P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Poll Rigging
Only Prez rule will do: Cong
Bajwa says all 44 Cong MLAs to quit Assembly
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 15
The PPCC, terming Panchayat elections as farce, has decided to meet President Pratibha Patil tomorrow to seek imposition of Governor’s rule in the state.

A meeting of the Congress Legislative Party, held under the leadership of PPCC president Rajinder Kaur Bhattal here today, decided to meet the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), the home minister and the President in New Delhi to apprise them of large-scale violence, rigging and misuse of official machinery during the elections.

Bhattal said it was a murder of democracy in the state and the results were a “tilak” on its dead body. She said even the BJP, the alliance partner of the SAD, and the other parties, including the CPI and the BSP, had alleged rigging of polls. She said Akalis rigged the polls with the help of lower-level government employees and police personnel. That has been done for projecting Sukhbir Singh Badal, party chief, as successful leader, she alleged.

Bhattal said the party would also meet the state Election Ccommissioner to press re-election to the Panchayati Raj Institutions.

Commenting on the statement of MLA Partap Singh Bajwa, that all 44 Congress MLAs would tender resignation en masse, Bhattal said this could be the personal view of the MLA. The party could go to any extent, she added.

She said they would also urge the CEC for the deployment of paramilitary forces for the Amritsar South byelection on May 22.

Earlier, the Congress organised a rally in the Jallianwala Bagh. They pledged to safeguard the interests of people besides not allowing disturbance of communal harmony in the state.


Punjab gives list of tainted officers to HC
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Punjab today produced before the Punjab and Haryana High Court a picture of its tainted elite cadre.

In an affidavit filed before the court, the state’s department of personnel revealed that eight IAS officers had CBI or vigilance cases pending against them, though charges had not yet been framed.

In all, the government is contemplating action against six IAS officers, in some cases on the CBI’s request. One officer, Kirpa Shankar Saroj, has already been placed under suspension for allegedly committing irregularities in the export of iron ore. A decision to issue chargesheet to the officer has also been taken.

The affidavit has been submitted before Justice H.S. Bhalla through the state’s public prosecutor in a petition filed against the state by the Bhadaur Gurdwara Kandh Virodhi Action Committee and others.

The court, on the previous date of hearing, had granted the state time till today for furnishing a detailed second list of IAS and IPS officers chargesheeted by the court, having cases pending against them, or who had been chargesheeted in the departmental proceedings.

The affidavit says as many as 15 IAS officers have court cases, vigilance inquiries and complaints pending against them. Officers allegedly involved in the misutilisation of Red Cross funds are yet to be identified.

A substantial number of officers are facing allegations of “making wrong appointments”. In IAS officer D.S. Grewal’s case, proposal for necessary action was received by the government from financial commissioner (revenue) in a matter involving “mafia-official nexus for looting shamlat land” on the basis of a news report carried in these columns on September 7, 2007.

The other officers whose names resurface in the second list are: Sarvesh Kaushal, Jagjit Puri, Mandeep Singh, B. Sarkar, G.S. Pirzada, C.S. Srivastava, H.I.S. Grewal, Khushi Ram, J.S. Maini, Dr Swarn Singh, R.N. Gupta, D.S. Jaspal, Dharam Vir, Harjit Singh, Kirpa Shanker Saroj and Shruti Singh.

The list also names K.B.S. Sidhu, S.C. Agrawal, G.S. Grewal, K. Siva Prasad, R. Venkatratnam, S.S. Dhillon and Tejinder Kaur.

Another list of IPS officers adds three officers, S.S. Sodhi, Paramraj Singh and S.S. Virk, who have been chargesheeted under the service rules. Seven officers against whom CBI or other cases are pending are: K.K. Attri, Mohammad Izhar Alam, G.D. Pandey, R.P. Singh, Devinder Singh Garcha and S.S. Saini, besides Virk.


Panel allows PSEB to impose power cuts

Patiala, May 15
The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) has allowed the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) to impose power cuts in Punjab.

However, the PSERC advised the board to desist from imposing evening peak load hour restrictions and suggested that the board take other regulatory measures.

“The board being deficit in power is unable to effect uninterrupted supply to its consumers. In this circumstances, it has become necessary for the board to impose peak load hour restrictions on industry, restrict supply of power to consumers and impose power cuts or regulate energy consumption of other categories of consumers,” a official spokesman said in release issued here today.

