Friday, August 23, 2002, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Cong policies revengeful: Badal

Baba Bakala (Tarn Taran), August 22
On the occasion of ‘rakhar punia’, an annual fare dedicated to the ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Teg Bahadur, a triangular game of one-upmanship between political parties was witnessed here today.

Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president H. S. Hanspal and senior leaders of the Congress wave to the crowd
Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president H. S. Hanspal and senior leaders of the Congress wave to the crowd at Baba Bakala on Thursday.

Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, addressing a large gathering at this historic town reiterated his commitment to get the assets of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, former Chief Minister, totalling Rs 3500 crore investigated and bring the investigation to its logical conclusion. He gave a call to employees to resolve their grievances at a negotiating table with the government instead of holding rallies.

Meanwhile, Mr Badal’s political rally too was a well-attended affair at about half a kilometre away from the CMs rally. He called upon the public to unite against the Congress government which was following only revengeful policies to undermine political rivals and destroy the democratic set-up in the state by negating them.

Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra and other leaders
Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra and other leaders of his party at a political conference held at Baba Bakala on Thursday. — Photos Rajiv Sharma

Interestingly, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, held his rally barely a few yards away from the venue of Mr Badal’s rally.

The rally of Mr Tohra was poorly attended in contrast with large gatherings at rallies of Mr Badal and the Chief Minister. He blamed the current sad state of affairs in Punjab on both the Congress and the SAD-BJP leadership. He announced that Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, president, Akali Dal (A), would not be included in the Akali Dal to be formed.

The whole affair turned out to be an exercise of political one-upmanship with Capt Amarinder Singh blaming Mr Badal for all the ills suffered by the state. He stated that former Chief Minister and his family would not be spared for acts of omission and commission and large-scale corruption in the state.

He said the state’s economy was facing crises due to the corruption unleashed by the Badal government. He promised to purge the state of all pervasive corruption and restore its financial and economic health.

Mr H.S. Hanspal, President, PPCC, Mr Gurchet Singh Bhuller, Minister for Irrigation, Mr Sardul Singh Bandala, Minister for Excise and Taxation, Mr Amarjit Singh Samra, State Minister for Revenue, were among others who addressed the rally.

Mr Badal said the recent foreign tour of the Chief Minister was nothing but a trip to enjoy while the state’s farmers had been facing the most terrible drought situation. He said special girdawaris to assess losses to farmers had still not been completed to provide due compensation to farmers who were suffering from dual problem of drought and mines laid in border village’s areas. He criticised Mr Tohra for playing in the hands of the Congress to involve Akali leaders in false cases.


Badal meets Kohar in Jail
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, August 22
Former Punjab Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal president Parkash Singh Badal today met former state Jail Minister Ajit Singh Kohar, remanded in judicial custody till August 29 in a case of corruption in Central Jail here today.

Mr Badal, accompanied by former SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur, and president of the district Akali Jatha Partap Singh reached the Central Jail here and met Mr Kohar for 20 minutes.

Mr Kohar reportedly told Mr Badal that he had been harassed by Vigilance Bureau officials during four-day of police remand after his arrest. He claimed that he had been implicated falsely and there was no evidence against him.

He alleged that though he was cooperating in the investigation while in police remand but the official made him stand with hands-up position for five hours daily. He added that despite his complaining of chest pain, the officials did not make available medical aid after the arrest.

Mr Badal assured the former Jail Minister that the Akali Dal would move court in his case. The Congress government was trying to harass Akali leaders in the name of “anti-corruption” drive, Mr Badal added.

Mr Badal criticised the Congress government for booking senior Akali leaders without evidence to defame the Akali Dal.

The four-member Akali Dal team remained in the Central Jail for 20 minutes and later left for Baba Bakala to attend the Rakhar Punia function.


DC ordered to seal Kohar kin’s lockers

Ferozepore, August 22
The Vigilance Bureau, Jalandhar, has asked the Ferozepore Deputy Commissioner and the SSP to seal the bank accounts and lockers of three relatives of former Akali minister Ajit Singh Kohar. Mr Kohar arrested on August 9 in Jalandhar in a case of corruption.

The Vigilance, in its letter of August 12, asked the district police and civil chiefs to seal the accounts and lockers of Mrs Dattar Kaur, Mr Prabhjit Singh and his brother Prabhdev Singh, all residents of Chak Tarewala village. The former minister is alleged to have purchased huge agriculture land in Zira sub-division of this border district and Chak Tarewala is located in the sub-division. UNI


CM has dig at Tota Singh

Baba Bakala (Amritsar),  August 22
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh drew comparison between Akali leader and former Education Minister Tota Singh and a parrot.

Addressing a rally today in this subdivisional town the Chief Minister said that the ‘tota’, (parrot) enjoys eating ‘anar’ (pomegranate) and guava. “But when the ‘tota’ former Education Minister started eating the books of schoolchildren we decided to proceed against him”, he said while referring to charges of corruption that the Akali leader was facing.

Tota Singh, a minister in the SAD-BJP government at present on bail was arrested on charges of corruption following his indictment by the Punjab Lok Pal. UNI


Govt’s move to reduce forest cover
Sushil Goyal and Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Ropar, August 22
In a major development that may further threaten the already scarce forest cover in Punjab, the state government in keen to remove Section 4 of the Punjab Land Conservation Act from about 1 lakh acre. The government has moved a case before the Union Government to get the said section removed from the Act.

At present most of the forest lands in Punjab are private property. The deforestation in these lands is prohibited under Section 4 of the said Act. Under it, owners of the forest lands are not permitted to cut trees without the permission of the Forest Department authorities.

However, if this section is removed it would authorise owners of lands to cut trees. It could considerably damage the forest cover in the state. Most of forest lands covered under this sections in the state fell in semi-hilly areas of Ropar, Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur districts.

At present the state has just 9 per cent forest cover against the 33 per cent norm fixed by the Union Government. Out of the 9 per cent, 3 per cent trees constitute those planted by farmers for commercial purpose.

The Minister of State for Forest, Dr Harbans Lal, while responding to a query admitted that a case had been sent for removing Section 4 from about 1 lakh acre in the state on the basis of girdawari conducted in 1996. As per this girdawari, the land had been converted by farmers into agriculture land. Due to the Act the farmers were facing problem in cutting trees from their own land. So, keeping in view the difficulty of the farmers the state government had sought permission from the Union Government in this regard, the minister said.

Dr Harbans Lal was here today before departing to Tiba Nangal near Nurpurbedi to participate in a vanamahoutsav function organised by his department.

However, the minister said the state government was going to enact a law to prohibit the panchayats from cutting traditional trees like Peepal, Barota and neem from the panchayati land. Besides this Department of Panchayats and Rural Development had also been approached to earmark at least 10 per cent land in villages for tree plantation. The proposal would be approved by the Punjab Cabinet shortly, he said.

To promote plantations on link roads, the state government had decided to give 100 per cent ownership of trees, planted after 2001, to those farmers who have their lands along these roads. Similarly, on state highways 50 per cent ownership of trees would also be given to the farmers. A case had also been sent to the Union Government to give 5 per cent share in trees to those farmers who have lands along the national highways, he added.

Under the second phase of the Japanese project, the state government has drawn up a plan to improve the tree cover in urban areas. For this the Forest Department had fixed Rs 10 crore for planting saplings on 500-km-long roads during the next three years. The progress of this movement would be monitored by the city environment committees to be formed very soon.

Dr Harbans Lal said the government had decided to form divisional level forest advisory committees in all 17 forest divisions of the state in September to increase the people’s participation in the conservation of forests.

The minister said he had received several complaints with regard to misappropriation of funds under the Japanese project undertaken during the stint of the Badal government against several officers and the former minister for forests. These had been forwarded to the Vigilance Department for conducting an inquiry, he added.


Privatisation move: bank staff to launch stir
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 22
The Punjab Bank Employees Association will join a countrywide campaign against the proposed privatisation of the banking industry in the nation to be launched by All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) . As part of the campaign processions were taken out yesterday at all district headquarters in the state including Patiala and a state wise defaulter list (above Rs 1 crore) was handed over to the Deputy Commissioner to be forwarded to the Punjab Governor.

The general secretary of the Punjab Bank Employees Federation Mr N K Gaur who is also joint secretary of the AIBEA said the association would hold a state-level rally at Chandigarh on September 4 where a memorandum along with a list of state defaulters would be handed over to the Governor, a signature campaign covering the nation would be launched from September 10 to September 15 and nearly 50,000 employees were expected to participate in a morcha at Delhi where a petition would be handed over to the President of India.

He said the association had decided to publish a list of state defaulters besides demanding that wilful default of bank loans be declared a criminal offence and stringent penal laws be formulated against default borrowers. The body in its memorandum to be submitted to the Punjab Governor has also demanded that properties of wilful defaulters be attached along with their guarantors .

The association has further demanded that debt-recovery tribunals be ‘given more teeth’ and mandate to dispose of all cases within a specified time-frame besides bringing about radical legal reforms for prompt recovery of bad loans. The employees have also demanded that no bank defaulter be permitted to contest elections and that loans be withheld from a group whose one or other enterprise has become a defaulter.

Mr Gaur emphasised that the association was strongly opposed to the dilution of the government `s stakes from minimum 51 per cent to 33 per cent in public sector banks as this would lead to total privatisation of PSBs. He said the employees would fight it out by going on an indefinite strike if the government tried to pass the Bill which had already been introduced in parliament.

The association is also opposed to the decision of the government to allow upto 49 per cent foreign equity against the existing 20 per cent as there is a danger that `the foreign capital will gobble up our banking system endangering our national economy and also our sovereignty.

Mr Gaur claimed that the decision to establish ‘asset reconstruction Company (ARC)’ by the government was a shrewd attempt to whitewash bank balance sheets through a circuitous way. He said that this would set a dangerous precedence of inducing is non-recovery of loans and setting up of ACRs once every 3-4 years.

Mr Gaur said despite their struggle for the recovery of bad loans from corporates no steps had been taken by the government for recovery of bad loans. He said that debt Recovery Tribunals had failed and as per the RBI there were 284 companies in Punjab and Chandigarh (defaulters above Rs 1 crore) from which only 1542 crore out of the total 2753 crore had been recovered .


CM visits drought-hit areas today
Sarabjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
Facing rough weather on the drought issue, the Punjab Government has finally decided to express at least lip sympathy to affected farmers and farm hands.

Informed official sources said that Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today cancelled all his engagements for tomorrow to visit the drought-hit areas of Mansa, Bathinda and Muktsar districts.

The sources said the Chief Minister would start his visit from Boha in Mansa district and also visit various villages of Bathinda district before ending his visit in Muktsar district. The Sunam-Mansa-Bathinda-Muktsar-Faridkot districts are the worst drought-affected areas of the Malwa belt. While almost all other areas of the state have received a scanty-to-moderate and even heavy rainfall in the past few weeks, Bathinda zone has remained dry.

Farmers are facing a grave situation and they have staked all their resources to save the paddy crop. And it has been proving a very costly and unremunerative experience for them. They have sold a part of their livestock, jewellery, trees, tractors and even dry fodder to manage cash to buy diesel for operating tubewells. They have even postponed the marriages of their daughters and sons. At the same time they are aware that the return from the paddy crop on which they have virtually invested their fortune will not even be half of what they have spent.

The Punjab Government’s role with regard to drought management has so far remained disappointing. It is true that certain areas were visited by Punjab Agriculture Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, but farmers got nothing out of those visits. Capt Amarinder Singh, who was fully aware of the pathetic condition of farmers preferred to go to the UK and the USA for about two weeks rather than visiting drought-hit areas. Even after his return from the USA, the Chief Minister remained busy elsewhere instead of giving top priority to drought management.

Though the government has ordered a “special girdawari” to assess the damage but no help in any form has been extended to the farming community.

“We need financial help now but the government might take two weeks more to start the distribution of relief to the affected farmers. It will be too late”, said Mr Joga Singh, a resident of Daipai village, near Sunam. If the government had extended financial help to farmers in the first week of August, they would not have sold their livestock, dry fodder etc at throw-away prices.

It may be mentioned that the Union Government released the first instalment from the Calamity Relief Fund to the state government about three weeks ago (CRF) but this money has not so far been distributed among the affected people. The state government, which has pegged the loss owing to drought at Rs 5,000 crore, should have utilised some of the CRF aid to install community hand pumps to cater to the drinking water needs of the poor sections of society in villages. In the hinterland of the Malwa belt, nearly 50 per cent hand pumps have become redundant, triggering a drinking water crisis.

The government has ignored even the poor sections of society. No food-for-work programme has been started for them. Majority of the farm hands in rural areas have become jobless because of drought. Passing through a miserable period, their cries for help have gone unheard so far.


Produce record of CJ officers’ shifting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
In less than a month after a letter was written by the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on the transfer of “key officers”, a Division Bench of the court today asked the state of Punjab to be ready with the record pertaining to the shifting of two officers attached with the CJ for assistance in the PPSC scam probe.

Taking up public interest litigation accusing the government of being involved in “Operation-Coverup”, instead of revealing the truth in the PPSC scam, the Bench, comprising Mr Justice G. S. Singhvi and Ms Justice Kiran Anand Lall, added that the record should be kept ready for the court’s perusal. The Judges also fixed September 2 as the next date of hearing in the case.

The letter, published on August 1, had quoted Chief Justice Mr Arun B. Saharya as saying that the transfer of Mr A. P. Bhatnagar and other officers of the Intelligence Wing had “hampered the probe” being conducted by him into the involvement of certain High Court Judges in the PPSC scam.

In his petition, advocate Rupinder Khosla had claimed that the transfer of officers belonging to the intelligence wing in the middle of the investigations “may have been done to thwart the probe”. Giving details, he had asserted: “So far as the strategy of emasculating the Intelligence Wing was concerned, the coup de grace was delivered when its head Additional Director-General of Police (intelligence) A. P. Bhatnagar, along with three colleagues was unceremoniously shunted out”.

He had added: “It was this team that nabbed the PPSC Chairman and later unearthed crores of bribes collected by him. Transferring them in the middle of the case would, no doubt affect the case. But what is more serious is the fact that the High Court Chief Justice had specially asked the particular officer to assist him in the probe against some judges alleged by involved in the scam. Even more serious is the statement made by Mr Bhatnagar and widely reported in the press that an amount of Rs 2 crores out of the money lying in the lockers of Chairman Ravinderpal Singh Sidhu stood unaccounted for and the same was most probably used to influence higher-ups”.

Arguing in person, he had submitted that the scam was not being properly handled by the investigating agency and the police was not being permitted to perform its statutory duty of apprehending criminals and bringing them to justice. “Certain prime witnesses were allowed to flee the country after siphoning of a substantial amount of money from their lockers. Certain other witnesses were made to retract from earlier statements. Besides, challans were not properly put up on time. Some top officers allowed to go scot-free whereas certain others were targeted. All in all, the feeling of the general public, including the petitioner, was that it was being deliberately allowed to go by”, the petitioner submitted.

Show-cause notice to DPI, DEO

Taking a serious view of the failure on part of the Punjab state and other respondents to reimburse expenses incurred by a retired headmaster on the treatment of his wife, Mr Justice Jawahar Lal Gupta and Mr Justice S.S. Grewal of the High Court today asked Punjab’s Director Public Instructions (Schools) and Ferozepur’s District Education Officer to “show cause why they should not be asked to personally pay the costs to the petitioner”.

Delivering the verdict, the Bench observed: “The petitioner is a retired teacher. HIs wife had undergone heart treatment at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. Yet, payment was not made. The petitioner was forced to approach the court only on account of inaction on the part of the respondents. He deserves to be compensated by award of exemplary costs. Let notices be issued....” The case will now be heard on September 13.


Sandhu gets month’s time
Our Correspondent

Kharar, August 22
Mr Roshan Lal Chouhan, Judicial Magistrate, today gave one-month time to Mr Tejinder Pal Singh Sandhu, former chairman of the Punjab Subordinate Services Selection Board, to appear in his court. The Magistrate has fixed September 23, 2002, for his appearance in the court or the court will start proceedings under Section 82 CrPC.

The orders were passed after the counsel of Mr Sandhu recorded his statement in the court that the accused was at present in the USA and he was not feeling well. He appealed that one-month time be given to him for appearing in the court. The Punjab Vigilance Bureau has registered a case under the Anti-Corruption Act against Mr Sandhu and other former members of the PSSSB. Many members has been arrested.


Bhattal seeks action against ‘party enemies’

Sangrur, August 22
Reacting to the controversy sparked off in organising the martyrdom day of Sant Harchand Singh Longowal at a meeting of the Congress in a section of the media, the Agriculture Minister and former Chief Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, demanded a high-level probe into the leakage of internal issues discussed by the party forum.

Talking to newsmen in her home constituency at Lehra in this district today, Ms Bhattal describing the aspect of leakage, as an internal matter and unfortunate demanded that the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh should act against the elements conspiring to promote bickerings in the party.

Vehemently refuting the criticism of her remarks by her colleagues, she said not even a single person spoke any word in this regard.

She admitted the difference of opinion and explained it was a healthy sign of a democratic party. She added that she had no enmity with anyone in the party.

Infuriated over the remarks that she had cordial relations with SAD President Parkash Singh Badal, she said that her sister during her stint in a government job was victimised during his regime. PTI


Bhattal will bring CM’s downfall: Mann
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, August 22
The Punjab Agriculture Minister Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal is likely to upset the applecart of the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, within the next six months with the support of SAD (B) President and former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

This prediction was made today by Akali Dal (Amritsar) President and MP Simranjit Singh Mann. Basing his prediction in the wake of developments at conferences held at the Longowal and Sherpur villages to commemorate the 17th death anniversary of Sant Harchand Singh Longowal on August 20, Mr Mann maintained that Mrs Bhattal had stayed away from her party’s conference organised by Capt Amarinder Singh as she was pulled by the pressure from Badal’s side.

Asserting that a new political scenario had emerged in state. Mr Mann said the presence of Laloo Yadav at the conference of SHSAD indicated that party President Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra had come closer to the Congress as Mr Yadav’s RJD had an alliance with the Congress in Bihar.


SAD-BJP man wins civic body poll

Moga, August 22
The SAD-BJP alliance candidate, Mr Chaman Lal, has been re-elected vice-president of the Moga Nagar Council for the second time.

While Mr Chaman Lal secured 18 votes, Congress candidate Parveen Kumar got 13 votes. An SAD MLA, Mr Tota Singh, being an ex officio member of the Nagar Council, also exercised his vote in favour of the alliance candidate.

Mr Surinder Singh, District Transport Officer, was the observer while Mr Inder Dev Singh was the Magistrate on duty. UNI


SAD conference near Jaitu on Sept 18
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, August 22
The SAD will hold a political conference under its ‘lok lehar’ programme at Guru Ki Dhab, near Jaitu, in this district on September 18 to oust the Congress government in Punjab from power. More than 20,000 people, including representatives of various political parties and senior leaders, will participate in the conference.

This was stated by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, former Chief Minister and president, SAD, while talking to this reporter here yesterday. Mr Badal said senior party leaders had collected many proofs that would expose excesses committed by the state government on Akali and BJP leaders. These would be placed before the central NDA team scheduled to visit the state shortly.


NGO workers tie rakhis on jawans’ wrists
Tribune News Agency and UNI

Wagah (Amritsar), August 22
An NGO, ‘Rashtriya Raksha Sutra Bandhan Samiti’, based in Madhya Pradesh, today tied rakhis on the wrists of jawans at the Wagah border.

Students of various schools and colleges tied rakhis on the wrists of hundreds of jawans of the BSF, the CRPF, the ITBP and the Punjab police deployed at the Indo-Pak border. While talking to TNS, Ms Jay Shree, president of the NGO, said the samiti had been tying rakhis on the wrists of jawans deployed at the border in Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Gangtok for the past four years.

Ms Chhaya Shukla, cultural president of the organisation, said the samiti had brought a 100-metre-long banner signed by people for jawans. Some people had expressed resentment in their messages over the present political scenario in the country, she added.

A cultural programme was also organised which included gidha by girls from the BBK DAV College for girls and bhangra by boys of a local school.


‘Waterless’ Raksha Bandhan

Phagwara, August 22
Residents of Phagwara had no water and power this morning. The 7 am to 8 am power cut affected the water supply.

Since Rakhar Purnima also falls today, those who fast on this day have to take a ceremonial bath in the morning. However, their schedule was disrupted by the poor water supply and power cuts.


Gone are the days of ‘lassi, missi roti’
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 22
Picture the villages of Punjab and you conjure up images of ‘lassi’, ‘missi roti’ and 'gur' besides other mouth watering delicacies, all the advantage of good old rural life. Punjab today is nothing like that. The green revolution has snatched away all these things and the standard diet of Punjabis today is ‘kaddu’, “aaluian di dal’ (potato gravy) along with onions and pickles.

What have you eaten today morning evoked a similar reply in villages of the Malwa belt of the state with small and marginal farmers saying they had partook of ‘Roti with Mirchan di chatni’, ‘Gande di chatni’, ‘Gande di sabji’ and ‘Amb da achar’. A worker when asked how many times he had eaten ‘besani - missi’ roti said he had had it last year at a marriage party.

Bhup Chand Channo of the Khet Mazdoor Union said even the cheapest pulses were priced around Rs 24 to Rs 28 per kg. He said even these were beyond the reach of marginal and small farmers as well as dalit population of the village. A typical response was of Jangiro of Ladda Kothi village who when interviewed as to how many times she cooked ‘daal’ responded by saying once or twice a week. She however clarified that anything with gravy was ‘daal’ and in her view potato gravy was also ‘aauluian di daal’.

Similar is the position with regard to the age old Punjabi favourite- ‘lassi’. “Ruh bhatke lassi nu, sara dud dholan vich jave” sums up the state of affairs as related by Bikkar Singh of Dakala. Explaining the trend, Harjinder Singh of the State Dhodhi Dairy Union said despite the increase in total milk production in the state, milk had shifted from the villages to the elite section of society in the cities. He said milk was being processed to dry powder, liquid condensed milk, granules, candies, chocolates and ice cream. He said as a result of this very few houses were making ‘lassi’, that too in small amounts.

Speaking about the average farmers, BKU (Ekta) leader Gurmeet Singh Dittupur said farmers with less than 10 acres of land and having five family members were consuming only about two kilograms of pulses every month. He said farmers with more than 10 acres were consuming around 5 kg per month. Blaming the green revolution which he said had changed the landscape of the State and made it unfit for growing traditional crops, he said if any farmer tried to grow pulses in a small area his yield was less and if it tried it in a bigger area he was unable to sell the pulses in the market.

Farmers are most remembering the foods of the old times specially this season when they are being forced to spend ‘cash’ through their nose literally to grow their ‘cash’ paddy crop. Charanjit, a farmer of Nabha, said small farmers used to take ‘roti’ with curd in the morning and later cook vegetables like ‘kaddu’, ‘bhindi’, ‘tori’ and ‘karele’ in the summers but this year he said there was a shortage of vegetables. Those having pulses make it into a very thin gruel, he added.

Social Sciences and Health Forum representative Dr Prem Khosla said the wheat — paddy cycle had destroyed the landscape of the state and made it unsuitable for harvesting of traditional crops which needed very little water, increased the fertility of soil, provided employment and fodder to animals.


Police-public meeting: only cops spoke
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, August 22
A piquant situation arose during a police-public meet held here today, when a number of participants complained that efforts were made by certain police officials to prevent them from raising their grievances during the meet.

Though the DIG (Jalandhar Range), Mr Rohit Chaudhary, and the SSP, Mr Paramjit Singh Gill listened to the suggestions and complaints of the local residents during an open session, but some of the lower-rung police officials were seen forcing some aggrieved participants not to present their complaints before the senior police officials, particularly those which went against them.

Talking to reporters outside the venue, Ram Pyar Singh, a resident of New Raj Nagar, alleged that a police team from the Basti Bawa Khel police post tried to arrest him from his residence early this morning without any valid reason. “When my sisters tried to intervene, the police officials misbehaved with them and pushed them in a corner. It was my neighbours, who gathered on the spot and forced the police party to fled the scene,” he added.

He further alleged that he was forced to leave the dais when he tried to explain the incident to the DIG. “What is the purpose of organising such police-public meets, if the common man is not going to be allowed to present his complaints”, he said.

In another case, Harvinder Singh, a resident of Gopal Nagar, alleged that one of the accused, who was booked under Sections 364, 323, 34 of the IPC for allegedly attacking and trying to abduct him in the recent past, was present in the meet, even as the police authorities concerned had failed to take any action against the accused so far.

He alleged that when he was about to enter the venue of the meet, the police officials stopped him at the gate and threatened him of dire consequences, if he tried to complain against them before the senior police officials. “The police had failed to arrest the accused, even as the latter is sitting inside the hall, posing himself as a respectable citizen,” Harvinder added.


Od community alleges discrimination
Jaswinder Paul Singh

Burj (Bathinda), August 22
Uneasy calm prevails in this village even four weeks after when some members of the Od community were asked to leave the village by member of other communities. The Ods alleged that a “curfew-like” situation prevailed for them in the village, while members of other communities said only those having “criminal” character were asked to leave.

A visit to the village today showed that everything seemed normal although tension and fear was writ large on faces of members of the Od community as they alleged that they were threatened with dire consequences if they did not leave the village in few days.

Some of the families belonging to the Od community who wanted to settle down in the village after they reportedly left their homes in Anoopgarh in Rajasthan, were not allowed to do so by villagers. The families of Pappu Ram and Gokha who came in the village in April this year had left the village for some other place. Both of these families had come to the village because their homes were reportedly got vacated by the Army as these were near the border.

Hari Ram, a member of the Od community, said they were threatened by members of other community to leave. He said first they were asked not to allow the families who migrated from border to settle in the village. He alleged that, however, when such families left village other families who were residing there for the past more than 20 years were also asked to leave. He alleged that they were given that treatment because they belonged to a ‘lower’ caste.

However, members belonging to other castes including those of weaker sections and Scheduled Castes, said there was no discrimination on the basis of caste in the village. They said some of the members of the Od community were creating “disturbance” in the village so they were asked to leave the village.

Mr Sampooran Singh, President of an 11-member committee formed for dealing with the problem of the Od community said when some relatives of Ods started migrating to the village they were asked to settle somewhere else. He denied the allegations that only a particular community was targeted. He said at least five members of the 11-member committee belonged to weaker sections.

Mr Sampooran Singh said they did not ask all members of the community to leave the village. He said the families which shifted to the village few months ago were “requested” not to settle here.

He alleged that some of members of the community damaged their crops in the name of collecting fodder for cattle. He added that one of them, Hari Ram, who had a criminal background and against whom some criminal cases were registered disturbed the peace in village.

Mr Sampooran Singh said they would meet senior officials of the civil and police administration and would apprise them of the situation.

While the members of the Od community alleged that their wards were not allowed to study in the school and the cattle heads were not allowed to use the village pond, Mr Sampooran Singh said the allegations were baseless. He said senior officials of the sub-division had visited the village few days ago and checked the attendance register of the local school and they found that there was no such thing.


Bhaniarawala leaves village on birthday eve
Tribune News Service

Ropar, August 22
In view of reported tension between his followers and members of Sikh bodies of the Anandpur Sahib area, Baba Piara Singh Bhaniarawala today left his native Dhamana village for some unknown destination, a day before his birthday.

In the past, his followers converged in thousands at his dera to celebrate his birthday with pomp. But this year, after some incidents of sacrilege, the police had made elaborate security arrangements today in and around the village to prevent his followers from reaching the village. It also reportedly persuaded him to leave the village to avoid confrontation.

Sources said hundreds of his followers who reached the village today, had been sent back by the police.

An untoward incident was averted yesterday as neither the family members of the Baba nor his supporters resisted the move of the SGPC and Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib to prevent him from starting akhand path of Guru Granth Sahib.

Mrs Seema Jain, Deputy Commissioner, said: “I have no information about his whereabouts. Besides, we have not given any permission to him regarding the celebrations of his birthday as this is a personal affair”.

However, talking to The Tribune over the phone late evening, Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SSP, confirmed that he had left the village. He said the police had made elaborate security arrangements in the area as a precautionary measure.


Operating theatre sealed
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 22
The Government Rajindra Hospital authorities have been forced to seal an operating theatre after swabs taken from the floor of the theatre tested positive for tetanus pores.

According to sources, some persons who were operated on in the theatre and are at present admitted in the Orthopaedic Ward of the hospital, were given anti-tetanus shots yesterday. Operations are now being conducted in the reserve operating theatre of the hospital.

The Medical Superintendent, Dr A.S. Sekhon, said routine sterilisation of operating theatres was conducted whenever any negative report was received following collection of swabs. He said tetanus pores had been reported in the theatre and that it would be fumigated and sterilised according to due procedure. Dr Sekhon said operation work was not affected at all as a theatre was always kept sealed in reserve to meet any such eventuality.


Thermal plant unit shut down
Tribune News Service

Ropar, August 22
Unit I of the Ropar Thermal Plant (RTP) was shut down last night due to a boiler leakage, leading to a decrease in power generation by 50 lakh units per day.

Sources said how many days the unit would take for repairs would be known by tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, only two lakh metric tonnes of coal was in the coal stocks of the plant today. This stock is sufficient to run the plant smoothly for only 10 days.

Sources also disclosed the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) yesterday released Rs 31 crore to Coal India Limited, out of about Rs 100 crore due towards the PSEB on account of coal supply to the thermal plants. This payment of Rs 31 crore would certainly help in ensuring a normal supply of coal to the thermal plants of the state during the next week.


PSEB plea to Power Secy
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 22
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) Engineers Association today appealed to the Secretary, Power, Government of India, Mr R.V. Shahi, to impress upon the Punjab Government to bail out the PSEB from its debt trap and prevent imminent financial collapse of the board.


Workshop on AIDS
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
In order to strengthen the capacity of the NGOs working for commercial sex workers and migrant workers, a four-day workshop is being organised by the Punjab State Aids Control Society (PSACS).

Inaugurating the workshop, here today, Secretary, Health, and Project Director, PSACS, Mr Didar Singh, said that the holding of capacity building workshops was a must for the NGOs working on HIV/AIDS, especially amongst the marginalised communities. He added that visits of the members of these NGOs would be organised to states having high incidence of AIDS, to give them exposure.

Speaking on the occasion, the Additional Project Director, PSACS, Dr S.P. Singla, said that it was probably for the first time in India, that peer facilitators were conducting the sessions at the workshop. He disclosed that during the workshop, project coordinators and outreach workers of six NGOs would be trained regarding behaviour change communication, enabling environment, STD treatment, condoms promotion, peer approach and field Communication.

Mr P.S. Kalra, NGO Consultant and Ms Sangeeta Gupta, NGO Advisor and Advitya Khurana, Joint Director (IEC) conducted the sessions.


126 HIV positive cases in Moga

Moga, August 22
With the detection of three new HIV positive cases in this district the number of such cases has increased to 126 since 1995.

This was stated by Civil Surgeon Surinder Kaur in a meeting of the District Development Committee presided over by Deputy Commissioner G. Ramesh Kumar here yesterday.

She said the health authorities have been regularly organising several AIDS awareness camps even in the remotest of villages. PTI


Springdale founder Principal dead
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 22
The founder Principal of Springdale Educational Society, Mrs Devinder Pal Kaur Sandhu (69), who died in Delhi after a brief illness was cremated here yesterday.

Representatives of political parties, the IG, DIG and SSP among others, laid wreaths on the body. The DC laid a wreath on behalf of the Chief Minister.

She is survived by her husband, son and daughter.


Heroin worth Rs 43 cr destroyed
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 22
Mr Romesh Bhattacharji, Commissioner of Customs, said here today that narcotics, worth Rs 43 crore, in the international market were destroyed by the Customs Commissionerate here in Amritsar today.

About 42,115 kg of heroin and 0.325 kg of hashish were also burnt under the supervision of the commissioner.

ms officials show the huge quantity of seized narcotics before it was destroyed in Amritsar on Thursday. — PTI photo

Customs officials show the huge quantity of seized narcotics


Re-boring of tubewells banned
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 22
Even as more than, 5,000 tubewells have become non-functional and the discharge of water from others has been reduced by over 25 per cent, farmers of Bathinda, Mansa and Muktsar districts have started to re-bore and deepen their wells to save their crops.

More than 20 labourers have been buried alive after the earth caved in during boring operations in the past over a year.

The situation has become so serious that the authorities concerned have banned the boring of wells without permission till October 19. Criminal proceedings have being launched against those who have violated the order.

A case had been registered against Man Singh following the death of a labourer while re-boring a well. These measures have been taken to prevent mishaps, Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma said.

Sources said the level of groundwater, which had gone down by 3 to 4 feet in these districts had rendered a large number of tubewells non-functional.

The sources said the situation was worse in Mansa district. The affect of drought in Muktsar district was less as about four years ago these was waterlogging in the area.

“Out of a total of 42,251 tubewells in Mansa district, about 38,525 tubewells have started pumping out 25 per cent less water. The reduction in the discharge of water in the remaining tubewells ranges from 26 per cent to 100 per cent due to drought,” Mr S.C. Khurana, Chief Agriculture Officer, said.

The farmers are paying large amounts of money to tubewell borers and technicians. Some farmers have installed additional tubewells.

Mr H.S. Bhatti, Chief Agriculture Officer, Bathinda, said there was an alarming fall in the level of groundwater in the district. The farmers had been left with no option but to re-bore or deepen the tubewells.

In some pockets, the farmers have installed submersible pumps as the tubewells have stopped functioning.


Release second instalment of relief: farmers
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, August 22
The Kirti Kisan Union has asked the Panjab Government to release the second instalment of compensation for the wheat crop on land acquired by the Army for laying mines in the border belt.

Mr Parshotam Singh Cheema, district president, of the KKU and other leaders of the union, Mr Karnail Singh, Mr Gurdev Singh, Master Parshotam Singh in a memorandum to the SDM here said farmers in the Khemkaran area had been given the second instalment of the compensation whereas the farmers of the Chabal sub-tehsil and Cheema Khurad, Cheema Kalan, Rasulpur, Havelian, Naushehra Dhala, Chhina Bidhi Chand villages and some others’ farmers had not been given the compensation till date. The farmers were facing acute financial hardships.


Farmers under Rs 7000 cr debt

Moga, August 22
Economic condition of Punjab farmers is getting worse and they are under debt of Rs 7000 crore, state’s Agriculture Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal have said.

Addressing a meeting of progressive farmers here yesterday, she called upon Punjab Agricultural University experts and scientists to evolve better hybrid varieties, profitable cropping patterns which can give better returns to farmers than wheat and rice.

Ms Bhattal advocated adoption of subsidiary occupations like dairy, poultry, fisheries and assured that the Punjab Government would Make every effort to strengthen marketing infrastructure.

She said that at present Punjab had surplus stock of 35 millions tonnes of wheat and rice lying in open spaces as against the optimal storage capacity of only 20 million tonnes available in the State.

The surplus foodgrains production had put agriculture in Punjab at the crossroads especially in view of the falling domestic demands and reduced prices globally, she added. PTI


Marriage palaces come under scanner
Rashmi Talwar

Amritsar, August 22
The Local Government Principal Secretary has ordered the scrutiny of marriage palaces throughout the state to check the violation of bylaws and special guidelines following devastating fires at Dhabwali and Uphaar Cinema in Delhi.

The Tribune had on August 19 highlighted the risks posed by the marriage palaces and the low income being recovered from them despite the fact that most of them were flouting rules and bylaws. The corporations, municipal councils and nagar panchayats are doing little to impose penalty on them.

Mr Sarvesh Kaushal, Principal Secretary, Local Government, has asked the Commissioners of Amritsar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Jalandhar and regional Deputy Director, Local Government, throughout the state to undertake inspection of the marriage palaces constructed after April 1, 1997.

Political parties view these orders as mala fide to unleash a witch-hunt as the marriage palaces which had come up during the tenure of the SAD-BJP government were being targeted. Those built during the tenure of the Congress government would not be inspected.

A meeting in this regard would be held in Chandigarh by officials concerned, Mr Hemant Batra, Municipal Town Planner, said. Commissioners and heads of the Local Bodies had been invited for the meeting.

The orders dated August 21 that were received by fax today read: a report regarding marriage palaces was requested. The report must reach the office of the Local Government positively by August 22 as a meeting would be held in this regard at Chandigarh.”

The Building Department had been ordered to send the inspection report regarding the number of marriage palaces, their areas, plan approved or unapproved, construction plan, parking space, fire-fighting equipment and other provisions.

The Principal Secretary had also reportedly asked for the list of licensed and unlicensed palaces. The Assistant Commissioner, Mr D.P. Gupta, refused to comment on the orders.


Patwaris’ march against DC’s order today

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 22
The Revenue Patwar Union, Punjab, is up in arms against the decision of Deputy Commissioner Vikas Pratap, for suspending five patwaris yesterday.

The district unit of the union at a meeting today presided over by Surinder Pal Singh resolved terming the suspension of patwaris as “wrongful and illegal”.

All patwaris of Fatehgarh Sahib tehsil decided to stop work from today in protest and organise a protest march tomorrow.

The union threatened that if the suspended patwaris were not re-instated, it would draw up next course of action on August 24 at a district level delegate session.

The union has sent copies of the resolution to Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, Commissioner Patiala Division, all SDMs and Tehsildars of district.

The Deputy Commissioner suspended the patwaris due to dereliction of duty in the special Girdawari (revenue survey) duty of drought-hit area of the district. UNI


Mother gets life term for killing daughter

Sangrur, August 22
A local court has sentenced Shanti Devi of Sunam to rigorous imprisonment for life and a fine of Rs 10,000 on the charge of murdering her own daughter.

Additional Sessions Judge Virinder Kumar gave the judgement yesterday.

According to the prosecution case, Devi (73) took her mentally challenged and blind daughter to a canal, near Nilowal village, near here, in a rickshaw on July 9, 2002. When questioned by a farmer and the rickshaw-puller about her motive, she said they had come to immerse ‘jotts’ in the canal. Getting a chance, she pushed her daughter into the canal and later told people that she fell into the canal accidentally.

During investigations, the police found that the mother wanted to get rid of her daughter considering her a nuisance in the family. PTI


Travel agent, wife held for murder
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, August 22
The police claims to have solved the murder case of Dalbir Singh of Ramgarh village and arrested a travel agent, his wife and his partner. The police in a press note said that Dalbir Singh gave Rs 3 lakh and his passport to one Parmod Kumar alias Pammi two years ago for sending him abroad. Parmod returned his passport and became friendly with Dalbir.

He also made Dalbir partner in his lottery business. Parmod, his wife Rajwinder Kaur alias Rani and another lottery partner Sansar Singh invited Dalbir to their house and murdered him on way when Parmod was going to drop him at his village, Parmod and Sansar Singh earlier they were travel agents at Jaipur, Delhi and Mumbai added the press note.


Couple, 3 others booked on rape charge
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 22
The Kotwali police has registered a case against a local couple and three others following a complaint by an Ambala-based girl that she was forcibly kept in a house here and raped by several persons.

The girl, who is a resident of Ambala, had filed a statement under Section 164, CrPC, in a local court here a few days back, which had asked the police to register a case in this regard.

According to the case, Sanjay Bhardwaj and Kavita Bhardwaj, the couple, have been accused of getting the 19-year-old girl here from Ambala on the pretext of getting her a job in the city.

The complaint said the girl was kept initially at Chiranjeev ashram following which she was brought to the couple’s home in Bagichi Mangal Das in the city. Sanjay Bhardwaj and three of his friends, who have been named as ‘Virk’, ‘Happy’ and ‘Pappa’, allegedly raped her during this period. The complainant said she had been set free by her relatives after she telephoned them after successfully pleading with the couple to let her visit the Kali Devi temple.


Gang of highway robbers busted
Tribune News Service

Tarn Taran, August 22
The CIA staff busted an inter-state gang of highway robbers, murderers and vehicle thieves with the arrest of two persons.

Mr Narinder Bhargav, district police chief, said the gang used to overpower drivers of loaded vehicles on the highways. They would take the vehicles to secluded places and kill them. They would sell goods loaded on vehicles get fake registrations of the vehicles and sell or use these for committing robberies.

A case has been registered under Sections 379, 465, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC.

The police, during a naka at Kaairon-Roharka canal bridge recovered 12 vehicles, including a truck, Esteem, Tata Sumo, jeep, eight Maruti cars, from the gang members. These were stolen from Delhi, Haryana and Punjab.


5 held for kerosene smuggling
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 22
The Gurdaspur police has booked five Amritsar-based persons under the Essential Commodities Act and Section 420 of the IPC and recovered 12000 litres of kerosene they had smuggled from Himachal. The smuggled commodity was to be sold under the PDS.

Mr Varinder Kumar, SSP, Gurdaspur, said that the accused would mix certain chemicals with the kerosene to change colour to sell it to petrol pump owners for adulteration. The SSP said that the police had set up a naka at Pathankot on a tip-off that one Kamaljit Singh alias Lali, Om Parkash Shastri and Prem Nath — all residents of Amritsar had purchased an oil tanker from Daljit Singh of Talwara road (Mukerian) some time back. The accused had other tankers too. These tankers were not transferred in their names. Instead they employed Lakhwinder Singh of Atwal (Majitha) village as driver of this tanker, while Kamaljit Lali and Prem Nath owned petrol pumps. All these persons purchased smuggled kerosene from depot holders of Himachal.

The police arrested Kamaljit Singh Lali, Ved Parkash and Om Parkash who were traveling in Santro car and were coming from the Damtal side (Himachal Pradesh) after purchasing kerosene from the depot holders of Himachal and a tanker carrying 12000 litres of kerosene by driven Lakhwinder Singh was tailgating their car.


School downgraded: pupils’ career in peril
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Jhangirana (Bathinda), August 22
The academic career of at least 61 students of plus one and plus two classes of the local government senior secondary school has been put in jeopardy after the district education authorities downgraded its level from senior secondary to high school abruptly in the middle of the session without giving any reason.

Some of the girl students, who were studying in plus one and plus two classes, had restarted their studies after about two to three years when the high school was upgraded to a senior secondary school. They had been sitting idle after completing their matriculation as their parents did not allow them to go to the senior secondary schools situated in other villages.

The high school was upgraded to a senior secondary school on August 31, 2001, and the Governor, Punjab, had accorded sanction to it. Soon after its upgradation, admissions of students for the plus one classes were made. Two lecturers were also appointed in the school on October 23, 2001.

The Administrative Officer, District Education Office, Bathinda, issued a letter on August 8, 2002 stating that Government Senior Secondary School, Jhangirana, had been downgraded to a high school.

When Ms Surinder Kataria, District Education Officer (Secondary) was contacted, she pointed out that she had got to know about this matter only yesterday even though the Administrative Officer had issued a letter on August 8, 2002.

She said she had called for the file of the school to know the reasons for the said change especially after lecturers were appointed and classes had started. The district education authorities would take necessary steps to save the academic loss of students, she added and said that she would take up the matter with the higher authorities.

The order has also brought about another discrepancy. Mr Harjit Singh, lecturer, who was officiating principal of the school ceases to function from the same post as the level of the school has been changed. He had not been getting his salary even as the other faculty members were getting salaries only after he put his signature on the salary bill since he had the drawing and dispersing powers.

The district education authorities had also been facing another problem on account of the transfer of an English lecturer to this school from some other station. The lecturer had started demanding that his transfer orders to this school should be cancelled as it ceases to be a senior secondary school, official sources said.

Meanwhile, parents of students of plus one and plus two classes, who hail from Ghuda, Rai ke Khurd, Bazak, Bambiha and his village are upset over this action of the authorities concerned.


Varsity withdraws letter to UGC
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 22
In a controversial decision the Punjabi University authorities on Tuesday withdrew a letter written to the University Grants Commission earlier asking it whether a book written by a university teacher who was made a Professor by former Vice-Chancellor Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, should be treated equivalent to a PhD work.

The promotion of Mr Antal, who has only acquired an MA degree in mathematics, to the post of a Professor by Dr Ahluwalia had raised a storm earlier on the ground that the decision had violated the norms set by the UGC. After Dr N.S. Rattan took over as Acting Vice-Chancellor, the university wrote a letter to the UGC asking whether it should treat a book written by Mr Antal in 1972 as equivalent to a PhD degree or not.

Earlier, Mr Antal’s work, which was written for pre-university students, was rejected by three examiners after which the former Vice-Chancellor formed another committee which passed the work as equivalent to a PhD degree which facilitated his promotion to the post of a Professor. The promotion had led to a protest by a section of the teachers who had also written to the police complaining that Mr Antal had been favoured by the former Vice-Chancellor.

The teachers had highlighted the fact that the work on which Mr Antal had sought promotion to the post of Professor had been written long time back and was a basic one. It had also brought to the notice of the authorities that a condition had been put on Mr Antal that he would do his M Phil degree within five years in 1986 and that he had not complied with it. The condition was, however, later withdrawn by the university.

The Registrar, Dr K.S. Sidhu, confirmed that Dr Rattan had withdrawn the clarification sent to the UGC regarding Mr Antal. He said it was felt that there was an example present in the university of a work being treated as equivalent to a PhD degree in the case of Prof Kulwant Singh Grewal. He said Mr Grewal was promoted to the post of Professor on the basis of a book written by him.

Mr Antal, however, was not available for comment.


Ramgarhia College teachers stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, August 22
Teachers of the local Ramgarhia College today staged a dharna outside the office of the Principal in protest against the suspension of Prof P.K. Bansal, non-payment of six months salary and improper maintenance of the CPF.

Prof V.K. Tewari, general secretary, Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union , Prof Jasbir Singh Dhaliwal, district president of the union, Prof Avtar Singh, secretary of the college unit of union, addressed the rally.

Prof Tewari alleged that a compromise was reached at for resolving the issue, but the college management refused to sign it. He asked the college unit to file a petition with the Provident Fund Commissioner, Amritsar, against the improper maintenance of the CPF account.

The local unit threatened to gherao the office of the secretary of the Ramgarhia Educational Council and local authorities if the demands were not conceded forthwith.

Meanwhile, Dr Tewari said college teachers of Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Amritsar and Gurdaspur districts would hold a university-level zonal rally at the new district administration complex, Jalandhar, in protest against the distortion of pension-cum-gratuity scheme and downsizing of 95 per cent grant-in-aid of state college teachers.


Change domicile rules: medicos
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, August 22
The MBBS Doctors and Parents Forum, Bathinda, has demanded that the criteria for the award of residence certificates to students seeking admissions to various Postgraduate courses (PG) in medical colleges of Punjab should be brought on a par with the neighbouring states to benefit the local students.

Dr Virender Sarwal, spokesperson of the forum, in a press note here today said the students of Punjab were not eligible to apply for the MBBS and other PG medical courses in Haryana and some other states due to the strict rules governing the award of residence certificates in those states, whereas, due to flexible rules, the students of other states were able to get admission in the postgraduate medical courses of Punjab.

Dr Sarwal said all those students who had studied for a period of five years or two years in Punjab just preceding the qualifying examination were deemed as residents of the state. He added that even wards of parents who had settled down in Punjab or had resided in Punjab for a period of at least five years at any time prior to the date of submission of application either in pursuit of a profession or holding a job, were classified as the residents of Punjab.

He said even those students whose parents have had held immovable property here for a period of five years were deemed to be the residents of the state. He alleged that due to these “lax” rules governing the Punjab residence status it was easy for students of other states to get admission and as a result the “genuine” residents of the state had to suffer.

Dr Sarwal said that in Haryana none of these conditions made the student eligible to get the residence certificates of the state. The students were required to submit an affidavit stating that they had not obtained the residence certificates of any other state, with the application form submitted for admission to any course. He said the Haryana Government did not award the residence certificates to the students on the pattern of Punjab and therefore the students of other states like Punjab were generally ‘denied’ admission to the PG medical courses in the colleges there.

He urged the authorities concerned to make the necessary amendments in the rules so that no student was able to get admission in medical colleges of Punjab because of the residence benefits of two states.


Teachers to hold rally
Our Correspondent

Amritsar August 22
Dr V. K. Sharma, Secretary PCCTU (GNDU area), has said teacher in private colleges affiliated to Guru Nanak Dev University will ‘cease work’ after the first period on August 23 and hold a massive rally at the new Districts Court complex, Jalandhar, in protest against the anti-teacher and anti-education policies of the Punjab Government.

In a press note Dr Sharma said many of the teachers had not been paid salaries for months. The truncated pension and a cut in grants imposed by the government were unconstitutional and illegal. He demanded the immediate withdrawal of vigilance cases against college lecturers and immediate release of pending grant of Rs 18 crore to private colleges.


Off restriction on industry goes
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 22
Keeping in view the improvement in the power supply position due to the availability of power from the Central pool, the PSEB has decided to withdraw the compulsory weekly off restriction imposed on the industry from August 23.

Giving this information, PSEB spokesman said unit 1 at the Ropar Thermal Plant had been non-functional since August 21 and was likely to start functioning by tomorrow.

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