virk said while listing his priorities for next year.

During 2005, several efforts were made by Pakistan-based terror agents and their allies to revive terrorism in the state but these were successfully neutralised, leading to the heavy recovery of weapons and explosives.

He said anti-terrorist operations mounted against Babbar Khalsa terrorists like Jagtar Singh Hawara and his accomplices led to the arrest of 66 terrorists and their accomplices and the recovery of deadly weapons/gadgets and explosives, including about 50 kg of RDX and PETN, four AK-47 rifles, 15 pistols/revolvers, 19 hand grenades, 11 bombs and large quantities of ammunition besides a large amount of cash meant for reviving terrorist activities.

On the link of the recent recovery of arms and ammunition in the state with Kashmir-based militants, Mr Virk said the ammunition was of the type used by them. The DGP said a well-organised terrorist “module”, raised by Babbar Khalsa International, for carrying out major acts of sabotage and subversion was neutralised by the Bathinda and Jagraon police, respectively.

The DGP said that terrorism had been controlled effectively. However, there still existed the mischief potential of subversive forces enjoying the patronage of terrorist groups in Pakistan and other countries, more prominently in European and North American countries.

He said close watch was being maintained on the activities of formations having alliances with terrorist elements.

Several conspiracies intended to revive terrorism by way of selective targeting of persons had been neutralised. Accomplices of Hawara were trying to target controversial heads of religious sects and several other leaders and officers whose names figured on the “hit list” of different terrorist groups.

When asked about the whereabouts of Jagtar Singh Tara and Paramjit Singh Bheora — accomplices of Hawara and co-accused with him in the Beant Singh assassination case — the DGP said he could not comment on it at the moment.


Sanjivni to be launched on Jan 14
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Sanjivni, a healthcare scheme meant for members of rural cooperative societies, will be launched in Punjab on January 14. This was stated today by Mr Viswajit Khanna, Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Punjab.

Mr Khanna told The Tribune that already 3 lakh farmers and their families had enrolled as members under the scheme and by the second week of next month, the number would be 10 lakh. He said a member had to pay only Rs 300 as premium for a health cover of Rs 2 lakh in a year. He of she could get treatment at any of the 382 hospitals which were on the panel in the state.

Treatment, to which the members would be entitled from January 14, would be available at almost half the rates which had been settled with the hospitals concerned after negotiations. For instance, if a hospital charged Rs 2.5 lakh for a bypass surgery, under this scheme it would cost only Rs 1 lakh at that hospital, provided it was on the panel under the scheme.

In collaboration with the Cooperation Department, Punjab, the insurance company concerned organised a workshop here today for doctors and other service providers associated with the scheme.

Each additional member of the family would also be covered under the scheme. He or she would have to pay only Rs 30 in addition as premium. A small amount of service tax had also to be paid along with the premium. He said that by paying a premium of Rs 450, a family of six members could be covered under this health insurance scheme. The age limit was to 75 years. Otherwise, for a family of six members, private companies charged between Rs 9,000 and Rs 16,000 to provide health insurance cover.

He said at present only members of rural cooperative societies and their families would be covered under the scheme. Later, it would be extended to urban areas and other government departments such as Local Bodies and municipal corporations. He said as the enrolment under the scheme increased, the insurance premium would come down.

Under the scheme, the medical and surgical treatment of all diseases, requiring a minimum of 24 hours, hospitalisation, would be available at the empanelled hospitals. Besides, the scheme would cover treatment through dialysis and chemotherapy, radiotherapy, eye surgery, lithotripsy, tonsillectomy and coronary angiography. Delivery cases were also covered.

He said a member of the scheme could get himself or herself admitted to a hospital on the panel by showing the card issued to him or her. No cash payment would be taken from the member-patient. His or her medical bills would be reimbursed by the insurance company through a third-party administrator.

The scheme would function under the overall supervision of a trust headed by the Chief Secretary. The company roped in for this purpose was ICICI Lombard General Insurance Ltd. An additional registrar had been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the scheme.


