P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Coop Dept gears up to tackle retail giants
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
The Punjab Cooperation Department, apart from cooperative societies, is set to enter retail business giving global giants like Wal-Mart, Bharti, Reliance, etc competition, at least in rural segment. The department has developed a model for retailing consumer durables through the Punjab Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS).

Cooperation minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh said the objective of this model was not merely to provide cheap bulbs, motor cycles or televisions to 50 lakh members of the 20,000 societies in the state.

“We hope to achieve three prime objectives - strengthening the cooperative movement and pass on benefits to actual consumers, bettering rural economy through cooperative banks and also employment generation at the local level,” he said.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh said the department had negotiated special prices with companies manufacturing tractors, lighting, electronics, home appliances etc and was offering discounts up to 30 per cent on goods. These, he said, would be passed on to the members of the societies after keeping a small profit. The PACS would regulate retail business, but every member of cooperative societies would be eligible for the benefit.

The model would help bring agricultural services to small and marginal farmers, besides helping local cooperative banks in generating business. An MoU had been signed with some manufacturers, who would be responsible for after sales and service of goods sold at discount to members of cooperative societies.

The minister said the department had launched a scheme under which the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) bills would be collected and paid by the societies at the village level. The society would charge Rs 5 per bill from the consumer. Besides providing service, it had also helped generate jobs in 50 villages and the number was rising.

As per the department report, the scheme would be somewhat like Canteen Stores Department (CSD) of the defence forces, but goods available initially would be limited.

Nabard had suggested that the PACS became the public face of the cooperative movement in the state and the department was going that way.


A repository of rare manuscripts
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Aurangabad, November 4
The historic gurdwara, which had been built here in the memory of Bhai Daya Singh, one of the Panj Piaras, is a repository of rare Sikh manuscripts dating back more than 300 years. Some manuscripts have beautiful ornamental calligraphy and outlining in gold and blue.

One of the rare handwritten manuscripts is “Zafarnamah” (epistle of victory) written in Persian. It was sent by 10th Sikh master Guru Gobind Singh to Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in 1705. Its manuscript seems to be written by a Muslim devotee, who has also written the date of its writing on it.

In the “Zafarnamah”, Guru Gobind Singh reminds Aurangzeb how he and his henchmen had broken their oaths sworn upon the Koran. SGPC president Avtar Singh, who visited Aurangabad to attend a function to commemorate the tercentenary of Gurta Gaddi Diwas of Guru Granth Sahib, was so delighted to see the commitment of the gurdwara management to preserve those manuscripts that he announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh to the gurdwara.

Wrapped in beautiful cloth, the gurdwara has two more handwritten Adi Granths and other religious pictorial graphics. Some manuscripts have been written in golden ink. As many as 6,000 words of one of the manuscripts are written in golden ink.

Although the five beloved enjoyed equal status as the Guru’s confidants, Bhai Daya Singh had always been regarded as the first among equals. He was Guru Gobind Singh’s emissary sent from Dina village in Punjab to deliver the “Zafarnamah” to Aurangzeb.

Another important letter preserved here is of Bhai Chanda Singh. It is written in Persian script and urges the Sikhs to join the kar sewa of Takht Hazur Sahib, which was started by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

However, letters on some of the ancient manuscripts have become discoloured.


Save Rajasansi, SAD appeals to all parties
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, November 4
The SAD and the Youth Akali Dal have appealed to all political parties to sink their differences and work together to save the Rajasansi International Airport from going into oblivion.

Patron of the youth body and minister for information and broadcasting Bikram Singh Majithia has said time has come that all parties should rise above petty politics and save the hard won international status of the airport. It is imperative for all of us to ensure that trade and economy of Punjab is not hit due to the discontinuation of international flights from the city.

Every political party should try to convince the Centre to take steps to make international flights from Amritsar viable. Majithia says the retention of the international flights is not only necessary to ease traffic at the Delhi airport as 29 per cent traffic operating from there is from Punjab, but it also facilitates the devotees coming here from across the world to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple.

