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DELHI
B A T H I N D A    E D I T I O N

Sr Citizenís Day observed
Sunset boulevard beckons...Dev Raj Bansal, first president of Bathinda Municipal Committee, holds a picture of C. Rajgopalchari, at the old age home.
Bathinda, October 1
Besides being a philanthropist, Dev Raj Bansal, was the first president of the Bathinda Municipal Committee, but now he lives in the old age home here as his nears and dears have abandoned him.


Dev Raj Bansal, first president of Bathinda Municipal Committee, holds a picture of C. Rajgopalchari, at the old age home. Tribune photo: Malkiat Singh

Patwari charged with troubling elderly farmerJoginder Singh, an aged farmer, being brought out of the office of the deputy commissioner on Wednesday, after complaining against the patwari who was pressurising him to sell him his agricultural land to him.
Bathinda, October 1
Joginder Singh, an elderly farmer of Gobindpura village near here, today complained to deputy commissioner of Bathinda Rahul Tewari that the Patwari of the area was pressurising him to sell his agricultural land to him at a throwaway price.

Joginder Singh, an aged farmer, being brought out of the office of the deputy commissioner on Wednesday, after complaining against the patwari who was pressurising him to sell him his agricultural land to him. Tribune photo: Kulbir Beera





EARLIER STORIES

Growers turn to Rajasthan markets
October 1, 2008
Paddy procurement begins
September 30, 2008
Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan faces multiple problems
September 29, 2008
Anti-drug drive yields positive results
September 28, 2008
Study to assess impact on kin
September 27, 2008
Farmersí woes continue as paddy awaits lifting
September 26, 2008
Aid plan to check seepage
September 25, 2008
Security concerns play spoilsport
September 24, 2008
Rousing reception for Rahul in Malwa
September 23, 2008
Ballot battle turns nasty in PU polls
September 22, 2008
Cong infighting surfaces again
September 21, 2008
THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS



Bapuís kids

Tiny-tots of Kids Care School in Bathinda enthusiastically took part in a function organised on the eve of Gandhi Jayanti on the school premises on Wednesday. Holding tri-colour in their hands, the children danced to the tunes of patriotic songs and participated in the parade. They took part in the rhyme recitation competition held to mark the occasion.
Tiny-tots of Kids Care School in Bathinda enthusiastically took part in a function organised on the eve of Gandhi Jayanti on the school premises on Wednesday. Holding tri-colour in their hands, the children danced to the tunes of patriotic songs and participated in the parade. They took part in the rhyme recitation competition held to mark the occasion. Tribune photo: Kulbir Beera

Ban on smoking comes into force
Will the law go up in smoke again?
Bathinda, October 1
Smoking is banned in public places. That's an old hat. Banned it is, but only on paper! Who will implement the order of the Supreme Court that calls for a ban on smoking in public places?

Major mishap averted at Moga rail crossing
Dagru (Moga), October 1
A major train accident was averted here in Moga district on Wednesday afternoon when the driver of a private bus service tried to drive onto the railway track while the gates were being closed for the passage of train. Kulwant Singh, driver of the passenger train (number- 6LF) coming from Ferozepur to Moga, had to apply emergency brakes at 1.15 pm.


Girls competing in a dandiya contest organised on the occasion of first Navratra at SSD girls school in Bathinda on Tuesday night.
Girls competing in a dandiya contest organised on the occasion of first Navratra at SSD girls school in Bathinda on Tuesday night. A Tribune photograph 

Hoax bomb call at railway station in Mansa
Mansa, October 1
The district police along with Railway Protection Force (RPF) today carried out an intensive search operation in the passenger train number 344 at Mansa railway station around 11.35 am following a phone call which claimed that there was a bomb in the train. The call later turned out to be a hoax.

Awareness rally against social evils organised
Abohar, October 1
The students of Gopi Chand Arya Mahila College took out an awareness rally against social evils during the 10-day NSS camp organised at Nihalkhera village, 10 km from here.

