P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Carpenter’s daughter tops Class X exam

Arshdeep Kaur, Class X topper, being offered sweets by her mother, Manjit Kaur, in Faridkot
Arshdeep Kaur, Class X topper, being offered sweets by her mother, Manjit Kaur, in Faridkot on Wednesday. — A Tribune photograph

Jalandhar, June 13
Leaving behind students of top private schools of the state, the daughter of a carpenter has topped in Class X examination. A student of Government Model Co-Educational Secondary School, Ladowali Road, Arshdeep has brought laurels for her simple family based at Prem Nagar here.

Her paternal aunt, Balwinder Kaur, showed the two-room house saying, “There are six children in our house, but she did not get disturbed. She used to come home walking from the school, take lunch and immediately get down to her studies. No one in the house had to tell her to study. She has been a very obedient and hard-working girl, regular with NCC and other co-curricular activities”. — TNS


Girls outshine boys
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 13
In a state that is notorious for female foeticide, girls have once again proved their mettle by outshining boys in the matriculation examination of Punjab School Education Board. A large number of girl students have made their parents proud after making it to the merit list released by the board here today. Out of 40 students who have attained first 15 positions in the state, at least 35 are girls.

With 61 per cent as the pass percentage the board has made 249,551 matriculates in the state. While only 50 per cent of the private candidates have passed, over 65 per cent have passed the examination as regular students. The pass percentage of both regular and private candidates has increased from the last year when only 60 per cent of the regular candidates passed and a little less than 50 per cent had passed as private candidates.

Subject wise, both regular and private candidates have fared well in Punjabi and the worst in mathematics followed by science. Most of the students have fared well in social sciences.

Unlike last year, there are a fair number of students from government schools in the merit list. These schools which are mostly in rural areas seem to have created more meritorious students than government schools in urban areas. Students from Kapurthala, Ludhiana and Gurdaspur have performed better than students from other districts.

Students of Government Model Coeducational School, Jalandhar, have brought laurels to the school with state topper Arshdeep Kaur and Jasmeen Kaur and Rachna bagging fifth and eigth position. Priya Aggarwal, Priyanka Jariyal and Sarabjit Kaur of Maharana Pratap Senior Secondary Adarsh Vidyalaya, Pathankot, have bagged fourth, fifth and seventh positions in the state. Saifi Arora, Neha Thakral and Surbhi of Sri Mahavir Jain Model Senior Secondary School, Phagwara, have bagged sixth, eigth and ninth positions in the state.

Pavneet Kaur of MC Jolly DAV Public Senior Secondary School, Urmur, Hoshiarpur, stood second in the state while Hardeep Kaur of Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School Doraha, Ludhiana, stood third in the state.

Sharad Mittal (Moga), Amanpreet Kaur (Ludhiana), Pinki (Ropar), Ketan Midha (Phagwara), Jaspreet Kaur (Ludhiana), Surekha Joshi (Ludhiana), Rubalpreet Kaur (Ludhiana), Jaspreet Kaur (Nawanshahar), Manjinder Kaur (Sangrur), Himanshi (Jalandhar), Harsimran Kaur (SAS Nagar), Navjot Kaur (Tarn Taran), Geetika (Ferozepore), Gaurav Mahajan (Amritsar), Priya (Sangrur), Abhimaan Singh (Gurdaspur), Heena (SAS Nagar), Navneet Kaur (Ludhiana), Meenu (Ferozepore), Harfateh Singh (Ludhiana), Shiva Saddi, (Ludhiana), Roopinder Kaur (Ludhiana), Maalu (Jalandhar), Deepshikha (Gurdaspur), Satinder Kaur (Nawanshahar), Ritu Sharma (Amritsar), Jyoti (Phagwara) are bracketed in the first 15 positions.

A total of 246,715 students had appeared in the Class XII examination this year, which are almost 25,000 students less than the last year. As many as 191,520 of these had appeared in the humanities group and over 36,000 in the science and commerce stream.

The result gazettes will be available for students in the board’s textbook sales depots situated at district or tehsil headquarters tomorrow at 10 A.M. However, booksellers can collect their gazettes from district headquarters only. The principals or their authorised representatives can collect the result cuttings of their respective institutes after 4 P.M. from these text depots.

The results will also be available on the Internet tomorrow after 6 P.M. on websites www.punjabschool.indiaresults.co  and www.ilfsets.com  <http://www.ilfsets.com>.


Circumstances made me CM: Badal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
In an informal talk with mediapersons here today, Parkash Singh Badal said he did not try ever to be a chief minister. “Every time circumstances played crucial role to make me occupy the chief minister’s chair”, said Badal, sharing experiences of his political life spread over 50 years. He has become chief minister of the state fourth time since 1957 when he entered into the field of electoral politics.

“I have always remained loyal to the Shiromani Akali Dal and this factor made me to be its frontline leader. I have always given preference to party programmes despite differences on certain issues with the party leadership”, he said. For instance, he said, he was not in favour of tearing a certain section of Constitution in the 80s. And even late Giani Zail Singh, who was union home minister in early 80s, had called me on the phone asking for not tearing the Constitution. However, as party had given me direction in this regard, I did tear the constitution to meet the party programme, he said.

He was a minister in the council of ministers of the late Chief Minister Gurnam Singh. At that time, I was provided with a gunman, who had a rifle. “One day, I was going along the gunman to Ganganagar and asked the gunman that whether he had ever tested his rifle. I asked him to fire a shot at an isolated place. The gunman had two cartridges and these misfired.”

He said he went to jail several times and never thought about his family when in the jail. “I used to keep my kit ready to go to jail in connection with Akali agitations and morchas”, Badal said, adding that keeping public interest in mind he had been avoiding making unnecessary statements on sensitive issues. “I have seen some leaders getting into trouble by making unwanted statements.” Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s statement against China made the country pay heavy price in the form of the Indo-China war, he said. Likewise, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi landed in trouble a number of times by making hard statements.

An irresponsible statement made in haste by a political leader could put the entire country on fire. He refused to make any comment on sensitive issues.

Talking about setting up state legislative council, he said the government was serious on this issue. “I have also talked to the leader of opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal in this regard”, he said. Congress had promised to set up the council before the Assembly elections, he added. He said the state government was worried regarding the falling water table.


Badal playing with fire, says Bhattal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
Leader of the opposition in the Punjab assembly Rajinder Kaur Bhattal here today said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was playing with fire by keeping the dera issue on the boil in Punjab’s countryside.

Talking to a group of mediapersons at her residence, she said Badal should stop playing politics on the dera issue. “ Let us all move ahead, forgetting what happened in Punjab in the recent weeks”, she said referring to the recent happenings which had become a big threat to peace in the state. “ It appears that deliberately tension is being created in the state”, she alleged.

“Badal should look beyond vote politics and tell his party activists to work for defusing tension in the countryside. If steps are not taken by Badal to restore peace, hot-headed elements could take advantage of the prevailing situation to push the state back into the dark days which destroyed it in the 80s and 90s”, she said.


Yet another case against Chahal
Weapons recovered from house
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 13
Former media adviser to former Chief Minister Bharat Inder Singh Chahal was booked in another case here today. This is the second case registered against him in two consecutive days.

This time he has been booked for committing a fraud with a Mohali-based caterer Kawaljit Singh. In his complaint to the police, the caterer has alleged that Chahal got kitchen of his Patiala-based palatial house constructed from him. He was to pay him Rs 15 lakh for the construction as per the contract.

However, he did not pay him the amount and instead threatened him with dire consequences in case he asked for money from him. Kawaljit said he first met Chahal at former Chief Minister’s residence while he was organising a party there in 2001. Chahal came to his residence and saw his ultramodern kitchen and urged him to make a similar one for him too.

The police has registered a case under Sections 406, 420 and 506 of the IPC against Chahal.

Meanwhile, a team of vigilance officials from Ludhiana raided the house of Chahal here. A team of four vigilance officials and a lawyer, along with Chahal, entered the house at about 5 pm.

They recovered four weapons, two revolvers, one pistol and one 12 barrel gun, from his residence. SP (vigilance) Harish Kumar said the weapons were allegedly used in an attempt to murder, a case for which had been registered against Chahal at Ludhiana.

Capt Amarinder Singh rang up many Congress workers to reach the Chahal’s house to express solidarity with him. He wanted them to be present at the site to ensure that the vigilance officials did not plant anything on Chahal that could be used against him. However, only the MLA from Bathinda Harminder Singh Jassi turned up at the house. He was not allowed by the police officials to enter into the house.

Sources said the Patiala police would seek transit remand of Chahal in the cases registered against him here after his police remand at Ludhiana is over.

The sources also said the police was planning to register few more cases against Chahal in the near future. This includes the case of Gopal Krishan, a leader of vendors’ union here who had immolated himself and named Chahal as the person responsible for his suicide.


HC Suggestion
Chahal wakes up to Article 226
Vishal Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
With Chahal moving the Punjab and Haryana High Court today under Article 226, it seems that he has finally woken up to the June 1 order by Justice Uma Nath Singh.

An inadvertent legal glossover has landed Chahal, now booked by the Punjab police in two cases, in a terrible mess. While his lawyers were hammering on a direction for a blanket bail under Section 482 CrPC, Mr Justice Uma Nath Singh of the Punjab and Haryana High Court had clearly suggested in his order, dated June 1, that Article 226 would be a more potent remedy.

Though the judge had granted temporary relief to Chahal by directing that “he shall not be arrested in any case by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau without giving him four days’ notice in advance so that he could file anticipatory bail before the competent court”, yet his view was prominently in favour of Article 226.

Incidentally, the aforesaid direction of relief against Vigilance, according to the order, was to remain in force till July 4 only.

The outcome, after marathon two-day hearings which saw Mattewal and Cheema vehemently arguing their cause and frantic citation of apex court rulings, went in Chahal’s favour but in the ensuing elation, a vital point was missed that the order was specific only to the Vigilance Bureau and excluded other agencies, including the Punjab Police from its ambit.

The irony of the top order is that Ashok Aggarwal, Chahal’s counsel in the contempt case before the high court, had alreday pleaded before the Chief Justice, on the day Chahal first surfaced before the court, that his client would not be allowed to reach home by the Vigilance and the Punjab Police the moment he stepped out of the court.

Despite his specifically mentioning the Punjab Police, the subsequent hearings saw focus on the Vigilance Bureau only. Despite Cheema’s emphatic pleading aimed at securing blanket bail for Chahal, in which he eventually succeeded though partly, the court order never made a mention of the Punjab Police.

The judge in fact had categorically stated in his order that “during the course of hearing a consensus had emerged that such a petition for blanket bail should have been made under Article 226 of the Constitution.” The order stated that Article 226 empowered the high court with wider and far-reaching powers to deal with the question of life and liberty of a citizen.

“The petitioner is granted liberty to approach this court by way of writh petition under Article 226, if so advised,” Justice Uma Nath Singh had stated. And to Chahal’s misfortune, despite the judge’s clear nudging and directions that Article 226 would offer better chances to secure a blanket bail, no such advise probably came through. This glossover has now left Chahal and his supporters high and dry.


Chahal moves High Court yet again
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
A civil writ petition was filed today in the Punjab and Haryana High Court by Bharat Inder Singh Chahal, media advisor to former chief minister Amarinder Singh.

Chahal has submitted in the petition that investigation into case registered against him, bearing FIR no 105, by the Ludhiana police be handed over to the CBI.

It has also been submitted that a week’s notice be given to the petitioner in case of arrest in any case registered in Punjab. The petitioner has further submitted that if the Vigilance Bureau is to arrest him then it should be done only after the permission of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

It has been averred in the petition that complainant in the Ludhiana FIR had alleged that the petitioner, Chahal, had warned him of dire consequences on June 3 while he went to the police on June 7. The petition, to be taken up tomorrow, has raised the question as to why there has been this delay of four days on the part of the complainant to go to the police. Incidentally, the Ludhiana police had registered the case on June 10. Chahal’s lawyer, Karambir Singh Nalwa, said that according to the Ludhiana FIR, as many as 100 to 105 persons had gone to the Daad village and resorted to firing, thus allegedly threatening the complainant and his family. Nalwa asserted that how this could be done without any newspaper or Oppostition taking notice of the event.

Chahal’s lawyers have earlier also said that police action against Chahal smacked of political vendetta and was violative of the spirt of June 1 order by Justice Uma Nath Singh of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The June 1 order had stated that four-day notice in advance be given to Chahal in case of arrest in any case registered by the Vigilance Bureau, Punjab. The said order is effective till July 4.


More cases likely
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
Former media adviser to Capt Amarinder Singh, BIS Chahal is likely to remain in police custody and shuttle from one police station to another for quite some time as a plethora of complaints are being filed in various offices seeking immediate action or registration of further cases against him.

The latest in the series is a complaint moved before the Vigilance Bureau here that he and his wife possessed animal articles declared banned under the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972.

Vigilance sources revealed that a local resident, Subash Chander, has sought action against Chahal and some wildlife/forest department officials who allegedly turned a blind eye to the violation and even tried to help him become a lawful owner of the articles.

According to the list of the persons possessing animals/articles obtained from the office of the chief wild life warden, Punjab, by a local resident, Chahal and his wife own two sofa sets with Ivory engravings, three ivory pieces, a mounted head hog deer, two shahtoosh shawls, an ivory box and an ivory table.

These articles were kept in the house in Chahal Niwas, Twakali Mor, Patiala. As per the documents attached with the complaint, the inquiry about the possession was pending with the divisional forest officer, Patiala.

It has been alleged that the official who helped Chahal was awarded with a plum posting in the department.

Five complaints of fraud and land-grab have been filed against Chahal with the Ludhiana police. Most of these are likely to develop into FIRs.


Two booked for bid to usurp Chahals’ land

Ludhiana, June 13
The police has registered a case against two persons, who allegedly attempted to grab a piece of land belonging to the relatives of former media adviser to Capt Amarinder Singh B.I.S. Chahal, while they were in police custody along with him.

According to the complaint, Sandeep Goel and Sawinder Chawla allegedly tried to take advantage of the absence of Jagdish Singh and Kartar Singh, father-in-law and grandfather-in-law of Chahal’s son, who were arrested along with other relatives in the land-grab and attempt to murder case with Chahal as the main accused. They are in the custody of the Sadar police. The suspects have absconded. — TNS


CD Examination
Dimpa may get relief
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 13
Former Congress MLA Jasbir Singh Dimpa, who was booked for violence resulting in the death of an Akali worker on the eve of the Beas election, might get some relief in the examination report of the CD, which was projected as a proof of his participation in the clash between workers of the Congress and SAD.

The Central Forensic Science Laboratory, Chandigarh, in its examination report has pointed out: “The video recording examination for authentication cannot be performed on the video recordings on CDs. The said examination will be possible only if the original video recording is made available.”

“The video recording on CD is post-production, edited version. However, there is no indication of alteration in the identified video shots on the basis of frame-by-frame examination. Hence, for total image integration and examination of authenticity, the evidence video is required to be produced on video cassette in original,” says the examination report.

On the basis of analysis of the video recording, the laboratory said the video shots were indicated to have been recorded by a hand-held camcorder. Some of the video frames are frozen for some seconds at 10 counts with inserted captions. One shot is shown repeating thrice in subsequent manner.

The video had shown Harpinder Singh, younger brother of Dimpa holding an AK-47. However, the FIR registered at the Beas police station said he had a revolver in his hand while he was firing at Akali workers. Interestingly, the video showed Dimpa holding a mobile phone in his hand.

The CD of this video footage was handed over to the Chief Election Commissioner Sundram Krishna during his visit to Beas by local Akali leaders.

The Beas police had booked Jasbir Singh Dimpa, Congress candidate, and his 15 supporters on the charges of attempt to murder, rioting with armed weapons and trespassing at Doullen Nangal village, a day before the Assembly elections on March 11.


Ram Bagh Clubs
Joshi threatens to quit
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 13
The controversy over the proposed vacation of three century-old clubs of the British era at historical Ram Bagh, the summer palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, today took a fresh turn with BJP MLA Anil Joshi threatening to resign as legislator if the orders of the sub-divisional magistrate-cum-collector were implemented to get the clubs vacated by June 20.

Addressing a gathering of more than 1,500 members and employees of the three clubs here today, MPs and MLAs of the present regime announced that the clubs, which were an integral part of the heritage building, won’t be allowed to be vacated against wishes of its members. The members urged the state government that in case the clubs were vacated, the bagh would present a desert look.

Navjot Sidhu, BJP MP, said he would take up the matter with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal tomorrow. He assured the members that the clubs won’t be shifted till they were allotted alternative buildings by the administration. Rajya Sabha member Raj Mohinder Singh Majithia said the state government won’t take any step against the wishes of the Amritsar residents.

The leaders appreciated the offer of the club managements to maintain the entire Summer Palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh at their own expenses.

On the other hand, Commissioner, Jalandhar division, failed to take any decision regarding granting stay to the clubs.

The question, which is being hotly debated, is that if the state government could de-notify the area of “protected monument” for creating panorama of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, why the same treatment could not be given to the clubs, which were opened a few years after annexation of Punjab by the British government.


Illegal immigration: UK envoy for crackdown on ‘crooks’
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
The UK high commissioner to India, Sir Michael Arthur, today said steps had been initiated to tackle the problem of illegal immigration from India to the UK.

“ I have discussed this issue with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, leader of the opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, chief secretary Ramesh Inder Singh and DGP N.P.S. Aulakh and others concerned”, he said talking a group of mediapersons at the residence of Bhattal here. A sword and a tri-colour turban were presented to Arthur by Bhattal, Parminder Singh, general secretary, and Gurkirat Singh and Rahul Inder Singh, both Congress leaders.

There was need to crack down on the “crooks” who were engaged in “facilitating” illegal immigration activity. Such persons deceived innocent people by promising to take them abroad, said Arthur. People were required to be educated about the legal channels available to visit the UK, he added.

Arthur said the UK high commission was issuing about 1,000 visas daily, mostly to Punjabis.

Asked about the problem of fake marriages, Arthur said “ efforts are being made to tackle this problem also”. He said the issue had been discussed with the union government, the Punjab government and the judiciary. In marriage-related frauds some Punjabi NRIs settled in the UK and other countries were involved. Some NRIs had also been defrauded in India. The problem of fake marriages had roots in the UK as well as in India. He said: “I am here to understand what is happening at the political, economic and agricultural levels. What is the dera issue and related matters”.

He said the UK was keen on academic and student exchange programmes with universities in Punjab. There were a large number of Indian students in UK universities. “ I will be visiting the PAU, Ludhiana, tomorrow to probe the possibility of an exchange programme”, he added.

Bhattal said she had urged the high commissioner to help Punjab in human resource development, employment generation, marketing and the export of various goods.


State Round-up
CM writes to Pranab on immigrants
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has urged union minister of external affairs Pranab Mukherjee to ask all Indian consulates and embassies across the world to provide every possible assistance to Punjabi immigrants to avail themselves of the benefit of amnesty schemes for regularising illegal immigrants in the countries concerned.

A spokesman of the Punjab government said the Chief Minister had addressed a communication to Mukherjee for issuing guidelines to provide duplicate passports. Badal reiterated that the state government was ready to carry out an extensive exercise for facilitating the identification of applicants.

A large number of immigrants from Punjab could not avail themselves of the benefit of amnesty schemes for want of identification documents like a passport, which not only resulted in their prosecution but also led to mental torture to their families back home.

Ownership of property

The Punjab government today decided to allow surety bonds on the property of members of the weaker sections situated within the lal dora as proof of ownership of property to deal with cases under sections 107 and 151, CrPC.

The Chief Minister took a decision to this effect during a sangat darshan programme.

Subsidy on farm machinery

The state government has decided to allow subsidy on the purchase of agricultural machinery and equipment by cooperative societies in the state.

A decision to this effect was taken by the Chief Minister at a meeting to review rural indebtedness this morning. The Chief Minister said this proposal would make these cooperative societies not only self-sustainable and economically viable but also reduce the burden of over-capitalisation in the agricultural sector.

Supply of DAP

Punjab will procure 3.50 lakh metric tonnes of DAP through Markfed during 2007-08.

The Chief Minister took a decision in this regard during a meeting to review the arrangements for the supply of DAP in the state last evening.

Markfed had been directed to tie up with Indian Potash Limited for the procurement of DAP.


Cong failed to take tough stance: Khaira
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
In a surprise reaction Congress MLA from Bholath, Sukhpal Khaira, said today that the Congress faltered and could not take on the ruling SAD-BJP combine on the law and order situation during the Dera Sacha Sauda controversy. Even the BJP, which is an alliance partner of the SAD, took a tough stance on this, he added.

The handling of the law and order situation has been a failure and even the BJP reminded its partner sternly. Teachers are being beaten up while bullets have been fired at protesters. Khaira is a staunch loyalist of former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and had defeated Bibi Jagir Kaur to win this seat.

Khaira was talking to journalists to counter claims of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on the schemes and plans the latter had announced on completion of 100 days of the SAD-BJP combine.

He said Badal was making false claims. Could anybody believe that the World Bank-aided scheme of Rs 1,280 crore for providing potable water and sanitation in villages was planned, launched and started in these 100 days? He added that the project was cleared and okayed during the previous regime. Same, he said was true for the road widening projects worth Rs 3,035 crore. He added that Badal had been claiming that the thermal plant at Lehra Mohhabat would become functional in December. Is it possible to construct and start a thermal plant within 10 months or so, he asked? Even the claim to convert the state into California was a “day dream”. It was yet another promise that cannot be fulfilled. Badal is saying the same things for years like opening of adarsh schools and drip irrigation. No new investor was willing to come to the state while land prices have fallen. The only agenda the ruling party fulfilled was of launching a “political witch hunt”.

Badal is running the government in an obsolete manner which is yielding no results and suggested “The SAD should introspect and see who can lead them in the future”. Khaira avoided taking names.


Sidhu hints at homecoming
Tribune News Service

Patiala June 13
It was a homecoming for Navjot Singh Sidhu, MP, from Amritsar. He participated in a political press conference here, along with Sahib Singh Verma, party in charge for Punjab, after being elected as MP from Amritsar.

He told newsmen here yesterday, “My word for not entering Patiala if elected as MP from Amritsar was only for the first-time election. After that, I have not kept any such bonding”.

In fact, it was the previous Congress government that brought him back to Patiala for serving a jail sentence in Central Jail here, he said in a lighter vein.

About his prospects of joining the election fray from Patiala, he said, “ I am open to it. I was taken to Amritsar also by a stroke of destiny and I do not know what future has in store for me”. He said, “The party has now given me the responsibility of leading the campaign during the corporation elections from Patiala and I will be joining electioneering here”.

He also said, “I am emotionally attached with Patiala, since it is my birthplace.”


Land-Grab Bid
Dera alleges MLA’s hand
Manish Sirhindi
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 13
Mahanats of Dera Das Nami Akhara have alleged that some miscreants were trying to grab a piece of prime property on the National Highway No.1, near Sirhind, that belonged to the dera. They alleged that this was being done at the behest of local MLA Didar Singh Bhatti.

Ishwar Giri, chief mahant of the sect, said the dera had leased a portion of its land to one Pawan Kumar, who in violation of the lease agreement further leased it to some private party. He stated that the dera moved the court, following which Kumar compromised and handed back a small portion of the leased land. He said Kumar sought some time to hand over the remaining portion of the land, pleading that he had already constructed a sheller there.

The mahant said instead, Kumar ganged up with his brothers and tried to grab the piece of land handed over to the dera by constructing a boundary wall around it. He alleged that one of his brothers Praveen Kumar, who was a proclaimed offender, even approached the sect and stated that they wanted the land for commercial purpose and that they had a partnership with the local MLA.

As the dera chief refused to oblige, the three brothers allegedly started constructing a boundary wall on the land without seeking any permission. Following this, the dera approached the district police and got the construction work stalled.

Giri stated that when they met the local legislator, he told them that he had nothing to do with the three brothers and that the sect should sort out the issue on its own.

The dera chief said now, they had decided to meet the Chief Minister to apprise him of the situation and seek his intervention in the matter.

Meanwhile, SSP Nilab Kishore, stated that he had received a complaint in this regard and the matter was being looked into.


Mob torches 2 barber shops
Tribune News Service

Cheema Mandi (Sangrur), June 13
In the wake of ongoing tussle between the followers of Dera Sacha Sauda and members of Sikh organisations over the “anti-Sikh Panth” activities of its chief, an agitated mob, comprising members of Sikh community, today burnt a rehri, belongings of two barbers and that of a house besides a motor cycle of five dera followers in the main market on the Sunam-Mansa road here.

Gurjant Singh, alias Janta of Tolawal village, near here, was today admitted to Sunam Civil Hospital as he was allegedly beaten up by two dera followers, Piara Singh and Bikar Singh, owners of barber shops at Cheema Mandi. Besides this, they also allegedly showed disrespect by pulling Gurjant Singh’s beard.

According to residents of this town, Gurjant Singh or one of his family members had reportedly asked people not to become followers of “pakhandi sadhus” in a bhog ceremony at Tolwal village, 4-km from here, three to four days ago. This angered Piara Singh and Bikar Singh. Today when Gurjant Singh came to their shops for pacifying them, they allegedly pulled his beard and beat him up. After this, people from nearby villages assembled. They burnt a rehri, a motor cycle of two dera followers and belongings of Piara Singh and Bikar Singh lying in the shops besides damaging them. The mob also burnt household goods of the dera follower. Due to this, Cheema Mandi remained tensed for hours. The shopkeepers closed their shops partially.

After the incident, BSF jawans and a large number of policemen were deployed in the town The Sangrur deputy commissioner S.R. Ladhar and SSP Arunpal Singh also visited the town. A fire brigade was also sent to this town from Sangrur.

SSP Arunpal Singh said on the complaint of Gurjant Singh the police had registered a case against Piara Singh and Bikar Singh (both followers of Dera Sacha Sauda).


129 posts of SMO to be filled
Tribune News Service

Bhawanigarh (Sangrur), June 13
To improve the health care services in the state, the Punjab government has decided to fill 129 vacant posts of senior medical officer (SMO) by provisionally promoting medical officers (MOs). The posting orders will be issued within a week.

Punjab health and family welfare minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla, who was here to launch the Integrated Diseases Surveillance Project and attend a programme on female foeticide, stated this yesterday.

The minister said for regular posting of the SMOs, the Departmental Promotion Committee would clear the cases of the MOs.

The minister also said there were 650 posts of MO lying vacant and she had sent a plan to the CM to recruit as many officers. She said she had sent a case to the Punjab Public Service Commissioner (PPSC) for selection of chief analysts.

The minister added that the Centre had sent its approval to Punjab for setting up trauma wards at Amritsar, Pathankot and Jalandhar at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore each.

Addressing the programme on female foeticide, she said it could be checked by an awakened society.


2 more die of heat wave
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 13
The intense heat wave in the region, which has been refusing to subside, claimed two more lives today. A sadhu and a youth identified as Kala Singh of Naruana village died due to the sunstroke. Besides them, two persons who had suffered sunstroke were battling for their lives in the local civil hospital.

In another incident, assistant lineman of the Punjab state electricity board (PSEB) Major Singh was electrocuted while he was trying to rectify a fault on an electric pole.

His condition was stated to be critical.


BSNL signal fails again
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, June 13
Poor connectivity continued to cause harassment of thousands of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) mobile phone subscribers on the second day here today.

Subscribers were disconnected from the rest of the world and traders were the worst affected.

The signal from mobile phones having BSNL connection went missing since early Tuesday morning. The subscribers had to use mobile connections of private telecommunication companies like AirTel, Reliance, Hutch and Spice.


Grievances removal panels

Chandigarh, June 13
The Punjab government has ordered reconstitution of district grievances removal committees in the state. Each committee will be headed by a cabinet minister. The DC, SSP and assistant commissioner (grievances) would be its official members. Similarly, the re-constitution of subdivisional level grievances removal committees had also been approved.

A spokesman of the state government said all present Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members, all MLAs of the district, chairman of zila parishad, vice-president of district sainik board and president of municipal corporation and committee of the district headquarters would be the ex-officio members. — TNS


First taste of victory for Pavneet Kaur
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, June 13
It was the first taste of victory for Pavneet Kaur who, till now, had been relegated to the second position in the state. Pavneet, a student of M. C. Johli Senior Secondary School, Urmur, has created a history of sorts by topping Class X examination of Punjab School Education Board in the district.

Composed and at ease with his new celebrity status, Pavneet Kaur says,"I was just fired to do well. My parents, school mathematics teacher Chander Shekhar and Principal Simranjit Kaur Bajwa continuously drilled into my head that I could do better. It was this faith and their trust that prompted me to improve upon my performance. The best thing is that all my near and dear ones are happy for me."

Pavneet said she wanted to become a commanding officer in the Army to serve the country.

Pavneet Kaur's parents Ajit Kaur and Amrik Singh told mediapersons that their daughter studied two-and-a-half hours daily in the morning and evening, besides the school time.


Substitute teachers meet Badal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
A delegation of the Substitute Computer Teachers Union (SCTU), Punjab, today met Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and apprised him of their demands.

Baljinder Singh, president of the SCTU, claimed that the Chief Minister assured them that he had already passed instructions to the officials concerned to reinstate computer teachers. He said degree-holders would be appointed in high schools while diploma-holders would be posted in middle schools. Meanwhile, the protest of the disgruntled teachers entered the 170th day today.

The president said Daljit Singh Cheema, adviser to the Chief Minister, had helped them seek an appointment with Badal.

He said they would only end their protest when the state government provided jobs to all of them.


Arthur assures Badal on English teachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
The Punjab government is keen to collaborate with the British authorities and institutions to check environmental pollution and the consequent health hazards.

The matter was discussed here today by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal with the British high commissioner, Sir Michael Arthur, when the latter called on Badal at his official residence today.

He sought cooperation from the UK for saving the environment, especially in the wake of global warming.

Badal also asked Arthur to send a delegation of English teachers from the UK to Punjab to improve the quality of rural education with a focus on the English language as it was an international language and served as a common link among different countries, cultures and people across the globe. He suggested that summer camps of such teachers could be held in various schools in the rural areas to sharpen the skills of English teachers in the state.

The high commissioner gave an assurance to Badal that he would take up the issue with the British Council for sending English teachers from the UK under the education and talent exchange programme.

Badal also sought technical assistance from the UK for the rejuvenation of the canal system in the state.


Environment week celebrated
Tribune Reporters

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 13
The Desh Bhagat College of Nursing, Mandi Gobindgarh, celebrated the world environment week by initiating a series of seminars in the nearby villages and on the college campus under the leadership of Dr Zora Singh, chairman of the Desh Bhagat Group.

Dr M.S. Sidhu, civil surgeon, Dr Maninder Singh Bajwa, medical officer, Dr Jagpal Singh Bassi, Satish Sachdev, district group education and information officer, and Kuldeep Longia, principal of the college, participated in the awareness workshops.

Sachdev highlighted the importance of observing the environment day.

Kharar: Planting saplings and taking a pledge to protect the environment marked the environment week celebrations organised by Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited, Toansa. Around 100 villagers and schoolchildren from Toansa and Rail Majra participated in the concluding function held today. Schoolchildren participated in a poster-making contest and spoke on various issues concerning environment.

The management of Ranbaxy gave tips to the villagers on protection of the environment. Different varieties of saplings, including those of the fruits, were distributed among the participants and 200 saplings were planted on the premises of Ranbaxy.


Sixtynine get scholarships

Amritsar, June 13
GND University is committed to providing financial assistance in the form of scholarships, fellowships and awards to the poor and intelligent students. This was stated by Dr Jai Rup Singh, vice-chancellor, at a function organised by the varsity in collaboration with the SAF-Madanjit Singh Scholarship Foundation, New Delhi, here today.

Sixtynine students from institutes of Bathinda, Batala, Dinanagar, Jandiala Guru, Gurdaspur, Phagwara, Jalandhar and Nikke Ghumman were presented Rs 4,500 each as scholarship. — TNS


B.Com part-III result today
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 13
The result of B.Com.(III-year) examination conducted by Punjabi University, Patiala, in April will be declared tomorrow. University authorities in a press note issued here today said the result would also be available on the university website http://www.universitypunjabi.org.


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