SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
B A T H I N D A    E D I T I O N

Illegal mining of sand
Three nabbed in Fazilka
Fazilka, January 21
The Fazilka police has arrested three persons who were transporting illegally-mined sand, in this sub-division on Sunday night. Three tractor-trolleys loaded with sand have been impounded.

Mischief leaves streets in Abohar flooded with sewage
A view of one of the streets submerged in sewerage water in Abohar on Monday. Abohar, January 21
More than a dozen residential colonies have been flooded with sewerage water as unidentified miscreants removed sand bags used to close an opening at the main disposal works here.

A view of one of the streets submerged in sewerage water in Abohar on Monday. A Tribune photo

married woman missing from ferozepur
Hunt on, no laxity on part of cops: SSP
Ferozepur, January 21
The All India Kisan Mazdoor Morcha has issued an ultimatum of 72 hours to the police to either trace the missing married woman of Kabar Vacha village under Ghal Khurd police station or else they would intensify their stir.


EARLIER STORIES

The 109-year-old Arya Putri Pathshala in Fazilka is on the verge of closure for want of adequate infrastructure. Historic school may soon become history
Fazilka, January 21
The over a century old Arya Putri Pathshala, a pioneering educational institution that has been at the forefront in promoting female literacy in the area, is now on the brink of closure, thanks to the indifference of the successive governments towards the aided schools.







The 109-year-old Arya Putri Pathshala in Fazilka is on the verge of closure for want of adequate infrastructure. A Tribune photograph


Matching the moves
NCC cadets perfecting their steps during a rehearsal for a march past to be held during the Republic Day function, at the Multi-purpose Sports Stadium in Bathinda on Monday.
NCC cadets perfecting their steps during a rehearsal for a march past to be held during the Republic Day function, at the Multi-purpose Sports Stadium in Bathinda on Monday. Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma

Cong workers celebrate Rahulís elevation
Bathinda, January 21
Activists of the Congress today celebrated the elevation of Rahul Gandhi to the post of vice-president of the party, in various towns of the Malwa region.

Youth Cong launches drive against drugs
Abohar, January 21
The Punjab Youth Congress general secretary, Deepinder Singh Randhawa, inaugurated an anti-drug campaign at a function held in Indira Nagari here today.





 

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Illegal mining of sand
Three nabbed in Fazilka
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, January 21
The Fazilka police has arrested three persons who were transporting illegally-mined sand, in this sub-division on Sunday night. Three tractor-trolleys loaded with sand have been impounded.

It is learnt that some members of the General Reta Mazdoor Union, Fazilka unit, informed the police and the Additional Deputy Commissioner Charandev Singh Maan that tractor-trolleys loaded with sand were being taken to some unknown place.

Fazilka DSP Ram Parkash and ADC Maan rushed to the area on the outskirts of this town on the Mauzam road but the drivers of the tractor-trolleys reportedly fled from the scene while taking advantage of the darkness. They left the vehicles behind. However, the police succeeded in nabbing them later after conducting an investigation in this connection. The police also impounded the sand-laden tractor-trolleys.

Sources said the sand had been excavated from Mauzam village.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has imposed a ban on sand mining in the village until a no objection certificate (NOC) is obtained from the Pollution Department.

It is stated that the sand was being transported to Bodiwala Pitha village of this district for construction of a temple.

Following an investigation and on the basis of an application of the assistant mining officer, the Sadar police, Fazilka, booked three persons, including Sukhpal Singh, a resident of Aspal village in Muktsar district, Santosh Kumar of Beganwali village and Mohinder Singh of Bodiwala Pitha village of Fazilka district under Section 379 of the IPC and Section 21 of the Mines and Mineral Development and Regulation Act 1957.

"We are committed to implementing the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in letter and spirit," said ADC Maan.

It is pertinent to mention here that owing to the ban on illegal mining, the prices of the sand have shot up and major construction activities have came to a standstill.

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Mischief leaves streets in Abohar flooded with sewage
Miscreants remove sand bags used to construct a bandh
Our Correspondent

Abohar, January 21
More than a dozen residential colonies have been flooded with sewerage water as unidentified miscreants removed sand bags used to close an opening at the main disposal works here.

The act hampered an unprecedented drive launched to put the sewerage system in the sub-divisional town in order, following the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Justice Rajesh Bindal had extended the date for finishing the task to January 25. About 11 teams from other civic bodies reached this town, along with sewer jet and sucking machines and traditional desilting equipment, to finish the task in time.

The dirty water submerged all the streets and entered hundreds of houses in Anand Nagri, Nanak Nagri, Patel Nagar, Prem Nagar, Jain Nagar, Arya Nagar, Azeemgarh etc.

The executive officer (EO) of the Abohar Municipal Council, Bhushan Aggarwal, along with municipal engineer (ME) Rohtas Gupta and other staff inspected the disposal works and found that the sand bags that were placed to plug the manhole to prevent diversion of water to the urban areas were removed.

The old motors in the disposal well had already been submerged for which the EO had blamed the staff of the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board. The EO said two new motors were being installed and it would take a day more to provide relief to the residents of the affected areas.

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married woman missing from ferozepur
Hunt on, no laxity on part of cops: SSP
Our Correspondent

Ferozepur, January 21
The All India Kisan Mazdoor Morcha has issued an ultimatum of 72 hours to the police to either trace the missing married woman of Kabar Vacha village under Ghal Khurd police station or else they would intensify their stir.

The national chairman of the front, Manohar Lal, while talking to The Tribune here, said during a meeting held today, the police had assured them of expediting the investigations into the case. A special investigation team (SIT), comprising SP (Detective), DSP (Headquarter) and in-charge (CIA) has also been constituted to solve the case.

He said when the woman went missing from her house on December 10, 2012, certain lower-rung police officials did not take up the case in the right earnest even as the compliant had been lodged in this regard immediately after the incident.

Lakhbir Singh, the missing woman's father, said he feared that his daughter was kidnapped by a youth belonging to Faridkot, who allegedly had shady antecedents, of which the police was fully aware. Lakhbir returned from Manila where he had been working for the last few years, to locate his missing daughter.

Sources said the 19-year-old married a NRI Gurnek Singh of Surrey (Canada) in March last year. She joined an IELTS centre in Faridkot to improve her communication skills. She apparently got in touch with one Lalit Mohan, who allegedly took her away to an undisclosed location.

"Whether she has been kidnapped by or eloped with the boy is still not clear," confirmed a police official while pleading anonymity.

When contacted, SSP Varinder Pal Singh said the police had registered a case against Lalit Mohan of Faridkot, who runs a de-addiction centre there. The SSP said the police had also rounded up a few suspects and further investigations were on.

Brushing off the allegations regarding any laxity on the part of the police, the SSP said the SIT has already raided some places and the details of the calls made by the girl and the accused had been scrutinised. He added that the girl would be traced soon.

Lakhbir said he had already deposited the documents of his daughter with the Canadian embassy to obtain VISA so that she could join her husband in Canada.

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Historic school may soon become history
Praful Chander Nagpal

Fazilka, January 21
The over a century old Arya Putri Pathshala, a pioneering educational institution that has been at the forefront in promoting female literacy in the area, is now on the brink of closure, thanks to the indifference of the successive governments towards the aided schools.

The 137 students studying in the school also face an uncertain future.

A historic school of the town, established in 1904, it offered education to thousands of girls in the days when even primary education was considered to be an achievement and a symbol of literacy.

The school catered to the needs of girl students, particularly from the poor families. It is an institution being run by just a teacher who also acts as its principal. This teacher is scheduled to retire in October this year.

The posts of seven teachers, a helper and a peon were sanctioned in 1967 under the grant-in-aid system. But as the teachers started retiring one by one, the posts fell vacant.

Notably, 95 per cent of the grant is offered by the state government and five per cent by the school management. But now, it has become difficult for both to run the school.

The lone teacher, Urmil Grover, has to run the show alone. "It is proving to be difficult to prepare the school report, documents, accounts and other official work in the absence of any other employee. Even a peon has not been deployed to assist in menial jobs," said Grover.

"The government should have taken over Arya Putri Pathshala as a heritage institution. Such an old historic school should have been granted the status of a university by now. But unfortunately, it is on the verge of closure," said Bhupinder Singh, patron, Graduate Welfare Association, Fazilka.

"The government should come forward to save a pioneer institution like Arya Putri Pathshala in the larger interest of the students. If the government contributes its share, the managing committee can run the school efficiently," said Umesh Chander Kukkar, president, Arya Putri Pathshala Managing Committee.

The condition of the aided schools is worsening in the absence of staff and infrastructure in Fazilka town. There are six primary and two high schools in the town that are aided by the government. Only 25 teachers have been imparting education to nearly 4000 students in these eight schools.

"Only the intervention of the government can help the students studying there. Otherwise, after the retirement of the teachers, the schools will be closed and the future of the students will hang in balance. The government should revive the infrastructure of these schools to fulfill its promise of right to education," said the general secretary of the Punjab Government Aided School Teachers and other Employees Union, Ajay Thakral.

end around?
Arya Putri Pathshala, established in 1904, offered education to thousands of girls in the days when even primary education was considered to be an achievement and a symbol of literacy.
A century down the line, the school is now on the brink of closure, thanks to the indifference of the successive governments towards the aided schools.
The 137 students studying in the school also face an uncertain future.
The lone teacher running the institution is scheduled to retire in October this year.

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Cong workers celebrate Rahulís elevation

Bathinda, January 21
Activists of the Congress today celebrated the elevation of Rahul Gandhi to the post of vice-president of the party, in various towns of the Malwa region.

Reports of celebrations were received from Bathinda, Fazilka, Faridkot, Ferozepur and Barnala where Congress leaders distributed sweets to mark Rahul's elevation.

The party's state general secretary Harminder Singh Jassi offered sweets to party workers at the Congress office here. He said Rahul had strengthened the Congress by touring the rural areas where he met the common people to listen out their problems and find ways to resolve them.

Terming Rahul's elevation as a historic decision, Jassi said the next Lok Sabha elections in 2014 would be contested by the Congress under his leadership. He said the PPCC would invite the new vice-president of the party to visit the state so as to infuse strength among party workers in Punjab. ó TNS

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Youth Cong launches drive against drugs

Abohar, January 21
The Punjab Youth Congress general secretary, Deepinder Singh Randhawa, inaugurated an anti-drug campaign at a function held in Indira Nagari here today.

Criticising the state government for its claims on controlling the drug menace, he alleged that the ruling politicians in the state had given a free hand to the drug mafia. The drive against drugs had fallen flat for want of determination on the part of the police and politicians, he said.

A former district president of the Youth Congress, Sandeep Jakhar, said youths should bid adieu to all kinds of addiction and involve themselves in sports and other social welfare activities so that their energy is channelised in productive areas. "Nasha manukhta da dushman", a book scripted by Sant Sewa Singh was distributed among the students on the occasion. ó OC

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