Villagers terror-struck, says BKU
Abohar, October 1
Hundreds of villagers, including women, in Seetogunno have been living in terror since the registration of cases under various sections of the IPC in connection with arson and clashes that occurred outside the police post in August.

DCís directive to check fire incidents
Hanumangarh/Abohar, October 1
Ahead of the festival of lights to be celebrated on October 28, Hanumangarh district magistrate Mugdha Sinha on Wednesday issued a directive in this regard.

Cultural contests
Satwinder adjudged best Punjabi singer
Moga, October 1
Satwinder Singh and Lovleen Kaur won the first and second positions respectively in the Punjabi solo song competition held during the creative activity and cultural programme organised at Lala Lajpat Rai College of Engineering here today.

Principal suspended for dereliction of duty
Muktsar, October 1
Following charges of dereliction of duty, deputy commissioner of Muktsar, Rajat Aggarwal, today suspended the officiating principal of government senior secondary school (boys), Rupana, and also warned a lecturer of the college.

4 college students held for possessing arms
Rampura Phul (Bathinda), October 1
The police today arrested four students of the Punjabi university neighbourhood campus on the outskirts of Rampura town and recovered large quantity of arms and ammunition from them. They were intercepted by the police while they were travelling in a Scorpio jeep with dark glasspanes.

Jail term for PUDA staff in bribery case
Bathinda, October 1
Special judge J.S. Kular awarded Subeg Singh, head draftsman at PUDA office, with two years of imprisonment and a fine of Rs 2,000 in a bribery case.






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Sr Citizenís Day observed
Sunset boulevard beckons...
S.P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 1
Besides being a philanthropist, Dev Raj Bansal, was the first president of the Bathinda Municipal Committee, but now he lives in the old age home here as his nears and dears have abandoned him.

Bansal vigorously participated in the country's freedom movement and was jailed with Jawahar Lal Nehru during the Morcha at Jaitu in 1923. However, his grand-children have no appreciation for his historical background and "forced" him to take refuge in the old age home that Bansal had set up several years ago "foreseeing the plight elders might face in the modern times", he said.

Bansal has lost his eyesight and he generally sits in the corridor outside his room engrossed in deep thoughts. He said he would complete his century in February next, but his daily routine has kept him healthy.

He said that he moved into the old age home 15 years ago following death of his wife, son and a daughter when his grand- children became harsh towards him. His grand- son made him sell the ancestral home and pocketed the money. Bansal has now adopted a boy who properly looks after him and visits him everyday.

Bansal proudly showed his photo with the first Indian Governor General Rajagopalachari and has fond memories of the freedom movement and the good old days.

Besides him, there are 12 other inmates, four women and eight men, most of who have been abandoned by their children. An inmate said that married daughters occasionally visit them and enquire about their welfare, but their sons have completely forgotten that they ever had any mother or father.

An aged couple, Tej Ram and his wife Shanti Devi, have five daughters and a son, but now they feel that they have been "dumped" by them in the old age home.

The couple painfully said that their only son has ordered them not to tell anyone about him. He is a merchant in coal that he supplies to the thermal plants around here.

Shanti Devi said that they raised an amount of Rs 3 lakhs by selling their house and loaned the money to one of their son-in-law on the assurance that he would pay monthly interest to them for livelihood, but neither the money nor the interest has ever been paid back forcing them to take refuge in the old age home.

Some of the inmates wanted that the Punjab government should come out with legislation on the lines of Himachal Pradesh that prohibits maltreatment of aged parents.

Another inmate, Kalawati, said that the district authorities in Mansa stopped her old age pension two years ago. She vainly approached the deputy commissioner and other officials on the issue.

The old age home is running on donations and no financial help was coming from the state government, said the manager, Rajesh Kumar.

