P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


SGPC meeting ends in fisticuffs
Our Correspondent

Patiala, July 25
Fracas erupted at an SGPC executive meeting held at Gurdwara Dukhniwaran Sahib here today with members openly coming to fisticuffs. The police intervened to pacify the agitated members, many of whom lost their turbans in the melee.

The trouble broke out when a section of the gathering started raising slogans against SGPC chief Avtar Singh at the venue. The SGPC task force too joined the free-for-all. According to eyewitness reports, the task force beat up members owing allegiance to the Akhand Kirtani Jatha and the Guru Granth Sahib Mission Committee.

A delegation of Sikhs from Kaki village wanted to meet Mr Avtar Singh but some members of the task force blocked their way. Following this they started raising slogans against the SGPC chief. Outnumbered by the task force and other Akali workers, the delegation members beat a hasty retreat but not before being roughed up by the task force members.

Turbans tossed around in the melee while many members of the delegation could be seen soaked in blood.

A police party from the Tripuri police station reached the venue and brought the situation under control.


Badal hails SC notice to CM
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Nawanshahr, July 25
Claiming to have exposed corruption cases of the highest order in the present government, SAD supremo Parkash Singh Badal has hailed the issuing of notices to the Punjab Government and the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh in connection with a petition seeking registration of FIRs against his two ministers, a Chief Parliamentary Secretary and the PPCC president.

He was addressing a press conference here today. He said a special leave petition (SLP) had been filed by an Akali MP against Mr Lal Singh, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats, and Mr Pratap Singh Bajwa, PWD Minister, Dr Harbans Lal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary for Removal of Grievances, and Mr S.S. Dullo, PPCC president.

He said the party was forced to take the step as neither the government nor the Assembly had taken any action on a report submitted in that regard by the Lok Pal to the Governor levelling charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

He alleged the Governor also sat over the report for more than a year before returning it back.

He said he wondered how the two senior ministers or the Congress chief in the state could face the public after such serious charges against them and a notice issued against them by the apex court.

The SAD chief repeated the story time and again as he met the farmers and arhtiyas (middlemen) at Dana Mandi, lawyers, teachers and other communities during a series of such functions held all through the day.

He announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh from the Akali MP Charanjit Singh Atwal’s discretionary fund for purchase of books for the library of the District Bar Association. He also garlanded a statue of Dr B.R. Ambedkar installed at a roundabout in the city.

Regarding the preparations for the coming Assembly poll, he said he had assigned the task of preparing election manifesto to senior leader of the party Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, who is heading a special committee set up for the purpose.

He said Mr Dhindsa had further set up subcommittees under him with members representing different sections of society.

Mr Badal lambasted the state government for poor law and order situation citing examples of two major crime incidents reported from Ludhiana, including the murder of a jeweller couple and the abduction and death of an industrialist’s son at Solan.


Foodgrains scam: 10 trucks impounded
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, July 25
The police today impounded 10 trucks from the Pathankot area in which FCI foodgrains were sent to Jammu and Kashmir. The drivers and owners of the trucks would now be questioned about the foodgrains they were to transport to FCI stores.

SSP Gurdaspur Paramraj Singh Umranangal told The Tribune that information regarding missing foodgrains of the FCI had been received after investigations. A large amount of missing foodgrains is likely to be recovered from Pathankot and Kathua areas.

The Shiva Rice Mills in Kathua has been identified to which the truckers sold 26 truck loads of FCI foodgrains. More complaints about missing FCI foodgrains had been received, he said.

Sources also pointed to alleged connivance of certain FCI officials in the scam. They told generally FCI officials give the receipts that foodgrains had reached the destination to the truckers despite the fact that the material is sold in the market.The transporters then get the amount for the transportation and matter ends. Foodgrains that is swindled is sold in the market and is shown to be destroyed in papers due to monsoon or other natural reasons.

In monsoon foodgrains especially wheat gathers moisture. Moisture increases the weight of wheat. Some officials of the procurement agencies then manage to sell foodgrains in markets and compensate the loss through increased weight of stock.

