Wednesday, January 12, 2000,
Chandigarh, India





punjab
P U N J A B

Cars, tractors, fertilisers to cost more
CHANDIGARH, Jan 11 — As the Punjab Government has decided to enforce the new sales tax structure based on the minimum floor rates fixed at the national level, several consumer items — from cars to tractors and fertilisers to pesticides — will become dearer in the state.

Badal's plea to serve interrogatories
KHARAR, Jan 11 — Mrs Seema Dhillon, Civil Judge, here today fixed January 24 as next date of hearing in the famous case filed by Col Jasmer Singh Bala against Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President of the SAD, and others. The same court had earlier issued notice to Mr Badal for January 11 in a contempt of court petition filed by Col Bala on January 4.

A tale of one room with two locks
ROPAR, Jan 11 — In a bizarre incident, the room of the Development Officer (woman programme) was today found locked with two locks at the mini secretariat here.

Rape victim alleges police inaction
LUDHIANA, Jan 11 — A 38-year-old gang-rape victim of Mohalla Fatehgarh, Salem Tabri, has alleged inaction on part of the police in trying to trace the accused and arrest them in spite of the fact that an FIR against them was registered 10 days ago.

Dal Khalsa favours Nanakshahi calendar
AMRITSAR, Jan 11 — The Dal Khalsa has strongly pleaded for the implementation of Nanakshahi calendar and opposed its rejection by the seven-member committee constituted by the Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Puran Singh.

Patialvis abroad relive memories on Internet
PATIALA, Jan 11 — For Patiala Internet surfers abroad, the Patiala website has struck a sentimental bond through which they are reliving their times in the city and also sharing the joys and sorrows of their lives in the Patiala online guest book.



YOUR TOWN
Amritsar
Bathinda
Chandigarh
Gurdaspur
Jalandhar
Ludhiana
Moga
Patiala
Ropar


EARLIER STORIES
 
COMMUNITY

Streetlights await power supply
JALALABAD: The streetlights, which were installed three years back on the GT and Circular Roads at a cost of Rs 10 lakh by the local Market Committee, are still awaiting the electric supply to start functioning.

1,75,000 illegal pension cases in Punjab
CHANDIGARH, Jan 11 — As many as 1.75 lakh illegal pension cases have been detected in Punjab. Following this a saving of Rs 35 crore has been effected.

RMPs injured in lathi charge
LUDHIANA, Jan 11 — At least 24 registered medical practitioners were injured in a police lathi charge when they were proceeding towards the Gill chowk area from Dana Mandi to burn an effigy of the Punjab Government for not accepting their demands.

Minister talks to district officers
ROPAR, Jan 11 — Mrs Satwant Kaur Sandhu, Punjab Minister for Youth Services and Removal of Grievances, today addressed a meeting of district officers here after becoming a Cabinet Minister. She was elected MLA from Chamkaur Sahib in this district.

Sow goes berserk, bites 2 persons
PATIALA, Jan 11 — A fully grown female pig today spread terror in Anand Nagar Colony near Tripuri when it went berserk and bit two persons.

Trained teachers stage march
GURDASPUR, Jan 11 — More than 500 persons including unemployed ETT-trained teachers and DIET students undergoing training for recruitment as ETT teachers of this district blocked traffic from 12 noon to 2 p.m. today in Hardochhanni Chowk opposite Kabutari Gate here to protest against the recruitment of "Sikhia Karmis" against the vacant posts of teachers in the State.

BKU for OBC status for Jats
MOGA, Jan 11 — The Bhartiya Kisan Union, president, Ajmer Singh Lakhowal at a meeting here last evening, urged the state government to announce a minimum price of Rs 132 for sugarcane.

Cracks in circuit house: probe ordered
BATHINDA, Jan 11 — Following major cracks in the recently constructed building of local circuit house, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Jaspal Singh, has ordered an inquiry.

Pollution hits power supply
NANGAL, Jan 11 — The failure of the main PSEB transformer here has rendered all of Nangal, Bhanoopli and Balan without electricity since Monday. This also hit water supply. Peeved residents blamed local PSEB officials for the disruption.

Publication unit set up for NRIs
JALANDHAR, Jan 11 — Mr Charanjit Atwal, Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, has urged Non-resident Indians to help resurrect the educational infrastructure in the state.

Three booked for land grab
BARNALA, Jan 11—Kirpal Singh, a nambardar of village Behla, Mohinder Singh, Gurcharan Singh and Sant Singh have been booked by the Bhadaur police of this police district for grabbing 112 kanals of agriculture land on the basis of a false court decree procured through impersonation.

DIET students block traffic
ROPAR, Jan 11 — Students of the local District Institute of Education and Training and members of unemployed ETT Teachers Union today blocked traffic for about 15 minutes near the new bus stand here in support of their demand for immediate scrapping of "Sikhia Karmi" scheme in the state.

CRIME

Sentence on head constable set aside
CHANDIGARH, Jan 11 — In a significant 67-page judgement, Mr Justice K.K. Shrivastava of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today set aside the sentence against BSF Head Constable Hardev Singh.

