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Spurious pesticide: Punjab acts against agriculture officers


By NewsGram staff witer

Chandigarh: On a day when Punjab’s agriculture director Mangal Singh Sandhu was arrested on charges of cheating and corruption in a multi-crore-rupee pesticide purchase scam, the state government placed him under suspension. Two other senior officers of the agriculture department have been chargesheeted.

“The Punjab government has placed director agriculture Mangal Singh Sandhu under suspension with immediate effect and the deputy director (cotton extension) Parminder Singh and then joint director agriculture Balwinder Singh Sohal have been chargesheeted as a major punishment under the Punjab Civil Services (Punishment and Appeal) Rules, 1970,” a spokesman of the Chief Minister’s Office said on Monday.

Sandhu, whose official residence was raided by a team of Punjab Police late on Sunday night, was arrested in the early hours of Monday and taken to Bathinda for further investigation. A court in Bathinda, 240 km from here, sent Sandhu to three days in police custody.

“The decision (to suspend Sandhu and chargesheet the others) has been taken in the wake of the enquiry report submitted to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal this evening (Monday).

“The inquiry officer has reported serious irregularities and violations in purchase of pesticides by the director. As a result, the matter needs to be investigated further to ascertain reasons for such irregularities,” the spokesman said.

“The entire report has been referred to the director general of police (DGP) for further investigation since he has already constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to look into spurious sale of pesticides in the state,” he said.

Divulging details of the inquiry report, the spokesman further revealed that the inquiry officer observed that then director agriculture preferred to purchase Oberan pesticide at his own level, thus ignoring the orders of Agriculture Minister Tota Singh.

The agriculture director also did not get the purchase examined technically, did not adopt e-tendering process and did not seek approval from the competent authority while exceeding his financial powers.



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16-Year-Old-Girl Kidnapped, Raped by Five Youths at Gunpoint in a Stationary Train Coach in Jind

The father, left and mother, center, of the Indian student victim who was fatally gang raped on this day three years ago on a moving bus in the Indian capital, join others at a candle lit vigil in New Delhi, India, Dec. 16, 2015. (Representational image). VOA

December 24, 2016: Police on Friday said that a class-X girl was allegedly kidnapped and was raped by five youths at gunpoint in a stationary train coach near the railway station in Jind, PTI reported.

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They said the 16-year-old girl had gone missing on December 17 and the police registered a kidnapping case at Sadar Police Station, Narwana.

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Later, the girl was recovered from Jind, they said, She told her parents that she was kidnapped by two youths and they took her to the railway station.

Police added, She alleged that two men were joined by three others who raped her.

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The Superintendent of Police has formed a three-member Special Investigation Team to probe the case, two of the accused youths have been arrested while they are trying to nab the others.

prepared by NewsGram team with PTI inputs

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Police Arrests Khalistani Terrorist Harminder Singh Mintoo at a Railway Station in Delhi, a day after he escaped Punjab Prison

The arrest happened within 24 hours after Mintoo, another terrorist and four gangsters broke out of the Nabha Jail in Punjab

fence (Representational Image), Pixabay

New Delhi/Chandigarh, November 28, 2016: Khalistani terrorist Harminder Singh Mintoo was arrested at a railway station in Delhi on Monday morning, a day after he escaped from a high security prison in Punjab.

The Khalistan Liberation Force (KCF) leader was nabbed from the Nizamuddin railway station by the Special Cell of Delhi Police, Special Commissioner of Police Arvind Deep told IANS.

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“He was arrested between 1 and 2 a.m.,” Deep said. “He had reached Delhi by changing a number of buses and was headed from Nizamuddin to Panvel (in Maharashtra).”

His plan was to then travel to Goa and from there flee the country, said a senior police officer on the condition of anonymity.

According to the officer, Mintoo, after his escape, entered Haryana, where he took a bus from Kurukshetra to Panipat and then boarded another bus to reach Delhi.

An earlier report said the arrest followed a joint operation by Punjab Police and Delhi Police.

Asked if this was true, Deep said the Punjab Police had “alerted us that Mintoo might go towards Delhi.

“So we formed several teams which kept vigil at strategic locations. He was spotted by our men at the Nizamuddin station.”

The arrest happened within 24 hours after Mintoo, another terrorist and four gangsters broke out of the Nabha Jail in Punjab on Sunday morning after it was attacked by 10-12 armed men.

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Punjab Police officials had said on Sunday that the escaped prisoners had fled towards Haryana.

Mintoo was arrested in 2014 with 10 cases against him. The other terrorist who escaped on Sunday was Kashmir Singh Galwadi.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said a report had been sought from the Punjab government and promised the Centre’s assistance to nab those on the run.

“The Home Ministry has been doing whatever needs to be done,” Singh said in Delhi.

“This (jailbreak) is a state subject and the Home Ministry has already sent advisories to states in this regard. The state (Punjab) government is looking into the matter,” he said.

Mintoo would be presented in a court in Delhi and handed over to Punjab Police on transit remand.

On Sunday evening, Parminder Singh alias Pamma Singh, one of the alleged gunmen who carried out the sensational jailbreak, was caught in Shamli district in Uttar Pradesh.

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The attackers, dressed in police uniform, breached the prison security around 9 a.m. and fired at least 100 rounds during the well-planned attack that lasted barely 10 minutes.

After the jailbreak, a police team shot dead a woman travelling in a car which failed to stop at a barricade. (IANS)

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Radical Sikh leaders arrested by Punjab police


Amritsar: Radical Sikh leaders from in and around Amritsar in Punjab were arrested to prevent a religious showdown at the Golden Temple complex on Wednesday, police sources said.

Mokham Singh, separatist leader and former IPS officer Simranjit Singh Mann and Amrik Singh Ajnala were arrested late Tuesday, the sources said on Wednesday.

While Mokham Singh and Mann were taken to a police station here, Ajnala was put under house arrest.

The arrests came within hours of a ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ (grand assembly of Sikhs) congregation at Chaba near Amritsar on Tuesday in which controversial decisions, including the sacking of jathedars (chiefs) of three takhts (temporal seats) of Sikh religion, were taken and convicted Khalistani terrorist Jagtar Singh Hawara was named as the Akal Takht chief.

“The Punjab Police arrested the top radical leaders to prevent any untoward situation at the Golden Temple complex and other gurdwaras as the newly announced heads of the takhts would have tried to take over,” a senior Punjab Police officer told IANS.

Deepening the crisis within Sikh religious affairs, radical Sikhs on Tuesday had announced the “appointment” of Hawara, the main accused in the assassination of then Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, who was killed by a human bomb in Chandigarh on August 31, 1995, as the Akal Takht jathedar.

The congregation of radicals also announced the “removal” of all Sikh high priests, including the present Akal Takht Jathedar Gurbachan Singh.

Hawara is serving a life term in the Beant Singh assassination case and is lodged in Chandigarh’s high-security Burail jail. Hawara was involved in a sensational jailbreak from the same prison in January 2004 with two other terrorists after digging a 104-feet long tunnel. He was arrested later by the Delhi Police.

During the congregation, in view of Hawara being in prison, the leaders announced that former MP Dhian Singh Mand would be the interim jathedar of the Akal Takht and would address the Sikh community from the shrine, located inside the Golden Temple complex, on Diwali on Wednesday.

The congregation was organized by a few radical Sikh groups.

Accusing them of “genocide of Sikhs”, the congregation named former police chief K.P.S. Gill and Operation Bluestar commander K.S. Brar, both Sikhs themselves, as ‘tankhaiya’ (the person guilty of religious misconduct) and directed them to appear before the Akal Takht by November 20.

The congregation also announced the disbanding the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the mini-parliament of Sikhs, and said that fresh elections for the SGPC would be held.

The congregation was attended by nearly 50,000 people, including Congress party leaders and radical Sikhs.