State hospitals ailing
50 pc posts of House Surgeon vacant; doctors threaten stir
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 30
A section of doctors here today staged a protest against a large number of vacant posts (more than 50 per cent) of House Surgeon in almost all government-run hospitals in Punjab and threatened to burn their degrees if the authorities concerned failed to take corrective steps. The posts have been lying vacant for a long time, thanks to unattractive emoluments.

Senior doctors serving in various hospitals said if the vacancies were not filled soon, medical services in the state would be seriously hit. They said almost all hospitals in the state had been facing acute shortage of doctors.

Information gathered by The Tribune revealed that no post out of total 10 posts of House Surgeon in the local Mata Kaushalaya Government Hospital could be filled as no one applied for them when applications were invited recently. The Nabha-based hospital has been facing the same situation as no doctor has offered his services for five posts of House Surgeon there.

There has been only two House Surgeons in the Hoshiarpur-based hospital against a total strength of 10 posts. The Jalandhar-based hospital could find only 13 doctors offering their services against 20 posts of House Surgeon. The story is no different in the hospitals of Barnala, Nangal Dam, Talwara town ship, Bathinda and Mansa.

A cross-section of senior and junior doctors, serving in government hospitals, pointed out that at present a House Surgeon was being paid only Rs 4,800 per month while their counterparts serving in hospitals dotting the Union Territory of Chandigarh were getting more than 12,000 per month.

They said the state health authorities must understand one thing that how a medical graduate could serve on a meagre payment of Rs 4,800 and that, too, for round-the-clock duty.

Dr G.L. Goyal, Director, Health Services, Punjab, while admitting the fact that stipend being paid to House Surgeons should be hiked, said some of them used to leave their jobs midway after getting admission in postgraduate courses.

He said though they were a great help in providing medical services to the people in proper manner, they were usually being put on file-making jobs in the hospitals.

He said he would take up the matter relating to the hike in their stipend with the state government shortly. The state health authorities had sent all relevant papers and documents to the Department of Rural Development and Panchayats, Punjab, for recruiting more than 1,300 doctors on contract through Zila Parishads. These doctors would be used to fill the vacancies existing in rural dispensaries and hospitals.


Govt planning quota for Christians
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, December 30
The Punjab Government has been contemplating extending 2 per cent reservation in government jobs to the Christian besides the formation of a minority commission in the state. A formal announcement in this regard will be made by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in February.

This was announced by Mr Pratap Singh Bajwa, PWD Minister, Punjab, at a rally of Christians here today.

Mr Bajwa said the poor Christians of the state would be given electricity free of cost as in the case of poor Dalits. Most of the Dalits, who converted to Christianity, were living in abject poverty. Owing to conversion the benefits of reservation had not passed on to them.

Both issues have been long-standing demands of Christians. So, the government was considering giving special privileges to poor Christians, Mr Bajwa said.

The rally was organised by a member of the Punjab Staff Selection Commission and leader of the United Christian Front, Mr Kamal Bakshi, under the aegis of the Congress leadership.

Mr Bakshi said Christians were the largest minority community in the state. The state government should form a minority commission to redress the grievances of the minorities. Being the largest minority, the chairman of the commission should be a Christian.

He also urged the state government to take action against those opposing the religious programmes of Christians in the state. Some of the officers in districts had failed to take action against the alleged communalists, who had been disrupting religious programmes of Christians. The government should shift such officers, he said.

Reservation to Christians should be given on the pattern prevailing in Kerala.

The rally was organised as a show of strength by the Christians of the area.

Mr Khushal Behl, former Education Minister and local MLA, was among other Congress leaders who attended the rally.


GRP cop killed in firing
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 30
Gurdip Singh, a head constable in the General Railway Police (GRP), was killed and three others, including his two brothers, were injured under mysterious circumstances at a petrol station located near Bhagora village on the Ghanaur-Bhadurgarh road late last night.

Though the injured alleged that they were attacked by four occupants of a car, who allegedly looted the petrol station located in Bhadurgarh town and owned by Mr Surjeet Singh, while they were chasing them, the SSP, Mr A. S. Rai, said they were not attacked by the occupants of the car and firing took place out of confusion and proved fatal for Gurdip Singh.

