M A I N   N E W S

Special team to probe land grab, false cases
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 12
Faced with complaints from the public regarding the alleged registration of false cases by influential persons and also land grab cases during the previous Congress regime, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today constituted a special monitoring and feedback team at the headquarters which will go to the spot and submit a report after checking the veracity of the complaints.

The Chief Minister took this step after the sangat darshan programme this evening after receiving a series of complaints of registration of false cases and the blatant use of muscle power during the Congress regime to grab the land of widows, unattended old couples and destitute women. The Chief Minister said this team would pick two or three test cases and go to the spot.

It would work without going into the perception of the district authorities and objectively study the case at the ground level and submit the report to him at the earliest.

The Chief Minister is receiving an average of 15 to 20 complaints regarding land grab during the previous regime at sangat darshan programmes and also 20 to 30 complaints regarding the alleged registration of false cases by influential persons during that period.

Taking a serious view of illegal sand quarrying by the building mafia in various seasonal rivulets in the state, the Chief Minister asked the industries department to launch a special campaign to check this and make the industry and the mining officer concerned accountable for any lapse.

The Chief Minister also asked the rural development department to ask the ADCs concerned to inquire into the sale of panchayat land and the embezzlement of panchayat money by any sarpanch.




Virk not going: CM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 12
The Punjab government today probably opened the proverbial “can of worms” that has the potential to drive a wedge between the centre and the state. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today formally announced that the government would not revert suspended director- general of police S. S. Virk to his parent cadre of Maharashtra.

Reacting to yesterday’s order of the union ministry of home affairs that prematurely reverted Virk to his parent cadre, Badal said: “ Virk is facing an inquiry here following his suspension and reverting him can hamper the investigations”. The intention of Badal will be formally conveyed to the MHA with the CM signing the file this afternoon, officials confirmed to The Tribune.

Badal also hinted that the government could take legal re-course to see if Virk could be asked to stay back till the completion of the inquiry even after his deputation period came to an end on May 31 this year.

Virk was placed under suspension by the SAD-BJP government on a charge of purchasing land in violation of the service rules. Badal’s action is being seen as direct confrontation with the all-powerful MHA, that is the cadre controlling authority for IPS officers in the country. The Punjab government suspension can be revoked by the MHA at any time and also the government will require permission to prosecute Virk even if a case is registered. Badal said there was no confrontation. “The MHA is not adamant on anything nor are we adamant on anything”.

Officials maintain that the suspension order of Virk has been sent to the MHA. Probably, the file pertaining to his reversion was dealt with even before the suspension order issued by the Punjab government had been properly seen in the MHA. Had the order been seen by the MHA, the order to revert him would not have come in the first place.

Making the state government's intention clear, Badal said Virk had been suspended in accordance with the service rules and the centre was informed of it. Even though Badal said “there is no vendetta and the law will take its own course”, sources in officialdom said the government might now try to speed up the registration of a case against Virk in the same matter.



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