P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Govt takes dairy development to grass-roots level
Dairy village for each block
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 20
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today announced the government would set up “dairy villages” in each block of the state. These villages would be equipped with high quality milch cattle, veterinary services and marketing network.

Presiding over a state-level valedictory function of the 54th National Cooperative Week here at Verka Milk Plant, Badal said conventional agriculture in terms of wheat-paddy rotation was no more remunerative and a shift towards dairy farming, fisheries, poultry and bee-keeping was the need of the hour.

He said the dairy villages would be developed as role model to promote dairy farming in a big way.

Later, addressing mediapersons, the Chief Minister said no doubt the cooperative movement had played pivotal role in restructuring and strengthening agriculture and allied sectors but there was need to create awareness about its importance at the grass-roots level. “Interference of bureaucracy needed to be minimised to make it more efficient and result-oriented,” he said.

Pointing out production of buffalo milk has fallen drastically compared to Neeli and Murrah breeds that gave milk on an average of 20kg or 22 kg, Badal said breed of cows and buffaloes should be improved to increase milk production.

Blaming the Centre for anti-farmer policies, Badal said various policies for the procurement of food grains, fixation of minimum support price and supply of DAP and fertilisers was framed by the Centre without taking states into confidence. Till last Kharif season, the Centre had been supplying DAP to the states “but this time to our utter surprise it asked the state government to procure DAP on its own, putting the government in a spot,” he said.

On the fixing of support price for sugarcane, Badal said since crushing of sugarcane had already started, the government would soon fix the price of the crop. He also mentioned the issue of the revision of minimum wages of labour, as promised in the SAD-BJP manifesto, would also be taken up soon. Regarding relaxation in the norms of procurement of paddy, Badal said he had already taken up the issue with union minister of agriculture Sharad Pawar and would also meet him.

Addressing the function, cooperation minister Kanwaljit Singh emphasised the need to run the milk plants on commercial lines to compete with the private key-players in this sector like Amul. 


Badal convenes meeting on Nov 22
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 20
President of the SGPC Avtar Singh today met working president of the SAD Sukhbir Singh Badal in Delhi to clarify his position following an anonymous letter sent to mediapersons, on behalf of committee members from Patiala and Ludhiana, levelling serious charges of “corruption”.

Earlier, the SGPC chief met Chief Minister and party supremo Parkash Singh Badal in Chandigarh in the same context. However, talking to The Tribune, Avtar Singh said both Badal and Sukhbir told him that he should not bother about the anonymous letter. He said all members from the districts of Patiala and Ludhiana had sent their fax messages saying they had nothing to do with the letter.

The SGPC chief said the letter seemed to be the handiwork of some disgruntled employees of the committee because it was posted from Amritsar itself. He had taken up the matter of assistant secretary Daljit Singh Bedi, who had been placed under suspension. He told Sukhbir that further action could be taken against Bedi if he was indicted by the sub committee.

Without naming a Sikh high priest, the SGPC chief said somebody took advantage of the prevailing situation in the committee with an eye on the annual election of the body.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister has convened a meeting of SGPC members in the Teja Singh Samundari Hall on November 22 regarding the election of a president and other office-bearers of the committee. However, sources in the SAD said the meeting would be just an “annual high-level drama” because Badal had already made up his mind on new office-bearers. Sikh intellectual G.S. Lamba said Badal had thrown all democratic norms to the wind by sending the names of office-bearers in an envelope at the time of election.

Convener, culture and heritage conservation initiative, Manjit Singh Randhawa, however, opined that the SGPC needed an experienced and strong president to cope with serious challenges from “dera-culture”. He Badal should nominate a strong person as next president of the committee, considered a “mini parliament” of the Sikh community.

Anonymous letter

AMRITSAR: Terming the anonymous letter circulated against SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar, committee members from Patiala and Ludhiana said the objective was to tarnish Makkar’s image. In a joint press statement, SGPC members, including Kirpal Singh Badungar, Satwinder Singh Tohra, Harjit Kaur Hariao, Kuldeep Singh Nassupur and others, condemned the contents of the letter circulated in the media and among SGPC members. They said the committee had done well under Makkar’s leadership. 


PSEB unbundling: State to seek another extension
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
The Punjab Government will seek another extension for six months from the Union Power Ministry as unbundling of the Punjab State Electricity Board( PSEB) will not be possible by December 9 which is a due date, it is learnt.

The Union Government had allowed the state government to unbundle the PSEB in various companies such as distribution, generation and transmission by December 9. The state government, in fact, had been securing extension, twice a year, since 2003.

Sources said the state government had a long way to go before issuing mandatory statutory notice of 21 days to unbundle the PSEB. It is yet to discuss the issue with MLAs, MPs and ministers of the both the coalition partners. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal wanted everyone to be taken into confidence before unbundling.

About three months ago, the coordination committee of the SAD-BJP had given a go-ahead to the unbundling. After go-ahead from the coordination committee, the authorities concerned had begun the process of preparing documents for initiating unbundling.

The joint action committee has opposed the unbundling while certain groups of the BKU have told the government that they would like a firm assurance from the state government to continue quality free power to farm sector.

Sources said for unbundling, no employee of the PSEB would be either retrenched or removed. Offer will be made to each employee to sign a tripartite agreement on the Gujarat pattern with the state government and company concerned with regard to security of service and related benefits etc. There would be provision in the agreement for no further unbundling of the companies, which would be set up after trifurcation of the board, without the approval of the Vidhan Sabha.

Earlier reports of consultants would be updated, sources said. As there would be a minute scrutiny of accounts, several irregularities and mistakes in calculations of financial and distribution losses may come to light in the process.

Sources said if the PSEB was unbundled, the newly formed companies would have to make a fresh beginning. There could be financial loss to the state in case the PSEB is not unbundled, sources added.

The Union Government has kept Rs 50,000 crore for the accelerated power development and reform programme which is to be distributed among the states which would order power reforms from 2007 to 2012. No grant will be available to the state from these funds in case it defaulted on power reforms front. 


PPCC meeting tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee will hold an emergent meeting on November 22 at the Punjab Congress Bhawan here to discuss issues regarding assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh and other organisational matters.

The meeting would be presided over by PPCC president Rajinder Kaur Bhattal. 


States’ meeting on canal tomorrow
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Punjab is all set to rebut justification given by the Haryana Government to the central water commission with regard to the construction of Hansi-Butana canal and to link it with the Bhakra mainline canal by puncturing its left bank near Samana.

A meeting of irrigation secretaries of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan has been convened on November 22 in Delhi to discuss various issues related to the canal.

Sources said the Punjab Government would question the rationale of linking the canal with the Bhakra mainline canal and its adverse effects on various parts of Punjab adjacent to Haryana boundary. Punjab has been opposing the linking of the Hansi-Butana canal with the Bhakra canal for various reasons. It major objection is that the Hansi-Butana canal will impede the natural flow of flood water from the Shivalik foothills and lead to inundating of vast areas in the Punjab region near the Haryana boundary.

Punjab has also questioned the CWC as to how it can allow Haryana to construct the canal when it did not allow Punjab to construct Dashmesh canal a few years ago.

The Dashmesh canal was to be constructed to irrigate barren parts of Ropar, Mohali and Banur areas and it was also to draw water from the Bhakra mainline canal.

The Rajasthan Government is also opposed to linking the Hansi-Butana canal with Bhakra mainline which carries some water to that state. 


Back to roots after 60 years
Pak national visits birthplace in India
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 20
It was a wish of Ghulam Muhammad alias Gamma (75), a Pakistani national to visit his native village, Kaunke (India) , near Attari border . However, it took him 60 years and three months to traverse only 8 km !

Despite debilities of advancing age, Ghulam Mohammad had to visit Islamabad many times to secure visa so that he could visit his birth-place in India. He belongs to poor section of society, yet his sons collected enough money to ensure their father visited Kaunke. Today, he went back to Pakistan , satisfied after meeting his childhood friends. “ Now, I can die in peace” , said Gamma with tears in eyes .

He still considers his village, Manawan in Lahore district a “second home” . Both Kaunke and Manawan, divided by Radcliffe Line are situated at distance of eight kilometres.

