P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Farmers block traffic
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, May 12
Activists of various farmers’ organisations blocked traffic at nine different points in the district to express their resentment over the policies of state and central governments here today.

Mr Rattan Singh Randhawa, a farmer leader, stated in a press note that as many as nine different groups participated in the two-hour-long strike today. He said farmer leaders criticised Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, for selling fertile land to multi national companies at throwaway prices.

He informed that in the district traffic was blocked at Bus stand, Ajnala, Sathiala, Goindwal Sahib, Harike, Rasulpur, Patti, Bhikiwind and Chabbal. He said they denounced the Centre for importing wheat and undermining benefits of farmers.

Hoshiarpur: Activists of the Kisan Sabha (CPM) staged dharnas and blocked traffic for an hour at Mahilpur, Mukerian and Dasuya towns of Hoshiarpur district today to oppose acquiring of land of three villages near Barnala for industrialists by the state government.

Addressing protesters at Mahilpur, Mr Darshan Singh Mattoo, Mr Gurmail Singh, Mr Mohinder Singh, all activists of the Kisan Sabha (CPM) and Ms Subhash Chaudhry, Joint Secretary, of the Janwadi Istri Sabha (CPM) criticised the Punjab government for its anti farmer policies.

They said that the Kandi area was facing drought like situation for the past one year due to which crops had been affected. They also demanded compensation of Re 10,000/- per acre to all farmers of the Kandi area. They also demanded regular supply of green and dry fodder to cattle and supply of electricity and water in the area.


Protests against land acquisition
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 12
On the call of nine farmer organisations, a large number of farmers today blocked roads at four places in Bathinda district in protest against the forcible acquisition of lands of the farmers in the state, especially acquisition of 376 acres of the farmers of Dhaula, Fatehgarh Chhanna and Sangherra villages, near Barnala, for the Trident Group of Industries by the state government.

The roads were blocked in Bathinda district at Bathinda near Thermal canal, on the Bathinda-Mansa road at Kot Shameer village, on the Bathinda-Barnala road at Rampura Phul, and on the Bathinda-Badal road at Nandgarh village.

Leaders of various farmer organisations, including Punjab Kisan Sabha, BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan), BKU (Ekta-Sidhupur), and Kisan Sanghrash Committee strongly criticised the Punjab Government for acquiring lands of the farmers forcibly to benefit the industrialists. They said they would not allow the state government to initiate such steps which would ruin the farmers in the state. The leaders also asked the state government to scrap the notification, related to acquisition of 376 acres of three villages near Barnala.


Rs 80 cr for improving Amritsar airport
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
The Union Civil Aviation Ministry today informed the Consultative Committee of Parliament on Civil Aviation that tenders would be floated soon to expand and upgrade the facilities at Raja Sansi airport in Amritsar. The Ministry has made a provision of Rs 80 crore for improving the infrastructure at the airport.

A meeting of the committee was held in Delhi today. Among others, it was attended by the Union Civil Aviation Minister, Mr Praful Patel, the Secretary,Civil Aviation, senior officers of the Airports Authority of India and certain MPs.

The Ministry officials informed the committee that the funds had been earmarked for further expansion and upgradation of the airport. Earlier, the Airports Authority of India had spent Rs 78 crore on improving the infrastructure there. However, Dr M.S.Gill, member of the Rajya Sabha from Punjab, who also attended the meeting, urged the Aviation Ministry to allocate Rs 500 crore for Amritsar airport from where the frequency of flights had been increasing.

Dr Gill told The Tribune on the phone from Delhi that Mr Patel had given an assurance that the Ministry would further expand the airport after spending the already earmarked Rs 80 crore. He said the Ministry had agreed to start direct flights to New York, Vancouver, Birmingham and other important destinations from Amritsar.

The Minister said at the meeting that immediately after the arrival of 68 new planes, for which purchase orders had been given by the Aviation Ministry, direct flights from Amritsar to various important destinations would be introduced.

Dr Gill said that at present the flight from Amritsar to Toronto was via Birmingham. " However, I am pressing for a direct flight to Toronto", he said. Jet Airways would soon start direct flights from Amritsar to London. This was disclosed by Aviation officials at the meeting. The Ministry had also given an assurance on soon starting Air India Express low-tariff flights from Amritsar for workers employed in Dubai.

The Ministry is aware of the demand for introducing new flights from Amritsar and increasing the frequency of the existing ones. As Punjabis are settled mostly in Canada, the USA and the UK, they have been demanding direct flights to and from Amritsar to important cities in these countries.


Federation against increase in OBC quota
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 12
The General Categories Welfare Federation, Punjab, yesterday asked the Centre not to go ahead with its proposal regarding enhancement in the OBC quota in government-run higher educational institutions as it would create division among various castes.

Talking to The Tribune here, Mr Harbans Singh Sidhu, state president of the federation, said if the enhancement came into force then it would ruin the career of the intelligentsia in different sectors. He said after an increase in the quota the quality of the pass-outs might be lowered.

He said the federation was not against helping the poor but it was against the ongoing caste-based reservation policy. He said the reservation benefit should be given to a person only once, either at the time of education or during recruitment. The federation wanted that all government employees, especially having gazetted status, elected representatives and income tax payees, belonging to the reserved categories, should be excluded from the reservation quota so the Dalits could get benefits of the reservation policy.


Riot-hit seek martyr status for lost kin
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 12
For Manjeet Singh, a resident of Sanaur town in the district, it is very hard to come to the terms of the tragedy which struck him and his family members when his father Naik Nidhan Singh was allegedly brunt to death by mob at the Barkunda railway station in Bihar during anti-Sikh riots in 1984.

He was merely six years old when his father was killed by the rioters despite the fact that he was an Army man and was going to perform his duty to guard the borders of the country.

Now, he feels that an insult is being added to his injuries as a section of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) of the Indian Railways has started verifying the fact that whether he had lost his kin in the riots or not. If so, he is being asked to establish the same fact with concrete evidence.

Bhola Singh, a resident of Tahni Chak Sadion Ke of Ferozepore district, whose brother Sepoy Pritam Singh of 22 Punjab Regiment was killed at Pautaudi railway station on November 1, 1984, while he was travelling to Jaipur from Delhi on Pink City Express during the riots, carries similar sentiments.

He says there is no use of making verification by the RPF officials 22 years after the incident. He adds no inquiry or no amount of money can compensate the brutal murder of his brother, who was engaged when he was murdered.

Both Manjit and Bhola say the Congress-led UPA government instead of according the status of martyr to their lost kin, has been beating about the bush. They add that the Punjab Government has even failed to accord them the status of riot victim. What they have been getting was the meagre pension from the Army authorities.

Sukhwinder Singh, whose father Naik Balvir Singh of 27 Punjab Regiment was brunt to death at Garba road railway station in Bihar during the riots, says apart from according the status of martyr to his lost kin, the authorities concerned should also punish those who engineered the massacres of Sikhs all over the country.

Col Partap Inder Singh Phulka (retd), secretary-general, Ex-servicemen wing, SAD (Badal), who has been fighting for getting martyr status for the Army men killed in the riots, says party president Parkash Singh Badal has promised that all these victims would be fully rehabilitated after the party coming to power.

Colonel Phulka points out that though about 300 Army men were murdered during the riots, the Ministry of Defence has not been coming out with the exact figure. He says when he tried to know the exact number he was told that such disclosure would affect the morale of fighting forces.

He demands that the ministry shall immediately release the list of those Army personnel killed in the riots so that a clear picture can be made known to every one. He adds that a commission of inquiry shall also be set up to probe the killings.

Mr D.S. Dhillon, Assistant Sub-Inspector, RPF, Patiala, when contacted, said he had visited seven families in Patiala and Sangrur districts, whose kin, who were Sikh Army personnel and were killed during the riots, to verify their claims. Mr Chamkaur Singh, Sub-Inspector, RPF, Ferozepore, said he had already verified one such claim in Ferozepore district.


Man weaves new dreams for widowed daughter-in-law
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, May 12
In an age when brides are being put to fire for dowry, Mr Nirmail Singh, a Zirakpur resident, has set an example worth emulating.

For the past one year, Mr Nirmail Singh looked after his widowed daughter-in-law,Simarjit Kaur, alias Rani, as one would care for one’s own daughter.

Not only this, he also found a suitable match for Rani and solemnised her grand wedding at a local marriage palace here yesterday.

Rani was married to Nirmail Singh's son, Tejinder Singh, on January 22 last year.As the fate would have it, Tejinder died of a heart attack on April 7, 2005, bringing misfortune to the young bride.

It was at this juncture, Mr Sukhdev Singh Changera, a local SAD leader and a close relative of Mr Nirmail Singh, prevailed upon him to “adopt” the young widow as his daughter.

Both Mr Changera and Mr Nirmail Singh then resolved to find a suitable match for Rani.

After Tejinder's first death anniversary on April 7 this year, the dream of having a suitable match for Rani was realised when Gurjit Singh, a local youth, gladly accepted the marriage proposal.

The wedding, attended by hundreds of guests, including senior SAD leader and Banur MLA, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, was a grand affair with Nirmail Singh playing a perfect father at the function.

“It was a small gesture on our part to dispel the myth of the widow being considered as a taboo.May be, this could give a new direction to the superstitious society in accepting the widow as dignified human beings,” Mr Changera hoped. In fact, the marriage was unique in another sense as no “shagun” was taken from the guests.

And like a typical Indian father, Mr Gurmail Singh went out of his way to give lavish gifts to his “daughter”.


Keep discipline, Dullo to Brar
Surinder Bhardwaj

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 12
Taking a serious note of the utterances of Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, senior Congress leader against the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, in the media regarding giving land to Reliance at a throwaway prices, Samsher Singh Dullo, president, PPCC, advised Brar to behave like a senior leader as he was the member of the disciplinary committee.

He said if he had any apprehensions, he should have talked to Chief Minister or Sonia Gandhi directly instead of going to the media. Dullo said he was worried about the problems of the people, farmers and every section of society like Brar. He also kept a close watch on the activities of the government and if he found anything, which might not be in the interest of the people, he talked to the Chief Minister and either he convinced him or he amended it.

Dullo, talking to The Tribune , said he had come here to preside over the Sirhind Fateh Divas celebrations organised by the Bairagi Maha Mandal Punjab at Sirhind today.

Answering a query, he said it was not necessary that the Chief Minister should take all decisions by taking him in confidence. He said it was the prerogative of the CM and he had to take into consideration so many factors, whereas being the PPCC president, he was concerned about the implementation of the party manifesto, ideology, public-oriented schemes and welfare of every section of society.

He advocated the setting up of industrial units in the state and attracting big industrial houses to set up their industry.

He said it was the only mean by which the government could eradicate unemployment as it could not offered jobs to everyone. At the same time, he stressed that the government should also give employment to youths.

He said till today nothing had come on file regarding handing over land to Reliance and when it would come officially, he would not allow anything illegal.


Makkar, Mann lock horns
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 12
During the celebrations of ''Sirhind Fateh Divas" by the SGPC at Diwan Todar Mal Hall here today, Simranjit Singh Mann, president SAD(A), who had also come to attend the function with his supporters and Jathedar Avtar Singh Makkar, president, SGPC, had a dig at each other.

Though the function was organised by the SGPC but Mann stole the show as he narrated the entire Sikh history from Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, whose day was celebrated how he laid the foundation of Sikh sovereign state and set the ideology of fight against injustice and taking revenge.

He said after him, Sikh leadership had always betrayed the Sikhs as in 1946, the SGPC passed resolution for Khalistan but did not stand for that and small Punjab was carved out. The Operation Bluestar was again on the behest of the Sikh leadership. In 1994, Badal, Tohra, Capt. Amarinder and he himself took oath at Akal Takht for Khalistan but all others except him backed out. He said that Badal, Amarinder and Talwandi submitted a memorandum to Secretary, UN, regarding Khalistan but backed out.

He started lashing out at SAD and Badal for always betraying Sikhs and joining hands with the BJP. He said Badal had declared earlier that he would brought to book all those, who committed atrocities on the Sikhs but during his tenure he remained a silent spectator and did not arrested anyone.

He said it was only SAD (A) which stood for the cause of the Sikhism and always advocated for aseparate Sikh state. He moved three resolutions by which he said that Sikhs stood by the 1973 resolution at Anadpur Sahib, would not have any link with the Congress and the BJP and third, would not call themselves slave as declared by Jathedar Makkar that he was a slave of Badal.

The supporters of Mann passed the resolutions by raising hands, whereas supporters of SAD and the SGPC were stunned.

Criticising Mann for politicising the religious function, Jathedar Avtar Singh Makkar said Badal was the undisputed leader of Sikhs and he enjoyed the support of the Sikhs all over the world. He declared that he had taken oath at Akal Takht to unite all factions of Akalis. Capt Kanwaljit Singh, former Finance Minister, compared present the Congress Govt. with Mughals and said like Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, SAD would also take revenge from present Congress Govt. for their atrocities being committed on SAD workers and leaders.

He said SAD would get all these deals probed when they would come to power. Certain Sikh scholars and outstanding personalities were also honoured. Jathedar Akal Takhat Joginder Singh Vedanti, Prof. Kirpal Singh Badungar former SGPC president also addressed.


Villagers resent move on rural dispensaries
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 12
Handing over of the control of the rural dispensaries to the Zila Parishads is not the final agenda of the state government as it seems from the inclusion of a 25-bed rural hospital of this district in the list of rural dispensaries to be given to the medical service providers (doctors) on service contract.

As per the information, the 25-bed rural hospital of Chak Attar Singh Wala village, situated on the Bathinda-Badal road, about 30 km from here, is perhaps the first rural hospital in the state which is being handed over to the zila parishad for appointing a service provider there on contract basis. Is it a beginning in this direction? No one has a specific answer in this regard at this stage.

Talking to The Tribune over the phone, Mr Resham Singh, sarpanch of Chak Attar Singh Wala village, said that the 25-bed rural hospital in their village had been functioning since 1980, but now this hospital, by terming it as a rural dispensary, was being handed over to the zila parishad.

The sarpanch further said there was resentment among the villagers against this move of the government. He said the village panchayat had already passed a resolution in connection with maintaining the rural hospital status of this hospital. He said this resolution had already been sent to the authorities concerned. So the name of the rural hospital of their village should be excluded from the list of rural dispensaries, he added.

When The Tribune contacted the office of zila parishad over the phone, an official of the parishad confirmed that the name of the health centre of the Chak Attar Singh Wala village was in the list of rural dispensaries and a service provider (doctor) had already been selected for that place. On the other hand the ADC (D), Bathinda, said that he had not checked so far whether it was a rural hospital or a rural dispensary as the charge of the rural dispensaries had not been handed over to the zila parishads so far.

An official of Bathinda Civil Surgeon office said the Chak Attar Singh Wala village had a 25-bed hospital, 15 beds for males and 10 beds for females. Two posts of the medical officer (MO) and two posts of staff nurse had been lying vacant while three pharmacists were working there nowadays.


Signature drive against fraudulent marriages
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, May 12
With a view to curbing the rising menace of using the sacred institution of marriage as an immigration deal to settle in Canada, the Canadian Marriage Fraud Victims Society has launched a signature campaign in major cities and towns in Canada. Mr Palwinder Gill, founder of the society, said Punjabis settled in Canada had been giving overwhelming response to the campaign.

A petition would be presented in Canadian parliament with a view to press for amendments in immigration laws. The society has also been lobbying with MPs and the Immigration Minister, said Mr Gill adding that hundreds of victims were also planning to sit on a dharna in front of the Canadian parliament to demand strict legislation and its enforcement.

Mr Gill said the highly religious ceremony of marriage had become an unethical mode of settling abroad. A large number of young girls and boys had been deserted by their spouses. 


