|Monday, January 31, 2000,
4 held in 35 lakh bank fraud case
Mann: calendar issue significant
Kaur shies away from scribes
accuses SGPC chief of arrogance
men met Jathedar at Indore?
Leper colony inmates cry for
Fiscal crisis over, says Dalam
Cong adopted wrong policies:
Conference a show of strength
Barnala civic body chief voted out
Gosain replies to show-cause
BJP to oppose new taxes
Plea to replace drugs Act
Civil contractors boycott tenders
Mittal for review of Constitution
BKU activists hold up rail traffic
Dr Sharma favours simple, cheap
drugs for patients
Staff resent wardens
Arms exhibition a big draw
Govt moves alienate Rai Sikhs
Orthopaedic meeting concludes
Kargil martyr cremated
500 examined at heart care camp
Fire breaks out in spinning mill
3 endorse false affidavit, booked
Farmers march for freedom
4 held in
35 lakh bank fraud case
LUDHIANA, Jan 30 The police today arrested the main accused in the Rs 35 lakh fraud at the Salem Tabri branch of Ludhiana Central Cooperative Bank at going on since 1995.
In a press note, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Kuldeep Singh, said arrested included Rajinder Pal Singh Walia, senior clerk, Harmail Singh, senior clerk, Baldev Raj Mattu, senior accountant and Hardial Singh Dhola, a regular customer of the bank, allegedly for tampering with the bank records and using the bank money for their personal use.
Whenever any savings account holder would deposit his money in the bank, the accused would make an entry in his passbook and sometimes even in his personal leader, without recording it in his personal records.
The kingpin in the scam, Rajinder Pal Singh Walia is stated to have admitted before the police that initially the money embezzled by them was used for buying land and selling it on a premium and depositing the money in the bank.
When the depositor would withdraw his money, they would show actual balance in the passbook, but an overdraft in their own ledger. Thus the customers, who claimed withdrawals would get their money back, while those who did not were defrauded.
The SSP said the suspects would tamper with the accounts around March 31, to present a balanced position.
Rajinder Pal Singh Walia and Mattu told the police that when they realised that they were neck deep in trouble, they threw all caution to the winds and gave up maintaining the records. Further investigations have revealed that Harbans Singh Mohi, branch manager, sought premature retirement to evade getting involved.
One of the banks
customers Hardial Singh Dhola and a neighbour of Rajinder
Pal Singh used to occasionally avail of overdraft
facilities by greasing the palms of these officials. Once
he realised that everybody was making an easy buck he got
his labourer Dharampals account opened in the bank.
calendar issue significant
ZIRA (Ferozepore), Jan 30 The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) has said that the Nanakshahi calendar was a significant issue for the Sikhs.Talking to the media persons today at Zira, the partys President and MP, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, added that the statement of Bibi Jagir Kaur has shown that she was not a seasoned politician.
A section of the press today quoted Bibi Jagir Kaur as having said that the Nanakshahi calendar was no issue at all and it was a fazool (meaningless) matter which had been raised to trouble and create doubts in the Sikh community.
Mr Mann who was here to address his partys conference and receive the Awaz-e-Manukhta award, regretted that certain BJP and RSS leaders were opposing implementation of the Nanakshahi calendar.
The SAD (A) president alleged that the SAD (B) president was responsible for whatsoever was happening in the Sikh community. Mr Badal had earlier allowed BJP and RSS men to infiltrate into his (Mr Badals) party and these very elements were now opposing implementation of the Nanakshahi calendar.
Mr Mann apprehended that the religio-political crisis resulting from the ex-communication of Bibi Jagir Kaur will surely prove harmful for the SAD (B) nominee in the Nawanshahr Assembly byelection.
When asked whether he was for Bibi Jagir Kaurs resignation, Mr Mann said, he was not.
Mr Mann opposed the move
to revive TADA which had lapsed on May 22, 1995.
That move of the Centre is against democratic set
up in the country, he said and alleged that the
Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, wanted to spread
Hindutava in the country.
shies away from scribes
PHAGWARA, Jan 30 The SGPC Chief, Bibi Jagir Kaur, has been avoiding the Press. This became evident as her over-zealous securitymen shooed off mediapersons here this evening.
During her stop over at the local PWD rest house a group of reporters, trying to meet her, was roughly shooed away by her securitymen.
When mediapersons stood their ground, the securitymen said Bibiji was resting.
However, when she came
out, Bibi Jagir Kaur immediately rushed towards her car
ignoring the scribes. When a reporter flung a question
about any meeting of the SGPC in near future, she said
"you will come to know whenever it will be
accuses SGPC chief of arrogance
NAWANSHAHR, Jan 30 Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, Secretary-General of the SHSAD and a former acting president of the SGPC, reacting to the reported statement of the SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur regarding her not appearing before Akal Takht, accused her of being arrogant. He added that she had been occupying the chair of the SGPC chief just because of Mr Parkash Singh Badal interference.