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Patwari charged with troubling elderly farmer
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 1
Joginder Singh, an elderly farmer of Gobindpura village near here, today complained to deputy commissioner of Bathinda Rahul Tewari that the Patwari of the area was pressurising him to sell his agricultural land to him at a throwaway price.

He told the deputy commissioner that he owned 6 acres of land in the village Gobindpura and wanted to dispose of 4 acres and as such he approached the Patwari to provide him copies of the papers relating to the land.

Instead of handing over land-related papers, the Patwari allegedly started pressurising the farmer to sell him the land at a price of Rs 5 lakh whereas the market price of the land was Rs 15 lakh per acre.

The deputy commissioner assured the farmer that a copy of the land record would be provided to him within two days.

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Ban on smoking comes into force
Will the law go up in smoke again?
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 1
Smoking is banned in public places. That's an old hat. Banned it is, but only on paper! Who will implement the order of the Supreme Court that calls for a ban on smoking in public places?

Now, once again the government is banning smoking in public from October 2 through advertisements which was imposed under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of advertisements and regulation of trade and commerce, production, supply and distribution) Act 2003, and was passed by Parliament in April 2003. As a matter of fact, the order is violated right under the nose of the guardians of the law in various districts of Punjab.

The Act also prohibits the sale of cigarettes or tobacco products to a person below the age of 18 years and in an area with a radius of 100 yards of educational institutions. The district authorities simply do not know how to enforce the order.

Deputy Commissioner, Rahul Tiwari, admitted that the violation had been going on for a long time, but added that no instructions were received about the implementation of the ban. The police have failed to book even a single case so far.

They wink at the smokers as many of them are smokers themselves, said a social activist here.

The Punjab government in its endeavour has decided to impose a ban on smoking in public places from October 2, a senior officer of the state Drugs and Food Control Organisation said here today.

He said the ban would remain in force at all public places not only on smoking, but on the advertising of cigarettes and other tobacco products and their sale to minors in the state.

The officer said anybody caught smoking at a public place will not only have to pay a fine, but can be awarded imprisonment up to two years or both. He said the food inspectors of the Drug and Food Control Organisation have been given powers to take action against the offenders in their respective area of jurisdiction.

However, Vijay Kumar, a former municipal councillor, expressed apprehension over the success of the ban.

He said polythene has been banned but thousands of quintals of it were still being imported into the state openly. Shopkeepers and others use polythene everywhere without any checking as all those responsible for imposing the ban on polythene are directly or indirectly involved in the trade, he added. 

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Major mishap averted at Moga rail crossing
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Dagru (Moga), October 1
A major train accident was averted here in Moga district on Wednesday afternoon when the driver of a private bus service tried to drive onto the railway track while the gates were being closed for the passage of train. Kulwant Singh, driver of the passenger train (number- 6LF) coming from Ferozepur to Moga, had to apply emergency brakes at 1.15 pm.

The railway police that reached the spot immediately arrested Hardip Singh, conductor of the private bus owned by the Khatra Bus Service and bearing number PB-11AB-7455, and one of his associates Gurveer Singh on the charges of beating the gateman and trying to push the gates forcibly open to let the bus pass. The police has also taken the bus into its custody.

The gateman of the railway crossing, Piyare Lal, in a statement recorded before the railway police, said that while he was closing the gates, the conductor of the bus came out and tried to push one of the gates open so as to let the bus pass through it. Due to this, a woman travelling on a scooter sustained head injuries.

Later, the conductor and some of his associates sitting in the bus went to the control room and started beating the gateman. The gateman somehow managed to give a signal to the train for an emergency stop. The guard of the train, Chaman Lal, reacting to the signal, asked the driver to stop the train.

The driver and the guard of the train alighted and rescued the gateman, who was being mercilessly beaten up by the conductor and his associates.

While the scuffle was on, the driver of the bus managed to escape from the spot.

Senior railway officials of the Ferozepur division said the train was stopped for over 10 minutes at the railway crossing and further for about 30 minutes at Moga where the driver and the guard narrated the whole incident to the senior officials.

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Hoax bomb call at railway station in Mansa
Our Correspondent

Mansa, October 1
The district police along with Railway Protection Force (RPF) today carried out an intensive search operation in the passenger train number 344 at Mansa railway station around 11.35 am following a phone call which claimed that there was a bomb in the train. The call later turned out to be a hoax.

According to railway sources, an unidentified call was received at the Mansa railway station around 11 am. The caller claimed that a bomb was planted in the train which was scheduled to reach Mansa at 11:30 am. The train runs between Jind and Sirsa via Mansa and Bathinda and it was coming from Bathinda.

A police team led by senior superintendent of police Manminder Singh, anti-sabotage team, bomb squad and railway protection force launched an intensive search operation when the train reached the station. Passengers were asked to vacate the train.

The SSP said no explosive was found in the train during the search.

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Awareness rally against social evils organised
Our Correspondent

Abohar, October 1
The students of Gopi Chand Arya Mahila College took out an awareness rally against social evils during the 10-day NSS camp organised at Nihalkhera village, 10 km from here.

Braving scorching heat, the students passed through the streets of the village to caution the residents against social evils besides laying emphasis on educating the elderly and compulsory education for girls. The volunteers were accompanied by their teachers, including Seema Somani, Amardeep, Kirandeep and Shabana. Earlier, they had visited each street to script inspiring slogans on the walls.

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Villagers terror-struck, says BKU
Our Correspondent

Abohar, October 1
Hundreds of villagers, including women, in Seetogunno have been living in terror since the registration of cases under various sections of the IPC in connection with arson and clashes that occurred outside the police post in August.

This was done allegedly at the behest of a member of the national council of SAD (B), senior office-bearers of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Lakhowal) said at meeting held at the Kisan Bhawan.

BKU state vice-president G.S. Rampura and district organising secretary Budh Ram said the police had also booked BKU vice-president Hanuman Dass Bishnoi, who had tried to defuse the tension that arose due to alleged indecent behaviour of a member of the SAD (B) national council towards women. The police implicated him under political pressure from the ruling party, the meeting alleged.

Later, a deputation led by the state vice-president met the DC to apprise him of the feelings of the affected people and demanded that the entire episode should be re-investigated through an independent agency or the BKU would be forced to start an agitation.

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DCís directive to check fire incidents

Hanumangarh/Abohar, October 1
Ahead of the festival of lights to be celebrated on October 28, Hanumangarh district magistrate Mugdha Sinha on Wednesday issued a directive in this regard.

She said the SDMs had been authorised to issue temporary licences for the sale of crackers in their respective sub-division.

The DC has also asked the officials to earmark specific places for sale of crackers not only in the towns but also in villages. She said stalls put up haphazardly obstructed the movement of fire tenders during mishaps. To remove encroachments, SDMs should form task forces comprising of tehsildar, MC executive officer and SHO, she said.

Referring to the arrival  of cotton in most of the markets, the DC also directed the secretaries of the market committees to take preventive steps to check fire incidents. ó OC

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Cultural contests
Satwinder adjudged best Punjabi singer
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Moga, October 1
Satwinder Singh and Lovleen Kaur won the first and second positions respectively in the Punjabi solo song competition held during the creative activity and cultural programme organised at Lala Lajpat Rai College of Engineering here today.

The students of the college presented songs and skits besides participating in debate and quiz competitions.

The programme was inaugurated by Krishan Kumar Kaura, chairman of the managing committee of the college. Rohin Sachdeva, general secretary, and directors Professor Shyam Sunder Sharma, Hira Lal Sharma, Ranjit Singh Brar, Baljinder Kaur and principal Harjit Singh Gulati were also present on the occasion.

In Hindi vocal solo, Tejpal Singh and Navneet Kaur won the first and the second positions respectively. In Western vocal solo contest, Satvir Singh and Gaurav Khurana got first and second positions respectively.

In quiz competition, the team comprising Sagar, Tarun and Harjot won the top slot while the team of Prateek, Jaspal and Kamal stood second. In debate competition, Lovepreet Kaur and Divya Sharma got the first position while Prabhjot Singh and Pritpal Singh secured second position.

Navjot Kaur won creative writing contest while Jagjit, Lovepreeet, Muzamil and Sikandar got first position in skit competition. Poster-making and rangoli competitions were won by Kiran Chatterjee and Manpreet.

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Principal suspended for dereliction of duty
Rajay Deep
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, October 1
Following charges of dereliction of duty, deputy commissioner of Muktsar, Rajat Aggarwal, today suspended the officiating principal of government senior secondary school (boys), Rupana, and also warned a lecturer of the college.

Giving details, sources in the district administration said principal Buda Singh was absent when the DC visited the school and the duty record of lecturer Jagdish Rai, who teaches political science, was also not found to be in order.

Taking a serious notice of the allegations regarding the sub-standard material used in the construction of a school building at Malout village, the DC, after visiting the school premises, issued a show-cause notice to the executive engineer (PWD B&R), Muktsar.

During his visit, he had found a number of irregularities, namely toilets, drinking water and cleanliness arrangements.

Later, the Deputy Commissioner ordered the district education officer Harbans Lal Goyal to initiate an inquiry and report within a week.

While talking to the TNS, the Deputy Commissioner said he had warned all officials of the district that anybody found guilty of looting the state exchequer, would not be spared.

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4 college students held for possessing arms
Rajay Deep
Tribune News Service

Rampura Phul (Bathinda), October 1
The police today arrested four students of the Punjabi university neighbourhood campus on the outskirts of Rampura town and recovered large quantity of arms and ammunition from them. They were intercepted by the police while they were travelling in a Scorpio jeep with dark glasspanes.

The arrested boys were known in the city for their illegal activities and were allegedly involved in booth capturing during elections and getting possession of properties It has also been alleged that they enjoy political support.

SHO Phul, Boota Singh, who was leading the police team, said, "Lakhbir Singh alias Lakha, a resident of Sahana village was arrested with .12 bore rifle and 29 cartridges. Amandeep Singh alias Amna of Sadhana was carrying a .315 bore country-made rifle with six cartridges. Jagsir Singh of Sadhana had a sharp-edged weapon and an iron rod. Ranjeet Singh Dadu of Phul possessed a .32 bore country-made revolver and 18 cartridges."

The accused were moving in a black Scorpio bearing number HR 99 AJ 8770, and tried to flee when "we" intercepted them, he added.

Confirming the details over the phone, the DSP Phul, Rupinder Bhardwaj said that acting upon a tip-off, the police team set up a naka and nabbed all the accused and booked them under the Indian Penal Code and Arms Act. They would be produced in the local court on Thursday.

"They were on their way to commiting a dacoity, which due to the immediate action of the police, was however, averted," he claimed.

To confirm the fact whether they belong to the PU neighbourhood campus in Rampura Phul, SDM Phul Umashankar, when contacted said, "Principal of the campus himself disclosed the fact."

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Jail term for PUDA staff in bribery case

Bathinda, October 1
Special judge J.S. Kular awarded Subeg Singh, head draftsman at PUDA office, with two years of imprisonment and a fine of Rs 2,000 in a bribery case.

Giving details, SSP Vigilance Bureau, Balkar Singh Sidhu said that the accused had taken bribe from one Krishan Pal Goyal to clear the payment for a wall construction. Though he had demanded Rs 2,000 but the deal was settled at Rs 1,500, which the DSP (VB) Baljeet Singh Sidhu, along with official witnesses, recovered from the accused at his office. The case was registered on April 24, 2003 under Prevention of Corruption Act at VB police station Bathinda.ó TNS

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