P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


‘Bias’: Cong calls for emergency session
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The Punjab Congress Legislature Party (CLP) today called for an emergency session of the Vidhan Sabha to discuss denial of constitutional rights to Congress legislators as well as assumption of extra-constitutional authority by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Briefing mediapersons after a meeting of the CLP, its leader Rajinder Kaur Bhattal said the party had already brought the discrimination being meted out to Congress legislators, who were being denied any role in the development of the state, to the notice of Assembly Speaker Nirmal Singh Kahlon. “He (Speaker) had asked for one-week time to look into the matter, but since nothing has come out of it, we will now approach the Lok Sabha Speaker as well as the President to demand justice,” Bhattal said.

The CLP leader said the SAD had appointed party candidates who had lost the last election as “constituency in charges” and these people were distributing grants as well as laying foundation stones. “When one of our legislators Sukhpal Singh Khaira protested against this, the administration lodged a case against him,” she said. Bhattal added that the CLP was in favour of allocating a minimum of Rs 1 crore to each legislator as MLA Area Development Fund on the pattern of MP Area Development Funds available to MPs for development purposes.

Bhattal also claimed that the CLP felt that Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had surrendered his authority to his son Sukhbir. She said Sukhbir had assumed the role of Chief Minister and was summoning officers and giving them verbal orders, making policy statements, laying foundation stones and inaugurating public works using the state helicopter.

The CLP has decided to form two committees to scrutinise both issues and may also go to court on them. It may also launch an agitation according to the programme given by Pradesh Congress chief Mohinder Singh Kaypee.

Bhattal demanded that the government should issue a white paper on the financial position of the state. “The finance minister and the government seem to be at odds on the issue of subsidies,” she said, adding that the government was now resorting to selling its properties as it was faced with an empty treasury.


Malegaon Blasts
BJP adopting double standards: Mann
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 17
The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), by seeking to defend those arrested in Malegaon blasts and urging people not to refer to them as Hindu terrorists, was adopting double standards.

SAD (A) chief Simranjit Singh Mann today said this was the same party that had never left any opportunity to label such elements among Sikhs and Muslims as terrorists and separatists. Recent statements of BJP leaders L.K. Advani and Venkaiah Naidu in this context were examples of hypocrisy, he pointed out.

Why was Advani perturbed when the word Hindu terrorists was used after the involvement of some Hindus in the recent bomb blasts. Where was he when words like Sikh and Muslim terrorists were used making the whole community responsible for the misdeeds of a few of its people, he questioned.

He said when a ban can be imposed on minority organisations allegedly involved in any anti-national activities, why the same could not be done in case of Hindu organisations involved in similar activities.

Ironically, these organisations were now on the defensive and in fact collecting money to help Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and the other accused in the blasts, he said.

The alleged involvement of Lt Col Shrikant Purohit in the Malegaon and other blasts has proved that the cells of the BJP and the RSS had penetrated the Indian Army, which was a serious matter for the minorities in the country, he added.

He said the government should order an inquiry to weed out more sleeper cells in the forces so that individuals owing allegiance to right wing Hindutva forces should be exposed and the damage contained.

Mann said the Centre and Punjab should be made accountable for smuggling of arms and ammunition and drugs from Pakistan into the state despite surveillance of so many security agencies along the Punjab border with Pakistan.

He said the government should also provide insurance cover to its employees, especially the police, which had been sent for election duty in Jammu and Kashmir and Naxal-infested areas.

The former MP also said the party would contest 10 Lok Sabha seats. The candidates were being finalised and it was yet to be ascertained whether he would contest from Sangrur or not. The issue was before the party, he added.

The search was also on for candidates for Hoshiarpur, Gurdaspur and Jalandhar, he said.


Cong leaders unwilling to be led by Amarinder
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Despite reconciliation efforts, the Punjab Congress stands divided with the top leadership unwilling to be “led” by former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and even trying to put him in his place by repeating the supremacy of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) over the campaign committee which he heads.

Capt Amarinder Singh’s plan to make a suitable campaign for the party for the forthcoming parliamentary elections, which he announced yesterday, will be staggered so that it does not peak out soon, is being taken as a unilateral decision by the top leadership, including Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Rajinder Kaur Bhattal.

When questioned on the issue, Bhattal said the PPCC was supreme and it was up to it to decide on the party’s election campaign. “The campaign committee and even the CLP is subservient to the Pradesh Congress,” she said, adding that it was mandatory for the committee as well as the CLP to submit programmes to the Pradesh Congress for ratification.

Bhattal, an earlier bete-noir of Amarinder, did not even mince words when asked why the former Chief Minister did not attend the CLP meeting. “Amarinder was invited like other senior leaders who are not members of the Assembly, but he may have been busy elsewhere,” said Bhattal. When pressed later on the same issue, she said: “He may be busy because of cases registered against him.” The CLP leader, however, simultaneously also said the CLP had earlier asked Amarinder if he needed any help following his expulsion from the Assembly.

PPCC president Mohinder Singh Kaypee, when questioned on the same issue, said the work of the committee would start once the elections were announced. He, however, said the Pradesh Congress had to work as part of a continuous process and that it was currently engaged in a mass-contact programme.


All set for Rahul’s Amritsar visit today
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 17
The stage for the elections to the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) is set as All-India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Rahul Gandhi will announce the date for elections of the Punjab Youth Congress here tomorrow on his second visit to the state.

Anil Thomas, a member of the IYC and convener for the elections for 18 blocks of Amritsar district, said verification of about 3.5 lakh youth, who had enrolled themselves for the membership of the IYC, would be held on November 19 and complaints, if any, received the next day.

He said the final list of the members would be sent to Delhi after scrutiny.

Thomas said the scrutiny of the members would be done by a seven-member team led by its chairman S.P. Singh from Haryana. He said three scrutiny team members each from Amritsar City and Amritsar Rural had been included in the team which includes Baljinder Singh Thanda, Sadhu Singh, Jagwinder Pal Singh, Sandeep Gaur, Gurjit Singh Aujla and Iqbal Singh Sherry.

Murli Shetty from Karnataka and Jaideep Tripathi from Uttar Pradesh have been appointed district returning officers.

Iqbal Singh, member, AICC, said the second visit of Rahul would enthuse party workers in the state for the Lok Sabha elections in the country as he enjoyed sway over the youth.

Meanwhile, the district administration has made security arrangements for Rahul’s visit to the city. The advance team of the Special Protection Group (SPG) has also arrived in the city for his visit.


Restoration of Baba Atal
Frescoes found hidden under bathroom tiles
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 17
The heritage experts engaged by the SGPC and the district administration have found priceless frescoes from the first floor of Baba Atal, the tallest building of Amritsar, hidden under bathroom tiles put up by Sikh Babas during previous kar sewa.

The art work is exquisite. Most of the art work, hidden during the kar sewa can be retrieved though it requires extra care and expertise. The experts are careful that further damage is not caused while removing marble or bathroom tiles.

Earlier, the SGPC had entrusted kar sewa to the Sikh Babas who had “destroyed” the Sikh heritage, much to the chagrin of experts. Deputy commissioner Kahan Singh Pannu today held a meeting with experts in the Golden Temple complex after monitoring the restoration work of Baba Atal and Ramgarhia Bungas.

Earlier, the kar sewa, carried out to repair age-old murals at Gurdwara Baba Atal, had earned flak from heritage lovers. Interior walls of the first floor were adorned with murals depicting Sikh history. About 100 panels of murals had been left on the first floor of the gurdwara, while the rest of them had been destroyed beyond recognition.

Convener of the Ramgarhia Bhaibandi Onkar Singh Sandu said the restoration work at the historical Ramgarhia Bungas and Baba Atal in the Golden Temple complex was in full swing. The DC instructed the experts to ensure that seepage from the building was stopped to minimise damage.

Built by Sikh warriors in 1794, the four-storey Ramgarhia Bungas had been in the possession of Sikh Babas who vacated the heritage site when the DC took up the matter with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

During Operation Bluestar in 1984, these Bungas were damaged and later renovated by the SGPC and the Ramgarhia Society. Later, some Babas of Kar Sewawale had done colossal damage to the heritage site by converting a portion into their abode.

The Kar Sewawale babas had allegedly damaged certain portions of the building within the precincts of the Darbar Sahib itself. They had built walls under the arches on the ground floor and fixed doors to convert verandahs into rooms. The brickwork (Nanakshahi bricks) had been plastered and painted at many places. Due to hindered ventilation, there is seepage in the basement of the Bunga, which can damage the building.

While constructing the Bunga, care was taken to provide natural light and ventilation through ventilators, which open in the path around the sarovar of the Harmandar Sahib on one side and in the well dug on the other side.