He was only 16 when he was taken to newly created country, Pakistan, by his parents. He is still indebted to the able-bodied Sikh peasants of Attari and its adjoining areas who helped his grandparents and other family members to cross over to Pakistan by providing them protection.

The Partition changed that all. The trauma of the forced dislocation, depicting human tragedy of great magnitude has not been forgotten by him. He could also recall the trauma of Partition how people were totally dehumanised by mass frenzy to a level that reduced them either to helplessness or unreasoned rage.

Ghulam Mohammad who was given warm welcome by the residents of Kaunke said his children had apprehension that there won’t be anybody who would recogise him . However, he was delighted and thrilled to meet his childhood friends who gave him love and sweets and gifts on his return to Pakistan . He was glad to see overall development of his birthplace because there were only 30 few scattered houses in the village at the time of Partition.

Ghamma , however, rued he had got visa for 15 days only . However, he promised to visit his village again with his children next year . Village sarpanch Balwinder Singh , his old friends Mohan Singh , Mohinder Singh, Raghbir Singh and Anup Singh refreshed old memories with Ghama.

After meeting Ghama, his Indian Sikh friends said the Partition had failed to divide people of both countries who still want to meet each other by crossing all hurdles.


Globalisation should benefit marginalised too: Ashwani Kumar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Minister of state for industry Ashwani Kumar, has made a forceful plea to the countries to ensure that the process of globalisation benefits those marginalised all over the world. Speaking at the Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF) 2007 at Kampala in Uganda, Dr Ashwani Kumar reminded the audience of the enormity of the global challenge in combating poverty and satisfying the basic needs of the people.

He is leading a high-level business delegation from India to the forum. He said India had gained from integration of its economy with the global economy and that had been possible because the Indian economic reform process had a human face to it. The Indian industry, he said, had harnessed the competitive advantages of India to face the challenges of a highly competitive global economy.

India has succeeded in raising 1 per cent of its population above extreme poverty every year since 1985 and that in the past over two decades India had raised 431 million Indians above the poverty line.

Dr Ashwani Kumar, however, cautioned against ignoring the many challenges of globalisation and said terrorism and pandemics had acquired a global dimension and required a global cooperative response. He said the processes of globalisation in the service of mankind must respect and recognise the value of identity and the dignity of difference.

He said India supported the establishment of an equitable multilateral trading regime and called for salvaging the Doha Development Round negotiations. Emphasising the urgency of action, the minister said the world stands at the gates of an important epoch and that it was time to take purposive initiatives to establish a just economic global order in which the marginalised would not be deprived of the benefits of globalisation.

The minister is visiting Uganda as leader of the high-powered Indian business delegation in Uganda in conjunction with the 8th CHOGM, being attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The conference in Uganda has special significance considering that India has fielded its nominee for election as the next Secretary-General of the Commonwealth. The meeting is also significant because the question of further action against Pakistan following the developments in that country would also be addressed at the CHOGM.


Punjabi NRI sammelan in January
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
The Punjab Government will host an international Punjabi NRI sammelan at Chandigarh and Jalandhar on January 5 and 6, respectively, next year.

A decision to this effect was taken at a high-level meeting presided over by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here today.

A committee had also been constituted to identify prominent NRIs to be honoured at the function. The NRI Sabha, Jalandhar, will also be associated with the programme

The event would feature intellectual, cultural and economic bonding of the Punjabi diaspora all over the world with their motherland.

Disclosing this, Harcharan Bains, media adviser to the chief minister said that the event would be used as the beginning of a regular process of interaction between the state government and NRI Punjabis in the years to come. 


Police to take action on false complaints
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
In what could teach a lesson to people lodging false complaints to settle political scores and to policemen who act in a partisan manner, the Punjab Police will take action against such complainants and also policemen.

In what is seen as a path-breaking move, the director- general of Punjab Police NPS Aulakh has recommended to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal that action needed to be taken against such people. Aulakh to illustrate his point has forwarded at least 17 specific cases that were registered either on false grounds or against wrong persons.

The chief minister who is also the home minister will soon order action in these cases, said sources in the police department. All 17 cases pertain to the Bholath constituency in Kapurthala district and were registered in the past seven to eight months. Congressman Sukhpal Khaira had defeated Akali heavyweight Bibi Jagir Kaur from Bholath. The SSP of Kapurthala Rakesh Aggarwal had conducted an inquiry and found that false cases were registered.

Sources said the matter was discussed by the DGP with a core group of officers and the DGP had made it clear that action under Section 181 or 182 of the Indian penal code, as applicable, needed to be taken. Sources said in case the SHO of the police station who registered a case but withdrew it on realising the error, the onus would then lie on the complainant. In case the SHO did not withdraw, then he will also be liable.

Section 181 of the IPC deals with cops and it says that a person legally bound by an oath to state the truth makes any statement which is false, and which he either knows or believes to be false or does not believe to be true, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and will also be liable to fine.

On the other hand, Section 182 deals with false complaints given by members of the public. It says anybody that gives an information which he knows or believes to be false that influences a public servant to omit true facts will be liable for punishment.

It may be mentioned here that the DGP’s move stems from the fact that a list of 30 such cases were sent for an inquiry to SSP Aggarwal. He now has said that 10 of the 30 cases were registered on false grounds. Only six cases have been found to be registered correctly. 


Controller of exams post: 10 in race
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
As many as 10 candidates are in the race for the post of controller of examinations of the Punjab School Education Board.

An interview to appoint the controller would be held tomorrow, it is learnt.

Among those who have applied for the post include Avtar Singh, Chanan Singh, Godwin Singh, Jagjit Singh Sidhu, Jamit Singh, Kala Singh, Neelam Bhagat, Pritpal Kaur Sidhu, Roshan Lal and Sukhdeep Singh.

Sources said all these candidates were already working in the education department at various levels. 


SAD (A) leader seeks ban on history books
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 20
Senior leader of the SAD (Amritsar) Baldev Singh Sirsa has filed a petition before the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission (SGJC), seeking ban on “History of Sikhs”, written by Joseph Davey Cunningham, and also its Punjabi version “Sikh Itihas”.

The petitioner has said the books contained defamatory comments against the Sikh Gurus and Sikhism. He has demanded action against the people involved in the publishing of the books.

Earlier, the publication of the Hindi version of the “History of Sikhs” was banned by the SGPC because it carried derogatory remarks against the Sikh Gurus.

The SAD (A) leader has demanded action against SGPC president Avtar Singh and secretary Harbeant Singh and secretary of the Dharam Parachar Committee Warriyam Singh for their failure to take action against the publishers of the books.


Software developed to bond millions through language
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
This small development has a huge potential, the capability of linking million of Punjabis around the globe. A core group of computer scientists at the Advanced Centre for Technical Development of Punjabi language, literature and culture at Punjabi University, Patiala, have developed a software that can convert Gurmukhi script into roman, devnagri and shahmukhi (Punjabi written in Urdu script as in Pakistan) or any of these scripts into the each.

To be officially launched in December, this software makes it possible for anyone knowing one of these languages to read anything written in the other language after a simple conversion through a programme that has been put on a website for free use.

Developed at a cost of $ 30,000 through a grant of PAN Asia ICT (R&D) Grant Project, this software suite is perhaps the single largest contribution to link people with diverse backgrounds, sharing common culture and ethnicity.

Dr Gurpreet Singh Lehal, director of the Advanced Centre, who has been one of the main forces behind the project said, “The software has numerous applications - something for everyone, who has anything to do with reading or writing. To begin with, anyone interested in reading Pakistani newspapers and magazines online can use this software suit to convert the shahmukhi script into one that he understands. The software has the capability of translating the entire websites along with their hyperlinks”.

Giving a demonstration at the Press Club here today, the team of software developers from Punjabi University, Patiala said it took them nearly four years to develop the present software package from their previous attempts. “The software is intelligent and accurately transliterates roman words with different spelling into the exact gurmukhi spellings, making it for a Punjabi speaking person to write effortlessly in gurmukhi”.

The software is available online for testing and use at http://s2g.advancedcentrepunjabi.org.


50,000 employees of power board go on strike
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 20
More than 50,000 employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) of all three thermal plants, nearly six hydroelectric projects and other PSEB administrative and maintenance offices in the state went on a one-day strike from midnight.

A call for the strike had been given by the PSEB Employees Joint Forum, comprising the Employees Federation (AITUC), Employees Federation, PSEB, the ‘Bijli Mulazam Front’, Workers’ Federation (INTUC), ‘Bijli Majdoor Sangh’ and the Thermal Employees Coordination Committee.

The Technical Services Union (TSU) and the Power Employees Federation are supporting the strike.

The strike would end Wednesday midnight. Though, the strike was formally scheduled to be launched at midnight, a large number of employees stopped work late this evening in view of the evening shifts closing at about 10 pm, at most of offices, projects and thermal plants. Employees at the Joginder Nagar-based hydroelectric project are also participating in the strike.

The employee organisations are protesting the proposed unbundling of the board under the Power Act 2003. Twentythree of the total of 28 power boards in the country have adopted the unbundling process. The previous Congress-led government and the present SAD-BJP government had been given six months’ extension. The latest extension comes to an end on December 9.

Employees’ leaders, including Amarjit Singh Sodhi, Surinder Singh Pehalwan, Manjit Singh Chahal, Karam Chand Bharadwaj, Radhe Shyam and Faljit Singh, said the employees would oppose the government tooth and nail if it went for the privatisation of the board.

Other demands of the employees included, revocation of spot-billing process and outsourcing of various jobs to private people and organisations. They said the employees were resorting to peaceful means of protest. The striking employees would not work for maintenance of power lines except for emergency services across the state.


Committee demands nagar panchayat
Tribune News Service

Kharar, November 20
The members of the Anti-Periphery Act Committee demanded formation of nagar panchayat comprising areas of Badhmajra, Badhmajra Colony, Jujhar Nagar, Bahlolpur, Raipur, Daun and Ballo Majra.

Members of the committee held a protest rally during the visit of chief minister Prakash Singh Badal to SAS Nagar today. Agitating protesters also submitted a charter of demands to the CM.

This committee has been demanding formation of the nagar panchayat since a long time. "If we are excluded from the Periphery Act, our pace of development will fasten," added a committee member. As per a notification issued by the Punjab Government, the periphery of 336 villages was to be re-demarcated.

Committee members added that in addition to non-implementation of this notification, the district revenue officer (DRO) did not even forward the same to the concerned tehsildars and patwaris.

The committee also appealed against the demolitions being undertaken by the GMADA in these villages. They demanded that commercial establishments in these villages should be allowed to have commercial electricity meters. "Presently, we have domestic connections at commercial establishments. Whenever the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) officials come for checking, they slap heavy fines on us for using domestic meter as a commercial connection," he added.


Low level in reservoirs causes worry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Low level of water in major reservoirs, including the Gobind Sagar at Bhakra dam, is causing worry among officers of irrigation departments of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan besides those associated with generation of power at hydro-power projects.

Generation of power as well as irrigation of fields in this region will be severely affected because of the low level of water in the major reservoirs at this stage. From the hill region, inflow of water almost dries up with the onset of winter season in this region.

At the Bhakra dam, water level was recorded 1630.92 feet compared to last year’s level of 1658.20 feet during the corresponding period. Fall of 28 feet in the level of water this year at Bhakra dam, which is a lifeline of economy of Punjab, Haryana and certain parts of Rajasthan, has caused a concern among officers of all the partners states.


Paddy: Market fee collection up this year
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
As the arrival of paddy in grain markets in the state has crossed the 140 lakh tonnes mark, there has been substantial increase in the collection of market fee as well as rural development fund (RDF).

There has been a net increase of Rs 66.50 crore this year till October 31 in the collection of market fee and the RDF whih is collected on the sale of foodgrains in the market. Last year, the collection from the fee was Rs 278.61 crore and this year it is Rs 311.86 crore till the end of last month. Same is the case with the RDF.

Asked in this connection, Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, Chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board, told The Tribune yesterday that special efforts were made this year to check the evasion of market fee at various levels. Special teams were set up to conduct raids and to make special inspections to check the evasion of market fee, he said.

He said now sustained efforts would be made to check the evasion of market fee and RDF on the sale of cotton in the Malwa belt.

To check the quality of construction, a special team of engineers under the superintending engineer had been set up.The team would check whether the material in the construction and carpeting of the rural roads had been used or not, he said. Efforts were being made to make farmers restore berms of rural roads. At various places farmers have included the road berms in their fields. Lakhowal has also written to deputy commissioners to help the board engineers to get the berms restored.

Returning to production of paddy this year, Lakhowal said that till Sunday 140.17 lakh tonnes of paddy had been procured by the government, private agencies and traders. Last year it was 134.25 lakh tonne.There was a 4 per cent increase in the arrival of paddy in various markets this year.

This year Ludhiana district, where 16.54 lakh tonnes of paddy was procured till yesterday had beaten Sangrur to the second place where 16.29 lakh tonnes of paddy had been procured. Patiala and Ferozepore with 13.86 and 13.82 lakh tonnes of paddy, respectively, remained third and fourth.


High Court
Moga sex scandal: Setting up of SIT quashed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Ruling that its apprehensions of investigations in the Moga sex scam getting derailed were apparently true, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today ordered the quashing of orders constituting a special investigation team (SIT).

The Bench verbally added in the courtroom that the case may eventually be handed over to the CBI if they were dissatisfied with the investigations.

Pronouncing the orders in an open court, the Bench, comprising Justice Mehtab Singh Gill and Justice Harbans Lal, observed: “In our order dated November 13, we had apprehensions that the investigation may get derailed for some reasons; and it would be in public interest that a fair and truthful investigations be held so that truth may come out and the guilty be brought to book. This apprehension of ours seems to be correct”.

“The SIT has been constituted without the permission of this court. Since the court was seized of the matter, this SIT should not have been constituted without taking the court into confidence…. The order dated November 19 of Additional Director-General of Police, Crime, Punjab, is quashed. DIG Ferozepore range Ishwar Chander, SSP Moga L.K. Yadav, DSP Bhupinder Singh, the investigating officer, and their team is directed to carry on the investigations and submit a status report on the next date of hearing”.

The Bench had earlier taken cognizance of a news-report "Immoral trafficking, 2 women held" carried in these columns from Moga on November 12.

The matter was, subsequently, placed before Chief Justice Vijender Jain and was then listed before the Division Bench presided over by Justice Mehtab Singh Gill.

The case was taken up twice today, first in the morning and again in the afternoon.

During the resumed hearing of the case this afternoon, the Bench took on record a subsequent order passed by Additional Director-General of Police (Crime) disbanding the SIT.

The Bench also took note of an application filed on behalf of complainant in the case Ranjit Singh and directed the SSP Moga to provide him with adequate security so that no harm comes to him.

The Bench added that the security would be provided to him till any other order was passed by the court.

In his application, Ranjit Singh had stated that he had been receiving threatening messages that he would be implicated in a false case or may even be eliminated by the police under the influence of some politicians or influential persons if he did not enter a compromise. The case will now come up on December 4.


Fake Currency Case
Notice issued to Punjab, others
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Taking suo motu cognisance of a news report on the acquittal of Punjab Police officer G. S. Pherurai in a fake currency case, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice to Punjab and others. The case will now come up on January 9.

The matter was placed for appropriate orders before a Bench, comprising Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Mahesh Grover, after Justice Ranjit Singh of the High Court took a serious note of the news report.

The report had stated that Pherurai was accused of possessing and circulating fake currency in the market. Referring to the matter, Chief Justice Justice Ranjit Singh observed: “Acquittal as such may not be the cause of much concern, but the manner in which this has come about may be a matter of a serious concern”.

As many as 10 police witnesses examined by the prosecution have turned hostile. Portion of the version has been reproduced in the newspaper which may be a disturbing feature of the case. They can be clearly seen hiding the truth to favour the accused officer.

The trial judge appears to have remained silent spectator, and may seem to have not performed his duties well. It’s failure of justice. 


Two held in loan case
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, November 20
With the arrest of two persons, including a former executive officer of the Dhariwal municipal council and an employee of The Hindu Urban Co-operative Bank, Pathankot, the Lahnga market is once again embroiled in another controversy.

Following the Punjab and Haryana High Court direction the Vigilance Bureau (VB) has arrested two persons, Tilak Raj, executive officer and Ravi Kumar, loan in charge of the bank, and booked 14 others, including certain members of the board of directors of the bank in on charges of corruption and forgery.

Cases under various Sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Sections 420, 467, 471 and 120-B of the IPC have been registered against them at Gurdaspur.

Those booked include municipal councillors of the Dhariwal civic body -Satish Kumar, former MC chief, Harjinder Kaur, Thappa, Surinder Kumar, Sita Rani and Kuldeep Arora- and members of the board of directors of the bank - Veena Gupta, Sanjiv Sharda, a local journalist, Bishambhar Dass, Dinesh Sharma, Vikas Gupta, Darshan Sharma, Usha Sharma and Vinay Kumar.

Sources in the department said the then president of the Dhariwal civic body Satish Kumar and certain municipal councillors sought loan for the construction of a market, reportedly in honour of the then PWD minister and MLA from Dhariwal Sucha Singh Lahnga, from certain banks which turned down the requests. The civic body then approached the Hindu Urban Co-operative Bank, Pathankot, and managed to get a loan of Rs 45 lakh by allegedly producing fake documents.

Talking to The Tribune Dilbagh Singh, DSP, VB, Gurdaspur, said the civil body falsely pledged a piece of land, owned by Dhariwal Woollen Mill, with the bank in connivance with certain bank employees and members of the board of directors of the bank and got the loan sanctioned in 2001.

The loan amount rose from 45 lakh to around Rs 1 crore as the civil body failed to repay the loan instalments.

Sources in the bank said the bank authorities had repeatedly issued notices to the civic body for the repayment of the loan money which proved a futile exercise before the intervention and pressure from certain political leaders.

The arrested were produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Gurdaspur, from where they were remanded in police custody for one day.


Cop attacks cop, booked
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, November 20
The Rajpura police today booked a Chandigarh Police constable on the charges on attacking a member of the police party that had brought two aides of terrorist Paramjit Singh Bheora, for producing them in a local court. Bheora, head of the Babbar Khalsa outfit in India, was involved in the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh.

Constable Balwinder Singh, who is posted at Sector 11 police station, came down to the Rajpura courts where he expressed his wish to interact with Jasbir Singh and Bhupinder Singh, who had been booked by the Banur police on charges of harbouring and providing shelter to Paramjit Singh Bheora, after he escaped from Burail Jail by digging a tunnel.

The two were reportedly arrested by the Delhi Police from north-west Delhi along with Bheora in March 2006.

However, ASI Attar Singh, who was accompanying the two accused, told Balwinder that if he wanted to meet the two, he should see them in the jail. At this, Balwinder Singh lost his temper and tried to attack the ASI. The ASI called for help from a nearby post, which immediately reached the court complex and got hold of Balwinder Singh, who in the meantime was joined by Jasbir Singh and Bhupinder Singh. However, Balwinder managed to free himself from the grip of the cops and fled.

Following this, the police registered a case against Jasbir Singh, Bhupinder Singh and Balwinder under Sections 186, 353, 332, 333, 294, 506 of the IPC on a complaint filed by Attar Singh. 

Meanwhile, no arrest had been made so far in the case. The police claimed that teams had been dispatched to arrest the erring constable.


DGP orders security review
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
A few days after a serious security lapse at a function being attended by SAD working president Sukhbir Badal, DGP N.P.S. Aulakh has ordered a security review that is aimed at reducing the number of security men attached with serving or retired IPS and IAS officers.

Meanwhile, separately the MLA of Kot Kapura, Congressman Ripjeet Singh Brar, today wrote to the Chief Minister for a thorough probe in the security breach around Sukhbir.

Sources said the DGP yesterday called for rationalising of deployment of security men and for having new norms for the number of security men and vehicles. 


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