P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Amarinder, Brar loyalists trade charges
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
Loyalists of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and of the All-India Congress Working Committee member, Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, continue to trade charges against each other over the proposed allotment of land to Reliance India Limited.

While the Chief Minister's loyalists want Mr Brar removed from the party, the other camp feels that only a change in the leadership of the Punjab Congress Legislature Party (CLP) can help the party put up a brave face in the coming Assembly elections.

For those who have been following intra-party politics in the Punjab Congress, there is "nothing new in it". Every three months the banner of revolt is raised which after hitting newspaper headlines dies a natural death.

"Mr Brar has never been loyal to any Congress leader from Punjab," allege Mr Surinder Singla and Mr Partap Singh, both Cabinet Ministers, maintaining that he suffers from bouts of "political epilepsy every now and then" and calms down after each attack of his is repulsed.

"Who has given him the mandate or the right to give a report on the Punjab Government to either the Congress President or the party high command? Just name a single Congress Chief Minister or a party leader from the state at the Centre whom he has not opposed," they say, maintaining that "at a time when the party is rallying behind Capt Amarinder Singh for a second term in office, Mr Brar is out to support the agenda of the Shiromani Akali Dal. What more evidence does one need when a senior leader like Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa has given a statement endorsing the stand of Mr Brar? If he has so much following in the Akali Dal, let him join it rather than harming the party which has given him so much," say Mr Singla and Mr Bajwa.

They hold that their demand for seeking the "ouster of Mr Brar from the party is not an emotional outburst but is based on his track record as he opposed Beant Singh, Mr Harcharan Singh Brar and now Capt Amarinder Singh. Did he ever stay loyal to any party leader from Punjab? After winning the Lok Sabha seat from Faridkot, he did not go back there and fought the next election from Ferozepore. At one time, on being promised 40,000-odd votes of the Damdami Taksal, he left the Congress (Tewari) and turned Independent at the last moment on a lame excuse," allege Mr Singla and Mr Bajwa, holding that Mr Brar has never remained loyal to the party. "It was during his election as an Independent that he did not miss any opportunity to criticise Rajiv Gandhi and the Congress," they add.

He was removed as Whip of the party in the Lok Sabha after he failed to abide by the party guidelines on the boycott of Mr George Fernandes.

Even during the tenure of the previous president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr H.S. Hanspal, a section of the CLP had built pressure for the suspension of Mr Brar.

"We will take a delegation to Mrs Sonia Gandhi and present her with proof of the anti-party activities of Mr Brar," say Mr Singla and Mr Bajwa.

Today, Mr Singla and Mr Bajwa were joined by almost all members of the Punjab Council of Ministers and party MLAs in demanding the removal of Mr Brar from the membership of the party.

In a joint statement, they urged the party high command to rein in Mr Brar and his supporters in time, failing which the party would suffer in the Assembly elections.

"If such indiscipline is not curbed, it will jeopardise the winning prospects of the Congress in the state at this critical juncture when the Assembly poll is round the corner," the party legislators, including Ministers, said in a statement. They held that it was "highly deplorable on the part of Mr Brar to act in such a shabby manner just to meet his political ends." He was doing so violating the ethics and glorious traditions of the party. His actions were vitiating the political atmosphere in the state. Instead of gaining the support of party workers and leaders to give a befitting reply to the Akalis in the Assembly elections, he was speaking the language of the Opposition.

They demanded stern action against Mr Brar and his loyalists like Mr Harinder Pal Singh Mann, Dr Tara Singh Sandhu, Mr Manjit Singh Jhalbuti and Prof Kulbir Singh.


More powers for panchayats: union files writ
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
Disappointed over the indifferent attitude of the state government towards the giving of more powers to panchayats, the Panchayat Union, Punjab, today filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court to seek justice.

Speaking to mediapersons here this afternoon, union representatives, including the president , Mr Sukhdev Singh Bareke, Mr Balam Singh Kallipur, Mr Yadvinder Singh Riasti and Mr Gurcharan Singh Rangliar, said that instead of giving more powers under the 73rd and 74th Amendments, the state government had wrested powers from panchayats by framing the Punjab District Planning Committees Act, 2005, which violated the certain Articles of the Constitution.

