P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



MC attaches accounts of govt offices
Failure to pay house tax
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 5
In an unprecedented move, the local Municipal Corporation authorities have attached the financial accounts of a number of state government offices after the same failed to meet their house tax liabilities.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that the Municipal Corporation authorities took this extreme action after the state government offices, which were defaulters in payment of house tax liabilities, did not respond positively to the demand.

Information revealed that the local Municipal Corporation (MC) which had carried out a number of development works in this native town of the Chief Minister had started a recovery campaign to increase its income, which had witnessed a jump of 47 per cent in August 2005 over the income generated by the MC authorities in the same month last year.

A section of state government departments, whose financial accounts had been attached by the Commissioner Municipal Corporation, who enjoyed the powers of the Collector, had managed to lift the attachment partially by promising that they would be meeting their liabilities by the end of October or November. By managing to lift the attachment partially, these departments had become able to pay salaries to their staff regularly.

The departments, which had failed to pay the house tax to the MC included the Election Tehsildar, District Transport Office (DTO), District Food and Supply Controller, Deputy Registrar, Cooperative Societies, and Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development). Apart from it, the MC authorities had also issued notice to the office of Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) in the same connection.

Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Commissioner, MC, when contacted, said not only this, the MC authorities had also started sealing those premises on which the hosue tax liability had been outstanding for the past many years and their owners were reluctant to meet the same. He added that three premises, including a cinema house, were sealed today to recover house tax.

He said the MC authorities had also managed to detect that the main complex of the State Bank of Patiala (SBOP) had been using illegal sewerage connection by discharging all the sewage in the open drain for the past 26 years without getting a connection sanctioned from it.

He added that the MC authorities had asked the SBOP authorities to deposit Rs 84 lakh as discharge charges for the past 26 years. Apart from it, the SBOP authorities had been asked to pay interest on the same amount. The penalty for using illegal sewerage connection would be imposed on SBOP after negotiations with its authorities. The SBOP authorities had deposited Rs 14.20 lakh with the MC as connectivity charges.

He pointed out that not only this, the MC authorities had identified about 14 state government departments, which were using illegal sewerage connections. Notices to these departments would be issued shortly and they would be asked to deposit the required amount with the MC and get their connections regularised.

He pointed out that if the MC authorities managed to recover all the default payments in connection with the house tax discharge charges, connectivity charges and water charges, it would witness a huge jump in its income and would be able to carry out development works quickly.


CM presiding over economic doom, says Kanwaljeet
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 5
Ridiculing the functioning of the Amarinder Singh government by accusing it of “presiding over the economic doom of Punjab,” former Punjab Finance Minister Captain Kanwaljit Singh has alleged that the “shoddy” implementation of VAT, sans much needed prior home work, has disrupted the normal functioning of the trade and industry.

In the same breath, Captain Kanwaljit Singh, has asserted that his party was ready for any debate on any issue at any platform. Brushing aside the allegations levelled by the Congress that Akalis were responsible for fomenting terrorism in Punjab, Captain Kanwaljit Singh said every Punjabi was aware as to who was responsible for militancy, and if, still there were any doubts, the Congress should read books authored by eminent journalist Mark Tully and former top IB officer M.K. Dhar.

Dubbing the implementation of VAT by the state government as one of most haphazard development in the state, Captain Kanwaljit Singh said, “The only advantage of VAT over sales tax system is that it is supposed to be a single tax. But, what is more interesting is that in Punjab multiple tax system of VAT, Central Excise and octroi still co-existed. When, as Punjab Finance Minister, I was a member of the eight member high powered committee of Finance Ministers, it was agreed upon to shelve Central Excise and octroi upon the implementation of VAT as these taxes were not compatible with VAT regime. But it is surprising and a sheer deception of people that apart from VAT other taxes still existed in Punjab for sheer disinterest of the government.


Militancy can’t be revived in Punjab, says Badal
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, September 5
In the first-ever comment of his party over the issue, Shiromani Akali Dal President and former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal maintained that legislature, executive and judiciary were the vital organs of governance in a parliamentary democracy and none should overlap and neither of these could be given unlimited powers.

Mr Badal made this comment yesterday when his attention was drawn to the observations of the Chief Justice of India R.C. Lahoti that executive, legislature and Judiciary should work in accordance with constitutional provisions and if anyone acted beyond its jurisdiction, the judiciary could clip its wings.

Mr Badal maintained that the three organs of democracy had their own functions. While Parliament enacted laws, the Judiciary interpreted them, and the executive implemented them. there should be no confrontation among the three. None should be given unlimited powers , he contended. He termed as unfortunate the recent signals of confrontation between Parliament and judiciary.

When his attention was drawn to PPCC president Shamsher Singh Dullo’s remarks that Mr Badal had only one agenda of grooming his son as Chief Minister Mr Badal retorted that his son Sukhbir Singh Badal was not a candidate for the office of CM. If the issue rattled Mr Dullo so much, my son wont even contest Assembly election, declared Mr Badal. However, he asked Mr Dullo as to what was his the Congress party Chief Minister’s agenda.

Captain Amarinder Singh was following the negative agenda of raising the bogey of the return of militancy in Punjab, he said. Militancy can’t be revived in Punjab, as it had no public support, he asserted.


Teachers do the vanishing act
Move abroad to make a quick buck
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 5
Entrusted with the onus of shaping destinies of young minds, teachers across the country are revered on Teachers’ Day, but some people of their ilk prefer to leave their students in the lurch just to realise their dreams of making it big abroad.

According to sources, scores of government schoolteachers in the state have gone “missing” and the Education Department is unaware of their whereabouts. Sources said many of these teachers had settled abroad in lure of earning more, but they were yet to put in their papers.

The sources said a large number of teachers from Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur and Nawashahar had landed up on foreign shores. The department’s mails to them also returned undelivered.

The sources said these teachers got six-month leave sanctioned and did not bother to return for resuming their duties. A number of teachers from Bathinda, Muktsar, Mansa and Faridkot had shifted to different foreign destinations in search of greener pastures. In Bathinda alone, 16 lecturers and 36 teachers have moved abroad and their six-month leave has also come to an end.

The department had also initiated action against these teachers. After failing to get across such teachers through mails and other means of communication, the department is left with no other option but to resort to advertisements in newspapers.

One of the teachers in Bathinda district had been “missing” since 1984. The department had dispatched him mails to his residence in Dhobiana, besides trying to contact him at his address abroad, but to no avail. The teacher in question was posted at Mansa.

The procedure to terminate such teachers is lengthy. Prior to leaving for a foreign country, a teacher has to submit an affidavit, in which one also mentions about extending his leave, but mostly nobody keeps his word. Some of these teachers permanently settle down abroad, while the department keeps waiting for them.

Another teacher from Bathinda district left for Canada without taking leave, as the department had denied him the same.

According to sources, teachers shifting abroad try to complete 20-year service so that they become eligible for pension. Some teachers also rejoin their service after spending years abroad, while the hearing on their cases continues in courts. The students of such schools are left to face the consequences of their teachers’ deed, as it takes long for the department to fill these vacant posts.


Admn secys to go into demands of teachers
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
Concerned over the growing anger among various sections of teachers against the state government, the Punjab Chief Minister’s office (CMO) today took action to check the situation from getting out of hand. Hundreds of teachers of aided schools and colleges, who held a demonstration here in support of their demands, have decided to observe September 25 as “save-education day”.

Sources said that as the CMO got information that a large number of teachers and other employees of aided colleges and schools had decided to court arrest, a message was sent to the leaders of the agitating teachers by the CMO inviting them to discuss their demands.

Among those who were called for the meeting were Mr R.S. Brar, president, and Mr Jagwant Singh, general secretary, Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union, and Mr M.L. Chopra, Mr Gurcharan Singh Chahal and Mr Ramesh Kumar Sharma, all senior leaders of the Punjab State Aided School Teachers and Other Employees Union.

Mr Brar said the CMO had directed the Administrative Secretaries of Higher Education and School Education to prepare two detailed notes within two weeks with regard to the demands of the teachers and their financial implications.

Representatives of the teachers had been told that immediately after the preparation of the notes, a meeting at the level of Chief Minister would be held to resolve all issues.

The teachers of the aided colleges are demanding the restoration of grant-in-aid to the level of 95 per cent, merger of 50 per cent DA with pay, provision of pension and gratuity and parity in other allowances with their counterparts in government colleges. At present aided colleges are getting about 80 per cent grant-in-aid.

The demands of the aided schools include pension for employees who retired after June, 2003, permission to fill vacant posts, merger of DA with basic pay and the sanction of posts taking into consideration the present strength of students.

Mr Chopra hoped that the CMO would resolve all issues relating to the teachers and their schools.

However, he said, teachers, headmasters and principals of aided schools would gather in Amritsar on September 25 to observe “save-education day”.


Book land mafia, says dist admn
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 5
Following complaints against land mafia active in the city and around, the district administration today sought from PUDA registration of FIRs against them.

Taking serious notice of media reports against land mafia, the district administration had ordered a probe into the cases, in which mafia, groups had got the registries of real estate done in the name of their employees.

During investigation, irregularities were unearthed in the process of registries of plots and carving out of colonies. These anomalies also included evasion of government fee that caused huge losses to revenue department and scores of registries in the name of same employee etc. The probe also found that not only illegal colonies had come up on the city’s outskirts, but localities had also been carved out on agricultural and a spinning mill’s land.

The district administration has also been looking into illegal encroachments on Wakf Board’s land and had sought a survey of the same. Sources said even the board was unaware of the demarcations of the 1,540 acres of land allotted to them in 1950. The administration has also checked encroachment and colonization on 18 acres of Wakf Board land behind a spinning mill and has sought removal of the illegal encroachment.

The administration had also sought a report from the SSP on Bhupindra Flour Mill scam. An enquiry has also been marked against a PSEB lineman who has 81 registries done in his name, while probe is on in the cases of Ganpati Estates and Sheesh Mehal colonizers.

According to an estimate, different land mafia groups have evaded government fees to the tune of over Rs 70 crore.


Livestock cargo to Pak halts at Wagah
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Wagah, September 5
The first two consignments of 334 cattle-heads to Pakistan faced a major roadblock today owing to procedural delays. It was seen that the poor animals, tied in trucks, faced hunger and thirst throughout the day as officials went about pursuing procedures for the export.

Pakistan had abolished the surcharge on importing livestock from India sometime back to facilitate import of cattle in a gesture to boost trade with India through the Wagah land route. It also abolished surcharge on import of selected vegetables, which were facing steep price hike in the country.

Mr Kabal Singh, a businessman from Delhi, said his first consignment included 203 goats as a sample. The consignment was meant for Lahore-based Alisom Trading Company which had consented to the import of livestock. He said the goats were brought from Delhi’s Bakar Mandi and all of them were quarantined and tested by veterinary doctors and were cleared on all health checks.

Similarly, Mr Mohammad Irfan of Al Qarim, another export company from Delhi, had brought 145 cattle-heads for export, which too had to be stranded owing to procedural delays.

Mr Kabal and Mr Irfan decried government attitude. They stated that neither were they allowed to bring the animals from truck enclosures to open or provide them some nourishment during the gruelling hours. 


India, Pak to free prisoners

Wagah, September 5
As many as 435 Indians, including 371 fishermen, languishing in various jails in Pakistan will be released and repatriated to India through this Indo-Pak joint post on September 12, an official spokesperson said here today.

In exchange, 87 Pakistan nationals, including 51 fishermen and nine children, lodged in different jails in India would be released to return home, he added.

These prisoners would be exchanged between authorities of the two countries after due formalities here on September 12 afternoon.

Among the 371 Indian fishermen to be freed from Pakistan, a majority are Gujaratis who had strayed into Pakistan’s territory while fishing in Arabian sea along Gujarat shore.

Among Pakistan nationals to be released, 51 fishermen are to be brought from Gujarat.

Among others, seven are lodged in Ludhiana jail and six in Amritsar jail.

Nine children will be brought from Faridkot and rest of the prisoners from various other jails in Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir. — UNI


Couple alleges police harassment
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur September 5
Kanika Malhotra of Jalandhar and Rahul Uppal of Gurdaspur married in a temple on August 30 against the wishes of their parents. Today, they are running from one place to another to escape from the police despite the High Court order directing the local authorities to protect their freedom.

While talking to mediapersons in Pathankot today, Kanika claimed that she was an adult. Since her parents did not agree to her marriage with Rahul they eloped and got married. After which they moved an application in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which directed the Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur police to save their freedom.

Despite the orders, the police has allegedly raided the houses of their relatives. Rahul alleged that they had also been receiving threats on mobile phone from the parents of Kanika, who wanted her to return home.

The newly-wed couple apprehended threat to their life in the hands of those who were opposing their marriage. 


Conspiracy behind Dalit violence: Dullo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 5
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, apprehends “some deep-rooted conspiracy” in violence against Dalits in the Congress-ruled states. He observed that the motive appeared to defame the Congress governments as the Dalits have always been strong supporters of the party.

Talking to reporters here today, the PPCC chief said the Congress was committed to secularism and safety and security of the citizens. He asserted that such incidents would not be allowed to be repeated anywhere.

He said it was unfortunate that the government had already identified the culprits and had also taken action against police officials and the administration.


SGPC manager suspended
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 5
The SGPC executive meeting held here today placed Mr Harbans Singh Malhi, manager (properties) under suspension on charges of alleged irregularities while sub-letting the shops of the Shiromani Committee.

The executive committee also sanctioned money to open a big hospital at Subanpur in the Assembly constituency of Bibi Jagir Kaur, SGPC President.

In another development, the Shiromani Committee decided to bear all expenses, including boarding and lodging, of Ms Lakhbir Kaur, a Class XII student of Dashmesh Girls Senior Secondary School, Badal, the native village of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, president, Shiromani Akali Dal, who would participate in the Asian Air gun Shooting Championship, being held at Bangkok. next week.

The SGPC meeting also decided to regularise the services of all daily wage drivers who had completed a year in service.


Avoid controversy on seva, SGPC urged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
The Movement Against State Repression (MASR) has urged the SGPC and other Panthic bodies to avoid unnecessary controversies with regard to the participation of women in amrit sanchar and other ceremonies such as seva at Harmandar Sahib.

Ms Baljit Kaur, co-convener of the MASR, said here today that recent statements of the SGPC President, Bibi Jagir Kaur, regarding the participation of women in amrit sanchar and other ceremonies had created unwanted controversies in the media. She said there was no denying the fact that all Sikh Gurus laid emphasis on the equality of men and women, but in the Sikh maryada the exclusion of women from the institution of Panj Piaras and certain religious ceremonies was not due to any gender bias.


Baba Farid society award for Tarun Tejpal

Faridkot, September 5
Gurdwara Godri Sahib Baba Farid Society has announced the Baba Farid award of honesty 2005 to Tarun Tejpal, the editor of Tehlka.

Addressing a press conference here, the society chairman Inderjit Singh Khalsa said that Mr Tejpal has been selected for the award as the senior journalist had highlighted the scandal of security issues. He said the Tehlka. com had exposed the scandal of national level leaders and these leaders also threatened Mr Tejpal, but the journalist did not bother.

The award, comprising Rs 51,000 cash money and citation, would be given to Mr Tejpal on September 23 at Gurdwara Godri Sahib, Faridkot, on the occasion of Baba Farid Agman Purab. — UNI


Residents set up Gadar martyr’s memorial
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 5
While the Centre is yet to accord the status of the freedom fighters to the Gadar martyrs, residents of Sunet Colony here have constructed a memorial depicting Cellular Jail, commonly known as Kala Pani, in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Under the aegis of the Baba Bhan Singh Gadar Memorial Trust, residents have raised a room at the entrance to Sunet near CFC School in the form of a cell of Cellular Jail.

The memorial has been attributed to the life of Baba Bhan Singh, a Gadar martyr, who had died in the jail after being brutally tortured by Britishers for raising the voice for freedom. Kartar Singh Sarabha is also a well-known matryr of the Gadar movement.

Mr Jaswant Jirakh and Col Jagdish Singh Brar (retd), speaking on behalf of the memorial trust, said they were peeved that the government had not recognised the Gadar martyrs as the freedom fighters despite the fact that they had raised the banner of the Independence and spent a torturous life in Cellular Jail.

They revealed that Baba Bhan Singh of Sunet was one of the leaders of the Gadar martyrs and his speeches about freedom were even recorded in jail books and the proceedings of a court trial.

“Unfortunately, the country had failed to remember the martyrs. They had not been recognised by the Centre,” rued Mr Jirakh. He said the residents of Sunet had decided to contribute in the construction of a memorial in the memory of Baba Bhan Singh who belonged to Sunet.

Baba Bhan Singh is shown imprisoned in the jail. His contribution to the Gadar movement and short history of the Gadar martyrs is painted outside the room. It says the movement came into being in 1913. They had reached India from Canada and America to spark the flame of fight for the Independence. The martyrs were arrested and imprisoned in Cellular Jail in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Twentysix were later hanged to death and others, including Baba Bhan Singh, died during their life imprisonment in the jail

Sunet, an erstwhile village, is a colony falling in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar of the city. The memorial is built on a 750-yard plot of the shamlat land of the village. The area residents had passed a resolution for the transfer of the land in the name of the trust.

Mr Jirakh and Mr Brar revealed that the trust has so far spent Rs 1.5 lakh for the construction of the memorial. More will be spent on the beautification. There are plans to add another storey to the building.


Power cuts: crisis deepens

Patiala, September 5
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) is struggling with its demand and supply position as the demand for power has risen to over 1,500 lakh units in the state against the availability of 1,200 lakh units only.

Power cuts for hours this morning, from 9 am to 1 pm disrupted the working in offices and business establishments and classes in schools and colleges in various cities and towns across the state.

A PSEB spokesman here said the board had decided to order the closure of arc and induction furnaces which were fed from the 24-hour urban pattern supply feeders.

The PSEB has also decided to impose one weekly off on general category industries which are fed from category I feeders while two-day cut will be imposed on all the industrial units which are fed from category II feeders.

Five-hour power cuts will be imposed Patiala, Amritsar, Jalandhar and Ludhiana. In other urban areas, the cuts up to seven-eight hours in duration will be imposed. — UNI


AWWA celebrates Raising Day
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, September 5
With an view to motivate its members, the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) has been doing yeoman’s service to ensure that the soldier does not have to worry about his family when he goes to the frontier for the call of the duty.

To further the cause, the local chapter of the AWWA, known as the “Golden Arrow AWWA” has organised a week-long celebrations to mark the 39th Raising Day. Various activities were organised for the welfare of families of the Army personnel.

More than 600 students from various schools were provided career counselling by experts in various fields and visits were organised to banks, post offices, railway stations and other places. Dr Amrita Kumar from the Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, delivered the key-note address.

A cancer detection camp was also organised for the families of the officers and other ranks. While addressing the gathering, Ms Omana Sankar, Chairperson, AWWA, lauded the efforts of the association for the welfare and upliftment of the families of the martyrs.


Work done at spiritual head’s behest: panel
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 4
The restoration work of the monuments belonging to Ahmadiyya Muslims at Qadian, was carried out at behest of the supreme head of the community who expressed his unhappiness over the ‘destroying’ of the heritage while giving them a face-lift.

In a release to The Tribune, here yesterday, the press committee, said the restoration was still being carried out under the supervision of Mr Abdul Rashid.

Mr Tanwir Ahmad , president press committee of the Ahmadiyya Community, however, clarified that the architect had not been sacked, as reported earlier. However, he said Mr Rashid was asked not to alter the original colour or design of the age old monuments while carrying out the restoration work.


Help spies’ families, MP to PM
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, September 5
Reeling under poverty, families of spies languishing in Pakistan jails have found another supporter in the Rajya Sabha member from the district, Mr Ashwani Kumar.

At a press conference held at his residence today, the MP said he had written to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, about the plight of the families of poor villagers of Gurdaspur district who are languishing in Pakistan jails.

He said he had urged the Prime Minister to give financial aid to the families who were suffering as their sole breadwinners were in Pakistan jails.

Mr Ashwani Kumar lauded the UPA government at the centre for bringing the Employment Guarantee Bill. The UPA chairman, Ms Sonia Gandhi, had been instrumental in bringing the Bill. Once the Bill was passed, employment would become a constitutional right. Every citizen of the country would be constitutionally entitled to 100 days employment at the rate of Rs 60 per day. If the government failed to provide employment as provided in the Bill, people would have the right to move court to seek compensation.

Mr Ashwani Kumar said he would launch a mass contact programme in October. Youth clubs across the district would be provided grants ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000 per month from his MP Local Area Development Fund.


H.N.S. Grewal dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
Dr Harnarain Singh Grewal, former Director, Health Services, Punjab, and elder brother of former Union Cabinet Secretary S.S Grewal, died here today. He was also the brother-in-law of former Tribune Trust Chairperson, Mrs. Serla Grewal. He was 87.

Dr Grewal is survived by his wife, Mrs Beant Grewal, two daughters Ms Pamminder Kaur and Ms Maninder Kaur and son Mr H.P.S Grewal, a Chief Engineer in merchant navy. The funeral procession of Dr Grewal will start from his residence 511, Sector 11 and the funeral will take place at 3 pm at the Sector 25 cremation ground.


300 job cases sanctioned
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 5
At least 300 youths have been sanctioned loans in the district under the Prime Minister Rozgar Yojna by the District Industrial Department this year, where as last year 260 were given loans, said Ms Jaspreet Talwar, Deputy Commissioner, here today.

She said under this scheme, the unemployed youths were provided loans to the tune of Rs 1 lakh to start their own business, small scale industry or for service purpose.

She said under this scheme, maximum subsidy of Rs 7500 is granted to the beneficiaries. She said that under this scheme if two or more than two persons make a firm in partnership, a loan upto Rs 10 lakh is provided and the share of the beneficiaries should be from 5 per cent to 16.25 per cent. The subsidy is also provided on the same ratio.

She said that at present more than 15 big industrial units are working under this scheme and more than 2000 unemployed youths are working in these industrial units. She said that similarly 3988 small scale units were covered by the scheme and 21,635 unemployed persons have got employment in these units.

She called upon the unemployed youths to avail the benefit of the various government-sponsored schemes. They should start their own business instead of running after white collar jobs.


4 hurt in mishap
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, September 5
At least four persons were injured seriously when a tractor-trailer hit a Matador at Multania road here last night.

The Matador, which overturned and caught fire after it was hit, was heading towards Beer Talab. All four occupants of Matador identified as Bhupinder Singh, Malkit, Pappi and Somnath were shifted to the emergency ward of local civil hospital.


Villagers block road
Tribune News Service

Ropar, September 5
A large number of villagers today blocked the road in front of the Brahmpur Jimedara village, protesting against the poor conditions of the roads. They complained that as the PWD Department had closed the bridge over the canal on the way to Morinda, the flow of the vehicular traffic had been diverted on the road near Brahmpur Jimedara village. The lack of maintenance of the road to making its condition worse.


Death sentence for rape, murder of niece
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 5
Mr K.K. Garg, Sessions Judge, Sangrur, today awarded death sentence to Ujjagar Singh (50), a resident of Bangawali village (near Dhuri), in a case of raping and murdering his married niece, Mukhtiar Kaur, alias Murti.

The Sessions Judge also awarded 10 years’ sentence and a fine of Rs 5,000 to the accused under Section 376 (Rape) of the IPC, besides one-year imprisonment under Section 309 (attempt to suicide) of the IPC to the accused.

As per the case history, Mukhtiar Kaur, wife of Balwinder Singh, had been living with his paternal uncle, Ujjagar Singh. On November 10, 2002, Ujjagar Singh raped and then murdered her with his licensed gun. After that Ujjagar Singh also made an attempt to commit suicide with his gun.

When this correspondent contacted counsel of the complainant, he said Mukhtiar Kaur’s parents had died earlier. Her uncle Ujjagar Singh got the entire land of her family. She started demanding her share in property from his uncle, which he didn’t like. 


Ex-cadre DGPs not to be removed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today said that several DGPs appointed against ex-cadre posts in the state would not be removed, but adjusted against vacancies arising out of retirement at the top rung.

Speaking to mediapersons at the Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre in Mohali, he added that he cleared the file in this regard the previous day.

The state government had elevated six IPS officers as DGPs earlier this year, even though just two officers could have been appointed against one cadre and another ex-cadre post.

The elevations were reportedly carried out without the Centre’s prior approval. As a result, a few DGPs occupying the top slot in existence earlier had since retired.

The Chief Minister categorically stated that no land had been acquired so far for the special economic zone (SEZ) being developed in Amritsar. He said land for the SEZ was still being identified. The state government was tying up with four promoters for developing the SEZ.

He said the cost of land was about Rs 1 crore per acre, which had resulted in the requirement of land being reduced from 2,500 acres to 1,000 acres. He added that the government owned about 200 acres in that area, which would be utilised for developing 
the SEZ.

Capt Amarinder Singh said that Mohali was coming up as a major telecom centre with about 20 companies lining up to set up base here so far.

He said that following a communication from the GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lt-Gen S. Pattabhiraman, last week, land was being made available for setting up a low-cost housing project for Army jawans at Zirakpur. This, he said, would be a pilot project with more such projects coming up in other parts of the state later.


Bureaucrats reshuffled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
The Punjab Government effected an administrative reshuffle today.

Ms Harsimrat, Principal Secretary, Labour and Employment has been shifted to the Department of Programme Implementation, replacing Mr R.N. Gupta, who will continue to work as Principal Secretary Public Grievances and Pensions.

Ms Kusumjit Sidhu, Secretary, Power, will hold additional charge of Labour and Employment.

Mr Satwant Singh, Director, Small Savings-cum-Additional Secretary, Finance, and Director, Hospitality, will swap places with Mr C.S. Talwar, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Jalandhar.

Mr Sukhwinder Pal Singh, SDM, Hoshiarpur, has been made Additional Deputy Commissioner (General), Hoshiarpur.

Mr Pritam Singh, SDM, Zira, will be the new SDM of Hoshiarpur.

Mr Gurlovleen Singh, Assistant Commissioner (Grievances), Patiala, will hold additional charge of Land Acquisition Officer, Drainage, against a vacant post.

Mr Jasdeep Singh Aulkah, DTO, Mansa, has been shifted as Executive Magistrate, Patiala, against a vacant post. The posts of SDM, Zira, and DTO, Mansa, will be filled latter.


Gang of robbers busted, 7 held
Our Correspondent

Khanna, September 5
The local police claimed to have busted a gang of robbers by arresting seven members during a press conference organised by SSP Naunihal Singh at his office here today. SSP disclosed that the members of the gang were working like the gangsters of Mumbai, who settle personal scores of people by taking ‘suparis’.

The SSP said the police succeeded at tracing dozens of cases of Mobile and Chain snatchings and taking away of trucks with the arrest of the robbers. He said the accused were identified as Rahul Sharma, Krishan Kumar Sharma, Balwinder Singh, alias Bindi, Mahesh, Rakesh Kumar, Inder Pal Singh and Avtar Singh Utalan.

He said the police had first arrested a youth while trying to snatch a chain from a woman near Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha.

The SSP said on September 1 three youths came on a motor cycle and snatched a chain from the owner of Beauty parlour shop. When the woman raised an alarm the police succeeded in arresting a youth. During interrogation the youth told about his accomplices.

A case was registered under Sections 392 and 307 of the IPC and Sections 25, 27, 54, and 59 of the Arms Act at city police station.

The SSP said in the same connection the police received an information that a truck had been taken away forcibly from the driver on the Malerkotla road near Rasulra village.

The SSP said the police started a search operation and the truck was recovered near Dhak Da Kotla village.

Two robbers were arrested. The accused told the police that they had planned to meet at the local railway station in the night. The police conducted a raid and arrested Mahesh.

The police said the accused had confessed to their involvement in the incidents of firing in Chandla Market, Khanna, snatching of mobile phone near Rattan Heri village on pistol point, chain snatching near Rahouni Darwaza, Khanna, looting incident of Medical Store on the Samrala road, Khanna, and many other cases of theft, snatching and robberies.

The police said some of the accused had already been booked earlier in different cases.


Woman beats up husband
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, September 5
Instead of the traditional cases of wife-beating in our country, an incidence of husband-bashing, has came to light.

Mr Paramjit Singh Lamba, a branch manager, with a bank, was assaulted with an iron rod by his wife Jatinder Kaur. He had to be hospitalised in a serious condition after the beating.

The incidence occurred at their New Vishawkarma Nagar residence on the Phagwara-Banga road.

Mr Lamba told newsmen from his hospital bed that he was married 18 years back and had three children. He was transferred to UP a few years ago. As relations between the two soured, a case of divorce was filed. The litigation had been going on for the last two years. Lamba was now posted at Banga.

Certain prominent persons and opinion-makers made them live together about two months back after an out-of-court settlement.

Mr Lamba alleged that when he was going to sleep in his bed last night, his wife attacked him with an iron rod. Profusely bleeding Lamba had to be hospitalised.

The wife of Mr Lamba could not be contacted for comment. The police is investigating.


PTU decides in favour of striking students
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 5
Taking decision over the fate of nearly 400 first year undergraduate students of Punjab Technical University (PTU) who had been denied admission in the second year, a hurriedly convened board of governors (BOG) meeting was held today.

The university authorities held the meeting under the chairmanship of Mr Jai Singh Gill, Chief Secretary, Punjab, in Chandigarh little before noon. Even as Mr J.B. Goel, Secretary, Technical Education and Industrial Training, termed the meeting as “inconclusive”, the university authorities have said that a decision was taken in favour of the students as they could now sit in their second year classes provided they submitted a declaration in writing.

Dr S.K. Salwan, Vice Chancellor, said that it was not a BOG meeting as no invites had been formally sent to any members. He said the decision was likely to be finalised in a day or two.

But Dr M.S. Grewal, Registrar, later confirmed that a decision had been taken and students who had previously opted for academics regulations 2005 would be given a choice to switch over to “1 to 5” and “2 to 6” system. Under the new option, the students would have to clear all their first semester courses by the fifth semester and their second semester courses by the sixth semester, besides appearing for their regular examination, he said.

As a result, the students who had already availed two chances to clear their first semester examination would get another three chances to clear the same, besides getting four chances to clear their second semester courses.

The agitating students had even gone on a fast, demanding a rollback of academic regulations 2005 as per which they were to clear at least four subjects out of a total of nine in their first year. Almost 400 students who had given an affidavit in this regard could not clear four subjects and were thus denied admission to second year.

The students had submitted that they were misguided by the directors or principals of their colleges and they now realised that they had made a wrong choice by opting for the new regulations. The students had been demanding that they be allowed to switch over to the “1 to 5” rule as per which they could continue on till fifth semester to clear their first semester examination.

The university authorities had even called an emergency meeting of the academic council on Friday at the CT Institute to get response from the directors and principals on the matter before proceeding for the BOG meeting today.


Teachers flay govt policies on education
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 5
Teachers of the district under the banner of government Teachers Union, today commemorated Teachers Day as “Sikhya Bachao Divas”. Hundreds of teachers, instead of sitting in some conference room, sat in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office, wearing black badges.

They held a debate on the importance of the day as well as the decline in the standard of education, particularly in government schools. They also express their concern that Teachers Day was not celebrated by the district administration.

Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune exclusively, Mr Gurbachan Singh Virdi, district president of the union, said they wanted to convey the message that teachers were not happy with government’s policies towards education. More than 35,000 vacancies of teachers were lying vacant in government schools. No recruitment of teachers had been made for the past 12 years.

Recruitment of teachers on contractual basis had added fueld to the fire and it had caused a decline in educational standards. If a teacher did not feel secure, how would he devote his mind and energy to teaching? He said, moreover, non-educational works was being taken from teachers with a direction to complete it by ignoring teaching in the classes. He said that all such non-educational work should be stopped.

He criticised the seminars for teachers organised by the Education Department under the Sarv Sikhya Abhiyan. He said that these seminars were of little use for teachers. He added that they had been opposing these seminars as the teachers had to remain absent from the school for 20 days and the studies suffered. 


Non-teaching staff go on mass leave
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 5
Non-teaching employees of private colleges went on mass leave on the call of the Private Colleges Non-Teaching Employees Union, Punjab and Chandigarh today. The employees are demanding 50 per cent merger of the dearness allowance (DA) with the basic pay from April 1, 2004. The employees have not been paid instalments since April last year.

A rally was held in this regard at Modi College here, organised by the Punjabi University wing of the union, according to a press note issued by Vice-president, Joginder Singh Bajwa. Non-teaching staff of private colleges of Patiala, Sangrur, Bathinda, Mansa, Ropar and Fatehgarh Sahib districts took part in the protest, demanding release of the instalments. Employees of all government colleges were getting the incentives. The union demanded parity with the government college employees. The leaders said the union would intensify stir if the government failed to redress their grievances. 


Govt teachers stage protest
Tribune News Service

Ropar, September 5
Protesting against the indifferent attitude of the Punjab Government towards teachers, government teachers of the district, under the banner of the Government Teachers Union Punjab (GTUP), today held a dharna in front of the Mini Secretariat here. The teachers observed “Shikhsha Bachao Day” while boycotting the Teachers Day celebrations.

The teachers were protesting against the move of the government to privatise government schools. The teachers also protested against the non-payment of salary to a large number of teachers for the past three months, said the general secretary of the GTUP, Mr Sucha Singh Khattra.


Teachers’ Day with a difference
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 5
It was rare honour for Master Ajit Singh, a social worker and founder of ‘Citizen Forum Vidhya Mandir’ — a charitable school for the children of victims of drug addiction — who was made chief guest on occasion of celebration of Teachers’ Day by the DAV Public School today.

The founder of first of its kind of school, Master Tara Singh is a government teacher. It was real recognition of his contribution towards the society and underdeveloped people when the DAV Public School called him for this honour.

Master Ajit Singh said this only encouraged him to do his utmost for the betterment of the future of the children of Maqboolpura infamously known as locality of widows where hundreds of persons fall prey to drug menace. He said this added to his responsibility, which he would try to fulfill with all means and efforts.

Mrs V. Puri, Principal of the school, said the school authorities always looked for teachers or personalities who led exemplary life and have done commendable job for the society.

Master Ajit Singh admitted that he was nervous when he was called upon to do the honors. He honored about nine teachers of the school who completed their 20 years in the school.

Mrs Puri presented him Rs 11,000 and promised to provide two trained teachers for Citizens’ Forum Vidhya Mandir. Master Ajit Singh said this would sort out their problem of trained teachers. The children of the school also promised to give Rs five each from their pocket money.


Kavitri sammelan held at GCG
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 5
The Punjabi Sahit Akademi organised a Kavitri sammelan at the Government College of Girls here today. A number of reputed poets, including Dr Pal Kaur, Dr Gurminder Sidhu, Mrs Amarjit Ghuman, Mrs Taraan Gujral, Mrs Neeru Aseem, Dr Surinder Kaur Chauhan and Mrs Seema Safak presented their compositions in Hindi and Punjabi.

Lecturers Dr Harinder Kaur, Mrs Narinder Jit Kaur and Mrs Gurveen Kaur and some students of the college also presented their poems. Dr Dalip Kaur Tiwana honoured the poets. 

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