P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Kin of Indians killed in US rue govt apathy
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Ropar, January 28
Indians in the USA are being treated as second-grade citizens. The government there has not been probing the murder of Indians. Kin of the Indians killed in the US over the past few years have stated this to The Tribune.

Ramanpreet Singh of Patiala had migrated to the USA a decade ago. He became a successful businessman there. In a decade he was running the California Trucking Corporation, a Dannynis foodchain restaurants and a scarpyard at Frisco in California.

However, he was murdered at the residence of a friend on August 13, 2006. It has been two years, but the police has failed to arrest anyone for his murder.

His brother Harpal Singh, who is staying here, told The Tribune that he went to the USA and talked to detectives investigating the crime. Their response to probe into the murder was lukewarm.

“Since my brother was a green card holder, the police there did not take much interest in investigating the murder,” he alleged.

He further said whenever there was a crime against an NRI in India the media and the police got after it and culprits rarely go scot-free. However, in the US green card holders or Indians working against other work visa did not get similar treatment. It was also unfortunate that at a recent NRI sammelan in Punjab nobody bothered about the increasing number of crimes against the Indian community in the US, he rued.

The government should take up the matter of unsolved murder cases of Indians with the US government, he said.

Preet Rupinder Singh, a resident of Ropar, who was pursuing M.Tech course in California, was murdered on December 9, 2007, at a store where he worked part-time. Though general security cameras are installed at all stores in the US, the police has failed to get to culprits who killed Preet.

Manjit Singh, a resident of Patiala, was murdered in New Jersey in the US in 2004. Manjit was also a successful businessman there. Even after three years, his killers have not been traced. His family members here said they had lost hope that the US police would do anything to bring the guilty to book.

The bodies of Paramjit Singh Kalsi and Ravinder Singh Kalsi, two Punjabi hoteliers murdered in Sanpablo in California on December 27, 2007, will be reaching for cremation at Patiala in a few days. The families are alleging that the US authorities extend very little support to kin of Indians killed there. “We had to wait for more than a month to bring the bodies back to India,” they said.

The visa rules should be relaxed for the kin of those who were killed in the US as they were visiting the country just to claim the bodies of their family members, they said.


Misuse of MC Land
Vigilance holds inquiry
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, January 28
On a complaint filed by Rajbir Singh, a team of the Vigilance wing of the Department of Local Government, today visited the office of local Municipal Council (MC) and held an inquiry into the alleged misuse by some persons of the municipal land in front of the rickshaw union’s office and rickshaw stand (outside the main bus stand) here.

The team reportedly recorded statements of the complainant and leaders of rickshaw union and also visited the site of the rickshaw stand.

According to information, Rajbir Singh had lodged a complaint with the Department of Local Government, Punjab, saying the rickshaw union leaders had been receiving money as rent from the rehriwalas and others, who earned their livelihood by parking their rehris or having temporary stalls in front of the rickshaw stand and union’s office.

It is also learnt that the leaders of the rickshaw union told the vigilance team that they had never received any money as rent from any one.

As per an official of the MC, the council had no role in the dispute between the rickshaw union and the complainant as the it had provide thed site for the rickshaw stand only, which was already in the MC’s records, as a welfare facility to the public.


Badal assures relief to potato farmers
Neeraj Bagga
Tribune News Service

Dhudike (Moga), January 28
Though the Punjab government has announced ‘girdawri’ to ascertain loss of potato crop by fog in the state but Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal assured affected farmers to speak to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for aid from the central government as well. He disclosed this while participating in the 143rd birth anniversary celebrations of the legendary freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai born in this village.

He informed deputy commissioners of all districts of the state had been directed to carry out Girdawari (assessment of loss) following fog in the state. He said that information has been pouring in of huge losses of crop especially of potatoes. He assured that relief would be issued as soon as the loss assessment arrived. Describing the losses of farmers natural calamity, he felt that the centre must provide relief.

Replying a question, the chief minister said the Punjab government was not involved in selling of any land and its fiscal condition was robust. He said that it was PUDA, Nagar Councils, Municipal Corporations and other concerned agencies which were involved in procuring and selling of lands.

Meanwhile, he added t the state government could donate lands for welfare projects. He announced his government would provide land for constructing trauma centre here.

The Chief Minister informed that the state Cabinet would consider outstanding sportspersons cleared by the Sports department for rewards.

Badal arrived an hour before schedule causing confusion among the police and district officials as a number of senior officials were yet to reach the venue. He paid floral tributes to Lala Lajpat Rai at his birth place.

He handed over prizes to winners at the conclusion of the three-day Sports festival held at Government College here. The event was organised by Lala Lajpat Rai Sports Committee.

He announced grant of Rs 10 lakh for the Lala Lajpat Rai Memorial Committee and the village panchayat for various developmental works, including construction of dharamshalas for Scheduled Castes, cleaning of pond, repair of roads and improving sanitary condition.

Addressing the gathering Badal said martyrdom of Lalaji was matchless and it inspired his contemporary generation to wage war against imperial rule. 


SGPC to discuss Giani Iqbal issue on Jan 31
Varinder Walia and Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Giani Iqbal SinghAmritsar, January 28
The SGPC has decided to convene an emergency meeting here on January 31 to discuss the demand of Sikh scholars to summon Giani
Iqbal Singh , Jathedar of Patna Sahib, at Akal Takht for challenging the supremacy of Akal Takht and rejecting the Sikh Maryada and the Nanakashi Calendar.

However, Giani Iqbal Singh threatened to summon Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Parkash Singh Badal, Jathedar of Akal Takht and SAD supremo, respectively, and Avtar Singh, SGPC chief, at Takht Patna Sahib if any action was initiated against him . Without mincing words, Giani Iqbal Singh reiterated that Takht Patna Sahib was the supreme temporal authority of the Sikhs and, hence, he had the authority to summon any Sikh, including the Jathedar of Akal Takht.

To a specific question, Giani Iqbal Singh said he would not appear at Akal Takht if summoned by the Sikh clergy.

Earlier, Jathedar Vedanti had refused to summon Giani Iqbal Singh at Akal Takht despite tremendous pressure. However, it is learnt that the rejection of “Gurmatta”, of Akal Takht by the Sikh clergy of Patna Sahib earned the wrath of Jathedar Vedanti. Hence, the meeting of Sikh intellectuals was hurriedly convened to issue summons to Giani Iqbal Singh to appear at Akal Takht.

Earlier, after debating Giani Iqbal Singh’s conduct, Sikh scholars were of the opinion that the “misleading” statements and controversial edicts issued by him amounted to “Maha Dosh” (grave crime) and Akal Takht must proceed against him.

Renowned Sikh scholar Kharak Singh, who chaired the meeting, said except for Akal Takht, no other Takht had the right to take decisions on Panthic issues. “The unfortunate part is that as Jathedar of Takht Patna Sahib, Giani Iqbal Singh is well aware of the Sikh “Maryada” (Sikh tradition) and has been participating in the meetings of Akal Takht for a long time. Despite this, he chose to challenge the supremacy of Akal Takht,” he said.

The president of Takht Patna Sahib had suspended Giani Iqbal Singh for rejecting the Nanakshahi Calendar and Maryada, which has been duly approved by the Akal Takht and SGPC.

Suba Singh, principal, Shaheed Sikh Missionary College, said the Sikh scholars were of the unanimous view that the acts by Giani Iqbal Singh, which did not conform to the Sikh Panth be taken seriously and he be summoned to Akal Takht.

On the other hand, in a resolution, the executive meet of the Dal Khalsa described the ongoing animosity between the Sikh clergy of Akal Takht and Patna Sahib as unfortunate .

"We are at pains to say that Gaini Iqbal Singh's irresponsible act has triggered a tug of war between the jathedars that has put the community to shame. We feel they are themselves responsible for undermining the august post,” the resolution said.

The Dal Khalsa has decided to call a meeting of Panthic scholars and thinkers on February 10 to discuss the role and powers of jathedars, the present stalemate with respect to the supremacy of the Takht and implementation of hukamnamas and Sikh code of conduct.

The meeting was attended by party president Satnam Singh Paonta Sahib, H S Dhami, Kanwarpal Singh, Dr Manjinder Singh, Baldev Singh, Sarbjit Singh and Gurdeep Singh.


WSIC backs Patna Takht chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 28
The World Sikh Intellectual Council (WSIC) today came out with a statement in defence of the suspended Jathedar of Takht Patna Sahib, Giani Iqbal Singh. The council members said Akal Takht had in the past issued hukamnamas (religious edicts) that were implemented by Giani Iqbal Singh and he had done nothing on his own. 

The WSIC members submitted copies of the hukamnamas in support of their arguments.

Giani Iqbal Singh was suspended last week by the president of Takht Patna Sahib managing committee for what was called “violating the Sikh 'rehat and maryada' (tenets and traditions) and for questioning the authenticity of the Nanakshahi Calendar, which had been approved by Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhism”. This led to a sharp reaction within the Sikh clergy.

Surjit Singh Nishan, secretary-general of the WSIC, said, “The sharp reaction to the hukamnamas of the Jathedar of Patna Sahib is the unfortunate result of a communication gap between the Akal Takhat secretariat and the SGPC. Timely implementation of previously issued hukamnamas could have saved the Sikh panth of the ongoing controversy and prevented confusion among the Sikh masses.”

He gave specific examples of hukamnamas issues on April 24, 1985 issued by the five Sikh priests that “five Banis should be recited in the morning prayers”, the hukamnama of March 29, 1988 says that “moolmanter mangal be recited up to “Nanak hose bhee sach” and the hukamnama with regard to “Anand Sahib” also issued on April 24, 1985 and “Rehras Sahib” on March 29, 1988.

As per these hukamnamas already issued by the highest spiritual and temporal seat of the Sikhs, Giani Iqbal Singh has “neither unilaterally changed the Rehat maryada nor stated anything different that was not already approved by the Five Singh Sahiban at the Akal Takhat”, Nishan said.

With regard to the controversy about the Nanakshahi Calendar the WSIC feels that, like all other religions, the Sikhs also have a right to their own Sikh Calendar based on Sikh history and the present day scientific knowledge. No authority, howsoever high, can interfere or change the historical dates of Sikh history and the Nanakshahi Calendar now approved by the SGPC in haste does not correspond to the any true historical solar dates of gurpurabs because necessary corrections have not been applied while setting the calendar. So, the present Nanaksahi Calendar needs drastic changes and it should be done and approved by the five Takhts immediately.


Tribune Impact
Govt to give Rs 1.5 cr for disputes panel building
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 28
The principal secretary, Finance, has agreed to release Rs 1.5 crore to the Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission for erecting a building on the land allotted to it in 1998.

The Tribune had reported that the Central and state governments were stuck on the issue of releasing funds for the construction of the building. The land for office was purchased in Sector 37, near Law Bhawan, from funds from a one-time grant released by the central government. The payments for the piece of land included an amount given by the state government.

In a meeting between the principal secretary, Finance, and the president of the Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission held this month, the department had agreed to sanction the amount.

According to sources, the department has given verbal intimation to the commission regarding the funds for building the infrastructure. Of the Rs 1.5 crore, the government has assured to release Rs 50 lakh in this financial year and the rest of the amount in the next year. The commission has also been assured that an additional bench would be set up in the commission.

The Centre had written to the commission last year, saying that if the state government spent Rs 86.57 lakh on the building, the Centre would release more funds for infrastructure and the completion of the building.

At present, the commission is functioning from a shop-cum-office in Sector 22 here.

Interestingly, it has taken the government 10 years to release funds for the infrastructure after allotment of land to the commission. The commission had written several letters to the centre regarding the utilisation of the one-time grant given to it in 1998. The centre had been asking the commission for the utilisation certificate of the one-time grant. Though the certificate has been supplied to it by the commission, it has failed to satisfy the union government.

In a letter to the commission, the centre has told it the utilisation of the remaining Rs 16 lakh (out of the grant of Rs 1 crore) has not been mentioned in the utilisation certificate.

When the land was allotted the centre had agreed to release funds for the office building while the state decided to pay for the land. But, the land was purchased from the funds released by the centre. 


Now, lodge your own FIR
Take a form and fill in the complaint....But false reporting is an offence
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 28
Taking a lead in the region, the Amritsar police has launched “Lodge your own FIR” facility for the benefit of the general public.

SSP Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh said the non-registration of an FIR by the police had been a common grouse, besides jurisdiction of police stations becoming a hurdle to initiating proceedings against the accused.

A simple and brief format of the FIR has been finalised for lodging complaints under the new system, which is available at the centralised booths set up at the police station Sadar and police assistance centre near the Golden Temple. The third booth would be set up at the police post in Circuit House shortly, said the SSP.

All one now needs to do for getting the FIR registered is to take the FIR format from the officer in charge, fill in all given columns, hand it over to the same officer and take a receipt for it.

The FIR will be automatically registered in the police station concerned and a copy of the same would be sent to the complainant at his doorstep. This new system is in accordance with Section 154(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

“The easy method, however, comes with a caution that false reporting is an offence under the Indian Penal Code,” he said.

The new system is in addition to the other existing methods of getting an FIR lodged. Amritsar police has adopted the policy of free and genuine registration of FIRs for the convenience of general public. Burking of crime and tagging of a number of incidents, particularly theft incidents in a single FIR has been strictly prohibited. Earlier, there were complaints from the general public that FIRs were not registered freely and common public had to face difficulties to claim insurance as their names did not appear in the FIR with the police.

General public can also send their complaint through e-mail on the ID “policehelp100@gmail.com” and a scanned copy of the FIR will be sent as reply. Telephone can also be got registered on telephone in exceptional cases by dialing “100” number at the police control room or the police station concerned.


Rajasthani child still missing
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 28
While Prahlad and his wife Kanya have lost their son Lokesh, they are now worried about the fate of his cousin Amariya (7) as the district police has failed to find his whereabouts even after a month of registration of a DDR.

When The Tribune correspondent visited the spot in front of Government Girls Senior Secondary School on the Ladowali road where Prahlad along with some other poor people from Rajasthan are staying under the open sky, his sobbing wife Kanya said, “Our Lokesh has been murdered, but now we want the police to do something to rescue Amariya.”

Lokesh, son of Prahlad a permanent resident of Kota in Rajasthan now living on Ladowali road, had gone mysteriously missing along with his cousin Amariya (7) in the last week of December. A DDR of missing was registered at the police station number 4 on December 29.

While Lokesh was found murdered on Tuesday, the whereabouts of Amariya, son of Prahlad’s elder brother Shudhpal, are yet not known.

Kanya said they suspected the hand of a sadhu behind the kidnapping of both the children and Lokesh’s elimination. The sadhu used to visit their place daily and give sweets and other items to the children, she said, adding that the sadhu had not come since the children went missing.

Lokesh’s mother said they had handed over a companion of the sadhu to the police station, but they allowed him to go without taking any action.

Additional SHO of concerned police station SI Harbhajan Singh said no action had been taken against the companion of the sadhu as he could not reveal anything about the missing children during preliminary interrogation.

Similarly, SP City I SK Kalia told The Tribune that efforts were being made to trace the missing child. All police stations of Punjab had been informed about the missing child with his photographs, he added.

However, the police has not thought it necessary to convert the DDR into an FIR of abduction even after Lokesh’s autopsy report confirmed that he had been murdered.


Highway Patrol
Pharmacists oppose move
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, January 28
The Punjab state Pharmacists’Association has condemned the state government for reportedly making a proposal to depute pharmacists on highway patrol duty with police parties.

State general secretary of the association Sawarnjit Singh said here that the association not only flayed the proposal of the government but also demanded to scrap the same as it would lead to discontentment among the pharmacists.

Sawarnjit Singh said the Punjab government had already put 916 posts of the pharmacist, in the diminishing cadre, by way of shifting them from rural dispensaries to civil hospitals or other health institutions. Now the government wanted to harass the pharmacists by sending them on highway patrol duty, he added.


A tormenting reminder of infidelity
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 28
The theatrical allegory of the play “The Suit” directed by renowned director Neelam Maansingh was staged here this evening at Punjab Naatshala. Written by South African writer Can Themba, the play captures domestic bliss of a married couple with a considerate husband who slides out of the bed quietly as not to wake his wife till he has prepared her morning tea. 

It turns sour when he catches her in bed with another man after one of his neighbour Bhapa ji (Hatinder Kumar) tells that his wife had told him some time back that a man was visiting his (Bunty’s) house daily after he leaves for office.

After hearing this he decides not to go to office and returns to his house and is shocked to find his wife Mina (Sharanjit Kaur) with another man, who runs away quietly leaving his suit behind. All that he comes out with is ‘I see we had a visitor’ in a sweet, yet subtle menacing voice and a placid, unreadable expression.

However, instead of throwing his wife out of the house or physically assaulting her (as he had been in love) he decides to torment her by asking her to treat the suit as their honoured guest. He asks her to take the suit along with her whenever they go out for a walk, a party or treating it as a guest during the party organised at their house. It becomes a constant, tormenting and embarrassing reminder of her infidelity.

One is at a loss whether to marvel at the simplicity of the storyline or cringe at the anger the characters emulate. A typical situation in a non-typical treatment that can be summarised in one word - bizarre.

Dramatised by Surjit Pattar and with dialogues that evolved through mixing of contemporary Punjabi- English mix, the play leaves you with too many questions - Who is guilty, the husband for brutalising his wife or the wife for betraying him? Was he angry or was she lonely?

In fact, we cannot even get it out of her as how the story ends. “In the original version, she dies. But Neelam has twisted the story in the end - when Bunty asks Minna not to wear the suit after making love to it. However she refuses to oblige saying, “it has become her skin now”.


Bhagwant Mann trains guns on trigger-happy ‘baratis’
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 28
Noted comedian and TV personality Bhagwant Mann has turned serious. In the backdrop of the death of an assistant cameraman following a gunshot during a marriage in Kharar recently, Mann today fired a salvo at the trigger-happy ‘baratis’, who he alleged were playing with the lives of people in inebriated condition during marriages and other social functions.

Mann today called upon the Punjab government to effectively impose a ban on the use of guns during such functions. The firing of guns was a brutal display of shameless aggression and careless violent symbolism on part of Punjabis, Mann quipped.

Mann bemoaned the increasing tendency among the Punjabis to show off the might and power through such stupid histrionics apparently under the influence of liquor.

The said even our singers and entertainers like Dilshad Akhtar, who had been the victims of such accidental firing incidents, must provoke the Punjabi entertainment community to not allow such humbug at the functions, at least where they were performing.

Our singers should not promote violence or vulgarity through their songs, appealed Mann. Mann also drew a rather interesting simile of trigger-happy nuisance makers with that of drunken drivers, who normally took to roads for killing others, if not at the marriages.

Calling upon stringent laws to be framed for checking and dissuading such trigger-happy and drunken troublemakers, Mann sought a strict compliance on the part of the cops as well as the marriage palace owners, who more often are the silent spectators. If marriage palace owners and cops could compel people to buy liquor from particular liquor vend then why can’t they ensure weapon free party asked Mann. It means human life is cheaper then a bottle of liquor, he added.


High Court
Entrust probes to impartial officers, Punjab told
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 28
After the failure of a Punjab police officer to conduct murder case investigations in a fair manner, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked the state government to initiate "effective steps" to ensure that probe in all criminal cases is entrusted to impartial officers.

In a significant judgement likely to push the state government on its toes, the Bench, comprising Justice J.S. Khehar and Justice Sham Sunder, ruled: It is high time that he Punjab government takes effective steps to ensure that the investigation in criminal matters is entrusted to impartial and honest police officials, so that the faith of the people in police is not further eroded.

The directions follow an appeal filed by Lakhwinder Singh, Hardip Singh and Harbant Singh against the orders of Hoshiarpur’s Additional Sessions Judge convicting them in a murder case before awarding them life sentence on March 25, 1998.

The matters pertains to the murder of Kuldip Singh, who expired in a Ludhiana hospital on September 6, 1993.

Virtually passing strictures against the police officer involved in the murder case probe, the Bench also directed the forwarding of the order’s copy to Punjab Principal Secretary for Home and Justice "for action as may be deemed fit under the relevant rules and regulations against Manjit Singh for deliberate lapses committed by him in the case".

The judges further ruled: If he is still in service, it is recommended that he should not be assigned the task of investigating criminal cases, involving serious and heinous offences. If he is already retired, then too action be taken against him as per the relevant provisions of rules and regulations.

In their detailed order, the judges ruled: Before parting with the judgement, we must record our deep concern that Manjit Singh, inspector, at the relevant time, posted as SHO, Mukerian, did not conduct the investigations in an impartial manner.

The pistol, the weapon of offence used by Lakhwinder Singh, was not taken into possession. The statement of Kuldip Singh, on whose person the injuries were caused with pistol by Lakhwinder Singh was not recorded.... Even other lacunae were left during the course of investigations.

All this was deliberately done by him just with a view to help the accused. Partly accepting the appeal of Lakhwinder Singh and Harbant Singh, the judges ruled that the appeal filed by Hardip Singh stood abated following his death.

The judges also ordered that the appellants were acquitted of the charges framed against them for the offence punishable under Sections 302, and 302 read with Section 34, along with Section 148 of the IPC.

Lakhwinder Singh was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for five years and pay a fine of Rs 5,000 after being convicted for attempt to murder punishable under Section 307 of the IPC.

Convicting Harbant Singh for offence punishable under Section 307 read with Section 34 of the IPC, the judges directed him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for four years, besides imposing a fine of Rs 5,000.

Directive to Ludhiana SSP

Following the failure of an investigating officer to appear despite being informed about the hearing of an anticipatory bail application, Justice Harbans Lal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed Ludhiana's Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) to be present in the court.

Justice Harbans Lal also directed the issuance of notice to the SSP for February 6. The judge observed that the non-appearance of the investigating officer clearly indicated that he was not bothered about the court orders.

The directions were issued on Gurmeet Kaur Gill's petition against the State of Punjab for her release on anticipatory bail in the event of her arrest in first information report dated October 6 last year under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC at Police Station Sarabha Nagar in Ludhiana district.


Jain, Sinha to probe Virk case
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 28
Less than a fortnight of Justice H.S Bhalla of the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordering a fresh probe into the case against Punjab’s former Director-General of Police S.S Virk, the Punjab government today appointed Ropar SSP Praveen Kumar Sinha as the inquiry officer.

At the same time, the government also appointed Justice S.K Jain, a former judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, to conduct the departmental enquiry against Virk.

These appointments have been made in view of the High Court directive observing that the probe in the case against Virk had not been fair and fresh probe should be conducted by a senior officer.

The investigating officer, as per the High Court directions, would to be at liberty to form a fresh team of investigating officers of his choice.

He would carry out the investigations himself or with the cooperation of other team members. The investigation would be concluded and final report submitted to the trial magistrate “at the earliest”.

The High Court had added that the officer and co-associates, if appointed, “shall not be influenced in any manner by the material already collected by the previous investigating team. They shall act freely, fairly and independently without being influenced”.

The court, on January 17, had directed the disbanding of the special investigating team constituted initially for looking into the case against Virk after holding that the matter required fresh probe due to “unsatisfactory nature of investigations” carried out earlier.

The court had also directed the principal secretary, home, to appoint a police office not below SSP rank to conduct a “fresh detailed probe”. Mr Justice Bhalla added that the investigating officer would submit report to the principal secretary periodically.

Expressing disinclination to hand over the case to the CBI, Mr Justice Bhalla ruled: “The first information report registered against the petitioner clearly spells out that it was registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act, and such like routine matters should not be entrusted to the CBI.

“The contention of counsel for the petitioner that the matter is required to be investigated by the CBI, to my mind, is not liable to be accepted, especially when serious accusations have been levelled against particular officers of the Punjab police….If they do not touch the investigations in the present case, the forming of another investigating team by the competent authority would meet the ends of justice and would repose faith in the administration of justice; and the state investigating machinery as well”.

Going into the facts and circumstance leading to fresh probe, Mr Justice Bhalla observed: “It would be desirable to entrust the investigation to another team under the direct supervision of the principal secretary, home, and the department of home affairs and justice, Punjab, so that people may have faith in the administration of justice; and the petitioner may feel assured that new team, which would look into the matter, would lay the final outcome of the investigating in a free and fair manner”. 


Amarinder allowed to visit Dubai 
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, January 28
The Sessions Court here today allowed City Centre project scam accused former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to visit Dubai for two weeks on his plea that he wanted to explore investment opportunities in real estate there.

Sessions Judge G. K. Rai took special note of the fact that earlier Capt Amarinder Singh had gone abroad thrice and returned without creating any hindrance in the investigation by the Vigilance Bureau.

The prosecution opposed the visit. Reply signed by SP, Vigilance, S. S. Mand said the accused was facing accusations of taking huge amount of bribe in the City Centre scam.

It appears he wanted to conceal, his ill- gotten money in Dubai. He demanded that the ex-Chief Minister should not be allowed to go abroad. District attorney Mitter Sain Goyal opposed the grant of permission to visit Dubai.

The judge held that there was no likelihood of absconding or fleeing of Capt Amarinder Singh, at this stage of trial.

Capt Amarinder Singh had submitted he wanted to visit Dubai to seek the prospects of investment in property. The right to visit was a Fundamental Right of the applicant under Article 21 of the Constitution. The union government had allowed every citizen to invest 2 lakh dollars in the any other country.

Earlier also he had gone to Dubai for the same pupose but his duration was only for a few days.


Varsity Scene
Setting up of Guru Teg Bahadur Chair: Pbi varsity seeks UGC’s help
Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 28
Punjabi University today decided to provide academic direction to the process of national building in India by integrating tradition and modernity, strengthening Centre-periphery relations in our federal polity and undertaking research aimed at removing obstacles liable to impede national integration.

Vice-chancellor Dr Jaspal Singh, while presiding over and accepting the recommendations of the interdisciplinary-cum-standing committee of university's Guru Teg Bahadur National Integration Chair, desired the Chair be guided by the high ideals laid down by the philosophy and ideology of the great Guru, who had made the supreme sacrifice for upholding the unity and integrity of the country.

Dr Jaspal Singh sought the help of the University Grants Commission and the National Foundation for Communal Harmony, an autonomous body of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs for the establishment of the Chair.

Dr Baltej Singh Mann, professor and head of the Chair, said the vice-chancellor had ordered to start a series of lectures on national integration, communal harmony and religious tolerance. He had also approved the proposal of the Chair to organise a seminar on "Message of humanism in the Bani of Guru Teg Bahadur " to be dedicated to the third anniversary of Gurta Gaddi Diwas of Guru Granth Sahib. The other projects proposed to be undertaken by the Chair in near the future include an inter-state youth exchange programme, a national integration camp and an international seminar on inter-faith dialogue, said Dr Maan.


Senator ‘objected to nominations by VC’
Tribune News Service 

Amritsar, January 28
M.M. Singh Cheema, third-time Senator of Guru Nanak Dev University, has objected to the circulated minutes of the last Senate meeting held on October 31, 2007, which gave the impression that he was in favour of nomination authorising the vice-chancellor to nominate three members from the Senate to Syndicate regarding which he had already written a letter to the vice-chancellor.

“In fact, I was the one to move the resolution for electing three members per item No. 2 of the agenda under Sections 14 (1) and VIII of Guru Nanak Dev University calender for which the election process be announced and date fixed accordingly,” he said.

Cheema said he had already taken up the issue with the chancellor of the university on November 3 for his intervention and directing the vice-chancellor to hold elections.


PAU dept counsels village girls to join classes
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 28
Concerned about the declining number of girls, particularly from villages, the Home Science Department of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has launched an operation to reach village girls in the state, at their homes and persuade them to join classes from the forthcoming session.

The move is significant because not even 5 per cent of the girls in the department of nearly 300 girls belong to rural background. The graph has touched a near rock bottom following a consistent lowering.

There is no denying the premier university in farm research had a special objective of covering rural people to make them better equipped to be part of the mainstream life.

Neelam Grewal, dean, Department of Home Science, said, "Since the forthcoming academic session is nearing, we have launched a programme on admission guidance, relevance and future prospects of the course in eight districts. Teams are visiting schools in Ludhiana district. We have not chosen all districts because we have very little time."

Grewal said, "We are covering students in nearly 150 schools in Ludhiana, Moga, Faridkot and Jalandhar districts, besides others. The whole idea is to promote home science courses among rural girls by showing them the potential."

Sushma Jaswal, a former dean, who conducted a study and also compiled a documentary on the subject of decreasing girl population from the rural areas, said, “The number of girls from the rural background started dwindling, particularly from 1998 onwards, when the course was made of four years after class XII in the science stream. Following change in rules, the courses were also opened to arts students at a later stage."

"New courses like fashion designing and computers, besides certain others have also made a dent in the number of students. It is also felt the home science courses need better packaging for marketing," she added.


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