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Alliance sweeps MC polls
Tribune Reporters

An elderly man being helped to reach a polling booth in Pathankot on Monday.
An elderly man being helped to reach a polling booth in Pathankot on Monday. A Tribune photograph

Bathinda, June 30
The SAD-BJP alliance has swept the MC polls in the district despite sporadic incidents of violence and allegations of rigging. At least half a dozen persons were injured as violence erupted at Maur and police had to fire into the air to quell the violent workers. A mob, wielding lathis and kripans, went on a rampage and damaged two vehicles while the police impounded a vehicle carrying liquor and arms.

The clash occurred outside the polling booth in ward number 7, where about 100 supporters of BJP candidate Vasudev Goel allegedly attacked the supporters of Vijay Kumar Goel (Independent), injuring five persons, including president of the local unit of the SAD Madan Lal. The assailants badly damaged two vehicles, a Tata Sumo and a car, and seriously injured two persons, Vinod and Pawan, who were rushed to a hospital while two other persons, were also injured.

A vehicle damaged in poll violence at Maur Mandi in Bathinda on Monday.
A vehicle damaged in poll violence at Maur Mandi in Bathinda on Monday. Tribune photo: Kulbir Beera

The trouble arose when BJP district president (rural) Dayal Singh Sodhi and former BJP district president Gurinder Pal Kaur Mangat entered the polling booth and supporters of Vijay Goel objected to it.

The supporters of Goel alleged that the goons were brought from Sirsa by the brother of the BJP candidate and the police instead of stopping them, showered lathi blows on them. Another minor incident took place in ward number 13 where BJP candidate Naib Singh and his independent rival Chiman Lal Punia clashed inside the polling booth.

However, SP Narender Kaushal said the polling was peaceful.

The polling was brisk and heavy right from the start and nearly 70 or 80 per cent voters had cast their votes by 1 pm at Maur, Kot Fatah and Sangat. A large number of voters complained of bogus voting.

Mohinder Kaur, a voter in ward number 2 in Kot Fatta alleged that her vote was already cast when she reached the polling station.

Polling was by and large peaceful in Sangat.

The SAD-BJP made a clean sweep of Rampura Phul as 16 seats out of total 17 were bagged by the coalition candidates. At Bhucho, too, the ruling alliance candidates bagged nine out of the 13 seats, while two each went to the Congress and Independents.

Abohar: The BJP succeeded in wresting the control of the municipal council from arch-rival Congress by winning in 16 out of 31 wards. Its alliance partner SAD could win only one seat. The Congress tally was reduced to 12 whereas it had 27 members in the outgoing council. Two independents were able to record victory. Two BJP stalwarts, district general secretary Arun Narang and former mandal president Bhupinder Snehi failed to win while the third one, mandal vice-president Ashok Chhabra could not get his wife Vinay Chhabra elected. Yet another top functionary of the saffron party, south mandal president Geeta Chaudhary could win only by a narrow margin. Most members of the outgoing council preferred not to contest this time. Five of those who dared to face the electorate again on a Congress ticket were defeated. Vimal Thathai of the Congress won for the fourth consecutive term. The SAD (B) had to cut a sorry figure. It had insisted on contesting from five wards but only Vijay Nagpal, a sitting councilor, could win on the party ticket. The party had three members in the outgoing council. One of them contested as the Congress nominee this time but lost.

Mansa: Election for the four municipal councils passed of peacefully here as 77.5 per cent polling was recorded in Mansa, 80 per cent in Budhladha, 88 per cent in Bareta and 86 per cent in Sardoolgarh. In ward number 9 of Sardoolgarh, SAD and Congress workers picked a scuffle. Congress MLA from Sardoolgarh Ajitinder Singh Moffer alleged that Akali workers had fired on him when he was visiting election booths. After the declaration of results, Congress workers in Sardoolgarh staged a dharna on the Sirsa-Mansa road, under the leadership of Ajitinder Singh Moffer. In Sardoolgarh, 12 seats went in favour of the SAD-BJP combine and one in favour of the Congress. In Bareta, six seats went to the SAD- BJP combine, three to the Congress and four in favour of Independents. At Budhladha, SAD-BJP candidates were declare elected on nine seats, two seats went in favour of the Congress, one seat in favour of the CPI while one Independent candidate was declared winner. The CPI candidate had won the prestigious ward number 12 seat defeating the BJP and Congress candidates. In Mansa, nearly 11 independents were declared winners while SAD had a tally of six seats, the BJP two and the Congress four. From ward number 9, Balwinder Singh Kaka, state president of the Anti-Terrorist Front won on the Congress symbol.