He added the police was trying to find out that how the incident took place and who was the person who fired shots. The weapon used in the firing was also being identified. He said that those persons who were injured in this incident, were under the influence of liquor. The occupants of the car, who were alleged to be involved in the crime, had presented themselves before the police and explained the circumstances to establish the fact that they were innocent.

Information gathered by The Tribune revealed that Mr Surjeet Singh, owner of the petrol station, was informed by its employees that some persons, who were travelling in a car, had snatched cash from them and fled towards Ghanaur side.

After getting this information, Mr Surjeet Singh along with Mr Gurdip Singh, Mr Mohinder Singh, secretary, Zila Parishad (both brothers), and Mr Karamjit Singh started chasing the car in their own vehicle. These four persons saw a car standing at a petrol station located near Bhagora village.

While these four persons were involved in a fight with four occupants of the car, a section of residents of Bhagora village and the owner of that petrol station also reached there. During the quarrel, the firing took place and it claimed the life of Gurdip Singh. The injured were identified as Mohinder Singh, Karamjit Singh and Sarbjit Singh.

A case in this connection has been registered at Ghanaur police station.

Meanwhile, Mr Rai said the police was about to crack the case connected with a theft which took place in the police station of Rajpura town and the accused took lakhs of rupees and one revolver from its premises yesterday. He added that preliminary investigations had revealed that some persons, who were serving in the Punjab Police, might be involved in this case.


NRI’s murder case cracked
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 30
After some careful lobbying by a British MP and the subsequent pressure from the Punjab’s top authorities, the police today finally claimed to have cracked the murder case of Mohan Singh, an NRI from Leicester in the UK.

Seven of the eight persons charged with killing the NRI at a roadside dhaba near Phillaur on August 18 this year, were presented before media persons here. This included the main accused, Jasvir Singh alias Jassa. The IG of Jalandhar Zone, Mr Hardeep Singh Dhillon said the extradition of the daughter-in-law of the victim, who the police believed hatched the murder plan, would soon begin. “The help of Interpol will be sought to bring her to the country from the UK.”

The police has already booked Inderjit Kaur under Section 120 B of the IPC. The case was registered on the statement of Gurdev Singh, who was accompanying Mohan Singh with another friend to Ludhiana when the incident occurred.

The IG said Inderjit Kaur alias Minni, the wife of Salinder Singh, the son of the victim, conspired to kill her father-in-law in connivance with her paramour Sukhjivan Singh. “Sukhjivan Singh, a resident of Moranwali in Hoshiarpur district, wanted to go abroad, marry Inderjit Kaur and become a permanent resident of the UK. He also had his eyes on the property Inderjit Kaur would get after Mohan Singh’s death.”

Mr Dhillon said the divorce petition of Inderjit Kaur who had strained relations with her husband was in the courts.

The police, he added, got the vital clue in the case from the number of the vehicle used by the accused in committing the crime. “The number helped us trace the ownership of the vehicle and the telephone numbers of the owners.” The IG said the vehicle used in the crime had also been recovered.

Mr Dhillon added that initially the police was working on the theory of contract murder, but the accused Sukhjivan used his younger brother, Jasvir Singh, to kill the victim, he added. “The main accused with his friends beat up the victim with baseball bats and rods. But we are yet to recovery the weapons.”

Of the accused, Gurpreet Singh, a resident of Goraya, Hardeep Singh alias Deepa, a resident of Moranwali, Sukhjinder Singh alias Rita, a resident of Moranwali, were arrested on December 24 while Jasvir Singh alias Jassa, a resident of Garh Shanker, Rajwinder Singh alias Raju, a resident of Moranwali in Garhshankar, Palwinder Singh resident alias Pinda, a resident of Moranwali in Garhshanker, and Sukhjit Singh, a resident of Dhadda Kalan were arrested yesterday. The eighth accused, identified as Kulwant Singh, is absconding.

The case came into sudden limelight after Mr Keith Vaz, a British MP, met top politicians and police officials of the state.


PU’s special chance to compartment candidates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
According to the Controller of Examinations, Panjab University, the varsity has granted a special chance, as one-time measure, to all those candidates who were placed under compartment in BA/BSc/BCom/ BBA/BCA/ Prak Shastri/ Shastri/BSc(home science) examinations, but could not clear these between April, 2002, and September, 2005. All such candidates may appear in the compartment examination either in April, 2006, or September, 2006.

