P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


SGPC secretary joins hands with expelled Akalis
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 7
The SGPC today faced yet another unsavoury situation when its secretary, Mr Raghbir Singh, joined hands with expelled Akali leaders to stake claim for the party ticket from Rajasansi for the forthcoming Assembly elections.

He criticised Dr Rattan Singh Ajnala, an Akali MP, and Mr Veer Singh Lopoke, MLA from Rajasansi, for projecting their sons for the Assembly elections from Ajnala and Lopoke, respectively.

This is for the first time in the history of the SGPC that its senior official campaigned openly for his candidature.

Mr Subegh Singh, senior vice-president, Amritsar (city); Mr Ranjit Singh, senior vice-president, Amritsar (rural); Mr Manjit Singh, vice-president, Amritsar (rural); and Mr Harinder Singh Randhawa, who were earlier expelled by Dr Ajnala on July 5, were also present in the press conference addressed by Mr Raghbir Singh. The gathering recommended the candidature of Mr Raghbir Singh from the Rajasansi constituency.

The rebels constituted a five-member committee to take up the case with the party supremo, Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

Mr Raghbir Singh and others said Dr Ajnala and Mr Lopoke had lost their base among the voters. They alleged that the son of Dr Ajnala was a defaulter of the SGPC-run Guru Ram Dass Medical Trust.

They described the expulsion of senior Akali leaders as “unconstitutional” that would send a wrong signal among the party workers and adversely affect the prospects of party in the elections.


Akal Federation appeals for ‘sarbat’ Khalsa
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 7
The Akal Federation today emphasised the need to call ‘‘sarbat khalsa’’ at Akal Takht to sort out the crisis created after ‘‘arbitrary and biased’’ edicts (hukmnamas) pronounced by Sikh clergy.

Addressing mediapersons here today Mr Narain Singh, President, Akal Federation, alleged that if the Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, had used his powers then the unsavoury incident that occurred on July 2 could have been avoided.

He called upon the panthic forces to come on a single platform to save Sikh institutions like Akal Takht.

The Akal Federation chief said instead of controlling the situation Jathedar Vedanti disappeared from the scene.

However, later the Sikh high priests, at the behest of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) supremo, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, passed an edict against Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, President SAD (A), and his party leaders, directing the Sikh sangat not to allow them to address any panthic congregation.

He said before passing an edict against Mr Mann Jathedar Vedanti should have summoned Mr Badal, Mr Avtar Singh, President, SGPC, and others involved in the pandemonium at Manji Sahib as they were equally responsible for the acrimonious scenes on the concluding day of the three-day quadricentennial celebrations of the foundation of Akal Takht on July 2.

Mr Narain Singh said it was unfortunate that Jathedar Vedanti had played into the hands of Mr Badal and SGPC officials by not following the proper procedure while passing an edict against Mr Mann.

He said the edict was like the one passed by Giani Puran Singh against Bibi Jagir Kaur on January 24, 2000, which was later, rescinded on March 29, 2000 by the Sikh high priests.


Another Kapurthala youth killed in Manila
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, July 7
A youth from Kapurthala city was murdered in Manila on Thursday. Around 100 Punjabis have already been killed in the Philippines in the past five years, 70 of whom belonged to the Doaba region. So much so, 10 persons from Kapurthala district alone have been killed in Philippines in just past seven months.

Naveen Sharma alias Rinku (32), hailing from Jarmani Dass Park locality here, was living in Manila for the past 13 years. He was living there with his Filipino wife Julie and their two children. He was in the money-lending business there.

His father Mr A.P. Sharma told The Tribune that Rinku’s friend Ranjeet called him from Manila on Thursday night to tell him about his son’s murder. Following which, he confirmed about his death. However, he was not told how he had been murdered.

Mr Sharma told The Tribune that they were trying to bring his son’s body to his native place in Kapurthala for his rites. He hoped the body would be brought here in a week.

As the news of death spread, their relatives and neighbours reached their house to express shock and grief with family members.

Naveen Sharma’s one brother and one sister are living in England, whereas his another brother Navneet Sharma Neelam is living with his parents in Kapurthala itself and is in spare parts’ business.

Earlier Ravi Sharma, another youth from Preet Nagar locality in Kapurthala city, was shot dead in Philippines four months ago on February 26. His body was brought to his native place in a week with the efforts of president of the Lok Bhalai Party, Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, for the last rites. He was also in money-lending business.

