P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


200 passengers stranded as flight cancelled
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 6
About 200 passengers were stranded here today as the Air India flight No 187 was cancelled as it was grounded in Delhi for technical reasons.

According to sources, the Delhi-Amritsar-Birmingham-Toronto-bound flight, which was scheduled to arrive here at 10 in the morning, was grounded in Delhi due to technical reasons.

The airline authorities have made elaborate arrangements for the passengers in the local hotels. The sources said the arrangements were also being made by Air India to arrange a special flight to take these passengers to their destinations.



Pensioners flay govt attitude
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 6
Mr Sat Pal Rahi, Senior Vice-President, Punjab Pensioners Welfare Association, said today that all pensioners criticised the attitude of the Punjab Government for not allowing 5 per cent additional pension at the age of 80 to the pensioners, who had served for 30-40 years, as the same was being given to MLAs for remaining in the Vidhan Sabha for five years only.

Mr Rahi in a press note issued here said the association at an emergency meeting held in the mini secretariat criticised the Congress for not fulfilling its poll promise that gratuity would be enhanced. He added that instead of increasing the gratuity the pensioners were not given DA for a certain period.

The pensioners were not being given rent/maintenance allowance, medical allowance as promised by Mr Surinder Singla, Finance Minister. The pensioners were being denied this benefit despite the fact that the state government was bound to take care of medical and other facilities of the pensioners.

He said other demands included the payment of DA. to family pensioners, stopping of commutation formula not considered from July 31, 2003, and the denial of increase of 0.5 per cent after qualifying service above 33 years at every half year.

He said the association had also requested to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to call the meeting to sort out the matter at the earliest as the Assembly elections were approaching near.


No headway in murder probe
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Anandpur Sahib, November 6
The inquiry ordered by the DIG, Punjab, into the murder of a woman, Prema, has not yielded any result. The body of Prema, mother of three children, was found in the local canal three months ago here.

Suresh Kumar of Kalsera village in Anandpur Sahib, brother of the victim, has been running from pillar to post seeking justice, but all his effort have proved futile.

He approached the DIG after the police closed the case claiming it to be a case of a missing person.

The DIG, Mr S.S. Virk, marked a re-inquiry into the case to the SSP, Fatehgarh Sahib, last month following a complaint by Suresh. “My sister had disappeared on the night of August 11 under mysterious circumstances. There was ample evidence that she had been murdered, but nothing came out,” he said.

An employee of the Kotla powerhouse had told senior police officials that he was forcibly picked by the police to fish out the body of a women floating in the Kotla power house and that it was later dumped in the Bhakra canal, he added.

She had gone missing after she left for her in-laws house. Due to political pressure, nothing had come out yet, he claimed. “Besides the DIG, I have sent a complaint to the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister, the Chairman of National Commission for Women, the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission in this regard,” he added.


Police magazine released by Virk
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
The Director-General of Police, Mr S.S. Virk, today released the first issue of a monthly magazine, Punjab Police Darpan, that is produced, edited and published by the state police.

The DGP said the Punjab Police had not been able to project its true image before the public. The public even today dreads the police and thinks of it as a brute force which is devoid of compassion, human values or emotions.

The good work done by the police never comes to the notice of the public. Rather, the black sheep among the police ranks get wide and excessive publicity, observed the DGP. Replying to a question, Mr Virk said the magazine would have information on the employment of constables in various battalions and also training centres. He said members of the public were also welcome to contribute write-ups and would be paid for these.” We will not hesitate to print negative aspects also as it is critics that help one grow,” he added.

The magazine would allow the public to read “our side” of the story as well. It would make the police aware of the problems being faced by the public. It would also alert and caution the police about their aspirations and expectations from us, said the DGP.

While Mr Virk will the Editor -in Chief of the magazine, Mr B.K. Uppal, DIG, Intelligence, will be the Managing Editor. The editorial advisers include former DGP K.P. S. Gill and well-known Punjabi poet Surjit Pattar.


JEs protest in a novel way
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 6
The Junior Engineers and Additional Assistant Engineers (AAE) of the PSEB today switched off their official mobile phones in protest against the non-settlement of their demands by the management. The engineers will also switch off their mobile phones tomorrow.

Mr Davinder Singh, general secretary, Council of Junior Engineers, PSEB, in a press note issued here today, said despite a meeting of the council with the management on November 4 no demand of the engineers were met due to the indifferent attitude of the board management.

He said on the one hand the management had extended mobile phone facility with a financial limit for outgoing calls to certain officers, which did not require the same on the other hand the junior engineers and the AAEs, who were directly involved in maintaining the continuity of power supply and execution of development works, were being ignored deliberately.

