P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Disproportionate assets case against Badals
Prosecution files amended chargesheet
Megha Mann
Tribune News Service

Ropar, July 4
In the much famous vigilance corruption case of disproportionate assets to known sources of income against Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and members of his family, pending in the court of special judge G.S. Sran here, the prosecution filed amended chargesheet today. Also the court fixed July 17 to 19 as the dates for recording evidences of the witnesses in the case.

The amended chargesheet was filed after Badal’s defence counsel objected to certain quotes made in the chargesheet file earlier, including his alleged direct involvement in a case of bribery and the ownership of Orbit Resort at Gurgaon.

The court has removed word “direct” in the amended chargesheet. Also in the quote of ownership of Orbit Resort, which defence claims is not in the name of Prakash Singh Badal, has been quoted to be property of Prakash Singh Badal or Sukhbir Badal or Surinder Badal.

Earlier, the state vigilance department had filed a challan against Badal and the members of his family, including seven others, alleging them of possessing assets disproportionate to known sources of their income. These included the Badal’s Balasar farm, his house in Sector 9 at Chandigarh and Orbit Resort in Gurgaon. The vigilance had assessed entire property at around Rs 78 crore.

A few of the total 137 witnesses are yet to depose in the case.

Badal came to the court accompanied by his son MP Sukhbir Singh Badal, wife Surinder Kaur Badal, his manager Harbans Lal, Surinder’s cousin Narottam Singh Dhillon, a suspended cop Nirabhjeet Singh, Gurpinder Singh Grewal, Jagnandan Singh, Darshan Singh and Pavittar Singh.

Later, while addressing mediapersons, the Chief Minister alleged that the Congress had filed those cases out of vendetta. He said: “The court has already accepted our plea for the amendments in the chargesheet and we have full faith in the law,” he added.

Meanwhile, he said a notification for Ropar declaring it to be a divisional headquarters would soon be issued with some amendments regarding territories. About the PCS selection, he said after having got disapproval from UPSC, the state would now commence the recruitment with the PPSC. “We did not want the Ravi Sidhu episode to happen again and hence approached the UPSC for a transparent recruitment. But, now with the latter’s disapproval to it we will do the selection on our own,” he said.

Commuters face harassment

Commuters in Ropar had a tough day today as the Badal family appeared in a special court in a case of disproportionate assets to known sources of income.

The Ropar-Jalandhar road wore a deserted look as the traffic was stopped near the bus stand in the afternoon hours. The buses remained stranded for half an hour in the scorching heat. "It’s been over half an hour since we are left here to fend for ourselves. The sweltering heat and congested traffic have made it virtually impossible to stand here for long time," said Prakash Chand, a passenger bound for Amritsar from Chandigarh.

Also work at the secretariat virtually came to a standstill. Visitors to the secretariat had to park their vehicles far away from the main building. The work remained at a slow pace. People visiting courts from Nangal, Anandpur Sahib, Kiratpur Shaib, Nurpur Bedi, Ropar, Chamkaur Sahib, Morinda, Kurali, Kharar and Dera Bassi had to wait for long to get their work completed.


Hooda, Badal meet on dera issue
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
As the Dera Sacha Sauda issue continues to be on the boil, the Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana met here this morning to discuss the law and order situation in this region in this regard.

Sources said Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda called on his Punjab counterpart, Parkash Singh Badal. Though some officers were present, both also talked separately for a while, it is learnt.

The dera issue, involving a large section of the people in Punjab and Haryana, continues to worry both state governments. Hooda and Badal’s meeting was preceded by a meeting of the DGPs of both states yesterday. The chief secretaries of the two states had met a few days ago.

The problem before both states is how to tackle the sensitive issue. On July 11 Sikh organisations will be holding a meeting at Ratia in Fatehabad district. A call for holding the meeting has been given by the Sikh clergy. Ratia is close to the Punjab border. The town was recently in the news because of tension between followers of the dera and Sikh groups opposed to them.

The sources said the two Chief Ministers had decided to extend full cooperation to each other to tackle this issue tactfully. Police arrangements in the border belt of Punjab and Haryana would be scaled up in the days to come to avoid any untoward incident. Already, there is tension in certain villages in Punjab and Haryana because of the dera issue. 


Tribune Impact
Don’t buy dera land: Admn
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 4
District magistrate D.S. Grewal has issued a notification warning people against buying land belonging to deras and constructing houses on it. The notification states that mahants, who are managers of various deras legally, are not authorised to sell the land belonging to these.

Grewal said he had received reports regarding illegal colonies coming up on dera land. The notification had been issued to make people aware about the fact that dera land could not be used for raising colonies.

The fact that dera land was being used by property dealers allegedly in collusion with dera mahants for developing colonies has been highlighted in these columns.


Armed forces posts: State to get major share
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
Punjabis will get the lion’s share in recruitment to two lakh vacancies in the three wings of the services.

This was stated by the director-general, NCC, Lt-Gen P. S. Chaudhry, during a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here today. General Chaudhry said Army Headquarters was worried about the declining share of Punjab and other northern states in the defence services. He said Punjab would get a major share of these vacancies if its youth were properly trained by the NCC.

In the meantime, the NCC and the Punjab government decided to launch a joint campaign in the state to enrol the maximum number of students in schools and colleges in the NCC. The contours of this campaign will be finalised at a meeting called by the Punjab Chief Minister in which officers of the NCC and the vice-chancellors of all universities in the state will participate.

It was also decided to explore the possibility of giving incentives like job reservation in civil and police services and in admissions to various academic and vocational colleges to the cadets. The army had also decided to reserve 20 per cent of the vacancies for girl cadets.

The deputy director-general, NCC, stationed in Punjab, would also be given the powers of head of department to strengthen the NCC programme in Punjab.

Assuring full cooperation of the state government in popularising the NCC in the state, the Chief Minister offered land at Patiala , Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar for permanent camping-cum-training sites. It was also decided to allot a piece of land to the NCC at Moga for setting up NCC nagar.

The director-general informed the Chief Minister that a national-level permanent camping site for girl cadets with full infrastructure had been approved for Badal village.

To ensure employment in BPOs and ITES industries for NCC trained youth, General Chaudhry said a batch of 3,000 NCC cadets would be trained in communication skills.


SGPC book doesn’t recognise Baba Ala Singh as Sikh misl
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 4
The book, “Maharaja Ranjit Singh: Life & Struggle”, published by SGPC’s Sikh History Research Board, which refuses to recognise Baba Ala Singh as a Sikh warrior, is likely to create ripples in the Sikh circles.

The book, authored by Kirpal Singh, a research scholar of the SGPC, also documented that Phulkian (of Baba Ala Singh) was never a “Sikh misl” as claimed by historians.

The Arabic word “misl” means “like”. The Sikh “misls” were “alike”, in the sense that they were considered equals. The misls were 12 companies of Sikhs, some numbering a few hundred while others could field tens of thousands of men.

So much so Harbans Singh in his “The encyclopaedia of Sikhism” has also described that Phulkian was a prominent misl of an eighteenth-century Sikh ruling clan, which arose in the region south of the Sutlej and was counted the twelfth misl though it did not form part of the Dal Khalsa like the 11 others. Interestingly, former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh also belongs to the Phulkian misl.

The Guru Nanak Dev University's publication, “Baba Ala Singh”, however, described the founder of Patiala state as the great Sikh devout. While the book of the university was released during the Amarinder’s regime, the SGPC’s book was launched this week only.

The encyclopaedia of Sikhism traced the origin of the Phulkian misl to Phul (d. 1652), a Siddhu Jatt of Mehraj village, now in Bathinda district, who had met Guru Har Rai, Nanak VII, during his visit to the Malva area and received his blessings. From amongst his seven sons, Tilok Singh (Tiloka), the eldest son, was the ancestor of the princely states of Nabha and Jind, and Ram Singh (Rama), next to him, forefather of the rulers of Patiala. Tilok Singh was a disciple of Guru Gobind Singh, who had called upon them by a hukamnama for a detachment of cavalry and had blessed their house as his own “tera ghar mera asai”. They had helped Baba Banda Singh Bahadur with men and money in his early moves, reads “The Encyclopedia of Sikhism”.

However, the SGPC’s book alleged that the Phulkian sardars never helped Guru Gobind Singh or his followers in their struggles against tyrants. The book further alleged that the Chaudhary Phul, the founder of Phulkian, also did not help in any Sikh struggle against Mughals. They (the Phulkian sardars) also shirked to coming forward to raise their voice when Sahibzadas (younger sons) of Guru Gobind Singh were being bricked alive. Author Kirpal Singh alleged that the Phulkian sardars instead supported Aurangzeb, the then Muslim ruler.

When the Sikhs got divided into two main segments, Budha Dal and Taruna Dal, the Phulkian state or sardars did not evince any interest to safeguarding the community. “So much so, no Phulkian sardar had ever visited Amritsar or Anandpur Sahib during the Sikh struggles”, the book reads.

The SGPC’s book alleged that Baba Ala Singh had violated “Amrit” many times. However, many historians believe that there were 12 Sikh misls and Phulkian was one of them.


Security forces in Salabatpura schools
Students take lessons in the open
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Salabatpura, July 4
The occupation of local senior secondary school by the paramilitary forces and Punjab police, which have been deployed in and around the village following the Dera Sacha Sauda controversy, has hit studies.

As the security personnel have occupied all rooms and the office complex of the school, the teachers have to take classes in the open. Even the school’s administrative wing has been carrying out its work from a makeshift set-up in the open.

A senior teacher of the school, pleading anonymity, said a section of security personnel used to urinate in the open while they took classes, causing embarrassment to students, particularly girl students. The teacher feared the syllabus would not be completed within stipulated time as teaching had been affected badly.

Apart from the local senior secondary school, the schools located in Adampura, Dyalpura and Kangar villages of this district had also been occupied by the security forces for the past more than a month.

Meanwhile, deputy commissioner Rahul Bhandari said security personnel had been ordered to vacate all schools by tomorrow evening.

He said all security personnel would be shifted to community centres. The students of the local senior secondary school would be shifted to the elementary school until a suitable place to accommodate the security personnel was found.


Case Against Akali Minister
Protesters lay siege to police station
Tribune News Service

Mansa, July 4
Activists of the Punjab Kisan Union and various Akali outfits laid a siege to the city police station here in protest against the registration of a criminal case against former Akali minister Baldev Singh Khiala allegedly on flimsy grounds. The protesters alleged that Khiala and others had been implicated in the false criminal case allegedly at the instance of local leaders belonging to the ruling alliance.

They alleged that while the police continued raids to arrest Khiala, it had been doing nothing to nab the persons involved in a case, which was registered on a complaint of president of the union Ruldu Singh.

Khiala, Maggar Singh Sidhu and his wife Amarjit Kaur were booked under Section 408, 420 and 120-B of the IPC for alleged bungling of the government funds. Sidhu, who was president of the management of the local Khalsa High School, being run by a registered society, has been arrested.

Pargat Singh, former head teacher of the school had complained to the police that Amarjit Kaur had remained absent from the school for about 15 months. However, she was paid salaries for the period she remained absent.


Panel may review cases against Akalis
Tribune News Service

Moga, July 4
A district-level review committee, formed by the administration following orders of the SAD-BJP government, may review 12 cases, mostly registered against Akalis during the previous Congress regime in this district.

The committee comprises deputy commissioner as its chairman and the SSP and district attorney as members.

According to police sources, 16 cases, to be looked into, were sent to the government for consideration. However, the number of the cases to be reviewed had now come down to 12, they said, adding that some of the cases were under court jurisdiction.


Virk yet to be given chargesheet

Chandigarh, July 4
Has former Punjab DGP S.S. Virk been served with a chargesheet yet?

Sources in the Punjab government said Virk had not been served with the chargesheet so far despite having been suspended on April 4.

The chargesheet could not be served on him as he joined duty in Maharashtra and had not being given a place of posting yet. Officials who were sent with the chargesheet to Mumbai could not serve it on him. Virk was unavailable for comment. — TNS


‘No books seized from gurdwara’
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 4
Following criticism from various radical Sikh factions regarding a raid on a gurdwara in Talwara village, from where the police allegedly took into possession several religious books, the police today denied the allegation and stated that no raid had been carried out on the gurdwara premises.

In a statement issued on behalf of the senior superintendent of police, the police stated no books were seized from the gurdwara library. Contradicting the allegation levelled by the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), the police stated that SHO Darshan Singh had gone to the gurdwara to pay obeisance and on returning from there he was given two religious books by the granthi of the gurdwara for reading.

As per the police statement, the village panchayat and gurdwara parbandhak committee president of Talwara village had informed the police in writing that senior vice-president of the SAD (A) Daljit Singh Bittu had inaugurated a library on the gurdwara premises in the name of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, without seeking permission either from the village panchayat or from the management committee of the gurdwara.

The police said an announcement was made from the village gurdwara by SAD (A) working committee member Palwinder Singh that a free check up camp was being held on gurdwara premise on June 30. But, when people gathered there, Daljit Singh Bittu along with his associates inaugurated the library.

Senior leaders of the SAD (A) yesterday alleged the the police had seized religious books from the library of the gurdwara in Talwara village. The SAD (A) leaders had demanded registration of a case against the SHO Darshan Singh under whose supervision the raid on the gurdwara was conducted. The party activists had also submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner seeking registration of case under section 295-A of the IPC against the SHO for hurting the religious sentiments of Sikhs. 


Harassment under PNDT Act: Punjab DGP orders probe
Cops, NGO trouble pregnant woman, midwife
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
In their zeal to stem the ‘sex determination’ rot, personnel of police station Balachaur and some members of the Nawanshahr-based Upkar society have invited a high-level Punjab police inquiry. Taking note of the alleged harassment of a Dalit midwife and a pregnant woman, whom the police detained and interrogated without any written complaint, the DGP Punjab has marked the inquiry to DIG, Jalandhar Range Narenderpal Singh.

Serious in content, the complaint raises the vital point that how the provisions under the PNDT Act could be misused. Jarnail Kaur, 40, a registered midwife, stated in her complaint to Punjab DGP that, on June 23, when she was going to Nawanshahr for her treatment, the above-stated group intercepted her.

“I was taken to Balachaur police station, interrogated for hours and threatened to admit that I was involved in sex determination. They told me to admit that I had aided Jasvir Kaur, an expectant mother from Asron, in the termination of her pregnancy,” Jarnail alleged in her complaint. She said there was no written complaint either against her or Jasvir, who also faced the ire of police officers.

Overstepping their limits, the team got a medical board constituted to get Jasvir Kaur tested for her pregnancy. “This they did despite my repeated insistence that Jasvir was five months, pregnant and in no position to undergo any kind of harassment,” Jarnail Kaur told TNS today.

The police and private individuals nevertheless went ahead with the test, which confirmed the pregnancy and the fact that there had not been any attempt to terminate it.

Originally from Asron, Jarnail alleged that she was illegally detained at Balachaur police station for hours and asked to furnish details of Jasvir. “Upon confirming her address, they proceeded against her - all this without any reasonable evidence against us or even a basic complaint,” said Jarnail, who is registered with Punjab Nurses Registration Council since 1999.

Visibly perturbed over the episode of getting medically examined for her pregnancy without her consent, Jasvir added in the complaint: “On June 24, I was examined by the medical board consisting of district health officer, doctors from civil hospital Saroa and senior medical officer, civil hospital Balachaur. This test was conducted without my consent and this amounts to the violation of my right to privacy and my right over my person.”

Significantly, the PNDT Act clearly states that action against perpetrators and violators of the Act can only be taken by the appropriate authorities. The DIG, Jalandhar Range, told TNS that he had ordered a high-level inquiry into the matter under the supervision of SSP Hoshiarpur. “I did not hand over the inquiry to SSP Nawanshahr because the case pertains to Nawanshahr. I have asked for a report in two weeks’ time,” he said.


Widow for CBI probe into husband’s murder
Tribune News Service

Batala, July 4
Just 18 months after the murder of her husband, a distressed woman of Basrai village alleged that the police had framed her son for the death of his own father.

Balbir Kaur, a widow of Trilok Singh, has been desperately seeking justice and written to the Prime Minister, Punjab Chief Minister, director- general of police, deputy commissioner, Gurdaspur, and even to the Punjab Human Rights Commission for intervention.

Balbir Kaur, an eyewitness to her husband’s murder, told The Tribune that Trilok Singh was done to death by Piara Singh and his son Harjit Singh, a Punjab Police employee, over a land dispute in January 2006. The police had registered a cross case in this matter. Apprehending attack on her life, Balbir Kaur, along with her grandchildren, Kamarjit Kaur and Saravpreet Singh, has left the home and taken shelter with her relatives.

She alleged Piara Singh and his son Harjit Singh, in connivance with certain employees of Batala Civil Hospital, tampered with the samples taken for forensic examinations. The ongoing investigation in the case took a new turn when the police rounded up her son Preetmohan Singh for his alleged involvement in Trilok Singh’s murder.

Narrating her woes Balbir Kaur said certain police persons from Qadian barged into her house at 5 am and picked Preetmohan Singh without informing any member of the family. Since she had been to a gurdwara to offer morning prayers, her servant Charanjit Singh informed her about the incident.

She alleged the police had registered a ‘false’ case of murder under Section 302, IPC, and lodged Preetmohan Singh in Gurdaspur jail. Balbir Kaur also alleged that Piara Singh and his son Harjit Singh were being favoured by the police. She demanded a CBI inquiry into the case. SSP, Batala, R.N. Dhoke, said the case would be probed on merit basis and justice given to the affected party. 


Sultanpur Lodhi to be religious tourism spot
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
The Punjab government today decided to develop Sultanpur Lodhi as a major global destination for religious tourism.

The government has cleared the decks for the planned development of the city by bringing it within the ambit of the Punjab regional and town planning and development act, 1955. Several adjoining villages will also form a part of the master plan for the project. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has already constituted a special steering committee for clearing the Kali Bein to facilitate this project. The committee is headed by P. Ram, principal secretary, industrial training and technical education.

The Chief Minister in a statement here said the final plan for the accelerated development of the city would be prepared by the department of housing and urban development. State education minister Upinderjit Kaur in whose constituency this city falls played a major role in the clearance of this project. A total of 2,912 hectares will be included for local planning.


Protest against proposed community centre
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, July 4
Despite heavy rain, Congress municipal councillors, tied a black cloth around their necks and went to the Municipal Office from the Clock Tower to attend the meeting of the council yesterday in protest against the proposed construction of a community centre in the 61-kanal and 5-marla municipal land located at Gautam Nagar on the Hoshiarpur-Una road .

The council had to discuss and pass the resolution in this connection in the meeting today. But the meeting was adjourned after condoling the death of Sahib Singh Verma.

Congress councillor Mohan Lal said during the past, the council had its garbage dump in the above-said land, but the same was shifted to the Piplanwala area some years ago and the council had passed a resolution to allow its employees for the construction for their residential colony there. But due to unavoidable circumstances this proposal could not be matured.

Meanwhile, the area was developed and the cost of land increased manifold. He alleged that some local politicians of the ruling party were trying to grab this land in the name of a community centre. He warned that in case Badal laid the foundation stone without passing a resolution by the council, the municipal councillors belonging to the Congress, along with their supporters, would lodge a protest by staging a demonstration on his arrival.


Sacking of HIV-positive man
Glaxo denies charges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
Refuting allegations of termination levelled against them by HIV-positive Nek Khan, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GSKCH) has stated that the company did not discriminate in its employment practices against individuals with any medical condition, including HIV/AIDS. The company said it was “considering employing Nek Khan through a contractor”, as suggested by the labour inspector at Nabha.

Reacting to The Tribune report on Nek Khan’s fight for right to work, published on June 27, the GSKCH said that the man in question was Harnek Khan and the company had documents to prove that.

Nek Khan had earlier alleged that the company had misrepresented his identity in records to prove that they had actually sacked someone else, and not him.

The GSKCH, however, denied the same, stating they had not terminated the services of Khan and that Khan “had himself sought to be freed of duties citing medical reasons”. Company spokesperson said the Milkfood Factory Workers Union had submitted a complaint to the GSKCH, asking the company to extend additional financial help to Khan, which the company did.

Khan, when contacted, however, maintained his stand that the company’s Nabha unit changed its behaviour towards him after learning about his infection. The case is pending for settlement at Nabha courts and would come up for hearing on July 16.

On settlement, the GSKCH said that Khan had himself sought separation from the company and even signed a legally binding settlement with them. “We told the labour inspector this and he suggested considering employing Khan through a contractor. Further discussions will take place on July 16,” the spokesperson added.


Power board gets Rs 778 crore
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, July 4
Punjab minister for cooperatives Capt Kanwaljit Singh stated here yesterday that the state government has set aside Rs 778 crore for the upgradation of the transmission and distribution systems of the state electricity board.

Capt Singh, who was here yesterday to hold a meeting with senior officials of various departments, said in the last five years, the Congress had made no efforts to increase the state’s power generation. He said the state was falling short of more than 5,000Mw of power, which was now being bought from various sources at inflated rates.

Capt Singh said the upgradation could lead to a saving of over Rs 1,500 crore each year, as 40 per cent of power was either being lost due to theft, transmission or distribution losses.

Speaking about the cooperative department, the minister said the department had decided to extend technical and financial support to farmers who had less than 10 acres of land.

He said the department would also assist these small farmers in marketing their produce.

Capt Singh also listened to various complaints brought up by the general public and issued instructions to the concerned officers for redressal of these grievances.


Functioning of lok adalat reviewed
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 4
To review the functioning of the permanent lok adalat in the district, a meeting was held under the chairmanship of M.L. Malhotra, a retired district and sessions judge, here today.

The chairman briefed representatives of the telecom department, insurance, P&T department, PSEB and water and sanitation department about the provisions of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, through which permanent lok adalats were set up.

He said as per these provisions, before approaching any other court, any dispute pertaining to public utility services like transport, postal, telephone, supply of power, light, water conservancy and sanitation, hospital, dispensary and insurance services could be brought before the lok adalat either by the service provider or the consumer just by forwarding a simple application without any court fee or other charges.

He said such disputes were either settled amicably or decided on merit. Finality was attached to any order passed by the lok adalats.

He stressed upon the utility of the provisions, both for the service providers and the consumers, and hoped that the provisions would be used by the parties concerned to help in reducing the burden of civil courts. 


Govt focus shifts to rural areas
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 4
Punjab cooperation minister Captain Kanwaljit Singh said today that the rural population had shifted to urban areas during the past five years.

He said the government was going to improve the living conditions in the rural areas.

Addressing a press conference here, he said the cooperative societies would be allowed to install sewerage and sewage treatment plants in the rural areas to get clean drinking water. The treated water would be sold at nominal rates, he said.

The minister said the government wanted to stop the migration to urban areas by providing better facilities in the rural areas.

According to a survey conducted in the rural areas, only 2 per cent children were being educated in villages and the government needed to focus on this issue.

He said the cooperative department had started negotiations with the PSEB on the issue that villagers should be allowed to deposit their electricity bills with the societies.

The minister said out of 15 sugar mills in the state, nine were suffering losses and the government was trying to rehabilitate sick cooperative sugar mills.


Banur resident does a ‘Veeru’
Tribune News Service

Banur, July 4
A resident of Bassi Haveli village, near here, climbed an electricity tower, alleging that the police had not taken action on his complaint for the past over two months.

Surinder Singh who climbed the tower at noon got down at 7 pm after police officials assured him that appropriate action would be taken on his complaint.

Kulwant Kaur, wife of Surinder, said her husband had an altercation with his cousins two months ago, during which they beat him up and Surinder lodged a complaint against them at the Lalru police station.

He was upset over the last few days as no action had been taken on his complaint.

People started assembling at the barrier chowk as soon as Surinder climbed the 100-foot tower supplying 66000 kV.

Police officials, including the Rajpura DSP, reached the spot.

The police arrested Surinder after he got down from the tower and registered a case against him.


300 youths attend camp
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 4
More than 80 youths today approached government departments at a camp held today to avail of self-employment schemes being offered by the government. More than 300 youths attended the camp.

The special camp, inaugurated by local legislator Didar Singh Bhatti, was held at the Panchyat Samiti, Sirhind Office.

Deputy commissioner Alaknanda Dayal said the district administration had decided to organise awareness camps at the block level to inform youth about self-employment schemes. She said more such camps would be held at Bassi Pathana (July 9), Khera (July 12), Khamano (July 17) and Amloh (July 20). 


Sangat darshan held
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, July 4
The district civil and police administration organised a Sangat Darshan, here on Monday.

The programme, in which a number of complaints were redressed, was presided over by Rajpura legislator and chief parliamentary secretary Raj Kumar Khurana. Khurana, while speaking on the occasion, assured the gathering that all measures would be taken to redress their problems.

Deputy commissioner Paramjit Singh Grewal said such programmes had been held at six different places across the district. He said the district administration received more than 400 complaints during the Sangat Darshan programmes, 60 per cent of which had been resolved.

Legislator from Ghanour S.K. Asthana Madan Lal Jalalpur was also present.


IT form discussed
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 4
The Patiala branch of the Northern Regional Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India held a seminar the new income tax form, here today.

Chartered accountants from Patiala, Rajpura, Sirhind, Samana and Mandi Gobindgarh took part in the seminar.

According to income tax expert Girish Ahuja, the new forms are easy to fill. It does not require any documents to be attached as well, Ahuja added.


Gupta is MC acting president
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 4
Councillor of Bassi Pathana Ramesh Gupta has taken over as acting president of the Bassi Pathana municipal council.

Former president of the MC Amita Tangari had resigned from her post, citing health reasons. Gupta, who held the post of vice-president of the council, will continue as the acting president till the elections for the president are held. 


Cases of rape, dacoity on the rise
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
Cases of rape, dacoity, theft and kidnapping have increased in Punjab in the past few months and director- general of police N.P.S. Aulakh expressed concern at this during the first crime review meeting today.

The DGP meet field officers from the Faridkot and Patiala police ranges which cover almost the entire Malwa belt .He let it be known that crime had to be curbed, sources in the Punjab police confirmed.

He will meeting officers from other police ranges on July 6.

Expressing concern over stolen vehicles being sold in Punjab, the DGP ordered that all districts in the state should have a link-up with the online system of the national crime records bureau that details stolen vehicles. At present, only Patiala, Bathinda, Ludhiana and Pathankot are linked to the bureau.


Corpn poll around Aug 10
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
Elections to the municipal corporations in five cities of Punjab are likely to be conducted around August 10, said official sources.

This is a tentative date and can be changed.

The elections are scheduled in Ludhiana, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Patiala and Bathinda.


A clarification

The National Fertilizers Limited has clarified, in view of a Tribune news item titled ‘NFL unaware of SC body’s jurisdiction’, dated June 30, that the company’s former employee Suresh Chander had requested for retirement under a VRS scheme on February 28, 2003, in the prescribed performa as per rules.

Suresh was accordingly relieved from the services and was paid Rs 26,39,432 towards gratuity, leave encashment etc, a fax from Deputy General Manager, J.M. Kapoor, of the company states. Suresh then approached the National Commission for SC/ST, Chandigarh. The commission in a letter dated March 3,2004, then advised the NFL to reconsider Chander’s case. After reconsideration, the NFL management informed the commission about the facts of the case vide letter dated March 24, 2004.

He later filed a petition in the High Court, which was dismissed on May 10, 2007, and costs were imposed on him. The company has thus strongly rejected the contention of Chander that decision on the acceptance of his retirement was done in a hasty manner and the SC commission’s order was overlooked as alleged by him. — TNS


HC defers hearing on Amarinder’s bail plea
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today adjourned the hearing on the Punjab government’s plea regarding cancellation of interim anticipatory bail to former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh to July 11. Justice R.S. Randhawa directed that the copy of the SLP filed by Punjab before the apex court, seeking cancellation of interim or other reliefs given to all Ludhiana City Centre case accused by the high court, be placed before him. The high court had granted interim bail to the former CM on April 5 and the matter was fixed for hearing on July 30 but the Supreme Court pre-poned the matter for hearing to July 4.


Verdict reserved on Chahal’s bail plea
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 4
The Additional District and Sessions Judge today reserved the judgment on a bail application of B.I.S. Chahal, former media adviser to Capt Amarinder Singh, for July 6 in the Mercedes Benz case.

The defence councils in the case, led by N.P.S. Waraich, contended that the police had nothing to recover from Chahal since the car was already in its possession.

They also maintained that owner of the car Jagatjit Singh was under the influence of the prosecution agencies. The car is in his name. He paid all 25 instalments despite the fact that Chahal allegedly forcibly took the vehicle from him. He could have easily stopped paying the instalments and the bank could have recovered the vehicle from Chahal.


SAD(A) leader Bittu denied bail

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 4
The court of Additional Sessions Judge here today dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of senior vice-president of the of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) Daljit Singh Bittu. Bittu was booked by the police on May 31 on charges of sedition after he along with some of his associates raised provocative slogans during a protest against Dera Sacha Sauda chief.

Bittu had filed a plea for anticipatory bail in the court of the District and Sessions Judge, who had earlier stayed his arrest. Sources said as the District and Sessions Court Judge was on leave,Bittu's case was taken up for hearing in the court of the Additional Sessions Judge. — TNS


Rain cheers Moga farmers
Tribune News Service

Moga, July 4
About 38 mm rain spelt boon for paddy and cotton crops during the past 24 hours in the district.

The monsoon showers, along with winds, provided respite to people from the long spell of sultry heat while it was greatly beneficial to agriculture.

Highly agriculture dependent economy of the district is set to gain following rains, which lashed the region from late last night till morning.

Palwinder Singh Aulakh, chief agriculture officer, said 38 mm rain was recorded. Crops of cotton and paddy would benefit from it while saline regions of Baghapurana and Moga blocks too would be benefited from the natural water.


Cop booked for stealing money

Pathankot, July 4
Greed during a search landed a cop in police net this morning. The incident occurred at Madhopur police barrier on the Pathankot-Jammu highway when constable Bachan Singh took away Rs 12,000 in cash from a truck while searching it.

After the search, driver Surjit Singh, a resident of Rangar Nangal village in Batala, found the cash missing from his truck and complained to the station house Officer, Sujanpur, police station.

The constable reportedly conducted search of the truck heading from Jammu to Guajrat after asking the driver to get off the vehicle.

Taking a note of the complaint, Paramvir Singh, SHO Sujanpur, reached the spot and questioned the constable. He also recovered the money from the constable. — TNS


Mukandpur college under GND varsity
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 4
Amardeep Singh Shergill Memorial College, Mukandpur, has become a constituent college of Guru Nanak Dev University. An MoU in this regard was signed by Dr R.S. Bawa, registrar of the university and G.S. Shergill on behalf of the college.

Dr Jai Rup Singh, vice-chancellor, today said to cope with global educational challenges the university would introduce IT, management and other technology courses at the Mukandpur college, besides providing state-of-the-art infrastructure there.

He said the university would give a boost to higher education in rural areas and appealed to the NRIs belonging to the Doaba region to continue supporting this project.


Bank signs MoU with UTI Mutual Fund

Patiala, July 4
The State Bank of Patiala has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with UTI Mutual Fund.

General manager of State Bank of Patiala R.C. Baldua and regional head of UTI Mutual Fund Ashok Kumar signed the memorandum.

General manager of the bank A.S. Gujral disclosed that the MoU was signed in keeping with the objective of offering a comprehensive range of financial products to its clients. He further said the bank was already engaged in selling products of SBI Mutual Fund and Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund.

UTI Mutual Fund will make its products available to other retail investors through the State Bank of Patiala. It also launched the UTI India Life Style Fund to be functioning from July 2 to July 25. — TNS


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