The decision will cause a lot of inconvenience to pilgrims to the Golden Temple and Vaishno Devi in Jammu and Kashmir.

He says the start of international flights from Amritsar and opening up of the Attari border trade route had sent positive signals to the investment community, international hotel chains, NRI pilgrims. Amritsar has been emerging as favourite tourist, trade and investment destination.

Majithia has urged the union government to keep the landing charges at the local airport lower than those of the Delhi airport.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had taken personal interest in the development of Amritsar as trading hub of the South-East Asia, the minister says, adding that Dr Singh should instruct the civil aviation ministry and commerce ministry to issue relevant notifications to reduce landing charges at the Amritsar airport.

Meanwhile, the Trade and Industries Association here urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to instruct the civil aviation and finance ministries to remove disparity in landing charges at the Rajasansi and Delhi airports.

He said a slowdown of the airport operations would affect the economic growth of this border region, which had been hit due to special tax concessions given to neighbouring state.

Earlier, the representatives of trade, industry and hotel industry submitted a memorandum to deputy commissioner K.S. Pannu.

Chandigarh: Meanwhile, Jassi Khangura, Congress MLA, Kila Raipur, while taking a dig at SAD president and MP from Faridkot, Sukhbir Badal, has written to him asking him, “How often have you flown internationally from Amritsar ?” Khangura has said his information was that the Badals during their numerous overseas visits had not taken a single international flight from Amritsar, preferring Delhi and other metros.

He has further questioned if this was because Sukhbir actually sought the demise of Amritsar airport to promote the forthcoming Chandigarh International Airport, around which numerous vested Akali interests have acquired cheaply large tracts of land, partly by free market purchase but largely by coercion?

“Whilst you claim to promote the interests of the whole of Punjab, your failure to fly internationally from Amritsar is a further proof that closest to your heart are Mohali and Bathinda,” Khangura said.

Amritsar admn to meet joint secy

The district administration, along with representatives of trade and industry, will discuss with joint secretary, ministry of civil aviation, K. N. Srivastava, the situation on the Rajasansi International Airport during his two-day private visit to the holy city from November 8.

Deputy commissioner K.S. Pannu told The Tribune that the administration would make a presentation to the senior officer of the ministry on the current situation and would request him to take up those issues at the highest level to keep the development of the airport going.


Advisory panels on media grievances announced
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today ordered the setting up of state and district media committees to look into complaints by and against mediapersons in the state. He announced this after a delegation of journalists met him at his residence to appraise him about the “police high-handedness” and arrest of a Jalandhar-based television journalist.

The committees would have government and media representatives jointly looking into issues that hinder the professional call of duty, and at the same time would advise the government on the guidelines to be observed for greater media-government interaction and understanding.

These committees would also keep information and public relations minister Bikram Majithia apprised of their suggestions and recommendations from time to time.

Such committees would be set up at district headquarters. At the district level, the deputy commissioner or his nominee and the public relations officer would represent the government, while the local media would nominate a senior accredited journalist and a prominent personality. The committee would be empowered to summon a legal luminary as a special invitee whenever required.

At the state level, Harcharan Bains, media adviser to the Chief Minister, would be the chairperson of the committee. This committee would also have principal secretary, Department of Home Affairs and Justice, president or secretary-general of the Chandigarh Press Club as its members. Besides, the state-level committee would also include a representative of the organisation of the affected journalist. The committee would be empowered to seek the services of a legal expert as its members, based on need.

Bains said the purpose of the committee was to ensure independence of the media and prevent hindrance in performing professional task. These committees were no watchdog on the freedom of press, but rather friends of the media that would ensure independence at all cost, irrespective of their ideology, he added.

Bains said these committees had been set up in pursuance of the commitments made in the SAD-BJP manifesto and were based on the recommendations made by the information and public relations minister to the Chief Minister. He said these recommendations would be incorporated in the Punjab government's media policy.

Meanwhile, the delegation, led by Sarbjit Singh Pandher, president, Chandigarh Press Club, that met Badal this morning, sought an impartial inquiry into the alleged harassment of a journalist in Jalandhar. Badal directed his media advisor to personally ensure complete transparency and observations of the rule of law in the Jalandhar incident .

At the same time, there are reports of a series of demonstrations and protests against the arrest of NDTV journalist Ashwini Malhotra by the Kapurthala police in a trespassing and extortion case. Several district headquarters witnessed dharnas with journalists wearing black badges in front of the DC's office to register resentment against the arrest of Malhotra. Ludhiana, Patiala, Amritsar, Bathinda, Mansa, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Ropar, Faridkot and Ferozepur witnessed demonstrations with journalists joining their counterparts, the call given by the club to demonstrate unity amongst journalistic fraternity proved immensely successful.


PCS officers transferred
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
The government today transferred the following PCS officers with immediate effect. Praneet has been appointed ADC (development), Amritsar, Pritam Singh goes as the SDM, Nakodar, and Prem Chand is the SDM, Ludhiana (West).

Ashok Kumar Sikka becomes the deputy director, Urban Local Bodies, Ludhiana, Manpreet Singh, the SDM, Ludhiana (East), Baldev Singh, the SDM, Sunam, and Gurpreet Singh Khaira goes as the ADC, Jalandhar.

Birpal Singh is the new deputy director, Urban Local Bodies, Jalandhar, Devinder Singh has been appointed joint commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana. A.S. Prabhakar will be the SDM, Jalandhar-I, Bhupinder Singh-II goes as the SDM, Phillaur, Poonamdip Kaur becomes the SDM, Amloh, with the additional charge of SDM, Bassi Pathana. Ajay Sood is the new SDM, Moga, Subhash Chander, the SDM, Khadoor Sahib, and Lakhmir Singh will be the new SDM of Nangal.


The Retreat a hit with southern states
Harbans Singh Virdi
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 4
The Retreat at the Wagah has become a big draw, especially among people from southern states, thanks to the interest generated by the media about the ceremony which draws hordes of people not only this side of the Radclifffe Line, but also on the other side where modernity has yet to penetrate fully into an orthodox society with some women wearing burqa and chanting “jeeve Pakistan” in milder tones.

But the tone and tenor is louder on this side. The streak of political fever coupled with an air of superiority on this side of the border, has to be seen to be believed. People start making frantic inquiries the moment they descend on the Golden Temple complex where those who are out to make a quick buck have set up shop. A number of vehicles are lined in front of a temple which falls between the holy Sikh shrine and Jallianwala Bagh. This place bursting with people and those with the Retreat on their mind, hire taxis, Sumos, Omnis and what not. So much so, an enterprising Jarnail Singh has commissioned a school bus to ferry passengers to the Wagah border. “I thought the bus lay idle in the evening. It was a quick way of making money, hence this avocation”.

It was profitable for both passengers as well as the “bus operator”. While the Sumos, Omnis and other vehicle owners charged anything between Rs 75 and Rs 100 per passenger, Jarnail was charging only Rs 50.

But it is wrong to assume that it is only budget travellers who make a bee line to Wagah. Those who come to Amritsar lured by the beauty of the Golden Temple or its trade and tea industry in their own vehicles, feast their eyes on the swift, patriotic thumping of feet by Indian and Pakistani soldiers.

It is heartening to see that the union ministry of tourism has also woken up to the need of providing better facilities to tourists. The result: the Aman Umeed Complex on the edge of Wagah. Not only this, the widening of road is also going on a war footing,. Taxiwallah Sukhminder Singh, “There are already about 250 taxis running between Amritsar and Wagah, which is about 30 km from here. Earlier, there used to be a rush in June and July only, but now the rush does not recede during any season. But more people are drawn to Wagah from states like West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh or Tamil Nadu and less from Punjab or Haryana”.