Another fact is that covered stores of the Central Ware Housing Corporation with storage capacity of more than 50,000 metric tonne foodgrains were vacant at Pathankot. Godowns of the corporation at other places in Punjab also are either occupied marginally or vacant.

However, despite that FCI hires open plinths from private owners to store the foodgrains in the open. Both the Central Ware Housing Corporation and the FCI function under the Union Food and Civil Supplies Ministry.

The FCI prefers to store foodgrains in open plinths of private owners despite the fact that cases of theft and swindling from these places have been more than when the stocks are kept in stores of the corporation.

The only excuse that the FCI has for hiring private plinths is that the storage charges of the corporation were high. However, with both departments under the same ministry the matter is not difficult to resolve the sources told.


Court intervenes in minor’s rape case
FIR registered after 14 days
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
The Punjab police have finally responded to the agony of the minor who was allegedly raped at gunpoint in Gobind Pura Papra village in Moonak on July 10. After sleeping over the matter for a fortnight, the Moonak police registered an FIR in the case yesterday but not until it had caught the attention of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Denied a hearing by local police authorities who did not even get a medical examination of the minor conducted, the victim supported by her family and the village panchayat, moved the High Court for justice yesterday. Taking up their plea, Justice M.M. Agarwal directed that the girl’s medical examination be conducted. The report of the test conducted at General Hospital in Sector 16, Chandigarh turned out to be positive.

Speaking to The Tribune today, the DSP of Moonak, Mr Satpal Singh, said the matter was being investigated after the case was registered. “We have conducted raids at the house of the alleged accused and his sister-in-law and we will soon solve the matter,” he said. On July 24 however the same police officer had maintained that the FIR in the case was not registered because the victim’s 
family had compromised in the matter.

“They have accepted money from the accused party and have settled the issue. That is why no FIR has been registered,” the DSP had told The Tribune on July 23, the day the victim and her family arrived in Chandigarh for seeking legal aid.

For their part, the girl’s family refuted police claims saying, “They beat up my younger brother on July 13 and forced him to sign the compromise documents. This despite the fact that all the panchayat members were with us, “alleged Pawan Kumar, the girl’s uncle from whose house she was taken away at gunpoint on the night of July 10. The victim was allegedly taken to the neighbouring house of the accused’s sister-in-law who allegedly assisted him in the crime.

Pawan Kumar added: “We went to SHO Moonak on July 11 but he did not attend to us. We then went to the SSP and the DIG but no help was extended. We even took the child to the local hospital but the doctors refused to conduct her medical examination.”

The hapless family came to Chandigarh as the last resort. Their advocate - a human rights lawyer - Mr Navkiran Singh told The Tribune today: “The police have faltered at various counts. To begin with, they forced the victim and her family into compromise little realizing that the law is against such practice. Rape is a non compoundable offence and is very serious.”

Furthermore, the law states that in rape cases the statement of the victim is enough for the conviction of the accused. But in the case in point the minor’s statement was not honoured by the police, and no FIR was registered until yesterday, said Mr Singh.

On the other hand the accused in the case alleged that the girl was in a habit of extracting money from people. “She took Rs 2 lakh from me,” he alleged, though he failed to clarify why he should have paid money if he had not established sexual contact with the girl. Even if the same was established with the minor’s consent, the offence is still made out as the law does not regard the consent of a girl below 16 years as valid for sexual contact.


Cong goes all out against drug abuse
Dullo exhorts all parties to join in anti-drug drive
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 25
Grass-roots level drug de-addiction campaign of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) to be launched from August 31 at all block headquarters is likely to change the miserable life of thousands of those addicts, who wanted to shun drugs, but have failed to do so in the absence of any practical initiative and motivational approach at such a large scale so far.

Seriousness of the PPCC leadership in helping people of state in fighting out an altogether different war on deadly drug front can be gauged from the fact that it has already decided to float a dedicated “anti-drug” cell within party’s organisational set-up from August 15.

The PPCC workers and office-bearers, who would be attached with the cell, would not only work as silent members of this proposed frontal organisation, but they would also fan out in townships and villages to identify and plug certain major points of flow and sale of drugs like heroine and smack. This, in other words, means that they would be exposing the well-knit drug trade in the state.

