P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Original file of Sarabjit missing, claims sister
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 29
The original file pertaining to the case of Sarabjit Singh has been missing from the official record of Pakistan, which resulted in awarding death penalty to him due to mistaken identity.

This revelation was made by Dalbir Kaur on her return from Pakistan after meeting her brother in Kot Lakhpat Rai jail. She also claimed that the magistrate deliberately concealed the file at the time of Sarabjit’s release.

The family members, including Sukhpreet Kaur, wife, Poonam and Swapan, both daughters, who had crossed over to Pakistan on April 23, returned today.

The family, however, said the old file of Sarabjit was being reconstructed which might give him permanent reprieve.

After crossing over to India from the Radcliff line, the family members seemed partially satisfied. The daughters could not hug their father because the long-awaited reunion was from behind the bars. However, Sarabjit kissed the foreheads of his daughters.

The daughters felt satisfied that they could call meet father for the first time. Sukhpreet, who carried a large tiffin, loaded with halwa and petha, Sarabjit’s favourite sweets, said it was a emotional moment for them family members when Sarabjit offered them tea prepared by him in the jail.

Dalbir Kaur expressed hope that her brother would walk free shortly since the government of Pakistan was actively considering to convert the death penalty into life imprisonment.

However, the family could not meet Ansar Burney, Pakistan’s human rights activist. Burney has been criticised by the kin of those killed in Pakistan in the series of bomb blasts in 1990, which were allegedly triggered by Sarabjit.

Dalbir Kaur said most of the Pakistani had started believing that Sarabjit was victim of mistaken identity. His name was changed to that of Manjit Singh due to the missing original case file.

Meanwhile, the family members plan to visit Pakistan again and hope to bring back him home.


Amritsar (South) Bypoll
Bolaria is SAD candidate
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 29
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal today announced that Inderbir Singh Bolaria, a municipal councillor, and son of Raminder Singh Bolaria, the former Akali MLA whose death had necessitated the bypoll, would be the official candidate for the forthcoming Amritsar (South) bypoll, scheduled for May 22.

The announcement put at rest all speculation of Sukhbir Badal contesting from here.

The aspirants for the party ticket had created an unsavoury situation, with a number of aspirants staking claim for the ticket. The situation worsened when Bolaria held a meeting of his supporters here, which was attended by representatives of various Hindu organisations which resolved to oppose any candidate with “dubious background”. Though, Rajinder Singh Mehta, an executive member of the SGP, was among the front-runners, he failed to get the party ticket due to his “militant background”.

The SAD could not afford to field a person with militant background due to opposition by Hindu organisations.

Earlier, it were close confidants of a senior Akali leader who had told mediapersons that SAD chief himself was interested in contesting the bypoll due to wrangling among the aspirants for the ticket.

After making the gathering wait for some minutes, the SAD president asked “What sort of announcement you expect of me?”

Later, Sukhbir said that as authorised by the Political Affairs Committee, he had nominated Bolaria, son of late Raminder Singh Bolaria, as the candidate.

However, the SAD chief warned that stern action would be taken against those party leaders who were found opposing the official candidate.

Meanwhile, the SAD chief, promised to make Amritsar a world-class city within two years. He made a number of announcements to develop Amritsar as the most-sought-after city of the world.


EC watching activity in Amritsar
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
The Election Commission (EC) of India is keenly watching all activity in the Amritsar (South) parliamentary segment, which is likely to witness a show of strength between the ruling SAD-BJP alliance and the Congress.

The chief electoral officer, Punjab, has made it a point to tell both parties that the Model Code of Conduct has come into force in Amritsar district after the announcement of the election by the EC and will remain in force till the completion of the election process.

The election office, while announcing the schedule for holding of the byelection in the Amritsar (South) Assembly segment, has given details, saying all political parties involved should be aware that the code came into force on April 16 when the EC announced the holding of the bypoll.

The date of the poll had been notified nearly 10 days ago. The process of filing nominations will carry on for a week till May 5 in the office of the Additional Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Amritsar, on all days except public holidays.

According to the election office, only those people qualify to contest the Assembly poll who are registered as voter in any constituency in Punjab. Besides, the candidates will also have to take an oath of affirmation in the prescribed form before the returning officer. The candidates will be allowed to withdraw their names till May 8 and after the polling on May 22, the election process will be completed by May 27.

The electoral officer has clarified that even though May 1 is a holiday on account of May Day, under the Negotiable Instruments Act, it will be a working day for the election process and nominations will be accepted.

Similarly, nomination will also be accepted on May 3 and withdrawal will also be permitted on May 8, which are otherwise holidays.

The SAD-BJP is yet to announce its candidate for the bypoll that became necessary due to the death of SAD legislator Raminder Singh Bolaria, who died in the USA from cancer in February this year. But the Congress has already announced the name of Navdeep Singh Goldy. The Congress has seen a lot of infighting in Amritsar where a former MLA Harjinder Singh Thekedar has made allegations against the party leadership for “selling the seat” to Goldy.

Once SAD president Sukhbir Badal announces the name of the SAD-BJP nominee in a day or two, the political activity in Amritsar is expected to pick up.


ZP, Panchayat Samiti Poll
BJP keen to contest 19 seats in Sangrur district
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, April 29
The Sangrur district unit of the BJP seems determined to enter the fray in the current zila parishad (ZP) and block panchayat samiti elections. According to sources, the unit wants to demonstrate its strength to the BJP high command and its alliance partner SAD in rural areas of the district.

Though this decision of the district unit might create problems for the SAD candidates, the decision of the BJP has infused enthusiasm among the rank and file of the party throughout the district.

The district BJP unit has plans to contest four ZP seats and 15 block panchayat samiti seats. The sources in the BJP said today that the Sangrur district BJP president Jatinder Kalra had today sent a list of candidates for ZP and block panchayat samiti seats to the state party high command, suggesting the names of candidates for different seats. According to information, Kalra has recommended the name of Joginder Singh from Bhullan village for Andana ZP seat, while he has recommended Manpreet Singh’s name for the Rogla ZP seat, Amandeep Singh’s name for the Mangwal ZP seat and Karam Singh’s name for the Badrukhan seat.

The sources added that the BJP district president had also recommended names of the candidates for the following 15 block panchayat samiti seats: Mangwal, Badrukhan, Ballian, Akoi Sahib, Sheron, Baupur (Banarsi), Mandvi, Bharron, Kakra, Kapial, Kherri Kalan, Sherpur. Hathoa, Chatha Nanherra, and Amargarh. Political observers here say that if the BJP contests on these 19 seats (including four ZP seats) on its own, it will certainly harm the chances of candidates of not only the BJP but also the SAD. This may further create cracks between both parties at the time of forthcoming municipal council elections in the state. District president Jatinder Kalra admitted that he had sent a list of four candidates for ZP and 15 candidates for block panchayat samiti seats to the party high command for clearing their names.


Cong alleges violation of poll code
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
The Punjab Congress has levelled serious allegations against the ruling SAD-BJP alliance for misusing government vehicles and making certain announcements, thereby violating the Model Code of Conduct.

In two separate communications to the chief election commissioner of India, chief spokesman of Punjab Congress Bir Devinder Singh alleged that Parkash Singh Badal had made announcements regarding the positioning of Central University at Amritsar yesterday in brazen violation of the code of conduct.

He said the central university was a central project meant for Amritsar only, and the Chief Minister just could not announce that it would be in any other place like Ferozepur or Amritsar.

In yet another communication, he alleged that ministers, parliamentary secretaries, mayor and deputy mayors were using government vehicles with red beacons, which is also a violation of the model code of conduct.

He demanded from the Election Commission to send observers immediately to check the violation of the code. He said though the code had been imposed in Amritsar district only, it was also in force in entire Punjab because of the elections of Panchayti Raj institutions, scheduled for May 12.

He asked the state Election Commission to ensure the observance of the Model Code of Conduct by all political parties to ensure free and fair elections to the grassroots institutions of democracy in the country.


PM’s statement shows Cong mindset: BJP
Mentioning of Ghulam Nabi Azad as ‘Wazir-e-Azam’

Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 29
The BJP has flayed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for mentioning Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad as “Wazir-e-Azam” (Prime Minister) of Jammu and Kashmir while addressing a public gathering at Kistwar on Saturday during his visit to Jammu.

BJP executive committee member and co-in charge of its Jammu and Kashmir affairs R.P. Singh said it should be termed as a mere slip of tongue, but it indicated the mindset of the Congress.

The wavering policy, lack of firm action and the tendency of the Congress to seek partisan political advantage from a section of the trouble-torn Jammu and Kashmir province was aggravating the problem in that state, he added.

Singh said both Congress and its alliance partner in J & K the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had been trying to placate extremists because of vote bank politics.

The Prime Minister’s mentioning of Azad as “Wazir-e-Azam” should be seen in continuation of what PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti had said in Islamabad last month, where she spoke of dual rule in Kashmir and thereafter her father Mufit Mohammad Syed, also a former J & K CM, uttered in Srinagar about dual currency.

R.P.Singh went on to say that the Congress had always been hobnobbing with extremist elements for vote bank whether it was Punjab, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and now Kashmir, and the nation had to pay the cost of their misgivings.

‘Advani termed Punjab happenings as painful’

Clarifying about objections raised by some Sikh organisations regarding senior BJP leader L.K. Advani’s autobiography “My Country, My Life”, R.P. Singh said it was never mentioned in the book that it was the BJP which forced the then Prime Minister to use the military to liberate the Golden Temple from its anti-national occupants.

Providing copies of the pages related with Punjab under the chapter “The Trauma and Triumph of Punjab” in Advani’s autobiography, he said it was clearly stated on page 7 of the book that “with her credibility, both at home and abroad, at stake, the Prime Minister was ultimately forced to use the military to liberate the Golden Temple from its anti-national occupants”.


Tehsildar under Vigilance scanner
‘Owns property worth crores’

Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, April 29
According to the complaint following which the Vigilance Bureau has started probe against the Pathankot tehsildar, the revenue officer is a multi-millionaire. Tehsildar Yesh Paul Sharma purchased immovable and movable property during his tenure in Pathankot and surrounding areas.

The list of property owned by Yesh Paul, his wife Sudesh Kumari and son Rajinder Kumar shows that the family owns 120 kanals at various places, two petrol stations, one-third share in 37 kanals at Manwal village and partnership in a stone-crusher, besides other property. He was allegedly in property dealing business and carved housing colonies illegally.

The complaint also contains copies of the said property owned by Yesh Paul , his wife and son in different villages in Gurdaspur and Lodhwan areas near Damtal in Himachal.

According to the complaint, Yesh Paul owns a house in Indira Colony, (Pathankot), a petrol station and a plot adjoining the Pathankot Civil Hospital, 18-kanal plot on the GT Road at Rachpalwan village (Pathankot), a plot of 60 kanals, 8 marlas at Jungat village, 1 kanal, 11 marlas in Gurdaspur, 49 kanals, 17 marlas at Chachedian village in Gurdaspur and a petrol station at Lodhwan village near Damtal in Kangra district.

The tehsildar's wife Sudesh purchased a 15-marla plot in Pathankot in 2007 for Rs 16.50 lakh. She also executed a sale deed as an owner of the Anandpur Stone Crusher Udyog Association and a partner with Dharminder Singh for Rs 30 lakh in October 2005. She also owns 1/3 share in land measuring 37 kanals, 4.5 marlas at Manwal village for Rs 4.50 lakh on December 31,1999, 24 kanals land at Maria Kalan village in Pathankot. She also bought 16 kanals, 18 marlas worth Rs 3.10 lakh on December 23, 2000.

The tehsildar's son Rajinder owned 12 kanals and 8 marlas at Manwal village worth Rs 3.58 lakh in April 2001.

Complainant Rajeshwar Singh of Dhaki in Pathankot has attached copies of the property papers owned by Yesh Paul and family members and given these to the director, Punjab Vigilance Bureau, Chandigarh. He has also alleged that the tehsildar had purchased the property in the names of his wife, mother-in-law, brother-in-law and certain other persons.

As per the complaint, the revenue officer even developed housing colonies in connivance with a reader-translator of the Pathankot Civil Court and a Gurdaspur-based property dealer.

The tehsildar was recently in controversy for land grabbing. The said land belongs to the Central government and at present has an air base of the Indian Air Force at Dhaki village.

Yesh Paul, however, denied the allegations saying Rajeshwar had been forcing him to get registration of a 'disputed' land done since long. "He even threatened me and put pressure to get the illegal job done. I have already brought the issue to the notice of the deputy commissioner. I have not done anything wrong," he claimed.

Shifting of tehsildar case sought

Apprehending political influence in the functioning of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau, Rajeshwar Singh has sought the shifting of the Pathankot tehsildar case from Amritsar to some other region of the bureau.

In his statement, recorded by an officer of the bureau at Pathankot today, Rajeshwar said since tehsildar Yesh Paul was a politically well connected person, it might influence the bureau team.


Death of Indian in UAE
Family suspects murder
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 29
Terming the death of their son Dharminder Singh (33) as an organised murder, a Dalit family of Nathumajra village in Sangrur district has urged the Union government to have the killing probed by the Indian Embassy in the UAE.

Dharminder, after hospitalisation in Al Din Hospital in Saudi Arabia for three weeks, for quadriplegia developed due to a fall from a great height, was flown to New Delhi on April 22.

Though the Health authorities, Eastern Medical Region, UAE, vide MIFTT (Medical Information for Fitness to Travel), claimed that Dharminder was conscious and alert, he was declared brought dead by local doctors.

As body of the deceased bore no external injuries and marks of electrocution, as reported by the UAE authorities, the family of the victim suspects foul play.

In a communiqué to higher authorities, including the President and the Prime Minister of India, Chand Singh of Nathumajra village has urged the authorities to probe the case.

Chand Singh had borrowed Rs 1.20 lakh to send his son Dharminder to Saudi Arabia 15 months ago. He was employed filler assistant in Al Tammam General Construction of East UAE.

Bhajan Singh and Chamkaur Singh, relatives of Dharminder, informed Nathumajra’s family a fortnight ago that Dharminder had received minor injuries while working on a project on April 1.

Though ideally treatment of any accident victim is got done by the employers, Chand Singh was shocked when Bhajan and Chamkaur informed him that Dharminder was being shifted to India on April 20. Chand Singh was asked to arrange an ambulance at the Delhi airport.

"While I had gone to tthe airport to receive my son, who according to them was fit and fine, they handed me over a 'virtual body', which could neither talk nor listen to me. When we took him to a doctor in Delhi, he declared him brought dead," Chand Singh said .

Despite the best efforts, the family could not get a case registered in connection with the incident at any of the Indian police stations and ultimately the body was cremated without getting a post-mortem examination conducted on it.

The family became suspicious about the cause of the death when Bhajan and Chamkaur stayed away from all rituals, including cremation and subsequent condolence meetings.

A perusal of xerox copies of documents sent by the UAE authorities revealed that Dharminder had fallen from a great height following electrocution. He had developed quadriplegia due to the fracture in cervical vertebrae number 5 and 6.

As cervical plates, screws and instrumentation system was not available at the medical centre, the procedure was got done at some other hospital. Declaring Dharminder conscious and alert, the authorities discharged him for shifting to India where he was declared brought dead shortly after arrival of the flight on April 22.


Moga Sex Scandal
AIG, SP get bail as CBI fails to present challan
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 29
Punjab police assistant inspector-general (AIG-Housing) Davinder Singh Garcha and Ropar SP Paramdip Singh Sandhu, both accused in the Moga sex scandal, have been granted regular bail by special judge, CBI, H.S. Madaan, as the CBI failed to submit challan against them within the stipulated period of 60 days.

Garcha and Sandhu, who were posted as SSP and SP (headquarters), respectively, at Moga, are facing charges under Sections 7 and 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

It was alleged that certain Moga residents, particularly some businessmen, were subjected to extortion and were bailed out only after money was paid. The infamous Moga sex scandal had virtually shaken the state police department in December last year.

Both officers were arrested on February 26 after the case was handed over to the CBI by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on the basis of a writ petition. Both were remanded in police custody for two days and were subsequently remanded in judicial custody from March 1.

Earlier, acting on the complaints of some alleged victims of “blackmailing”, the Punjab government had formed a special investigation team (SIT) to conduct probe into the case.

After hearing the arguments of defence counsels - Manoj Soin, S.S. Sukhija, Achhar Kumar and Varinder Kumar - CBI special judge H.S. Madaan released the accused on bail as per provisions of the Section 167 (2) of the CrPc in the wake of CBI’s failure to present the challan.


Do not ‘Akalise’ Punjabi conference: Cong
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee( PPCC) is unhappy with Punjabi University vice chancellor for not inviting its senior leaders for the Punjabi conference on the university campus tomorrow. About 300 delegates, some from Pakistan, have been invited for the conference.

Ajit Inder Singh Mofar, a Congress MLA from Sardulgarh, who had moved a resolution, later adopted unanimously by the Punjab Assembly during Budget session in March this year, to make teaching of Punjabi compulsory in all schools and its use mandatory in official work, today said he was disappointed he was not invited for the conference. He said the leader of the Opposition and PPCC president Rajinder Kaur Bhattal had played crucial role in getting the resolution passed unanimously in the House.

Mofar said because of the moving of the resolution by him and its unanimous adoption and efforts of Bhattal, education minister Dr Upinderjit Kaur was now having ordinances drafted to enforce the use of Punjabi in official work and make it compulsory in the schools, irrespective of status and category.

Appearing upset over the development, Mofar said the university authorities should stay above politics and the Punjabi conference should not be reduced to the status of an Akali conference. The universities should send out massages of fairness and academic impartiality and not of bias and partiality against any party and political individual. He said the “ Akalisation” of the academic institutions at the level of the university authorities was an unfortunate development and it should be avoided. He said of course not inviting those, who stand by Punjabi, was highly condemnable.


Vedanti’s view on ‘Khalistan’ puts SAD in fix
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 29
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today found itself in a sticky situation following an open support for creating “independent Sikh homeland” by Joginder Singh Vedanti, jathedar, Akal Takht, during his current visit to New York.

SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal had to face embarrassment when mediapersons sought his reaction on the announcement of Vedanti, who had stated that “the community has the right to separate Sikh state”.

This announcement was made by him on the occasion of Sikh Parade where Vedanti was the chief guest.

His statement also coincided with the 22nd anniversary of the “Khalistan declaration” made by the then five-member Panthic committee from Akal Takht on April 29, 1986.

The controversy happened at a time when SAD has been making all-out efforts to woo Hindu voters for the forthcoming Amritsar byelection.

The statement, however, has emboldened the hardliners such as the Dal Khalsa.

Its general secretary Kanwarpal Singh said after a long time, the jathedar has “articulated the collective aspiration” of Sikhs.


Kanganwal joins SAD
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, April 29
Mewa Singh Kanganwal, former district general secretary of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), with about a dozen of his supporters today joined the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).

Halka in charge SAD Chaudhary Abdul Gaffar in a function organised here today welcomed Kanganwal and his supporters.

Youth Akali leader Hardeep Singh Khatra was also present on the occasion.


Campaign against foeticide a success, claims MP
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, April 29
The campaign against female foeticide, which concluded on Sunday, has sent a positive message in the society and is expected to yield positive results. This was claimed by local MP Avinash Rai Khanna in a press statement here yesterday.

The campaign was organised under the Reproductive and Child Health-II (RCH-II) programme with financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in collaboration with the state Health Department and local NGOs.

At the functions held, as many as 950 women, including 246 mothers having two daughters and 154 girls who excelled in sports and education, were honoured to sensitise people to gender bias.

Eminent dignitaries such as Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Vijendra Jain, Advocate-General H.S. Mattewal, chief parliamentary secretary Nand Lal and MLAs Sohan Singh Thandal and Sant Baba Ajit Singh took part in the awareness activities.

Noted women social activists like chief of the All-India Pingalwara Charitable Society Inderjit Kaur, state minister for health and family welfare Laxmi Kanta Chawla, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's wife Surinder Kaur Badal and principal secretary, Tourism, Geetika Kalah provided an added fillip to the campaign, Khanna said.


Pak NGO publishes Hindu Vikrami calendar
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

A copy of the calendar brought by activists of SAFMA in Amritsar
A copy of the calendar brought by activists of SAFMA in Amritsar on Monday. — Photo by Vishal Kumar

Amritsar, April 29
The Punjab Lok Sujag, a Pakistani non-government organisation (NGO), which has been building a bridge between Indian and Pakistani Punjab has published a colourful calendar, commencing from the desi (traditional Punjabi) month ‘chet’ .

The copies of the calendar, published as per traditional Hindu Vikrami calendar, for the first time in Pakistan were brought by Shafiq Butt, a senior functionary of the Sujag who crossed to India along with other members of SAFMA, here today. From Attari border, they went to Patiala to attend a conference on the Punjabi language.

The calendar is structured on ‘bara maha’ enshrined in the Gurbani. It starts from chet followed by baisakh, jeth, hadh, saun, bhadon etc. And all seasons are described as per the ‘bara maha’.

In this calendar, a year consists of 365 days. Some of its months have 30 days, some 31 and others 32. This calendar is in traditional use in Punjab (both in India and Pakistan). Later, this calendar was replaced by other calendars, including the Islamic calendar, the Nanakshahi calendar and the Gregorian calendar

Butt said the Sujag had been organising melas in various parts of Pakistan, relating to celebrities of joint Punjab . “We (Sujag), along with another theaterical group (Lok Ras), had staged more than 450 Punjabi plays in different parts of Pakistan. “We have not performed even a single Urdu or non-Punjabi play so far,” he said.

He said the Sujag was dedicated to promote composite Punjabi culture.



Missing documents of Pak passengers restored
Tribune News Service

Attari, April 29
The General Railway Police (GRP) yesterday recovered two Pakistani passengers’ passports and other documents which they had lost while travelling from Amritsar to Attari by the Samjhauta Express.

According to sources, the Pakistanis, Farhan Yousif and Momin Anwar, had lost the waist-bag in a urinal of the train. It contained passports, mobile phones and Pakistani currency. The two reported the matter at the Attari railway station to the GRP authorities who immediately informed their counterparts at the Chheharta railway station.

The lost articles were recovered by Constable Lakhbir Singh at the railway line in Kot Khalsa near the Chheharta railway station. He immediately informed his officers at Attari. The recovered articles were later handed over to the owners. The two Pakistanis tried to give Indian currency as an award, but ASI Bua Ram refused to accept it stating that it was their duty.


SGPC gets Todar Mal Haveli
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 29
Finally, the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) succeeded in transferring the Todar Mal’s Jehaz Haveli, Fatehgarh Sahib, in the name of its gurdwara.

This was disclosed by SGPC chief Avtar Singh while talking to The Tribune here today. He said the members of the trust, who had decided to transfer the heritage building, would be honoured.

The heritage building was sold to a private trust in September 2003. The SGPC president said the haveli was an important heritage building for the Sikhs and would be preserved in its original form.

The building was transferred in the name of the Punjab Charitable Trust, a Mohali-based registered body.

Dewan Todar Mal holds an important position in Sikh history by virtue of his having performed the last rites of younger Sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh, Baba Zorawar Singh (9) and Baba Fateh Singh (7), who were entombed alive by the Mughals for not embracing Islam, and Mata Gujri, who had died of shock.

The Dewan had bought the most expensive piece of land in the world history to cremate the Sikh martyrs, as he was asked to vertically place gold coins on the land and only that much of land was given to him which he could cover with the gold coins. As per an estimate, he had paid more than 78,000 gold coins to buy a small piece of land where the three martyrs were cremated. Gurdwara Joytisaroop was built on the land.


Nod to projects at Anandpur Sahib
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 29
Union tourism minister Ambika Soni today informed the Rajya Sabha that the Centre had approved development projects at Anandpur Sahib and Talwandi Sabo as part of plans to mark the tercentenary of “gur-ta-gaddi” diwas of Guru Granth Sahib.

The government has given its approval for taking up the development of Anandpur Sahib and Talwandi Sabo as commemorative projects under the tercentenary celebrations of the “gur-ta-gaddi” diwas .

The government has approved funding to the tune of Rs 179 crore to the Punjab government, out of this Rs 99 crore is for Anandpur Sahib, while Rs 79 crore is for Talwandi Sabo.


Woman’s plea against journalist
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
A Ferozepore resident putting up in Ludhiana on Tuesday alleged that she was ‘exploited’ by a journalist and others in the name of establishing links for solving a matrimonial dispute.

Seeking an inquiry into the matter, the alleged victim in her petition against inspectors, an assistant sub-inspector and others has also sought protection. The petitioner has claimed that the journalist approached her with the offer of help during her visits to the court in connection with the matrimonial dispute. He, later, offered to accommodate her in his two-room flat, which he later sold to her. But, he kept dilly-dallying the issue of executing the sales-deed.

The petitioner added that the journalist offered to marry her. But later kept sending her to politicians and police officials on the pretext of helping her establish links. When she objected to it, the journalist not only threatened her, but also started harassing her, the petitioner alleged.


4 held in Nurpur Bedi murder case
Tribune News Service

Ropar, April 29
Four accused in Nurpur Bedi murder case were arrested today, while one of the victim’s friends, too, has been booked and arrested for hatching conspiracy in killing him.

The police arrested accused Bachittar Singh, Baljeet Singh, Lakhwinder Singh Laki and Lakhvir Singh from the Morinda railway station today. All of them were planning to leave the state, the police said.

Lakhvir was accompanying Kesar Singh Malhi, a resident of Simbal Majra village (Jetewal), on April 27, after attending a marriage at Anandpur Sahib. He was driving the motorcycle, while Kesar was riding pillion.

SSP P.K. Sinha said Lakhvir had hatched a conspiracy with the other four accused in killing Kesar. Lakhvir was driving the bike slow and stopped at a liquor vend to have beer, so that he and Kesar would be separated from other two bikers and that Kesar could be killed easily. The police is yet to arrest Ajwinder Singh Beiharan from Beiharan village.

Following the killing, residents of Jetewal village had held a demonstration on April 28, demanding the immediate arrest of all accused. They blocked traffic and brought village to a standstill for around an hour or so.

Kesar was killed on April 27 while returning with his three friends after attending a marriage at Anandpur Sahib. All four were on two motorcycles. At 11.30 pm when they reached near Sangatpur village, some car-borne youth attacked them.

The accused fired three rounds of gunshot and killed Kesar. He died on the spot.


Death in Dera
Snakebite killed boy, claim attendants
Parents allege murder
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 29
Fatehgarh Sahib SSP Kaustubh Sharma has deputed the circle officer, Amloh, to ascertain the cause of death of Amandeep Singh (15) whose decomposed body was exhumed from the premises of Dera Bhairon Nath near Paheri Bridge in Amloh subdivision yesterday.

While the attendants maintained that Amandeep died due to snakebite, parents of the deceased alleged that their son was killed. The body was cremated at Shantivan crematorium here today.

Earlier, a panel of physicians conducted the postmortem at Rajindra Hospital, Patiala. The viscera has been sent for chemical examination to the state laboratory.

Talking to The Tribune, Dr Sharma said he had directed Amloh DSP Gurpreet Singh to study the circumstantial evidence at the dera premises and proceed further in the case.

“Instead of waiting for the viscera report, I have directed the circle officer to conduct an investigation of circumstantial evidence at and around the dera premises,” Dr Sharma said, adding that the external examination of the body did not provide any clue as it was badly decomposed. As far as the burial of the body was concerned, the law did not prohibit the practice, he said.


Engineering student's body traced
Bhaddal college Principal, lecturer booked
Megha Mann
Tribune News Service

Ropar, April 29
The body of Gaurav Wahi (19), a student of IET, Bhaddal, who went missing five days ago, was traced at Jalla Saunda village in Fatehgarh Sahib district today.

Following this, the Ropar sadar police booked the institute's principal and a lecturer for abetting suicide on the complaint of the father of the deceased Ashok Wahi.

Gaurav's body was spotted early this morning by some of his family friends, who had been searching him for the past five days.

Gaurav's uncle, Satish Wahi, identified the body at around 9:30 a.m. The family members and the police brought the body to the Civil Hospital Ropar for post-mortem at around 2 p.m.

After hearing the news of Gaurav's body being found, more than 60 students assembled at the hospital.

The body was cremated in the afternoon.

Later, Gaurav's father, Ashok Wahi, former president of the Ropar municipal committee, lodged a complaint with the Ropar sadar police.

Acting on the complaint, the police lodged a case of abetment to suicide against principal V.P. Singh and lecturer Nitin Shyam and others.

SSP P.K. Sinha said more people could be booked in the course of investigation. No arrests had been made so far.

Gaurav went missing on April 23, after sending an SMS to his brother that he was going to commit suicide. He was allegedly insulted in college, which reportedly embarrassed him, forcing him to take the extreme step.

His disappearance had triggered students' anger against the college management and a series of ugly events followed later, including dharna by students. They also damaged college property worth lakhs, leading to the closure of the college for more than 10 days.


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