Mr Bhaur said there was nothing strange in the overbearing attitude of Bibi Jagir Kaur as her appointment was a violation of a hukamnama of Akal Takht.
He further said the anti-Akal Takht policies of the Chief Minister were responsible for the present crisis in the Panth.
Listing acts of alleged highhandedness with regard to the supremacy of Akal Takht by Mr Badal, he said the Chief Minister violated the orders of the judicial commission, insulted Bhai Ranjit Singh and defied the hukamnamas. This had caused an irreparable damage to the Sikh principles and created a split in SAD and the Panth.
He further said Mr Badal and his supporters were saying that the hukamnama issued by Giani Puran Singh was not valid as it was not issued from Akal Takht. But why did Mr Badal and his supporters not accept the edict of December 31, 1998, of Akal Takht which asked him not to dislodge anyone from any seat till April 15, 1999?, he asked.
men met Jathedar at Indore?
AMRITSAR, Jan 30 A large number of eminent Sikh political and religious leaders are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Puran Singh, who is expected to reach here late in the night from Hazoor Sahib in Maharashtra, according to information available from the SGPC office here today.
Sources close to Giani Puran Singh had stated that although he was expected today but his night halt at Indore en route to this holy city had delayed his arrival. Speculation was rife that during his stay at Indore, some important emissaries of the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had held a closed-door meeting with the Jathedar in a bid to work out an amicable settlement to bail out the SGPC chief, Bibi Jagir Kaur, who had been excommunicated by Giani Puran Singh on January 25.
hukamnama has shaken the Shiromani Akali Dal
(Badal), which is facing a byelection in Nawanshahr. Mr
Badals detractors are happy at the prospect of the
imminent ouster of Bibi Jagir Kaur at the hands of the
Jathedar, who is the SADs own appointee.
colony inmates cry for attention
PATIALA, Jan 30 Anti-Leprosy Day was observed here today. Every year scores of functions promising schemes for the uplift of the lepers and their acceptance in the healthy society are organised. But most of the time such plans are forgotten by the end of the day.
And the lepers continue to be shooed away by the general public. And have to earn their bread and butter through the humiliating act of begging.
This is what has happened with the inmates of Padamshri Dr Khushdeva Singh Leprosy Colony Tafazalpura here in the suburbs of the city. The renowned doctor, famous for his work in the field of tuberculosis and leprosy, had single-handedly roped in few like-minded individuals in 1956 to set up this colony exclusively for the lepers. The experiment, first of its kind in the country, had objectives of regular treatment of lepers, saving their children from contracting the dreadful disease and to enable the patients to live gracefully through self-earning and grants.
All these targets are on the verge of coming to a nought as the colony inmates have again resorted to begging, courtesy the failure of the once sponsored self-help business of candle making and poultry farming, the non-supply of pensionary grants as well as the apathetic attitude of the administration towards daily needs for a doctor, medicines and water and power supply to the lepers.
Besides lepers have now sleepless nights due to uncertain future their children face, who under the rules cant stay with their infected parents after the age of 5 and then after 18 years of education through sponsored schemes struggle for jobs and have no place other than the colony to live.
Mr Gopal Singh Bhandari, president of the colony, said they owe their life to the late doctor. Had he not been there, many of us would have died a miserable death, he recalled. Most inmates of the colony belong to hilly areas. When we contracted the disease, we were left by our community people and somehow reached the erstwhile princely state of Patiala, he reminisced. Continuing further, he said here too they were looked down upon and rendered untouchable. They were one day on their regular course of begging when the doctor spotted them and began their treatment as well as rehabilitation.
Mr Prem Singh the oldest inmate remembers that Dr Khushdeva loathed our begging and after constructing a colony for us, he arranged for regular government annual grants of about Rs 20,000.
A candle-making factory as well as a poultry farm was also set up in the colony. For years we lived peacefully but then floods in 1988 spoiled every thing. The machines were damaged and everything of ours was lost.
Mr Krishna Prsad, Vice-president of the colony, said acute financial crisis had broken their back. He said 35 of the 45 inmates of the colony were allotted handicapped pension by the government after the annual grant of Rs 20,000 was discontinued about 15 years ago but for the last seven months, no pension has been received.
He said no medicine was being provided to them even though Dr Khushdeva Singh had set up a special dispensary for them in the colony itself. He said the doctor visits the colony irregularly.
While the Administration and the government have turned a blind eye to the sufferings of the lepers, the family of Dr Khushadeva Singh is continuing the service. His grandson Mr Jaidev Singh said one cannot expect everything from the government. He said social work organisations and non-government organisations can help is such cases. An endowment fund of a few lakhs can be set up, which will regularly supply money to the lepers. He said many individuals in their private capacity contribute some thing or the other for the colony but unless some thing regular and collective is done, the uplift of the lepers is not possible.
Grown-up children, who
under the government rules for controlling leprosy,
cannot live in the colony. In the absence of job offers
due to their background, they cannot manage to live
outside. Says 21-year-old Prabha, I have completed
10 plus 2 and have also done course in nursing and
secretarial work but there are no jobs for me. She
said under the rules children after the age of 5 cannot
live in the colony and are admitted to special schools of
the government. When we finish education, we come back
but in the absence of job, we cannot live on our own and
the rules do not permit us to stay here.
crisis over, says Dalam
LUDHIANA, Jan 30 With the tax collection system of the State being activated and non-productive expenditure being curbed, the State Government has by and large succeeded in managing the financial crisis.
This was stated by the Information and Public Relations Minister, Mr Natha Singh Dalam, while addressing a largely attended rural function at Bhagpur village near here last evening. He said now with the improvement in financial condition, the State Government would be able to accelerate the pace of development and execution of welfare schemes for weaker sections.
Justifying the concessions given to the farmers, he said that the peasantry in Punjab was under heavy debts. Under these circumstances, the concessions given to farmers, including free power and water, could not be withdrawn, he said. He claimed that the State Government had also benefited the urban population by exempting them of house taxes up to Rs 50 crore and launching several welfare schemes like Shagun scheme, free houses for houseless families and free domestic power to Scheduled Castes in the State.
The minister said the previous union governments of the Congress party had ruined the economy of the State under a planned conspiracy and complicated the genuine demands. He reiterated that the State had no spare water and there was no question of releasing water to other States, as under the Riparian Act, only Punjab had the right to utilise the water of rivers passing through it. The minister said to properly publicise the development and welfare policies of the State, the Public Relations Department would be completely revamped and provided with the latest information transmitting technology at the earliest. The department would strive to make available all kinds of information regarding Punjab to national and international media without any delay, he said.
Among others who
addressed the function were Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal,
Speaker, Vidhan Sabha, Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal,
President, BKU, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Secretary,
Youth Akali Dal, Mr Sadhu Singh Ghudani, MLA, Mr Ajmer
Singh Dhillon, Joint Secretary, Youth Akali Dal, Santa
Singh Umedlpuri, Chairman, Market Committee Sahnewal and
Mr Kirpal Singh Khirnia, member SGPC.
Cong adopted wrong policies:
HOSHIARPUR, Jan 30 Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance Minister, Punjab, says financial difficulties in the state started after 1984 when government expenditure, including the salaries of employees, increased many times as compared to that in previous years.
Talking to newspersons here, he said out of the total revenue of the state government, 67 per cent was being spent on salaries. Sales tax was the main source of income. Owing to the wrong policies of the previous Congress government, the income from sales tax was affected and the growth rate in this sphere in 1994-95 and 1995-96 came down to minus one. Besides, the previous, government did not make any effort to increase income. It totally depended on loans from the Centre. Central loans increased to Rs 8,400 crore.
He said after efforts of the SAD-BJP government the sales tax growth increased from minus one to 9.8 per cent in 1997-98 and 10 per cent 1998-99. Sales tax revenue had risen from Rs 1,400 crore to Rs 2,100 crore in 1999-2000.
Referring to the non-payment of salaries, the Finance Minister said there was no shortage of money. Salaries had not been paid due to the filing of wrong budgetary figures by the heads of the departments concerned.
The minister said he would soon submit some proposals to improve the financial situation.
Replying to a question, he said reforms were required to improve the financial condition of the PSEB. A meeting of the committee headed by the Chief Minister would be held within 15 days to review the situation. He said the provision of free electricity and water to farmers was purely a state matter. The Centre could only make suggestions on the withdrawal of the facilities.
Referring to the controversy on ending of the rahdari system in the state, he said the government was planning to make changes in it.
He said the government had decided to release all types of pensions on a monthly basis.
He said the state unit
of the Congress had no agenda for Punjab. One
of the groups of the PPCC was trying its best to remove
Capt Amarinder Singh from the presidentship. Besides,
PPCC leaders were divided on the demand for the
imposition of financial emergency in Punjab.
a show of strength
CHHAJALWADI (Amritsar), Jan 30 In an apparent move to hit back at the dissidents, the ruling Akali Dal today held a rural conference in the native village of rebel Akali MLA Ranjit Singh Chhajalwadi who was issued a show-cause notice recently.
The conference was a show of strength. The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, addressed the meeting. He refrained from criticising anybody.
Mr Badal, during his 25-minute speech, lashed out at the Congress for its failure to provide basic amenities to the rural populace.
The Chief Minister assured the gathering to upgrade the girls schools to the plus two level and sanctioned Rs 5 lakh for the repair of the school building. He promised to provide sufficient funds for upgrading the local dispensary and for pavement of lanes and streets.
civic body chief voted out
BARNALA, Jan 30 Led by Mr Malkit Singh Keetu, MLA, Barnala, 17 Municipal Councillors comprising a two-third majority passed a no-confidence motion against Mrs Rajinderpal Kaur Sanghera, Barnala Municipal Council chief, on Friday.
Mr Malkit Singh Keetu has the voting right in the local Municipal Council by virtue of being the MLA of Barnala.
Mr Rupinder Mankoo, official observer, said 18 members voted in favour of the motion by raising their hands. Only two councillors, Mr Sat Pal and Mr Buta Singh, sided with Mrs Rajinderpal Kaur.
Mr Mankoo said Mr Rajinderpal Kaur got her dissent recorded in the proceedings, objecting to the show of hands instead of the secret voting procedure.
Official sources said voting by way of raising of hands was valid and legal.
Apprehending trouble the administration here had made elaborate security arrangements for the meeting.
The no-confidence motion against Mrs Rajinderpal Kaur who became the Municipal Council chief with the blessings of former Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Surjit Singh Barnala has dampened the spirits of Barnala supporters. The development has consolidated the position of the group led by Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Poverty Alleviation and Urban Employment Minister.
replies to show-cause notice
PHILLAUR, Jan 30 After Mr Jagdish Sahnis reply another BJP dissident, Mr Sat Paul Gosain sent his reply to the show-cause notice to the Punjab BJP President, Mr Daya Singh Sodhi, and the BJP Secretary and in charge of Punjab BJP affairs, Mr Narinder Modi, on Saturday. Mr Gosin while confirming this told The Tribune here today that he would submit his reply in person on Monday at the Punjab BJP office, Chandigarh.
Meanwhile, it is learnt, that Gosain has refuted his allegations of corruption and demanded five-member-high-level-fact-finding committee of the BJP from outside Punjab to inquire into the allegations. Mr Daya Singh Sodhi said he had not received any reply from Mr Gosain. Mr Sodhi confirmed the receipt of Mr Sahnis reply and said that he will wait for Gosins reply up to February 2, the time given in the show cause notice.
Mr Sodhi said two lakh new members will be recruited in this year. He said district presidents of Ferozepore and Kapurthala units will be appointed soon When asked about appointment of chairperson of improvement trusts, Mr Sodhi said, he will meet the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and discuss the matter with him.
oppose new taxes
BATHINDA, Jan 30 Mr Shakti Sharma, General Secretary of the state unit of the BJP, said today that his party would not allow the state government to burden the traders by imposing unnecessary new taxes.
Addressing a press conference here, he said state leadership and heads of various business organisations would hold a meeting with the Excise and Taxation Minister, Mr Adesh Partap Singh, in this regard next week and if the matter was not sorted out in that meeting then the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, would be approached to take action in this regard.
Admitting that the traders, a traditional vote bank of BJP in Punjab, had been unhappy with the party over the new taxes, he said bureaucracy of the state was responsible for this situation.
He alleged that there was a conspiracy to tarnish the image of the SAD-BJP government in the state by harassing the traders. He added that the state BJP President, Mr Daya Singh Sodhi, would join the meeting to be held with the Excise and Taxation Minister.
Plea to replace drugs Act
JALANDHAR, Jan 30 Stressing the need to replace the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, with a consumer-friendly Act, the working group on national drug policy of the National Medical Organisation has urged the Central government to set up the national drug authority (NDA) as envisaged under the new drug policy introduced by the late Prime Minister, Mr Rajiv Gandhi.
Dr Ashok Goyal, chairman of the group, said the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, was introduced by the British and was aimed at benefiting their industry, but it has ceased to serve its purpose in the current set up. But no serious effort was made by any of the governments after Independence to scrap it. As a result, the market was flooded with spurious and sub-standard medicines, available across the shelf.
He said the callousness of successive governments towards the health of the nation could be gauged from the fact that the new national drug policy was partly implemented that too in respect of technology transfer and importing of bulk drugs only. The proposal regarding setting up of the national drugs authority (NDA), a regulatory body aimed at ensuring quality control as it would be empowered with penal powers.
He said the BJP-led
Central Government has again picked up just one clause of
the policy by announcing its intention of levying 1 per
cent cess on the pharmaceutical industry to fund research
in the field of medicine. Their intention may be good but
can they tell us where is the infrastructure for
undertaking research work? questioned Dr Goyal
adding that the setting up of the NDA and making it a
quasi-judicial body was the only available solution to
curb the menace of spurious and sub-standard drugs.
contractors boycott tenders
BATHINDA, Jan 30 Worried over the deteriorating financial position of the local municipal council, civil contractors have boycotted the tenders of various development works worth Rs 2 crore floated by the council on January 27 and 28.
Official sources said the contractors, who came to submit their bids for various development works, including the pre-mix reconstruction of main road and streets and construction and repair of drains in the city, decided to boycott the tenders on the spot when the municipal council authorities failed to ensure them about the timely payments of works to be executed by them.
The sources added that the council already owes Rs 1 crore to the civil contractors for various works executed by them. The contractors alleged that the delay in the payments had affected their business.
The sources further said the contractors suspected that their payments would not be made on time after the rumour that the octroi posts might not be auctioned from the coming financial year and there could be a considerable fall in the income of the municipal council.
Mr B.S. Aulakh, Executive Officer, when contacted said it was true that the contractors had boycotted the tenders in anticipation of the fact that the octroi posts might not be privatised from the next financial year.
He added that if the octroi posts were not privatised from the next financial year, the municipal council would suffer a loss of Rs 1 lakh daily. He added that he had apprised the Secretary, Local Bodies, Punjab, that at present the municipal council was earning Rs 2.37 lakh daily from the octroi and if these posts were privatised, the earnings would come down by Rs 1 lakh.
for review of Constitution
NANGAL, Jan 30 The presidential form of government is the only solution to the unstable governments and mid-term polls, which have hindered the progress of the country, said Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, Food and Civil Supplies Minister, Punjab, while talking to newsmen here today.
He said that the goals set in the Constitution have not been achieved, even after 50 years of its implementation. So, a review of the Constitution was the only solution to the problems of the country, he added.
Moreover, since the Constitution has already been amended more than 80 times, including the 42nd amendment, which is generally referred to as a mini Constitution, the criticism of the proposed review by the Prime Minister is totally unfounded, Mr Mittal said. The earlier Congress Prime Ministers, including Mr Rajiv Gandhi, had advocated the presidential form of government, but the Congress was opposing the proposed review of the Constitution just for the sake of opposition, Mr Mittal added.
Mr Mittal who was here on a visit to his constituency, also met the delegation of the Punjab Alkalies and Chemicals Ltd, (PACL), employees Union. The PACL employees have been protesting against certain decisions by their management. The employees also submitted a memorandum to Mr Mittal in which they have alleged the PACL had run into loss of 47 crore due to mismanagement.
Mr Mittal assured the employees that he will apprise the Chief Minister regarding their complaints. He said it was unfortunate that after PNFC unit in the area the PACL has been closed.
activists hold up rail traffic
BATHINDA, Jan 30 Hundreds of activists of BKU (Ekta) today jammed traffic on the Bathinda-Patiala rail section near Jethuke village in protest against the overcharging of fare by the operators plying mini buses on Rampura-Jethuke and Rampura-Balianwali routes.
To avoid the situation from going out of hand the railway authorities stopped the train at Rampura station at 2.30 p.m. The passengers after a long wait went to the bus stand to catch buses for their respective destinations.
The dharna on the rail track by the activists was lifted after about three and half hours at 6.20 p.m. only on the assurance of SP (Operation) that grievances of the BKU (Ekta) would be redressed.
Mr Natha Singh, spokesman for the BKU (Ekta), told that the traffic had been jammed as the district administration was not responding to their repeated pleas that mini-bus operators were over-charging fare. He added that district administration also could not implement the agreement reached between the mini-bus operators and the BKU (Ekta) leadership a few days ago.
Senior civil and police
officials reached the spot to defuse the situation and
held talks with the agitators. Policemen were also
deployed in large numbers at the venue of dharna to
prevent any untoward incident.
favours simple, cheap drugs for patients
PATIALA, Jan 30 While taking a small quantity of alcohol has reportedly been proven to be beneficial for hypertension and coronary disease patients, former Director of the PGI, Chandigarh, Dr B.K. Sharma, said doctors should not encourage patients to follow this path.
Delivering a special lecture on the problem of high blood pressure and its social and medical implications, organised by the Patiala unit of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) here last night, Prof Sharma said the problem with alcohol was that people seldom held on to the two-small drink limit, in which case the measure proved to be counter-productive.
Prof Sharma said the best way for the treatment of high blood pressure was the use of non-pharmacology measures, which included reducing weight, decreasing salt intake, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, taking more fruits and vegetables and going in for dynamic exercise like walking, jogging, swimming and cycling. However, these measures were not exclusive of medical treatment. He said a mildly-hypertensive person may not need medicines if non-pharmacological measures were practised by him but people already on drugs should continue to take them along with these measures.
The former PGI Director also had a word of advice for doctors attending the lecture, Prescribe simple and cheap drugs, keeping in mind their pharmacological properties. Prof Sharma said it was unfortunate that doctors were prescribing new fancy drugs which did not benefit the patient correspondingly. It was important to prescribe simple drugs as these were to be taken for an entire life time. He also advised single doses.
He said hypertension cases were increasing in India and a number of surveys by the PGI had shown that the incidence of hypertension in urban areas had gone up drastically. The hypertension rate had doubled in Chandigarh in the past 30 years and now nearly 40 to 45 per cent of adults in Chandigarh were afflicted by it. The incidence of hypertension was decreasing in the USA and Europe.
Prof Sharma said hypertension was a disease which was very easy to diagnose and treat but because of its life-long nature, it was generally neglected by both patient and doctor. Another reason for its negligence was that it did not produce any symptoms for a long time and the patient had little idea to seek any medical aid.
Prof Sharma advised that the treatment for hypertension should be started if blood pressure of more than 140/90 mmhg was confirmed on two to three occasions. He said a still lower limit of 130.80 should be taken for those having heart diseases and diabetes.
Patiala IMA President Dr
Manmohan Singh presented a memento to Prof Sharma at the
function which was attended by Government Medical College
Principal Dr Ravinder Singh and former Punjab Public
Service Commission Member T.C. Gupta.
workers hold dharna
PATIALA, Jan 30 Members of the District Congress Committee today staged a dharna in front of Mahatma Gandhis statue on The Mall against the failure of the administration to nab persons responsible for defiling the statue on January 1 this year.
Mrs Praneet Kaur, member of Parliament, addressing the protesters called the incident as politically motivated as almost a month had passed since the sordid incident and no one had been arrested so far.
She lamented that even though many ministers of the state government, including the Chief Minister, had visited the city several times, none of them visited the statue or condemned its defiling.
Mr Ved Parkash Gupta,
DCC (Urban) President, submitted a memorandum to the
Deputy Commissioner demanding apology from the Chief
Minister on behalf of the lapses of the administration in
safeguarding the honour of the Father of the Nation.
resent wardens suspension
MAKHU (Ferozepore), Jan 30 Resentment is brewing among junior officials of the Harike Wildlife Sanctuary over the suspension of a warden following complaints of poaching in the area.
Terming the Punjab Governments decision to suspend the Wildlife Warden, Mr Ravinder Iqbal Singh Bindra, as discriminatory, a section of the staff has accused the top bosses in Chandigarh of adopting a lethargic attitude that helped the poachers to carry out their activities without any hindrance.
These officials, however, feel that Mr Bindra has been singled out, while justice demanded punishment for all those responsible for violations and poaching in the sanctuary.
Pleading anonymity, these officials pointed out that Mr Bindra and a team comprising only one inspector and two guards were manning the sanctuary spread over an 86 sq km area. As they had been issued no weapons for self protection, it was impossible for them to tackle with well connected poachers. Despite all odds, we have been guarding the area from influential poachers. Instead of giving any credit to our team, they have axed the warden, one official lamented.
They said apart from a delay in providing weapons to the local wildlife team, the top bosses had also failed to pursue a legal course of action to prevent fish contractors from entering the sanctuary. They alleged that top bosses in Chandigarh had ignored recommendation seeking legal action against fish poachers.
Mr Bindra said he had sent a fax message on January 13 to the Director, Wildlife, asking him to move the Punjab and Haryana High Court to get a stay order issued by a Patti court permitting the fish contractors to use sanctuary waters vacated. But the authorities took no action in this regard.
The stay order had rendered the staff incapable of preventing contractors from fishing in the sanctuary. Charging the senior officials with high handedness, Mr Bindras colleagues said, Knowing full well that nobody could restrain the contractors in the present circumstances, no effort was made to get the stay vacated through legal channels.
They expressed apprehension that the contractors lobby, having political backing, had influenced the wildlife officers in Chandigarh. Earlier too we were pressurised by the ruling party leaders to let the contractors use the sanctuary waters, an official said.
The officials also demanded that the responsibility of their seniors should also be fixed. As some of them had also been frequenting Harike and camping there for days together, they too should be held responsible for delay in pursuing legal action. Why only a warden has been made a scapegoat?, an official asked.
The Director, Wildlife, Mr Gurmeet Singh, however, said Mr Bindras suspension had been necessitated due to his failure to deal effectively with the situation and poaching of migratory birds. He was given sufficient chance to explain his position and deserved to be suspended for not initiating any action against the poachers, he said.
While admitting that a
fax message recommending legal action through High Court
had been received, Mr Gurmeet Singh said legal experts
had advised the department not to move to higher court at
exhibition a big draw
BATHINDA: The residents of this district and its surrounding areas seem to have become more sensitive towards defence personnel and their heroic deeds in the protection of the countrys frontiers after the Kargil conflict.
This could be judged from the fact that a defence exhibition organised by the Army here from January 15 to January 17 attracted a large number of people.
For three days, sea of humanity kept on descending on the grounds of the local Government Rajindra College where the exhibition of Pakistani army weapons seized by Indian soldiers during the Kargil conflict were displayed along with other arms.
The Kargil conflict has generated a passion among the public to join the armed forces. In the past few months, recruitment rallies held by the Army authorities have attracted a big rush of aspirants from every nook and corner of the state.
Being a border state, the residents of Punjab hold a special respect for soldiers. The cremation ceremonies of the soldiers killed in the Kargil action were well attended.
Mr P.K. Gupta, Head of Department of Chemistry, Government Rajindra College, told this reporter that students of every school in the urban as well as rural areas of this district visited the exhibition to see the bewildering variety of weapons displayed there.
Children and even elders showed keen interest in the functioning of the battle tank and various guns. The weapons captured from Kashmiri terrorists were also displayed.
Mr Dinesh Vashisht, a local resident, who visited the exhibition said such exhibitions generated the much-needed patriotism among masses that was required to make India strong.
He added that the Army
authorities should hold much exhibitions regularly so
that more and more people joined the armed forces after
getting motivated. Small exhibitions should be held in
the rural areas.
moves alienate Rai Sikhs
FEROZEPORE, Jan 30 At least two recent moves by the ruling Akali Dal have alienated a section of Rai Sikhs from the party. Earlier during assembly and Lok Sabha elections Rai Sikh voters of this border district had shown preference for the Akali candidates.
In the recent cabinet expansion the lone Rai Sikh MLA from Jalalabad Mr Sher Singh had not been given a berth.
There are over three lakh Rai Sikh voters across the district and the two successive moves are likely to distance the Akali Dal from the community. A section of party workers from among the Rai Sikhs are resenting the denial of representation to Mr Sher Singh in the recent cabinet expansion. Although Mr Sher Singh was tipped for a ministerial berth, he was not accommodated.
The community is up against the governments decision to auction their land to tide over financial crunch in the Irrigation Department. Already, those in possession of the irrigation land have come on roads to oppose the move, with some threatening to immolate themselves. While other communities like Kambhoj and Jat too are likely to be affected in over a dozen villages, the move will mainly hit Rai Sikhs, who have been tilling these fields since the early fifties.
In a representation to the government, they have demanded that the irrigation land should be sold to them on easy instalments, instead of auctioning it to the outsiders. Apprehending eviction from the land they have been tilling for years, they charge that the move will render them homeless.
A front known as
Boli Roko Sangharsh Committee floated by them
is now being supported by most political parties, barring
the ruling Akali Dal-BJP combine. Among the parties
actively supporting their cause are the Congress, CPI and
the CPM, besides the Bahujan Samaj Party and the All
India Shiromani Akali Dal.
AMRITSAR, Jan 30 Prof Dr Wolf Mutschler, President, Indo-German Orthopaedic Foundation, during the two-day international meeting which opened here yesterday, favoured specialised trauma centres, in the vicinity of the accident-prone areas and near the high density traffic highways.
In India, the lack of discipline and the attitudinal problems had let to many fatalities and many cases had ended up with more disabilities, Dr Mutschler said.
The lack of right kind of motivation which may have resulted from poor trauma centre set up, back up from government agencies and infrastructure were responsible for poor treatment and care, he added.
The Indo-German Orthopaedic Foundation was established by an Indian and German doctor in 1992, Prof Mutschler said. He said the foundation has more than 480 doctors as members and over 120 of them had been trained in different trauma hospital in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The foundation not only exchanges new techniques but also gives first hand knowledge about new devices and implants for fracture patients.
The foundation was being funded by a German businessman Mr Clause Hug. The foundation organises bi-annual conferences in India to disseminate the latest advancement in the fracture management and the treatment of poly trauma victims.
Earlier, the Professor Emeritus Dr I.C. Pathak, who inaugurated the two-day meeting, stressed the need to treat trauma cases on a par with heart and cancer cases. The alarming increase in accidents in India was causing considerable concern not only to the government planners but also to the medical fraternity.
He suggested that a multi-pronged strategy need to be evolved at the national-level for prevention and treatment of trauma cases. The curricula at the medical graduation and post-graduation levels need to be changed and the treatment of poly trauma should be added as complete subject.
The organising secretary
and Vice-President of the Foundation, Dr Shivinder Singh
Sandhu, while briefing pressmen said more than 100
doctors from North India and over 12 specialists from
Europe interacted during the two days.
FATEHGARH SAHIB, Jan 30 The mortal remains of Gurbax Singh of the Sikh Battalion who sacrificed his life on January 24 at Kargil, were consigned to the flames at his native village Bhadal Thua, 20 km from here, with state and military honours.
His father lit the pyre. Thousands of people from various walks of life attended the funeral.
examined at heart care camp
KAPURTHALA, Jan 30 At least 500 patients suffering from heart disease were examined at a three day heart care camp organised by the local Rotary club which concluded today at MDSD Senior Secondary School here.
Experts from Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre, Delhi, examined 220 serious patients today.
Dr R.R. Kasliwal, senior cardiologist the heart institute cautioned that heart ailments among Indians had been increasing.
Dr Upinderjit Kaur, Housing and Urban Development Minister, presided over the function.
LUDHIANA, Jan 30 (PTI) A fire broke out early this morning at the premises of spinning mill, about 25 km from here in Jaspalon.
After a grim struggle the fire fighting units of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, succeeded in controlling the fire.
3 endorse false affidavit, booked
NANGAL, Jan 30 Mrs Parkash Kaur, ex-MC, Mr Bhupinder Dewan and Mr Kheira, president of employee unions of the NFL, have been booked for endorsing a false affidavit.
While Mr Dewan and Mr Kheira have been arrested, Mrs Prakash Kaur and the main accused, Mrs Kamla Messy have absconded.
The three had endorsed the declaration of Mrs Kamala Messy, a nurse in NFL Hospital, that she was the only legal heir of her deceased husband, Sunny Gristopher. Mrs Kamala Messy was, however, the second wife of Gristopher.
BATHINDA, Jan 30 Gurdeep Singh, ASI and in charge, Bhucho Mandi police post, was shot at and injured by a petrol station owner, Bhana Mal, and others in the town, 20 km from here, yesterday.
Police sources said Gurdeep Singh who was heading a patrol party in the town last evening signalled two jeeps to stop. Some of the occupants of the jeeps were carrying firearms.
When the ASI tried to search the jeep, Bhana Mal allegedly fired at him, injuring him on the foot.
Gurdeep Singh was shifted to the hospital and policemen accompanying him overpowered Bhana Mal and seized his gun.
Local Civil Hospital sources said Gurdeep Singh was out of danger.
Mr Jatinder Kumar Jain,
SSP, when contacted, said a case in this regard had been
registered against Bhana Mal, Sita Ram, Darshan Kumar,
Mohan Lal and others under Sections 307, 353, 186, 148,
149 of the IPC and 25 of Arms Act.
watch factory unearthed
BATHINDA, Jan 30 The local police has unearthed a factory making fake wrist watches for the past seven years.
Mr Jatinder Kumar Jain, SSP, said Harwinder Singh and his son, Rajinder Singh, who had been running the factory for the past seven years had been arrested after the registration of a case under Section 420 of the IPC and 78 and 79 of the Trade and Merchandise Act 1958 against them at city police station.
He said the two used to procure fake cases and dials of HMT, Titan and other watches from Delhi and assemble these in the factory.
The suspects sold the watches in Ludhiana and Jalandhar for Rs 130 a piece. Three dealers, who used to purchase the fake watches had also been identified.
More than 100 fake watches and hundreds of dials and cases were recovered from the factory.
The suspects used to assemble 40 fake watches daily.
Farmers march for freedom from debts
JALANDHAR, Jan 30 (UNI) Five pro-Left farmers organisations, whose statewide 35-day-long march is underway in Punjab since January 27, have sought State intervention to save the Punjab farmers from economic ruin being caused by multiple factors, including indebtedness to the tune of Rs 5700 crore.
All India Kisan Sabha Secretary Joginder Dayal, who among others is spearheading "Karja Mukti Andolan" in the State told UNI that rising cost of production and stagnant or declining per acre yield of all major crops in Punjab was the major cause of rural indebtedness and hence the Punjab Government must pay the loans taken by farmers from private sources.
Dr Dyal said of the total rural indebtedness of Rs 5700 crore, small farmers were burdened with over 1651 crore, semi-medium farmers with more than Rs 1694 crore and medium farmers had to pay back over Rs 1125 crore, adding that per acre loan burden in respect of small farmers was Rs 10,105, semi-medium farmer Rs 7,941 and medium farmer Rs 4,298.
Dr Dayal said per acre cost of wheat production, which was Rs 425 in 1974-75 and went up to Rs 1829 in 1991-92, had gone up to Rs 2810 in 1996-97.
Similarly per acre paddy production cost, which was Rs 434 in 1974-75 and Rs 2641 in 1991-92 had gone up to Rs 4485 in 1996-97.
The cost of production of cotton, third major crop in Punjab, during the corresponding periods was Rs 341, Rs 1675 and Rs 2674 per acre, respectively, he added.
The kisan leader said these figures clearly stated that the cost of wheat production went up by six times, paddy by 10 times and cotton by seven in the 12 year period from 1974-75 to 1996-97.
On the other hand, per acre average yield of these crops were either stagnant or declining, he clarified. Wheat yield in the three-year period beginning 1993-94 went up to 1617 Kg per acre from 1354 Kg per acre in the three-year period beginning 1985-86. This amounted a compound growth rate of just 1.79 per cent, he added.
Similarly average rice yield for corresponding periods went up to 1359 Kg per acre from 1308 Kg per acre, registering an increase of just 38 per cent, while that of cotton "A" declined to 195 Kg per acre from 205 Kg per acre and of common variety of cotton declined from 123 Kg to 120 Kg acre, amounting to .5 per cent and .25 per cent decline, respectively, he added.
Dr Dyal said leaders of two Punjab Kisan Sabhas, aligned with the CPI and the CPM, Bhartia Kisan Union, (Ekta group), Kirti Kisan Union and the Punjab Kisan Union (United), who met the Punjab Chief Minister recently, suggested several short term and long term measures to overcome the agrarian crisis in a memorandum submitted to him.
He said the government was required to set up farmer provident fund to enable them meet their social obligations like marriage and health care, a credit card scheme in suicide-prone districts, creation of common asset pool of storage and farm machinery to help small and middle farmers, special package of relief in the event of natural calamity, crop failure, crop damage and crop diversification, and increase in the maximum limit of compensation to Rs 1 lakh.
organisations demanded a minimum support price of Rs 110
per quintal for sugarcane on the Haryana pattern and the
minimum support price of cotton at Rs 2800 to 3000 per
quintal with a directive to government procurement
agencies to enter the market in time to check distress
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