P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Hanspal for amicable solution of inter-state issues
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 17
After a long time, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief, Mr H.S. Hanspal, today announced that his party would aim at an ‘amicable’ settlement of inter-state issues like transfer of Chandigarh and other left-out Punjabi-speaking areas into Punjab.

Talking to select mediapersons after the North Zone Rajiv Gandhi Youth Leadership Training Camp, that concluded here today, Mr Hanspal, however, criticised the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) for having failed to take up any interstate issue during its five-years government.

He accused the SAD for inciting innocent persons with inflammatory slogans near election time. Mr Hanspal was all praise for the Chief Minister for his bold stand on the inter-state riverwaters.

Mr Hanspal said any restrictions to buy agricultural land in Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan by residents of Punjab could sow seeds of ‘distrust’ among countrymen. The PPCC chief said he would make all efforts to deny the party ticket to persons with criminal background.

He however, favoured giving due representation to the youth while allocating the party ticket. He said parameters should be framed to make criminal elements ‘ineligible’ for any election.

Asked about his continuation as PPCC chief, Mr Hanspal said that it was the sole discretion of the party high command. He said chances of his getting another term were “fifty-fifty”.

However, he hastened to add that in the wake of the forthcoming elections, the Chief Minister had recommended his (Mr Hanspal’s) continuation as PPCC chief.

On the fate of Mr Jagmit Singh Brar, Mr Hanspal said the state unit had already recommended action against him.

There was a brief commotion during the concluding function of the camp as one of the delegates alleged that despite the sacrifices by Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose, they had not been given due recognition by the part, even after 58 years of Independence.

He sought Bharat Ratna for Bhagat Singh. Speaking at the training camp, Mr Ashok Gahlot, general secretary of the All-India Congress Committee, called upon the youth Congress leaders to make the party stronger.


Decision on Hanspal rests with party: Bhattal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 17
Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal said today that Capt Amarinder Singh was probably expressing his opinion supporting the continuation of Mr H.S. Hanspal as president of the PPCC.

In response to media queries over the issue, she said only Ms Sonia Gandhi and mutual consent of the party delegates would decide the future president of the PPCC. She refused to share her opinion about the performance of Mr Hanspal.

Mrs Bhattal did not disclose whether the Chief Minister had delegated powers to her before leaving for a tour of Canada and other countries. “Ask the Chief Minister about it” she said.

She was here to meet her nephew Kulbir Singh (22), who sufferred a gunshot injury when a carbine went off while he was fiddling with it.

Ms Bhattal who is also the Higher Education Minister, said the corporatisation of the government schools would be decided in June after a meeting of the committee concerned.


SAD panel asks Bibi to look into film issue
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
The SAD’s Political Affairs Committee (PAC), a meeting of which here today was virtually rocked by the controversy regarding the clean chit given to the film “Jo Bole So Nihal” by a panel set up by the Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, has asked Bibi Jagir Kaur, SGPC President, to look into the whole affair personally.

The PAC passed a resolution urging the government authorities concerned to immediately stop the screening of the film in the country till it was cleared by the panel set up by the SGPC. “It has hurt Sikh sentiments”, the PAC said.

The SAD President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, presided over the meeting. Angry over the harm caused by the clean chit issue to the revered office of Jathedar of Akal Takht, and in the process to the SGPC and the SAD, various members of the PAC urged Mr Badal to set the house in order to save vital Sikh institutions from further sinking into trouble.

Facing a volley of questions on the issue, Mr Badal said the party was seized of the matter and it had asked Bibi Jagir Kaur to deal with the issue. Several Panthic organisations had levelled serious allegations against the Jathedar of Akal Takht and one his aides immediately after the start of the clean chit controversy.

Mr Badal said there was always some system to deal with issues. Asked whether the present Jathedar, during whose tenure many controversies had erupted would be replaced, Mr Badal said he would not say anything in this connection. “It is a religious issue and the SGPC is the body to deal with it”, he added. “If we replaced the Jathedar, mediapersons will start writing that the Jathedars are being changed frequently”, he added.

A member of the PAC said at the meeting that there was much more to the clean chit controversy than what had come to light so far. He said a liquor baron’s close associate had got the clean chit issued. That associate had secured an important position in a Panthic organisation with the help of the father-in-law of one of the most important leaders of the SAD. The Panth required to be told all this. In fact, the PAC member said the grabbing of an important position in a Panthic organisation by the liquor baron’s associate was a serious matter and required to be debated extensively.

Although Mr Badal has asked Bibi Jagir Kaur to “look into the clean chit affair”, he has not fixed any time-frame in this connection. Whether Bibi Jagir Kaur will submit her report to the PAC, of which she is a member, or the executive of the SGPC is also not clear. Mr Badal said the SAD had objected to naming the film “Jo Bole So Nihal.” If the film had been a religious one, there would have been no objection”, he added. The PAC sought the withdrawal of the police cases registered against those who had participated in the protests against the screening of the film a few days ago.

Among the issues which caused concern at the meeting was the decision to withdraw the dossier which was submitted to UNESCO to seek world heritage site status for the Golden Temple. Certain members wanted to know why the decision to withdraw the dossier was taken when it was submitted with the approval of the SGPC earlier. 


SGPC nominates 6 invitees to review film
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 17
The SGPC president, Bibi Jagir Kaur, nominated six special invitees to the 15- member subcommittee to review the controversial Hindi film, “Jo Bole So Nihal”.

The first meeting of the subcommittee would be held in Chandigarh on May 19.

In a press release the SGPC stated that special invitees include Dr Gurnam Kaur, former Head, Department of Guru Granth Sahib Studies, Punjabi University, Patiala, Baba Daya Singh (Bidhi Chand sect), Mr Bhag Singh Ankhi, honorary secretary, Chief Khalsa Dewan, Prof Niranjan Singh Dhesi and Bhai Ram Singh, chief, Damdami Taksal.


‘Harassed’ by Vigilance, patwari ends life
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, May 17
The negligence on the part of the Vigilance authorities forced an innocent government employee to commit suicide. Harjit Singh, a patwari of the Sangalpura locality of Gurdaspur, reportedly committed suicide yesterday by consuming pesticides.

Sources said the patwari was under depression due to the alleged harassment at the hands of Vigilance sleuths. The case in while he had been booked pertained to a crime that took place in 1992-93. He was posted at Kiri Khurd village at the time and was accused of tampering with record.

It was alleged that in a particular case, 11 marlas of a person were increased to 91 marlas in the revenue record. This created disputes over land ownership. Some of those affected, reported the matter to the Vigilance.

