P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



GND varsity violates NCTE regulations
Allows private colleges to run certificate course
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 6
In an interesting case of putting a cart before the horse , Guru Nanak Dev University allowed some private colleges to start certificate course in Physical Education the under the Distance Education Programme even before framing an ordinance, which is pre-requisite to start any new course.

The students who took the examination during the last session have been held high and dry as their result could not be declared due to the non-framing of the ordinance for the past more than three months. The result was ready in May itself and could have been declared along with other courses. The Certificate Course in Physical Education course, considered as money–spinning, was started in haste .

However, Dr R.S.Bawa , Registrar, said the result would be declared shortly as the Vice-Chancellor had given special permission for that.

While giving course to the private colleges , regulations of the National Council for Teacher Education ( NCTE) were allegedly violated .The NCTE Act reads , “no institution can run teacher education programme without recognition/ permission from the NCTE . No examination board can grant affiliation to or hold examination for a course for training conducted by an institution not recognised by the NCTE”.

Interestingly , while clearing the file for granting the certificate course in physical education the Board of Control , Board of Studies , Faculty and Academic Council were not taken into confidence , which is a set procedure .

An educationist said granting of such courses to the institution, which do not have proper infrastructure for sports, was one of the main reason for the dismal performance of the country in the international sports arena.

This only swells the number of physical educationists and sportspersons , without proper knowledge and training . There were about 80 countries in the world whose total population was less than total number of sports personnel and physical educationists in India but they performed better than India during the Olympics .


Tohra group lobbying for key post for Calcutta
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 6
New permutations and combinations would emerge after the election of new SGPC chief and office-bearers. The election is likely to be held in the second week of this month, even as the SGPC has violated the directives of Chief Gurdwara Commission by promoting Mr Raghbir Singh as the new secretary.

In his communication, the Chief Gurdwara Election Commissioner, Justice J.S. Sekhon (retd), had directed the SGPC last month that after the cooption of 15 SGPC members it was not desirable for the present office-bearers (of SGPC) to take any policy decision, including the recruitment of persons in its service or incurring any expenditure on new ventures. Though the Shiromani Akali Dal, led by Mr Parkash Singh Badal had accused the state government of not obeying the directives of Gurdwara Election Commission, yet he did not intervene to stop the violation of the directives of the commission by the SGPC so far.

While Mr Raghbir Singh claimed that he was senior to Mr Dalmegh Singh — another secretary, the latter said the former was not even a graduate, a pre-requisite for the appointment.

Earlier, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had intervened to demote an employee who had been promoted as additional secretary by relaxing the condition of graduation.

The change of presidents had resulted in major reshuffle, promotions and demotions since the tercentenary celebrations of the birth of Khalsa Panth in 1999. Unmindful of the burden on the exchequer of ‘Guru Ghar’, the successors of Jathedar Gurcharn Singh Tohra had resorted to heavy recruitment of their favourites without any requirement. This ‘surplus’ staff was later sacked following the writ petitions in the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission. The salary bill of many historical gurdwaras exceeded the ‘golak’ (collection from donations in gurdwaras).

It would now be an arduous task for the new SGPC to bring ‘normalcy’ in the body as a lot of bitterness a prevailing in the committee due to ‘favouritism’.

In case Bibi Jagir Kaur becomes the SGPC chief, the Giani Puran Singh, head Granthi, Golden Temple, may face action for not having accepted Nanakshahi Calendar so far. Bibi Jagir Kaur had been ‘excommunicated’ from the Sikh Panth through a controversial “Hukamnama” which she never accepted. In case Bibi Jagir Kaur or Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar succeed Mr Alwinder Pal Singh Pakhoke, Tohra loyalists would have to bear the brunt. Though Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi’s name is also being considered yet he may decline the offer due to his prolonged illness.

The feeling in Sikh circles is that, Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, who is considered an authority on Sikh religion and who knows his job as an administrator well, should be made at least the member secretary of the Shiromani Committee. Mr Calcutta belongs to the Tohra group and was instrumental in bringing rapprochement between Tohra and Badal. He was coopted as SGPC member from Kolkata and Tohra group is lobbying for a higher post for him in the new House.


Pak militants had swum into India with underwater masks
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 6
Two Pakistani nationals — apprehended along with "militants" allegedly working towards the revival of terrorism in Punjab — had swam their way into the country using underwater masks fitted with oxygen cylinders.

Preliminary investigation carried out by Punjab Police personnel into the matter has revealed that the two Pakistani nationals had entered from Dera Baba Nanak sector about a month back.

Arms and submerged ultras

Delhi had also nabbed "terrorists" involved in smuggling of arms and ammunition in water-proof bags a few years ago. Interrogation of the accused had revealed that the "trainers" in Pakistan were on constant lookout for "good" swimmers, who could cross the Sutlej along with bags full of arms and RDX. In fact, the swimmers were using night-vision devices to escape the vigilant eyes of the rangers. The sources in Punjab Police headquarters add that the modus operandi of some smugglers in Jammu and Kashmir was almost the same. 

The sources in the Punjab Police headquarters here reveal that the duo was planning to go back soon, but were apprehended by the vigilant police personnel before they could depart.

The police is now looking into the possible involvement of Border Security Force (BSF) officials into the matter. "As of now we cannot say for certain that the officials had helped the nationals to cross over. But we are looking into their potential participation in the entry process," says Jalandhar zone Inspector-General of Police S.K. Sharma.

The Pak nationals, along with three other "militants", were apprehended by the police on a tip-off from "intelligence agencies". A "huge" cache of arms and ammunition, including 15 kg of RDX, was also "recovered" from them. The accused had tried to shoot their way out, but were overpowered at a barrier on the Jammu-Pathankot highway.

The sources say that the "militants" are also being interrogated about the possibility of their having links with escaped "terrorists". "We are trying to find out whether the arrested accused were in touch with Gursewak Singh and other alleged terrorists, including the alleged assassins of Punjab's former Chief Minister Beant Singh. But so far they have not said anything in this regard," they assert.

"Militant" Gursewak Singh reportedly belonging to the Babbar Khalsa International, had managed to break loose from the custody of the Punjab Police in the national capital on the pretext of easing himself. Even though the incident had occurred on the evening of August 23, the cops at Delhi were not informed about the escape till the next afternoon.

The others, accused of assassinating former Chief Minister Beant Singh on August 31, 1995, had tunnelled their way out of Burail Jail in Chandigarh in January this year. Even though a massive manhunt was launched to nab the three by the Punjab and Chandigarh Police, they were never traced. Currently, the police is looking into the possibility of their joining hands to revive terrorism in the state through bomb blasts and shoot outs.


PSEB seeks power share from Kota nuclear plant
Sarbjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 6
The Punjab State Electricity Board has urged the Union Power Ministry to give it due share of power from the nuclear power plant at Kota in Rajasthan. The Union Power Ministry has been denying full power share to Punjab on one pretext or the other.

As Punjab is facing a power crisis because of decline in power generation from various hydro power projects, the PSEB has urged the Union Ministry to allocate at least 150 MW of power from the plant.

The PSEB is getting 100 lakh units of power through the Power Trading Corporation to overcome the power crisis. Because of heavy rainfall in August, the situation on the power front had eased. But in the absence of rain for the past some days, the power situation has again started deteriorating in the state.

In fact the PSEB has asked the Union Power Ministry to compensate it for not availing the power share from the nuclear plant in winter this year. Informed sources said that the PSEB had surrendered its power share in winter keeping in mind that it will get power in lieu of that in summer , when it is required most in Punjab because of the paddy crop.

However, the authorities concerned at the plant refused to entertain this plea of the PSEB this time. They have told the PSEB that there was no system of surrendering the share or carrying it forward to summer as far as the functioning of the nuclear plant is concerned. One has to avail its share from the plant round the year.

At present the PSEB is getting only 66 MW of power from the nuclear plant, it is learnt. “It is not serving our purpose and because of this reason, we have requested the Union Power Ministry to intervene,” said a senior official of the PSEB. He said that the power generation from the hydro power projects had declined in the past days,perhaps, because of low level of water in various reservoirs.

Keeping in view the power crisis, the PSEB has been resorting to power cuts in various sectors. The paddy crops is now entering into the ripening stage. Its harvesting would start in the end of this month in certain parts of the state. Till then power crisis will persist in the state, it is learnt.


Fresh wave of power cuts
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 6
Reduction in power generation at the Nathpa Jhakri Project as well as no availability of power from the unallocated central pool, has resulted in an increase in power cuts in urban areas of Punjab even as rural areas have to go without electricity for more than 12 hours in a day.

Danger from water accumulation in Parchu in Tibet, which has resulted in the closure of part of the Nathpa Jhakri Project, has led to a power loss of around 500 MW. Besides this the Board has been plagued by the closure of several other plants in other states which have been closed for annual maintenance. This means it can no longer rely on power from the central pool to meet the demand which has crossed 1200 lakh units as against a generation figure of 1061 lakh units.

Sources said most of the big plants are closed during March and September months due to the annual maintenance work. During this time, the usual demand even in Punjab is low. However, the current heat wave has resulted in the demand going up forcing the PSEB to take regulatory measures.

According to sources both the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station and the units at Sanghrauli and Rihant were not functioning at their optimum capacity at present.

This means the board cannot avail of nearly 1100 MW of power which is presently not being generated collectively at these plants.

PSEB has increased the power cuts in both urban and rural areas. Industrial cities like Ludhiana are the worst affected due to a four-hour cut imposed there. Other major cities will also face two-and-a-half hour power cuts. In rural areas, the power cuts have increased to almost 12 hours in a day.


Xen, SDOs held hostage by farmers
Tribune News Service

Moga, September 6
An Executive Engineer and two Sub-Divisional Officers of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) were held hostage by farmers at Nathuwala village here today. The district president of the Bharatiya Kisan Union Ekta, Trilok Singh Himmatpura, was leading the farmers who were demanding the restoration of their snapped power connections.

The farmers held the PSEB officials hostage when the Executive Engineer, Mr P.S. Sangha, was on a routine visit to the board office at Nathuwala village. Two SDOs, S.S. Brar of Nathuwala and Jaspreet Singh of Badhani Kalan, were also present in the office. The farmers said they would not let these officials off till their power connections were restored.

On the other hand, the Executive Engineer, Mr P.S. Sangha, said power connections of farmers were being cut on the instructions of the state government.

A police party also rushed to the spot. Later, BKU members, board officials and police discussed the matter, but to no avail. A team of higher PSEB officials had also reached the spot, but the Xen and SDOs could not be freed till the filing of this report. 


2 junior engineers suspended
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 6
Lal Singh and Ashok Kumar, both working as Junior Engineers in Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) at Goniana and Nathana, respectively, were placed under suspension by the Senior Executive Engineer, Bhagta Bhai Ka (distribution circle), today.

As per the copy of orders procured by TNS, both of them were suspended after complaints supported by affidavits were received by the PSEB authorities today.

Official sources said an inquiry was being conducted by the SSP, Bathinda. Both Junior Engineers were suspended under the punishment regulation rules of the PSEB. During their suspension both of them would work at Bathinda headquarters of PSEB.


Tribune Impact
Plant restrained from dumping ash

Ghanauli (Ropar), September 6
The Punjab Pollution Control Department (PPCD) today directed the Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Plant (GGSSTP) not to dump ash in the stage-1 dyke, after inspecting the leakage of the contaminated water from it, as it was more prone to disaster.

A team of senior officials of the PPCD comprising the Environment Engineer, Mr Surinder Pal Garg, inspected the leakage of contaminated water from the stage-1 dyke of Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Plant this afternoon and also took a sample of the leakage water from five different places.

The leakage of the contaminated water from stage-1 dyke spread over 350 acres continued on the third day. The thermal authorities have increased the strength of labourers to about 200 to plug the leakage. The official claimed that the leakage would be expected to be controlled tomorrow.

Environment Engineer Surinder Pal Garg said “ I, along with other officials, took the samples of water from five different places, including leakage site, two samples from Ghanauli drain at two different places and two samples from Sutlej at two different places.” He added that the samples were taken to find out the damage being done to the flora and fauna in the region. The results would be expected within a week.


Tourism corpn staff in a soup
Unpaid bills of state guests
Lalit Mohan

Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, September 6
The Punjab Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) has decided to hold its employees responsible for the recovery of outstanding bills of state guests of the Punjab government. In one such incident the former manager of the Pathankot-based Gulmohar tourist complex, Mr Wilson, has been asked by the PTDC management that outstanding liabilities of the state guests would be recovered from their dues or salaries.

Mr Wilson has been held liable for depositing Rs 1428 as unpaid bill for the visit of the Chief Election Commissioner of India in 1984, Rs 203.57 as unpaid bill for the visit of Mr Jagjivan Lal, Jammu and Kashmir minister in 1984, Rs 865 as unpaid bill of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, the then Union Minister for Tourism (1986), Rs 755 as catering bill for the welfare party of the Government of India (1987), Rs 974 as unpaid bill of the then Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court (1986), Rs 2576 as unpaid bill for the party of the then Prime Minister (1991) and Rs 1369 as unpaid bill for the visit of the Dalai Lama to the local tourist complex in 1998.

Mr Wilson while talking to The Tribune here today alleged that the said dignitaries were state guests. The then Managing Director of the PTDC had issued written instructions to the staff that the credit should be extended to the district administration while catering to the state guests.

In accordance with the instructions he extended the credit and later sent the bills to the district administration. The district administration till date had not been able to get the requisite amount from the Punjab Government to clear the said bills. However, the management of the PTDC was unjustifiably harassing the PTDC staff for recovering the bills which were the liability of the Punjab Government.

He said the PTDC should take up the matter of the non-payment of the bill with the Punjab Government rather than harassing its own employees.

Besides Mr Wilson the former managers of the Boat Club Ropar and other tourist complexes of the PTDC are also being held responsible for the outstanding payments of the state guests.

The Chairman and the Managing Director of the PTDC were not available for comments despite repeated attempts to contact them on the telephone.


Samta Samaj Party to contest byelections
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 6
The Samta Samaj Party, Punjab, has decided that it will contest the forthcoming byelections. A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting held under the chairmanship of its state president, Mr Darshan Singh Jethumajara, here today.

Stating this, Mr Jethumajara said that a nine-member committee had been formed to decide the names of its candidates. He said that the names would be announced on September 19.

The party state president said that the condition of the BSP president, Mr Kanshi Ram, had deteriorated a lot but the party would declare its 21-point election manifesto based on his beliefs and directions.


Embassy asked to take up turban issue
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 6
The External Affairs Ministry has asked the Indian Embassy in France to take up the turban ban issue with the French Government. 

In a press note issued here today, Mr Mahinder Singh Giani, general secretary, Sri Guru Singh Sabha, said the sabha had written a letter to the President, Prime Minister and the External Affairs Ministry in this regard. He said in a communication to the Indian Embassy in France, a copy of which was sent to the sabha, the ministry had asked the embassy to take up matter with the appropriate authorities and to convey directly the outcome to the sabha.


Baba Farid Mela to strengthen Indo-Pak ties
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, September 6
While delegations from India and Pakistan have been making efforts to strengthen ties between the two countries, Baba Farid Mela which will be organised here from September 15 to 23 will play a key role in this regard.

A special guest would be Rai Aziz Ullah Khan, member of the National Assembly of Pakistan, and chairman of the Pakistan Tourism Corporation.

He is also the descendant of Rai Kalla who gave shelter to the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, at Raikot in 1705 when he was going from the Macchiwara forests.

Mr Khan will be received on the Wagah border on September 21 and will participate in a nagar kirtan on September 23. He will be the special guest during the closing ceremony of the Mela. Another attraction will be a Pakistan hockey team which will play a match with the winner of the All-India Baba Farid Gold Cup Hockey Tournament.

The participation of these people from Pakistan in Baba Farid Mela has a great significance as a number of ‘shlokas’ and ‘shabads’ of Baba Farid are included in Guru Granth Sahib whose quadricentennial celebrations are on these days.


Mazdoor Mukti Morcha dharna against anti-labour policies
Our Correspondent

Barnala, September 6
Activists of the Punjab Mazdoor Mukti Morcha today staged a dharna in protest against the anti- labour policies of the government. They started their protest procession from 22 Acre Scheme near the local Improvement Trust office. Raising slogans against the Union Government and the Punjab Government, the protesters passed through the main bazars and reached the office of the SDM in the court complex organising a protest dharna-cum-rally there.

Prominent among those who addressed the rally included Mrs Jita Kaur, a state-level leader of the CPI (ML), Mr Bhagwant Singh Samaon, secretary, Punjab Mazdoor Mukti Morcha, Mrs Iqbal Kaur Udaasi, a leader of the Pragtisheel Istri Sabha, Mr Ajaib Singh Phallewalia, president, Punjab Mazdoor Mukti Morcha, Barnala region, Antarjaami Singh, secretary, Punjab Mazdoor Mukti Morcha, Barnala region, Mr Ajaib Singh Sanghera, vice-president, Mukti Morcha, Barnala region, Mr Labh Singh Aakalia CPI (ML) Liberation leader, Mr Darshan Singh Jaloor and Mr Sadhu Singh.

The protesters flayed the Union as well as the state government for the injustice, partiality and exploitation of the labour class urging the leaders to enact a Central Labour Law at the national-level for labourers, doing away with “siri-paali” system replacing it with wages of Rs 150 per day under the Labour Law, free of cost ESI and group insurance schemes for labourers, they demanded the lowering of land ceiling limit from 18 acres to 10 acres with the provision of distribution of surplus land among labourers, enhancement of shagun money for socially and economically backward girls from Rs 5500 to Rs 11000.

The shifting of liquor vends from near the labour colonies, alternative arrangement of employment or unemployment allowance of Rs 1000 per month for those labourers rendered unemployed because of mechanised farming and compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the dependants of a labourer who died while at work.


Janmashtami celebrated with fervour
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, September 6
The Sri Gopal Krishan Seva Society today took out a religious procession on the eve of Janmashtami. The procession started from Chhoti Dhab and passed through various bazars, including Chintpurni Chowk, Namak and Dal mandis, Shastri Market, Telephone Exchange, Katra Praja, Shakti Nagar, Lohgarh Gate, Dhab Khatika, Kila Bhangia and culminated at Dhab Vasti Ram.

BATALA: Janmasthami was celebrated with great enthusiasm on Monday. Bazars and temples were decorated with flags and buntings. The Batala police district had made elaborate arrangements to meet any untoward incidents.

PHAGWARA: Local MLA and former Punjab Social Welfare Minister Joginder Singh Mann on Monday launched a cleanliness drive at various temples on the occasion of Janmashtami. Accompanied by Nagar Council President Malkiat Singh Ragbotra, Congress councillors, partymen and council staff, Mr Mann cleaned Mata Sandhuran Devi temple, an all-women temple that is thrown open to men once in a year on Janmashtami. After it, Mr Mann cleaned Baba Balak Nath temple and Shiv temple opposite JCT Mills. He also swept the Katehra Chowk area.


Weapons brought back from Jharkhand
K. S. Chawla

Ludhiana, September 6
The Punjab police has brought back a huge cache of arms and ammunition from Jharkhand and deposited the same with the Ropar district police. The weapons with ammunition were issued to a Punjab VIP for his security during the militancy and were left back in the factory of the VIP at Jamshedpur in Jharkhand state after the factory was sold. The Jharkhand police had found these weapons lying in a room of the factory in Jamshedpur and took the same into custody and later informed the Punjab Police and also sought action against the erring police personnel. The weapons were found sometime in May by Jharkhand police.

Enquiries show that seven self-loading rifles (SLRs) along with two stenguns and large quantity of cartidges were issued to seven security guards of Mr Ravi Inder Singh, former Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, during 1991 when militancy was at its peak in Punjab.

Mr Sanjiv Gupta, IG (Headquarters) Punjab confirmed that these weapons were issued to security guards of Mr Ravi Inder Singh by his predecessor in May-June- 1991. All the security guards were of Nepalese origin and were designated as SPOs (Special Police Officers). The Punjab police had recruited a large number of ex-servicemen and others as SPOs during the fight against militancy on daily wage basis.

Mr Gupta, who had served as SSP Ropar, said that there was nothing illegal in the issue of weapons to the security guards of Mr Ravi Inder Singh.

Mr Ravi Inder Singh when contacted said “I have no knowledge about the issue of the weapons. No arms were issued to me and the police might have issued weapons to my security guards.” Mr Prag Jain, DIG, Ludhiana Range, has been asked to conduct an enquiry and find out if any lapse has been committed. Mr Jain said he was looking into the matter and he could not say if any action was contemplated at this stage.


Death penalty for rapists sought
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 6
Expressing concern about the increase in rape cases, especially those involving infants and minor girls, Mr Ashi Goyal, general secretary of the Adhivakta Parishad, Punjab, today urged the Union Government to enact a law with a provision for death penalty for rapists.

Mr Goyal further said the enactment of such a law was the need of the hour as the existing law (Section 376 of the IPC) had little impact on the offenders.

He also said there was a need to delegate powers of issuing directions in habeas corpus cases which at present were with the high courts to the session courts as it would help those seeking relief for unlawful detentions.


Doctors refuse to contribute to CM’s Relief Fund
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 6
The Bathinda branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has decided not to contribute to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund and at the same time has lodged a complaint against the state Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, to the All- India Congress Committee President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, for alleged disparaging remarks made by him (Mr Singla) against medical professionals.

The IMA has passed a resolution that no member would make any contribution to the Chief Minister Relief Fund, which was being demanded from them allegedly “under threat” by senior officials of the Punjab Health Department. The IMA also agitated over the fact that Mr Singla allegedly dubbed doctors as ‘looters’.

Dr Amrit Sethi, president of the Bathinda branch, of the IMA, alleges that private medical practitioners, including those running ultrasound centres, were “dictated” to contribute a fixed amount to the relief fund by a senior official of the Punjab Health Department at a meeting recently. He alleges they were told that if they did not contribute action would be taken against them under the PNDT Act.

“ We are not going to submit to blackmailing. Donation or contribution is always voluntary and not forced,” he adds.

The complaint sent by the IMA to Ms Gandhi reads: “Calling the doctors as “looters” by Mr Singla is in bad taste. Bathinda doctors were the first to welcome Mr Singla as a Congress candidate in the last assembly elections, thinking he was scholastic candidate. But Mr Singla has proved us wrong on more than one occasion. The complaint was lodged on September 3.

The IMA has urged Ms Gandhi to restrain Mr Singla from insulting doctors.

Meanwhile, the IMA has also condemned the alleged false implication of Dr Ramesh Maheshwary, Medical Officer, Local Civil Hospital, in a corruption case. 


6-member police team for training in European Alps
Gurvinder Kaur

Patiala, September 6
A six-member mountaineering team of the Punjab Police Adventure Sports Club is set to leave for a training course in mountaineering in the European Alps. The team will spend three weeks in European climbing centres in Switzerland and France beginning the first week of September. The team is being led by Dr P.M. Das, Inspector-General of Police, Ferozepur Zone.

The team will attempt European Alpine peaks in the Zermatt Climbing Centre (Switzerland) and another in Austria. They will also climb mountains around the climbing centre of Chamonix including Mount Blanc which is the highest mountain in Europe. The team members will train with alpine guides belonging to Campagnie Des Guides of Chamonix (France) during the period. Apart from Mr Das the five other members of the team include Mr Gautam Cheema, Senior Superintendent of Police, Dr Haripal Singh, Senior Medical Officer, PAP, Mr Vinod Chopra, Office Superintendent, ASI Inder Kumar and HC Mohan Lal. OC


Terrorists remanded in police custody
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, September 6
All five terrorists trying to revive terrorism in Punjab and its adjoining states were remanded in police custody till September 12 by Mr Ranjit Singh Duty Magistrate, last evening.

Amid tight security, the terrorists were produced at the house of the Duty Magistrate by Mr Sulakhan Singh, in charge, CIA staff, here. The police claimed that the terrorists were wanted for more recoveries and information.

Accepting the plea of the police the magistrate remanded them in police custody.


Deaf and dumb girl raped, pregnant
Our Correspondent

Barnala, September 6
A deaf and dumb girl, aged 14 and a resident of this town, has become pregnant allegedly as a result of repeated rape by Harvinder Singh, a 28-year-old married man living in her neighbourhood. He allegedly raped the school girl over several months. The girl is six months pregnant now.

Mr Ashok Mohan, SHO, Kotwali police station, said today that the police took action after a complaint was lodged by the mother of the girl.

The police registered a case yesterday against five persons, including Harvinder, under Sections 376 and 120-B of the IPC.

The others booked in this case are Shiv Ram, Narinder Kumar, Sita Devi and Meera Rani, all family members of Harvinder. All five have been arrested.


Case registered against TV journalist
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 6
A case has been registered against Rajiv Singla, a correspondent of Jain TV, and another person identified as Mr Bansal for their alleged involvement in the blackmail of a local doctor running a clinic here.

Police sources said the case was registered against the two on a statement of Dr O.P. Mittal, a surgeon, who has clinic on the Court Road. Dr Mittal in the statement to the police alleged the correspondent and his associate held out a threat to him to either give them Rs 2 lakh or face adverse publicity.

The correspondent and his associate who visited the clinic of Dr Mittal a number of times allegedly told him that a section of patients, who had been operated upon by Dr Mittal were not satisfied. Hence Dr Mittal should either give them Rs 2 lakh or face adverse publicity.

Mr Kapil Dev, SSP, whom mediapersons met today to lodge their protest against the alleged false implication of the TV journalist in a criminal case said he had ordered an inquiry and the SP (D), Mr Ajay Maluja had been asked to conduct it.

Rajiv Singla also gave a complaint to Mr Dev in which he alleged that Dr Mittal tried to allure him by offering to buy space for an advertisement with the channel with which he was working. When he went to collect the advertisement, false allegations were made against him. The SSP ordered an inquiry into his complaint also.

Police sources said Mr Singla and Mr Bansal were booked under Sections 384, 385, 506 and 511 of the IPC. The case was registered at city police station.

The Bathinda unit of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) also alleged yesterday that Rajiv Singla, a local correspondent of Jain T.V. made an attempt to export money from one of its members Dr O.P. Mittal by holding out a threat to him that if he (Dr Mittal) did not give money, he (the correspondent) would telecast an adverse news item gathered by the latter against the former.


Youth found murdered; residents block traffic
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, September 6
The body of Saudagar Ram alias Kala was found in a vacant plot near Khambra village today. The police had, last night, registered a case on the statement of Sunita Rani, wife of the deceased, who alleged that her husband Kala was kidnapped by Akshay, Satish, Manjit Singh, Surjit Singh Bitti and Gogna, when he was returning home after attending a cultural function in the Buta Mandi area.

Kala, who, along with his friend Bhola, was coming in a car when two youths including Surjit Singh Bitti, stopped the car and pulled them out. While Bhola was allowed to flee away Kala, was whisked away by the miscreants the complainant alleged in her 

After registering a case, a police party conducted raids at various places but failed to nab any of the accused, police sources said.

The body of Kala was partially burnt and two bricks having blood stains were found near the body, the sources said adding that body has been sent for post-mortem.

During the course of investigation, it was found that Kala, against whom several cases were registered and who was currently on bail, was having enmity with the Bitti gang and Bitti along with his gang members allegedly murdered him, the police sources added.

Agitated residents of the Bhargo camp area came out on the road in the morning and protested against the police for the murder of Kala. The mob even blocked the road by burning tyres and pelted stones on shops damaging windowpanes.

The police has registered a case against the five accused under various Sections of the IPC and efforts were on to nab them a senior police official said.


Rs 8,000 robbed from liquor shop
Our Correspondent

Kharar, September 6
Cash was taken away at gun point by unidentified persons from a liquor vend in Jhanjeri village, near here, last night. It is reported that three persons on a motor cycle reached the liquor vend in the village and asked the employees on duty to hand over the cash to them. An employee was reported to have suffered an injury during the incident. He was reportedly admitted to a hospital at Mohali.

However, Mr Jasdev Singh, DSP, said that no such incident had taken place at Jhanjeri village.


Scooterist crushed to death
Our Correspondent

Lalru, September 6
A scooterist was crushed to death when a truck approaching from the opposite direction collided head-on with his scooter on the busy Kalka-Ambala highway in Lehli village near here, late last night.

The deceased was later identified as Mehar Singh (35), a resident of Fatehpur Behra. He was driving his scooter (PB-70-0377) towards Dera Bassi when the truck (GL-1GA-9935) heading towards Ambala collided head-on leaving Mehar Singh died on the spot.

The driver of the truck sped away from the scene after the accident. Some passerby noticed the body and badly damaged scooter on the road and informed the police.

After registering a case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the Indian Penal Code, at Lalru police station, the police has sent the body to the Civil Hospital, Rajpura, for postmortem examinations.


Eight nabbed for immoral trafficking
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 6
The district police today nabbed eight persons, including four women, allegedly for immoral trafficking here last evening. A case under Section 3/4/5/7 of the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act was registered at Vijay Nagar police station here today.

The arrested women include the kingpin of the gang running the flesh trade. Those nabbed included Raja, Parvej, Manoj and Manohar, all belongs to the nearby areas on the Batala road here.

In the preliminary investigations, it was found that the accused woman used to call girls and boys at her house taken on rent which she used to change after every six months. She has been running the illegal trade for the past one and half years. In the meanwhile, medical examination of the accused has been conducted.


Physiotherapy students block traffic
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, September 6
Students of Bachelor of Physiotherapy (BPT) of the Adesh Institute of Medical Sciences, Muktsar, today blocked traffic in front of the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences for about an hour. The blockade affected traffic on the Faridkot-Kotkapura road.

The protesters lamented that the university was giving them only one chance (in December) to clear the subject in which they had failed. They said the rule led to the wastage of one academic year as if they failed in the only chance given to them they would have to appear in all papers in July and they could appear for the next class' paper after one year. They said other universities were following the carry on rule under which students could continue with subject of next year while clearing the papers of previous year. They said the university had implemented the carry on rule for the MBBS and the BAMS courses following strikes by students of these courses.

Highlighting their other grievance, the student representatives said if they failed in theory paper of a subject they had to appear for theory as well as practical examination and vice versa, which was again not the case with other varsities. They demanded that they should be made to appear only for the part (theory or practical) in which they had failed.

Later, a police party rushed to the spot and tried to pacify the agitating students. The blockade was lifted after the varsity officials asked them to hand over a letter detailing their demands. The university officials said the matter would be discussed at a meeting on September 14.

Students force private buses off road
Tribune News Service

Mansa, September 6
The call to stop private buses from plying in this district today given by the common front of various student organisations to protest against the “highhandedness” of private bus operators received a good response.

On their part, private bus operators blocked traffic on Mansa crossings to protest against the students’ action.

Activists of various students’ organisation laid “nakas” on the main as well as link roads in the district to bring the private bus services to a complete halt. The students were supported by various farmers’ and other organisations in the agitation.

Student organisations, including the All-India Student Association, Students Federation of India, Punjab Radical Students Union and the All-India Democratic Students Organisation, had decided to stop the private buses from plying in this district on September 6 and September 7 after three students were severely injured and two private buses were damaged in a clash between students and bus operators here on August 27.

The students have been demanding the registration of criminal cases against the bus operators who attacked the students.

Bus operators, who have been holding rallies, claim that they were only checking those persons who were travelling in private buses as students even though they were not.

Though the district administration has tried to bring about a compromise between the students and bus operators, the attempts failed every time due to certain conditions laid down by the students that were not accepted by the bus operators.

The students today said the administration still had time to solve the matter by making the bus operators accept their demands and taking action against the guilty operators.

They said they would continue the agitation tomorrow, and on September 10 they would burnt the effigy of the state Transport Minister.

SANGRUR: A joint students’ front, comprising seven organisations, including the Punjab Radical Students Union, Punjab Students Union and the Students Federation of India, has decided to burn effigies of the Punjab Transport Minister and observe a strike on September 10 in education institutions of the state.

Stating this here on Monday, Mr Harbans Sonu, a leader of the PRSU, said the agitation was in protest against the “failure” of the government in getting the student bus-pass facility implemented fully.


Baba Ajit Singh donates Rs 20 lakh for students
Our Correspondent

Patiala, September 6
Sant Baba Ajit Singh, Nirmal Dera, Hansali, Fatehgarh Sahib district has given Rs 1.50 lakh and a draft for Rs 1.25 lakh to the Vice-Chancellor, Punjabi University, for 10 students for six years at Yadvindra College of Engineering, Talwandi Sabo, here today.

Sant Ajit Singh further said to render full support to university in future also. Vice-Chancellor Swarn Singh Boparai presented a set of university publications including “Guru Granth Kosh”, “Nanak Parksh Patrika”, “Atlas of Travels of Guru Nanak” to him.

Those who were present included Paramjit Singh, Gursharan Singh Khera, Dr Pritam Singh Koonar, Narinder Singh and Nachhatar Singh Randhawa.


Teachers felicitated for outstanding performance
Our Correspondent

Abohar, September 6
Mrs Sandhya Jindal, Principal of Guru Teg Bahadur Senior Secondary School, Gidderbaha, was honoured along with other local teachers for outstanding academic and social services at a function organised by the Punjabi Sabhyachar Manch on Teachers’ Day here yesterday.

Former headmistress Malika Sharma, Dr Rakesh Sehgal, Ms Asha Kukkar, Ms Asha Makkar, Ms Neelam Brar, Ms Amrit Kaur Bajaj, Ms Anita Chugh, Ms Devinder Kaur Bhullar, Ms Veena Nagpal, Ms Sanjeev Kumar and Ms Parvinder Singh who is in charge of the Punjab State Education Board flying squad were also honoured.

The Chief Guest, DSP Narenderpal Singh, who is also a former member of the National Junior Hockey Team, presented awards to Mr Vikrant Swami, a local college student, for saving a couple from drowning, Mr Mukesh Chawla for topping in three examinations/entrance tests, Ms Ritu Sachdeva, Ms Monika Gadi and Ms Shalu Valecha for distinction in the NTT exams.

Former SDM B. L. Sikka and Mr. Gurcharan Singh Gill chief patron and president of the Manch, respectively, thanked Mr Hans Raj Riwar, Branch Manager of the Punjab National Bank for sponsoring all the prizes at the function as a mark of respect to the teachers and brilliant students.

Bharat Vikas Parishad also organised Teachers’ Day function at Genius International School, Sachkhand Convent School, Flower Valley Public Senior Secondary School and Sardar Patel Nursing Institute. More than 50 teachers and students who had acclaimed distinctions were honoured on this occasion.


School celebrates Janmashtami
Our Correspondent

Kharar, September 6
Janmashtami was celebrated with great enthusiasm in various schools here today. Students of Little Blossoms took part in various activities organised in connection with Janmashtami celebrations at the school. Beautiful jhankis, showing different episodes of the life of Lord Krishna, were prepared. The jhankis were inaugurated by Mr Ram Rattan, Municipal Councillor. Mrs Narinder Kaur Bedi, Principal, was also present.

Students of APJ Public School also participated in the Janmashtami celebrations. Here, too, jhankis on the life of Lord Krishna were organised. A choreography depicting various scenes from the life of Lord Krishna was presented. The participants were given gifts by the school authorities.


Transparent cabins for Internet cafes on cards
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 6
Dark spacious wooden cabins in Internet cafes, built with the purpose of providing complete privacy to young users who frequent there are likely to become a thing of the past with the district police asking all Internet cafe owners to install transparent cabins, besides directing them to keep a check on pornographic material in the cafes.

This step has been taken following complaints to the city police in which girls have alleged that they had been “exploited” in various Internet cafes. The police had recently arrested two couples in a surprise check on an Internet cafe in the Lower Mall area.

Sources said Internet cafes were earning money frm this business. The sources said normal Internet rates had become so less at Rs 10 per hour that there was no profit in the business at all. The sources said even though many youngsters had access to computers at home, they could not watch pornographic sites on them and visited Internet cafes.

Following complaints the police decided to make them change their manner of operations. As many as 51 Internet cafe owners were called for a meeting with Superintendent of Police (Headquarters) L.K. Yadav yesterday from all over the district, including small towns. During the discussion it was decided that the wooden cabins would have to go and that all the cafe owners must install transparent cabins through which the head of the person using the facility could be seen.

All Internet cafe owners had also been asked to create terminal spaces which allow only one person to use the facility. This means couples wanting to see the Internet could not be seated together. The cafe owners had also been asked to also maintain a log book through which the identity of the users could also be checked.

Mr Yadav said he had also asked the cafe owners to install filtration softwares in the computers to ensure youngsters would not access porn material on them. However, the cafe owners said this was easier said than done. According to them as they were running lease lines, the control was in the hands of the Internet service providers (ISPs). They said the filtration devices did not work on the ISPs.

Meanwhile, the district police has constituted a team which will look into the functioning of the cafes. The team, which will have a computer expert, will also make visits to the cafes and access the computers there to verify what kind of data is being accessed in the cafes generally. The cafe owners have been asked to comply with the direction regarding installation of transparent cabins within one week and submit a compliance report along with photographs of the transparent cabins. 

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |