P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Roadshow by Amarinder postponed
till November 14

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
Market fee on timber would go, the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, announced at Patiala today during the state-level function to mark the Vishwakarma Day.

Lauding the creations of Lord Vishwakarma that inspired India’s craftspersons, artisans and workers for centuries and continues to give them strength and a sense of pride in their work, the Chief Minister said that Lord Vishwakarma created ‘Sone Ki Lanka’ (Sri Lanka) and ‘Indraprastha’.

The Chief Minister said the proposed roadshow of the Congress party would now commence after November 14 because he and the PPCC President Shamsher Singh Dullo have decided to hold ‘Jan Sampark’ rallies at the block level. A state-level rally would be held on November 14 to mark the culmination of these block level rallies and the venue would be announced later.

It may be mentioned here that the PPCC chief had expressed his ignorance about the proposed roadshow by the Chief Minister.

Asked about package for farmers after conceding the demands of the government employees, Capt Amarinder Singh said that the state government had already given substantial relief to the farmers in the form of bonus of Rs 50 per quintal on wheat and hike in the MSP of Rs.50 per quintal on paddy besides smooth and hassle free procurement of all their produce.

He said the government was also seriously working out for a viable package to bail out the farming community from the burden of rural indebtedness.

The state government garnered investments of Rs 86000 crore in the mega projects in industrial, agro, housing and township sectors in the state, he said, adding that Punjab was emerging as the future destination of investment.

Investors were not only from India but abroad also especially from Dubai, Malaysia and Singapore. Capt Amarinder Singh said that Punjab would be developed as the most modern industrial estate in the country as a new era of industrialisation had already dawned.

Thanking the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, for sanctioning hi-tech prestigious educational institutions- Indian Institute of Science at Mohali, the foundation stone of which was laid by the Dr Manmohan Singh last month, besides the institute of bio-technology and Nano Technology-were in an advanced stage of implementation.

Conceding the demands of the Vishwakarma Mandir Committee put forth by its Secretary Jagjit Singh Saggu, the Chief Minister announced a grant of Rs.25 lakh for setting up a Vishwakarma polytechnique institute at Sirhind road on the land of the committee.

He also directed the Mayor of Patiala Corporation Vishnu Sharma to bring out a resolution for the allotment of a suitable plot at Rajpura road for the construction of Lord Vishwakarma Bhavan and naming the traffic lights crossing near bus stand after Lord Vishwakarma. Besides he also announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh for the sewing school for girls being run by the Vishwakarma Mandir committee and also promised to declare a gazetted holiday on the occasion of the birthday of Lord Vishwakarma in future.

Meanwhile, Mr Jagjit Singh Saggu, joined the Congress.


Bhagat Singh’s nephew, 2 docs booked for cheating
Tribune News Service

Khanna/Ludhiana, October 22
The Khanna police has booked Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s nephew Prof Jagmohan Singh, his wife Dr Amarjit Kaur, and Dr Ravinder Singh Sidhu, owner of Sidhu Hospital, Doraha, on the charge of cheating in a land deal.

Prof Jagmohan Singh, however, alleged he and his wife, owner of Amarjit Hospital in Ludhiana, had been victimised at the behest of a Khanna-based Congress leader.

The police has registered a case after an inquiry on the complaint of Mr Roop Sachdeva of Gurdev Nagar, Ludhiana. He had alleged the accused had taken earnest money of Rs 60 lakh for selling him land worth Rs 3.80 crore located near Khanna bus stand.

However, on the day of the registration of the deal, the accused did not reach there. The FIR said the accused had struck the deal on the basis of possessing a power of attorney. Later, the owners of the land, Gurdeep Singh, and Mohinder Singh, both relatives of Prof Jagmohan Singh, sold the land to some other person.

The three accused also cancelled their power of attorney after that. Mr Sachdeva then approached the police seeking action for a criminal breach of the trust.

Prof Jagmohan Singh and his wife were not available for comments in their house here. Later in a statement e-mailed to the Press, he said the Khanna police had registered a false and illegal FIR against them at closing hours of a weekend , knowing that courts will be closed for the next three days.

He said this had been done with an ulterior motive and that too without investigations, to help meet bad designs of local Khanna land mafia and a Congress leader

He said mala fide intention was further confirmed because the statement submitted by him and Dr Ravinder Singh on October 18 at 10.30 a.m. to the Investigating police officer had been intentionally left out of the record of the FIR.

He claimed further the police had violated the latest directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the cases of land sale agreement. The court has laid down that such cases fall in the jurisdiction of civil court for specific performance. In this regard the cases are already pending in the Khanna Civil Court since May 2006 and the court has yet to give a final decision.

He added that the false case had been slapped against Dr Amarjeet Kaur knowing that she was passing through very critical health problems.


SSP marks inquiry against DTO
SP to submit report in 7 days
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Hoshiarpur, October 22
SSP Hoshiarpur R.N. Dhoke has ordered an inquiry into the DTO trap case to the SP Headquarters.

The SSP told The Tribune since it was a serious matter the SP had been directed to give inquiry report in seven days. Both complainant and the accused DTO would be called to get their statements recorded.

As reported earlier Mr Harvinder Singh Lally, a transporter had recorded his conversation on a tape with DTO Hoshiarpur Chander Gaind. In the conversation the transporter requests the DTO to reduce the Rs 2,0000 demanded from him by the officer.

The DTO, however, tells him he has been given the onus of organising a party at the club (Services Club). A dance troupe from Bombay was called for Rs 5 lakh and food for party arranged from Chik Chik restaurant, he has stated in the conversation. The deal was settled between complainant Harvinder Singh Lally and DTO at Rs 15000.

When it came to the knowledge of the district administration that the DTO has been caught on tape panic set in. The party stated in the services club for which a dance troupe from Bombay was to be called was cancelled to the chagrin of 600 members of the club.

Weather was cited as reason for the cancellation of the party. Meanwhile Mr Harvinder Singh Lally who made the complaint said he would take the matter to its logical conclusion. If the police fails to book the accused DTO for corruption he would move the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Social organisations have extended their support to Mr Lally for a stand against corruption in bureaucracy. Neither the ruling nor opposition leaders were silent on the matter. Some leaders of the district tried to pressurize the complainant to withdraw the complaint.


Sikh missionary excommunicated
for blasphemous writings

Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 22
Taking strong and suo-moto exception to the alleged blasphemous writings and statements by Prof Inder Singh Ghagha, an alumnus of Sikh Missionary College, Ludhiana, Akal Takht today directed the Sikh sangat to stop him forthwith from carrying out his religious activities all over the world.

In a directive issued on the letter head of Akal Takht, the Jathedar also took similar action against Prof Ghagha's associates, including Mr Gurcharan Singh Jeeonwala, Mr Manjit Singh Sahota, Mr Karamjit Singh Gill, Mr Amandeep Singh Kang, Mr Gurmit Singh , Mr Parminder Singh Parmar, Mr Jasbir Singh Mangat and their associates.

The development is considered unprecedented since Prof Ghagga and his associates were not given an opportunity to clarify their respective positions.

Finding the remarks too obnoxious, the Akal Takhat this time directed the Sikhs not to allow Prof Ghagha and his associates to speak from any gurdwara or panthak stage.

Earlier, one Bhag Singh of Ambala was also excommunicated on the same grounds for writing against 'benati choupai' and 'ardas'. However, he had presented himself before the Akal Takht and sought forgiveness. Later, Mr Gurbax Singh Kala Afghana was excommunicated from the Sikh panth for the same reasons.

Of late, many petitions had been pouring in against Prof Ghagha, He and his group had been indulging in blasphemous writings against the Sikh ideology and 'gurbani', they allege.

Interestingly, Ghagha claims himself to be associated with missionary colleges but the Sikh Missionary College, Ludhiana, declared that he was not associated with the institute. The same statement had come from Gurmat Gian Missionary College where Ghagha was teaching. Mr Gurcharanjit Singh Lamba, editor of the community journal Sant Sipahi, criticsed these statements saying that merely saying that he was not associated with them had no meaning unless these institutions condemned the writings of Ghagha and Kala Afghana.

Prof Ghagha who had been an ardent supporter of cop-turned- Sikh scholar Gurbakhsh Singh Kala Afghana, is presently in Canada. His speeches there triggered physical clashes between rival groups and the atmosphere was getting surcharged.

Ghagha started with casting aspersions against the 'bani' of Guru Gobind Singh and then came down to passing adverse remarks on the 'bani' and history of all the gurus.

The Akal Takhat directive has also given a stern direction to Sikhs not to cooperate in any of the seminars and conventions organised by Ghagha and his associates.


Wages of SPOs raised
Pension of police martyrs to continue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, announced grant of family pension to all 2280 officers and jawans of Punjab Police who made the supreme sacrifice to safeguard the integrity of the nation during the fight against terrorism.

