At the first exclusive sangat darshan (public contact) programme for the Punjabi-origin NRIs (non-resident Indians) on Sunday here, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal announced an NRI cell in every district to help them with routine administrative work.
The police and civil administrations of eight Malwa region districts (Moga, Bathinda, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Mansa, Sri Muktsar Sahib, and Barnala) were on the spot to redress the grievances. "The programme will move to the NRI hubs of Jalandhar and Ludhiana next," said Badal. Earlier, the Punjab government has been holding 'NRI sammelans' on a larger scale, which this time was not organised.
At sangat darshan, Badal told the gathering that the deputy commissioners would keep a well-equipped separate room in each district administrative complex for the NRI cell, the formal orders for creating which will be issued soon. He has also asked the state home secretary to review the list of proclaimed offenders (POs) among the Punjabi NRIs to separate those against whom no major criminal charge was proved.
Batting for amicable resolution of the disputes of the expatriates, the CM said the NRI police stations could play a pivotal role in it. Rather than registering cases in such matters, the police should try to resolve these issues with mutual understanding, he said. "A five-member committee of Punjabi NRIs will be set up at every NRI police station to resolve these issues with mutual consent," the CM said.
The deputy commissioners and senior superintendents of police (SSPs) concerned have orders to accord priority to settling the complaints received during the sangat darshan. Badal asked NRI affairs minister Tota Singh to check the pendency regularly. Agency sources suggest the CM also asked the financial commissioner (revenue) to launch a statewide campaign for the division of property falling in joint accounts of families, since the NRIs were facing a lot of problems in these matters. Also, issues related to the land within "lal dora" would also be resolved, he said.
Harcharan Bains, adviser to the CM on national affairs; legislators Joginder Pal Jain, Rajwinder Kaur Bhagike and Mahesh Inder Singh Nihal Singh Wala; Punjab Health System Corporation chairman Barjinder Singh Brar; NRI commissioner B Purusartha; and inspector general of police (NRI cell) Gurpreet Kaur Deo were present.
Cold weather and dense fog put a dampener on the first exclusive sangat darshan for the Punjabi-origin NRIs, as the attendance was only 170, even though the administration of all eight districts concerned had tried hard to motivate the people to participate. Of the cases presented before the CM from these districts, one was from Sri Muktsar Sahib, two from Mansa, five from Barnala, four from Fazilka, 10 from Bathinda, 15 from Faridkot, 14 from Ferozepur; and a disproportionate 119 from Moga, the venue.
104 property disputes
66 criminal matters