The examination fee for availing the aforesaid special chance is Rs 3,000 per examination form, plus late fee as per university rules as per this schedule:

For April, 2006, annual examination — the last date without late fee is January 25, 2006 (Wednesday); last date with late fee of Rs 1,015 is February 3, 2006, (Friday); last date with late fee of Rs 6,040 is March 1, 2006 (Wednesday) and last date with late fee of Rs 12,080 is March 22, 2006 (Wednesday).

For September 2006 supplementary examination — the fees is as per the common examination schedule for the year 2006 already prepared and circulated by the Conduct branch.

Students, who have already submitted their examination forms along with the normal examination fee as private candidates or are appearing in the full subjects examination as failed candidates and are now also interested in appearing in the compartment subject by availing the special chance, are required to fill in fresh examination form/s along with the balance of fee so as to make the total fee as Rs 3,000 per examination form, plus late fee, if applicable, as per the university rules.

The candidates will have to appear in the examination according to the latest syllabus in force and no further chance will be given to them to clear the compartment under any circumstances whatsoever. For more details, the students may visit the university website www.puchd.ac.in.


PU M Com I, II exams from Jan 18
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The Controller of Examination, Panjab University, has notified that M Com I and II (annual system) examinations will be held w.e.f. January 18, 2006 (Wednesday). These are the left-out cases (December 2005 reappear examinations) of those candidates who may have not received their roll numbers earlier.

The candidates are advised to contact the Assistant Registrar (Examinations I) in the PU administrative office building, Examination Branch (4th floor), personally, along with the duplicate examination form and duly attested photograph, for getting roll numbers on January 12, 2006 (Thursday) during working hours only.


Gold Palki yet to be installed in Pak
Our Correspondent

Amritsar December 30
The special bus carrying the gold Palki (palanquin) that left India on November 29, today returned from Nankana Sahib, Pakistan, via the Indo-Pak joint check-post here.

Baba Amrik Singh of the Baba Jagtar Karseva Waley who returned with the bus while talking to The Tribune said the formal installation of the gold Palki could not be undertaken at Nankana Sahib.

He said members of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC) insisted that only a 'sarbat khalsa' could decide on the installation of the Palki and its placement in the historic gurdwara.

Baba Amrik Singh said despite explaining to the office-bearers of the PSGPC that only the Akal Takht was authorised to call a 'sarbat khalsa'. They still stressed on getting the requisite sanction only through those means.

Baba said the Palki in the present state was lying in the Nankana Sahib deori and there was no move to make a proper installation of the Palki.

Earlier, Mr Mastan Singh, President, PSGPC, had stated that a 'sarbat khalsa' would be invited to make any decision on the Palki prior to it leaving the Indian borders.

The palanquin made of 15 kg of gold by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee was carried in a special bus making it a historic moment.

Meanwhile, a sum of Rs 65 lakh was offered in the golak for the Palki which was handed over to the PSGPC officials at Nankana Sahib, said Baba Amrik Singh.


Calcutta for world Sikh meeting
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 30
Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, who has been appointed chairman of the International Sikh Mission of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, proposes to convene an international Sikh conclave to consider steps to be taken with regard to the problems being faced by the Sikh diaspora globally. Sikh scholars will be invited to participate in the conclave.

Mr Manjit Singh told The Tribune on phone today that Sikhs in France were facing the turban issue that needed immediate attention of the Central Government. “I shall appeal to the Prime Minister to take up the matter on priority basis through diplomatic channels so that a satisfactory solution could be found out,” he said.

He said recent riots in Australia had also caused concern in the minds of the Sikhs. Besides, there were some problems in the USA, Germany and European countries.

He said steps would have to be taken to save the identity of the Sikhs against all on-slaughts in foreign countries. He called upon the SGPC to make sure that from next year no political conference was held on the eve of Shaheedi Jor Melas on the Guru Gobind Singh Marg from Chamkaur Sahib to Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo.

He said the political conferences tended to hurl accusations on the opponents to create unrest among the people whereas in the Sikh history ‘jor melas’ were meant to unite the people of all faiths.

He also appealed to the president of the SGPC that the dhadis and ragis should be given strict instructions that they should either recite Gurbani or relate episodes of the Sikh history only in big devans held on special occasions in big gurdwaras.

He said special programmes would be chalked out to observe the 400th martyrdom anniversary of Guru Arjan Dev and Gurgadi Divas of Guru Granth Sahib.

Meanwhile, Mr Harvinder Singh Sarna, president of the DSGMC, said Mr Calcutta had been appointed chairman of the International Sikh Mission to revive and propagate Sikh gurus’ teachings.


Police a lawless force in Punjab, says Mann
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) President, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, today alleged that an alarming situation had arisen because of indiscipline, lawlessness, corruption and brutality prevalent in the Punjab Police.

Addressing a press conference here Mr Mann said the police was functioning without any direction and control. “There is no administrative and political control over the Punjab Police at present”. He said the seniormost District Magistrates should be made head of the police in the districts to have proper control over the police, he added.

He gave instances of police “excesses” and of extra-judicial murders like the alleged killing of Gajinder Singh and Arun Masih. Lathi charges on innocent citizens, the torture of political opponents of Capt Amarinder Singh, planting of RDX and AK-47 rifles on Sikhs like Manjot Kaur of Chandigarh and Bhagwan Singh, Chamkaur Singh and Manpreet Singh of Jagraon were other instances given by Mr Mann.

He said there were police officers and constables who did not wear the prescribed uniform and released a set of pictures to prove his point in this regard. The registration of false cases had become a normal exercise, he added.

Mr Mann alleged a senior Congress leader had brought RDX and AK-47 rifles long ago from Afghanistan to counter militants in the state.

He said police terror had become more pronounced in the state. Both Capt Amarinder Singh and a former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, misled the Union Government to retain the present state police chief, Mr S.S. Virk, in Punjab.


Hike in allowances of Home Guard volunteers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The Punjab Government today enhanced the daily allowance of Home Guard volunteers.

An official spokesperson said the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had ordered a raise in the allowance from Rs 90 to Rs 150 with immediate effect.

He said the washing allowance had also been increased from Rs 20 to Rs 40 per month.

This increases would entail an expenditure of Rs 28.28 crore every year. For the remaining period of this financial year, it would cost the exchequer Rs 4.71 crore. Nearly 12,950 Home Guard volunteers would benefit.


Punjabi film actor Yash dead
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 30
Yash Sharma (71), Punjabi film actor, died of a massive heart attack here late last evening. His cremation took place today.

Many of his family members were not present at the cremation. His nephew performed the last rites. Yash Sharma had been living with his relatives here for the past many years, while his son and wife had been residing in Solan district, Himachal Pradesh.

Mr Rakesh Pappu, a relative of Yash Sharma, said they had informed his family but they could not make it to the cremation.

Yash Sharma, who had played major roles in more than 100 Punjabi films apart from some Hindi movies, had been facing bad days of late.

He worked with Amitabh Bachchan, Dharminder and many other stars. His film career started in 1966 when he played a role in black-and-white film Khed Preetan Di. For almost three decades, no Punjabi film was considered complete without him.

His popular films include “Mere Apne”, “Shehanshah” (both Hindi films), “Sarpanch”, “Mele Mittran De” and “Mitter Pyare Nun”.

Yash Sharma had suffered a paralytic attack and had been bed-ridden for the past few years. Mr Rakesh Pappu said neither the state government nor the local artistes bothered to visit him. No artiste was present during the cremation, he said.


Grievances of farmers redressed
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 30
Following media reports on the farmers’ threat to boycott forthcoming Assembly elections, the Talwandi Sabo SDM, Mr Kamal Kishore Yadav, the SDO, Mr Gopal Singh, and other staff of the Canal Department today visited Kanakwal village to take stock of the prevailing canal water situation.

The farmers vent their ire against the department officials and alleged that all their grievances fell on deaf ears in the past. They said if their problems were redressed in time the situation would not have worsened. The officials visited the canal tail and lent the farmers a patient ear. The farmers demanded that the distributary supplying water to their villages be cleaned up and illegal water outlets be checked.

The SDO assured them that the de-silting work would be done once they finish off sowing, which had already been delayed. He said the illegal water outlets would also be checked at the same time.

Though the farmers admitted to a marginal increase in canal water supply, but still it wasn’t enough to cater to their demands and they were depending heavily on tube-wells for sowing. They apprehended that delay in sowing would adversely hit their wheat crop.

When contacted, the SDM said they heard the woes of farmers. He said the department officials had been asked to check theft of water, if any.


Railway employees stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 30
Members of the All-India Railways Men Federation today organised a protest rally at the Sirhind railway station in support of their demands. Mr Ram Chander and Mr Charnjit Singh Bajwa divisional president, and divisional secretary, of the Northern Railway Men’s Union (Ambala division) addressed the rally. 

The speakers said that the Railways had implemented the recommendations of Fifth Pay Commission in 1993 and there was an agreement that after 10 years, the Sixth Pay Commission would be constituted, and in 2006 its recommendations would be implemented. 

They said that it was unfortunate that afterwards, no pay commission had been constituted what to talk of implementing its recommendations. They lamented that Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had passed the bonus of only 59 days. Earlier they used to enjoy the facility of 15 casual leaves, which had been decreased to 11 by the BJP government and the present government had made to 10. All employees recruited by January, 2004, should be covered under pension scheme. They said that they were covered under the new rules developed under the Employees Contributory Pension Scheme by which 10 per cent of the basic pay was deducted from salary and invested in share value of multi-nationals. If it gives profit, it would be good for employees but if he companies fail, the employees would suffer. It was demanded that the employees should be allowed to withdraw their PF whenever required.

It was stated that in the Ambala division, there were 103 railway stations and 105 posts of Assistant Station Master were lying vacant. Out of the total sanctioned strengthen of 18,263 employees consisting of drivers, guards, helpers and others, 1,245 were lying vacant.


Progress of welfare schemes reviewed
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 30
In order to review the progress of various centre-sponsored schemes initiated in the district a meeting of Vigilance Monitoring Committee was held here today under the chairmanship of Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra, MP.

Focus of the meeting was on the schemes started to raise the living standard of Scheduled Castes and Backward Class persons, of people living below the poverty line and to create employment chances for unemployed youths in rural areas. Ms Jaspreet Talwar, Deputy Commissioner, along with the district heads attended the meeting.

Mr Libra said during 2005-2006 under the “Sampooran Gramin Rojgar Yojna” a sum of Rs 1.14 crore would be spent and at present 1807 MT of wheat had been distributed under this scheme to village panchayats, Panchayat Samitis and Zila Parishads in the district.

He said under Indira Awas Yojna 96 houses had been constructed at the cost of Rs 30 lakh. He said under the self Jaldhara Scheme Rs 25 lakh had been sanctioned for seven villages and 24 villages were being covered under the Rural Water Supply Scheme.

He said that under the Swarn Jyanti Self Employment Scheme loans worth Rs 10.50 lakh had been given and besides this a subsidy of Rs 5.30 lakh had also been distributed. He said under the National Rural Pension Scheme Rs 11.30 lakh had been spent to give pensions to 1,255 beneficiaries and under the Prime Minister Gramin Sarak Yojna 12.20 km roads were being constructed in the district at a cost of Rs 3 crore.

Mr Libra expressed satisfaction over the ongoing projects and urged the officers to speed up the construction work.


Body cremated under compromise
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, December 30
After lengthy talks, the two sides, Paramjit Singh, husband of deceased Surjit Kaur, and Roshan Lal and Nirmal Singh, alleged killers of Surjit Kaur, finally reached a compromise and the body of Surjit Kaur was cremated at Langeri village cremation ground this afternoon, according to police sources.

It may be recalled that the body of Surjit Kaur, who had been missing from the house since December 22, was found floating in an abandoned well at Bharta village on December 27. After a post-mortem examination, the body was handed over to Paramjit Singh for cremation. But relatives of the deceased and Mr Manjit Singh, Sarpanch of the village, did not cremate the body under protest.


Spokesman staffer writes  to PCI
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 30
Mr Mohinder Singh, Bureau Chief here of Spokesman, a Punjabi daily launched from Chandigarh recently, shot off a letter to the Press Council of India (PCI) against the treatment meted out to him during a press conference called by SGPC chief Avtar Singh yesterday.

In a hurriedly called meeting of media persons it was decided to send a group of journalists to speak to the SGPC chief over the matter. Mr Mohinder Singh said he had gone to the conference of the Shiromani committee following its invitation.


Minister bereaved

Chandigarh, December 30
Surjit Kaur Kang, mother of the Punjab Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries Minister, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, was cremated here this afternoon. She died last night. She was 82.

Those present at her cremation included the PPCC President, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, and the Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, besides several members of the Punjab Council of Ministers, MLAs and senior officers of Punjab and Chandigarh. — TNS


Accident victim dies in PGI
Our Correspondent

Kharar, December 30
A resident of Morinda who had met with an accident near Gharuan village yesterday succumbed to his injuries today.

Satpal Singh and Harpal Singh, who were going on a bicycle, were allegedly hit by a Punjab Roadways bus. While Harpal Singh died on the spot, Satpal Singh was taken to the PGI, Chandigarh, where he died today.


Killer of uncle, cousin held
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, December 30
At last, a killer who had homicide his maternal uncle in December 1997, and his cousin in April 1999, has finally come in the police net.

According to police sources, Dr Daljit Singh, son of Mr Avtar Singh, a resident of Terkiana village, who was arrested under Sections 302, 364, 201 and 120 of the IPC and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act by the Bhulath police, during interrogation confessed that he had murdered his maternal uncle, Dr Mohinder Singh of Tanda Ram Sahai in December 1997, and his cousin, Gurtej Singh on April 12, 1999, on account of his illicit relations with Paramjit Kaur, wife of the latter.

He revealed that after doing matriculation, he joined his maternal uncle who was running a clinic at Terkiana village. He used to visit the house of his maternal uncle, where he developed illicit relations with Paramjit Kaur, the daughter-in-law of Dr Mohinder Singh. After some time when Dr Mohinder Singh came to know about the relationship, he became annoyed and instructed both to close this chapter for ever.

When Dr Mohinder Singh restricted his visit to his house, Daljit Singh hatched a conspiracy to eliminate him. In the end of December 1997, he took Dr Mohinder Singh to a canal near Uchi Bassi village on some pretext and pushed him in the canal.

When Mohinder Singh did not return home, he along with Paramjit Kaur propagated that he (Mohinder Singh) had gone to Mukerian for some work. He further said Paramjit Kaur and he provoked Gurtej Singh against Gurmukh Singh of Tanda Ram Sahai, who had a land dispute with the deceased. On December 25, 1997, Gurtej and his wife made a complaint against Gurmukh Singh to the police suspecting his involvement in the murder of their father. But due to lack of evidences, they could not establish his involvement and at last the case was closed.

Meanwhile, Gurtej Singh also came to know about the illicit-relationship of Paramjit Kaur with Daljit Singh. He also instructed both to put an end of these relations.

On seeing the attitude of Gurtej Singh, he again hatched a conspiracy to kill him, On April 12, 1999, he managed to accompany Gurtej Singh for Mukerian for bringing an LPG cylinder. On the way, he purchased some intoxicated medicines and liquor. While drinking, he added intoxicated tablets in the glass of Gurtej Singh. After consuming the liquor Gurtej Singh became subconscious. He also took him to the canal and pushed him in it.

On his confession of crime, the Mukerian police has registered a case.


Women done to death by in-laws
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 30
In a bizarre incident, Ms Sukhwinder Kaur, a local resident, was brutally beaten to death by her husband and father-in-law late last night after Sukhwhinder’s parents’ side failed to spend adequate money on the marriage of her daughter.

Sukhwinder’s father-in-law Devinder Singh and husband Kamaljit Singh gave repeated lathi blows to her after she failed to satisfy their greed for money, which they were expecting from her brothers at the time of her daughter’s marriage.

The police has registered a case against Davinder Singh and Kamaljit Singh, both residents of Dhaliwal Colony, on the basis of a complaint filed by one Hardev Singh, an employee of the FCI.


1 killed, 3 hurt in group clash
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, December 30
One person was killed and three injured when two groups clashed at a petrol station at Bhagora village on the Ghanaur-Bahadurgarh road late last night.

Certain unidentified persons in a Maruti Zen car snatched cash from the Surjit Singh, owner of the Guru Teg Bahadur filling station. The car was chased by Mr Mohinder Singh, Mr Surjit Singh and Mr Gurdip Singh.

The occupants of the Zen car were overtaken near the Ghanaur octroi post and an altercation broke out between the two groups. In the altercation, the revolver of Mr Mohinder Singh fell on the ground. The revolver was picked up by Sarbjit Singh, Sukhjit Singh and an unidentified person, who fired at Mr Gurdip Singh, who died on the spot.

Meanwhile, three persons — Mohinder Singh, Karamjit Singh and Sarbjit Singh — were injured in the clash. They have been admitted to Rajindera Hospital, Patiala.Senior police officials, including the Patiala SSP, Mr A.S. Rai, visited the spot.

A case has been registered against Sarbjit Singh, Sukhjit Singh and the unidentified person.


No headway in burglary case
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, December 30
Over 48 hours after a major burglary in the “malkhana” of the Sadar Police Station, in which about Rs 12 lakh, a revolver and three mobile phone sets were taken away, the police has failed to make any headway.

According to sources, a case under Sections 380 and 457 of the IPC was registered at the bus stand police post today. Though no official inquiry had been ordered, the SP(D), Mr Inder Mohan Singh, and the DSP(D),Mr Narinder Kaushik, are conducting a departmental probe, it is learnt.

It may be recalled that in a daring attempt burglars had broken into the ‘malkhana’ on the night of December 28 and decamped with the cash and other articles.

However, the police had kept the incident under wraps for the whole day yesterday. The SSP, Patiala, Mr A.S.Rai, had confirmed the burglary late last night. The sources said that burglars entered the “malkhana”through one of the ventilators from one side of police station.


Conference on thermodynamics
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 30
A galaxy of scientists who gathered here to participate in the three-day of national conference on thermodynamics of chemical and biological systems were of the unanimous view that a central funding agency should be established to develop and promote the national research facilities in the field. The conference, jointly organised by the Indian Thermodynamics Society, Amritsar, and the Departments of Applied Chemistry and Chemistry of Guru Nanak Dev University, concluded here today.

Eminent bio-thermodynamic scientists Dr R. Bhat from JN University, New Delhi, Dr F.S. Nandel from Panjab University, Chandigarh, and Dr V.K. Sharma from M.D. University, Rohtak, chaired the technical sessions.

Prof R.K. Mahajan of Guru Nanak Dev University presented a paper on “Interaction of conventional surfactants with some glycol additives and triblock polymers”, Dr Renu Chadha from Panjab University, Chandigarh, spoke on PVP on thermodynamics and Dr Onkar Singh Tyagi from Dehra Dun presented a paper on “Thermodynamics of single and mixed polymer stationary phases”.


Students visit science city

Chandigarh, December 30
Students of Gurmat Model High School, Ropar, visited the Pushpa Gujral Science City at Jalandhar. Accompanied by the school science teachers and the school Principal, the students were shown various inventions of modern science. The students enjoyed the dome theatre, the 3D laser show and the simulator rides. TNS

Students of Gurmat Model High School, Ropar, at the Pushpa Gujral Science City in Jalandhar.
Students of Gurmat Model High School, Ropar, at the Pushpa Gujral Science City in Jalandhar.


IOC petrol stations’ strike from tomorrow

Ludhiana, December 30
Petrol stations of the Indian Oil Corporation in Punjab will go on strike on January 1 to protest against the slashed transportation charges of petroleum products by the company.

Mr Ashok Sachdeva, general secretary of the Ludhiana Petrol Dealers Association, said they would not lift petrol and diesel from company’s godowns from New Year’s Day but would sell the products till their stocks lasted.

He said the company had asked them to receive the petroleum products through the tankers owned by transport companies that were charging at the rate of Rs 118 per km per litre while they had been transporting it at Rs 142. — TNS

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