P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Nathpa-Jhakri closure to hit paddy sowing
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
The Punjab State Electricity Board’s (PSEB) plan to supply power for paddy sowing, which started yesterday, received a setback with the Nathpa Jhakri hydel project in Himachal Pradesh closing today.

The Nathpa-Jhakri project, run by the Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam, supplies 150 MW of power to the PSEB every day.

Sources say the project has been closed due to excess silt in the Sutlej at the intake of the project. This phenomenon happens because the Nathpa-Jhakri is a run of the river project.

The sources said the operating agency was forced to order close down of all six generating units of the project as silt intake had risen above permissible lines and running of generating machines in such circumstances would have damaged them.

The PSEB has lost out on 150 MW from the project and another 50 MW share of the Himachal government which was being given to it.

Besides this, the board has also lost out on another 100 MW of power being supplied to it from Jammu and Kashmir under a banking scheme.

Jammu and Kashmir  was receiving this power from the Nathpa project and releasing it to Punjab. The northern region itself has lost out on 1500 MW of power to the closure of the plant.

In such circumstances, the board has instituted power cuts on rural and urban areas. Board chairman Y. S. Ratra said cuts ranging from two to three hours would be enforced in the coming days on domestic as well as commercial consumers.

He assured that the cuts would be withdrawn once the Nathpa-Jhakri plant resumed power generation.

The board has increased its share from Uttarakhand from which it was getting around 30 MW as well as Sikkim to offset the loss due to closure of the Nathpa project. The development is likely to affect farmers the most.

According to sources, the PSEB has reduced uninterrupted power supply to the farm sector from eight to six hours.

Pressure on the board is likely to increase in the next few days as farmers have started sowing paddy from yesterday due to a ban which did not allow staggered sowing this year.


Expert wants free travel for labourers to tide over crisis
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
Demography and river waters expert P.S. Kumedan today urged Punjab government to take up free transport of labourers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to facilitate paddy sowing in the state with the union government to meet labour shortage.

In a statement here, Kumedan said he had urged MP and SAD leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and the government to take up the issue with the union railway minister and the Prime Minister.

The expert said the average fare per labourer from UP and Bihar to Punjab would be Rs 500 per head.

“If one lakh labourers are brought free of cost to the state, the total cost will be only Rs 5 crore. The return journey may also be made free,” he said adding that the country was gaining enormously in getting Punjab’s rice at cheap price and it was, therefore, the duty of the union government to assist farmers of the state.

The expert said in case the union government did not heed to the appeal, the Punjab government could take this step in the interest of the farmers.

He said even a slight increase of Rs 100 per acre in rice cultivation would result in a loss of Rs 65 crore to Punjab farmers and an increase of Rs 500 in labour cost would increase farmers’ loss to more than Rs 300 crore.

The expert added that 65 lakh acres was under rice cultivation in Punjab. A large portion of the 150 lakh tonnes of rice produced by the state went to the Central pool. It was in India’s interest that rice cultivation in Punjab did not suffer damage and that rice sowing was done in time, he said.

For this, it was essential that the Central government extended help and ensured there was no shortage of any input, including labour, he added.


Threatened, 9 families flee village
Tribune News Service

Cong seeks probe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
The PPCC has expressed concern over the migration of at least nine Hindu families of Maadh village, under the Beas police station, in Amritsar district.

Congress spokesperson Bir Devinder Singh has alleged that families headed by Ram Parkash, Darshan Lal, Ramesh Raj, Jagdish Raj, Darshana Rani, widow of Inderjit Lal, Indira Rani, widow of Kishan Chand, have been forced to leave the village by the Akali activists as they performed a pooja in a temple.

These families took shelter in the Durgiana temple in Amritsar after being denied protection by the local police.

He said Rayya police post in charge Sukhwinder Singh talked to them in rude language and asked them to leave the village if they wanted to organise jagrans, etc. He asked the DGP to order an inquiry into the incident.

Amritsar, June 11
Fearing threat to their lives from a SAD worker, at least nine families of Maadh village, belonging to a particular community, migrated to Amritsar late last night.

Bhagat Naresh Kumar alleged that 25 villagers, led by a senior Akali leader, barged into his house last evening and asked the devotees present there to leave the house immediately or face the consequences. He said the policemen present there remained mute spectators.

Bhagat alleged that two BJP activists, including one from Himachal Pradesh, were threatening the members of their community.

Earlier too these families had shifted to Amritsar after certain Akalis threatened them with dire consequences.

However, SSP Iqbal Singh said a personal dispute between some families was being blown out of proportions. He said the two policemen posted in the village had denied the occurrence of any such incident last night.

These families had earlier lodged false complaints against Akali workers. An inquiry by a senior IPS officer into the allegations had found nothing foul in the case.

Meanwhile, president of the All-India Hindu Shiv Sena Surinder Kumar Billa alleged that SAD workers were terrorising people in Maadh village, forcing their migration.


Freedom fighter wins pension case
S.P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 11
Tamra Patra recipient Jagat Singh finally has won the battle for freedom fighter’s pension after a long struggle. The Punjab and Haryana High Court has passed strictures against the officialdom for denying him the pension.

It also ordered to pay him arrears from the due day till the date of payment with 9 per cent interest. The court has ordered the Centre to release arrears in three months of the order, failing which the petitioner will be paid the amount with 12 per cent interest.

Jagat Singh was joyful today as he had won the case on “principles”. “The money does not matter, but the court has restored my honour that was being trampled on by the officialdom,” he said.

He had filed a petition in the court in 1998, following which the government did not release pension to him even after reminders since April 1981. The files were tossed from one table to another in the Central secretariat all these years.

He carried with him a copy of the judgement delivered by Justice Ranjit Singh on May 15 in which the court observed: “The grateful nation has honoured the petitioner with Tamra Patra which was presented by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to commemorate the freedom struggle, yet babus are advancing one reason after another to deny a meagrely sum of Rs 200 to Rs 300 to the petitioner who has asked for the sanman pension”.

Jagat Singh, while serving the British army, showed exemplary courage of taking part in the freedom struggle. He was court-martialled and sent to Central Jail in Lahore in 1946. Following his release, he took part in several freedom movement activities. He was injured in a police lathi charge on freedom fighters at Dhariwal.


Timer found on Abohar-Jodhpur Exp
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 11
A bomb-like device, spotted on the Abohar-Jodhpur Express train at Malout in Muktsar district today, turned out to be a timer attached to some electrical gadget. No explosive was fitted to it.

As a precautionary measure, six trains running on the line were halted at Abohar, Pakki Tibbi and Malout.

Railway guard Avtar Singh spotted the device in his cabin at 10.45 last night and immediately informed the railway authorities about it.

At Malout, the cabin was detached from the train and a team of explosives experts from the PAP lines, Jalandhar, was called. It searched the cabin thoroughly but couldn’t find any explosive attached to the timer.

It is suspected that the device was fitted in the cabin at Abohar, where the train originates. Miscreants might have planned to attach the explosives to it at some other destination.


Temporary bridge over Chakki river collapses
Chander Parkash and Bharat Bhushan Dogra
Tribune Reporters

Pathankot, June 11
The temporary bridge constructed over the Chakki river to establish a link between Punjab and Himachal Pradesh on national highway No. 20 caved in early morning today, thereby bringing the movement of vehicular traffic to a complete halt and cutting off link of this town with a number of towns of Himachal Pradesh.

The permanent bridge over the Chakki river, which was about 118 years old and falling in both Punjab and Himachal Pradesh territorial boundaries, was washed away in the August 2007 due to torrential rains, which had flooded the river.

A new temporary bridge was erected immediately by the authorities concerned, while the work for setting up new bridge was started by the Himachal government.

Though no loss to human life and property was reported after the bridge being constructed by a government agency of the Himachal Pradesh government caved in, it has caused inconvenience and difficulties to tourists from Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and other parts of the country, who were passing over it to reach various hill stations of Himachal Pradesh.

I. S. Bhardwaj, SDM, Nurpur, said the approach portion of the temporary bridge had caved in due to heavy rains.

He added that all vehicular traffic plying between Pathankot and Nurpur areas had been diverted via the Lodhwan area.

He said adequate measures were being taken to open the bridge for the smooth movement of vehicular traffic.

A visit to the site revealed that about a 25-m portion of the temporary bridge, which was erected about 70 m from the old bridge which was washed away last year, had caved in.

The people heading for various places in Himachal Pardesh had been diverted towards Lodhwan road link and had to cover about 22 km extra to reach their destinations. The bridge was linking Pathankot with Mandi, Kulu and Manali towns of Himachal Pradesh.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that the temporary bridge caved in today as the authorities concerned had failed to check the plying of heavy vehicles over it.

Not only this, the illegal quarrying on a massive scale on the river bed, which had caused irrevocable damage to old Chakki bridge last year, was going on unchecked.

However, officials claimed that the bridge had caved in due to a sudden increase of the flow of water in the Chakki river following heavy rains in its catchment area.

Ajmer Singh Sibia, SDM, Pathankot, said though the maintenance of the temporary Chakki bridge was the job of the Himachal government, he was putting in efforts to restore traffic on the same and get the repair of the bridge fast.



Bhattal-Amarinder Row
Cong awaits Mukherjee panel report
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 11
The ongoing spat between former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Punjab Congress chief Rajinder Kaur Bhattal is to be resolved soon as the Congress high command is awaiting a report by a committee headed by Pranab Mukherjee before announcing its decision.

The decision will on the two leaders and the paths they will take in the party in the coming months. The report is said to be ready and will be submitted soon. Now parleys are on from both sides.

Today Amarinder Singh called on Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and reportedly conveyed “fresh faces” were needed in the Punjab Congress.

He is said to have hinted that a change was needed while conveying he had already had 10 years at the top - five as PPCC chief and five as Chief Minister.

He reportedly also referred to the violence during the recently concluded Panchayat and Zila Parishad elections.

Amarinder refused to go into the specifics of the meeting with Sonia Gandhi but added a “host of issues were discussed and these cannot be revealed to media”.

The other members of Mukherjee-led committee are A.K. Antony, Ahmed Patel and Margaret Alva.

The committee is likely to recommend there seems to be no way in which Bhattal and Amarinder could be working together.

The committee will suggest a way out keeping in mind the parliamentary polls due in less than year’s time.


Rs 100 cr to make Amritsar green and clean
Varinder Walia and Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 11
Rapid urbanisation of the city has made waste disposal unmanageable. The Municipal Corporation (MC) has planned to privatise garbage disposal in a major part of Amritsar for the first time.

The sustainable municipal solid waste management through integrated cycling technology, including installing the state’s first solid waste plant at cost of over Rs 100 crore, will keep the city clean.

However, mayor Shavet Malik clarified that no employee of the corporation, engaged in garbage disposal, would be terminated.

The corporation has engaged Dr S.R. Maley, an expert of solid waste management. Dr Maley was also a member of the Barman Committee appointed by the Supreme Court. The committee's report formed the basis for the SWM Rules, 2000, notified by the government.

Dr Maley will submit a project report to the corporation authorities in 10 days which will be cleared in 15 days by the corporation.

Work on the project will start in 45 days and collection of the garbage from various areas of the city will start after two months.

Under the plan the corporation will urge the state government for Rs 20 crore to seek Rs 80 crore from the Central government under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission.

Though the corporation auctioned the tractors and lorries bought in 1962 and 1965 for the removal of garbage a few years ago, yet many polluting vehicles can be seen on roads.

However, Dr Maley said 200 new vehicles, including covered trolleys, would be purchased for waste management of the city.

Due to lack of proper machinery needed by the sanitation wing of the corporation, garbage stinks in parts of the city. Heaps of garbage and stray cattle foraging these dumps is a common sight.

Sewerage length in the city is 600 km, mostly laid under roads. This leaves about 30 per cent of the city’s population without sewerage facility.


Dal Khalsa for forced retirement of Jathedars
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 11
Even as the Sikh Nation Organisation, headed by Dr Manjit Singh Randhawa, has appealed for a truce among Sikh high priests, radical Sikh outfit Dal Khalsa has urged the authorities concerned for compulsory retirement of all Jathedars.

Secretary-general of the Dal Khalsa Kanwarpal Singh said the warring Jathedars had brought shame to the Sikh community and they had no right to lead the Sikh Panth.

There’s a feeling among Sikhs that all five Jathedars have become a liability, he said, demanding that the Jathedars either resolve their disputes amicably or quit forthwith to put an end to religious controversies, which are a cause of concern for Sikh diaspora the world over.

We don’t think that Jathedar Vedanti will ever be able to restore the dignity of the office he has been holding since long, he said.

Gaini Iqbal Singh’s performance in the capacity of the Jathedar of Takht Patna Sahib was too bitter to swallow, the Dal Khalsa leader added.

President of Sikh Nation Organisation maintained that personal ego had no place in the Sikh way of life, which is based on kindness, truthfulness, love and humility. Recent religious controversy was due to clash of egos of the high priests.

He said whatever happened on June 6 in Amritsar during a meeting of the high priests was a “blatant violation” of Sikh Maryada. He maintained that the high priests of all five Takhts were equal in status and powers.


Be sensitive to women’s complaints: DGP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
Following the incident of suicide in front of the Haryana police chief’s office director-general of police, Punjab, N. P. S. Aulakh today directed senior police officials for more sensitive approach towards complaints of women, children and underprivileged sections of society.

Presiding over monthly crime review meeting here, the DGP directed senior officers not to take such issues “casually”.

He also directed zonal inspectors general of police and range DIGs to to be available to public everyday at a particular time to hear grievances.

He said in case they were not available any particular day they should depute the next senior officer for this purpose.

Aulakh also exhorted the field officers to redress genuine grievances of the people by timely action in a transparent manner.

Taking notice of the few incidents of assault by some miscreants on police personnel under the garb of agitating people, he directed the field officers to deal with those elements strongly. The police chief also directed unauthorised use of red beacons should be checked.

He said in some cases such red lights were recovered from the vehicles used by the criminals and added only special drives could curb this trend.

Aulakh also asked the field officers to make security arrangements for fair and peaceful conduct of municipal elections.


Restore people’s trust in police, says Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
Senior BJP leader Balramji Das Tandon today urged the union home minister to convene a meeting of Chief Ministers, home secretaries and police heads of all states to take corrective action and restore confidence of the people in the police force of the country.

In a statement here, the senior leader said the situation had become such today that an ordinary person could not get his FIR registered without any recommendation.

Tandon said this could be seen from the fact that a woman from Haryana committed suicide in front of the office of the Haryana DGP when she realised she did not have any hope for justice.

He said similarly in the Moga sex scandal, the district police had tried to implicate innocent persons falsely in a bid to extract money from them.

People still remembered the suicide committed by Surinder Singh of Amritsar who also killed his entire family after being denied justice by the Amritsar police.


Moga Stripping
SDM submits report
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

NCW issues fresh guidelines for
rape victims

Tribune News Service

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs, on the request of the National Commission for Women (NCW) vide orders of the Supreme Court in writ petition (CRL) No.362/93, had on May 7 this year issued a notification to constitute a district-level board headed by the district magistrate to provide relief and rehabilitation to rape victims. Under this scheme, “after having been prima facie satisfied that a case of rape has been made out, the board shall order an interim financial relief of Rs 20,000 to the victim.”

The Board should release the balance amount of Rs 1.30 lakh unspent towards relief and rehabilitation measures as per the guidelines.

Further, the Board may take other measures for the purposes of the rehabilitation or any special needs of the victim in addition to the financial relief and in case the victim belongs to SC/ST, the provisions of the scheme shall be in addition to the provisions prescribed for grant of relief under the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989.

Moga, June 11
SDM Lakhmir Singh finally submitted the report yesterday of magisterial probe into the incident of a Dalit woman Paramjit Kaur carrying out a semi-nude march against the alleged police high-handedness last month, to the DM.

Earlier, the SDM first submitted the report to the DM last week. But DM Satwant Singh Johal was not satisfied with it and sent it back to the SDM.

When contacted, the DM confirmed that he had received the report but could not go through it till this afternoon.

He said he would go through the report tonight and then would send it to the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) as demanded by it for further action.

It may be mentioned that the SDM, in the previous report, is said to have tried to ‘protect’ the police officials, involved in delaying justice to the woman, on the basis of the report submitted by the police.

The police tried to justify that they did not delay in providing justice to the woman because after recording her statement, the matter was referred to the district attorney for legal opinion and after receiving that, a criminal case was registered.

However, Paramjit Kaur raised the question that after recording her statement and receiving the medico-legal report, a case should have been registered immediately.

Alleging that the police delayed in registering the FIR by over one week, Paramjit said that she was thus forced to adopt the extreme step of removing her clothes in the open to seek justice and create a public opinion in favour of women who face such atrocities but never get justice due to the callous attitude of the police.

She reiterated that she was still receiving threats from one of the accused, who has so far not been arrested by the police. 

She had also claimed that one of the accused, Sonu, was freely roaming in the village carrying weapons.

The police had arrested the other accused, Shinder Singh, and he was presently in judicial custody.

On the other hand, senior police officials were yet to take action against the SHO of the police station concerned, who ‘unnecessarily’ delayed in providing justice. It was learnt that senior police officials were protecting the SHO under political pressure.


Strict instructions to check child labour
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 11
Strict instructions have been issued to labour inspectors by assistant labour commissioner (ALC) D.C. Bansal to check the practice of child labour in all subdivisions of Sangrur district in a big way.

Stating this here today, the ALC urged people not to employ children (below 14 years of age) as labourers in their houses or business establishments as child labour was not only a crime in the eyes of law, but also a blot on the society.

He said as per the orders of the Supreme Court, employing a child (below 14 years of age) in a house or at a shop was a crime, for which the employer could be awarded one-year imprisonment, or fine up to Rs 20,000, or both punishments.

Bansal said besides the punishments, the employer would also have to pay Rs 20,000 to the child labourer for his/her rehabilitation.


7 posts of ZP chief reserved for SCs
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, June 11
Seven posts of chairman of zila parishad, out of a total of 20 in the state, have been reserved for SCs.

This was stated by minister for rural development and panchayat Ranjit Singh Brahmpura while addressing gathering at Chola Sahib, about 25 km from here, today.

He was here to take part in the election of the chairman and the vice-chairman of the block samiti of this township.

Brahmpura said the post of the chairman of Tarn Taran, Mohali, Kapurthala, Barnala and Jalandhar zila parishads had been reserved the SCs while those of Ferozepur and Bathinda had been reserved for women from these communities.

The minister said the process for the election of chairmen and vice-chairmen of block samitis would be completed by June 25 in case of the zila parishads by June 30. The government would issue a notification for the election of sarpanches on June 23.

Meanwhile, Sadhu Singh and Mohinder Singh were elected chairman and the vice-chairman, respectively, of the Chola Sahib block samiti.


Double Murder Case
HC upholds death for Ludhiana resident
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
Convicted for raping his daughter in 1999, Mohinder Singh had killed her and his wife over two years ago. His conviction in the double murder case was secured through his other minor daughter’s testimony in the matter.

A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, consisting of Justice Uma Nath Singh and Justice A.N. Jindal, has now upheld the trial court’s order awarding him death penalty in November 2007.

The judgment comes at a time when the demand for stringent action against the indulgers of heinous crimes, including rape, is gaining momentum; and the recent incident of suicide by a housewife allegedly raped by cops in Rohtak has become a matter of public concern.

Mohinder Singh was initially sentenced to 12 years rigorous imprisonment after he was convicted for raping his daughter in 1999 when she was still a minor.

While on parole, he violated the conditions of his release and attacked his wife Veena Verma, who was a witness in the rape case. A case of causing hurt and criminal intimidation was, subsequently, registered against him.

He, however, also got a false case registered against his wife and son Malkiat Singh after inflicting self-injuries. The case was then cancelled.

Again on January 8, 2006, he without any provocation attacked the rape victim (his daughter) and his wife with an axe after entering the house.

The assault resulted in instantaneous deaths in the presence of his youngest daughter, who was saved as she locked herself in a room.

Taking up the appeal, the Bench ruled: “In the case in hand, the accused had earlier committed rape on his daughter, who was then a minor, while holding threat and giving her beatings.

“Since that act had been reported to the police, leading to his conviction and sentence, he was looking for an opportunity to wreak vengeance on his wife and daughter. That is why, earlier also, he had assaulted his wife.

“Thus, instead of repenting for his misdeeds, while being under a sentence of 12 years rigorous imprisonment, he remorselessly indulged in another diabolical act of committing murder of rape victim (his daughter) and witness in case (his wife).

“In this background, looking for a strong mitigating circumstance, may not yield any result and this offence has in fact ceased to remain a simple case of murder. This has rather acquired an enormity to the extent of rushing into the category of rarest of rare cases”.

Speaking for the Bench, Justice Uma Nath Singh ruled: “The accused committed the murder with full determination, while uttering before the deceased that they would not be left alive and would be taught a lesson. The accused thereafter gave first blow to Veena Verma from behind with a ‘kulhari’ on her head in a dastardly manner. Thereafter, he attacked his daughter when she was paying obeisance in her worship room and caused repeated ‘kulhari’ blows to her death again in brutal, grotesque, diabolical, revolting and dastardly manner”.


High Court
Status quo on security to Sekhri
Tribune News Service

The HC has ordered the maintenance of status quo on security already provided to Punjab’s former minister Ashwini Sekhri, who represented Batala constituency of Punjab Vidhan Sabha from 2002-07.

Disposing of a writ petition filed by Sekhri, challenging the orders of May 30, issued by an additional director-general of police, the vacation bench of Justice Permod Kohli and Justice Rakesh Kumar Garg on Wednesday also asked the state police chief to inquire within a week the present threat perception to Sekhri and his family.

The petitioner’s father Sarv Mitter Sekhri was a member of the now defunct Punjab legislative council.

Sekhri’s counsel Kanwaljit Singh pointed out that the petitioner and his family had been provided security cover of five police personnel since 1985 in view of the threats recurrently received by them from the militants.

There was no change in the situation, which could prompt for reconsideration, and withdrawal of security as had been conveyed in the communication from the ADGP, the counsel further submitted.


Bank robbery: All 6 accused acquitted
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, June 11
All six accused in a sensational bank robbery case, in which two employees of the bank had been killed, were acquitted today, courtesy the witnesses, including the complainants, who turned hostile in the court.

According to details of the case, the incident occurred on August 28, 2000, in the Punjab and Sind branch on the Sultanwind Road in broad daylight.

The armed accused had barged into the branch and robbed Rs 1.97 lakh from the cashier as bank manager Rajinder Mohan Singh and the security guard grappled with them to save the cash. The accused fired and seriously wounded both, who later succumbed to injuries in hospital.

The police had managed to crack the case and arrested all six accused, Jaswinder Singh, Surjit Singh, Manpreet Singh and Manjit Singh, who were in judicial custody, and Paramjit Singh and Jograj Singh, who were on bail.

The police case was weakened when all bank employees, including complainant Amarjit Singh, cashier, retracted from their earlier statements and refused to identify the culprits, thus allowing the court to let them off.

SSP tells banks to have CCTVs

Alarmed at incidents of ATM and bank robbery cases, including the recent bank heist in which Rs 37 lakh, along with the cash van, was taken away, the SSP today addressed a meeting of senior managers and security officials of all banks to ensure installation of closed-circuit TV (CCTV) cameras in bank premises as well as at the entrance to check entry of customers and public.

The SSP advised the bank managements to beef up security in and around the banks with trained armed guards with sophisticated firearms.


Five cops held for custodial death
Our Correspondent

Ferozepur, June 11
The Makhu police reportedly registered a case against an assistant sub-inspector, head constable, constable of the Punjab police and two volunteers of the Punjab Home Guards (PHG) in a case related to custodial death, regarding which an inquiry was marked on the orders of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC).

According to information, Rashpal Singh, resident of Mahalewala village, in his compliant to the PSHRC, had stated that his father Mukhtiar Singh died while he was in the custody of the police in June, 2007.

The SSP had marked an inquiry in the case to SHO Ashwani Kumar. The SHO investigated the case in which ASI Raj Kumar, head constable Balbir Singh, constable Balvir Chand and two PHG volunteers Janak Singh and Prem Singh were held at fault in whose custody Mukhtiar had died.

In his report, the SHO stated that Mukhtiar was arrested in June, 2007, following the death of his servant due to an electric shock. However, Mukhtiar did not inform the police about the incident and allegedly threw his body into a river.

Thereafter, when the police got to know about the event, they arrested him.When the police party took him to the spot to identify the place where he had thrown the body, Mukhtiar died.

According to the police, Mukhtiar died of heart attack, as he was aged and could not bear the intense heat and humidity.

On the basis of the police report, the SDM, Ferozepur, closed the case taking action under Section 174.

Later, after a compliant was lodged by Rashpal Singh, the case was again re-opened and subsequently, an inquiry was conducted after which FIR No. 73, dated June 10, 2008, under Section 304 was registered.


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