Amritsar: The SAD had won all seats in the municipal committees of Ramdas, Ajnala, Majitha.

Deputy commissioner Kahan Singh Pannu said out of the 13 seats in the Rayya, the SAD won 9 seats while the Congress got 4 seats. In Jandiala Guru, the Congress won 6 seats whereas the SAD had been able to win only 3 seats, the BJP one seat. Five seats went to Independent candidates. Pannu said 50,953 voters exercised their franchise.

Dinanagar: The BJP won only 5 seats in Dinanagar out of a total of 13 wards. Independents could bag only 2 seats while 6 seats were bagged by the Congress. The Congress winning candidates are Rakesh Kumar, Paras Ram, Rajni Bala, Deepak Nischal, Tarsem Raj and Sunita Devi. The candidates of the BJP who have won the elections are Rakesh Mahajan, Parveen Kumari, Parveen Choudhry, Neelam Bala and Tarlok Singh. The Independent winners are Binar Mahajan and Vijay Mahajan.

Hoshiarpur: Out of eight, 6 municipal councils in this district have been captured by the SAD-BJP alliance.

According to deputy commissioner-cum-district electoral officer N. K. Wadhawan, 80 per cent electorates exercised their right of voting in all 8 MCs of the district. The polling remained peaceful. However, some stray incidents during polling had been reported.

In polling booth No. 5 of ward No. 2 located at P. D. Arya Girls Senior Secondary School, Congress candidate Romesh Thakur and Diwan Singh, an independent, along with their supporters demonstrated against the presiding officer and his staff for their alleged favour to the BJP candidate. During a scuffle among supporters of the BJP and the Congress inside the booth, the electronic voting machine fell off the table suspending the polling from 1.30 pm to 2.30 pm. The Congress and independent candidates announced the boycott of the election.

The police rounded up Romesh Thakur and general secretary of the DCC Raman Kapur but later released them. In Hoshiarpur, the BJP has secured 11, SAD 9, Congress 6 and independents 5 in a House of 31 seats.

In the 15-member House of the Mukerian MC, the BJP has secured 8, SAD 3, and the Congress and Independents 2 each.

In Hariana, the BJP has secured 3, SAD 2 and Independents 8. In Sham Chaurasi, the SAD bagged 4 seats, the BJP 2 and Independents 3.

In the 13-member Garhshankar MC, the SAD has secured 2, the BJP 3 and Independents 8. In Dasuya, the BJP has won 6 wards, SAD in 4 wards and the Congress in 3 wards. In Tanda, the BJP secured 3, Congress 1 and Independents 9. In Garhdiwala, the SAD has secured 6, BJP 2 and Independents 3.

In Tanda, the SAD (B) has failed even in opening its account, whereas 9 candidates supported by Sangat Singh Gilzian, a local MLA, were declared elected.

In Garhshankar, the Congress has failed in opening account. It had not contested MC elections in Hariana, Sham Churasi, Garhdhiwala on party symbol.

Nabha: As expected, the ruling SAD-BJP alliance swept the local municipal council polls. It bagged 14 seats in a 23-seated council. Eight seats went to the SAD while the BJP won six seats. On two seats, Independents stood victorious. It is for the first time that the SAD-led coalition has busted the Congress citadel here. The Congress managed to win only seven seats. In the previous elections, the Congress had won 15 seats.

Pawan Garg, Narinderjit Singh and Amardeep Singh Khanna, all Congress candidates; Rajnish Shunti and Surinder Bawa (both BJP candidates); Bhola Ram and Gautam Batish (both SAD), Dalip Bittu (Independent) have secured another term in the MC. While three former presidents of the council, Pawan Garg, Narinderjit Singh, Gautam Batish, have won, one Ram Sarup Malik has lost the election. The polling remained peaceful.

Ferozepur: The ruling SAD-BJP coalition has swept the polls of civic bodies in Ferozepur city and five towns of Guru Har Sahai, Jalalabad, Zira, Abohar and Fazilka in this border district.

In Ferozepur city, the SAD has won 4 seats, BJP 12, Congress 5 and independents 4 giving a solid majority to the SAD-BJP coalition in a House of 25 seats.

Some wards in this city witnessed tough contest as the margin of victories were thin. In ward no. 3 Congress candidate Satya Rani lost by a margin of just one vote while in ward no. 19 Rajinder Sethi lost by just three votes.

In Zira, the SAD got a thumping majority by winning 13 seats. The BJP managed to win 1 seat and the Congress 2 seats.

In Jalalabad, Abohar and Fazilka towns, the BJP has managed to grab a majority of the seats. In Jalalabad, out of the total of 15 seats, the BJP has won 11 seats while its alliance partner SAD won 4 seats. The Congress has been completely routed from this town.

In Fazilka, out of the total of 21 seats, the BJP has won 14, SAD 1 and the Congress 5 seats. The poll was cancelled in one ward.

In Guru Har Sahai, out of the total of 13 seats, the SAD has won 6, the BJP 2 and the Congress 5 seats.

Meanwhile, notwithstanding the stringent security measures, the polls witnessed several incidents of violence between supporters of warring groups contesting the polls, which left at least five persons injured including a reporter of a vernacular daily in Ferozepur city.

The main incident took place in ward no. 8 where a poll-related dispute took violent turn when Akali supporters allegedly fired few shots injuring two persons including Jaswinder Singh, a correspondent of Daily Ajit. He suffered injury on his arm and was out of danger. Poll-related clashes were also reported from ward no. 1, 9, 10 and 21.

Parminder Singh 'Pinki', general secretary of the PPCC, alleged that Akali and BJP workers indulged in violence to create terror among the voters in Ferozepur city. While accusing the SAD-BJP combine of blatant violations of democratic norms, he said the SAD-BJP workers rigged the polls in connivance with the police. At few places some independent candidates blamed both the Congress and the SAD-BJP for disturbing the peaceful atmosphere in the polls.

Pinki alleged DSP Jasbir Singh helped the candidates of the ruling parties. He has demanded re-poll in ward numbers 9, 10, 16 and 22 of Ferozepur city.

On the other hand, SAD-BJP leaders also alleged that Pinki and his supporters had also indulged in violence.

96 pc polling in Malerkotla

Malerkotla: More than 96 per cent votes were polled in the Malerkotla Municipal Council elections held here on Monday. According to SDM Jaspal Singh Jassi, 75,159 votes were polled out of total about 77,600 votes. In the results, the Congress got 14 out of 31 seats, while the SAD got 12 and 5 seats were won by independents and others. According to DSP Gurpreet Singh Sikand, the elections were held in a peaceful manner and no untoward incident occurred in the elections.


Cong rout in Patiala
Tribune Reporters

Patiala, June 30
The ruling SAD-BJP washed out the Congress in Sanaur and Samana. More than 80 per cent polling was recorded. Out of 28 wards where results were declared today, the SAD-BJP combine took 22 seats while the Congress managed only one seat. Five seats went to Independent candidates.

In Sanaur, out of 13 wards the results of 12 were declared. The elections for ward no. 13 were cancelled due to some problem in the voting machine. SAD took eight seats, BJP won 1 seat, independent candidates won two seats and the Congress managed one seat. The winning candidates of SAD are Lal Singh (ward no. 1), Charanjit Singh (2), Gurbaksh Singh (4), Gurmeet Singh (5), Rimi Sharma (6), Sukhdeep Singh (8), Rajinder Singh (10), Inder Kumar (12).

Two independent candidates who have won are Pritpal Singh (3), Dalvinder Singh (11). BJP candidate Bharat Goyal and Congress candidate Kulwant Singh have won from ward no. 7 and 9, respectively.

In ward no. 7 of Sanaur, BJP candidate Bharat Goyal and Congress candidate Ravinder Kumar, alias Happy, picked a fight. Goyal suffered minor injuries whereas Ravinder wounded in head and admitted to Rajindra Hospital, Patiala.

In Samana, out of 17 wards, the results of 16 were declared. The SAD took 11 seats, the BJP won 2 and three Independent candidates emerged victorious. The Congress did not win even a single seat in Samana. The result of ward no. 3 was not declared because the machine of booth no. 5 was broken.

Candidates of the SAD Surjit Ram (1), Hari Pal Singh (4), Sheela Rani (5), Balwinder Kaur (6), Sudarshan Mittal (7), Rupinder Kaur (11), Tarsem Chand (12), Charanjit Singh (13), Sewak Lal (14), Kapoor Chand (16) and Ajit Rahi (17) have won.

BJP candidates Pradeep Sharma (2) and Sham Lal (9) managed to win. Independent winners were Renu Sharma (8), Gopal Krishan (10) and Jasvinder Kaur (15).

Tarn Taran: The SAD-BJP alliance has swept the local and Patti municipal council elections.

Nine candidates were elected unopposed for the local 19-member municipal council. The winners of the 10 wards are Kulwinder Kaur ward No. 3 (BJP), Amarjit Singh Rajput ward No. 6 (Independent), Surinder Singh Mallhi ward No. 9 (Independent), Jaswant Singh Padda ward number 11, Swinder Singh Arora ward No. 12 (SAD), Renu ward No. 13 (SAD), Kulwant Kaur ward No. 15(SAD), Gurpreet Singh ward No. 16 (BJP), Rajesh Kumar Joshi ward No. 18 (Independent) and Anita Tejpal ward No. 19 (Independent).

The Congress even failed to open its account in any of the municipal ward.

Out of total 15 members of the Patti municipal council, the SAD won in 11 wards while the BJP could retain only one seat while the Congress won two seats.

The winner candidates of the SAD are Kewal Krishan (ward No. 2), Jasbir Singh (3), Jaswinder Kaur Dolli (4), Manjit Kaur (5), Harbans Kaur (6), Ranjit singh (7), Pritam Singh (8), Harpreet Singh (10), Harmeet Kaur (12), Suresh Pathak (14), and Baljit Kaur (15). Varinder Kumar of the BJP won from ward number 13 while Congress candidates Satpal and Kulwant Singh respectively won from ward number 9 and 11. The lone independent Jagiri Lal won from ward number 1.

At Tarn Taran, the contest was between the ruling SAD and the BJP. Four out of five candidates who have been elected as Independent have their alliance with the BJP and one Independent was backed by the SAD.


Setback for SAD-BJP in Pathankot
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, June 30
The BJP has received a big jolt in the defeat of its district president Satish Mahajan, former president of Pathankot municipal council. Mahajan has been defeated by Congress greenhorn Anil Sharma from ward number 5.

The SAD-BJP alliance failed to get an absolute majority in the 33-ward MC. The alliance has won nine seats, the Congress 17 and Independents have won six seats. The election in ward number 30 has been postponed by SDM-cum-returning officer Ajmer Singh due to improper functioning of an EVM.

The Congress’ victorious candidates are Vibhuti Sharma, Rakesh Babbli, Anil Vij, Anil Sharma, Balwan Minhas, Usha Bedi, Gopal Mahajan, Joginder Pehalwan, Dhanwant Bajwa, Indu Bala, Ashok Kumar Muna, Sonu, Beena Devi, Ajay Kumar and Harinder Kaur. The BJP winning candidates are Akshay Kumar and Gulshan Mahajan, Meera Devi, Darshan Lal, Pratibha Thakur, Vikram Mahajan, Narinder Nindo, Maan Singh and Vijay Kumar Chuni while Romesh Tolla, Mansi, Saleem Bhatti, Soma Devi and Gaurav Wadhera have won as Independents.


Sporadic violence mars elections
Booth-capturing at Dhariwal
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, June 30
Even as candidates of SAD-BJP combine scored decisive victory in majority of wards of Dhariwal, Qadian and local municipal councils, the polling was marred by booth capturing and rigging allegedly done by the members of the ruling alliance.

Not only this, three electronic voting machines (EVMs) were broken by the goons in ward number 5, 6 and 12 of the Qadian municipal council. Leaders of bothe the Congress and the SAD-BJP combine levelled allegations and counter-allegations against each other.

Returning officer, Qadian, Mudal said apart from this incident, the polling was peaceful.

In Dhariwal, where SAD-BJP alliance managed to get nine seats out of total 13 seats, the polling witnessed large-scale booth-capturing as the police remained mute spectator.

Former Congress minister Partap Singh Bajwa while holding Sucha Singh Langah, agriculture minister, responsible for large-scale booth-capturing, sought his resignation on moral grounds.

In Gurdaspur, the SAD-BJP alliance scored victory in 13 wards out of total 21 wards. The Congress managed to get five seats while Independent candidates scored victory in two wards. The polling in this town, however, remained peaceful.


Sunam: Cops fire in air
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 30
In the elections to eight Municipal Councils (MC) Sangrur, Sunam, Dhuri, Malerkotla, Bhawanigarh, Longowal, Lehragaga, Ahmedgarh of Sangrur district, about 80 per cent polling was today recorded while stray incidents of violence from Sangrur and Sunam were also reported. The returning officer for Sunam MC elections-cum-ADC Indu Malhotra has recommended re-polling in one booth of the Sunam’s ward No. 13 where Congress workers had also staged a dharna against alleged highhandedness of the ruling alliance. The counting of votes in Sunam’s ward No. 13 has been stopped for the time being.

In ward No. 7 of Sunam, the police had to reportedly open fire in the air to disperse a violent mob as supporters of two candidates quarrelled on the issue of polling of “fake votes”, besides booth capturing. In ward No. 7 of Sangrur, the police chased Congress and BJP workers to prevent them from quarrelling while in ward No. 19 independent candidate Harinder Singh Khalsa and the BJP workers clashed here.

The SAD-BJP alliance has reportedly captured the Sangrur MC by winning 11 seats (out of total 21 seats). Seven seats have been won by the SAD and four by the BJP. The Congress has won nine seats. One seat has been captured by independent candidate Harinder Singh Khalsa from ward No. 19.


Hans’s kin emerge victorious
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, June 30
All three relatives of renowned Punjabi singer Hans Raj Hans registered their victories from their respective wards in the Kapurthala Municipal Council elections.

While Hans’ brother-in-law Paramjit Singh Pamma won from ward No. 27, Pamma’s wife Shaminder Kaur won by defeating her rival from ward No. 25.

Similarly, Hans’ younger brother-in-law Sukhwinder Singh Sukha made debut in the Kapurthala MC by winning elections from ward No. 26.

The SAD-BJP secured majority in Kapurthala and Phagwara MC polls.

The SAD-BJP combine won 16 seats and the Congress 10 seats whereas BSP (Ambedkar) won single seat in the Kapurthala MC.

BJP district chief Sham Sunder Agarwal won the MC election fourth time in a row, whereas Monica Goel of SAD made hat-trick of her win. Besides a former SGPC member Jaimal Singh won on SAD ticket from Sultanpur Lodhi MC.


Stone pelting on victory procession
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 30
Five persons, including three relatives of BJP candidate Raj Kumar Gera, who won the Municipal Council elections today from ward No. 17 in Sunam, reportedly sustained injuries this evening when some persons allegedly pelted stones on the victory procession, taken out by Gera and his supporters at Sunam.

A member of state executive of Punjab BJP Prem Gugnani from Sunam said some Cong men pelted stones on the procession. All injured persons had been admitted to the hospital.


De-recognition notice to Faridkot medical college
VC leaves for Delhi to meet MCI officials
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Baba Farid University of Health Sciences vice-chancellor Dr Ravinder Singh today left for Delhi to meet senior Medical Council of India (MCI) officers, generating hope that Government Medical College, Faridkot, attached to the medical university will not be de-recognised.

Due to the Punjab government’s apathetic attitude towards the college for several years, the college has been facing threat of de-recognition by the MCI. Following two inspections this year, the MCI had given a warning to the government that it would de-recognise the college if the deficiencies pointed by it were not removed. Not only the Faridkot college, two other government colleges, one at Patiala and the other at Amritsar, also face threat of de-recognition by the MCI. The parents, whose wards have cleared PMET for admission to government medical colleges in Punjab, are worried owing to the threat of de-recognition given by the MCI to these colleges.

In December 6, 2006, the Punjab government had handed over the Faridkot college to the university when its entire academic functioning was in a deplorable condition. It had only 32 teachers on faculty against a sanctioned strength of 87. In fact, the government, which had set up the college with 50 MBBS seats at Faridkot about three decades ago, was being run on ad hoc basis for long. Teachers used to be just transferred from other medical colleges a few weeks before inspection by the MCI to save the college from de-recognition. And after inspection, the teaching staff used to be sent back to their original place of posting.

Sources said even instructions by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to the authorities concerned to provide adequate funds at least to meet minimal needs of the college and pay the salary bill of the sanctioned staff made no difference.

However, after coming to know of this practice, MCI inspecting teams now started asking about the tenure of posting of teachers posted in these colleges. The sources said the university had recruited about 122 teachers and other staff, besides 92 nurses to save the colleges from de-recognition. Already 104 teachers and other members of the staff, including four professors, had joined duty. The CT scan system had also been put in place. Other objections raised by the MCI had also been removed.

When the state government had handed over the college, originally set up in Bihar but moved to Faridkot and taken over by the government in the ’70s, to the university, there was hardly 30 per cent of teaching staff, 40 per cent nurses and almost same percentage of resident doctors against the parameters fixed by the MCI. However, shortage of teachers has come down to just 30 per cent and strength of resident doctors is full. In emergency ward, free medicine is being provided by the university to ensure good intake of patients to meet requirements of the MCI. Radiotherapy and dialysis units are being made operational. Seats in the nursing courses have been increased and plan to start MSc( nursing) classes is approved. All heads of departments have been told to procure material required to meet the MCI conditions.

The government is not extending financial help to the college whereas it has been giving money to other colleges. The state government is not giving funds to pay salary to total sanctioned posts of teacher. It is giving salary of the teachers who were on rolls at the time of handing over the college to the university. “We can increase the number of MBBS seats to 100 in the college but for this we need financial support from the state government. The college cannot be run by looking into the pockets of students,” said a senior official of the university.



Legislator’s family feud goes public
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
The mother and sister of sitting Congress legislator Randeep Singh Nabha have alleged ill-treatment by the him, who they claim threatened them with taking their life if they asked for their share in the “ancestral property”. The family has been on a “warpath” since 1988 when his father Gurdarshan Singh, a former Punjab minister, died.

Randeep’s mother Satinder Kaur, founder chairperson of the Punjab Mahila Congress and member of the disciplinary committee of the Punjab Pradesh Congress, addressed a press conference here today accompanied by her daughter Jasbir Kaur, two brothers Manmohan Singh and Tejinder Singh. She accused the legislator of “threatening to eliminate them” and demanded that they be protected. “All we want is our share in the property and protection to our lives; we cannot be wished away simply because we are women,” Satinder said.

The family of the legislator said while on the one hand efforts were being made to educate people against female foeticide and about equal rights of women, in reality a lot was desired to change the feudal male mindset that preaches denial of rights to women.

“My brother simply tells me you cannot get any of our father’s property because you are a woman. Whatever the law may say, but women get no property in Punjab,” Jasbir said.

Meanwhile, Randeep said the matter was subjudice with several cases pending in the court. “But it is unfortunate that a family matter has been made public in this manner.

My mother doesn’t keep well, but I have all due regard and respect for her. All I can say at this point is that the possibility of a political hand behind today’s press conference cannot be ruled out.

“I am a public figure and someone is trying to tarnish my image. My father’s soul would be the most unhappy over the incident as he would have wished that any dispute should have been settled within the family only,” he said.

Uncles of the legislator said Gurdeep, the other son of Satinder, who is siding with the legislator, has only a girl child. “But when it comes to that, he is willing to give the property to his daughter but not to his sister. What kind of a public service will he and his MLA brother do to the people? They are themselves subverting the law by wishing so.” They said a court had awarded a succession certificate, making all legal heirs of Gurdarshan equal shareholders of his property. But the MLA was using force to sabotage the verdict of the court, they alleged.

Satinder has alleged that the legislator had forcefully taken possession of her land at Nabha, Patiala and Bathinda on Saturday, depriving her of her livelihood. “I will be approaching the National Women’s Commission, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Congress president Sonia Gandhi to get justice.”

She said since 1995, Randeep had been misbehaving with her. The things deteriorated and he started threatening, assaulting and abusing her. She further said her complaint to the SSP, Chandigarh, yielded no result simply because the police did not want to touch an MLA.


Government mulls rechristening Pul Kanjri as Pul Moran
P.K. Jaiswar

Amritsar, June 30
On the basis of research on the life of Moran, a nautch girl from the Lahore gharana, whom Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh had married, the government is contemplating changing the name of the historical Pul Kanjiri to Pul Moran.

Research by Manveen Sandhu, principal, Spring Dale Senior School, has revealed that the Maharaja’s marriage to Moran was a conscious act to rehabilitate a particular down-trodden section of society as part of his social reform movement.

The Maharaja used to court Moran during his stay at Pul Kanjri (now situated on the Indo-Pakistan border) on his way to Lahore.

Meanwhile, the play, “Moran Sarkar,” based on the life of the dancer, was staged by young artistes of India and Pakistan at Punjab Naatshala here today. The play was organised by Punarjyot, the Centre for Preservation and Promotion of Heritage of Punjab, in collaboration with the National School of Drama, the Manch-Rangmanch and the Punjab Naatshala.

Another attraction of the evening was Fakir Syed Saif-ud-Din of Fakir Khana Museum, Lahore, Pakistan, and sixth generation descendant of Fakirs who held eminent positions in Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s darbar. Fakir Khana Museum had some interesting stories about the marriage of the Maharaja with Moran.

The performance by artistes coupled with the script by Manveen and direction by theatre artiste and director Kewal Dhaliwal, left the audience spellbound till the end. All lauded Manveen for getting Moran a rightful place in history.

The state government, with the support of the Central government, the Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, has planned to develop Pul Kanjri as a centre of tourist attraction by renovating the complex having a baradari which is dilapidated, a pond with stagnant water and a temple. The police had also decided to improve roads and strengthen some of the structures with help from local residents.


SDM, secy lock horns
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Batala, June 30
An alleged threat issued to Jagwinderjit Singh Grewal, local SDM, by Jagdish Sawhney, chief parliamentary secretary, over an election-related issue has triggered off a controversy. The SDM has written to the chief secretary in this regard.

The incident has caused resentment among Punjab Civil Services (PCS) officers, a section of whom is of the opinion that the matter should be taken to its logical end so that they could work in free and fair manner.

Sawhney allegedly threatened Grewal, who was performing duty as returning officer for the local municipal council elections, with dire consequences when the latter refused to reject the nomination papers of a section of Opposition candidates. Sawhney allegedly told him that he would set the things right after the elections were over.

Ambika, a daughter of Sawhney, is contesting on BJP ticket from ward number 10.

Meanwhile, Grewal said he would quit his job if he failed to maintain the dignity and sanctity of the chair of SDM. He has also taken up the matter with deputy commissioner Gurkirat Kirpal Singh.

On the other hand, Sawhney, while denying he issued any threat to Grewal, alleged that the latter had been supporting the candidates of the Opposition. Not only this, he had not been paying due regards to him (Sawhney) despite him being an elected representative of this area, Sawhney added.

He alleged that Grewal changed the locations of three polling booths on flimsy grounds to harass the SAD-BJP candidates.

He alleged that Grewal was trying to find out an excuse to avoid his transfer from this place: “I have decided to get him transferred. He (Grewal) has not performed his duty in free and fair manner. I am going to take up the matter with Chief Minister tomorrow or day after tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, a section of senior officials of the government, to whom The Tribune talked, pointed out that whatever had happened with Grewal was a dangerous trend, which, if not checked, would plunge the state into deep crisis. They added that already a large number of senior civil and police officials had been sent on forced leave when they refused to follow the ‘diktats’ of ruling politicians in the elections.


PCCTU condemns attack on Prof of DAV College
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 30
The Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) has strongly condemned the brutal attack on Prof K.S. Arya of DAV College here. In a press statement here today, the union alleged that the police chowki concerned was not taking any action against the accused persons and putting political pressure.

Giving details, Prof H.S. Walia, vice-president, PCCTU, said the incident took place on June 25 when Professor Arya had gone to a sanitary shop to purchase some material. However, when he demanded a bill for it, the shopkeeper started an altercation and along with his workers allegedly beat him up.

He alleged that a complaint was lodged with the police chowki and when Professor Arya went for a medical examination at the Civil Hospital, the accused shopkeeper, along with others, reached there and pressurised the woman doctor.

The case was given to Rambagh police station after the professor approached the district police chief.

Professor Walia said although the case was transferred, political pressure was being exerted to force the victim for a mutual compromise. He threatened if action was not be taken against the erring persons, the PCCTU would launch a protest as soon as the college opened and after this a state-level struggle would be announced. Meanwhile, the Akhil Bhartiya Sanskrit Vikas Parishad, along with the National Sanskrit Sansthan and other organisations, have put their weight behind Professor Arya and demanded a rightful and peaceful solution to the controversy.


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