P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Punjab Civic Polls 
HC refuses to stay declaration of results
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today refused to stay the declaration of results of panchayat samitis and zila parishad elections held in Punjab. In a related development, the State Election Commission informed the high court that all lambardars had been allowed to contest the gram panchayat elections.

In a petition filed before the high court, Ludhiana resident Kamikar Singh had earlier sought direction to the state of Punjab and the State Election Commission for quashing a notification issued on April 28.

The notification was regarding the declaration of results of the elections to the panchayat samitis and zila parishads in the state by May 15. This, the petitioner had added, was before the gram panchayat elections in the state, which were scheduled to be held on May 26.

The petitioner had also sought directions for postponing the declaration of the results. The same, he had added, should be declared after the polling to the gram panchayats was over.

It was contended before the court that the results of the panchayat samitis and zila parishad polls were likely to influence the thinking of the voters. As such, it should be withheld till May 26.

The petitioner claimed he was one of the presidents of a five-member presidium of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar panch pardhan) and the party was fielding its candidates in the panchayat samiti, zila parishad and gram panchayat polls.

After hearing the counsel for the petitioner and the state counsel at length, a high court Division Bench of Justice K.S. Garewal and Justice Daya Chaudhary were of the opinion that the results were unlikely to influence the minds of the people exercising their franchise during the gram panchayat elections. As such, the Bench dismissed the petition.

As the matter regarding the eligibility of lambardars to contest the elections came up for hearing, the court was told that initially they were denied the opportunity to contest the polls on the ground that they were holding office of profit.

But now, the State Election Commission had allowed all the lambardars to contest the elections. Instructions in this regard had been forwarded to all additional deputy commissioners. 


Badal for time-bound action programme
Safe drinking water for all
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today called for chalking out a multi-pronged time-bound strategy to achieve the objective of “safe drinking water for all” through proper monitoring of rural water supply schemes by the application of reverse osmosis (RO), silver ionisation and ultra-violet techniques depending on the quality of water.

Presiding over a meeting of the expert committee on "Audit of drinking water quality and rural water supply schemes" here, Badal directed the chief secretary to convene a meeting of officers of the Punjab State Pollution Control Board, Punjab State Council for Science and Technology, departments of Water Supply and Sanitation and Health to finalise the modalities to implement the schemes aimed at purifying water, especially in the most polluted zones of the state with a high variant of toxicity due to industrial wastes and effluents and overuse of pesticides.

He also asked the secretary, Water Supply and Sanitation, to identify the processes of purification of water block wise after carrying out an extensive survey, as the quality of water varied from village to village.

Badal assured the committee that there was no paucity of funds for the implementation of the recommendations given by the expert committee since water was the lifeline, and the state government was committed to providing safe water to the people.

Meanwhile, Badal held detailed deliberations with the team of Ion Exchange India Ltd, a company in the field of water purification.

He asked the firm to undertake a study, especially in the Malwa belt, which had a high incidence of cancer to determine the nature of contamination in the water and suggest versatile technology to improve the quality of water for drinking and irrigation purposes.


Block Samiti, Zila Parishad Elections
It’s balle balle for Akali Dal
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, May 14
It has been a clean sweep for the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in the Panchayat Samiti and Zila Parishad elections in the district.

In the list of nine candidates elected unopposed to the Block Samiti and Zila Parishad elections, while as many as eight belonged to the SAD, the remaining one was from the Congress.

Out of the total, 21 seats had been bagged by the ruling SAD. The list of candidates elected unopposed to the Panchayat Samiti include: Baldev Kaur from Andu zone of Raikot Samiti; Baljit Kaur from Sohian zone of the Dehlon constituency; Gurtej Kaur from Barmali Pur zone of the Doraha constituency; Ajmer Singh from Kohara zone of Ludhiana-I; and Surinderjit Singh from Sirah, Charan Singh from Mangat and Amarjit Kaur from Khuajke, all from Ludhiana-II. Those elected unopposed to the Zila Parishad include Malkiat Singh from Hambrah and Paramjit Kaur from Gill constituencies. All except Baljit Kaur belonged to the SAD.Baljit Singh, SAD candidate, won from the Baddowal constituency by a margin of 430 votes; Paramjit Kaur of the BJP-SAD combine won by a margin of 494 votes; Kashmir Kaur from Chaunter and Kulwant Singh from Boran, both of the SAD-BJP, won with a margin of 105 and 752 votes, respectively. Four winners declared from the Raikot constituency, were from the SAD, namely, Baldev Kaur, Karnail Singh (Talwandi Rai), Har Prasad Singh (Kamaalpura) and Gurmail Singh (Jhordan).

