P U N J A B    S T O R I E S

Land Deal
Woman alleges intimidation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
Within days of the Ferozepur police registering a case of cheating against Major Harminder Singh (retd), the woman who alleged that she was cheated, has now levelled allegations that Major Harminder was threatening her and her family.

Swarn Syal, a retired school teacher, today said she had sent her complaint to the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and also to the DGP, in this regard.

In her application she has alleged that Major Harminder, who is a former OSD to the previous Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, was pressurising her.

Swarn says she had entered into a deal to purchase a plot of land from Sukhdev Singh, father of Major Harminder.

She claims to have paid earnest money of Rs 2.50 lakh for the 35-marla plot inside Bansi gate area of Ferozepur. The date for final payment and transfer of property was fixed as March 31, 2006.

Meanwhile, Swarn alleges that she came to know that the said property was being sold off to Tripta Sharma and Varun Sharma on March 3, 2006.

She alleges that Sukhdev while executing the agreement on sale of the land was not the owner of the property but only the general power of attorney holder. The property was owned by Major Harminder.

She says the SSP, Ferozepur, asked the Sadar police station there to register a case and the same was registered on January 30. Swarn says she had gone to appear in court at Tarn Taran on January 29, where she was asked to compromise or face dire consequences. She had then complained to the SSP, Tarn Taran.


Seniority Issue
2 college teachers stake claim to one post
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 15
Two teachers of the Department of Biochemistry, Government Medical College, have locked horns over seniority.

Dr K.S.Sodhi, associate professor, got information from the Medical Council of India (MCI) under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, which said head of the department Dr Mridula Mahajan was not eligible to teach in the department, let alone head it.

“In reply to my letter of January 23, the MCI has pointed out that there is only one professor in the department, Dr Amrit Kaur, who has retired. I come next in line as associate professor. Dr Mahajan does not figure in the faculty list of the department,” claimed Dr Sodhi.

Dr Mahajan said her appointment had been done by the Punjab Public Service Commission as rules provide for 50 per cent appointments of non-medicos in the Department of Biochemistry.

“I have been working with the department since 1982 and promoted professor and head. Dr Sodhi is making baseless allegations about my eligibility as he wants to replace me. I’m not aware of any letter being issued by the MCI under the RTI Act,” she said.

“I have brought the matter to the notice of the college principal, pointing out Dr Sodhi was instigating students for whom he is the doctorate guide,” she said.

On allegations by two students of the department that they were not being allowed to mark attendance by her, Dr Mahajan said there was no substance in these allegations as her office had proof that the students were not coming to the department to mark attendance.

“I have been communicating with my students in writing and they have been asked on several occasions to refrain from spoiling atmosphere of the department,” she said.


No lunch for undertrials who go for court hearings
The best mid-day meal they can get is parched grams
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
For the undertrials lodged in Punjab jails, overcrowding is not the only issue. There are worse situations at hand- lack of food being one.

Superintendents of jails across the state have admitted in a reply to a query under the RTI Act that they have no arrangement for providing lunch to undertrials who have to be produced before the courts.

Reason: they follow the 100-year-old Punjab Jail Manual, which allows for serving of meals to jail inmates only twice a day - at 7 am and after 6 pm.

Naturally, undertrials who go out for “peshis” (court dates) endure hunger for long hours, as they wait for their turn at “bakshi khanas” located on court complexes.

The practice has been going on for years; it stands been confirmed by the replies submitted by superintendents of various jails.

Superintendent-cum-public information officer (PIO) of Maximum Security Jail, Nabha, in his January 17 reply to H.C. Arora under the RTI query, said: “The undertrials who are taken for ‘peshis’ are provided two meals. There are no instructions to provide lunch in ‘bakhshi khanas’ to them”.

The PIO of Central Jail, Hoshiarpur, stated the same thing in his January 21 reply: “Food is given to undertrials/convicts two times a day as per the manual. Morning meal is given before prisoners are sent for ‘peshis’ and evening meal after they return.”

Sangrur district jail PIO also admitted to the practice in his February 6 letter: “Undertrials are given tea, roti and dal at 7 am before they are sent for ‘peshis’.

According to the Jail Manual, they are again given tea, roti, dal in the evening”. The Superintendent of Women’s Jail, Ludhiana, sent a similar reply.

Incidentally, the issue was earlier raised in 2003 by Navkiran Singh of the Lawyers for Human Rights International, who filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking mid-day meals for prisoners who go for court dates.

At that time, DIG, Prisons, had stated before the court that “prisoners are provided morning meal at about 9 am and the mid-day meal when they come back from the courts at about 4 pm. If it is felt that any prisoner cannot come back in time, he is asked to carry the mid-day meal (only parched grams) with him”.

Latest replies by superintendents of Punjab jails, however, don’t match the 2003 reply of DGP, Prisons.

In reality, the jail department is still following the Punjab Jail Manual religiously, never mind its mindless provisions with respect to food, its quantity and time of serving.

And for a mid-day meal, all the jail department has to offer is parched grams.


Liver Disease
Impure water, not liquor, the major cause: Docs
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
Alcohol is not the major cause of liver disease which is one of the top ten killer diseases in India causing lakhs of deaths every year.

Instead, impure water is the primary cause of liver disease in India. This coupled with the lack of awareness about vaccination against liver-related diseases is playing havoc with the lives of lakhs of Indians, Dr Roger F. Butterworth from Canada and Dr Gerald Kircheis from Germany, two leading liver disease experts, told The Tribune here today.

However, in certain pockets like Punjab where the consumption of alcohol was rampant, liver-related diseases in a majority of cases could be due to alcohol consumption followed by other causes, they asserted.

In fact, hepatic encephalopathy - alteration of mental functions which occurs due to liver related diseases - was largely to be blamed on impure water in India, particularly in rural areas, Dr Butterworth, director of the Neuroscience Research Unit, University of Montreal, Canada, said.

The irony of the situation was that a majority of deaths on account of liver diseases were preventable with early diagnosis and the administration of the vaccines.

However, on account of lack of awareness about these diseases, a majority of the cases go undiagnosed in the early stages in India leading to several complications, informed Dr Kircheis, physician at the Department of Internal Medicine University, Dusseldorf, Germany.

Dr Kircheis claimed that the "flicker frequency test" was slowly emerging as the standardised diagnostic tool for patients suffering from hepatic encepalopathy the world over. While early diagnosis was important to treat the patient for his better quality of life, there was an urgent need for liver transplants for patients where liver damage was beyond permissible limits, he added.

The doctors highlighted that in earlier stages, the symptoms were those of decreased brain function. Moreover, subtle changes appear in logical thinking, personality and behaviour impairing patients' judgements. Going into coma for the patients was common and untreated hepatic encephalopathy could ultimately cause death, Dr Butterworth warned.

Talking about chronic liver patients, Dr Butterworth said hepatic encephalopathy could be triggered when an acute infection or alcohol increases the liver damage. Certain drugs, particularly sedatives, analgesics and diuretics may also trigger encephalopathy, he said stressing the need for preventive measures.


Start job-oriented courses, Badal tells VCs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has asked vice-chancellors of universities in Punjab to chalk out an action programme to impart education in vocational training to the students along with the routine graduate and postgraduate courses.

Presiding over a meeting to discuss the strategy for “improving the employability of Punjabi youth” in the state here yesterday, he said it was essential to make them either self-employed or gainfully employed in the government or private sectors.

Badal urged the VCs to start job-oriented courses, keeping in view the state government's vision for employment generation targeting 50,000 job opportunities and 25,000 self-employed jobs every year.

He said the students would be awarded certificate or diplomas for these add-on courses. The Chief Minister pointed out that there was a limited scope for government jobs and such courses could easily fill the void created by the non-availability of sufficient jobs in the government sector.

These students could be easily absorbed in the priority private sectors, which have a tremendous scope for skilled youth in hospitality and tourism, aviation, security training, retail, media and entertainment, transport and auto industry, construction, textile industry, production and light engineering and soft skills for all sectors.

The Chief Minister also directed the Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University to start short-term courses for the students of class XII at the block level to impart training so that they could undertake private practices as veterinary assistants to earn their livelihood.

Badal asked the finance department to provide Rs 10 crore from the Additional Central Assistance given by the Planning Commission of India for skilled development centres to run these courses after identifying each block from Majha, Malwa and Doaba region.

Badal also asked the authorities of Punjab Agricultural University to start add-on courses for the skilled/ semi-skilled extension workers for agricultural inputs, insecticides/ pesticides/ fertilisers, agricultural implements, marketing, processing, packaging, organic and bio-tech faming.


SAD-BJP dist panels to be formed: Sukhbir
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, February 15
The SAD has chalked out an ambitious project to help make the voice of the common man heard in the corridors of power.

President of the SAD Sukhbir Badal laid bare the plan after addressing party workers at Gurdwara Khalsa Diwan here today. He also inaugurated the new building of a sarai of the gurdwara.

He added that the plan would also help in re-establishing and enhancing the waning confidence of party workers. The coordination committees comprising workers of the SAD and BJP would be established in all districts of the state in this regard.

The address was aimed at mobilising party workers for the scheduled “insaaf rally” to be held in Delhi on February 26.

Chairing a meeting of the district-level vigilance and monitoring committee at the Officer’s Club, he directed the district administrative officials to make sure that benefits of social welfare schemes trickle down to the bottom of society. He also inspected the schemes offered by the Ministry of Rural Development.

A delegation of the Mulazam Sangarsh Committee of Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital led by its convener Avtar Singh Gill met Sukhbir and apprised him of their demands. The members of the committee had been on relay fast, which entered the 158th day today.

Later, he also addressed party workers at Gurdwara Bibi Kahan Kaur at Moga. However, after speaking to party workers he immediately left the venue without paying obeisance at the gurdwara.


Amarinder returns from Dubai

Patiala, February 15
After spending two weeks, former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has returned here today from Dubai.

The Ludhiana Sessions Court on January 28 had allowed Singh to visit Dubai for two weeks on his plea that he wanted to explore investment opportunities in real estate 
there. — PTI


12 hurt as bus overturns 
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 15
Twelve passengers, including five women, were injured as a mini-bus overturned near Ashoka School on the Amritsar-Jalandhar road this morning.

Hazura Singh and Jasvir Kaur were among those seriously injured in the accident and were taken to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital in Amritsar, along with other injured. Hazura’s condition was critical as he had received serious head and eye injuries.

According to Lakha Singh, who was also travelling in the mini-bus, said the bus was coming from Mahlowal village to Amritsar and the bus overturned after it tried to avoid a head-on collision with a Scorpio and a Maruti car while overtaking a truck.

They said the Scorpio coming from the opposite direction gave a dipper which confused bus driver, making him turn the bus first to the right and then to the left to avoid the collision with the Maruti car. However, the driver could not control it and it overturned. 


Drugs, Spurious Milk Products
Cash awards for informers: Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 15
With drug addiction among youngsters and spurious milk products playing havoc with the lives of many, the state Health Department has started a scheme for awarding informers to expose the illegal activities.

Announcing this here today while launching the Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) health scheme, Laxmi Kanta Chawla, health and family welfare minister, Punjab, said special cash awards of Rs 1,100 would be given to the person providing information of a chemist illegally selling drugs. One who provided the information of spurious milk products would get an award of Rs 2,100.

She also announced that 15,800 ASHAs were being appointed in the state under the National Rural Health Mission to ensure the proper implementation of health schemes and eradicate female foeticide and infant mortalities. She presented accreditation letters to 987 newly appointed ASHAs in Ludhiana at Nehru Sidhant Kender here today.

The minister said an ASHA would cater to the population of 1,000 each. He or she would be provided with special medical kits after a short-term training for diagnose and to provide first hand care.

She said the ASHAs would be responsible for implementing various health services and programmes, including registration of pregnancy, to check female foeticide, ensure delivery in government hospitals, immunisation of children, family planning operations, TB treatment, check on sale of drugs/intoxicants, anti-adulteration drive etc. in their respective areas. The activists would ensure the compulsory registration of each pregnant woman. 


SGPC’s grouse on renaming bus stand
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 15
Member of the SGPC Manjit Singh Calcutta has alleged that the renaming of the local bus stand by the BJP leadership in connivance with the Municipal Corporation was the latest attempt by the Sangh Parivar to separate the holy city from its historical heritage.

“Amritsar has only one railway station, airport and bus stand, which should continue to be known by the name of the holy city only. Amritsar is not an ordinary city and has been built with religious devotion and according to the ideas of Sikh Gurus,” he said.

The ultra-modern bus terminal became fully operational on October 19, 2005, and is equipped to cater to a 1,800-bus schedule. It is spread over an area of 8.50 acres has been built at a cost of Rs 12.75 crore.


AGPC warns against change in Nanakshahi calendar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 15
The American Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (AGPC) convener, Dr Pritpal Singh, today said that the Sikh diaspora would not tolerate any change in the Nanakshahi calendar.

Talking to The Tribune from the USA on telephone, AGPC convener said that Nanakahshi calendar was part of the Sikh community’s distinct identity. He said every religion has its own calendar and it was after a long time that the Sikh community prepared its distinct calendar.

He urged Akal Takht Jathedar not to succumb to any pressure to alter the historical dates as given in the Nanakshahi calendar.

He alleged that the AGPC had learnt that the Sikh high priests were contemplating to make some changes in the Nanakshahi calendar with a view to pleasing certain forces, which would not be acceptable. He announced that the AGPC would continue to observe all historical dates as per the original Nanakshahi calendar.


Bonanza for Senior Citizens
Old-age pension for all
Tribune News Service

Ropar, February 15
The Punjab government has decided to extend senior citizen pension to all males above the age of 65 years and females above 60. This will, however, exclude government employees already getting pension.

Minister for Social Security Swarana Ram gave this information while talking to The Tribune here today. He was here to preside over the district planning board meeting.

He said age would be the only criteria for extending this pension in future. Due to persistent complaints the government has now ordered disbursement of pension by banks. These have also been directed to issue cheque books to physically challenged pension holders so that they are not forced to travel to banks for collecting pensions.

Officials of the Department of Social Security had been directed to take care of girl children left by their parents. Committees have formed under the deputy commissioners to take care of such children.

After presiding over the meeting the minister urged the panchayats to contribute 5 per cent share in implementing various scheme being brought up by the government under the World Bank schemes. Under these, it is mandatory for beneficiaries to contribute 5 per cent towards project costs. Unfortunately, some panchayats are not contributing this amount due to which their villages are bereft of the benefits of new development schemes.

The minister said the amount for constructing toilets in villages is also being increased to Rs 9,000 per unit. Earlier it was Rs 6,200 for below poverty-line families and Rs 5,200 for others.

Deputy commissioner, Ropar, B. Purusartha stated that the Chief Minister had ordered the department concerned to release a grant of Rs 42 crore for a theme park at Chamkaur Sahib. Besides, the national highways authority has also been directed to make the under-construction Chandigarh-Kiratpur Sahib national highway motorable before Holla Mohalla celebrations.


NOC waived for enhancing power load
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
The state has accepted the long-pending demand of the existing industry regarding enhancement in power load without seeking a no-objection certificate (NOC). This was announced by industries minister Manoranjan Kalia.

The industry of Punjab had been facing problem for long for getting enhancement in load because the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) does not provide enhancement in load without getting prior NOC from the Municipal Committees/Corporations concerned. Many cases have been pending in the PSEB.

Today, in the meeting of senior officers of the Department of Industries and Commerce, Power, local government and PSEB, convened by the minister, this issue was discussed and it was decided that henceforth the PSEB shall provide the enhancement in load to the existing industry without getting NOC from the Municipal Committee/Corporation concerned.


MMS facility launched
Tribune News Service

Ropar, February 15
Local residents can now know the status of their applications at the Suvidha centre here through MMS.

A website regarding this was today inaugurated by minister for social security Swarana Ram.

Deputy commissioner of Ropar B.Purusartha said that an official had been deputed at the Suvidha centre to receive SMS from citizens, inquire about the status of their applications and inform them through MMS.

He said rather than resorting to right to information, the people can now have entire information regarding development works going on here from the official website of the district (rupnagar.nic.in). The information regarding all development works would be updated at the website.


Pak maestros call for cultural exchange policy
S.D. Sharma

Chandigarh, February 15
“Despite sharing strong bonds of cultural inheritance, India and Pakistan have no official cultural exchange policy, which could serve to strengthen harmony between the two nations,” observed brothers Ustad Badar-uz-Zaman and Qamar-uz-Zaman, both acclaimed Pakistani maestros.

Recipients of the Presidential Award for Pride of Performance in musical arts and the Amir Khusro Award, the musicologists-cum-singers, who were in the city for an NZCC concert, shared their views with The Tribune here today.

Ustad Badar, the elder brother who is more articulate of the two, holds a Masters degree in classical music from PU, Lahore, and has served as director, Punjab Arts Council and the National Council of Arts.

Coming from a rich Sheikh family of cloth merchants, both brothers have no family legacy in music. They were drawn to classical music by the sublime quality of the melodies. A prolific writer, Badar has authored nine books on music, including two translation works in Hindi.

Eulogising the melody and rhythmic patterns of classical music, the Ustad maintained that it aimed at transforming the emotions of pain and suffering into pleasure and peace.

“In Pakistan, mostly non-professionals are made to head cultural organisations, thus limiting the scope for the promotion of classical arts. No significant promotion is forthcoming despite a spurt of TV channels like in India,” lamented Badar.

He observed that while imparting music education, the patriarchs or gurus of musical gharanas had been unfair to deserving pupils and had instead preferred to groom and promote their “incompetent” kins, resulting in the decline of musical standards.

“The Ustads confined their knowledge of nuances to themselves, with the result that frustrated music aspirants turned to the alternative streams of Western or pop music. However, the lack of dedication on the part of today’s youth in classical or ghazal music is also discouraging. We have a few ghazal maestros, while India has only Jagjit Singh,” said Ustad Badar.

He fondly recalled the glorious tradition when the compositions of Ustads and gharanas were given in dowry and the artiste proudly introduced his performance as “Dahej ki bandish”.

Ustad Badar stated that the grandeur of fine arts had suffered a lot in the northern region (including Pakistan) due to frequent tribal attacks over the centuries and later during the English rule. He was candid enough to admit that pristine Indian classical music, too, came under frantic assault in Pakistan as the Ustads ascribing to the fundamentalist view attempted to change the original Braj bhasha or Sanskrit contents of Indian raga compositions.

Gifted with a profound knowledge of Indian musicology and related texts of Vedic scriptures, the two brothers, often labelled as rebels, continue to preserve the serenity and magnificence of Indian music.

They regaled the select audience with compositions in classical, folk and light music at the Punjab Kala Bhawan auditorium in the evening.


Action ordered against project officer
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, February 15
Sangrur deputy commissioner V.K. Ohri today ordered the initiation of disciplinary action against the Lehragaga child development project officer (CDPO) for allegedly not performing duties in a proper manner.

Presiding over a meeting here, the DC asked the district programme officer to initiate disciplinary action against the CDPO, “as the administration had been receiving many complaints against her for allegedly committing negligence in official work”.

At another meeting regarding the adoption of non-conventional tools to save energy, the deputy commissioner instructed officers to use solar energy-based bulbs, lamps, fans, pumps etc in their offices to save electricity.

He also expressed unhappiness at the working of those officers who had not sent utilisation certificates of the funds spent by their offices under the Punjab Nirman Programme and MPLAD scheme.


Katasraj idols dumped in room
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 15
Idols of Shiv Parivar (family of Lord Shiva) sent to the Katasraj temple in Pakistan on Shivaratri last year have been gathering dust in a room of the temple. There is no priest in the temple, which opens once in a while.

Alleging this, president of the All-India Hindu Shiv Sena Surinder Kumar Billa has urged the government to take up the matter with Pakistan and allow the authorities concerned to send priests to the temple.

The temple is 30 km from Chakwal and has been named after a stream “Katas”, said to be formed of the tears of Lord Shiva as he mourned the death of his wife Sati.

The temple is in a dilapidated state and under the Evacuee Trust Property Board and Department of Archaeology and Museums, Pakistan government. 


Supplementary challan stayed in gurdwaras’ land dispute case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
Just over a year after a police-public clash took place following a land dispute between two gurdwaras, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today stayed the presentation of supplementary challan on a petition filed by the Bhadaur Gurdwara Kand Virodhi Action Committee and others.

Taking up the petition, Justice H.S. Bhalla of the High Court also fixed March 23 as the next date of hearing in the matter.

The committee is seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the matter. Moving the High Court through counsel Navkiran Singh, the petitioners have contended that the crime branch of the Punjab police has made it clear through its action and conduct that it was not keen on conducting a free and fair investigation in the matter as ordered by the court.

The petitioners had earlier added that in spite of fair reinvestigation by SP (crime) R.S. Dhillon, the state of Punjab was getting the matter further reinvestigated “under suspicious circumstances” into two FIRs registered in the matter on October 11, 2006.

It was added that petitioner Buta Singh had sustained gun-shot injury during the police firing, while another petitioner Dara Singh had received sharp-edged injuries on his legs. A DSP, it may be recalled, has already blamed senior Punjab police functionaries of making an attempt to shield favourite officers “found to be involved” in a clash that took place.

In his petition filed before the High Court against ADGP G.D. Pandey, DIG B.K. Uppal, AIG V.Neerja, SP Sukhdev Singh Brar and others, DSP (detective) Baljit Singh has claimed that he was even being pressurised to change his statements made before Patiala’s SP (crime) and an Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate.

The clash took place on October 11, 2006 over the demarcation of land between two village gurudwaras. In the police-public clash that lasted for a week, one person was killed and several others sustained serious injuries. 


Custodial Death
HC asks Punjab to pay Rs 10 lakh relief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
Taking serious note of an alleged custodial death, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed Punjab to pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the next of the victim’s kin.

The directions by the Bench of Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Kanwaljit Singh Ahluwalia comes in less than a year after Kewal Singh of Bukkanwala vilage in Ferozepore district died under mysterious circumstances at the Central Jail there. The court had earlier taken suo motu comes cognisance of media reports about the incident.

Kewal Singh was arrested in FIR dated April 12, 2007, in an attempt to murder case under Sections 307, 324, 323, 341, 506 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.

For looking into the circumstances leading to the incident, Justice Surya Kant, the then administrative judge of Ferozepore sessions division, had sent a message to the sessions judge for conducting an inquiry.

After a report “depicting sorry state of affairs” was received, Justice Rajesh Bindal of the high court had observed: In view of the clear opinion given by the in charge sessions judge, Ferozepore, in the fact finding inquiry, pointing fingers at the jail authorities in torturing deceased Kewal Singh, it is in the interest of justice that appropriate action in the matter is taken”.


Noise Pollution
SDMs to take action against defaulters
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, February 15
All SDMs of the district were today asked to check noise pollution in their respective subdivisions strictly and initiate legal action against the parties and persons concerned for creating noise pollution after 10 pm.

These instructions were issued by deputy commissioner V.K. Ohri while presiding over a meeting of the District Noise Monitoring Committee. He asked the SDMs to initiate harsh steps to prevent noise pollution in their areas.

Ohri also asked the officers of the Pollution Control Board to initiate steps for checking noise pollution and get cases registered with the police against those violating the rules and instructions.

He urged the SDMs to make liaison with the heads of religious places in their respective subdivisions and ask them to complete their religious activities in a low voice on the loud speakers.

He also asked the officers concerned to check all persons playing songs and making announcements on loud speakers in streets and mohallas without procuring permission from the administration.

The DC also asked the district transport officer (DTO) to initiate necessary action against users of pressure horns and other such horns in the vehicles.

On the occasion, ADC Indu Malhotra told the meeting that instructions to check the noise pollution had already been issued during meetings held earlier, but there was a need to initiate harsh steps by the police in this direction.


Minor step-daughter raped, accused flees
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, February 15
The Amargarh police has booked a man on the charge of raping his minor step-daughter. The accused is absconding.

Dhuri DSP Swaran Singh said today that Nirmal Singh, a resident of Jalalgarh village, near Amargarh, raped his 14-year-old step-daughter in his house. He said an ultrasound examination of the girl would be conducted on Monday. A case under Sections 376 and 506, IPC, had been registered against Nirmal.

Nirmal, whose wife died about three years ago, remarried Paramjit Kaur. Paramjit already had a daughter from her first marriage. The rape incident took place when the mother was not in the house.


Air-coolers with fake stickers seized
Our Correspondent

Batala, February 15
The police has registered a case pertaining to the manufacture of air-coolers with fake trademark stickers here today.This was stated by R.N. Dhoke, SSP, Batala.

Crompton Greaves company lodged a complaint with the police that a local shopkeeper was manufacturing air-coolers with its brand name. A police party raided the premises of Parkash Industries, Loha Mandi, Batala, and recovered eight air-coolers with fake stickers.

The owner of the shop managed to escape, while his servant Lakhwinder Singh was arrested. The police has registered a case under Sections 420, IPC, and 63/65, Copy Right Act.


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