He added that the management was also not compensating the cost of 30 litres of petrol as provided in the agreement of March 14, 1998, and continuously delaying it causing financial hardship to junior engineers in performing official duty. 


PSEB staff strike today
Our Correspondent

Abohar, November 6
The Joint Struggle Committee of the employees of Punjab State Electricity Board has given a call for strike all over Punjab on November 7. The Technical Services Union (TSU) at a meeting presided over by Mr Ved Parkash here yesterday resolved to organize gate rallies at the sub divisional offices in Abohar circle while ensuring complete strike on Tuesday.

The employees will show black flags to the members of the PSEB management and submit memorandums to the members of Punjab Cabinet during their tours on the day, Mr Krishan Chand, secretary, TSU, said. The TSU demanded that the Electricity Bill 2003 be scrapped, privatization through outsourcing be stopped and all vacancies based on the work load be filled.


West Bengal ‘yet to rehabilitate sweepers’

Hoshiarpur, November 6
Ms Santosh Chaudhry, Chairperson of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK), has condemned the West Bengal Government for its failure to remove the legacy of sweepers and scavengers who are still leading miserable life and carrying human excreta on their heads.

During her recent visit to West Bengal, she inspected the municipal area of Bhatpara North 24 Paraganas. She was startled to find that all the tall claims of the West Bengal Government for the rehabilitation of sweepers and scavengers were false.

"It is most unfortunate that the West Bengal Government, which always takes pride in fighting for the rights of workers, had remained grossly inactive so far as the plight of the manual scavengers and sweepers is concerned." she said.

Ms Chaudhry was talking to media persons here last night. She said that Central Government had released Rs 7.23 crore to the state since 1992, of which Rs 3.50 crore had been spent only. These funds had been released with a view to improving the social and economic condition of sweepers. — OC


First aid training camp concludes
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 6
As many as 65 employees of DMW attended the six-day first aid training camp organised by the District Red Cross Society, which concluded here today. All participants were given certificates by the society.

The DMW employees were given training in first aid, health awareness and handling of victims.

Dr Mool Narayan, MS, DMW Hospital, said a trained person could maintain his own health and serve others also. 


Bail pleas withdrawn in cop-residents clash
Our Correspondent

Barnala, November 6
The bail applications of about 152 persons in the police-residents clash over a gurdwara land demarcation on October 11 at Bhadaur, about 25 km from here, were withdrawn today.

Giving this information to the reporter today, Mr Inderpal Singh Chahal, who is heading the panel of lawyers praying for bail of the accused, revealed that the bail applications were moved in the court of Mr Fatehdeep Singh, Additional District and Sessions Judge, Barnala, and had to come up for hearing today.

Mr Chahal made it clear that the bail applications were withdrawn at the instance of an 11-member panel formed under the name of Bhadaur Kaand Action Committee.

He further said a five-member panel of lawyers comprising Mr Nachhattar Singh Brar, Ms Manjit Kaur, Mr Jatinder Kumar and Mr J.S. Dhillon was assigned the task of pursuing the bail case.

The names of Mr Balbir Singh Ghunas, MLA, Bhadaur, Mr Ajay Kumar, a leader of the Lok Bhalai Party, Master Gurmail Singh Bhutaal and Comrade Inder Singh Bhinda have been mentioned in both FIRs along with 152 others of the Kaafi Lok- Hazoom.


Another bride falls victim to greed
Tribune News Service

The husband and mother-in-law of the woman who was allegedly poisoned to death in police custody in Amritsar on Monday.
The husband and mother-in-law of the woman who was allegedly poisoned to death in police custody in Amritsar on Monday. — A Tribune photograph

Amritsar, November 6
Traffic was blocked here today by parents and relatives of a woman who was allegedly poisoned to death by her in-laws. They also forced the police to arrest the victim’s husband and mother-in-law, both residents of Tarn Taran.

A large number of relatives of the deceased assembled outside the private hospital where the deceased was admitted by her in-laws a critical condition without informing her parents or the police.

The agitated relatives of the deceased held a dharna on the Amritsar-Wagah road and raised slogans against the police. They ensured that the accused did not flee the hospital. The dharna was lifted only after they were arrested.

Sharnjit Kaur (25) had married Jatinder Singh. Mr Amrik Singh, father of the deceased, alleged that his daughter used to be harassed for dowry. She was poisoned and brought to the Government Hospital where doctors refused to admit her. However, a private hospital admitted her, allegedly without completing legal formalities.

The police has also booked the sister-in-law of the victim. The in charge of the Circuit House police chowki, Mr Surinder Kumar, said a case had been registered against the accused.


Bank theft or embezzlement?
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 6
Though the Bhawanigarh police had initially registered a case of theft that took place at the Kalajhar village branch of the Sangrur Central Cooperative Bank, it has now started investigating from the angle of embezzlement or fraud.

Talking to The Tribune on telephone today, Mr Pawan Kumar Singla, district manager of the Sangrur Central Cooperative Bank, said someone on November 5 made a call to the Channo police chowki, saying that someone had parked a vehicle near the bank. When the police reached there it found that the occupants of the vehicle had already fled the scene.

He said he was of the view that this was not a case of theft as the safe of the bank was intact and it had been opened with keys. He said after checking the records they found Rs 14,73,937 less. He added that Mr Bharpur Singh, cashier-cum-branch manager of the branch, was not present today.

The Bhawanigarh SHO told this reporter that earlier the police had registered a case of theft but after recording the statement of the district manager it seemed to be a case of fraud/embezzlement. He said the latter had told the police that the safe of the bank had been opened with keys and these were with the branch manager. 


Intoxicating drugs seized during raid
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 6
Intoxicating drugs in large quantities have been seized from some medical stores in Rampura Phul and Maur Mandi during raids conducted by the Drug Inspector and health officials.

The Civil Surgeon, Dr Maninderjeet Singh, said the raiding team seized 11,900 tablets of phinotil, 1,800 capsules of nitrozipam, 192 capsules of spasmo proxivan and 88 bottles of corex cough syrup from Dr Mathra Singh and Sons in Rampura Phul. Similarly, AK Medicos in Rampura could not produce its sale record.

It was also found that Schedule H drugs were being sold at the shop in the absence of a competent person.

Om Medical Hall, Maur Mandi, was running a clinic laboratory from the same premises and it failed to produce its sale record. It also came to light that a competent person employed at Anand Medical Hall had left his job and medicines were being purchased and sold in the absence of any able individual. The Civil Surgeon said it was clearly a case of violation of the Drugs Cosmetics Act.


Four booked in murder case

Amritsar, November 6
Ramdas police has booked four persons, including a member panchayat of Gagomahal village for allegedly killing Gurmail Singh of the same village.

Earlier, it was reported that the deceased had committed suicide as his body was found hanging with a fan on October 30.

The accused have been identified as Sukhi, wife of Kala Singh, Narain Singh, and Bhura. No arrest was made till now.

Bir Singh, father of the deceased in his complaint lodged with the police alleged that on the incident date, he was informed by Kala Singh, member panchayat, that his son had committed suicide. He said he and his family members were not home at the time of incident. Bir Singh said his family performed the last rites on the same day.

However, he added that his family later on came to know that Kala Singh along with other accused had come to his house and abused Gurmail Singh was at home at that time.

It was reportedly alleged in the complaint that Gurmail had illicit relations with Sukhi, which was the main cause of dispute between two families. The matter was once settled in village panchayat. — OC


PCCTU rally tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 6
The Punjab and College Teachers Union (PCCTU) has decided to organise a rally and court arrest in Chandigarh on November 8 and to cease work for three days from November 9.

Stating this, Mr H.S. Walia, president, PCCTU, today urged Capt Amarinder Singh to intervene immediately to implement the pension and gratuity scheme promised by the Congress in its manifesto during the last Assembly elections. He said the state government would be responsible for vitiating higher education in the state if it failed to implement the pension and gratuity scheme of 1996 and other demands of the teachers.

Mr Walia said the PCCTU was forced to take such a decision as the state government had failed to meet their demands which include lifting of a ban on recruitment and implementation of the decision taken by the high-powered committee headed by the Deputy Chief Minister, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, on January 25, 2006. He said a 72-hour bandh from November 9 would also be observed and rallies organised in all the districts of the state.

He said the PCCTU had also planned to interact with the students and their parents to apprise them of the long-pending issues of college teachers.


Youth festival begins today
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 6
More than 1500 students from 136 colleges affiliated to Punjabi University will participate in the three-day Punjabi University Inter-Zonal Youth Festival that will start tomorrow at Guru Tegh Bahadur hall.

The competitors will vie for top honours in 28 events besides competition in 17 folk items. Dr Sunita Dhir, Director, Youth Welfare, said it was for the first time that Punjabi University authorities had decided to invite two recommendations from each zone instead of one in each event. This had been done to encourage participants and competition. The number of zones had also been increased to six this time.


New CGM of SBoP
Tribune News service

Patiala, November 6
Mr Diwakar Gupta has joined as the new Chief General Manager (CGM) of the State Bank of Patiala at its head office at Patiala.

According to a press note issued here today, Mr Gupta will take charge from Mr Ashok Mukand who has been designated as the CGM of the SBI, Kolkata. Before joining the State Bank of Patiala, Mr Gupta was the Chief General Manager, SBI, Mumbai. 


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |