P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Guru Gobind Singh Marg to be extended
Rs 1.25 cr to preserve Kila Mubarak
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 21
On the concluding day of four-day-long tercentenary celebrations held at the historical Kila Mubarak here to commemorate the visit of Sri Guru Gobind Singh at Bathinda in June, 1706, the Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today announced a grant of Rs 1.25 crore for the preservation of the Kila Mubarak and extension of the Guru Gobind Singh Marg from Damdama Sahib (Talwandi Sabo) to Hazoor Sahib, Nanded in Maharashtra.

Capt Amarinder Singh said blueprint for the extension of the marg was ready. On receiving the blueprint of the project, he would take up the matter with Chief Ministers of four states — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra — as the proposed marg passes through these states. He would also meet the Prime Minister for getting the approval of the Guru Gobind Singh Marg extension project. Till now the marg existed from Anandpur Sahib to Talwandi Sabo, he added.

The Chief Minister also said, according to officials of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Rs 2.50 crore was required for the repair and preservation of the Kila Mubarak. So he would take up the matter to seek funds, to the tune of the remaining Rs 1.25 crore from the Centre. If the Central Government did not give Rs 1.25 crore, then he would also provide remaining Rs 1.25 crore, he added.

Earlier, Capt Amarinder Singh, along with Mr Surinder Singla, Punjab Finance Minister; Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC); Mr Bharat Inder Singh Chahal, Media Adviser to CM; and some MLAs paid obeisance at the Kila Mubarak Gurdwara Sahib. Capt Amarinder Singh was presented with a siropa at the gurdwara. The Chief Minister also partook langar at the gurdwara. The Chief Minister also visited the exhibition where utensils, clothes, manuscripts etc, belonging to Guru Gobind Singh and other Gurus were displayed. These exhibits were brought here by several families from various parts of the state.

The Chief Minister also released a souvenir, published by the district administration on the occasion of tercentenary celebrations. He also released a book, “Saraswati ton Sutluj te Sind Tak”, authored by Mr Kulbir Singh Sidhu, Commissioner, Ferozepore Division. He also released another book “Lokan De Dard De Massiah”, authored by Dr Jeet Singh Joshi. The Chief Minister also honoured members of families of Mr Vijay Kumar Garg and Mr Mohinder Pal, whose forefather, Uttam Singh, had brought Guru Gobind Singh from Hazi Rattan Gurdwara to Kila Mubarak in June, 1706. The Chief Minister also honoured members of the families who had exhibited the manuscripts, clothes and utensils at the exhibition.

Talking to mediapersons, Capt Amarinder Singh said in the wake of hike in the prices of the diesel, time and again, the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy should be increased. He said the Government of India had constituted a committee to examine the MSP issue and link MSP with the price index.

He said there was no power crisis in the state as the state was buying electricity of Rs 20 crore daily from other states. On the abolition of octroi, the Chief Minister said the Punjab Cabinet would decide the issue next Monday.


Teething problems for Tarn Taran dist
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Tarn Taran, June 21
At least seven offices have been dislocated from the Vikas Bhavan to make space for the make-shift office of the Deputy Commissioner thereby causing a lot of inconvenience to the general public here.

This is indicative of the problems faced by the newly created Tarn Taran district.

The offices which have been shifted to various buildings in the city include Departments of Agriculture and Cooperation, Horticulture and Employment etc.

The DC is likely to shift to his make-shift office by July 1. The white wash and renovation of the building has been going on a war footing.

Talking to the Tribune, Mr Jaspal Singh, Deputy Commissioner, who is still working from the SDM’s office said that the Vikas Bhawan would be a make-shift arrangement till the new administrative block is built. He said Rs 10 lakh had been received by the district administration and a grant of Rs 2.5 crore was in the pipeline.

However, it would take a long time to recruit adequate staff for the DC’s office. The state government is contemplating the transfer of officials from different districts.

The district police chief’s office is already operating from the Punjab State Electricity Board for the past 18 years. Tarn Taran was made a police district during the peak of militancy about 18 years ago.

Meanwhile, Mr Gurvinder Singh Mammanke who was appointed Chairman, Improvement Trust today, has no place to sit.

Earlier, the Market Committee had got the building vacated from which the police department was running the Community Policing and Resource Centre by a court order. This police wing has now been shifted to a rented building.

When contacted, Mr Birpal Singh , SDM said that “everything would be functioning smoothly shortly”. He said as per earlier plans, the district was supposed to be functional from July.


Work in Lahore gurdwara stops as kar sevaks’ visa expires
Neeraj Bagga

Amritsar, June 21
Construction of a gurdwara at Janamasthan Guru Ram Das, Lahore, has come to a standstill due to the expiry of visas of followers of Baba Jagtar Singh Kar Seva Wale, who with the support of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) is constructing the Sikh shrine.

Located in the biggest and the busiest cloth market of Pakistan (in Lahore), Chunna Mandi, construction of the building of Gurdwara started in September 2004.

Mr Kuldeep Singh, Executive Committee member of the DSGMC, said the committee was trying to get visas extended for resuming work to complete it at the earliest.

The fourth Sikh Master Guru Ram Das spent first seven years of his life at Chunna Mandi where Maharani Nakain, a wife of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, built a shrine to celebrate the birth of her son Prince Kharrak Singh. The building was built more or less like Harmandar Sahib. The Singh Sabha Leher also started from this place.

Allowing the construction of the gurdwara by the Pakistan government was also seen as another step to strengthen ‘confidence building measures’. Baba Amrik Singh of Kar Sewa Wale informed that for preserving the original roof, a water-proof roof had been put on, the 200-year old building of the gurdwara made of Nanakshahi bricks.

He said about 70 per cent work had been completed and the remaining would take four months to finish. He said he along with 10 persons returned from Pakistan after the expiry of visa limit. At present, he said six local persons were engaged in performing the work in the inner portion of the building. He said after getting visa clearance they would take marble with them to use it for the sarovar (holy tank).

Mr Kuldeep Singh alleged that maryada of Sri Guru Granth Sahib was violated by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President SAD and other leaders during Nagar Kirtan in Pakistan held to observe 400th martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev.

Mr Kuldeep Singh said he would soon write about the matter to Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti for taking appropriate action. He elaborated after the crossing over of Nagar Kirtan from Wagah border to Pakistan Mr Badal and his other leaders boarded cars and reached Dera Sahib Gurdwara, Nankana Sahib without bothering about the vehicle carrying Guru Granth Sahib. He added the vehicle was left behind and ignorant people garlanded Mr Badal instead of the holy book.

A jatha of Sikh devotees led by Baba Tek Singh Dhanaula, Interim member, of the SGPC, returned to India today after participating in the observance of 400th year of martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev.


Yash Chopra urges Pakistan to lift ban on Indian films
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, June 21
Expressing gratitude to Punjab for honouring him with Punjab Rattan Award, renowned Bollywood producer and director Yash Chopra today said he was willing to co-produce films in joint themes with his Pakistani counterparts.

He made these comments after paying obeisance at Golden Temple here. He said that he was quite disappointed at the attitude of the Pakistan government for not allowing the screening of Bollywood films in that country. "We share a common culture and traditions and it would be highly appropriate for the Pakistan audience to see Indian movies," he said.

Pakistan recently allowed the screening of two films — magnum opus 'Mughl-e-azam' and 'Tajmehal'. He urged the Pakistan government to be more open and lift ban on Indian movies.

Mr Yash Chopra said that he was currently working on new film project to be shot in Punjab locales. He had been very fond of Punjab and Punjabi rural scenes and would love to start his major projects from this region.

Refusing to divulge information about the script, he said that he would start the film by the end this year.

Expressing dismay over lack of proper infrastructure for shooting of films in the state, he said the government must take the initiative with the private sector to set up a film city. The Chief Minister had promised to establish an ultramodern film city near Mohali but very little seemed to have been done in this direction.

"The Punjab Ratan award bestowed upon me has deeply touched me. I am feeling overwhelmed by the love and affection showered by the Punjabis" said the leading film maker.

Commenting on the recent shootout at producer director Mahesh Bhatt's office, he said that the film industry would never panic and not work under any fear psychosis. It was the handiwork of certain anti-social elements trying to scare the film industry.

Answering questions about the obscenity in the film industry, he said that the recent episode involving Rakhi Sawant and Mika has been over blown out of proportion by media, adding that the film industry was quite responsible and knew its role.


Lokpal’s office faces fund crunch
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
The office of the Punjab Lokpal is facing a financial crunch and does not have even adequate staff in its judicial wing to handle complaints.

The new Lokpal took over three months ago and sources in the government said the budget sanctioned for the office of Lokpal was no more than a princely Rs 11,000 for the current financial year. The matter relating to the provision of a proper budget to pay the salary of the Lokpal and meet the expenses of the office is pending with the Punjab Government, with approvals and ratifications required from a slew of departments. More than Rs 10 lakh is required to run the office and this does not include the salaries of the staff to be appointed.

Another proposal gathering dust is the filling of 19 posts in the judicial wing of the Lokpal's office. The posts had been abolished during the austerity drive launched by the Amarinder Singh government years ago and need to be revived. Nobody was appointed the Lokpal after Justice D.V. Sehgal died in December, 2002. In the last Budget session of the Punjab Assembly it was decided to appoint a Lokpal. In March, Justice D.S. Dhaliwal was administered the oath. In the first week of May he started the process of court hearings of all pending complaints.

Actually, posts in the judicial wing existed even during the time when there was no Lokpal. On the investigation side a DGP-level official was appointed the DGP, Lokpal, even as though there were no hearings, said sources, adding that judicial posts would need to be revived to ensure smooth functioning.

Owing to confidentiality any order dictated by the Lokpal cannot be seen by any government employee. Similarly, correspondence relating to any complaint is also supposed to be secret. The judicial wing has to be independent of the government.

About 280 complaints are pending and are being heard in order of pendency determined from the date of filing. The complaints are at various stages such as inquiry, investigation and verification.

A notice had been issued in newspapers informing the public about the procedure of submitting complaints. The notice, issued yesterday, says complaints can be filed only against a "public man" as defined under the Act. This includes the Chief Minister, Ministers, MLAs, chairmen and members of boards and corporations and government-aided companies.

It will deal with misconduct by any of these persons and can be filed within five years of the alleged misconduct. The complainant will be required to file an affidavit and submit a bank draft for Rs 1,000 in favour of the Lokpal.


Ex-PPCC member Saifdipur quits
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 21
The ruling Congress, which has been plagued with infighting, suffered a major jolt when Mr Balwinder Singh Saifdipur, a former executive member of the Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee (PPCC) and a close lieutenant of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, resigned from the primary membership of the party today.

Meanwhile, Mr Saifdipur, while talking to TNS here today, said two other senior party leaders Mr Gulab Singh Gill and Mr Sukhwinder Singh Gill, former General Secretary and Vice-President of the Punjab Youth Congress, respectively, had also quit from the primary membership of the party.

Mr Saifdipur, who was acquitted by the court in a criminal case, which he claimed had been registered against him on political grounds, alleged that he along with his associates had been forced to quit the party as the present ruling set up had been using police force to stop distribution of free ration in the region, which he had been doing for the past many years under the banner of the International Bhau Bhaichara.

Last night, a police official raided the premises where items, which were to be distributed as free ration in the Rajpura area, had been kept and stopped the distribution of the same. He added that the same police official had also threatened him that he would not allow any member of the International Bhau Bhaichara to reside in the area.


PRTC for hike in bus fare
Tribune News service

Patiala, June 21
The Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) authorities today urged the Punjab Government to give permission to hike bus fare being plied by it or give one time grant of Rs 30-crore to meet its liabilities.

Apart from it, the PRTC authorities have also demanded that the formula to fix the fare should be linked with the prices of diesel and a regulatory commission on the pattern of the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission should be set up to work out the structure of fare.

Mr Ved Parkash Gupta, Chairman, PRTC, while addressing a press conference here, said the PRTC had incurred a loss of Rs 10 crore in the past financial year due to unprecedented hike in prices of diesel. The PRTC management proposed a hike of eight paise per km in the fare but the Punjab Government was for the hike of four paise. This was one factor which led to financial loss.

He said the PRTC had demanded one time grant of Rs 30-crore from the Punjab Government on the same pattern that was being used by it (Punjab Government) for helping the Punjab Roadways. He said the PRTC was in need of special grant because of the fact that hike in the prices of diesel had upset its budget.

He claimed that though there were financial constraints, the PRTC, which had added about 200 buses to its existing fleet of about 1,000 buses, would added another 100 buses in the current financial year to provide better and convenient travel to commuters.

He disclosed that Punjab Government had passed a Bill in connection with the introduction of deluxe and Volvo buses on lease basis, and after it received consent of the President of India, the PRTC would put such buses on night routes, inter-state routes and on routes to religious places .

Mr Gupta, who was accompanied by Mr Shiv Dular Singh Dhillon, Managing Director (MD), PRTC, pointed out that gradually the PRTC had been making progress.“ We have been plugging leakages, curbing corruption and reforming the operation system to save money. By making travel on the PRTC buses more attractive, we have been able to earn Rs 20-crore more revenue in the past year,” he claimed. He added all operations were being computerised in phases through outsourcing to make them more efficient and economical.

The Chairman said all bus stands being owned and managed by the PRTC were being upgraded. The Phagwara bus stand had been on the model of modern bus stands. It has tourist complex facilities. The work on the Patiala bus stand would start shortly.

He said one of the remarkable achievements of the PRTC management was that it had given employment on permanent basis to 167 dependents of its deceased employees. Not only this, about 130 daily wagers had been given minimum pay scales. 


Poll panel clarifies on delimitation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
Confusion has been created in political circles following the issuance of a notification with regard to the delimitation of Assembly and parliamentary constituencies in Punjab by the Delimitation Commission of India under the Delimitation Act, 2002.The notification was published in certain newspapers yesterday.

Clarifying the position in this regard, Mr C.L. Bains, State Election Commissioner, who is a member of the Delimitation Commission, said yesterday that the notification had been issued only by the commission. It had not yet been issued by the Union Law Ministry. When it was issued by the President of India at the request of the Union Law Ministry, only then would it be considered as implemented. He said he had got telephone calls from politicians enquiring whether the Assembly elections would be held as per the notification issued by the Delimitation Commission.

Mr Bains said as of now the elections would be held on the basis of the Assembly segments which existed during the elections held in 2002. However, if the Union Law Ministry notified for implementation the notification issued by the Delimitation Commission, the Assembly elections would be held on the basis of the new delimitation of Assembly constituencies made by the commission.

Most probably the elections will be held on the basis of the 2002 segment pattern, it is learnt, because the ruling party in Punjab is not eager to get the notification issued by the Delimitation Commission further notified by the Law Ministry for its implementation for the Assembly elections due in February next year.


Bitta: hand over Bira to CBI or IB
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta yesterday demanded that deported terrorist Kulbir Singh Bira should be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation or the Intelligence Bureau for questioning and also a special court should be set up to deal with such deported terrorists.

Mr Bitta, who heads the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front, said the Punjab Police had presented a weak case against Daljit Singh Bittu, another former militant, which allowed him to be exonerated in court. Mr Bitta claimed that Bira's case would also be weakened.

He had allegedly gunned down former Punjab Minister Darshan Singh Kaypee and was also instrumental in attacks on various other political leaders, said Mr Bitta. The CBI or the IB must probe who all had been in touch with Bira and the sources of funds to the lawyers of these militants.

Mr Bitta said he would meet the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister to demand a special court and seek that all deported militants should be tried by that court, which should be set up in Delhi. He alleged the plan of bringing former militants to India and later allowing them to get a clean chit by presenting weak cases in court was part of a sinister design of some politicians and officials.


Resentment against power bills
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, June 21
Resentment prevails among owners of cotton factories and ginners against the as it has reportedly issued them power tariff bills at the rate of Rs 60 per KW against the sanctioned load in the state though the cotton factories are closed these days.

Talking to this reporter over the phone yesterday, Mr Bhagwan Bansal, president of the Punjab Cotton Factories and Ginners Association, said that the issuance of power tariff bills now to the cotton factories was not justified as they were not using even a single unit of power now.

In a letter to the Punjab Chief Minister, the association also stated that as per the guidelines of the PSEB, the cotton ginning industry was a seasonal industry. So, it had to pay for four- and- a-half months as minimum charges. In spite of this, the PSEB had extended the period to six months for minimum charges. Thus, it had given a harsh blow to the cotton ginning industry. The association also termed the recent steps, related to the power tariff bills, taken by the PSEB as totally “unjustified”.

It also stated that this would lead to the closure of all ginning industry units in Punjab. Mr Bansal urged the Chief Minister to initiate steps to compel the PSEB to withdraw the “unjustified” power tariff bills and enhancement in the period for minimum charges.


Rotary team returns from Sweden
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 21
The Rotary Group Study Exchange team of the Rotary International (District 3090), which had left for Sweden on the invitation of District 2380 of Sweden about four weeks ago, returned here yesterday.

The team, which was headed by Rotarian Professor S.C. Sharma, visited Rotary Clubs, schools, hospitals, castles and churches of Sweden and Denmark and studied the history and culture of Scandinavia.

The team comprised Professor S.C. Sharma, Dr Sanjeev Kumar, Mr Jaideep Sareen, Mr Jagvinder Singh Mann, Mr Jaipal Sharma.

The team members took part in the National Day celebrations of Sweden and presented the Rotary flag to the Governor of Anderstorp.

The team, which also visited a number a factories and business houses, gave a presentation of India’s National Anthem and at one such presentation, hundreds of Swedish Kroners were collected by the team for earthquake victims of Indonesia.

Elaborating on his trip, Dr Sanjeev Kumar said the traffic in Sweden was so organised that the team had failed to find even a single incident of accident during their stay there.

He added that the crime rate in that country was zero and the team hardly came across policemen during their stay.


Cong leader loses daughter, son-in-law in mishap
Our Correspondent

Barnala, June 21
Daughter and son-in-law of block Congress president Balwant Singh Sekha were killed in a road accident early today morning.

Starting from Shahkot, Manjit Singh (40) was travelling along with his family in his car. He lost control over the vehicle and it collided with a tree.

Nirmal Kaur, daughter, and Manjit Singh, son-in-law of Mr Balwant Singh Sekha, died on the spot while his two daughters Pirmaldeep Kaur and Tarundeep have been hospitalised at the civil hospital here.


Labourer’s ‘killing’: CPM decries police inaction
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, June 21
Members of the Punjab Nirman Mazdoor Union held a rally here today to express resentment against the police for not taking action into the killing of labourer Sakhai Mukhia of Shankar Nagar mohalla, here. His body was found in fields near Leper colony on June 6.

Addressing the rally, Mr Mangat Ram Pasala, a CPM leader of Punjab, criticised the police for not catching the culprits. He alleged the police and the administration were ignoring atrocities against labourers by employers. He alleged the employer of Sakhai Mukhia did not even pay wages to the deceased and other labourers.

But Mr R.N. Dhoke, SSP, Hoshiarpur, said no mark of injury on the body of Sakhai Mukhia had been found. After investigation, it was presumed that he died a natural death.


Sacked Home Guards hold demonstration

Sangrur, June 21
Nearly 100 sacked jawans of the Punjab Home Guard yesterday held a protest march through the town and staged a demonstration in front of the district office of the Punjab Home Guard here demanding their reinstatement without delay.

Mr Daljeet Singh president of the Sacked/Dismissed Punjab Home Guard Jawans Welfare Association. alleged that more than 1,000 jawans of the Punjab Home Guard had been sacked or dismissed since 1992 by showing them absent from duty or getting “false” cases registered against them.

He said many of these jawans had fought against militants. At an employees’ rally held at Patiala on February 11 , the Punjab Chief Minister had promised that the sacked/dismissed jawans would be reinstated. But due to a dharna on the same day by the serving Home Guards at Patiala, the Chief Minister got annoyed with them though they had no role in that dharna, he added. — TNS


Mill staff detain GM for hours
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, June 21
Employees of the local cooperative sugar mill gheraoed the General Manager (GM) of the mill, Mr Mohinder Pal Singh, as a result the official remained locked in his office for more than seven hours today.

According to reports received here, the employees of the mill were demanding their monthly salaries which had not been paid to them for the past more than six months. Mr Harpal Singh Sra, a leader of the employees, said that the employees had submitted repeated memoranda to the officials. Mr Sra alleged that the officials were not hearing the genuine demand of the employees and the employees, who were facing acute financial problems, decided to take this extreme step today.


High Court
Instant delivery of HC order copies
Move to privatise copy branch
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
In what could provide much-needed succour to the litigants, the Punjab and Haryana High Court is contemplating privatising the copy branch.

The decision would result in the outsourcing of all functions of the copy branch, including supplying of certified copies of the various types of court orders.

Inquiries made by The Tribune showed that on an average, the High Court copy branch receives over 18,000 applications each month for supply of dasti, urgent and ordinary orders. On an average, the branch, which currently has a strength of 80 full-time employees, hands out between 15,000-20,000 pages to the lawyers and litigants every day.

Currently, the copy branch is unable to handle the work-load effectively, resulting in long delays in meeting requests for certified copies of orders. So much so, that there have been many instances of litigants not being able to get certified copies of High Court orders even months after the orders are passed. As a result, the litigants, who wish to appeal against the High Court orders, are forced to go slow.

The per-day income of the High Court from the copy branch is over Rs 30,000. This is one of the reasons why a private player might show an inclination to handle the job.

According to highly-placed sources, a three-member team led by the Acting Chief Justice, Mr Justice H.S. Bedi, is going to Bangalore to study the functioning of the system at the Karnataka High Court. The Karnataka High Court is the only High Court in the country which has successfully involved private players in effectively managing the copy branch.

Apart from Acting Chief Justice Bedi, the other two members of the team are Mr G.K. Khanna, Additional Registrar (Judicial), and Mr Anmol Rattan Sidhu, president, Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association.

The team would also interact with Judges and senior officials of the Karnataka High Court to understand the nitty-gritty of outsourcing the operations of the copy branch.

A senior High Court official told The Tribune that the intention of the High Court in contemplating privatisation of the copy branch is to ensure prompt delivery of certified copies of orders to the litigants.

“But for unforeseen causes, it would be our endeavour to provide certified copies of all orders and judgements to the parties within 24 hours. In case of lengthy judgements, which run into many pages, copies would have to be provided to litigants within days and not months as is happening now,” said the official.


Filling station sealed
Raj Sadosh

Abohar, June 21
Following complaints of adulteration, officials of the Food and Civil Supplies Department today sealed an IOC petrol and diesel-filling centre. Earlier the farmers chased and thrashed the caretaker of the centre.

According to information, some farmers with their tractors and trailers gheraoed the Indian Oil Corporation filling centre near Kundal, 10 km from here, on the Abohar – Muktsar road.

One of them said that he had purchased 50 litre diesel for the brand-new tractor on June 20 but the vehicle got jammed. When examined by an automobile mechanic, it was found that the diesel had water contents in it.

Others who aired similar grievances included Mr Kulwant Singh, Mr Bachittar Singh, Mr Gurdeep Singh Kundal and Mr Sukhdeep Singh. They spotted substandard measurements used for supplying petrol and diesel.

As the caretaker tried to hide the measurements and “abused’ the farmers, the latter got agitated. They started thrashing him in a bid to snatch the measurements. Those present there rescued him.

The farmers alleged that the adulterated oil was stored in the room attached to the office of the filling centre.

The civil and police officials rushed to the village and examined quality of diesel and measurements. The filling station was immediately sealed as the officials found serious discrepancies.


Change in ‘girdawari’ of custodian land banned
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, June 21
Due to increase in disputes over custodian and village common lands, the district administration has banned their sale and change in “girdawaris”.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Vivek Pratap Singh, said he had issued directions in this regard due to large number of disputes pertaining to their control. The custodian land belonged to the Union Government.

In this district most of the land on the banks of the Beas is the custodian land. The government has allocated such land to landless Dalits.

However, certain influential persons, mainly politicians, have been circumventing the law to get control over such land.


60-yr-old woman murdered in Rajpura
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, June 21
In yet another crime apparently arising out of a property dispute, a 60-year-old women, a divorcee, was brutally murdered in the posh Gobind Colony here last night.

The blood-splattered body of Kuldip Kaur was found in a pool of blood by her neighbours this morning. The throat of the deceased was slit by the unidentified assailants, said the police.

The incident came to light when Kuldip Kaur, who was an early riser, did not respond to the repeated knocks at the door of her upper- floor residence.

The neighbours later informed the police which swung into action to nab the culprits.

A police party, led by the City Police Station SHO, Mr Surinder Singh, reached the spot and started investigations.

After attacking the deceased with sharp-edged weapons, the assailants escaped through bathroom, the police said.

Meanwhile, the top brass of the Patiala police, including the SSP, Mr Parmod Bann, the SP, Mr Gurmeet Chauhan, and the DSP, Mr Manmohan Sharma, reached the spot to supervise the investigations.

Mr Bann claimed that the culprits would be apprehended soon.

Sources said the police was working on several theories, including the property dispute.

It may be recalled that all four sons of the deceased and her close relatives were settled abroad.

In fact, one of her sons was to arrive shortly.

She had sold a portion of her house last year.

The murder of an elderly single lady has spread panic among the residents in the posh colony.

The residents have demanded security, particularly for the senior citizens.

Meanwhile, the body has been sent for a post-mortem examination at the Civil Hospital. The police has registered a case under Section 302 of the IPC.


Rs 1 lakh stolen from scooter
Our correspondent

Hoshiarpur, June 21
Some miscreants stole Rs 1 lakh from the dickey of a scooter of Kewal Singh at Dasuya today. According to police sources, Kewal Singh, a son of Resham Singh of Rachpalma withdrew Rs 1 lakh from Punjab National Bank, Dasuya. He went to a medical store and parked his scooter there and went inside to meet Lakhwinder Singh. When he came back he found the dickey of his scooter (PB-21A-0308) open and the cash along with his bank passbook missing.

In another incident, miscreants stole seven gold rings, one gold bracelet, one gold chain and cash from the house of Mangat Trehan at Milap Nagar, Hoshiarpur. According to the police, Mangat Trehan, along with his family, had gone to his in-laws’ house on the night of June 18. When he came back, he found household articles scattered in the house.

A case under sections 457 and 380 of the IPC has been registered in this connection.


Fake currency seized
Our correspondent

Barnala, June 21
The local police has busted a gang dealing in duplicate currency and has arrested three persons and recovered a huge amount of currency from their possession.

Mr S.K. Asthana, SSP, said a police party raided the premises of Daljit Singh at Tapa and arrested three main accused Daljit Singh, Balwant Singh and Bhura Singh while the other three managed to flee. The police also recovered a sum of Rs 50,000 and Rs 10 lakh in duplicate currency notes.

An FIR u/s 420, 489E,120 B, IPC, has been registered. As many as 11 cases of robbery and dacoity are registered against Bhura Singh.


Employees Democratic Front sweeps poll
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 21
The Employees Democratic Front of Punjabi University registered a landslide victory in the Punjabi University Non-Teaching Employees Union elections by winning 11 seats out a total of 12.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that candidates of the Employees Democratic Front led by Mr Sukhwant Singh Sidhu emerged victorious in the election to the post of president, general secretary, vice-president, secretary, press secretary, finance secretary and five executive members.

Information revealed that Mr Darshan Singh was elected president of the union after defeating Mr Jarnail Singh of Young Forum.

Mr Hari Chand Mendiratta, Mr Harish Kumar, Mr Jagjit Singh, Mr Ravinder Singh Walia and Ms Parkash Kaur of Employees Democratic Front were elected general secretary, vice-president, secretary, press secretary and finance secretary respectively.

Mr Malkiat Singh was the lone candidate for Young Forum to be elected as assistant secretary.

Mr Ram Lok Singla was the Chief Election Commissioner for the election.


Class XII supplementary exams on July 25, 26
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 21
The supplementary examinations of the Punjab School Education Board for Class XII will be conducted on July 25 and 26.

In a press note issued here, Mrs Sukhwinder Kaur Saroya, Controller of Examinations, said the supplementary examinations would start at 2 p.m. The admission forms for the examinations could be deposited at textbook depots located at district headquarters till June 30. Later, the admissions forms would only be deposited at the head office of the Punjab board alongwith a late fee.


PU results
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
Panjab University has declared the results of B.Sc.-I, B.Com.-III (Hons) and MA-I (Public Administration) examinations conducted in April/May 2006. These will be available on the university website: www.puchd.ac.in on June 22, 2006, after 4 pm. According to the Controller of Examinations, Panjab University, no result inquiry will be entertained on the telephone.


Council of Ministers to consider RIL project
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
The field-to-fork project of Reliance Industries Limited will come up for approval before the Punjab Council of Ministers on June 26. In the first phase, RIL, headed by Mr Mukesh Ambani, will set up six rural business hubs by December 31 this year.

In total, RIL intends to set up 52 such hubs to procure vegetables and fruits from farmers and supply them direct for sale to its own retail outlets across the country. The RIL project intends to also procure milk and start its supply in certain cities.

Mr Ambani had met the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, on June 19 and expressed his keenness to go ahead with the project, which had been mired in controversy over land allotment to RIL. Subsequently, some clauses were added and also the controversial 20 acre plot at Mohali would not be available to RIL.

RIL is scouting for land in the open market in the vicinity of Mohali.


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