P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Plea filed for arrest of dera chief
Chander Parkash/Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 18
The district police has moved an application in the local court to secure arrest warrant against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, head, Dera Sacha Sauda, in a criminal case registered against him at the city police station here on May 20.

Various Sikh organisations have also planned a protest march in the district on June 24 to press the state government to arrest him.

Moreover, this move of the district police authorities has also made the entry of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh into this district difficult. The dera chief was planning to hold a satsang in the dera branch at Salabatpura village in July.

Police sources said a formal application had been moved in the court in this town in connection with the criminal case registered under Section 295-A of the IPC against the dera chief on the complaint of Rajinder Singh Sidhu, president, local Khalsa Diwan.

Twenty followers of the sect had already been arrested for their alleged involvement in violence which took place in this town on May 15. Another criminal case had also been registered at the city police station against unidentified followers for their alleged involvement in violence on May 14.

Sources added that if the court issued warrants against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, he might be arrested. Though senior police officials were tightlipped in connection with today’s development, information gathered by TNS revealed that the district police authorities were likely to get the arrest warrant of the dera chief within a few days.


Ultimatum Ends
Sant Samaj to court arrest today
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 18
As the ultimatum served by the Gurmat Sidhant Parcharak Sant Samaj on June 2 on the Union, Punjab and Haryana governments for arresting Dera Sacha Sauda head Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh ended on Monday, members of the Sant Samaj will court arrest on Tuesday.

The chief of Sant Samaj, Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa, who is also head of Damdami Taksal, said the members of the samaj would start a procession from Fatehgarh Sahib to Chandigarh on Tuesday where they would court arrest.

Khalsa said they wanted to continue their protest against the dera in a peaceful manner and the concerned government should arrest the dera chief keeping in mind the sentiments of the Sikh community.

In the same way, the senior vice-president of SAD (Amritsar) Daljit Singh Bittu said the Khalsa Action Committee comprising several Sikh organisations, including the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, SAD (A), Dal Khalsa, Damdami Taksal, Shiromani Khalsa Panchayat and SAD-1920 would carry out a Khalsa march in favour of their demand of the dera chief’s arrest on June 24.

Bittu said the DCs of Moga and Bathinda had already been informed about the route.


Reprieve for Amarinder
SC order divides legal opinion
Vishal Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The stage is set for an encore of the courtroom drama witnessed during high-profile hearings of Ludhiana City Centre cases at the Punjab and Haryana High Court, courtesy the apex court.

With the Supreme Court today directing that former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s case be heard by the High Court on July 4, along with other city centre cases, it is back to the square one. Importantly, this means that hearing in Amarinder’s case, who is currently on anticipatory bail till July 30, has been preponed to July 4.

Importantly, the apex court has directed that the cases be decided keeping in view the parameters laid down by it in the case of Adri Dharan Dass vs State of West Bengal in 2005 (2005 SC Cases Vol 4).

Incidentally, The SC directive has strongly divided the legal opinion here. “The 2005 judgement, on which the Punjab government relied today, unambiguously states that arrest is an inevitable part of investigation and sets forth parameters related to anticipatory bail or interim reliefs against arrest within which the high court will be restrained to act following the SC directive,” says Anupam Gupta, Chandigarh Administration’s senior standing council.

He opines that the apex court direction to the high court to decide the cases according to Adri Dharan Dass judgement is a positive development as far as the investigation is concerned.

“An interim order restraining arrest should not be passed under Section 438 CrPC as it will amount to interference with the investigation,” he says, buttressing that apex court directive leans in Punjab’s favour.Punjab Advocate-General H.S Mattewal told The Tribune over phone from New Delhi that he had laid particular stress on the Adri judgement while making submissions and was pleased at the SC’s clarification that High Court should follow the guidelines settled by the said judgment.

The differing opinion is that the apex court has today dismissed the special leave petition relating to Amarinder and its directive of fixing his case for hearing on July 4, along with other related cases, just amounts to preponing the matter and nothing much should be read into that.

Karambir Singh Nalwa, who is B.I.S Chahal’s lawyer, says that the apex court directive does not affect them much as in any case their matter was listed for July 4. He is silent on the Adi Dharan Dass judgment’s effect on his case.

So, while one segment of legal opinion is hailing the SC directive as the one in favour of the investigating agencies, the other is simply dismissive of it as not being of much consequence.

In the Adri Dharan Dass judgement, the Division Bench of the apex court, comprising Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice S.H. Kapadia, had enunciated that anticipatory bail should be of limited duration and on expiry of such duration, matter should be referred to the regular court so that it could decide it on appreciation of evidence. Also, no blanket bail under Section 438 CrPC should be granted as the Section could not be used as a passport to protection against crime.

A battery of high-profile lawyers, including former Attorney General of India P. Prasaran, Mukul Rohtagi, N.Nageshwara Rao, pleaded Amarinder’s case before the apex court while the Punjab’s legal team was headed by Advocate-General H.S Mattewal and assisted by S.Ganesh and Ravi Shankar Prasad, both senior advocates.


House worth Rs 1.25 cr grabbed for just Rs 14 lakh
Chahal forcibly took my house: Ex-neighbour
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 18
Another complaint has cropped up against Bharat Inder Singh Chahal. This time his former neighbour Daljinder Singh has alleged that Chahal forced him to sell his house for Rs 14 lakh against the prevailing marker price of Rs 1.25 crore.

Talking to The Tribune, Daljinder, a former executive engineer in the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), alleged that he used to stay in the neighbourhood of Chahal. His wife’s grandfather had bought the house from Harbans Kaur, mother of Chahal, on February 26, 1965. Daljinder after getting married started staying at his in-laws’ place. In 1991 he bought the house from his in-laws after getting a loan from the PSEB.

He became executive engineer in 2002 and was posted at Patiala. At the same time the Congress government came into power and Chahal became media adviser to the Chief Minister. This started the tale of woes for Daljinder.

On April 11, 2002, Chahal called up Daljinder and said his guards wanted to erect tents in their courtyard. The family, however, objected to the move. On this, Chahal got annoyed and asked him to go to office and collect orders of posting at Gurdaspur.

On the same day he was transferred to Gurdaspur. He approached Malwinder Singh, brother of former Chief Minister, and MP Preneet Kaur in this regard. However, both of them failed to help him as Capt Amarinder Singh allegedly told them they should not interfere as the case pertained to Chahal.

When Daljinder’s family pleaded before Chahal, he threatened to get their house demolished for constructing parking area and erecting tents for his securitymen. To pressurise him into selling his house, Chahal got nine frivolous cases of vigilance registered against Daljinder. Mohinder Mohan Singh, an information officer in the PSEB, was deputed to follow the cases against him.

Under pressure and fear of loosing job, Daljinder agreed to sell his house.

Chahal paid him Rs 1 lakh as advance and got the agreement of selling the house made in the name of Gurbachan Singh, resident of Patiala gate, Nabha, on December 9, 2002. After this he was transferred back to Patiala on January 23, 2003. The vigilance inquiries, however, continued against him and Chahal continued to pressurise him to hand over the house to him. When he agreed for the same the vigilance inquiries against him were dropped by an office order issued on September 24, 2004.

Interestingly, the complainant on whose complaint the inquiry was initiated against him gave in writing to the PSEB officials that he never gave a complaint against Daljinder and even did not know him.

On November 16, 2004, he registered his house in the name of Parveen Puri, brother of Sunil Puri, senior executive engineer in the PSEB. The amount of Rs 14 lakh was arranged by Bikramjit Singh Chahal, son of Chahal.

Daljinder said he would also approach the police in this connection.


Claim, counter-claim over Dimpa’s fast
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 18
The Central Jail authorities here today claimed that former Congress MLA Jasbir Singh Dimpa had ended his fast after his demand for a separate barrack was accepted.

Talking to The Tribune, Rup Lal, jail superintendent, said eight persons, including Dimpa, who were facing the same charges, had today been moved to a separate barrack for security reasons. But since four other accused in the acase are police employees, they have not been shifted with them but lodged in a separate barrack.

“We got to know that some inmates had tried to register their protest yesterday. But today nobody was on fast and Dimpa not only had his food, but also tea,” he said.

As per the jail manual, the new inmates have to be kept in a separate barrack for the first two days.

Later, they are moved to a different one. This is exactly what had been done, he said.

On the other hand, Rajinder Singh Tapiala, counsel for Dimpa, claimed that the fast was still on as the jail authorities had refused to give anything in writing with regard to the demands. “My client, Dimpa, is apprehensive that the jail authorities, who today agreed to keep the co-accused in the case in a separate barrack, may not go back on their decision. So, Dimpa, his younger brother Harpinder Singh and 12 other accused are continuing with their fast,” he said.aThe jail superintendent, however, said there was no question of the jail authorities giving it in writing that the accused in the same case would be kept separately from now on. “We have to go by the rules and there is no provision for a written assurance,” he said.


Budget session expected to be stormy
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
If the proceedings of the Punjab Congress legislature party (CLP) meeting here this evening are any indication, the main opposition will be on the offensive in the budget session of the state Vidhan Sabha starting tomorrow.

On the opening day, the house will adjourn after paying tributes to eminent persons who had died since the last session. The budget will be presented on Wednesday morning.

The presence of leader of the opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and Punjab pradesh Congress committee chief Shamsher Singh Dullo notwithstanding, some members of the CLP owing allegiance to former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, gave vent to their anger, accusing the state leadership of putting up a fragile defence against the government’s atrocities on party leaders and workers.

The meeting, which continued for over three hours, decided to oppose both in and out the Vidhan Sabha the policy of political vendetta being pursued by the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (SAD-BJP) alliance against Congress leaders, including legislators, and workers.

Specific cases of Jasbir Singh Dimpa, Sukhpal Singh Khaira and Jawahar Jain, besides others, came up for heated discussion in which some of the legislators were critical of the “soft stand” taken by the Punjab Congress.

Issues like Dera Sacha Sauda and its handling may also come up for discussion during the session.

Talking to The Tribune after the meeting, Bhattal said everyone was given a chance to speak at the meeting. “The consensus,” she said,” was that all vindictive actions of the SAD-BJP government would be opposed tooth and nail and the honour of the party leaders and workers safeguarded at all costs.”

The CLP, she said, was critical of the Parkash Singh Badal government for its failure on all fronts in general and law and order in particular.

“It was unable to discharge its constitutional duties in a manner befitting an elected government. Making the opposition a target of its fury was unacceptable and the use of the police force against party leaders and workers at different places in the state was against basic democratic norms,” she said.

While the SAD-BJP combine was bent on “crushing the opposition” with force, the Congress-led UPA government at the centre, she said, was doing its best to help the state government in every possible manner.


GMADA formation challenged
Punjab, PUDA get HC notice
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued notice to Punjab and the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) over a petition seeking the quashing of the notification constituting the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and orders relating to the deputation and transfer of PUDA staff to GMADA.

The petitioners, the PUDA Officers Welfare Association and others, had submitted that the notification, dated August 14, 2006, through which GMADA has been constituted and established be quashed.

They pleaded that the aforesaid notification was in violation of the provisions of the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Act, 1995 (PRTPD Act).

It was further submitted that the consequent transfer on deputation of the petitioners and other employees of PUDA was without their consent and thus in violation of the provisions of the PUDA (employees service) regulations, 1999.

The petitioners were also aggrieved by the transfer of assets and liability of PUDA to GMADA, through an order dated October 19,2006, which they averred was in complete disregard of the provisions of the PRTPD Act.

The petition raised the following points of law: Whether the assets of PUDA can be vested in a special authority (in this case GMADA) in the absence of any provisions to that effect in the Act. Also, if it was open to the government to administer directly through its officers, the affairs of body corporate like PUDA. And whether it was incumbent on the authorities to take consent of the official before sending him on deputation.

The petitioners also averred that the authorities never settled the terms and conditions of deputation and cited SC rulings to buttress their point.

They argued through their counsel that the apex court had held in Umapati Chaudhary vs State of Bihar that “the concept of deputation is consensual and involves a voluntary decision of the employer to lend the services and a corresponding acceptance of such services by the borrowing employer. It also involves the consent of the employee to go on deputation or not”.

Importantly, it was averred in the petition that the Punjab Government had usurped the powers of PUDA and proceeded to unilaterally order the transfer on deputation of PUDA employees without having any jurisdiction to do so.

It was stressed that the state government had overstepped its powers in managing the affairs of PUDA directly through its officers individually or through a committee of officers and in taking decisions which ought to have been taken by PUDA only.

The high court has through a June 4 order, a copy of which was given to petitioners recently, sought the reply of aforesaid respondents on August 6.


Mohali gets Rs 3,150-cr development thrust
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, June 18
Over a year after the creation of Mohali as district, development activity is set to pick up momentum with the Central Government approving the Rs 3,150-crore Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNURM).

On the anvil

  • Rs 3,150-cr Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission cleared for Mohali
  • Four-laning of Kharar-Tepla road to start soon
  • Rs 806-crore revival plan for SHGs
  • Subsided atta dal for 35,159 families

"The implementation of the scheme, to be patterned on Amritsar and Ludhiana districts, would go a long way in providing basic amenities to the residents of the developing township in Chandigarh's periphery," Mohali DC H.I.S. Grewal said here today.

Listing the "pro-people" initiative during the 100 days of the Badal government, the DC informed that the government had chalked out a Rs 806-crore credit plan for the revival of the self-help groups (SHGs). To be operational in two months, the scheme for the SHGs would endeavour to empower women in the rural areas, he added.

Meanwhile, 35,159 families had been shortlisted for the subsidised atta dal scheme during a special survey, he said, adding that the Transport Department had been fully computerised for the convenience of the general public.

The four-laning of the Kharar-Tepla road would start soon, Grewal said, adding that the four-laning would develop it as an alternative route to the Ambala-Chandigarh road for the benefit of commuters and motorists.

Meanwhile, the computerisation of land records is in progress and it would be completed by October this year.

The implementation of the JNURM scheme assumes significance for the district as the basic amenities are in a state of drift in the periphery, where a number of mega-housing projects were under way. The cancellation of the change of land use of the housing projects has created panic among the realtors recently, observers said.



Youth Cong leaders meet Dimpa
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 18
Leaders of the Punjab Youth Congress, led by its state president Vijay Inder Singla, here today met former Congress MLA Jasbir Singh Dimpa in Amritsar Central Jail to express the Congress party’s solidarity with him. Dimpa is in judicial remand in connection with the murder of an Akali worker on the eve of Assembly elections in Beas.

Taking to mediapersons, Singla said by targeting Dimpa, the Akali Dal was giving another example of the political vendetta let loose against Congress leaders in the state and the entire Congress stands united in fighting this victimisation.

“We stand by Dimpa, who has also been a Youth Congress leader and belongs to a family which has made sacrifices for the country. This is a crisis of the Congress party and we will face it tooth and nail,” he said.

Presidents of district Youth Congress units, Navdeep Kumar Goldy, Rajinder Raja, Sanjeev Bitoo, Dimple Rana, Amil Dhoot and state Youth Congress office-bearers Jatinder Chopra, Hardeep Chawla and Ishwarjot Cheema were also present on the occasion. They also met with Dimpa’s family to express support.


House razed
BSP memo to DC
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, June 18
A deputation of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) activists submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner here today alleging that Karamjit Singh, alias Bablu, and Gurmit Singh, son and husband, respectively, of Mohinder Kaur Josh, chief parliamentary secretary (CPS), Punjab, along with her security personnel and some unknown persons demolished the house of a Dalit woman, Chhindo, widow of Udho Ram, and beat her up and her son for taking possession of her house and a plot in the Central Town area here on June 11.

The Model Town police station failed to take any action.

They demanded the registration of a case and action against the culprits.


5,000 MW in five years: Majithia
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 18
The Punjab government has chalked out a comprehensive plan to add 5000 MW of power to its existing generation of electricity during the next five years.

Announcing this here today after laying the foundation stone of a 66 KV sub-station at Jethuke village of this district, Bikram Singh Majithia, water supply and sanitation, science technology and environment and public relations minister, said under the comprehensive plan thermal plants of 1800, 2000, 600 MW capacity each would be set up at Talwandi Sabo, Nabha and Goindwal Sahib, respectively, within the next five years.

Besides, stage II of Guru Hargobind Thermal Plant, Lehra Mohabbat, will generate an additional 500 MW within a short period. He said a UK firm would generate power from domestic and industrial waste in the state and a decision to set up a plant at a cost of Rs 3,000 crore in the same connection would be taken up shortly.

Majithia said the previous government did not pay attention to any project related to infrastructure development, which resulted in making the state poorer by 3,000 MW of power.

The minister said the SAD-BJP government was committed to providing 24-hour power supply to each village, besides ensuring supply of potable water. He said with the completion of the Rs 1,280-crore World Bank funded rural water supply plan, 3,000 villages would get water supply. He said the media policy would be announced soon.


State on high alert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
Punjab has been put on high alert for tomorrow to avoid any clash between followers of the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda and the Sikhs in Punjab. Almost a fortnight after it seemed things were cooling off the recent precautions are being taken on two counts.

First, the Bathinda police has sought arrest warrants of Dera chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh. This could anger the Premis’ (followers of the dera) and secondly the Sant Samaj will stage a march from Fatehgarh Sahib to Chandigarh to protest against the dera. Senior police officers were meeting to plan strategy for tomorrow.

This will be the second such march. The earlier one, led by the SGPC, had passed-off peacefully with the submission of memorandums to representatives of the Governors of Punjab and Haryana at Fatehgarh Sahib itself. Tomorrow’s march is keeping the police on its toes as a decision has been taken that it will not be stopped at Fatehgarh Sahib. It could be intercepted at Mohali, said a top police officer adding no unsheathed swords would be allowed.

Sources in the Punjab Police said the Dera had given a call to followers in Punjab to reach its main dera in Punjab at Salabatpura. The police said all people, be it Premis or Sikh organisations, travelling in the south-western districts were being screened and searches carried to stop anybody travelling with arms or swords. The police is keen on avoding a flare up.

Paramilitary forces will help the police while Section 144 of the CrPC remains in force and nakas have been set-up to check travellers.

Just two days ago posters had come up in Moga threatning the Dera chief and his followers. These were computer-generated print-outs and the police had beefed up security.


Rajasansi Airport
44 acres sought for expansion
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 18
The Rajasansi International Airport authorities have sought 44 acres from the Punjab government for expansion of the airport. The phase two of the master plan is already underway, which is expected to make the airport international in the real sense by adding more passenger facilities and increased security features.

There is also a plan to shift the Air Force station located in the airport so that more land is available for expansion.

Arun Talwar, airport director, said the additional land was the immediate requirement for carrying out work on phase two of the expansion. The matter was taken up with the Chief Minister during his visit to the airport on May 6. As per information, the government has begun working on the transfer of land.

“The infrastructure on the additional land would be set up by the Airport Authority of India (AAI), which has a separate planning department of its own,” he said.

AAI officials said the state government could only give suggestions as the AAI had an in-built system of planning, development and expansion of airports.

“As per the expansion plan, the total area of the terminal building would be increased to 31,000 sq m. The master plan also includes construction of four aerobridges. More parking bases are also on the cards. 


Poet Shugal dead
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 18
Poet, lyricist and filmmaker Chamal Lal Shugal (78) died here today due to cardiac arrest. He is survived by two sons and one daughter.

He made three films, “Khed Preetan Di”, “Mele Mitran De” and “Ranjha Ik Te Heeran Do”. He also performed in these films. He had many books to his credit, besides film lyrics and scripts.

He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the first Punjabi International Film Festival held in Amritsar recently. 


Supply free drugs to hepatitis patients: IMA secy
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 18
Dinesh Gupta, DM in gastro-enterology from Ludhiana, said the endoscopic procedure was useful and must for patients suffering from the upper gastrointestinal bleeding, peptic ulcer, oesophagitis, and stress ulcers, for getting rid of these diseases. He said these diseases were found in 20 per cent of the population who consumed spicy foods, tea, coffee and alcohol and made excessive use of painkillers.

Addressing a continued medical education programme on the “Management of upper GIT bleeding and hepatitis”, organised by the local unit of the Indian Medical Association, here on Saturday evening, Dr Gupta further said in many cases bleeding from mouth due to the liver failure and portal hypertension, therapeutic sclerosing endoscopic therapy proved to be life-saving.

At least 70 doctors from this district took part in the programme. Sangrur civil surgeon S.K. Bansal and assistant civil surgeon S.L. Dua were also present on the occasion.

Dr Gupta further said there were four types of hepatitis, A, E, B and C. The B and C hepatitis were dangerous, but now these could be managed with new medicines, he added. B and C hepatitis were found among 5 per cent population due to contaminated needles, syringes, instruments and untested blood transfusion.

Secretary of the local unit of the IMA Inderjit Singla urged the state government to supply medicines for hepatitis B and C diseases to all government hospitals for distributing them free of cost among patients.


Ban on film sought
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, June 18
Various Sikh organisations have sought ban on film “Shootout at Lohkhandwala” which allegedly depicted Sikhs as terrorists.

At a meeting of representatives of various organisations, including the Dal Khalsa, the Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, Sikh Missionary College, the Baba Deep Singh Sewa Society, the Shubh Karman Sewa Society and Tibba Sahib Gurdwara, held at Singh Sabha Gurdwara here last night, they condemned some scenes of the film.

Balwinder Singh, coordinator, Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, said the film had not only tarnished the image of the community in the world but also affecting the minds of the youth.


Some forces trying to repeat 1984: Nandgarh
Tribune Reporters

Jalandhar, June 18
Some forces were trying to repeat what had happened in 1984. This was stated by the jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib, Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh, at the release of a book, “Indo-Punjab battle June 1984”, compiled and published by the Dal Khalsa, at Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar Gurdwara here today. The book contains the details of the 207 Sikhs killed while fighting the Army during Operation Bluestar.

The jathedar said certain forces were trying to create a similar atmosphere and mentioned the recent dera clashes. He asked the Sikhs to be aware of such forces as they wanted to push the Sikhs into a civil war.

The first copy of the book was handed over to Ishar Singh, son of late Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. The families of those killed in Operation Bluestar and whose names were mentioned in the book were also honoured on the occasion.

The president and general secretary of the Dal Khalsa, Satnam Singh and Kanwar Pal Singh, respectively, Damdami Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa, SGPC member Karnail Singh Panjoli and SAD (A) senior vice-president Daljit Singh Bittu also spoke on the occasion.

Sangrur: Jathedar of Takht Sri Damdama Sahib Balwant Singh Nandgarh today asked Sikh youths to understand the “activities and conspiracies” of those agencies which wanted to defame the Sikhs due to the ongoing social, religious and political boycott of the followers of the Dera Sacha Sauda.

Addressing a gathering at Neelowal village, near Sunam, Jathedar Nandgarh also said some agencies were encouraging the activities of the head of the dera to defame the Sikh Panth. He also criticised the Haryana government for providing a security umbrella to the head of the dera , who had been facing serious charges of rape and murder.

Among others who addressed the gathering were an executive member of the SGPC Sant Baba Tek Singh Dhanaula, and a former SGPC member Giani Raghbir Singh Jakhepal.


No decision at high preists’ meeting

Amritsar, June 18
No decision came out of the emergency meeting convened by Jathedar Akal Takht Joginder Singh Vedanti here late in the evening today, to discuss the issue of courting arrest by the Sant Samaj at Chandigarh tomorrow.

The meeting was convened by Akal Takht Jathedar Vedanti to urge leaders and workers of the Sant Samaj to refrain from courting arrest at Chandigarh in protest against the failure of the state government to arrest Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

Besides Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Giani Trilochan Singh of Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib, Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh of Damdama Sahib and Sikh high priests Giani Gurbachan Singh and Giani Jagtar Singh were were present in the meeting. — TNS


Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The Punjab Irrigation AMIE (group-A) engineers Association has condemned the demand of diploma engineers seeking the reversion of AMIE qualified SDOs in the Punjab Irrigation Department.

C.M. Chawla, press secretary of the association, said AMIE qualified engineers were promoted as per PSE Class-II rules of the Punjab Irrigation Department as only they were eligible for promotion to these posts as per rules.


Blast victim succumbs to injuries
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 18
Blast victim Paramjit Singh died in Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, Amritsar, today. He was injured in the cantonment garbage dump blast here on June 16.

His death triggered protest in the hospital as cantonment board employees said the hospital authorities delayed in shifting the victim to the intensive care unit (ICU) when his condition deteriorated at 1 pm.

Sudesh Kumar, general secretary, Cantonment Board Employees Union, said they approached the authorities to shift the victim to the ICU. However, they had to wait for one hour but without any positive response. He said then they were forced to raise slogans against the authorities after which Paramjit Singh was shifted to the ICU where he died after half an hour. He demanded a probe into the matter.

However, the hospital authorities could not be contacted for version despite repeated attempts by this correspondent.

Paramjit Singh had sustained stomach injuries. However, his condition remained critical during the past two days. He was injured along with three others. Another victim Baldev Raj lost his right arm and leg.

Meanwhile, the cantonment employees held a rally against the Army authorities at Sadar Bazaar. Leaders of the union condemned the attitude of the Army and held it responsible for the blast. They presented a memorandum to N.S. Gill, CEO, Cantonment Board, in this regard.


New assignments for PCS officers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The Punjab government ordered new postings for PCS officers here today.

Kulwant Singh is the new ADC (general), Tarn Taran. M.P. Arora has been posted as additional secretary, food, civil supplies and consumer affairs. Rajinder Pal Singh becomes additional secretary, revenue.

Darshan Singh-II goes as joint secretary, local government. Narinder Singh Bath will be the new deputy director, colonisation. Madhvi Kataria becomes AC (general), Bathinda. Jasbir Singh-I goes as AC (general), Hoshiarpur, while Upkar Singh goes on the same post to Nawanshahr. M.P. Singh has been posted as AC (general), Ferozepore, while Madan Mohan Sabharwal goes on the same post to Mansa.


All wheat seed to be replaced, says Langah
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The Punjab government has decided to replace 100 per cent wheat seed every three years to end stagnation in production in the agricultural sector.

Sucha Singh Langah, agriculture minister, said that most of the available seed of wheat had lost its optimum potency. Keeping this factor in view, there was immediate need to make available the required fresh seed. 


Ravi Sidhu’s Appointments
Release increments, depts told
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The state government has issued orders to the departments concerned to release annual increments for the employees who were recruited by the Punjab Public Service Commission during the tenure of Ravinder Singh Sidhu as its chairman.

The departments have also been told to release other benefits, such as promotional scale on the completion of four, nine and 14 years of service, to the employees. Orders have been issued following the direction of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on a petition filed by a group of medical officers of the health department.

Ashok Sharma, president, Punjab State Veterinary Officers Association, said this would benefit nearly 4,000 employees.


Ban ads by docs: Sood
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The Punjab government announced today the constitution of a coordination committee comprising representatives of various medical councils to bring uniformity in the working of these bodies.

A meeting was held here under the chairmanship of Tikshan Sood, medical education and research minister, with representatives of the Punjab medical council, the board of ayurvedic and Unani systems of medicine, the homoeopathy council, the Punjab nurses council, the dental council and the pharmaceutical council. The minister said the prime object of the medical profession was to serve humanity, but a number of cases had come to light where some doctors were exploiting patients in connivance with local laboratories to get huge commissions for prescribing certain tests.

He directed the Punjab medical council and the medical education and research department to take tough action in such cases. He advised the councils to cancel the registration of those doctors who were indulging in such malpractices.

Sood said advertisements appearing in newspapers in the name of certain doctors should be banned immediately as these were unethical and violated the code of conduct under the medical council act. The council should take appropriate action against such advertisements, added the minister. 


Monopolistic days of PSEB numbered: Chairman
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 18
Hinting at the reforms that the state could have to adopt in the power sector in the near future, chairman of PSEB Y.S. Ratra today said the monopolistic status of the board was not likely to continue for long. The consumer would be the king in the new regime unleashed by the Electricity Act 2003,he added.

He was speaking at the inauguration of training programme of newly recruited engineers in the organisation here today.

The 178 trainee engineers recruited recently by the PSEB have joined in various places in the organisation. Out of them 64 have been allocated to distribution and transmission wings, 85 to thermal generation organisation, 11 to the civil engineering wing and the balance of 18 have been allocated to the hydel generation.

The new engineers will provide reprieve to the PSEB that was facing shortage of about 500 engineers

While welcoming the young trainee engineers, the chairman said they were joining the PSEB at a juncture when the public sector organisations in the power sector would have to compete with private players in all areas. The trainee engineers should be prepared to face this challenge, he said.

He advised the trainees that they would have to develop better management and technical skills.


Boparai has violated varsity Act, calendar: Forum
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 18
President of the Forum for Educational Action and Reform Amarjit Singh Dhillon has said that seeking approval for the proceedings of Punjabi University syndicate through circulation, brought out through university circular No. 10951-69 of June, 2007 regarding suspension of teachers, is in violation of the University Act and calendar.

It has been clearly laid down under regulation No. 16 (Punjabi University Calendar, Vol. 1, 2006, Page 144) that the approval of (i) routine items, (ii) urgent matter(s) of non-controversial nature, and (iii) items approved by academic council by circulation could not be sought from the syndicate through circular.

At a meeting held here, he clarified that the suspension of teachers, who have been leading a two-month-old agitation, could not be treated as a non-controversial item by any stretch of imagination, as has been done by vice-chancellor Swaran Singh Boparai.

Moreover, the syndicate cannot be made to approve “service matter” through circular.

The forum said the proceedings of getting the approval of suspension of teachers was arbitrary.

Also, the vice-chancellor had empowered to take any action under Emergency Section 9(a) 8 of the University Act. But the same Section states that “the vice-chancellor shall report the same for confirmation at the next meeting of the authority, which in ordinary course would have dealt with the matter”.

Thus, it very clearly states that whatever action the vice-chancellor has taken “in emergency” must be reported by him at a meeting and not through circular as done has been in this case.

“Both provisions that have been violated are part of the proceedings,” Amarjit Singh added.

The vice-chancellor has not been faithful in following the University Act and regulations for which he is duly bound by the Act (Section 9(A) 7, he alleged.


One killed as trucks collide
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, June 18
One person was killed and another injured when a truck collided with another one on the Zirakpur-Rajpura road, near Jansua village, around 6.45 pm today.

The deceased was identified as Avtaar Singh of Mandoli village, near Rajpura.

Surinder Das, a resident of Bihar, who was seriously injured in the accident was taken to the local Civil Hospital.

After the incident, an Indica car rammed into the vehicles but the motorists escaped unhurt.

Traffic on the road remained disrupted for hours after the accident.



NRI Bridegroom
12 families booked till March: SSP
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, June 18
After getting reports from the women cell of the police against NRIs bridegrooms who deserted their Indian wives, more than 12 cases have been registered against them and their family members in the district till March 31, said Anita Punj, SSP, Hoshiarpur, today.

She said such complaints were being received regularly from the brides. Some of the victims residing in foreign countries had also sent complaints against their husbands.

She said recently cases were registered against Sarabjit Singh (settled in the UK) of Pandori Ganga Singh village, Rajinder Singh (UK), Satnam Singh, Sarwan Singh, Paramjit Singh (Canada), Prem Singh (Portugal), Jaswinder Singh (Germany) and Satwinder Singh (USA).

She said in some cases officers of the rank of SP or DSP had been deputed to investigate the complaint. 


Two die in road accident
Tribune News service

Bathinda, June 18
Two persons died late last night when a jeep collided with a motorcycle near the triangle area located on theBathinda-Goniana road, 14 km from here.

Gurpreet Singh and Parminder Singh, both friends, were coming on a motorcycle towards Bathinda from the Goniana side when a speeding jeep hit them. Parminder died on the spot while Gurpreet died in a local hospital located on the Bathinda-Bhucho road.

A case has been registered against the driver of jeep. 


Congress man’s murder: 3 held

Abohar, June 18
A war of words between the BJP and the Congress has hotted up over the murder of a Congress worker in Subhash Nagar-Waryam Nagar locality last Sunday. DSP Parampal Singh said today that three accused named in the FIR in connection with the killing of Sant Ram had been arrested. Efforts had been intensified to nab the rest of the six accused, including Radhey Shyam Radhia and Rana Lahoria, presidents of the wholesale vegetable and fruit dealers associations.

Dinesh Partap Singh, SSP, had a meeting with SHOs of the subdivision in the office of the DSP in this regard.

Meanwhile, city Congress president B.L. Nagpal said the BJP had cancelled the much publicised visit of state BJP president Rajinder Bhandari on June 30 to avoid embarrassment caused after the murder of Kartar Singh. — OC


Panchayat secy dies
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 18
Varinderveer Singh (32), panchayat secretary, posted in Sangrur block, was killed in a road accident near Channo village, about 40 km from here, on the Sangrur-Patiala road last night. The post-mortem of his body was done at the local Civil Hospital while he was cremated at his native Hadana village in Patiala district today.

The Channo police said Varinderveer had been driving the car when his car and a pick-up van collided head-on and he died on the spot. A case has been registered.


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