Wednesday, May 31, 2000,
Chandigarh, India





punjab
P U N J A B

Gastroenteritis claims 4 lives
LUDHIANA, May 30 Panic gripped the Sherpur area here today following the death of four persons due to gastroenteritis. About 65 others were taken ill. Ten of them are reported to be serious.

Punjab borrows to service debts
CHANDIGARH, May 30 — Believe it or not the Damocles` sword of debt under which Punjab came while fighting the10-year- long battle against the militants still hangs over its head.

SGPC bid to take over gurdwara foiled
AMRITSAR, May 30 — The timely intervention of the district administration prevented a major incident at the historic Gurdwara Bohri Sahib, when the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee made an abortive bid to seize control of the gurdwara from the local committee.

Amarinder ‘in league’ with Badal
AMRITSAR, May 30 — The ongoing cold war between Capt Amarinder Singh and Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal groups got energised with Mr Gurinder Singh Kairon, a senior Congress leader levelling serious charges, including one of corruption against the PPCC chief.

Kamaljit’s petition “motivated”
CHANDIGARH, May 30 — The SGPC chief, Bibi Jagir Kaur, who is alleged to be behind the ‘‘murder’’ of her young daughter, Harpreet Kaur, today, in reply to the petition filed by Kamaljit Singh, described the petition of Kamaljit Singh as malicious and politically motivated. She said that Mr Sukhjinder Singh, her political rival and a former Education Minister, was allegedly, behind the petition.

Patiala DCC comes out in support of Praneet
PATIALA, May 30 — The District Congress Committee today came out in support of Patiala Lok Sabha member Praneet Kaur and announced that it would recommend action against Congress leaders who had demanded action against the MP for not attending a meeting of the District Planning Board.

POLITICS

Fissures in Youth Akali Dal
JALANDHAR, May 30 — Fissures in the Youth Akali Dal (Badal) headed by Amrik Singh Aliwal have widened today with a number of its office-bearers urging the Shiromani Akali Dal chief Mr Parkash Singh Badal to replace the former with a more “dynamic” leader.



YOUR TOWN
Amritsar
Chandigarh
Fatehgarh Sahib
Jalandhar
Ludhiana

Patiala
Sangrur


EARLIER STORIES
 
COMMUNITY

Badal tells DC, SSP to visit Phagwara
PHAGWARA, May 30 — The Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal today directed the Kapurthala Deputy Commissioner and the SSP to visit Phagwara on 15th of every month to redress the grievances of people and monitor development work in the block.

Rauza Sharif ‘urs’ begins
FATEHGARH SAHIB: The Kargil conflict has cast its shadow on the annual ‘urs’ at Rauza Sharif Sirhind as the Pakistan Government refused visa to pilgrims to visit the shrine.

Harrowing time for the ‘challaned’ in Patiala
PATIALA, May 30 — The Patiala police is showing wonderful results as far as observance of the Traffic Week in the city is concerned. Hundreds of challans are being cut everyday with very few motorists are able to dodge cops posted at various vantage points and in some cases even the streets in the old city.

Two SIs, eight ASIs transferred
SAS NAGAR, May 30 — A Sub-Inspector, Mr Parvinder Singh, has been made in charge of the local police control room (PCR). He has been transferred as part of large-scale reshuffling of non-gazetted officers (NGO’s) in Ropar district. At least two Sub-Inspectors (SI) and eight Assistant Sub-Inspectors (ASI) have been transferred.

Unauthorised use of red lights to be curbed
PATIALA, May 30 — Patiala Deputy Commissioner Jasbir Singh Bir today said strict action would be taken against anyone using red lights atop their vehicles unauthorisedly.

Bitta flays Cong silence on LTTE
JALANDHAR, May 30 — Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta, former president of the All-India Youth Congress has expressed surprise over the “silence” of Congress leaders on the LTTE issue.

CRIME

27 remanded in judicial custody
SANGRUR, May 30 — Twentyseven persons, who were arrested by the local police following a clash between two factions of the Lal Jhanda Punjab Bhatha Mazdoor Union in the district here yesterday, were today remanded in judicial custody till June 9 by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr J.S. Khushdil, here.

EDUCATION

What are school board authorities up to?
SAS NAGAR, May 30 — Can the Punjab School Education Board issue the marksheet to a candidate after earlier cancelling the result following detection of grave irregularities in the conduct of examination?

BUSINESS

Protest by telecom officials
AMRITSAR, May 30 — Indian Telecom Service (ITS) officers of the local telecom department went on “mass casual leave’ in protest against the posting of a “non-ITS” officer as chairman to the DTS claiming it was purely a technical department.

PSEB gesture to rice shellers
CHANDIGARH, May 30 — The Punjab State Electricity Board has extended the seasonal period for rice shellers from May 31 to July 31, according to Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, Food and Supplies Minister.

Top





 

Gastroenteritis claims 4 lives
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, May 30 Panic gripped the Sherpur area here today following the death of four persons due to gastroenteritis. About 65 others were taken ill. Ten of them are reported to be serious.

The death include a four-year-old child Kuttu, son of Mr Umesh Tiwari, Des Raj (15), son of Mr Babu Lal, Sham Lal (40) and Srinivas (25), son of Mr Ram Vikas. All deceased belong to the migrant labour class, mostly from Bihar and UP.

The Civil Hospital sources confirmed the death of four persons. The sources said, about 65 persons were treated for gastro-enteritis. All of them were discharged. The officials clarified that there was no epidemic in the area. The infection had apparently been caused by contaminated water.

The sources said water samples were being tested for the cause of infection. The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation sent special water tankers asking people to use that water only.

A team of doctors from the Civil Hospital was rushed to the area for the treatment of the afflicted. The doctors are camping there only. An ambulance has also been sent to the spot for handling any emergency.

Senior municipal officials also visited the spot.

The Sherpur area is mostly inhabited by migrant labourers from Bihar and UP.

The local people alleged that they had reported the leakage of a pipe supplying drinking water to the Junior Engineer of the municipal corporation on Saturday. They alleged that the sewerage water got mixed with the drinking water resulting in the infections. They said the JE ignored the complaints. The people staged a dharna today demanding action against the engineer.

Ludhiana Mayor Upinder Singh Grewal today visited the locality and assured people that action would be taken against the erring officials. He was accompanied by the Health Officer and a team of doctors.Top


Punjab borrows to service debts
By Gobind Thukral
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 30 — Believe it or not the Damocles` sword of debt under which Punjab came while fighting the10-year- long battle against the militants still hangs over its head.

In its memorandum to the 11th Finance Commission, the Punjab Government has expressed its pain and sorrow over the delay in waiving the huge loan.

Punjab had incurred a huge debt during the days of insurgency from 1984-85 to 1993-94 and the amount totalled Rs 5799.92 crore. The Punjab Government had to clear a good amount and Rs 1256.68 crore was waived by the Centre in March 1996. This special term loan, on which interest stood at Rs 3772 crore on March 31, 2000.

This crippling liability for which successive governments in Punjab had been fighting the Centre since 1988 makes an interesting comment on the Centre-State fiscal relations. Everyone agreed that Punjab was fighting a proxy war with militants who came from Pakistan. The Constitution Article 355 has laid down that the Centre has to help the States in all manners during an external aggression and internal disturbances. Yet the State has been begging each and every government in Delhi. Interestingly, three Prime Ministers, Mr P.V. Narsimah Rao, Mr H.D. Dev Gowda and Mr Inder Kumar Gujral, promised to waive the loan completely. But all they could do was to meet the demand in parts. But the government led by Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee has done little to honour its commitment. The Akali Dal, an alliance partner in the BJP-led Government has regretted this attitude.

First request from the Punjab Government was made to the Ninth Finance Commission in 1988. The Commission recommended rescheduling of the loan and interest. But no suitable package was worked out. On March 31, 1994, the loan amount had shot up to Rs 5521.86 crore.

During the 1993-94, Punjab cleared a loan of Rs 801.44 crore. Then Punjab pleaded with the 10th Finance Commission. It said, “ The outstanding Special term loans were necessitated for the maintenance of the unity and integrity of the nation, should be written off. In other words the Central Government may accept the proposition that these amounts were advanced and utilised in what was clearly national interest. If this plea is accepted, the State Government would have at its disposal resources worth Rs 800 crores to Rs 900 crores every year in next six or seven years, and would need no further special support from the Government of India for its future development.” It also said,” If for any reason the repayment of the outstanding amounts on account of special term loans cannot be waived, the State Government requests that the repayment of this special debt be rescheduled in such a way that the State Government is obliged to repay every year, to begin with only the instalment of principal amount due. The interest burden may be either written off or its repayment postponed until the principal amount is fully recovered. The plea of the State Government is that in no case should amounts of interest postponed attract additional interest. This way the State Government will get resources of the level of Rs 500 crores or so every year. The Finance Commission provided some relief and it recommended to waive the principal amount during 1995-2000. This only meant a relief of Rs 495.22 crore. Later another amount of Rs 803.23 crore was waived . But the Government of India recovered Rs 772.76 crore. During 1996-97. Later, Mr Gujral provided a relief of Rs 3413.11 crore.

After having availed of the above debt relief/waiver, the outstanding special term loans (Principal) as on March31, 2000, would be Rs 3772 crore.

Regarding repayment/waiver for the year 2000-2001 and beyond, as per the record of discussions between Mr Vajpayee and Mr Parkash Singh Badal on September 1997, it was decided that “the decision of Government of India to waive the special term loans granted to Punjab during the period 1984-85 to 1993-94 for combating insurgency and militancy in the State shall be suitably conveyed to the Eleventh Finance Commission for making appropriate recommendations regarding debt relief to Punjab.”

“This is a crippling liability and it leaves very little resources with the State Government. The debt servicing ratio (DSR) of the government has already crossed 30 per cent and the State is caught in a debt trap. The State is passing through a strange situation in which loans of Government of India are being repaid by borrowing from the Government of India at a higher rate,” the memorandum said.Top

 

SGPC bid to take over gurdwara foiled
From Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

AMRITSAR, May 30 — The timely intervention of the district administration prevented a major incident at the historic Gurdwara Bohri Sahib, when the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee made an abortive bid to seize control of the gurdwara from the local committee.

The supporters of one group of the management of the gurdwara pelted stones on SGPC officials who had come to the gurdwara to take control of it. The SGPC task force fired ten rounds in the air to disperse the ‘mob’. Dr Gurbachan Singh Bachan, secretary SGPC, said the task force opened fire in self defence.

On receiving information of the incident the District Magistrate, Mr Narinderjit Singh, deputed subdivisional magistrate Balwinder Singh Multani as duty magistrate. The District Magistrate claimed that the situation was under control.

According to information available with The Tribune a breakaway group of seven members out of a total of 17 members of the gurdwara committee wrote to the SGPC asking it to control of the gurdwara.

Dr Bachan talking to TNS claimed the SGPC had received complaints of ‘mismanagement and irregularities of funds’ against the gurdwara management from senior members of the SGPC and had decided to takeover the gurdwara. He said it was the duty of SGPC to restore the ‘maryada’ of historical gurdwara. However, he said SGPC officials had come back following tension at the gurdwara. He said the SGPC would take control of the gurdwara as per rules.

Following the stand off the area around the gurdwara has been converted into ‘police cantonment’. Senior police officials have been deputed to closely monitor the situation.

As a part of preventive measures, the police has closed down the main gate of the gurdwara but devotees are being allowed to pay obeisance through the back door. This has led to strong resentment among the ‘sangat’.

The local people say they won’t allow the SGPC to take control of the gurdwara. They claim the management of the gurdwara had been going functioning smoothly for the past many years and the SGPC’s allegations were baseless.Top

 

Amarinder ‘in league’ with Badal
Tribune News Service

AMRITSAR, May 30 — The ongoing cold war between Capt Amarinder Singh and Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal groups got energised with Mr Gurinder Singh Kairon, a senior Congress leader levelling serious charges, including one of corruption against the PPCC chief.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Kairon claimed that Capt Amarinder Singh had amassed huge wealth in the name of tercentenary celebrations of the Khalsa and on other pretexts and had deposited it in Swiss Banks. He said Ms Sonia Gandhi, President Indian National Congress should check the passport and visas of Capt Amarinder Singh for proof of his allegations.

Mr Kairon, who has been served show cause notice by Mr Harcharan Singh Hero, chairman, Disciplinary Action Committee of the Punjab Congress for levelling charges against Capt Amarinder Singh said he had not yet received the formal notice and would reply to the charges after receiving it.

Describing Capt Amarinder Singh as an “opportunist”, Mr Kairon claimed he had given an ‘ultra-communal speech’ on the floor of the Punjab Assembly in 1986, when he was an Akali MLA. He said the PPCC chief was hand-in-glove with the leadership of ruling Akali Dal, and Capt Amarinder Singh had not addressed even a single conference in Faridkot Lok Sabha constituency in favour of Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar as Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, son of the Chief Minister, was a contesting as an Akali candidate from there. He said Capt Amarinder Singh had ‘clandestinely’ worked for the victory of Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, president SAD (Amritsar) from Barnala as he is a close relative.Top

 

Kamaljit’s petition “motivated”
By Our Legal Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, May 30 — The SGPC chief, Bibi Jagir Kaur, who is alleged to be behind the ‘‘murder’’ of her young daughter, Harpreet Kaur, today, in reply to the petition filed by Kamaljit Singh, described the petition of Kamaljit Singh as malicious and politically motivated. She said that Mr Sukhjinder Singh, her political rival and a former Education Minister, was allegedly, behind the petition.

The petition filed by Mr Kamaljit Singh is pending in the High Court and is scheduled to come up for hearing tomorrow. In this petition, apart from the Punjab Government, Bibi Jagir Kaur, the Chief Minister, Punjab, the SSP and DSP, Kapurthala, and others are arrayed as respondents. Mr Kamaljit Singh has sought a CBI probe into the alleged murder of Harpreet Kaur.

‘‘With the sole motive to gain mileage, her political rivals are using the petition as a pawn’’, said the SGPC chief.

It was further submitted that the entire petition was full of contradictions and vague averments. Jagir Kaur questioned the claim of Kamaljit Singh to the effect that he did not attend the cremation of Harpreet Kaur because he was too shocked with the death and added that the petitioner had no locus standi and asked the petitioner when, where, how and in whose presence had he married her daughter? She said that the petitioner had levelled false allegations only to malign her.

Bibi Jagir Kaur alleged that the father and mother of the petitioner — Darshan Singh and Balwinder Kaur — had been convicted and sentenced for committing fraud. In view of this family background, the statement of the petitioner could not be relied up.

The Bibi denied any knowledge of her daughter’s visit to a doctor. She also denied that Harpreet ran away to Bidipur on April 9,2000. All this time she was with her sister and on April 9 she was at Phagwara till 8 p.m. or 9 p.m., the Bibi claimed.

She denied that she ever agreed to the marriage between Harpreet and the petitioner.

She added that the cremation was done in open public and the Chief Minister attended because she had been a member of the Cabinet of the Chief Minister and she was also member of the Working Committee of the Akali Dal. It was in that capacity that the Chief Minister attended the cremation of Harpreet Kaur. She sought the dismissal of Kamaljit Singh’s petition.Top

 

Patiala DCC comes out in support of Praneet
Tribune News Service

PATIALA, May 30 — The District Congress Committee today came out in support of Patiala Lok Sabha member Praneet Kaur and announced that it would recommend action against Congress leaders who had demanded action against the MP for not attending a meeting of the District Planning Board.

Both DCC Rural and Urban Presidents Hardyal Singh Kamboj and Ved Prakash Gupta besides a host of city leaders including Mr K.K. Malhotra, Mr Vishnu Sharma, Mr Sanjeev Garg, Mrs Ravi Singh, Satwant Singh Mohi and former legislator Hamir Singh Ghagga accused former Minister Brahm Mohindra of being party to a conspiracy to weaken the Congress in league with the Akali-BJP government.

Mr Mohindra had demanded action against Mrs Praneet Kaur for not attending a meeting of the District Planning Board on May 22 and called her behaviour irresponsible. Other leaders who had attended the press conference included expelled Congressmen Birdevinder Singh and Prem Gupta besides others including Mr Brij Lal Goel and Mr Nirmal Singh Bhattian.

The DCC Rural and Urban Presidents accused Mr Mohindra of violating party discipline on many counts. They said firstly he had violated a directive clearly stating that no Congressman will air complaints against fellow workers in public. They said if Mr Mohindra had any complaints he could have referred them to the Pradesh Congress President.

The leaders said addressing a press conference in the presence of leaders who had been expelled from the party amounted to indiscipline. They said while one could have personal relations with anyone, expelled leaders could not be associated in a press conference in which party matters were discussed and criticised. They said the DCC would recommend action against Mr Mohindra and other leaders who attended the press conference.

When asked about the reason why Mrs Praneet Kaur had not attended a meeting of the District Planning Board, the leaders said the meeting was originally scheduled on May 5 but had been postponed to May 22 on which date Mrs Praneet Kaur had other occupations. They tried to downplay the meeting saying it was a small matter and was only being used as a tool by Mr Mohindra and his colleagues to weaken the party.

They said the Patiala MP was very much concerned about development works in the district and had met the Deputy Commissioner on May 25 to discuss development works. They said Mrs Praneet Kaur was also scheduled to meet the Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development) on June 1 to have detail discussions on development matters. They said the dissenting leaders were creating an issue over attendance of one meeting while the massive development work ushered in by the MP in the constituency had escaped their notice. They said Mrs Praneet Kaur had distributed Rs 80 lakh in the constituency in the last six months itself and had played a major role in getting money release from NABARD for works which would prevent flooding around the Ghaggar river in the constituency.Top

 

Fissures in Youth Akali Dal
Tribune News Service

JALANDHAR, May 30 — Fissures in the Youth Akali Dal (Badal) headed by Amrik Singh Aliwal have widened today with a number of its office-bearers urging the Shiromani Akali Dal chief Mr Parkash Singh Badal to replace the former with a more “dynamic” leader.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Jarnail Singh Dogranwala senior vice-president of the YAD and director Punjab Mandi Board, Mr Baljit Singh Neelamahl senior vice-president and Mr Parminder Pal Singh Khalsa, district president of the YAD, alleged that the policies being pursued by Mr Aliwal were harming the interests of the YAD and SAD.

They alleged that Mr Aliwal was making ‘parallel’ appointments and was busy dumping the “old guard” of workers loyal to the Badal family.

Mr Khalsa said they had apprised Mr Badal of the situation and he had formed a 21-member committee in March to look into the affairs of the YAD besides asking Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa to enquire into the matter but despite this Mr Aliwal continued to offer party posts to persons of little or no standing.Top

 

Badal tells DC, SSP to visit Phagwara
From Our Correspondent

PHAGWARA, May 30 — The Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal today directed the Kapurthala Deputy Commissioner and the SSP to visit Phagwara on 15th of every month to redress the grievances of people and monitor development work in the block.

This followed a meeting of the local circle Akali jatha leaders with Mr Badal at Chandigarh today, according to a press note by the circle secretary general, Mr Jatinder Pal Singh Palahi here.

The delegation was led by jathedar Gurmukh Singh, circle president, and Jarnail Singh Wahad, member PSSSB Veteran Akali leader Sohan Singh Bagi was also present.

Mr Badal also asked the administration to complete the Phagwara-Palahi road at the earliest and also repair other roads, claimed the press-note. The leaders expressed their unhappiness and being side-lined and ignored while nominating members and chairman of, Improvement Trust, Phagwara, having only BJP trustees and chairman. One Congress activist had even become a trustee but no Akali activist was nominated, alleged the leader.

It may be mentioned here that nominations to the local trust had become a bone of contention and the Akalis here had boycotted the last month’s installation ceremony of chairman of the trust attended by two Cabinet ministers belonging to the BJP and the then state BJP president.Top

 

Rauza Sharif ‘urs’ begins
From Surinder Bhardwaj

FATEHGARH SAHIB: The Kargil conflict has cast its shadow on the annual ‘urs’ at Rauza Sharif Sirhind as the Pakistan Government refused visa to pilgrims to visit the shrine.

The ‘urs’ which is celebrated in the memory of great Sufi Saint Sheikh Ahmad Farooqui Sirhindi will commence from May 31. Thousands of Naqshbandi Muslims from India pay their homage at the shrine.

This place is regarded as the second Mecca by Sunni Muslims. The Sheikh is considered next to Hazrat Mohammad, hence the title Alaf Saani.

Rauza Sharif is situated on the Fatehgarh Sahib-Bassi Pathana road just in the vicinity of the Fatehgarh Sahib Gurdwara, the shrine is of Sheikh Ahmed Farooqui, popularly known as Mujaddid-Alaf-i-Saani. The building was constructed in 1929. Its entrance is through Bahishti Gali.

Sheikh Ahmed was the most eminent of Khawaja Baqi Billah’s disciples. He was fourth of the seven of Sheikh Abdul Ahmad Farooqi Naqshbandi and was born in Sirhind.

From his childhood, sheikh Ahmad moved in the company of “alims” (educated) and saints. Around 1599, he left Sirhind on pilgrimage. He reached Delhi where he was welcomed by Khawaja Baqi Billah and made him his disciple.

Once Baqi Billah wrote to one of his friends. “A person named Sheikh Ahmed belonging to Sirhind has acquired immense knowledge and is perfect in action. He appears like a lamp which will illuminate the world”. When Sheikh Ahmad visited Baqi Billah next time, he was allowed to initiate disciples into the Naqshbandi order and was declared by the Khawaja as his successor. The theory of the appearance of the Mujaddid Alaf-i-Saani was based on a tradition ascribed to Prophet Mohammad “God willing on the eve of every entry, a person will rise in this “Ummat” who would renew religion”. During his life time he (Mujaddid Alaf-i-Saani) opposed Akbar’s religious policy Din-e-Allahi, and made himself the leader of Muslim orthodoxy.

Mujaddid Alaf-i-Saani and his successors are regarded very highly by Muslims in general and nobility of Kabul in particular. It is said that the place was the burial ground of the Afghan royal family. The annual ‘urs’ of Rauza Sharif has great attraction for Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs.

According to Sajjada Nasheen Syed Mohammad Yahya Mujaddadi pilgrims from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Iran are expected. The ‘’urs’’ would be totally religious no political activity would be allowed.

The district administration has made all the arrangements for the ‘urs’. According to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr B.S. Sudan, all the basic amenities water, food, shelter, medicines would be provided to the pilgrims. A mela officer has been deputed. An enquiry office and dispensary would work round the clock. A bank counter for exchange of currency has been set up.

Mr P.S. Umranangal, SSP, said all the pilgrims particularly the foreign nationals would be provided adequate security.Top

 

Harrowing time for the ‘challaned’ in Patiala
From Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

PATIALA, May 30 — The Patiala police is showing wonderful results as far as observance of the Traffic Week in the city is concerned. Hundreds of challans are being cut everyday with very few motorists are able to dodge cops posted at various vantage points and in some cases even the streets in the old city.

However, the same cannot be said about the manner in which the challan cases are disposed off. People who are being challaned are having a harrowing time in the court complex both in depositing their challans and then waiting for fixing of an appropriate penalty by the Civil Judicial Magistrate.

According to the present system, the challans first have to be deposited at a small room fixed for the purpose in the court complex. There is a very small verandah in front of the room which can accommodate very few people. The rest have to wait in the sun in many cases till noon before their challan is deposited. After this the people have to come again in the afternoon to appear before the Civil Judicial Magistrate who fixed the appropriate fines. Due to heavy rush of people being challaned everyday, sometimes fines for all the challans cannot be disposed off the same day.

Many people waiting to appear before the CJM today complained against the harassment being meted out to them. Gursharan Singh, a contractor, said arrangements should be made whereby people could pay the penalty on the spot to the traffic constables only. He said this would considerably reduce the rush in the court complex. Others also felt that fines could be paid at the spot as the huge rush resulted in everyone being fined standard sums which did not give anyone a chance to appear before the Judge and present his case separately.

Residents feel the emphasis during the Traffic Week should not be on cutting the maximum number of challans but on spreading awareness about traffic rules. They said the people as well as students could be involved in this drive. The residents also feel that there is still a lot of resistance against wearing helmets in the old city where the streets are very crowded and speeds usually very less. They feel it is better to educate people in these areas of the necessity of wearing head gear rather than going on a challaning drive. They said instead the traffic cops had now descended to checking streets in the old city also. ‘’What is the purpose in wearing a helmet in a locality where it is difficult to walk even due to its crowded nature?’’, asked Amrik Singh.

The system in which the pollution checking rule is being enforced is also coming in for ridicule by the residents. They feel that stress is being laid on checking two-wheelers which are low polluting units whereas three-wheelers who are using kerosene and spreading the maximum pollution on The Mall Road are going scot-free. They said the pollution test itself had lost its meaning as certificates were being given for a consideration whether the vehicle abided with the pollution norms or not.Top

 

Two SIs, eight ASIs transferred
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, May 30 — A Sub-Inspector, Mr Parvinder Singh, has been made in charge of the local police control room (PCR). He has been transferred as part of large-scale reshuffling of non-gazetted officers (NGO’s) in Ropar district. At least two Sub-Inspectors (SI) and eight Assistant Sub-Inspectors (ASI) have been transferred.

Sources in the police department said that an ASI, Mr Balwant Singh, posted at the Phase 8 central police station had been posted in Ropar city. Mr Gurmeet Singh, Additional Station House Officer of the Ropar Sadar police station, has been posted as in charge Gharuan. Another SI Gurmeet Singh, incharge of the Ghanauli police post has been posted as Additional SHO, Nangal.

Mr Mehma Singh, ASI, posted at Morinda has been transferred to CIA Ropar, Mr Sadhu Singh, ASI CIA, Ropar, has been transferred to the Morinda police station, Mr Bhag Singh, in charge of the Saharaun police post, has been transferred to Mazol. He has swapped place with ASI Atul Soni. The place vacated by ASI Balwant Singh of the Phase 8 police station has been taken by ASI Sukhram, who has been transferred from Ropar city.Top

 

Unauthorised use of red lights to be curbed
Tribune News Service

PATIALA, May 30 — Patiala Deputy Commissioner Jasbir Singh Bir today said strict action would be taken against anyone using red lights atop their vehicles unauthorisedly.

Addressing a meeting of senior officers of the district administration held at the Red Cross Bhavan here today, Mr Bir said that the high-powered committee constituted by the Punjab and Haryana high court had visited various cities of the state and took strong notice of the flagrant violation of traffic rules.

He urged officers to ensure that the law with regard to use of red lights atop vehicles was implemented in letter and spirit. He said only the District Magistrate, Additional District Magistrate, SDM, Executive Magistrate,officers above the rank of DSP,District Transport Officer, Additional DTO and officers above the rank of Excise and Taxation officers could use the revolving red light atop their official vehicles on night duty.

Mr Bir asked the officers concerned that they should stop the usage of black films in vehicles and also should check pollution levels of all type of four wheelers. Mr Bir asked the officers of the Municipal corporation to ensure that their should be no hoardings on 15 feet of either side of national highways.Top

 

Bitta flays Cong silence on LTTE
Tribune News Service

JALANDHAR, May 30 — Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta, former president of the All-India Youth Congress has expressed surprise over the “silence” of Congress leaders on the LTTE issue.

Mr Bitta, who preferred not to name any leader, said the Congress besides making the government take a firm stance on the issue, should come out openly against terrorist activities in Sri Lanka. “But I think they are afraid of the killers of Rajiv Gandhi. That is why none of them have talked about the LTTE so far,” he said.

Talking about Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Bitta said Mr Farooq Abdullah was an utter failure as he had been unable to contain militancy in the state and should be replaced.

He demanded that the Centre extend all help, including military help, to the Sri Lankan army in fighting the LTTE. “The LTTE is killer of Rajiv Gandhi. We must fight terrorists like Prabhakaran or Lankan terrorism will soon spill over to Indian shores,” he said.

When asked by Sonia Gandhi had not herself made such a demand he said, “I am making it if no one else is doing so.”Top

 

Sena protest against bus, train to Pak
From Our Correspondent

PHILLAUR, May 30 — Hundreds of Hindu Shiv Sena activists held a demonstration against the plying of bus and rail services between India and Pakistan.

Sena activists led by its Phagwara unit President, Mr Inderjit Karwal, had come to appear before the local court in connection with a challan against them in a stone throwing case on Pakistan bound Pakistan Tourism bus on March 4 near Goraya.
Top

 

Tributes paid to Baba Kharak Singh
From Our Correspondent

TARN TARAN, May 30 — Rich tributes were paid by thousands of devotees today to Baba Kharak Singh on his 14th death anniversary at a function organised at Gurdwara Bir Baba Budha Sahib, 20 km from here.

Bibi Jagir Kaur, President, Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, Giani Joginder Singh Vaidanti, Jathedar, Sri Akal Takht Sahib, Mr Gulzar Singh Ranike, Minister of State for Agriculture Punjab, Giani Bhagwan Singh, Head Granthi, Sri Akal Takht, Baba Sewa Singh, head, Dera Khadoor Sahib and others paid their tributes to Baba Kharak Singh.
Top

 

27 remanded in judicial custody
Tribune News Service

SANGRUR, May 30 — Twentyseven persons, who were arrested by the local police following a clash between two factions of the Lal Jhanda Punjab Bhatha Mazdoor Union in the district here yesterday, were today remanded in judicial custody till June 9 by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr J.S. Khushdil, here.

The arrested persons belonged to the factions of Mr Tarsem Jodhan, general secretary of the union, and Chand Singh Chopra reportedly over supremacy in the union.

In yesterday’s clash 25 persons of both factions were injured.Top

 

What are school board authorities up to?
By Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, May 30 — Can the Punjab School Education Board issue the marksheet to a candidate after earlier cancelling the result following detection of grave irregularities in the conduct of examination?

Procedurally not, but such a case has come to light in which a girl candidate, who had appeared in the Senior Secondary School Examination the board in 1997, was issued the detailed marksheet in spite of serious irregularities in the conduct of the examination detected by the board authorities. The board authorities had found that certain board officials in the connivance with outsiders had made at least five candidates sit in the examination centre other than the allotted by the board on the basis of forged documents.

Sources in the board said the candidates, Navpreet Kaur Randhawa (roll no. 251192), Gursharan Kaur (roll no. 251189), Sukhwinder Kaur (roll no. 251193), and another girl candidate Sukhwinder Kaur (roll no. 251194) were given examination centre, Hoshiarpur-7, and another candidate, Daleep Singh (roll no. 255398) was allocated examination centre, Tanda -1. But on the basis of forged documents the candidates were made to appear from examination centre, Garhshankar-1.

The board authorities had found that the examination forms of all the candidates had been filled in the same handwriting and the addresses of four of the candidates was same. The sources said since the candidates were put in three different, sets, the secret list should have been different, but it was found in the same packet. Moreover, in the last packet sent by the centre superintendent the roll no slips of the candidates was missing.

On the basis of the investigations by the board authorities the result of the candidates was cancelled under the relevant clause of the use of unfair means. . Not ruling out existence of similar cases the sources said at least 150 such cases had been found during 1995.

After cancellation of the result one of the affected candidate, Navpreet Kaur, approached the board authorities for issuing of her result card. The father of the candidate in his plea to the board said her daughter had appeared on the basis of roll number given by the proprietor of the academy. After seeking legal opinion the result of the candidate was declared on February 4, 1998. But subsequently instructions were issued to conduct further investigations in to the case. The candidates, the centre superintendent and the principal of Sant Majha Singh, Karamjot College for Women, Meyani (Hoshiarpur), who attested the examination forms of the candidates, was asked to appear before the official concerned. But none of them appeared and no action so far.Top

 

Protest by telecom officials
From Our Correspondent

AMRITSAR, May 30 — Indian Telecom Service (ITS) officers of the local telecom department went on “mass casual leave’ in protest against the posting of a “non-ITS” officer as chairman to the DTS claiming it was purely a technical department.

The officers had held a similar protest earlier on posting of another non-ITS officer as chairman by the Centre. The orders were subsequently withdrawn.
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PSEB gesture to rice shellers
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 30 — The Punjab State Electricity Board has extended the seasonal period for rice shellers from May 31 to July 31, according to Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, Food and Supplies Minister.

This decision was taken to facilitate completion of custom milling of government agencies’ paddy pertaining to kharif 1999-2000 marketing season. This would enable millers to complete the milling of paddy, says a Press note quoting the minister.
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