Viability of Amritsar Airport
Civil aviation panel’s visit may be delayed
Jet Airways to stop flights from Dec 1
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, November 17
Due to elections in certain states and top leaders busy campaigning, the visit of the high-profile civil aviation panel, formed to look into the viability of Amritsar international airport, may be delayed.

An Airports Authority of India (AAI) said a five-member committee was formed at the behest of Navjot Singh Sidhu, MP, that includes Dr M.S. Gill, minister of state for sports and youth welfare, Tarlochan Singh, member, Rajya Sabha, R. Ramalingam, chairman of the AAI, and A.S. Kohli, director, North Air India, to review the working of the airport due to the withdrawal of flight schedule by Jet Airways next month.

The airport suffers disparities of landing charges and the electronic clearance of the duty drawback claims for cargo export which has forced the leading national and international airlines to opt out of Amritsar sector in the coming months.

Sidhu had raised this issue with minister of civil aviation Praful Patel who set up the five-member committee last week, but its visit to Amritsar may not take place as all MPs are busy in electioneering and other commitments. Praful has also raised the issue of the state government’s failure to acquire 44 acres for the expansion and restructuring of the airport.

Meanwhile, the source said R. Ramalingam, chairman, AAI, was scheduled to retire by the end of next month.

The aviation experts feel that the government has to take quick decisions to save the airport from becoming unviable and huge investments on infrastructure going waste.


Civil Aviation Grounded — I
Department’s working marred by blame game
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Probes ordered by the Punjab Chief Minister and the director-general of Civil Aviation into the October 29 crash of the state’s only fixed-wing executive aircraft notwithstanding; a blame game has been rocking the Civil Aviation Department.

Failure of the state government to fix preliminary responsibility of the Sahnewal crash that killed two pilots, has had the warring groups in the department blaming each other for the tragedy.

Preliminary investigations reveal that all is not well in the Civil Aviation wing, which used to be part of the Department of Transport. Since the Civil Aviation now primarily handles air travel needs of VIPs in general and the Chief Minister in particular, independent charge of this wing usually remains with a senior bureaucrat or functionary in the Chief Minister’s secretariat.

The ill-fated aircraft that crashed at Sahnewal has brought into focus inadequate flight training and aircraft maintenance, besides a plethora of other drawbacks and shortcomings.

Insiders point out that engineering or maintenance of the aircraft was with the Delhi Flying Club. Incidentally, the Delhi Flying Club did not have any expertise for the maintenance of aircraft of the type of King Air.

The aircraft remained parked at Safdarjang for more than five years with its engineering care given to the Delhi Flying Club. If former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has been quoted saying the fixed-wing aircraft of the state “was like a flying coffin”, there has be to some basis for his statement as he is one who understands civil aviation better than many in the top brass of the SAD-BJP government now.

Strange as it may sound, Punjab has on its rolls a chief engineer at its Patiala Aviation Club. The present incumbent employed by the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janta Party (SAD-BJP) government does not appear to have much work in the absence of the state’s only grounded aircraft being maintained by the Delhi Flying Club.

Doubts have also been raised over the qualifications of the civil aviation adviser, who according to insiders had obtained a Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) more than two decades ago and had not flown much thereafter to hold the coveted post. His elevation during the previous Congress regime had raised protests from those who were superseded at that time.

Iniders also maintain that because of the lack of strict administrative control, even minor offspring of a senior politician and a bureaucrat were permitted solo flights in violation of rules. Normally no one below18 is permitted a solo flight.

To be concluded



Arvind sure of getting Cong ticket
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 17
Former local Congress MLA Arvind Khanna today showed firm inclination to contest the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat as a Congress candidate, by saying that he had full confidence that he would get the party ticket.

Replying to a question, Khanna said he had a fair chance of getting the Congress ticket for the Sangrur LS seat. Ruling out the possibility of the Congress alliance with the Lok Bhalai Party, he said there were seven Congress MLAs in the Sangrur parliamentary constituency, so there was no need to leave the seat for any party.

Khanna also disclosed that the Umeed Foundation, which he heads, was going to open an eye hospital in Sangrur by January next year. He said an order had already been placed for the purchase of equipment to be used in the hospital. The hospital’s specialty would be treatment of cataract disease.

Khanna said the foundation was also going to build a 20-bedded hospital. The building of this hospital would be constructed in five to six months. So the eye hospital would function in a rented accommodation till then, he added.

The ex-MLA also said to generate jobs for the unemployed youth of Sangrur and Barnala districts, he was talking to an Israel-based company.


UPA biased against state farmers: Majithia
Gidderpindi bridge to be reconstructed

Anirudh Gupta

Ferozepur, November 17
The Congress-led UPA government was deliberately ignoring interests of people of Punjab, especially of farmers of this border state, stated Bikramjit Singh Majithia, public relations, science and technology, water supply and sanitation, and non-conventional resources minister, while addressing party workers at Makhu, 40 km from district headquarters.

Majithia said the UPA had waived off loans of farmers belonging to only those states where the Congress was in power. He added similarly tax holidays and subsidies had been offered to businessmen and industrialists in other states. However, no incentives were given to Punjab.

Majithia said the fact that Punjab was the food basket of the nation notwithstanding, the farmers were a harassed lot as they were not getting optimum minimum support price (MSP) of their produce.

Majithia was accompanied by Janmeja Singh Sekhon, irrigation minister, MPs Zora Singh Mann and Ratan Singh Ajnala, former minister Hari Singh Zira, SGPC members Suba Singh and Dara Singh, Montu Vohra and Avtar Singh Minna, besides several other senior Akali leaders.

Majithia said the Gidderpindi bridge connecting Malwa-Majha with Doaba regions of the state, which was constructed during the British Raj and had outlived its life, would be reconstructed at an estimated cost of Rs 49 crore. He said this was the only rail-cum-road bridge of its kind in the state, but its closure during night time was causing a lot of difficulties for the people of the area. He further said the foundation stone of the bridge would be laid by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on December 7, 2008.


Excessive cess puts agro industry on back foot
P.K. Jaiswar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 17
The agrigarian state of Punjab is facing a dilemma due to its highest taxation structure in agriculture, forcing the agro industry here to think over to shifting to neighbouring states having low-tax structure.

Punjab is the only state to levy 3 per cent infrastructure cess, besides VAT, market fees and RDF, which adds to more than 11 per cent vis-a-vis of other states, resulting severe economic strain and making the agro industry here highly uncompetitive.

State-based rice millers fear a complete wipe out if the government fails to take any action and pay any heed to this matter. Interestingly, the government has sanctioned mega projects for the rice and paddy industry, which incidentally are in the “negative list” of the industrial policy as it prohibits any incentive or concession to these units.

These mega projects are given exemption from all cess, levy and taxes. This discriminatory policy is destroying the existing agro industry, which has been the main stay of the traditional rice industry in the state ever since it was established.

The Punjab Rice Millers and Exporters Association has shot off letters to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal and minister for food and civil supply Adesh Partap Singh Kairon, stating the continuous gloomy economic scenario and the high taxation cost in agriculture in the state that has put the agro industry on the back foot.

As compared to Punjab, Haryana and UP have levied 8 per cent and 6 per cent tax respectively, while Delhi has only 1 per cent tax. The association pointed out that the major grain industries and trade were shifting to the neighbouring states with much lower tax ratio.

The association has urged the state government to immediately review the tax structure as it is not possible to enter markets with heavy dose of taxation. It has also sought the revocation of 3 per cent cess notification; otherwise, the industry will look for other alternatives to survive.


Be ready to pay cops for verification
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
If you have applied for a passport, vehicle registration certificate, character certificate or even your new arms license, then be ready to pay the Punjab police cop for its verification, as “facilitation charges”. The proposal is again under consideration as per recent circular issued by the IGP, Punjab.

According to information sought under the RTI Act, a proposal for standardisation of service facilitation charges of community-based services being provided at Community Policing Resource Centres (CPRCs) in the district has been sent to the state government.

The Punjab police will now charge facilitation fee of Rs 200 for verifying the character of those who have applied for government service.

While, for issuing a copy of any document like the FIR, the police official would charge Rs 30 and for giving its certified copy the police would charge Rs 100.

Interestingly, the fee for issuing a no objection certificate (NOC) regarding stolen or recovered vehicle will cost you Rs 100.

The information regarding the re-issuance of the circular was received on November 14 from the IG Police headquarters, Punjab-cum-public information officer, in response to an RTI application filed by advocate H.C. Arora. It was conveyed, “a proposal for standardisation of service facilitation charges of community-based services being provided at the CPRCs in the district has been sent to the state government.”

However, the PIO has declined to divulge details of the proposal by stating that: “The information in this regard shall only be given after finalisation of the proposal.”

DGP Punjab had withdrawn the proposal when a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, comprising Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice K.S. Ahluwalia, issued notices to State of Punjab, and also to the DGP, for February 19, on a PIL filed by advocate H.C. Arora, challenging the said circular.

A PIL was filed by Arora before the Bench that it was an instance of compulsory exaction of taxes/ fees, without any authority of law, and an abuse of the office by the DGP, Punjab.

Taking a serious view of the matter and making it clear to the law officer of the Punjab government that the police department had no power to impose taxes, the Division Bench had issued notices to the respondents.


Principal’s transfer: Girl students protest again
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Fathegarh Churian (Gurdaspur), November 17
Hundreds of students of the local Government Senior Secondary School for Girls today jammed traffic on almost all major roads of the town for hours together and took out a march in the city. They were protesting against the transfer of Principal Sukhdev Singh Kahlon to Ludhiana from here allegedly for political reasons.

The students, who have been agitating ever since the principal was transferred about a week ago and had braved “manhandling” by the police on Children’s Day, intensified their agitation by raising slogans against the state government and district education authorities, apart from staging dharnas at various points in the city.

On the other hand, Bhupinder Kaur, officiating principal of the school, while admitting that the situation had gone out of control, said she felt unsafe as she had been getting threats on the phone. She added that she had reported the matter to district education officer Gurmeet Singh Saini and the police.

She alleged that a section of influential people were funding the agitation of the students. She added that these people were even deciding the manner of protest. She said she had apprised parents of students of the situation.

The students carrying placards were demanding that Principal Kahlon should be brought back on the same job.

Kahlon, national and state award winner, has already threatened to return his medals as a protest against victimisation.

Interestingly, the police, which “overacted” on the Children’s Day by “manhandling” students on the pretext of maintaining law and order, today remained indifferent and allowed the students to vent out their anger.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that when school classes were going on, the school authorities locked the door from inside so that students could not go out to lodge protest.

However, the students first raised slogans against district education officials, who visited the school for enquiring the reasons which had led to the agitation, and then broke open the door to come onto the streets.

The students claimed that during the tenure of Kahlon as principal, there used to absolute discipline in the school. They said now the administration had lost control over the school affairs.

They declared that they would continue their agitation till the transfer of Kahlon was cancelled.

Gurmeet Singh Saini, district education officer, could not be contacted.


Students burn effigy of ‘imperialism’
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 17
Activists and members of the All-India Student Federation (AISF) and the Sarb Bharat Naujwan Sabha today burnt the effigy of “imperialism” in front of the main gate of the Government Ranbir College here and raised slogans against imperialism.

Addressing students, state assistant secretary, AISF, Navjeet Singh said due to imperialistic policies, people of this country even after 60 years of independence, were facing unemployment, poverty, poor health and education facilities.

Among others who addressed the students included district president of the AISF Neel Kanth, Simarjit Singh, Satnam Singh, Rahul Kumar, Sohan Lal, Leela Singh and Prabhjot Singh.


Gurbakhash, Mehboob to get Gurmat awards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The Sikh Educational Society (SES) has decided to bestow Gurmat awards, being given in the memory of former SGPC president Gurcharan Singh Tohra every year, upon two prominent Sikh scholars, Dr Gurbakhash Singh and Harinder Singh Mehboob.

SES is a prestigious organisation managing over half a dozen prominent educational institutions in Chandigarh and Punjab.

Disclosing this here today, Col Jasmer Singh Bala (retd), secretary, SES, said these awards would be given at a special function being organised in Guru Gobind Singh College, Chandigarh, on November 22. Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal, a renowned environmentalist, would be the chief guest.

Dr Gurbakhash Singh had made a unique contribution in the field of Sikh history. Mehboob, who has been conferred with the prestigious Sahit Academy and Shiroman Kavi awards, is a major Punjabi poet and a Sikh scholar.


Sweets shop fails purity test
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 17
All four samples of sweets, khoya (two samples), rasgula and cham-cham (one each), allegedly belonging to one of a famous sweets shops of the town, Harman Sweets, have failed the purity test. These samples were collected by the district health authorities on October 22 from a local cold storage, the owner of which had reportedly told the authorities that the quantity of khoya, rasgulla and cham-cham belonged to the shop.

Talking to The Tribune here today, civil surgeon Dalip Kumar said all four failed-samples belonged to Harman Sweets. He said as per the report of the public analyst, Punjab, he had found two dead insects and foul smell in the rasgulla sample and 3-cm-long hair and foul smell in the cham-cham sample. The contents of the samples were, therefore, adulterated and unfit for human consumption, he stated.

The public analyst had also described the contents of two samples of khoya as adulterated, he added.

The civil surgeon said the health authorities had been given the samples in the name of the manager of the sweet shop. Dr Kumar said he had asked district food inspector Dr Pritpal Singh to launch proceedings in a local court against the sweets shop.


DTO in dock
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
A district transport officer (DTO) is in the dock on a petition filed by a Mansa-based driving school operator.

In an attempt to belie the DTO’s claim of not having discussed the training school license issue, the petitioner today placed before the court a compact disc, allegedly containing excerpts of conversation with the officer.

Taking up the matter, Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Nawab Singh directed Punjab director-general of police (DGP) to depute an IPS officer to look into the matter.

In the petition against former minister Balwinder Singh Bhunder, State of Punjab, the DTO and other respondents, petitioner Kuljeet Singh had sought directions for the release of a duplicate license. Counsel Amandeep Singh Cheema had alleged that Bhunder had directed against the issuance of duplicate license to benefit some other school.

In his reply, the DTO had, however, claimed that the petitioner had filed a false petition and had relied upon fabricated record. Moreover, the petitioner had never met him in this connection.


High Court
Plea rejected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Less than a month after Fortis Healthcare Limited accused Punjab of denying it a “level playing field” for developing Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences at Jalandhar, the high court today ruled there was no merit in the plea.

Fortis had earlier claimed the decision making process was vitiated “due to bias and mala fides” on part of Professor J.S Bajaj.

Pronouncing the orders in an open court, the Division Bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice L.N. Mittal verbally observed Bajaj was the standing committee chairman, but its role was limited.

Asserting there was no material before the court for taking a contrary view, the Bench added the eligibility criteria of running a medical college could not be held to be irrelevant, and the plea of violation of the relevant Act could not be accepted.

Fortis had earlier sought directions to restrain the respondents from finalising the bids for public-private partnership for developing the institute on the basis of the advertisement. In alternative, directions were sought to Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) to provisionally issue the request for proposed documents to the petitioner before allowing it to participate in the bidding process.

Quota allowed

The high court today allowed a petition claiming that while quota had been prescribed for the wards of ex-servicemen for admission to MD, MS and other post-graduate diploma courses, no quote had been prescribed for the ex-servicemen themselves.

In his petition against Baba Farid University of Health Sciences and another respondent placed before Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Nawab Singh, Kamal Sachdeva of Ludhiana had claimed that he had applied for admission to the diploma course, but no quota was prescribed for ex-servicemen. This, he added, was illegal.


Headmaster held for molesting girl
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, November 17
The headmaster of a government school was caught allegedly for molesting a Class VI student at Bhullar village here today.

However, Gian Singh (52), headmaster, Elementary School, Bhullar, denied the charge, saying the victim was like his granddaughter.

The police has arrested the headmaster and registered a case under Section 354, IPC, against him. Family members of the girl, along withother villagers, today went to the school and beat him up. He was later rescued by the police.

According to the complaint by the girl (11), the incident took place on November 14. However, some village elders supporting the headmaster tried to pacify the victim’s family by assuring them to handle the case. But they went to the school and beat up the headmaster.

The victim girl alleged that the headmaster called her to a room of the school on the pretext of providing him water, where he molested her.


Seven booked for kidnapping woman
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 17
The Islamabad police here last evening booked seven persons for allegedly kidnapping and selling a woman Shama Rani, a mother of four children. A case under sections 365, 355 and 498, IPC, has been registered at Islamabad police station.

According to information, the victim was allegedly sold by accused Parveen Kumari, Palwinder Kaur, Komal Pardhan of Islamabad area, Jeevi and her husband Peshawar Singh of cantonment area, Gurpreet Singh, alias Gopi, who is a handicap and resident of Pandori Waraich village, and Sarabjit Kaur.

SHO Harvinder Singh said the accused lured Shama to get her rid of her husband by divorcing him and setting her up with another person.

Shama in her complaint alleged that the accused used to come to her house and had promised her that they would get rid of her estranged husband who used to torture her and find a suitable match for her. However, when she came to know about their mischevious plan, they gave her some intoxicant after which she became unconscious. When she regained consciousness, she found herself in the custody of Gurpreet Singh who had taken her to Ferozepur where she was kept and physically molested. She somehow managed to inform her family who approached the police and rescued her, she said. Gurpreet has been arrested.


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