P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Punjab Police may introduce canteens on lines of Army CSD
Tribune News Service

Moga, November 6
The Punjab Police is contemplating starting canteens on the line of the Army CSDs in all districts of the state.

Stating this here today, Punjab DGP N.P.S. Aulakh said for members of the force a residential complex spread over an acre would be constructed at a cost of Rs 4 crore in Chandigarh. He further said plans were afoot to introduce emoluments on a par with that in the Army’s regarding gallantry award winners.

On drawing his attention towards the fact that the local Police Lines was being managed on rented space, he said he had already spoken to M.K. Tiwari, IG (Ferozepur zone), to identify suitable land and to initiate the requisite procedure for acquiring the same.

About staff shortage in the police, he opined that it was a constant process and added that after 1995 no regular recruitment for district-level force took place. However, in contrast some battalions of the Punjab Armed Police were raised.

Earlier, he listened to problems of policemen and families of martyrs at the Police Lines. Retired policemen also spoke to him about their problems.

He paid tributes to martyrs and gave gifts to families of 39 martyrs. He honoured sub-inspector Ram Singh, in charge, proclaimed offender’s (PO) cell, for apprehending 29 POs and sub-inspector Surjit Singh for averting a dispute over a gurdwara and a samadh at Bhinder Kalan village.


Land Grabbing
IG Gupta given clean chit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Even as the Punjab and Haryana High Court is hearing a matter relating to allegations of land grabbing in Naya Gaon, an inquiry conducted by the SSP of Fatehgarh Sahib, has given a “clean chit” to IG Sanjeev Gupta and has also given a report on the ownership of the said land measuring about 10 acres.

SSP of Fatehgarh Sahib Neelabh Kishore has submitted his findings to IG Patiala Zone M.K. Tewari. It says as per secret and open inquiry conducted till now it has not been proved that IG Sanjiv Gupta was present at the spot on the day of the incident - September 29, 2007. It may be mentioned here that one Kuldip Singh has filed a writ in the court alleging that his land was forcibly occupied and the IG “wanted to grab” the land.

Kishore’s report says as per revenue records Jasbir Singh is the owner of the disputed land and is also in the possession of the said land since the day he purchased it. On the day of the incident Jasbir Singh was “protecting” his land by fencing it when Kuldip Singh and others got him arrested. The report, a 74-page document, also details, who all have been investigated and questioned.

Meanwhile Kuldip Singh in his petition before the court has alleged that Gupta and his "brother-in-law Deepak Kumar" have vested interests and are shareholders. 


Pervez’s gagging of Press evokes criticism
Ashok Sethi and  P.K. Jaiswar

Attari, November 6
Gagging of the Press after imposition of emergency by President Pervez Musharraf has evoked sharp criticism by Pakistani nationals crossing over to India today by bus to participate in a function in Delhi.

Muhammad Naseem, a senior journalist and national secretary, Servas Pakistan, said Pakistan had been forced to watch Indian news channel to know the internal situation in Pakistan as all local channels had been debarred by the executive orders of the government after emergency. He said although the common man was not affected by the stringent measures taken by the government, but intellectuals and the political leaders were feeling suffocated due to the draconian laws to curb the freedom of Press and judiciary.

He said very little information about the internal affairs was filtering in and rumour mongers were having a field day due to this.

He said the government must lift the control over the electronic and print media and allow free flow of information through these.

Alia Imam, political and cultural adviser to the government of Pakistan, said the internal situation in Pakistan had forced the president to take strict measures and imposed emergency in the country.

She said the president had taken the right decision to have a firm grip over the law and order situation, which had prompted him take these measures. She said Pakistan would emerge stronger as the forces inimical to the country had to be checked by these measures.


PU examiners to pay for mistakes
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 6
With a view to streamlining staggered evaluation system, Panjab University will introduce a system of fining examiners and clerical staff for mistakes in the evaluation system under which students are made to suffer for no fault of theirs.

The development is very significant in the context that official data shows that each year hundreds of students apply for re-evaluation a sizeable number of them get an increase in their total marks.

Sub-examiners and the head examiner will be fined at the rate of Rs 10 per mistake. Checking assistants will be fined at a rate of Rs 5 per mistake. The coordinator of the marking centre will be given the responsibility of making on-the-spot deductions from the amount of the evaluator’s bill.

A recommendation with regard to fining the evaluation and clerical staff for mistakes has been made by a high-powered committee under the chairmanship of Tarsem Bahia, a fellow. Other members of the committee include Dr J.C. Bansal, Dr Jagpal Singh, both fellows, and Sudesh Kumar, a systems manager. The case will now be put up for a final clearance by the university senate.

The committee detected errors in marking secret numbers on the sheets when the original roll numbers were taken off. In certain cases the marks were not totalled properly. Candidates also tended to suffer on account of certain answers going unchecked. University is learnt to have in many cases discontinued the practice of holding a meeting of the examiners with the head examiner before commencing the marking.

This led to certain gaps and difference in the marking pattern. The committee has accepted the lacunae.

The university has been asked to introduce the data tabulation of the original roll numbers and code given to the answer scripts on computer. A special mention has been made in the recommendation with regard to reducing physical movement of answer books among staff. The committee has made a special mention of space for storage of the answer sheets.

According to it, creation of more space for storage of answer sheets, timely disposal of old sheets and adequate facilities, including air-conditioning of of the evaluation and tabulation sections, are certain areas requiring special attention.


Industrial exodus: CPI seeks White Paper
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 6
The Communist Party of India (CPI) today asked the Badal regime to issue a White Paper on industrial units shifting base from Punjab to Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand in the past five years.

Member of the national executive of the CPI Joginder Dayal said though the problem of unemployment had been aggravating in the state day by day, it seemed that the government had no interest in coming out with any solution to it.

It had not made any concrete efforts to check the industrial exodus from the state.

Dr Dayal said successive Congress and the SAD-BJP governments had failed to get concessions for the state industry from the Centre on a par with Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

He claimed differences between the SAD and the BJP had been adversely hitting the state’s economy and development works.


Congress charges on vendetta ‘substantiated’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Congress MLA from Bholath Sukhpal Khaira today said the allegations of political vendetta against Congress workers have been substantiated by the recent reported request by top brass of police officials posted in the field area for posting at Chandigarh.

Khaira said this pattern of senior IPS officers seeking transfers was spread over the entire state and this clearly indicated that these officers were working under extreme political pressure.

In fact, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is responsible for breaking the chain of command in this disciplined force by politicising the police. DSPs and SHOs are being posted on the whims and fancies of SAD’s jathedars in the state, by doing so Badal is creating parallel power centres in the districts, SHO-level cops are seeking direct orders from the political masters rather than the district police chiefs.

Khaira alleged that the DSP of Bholath and SHOs posted in his constituency were forcing people to approach the defeated Akali candidate for their respective works.


Crucial SAD-BJP meeting in Delhi

Chandigarh, November 6
A crucial meeting between the SAD and the BJP is scheduled to be held in Delhi where the BJP is expected to make it clear to the SAD that it should have a “requisite and a decisive role” in running the affairs of the Punjab Government.

The two alliance partners have been holding meetings to resolve the issue of power tariff hike in urban areas. The BJP feels the urban consumer should not be burdened even though it is in favour of free power to the farm sector. The BJP is also annoyed at the so-called “interference” by the SAD in the departments allotted to BJP ministers and this will be conveyed to the SAD in clear terms. — TNS


125 commandos in CM’s security down with hypertension
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Tension and managing the Chief Minister’s security seems to go hand in hand. It seems it is virtually getting on to the nerves of the commando unit entrusted with the task of managing the security of Parkash Singh Badal as 125 of them have been found to be suffering from hypertension.

More than 200 policemen on duty with former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh were also found to be hypertensive. In the latest medical examination of Badal’s securitymen, about 125 of the 850 from 4 Commando Battalion of the Punjab police have been found to suffering from hypertension.

The medical report has been conveyed by a team of police doctors to DGP N.P.S. Aulakh, well-placed sources in the police confirmed. The 3 Commando Battalion was attached with Amarinder Singh and 25 per cent or more than 200 of the 850 strong unit were found hypertensive.

Some of the commandos found to hypertensive will be taken off the rooster of the CM’s security duty. There is no other option, said a source as a man with high-blood pressure could unknowingly cause a security breach. Badal enjoys Z-plus security. Due to the touring of the CM, especially in case of Badal who prefers to travel by road, the security boys have a hectic schedule travelling in Maruti Gypsies.

Sources said already a system of having fixed hours for those on security duty, proper rest and recuperation is in place. However, with erratic schedules and rising concern over security the eating patterns got disturbed.


Only seven cricket fans arrive so far
Restrictions stated main reason
Tribune News Service

Attari, November 6
A small cheering brigade to boost the Pakistan cricket team led by former secretary, Pakistan Cricket Board, Rafiq Nadeem, along with his daughter and grand daughter, reached India for the second one dayer to be held on November 8 in Mohali.

Rafiq said they had been specially invited by president of the Punjab Cricket Association I.S. Bindra and had been issued sticker visa as they had been exempted from police reporting. He said due to strict directions of the Indian government, majority of fans decided to opt out of India tour. He said he would be bringing back 100 tickets unsold and hand over the same to the Indian board.

According to sources, the Indian Mission in Islamabad has issued visas to 109 Pakistanis. District police chief Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh told The Tribune that the police had set up special counters to note down complete details of the visitors for security considerations. He said only seven visitors had landed here. 


Cataract cases among ex-servicemen up
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, November 6
The cases of cataract development among retired defence personnel in the border belt of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir have witnessed a sharp increase in the past decade. The local Military Hospital has been registering 1,200 or 1,500 patients suffering from the problem annually.

Brig K.S. Jaswal, Cdr 21 Sub Area, Pathankot, who inaugurated a week-long camp for cataract surgery at the hospital on November 1, said the hospital authorities had been conducting similar camps for ex-servicemen and their families here and in adjoining areas.

He said 114 patients were operated upon for cataract in January at Pathankot while 50 at the Military Hospital, Yol, near Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, in March. There was a long waiting period for surgeries in spite of two ophthalmologists operating regularly at the eye centre of the Pathankot hospital.

Brig A.K. Sharma claimed that 145 persons were diagnosed for ophthalmological problems at the camp. Col D.D. Chetal, ADMS, 29 Infantry Division, declared the camp closed yesterday.


Bihari labourers head homewards for festival
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, November 6
Thousands of Bihari migratory labourers have started moving to their respective places as only nine days are left for their festival Chhatt Puja. And most of them are travelling without railway reservations.

Hundreds of Bihari labourers were disappointed as they could not board the two Bihar-bound trains, 5210 Dn Amritsar-Saharasa Jansewa Express and 5708 Dn Amritsar-Katihar Amarpauli Express due to an extraordinary rush in the trains. The labourers stood in long queues before the railway ticket window to return their tickets and get a refund.

Hari Pal and Ram Dass said they wanted to board the Jansewa Express,but commuters travelling in the train did not open the doors of the compartments.

The Railway authorities tried to help them by stopping the train for 14 mintues, but in vain. Consequently, more than 300 labourers were unable to catch the train.


Shingaar Cinema Blast
102 grilled again, cops still clueless

Ludhiana, November 6
The fourth round of questioning of 102 persons in the Shingaar bomb blast case has proved useless with not a single clue developing into a major lead.

Highly placed police sources said these persons included 37 injured of the blast, 35 employees of the Shingaar, Mini-Shingaar and Midi-Shingaar cinemas, and 30 others who sell paan, eatables or run PCOs.

The questioning has failed to provide a remote idea about the persons who had planted the bomb in the third row of the hall on the night of October 14. “If one injured person gave an idea of how the accused looked like, the others gave a completely different description of him,” said a senior police official.

Superintendent of police (detective) Gurpreet Singh, who is handling the main investigation, said the persons were questioned individually as well as in groups, but the investigation was not developing anywhere.

Director-general of police N.P.S. Aulakh said in Ferozepur yesterday that the police had not got any clue so far through the investigation into the blast. — TNS



Patiala, November 6
The National Theatre Arts Society presented Punjabi play “Galwakdi” at the 74th monthly garden theatre programme at Baradari Garden on Tuesday. The play, written by Bhag Singh and directed by Naval Kishore of the Punjab state district public relations office, condemned the evils of dowry and drugs — TNS


2,461 kg of synthetic khoya seized
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
The Punjab government has urged Haryana, Rajasthan and U P Governments to crack a whip against those engaged in preparing synthetic khoya in their states.

During the raids conducted at various places, the health department authorities have seized 2,461 kg of synthetic khoya from various places in the state. It is used to prepare sweets. Maximum supply of such khoya is arriving from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana in Punjab. Sweets worth several lakhs of rupees are prepared from synthetic khoya in Punjab, especially during the festival season.

In fact, Punjab Health Minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla was to hold a meeting with health ministers of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh in Delhi today to request them to act against those preparing the synthetic stuff dangerous for the health of people. However, the meeting was cancelled at the last moment.

Besides synthetic khoya, adulterated milk and other milk products had also been seized during the statewide raids by the health department authorities.

Asked in this connection, Dr Sukhdev Singh, director, Health Services, Punjab, today said the campaign against those selling such stuff would continue. “We will not allow the sale of sweets prepared from the substandard khoya which is harmful for the health,” he added.

He said with the cooperation of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan governments, the practice of preparing synthetic milk, khoya and other such products could be curbed.


Canadian citizen booked for fraud

Kharar, November 6
The Kharar police has booked Canadian resident Gurtej Singh Mann for cheating a Chandigarh resident Baldev Singh Gill.

Gill, former SDO with the Punjab irrigation department, told the police that his childhood friend Gurtej Singh Mann usurped their 6.5 acres of land in Togan village.

He also alleged that Mann had used old and discarded general power of attorney to get the deeds of the land registered in his family’s name.

An FIR against Mann was registered on November 2. However, no arrest has been made in the case. The Gill family today alleged that Mann was threatening them with dire consequences. — TNS


Punjab teachers stage protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
On a call given by the Government Teachers Union, school teachers from Punjab staged a protest outside the Director Public Instructions (DPI) office in Sector 17 here today.

The teachers held a protest march from the office of the DPI (elementary) to DPI (secondary) and submitted a memorandum there.

President of the Punjab Subordinate Services Federation, Sucha Singh Khatra, alleged that the authorities concerned had not issued notification of implementation of the promotional pay scale of 4-9-14 till date at the district level.

He further rued that the department had not adjusted the teachers who were transferred to far-flung places.

The government had also not given salaries to the computer teachers and was backtracking from regularising their services. They threatened to intensify their stir if their demands were not met.


Ranike seeks VC’s resignation
GND varsity’s no to women’s games on campus
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 6
The refusal to grant permission for holding Punjab State Games for Women on its campus by the Guru Nanak Dev University authorities has led to tension between vice-chancellor Jai Rup Singh and the state government.

The Punjab Sports Department has to shift the venue for the games to Guru Nanak Stadium and Khalsa College at the eleventh hour. Sports minister Gulzar Singh Ranike has said he would bring the matter to the notice of the Chief Minister for action against the vice-chancellor.

Using harsh language, Ranike alleged that the vice-chancellor had “humiliated” a woman district sports officer by refusing a dialogue with her. “She had gone to the office of the vice-chancellor to get permission for holding the state games,” he said. “It gives an impression that the vice-chancellor had come from Pakistan and the games were being organised in India.”

Replying to a question, Ranike sought resignation of the vice-chancellor. He alleged that Jai Rup Singh was “aligned” with the Congress since he was appointed during the Amarinder Singh regime.

However, the vice-chancellor said the district sports officer had not met him for seeking permission for holding the games on the university campus.

It is learnt that the organising committee for the games has the vice-chancellor as vice-president and the deputy commissioner its president. Interestingly, there are four vice-presidents on the list of the committee members, prepared by the officer, and the name of the vice-chancellor figures in the last.

This irked Jai Rup Singh. After reading the list, the vice-chancellor reportedly refused to meet the officer. Instead, she was asked to meet director (sports) of the university Kanwaljit Singh.

Meanwhile, the university sports authorities asked the officer to shift the venue, telling her that she was unlikely to get permission for holding games on the campus from the vice-chancellor.

State director (sports) Pargat Singh said the officer should have sought permission well in time to avoid the unsavoury situation.


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