P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Volcker report: SAD for probe against Chief Minister
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Qadian (Gurdaspur), December 9
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has demanded increasing the scope of the Justice Pathak Commission probing the allegations levelled in the Volckar report. Mr Sukhbir Badal, general secretary of the SAD stated this to newsmen here today.

He alleged that the Punjab Chief Minister was related to Mr Natwar Singh. His son Mr Raninder Singh and main accused in the Volcker report were business partners. They had been travelling to foreign countries together and carrying on clandestine deals. Another Punjab MLA Arvind Khanna, who is also a relative of the Punjab CM is also involved in the deals. The Justice Pathak Commission should also probe their links in the oil for food scam.

Mr Badal was here to address a SAD rally today. The rally was organised to admit certain Congress workers who had joined the SAD. Mr Jarnail Singh Mahal a former president of the Municipal Council was also present.

Addressing the rally Mr Sukhvinder Singh said that Mr Jarnail Singh’s joining the SAD would boost the party in the area. It was a setback both for Mr Pratap Singh Bajwa PWD minister Punjab, and Mr Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa local MLA and Chairman of the Punjab Pollution Control Board.

Mr Jarnail Singh said that he was leaving the Congress due to anti-farmer policies of the government. Though he was a Congress Municipal President the local MLA did not allow any development work to proceed in his area.

With Mr Jarnail Singh Joining the SAD speculation was rife that he might be pitted against Mr Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa from Qadian in the next Assembly elections.

Mr Vinod Khanna local MP who was also present, said that the Volcker report had exposed the Congress. It is shocking that a person of the stature of Foreign Minister had sold interests of the country. Role of the Congress president Ms Sonia Gandhi had also come under a cloud in the scandal, he said.

Mr Mohan Lal a former minister, alleged that Congress leaders in the district were victimising the leaders of opposition. Many opposition workers were being implicated in false cases, he said.

Mr Sucha Singh Langah, Mr Nirmal Singh Kahlon, Mr Sewa Singh Sekhwan, former ministers, and Mr Balbir Singh Badh, MLA from Sri Hargobindpur were also present in the rally.

Besides Mr Jarnail Singh 100 other Congress workers also joined the SAD.

PWD Minister Punjab Pratap Singh Bajwa , who was also present at a conference said today’s rally of the SAD was a flop show. He said not even a single Congress leader had joined the SAD. All workers who are said to have joined were already SAD workers.

When asked about Mr Jarnail Singh of the joining the SAD he said it did not matter.

Another Congress leader Gurdev Singh Thikriwal Chairman of the Market Committee alleged that the SAD was packing criminals in its party. He said that Mr Jarnail Singh, who had joined the SAD today had 11 criminal cases pending against him. These include two murder cases, four cases of attempt to murder and two cases of fraud and two cases of smuggling narcotics. He had also been listed B category smuggler in the records of the police.

A son of Mr Jarnail Singh was recently booked for stealing 3,000 bags of wheat from Punjab warehousing godown, he alleged.

However, sources at the spot said that though Mr Jarnail Singh might not matter much in terms of votes to the Congress but he could add strength to the muscle power of local Akali leaders.


State not disturbed area, says govt
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
Punjab is not a disturbed area. “No notification has been issued after October, 1997, to declare Punjab a disturbed area under the Disturbed Area Act,” said a senior officer of the Punjab Government.

He said that both the Principal Secretary (Home), Mr A.K. Dubey, and the Punjab Police chief, Mr S.S. Virk, had checked the records pertaining to the enforcement of the Act and they had found that no notification was issued in the state after October, 1997, to enforce the provisions of the Act.

He said that a notification had to be issued to enforce the Act for a specific period and to extend it further, if required. The government says that all the controversy created in the media regarding the disturbed area was without any basis and rationale. “In our eyes, all this controversy is meaningless and without any substance,” said the officer.

However, the Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, Mr Tarlochan Singh, and the Rajya Sabha member, Dr M.S. Gill, are not convinced with what the Punjab Government says in this connection. Dr Gill and Mr Tarlochan Singh had been raising this issue for the past several months. Recently, they were joined by the firebrand member of the Lok Sabha, Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, who had promised to raise the issue in Parliament.

Talking to The Tribune on the phone from Delhi today, Dr Gill said that he had talked to the Union Home Minister, Mr Shivraj Patil, about the “disturbed areas status” of Punjab only four days ago. “The Home Minister had promised that he would get back to me in this regard soon.” He said that if Punjab was not a disturbed area, then why were visas being denied to visitors from Pakistan to Punjab.

He said that in the recently held Indo-Pak trade fair at Amritsar, only 100 people from Pakistan were given visas to participate in the fair while 400 people were to come from that country. Even, certain poets who wanted to participate in the heritage festival at Amritsar were also denied visas, he added. He said that only VIPs from both sides were being given visas while commoners were being denied it.

Likewise, Mr Tarlochan Singh said that he had written to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, the External Affairs Ministry and also to the Union Home Ministry to seek information regarding the enforcement of the Disturbed Area Act in Punjab. However, there was no response in this regard from them so far. He said that if the Act was not in operation, then why were the people coming from Pakistan with valid visas not allowed to alight in Punjab from the bus and train that run between the two countries.

Secondly, he said that there was a black list of Sikh leaders, who were not being allowed to visit Punjab. He said that these Sikhs were being denied visas by various Indian embassies abroad taking the plea that Punjab was a disturbed area and they could not be given visas to visit their motherland.

When told that the Punjab Government says that the Act was not in operation in Punjab since October 1997, Mr Tarlochan Singh, said that why was the State Government silent on such an important issue for the past several weeks when reports were appearing on this issue almost daily. He said that the Punjab Government should clearly tell all concerned that the Act was not in operation in Punjab and also issue a public notice in this connection.


Sterilisation under insurance cover
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
The Centre has launched an innovative insurance cover to both performing doctors and acceptors undergoing sterilisation operations. This has been done with a view to minimising legal complications arising out of the procedure.

An agreement on the new scheme was singed between the Union Health Secretary and a representative of Oriental Insurance Company Ltd yesterday.

Sources said under the existing government scheme, no compensation was payable for failure of sterilisation and no indemnity cover was provided to doctors/health facilities providing professional services for conducting the sterilisation procedure.

There was a demand in states for indemnity insurance cover to doctors/health facilities, since a number of government doctors were facing litigation due to claims from those who underwent sterilisation, that had either failed or resulted in complications. This has led to reluctance among doctors/health facilities to conduct sterilisation operations, the sources pointed out

The new scheme will do away with the tedious process of payment of ex-gratia to the acceptors of sterilisation treatment for post-operative complications. It also provides indemnity cover to the doctor/health facility conducting the sterilisation procedure.

To be implemented in both government and accredited private/NGO/ corporate health facilities, the insurance scheme provides for Rs 1 lakh if the patient dies due to sterilisation in hospital, Rs 30, 000 for death due to sterilisation within 30 days of discharge from hospital, Rs 20,000 for failure of sterilisation (including first insurance of conception after sterilisation) and Rs 20,000 for medical complication occurring within 60 days of the sterilisation operation. These are to be reimbursed on the basis of actual expenditure incurred, not exceeding Rs 20,000, the sources added.

For all doctors/health facilities, including those in Central, state, local-self governments, other public sectors and all accredited doctors/health facilities of non-government and private sectors rendering family planning services, conducting such operations also stand indemnified.

The claims arising out of failure of sterilisation, death or medical complication will cover up to a maximum of Rs 2 lakh per doctor/health facility, per case. The cover would also include the legal costs and actual modality of defending the prosecuted doctor/health facility in court. This would be borne by the insurance company within certain limits, the sources added.


Bonded labourer tastes freedom, courtesy NGO
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 9
The Dalit Dasta Virodhi Andolan (DDVA) an NGO, and Socio-Economic Development Programme (SEDP) today liberated a bonded labourer, Puran Singh, of Makhu from Jagdev Kalan village near here from the clutches of a landlord, Sulakhan Singh.

The landlord allegedly picked up Puran Singh in lieu of his brother-in-law Dalbir Singh about one and a half months back from his village (in Makhu). Dalbir had been working at the farm of Sulakhan Singh for the past three and a half years after taking Rs 15,000 in advance.

Talking to this correspondent Dalbir said he took advance to pay back a loan of Rs 10,000 to his earlier employer. He claimed that Sulakhan Singh had promised him to give Rs 15,000 annually against his work.

Father of two daughters, Dalbir said he was never paid the assured amount. He said, “It was after repeated pleas that the landlord used to give Rs 100 or Rs 200,” and added on that he used to work in his farm and house.

He fled the village about one and a half months back and took refuge at the DDVA’s office in Phillaur. He alleged that the landlord then picked up his younger brother Sarbjit and kept him in illegal custody for three days. He said Sulakhan Singh beat him up and when he did not find any information about his whereabouts then they took address of his in-laws in Makhu. He said the landlord went there with his men and picked up Puran Singh.

Puran Singh said he had been working at the farm and house of Sulakhan Singh for over a month. He said he was never paid and was kept there against his wishes. But he said he was given meals regularly.

Mr Harjinder Kumar, project coordinator, DDVA, and Mr Daniel B. Das, coordinator, SEDP, said they along with Warrant Officer Ish Kumar, appointed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, and some police personnel of the area got Puran Singh released while he was cutting fodder at the farm in the noon.


Fire breaks out at petrol station
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, December 9
A devastating fire broke out in a petrol tanker while it was unloading petrol at Jupiter Filling Station opposite the general bus stand here this afternoon. The fire at once engulfed the entire filling station, as a result the petrol tanker, carrying 12000 litres petrol, two diesel and one petrol filling machines, three scooters, two cycles, an STD/PCO situated inside the filling station and main portion of the shed on the filling station were reduced to ashes.

On receiving information two fire tenders of the MC fire brigade and one from International Tractors Limited reached the spot and after struggling for half an hour controlled the fire. Fire tenders from Phagwara and Air Force Station, Adampur, were also called. No loss of life has been reported. However, Sat Pal, an employee of the filling station, got minor burns while he was trying to control the fire. He was admitted into the local Civil Hospital, where his condition is stable. Had the fire not been controlled in time, it could have proved disastrous to adjoining localities of Bassi Khawaju and Roshan Road.

All shops adjoining the filling station, Roshan Road and Bassi Khawaju were immediately closed. Heavy police force along with the Additional Deputy Commissioner and the SDM reached the site. All roads leading to the filling station were closed.

Mr Amrik Singh, owner of the filling station, said samples of petrol from the tanker were being checked by the staff when the fire suddenly broke out. He said the entire stock of 12,000 litres of petrol had been destroyed. The real cause of fire was yet to be ascertained, but it appealed that on account of sparking below the tanker the fire broke out.

Mr D. K. Tiwari, Deputy Commissioner, Hoshiarpur, told the correspondent that no loss to the property adjoining the filling station had been reported.


13-yr-old Army aspirant seeks Kalam’s help for treatment
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Gehri Buttar (Bathinda), December 9
President APJ Abdul Kalam has displayed his affinity for children on many occasions, but children of this village are disappointed to know that he would only interact with farmers during his visit here tomorrow. A student of Class VIII with a partially disabled hand, Gurvinder Singh is one of them.

Gurvinder was keenly observing the pandal being erected for the President’s function close to his house. He said he had only heard about Dr Kalam and was excited to see preparations for his arrival.

Aspiring to make a career in the Army, he said his right hand was the only hindrance. “I can write, though with a little difficulty, and can excel in other fields, but the Army would always be my first choice.” he said.

He would be grateful to the supreme commander of the armed forces if he could help in some way for the treatment. He attributed his desire to serve the country to his elder brother, Sukhraj, who recently joined the Army. His father, Jagtar Singh, works as a truck driver. His mother said his hand had got burnt in an accident when he was a year old. They had spent about Rs 20,000 on his treatment, but the local doctors could not do much to make the hand function normally. She said he was a bright student with a lot of determination. 


MLA finds govt officers absent
Tribune News Service

Kharar, December 9
The Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, yesterday paid a surprise visit to various government offices here. A large number of officers supposed to be on duty were found missing from these offices during office hours.

His first visit was at the Kharar tehsil office this morning. According to information provided by his office, the MLA found Tehsildar Barjinder Singh and Naib-Tehsildar Rupinderpal Singh Bal absent.

He checked the attendance register and found Bhag Singh, Piara Singh, Charanjit Kaur, Baljit Kaur, all clerks, and Kuldeep Singh, Revenue Patwari, also missing.

Then he went to the SDM office, nearby, where he found that the SDM had not reached the office.

Sucha Singh, SDA, Amaranth, SMC, and Karamjit Kaur, a clerk, too were not yet in the office.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh next went to the ESI Hospital, Kharar, located near the Court Complex and found incharge Medical Officer Ravneet Kaur also absent from duty.

An employee had been marked ‘on leave’ in the attendance register, whose leave application was also not found. Gurmej Masih, a lab technician, and another employee Swaran Singh had also not reached the office.

Then he visited the Punjab State Electricity Board office where he found SDO Manmohan Singh absent. Jiwan Singh, Jarnail Singh, Bachitter Singh, Satvinder Singh, Baljit Singh, Onkar Chand, all junior engineers, absent and no attendance marked in the register.

The MLA’s last visit was to the BDPO office and the Civil Hospital, where by the time he reached the entire staff was already present.


Get Indian prisoners released, Pak delegation urged
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 9
The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) today urged the delegation comprising senior judges and advocates of the Pakistan Supreme Court, who paid obeisance at the Golden Temple here, to fight for the release of Punjabi and Indian prisoners languishing in Pakistan jails.

Earlier, Mr Dalmegh Singh and Mr Jaswinder Singh Advocate, Secretary and Member, SGPC, respectively, welcomed the delegation on behalf of Mr Avtar Singh, SGPC President.

The delegation includes senior judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Khawaja Sharif Shah and senior judge of High Court Justice Rizwi and eight other judges. The 17 advocates include Malik Hussain, M Salim Sehgal, Justice (Retd) Rakhar-un-niza Khokhar, Choudhary Mohammad Ashrafullah, Zia-ul-Qamar Bhatti, Akbar Khilgi, Noman Aziz, Salman Riaz, and Shiraz Bhatti, among others.

Mr Dalmegh Singh said a large number of Indians and Punjabis, who were defrauded by fake travel agents, were languishing in various Pakistan jails and there was no one to fight their cases there. 


Advance trauma centre for Patiala planned
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 9
There is a plan to have an advance trauma care centre (ATCC) on the premises of the local Rajindra Medical College, which is in bad shape otherwise and has been facing acute shortage of staff.

If all goes well, the local medical college will have the ATCC, first of its kind in the country, after two years. The ATCC will come up without any financial support from the state government as the Gomco Alumni Association will arrange about Rs 50 crore needed for it.

Dr Ravinder Singh, Chairman, Gomco Alumni Association and Vice-Chancellor, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, today said that the ATCC, which would have around 70 to 80 bed capacity, would be first of its kind in the country.

He added that discussions in connection with the setting up of the project had been going on since 1998. The final shape to the project was given when the state government agreed to allot one acre of land situated on the premises of Rajindra Medical College on lease to Gomco for setting the same. He said the Gomco Alumni Association and Patiala Health Foundation Inc. USA approached the state government for the allotment of land in the past.

He said a memorandum of understanding (MOU) would be signed by the state government with these two organisations shortly. The ground-breaking ceremony of the ATCC would take place on December 17. Five alumni of the medical college were expected to participate in the function, which was likely to be presided over by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.

The centre would be equipped with the most modern diagnostic and state-of-art medical equipment and manned by expert professionals in all appropriate fields. A large number of patients belonging to Patiala and the surrounding areas would be benefited from this project.

The ATCC would be run by a committee to be set up by the Gomco Alumni Association and Patiala Health Foundation. The committee would also manage the finances of the ATCC.

The Deputy Commissioner of Patiala, Principal and Medical Superintendent of the local medical college would also be taken as its members.

The funds for the centre would be arranged by the members of the alumni and Patiala Health Foundation.


Overloaded vehicles continue to ply
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, December 9
Overloaded trucks plying on the Pathankot-Gurdaspur road are posing traffic hazard. One such truck carrying stone-crushed material lost balance in front of the Gurdaspur bus stand in the wee hours today and overturned. Due to excess weight, the truck smashed into two pieces. The material also spilled over to road blocking the traffic. The driver escaped with minor injuries.

Usually, overloaded trucks from stone crushers spill small pieces of stones that strike other vehicles with velocity. The stones often damage vehicles and occasionally cause injury to those on two-wheelers.

The Supreme Court had recently stopped states from charging fine from overloaded vehicles. The court had declared that overloaded vehicles were illegal and the states had been barred from declaring such vehicles as legal by just imposing a fine on them.

However, despite clear directions, the Department of Transport has not been taking action from banning overloaded vehicles.

The locals have demanded that strict action should be taken against those plying overloaded vehicles.


Pak Judge’s family donates blood at camp
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 9
In a unique tribute, members of the family of a judge of the Lahore High Court donated blood at a camp organised to mark the 70th birth anniversary of the former Mandi Board Chairman Sant Ram Singla.

Syed Qasim Rizvi, a relative of the judge, Syed Shabar Raza Rizvi, who was among the four family members who donated blood, said, “He (Sant Ram Singla) facilitated our visit to the samadhi of our forefathers and this is our way of repaying our gratitude”.

The blood donation camp, which saw 133 units of blood being collected by a team of doctors of Government Rajindra Hospital, was attended by a large number of people of Patiala and Samana, the native town of Sant Ram Singla.

Also present on the occasion were Mr Vijay Inder Singla, Chairman of the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA), Mr Yashpal Singla, president of the Samana Municipal Committee, members of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Arhtiya Association.


Suvidha camp fails to draw villagers
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Ropar, December 9
The first suvidha camp organised by the district administration to solve the problems of people on their doorsteps at Lutheri village in Morinda town today got a poor response due to lack of awareness about it among the villagers. Out of the 31 temporary offices setup by the administration, only a few managed to attract the villagers.

The camp began two hours late. Students of the local school who were present there to welcome the Deputy Commissioner, Mr H.I.S Garewal, had wait for his arrival. The camp was scheduled to start at 9 am but the Deputy Commissioner reached there around 11 am.

The indifferent attitude of some of the officials was also reflected when the Deputy Commissioner left the camp around 3.30 pm as they closed the temporary offices despite the fact that the camp was supposed to be open till 5 pm.

Even some of the villagers complained that they were misguided by some officials about the camp. Five women of Kotli village complained they were misinformed that yellow cards for those living below the poverty line would be issued in the camp. However, they were shocked to know that the cards could not be made but could only be renewed in the camp.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner gave a cheque for Rs 1.20 lakh each to the Principals of three schools include Lutheri, Barshalpur and Amrali for the construction of new school buildings. The administration claimed to have solved the cases of various departments in the camp, including 55 cases of the Revenue Department. As many as 275 licences were issued or renewed by the District Transport Office, 285 villagers were medically examined by the Health Department.

Besides, the Animal Husbandry Department examined 268 animals while 11 animals were operated upon. Reserve category certificates were issued to villagers, pensions cases were settled, the administration claimed.

Besides the Deputy Commissioner, the other officials who heard the grievances of the people included the Assistant Commissioner Grievances, Mr Lakhvir Singh, the DSP, Morinda, Mr S.S Gill, the SDM, Mr J.C Sabarwal, and the District Transport Officer. The district administration announced to organise the next suvidha camp at Ghanauli village.


Heavy rush at Lok Suvidha camp
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib,  December 9
Lok Suvidha camps are proving to be a boon for the people of the area who wants that grievances of the people should be redressed at their door step, said Dr Harbans Lal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, while addressing a gathering after inaugurating the Loak Suvidha camp organised at Kamali village in Bassi Pathana Sub Division.

He urged the panchyats to create awareness among people at the grassroots level to take benefit of such camps. Heavy rush was witnessed during the camp and people have come in large number to redress their grievances. Ms Jaspreet Talwar, Deputy Commissioner and Ms.Manisha Trighatia, IAS, SDM, Bassi Pathana, called upon the people to take the benefit of such camps as all district officials remain present at the camp.


Rs 5.73 cr for Muktsar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
The Punjab Government today released Rs 5.73 crore for the development of Muktsar town where a ‘‘Mukt-e-Minar” would be raised in memory of ‘‘ 40-Muktas’’, who had special mention in Sikh history.

A meeting in this regard was held today under the chairmanship of the Cabinet Minister, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, who is also Chairman of the District Planning Board of Muktsar district. In all, Rs 9.44 crore would be spent for the development of Muktsar town.

The release of the money for Muktsar has a special political significance also. It is the home district of the President of the Shiromani Akali Dal( SAD), Mr Parkash Singh Badal. Obviously, by releasing such a huge amount for the development of Muktsar town, the Government wanted to push Mr Badal into the corner. Secondly, it is also home town of Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, a senior Congress leader, who is not seeing eye to eye on many issues with the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.

A government spokesman said that the money would also be spent to upgrade infrastructure and also to provide drinking water and sewerage facility in the remaining areas in the town.


Telecom staff hold protest 
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 9
Activists of the National Federation of Telecom Employees (BSNL) yesterday carried out a protest rally in front of the gate of telephone exchange to register their protest against the apathetic attitude of Centre Government towards its employees.

Addressing the protest rally, Mr Jaswant Singh Sandhu, district president of the federation, said the federation would oppose some of policies of the government, including increase in FDI, decreasing the share of BSNL from revenue and removing the condition of 10 per cent telephones in the villages from private operators as these had been worst affecting the employees.

He warned the government that non-acceptance of their demands would lead to intensification of their struggle. 


Strike by thermal plant staff
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 9
On a call given by joint force Punjab, workers of the local Guru Nanak Dev Thermal plant (GNDTP) yesterday observed a one day strike to lodge their protest against the state government apathetic attitude towards their demands.

While addressing the workers, Mr Baljit Singh Brar, president, GNDTP employees federation, said the joint force was forced to observe strike as the government had adopted indifferent attitude towards their genuine demands. He said their demands include providing job to the next kin of the deceased employees, lifting of ban on recruitments and restore the abolished posts. 


Convention of Christians
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
Pastor Gurpal Masih of Sunam, Pastor Naresh Paul of Chandigarh and Pastor Sukhchain of Samana have thanked Kanwal Bakshi, a member of the Punjab Subordinate Services Selection Board, Yunis Masih Hans, Director, Khadi Board, and Roshan Joseph, Director, Tubewell Corporation, for taking up the sensitive matter of holding a convention of Christians at Sunam.

A press note said the matter was brought to the notice of the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, who directed his political secretary to ensure smooth conduct of the convention. 


Information Commission plans paper-free office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
The Punjab State Information Commission will adopt modern systems of management, communication and control in its own working.
To implement the Right to Information Act, the Commission has decided to make extensive use of information technology. Also, the Commission would need to discard the routine office procedures of government and take prompt and efficient decisions.

Mr Rajan Kashyap, State Chief Information Commissioner, Punjab, said in his meeting with the Chief Secretary and other senior officers of the Punjab Government it was agreed that the Commission would deploy the minimum staff, who would be technically skilled persons, to evaluate, appraise and monitor the flow of information.

The Right to Information Act aimed to achieve transparency and accountability in governance.

Mr Kashyap stated that even as the Commission was engaged in selecting suitable premises for establishing its office he himself was meeting public visitors including many non-government institutions in Punjab Bhavan, Chandigarh.

In the meantime he had sought the assistance of the Department of Information Technology and Administrative Reforms, Punjab, to design a state of the art, paper free office for the Commission within a period of one month.

The Chief Information Commissioner expected that the State Government would bring on line all relevant information concerning the service and regulatory department departments and institutions of the State Government.

Mr Kashyap further added that in terms of the relevant provisions of the Act, the public was free to approach the Commission at the e-mail address scic@punjabmail.gov.in.


Liquor sale banned

Ropar, December 9
Keeping in view the Gurdwara Management Committee elections to be held in Morinda town and its villages on December 11, the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, Mr H.I.S Garewal, today banned the sale of liquor from 5 p.m. on December 10 to December 11 till 7 p.m. The order will be imposed only on the liquor shops falling in the villages where elections are to be held. — TNS


2 killed, 3 hurt in road accident
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 9
Two persons were killed and three injured after a car smashed into a tree when the driver of the car tried to save a scooter who was coming from the opposite side on the Bathinda-Dabwali national highway, near Jassi Bagh, today.

Mr Gurdas Garg, a local cloth merchant, along with his wife, two children and the driver was coming from Delhi when the mishap took place. The deceased, identified as Bunty, driver of the car, and Darshana Garg, wife of Mr Garg, were declared brought dead after they were shifted to the local Civil Hospital by volunteers of the Sahara Jan Sewa. Mr Garg, his son Kunal and daughter Anu were under treatment at the hospital.


Chaman Lal elected to JNU teachers’ body
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 9
Dr Chaman Lal, former teacher in Punjabi University and who was conferred the Shiromani Hindi Sahityakar by Languages Department, Punjab, in 2003, was unanimously elected vice-president of Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association, where he is working as Professor in the Hindi Department.

Dr Chaman Lal, former Head of the Hindi Department of Punjabi University, Patiala organised 15 national seminars, including three on the Dalit theme in literature, at Kurukshetra University, Patiala and Jalandhar. He has presented papers in more than 50 national-level seminars and delivered lectures at many places.

In 2002, two most prestigious awards were announced for Dr Chaman Lal. The central Hindi Derctorate, New Delhi chose his edited and translated book ‘Kabhu Nahi Socha” Tha for national award Sahitya Akademi New Delhi and his Hindi translation and editing of Punjabi Poset Paash Poetry ‘Samay O Bhai Samay’ for the national translation Prize. Dr Chaman Lal was given Shiromani Hindi Sahityakar award on the occasion of World Punjabi Conference in December 2004. 


Pak qawwal performs at GND varsity

Amritsar, December 9
Qawwal Zameer-ul-Hasan of the Verinwala gharana, hailing from Faisalabad, Pakistan, enthralled the audience at Guru Nanak Dev University here today.
Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh, DIG, was the chief guest. Vice-Chancellor S.P. Singh and a delegation of journalists from Pakistan, led by Mr Aijeez Ullah Naz, secretary-general, Sai Mian Meer Foundation, Pakistan chapter, were present.

Zameer-ul-Hasan belongs to Verinwala village that falls under Jalandhar district. The Verinwala gharana is one of the five Punjab gharanas, which have made their mark in qawwali singing. He was accompanied by Ali Arshad, Azar Hassan and Ahmed Hussain. — OC

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