P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Still dithering: Cong list expected tonight
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 15
The central election committee of the all-India Congress committee is expected to meet on Tuesday night to consider recommendations of the Punjab state election committee before announcing the first list of party candidates for the Punjab Assembly elections.

The recommendations of the state election committee, sources said, would first be carefully scrutinised by the screening committee before being placed before the central election committee.

The central election committee is also expected to name the party candidate for the Amritsar Lok Sabha byelection.

Though most of other political parties have either released complete or partially complete lists of their candidates, the ruling Congress, as usual, is still locked in deliberations over the selection of its candidates.

The main Opposition party, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), has announced its complete list of 94 candidates and the BJP has announced 15 of its 23 candidates. Others, including the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Communists and the Third Front, too, have released their lists.

Though the recommendations of the state election committee are generally accepted by the central election committee, there are several constituencies which have more than one strong candidate. Banur has several contenders, including the candidate who lost closely in the last election. Then there is the son of a former minister and yet another candidate supported by the party MP from Patiala.

By declaring its list late on January 16 or 17, the party would give its candidates a little time to catch up with their rivals who have been active for the past couple of weeks. Absence from their respective constituencies may also be worrying prospective Congress candidates.

The filing of nomination papers starts on January 18 and continues till January 25.

Sources in the party reveal that most of the sitting MLAs, including a majority of ministers, will get ticket. Though the party has taken notice of representations made by different communities and support groups, including Rai Sikhs, it may consider all other factors before deciding the names of its candidates.

The sources maintain that in Guru Harsahai, the total number of Rai Sikh votes was less than 40,000 and not 70,000 as projected by the community leaders. Further, Mr Mohan Singh Phallianwala, a known leader of the community, has already been cleared as the BSP candidate from the constituency.

One of the candidates projected and supported by the community, they maintained, couldn’t contest the elections as he stood debarred for not filing election expenses statement.

The sources, however, did not rule out the possibility of some of the sitting MLAs, including a minister, being excluded from the list.


EC orders misread
Police lands in transfer muddle
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
The Punjab Police finds itself in an embarrassing transfer muddle after shifting hundreds of ASIs on what seems to be a wrong interpretation of the guidelines of the State Election Commission.

With the Chief Electoral Office clarifying in Chandigarh yesterday that it had sought transfers of cops of the rank of Sub-Inspector and above, the Police Department is in a fix as it had already transferred nearly 1,000 Assistant Sub-Inspectors out of their respective districts last week only.

However, many police districts like Ludhiana, Jagraon, Khanna and Ropar have not relieved most of the transferred ASIs following reports that the orders could be withdrawn.

Besides, the SSPs of these and other districts are finding it difficult to relieve cops since the new ones have not joined so far.

Enquiries revealed that the confusion may have been caused by the term “sergeant major” used by the Election Commission in its orders. This term, used by the British, is considered equivalent to the rank of an ASI. Sources said sergeant major was used in some states like Bihar, but not in Punjab.

The orders stated that SIs and sergeant majors, posted in a district for the past three years or in their home districts, be transferred. subsequently, the Inspector-Generals of various police ranges issued orders resulting in the transfers of the ASIs.

The SSPs have been enquiring from seniors on the possibility of withdrawal of the orders. The confusion in the interpretation of the Election Commission guidelines is being blamed on the Central Police Office , Chandigarh, which had issued orders of transfer of the ASIs

Cops are sore as the transfer orders did not specify whether they would automatically revert to their old place of postings or not. Besides, police officials believe that the transfers may add to corruption and political lobbying as cops would be desperate to return home after the elections.


BJP’s election chant: The three Ps
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 15
Apart from promising development and raising the issues of corruption and unemployment in the past five years of the Congress rule in Punjab, the Bharatiya Janata Party today came up with a new poll plank comprising three "Ps" .

The president of the BJP's Punjab unit, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, today said the three "Ps " were price hike, police excesses and power crisis. These would constitute a major part of the party poll strategy.

Talking to mediapersons at an interaction with 15 candidates of the BJP, Mr Khanna said the PP (Punjab Police) had turned into “ Congress Police.”

Apart from committing ‘excesses’ on people of Punjab, the police had lost all respect for the elected representatives too. " We will ensure just policing in the state," he claimed. Experts will be consulted on power projects to tide over the power crisis while the promise of atta (wheat flour) at Rs 4 a kg and pulses at Rs 20 a kg had gone down well with the masses.

The BJP will announce the remaining eight candidates for the Assembly segments and also the candidate for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat on January 19 after a meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Board. In reply to a question, he admitted that the party was a little late in announcing the eight names.

He said neither he nor Mr Rajinder Bhandari were contesting the poll. Asked why BJP stalwarts like Balramji Dass Tandon and Madan Mohan Mittal were not in the first list, Mr Khanna said: " Wait till the final list is declared".

The name of the candidate for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat will depend on the outcome of the Supreme Court hearing in the case of Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, said Mr Khanna. The party manifesto would be released soon.

Brushing aside suggestions of a possible threat from the Bharatiya Janshakti Party led by Uma Bharti, the BJP chief said it could not cause any loss to the BJP-Shiromani Akali Dal fortunes. They had no base and were only looking for dissidents to join them.

The BJP and the SAD had been addressing joint rallies and the party would open its central office in Jalandhar on January 20. Till then the party would continue functioning from the party head office here.


Ropar court to hear Badal case on January 19
Tribune news Service

Ropar, January 15
Dismissing applications out of six moved by SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal and others seeking summoning of records and witness before the framing of charges, Special Court, Judge, Ropar G.S Saran, today fixed January 19 the next date of hearing on the arguments on the framing of charges against Badal, his family members and seven others in a corruption case.

The Judge dismissed the applications moved by Mr Badal, two others saying before the framing of charges they would be given an opportunity to summons the relevant records and witness in the case. The plea moved by accused Nirabhjeet Singh the state had not taken proper sanction from the competent authority in his case was also dismissed.

However, Mr Badal and his son and SAD general secretary Sukhbir Badal did not appear in the court today and sought exemption on the ground that holding an important position in the party was pre-occupied with work related to the Assembly elections. Moreover their presence is not required in the case today.

Besides other applications, the court also rejected other applications moved by Mr Badal and others for the supply of copy of the supplementary challan in the case before hearing the arguments on the framing of charges.

Admitting the plea of Mr Badal, the Judge directed the Vigilance Bureau to supply the video cassettes of Badal and his family’s property prepared by its defence counsel. So that the accused in the case verify facts after comparing these with the VCD earlier supplied to them. Later Advocate General, Punjab, R.S. Cheema, accompanied by the District Attorney, Pardeep Mehta supplied the one set of five copies of video cassettes to Mr Badal’s counsel H.S Paul.

The defence had requested the court for the supply of the video cassettes on the VCD supplied to the accused were blurred and they could not able to verify genuineness of Badal’s property.

Taking note of the contempt application moved by Badal and others against Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, the Judge directed Mr Badal to file an affidavit about the allegations. The Judge said the contempt application would be treated separately.

Mr Badal had moved contempt application against CM Amarinder Singh alleging that he had misused his position and the case property of the case — video cassettes of Badal property— were used during the last Lok Sabha elections campaign. Badal’s counsel had also alleged the Congress was also using the same cassettes in the Assembly election campaign.

Acting on the application of Nirabhjeet Singh pertaining the allegation that the prosecution agency had tampered with the evidence, Judge said he would hold inquiry in the case. The accused had alleged the prosecution agency did not seek proper sanction from the competent authority. But later a copy of the sanction had been placed in records without following proper procedure.


Charges farmed against Sukhbir
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, January 15
Chargers were framed against Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal in the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr J. S. Chouhan, here today in a case related to assault on press photographers during the 1999 Lok Sabha elections in the state.

The court asked Mr Badal to answer the allegation levelled against him. Mr Badal denied having attacked any press photographer and claimed that he was being falsely implicated in the case. Following this charges were framed against him under Sections 392, 506 and 323 of the IPC. The court directed the public prosecutor to produce evidence by April 30, which was fixed as the next date of hearing.

The case against Mr Badal was registered on a complaint filed by press photographer Ajay Verma.


All they want — A bridge over the river
Varinder Walia and Gurbaxpuri

Muthianwala (Tarn Taran), January 15
In the state revenue record, this non-descript village on the banks of the Sutlej falls in the newly created district of Tarn Taran. However, for the Election Commission, the village is part of the Ferozepore Assembly constituency. For any administrative work, the residents of the village, located near Pakistan border, go to Tarn Taran while they have to cross the river by boat to vote, risking their lives.

Earlier, the village had shot into limelight when at least 12 persons had drowned in a swollen Sutlej in 2005. The passengers of a boat, steered by an untrained and unauthorised person, did not know that their journey could be hazardous. Around 25 persons had boarded the boat against its capacity of a dozen persons.

The passengers took the risk of travelling in the boat because river travel in this area saves more than 80 km of road journey. Local residents have a “risky ride” on the boat every day. Muthianwala, less than 5 km from the Border, is divided by the Sutlej.

Its area is divided between Tarn Taran and Ferozepore districts. Residents of more than 100 villages of both districts board the only boat, owned by an individual, even at the risk of their lives.

The Army has not constructed a bridge across the river despite the fact that a similar mishap had occurred a couple of years ago in which five persons were drowned.

Bibi Gurdip Kaur (60) and Bibi Manjit Kaur (42), who are among 300 voters of the village, while showing their photo identity cards, said though they had been living in Tarn Taran district, they had to cross over to Ferozepore on the boat to exercise their right of franchise.

Ajit Singh and Bakshish Singh, elderly persons, said their living standard showed that they had been living in medieval period, having development worth the name.

Though both, the Congress and SAD-BJP governments, had made tall promises to make bridge on the river, their plight remained the same.

A former member the panchayat, Mr Angrez Singh, said there was hardly any bus route sanctioned by the government for the area. The primary and tertiary health services are in a pathetic condition.

The government elementary school is being run with the support of the Border Security Force.

The village had also bore the brunt of decade-old militancy. It was a haven for militants in the eighties.

The leaders of both major political parties have been making rounds of this sleepy village with promises and sops only.


Nirmal, Makhan to get tickets: CM
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 15
Names of almost all Punjab ministers have been recommended by the Congress screening committee for renomination as party candidates for the Assembly elections in the state.

“No Cabinet Minister is expected to be dropped from the list of candidates”, said the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, while talking to The Tribune on the phone from Delhi today.

In all about 10-12 Congress MLAs are expected to be denied ticket. Earlier, before launching of the Vikas Yatra, the Chief Minister had announced to drop around 25-30 MLAs and perhaps certain ministers from the list of candidates to be renominated.

“Most of the MLAs improved their position in their respective constituencies during the Punjab Vikas Yatra”, said Capt Amarinder Singh.

The Chief Minister said after tomorrow the party would start its election campaign with vigour. “Though most of our Punjab senior leaders are in Delhi for the past several days, gathering at our political conference at the Maghi Mela at Muktsar was far better than that of the SAD”, claimed Mr Amarinder Singh.

Talking about the joining of the Congress fold by Mr Nirmal Singh, SAD MLA from Shatrana, and Mr Makhan Singh, former SAD MLA from Pakka Kalan, he said Mr Nirmal Singh would be made candidate from Shatrana and Mr Makhan Singh from Pakka Kalan. Mr Nirmal Singh had won as SAD candidate with a margin of over 15,000 votes.

Last time as a SAD candidate, Mr Makhan Singh had lost to the CPI-Congress candidate, Mr Gurjant Singh Kuttiwal, with a margin of about 1,800 votes. This time, Mr Makhan Singh, would contest as a Congress candidate. The Congress will put up Mr Ajaib Singh Bhatti, a senior PCS officer, who has submitted his resignation, from the Nathana reserve constituency. Mr Bhatti joined the Congress today in New Delhi.

Mr Charanjit Singh Channi, a former MP, who had quit the Congress a few years ago rejoined it. He is expected to be nominated from one of the Assembly constituencies in Hoshiarpur.


Tailor-made candidate
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
White is the colour of the election season. Politicians of all parties have switched over to white. And those with sound business sense are making hay while the sun shines - tailoring white kurtas and pyjamas for politicians and their supporters.

Harvinder 'Happy' has been doing just this for so many elections. Come elections, and he gets down to business. Tailoring white kurtas for the politicians to give them that immaculate white appearance. He claims his clientele cuts across all political hues.

"Saffron, green, blue-- all colours turn to white, at least when it comes to the attire", he remarks. His local clientele includes leaders like Jagmohan Sharma, Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Satpal Gossain, Subhash Verma, KK Bawa and Amarjit Singh Tikka etc.

A former Congress worker, Harvinder 'Happy' has been stitching kurta-pyjamas for politicians of the Congress, the BJP and the Akali Dal for the past many years. His business is not limited to Punjab, MLAs of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, too, get their outfits stitched from him.

Reluctant to come on record, Harvinder does business running into several lakhs during every Assembly election. He gets khadi from Bihar and Andhra Pradesh for his influential clients.

"I stitch 40-50 kurta-pyjamas a day. He has hired the services of 15 more tailors these days. Harvinder says money is not a problem for these leaders, who want a perfect fit.

Interestingly, Harvinder is contesting as an Independent from Ludhiana (North). Claiming he would get more than 30,000 votes of traders, Harvinder aims to defeat sitting Congress MLA Rakesh Pandey. "I am going to win as traders are with me", he claims.


Tainted: United colours of Congress, SAD
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 15
The Congress and the SAD certainly have one thing in common- tainted persons. This is evident from the case of Nijjar village sarpanch Tejinder Singh, who was declared a proclaimed offender in October last. He was arrested from his house in the wee hours on Saturday, hours of his joining the SAD after quitting the Congress.

While Punjab Local Bodies Minister Chaudhury Jagjit Singh reportedly meet him even after he had been declared PO, the SAD too did not hesitate to take him into the party fold.

A local court had declared him Proclaimed Offender as he had jumped bail in a case registered against him on January 17, 2001, regarding an attempt to grab a piece of land, said SSP Jalandhar Naunihal Singh. He said he was an undertrial in two other cases.

While Chaudhury Jagjit Singh could not be contacted despite repeated attempts, SAD secretary Daljeet Singh Cheema said his party did not know he was a proclaimed offender at the time of his joining the SAD.

At the same time, he said Mr Tejinder Singh was an elected sarpanch and was only involved in a petty case. Moreover, he and the complainant had reached a compromise at the Lambra police station 10 days ago and the court would be informed of the same at the next date of hearing on January 18.

Dr Cheema raised questions about the ‘ timing ‘ of his arrest. He alleged that he had been arrested at the behest of Chaudhury Jagjit Singh.

Interestingly, DSP Jagmohan Singh reportedly met the sarpanch even after he had been declared PO. When asked, the DSP claimed that he had met him before receiving the court order declarating him PO.

SSP Naunihal said he would check reports of the DSP's meetings with the an offender. At the same time, he said the police had been nabbing POs, irrespective of their party affiliations, on the directions of the Election Commission.


This MLA takes to digging votes
Installs tubewells for encroachers

Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
A Congress legislator is doing all to install tubewells for slum dwellers - potential vote bank - on land worth crores under litigation in the HC.

The land belongs to the Ludhiana Improvement Trust. The authorities have written to the Municipal Corporation, Deputy Commissioner and the district police chief to stop installation of tubewells on the land on Pakhowal road lining the Sidhwan canal. Yet the work is in progress.

Tubewells are being installed to provide potable water to slum dwellers at the fag-end of the Congress regime in the state. The move is aimed at garnering votes of slum dwellers in the Ludhiana West Assembly segment. The land has been encroached upon allegedly by those enjoying the patronage of a local MLA.

‘‘We have already written to the district, police and civic administration that the work should be stopped immediately as the matter is in court,’’ said Executive Officer of the LIT, Mr D.C. Garg.

He said the land had been auctioned and the successful bidder had to move court as there was some disagreement wit the government on the land rate, said the official.

Some months ago, the Education Department began to raise a shelter for students of a slum school on this site. But the LIT had the structure removed, stating that no such building could be allowed on the land as the matter was with the HC.

“Just for votes, the local MLA is providing water to the encroachers on the land,” said Mr Parvin Bansal, Leader of the Opposition in the MC House.


Angry ones Dasuya: 14 BJP bigwigs quit
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, January 15
The BJP has received a big jolt with four of its block presidents, along with 14 office-bearers, in the Dasuya segment quitting the party. They have resigned from the party membership in protest against Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, state BJP chief, not taking them in confidence while deciding on the candidature of Mr Amarjit Singh Shahi for their constituency.

According to party sources, a meeting of the disgruntled office-bearers was held at Rampur village under the presidentship of Mr Kuldip Sharma, a senior BJP leader of the area, yesterday. The participants criticised Mr Khanna for not discussing the candidature of Mr Shahi.

Mr Shubh Kumar Saroch, Mr Kailash Bassi, Mr Ravinder Kumar Sharma and Thakur Bakhshish Singh, all block presidents, and Mr Sukhdev Singh, Mr Satish Kumar and Mr Sham Lal, all block general secretaries of urban and rural areas of Dasuya and Talwara, Mr Devinder Lucky, rural president of the Bharatiya Janta Yuva Morcha, Mr Kishan Chand, president of the SC cell, Mr Prem Singh, president of the BC cell, Subedar Dile Ram, general secretary, Ex-Servicemen Morcha, Mr Surinder Pal Singh, vice-president BJP, Mr Ravinder Singh, rural president, Kisan Morcha, and Mr Harjeet Singh, vice-president of the rural wing of the district unit, have sent their resignations to Mr Raj Nath Singh.


Ram Lal is Uma party nominee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 15
Mr Ram Lal, a former MLA from Narot Mehra in Gurdaspur, who left the Bharatiya Janata Party yesterday, figures in the first list of 12 candidates released by the Bharti Jan Shakti Party of Ms Uma Bharati here today.

Mr Ram Lal will be the candidate from his home constituency of Narot Mehra. Others named in the list are Mr Ashutosh Vinayak (Malerkotla), Mr Krishan Bansal (Fazilka),Dr Subash Trehan (Ferozepore City), Mr Anil Kumar (Kharar), Mr Ajay Chatrath (Jalandhar Central), Mr Bobby Chandalia (Ludhiana East), Mr Rajeev Bhasin (Ludhiana West), Mr Pardeep Jindal (Ludhiana North), Mr Kamalpreet Singh Bawa (Ludhiana South), Mr Vijay Moudgil (Dhariwal) and Mr Roshan Lal Dabra (Muktsar).

The Bharti Jan Shakti Party, it may be recalled, has decided to field 33 candidates. The next list of candidates, says Mr Pawan Valecha, president of the Punjab unit of the party, will be released soon.


Left rules out tie-up with Cong
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 15
The CPI has said flat “no” for an alliance with the ruling Congress in the Punjab Assembly elections.

Dr Joginder Dayal, a member of the national executive of the CPI, said today that the Left parties, the CPI and the CPM, would not tie up with the Congress. He said both Left parties had tied up with the Lok Bhalai Party and had an electoral understanding with the Jan-Morcha.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the state executive of the CPI was held here today.

Dr Dayal said the Left parties were talking to the BSP faction, led by Mr Pawan Tinu. "There is a possibility of an alliance with Mr Pawan’s faction", he added.

The policies pursued by the Congress regime in the state was the main reason for the Left for not entering into any alliance with the party.


Mann raps EC on Virk
Tribune News Service

Moga, January 15
The president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, has flayed the role of Election Commission stating that it has failed to check violation of the code of conduct in the state.

Speaking to newspersons, Mr Mann demanded that the Central Government and the Election Commission should initiate action regarding allegations levelled against the Punjab DGP, Mr S.S. Virk.

He said the DGP should be transferred in view of the elections in the state.


Tackle cyber crime

IT was the buzzword, but the Mohali report card shows an over-focus on big names, finds Chitleen K. Sethi

Pratap Aggarwal IDS
Pratap Aggarwal

The present government gets full points for cooperation and non-interference. We are the pampered industry and I hope it continues like this. Top on the agenda for the new government should be a cyber crime cell here. We need police personnel who understand specific problems faced by the IT industry and can deal with these accordingly.

Ajay Tewari, Smart Data
Ajay Tewari, Smart Data

We expect better policies from the new government. There was an over-focus on big names who were offered attractive prepositions to set up base here. The new government should keep in mind the interests of smaller companies, which are from Punjab and employ local population. Such small and medium enterprises need more encouragement.

Maneet Singh, ADI
Maneet Singh, ADI

As far as electricity and water is concerned, the previous government put its best foot forward and we have no complaints. However, future planning for industrial areas where IT is the main industry should include central facilities like parking and recreation. Also, the government should facilitate home players rather than run after Bangalore-based existing players.

Avinash Chadha, AGM, Continental Devices India Ltd
Avinash Chadha, AGM, Continental Devices India Ltd

As part of the electronics industry, most of our exemptions are part of Central schemes. The exemptions we are given are substantial but not easily procured. The process of getting these exemptions is long and tedious and at times it can take years before one is able to avail these. There is need for a single-window processing system for IT and electronic industry, especially when most of these industries are 100 per cent export units.


Divided we fall: Bhatti
Surinder Bhardwaj
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib January 15
The election campaign of Mr Didar Singh Bhatti SAD candidate from the Sirhind constituency, is at its peak, the delay in the Congress list has been a boon for the SAD. All factions of the SAD have declared support for Mr Didar Singh Bhatti and are campaigning for him full steam- holding workers’ meetings, corner meetings and visiting residences of prominent persons in Sirhind and Bassi Pathana towns.

Addressing a largely attended meeting yesterday, Mr. R.S.Cheema, former minister said, this time all SAD leaders and workers were united. The Congress had been winning the seat in the past due to internal dissensions.

In his address, Mr Didar Singh Bhatti urged the party rank and file to support him. Mr Jagdeep Singh Cheema, Mr Gurinder Singh Shergill and Jathedar Swarn Singh Chanarthal, also addressed the workers.


BJP, Congress workers fight,10 injured
Installation of statue of Rinwa’s father
Our Correspondent

Abohar, January 15
Ten persons, including a sarpanch, were injured in a clash over the installation of a statue of the father of Dr Mohinder Rinwa, Congress MLA, at Khippanwali village by the gram panchayat yesterday.

Six of them were admitted to the Nehru Memorial Civil Hospital, others, including the sarpanch, Gopi Ram Bagria, were taken to the Civil Hospital at Fazilka.

The police claimed that a country-made pistol was recovered from the car used by the BJP activists who had left the damaged vehicle on the spot. The SHO of Khuikhera police station said a case had been registered against these activists under various sections of the IPC. Officials termed it as first pre-election clash between the Congress and BJP workers.

Mr Bal Krishan, block secretary, and other senior office-bearers of the BKU (K), Lok Sangram Manch and different trade unions, told journalists that workers were protesting against the use the funds released by the state government for welfare of Khippanwali village for installing the statue of the Congress legislator’s father. At this, Congress workers led by Gopi Ram Bagria, sarpanch, allegedly attacked them with sharp-edged weapons.

They were brandishing firearms, BKU and manch activists alleged. Besides this, their vehicle was also badly damaged by the unruly mob. The police might have ‘planted’ the pistol to implicate them, the office- bearers rued.

The sarpanch while justifying the decision to beautify the chowk and install the statue alleged that the BKU and Manch workers were incited by BJP leaders.

He on his part charged them for disturbing the peace of the village and attacking Congress workers with sharp-edged weapons. The MLA’s father had served the region for a long and there was nothing wrong in erecting a statue, he added.


Sikh students’ body to elect chief
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, January 15
A meeting of the Sikh Students’ Federation to elect its new president would be held at Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib on January 17.

According to a press release issued by Mr Harrinder Preet Singh Harry, district president and Mr Tarlochan Singh Lalli, district president, SAD(A Urban), the federation will consider the resignation of Bhai Mandhir Singh, as he is going to contest election from Balachaur. They said the seven-member committee constituted by the general committee of the federation will hold its meeting on January 17 and announce the name of the president.


NTAS confers annual awards
Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 15
The National Theatre Arts Society (NTAS) conferred its annual Dr Kushdeva Singh National Integration Award-2007 on three prominent personalities at a function here yesterday. Those awarded are Mr N.S Shergill, an author, Mr Jagdeep Chopra, a journalist, and Mahant Atma Ram.

The programme, organised by NTAS executives, Mr Pran Sabharwal and Mrs Sunita Sabharwal, got an overwhelming response and donations were received from Mahant Atma Ram and noted orthopaedician Dr Ajmer Singh.


3 held for selling stolen vehicles
Our Correspondent

Abohar, January 15
Ayub Khan, a resident of Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh and kingpin of the gang considered responsible for disposing of stolen and financed vehicles by cutting the chassis, and two others have been arrested by the police in the Sriganganagar area.

According to Ms Vineeta Thakur, Superintendent of Police, Mr Rakesh Shekhawat, collection manager of the ICICI Bank, on Saturday lodged a complaint that some persons had cheated the bank in securing a vehicle loan by submitting forged documents and the vehicles were not found in their possession. The bank officer had identified the alleged cheat as Amanpreet Singh, Harvinder Singh, Kamaljit Singh, Gurmeet Singh, Devinder Singh and Tony Verma, residents of different villages in Sriganganagar, and Mahender Pal of Hanumangarh.

Preliminary investigations indicated that the vehicles were cut to pieces and sold in Delhi by an inter-state gang. A police party led by Sub-Inspector Manoj Machra nabbed Ayub Khan on a tip-off in the Mayapuri junk market at Delhi. The mobile phone numbers revealed by him helped another police party in nabbing Gurjit Singh and Devinder Singh at village 22GG in the Sriganganagar area yesterday. The police recovered two Canters, chassis of two trucks, gas cutters, gas cylinders, hammers, etc during the raid.

Investigation suggested that Ayub Khan had been working for past 15 years in different states and quickly shifted his centre of operation to escape arrest. He used small group of persons to cut chassis of vehicles and dispose these of in the junk dealers markets at Mayapuri in Delhi and other states.


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