The inquiry was transferred to the Revenue Department. The DRO, Gurdaspur, conducted an inquiry and exonerated Harjit Singh. Instead, it was found that another patwari, Vijay Kumar, was responsible for the wrong records.

In a written statement before the DRO, Vijay Kumar said it had been caused by a “pen mistake”. On the basis of the inquiry, no action was taken against Harjit Singh and Vijay Kumar was penalised by with-holding his two increments.

However, the Vigilance Department after 10 years, again opened an inquiry into the case. The sources said some complainant in the case wrote a letter to the Chief Minister’s office, which marked the inquiry to the Vigilance.

Local Vigilance officials, without asking for the previous inquiry from the Revenue Department, gave their report that the crime had been committed. On the basis of their inquiry, a case was ordered to be registered against revenue officials.

The officials registered a case under the prevention of corruption Act against Harjit Singh and Vijay Kumar. Both were remanded in judicial custody for three days about two months ago.

Family members of Harjit Singh alleged that he could never come out of the shock of being sent to jail despite being proved innocent in the earlier inquiry. Yesterday, he went to his room and consumed pesticides.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Vivek Pratap Singh, admitted that the patwari had been exonerated by the previous inquiry. He said he would send his report to the government. All necessary help would be extended to the family of the deceased.

The Patwari Union of the district, meanwhile, submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, demanding the registration of case against the Vigilance officials.


Surgical technique named after CMCH docs

Ludhiana, May 17
In a rare honour a new surgical technique was named after Dr Rajesh Paul and Dr Amitabh Dwyer, two young orthopedic surgeons of the local Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH).

The technique for amputation near the heel, pioneered by these senior orthopedic surgeons was now known as “Modified Dwyer and Paul Procedure” in the international literature and it had been published as such in the Journal of Orthopedic Trauma’s April issue.

Dr Paul has had his higher surgical training in the UK while Dr Dwyer was presently undergoing his training there.

According to Dr Paul, the technique, its results, and follow-up of this procedure were compared with other standard procedures.

All patients were ambulated soon after the surgery, using crutches and in a few weeks, they could walk bare foot or by using their special shoes, both indoors and outdoors. The salvage of leg length and preservation of the sole in its normal position of the ankle joint offered a viable option to the surgeon and patients. This procedure had good results after amputation, near the heel, especially in younger patients. — OC


Kultaran case: Iranian SC upholds jury verdict
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
The Supreme Court of Iran — Deewaneh Aali Keshavar — yesterday upheld the verdict of the jury of a penal court of the Province of Tehran convicting Majid Jahanshahi Anbouhi in the Sikh businessman Kultaran Singh murder case sentencing him to 10 years imprisonment each for both intentional murder and intent to rob the victim.

Majid Jahanshahi Anbouhi had moved the Supreme Court against the December 15 verdict of the jury to plead for reduction in the sentence on the plea that he killed his one-time friend in rage after he refused to pay him back the money he had taken from him.

The Supreme Court, however, upheld that Majid not only intentionally killed 51-year-old Kultaran Singh Anand but also decamped with some valuables from his office.

Kultaran Singh, a Gursikh born in Iran, was brutally killed on August 7, 2003. This killing not only shook the confidence of the small Sikh and Indian community of Iran, which has been living there for three generations now, but also created a sense of insecurity among minorities there.

The entire Sikh diaspora had appealed to the highest authorities in India and Iran to intervene in this case and restore the confidence and security of the Sikh community in Iran by seeking justice for the murder of Kultaran Singh. Petitions were presented to the Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh, the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, Mr Krishan Chander Singh, Indian Ambassador to Iran, and the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee seeking their support and intervention.

Ms Daman Anand, widow of Kultaran Singh, had also sought the support of the Sikh diaspora worldwide as well as of the Nobel laureate and human rights lawyer, Ms Shirein Ebadi, an Iranian. Mrs Anand has two teenaged sons besides an old mother-in-law to look after.

The alleged killer, whose public confession was covered by the entire Iranian media, was tried by a Tehran Criminal Court on December 15. The lawyers believed that since the deceased was a Gursikh (a non-Muslim) in an Islamic Republic, and the perpetrator of the crime a Muslim, it was questionable whether justice would be served. The lawyers expected that at the most the family could claim and be awarded Diya compensation up to Rs 10 lakh (around US$23,000). The widow and the community, however, wanted that the killer should be given exemplary punishment.

According to the prosecution, Majid Jahanshahi Anbouhi, (47) had gone to the office of Kultaran Singh Anand on August 7, 2003, and stabbed him several times with a knife and robbed his assets. The jury held that considering the rules and regulations governing Muslims in connection with the murder of a non-Muslim, the convict was guilty under the relevant provisions of the Islamic Punishment Law but could not be awarded the punishment for murder.

The jury, however, held that this act of the accused resulted in spoiling the prestige of society and he was condemned to 10 years’ imprisonment for intentional murder and 10 years’ imprisonment for robbery. He was also directed to return the robbed items.

The jury allowed both the accused and the family members of the deceased to file an appeal against its order in the Supreme Court of the country. While the family decided not to file any appeal as it wanted to continue the business of Kultaran Singh, the convict did.


Punjab owes over Rs 300 cr to Centre for
deployment of para-military forces

Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
Punjab tops the list of states and public sector units owing a total of about Rs 2,400 crore to the central government for deployment of para-military forces on internal security duties. The delay in recovering the amount was stated to be because of certain deficiencies in the existing system.

Revealing this in its latest report on the Union Government, tabled in Parliament a few days ago, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has also rebuked the Centre for delay on its part which has resulted in about Rs 372 crore from the above amount becoming irrecoverable.

As of March, 2004, Punjab owed Rs 316 crore to the Center for deployment of the Central Reserve Police Force, the Border Security Force, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force and the Central Industrial Security Force. Haryana owed Rs 36 crore. Punjab's debt is followed by that of Uttar Pradesh, pegged at Rs 308 crore.

"Despite their assurance, the Ministry of Home Affairs failed to rectify deficiencies in the system of recovery of outstanding dues from state governments and public sector undertakings (PSU) resulting in outstanding dues of Rs 2399.55 crore," the CAG report said. "The delay has resulted in Rs 372.38 crore due from 26 PSUs becoming irrecoverable," the report added.

The ministry had earlier admitted that the arrears were due to deficiency in the existing system, including the system of internal control, and failure to follow the prescribed procedure.

A Policy Planning Group set up to look into the modalities for recovering the dues recommended, among other measures, a joint meeting with representatives from Punjab and some other similarly placed states. Recovery in case of Punjab could be made from the Central Plan Assistance with approval of the Cabinet.

Audit also revealed that 15 airport authorities had not paid Rs 7.62 crore to the ministry towards security for deployment of the CISF. Also, interest on non-deposit of security by the airport authorities worked out to be Rs 1.56 crore. The total amount outstanding from PSUs was Rs 615 crore.

The year-wise details of outstanding dues from the state governments for the period 1999-00 to 2003-4 furnished by the ministry placed the recoverable amount at Rs 2709.73 crore. This, the report noted, varied widely from the figure of Rs 1784.56 crore worked out from the figures furnished to audit by director-Generals' offices concerned.

The report further pointed out that even in the figures furnished by the ministry, there was a totalling error of Rs 509.11 crore. What, according to the ministry's own figures should have amounted to Rs 2200.62 crore, was stated to be Rs 2709.73 crore.


SAD seeks dismissal of Jagjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
The Shiromani Akali Dal today urged the Governor of Punjab, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), to dismiss the Local Bodies and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Ch Jagjit Singh, after he was charged with travelling without a valid ticket on the New Delhi-Chandigarh Shatabdi Express early this month.

In a resolution adopted at a joint meeting of the Working Committee and the Executive Committee of the Dal here, deep anguish was expressed at the conduct of the Minister who had to pay a penalty in addition to the fare for illegally travelling on the train as a companion/attendant of another Punjab Minister and former MP, Mr Surinder Singla.

The resolution said that this attempt to deprive the union exchequer of normal train fare of Rs 880 in the presence of the state’s Finance Minister had exposed the real face of the Punjab Government. The Dal wondered how the finances of the state could be safe in the hands of a Finance Minister who had allegedly encouraged his senior ministerial colleague to travel without a ticket.


Confusion in SAD over ties with NDA
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
Apparently confused over what sort of relationship it should have with the National Democratic Alliance( NDA) and whether it should also boycott the monsoon session of Parliament, the SAD leadership said today that it would decide the issues at the time of the next session of Parliament.

Unable to defend itself on the issue of the boycott of Parliament, the SAD President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, said that his party took the step because it was part of the NDA. Quizzed repeatedly by mediapersons after a meeting of the Political Affairs Committee of the party on how many call attention motions were moved by Akali MPs and how many questions were asked during the recently concluded session of Parliament, Mr Badal had no answer to offer.

Asked whether the BJP had been deciding what political line and agenda were to be adopted by the SAD, Mr Badal said “ it was not so”. He said his party could also follow a separate path. Intervening briefly, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, said Akali MPs had spoken on the general Budget, the Railway budget and also on the Presidential Address. “We also raised the turban issue”.

Meanwhile, an SAD delegation will meet the Prime Minster to request him to stop the Haryana Government from setting up a separate gurdwara parbhandhak committee in that state. “ It is interference in the religious affairs of the Sikhs and we are opposed to it”, said Mr Badal.

He referred to the Nehru-Tara Singh pact in the 1960s through which it was decided that nothing would be done in connection with Sikh religious issues without the consent of the SGPC.

Mr Badal said the SAD would not allow the handover of the control of the Harike, Ferozepore and Ropar headworks to the BBMB come what may. He said the exercise of delimitation being undertaken by the Justice Kuldeep Singh Commission would be rendered irrelevant as the Union Government was preparing to pass the Women Reservation Bill in the next session of Parliament.

He said the law and order situation in the state was very bad. Besides, “the Amarinder Singh government is virtually looting the state”, he added.

He said the late Lt-Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora, who earned fame by winning the war in Bangladesh, should be given the Bharat Ratna posthumously. When asked why the previous NDA government, of which the SAD was a part, did not honour him, Mr Badal had no answer.

The PAC sought Rs 50 per quintal as bonus for farmers who suffered losses this year because of the fall in the yield of wheat.


Hospital officiating head blamed
Absence of doctor at Bharatgarh
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Ropar, May 17
The officiating in charge of the hospital at Bharatgarh has been held responsible for the absence of any doctor in the hospital when accident victims were brought there for treatment on Saturday.

According to Dr Rana Harinder, Civil Surgeon, an inquiry report has been sent to the Director, Health Services.

When contacted, Dr Rana told The Tribune it had been found that the officiating in charge, Dr Bant Singh, had not assigned duty to any doctor on May 14 and May 15. So there was no doctor on Saturday when the injured were brought there for treatment.

She said the officiating in charge did not assign duty to any doctor on the plea that the doctors had to participate in the pulse polio drive on Sunday.

Giving details, she said it was found that villagers had paid Rs 200 to fill diesel in the ambulance to take the injured from the Bharatgarh hospital to the Civil Hospital here.

The Tribune had carried a story on Sunday that four persons, including three children, were killed and nine injured when the Sumo in which they were travelling collided head-on with a truck near Bharatgarh on Saturday.

There was no doctor present in the Bharatgarh hospital. The ambulance too was found without fuel. Most of the injured hailed from Jatta village in Amritsar.


Durgiana panel boycotts social worker
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 17
Sri Durgiana Temple the management committee today “boycotted” Mr S.S. Sharma, a social activist, for his alleged anti-temple activities. Mr Surinder Arjun, officiating president of the committee, said here today that Mr Sharma was debarred from entering into the temple premises.

Mr Arjun added that he indulged in “malafide propaganda” against the temple by leveling false allegations against committee members. In 2003, the residents of Katra Praja where he resides, filed a complaint to various departments against him alleging blackmailing at the hands of Mr Sharma.

He said Mr Sharma had filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against Mr Rajinder Kumar Bhalla, general secretary of the Committee, and a councillor for declaring him “undeserving”. He said the court dismissed his plea after knowing that he was a police employee expelled from the department after a number of complaints of blackmailing the extorting money.

Mr Arjun said Mr Sharma filed a plea in the district court against his expulsion. However, the court dismissed the plea later on, in view of the serious complaints against him. However, when contacted Mr Sharma said the case was pending in the High Court.

Mr Sharma said the committee was agitated over various alleged scandals being unearthed by him. 


New meaning in life for the elderly
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Bundala (Jalandhar), May 17
With as many as half the number of young couples in Bundala having moved to greener pastures, a centre set up in the village has become a haven for their elderly parents.

Sitting all alone in their homes, the elderly had no way of spending their time profitably till they found a new lease of life at the centre. The plan of the Mahila Manch of the village to set up the centre proved successful when they agreed to get together during the day and share their problems.

Having started a new routine, the elderly seem to have become busy. They get ready every morning to go to the centre where they discuss day-to-day matters with others and remain occupied with one activity or the other.

Nearly 50 elderly persons enrolled by the centre start gathering around 9.30 every morning. They work out at the recently set up gymnasium and later divide into two groups. The women sit inside the hall while the men move into the verandah.

Both groups then get busy reading the headlines of the day in various Punjabi and Hindi dailies. The two groups have their own readers who read out news items as others sit quietly listening. At times, an item may start a discussion which may go on endlessly.

Women members of the centre say they have learnt new knitting patterns and recipes. They also sing Punjabi folk songs together and perform gidha. At times the atmosphere may become a little depressing when they are reminded of their children settled abroad. There may be a prolonged silence on such occasions till someone intervenes with some humorous remark or anecdote.

Ms Mahinder Kaur, a septuagenarian, says her aim of going to the centre is to have some company. “My son and his wife went to the USA nearly 15 years ago. My daughter also got married and followed her brother two years later. For nearly 13 years, my husband and I have lived just for each other. But we found a change for the better when we joined the centre. We have been attending talks on geriatrics. The person in charge of the centre helped us prepare our documents for getting passports and visas so that we could see our children,” she says.

Ms Amar Kaur, who is in her eighties, says her three children have been in the USA for 18 years and she, too, has found good companions at the centre. “Being alone, I had confined myself to the four walls of my house, but now at the centre I have got a chance to go on a tour to various religious and historical places”, she says, adding that a doctor attached to the centre examines the members regularly.

Ms Balbir Kaur Bans, secretary of the Mahila Manch and sarpanch of the village, says elderly persons have found a new meaning in life at the centre.


Women can help check drug menace: Bahuguna
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 17
Mr Sunder Lal Bahuguna, a crusader of Chipko Movement and associated with drug deaddiction of youths in five districts of Uttaranchal, said women should organise themselves and come out to protest against the drug and liquor mafia in Punjab.

While talking to the The Tribune here today, he said only women could help check the problem of drug addiction as it were they who had to suffer due to this menace.

Referring to his experience in Uttaranchal, he said he had organised the women there to come out of their slumber and revolt against the opening of liquor vends. He said nobody dared to oppose these protesting women and thus the five districts of Uttaranchal were now free from liquor mafia.

Mr Bahuguna, who had also been a freedom fighter, said he was trying for the Himalayan policy to be passed in Parliament so that felling of trees could be banned in the entire hilly areas of the country.

He said the people should rise to the occasion to protest against the deforestation by the vested interests.

He cautioned that the water crisis would be worse in the near future as the glaciers were fast melting due to deforestation. He cited three solutions for this i.e., minimum and proper use of water, austerity in the use of water in industrial units, and tree farming.

He further stated that the people should go for rainwater harvesting in their area as was being done in Rajasthan. The people there were constructing Bowli (water tank) under their houses so that they meet their daily requirement. He also emphasised the need for rooftop farming as the agricultural land was being used for constructing buildings.


Punjab lags behind in implementing
Panchayati Raj programme

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
The National Advisory Council, headed by the chairperson of the UPA government, Ms Sonia Gandhi, has recommended that states not implementing recommendations relating to the Panchayati Raj should face a cut in the allocation of funds.

The step was aimed at giving more powers to the Panchayati Raj institutions as laid down under the 73rd Amendment in the Constitution, said Mr Wajahat Habibulla, Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, here today.

In the city to participate in a two-day training programme for panches and sarpanches, being held at CRRID here, the Secretary said Punjab was among the states which lagged behind in implementing the 29 issues listed under the recommendations. Among the implementing states, Karnataka topped the list followed by Kerala.

Speaking on the lines of the proposals to give more teeth to the recommendations, Mr Habibulla said the Ministry of Panchayati Raj was working in tandem with the 11 the Pay Commission for integrating the entire programme in the next Five-year Plan.

He said different states were at different stages of ‘activity mapping’ exercise (an exercise to bring all the programme under the Panchayati Raj and their implementation) and none of the states has completed the exercise.

Regarding the delay in decentralisation of governance in Union Territories, especially Chandigarh, the Secretary said the Ministry of Panchayati Raj was working with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to bring certain necessary changes which would enable the transfer of powers.


Samiti seeks probe into reconstruction of canal
Our Correspondent

Abohar, May 17
The Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, Sriganganagar, today served a seven-day ultimatum on Chief Engineers, Irrigation, Punjab and Rajasthan, to get probed alleged bungling in the reconstruction of Bikaner/Gang canal by technical experts. A team of the samiti, which visited the canal located between Bodiwala Peetha and Islamewala villages near here this morning regretted that objections raised in the Joint Quality Control Team’s report had not been removed. The irrigation authorities in Punjab had made payments to contractors without penalising them for the poor quality of the construction.

Capt Subhash Sehgal (retd.), who led the samiti team, told newsmen that if the governments failed to respond, they would move the Punjab and Haryana High Court for getting their grievances redressed. The samiti planned to stage a dharna first at Ferozepore, then at Chandigarh if the governments failed to sack guilty officers.

In a communication sent to both state governments the samiti said the canal, constructed by Maharaja Ganga Singh in 1927, had 50-year life span but functioned till 2000 due to qualitative construction.

The Rajasthan Government sanctioned Rs 449 crore for its remodelling as more than 400 cusecs of water was lost in seepage. Some part of the canal falls in the Punjab area. Work was to be completed by the end of 2004 but due to waterlogging in some parts and other reasons it could not be completed.

The Rajasthan Government had so far paid Rs 165 crore to the Irrigation Department, Ferozepore, against the construction. The canal was lifeline for cultivators of Sriganganagar district. Discrepancies and shortcomings had been brought to the notice of both state governments regarding inferior quality of construction material used.

The team of farmers and newsmen found same shortcomings on the last phase of remodeling between Bodiwala Peetha and Islamewala villages at Burji Nos. 307, 293, 290.

The team consisted of Mr M.P. Gupta, SE, Hanumangarh, Mr A.S. Jora, SE, Sriganganagar, Mr V.K. Mantrav and Mr V.K. Chaudhry, both SE, Ferozepore, and Capt Subhash Sehgal (retd.), representative of the Kisan Sangharsh Samiti.


Warehouse corpn yet to interview candidates
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 17
The fate of hundreds of candidates, who were shortlisted for various posts in Punjab State Warehouse Corporation a couple of years ago, is hanging in balance, as the corporation is yet to conduct their interviews.

The corporation had advertised in different newspapers and invited applications on February 20, 2003, for 100 posts of technical assistants, 100 posts of godown assistants, and 50 posts of account clerks. Application forms along with a demand draft/postal order of Rs 250 were accepted till March 10, 2003.

Thousands of candidates applied for these posts, following which an entrance test was conducted in May 2003. The result of this test was declared on June 13, 2003, in which 500 candidates each were selected for the posts of technical and godown assistants, while 288 made it to interview for the post of account clerks. The successful candidates were called for the interview in July 2003.

A candidate from Bathinda said he got a letter from the corporation stating that his interview would take place on July 16, 2003. Later he received a letter informing him that the interview had been postponed till August 26, 2003. Sources said the interviews of some of the successful candidates were conducted from August 1 to 12, 2003. The corporation then came out with a public notice on August 12, which stated: “The interviews being conducted for these posts are hereby postponed with immediate effect till further notice. Accordingly, interview fixed for August 13, 2003, and onwards will not be held now”. Following this there were reports in a section of press that the then chairman of the corporation had postponed the interviews alleging anomalies by the corporation officials in the written test.

When contacted, the corporation’s MD, Mr Ashok Kumar Goel, said the process was stalled due to some controversy. He said the matter was pending with the state government and the corporation would proceed as per the government’s orders. 


Lt-Col Sandhu rewarded Rs 5 lakh
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, May 17
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr B.C. Thakur, presented a cheque for Rs 5 lakh to Lieut-Col Gurjit Singh Sandhu at a function here today for showing courage and devotion to duty to secure a tactically important hilltop in Batalik sector of Jammu and Kashmir. Lieut-Col Sandhu, who hails from this border town, has been earlier conferred with Sena Medal also.

Mr Thakur stated that the state government had increased the reward money for those Army officials, NCO’s and jawans hailing from Punjab, who exhibit rare leadership qualities and guts.

On May 31, 2002, Major Sandhu while ploughing his way through 6 feet of snow and moving over steep and razor sharp rocks.

Mr Thakur added that the state government had also increased the pension of all gallantry award winners.


Councillors stage dharna against sale of land
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 17
Ten out of 17 municipal councillors of the Sirhind-Fatehgarh Sahib Municipal Council today staged a dharna in the office of the council. They gheraoed the Executive Officer and locked the main gate. The Executive Officer managed to leave the office through the back door.

The councillors were protesting against the decision of the council to sell 18 kanal land of the council for Rs 1.29 crore alleging that the land had been sold in connivance with official at a low rate. If plots were sold, these could fetch more than Rs 4 crore.

Mr Sher Singh, leader of the councillors, told The Tribune that the council had 21 kanal land in the heart of the town at Jyoti Swarup Mor. The land was given to the Punjab School Education Board for constructing their building and a resolution was also passed in this connection.

He said the Secretary, Local Government, directed the council to get the rate of the land fixed through the District Collector and the Deputy Commissioner fixed it at Rs 32 lakh per acre and the approximate cost was Rs 72 lakh.

The rates were sent to the government for approval. He said the Secretary gave his approval but also mentioned that the land should be sold through open auction. He alleged that the Executive Officer and certain members of the land mafia managed this.

He said on May 9, in some newspapers, advertisements were given to auction the land on May 11 at 11 am. He said when people went there to participate in the auction, they were told that the Executive Officer was on leave, so the auction had been postponed. However, at 6 pm, the Executive Officer was called and certain people formed a pool and purchased the land at Rs 1.29 crore.

Mr Sher Singh said they had objected to the sale in council meeting held yesterday and did not pass the resolution.

He said today they urged the Executive Officer to pass estimates of development works in their wards. The Executive Officer threatened them that if they objected to the sale, no development work would be initiated in their wards.

Mr Sher Singh said the irritated members gheraoed him and he fled from the back door. He said they had submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Mrs Jaspreet Talwar, in this regard.

Mr Charanjeev Channa, president of the municipal council, said that the protesters had a political motive and they were protesting to help for vested interests.


Suspected meningitis patient dies
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 17
Jaspal Singh (62), of Main village, near here, today died in the Rajindera Hospital after he was admitted as a case of suspected meningoccocemia meningitis.

Jaspal Singh was admitted yesterday evening and died late hours later. He was kept in the isolation ward of the hospital which has been set up just to deal with meningitis cases.

The District Health Officer, Mr V.S. Mohi, said that the cause of Jaspal Singh’s death was due to pneumononitis meningitis. He added that as a precautionary measure the entire village of Main had been given medicines after the district administration rushed a medical team to the village, 7 kms from Patiala today afternoon.

The DC Mr Tejveer Singh has already constituted a rapid response team, under the leadership of Dr Mohi, to deal with the situation.

Meanwhile, the condition of another suspected meningitis patient, Kamla Devi who was admitted to Rajindera Hospital last week, was serious and she is still being kept on a ventilator. However, the tests conducted on her for the disease showed negative results. Two other cases of suspected meningitis, Ritu and Tinku, have also been discharged after the former was found to be suffering from measles and the later from a cyst in the brain.


Action against doctor sought
Our Correspondent

Kharar, May 17
A local resident has complained that his daughter-in-law died allegedly due to the negligence of a doctor and other members of the staff of a private hospital here. He demanded action against the doctor and others in this regard.

Mr Kuldeep Singh made a complaint that his daughter-in-law, Jaswinder Kaur (25), who was admitted to a private hospital here in connection with a case of delivery, allegedly died due to the negligence of the doctor in charge of the hospital and other staff members. He said Jaswinder Kaur was admitted to the hospital yesterday and she delivered a baby girl around 11 p.m. last night.

However, soon after the delivery she started bleeding profusely. She was administered blood. But when the doctor came to know that her condition had started deteriorating he referred her to the GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigarh, where she died today.


Seminars on free legal aid to be held
Our Correspondent

Rajpura, May 17
To spread awareness among residents of the rural areas about the free legal aid facility, the government has decided to conduct seminars at village level. The poor villagers unable to spend on fighting criminal and civil cases pending in different courts, will also be educated about the benefits of the Lok Adalats organised by the Punjab Legal Services Authorities.

This was stated by Mr Priyank Bharti, Subdivisional Magistrate, Rajpura, while addressing a gathering after inaugurating two signboards of the Punjab Legal Services Authorities in the tehsil complex here today. He also appealed to the general public to come forward to attend Lok Adalats for quick justice and derive benefits of these services.

Besides prominent persons of the area, those who were present on the occasion included Mr AP Batra, Additional Civil Judge (Senior Division), Rajpura, Mr Kuljeet Singh and Mr Ranjit Singh, Civil Judges (Junior Division), Mr Rakesh Kumar Soni, Assistant District Attorney, and Mr Naresh Rana, president of the Bar Association, Rajpura.


No anticipatory bail for juvenile accused
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 17
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has turned down the plea for anticipatory bail of a juvenile accused in a case of acid throwing on a young girl.

On Holi this year, the juvenile, his elder brother, Sunny, and two of their accomplices allegedly threw acid on a young girl of Khanna, Ludhiana. As a result, the girl suffered serious injuries and remained in the hospital for many days. In her statement to the Khanna police, she named the juvenile boy, and three others as those responsible for the attack.

Dismissing the anticipatory bail plea, Ms Justice Kiran Anand Lall said the charges against the boy were very serious and that if bail was granted to him, it would defeat the end of justice.


ETT admissions: Govt move runs
into rough weather

Maneesh Chhibber
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 17
The move of the Punjab Government to change the mode of selection for admissions to the Elementary Teachers Training (ETT) course has run into rough weather.

Already, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has restrained the government from selecting candidates to undertake ETT course as per the new guidelines.

There are 3,400 seats in various institutes for the ETT course, with each district having 200 seats. The course is funded entirely by the Central Government and all candidates who undergo this course become eligible for appointment as teachers.

Over 80,000 candidates had applied for the ETT test when the schedule was announced, but the government changed the guidelines and since then the process is in a limbo.

Sometime back, the government had decided that all admissions for undergoing ETT course would be on the basis of marks secured by the candidates in the 10+2 examination. Thus, the government did away with the entrance examination to select the candidates. The subsequent interview was also shelved.

Also, the government had declared that only those candidates would be eligible for the course who cleared mathematics subject in their matriculation exam. The Government had also reduced the maximum permissible age of the candidates eligible to undertake the course.

While earlier, candidates who had secured at least 45 per cent marks in 10+2 and were between the age of 17-32 years could apply for the course, the new guidelines fixed the minimum percentage as 65 per cent (general) and 60 per cent (SC and Backward Class categories), with the age being between 18-25 years. For candidates of reserved categories, there was a three-year age relaxation on the upper limit.

However, following petitions challenging the vires of the new guidelines, the High Court restrained Punjab from implementing the new guidelines. It also directed the government to advertise in leading newspapers that the test would be held as per old rules.

About one dozen petitions have already been filed in the High Court against the government decision to change the manner of selection.

In most cases, the petitioners are aggrieved by the fact that reduction in upper age limit would make them ineligible for the course.

In a writ that came up before the Division Bench of Mr Justice J.S. Khehar and Ms Justice Nirmal Yadav today, the petitioner, Ms Gurinder Kaur, challenged the imposition of new conditions by the Punjab Government. She has also challenged the cancellation of entrance test and interview as the means of selection, claiming that the new guidelines undermine the entire process of selection.

Today, after hearing her counsel, the Bench issued notice of motion for July 12.


Case against former Milkfed chief cancelled
Tribune News Service

Ropar, May 17
A case of cheating and forgery registered against the former Chairman of Milkfed, Jagdeep Singh, by the Punjab Vigilance, Bureau, was today cancelled by Ropar court. The case against Jagdeep Singh, was ordered to be cancelled after recording of a statement of senior official of the Vigilance Bureau that after conducting an inquiry no case was made out against Jagdeep Singh. The Vigilance Bureau had registered a case against Jagdeep Singh alleging that he had submitted forged documents to become the Chairman of Milkfed during the SAD regime.


DEO suspends teacher
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, May 17
The District Education Officer (Secondary) today placed a teacher of Government Secondary School, Jawalapur, under suspension when he failed to abide by the orders of the DPI pertaining to relieving of a lady teacher at Durgapur village.

Mr H.S. Atwal, DEO, suspended Sukhdev Singh Sidhu, drawing and disbursing officer of schools, falling under Jawalapur and Bhano Nangal villages, after he was found dilly-dallying the case of relieving of Ms Gurmit Kaur, a teacher at Government Elementary School, after she had been transferred to Ropar.

The DEO said that the DDO would be charge-sheeted and shifted to Briar village, near Bholath.


Suspended for sleeping and snoring on duty
Ravi Dhaliwal

Patiala, May 17
The new Municipal Corporation Commissioner, Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, gave some shock treatment to employees on his first day in office when he suspended two of them who were found to be sleeping while on duty.

Mr Ahluwalia, who was earlier posted as Deputy Commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib, today assumed charge as MC Commissioner and immediately sent a warning to lethargic employees by handing out suspension orders to Beldar Sunder Singh and Sewadar Ram Dullar. Both these employees were having a quick nap during duty hours in the tranquillity of the aircooled rooms of their senior officers. While Sunder Singh was found to be snoring in SDO Shyam Lal’s room, Ram Dullar turned out to be innovative as he was using the vacant room of the Municipal Town Planner (MTP), who is under transfer.

The dual suspensions by the new Commissioner sent out of strong message as word spread like wildfire and employees went on an overdrive to complete their day’s work.

Meanwhile, Mr Ahluwalia was accorded a warm welcome on joining his new assignment by Mayor Vishnu Sharma, Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Kabir Dass, Deputy Mayor Mr Inderjit Singh Boparai, Assistant Commissioner, Ms Hargunjit Kaur and president of the MC Employees Union, Mr Balwant Singh Sandhu.

Mr Ahluwalia visited various departments of the corporation and exhorted employees to bring ‘quality’ in their work and at the same time warned them they would have to face the music if their work was not found satisfactory.

Mr Ahluwalia also urged officers and other employees to properly look into the grievances of the residents of the town and no work relating to the welfare of the general public should be kept pending.

The new Commissioner also had his take on corruption and warned employees that if any of them was found to be indulging in underhand deals, he or she would have to face the axe.


Jaspreet Talwar is Fatehgarh Sahib DC
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 17
The 1995 batch IAS officer of the Punjab cadre, Mrs Jaspreet Talwar, today took over as the 13th Deputy Commissioner of Fatehgarh Sahib today. She was earlier posted as Secretary, Punjab State Electricity Board Patiala.

Immediately after joining, she addressed a district officer’s meeting. She asked the officers to work with honesty, sincerity and integrity. She directed them to perform their duties in a transparent manner and provide the people the corruption-free administration.

Mrs Talwar said that a planner for development of the district would be prepared.

She said that her office would remain open for the redress of public grievances.

Meanwhile, the Citizen Welfare Council, Sirhind-Fatehgarh Sahib, on Monday gave a party in honour of the outgoing Deputy Commissioner Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Prominent residents of the area, representatives of social, religious, political organisations, District Bar Association, educational institutions, taxation lawyers, beopar mandal, journalists and from attended the farewell party.


PUDA takes possession of 150 flats
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, May 17
In a major drive against squatters, the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) officials today took possession of 150 LIG and MIG flats in Urban Estate.

A team of officials, led by Mr Kulwinder Singh, JE, put its own locks on the quarters/flats and took the possession. The team was supported by PUDA’s own securitymen of Punjab Ex-Servicemen Security Corporation (PESCO).

Mr Kulwinder Singh said most of the flats were vacant as the PUDA had served them notices and had given them adequate time.

The locks of those quarters/flats were broken which were found locked. The anti-encroachment drive was a smooth affair as many squatters chose to leave silently.


Sinha takes charge as Secy PSEB
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 17
Mr K.A.P. Sinha, an IAS officer of the 1992 batch, today took over as Secretary, Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), Patiala, at the board secretariat.

Before taking up the present assignment, Mr Sinha was working as the Deputy Commissioner, Bathinda. Earlier Mr Sinha also held the post of the Deputy Commissioner, Gurdaspur.


Forest Guard held for killing deer
Tribune News Service

Hoshiarpur, May 17
A barking deer calf was allegedly killed by a forest guard in the forests of Chack Sadhu area of Hoshiarpur district.

Forest Guard Ranjodh Singh and his accomplice Harpreet Singh of Udesian village, who were caught transporting the body of the barking deer calf in their jeep on Sunday night by Forest Department officials, are in custody.

Ranjodh Singh and Harpreet Singh were nabbed by a team of the Forest Department, deployed by the Hoshiarpur-based Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Mr R.R. Kakkar, following a tip-off that some “shikaris” were indulging in poaching in Chack Sadhu area.

The search of a Mahindra Jeep, which was signalled to stop by the team near the Chack Sadhu-Bachoi road joint, not only yielded forest guard Ranjodh Singh, but also the body of the calf of a barking deer in the dickey of the jeep.

Ranjodh and Harpreet Singh were arrested and presented before the Judicial Magistrate, who remanded them in judicial custody till May 30.

Ranjodh, it may be mentioned, is the third government official, to fall into the trap of the Hoshiarpur forest authorities, which have been in news for booking an SDM and a Wildlife Inspector for allegedly harming animals of the area in the past two years.

Ranjodh Singh, according to Mr Kakkar, has been suspended.

Meanwhile, since the Animal Husbandry department authorities have expressed their inability to conduct the post-mortem the carcass of the animal has been sent to Dehra Dun for post-mortem. Ranjodh Singh and Harpreet Singh have been booked under Sections 9,39,49, 50 and 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.


Three arrested in dowry death case
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, May 17
The police has arrested three persons in the dowry death case in which Rajwinder Kaur of Naudhran village was allegedly strangled by her in-laws on May 13 as her parents could not fulfil their demands for more dowry. She was pregnant for seven months.

While talking to The Tribune here today, Mr Harjinder Singh, SHO Malerkotla, said that on the complaint of Pal Singh, father of Rajwinder Kaur the police had registered a case of dowry death under Sections 304-B and 34 of the IPC against three persons, husband Naib Singh, father-in-law Bhagwan Singh and mother-in-law Manjeet Kaur.

He said the police has arrested all the three accused, Naib Singh, Bhagwan Singh and Manjeet Kaur in this case.


Girl commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Abohar, May 17
A 17-year-old daughter of an AIDS patient allegedly committed suicide by jumping into rural water works reservoir located on the Abohar-Sriganganagar road last night. According to sources, her body was fished out today.

According to information, Mahipal (name changed), father of the girl, had two wives.

His first wife had deserted him after a few years of marriage and second one died.

He had been having fever for a long time and was being treated at the local Civil Hospital. His tests had tested him HIV positive last month.

The girl was reportedly disturbed since then.


Taxi driver shot
Tribune News Service

Moga, May 17
A taxi driver was shot in broad daylight near the tehsil complex at Nihalsinghwala yesterday.

Sources said the victim, Roop Singh of Dhoorkot village, and the accused, Kuldeep Singh of Rauke Kalan village, were taxi drivers operating their vehicles from Nihalsinghwala.

They had a dispute over some issue, which took an ugly turn yesterday when Kuldeep shot him dead. The gunshot hit him in the chest killing him on the spot.

The police rushed to the spot and arrested the accused. The victim’s body was handed over to his family members after a post-mortem examination.



Book sarpanch or I'd end life, warns woman
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, May 17
Balbir Kaur of Nanak Nagri village today accused the village Sarpanch, Mr Santokh Raj, of manhandling her and threatened to end her life in case action was not taken against him.

The Sarpanch denied the allegation.

Balbir Kaur alleged that the Sarpanch, along with armed youths, made an attempt to kidnap her on May 14 at the Chaheru bus stand when she was returning home from an STD booth.

Her husband, Manjit Kumar, came to her rescue, but was assaulted. He was seriously injured and hospitalised at Phagwara.

She threatened to end her life in case the police failed to take action against the Sarpanch and his Henchmen within 24 hours.

When contacted, Phagwara DSP Jaspal Singh said a probe was on.


PMET form: confusion on despite clarification
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, May 17
The PMET form of Baba Farid University of Medical Sciences has led to a lot of confusion among medical aspirants of the state. The university came out with a clarification on column Nos. 3 and 6 of the OMR application form, but chaos still prevails on some other points.

In annexure V on page No. 61 of the prospectus instruction No. 3 says that the OMR application form should be filled in blue ink only, whereas the instruction for column No. 16 in annexure VI states that this block will be copied photographically and therefore, should be written in blank ink only.

The instruction on the OMR form regarding this column confuses further as it asks to use blue or black ink. Similarly, in annexure I, which carries the notification of the Government of Punjab, point No. IV of the section with regard to conduct of PMET 2005 states that the candidate while applying for PMET 2005 shall submit four identical passport-size colour photographs, three of which must be signed by the candidate and attested on the front side.

The unsigned photograph shall be scanned by the university and printed on the roll number slip of the candidate. On the other hand column No. 14 of the OMR application form, where the photograph for the roll number slip has to be affixed, asks the candidates to paste black and white unattested recent photograph only.

Column No. 11 has also added to the chaos. It requires the candidates to fill the demand draft number, which is normally a six-digit number, but the varsity has given seven blocks to fill it up. Candidates are puzzled as to which block they have to leave, the first one or the last.

Last week the university made it clear that the candidates have to omit the first zero of the prospectus number while filling it in the OMR application form after The Tribune questioned the authorities concerned on the matter and carried a story on it. But the university again left the PMET aspirants puzzled with its clarification on column No. 6. It has baffled those candidates who have appeared in class XII exams and have already dispatched their forms.

The university has stated in its clarification that “the candidates who have appeared in 10+2 examination but whose result is yet to be declared are facing some difficulties in filling column No.6 of the OMR application for PMET-2005. Such candidates are advised to leave column No. 6 blank.” This has left thousands of those candidates worried who were awaiting their Class XII result and who were told by the university authorities to fill up “no” in column No. 6, which asks a candidate whether he has passed 10+2. The column only has two options “yes” and “no”. They are apprehensive as to whether the varsity would accept their forms. In the column-wise instructions for filling the form in annexure VI of the prospectus, the instruction for column No. 6 is that “the candidate must darken the appropriate oval in this column.”

Further, the instruction X in section 3.6 of the prospectus states that “request for change in any particulars in the OMR application form may not be entertained.” Parents who wanted some clarification had a tough time as on May 13 educational institutions were closed following the death of an Akali leader and then there were two weekend holidays.

Another point causing confusions is enclosures with the OMR form. Point 13 on page 8 and point 9 on page 4 clearly state that no other enclosures except for the demand draft are to be sent with the OMR form, while point 4 on page 20 says that the candidate while applying for PMET-2005 shall submit four identical clear passport-size colour photographs.

The Deputy Registrar, Mr K.P. Singh, said they were also accepting black and white photographs and there would be no problem if a candidate had not enclosed three photographs. He said no application form would be rejected except in a case of problem in the entrance examination fee.


Conquering pain to make it to IAS
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 17
“Make it to the IAS and serve the nation.” These words of Abhishek Goyal’s father kept on echoing in his ears and enabled him to hit the bull’s eye as he ultimately managed to make it to the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) cadre in the result of UPSC mains declared recently.

Though facing a difficult situation after his father, a renowned physician of Mansa town, Dr N.P. Goyal, died in December 2004, just a few days ago before the main exams of UPSC, Abhishek decided to make it to the IAS despite the fact that he was left alone to look after his widowed mother and other members of the family.

Braving all odds, Abhishek, who appeared for the UPSC mains exam at a time when the pain of losing his father was fresh in his mind, managed to score the 77th rank in the civil services examination.

Abhishek, whose aunt and two cousins are already serving in the Punjab Judicial Services and another cousin is an IPS officer in Tamil Nadu, has done computer engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi.

Abhishek was supported by his mother, a renowned doctor of Mansa town, to achieve this goal.


Goniana Mandi girl bags 208th rank in IAS
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 17
Ms Baljeet Kaur, hailing from Goniana Mandi of this district, has made this town proud when she cleared the civil services examination conducted by the UPSC this year. She cleared the examination in her first attempt and obtained the 208th rank in the country.

She has become the first girl belonging to Goniana Mandi to clear the civil services examination. While talking to this correspondent, she said she had taken coaching from New Delhi.

She said that it was her hard work and determination which has resulted in this success.

She did her matriculation from Government Senior Secondary School, Goniana Mandi, and secured 86 per cent marks.

After that she did her 10+2 and B.Com from the local Government Rajindra College with 73 per cent and 75 per cent marks, respectively.


Students against extension to VC
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 17
The Student Federation of India (SFI), Punjab and Chandigarh units today held out a threat that it would launch an agitation from the coming academic session if the state government did not withdraw its decision to extend the tenure of Mr S. S. Boparia, Vice-Chancellor, Punjabi University, Patiala, by three years more.

Mr Harmandeep Singh Gill, State President, SFI, in a press note issued here, said that the SFI would take the support of other students organisations and pro-education activists in this agitation against the decision of the Punjab Government.

He pointed out that though the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had announced that retired bureaucrats and ex-servicemen would not be appointed as Vice-Chancellors of the universities, the Punjab Government had been doing the same by ignoring his advice blatantly.

He said that the SFI was of the opinion that instead of extending the term of Mr Boparai, the state government should have conducted a probe into his alleged misdeeds.


BCA (II) results today
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 17
The results of the BCA (II) examination of Guru Nanak Dev University held in April would be declared tomorrow.

Stating this here today, Dr R.S. Bawa, Registrar, said that the results would be available on the university website, www.gnduonline.org, in the evening.


BSNL to expand mobile network
Tribune Reporters

Sangrur, May 17
The local BSNL authorities today celebrated the World Telecom Day at the Ranbir Club here by organising a seminar on the topic “Customer Management in Telecom”. Mr Husan Lal, Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur, was the chief guest.

Mr Lal said the BSNL would install 103 new towers in addition to 32 existing ones in the district to expand its mobile network from 3,4000 cell phones to 1 lakh.

The speakers were of the view that the BSNL had improved its image in a short period by taking several subscriber-friendly steps. They said the BSNL had also attracted a large number of subscribers by providing various new schemes to benefit the landline as well as mobile phone subscribers.

Mr D.K. Monga, President, District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Dr N.P. Singh, Acting Director, Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Longowal and Mr Labh Singh, General Manager, BSNL, Sangrur were present on the occasion.

HOSHIARPUR: Mr Vinod Prakash, General Manager, Telecom, Hoshiarpur, inaugurated a new cash counter at the local Telecom Bhavan. Customers of the adjoining areas like Purhiran, Sundernagar, Rahimpur, Ramgarh, Milap Nagar, Gokal Nagar, New Dana Mandi could now deposit their telephone bills at Railway Mandi.

A seminar on the latest technology and development in the telecom sector was also conducted during the function. The following BSNL officers/officials were awarded on the occasion: Sanchar Sewa Padak went to Mr Jugraj Singh (ADET), Mr Balwant Rai (SDE) and Mr G.S. Bajwa, (AO) and Bharat Sanchar Sarthi award was given to Mr Darshan Singh (Sr. TOA), Mr Ram Ludhaya (T/M), Mr Dilip Chand (Sr. TOA), Mr Gopal Sharan (Head Telegraphman) and Mr Gurdial (TTA).


World Telecom Day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 17
The World Telecom Day function was organised in the local Urban Estate Phase-II Telephone exchange today. Mr Tejveer Singh, Deputy Commissioner, and Mr A.S. Rai, S.S.P., presided over the function.

Mr Surinder Singh Sr T.O.A., was awarded Sanchar Sarthi Award with Rs 11,000 cash. Special award was given to Mr Gurjeet Singh T.M. who represented Punjab circle in weightlifting and got second position in All-India BSNL weightlifting competition. Special award was also given to Mr Hardeep Singh SDE, Mr Mangat Ram SDE, Mr Joga 
Singh JTO, Mr Arish Kumar JTO, Mr Gurinder Jeet Singh JTO, Mr Amarjeet Singh JTO, 
Mr Jagjit Singh TTA 
and Mr Chanchal Kumar TTA for their extraordinary work.

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