P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Militancy victims demand relief on par with '84 riot-hit
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 24
Victims of militancy in Punjab who lost their near and dear ones have pleaded to the government to treat them on a par with victims of anti-Sikh violence and grant them compensation and increase their pension.

Family members of terrorist victims led by Mr Amarjit Singh Asal, district secretary, CPI, today presented a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner’s office to be forwarded to respective governments.

The victims alleged that some of them were given jobs, yet majority of the members of the families were still without jobs and feeling difficult to make both ends meet.

Ms Gurwinder Kaur, of village Niwe Teda Khurd village lost her husband Dilbagh Singh, a home guard jawan, he was killed by terrorists in October 1989. She gets Rs 2500 pension besides a compensation of Rs 1 lakh. She has a son and two daughters. Her son Jatinder Singh and daughters are studying. She said she was working as housemaid in the city. She alleged although she got Rs 1 lakh after the death of her husband, but it was too meagre for life.

The terrorist victims alleged that the governments made many promises but did not bother to fulfill these. They alleged that even after years they were striving hard and had to wait for months to get pension released.

In the memorandum presented to the DC, they demanded that pension should be increased from Rs 2500 to Rs 5000 and it should be regularised. They sought free treatment for persons with 100 per cent disability due to terrorism, in government hospitals. They also demanded free education for their children in schools and colleges. They said as the houses were allotted to anti-Sikh violence victims it should be provided to them also besides financial help for establishing business.

Mr Asal said the terrorist victims would protest in New Delhi on February 28 to raise their demands.


Probe CM’s Dubai visits, says Dhindsa
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
Launching a counter-attack on the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, a former Union Minister and senior Akali leader, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, said today that” the Chief Minister sees everyone as a gangster because he (CM) is himself surrounded by land mafia gangs”. Mr Dhindsa wanted to know why Capt Amarinder Singh had been visiting Dubai repeatedly. All his visits to Dubai should be probed.

The Akali leader said a commission headed by a sitting Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court should be appointed to probe the assets of all MLAs, Ministers and other political leaders. “The commission should first probe my assets,” said Mr Dhindsa. “ Of course, the property held by Capt Amarinder Singh should also be probed by this commission”, he added.

He said details of the property owned by him were with the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Election Commission of India. “There is nothing secret about my property. He said Capt Amarinder Singh had recently stated that “I did not have even Rs 500 before I joined politics. “The Chief Minister was perhaps not aware that I owned a car even before I contested the elections in 1972”, said Mr Dhindsa. “Even my father owned landed property of nearly 60 acres in my village, he added.

Mr Dhindsa said the father-in-law of his son was not involved in any illegal activity. The Chief Minister was misleading everyone in this regard.

“He said Capt Amarinder Singh had also levelled allegations against Mr Parkash Singh Badal and other Akali leaders. Those charges were lies, he added.


Ex-servicemen’s platoon gears up for R-Day parade
Tribune News Service

January (Hoshiarpur), January 24
Setting an example of patriotism, over 24 members of a unique platoon raised by the Ex-Servicemen’s Association of Januari village, near Hoshiarpur, have been participating in the Independence Day and the Republic Day parades at district headquarters here for the past eight years.

Just two days before the anniversary of its raising day, the contingent is quite busy and rehearsing even in the thick envelop of fog in this bone chilling weather for the past one week.

Not only as a way to pay tributes to martyrs of this village who died during the World War I and II, the ex-servicemen of the village had also found it as a noble way to commemorate the tradition of the martyrs. The village has sent a large number of jawans to the Indian armed forces since Independence.

A group of over 24 ex-servicemen had raised the platoon of aged defence personnel in 1998 that has been participating in the Independence Day, the Republic Day parades and other important patriotic functions organised here. The platoon also has an ex-serviceman aged 78 years who left the Army in 1968.

Capt Suram Singh (retd), who is in charge of the platoon, said, “To participate in the Republic Day and the Independence Day parades is a ‘salute’ to the martyrs of the village as well as a reason for get together. Its another aim is to motivate the youngsters to join Indian armed forces”, he added.

Capt Umesh Chander Sharma (retd), founder of the association, Janauri, said the majority of the contingent had joined the defence forces after being motivated from their ancestors. “Now we hope that our platoon would encourage the youth for joining the Army”.

The ex-servicemen, however, alleged that corruption at a large scale in the armed forces had adversely affected the recruitment.

Mr Sukhbir Singh, another member of the platoon, said, “Jawans belonging to this village played a major role in the World Wars which inspired us to join the Army. Almost every member of the platoon has fought for the nation in one battle of another. But now the village youth is not opting for the services due to corruption”.

Mr Parmeshari Das, the 78-year-old member of the platoon, said, “I left the Army in 1968 and I feel proud for being part of it. I wish that this would inspire the youngsters of the village to come forward to join the Army”.

The district administration authorities have also expressed happiness over the participation of the platoon of 24 ex-servicemen in the Republic Day parade.

“The number of ex-servicemen is about 60,000 in the district. They feel proud to have served the forces. Their participation in the parades is an example for the youngsters, said Mr D.K. Tiwari, Deputy Commissioner, Hoshiarpur.


Mann asks Sikhs to keep away from R-Day functions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) President, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, and the Dal Khalsa President, Mr Satnam Singh, in separate statements have urged Sikhs to stay away from Republic Day functions.

Mr Mann said that at the time of the freedom of the country in 1947, many promises were made to the Sikhs by leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. However, those promises were never fulfilled.

Mr Satnam Singh said that minorities such as the Sikhs had not been given adequate rights. Even the right to self-determination had been denied to the minorities, he added.


Mann demands case against Bhattal over liquor seizure
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, January 24
Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), today demanded the registration of a case against Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal in connection with the seizure of six cases of liquor from an official vehicle attached to Ms Bhattal by the Jalandhar police yesterday.

Talking to mediapersons at the PWD Rest House here today, Mr Mann asked Congress President Sonia Gandhi to constitute an inquiry commission to investigate the seizure and initiate disciplinary action against Ms Bhattal.

Mr Mann asked the Punjab Government to register a case against Ms Bhattal in connection with the death of two persons at Lehragaga, who allegedly died after consuming liquor at the function organised by Ms Bhattal in connection with the marriage of her son about two months ago.

Mr Mann said a delegation of the SAD (A) would leave for Udham Singh Nagar in Uttaranchal tomorrow and then decide its line of action to help the Sikh farmers evicted.

Mr Mann said the SAD (A) would invite political parties which wanted to defeat the Congress, the SAD and the BJP and talks would be held for the formation of a third front.

Mr Mann also asked Sangrur MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa to file a defamation case against Capt Amarinder Singh if the allegations levelled against him by the Chief Minister were false.


Liquor seizure a conspiracy, says Bhattal
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 24
The Deputy Chief Minister, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, today described the alleged seizure of liquor from her security personnel near Jalandhar as a deep-rooted conspiracy to defame her.

Talking to newsmen after flagging off the ‘Punj-Aab Express’ for Lahore at Wagah checkpost. Mrs Bhattal said she would take up the matter at the highest level and would demand a high level independent probe into the incident.

Mrs Bhattal added that she came to know about the incident only through the media. She denied any knowledge of the seizure. She, however, said that her official vehicles were still in Hyderabad where she had gone for attending the three-day AICC plenary session.

According to reports, the official vehicle and escort gypsy during routine checking at Jalandhar yielded six cases of liquor being brought from Chandigarh. Mrs Bhattal pointed out that it may be a ploy to defame her in the eyes of the public.


Enforce SC order in MBBS admission case: Bhattal
Rashmi Talwar

Amritsar January 24
The Deputy Chief Minister Punjab, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, has ordered action in the matter of continuation of a ward of the Principal in the MBBS course in Sri Guru Ram Dass (SGRD) Institute of Medical Sciences despite the verdict of the Supreme Court.

In a communication to Registrar Baba, Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) a copy of which is with The Tribune, the Bhattal’s office directed the university for the implementation of SC’s orders in case of Gursimran.

The seat of Ms Gursimran Kaur daughter of Dr U.S. Dhaliwal, Director-cum-Principal SGRD Institute, in the MBBS course in 2000-01 was challenged in the Punjab and Haryana High Court and her admission was cancelled for being ‘impermissible under law’, quotes the letter.

According to a reference in the official letter it is stated that the Supreme Court held in the case , that ‘minority institutions may have their own procedure and method of admission but such procedure must be fair and transparent and selection should be on the basis of merit’.

The communication mentions, that Gursimran Kaur took the view that the SC had quashed the judgment of the high court, the same view was taken by the SGRD. However the Deputy CM after perusal of the file reiterated the that the position taken by Baba Farid University of Health Sciences be taken and necessary action in the matter be initiated .

Dr Dhaliwal said he would not like to comment on the matter and added that a lot had already been said .

Meanwhile the letter also states that action maybe taken also against the students admitted in the special quota (faculty wards etc) for year 2000 up to 2004.


State Focus Paper on credit for Punjab released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
The Potential Linked Plan (PLP) projections for the year 2006- 07 are estimated at Rs 26,640 crore for Punjab for the priority sector in agriculture.

As per the PLPs, the lending is expected to increase from Rs 18459 crore (2004-05) to Rs 26640 crore(2006-07). Agriculture continues to be the backbone of Punjab economy and the credit flow for this sector is expected to increase to Rs 17646 crore in 2006-07 from Rs 11255 crore in (2004-05)

This was revealed during the State Credit Seminar for Punjab for the year 2006-07, convened by NABARD here today. Mr J. S. Gill, Chief Secretary, Punjab, inaugurated the seminar. A State Focus Paper on institutional credit prepared by NABARD for 2006-07 was presented and discussed at the seminar.

On this occasion, Mr A. Ramanathan, Chief General Manager, Regional Office, NABARD, said in order to give a boost to the second generation reforms in agriculture, certain initiatives were taken by NABARD. "These include the launching of Swarozgar Credit Card for self-employed and rural artisans, promotion of contract farming in Agri Export Zones, co- financing for promoting high-tech projects and offering consultancy services in agriculture," he said.

In view of the vast employment opportunities in the rural non-farm sector, the ground-level credit flow is envisaged to increase from Rs 2801 crore(2004-05) to Rs 3781 crore in 2006-07, it was revealed. The re-finance towards investment credit disbursed had increased from Rs 676 crore (2003-04) to Rs 1041 crore (2004-05).

For developing rural infrastructure, NABARD has sanctioned projects covering the Total Financial Outlay (TFO) of Rs 2425 crore and financial assistance of Rs 1970 crore. Cumulative disbursements under this scheme to Punjab till December 31, stood at Rs.1221 crore. The projects sanctioned include drainage and flood protection works, construction of rural roads and bridges, rural drinking water supply projects, construction and extension of minors, improvement in power sector etc.

It is expected that the successful implementation of these projects would cover 541415 hectares of agricultural area, provide connectivity to 2925 villages, ensure safe drinking water supply to 3899 villages.

The seminar also discussed the projected credit flow in various sectors like minor irrigation, land development, fisheries, plantation and horticulture, non-farm sector, micro credit, rural infrastructure development fund and production credit.

Mr Vishwajeet Khanna, Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Kumar Rahul, Director, Institutional Finance, and Mr K Avtar Singh, Secretary Finance, were among the other top government officials who participated in the seminar.


Ludhiana doc honoured at Pak surgeons’ meet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
Professor of Surgery and president-elect of the Indian Association of Gastro Endo Surgeons, Dr Kuldip Singh, was honoured at the 3rd National Conference of Pakistan Surgical Society (PSS), held in Rawalpindi from January 19 to 21. Over 400 surgeons participated in the conference, the theme of which was disaster management.

Dr Kuldip Sing had delivered a guest lecture on how to avoid disasters in gall bladder surgery. He emphasized upon the aspects of proper training, technique and timing of surgery.

He also stressed upon the need to compile the date of scientific work done in developing countries and projecting it in the international arenas the quantum of work being done in these countries was much more than that in developed countries.

Different topics, including breakdown of hospital services during an earthquake, management of orthopedic injuries, limb injuries, chest and vascular injuries as well as the role of surgeons in disaster management and lessons learnt in the past were discussed.

Dr S.K. Mishra, head of surgical endocrinology at SGPGI, Lucknow, gave the key-note address, while Dr Sunil Juneja, consultant gynaecologist from DMCH, Ludhiana, talked about arterial embolization in management of post-partum bleeding.

International speakers at the conference included Prof R.C. Merrel from USA, Prof Joseph Lopex from Cuba, Dr Sham Tabraiz and Prof Arshad Khaleel from UK.

The PSS president appreciated the efforts of the Indian doctors and urged for more participation from doctors who had experience of working in natural calamities like tsunami, earthquakes and cyclones.


Permits issued for bus service to Nankana Sahib
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 24
The Pakistani authorities yesterday extended a permit to the Punjab Transport Department for a bus service between Amritsar and Nankana Sahib. The department today issued a permit for a bus service between Lahore and Nankana Sahib. The permits were countersigned by transport authorities of both countries.

Modalities were being finalised, for which senior officers of the department had left for Lahore. The bus service was likely to be run twice a week. A private bus had been hired and a dry run was on.

The fare from Amritsar to Nankana Sahib was expected to be Rs 1,000 in India currency. Mr Vinay Bublani, Secretary, Regional Transport Authority, Jalandhar, said the permit had been issued.


Rs 6 cr for developing Kharar seat
Our Correspondent

Kharar, January 24
Funds to the tune of Rs 6 crore have been sanctioned for various development works in the Kharar constituency.

This was stated by Mr Bir Devinder Singh, Kharar MLA, while talking to mediapersons here yesterday.

He said out of the total amount sanctioned Rs 2 crore would be spent on the development of Kharar town.

There was need to upgrade Government Model School and provide more accommodation to students. Even health facilities needed to be upgraded in the area. Some amount would be spent on the local Civil Hospital and veterinary hospital.

The town would be provided with a community centre, proper bus queue shelters and other facilities.

He said he had called the village sarpanches here tomorrow for a feedback on the development works they needed in their villages. A list of priorities would be drawn up after listening to them.

The proposal relating to various development works would be sent to the District Planning Board for approval. The development works would be executed in the coming financial year.


Sewerage laying work inaugurated

Nawanshahr, January 24
Under the extension and augmentation of sewerage and drinking water project, the Chief Minister has sanctioned Rs 497.36 lakh and Rs 180 lakh for providing sewerage and drinking water facilities, respectively, in the town. This was disclosed by Mr Parkash Singh, local MLA, after inaugurating the laying of sewerage work at Friends Colony, Sloh Road, here today.

Mr Lalit Mohan Pathak, president, Municipal Council, Mr Chaman Singh Bhanmazara, chairman, Market Committee, Ms Kulwant Kaur, Mr Harmesh Puri, Mr Vinod Pinka (councilors), among others, were present.


Cotton growers holding back stock may not benefit
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 24
Cotton growers hoping to cash in on the season-end’s demand are likely to be disappointed as experts, fearing huge losses to the cotton crop, have now pegged north India’s cotton production at 40 lakh bales, as against the earlier expectation of 35 lakh bales.

Talking to The Tribune, the chairman of the export cell of the North India Cotton Association, Mr Ashok Kapur, said the market had been witnessing relaxed buying and the bullish trend prevailing a few weeks back had abated.

He said cotton prices had been varying between Rs 1,825 and Rs 2,125, depending on the quality.

He attributed the current scenario to an increase in crop size and a decline in cotton exports from north India.

He said exports were almost half of what was expected at the beginning of the season.

He said 75 per cent of the cotton crop had arrived in the markets of north India while the rest would follow till March-end.

He said Punjab’s share in north India’s cotton production would be 20 lakh bales, followed by Haryana with 13 lakh bales and Rajasthan with 7 lakh bales.

He said there had also been an increase in expected cotton production of the country by about 20 lakh bales.

He ruled out any steep rise in cotton prices till the end of the cotton season in March-end. Mr Kapur said the scenario had turned out to be beneficial for farmers as well as millers.

He said while the region’s markets had catered to the millers’ demand for cotton, farmers had made the most of speculation of a major drop in cotton production.

Those who had held back their cotton stock expecting a further increase in prices at the fag-end of the cotton season could suffer a setback, he added.


Senior assistant suspended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
Gurbinder Singh, senior assistant (accounts), has been placed under suspension by the Director, Hospitality Department, Punjab.

During his suspension, his headquarters will be at the Civil Secretariat, Punjab. A charge sheet will be issued to him.

Earlier, Gurbinder Singh was posted at Punjab Bhavan here. He was recently transferred from there. The government had set up a committee to probe alleged bungling at Punjab Bhavan, which was recently renovated by spending crores of rupees. The three-member committee has submitted its interim report to the Director, it is learnt.


high court
Absorption of AIG into Punjab Police cleared
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 24
Decks have been cleared for the complete absorption of Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Welfare and Litigation, Punjab, Ms Amrit Brar into the Punjab Police.

Ms Brar, whose appointment as Deputy Superintendent of Police in Punjab Police by the Punjab Government way back in September 1998 had been stayed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, originally belonged to the CRPF cadre.

She is the sister of late Avinder Singh Brar, who was SSP, Patiala, when he was killed by Punjab terrorists on December 14, 1987. Ms Brar had been appointed as Assistant Commandant in the CRPF on compassionate grounds in 1988.

Incidentally, just one month after his death, the late cop was awarded the Padmashri by the Union Government.

She was first sent to Punjab Police on deputation in 1993, and inspite of the fact that her brother had been killed by terrorists, she actively participated in anti-terrorist operations.

In September 1998, the Punjab Government with the concurrence of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the CRPF absorbed her into the Punjab Police as DSP. However, the government decision was challenged by 83 DSPs of the Punjab Police in the high court, who had claimed that her absorption would hinder their promotion chances. The high court then stayed the operation of the government order.

Today, the Division Bench headed by Mr Justice J.S. Khehar dismissed the petition challenging her absorption.

In a connected move, Ms Brar too withdrew the petition filed by her, seeking directions to the CRPF to grant her service benefits, including timely promotion. Her plea was that following the decision of the Punjab Government to absorb her into the Punjab Police, which was, however, stayed by the high court, the CRPF had stopped treating her as its employee.

CBI probe sought

A Batala resident, who, over 15 years ago, witnessed the killing of seven members of his family, and the prime witness in the case, have moved the high court, praying that the investigation in the matter be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The petitioners — Mr Ranjit Singh of Nav Roop Nagar, Batala, and Mr Pritam Singh of Baba Bakula, Gurdaspur - have alleged that since the accused are close to senior police officers, no progress has been made since the registration of the FIR way back in June 1, 1991.

Mr Ranjit Singh’s mother, father, sister, paternal aunt and three minor relatives were allegedly done to death and the incident was later passed off as revenge killing by terrorists.

But, the petitioner as also the witness had named controversial Nihang Baba Ajit Singh Phoola and his accomplices as being responsible for the killings.

Now, the petitioners say, the Beas Police has been trying to help Phoola and other accused by claiming that the original record in the case was destroyed.

Interestingly, they have also claimed that they decided to seek action against Phoola only after the group of ex-servicemen started an anti-Phoola drive.

Mr Ranjit Singh even gave representations to senior civil and police officers, but to no avail.

Today, the Bench of Ms Justice Nirmal Yadav asked the Punjab Government to submit status report in the investigations in the FIR. The report will have to be submitted by March 27.


Shoot-out case: contempt notice to govt
Tribune News Service

Ropar, January 24
The Additional District and Sessions Judge, Ropar, G.S. Saran, today issued contempt notice to the Punjab Government acting on the application of Akali Dal (Badal) youth wing leader Kiranbir Singh Kang for initiating contempt proceedings against three police officials SSP (Ropar), the DSP and the SHO (Kharar) for violating the high court’s order. The Judge has directed the state to file a reply tomorrow.

Mr Kang pleaded that despite the fact that the high court had stayed his arrest in Kharar shootout case, the police moved an application in the court yesterday for arresting him. He also stated that he feared threat to his life and liberty because of the police action.

The court witnessed heated arguments from both sides when the hearing of the case begun at 2 pm. A battery of defence counsel objected and pleaded for initiating contempt proceeding against the police officials when the public prosecutor pleaded for the arrest of Kang in a FIR registered against him for murder and attempt to murder.

The public prosecutor argued that Kang was named main accused in the shoot-out case and his arrest was necessary for further investigation in the case. The public prosecutor added that there were serious allegations against the accused and he had been declared proclaimed offender by a Kharar court. Therefore the police required the accused’s custody.

Defence counsel argued that the court declared Kang a proclaimed offender in the case on September 2004. Thereafter he had approached high court. In a petition in the high court Kang had prayed for the issuance of a direction to handover the case to an independent agency like the CBI or to other state’s agency other than that of Punjab. The defence counsel added that the high court had directed the police to secure the life and liberty of Kang, subject to further order of the court.


2 arrested for making spurious milk
Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 24
The police today arrested a person and his son and recovered 20 quintals of synthetic milk and more than 850 kg of powder from their premises in the Bhunerheri area of this district.

Police sources, said the accused identified as Raj Kumar and his son Surinder Kumar, had been manufacturing spurious milk by mixing urea washing powder surf and other ingredients in the skimmed milk for the past six months and supplying it in the Samana and Pehowa areas of Punjab and Haryana.

Mr Mandeep Singh Sidhu, SP (city), said that the raid was made by the police and Food and Civil Supplies officials. He added that 20 quintals of skimmed milk and 34.5 bags of powder were recovered from the possession of the accused.

A case under Sections 272, 273, 420, 120 of the (IPC) and Section 16 of Prevention of Food Adulteration act has been registered.


Woman commits suicide

Batala, January 24
Ms Meenu wife of Sonu and mother of two children committed suicide by setting herself afire yesterday.

Mr Jatindra Jain SSP Batala, said today that Sonu had illicit relations with another woman. It caused tension in the home and led to suicide by Meenu. The police has registered a case and arrested Sonu. — OC


4 held, pistols seized

Sangrur, January 24
The Khanauri police has arrested four persons — Shinderpal Singh, Balwinder Dass, Raj Kumar and Suresh Kumar, all residents of Gullarr village (Patran) in Patiala district, and reportedly seized four country-made pistols and five cartridges from them.

All four were planning near Khanauri village (Sangrur district) to rob a trader (an employer of one of the alleged accused persons) when the police raided the place and nabbed them with arms and ammunition.

Meanwhile, the Moonak police arrested Sardool Singh along with 250 gm of opium.— TNS


Three get 2-yr term for duping youths
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, January 24
Three persons, including a couple from Pathankot, were sentenced to two years in jail by a local court on January 21 for duping youths of the area.

The magistrate also fined the trio — Anjana Wadhera, her husband Kumar Krishen Wadhera and Iqbal Singh.

The magistrate rejected the request of the trio to be released on probation.

They had duped youths of lakhs by assuring them recruitment and handing over fake appointment letters to them.


Man injured in clash at wedding
Our Correspondent

Kharar, January 24
One person was injured in a clash at a marriage function held here. The injured was taken to the PGI, Chandigarh.

The injured, Jagjit Singh, a resident of Kharar, complained to the police yesterday that he was allegedly attacked by three persons — Harjit Singh, Goldy and Happy — who had also come to the marriage function.

He said when celebrations were on during the night, somebody told him that Harjit Singh wanted to talk to him. He went and met Harjit Singh. When he was talking to him the other two persons allegedly attacked him with a sword, injuring him seriously.

The police has registered a case under Section 307 of the IPC in this regard. No arrest has been made so far.


Private college teachers’ protest ends
Our Correspondent

Barnala, January 24
Teachers of non-government affiliated colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh observed two periods strike in college campus from January, 19 to 24 to protest against the “step-motherly and indifferent” attitude of Punjab government towards their problems.

Prof. R.S. Brar and Dr Jagwant Singh, president and general secretary respectively of college teachers body said here today if problems of private college teachers were not redressed at the January 25 meeting of the High-Powered Committee of the Punjab Government comprising Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister-cum-Punjab Higher Education Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, Finance Minister, Mr M.P. Singh, Secretary Punjab Higher Education, and Mr K.R. Lakhanpal, Finance Secretary, we would go ahead with protest rally-cum-demonstration at Matka Chowk Chandigarh on January 31.

Prof Brar urged Mr Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister to intervene to expedite redress of problems of private college teachers of Punjab. Prof Brar said the Punjab Chief Minister reiterated several times to fulfill poll promises but these remained to be translated into reality.

Demands of private college teachers include of continuation of 95 per cent grant-in-aid to private colleges, implementation of pension-gratuity scheme December 18, 1996, release of orders pertaining to 50 per cent DA merger in basic pay, implementation of the Johl Committee report, grant of HRA to rural private college teachers and restoration of parity for DPE’s and Librarians with lecturers.


Banda Bahadur engineering students excel
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, January 24
Six students of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College (BBSBEC) figured in Punjab Technical University (PTU), Jalandhar, merit list 2005.

The Principal of the college, Dr D.S. Hira, said Parshant Chand Sharma secured 5th position and Sanjeev Arora secured 7th position in the fourth semester of Mechanical Engineering in the university.

Dr Hira said four students of eighth semester of Electronics and Communication Engineering figured in the list which included Sukhdeep Singh which secured 4th position, Manpreet Kaur secured 5th position, Prableen Kaur secured 6th while Supreet Bakshi secured 10th position. He said Prableen Kaur and Supreet Bakshi had already migrated to the USA for higher education. Both of them were getting scholarship.

Member Secretary of the college trust, Mr Kirpal Singh Libra, congratulated the college staff and student for their achievement.


College theatre group wins acclaim
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 24
The theatre group of BBK DAV College for women here was top position in the National Youth Festival which concluded at Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra.

Representing Guru Nanak Dev University in the theatre competition in the All India University Festival, the college group presenting play ‘Band Andheron Mein’ written by Sahib Singh Verma. The show was conceived by the college theatre group, headed by Mrs Suprabha Arya and directed by Kewal Dhaliwal.

Principal of the college Mrs J Kackria told reporters it was for the first time in the history of the University the college had come out on the top in the Youth festival in the theatre category. She said that the team of 22 artistes including performers backroom artists, musicians and lay-out artists won many hearts at the three-day festival.

The play was an adaptation of Verma’s play, written in the Rajasthani background depicting the true-life character of a mother and four daughters. The mother wanted to keep the flock together without allowing them to have any interaction with outside world.

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