Rukmani from Varanasi was ecstatic to see the ceremony. “Going by the meticulous care with which the ceremony is designed, an uptight march by 6-ft soldiers, lowering of the Tricolour and the chanting of patriotic slogans by people assembled there, all make you emotional and fill you with pride,” she said.

For Lata and her two children from Andhra Pradesh, phone cameras came handy to capture rare moments of foot-tapping soldiers. But the grey spot for ordinary people is that there is no direct public bus service to Wagah. There is a bus service to Attari from where the border is just 2 km, yet the service is not extended. Once it is done and road connectivity improved, the Retreat will not only become accessible to ordinary Amritsari, but also to almost every Punjabi in Punjab.



Calcutta launches oust-Pasricha move
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 4
Senior SGPC member and former education minister Manjit Singh Calcutta has urged the Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Gurbachan Singh, to summon P.S. Pasricha, chairman, Takht Hazur Sahib Management Committee, for allegedly distorting the Sikh history.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Calcutta alleged that the views expressed by Pasricha that Guru Gobind Singh visited the southern part of the country to seek “help” from Marathas in order to fight the Mughal empire of Aurangzeb. However, according to the recorded history, Aurangzeb died in 1707 AD long before the 10th Sikh master set out for his visit to Nanded. He said Pasricha wanted to please Marathas at the cost of Sikhs so that he could get some other hot seat.

He called upon the Sikh organisations to come on a single platform to ensure the removal of Pasricha as the chairman of the committee. However, Jasbir Singh, adviser to Pasricha, said the interview published in a national English magazine was distorted.

Flaying the UPA and Maharashtra governments for appointing the then serving DGP Pasricha as the chairman of the committee, Calcutta alleged that he (Pasricha) was the only “patit” (apostate) Sikh who had been heading the management of one of the five Takhts.

The SGPC member also sought public apology from SGPC president Avtar Singh for honouring Pasricha, who is a non-baptised Sikh and dyes his beard. Five Takht Jathedar’s had accorded Pasricha the robe of honour during the celebrations, thus violating the moral Sikh code of conduct as well. According to the Sikh Code of Conduct, section 6, chapter XIII, one who dyes his beard is liable to verbal punishment, involving automatic boycott.

The SGPC member has urged the government of Maharashtra to remove Pasricha as chairman of the committee for allegedly indulging in those blasphemous acts.


Slain cops’ kin victims of govt apathy
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
The next of kin of the police personnel, who died fighting militancy in Punjab, are fighting a losing battle against the state, which refuses to honour its promises and doesn’t even care to publish revised guidelines on pension benefits in authorised gazettes.

Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had announced on October 22, 2006, on Police Commemoration Day in Patiala that all 2,280 officers and other personnel of the Punjab police, who had died fighting militancy, would be entitled to family pension. As per then prevailing rules, the pension was slashed after seven years.

Capt Gulab Singh Tanwar, who is the next of kin of a slain police official, said despite the announcement being made at an official function, the benefit had not been provided to the beneficiaries yet.

Members of the terrorism-affected families from Faridkot, who have represented to the centre as well as the state Chief Minister, said the SAD-BJP government had further confused the issue by referring the matter to the Fifth Pay Commission, while the families were demanding that the benefit be given to them with retrospective effect.

Another issue of the beneficiaries that remains unresolved so far is that of payment of enhanced rates of lump sum compensation on a par with Central government employees. The Central government employees get compensations ranging from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh. Capt Tanwar said though this point was brought to the notice of the state government, no action had been taken yet.

The families said a large number of relatives of slain policemen were refused employment on flimsy grounds.

