|P U N J A B||
Friday, December 4, 1998
support of Jathedars
Central team to assess loss due to crop damage in Punjab NEW DELHI, Dec 3 A High-level inter-ministerial team will soon go to Punjab to assess the extent of damage to crops and other infrastructure caused by unseasonal rains, the Rajya Sabha was informed today.
marriage between kin
students join stir
Kidnapped boy traced SANGRUR, Dec 3 Lakhbir Singh (5), alias Babloo, son of Gurpiyar Singh of Sanghera village near Barnala, who was kidnapped on November 27, was traced by the Barnala police on December 2.
leadership total failure: AISSF
recovered from writer's house
for hike in medical allowance
victims' dues being delayed
to launch jail bharo stir in Feb
to boycott govt functions
fail to visit Golden Temple
leaders plea on Anandpur Sahib
Minister stresses values
to head Punjab school board
being diverted to Malout: Bhinder
Dept to report on casual labour
to take part in Khalsa march
of paddy 'not lifted'
|SAD reversal due to price hike||Delegates visit Golden Temple|
support of Jathedars
CHANDIGARH, Dec 3 Stung by the ignominious defeat in the Adampur byelection, the Akali Dal President and Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today sought support from the district Jathedars. The election result from a seat which the Congress had not won since 1967 is a clear warning for the Akali Dal. He urged the district leaders who trooped in for a meeting to review the election result and to spread the message that the Akali Dal was the only well wisher of the people of Punjab.
Mr Badal had called the district Jathedars from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh to have what the Dal leaders called, a "heart-to-heart talk". But Mr Badal, who met the Akali Ministers for a similar session yesterday was more keen to know where do these Jathedars, his own appointees, stand vis-a-vis the Chief Minister and the SGPC President, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra. Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, MP and party General Secretary, was the only other leader present.
But instead, at the end his bag was full of complaints and grievances. 'No one cares for us, neither the Ministers nor the officers" was the constant refrain at the meeting which continued for three hours. Some said that the party leadership had totally ignored the rank and file which had spent years in jails during the Akali Morchas. Now when the time had come to bask a little in the glory of the political power, the junior leaders had no say. Instead, families had become more important, at least one Jathedars said, though a little meekly. The Jathedars also said that development work was suffering. Except a major concession by giving free power, nothing much had happened. Prices were high, roads were bad, schools were without teachers and buildings. Health care was poor and in fact nothing else had increased except corruption. "Badal Sahib nail the corrupt bureaucracy", one Jathedar said quite loudly.
In fact, the paranoid Akali leadership today attacked newspapers for being over critical about the Akali Government. One Jathedar suggested that the Dal should have a newspaper of its own. If the communists, very small compared to the Akali Dal, could have their own newspaper why could not the Akalis have their own newspaper. This would help tell the people about the achievements of the Dal-lead government.
At one level, there was sharp criticism of the BJP and at least one minister got a lot of flak. Some alleged that this minister was corrupt also. In any case, the BJP had got more from the Akali Dal than it had returned. Another assessment was that Hindus no longer cared for the BJP and the Akalis stood to lose by this relationship. Mr Badal said that the would take care of the BJP and this relationship should not be viewed from a narrow prospective.
When most of the jethedars were complaining that they were being ignored by the Ministers, MLAs and officers, Mr Badal chided them by saying: "Give some specific cases". There was no point singing just one tune, he is stated to have remarked.
Some Jathedars pointed out that the top leaders, Mr Badal and Mr Tohra, should present a united image. At present, they seemed to be speaking different languages and newspapers were helping build this image of a divided leadership. Both leaders should have full trust. Mr Badal said all talk about division or groupism was the creation of some newspapers only.
But later in a resolution there were praise for Mr Badal. It said: "This meeting places on record its deep sense of appreciation of the historic and far sighted leadership being provided by Mr Badal. The party, expressing full faith in his leadership, rededicates itself to the service of the people of Punjab as per the vision of and direction being provided by Mr Badal. Over the past couple of years, the Punjab Government has successfully steered the state out of the decades-long zone of darkness and bitterness and has put peace, amity and prosperity on a firm footing. Numerous vital and historic decisions have been taken that are bound to influence in a major and positive manner the process of development and prosperity in the state in the near future. The process of rebuilding the economic structure of the state, which was in a shambles through long and wilful neglect by successive Congress governments has been set in motion through a comprehensive long term planning.
"Even the Punjabis have recently had to go through extremely difficult periods due to natural calamities and countrywide unhelpful economic conditions, yet, thanks to the clear and firm leadership of Mr Badal, the process of development in the state has stayed on course and its pace will be further stepped up in days to come".
"While this meeting
expresses its deep satisfaction over the atmosphere of
amity and Punjabi unity brought about through the
unfaltering vision and persistent efforts of Mr Badal, it
also expresses its serious concern over the renewed
efforts of the Congress party to cause a rural-urban as
well as communal divide among the Punjabis. The party
while cautioning the people of the state against this
conspiracy, reiterates its resolve to defeat it",
Dal Secretary, Mr Kirpal Singh Bandugar, said.
team to assess loss due to crop
NEW DELHI, Dec 3 (PTI) A High-level inter-ministerial team will soon go to Punjab to assess the extent of damage to crops and other infrastructure caused by unseasonal rains, the Rajya Sabha was informed today.
Answering supplementaries during question hour, Agriculture Minister Som Pal said the team was constituted following a request for assistance from the state government.The state government had sought an assistance of Rs 1043.1 crore from the national fund for calamity relief on account of losses to paddy and cotton crop, irrigation facilities and other infrastructure like roads, he said.
Replying to the main question from Gurcharan Singh Tohra and Sukhdev Singh Libra (Akali Dal), the minister said the state was required to undertake the necessary relief measures from the allocation under the Calamity Relief Fund (CRF).Out of the allocation of Rs 60.05 crore to Punjab under the CRF for 1998-99, three quarterly instalments of central share amounting to Rs 33.78 crore had already been released, he said.
At this point, when several members sought to raise similar issues affecting other states, Chairman Krishan Kant said a half-hour discussion could be scheduled on the subject.In reply to another question, Mr Som Pal said there had been some improvement in the fertiliser use balance during 1997-98 due to timely measures taken by the government.
The ratio of 5.9:2.4:1 in 1991-92 for nitrogenous-phosphatic-potassic fertilisers had widened to 9.5:3.2:1 in 1992-93 following the decontrol of phosphatic and potassic nutrients, he said.However, in 1997-98, the ratio had narrowed to 7.9:8.1:0 due to various measures like a Rs 1,000 per tonne concession on di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) and muriate of potash and the fixation of uniform indicative prices for fertilisers by the Centre.
To another question, he said a legislation on plant variety and farmers rights protection was under formulation by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation that would provide the framework for protecting the rights of breeders in India as well as the farming communities.The main objective of the proposed legislation was to protect plant breeders rights for development of new variety and the right of farmers for further multiplication or exchange of seed of protected varieties, he said.
bursting at the seams
PATIALA, Dec 3 The rapid increase in the population of prisoners, especially undertrials, in 12 of the 26 jails in the state has put the jail authorities in a quandary.
They can neither afford this 'overcrowding' as it increases expenditure. Nor can the extra prisoners be shifted to other jails which have the capacity to take more because rules and some practical aspects do not allow for this.
Higher numbers also make it cumbersome to provide security and transport to the undertrials enroute to the district courts, besides greater expenditure on the transportation. There is also the problem of jurisdiction in jails designed to keep specific types of prisoners.
According to the latest population statement of Punjab Jails and reliable sources in the state Jails Department, the population of prisoners is on the rise since last year. Today, while there exists a capacity for nearly 9500 prisoners the actual number in the 26 jails is about 10,500.
The problem is acute in jails like the Central Jail, Patiala where the number of prisoners is 1301 while its capacity is 1000. Other jails in this category are Bathinda, which has 876 prisoners against a capacity of 600, Jalandhar 912 prisoners instead of 600. Burail Jail, Ludhiana has 405 prisoners against a capacity of 300. Faridkot has 461 against space for 330. Sangrur has 557 prisoners against a capacity of 300. Hoshiarpur has 326 prisoners against a space of 250. Fazilka has 103 against 70, Moga has 100 instead of 48, Barnala has 122 against 100 and Dasuya has 32 against 20.
Due to the increase in prisoners, the jails are also facing a serious financial crunch. The respective jail authorities have written a number of letters to the government for release of more funds as it has become difficult to feed the prisoners and incur expenditure on their medical examination, clothes, transportation etc. The problem of space also leads to administrative problems with instances of fights between the prisoners.
The jails are facing an overcrowding problem after a gap of nearly 16 years. In 1982-83 that the jails faced the problem for a short duration during the dharam yudh morcha. After that, in the terrorism era. The police concentrated mainly on combating terrorism and ignored petty criminals. While the mortality rate of terrorists was high very few were imprisoned. The only sizeable population was witnessed in special TADA jails like the open jail Nabha. However, at any given time the number had not crossed the 2500 mark while the capacity of the jails stood at more than 9000.
Mr G.S. Gill, IG Prisons, when contacted at Chandigarh acknowledged the overcrowding problem and attributed it to the increase in arrests for crimes other than terrorism in the recent year. After the end of terrorism the state police began concentrating on other crimes like smuggling, illicit liquor brewing, thefts and petty crime, which resulted in sudden increase in the prison population. Mr Gill said that three years ago when he was the superintendent jail, Patiala there were only 400 prisoners while today the number has swollen to more than 1300. Many arrests were made this year for robbery incidents in the state. The arrest of members of tribes like 'Pardis' and Sahsans has also inflated the population.
Mr Gill said that most of the jails were not facing problem because of convicts but of undertrials. The number of convicts was nearly 2900 while the population of undertrials was around 7300. He said a lot of time was consumed in trials accounting for the increase.
Sources point out that the delay in conviction or acquittal of undertrials not only affects the jail staff but also raises many human rights questions. For instance most undertrials languishing in the jails even if convicted, will have already spent more time in prison than that which they are sentenced to. This, the sources say, can be easily verified from the files of judgements which always makes provision for adjustment of years served in jail already.
The overcrowding gives rise to other problems also. Sources point out that the jails become nurseries for crimes as small time criminals mingle and communicate with hard-core ones.
marriage between close kin
AMRITSAR, Dec 3 Six per cent of Punjabis are the carriers for B-thalessemia, an inherited blood cell disorder which haemoglobin synthesis is defective due to mutations and the b-globin genes. Severe anaemia, needing lifelong blood transfusion, repeatedly can feed excess iron in the body which was toxic and has to be cleaned. She was of the view that it was an expensive proposition. Therefore, stress should be on the prevention of the disorder by screening the carriers in the population.
This was revealed by Dr G. Garewal of the PGI, Chandigarh delivering a lecture on the third day of the fourth international symposium on genetics, health and disease being held here at the Guru Nanak Auditorium of Guru Nanak Dev University.
She said if both partners had the trait pre-natal diagnosis should be availed of. For population screening and for this more governmental support was needed. She said the Delhi Government had already taken an initiative by sanctioning Rs 40 lakh for screening the population. Other states should follow suit, she emphasised.
Dr Garewal said since this trait could be transmitted without symptoms and so marriage between close relatives should be avoided.
An eminent geneticist, Dr G.S. Sekhon, from the University of Wisconsin, USA, detailed the advantages of fish technique in determining cytogenetic patterns in cancer cells that could indicate how long a person could survive after having cancer. He pointed out that for leukaemia patients this technique had enormous use in the diagnosis, prognosis and planning the treatment of the patients. He said it was also useful in determining the success of bone marrow transplantation.
Dr I.C. Verma from Sir Gangaram Hospital, New Delhi, said muscular dystrophy affected boys more as compared to girls. Prof K.H. Gustavson of Sweden Dr Taranath Shetty of Bangalore Prof H. Majumdar of Calcutta, Dr S. Roy Choudhary, Delhi, and Dr N.P. Bhagacharya of Calcutta also presented their papers.
More than five lakh babies were born with birth defects in India each year.
This was revealed at the fourth meeting of the World Alliance of Organisations for the Prevention of Birth Defects today. It is the first time the meeting is being held India. The meeting was chaired by Dr Jai Rup Singh, Chairman, Organising Committee of the Fourth International Symposium on Genetics, Health and Disease.
The burden of genetic disease was especially high in India and other developing countries which lacked the service and infrastructure of developed countries.
Prof Michael Katz, president of the world alliance, highlighted the contribution that Indian geneticists are making in international research into the causes of and treatments for genetic disease. He stressed the need to increase investment in Indian genetic centres to benefit families and reduce the huge burden of genetic disorders on the Indian Health Care System.
Dr I.C. Verma of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi observed that birth defects were a major health scourge in both the developed and developing world.
The essential role of parents in caring for those affected by birth defects in India and the importance of parents and patient groups as providers of information and support were key messages to emerge from this meeting.
Prof Indera P. Singh from New Delhi opined that we must support patient groups in forming alliances and developing networks that link them to each other and to the medical profession. He said this would raise awareness and bring much needed pressure for change. He stressed the role of genetic medicine in helping reduce the impact of birth defects on Indian families.
Prof Jai Rup Singh from
Amritsar was nominated as convener and Dr P.S. Menon from
AIIMS, New Delhi as co-convener to liase with the world
alliance and other organisations working in the field by
representatives of Indian Patient Organisations present
at the meeting.
SANGRUR, Dec 3 Lakhbir Singh (5), alias Babloo, son of Gurpiyar Singh of Sanghera village near Barnala, who was kidnapped on November 27, was traced by the Barnala police on December 2. This was stated by Mr Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota, Senior Superintendent of Police, Barnala.
Giving the details, Mr Sahota said a mechanic of the same village, Rajinder Singh, who was a neighbour of Gurpiyar Singh, kidnapped the boy for getting a big ransom.
The accused had two accomplices, Binder Singh and Gurdeep Singh, both residents of Thikriwal, village near Barnala, Mr Sahota, added.
Rajinder Singh lured the child and gave him a lift on his bicycle. After corvering some distance he handed over the child to Bhinder Singh and Gurdeep Singh, who were already waiting.
Bhinder Singh, who is a scooter mechanic, along with Gurdeep Singh took the child to Ludhiana where he was detained in the house of Tara Singh, a close confidant of Rajinder Singh.
The father of the boy was asked to reach a particular place in Bathinda district with Rs 2 lakh as ransom money.
The father of the boy told the police about this. He reached the particular place with the ransom money but nobody was there to receive the money as Rajinder Singh, being close to the family, had come to know about the police presence.
JALANDHAR, Dec 3 (PTI) Senior AISSF leaders today termed Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal-led entire Akali Dal leadership as a "total failure" which has resulted in the sorry state of affairs of partys frontal wings and demanded a share in power for the ignored youth and students' leaders.
Mr Badal must immediately dissolve all factions of the AISSF and recast the frontal wing, Mr Manjit Singh Bhoma, leader of one of the factions, told reporters here.
He said it was strange that while Mr Badal and the partys political affairs committee was seized of the recent leadership crises within the Youth Akali Dal (YAD), a similar crisis within the AISSF was being ignored for such a long time leading to a feeling of frustration.
"It was such step-motherly treatment towards the frontal wings which led to the Shiromani Akali Dal's defeat in Adampur, Mr Chet Singh Dulonangal, a close associate of Mr Bhoma, added.
Asked whether it was Mr Badals failure to delegate the powers which was responsible for the imbroglio within the AISSF factions, both the leaders evaded a direct reply but said the entire political affairs committee was collectively responsible.
A turf-fight between the AISSF and the YAD over a share in power is on, since long, with the faction-ridden AISSF coming a cropper with hardly any representation in the party hierarchy or the Badal government.
At present, the YAD is
leaderless with its President, Lok Sabha MP Amrik Singh
Aliwal, resigning from the office after a controversial
decision to dissolve the wing's organisational structure,
while a similar crisis afflicts Akali Dal (women wing).
students join stir; rally today
PATIALA, Dec 3 The Joint Action Committee formed by various students organisations has decided to organise a rally at Punjabi University tomorrow as the strike by students against the fee hike entered the sixth day here today.
The strike gathered more momentum as many other educational institutions either joined the agitating students or announced their support today. The strike, which was earlier confined to three colleges Government Mohindra College, Government Girls College and Modi College spread to the Bikram College of Commerce, Khalsa College, the State College of Education and university campus.
The Punjabi University Teachers Association also supported the strike. In a press note Mr S.S. Khaira, president, PUTA, said that the university could in no manner justify the fee hike.
The statement also said that a delegation of PUTA met the Secretary, Higher Education, in this regard on December 2 and urged him to take measures for withdrawing the fee hike. The statement urged the university to withdraw the fee hike so that teaching work should restart in colleges and the university.
A press note of the Joint Action Committee comprising various student groups like the Punjab Students Union, the Students Federation of India, the National Students Union of India and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad said that tomorrow students of all educational institutions in the district would march to the university and stage a massive dharna there.
for hike in medical allowance
JALANDHAR, Dec 3 The All-India Association of Central Government Pensioners operating from different places like Chennai, Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai and Jalandhar has demanded an increase in the first medical allowance from Rs 100 per month to Rs 250 as per the recommendations of the Department of Pensions and Pensioners Welfare made to the Fifth Central Pay Commission five years ago.
Mr V.S. Jolly, general secretary, All-India Central Government Pensioners Association (North Zone), said here today that with the abnormal rise in cost of living, the medical allowance of Rs 100 per month was inadequate. The Punjab Government was granting medical allowance of Rs 250 per month to its pensioners.
recovered from writer's house
KHARAR, Dec 3 Mrs Neelam Arora, Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Kharar, today remanded Mr Harinder Singh, writer of the banned book "Vanity Incarnate" to police custody until December 4. Meanwhile, Mr K.S. Brar, Assistant Public Prosecutor and Mr Avtar Singh, SHO, Mohali who appeared in the court said that the Mohali police has registered another case against the accused under the N.D.P.S. Act following the recovery of 400 grams of smack from his residence.
They alleged that the accused confessed to possession of "smack" in custody and it was recovered in the presence of a gazetted officer.
They pleaded for police remand on the basis that the police wanted information about the supplier of the smack.
Meanwhile, the publisher of the book Mrs Amanpreet Kaur, was ordered to be released on bail by the court.
MOGA, Dec 3 The police resorted to a lathicharge today to disperse students, both boys and girls, of Lala Lajpatrai Medical and Ayurvedic College, Moga sitting on dharna on the Moga-Ludhiana and Moga-Ferozepore crossing. The students, who had blocked road traffic, were demanding that their annual examinations, which have been held up for two years, be held. While the police denied any lathicharge had taken place some students showed injury marks to the Press. The police later rounded up all the students around 70 and took them to the police station.
An inquiry has been ordered by the authorities. The Additional Deputy Commissioner DK Tiwari, when contacted denied the lathi charge but said as the students refused to lift the blockade they were taken to the police station. He said he was persuading the students to withdraw the agitation as the police had already registered a case under Section 420 IPC against certain members of the management of the college against whom students had levelled charged of misappropriation of money which they had deposited with the college management as donation.
An indefinite hunger
strike by the students today entered its twentieth day.
The President of the students union, Sumeet Kumar said
they would not withdraw their agitation unless their
demands were accepted.
visit Golden Temple
AMRITSAR, Dec 3 Scientists from various countries, who have come here to participate in the fourth international symposium on genetics, health and diseases, paid their obeisance at the Golden Temple and the Durgiana Mandir here today.
They were given warm welcome by Mr Ramesh Talwar, secretary, Shree Durgiana Committee, and his colleagues during their visit to the temple.
victims' dues being delayed
AMRITSAR, Dec 3 Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla, a BJP MLA, alleged that hundreds of terrorist victims were moving from pillar to post to get benefits announced by the Punjab Government in vain.
In a written press release issued here today, Ms Chawla said that terrorist victims were suffered at the hands of officials as the department was with the Chief Minister and he had no time to look into the problems of the terrorist victims.
What was worse, the
Commissioner, Ferozepore Division, was given additional
charge of the Relief and Rehabilitation Department, with
the result that officials and terrorist victims had to
shuttle between Chandigarh and Ferozepore.
JALANDHAR, Dec 3(PTI) The CPI today said it would launch a countrywide "jail bharo" agitation in February 1999 to protest against Vajpayee governments "policies which are destroying the secular fabric of India".
"The government was shielding the hoarders and blackmarketeers. It was high time that all secular forces joined hands to defeat the nefarious designs of the BJP, Pyara Singh Deosi, member of the CPIs national executive, said at a rally in Mandala village under Shahkot, 40 km from here.
Deosi said the voters in four states, where Assembly elections were held recently, have delivered a blow to BJPs "politics of communalism".
The Communist leader also criticised the Badal government for mishandling the paddy procurement drive. "Things have come to such a pass that farmers were being driven to suicide," he said.
reversal due to price hike
HOSHIARPUR, Dec 3 The recent victory of the Congress candidate from the Adampur Assembly constituency can encourage Congress leaders to disturb communal harmony in the state again. This was apprehended by Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance Minister, Punjab. Talking to media persons here today, he said Congress leaders always adopted divide and rule policy to grab power. But this time the SAD-BJP government was vigilant and would not allow any person to disturb peace and communal harmony again.
Referring to the Congress victory in the recent state Assembly election he said it was only due to the failure of Central and state government in controlling the price hike of essential commodities and corruption in government offices.
Later Capt Kanwaljit Singh
presided over a district-level rally of ex-servicemen
organised by the District Sainik Welfare Board in memory
of soldiers. Mr Iqbal Singh Sidhu, Deputy Commissioner,
to boycott govt functions
BATALA, Dec 3 The Journalists Union of Batala district held an emergency meeting here today and unanimously passed a resolution to boycott all government and private functions.
The union alleged that Harjinder Singh Sandhu, SP, Detective, misbehaved with a senior reporter of the area on Wednesday and threatened to put him behind bars. He also used abusive language against the journalists.
fail to visit Golden Temple
AMRITSAR, Dec 3 Group of 30 Germans, who had come here yesterday evening, in a double-decker vehicle had to return without visiting the Golden Temple.
The heavy vehicles, including double-decker buses, are allowed to enter the walled city after 8 p.m. only. However, an Assistant Sub-Inspector allowed the double-decker bus to enter the walled city before 8 p.m. When it reached near Jallianwala Bagh it was called back. The Germans returned without visiting the Golden Temple.
Mr Amarjit Singh Grewal, Information Officer, Durbar Sahib, confirmed that the foreigners did not visit the Golden Temple as their vehicle was sent back from the walled city. Criticising the administration, Mr Grewal said heavy vehicles carrying foreigners should be allowed to enter the walled city throughout the day.
Mr Grewal said the municipal corporation should widen the road from Burj Baba Fula Singh to the Golden Temple.
Administration officials who preferred not to be identified said the double-decker vehicle had damaged the electricity wires which resulted in black-out in the certain areas of the city. Police officials objected to the entry of the bus through Hall Bazar.
Meanwhile, Mr Rajinder
Dhoke, SP (headquarters), has recommended the suspension
of ASI Satinder Singh for dereliction of duty. He,
however, clarified that the suspension order was not
linked to the bus incident.
GURDASPUR, Dec 3 Mr PS Shergill, Deputy Director, Local Bodies, Amritsar zone has placed under suspension Davinder Pal, Sub-Inspector, Gurbachan Lal, Bakshish Singh, Subhash (clerks), and Sat Pal, peon, all employees of the Municipal Council, Batala with immediate effect.
They were placed under suspension after they were found absent from duty during a raid conducted by the officer on November 10.
Meanwhile, the employees have resorted to an indefinite strike in support of the suspended colleagues.
According to Mr Sat Pal,
state secretary, Municipal Employees Union, the officer
conducted the raid before 9 a.m. He closed the gate and
as a result more than 15 employees had to wait outside
the office. After they raised a hue and cry, they were
allowed entry and assured that no action would be taken
leaders plea on Anandpur Sahib
PHILLAUR, Dec 3 Punjab Youth Congress senior vice-president Parminder Mehta has urged the state government to make Anandpur Sahib a district headquarters.
Talking to reporters here today, he alleged that Akali leaders were trying to politicise the issue.
rally on December 20
PHAGWARA, Dec 3 The Bahujan Samaj Morcha will hold a state-level rally at Jalandhar on December 20, according to Mr Parveen Banga, general secretary.
Morcha chief and MP Satnam Singh Kainth would address the rally.
SANGRUR, Dec 3 Shiv Kumar (45) and his wife, Veena (40), were stabbed to death in their house in Gobindpura here early today.
Shiv Kumar was a mustard oil dealer.
According to family sources, the assailants entered the house around 2.30 a.m. and threatened two daughters of the couple to keep quiet. However, their mother who was sleeping in another room got up and raised the alarm.
In the ensuing scuffle, the assailants stabbed the woman and her husband to death.
Minister stresses values
LUDHIANA, Dec 3 Mrs Upinderjit Kaur, Technical Education Minister, Punjab called upon the youth, particularly students, to strive to preserve the rich traditional, cultural and folk heritage of Punjab as it was facing a serious threat from western culture.
Mrs Upinderjit Kaur was addressing students after inaugurating an exhibition, "Trinjan", on old folk art as a part of the three-day cultural festival dedicated to the tercentenary celebrations of the Khalsa in the Khalsa College for Women here today. She cautioned students about the serious threat posed by western music and culture being projected through different TV channels. These were promoting obscenity in society. She said, our ancient culture had deep social and cultural values based on the writings of the Gurus and saints.
The minister appreciated the management of Khalsa College for Women for the promotion of cultural heritage and announced a grant of Rs 40,000 for the college building. She announced a special award of Rs 10,000 for Miss Harinder Kaur Hundal, for her performance in cultural events. She also distributed prizes to the winners of the three-day festival.
Mr Inder Mohan Singh
Grewal, president Chief Khalsa Diwan and Principal
Harinder Kaur Dhillon, while addressing the gathering,
highlighted the achievements of the college in the fields
of education, sports and cultural activities.
to head Punjab school board
CHANDIGARH, Dec 3 Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, a Sikh scholar and Chairman of the Guru Gobind Singh Foundation, has been appointed Chairman of the Punjab School Education Board, according to a notification issued here today.
His tenure will be for three years. The other terms and conditions of his appointment will be issued separately. He will take the place of Mr Gurdev Singh Sidhu, Vice-Chairman of the board, who was officiating as Chairman of the board for the past several months.
With about three dozen books to his credit Dr Ahluwalia is known at the national and international level as a leading Sikh and Punjabi writer, poet and critic. His seminal work, The Sikh Doctrine, is considered an authoritative text on Sikh philosophy.
Dr Ahluwalia has attended
several national and international meetings of writers.
The credit for setting up the Punjab State University
Textbook Board goes to him. He is a member of the
state-level Khalsa Tercentenary Celebration Committee of
the Punjab Government and also of the Anandpur Sahib
Urban Development Authority and the Anandpur Sahib
plan gate rallies
CHANDIGARH, Dec 3 The Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board (Ministerial and Class IV) Employees Union said here today that employees would hold gate rallies in front of the head office of the board here and circle and sub-divisional offices tomorrow to lodge protest against the Government's proposal to wind up the board.
being diverted to Malout: Bhinder
GURDASPUR, Dec 3 Mrs Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder, a senior Congress leader talking to newsmen here today said state funds have been diverted to Malout and Faridkot to consolidate the position of Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal in likely mid-term poll.
Mrs Bhinder said Shiromani Akali Dal MPs have never raised the demands of Punjab in Parliament. She said the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh's statement on Udham Singh Nagar was misleading.
She regretted that Mr Badal had compromised with the BJP coalition at the Centre and decided not to field party candidates in Delhi and Rajasthan in favour of the Rs 100 crore-aid offer for the Khalsa Heritage project at Anandpur Sahib. She welcomed the aid given by the Centre.
Dept to report on casual labour
PATIALA, Dec 3 Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Manoranjan Kalia has directed the Patiala Civil Surgeon to submit a report on the number of persons engaged by the department in Patiala district as casual labour during the past one year.
Mr Kalia said this when at a press conference here today. It was pointed out to him that the district health authorities had engaged about 150 workers. The Patiala Civil Surgeon, who happened to be present, said that there were only 46 workers in the district. The services of others had been dispensed with.
The Health Minister said that he had not received the report on the inquiry into the installation of a Ram jyoti in the Mata Kaushalaya Hospital here. However, the Civil Surgeon, who had got the inquiry conducted on the instructions of the Health Department, said that the report had been sent to the Director Health Services. The Minister said that he would initiate action on the report when it was put up before him.
Mr Kalia offered to have an enquiry conducted into any irregularities in the purchase of medicines out of the emergency funds by the civil surgeon if any specific case of purchases of medicines in stock in the health office being bought from the market was brought to his notice.
The minister said that 500 condom vending machines had been installed at different places in the state and these were functioning satisfactorily. It was planned to have more outlets for free distribution of condoms.
Mr Kalia said that 15,000
pulse polio camps would be organised on December 6 and
January 17 and about 60,000 medical workers would be
deployed on duty at these camps. It was planned to cover
all children in the age group of 5 years under the 'polio
to take part in Khalsa march
LUDHIANA, Dec 3 The International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) has constituted a committee on religious affairs which will look after matters relating to inter-faith and Panthic religio-political affairs confronting people of Punjab and has also decided to take part in the Khalsa march on December 5.
This was stated by Mr D S Gill, IHRO, Chairperson, and Mr M S Grewal, general secretary in a statement here yesterday.
The governing council of
the IHRO, at a meeting here, constituted an 11-member
committee on religious affairs and decided that it would
participate in the tercentenary celebrations of the
Khalsa under the aegis of Akal Takht.
of paddy 'not lifted'
MOGA, Dec 3 Nearly 70000 bags of paddy procured by government agencies during the last month have not so far been lifted from Jalaj village, about 50 km from here.
Stating this here yesterday, an SAD leader said on condition of anonymity that thousands bags of paddy lying in the village for the past one and a half month had also not been procured yet by the agencies as the farmers could not grease the palms of their representatives.
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