P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


SAD-BJP Differences
Badal forms panel
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 10
After playing down the differences between leaders of the SAD and the BJP over hike in power tariff and land registration all these days, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today announced the formation of a seven-member committee of leaders from the two parties to avoid any communication gap between the coalition partners and to tackle “intra-ally” differences.

Talking to mediapersons after presiding over a function held here to mark the Parkash Utsav of Baba Vishwakarama, the Chief Minister said the committee would be holding periodical meetings to avoid any trouble. He stressed it was no big issue and the committee would just ensure a smooth sailing of the coalition government.

The members of the committee are Rajinder Bhandari, Manoranjan Kalia, Navjot Singh Sidhu, all BJP leaders, and four SAD leaders Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Sukhbir Singh Badal, Capt Kanwaljit Singh and Balwinder Singh Bhunder. Announcing a new development plan, the Chief Minister announced opening of one “skill development centres” each in all constituencies with an investment of Rs 100 crore in the state.

Unfolding the plans on power generation, the Chief Minister said the government had accorded top priority to launching more power projects. Five thermal plants to be set up by private sector had already been cleared by the Central Power Authority and the approval for sites for four such plants at Mansa, Rajpura, Abohar and Mukerian had also been cleared.

He said district-level committees to take up cases of alleged political vendetta would be formed.

Paying tributes to Vishwakarma, Badal said Lord Vishwakarma was the founder of the craft, art, architecture and engineering and was known as the God of carpenters, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, masons and all those people who had some skill.

He honoured around 24 prominent personalities for their contribution in various fields, including industry, trade, literature, social service and engineering.


BJP tones down voice against SAD
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, November 10
The Punjab BJP has toned down its harsh voice against its alliance partner SAD (Badal) after the meeting of the latter’s president and state chief minister Parkash Singh Badal with a former Union home minister and senior BJP leader Lal Krishan Advani in New Delhi a few days ago.

It is evident from what the BJP state president, Prof Rajinder Bhandari, stated while talking to The Tribune soon after attending a function on Vishwakarma Day at Jallowkhana Chowk in Kapurthala today.

Expressing satisfaction over the progress in response to the BJP’s demand of providing subsidy of Rs 290 crore to domestic, industrial and commercial power consumers of the state, Professor Bhandari said the matter would again come up for discussion in the proposed meeting of newly formed coordination committee of the ruling alliance on Monday in Chandigarh.

While Professor Bhandari, local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia and Amritsar MP Navjot Sidhu would represent the BJP, SAD acting president Sukhbir Badal, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Capt Kanwaljeet Singh and Kirpal Singh Badungar would attend the meeting from SAD, he added.

To a query, he said the newly formed coordination committee after Badal’s meeting with Advani had been replaced the older one.

The BJP was demanding subsidy on all non-agricultural power consumers as the same had been provided to agricultural sector and it would not only benefit the urbanities but also villagers.


Spectacular fireworks at Golden Temple
P.K. Jaiswar

Amritsar, November 10
A spectacular show of fireworks at the Golden Temple marked Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas that was celebrated with pomp and show here as lakhs of devotees from all over the world paid obeisance.

Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, while addressing the devotees from Darshani Deorhi, urged them to be ready for safeguarding Sikhs ideologies. He said today greedy and pompous people infiltrated into social fabric of society and Sikhism. Expressing concern, he said the so-called ‘intellectuals’ and ‘reformers’ were wrongly interpreting Sikh ideologies and Gurmat messages for their vested interests.

The devotees started thronging the temple early in the morning. In the evening, they gathered in the parikarma to catch the glimpse of the fireworks.

Meanwhile, Orwyn Tokil and her husband Micheal Tokil of the UK, who visited the Golden Temple for the first time, said it was wonderful experience for them to watch the multicoloured lights bursting in the sky with fascinating reflections in the sarovar. Patrick James Parkes, Sukhdev Atwal and Mohan Khera accompanied them.

However, 28 fire incidents were reported in the city last night. Fire brigade officials that Ganesh Printing Mills situated on the Batala road was gutted in fire, while two more factories were damaged.

A house in the Lohgarh area was also damaged in fire. The officials said the owner was using the house for commercial purposes and also misbehaved with their staff. They said they had written to the police for registering a case against him as he prevented the government employees for doing their duties.


Leading life Gurus’ way
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 10
A display of martial arts by Nihangs, including horse riding stunts, tent pegging and gatka, marked Bandi Chhor Diwas today.

Hundreds of Nihangs from around 12 Nihang Dals, reached the open ground in Railway Colony for the one-hour action packed show.

Mounted on a house, five-year-old Hira Singh, told The Tribune that he had already learnt how to perform the basic feats while riding a speeding horse and was now focusing on perfecting his gatka skills. “I’m also getting training in ‘Gurbani’ and my family is proud of the fact that I am leading a life as according to the teachings of the Gurus,” he said.

Ranjit Singh, a Nihang in his early 20s from Dal Baba Bidhi Chand, says his aim is to ride a “jodi” (two horses simultaneously) as was displayed by his fellow Nihang Yash Pal Singh today. “It takes a lot of practice and there is no margin for error controlling two horses at such a high speed,” he added.

“Besides horse riding, I also play ‘nagaras’ (traditional drums), a pair of which is mounted on a horse, on religious occasions. All these things not only need practice but also a strong will as there is always risk of losing control. I have been working on it for the past three years,” he said.

Bandi Chhor Diwas is celebrated the day after Diwali to commemorate the return of Guru Hargobind to Amritsar following his release from Gwalior Fort during the reign of Jahangir. To celebrate his return, people illuminated their houses and the Golden Temple.

Nihang Sher Singh of Dal Baba Bidhi Chand said though Bandi Chhor Diwas falls on Diwali day, to save general public and the devotees from inconvenience, the display of martial arts is organised a day later.

“Training starts early, usually at the age of two years. While some young learners are keen on being a part of kirtans and gurubanis, others prefer taking up horse riding and other martial arts,” he said.

Master Santokh Singh of Gurdwara Baba Deep Singh Ji said: “Nihangs do training to be ‘chardi kalan’ despite all odds. They can fight enemies and adverse natural conditions with the same spirit.”


Bakersfield mayor meets MC officials
Discusses tie-up on Amritsar civic matters
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 10
Amritsar will soon look a bit like Bakersfield in California as it is expected to be given a sister city status, as part of which aid will be given for its beautification and development.

Harvey L.Hall, mayor of Bakersfield, who arrived here on a two-day visit today said Bakersfield would also like to share its know-how on setting up of better infrastructure, besides launching cultural exchange programme, once the sister city project was given the go-ahead.

“A city-to-city exchange programme will be established. A considerable number of Punjabis living in Bakersfield is also keen on seeing a special bond being set up with Amritsar,” he said.

He met Jathedar of Akal Takht Joginder Singh Vedanti today and will draw up modalities of the programme during his meeting with Amritsar mayor Shawet Malik tomorrow.

The process of having a partnership between Bakersfield and Amritsar was started when a delegation of officials from Bakersfield had visited here last year. The beautification of Amritsar is likely to be the key area of partnership and the Amritsar Municipal Corporation and the district administration had shown keen interest in getting assistance from Bakersfield in this regard. Even though several proposals of making power from garbage have been floated by the corporation in the past, all of these have fizzled out and the situation on the ground has remained the same.

Malik said the corporation was looking forward to getting the sister city status from Bakersfield.

“The details of the project are yet to be worked out and we would decide on the key areas where the administration of Bakersfield can help us,” he said. Amritsar being a tourist place, its beautification is definitely on top of our priority and they would like to focus on ways to make the city look much more clean and attractive. The corporation, he said, had already launched a cleanliness drive in Amritsar and steps are being taken to put in place a modernised garbage disposal system in partnership with private agencies.


America needs Punjabi students
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
The USA needs Punjabi students in plenty. Many students are going to the USA for higher studies from other parts of the world but not so many from Punjab. This is what Sigurd Meldal, vice-chairman, academic senate, San Jose State University, states. While talking to The Tribune here today, Meldal said even from states like Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat students were going to the USA in good number but from Punjab their number was minimal.

Meldal was here to give lecture at various technical institutions about the possibilities for Punjabi students for higher studies and employment in Silicon Valley, the heart of world’s information technology, in the USA.

“The Silicon Valley needs well trained work force for its IT industry and Punjabi students could prove asset for it,” he said. He added that he wants to break the perception that education in the USA was costly. A student belonging to an average family can afford it.

“We are also prepared to enter into some arrangement with Punjab-based institutions so that students could complete some part of their course here and later join San Jose University,” he said.

Meldal, who is professor and head of the computer engineering department in the university, is working to develop systems to make the use of computer-related technology secure for society. “As use of computer-related technology had become a global phenomenon, it has become more vulnerable as far as security and safety are concerned,” he adds.

Computer-related technology is all pervasive now and so is its vulnerability. Giving an example, he said, tapping of landline telephone was illegal in the USA but not the cell phone. At certain places people had moved courts against the tapping of cell phones but they lost the cases because the system was based on wireless and radio technology. With the use of computer technology in every sphere of public life, invading privacy has become very easy.

Meldal said in the USA various bodies, including universities are working to make use of computer technology safe for civil society. “We are sensitising computer engineering by telling that the technology being promoted by them is also affecting the civil society in one way or other inspite its immense usefulness for people around the globe.”


4-year-old kidney patient needs financial help
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Aniket Sangrur, November 10
Aniket, a four-and half-year-old Dalit boy, resident of the Sunder basti here, has been suffering from from kidney ailment for four years. His father Bittu, a daily-wage worker, is not in a position to get him treated at the PGI, Chandigarh. Aniket is under treatment at the PGI for three and half years with the help of the Senior Citizens Welfare Association here, the Aniket Health Welfare Society and other donors. Aniket, a student of first standard, is very active and likes playing with toys.

Aniket’s father said his son’s urine problem compelled him to get him examined medically. First he got him treated at Sangrur from two doctors. Later he took him to Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, for treatment, where doctors operated on him and made two holes on the right and left side of his body for draining urine out. Now urine from the right-side hole leaked 24 hours almost continuously on its own, he added.

Aniket is Bittu’s only child. According to doctors they were trying to save Aniket’s one kidney as the second one was almost damaged, he said. Doctors had also stated that treatment of Aniket was lengthy and would take years, he added.

President of the Senior Citizens Welfare Association Sukhdev Singh Jassal, who is a retired DSP, took up the case of Aniket’s treatment from the PGI, Chandigarh. In February 2007, Jassal as president of the association wrote to the then deputy commissioner, seeking financial help for Aniket’s treatment. However, the deputy commissioner-cum-president, District Red Cross Society, wrote on February 27, 2007, to the office of the Punjab Chief Minister to grant a financial assistance of Rs 50,000 from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for the treatment of Aniket, but to no avail so far.

Jassal said due to shortage of money for the treatment of Aniket, whose both kidneys were badly affected due to the disease, he had formed the Aniket Health Welfare Society and opened a bank account (No. 76136) of the society in the Sangrur branch of the Union Bank of India for the treatment of Aniket and other patients needing aid. He appealed to people to donate money direct to bank account for serving ailing people, especially Aniket.


Rs 1-lakh grant for non-existent school
Cong leader, wife booked
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 10
The police has booked Congress leader Gagandeep Bhatia and his wife Sarvpreet Kaur, principal, Vidhya Bhawan High School, Batala Road, in the Rs 1 lakh-grant case to a non-existent school in 2005. The case was registered after a probe by the Vigilance, the police and the legal advice.

A new item was first published in The Tribune after allegations were made in an anonymous complaint to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

The complaint had pointed out that Rs 1-lakh grant had been sanctioned to Sarvpreet Kaur, who had described herself principal of Bharatiya Vidya Niketan, Shivala Road, Hussainpura, Amritsar.

The grant had been sanctioned for the purchase of computers by the office of parliamentary secretary, Local Government, and Freedom Fighters on August 25, 2005, while Dr O.P. Sareen, principal of the Bharatiya Vidya Niketan Senior Secondary School, New Tehsilpura, alleged that the school had not received any such a grant.

However, Gagandeep Bhatia had stated that the school headed by his wife did function in the name of Bharatiya Vidya Niketan for some time in 2005. The grant in question was received and computers were also purchased.


Major to be cremated in Jalandhar
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 10
When the entire country was busy in performing pooja and bursting firecrackers on Diwali on Friday, several Army jawans and officers were carrying out an anti-insurgency operation against Kashmiri militants in Baramula district of Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir. Major Varinder Singh of 52 the Rashtriya Rifles regiment sacrificed his life during this anti-insurgency operation.

Hailing from Kotli Thambra village in Gurdaspur district, the Major’s family resides in the Deep Nagar locality on the Bheem road, Jalandhar cantonment. He leaves behind his three-year-old son, wife Gurpreet Kaur, father Roor Singh and mother Charanjeet Kaur.

Commissioned in the Army in 2000, he was married in 2003, said his brother Harinder Sandhu while talking to The Tribune.

The martyr’s father has served in the Air Force. He retired as a warrant officer a few months ago.

His uncle Puran Singh said the Army authorities had informed them about Varinder’s sacrifice on the phone yesterday.

He would be cremated with full honours at the Deep Nagar crematorium in Jalandhar cantonment on Sunday at 10.30 am, he added.

Meanwhile, Army spokesperson Naresh Vij said the body of the martyr had been brought from Baramula to Jalandhar cantonment in an Army helicopter on Saturday and had been kept in the military hospital.

He told The Tribune that Lt Gen S.S. Kumar of GOC 11 Corps would lay a wreath on Varinder’s body to pay him homage for his supreme sacrifice. Senior officers from the district administration were likely to attend the cremation.


Probe sought into PSEB recruitments
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
A few candidates, who appeared in the test for the recruitment of assistant engineers, have urged the state government to order an inquiry into the recruitment made in this regard by the Punjab State Electricity Board( PSEB).

In a complaint to the secretary, Department of Power, Punjab, the candidates have alleged mischief in the recruitment and demanded a probe by a high- level committee.

In the complaint, it has been alleged some of the candidates, who had not cleared the test, have been given appointments by the PSEB which had advertised 250 posts of AE in December 2006. The test for the same was conducted in January 21, 2007 at Patiala by the NTPC on behalf of the PSEB. And result, that was declared in March 2007, was also displayed on official website of the PSEB.

Vikas Aery, who is one of the complainants, said the minimum qualifying marks for general category candidates were 50 per cent and for reserve category candidate 40 per cent. It was declared by the PSEB that offer of appointment would be made only to successful candidates based on merit.

He said approximately 180 candidates had qualified for the appointment and it was reflected in the office order number 417 to 422 issued on June 9, 2007 and 440 on June 18 and 449 on June 19 and 520 on July 6 and 520 on July 13.

However, later 55 other candidates, whose names did not appear in the result declared in March,2007, were also given appointment on July 24 wide office order number 634.

Aery has urged the state government to check the result declared in March and also with the NTPC which conducted the test. Appointments given to candidates by the PSEB should also be checked. He said appointments of the candidates, who had not cleared the test, were arbitrary and illegal and required to be probed.


AIDS-hit family faces social boycott
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Anandpur Sahib, November 10
Despite crores being spent on providing medical aid and consultancy to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)-affected persons, many of its victims are in the lurch.

A family affected with AIDS at Chak Holgarh village near Anandpur Sahib illustrates situation. The family has been facing social boycott from neighbours. People living in surrounding areas had been buying milk from them, their only source of livelihood. The marriage of their daughter, who is not affected with AIDS, broke after it became public that her parents were suffering from the disease.

The family has been finding it hard to make ends meet. Talking to The Tribune family members said they did not have money to buy medicines. Their only source of income, milk they had from small dairy, did not have any takers. Only milkmen who sell milk in far-flung areas now take their produce at a reduced price.

Even the kin have withdrawn support to the family and none from the district health authorities had come to help them.

Kuldeep Chand, director of an NGO that had been working in the area to help such patients, said the government had allowed free bus travel to the AIDS-affected patients. The Chief Minister had allowed them benefits under the atta-dal scheme. However, it was for the local administration to identify such families and extend them the benefits allowed by the government.

The agony of the family started after it was discovered the head of family, a truck driver, was affected with AIDS. Later his wife was also discovered to be HIV positive. According sources close to the family the truck driver got infected with the disease while he was working with a transport company in Maharashtra. With head of the family on the last legs of life due to AIDS, the others are forced to see him dying a slow death with nobody coming to their help.


Celebrating Diwali the Punjabi Way
15 lakh chickens worth Rs 9 cr consumed
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 10
Punjab, the land of “butter chicken” and “Patiala peg,” consumed more 15 lakh broiler chickens worth Rs 9 crore on the occasion of Diwali and Vishwakarma Day. According to data gathered from the North Zone Broiler Breeders Association, Delhi, 6.25 lakh kg of chicken was consumed on Diwali night while Himachal consumed 1.4 lakh kg of chicken on the same night.

To meet this demand in Punjab on Diwali and Vishwakarma Day, almost 10 truckful of broilers were imported from Haryana.

Despite India’s growth in consumption, its per capita consumption of these products is poor. It is 37 eggs and 1 kg of poultry meat per capita per annum. Per capita consumption of eggs is only 7.7 per annum in rural areas, compared with 17.8 per annum in urban areas. Similarly, per capita consumption of poultry meat is 0.24 kg in rural areas and 1.08 kg in urban areas.

Surjit Singh Sagri, chairman, North Zone Broiler Breeders Association, said Punjab consumed almost 3.5 lakh chickens on every given day. “Normal daily consumption in North India on any given day is 6-7 lakh broilers per day, of which Delhi and the NCR take about 2 to 2.5 lakh broilers per day, mostly supplied from Haryana. Chandigarh usually takes about 30,000 to 35,000 broilers per day.’’

“On Diwali, consumption was around 10 lakh chickens and on Vishwakarma Day it was 5 lakh chickens. On an average, the price of every dressed chicken in Punjab is Rs 60 per kg. On last New Year’s eve, Punjab consumed 10 lakh broiler chickens worth Rs 7.5 crore. To meet the demand of Punjabis on last New Year’s eve, almost 2 lakh chickens were imported from Haryana,’’ Sagri informed.

Sagri added after Diwali, the next big occasion for this market was the marriage season, Christmas and New Year.


Harshinder is best woman writer
Tribune News Service

Dr Harshinder Kaur Ropar, November 10
Dr Harshinder Kaur, who is known for presenting statistics regarding the declining sex ratio in the state, has managed another feat. She has been selected as the best woman writer of the country in the regional language category in a contest organised by TATA tea company. In the award she, besides the citation, will also be given a cash award of Rs 15,000.

While talking to The Tribune, Dr Harshinder Kaur said in the contest the writers were asked to pen their own sketch regarding the work carried out by them in a field apart from their profession.


Hanuman idol unveiled at Ram Tirath
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 10
A 55-foot idol of Lord Hanuman was unveiled at the ancient Ram Tirath temple here yesterday. Editor-in-chief of the Hind Samachar group of publications Vijay Chopra unveiled the idol. It took more than six years to complete the idol.

According to the legend, Maharishi Balmiki scripted the Ramayana here and Mata Sita gave birth to Luv and Kush at this sacred place.

President of the All-India Hindu Shiv Sena Surinder Kumar Billa said the land for the temple was donated by the Sanatan Dharm Sabha, Mahavir Dal.

However, the temple complex needs immediate attention. Devotees drive right up to the holy parikarma. There are no arrangements to fill up the holy sarovar.


CM to launch citrus, amla drive in 8 villages today
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
Citrus, amla and bamboo have been identified as catalysts for economic regeneration campaign to be launched by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in Kandi, Bet, border and water-logged areas tomorrow.

Based on recommendations of a high-powered seven-member committee headed by former vice-chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University G.S. Kalkat, the campaign aims at targeting urban and rural poor in first phase.

Since land holdings in areas initially included in the campaign are small, landowners would be encouraged to “pool their land resources” for growing citrus, amla and bamboo, depending upon the type and location of land.

The multi-pronged scheme, says Harcharan Bains, media adviser to the Chief Minister, will target to improvise not only existing infrastructure in education and civic amenities but also generate job opportunities for women and uneducated youth of the area.

In the Kandi area, where eight villages have been shortlisted for the formal launch tomorrow, the villagers have been persuaded to pool their land resources for cultivating citrus.

The villages are Sandoha, Brari, Chandpur Samani, Basoli, Kangar, Jhandian Kalan and Jhandian Khurd and Belowal.

Since returns from citrus plantation start five to six years of gestation period, beneficiary farmers would be paid double their average per acreage income from the day the plantation starts. For example, a farmer in Kandi area who earns between Rs 2,000 and Rs 2,500 from an acre annually would be assured Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 income a year. All cost on plantation, maintenance and upkeep of citrus plantation till it reaches fruit- bearing stage would be borne by the state. Once the fruit is ready, the farmer would be able to market his produce for an estimated return of Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000 an acre.

The areas where forestry laws are applicable, cultivation of amla and bamboo would be encouraged under the campaign.

The ownership rights will remain with the farmer, says Bains, holding the state would only act as a facilitator and a free service provider besides organising all inputs, including the plants, insecticides, pesticides and everything.

Besides giving a fillip to crop diversification, the government would also ensure schools in these villages are renovated, upgraded and equipped with laboratories, libraries, and playfields. The drinking water supply and sewerage will be upgraded and special training programmes started to train women and uneducated youth to work in industry of the surrounding areas. Knitting, stitching, and pickle making for example, would be introduced and state agencies would be directed to make their purchases from the beneficiary areas.


Maj-Gen Sidhu is PESCO chairman
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
Major Gen U.S. Sidhu (retd) has been appointed as the Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) of Punjab Ex-servicemen’s Corporation (PESCO), an establishment for the welfare of retired service personnel.

He would have a tenure of two years. This would be General Sidhu’s third tenure as the PESCO CMD, the earlier being a double stint from 1998-2002. The post of the CMD was vacant for the past few months after the previous incumbent, Maj Gen G S Randhawa (retd) resigned.

An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, General Sidhu was commissioned into the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles in 1961 and commanded the regiment’s 10th Battalion in Jammu and Kashmir. He retired in 1996 as deputy Quartermaster General at Army Headquarters.


3 die as car falls in canal
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 10
A pall of gloom descended on the family of Bahadur Singh, a resident of Shutrana village, when he, along with two others, died on Diwali night as their car plunged into the Bhakra canal at Shutrana last night.

According to police sources, Bahadur Singh, along with driver Malkit Singh and a distant relative Satpal, had gone to Gulahad village for Diwali celebrations, where his brother-in-law Sham Lal lived.

On way back, he picked up Sham Lal from Gulahad as they left for Shautrana late last night.

The Maruti car they were travelling in, was negotiating a turn when it plunged into the Bhakra canal. Sham Lal, who was at the back seat, managed to wriggle out of the car and cried for help. Responding to his distress calls, residents of the nearby dera rushed to help them. They threw turbans into the canal and managed to pull Sham Lal out of the swirling water. He was rushed to the hospital where his condition was stated to the stable.

Satnam Singh, in charge of police post Shutrana said the car was pulled out of the canal in the wee hours today and the body of Satpal was retrieved from the car. He said a hunt had been launched for the body of Bahadur Singh and Malkit Singh.

A case under Section 174 has been registered. The bodies of Bahadur Singh and Malkit Singh were yet to be recovered when reports last came in.


Gang of robbers busted
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 10
The local police has busted a gang of robbers and nabbed five persons with arms in this regard. Those arrested are Suraj Kumar, a resident of Godam Mohalla, Katra, Sher Singh of Bazaar Borian, Katra, Karam Singh of Housing Board Colony, Ajay Kumar of Rattan Singh Chowk area and Ajay Kumar Malhotra of Rattan Singh Chowk here.

A case under Sections 399/ 401/ 402/ 392/ 506/ 379 and 411, IPC, and Sections 25/54/59, Arms Act, has been registered at D Division police station.

Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh, SSP, said a .12-bore rifle, besides sharp-edged weapons, six motorcycles, some jewellery items and seven cellphones were recovered from their possession. He said the gang was wanted in at least 20 cases of robbery, dacoity and snatching. The gang had recently robbed a girl and snatched her vehicle on pistol point from Riggo Bridge here.

He said Suraj was the kingpin of the gang which used to target passengers, especially traders going to the railway station from the Golebagh side and women going on rickshaw. Some more recoveries were expected after interrogation of the accused persons, he added.

He said after snatching the vehicles, they forged fake documents and sold them to dealers and other persons. The accused had been sent to jail a number of times for similar offences.


NRI booked for wife’s murder
Tribune News Service

Khanna, November 10
The police today registered a case against an NRI for murdering his wife during their visit to native Bija village.

According to the information, NRI couple Manjit Kular and her husband Jagpaljit Singh, resident of London, had come down to the village to celebrate Diwali a couple of days ago. Last evening, Jagpaljit told the police that his wife had been killed in a road accident on the Payal road. He stated that they were on their way to a nearby gurdwara to pay obeisance.

The police stumbled upon various evidences that suggested the woman had been murdered. The two had been married for the past seven years.


Kidnappers of minor boy held
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 10
The police today arrested the kidnappers of three-and-a-half-years old Karam Fatehveer Singh, son of Sukhpreet Singh of Udoke Kalan village, here. Earlier, the police had rescued the boy within half and hour of his kidnapping on November 7.

The police said the kidnappers had been identified as Sukhdev Singh, alias Bhola, Shivpreet Singh and Iqbal Singh, all residents of the same village. They had tried to kidnap the child for ransom. However, they had to abandon the boy after the police beefed up the security.


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