Meanwhile, the beneficiary is entitled for the grant of special family pension at the rate of last pay drawn before the death from the date of death to November 31, 1995, following which the pension is to be granted based on the revised notional pay fixation in revised pay scales as per recommendation of the Fourth Pay Commission.

A study of the grievances of the beneficiaries reveals that departments concerned seem to have withheld this notification of 1998. It has not been published in the authorised gazette for the year, nor in the second edition of Punjab Civil Rules, 2000, besides other service periodicals.


Ex-judges on rights panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
The two newly appointed members of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission joined duties here today.

Justice Baldev Singh, a former judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, and L.R. Roozam, a former session judge, have been appointed members to the five-member commission.

The commission in Punjab is headed by Justice R.S. Mongia and had only one more member till recently. Following the appointment of two members, the commission will be a four-member strong body, but will be still short of another member.

Justice Baldev Singh reached the office of the commission in Sector 34 at noon and signed his joining papers in the presence of Justice Mongia. He was accompanied by family and friends. The other member of the commission K.K. Bhatnagar was also present.

Roozam resigned as member of the Chandigarh Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum this morning before joining as member here. He came to the office in the evening.

Other than heading an independent bench, Baldev Singh will hear cases in the Division Bench with Justice Mongia. All fresh complaints received by the commission are the first heard by a two-member Division Bench after which these are marked to independent Benches. Roozam will head an independent Bench from tomorrow.

The fresh appointments to the commission were expedited by the Punjab government, following the filing of public interest litigation by advocate H.C. Arora in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.


Eye Camp Botch-up
Magistrate’s clean chit to health office
Tribune News Service

Moga, November 4
District magistrate Satwant Singh Johal said here today that he had asked the police not to take any action against the office of the chief medical officer in the eye camp botch-up case.

He said the office had cancelled the permission granted to the Guru Ram Dass Charitable Trust for conducting surgeries and sealed the operation theatre run by it on his directions soon after the incident came to he light.

Recently, in a letter written to the local SSP, the magistrate had expressed concern over the act of the police in mentioning the office in the criminal case registered on August 14 against the erring doctors and trust members.

There was no negligence on the part of the office, the DM stated.


Dengue declared ‘epidemic’; CM’s help sought
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 4
While the visiting Central government team, which, was keeping a tab on the dengue situation in the state was learnt to have declared dengue as an ‘epidemic’, the Punjab Civil Medical Services Association (PCSMA) has sought intervention of the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and has urged him to direct health authorities to equip all state-run hospitals blood banks with platelet separators so as to save hundreds of serious dengue patients.

Meanwhile, dengue patients were undergoing a lot of inconvenience on account of overcrowding of referral hospitals that were allegedly refusing admission to lesser serious patients for shortage of beds.

The Tribune had highlighted the issue of dengue in its columns on Tuesday. The patron of the PCMS Association Dr. M.S. Randhawa, said the visiting national team, led by deputy director (vector borne diseases, Government of India) Dr Kalpana has expressed her dissatisfaction over poor awareness of people and insufficient preventive measures taken to contain dengue outbreak.

On the other hand, deputy director (malaria, Punjab) Dr. Varinder Mohi, however, denied that the disease had been declared by the state government as an epidemic officially as yet.

As per PCSMA, the estimated number of clinically diagnosed cases of the dengue could be as high as 25,000, because all dengue patients do not undergo these tests that were only undertaken in case of complicated and serious patient due to the cost involved in these tests.

Elisa dengue anti-body titration test at a well-known Ludhiana hospital costs Rs 920 per sample, while the other rapid dengue detection kit test costs Rs 700 to the patient.

Out of 128 cases admitted and treated at local Rajendra Hospital special ward, created to treat dengue patients, a large number of them needed platelet infusion due to severity of symptoms.


Punjab eyes share in UT tax revenue
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 4
Punjab has sought a share in the revenue from various taxes collected by the union territory of Chandigarh. The issue was raised by finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal at the meeting of the empowered committee of finance ministers of various states held in Chandigarh today.

The UT’s revenue from various taxes is in the range of Rs 1,000 crore. Chandigarh is the only revenue surplus UT in the country. It makes significant contribution to the consolidated fund of the Centre.

The empowered committee, headed by Asim Das Gupta, finance minister of West Bengal, had held discussion for two days on various financial matters related to states.

“As the issue was not on the agenda of the meeting, I raised it informally,” said Manpreet. Talking to The Tribune on the phone this afternoon, Manpreet said Gupta was fully in agreement with the issue raised by him.

Manpreet informed the committee that most of the people from Punjab come to Chandigarh to buy various goods and they pay tax on the items purchased by them to the UT administration. In fact, the rate of some of the taxes in the UT is less than that of Punjab and people prefer to make shopping in Chandigarh because of that reason.

Almost all Punjab people who visit Chandigarh get their vehicles filled at petrol stations there because it is cheaper by Rs 5 per litre compared to various cities of Punjab.

“I am of the view that 80 per cent of the total revenue from various taxes in Chandigarh comes from people of Punjab because they do shopping there”, said Manpreet. He said he would raise this issue before the 13th Finance Commission as well as before the Union Planning Commission.

Manpreet said Gupta was of the view that all union territories should share their tax revenue with the neighbouring states.


Cong to launch stir against loot of sand, stone
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, November 4
The state Congress leadership has decided to launch an agitation from November 5 to pressurise the Badal-led SAD-BJP government of the state to stop the looting of sand and stone from mines by a mafia, operating in the area for the past many months. A meeting of senior party leaders, workers, members of zila parishad and block samitis, sarpanches and panchayat members of the area was held by the Congress leaders, including Raman Bhalla, former minister and Joginder Singh Chhina, secretary, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, here on Monday to work out the modalities of the agitation.

Chinna, in a press note issued here yesterday, said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal should order a probe to find out the persons who had monopolised stone and sand business in Pathankot tehsil of the district. Chinna said it was worth noting that the price of stone and sand had been doubled. Earlier, 300 cubic ft sand used to be sold at the rate of Rs 1,000, whereas now the price of 300 cubic ft was Rs 3,000. Earlier, truckers and local residents used to lift sand free of cost to build their houses from different sand mines of the Ravi and the Beas.

Earlier, truck operators were free to load stone crusher and sand to be used for roads, buildings and bridges from stone crushers of their choice located near Pathankot. He said contractors had almost doubled the price of sand and stone crushers in the Pathankot area.

Similarly, the rate of crusher was Rs 450-500 per 100 cubic ft earlier. It had now been raised to Rs 700 per 100 cubic ft. Other than this, Rs 200 per 100 cubic ft was being charged from drivers to load their truck from the crusher specified to them.

He added that if the state government was serious to collect revenue from rivers and rivulets flowing through the state, then the government could earn more than Rs 1,000 crore per year on the one hand and could b sell stone and sand to the local residents at cheaper rates on the other hand. The contract of mining should be given to those persons from whose land rivers and rivulets were flowing. In the larger interests of the state, the authorities concerned should streamline this trade.


Bibi takes on Khaira
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, November 4
Reacting sharply on Bholath MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira’s criticism of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s sangat darshan programmes, former SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur has asked him to do some introspection.

Khaira had stated that it was a matter of regret that he was neither informed nor invited to the proposed sangat darshan programme to be held in his constituency on Wednesday.

Bibi says being MLA of the area, she was neither invited nor informed about then Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s visit at that time.

On the other hand, Khaira says Bibi did not know about her rights. Had she known about her rights, she would have protested her being ignored by the government.

Bibi says she had requested Badal to visit Bholath as members of different panchayats wanted to meet him regarding development works. Further, Badal will also inaugurate and lay foundation stones of several development works in the constituency.

Reiterating that Khaira should not create any hindrance in development works of the constituency, Bibi says no one has stopped Khaira from meeting Badal.

During his proposed visit to this constituency, Badal will hold a sangat darshan programme at Begowal.


Kidnapping Case
Accused’s family block road
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 4
Family members of Raju, who is wanted by the Moonak police in a case of kidnapping, and villagers blocked the road for four hours at old sales tax barrier chowk at Moonak village, 60 km from here, yesterday.

The protesters claimed that Raju had not returned home for some days and the police had done nothing to find him.

However, the blockade was lifted when Moonak DSP Sharanjit Singh visited the site and told the protesters that Raju was wanted by the police in a kidnapping case. The police was after him in a case registered against Raju (Moonak), Nazar Singh and Keera (Ballran) under Sections 364, 341, 323 and 34, IPC.

The DSP said on Diwali night (October 28) Raju, Nazar and Keera kidnapped Sat Pal, alias Satta, from Ballran village in a car and took him to Jakhal in Haryana where they started “beating him” up. On hearing his cries, the watchman of a Jakhal school and people rescued him, while Raju, Nazar and Keera fled leaving behind their car and a mobile phone which were now in the custody of the Jakhal police.

The DSP said the Jakhal police informed the Moonak police about the kidnapping incident.

The Moonak police went to record the statement of Sat Pal at Tohana, where he was under treatment in a hospital. Then the police booked Raju, Nazar and Keera. All accused in the case were absconding, he added.

The DSP said sympathisers of Raju, when they came to know about his involvement in the kidnapping of Sat Pal, lifted the blockade and dispersed.


High Court
Bajinder Singh’s protection extended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
The CBI today undertook not to arrest Punjab’s former minister Tota Singh’s son Barjinder Singh in the Moga sex scam till November 6.

The premier investigation agency, on the previous date of hearing, had assured the court that it would not arrest him till today.

The assurance this afternoon was given to Justice A.N Jindal in the open court by CBI counsel Dr Anmol Rattan Sidhu. Barjinder Singh was present in the court during the proceedings. The arguments in the case remained inconclusive today also.

Plea withdrawn

Monika Rani, who had earlier accused a station house officer of pressurising her into flesh trade for extorting money, has withdrawn the petition filed before the high court. The case was popularly known as the Jalalabad sex scandal.

In an affidavit placed before the Bench of Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Nawab Singh, the petitioner stated no harm had come to her and she had not suffered at the hands of the respondents. The petitioner added that she had no objection if the petition was dismissed as withdrawn.


Baba held for sexual exploitation
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Moga, November 4
The local police of Baghapurana in the district arrested a Baba of a dera from Kotkapura in Faridkot district on charges of sexual exploitation last evening. He was produced before a local court today. The court had sent him to one-day police remand for investigation.

Sources in the police revealed that a 27-year-old woman of Bhaloor village allegedly attempted to commit suicide by burning herself last week. She was rushed to Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot, by her parents where her condition was said to be critical.

In a statement, she alleged that Baba Zora Singh of Peer Baba Dera Kotkapura, who was a frequent visitor to their house, was sexually exploiting her for the past 18 months. She said the Baba, who was about 70 years old, was telephonically asking her to marry him, due to which she was mentally disturbed. “I did not like this. So I set myself on fire after spraying kerosene on my body,” she said in her statement.

Additional public prosecutor of the district Lakhvir Singh, while talking to The Tribune, revealed that the police produced Baba Zora before the court of Duty Magistrate Anantdeep Singh, who ordered him to police remand for one day for investigations into the case.

Assistant sub-inspector Darbara Singh, who is investigating this case, said a criminal case under Sections 376, 306 and 511, IPC, was registered against the Baba on the basis of a suicide letter recovered from room of the victim, her and her mother’s statements.

He said the mother of the victim had also alleged that her daughter was being sexually exploited by the Baba for the past many months.


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 |