P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Pregnant woman abandoned by husband, in-laws
Clothes, jewellery taken away, house sold to property dealer
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

A file photo of absconding husband Mandeep Singh
A file photo of absconding husband Mandeep Singh.

Ludhiana, February 23
A man, his mother and brother have allegedly abandoned his five-month pregnant wife. She has just the clothes she is wearing sans grocery, cash and jewellery. The house they all lived in at Ram Nagar near Mundian village has also been sold off.

Accused Mandeep Singh, a hosiery employee here, his brother Harpreet Singh and mother Surjit Singh allegedly slipped away after injecting victim Amarjit Kaur with drugs. She remained asleep for two days due to the drug effect.

She woke up last evening to find that her "life-partner" had deserted her and taken away household goods and kitchen ration. She has been left in the lurch during pregnancy when a woman needs the help of her family the most.

This morning she learnt that even the house, in which she was left alone, was sold off for Rs 1.50 lakh to a property dealer.

The accused belong to Meerut in Uttar Pradesh. They were living here for some years.

Amarjit's parents had died long ago. She has three sisters and a brother. Her uncle Ravinder Singh and aunt Charanjit Kaur have brought them up.

They were by the side of the wailing woman unable to control their desperation, crying over a small pile of injections and empty jewellery boxes.

Drugs and her misery have driven the woman to the verge of insanity. While she was trying to comprehend what to do as the new owner of the house came to occupy it this morning. Her relatives came in to prevent him from doing so.

SSP R.K. Jaiswal said action would be taken in the case and that inquiry was on. "The culprits will be traced and brought to book at the earliest," he said.

Narrating her tale of woes with difficulty, the woman recalled that she married Mandeep Singh in April last year. "I hoped my in-laws would be my parents. After months of peaceful living, we had some misunderstanding due to which I lived with my aunt for some days. After that, the matter was resolved and I returned to live happily."

She said two months after her return, she had been forsaken like this, "They were giving me injections saying the doctor has prescribed those. I was dozing off most of the time."


SAD chief for Adarsh colleges at district headquarters
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 23
Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal today criticised Congress president Rajinder Kaur Bhattal for suddenly “waking up” to the needs of the state. Referring to a statement of Bhattal on sorry state of farmers in the state, the SAD president said he was surprised the Congress had realised the problem now.

Sukhbir was talking to reporters at the Government College here today. On the SAD-BJP rally in Delhi Sukhbir said, “Lakhs of Punjabis will flock to this rally which is slated to be the biggest-ever effort of a party for Punjab. Our farmers and industry need help and we have generated pressure at the Centre for our demands,” he said. “But we will not allow the Congress to hijack our efforts. What did they get for the state even when they had their own government at the Centre for years? Why did Bhattal not raise her voice for the farmers then?” he said.

On power crisis in the state Sukhbir chose to blame the Congress regime for it. “Power crisis in Punjab is a remnant of the past and result of the Congress’s flawed policies. If the problem persists after we have been in power for three years, then you have a cause to complain. We have set a target of generation of 10,000 MW annually. The country’s target is 40,000 MW. We will be producing 25 per cent of the country’s power. Till then, we have to do with whatever is available. For the coming summer, we are trying our best to ensure farmers, industry and urban residents are comfortable,” he said.

To a question on fresh delimitation of constituencies, Sukhbir said the Akali Dal had never bothered about such boundaries. “For us Punjab is one state and we are ready to fight elections for the state from any constituency from any area,” he said.

Asked if the Akali government will revive the village focal points, which were set up during the Akali regime earlier, Sukhbir said he was under the impression that most of these were functioning.

After Adrash schools, now the state will have Adarsh colleges. Sukhbir said the idea of having model professional and non- professional colleges in the state would be put up to the Chief Minister. “If given the nod we will plan an Adarsh college at every district headquarters in the state. These colleges will have necessary equipment and facilities needed for higher education,” he said.


First Patiala feeder opened
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Manpur Headworks (Ludhiana), February 23
The first Patiala feeder opened here today after 37 days of closure for maintenance and upgradation work to increase the water carrying capacity, prevent water seepage and strengthen the banks.