In order to avoid any further delay and to give a practical shape to their dream project, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo and Mr Parminder Singh, president and general secretary of the PPCC, respectively, would appoint district-level and block-level office-bearers of the proposed cell on August 31.

Interestingly, Mr Dullo has even put forth a piece of advice to leaders of other political parties to initiate a similar exercise for a “common noble cause”. “Drug abuse is a cause of concern for one and all. So, leaders of political parties should spare some of their valuable time and dedicate it towards drug de-addiction of people”, said Mr Dullo and Mr Parminder Singh.

Mr Dullo is perhaps the first political leader of Punjab, who has given a clarion call to leaders of all political parties without giving any consideration to party affiliations.

The leaders said since the Malwa region of Punjab had been the worst-affected part of the state as far as drug abuse was concerned, the PPCC, had planned to kick start its campaign from there only. It had already initiated a state-wide exercise under its ongoing mass contact programme to identify pockets and areas where drug-addiction had assumed alarming proportions leading to considerable damage at the social and economic levels.

What had been worrying the party leadership was the fast-paced proliferation of drug abuse and their inflow in the state, where, according to a rough estimate got prepared by the party leadership, more than 60 percent youths of the state were hooked to heroine, smack, charas, tobacco, poppy husk and liquor. Such a situation was not only leading to deterioration of health of common people, but was also upsetting their family budgets.

“Drug abuse has attained such serious proportions that I have often been confronted by women folks in rural and semi-urban areas. They want their husbands and children to get out of the quagmire of drug in any possible way. What has been disturbing me more is increasing number of untimely deaths due to consumption of drugs like smack, charas and heroine and disastrous ill-after effects of such deaths on the members of their families”, said Mr Dullo in an exclusive interview with The Tribune.

“Though, it is a big battle, fighting drug abuse and to drive drugs out of the state is not an impossible task as we have a vast experience of wiping out terrorism from the face of the state. Is fighting drugs a more daunting and demanding task than fighting militancy? Since by wiping out of terrorism in Punjab we had set-up a global example, we can do so once again in case of drugs, if we have a determination matching to that of late Sardar Beant Singh and if we are able to garner support of common people, especially, from our mothers, sisters and daughters”, said Mr Dullo.


SAD (B) backs truck operators
Tribune News Service

Ropar, July 25
The SAD (B) today came in support of truck operators who had been arrested by the Ropar police after they resorted to protest against Gujarat Ambuja Cement plant here in support of their demands.

The police had arrested the president of the Punjab Truck Operators, Tarlochan Singh, and president of another faction of the truck operators, Magar Singh, in an alleged case of embezzlement of Rs 10.79 lakh from the Ropar Truck Operative Cooperative Society funds.

The patron of the SAD, Sant Ajit Singh along with other local leaders would discuss the matter at a meeting tomorrow in Ghanauli, said a members of the SGPC. 


SAD-BJP councillors boycott meeting
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, July 25
Along with certain independent councillors, almost all directly elected Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and BJP councillors of the urban local bodies (municipal councils and nagar panchayats) of this district today boycotted a meeting, which had been convened to elect nine members to the Sangrur District Planning Committee (DPC) from among directly elected councillors.

Following the boycott of the meeting by the councillors, it was postponed on account of lack of quorum by Mr Gurtej Singh, SDM, Sangrur, who has been appointed by the Sangrur Deputy Commissioner to conduct the elections.

There are 12 municipal councils and five nagar panchayats in the district. However, no councillor from Moonak Nagar Panchayat turned up at the meeting. Only two councillors from Cheema Nagar Panchayat marked their presence at the meeting.

Talking to The Tribune here, Mr Gurtej Singh said out of total 263 councillors of the district, only 136 were present at the meeting. He had postponed the meeting as a quorum of 176 members was required for holding the elections.

He would issue a 24-hour notice to all councillors to hold the election meeting soon. Time and venue of for the next meeting would be mentioned in the notice, he added.

Mr Jatinder Kalra, a local councillor and district secretary of the BJP, said SAD-BJP councillors, along with some Independents, boycotted the meeting in protest against the “faulty” voting pattern adopted by the state government to elect the members from among the directly elected members of the urban local bodies to the DPC.

He said that pattern had been adopted to pave way for the victory of Congress councillors in the elections to the DPCs in the state. Besides more than 10 Independents and other councillors, around 110 councillors of the SAD and the BJP boycotted the meeting.

Twentythree members from among directly elected Sangrur Zila Parishad members were elected to the Sangrur DPC at an election meeting, held here yesterday. However, the Sangrur DPC will have a total of 40 members. Besides 32 elected members (23 from Zila Parishad and nine from urban local bodies), eight members will be nominated by the state government to the Sangrur DPC.


Peaceniks from France arrive in Amritsar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 25
A three-member French team arrived here today after passing through various European and Asian countries covering a distance of 19,000 km.

The leader of the team, Mr Clochon Ambroise (24), a mechanical engineer by profession talking to The Tribune said they started their tour in September 2005 and after traveling through north-west Africa, South America, Taiwan, Laos and China entered India via Nepal on July 9. The other members of the team are Mr Albahary Benoit (24) and Mr Bedhet Guillaume (27), mechanical engineer and dentist by profession, respectively.

Mr Ambroise said their main aim was to tour the world, meet various people of European and Asian countries and spread the message of peace. He said the people of India were very hospitable.

He said they would visit the Golden Temple, Durgiana Temple and other places of historical importance and after staying here for two days they would move to Pakistan through Wagah Joint Check Post.


Villages without potable water for 14 days

Hoshiarpur, July 25
Resentment prevails among residents of Majara Dhingrian, Chanthu Jattan and Paddi Khutti villages of Garhshankar sub division as they have not been getting potable water since July 12.

Gurmail Singh, Surinder Singh, Kulbir Singh, all of Mazara Dhingrian and Ashok Kumar of Paddi Khutti told this correspondent today that water supply to all the above said villages was being met from Mazara Dhingrian village water supply scheme which had outlived its utility. The authorities concerned had failed to make alternative arrangements for the supply. They were forced to take water from private sources.

Mr Jai Gopal Dhiman, president of the Social Democratic Party of India, who met the officers concerned in this connection said the Executive Engineer, Public Health, Garhshankar, had expressed his inability to make immediate arrangements for the supply of potable water. He said he had sent a proposal for the installation of a new tubewell for the scheme to the Superintending Engineer, Public Health and the Deputy Commissioner, Hoshiarpur. As soon as the requisite funds were made available, the installation would be done. — OC


Scanty rainfall cripples state farm sector
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
With rainfall being 33 per cent less than the normal during this monsoon season, Punjab agriculture sector is attacked on two fronts. Firstly, the cost of farms inputs is rising as farmers are using diesel-run engines to pump water and secondly the under ground water is depleting at a rate faster than usual.

The state Agriculture Department today officially conveyed it the Central Government that the cost of agricultural inputs was rising for paddy planted during this kharif season. Farmers using diesel as fuel to operate tubewells to irrigate their paddy fields has increased input costs, the Agriculture Department said. The Director, Agriculture, Mr Balwinder Singh Sidhu, confirmed the rise in cost and said he had already sent a note to the Union Government through proper channel.

Power is supplied free of cost to the farm sector in the state and it is available for not more than six to eight hours a day. This is sufficient for farmers who own 3 to 4 acres of land, however, those with bigger land holdings are forced to use diesel engine pump sets to save their crops during the dry spell, explained sources in the agriculture sector.

The crop would be saved but the correlating worry is the fast depleting under ground water that is being used at present to save the standing paddy that is worth billions of rupees in the state.

It may be mentioned, the Punjab Government has already sought help from the Central Government seeking a 25 per cent hike in the minimum support price (MSP) for paddy. The state has sought a jump from the existing MSP of Rs 600 per quintal to Rs 762 per quintal.

In Punjab, rainfall has been bleak and even the figure of 33 per cent shortfall does not represent the entire picture. The state should have received 186 mm of rain till date, actually it has only received 125 mm.

Other than Amritsar and Ropar, all other districts are deficient in rainfall. In certain parts such as Hoshiarpur there has been insignificant rain as the district has a 95 per cent deficiency, till now, says the data of the regional Meteorological office, here. Other badly affected districts is Punjab are Moga ( 80 per cent shortfall), Ludhiana ( 57 per cent), Sangrur (60 per cent) , Nawan Shahr ( 54 per cent), Bathinda ( 44 per cent), Patiala ( 48 per cent), Jalandhar ( 33 per cent) and Faridkot ( 52 per cent).

The only saving grace is the good rainfall in the catchments areas of the three rivers — the Satluj, the Ravi and the Beas — that feed the region.

Official sources in the Bhakra Beas Management Board today said water in dams was at a healthy level and was to the average that should be for this time of the year. The BBMB has so far classified this monsoon as a “dependable year” for the availability of water in these rivers. The worst classification is when the authorities says it is a “dry year”. The water level in the Bhakra dam was at 1, 611 elevation feet this morning. The level in the Pong dam was 1, 315 elevation feet.

Besides last year, when there was good monsoon and a good snow melt, the water level in these reservoirs had been lower for the corresponding periods. Engineers in the BBMB explained that comparing last year with this year was not correct as there was no fixed cycle of nature. Actually on the corresponding day in 2004 the level was 1, 530 ft in the Bhakra and 1, 288 ft in the Pong. The Ranjit Sagar dam across the Ravi had a level of 512 elevation meter today.


Yatra had approval of Takht chief: Sangat chief
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 25
National president of the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat (RSS) Gurcharn Singh Gill said the controversial ‘Sarb Sanjhi Gurbani Yatra’ was organised to mark quadricentennial celebrations of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib in March, 2004 after getting a ‘green signal’ from Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti Jathedar of Akal Takht.

Mr Gill said his organisation was formed in November 1986, two years after Operation Bluestar to improve image of the Sikhs in other parts of the country. He said the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat had contributed a lot to serve the community since its formation and convinced the countrymen that the Sikhs had made supreme sacrifices for the sake of country.

Mr Gill, who is an Additional Advocate-General, Rajasthan (Jaipur), said he had provided legal service free cost detainees to the Sikh on the request of the SGPC and the Shiromani Akali Dal in the past. ‘I can submit documentary proof to substantiate my claims’, he said.

However, it came as great shock to the RSS when Akal Takht had issued ‘unilateral directive’ asking Sikh Sangat not to cooperate with the Yatra. Mr Gill claimed that Jathedar Vedanti had made a volte face on the yatra when he came back from foreign tour.

Replying to another question, Mr Gill, claimed that Jathedar Vedanti and Mr Badal were fully convinced that his organisation (RSS) had been serving the Sikh Panth and had never violated any ‘Maryada’ (Sikh code of conduct) during their meeting with Mr Arun Jaitley and Mr R.P. Singh in August last year. ‘Our cadre had expressed its resentment to the BJP leadership over the unilateral directive against the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat and urged them to convince its political partner (Shiromani Akali Dal — Badal) to get the unilateral directive withdrawn, on the basis of the great service to Sikhism. ‘The friendship should be on reciprocal basis, the RSS workers had told the BJP leadership’, he quipped.

He also confirmed several meetings with Jathedar Vedanti and Mr Badal. Mr Gill said Mr Badal himself had accepted in principle, that the directive issued by Akal Takht should be withdrawn. He confirmed the ‘secret meeting’ between Jathedar Vedanti and BJP leaders, including Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu and Mr R.P. Singh in the presence of Mr Badal and SGPC Chief, Avtar Singh at Amritsar.


Book on Operation Bluestar released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Hardip Singh Dibdiba, a former personal assistant of Bhai Jasbir Singh Rode and a former Jatheder of Akal Takht, has written a book on the developments consequent to Operation Bluestar carried out by the Indian Army at the Golden Temple in June 1984.

Dibdiba alleged that the stance of his former boss, Bhai Jasbir Singh Rode was unprincipled during the years after the Bluestar Operation. He said the book also contained references to the talks held between Bhai Rode and various government functionaries at that time.

In the book he also said the Sikh community should not have any hope from Mr Simranjit Singh Mann or from late Gurcharan Singh Tohra and further said even the Damdami Taksal was not capable of leading the panth.

