P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Paramilitary force deployed on poll eve
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 21
The Chief Election Commission (EC) today deployed two companies of paramilitary force on the demand of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) on the eve of the Amritsar (South) bypoll, scheduled to be held here tomorrow.

As a part of the confidence-building measure, jawans took a round of the constituency in their vehicles to ensure free and fair election. The PPCC had flooded the office of the CEC with a number of complaints, apprehending violence in the constituency.

Besides the paramilitary force, 2,000 cops and three companies of commandos have been deployed to guard 140 polling stations for the elections.

The SP City-I has been given the charge of maintaining the law and order situation in the walled city, while the SP City-II has been made responsible for city sealing plan to keep a watch on the activities of miscreants.

However, Bir Devinder Singh and Parminder Singh, chief spokesman and general secretary, PPCC, respectively said two companies of paramilitary were “two little and too late”. They however, assured that the PPCC would give all cooperation in the conduct of free and fair election.

About 1.32 lakh voters will exercise their franchise in the elections, which fell vacant following the death of SAD MLA Raminder Singh Bolaria. The stakes are high even as Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, his son Sukhbir Singh Badal, president Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and PPCC president Rajinder Kaur Bhattal camped here for a long time to ensure the victory of their candidates.

The contest will be triangular even as SAD candidate Inderbeer Singh Bularia, Congress candidate Navdeep Singh Goldy and SAD (Amritsar) candidate Bhai Ram Singh are in the fray.

The Congress and the SAD had alternatively represented the Assembly segment in the past two decades. In 1992, Maninderjit Singh Bitta, former president, All-India Youth Congress, won the seat while in 1997 elections, Manjit Singh Calcutta had won the election on the SAD ticket. In 2002, Congress’s Harjinder Singh Thekedar had won the seat but lost to SAD candidate late Raminder Singh Bularia in the next elections held in 2007. District police chief Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh during a meeting with senior police officials, said all necessary arrangements had been made for smooth conducting of elections.

He said all polling stations had been declared sensitive. He said three DSPs -City-I, Sadar and Special Branch -had been deputed to maintain the Law and order situation in the three police stations under which the area fell. He said everybody would be made accountable in case of any eventuality. He said no outsider would be allowed to roam in night. Besides this, all liquor shops would remain closed till the election process was over. All hotels and sarais would be checked to deter outsiders, he added. The SSP said a plan had been chalked out to put up nakas at different points in the city. Fourteen patrolling parties would be vigilant round the clock to ensure the peaceful conduct of the poll. SP-D and DSP Jandiala would head 2 quick reaction teams.

In addition to this, for preventive measures action has also been taken against 58 persons till now in this month. He said 224 warrants had been executed and 55 proclaimed offenders had also been arrested, besides registering 103 cases under the NDPS , Arms and Excise Acts in which 127 persons had been arrested.


Ex-Mohali DC forcibly occupied house: Punjab
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The Punjab government today admitted that an IAS officer had acted in a “most uncivilised manner” while forcibly occupying a house in Mohali that was earmarked for the Municipal Council president.

In an additional affidavit filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, special secretary-cum-director, Local Bodies Department, Samir Kumar added that the occupation of house by IAS officer HIS Grewal was a “case of highhandedness”.

The affidavit was submitted before high court Division Bench of Justice M.M. Kumar and Justice Sabina during the resumed hearing on a petition filed by a charge sheeted Municipal Council employee Tarsem Singh Rai.

Replying to his petition for quashing the orders placing his services under suspension, the state of Punjab had asserted the charge sheet was issued to the petitioner after work amounting to Rs 73,000 was carried out in a house occupied in an unauthorised manner by the then deputy commissioner (DC), Grewal.

Taking note of the contention, the Bench on May 12 had asked the state to file an affidavit. Complying with the directions, the director in his affidavit said: “Kothi number 1985, Phase V, Mohali, earmarked for the president, was forcefully and unauthorisedly occupied by the then DC, Grewal, on April 2, 2007.”

The affidavit added: “It is a case of highhandedness on part of the then DC, wherein he misutilised his official position as DC in a most uncivilised manner.”

The director, who also is an IAS officer, added: “The then DC did not have any valid or legal permission from the Local Bodies Department for the occupation of the house.”

“The matter”, he further added, “had been taken up at the highest level by the Local Bodies Department i.e. with the financial commissioner, revenue, and chief secretary, Punjab. The matter with regard to imposing rent as assessed by the Public Works Department on the unauthorised occupant i.e. the then DC, Mohali, has also been taken up with the financial commissioner, revenue.”

The director also sought the court’s indulgence in getting the house vacated with immediate effect. Directions were also sought to the authorities concerned against making a precedent out of the illegal occupation.

After going through the affidavit, the Bench made a note of the contents in its order. The Bench also disposed of Rai’s petition after the state counsel said an inquiry against the petitioner would be completed on or before August 20, and the entire procedure, including the issuance of a show-cause notice, shall be completed in another two weeks.

Grewal was only recently transferred following allegations of partisan behaviour in the run-up to the civic elections. Action was initiated after Congress MLA from Kharar Balbir Singh Sidhu had accused Grewal of abusing him and his family.


Officials to go for Canada meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Punjab will send a high-power delegation to represent the state at the India Calling Conference in Canada from June 14 to 19. The conference is being organised at Vancouver and Toronto.

The delegation, to be led by a cabinet minister, will comprise members from the world of trade, commerce, industry, agriculture, education, literature, health care, infrastructure development, NRI welfare and information technology.

The decision was taken after the Canadian high commissioner in India, David Malone, called on state Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here this morning.

Media adviser to the state Chief Minister Harcharan Bains said although this year's conference would focus on education, ICT, alternative sources of energy and life sciences, Punjab, would use this opportunity both to showcase the advances made by the state in various spheres of development as well as to step up the state government's bonding with the Punjabi Diaspora in Canada.

Bains said the Canadian soil was ideal for hosting the conference, as the organisers felt that Canada and India have a lot of common interests.

The Chief Minister said that since both Canada and Punjab are strong and growing economies, the two can work together for integrated development, especially as they share a large number of strengths and weaknesses.

Badal also asked the high commissioner to set up some mechanism in his country to facilitate tie-ups among educational institutions here and reputed places of learning in Canada like the University of Saskatchewan and the premier educational institutions of British Columbia and Ontario to impart quality education to our youth.


SAD pays for Badal’s use of car, copter
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
A day after the Election Commission (EC) reprimanded Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for misusing his official vehicles and state helicopter for campaigning in the Amritsar bypoll and combining official tours with private visits, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today paid for the lapse by depositing Rs 19 lakh in the government treasury around 3 pm, an hour ahead of the deadline imposed by the EC.

In a strongly worded order after Badal admitted the charges in the notice to him, the commission had expressed displeasure and asked him to reimburse the government from his pocket or get the SAD to do so before 4 pm on Tuesday and intimate the EC about the same.

The Amritsar bypoll is scheduled to take place on May 22 and the campaigning for the poll has come to an end, while the complaints against Badal for violating the model code pertain to visits to Amritsar during April and May 2008.

It may be recalled that on May 19, the EC had sent a notice to Badal, saying the model code of conduct for the guidance of political parties and candidates had been in force since April 16.

The EC pointed out that Badal combined official visits to Tarn Taran and Moga with poll work and used his bullet-proof car on April 28, May 1, 3, 6, 8 and 15. This, the EC said, prima facie constituted violation of the provisions of model code of conduct and the directions of the commission. But it gave Badal an opportunity to furnish an explanation by 5 pm on May 20. The notice was signed by Standhope Yuhlung, secretary, EC, and sent to Badal by name.

After Badal submitted his explanation on May 20, the EC passed an order, holding Badal guilty of violation the model code by using his official bullet proof-car locally on the above-mentioned dates and further used the state helicopter to travel from Chandigarh to Tarn Taran and to Moga on the same dates.

Badal, in his reply, had prayed that these visits be treated as his private journeys. The commission had passed an order on Tuesday saying, “The model code had been intemperately and blatantly violated in letter and spirit by a very senior-level political functionary holding a constitutional position which makes it all the more serious, and, therefore, the commission hereby severely reprimands Parkash Singh Badal for the aforesaid violation.”

Further, the commission directed that the cost of car and air travel by Badal from Chandigarh to Tarn Taran and from Chandigarh to Moga on the aforementioned dates should be reimbursed to the government. This, the commission said, might be done either by Badal in his individual capacity or by SAD from its account, as Badal is one of the leaders mentioned in the list submitted by SAD for the purposes of Section 77(1) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.


PPCC President Seeks Action
Colour changing of historical gate triggers protest
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 21
The changing of the historical Hall Gate here from pink to yellow (the favourite colour of the Shiromani Akali Dal) today triggered a widespread protest with Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Rajinder Kaur Bhattal leading the campaign to preserve the invaluable heritage.

A large number of Congress leaders, including Bhattal, Lal Singh, Dr Raj Kumar, Rana Gurjit Singh Sodhi, Avtar Singh Brar, Tej Parkash Singh and Parminder Singh, held a strong protest outside the Hall Gate and raised slogans against the Badal government. The PPCC chief sought immediate action and booking of officials who had painted the gate yellow. “Badal Bhajao, Virasat Bachao” ( oust Badal, save heritage), she said.

Eyebrows have been raised over the sudden changing of colour of the historical gate from pink to yellow on the eve of the Amritsar (South) bypoll.

Interestingly, when the SAD-BJP government had come to power in 1995, the colour of Punjab Roadways buses was changed to yellow that had received flak from the common man at that time. This also amounts to violation of the election code of conduct. Chief spokesman of the PPCC Bir Devinder Singh said a detailed complaint would be lodged with the Chief Election Commission regarding the vandalisation of the heritage gate on the eve of the bypoll.

In the past couple of years, the colour of the gate has been changed thrice. Initially, it was red which changed to pink and now it is being painted as yellow.

However, the successive state governments, including the Badal government that had promised to give governance on the pattern of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s rule, and the SGPC failed to preserve the invaluable art of Maharaja’s time. Amritsar looked like a fortified city in the days of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The fortification consisted of an immense rampart of earth and a wide ditch, apart from 12 gates, to save the town from foreign invasion. While most of the gates have been demolished, there is no trace of the ditch. Unmindful of their heritage value, most of the gates were pulled down in the past. After the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, many old buildings were replaced by “modern monuments” constructed by the British.

Historical gates like Ahluwalia Gate, Lohgarh Gate, Gilwali Gate have also been demolished . A haveli, belonging to the days of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, was demolished recently, reportedly for constructing a shopping complex. This haveli is opposite Hindu College here. This is the second haveli to be demolished in the past few months.


Moga Stripping Case
Cong leader demands action against accused
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Moga, May 21
General secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee and president of the Women Welfare Association Malti Thapar today expressed deep concern on the plight of the Dalit woman of Moga, who had to take the extreme step of removing her clothes under protest to get an FIR registered against those guilty persons who had been raped and thrashed brutally.

She said she was in contact with the victim and she would soon approach the National Commission for Women (NCW) to help the victim get justice. She said she would also demand action against those police officers who did not provide justice to her on time.

She said it was the duty of the police to protect the honour of the Dalit woman. She further added that it was unfortunate that even after she was raped and thrashed by two youths of her village, the police instead of arresting the culprits was trying to save them by getting statements of the villagers against her.

She demanded that the state government should immediately suspend the SHO of the police station (Rural), who did not realise the gravity of the situation and failed in his duty.

Thapar welcomed the immediate move of local DM Satwant Singh Johal, who has ordered a magisterial probe into the incident. She hoped that the DM would not succumb to any political pressure.

Meanwhile, Thapar contacted the victim this morning and assured her of all possible help.

Statement recorded

Moga SDM Lakhmir Singh today recorded the statement of Shinder Singh, who had allegedly exploited the victim. He went to Ghal Kalan villageto record the statements. The second accused Kirpal Singhand the victim did not turn up to record their statements

‘Culprits given protection’

The police has so far not been able to nab both accused in this case. Even as one of the accused appeared before the SDM to record his statement at the village community centre, the police did not arrest him, the victim alleged. 


Poll Code Violation
Youth Cong activists seize slips for free atta
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 21
The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the BJP today found itself in a piquant situation, when a large number of activists of the Youth Congress led by state president Vijay Inder Singla swooped at a flour mill in the local Bhagtanwala Gate area and seized a large number of “parchis” (slips) for free distribution of atta allegedly at the behest of party candidate Inderbeer Bularia .

On receiving information that the voters were given slips to get free ration, including atta from the flourmill, the activists of the Youth Congress thronged the mill and forced its owner to flee.

The Congress leaders, including Raj Kumar, Rana Gurjeet Singh Sodhi and Parminder Singh, general secretary, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, met all three observers appointed by the Chief Election Commission (CEC), including Dheeru M. Malik Feroze Khan and Jagdish Sharma, Suchitra Sharma in the local Circuit House and urged them to ban the entry of all commercial vehicles till the end of polling tomorrow so that nobody could carry ration to the voters.


Dal Khalsa flays BJP for supporting POTA-like law
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 21
The Dal Khalsa today condemned the BJP for advocating enactment of a law on the lines of POTA. In a statement issued here, Kanwar Pal Singh, general secretary of the organisation, said laws like TADA and POTA could neither prevent violent attacks nor succeed in deterring those elements who carried out such acts.

He said such laws were invoked in the name of combating violent acts, but, unfortunately, successive governments misused these to curb fundamental rights of regional and religious communities.

"Rather it became an instrument of oppression in the hands of the establishment and brought anti-human rights culture and provided the police a license to arrest, torture and even murder innocents," he added.

Cautioning the SAD leadership against the implications of POTA, he said the Akali party should oppose the BJP's move, as it, too, had borne the brunt of Emergency and TADA.


EC orders shifting of DSP, SHO
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The Punjab Election Commission (EC) today ordered shifting of DSP, Bagha Purana, and SHO, Samalsar (Moga), immediately and postponed the general elections to seven Gram Panchayats in five districts, which were scheduled to be held on May 26 in the state. Besides this, two election officers have also been removed.

Disclosing this here today, a spokesman of the EC said it had ordered the DIG, Ferozepur, to shift Joginder Singh, DSP, Baghapurana, and Gurpiar Singh, SHO, Samalsar, to stations where they could not interfere in the smooth conduct of elections.

It was complained to electoral officers by representatives of a huge cluster of villages that Joginder Singh and Gurpiar Singh were blatantly acting in a partisan way. The residents have made a grave apprehension of violence.

Meanwhile, polls to eight Gram Panchayats, namely Gram Panchayat Bhattian and Gram Panchayat Mand Jodhwal, Block Machhiwara, Ludhiana district, Gram Panchayat Ranjitgarh, Gurdaspur district, Gram Panchayat Dera Baba Jaimal Singh, Beas, Amritsar district, Gram Panchayat Karamgarh, Muktsar district, and Gram Panchayat Bilaspur and Gram Panchayat Deena Sahib in Moga district have been postponed and a fresh election schedule would be communicated separately.

The EC also directed the District Electoral Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar, to remove Harpal Singh, Returning Officer, Baba Bakala, who has acted in a wrongful and negligent manner and, thus, eroded the sanctity of elections. It was alleged that he had rejected the nomination papers of Gram Panchayat Dera Baba Jaimal Singh, Beas, Amritsar district, without any substantial reason.

The EC has also ordered the District Electoral Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner, Moga, to appoint new RO in block Nihal Singh Wala immediately and initiate disciplinary action against the erring RO, who had rejected the nomination papers of 12 candidates on frivolous ground that those were received after the prescribed time was over.

The EC has also directed all District Electoral Officers-cum-Deputy Commissioners, in the state that counting for all Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samitis where polls had been held but counting was postponed, would be carried out on May 27. Counting for all constituencies where elections were postponed and scheduled to be held on May 26 would also be now held on May 27.


Post of sarpanch being openly auctioned
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 21
The 2008 Panchayat elections are witnessing new and disturbing trends for democracy here.

While the proposed post of sarpanch was auctioned in the name of development of the area publicly at some villages, aspirants plan to share the office for tentative term of five years.

Leaders of the SAD and the Congress faced difficulty in finding candidates for the post of panch in those villages where the office of the sarpanch is reserved for the Scheduled Caste candidates.

Considering it “undignified” to work as panch under a Dalit sarpanch, members of the general category in certain villages declined to file nomination for the elections. However, the leaders here claimed that they had surrendered seats as a goodwill gesture for their less-privileged brethren.

With reports of choosing panches and proposing sarpanches after getting assurance to contribute substantial amounts for the development of their respective habitations, decisions to "elect sarpanches” were taken through open auction at certain villages.

Residents of Zulamgarh village in Payal subdivision, near here, decided to choose Jasbir Singh as sarpanch, as he had agreed to contribute Rs 5 lakh for the completion of the building of an under-construction gurdwara.

The decision was taken at a public meeting held at the village gurdwara, with Jasbir Singh, an SAD leader and commission agent, first offering to spend Rs 1 lakh for the common cause.

Congress activists, led by Gurdip Singh, kept on adding Rs 50,000 in each bid till the amount reached Rs 5 lakh. Jasbir was “declared chosen sarpanch” amid slogans of “Jo bole so nihal”, Kashmira Singh, Malook Singh and Narain Singh offered Rs 50,000 each for the posts of panch.

The civic body at Lehal village got the distinction of being constituted of all panches belonging to the Scheduled Caste.

With the post of sarpanch being reserved for Scheduled Caste, nobody from the general category agreed to work as panch under him. Though four out of seven seats of panches are kept for reserved categories, a large number of people of other castes surrendered all seats for their “less-privileged” brethren.

Though the leaders claim that the decision was taken as a goodwill gesture, investigations revealed that nobody from the general category had agreed to work as a dummy panch.

Phallewal, Manki, Lohgarh, Rajgarh and Jandali villages were among others where leaders of various factions of the ruling party had agreed to support each other on the condition of “sharing term” of the sarpanch.

While the politically stronger aspirant will be given chance to rule during the first half of the term, the other will enjoy power in the second half. There are still others who have joined the SAD to get elected panch unanimously and sarpanch for later two years of the term. 


Complaints Against Gram Panchayat Polls
Hundreds flock state EC office
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The elections to the gram panchayats are seeing even more complaints than those witnessed during the Zila Parishad and Block Samiti elections, with hundreds of people flocking the state Election Commission to seek redress from what they refer to as arbitrary decisions of returning officers.

However, there is little chance of redress, as the state Election Commission does not have any mechanism of its own to verify the complaints and ends up marking these to the same administration that is accused of wrongdoing by the complainants.

Like in the Zila Parishad and Block Samiti elections, Patti block of Tarn Taran district is witnessing a large number of complaints. Appearing before the commission, one Jassa Singh claimed that he and four others were not given symbols even though their nominations had been found in order earlier. He said this act had ensured the forcible “unanimous” election of several sarpanches in Patti block.

Similarly, Shivcharan Sinhg of Bhikhiwind, Tarn Taran, claimed that the nominations of several members, aligned with the Congress, had been rejected. He also claimed that even though he and others possessed voter cards, their names did not figure in the voters list.

Randhir Singh Cheema of Sukarchak, Tarn Taran said out of the 10 files submitted by his supporters, five had been misplaced.

Other cases included those of Amrik Singh of Reetkheri village in Patiala, who said even though his forms of several candidates standing for the post had been submitted and appropriate receipts had been received, they had been rejected at the last moment.

Another candidate for the post of sarpanch said the nomination of seven members supporting him had been rejected on account of a printing mistake. “The returning officer has lost the certificates submitted by us,” he said.

There was also a complaint of one Balwinder Singh of Punjabsinghwala in Zira, who claimed that even though the sub-divisional magistrate concerned had ordered the deletion of 10 names from the rolls, the returning officer had not done this.

Bhajan Singh from Lohian in Jalandhar said their files were not taken because they did not get their no objection certificates (NOCs) in time. He said this had happened despite the fact that the Election Commission had clearly stipulated that a candidate could not be punished for failing to procure an NOC in time and that candidates could submit affidavits, which could be verified by the authorities concerned.


Malerkotla leads in electing 24 panchayats
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 21
Two blocks of Malerkotla subdivision (Malerkotla-1 and Malerkotla-2) have taken a lead in Sangrur district in electing maximum number of panchayats unanimously and maximum number of members of panchayats (panches) unopposed in the current Panchayat elections.

In these two blocks of the Malerkotla area, 24 panchayats (14 in Malerkotla-1 and 10 in Malerkotla-2) have been elected unanimously, whereas 216 panches have been elected unopposed in these two blocks (102 in Malerkotla-1 and 114 in Malerkotla-2).

According to the information here today, in nine blocks of Sangrur district, 68 panchayats have been elected unanimously. Ten panchayats were elected unanimously in Sangrur, eight in Bhawanigarh, six in Lehra, four each in Andana, Dhuri and Sherpur, eight in Sunam, 14 in Malerkotla-1 and 10 in Malerkotla-2 blocks. In nine blocks of Sangrur district, as many as 461 panches were elected unopposed. As per the information, 76 panches were elected unopposed in Sangrur block, 39 in Bhawanigarh, 26 in Lehra, 25 in Andana, 24 in Dhuri, 48 in Sherpur, seven in Sunam, 102 in Malerkotla-1 and 114 in Malerkotla-2 blocks.

There are 585 panchayats in Sangrur district, of which elections to five to seven panchayats have reportedly been postponed on different grounds, while 68 panchayats have been elected unanimously so far, so elections to the remaining panchayats will be held on May 26. There are total 65 panchayats in Sangrur block, 66 in Bhawanigarh, 94 in Sunam, 51 in Lehra, 39 in Andana, 43 in Dhuri, 38 in Sherpur, 102 in Malerkotla-1 and 87 in Malerkotla-2 blocks. 


‘Hand over Pak Sikh shrines to SGPC’
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 21
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) today urged the Pakistan government to hand over the kar seva of historic Sikh shrines in Pakistan to it.

SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar, while honouring the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee chief Bishan Singh and members of the International Human Rights Commission, Pakistan, who paid their obeisance at Golden Temple here today, discussed the management of gurdwaras in Pakistan, besides making arrangements for organising nagar kirtan from Nankana Sahib to Hazur Sahib to mark the tercentenary of Gurgaddi Divas of Guru Granth Sahib. Makkar said the Shiromani Committee would welcome the procession on its arrival at the Attari-Wagah joint check-post and would initiate to provide all facilities.


IMA condemns attack on doctor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has strongly condemned the assault on Dr Ashutosh of Jalandhar, who was publicly beaten up while “custodians of law and order were silent and mute spectators”.

This was stated by Dr S.N. Misra, honorary secretary general of the IMA, who has appointed a three-member committee under the chairmanship of Dr O.P.S.Kande. The other members of the committee are Dr Gursharan Singh and Dr Jagjit Singh. The committee will investigate and submit its report within a week.

He stated that the IMA was aggrieved and anguished over the acts of hooliganism of anti-social elements.

He also expressed grief at the death of the patient who was seriously injured following head injuries and expressed sympathies with the family that has suffered irreparable loss due to the tragedy.

He has suggested that Punjab should get an ordinance promulgated and Bill passed on the pattern of Andhra Pradesh against such unlawful acts by members of society against doctors and medical institutions.

He has asked all IMA members from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh to protest peacefully against the police and the administrators who have not yet arrested the culprits responsible for the attack on Dr Ashutosh.


High Court
Capt got me framed: Pherurai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
A former SSP of Punjab Gurcharan Singh Pherurai today alleged that he was implicated at the behest of former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh in the fake currency racket.

Even as the high court has already taken a serious view of the witnesses going back on their statements in the trial against him, Pherurai in his petition today sought Rs 50 lakh as compensation from the Punjab Police for “framing” him.

In the petition filed through advocate Sant Pal Singh Sidhu, the former IPS officers has stated: “Prior to the formation of the Congress government, then PPCC chief Capt Amarinder Singh was openly announcing that three SSPs, including me, were on the hit list and would be prosecuted. Capt Amarinder Singh wanted to prosecute me without any basis.”

The petition, placed before the Bench of Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Jaswant Singh, adds: “There was no evidence to prove the alleged currency was in the possession of the petitioner… It was a false case and the police had planted the fake currency due to political vendetta.”

The petition adds AIG, Intelligence, Mukhwinder Singh Cheena, DSP Baba Bakala Harjit Singh Brar and other guilty police officers be directed to pay Rs 50 lakh compensation for causing “irreparable loss” to his reputation by lodging a false case.

The petition will come up for further hearing on May 23.

Cops challenge ruling

In less than two months after Justice Ranjit Singh of the high court ordered a CBI probe into alleged fake encounters, as many as nine serving Punjab Police officers and five retired cops, today challenged the ruling.

The retired and serving policemen who challenged the order are Bachan Singh Randhawa, Gurmej Singh, Darshan Singh, Dalwinder Singh, Hardial Singh, Gurdev Singh, Om Parkash, Bakshi Ram, Jaswinder Singh, K.B. Singh, M.K. Tiwari, Surjit Singh, Ishwar Chander and A. Gautam.

Describing as frivilous the allegations against them, the appellants pleaded: “The order of April 1, 2008, of single Judge Bench is liable to be set aside on various grounds, including the Judge has failed to appreciate the situation that was prevailing at the time when militancy was at its peak.”

In the petitions the police officers have stated as many as 6,626 civilians, 1,281 police personnel and 6,495 terrorists were killed between 1990 and 1995.

In Amritsar district alone, the death toll during the period was 448 civilians, 105 policemen and 451 terrorists.

In Tarn Taran, 818 civilians, 176 policemen and 1,467 terrorists were gunned down.

In Majitha, 722 civilians were gunned down by terrorists, while 168 policemen and 844 terrorists were also killed.

In Batala also, 651 civilians, 120 policemen and 561 terrorists lost their lives, while in Jalandhar district 302 civilians, 73 policemen and 207 terrorists were killed.

Physical education exam

The examination for master of physical education (M.PEd.) in Amritsar-based Guru Nanak Khalsa College will be held in three week’s time.

Appearing before a Division Bench of Justice Ashutosh Mohunta and Justice Kanwaljit Singh Ahluwalia, the counsel for Panjab University Anupam Gupta said on May 19 that the examination would be held within three weeks from that date.

Taking on record the statement, the Bench observed: “The writ petition is rendered infructuous. In case any other grievance of the petitioner remains, the petitioner is at liberty to seek the relief.

The college had earlier sought the issuance of directions to the varsity to conduct the examination.” 


Panchayat Polls
HC asks petitioners to approach EC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Taking up a bunch of petitions alleging non-acceptance of nomination papers for gram panchayat elections by the returning officer (RO), the Punjab and Haryana High Court today asked the petitioners to submit a representation to the Punjab Election Commissioner.

A High Court Division Bench of Justice K.S.Garewal and Justice Daya Chaudhary also asked the Election Commissioner to decide the claims by May 24.

In one of the petitions, Balbir Kaur and 12 others from the villages of Bhattalan, Kaleke and Jawandha Pindi Gurusar in Barnala district has sought the removal of the RO for refusal to receive their nomination papers for the gram panchayat election to be held on May 26.

The petitioners, through counsel Mansur Ali, alleged the RO simply refused to accept their nomination papers on May 16, since they were known opponents of the ruling party in Punjab. Had the RO received the nomination papers, it would have been difficult for him to reject the same under section 11 of Punjab Panchayati Raj Institutions Act, 1994, as the same were complete in every respect, the petitioners have added 


Students upset at delay in engg results
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Engineering students doing degree courses in various colleges of Punjab are upset at Punjab Technical University (PTU) for not declaring results of some of the subjects, although the exams of their next semester are scheduled to begin in next two days.

“Our results of reappear of third and fourth semester have not been declared yet by the PTU,” said a student of Sri Sukhmani Institute. “Even if the result is declared tomorrow, it will be difficult for us to prepare to sit in the examination next day,” said the student.

He said the result of regular students of the third semester of the mechanical stream had not been declared yet. The results were not being declared in on go. In some cases, these were being declared college wise.

Parents say that “casual attitude” of the PTU authorities with regard to the declaration of results has been bothering students of degree courses for long.

Parents have urged the minister and secretary, technical education, to seek a report from the PTU to know results of how many semesters of regular students and reappear students were pending for declaration and when would be the backlog in this regard cleared.


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