Most of the Punjabis living in Philippines are reportedly doing illegal business of money-lending. They have been living in Philippines for several years and hail from the Doaba region.

A sudden spate of killings of Punjabis started there five years ago and has been going on since then.

Indian Ambassador in Philippines, Navrekha Sharma, has already brought the situation there to the notice of the Government of India. Subsequently, Commissioner Punjab NRI affairs N.S. Kalsi wrote to Deputy Commissioners of all districts of the state that Punjabis should be discouraged from going to Philippines.


Minority status of CMC upheld
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, July 7
The Supreme Court today upheld the minority status of Ludhiana-based Christian Medical College (CMC), a premier health institution of Punjab, in the light of last year’s Constitution Bench judgment, doing away with the government quota in unaided private professional colleges and allowing full freedom of management to minority institutions.

In a brief order, a Bench of Chief Justice Y. K. Sabharwal and Mr Justice C. K. Thakker said the petition of the CMC “is disposed of in terms of the Inamdar case judgement” given by a seven-judge Constitution Bench, delivered on August 12 last year.

In the judgement, the court had laid down that the government had no right to foist quota of its students in unaided private and minority institutions.

The CMC had moved the apex court in August, 2004, challenging the Punjab Government’s notification of June 17, extending its 50 per cent quota of students in the college.


Panel comes to the aid of deaf-and-dumb girl
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, July 7
The Punjab State Schedule Castes Commission today directed the district administration to constitute a committee comprising the SDM, DSP and District Welfare Officer to look into the allegations of atrocities meted out against a deaf-and-dumb girl of Kulgari village here and submit its report within a week.

Mr Niranjan Singh, Chairman of the commission, who along with its two members, Mr Kewal Singh and Mr B.R. Banga was here to listen to the grievances of SC community, also directed the district authorities to look into other complaints including that of Sahib Singh of Zandsingh Wala village, Jaswant Singh of Bhambha village and Malkit Singh Patwari.

While addressing a meeting here, Mr Niranjan Singh said that the state finance commission has mooted a one-time settlement plan for those people belonging to SC community who were under debt and were unable to pay back their loans.

He said that the state government has also sanctioned an amount of Rs 1 crore for the construction of a SC bhavan in Chandigarh for which land has already been procured.

He said that all the Deputy Commissioners and SSPs have been directed to listen to the grievances of the elected representatives and officials belonging to SC/ST categories and ensure that their dignity is maintained at all costs.

He further said that the officials should ensure that people belonging to SC community were getting the maximum out of the various welfare schemes mooted by the state government for their benefit.

It was unfortunate that till date only 0.7 per cent culprits were convicted in cases pertaining to atrocities against persons belonging to Scheduled Caste.

The DGP has been told to reinvestigate all cases related to atrocities against the community registered since 1989 and ensure that law has taken its course and justice has been done in all the cases, he said.


Death ends widow’s wait for pension
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 7
The dream of 84-year-old Sarjeet Kaur, that her country would recognise the sacrifice of her husband, an INA veteran, will remain unfulfilled as she breathed her last on Tuesday while waiting to get her pension.

Leaving her five-decade-long fight to get pension midway, Sarjeet Kaur, wife of Hazoora Singh, who was imprisoned for several months in Singapore before Independence, passed away at her home in Bhaini Aroran village near here.

She had broken her hip bone after falling in her bathroom a month ago. Doctors had demanded Rs 45,000 for her operation but she was not able to arrange the money.

Thanks to bureaucratic wranglings and red tapism she did not get pension although she put forth her case on various platforms, including the State Commission for Women, Punjab, Punjab and Haryana High Court and even on Union and state government level. The judgements of the commission and court went in her favour one after the other but she did not get her due.

The Tribune had highlighted her plight and struggle from time to time. She possessed the required evidence to support her claim but this failed to mitigate her sufferings.

Sarjit Kaur’s husband was declared a freedom fighter after the former Deputy Commissioner’s report confirmed that he was with the Netaji’s army at Singapore along with the then newly married Sarjeet Kaur. The couple had to abandon their newly born son in Singapore as they did not want him to suffer British army’s cruelty.

A recent disclosure by the Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi, that her case had not been forwarded by the state government despite a direction by the High Court had broken Sarjeet Kaur all the more.

The revelation had come in the wake of a Punjab and Haryana High Court order to the ministry asking it about the status of her case.

The state government had presented before the High Court that her case was with the Union Government and the delay in clearing her pension was not on their part.

Going by the events it seems Sarjeet Kaur was unfortunate in her life and in her death also.

Her husband died waiting to get recognition as an INA veteran. After his death her fight yielded some fruit and he was declared a freedom fighter but she failed to get pension.

‘‘I had no money to get her treated. Had she got her pension and arrears, I would have taken her to the doctor. I was waiting for her to get her dues but death came knocking before that happened,’’ said her son Jarnail Singh.

‘‘There was no need of any delay in providing her pension. Her case was clear and all inquiries were in her favour,’’ said her son. SDM, Raikot, in his inquiry report had submitted that her husband, late Hazoora Singh Chahal should be declared a freedom fighter and Sarjeet Kaur must be given due financial help.

According to the documents produced by Sarjeet Kaur, Hazoora Singh had joined the Indian National Army on February 23, 1944. He worked as a Havildar with 1/8 Guerrilla, First Battalion, A.Coy no. 34451.

His area of operation was Ipoh Perak, Malaya and Captain Bhaskar C.Com of Maharashtra was his Commander under whom he had served.

The documents also mentioned that Hazooora Singh was imprisoned for seven months at various jails at Ipoh and Bidda Dari Camp in Singapore.


Dullo warns party leaders, workers against sycophancy
Rules out poll alliance
Tribune News Service

Ropar, July 7
Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Shamsher Singh Dullo today warned the Congress workers and leaders against sycophancy. He said no minister or leader in the state was above the Congress party and they should strengthen the party and shun personal gains. He was speaking at a function here in Ambedkar Bhavan where Mr Ramesh Dutt Sharma, an MLA from Anandpur Sahib, resumed work as new president of the District Congress Committee.

Mr Dullo said the Congress would go it alone in the next Assembly elections.

He also scotched speculation about any change in the newly appointed district presidents in the state. He said final nod to the list of district presidents was given by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi so there was no possibility of any change.

Mr Dullo blamed SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal for misleading Sikhs of the state for political gains. Mr Badal remained several times Chief Minister of Punjab, but he did nothing for the Sikh Panth, he added.

The character of different leaders, who claimed to be custodians of Sikh Panth, was exposed on the occasion of quadricentennial celebrations of the foundation of Akal Takht in Amritsar, he added.


Dullo sees Congress wave in Punjab
Our Correspondent

Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, president, PPCC, addresses a function at Sirhind on Friday.
Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, president, PPCC, addresses a function at Sirhind on Friday.

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 7
Mr Samsher Singh Dullo, president PPCC, while talking to mediapersons here today has categorically denied that the high command was thinking of making any change in the list of office bearers of PPCC released by him. He said this list had the stamp of Mrs Sonia Gandhi and only the hard working, sincere, dedicated and Congress men had been given responsibilities.

Answering a query about the speculation of reshuffle in state Cabinet, he said that it was the prerogative of the Chief Minister. He said the Chief Minister had not talked to him about the reshuffle and said he did not find any need for reshuffle.

Answering a query about making the son of the Chief Minister as an office bearer, he said he had been given the responsibility out of the Youth Congress quota as he was working in the Youth Congress.

He said the names of only those Congress men would be recommended for party ticket, who had winning prospects and had nourished their constituencies. He said due to overall development in the state and relief to every section of society, a strong Congress wave was sweeping the State and Congress would form the next government.

Mr Dullo had come here to preside over the function organised to celebrate the crowning of Mr Lakhbir Singh Rai, advocate, who has been made the new president of the District Congress Committee. Thousands of Congress workers from all over the district attended the function held at Sirhind town.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Dullo called upon the workers to highlight the achievements of all the previous Congress governments, particularly of Capt Amarinder Singh and compare it with the rule of Akalis.


Forced to ferry despite a bridge
Lalit Mohan

Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, July 7
Residents of Narot Jaimal Singh bloc of the district are being forced to travel on boats despite of the presence of a temporary bridge. The bloc is cut from the rest of the district by the Ravi river. The platoon bridge constructed over the river is removed during the monsoons due to the increase in the flow of water.

The government is constructing a permanent bridge on the river near Kathlore village to connect over hundred villages of the area with rest of the district.

The company that has been given the task of constructing the bridge has constructed a temporary bridge to take its men and material to other side of the river.

Company officials had been allowing common people and vehicles to pass over the temporary bridge after the platoon bridge was removed.

However, the Bloc Development Officer (BDO) of the area had issued a notice to the company against allowing the people over their temporary bridge.

After the diktat, company officials have set up barricades near the bridge forcing people to take a ride on boats to cross the river sometimes even taking their cars along.

The SDM, Pathankot, Mr Amarjeet Paul, when asked about the BDO’s decision said that the private bridge has been closed for the public after an objection was raised by the panchayat samiti of the area.

The panchayat samiti awards the annual contract for ferrying people across the river during the monsoon to the highest bidder.

However, most people started crossing the river by the temporary bridge set up by the company. The contractors which had been awarded the contract for ferrying the people demanded their money back. On their demand, the company was directed against allowing people to cross over by the private bridge, he said.

The decision of the administration has, however, not gone well with the general public. They alleged that while on one hand, the government was spending crores of rupees on the construction of the bridge in the area, but on the other, people were being forced to travel on boats despite the presence of a temporary bridge.

Residents here contend that travelling and carrying vehicles on boats was risky and costly. Moreover, the boatmen close their operations at night. They should be allowed to use the temporary bridge as it is a safer option and can be availed round-the-clock.


Centre allows Rs 11 lakh grant for Katas Raj
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 7
The Union Government has allowed the Punjab Government to send Rs 11 lakh for the reconstruction of the historic Katas Raj temple in Chakkwal district of Pakistan.

During a visit to the temple last year, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had announced to give Rs 11 lakh for rebuilding the temple complex, which is now in ruins.

However, the money could not have been sent to the authorities concerned in Pakistan without the permission of the Union Government.

Sources said today that the Union Government had given permission to the Punjab Government to send the money to the authorities concerned in Pakistan.

Already, the Pakistan Government had announced to rebuild the temple with the help of experts in temple architecture in India.

Meanwhile, Amarinder Singh has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to get the Hussainiwala border opened for trade between India and Pakistan on the pattern of Wagah border.

Sources said Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, who belongs to the Kasur area, was also keen on opening the border for trade.

Amarinder Singh has also requested the Union Government to get a Pakistan visa centre opened at Wagah border for the convenience of those who wanted to travel to Pakistan in buses — Amritsar to Lahore and Amritsar to Nankana Sahib — and others who wanted to visit other historic places in that country.


’84 riot affected families get compensation
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 7
The district administration today handed over the cheques worth Rs 2 lakh each to the 13 remaining 1984 riot affected families during a function. Dr Harbans Lal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, presided over the function.

In his address, Dr Lal said it was the only Congress Government which had cared for them and on the intervention of Mrs Sonia Gandhi, and with the efforts of Capt Amarinder Singh and Dr Manmohan Singh, the government had given a package of Rs 715 crore to the riot affected families.

Addressing the function, Mr Karanbir Singh Mann, SDM, Fatehgarh Sahib, said earlier 99 families had been given the cheques to the tune of Rs 2 lakh each and only 13 families could not get it for some reason. He said an amount of Rs 2.24 crore has been given to 112 families.


Brick-kiln owners declare indefinite closure
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 7
The Punjab Brick Kiln Owner’s Association in its meeting held here today decided to close down their brick kilns for an indefinite period in protest against the indifferent attitude of the state government towards their genuine demands as well as against the behavior of Mr Avtar Henry, Food and Civil Supplies Minister, and Mr Surinder Singla, Finance Minister, who could not arrange their meeting with the Chief Minister for the last one-and-half-year irrespective of their best efforts.

Interestingly, this declaration was made by Mr Kanwaljit Singh Lalli, Congress MLA-cum-State president of the association, while addressing a press conference. He said it was unfortunate that the state government had not bothered about the genuine demands of 27000 brick kiln owners, who also generate employment for lakhs of people and contribute in the development of the state. He said since long the association had been meeting Finance Minister and Food and Civil Supplies Minister but of no use. He said though the elections were round the corner the association had requested the ministers to arrange their meeting with the CM but till today they had not given any time.


Mann for retrial in Akshardham case
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 7
The SAD (Amritsar) president, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, has demanded a retrial in the Akshardham temple firing case in which three persons-Chand Khan, Adam Suleman Ajmeri and Abdul Kayum Mohammed Hussain Mansuri- have been sentenced to death by a POTA court.

In a representation addressed to Mr Justice Y.K Sabharwal, Chief Justice of India, Mr Mann said after the judgement “ all secular and democratic people in India and the Western world have lost faith in the judges and administrators of Gujarat where the present government of Narinder Modi in connivance with the BJP and the RSS had committed the genocide of the Muslim minority in Gujarat.

He added that “ if the people in India and around the world want to retain faith in the Indian judicial system a retrial should be ordered in a non Hindutva state so that justice appears to have been done.”

Mr Mann also said that since “ the draconian law of POTA had been repealed by Parliament I appeal to your sense of justice to not only have the case retried but also to have it tried under the normal laws of the land.”


BJP’s cycle yatra reaches Jandiala
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 7
The BJP’s ‘Mehngai Virodhi cycle yatra’ led by its state President, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, reached Jandiala, about 18 km from here, in the evening today after passing through Kartarpur, Subhanpur, Dhilwan, Bias and Raiya. The yatra started its third day’s journey from Jalandhar in the morning.

Mr Khanna said the policies of the Congress-led governments had hit the poor hard.

He said the cost of eatables like pulses, edible oil and vegetables had reached an alarming price.

He said the cost of diesel could come down to Rs 23.14 if CM Amarinder Singh waived off all state taxes. He said it would provide reprieve to all sections of society including farmers, businessmen and employees.

The yatra started on July 5 from Ludhiana and would conclude here tomorrow.


IAS officer Robin Gupta bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 7
Premila Gupta, nee Dharamwati Bhandari, the mother of a Punjab-cadre IAS officer Robin Gupta, died at a farmhouse of the family located in Panchkula district today.

Gupta, 99, was a student of Kinnard College Lahore and was the daughter of Rai Bahadur Gobind Ram Bhandari of Lahore, who was a Punjab-cadre official.

She was married to Brig Viswhvanath P. Gupta, who had served in the Imperial Medical Services during the British rule.

The family is awaiting the arrival of Urvashi, the US-based sister of Robin Gupta, for the funeral, the family said tonight.


Illegal immigration: govt launches awareness drive
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 7
The Punjab government has asked all the Deputy Commissioners to launch an awareness campaign in Punjab to make people aware of the risks involved in illegally trying to enter Europe through countries like Mauritania, Zouret and Morocco.

A letter in this regard has been sent to all the DCs, and SSPs by the Under Secretary (Home). This action follows the letter written by the Protector General of Emigrants, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs to the Punjab Government in which the dangers of illegal immigration have been listed.


Junior doctors manhandled

Amritsar, July 7
At least 24 agitated relatives of a deceased patient manhandled junior doctors in the surgical ward number four in government-run-Guru Nanak Dev Hospital and broke furniture of the hospital here yesterday.

The relatives alleged that the patient had died due to negligence of the doctors. Dr Surinder, president, Junior Doctors Association, condemned the attack. — TNS


Horticulture mission: Centre questions floating of tenders
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 7
Questioning the tenders floated by the Directorate of Horticulture, Punjab, for the purchase of equipment and inputs to implement various schemes of the National Horticulture Mission (NHM), the Union Government has instructed the state government to inquire into the matter and submit a report in this regard immediately.

Sources said Mr S.K. Pattanayak, Joint Secretary-cum-Director, NHM, has sent a letter to the Financial Commissioner (Development), Punjab, seeking a report from him with regard to the floating of tenders to purchase various equipment and inputs. Horticulture is considered the most suitable alternative to the traditional wheat and paddy-dominated agriculture system in the state.

The Centre has sanctioned Rs 78 crore for Punjab to promote horticulture. Already, it has released about Rs 28 crore to the state government. The remaining amount is to be released this year. Though the money was released in November-December last year by the Union Government, only a part of it has been spent or allocated to certain bodies such as the Punjab Mandi Board, and Punjab Agricultural University by the directorate.

In his letter to the Financial Commissioner, Mr Pattanayak has stated that under the NHM guidelines the subsidy is to be paid direct to the beneficiaries as per the cost norms of various components and there is no provision to procure the same by the department on behalf of the beneficiaries. The scheme is to be implemented through societies set up at the district level under the chairmanship of the Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development).

Mr Pattanayak has drawn the attention of the Financial Commissioner to a tender notice got published by the Directorate of Horticulture, Punjab, in a daily newspaper inviting bids for purchase, installation, erection and fabrication related to greenhouses (hitech), greenhouses (normal), shade nets, mulching sheets, vermi compost units, etc.

The Union Government wanted that there should be no role of a third agency or a middleman in the implementation of the scheme. Its desire is that farmers should make their own arrangements to erect greenhouses, shade nets, vermi compost units, etc. The Directorate of Horticulture is to make farmers and others concerned aware of the schemes relating to vermi compost, organic farming and beekeeping under which subsidy from 25 to 50 per cent will be available to them from the funds allocated by the NHM.

That subsidy is to be paid direct to farmers or adopters of the scheme. But they will have to stick to the guidelines, specifications and norms fixed by the mission for various schemes. For instance, on vermi compost units, there is subsidy of Rs 30,000 per unit. And on a bee colony, there is subsidy of Rs 800 per colony. Likewise, there is a heavy subsidy on setting up hitech and normal greenhouses.

Asked for comments, the Director, Horticulture, said the Union Government had not issued detailed guidelines with regard to certain schemes. “We have been seeking clarifications from the Union Government authorities in this regard from time to time and are implementing the schemes accordingly”, said the Director.

“We have shortlisted certain parties to help farmers with knowhow to implement schemes. However, farmers are free to implement schemes on their own. If the implementation of schemes is as per the specifications laid down by the mission, farmers will get financial assistance direct”, asserted the Director. “ We are doing what has been approved by the state committee set up for the implementation of the mission schemes under the chairmanship of the Financial Commissioner (Development), Punjab”, claimed the Director.


Government extending Ratra’s stint
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 7
The Punjab Government is in the process of making amendment to rules to allow Y.S. Ratra to continue as Chairman of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) till he attains the age of 65 years.

Sources said the PSEB rules permitted a person to remain its Chairperson till the age 63 years. Mr Ratra had completed the age of 63 years on January 12.

A senior officer of the government said Mr Ratra was appointed for five years to the post in January, 2003 when he turned 60.

Around 20 years ago, N.S. Vasant, was given relaxation in age to continue as Chairman of the board.


Triple murder accused attempts suicide
Tribune News Service

Ropar, July 7
The main accused of the triple murder case of Takkipur village in Kharar, Jagjit Singh, today allegedly made an attempt to end his life by consuming a poisonous substance in a makeshift jail in the Ropar district court.

The condition of the accused was said to be serious. He was initially admitted to the Civil Hospital, but later referred to the PGI, Chandigarh.

The accused, Jagjit Singh, along with his brothers, had shot dead three brothers of Takkipur village following dispute over possession of a piece of land on February 16.

The police has violated the rules and regulations of the Punjab Prison and Jails Manual which prevents any outsider to give food or any other substance to an undertrial while he is in the makeshift jail.

Even if the police version is to be believed that his relative had given some medicine to the accused, Jagjit Singh, this means the police did not deploy security to take care of the accused.

Ravinder Singh died in the village itself while his brother Balwinder Singh died at the PGI, Chandigarh. The third brother, Kulwant Singh, had been admitted to PGI, but later he also died there.

The accused was brought here from Nabha jail in the morning to be produced in the court of Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Mr Arun Kumar Aggarwal.

The accused was said to have consumed a poisonous substance that was provided to him by his relative to him at about 1 pm before he could be produced in the court.

A total of 25 undertrials from Nabha and Patiala jail were brought here, including accused Jagjit Singh and his brother Baljit Singh, also an accused in the triple murder case , this morning from Nabha and Patiala jails.

“While I, along with other guards, were producing accused in different courts, the accused, Jagjit Singh, who was in the makeshift jail, was said have consumed some poisonous substance,” said ASI Balbir Singh, who brought the accused here from the two jails.

The police suspected that the accused had consumed some poisonous substance as a part of his preplanned strategy to run away from the police custody as he was involved in the triple murder case.

Apprehending that Jagjit Singh could make an attempt to flee from the hospital, the police had deployed additional police personnel for his surveillance while he was being referred to the PGI from the Civil Hospital here.

While others believed it to be a conspiracy to eliminate the accused as some police personnel were also suspected to be involved in the land dispute which led to death of three brothers.

Fearing threat of re-investigation of the case, they might have made an attempt to end him, said the sources. When contacted, the DSP, Mr Didar Singh Sandhu, said a pre-liminary investigation in the case had revealed that Jagjit Singh, had not eaten anything since morning.

Later, while he was in the makeshift jail, he got some medicine from his relative and consumed it. Thereafter he fell sick.

As the accused was involved in serious crime, so we had deployed addition police personnel so that he could not flee, he added.


Heroin worth Rs 2 crore seized
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, July 7
In a joint operation, the border security force and the Punjab police seized 2 kg of heroin worth Rs 2 crore in the international market and fake currency amounting to Rs 3,97,000 from near the BOP Jandewala, near the international border, last night.

According to police sources, acting on specific intelligence information, the BSF and the Punjab police constituted a joint team and raided Jodha Bhaini village situated near the Indo-Pakistan border.

During the combined search operation, the team found a polythene bag hidden beneath a tree which contained 2 kg of heroin and fake currency. Mr Arpit Shukla, SSP, said the land belongs to Kamar Singh, a son of Jalla Singh of Gehnewalai in Jalalabad subdivision, who had absconded.


Employee turns swindler
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, July 7
It was the lust for money that compelled an employee of a local commission agent to concoct a story of theft of Rs 1 lakh.

According to Mr R.N. Dhoke, SSP, Hoshiarpur, Ajay Gupta of Bahadurpur had lodged a complaint that two motor cycle-borne youths snatched a bag containing the cash from him on June 22.

On his complaint, an FIR was registered under Sections 383 and 34, IPC.

During investigation, when the police questioned Ajay Gupta he admitted that he had fabricated the story only to embezzle the money. The SSP said the police had recovered Rs 1 lakh from him.


MBA/MCA counselling from July 16
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 7
Guru Nanak Dev University will start counselling for admission to Master in Business Administration and Master in Computer Applications from July 16 in the institutions affiliated to Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjabi University, Patiala, and Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar.

A university release said the counselling for MBA would be held in the Guru Nanak Bhavan auditorium, while the MCA counselling in Dasmesh Auditorium of the university.

Dr R.K. Bedi, coordinator, said the counselling for reserved categories would be held from July 16 to 18, while for the general category candidates it is from July 19. He said the detailed schedule of counselling would also be available on www.gnduonline.org.

Meanwhile, the university has extended the last day for the submission of application forms for admission to MA (Sanskrit) till July 31 without late fee.


IET Bhaddal girl bags Greek scholarship
Tribune News Service

Ropar, July 7
Ms Tasveer Kaur, final-year student of B.Tech (Computer Science) at IET, Bhaddal, was selected for Greek Scholarship to complete her M.Sc in Hospitality Administration. The other two students from India who won the scholarship from Romania.

Tasveer Kaur was selected in on-line worldwide talent search competition conducted by Trinity International Hospitality studies at Crete in Greece, informed the father of Tasveer Kaur, Mr Sukhjinder Singh, the Director of Sahibzada Ajit Singh Academy here.


Cotton millers decry govt policies
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 7
Protesting against the state government’s policies, the Punjab Cotton Factories and Ginners Association has decided not to offer any factory to Markfed and the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) in the coming season. The decision was taken at the general house meeting of the association here today.

Talking to The Tribune, association’s president Bhagwan Bansal, said that the state government had raised the period of minimum charges from four and a half months to six months. He said the government went on to fix this period from September 1 to February 28, which wasn’t the case earlier. He said the factory owners had a free hand in deciding this period in the past. He lamented that the government was charging Rs 60 per kilowatt as off-season charges from the cotton factories despite the fact that they were not consuming a single unit of power.

He also flayed the state government for imposing 1 per cent Punjab infrastructure development cess on all cotton factories. He said they were already paying 4 per cent market fee and RDF, besides 4 per cent VAT. He said there was no provision of any cess in other states of the country. He said the Punjab Pollution Control Board had issued notices to some cotton factories asking them to install noise control devices, though the board didn’t have a design of any such device. He said they would not offer any factory to Markfed or the CCI till their demands were met.


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