P U N J A B    S T O R I E S

Govt dithers over Nabha thermal plant
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 20
The government has been dithering over the construction of 1200-MW thermal plant proposed to be set up at Nabha in Patiala district. Initially, the government had planned two mega thermal plants at Nabha and Talwandi Sabo (1800 MW). While a notification for acquiring 2,100 acres under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act has been issued for the Talwandi Sabo thermal plant, the notification for the Nabha plant has been withheld.

Director of the company, which has been entrusted the construction of the plants, K.P. Kansal said they had sent the case for issuing notification for acquiring 1,196 acres for the Nabha thermal plant to the government. However, till date the government has not acted on it, he added.

Sources in the PSEB said the government was dithering over the Nabha plant in the face of a stiff resistance by the farmers whose land is likely to be acquired. The 1,196 acres to be acquired falls in the limits of Magi and Thimber villages located on the Nabha-Bhiwani road. Most of the land is fertile.

Farmers and some of the social organisations of the area have alleged that the project would render a large number of farmers landless. Besides, a large part of agriculture land would be rendered useless due to dumping of fly ash produced by the proposed thermal plant.

The farmers and representatives of the social organisations have met officials of the board concerned and government functionaries to register their protest against the acquisition of their land. They have threatened to launch an agitation.

A request for participation in the Talwandi Sabo thermal plant project has been invited from private companies, however, no such request has been made for the Nabha thermal plant.

Chairman of the PSEB Y.S. Ratra said a notification for land acquisition for the Nabha plant would be issued in the near future.

The sources said the government was looking for an alternative site near Rajpura and other places for the plant.


Stray cattle rule the roads in Abohar
Raj Sadosh

Abohar, July 20
Stray cattle menace in this sub-divisional town has reached alarming proportions. According to a study, 90 per cent of the road accidents here in the past six months were caused by stray cattle, claiming lives of children and women.

The authorities concerned had once planned to shift the stray cattle in Patiala-based state farms. However, the idea was dropped later.

Minister for animal husbandry in the Beant Singh-led Congress government Harbans Singh Sidhu had announced that the state government would acquire land near Balluana village, 12 km from here, on the National Highway No. 10 to develop a gaushala under a central government project.

Though the town has a gaushala, there is a proposal to convert it into a commercial complex and set up a new gaushala on the outskirts of the town. But, a family, whose elders had donated land for the existing gaushala, has opposed the move and even threatened to take the matter to the court.

The gaushala managing committee has set up a small gaushala on the Fazilka road, near the sub-canal. But, it does not have enough space for the increasing number of stray cattle.

A recent case of poisoning of stray cattle by leather manufacturers has led to anguish among local residents.

Commission agents in the new grain market are a worried lot as stray cattle damage their commodities. Certain philanthropists have constructed drinking water tanks for the stray cattle. They regularly feed them green fodder near the railway station, college road, new grain market and on the old Fazilka road, inviting accidents.

The authorities concerned were yet to implement the clause of the master plan under which all green fodder shops were to be shifted out of the residential areas.


Amarinder goes full blast against Badal
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 20
Capt Amarinder Singh today rallied around his beleaguered leaders and workers who had been victims of the alleged SAD-BJP combine government repression and added that he would stand by them and was willing to bargain their torture and release by offering himself for facing the oppression.

Taking on the Badal government, he offered to take up their cases with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other Central leaders about the state of law and order.

Addressing newspersons after a visit to the Central Jail here to meet his close confidant Jasbir Singh Dimpa, he said he would take up the case with the National Human Rights Commission. Commenting on the current law and order scenario, he said it was a fit case for Governor’s rule in the state as Badal had failed to maintain peace with regard to the dera case. He said a large number of mega units which he had invited during this tenure were today shying away from investing in the state due to victimisation policies unleashed by Badal and his ministry.

Quoting statistics, the former Chief Minister said the collection of stamp duty had dramatically decreased from Rs 2,200 crore to a mere trickle now. Hitting hard at the Badal government for not allowing senior Congress leaders to meet the arrested Congress workers lodged in jails, Amarinder said it was undemocratic.

Commenting on the statement of PPCC chief Shamsher Singh Dullo regarding the contribution of B.I.S. Chahal, he said Dullo was not around during the last Assembly elections and said Chahal had played a very significant role in the victory during the Punjab and Himachal elections. He said he was not going to return to England and would continue to pursue cases of his colleagues in the court and outside.


Vigilance breaks open locker of Chahal’s wife
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 20
Vigilance officials today broke open a bank locker in the name of Jaswinder Kaur, wife of B.I.S. Chahal, and Kawaljit Kaur, his daughter-in-law.

The bank locker located in the State Bank of India branch, near Leela Bhavan, was broken open as the vigilance failed to lay hand on its keys that were allegedly in possession of Chahal’s wife or daughter-in-law. Both were currently out of country.

Sources here said vigilance officials found gold ornaments weighing 180 gm from the locker, which was broken in the presence of Chahal’s counsel.

Meanwhile, additional senior division judge, Patiala, reserved the judgment on an application moved by Chahal for B-class facilities in jail. The counsel for Chahal pleaded that the latter had a minister for state rank in the previous government. He was also a graduate and income tax payee. So, he was entitled to B-class facilities in jail. Presently, he is being given ‘C’ class facilities as per the jail manual, which is given to hardened criminals.

The judge reserved the judgment on the application for July 23.


Info panel imposes Rs 25,000 fine on IAS officer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
The Punjab state information commission has fined an IAS officer for not providing information under the right to information act.

Information commissioners R.K. Gupta and P.P.S. Gill imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on secretary, health, Kanwal Bir Singh Sidhu. The chief secretary has been asked to recover the amount from his salary in two equal instalments and deposit it in the state treasury.

The case relates to information sought by Ludhiana resident Kuldip Singh Khaira, who wanted to know why electro-homoeopathy was being taught in Punjab while it had been banned elsewhere. Khaira had asked for information in May, 2006, and the department failed to provide it within the stipulated 30 days. Khaira appealed before the 

The health department took the plea that it had never received any application from Khaira. The applicant provided evidence of his application and the commission imposed a fine on the IAS officer.


Badal case: Four more turn hostile
Tribune News Service

Ropar, July 20
Four more witnesses turned hostile today against the Punjab Vigilance Bureau in the case against Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and other accused in the court of special judge G.S. Saran today. Three of the four witnesses alleged that the then DIG, B.K. Uppal, and investigating officer SP, vigilance, and SSP, Ropar, S.P.S. Virk directed them to sign blank papers or face dire consequences.

The four witnesses included executive engineer, irrigation office, BBMB, Chandigarh, Gursharan Singh Vasan, retired superintending engineer (SE), drainage department, Buland Singh Virdi, SE, Ranjit Sagar Dam, Anil Kumar Gupta and SE, Public Health, Water Supply and Sanitation Department, Faridkot, Harbans Singh Brar.

In their statements before the special judge, the three witnesses, Vasan, Virdi and Gupta, alleged that they had assessed the Balasar Farm of the Badals wherein an irrigation supply scheme had been installed. They alleged that they were forced to put their signatures on blank papers.

All witnesses said they had not given any kind of statement to the bureau regarding the assets of the Badals.

The total number of witnesses turning hostile has risen to 11.

Special judge G.S. Saran has fixed the next date of hearing for August 16 and August 17 wherein 14 witnesses will depose before the court.

Later talking to mediapersons, MP Sukhbir Badal said the Income Tax Department had already given a clean chit to the Badal family and that the previous government had filed cases against them under vendetta politics. Talking about B.I.S. Chahal, Sukhbir added that he was not being tortured. “We are not like Congress that involves in vendetta politics,” he added. 


Punjab MC elections on August 8
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
A day after Punjab state election commissioner A. K. Dubey lambasted the department of local bodies for acting unilaterally in fixing dates for municipal elections, the state election commission today announced that August 8 will be new date for holding polls to four municipal corporations in Punjab.

Two days ago the department of local bodies had, on its own, notified that elections will be held on August 10. Yesterday, Dubey took umbrage at this and had reminded the secretary, D. S. Bains, that it was the election commission’s job to notify dates.

Today, Dubey, after due consultations, notified that elections to municipal corporations of Ludhiana, Patiala, Jalandhar and Amritsar will now be held on August 8, and not August 10, as announced by the department of local bodies.

Meanwhile, sources in the Punjab Police today said DGP N. P. S. Aulakh had advised against holding elections to the civic body of Bathinda at this point of time. The DGP has reportedly said the incidents of suicide, besides the clashes between the Sikh organisations and followers of the Dera Sacha Sauda were very recent occurrences. The situation in Bathinda was too sensitive to conduct polls simultaneously for all the municipal corporations in the state, the DGP has informed the election commission.

It may be mentioned that the electoral rolls for Bathinda are ready but the police is yet to give its go ahead.

A high-level meeting was held today where the home secretary and the DGP briefed Dubey about the situation. Dubey had asked from the government to explain in detail as to why elections in Bathinda should not be held along side the other civic bodies.

Political analysts feel that the ruling SAD-BJP could bear the brunt of the developments in the past two months hence the need is being felt to bid time in Bathinda. 


Cong meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
A meeting of the coordination committee of the Punjab Congress will be held in Delhi on July 22 to discuss the municipal corporation elections and the political and law and order situation in the state.



ASI justifies Baradari demolition
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 20
In the wake of the media reports of criticism of the demolition of historical Baradari in Ram Bagh, a team of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) today visited the site.

The team, headed by deputy architect of the ASI, Chandigarh, V. C. Sharma, comprised five experts.

Justifying the demolition, which was done in a scientific manner, the team, according to sources, gave clean chit to the team of workers working on the restoration of the Baradari. Sharma said the Baradari had to be brought down brick by brick as it was not in a position to withstand vagaries of weather for a long time.

The experts working on the Baradari had taken the right decision and it had the backing of the ASI, he added.

Allaying fears of local heritage conservationists and art lovers, Sharma said they would recreate the similar site, which would last for a longer time. The structure would have the same façade and intricate architectural design similar to the old Baradari.

The central government has offered Rs 200 crore to preserve and maintain old heritage sites to keep the old pristine glory of the holy city.

Deputy commissioner K. S. Pannu said international experts and local conservationists would be involved in recreation of the old monument.


Boy missing since June 3, but no FIR yet
Lalit Mohan/Ravi Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 20
In a desperate cry for help, local resident Rattan Singh has complained that the Patiala police is not registering an FIR of his missing son, 17-year-old Paramvir Singh, despite the fact that the Supreme Court makes it mandatory for the police to do so within 24 hours of registering a DDR.

Rattan, a resident of Majithia enclave, here, in a letter written to the Patiala senior superintendent of police, has alleged that his son was forcibly taken by Rohit Sharma and Mandeep Singh, his college mates at Shaheed Udham Singh Polytechnic, Tangori. Copies of the letter have also been sent to the Punjab Human Rights Commission, the inspector-general (crime) and several other senior police officers.

“My son went missing on June 3 at around 6 pm and a DDR was registered at the Tripuri police station the next day,” said Rattan.

The distressed father added that both Mandeep and Rohit gave conflicting views on what had happened to Paramvir. “At times, they insist that they took Paramvir to the Bhakra canal for a bath, while they also say that they had dropped him near the PRTC workshop on Nabha road. They also claim that Paramvir drowned in the canal while taking a dip,” says Rattan.

Rattan, however, refutes the drowning theory, saying that neither Paramvir's footwear nor any of his clothes have been found from anywhere near the canal.

In his petition to senior police officials, Rattan said while Karan Sher Singh, SHO of the Tripuri police station, was on ‘medical leave’, sub-inspector Satnam Singh claimed that the police was “still verifying the facts of the case and that an FIR would be registered after the verification process was completed”.

Rattan counters this claim also, saying that more than 45 days have elapsed since the DDR was registered, adding that it was sufficient time for the police to complete the verification".


Extend stay of paramilitary forces, state to Centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
The Punjab government has requested the Union Home Ministry to further extend the stay of paramilitary forces in the state. Informed sources said the home department of the state government had sent a request in this regard to the Union Home Minister.

A few months ago, following the clashes between the supporters of dera sacha sauda and certain Sikh organisations, the Centre had rushed about 40 companies of paramilitary forces to the state on the request of the Badal government.

These forces were to be deployed till July 22.

However, as situation has not returned to normal in the state, the state government has urged the Union Government to further extend the stay of paramilitary forces in the state.

Moreover, the Municipal Corporation elections are to be held in Patiala, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar on August 8.

For holding the elections smoothly, security forces will be required in these cities.


Sidhu earns flak from Takht
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 20
Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Sidhu, a BJP MP, has earned the wrath of Jathedar, Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti for participating in a Rudra Mahayagya in violation of the Maryada (Sikh tradition).

Jathedar Vedanti said, “Sidhu has violated the Maryada”. However, he claimed that Akal Takht had not received any complaint against Sidhu for attending the 44-day ritual of Mahayagya .


Scheme for women
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, July 20
The union government has introduced a scheme to provide financial assistance to the women, who have been deserted by their overseas Indian husbands, for obtaining counselling and legal services.

This was stated by deputy commissioner D. K. Tiwari here this evening. Tiwari said the term “overseas Indian” would include NRI and foreign citizens of Indian origin.


Relief for MLA’s son
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 20
Zila Parishad subdivisional officer Jaswant Singh, who had been beaten up by the son of Akali legislator from Sirhind Didar Singh Bhatti yesterday, today withdrew his complaint filed with the police stating that he had reached a compromise with MLA’s son.

In the complaint filed yesterday, the SDO had alleged that Didar Singh’s son, Gurwinder Singh Bhatti, along with Satnaam Singh, a former sarpanch of Baras village, had attacked him in his office while he was at a meeting. He had stated that the duo had beaten him for not preparing a biased report against the present sarpanch of Baras village.

It was learnt that Akali legislator Didar Singh Bhatti today went to the zila parishad office where he regretted the incident. Following this, the SDO decided to withdraw his complaint.

However, after receiving the complaint from Jaswant Singh, SSP Nilabh Kishore had directed SP (Headquarters) Preetpal Singh Virk to enquire into the allegations and submit a report today. Virk visited the zila parishad office in morning where he recorded the statements of the SDO and other officers concerned. The police stated that as the complaint had been withdrawn, no further action could be taken in this regard.


Second Khalsa march taken out
Tribune News Service

Moga, July 20
The Khalsa Action Committee (KAC) carried out the second of the six-part series of Khalsa marches here today. The marches are being organised in Malwa region, where the hold of Dera Sacha Sauda is considerable.

The march, which began from Khukhrana village in the morning, went through various villages, including Tamanwala, Langiana and Daroli Bhai, and culminated at Jogewala village in the evening.

Bhai Mohkam Singh, convener, KAC, said the committee welcomed the statement of Jathedar, Akal Takht, Joginder Singh Vedanti at Talwandi Sabo yesterday in which he had advocated the use of force when all other means to solve the stand-off failed and added that he must stick to his words as he had a history of backtracking.


Bhattal blasts police for mistreating Jain, wife

Chandigarh, July 20
Leader of the opposition in Punjab Rajinder Kaur Bhattal today alleged that the defeated candidates of the SAD are controlling the Punjab police and were running a parallel government in the state. Bhattal today presented before the media the wife and son of Moga MLA, Joginder Jain, who alleged that Jain was disallowed medical treatment last night at Ludhiana.

Swarnlata Jain, who is the president of the Moga MC, said the police team accompanying him back to Faridkot jail did not allow treatment after Jain complained of chest pain. She alleged that the policemen pushed her around due to which she fell down and sustained injuries. — TNS


Witnesses pressurised, says ex-CM
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 20
Reacting to the issue of six witnesses turning hostile in the case of disproportionate assets against Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said today that he was planning to file an application for getting the case transferred to Supreme Court and a instituting a CBI inquiry into the matter.

“All witnesses have been clearly pressurised. The case cannot be fairly adjudged in the state now. There is a need for an independent inquiry into the matter and it cannot be done within the jurisdiction of the state”, Capt Amarinder Singh seemed frantic as he talked to mediapersons at the residence of Congress MLA Amarjit Singh Samra here.

He slammed the Akali Dal over unrest in the state due to clashes between Dera Sacha Sauda followers and Sikh radicals. “When we left the government, it was complete peace. But within three months of their coming to power, the situation is back to square one”, he said.


60 saplings planted in college
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 20
The Government Bikram College of Commerce organised ‘Vanmahotsav’ on the college premises here today. Sixty saplings were planted on the college campus.

The function was held in association with alumni of the college and the Rotary Club, Patiala. “This function will be held every July,” said principal of the college Bhupinder Kaur.

The college students assured the guests that they would protect the saplings.

ROPAR: DCM Engineering Products, Ropar, observed vanmahotsav here today by planting 2,800 saplings. Managing director of the company Keshav Sachdev inaugurated and presided over the function.

The function was organised at DCM Colony. Capt R S Rakhra (retd), manager of the administration and security, addressed the gathering. He gave a report of plantation activity carried out on the campus, along with the future vision.

The company has plans to plant around 4961 trees of various varieties till March, 2008.

He gave a slogan of "Saaf vatavaran, saaf vayu aur lambi aayu". He inaugurated the function by planting a sapling, followed by all employees and schoolchildren planting one sapling each on the occasion.

Prominent among others present on the occasion included the company's chief operating officer D S Sodhi, accompanied by R S Nanda AGM, all other officers, workers and children of the DCM school.

MOHALI: The local Lions Club undertook a plantation drive at Balongi village today.

According to sources, 101 saplings were planted in and around Government High School. Tarlochan Singh Mann, a social worker and divisional president of the Numberdar Union, Punjab, was the chief guest.

Mann said he would plant 500 more saplings in and around schools and dispensaries in the area. He said that tree felling should be stopped.


Repair work to hit power supply today
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 20
Due to some urgent repair of 66 kv power grid substation in Shakti Vihar, the power supply will remain suspended tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m in Sant Nagar, Mansahia Colony, Sewak Colony, Vikas Colny, Punjabi Bagh, Gian Colony, Ghuman Colony, Delight Colony, Tandon Colony. Model Town, Gobind Nagar, Bachittar Nagar, Raghbir Nagar, Ranbir Marg City Centre, Partap Nagar, Kaka Colony, Dhamo Majra, Majithia Enclave, Gurdarshan Nagar, Bharat Nagar, Krishana Colony, Badungar, Joginder Nagar, Power Colony No.2, Hira Nagar, Khalsa College Colony, Gopal Nagar, Gill Enclave, Bank Colony ,Ajit Nagar, Hira Nagar, 22 No. Phatak, Leela Bhawan Parking, Khalsa Cllege Road, P and T Colony and Ram Nagar.

There will be no power from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Urban Estate- 1, Ph.-3, Noor Kheria, Neelwal, Salaria Vihar, due to repair work at Salaria Vihar power feeder.

Due to some repair work of T-2 Transformer of 66 kv grid substation in Shakti Vihar, the power supply in Leela Bhawan Market, Hira Nagar,Ajit Nagar, Income Tax Colony, Dhaliwal Colony, Friends Colony and Bank Colony, will be off from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.


Order reserved on French turban ban 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
The division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Mahesh Grover, today reserved order on a petition filed by the Singh Legal Foundation over the French government’s ban on the wearing of turban by Sikhs students in schools.

The petitioner organisation, through its chairman M.S. Rahi, had sought protection of fundamental rights of Indian citizens and Indians staying abroad in the context of the French government’s ban on turban and other religious symbols.

During the previous hearings, the foreign secretary was issued a contempt notice for failing to provide proper relpy to the petition. The Central government, through joint secretary P.M. Meena, today filed a reply following the contempt notice.

M.S. Rahi submitted before the bench that the said reply was false, misleading and seemingly filed without reading the petition.

Meena had stated in the reply that the French government was following a UK court order on Sikhs’ plea over helmets. Rahi stressed that, in fact, the said order of 1983 had granted exemption to the Sikhs in the UK from wearing helmets.

Rahi asserted that fundamental rights could not be compromised for the sake of friendly relations with France. He averred that the reply had come after the lapse of one year and 10 months, and it showed that the Centre was not sincerely handling the issue. Rahi further expressed anguish as to why the Centre had not approached the International Court of Justice to sort out the issue.

Labour courts

A special division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Surya Kant, today directed the restoration of the functioning of labour courts at Patiala, Bathinda and Jalandhar.

The order came following the Additional Advocate-General, Punjab, Amol Rattan Singh’s submission that the state had taken steps to provide adequate infrastructure and staff in these courts. For this

purpose, nine senior-scale stenographers would be appointed through outsourcing. Also, air-conditioners and other necessities would be provided for.

The court also directed that the matter of posting presiding officers in the courts would be dealt with by the high court on the administrative side. On March 17, 2006, the division bench of the then Chief Justice D.K. Jain and Justice Surya Kant, had stated in their order that it appeared that the state was indifferent towards the plight of officers, staff and litigants in the labour courts.

The high court had then issued a show cause notice to the state as to why judicial officers, on deputation in these courts, be not withdrawn till adequate infrastructure, befitting an officer of the rank of Additional District and Sessions Judge was provided.

The court had also observed that some of the district judges had reported that there was not even a dais or toilet for the presiding judge, type writters for part-time stenographers and record keeper etc.

In the light of these reports, the court had ordered that judges at Patiala, Jalandhar and Bathinda labour courts be repatriated forthwith till proper courtrooms and other infrastructure for the public visiting the courts were in place.


HC notice to Dhindsa, 20 others
Our Correspondent

Barnala, July 20
As many as 21 persons, including Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, MP and SAD general secretary, and Sangrur deputy commissioner S.R. Ladhar, has been served notices by the high court to appear on July 30 regarding a controversy over the presidentship of Sandhur truck union.

The issue came to light due to the continuous tussle between two Akali groups over the issue of presidentship of the truck union. Kuldeep Singh Bishangarh was heading the union for past two years. But last week the second group, having the patronage of Dhindsa, plunged into it. This group made Harshpinder Singh as the new president of the union. 


Subsidised urea hits soil fertility
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
The rampant use of subsidised urea is playing havoc with soil fertility in several states of the country, including Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. In fact, sulphur-deficient soils of these states have hit farmers' income by reducing the quantity and quality of crop yields, says an expert.

With fertiliser-use pattern dominated by sulphur-free fertilisers like urea, DAP and MOP, the soils are at the receiving end, which bodes ill for Indian agriculture, according to Satyajeet Singh, north India marketing head of the Sulphur Mills Limited, Mumbai.

A study by Punjab Agriculture University has proved that each rupee invested in the augmentation of soil sulphur provides a return of Rs 8 to 20 by improving quality and quantity of farm produce. Progressive farmers are awakening to the urgent need of augmenting the deficient sulphur supply, he says, stressing the need for water dispersible sulphur fertilisers.

Highlighting the advantages of the water dispersible sulphur fertlisers, he claims that they help to stimulate root growth, besides improving the uptake of nutrients. Moreover, it helps in the formation of chlorophyll, which permits photosynthesis and plays a major role in the sythesis of proteins, oils and vitamins.

The farmers were now realising that these fertilisers increase crop yield, ultimately fetching better market price for them. And to make the farmers aware about the sulphur fertilisers, the Sulphur Mills has embarked upon a nationwide campaign to create awareness about the use of these fertilisers, he asserts.

"Continuous research and development by the Sulphur Mills has resulted in the development of world's first water dispersible sulphur fertiliser-cosavet fertis.

The unique water dispersible granule technology, apart from being environment-friendly, easily allows dispersion on contact with soil moisture, " he adds.


Inter-state gang busted
Imported weapons’ worries cops
Manish Sirhindi
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, July 20
The recovery of imported weapons worth over Rs 12 lakh from a gang of criminals has kept the local police on its toes.

The seven-member gang was involved in various crimes, including murders. Some of its members are proclaimed offenders and are wanted by the police of several states.

SSP Satish Kumar Asthana has said it is a matter of great concern for the police as to how these criminals managed to get these weapons, including three 9 mm pistols, one made in Italy and two made in the USA. It is perhaps the biggest recovery of imported weapons after the period of terrorism came to an end in the state, he adds.

The police has recovered several luxury cars from gang members besides two country-made pistols and cartridges.

It had received a tip-off that a gang of criminals was hiding in the Hadda Rori (where carcasses of animals are disposed off), near the local focal point. A team of police officials, under the command of sub-inspector Bikramjit Singh Brar, raided the spot. When the police team reached the spot, the gang members opened fire at it, injuring driver of the police vehicle Ajaib Singh.

Gang members Amit Kamboj, resident of Karnal, Sandeep of Jind (Haryana), Ruchin Kamboj and Sunil of Indri (Haryana), Shamsher Singh of Sonepat and Gautam Lal and Satnaam Singh of Rajpura were arrested.

Home guards jawan Gurmail Singh had collected vital information that helped the police bust the gang. The SSP says he would recommend his name for a reward.

The gang members have confessed to a number of crimes in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

The gang, which primarily indulged in robberies and theft of car, was planning to go for contract killings. Some of the members had more than 50 cases registered against them at various police stations across the region, the SSP says.


Cops ‘misbehave’ with woman
Tribune News Service

Ropar, July 20
Jaswinder Kaur, a resident of Chhappar Chidi, has accued cops at the Kharar police station of misbehaving with her, using unparliamentary language and illegally detaining her husband.

The incident took place this afternoon when the police rounded up Jaswinder Kaur and her husband Jaspinder Singh on a complaint of latter's mother Manjeet Kaur.

In her complaint to the Kharar police, Manjeet has accused her son and daughter-in-law of ill-treating her. At this the police rounded up both of them.

Meanwhile, in her complaint to the SP, Mohali, Jaswinder Kaur alleged that she married Jaspinder one-and-a-half years ago and had a son. At the time of marriage, Manjeet had claimed that her son has inherited seven kanals of land from his ancestors. However, after the marriage Jaswinder found that Jaspinder did not own any land. Later, he was ousted from his parents' house with his wife and son.

Jaswinder said the cops at Kharar misbehaved with her and used foul language. She alleged that her husband was illegally detained. Meanwhile, DSP Joginder Singh could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.


Rebuked, wife pushes man into well
Manish Sirhindi
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 20
A 34-year-old man who was allegedly pushed into a well by his wife and her paramour but survived returned to narrate his tale of horror to the police.

According to sources, Balbir Singh, a resident of Talania village near Bassi Pathana, was pushed into a 30- feet deep well by his wife Balbir Kaur and her paramour Kala.

The incident took place at 9 am yesterday. Balbir Singh caught his wife with her paramour near the well. He confronted the two and demanded an explanation. On being rebuked, an agitated Balbir Kaur asked her paramour to kill him.

Balbir Singh alleged that the two overpowered him and pushed him into the well. His brother rushed to his rescue and pulled him out of the well. He took him to a private nursing home at Sirhind, from where he was referred to the civil hospital here. 

Balbir Kaur has been arrested. Her paramour has absconded.


Five held

Abohar: Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Tibbi-Hanumangarh who had allegedly been smuggling smack for supply in Punjab, was nabbed along with Sunil, Vinod and Mahesh on Thursday, DSP Parampal Singh said. The police intercepted their car near Rampura-Bishanpura canal bank and recovered 50 gm smack during search. A case under the NDPS Act has been registered. Meanwhile, the CIA staff arrested Hardip Singh of Wania-Taran Taran area on recovery of 500 gm opium during search near Bhagsar village. — OC


Bathinda: Sixteen vehicles were challaned by district transport authorities after the same were found using LPG cylinders during a joint checking carried out by the district food and supply controller (DFSC) and assistant district transport officer (ADTO) near Bhucho Mandi crossing on Thursady. The cylinders, which were seized from the vehicles, were handed over to officials of the district coordinator of LPG. 


Mazar Row Waqf Board begins probe
Our Correspondent

Abohar, July 20
Punjab Waqf Board chairperson Razia Sultana has ordered an inquiry into the change of lease for historic Panjpeer mazars here.

A three-member team, including Sheikh Azad Hasan and Wakil Musa, visited the mazars located on the outskirts of the sub-divisional town and recorded statements of the warring factions.

Mohinder Singh, in a supporting affidavit, has said the board officials had executed lease deed in his favour on May 28, 2007, by receiving Rs 2.62 lakh for 2007-08 plus 50,000 as donation. He claimed having spent an equal amount afterwards.

He has alleged that rent controller Nazir Ahlmad and peon Maqbool Ahmad, in connivance with previous lessee Bool Chand, tried to cancel the lease deed to issue a fresh one to him.

Mohinder has blamed Bool Chand for executing an affidavit in favour of the Bishnoi community for the use of 32 kanals as cremation ground whereas the land actually belonged to the Waqf Board and no lessee had the right to sublet it.

Bool Chand refuted all allegations levelled by Mohinder.


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