P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


SAD inciting unemployed youth: Amarinder
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, October 17
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today accused the SAD of breaking all ethical barriers of democratic system and instigating unemployed youth to disrupt Congress rallies.

He stated this following a protest by hundreds of employees belonging to the Zira Cooperative Sugar Mill, members of the Unemployed Art and Craft Teachers Union and the PSEB Lineman Association who tried to disrupt his address during a rally at the Makhu grain market today.

Things turned ugly when the police resorted to cane-charge against protesters. Some of the agitators sustained injuries. One of them, Bhola Singh, who suffered seriously injuries, was shifted to Ludhiana.

“Akalis are exploiting the sentiments of unemployed youth to further their political ambitions,” he said. The government was open to discussion and such pressure tactics would not help them achieve their goal.

He asked them to shun the path of agitation and come for a dialogue.

He said the SAD had no agenda going into the Assembly elections. “The Congress would win the elections in the state with a thumping majority”, he claimed.

Ridiculing SAD president Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Badal, the Chief Minister said they had amassed huge wealth by exploiting the common man.

He said he was confident that Mr Badal would be convicted for his misdeeds.

He added that once the apex court vacated the stay, his case would taken up by the lower court on a day-to-day basis as per the directions of the High Court.

On development, he said the Congress government had revived the sagging economy, introduced diversification of agriculture and garnered investment worth Rs 86,000 crore in the state.

Besides, the government had also passed a legislation to protect the river waters thereby saving the southern districts of Mansa, Muktsar, Bathinda, Moga, Faridkot and Ferozepore from becoming barren. He said Reliance Retail Ltd had promised to increase the income of an average farmer by four times. Through their prestigious project of 351 rural hubs in the state, they would provide marketing network and extensive services to farmers.


Thekedar returns to UK
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 17
UK-based separatist leader Jaswant Singh Thekedar had to go back to England when The Tribune broke the news about his entry into India on October 9.

Thekedar (60), an expelled leader of the Dal Khalsa International, who still carries a reward on his head, had attended a wedding at Ambala on October 8.

Thekedar was declared a proclaimed offender and carried a reward of Rs 50,000 on his head after he was accused of throwing cow parts in temples in Amritsar in 1982.

The UK-based Dal Khalsa leader, Mr Manmohan Singh, and Mr Sukhwinder Singh, Managing Director, Akaas Radio, while talking to The Tribune from England, confirmed that Thekedar returned to England. Mr Sukhwinder Singh alleged that he had received threatening calls on behalf of Thekedar for airing the discussion on the credentials of the separatist leader. The radio had alleged that Thekedar had relations with Rulda Singh, a Patiala-based Rashtriya Sikh Sangat leader. Mr Manmohan Singh dubbed Thekedar as a ‘government agent’ who went to India quietly without informing anybody in England.

It is pertinent to mention here that a case was also registered against Thekedar and three others, including Mr Manmohan Singh, Mr Rajinder Singh Mehta (now SGPC executive member) and late Sukhjinder Singh Khnuwan. While a case against Mr Mehta was withdrawn by the government and Kahnuwan died in the militant movement, both Manmohan Singh and Thekedar fled to foreign countries through Kathmandu.

Last year in August, Thekedar was rushed to St. Marry Pattingen Hospital in England in a serious condition after he was shot at near his house by two youths, one of them a Sikh.

Mr Gajinder Singh, president of the Dal Khalsa and one of the hijackers of an Indian Airlines plane, had expelled Thekedar from the organisation in 1986 for his alleged ‘anti-party’ activities.

The first criminal case was registered against Thekedar on July 20, 1979, at City police station, Gurdaspur, while the second case was registered against him on November 10, 1981, under the Press Regulation of Books Act in the same district. Three more cases were registered against him at police stations at Batala, Jalandhar and Amritsar in 1981 and 1982, respectively.


Indefinite curfew in Gharsana, Rawla
Raj Sadosh

Abohar, October 17
Indefinite curfew was imposed on the troubled areas of Gharsana and Rawla towns of the neighbouring Srigangangar district at 6 am today following yesterday’s violent clashes.

Army vehicles patrolled the troubled towns in the morning.

District Magistrate Kunji Lal Meena said the curfew would remain in force till the situation improved. He said the order was necessitated after the situation worsened following a farmers’ agitation yesterday.

More than 300 miscreants had pelted the police with stones after the protest march by farmers. After exhausting basic remedies, the police resorted to cane-charge and fired tear gas shells.

Two columns of the Army were deployed at Gharsana at 10 pm on Monday.

The columns drawn from Suratgarh Cantonment had been stationed temporarily on the BSF campus at Satrana and Anoopgarh.

The Kisan Beopari Sangharsh Samiti had held the rally after the expiry of week-long ultimatum for acceptance of demands, which included 65 per cent allocation of water on priority from the Indira Gandhi canal. Women also formed part of the march.

Around 10,000 farmers who attended the rally were forced to take refuge in the surrounding villages after the police used force to foil their bid to lay siege to the SDM office complex at 6 pm yesterday.

State president of the Janwadi Mahila Samiti Durga Swami said hooligans infiltrated the rally and disturbed the peaceful demonstration.

Most of them were drunk, she alleged. Around 100 persons were injured in the clashes.


Warrants against Damdami Taksal chief, son
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 17
A City Magistrate in Indore today issued for the third time arrest warrants against the Damdami Taksal chief and successor of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhinderanwal, Giani Ram Singh and his son Rajendeep Singh, both residents of Amritsar.

The orders were issued by the court while hearing the writ petition filed by Mr Ritinder Singh, president of the Gursikh organisation, against the DGP, Punjab, for not following court orders to arrest them. The court had issued bailable warrants against 21 accused and arrest warrants against three in the case, as per the fax sent by Mr Ritinder Singh. He alleged that Giani Ram Singh and his associates had published a ‘fake’ magazine in his name (Ritinder Singh).

The court, while issuing the fresh bailable warrants against the five accused, ordered to produce all of them on the next hearing on November 17.


High alert following intelligence report on suicide bombers
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, October 17
High alert has been sounded in Gurdaspur and Amritsar districts following the intelligence wing of the Border Security Force (BSF) intercepted wireless messages regarding attacks being planned by militant organisations on Army, Air Force and civil installations in these border districts.

Highly placed sources said here wireless messages of the Al Badar, the Hizbul Mujahedeen and the Lashkar-e-Toiba had been intercepted by the security agencies a few days ago. According to intercepted messages the militant organisations had sent 12 suicide bombers to attack vital installations in Gurdaspur and Amritsar districts.

Suicide bombers as per intercepted messages have been sent in groups of two members each. The militants are planning to target the Air Force station at Pathankot, the army installation in other parts of the district and international airport at Amritsar, the sources told.

After the messages were intercepted the information was passed by the BSF authorities to all security agencies in the area.

SSP Gurdaspur Paramraj Singh Umranangal admitted that such information had been received. He said the information had also been passed to the Army authorities.

Number of barricades and patrolling in sensitive areas had been intensified in the district. Other precautionary steps were also being taken, he said.

In the recent past the police had arrested three Hizbul terrorists from the Madhopur area of the district bordering Jammu and Kashmir. The militants were running a transport company in the area that allegedly was being used to ferry arms, ammunition and narcotics to and fro from the valley.

The police also had recovered arms and ammunition from the office of the transport company.

The arrested terrorists during interrogation revealed that a woman Rafata who was associated with the owner of the transport company was involved in espionage. She allegedly used to visit Army cantonments in the area and click photographs.

The police has procured arrest warrants of Rafata and owner of the transport company. However, the accused have not been arrested allegedly due to the non-cooperation of the Jammu and Kashmir police. The Punjab police now has initiated the move to declare the absconding woman Rafata and owner of the transportation company as proclaimed offenders.

Just a month ago another alleged Pakistan spy was arrested and photographs of vital army installations were recovered from his possession.

The interception of the wireless messages gives credence to the theory that the Jammu and Kashmir terrorists were active in border districts.


Peace assured during CM’s road shows
Our Correspondent

Abohar, October 17
Mr Harinder Singh Dhindsa, district president and other office-bearers of the Youth Congress, said here yesterday that miscreants would not be allowed to cause disturbance during Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s road-show rallies.

Mr Dhindsa and others addressed meetings of youth workers at Jalalabad West, Fazilka, Balluana and at the municipal town hall here before speaking to newsmen. They included state secretaries Mangat Ram Chayal and Amrinder Singh Tikka, district vice-president Manpreet Singh Brar alias Happy, district secretaries Preet Brar, Raman Behal, Sanjum Gulati, block presidents Sukhjinder Singh Brar Jalalabad, Rajinder Poonia Balluana, and Naresh Wadhwa of Abohar city.

The meetings were held to mobilize workers to make the district level rally on October 30 a grand success. Mr Vijay Inder Singla, state president, Youth Congress, will be visiting Ferozepore to address the rally.

Mr Dhindsa said more than 1.25 lakh workers would be enlisted for booth-level committees to ensure smooth and fair Vidhan Sabha elections in Punjab. Each committee will have 11-15 members. The lists will be submitted to Mr Singla and PPC president Shamsher Singh Dullo by November 15.


Congress meeting on October 19
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
The Punjab Congress will hold a meeting here on October 19 to finalise the preparations for the forthcoming visit of Mrs Sonia Gandhi to Punjab.

The meeting will also finalise the tour programme of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, to all Assembly constituencies in the state.

All office-bearers, executive committee members of the PPCC, Ministers in Punjab, MPs, MLAs, presidents of the District Congress Committees, permanent invitees and members of the All-India Congress Committee have been asked to attend the meeting.


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