The Commission accordingly authorises the board to impose such restrictions, power cuts and other regulatory measures as may be necessary to bridge the gap between demand and supply of power, he said adding that “Such measures shall, however, be taken only to the minimum extent to ensure least disturbance, dislocation and inconvenience to consumers and the general public while keeping in view the requirements of Grid stability and security.”

The PSEB had filed petition under Section 23 of the Electricity Act, 2003 seeking authorisation to impose power cuts, peak load hours restrictions and taking other power regulatory measures in the year 2008-09 as there is likely to be shortage in the availability of power vis-à-vis unrestricted demand.

In its order the commission directed the board to make adequate arrangements for furnishing prior information to consumers of scheduled power cuts. However, the unscheduled power cuts may be imposed in emergently situations even without prior information. — UNI


Fake Encounter Case
18 yrs on parents get evidence, seek relief
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Nearly 18 years after an ITI student was eliminated by the cops near Khanna, his parents have now gathered evidence in support of their contention that the killing was staged.

They have finally managed to procure, through the Right to Information (RTI) Act, a copy of an inquiry report that was allegedly kept under cover for so many years.

Armed with the report, Krishan Singh and Harbans Kaur of Fathegarh Sahib have moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court, seeking a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the killing of their 19-year-old son Baljit Singh in a fake encounter on June 14, 1990.

In their petition, placed before the high court division Bench of Justice M.M. Kumar and Justice Sabina, the two have claimed: Bare perusal of the report makes it crystal clear that their son was innocent and killed by the respondent police officials in a fake encounter. The petitioners have added the Punjab government had asked the Ludhiana deputy commissioner to conduct an inquiry after the media and the political parties highlighted the matter.

A report in the matter was submitted to the authorities concerned, but its contents were not made public. Though time and again they contacted the powers that be for procuring a copy of the report, it was not handed over to them.

Even efforts to procure the information through the RTI Act did not prove beneficial, initially. An application was moved on May 30, 2007, for the report. But the DC concerned said it had been submitted to the Home Department.

The petitioner then approached the Home Department. But, nothing came out of it. Eventually, the petitioner moved the Appellate Commission; and on its directions the report was handed over to them.

Going into the background of the matter, the petitioners added Baljit Singh and friend were riding a scooter when they were apprehended by the respondent police officers near Kotla Ajmer village. The two were, on the direction of then DSP Paramraj Singh, shot. They were then declared dreaded terrorist.

The entire drama was enacted for promotions, the petitioners alleged. Taking up the petition, the Bench today issued notice of motion to the State of Punjab and the respondent police officials. The case will now come up for hearing on May 27.


Rs 460-cr Land Compensation
Jheorheri loosens its purse-strings
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
It’s war out there. After all it is a question of making business from Rs 460 crore released by the Punjab government as land compensation for farmers of Jheorheri, a sleepy village on the fringes of Chandigarh.

Leaving nothing to chance, the stakeholders - bankers, white goods manufacturers, car manufacturers etc - are upping their ante against their competitors, not by offering a better deal on the farmers’ investments, but by enticing them with saam (reconciliation), daam (price) and bhed (treachery). While Rs 361 crore has already been paid to the farmers, the remaining amount is to be released later as compensation for the village common land. The land has been acquired for the Mohali International Airport.

With such huge sum at stake, banks from all over the region - Mohali, Chandigarh, Panchkula, Dera Bassi and Patiala - have been sending their emissaries to the village in order to get deposits from the cash-rich farmers. Wooing the farmers with liquor cases and new mobile phones, private banks are vying with each other so that they get the maximum share of the Rs 460-crore pie.

“The private banks did offer liquor cases to the farmers in order to get their deposits. Mobile phones were given to those who managed to get their fellow farmers to deposit the money in the same bank,” alleged Naib Kaur, who got a compensation of over Rs 3 crore.

Though the public sector banks could not garner deposits from these villagers by offering them gifts, they unofficially engaged commission agents to gather deposits. It is learnt that these agents, hired by the two largest public sector banks, have been paid one per cent commission for the deposits they get for the bank.

In cases, where gifts or commission agents failed, the bankers did a family check on the “target farmers” and after enticing the close family members (sons-in-law, brothers-in-law, fathers-in-law etc), managed to get the deposits in their bank. A manager of a leading private sector bank, who had a close relation residing in the village, used her relation to get maximum business for the bank.

But villagers are not complaining. With attention being bestowed on them, thanks to their new found riches, these villagers have started asking bankers on what they would get on their deposits. Though some banks like the Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC), have announced a preferential rate of interest (0.5 per cent higher than normal rate of interest), the farmers are not enthused.

“Even though the entire compensation was routed through this bank by the Punjab government, and we are offering higher rate of interest on the term deposits, the farmers have withdrawn their money and deposited the same in other banks, who are enticing them with gifts,” says a senior OBC official.

Sources in the banking sector reveal that the maximum money has been deposited with the State Bank of India, Centurion Bank of Punjab, Punjab National Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce and IndusInd Bank.


Greenery on Golden Temple Parkarma vanishes
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 15
Hundreds of plants put up on the Parkarma of the Golden Temple amid much fanfare in 2006 have disappeared.

A drive to beautify the interior and surroundings of the Sikh shrine had been launched by the SGPC in collaboration with Baba Jagtar Singh. The move to turn the Parkarma green had been appreciated by the Punjab Assembly and Sikhs from world over. The SGPC had announced that the plants would save the shrine from vehicle pollution.

Most of the plants planted on the Parkarma have mention in the Gurbani. More than 3,000 plants of 51 varieties were planted.

The drive was inaugurated by Giani Gurbachan Singh, Head Granthi, Golden Temple, and Baba Jagtar Singh.

President of the SGPC Avtar Singh said most of the plants could not be protected due to repair work on the roofs of the Parkarma rooms. Some plants, kept on the first floor, withered due to lack of care. He said more plants would be put on the Parikarma.

Earlier, a UNESCO nominee, Dr Enamul Haque of Bangladesh, who was instrumental in recommending reports on various heritage sites, including Hampi in Karnataka, had provided useful inputs for the beautification of the Golden Temple.

Professor Haque had pointed out that the government must ban the use of vehicles around the temple complex. He had suggested the Galliara Project should have a lot of green spaces to protect the shrine from the corrosion due to pollution. The saplings planted as part of the campaign have dried up at several places.


Amritsar DC shifted
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 15
The state election commissioner today issued the orders for the transfer of deputy commissioner Kahan Singh Pannu following a complaint of PPCC president Rajinder Kaur Bhattal regarding large-scale rigging in the Panchayat elections. 

Talking to The Tribune, Pannu said he had been transferred though he had not received any official orders in this regard.

Bhattal said she had complained against the deputy commissioner and commissioner of the Amritsar municipal corporation D.P.S. Kharbanda to the state election commissioner and sought their immediate transfer. The transfer of Pannu and Kharbanda could not be confirmed from official sources.

Unconfirmed sources said the newly appointed SAS Nagar DC Rahul Bhandari was being considered for the post of Amritsar DC.


After SAD victory, some damage control
Rajay Deep
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 15
President of the SAD Sukhbir Singh Badal today visited in the hospital four BJP leaders, who were allegedly beaten up by SAD activists during the Panchayat elections.

Sukhbir was here along with adviser to Chief Minister Daljeet Singh Cheema, BJP state president Rajinder Bhandari and BJP state general secretary Kamal Sharma to enquire about the injured BJP activists.

Ruling out any possibility of a breakup in the coalition, Sukhbir stated: “This SAD-BJP alliance is historic and a deep-rooted symbol of unity. We have won by standing together on major issues and will continue to do that in future also,” he added.

“To avoid the repetition of such untoward incidents during the coming MC elections, joint committees of the SAD and the BJP will be formed till May 30.”

Sukhbir said the confrontation between the two parties could not be sorted out due to a lack of time. It could have been averted had a proper strategy been chalked out.

Issuing a joint statement with Bhandari, Sukhbir said: “The Congress is the common enemy of the SAD-BJP alliance and both parties will fight it at all levels.”

Refuting the alleged irregularities in the polls, Sukhbir said the results all over Punjab indicated that people had reposed faith in government policies and it was a slap on the face of the opponents.

When asked about the misbehaviour of SAD activists with mediapersons on the polling day at Lambi, the home constituency of the Chief Minister, he said he was not aware of it, but he said he would look into the matter. His reply was similar while answering a query on the alleged involvement of a green brigade of Haryana in the polls.

The BJP leaders appeared to be modest and merely nodded in agreement to what the SAD chief said. Bhandari said the decision to contest the elections separately was taken by the higher authorities. “We take the responsibility for the mistakes,” he added.

Mending Fences
‘To avoid the repetition of such incidents during the MC polls, joint committees of the SAD and the BJP will be formed till May 30.

— SAD chief Sukhbir

‘The decision to contest the elections separately was taken by the higher authorities. We take the responsibility for the mistakes

BJP chief Bhandari 


We’ve done very well: Bhandari
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Mood in the Punjab unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is upbeat as it claims to have “secured noticeable presence in rural areas”.

“For our success in Block Samitis and Zila Parishads have been beyond our expectations,” says the Punjab BJP chief Rajinder Bhandari here this afternoon.For the first time “our party that was known only a city-based party of traders has made its presence known in rural areas where there are neither any traders nor our any cadre. We contested on our own party symbol and recorded impressive wins.”

The BJP leadership, though divided, has been successful in making its voice heard. It managed not only to contest the Block Samiti and Zila Parishad elections on its own symbol but also won 205 of 380 Block Samiti seats it contested.

“We were expecting to win about 175 seats but our tally is impressive 205. Not a bad achievement that made first sincere effort to make a place for itself among rural voters who have always remained a stronghold of either the Congress or the Shiromani Akali Dal.

“Our track in Zila Parishad too has been not that bad. We contested 54 seats and won 18 though we expected to win about 20,” adds Rajinder Bhandari.


Victory due to good governance: Sukhbir
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh , May 15
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal has thanked the people of Punjab , for his party’s victory in the Panchayat Samiti and Zila Parishad elections.

He said hard work and dedication of the party cadres and senior leaders made the victory 

“We take the landslide victory of our party in these elections as expression people’s faith in the policies and programs of the SAD”, he told The Tribune. People have demolished all theories about “Sacha Sauda” helping the Congress to erode our base. “The total sweep in the Malwa region is nothing short of people’s trust and good governance”, he said.

He said one of the main reasons for the success of the party in these polls was his interaction with workers and leaders at all levels. “I met all workers and ensured that each one got due respect . The SAD he said was built by sacrifices of each party worker and he has ensured everyone is given the respect they have earned .

Thanking the voters and workers , he assured people of Punjab good governance by the SAD-BJP alliance. “The rumours about the alliance stand exposed after the results of the polls”, Sukhbir said. 


Faridkot Jail
Overcrowded, dilapidated
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
If inhuman living conditions in district jail Faridkot are taken into consideration, callousness of the government towards jail inmates is evident. Inmates continue to live in dilapidated building even though 70 acres was allotted for jail building in January last year. 

After an inspection of the jail a report was submitted by the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) asking the government to take up the matter at the earliest. Apart from poor living conditions, the jail is also overcrowded. According to the inspection report submitted by Justice R.S. Mongia, chairperson, PSHRC, though the jail had capacity for 330 inmates, there are 474 prisoners. 

The building was not fit for human habitation. When Justice Mongia asked the deputy jail superintendent why no repairs are being undertaken, he was told that land was allocated for constructing a new jail on the Talwandi Sabo-Faridkot road last year. Construction is yet to start there. The land on which the jail stands now has been allotted to the university in Faridkot.

It was specified in the detailed report by Justice Mongia that no one could give him an idea as to when the construction of the new jail would begin. When deputy commissioner Faridkot V.K. Reena was questioned on the issue, he said, “The land had been allotted last year but there is no information as to when funds for constructing the building would be released by the authorities concerned.”

The hospital was found to be clean. The PSHRC has forwarded a recommendation to provide a dental chair for the treatment of the inmates. 


Patients lose eyesight, blame surgeon
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
In a case of alleged medical negligence, four persons have lost eyesight following surgery by government doctors in a state-run medical centre near Ludhiana. On a complaint by the patients and their relatives, health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla has ordered an inquiry against a woman surgeon, who reportedly operated upon these people allegedly with the help of her driver.

The four “victims” Nacchatar Singh, Piara Singh, Laxman Singh and Swarn Singh, all in their mid to late sixties, today appeared before the inquiry officer, Dr S.S Mahi, at the Directorate of Health Services here and recorded their statements. They have accused the surgeon, Dr Mandip Pal Kaur, of conducting the surgeries with her driver acting as her assistant.

Located at Mansooran (Jodhan) in Ludhiana district, the Baba Sahib Singh Ji Bedi Civil Hospital has been in the news in the past for being unfit for conducting surgeries. The four patients told the inquiry officer that despite lack of facilities the eye surgeon had put up her own Phaco Laser equipment at the hospital and was charging patients anything between Rs 4,000 and 8,000 for cataract surgeries, despite the hospital being run by the government.

Mandeep Singh of Rattewal village who is the son of Swarn Singh, one of the patients who have lost their eye, has accused senior medical officer in Ludhiana of turning a blind eye to the deeds of the doctors who, he alleges, “share commission”. In a signed affidavit, the Gram Panchayat of Mansuraan has reiterated the allegations and said “the doctor is knowingly conducting operations against the prescribed medical norms without the availability of basic infrastructure”.

Dr Mandip Kaur said: “I have been cleared by a medical board constituted in Ludhiana from all charges of medical negligence in a case. I am not aware about who these other three people are. The whole allegation is clearly motivated and a private practitioner is behind these charges as his practice is suffering”. She admitted that she had put up private equipment in the hospital because she “wanted to do social service and don’t even charge the patients. The government has supplied no equipment, not even stethoscopes, so what is wrong in bringing my own machines”, she questioned.

Nachattar Singh of Lohara village has alleged that Dr Mandip Pal Kaur operated upon his left eye in July, 2007, and after the surgery he lost eyesight in the eye and was rendered incapable of earning a livelihood. He has demanded the cancellation of her licence and registration of a case of medical negligence.

Similarly, Laxman Singh of Gill village has made a similar statement before the inquiry officer against the eye surgeon. He stated that he had got operated from her in April last year after which he was never able to see again from his right eye. Piara Singh of Abuwal village has further accused the eye surgeon of charging a fee of Rs 4,000 for the surgery and another Rs 1,000 for medicines only to turn him blind.

Dr S.S Mahia, deputy director (health), who is conducting the inquiry, said he had been asked by the director (health services) to look into the allegations levelled by the patients, whose statements were recorded today. Based on the preliminary findings, Dr Mandip Pal Kaur will now be summoned for getting her statement recorded on a suitable date. “The matter is of technical nature and it is difficult to make any comment at this stage. But it is logical that many things have to be examined before making any comment or coming to a conclusion”.


Wearing of turban by Hindu students
Dal Khalsa criticises Akal Academy
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 15
The Dal Khalsa has criticised the Akal Academy School for forcing Hindu students to wear turbans.

Simranjit Singh Mann, president, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), said here yesterday nobody had the right to denigrate the turban as it symbolised the Sikh glory. The Dal Khalsa, earlier, had suggested that Hindu students need not adorn the turban and only Sikh students should wear turbans in Akal Academy School.

Mann lashes out at Dal Khalsa leader

Meanwhile, lashing out at the Dal Khalsa leader, Mann said Kanwarpal, to fulfil his selfish interests, was issuing such statements which were against the interests of the Sikh community. He said the Sikh community living in Western and European countries had been allowed to wear turban at jobs and in public.

He pointed out that there was nothing wrong in promoting the wearing of turban for everyone as it gave a dignified look and was part of our rich Indian culture and tradition. 


Death of old man: SHO suspended
Kulwinder Sandhu

Moga, May 15
Yadwinder Singh Bajwa, SHO of Dharamkot police station had been suspended after a case was registered against him two days back for allegedly beating to death Naib Singh,(65) a Congress supporter, at Kokri Vehniwal village in Moga district, said SSP Moga Ashok Bath.

Since, the medico-legal report did not confirm any visible injury marks; therefore, Section 302 of the IPC was not applicable against the SHO as alleged by family members of the deceased before the police. He said Section 306 of the IPC would be applicable as the SHO had not gone to the house of the deceased with the intention of committing murder. The old man could have suffered a heart attack due to fear of the police, admitted the SSP. 


Akal Takht is supreme: SGPC chief
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 15
Coming heavily on Giani Iqbal Singh, Jathedar of Takht Patna Sahib, for his “arbitrary edicts aimed at dividing the Sikh Panth”, SGPC president Avtar Singh said today that Akal Takht was the supreme authority of the Sikhs.

Without mentioning the excommunication of Prof Darshan Singh, former Jathedar of the Takht, by the clergy of Patna Sahib through a controversial edict, the SGPC chief said the other four Takhts, Patna Sahib, Hazoor Sahib, Damdama Sahib and Kesgarh Sahib, had the right to take up regional Panthic matters only. Sikh devotees held all five Takhts in high esteem but Akal Takht, which was founded by Guru Hargobind Sahib, was the supreme authority.


Killings of Punjabis in Philippines
Kin urge Centre to act
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 15
India should take up the matter of killings of Punjabi youths in the Philippines with the government of that country, say relatives of Paramjit Singh Sunny (21), who was recently shot dead near Manila.

Talking to The Tribune here today, Sunny’s maternal uncle Jasbir Singh said New Delhi should ask Manila to take steps to ensure safety of thousands of Indians living in the Philippines.

Hailing from the Raj Nagar locality on the Kapurthala road here, Sunny had been living in Manila for the past two years. One of Sunny’s friends called his family from Manila on Monday morning to tell them about his murder. Sunny was involved in money-lending business there.

Sunny was shot dead by two local persons when he had gone to a shop to recover a loan amount on Monday. His father Kulwant Singh, his mother Navinder Kaur and his younger brother Jeenu were inconsolable.

Over 100 Punjabis have been killed in the Philippines in the past six years, three-fourth of whom belonged to the Doaba region. At least 10 persons from Kapurthala district alone have been killed last year.

Meanwhile, Jasbir Singh said Sunny’s body would reach Raja Sansi Airport in Amritsar tomorrow. His last rites would be carried out at his native place in Jalandhar on Saturday morning, he added.


High Court
Embezzled Kargil funds to be returned to Red Cross
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
In an affidavit filed before high court Division Bench of Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Jaswant Singh, the state of Punjab today said it had decided funds collected in the name of Kargil and Tsunami, but spent on government-related activities, would be reimbursed to the District Red Cross Societies.

The state said it had also sought details of all expenses incurred on government-related activities out of Red Cross funds.

The affidavit has been submitted in a petition of Resurgence India. It raises the issue of large-scale embezzlement of Red Cross funds across the state.

Police protection granted

Taking up a petition filed by a Jalalabad resident claiming the existence of a sex racket, Division Bench of Justice M.M. Kumar and Justice Sabina today directed immediate police protection for her.

The court directed the state to do the needful within three days and submit an affidavit a day after it. The directions were issued after the petitioner’s counsel alleged the petitioner and her sister were being harassed by the police.

On the asking of the court, the state counsel after obtaining instructions from the police told the Bench that no case was registered against the petitioner. The matter will now come up on May 26.

The petitioner, Monika Rani, had earlier accused a station house officer of pressurising her into flesh trade for extorting money. He has extorted up to Rs 25 lakh and was now even blackmailing people, petitioner contended.

Seeking directions to the police officer against harassing her, the petitioner also sought directions for an independent probe into the matter.


HC withdraws security of Ferozepur resident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
A Division Bench of Justice M.M. Kumar and Justice Sabina today ordered the withdrawal of security earlier granted to a Ferozepur resident.

The Ferozepur resident had accused a journalist of exploiting her.

The directions to modify the previous order were issued after counsel for respondent police officers informed the court that the petitioner was allegedly involved in a criminal case.


Dharnas by ITI students
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 15
In response to the call of the “ITIs Bachao Front Punjab”, students of the ITIs and employees today held rallies and demonstrations in various parts of the state to protest against the lathi charge by the police some days ago at Barnala. The students were protesting against the proposed privatisation of the ITIs by the government in the state. The protesters held dharnas and submitted memorandums to the administration.

State president of the Punjab Students Union Gurmukh Singh Mann said that the students of the ITIs today held rallies and demonstrations at Sunam, Barnala, Dhuri, Manuke, Nanaksar, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Hoshiarpur, Nangal, Batala, Ropar and Samrala. He said that if the government failed to withdraw the case registered by the Barnala police against 400 students, including 150 girls, then the government would have to pay a heavy price for this.


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