P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Lakhs visit Golden Temple on Diwali
P.K. Jaiswar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 29
Keeping in view pollution norms, the Golden Temple authorities used less polluting fireworks and that too in a restricted manner.

The spokesman for the SGPC said today that the committee had decided to curtail fireworks on Bandi Chhor Diwas and other festivals and use quality firecrackers that caused less pollution.

Meanwhile, thousands of devotees, including the Mayor of Bakesfield and a large number of foreign tourists, participated in the Diwali and Bandi Chhor Diwas celebrations.

The Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Gurbachan Singh, while greeting all communities on Bandi Chhor Diwas and Diwali, exhorted the people to follow holy book’s scriptures and adopt it as a way of life. Guru Granth Sahib provides clear directions to solve the problems faced by the humanity all over the world, he added. He said the world could save the degradation of earth, air and water by following the path shown in the holy book.

Avtar Singh, president of the SGPC, spoke on the significance of Bandi Chhor Diwas.

Cracker-sellers were quite satisfied with the sales. They said this time they had purchased quality crackers and people came pouring in to buy those till late in the evening.

Small incidents of fire were reported here, without much damage. Fire and emergency services were put on alert and the corporation and civic administration remained on their toes to ward off any toward incident.


Bandi Chhor Diwas celebrated with fervour
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Hazur Sahib, October 29
A spectacular show on Diwali, which was celebrated as Bandi Chhor Diwas here, was witnessed by more than one lakh pilgrims yesterday.

Devotees lit earthen lamps at the main shrine building.

The Takht building, built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1837, has been spruced up.

The devotees, holding candles and diyas in their hands, started reaching the Parikrama of Takht Hazur Sahib after sunset. They illuminated every nook and corner of the shrine. Clad in blue robes, the gatka parties presented spectacular shows at the Parikrama.

Residents of Nanded illuminated their houses and painted rangolis in front of them. Guru Hargobind, the sixth Guru of Sikhs, had been released by emperor Jehangir from the Gwalior fort along with 52 kings on Diwali.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to pay obeisance at Takht Hazur Sahib tomorrow. President Pratibha Patil is likely to visit the city to mark the Parlok Gaman of Guru Gobind Singh on November 3.

The Takht Hazur Sahib Management Committee says nearly 30 lakh devotees are expected at the main function to be held till November 4.


l A baptised Sikh pilot from Hyderabad, Satinder Singh, threw rose petals from the aircraft on Takht Hazur Sahib when a nagar kirtan was being taken out from Takht Hazur Sahib. The pilot was barefoot.
l An American Sikh had a miraculous escape when he was attacked by followers of a Sikh sect, for raising objection over the slaughtering of a goat and then applying ‘tilak’ of its blood on weapons. The American Sikh was dragged by them into the Takht building. However, he was saved on the intervention of some saner elements with the help of the Maharashtra police.
l Anmol, a horse, said to be the offspring of the horse of Guru Gobind Singh, was bedecked with 50 kg gold and taken in the nagar kirtan. Five other horses also followed Anmol in the procession.
l Parkash Singh Badal, CM, and Sukhbir Singh Badal, president, SAD, and Surinder Kaur Badal paid obeisance at Takht Hazur Sahib. Talking to mediapersons, the SAD president said the Sikh devotees should take pledge to fight against female foeticide.


Hazur Sahib has unique maryada
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Hazur Sahib, October 29
Maryada (Sikh code) does not allow the Jathedar of Takht Hazur Sahib to leave Nanded till death and he has to be a “brahmchari” throughout life.

As per two-century-old maryada, the Jathedar, Giani Kulwant Singh, can’t attend the meetings of Akal Takht though he nominates his second in command (vice-Jathedar) to attend the meetings of Sikh high priests at Akal Takht. Though the first ardas in the wee hours is performed at Takht Hazur Sahib for allowing the Sikh community to do a pilgrimage of all historical gurdwaras, including the Golden Temple, as per the maryada of Takht Hazur Sahib, Giani Kulwant Singh can’t pay obeisance there.

Talking to The Tribune, Dalip Singh, a class fellow of Giani Kulwant Singh, said he (Jathedar) had to remain at Nanded as his duty starts at 2 am with the performance of ardas before washing of the sanctum sanctorum with holy water of the Godavari is carried out. After a break of only a couple of hours, the Jathedar has to perform the daily rites in the sanctum sanctorum where even other Sikh high priests are not allowed to enter.

Finally, the Jathedar goes back to his official residence in the Takht complex after the evening prayers, which are performed in the most traditional manner.

Gagrya Sikh Hardyala Singh, who carries gaggar (a silver utensil) for carrying holy water from the Godavari to Takht Hazur Sahib, too has to be bachelor and can’t leave Nanded till death. A task force of the youth, carrying traditional weapons, escort him barefoot. The tradition of performing aarti besides ardas on the riverbanks after the first pitcher is drawn is a mesmerising experience. Being a separate committee, the maryada of Takht Hazur Sahib is quite different from that of Akal Takht and the SGPC.

Milk and water of the Godavari is sprayed on the gurdwara building from a fire tender on the eve of Diwali.

The naubat (a traditional musical instrument) is played by non-Sikhs in front of Takht Hazur Sahib every day.

The most significant variation among maryada of Takht Hazur Sahib and other three Takhts of Punjab is that the recitation of Guru Granth Sahib and the Dasam Granth go on simultaneously. Unlike at the gurdwaras and Takhts under the control of the SGPC, devotees offer “panjeer parsad”, which can be collected from the counters put up by the Takht management.


Sikh architecture dominates Nanded landscape
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Nanded, October 29
Sikh architecture, which is characterised by values of progressiveness, exquisite intricacy, austere beauty and logical flowing lines, dominates most of the recently constructed buildings raised as part of the beautification plan of the Takht Hazur Sahib Management Committee to mark the tercentenary celebrations of Gurta Gaddi Diwas of Guru Granth Sahib.

It may be the state government’s hospital building, a panorama on Sikhism or the railway station, golden domes greet devotees thronging this holy city. Earlier, government buildings were given this touch at the White City of Anandpur Sahib to mark the tercentenary celebrations of the birth of the Khalsa Panth in 1999.

Nanded is the second largest district of Maharashtra after Aurangabad.

Although Sikh architecture had been developed within Sikhism, its style is used in many non-religious building as well. Three hundred years ago, the architecture was known by its many curves and straight lines.

Though there is no official word about the naming of Hazur Sahib’s airport, “Guru Gobind Singh Airport” has been written at its main entrance. The flights started by Indian Airlines from Amritsar to Nanded via Delhi have not been economically viable.


Medical team leaves for Hazur Sahib
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 29
A team of the Orthopedic Department of the government-run Guru Nanak Dev Hospital today left for Hazur Sahib for a week-long Gurta Gaddi Diwas being celebrated at Nanded in Maharashtra.

The medical team led by Dr Sohan Singh, associate professor, will camp there for a week. Dr R.P.S. Boparai, medical superintendent, GNDH, said other members of the team would consist of Dr Dharam Singh, assistant professor, Dr P.S. Gulati, Dr Tarandeep Singh and Dr Maninder Singh.

Dr Boparai said the team was fully equipped with medicines, instruments and other required things. He said in case of emergency of conducting operations, the team had been provided with all necessary gadgets.

He said earlier too the department had sent medical teams to the tsunami-affected areas in the southern part of the country and during earthquake in the Bhuj area of Gujarat, besides flood-affected areas in various parts of the country.


Castelo kalgi for Takht
Tribune News Service

Hazur Sahib, October 29
The US-based Sikh Dharma International and Guru Ram Das Sikh Mission presented a kalgi to Takht Hazur Sahib here today.

The kalgi has been handcrafted by famous Beverly Hills jeweller Angelo Castelo. One of his clients was late Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogi.

Sikh master Guru Gobind Singh had been famous for wearing a kalgi on his turban. He was affectionately called Guru Kalgidhar.

The piece created by Castelo replicates the shape of Guru’s kalgi, but with a distinctive modern flair. The piece is cast in gold, set with blue topaz and diamonds on silver base.

It is a tribute to the life of Guru Gobind Singh whose courage and radiance gave life to the Khalsa. It is a gift from the Sikhs from the West.

Bhai Satpal Singh, chairman of the Guru Ram Dass Sikh Mission, and Bibi Inderjit Kaur Khalsa, wife of late Harbhajan Singh Yogi, and many converted Sikhs from the US, New Mexico, Germany, Canada and the UK were present. Later, Bhai Satpal Singh was honoured in the sanctum sanctorum of the Takht.

— V. W.


Only 3 take special flight to Amritsar
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Hazur Sahib, October 29
The first flight from the Rajasansi (Amritsar) International Airport via New Delhi brought only 44 passengers, including the Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Gurbachan Singh, SGPC president Avtar Singh and Tarlochan Singh, a Rajya Sabha member from Haryana, at newly constructed Shri Guru Gobind Singh Airport ere today. The return flight carried only three passengers.

However, SGPC president said he would take up the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to make it a daily flight. The latter is likely to visit the city tomorrow.

Though Indian Airlines has reduced the ticket charges to nearly half in view of the tercentenary celebrations of Gurta Gaddi Diwas of Guru Granth Sahib, a few passengers opted for the air route.

Tarlochan Singh, welcoming the reduced fare, urged the authorities to continue the flight.

He has urged Sikhs to use the Amritsar-Nanded flight in a big way.On the other hand, the Mumbai-Nanded flight has been doing good business.

The airlines authorities said the Amritsar-Nanded flight via Delhi would run till November 4 only.



SAD (A) not to form alliance with any political party
To contest 10 Lok Sabha seats on the issue of
‘atrocities’ on minority communities
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, October 29
Without forming an alliance with any political party, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) will contest the ensuing Lok Sabha (LS) elections on the issue of “atrocities” on minority communities like Sikhs, Muslims and Christians in various parts of the country.

In reply to a question here today, president of the SAD (A) Simranjit Singh Mann further said as no one wanted to annoy the majority community in the elections, no political party would form an election alliance with his party.

This was the reason that his party had decided to contest the ensuing LK elections on its own strength and not form an alliance with any party. However, after extending open support to the cause of minority communities, any party could approach his party for talks for an election alliance, he added.

Mann said his party would contest the LS elections on 10 seats viz Sangrur, Bathinda, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib, Anandpur Sahib, Khadoor Sahib, Ludhiana and Amritsar.

Whether or not he would contest from the Sangrur LS constituency, Mann said it would be decided by the party high command. He also said a meeting of the political affairs committee (PAC) of the SAD (A) would be held soon to chalk out a strategy for contesting the elections.

Regard reshuffling in the party, Mann said there would be no change in office-bearers of the party at the district and state levels as the party units were functioning properly. However, there was some problem in the party in Barnala district, but it would be sorted out soon, he added.

Mann also criticised Section 25 of the Constitution, which defined that Sikhs were part of the Hindu religion. He said if his party came to power it would abolish Section 25 of the Constitution. He alleged that Sikh dignitaries like Parkash Singh Badal, Surjit Singh Barnala, Capt Amarinder Singh and Rajinder Kaur Bhattal were conniving with the Centre on this issue, so they had done nothing concrete for the abolition of Section 25 so far.


They protect paddy at mandis as others
celebrate Diwali
Rajay Deep
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 29
On the one hand people were celebrating Diwali, the festival of lights, and on the other many farmers were spending a sleepless night at the grain market yesterday in order to save their heaps of unsold paddy from exploded crackers.

Malkit Singh and Ram Avtar of Bibiwala village, who were sitting on a heap of paddy, said: “Farmers, who have always remained the backbone of the state’s economy, are forced to keep a vigil on their crops because there is no other way out.”

“I have been sitting in the market for the past 10 days. The yield in my field has been rich, but officials say there is moisture in it. But in the absence of any space at the mandi, how will the crop get dry,” rued Teja Singh of Gulabgarh.

“Staying away from family members on Diwali also hurts,” he said. Gurjant Singh, another farmer from Bibiwala, in a choked voice, said he had arrived at the mandi six days ago, but his crop had not been purchased by any agency as in the absence of any space. He was unable to dry the crop properly.

Gurjant Singh of Jassi Pau Wali village said: “When everybody is celebrating the festival, we are celebrating a “Black Diwali”. Moreover, the poor arrangements also create problems for us. We are forced to sleep in the open amid mosquitoes.”

When contacted, district mandi officer, Ram Gopal Singla said: “If we go by the record, then 85 per cent of the total arrival has been purchased. Lifting is also going on. Moreover, the problem will automatically get solved as arrival has decreased and crop lifting is going on at a more serious pace.”

He refuted the allegations of farmers about being made to wait for a couple of days, saying “many a time, farmers do not reveal the facts.” 


Traders selling Punjab paddy for better
prices in Haryana

Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 29
The high prices of PUSA 1121 being offered in mandis of Haryana has led to a large number of unscrupulous dealers in Punjab selling the variety there.

According to information gathered by The Tribune, PUSA 1121 variety is fetching Rs 1,800-Rs 200 per quintal in various mandis of Punjab. The price of this crop is based on the length of the grain. Since the grain length at various places in Punjab, surrounding the Haryana border, is not much, this variety is not getting a good price. On the other hand, this variety is being sold for anything between Rs 2,250-Rs 2,750 per quintal in the mandis of Haryana. In fact, last week this variety had fetched the highest-ever price of Rs 2,950 per quintal in Matloda (Panipat).

A leading commission agent in Rajpura informed TNS that a number of traders had stepped up their purchases in the mandis surrounding Haryana. “The PUSA 1121 purchased here is then loaded in trucks and taken to mandis in Haryana. Mainly, these traders are selling in Ambala, Chika and Kaithal. After purchasing it in Punjab for Rs 1,800-Rs 1,900 per quintal here, we are selling it for Rs 2,200-Rs 2,300 per quintal in Haryana mandis,” he said.

Confirming the development, Vijay Kumar Arora, a leading commission agent in Matloda, said the high price offered in Haryana was attracting traders from Punjab. “Though initially, this variety was fetching just Rs 1,800-Rs 1,900 per quintal, the rates started increasing as the basmati crop was damaged from the white-backed hopper and neck-break disease,” he said.

Officials in Punjab too say they are aware of farmers and traders here selling PUSA 1121 in the neighbouring states. “But since farmers are getting a better price in Haryana, we are not going to intervene. Since the area under this variety has increased manifold this year and there is a glut of this variety in the mandis, traders and commission agents in Punjab are exploiting farmers and paying them less by telling them that the length of grain is short and that the crop is of poor quality,” said a senior functionary in the Agriculture Department.


Magical mark in paddy procurement
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 29
After clocking the magical 100-lakh-tonne mark in paddy procurement on Monday, Punjab by collecting 4-5 lakh tonnes per day hopes to procure 145 lakh tonnes of paddy this year, surpassing the previous high of 140 lakh tonnes in 2004-05. An official spokesman today said the market share of official agencies in the procurement pie would be quite high due to a bumper crop this year and steep decline of traders’ share from 18.3 per cent in the past year to 7.4 per cent this year.

The electronic clearing system introduced by Punjab in mandis of two districts this year and online monitoring system introduced all over the state by Adesh Pratap Singh, food and supplies minister, to make payments to the farmers proved a success as Rs 7,763.31 crore were paid to farmers till Monday registering the highest-ever 99 per cent due payment. A credit cash limit of Rs 12,623.62 crore sanctioned by the Reserve Bank of India for the procurement of paddy for the kharif season by all state agencies had been received by the state Finance Department.


Flaws in sangat darshan: Chief secy asked to explain
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 29
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s sangat darshan programme, that had come under cloud following objection by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) for the year 2003, has once again become a focus with the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha contemplating sending a notice to the Punjab chief secretary demanding his explanation on the matter.

According to Sukhpal Singh Khaira, Congress legislator from Bholath, the PAC in its last meeting held on October 27 had decided to send a letter to the chief secretary asking him to appear before the committee to explain within 21 days as to why the government had failed to check the sangat darshan till now, even though the CAG report had been tabled in the Vidhan Sabha in 2003.

Khaira, who is a member of the PAC, said as per rule 202 (a) (1), once an objection was raised over some issue by the CAG, the government was supposed to present its case before the PAC. “The PAC may then choose to overrule the objection or take any other action. But since the government has failed to present its case before the PAC, the committee has no choice but to ask the chief secretary to appear before it in person”.

According to the CAG report released in 2003 and quoted by Khaira, “There are serious flaws in the sangat darshan programme of the Chief Minister. The CAG in its report has concluded that use of the sangat darshan programme as a mode for disbursement of funds was not only unauthorised…and the funds were irregularly distributed without any guidelines."

This, Khaira said, was a serious and alarming observation of the CAG. Hence, this calls for an immediate review of the sangat darshan programme. Adding that the CAG in its report had stated that during the period of June 2000 to December 2001 of the previous regime of Badal, Rs 308.90 crore was distributed across 17 districts of the state in an irregular manner.

Besides, the CAG had observed that no separate budget / funds were provided by the state government for the programme.

Kaira said the CM had announced to hold sangat darshan in his constituency on November 5, but he as an elected representative had neither been invited nor informed. He said it was for mere public consumption and cheap political popularity. Therefore, keeping in view serious lapses and malfunctioning of the sangat darshan, he had requested the Chief Minister to immediately discontinue spending funds of the state “in an illegitimate manner”.


Finally, happy moments for Sarabjit’s kin
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Bhikhiwind, October 29
This Diwali, after a long period of 18 years, brought cheers to the family of Sarabjit Singh, who has been on the death row in a Pakistani jail.

Sukhpreet Kaur, his wife, told The Tribune that the past 18 Diwalis had been joyless for the family because they had little hope of the release of Sarabjit, the only breadwinner of the family. She said God had accepted their prayers and hoped that they would soon be united with Sarabjit who is likely to be released in November. Ansar Burney, International Human Rights activist from Pakistan, had talked of his release in an interview with a media channel.

Lauding the role of Burney, who had launched a campaign for the release of prisoners lodged in various jails of India and Pakistan, Sukhpreet said she got a call from her relatives in Gurdaspur and Rajasthan this morning about the shifting of Sarabjit from the death cell to the general barracks as was being reportedly flashed on the news channels.

She said she had come to know that Sarabjit had been provided separate barracks with basic facilities like bed, TV and refrigerator, besides two servants.

Dalbir Kaur, sister of Sarabjit, said she had brought all relevant facts to the knowledge of Burney, who had visited this border town about two months ago. “Sarabjit is innocent and has nothing to do with the serial bomb blasts in Pakistan,” she added.

Swapandeep, daughter of Sarabjit, said it was for the first time in the past 18 years that they had been able to celebrate Diwali yesterday. They prayed for the release of innocent persons lodged in jails of both counties. She said this would also help in improving the bilateral relations between the two countries and would bring prosperity in the subcontinent. She said they were looking forward to the release of Sarabjit and celebrate the next Diwali in a big way along with him.


Justice Amar Dutt bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 29
Nirmal Dutt, wife of retired Punjab and Haryana High Court judge and former chief vigilance commissioner, Punjab, Justice Amar Dutt, died after a brief illness at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI) here on Tuesday. Her cremation was attended by many sitting and retired judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, senior officers and friends. The president of the Bar Association placed a wreath on behalf of the legal fraternity.

Besides Justice Dutt, her son Yogesh Dutt and daughter Harsh Rekha Kapoor survive her. According to family sources, the kirya will take place at Chandigarh on November 7.

Bar Associations of Chandigarh, Ropar and Amritsar, where Justice Dutt served as district judge, have sent condolence messages on the demise of the former judge’s wife.


2 names for human rights body suggested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 29
The Punjab government has recommended the names of a retired judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and a retired Sessions judge for appointment as members of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission.

Highly-placed sources in the government said the names of Justice Baldev Singh, a former judge of the High Court, and Justice L.R. Roozam had been forwarded to the Punjab Governor for his nod. 


Aided school teachers not to withdraw stir
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, October 29
Despite the announcement to release 95 per cent grant-in-aid to the government-aided schools by the Punjab government, thousands of teachers and other employees of aided schools will not withdraw their court arrest agitation till the acceptance of their major demand “revival of pension scheme from June 1, 2003”. Their other demands include the removal of ban on recruitment in aided schools, release of interim relief and enhancement in monthly medical allowance from Rs 250 to Rs 350.

Talking to The Tribune today, chief advisor of the Punjab State-Aided School Teachers and Other Employees Union Manohar Lal Chopra said they were holding court arrest agitations in various parts of the state to force the government to accept their main demands. He said as part of the agitation, aided school teachers and other employees would present themselves for court arrest on October 30 at Hoshiarpur, on October 31 at Mohali, on November 3 at Jalandhar and on November 4 at Bathinda and Ferozepur.

Chopra said a meeting of the action committee of the union would be held on November 3 at Jalandhar to chalk out a further course of action. He also appealed to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to intervene to settle the pension-gratuity demand at the earliest. He also demanded withdrawal of a case registered against 133 teachers of Moga by the Chandigarh police.

Chopra said if their demands were not met soon, the aided school teachers and other employees would start gherao of the Chief Minister from November 5 at all places in the state, whenever he would visit any town or village.


Bid to Loot Cash Van
Officer’s guard among culprits
Kulwinder Sandhu and Anirudh Gupta
Tribune News Service

Ferozepur, October 29
The police had ‘officially’ arrested all five persons allegedly involved in the bid to loot Rs 3.31 crore from a cash van of ICICI Bank on October 8, in which a gunman of the bank was killed while two others were injured.

The arrested persons include Lakhvir Singh, Balvir Singh, Harbans Singh, Gurtej Singh and Gurpreet Singh. Gurpreet is a son of former personal assistant of a Cabinet minister, while Lakhvir Singh was deployed as security guard with the commissioner of Ferozepur division here.

The police had reportedly picked up three persons from a bus on the Moga-Ludhiana national highway in Moga district on October 25. The news of their arrest had been carried by The Tribune in the October 26 issue even as SSP Dinesh Pratap Singh rubbished the report. Two other persons were reportedly held in the case early last week.

At a press conference here today, the SSP held disclosed the arrests. He said the culprits had been keeping tabs on the movement of the van for the past two months.

On October 8, when the van stopped at a roadside dhaba on the Zira-Kot-ise-Khan road on the way to Jalandhar from Barnala via Moga and Ferozepur, five persons travelling in a red Tavera came there and opened firing at the security guards, who were having lunch.

One guard was killed on the spot. However, before the culprits could lay their hands on the cash, an ASI of the police, who was passing by, challenged them. The culprits ran away in the vehicle.

The SSP said that the police had recovered four pistols and two double-barrelled guns from the culprits.


Cop ‘shoots at’ cobbler, suspended
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 29
Nandi Deen (55), a cobbler, was allegedly shot at near Saragarhi Gurdwara by police constable Atul Kumar posted at Kotwali police station here.

However, SP (D) Surjit Singh Mattu denied this and said Nandi was injured in an accidental fire when the pistol slipped from his hands of the cop. A press note issued by the police stated that Atul had been suspended and an inquiry ordered in this regard to ascertain whether it was an accidental fire or intentional.

The people in the area said Atul Sharma was getting his boot polished from him. But later a dispute occurred between them which resulted in the incident. The people of the area alleged that the constable used to extort money from rehriwalas and other small shopkeepers.

Meanwhile, Nandi was rushed to hospital with a bullet injury in his leg where he was stated to be out of danger.


Industrial focal point to come up near Kapurthala
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 29
To boost industrial activity in the Doaba region, a focal point is being set up in Kapurthala district.

To be developed by the Punjab Small Scale Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC), the facility will come up on 226 acre at Jhal Thikriwal village on the Subhanpur-Kapurthala road.

A demand survey was issued recently by the corporation seeking applications from prospective entrepreneurs and the type of units they wanted to set up. PSIEC managing director S.S. Rajput said they had identified the land, a short drive from the existing clusters at Jalandhar. The survey was to ascertain the type of units and industries that would be set up by the applicants and create the infrastructure accordingly, he pointed out.

Of the land available 50 acre had been reserved for the IT sector. The rest would comprise small, medium and large plots for units, he added.

He said they had feelers from entrepreneurs for making land available in the vicinity of Jalandhar. After scouting, they pinpointed this place that was ideal for expansion plans of existing industries and good for newcomers, he said.

“Once we receive the applications and get to know what type of units will come up here, development will be set in motion. The last date for submitting the applications is November 7,” he added.

The units expected to come up here included auto parts, hand tools, casting and forging, leather goods, sports and surgical goods, rubber goods, ancillary units of the Rail Coach Factory, Hussainpur, printing and packaging, agricultural implements and tube well fittings, he said.


Custodial Death
Amritsar resident moves HC for CBI probe
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 29
Swaranjeet Singh is fighting for “justice” for two over years now.

The Amritsar resident’s 25-year-old son Harinder Singh died in “custody” way back in September 2006. Swaranjeet Singh believes the police has not carried out proper investigations in the matter since then.

Aggrieved by the “indifferent attitude” of the police, he has knocked the doors of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, seeking probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the matter.

Directions to the State of Punjab and other respondents for handing over adequate monetary compensation have also been sought.

So far, the state and another respondent have filed their reply and the case is fixed for further hearing before a High Court Division Bench on October 30.

In his petition filed through counsel Navdeep Chhabra, Swaranjeet Singh has alleged his son was beaten to death while in custody. Going into the background, the petitioner alleged his son was lodged in Amritsar Central Jail for an offence under Punjab Excise Act.

He was produced before a magistrate on October 26, 2006, and was taken back to the jail in “good health and sound physique”. But the next day at about 5.22 pm, Harinder Singh was brought to Amritsar Civil Hospital, where he was declared dead at 6.30 pm.

In the postmortem report, external injuries on Harinder Singh’s body were observed by the Department of Forensic Medicine, Government Medical College, Amritsar.

Soon after, Swaranjeet Singh brought to the fore his grievance through written communications to the chairman of Punjab Human Rights Commission, the Chief Minister, Central Jail authorities and the High Court.

The letter to the high court was treated as criminal miscellaneous petition and an inquiry report was submitted by the Amritsar subdivisional magistrate.

The High Court then passed a detailed order on the basis of the report, directing Amritsar SSP to register an FIR against the erring police officials and to conduct fair and proper investigation.

The officer was also directed to file a status report after three months from receiving the order’s certified copy. Following the orders, an FIR dated July 13, 2007, under Section 302 of the IPC was registered at Sadar police station against the jail officials.

The additional chief judicial magistrate returned the challan, filed later in the court, to the station house officer with serious remarks on the conduct of the investigating agency.

Aggrieved by the way the investigation was taking its course, the petitioner filed a contempt petition and is “running from pillar to post for almost two years for justice, but he has neither been given any monetary compensation, nor proper investigation is being carried out,” the counsel concluded.


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