Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pak confusion: Sarabjit stays in jail

Zardari’s spokesman clarifies: 
It’s Surjeet who will be set freeIslamabad/Chandigarh, June 26
Hours after reports emerged that Pakistan was to free Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh, the presidential spokesman clarified that authorities had taken steps for the release of another Indian prisoner named Surjeet Singh who has been jailed for three decades.

“I think there is some confusion. First, it is not a case of pardon. More importantly, it is not Sarabjit. It is Surjeet Singh, son of Sucha Singh. His death sentence was commuted in 1989 by President (Ghulam) Ishaq (Khan) on the advice of (then premier) Benazir Bhutto,” presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.

Law Minister Farooq Naek today conveyed to the Interior Ministry that Surjeet Singh had completed his life term in jail and ought to be released and sent back to India, Babar said. “Keeping him in jail any longer will be illegal confinement,” he added.

Any references to President Asif Ali Zardari in the entire matter were “out of context,” the presidential spokesman said.

Surjeet Singh, currently being held in Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore, has been in Pakistani captivity for over 30 years.

He was captured near the border with India on charges of spying during the era of military ruler Zia-ul-Haq.

Earlier in the day, Pakistani news channels had reported that President Zardari had converted Sarabjit Singh's death sentence to life imprisonment and directed authorities to release him if he had completed his prison term.

Sarabjit was sentenced to death on September 15, 1991 on charge of involvement in three blasts in Lahore and one in Multan in which 14 persons were killed. As the news of the presidential order became known, the media in Lahore flocked to the jail, hoping to see Sarabjit walk a free man.

Four of Sarabjit’s clemency petitions had been turned down earlier. Determined to see her brother walk free, Sarabjit’s sister Dalbir Kaur had sent an appeal to President Zardari during his visit to India in April. Official sources too had said that steps had been initiated for Sarabjit's release.

In New Delhi, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna had thanked Zardari for the steps purportedly taken for Sarabjit's release.

Sarabjit, 49, too is currently being held at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore and has been on death row for over 20 years.

Though Sarabjit was set to be hanged in 2008, Pakistani authorities put off his execution indefinitely after former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani intervened.

His family maintains he wandered across the border in an inebriated condition and was arrested by Pakistani authorities. — PTI/TNS
(Courtesy: The Tribune)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Meet the challenges faced by the countr

A call to strengthen the party organizations by CPI 
With a call to strengthen the party organization to meet the challenges faced by the country in the wake of neo-liberal policies, which have brought country’s economy to doll drums and also to struggle against mafias and attempts to spread fundamentalism in the state, the 21st District  Conference of the CPI Ludhiana unit held under the chairmanship of a presidium constituted by Dr Arun Mitra, Com. O P Meha, Com Amrik Singh, Com Gurnam Gill and Com Jit Kumari elected Com Kartar Singh Bowani as the district secretary unanimolusly and Dr Arun Mitra and D P Maur as Assistat Secretaries. Dr Joginder Dayal-member Central Executive Committee and Com Nirmal Singh Dhaliwal State Secretary participated as observers. 130 delegates participated in the conference. District Secretary Com Kartar Singh Bowani presented the report of activities in the past and the achievements of the party. After his report a vibrant debate was held on the present political situation in the state and the country and the state. The delegates also discussed the steps to be taken to strengthen the party and take the message to the masses. Dr Dayal gave a detailed account of present political scenario and Com Nirmal Dhaliwal stressed on the need for a strong organization. The report was passed unanimously. District conference also elected a 63 member district council Conference also elected a 15 member delegation to participate in the state conference to be held at Ludhiana from 7th to 9th July 2012. The conference decided to participate in a big number in the pre state conference rally on 7th July.
(Dr Arun Mitra)
Asstt. Secretary

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Councillors 'lathicharged'

Were disrupting police drive to close 2 diversions for smooth traffic flowShivani BhakooTribune News Service
Ludhiana, June 22
A resident of Rishi Nagar shows injury marks 
on his back outside the Police Commissioner’s 
office in Ludhiana on Friday.

High drama was witnessed on Hambran Road here this afternoon when policemen, led by Assistant Commissioner Police (Traffic) Navin Jindal, went to close two diversions on the road opposite Kali Maa Temple.

About four senior elected Congress councillors, including Balkar Singh (Councillor ward number 55), Dr Jaiprakash (ward number 30), Gurpreet Bassi Gogi (ward number 53) and Maharaj Singh Raji (ward number 28), who tried to "borrow" time from the police for closing the particular two diversions were allegedly lathicharged by the policemen for disrupting the task.

While the Congress councillors alleged that they were ill-treated and lathicharged by the policemen when they resisted the move of closing the diversions, the police maintained that since it was for the betterment of the general public for a smooth traffic flow, the councillors disrupted the police's working by blocking the road. The police admitted that to carry on with their drive, they were pushed away by the cops and not lathi-charged.

These four Congress councillors were brought to the office of Ashish Chaudhry, Deputy Commissioner Police in the evening by the traffic policemen led by Jindal. Bharat Bhushan Ashu, another Congress councillor, also accompanied the four councillors to Chaudhry.

Talking to The Tribune, Balkar Singh in whose ward the incident took place said they were the elected representatives of the public, but the city police had "thrashed" them without listening to any of their pleas as they belonged to the Opposition Party (Congress). Another Congress councillor Gogi said it was a "politically-motivated" move and they were perturbed over the "rude" behaviour of the police.

Meanwhile, the councillors were taken to the office of the DCP where they held detailed discussion over the issue.

Ashish Chaudhry, however, said the councillors had raised certain objections and the police would again visit the site tomorrow to see what best could be done without hurting anybody's sentiments. On asking whether lathi-charge took place, Chaudhry said that police just pushed away the protesting councillors and residents to evacuate the road as they were not letting cops carry on with their drive.

Common man suffers

   On asking whether any of the Councillor was injured during the lathi-charge, the councillors maintained that they were saved by the grace of God but were badly "dragged" by the police. It may be mentioned here that in this whole inclident, it was again the common man, who faced the music. Residents including Pankaj Kumar, Vicky, Gurpreet, Neeraj, Narinder Kumar etc received minor injuries during the scuffle between the police and political leaders while the councillors were "saved".

Case not registered

   As these councillors tried to "disrupt the drive" initiated by the police, a case against them could have been registered. But the police failed to register any case against them or residents who created the ruckus.