P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Villagers allege pact violation by SGPC chief
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 16
The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) president, Mr Avatar Singh, allegedly allocated shops to his close relatives at Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences and Research at Vallah, thus violating the written agreement between former SGPC president late Gurcharan Singh Tohra and the sarpanches of Vallah, Qila Jiwan Singh and Hotian villages.

Stating this to the media here yesterday, Mr Tejinder Singh, Block Samiti member, and Mr Iqbal Singh, President of Land Join Action Committee, Vallah village, alleged that the SGPC chief allotted four shops to his close relatives from Ludhiana.

He alleged that these shop owners were charging exorbitant rates for the medicines. He further alleged that doctors on the directions of SGPC chief were advising patients to purchase the medicines from the stores in the hospital.

Mr Rajwant Singh and Mr Ravinder Singh, sarpanches of Hotian and Qila Jiwan Singh, villages, respectively, said that former the late Gurcharan Singh Tohra had promised them free treatment, service to one of the family members, and special quota in medical seats for the children of the villagers who had donated land for the hospital and medical college.

They further said that as per the agreement they were to be given shops in lieu of the land donated to the hospital. Besides, till the construction of the shops, the SGPC had to gave them Rs 1.10 lakh per year. But the SGPC had stopped the compensation for the last three years, he said. They threatened to sit on dharna at the hospital if the SGPC failed to honour its commitment.

However, when contacted, the SGPC chief refuted these allegations by saying that they had called the tenders and allotted these shops to those who had filled in minimum rates. The medicines supplied by the chemists at the hospital were cheaper than the market as these chemists were having many shops at renowned hospitals of the state and had their own drug-manufacturing units.

He said if any complaint was found true, he would take action against the chemist concerned. Fifty per cent profit of these chemists goes to the hospital for charitable purposes. Moreover, 30 to 40 persons of these villages were employed in the hospital as per the agreement, he added.


Marriage row: DSGMC not to issue certificate
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 16
Even as the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has decided not to issue a marriage certificate to the Sikh couple who entered wedlock in alleged violation of the Anand Marriage Act at Gurdwara Rakab Ganj, New Delhi, the Gurmat Parchar Jatha and family of the couple are in no mood to succumb to the pressure of Sikh clergy or Sikh organisations who have declared the marriage null and void.

Mr Baldev Singh, president, Gurmat Parchar Jatha, while talking to this correspondent, however, claimed that the marriage ceremony was held as per the Sikh maryada and he was ready for a debate with Sikh intellectuals on this matter.

Meanwhile, Mr Parmjit Singh Sarna, former president, DSGMC, while talking to The Tribune here today alleged that the jatha was the creation of SGPC chief Avtar Singh.

To a question, Mr Sarna refuted the charges that the record was tampered with after granting permission to perform the marriage. He said the DSGMC had already blacklisted the Gurmat Parchar Jatha and those found guilty of arranging the marriage.


Death of Dalit boy in police custody alleged
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 16
The death of a 20-year-old Dalit boy, Balwinder Singh, alias Ballu Singh, resident of Chathe Sekhwan village, near here, today confused mediapersons as Gurpal Singh, elder brother of the deceased, said his brother had died in police custody while the police claimed that he had fled from the fields where he had been taken for the recovery of the money which he had allegedly stolen from the shop of a person of the same village.

Talking to The Tribune here this afternoon, Mr Surjit Singh Grewal, SP (D), Sangrur, said one Shiv Kumar of Chathe Sekhwan village lodged a complaint with the Sangrur Sadar police on September 14 that Ballu Singh had stolen Rs 3,700 from his shop. The SHO marked the complaint to ASI Kashmira Singh for investigation. Some persons, along with Ballu Singh, came to the police station where the ASI told them that during preliminary interrogation Ballu Singh had already confessed that he had hidden the stolen money at a tube well motor in the village. ASI Kashmira Singh, along with them, went to the tube well motor on September 15 in the evening.

Mr Grewal further said, according to ASI Kashmira Singh Ballu Singh fled from the fields on some pretext.

Mr Grewal said the deceased’s relatives had levelled charges on Shiv Kumar, Kala Singh, Harbans Singh, Ishar Singh, Nirmal Singh and Sukhdev Singh that they had got Ballu Singh murdered by way of getting him “beaten up” severely by the police. He said so the police registered a case under Sections 302, 148 and 149 of the IPC against the six persons.

On the other hand Mr Gurpal Singh, elder brother of the deceased, claimed that ASI Kashmira Singh along with some policemen had picked up his brother from the village in the morning. When he, along with members of the panchayat, came to the Sangrur Sadar police station the ASI told them that Ballu had not confessed to the theft. So they should come the next morning. But the next morning they saw the dead body of Ballu. This showed that Ballu had died in police custody, he added. He also demanded the registration of a case against ASI Kashmira Singh and other persons who had brought his brother from the village.


9 councillors demand MC’s dissolution
Our Correspondent

Batala, September 16
Nine Municipal Councillors, talking to mediapersons here today, demanded the dissolution of the council and sought a CBI inquiry into the misappropriation of fund for development work undertaken by the council recently.

There are 26 councillors of the Congress, headed by Mr Subash Sekhri, a close relative of Mr Ashwani Sekhri, Parliamentary Secretary, Punjab, and MLA from Batala, while the remaining seven belong to the SAD-BJP alliance.

It was alleged that Rs15 crore had been shown to be spent on development work but a major portion had been misappropriated by certain contractors led by an ex-employee considered to be the righthand man of the MLA.

The contracts had been awarded to relatives of certain councillors against the rules. There was no proper checking of the work and no staff to supervise it. Even the Executive Officer appointed at Batala belonged to the class III group, though the council fell in group A, they said

All nine councillors, Sukhdip Singh, Tirlochan Chanda, Harinder Singh, Rattno Devi, Pinki Pamma, Pawan Sharma, Harinder Singh Kalsi, Joginder Angurala and Inderjit Kaur Bhola, demanded the immediate dissolution of the council.


CM promotes honest ASI
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 16
Honesty does pay. And ASI Karnail Singh learnt it today when the Punjab DGP, on instructions from the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, promoted the police official to the rank of a Sub-Inspector keeping in view the fact that Karnail Singh had once returned an amount of Rs 10 lakh to the kin of an accident victim.

Way back in 2000, Karnail Singh, who belongs to Bhatton village in Fatehgarh Sahib district, was performing his highway traffic patrol duties when an husband-wife were among 18 who died in a road accident near Phagwara. Karnail Singh found Rs 10 lakh in cash from the vehicle of the couple and returned the same once he identified the kin of the victims.

Today, it turned out to be red letter day for Karnail Singh when the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, recommended on the spot his promotion as a Sub-Inspector on the occasion of the seminar held at Thapar college on traffic management and road safety.


Protest against demolition of temple wall
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, September 16
On a call of the local Maharishi Balmik Society, shopkeepers of Garhdiwala town, 28 km from here, observed a complete bandh today.

They were protesting against the demolition of a portion of the boundary wall of a Balmiki temple, desecration of the idol of Maharishi Balmiki and the epic Ramayana and ploughing of about 3 kanal of temple land allegedly by Harbhajan Singh of Ambala Jattan, along with his accomplices last evening.

On receiving information, members of the Balmiki community got agitated and assembled at the temple. They were demanding the registration of a case against the culprits and their immediate arrest.

Mr Paramjit Singh, SDM, Dasuya, along with Mr Tarlochan Singh, DSP, visited the site and assured them that strict action would be taken against them.

According to Mr R.N. Dhoke, SSP, Hoshiarpur, a case under Sections 295 A, 380, 447, 427, 148 and 149 of the IPC has been registered against the accused and the police has arrested Harbhajan Singh.

According to the police, about 40 years ago, a piece of 4 kanal land was given to them for the construction of the temple and patwarkhana. The temple was constructed in 2 kanal and the patwarkhana in 2 kanal and 5 marla.

Harbhajan Singh, who has land adjoining it, had tried to take possession of the land.

Meanwhile, activists of the Bhartiya Balmiki Dharam Samaj of Hoshiarpur unit, led by Anil Hans, president, Mohinderpal and Mohan Lal, both Municipal Councillors, staged a protest march at Clock Tower against the incident. They submitted a memorandum to the SSP in which they demanded strict action against the culprits.


Brahma Kumaris’ team gets rousing welcome
Our Correspondent

Abohar, September 16
Residents of border villages here accorded a rousing reception yesterday to the Swarnim Bharat Yuva Padyatri team of 31 persons, led by Brahma Kumaris Kamlesh and Prashanti, both hailing from Mumbai.

Mr Surinder Chugh and Mr Lila Dhar Sharma, senior functionaries of the Sulemanki Border Development Front, received the team with bouquets and flowers.

They said it was appreciable that youths of the country were walking together to manifest their creative energy so as to awaken people.

Brahma Kumaris Kamlesh and Prashanti were accompanied by Brahma Kumari Pushplata from Abohar and Brahma Kumari Priya from Fazilka

The Pakistan Rangers and nationals, who had assembled across the zero line to enjoy the Retreat Ceremony, watched the white-robed Brahma Kumaris with curiosity as they hoisted the flag of peace and prayed for improvement in relations with the neighbouring country.

They later visited the war memorial raised to remember the jawans and officers of 4 Jat Regiment, who had made sacrifices during the 1971 Indo-Pak War.


Army to probe digging up of road
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
The Army will investigate the circumstances under which a road made by the civil authorities in Batala was reportedly dug up by Army personnel, leading to a loss of Rs 15 lakh.

"We have sought details in this regard from the local Army formations in Tibri cantonment and will initiate action accordingly," a senior officer at Headquarters, Western Command, said. "It could be due to security concerns or the land may have been earmarked for some project," he added.


9 panchayats back move to ostracise woman
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, September 16
Nine more panchayats of nearby villages have supported the stand of Atti village panchayat led by Sarpanch Rajwinder Kaur to ostracise Rupinder Kaur from the village for her alleged involvement in flesh trade. A mahapanchayat of 10 villages jointly passed a resolution to announce her social boycott for trying to involve village girls, including her daughter, in the trade.

According to the compromise reached between the parties, the panchayat would give Rs 1.10 lakh to the woman, who would leave the village within 10 days.


Justice Aggarwal calls for speedy trial of cases
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Mansa, September 16
The first anniversary of the establishment of Mansa Sessions Division was today celebrated at the Judicial Complex here. Mr Justice S.N. Aggarwal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court was the chief guest on the occasion.

He also inaugurated a blood donation camp on the occasion, where about 20 persons donated blood.

Besides Mr Justice Aggarwal, Mr R.P. Nagrath, District and Sessions Judge, Mansa; Mr M.S. Chauhan, Additional District and Sessions Judge; Mr S.K. Sachdeva, Chief Judicial Magistrate; Mr Ram Singh, SSP, Mansa; and Mr Sudhir Garg, president of District Bar Association (DBA), Mansa, were also present.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Justice Aggarwal appreciated the efforts of the members of the Mansa DBA, especially Ajit Singh Bhangu and Inderjit Singh, in setting up of the Sessions Division here. He also said the judiciary and the Bar should make efforts together to provide speedy justice to the people.

Earlier, senior member of the DBA Ashwani Kumar spoke about the setting up of courts at different times at Mansa. A skit on illiteracy was also presented by school students at the function.


2 acquitted in rape case
Tribune News Service

Ropar, September 16
A local court today acquitted two accused, Labh Singh and Babu Ram, in the Naya Gaon minor rape case. The court directed the prosecution to file a separate challan against seven persons.

The court also framed charges against the accused, Kesar Singh, Avtar Singh, Shamlal and Ramgir, besides others. The next date of hearing was fixed for October 26.

The special investigative team, constituted by the Punjab and Haryana High Court had filed a challan against 25 accused last year. The challan had been filed against the accused under various sections of the Arms Act, the Prevention of Corruption Act and the SC and ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.


Fake currency racket busted, 8 arrested
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 16
The Special Narcotic Cell (SNC), formed recently by the state police, has arrested eight persons allegedly for carrying fake currency worth Rs 3.24 lakh.

The accused have been identified as Karam Singh, alias Karma, of Jagdev Kalan (now residing in the Kot Mit Singh area), Hardial Singh of Tarn Taran, Sukhwinder Singh of Sultanwind Road, Sultan Masih of the Civil Lines area, Mangal Singh of Tungbala, Shiv Dyal of Ghanupur Kale, besides Jaswant Masih Singh and Gurmit Singh of Batala. The accused were arrested from Ranjit Avenue market after a tip-off.

Earlier, Karam Singh, Hardial Singh and Gurmit Singh, alias Doctor, had escaped from the city centre bus stand on September 6 after a police raid while two of their accomplices were arrested with fake currency worth Rs 3.40 lakh.

It was found during investigation that the accused had bought the fake currency from a gang operating in Uttar Pradesh, which was further linked to other gangs operating along side the Nepal border. Interestingly, the gang used to hold meetings at religious cities and locations like Hardwar and Mata Chintpurni Devi.

SSP Makhan Singh said Karam Singh was the kingpin of the gang and was wanted in several cases of trafficking fake currency and drugs in the state and other parts of the country.

A massive drive had been launched to probe the links of accused in Delhi and UP, he added.

The police also recovered a Bolero jeep from their possession, the SSP said, adding that a case under Sections 489-A, 489-B, 489-C and 420 of the IPC had been registered.


Man, daughter-in-law done to death
Tribune News Service

Chamkaur Sahib, September 16
In a gruesome case of double murder, an aged man and his daughter-in-law were done to death by two unidentified persons in Roorkee Hira village here in the early hours today. The assailants committed the crime by hitting the victims, Sarja Singh (70) and Baljit Kaur (31), repeatedly with sharp-edged weapons.

The body of Sarja Singh was found lying in a pool of blood in the courtyard of his house while Baljit Kaur’s body was lying inside her room. Simran, the eight-year-old daughter of Baljit, was unhurt.

The police is yet to ascertain the exact cause of the crime, but it suspects personal enmity or property dispute could be motive. Senior police officials, including DIG Parag Jain and SSP Kapil Dev, visited the spot this afternoon.

Baljit was the wife of an NRI, Ravinder Singh, who is settled in the UK for over seven years. Sarja Singh had worked for many years in different countries, including in Dubai as a mason.

According to the preliminary investigation, the accused had come with a motive of killing alone and not for robbery, as nothing was found stolen from the house.

The accused had brutally inflicted injuries on the neck, chest and other parts of the victims.

The post-mortem has been conducted at the Civil Hospital, Ropar.

SSP Kapil Dev said no arrest had been made so for. A case of murder had been registered at Chamkaur Sahib police station against the unidentified persons, he added.


2 kidnapping cases registered
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, September 16
Two cases of abduction of girls have been registered in Tanda and Talwara Police Stations of Hoshiarpur district.

According to the police sources, Israil, son of Alamdeep Gujjar of Jandera district, Chamba, residing at Masitpal, alleged in his complaint to the Tanda Police Station that Jameel, son of Gama of the same village, abducted his daughter Sherbano on August 24.

In another complaint, Romesh Kamal, son of Babu Ram of Talwara, alleged that Deepak, son of Romesh Chand and his mother Urmila, resident of the same town, also abducted his daughter on September 13 for marriage purpose.

Two different cases under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC have been registered against the above said accused.


Woman ends life, in-laws booked
Our Correspondent

Kharar, September 16
A resident of Ballomajra village allegedly committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance.

According to information available, Jyoti took the extreme step last night. She was taken to the PGI, Chandigarh, where she died.

A brother of the deceased who lives in Nalagarh complained to the police that her sister was allegedly harassed by her in-laws. He said her sister had got married to Jasbir Singh about four years ago. He alleged that she was often beaten up by her in-laws.

The police has booked Jasbir Singh, his father, mother and brother in this regard.


Mobile phone seized from prisoner
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 16
The jail authorities seized a mobile phone from Jaswant Singh, who was in prison in a sensational Prabir kidnapping case, in high-security Amritsar Central Jail here yesterday.

According to information, Jaswant Singh had gone to Jalandhar along with a police team in connection with hearing in a case yesterday. The authorities were investigating as to how and when he got the mobile phone. The involvement of the police team, which had gone with the accused, could not be ruled out.


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