P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Amritsar-Nankana Sahib bus service deferred again
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
The bus service between Amritsar and Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, that was scheduled to be inaugurated by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, on March 10 has been postponed again.

Sources said today that internal strife in Pakistan had led to the postponement of the bus service. “If the situation normalises in the days to come, then the bus will make the inaugural trip to Nankana Sahib in Pakistan from Amritsar on March 24”, said a senior officer. However, the chances seem to be remote.

The district administration of Amritsar had already started preparations for sending the bus to Nankana Sahib on March 10. The trial run of the bus between the two holy cities was completed earlier. It is not the first time that the starting of the bus service between the two cities on a reciprocal basis has been postponed. The original proposal to make the bus service operational was in the second week of February. However, due to technical reasons, it was postponed to February 24 and then to March 10.

There are reports that the Pakistan authorities are not showing the kind of enthusiasm in this regard as they showed a few weeks ago.

Nothing is certain even about the Indo-Pakistan Punjab games which are to be held in Lahore. Earlier, the games were to start on February 22. However, these were postponed till March. There are no confirmed dates regarding the games from the Pakistan side, it is learnt. Last year, Patiala had played host to the Indo-Pakistan Punjab games and this year it is the turn of Lahore. Even, the visit by members of Chandigarh Press Club to Lahore Press Club has not materalised yet. The Lahore Press Club had invited about 70 journalists from Chandigarh Press Club to visit Lahore in the third week of February.

Although no official is ready to speak, the indications from Pakistan are that the authorities in that country are engaged in reviewing the growing relations between the Indian Punjab and the Pakistani Punjab. The successful visit to India of the US president George W. Bush, whose response to his hosts in Pakistan was cold on all important issues, has also not been liked by the Pakistan authorities. That has become another reason for the authorities in that country to review the Punjab-to-Punjab phenomenon that has been playing a major role in bringing the two countries closer, it is learnt.


Victims of terrorist violence to get relief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
Victims of terrorist violence in Punjab will also get relief and compensation, the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, announced in the Assembly, here today.

The Chief Minister said he could not promise if these victims would be equated with the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and get similar compensation. “ We will, however, do something for the victims of terrorist violence also”, the Chief Minister announced. He was replying to a question raised by Congress MLA Tarlochan Singh, who demanded that the families of the victims of terrorist violence be paid compensation on a par with the compensation announced by the Nanavati Commission for victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Earlier, the Revenue and Rehabilitation Minister, Mr A.S. Samra, had turned down the request of the MLA to equate the two categories for giving compensation. The Chief Minister intervened to announce the intention of his government when Mr Tarlochan Singh questioned why was the government differentiating between two sets of victims - one of the 1984 riots and other who were killed or injured by terrorists.

Meanwhile, replying to a separate question posed by SAD MLA Kanwaljit Singh, the Chief Minister assured the House that none of the victims of the 1984 riots living in Ludhiana would be evicted from their houses. He also said only those victims, who had been issued the “red card” would be eligible for compensation announced by the Nanavati Commission. Mr Samra said the matter of enhancing the compensation to the victims was never approved by the Cabinet during the SAD regime. Mr Samra accidentally referred to the victims as terrorists and later apologised.

The SAD also raised the issue of recruitments to the police on compassionate grounds. A total of 11 Inspectors had been recruited since February, 2002, under three categories namely, on a priority basis, on compassionate grounds and kin of war heroes. The SAD later pointed out to mediapersons that all those recruited were kin of officers or powerful people while there was nobody who was kin of an ordinary constable.

Health Minister, Ramesh Chand Dogra, while replying to another question admitted that sometimes doctors posted in the rural areas were called for duty in the urban areas.

The Transport Minister, Mr Mohinder Singh Kaypee, told the House that an amendment was being made to the rules to allow the operation of super deluxe luxury buses on the pattern followed by the neighbouring states of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

The Minister for Rural Development, Mr Lal Singh, admitted in the House that 84 panchayats elected unanimously in 2003 were yet to receive the special grant of Rs 2 lakh each. He, however, assured that the money would be released by March 31.


Punjab may do away with liquor auction system
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
The new excise policy and the setting up of a pay commission are expected to be the highlights of tomorrow’s budget to be presented in the Punjab Assembly by the Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla.

The excise policy for year 2006-07 will be a blend of the excise policy recently announced by Delhi, Haryana and Union Territory of Chandigarh. Informed source said the government would introduce license system on the pattern of Haryana to mark the end of monopoly of 10 odd groups in the liquor business.

For the past several years, the Punjab Government had been allocating the liquor vends of Country Made Liquor and Indian Made Foreign Liquor ( IMFL) through auction system. However, this year, it may allocate vends 
by draw of lots.

Informed sources said from 1972 to 1980, the IMFL vends were allocated on the basis of license system in the state. However, the Darbara Singh Government had discontinued the system and had introduced the auction system. Revenue from liquor vends had remained a major contributor to the overall revenue of the state for the past several years. However, at present revenue from stamp duty and VAT had also become main contributor to the state’s treasury.

Those engaged in the liquor trade say if the Government introduces the license system, the revenue from liquor business will fall by several crores of rupees. But, there will also be substantial decrease in the liquor rates in the state. The liquor that is selling for Rs 300 per bottle now will come down to Rs 150 or even less per bottle, say trade sources.

The Government is expected to announce the formation of a new pay commission for employees. The issue of promotional scale after completion of four, nine and 14 years of service is expected to be given to the new pay 

However, employees say that the setting up of the new pay commission will be a useless exercise. The Union Government has already announced the setting up of the Commission and the State Government should make the promise that it would give the pay scales recommended by the Union Government’s pay commission. The last pay commission set up by the Union Government had given 40 per cent increase in wages across the board.

The SAD-BJP Government had implemented the same besides making increase in certain allowances such as medical allowance by the Union Government’s pay commission. For the instance, national pay commission had announced the medical allowance of Rs 100 per month. However, the Punjab Government had increased it to Rs 250 per month. likewise, some increase was announced on its own in wages of Class IV employees then. Similar pattern can be followed now, say certain sections of employees.


BDO gives torn books to village library
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 6
After receiving 100 books from the country’s First Citizen for their village’s library, residents of Gehri Buttar today rued that 50 books sent for the library by the BDO concerned were in a pathetic condition and a number of their pages were either torn or missing.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Makhan Singh, husband of village sarpanch Sukhpal Kaur, said they didn’t notice the damaged books when these were received at the library. “The damage came to light only when we were preparing a list of books stocked in our library,” he added. Mr Bikar Singh, another villager, lamented that some of these books had 50 to 100 pages missing. “All these books are too old and nobody would even take them for free,” he added. A month back these villagers were on cloud nine when they got 100 books from the collection of President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, who visited the village in December last year. They had named their village library after him and the DC had inaugurated it.

The DC had also promised a computer for the library, besides some more books. Meanwhile, Mr Makhan Singh was also unhappy with the administration directing the Executive Engineer, Panchayati Raj, to carry out development works worth Rs 25 lakh in the village. “Our panchayat is aware of the village’s needs and I feel we can better do the job. We will raise the matter with the Deputy Commissioner,” he said. Listing their priorities, he said they wanted to raise boundary wall around the village pond and crematorium, build roads and sewers, and lay pipeline of waterworks.

On the other hand, Deputy Commissioner, Rahul Bhandari, said he had sent the BDO to the village and sought a report on the matter by evening. He said books found damaged would be replaced. On release of grant to the Executive Engineer, Panchayati Raj, he said the villagers should concern with development and not with the executing authority.


Road accidents claimed 5,356 lives in two years
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
A total of 5,356 persons were killed in road accidents in Punjab in the past two years and another 7,821 were injured, the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, informed the Assembly here today.

The Chief Minister said between January 2004 and December 2005, a total of 8,867 accidents occurred in the state. He said the state was taking steps to curb this high number of accidents and admitted that there was no proper traffic regulation infrastructure on the roads. He also blamed the easy availability of driving licences without proper test for the accidents.

Meanwhile, replying to a separate question on the construction of rural roads, the PWD Minister, Mr Pratap Singh Bajwa, said 716 km of roads had been constructed under the ‘‘Prime Minister Gram Sarak Yojna’’.

Replying to another question, the Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, said the per capita annual consumption of liquor in Punjab was 7.33 bottles. To arrive at this figure, the entire population of Punjab had been taken into account.

Meanwhile, another crucial point raised during question hour was regarding the permission given to new distilleries in the state and the concessions granted to them. The Finance Minister said the concessions had been granted to only those companies who were willing to set up their units in border areas. Also, all the exemptions were spread over a period of ten years and were payable in one go. All this was done as the state required to attract investment in the border areas.

Mr Singla said the Government used no discretion to grant licences and said it was Mr Parkash Singh Badal who used his discretion to hand out licences during the rule of the Shiromani Akali Dal in the state. He said the committee headed by the then Excise and Taxation Minister, Mr Adesh Partap Singh Kairon, had recommended licences for five distilleries.,However, Mr Badal granted licence to just two of them.

He said permissions for distilleries run by the family of the Haryana Minister, Mr Venod Sharma, Mr Ponty Chada and Nuway Organics was given under a Government of India policy that automatically grants distillery licence to sugar mills.


Employers beat up maid for overbaking chapati
Pawan Kumar

Amritsar, March 6
An 11-years-old, Prabhjit Kaur, a domestic maid, was allegedly beaten up by her employers on a minor issue of overbaking a loaf (chapati). The matter came to light when she was admitted to the local Civil Hospital with multiple bruises all over the body.

According to details available here, Prabhjit was working in the house of one Harbans Singh Virk in the Rani Ka Bagh locality and was allegedly beaten up with wooden stick.

However, Virk refuted the allegations and said that Prabhjit fell from the stairs.

Gurmit Kaur, mother of the victim, told The Tribune that Prabhjit was in a deep shock as she was locked in a room after severe beating last evening. She said when she went to meet her daughter, her employers said that she had gone to their relatives’ house. However, Prabhjit managed to give the slip today morning and narrated her tale of woes to her parents who immediately took her to the Civil Hospital. Her arms and legs were badly swollen.

Joginder Singh, father of the girl, who is a rickshaw-puller, said that she had been working with the family as maidservant for the past seven months. He said earlier too her employers used to beat her up. He demanded strict action against the family.

The doctors attending on the girl said that they would examine the girl tomorrow.

Police officials confirmed that they had received a complaint in this regard. However, they added that they would take action only after getting the medical report.


Firing by supporters of gurdwara sevadar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 6
Members of the "anti-repression action committee" were today allegedly fired upon by supporters of the Head Sewadar Lakha Singh of Tahli Sahib Gurdwara at Bohlian village near Ajnala sub-division.

Mr Jatinder Chinna, secretary, Kirti Kasan Union, alleged that Balwinder Singh, Surmeet Singh and Laddi, the supporters of the sewadar, fired upon the committee members with double-barrel guns. However, no one was injured in the incident.

It maybe mentioned here that the committee members had been organising flag march against the civil administration and the police, who had failed to nab the culprits and take suitable action against the sewadar for illegally razing the house of a retired teacher and included his (teacher's) land with an adjoining gurdwara located on the Ajnala-Chuganwa road.

They had alleged that Head Sewadar Lakha Singh of Gurdwara Tahli Sahib and his followers, armed with firearms, used bulldozer and various tractor-trolleys to demolish their house, while debris and furniture/belongings were dumped in houses of some Congress workers at the behest of Congress MLA.

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

The committee had been demanding the FIR to include sections pertaining to demolition and grabbing of property, besides the immediate arrest of the accused and Rs 12 lakh as compensation along with the possession of land.

However, when contacted by the Tribune, Ms Vibhu Raj, SSP Majitha, said that no such incident occurred at village Bohlian today.


Sidhu for probe into land scam
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, March 6
Alarmed at the series of land scams tumbling out of the Improvement Trust closet, the BJP MP, Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, today sought an independent judicial probe against the custodians of the trust allegedly churning out favours to land sharks.

Talking to The Tribune, he said the Chairman must step down immediately to face the enquiry so that he could not tinker with the official records and the evidence.

He alleged the trust officials were depriving the common man of his right to construct residential house at a reasonable amount. They had allowed land mafia to rule the roost in the 188-acre Improvement Trust scheme for New Amritsar. 


Row over land: BJP seeks CBI probe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
The Punjab unit of the BJP has demanded a CBI probe into the controversy surrounding the exemption of 32 acres in Amritsar to allegedly benefit private builders. Mr Vijay Sampla, president of the BJP’s SC/ST cell, said the matter should be referred to the CBI and the minister concerned, Mr Jagjit Singh, should resign. 


CLP holds meeting

Chandigarh, March 6
A day before the state budget is to be presented, the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) held its meeting here tonight. At the meeting, party MLA’s once againt raised the matter of pending issues before the party and posings of “chosen” officials in their contituencies.

Moments after the meeting was over, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, left the venue. A couple of his supporters also stayed away.

The meeting was held in informal atmosphere and a few senior ministers skipped it, probably as they were planning for the budget tomorrow. The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, explained to the MLA’s what all the goverment was doing. The MLA’s were given an apportunity to speak openly.

This was the second meeting of the CLP in the past three weeks. — TNS


Punjab gets nod to develop tourist spots
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, has given nod to projects submitted by the Punjab Tourism Department worth Rs 23 crore for the development of tourist destinations and all Punjab religious circuit.

The Punjab Tourism Minister, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, revealed following a meeting with the Union Tourism Minister, Ms Ambika Soni, and Government of India officials on Friday at New Delhi.

Mr A. K. Misra, Secretary, and Mr Amitabh Kant, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, Mr Rajiv Talwar, Additional Director-General, Ministry of Tourism, Mr Satish Chandera, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Punjab, and Mr Jagjit Puri, Director, Ministry of Tourism, were also present.

During the meeting, Ms Soni emphasised that in view of the increasing traffic at the Raja Sansi Airport, Amritsar and Wagha border, special focus on development of Wagah and Amritsar would be given. She also stated that the formation of the Wagah Development Authority was on the anvil.

Mr Kang said the Government of India had approved a destination project under which Rs 5 crore each had been earmarked for development of Amritsar, Wagha and Patiala. Under the scheme, all tourist spots within the radius of 20-25 km would be renovated. In addition, he said Rs 8 crore had been set aside for the development of the religious circuit, which had been named as the "Land of Gurus and Pilgrimage". He further added that Aam Khas Bagh, Sirhind and Ropar would be projected as tourist destinations during the next fiscal year. Convention centers at Wagah and Ludhiana worth Rs 1.5 crore each had also been envisaged.

Mr Kang further added that the Punjab Tourism Department would hold a tourism conclave of eight northern contiguous states - Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Chandigarh and Uttaranchal- in order to form innovative strategies to promote tourism in the northern tourist circuit in the second week of April at Amritsar. 


Mohali status shuts down Ropar
Tribune News Service

Ropar, March 6
A complete bandh was observed here today against the decision of the Punjab Government to accord Mohali the district status on a call given by the Zila Bachao Sangharsh Samiti supported by political parties. All shops remained closed. Leaders of political parties, truck operators and members of the Beopar Mandal blocked traffic on the National Highway-21 for about three hours. Advocates of the District Courts abstained from work and joined the protest here.

The samiti gave a seven-day ultimatum to the state government to withdraw the decision on Mohali failing which it would launch a “jail bharo andolan” and observe a relay fast.

Members of the samiti gathered at Bhai Lalu Market at about 9 am.They passed through the city and staged a dharna at Nangal Chowk. Those present included the Congress MLA from Nurpur Bedi, Dr Ramesh Dutt Sharma, the Akali Dal MLA from Chamkaur Sahib, Ms Satwant Kaur, president of the district Congress Amarjit Singh Sani, president of the district BSP Charanjit Singh Ghai, the district president of the BJP, Mr Vijay Puri, the chairman of the Zila Bachao Sangharsh Samiti, Dr R.S. Parmar, and chairman of the Zila Parishad Kuldeep Kaur.

The leaders demanded a new de-limitation commission to restructure all districts in the state.

Addressing the gathering, MLA Ramesh Dutt Sharma said he had raised the issue in the Vidhan Sabha. He said much damage had already been done to Ropar district with the creation of Fatehgarh Sahib and Nawanshahr districts. “I have joined the agitation against the decision as it is related to the people of my district who have already been neglected on various fronts,” he added.

MLA Satwant Kaur said the decision of the Congress government was unfair. The “golden area” is being separated from Ropar district.

The District Bar Association president, Mr R.N. Moudgil, said they had been abstaining from work for the past one week against the government decision and would continue their protest until they got justice.

The chairman of the samiti, Mr R.S. Parmar, said they observed a peaceful agitation to show resentment of the people. Later, while addressing a press conference, Akali Dal (Longowal) president Prem Singh Chandumajra also demanded restructuring of all districts in the state. 


‘Punjab film-makers, viewers lack maturity’
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 6
Terming cinema as powerful medium Shahji N. Karun — the noted Indian film maker feels that human emotions and relationships were finding more space and importance in the world cinema these days.

On the state of Punjabi cinema, Shahji feels Punjabi cinema was yet to grow due to lack of maturity amongst the viewers and film makers. He, however, is hopeful that Punjabi cinema could hope for good times in coming days.

Kerala-based Shahji is a renowned Indian film-maker abroad. His film “Piravi” created ripples in world cinema by getting 31 national and international awards. He is the lone Indian film maker who received coveted ‘Charlie Chaplin Award’ in 1988.

Besides, the French government also conferred the “Chevalier Dans I’Odre Des Arts et Lettres”, the highest French honour on him and his name figured in a book of the British Film Institute, which, listed him one of the greatest film directors of the century.

“Human emotions and relations have always been very important. Now these are increasingly becoming important from the world cinematic point of view as all over the world people are feeling that void in human relationships is increasing, partly due to technology. “During my visit to Japan, people were more appreciative about my film Piravi and wanted it to be shown to their kids as they were concerned about the deterioration of quality of relationships. Same is the case with people of other parts of the world. Relationships have their own importance, but, nowadays people don’t have enough time to analyse it or there are certain aspects of relationships which we overlook. So, cinema has turned out to be the biggest medium for them. My films are not to amuse people but an effort to depict emotions and relationships. Film makers are more responsible than politicians, so, when you work in cinema you have bigger responsibility,” observed Shahji, who was accompanied by noted directors Sukhwant Dhaddha and Dr Harjit Singh. He was here to lecture on film making, organised by the Indian Academy of Films and Media Arts (IAFMA).

On cinema in India, Shahji said India was seen abroad as a country of cinema. “Cinema, in India is like a train which, travels from Kashmir to Kerala and it brings about emotional and cultural togetherness.”

On what ailed the Punjabi cinema, Shahji, who has done a Punjabi film along with Sukhwant Dhadda, said, “First of all we need the kind of work, which, was offered by Rajinder Singh Bedi. Moreover, a lot is needed to be done as both — Punjabi film makers as well as viewers had not attained maturity despite the fact that most of the Bollywood filmmakers, artistes were from Punjab and India is represented by turban. I hope young people will bring about some changes.


Tradition revived at Golden Temple
Pawan Kumar

Amritsar, March 6
The Golden Temple ambience today resonated with Gurbani kirtan performed with ancient and traditional musical instruments for the first time after partition. The tradition of performing kirtan accompanied with tanpura, rabab, swarmandal was revived in the gurdwara.

Prof Kartar Singh, Director of the SGPC-run Sangeet Academy at Anandpur Sahib, performed kirtan with the traditional instruments, including two tanpuras, taus, swarmandal and harmonium. He sang four shabads of Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Gobind Singh, including ‘Mitar piare nu’, and of Bhagat Kabir and Bhagat Ramanand in basant raag.

He said shabad kirtan and Gurbani had a classical base. However, he rued that we had lost the classical base and by using modern instruments which was against the Rehat Maryada. Due to this, the sangat did not attach with the shabads and Gurbani, he added. He praised the SGPC initiative of reviving the tradition.

Prof Kartar Singh will perform tomorrow also. Dr Gurnam Singh, Head of the Music Department, Punjabi University, Patiala, will also perform on March 7 and 8. Bhai Nirmal Singh Khalsa and Bhai Gurmit Singh Shant will perform kirtan on March 9-10 and March 16-17, respectively. Bhai Avtar Singh will perform on March 18.

Mr Avtar Singh, President of the SGPC, also enjoyed the kirtan. He said the committee would ensure that at least one raagi adept in traditional instruments was present during the kirtan in the sanctum santorum.

He said students were being trained at Punjabi University and the SGPC-run Sangeet Academy at Anandpur Sahib on traditional instruments. 


Seminar on women’s development
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 6
A two-day international seminar on 'Women's Development in India: Rhetoric and Reality' organised by the Department of Social Work, Punjabi University, Patiala, was inaugurated by Dr Surinder Singh, Vice-Chancellor, Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidya Peeth, Varansi, here today. Dr Rajeshwar Parsad, president, Indian Social Science Association, presented the keynote address.

In his inaugural address, Dr Surinder Singh opined that women from upper strata's of the society had been empowered while majority of women were still abused and exploited.

Dr Prasad said it was difficult to have solutions of various problems of women development.

He felt that education alone was neither sufficient nor conclusive for women development. He talked about various acts, rules and regulations and their implementations for women's development.

Dr Ushvinder Kaur Popli welcomed the guests and delegates. She gave a brief introduction to the department and backdrop of the seminar. 


Supplementary demands approved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
The Punjab Assembly today approved Rs 1448 crore for supplementary demands for expenditure of the government. This is considered to be one of the biggest supplementary demands list in the recent times.

The maximum demand has come from the Irrigation and Power sector. A sum of Rs 675 crore has been okayed for it and this is largely on account of buying power from other sources of generation during the peak summer and winter months. A sum of Rs 146 crore has been okayed for the Local Government Department. This also includes a grant to the municipalities in lieu of the abolition of octroi.

Of the Rs 1448 crore, the state will spend Rs 1062 crore while the rest will be recovered by way of related receipts. The Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, read out the demands. 


Prince Charles to be CM’s guest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
Prince Charles and his wife, Camila Parker Bowles, will enjoy the hospitality of the erstwhile Patiala royal family headed by Capt Amarinder Singh, Punjab Chief Minister.

According to informed sources, the British royals will reach here on March 27. After an interaction with guests, they will proceed to Patiala to be guests of Capt Amarinder Singh.

The Prince of Wales will visit Bhat Majra village near Patiala. He has also shown interest to visit some organic farming fields near Sirhind. On March 28, he will proceed to Anandpur Sahib where he will visit the Khalsa Heritage complex. He will also pay obeisance at Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib. In the evening, the couple will return to Delhi.


White Paper sought on custodial deaths
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, March 6
The Protection of Human Rights Dal, Punjab, has asked the Punjab Government to issue a White Paper on the custodial deaths in the state to expose the brutal face of the Punjab police.

Talking to The Tribune here yesterday, Mr Harmohan Singh Sakrali, president of the Dal, Punjab, said police atrocities on the innocent people were increasing day by day due to which the number of custodial deaths had increased.

Strongly condemning the death of Harjeet Singh, a Dalit youth, in the custody of the Batala police recently, Mr Sakrali demanded arrest of all the police officials, involved in this case. 


Ludhiana doc gets FRCS
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
Dr Kuldip Singh, Professor of Surgery, Dayanand Medical College, Ludhiana, has been conferred the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) of England.
Dr Kuldip Singh will be admitted to the fellowship at a special ceremony to be held in London on July 11. He has contributed more than 50 research papers and delivered guest lectures at several national and international meetings.


2,500 patients examined
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, March 6
More than 2,500 patients, suffering from various diseases, were examined and given treatment free of cost at a four-day free medical camp which concluded at Sri Naina Devi Mandir complex at Khanauri, about 60 km from here, last evening, Dr Surinder Singla, who was a member of the team of doctors at the camp, said today.


high court
Action-taken report sought from Vidhan Sabha Secretary
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 6
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the Secretary of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha to tell it as to what action had been taken on the report submitted by the previous Lok Pal, Punjab, in which he had indicted senior Congress leaders, including current ministers such as Lal Singh, for various acts of omission and commission.

During resumed hearing of the petition filed by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MP Rattan Singh and some SAD MLAs, the Bench of Mr Justice Amar Dutt and Mr Justice Baldev Singh issued this order.

The four Congress leaders, one present and three former Ministers, had been indicted by the then Lok Pal, Justice D.V. Sehgal. They include Power and Irrigation Minister Lal Singh, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Shamsher Singh Dullo, who was a minister in the Beant Singh Government, and former Ministers Balmukund Sharma and Lakhbir Singh Randhawa.

In their petition, the Akali leaders have stated that despite the report of the Lok Pal, no action has been taken against these leaders. They have prayed that directions should be issued to the government to get cases registered against them and order proper investigations.

On a previous hearing, the government had taken the stand that since the report had been sent to the Vidhan Sabha it could not do anything in the matter. Hearing will now resume on March 9.

Order stayed: The High Court on Monday stayed the order dated March 2 issued by the Union Finance Ministry through which it had transferred Mr Sanjeev Mago, Recovery Officer (RO), Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT), Chandigarh.

The order was passed on an application moved by advocate H.C. Arora, who had stated that the action of the Ministry was arbitrary as it would leave the DRT here without a substitute RO.

The court also directed the Ministry to produce the record pertaining to the transfer through an officer who is well-versed with the facts of the case.

Meanwhile, the Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Mr Justice D.K. Jain and Mr Justice Surya Kant has issued notice of motion for April 19 on a PIL filed by Mr Arora, seeking revamp of the system of selection and appointment of the Presiding Officers of the DRTs and the chairpersons of the Debts Recovery Appellate Tribunals (DRAT).