Student clash leaves 8 injured
PATIALA, Jan 11 — Two groups of students clashed at Government Mohindra College here today, leaving at least eight injured, three of whom have been hospitalised. The police has registered a case under Sections 307, 323 and 324 of the IPC and Sections 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act against about 20 persons.

Racket unearthed in PDS kerosene
GURDASPUR, Jan 11 — The police has busted a gang involved in the sale of the public distribution system kerosene on premium. Mr Varinder Kumar, SSP, briefing newsmen here today said the police has recovered 6000 litres of kerosene and Rs 68000 in cash and impounded a tanker (number PB-13-G-2842).

Stolen infant traced
AMRITSAR, Jan 11 — The local police has traced a two-month old infant girl who was kidnapped in November last year.

Sawmill owner robbed
PHAGWARA, Jan 11 —Four car-borne armed miscreants robbed Jaspal Singh Pala, a sawmill owner, of Rs 80,000 and injured him by hitting him on his forehead with an iron road on the G.T road last night. They also fired in the air before driving away with the booty. Jaspal Singh Pala, the owner of the Ravindra Sawmill, is a brother of Jathedar Gurmukh Singh Chana, President Phagwara circle of the Shiromani Akali Dal, it may be mentioned here.

BUSINESS

National workshop on energy sources
LUDHIANA, Jan 11 — Dr B.S. Pathak, Director of the Sardar Patel Renewable Energy Research Institute, yesterday expressed concern over the lack of industrialisation in rural areas because of non-availability of assured power supply.
Top





 

Punjab to implement new ST rates
Cars, tractors, fertilisers to cost more
By Sarbjit Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 11 — As the Punjab Government has decided to enforce the new sales tax structure based on the minimum floor rates fixed at the national level, several consumer items — from cars to tractors and fertilisers to pesticides — will become dearer in the state.

The Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, told TNS here today that the authorities concerned had been told to keep the notifications to be issued in this connection ready for implementing the new structure on January 15.

The National Implementation Committee which was set up to enforce the new floor rates, has directed all the states to implement the minimum floor rates by January 15 or face the penalty. The meeting of the committee was held in Delhi yesterday.

Mr Yashwant Sinha, Union Finance Minister, has assured the implementation committee that the Central Government will stop grants and financial assistance to the defaulting states with effect from February 1. The committee, which will meet again on January 16 to review the enforcement of the new sales tax structure in all states and union territories, will submit its report to the Finance ministry on the same day.

Gujarat, Assam, Karnataka, MP, Tripura, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are the states which have implemented the minimum floor rates with effect from January 1. Uttar Pradesh and Delhi have implemented the rates partially. The rest of the states have been directed by the implementation committee to submit the notifications issued with regard to the enforcement of floor rates to at on January 16 at the meeting as proof.

As many as 206 items have been identified for the enforcement of the minimum floor rates having six slabs — 4, 8, 12 and 20 and 1 per cent.

With the enforcement of the new ST structure ST on cars will go up to 12 per cent from the existing 5.5 per cent. There will be a increase of Rs 15,000 approximately in the prices of cars having ex-factory price in the range of Rs 2 lakh. At present 3 per cent CST is charged on the cars in Punjab.

The tractors having an ex-factory price in the range of Rs 3 lakh will cost Rs 6000 more. The ST on tractors have been increased from the existing 2 per cent to 4 per cent. In fact the implementation committee at initial stage had proposed 8 per cent ST on "tractors and implements" but in yesterday’s meeting this was brought down to 4 per cent.

Earlier, there was no sales tax on pesticides and fertilisers in Punjab but it will be now 4 per cent. Capt Kanwaljit Singh said as per the decision of the implementation committee every state would have to charge the minimum floor rates of ST on the items short listed by the committee. But there would be no binding on the state government concerned if that wanted to compensate in some other way certain sections of society.

The committee has the mandate to revise the list of items shortlisted for minimum floor rates and transfer such items from one category to the other. For instance some items could be withdrawn from the 4 per cent ST category and included in the 0 per cent category or the 8 per cent category.

Informed sources said there was no sale of small cars in Punjab after December 31 as the government had not renewed the ST notification. The dealers had requested the Punjab Government that it should decide at the earliest the ST to be levied on cars in the state. Sources said car dealers in Punjab would oppose strongly to implement the new ST rates with regard to cars as Haryana would not implement the same due to election code of conduct.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh said the Finance Minister had assured the committee members that all union territories, including Chandigarh, would made to enforce the minimum floor rates on January 15. The Punjab Government has particularly asked the Finance Ministry to make the Union Territory of Chandigarh to implement the new ST rates.

The items exempted from ST include unprocessed cereals, including rice and wheat, pulses, vegetables, fruit, fresh meat, fish and livestock egg, poultryfeed, processed salt, pasteurised milk, farm implements.

The 4 per cent category items include computers, all karyana items, tractors and implements, harvester combines and all industrial outputs. In the 20 per cent category, the items included are petroleum products, liquor, narcotics, and rectified spirit.

Diesel, paints and colours, teleprinters, dry fruits, washing machines, air-conditioners, carpets, steel furniture, cosmetics and soaps, watches and clocks, refrigerators fall in the 12 per cent category. Cooked food, sweets and khara, cooking gas, tea and coffee, toffees, chocolates, biscuits and confectionery items, butter and ghee, timer, footwear, cakes and pastries, tooth-paste, etc, fall in the 8 per cent ST category.Top

 

Badal's plea to serve interrogatories
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Jan 11 — Mrs Seema Dhillon, Civil Judge, here today fixed January 24 as next date of hearing in the famous case filed by Col Jasmer Singh Bala against Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President of the SAD, and others. The same court had earlier issued notice to Mr Badal for January 11 in a contempt of court petition filed by Col Bala on January 4.

Mr Badal through his counsel prayed in the court that he be allowed to serve interrogatories upon the plaintiff and the plaintiff be directed to answer them. The plaintiff has claimed himself to be member of the SAD and had challenged his suspension whereas he was the member of the working committee of a new outfit known as the All-India Shiromani Akali Dal headed by Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra having a separate constitution. For filling of an effective written statement it was essential to know as to what was the present status of the plaintiff.

The counsel for Mr Badal has written in the interrogatories: "is it a fact that you, Col Bala, are a member of working committee of the AISAD since June 12, 1999 and acting as member of the working committee of the AISAD has been addressing different meetings at different places denouncing the policies of SAD and Mr Badal? Is it a fact that the new outfit the AISAD of which Mr Tohra is President and you are a member of working committee is registered as a separate political party with the Election Commission of India having a separate election symbol and is it a fact that the SAD of which Mr Badal is President is separately registered as a political party with the Election Commission of India having a separate symbol? Is it a fact that the constitution of the AISAD is different than that of the SAD and whether he believes in the constitution of the AISAD or that of the SAD?"Top

 

A tale of one room with two locks
Tribune News Service

ROPAR, Jan 11 — In a bizarre incident, the room of the Development Officer (woman programme) was today found locked with two locks at the mini secretariat here.

According to the information, the room was locked in the morning by the staff of an PCS officer which has been using this room since August 1999 in his capacity as the Assistant Returning Officer (ARO) for the Anandpur Sahib Assembly segment during the last Lok Sabha elections.

The Development Officer's staff locked the room with another lock later in the day to get the room back on the plea that the room was given to the officer only from August 1, 1999 to December 15, 1999.

It is worth mentionable the post of the Development Officer has been lying vacant for the past year. Staff members say that they need the room to hold meetings.

It is reported that the PCS officer had written to the Deputy Commissioner on December 15 to extend the acquisition of the room up to January 10 on the plea that some election work was still pending.

Some members of the staff of the Development Officer's office met the Deputy Commissioner yesterday in this regard who reportedly assured them that the room would be vacated soon.

Mr Gurinder Singh Grewal, Deputy Commissioner, said that the PCS officer concerned had approached him today seeking extension till January 31. He said he had granted extension as some election work was still pending. He said the room would now be handed over to the office of Development Officer on January 31.

Describing the ‘double’ locking the room as "unfortunate", Mr Grewal said he would ask the Assistant Commissioner (General) to unlock both locks to maintain status quo.Top

 

Rape victim alleges police inaction
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 11 — A 38-year-old gang-rape victim of Mohalla Fatehgarh, Salem Tabri, has alleged inaction on part of the police in trying to trace the accused and arrest them in spite of the fact that an FIR against them was registered 10 days ago.

However, ASI Ranjit Singh, investigating officer of the case, says "we have been able to trace out two of the three accused and are conducting raids to nab them at the earliest. Efforts are also on to identify the third accused in the case."

According to the FIR registered at the Salem Tabri police station, the victim had alleged that she was raped at gunpoint on the evening of January 1, by three persons — Vijay Jain, Rajesh alias Raju and another person whose name has been stated as either Narinder Singh or Niranjan Singh.

The complainant had alleged that she had got to know Vijay Jain, a businessman, during his frequent visits to the old courts complex where she was also working. She stated that Vijay Jain offered her a marketing job for his black mehndi business at Phillaur.

The complainant alleged that Jain asked her to come to his house in Madhopuri on December 1 and let him know her decision regarding the new job offer. She went over to his residence, but was unable to meet him as he had gone to her residence to know of her decision.

Later in the day, the two of them met and when the complainant gave her consent, Jain reportedly asked her to meet him in the evening so that he could take her to Phillaur and introduce her to clients. When she met him in the evening, Jain was accompanied by two other persons. All of them set off for Phillaur in a car.

She said the three men roamed in Phillaur for almost two to three hours, but she was not introduced to any of the traders there. Jain told her that none of his clients was available and that they would have to come again to meet them. On their way back to Ludhiana, the accused pulled the car off the road and the three of them raped her at gunpoint. Later they dropped her near the Salem Tabri Bridge and asked her not to tell anything to anybody.

