P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Computer teachers lathicharged
Rajay Deep
Tribune News Service

A computer teacher challenges a policeman to beat him up at Kheowali village in Muktsar on Sunday.
A computer teacher challenges a policeman to beat him up at Kheowali village in Muktsar on Sunday.
Tribune photo: Kulbir Beera

Lambi (Muktsar), October 26
The police lathicharged protesting computer teachers at Kheowali village, just 5 km away from Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s house, here today.

Many protesters, including women, sustained injuries and glasses of some vehicles were broken. The journalist of a national Hindi TV channel was allegedly assaulted by the SHO, Lambi, and his subordinates.

The computer teachers had reached here from across the state at noon by buses and other vehicles. They moved towards the Badal’s residence at Badal village to submit a memorandum regarding their long-pending demands to him.

The police had barricaded the road at Kheowali village to stop the protesters. The police arranged their talks with the Badal’s personal assistant, who promised to arrange their meeting with the Chief Minister on some other day. This turned the protesters furious and they insisted on going ahead with the march.

The police resorted to lathi charge to disperse the agitators. Meanwhile, one of the computer teachers hurled stones at the policemen. They retaliated.

Finding the situation going out of control, the police used water cannon on them. In the free-for-all that ensued, a number of teachers, including their president, sustained injuries.

Accusing the police of adopting a brutal attitude, Gurwinder Singh, president of the association, said: “Our demands were genuine and the SAD had promised in its manifesto to fulfil those. We wanted to hand over a memorandum to the Chief Minister today”.

“In the police action, all of us sustained injuries and even when we were running to save our lives, we were beaten up. The police also damaged our vehicles. Many of my colleagues are missing even three hours after the incident,” he added.

Deputy commissioner Rajat Aggarwal said: “They were given time for a meeting the Chief Minister, but all of a sudden, they changed their mind and became violent.”

Aggarwal refuted the allegation of the policemen damaging vehicles and assaulting a mediaperson.


Hooda vows to make Haryana No. 1 in education
Our Correspondent

Nabha, October 26
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said his government was leaving no stone unturned to make Haryana No.1 in education. He was addressing a gathering on the occasion of the 48th Founders Day celebrations of the Punjab Public School (PPS) here today. He said his government was fully committed to provide quality education at affordable prices to students. He said he was feeling great pleasure interacting with students of the great institute.

An alumnus of the Sainik School, Kunjpura, Hooda said it was heartening to know the achievements of old students of PPS, Nabha, and said he himself was proud of his school that had produced 28 top generals.

He conferred the role of honour of the year upon Dr Rajinder M. Gupta, Professor, Kellog School of Management at Northwestern University (USA). Hooda, who arrived on the Founders Day venue two hours late, announced a grant of Rs 11 lakh to the school.

Earlier, president of the school executive committee K.N. Singh, IAS (retd) read out the citation for the role of the honour being conferred to Gupta.

School headmaster Commodore I.L. Syal presented the annual report. Lt Gen T.K. Saproo, GoC-in-C, Western Command, an alumni of the school, gave away prizes to students for brilliance in different fields.

Wishes Punjabis happy Diwali

All issues between the two neighbouring states, Punjab and Haryana, can be resolved through dialogue.

This was said by Chief Minister Hooda while talking to mediapersons at the residence of MLA, Nabha, Kaka Randeep Singh. He said the disputes had been designed by leaders of the two brotherly states for political gains.

Answering a question about the separate Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, he said the government was waiting for the recommendations of the Chatha Committee constituted on the demands of Sikhs in the state.

He wished the people of Punjab and Haryana a very happy and prosperous Diwali. He interacted with Congress workers and leaders. Later, he visited the residence of former MLA Romesh Singla.

Those present on the occasion were PPCC secretary Paramjit Singh Khatra, Harvinder Singh Khanaura, Laxmi Narayan and Jit Singh Rajgarh. 


Kher for boost to state film industry
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 26
The Punjab government should provide infrastructure facilities to Mumbai film producers in the state which will help in promoting tourism in a big way, said film actor Anupam Kher.

Kher, while interacting with The Tribune, said producers like Yash Chopra were keen on promoting film industry in Punjab which had taken a back seat due to two-decade-long disturbed conditions in the state.

He said Chopra had selected the border area to depict the natural scenery and rich culture of Punjab. He said besides infrastructure facilities the state government should also give tax concessions.

There was tremendous acting and other talent among the youth of the region and it could be utilized if the film industry was promoted in the state.

The character actor was in the city, along with Rani Mukherji and Shahid Kapur, to shoot for the film “Harrippa” (not final name) at the Wagah Attari Joint Check Post this morning.

The film actor said Amritsar had got its own typical character with old, small narrow lanes and traditional eating joints, besides the holy Golden Temple. He said if the state government provided facilities to producers, the city would get a tremendous boost in tourism. It would help in generating employment in border areas of Punjab, besides generating funds for the state exchequer.


Moga village switches 100 pc to CFL
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Moga, October 26
With the state reeling under severe power crisis, Dhurhkot Charat Singh village, near here, has set an example by switching 100 per cent to Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) to save power and money.

With the joint efforts of the village panchayat and the electricity board, as many as 1,520 CFLs had been installed against ordinary bulbs in 177 houses, which will save power consumption by almost 70 per cent.

This village was adopted by the state government under a pilot project to save power through CFLs, said a senior officer of the state electricity board.

Earlier this month, a seminar was also organised in this village jointly by officials of the board and employees of Halonic company manufacturing CFLs to bring awareness among the rural folk on power conservation, following which, people showed interest in replacing ordinary lamps with CFLs.

People of this village are now hopeful that by doing so their average power bills will come down. “In the day-to-day increase in price rise of essential commodities it is necessary to save money to manage the household budget,” said Ranjit Singh of the village. Ranjit said he would spend the savings to provide better education to his children.

A spokesman of the district administration, on behalf of district magistrate Satwant Singh Johal, said the district administration had already appealed to the panchayats of all villages in the district to come forward and adopt CFLs. The DM was hopeful that in the coming months many more villages would adopt CFLs.

Power consumption in Punjab is increasing day-by-day with long power cuts becoming a common experience in urban and rural areas during summers. The energy conservation efforts by replacing CFLs in 45-lakh households are expected to save more than 600 MW of power across the state.

The Union government’s new initiative to offer CFLs at low costs to BPL families, with a buyback provision for fused lamps to limit environmental hazard arising from negligent disposal, follows CFL promotion drives launched by the states.

Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh has already issued directives for mandatory installation of CFLs in government buildings. Punjab hopes to save additional 150 MW of power through this move. 



Delhi Assembly Elections
Akalis demand 15 seats
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 26
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will not allocate more than six seats to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) that has sought 15 seats to contest Delhi Vidhan Sabha elections. The SAD and the BJP will contest the elections jointly.

Party sources here yesterday said the BJP had offered to allot Shadra, Adarsh Nagar, Rajauri Garden and one or two more seats to the SAD headed by Sukhbir Singh Badal. An announcement on the allocation of seats will be made after Diwali. The SAD has sought allotment of Tilak Nagar, Shakur Basti and Moti Nagar seats also. However, the BJP may allot one of these seats to the SAD. The BJP will declare the list of candidates for Delhi on November 1, it is learnt.

Even the symbol issue has not been resolved between the SAD and the BJP. The SAD has been insisting to contest on party’s symbol, but the BJP leaders wants SAD candidates should opt for the BJP symbol (lotus) in Delhi elections.

President of the Delhi unit of the SAD Manjit Singh Greater Kailash said, “I met BJP leader Arun Jaitley this morning to discuss symbol and other issues and all these issues will be resolved following a meeting of senior leaders of the SAD and the BJP”. Sukhbir was expected to reach here tomorrow or a day after, he said.

On the demand for 15 seats, Manjit said this issue would be also settled after a meeting between Parkash Singh Badal and L.K. Advani. He said, “Our objective is to ensure the win of the BJP-SAD combine in Delhi”. Moreover, the SAD was seeking the allotment of the seats where its candidate could win, he added.7The BJP had allotted four seats to the SAD in the last Vidhan Sabha elections. All were lost. 


SAD to contest on party symbol
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 26
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal yesterday said his party would contest the Delhi Assembly elections on its symbol and talks with the BJP were in a positive mode.

Here to preside over the silver jubilee edition of Surjeet Hockey Tournament here last evening, he denied failure of talks with the alliance partner.

“The BJP and the SAD are independent parties with their manifestoes and the BJP has never stopped the SAD from contesting the Assembly elections in any state on its symbol,” he said adding they had already applied for the symbol to the Election Commission for the Delhi elections.

On seat-sharing, he said it was an internal matter of both parties and would be resolved amicably.

On how SAD general secretary S.S. Dhindsa had been quoted in a section of the media saying the BJP leadership had stressed on the futility of the Akalis contesting on the party symbol, he said a consensus would be arrived at soon.

On the Lok Sabha elections, the SAD chief said the process of selecting candidates for 10 seats in Punjab was on and names would be made known shortly.

Earlier, he laid the foundation stone of a gymnasium in the Punjab Press Club and announced a grant of Rs 10 lakh for the building. He skirted questions on whether the party would seek support of the Dera Sacha Sauda in the parliamentary election. 


Dhindsa to meet Advani, Rajnath to solve symbol row
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 26
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is continuing with efforts to convince its ally, the BJP, to allow it to contest the forthcoming Delhi Assembly elections on it own symbol with party leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa scheduled to meet BJP senior leader L. K. Advani and party president Rajnath Singh on this issue tomorrow.

Apparently, despite a meeting between Rajnath, and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, the issue is yet to be sorted out according to the wishes of the SAD due to a feeling of the saffron party that the SAD cannot win any seats on its own symbol.

According to sources, though Rajnath had agreed for the formation of a two-member committee of Dhindsa and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitely, this also may not have the desired effect as talks between Dhindsa and Jaitely on this issue earlier were unsuccessful.

Dhindsa disclosed here today that he would be meeting both Advani as well as Rajnath during his visit to Delhi to hammer a compromise favourable to both parties.

Besides the issue of fighting elections on its own symbol, which the BJP says will only come in the way of transferring its traditional vote bank to the Akalis, the allies are also not in agreement on which seats should be left to the SAD and how many. Though Sukhbir had handed over a list of 15 seats to the BJP high command, the saffron party is in favour of leaving only three seats for its alliance partner.

There is even debate on which three seats should be left as the BJP has its own Sikh leaders in O.P. Babbar and Harsharan Singh Balli in Tilak Nagar and Hari Nagar, respectively. At present there is consensus only on Rajouri Garden, which the SAD is keen to contest even while it claims the other seats being offered by the BJP do not have the same level of Sikh voters. 


SAD may field Hans Raj from Jalandhar seat
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 26
Popular folk and Sufiana singer Hans Raj Hans has emerged as the front-runner for the ruling alliance ticket for the Jalandhar parliamentary seat. Earlier, the ticket had been promised to Dalit leader Pawan Tinnu of the Bahujan Samaj Morcha.

According to sources, a strong lobby of local Akalis and BJP leaders were opposed to the candidature of Tinnu and had been vocal about the “winnability” of Tinnu, who had been mired in controversies.

Hans, who was also conferred the title of Raj Gayak by the Akalis in their previous regime, will become the star attraction of party during poll campaign across the state.

Sources said a strong lobby in the party is said to have approached MP Naresh Gujral, who is said to have strongly taken up the issue with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and SAD supremo Sukhbir Badal. Gujral had unsuccessfully contest the seat last time.

Hans has the backing of several local leaders and enjoys a good rapport with the electorate. He is considered an ideal choice to give a fight to likely Congress candidate Mohinder Singh Kaypee, PPCC acting chief.


CPI seeks paddy sale details
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, October 26
The Communist Party of India (CPI) yesterday wanted the government to publish details of distress sale of paddy as Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal admitted initially that farmers faced problems in the sale of paddy and the chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board too had admitted distress sale of paddy and cotton in the state.

CPI leader Joginder Dayal said the CPI also felt due to alliance with the BJP, a party dominated by traders, the Badal government had also failed to ensure sale of paddy at the minimum support price (MSP). He also alleged that in connivance with officials of procurement agencies, traders were fleecing farmers by purchasing the produce at lower price than the MSP.

On Lok Sabha elections, Dr Dayal said the national executive committee of the CPI would meet on November 1 and 2 in New Delhi to draw up a strategy for Lok Sabha elections. The state executive committee of the Punjab unit of the party would meet on November 8 and 9 to discuss the LS seat to be contested by the CPI in Punjab.

Dr Dayal said there was confusion among people and the bureaucracy whether Parkash Singh Badal was the Chief Minister or Sukhbir Singh Badal, as Sukhbir was becoming extra-constitutional centre of power. Officials were in a dilemma on who to obey. Development of the state was also affected, he added.

Dayal said there was a feud in the SAD as ministers were issuing contradictory statements on subsidies and aid to Punjab by the Centre. He said the CM was saying the Centre was biased against Punjab, while the finance minister was saying Punjab was getting all help from the Centre. 


Devotees from Pak stranded in Amritsar
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, October 26
A large number of Pakistani Sikh pilgrims, who had come to India to participate in the Gurta Gaddi Diwas celebrations at Takht Hazur Sahib in Nanded, have been stranded here on account of unavailability of railway reservations.

Taking note of this indifferent attitude of the railways, the SGPC has charged it with denying the pilgrims opportunity to pay obeisance at Hazur Sahib by not providing additional coaches.

Harbeant Singh, secretary of the SGPC, talking to the media late this evening, said the committee was shocked that in spite of the assurance to make arrangements for special trains and flights from various destinations in Punjab, especially from Amritsar, the government had failed to arrange smooth journey of the pilgrims to the historic shrine during the tercentenary 

He said they had been making frantic pleas with the railway authorities here to make arrangements for the journey of 370 Sikh pilgrims to Maharashtra.

The SGPC will convene a meeting tomorrow to discuss this situation and take a decision to send the pilgrims by road or through other possible means.


DIGs asked to submit major city security plans
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 26
Punjab police chief N.P.S. Aulakh has directed Range DIGs to submit comprehensive security plans for major cities within 15 days, besides setting a deadline of December 31 for registration of all FIRs on computer throughout the state.

Presiding over a high-level monthly crime review meeting of all ADGs, IGs, Zonal, Range DIGs and SSPs here on Friday, the police chief pointed out that to ensure fool-proof security in the major cities, modern surveillance systems should be installed at every sensitive and vulnerable point. He said following a detailed plan, the force could request for additional funds from the Union ministry of home affairs. Pointing out a few recent incidents of involvement of security personnel in crimes, the DGP ordered detailed manpower audit of the force by the end of the month.

Regarding reported misuse of pre-paid and pre-activated Sim cards, the DGP asked the field officers to immediately register cases against such users as well as distributors and retailers.

Regarding a 15-day special vehicle check-up campaign involving all gazetted officers launched in the state, the police chief appreciated the efforts of field officers. He said the basic aim of the campaign was to ensure police presence on roads and markets during the ongoing festival season. Stressing the need for more purposeful usage of the district-level police training school, the Punjab police chief said most of these schools had already been upgraded and the remaining would be taken care of during the next financial year.

Appreciating the Jalandhar and Fatehgarh Sahib police for setting up of a model police station at Shahkot and Amloh with unique facilities and infrastructure, the DGP asked the other district police chiefs to follow suit and send an officer to visit these police stations to replicate the same model in their respective districts.


Deregulate bus services, Khangura urges Badal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 26
Congress legislator Jasbir Singh Khangura has sought a Diwali gift from Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. In a letter sent to Badal, Khangura has sought a gift that he says will benefit all Punjabis. “Deregulate public bus transport. People have suffered far longer than necessary from the deficient public transport. It appears that to date the public transport policy has been largely set to protect the interests of the operators and not the travelling public”.

Khangura has told the Chief Minister that corruption permeates the entire system from the grant of route permits to the draconian regulations applied arbitrarily on some operators by the department, whilst concurrently allowing other operators to go scot free. Politicians and bureaucrats have consequently prospered immeasurably.

He has said in response to his question in the Vidhan Sabha, querying the consolidation of the bus service industry in Punjab since the formation of the SAD-BJP government, the transport minister had said, “No such consolidation had taken place.” Yet this answer is fully refuted by most Punjabis, especially in Malwa, where select operators dominate in a manner designed to maximally hurt the PRTC and the Punjab Roadways”.