Hawara’s wife case: warrants issued against cop
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, March 6
Mr Jaspal Singh Chugh, Additional Sessions Judge, Fast Track Court, here today ordered summoning of Mr Harjinder Singh, munshi head constable (MHC), of a prosecution witness, through bailable warrants in the sum of Rs 5,000 with one surety of the like amount, as he failed to turn up in the court today in connection with a case registered against Balwinder Kaur, wife of Jagtar Singh Hawara, chief of the Babbar Khalsa International and others by the Dhuri police. Balwinder Kaur, Sukhdev Singh, Pargat Singh and Amarjit Singh, all accused in the case, were present in the court.

According to sources on February 17, the court had directed the MHC to produce DDR register from June 19, 2005 to July 14, 2005 in the court today, but he did not turn up despite being bound down by the court for today.

Meanwhile cross examination of prosecution witness Naresh Kumar, a senior assistant in the DC’s office here, today concluded. The court today summoned the prosecution witnesses for April 3 next in this case.

Balwinder Kaur, Sukhdev Singh, a former granthi of Dohla village (near Dhuri), Amarjit Singh and Pargat Singh were reportedly been arrested on June 19, 2005 in connection with a case registered against them at Dhuri police station. The police allegedly had seized a huge quantity of explosives and other ammunition from them at a nakabandi.


Plea of Punjab minister’s son rejected
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, March 6
The Supreme Court today declined to intervene in an order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court quashing the appointment of Punjab Excise and Taxation Minister Sardul Singh’s son as a government servant on compassionate ground under the 1996 policy applicable to the victims of terrorist violence.

The high court had quashed the appointment on a public interest litigation (PIL), which alleged that the minister’s son, Mr Tejinder Pal Singh, was not a deserving candidate to claim the appointment under the policy.

The high court had accepted the contention raised in the PIL that under the policy, appointment could not be claimed after the terrorism had vanished from Punjab.

A Bench of Ms Justice Ruma Pal and Mr Justice A.R. Lakshmanan dismissed the special leave petition (SLP) of the minister’s son, Mr Tejinder Pal Singh, rejecting the contention of senior advocate P.P. Rao, appearing for him, that the high court had not interpreted the apex court ruling regarding the scope of PILs in service matters.

The Bench said in fact the petitioner was interpreting the Supreme Court ruling on the issue “wrongly” as the apex court had not said the PILs in service matter should not be entertained at all.

The court told Mr Rao that this was not the case where the policy of “compassionate” appointment should be applicable as the beneficiary was none other than the son of a minister in the state Cabinet.

The Punjab Government in 1996 had formulated the policy that one member of any family, which had suffered due to terrorist activities, would be provided government job as per his or her qualification.

Mr Tejinder Pal Singh had applied for appointment as government servant under the policy, claiming that his family had also suffered due to terrorism, the court was told.

But the Bench was not impressed with the argument and rejected the SLP for a fresh look into the matter and setting aside the high court order.


Kingpin of vehicle thieves’ gang held
Our Correspondent

Abohar, March 6
The CIA staff here has arrested Karnail Singh, kingpin of an inter-state gang, and recovered three Hero Honda motorcycles and a Qualis car stolen by the gang from Alwar district in Rajasthan. The culprit had been declared a proclaimed offender by separate courts in four cases, police sources said.

Mr Chhinder Singh, in charge of the CIA staff, told newsmen this evening that the police, on a tip off, raided a house at Ghatianwali village near Arniwala and nabbed Karnail Singh, son of Mr Harbhajan Singh, and recovered a Hero Honda motorcycle. He failed to produce related documents pertaining to the two-wheeler and made many disclosures during interrogation. Two more motorcycles and a Qualis van, parked somewhere else, were seized on his identification. Two forged registration certificates of the vehicles were also found.

Investigations indicated that the gang of four persons headed by Karnail Singh had been stealing vehicles from different areas of Alwar district in Rajasthan for the past five or six years. Their local contacts helped in the thefts. All such vehicles were sold in Ferozepore district after preparing fake documents in connivance with government employees.

Karnail Singh was also wanted in criminal cases registered at the Khuiyansarwer, Fazilka, Jalalabad West and Makhu police stations. Originally a resident of Paliwala village near Jalalabad West, Karnail had recently settled down at Kushuwala Mor near Makhu, sources added. He, however, preferred to change hideouts to escape arrest. He has disclosed names of three accomplices also. A judicial court today remanded him in police custody till March 11, the police said. 


Controller of exams attacked 

Sangrur, March 6
Some unidentified persons today attacked the Controller (Examinations) of Government Senior Secondary School, Patran, Mr Tarsem Chand Garg, with hockey sticks and lathis at Dirba village, about 25 km from here.

The assailants, who had come in an unnumbered car, fled from the scene when residents of the village came to Mr Garg’s rescue after hearing him shout. He was admitted to the Primary Health Centre at Kohrian village. So far no case had been registered. — TNS


Proclaimed offenders arrested
Our Correspondent

Batala, March 6
While talking to media persons here this evening, Dr Jatindra Jain, SSP said that the police had arrested proclaimed offender Balwinder Singh of Sukhna Chirha village.
Another PO Avtar Singh of Khudda village was arrested by the police.


Students honoured at Khalsa College function
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 6
About 150 students of Khalsa College were awarded at the annual prize distribution function, organised on the 116th foundation day of the college here today.
Prabhjoti, MSc (botany), Deep Shikha, MSc (chemistry), Rajni, MSc (agronomy), Satbir Kaur, MSc (horticulture), Amritpal, MSc (agriculture economics), Neha Jha, BSc (agriculture) were awarded gold medals for securing first positions in the university.

Besides, 40 students of the college, who secured seats through competitive examinations in various medical and engineering colleges, were also honoured on the occasion.

Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, MP, distributed prizes and delivered a lecture. He exhorted students not to get scared by the cut-throat competition, but instead put in their cent per cent to achieve their goals. He stressed that students must imbibe industriousness, tenacity and planning for success in their lives. He announced a grant of Rs 14 lakh out of his MPLAD fund to the college.

In the field of sports, Maninderpal Singh (participant of Junior Asian Judo Championship), Ravneet Singh (participant Junior Asia Swimming Championship) were given gold medals.

Dr Daljit Singh, Principal of the college, presented the annual report of the institution, highlighting achievements in educational, cultural, sports and other spheres.

Satyajit Singh Majithia, president, governing council of the college, welcomed the guests and presented before the gathering guests from Pakistan. The visitors included Sai Chand Peer Quadri, a descendant of Sai Mian Mir, who laid the foundation stone of Harmander Sahib, Bhai Lal ji, descendant of Bhai Mardana, a Rababi of Guru Nanak Dev and Yahud Ahmad Khan, descendant of Nabi Khan and Gani Khan, who helped Guru Gobind Singh in a battle.


21 teachers, superintendents suspended during surprise visit
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 6
Around 21 teachers, including superintendents, all over Punjab who were acting as superintendents in the board examinations were today suspended for helping students in copying during a surprise checking by DPI Secondary and other officials of the Education Department at various places of the state.

While talking to The Tribune Dr S.S. Randhawa, DPI Secondary Schools confirmed the suspension of teachers and added that the suspended teachers include five from Amritsar, seven from Fatehgarh Sahib and three from Moga.

At several places examination staff was suspended.

Jaswinder Singh, Superintendent, Gurdev Singh, Sukhdev Singh Bhatia, Mata Gujri Senior Secondary School, Fatehgarh Sahib, Kuldip Kaur of Government Senior Secondary School, Bassi Pathana, Usha Rani, Senior Secondary School, Ghumangarh, Ritu Anand of Government Senior Secondary School Anandpur kalaur and Surinderpal Singh of Government High School Bathwala.

Similarly, Jaswinder Singh, Principal, Malke, Surjit Singh, Superintendent, Rode and a clerk Tarsem Singh were also suspended in Moga district. Bhupinder Singh of D P School who was the Superintendent at Paragon Senior Secondary School, Mohali, Ajit Chawla clerk and Manjit Kaur were suspended in Mohali.

Meanwhile, 33 cases of copying were registered.


44 selected system analysts
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, March 6
Multinational software company Cognizant Technology Solutions, Pune, has selected 44 students of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College (BBSBEC), Fatehgarh Sahib. College Principal D.S. Hira said these students were selected for the posts of system analysts.

He said the company would impart three months’ training to those selected before absorbing them in the company. He further said the students would get Rs 2.11 lakh per annum as salary.

Dr Hira added that about 172 third-year BTech students of the college appeared for the aptitude test. The company had shortlisted 93 for the interview.

Training and placement officer of the college Mooninder Singh said the selected candidates included 21 students from electronics and communication engineering, 16 from computer science, two from information technology, four from mechanical engineering and one from electrical engineering. 

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |