P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Bhattal gone, panchayat officer faces dismissal
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 15
Withdrawal of the Rural Development portfolio from Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister, has paved the way for dismissal of Mr Bhagwant Singh Grewal, District Development and Panchayat Officer, who was allegedly convicted by a court.

Though the Additional Director-General of Police (Vigilance Bureau), Mr A.P. Pandey, the Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar, and Mr G.S. Sandhu, Secretary, Rural Development, had sent reminders to Ms Bhattal, then Minister for Rural Development, for immediate dismissal of Mr Grewal, she had reportedly failed to take any decision for a long time. However, when contacted, Mr Grewal claimed that he had got a stay order from the Punjab and Haryana High Court against his dismissal.

Though the Rural Development Department had earlier dismissed two BDPOs and one superintendent from service on almost similar grounds, yet Mr Grewal had survived due to his political connections. It is reliably learnt that the Secretary of the department, Mr Sandhu has prepared a fresh case recommending immediate dismissal of Mr Grewal. Earlier, Mr Amarjit Singh, a superintendent, Mr Malkiat Singh, BDPO, Jandiala Guru (he had got the job on the basis of fake degrees) and Mr Hardyal Singh, another BDPO, were dismissed from service.

Sources in the state government revealed that a court convicted Mr Grewal on January 22 in connection with possessing income disproportionate to his known sources of income. The case was registered against him when he was BDPO, Noormahal.

An official note prepared by the state government said that dilly-dallying on the issue of dismissal would invite a lot of litigations as Mr Grewal had been deciding the cases in his capacity as quasi judicial officer. Hence the affected parties could move the court as the orders being taken by Mr Grewal would be questionable in the eyes of law.

The sources pointed out that the file pertaining to the dismissal of Mr Grewal is being put up to Mr Lal Singh, new Minister for Rural Development, tomorrow. The department has given a note on the file that any delay in the dismissal of Mr Grewal would be considered discriminatory against the officials who were earlier dismissed from service on similar lines.


CM allocates portfolios to Parliamentary Secretaries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today allocated portfolios to the Chief Parliamentary Secretaries and the Parliamentary Secretaries. They have been attached to various Ministers.

Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi and Dr Harbans Lal, all Chief Parliamentary Secretaries, have been attached with the Chief Minister. Mr Sodhi has been given the Department of Sports and Youth Services Welfare, Mr Birmi has been allocated Jails and Dr Lal has been given the Department of the Removal of Grievances and Welfare of Pensioners and Programme Implementation.

Mrs Harbans Kaur Dullo, Parliamentary Secretary, has been attached to Mr Lal Singh, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats and Food and Supplies. Rana K.P. Singh, Parliamentary Secretary, has been attached to the Chief Minister and Mohinder Singh Kaypee to the Industries and Commerce and Transport Departments, respectively.

Mr Parkash Singh Saini, Parliamentary Secretary, has been attached to the Local Government and Information and Technology Minister, Mr Jagjit Singh, and the Chief Minister for Information and Technology Department. Dr Raj Kumar Verka,Parliamentary Secretary, has been attached to the Minister for School Education, Mr Harnam Dass Johar.

Mrs Razia Sultana, Parliamentary Secretary, has been attached to Health and Family Welfare Minister, Mr R.C. Dogra, and the Public Health Minister, Mr Avtar Henry.

Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Parliamentary Secretary, has been attached to the Chief Minister for Home Affairs and Justice Department and Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, PWD( B and R) Minister.

Mr Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Parliamentary Secretary, has been attached to the Chief Minister for Agriculture Department and also to Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, Cooperation Minister. Mr Sunil Kumar Jakhar, Parliamentary Secretary , has been attached to the Public Health Minster, Mr Avtar Henry, and Cooperation Minister, Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa.

Mr Surinder Kumar Dawar, Parliamentary Secretary, has been attached to the Chief Minister for Power portfolio and Mr Raghu Nath Sahai Puri, Minster for Housing and Urban Development.


Ravi Inder Singh backs CM on water issue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Mr Ravi Inder Singh, president of the Akali Dal , has fully supported the stand taken by the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, on the river waters issue.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Ravi Inder Singh, former Speaker of Punjab Assembly, today said that though Haryana was a smaller state than Punjab, it ( Haryana) had got a more allocation of river waters than the former( Punjab). He said that Punjab Government had done nothing wrong by abrogating the water agreements. “ It was within its constitutional rights to do so”, he added.

He said that it was unfortunate that certain anti- Punjab forces had come together to paint the Punjab “black”. Such forces had been saying that Punjab’s act regarding termination of agreements was anti-national. He said that but forces were silent about the violent incidents in Haryana yesterday. Posing a question regarding what happened in Haryana yesterday, he said that “Was it a national act?”

He said that by launching an all-out campaign against Punjab at the national level, the BJP was trying to politicise the river waters. He said that just to win Assembly elections in Haryana, the BJP should not play petty politics on this sensitive issue. “Punjab was also part of the country and the BJP should also speak for it. It should not resort to shrill anti Punjab campaign for electoral gains in Haryana”, he said.

The BJP had gone all out in Parliament and outside to brand Punjab as a villain on the waters issue. He questioned the silence of the SAD ( Badal) on the role of the BJP against Punjab at the national level in the past days.

Coming to the media, Mr Ravi Inder Singh said that certain sections of the media were spreading disinformation against Punjab on the river waters. He particularly singled” English media” in this connection. Mr Manjit Singh Khaira, a senior advocate and member of executive of the party, said that media persons should study the river waters issue properly before making comments on this issue. “ Is it not right of Punjab to safeguard its interest by using all legal options available to it?” he asked.


Scrap Longowal accord also: Sikh Core Group
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The Sikh Core Group today welcomed the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, 2004, and complimented the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, urging him to scrap the Rajiv-Longowal Accord, as well.

It also appealed to SAD to take effective steps to officially annul the Rajiv-Longowal Accord.

In a statement, the group said no one could ignore or side-step certain basic facts on the issues of river waters disputes. Like river waters is a state subject and the Union Government has no authority to legislate on any state river and riparian law are universal.

The Group said, the political support given to the Chief Minister by Mr Parkash Singh Badal and the BJP in the Assembly too was laudable, However, the reaction of BJP leaders in the Parliament was deplorable. They have shown their true colours and also sent a message to SAD that it was in the wrong camp.

The Group hoped the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, would not succumb to anti-Punjab lobbies’ pressures and ensure justice was done to the state.

The signatories to the statement include Dr Kharak Singh, Mr Gurdev Singh, Dr Gurmit Singh, Gen Jaswant Singh, Prof Gurbax Singh Shergill.

Dr Kirpal Singh, Dr Hardev Singh, Dr M S Rahi and Mr Mohinder Singh.

The Group has stated that now that the issue was back in the Supreme Court, it should first address itself to such issues as, whether Punjab has a right to its rivers or has surplus water after meeting the needs or despoiling of Punjab in the form of plunder of its waters should continue or Punjab is entitled to compensation for its waters used by non-riparian states in the past or Sections 78 to 80 of the Punjab Re-organisation Act, 1966, are constitutional or ultravires of it, rather than confining to the construction of SYL.


News Analysis
Is this ‘self-saving’ political act by Amarinder ?
P.P.S. Gill

Chandigarh, July 15
The Punjab Termination of Agreements Act-2004 is on trial by the media since Monday last. While the political reaction from the states involved is on expected lines, legal opinion is varied and so are the comments of experts.

Consequently, an impression has been created as if Capt. Amarinder Singh is guilty of a ''self-saving'' political act or Punjab is the villain or the Assembly has committed a crime and, thus, all be punished! Media reports are also suggesting that the Prime Minister has ''reprimanded'' Capt. Amarinder Singh and the Congress High Command feels ''embarrassed'' because it was kept in the dark about the Bill. The Captain had himself told TNS on Monday, the day the Bill was passed that he did not want to involve the party president.

The fact, however, is that since June 4 order of the Supreme Court on SYL construction, the Chief Minister had apprised the Union Ministers of Law and Water Resources and sought their intervention in the matter. He had given them broad hints on the possible legal or constitutional course Punjab was seeking to protect and safeguard its interests.

Punjab had also politely but firmly refused ''symbolic digging'', as suggested by the Centre. The issue is back in the Supreme Court with the Centre having sought fresh directions in the light of the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act-2004.

During the meeting with Capt. Amarinder Singh, the Prime Minister had reportedly sought a feed back on possible solution to the emotive issue of sharing of waters. Solutions that were workable and acceptable to states concerned. And given the kind of groupism in the Congress High command, the ripple-effects against Punjab's Chief Minister and his action were not unusual. The Captain is not a greenhorn politician. He knew exactly what he was doing and what would be the fallout of his action. Yet, he took a calculated risk in the interest of the state.

Punjab's is a ''stand alone act''. Its defence-line is clear— it cannot have any more ''bloodshed'' over water, as it involves collective sensitivities and sensibilities of 1.5 million farmer-families. Even in the Vidhan Sabha the CM had said, ''We cannot again put the state in the grip of violence''.

Punjab has apparently prepared itself for a long-drawn legal battle. An expert on water issues, Mr Pritam Singh Kumedan, has often argued that Section 78 of the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966, should be challenged in the court. Once declared void, all controversies would end. This section was included in the Act in violation of the Constitution and it had allowed the Centre all these decades to intervene and splash around with Punjab waters as well as have control over headworks and hydroelectric projects of the combined Punjab.

Mr Kumedan explains river water issue by comparing it to land laws. When it comes to division of land, it is done as per ''jama-bandi'' or record of rights with the civil court deciding the title of ownership before the tehsildar acts upon any partition application. And for Punjab, the Constitution is ''jamabandi''. It incorporates riparian principles under entry 17 of the state list of the 7th schedule, which confers exclusive legislative powers on states in respect to water. And Haryana, a non-riparian state, has no legal rights to the waters of the Ravi, the Beas and the Sutlej.


Amarinder’s action on SYL issue praised
Our Correspondent

Patiala, July 15
The teaching and non-teaching staff of Punjabi University has appreciated the decision taken by the Punjab Legislative Assembly annulling agreements relating to sharing of river water of Punjab with the neighbouring states .

They said the bold act of the Chief Minister would go a long way in providing required autonomy to the states and strengthening the federal character enshrined in the Constitution of India.

They said the state, which at one time used to have the highest per capita income and was providing food to the entire country, was showing declining trends in its economy and passing through a financial crisis . It would be suicidal for the state if additional river water was allowed to flow outside the state .

Meanwhile, president of the Shiromani Akali Dal International Atinder Pal Singh appreciated the stand taken by the Chief Minister about the SYL issue. Mr Atinder Pal said the various agreements by which water of Punjab rivers was provided to adjoining states were made under the pressure of the Central Government from time to time at the cost of the people of Punjab.

The Indian Ex-Services League, Punjab and Chandigarh lauded the decision taken by the Chief Minister to safeguard the interests of Punjab in general and the farmer community in particular.

The Punjab unit of the BJP NRI Cell said Capt Amarinder Singh had taken a bold decision and got the Bill passed unanimously in the state Assembly and its subsequent ratification into an Act. The general secretary, Mr Rulda Singh, added that the hue and cry raised by Haryana was meaningless as the water table during the last two decades had gone down drastically and the fertile land in the state was starving for water.


Dal Khalsa applauds Act on water row
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 15
Lauding the Punjab termination of Agreements Act 2004, Dal Khalsa, a radical Sikh organisation headed by Mr Harcharanjit Singh Dhami, today gave its full support to the stand taken by the Punjab Government and Shiromani Akali Dal over the river water dispute.

In a meeting to discuss the recent Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee elections which were clean-sweeped by the SAD. the workers of Dal Khalsa condemned the stand taken by the BJP on the issue.


Decision on river waters hailed
Our Correspondent

Kharar, July 15
The Punjab Youth Congress (PYC) has welcomed the decision taken by the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, on the river waters issue.

Mr Jaswinder Singh Jassi, general secretary of the PYC, said the Chief Minister had taken a historical decision, which would have positive affects on the development of the state. He said it would give a big relief to farmers of the state and would also help in increasing the agricultural produce. The money that was to be spent on the construction of the SYL canal could now be used for the development of the state.


Thank God it is all over, says Kohli’s father
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 15
“Thank God it is all over”, said Jagjit Singh, the father of Maninderpal Singh Kohli who was arrested from Kalimpong today following a nearly two-year-long manhunt.

Kohli says the arrest of his son will end the mental tension under which his family has been living ever since the rape and murder of Hannah Foster in March, 2003. He also ruled out his going to West Bengal following the arrest of his son in Kalimpong. “I have to look after my wife Manwinder Kaur, who has been in coma since March, 2003 when she fell while alighting from a bus and suffered a brain injury. It is upto his brothers (Maninder has two brothers one of whom works in the Municipal Corporation at Rajpura and the other is in the Punjab Intelligence) to go to Kolkata if they wish so”, he added.

Jagjit Singh said it was good that the law had caught up with his son. “How long could he have hidden from the law?”, he said adding one should always remember that there is the court of the Lord also from which no one can escape”. Jagjit Singh said his son should be awarded exemplary punishment if he was responsible for the henious crime. “ I am a godfearing person who also has daughters and cannot support such a misdeed”. He, however, said that from what he could tell about his son’s character it did not seem likely that he could have committed such a crime.

When asked about news items emanating from Kolkata stating that Maninderpal had gone in for a second marriage, he said his own world had turned topsy turvy. “I cannot react to this. I am also hearing about it only now”, he said. Kohli said his son had been completely out of touch with the family after March 2003, when he had stayed with them for 10 days at Mohali after returning from the United Kingdom a few days after Hannah was found murdered.

He said in fact Maninder’s wife and two children were scheduled to come to India on March 30, 2003, but the programme was cancelled once the news of Maninder’s involvement in the rape and murder case of Hannah broke out. “I do not know what they will do now”, he added.

Meanwhile, Hannah’s parents who were expected to visit Jagjit Kohli in the evening cancelled the programme after getting the news of Maninderpal’s arrest.


Hannah’s parents thank media, police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The 17-year-old murdered British girl Hannah Foster’s parents today expressed their gratitude to the people of India, media and the police for arresting the suspect Maninder Pal Singh Kohli in Darjeeling.

In a cryptic written statement read out before the media, Mr Trevor Foster, the father of Hannah, said they were informed that a man who admitted to be Maninder Pal Singh Kohli was arrested by the West Bengal Police while crossing over to Nepal on the Indo-Nepal border.

“We are keeping our emotions intact after the information,” Mr Foster said.

The investigating officer of the Hampshire Police, Mr Allan Bretts, said that it is to be confirmed that the person who is being identified as Maninder Pal Singh Kohli is the person whom they were looking for.

Mr Bretts said that after confirmation of his identity, the police will now move a court for his extradition to the United Kingdom.


Punjab for de-caderising 11 posts of SSP
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The Punjab Government is reportedly sending a proposal to the Government of India for de-caderising 11 posts of Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP). If the proposal is accepted by the Union Government, Punjab Police Service (PPS) officers will continue to hold the posts of SSP.

Though officers in the Punjab Home Department are maintaining strict silence over the issue, sources in Punjab Police Headquarters reveal that the proposal will be forwarded within a day or two.

Going into the background of the matter, the sources say that in all there are 23 posts of SSP in Punjab — 17 in regular districts and six in police districts. Initially out of 23, as many as 12 positions were cadre posts. Rest 11 belonged to the non-cadre category. But on November 5, 2003, all 23 positions were made cadre posts. This resulted in the posting of PPS officers on cadre posts. It also resulted in friction between PPS and IPS officers.

The IPS officers have all along been claiming that PPS officers were being posted on cadre posts in violation of the rules. They have also been contending that regular IPS recruits, in turn, were being relegated to non-cadre posts in the rank of SP.

In fact, IPS officer Nilabh Kishore filed an application before the High Court against the government. He stated that the post of SP in the Chief Minister's security was a non-cadre post and he should not have been posted against it.

It may be recalled that the High Court had earlier asked the Punjab Government to decide representations and take appropriate action by June 30 on representations regarding the posting of IPS officers on cadre posts alone.

The directions were issued during the hearing of a petition filed by social organisation Resurgence India. The issue had snowballed into a major controversy after Punjab's IPS Association, in its general body meeting held on March 27, had demanded that such postings should be immediately taken back.

The Association members had also demanded that cadre post should not be given to non-cadre officers. The minutes of the meeting were also sent to Punjab's Principal Secretary, Home Affairs, for appropriate action.


Cadre controversy: Centre had asked Punjab to remove anomaly
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
While the Punjab and Haryana High Court yesterday reserved its orders on the applications filed by eight Indian Police Service (IPS) officers challenging the action of the Punjab Government to post cadre officers on non-cadre posts and vice versa, it has now come to light that even the Union Government had asked Punjab to correct the anomaly.

A letter in this regard was sent by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to the Punjab Government on February 5, 2004, much before the Punjab Government promised the court to consider and dispose of all representations of IPS officers in this regard by June 30.

In the letter, the MHA had highlighted the fact that eight districts in Punjab had non-cadre, i.e. Punjab Police Service (PPS) officers, at the helm. The number, incidentally, has now gone up to nine.

According to the available figures, out of the total number of 121 IPS officers in the state, a whopping 50 officers are posted on non-cadre and ex-cadre posts. As against this, the number of non-cadre (PPS) officers posted on cadre posts meant for IPS officers is 18.

Service Rules say that only 19 IPS officers can be posted against the state deputation. But this number is also being violated.

In its letter, addressed to the Punjab Chief Secretary, the MHA had pointed out that in view of the "vital" nature of the post of district police chief, the Government of India has maintained a uniform policy that "all posts of Superintendents of district police should be held by IPS officers and as such be encadred in the IPS".

The policy to post IPS officers as heads of the police force in the districts was evolved after consultations with the Chief Secretaries and other top officers of the states, including the Directors-General of Police.

Pointing out that the IPS cadre of Punjab was reviewed only last year on November 5, 2003, the MHA has also pointed out that all 23 districts police chiefs are supposed to be IPS officers.

The letter asked the Punjab Government to take necessary action to post IPS officers on the remaining posts also where PPS officers were posted.

Incidentally, in his submissions to the court, advocate Gurminder Singh, counsel for the applicant-IPS officers, had also referred to the letter. He had rued that despite the letter and its undertaking to the High Court, the Punjab Government had gone ahead and posted three more PPS officers to cadre posts of SSP.


Youths shoot driver, flee with vehicle
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 15
Manoj Kumar (22), a driver of timber merchant, Avtar Singh Sachdeva, was shot at by three unidentified motorcycle-borne youths in the posh locality of Basant Avenue at 9.30 a.m. here today.

The assailants then snatched a Scorpio vehicle and sped away. Manoj was seriously injured and admitted to a private hospital. His condition is stated to be out of danger.

All senior police officials, including SSP Kultar Singh, SP city-II, Harmanbir Singh Gill, reached the spot and ordered the nakabandi of the whole city.

Mr Kultar Singh said preliminary investigations revealed that a dispute involving money seemed to be the reason behind the incident. However, he said, a team headed by SP (D) Makhan Singh and the DSP (D) had been formed.

Mr Ashish Kapur, DSP civil line said the accused were clean-shaven, of medium built with good height. The assailants came on a black Hero Honda motorcycle and tried to snatch the Scorpio vehicle from Manoj, who was washing it outside the owner’s house. When the driver resisted their attempt they fired at him injuring him seriously. The bullet hit him in his back. Mr Kapur said all exit and entry points had been sealed and nakas had been put up.

In another incident, two masked men carrying sharp-edged weapons looted Rs 50,000 from Graduate Gas Service outside the Lohgarh area here late last evening. The accused injured Shiv Lal (80), watchman of the godown, and then bandaged his hands and legs. They broke the windowpane of the godown and entered its office. They broke open the cash box and fled with Rs 50,000. However, while entering the godown’s office one of the culprits was reportedly injured as blood stains were found all over the area.

Mr Pawan Rai, SP City-I, said that no arrest had been made so far. A case has been registered in this regard.


Acid attack accused nabbed in Muktsar
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, July 15
A team of the Himachal police reached Muktsar district of Punjab yesterday to solve the acid attack incident.

The team raided the house of Tejinder Singh of Deep Nagar with the help of the Muktsar police in the morning and arrested his son, Manpreet Singh, on the charge of throwing acid on Ishita a few days back in Rajkiya Kanya Mahavidyalaya, Shimla. The HP police took Manpreet to Shimla for investigation.

The sources said that Manpreet Singh was held on the basis of information provided by a coaching academy in Chandigarh from where Ishita had been taking coaching for the pre-medical entrance test in April this year.


SAD wins Dera Baba Nanak seat
Tribune News Service

Villa Teja (Gurdaspur), July 15
The SAD candidate, Mr Amrik Singh Shahpur, has won SGPC elections from the Dera Baba Nanak SGPC constituency after the re-poll in two polling booths today. In the repolling today Panthic Morcha candidate Amrik Singh Khalilpur led by about 300 votes, he, however, could not surpass the 518 vote gained by the SAD candidates in the rest of the constituency.

Meanwhile, the repolling in two booths (88 and 89) of the Dera Baba Nanak constituency passed off peacefully amidst tight security arrangements. Both booths set up in Villa Teja village fell under the jurisdiction of the Batala police district. However, on the directions of the Gurdwara Election Commission the onus of security at the said booths for the repoll was withdrawn from the Batala police and given to the Gurdaspur police.


SGPC results released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has won 131 out of 166 seats of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee’s general house. The results were released by the Gurdwara Election Commission (GEC) here today.

The anti-Badal Panthic Morcha has got 24 seats, while five Independents and six others have made it to the Sikh body tasked with managing the community’s shrines in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pardesh and Chandigarh.

Of the 170-member SGPC House, elections in three constituencies of Tarn Taran, Gurdaspur and Dhariwal were not held.

The Badal-led SAD could win only four of the 11 seats in Haryana, while the party lost both Himachal and Chandigarh seats. The elections were held after eight years on July 11.


Medical-civic staff row: panel’s report today
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 15
The three-member committee constituted by the Secretary, Health Services to inquire into the charges of negligence levelled against doctors of Government Rajindra Hospital which allegedly led to the death of a union leader on July 8, failed to submit its report today.

The committee, which had been given a two-day period by the Health Secretary to submit its report on July 13, is now expected to submit its report tomorrow. Former Director, Medical Education and Research, Dr Ajmer Singh, Sub Divisional Magistrate Tej Pratap Singh Phoolka and Assistant Commissioner, Municipal Corporation Hargunjit Kaur, are members of the committee.

Sources disclosed that the committee members had taken the statement of doctors of the Department of Plastic Surgery and also the anasthesia department head Dr Jasbir Kaur besides other doctors and medical staff which was present in the Government Rajindra Hospital emergency when union leader Harjit Singh was wheeled in after suffering burn injuries. Harjit Singh had been victim of an acid attack.

The committee members have also talked to Municipal Corporation leaders and employees who were present in the hospital on the fateful day. The corporation employees have given their statements to the committee claiming that doctors of the ENT department who were called to attend to the patient did not arrive, delay was caused in giving oxygen to the patient because four cylinders bought to his bedside were found to be empty and that the shifting of the patient to the ICU was also delayed. The doctors while giving their version have stressed that the patient had inhaled the acid and that he could not be saved. They have also listed the number of doctors and other staff who had attended to the patient till he died in the hospital.

Meanwhile Municipal Corporation employees continued with their agitation and held a rally in front of their office to demand the immediate suspension of doctors whom they allege had displayed negligency in performing thier duties. The employees remained on strike today and did not indulge in either sweeping or garbage collection and disposal duties.


43 gastroenteritis cases in 5 days
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, July 15
In the past five days, as many as 43 cases of gastroenteritis have been reported at the local Civil Hospital. Of these, 27 were reported in the OPD and the remaining admitted in the hospital. Everyday at least two fresh cases have been coming to light.

The SMO, Mr Ramesh Chaudhary, said his department was doing its job well. He blamed the Public Health Department for the rising number of gastroenteritis patients in the Jaito area. He alleged that potable water was not being supplied in the town. About the rural areas, he said that villagers were not aware about sanitation and they had installed hand pumps or taps near sewer pits. He said that the doctors and other staff were managing a large number of patients despite having inadequate staff.

Sources said the Municipal Council had recently started water supply from a tank located in Nehru Park, which receives water from a borewell. The water supply from this tank was stopped by the Deputy Commissioner last year owing to reports of high selenium and fluoride content in it. The water sample of the tank had also failed. The MC had again started water supply from the tank after women from various wards took to streets protesting against acute water shortage.

Residents also complained that the water being supplied was not fit for drinking. Mr Kewal Krishan of Sukhchainpura Basti and Mr Amardeep Singh of Jaito village said the water was heavy and it did not taste as it use to earlier.


Employees seek increase in medical allowance
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The Punjab Pradesh Employees Federation yesterday demanded an increase in medical allowance, besides end of disinvestment policy and forced Voluntary Retirement Scheme.

At a rally held in Sector 17, the members also demanded “pension commutation according to old pattern”, along with regularisation of temporary, adhoc and daily wage employees. They also urged the government to consider “93-day pen-down strike period as duty period”. The employees also sat on a dharna after marching towards Matka Chowk. The rally was addressed by president Sukhdev Singh, senior vice-president Davinder Paul Sharma and other employees.


Airport to be operational in two months
Tribune News Service

Pathankot (Gurdaspur), July 15
The local civil airport would be ready to receive domestic flights within the next two months. With the rest of construction almost complete the work of linking the Apron of the airport with the runway of the air force is being carried out. Mr Tejbir Singh, in charge of the airport construction, said the Army was to give construction schedule of said linking project to the Civil Airports Authority of India. Once the schedule was given the linking work would be completed very soon, he said.

Work on the airport had started on the 23 acres of acquired land in 2001. Once completed the airport will have parking capacity for three Airbus-320 aircrafts. The aircrafts coming here would use the runway and the air traffic control system of the Indian Air Force to land and take off.

The Airports Authority has spent Rs 12 crore on the construction of the airport. The airport will have the facility of car parking, fully air conditioned passenger lounge and fire fighting mechanism. Though three domestic aircrafts can land here but the airport has the facility to accommodate just 110 passengers the traffic load of one Airbus-320 aircraft, he told.

As per the MOU signed for the construction of the airport the approach roads to the airport are to be constructed by the Himachal Government. The work for the approach roads was, however, yet to begin.

Mr Tejbir said though the construction of the airport would be completed within next two months the flight schedule for it would be decided only by the Ministry for Civil Aviation. Initially only one to two domestic flights might be operated from the airport. However, the frequency of the flights could be increased later.

The construction of the airport has also raised the hopes of businessmen and commercial farmers in the area.

The commercial farmers are of the view that the airport would help them export their produce.


Benefit of service restored to ex-servicemen
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The Punjab Government has restored the benefit of service rendered during the national emergency period by ex-servicemen re-employed in the state government. The benefit includes counting of the service period towards fixing seniority for the purpose of pay and pension.

The benefit of military service was given to ex-servicemen who were employed by the state government before February 11, 1982. However, when the service rules were revised the same year, the clause granting benefits to ex-servicemen was suppressed. There had been consistent demands from ex-servicemen to restore the benefits and the issue had also been raised in Rajya Sainik Board meetings.

"The decision of the state government was announced in June and the notification in this regard was issued a few days ago," Brig J S Jaswal (retd), Director, Sainik Welfare, Punjab, said. "This will benefit a large number of ex-servicemen working in the state government who are now on the verge of retirement or have already retired," he said.

Arrears would be paid to employees as well as pensioners, who were deprived of the benefit following revision of the rules. There are hundreds of such cases spread across different departments of the state government.

The benefit of military service will be applicable only to those who have served with the Indian military from October 26, 1962 to January 9, 1968. The concessions are applicable only on the first appointment.

According to National Emergency Concession Rule 1965, the period spent by a person in military service during the first national emergency will count for increments for any post or service to which he has been appointed.

The period is counted towards fixation of pension only in cases of appointment to permanent services, provided the person is not earning any pension from military service and any bonus or gratuity received by him in respect to military service is surrendered to the state government.

According to the state government's orders, the period between the date of discharge from military service and the date of appointment to any service or post under the state government will also be considered towards fixation of pension provided the period is less than a year. The period between 1-3 years could be allowed in exceptional cases.


Sainik Welfare seeks a slice of RPF cake
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Following the Railway Ministry's announcement that the strength of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) will be raised by 40,000 personnel, the Department of Sainik Welfare, Punjab, has taken up a case with the Defence Ministry to ensure that the quota meant for ex-servicemen is not ignored.

"We have written to the Kendriya Sainik Board, which is a part of the ministry, stating that ex-servicemen from the state be given due preference during recruitment," Director Sainik Welfare, Brig J S Jaswal (retd), said. He said that the reservation quota for ex-servicemen in central government jobs was 10 per cent, which provided rehabilitation opportunities for 4,000 soldiers.

He said that the department was getting in touch with the railway recruitment authorities in Chandigarh, responsible for recruitment in the northern zone, to ensure that the ex-servicemen's quota was filled as per norms.

Brigadier Jaswal added that the department would also be running special courses to prepare ex-servicemen for the entrance tests and subsequent interviews they would be required to undergo. The schedule of the courses, which would be of about 40-day duration, would be chalked out once the Railways comes out with its recruitment calendar. These would be run at five different centres.

Meanwhile, reacting to the Railway Minister's announcement to fill vacancies in the RPF, various ex-servicemen's associations have demanded that this be done by lateral induction of armed forces and para-military personnel or recruiting ex-servicemen.

In his budget speech in Parliament, Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav had stated that the ministry planned to fill 8,000 vacancies by way of direct recruitment rather than going through public service commissions to meet the Railways' immediate security requirements.

A statement issued by the All-India Defence Brotherhood said that in order to keep the age profile of the services young, over 90 per cent soldiers were retired in the age bracket of 35-40 years. Since they get a meagre basic pension of Rs 1275 per month, it is the duty of the state to rehabilitate them. It would also result in the RPF getting trained, experienced and disciplined manpower.

The President's Gallantry Awardees Association has stated that lateral induction of armed forces or para military personnel would result in considerable savings for the Railways.

It has estimated that the cost of training a raw recruit, including his board and lodging, is about Rs 2 lakh per annum. Training 8,000 recruit, including expenditure incurred by the Railways on recruitment and administrative processes, would come to around Rs 200 crore.


Preserve marks of Bluestar, says Badungar
Our Correspondent

Patiala, July 15
The former president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, has appealed to Akal Takht jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti that marks of the Operation Bluestar should be preserved while doing the repair work in the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

The repair work is being undertaken on the gurudwara premises keeping in

view the forthcoming occasion of the completion of 400 years of installation of Guru Granth Sahib on September 1.


Postman loses way
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, July 15
Registered letters, money orders and parcels booked in June were delivered here on July 10. Following complaints the local Post Master, Mr S.M. Sharma, found some mail in the post office and got it delivered on July 10.

The registered letters sent by the Jalandhar office on June 18 to Oriental Bank of Commerce, Mahalon, a letter sent to the Khalsa Pulp and Paper from Surat on June 15, a letter sent to Jagdeep Singh Lally from Gurgaon on June 18, a letter sent to the New Delhi Assurance on June 18, though shown delivered in time, were delivered on July 10.

The office of the District Food and Supplies Controller has not benefitted by the search. It is yet to receive a parcel sent by its Jalandhar office.

Mr Jaspal Singh, a resident of local Mohalla Gobindgarh has alleged that he had not received a money order for Rs 1,000. The post master says the parcel and money order had been shown delivered by the postman, Mr Jasbir Singh, who had not reported for duty since June 22.


DC warns officials against corruption
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 15
“It is a matter of great concern that certain revenue officials are collecting bribe through women employees and bringing a bad name to the administration as well as to the government. Anyone found indulging in corrupt practices will be dealt with strictly. It is our moral duty to serve people and redress their grievances on a priority basis,” said Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, while presiding over a monthly meeting of district officials at Bachat Bhavan yesterday.

He urged revenue officials to intensify the recovery of debts. He directed municipal officials and BDPOs to remove encroachments from government land. He said the district administration had received Rs 94.81 lakh for the repair of roads.

He said to commemorate the tercentenary of the supreme sacrifice of the younger Sahibjadas of Guru Gobind Singh and to make arrangements for lakhs of devotees coming to pay obeisance, the district administration had demanded Rs 3 crore from the state government. Besides, a Rs 10 crore beautification-cum-developmental plan had been forwarded to the government.

Mr Balwant Singh Shergil, ADC (D), Mr Navjot Pal Singh Randhawa, GA, Mr Darshan Singh Sandhu SDM, Mr Hans, SDM, Amloh, and Mr Mukund Singh, DTO, were present at the meeting. 


Ban on sale of objectionable CD
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 15
Mr K. A. P. Sinha, District Magistrate, today imposed a ban on the sale and exhibition of an audio-visual CD depicting Hindu gods and goddesses in a bad taste.

Mr Sinha took this step by using his powers under section 144 of CrPC when the matter was brought to his notice.

The order will remain in force till September 12, 2004.

A large number of social and religious organisations, in association with Shree Ram Seva Samiti, had been protesting against the sale and exhibition of this CD for the past many days. Activists of these organisations also held a demonstration in the city and sought the registration of criminal cases against those, involved in the production of the CD hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus.

In a memorandum submitted to the president, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, these organisations had sought the registration of criminal cases against those involved in he production of the CD titled “Aaj Ke Ramayan”.


Protest against screening of ‘Girlfriend’ by BJP, RSS
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 15
A number of organisations, including the BJP, RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal, Youth Akali Dal, Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray), Hindu Suraksha Samiti, Arya Samaj, and Akhil Bhartiya Brahman Sabha, staged a dharna outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office today to protest against the screening of the controversial film ‘girlfriend’.

Activists of these organisations threatened to stop the screening of the film, to be released at Chand theatre tomorrow, if the administration did not ban it.

Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla vice-president of the BJP, Mr Lajpat Rai, VHP state press secretary, and others stated that the film outraged Indian sensibilities.

It had merely aped western culture to gain cheap publicity by portraying lesbian behaviour.


DTO’s arrest sparks protests

Moga, July 15
The arrest of the District Transport Officer, Mr S.S. Sidhu, bribery on charges by a vigilance team yesterday has evoked a sharp reaction from various quarters.

Protesting against the DTO’s arrest, various bus and truck operators’ unions blocked traffic at Joginder Singh Chowk for over half an hour today.

Earlier, tension prevailed when the DTO was produced in the court. There was intense sloganeering against the DTO in the court and a police contingent led by the SP (H) was called to control the situation. The DTO has been sent to a one-day police remand. — TNS


Motorcyclist injured
Our Correspondent

Kharar, July 15
One person was injured when a motorcycle and a car collided near the bus stand here today.

The injured, Mr Satwinder Singh, a resident of Badali village, was taken to the local Civil Hospital by traffic police personnel on duty near the bus stand.

It is learnt that the injured was coming on his motor cycle from his village towards the Kharar bus stand while the car was coming from the Ropar direction when the accident took place.


Maryada flouted

Amritsar, July 15
Rehat Maryada of Guru Granth Sahib is being violated at the Samadh of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Lahore.

The Maryada doesn’t sanction the Parkash of Guru Granth Sahib and Akhand Path at a Samadh.

But the practice has been going on for a long time at the Samadh.

Akal Takht has received several complaints in this regard from persons who visited the Samdh recently on the death anniversary of the Maharaja. — OC


Sham-e-ghazal for 12-year-old patient
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 15
The District Cultural Society here will organise a Sham-e-ghazal programme at Century Resort, Bassi Pathana, at 7.30 pm on July 17. Dr Harbans Lal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, will be the chief guest while Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, will preside over the function.

According to Mr Sham Sagar, director, the programme is being organised to help a 12-year-old girl patient. The girl, whose father is Manjit Singh, a taxi driver, has a hole in her heart.

The society has appealed to the people and other social organisations to donate generously.


Moti Ram Mehra Trust poll on Aug 1
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 15
The elections of the Amar Saheed Baba Moti Ram Mehra Charitable Trust will be held on August 1.

This was stated by the Surjit Singh, chairman of the trust. He said the voter-cum-membership cards of all members would be made by July 16 and only those members would be allowed to vote who would cary these cards. He said all candidates could file nominations by July 25. He added that the withdrawals could be made by July 28.


Fatehgarh Sahib to have fire station
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 15
The civil defence fire wing of the Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi, has approved a fire station for Fatehgarh Sahib.

According to Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, the fire station has been sanctioned under Section 93 of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911. He said a suitable site for the fire station would be chosen shortly and work started.


High Court
Amritsar DC grilled by Bench
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 15
Amritsar Deputy Commissioner Raminder Singh was today grilled by a Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court hearing petitions of three Akali leaders challenging the decision of the Deputy Commissioners of Amritsar and Gurdaspur to reject their nominations for the just-concluded Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections.

The DC, who had been asked to be present in the court on the last date of hearing, was admonished by the Division Bench of Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar and Mr Justice Amar Dutt for having refused to follow the orders of the Chief Commissioner, Gurdwara Elections, and also declaring the leaders un-discharged insolvent.

In their petitions, Shiromani Akali Dal leaders Sucha Singh Langah and Sewa Singh Sekhwan, both former ministers, and SGPC acting chief Alwinder Pal Pakhoke have sought directions to the DCs to allow them to contest the SGPC elections.

Today, while asking the DC to file affidavit explaining his actions and conduct, the Bench asked him under whose instructions he had refused to follow the orders of the Chief Commissioner.

The court remarked that the DC had acted in a wrong way and he could not be allowed to go scot-free after committing this act. The Bench asked the DC if he knew the repercussions of acting in such a manner. "What has happened to the Executive?" asked one of the Judges.

The Bench also asked DC Raminder Singh if he knew in what capacity he was acting when he passed the impugned orders. If he acted as an election officer, by passing the order, he committed contempt of the Chief Commissioner and if he acted as a DC, then his act was contrary to all set norms, the Bench noted.

The Bench also asked counsel for the Punjab Government to ensure the presence of Gurdaspur DC in the court on July 22, the next date of hearing.


Four BSNL employees remanded
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 15
A local CBI Special Magistrate has remanded four Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) employees to police custody till July 26 following charges that they had caused losses to the BSNL.

The CBI yesterday produced the four employees namely Subdivisional Engineer Gurmeet Singh, Parmod Kumar, Mahinder Singh and Balwinder Singh before the Special Magistrate.

All the four accused were posted in the Jhunir exchange in Mansa district. They are accused of bypassing official exchanges and facilitating calls worth lakhs of rupees to Saudia Arabia from August 25 to October 10, 2002. According to the charges against them the calls were facilitated through the Bhamikalan subexchange. The CBI submitted that the accused were responsible for causing a loss of lakhs of rupees to the BSNL following a preliminary inquiry into the case.


Prohibitory orders
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 15
The Deputy Commissioner has banned the sale of 106 drug items without doctors’ prescription. The ban will remain in force till August 31.

He has also banned the playing of loudspeakers in all religious and public places. The use of loudspeakers will be allowed only with the permission of the SDM from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.


2 liquor smugglers arrested
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, July 15
Continuing its drive against liquor smugglers, the Dera Bassi police arrested two persons from separate places and seized 62 cases of country-made liquor from their possession last night.

Acting on a tip-off, the police laid traps and arrested Satyawan, a resident of Karnal, while he was transporting 42 cases of country-made liquor in a Swaraj Mazda (HR-04-4005) at the Dera Bassi toll plaza on the Kalka-Ambala highway here.

In another incident, Surinder Kumar of Barbad village near Kurukshetra was caught with 24 cases of country-made liquor while he was driving a Maruti car (PB-49-0155) from Chandigarh towards Ambala. The police arrested Surinder Kumar near the Sanauli road and seized the liquor. However, a person accompanying him managed to flee.

The police has impounded the vehicles and cases under the Excise Act have been registered against them at the Dera Bassi police station.


Criminal case against cop
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 15
The displeasure of the wife earned by Ranjit Singh, constable, Punjab police, who allegedly got remarried while her first wife was living, has landed him in trouble.

Instead of lodging a complaint against Ranjit Singh for getting remarried, his wife lodged a complaint to the police authorities that Ranjit Singh has managed to get a job of constable on the basis of a fake birth certificate. After it was found that allegation of Malkit Kaur, wife of the accused, levelled in her complaint was true, a criminal case was registered against him for his alleged involvement in getting job on the basis of a fake birth certificate.

Police sources said that Malkit Kaur was married to Amarjit Singh, brother of the accused. After the death of Amarjit Singh, accused Ranjit Singh solomonised marriage with Malkit Kaur. After some time, Ranjit Singh got himself recruited as police constable.

However, after some time, Ranjit Singh got himself married with another woman and it offended Malkit Kaur. To teach him a lesson, she lodged a complaint with the police in connection with the fake birth certificate.

The police sources said that an inquiry was conducted by a police official posted at Raman Mandi and the allegation was found true. The case against Ranjit Singh was registered under Sections 420,468 and 471, IPC.

In another case, Jagjit Singh, who was running a chemists shop at Bibi Wala Chowk, was arrested today when it was found that he was running the shop without any valid licence.


Audit Inspector held for graft
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 15
Mr Gurcharan Singh, alias Ghuggi, who was working as an audit inspector in the Cooperative Department at Talwandi Sabo, was today caught red-handed by a team of Vigilance Bureau led by DSP Mr Ashutosh Kaushal while accepting a bribe of Rs 10,000 from Mr Bikkar Singh, secretary, Cooperative Society.

Mr Gurcharan Singh had carried out an audit of the society being manned by Mr Bikkar Singh. He was demanding bribe from the complainant to put his signature on the audit report.

The accused was demanding a bribe of Rs 20,000 from the complainant. After some bargaining, the deal was struck at Rs 18,000. Mr Bikkar Singh paid Rs 8,000 to the accused in advance. When the Vigilance Bureau received a complaint in this connection, a trap was laid. Mr Gurcharan Singh was caught red-handed while taking Rs 10,000 from Mr Bikkar Singh in presence of witnesses. A case has been registered.


Woman raped
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 15
A married woman of Ballianwali village of this district was allegedly raped by two residents of the same village by calling her to their house on the pretext that there was a telephone call for her yesterday.

Police sources said that one accused, Pargat Singh, went to the house of the victim and told her that there was a telephone call for her in his house. When the victim went to the accused’s house, he and another person identified as Goldy, raped her. The accused also kept the victim in illegal confinement for two hours.

A case in this connection had been registered under Sections 376, 342 and 34 of the IPC at the Ballianwali police station. No accused had been arrested so far.


Trader evading octroi nabbed
Our Correspondent

Patiala, July 15
Octroi Inspector Upinderjit Singh along with his team nabbed a trader evading octroi and smuggling 10 television sets in a Mahindra jeep number (HP 34-A-0366).

The Mayor, Mr Vishnu Sharma, said strict instructions had been issued to the octroi staff to prevent loss of revenue of the corporation. In addition, the corporation nabbed as many as 100 persons who were evading octroi and entering the city last month. The corporation has recovered Rs 1,42,372 against the actual octroi fee of Rs 13,532 from them.


2 constables arrested

Patiala, July 15
The local police on Tuesday arrested two constables of the Punjab Police for allegedly “misbehaving” with two girls when they were coming back from school near Bahadurgarh Qila here.

According to information, Balwinder Singh and Pushpinder Singh were arrested following a complaint registered by Suresh Kumar of Jallarpur village, who was present on the spot. A case has been registered under various sections. — OC


Punjab to fill vacant posts by promotions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The Punjab Government would fill all the vacant posts of District Education Officer (DEO), Block Primary Education Officer (BPEO) and Principal in the Education Department by promotions at the earliest.

Mr Harnam Dass Johar, School Education Minister, Punjab, said in a statement here today that senior officers had been asked to hold meetings of departmental promotion committees at the earliest to fill the existing vacancies. It had been decided that all elementary schools would have at least two teachers.

He has directed all the DEOs and Block Primary Education Officer( BPEOs) to check the schools at least 20 days in a month in their respective education blocks. Each DEO and BPEO would get Rs.500 per month as allowance for checking schools besides TA and requisite clerical staff.

Expressing deep concern over the mushrooming of the private schools in the houses or even rooms, Mr Johar said that a legislation would be passed giving details of infrastructure including play grounds etc for opening a private school.


Charges framed against Ahluwalia, student leader
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 15
A local court today framed charges against former Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia and former student leader Bhupinder Singh Cheema in a case in which they are accused of being responsible for a murderous attack on a Reader of the university in March, 2002.

The fast track court of Mr B.S. Sidhu today framed the charges against the two. While the former Vice-Chancellor is accused of being a conspirator in the case, the student leader is accused of attacking university sociology department Reader, Dr H.S. Bhatti, on the occasion. Charges have been framed against Dr J.S. Ahluwalia under Section 120 (B) (conspiracy) while charges have been framed against Bhupinder Singh Cheema under Section 307 (attempt to murder) and 323 (fighting).

The police had registered a case against both Dr Ahluwalia and the student leader besides others following a complaint from sociology department Reader, Dr H.S. Bhatti. The report stated that during the strike called by the joint action committee of university teachers and student organisations, Dr Bhatti was standing in front of a side gate of the institution.

The report said Bhupinder Cheema and a few other students exited from the side gate after coming out of the residence of Dr Ahluwalia and immediately got into a confrontation with Dr Bhatti, who was a leader of the joint action committee formed to agitate for the ouster of the former Vice-Chancellor. The report said that Bhupinder Cheema and others attacked Dr Bhatti with weapons before fleeing from the spot. Dr Bhatti had sustained injuries and was admitted in the Government Rajindra Hospital.

Later the prosecution had tried to establish the involvement of Dr Ahluwalia in the case with a teacher claiming that he had heard Dr Ahluwalia giving directions to the student leader and others to “teach a lesson to Dr Bhatti” a night prior to the attack on the university teacher.


Engg college for rural students
Our Correspondent

Lalru, July 15
With an objective to provide quality technical education to students belonging to rural areas, besides better placement avenues the Seth Nand Lal Bajaj Educational and Charitable Society, Chandigarh, has opened the Swami Parmanand College of Engineering and Technology at Jaulan Kalan village, about 15 km from here.

Claiming that it was the first fully air conditioned college in North India, Mr Inderjit Singh Bajaj, Chairman of the college, said 240 students would be admitted to four courses — electronics and communication engineering, mechanical engineering, computer engineering and electrical and electronics engineering — in the first year.

Admissions to this AICTE-approved college would be made strictly as per the guidelines of Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar, in every branch. So far, 28 students had been admitted by the PTU, said Mr Bajaj.


Toppers to be honoured on Aug 15: DC
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 15
School toppers will be honoured on August 15 and teachers on Teacher’s Day, said the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, while addressing a meeting of school heads of government, private, public and government-aided schools at Bachat Bhavan today. The meeting was called by the District Education Department to apprise Mr Ahluwalia about the performance of the Education Department in the district in board exams.

He said that it was a matter of pride that the class X result of the district was better by 12 per cent than the result of the board. Students from government schools also figured on the merit list. He said this was a good sign that teachers in the district were devoted to their students and hard work.

He said 150 schools had been selected in the district, where saplings of various varieties would be planted. He said a “green brigade” in every school would be set up. Mr Daya Singh, DEO (S), in his address gave detailed information about the working of the department and introduced toppers and teachers with the Deputy Commissioner.


Hutch to invest Rs 460 cr in Punjab circle
Our Correspondent

Patiala, July 15
Hutch is committed to invest Rs 460 crore in the Punjab circle to build the most advanced GSM network in the country and offer not merely communication but a host of other services.

This was stated by the Regional Manager of the company, Mr Ashutosh Singh, at a function organised to inaugurate Hutch Tele Shop in the city here today.

He added that Hutch would offer tariffs with advanced technology and quality service. The new services would include GPRS, mobile gaming and click and print MMS.

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