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Degrees of 47 more teachers found fake
DPI told to sack them
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, January 29
The degrees of another 47 teachers working in the Education Department, Punjab, have been found to be fake. In the fresh verifications sent by Maghad University to the Chairman of the Certificate Verification Committee formed by the Department, a copy of which is available with The Tribune, even the degrees of MSc (physics) have been found to be forged. The degrees were procured by teachers working in government schools to either take promotions or for recruitment.

The verification also indicated that the scam of recruitment against fake degrees has been going on since decades. Two MSc degrees, besides other degrees that have been found to be fake, were forged before 1990. Those who used these degrees to get recruitment or promotion have been working in government departments for more than 10 years.

As per the list, Surinder Pal Singh, a government teacher acquired an MSc degree in physics in 1990 from Maghad University. The university authorities have stated that his roll number did not exist in the register available with the examination department.

Similarly, the roll number of Sat Pal, another teacher who acquired an MSc degree from the university, also does not figure in the records.

There are 47 such candidates whose degrees of BA, BSc, BEd. and MSc have been found to be fake. In some cases, the roll numbers do not exist while in others, some other persons appeared against the roll numbers shown on the degrees of the accused candidates.

On a report submitted by the Chairman of the verification committee, the Secretary, Education, has written to the DPI (Schools) to terminate the services of teachers who possessed fake degrees. He has also directed the department to get cases registered against such candidates.

The Batala police has already booked five teachers.

The university authorities have also written that many colleges to which they have written regarding the verification of certificates, were not responding despite repeated reminders.

The fake degree scam was first brought to the fore by The Tribune. The Punjab and Haryana High Court took suo motu notice and ordered the government to inquire into the matter. The department formed committees to verify the certificates of all teachers recruited against ETT posts during the SAD/BJP regime.

The Department of Education had directed all teachers who had been recruited against degrees from Maghad University to submit their certificates. More than 200 teachers have been terminated from service so far. Sources said many teachers have not yet submitted their degrees.

 

Representation in Union Govt: Punjab never had
it so good

Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Punjab has never had it so good as far as its representation in the Union Government is concerned. Apart from the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, Punjab has three ministers in the Union Council of Ministers at present.

Though technically Dr Manmohan Singh, who became the first Sikh Prime Minister of the country, represents Assam in Parliament, actually he is from Amritsar. He studied in Hindu College in Amritsar where he also spent his youth. Later, he taught in Panjab University, Chandigarh, and also owns a house here in Sector 11. However, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Assam twice.

Mr Atwal, who represents the Phillaur Parliamentary constituency, belongs to the Shiromani Akali Dal. He was unanimously elected Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha. Though Mr Atwal is not part of the Union Government, he holds an important office in Parliament.

While expanding his Council of Ministers, Dr Manmohan Singh today inducted Ms Ambika Soni as Cabinet minister. She is not only a Rajya Sabha member from Punjab, but also a member of the All-India Congress Committee (AICC) from the state. She is expected to retain the office of the General Secretary of the AICC apart from being a Cabinet minister. She is also actively involved in the Congress party politics in Punjab.

Mr Ashwani Kumar, who has been taken as a Minister of State in the Union Council of Ministers, belongs to Gurdaspur. His is a political family. His father, late Parbodh Chander, was one of the leading political figures of his time in Punjab. He is representing Punjab in the Rajya Sabha for the second time. Though he has been practising as an advocate in the Supreme Court, almost every weekend he returns to Gurdaspur.

Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, who also has been taken as a Minister of State in the Union Government, too hails from Punjab. He represents the Chandigarh constituency, which is the capital of Punjab, in the Lok Sabha. In fact, he had his initial education in little-known Tapa town of Sangrur district. Known for honesty, integrity and humility, Mr Bansal also practised as an advocate in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh, before trying his luck in politics. His name figures among thinkers of the party. In the Union Finance Ministry, he is likely to be given the Banking Division.

Obviously, there will be political benefit to the Congress party in the days to come for giving such a liberal representation to Punjab in the Union Government. The Assembly elections are only a year away, and all those inducted in the Union Council of Ministers from this region will certainly prove helpful to the ruling Congress party in Punjab.

With the induction of Mr Ashwani Kumar, the Congress party has been further strengthened in the Majha belt. Besides countering the growing influence of the BJP leader, Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, in the border belt, Mr Kumar can play a vital role in getting installed industrial units in that area. There is a need to expand the base of the manufacturing industry to provide employment to youth in the border belt.

Interestingly, the Congress high command has ignored Ms Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder, who is also a member of the Rajya Sabha. Ms Bhinder is a former Union Minister and has represented the Gurdaspur seat in the Lok Sabha for quite long.

For the Amarinder Singh government, such a liberal representation to Punjabis in the Union Council of Ministers has come at a most appropriate time. It will provide him a chance to take on the Akalis, especially the SAD President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, more boldly now. Akali leaders had been criticising the Congress leadership in Delhi on the grounds that it had been discriminating Punjab. However, this propaganda weapon of the Akali leaders was today completely blunted by the Congress high command by giving so much representation to the state in the Union Government.

Meanwhile, Mr Rampal Daipai and Mr R.R. Bhardwaj, both senior leaders of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, have hailed the inclusion of Ms Soni, Mr Bansal and Mr Ashwani Kumar in the Union Council of Ministers. They said they were happy that Dr Manmohan Singh and Ms Sonia Gandhi had picked up the best leaders from this region.

 

Badal, Brar seek action against ‘erring cops’
Journalist’s self-immolation bid
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, January 29
Following an immolation bid by Malout based scribe, Krishan Kumar Mida, political leaders including SAD president Parkash Singh Badal and Congress leader Jagmeet Brar have demanded action against the police officials who allegedly forced him to take such a step, besides a thorough probe into the matter.

Interacting with mediapersons at Malout today, the former CM termed the incident as unfortunate and said it was a matter of ignominy for the state government that people from different walks of life were attempting self-immolation. He alleged that the government had failed in delivering justice to the states populace, which was forcing some individuals to resort to such steps. He alleged that law and order scenario was pathetic in the state and the government should make efforts to ensure that nobody could even think of resorting to suicide. He also paid a visit to Mida’s family and promised all help.

Earlier, Mr Brar, at a press conference last evening, said self-immolation by Gopal Kashyap in Patiala and an attempt by scribe Krishan Kumar Mida raised a big question mark on the functioning of the government. He said the Press was the fourth pillar of democracy and if its representatives were facing harassment by the police it was a matter of grave concern. He said incidents like these reflect disillusionment with the system. He said he would bring the matter to the notice of the party high command as well as the in charge of party affairs in Punjab. On his probe into the Gopal Kashyap incident of Patiala, he said he differed with the report submitted by the SDM and he would himself find out the facts. Mr Brar also visited Mr Mida’s residence and assured support to his family.

Meanwhile, mediapersons here have demanded that an abetment to suicide case be registered against SP (H) Gurdev Singh, DSP (D) Hargobind Singh, latter’s relatives — Amarjit Singh and Anandpreet Singh, for compelling Mida to resort to such a step.

 

Now, online booking to meet prisoners
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 29
The Amritsar Central Jail authorities have introduced on line and telephone booking for meeting prisoners, including hardcore criminals, lodged in the high security jail. This is for the first time in Punjab or perhaps in the country that such a system is being adopted in a jail.

Now, even advocates will have to bring an attested copy of the power of attorney duly signed by the prisoner and attested by a jail gazetted officer or Magistrate in order to meet prisoners for their legal interviews in the high security Amritsar Central Jail. Although this clause was there on paper, it was never implemented.

A number of steps have been taken to streamline the procedure of meeting prisoners. Advocates can meet prisoners between 4.00 pm and 5.00 pm on any working day except Saturday, Sunday and gazetted holidays. About 25 prisoners will be allowed at a time for the interview and a maximum of 100 prisoners can avail of the facility per day, said Mr Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh, SSP, Jails.

He said interviews would be arranged on a first-come-first-served basis. He said interviews would be booked on the main gate of the jail from 9.00 to 10.00 am for undertrials and from 2.00 to 3.00 pm for convicts. The facility of booking on telephone for an interview would be available on all working days (between 1.00 pm and 2.00 pm) on telephone number: 0183-2591973. A person could book his/her interview through the e-mail, (central_jail_amritsar@yahoo.co.in). He said this facility would benefit people coming from far-flung areas, besides controlling the heavy rush of relatives who came to meet prisoners.

For meeting foreigner prisoners, including those of Pakistan and Bangladesh, special permission was required.

He said there would be separate timings for meeting undertrials and convicts. For undertrials it would be from 10.00 to 12.00 am while for convicts it would be from 3.00 to 5.00 pm. Each prisoner would be allowed to hold two meetings per week with his relations/friends. The duration of each interview would be 25 minutes and each prisoner would be permitted a maximum of three visitors at a time.

 

Congress forgets its Mela Ram
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 29
The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, might have gone to the Patiala hospital to see the family of Congress activist Gopal Kashyap of Patiala, who immolated himself on January 24 and died of burns the next day, but the situation was different for Mr Mela Ram, a 65-year-old Congress leader of the local Bhargo camp area, who had made a bid to immolate himself yesterday.

Hardly any senior Congress, except for state minister Mohinder Singh Kaypee, visited the local Civil Hospital to enquire about the condition of Mr Mela Ram, who had remained president of the block Congress committee for about 10 years before suffering an attack of paralysis. He had been with the party for over 37 years.

Stunned over the attitude of the party leadership, family members of Mr Mela Ram said they were distressed at the “shoddy” treatment meted out to them by the Congress. “No one, except Mr Kaypee, visited us. No senior leader visited the hospital, even though they had been coming to seek papa’s support during elections. My father had left home for 10-15 days to garner support for MP Rana Gurjit Singh during the parliamentary poll,” Mr Naresh Kumar, the elder son of Mr Mela Ram, said.

Financier Vipan Kumar who allegedly harassed the family of Mela Ram, who tried to immolate himself yesterday has been rounded up by the police according to Inspector Gurmeet Singh.

The police registered a case under Sections 306 and 511 of the IPC against the financier yesterday. The family alleged that Vipan had loaned Rs 10,000 to Parvesh but was claiming return of Rs 2 lakh.

 

Herbal Garden at Vice-President’s house
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Seeds sown by Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) in lawns of the Vice-President of India’s house in New Delhi have borne fruit.

After the resounding success of the Nutrition Garden at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh, was asked to design a herbal garden at the Vice-President’s residence.

The idea of setting up the herbal garden was none other than that of the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

Dr Satish Narula, who earlier executed the Nutrition Garden project and now the herbal garden project, said the garden at the residence of the Vice-President had been developed not only to acquaint the visitors with various medicinal and aromatic herbs but also to make available various herbs for homemade remedies.

He said 28 species of herbs were planted in a phased manner.

Their uses vary from increasing memory, strengthening the digestive system, treatment of skin ailments and cough to preventing hypertension and diabetes.

The university not only arranged the herbal species but also planted the saplings. After the plantation, Dr Narula did the needful like the replacement of seasonal species.

Even in-house employees were trained in preserving material and multiplying them for future use.

POLITICS
 

Grewal asks SAD to maintain sanctity with BJP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The newly appointed National Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Mr Harjit Singh Grewal, today asked the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) to maintain the sanctity of the alliance between the two parties.

He asked the SAD to refrain from inviting or inducting BJP workers into their party. He gave an example of the such acts in the Malwa belt of Punjab. He alleged that the SAD was taking away BJP workers and claiming that they were Congress workers.

Mr Grewal was speaking to the media at a function organised to felicitate him by the Punjab unit of the BJP here today. He is the only second Punjabi in the core team since the BJP came into being.

He clarified that he had no problems with the SAD holding any special conventions to increase its vote bank or induct Hindu youth into their fold. He said he would discuss the matter with both Mr Rajnath Singh, BJP chief, and Mr Parkash Singh Badal, SAD chief.

Mr Grewal has been in the team of Mr Raj Nath Singh, when the latter headed the Kisan Morcha of the party.

Mr Grewal also said veterans of the party like Mr Balramji Das Tandon, Mr Manoranjan Kalia and other leaders would be given key posts in the party and they would tour the state extensively. He said the party would be taking the help of their MPs from the state, for making preparations for the Assembly elections.

Various BJP leaders in their address today welcomed the decision of the party high command for the inclusion of Mr Grewal in the national team. Mr Jai Ram Joshi, a former president of the Chandigarh unit of the BJP, in his address counted the contributions of Mr Grewal as a party man and an individual.

COMMUNITY
 

Tantrik ‘treatment’ causes polio-afflicted boy’s death
Gurvinder Singh Grewal

Khamano, January 29
A polio-afflicted boy (12) of Baathaa Kalan, village near here died while he was undergoing ‘treatment’ from a Nabha-based tantrik, who claimed having cured several such cases.

The tantrik allegedly tied two sacks full of crushed stone each weighing 20 kg to his legs. The legs and other parts were hit with sticks. He regularly administered heavy dose of garlic to the boy claiming it would expedite treatment.

The boy died at the PGI Chandigarh yesterday. The doctors said joints of the boy had suffered grievous injuries. Heavy dose of garlic too affected his digestive system.

The case came to light today when relatives informed the reporters and demanded action against the tantrik.

According to Mr Avtar Singh, father of child, Gurpreet Singh his son had contracted polio when he was only six-year-old. He was unable to walk and move arms.

They learnt about tantrik Satpal of Thuhi road near Nabha town in Patiala district. When they contacted the tantrik, he assured that he would cure the child of polio.

The tantrik said that they would have to stay with him for 15 days and he would cure the child with a paste of oil and garlic. The tantrik claimed that an evil spirit had possessed the child.

The child remained with the tantrik for 15 days. The tantrik and his followers put heavy bags on the legs of the child to stretch the limbs. They also thrashed his legs. They also gave the child garlic to eat many times.

Mr Avtar Singh also claimed that he and other family members objected to the treatment when the child cried loudly but the tantrik said to them that he was recovering.

Due to alleged atrocities the child became unconscious and they took him to the PGI, Chandigarh early this week in a critical condition. But he could not be saved. The post-mortem examination of the deceased was also conducted in the PGI.

SHO Kotwali Nabha Kuldeep Singh Sekhon said that the police was investigating the matter to take action against the tantrik.

Village sarpanch Harmel Singh and member of the Tarksheel Society Jagharan Singh Kant have demanded action against the accused and compensation for the victim family. Mr Avtar Singh is a mason. His second son is three-year-old.

 

Sikh body for bridging differences
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The International Sikh Confederation (ISC), a body of prominent Sikh thinkers, has decided to chalk out a common minimum programme for Sikhs and the handling of the Sikh affairs.

The body held its first-ever general body meeting in an effort to bring all Sikhs on a common platform here today.

It was decided to bridge all differences and divisions amongst Sikhs. Bhai Ashok Singh Bagrian said the idea was to have a common platform for all representative Sikh bodies where all issues are discussed and sorted out rather than lead to divisions.

Crucially, the ISC discussed its proposed constitution that will lay down how its affairs are run. Today’s meeting was part of the refining process for the constitution that is expected to be finalised in April.

“We will iron out all differences within the Sikh bodies by using the Gurbani as our guide”, said Bhai Bagrian. The interpretation of the Gurbani would be done through discussions of all bodies. “Another aspect is removing caste-based differences that have arisen among the Sikhs. We want to break all divisions”, he added.

Preference would be given to organisations and not individuals. The ISC also asked people to come forward for the formation of various councils. Care would be taken that no existing panthic organisation was supplanted or its authority diluted. The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and various factions of the Akali Dal would continue to function as such.

Prominent among those who participated were Dr G.S. Kalkat and Dr S.S. Johal.

 

SAD will review VAT, promises Capt Kanwaljit Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Former Punjab Finance Minister and General Secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Capt Kanwaljit Singh, has declared that the SAD, if it is elected, will review the imposition of the value added tax (VAT) and octroi by the Congress regime in Punjab. Even the proposed entry tax, if imposed, will be reviewed.

Stating this in a statement here today, Capt Kanwaljit Singh said the Punjab Government had erred badly on account of VAT. The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had now announced that refunds accruing from VAT be made immediately. This was already running behind schedule. These notifications to issue refunds to the industry should have been made in April 2005, when VAT was imposed in Punjab, said Capt Kanwaljit Singh. Actually the refunds were six months late and had blocked a huge cash inflow that could have provided the much-needed boost to the industry, he added.

"VAT is good only if we have it imposed as a single-tax system. However, in Punjab, we have four taxes — VAT, central sales tax, excise duties followed by octroi. This makes Punjab the most heavily taxed state in the country and because of these procedures Punjab traders are facing an 'inspector raj'. Octroi is not a retrograde step and it is not compatible with VAT," the former Finance Minister added.

He went onto blame the Punjab Government that it did not act in time to save the life of Patiala-based shopkeeper Gopal Krishan Kashyap, who committed suicide in full public view. " It was sheer negligence on part of the government", he alleged.

He said the Punjab Government had failed to represent its case before the 12th Finance Commission. While Punjab had got only Rs 3,200 crore, a small state like Himachal Pradesh had managed Rs 10,000 crore.

On the issue of mega projects being set up in Punjab, Capt Kanwaljit Singh said there was nothing on the ground. Most of these projects were in real estate or multiplexes. This would not generate employment. The state government, he alleged, was acting as a property dealer rather than tackling the fundamental economic problems.

 

NHRC moved over poor medical facilities in Punjab
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Peeved at the poor infrastructural facilities at government hospitals in Punjab, the Lawyers for Human Rights International (LHRI) has moved the National Human Rights Commission, seeking directions to the State to submit a detailed report on the state of medical facilities.

Members of the human rights body visited government hospitals in Jalandhar district after receiving complaints about the poor health facilities.

In the application moved before the commission, it has been alleged that expensive medical equipment supplied by the Punjab Health Systems Corporation was lying unutilised in the hospitals.

The expensive equipment was not being used in the absence of professionally trained technicians, said Mr Arvind Thakur, General Secretary of the human rights body.

He, along with Mr Gurdeep Singh, a Nakodar-based scribe, has moved the commission.

Listing the Punjab Health Minister, Director, Health Services, Punjab, Chairman of Punjab State Health Systems Corporation, Chief Medical Officers (CMO) of Jalandhar and Moga, as the respondents, the complainants have alleged that there was no doctor on duty at the Civil Hospital (Lohia Khas, Nakodar) when team members visited the place at 11 am on October 8, 2005.

Those present at the time were a pharmacist and a lab technician.

"We also visited the hospital in Dhudike (Moga) on December 25, only to find that there was no doctor on duty for emergency services. The vehicle donated by WHO for promoting family planning was lying unused.

In case of emergency, patients are referred to the Moga Civil Hospital or Dayanand Medical College , Ludhiana", said a member of the human rights body.

 

Undertrial alleges human rights violation
Our Correspondent

Nabha, January 29
In gross violation of human rights an undertrial who was suffering from severe diabetes, was not only manhandled but also forced to do manual jobs in the maximum security jail of the town.

Dr Raviderpal Verma, SMO of Bassi Pathanan who was caught by vigilance sleuths on the charge of gratification, was sent to Nabha jail on completion of police remand. Soon after the doctor reached Nabha jail he was put in a barrack without a blanket. He was not even provided night meals. Seeing his pathetic condition, the other inmates offered him their blanket.

Dr Verma, who got bail on Friday, told this correspondent that he was given wake-up kicks in the morning and abused. Later he was given a broom to sweep the verandah. “As I fainted other inmates took me to the jail hospital while the jail staff, especially Brar and Charan Singh continuously hurled abuses on me.”

Seeing his condition deteriorating, the doctor referred him to the local Civil Hospital where he is still under treatment with a blood sugar level of 400.

Dr Verma added that three guards were present to keep a check on him and he was chained to the bed. His wife was the lone attendant. He alleged that the jail staff continued to harass him even in hospital. Two guards demanded Rs 20,000. On being snubbed by the medical officer on duty, they fled the scene on the evening of January 22. He lamented that after being exposed, almost a dozen people came to the hospital the following day and objected to his wife’s presence in hospital. Deputy Jail Superintendent Sukhvinder Singh, when contacted, said the charges of demanding money and ill treatment of Dr Verma were baseless.

 

Over 8,000 baptised under Singh Sajo Lehar
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 29
More than 8,000 persons were today baptised under the SGPC’s Singh Sajo Lehar at Baba Dall Singh Deewan Hall of Takht Sri Damdama Sahib in Talwandi Sabo in the presence of jathedars of four takhts of Sikhs.

Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti urged all persons, who had been baptised at the programme, to follow the Sikh tenets and the path shown by Sikh gurus.

In his message, the SGPC chief, Mr Avtar Singh, conveyed his gratitude to all SGPC members of the area for making this programme a grand success. He said participation of people in large numbers pointed to an overwhelming response to the Singh Sajo Lehar. Social evils prevalent in society today could only be eliminated after being baptised, he added.

Under the Singh Sajo Lehar, the SGPC has baptised 1,100 persons in Muktsar, 2,100 in Shri Chohla Sahib, and 1,400 persons in Gurdaspur. A similar programme would also be organised at Gurdwara Manji Sahib Alamgeer on January 31.

The SGPC has set a target of baptising 1.25 lakh people to mark the tercentenary of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib and 400th martyrdom anniversary of Guru Arjan Dev. The drive is aimed at uprooting apostasy among the Sikh youth and sensitising them on Sikh philosophy.

Takht Sri Damdama Sahib Jathedar Balwant Singh Nandgarh said another Amrit Sanchar programme would be held at the Takht on Baisakhi.

Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib Jathedar Tarlochan Singh, Takht Sri Patna Sahib Jathedar Iqbal Singh and Head Granthi of Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar, Gyani Gurbachan Singh were also present.

 

SGPC effects reshuffle
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 29
Following complaints against some employees, the SGPC chief, Mr Avtar Singh, effected a reshuffle yesterday by appointing Mr Roop Singh as manager of Golden Temple. Mr Ajaib Singh, former manager, was made assistant secretary, Dharam Prachar Committee.

Mr Harbeant Singh, secretary, SGPC, stated in a press release yesterday that the reshuffle was effected for the smooth conduct of daily affairs.

Mr Mahinder Singh, assistant secretary, publication, was made assistant secretary, Section 87, and Mr Dilbagh Singh was made assistant secretary publication.

The SGPC chief had constituted a four-member executive committee to unearth the truth behind the complaints. The committee would submit its report on January 30. The members of the committee are Mr Santokh Singh Samra, Mr Tarlochan Singh, Mr Manjit Singh and Mr Jaswinder Singh.

COURTS

BJP MLA remanded in police custody
Our Correspondent

Abohar, January 29
Mr Rajesh Sharma, Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Sriganganagar, has remanded BJP MLA Surinder Singh Rathore in police custody for five days. The court had earlier issued arrest warrants against Mr Rathore and his personal assistant, Mr J.P. Bansal, on a request by a CID team headed by an SP.

Official sources said yesterday that Mr Rathore entered the court complex from the back door during the morning session and surrendered before the JMIC. His counsel moved an application stating that Mr Rathore was not feeling well, since he suffered from heart problem and this needed medical examination. The counsel opposed the CID plea for remand. The court asked the CID team to present the case diary after lunch break.

Mr Ram Swarup, DSP CID produced the diary at 3 p.m. and pleaded for five days remand as Mr Rathore had been named in the FIR registered in connection with an attempt on the life of Mr Mahesh Periwal, former chairman of the Municipal Council, Sriganganagar. Two persons impersonating as mediamen had fired at Mr Periwal inside the drawing room of his house on September 27, 2005 at 8.30 pm damaging his right eye.

Both were nabbed immediately as Mr Periwal grappled with one of the culprits. The court accepted the CID plea and asked for medical examination before putting Mr Rathore behind bars.

Sources said a man among hundreds of supporters who gathered in the court complex during the surrender by Mr Rathore allegedly slapped three advocates without any provocation. He was overpowered immediately and thrashed by others.

The court had also issued arrest warrants against Mr J.P. Bansal but he has not been arrested so far.

 

Sarwan Singh remanded in judicial custody
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, January 29
Sarwan Singh of Thikriwal, accused of duping people on the pretext of sending them abroad, was sent to judicial custody till February 7 after he was produced here yesterday. The police conducted raids in search of travel agents Satnam Singh of Dakoha village in Gurdaspur district and Dilbagh Singh of Beas.

The wife of Satnam Singh with her sister and three sons consumed celphos tablets after the police arrested Sarwan Singh on January 26 from his house at Thikriwal village, near here, resulting in the death of four of them. The doctors were successful in saving the eldest son of Sarwan Singh after the victims were rushed to the local Civil Hospital.

Though the police asked the family members of Sarwan Singh to apply for bail, the relatives preferred not to do so.

A packet of celphos tablets was recovered from the pocket of Sarwan Singh also when the police arrested him. Sukhjinder Singh, a cousin of Sarwan, said he was under acute depression for the past three days when the police arrested him on January 26. Sarwan Singh was also not told about the deaths of his kin.

 

Jail term for 7 for attempt to murder
Our Correspondent

Barnala, January 29
The court of the Additional Sessions Judge, Mr Fatehdeep Singh, has awarded seven years’ imprisonment to four accused in an attempt to murder case. In its order, the court has also directed the accused to pay a compensation of Rs 5000 each to the complainant, Mr Harjeet Singh. The accused are Jagtar Singh, Bant Singh, Bhagwan Dass, and Gurdeep Singh.

As per the defence council, Mr Harjeet Singh is temple priest at a Shiv Mandir and Gita Bhavan at Shaina village. On the evening of May 14, 2003 when Harjeet was coming home after daily rituals a group of five persons namely Jagtar Singh, Bant Singh, Bhagwan Dass, and Gurdeep Singh attacked him and injured him seriously. The family took Harjeet to Civil Hospital Barnala. Due to serious injuries Harjeet remained hospitalised for a month.

CRIME
 

One booked on rape charge
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, January 29
A case of rape of a teenaged girl on the pretext of marriage by a tenant, Harmesh Lal has been reported at Sadar Police station, Hoshiarpur.

According to police sources, Kuldip Kaur (name changed) daughter of Darshan Singh in her complaint stated that Harmesh Lal, tenant of her house and resident of Begampur Jandiala, was running a photography shop at the local Government College, chowk.

He somehow developed relations with her in January, 2005 and promised to marry her. His father Mr Jagat Ram used to visit her house and assured her family that the marriage would be solemnised.

She alleged that Harmesh Lal started raping her due to which she became pregnant. On September 9, 2005, when she told the family of Hamesh about her pregnancy they forcibly took her to her maternal house and maltreated her. Later she was admitted to a private nursing home for abortion. The Sadar police has registered a case under Sections 376, IPC, against Harmesh Lal.

 

Suicide by issueless couple
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 29
An ‘issueless’ couple committed suicide in Basarke village under the Chheharta police station here last night. Mr Manjit Singh (35) and Mrs Sarabjit Kaur (34), who lived in a house in fields, had got divorced due to same reason (for being issueless).

Police sources said the bodies had been sent for a post-mortem examination. Family members said Sarabjit Kaur started vomiting in the evening and died on the spot. She reportedly consumed some poisonous substance. Mr Sakatar Singh, Station House Officer (SHO), Chheharta police station, said that this could not be confirmed till the post-mortem report was received.

Meanwhile, Manjit Singh went to fields and hanged himself from a tree. His body was later found by villagers in the morning.

Manjit Singh married Sarabjit Kaur one and a half years back. He divorced his first wife in 1996. Sarabjit Kaur was also a divorcee. Families of both — Manjit Singh and Sarabjit Kaur —arranged their marriage.

They remained under stress as they still were issueless and took the extreme step.

 

Home guard shoots self
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, January 29
Resham Singh, of the Punjab Home Guards and resident of Ghore Shahwan, committed suicide by shooting himself with his service .303 bore rifle at the Tanda Police Station, 32 km from here, this afternoon.

According to police sources, Resham Singh shot himself at about 2 pm while he was on duty. He died on the spot.

The cause of the suicide is yet to be ascertained.

The body has been sent to the Civil Hospital, Dasuya, for postmortem.

 

Woman immolates self
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 29
Perturbed over the family situation, a woman immolated herself here late last night. Surjit Kaur, a resident of Udham Singh Nagar, committed suicide by setting herself on fire. She was rushed to a hospital where she succumbed to her burn injuries today.

For the past four years, Surjit Kaur, along with her two children, had been living at her parents house. She was married to Surinder Singh, a resident of Allahabad.

Her family members alleged that her in-laws used to torture her. So, she had returned to her parents house. Unable to reconcile with the situation and unable to meet the needs of her children, she had taken the extreme step.

EDUCATION
 

Parents meet SGPC chief, seek Principal’s ouster
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 29
The parents of 23 students of the Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences and Research met the SGPC president Mr Avtar Singh Makkar here last evening and demanded the removal of the Principal of the institute, Dr U.S. Dhaliwal, for allegedly harassing their wards.

They alleged that the Principal was deliberately denying permission to a number of students to attend the third session of professional classes. The meeting was arranged at the instructions of SAD president Parkash Singh Badal at the Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, near here.

The parents had sought the intervention of Mr Badal into the matter as the institute is managed by the SGPC.

The spokesman for the parents, Mr Megh Singh, alleged that they had paid the entire amount of fee of their wards in accordance with the interim fee fixed by the Majithia Committee. He said the students had not even been issued the roll numbers and these had directly to be procured from the university in duplicate. This was clear highhandedness aimed at harassing the students without any reason or fault of theirs.

The parents had approached the court which had directed the authorities concerned to let the students attend their classes. Subsequently they had filed a contempt petition also. The parents alleged that the management wanted them to withdraw the petitions so as to allow their wards to attend the classes.

They pointed out it was a clear blackmail and the management was trying to snatch their right to seek redressal of their grievances.

 

Strike out Article 370, says Jammu varsity Professor
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 29
Warning that Pakistan was bleeding India through Kashmir, Prof K.L. Bhatia, Senior Professor, Jammu University, said the Kashmir problem was a result of distorted history, circumstances and situation.

He delivered a special lecture at the Panchnad study centre under the aegis of the Panchnad Research Institute, Chandigarh, on “Kashmir - past present and future” here today.

Suggesting abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, said India should tell Pakistan to give POK to India under the instrument of accession document that was signed in favour of India.

He said suggestion of “self-rule” was ridiculous as no foreign power was ruling J&K. Hailing the J&K High Court’s decision to strike down the woman disqualification Bill, he said Article 370 had become a headache for Kashmiris and the rest of India.

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