The pension would not be slashed after seven years as per existing rules. Rather the beneficiary families would be entitled for full pensionery benefits. He also announced the decision to raise the salary of 2400 SPOs of Punjab Police from the existing daily of Rs 90 to Rs 150.

Addressing a function organised in Patiala yesterday to mark the 47th Police Commemoration Day in Police Lines, he lauded the significant role and outstanding contribution of the Punjab Police in maintaining law and order as well as in containing terrorism effectively in the state. He appreciated the professional commitment and deep sense of duty that was unparalleled in the annals of state police forces in the country.

He placed a wreath at the memorial of martyrs. A troupe of the PAP paid tributes to the martyrs for their glorious sacrifice by reversing their arms. A two minute silence was also observed.

Capt Amarinder Singh also announced a grant of Rs 17.84 lakh for the families of martyrs of Punjab police besides extending every possible help for the Police Welfare Fund specially created for them. Later the Chief Minister said that the process to fill the vacant post of ASIs and constables in the state has already been started.


Tributes paid to police martyrs
Tribune News Service

Ropar, October 22
Police personnel paid tributes to the police and security forces personnel who had sacrificed their lives for the nation on Police Commemoration Day observed at the Police Line here yesterday.

The SSP, Mr Kapil Dev, said Police Commemoration Day was observed in the memory of 10 CRPF jawans who had sacrificed their lives in 1959 in an attack by Chinese troops.

Since then, all states had been paying tribune to all those jawans who had sacrificed their lives for their motherland on the day.


Delay in Kathlore bridge inauguration
inconveniences motorists

Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, October 22
Wait of more than 57 years (after Independence) of nearly one lakh residents of Narot and Bamiyal blocks of this district to travel to their homes is awaiting political inauguration.

Kathlore bridge across Ravi connecting the said blocks with rest of the district is ready and is awaiting for a date from Chief Minister Punjab Amarinder Singh. Construction of the bridge was completed a month ago.

People of the area are still forced to cross the river even during night from the temporary bridge that is unsafe during night. Company officials who have constructed the bridge do not allow people to cross the river from constructed bridge as it has not been inaugurated by a VIP.

Residents demand they should be allowed to use the bridge since its construction has been completed. People do not want to be deprived of the use of the bridge just because some politician has not found time to inaugurate it.

The bridge is likely to trigger a political controversy. BJP MP from Gurdaspur Vinod Khanna has already visited the bridge site twice and held political rallies. He claims that the bridge has been constructed due to his efforts.

Meanwhile Mr Partap Singh Bajwa PWD Minister Punjab said claims of Mr Khanna are baseless. He alleged the construction of the bridge was started and completed during the term of the present government. The BJP has no role in the construction of the bridge.

People of Narot and Bamiyal blocks had been using boats to cross Ravi since independence. They remained cut off from the rest of the district during monsoon as the temporary bridge across the river was also removed for safety reasons.

Construction of the bridge started about 18 months ago and it has been completed within the stipulated time.


'Badal grinding his axe at Baba Buddha function'
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 22
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) will not allow the SAD to use golak money to foist Om Prakash Chautala and Navjot Singh Sidhu at the 5th centenary birthday celebrations of Baba Buddha on October 25 at Kathunangal, said SAD general secretary Gurjatinder Pal Singh Bhikhiwind here today.

The SGPC has shown utter disregard for the Sikh sangat by inviting leaders of anti-Sikh parties at this religious function. SGPC members of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) had written a letter to the Jathedar of Akal Takhat asking him to intervene and ensure that the SGPC allowed all parties, groups and sections of the Sikhs to participate in the celebrations.

Gurjatinderpal said the party had also appealed to all five Jathedars to immediately intervene in this regard. He said the SGPC members and all other leaders of the party led by party president Simranjit Singh Mann will attend the celebrations at Kathunangal. He further said party workers will form a human wall to prevent Om Prakash Chautala and Navjot Singh Sidhu to address the Sikh sangat. Politicalisation of the religious function will not be tolerated," he said.

He said the party questioned the rationale of the Badal Dal in converting the Baba Buddha ji birth centenary celebrations into an election rally with renegade leaders like Navjot Singh Sidhu as chief guest. This is a serious breach of trust of the Sikh sangat and the party will mobilise the masses against such practices. He further said the Sikhs were shocked that the entire publicity at the function focused on Sukhbir Badal and other members of his family while Baba Buddha had been relegated to the background. 


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