P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Government completes 100 days
Badal draws up road map to take state to top slot
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, on the completion of 100 days of the formation his government, today listed the schemes that had begun after the ruling SAD-BJP combine took over and claimed these were first steps to put the state “on the path of recovery”. He also reiterated the futuristic long-term plan to restore the top position for the state on the economic, agricultural and industrial fronts.

Badal, while addressing a press conference here, claimed that during his five-year rule the state would be power surplus, farmers would be trained in the latest techniques, urban and rural development would be speeded up, the health of the soil would be maintained, quality education would be provided to all and jobs made available to youth. He, however, side-stepped questions on how he would fund these grand plans. “We have ample funds from the central government,” he said.

  • State will be made power surplus.
  • Farmers will be trained in the latest techniques.
  • Quality education will be provided to all.
  • Jobs will be made available to youth.

  • Urban, rural development will be speeded up.

He asked the people of Punjab to be patient, saying “all demands and matters cannot be sorted out within three months”.

Not to miss out on political point scoring, he blamed the previous Amarinder Singh government for the present position, saying the SAD-BJP combine had inherited a debt of Rs 52,000 crore. The state, which once had the highest per capita income in the country, today was at the fifth spot while it was at the seventh place in overall economy. The agricultural growth rate stood at negative while industrial growth had dropped from 6.9 per cent to 2.8 per cent.

Listing the work undertaken by his government, Badal said the Rs 1,280 crore drinking water and sanitation scheme in collaboration with the World Bank had been launched and so had urban projects for Amritsar and Ludhiana worth Rs 3,100 crore and Rs 2,053 crore, respectively. These were under the Jawaharlal Nehru national urban renewal mission. The next target was to get Jalandhar and Mohali included in that list of cities.

The land acquisition policy had been revised. As many as 10,000 teachers were being recruited and an advertisement would be issued in this regard in the coming days. A sum of Rs 155 crore had been released by the central government for the development of the border belt. The widening of more than 1,100 km of roads had started in April. The inter-city road network would be four-laned and six-laned.

On the power front he said the state would be surplus in power and at least 500 MW would be added by December this year. Long-term agreements had been signed.

An agricultural development plan was being drafted at the state, district and block levels. Each farmer would be issued a soil card that would have soil-testing reports and information on the condition of the soil. The government also had a plan to set up training centres for farmers where the latest techniques would be taught.

He announced 100 per cent replacement of seed in three years. He said every acre in the state would be laser levelled in the coming years, resulting in a saving of at least 50 per cent of irrigation water, in addition to a corresponding cut in energy use for farm operations. The state would work towards a market-driven shift to vegetables and other cash crops, said Badal.

The compensation in the case of natural calamities had been enhanced from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 per acre.

For industry, as a confidence-boosting initiative, his government had given Rs 100 crore subsidy to industry. Another Rs 100 crore would be given next year. Overall, Rs 300 crore would be given. Badal said he would lead a delegation of all-party MPs and captains of industry from the state to the centre to plead for a package for the state along the lines given to some of its neighbouring states. He added that all promises, including the one on cheap atta and dal for the poor, would be fulfilled.


House session from June 19
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
The Punjab cabinet at its meeting here today approved the summoning of the second session of the 13th Vidhan Sabha from June 19.

A spokesperson of the government said the session would start with obituary references on June 19. The presentation of the budget estimates for 2007-08 would be on June 20 and non-official business transacted on June 21. A general discussion on the budget estimates would be held on June 22 and June 25 and concluded on June 26. June 23 and 24 were gazetted holidays. On June 27 the discussion and voting on demands for grants for 2007-08 would be taken up. On June 28 and June 29, non -official business and legislative business would be transacted, respectively. The session was likely to be extended.

  • Presentation of budget estimates on June 20
  • 14 posts of chief parliamentary secretary approved

The cabinet cleared a grant of Rs 1 crore to pay compensation to 377 traders of Mohali whose shops were destroyed recently in a fire incident. Each victim would be paid Rs 25,000 as interim relief.

The cabinet also gave ex post facto approval to the dissolution of the Punjab subordinate services selection board and the termination of the services of its chairman and members.

The cabinet gave approval for the creation of 14 posts of chief parliamentary secretary.

The cabinet also approved the report of the third Punjab finance commission for panchayats and municipalities for 2006-07 to 2010-11 regarding the devolution of funds to panchayati raj institutions and urban local bodies.

It was also decided to amend the Punjab agricultural produce markets act, 1961, to enable arhtiyas to get licences issued for life against the present three years. A consolidated fee of Rs 2,000 would be charged.

The cabinet also approved the upgradation of Lehra sub-tehsil in Sangrur district to a subdivision along with the creation of posts at a recurring cost of Rs 60 lakh. Apart from this, the cabinet approved the sanction of staff for Mohali , Tarn Taran and Barnala districts.

To ensure that only genuine sportspersons got gradation, the cabinet approved an amendment to the sports gradation policy, 1997.

The cabinet also approved the introduction of a bill to regulate admission and the fixation of fee in private technical colleges. The cabinet also cleared the framing of the Punjab state cooperative (state services group 'A' & group 'B') service rules, 2007, and the formulation of the Punjab water supply and sanitation (engineering wing) group A service rules, 2007.


Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s statue
Govt to bear entire cost
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
The state government will bear the entire cost of Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s statue to be installed in Parliament, New Delhi. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said the installation of the statue in Parliament had fulfilled the long-pending demand of the people.

The Chief Minister said the services of a renowned sculptor were being sought in this regard.


100 days of SAD-BJP combine dark, says Bhattal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
Leader of Opposition in Punjab Rajinder Kaur Bhattal today termed the first 100 days of the ruling SAD-BJP combine as “dark days” of the state alleging that the government has only created bitterness among people.

She said the freedom of people was curbed even as the police was busy lathi-charging and killing protesters. Political victimization and vendetta was the norm during the first 100 days. Bhattal, who held a press conference here today to counter Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s claims on the completion of 100 days of his government, said the people were threatening each other and groups challenging each other.

Is this governance? She asked. On the issue of the Dera Sacha Sauda, Bhattal said: “The bad and political intent of the SAD was clear and it is still visible”. Badal should fulfill his oath of being unbiased in upholding the Constitution.

Bhattal alleged: “Badal was telling lies” there is nothing that the Akalis can claim to have done.

Bhattal refused to comment on the arrest of B.I.S. Chahal, saying he is not a member of the Congress. He was an official, she added.


Chahal in police custody till June 14
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 11
Former media adviser to Capt Amarinder Singh B.I.S. Chahal today alleged that he was tortured in police custody to the extent that even his clothes were also removed. His lawyer also stated this before a local court when he was produced by the police for getting police remand.

The court today remanded Chahal and his five relatives in police custody till June 14.

The others who were remanded in police custody by duty magistrate K.S. Cheema, included Jagdish Singh, Kartar Singh Garewal, Harbhajan Singh, Harjinder Singh, Jaswinder Pal Singh. However, Iqbal Singh was sent to judicial custody as he was a juvenile.

Additional public prosecutors A.S. Chadha and M.L. Solanki had sought police remand for 10 days on the plea that they had not recovered the firearms and vehicles used by the accused at the time of forcibly grabbing of the prime land. During interrogation Kartar Singh had revealed that the firearms were provided by Chahal. A civil court had already passed the decree in favour of Kartar Singh, declaring him to be the owner. It also claimed that Chahal was being falsely implicated since he had close relationship with Balwant Singh, the complainant in the corruption cases against Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Badal.


High temperature hits transmission lines
One-day cut imposed on industry
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Patiala June 11
The scorching heat is taking toll over the transmission systems of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB). The temperature that is rising above 45°C is overloading transmission systems leading to unscheduled power cuts in many areas of the state.

The sources available in the PSEB said the high temperature reduces transmission capacity by about 5 per cent. This leads to overloading of the system. Yesterday, due to overloading of the system, the generating units of the Ropar thermal tripped.

Besides heat, the under-renovation transformers of the power grid at Moga and Malerkotla are also overloading the system. Due to the reduced capacity of the transformers, the PSEB was not being able to utilise its power quota available from the Central pool. The sources said the renovation of the transformers would be completed by June 15.

With the start of the paddy season yesterday, the industry in the state has become the first victim. The PSEB has imposed one compulsory weekly off on the industry in the state to ensure an 8-hour power supply to tube wells. Though no scheduled cuts have been announced by the PSEB as yet, the unscheduled cuts have already started tormenting residents of urban and rural areas.

Meanwhile, Y.S Ratra, chairman, PSEB, in view of the paddy season, has imposed a complete ban on the transfers of all officers and employees up to October 30,200.

Field officers and staff members have been instructed to remain present at their respective headquarters.

Ratra further said with the commencement of 8 hours uninterrupted power supply to agricultural sector, the transmission and distribution system become fully loaded. The repair and replacement of these over loaded points may take 2-3 days to be rectified.


Heat toll in Punjab 11

Chandigarh, June 11
Blistering heat wave sweeping Punjab today claimed four more lives in Hoshiarpur, Sunam and Patiala taking the toll of those who have succumbed to heat during the past three days to 11.

Two persons died due to heat in Hoshiarpur district. Inderjit (30) of Sutehri road succumbed to heat in the Civil Hospital while Sucha Singh (60) of Sukhiabad also died in the same hospital, a report from Hoshiarpur quoting official sources said. Tinku (25), a Rehri cart-puller collapsed after he fell unconscious due to sunstroke near Piran Wala Gate at Sunam in Sangrur this evening.

He was rushed to the Sunam Civil Hospital where doctors declared him as brought dead.

A 75-year-old unidentified person died in Patiala’s Rajindra Hospital today after he was brought in an unconscious state from Rajpura town after suffering a heat stroke.

A report from Patiala said two youths, Lucky and Baldeep, who had gone to take a dip in the Bhakra canal located on the outskirts of the city to beat the heat were feared drowned after one of them slipped and the other one jumped in to save his friend.

With these deaths, 11 persons have succumbed to heat in Punjab in the past three days, with four deaths being reported from Amritsar district, two in Bathinda and one in Moga.

Today, scorching heat showed no signs of relenting in Punjab, with mercury at Amritsar touching 45.1°C five above normal, the Met said here.

Though mercury dropped slightly in comparison to the past three days, Ludhiana and Patiala were still looking for relief from sultry weather, with the respective maximums touching 40.8°C and 40.6°C. — PTI


A first for Amritsar
Power from garbage
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 11
Taking a lead in the region, Amritsar will soon become the first city to generate power from garbage using the integrated solid waste management technology. The details of the Rs 36-crore project have been chalked out and it has been put up before the Ministry of Urban Development for approval.

Even though most municipal bodies in the state are at best producing compost from garbage, the Amritsar Municipal Corporation is hoping to start power generation within two years.

In an interview with The Tribune, Hussan Lal, municipal commissioner, said 50 per cent of the project would be funded by the Government of India through the Nehru Urban Renewal Mission, 30 per cent by the corporation and the remaining 20 per cent by the state government.

A whole new system of solid waste management will be put in place and there will be no heaps of garbage on the streets of the city. “The waste will have to be segregated at the door-to-door collection level and for this a public awareness drive will be launched,” he said.

The existing dump site management will be taken up through scientific approach to minimise impact on the environment and community in the vicinity,” he said.

“There will be a different set up of garbage containers and vehicles for different areas of the city, depending on the density of population and congestion on roads. To achieve this, the corporation will tie-up with a firm,” he said.

The corporation recently consulted with experts in Kolkata last week and successful solid waste management models, like the one in Aankleshwar in Gujarat, were studied.

A total of 500 tonnes of solid waste is produced in Amritsar. Of this, 50 to 55 per cent is bio-degradable, 25 to 30 per cent comprises building material and 10 per cent is industrial waste.

The Bhagtanwala dumping ground will be first dug up in a semi-circular shape and covered with a non-porous sheet. The garbage there would be covered with layers of soil after fixed intervals and the dump would not be left open.

Located in the heart of the grain market, the Bhagtanwala dumping ground has become a health hazard for the locality. Garbage keeps lying in the open. Presently, all vehicles travel to the dumpsite but as per the proposal, transfer stations will be set up.


Forcible eviction: Congressmen stage dharna
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Jhunir (Mansa), June 11
Hundreds of workers of the Congress party, led by its local leadership and MLA Sardul Garh Ajit Inder Singh Mofar, today staged a dharna in front of the office of the Block Development and Panchayat Officer (BDPO) to lodge a protest against the forcibly eviction of local panchayat shops from the occupants allegedly under the diktats of ruling politicians.

Though the Congress workers made an attempt to jam the traffic on the main road, the timely intervention of district civil and police officials stopped them from doing so.

A controversy was erupted yesterday after occupants of about 17 shops belonging to the panchayat came to know that shutters and locks of their shops had been broken. Though they tried to seek justice from the authorities concerned, they were left high and dry when they came to know that the shutters and locks of their shops had been broken by some influential persons at the instance of Akali leaders of that area.

The police authorities also received complaints against the lawful occupants and, hence, decided to enquire into the matter first before taking any legal action in this connection.

The Congressmen, who held a rally, later alleged that shopkeepers were harassed by a section of ruling politicians. They also submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner.


Sugar mill workers block traffic
Tribune News Service

Patiala June 11
Employees of the Patiala Cooperative Sugar Mill today blocked traffic on the Patiala-Nabha road to protest against the alleged privatisation policies of the government.

While addressing the dharna, union leaders of the employees alleged that the government had recently issued a letter in which the general manager of sick sugar mills had been directed to work out financial implication in case the government retrenched the employees.

This was an indication that the government was planning to retrench the employees of the sick sugar mills. Even if the government wanted to retrench the employees of sick sugar mills, they should offer them voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) as had been offered to other corporation employees.

The workers also held a dharna in front of the main gate of the sugar mills. They threatened to intensify the agitation in case their interests were not protected.

The minister for cooperation, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, has, however, allayed the fears of the employees of cooperative sugar mills. He has said interests of the employees would be protected.


Road Toll Policy
PWD minister hints at amendments
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 11
The Punjab government is contemplating making some changes in the road toll policy. After protests against the toll imposed on roads in various parts of the state, the government was considering giving concession to local residents in this regard.

Minister for PWD Parminder Singh Dhindsa said this while talking to The Tribune here today. He said the local people were facing problem due to imposition of toll. They have to use these roads daily and had to pay tax everyday.

He also stated that the government was planning to fill vacant posts in PWD. In the first phase 60 junior engineers and 20 sub-division officers (SDOs) would be recruited.

Parminder Singh Dhindsa along with two other senior ministers, including Capt Kanwaljit Singh and Sucha Singh Langah, was here to preside over a state-level meeting of the Karamchari Dal, Punjab.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh said the previous government had left a debt of Rs 25,000 crore. The government would not allow unbundling of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB). He said most of the development works would now be completed using the services of government employees and infrastructure.

Karamjit Singh Baghrana, president of the Karamchari Dal, Punjab, honoured the ministers. He also presented a charter of demands to the minister.


‘Summon Taksal chief to Takht’
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Sarmastpur (Jalandhar), June 11
Echoing the sentiments of the ousted chief sewadar of Baba Shaheedan gurdwara Bhai Manjit Singh at Sarmastpur village on the Jalandhar Pathankot road, an 11- member committee of this and surrounding villages today demanded that Damdami Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa, who also happens to be the president of Gurmat Sidhant Sant Samaj, should be summoned at Akal Takht and declared “tankhaiya” for “sacrilege” of Guru Granth Sahib.

President of the action committee Manohar Singh alleged that Baba Harnam Singh along with his supporters had resorted to violence for taking control of Shaheedan gurdwara a few days ago.

Damdami Taksal has been looking after Shaheedan gurdwara since 1994. 


Another amrit sanchar on Sept 30
Tribune News Service

Jammu, June 11
Dera Nangali Sahib chief Mahant Manjit Singh will organise another amrit sanchar samagam on September 30 in the wake of the Akal Takht jathedar's pat on his back for such a campaign.

Avtar Singh, SGPC president, who also addressed the congregation at Dera Nangali Sahib on the occasion, had announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh to the dera from the SGPC funds.

Mahant Manjit Singh told The Tribune that the Akal Takht jathedar would be attending the September 30 programme also.


PRTC staff go on day’s strike
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 11
Seven hundred contractual employees of the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) struck work today in support of their demands. Since most of the striking employees were drivers and conductors the PRTC bus service on the Patiala-Chandigarh and the Patiala-Mansa routes were disrupted.

As a large number of PRTC buses ply on the Patiala-Chandigarh route, the passengers were left in lurch. One of the aggrieved passengers P.P.S. Gill alleged that the people had to wait for buses in scorching heat just to board over crowded buses.

The employees had gone on strike against the cut imposed on their salary in the garb of service tax. They alleged they were already being paid minimum wages despite the hard work put in by them for the organisation. In addition this, contractors who hired them recently had imposed a cut on their salary.

PRTC managing director Shiv Dular Singh Dhilon when contacted said when the organization hired the contract workers through a contractor there was no service tax. However, later the central government imposed the service tax on labour contractors as well.

The issue of making some extra payment to labour contractors in lieu of the service tax will be taken up in the board of directors meeting. The employees have called off their strike, he added.


Power for Paddy
PSEB bans transfer of employees
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 11
The chairman of the PSEB, Y.S. Ratra, has informed that in view of paddy season the board has decided to impose a complete ban on the transfers of all officers and employees up to October 30.

He said the PSEB was fully geared up and had made elaborate arrangements to provide eight hours power supply to farmers during the paddy season.

Field officers and staff members have been instructed to remain present at their respective headquarters and consumers may bring complaints to their notice, Ratra said, adding that the technical staff deployed in the offices has also been shifted to field work.

He further said with the commitment of eight hours of uninterrupted power supply to agricultural sector, the transmission and distribution system become fully loaded and at some places the system got overloaded. Repair and replacement of these overloaded points may take 2-3 days to be rectified, Ratra said, requesting the people to bear with the board for unscheduled interruptions for 2-3 days.

Power shutdown

Due to some urgent repair work at 11 KV feeder, power supply to Old Kotwali Chowk, Kila Chowk, Gur Mandi, Sirhindi Bazar, Chhata Nanu Mal, Jattan Wala Chauntra, Dooman Wali Gali, Bhindian Wali Gali, and near Sheetla Mata Mandir will remain suspended from 10 am to 2 pm on June 12. 


Janal Village
Wage-hike tussle continues

Sangrur, June 11
Following the failure of talks over the issue of hike in wages between leaders of Dalit agriculture workers of Janal village (near Dirba) and representatives of the landlords (rich farmers), district secretary of the Mazdoor Mukti Morcha Pargat Singh Bir and a district-level leader of the CPI (ML) Liberation Sher Singh Dhandoli Kalan have announced that now Dalit agriculture workers of the village will boycott rich farmers. As part of the boycott, the agriculture workers will neither go to the fields of the rich farmers for doing any work nor transplant paddy in their fields.

Sher Singh and Pargat Singh Bir said earlier some rich farmers of the village had boycotted the Dalit agriculture workers when they refused to work in their fields, demanding wages as Rs 125 per day (against per day wages of Rs 100) and Rs 700 for the transplantation of paddy in an acre. — TNS


Cane-charge on teachers: PSHRC orders probe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
The Punjab state human rights commission (PSHRC) today took notice of today’s news reports which stated that unemployed BEd teachers were mercilessly cane charged by the police while they were trying to demonstrate in front of the residence of education minister Upinderjit Kaur. As many as six teachers were injured in the incident.

The commission was of the prima facie opinion that it was a fit case which required scrutiny and examination.

Therefore, it ordered for an inquiry under Section 17 (ii) of the Protection of Human Rights Act 1993 and directed the IG (P) of the commission to investigate and submit its report within three weeks.

The commission directed the investigating officer to examine whether the police committed any highhandedness while dealing with agitated unemployed teachers. 


8-hr power supply: Two units trip again
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 11
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) management once again failed to provide eight hours power supply for the agriculture purpose on the second day today. Two units of the local Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant (GNDTP) tripped after the voltage dipped due to disturbances in the operational system.

The unit failed to generate electricity for about four hours and thus resulting in severe power crises in the Malwa belt.


Infrastructure top priority, says Dhindsa
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 11
The Malwa Arts, Sports, Cultural and Educational Trust (Muscat) felicitated Punjab public works minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa at a ceremony held here this evening.

The award had earlier been presented to former union minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Dr M.S. Duggal, T.K.A Nair, Dr S.S. Johl and Dr Marwaha.

Dr Ravi Bhushan, secretary general of Muscat, presented the award to the minister.

Dhindsa said he was doing his best to overhaul the working of the PWD Department and would strive to ensure that all measures were initiated for the development of infrastructure, which was the top priority for the government.

The function was attended among others by former president of the SGPC Kirpal Singh Badungar, DIG Patiala Paramjit Singh Gill, deputy commissioner D.S. Grewal, Pepsu MD Shiv Dular Singh Dhillon, former registrar of Punjabi University Ranbir Singh Sarao and Dr Harkesh Singh Sidhu, a Punjab civil service officer.

Lauding the services of the minister, speakers said Dhindsa had managed to win the Sunam Assembly seat for the third consecutive term and it was a befitting recognition of his abilities that he had been given a ministerial berth this time.


Ghaggar Project
Farmers’ views sought
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 11
With a view to listen to the views of farmers whose land will be acquired along the Ghaggar for the Ghaggar project in the Khanauri area,Sangrur deputy commissioner S.R. Ladhar on Saturday held a meeting at the canal rest house at Khanauri. The meeting was also attended by Sunam SDM Navtej Singh, in charge of the SAD for the Lehra Assembly constituency Prem Singh Chandumajra, the district revenue officer (DRO), representatives of panchayats and farmers whose land is to be acquired.

The farmers asked the DC to give them Rs 20 lakh per acre as compensation in lieu of the acquisition of their land along the Ghaggar for the project.

When the DC asked them whether he should fix the registery rate at the rate of Rs 20 lakh per acre in the Ghaggar area, many of them did not respond.


36 miscreants beat up man to death
Our Correspondent

Abohar, June 11
More than 36 miscreants dragged Sant Ram, alias Kartar Singh, out of his Waryam Nagar residence, on the college road at 1. 30 A.M., and allegedly beat him up to death in front of a large number of residents. They along with victim’s wife Shakuntala Devi, his sons Baljinder Singh and Ravinder Singh, narrated a horrible account of dastardly act that clearly depicts the lawlessness prevailing in this subdivision.

In a signed statement released to the press they said the miscreants who had an old enmity with the victim forced their entry into his house and dragged him out. A few of them damaged lights and other household goods. Others started beating Sant Ram while the rest terrorised residents by brandishing swords, sharp-edged weapons and lathis for more than 35 minutes.

Most of the residents preferred to bolt their doors from inside and the rest were mute spectators. The police failed to reach the spot despite repeated telephone calls.

The victim’s family tried to resist but were pushed aside. The miscreants left the place after threatening residents against testifying before the police.

Sant Ram was declared brought dead by doctors on emergency duty in Nehru Memorial Civil Hospital after 2 A.M. The police responded to a call from hospital authorities and recorded the statement of victim’s brother, Kashmir Singh. A case has been registered against president of the vegetable and fruit sellers’ association Radheshyam Radhia, Gurjant Singh Lahoria, Rana Singh, Sonu Lahoria, Manjit Singh, alias Sonu Chauhan, and Kala Nepali under Sections 302, 148, and 149 of the IPC.

Residents said the miscreants were in the age-group of 15 to 35 years and alleged that repeated complaints to the local authorities against the gang had gone unattended in the past.


Ten dera followers held
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 11
In its second round, the district police today arrested 10 followers of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda, who were found to be involved in the attack made by them on members of various Sikh organisations.

Though senior police officials preferred to keep mum over the issue, confirmed reports pointed out that so far 10 followers of the dera, belonging to different areas, had been arrested. Whether the arrest of the followers, taken into custody today, had been formalised or not, could not be known.Those arrested today included Gurjant Singh, Jitin, Sherry, Sukhdev Singh, Roop Singh, Mangal, Sat Pal, Manoj and Surjeet.


Varsity officer suspended
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 11
Guru Nanak Dev University Syndicate today placed Varinder Pal Sharma, finance and development officer under suspension with immediate effect without assigning any reasons. His office has been sealed.

Interestingly, Sharma, who enjoys proximity to senior Akali ministers and MLAs, was facing three inquiries ordered by the university. Earlier, he was suspended after Operation Bluestar for his alleged links with Bhai Amrik Singh and Harminder Singh Sandhu, the then president and general secretary, All-India Sikh Students Federation. However, the case against him was withdrawn on the basis of an inquiry.

However, today’s suspension was recommended by the syndics unanimously even as the term of the Congress members would end by June 30. Senior Akali leaders had reportedly asked the vice-chancellor not to take action against Sharma. However, the case was kept secret by the university authorities and taken to the syndicate straightway.

It is believed that he has been placed under suspension for approaching the media against rules. However, recently he had commented on certain financial matters in the Press on the basis of which his explanation was sought.


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