This book titled “ Saka neela tara toon baad” (after Operation Bluestar) has highlighted the weakness of the personalities leading the Sikh community at that time. The book aims to ask these leaders to look within their own conscience, he said. The book also advises the community to fight on issues.

The book was released last weekend by former Chief Justice Ajit Singh Bains. 


Protest by MC staff

Rajpura, July 25
Employees of the municipal council (MC) today held a demonstration here today to protest against the decision of the Punjab Government to abolish octroi with effect from September 1 next.

Criticising the government for its decision, speakers alleged that the decision would put the state exchequer under strain and increase unemployment among the youth.

The speakers threatened to intensify the agitation if the decision on octroi was not taken back by the government. TNS


Lawyers’ strike against forum judgement
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, July 25
Members of the District Bar Association today observed a strike and demonstrated in front of the office of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum in protest against its judgement announced on July 4, 2006, in the case of Harbhajan Singh of village Khanoor versus Punjab State Electricity Board.

Mr B.C. Gupta, president of the front, stated in the judgement, “It indicates that the concerned officer of the opposite party is not aware as to how a show-cause notice is to be drafted and as to how a speaking order is to be passed. It is true that some time after the reservation policy came in to force, all the officers cannot be intelligent enough to draft a show-cause notice, to get a reply and then to pass a speaking order.

“Since reservation has now become our fundamental right, if such a situation arises where an officer is not in a position to work, the assistance of a law knowing person from the Bar can be taken in order to see that work of the board continues smoothly,” the judgement said

Bar members, led by their president, Mr R.P. Dhir, in a procession went from the District Courts to the office of the front and raised slogans against Mr Gupta, who was on leave today. They staged a dharna and held a rally there.

They demanded that the remarks should be expunged. 


Senior forest officers resent postings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
There is resentment among a section of the state Forest Service Cadre officers of the Punjab Forest Department over the postings of certain junior officers as Divisional Forest Officers of territorial divisions, the main job of which is to conserve and promote forest cover.

Informed sources said the department authorities had posted certain junior officers as Divisional Officers( DFOs) of territorial divisions ignoring the senior state cadre officers. Some of the junior officers posted as DFOs of territorial divisions were ad-hoc promotees who were promoted against project specific posts. The sources said the project specific posts were to be abolished on completion of the project concerned.

There are 18 state cadre regular posts. And of these nine are meant for direct recruited officers and nine for promoted officers from the forest ranger cadre. The sources said senior most officers of the state cadre had been posted as DFOs against non-existing posts, while some were posted as Deputy Divisional Forest Officers. Whereas junior officers had been posted on important posts as Divisional Forest Officers in territorial forest divisions.

The sources further said the Forest Department had not posted any officer against the post of Divisional Forest Officer( Soil Conservation Division) in Hoshiarpur. The work of the Soil Conservation Division is being looked after by DFOs of territorial divisions of Hoshiarpur and Garhshankar. They said the state government had created three soil conservation divisions with headquarters at Mohali, Hoshiarpur and Pathankot. In Mohali and Pathankot, charge of the soil conservation divisions had been given independently to Divisional Forest Officers.

Some of the officers told The Tribune that the Chief Minister should order high-level inquiry into the postings of Divisional Forest Officers in the Forest Department.

They say that senior officers have been feeling humiliated because they have been posted on insignificant non-existing and junior-level posts of Deputy Divisional Forest Officers, whereas officers junior to them have been given important posts of Divisional Forest Officers of territorial and soil conservation divisions. And some of the junior officers have also been posted against important posts Divisional Managers in the Punjab State Forest Development Corporation.


Cooner given addl charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Dr P.P.S. Cooner, Director, Medical Research and Education, has been given additional charge of Director-Principal of the Punjab. Institute of Medical Sciences, Jalandhar. Orders were issued in this regard today.


Assailants kill one, injure two
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, July 25
Three motorcycle-borne assailants killed a person and injured two others here this evening.

Mr Bhupinderjit Singh Virk, SP, said Nishan Nishu, son of Tilak Raj, Surinder Singh, son of Shiv Kumar, Gurdev Vicky of Dashmesh Nagar, who worked as agents with ICICI Bank, were returning in a car from Dhar this evening when they were attacked with sharp-edged weapon by the assailants.

The assailants were later identified as three brothers — Amit Kumar, Anil Kumar and Nishu Kumar. They are residents of Qazipura mohalla here.

Mr Virk said Nishan Nishu was stabbed several times by the assailants which resulted into his death on the spot. Surinder Singh and Gurdev Vicky were injured in the incident. They were rushed to the local Civil Hospital where their condition was said to be out of danger.

The police has apprehended Anil and Amit, while Nishu is still absconding.

Mr Virk said the reason behind the murder seemed to be an enmity or the repayment of instalments of the motorcycle loan that had been taken through the said agents. A case has been registered.


Reluctant pupil stages own kidnapping
Tribune News Service

Nangal, July 25
In a dramatic turn, Amarjit Singh (15), who was said to have been kidnapped by an unidentified person in a red Maruti van yesterday, returned home safely today.

The boy, who had failed twice in Class VIII examination, did not want to continue his study. When his parents forced him to do so he enacted his own kidnapping, the police said.

A case of kidnapping had been registered against unidentified person on a statement of Sarvjit Kaur (10), Amarjit’s sister, who accompanied him to the market from where he had reportedly been kidnapped.

The SSP, Ropar, Mr Kapil Dev, said Amarjit had been agitated over his mother’s insistence to send him school. Yesterday, when he was going to the market to purchase fertiliser along with his two sisters, Amarjit told Sarvjit to narrate a false story about his kidnapping to his parents to gain their sympathy.

Amarjit told the police that he had boarded a bus to the Naina Devi temple and spent the night in a dharamshala there yesterday, the SSP added.


Woman held for selling minor daughter
Tribune News Service

Batala July 25
The Qadian police has arrested a woman on the charge of selling off her minor daughter for Rs 25,000. The SSP, Batala, Mr L.K. Yadav, said the police had received a compliant from Mr Mohinder Singh, grandfather of 14-year-old Manpreet Kaur.

He had alleged that his daughter-in-law, Lakhwinder Kaur, was forcibly marrying off her minor daughter to a 35-year-old resident of Tugalwal village, Rajinder Singh. The father of the girl was in Muscat for making a living, he said. The police has recorded the statement of the girl. She has alleged that her mother was forcibly marrying her off to an aged person. 


Doctor couple held for illegal abortion
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, July 25
The police arrested Yog Raj of Railway Road, Adampur, Dr Rajeev Gupta and his wife Dr Harash Bala, owners of the local Gupta Nursing Home, last night under Sections 376, 212, 363 and 120 B of the IPC and Section 5 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. They have been charged with abortion and rape of a teenaged girl of Manna village. An RMP doctor, Dr Nikka of the village, who is also involved in the case, has absconded.

All suspects were today produced in the court of Mr Kishore Kumar, Judicial Magistrate, who sent them in police remand.

Harpreet Kaur, alias Happy, had told the police that she had developed a love affair with Yog Raj about two years ago. One day Yog Raj took her to the house of his aunt where he raped her.

Meanwhile, she became pregnant. She went to Dr Nikka of her village, who took her to Gupta Nursing Home and aborted here foetus on Saturday.

Dr Rajiv Gupta said the girl posed herself as a married woman and registered herself to be the wife of Ram Sharan. She had been admitted to the nursing home with complaint of diarrhoea.


Cops told to trace missing woman
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Acting on the recommendations of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC), the Punjab Police has registered an FIR to probe the disappearance of a woman.

The PSHRC had asked the Home Department to register an FIR to probe the disappearance of Surjit Kaur of Nabha. Also the case was to be handed over to the crime branch of the Punjab Police. The PSHRC was informed by the Home Department that the relevant action had been taken on July 7. Consequently the PSHRC closed further proceedings in the case and has asked the police to proceed in the case, a spokesperson of the commission said yesterday.

The commission had received a compliant from the father of the girl alleging that she was being harassed for dowry and was missing for quite some time.

The father, Mr Ram Dhari, had apprehended that she had been eliminated. The Additional Director-General of Police, Intelligence, was asked by the commission to give a factual status report. The commission agreed with the report of the ADGP and had ordered the registration of the case.


Mohindra College Principal attacked
Ravi Dhaliwal

Patiala, July 25
The Principal of Government Mohindra College, Mr Daljit Inder Singh Brar, was attacked with sharp-edged weapons when he was addressing students in the college this afternoon.

He was admitted to Rajindra Hospital. At the time of filing the report his condition was stable. Mr Brar sustained injuries on the shoulders and left elbow.

A case under Section 307 of the IPC was registered at the Kotwali police station.

According to an eyewitness, Mr Brar was attacked with sticks and swords by two masked youths.

The assailants, who were chased by some teachers, escaped after scaling the main boundary wall.

A teacher said Mr Brar had been taking exception to the increasing cases of eve-teasing in the college which could be one of the reasons for some outsiders taking the step of attacking the Principal.

When contacted in the hospital, Mr Brar, who remained a national-level gymnast from 1964 to 1974, said some outsiders were in the habit of entering the college premises and used to extort money from students to buy drugs. He said he had told the police that he suspected the involvement of Sandy, Biru and Keepa in the attack.


Quality education, research to be priority, says V-C
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 25
Academics, research and quality of education of international standards to the students would be given top priority. Dr. Jai Rup Singh, Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) stated this to the media here yesterday.

He said the university would encourage public- private participation for encouraging all kind of research and would set up university-industry platform for developing university into a world-class research centre. He would welcome NGOs to work in coordination with university scholars to work out various scientific options for the betterment of society and the nation.

A renowned genetic scientist, Dr Singh said with the onerous administrative task of the university as a Vice-Chancellor he would continue to spare time for research in his own laboratory. Dr Singh who has already been credited with isolating four cataract genes said that his passion for research would never diminish.

To expose students and researchers to the international educational scene, Dr. Singh said that efforts would be made to promote international exchange programmes for the students, staff and the faculty on reciprocal basis. International research collaborations would also be promoted in all fields, he added.

About Guru Nanak Studies, the Vice-Chancellor said that his endeavour would be that the Department of Guru Nanak Studies achieves global recognition and develops as a world centre for Sikh studies. All those who are interested to learning about Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s philosophy, teachings and other aspects of Sikh Studies should look the university for getting all authentic information and guidance. He said the university would become a centre for excellence for Guru Nanak Studies. Commenting on the institute of Guru Granth Sahib Studies approved by the Prime Minister, Dr Singh said that he would look into the issue in detail in a few days and would make a serious attempt to revitalize the project with the UGC.

As far the development of the Punjabi language is concerned, the Vice-Chancellor said that he would see that Punjabi was promoted from the grassroots level in a scientific manner. He said emphasis would not be on the routine areas but on the research at the basics of the language, because Punjabi had been the language of the region. It would be ensured that the Punjabi language becomes acceptable to all and achieves its glory, which it deserves, he added. 


Vet varsity-London college collaboration
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
The Programme Director, Distance Learning, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, Dr Ayona Silva Fletcher, who visited Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University ( GADVASU), Ludhiana, has proposed a partnership involving the GADVASU and the UK Department of International Development and the British Council.

Dr Fletcher, who discussed the issue with Mr D.S.Bains, officiating Vice-Chancellor of the Ludhiana university, today said the partnership would play a useful role in the dissemination of knowledge on the working of the veterinary checks regime regulating products of animal origin to promote international trade opportunities for the farmers of developing countries.

This would assist in the development of a national framework to engage the farmer and veterinarians to work towards food safety in accordance with international standards.

Mr Bains said his university would select professors who would visit the Royal Veterinary College. The British Council would provide funds for travel and subsistence, facilitate joint research, new courses, networking and the exchange of ideas, workshops.


MA Pol. Sc. results
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Panjab University has declared the result of MA Political Science Part II and MA Political Science II semester and Gyani examinations conducted in April-May 2006.

The MA Political Science (II) and Gyani results would be available on the university website www.puchd.ac.in on July 26, 2006.

The gazette for MA Political Science II semester results will be available at the University enquiry counter on July 26 after 2pm for personal enquiry. No enquiry will be entertained on the telephone.


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