Mr Sukhdev Singh said that under the planning committees Act, the government had constituted committees of its officials at the block, district and state levels, ignoring the elected representatives. He said that earlier there was a legal provision to include elected representatives as members of the district planning committees. He said by constituting committees of officials, the government had removed the elected representatives from the planning and execution of development works in the rural areas. The government was now doing what it wanted to, ignoring the people's representatives at the grassroots level.

Mr Balam Singh said the government had placed all funds, functions and functionaries of the Social Welfare Department under panchayati raj institutions in 2004. With the setting up of the district planning committees of officials, the panchayati raj institutions had lost control of the funds, functions and functionaries of the Welfare Department.

The union leaders said that they had earlier held dharnas in Chandigarh on October 6 last year and February 6 this year. On seeing the big response to the dharnas, the government set up the Bhattal committee to talk to the Panchayat Union with regard to its demands. The first meeting was held on February 27 which was attended by all Ministers who were members of the committee. However, the next day when the meeting was held only Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal was present. The union was given an assurance that its demands would be accepted by March 31. However, nothing had been done so far in this regard.

The union leaders said they would organise rallies at the village level. 


CD can help cops crack kidney scam
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 16
The Compact Disc (CD) recovered by the Jalandhar police from the local New Ruby Hospital along with other record in the aftermath of the recent unearthing of a kidney transplant scam will be subjected to a thorough scrutiny by the police to assess, whether only those donors, who were authorised by the district level authorisation committee were operated upon or some other people were also operated upon.

The Director, Medical Education and Research Department, Punjab, has already cancelled the licences issued to the New Ruby Hospital under the Transplantation of Human Organs Act.

The police has already asked Dr S.P.S Grover, Managing Director of the New Ruby Hospital, Dr Sohal and Mr Gore Lal, manager of the hospital, to deposit their passports with the local police authorities along with an undertaking that they would not leave the country.

Though the undertaking was to be furnished by all three persons, who were being subjected to investigation today, it was not furnished by them till evening, police sources said.

Interestingly, the probe into this high profile case has been entrusted to Dr Sukhchain Singh, ASP, Phagwara, by Mr Paramjit Singh Gill, who, feels that due to his medical background the ASP will be able to do ‘full justice’. Dr Sukhchain Singh will be conducting the probe under the supervision of Jalandhar SSP Ishwar Singh

The scam was unearthed and the New Ruby Hospital was subjected to investigation following the arrest of Raj Kumar Raju, a resident of Ludhiana, Rajiv Aggrawal, a resident of Sultanpur, and Chandan, a resident of Amritsar and an alleged kingpin in the racket, about 15 days back.

Along with the records, which is being scrutinised by the Jalandhar police, a CD of those who were operated upon in the New Ruby Hospital, was seized CD, according to police sources, could provide some crucial evidence or pointers in this regard with the help of the CD, the investigating officials could determine whether only. The hospital authorities, it was learnt, had conducted as many as 28 operations so far. The record and the CD were in the process of being handed over to Dr Sukhchain by the Jalandhar Police, even as the probe would be conducted under the supervision of Mr Ishwar Singh. 


Lawyer’s licence suspended for malpractice
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
In a decision with far reaching ramifications, the State Bar Council has suspended the licence of a Phagwara-based lawyer for allegedly doubling up as a travel agent. The said lawyer reportedly was involved along with his kin in sending several young boys to western shores illegally.

The complaint against the lawyer was filed before the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana by none other than the father of a person who was supposed to be on the "Malta boat" that met a tragic end, but survived due to a quirk of fate.

Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee No.1 of the state Bar Council of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, Mr Amrik Singh Kalra, himself an Advocate at the Punjab and Haryana High Court and other committee members, while taking a serious view of the complaint titled Baldev Singh versus N.D Rahi, Advocate Phagwara, passed an order stating that the complaint against N.D Rahi had been proved beyond doubt.

According to the complainant, Mr Baldev Singh said Mr Rahi was doubling up as a travel agent and running a travel agency at Phagwara along with his son Dinesh Kumar and daughter-in-law Renu Rahi. It is through this travel agency that Baldev Singh gave Rs 3.5 lakh to Mr Rahi for sending his son abroad.

"My son Gurpreet was promised to be put on board the Malta boat, but when we realised that this was to ferry illegal migrants, we did not send Gurpreet. Luckily this saved his life", Mr Baldev Singh told the Bar.

Realising that he had been cheated, Mr Gurpreet Singh filed a criminal complaint under Sections 420/406/468/471, IPC. in the court of Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Phagwara. In retaliation, Mr Rahi using his position as an advocate filed several false and frivolous applications and complaints in the courts at Phagwara against the advocate of Mr Baldev Singh and Gurpreet Singh to deter and debar them from representing their cases, Mr Baldev Singh told the Bar in his complaint.

He further complained to the Bar that the said advocate Mr Rahi was harassing and threatening the witnesses in the case by filing false cases against them, thereby ensuring that the witnesses did not testify against Mr Rahi.

Mr Baldev Singh also brought to the notice of the Bar that the said advocate and his son had also allegedly cheated one Amrit Lal and Jasbir Singh by promising to send them abroad and a FIR No 46 dated December 28, 1995, was registered at Police Station City Phagwara under Section 420 IPC

The Disciplinary Committed holding the complaint to be true passed an order suspending the enrolment certificate Mr Rahi, taking away his right to practice law in any court for five years.

It may be pertinent to point out that the 'Malta boat Tragedy" wherein 300 people died due to sinking of a boat carrying illegal immigrants capsized near Sicily (Italy) on Christmas Day in 1996.

Among the dead 141 were from Punjab. Though, in a recent order the Punjab and Haryana High Court directed the government of India and the Punjab Government to issue death certificates of the deceased at the earliest, 10 years after the incident, no one responsible for sending these men overseas illegally has been punished, despite the CBI investigating the matter.


Baba killed over gurdwara dispute
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 16
In a sensational incident, Baba Bhola Singh, alias Baba Gurbax Singh Bhola, of the historic Gurdwara Gurusar Satlani Sahib was brutally killed by at least 10 armed persons posing as Nihangs in the wee hours today.

The deceased was at logger-heads with another baba who took over as caretaker of the historic Gurdwara Satlani Sahib after the assassination of Baba Mangal Singh. It may be mentioned here that Baba Mangal Singh, the then vice-president of the Sant Samaj, was also attacked with sharp-edged weapons in Harmander Sahib a few years ago and later succumbed to his injuries in hospital.

Earlier, Baba Gurpinder Singh who also claimed that he was successor of Baba Mangal Singh, was arrested following a clash with SGPC officials over taking over the control of Gurdwara Gursar Satlani.

According to reports the assailants attacked the baba near Bohru bridge on the Jhabal road. Baba Balwant Singh, who was accompanying him, and driver Harjit Singh were injured in the incident. The police has registered a case under Sections 302, 307, 142 and 149 of IPC, against Baba Heera Singh and his unidentified accomplices at the Sadar police station.

Baba Heera Singh was the follower of Baba Mangal Singh and reportedly had a dispute with Baba Bhola over gurdwara property and offerings.

The victims were taken to hospital where Baba Bhola Singh was declared dead. The police has taken some suspects into custody.


IMA condemns lathi charge on medicos
Our correspondent

Hoshiarpur, May 16
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) here condemned the brutal assault on peaceful agitating medical students in Delhi and Mumbai.

In a press note here today, Dr Keshav Sud, president of the IMA branch, Hoshiarpur, said to show solidarity with the agitating students and doctors and to protest against the "autocratic" attitude of the Central Government , members of the IMA branch, on the directive of the state leadership, wore black badges today.

The IMA warned that if the government did not pay heed to the genuine demands of medicos, it would be forced to intensify its agitation.

He said in a section of the press, some disgruntled doctors had alleged that the decision of the IMA to support the cause of the agitating medicos was only to serve the personal interests of the leadership. They were not aware that the decision to support the students and doctors was taken unanimously at a meeting in Delhi on April 30, 2006, where state presidents, general secretaries and other representatives from 30 states and union territories were present.