The Qila Raipur legislator has said he did not wish to cast aspersions on the Chief Minister or his family, but the common man will welcome a full disclosure by the Chief Minister if his (Chief Minister) family’s bus transport interests had not grown at all during his government, individually or in cooperation with other private operators.

And, further if the actions of private bus operators in Punjab have not harmed the financial interests of the Punjab Roadways or the PRTC. “You can also settle all doubts once and for all by delicensing all public transport in order that buses and minibuses can ply on any route within Punjab without a permit. There can be no better Diwali gift for the people of Punjab”.

Khangura has further said competition may hurt current operators, but it will ensure cheaper, safer and more comfortable travel for the ordinary person. 


Water table shows signs of rising
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 26
There is some good news for Punjab. For the first time in the past decade, the sub-soil water level has shown an upward trend. In testing done by a Central agency, results have shown that with excessive monsoon this year, coupled with late and regulated sowing of paddy, water levels in some parts of Punjab have risen by up to 4 m.

Over the past 10 years, excessive use of groundwater for agricultural and other purposes had depleted water levels to an alarming level.

Though the final report on the subject will be compiled in November, the tests conducted from May to August indicate that water in 62 per cent of Punjab’s area has gone up between 0 to 2 m, while some areas in Bathinda district have recorded a rise of up to 4 m.

According to official figures, the state had 12.32 lakh tube wells in 2007, mostly operated by electricity. With successive governments giving free power to farmers for operating tube wells, the water table has been sharply falling, going down to 40 m level at many places. For the first time, Punjab has regulated the timing of paddy cultivation, which is believed to be the second most important fact after heavy monsoon to recharge the groundwater level.

As an indicator, water level has been tested in 153 wells and 27 tube wells. At many places, the water level remained constant, while other places have recorded both upward and downward trends.

At Ludhiana, the water level has been recorded at 34 m in comparison to water levels ranging between 5 to 20 m in 58 per cent of Punjab. In some 12 per cent of Punjab areas, water table has been put between 20 to 40 m.

As per the draft of the State Water Policy 2008 of the Department of Irrigation, Punjab needs 50 MAF water, whereas the allocation of the state’s surface water resource from its main rivers is limited to 14.54 MAF. As a result, groundwater has become a major source of irrigation in Punjab, causing extensive groundwater depletion in the past 40 years by the installation of tubewells. The policy report says that water table is depleting in 79 per cent area of Punjab, where the water is sweet.


Ex-servicemen to intensify stir
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 26
The ex-servicemen wing of the SAD, at a meeting held here today, said its members would burn their medals in front of the India Gate in New Delhi if the government failed to resolve the issue of pay anomalies.

Col P.I.S Phulka (retd), president of the wing, said they would be forced to take this decision as the Centre had failed to redress their grievances. They would continue their protest till the next parliamentary elections, he added.

Lashing out at the Congress-led UPA government, Colonel Phulka said the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission for the armed forces were sheer injustice to the personnel, who had sacrificed their lives during the Indo-Pak conflicts.

Giving a clarion call to other unions of the ex-servicemen to come on a single platform to launch a struggle to get their demands fulfilled, Colonel Phulka rued that the Central government had set up a review committee into the pay anomalies, but it members were the same as of the pay commission.

He said retired low-rung personnel of the armed forces, from an ordinary soldier to subedar, who had always been at the forefront during the wars with Pakistan and China, were living in pitiable conditions.


State officers mourn deaths of Kirpal Singh, A.S. Chhatwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 26
The Punjab Civil Service (Executive Branch) Officers' Association at a meeting here today mourned the deaths of Kirpal Singh, ADC, Tarn Taran, and A.S. Chhatwal, commissioner, NRI Affairs, and secretary, Science and Technology, who died on October 19 and 20, respectively.

The association praised services of the officers to the state and welfare of its people. The association also observed a two-minute silence for peace to the departed souls and prayed to the Almighty for strength and courage to the bereaved family to bear loss.

The association expressed concern at the circumstances which led to the death of Kirpal. It thanked Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for visiting the residence of Kirpal at Amritsar to console the bereaved family. It also lauded the Chief Minister for assuring the family of Kirpal to retain government accommodation at Amritsar and suitable job to the son/wife of the deceased.

