Chandigarh Confidential: How times change

Time is a big leveler they say. A fundamentalist icon of the Sikhs,dreaded during the days of terrorism in Punjab,was recently seen in the office of a top cop in the state.

Written by Express News Service | Published:May 28, 2012 3:26 am

How times change

Time is a big leveler they say. A fundamentalist icon of the Sikhs,dreaded during the days of terrorism in Punjab,was recently seen in the office of a top cop in the state. What brought him to the cop’s office was a request to get his passport made. Apparently,the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has been rejecting all his pleas to get a passport. The basis of the rejection is that it is not “in public interest” to issue him a passport. Now,the top cop — known across the state for being a terrorist buster — has been asked to intervene with MHA and help “Singh sahib” get a passport so that he can travel abroad.

Insecurity among VIPs

The Punjab Police headquarters remained a much visited place this week. Thronging the office of a security head were VIPs of all colours and hues and shades. The purpose was singular — getting their security cover back. With the deputy chief minister ordering the recall of hundreds of securitymen from the so-called VIPs,there is a beeline of requests demanding that they be given back their securitymen. The police headquarters is now busy trying to find a fresh definition of who is a “VIP” in order to justify the taking away the security cover.

Lesson learnt quickly

A bold senior woman police officer took on a religious leader with a mass following,when his convoy of six vehicles — including four SUVs — was on way to Mohali from Patiala near Sirhind. The officer was specially sent out from the police headquarters to check the illegal use of black film on window panes of vehicles. As the cavalcade of the religious leader was stopped and four of the vehicles had pitch dark black films,his gunmen from the police and private security began arguing with the police. The religious leader got out and told his men to move on and they fled with their vehicles. The woman officer called up the local police and was about to register an FIR when the leader came to the police station,expressed regrets for his action and also got black films removed from his vehicles.

Beware of pickpockets

Amid a huge rush of devotees in the Golden Temple on the day Kar Sewa of Bluestar Memorial for “Sikh martyrs” began,an official of SGPC was rather concerned about any attempt on his pocket by the pickpockets. And his worries were not unfounded. During a protest march towards the Raj Bhawan on the issue of capital punishment to Davinderpal Singh Bhullar,he had his wallet picked in the middle of a huge crowd. “Our delegation went to Raj Bhawan and it was for the first time that I entered any such institution without a penny in my pocket,” the SGPC official said. His concern was proved correct when several devotees later claimed that they have also become victims of pickpockets.

Punjab de Rattan

Expecting to be applauded by the court,the Punjab government last week produced the Action Taken Report against those who have grabbed property in areas adjoining Mohali. Much to their regret,the division bench had only a left handed compliment to offer. Discontented with the report,which only stated that violators have been asked to return the land after giving a warning,the high court — taking a dig at the government officials — observed “these officers should be given Bharat Ratna award,but if not Bharat Ratna,at least give them Punjab Ratna award”.

Leader of opposition

After the defeat in the Punjab Assembly polls,it seems that Congress leaders are not very optimistic about their success in the June 10 municipal corporation (MC) elections as well. Instead of making a good attempt,the candidates are themselves saying that getting a majority in the General House is very difficult. A sitting Congress councillor said,“Had our government been formed,I would have asked for the seat of mayor,but now all that I can fight for is the post of leader of opposition.”

The RTI Bomb

The Right to Information Act seems to be have having an effect of no less than a bomb in Haryana departments,especially in Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s office. Perhaps,the employees of the CMO are well aware of Hooda’s initial disliking to the Act. This Tuesday,an applicant tried to submit his application to the CMO’s SPIO Yesh Pal’s office. Since the SPIO was on leave,the applicant tried to convince almost all the 10-odd other employees present in the room to receive the application,but none was ready. Tired,the applicant approached a senior IAS officer of the CMO,who promptly called him to his office,saying that he will ensure that his application is taken up. But once he went through the information required,he dropped the application like hot brick. “Aap ki bhi galti hai,ye hamare CMO se related hi nahi hai. Kayade se CMO mein RTI officer hone hi nahi chahiye,hamare pass koi direct information thode hoti hai,” snapped the officer and returned the application. One can only wonder that how the state is supposed to ensure transparency?

No more Jarnail Singhs

Former Himachal Pradesh Congress leader Vijay Singh Mankotia,while honouring Army Chief General V K Singh during a rally in Dharamsala,went a step further. While praising Singh and the fading passion among people to join the Army,Mankotia said: “There used to be a time when a child was born,people used to name them Kaptaan Singh,Karnail Singh,Jarnail Singh,but it is not happening anymore. Jarnail Singhs have stopped taking birth.” Singh just had a wry smile on his face.

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