Devinder Singh Jassal, SE (Irrigation), Patiala, said the cleaning operation at the Gurthali bridge had commenced on January 16. The canal had been dug 12 ft to enhance its capacity by at least 30 per cent. Because of the deposits on the water bed, the water-carrying capacity of the canal had decreased from 4,000 to 3,500 cusecs, which had now been enhanced to 5,000 cusecs.

The canal is of special significance to farmers of Patiala, Mansa, Sangrur and Barnala districts. The project cost has been put at Rs 25 crore.

Lalit Kumar, circle head (draught), said the maintenance work was still incomplete for about 3,000 feet which would be taken up shortly after sorting out the problem of underground seepage. Devinder Singh, husband of Ajit Kaur, sarpanch of Deepnagar village, said several portions had been left unrepaired by the contractors.

A senior official said, “During the digging and cleaning operation certain adjoining portions can be affected in a minor fashion. The entire problem will be sorted.”

Officials pointed out that the combined water system at Manpur pertained to handling the Sidhwan, Patiala and combined waters of Abohar and Bathinda canals, which separated a little downstream. The next major project includes Kotla branch which is about 130 km in length.

The department also carried out extensive work on the second Patiala feeder canal. The capacity had decreased to 650 cusecs from 1,470 cusecs.


Govt not to recover Rs 83 cr from dam staff
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
The Punjab government will not recover Rs 83 crore from the Ranjit Sagar Dam project employees. Sources said the AG, Punjab, had objected to the excess salary paid to the dam employees and had sought recovery of the excess payment. The employees had been given special increments and incentives.

However, the AG had said the salary of the employees should be fixed on the basis of civil service rules from the day their services were regularised and special increments and incentives given to them should have not been made part of the salary.

On the other hand, employees of the project have been claiming that the special increments and other incentives were given to them as per the department rules. Special incentives were given to employees working on projects because they had to work under difficult circumstances and had to work extra time to meet the deadlines.

Sources said the Irrigation Department had decided to the move the case of employees before the state Cabinet with the recommendation that the money already paid to employees should not be recovered. However, their salary would be refixed after deducting the special increments, etc. and even pension cases would be based on these salaries.

Several hundred pension cases of retired employees of the project have not been cleared because of the objections raised by the AG.


Akal Takht-Patna Sahib Stand-off
Sukhbir fails to bring about patch-up
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 23
Efforts of Sukhbir Singh Badal, president, Shiromani Akali Dal, for a patch-up between Jathedars of Akal Takht and Patna Sahib, apart from consensus over the Nanakshahi calendar and maryada (Sikh code of conduct) seems to have failed due to stand-off of the Sikh clergy outside Punjab.

A section of the Sant Samaj, which has been supporting the stand of Giani Iqbal Singh, Jathedar, Patna Sahib, has also disappointed the SAD president who wanted peace between the Jathedars . A few days after his appointment as president of SAD, Sukhbir held a closed-door meeting with Jathedar, Patna Sahib, and the SGPC in Delhi on February 8 to resolve the matter.

In this meeting, Jathedar, Patna Sahib, and the SGPC chief had agreed to bury the hatchet for the sake of the Sikh Panth. The meeting of the Gurmat Sidhant Parchark Sant Samaj, headed by Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa, has also decided not to be part of any deliberations or discussions to be held by the11-member committee, constituted by Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, on the Nanakshahi calendar. Though the Nanakshahi calendar has approval of the SGPC and Akal Takht, both outside Takhts, including Patna Sahib and Hazoor Sahib, have already rejected it.

The meeting of the Sikh clergy, scheduled for February 19, has been put off till March. Sources said Jathedar, Akal Takht, and other Sikh high priests from Punjab made efforts to persuade Jathedar Iqbal Singh to give in writing that he accepted Akal Takht as the supreme temporal seat of the Sikhs. However, according to sources, Jathedar, Patna Sahib, refused to oblige Jathedar Vedanti.

It is pertinent to mention here that Jathedar Iqbal Singh and the SGPC chief had resolved in the presence of the SAD chief that a consensus would be evolved to work out a uniform Sikh maryada which should be implemented by all five Takhts and different factions of the Sant Samaj.


‘1984 riots a blot on nation’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
The functioning of judiciary came under the scanner this afternoon at a panel discussion on “Impact of 1984 carnage on Punjab”. Eminent speakers like Justice S.S. Sodhi made startling revelations on how the career of at least one judicial officer was jeopardised for coming out with the truth about the torture of prisoners for finding out if they were terrorists.

A former Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court and ex-chairman of the TRAI Justice Sodhi was also vocal about the “unfortunate role” of Justice Ranganathan Mishra Commission in the matter.

Some of the other speakers, including senior advocate Anupam Gupta and journalist Manoj Mitta, too were critical of the judiciary’s functioning post 1984 riots.

The discussion was organised at the Bar Council Auditorium to commemorate the publication of Roli Books’ paperback edition of “When a tree shook Delhi” by Manoj Mitta and H.S. Phoolka.

Moderated by Kanwar Sandhu, editor of Hindustan Times, Chandigarh, the discussion also featured Guru Nanak Dev University’s former vice-chancellor J.S. Grewal and executive director of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative Maja Daruwala. Punjab’s finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal could not turn up as he was attending “some important budget meeting”.

Addressing the gathering, Justice Sodhi said a District and Sessions Judge, Tara Singh Cheema, was denied the chance of becoming a high court judge, even though he did not had a single adverse entry, after a report submitted by him confirmed the torture of prisoners at the Nabha high security jail.

Giving details, Justice Sodhi said he and Cheema found prisoners had been badly tortured after he was deputed to go on an inspection tour to Patiala district. They had tales to tell and the effect of torture was visible.

Justice Sodhi said the law did not permit anyone to be moved from the jail to an interrogation centre. But a group of prisoners from Nabha prison were taken to Ladha Kothi, an interrogation centre converted into a jail, for discovering who was a terrorist.

Justice Sodhi said he directed Cheema to look into the matter; and his report confirming torture was marked to the then Chief Justice for putting it up on the judicial side.

After two judges refused to take up the matter, it came back to him.

Eventually, 25 police officers were indicted for torture and compensation was paid by the then Barnala government. However, in the whole process Cheema was not elevated.

The former Chief Justice added no Sikh Judge was trusted to deal with Sikh terrorist cases.

Describing the riots as a blot on the nation, the former Chief Justice said the guilty were still roaming free.

Compensation was given to the victims miserly after they had to struggle; and was much delayed.


SAD’s Delhi rally: Congress posers to Badal
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
The Insaf Rally of the SAD-BJP alliance on February 26 in Delhi with the objective of initiating fresh debate on the Centre-state relations has acted as strong catalyst for many in the Congress party. While the SAD-BJP leaders are preparing for the rally, the Congress has launched a tirade to checkmate the ruling alliance with questions that “call for introspection rather than protest”.

The onslaught that was started by party president Rajinder Kaur Bhattal by challenging the SAD-BJP attack on the Centre accusing it of “discriminatory policies towards Punjab,” has been kept up by the new and young within the party. Citing the raise in the minimum support price of wheat through a record enhancement of its MSP, both in absolute terms (Rs 250) and percentage terms (33 per cent), higher allocation of funds to Punjab and other largesse bestowed upon Punjab by the UPA government, the Congress says there is no rationale behind the SAD-BJP accusations.

The only NRI legislator in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha from Kila Raipur, Jassi Khangura has dubbed the entire exercise by the SAD-BJP alliance as signs of a government “desperately short of ideas, unable to deliver quantifiable and visible results”. It is going to be a mere show of strength to make a point that Sukhbir Badal as president can mobilise people. Khangura said, “For a party that was not even able to convince people of Punjab that it deserved a majority in its own right, now finds itself torn between the twin planks of satisfying both its own support base and, for the first time in Parkash Singh Badal’s four tenures as Chief Minister, that of its ideologically divergent junior partner - the BJP”. Questioning the justification for the Delhi rally, he has posed several questions that would put the SAD-BJP in an awkward position. He has sought an answer to “where are the BJP voices on farmer debt relief ? Where is the promised miraculous transformation of the economy and the state’s independent support to the Punjab farmer? Why can there not be a state bonus for wheat and paddy ? Was it not the same CM in his third term who had declared that ‘farmer debt relief is not possible’ ? Was Badal even able to extract even Re1 farmer debt relief from the NDA government ?” The list of questions goes on.

At the same time, Vijay Inder Singla, president of the Punjab Youth Congress, has in his advice to the SAD-BJP alliance said, “The Badal government should focus on fundamental problems facing the state instead of frittering away scarce resources and energy of the administration in mobilising men and material for futile exercises like the rally.”

According to Singla, “The basic prerequisite for attracting investments in Punjab is the creation of a favourable social and industrial climate and not tax concessions or subsidies. Therefore, the state should take tangible steps for the welfare of Punjabis rather than resorting to gimmicks like this.”

Congress leaders are uniting to take on the SAD-BJP alliance in a debate that may well change the nature of politics in the state.


Bhindranwale’s Portrait in Sikh Museum
BJP to appeal to SGPC for its removal
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 23
National secretary of the BJP Balbir Punj said his party would appeal to the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) to remove the portrait of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale from the Sikh museum.

Punj told reporters here today that the SGPC should remove the portrait from the museum keeping in view the character of the Golden Temple which lakhs visited from the country and the world. He said the SGPC should consider their formal request as the portrait in the museum could affect feelings of devotees.

Criticising Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, president and general secretary of the Congress, respectively, for not criticising Raj Thackeray who wanted to create Punjab-like situation in Maharashtra by attacking migrants from UP and Bihar. He said the two leaders were allegedly supporting Raj as the state government headed by the Congress was yet to take any action against him. He said the two leaders wanted Punjab-like situation in Maharashtra as had been done by former Prime Minister late Indira Gandhi by supporting subversive forces in Punjab where people suffered for more than 15 years.

On the Lok Sabha elections, he claimed that the NDA government led by the BJP would form government at the Centre.

On the Ram mandir issue, Punj said the Vishawa Hindu Parishad would construct the temple and they would only remove hurdles in the construction of the temple with which the sentiments of Hindus across the globe were attached.

Urging the union finance minister for special provision for one-time waiving of loan of Rs 50,000 of farmers in the country on the lines of the waiving of non-performing assets of (NPA) industries in the country, Punj said it would help small and marginal farmers to start life afresh. He said the government should also implement recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee payment of 50 per cent extra on inputs made by the farmers for producing crop. He said this would also help the farmers to come out of the debt trap.

Punj said the government should also promote inventions by agricultural laboratories in the country by taking these to farmers to help them adopt new techniques to raise crop yield. He also favoured soft loans to farmers to improve the infrastructure used for producing crops.


High Court
Notice to Punjab govt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
On a petition for initiating action against authorities responsible for allowing construction of commercial building in Patiala residential area in alleged violation of municipal building bye-laws, the High Court on Friday issued notice of motion for April 28 to the Punjab government and others.

The orders, by Division Bench of Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Kanwaljit Singh Ahluwalia, came on a petition filed by Leela Bhawan Trust Society through president Mohanjit Singh and five others.

PIL to restrain Punjab from selling land

A Mansa-based advocate has filed a petition in public interest seeking directions to restrain Punjab and district authorities from selling 60 kanals in Mansa city.

Directions have also been sought to utilize the same for providing much needed facilities to the public and state owned institutions.

After preliminary hearing, Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Kanwaljit Singh Ahluwalia issued notice of motion for March 27 to the state and other respondents.


Passing Maths in class X
‘For better pass percentage fill vacancies of teacher’
Prabhjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, February 23
The state government’s move to make it mandatory for class X students to pass in mathematics in order to qualify in matriculation is fine. But who will teach students in the absence of mathematics teachers as hundreds of posts are vacant across the state?

The Punjab Mathematics School Teachers’ Association has reacted, but not against the move of the government to make it compulsory by 2010 for the matriculation students to secure 33 per cent marks in mathematics and mandatory for those appearing in the 2009 examination to get minimum of 25 per cent marks to clear matriculation.

“Though the state government had agreed to our long-pending demand of making the subject compulsory to clear class X, at the same time the board should realise the fact that 29 per cent posts of math teacher are vacant in primary schools alone,” association general secretary Jaswinder Singh Chabhelwali said.

The task to make such bold decisions fruitful would not be easy for the Punjab State Education Board (PSEB) as now it had not only to fill the posts of mathematics teacher, but also to appoint subject-specific teachers at the primary level to build base for the students. They would also have to venture out with concepts like practicals for the subject and scholarship-based open competitions like Maths Olympiad.

“This move would, of course, sensitise the students to concentrate on learning the basics of mathematics,” he said.

Setting year 2010 as deadline, the school Education Department has clarified that the students studying in class VIII now were being given two years time before the actual implementation of the decision and also this would ‘give time to mathematics teachers to gear up.’

The issue of increasing number of failures in mathematics at the matriculation-level has been raised time and again, even in the Vidhan Sabha. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had affirmed nearly 17,000 teachers would soon be appointed on contract.

Now, it is to be seen whether such appointments with a monthly salary of around Rs 5,000 will will help impart quality education in subjects like mathematics and English.


Be rational, the mantra for Education Dept
Student-teacher ratio betters national average
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Ropar, February 23
Much hue and cry is being raised about the shortage of staff in government schools in the state. However, the latest data retrieved by higher officials of the department have brought to fore some startling facts.

From the data the officials have stressed that the Education Department requires rationalisation rather than recruitment. As per the data of primary schools of the state, ratio of students to teacher is 1:36. In elementary schools (classes V to VIII) the ratio of students to teacher is 1:23. In higher classes the average becomes even better. The said average is better than the national average of 1:40 students.

However, despite this healthy average many government schools, especially in primary section, are without teachers. This clearly spells that the department needs rationalisation.

According to higher officials of the department, most of the government teachers are concentrated in and around urban areas. These teachers get themselves transferred to places closer to their homes. Hardly any transfer or posting policy is being followed that can justify posting of teachers vis-à-vis numbers of students.

The strength of teachers in schools located in or near urban areas that are easily accessible is more than the recommended ratio, whereas schools located in rural or remote areas are without any teacher.

The case of Government High School, Haripur Bardar, in Ropar district is a clear illustration of the fact. No post of teacher is vacant in the school. Despite that the results of the school were pathetic. Not even a single student passed in the class VIII board examination. In class X also there were just nine students of which just three managed to pass board examinations.

The higher authorities of the department keeping in view the poor result and non-availability of students in class IX recommended that the staff of the school should be transferred to some other school. However, the proposal was rejected by the education minister.

The higher officials of the department concerned are now proposing that the rationalisation policy should be implemented to justify the strength of students vis-à-vis teachers. If this policy is implemented in the true spirit then the state can save the financial resources that it will have to spend in paying new teachers. The same amount can be used for the betterment of government schools and poor children studying in these.

Though the rationalisation proposal has logic but it remains to be seen how the government sustains the pressure of the strong teaching community in implementing it.


Adarsh Schools Board to meet on Feb 25
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
The Adarsh Schools Board, headed by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, will meet to take vital policy decisions with regard to the setting up of such schools in Punjab at Kapurthala House in Delhi on February 25.

Besides the Chief Minister, the education minister, chief secretary, education secretary and other senior officers have been invited to attend the meeting. Eminent industrialists, including Sunil Munjal of Hero Honda Group, Rakesh Mittal of Bharti Telecom and Harpal Singh of Fortis Hospitals, are likely to attend the meeting.

Among the educationists who are to attend the meeting include vice-chancellor of Punjabi University Dr Jaspal Singh, an educationist from Ludhiana Madan Mohan Vyas and an educationist from Delhi Arun Kapoor.

The sources said the proposed meeting would be crucial as parameters of public-private partnership would be decided in the meeting. The government is keen that big industrialist houses should set up such schools with the active support of the state government, which would made financial contributions besides extending other support.

The land to set up such schools could be handed over to the corporate houses on 99-year lease basis. However, a final decision in this regard will be taken in the meeting.

Sources said as many as 86 sites had been selected for setting up such schools by deputy commissioners in the state.


Rs 150-cr plan for medical college: Sud
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 23
Reiterating their commitment to uplift and development of medical education and research in the state, Tikshan Sud, minister for medical education and research, said today that the government would soon fill 57 seats of lecturers at various medical colleges in the state.

He was speaking at the inauguration of AMCAA -AMDAANA International CME-2008 at Government Medical College here. The minister said the government had approved a Rs 150-crore plan for the college.

Satwant Singh, founder president of AMDAANA, said there was need for a partnership between the government, faculty and students for growth of this college.


Pass concession sought
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, February 23
The Punjab unit of the All-India Students Federation (AISF) has asked the Punjab government to implement student bus pass concession facility in private buses of the state also to save them from harassment at the hands of owners and staff of these buses.

State president of the AISF Paramjit Singh Dhaba made this demand at a meeting here on Wednesday.


Farmer body’s memo to Dhindsa
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, February 23
A seven-member deputation of the Punjab unit of the Consortium of Indian Farmers Associations (CIFA) led by state unit president Satnam Singh Behru today met Sangrur MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa here and submitted a memorandum to him, enlisting demands of the farmers. The deputation urged Dhindsa to raise these demands in the ensuing Parliament session. Dhindsa assured the deputation that he would do so.

Behru said in the memorandum the CIFA had demanded setting up of a special fund for agriculture in the Union government’s Budget, implementation of the report of the chairman of the national farmer commission, subsidy worth Rs 40,000 crore, writing off loans of farmers, crop insurance on government expenses, etc.


Sekhwan, Butter men clash, fire in air
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Kahnuwan (Gurdaspur), February 23
Workers of two groups of the Shiromani Akali Dal clashed this morning for over 4 hours. They were supporters of Sewa Singh Sekhwan and Yadwinder Singh Butter.

Armed with guns, swords, daggers and sticks, Akali workers fired in the air, threw chairs at each other. Abusive language was used forcing women of the locality to go inside their houses. Members of both groups brandished swords.

The incident occurred outside the office of the block development officer (BDO) when the Sekhwan group allegedly captured the stage organised by the Butter group at 11.30 am. Butter had called a meeting of party workers regarding the Insaf Rally of the SAD in New Delhi on February 26.

Led by Kanwal Preet Singh Kaki, members of the Sekhwan group allegedly attacked the Butter group, including Yadwinder Singh Butter and certain others. Both groups had a scuffle and the Butter group had to leave the ground.

But members of the Sekhwan group alleged that the Butter group had started the scuffle. According to eyewitnesses, SAD workers threw chairs at each other, fired in the air and created trouble in the areas for almost 4 hours.

The area DSP reached the spot, but failed to control the SAD workers. Manmohan Singh, SP, pacified members of both groups.

The SP said the Sekhwan group did not want Butter to hold a meeting in Sekhwan's constituency as he belonged to the Qadian Assembly segment. But Butter wanted to hold the meeting at Kahnuwan saying SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal had authorised him to do so. The police had averted a 'possible bloody' clash, he claimed.

A case under Section 336, IPC, has also been registered by the police against unidentified persons in this respect.


Safai worker foils bid to loot bank
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, February 23
A safai karamchari foiled the attempt of a gun-toting youth to loot the agriculture branch of the State Bank of India on the bus stand-Jalandhar road here this afternoon and helped in arresting him.

SSP, Hoshiarpur, Dr Sukhchain Singh said a youth (about 22) with a leather bag on his shoulder came to the bank branch at 1.30 pm. He entered the cabin of branch manager Vijay Kumar and at gun-point ordered him to take out the keys of the vault and hand over cash to him. The manager came out from his cabin with the keys and moved towards the vault. On the way, the robber fired a shot, but it missed. While he was reloading the gun, bank safai sewak Chandershekhar pushed him and he fell on the floor.

Meanwhile, other staff members joined Chandershekhar and overpowered the robber and handed him over to the Model Town police station.

The robber was identified as Rakesh Kumar, alias Sanju, son of Raghubir Singh of Mairi village, Amb (Himachal). One .12-bore single-barrel gun along with four cartridges and one empty shell were recovered from him. A case was registered against him at Model Town police station.

According to bank sources, there was Rs 5.50 lakh in cash in the bank branch at the time of incident.


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