SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
B A T H I N D A    E D I T I O N

Re-opening of Hussainiwala-kasur border for trade
Dy CMís visit to Pak rekindles hope
Ferozepur, November 6
For well over last three decades when the Hussainiwala-Lahore border was closed for trade and transit in the aftermath of the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war, the residents of the area have been clamouring for the reopening of the border but without any tangible success so far.

The Shaan-e-Hind gate at Hussainiwala in Ferozepur. Resumption of trade between India and Pakistan can help usher prosperity in the area The Shaan-e-Hind gate at Hussainiwala in Ferozepur. Resumption of trade between India and Pakistan can help usher prosperity in the area. A Tribune photograph

Abducted Tapa girl traced in Handhiaya
Barnala, November 6
The Tapa police have succeeded in recovering a five-year-old girl, Khushbu, from the custody of her kidnappers, Buta Singh and Daropati Devi.


EARLIER STORIES


Akalia village police firing incident
Kin of two victims given jobs
Mansa, November 6
The state government has finally provided jobs to the relatives of two persons killed in the police firing incident over three months ago in Akalia village of the district.

CIA staff seize unaccounted Rs 35 lakh, two detained
Abohar, November 6
The CIA staff led by sub-inspector Navdeep Singh seized Rs 35 lakh during a search near village Ramsara after intercepting a Bolero van that was heading to Hanumangarh on the state highway.

80-yr-old woman robbed, killed in Fazilka village
Fazilka, November 6
An 80-year-old woman, Shanti Devi, who was living with her grandsons, was allegedly robbed of her earrings and murdered by unidentified persons who barged into her house in village Kabulshah Khubban of Fazilka sub-division.

Chancellorís maiden visit to CUP today
Bathinda, November 6
Dr SS Johl, the first Chancellor of the Central University would make his first visit to the campus tomorrow and inaugurate a two-day book exhibition.

Freedom fighter remembered
Bathinda, November 6
The death anniversary of Seth Ramnath, a leading freedom fighter from the Malwa region, was observed at Jaito today.









 

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Re-opening of Hussainiwala-kasur border for trade
Dy CMís visit to Pak rekindles hope
Anirudh Gupta

Ferozepur, November 6
For well over last three decades when the Hussainiwala-Lahore border was closed for trade and transit in the aftermath of the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war, the residents of the area have been clamouring for the reopening of the border but without any tangible success so far.

However, the current visit of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to Pakistan has again triggered a ray of hope for the local residents who are sanguine about the gates at the Indo-Pakistan JCP, Hussainiwala, opening again thereby ushering in a new era of economic prosperity for the region.

On earlier occasions also, leaders from both sides of the border have taken up the issue of opening the Hussaniwala-Kasur border. The issue has also been raised in parliament but to no avail.

Earlier, the visit of the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Pakistan had also raised similar hopes. But the attack on parliament and the Kargil conflict eclipsed these hopes.

Even chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had taken up the matter during the inauguration of the integrated checkpost (ICP) at Amritsar following which it is now likely to figure among the key issues to be discussed between the officials of the two Punjabs.

Welcoming the move, Nand Kishore, president, Beopar Mandal, said the traders of Malwa were anxious for the re-opening of the trade route as they felt that any further delay in it severely affects their business prospects.

"Most of the trade which takes place from Punjab to Pakistan is through Mumbai or Dubai, which means a considerable increase in costs. Perishable goods including vegetables cannot be shipped. Besides onions and potatoes, there is a great demand for green chillies, ginger and other such commodities in Pakistan which can be easily sent through Hussainiwala which is at the shortest distance from the border," said Ashok Kumar, a local fruit merchant.

"It makes sense to open the Hussaniwala border and set up a dry port here," said Ranjan Sharma, another trader.

He said the opening of the route will not only reduce the transaction cost for the exporters but will also help the labour-oriented industries like hand tools, cycle parts, steel forging and auto parts besides key industries that have been exporting their goods through Dubai.

"The denial of land route for trade via Hussainiwala border was economically irrational," said Parminder Singh Pinki, MLA. ''It is unfortunate that this land route has remained unutilised for years together," Pinki added.

Assuring that he will take up the matter with the Prime Minister soon, Pinki said this land route can prove beneficial to the industrial growth of entire North India.

Pinki said even the trade advantage of the trans-Pakistan route to Central Asia and beyond, besides fringe benefits such as growth of goods transport sector, employment and help in diversification of agriculture to cater to cross-border demands should be considered.

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Abducted Tapa girl traced in Handhiaya
Tribune News Service

Barnala, November 6
The Tapa police have succeeded in recovering a five-year-old girl, Khushbu, from the custody of her kidnappers, Buta Singh and Daropati Devi.

The girl was recovered from Handhiaya, near Barnala, and handed over to her father. Both the accused were arrested.

A case has been registered under sections 363, 365 and 34 of the IPC against the alleged kidnappers.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Snehdeep Sharma said today that the girl had been kidnapped on November 3 from the house of her father Sunil Kumar, a labourer, at Tapa when she was alone in the house.

The SSP said on November 5, Sunil Kumar recorded his statement before the Tapa police saying his daughter had been kidnapped by Daropati Devi, a resident of Barnala, who sold bangles, along with her accomplice Buta Singh, a resident of Handhiaya.

The SSP said Sunil Kumar also told the police that Daropati Devi had come to sell bangles in their locality on November 3. She then kidnapped the girl with the intention of selling her or to push her in activities like begging.

The SSP said Tapa SHO Sanjiv Singla formed teams of policemen that conducted raids in Sirsa (Haryana) and Bathinda to locate the kidnapped girl. However, the SHO succeeded in recovering the girl from Handhiaya, he added.

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Akalia village police firing incident
Kin of two victims given jobs
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Mansa, November 6
The state government has finally provided jobs to the relatives of two persons killed in the police firing incident over three months ago in Akalia village of the district.

However, a group of farmers and farm labourers unions have rejected the compensation and announced that they will block the Mansa-Ludhiana road on November 22 if the government did not withdraw the cases lodged against the villagers and pay compensation to the other injured.

Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Sunday presented letters appointing the suitably qualified relatives of Pritam Singh (52) and Nittu Singh (16), who were killed in police firing. Amrik Singh, a son of Pritam Singh and Shinder Kaur, the mother of Nittu Singh, were appointed as peons with different departments.

On July 24, cops had opened fire to disperse an agitated mob that was protesting against the alleged police inaction in theft incidents. The villagers had nabbed some youths, one of whom was the relative of a cop posted in the region. Police was trying to rescue the suspects from the custody of the villagers.

The incident had rocked the region. The SSP of the district was also transferred. Later, in a record of sorts, all the staff of Joga police station (nearly 35 cops) were shifted for their alleged laxity.

Deputy Commissioner Amit Dhaka said the government had already given a monetary compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the family of both the victims. He urged the residents of the district to approach him for the redressal of grievances instead of staging dharnas.

Ram Singh Bhaini Bhaga, district president, Bharti Kissan Union-Ekta Ugrahan, said a meeting of various organisations agitating for justice to the aggrieved families had felt that the government should fulfill its promise of withdrawing cases against the villagers who clashed with the cops that day.

He said the organisations also demanded a compensation of Rs 7 lakhs each to the injured and Rs 10 lakh instead of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of the deceased.

Fact file

  • On July 24, cops had opened fire to disperse an agitated mob that was protesting against the alleged police inaction in theft incidents. The villagers had nabbed some youths, one of whom was the relative of a cop posted in the region. Police was trying to rescue the suspects from the custody of the villagers.
  • Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Sunday presented letters appointing the suitably qualified relatives of Pritam Singh (52) and Nittu Singh (16), who were killed in police firing.
  • However, a group of farmers and farm labourers unions have rejected the compensation and announced that they will block the Mansa-Ludhiana road on November 22 if the government did not withdraw the cases lodged against the villagers and pay compensation to the other injured.

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CIA staff seize unaccounted Rs 35 lakh, two detained
Our Correspondent

Abohar, November 6
The CIA staff led by sub-inspector Navdeep Singh seized Rs 35 lakh during a search near village Ramsara after intercepting a Bolero van that was heading to Hanumangarh on the state highway.

The driver, Hari Ram, and another person, Trilochan Sharma, were detained but questioning did not yield any information about the source of the cash and purpose of carrying it.

The case has been referred to the income tax office, sources said.

Prima facie it is believed that money was to be utilised for property deals.

It is believed that the slump in the local real estate market has attracted investors from the neighbouring areas.

The revenue department had forced a ban on the sale of residential plots in 52 colonies that were declared illegal by PUDA a few months back.

However, the PUDA authorities are yet to initiate legal proceedings against the colonisers concerned despite the categorical directions issued by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The local Municipal Council had informed the RTI District Federation chief Satpal Khariwal a few years back that 27 colonies had been developed here without depositing the development charges besides defaulting in the payment of sewerage and water connections.

The Council passed on the buck to PUDA but the latter allegedly soft-pedalled on it.

Undeterred by the restrictions on such colonies, some persons have reportedly planned to develop another colony by uprooting orchards on the Abohar-Sriganganagar road close to the Alamgarh bypass, sources said.

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80-yr-old woman robbed, killed in Fazilka village
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, November 6
An 80-year-old woman, Shanti Devi, who was living with her grandsons, was allegedly robbed of her earrings and murdered by unidentified persons who barged into her house in village Kabulshah Khubban of Fazilka sub-division.

The police have booked the unidentified assailants under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.

The woman was alone in the house as the other members of the family had gone to pick cotton in the fields.

When the children of the family returned from school, they noticed her lying dead in the courtyard. There were injury marks on her body and her earrings were also found missing.

The postmortem was conducted at the local Civil Hospital today.

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Chancellorís maiden visit to CUP today
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 6
Dr SS Johl, the first Chancellor of the Central University would make his first visit to the campus tomorrow and inaugurate a two-day book exhibition.

A renowned economist and an expert on agriculture Dr Johl is the first person, other than the Governor, to be appointed the chancellor of any university in the state. Dr Johl is also a Padma Bhushan awardee.

A spokesperson for the university said the CUP was organising the fourth book exhibition in which more than 30 publishers, distributors and suppliers are participating.

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Freedom fighter remembered

Bathinda, November 6
The death anniversary of Seth Ramnath, a leading freedom fighter from the Malwa region, was observed at Jaito today.

A close associate of Giani Zail Singh, Ramnath had taken part in the Quit India movement on the call of Mahatma Gandhi. Because of this, he had to undergo imprisonment for two years at Nabha jail. He was a minister in the PEPSU cabinet. He passed away on November 6, 1986. ó TNS

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