Meanwhile, eminent citizens paid rich tributes to Punjab IAS officer A.S. Chhatwal at his bhog ceremony here this afternoon.

Among those who joined the antim ardas included former Union Fertilisers and Chemicals minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Punjab Public Health minister Bikram Singh Majitha, chief secretary Ramesh Inder Singh, DGP NPS Aulakh and almost entire top bureaucracy of the state.


Pritam’s death has left a void, say GND varsity staff
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 26
Members of Senate and Syndicate and the staff of Guru Nanak Dev University today expressed their sorrow over the demise of Prof Pritam Singh, father of Prof Jai Rup Singh, vice-chancellor. They said his death had left a great void in Punjabi literary world, which could not be fulfilled.

Dr Raghbir Singh, dean, academic affairs, Dr R.S. Bawa, registrar, Dr S.S. Chahal, director, research, Dr A.K. Thukral, dean, students welfare, and Dr M.S. Dhillon, dean of the College Development Council, said the Punjabi literary world would remain indebted to Prof Pritam Singh for his unmatched contribution to the Punjabi literature.

He retired in 1980 as professor and head, Guru Nanak Studies Department, of the university. He was the recipient of the Indian Sahitya Akdemi’s Best Award for Translation (1994), the Sahit Shiromani Puraskar by the Punjab government (1998) and was conferred honorary degree of professor by San Hosey State University, California (2003). He was a lifetime fellow of the university.

A condolence meeting will be held tomorrow in front of the Senate Hall.


Bureaucrat gets charge of medical varsity VC
Attar Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 26
The post of vice-chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, has gone to the bureaucracy.

The post fell vacant earlier this week with the expiry of term of Dr Ravinder Singh, who completed his three-year tenure on October 23. The charge of the post was given to the secretary in the Department of Technical Education.

The post of vice-chancellor of Punjab Technical University fell vacant some months back when Dr S.K. Salwan had left. The charge of this post was given to the secretary in the Department of Technical Education.

It is learnt that the search committee formed to find a suitable person for the post of VC had not forwarded any panel to the Punjab government. 


Goyal is SSP (vigilance)
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 26
Sandeep Goyal has taken over as SSP, vigilance, at Patiala after Shiv Kumar Sharma, whose son has been accused in the October 9 Phillaur diamond robbery case, proceeded on long leave.

Shiv Kumar has maintained that he chose to proceed on long leave so as to allow investigations into the case to reach their logical conclusion, claiming his son Mohit was not the mastermind in the sensational case as was being made out.

However, sources said he was directed to do so as his own gunmen are accused of being involved in the robbery, which left Mumbai-based diamond merchant short of stones worth Rs 3.85 crore, besides being inflicted with knife wounds.

Shiv Kumar has been investigating corruption charges levelled against former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and was posted to Patiala after the SAD-BJP government took up the reins of the state. 


2 cops suspended for ‘torturing’ granthi
P.K. Jaiswar and Gurbaxpuri

Khalra (Tarn Taran), October 26
Kanwaljit Singh and Kuljit Singh, SHO and ASI of Khalra police station here, were, suspended for allegedly torturing Balwinder Singh, a granthi of Maarhi Udoke village.

The two police officers allegedly also used derogatory remarks against Sikh symbols too. SP Rashpal Singh Ghumman probed the matter and found them guilty .

According to information, Balwinder was picked up by Kuljit Singh on suspicion that he was involved in drug peddling and brought to Khalra police station where the cops tortured him, besides insulted his Sikh symbols.

The matter was brought to the notice of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee chief Avtar Singh who is in Hazur Sahib at Nanded in Maharashtra for the Gurta Gaddi Diwas celebrations. He took up the matter with the IG, border zone, who intervened and took up the matter with senior police officers of Tarn Taran.

Balwinder, an employee of the SGPC, who has been working as granthi at Gurdwara Bir Baba Budha Sahib, alleged that he was picked up by the police party from Khalra and his hair pulled, besides his Sikh symbols were insulted. He was released after village elders, along with his brother, took up the issue with the SHO who claimed that Balwinder was taken in custody due to mistaken identity.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |