P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Guru Granth Sahib
Private publishing of birs banned
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 8
District magistrate Kahan Singh Pannu today imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 in Amritsar district to ban publication of birs of Guru Granth Sahib by private publishers.

The orders have been issued three days after the incident in which activists of the Guru Granth Sahib Satkar Committee blackened the faces of two sons of publishers Jeewan Singh Chattar Singh in public.

Talking to The Tribune, Pannu said he had imposed the ban orders after holding discussions with representatives of various Sikh organisations. He said the orders would be effective for a month. However, the SGPC or any other organisation authorised by the SGPC had been excluded from the orders.

The state government is also likely to issue a notification banning the publication and selling of Guru Granth Sahib, except by the SGPC, shortly. General secretary of the SGPC Sukhdev Singh Bhaur said the SGPC was contemplating establishing a modern printing press in Mohali. The state government had also decided to approach the Central government to make a law under which action could be taken against a person who tries to publish the holy book without permission of the SGPC. 


Printing had always been a talking point: Scholar
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, October 8
Guru Granth Sahib was compiled in 1604 by Bhai Gurdas under the guidance of Guru Arjan Dev. This observation was made by Prithipal Singh Kapoor, former pro-vice-chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, and a renowned Sikh scholar.

In an exclusive with The Tribune here today Kapoor said the printing and publication of Guru Granth Sahib had remained in the focus of the Sikh community since the printing press was launched in India. It was in the nineteenth century that printing press came to India when some people established a printing press in Lahore. Some litho copies of Guru Granth Sahib were printed. After this, the publication of Guru Granth Sahib was shifted to Amritsar because people started pointing out printing mistakes in the text. Thereafter any publisher who undertook this job used to employ an expert to ensure the correctness of the text. In the process two concerns came to establish themselves as authentic publishers of the holy book. They were Jeewan Singh Chattar Singh and Jawahar Singh Kirpal Singh.

Kapoor revealed that the SGPC set up its own press in the fifties of the last century when it got prepared the blocks of all pages of the holy book and started printing of the same. The SGPC took upon itself to ensure the authenticity and correctness of the text. The text of the first edition of Guru Granth Sahib published by the SGPC was checked with a bir lying at Kartarpur in the custody of the Sodhis.

But a controversy arose and for a while the SGPC had to stop the publication and sale of Guru Granth Sahib. However, after the controversy was resolved, the publication was resumed, he added.

Kapoor said, “The latest controversy surrounds two things - firstly, a section of fundamental Sikhs came out with an allegation against the printer-publishers that they did not take precautions to ensure correct printing of the text. Secondly, they employed such people who did not take proper care to cover their heads and show respect to the holy book.”


Virk’s bail plea rejected 
Tribune News Service

Rupnagar, October 8
The court of district sessions judge Rekha Mittal today rejected the bail application of former DGP Sarabdeep Singh Virk and Congress leader Vinay Pal Singh Dimpy today.

While rejecting the application, the judge observed that Virk had not been remanded in police custody and many of the proceedings lay pending with the Vigilance Bureau. She observed that the bank accounts of Virk were being checked as per the CBI claim and bail could not be given as it would hamper the course of investigation.

She had extended the judicial remand of the duo till October 22. While Virk had been sent back to the PGI, Chandigarh, Dimpy had been sent to jail.

A battery of advocates appeared for Virk and security had been spruced up around the entire judicial complex in view of his appearance in the court.


PSEB plan on supply to PUDA colonies
Attar Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 8
To redress grievances regarding electricity to promoters and developers of Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) and district town planner-approved private colonies, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has decided some steps.

Y.S.Ratra, chairman, PSEB, said here today the local distribution (LD) system shall be laid by PUDA developers as per standard design of the board and Indian Electricity rules and sketch of LD system along with specification of material shall be approved from the chief engineer (commercial) of the board who will also approve the 11 KV system, including distribution transformers up to maximum 300 DVA capacity after the completion of LD system.

The SDO (operations) concerned of the board shall inspect the low tension (LT) lines after which the LD System shall be taken over by the PSEB and energised for the release of connections to different individual consumers in the colonies.

The chairman added the developers shall provide a meter room for each block of flats in which they shall provide meter cup boards. MCBs’ installation will be for the benifit of all residents of the block. Such meter rooms will remain in the custody of the board.

In bigger colonies where high tension as well as low tension system is laid by the developer inside the colony for local distribution, pillar boxes and,MCBs for housing individual meters shall be provided by the developer near the local distribution transformers.

According to Ratra, the connection shall be released by the PSEB to individual consumers in such colonies after recovering advance consumption deposit (ACD), applicable service connection charges (SCC and other charges as per existing instructions the PSEB of any commercial activities.

The PSEB will provide meters on all distribution transformers and if any theft of energy is suspected within the colony, preventive action shall by taken by the PSEB and the board will also have 24 hours easy access to such colonies to ensure that there was no unauthorized use of electricity in the colony. 


Cases Against Cong Workers
Khaira’s plea to go to CJ
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
A division Bench of Justice Uma Nath Singh and Justice Rajive Bhalla today directed a petition filed by Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira seeking directions for a proper inquiry by an independent agency into the cases registered against Congress workers by the present SAD-BJP government to be placed before the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. At the very onset, the Bench observed that the petition appeared to be a public interest litigation. As such, it should be placed before the Chief Justice for listing before the appropriate Bench.

Accusing the present government of unleashing political vendetta by registering false and frivolous cases, Khaira had earlier claimed that a total 103 FIRs have so far been registered in varoius constituencies of Punjab against Congress men and their supporters.

Khaira, in the petition, had also submitted a detailed list of four constituencies where he said such FIRs had been registered. In Bholath constituency, 30 and in Fatehgarh Churian 48 cases were registered. While in Raikot and Dehlon 44 FIRs were lodged, in Beas 25 cases were registered after the present government came to power. The petition added that similar was the situation in other places, but the petitioner had no means of collecting the list for other places in the state.

Claiming that cases were being registered only to harass the Congress workers and their families, Khaira said in his Bholath constituency alone he succeeded in getting reinvestigation done in 10 out of 30 cases. In all these 10 cases, the accused were found to be innocent.

Also blaming the police for acting in a partisan manner, the petition referred to the suicide of a Congress party sarpanch in Lehra Dhorkat village of Bathinda district on September 17. Though his suicide note blamed the district SAD unit, no action was taken by the police in the matter, the petition said. 


Political vendetta, says Darbari Lal 
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 8
Former deputy speaker Darbari Lal here today alleged that he had been booked in a case as part of the policy of political vendetta being pursued by the SAD-BJP government.

The Congress leader had been booked yesterday for taking part in a dharna organised by the family of DAV College professor Parveen Kapoor, who had allegedly committed suicide last week.

“I had gone there to offer my condolences to the bereaved family, which lives in my constituency. As asked by the victim’s family, I called up police officials to come to the spot and give an assurance that they would investigate the case. But I was shocked to know today that I have been booked,” he said.

“All this has been done by the police at the behest of a minister from Amritsar district, who had tried to harass me by getting me framed in a false case in the past also,” he said. “I will not seek bail from the court as I have done no crime. Moreover, I was not leading the procession,” said Darbari Lal.

Refuting the allegations, SSP Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh said Darbari Lal had not been singled out and the case had been registered against 30 persons for blocking traffic outside Hall Gate. “There was no political pressure and the action was as per law,” he said.

Former MLA Jugal Kishore and MLA O.P.Soni said the district Congress would launch a “jail bharo andolan” in case the case against Darbari Lal was not withdrawn.

Meanwhile, DAV College principal V.K. Sharma assured every possible help to the family of Parveen when a delegation of students of the college met him.


CPI not in favour of mid-term poll
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 8
The performance of the Punjab government, headed by the SAD-BJP combine, during the past six months has proved worst ever as it has failed to come up to the expectations of people of the state.

This was stated by national secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI) Joginder Dayal at a protest rally organised against the central and state governments here today.

Dr Dayal said the CPI was not in favour of mid-term poll, but the Congress was not following the “coalition dharma”. He said the main agenda of the UPA government under the common minimum programme was the development of the farm sector besides framing a law for the protection of rights of the farm labourers. But, the government had failed to initiate any steps in that regard, he added.

Lashing out at the state government for the recent increase in power tariffs, he said it would put extra burden of Rs 400 crore on the people in the state who were already reeling under the increased prices of the essential commodities.

He said the CPI would support the government on the nuclear deal only if it agreed to remove those clauses endangering the freedom of the country.

The CPI national Secretary said faulty public distribution system, importing wheat instead of paying minimum support price to the farmers for their produce and forward trading in food grains were responsible for the price rise.

He said the party, under the banner of the All-India Kisan Union, would hold a dharna near Parliament on October 30 besides organising rallies at the district level all over the country to mobilise people against the rising prices.


To lay siege to police station

Bathinda, October 8
Regional leader of the CPI Hardev Arshi today alleged that the ruling party had been implicating innocent persons of Joga village in false cases. Addressing a press conference in Mansa, he announced that party activists would lay siege to the village police station on October 17 to demand a probe into the matter.

Arshi alleged that Harwinder and Rajinder, grandsons of freedom fighter Jangir Singh Joga, had been falsely implicated in a rape case. He cited another instance in which the witness in an assault case had been booked under Section 295A of the IPC. — TNS


Jalandhar zone dists to have community policing:IG
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 8
Inspector-general (IG) of Jalandhar Zone Sanjiv Kalra announced to launch community policing system in the remaining five police districts of the zone.

Inaugurating community policing in Jalandhar city, Kalra said the system was being implemented in the entire world.

Kalra said it was a tried system in Punjab as it had paid off in Fatehgarh Sahib, Tarn Taran, Khanna and Ludhiana police districts.

As far as Jalandhar police zone is concerned community policing would soon be launched in remaining five police districts of Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, Nawanshahr, Ropar and Jagraon, he added.

Kalra said crime especially, thefts in houses and commercial establishments and stealing of vehicles had decreased in the police districts where this scheme had been started.

DIG Jalandhar range N.P. Singh said community policing was being introduced with the help of public to reduce crime.

Initially in Jalandhar city, community policing is launched in Model Town and other localities under police station division- VI, said SSP Arpit Shukla, adding the system would soon be expanded in the areas of 10 police divisions in Jalandhar city with the help of public.

Under this system, 100 local youths have been appointed as CPOs (community police officers), who will be paid Rs 2700 each as remuneration per month. They will guard 100 houses or commercial establishments from 11 pm to 5 am and the owner of each house or commercial establishment will pay Rs 40 per month for the services provided, said SP HQ Satinder Singh and DSP R.S. Sidhu who played key role in starting this system in the city.

Meanwhile the SSP said the CPOs would be provided mobile phones soon for quality service.


Harassment of Doctors
Association threatens to suspend medical services
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 8 
Members of the Punjab Civil Medical Service Specialist Cadre Association today threatened to suspend all medical services in the state if the vigilance bureau harassed any doctor in the state on frivolous pretexts.

Addressing a press conference here today Dr Surinder Bhagat media in-charge of the association said Dr S.K Kapoor, SMO at the Amritsar civil hospital, had been unnecessarily dragged into a controversy by the bureau.

The bureau had discovered a murder undertrial Bikramjit Singh living in luxury at the hospital’s air-conditioned room.

“The SMO is not to be blamed. He did not order the allotment of the room to the undertrial. In fact Dr Kapoor was abused by Cabinet minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia over the phone. The minister wanted that the undertrial should be kept at the hospital for at least 10 more days while Dr Kapoor insisted on shifting the accused back to the jail,” said Dr Bhagat.

Dr Bhagat added that doctors were always being pressurised by one political party or the other to help their criminal supporters.

“We warn politicians that if they call any sector in the state to help their criminal supporters who come to the hospital, we will immediately call the police and lodge an FIR against them. Also we warn the bureau not to crackdown on doctors on frivolous complaints,” said Dr Bhagat.

He added that association members had met at Amritsar yesterday and resolved that Majthia should apologise to Dr Kapoor and the matter should be resolved within three days from today.

“Failing which we would resort to closing down medical services in the state,” said Bhagat.


Upset with Food Supplies Dept
Sarbjit Dhaliwal

Chandigarh, October 8
There is a strong resentment among rice-millers and others concerned at certain places against the Punjab Food Supplies Department for changing the allocation of certain grain markets to government procurement agencies when the procurement of paddy is in full swing.

Certain rice-millers told The Tribune today that the change in the allocation of grain markets to agencies at this stage had created serious operational problems for them. A rice-miller said he had signed an agreement with a particular agency for supplying him paddy for milling. For signing the agreement, he had paid about Rs 2 lakh as fee. It had taken him about seven days to get the agreement paper prepared and signed with the agency, which had started supplying him paddy and had also earlier supplied crates for stacking it.

However, the department had withdrawn the allocation of the particular grain market from that agency. “I have been left in the lurch by the government authorities concerned,” he said. “ I am not aware when my rice mill would be allocated to some other agency for stacking paddy for shelling,” he added.

Earlier, the allocation of grain markets was made to various agencies in the second week of September. However, at certain places, it was changed on October 4 vide letter number 2/325/3007/1345. For instance, earlier Sadiq grain market was allocated to Punsup. Now it had been given to Markfed. Sherpur Bet was earlier allotted to the FCI and Markfed. Several examples of such changes could be given, as the list is available with The Tribune.

Rice-millers have alleged that the changes were being made under political pressure. Big guns in rice business were dictating terms to the government in this regard to stifle the small players in the rice milling business. As the department had a monopoly over the allocation of grain markets and allocation of rice mills to agencies, there was no way out for small players except to accept the dictates of the department, said a rice-miller upset over the development.

A senior officer of the department admitted that the allocation of grain markets had been changed, but it had been done with the approval of the authorities concerned.

Meanwhile, Pawan Valecha, state president, Bhartiya Jan Shakti, has demanded an inquiry into the allotment of grain markets. He has urged the department to make physical verification of the paddy stock given to millers by various government agencies.

He said at certain places, the capacity of a rice mill had been shown in excess of its actual capacity to allot it more stock of paddy. 


Workshop on classical music begins
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 8
The department of music of Punjabi University, Patiala, organised a five-day workshop on classical music at Kala Bhavan here today. The workshop was inaugurated by eminent historian B.N. Goswamy.

Professor Goswamy highlighted the need of such workshops, which give an opportunity to students to learn subtleties of music from well-known musicians belonging to various Gharanas.

Goswamy also laid stress upon interaction among all branches of the art.

He said the workshop was the fourth in the series of such workshops being organised by the department.

One such workshop was organised in September at Andretta wherein Prof Ajit Singh Paintal, a renowned classical vocalist, was invited to give lessons to students.

Dr Navjot, head of the department of music, said the department was committed towards organising such workshops in order to restore the dignity of the Indian classical music.

Dr Saroj Ghosh, head, department of music, Panjab University, Chandigarh, conducted the workshop. 


Chief engineer’s office gheraoed
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, October 8
Up in arms against the Punjab government’s move to recover excess money paid to retirees of Ranjit Sagar Dam, scores of members under the banner of the Joint Action Committee of Ranjit Sagar Dam, staged a five- hour- long dharna and gheroaed the office of the chief engineer, Ranjit Sagar Dam, at Shahpur Kandi here today.

The protesters were against the deduction of excess money paid by the government as special increment when they were working as “work charger employee” before March 31,1996. It is worth mentioning here that in 1996 the 13,578 employees were regularised by the government.

The move has affected around 3,000 employees of the dam when the Punjab government started recovery by deducting money from their gratuity leave encashment.


Today’s holiday in Amritsar dist
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 8
The state government has declared October 9 as holiday in Amritsar district to mark birth anniversary of Guru Ram Das.

District commissioner Kahan Singh Pannu said today that offices of corporation/boards, government department and educational institutions would remain closed tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Guru Nanak Dev University has decided to observe a holiday tomorrow at its all non-teaching departments and the branches of the administrative office.


IESL hails move to include members in dist planning boards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
The Punjab and Chandigarh chapter of the Indian Ex-Services League (IESL) has hailed the proposal to include its members in district planning boards and district grievances committees at the district level.

Terming it to be the first step taken by the state government to patronise the IESL, the chapter’s president, Lt. Col J.S Mand (retd) said many state governments had entrusted IESL chapters within their respective jurisdiction with a number of tasks to usefully tap the potential of ex-servicemen for the progress of the state and welfare of the retired personnel themselves.


ASI acquitted in Khalra murder case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
Appeals and revision petitions filed in the Khalra murder case today culminated with a division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court acquitting ASI Amarjit Singh, while maintaining that the conviction of DSP Jaspal Singh along with four other policemen Satnam Singh, Surinder Pal Singh, Jasbir Singh and Prithipal Singh.

Pronouncing the orders in an open court, the Bench comprising Justice Mehtab Singh Gill and Justice A.N. Jindal held: “We do not find any infirmity in the judgement of the trial court, apart from the conviction of appellant ASI Amarjit Singh. The appeal of ASI Amarjit Singh is accepted and he is acquitted of the charges framed against him. If in custody, he shall be set free forthwith”.

He, along with DSP Jaspal Singh, was sentenced to life imprisonment by Patiala’s Additional Sessions Judge on November 18, 2005, under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC after being convicted for the murder of human rights activist Jaswant Singh Khalra. The other accused were sentenced to five years of imprisonment.

In its detailed order, the Bench ruled: “Taking the statement of witnesses in totality, we have no hesitation in coming to the conclusion that Jaswant Singh Khalra was picked up from his house at the instance of SSP Ajit Singh Sandhu by appellants Jaspal Singh, Satnam Singh, Surinder Pal Singh, Jasbir Singh and Prithipal Singh. He was tortured at Jhabal police station and shot dead there. Finally, they disposed of his body near the Harike Bridge on the Sutlej.”

The Bench added: “A number of defence witnesses have been examined. Their testimony and veracity were gone into, but ultimately it comes out that they were untruthful witnesses, who were going out of the way to help the appellants. Advocate Gurjit Singh Kahlon went out of the way to procure a false affidavit under threat from prosecution witness Kuldeep Singh.

Speaking for the Bench, Justice Gill observed that the motive behind the commission of offence had been spelt out not just by one, but a number of witnesses, Justice A.S. Bains included.

The Judge further observed: “All these witnesses have stated that Khalra was a human rights activist and was looking into the deaths of innocent persons, who had been killed in false encounters and their bodies cremated in the districts of Amritsar and Tarn Taran.”

Justice Gill added: “Kuldeep Singh is the star witness…. We find his statement to be truthful, convincing and inspiring confidence. He initially was under fear, but at a later stage came out with the truth. He is an eyewitness to the gruesome abduction, murder and disposal of Khalra’s body.

It may be recalled that witness Kuldeep Singh is a former special police officer and was reportedly recruited into the police force by former Tarn Taran SSP Ajit Singh Sandhu. 


Amarinder’s plea to go abroad allowed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
Punjab’s former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s plea seeking permission to go abroad from October 11 to November 30 was today allowed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Allowing the application, Justice Ranjit Singh agreed to the contention of his counsel that mere mention of his name in an FIR could not be a ground against allowing him to go abroad.

The Bench, in the detailed order, also took on record the contention that Capt Amarinder Singh was a former Chief Minister and belonged to a royal family. As such, it could not be expected that he would not return.

Earlier during the hearing, state counsel M.C. Berry, however, contested the prayer of going abroad stating that the former Chief Minister’s claim did not appear to be genuine. He also mentioned that the letter reportedly by his doctor from the UK appeared to be a procured one.

Berry also referred to his earlier pleadings in which Capt Amarinder Singh had sought permission to go to Nepal for writing a book. “What was the fate of that book, we do not know”, he said in the court. Berry also added that the Vigilance was preparing to issue a notice to Capt Amarinder Singh by the third week of this month, and having come to know about it he was not trying to go abroad.

Notice of motion issued

Taking up a petition for initiation of contempt proceedings against Punjab Assistant Inspector General of Police (crime) V. Neerja , the High Court today issued notice of motion for December 17.

A Bench, headed by Justice Mehtab Singh Gill, issued the notice on a petition by Hari Singh Bawa of Bhadaour in Barnala district. Seeking initiation of proceedings, the petitioner alleged that the official had filed a false affidavit in the court on September 7, 2007, regarding an earlier order. The petition said the official wrongly submitted before the court that the investigations into an incident was yet not complete. The incident in which one person Robin Masih had died was a fall out of a land dispute between `gurdwaras' of Bhadaur and Gurdwari Nanaksar in Barnala district.

The High Court had earlier directed a re-investigation into the matter by an officer not below the rank of an SP in May 2007. The court had given three months time to complete the investigation. The petition said though reinvestigation was completed and the report also submitted to senior police officials concerned, the Assistant Inspector General of Police, in a bid to protect some of the police officials, submitted a false affidavit in the court.

City Centre scam

A Division Bench of the High Court today asked the Punjab government to keep ready the records on a petition questioning the manner in which the government acquired and used the land for the purpose of setting up Ludhiana City Centre.

Fixing October 31 as the next date of hearing, a Bench, comprising Justice Uma Nath Singh and Justice Rajive Bhalla, issued the directions on a petition by Baldev Singh of Ludhiana.

In his petition, he had had referred to the alterations in the rules and provisions with regard to the acquisition of land by the state government for developing the project.

The petition, filed through counsel Rajan Gupta, had stated that alterations had been made by the government from time to time, and rules had been violated for setting up the centre. The petitioner said his land measuring around 20 acre was acquired by the government in the year 1979. 


Higher taxes worry cotton growers 
Sandeep Sinha
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 8
Cotton growers in the Malwa cotton belt continue to suffer, thanks to higher market fees and RDF in Punjab. Voicing concern over higher fees, the Punjab Cotton Factories and Ginner’s Association has said farmers cultivating “white gold” in the region are suffering losses due to the higher rate of taxes in Punjab compared to states like Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

In a letter sent to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today, the association has demanded his intervention in the matter. Association president Bhagwan Bansal pointed out that a farmer in Punjab was paying Rs 200 for one quintal of narma worth Rs 2,200 as taxes. On the other hand, in Rajasthan, the market fee had been slashed to benefit farmers.

The association apprehended that if narma from Punjab was shifted to states like Rajasthan and Haryana, then not only would Punjab lose in terms of revenue, but the cotton ginning and spinning industry in state would also be adversely affected.

According to the association, industrial houses in Punjab are already shifting base to Himachal Pradesh, MP and Uttarakhand to avail themselves of the tax benefits in those states.

There is no major textile spinning industry in the Malwa belt. Farmers in the region should also be extended tax holidays to prevent exodus of the industry from the state. At present, farmers of the area sell their produce at Mandi Dabwali, Sirsa and Sri Ganganagar to get a better price.

The association has requested state agriculture minister Sucha Singh Langah to give them representation in the Board of Directors of the Punjab Mandi Board, Chandigarh.


BKU favours organic wheat
‘It fetches high price in national and international markets’
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
The Bharti Kisan Union today gave a call to Punjab farmers to reduce area under ordinary wheat and to switch over to organic wheat that fetches high price in the national and international markets.

Bhupinder Singh Mann, national president of the BKU and also of the Kisan Coordination Committee (KCC), said the Union government was preferring the wheat produced by farmers abroad and procuring it up to Rs 1600 per quintal. It was not ready to give remunerative price to Indian farmers.

“A march will be organised throughout Punjab to motivate farmers to reduce area under ordinary wheat. The march will start from Dera Baba Nanak, at a short distance from Kartarpur Sahib, where Guru Nanak Dev did farming for a few years. The march will pass through all regions of Malwa, Majha and Doaba,” said Mann.

“If the government’s attitude towards Indian farmers is such, why should they grow traditional wheat for the domestic market? They should grow organic wheat which could fetch price two times more than the minimum support price fixed by the Union government for the traditional wheat grown by farmers in Punjab, Haryana and certain other states,” said Mann, who was accompanied by Sharad Joshi, an architect of farmers’ movement in the country in the 80s.

If the Union government can import wheat from abroad at a high rate, with what face it will stop us from exporting organic wheat? asked Mann. “And if the Union government created any hurdles in the export of wheat, we will resort to agitation,” he said. Asked about paddy, he said that its season was over now. But when paddy season comes, we would also ask farmers to reduce area under it, he asserted.

He said the BKU was for abolishing the minimum support price (MSP) system and also the Food Corporation of India (FCI), which he described as the “most corrupt organisation”.He said the futures markets was offering a new possibility of cyber market without any time or space limitations in which the farmers could get advantage of the time and space utilities without having to transport the produce to store it.

Mann said the KCC would meet at Delhi in Maharashtra Bhavan on October 26 to discuss important issues with regard to farm sector and also new emerging issues such as global warming that were adversely affecting the yield of crops.

Sharad Joshi, who hails from Maharashtra, said agriculture minister Sharad Pawar had mishandled the import of wheat. 


BKU protests against slow procurement

Moga, October 8
Even as activists of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) held a protest against the tardy pace of paddy procurement by the FCI, special observer of the Punjab government to monitor the procurement process R.C. Nayyar, financial commissioner, forest and wildlife, left the town without meeting them here today. Nayyar visited various grain markets of the district.

Activists of the BKU held a protest in front of the main depot of the FCI on the Ferozepur road. Farmer leader Bhupinder Singh Mahesri claimed that the FCI had bought only 21,350 quintals of paddy. — TNS


Farmers’ applications invited for allotment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
The Punjab Government has invited applications from farmers, who are tillers of land, to get permanent allotments done. The department of revenue has asked all “kaashtkaars” to apply for the same and get the allotment of land.

The transfer rate has been fixed at Rs 15,000 per acre. It will be Rs 12,000 per acre for the Scheduled Castes.

As per estimate, there are about 42,000 acres with tillers without paperwork. In real terms, the land is illegal occupation. These are stretches of barren land which have been tilled over the years.

The allotment will be strictly as per the Punjab Package Deal Properties Disposal Act, 1976.


SAD leader Tiger booked for murder
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 8
Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) leader Jagbir Singh Tiger has been booked by the Dyalpura Bhaika police station in the district for firing a shot from his licensed .315 bore rifle and killing Sukhdeep Singh(26) at Kothe Guru, village 25 km from here last night. Tiger(45), is circle president (Nathana) of the SAD.

According to police sources, last night, four persons on a scooter and a motorcycle reached a petrol pump at Kalyan Sukha village on the Nathana-Bhagta road. They got petrol for Rs 30 in their scooter. They reportedly had an argument with employees of the petrol station. Those four persons reportedly tried to snatch money from the petrol station employees.

“The four then fled towards Bhagta,’’ police sources said.

The employees of the pump are then learnt to have informed the Akali leader about the incident.

“Tiger, with his licensed .315 bore rifle and two accomplices, Jeevan Singh and Randhir Singh, rushed towards Bhagta on his car. On reaching Kothe Guru village bus stand, he saw two persons with a motorcycle there, whose description matched with that given by petrol pump employees,” police sources informed. 


Sarpanch, mother killed
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, October 8
An old woman and her sarpanch son were murdered while her another son was shot and injured at Gujjar village near here last night.

Attackers killed Veer Kaur and Balwinder Singh with sharp-edged weapons. However, her younger son Karaj Singh escaped the attackers by scaling a wall of his residence, but not before he was shot at.

The police has registered a case against Harbans Singh, step-brother of Balwinder Singh and his family on a complaint of Karaj Singh.

The complainant stated that Harbans, along with his two sons, brother-in-law and his son, attacked them. The assailants were nine in number.

He alleged that former DSP Bakhshish Singh, with a view to taking revenge on his family, incited Balwinder for the attack. He felt that they were made the target as his brother had revealed that Bakhshish had demanded Rs 1 lakh as bribery from him.


Suicide case Widow, paramour held
Our Correspndent

Pathankot, October 8
The Dinanagar police has arrested Poonam, mother of three children, and her paramour Raj Singh in connection with the alleged suicide committed by her husband, ex-serviceman Bharat Bhushan.

According to the police, Poonam was having illicit relations with her neighbour Raj Singh.The deceased had been strongly objected to this and asked her to shun such relations in the interest of their children, but it vain. Consequently, he hanged himself to death.

The police has started investigations into the matter. 


Woman commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Banur, October 8
A 38-year-old married woman Sukhvinder Kaur allegedly committed suicide at her residence in Thuha village here today. The incident took place at 12.30 pm.

According to the police, the victim was upset with her two-year-old son, who started throwing food around the house. She reportedly bashed him up to which her mother-in-law Sant Kaur objected. She got upset over this and locked herself in the room and hanged herself with a rope tied to a hook in the ceiling.

Her husband Sarabjit Singh was working in the fields when the incident took place. The police has sent the body for postmortem to Rajpur. Inquest proceedings into the incident have been initiated. 


Bus pass blues for PTU students
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 8
A meeting of students from the local distance-learning centre of Punjab Technical University was held here today. They alleged that distance learning centres of the university were not helping them in getting bus passes made despite being given an assurance regarding this at the time of admission.

They had contacted the Punjab Students Union (Shaheed Randhawa) to sort out the issue.

Students from all distance-learning centres of the university would hold a meeting on October 12 at Teachers Home over the issue here.


Rice millers face uncertainty
Manish Sirhindi
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 8
Having spent lakhs of rupees on upgrading their machinery in the hope of getting their milling capacities enhanced, a large number of rice mill owners in the state are in a fix as the state government is still indecisive over the issue.

The State Food and Civil Supplies Department have issued three circulars in which specific guidelines have been laid down for the district food and supply controllers to assess the milling capacity of the rice shellers. As per these guidelines, the small rice millers are required to install two paddy huskers against one tonne capacity, three against 1.5 tonne capacity and four huskers with a capacity of two tonne. As of today, rice mills with one-tonne capacity are being allotted 3,500 tonnes of paddy each season. However, with limited tonnes of paddy, these millers earn marginal profits.

It was learnt that for getting their milling capacities enhanced by one tonne, the millers had to shell out Rs 10 lakh on installing new machinery and extension of electricity load. Anticipating increase in profits, several small millers have upgraded their mills.

Following the last circular, which was issued on September 17, field officials of the department prepared reports of rice mills across the state, which had sought enhancement of milling capacity. These have been submitted to the state government.

Rice miller Nakesh Jindal stated that small millers across the state were incurring an estimated loss of Rs 25 lakh a month due to the delay in the decision on capacity enhancement by the state government. He said as the paddy season was at its peak, any further delay could result in huge losses to the small rice millers.

Director, Food and Civil Supplies Department, S. P. Singh was not available for his comments.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |