P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Tehsils, blocks to be reorganised
Attari in Amritsar to get block status
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Keeping in view the reconstitution of Assemblies following delimitation, the Punjab government has announced the reorganisation of all blocks and tehsils in the state.

The reorganisation process will be completed in two months after a committee headed by chief secretary R.I Singh submits its report.

Announcing this here today, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said the sole criterion of the reorganisation would be “public interest and convenience”.

Badal said: “We have been debating over the issue and after a considered deliberations it has been decided that all 141 blocks, 77 tehsils and 76 sub-tehsils would be revamped to ensure an all-around and balanced growth in the new model of rural development”.

At the same time the government has also decided to develop Attari in the border district of Amritsar as a new block.

With a view to focusing on rural development, Badal has announced that a grant of Rs 300 will be given to 128 municipal committees and nagar panchayats within two or three weeks.

“The money will reach them within the next 15 to 20 days in the form of a one-time grant”. When asked from where would the government get the money, Badal said, “kiton daka mara gey” (will commit a dacoity somewhere)”.

He said 26 municipalities under category-I would be provided Rs 3 crore each, likewise 41 and 27 category-II & III municipalities would be given Rs 2 crore and Rs 1 crore each, respectively, besides Rs 1 crore each to 34 nagar panchayats for the execution of development activities.

Badal revealed that five corporation cities had already been given a grant of Rs 550 crore for the integrated urban development, including Amritsar (Rs 165 crore), Jalandhar (Rs 101 crore), Ludhiana (Rs 100 crore), Patiala (Rs 80 crore) and Bathinda (Rs 99 crore).

The Chief Minister said the Housing & Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) had sanctioned a loan of Rs 500 crore for water supply, sewerage and sewerage treatment plants to be set up in the rural segment of the state.

The state government had sanctioned funds worth Rs 850 crore for water supply, sewerage, sewerage treatment plants and other schemes like slum development.

Referring to the allocation of the Rural Development Fund, the Chief Minister disclosed that Rs 4 crore each would be given to each Assembly constituency, totalling Rs 334 crore.

He also mentioned that 9,100 km of link roads had been repaired at a cost of Rs 876 crore and 1,700 km of new roads with 20 km each in every Assembly constituency worth Rs 300 crore had been laid down during 2008.


Nod to 1200 MW plant at Rajpura
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
In a major initiative to make Punjab power surplus state, the Punjab Cabinet today gave its approval in principle for setting up a 1200 mw power thermal plant at Rajpura. The work on the project is likely to be inaugurated on December 8.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the state council of ministers chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal this evening.

The project would be set up at Rajpura over an area 1078.16 acres on Build Own Operate (BOO) basis.

In another significant decision, the Cabinet also gave a green light to establishing Maharaja Ranjit Singh Police University at Ladhowal near Ludhiana for instruction, research and other academic activities in police-related subjects.

Apart from this, the university would also impart training of police education programmes both to police personnel and non-police persons.

The state government would make a provision of recurring expenditure of Rs 5 crore per annum to the university besides mobilisation of capital expenditure of Rs 50 crore from other sources like the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board.

The Cabinet also gave nod to new policy for opening new private veterinary colleges to run degree course in Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry in the state.

Accordingly, a screening committee comprising Directors of Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development and Registrar Punjab Veterinary Council had been constituted under the chairmanship of Secretary Animal Husbandry to interview the prospective applicants, inspect the sites to assess the financial status, interest and capability of the applicants and send its recommendations to the state government.

The Cabinet also approved the acquisition of land measuring 120 acres, 3 kanals and 16 marlas in village Attari and Roranwala for setting up Integrated Check Post at the Attari-Wagah border in Amritsar district.

The Cabinet also gave its approval for amending the Punjab Agricultural Produce Market Act, 1961.



Bir stakes claim to Anandpur Sahib seat
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Challenging Congress general secretary Ambika Soni’s possible claim to the Anandpur Sahib parliamentary seat, former Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Bir Devinder Singh has apprised the AICC chief that he is a “better suited candidate for the seat”. The former Kharar MLA is learnt to have written to Sonia in this regard.

This once again brings to the fore the internal squabbling within the state unit of the party. Party sources said Ambika Soni was at one time contemplating getting the seat with a mind to use it as a launch pad for her son but the move had met with a lot of opposition within the party.

Sources close to former deputy speaker said he met Sonia and urged her to “judge him independently of what former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh reported to her”.

He is believed to have told her that Amarinder Singh was “against” him as he had refused to be involved in various acts of omission and commission perpetrated by the former CM.

He has told Gandhi “to do justice” to him this time as he was earlier denied a party ticket from the Kharar Assembly constituency despite being best parliamentarian of the state and the sitting MLA.

Sources said Bir Devinder would seriously consider leaving the party in case he was not given a chance again this time.

When contacted Bir Devinder said the Aanandpur Sahib area had to be developed with a futuristic perspective in mind.

“We need a person who belongs to the area, lives here and is committed to its development,” he said.


LS polls: Dera may support SAD
Attar Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 6
Ram Singh, chairman of the political wing of the Dera Sacha Sauda, threw a political bombshell by saying that the Dera Sacha Sauda was not averse to supporting the SAD in the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

Ram Singh, who was speaking to media, said that he had toured Dera followers in Mukstar, Bathinda, Ferozpur, Sangrur, Moga and Patiala.

He added that after taking their views, individually and in groups, he and the other seven members of the committee formed by him, had reached the conclusion that if need arises, the Dera would support the SAD.

He added that the committee under his leadership had informed the sangat which, in turn, had given the mandate to the committee to decide future course of action.

Ram Singh added that he had called a meeting at the Dera Sacha Sauda of all Dera Premis who had been elected panches, sarpanches and municipal councillors on November 12 to elicit their views.

Ram Singh said the Congress had not helped them as was expected by the Dera followers. He added that Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was in no way responsible for the recent riots in the state.


CPI moots front of Left, secular forces
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 6
To defeat the BJP and the Congress in the coming Lok Sabha elections, the Communist Party of India (CPI) will work to build a front of the Left, democratic and secular forces at the national level.

A decision to this effect was taken at a recently held meeting of the national executive of the CPI.

Talking to The Tribune here today, a member of the national executive of the CPI, Dr Joginder Dayal, said the CPI had taken this decision as anti-people policies of the UPA government were harming the country.

Dr Dayal said the state executive of the Punjab unit of the CPI would decide the elections strategy at its meeting on November 8 and 9 in Chandigarh.

Terming the BJP as reactionary, communal and pro-imperialist, Dr Dayal said it was defending Sadhvi Pragaya, allegedly involved in the Malegaon blast case.

Besides, the killings of Christians allegedly by the Bajrang Dal in Orissa and Karnataka and riots in Malegaon in Maharashtra had exposed the Hindutva forces, he added.

Lashing out at the Congress, he said the UPA government was implementing anti-people policies under the dictates of the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation. These policies would have a deeper and long-lasting affect on India’s economy, he claimed.


Notices to 52 mining contractors
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, November 6
The government has issued a warning to mining contractors of Gurdaspur district to break the cartel or face the music.

Coming down heavily on the contractors, who allegedly have formed a cartel to monopolise the sand and stone trade in the district, V. K. Janjua, director-cum- secretary, Industries and Commerce, said if they did not break the cartel, their mining contracts would be cancelled. Janjua also ordered them to charge reasonable prices for sand and gravel, etc.

“Show-cause notices have been issued to the mining contractors of 52 quarries of the district as to why their mining contract should not be cancelled as they have formed a cartel, which is anti-competitive and against the public interest. They have been given one-month time for filing their replies,” he said. Earlier, Congress leaders of this region had decided to launch an agitation against the cartel.

Janjua pointed out that the last auction of quarries was held in 2002. After a lot of efforts put up by the department, the auction of 56 quarries was fixed for March 24.

Though the deputy commissioner was present throughout the auction period besides the SSP, with adequate police force, no bidder turned up at the venue.

The auction was rescheduled for July 11, and 111 bidders deposited the earnest money and participated in the auction. The whole process was videographed.

He said an increase in the prices of sand could be attributed to the fact that royalty rate had been increased from Rs 20 to Rs 30 per tonne from April.


Govt gives its own colour to Kapurthala festival
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, November 6
Parkash Singh Badal-led SAD-BJP government is giving its own colour to annual Kapurthala heritage festival by changing its character.

It has neither involved the Kapurthala Heritage Trust nor the Indian National Trust for Art, Culture and Heritage (INTACH) in the conduct of the festival this time.

Actually, the previous Congress government had started in 2002 the three-day heritage festival named after Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, the founder of Kapurthala, with the aim of giving a boost to tourism.

According to the information, the first six heritage festivals had been organised under the aegis of the Kapurthala Heritage Trust, headed by a descendant of the royal family, Brig Sukhjeet Singh. The trust had organised these festivals in collaboration with INTACH.

Sources said the Badal government did not involve Kapurthala Heritage Trust in the festival this time as its chairman, Brig Sukhjeet Singh, is reportedly close to Amarinder Singh.

All the first six festivals were organised on the dates coinciding with Jassa Singh Ahluwalia’s death anniversary on October 20, whereas this year it is being organised from November 7 to 9, the sources added.

On the other hand, DC J.M. Balamurugan denied that SAD-BJP government had changed the basic character of the festival.

Balamurugan said this time the Kapurthala heritage festival was being organised under the aegis of District Culture and Heritage Society, which was constituted in each district of Punjab on the directions of state government in May this year.

He claimed that the first festival in 2002 was also organised by Punjab government itself, after that five consecutive festivals were held under the aegis of the trust, of which the deputy commissioner is ex-officio member secretary.

Balamurugan said it was just a matter of systematic structure for further improving the festival that newly constituted society, headed by the deputy commissioner, was organising the festival this time.

The state government has borne entire expenses on the organisation of the festival since 2002.


Cash Scam
Sports director ‘forged’ certificates to get job
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 6
Punjabi University’s sports director Raj Kumar Sharma has landed in trouble again for allegedly getting his job on the basis of “forged” sports achievement certificates.

Meanwhile, Punjabi University’s VC Dr Jaspal Singh has said Sharma’s case had already been sent to a committee, which, was specially formed to examine complaints and alleged irregularities, committed in appointments made in the university prior to his taking over as the VC.

“I had received a complaint pertaining to alleged forged documents of Dr Raj Kumar Sharma and had forwarded it to the committee which, is looking into the matter,” the VC said.

Sharma has, however, denied that he had used any “forged” certificates and documents to get the job and asserted that his detractors within the Sports Department and vested interests were creating problems for him.

“One of them wants to get me replaced and become the director of the department. All this is baseless and motivated,” Sharma said.

Sharma allegedly did not have the requisite experience and was appointed during the tenure of former VC S.S. Boparai in 2004, after ignoring certain Olympians.

The UGC had refused to accept the Punjabi University’s plea to give its nod to his appointment, even as Sharma claimed that his appointment had become “non-controversial” as the university syndicate had “cleared” it.

“There are many other appointments in the university wherein, people had less than the requisite experience, but, nobody is highlighting their cases,” he said.

Two national-level hammer-throwers — Surinder Singh Bhatia of Patti and Narinder Singh of Mandi Gobindgarh — have alleged that Sharma had “misused” their inter-university and university champion certificates for getting his job as he was close to Boparai.

“We have already lodged our complaints with the VC,” said Surinder Singh and
Narinder Singh.

“In fact, I had represented the Punjabi University in the inter-university tourney held at Ujjain-based Bikram University in 1978 and had landed the second position. But, the certificates attached with the application of Sharma claimed that he had got second position in the event as a representative of the Nagpur University. It is nothing but pure forgery,” alleged Surinder Singh Bhatia.

Similarly, Narinder Singh has alleged that he had represented Punjabi University, Patiala, in hammer throw in 1975-76 and had got the first position.

But his certificate was allegedly “misused” by Sharma after “forging” it and showing it as his achievement in his job application.


445 TB cases in Sunam
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 6
As many as 445 tuberculosis (TB) patients have been detected under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) from January to October 2008 in Sunam zone comprising Sunam, Dirba, Lehragaga, Moonak and Kauhrian areas of Sangrur district.

According to the Annual Risk of TB Infection (ARTI) survey, 827 TB patients are still undetected in Sunam zone against a target of 1,272 patients allotted to Sunam zone for a year in the light of its population of about 5 lakh.

This number of undetected patients should be detected only in November and December 2008 to meet the RNTCP targets as one undetected TB case can infect about 15 healthy persons in a year, thus adversely affecting the TB control measures taken by the government of India.

Talking to The Tribune here, district TB officer Surinder Singla said 98 TB patients had been detected in Sunam, 53 in Dirba, 127 in Moonak, 87 in Kauhrian and 80 in Lehragaga in Sunam zone in the first 10 months of the calendar year.

Dr Singla said out of 445 TB patients detected and being treated under the RNTCP in Sunam zone, 180 were new sputum positive cases, which meant that the persons were suffering from highly infectious TB.

Among the 180 highly infectious TB patients, 37 had been detected in Sunam, 56 in Moonak, 33 in Lehragaga, 31 in Kauhrian and 23 in Dirba.

The remaining 265 patients were suffering from less infectious lung TB (sputum negative TB), TB of lymph-nodes, intestine, TB of bones and joints etc, he added.

At a meeting of the District TB Control Society held here last evening, Sangrur civil surgeon Dalip Kumar asked the nodal TB officers and RNTCP para-medical staff to advocate the RNTCP in a big way amongst common people by saying that TB was a fully curable disease. So no suspected TB person should hide his or her disease.


Mann to move HC over ‘fleecing’ of farmers
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 6
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) has decided to move the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the alleged fleecing of paddy growers in grain markets in the form of overweighing of paddy crop at the time of filling paddy in jute bags.

Due to overweighing of paddy, paddy growers are allegedly suffering losses up to 300 gm per bag.

Talking to The Tribune here yesterday, general secretary of the SAD (A) Jeet Singh Alloarkh said every jute bag’s weight (having capacity of 35 kg of paddy) was approximately 500 gm, but officials and arhtiyas were weighing the jute bags, filled with paddy, at 35 kg 700 gm or 35 kg 800 gm. Thus, they were receiving up to 300 gm extra paddy from farmers, leading to heavy losses to them.

He added when they checked the filled jute bags at some places, they found excess weighing of paddy up to 300 gm. Even in the market committee register of a grain market, they got actual weight (35 kg 800 gm) of paddy recorded, he added.

Holding chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board Ajmer Singh Lakhowal responsible for the ‘fleecing’ of paddy growers and distress sale of paddy in the grain markets, Alloarkh demanded resignation from him saying he had miserably failed in protecting the interests of farmers during this paddy procurement season.

He said if Lakhowal really claimed to be a protector of farmers, he should stand by the farmers in place of the government.

Alloarkh added if the overweighing of paddy continued in the grain markets and the fleecing of farmers was not stopped immediately, his party would be compelled to gherao Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

He said Badal should not shed crocodile tears by saying that his government was a pro-farmer government as he had also failed in protecting the interests of farmers of the state.


DRDO working on eco-friendly explosives
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Environmental concerns seem to have transcended conventional issues. After green energy, it is now green explosives.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is engaged in developing newer explosives that are environmental friendly and do not generate toxic gases.

Director, Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL), Dr Satish Kumar said the TBRL as well as the High Energy Materials Research Laboratory were doing a lot of research towards this end.

Explosives are viewed by the scientific community not just as agents of destruction, but also a potential source of high energy generation for productive activities.

“The emphasis is on green energetic materials, which provide greater energy content, low sensitivity, low cost, better processing, greater reliability and superior thermal stability,” he said.

Newer types of explosives like nano-explosives, LOVA and NTO are also being researched and achievements in this field are possible due to the active involvement of engineering colleges, universities, IITs and partnership with the industry.

The problem areas which require to be addressed include evolving methods to reduce sensitivity, turning inert substances into energetic materials, and hazard assessment of explosives.

The development of high speed diagnostic techniques and instruments is another area of concern that requires national efforts.

“Also techniques are required to be developed for safe and clean disposal of explosive waste,” Dr Kumar added.

Meanwhile, the two-day symposium on “Trends in Explosives Technology” being organised at the TBRL Ranges at Ramgarh, near here, concluded today.

There were 12 technical sessions that covered the entire science and technology behind the development of high energy materials.

During his plenary talk, Dr Haridwar Singh, emeritus scientist, DRDO, explained the technology of insensitive explosives for insensitive munitions.

Insensitive munitions are not initiated by fire, impact of bullet or any other
unplanned stimuli.


Ministers told to remain in capital on fixed days
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has directed all his cabinet colleagues to remain available to the general public for three days every week in Chandigarh for on-the-spot redress of grievances.

Media Advisor to Chief Minister said here today that the ministers would remain in Chandigarh on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Badal gave these directions to his cabinet colleagues at a meeting of the council of ministers and asked them to strictly adhere to this schedule for the convenience of the general public.


Kalha made planning panel adviser
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Punjab principal secretary, finance, D.S. Kalha, who was in the thick of a storm after he was hauled up by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker for failing to accord timely financial clearance to the latter’s foreign trip, has been appointed adviser to the Planning Commission.

Kalha, a 1977 batch officer, who was also CEO, Anandpur Sahib Foundation, has been relieved of his charge and the state government today appointed S.C. Agarwal, financial commissioner, Animal Husbandry, as the principal secretary, finance. Agarwal will continue to hold his old charge.

Kalha had been hauled up by Speaker N S Kahlon for failing to clear his trip to Kaula Lampur to attend a Commonwealth conference of Speakers.

In a written submission to the Speaker he claimed that financial clearance for the trip was delayed because the file was with finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal.

The government also transferred Charandev Singh Mann, executive magistrate, Gurdaspur, as SDM, Fazilka, vice Rajiv Prashar, PCS.


Sikh library to be upgraded
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 6
The Sikh Reference Library, which was demolished during the attack on the Golden Temple by the Army in 1984, will be established at the world level again.

Stating this here yesterday, Avtar Singh Makkar, president, SGPC, said Prof Anurag Singh had been appointed director of the Sikh History Research Board.

He had taken charge today. He said all records of Sikh history from 1469 to 1800 would be prepared, besides preserving old manuscripts of present historical books in the library using the latest techniques.


High Court
No relief for Barjinder in Moga sex scam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Punjab's former minister Tota Singh's son Barjinder Singh did not get any relief from the high court in Moga sex scam.

After the conclusion of the arguments by his counsel, the alleged victims of the scam and the investigating agency, Justice A.N. Jindal asked Barjinder Singh to present himself before the CBI court on Friday.

The issue of sending him to CBI custody will then come up. The case has now been listed before the high court for November 11. Barjinder Singh was present in the court during the hearing.

As the matter came up this afternoon, CBI standing counsel Dr Anmol Rattan Sidhu submitted the custodial interrogation of the accused was essential.

Opposing the plea for regular bail, he added his mere presence in the courtroom could not be considered as physical custody.

Counsel for the scam victims, Sant Pal Singh Sidhu, too opposed the bail plea on the ground that both the law markers and the law protectors had been misusing their official position. As such, an exemplary order should be passed.

Counsel for the petitioner, on the other hand, insisted it was a case of political vendetta and there was nothing against the accused. Moreover, the prime accused in the case had already been released on bail.

Seeking the grant of regular bail, it was contended the presence of the accused should be considered deemed custody.

The counsel contended the petitioner had filed application for regular bail before the appropriate court in pursuance to the directions issued by the Supreme Court on October 13 and October 24.

Police promotion

Justice Mehtab Singh Gill and Justice K. Kanan today fixed November 11 as the next date of hearing on the petition by an assistant sub-inspector and others vide for grant of promotion in line with the state's reservation policy and 85th amendment in the wake of 2001 Supreme Court decision in Ajit Singh Janjua case. The counsel for the petitioner has been asked to provide additional information in the matter.


Patiala SSP in the dock
Faces allegation of slapping a woman
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Patiala senior superintendent of police (SSP) is in the dock. Taking up a petition levelling serious allegations of issuing threats and slapping a woman, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today observed it was not satisfied with the officer’s conduct.

The petition for anticipatory bail in the matter has been filed by Raman Kanta. She was, on August 10, booked for cheating, forgery and other offences on a complaint by her son.

The high court is of the opinion that allegations were levelled “after the passage of so many years, when property dispute has arisen between the son and the mother”.

The petitioner had alleged that on June 4 she and a co-petitioner were produced before the Patiala SSP in his office. He not only abused them, but also slapped her.

They were also threatened with implication in false cases in case Kanta failed to transfer her properties in the name of her son.

Acting on the petition, Justice Ranjit Singh, on the previous date of hearing, had asked the officer to file an affidavit. Though the SSP filed the affidavit, Justice Ranjit Singh was obviously not satisfied.

“Considering the nature of allegations made in this case, the SSP was directed to file his personal affidavit. The same has been filed and is taken on record. I am not satisfied with the conduct of the SSP in behaving in a manner as disclosed”.

Going into the background, Justice Ranjit Singh added: “After 17 years of the incident (mentioned in the FIR), the issue has been raked up, that, too, when the complaint against the police has been made before the Human Rights Commission as well as through a writ petition before the court. The FIR seems to be a reaction to this approach by the petitioner”.

Making absolute the interim bail order, Justice Ranjit Singh added: “It is disclosed that additional director-general of crime (ADGP) was directed by the Human Rights Commission to investigate the allegations against the SSP. The outcome thereof is not disclosed in the petition”.

Before parting with the order, the judge directed the petitioners to place on record the “result of the inquiry conducted by the ADGP (Crime), Chandigarh, and also the outcome of the writ petition earlier filed by them for seeing whether there was any requirement of issuing directions for an inquiry against the SSP or other police officers in this case for acting in a high-handed manner”. The case will now come up on January 7 next year.


Issuing same number to vehicles must end: HC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
The Punjab Police has unearthed a scam of issuing “same temporary number” to several vehicles.

Convinced that the “bungling” can lead to a “big crime” in a “state which has witnessed terrorism, and where drug menace is prevalent”, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has called for nipping “the evil in the bud”.

The matter, which came before the court during the hearing of an anticipatory bail plea, has also led to the passing of strictures against the police.

Taking a serious view of the matter, Justice Kanwaljit Singh Ahluwalia has, in fact, asked Ludhiana SSP “to file an affidavit to answer his concern regarding the crime”.

The officer has also been issued a show-cause notice on the “kind of investigation that has been carried out and the efforts made to ensure the rule of law”.

The affidavit has to be filed by November 17, failing which the officer has been asked to appear before the court in person.

In his detailed two-page order, Justice Ahluwalia observed: “The Punjab Additional Director-General of Police had made a complaint that during a routine check-up, it had surfaced that about 15 vehicles had been allotted the same temporary number by an agency.

“To facilitate the purchaser of an automobile, motor agencies have been permitted to allot temporary certificates of registration and a number, which is to be engraved on the number plate.

“This imposes responsibility upon the person issuing temporary number of the vehicle. 15 vehicles of the same registration number and this kind of bungling can lead to a big crime.”

Referring to the case uncovered by the police, Justice Ahluwalia asserted: “A very shoddy, lack-lustre investigating has been carried out by the investigating agency. Offence under Section 409 of the IPC has been omitted.

“As to why the offence under Section 468, 471 and other offences have not been added by the investigating agency, is a matter of concern.

“There are other provisions also for which this court should not wisen the investigating agency…. What kind of investigating has been carried our, Ludhiana SSP has to explain”.


Rs 40 lakh looted from post office
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 6
Four robbers last night struck at the general post office, near Nehru Garden here, and decamped with Rs 40 lakh after breaking the lock of the iron box and tying the watchman with ropes.

The police came to know about the robbery this morning when the mail motor driver came to the post office at 7 am to collect sacks of post.

On finding the main gate locked from inside, the driver called up Jalandhar senior superintendent of post offices N.R. Meena, residing in official house at P & T Colony.

Meena, along with other employees, reached there and entered the office premises by jumping the wall.

They found watchman Ashok Kumar and labourer Darshan Lal Yadav tied with ropes near the strong room.

The labourer was engaged by a Chandigarh-based company to carry out the construction of stairs at the office.

Meena said the watchman told them that the robbers were armed with sharp-edged weapons. They even tried to hang him by a ceiling fan.

Meanwhile, SP (city) I.S.K. Kalia said the robbers also tried to break a safe, carrying cash and gold worth nearly Rs 3 lakh, with iron rods, but could not succeed.

Kalia did not deny the hand of some insider behind the robbery. The police questioned the watchman and the labourer. An FIR under Sections 392, 457 and 34 of IPC has been registered.


Kin kill girl for ‘honour’
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 6
An 18-year-old girl, a resident of Bhattiwal Khurd village (near Bhawanigarh), was allegedly murdered by her grandmother and paternal uncle on the night of November 5 on the suspicion that the girl had relations with a truck driver.

The Bhawanigarh SHO said this evening that on the complaint of the truck driver, Balkaran Singh (22), a resident of Gatwali village (Talwandi Sabo), the police had registered a case against the grandmother Bhagwan Kaur and uncle Randhir Singh Dheera under Sections 302 and 201 of the IPC.

The complainant had alleged that both had killed the girl, as they did not like relations of the girl with him, he added.

The SHO further said that at the time of occurrence of the alleged crime, the girl’s father was not at home. He said the girl had been cremated by the alleged accused in the morning.

The police was investigating the matter to know that how the girl had been “murdered”, as had been alleged by Balkaran Singh in the complaint, he added.


Woman gang-raped, probe begins
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Jaito (Faridkot), November 6
A newly-wed woman, a resident of Jaito in Faridkot district, was reportedly gang-raped by five persons in Bathinda, a couple of days back.

The Faridkot police was investigating the case. The first information report (FIR) was not registered till the filing of the story.

As per the details available, the victim was married to a person who is a resident of Bathinda road, here.

On Tuesday, she got a telephone call from a woman of her parental village that her mother was seriously ill and undergoing treatment at the civil hospital, Bathinda.

The woman told her that she had sent a youth of the village to bring her to Bathinda so that she could visit her ailing mother.

Two persons from her parental village came to Jaito and took her along with them to Bathinda. There, she was reportedly gang-raped by these two persons of her village and three others.

After perpetrating the crime, they left her back at the village from there her family members took her to a hospital at Lambi from where she was referred to the civil hospital, Bathinda.

But, the civil hospital authorities allegedly refused to admit her on the pretext that she should first inform about the incident to the Jaito police.

When contacted, Bikramjit Singh the DSP of Kotkapura admitted that the police had got the information of gang-rape with the newly-wed woman.

He said the matter was still under investigation and the SHOs of both Jaito and Lambi police stations were looking into the matter.

The DSP revealed that so far neither the victim nor any of her family members had come forward to record their statements about the incident.

“We will get her medically examined and register a case accordingly if they approach the police,” he assured.

However, Bikramjit said that preliminary investigations of the police had revealed that the victim had relations with one of the accused for the past few years and one of her relative woman used to help in arranging their meetings.


Sarpanch held with 14 kg heroin
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 6
In a major seizure, the special narcotics cell today seized 14 kg of heroin worth Rs 70 crore in the international market from two notorious smugglers, including the sarpanch of Khane Ke Ahel village in Ferozepur district.

The contraband was smuggled from the riverine belt of the Ferozepur and Abohar sector, which has become more active in the recent past.

The two accused have been identified as Sukhwinder Singh, sarpanch, and Kuldeep Singh, a resident of Kamalwala village falling in Ferozepur district.

Jadish Mittal, DIG, and P.K. Sinha, SSP of Special Narcotics Cell, said both accused were waiting for a person on the Jandiala Guru-Tarn Taran road to deliver the consignment when they were held by the uniformed sleuths of SNC.

Sukhwinder also fired at the raiding police party during the operation. However, the party escaped unhurt. They, however, caught hold of the two accused.

Mittal said the team recovered 14 packets of the contraband concealed in a bag, besides a mouser of .30 bore from them.

According to preliminary investigations, Kuldeep had close links with some notorious Pak smugglers acting in the reverine area of the Indo-Pak border in the Ferozepur sector who infiltrate into the Indian Territory to deliver the consignment at the doorstep of Indian smugglers.

The four packets bore triangular stamps featuring an eagle and 8888 showing their origin from Afghanistan, while other packets had the stamps of No 1 and MNF.


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