P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



75th year of Bhagat Singh’s martyrdom to be observed
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
All top political leaders, including former Prime Ministers V.P. Singh and I.K. Gujral, have agreed to observe the 75th year of the martyrdom of Shaheed Bhagat Singh in a big way in the country on March 23.

Shaheed Bhagat Singh, a symbol of the Indian freedom movement, attained martyrdom along with Rajguru and Sukhdev, on March 23, 1931, at Lahore.

Interestingly, no function has been organised in memory of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and his associates by the Centre or the Punjab Government so far.

Prof Chaman Lal, who works at the Centre of Indian Languages, JNU, New Delhi, told The Tribune on the phone from Delhi today that he had met Mr V.P. Singh, Mr Gujral, CPM leader Prakash Karat, CPI leaders A.B. Bardhan and Mrs Amarjit Kaur, RSP leader Abani Roy and several other leaders regarding the martyrdom day.

He said these leaders had begun efforts at their own level to hold a function as a tribute to the martyrs on March 23.

Mr Chaman Lal, who is also editor of martyr’s documents and vice-president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association, said he had talked to the Congress leader, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, and Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, Janata Dal (U) leader, and Mr Digvijay Singh in this regard. They had supported the move.

Prof Chaman Lal said one of the functions to pay tributes to Shaheed Bhagat Singh and his associates should be held at Lahore. Prof Bipan Chandra, Prof Randhir Singh, Prof Aijaz Ahmad, Prof Mushirul Hassan, Prof Prabhat Patnaik, Prof Krishan Kumar, Mr Kuldip Nayar and others had supported the idea of holding a function at Lahore.

The Lok Sabha Speaker, Mr Som Nath Chatterjee, had also been approached in this regard. He had responded favourably. The response of the President of India was awaited.

Several Pakistan-based scholars and writers like Fahmida Riyaz and Ahmad Salim had written about Shaheed Bhagat Singh in Urdu and Punjabi in Pakistan. These scholars supported the move to hold the function at Lahore.

The birth centenary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh starts from September 28 this year. A programme was being chalked out to celebrate the same in a big way in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh jointly by nationalistic and democratic forces.

The Union Government would be asked to declare September 28 as “National Youth Day”.

He urged the Prime Minister to set up a national committee to observe the 75th year of the martyrdom of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and also celebrate his 100th birth anniversary.


‘Sada-e-Sarhad’ hits Army truck, passengers safe
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 21
Two New Delhi-bound "Sada-E-Sarhad" buses got stuck here for over 45 minutes as one of the two Lahore-New Delhi buses suffered minor damage after it collided with an Army truck in front of the Surya Enclave locality on the Jalandhar-Amritsar bypass on the city outskirts this afternoon.

A South Africa-based woman was injured in the accident which took place at around 2 pm. A window pane was damaged and some dents on the left side of the bus (DL-I-PA3711) surfaced as a result of the collision.

Normally, just one vehicle goes to Lahore and comes back at a time, but, two Delhi Transport Corporation buses were heading for New Delhi in a row after a special permission, which, was granted keeping in view the large number of Lahore-bound passengers, who, had come to New Delhi to visit the Auto-Expo fair. The two buses-DL-I-PA-3711 and DL-I-PC 0786, escorted by two police vehicles, were returning from Lahore after leaving Pakistani nationals there.

Police officials, led by DSP P.S. Shokar, reached the spot and encircled the bus. Traffic on the busy Jalandhar-Amritsar road was diverted through side-ways.

The police said Seth Singh, the driver of the bus, had informed that the police officials travelling in the pilot vehicle had signalled the truck driver to keep his vehicle aside and the latter had moved to the road-side, but due to some confusion the accident took place.

The caravan of "Sada-e-Sarhad", however, was allowed to proceed towards New Delhi as the two parties reached a compromise. The Army officials, it was learnt, had agreed to compensate for the damage caused to the bus.


100 trucks loaded with dry fruit stranded at Wagah
Tribune News Service

Wagah, January 21
At least 100 trucks, loaded with dry fruit worth crores from Afghanistan have been stranded on the Pakistan side at Wagah for the past about one month, causing concern to importers from Amritsar, Delhi and other cities.

The president of the Indo Foreign Chamber of Commerce, Mr B.K Bajaj, said their consignments had been struck due to traffic congestion at the Wagah Joint Check Post as trade had become the ‘‘lowest priority’’ for authorities. He alleged that there were apprehensions of pilferage of dry fruit from the trucks. Apart from this, the traders will have to bear huge daily charges of the trucks also. Mr Bajaj said out of about 100 trucks that were stuck at Wagah, a eight belonged to his company.

Another exporter Rajdeep Uppal said there should be a separate entry point and timings for trade at Wagah otherwise Indo-Pak trade would suffer a colossal loss .

Wagah, which used to be hub of international trade before the Partition, has been hit hard following frequent visits of VVIPs from both the sides. The exporters from Amritsar said they were not opposed to the traffic on land route but measures should be taken to ensure smooth trade between both the countries. Efforts need to be made to revive the pristine glory of ancient trade route. The Amritsar-Lahore road was the only caravan route for traditional trade in the Indian subcontinent for more than five centuries. Traders would ferry goods from Dacca to Persia, making Amritsar the most favoured halt on the banks of rivers Beas and Ravi. Besides this the non-implementation of SAFTA (South Asian Free Trade Agreement) from January has also disappointed traders of India and Pakistan.


Arrest warrants issued against BJP MLA
Our Correspondent

Abohar, January 21
Arrest warrants have been issued against BJP MLA Surinder Singh Rathore and his Personal Assistant J.P Bansal, by the Judicial Magistrate (First Class) of Sriganganagar, Mr Rajesh Sharma. Both Rathore and Bansal were wanted in connection with a case of assault on Mr Mahesh Periwal, former chairman of the Municipal Council, Sriganganagar.

Mr J.C Gupta, SP (CID), had moved an application in this regard in the court on Thursday. Mr Gupta is heading the special investigation team, which had been active for the past three months, but had failed to nab the MLA and his PA in spite of carrying out raids several times. According to official sources the warrants were issued yesterday.

According to reports two persons posing as representatives of the electronic media had taken an appointment from Mr Periwal for an interview on September 22 last year. They came to Mr Periwal’s house at the scheduled time and shot at him from a revolver in his drawing room. In spite of losing an eye Mr Periwal grappled with one of them and raised an alarm. Ajay Singh and Ram Rattan were nabbed within a few minutes while trying to escape through different routes. As Mr Periwal suspected the hand of the local MLA in the attack, the state government formed a CID team to investigate the case.

Interestingly, even when Ajay Singh and Ram Rattan reportedly disclosed that Mr Bansal had made board and lodging arrangements for them and had even provided a mobile phone also, the police preferred to avoid taking the MLA and his PA in custody for interrogation. Both the suspects not only held meetings with senior police and civil officers but also held a press conference to claim that they were innocent.

Mr Periwal and his supporters had to face disciplinary action for alleging that a senior organisational leader was shielding the culprits.

Mr Rathore and Mr Bansal could not convince the court that they deserved anticipatory bail. The investigating team had pasted notices at their houses before moving an application in the court for issuing arrest warrants against them.


DSGMC helping Cong to retain power: SGPC chief
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 21
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) was not doing any “dharam prachar” in Punjab. Instead it was lending momentum to political activities at the behest of the Congress so as to help it retain power in the forthcoming Assembly elections, stated SGPC president Avtar Singh while interacting with mediapersons at Talwandi Sabo last evening.

The SGPC chief said Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna should first tell as to how many people he had baptised during the “dharam prachar” in and around Delhi. A few people making round of five-seven villages on a couple of vehicles could not be termed preaching.

He alleged that Mr Sarna was playing into the hands of the Congress, and in the wake of the forthcoming Assembly elections was damaging Sikhism in the garb of “dharam prachar”. He alleged that despite being close to Uttaranchal, Mr Sarna did nothing for the displaced Sikh families of Kashipur.

On the other hand, the SGPC made all efforts to help the aggrieved Sikhs in Kashipur, he claimed. Challenging the DSGMC to compete with the SGPC in “dharam prachar”, he accused the former of siding with the “enemy” of Sikhs i.e. the Congress.

Talking about forthcoming centenaries, the SGPC president said works relating to “Sampooranta Divas” of Guru Granth Sahib would be kicked off after a meeting of Shatabdi Committee on January 25. Earlier, he participated in the convocation ceremony of Mata Sahib Kaur Girls College. Takht Sri Damdama Sahib Jathedar Balwant Singh Nandgarh and college principal Dr Barinder Kaur were also present on the occasion.


Mann flays SGPC chief
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, January 21
Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, President, Akali Dal (Amritsar) today alleged that SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar had failed to fulfil his promise of overhauling the SGPC administration and the things were in a mess.

Mr Mann said the educational sector of the SGPC was in a bad shape and particularly the professional colleges were being run on the whims of certain political bigwigs.

Mr Mann further said that Mr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, former Vice-Chancellor, Punjabi University, had been appointed educational adviser of the SGPC and the Akali Dal when he was removed from the post on the charges of moral turpitude in an alleged sex scandal. How could he help in the establishment of Guru Granth Sahib World University. The SGPC, he alleged, was wasting funds of the golak by keeping him and had placed a huge sum at his disposal.

On the other hand, Mr Mann had a word of praise for Mr S.S. Boparai, the present Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, and said he had enforced discipline on the campus and the students had become regular in their studies. This would help in raising the academic standards of the university.

Mr Mann also had a dig at Mr Parkash Singh Badal and alleged that the BJP had not helped Sikhs in any manner during the six years of NDA rule at the Centre.

Mr Mann said the BJP president, Mr Rajnath Singh, had again raised the bogey of Hindutva and Sikhs in Kashipur had suffered because Udham Singh Nagar was kept out of Uttar Pradesh. The BJP was responsible for keeping Udham Singh Nagar out of UP.

Mr Mann said the Akali Dal (Amritsar) would celebrate the birth anniversary of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale on February 12 at Fatehgarh Sahib. This had become an annual feature now and Sikhs from overseas would also participate.

The Akali Dal (Amritsar) would also hold a rally at Nakodar on February 4 in memory of the Sikhs killed by the police in 1986.


Legislature-judiciary conflict unfortunate, says Badal
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, January 21
Mr Parkash Singh Badal, SAD chief and former Chief Minister of Punjab, expressed deep concern over the on-going confrontation between the legislature and the judiciary in cash-for-query scam and said this head-on confrontation was unfortunate for the country.

Talking to mediapersons at the residence of Bibi Mohinder Kaur Josh today, the former minister said Parliament was a supreme institution in a democratic country as all its members were elected duly by the people. However, the judiciary was also an important pillar in democracy. He hoped that some solution would emerge out from this on-going controversy.

He supported the decision of Parliament regarding the expulsion of 11 of its members from the House, involved in cash-for-query scam and said some more MPs of the Congress were involved in this scam. Such scams had brought a bad name to the country.

Mr Badal said leaders of the SAD would go to Kashipur (Uttaranchal) on January 23. After meeting Punjabi Sikh victims there, a strategy would be chalked out to get them justice.

Mr Badal criticised the Amarinder government and said it had done nothing for the development and betterment of the state and its inhabitants during its four-year regime.

Keeping in view the ensuing Assembly elections , Congress leaders were issuing statements regarding the introduction of various schemes for providing employment to unemployed youth. The claim of Capt Amarinder Singh regarding industrial investment of Rs 43,000 crore for providing jobs to five lakh youth of the state was a complete fraud, he further added.

The basic requirement for the installation of industrial units was power and the state was already facing acute power crisis, which had compelled many of the industrialists to shift their units to the neighbouring states where it was freely available.

Referring to the recent decision of the state government regarding proposed merger of primary schools with middle, high and higher secondary schools, he said basic infrastructure was required to run a school. Almost all schools were facing acute shortage of teachers in the state. Besides, there was lack of basic infrastructure, including inadequate buildings, furniture and other equipment. Instead of providing it, the state government had proposed merger of primary schools, which would further create complications.


Coop society’s secretary dupes members
Rs 3.78-crore fraud alleged, DC orders probe
Surinder Bhardwaj

Fatehgarh Sahib, January 21
In a sensational development, hundreds of members, belonging to the Co-operative Agricultural Society, Ambey Majra, met the Deputy Commissioner and alleged that the secretary of the society, Mr Baljinder Singh, had committed a fraud to the tune of Rs 3.78 crore.

The fraud was perpetrated by the secretary by allegedly opening bogus accounts in a bank in the name of the members. He later got loans sanctioned in the members’ names and withdrew the amount .

The fraud was detected when the members started getting notices from the bank asking them to deposit their loans.

The secretary had been missing from duty for the past 15 days which had further strengthened the members’ suspicion.

The members demanded that the secretary should be arrested and the amount, fraudulantly withdrawn from the bank, should be recovered from him.

They also sought a high-level inquiry so that the already poor farmers might not have to suffer without any fault of theirs.

While talking to The Tribune, Mr Gurinder Singh and Mr Surinderpal Singh, accompanied by other members of the society, said the modus operandi of the secretary was that he enrolled some bogus members and got bank accounts opened in their name.

He later started transacting through these accounts and used to withdraw and deposit the amount as per his convenience. The matter kept on going unnoticed for long.

Recently, when the members got the notices from the bank, Fatehgarh Sahib Central Cooperative Bank, to deposit their loans, they were surprised as they had never opened any account in the bank.

They said when many persons of the village got such notices, they inquired from the bank and were surprised to know that bank accounts in their names had been opened long back by the secretary and he had taken loans from the bank.

They said some genuine members of the society also had faith in the secretary and they used to give signed cheques to the secretary to get the amount withdrawn from bank.

Some members had given him money to deposit in bank as they had taken loans but the secretary fled with their amount, the members alleged.

To their surprise, bank accounts of those farmers had also been opened who were never a member of the society and had not opened any account either.

The secretary managed to get the account opened without completing any formalities like furnishing ration card or any other identification proof.

The members alleged that the secretary had amassed huge benami property worth crores, disproportionate to his known sources of income, and feared that he might flee abroad. They demanded immediate action.

When contacted, Mrs Jaspreet Talwar, Deputy Commissioner, said she had already directed D.R., Cooperative Society, to take action and necessary instructions had been issued not to attach the properties of the affected farmers.

Tehsildars had been directed not to make registry of the land belonging to secretary and his relatives as it had come to notice that the secretary was making efforts to sell the land purchased by him, she added.

The DC said D.R., Co-operative Society, was investigating the matter and the culprit would not be spared.

Meanwhile, Mr Jagmohan Lal, District Manager, Fatehgarh Sahib Central Co-operative Bank, told The Tribune that in the bank, there were more than 300 defaulters who had to pay loans worth more than Rs 3 crore.

He said it had come to his notice that some bank account holders had died long back but still their accounts were being operated regularly.

He said the bank manager, Mr Amrik Singh, had been suspended adding that an enquiry was going on.


SAD out to woo traders, industrialists
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 21
After farmers, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) is seemingly all out to woo industrialists and traders in view of the coming Assembly elections in the state.

The new strategy of the SAD became apparent as during his two-day sojourn in Jalandhar on Thursday and Friday, the SAD supremo Mr Parkash Singh Badal held meetings with more than 20 representative associations of trade and industry and virtually doled out an array of promises to them.

The SAD, it is learnt, is focusing its attention towards industry and trade under its ongoing programme to lure urban voters and at the same time not to lose its base among the farming community. “We are organising a state-level meeting of the representatives of trade and industry at Bathinda on February 5. Mr Badal wants to understand the problems faced by industrialists and traders as they are playing an important role in the economy of Punjab,” informed Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, general secretary of the SAD.

Mr Badal gave a careful hearing to traders and industrialists, particularly those having their about 250 production units at the Focal Point extension of Gadaipur, who have recently been served notices by the Department of Industry to vacate their units.


Justice Kuldip Singh against reckless exploitation of nature
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 21
“Don’t fill your banks with money by exploiting natural resources for selfish interests as you cannot buy pollution-free environment with it, instead save the environment for better future of the coming generation”, said Justice Kuldip Singh, a former Judge of the Supreme Court. He was speaking on the Role of Supreme Court — Environmental Law. He laid stress on sustainable development, to develop environmental jurisprudence and keeping balance between natural and the man-made worlds. The talk was organised by Guru Nanak Dev University here yesterday.

Laying stress on sustainable development, Justice Kuldip Singh said in present conditions a man was living in dual world, one natural world created by nature and the other man-made world. He said if we kept on increasing the man-made world by destroying natural resources then the natural world would shrink.

Justice Kuldip Singh pleaded for an urgent need of integrated sustainable environmental management and advised to use natural resources as required. He said that wastage of these resources should be avoided to keep ecology pollution-free.

He said the biggest challenge, the man faced today was of polluted environment which was more dangerous than cancer and environmental law was the only way to protect it. He emphasised to develop environmental jurisprudence and Directive Principles of Environmental Jurisprudence should also be provided in the Constitution.

Known as Green Judge of India, Justice Singh said that the Supreme Court had already done commendable job to protect environment through its judgments. He said the Supreme Court through its pronouncements had also developed Public Trust Doctrine. He said that the court held that government was not the owner of natural resources but it was only the trustee and the public was the beneficiary.

Terming all 14 rivers of the country as sewerage channels, Justice Kuldip Singh suggested to set up water sewerage treatment plants on these rivers. He said that important historical monuments, which were affected by air pollution, needed to be protected. General awareness and enforcement of environmental law could only be the tools, which could provide clean and pollution-free environment to human beings, he added.

Prof M.D. Singh and Dr Kashmir Singh of the Department of Law honoured Justice Kuldip Singh on the behalf of the university by presenting him with a memento and a set of university publications.


Empower ethnic groups: experts
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 21
Distinguished political scientists and sociologists of national and international repute recommended, that maximum autonomy and rights be granted to ethnic groups. This would invigorate the polity. The experts agreed that the latent colonial tendencies should be curbed to lend cohesiveness to the social fabric.

These scholars were here to participate in a three-day UGC-sponsored international seminar on “Ethno-Nationalism and Nation Building in South Asia” organised by the School of Social Sciences of Guru Nanak Dev University, concluded today .

The scholars also recommended a three-layered federal system be created with the Centre at the top having minimum power, giving some powers to the states and maximum powers be given at the local levels.

Releasing the recommendations, Dr Gurnam Singh, director, seminar, said the political scientists unanimously agreed that participation of commoners in decision making would further strengthen the civil society.

Prof Kirori Singh of South Asia Studies Centre of Rajasthan University, Jaipur, spoke on “Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka” and argued that the South Asian countries where grievances of minority communities veered around the entitlement, ownership and allocation of resources.

Dr Kuldip Singh, Director, Centre for South-Central Asian Studies, Guru Nanak Dev University, highlighted that Sikh symbols and traditions were revived with vengeance but only in reaction to communal and partisan response of communal organisations.

Dr Harmeet Singh, Guru Nanak Dev University argued that the Sikhs despite their strong sense of religious identity had a close affinity with the Hindus in Punjab. However, he said, this closeness received a major jolt in the second half of the 19th century when the Arya Samaj intervened.

Dr Surendra Chopra, Dr Darshan Singh Tatla, Dr Gopal Singh, Dr Rajinder Kaur, Dr K.S. Sidhu, Dr Karori Singh, Dr Smriti S. Pattanaik, Dr S.S. Narang, Dr S.S. Sohal, Dr Kuldeep Singh, Dr Rajesh Kumar and Mr Jatin Chopra also presented their papers on the theme.


Temple demolition leads to tension
Neeraj Bagga

Amritsar, January 21
Tension prevailed in the Takiya Channan Shah locality outside Lohgarh Gate here after the demolition of courtyard of a Shivala (temple for Lord Shiva) by Army men last night.

The Army authorities claimed that the temple was constructed on defence land. They said despite this fact some persons were constructing a new portion on it.

Residents of the area said only repair work was going on. They said the Army men had come here yesterday and demolished the front part of the temple.

However, as soon as people began to gather around the site the Army men left the area with the warning not to carry out any more construction of the temple.

A resident of the locality on the basis of anonymity said three different organizations, including the Wakf Board, Municipal Corporation and Defence, had been claiming the possession of the land. He said the Army had got the possession of it.

The residents said they would not confront the Army men but would request its authorities not to demolish the temple, which had been existing here for the past two decades.


Suicide bid case: SHO’s suspension sought
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 21
The suicide attempt by 14-year-old Rajvinder Kaur of Jhanduke village has become a major issue with the SAD (Amritsar) today announcing that if Baliawali SHO Gurdev Singh was not suspended and booked the party would gherao the Baliawali police station on January 24.

In a press note issued here, the district SAD (Amritsar) president, Mr Parminder Singh Baliwali, said a resolution was passed in a meeting of party leaders demanding withdrawal of "false cases" registered against Rajvinder Kaur and her brother Harjinder Singh. The party also sought appropriate compensation for the aggrieved family and punishment for Mr Ajaib Singh and his aides.

The party leaders lamented that none of the district administration officials visited the Civil Hospital to enquire about her well being.

The party's youth wing president, Mr Barinder Singh Mann, said they had gone to meet the DC and the SSP in this connection, but both of them were unavailable.

The party said on one hand the government was boasting of law and order in the state and on the other cops "were threatening people and forcing them to commit suicide".


Dharna against low rate of interest on PF
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 21
Hundreds of workers of trade unions and the CPI yesterday staged a dharna at the Commissioner Provident Fund Office on a call of central trade unions against the low rate of interest on provident fund.

Mr Amarjit Singh Asal, CPI district secretary, demanded an increase from the current of 8 per cent to nine and half per cent in interest rate which was at par with the interest rate drawn by senior citizens.

Decrying the government’s move wherein Rs 719 crore was taken from special reserve fund terming it as totally unethical and illegal, the CPI said the low reserve led to fall in the interest rate that directly affected the workers.


Eye check-up camp for drivers
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, January 21
Magma leasing Ltd., a finance company, today organised a free eye check-up camp for taxi owners, drivers and other vehicle drivers at GT Road, Sirhind. Mr A.S. Bedi, Regional, Head, inaugurated the camp. The eyes of more than 500 drivers were checked by a team of doctors led by Mr. Narinder Mehta, eye officer, Civil Hospital, Fatehgarh Sahib. Medicines were distributed free of cost to the needy.

Mr G.P.S. Lally, Sales Manager, said that the company would continue to organise such camps and would remain on the forefront for the social cause.


Book released
Our Correspondent

Patiala, January 21
A book of Hindi poems titled 'Ki Hai Jag Vich Tera' written by renowned Hindi poet Mr Bhim Sain Modgil was released by Dr H.S Sidhu, Additional Secretary Higher Education, Punjab at a simple ceremony organised by Punjab Languages Department here yesterday.

The Languages Department also honoured Principal Navrahi Ghungianvi with the best litterateur award and Mr Kirpal Singh Pannu was presented the Shamshire Punjab award.


Rodrigues to unfurl Tricolour at Ropar

Ropar, January 21
The Punjab Governor, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), will unfurl the Tricolour at the state-level function on the Republic Day at the Nehru Stadium here. Cultural items by students of schools and colleges and parade of jawans of the Punjab Police will be the main attraction, said the Deputy Commissioner, Mr H.I.S Garewal, yesterday. TNS


Shankar Samrat summoned to court
Our Correspondent

Abohar, January 21
A local court yesterday ordered that noted magician Shankar Samrat had been directed through public announcement to appear in the court to defend a suit filed against him on Friday.

Mr Baldev Raj Makkar, a local resident, stated in the court that he had been authorised to collect advertisement tax on behalf of the local Municipal Council last year. Shankar had got pasted hundreds of posters, displayed banners and signboards within the municipal limits without paying the advertisement tax. Mr Makkar requested the court to pass orders to stay the inaugural show of the magician to be held at a cinema house on Friday evening. The notice was immediately issued but the same could not be served as the magician was reportedly not available at the given transit address here.

The staff reported that the notice was pasted at the cinema house. As neither the magician nor any of his representatives appeared during the evening sitting of the court, directions for informing the defendant through “munadi” were issued. The court, however, refused to grant stay against holding the show by the magician.

Mr Jaskiran Singh, SDM, inaugurated the show last night. Earlier, the DSP, Mr Narinderpal Singh, had flagged off a motorcycle rally led by the magician after an eye specialist blindfolded Shankar Samrat. Hundreds of people created obstacles on the one km-long route but Shankar finished the performance successfully. He later claimed that the Deputy Commissioner of Ferozepore had permitted him to go ahead with the three-week programme in aid of the District Red Cross Society.

A letter signed by the Deputy Commissioner was shown to mediapersons but it revealed that the Deputy Commissioner had exempted him from the payment of entertainment tax only. Shankar Samrat said no council contractor had anywhere demanded publicity tax from him earlier.


Five-year RI for raping minor
Tribune News Service

Hoshiarpur, January 21
The District and Sessions Judge, Mr G.K. Rai, yesterday sentenced a resident of Fatehulhapur to five years’ rigorous imprisonment for raping a minor girl of his locality.

Besides, the court imposed a penalty of Rs 1,000 on him. The accused would go three months imprisonment in addition to the five years if he fails to pay the fine.

The accused, Mohinder Pal (40), was booked by the police for raping a minor daughter of Mr Raj Kumar, a resident of the same village, in January last year.


Undertrial beaten up by jail staff
Our Correspondent

Patiala, January 21
An inmate of the Central Jail, who had busted the drug racket going on in the precincts of the jail recently, was allegedly beaten up by security personnel on Thursday evening.

The jail staff badly beat up Narinder Singh who not only complained of the jail staff’s behaviour to a magistrate today but also showed him the injuries sustained by him. On the directions of the court, Narinder Singh was sent to the Rajindra Hospital for a medical check-up.

Narinder Singh, who has been admitted to the hospital, alleged that another inmate, Ranbir Chand serving a life sentence in the jail, had recently complained in written about the free sale of drugs in the jail, following which an enquiry had been ordered.

Narinder Singh, who was made a witness in the case, added that he was being threatened regularly by the jail staff ever since the enquiry was initiated.

However, things hot up on Thursday evening when some security staff personnel reached his barrack and started bashing him up in front of other inmates.

The jail officials were not available for comments.

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