Arjun Singh’s effigy burnt

Amritsar, May 16
Striking junior doctors today burnt the effigy of the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Mr Arjun Singh, in protest against the brutal lathi charge by the police in Mumbai.

Meanwhile, Dr Vimal K Sikri said in press statement said that if the government was really interested in uplifting the down trodden, they should be helped by giving them free education, free books and even free transportation. Admission in professional courses ought to be merit based. — TNS


Protest against ‘police excesses’
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, May 16
Irate residents of nearby Garh Padhana village organised a demonstration to protest against the alleged police excesses here at the District Administrative Complex yesterday.

They raised slogans against the police for allegedly implicating and physically torturing Mr Chaman Lal Kataria, Sarpanch of Garh Padhana in a murder case.

Ms Surinder Kaur, wife of the victim. and Mr Kashmir Singh, a former panchayat member, met the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Krishan Kumar. While narrating their tale of woe, they apprised the Deputy Commissioner of the matter, saying that the police had falsely implicated Mr Chaman Lal in the murder case registered in February 2002, his name had not figured in the FIR.

They said the police was implicating Chaman Lal at the behest of two panchayat members belonging to the ruling political party, adding that Chaman Lal had been given severe physical torture.

Jathedar Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, General Secretary, SGPC, also met the Deputy Commissioner, and raised the issue of alleged police excesses on the sarpanches of Garh Padhana and Barala Kalan villages. The police had been falsely implicating the sarpanches of these villages into old murder cases. The inquiry in both cases was going on and the sarpanches had been cooperating with the police, he said.

The Deputy Commissioner assured the delegation that justice would be done. He asked the delegation to submit their grievances in writing so that a thorough inquiry in the case could be conducted.

However, Mr Gurmukh Singh Cheema, DSP, when contacted, denied the allegations as baseless.


Tenders approved for elevated road to Golden Temple
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 16
In a significant development, the Municipal Corporation today approved a tender of Rs 173 crore for constructing the 4.5 km-long elevated road to Harmander Sahib.

Mr Sunil Dutti, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, said the tenders had been allotted to Gamman India, world-renowned construction company. He said Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, Minister for Local Government, would lay the foundation stone of the elevated road within 15 days.

He said the construction company had been asked to complete the project within a couple of years.

The project to construct the elevated road from Maqboolpura Chowk on the Amritsar-Jalandhar road to Bhandari Bridge and Harmander Sahib was announced by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh at the time of flagging off the Amritsar-Nankana Sahib bus service.

The project has been cleared despite strong opposition by heritage lovers. Experts allege that the construction of the elevated road will spoil the architectural heritage of the ancient city.


SHO suspended for incompetence
Our correspondent

Hoshiarpur, May 16
Mr R. N. Dhoke, Senior Superintendent of Police, Hoshiarpur, said here yesterday that the SHO Model Town Police Station Jiwan Kumar Kalia had been suspended. SSP said that after considering the report of the DSP, he had placed the SHO under suspension for professional incompetency and departmental inquiry had been initiated against him. Inspector Kulwant Singh had been posted in his place.

Ramandeep, along with his accomplices, assaulted Shivani, wife of Sandip Kumar of Gagret (Himachal), her father-in-law, Roop Chand, and her mother-in-law, Pushpa, at a local private nursing home at 1.30 a.m. on May 13 and thereafter they assaulted the SHO and his security guard.

Two accused Jasbir Singh, son of Gurdial Singh and Gobind, son of Manohar Singh both of Bhaliapur Dogra, were arrested on Monday.

The motive behind the attack at the Hoshiarpur Nursing Home was illicit relations between Ramandeep Singh and Rakesh Kumari, wife of Rohit Verma. Ramandeep wanted to take her from the hospital to Amritsar where they earlier lived. The SSP added that the police arrested four persons and a woman while they were doing unlawful activities. They were identified as Sarabjit Singh, alias Kala son of Davinder Singh, Gurdial Singh son of Joginder Singh, Suraj Kumar, son of Mohan Lal, all of Garhshankar, Kewal Singh, son of Suhel Singh of Barapur village and Kuljeet Kaur, alias Ninder wife of Amrik Singh, resident of Gondpur PS Sadar district Una (HP). All were booked under Sections 3, 4, 5 and 7 of the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act.


Towering nuisance
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 16
The presence of a very tall communication tower in Urban Estate (Phase I), near Punjabi University, is proving to be a nuisance for the residents. They allege that PUDA has violated laws by permitting the construction of the tower atop the two-storeyed house of a resident.

In a letter signed by more than 50 residents, and addressed to the Chief Administrator, PUDA, it has been pointed out that the power generator installed in the tower is a source of noise pollution as well as potentially harmful vibrations. They claim that the generator runs for hours, thereby causing disturbance to the residents.

The residents, who have also written to the Deputy Commissioner, have claimed that their privacy has been affected due to the presence of security guards, technicians and labourers working on the tower. They have also claimed that they live in constant fear of accidental fall of the tower and consequent damage to their property and life. However, all their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

The letter, copies of which have also been sent to the Punjab Chief Minister and Minister for Housing and Urban Development, states that it is intriguing that PUDA granted permission for the construction of the tower after serving a notice on the owners of the house to dismantle the partly installed tower.

However, Mr H.S. Bhatia, in whose house the tower has been installed, said the residents were unduly creating a controversy. He claimed that the generator was noise-free and all architectural safety norms were being followed.


Villages face water shortage
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, May 16
Inhabitants of Garli, Pragpur, Kaloha, Naleti, Sadhvan and some adjoining villages of Dehra Gopipur subdivision of Kangra district have been facing acute shortage of water for the past few days.

They are being forced to travel 8 to 10 km every day to fetch water.

Amit Kumar and Ravinder Lal, both residents of Pragpur, said the supply of water from government sources had been badly affected due to dry spell and heat wave.

Though the administration was making water supply through tankers, it was inadequate as only 10 to 15 litres of water was being supplied to each family daily.

Besides, water being supplied by private contractors through tankers was not potable as it was being lifted from the Beas, which was frequented by humans and animals for bathing.


high court
Notice issued to PSEB
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 16
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice of motion for July 11 on a petition filed by a lady employee of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), challenging the charge-sheets issued to her for alleged absence from duty.

While issuing the notice, the Division Bench comprising Mr Justice S.S. Nijjar and Mr Justice Ajai Lamba also observed that the attitude of the PSEB in the matter was vindictive towards the petitioner. The court also stayed any further proceedings in the two charge-sheets that were served on the petitioner.

In her petition, Ms Shukla Devi, an upper division clerk, has moved the High Court praying for quashing of the two charge-sheets issued to her as also restraining the respondents from continuing with the proceedings.

The petitioner remained on maternity leave from January 7, 1986, to April 6, 1986, extending her leave till April 20, 1986. On May 20, 1986, she was transferred to the office of Superintending Engineer, circle Gurdaspur. However, she came to know about her transfer only on July 5, 1986. In the meantime, the petitioner was again shifted to Dhariwal.

Her request that she be retained at Gurdaspur was turned down by the PSEB officials, following which she sought extension of her leave.

However, on November 17, 1986, the petitioner was served a charge-sheet for allegedly being absent from duty. On November 6, 1992, the department completed the inquiry and she was awarded the extreme punishment of dismissal from service. Thereafter, she moved a civil court and was reinstated on December 26, 2002.

However, she was again charge-sheeted on March 21, 2003 for being absent. The period of her alleged absence was increased and it was May 28, 1986, to November 5, 1992. Her request for grant of voluntary retirement was not allowed.

The Bench observed that the petitioner seemed to be punished for having approached the civil court against unfair order of termination of service.


Life term for killing daughter-in-law
Tribune News Service

Ropar, May 16
Rattan Singh, a resident of Puawal, was today sentenced to life imprisonment for killing his daughter-in-law, Kulwinder Kaur, with a sharp-edged weapon by the District and Sessions Judge, Ms Rekha Mittal. The accused had killed his daughter-in-law with an axe following a domestic dispute in 2001.

According to the FIR registered by a resident of Gampur Sheetal Singh, the father of the deceased against Rattan Singh that his son-in-law Singara Singh hadbeen staying d abroad for the past many years. The problem began when Singara Singh sent money to Kulwinder Kaur and with the same amount she purchased a piece of land in the village.

Sheetal Singh said Rattan Singh was annoyed with Kulwinder Kaur's decision to purchase the land and had started created problems for her. On December 1, 2001, Rattan Singh hit Kulwinder Kaur with the axe and killed her.


138 challaned for using pressure horns
Tribune News Service

Ropar, May 16
Complying with Supreme Court directions to prevent noise pollution in the district, 138 persons have been issued challan for using pressure horns and Rs 1.38 lakh had been recovered as fine from them during a special drive launched by the police.

Besides it, 29 more persons were also challenged for creating noise pollution, said the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Alok Sekhar, while holding meeting with senior police and administrative officials.

Giving details, Mr Sekhar said in order to ensure that the no noise pollution was created in any residential area, the officials concerned remained alert and made sure that the volume of loudspeakers used at the functions remained at a low pitch.

The SSP, Mr Kapil Dev, said a large number of police personnel had been deployed on all places to prevent the noise pollution. Strict action would be taken against those violating the apex court’s directions by creating noise pollution by any means.


Revenue officials to boycott work
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 16
Following an attack on tehsildar Kuldeep Singh Bhullar at Bhagta Bhai yesterday, revenue officials of Faridkot division have decided to boycott work for two days. The decision came at a meeting of the officials held at the Circuit House here today.

The revenue officials warned that if those involved in the incident were not brought to book, they would be forced to give a call for an indefinite boycott of work across the state.

They passed a resolution at the meeting seeking immediate re-arrest of the accused who were released on bail yesterday.


3 of family commit suicide
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, May 16
In a shocking incident, Nirmal Singh, an electrician of Sandhe Hasham village on the Ferozepore-Zila road, along with his wife and son committed suicide by drowning.

According to information, at around 9:30 a.m. this morning, Nirmal Singh who was on a scooter along with his wife Harjinder Kaur and 12-year-old son Arvinder Singh, suddenly turned the scooter towards the Ferozepore feeder canal on the Zira road. All three members fell into the canal along with the scooter.

Villagers said Nirmal Singh was visibly upset this morning as he was going through a bad phase due to a domestic problem. He probably had an argument at home.

His father, Ranjit Singh, who along with some relatives went out to look for him, also met with an accident, in which two persons were killed near Banaur.

When contacted, Mr Arpit Shukla, SSP, Ferozepore, said the police had found a note from a fellow villager in which the deceased (Nirmal Singh) had written that people would realise his worth only after his death.

The police has yet to ascertain the exact reason behind the tragic incident.

The SSP said police parties were searching for the bodies.


Gang of robbers busted

Chandigarh, May 16
The Ferozepore police today claimed to have busted an inter-state gang of robbers and nabbed its leader. Smack, two mobile sets, Sim cards, a revolver along with bullets, ornaments and a stolen Innova car were recovered from his possession.

A spokesperson of the Punjab Police said the action was part of a special campaign launched by the SSP, Mr Arpit Shukla, against criminals, including smugglers, and anti-social elements.

Gurlal Singh, a resident of Makhu, was stopped on suspicion by a patrol party. On searching the Innova he was driving, 10 gm of smack, Rs 5,020, two Nokia mobile phones with two connections of Airtel and one of Spice and an ICICI bank ATM card were seized. During further investigation, a .38-bore revolver along with two spent and two live bullets, 40 gm of smack and 27 gm of gold ornaments were also recovered from his possession. He confessed that he along with his gang had taken away the Innova on the Kurukshetra-Karnal road in Haryana. Its registration number was later changed.

The police also claimed that the gang had committed crimes in Punjab and Haryana in the recent past, including the looting of Rs 60,000 in Amritsar where a salesman was shot at. It took away a Qualis at gunpoint at Doraha and also a Bolero from a businessman along with a mobile set and Rs 1.48 lakh in Zira. Besides, it looted Rs 10,000 from a money changer in Phillaur and lakhs of rupees along with 500 gm of gold from a house in Ludhiana.

The SSP added that the arrested man had said that the names of the gang members were Gurjant Singh, Baljinder Singh, Lakhwinder Singh, Gurcharan Singh, Harjinder Singh, Bobby Handa, Amarjit Singh, Raju and Rajbir Singh. — TNS


Complainant against policemen booked
Tribune News service

Patiala, May 16
The police late last night arrested Krishan Kumar, on whose complaint a criminal case was registered against a Head Constable of the Punjab Police and a Home Guard Jawan on May 14 in Kotwali police station here, along with three others, including a girl, for concealing their identity with a view to committing a crime.

The Sadar police on Monday arrested Krishan Kumar, Seema and two other youths for hiding in a religious place with the intention of committing crime.

Mr Jassa Singh, Station House Officer, Sadar police station, said arrests was nothing to do with registration of a criminal case against the Head Constable, Amirtpal, and the PHG Jawan, Gian Chand.

A case of kidnapping was registered against both policemen on the complaint of Krishan Kumar when they allegedly kidnapped Seema when Krishan Kumar and Seema were walking near the local bus stand on Friday.

Mr Jassa Singh said the two youths took a room in the religious place to stay for a night. At the night, Krishan Kumar along with Seema entered the room.

He further said attendants of the religious place came to know about this incident and they caught all four occupants of the room.

The police was informed and all were taken in custody.

He said they were presented before the Subdivisional Magistrate for further action today.


‘Abandoned answer sheets were of local students’
Our Correspondent

Abohar, May 16
The answer sheets found at the bank of a canal near the old bus stand at Ropar on May 6 were of local students. Ms Saroj Nagpal, Principal of Swami Keshwa Nand Senior Secondary School located in the Sahitya Sadan complex here, has identified the affected students as Avneet Tondon, Madhusudan Modi and Payal Nagpal. Their Roll numbers 345288, 345290 and 345293, respectively, were given on the answer sheets, besides code numbers 280148, 279972 and 279975. The sheets carried stamped signature of the Controller of Exams in the Punjab School Education Board.

Ms Vanita Rani and another teacher had signed the sheets as supervisors at the local examination centre where the students answered the paper of physical education during the matriculation exam.


MA II (Pol Sc) re-exam

Amritsar, May 16
The examination of second paper (recent political theory) of MA part-II (Political Science-annual system) of Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU), held earlier on April 22, would be re-conducted on May 25, 2006 (Thursday), according to a notification issued by the Registrar, Dr R.S. Bawa. However, the time and examination centre would remain the same. — TNS


Dr Soch passes away
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 16
A veteran father figure of Punjabi literature, Dr Narinder Singh Soch (100), and father of former Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University Dr H.S. Soch, passed away this evening. With over 100 books to his credit, including Punjabi poetry and prose besides numerous translations of famous literary works, Dr Soch was an literary stalwart in his own right.

He was given the Shiromani Sahitkar Award for his path-breaking literary work in Punjabi prose and poetry. He leaves behind two sons. His cremation will take place tomorrow.


SBoP employees hold protest
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 16
Employees of the State Bank of Patiala organised a protest in front of the SBOP head office premises against the RBI’s decision to permit outsourcing on banking service here today.

Addressing the rally, Mr N.K. Gaur, general secretary of the Punjab Bank Employees Federation, said “banking services had been made more accessible to rural masses and any person could avail banking services. However, the RBI’s decision would convert mass banking to elite class banking”, he added.

He said banking services like identification of borrowers, processing loan applications, collection of interest, recovery of loans would be given to private agencies like NGO’s post offices and corporate entities.


LIC staff organise demonstration
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 16
Employees of LIC of India (Patiala I nd II) organised a demonstration in protest against the management’s decision of ban on recruitment and outsourcing of LIC work to private agencies.

The employees, who assembled under the banner of the North Zone Insurance Employees Association, have decided to observe recruitment demand day and anti-outsourcing day on May 16. Prominent among those who addressed the rally were Mr Narinder Walia, Vice President Chandigarh Division Office and Mr Dilber Singh and Ms Kusum, secretaries of Patiala-I and II, respectively.

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