P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Invest in state, CM to NRIs
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 4
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here today appealed to Punjabis settled abroad to invest in Punjab and contribute towards the development and prosperity of the state.

The Chief Minister was speaking at a function to mark the 11th death anniversary of Jathedar Kartar Singh, father of former Samana legislator and senior Akali Dal leader Surjit Singh Rakhra, at the latter’s native village of Rakhra, near here.

Badal made a fervent appeal to Rakhra brothers Darshan Singh and Charanjit Singh, who are settled abroad, to exercise their influence on Punjabis settled in the United States to invest in Punjab. He cited the example of the NRIs from Gujarat who had made huge investments in that state.

He said as per the new policy, the state government would make 50 per cent contribution in case of any NRI Punjabi came forward to invest in any development work in his native town or village.

Badal later said the Punjab government had scored a major point by ensuring the setting up of the Bathinda refinery project which had been taken away from the state. This Rs 16,000-crore project was bound to give an impetus to the economic development of the state, he opined. He said this was in sharp contrast to the working of the previous government which had left a debt of Rs 25,000 crore by its wrong policies.

The Chief Minister announced that a school for the training of masons would be set up near the Bathinda refinery. Badal disclosed that the efforts of the Punjab government had helped motivate a German firm to set up a combine-making plant at Morinda. The government had already given a go-ahead to the firm for this project, he disclosed.

Senior Akali leaders, including cooperation minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh and Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra, also addressed the gathering and paid tributes to Jathedar Kartar Singh.


Badal for 10-year education plan
Lays stone of Chief Khalsa Diwan varsity

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 4
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here today laid the foundation stone of the University of Chief Khalsa Diwan at the concluding function of the 62nd All-India Sikh Educational Conference organised at Sri Guru Harkrishan International School here.

Badal expressed the need for setting up more schools for students from economically weaker sections of society, especially in the border areas of the state. He made an appeal to educational organisations to help meritorious students get an opportunity to realise their true potential.

The Chief Minister said being a border state, Punjab had many disadvantages and even the industry was at a loss. In a lighter vein, he said though he had laid the foundation stone of the university, no land had been bought by the Chief Khalsa Diwan and if the project fizzled out, it would bring bad name to him.

He appealed to diwan members and the SGPC to set up more educational institutions in border areas. He even made a case for a special 10-year plan be made in the country to ensure 100 per cent literacy. He announced a grant of Rs 10 lakh for the upcoming university and an equal grant for the Chief Khalsa Diwan.

Bibi Inderjit Kaur Khalsa from the USA, Sant Iqbal Singh Barhu, Satyajit Singh Majithia, Daljit Singh and Sant Anoop Singh Unawale were honoured by the Chief Minister. Dalbir Singh was also honoured posthumously. His son received the memento on his behalf. Sant Baba Daya Singh and Baba Kashmira Singh Bhuriwale were also honoured on the occasion.

A souvenir of the Chief Khalsa Diwan was released by the Chief Minister on the occasion. Shamsher Singh Kanpur offered the vote of thanks.

Laxmi Kanta Chawla, health and family welfare minister, Gulzar Singh Ranike, animal husbandry minister, Rajmohinder Singh Majitha, member, Rajya Sabha, Raminder Singh Bularia, Anil Joshi, Dalbir Singh (all MLAs), Rangeel Singh, former education minister, J and K, Santokh Singh, vice-president, Chief Khalsa Diwan, Harminder Singh, resident president, Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina, honorary secretary, Khalsa College governing council, were present on the occasion.


A Day After Emergency
Less Pakistanis for retreat ceremony

Trade will not be hit, says exporters’ association

Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Attari, November 4
The shadow of emergency in Pakistan was discernible during the retreat ceremony on Wagah as comparatively less people from Pakistan thronged the joint checkpost here today. However, a large number of Indians were present during the ceremony.

Jubilant Indian and Pakistani youths waved their national flags. The rush on the Indian side was 10 times that on the Pakistani side and the BSF jawans had a tough time managing it. The Pakistan government had managed to bring schoolchildren to witness the ceremony with a view to giving an impression that there was no panic.

Meanwhile, some NRIs came back to Attari after cutting short their visit to Pakistan due to emergency. Similarly, some Pakistanis who had come to India also returned to their country as they were worried about their families.

Sukhi Ghuman of Canada, who reached here after paying obeisance at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib and other Sikh shrines in Pakistan, said though there was no violence in Lahore and other parts of the country, imposition of emergency had disillusioned the people there.

However, there was no adverse effect on the movement of trucks between Attari and Wagah. President of the Indo-Pak Exporters Association Om Parkash Arora said there was no chance of having an adverse effect on the truck movement.

He said about 20 trucks carrying tomatoes reached Pakistan today. 


6 members of family die
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, November 4
A collision between a car and a truck killed six members of a family, including two children, who were returning from a wedding party in the wee hours today.

The accident took place near Adampur village on the Sirhind-Patiala highway. The accident took place when the driver of the car (PB-11-AE-9004), carrying seven persons, lost control and rammed the vehicle into a truck (HR-39-A-1444).

The persons, who belonged to Sanaur township near Patiala, were returning from Morindra.

The victims were Salochana, wife of Ramesh Sharma, her son Gaurav Sharma (25), daughter Archana (27), her husband Varun Attari (30), their four year-old-daughter Cheshtha, six-month Shivam and Rajan Sharma.

The victims were rushed to the Fatehgarh Sahib civil hospital, where the doctors declared them “brought dead.”

The bodies were shifted to the civil hospital for postmortem.


Three youths killed
Tribune News Service

Lalru, November 4
Three motorcycle-borne youth were killed in an accident on the Lalru-Ambala stretch of the national highway here this morning.

The victims Rahul (16), Gurjant (22) and Anil Rana (22) were going from Lalru to Lalru Mandi this morning when they had a head-on collision with a truck coming towards Chandigarh. The three died on the spot. According to the police, 16-year-old Rahul, a resident of Burail, was sitting between Gurjant and Anil.

Anil was driving the bike and was trying to cross a horse-driven cart when a truck coming from the opposite direction hit them.

The truck driver left his vehicle on the spot and fled. Anil was living with his wife in Lalru while Gurjant was a resident of Patiala and was working with Anil at a factory in Lalru.


Govt refuses grant for PAU pension fund
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, November 4
The Punjab government has turned down the request of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) for funds to replenish the pension fund.

Dr M.S. Kang, vice-chancellor of the university, had written to the principal secretary (finance) seeking Rs 39 crore to replenish the pension fund, which was depleting very fast. Dr Kang had also sought a meeting with the secretary to personally explain the things to him. The meeting was fixed for Thursday, but was cancelled at the last moment.

Dr Kang told this reporter that they were facing serious financial crisis and the government assistance in this regard was needed very badly. He had suggested to the state government to even take over the pension fund and take up the responsibility of disbursing pension to the retirees as it was doing for the government staff.

The employees of the university are governed by the service conduct rules of the government.

Lamenting the financial situation in the university, the vice-chancellor said: “There are three ways to meet the financial needs, borrow, beg and finally steal. We have borrowed Rs 10 crore from a bank against our investments and we have begged also of the government. The request for begging has been turned down. Only third alternative has been left with us.”

The finance department, while replying to the request of the vice-chancellor in its letter dated October 23, says: “The finance department regrets its inability to make the provision of funds to the tune of Rs 39.14 crore for pension fund of Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. You are advised to carry out a proper review of the pension fund of the university and explore other means to make it viable.”

Dr Kang maintained that the government had committed a sum of Rs 100 crore as grant-in-aid to the university for this year. This would only meet the salary component and “we will not be left with any money to undertake research”.

Referring to the observation of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal that the university had become rusted (PAU nu jung lag gaya hai), the vice-chancellor said he would not like to enter into any argument with the Chief Minister but “we need help to undertake research, but what can we do without money.”

There are many holes, which can be filled up. But, this is a very deep (financial crisis) hole and we need outside help (government assistance), he emphasised.

Dr Kang said there was no dearth of dedicated workers at the university and they could be motivated to undertake serious research activities. “I can only motivate them and I have found there is a change in the attitude of people on the campus and they had unfounded fear. We are developing atmosphere where there is a good academic level.”


They pay tributes by donating blood, not flowing it
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
For the past eight years, they have been paying tributes to victims of the 1984 Sikh riots in a novel way- by donating and not flowing blood. And in the past eight years, claims the Sikh Nation campaign, they have saved as many as 30,000 lives of North Americans with their blood.

As a tribute to those who lost their lives at the hands of fanatic forces in different parts of the country in 1984, the Sikh Nation launched this novel campaign in November 1999, by organising blood donation camps throughout western Canada.

This year, it started on October 27 at Abbotsford in British Columbia. Blood donation camps have been held at Kelowna (October 30 and 31), Victoria (October 30, 31 and November1), Nanaimo (October 31), Surrey (November 2 and 3) and Vancouver (November 4). The last of these camps will be held at Kamloops on November 22.

And Canadian Blood Services, the official agency responsible for recruiting blood and bone marrow donors as well as collecting blood, plasma and platelets, has honoured the Sikh Nation campaign for its highest contribution during the past few years.

In Canada, says the Sikh Nation website, roughly 1,37,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year. Many of these patients need blood or blood products for their survival.

Interestingly, the number of transplants in Canada has gone up from16 per million in 1981 to 59 per million in 2000. The figures may relevantly be the same or slightly more for India. These transplants include those of kidney, liver, pancreas, heart, lung and bowels which are lengthy procedures requiring significant amounts of blood.

On November 1, Sukh Dhaliwal, an Indian-Canadian Member of House of Commons (MP) from British Columbia, made a statement in the House, complimenting the Sikh Nation.

He said the first week of November was significant for Sikhs across Canada and around the world as they remember November,1984, for the massacre of thousands of Sikhs in New Delhi and other parts of the country.

“After 23 years, the victims have not received justice. I congratulate the Sikh Nation which honours these victims by holding their annual blood drive. Since 1999, the Sikh Nation drive has saved an estimated 30,000 Canadian lives and for the past four years the Canadian Blood Services recognised them as their top donor. I am proud how each year this campaign continues to grow. This year, many communities throughout Canada joined those in British Columbia to donate blood in this first week of November,” he added.


Tackling drug menace in Punjab
‘Break nexus between politicians, cops, mafia’

Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
The Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune H.K. Dua today called for breaking the nexus between politicians-police-drug mafia to tackle the drug menace in Punjab.

Addressing a panel discussion after the screening of Reema Anand's documentary on drug addiction "Punjab: The enemy within" at the Chandigarh Press Club, Dua pleaded for saving the energetic Punjabis from decay caused by drugs.

Equating the syringes shown in the documentary to missiles that were destroying society, Dua said they were the symbols of death as over 50 per cent of the youth of Punjab had fallen prey to them.

"In fact, liquor is the first step to addiction in Punjab," Anand told mediapersons after the screening of the documentary. Drugs were the slow poison that effected the entire family and society and grandparents and parents are today fighting this enemy within in Punjab, she said.

The influx of the migratory labour had left the rural Punjabi youth with hardly any work. “With no work, they take to drugs and are ruining their lives,” she said.

Even the NRI money being pumped into Punjab was responsible for the sorry state of affairs and goes a long way in pushing the youths to drugs, she added.

Dr Jatinder Jain, DIG (Bathinda range), regretted that there was no national policy to tackle the drug menace. Criminal neglect on the part of the parents was the basic cause of the children taking to drugs, he claimed.

Sharing Dr Jain's sentiments, Dr Deepinder Singh from Ludhiana, regretted that society seemed to have accepted the use of drugs. Awareness, prevention and treatment were essential parts of the any strategy to tackle the menace, he added.

Prabhjot Singh, senior journalist, who moderated the discussion, said the connivance of the politicians and the police with the drug mafia had virtually led to the mushrooming of a parallel economy in the state and only a mass movement against drug addiction could save the present and future generations.

Meanwhile, the documentary showed heart-rending scenes of the farmers consuming poppy husk and youngsters puncturing their veins with syringes.

Premiered at Los Angeles in 2006, the documentary makes a mention of the rural population in Punjab, particularly in Malwa hooking onto "bhukki" (poppy husk) which had become the poor man's addiction and smack and heroin being used by the richer sections of society in urban areas.

“Punjabis struggled hard to fight terrorists and put Punjab back on the world map but now they are up against a enemy within,” the narrator said in the documentary underlining the nexus between politicians-police-drug mafia.


Govt to keep tabs on Diwali gift receivers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
In a determined attempt to curb “organised corruption” by way of exchanging Diwali gifts, health and family welfare minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla has engaged the services of detective agencies to keep a close watch on residences of senior officers of the Health Department and also doctors posted in the field.

The minister said she was forced to take this step to curb corruption. She added that the government was determined to provide free, fair and transparent administration in the Health Department. Strict instructions had been given to all health officers not to exchange gifts or freebies offered by pharmaceutical companies or any individual. The services of detective agencies would be utilised to identify the corrupt officers. She reiterated the government’s resolve to extend quality health services to people and any kind of laxity on the part of health officers would not be tolerated.

Biomass projects

The Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) has finalised the allocation of 31 decentralised biomass power projects with aggregate capacity of 338 MW to private developers for setting up biomass-based power projects in 31 tehsils.

Stating this here on Friday, Bikram Singh Majithia, minister for science, technology and environment, said these power projects were being set up on build, operate and own basis and private investment to the tune of Rs 1,450 crore had been attracted in this sector. All these power projects are scheduled to be commissioned by September 2009. Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu, chief executive, PEDA, said PEDA had also signed MoUs for sale of power from 66 hydel projects.

Knowledge city

Chief secretary Ramesh Inder Singh on Friday held a review meeting to finalise the layout plan of knowledge city to be set up in Sector 81 of Mohali.

It was stated at the meeting that the state government had already acquired 381 acres in this regard.


Kandi area villagers shun development plans
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Ropar, November 4
The non-cooperative attitude of the people of kandi area of the district is proving to be a bottleneck for a development project being worked out for them at the behest of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

Badal during his previous visit to the area had directed the district administration to work out a development model for seven villages of the area, including Kangar, Barari, Basali, Chandpur, Sandoya, Balewal, Chandiyan Kalan and Chandian Khurd. All these villages are located in the vicinity of the controversial Kikar heritage project in the forest area.

According to ADC (general) V. Pursarth, who has been put on the project, he has been meeting people of the area to identify their problems. The problems of drinking water, roads, schools, higher education and low income of farmers have been identified as the basic bottlenecks to development in the area.

We proposed to bring up drinking water facilities in the said villages. Villagers were offered a scheme in which they had to contribute 5 per cent cost of the basic infrastructure for drinking water facility. In the proposed Rs 1 crore project the residents of the area had to contribute Rs 5 lakh. In some villages it comes to just about Rs 500 per household. However, the people have shown their unwillingness to contribute for the scheme despite the fact that they were facing acute drinking water problem.

“Due to their non-cooperation we are being forced to think of other options for solving the drinking water problem in the area, he said.

The other project that the administration wants to implement in the area is contract farming. Presently, most of the farmers in the area are growing wheat or maize. The soil there is ideal for growing kinnow. The farmers there were offered that the contract farming firms would grow kinnow orchids on their land and the entire expenditure would be borne by the firms. The farmers would be given a fixed amount for the first 12 years till the plants start bearing fruits. After that the farmers and firms would be equal partners in the produce. The farmers were also offered an interest-free loan of Rs 5,000 per annum for first five years till the plants grow to a certain size by the district administration.

However, none of the farmers has come forward till date to take up the proposal. The administration is now trying to target women and children of the area for implementing the project. They are thinking of starting vocational training programs for the children and women in schools of the area to enable them for self employment.


40 Boys Stranded in Ukraine
Phone call leads to panic among parents
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 4
A telephone call from abroad was all it took to whip up mass hysteria among parents of 40 boys stranded in Ukraine. The caller reportedly threatened to kill all youth if the issue was highlighted in the media.

This shocking development occurred before mediapersons waiting for a press conference of the Lok Bhalai Party to begin at the Circuit House there this evening. While the men tried to consult each other on the next course of action, the women could be seen asking their husbands to call up the agents to assure the latter that they would not speak to the Press on the topic.

No one was willing to speak out since they feared that the threat would be carried out. The agents are said to be Surjit Singh from Sultanpur Lodhi and Raj from Amritsar.

Party chief Balwant Singh Ramoowalia said the incident had to happen since the agents were having a free run in the state and the government had turned a blind eye to human trafficking. Hundreds of youth lose their lives every year and millions are collected by the travel agents who are virtually merchants of death, he pointed out.

He assured the harried parents that he would take up the matter with the government and the Ukrainian authorities so that no harm comes to their wards. People are in prison or in the captivity of their agents all over the world. There are even instances when agents have collected money from the parents of people who were killed or died travelling on foreign shores, he added.

Ramoowalia said a disturbing trend was that girls sent abroad were being pushed into flesh trade. Last week they had brought a girl home from Singapore who was falsely implicated in a case when she refused to be a prostitute. Girls elsewhere were not so fortunate and were at the mercy of the agents and their accomplices, he added.

He had been approached by 50 youths, who were on the verge of starvation in Cyprus. “We are in touch with the authorities there,” he added.


Medical colleges online link with PGI soon: Chawla
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 4
The hospitals of three medical colleges in the state will be linked online with the PGI, Chandigarh, to give medical students knowledge about the latest techniques in medical science.

Health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla stated this at a prize distribution function on the concluding day of the All-India Dental Students Conference here today.

Chawla said medical colleges of Patiala, Amritsar and Faridkot would be connected with the PGI. She further said the state government would spend Rs 500 crore during the current year for spreading health facilities in the state.

She said the state government would modernise Guru Nanak Dev Hospital in Amritsar and provide necessary funds for purchasing the state of the art machinery to provide better healthcare facilities to the people of this border district. She also announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh for Medical Dental College for purchasing a community van.


Building Unsafe
Verandah converted into emergency ward
Manish Sirhindi
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, November 4
With the building being declared unsafe, the verandah of AP Jain Civil Hospital has now been converted into a provisional emergency ward, while the operation theatre here has been completely closed down.

Wooden planks have been nailed onto the entry doors of the emergency ward and the operation theatre, after the building was rendered unsuitable for usage. The eight-bed emergency ward has been reduced to a six-bed crude arrangement that has been made by removing the partition of the verandah and the room allocated to the class four employees. Medical curtains have been suspended to differentiate the emergency ward from its surroundings.

With the closure of the emergency ward, the doctors here are struggling to treat the patients, as there is hardly any proper infrastructure available under the new arrangement. Some of the doctors, on condition of anonymity, said it was not the right way to treat the emergency patients. They stated that after the closure of the ward, they chose to refer the emergency patients to hospitals either in Chandigarh or Patiala after giving them first aid here.

There are no restrooms in the vicinity of the new emergency ward, which has created a new set of problems for the patients and the doctors. The nearest restroom is located in one of the regular wards of the hospital, which is quite some distance from the new emergency ward.

Patiala civil surgeon Dr Usha Dhingra, when contacted, stated that temporary arrangements had been made, as the emergency services could not be suspended at the hospital. She said several emergency cases were coming to the hospital each day and thus, the arrangements had to be made after the building was declared unsafe.


New policy on small-digit numbers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
The government today notified a new policy to auction small digit numbers for registration of vehicles. An amendment to the motor vehicle rules 1989 has been made.

Transport minister Master Mohan Lal said today that some numbers in each series would be sold to the public through open auction. A transparent procedure had been drawn for the new policy. The number, 0001, in each series would have a reserve price of Rs 50,000. Numbers from 0002 to 0009 would have a reserve price of Rs 10,000 while those from 10 to 100 in each series would be sold on a reserve price of Rs 3,000. Rest of the reserved numbers would have a reserve price of Rs 1,000.

The minister said the open auction would be organised by each district registration authority. State transport commissioner R. Venkatratnam said any complaint regarding this policy could be faxed to 95-172-2706943 or emailed at stc.punjab@gmail.com or astc.punjab@gmail.com 

Other reserved numbers are three-digit same like 111 or 444. All four digits being the same, e.g. 3333 and 5555, followed by all complete hundreds like 200 or 300 and complete thousands like 4000 or 6000. Other sequences, like 4242 and 3232, etc, have also been reserved.


‘No info on sub judice matter under RTI’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
The Punjab state information commissioner on Friday ruled that information could not be provided under the RTI Act in a sub judice matter while turning down an appeal filed by Advocate H.C. Arora.

He was seeking information relating to the sub judice criminal cases against Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and cabinet minister Sucha Singh Langah.

The commission also observed the appellant would be entitled to get the information as and when those cases were decided.

Arora had submitted two separate applications to the state information officer in the office of the director of Punjab Vigilance Bureau.

He had sought the copies of the charge sheets issued to Badal and Langah, along with the names and addresses of the witnesses, who had turned hostile in the cases.


Online revenue records soon, says minister
Tribune News Service

Rampura (Bathinda), November 4
Revenue records in Punjab will be computerised soon. Announcing this, Ajit Singh Kohar, revenue minister, said shortage of staff was hindering the process but the services of retired kanungos, tehsildars, patwaris and naib tehsildars would be requisitioned to give shape to the plan.

The minister who was here as chief guest at the annual function of a private school, also declared that wherever the government would acquire land it would be ensured that the owner gets the market rate for it. He further said the stamp duty for agricultural land had been decreased from 6 per cent to 5.

“The state government is planning to issue an identity card to land owners. After this, there will be no need to take along any numberdar or sarpanch for verification of identity. It will be beneficial for the seller and owner of the land ,” he said.


Sukhbir favours foreign coaches

Fatehgarh Sahib, November 4
Acting president of the Shiromani Akali Dal Sukhbir Singh Badal today assured sportspersons that the state government would soon hire services of foreign coaches to make world-class training available to them.

Addressing a gathering at the valedictory ceremony of the 5th Khalsa Games that concluded on the campus of Mata Gujri College, the SAD acting president said the government would soon open sports academies in various parts of the state.

He said a large number of sportspersons of the state were now playing either for some public sector undertakings or for other states as they had not been able to get required facilities in the state.

The government would also encourage the sportspersons by conferring awards on those who would excellence in their discipline at the international level, he added. — TNS


Inside Babudom
Four more SSPs want Chandigarh posting
Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Is the “understanding” and “trust” between area MLAs and police SHOs, resulting in tension and a break in chain of command in the force?

The answer seems to be ‘yes’ as at least four more SSPs, a DIG and an IG-level official have conveyed their desire to be posted in Chandigarh, away from their much-coveted present field postings in Punjab.

Most requests have been made verbally. Since the SSPs now enjoy a “fixed tenure”, there has to be specific reason to remove an officer or the latter has to ask to be posted out.

This is in addition to the request made by SSPs of Muktsar and Faridkot, respectively, in the past 15 days, to be given some other work.

They had cited family reasons. With SHOs having been appointed on “recommendations” of the MLAs, their loyalty is understandable, but for the senior officers, this is seen as a break in chain of command, said a source in the police department even as officially, the developments are being downplayed so that “no wrong message is conveyed”.

Normally, in the past the “sifarish”, if any, to be appointed SHO was routed through the SSP.

In the past six months the MLAs were asked to recommend the names of DSPs and SHOs, besides this on the civil side, the names of PCS officers to be posted as SDMs.

Sources said two SSPs in the Majha area had sought that they should be given some other work. One of the SSPs was said to be “close to a minister”. He may be now given the work of AIG-CID, Amritsar. Another SSP belongs to a district that has two “powerful ministers”.

A DIG posted in the Doaba region has also expressed a desire to be posted to Chandigarh, and so have two SSPs in the Doaba region.

One of the SSPs happens to be posted in a district having a huge NRI population.

Another SSP, in the Malwa region where the ruling SAD-BJP combine suffered a setback, also wants to be posted out of his district.

IG M.K. Tewari who is handling Patiala and Ferozepur zones has given in writing that he be posted to Chandigarh. He has also cited family reasons.

It may be mentioned here that 19 out of the 22 posts of SSP in Punjab are cadre posts and reserved for IPS officers only. Separately, 14 vacancies exist in the IPS cadre and these should have been filled by promoting PPS officers.

The court has imposed a stay and now the home department will move the court for vacation of stay. These PPS officers also want to be promoted so that they can be posted in the districts.


Nurse, son booked on rape charge
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, November 4
On the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the district police has booked a nurse and her son on the charge of rape of a minor orphan girl.

The girl (15) was being brought up by the nurse. The victim who used to work as domestic help in their house also charged them with aborting her pregnancy.

The police registered a case under Sections 376, 363, 313 and 120-B, IPC, at the Valtoha police station here today.

The accused have been identified as nurse Gurmit Kaur and her son Satinderjit Singh, residents of border township of Amarkot. Both are absconding after the registration of the case.

The girl in her writ petition filed in the High Court alleged that she was being raped by Satinderjit for the past three years and whenever she brought the matter to his mother, she used to beat her severely asking her to keep her mouth shut. She was even not allowed to come out and remained confined to the house. Fed up of this, she told her tale of woes to former sarpanch of the village Jasbir Singh, who brought the matter to the police. However, the police failed to provide any justice as political bigwigs were allegedly protecting the accused.

Jasbir Singh took her to the High Court which ordered her medical examination at a Chandigarh hospital which confirmed rape and abortion. The High Court immediately ordered the district police to register a case against the accused and arrest them.


Thieves decamp with 60 kg sweets
Tribune News Service

Kharar, November 4
Thieves struck at a wedding house in Balongi and stole 60 kg of sweets. The theft was discovered this morning when Nachhattar Singh, a resident of Adarsh Colony B Block, Balongi, opened the door of the room where sweets were stored. His daughter's wedding was scheduled for today.

Around 40 kg ladoos and 20 kg of other sweets were stored in the room that had been hired in the neighbourhood.

The family had not locked the room apprehending that no one would steal sweets.

However, when the room was opened in the morning, it was found swept clean of all sweets. Besides sweets, other ration items like rice, sugar, flour had also been stolen from the room.

Investigations in the case are on.


Couple commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 4
Two persons committed suicide after poisoning their child in a room in a hotel situated on the Queens Road here today.

The incident came to light this evening when the couple, who had rented the room last evening, did not come out even after repeated knocking on the door. The hotel authorities then informed the police which broke open the door and found them dead.

The police also found a suicide note by the couple. They had committed suicide by cutting their wrists with cutters. The deceased were identified as Deepak, Reena and their daughter Kishu.


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