The winners in different zones of the Kila Raipur (all SAD candidates) constituency included: Gurmukh Singh (Latala); Rachhpal Singh Jartoli (Kalakh); and Harleen Kaur from Bhaini Sahib; Paramjit Singh Sarabha from Sarabha; Jagtar Singh from Barundi; Amandeep Kaur from Phallewal; Jagjit Singh Samra from Pohir; Raksha Devi Butahri from Rurka; Sajjan Singh from Khatra; Paramjit Kaur from Dhaul Kalan; Satinder Singh Bhutta from Bhutta and Surinder Kaur from Shankar.

At the Panchayat Samiti level, the Congress made its presence felt in the Samrala constituency where it bagged six out of the total 15 seats. The remaining nine went to the SAD. The district has 227 Block Samiti members for 12 Block Samitis at Dehlon, Doraha, Jagraon, Khanna, Ludhiana-I, Ludhiana-II, Macchiwara, Pakhowal, Samrala, Sidhwan Bet, Sudhar and Raikot. The Zila Parishad has 25 members. Results for Manewal block in Raikot and Pherurai in Machchiwara have been postponed till May 26.

Rural turf

Patiala: The SAD ensured that it still dominated rural areas by wresting a majority of seats in 15 of 21 Zila Parishad zones of Patiala district where counting of votes was held today.

SAD’s Hamir Singh had already been declared elected as he faced no opposition in Bammnah zone. SAD workers took to streets, distributed sweets and danced to the beats of the dhol as results were declared.

The process of counting of votes was postponed in five Zila Parishad and 25 Block Samiti zones in the district keeping in view incidents of alleged rigging and poll violence in certain villages and in some booths.

Interestingly, the Congress managed to put up a “show of strength” at Neelpur and Khera Gajju zones, despite stiff opposition put up by the rival SAD candidates. Both the zones fell in the Rajpura Assembly constituency which, the BJP had claimed as its stronghold. Congress candidate Harkesh Kaur defeated BJP’s Bhupinder Kaur in Neelpur Zila Parishad zone, while, Manohar Lal of Congress defeated his SAD rival Ashok Kumar by a considerable margin of 2100 votes.

In Loh Simbli zone of Ghanaur, SAD candidate Anureet Kaur humiliated her immediate rival independent candidate Amarjit Kaur by a whopping difference of 5219 votes. SAD’s Gulshan Kaur wrested control from Gurvinder Kaur of the Congress by defeating the latter by 1701 votes in Jangpura zone. Surmukh Singh of the SAD marched with victory as he stunned his arch-rival Bahadur Singh of the Congress by 7,441 votes in Bahadurgarh zone in the Ghanaur Assembly segment. Duddhan Saadhan zone witnessed SAD’s Fauzinder Singh stealing the show, as he defeated his nearest rival Harjinder Singh of the Congress by 5485 votes.

The margin was comparatively thin in Bhunerheri zone where SAD’s Surjit Singh defeated Randhir Singh of the Congress by 308 votes. Balbera zone saw SAD’s Gurmail Singh emerging as a winner as Gurmail Singh defeated Congress candidate Ujjagar Ram by 2,930 votes. On the other hand, SAD’s Bhupinder Singh emerged the winner as he defeated his nearest rival Surinder Singh of the Congress by 2,668 votes in Mian zone.

In Dhanetha zone, Congress candidate Gurdip Singh was floored by his rival, SAD’s Santokh Singh by 3,595 votes while, Arnetu zone voters elected Daljit Singh as their Zila Parishad representative. Daljit Singh defeated Congress candidate Baljit Singh by 3511 votes.

Kalyan zone witnessed SAD’s Jaspal Singh defeating his rival Congress candidate Ramji Dass by 8,693 votes. In Daftriwala zone, SAD candidate Mohinder Singh Lalwa floored his rival Mohar Singh of the Congress by 3,510 votes.

DC postpones counting

Amritsar/Tarn Taran: The SAD kept its rural turf intact while its coalition partner, the BJP, failed to set its foothold in the countryside, especially in Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts .

However, following violence on the eve of elections, the deputy commissioner Tarn Taran, indefinitely postponed the counting of votes for Zila Parishad elections. The counting of Palasour and Daburji, out of 25 zones in Tarn Taran. The BJP could not open its account in these elections so far.

Except for Raya, where Congress won about 10 Panchayat Samiti seats, out of the 20 results declared so far, the party failed to get a majority in any of the segments of Amritsar district. As per the official information, out of total results of 173 seats declared in Amritsar district, SAD won 132 seats, while BJP could open its account by winning only one seat in Verka.

Single seat for BJP

Gurdaspur: The ruling SAD-BJP won 17 Zila Parishad seats while the Congress could only make it in Madhopur. Out of the total 25 seats, six were already declared unopposed. In the Block Samiti elections, the SAD-BJP won 111 seats, while 19 went to the Congress and five for the independents. Out of total 289 seats results were declared for 135 seats till filing of the report.

Meanwhile, Congress supporters lodged a protest against the Sujanput MLA Dinesh Singh, alias Babbu, for allegedly tampering with the ballot papers at a counting centre set up in SD College campus in Pathankot.

Lone Cong winner

Sangrur: Sangrur district, considered to be bastion of the SAD in the Malwa-belt, today once again proved this by capturing Sangrur Zila Parishad by winning in 11 zones out of the 12 zones.

From the Benra (SC) zone, Jasbir Singh of the SAD had earlier been elected unopposed. Thus, SAD has won 12 seats, out of the total 21 ZP zones of Sangrur district.

However, the Congress candidate has won in only one zone. The counting of votes of two ZP zones, namely Rogla and Andana, will be done on May 26 after the re-polling on that day at seven polling booths in these two zones.

Following the reported incidents of booth-capturing on May 12 in the Andana zone, the re-polling was ordered at one polling booth each in three villages, Maha Singh Wala, Bahmaniwala and Bhullan, while re-polling was also ordered at two polling booths each in Janal and Samuran villages in the Rogla ZP zone.

ADCcum-returning officer for the ZP elections Indu Malhotra said this evening that she had received results from 12 ZP zones so far, of which 11 had gone in favour of the SAD candidates and one in favour of Congress candidate.

Malkiat Singh of SAD had won from the Bhutal Kalan zone, Harinder Singh (SAD) from the Chhajli zone, Gurtej Singh (SAD) from the Bassiark zone, Sanminder Kaur (SAD) from the Mehlan zone, Shamsher Singh (SAD) from the Mangwal zone, Darshan Singh (SAD) from the Bagrian zone, Jasbir Singh (SAD) from the Chaundan zone, Surjit Kaur (SAD) from the Hambalwas zone, Gurmeet Kaur (SAD) from the Mimsa zone, Paramjit Kaur (Congress) from the Ballian zone, Nachhattar Singh (SAD) from the Shadihari zone, and Bahadar Singh (SAD) from the Majhi zone.

The results of only 10 zones of the Block Panchayat Samitis had been received by the evening so far.

The following candidates have won: Sham Singh (Congress) from the Badrukhan zone, Manjit Kaur (SAD) from the Ghabdan zone, Nirantak Singh (Congress) from the Ballian zone, Harmanpreet Singh (Independent) from the Mangwal zone, Harcharan Singh (Independent) from the Ubhawal zone, Paramjit Singh (SAD) from the Chatha Sekhwan zone, Ranjit Singh (Congress) from the Kular Khurad zone, Avtar Singh (SAD) from the Kherri zone, Satwinder Kaur (Congress) from Ealwal and Kamaljit Kaur (SAD) from Khurana.

Cong rooted out

Moga: The ruling SAD bagged the Zila Parishad and all five Block Samitis with a thumping majority in the politically sensitive Moga district. In the Zila Parishad elections, the SAD had won eight out of the total 15 seats at the time of filing of this report.

In the rest, the SAD candidates were leading with comfortable margins. These who include Karnail Singh from Ajitwal seat, Nachattar Kaur from Ghal Kalan, Gurlabh Singh from Kot-ise-Khan, Kuljit Kaur from Fatehgarh Panchtoor, Sukhmandar Singh from Dhudhike, Manjit Kaur from Singhawala, Gurbax Singh from Ramuwala and Sanjha Singh from Nihalsinghwala.

In the Moga-I Block Samiti, out of the total of 23 seats, SAD bagged 20, leaving only three seats to the Congress.

Counting postponed in Nabha

Patiala: Monday’s poll violence cast its shadow on counting of votes. Counting has been postponed in five Block Samiti polling booths of the Nabha Block by the deputy commissioner, who is also the district electoral officer.

Meanwhile, DC Patiala, D.S. Grewal, has ordered the closure of all liquor vends in the district today in view of counting of votes. The counting of Block Samiti votes was to take place yesterday at the Nabha-based Art and Crafts College. The counting of these votes would now be held alongwith the counting of repolled votes. Five booths of Patiala district were going in for re-polling on May 26. “Though no date has been fixed for counting of these votes, it will be done along with votes which were to be repolled at different booths on May 26,” said SDM, Nabha, Balraj Singh Sekhon.

The counting has been postponed in the light of the Election Commission guidelines which specified that recounting could be resorted to at a place where four to five booths of a segment of 25 booths were subjected to alleged violence or rigging. “Since we fell within the EC-laid parameters, we preferred to resort to recounting of votes,” said Sekhon.


Sukhbir mollifies BJP MLA
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 14
The SAD leadership seems to be in patch-up mode with sulking leaders of its alliance partner, the BJP, after days of raising fingers at each other.

SAD president Sukhbir Badal today held a closed-door meeting with local BJP leaders, including local MLA Anil Joshi and district president Bakshi Ram Arora, at Joshi’s residence here. The MLA was recently in the eye of a storm for his ‘proactive’ role during the Zila Parishad and Block Samiti elections.

Joshi, believed to be the protégé of local MP Navjot Sidhu, had faced the wrath of Akalis on the eve of elections for staging a dharna near Daburji village in Tarn Taran district against the attitude of SAD towards the party supporters.

During the dharna, several persons of both parties were injured. Akali workers allegedly fired at and injured BJP leaders, including Joshi. The personal vehicle of the BJP legislator was set on fire by SAD workers.

However, SAD MLA from Tarn Taran Harmit Singh Sidhu had blamed Joshi for instigating supporters of his party. Even during elections, supporters of both parties clashed, resulting in injuries to many.

What emerged from the meeting is not immediately known, but sources in the BJP said Sukhbir Badal tried to pacify the BJP cadre, especially MLA Joshi. He assured the leadership that such incidents would not be allowed to happen in the future. According to the sources, Akali workers had been advised to refrain from provoking the supporters of the BJP. They also said important decisions of the government like transfers and postings of bureaucrats and police officials would be taken only after consultations between the parties.

When asked about his visit, Sukhbir Badal said he had condemned violence. “It was an unfortunate (Tarn Taran violence). We have directed the state machinery to maintain law and order,” he added.

However, these days Joshi is facing criticism from various local trading and business organisations over his comments against the president of the state unit of the Beopar Mandal. 


Poll results engineered: Cong 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
Describing the Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti elections as a farce and murder of democracy in Punjab in broad daylight, the Congress spokesman Bir Devinder Singh said that he was, “Proud of the Congress workers and their bravery for facing the ‘goonda raj’ since the nominations for Panchayati Raj elections started”.

In a statement issued here today, Bir Devinder said, “Brazen lawlessness and failure of the law and order machinery reminded rural Punjab of the “tribal era” where there was no governance, no civil rights and no rule of law, only might was right”. He said that the very essence of democracy as enshrined in the Constitution, a free and fair election of the representatives of the people has been mercilessly murdered by the Akali Dal.

Condemning the unprecedented violence that took many lives and left more than a hundred injured on the day of the polls was the worst day in the history of democracy in Punjab. He asserted that even the ministers and MLAs of the ruling alliance were not spared by the goons. The criminal silence on part of the state election commission also indicates the political pressure under which it had to work.

He added that the state election commission refused to listen to a Congress delegation led by former Advocate General, Joginder Singh Wasu, on Tuesday. Even today the election commission refused to listen to the complaint of Harchand Kaur, the Congress MLA from Sherpur.

Meanwhile, Jassi Khangura, Congress MLA from Kila Raipur has issued a statement saying that the government used every illegal means at its disposal to produce a grossly unrepresentative result. The SAD-BJP alliance engineered the illegal detention of Congress workers and leaders, put extreme pressure and issued threats to Congress sarpanches and panches, manipulated ballot boxes.


Beating up of BJP workers
Punj meets Badal, calls a spade a spade
Sarbjit Dhaliwal

Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 14“The power baton handed by us to you should not used on our heads”. This is what the BJP leadership told Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at a meeting at the CM’s residence yesterday on poll violence in which a number of BJP workers were beaten up or hurt by SAD leaders .

The Tribune today got the information on what happened at the meeting. The BJP, at the receiving end in the Zila Parishad and Block Samiti elections, dominated its proceedings.

Telling Badal in clear terms he is Chief Minister of Punjab due to the BJP, senior leader Balbir Punj asked him you term BJP leaders as“ bhai” (brothers) but your people beat them up with sticks. “ You have never treated the main opposition Congress so shabbily in the elections as you have treated your coalition partner-the BJP”.

“ An Akali sarpanch commands more respect and has more influence in government circles than that of BJP MLA”, Badal was informed. Badal listened all this patiently.

A senior BJP leader narrated story of Pandavas and Kauravas at the meeting. He told Badal Pandavs had asked for only five villages from Kauravas but latter refused to give an inch. What followed became great chapter of history. “ We have asked only for a few Zila Parishad and Block Samiti seats but you refused. If our workers cannot contest Zila Parishad and Block Samiti elections what else will they do”, said a senior BJP leader at the meeting.

Sources said when Punj took out resignations of all BJP ministers and parliamentary secretaries from his pocket, a silence fell at the meeting. On seeing situation going out of hand, senior leaders like Ranjit Singh Brahmpura and Capt Kanwaljit Singh tried to pacify the BJP leaders. However, Parkash Singh Badal saved the situation from reaching point of no return. His tone at the meeting was excusatory and he repeatedly expressed regret over what happened on the polling day. Punj told SAD leadership it was unfortunate it ( SAD) had not digested the victory of 19 BJP MLAs in the Punjab Assembly elections.

BJP MLAs were very hostile at the meeting. Incidents such as Tarn Taran, Bathinda and the DGP’s mention repeatedly figured at the meeting. BJP leader Manoranjan Kalia gave vent to his anger against the DGP for not responding to his midnight telephone calls to him.

The BJP had gone to Badal’s house by making up mind that it would tell the SAD patron it would support the SAD government from outside and not be part in the Cabinet. Sources said certain Akali leaders referred to certain statements made by BJP leaders against Badal. However, responding to that a senior BJP leader told them that they should also remember that thousands of BJP workers had raised slogans of “ Badal zindabad” and had marched in streets holding Akali flags and BJP flags aloft during the last Assembly elections.

Meanwhile, sources said at a meeting held late evening in Delhi, BJP leader L.K. Advani had given a go- ahead to the Punjab leadership of the party to move to rural areas with renewed vigour. He told BJP leaders including Punj, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Kalia and Rajnath Singh that if the Akali leaders can contest elections in municipal committees and corporations in the state why cannot the BJP leaders contest elections of zila parishads and panchayat samitis.

Sources said Advani was so upset over what happened with his party’s rank and file on the polling day in Punjab that he refused to meet a senior Akali leader. The Akali leader tried repeatedly to fix an appointment with Advani but he got no response in this regard, it is learnt.


BJP’s threat a drama
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 14
The resignation threat by BJP leaders yesterday was nothing but a political drama as they have love for the chair.

Stating this here today, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, president, PPCC, said the BJP had failed to “wipe out” the tears of its party workers throughout the state who were severely beaten up by workers of its alliance partner SAD.

The recent spat between the two ruling partners had exposed their true faces, as both parties were trying to upstage each other.


Monika Stabbing Case
Irate family members block highway
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, May 14
Family members of Monika, who was stabbed to death here yesterday, assembled on the busy Jalandhar-Jammu highway outside the local SD College and raised slogans against the college management, disrupting vehicular traffic for over two hours this afternoon.

They were accompanied by some relatives and political leaders.

After cremating the body, the irate protesters, including Sulakshan Singh, brother of the deceased, and his mother, instead of going to their homes, staged a dharna on the highway.

Certain leaders, including a municipal councillor of Pathankot, also addressed the gathering.

Meanwhile, some armed youths forcibly entered the main gate of the college and barged into the office of the principal and ransacked his room, besides smashing windowpanes and other goods.

The angry protesters smashed window-panes of the library, besides hurling bricks at the school building.

The protesters were up in arms against the college management for not attending the cremation of the girl. They were also demanding refund of college fees deposited by Monika Rani Minas.

The jam was later lifted after the college management agreed to refund the fee and pacified the protesters, saying the college was already closed for two days to express sympathy with the family.

College principal Shamrendra Shama and president of college trust have lodged a complaint with the police against over 52 protesters who trespassed the college premises, ransacked college property and made an attempt to kill the college principal.

A local court, meanwhile, remanded Jasbir Singh, who stabbed Monika Rani Minas to death, to 14-day judicial custody.


CFLs: Board mulls reward for panchayats
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 14
The PSEB is planning to extend cash rewards to the panchayats of those villages that have achieved full conversion to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).

At the same time, the board is likely to give a little relaxation in time to over 10 lakh farmers, who have been told to switch over to CFLs by April 15. The board was likely to extend the deadline by June 30.

Though the reward amount is yet to be decided, the board is contemplating giving Rs 1 lakh each to the panchayats achieving full conversion to CFLs, sources said.

With each of he 10 lakh tube well connections in Punjab having two lamps, the board estimates switching over to CFL lamps at tube wells alone could save about 150 MWs, almost equivalent to power generated by a unit of a thermal plant.

Board chief Y.S. Ratra, the sources said, was more in favour of creating awareness among people on the use of the CFL technology than on imposing any stern restrictions.

Experts of the board have estimated that at least another 600 MWs of power can be saved if about 45 lakh domestic consumers in the state use CFLs in their verandahs, bathrooms and kitchens.

The board’s CFL Committee, headed by the member (Finance) Anurag Aggrawal, it was learnt, had proposed to extend the deadline of tube-well disconnection from April 15 to May 15. But, the Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti polls’ code of conduct prevented it from doing so.

Interestingly, the deadline passed quietly or was allowed to pass so, as the government could not have afforded to annoy the dominating farming community ahead of the elections. Now, it could be extended up to June 30, the sources said. 


Torture of accused, cop suspended
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, May 14
Head constable Mahabir Saini posted at police station division-II here has been suspended torturing a resident of Mamun last night. Victim Balbir Singh and some of his friends were picked up by the police on the charge of stealing electricity motors from a store.

Sources said Balbir Singh was picked up by the police from Mamun on Tuesday afternoon and after questioning he was made to sit inside the police station till late last night. The cops later gave him beating and allegedly forced him to admit the crime.

The police station where incident occurred is headed by station house officer Dev Dutt who is a relative of local MLA Master Mohan Lal.

Coming to the rescue of the victim, a BJP worker today accompanied the victim to the MLA's house and complained against the SHO to Reva Sharma, wife of Master Mohan Lal. SP Harpreet Singh said the head constable was suspended after he came to know about this. 


Journalists hold protest march
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 14
Journalists here marched to protest against the attack on mediapersons covering Zila Parishad and Block Samiti elections by SAD “goons” in Bathinda on May 12.

Sporting black badges, carrying placards and banners and condemning the systematic attack, the agitators marched from the Press Club to the secretariat and submitted a memorandum addressed to the Governor to the deputy commissioner (DC). The DC expressed regret over the incident and said the memorandum would be immediately faxed to the Governor. It was decided all mediapersons would wear black badges till the guilty were brought to book.

The matter became all the more serious as the incident occurred in a village falling in the Lambi constituency, represented by the Chief Minister, also the home minister.

It was a matter of shame that the BJP, an alliance partner, held a series of meetings on the issue of violence by SAD workers on May 13, but the attack on the Press was not even discussed. Ironically, both alliance partners never missed an opportunity to make tall claims about standing up for the rights of the media, the protesters pointed out.

The CM should give a commitment that such incidents would not be repeated in the future.


Youth dies in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, May 14
Gurjeet Singh (24) of Balewal village was killed in a road accident near Langrain village here today. Gurjeet was working as granthi in a gurdwara of his village.

He was coming to his village after his engagement ceremony in Haryana. Near Langrian village his car collided with an electricity pole.


Lotteries restrained from using photos of kids in ads
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
A high court Division Bench of Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Jaswant Singh today restrained the Punjab state lotteries from using the photographs/pictures of children in the advertisements issued in connection with draws taken out by them.

The orders came during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation filed by Panchklula-based advocate Anirudh Kush. He had referred to an advertisement issued by the Punjab State Lotteries, published in a newspaper on April 22, wherein it had been stated, alongside the photograph of a child, “Fifth fail or pass, change your fortune with Punjab State Lottery.” This, according to the petitioner, was an attempt to allure young minds into buying lottery tickets and thereby abetting a sort of gambling.

Reversion stayed

The high court today directed the state of Punjab to constitute educational tribunal expeditiously for redressing the grievances of the employees of aided and unaided institutes. The directions come on a petition filed by principal of Talwara-based Sri Guru Harkrishan Public Senior Secondary School Jasbir Kaur. She had challenged the school managing committee’s order whereby she was reverted to the teacher’s post after
functioning as principal for over five years as she had allegedly demanded basic scale for the
teaching staff.

After hearing her counsel Kapil Kakkar at length, the Bench of Justice Ashutosh Mohunta and Justice Kanwaljit Singh Ahluwalia stayed her reversion and issued notice of motion to the state and the managing committee for July 15.

Notice of motion

A high court Division Bench of Justice M.M. Kumar and Justice Sabina today issued notice of motion for May 26 to the state of Punjab and others on a petition filed by former DGP S.S. Virk seeking directions for placing under suspension the services of Vigilance head Sumedh Singh Saini and five others.

The petitioner also sought directions for initiation of necessary disciplinary proceedings against Saini, along with SSP Surinder Pal Singh, SP Balkar Singh Sidhu, SP Shiv Kumar, SP Surjit Singh Grewal, and DSP Gurcharan. The action, the petitioner added, should be initiated as they had “intentionally and purposely violated the fundamental rights, as well as human rights, of the petitioner and law laid down by the apex court in D.K. Basu’s case.”

Besides this, they had committed offences punishable under Sections 166, 167, 177, 342, 367 & 120-B of IPC, while committing illegal detention of the petitioner. Saini, he said, could not be trusted to head an important and sensitive department like the Vigilance Bureau.


Woman strangulated by husband, in-laws
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, May 14
A 30-year-old woman of Tatley village, near here, was allegedly strangulated to death by her husband and in-laws last night.

According to the police, Manjit Kaur was strangulated to death by her second husband Daljit Singh and family members after she objected her husband's illicit relations with a woman of the area.

In a complaint to the police, Malik Singh, brother of the deceased, said Daljit Singh informed him this morning that Manjit Kaur was not well. After reaching his sister’s house, the complainant said, he found Manjit dead and the family claimed that she had committed suicide.

He said after the death of Gurjit Singh, first husband of his sister, Manjit Kaur was married to Gurjit’s younger brother Daljit. She even had a son and daughter from Daljit, besides a daughter from the first marriage. Manjit had been objecting to Daljit's illicit relations for long, but he threatened her saying he would marry the woman, alleged Malik Singh.

After receiving information, DSP Jasdeep Singh reached the scene of crime. Noticing the police present at his house, Daljit took out a glass bottle, smashed it against the wall and made an attempt to slit his wrists.

After a high drama, the police nabbed Daljit, his father Mohinder Singh and mother Kanso. The police has also booked Daljit’s sister Baljit Kaur and her husband Satnam Singh for their involvement in the case.

A case of murder has been registered against the five at Sadar police station. 


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