|P U N J A B||
Monday, September 14, 1998
detect mistakes in PTU result
Plan to upgrade
cremations: SC upholds NHRC probe
Punjab Congress to
Punjab economy 'needs to be
to have more sub-tehsils
corporation's credibility uphill task
body against giving licence to tainted officers
Judges detect mistakes in PTU
JALANDHAR, Sept 13 The Lok Adalat today detected glaring mistakes even in the revised result of the combined entrance test the Punjab Technical University had tabulated.
All these mistakes were detected even after the university's claim before the Punjab and Haryana High Court that it had taken all possible measures to rectify the lapses that had occurred in the preparation of the original result.
Listening to students who had come from Bathinda, Delhi, Chandigarh, Patiala and Kurukshetra examination centres, the Lok Adalat found that Sunali Gupta, who was placed at 46th position both in the original and revised results, now stood second in the university after correcting the errors in her answer sheets. The fact that she had already sought admission to the engineering course at the Indian Institute of Technology was a different matter.
Mr Amit Garg was amused to find that there was an increase of one mark in one question and a decrease of one mark in another question. However, he was lucky enough because there was no change in his total marks and resultantly no change in his rank.
Ms Anubhav Aggarwal (Roll No 72152) and Ms Parminder Kaur Saini (Roll No 101201) were benefited by the Lok Adalat. While the marks of the former increased from 171.75 to 173, the marks of the other went up from 17 to 18 in the chemistry paper. The ranks of both these students improved in the merit list.
Mr Sukhvinder Singh (Roll No 77499), who applied to the Lok Adalat for satisfying himself about the correctness of his marks in physics paper, found his marks reduced from 15 to five his rank has gone down by hundreds, if not thousands, of students.
On the first day of the Lok Adalat 353 students had appeared before the five Benches constituted by the High Court for satisfying themselves about the correctness of their result. The marks of 34 students increased and that of two students decreased. It means the result of 10 per cent students was incorrect even after the compilation of the revised result.
The stand of the university before the High Court was that the errors in the original result had crept in because of wrong feeding in the computer. The PTU had claimed that objective-type questions of physics, chemistry and mathematics had been meticulously rechecked. In the case of subjective type questions the university had informed the court that a random check was conducted. Therefore, there were remote chances of mistakes in the revised result.
The experience of various Benches of the Lok Adalat showed that there were mistakes in rechecking both subjective and objective type questions. There were errors in totals, apart from wrong posting of marks from answer sheets to the chart for compiling the result.
Some of the students also alleged that in certain cases the examiners had been very casual in evaluating the subjective-type questions. They claimed that in identical answers while one student was given four marks, the other was given zero. And this made all the difference in their merit.
It would be wrong to presume that students were free from blame. They were also partly responsible for messing up the result. Some of them simply did not write their roll numbers on the answer sheets properly, while others wrongly attempted the sheets.
In response to a notice issued by the university in newspapers, about 1,000 students had sent in their applications for appearing before the Lok Adalat. It appeared that others, though equally anxious, did not seek any clarification about the correctness of their result because they were weary of litigation and reconciled to their fate.
Nearly 15,000 students had appeared in the controversial combined entrance test. Out of them, about 8,000 students were in the eligibility zone. On re-checking the result pursuant to the directions of the High Court, the ranks of all students, except one, who had topped in the examination, had changed. While the marks of a few thousands increased, the marks of other decreased.
The worst hit by the revised result were Scheduled Caste students. Out of nine who were called for the first counselling, five were admitted. After the preparation of the revised result, all nine students were pushed out of the eligibility zone.
Notwithstanding the compilation of the revised result and the holding of the Lok Adalat, a majority of the students appeared upset.
Mr Jagmohan Singh, who had
taken the responsibility for computerising the result,
and Mr D.S. Kumar, coordinator of the university,
however, remained undisturbed. They parried all questions
asked by media persons about the reasons that led to the
mess in the CET result. Their terse reply was:
"These are human errors and cannot be avoided".
Mass cremations: SC upholds NHRC probe
NEW DELHI, Sept 13 (PTI) The Supreme Court has ruled that probe by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) into the alleged mass cremation of the over 2000 bodies by the Punjab police in 1994-95 cannot be barred under the limitation Act prohibiting any human rights violation inquiry after one year of the incident.
The Supreme Court on December 12, 1996, had requested the NHRC to examine flagrant violation of human rights on a mass scale in Punjab after the CBI submitted a report in this regard.
When the matter was taken up by the commission, preliminary objections were raised as to the jurisdiction with reference to its statutory obligations and limitations, including prohibition from inquiring into any matter after the expiry of one year from the occurrence of the incident.
However, the commission rejected preliminary objections saying that the matter relating to 585 identified, 274 partially identified and 1238 unidentified bodies into which the Supreme Court had asked it to inquire, was a case of its own kind (sui generis) and could not be subject to limitation Act.
A Division Bench of the apex court comprising Mr Justice S. Saghir Ahmad and Mr Justice S. Rajendar Babu upheld the NHRCs view.
The Supreme Court held that the NHRC, in the present case, would function pursuant to the directions issued by this court and not under the Act by which it was constituted.
"Therefore, the jurisdiction exercised by NHRC in these matters is of a special nature not covered by the enactment of law and thus acts sui generis," the court said.
Under Article 32 of the Constitution, the powers of this court were unfettered and if this court had chosen to exercise such powers through the NHRC as indicated in the order referring matters to it, it could not be said that a new jurisdiction is conferred on the commission, the court said.
"The various objections raised before the commission indicate the attitude of the parties appearing before the commission, which we are constrained to say, is not a healthy attitude," the Bench lamented.
"This attitude does not represent the effort to assist the commission for a quick conclusion of the proceedings so that if there have been violations of human rights, the families affected thereby may be rehabilitated and adequately compensated," it said.
Finally, criticising the
parties for approaching the court for clarification on
the December order, the Bench said, "We also do not
approve the conduct of the parties in approaching this
court for clarification by way of a petition which has
been pending for last 10 months, during which the
commission could have disposed of the whole matter."
GND, US varsities sign MoU
AMRITSAR, Sept 13 Guru Nanak Dev University has become the first university in the country to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (USA) for the exchange of faculty staff, publications, students and enhancement of scholarship.
The MoU was signed between Dr Nancyl Zimpher, Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Dr Harbhajan Singh Soch, Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University during Dr Soch's recent visit to the USA.
Talking to TNS here yesterday, Dr Soch said the MoU was signed after the inspection conducted by a high-powered team of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
In yet another tripartite agreement, the School of British Columbia, the Guru Nanak Dev Mission Educational Society, Vancouver, and GND varsity had decided to jointly run the nursing college at Dhaha Kaleran, Nawanshahar. Dr Soch said the university had granted affiliation to the school.
The school of British Columbia had agreed to provide expertise while the finances would be provided by the society. He said the students who passed out of the nursing school could be absorbed abroad without clearing the refresher course. They would also get training abroad as part of their course.
Giving the details of the agreement with the American university, the Vice-Chancellor, said the two institutions would exchange academic research and instruction material, including the lists of faculty specialities and programmes.
The exchange of material was intended to encourage communication between the faculty and students of the two institutions and mutual visits.
The two institutions would encourage the exchange of faculty, research and administrative personnel for specified periods, ranging from a few days for consultations to an academic year.
For such exchanges as would take place during regular appointment periods, the home institution or an appropriate government or private agency, would be responsible for the payment of salaries. The host institution would provide study, research space and library facilities similar to those available for its own faculty and staff.
Steps would be taken to
simplify the admission of students belonging to one
institution to the other. Any student exchanges would
require a supplementary agreement, specifying the terms
of the exchange.
Plan to upgrade rural
ROPAR, Sept 13 On the pattern of the Punjab Health Systems Corporation, the state government has been drawing up a project for improving health services in rural dispensaries.
The project, worth crores of rupees, will be submitted to the World Bank by the year-end for financial assistance.
This was stated here today by Mr Inderjit Singh Zira, State Minister for Health and Jails, while addressing a press conference, after presiding over a free eye check-up and operation camp, organised by the local Youth Aggarwal Sabha at DAV Public School here.
He said as many as 150 hospitals up to the level of community health centres had been brought under the Punjab Health Systems Corporation. Primary health centres and subsidiary health centres in the rural areas of the state would also be covered.
Mr Zira said he had launched a campaign against absentees by way of checks in schools, offices, revenue courts and jails. After conducting raids on the offices, reports regarding the absentees were sent to ministers concerned for suitable action. He also appealed to other ministers to take steps for ensuring the presence of employees.
He said a case of embezzlement of about Rs 20 lakh had been detected in the Sangrur jail. The Jail Superintendent and a Deputy Superintendent had been suspended in this regard.
The minister said he had so far checked five jails where discrepancies had been found.
Earlier, addressing a gathering, he appealed to the youth to organise deaddiction camps. He said medicines worth Rs 7.5 crore would be purchased through the Punjab Health Department and medicine worth Rs 5 crore through the Punjab Health Systems Corporation during the current financial year.
He announced a grant of Rs 20,000 for the Youth Aggarwal Sabha and Rs 30,000 for DAV Public Senior Secondary School.
Punjab Congress to move Lok Pal
NABHA (Patiala), Sept 13 Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Amarinder Singh today accused certain members of the family of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal of being corrupt and said the party would complain in this regard to the Lok Pal.
Talking to newsmen here before addressing a rally in which Mr Randeep Singh, son of former minister Gurdarshan Singh, was inducted into the Congress, Capt Amarinder Singh said party vice-president Jagmeet Singh Brar had been deputed to collect evidence against the members of the family of the Chief Minister.
When questioned about the People's Commission formed by Justice Kuldeep Singh, Capt Amarinder Singh said it was toothless and had no relevance. The commission should not talk only about militants and the Panth but also about the role of politicians in the spread of militancy. When told if this was done Congressmen might also come within its ambit, he said: "Let everyone be judged". He criticised the Chief Minister for not appointing a commission to decide who was responsible for the spread of militancy as promised in the Akali-BJP election manifesto.
Addressing the gathering in which central leaders Rajesh Pilot, Meira Kumar and Ambika Soni were also to take part but could not come due to inclement weather, Capt Amarinder Singh lashed out at both the Chief Minister and SGPC President Gurcharan Singh Tohra.
The Congress leader said
the government led by Mr Badal had failed to come up to
the expectations of the people. There was a sharp rise in
the prices of all essential commodities, rising
unemployment and an increase in corruption. The Akali-BJP
government was corrupt and the need of the hour was to
Avoid seminars on Takht: Tohra
CHANDIGARH, Sept 13 (UNI, PTI) The tussle between the Sikh clergy and intellectuals today came to the force with the SGPC chief, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, advising the Sikh intellectuals and writers not to hold seminars on the functioning of Akal Takht, the temporal authority of Sikhism.
Addressing a large gathering of the All-India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) activists at Moga, Mr Tohra expressed his concern over the disruption of a seminar here yesterday but at the same time appealed to the Sikh intellectuals and writers to avoid holding such seminars on the functioning of Akal Takht. "It is not in the interest of the Sikhs to challenge the supremacy of Akal Takht," he said.
MOGA: The AISSF resolved to take effective steps to revive its old glory by removing the stigma that it was an organisation of militants.
This was announced by AISSF president Harminder Singh Sandhu while delivering his presidential address on the eve of 54th birth anniversary celebrations of the AISSF here today.
He said the federation had decided to setup its units in the educational institutions. He made it clear that federation believed in secularism though in the past its image was damaged.
He also stated the AISSF had full confidence and faith in the leadership of Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, president, SGPC and Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister.
The federation president appealed to Bhai Ranjit Singh, Jathedar Akal Takht to convene meeting of all Sikh intellectuals, Sikh organisations, Sikh youth leaders to finalise the programme of the celebration of the 300th birth anniversary of Khalsa.
The conference adopted a resolution demanding a ban on the purchase of property by migrants from other states.
The AISSF expressed concern that the state government had failed to press upon the Centre regarding Punjab's problems.
The federation also expressed concern over the menace of unemployment and appealed to the state government for the industrialisation of the state.
The federation also expressed concern over the decision of keeping Udham Singh Nagar in the proposed Uttaranchal hill state.
It also demanded that the state government should remove the ban on the holding of elections to students' unions.
Punjab economy 'needs to be
CHANDIGARH, Sept 13 Punjab may have won the battle against terrorism in early nineties, but the battle against fiscal populism has not yet begun.
This can happen only when there is a strong political will and an equally responsive bureaucracy. The two should work for what is in the interest of the state and not what meets their vested interests.
Since mid-eighties, the state has seen drop in the economic growth rate below the national average. The pursuit of populist policies by political executives (may it be the Congress or the SAD-BJP combine) is the undoing of the government performance. All tall claims notwithstanding, today Punjab is under threat. Unless a bold initiative is taken to introduce reforms institutional and sectoral and financial policies tailored to generate revenue, the state's economy will continue to nosedive. It is of no use to feel proud that Punjab has the highest per capita income among major states (excluding Delhi) if the economic health is not restored.
Punjab may be the third most prosperous state with a per capita income of Rs 14,188 at 1994-95 prices, yet there are major factors that should cause concern about the future growth and development prospects in the sensitive border state. Increasing unemployment, in the absence of vision and policies, has the potential risk of social unrest returning to the state. This calls for renewal of rapid growth in an assured manner.
The areas of concern are as follows: a slowdown in infrastructural investment, reliance on capital outlay to carry the overwhelming burden of fiscal adjustment, increasing inefficiency of water use and an unviable power sector that is imposing high and rising costs on the state exchequer this problem has been aggravated by the recent political decision to provide free water and power to all farmers, abolition of important local taxes, which have undermined the capacity of the local government to function effectively and to perform a development role, high drop out rates at all levels of primary education, and migration of rural girls to urban schools at upper primary level (reflecting the unfavourable environment in rural schools for the older girl child in particular).
This all is clearly enunciated in the latest report on Punjab's fiscal position done by the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi. The research work for the study has been done by Indira Rajaraman, Hiranya Mukhopadhyay and H.K. Amar Nath. The entire report (July, 1998) now to be presented to the Chief Minister is a clear indictment of the SAD-BJP government. The study notes, "the worrying aspects of the state are drop in growth to below the national rates starting in the mid-eighties and the rash of populist fiscal measures introduced by an outgoing government, which were not reversed, but, on the contrary, reinforced by the successor government (SAD-BJP)". Major changes in the sector allocation and financial management are suggested.
Agriculture contributes 44 per cent to the gross state domestic product. The negative impact of the Green Revolution began in the 1980s due to terrorism and high fiscal, economic and social cost in combating it. The economic reforms, introduced countrywide in 1991, have not benefited Punjab the way it should have. Unless agricultural growth rapidly progresses," social tensions will build".
A leading constraint to growth has been the first decision of giving free power and water to farmers notes the report. The government continues to remain obstinate rather than making amends. This policy of free supply, the report says, has neither yielded promised (intended) benefit nor helped in laying the basis of higher and sustained growth. Consequently, the PSEB suffers losses worth Rs 1,000 crore annually. "This is a high cost for a policy that promotes neither efficiency nor equity objectives".
Poor rural facilities have given a severe jolt to primary education. Underfunding has affected growth and dropout rate is high.
The report recommends reversal of the trend of declining levels of Budget outlays for public investment. Punjab is borrowing even to finance its recurring expenditure because since 1987-88 the revenue account balance has turned negative. There is a squeeze in the Budget allocation for investment projects and for maintenance of the existing assets. The capital outlay in the Budget has declined from 3 per cent of the GSDP in 1985-86 to 1.5 per cent in 1996-97.
It is estimated that public investments will further fall. Punjab must introduce reforms aimed at restructuring the power sector to eliminate Rs 1,000 crore annual losses; make adequate allocation for maintenance and enhancing cost recovery of departmental enterprise, and zero net growth in staff numbers. The revenue raising resources be rebuilt and a freeze on budget support to public sector undertakings be done.
If these reforms were to be introduced, the report is confident that the capital outlay will increase by 1.8 per cent of the gross state domestic product, and will stabilise the ratio of debt to the GSDP at a little below 30 per cent.
Financial giveaways for political (electoral) exigencies since February, 1997, have begun to take their toll of the economy. Concessions, if any, should be income not caste based. Unless SAD-BJP government takes unpopular decisions Punjab will soon be marching ahead on an economic path which will ruin its growth and development. If that happens can terrorism be far behind?
The report explicitly
comments on this aspect, and expresses concern over wrong
priorities. Therefore, it emphasises "redirecting
the state's economy on to a higher growth path, requiring
major redirection of the sector and fiscal
Improving corporation's credibility
LUDHIANA: One of the foremost tasks identified by the new municipal commissioner of Ludhiana as urgent is the restoration of the Municipal Corporation's credibility.
"We have to restore the credibility of the corporation first of all at any cost", emphasises Mr Sandhu. With this end in view, he has decentralised the functioning of the corporation. The corporation has been divided into four zones headed by Executive Engineers (XENs) as follows: Zone A (headquarters at Daresi ground) Ward nos 4 to 8, 49 to 52, 60 to 68. Mr S.P. Malik, XEN (B & R) is in charge. Zone B (headquarters at Sherpur office) Ward nos 9 to 19, 53, 55 to 59 under the charge of Mr S.S. Jandu, XEN (O & M). Zone C (headquarters at Gill Road complex) Ward nos 20 to 33 and 54. Mr Dharam Singh, XEN (B & R) given charge. Zone D (headquarters at Lajpat Nagar near Jawahar Nagar) Ward nos 1 to 3, 34 to 48 and 69 to 70 to be under Mr Lachhman Dass, XEN (B & R).
An order issued by Mr Sandhu says that all those in charge of zones and others should shift their offices and start functioning from their respective zonal offices from August 17 without fail. "They will put up proposals for making the zonal offices effective as early as possible. They will ensure redressal of public complaints, relating to sewers and water supply, and electricity branches on top priority and will ensure that all complaints are redressed at the zonal level and no complaints should come to the head office."
He also plans to put junior engineers in charge of wards in the city. The JE would be responsible for everything happening in his area. A campaign would be launched from September 15 to clear all the blocked sewers. Similarly, a drive to repair all major roads would also be launched from September 15. The Punjab Engineering College at Chandigarh has been commissioned to carry out a survey to bring order to the numbering of residential houses. A booklet containing the new numbers would also be brought out.
Mr Sandhu realises that restoring the credibility of the corporation would be an uphill task but a beginning has been made. He has no doubt that in the coming days, things would begin to improve visibly. To begin with, he plans to pick up half a dozen wards whose councillors are enterprising. "We will try to convince the residents of these wards, with the help of their councillors, to pay more for civic services. It is only a question of changing their mindset".
The choice before them is simple: either continue to live in primitive conditions or pay more to improve the quality of life. A house located in a clean, well-maintained locality would command a higher market value.
Mr Sandhu says that the
initial response from the people has been encouraging.
"Once they are convinced that their money would not
go waste, they would come forward voluntarily. These
wards would be developed on a priority basis and become
models for others. I have no doubt that once that
happens, everybody will want it...."
Examinees taken for a ride?
CHANDIGARH, Sept 13 Hundreds of candidates who came to take a test for the Punjab State Civil Supplies Corporation ( PUNSUP ) at Shivalik Public School today were a disillusioned lot as they found the gates of the centre closed and officials missing.
Braving an early morning rain, candidates came from various parts of the state to appear for the examination of Grade I and Grade II officers .Some came from as far as Amritsar , Batala , Kapurthala and Jalandhar .There were scores of them waiting at the centre even when The Tribune team left the scene around 11 a.m.
One of the candidates said he had received the call for the entrance test nearly an year after he had applied. The entire process was marked with confusion due to "unprofessional approach of the corporation"
A number of candidates said they had received their roll numbers as late as Saturday evening. "We did not get any information regarding postponement of the examination. In case the exam was postponed why were the roll numbers despatched as late as September 4?" a candidate asked.
A girl aspirant said: "First I was informed that the board made Ludhiana as one of the examination centres. Later, I came to know that I was supposed to appear for the exam in Chandigarh. When I came here this morning there was no official."
An aspirant who came from Bathinda said his centre was a school in Sector 22. When he reached there in the morning he was asked to 'try' in Sector 41.
Candidates flayed the officials for apathy. The corporation did not have the basic courtesy of deploying some officials who could inform the candidates that the examination had been postponed. The centre did not display even a notice for information of the candidates said, some.
Local policemen could be seen at the venue. When questioned a head constable said they were deployed for examination duty and he had no information about the examination.
The Managing Director of
PUNSUP, Mr R.C. Nayyar, when contacted said the
examination had been postponed. Information had been
given to the candidates through advertisements in
newspapers,he claimed. Mr Nayyar, however, did not have
exact information regarding the date on which
advertisements were published.
Helping NRI Punjabis know their
CHANDIGARH, Sept 13 Lest the new generation of Punjabis settled abroad forgets its roots and the land of its parents and grand-parents, the Punjab NRI Sabha, an official body of the Punjab Government, has decided to arrange socio-cultural exchange programmes for NRI Punjabis.
Disclosing this, Mr K.K. Sharma, executive director of the sabha, which is headed by Mr B.K. Srivastava, Commissioner, Jalandhar Division said the sabha would invite Punjabi students and youth from the UK, Canada, the USA and other countries to visit their motherland.
He said the new generation of Punjabis abroad was mostly not in touch with Punjab due to various reasons, especially growing cultural differences. He said the sabha would make the youth know about their glorious culture and history and status of their motherland in the world.
He said that several races settled in the USA had lost contact with their past and now they were trying to find their roots with the help of modern techniques. "We don't want that this should also become true with the new generations of Punjabis living abroad", he added. So a decision had been taken to arrange cultural exchange programmes.
He said that such programmes would help in generating emotional attachment among new generation of Punjabis towards Punjab and India. It had been felt that most youth belonging to the new generation knew little about the land of their forefathers.
Mr Sharma said the NRI sabha had taken up the issue of protecting houses of NRI Punjabis in Punjab by getting the Urban Rent Restrictions Act, 1949, amended. He said that by making an amendment or issuing an ordinance a provision could be made that an NRI Punjabi on return would be able to get his house vacated within a stipulated period from the tenant.
In fact, such an arrangement was made in the Punjab Rent Bill, 1995. But no notification had been issued for the implementation of this Bill by the state government. So, the Sabha had urged Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance Minister, who is a vice-patron of the sabha, to get the Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949, amended to help the NRI Punjabis.
He said that for protecting the landed property of the NRI Punjabis, a provision had been made in the Revenue Act.
He said the NRI sabha would give five awards from next year to Punjabis settled abroad who had made any significant achievement in their respective fields.
Mr Sharma said that the first Punjabi Olympics was also on cards. Such Olympics, though at a small level to begin with, would be held during the coming NRI conference.
Mr M.S. Bhullar, ADGP (PAP), has been made in charge for making arrangements and contacting teams of Punjabis from abroad for participating in such games. He said that Mr G.S. Aujla, IG, would associate with Mr Bhullar in this connection.
Police excesses alleged
MOGA, Sept 13 Residents of Basti Lal Singh and Sri Guru Chand Nagar have reportedly fled their houses to escape alleged police excesses following the killing on September 3 of Head Constable Tarsem Singh near Bhona Chowk by a mob which mistook him for a member of the "kale kachchhewale" gang.
This has been alleged in a seven-page report of the Association for Democratic Rights (AFDR), Punjab.
A nine-member AFDR team which conducted a probe into the lynching of the Head Constable, alleged that after the incident, the police committed atrocities on residents of near by bastis.
As a result, the residents fled their houses. Basti Lal Singh which has about 70 houses wore a deserted look today. While some of the houses were locked, others were open. Similarly, certain houses in Sri Guru Chand Nagar were also deserted.
The AFDR team alleged that after the killing of the Head Constable, the police entered these localities and started beating up residents. Policemen went to all houses and damaged household articles. They did not spare women, girls and the old.
A number of persons were illegally arrested and their whereabouts were still unknown, the report alleged.
The AFDR demanded immediate release of those in police custody, the registration of a case against those who allegedly ordered the policemen to commit atrocities on the residents of Basti Lal Singh and suitable compensation to the residents for the damage to their household goods.
Mr Hardeep Dhillon, DIG, Ferozepore Range, when contacted by Tribune News Service today, denied the allegations in the AFDR report. He said no excesses had been committed after the killing of the Head Constable.
Some of the residents whose names figured in the FIR had fled their houses to evade arrest. The DIG said that the SP (D), Moga, was camping at Basti Lal Singh to ensure safety of the residents. He along with some journalists and prominent citizens had visited certain houses and had not found anything amiss.
Mr Dhillon said he had
asked leading citizens at a meeting on September 11 to
ensure the surrender of those named in the FIR. A special
squad led by the Inspector, CIA, had been constituted to
arrest those involved in the killing.
Punjab to have more sub-tehsils
BAHAVWALA (Ferozepore), Sept 13 Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today announced that more sub-tehsils would be created in the state for the convenience of the public.
Addressing a function organised in connection with the inauguration of the focal point here, the Chief Minister said the government had drawn up a scheme for the creation of new sub-tehsils so that the civil administration could be taken to the grassroots level.
He said this scheme was being examined by the state Finance Department which was also identifying the towns which could be upgraded as sub-tehsils. Within a month or so the new sub-tehsils would be added to the existing list of 56 sub-tehsils.
The Chief Minister, who also addressed a shradhanjali samaroh of Swami Keshwa Nand in Abohar town where Mr Som Pal, Union Minister of State for Agriculture, was present, said the BJP-led coalition government at the Centre should give more representation to SAD's MPs in the Cabinet in the coming expansion.
He said to assist unemployed youth, rural employment centres would be opened in each village. Youth would be motivated to start their own business. The state government would provide the necessary infrastructure to these youth.
He announced that a computer and business administration centre would be opened near Abohar with the help of a private person who was donating land and money for it.
The blueprint of this education centre had been prepared.
He urged the Central Government to set up a dairy institute in Punjab. This was the only way to help farmers tide over the economic crisis as agriculture was no more profitable, he said.
He said focal points were weapons with which the state government could usher in an era of development in the rural areas. The government had decided to give 30 per cent subsidy to the industrialists who set up units near focal points. They would also be given "A" category facilities. The government was making efforts to provide a petrol station and a PCO at each focal point.
Lashing out at the Congress, Mr Badal alleged that 45 years of misrule of the Congress at the Centre and in Punjab had harmed the interests of the nation. The country had been brought to the brink of economic disaster. Even 50 years after Independence people still did not have basic facilities like drinking water, sewerage, roads, hospitals, school buildings and quality education.
He warned that if agriculture did not get suitable support, the country would be in great trouble in the coming years.
Regarding pensions to old persons, the Chief Minister said the findings of different inquiry committees had revealed that certain persons who were young had tried to get old age pension benefits. This was the main reason for the delay in the grant of old age pensions to genuine persons. The problem had now been sorted out.
He urged the Central Government to reopen its post-harvesting research institute which had been lying closed for many years at Abohar due to the lack of staff.
teachers call off stir
CHANDIGARH, Sept 13 The strike by medical and dental teachers of government colleges has been called off following an amicable settlement reached between the doctor-teachers and the Minister of Medical Education and Research, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, today at Ludhiana.
Confirming this the Principal Secretary, Medical Education and Research, Mr K.K. Bhatnagar, told TNS late tonight that as a consequence of the withdrawal of the strike, the government had revoked all suspensions and transfers of the doctors effected in the past few days.
Several faculty members at Amritsar had been transferred out to Patiala and Faridkot. The strike call, initially for three days, had come from Amritsar. It was beginning to spread to the colleges at Patiala and Faridkot.
The main demand of the striking doctors, said Mr Bhatnagar, pertained to parity in pay grades and allowances between the teachers and the PCMS doctors; the latter had been denied this and deputations had been meeting with the Chief Minister, the Finance Minister, the minister in charge and the administrative secretaries concerned, including the chairperson of the anomalies committee set up to look into the grievances of all those categories of employees who had been denied financial justice by the Fourth Punjab Pay Commission.
The doctors said their being a small cadre, approximately 600, the government had adopted a "vindictive attitude" giving them a step-motherly treatment.
Decision on despatch section
CHANDIGARH, Sept 13 The Punjab Government today withdrew its decision to wind up the despatch section in the Civil Secretariat.
Mr Oma Kant Tewari, president of the Punjab Civil Secretariat Staff Association, said the Chief Secretary had conveyed the orders in this regard to the association.
stir: Chawla blames government
AMRITSAR, Sept 13 Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla, MLA, in a communication to the Punjab Chief Minister, has held the government responsible for the standoff between medical college teachers and the authorities.
She said the alleged callous attitude of the state government towards the genuine demands of the doctors and medical teachers had forced senior doctors to submit their resignations which would adversely affect the future of students and patient care.
Expressing concern over
the mass resignation by doctors, Ms Chawla said the
working of hospitals and colleges would be paralysed if
all resignations were accepted. She appealed to the
doctors not to take any drastic step as the country
needed their services.
Channel V show draws big crowd
LUDHIANA, Sept 13 The Channel V show got off to a great start with the frenzied crowds swaying to the music at the Country Club, the venue of the show, here last night.
A crowd of over 5000 persons got to see singers like Bhupinder "Bhupi", Jagtar Jagga, Hans Raj Hans, Bally Sagoo and Richa Sharma perform live for the first time in the city.
Veejays Udham Singh, Sophiya Haq, Marc Robinson, Suchitra Pillai and Ranvir, along with the dance troupe of Toby Fernandes and the bhangra team of the local S.D. Government College for Boys enthralled the audience for almost over two hours.
The police had a hard time controlling the hysterical crowd.
PATIALA, Sept 13 Mr Amar Nath, an educationist and father of Yoginder Mohan, principal correspondent of the Indian Express, died here last night after a brief illness. He was 84.
He is survived by three sons and two daughters.
Three killed as trucks collide
FARIDKOT, Sept 13 Three persons were killed, when two trucks collided head on at Balluana on the Gidderbaha road yesterday. The drivers of the two trucks and another person died on the spot. The police has registered a case.
Ad-dharmis allege harassment
HOSHIARPUR, Sept 13 Mr Onkar Singh Jhamat, sarpanch, Mr Gurdev Singh, Mr Surjan Singh, Mr Devinder Kumar, Ms Romesh Kaur all panches and members of the Ad-dharmi community of Sahri village have alleged that 12 persons of upper castes of the village were instigating members of upper classes to boycott members of the Ad-dharmi community.
In a representation to the Chief Minister yesterday, they alleged that members of the upper castes had boycotted the Ad-dharmi community of the village since long due to which resentment prevailed among the members of the Scheduled Caste community. They stated that there was some land dispute and on this account the accused instigated other communities to socially boycott the Ad-dharmis for which a "munadi" was also effected in the village through Darshan Ram. The Deputy Commissioner and the SSP were immediately informed who referred the matter to SDM Hoshiarpur.
The Tehsildar along with SHO, sadar police station, went to the village to control the situation but the accused did not agree and the boycott continued. They alleged that no necessary action under the law had been taken by the district administration till date.
Bar body against giving
SANGRUR, Sept 13 (PTI) The District Bar Association has demanded that judicial officers compulsorily retired from service should not be allowed to practise as lawyers.
An emergency meeting held here yesterday by the association adopted a resolution to this effect that asked the Bar Council not to issue a licence to such judicial officers.
Recently, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had withdrawn judicial work from two Additional District and Sessions Judges, Mr J.R. Singla of Sangrur and Mr S.K. Sharma of Ludhiana.
Mr Satish Kansal,
president of the local Bar Association appealed to the
legal fraternity not to allow tainted persons to enter
the profession and threatened to launch an agitation if
the PSEB did not withdraw its notification that treated
the legal profession as a commercial activity and charged
higher commercial rates for electricity used by the
School in memory of Sikh soldiers
FEROZEPORE, Sept 13 A public school will be set up at Hakumat Singhwala village in the district in memory of 21 Sikh soldiers who laid down their lives while defending Saragarhi Fort in Wazirstan, Pakistan, on September 12, 1897, during an attack of Pathans.
This was stated here yesterday by the Minister of State for Cooperation and Sainik Welfare, Punjab, Mr Janmeja Singh Sekhon, while addressing an ex-servicemen's rally organised to celebrate Saragarhi Day.
He added the panchayat had given 29 acre to the department concerned for the purpose. Children from the nearby areas would be imparted quality education at the school.
workers go on strike
AMRITSAR, Sept 13 Workers of the powerloom sector yesterday started an indefinite strike in support of their demands.
A press note issued by Mr Amarjit Asal, a CPI leader, said the state government had failed to accept their demands though they had observed a one-day strike on August 6 and August 21.
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