Meanwhile, the medical report of the complainant prepared at the Civil Hospital has confirmed that she was raped.Top

 

Dal Khalsa favours Nanakshahi calendar
From Our Correspondent

AMRITSAR, Jan 11 — The Dal Khalsa has strongly pleaded for the implementation of Nanakshahi calendar and opposed its rejection by the seven-member committee constituted by the Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Puran Singh.

"As a matter of principle, we fully back the SGPC decision on the implementation of the calendar. We are convinced that the Sikhs should have their own separate calendar to preserve their religious and cultural identity", Dal Khalsa vice-president Satnam Singh, a former parliamentarian and secretary-general Atinder Pal Singh and spokesman Kanwar Pal Singh said in a joint statement here yesterday.

They wanted the SGPC President Bibi Jagir Kaur to initiate a debate by convening a meeting of representatives of Sikh bodies at Akal Takht in accordance with the traditions of the "supreme institution."Top

 

Patialvis abroad relive memories on Internet
From Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

PATIALA, Jan 11 — For Patiala Internet surfers abroad, the Patiala website has struck a sentimental bond through which they are reliving their times in the city and also sharing the joys and sorrows of their lives in the Patiala online guest book.

Surfing the Patiala online guest book one realises how strong the bonds are of people who have left the city to make their home elsewhere. People most fondly remember their student days in the Medical College here, besides famous eateries and the inevitable 22 number railway crossing geri.

Sahil says he misses the geris on 22 number railways crossing most besides Manu’s lassi, Gopal’s samosas and standing on roads with a couple of junky friends. For strangers he justifies the last remembrance, saying it is a tradition in Patiala, he says he would like to talk to any old friend who misses Patiala specially those having studies in Lady Fatima School and Mohindra College.

Dr Bram Datt Selhi says Paitala online brought back 23-year-old memories about his time in the Medical College. He says after visiting the Patiala site, sitting in his home in Canada, it was as if he had just left the city. He says he gets emotional while reading about Patiala, and urges for more about Patiala on the Internet.

On a melancholy note, Jaswinder Gill from Austria says: "I was born in Patiala, studied there and married a Patiala girl. We had a love marriage and then we left Patiala. Today she is not with me as she along with her parents died in a road accident on Divali day in 1996. She left me with a beautiful son who is 20 now. I visit Paitala twice a year and go to all the places where we used to meet, used to eat and used to hide to revive my memories".

For others like Jason Rajinder Sidhu of Canada the Patiala online serves as a chronicle to know more about their erstwhile family and things related with it. Mr Sidhu, who claims he is the grandson of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, says he was pleased to look at photographs of the old family palace and would like to know more about his family as he has become out of touch after his father’s death. He has urged for news about the erstwhile royal family.

Anil Puri from Dubai suggested some ideas for improvement of the wedbsite. He says the website can be improved by adding a road map of the city with places in interest highlighted in it. He said there could be more pictures of festivals and sport complexes. Loftur Hilmar has asked for an e-mail address of Patialvis on the Internet, besides wishing his friends in the Escort factory well.

It is not only fond memories which are attracting Patialavis abroad to the Patiala online. Some have expressed their anguish at the deteriorating historic buildings and also represented to its Deputy Commissioner in this regard. Biney Sagoo is dismayed at the obliteration of historic buildings in the city during his last visit to Patiala. Gurdeep Singh says he was disappointed at the disappearance of the Sheranwala Gate structure.Top

 
COMMUNITY

Jalalabad roundup
Streetlights await power supply
From Ashok Grover

JALALABAD: The streetlights, which were installed three years back on the GT and Circular Roads at a cost of Rs 10 lakh by the local Market Committee, are still awaiting the electric supply to start functioning.

As per reliable sources, a controversy had erupted between the Municipal Council and the Market Committee. The issue was the electricity bill of these streetlights which was to be borne by the council without taking the municipal authorities into confidence. But after the completion of the same, the committee never applied for the electric connection on the pretext that its coffers did not allow this extra expenditure.

Meanwhile, a number of lamps and posts have fallen down and the cable so installed has also been stolen by people. With the sudden rise in its income from the contract-basis octroi, the council has now written to the committee that it is ready to take over the charge subject to the working condition of all streetlights. The committee seems to be reluctant to spend approximate Rs 1 lakh for the repair of the project which has until now not functioned even for a single day.

The subdivision could not avail the facility of a separate judicial setup even after its four years of upgradation, which is the most burning demand of the area as people have to travel 32 km to Fazilka for their judicial matters. In fact Jalalabad subdivision has more pending cases than those of the other two areas of Arniwala and Fazilka attached with Fazilka judicial courts.

According to official sources, the demand for a separate judicial setup was also accepted by the judicial authorities subject to the providing of a judicial complex by the administration howsoever temporarily, but nothing has been done in this regard. In spite of the fact that a number of government buildings are lying vacant, e.g. the building of JBT School as the same has been shifted to Ferozepore. With the shifting of the Sadar police station from Kisan Bhavan to its new building, the judicial complex can also function from there.

There is no blood bank facility at this subdivisional town neither at the Civil Hospital nor at any other private nursing home. Last year a couple died of AIDS. Transfusion of affected blood to the one of the deceased was stated to be the cause of the virus. The law does not permit the transfusion of blood without the clearance from a blood bank, but a number of quacks are operating here in the absence of any blood bank.

Last year a soil testing lab was inaugurated with much fan fare by Agriculture Minister Gurdev Singh Badal, but it never started working as neither permanent nor any temporary appointment has so far been made to operate it.

Moreover, all offices of the subdivision level such as employment, Assistant Registrar Co-op Societies, public relations, welfare, SDO link roads and B&R offices have not yet been opened and the administration is facing unwanted delay in the implementation of day-to-day work related with these departments.Top

 

1,75,000 illegal pension cases in Punjab
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 11 — As many as 1.75 lakh illegal pension cases have been detected in Punjab. Following this a saving of Rs 35 crore has been effected.

This was stated by the Minister for Social Security, Woman and Children Development, Mr Gobind Singh Kanjla, at a meeting of officers of the department here today.

The illegal cases were detected in a special campaign which is still continuing. The state has earmarked Rs 120 crore in the current financial year for disbursement as pension to needy persons.

The minister, according to a press note, said payment of pension would be made on the pattern as giving of salaries to employees "uninterrupted and on time".

The Union Government, he said, had approved 32 new projects under the Integrated Child Development Scheme, which would provide job opportunities to the educated youth besides caring for pregnant women and the children below six years.Top

 

RMPs injured in lathi charge
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 11 — At least 24 registered medical practitioners (RMPs) were injured in a police lathi charge when they were proceeding towards the Gill chowk area from Dana Mandi to burn an effigy of the Punjab Government for not accepting their demands.

A state-level rally of the RMPs had been convened today in Dana Mandi in protest against the state government's dilly-dallying on their demands. This rally was addressed, among others, by Mr Tarsem Jodhan, a former CPM member, Mr Malkit Singh Dakha, Congress leader, and Mr Surjit Singh, state president of the RMPs' Association.

Later, the protesters started moving towards the Gill chowk, when the police asked them not to proceed further and had to resort to a lathi charge to stop them.

Those injured in the lathi charge have been admitted to various private city hospitals.

The SSP, Mr Kuldeep Singh, expressed his ignorance about any RMPs being injured. The police only took the necessary steps to disperse the protesters as they were disrupting the traffic, he said.Top

 

Minister talks to district officers
Tribune News Service

ROPAR, Jan 11 — Mrs Satwant Kaur Sandhu, Punjab Minister for Youth Services and Removal of Grievances, today addressed a meeting of district officers here after becoming a Cabinet Minister. She was elected MLA from Chamkaur Sahib in this district.

Mrs Sandhu said the grievances of the public should be redressed in a stipulated period by the officers concerned. She also emphasised on the need of transparency in official work, especially in the Revenue Department.

Mr Gurinder Singh Grewal, Deputy Commissioner, assured the minister that all development works being undertaken in the district would be completed soon.

Later, talking to newsmen, Mrs Sandhu said the district "removal of grievances committees" would be reconstituted in the state where such a necessity was felt in the interest of the public. She also said induction of mediapersons as members in these committees would be considered to bring about transparency in their functioning.Top

 

Sow goes berserk, bites 2 persons
From Our Correspondent

PATIALA, Jan 11 — A fully grown female pig today spread terror in Anand Nagar Colony near Tripuri when it went berserk and bit two persons.

The mad sow was later shot dead by a retired police officer. However, till evening neither the police, nor the district administration and the municipal corporation staff had arrived at the scene to lift the carcass.

According to Mr Nirbhai Singh, a senior resident of the colony, the incident took place at around 9 a.m. when a resident, Mr Inderjit Chopra, was returning from a temple and was attacked by the sow. The animal later attacked an old woman Shakuntla Devi in a mad fury and bit her five times. The woman has been admitted to Rajindra Hospital here.

Mr Nirbhai Singh said hearing the cries of the injured, a large number of persons gathered at the site and were able to corner the mad sow. Ultimately, Mr Dalip Singh, a retired Superintendent of Police, shot the animal dead.Top

 

Trained teachers stage march
From Our Correspondent

GURDASPUR, Jan 11 — More than 500 persons including unemployed ETT-trained teachers and DIET students undergoing training for recruitment as ETT teachers of this district blocked traffic from 12 noon to 2 p.m. today in Hardochhanni Chowk opposite Kabutari Gate here to protest against the recruitment of "Sikhia Karmis" against the vacant posts of teachers in the State.

According to spokesman for the protesters, they will continue to protest till the recruitment under the said scheme was not stopped. They demanded appointment of ETT-trained teachers against the vacant posts of teachers on priority.

The spokesman condemned the lathi charge done on the protesters in Ropar district who were peacefully demanding the recruitment of ETT-trained teachers against vacant posts of teachers in the State.

Later the protesters marched in a procession to the district courts. They presented a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner in support of their demands.Top

 

BKU for OBC status for Jats
From Our Correspondent

MOGA, Jan 11 — The Bhartiya Kisan Union, president, Ajmer Singh Lakhowal at a meeting here last evening, urged the state government to announce a minimum price of Rs 132 for sugarcane.

The union threatened an agitation if the government failed to announce the price by January 20.

The union also urged the government to reject the recommendations of the Price Commission that price of agricultural produce be frozen for two years and urged announcement of the prices of wheat and other rabi crops immediately.

It sought a wheat prices of Rs 912 per quintal taking into consideration the cost of spare parts, insecticides and fertilisers.

It also demanded that the Jat community of Punjab be included in other backward classes on the pattern of Rajasthan and Delhi.Top

 

Cracks in circuit house: probe ordered
Tribune News Service

BATHINDA, Jan 11 — Following major cracks in the recently constructed building of local circuit house, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Jaspal Singh, has ordered an inquiry.

Official sources said that Mr Jaspal Singh had asked the Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development), Mr Alok Shekhar, to conduct a probe into the case and submit report within a month.

Sources said that major cracks had developed in the drawing-cum-dining room and store of the kitchen of the building before completing second year.

Official sources said that wood work and electrical work was not up to mark. The work was executed under the supervision of PWD and B and R officials. The construction work had not been completed as per the specification and terms of the contract.Top

 

Pollution hits power supply
From Our Correspondent

NANGAL, Jan 11 — The failure of the main PSEB transformer here has rendered all of Nangal, Bhanoopli and Balan without electricity since Monday. This also hit water supply. Peeved residents blamed local PSEB officials for the disruption.

The 66 kw transformer installed here doesn’t have the capacity to sustain the load as the population has increased manifold in the past decade.

The situation in the villages is even worse old power lines are disrupted regularly. The entire Bhalan belt comprising of about sixty villages, was without electricity from December to January 1.

The PSEB authorities, when contacted said electricity supply had been disrupted by breakage of the breaker of the main transformer. Officials from the maintenance grid Ropar, are trying to rectify the damage.

Regarding regular failure of electricity, the PSEB authorities said that the power lines in the area are effected by pollution. They said the affluents from NFL and PACL get deposited on electricity cables, resulting in their breakage. The PSEB has wash the electricity cables regularly to avoid disruption, the authorities added.Top

 

Publication unit set up for NRIs
Tribune News Service

JALANDHAR, Jan 11 — Mr Charanjit Atwal, Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, has urged Non-resident Indians (NRIs) to help resurrect the educational infrastructure in the state.

Mr Atwal, who was addressing a seminar organised by the NRI Sabha, Punjab, here today, said the education system in the state was in a bad state and needed urgent attention, for which the NRIs could contribute a lot. Lauding the role of NRIs, Mr Atwal said they earned laurels for their motherland by working hard in foreign countries and by contributing to the economy of the country.

Mr B.K. Srivastava, the Chairman of the sabha, said for distribution of literature related to NRIs and their activities in different spheres of life, the sabha had established a publication wing. It would also publish books of the NRIs.

He announced that students desirous of undertaking research on different subjects related to NRIs would be awarded fellowships.

Among those who addressed the gathering were Mr Prem Singh, an Advocate, and president of the sabha, Mr S.P. Singh from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Mr Harbhajan Singh Soch, Vice-Chancellor of the GND varsity, and Dr Sardara Singh Johl, former Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana.Top

 

1.5 cr ex-gratia for Kargil martyrs’ kin
From Our Correspondent

AMRITSAR, Jan 11 — As many as 22 families of Kargil martyrs have been given ex-gratia grants totalling Rs 1.54 crore, 12 family members have been given jobs of class III and class IV grade and six families would be given the ex-gratia shortly according to Mr Baljit Singh Sandhu, Additional Deputy Commissioner.

In a quarterly review meeting held yesterday he said more than 250 students were given stipends.

An ex-gratia cheque for Rs 5 lakh was given to the widow of L/nk Amarjit Singh Dhunda on the occasion.Top

 

Blockade on G.T. Road
Tribune News Service

PHAGWARA, Jan 11— Traffic on the G.T. Road between Jalandhar and Ludhiana remained disrupted for over one hour as residents of Santokhpura locality staged a dharna at Sugar Mill Chowk here today. The residents came in the open to express their resentment over choked sewers in their locality.

The traffic to Hoshiarpur, Ludhiana and Jalandhar was affected. One could see a two-km-long queue of vehicles. The hour-long dharna was lifted when an unidentified officer, stuck up in the jam, assured them that their grievances would be redressed.

Mr Kharaiti Lal, president of the council, said the problem of sanitation was not as grave as was being projected. He alleged that the sewer had been choked because residents throw garbage in it. Top

 

Detention of teachers flayed
From Our Correspondent

AMRITSAR, Jan 11 — The detention of unemployed ETT teachers at a teacher’s home at Bathinda recently, was condemned by the Association for Democratic Rights, Punjab.

The AFDR, in a press release yesterday said this was the second time after the detention of DIET teachers at Ropar that ETT teachers had been harassed for protesting against a decision of the Punjab Government for recruiting untrained teachers in government schools.Top

 

Three booked for land grab
Tribune News Service

BARNALA, Jan 11—Kirpal Singh, a nambardar of village Behla, Mohinder Singh, Gurcharan Singh and Sant Singh have been booked by the Bhadaur police of this police district for grabbing 112 kanals of agriculture land on the basis of a false court decree procured through impersonation.

Mr Ishwar Singh, SSP, in a press note issued here today, said the accused first procured decrees through impersonation and then got the mutation sanctioned in their favour from the revenue authorities.

He said the matter came to light when Kulwant Singh of Behal village complained to the authorities regarding the matter.

Kirpal Singh and Mohinder Singh have been arrested following registration of a case under Sections 419, 420, 467, 471, and 120-B of the IPC against them.Top

 

MLA stages dharna
From Our Correspondent

AMRITSAR, Jan 11 — The BJP MLA, Mrs Laxmi Kanta Chawla, who has been spearheading a campaign for the release of old-age pension and aid for the victims of terrorists organised a dharna here today.

Addressing the rally, she said it was the duty of the government to clear pension dues as most pensioners had no other source of income.Top

 

Oration on drug development
Tribune News Service

PATIALA, Jan 11 — The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Research of Punjabi University will organise an oration on the subject of modern drug development by Dr N.K. Ganguli, Director-General, Indian Council of Medical Research and Acting Director of the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, on January 14.

Giving this information, Dr S. Manjeet Singh, Head, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Research, said active involvement of medical scientists in academic institutions in new drug development process was inevitable in the next decade.Top

 

DIET students block traffic
Tribune News Service

ROPAR, Jan 11 — Students of the local District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) and members of unemployed ETT Teachers Union today blocked traffic for about 15 minutes near the new bus stand here in support of their demand for immediate scrapping of "Sikhia Karmi" scheme in the state.

Earlier, the students had planned to jam the traffic for two hours but on the persuasion of the civil and police authorities they opened the traffic and held a roadside rally.

A memorandum was also submitted to Mr J.C. Sabharwal by the students to scrap the scheme.

Earlier, the students staged a dharna and held a rally near the DIET building here and later took out a protest march to the site of traffic jam.Top

 
CRIME

Sentence on head constable set aside
By Our Legal Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Jan 11 — In a significant 67-page judgement, Mr Justice K.K. Shrivastava of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today set aside the sentence against BSF Head Constable Hardev Singh.

The head constable had been sentenced to seven years rigorous imprisonment for allegedly committing murder of constable Ratha Bhai of his unit by firing a shot from his carbine at Baghapurana while he was posted as Guard Commander.

He was tried by General Security Force Court (GSFC) convened under the BSF Act and found guilty of murder. He was also dismissed from service.

The High Court found that the attitude of the law officer was not impartial and that he did not ensure that the accused petitioner did not suffer a disadvantage during the trial. The court also came to the conclusion that the procedural safeguards and the duty cast on the law officer had been violated and prejudice caused to him.

The petitioner had also filed a complaint against the attitude of the law officer and bias during the trial, to the BSF Director-General. However, his conviction and sentence was confirmed by the authority. The petitioner in his complaint had demanded a trial after attaching him to another unit.

Mr Justice Shrivastava held that it is evident that the petitioner was seriously prejudiced in his trial by the GSFC and the finding was confirmed by an officer below his rank. The GSFC had committed an error in law in placing reliance on the confessional statement which was legally not admissible.

While allowing the criminal writ petition filed by the petitioner the Judge also set aside the order of his dismissal. The court directed the release of the petitioner from custody forthwith unless he was wanted in connection with any other case.Top

 

Student clash leaves 8 injured
From Our Correspondent

PATIALA, Jan 11 — Two groups of students clashed at Government Mohindra College here today, leaving at least eight injured, three of whom have been hospitalised. The police has registered a case under Sections 307, 323 and 324 of the IPC and Sections 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act against about 20 persons.

According to the police, today’s clash was a sequel to a fight between some students of the college that took place on the institution premises about a month back. The police said one group, consisting of some college students and outsiders, came to the college for arriving at a compromise about the previous clash. The group was armed with sharp-edged weapons and one of them carried a. 12-bore gun.

The police said the other group, consisting mostly of the college hostelers, came out to meet the other group. The hostelers also brought lathis and sharp-edged weapons. While the police is investigating on what actually led to the clash, preliminary investigations suggest that seeing each other armed with weapons, confusion spread in both groups, which led them to attack each others.

Gun shots were also fired but no one was hurt. At least eight students received injuries. Five of them were later relieved from hospital, while three were admitted.

The police took out a thorough search of the hostel complex but no other weapon was found. No arrest has been made so far. The police say the college authorities have got the hostel vacated.Top

 

Racket unearthed in PDS kerosene
From Our Correspondent

GURDASPUR, Jan 11 — The police has busted a gang involved in the sale of the public distribution system kerosene on premium. Mr Varinder Kumar, SSP, briefing newsmen here today said the police has recovered 6000 litres of kerosene and Rs 68000 in cash and impounded a tanker (number PB-13-G-2842).

Mr Varinder Kumar said Pardeep Malik, DSP, Pathankot, along with Sub-Inspector Ved Prakash, in charge of the CIA staff, Pathankot, on a specific information laid a naka yesterday on the Defence road, Pathankot, and intercepted a tanker of kerosene coming from the Mamoon side. The police has arrested driver Harbans Singh, resident of Ludhiana along with other occupants — Suresh Kumar, alias Kaku, resident of Sau Majra in Ropar district, Subhash Kumar, alias Sonu, resident of Wadala in Una district, Rajinder Kumar, alias Bittu, resident of Mukerian and Bishal Lal, resident of Shankar Nagar, Ludhiana.

Mr Varinder Kumar said Mr Hariman, Inspector, Food and Civil Supplies, Pathankot, had been associated while checking the tanker. The suspects have reportedly told the police that for the past two years they have been buying kerosene at Rs 6 per litre from Himachal Pradesh and selling the same in J&K at Rs 8 per litre.

Mr Varinder Kumar said a case under Section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act was registered against the accused yesterday.Top

 

Stolen infant traced
From Our Correspondent

AMRITSAR, Jan 11 — The local police has traced a two-month old infant girl who was kidnapped in November last year.

Mr Parampal Singh Sidhu, SSP, said on a tip off, a police party yesterday nabbed Amarjit Kaur (45), wife of Jasminder Singh of Kouliana, Bagha Purana, and found the baby.

The SSP said the infant was stolen from the maternity ward of Government SGTB hospital only 48 hours after birth. Amarjit Kaur had confessed to the crime, he said. Amarjit Kaur had no issue. Posing as a nurse, she took away the infant from her mother on the pretext of giving her bath and vanished.

The SSP said the child had been returned to her parents today. A case had been registered against Amarjit Kaur. The SSP ruled out the involvement of hospital staff in the incident.Top

 

Sawmill owner robbed
From Our Correspondent

PHAGWARA, Jan 11 —Four car-borne armed miscreants robbed Jaspal Singh Pala, a sawmill owner, of Rs 80,000 and injured him by hitting him on his forehead with an iron road on the G.T road last night. They also fired in the air before driving away with the booty. Jaspal Singh Pala, the owner of the Ravindra Sawmill, is a brother of Jathedar Gurmukh Singh Chana, President Phagwara circle of the Shiromani Akali Dal, it may be mentioned here.

It was learnt today that the four miscreants had come in a white Maruti car. They parked it near a tea-stall near the workshop and demanded glasses from the stall owner. They offered drink to Pala who refused it saying that was teetotaller. The miscreants had a tiff with Pala. They got hold of the bag containing cash in Pala’s car. On resistance, Pala was hit and injured.

When other sawmill employees rushed to the site, the miscreants fired in the air and fled away in their car along with the cash. Pala sustained nearly half inch deep cut on his forehead. The police had registered a case but nobody had been arrested so far.

Meanwhile, an unspecified number of burglars barged into a local educational institution around midnight by scaling a compound wall, ransacked office rooms and decamped with 8500 rupees cash and an electric heater. They had earlier locked the chowkidar in his room. Three locks of shops on the Banga road were also found broken but the loss could not be ascertained.Top

 

Grenade recovered from sarovar
From Our Correspondent

TARN TARAN, Jan 11 — A hand grenade was recovered today from the sarovar of the local Darbar Sahib for which the kar seva for desilting is being done by Baba Jagtar Singh Karsevawale under the supervision of the SGPC authorities.

Conforming the report, Mr N.K. Yadav, ASP, told this reporter that the hand grenade was defused and there was no danger. He said it might have been thrown in the sarovar during days of militancy in the state.Top

 
BUSINESS

National workshop on energy sources
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 11 — Dr B.S. Pathak, Director of the Sardar Patel Renewable Energy Research Institute, yesterday expressed concern over the lack of industrialisation in rural areas because of non-availability of assured power supply.

He was speaking at the inaugural function of the four-day national workshop on "Renewable sources of energy for agricultural and agro-based industries" being held at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). Dr Pathak emphasised on the importance of establishing biomass-based electric power units built, owned and operated by villagers themselves to ensure availability of electric power in the rural areas.

While inaugurating the workshop, the Vice-Chancellor, PAU, Dr G.S. Kalkat, expressed concern over the large oil import bill and the shortage of conventional energy sources.

Among others who spoke on the occasion were Dr K.S. Aulakh, Pro-Vice Chancellor, PAU and Dr NSL Srivastava, Assistant Director General (Engineering) ICAR. More than 70 delegates from all parts of the country are attending this workshop and will discuss the status of technologies and research done in the field and chalk out further directions, policies and programmes in the area of renewable energy sources.Top

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