Warning to Punjabis on lending business in Philippines
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
The Punjab Government has directed the Deputy Commissioners to discourage people of the state from migrating to Philippines for engaging in money-lending business as this trade was highly risky.

There has been reports that such Indians were joining mafia gangs with Chinese Filipinos engaged in extortion and kidnapping there.

In a communiqué addressed to the Deputy Commissioners , Mr N.S. Kalsi, Commissioner, NRI Affairs, Punjab, said the Union Overseas Indian Affairs Ministry had informed the state government that the Ambassador of India in Manila, Philippines, had brought to the notice of the ministry that some Indians from the rural areas of Punjab, who had migrated to the Philippines, were operating as money-lenders there. This has brought adverse publicity in the Press there. Their activities have also created resentment among the local people.


Chill-out time for special kids
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 12
Students of the two local schools for the deaf and dumb children yesterday enjoyed at the local “Chill-O-Thrill Water Park”, at Bahia Resort. The children had been invited by the park management to enable them to enjoy water games and see the lazy river and water slides.

Mr Bikramjit Singh Bahia, Managing Director of the Bahia Group, said the management would also open a “Dry Fun Park” before May 20 in the water park. The fun park would be equipped with many games, including caterpillar, Columbus, piggy train, video games and bungee jumping, he added.


Fire in MES store brought under control
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 12
The devastating fire that broke out in the MES store, Khasa, near here, was brought under control after one-hour fire-fighting with the help of fire tenders here late last evening.

It is learnt that 13 barrel fuel was stored in the MES’s furniture store for the daily consumption of vehicles.

Mr Naresh Vij, a spokesman of the Army, described the fire as a “minor incident”.

It is learnt that the fire broke out due to the alleged negligence of certain personnel. The furniture etc was gutted in the fire. A probe has been ordered into the incident.


Sirhind Fateh Divas celebrated
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 12
The Bairagi Mahamandal, Punjab, today celebrated "Sirhind Fateh Divas" at Sirhind. Samsher Singh Dullo, president, PPCC, was the chief guest, while K.K.Bawa, president, Baragi Maha Mandal, presided over the function.

Mohinder Singh Kaypee, Minister, Harbans Lal, Chief Parliamantry Secretary, Malkiat Singh Dakha, MLA, were the guest of honour. Dullo and other speakers said on May 12, 1710, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur conquered Sirhind by fighting a battle with Mughal ruler Wazir Khan and took revenge of killing younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh.

He termed "Baba Banda Singh Bahadur" a great Sikh warrior, who made a special entity of Sikhs as symbol of fight against injustice and people used to feel secure under their cover. The Sikh warrior held a unique place in the history of India by inflicting a war on the tyranny of the rulers of that time. Baba Banda Singh Bahadur laid the foundation of the Sikh rule by defeating Mughals.

He stressed the need for leading a life based on ethics and selfless service to the society. He quoted various examples from the history on Baba Banda Singh Bahadur.

K.K.Bawa said Baba Banda Singh Bahadur provided much needed military leadership to the Punjabis. He said to do injustice as well as to tolerate injustice were sin, so he took a right decision and gave a message not to do injustice.

On this occasion, Dr Lal declared that all roads which lead to Chapar Chiri village and the route from where he entered Sirhind would be named after Baba Banda Singh Bahadur.


Drug awareness rallies postponed

Abohar, May 12
Drug Awareness Rallies scheduled to be organised at the subdivision headquarters in this district have been cancelled due to preponing of summer vacations in schools.

Giving this information the SSP, Mr Arpit Shukla, said the campaign would be rescheduled after the schools reopened in July. It will be possible to involve the college students also by then, he added.

He claimed that an on-the-spot painting competition received good response from the students on last working day of the pre-vacations session. Thousands of students participated in the poster- making and slogan-writing competitions, aimed at bringing awareness on drugs, in schools at Abohar, Fazilka, Zira, Ferozepore and other cities. — OC


Sarpanches told to monitor works strictly
Tribune News Service

Ropar, May 12
With a view to making the functioning of officials in development works more transparent in the district, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Alok Sekhar, today urged sarpanches to check the works and if any irregularity was found, it should be reported to him.

Addressing the sarpanches at the Sarpanch Samiti office here, he said irrespective of their political parties affiliation, the sarpanches should work together for the development of their villages.


Doctor awarded

Amritsar, May 12
Medical Practitioner Dr Jitender Malhotra was awarded here Bharat Jyoti Award by Ms Pratibha Patil, Governor of Rajasthan, recently. He was given the prize at a function organised by the Citizens Integration Peace Society (CIPS) at Jaipur for excellent service in critical care medicine. — OC


BDPOs convicted

Barnala, May 11
Two Block Development and Panchayat Officers (BDPOs) and one clerk have been awarded five-year imprisonment for embezzling government funds.

The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr Fatehdeep Singh, has sentenced them. The convicts were asked to deposit a fine of Rs 45,000 each. The BDPOs have been identified as Narinderjit Singh and Baljit Singh and the clerk as Mukhtiar Singh. — OC


DGP Virk gets extension
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs today issued orders to extend the tenure of Punjab's Director-General of Police, Mr S.S. Virk.

The orders, faxed to the Chief Secretary, Punjab, said that the inter-cadre deputation of Mr Virk, a 1970 batch IPS officer, from his parent cadre of Maharashtra to the Punjab cadre had been extended for a period of one year.

This means Mr Virk can continue in Punjab till May 19, 2007. His tenure was scheduled to end on May 19 this year.


Youth duped by travel agent

Moga, May 12
A Delhi-based travel agent has duped a local youth Surinder Singh, resident of Nathuwala of Rs 16 lakh by providing fake travel visa of Canada.

The police has registered a case against travel agent Paramjit Singh and his wife on the complaint of Surinder Singh.

Surinder in the FIR stated that the travel agent secured a visa for him and accordingly he left for Canada by KLM flight, as soon as he landed at the airport there, he was arrested by the Canadian Police for travelling on fake visa.

He said after spending eight months in Prison he was deported back to India and since his arrival he demanded his money back, not only the agent refused to return the money but also threatened him. — UNI


Rape, murder accused held

Abohar, May 12
Sonu (21), wanted in a case relating to kidnapping, rape and murder of a minor girl, was arrested today. His brother Mam Raj Mamu (19) has already been arrested.

The police said the girl had gone to a shop in the Dharam Nagari locality on the outskirts of the town on April 13 at 9 p.m. to call back her father. On her way back, she was allegedly taken to a deserted place near the Panjpeer mazars area, raped and killed. Her body was recovered the next morning. Sniffer dogs had led the police to the house of Mamu and his brother Sonu. Sonu was taken to police station for investigation on April 20 but freed by the warrant officer appointed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on a petition filed by the father of the accused. Mamu was arrested last Sunday. Sonu was nabbed from dwellings adjacent to the Dharam Nagari area today. — OC


Khadi Board employee caught for graft
Tribune News Service

Hoshiarpur, May 12
Mithu Singh, an employee of the Punjab Khadi Board, was held on graft charges. DSP (Vigilance) Ram Asra told The Tribune that Rajinder Singh lodged a complaint to them against the accused.

He alleged that his wife wanted to raise a flourmill for which she moved an application for Rs 1 lakh loan with the khadi board authorities. The accused official kept delaying her case. He demanded Rs 3,000 for sanctioning the loan.

Instead of paying the bribe they complained to Vigilance officials who laid a trap for the accused official. We offered to give the bribe amount to the official. The amount was settled at Rs 2,000.

Today the complainant handed over Rs 2,000 to the accused officials and Vigilance officials accompanying him nabbed him in the presence of witnesses.

A case under the Prevention of Corruption Act was registered against the accused.


Three die in mishaps

Bathinda, May 12
Three persons today died in Bathinda in three accident. A beggar, here suffering from fever due to heat wave in the region, today died at the Railway station. Mohinder Singh, a retired JE, today drowned in the Bathinda canal when he slipped. On the Bathinda Dabhwali road 12 km from here cyclist Amarjit Singh, was crushed to death by a vehicle when he had been coming to Bathinda. — TNS


Man succumbs to injuries
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, May 12
Ashok Kumar (48) succumbed to his injuries at Civil Hospital, Dasuya, on Friday while the condition of his brother, Subhash Chander of Baja Chack was improving.

According to police sources, Ashok Kumar and Subhash Chander were buried when the soil caved in when they were clearing stones from their fields on Thursday. Meanwhile, Gurpreet Singh of Khadiala Sainian committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling in his house on Thursday.


Fashion designer surrenders
Our Correspondent

Abohar, May 12
Fashion designer Jagat Verma and his uncle Balwant Rai Verma surrendered before the city police here this afternoon. The accused along with others were wanted in a case of assault and murder. The police had obtained non-bailable warrants against them from a trial court.

Different police parties had so far carried raids on as many as 50 places in Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and New Delhi to arrest them.

Addressing a press conference in the presence of Mr Kashmir Singh Gill, SP (D), an emotionally-charged Jagat pleaded that he was not guilty. Claiming total innocence, he denied of being present at the scene of violence during the midnight of April 7-8 on the Hanumangarh road.

The SP said the accused would be produced before the trial court in Ferozepore tomorrow.


31 logs of khair wood seized
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, May 12
Mr R.N. Dhoke, SSP, Hoshiarpur, said this afternoon that at a naka near Madiwal village, the police intercepted a TATA-207 mini-truck (PB-08D-3573) and seized 31 logs of khair wood from it.

He stated that the naka party signalled the truck coming from the Binewal side to stop for checking. The driver stopped the truck before the naka and tried to escape, but he was overpowered. The other occupant, who was identified as Kala, a resident of Gajar village, escaped.

A case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC has been registered at the Garhshankar police station.


Travel agent booked

Hoshiarpur, May 12
A case of duping of Rs 25,000 by a travel agent has been reported in Tanda police station last evening.

Sandeep Singh resident of Krishna Nagar alleged in his complaint that Amandeep Singh of Ranjit Nagar, Hoshiarpur, demanded Rs 3.50 lakh for sending him to Hong Kong. Later, he took Rs 25,000 from him as advance. He neither sent him abroad nor returned his money. — OC


Heroin worth Rs 3 cr seized

Ferozepore, May 12
The BSF on Wednesday seized 3 kg of heroin worth Rs 3 crore in international market, which was being smuggled into the Indian territory near the border outpost of New Mohamdiwala under sector headquarters Ferozepore. A drug carrier, identified as Khushi Ram, was arrested. — OC


UGC honour for Mohindra college
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 12
For the achievements of Government Mohindra College in academics, sports and cultural fields, the UGC has identified it as “college with potential for excellence.”

Dr D.I.S. Brar, Principal, said in a press note here today that the UGC had entitled it to get a grant of Rs 60 lakh for developing infrastructure and providing better facilities to students.

He said the college had been attracting more than 4,000 students every year and was likely to start some more courses to keep pace with the changing requirements in education.


British Council’s ‘drop box’ facility
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 12
Punjab students, intending to take the IELTS test, might not need to go to or courier their applications to the Chandigarh or Delhi office of the British Council in future, as the council has extended its ‘Drop Box’ facility, for the first time, to North India at Jalandhar.

The ‘Drop Box’ facility has been provided by the council in the office of an immigration company in New Jawahar Nagar here, where students could drop their IELTS applications and from where these applications would be collected by the council.

This was revealed by Mr Deep Adhikari, Head, Examination Services of the British Council. Mr Adhikari was here to participate in a seminar.

Earlier, the students interacted with Mr Adhikari on issues relating to study avenues in foreign countries.


SLET postponed
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 12
As per the Punjab Government directions, the State Level Eligibility Test (SLET)-2006 for lectureship in Education and Computer Science/ I.T. scheduled to be held on May 14, 2006, has been postponed till further orders. This was stated in a press statement issued by the university here today.

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