P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Teachers’ demand for DA merger accepted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The Punjab Government has accepted the demand of merging 50 per cent DA in the salary of the teaching and non-teaching staff of government aided private colleges in the state. On account of this merger, a college teacher will get Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,500 more per month.

Stating this here Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister, said five of the seven demands put up by the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) and the Punjab Government College Lecturers Association before her today had been accepted.

Welcoming the decisions, Dr Jagwant Singh, general secretary PCCTU, said these were taken by a high-powered committee constituted in April, 2005, by the Chief Minister to look into the demands of the PCCTU.

He said the government had agreed to 5 per cent house rent allowance to be given on the basic pay to the staff of the aided colleges located in towns having a population of less than 50,000. It had also been decided to continue with the 95 per cent salary-deficit grant-in-aid scheme, release arrears of pay on account of allowances and PF and relax the condition of refresher courses up to October 31,2005.

Regarding the pension-gratuity Scheme, Mrs Bhattal said the matter was being discussed. Some points would have to be taken to the Cabinet for discussion.

Responding the issue of absorption of the staff affected by the shifting of +2 classes raised by the PCCTU, the committee had asked for some more information regarding steps taken by Haryana Government under similar circumstances, said Dr Jagwant Singh.

The PCCTU had been agitating in support of these demands for the past few years. It boycotted the examinations on April 2, 2005, that forced Panjab University, Guru Nanak Dev University and Punjabi University to postpone the examinations. The PCCTU also observed a protest week from January 19 to 24, 2006.

Mr R.S. Brar, president, PCCTU, thanked Mrs Bhattal for agreeing to certain key demands of the PCCTU and hoped that under her leadership the committee would also solve the vexed problem of implementation of the pension scheme of 1996.


Panel okays recruitment to 3,000 police posts
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
A high-powered committee headed by the Punjab Chief Secretary has cleared recruitment to 3,000 posts of the Punjab Police, a senior functionary of the state government confirmed to The Tribune today.

Now DSPs, Inspectors, Sub-Inspectors, Assistant Sub-Inspectors, Head Constables and constables will be recruited direct by inviting applications. The Council of Ministers will give the final nod to the clearance.

Sources in the police said a meeting of the high-powered committee was originally scheduled for January 16. However, it was postponed. It was finally held and the matter was cleared. This clearance would mean that for the first time since the Congress was voted to power, a recruitment drive will take place for the police.

Official sources said the recruitment of teachers, policemen and doctors was part of the plan of the Congress-led government in the state as a run-up to the Assembly elections.

The committee cleared the request of the police for the following vacancies: SPs —16; DSPs — 126; Inspectors — 101; SIs —164; ASIs —164; Head Constables — 295; and Constables — 1687.

Since 1996, no direct recruitment of DSPs and constables has taken place in Punjab. In the case of DSPs the Punjab Public Service Commission will carry out the process. In the case of promotion of DSPs to SPs the PPSC will be roped in.

Selection boards will be formed to recruit personnel at various levels. For recruiting constables a board has been constituted which will be headed by an official of the rank of DIG.

The Director-General of Police, Mr S.S. Virk, has been asking for more 5,000 posts. The Police Department had said that a ban on the recruitment of Constables, ASIs and Inspectors had led to a situation where no fresh blood was being inducted. This was needed as the force was aging.

Other than the Chief Secretary, Mr Jai Singh Gill, the high-powered committee comprised the Home Secretary, Mr A.K. Dubey, the Financial Commissioner, Development , Mr P.K. Verma, and senior police officials. The Council of Ministers had referred the matter to the committee.

About two months ago the Punjab Government had cleared the recruitment of 1,000 to 1,200 police personnel for a new battalion of the India Reserve Battalion to be set up with part funding from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.


Lone Pak national boards Punj-Aab
Harbans Singh Virdi
Tribune News Service

Lahore/Amritsar, January 25
The "Punj-Aab" bus service, which was on its inaugural run proved luckier for a Kasur resident, Choudhary Allah Ditta, who boarded the bus on its return journey to Amritsar to visit his native place near Ferozepore. He was the only Pakistan national who travelled with the 23 passengers having a VIP tag. The "Punj-Aab" bus, which rolled to Lahore yesterday with all the fanfare, returned to its original base in Amritsar - the international bus terminus - with all its VIP baggage, this afternoon.

Only 23 out of the 39 passengers who visited Lahore returned - the three NRIs, one each from Singapore, the USA and New Zealand - opted to stay back and savour the delicacies of Food Street, Lahore, which turned out to be a major hit with Indian passengers.

The VIPs - Mr Sardool Singh, Minister, Excise and Taxation, Mr Mohinder Singh Kaypee, Minister, Transport, Mr Darbari Lal, Deputy Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, and Mr Ashwani Sekhri, Parliamentary Secretary - who were all put up at five-star hotel Pearl International, returned with the rest of the passengers.

Mr A.R. Talwar, Secretary, Transport, was also at hand to study the problems which the passengers normally face during such short journeys.

Even though the passengers did not have much time at their disposal, they utilised most of their time shopping at Liberty Market and the now famous Anarkali Bazaar besides the Food Street, which remains the popular eating joint of most "Lahoris".

The "Punj-Aab" bus had two drivers - Mr Jasbir Singh and Mr Karnail Singh - on board, not to drive in turns. Though the latter is the driver of Punjab Roadways, yet it was Jasbir Singh who drove the bus on both routes - to Lahore on January 24 and back to Amritsar today. Inside sources revealed that it was because the Volvo bus was owned by the Libra Bus Company, which insisted their driver Jasbir Singh drove the bus.

Nevertheless, the bus ride to Lahore was neither bumpy not boisterous; it was a smooth sailing driving experience.


Six baratis among 7 killed in accident
Varinder Walia and Gurbaxpuri

Amritsar, January 25
A wedding in the sleepy border town turned into a tragedy when as many as six baratis, including a seven-month-old female child and a Canter-borne person, were killed on the spot, while 13 others sustained injuries, about 45 km from here today. The Tata Sumo collided head on with the Canter today afternoon. Most of the deceased were Dalits.

The driver of the Tata Sumo, Manjinder Singh (22) of Bagrian village, however, succumbed to his injuries on the way to hospital. The ill-fated Tata Sumo (HR01-E 8340) was going from Bagrian village to Patti for the wedding ceremony when tragedy struck at Thathian Mahanta village, near Sarhali. Eyewitnesses said the speedy Tata Sumo tried to overtake a truck and hence collided head on with the Canter (PB 04 H 9850).

The deceased have been identified as Komal (seven months), her mother Harjinder Kaur (30), residents of Boparai village, Dalbir Kaur (35) of Dhapai village, Harjit Kaur (40), a resident of Ghanupur Kale village, Manjit Kaur (55) of Dhaulkala village, Manjinder Singh (22), driver of the Tata Sumo. The Canter-born Mewa Singh, alias Gurjant Singh (30), a resident of Bajakhana also died.

The Canter was coming from Jaiton to Amritsar. However, the driver of the canter, Mr Gurmit Singh, cleaner Gurdip Singh and Goga were injured in the mishap.


Inside Babudom
2 more CRPF officers absorbed in police
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
In less than 24 hours of the High Court’s direction to the Punjab Government to absorb Ms Amrit Brar, Assistant Inspector-General, Welfare and Litigation, two more officers from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been ordered to be absorbed in the state police.

Now Mr S.P.S. Basra and Mr Rakesh Chandra, too, will be part of the Punjab Police. Mr Basra is at present posted in the Punjab Police Control Room while Mr Rakesh Chandra is the Additional Deputy Secretary, Home Department.

With their absorption, the number of CRPF and Border Security Force (BSF) officers absorbed in the Punjab Police has gone up to nine. While Mr RC Sethi, Mr SPS Basra, Mr Khubhi Ram, Mr Ananya Gautam, Mr Suresh Kumar, Mr Vivek Mishra and Mr Rakesh Chandra served the Punjab Police in the fight against terrorism, Ms Amrit Brar, on deputation with the Punjab Police since 1993, has been absorbed on compassionate grounds. Her brother, Arvinder Singh Brar, was killed by terrorists.

The only officer from the BSF to be absorbed is Mr S.K. Singh, now posted as Assistant Inspector-General (Headquarters) in the Intelligence wing.

While six of these officers were taken in the Punjab Police earlier, a technical hitch had delayed the absorption of Mr Basra and Mr Rakesh Chandra.

Incidentally, Mr Basra is also in line for promotion as DIG as his batchmate in his mother cadre — the CRPF — has already been promoted DIG there.

His absorption order stated clearly that his promotion would be subject to the positions held by his batchmates in their parent cadre. Mr Basra belongs to a rare group of CRPF officers decorated with three police medals for gallantry and distinguished service.


SHO, 5 others held for extortion
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 25
Following charges of blackmailing and extortion, the SHO of Sadar police station, Ajay Pal, was arrested and placed under suspension last evening. Five others were also arrested in this connection. The process for the SHO’s dismissal has also been started.

According to SSP Kapil Dev, Purshottam Kumar, a member of Gaushala Committee, Goniana, had complained that Manjit Kaur, Bhushan Kumar and one more person came to his cowshed where he was feeding his cattle on Monday evening. They forcibly removed his clothes and the woman got herself photographed with him before threatening him. Yesterday, Bhushan Kumar, alias Golu, came to Purshottam’s shop and said his nude pictures were lying with the Sadar SHO. He asked him to talk to Krishan Kumar, who was standing outside, if he wanted his photographs back. Bhushan then dialed a mobile number and handed him over the handset. The person on the other side identified himself as SHO Ajay Pal and reportedly demanded Rs 50,000 for returning his

photos. The deal was finally struck for Rs 20,000. The complainant approached a Municipal Councillor (MC) who took up the matter with the Nehiawala SHO. A trap was laid and Ajay Pal was caught soon after he accepted Rs 13,500 from the MC late last evening. Manjit Kaur, Krishan Kumar and Bhushan Kumar had also accompanied the SHO to the spot. Irate residents also thrashed the SHO.

The police seized the amount paid to them by the complainant, two cars, two mobile phones and a camera from the accused. Two other accused — Kuldeep Kumar and Kaka Kumar — were also arrested. A case has been registered against them under Sections 384, 149 and 120B of the IPC. The accused were today produced in a local court that sent them in police remand.


SAD activists stage dharna

Patiala, January 25
Hundreds of activists of SAD (Badal) today brunt the effigy of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh after staging a dharna near the bus stand to lodge their protest against the failure of state government to provide justice to Gopal Krishan Kashyap, a Congress worker and president, Rajiv Gandhi Prontha Rehri Union, Patiala, who set himself on fire in full public view and in the presence of the police yesterday.

The SAD (B) district leaders, while addressing the dharna, demanded that those, who were responsible for pushing Kashyap to take this extreme step, should be booked and should be arrested immediately. They alleged that the self immolation by Kashyap, had proved the fact that under the rule of Capt Amarinder Singh there was no system for the redressal of grievances of the common man.

The SAD leaders, including Mr Inder Mohan Singh Bajaj and Mr Jagtar Singh Rajla, Presidents, District SAD units, urban and rural, respectively, said it was more surprising that while the victim was carrying out the self-immolation, the district civil and police administration remained mute spectators. — TNS


Singla hints at addressing employees’ issues in Budget
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 25
The Punjab government is all set to woo industries and government employees in its last budget before the forthcoming Assembly elections. Finance Minister Surinder Singla today announced that he would make a budgetary provision of Rs 600 crore for funding industrial subsidy interest-free bond. He said issues relating to government employees would also be addressed in the Budget.

Addressing a press conference here today, the Finance Minister alleged that SAD president Parkash Singh Badal had promised a subsidy of Rs 600 crore to the state’s industry, but had failed to keep his word. He alleged that Mr Badal didn’t even lodge his protest with then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee when the NDA government gave fiscal concessions to industries in the neighbouring states of Punjab. He said they took up the matter with Mr Vajpayee thrice, but to no avail. He said PM Manmohan Singh and Union Finance Minister P. Chidambram gave them a patient hearing and announced that these concessions for Punjab’s neighbouring states would not be extended beyond 2007.

He said Mr Badal during his previous stint as CM abolished octroi in the last three months of his term and later got it challenged in the high court, which had now asked the government to suggest alternative source of funding development of towns and cities before its abolition. He accused the SAD chief of ruining trade and industry in the state during the SAD-BJP regime and wondered as to how he was seeking support from traders and industrialists ahead of the Assembly elections when he did nothing for them. He said trade and industry in the state could only flourish under the Congress rule. He said the bumper cotton crop of 22 lakh bales had benefited industry, trade and farmers.

Mr Singla said the Congress regime had brought an investment of Rs 42,000 crore to the state and challenged Mr Badal to show the investment during his term. He alleged that Akalis only used to project Bathinda refinery as the investment they attracted to the state, which he said was “total lie”. He said the Congress was the one to bring the refinery project. He said the work on refinery would re-start in April and would be over by 2008. He said though the refinery’s capacity was 9 million tonnes initially, but now with the British Petroleum joining hands with the HPCL it could be much bigger then what was expected.


Anganwari workers raise slogans against ADC
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, January 25
Anganwari workers and helpers (all women) from all parts of the district under the banner of the Anganwari Mulazam Union Punjab, led by Ms Usha Rani, finance secretary of the union today held a rally, demonstration and blocked traffic in support of their demands here. They raised slogans against the Sangrur ADC and the Punjab government outside the office room of the ADC in the district administrative complex (DAC) here when Mr H.S. Pabla, ADC, declined to take a memorandum from them by coming out of his office.

After raising slogans outside the ADC’s office room for 10 minutes, the protesters came out of the building of the DAC without submitting the memorandum. After that Ms Usha Rani told reporters that as the ADC had not taken memorandum from them to forward it to the Chief Minister, Punjab, they now would fax the same to the Punjab Chief Minister. She said this “adamant attitude” of the ADC had hurt their feelings as the administrative officers were public servants and they were here to serve the people and listen to their grievances.

On the other hand the ADC sent messages to the protesters two to three times to hand over the memorandum to him in the form of a deputation, comprising five to six persons, but the protesters remained adamant on their demand that the ADC should visit them to receive the memorandum.

Ms Usha Rani said in the memorandum there was only one demand that under the Sarva Sikhiya Abhiyan (SSA) nursery schools, parallel to the anganwari centres, should not be opened in the state as the government had already issued a notification on November 21, 2005 in this regard. She said they only wanted that the said notification should be implemented to prevent the authorities of the SSA from opening nursery schools in the state.

Earlier, the protesters held a rally in support of their demand near the PSEB complaint office, opposite the main bus stand, here. Later, the protesters blocked traffic at the traffic lights chowk, near the district administrative complex here, for 20 minutes.

After the traffic blockade, the protesters held a demonstration in the DAC and urged the Sangrur ADC to take the memorandum from them at the demonstration site. As the ADC did not accept the demand, the protesters tried to enter the DAC building, but were stopped by policemen at the main gate of the building.


PFC submits interim report
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The Punjab Finance Commission, which handed over today its interim recommendations regarding the devolution of funds, to the Governor, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) here, has approved the allocation of 4 per cent of funds accruing from various taxes to local bodies in the state. In addition, it has also recommended the allocation of 10 per cent of the proceeds of auction of country liquor and 16 per cent excise collection from IMFL to these bodies.

The commission headed by, Mr A.S. Chatha, former Chief Secretary, said the allocation from the state funds to the local bodies would be to the tune of Rs 496 crore. And if the funds allocated by the Central Finance Commission were added to it, then the figure would touch Rs 595 crore in case of local bodies. The commission urged the overhauling of the existing civic infrastructure in urban areas. There was an immediate need to focus on providing good quality drinking water, sewerage facilities in the urban and rural areas.


Infant dies in police station

Amritsar, January 25
A six-month-old child, Mukhpreet Singh, allegedly died in the custody of CIA staff falling under Majitha police district. Alleging this, Balwinder Kaur, mother of the child, and Mr Jagtar Singh Karampura, Communist leader today demanded registration of a case against the accused police officials.

Addressing a press conference, Ms Balwinder Kaur said her husband Gursewak Singh died in a road mishap in November last year. She said Gurmukh Singh, Sub-Inspector, CIA staff, called her to record her statement as her husband’s name figured in a criminal case registered in the Lopoke police station.

She said first the CIA staff incharge called her on Monday and then yesterday. She said she requested the policemen to provide her a blanket or allow her to bring medicine for her child who was ill. However, she alleged, her request was declined. She said when the condition of child deteriorated, they took him to a hospital in Amritsar where he died.

Mr Karampura demanding registration of case against the accused police official and threatened to resort to agitation if the police failed to take any action.

When contacted, Ms Vibhu Raj, district police chief, Majitha, denied the charges leveled against the police. She said Balwinder Kaur was called in a case in which her husband’s name had figured. She said she was kept hardly for one-and-half hour in the CIA staff office. — OC


Republic Day celebrated in jail
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 25
Republic Day celebrations have no meaning for one and a half month old baby born in central jail here, oblivious of festivities in the air.

Chairperson of the Punjab State Welfare Board Mrs Ratna along with representatives of several NGOs today cut the Republic Day cake to mark the occasion and to cheer women inmates and seven children detained in the prison.

Mrs Ratna said that the board had decided to take care of the children in the jail without any crime by shifting them to the short-stay home being set up at the Red Cross Bhavan shortly.

The board will provide them good education and bring them up like any other children in highly conducive environment.


Revised budget approved
Our Correspondent

Kharar, January 25
The local Municipal Council approved a revised budget for Rs 1 crore at a monthly meeting of the civic body held here.

The council expects to earn an income of Rs 1 crore in the last three months of the current financial year from clearing site plans and excise duty. The amount would be spent on development of the town.

Estimates worth about Rs 17 lakh prepared in connection with works related to water supply and sewerage were cleared by the House. The civic body would be purchasing material worth Rs 5 lakh to be spent on maintenance of streetlights.

The House also cleared a proposal in connection with the construction of a new bus stand and the office of the civic body. It would take over the maintenance of Janta Nagar.

Objections raised in connection with the extending of the municipal limits were rejected at the meeting. The council decided to issue a show-cause notice to an octroi for dereliction of duty.


13 outfits seek relief for Bant Singh
Perneet Singh

Tribune News Service

Mansa, January 25
Activists of 13 political and farmers’ outfits today protested in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office here and sought relief for Bant Singh, a resident of Burj Jabbar, whose three limbs were amputated following an attack on him on January 5.

The agitators who carried placards and posters of Bant Singh reached the city and raised slogans against the civil and police administration. Communist party leaders Joginder Dayal, ex-MLA Hardev Arshi and Mr Tarsem Jodhan demanded Rs 10 lakh for Bant Singh’s family, apart from an attendant to look after him. They termed the brutal attack on him as unfortunate and said he should be extended adequate help to sustain life and support his family members.


Forum quashes notice of Rs 1.62 lakh to consumer
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, January 25
Mr B.C. Gupta, President of the Hoshiarpur Consumer Forum, accepted the complaint of Mr Narinder Singh of Kotla Naudh Singh village against the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) and quashed the demand of Rs 1,62,060/- of the latter raised by it on account of arrears of bills of the chakki (grinding mill) of the complainant.

Mr Gupta, however, directed the PSEB to overhaul account of the complainant from May 4, 2004 to April 6, 2005 in which period the meter of the chakki remained dead keeping in view the provisions of regulation No. 70.6.5 of the Electricity Supply Regulations. The complainant was also awarded compensation of Rs 3,000.

Mr Narinder Singh complained against the PSEB, demanding of withdrawal of the demand of Rs 1,62,060 raised by it on account of arrears. The complainant submitted an application to the PSEB and deposited Rs 450 on May 4, 2004 as meter testing fee with a request to replace the meter on account of its fast running.

After great persuasion, the PSEB replaced the meter on April 6, 2005. The said meter was sent to the M.E. Laboratory and during testing it was found that it was the dead meter for which PSEB had demanded Rs 1,62,060.


Magistrate orders framing of charges against Tehsildar, others
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, January 25
The Subdivisional Judicial Magistrate, Mr R.K. Garg, has ordered framing of charges against five persons, including the Tehsildar, for allegedly registering a sale deed on the basis tampered court orders.

According to the orders made available today, a dispute was pending before the court of the Additional District Judge, Gurdaspur, regarding a prime piece of land measuring about 12 marlas situated on railway road here. The court had issued the orders to maintain status quo with respect to the suit property.

Some influential persons of the town in connivance with revenue officials, had allegedly tampered with the court orders dated December 19,1997. It was alleged that the accused had written the words “ status quo not extended” in the orders which were typed.

Thereafter, the land was sold for Rs. 3.75 lakh. The Pathankot Tehsildar, Mr K.K. Verma, registered the sale deed.

When Chowdhry Kalyan Singh, who claimed to be the original owner, raised a hue and cry, the authorities swung into action. Ms Bhawna Garg, the then SDM, conducted an inquiry. In her report submitted to the SSP, Gurdaspur, she had written that the Tehsildar had acted “ irresponsibly and carelessly”.

The market value of the land, according to the report of the SDM, was Rs 60-70 lakh while it was sold for a meagre Rs 3.75 lakh by under valuing the property.

Following the report of the SDM, a case was registered against the accused.

The Tehsildar, however, said he acted in his official capacity while the other co-accused said they had been framed in the case. The Magistrate observed that prima facie, a case under Sections 465, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B, IPC, was made out against the accused.


Illegal felling of trees: HC orders govt to reply
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, January 25
Issuing a notice on the petition filed by former honorary wildlife warden Sukhdeep Singh Bajwa, on the illegal felling of trees in the forests of Punjab the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Government of Punjab to file reply within 15 days.

The court has fixed February 23 for arguments on the case.

Counsel in the case Lakhwinder Singh Sidhu told The Tribune that petitioner had alleged that many trees had been marked for felling in violation of the rules in the forests of Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur divisions.

Already lakhs of trees have been felled in the state for the widening of roads. Also the department has planned thousands of trees in the forests. As per the Forest Survey of India reports published in 2005 from 2001 to 2003 the dense forest cover of the state has been reduced by over 80,000 hectares.

The state that ranked 11th in terms of forest cover in 2001, now has least forest cover and was ranked 35 in the country.

The petitioner also attached photographs of trees that were below 61 cm in girth but marked for felling in violation of rules and news reports published in The Tribune in this regard.


Kharar shootout case adjourned till Feb 7
Tribune News Service

Ropar, January 25
The hearing of the contempt petition filed by the accused in the Kharar shootout case—Kiranbir Singh Kang against the state—was today adjourned for February 7 by the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr G.S Saran. The Judge has also directed Kang to appear in person in the court on next hearing in the case.

Kang had moved the application for initiating contempt proceedings against three police officials SSP (Ropar), the DSP and the SHO (Kharar) for violating the high court's order. Kang pleaded in the application that the high court had stayed his arrest in the case. However, the police had moved an application in the court for arresting him.


BDPO assaulted
Our Correspondent

Kharar, January 25
The Block Development and Panchayat Officer (BDPO) was allegedly assaulted by the husband of the sarpanch of Kumbra village here last evening.

A complaint in this regard was made to the police by Mr Kulwant Singh, BDPO, after which a case was registered against Gurmukh Singh, husband of Surinder Kaur, sarpanch of Kumbra village.

Gurmukh Singh was today arrested for obstructing a public servant from discharging duty and for voluntarily causing hurt. He was later released on bail.

Mr Kulwant Singh said the Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, had yesterday called the panchayats of his constituency to discuss development activities. After listening to the sarpanches, the MLA left the area.

The BDPO said around 6.30 pm, Gurmukh Singh and two others allegedly attacked him from behind and he fell. He said Gurmukh Singh wanted grants to be released for Kumbra village even though his wife had not turned up to request the MLA in this regard. The police has registered a case.


2 travel agents booked

Hoshiarpur, January 25
A case of two travel agents duping a person of Rs 2 lakh was reported in Mahilpur police station last evening.

According to police sources, Gulzar Singh of Meean Pind in Amritsar district, alleged in his complaint to the police that Balbir Singh, alias Sodhi, of Kalewal Bhagtan, and Jagdeep Singh, alias Jassi, of Phillaur, took Rs 2 lakh from him for sending his son Dalbir Singh to Lebanon. Instead of sending his son to Lebanon, they sent him to Syria. — OC


4 held for theft of power motors
Our Correspondent

Batala, January 25
The police today arrested four persons for stealing motors of tubewells. They were identified as Hira Masih son of Lal Masih, Manga Masih son of Shingara Masih and Sonu son of Sucha Masih of Ghoga and Lakhwinder Singh alias Khido son of Sharan Singh of Kotla Bama village, by the police.


MBBS students allowed to attend classes
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 25
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Principal of Sri Guru Ram Das Medical College (SGRDMC), Amritsar, to allow 23 students of MBBS (pre-final professional) to attend their classes with immediate effect. These students had sometime back been restrained by the authorities of the SGPC-managed institute from attending classes.

Passing this direction during hearing of two separate writs filed by the students, - Ms Khushdeep Kaur and Harpreet Singh and others - challenging the order of the college authorities, Mr Justice Viney Mittal directed that the arrangement would be subject to the final decision of the writs.

The students have claimed that despite payment of fee of Rs 1 lakh per annum already made by the petitioners as per the interim report of the fee fixation committee appointed by the Punjab Government and the orders of court, they are not being allowed to attend the classes.

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