|P U N J A B||
Wednesday, July 7, 1999
group MLAs deny charges
Probe ordered into custodial death
vigil at Wagah unlikely
Raise Punjabs quota in
forces : Badal
All set to combat floods
Retirement age: teachers hold stir
Excise revenue records all-time
Courier service asked to pay
File from PUDA office disappears
Raise retirement age: lectures
10 Tohra group MLAs deny
CHANDIGARH, July 6 As many as 10 Akali MLAs belonging to the Tohra group have taken exception to the notices served by Akali Dal general secretary, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa on June 21.
These legislators in identical letters to Mr Dhindsa have denied that they ever violated the party discipline or party whip in the Assembly or spoke against the basic policies and programmes of the dal. The notices have pained them, they said.
The MLAs, now part and parcel of the rival Akali Dal, led by former SGPC chief, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, have also denied any participation in the May 30 convention of the Tohra group at Ludhiana by saying that they were just observers there. "Neither I went to the stage, nor I delivered any speech nor I read any resolution. I have no role to play in the resolutions adopted at the meeting. I am not even a party to the decision taken at the conference. Hence the allegations against me mentioned in the notice has no meaning. I reject these at the outset and I remain a loyal follower of the Akali Dal and my vote is the Akali Dal's vote in the Assembly. Neither I have violated the party whip nor party discipline nor had any such intention," each MLA said in an identical reply.
The MLAs are Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, Mr Harmesh Inder Singh Grewal, Mr Hira Singh Gabrian, Mr Harmit Singh Tohra, Mr Bikramjit Singh, Mrs Daljit Kaur, Mr Gurdev Singh Sidhu, Mr Jagtar Singh Rajla, Mr Surjit Singh Kohli and Mr Inderjit Singh Zira.
The Badal camp has, in the meantime called a meeting of the political affairs committee on July 11 to consider the replies. Sources indicated that their replies would be considered in detail. It is not clear as yet what action is finally taken, but indications are these MLAs may be thrown out of the party. If this happens, a group of 10 to 11 MLAs would form an independent group as unattached members. There is a section in the party which feels that since they have dissociated themselves publicly from the Tohra camp, this should be exploited and they be kept as members of the Akali Dal. But Mr Parkash Singh Badal feels that they be shown the door to ward off any trouble in future.
These replies directly attack the functioning of the Badal government and pass a sharp judgement over it. They question where is that transparent government, free from corruption and committed to the welfare of the people? Where is that decentralisation of power and who really rules the state? They ask. They have alleged that they were being penalised for having spoken out in favour of the party programmes. How is that the Akali Dal forgets the promises it keeps making once it comes to power.
The letters noted with concern that the Akali Dal under Mr Badal has bid goodbye to the Anandpur Sahib resolution that promised more powers to the states issues like the merger of Punjabi speaking areas from Haryana and Himachal into Punjab, more waters from the Punjab rivers, the all India Gurdwara Act, more recruitment of Sikhs into the Army, linking of price of agriculture produce to the consumer price index, release of Sikhs from jails, justice to those who suffered during the anti-Sikh riots of 1984, fast industrial development and getting Punjab's share from the Centre's kitty. Instead there is rampant corruption, fiscal bankruptcy and lawlessness, they bemoaned.
Mr Badal has put all
issues in cold storage and any one raising his voice is
being singled out and served a show cause notice. That is
the biggest achievement of the Akali Dal, they said. They
mentioned news reports, commentaries and speeches of the
BJP leaders to support their contentions.
Probe ordered into custodial
AMRITSAR, July 6 The DIG, Border Range, Mr Jasminder Singh, today ordered an inquiry into the alleged custodial death of Amrik Singh (45) of Bhindi village under the Lopoke police station in Majitha police district. The inquiry would be conducted by Mr Kapil Dev, SP.
The SSP, Majitha, Mr S.S. Brar, told The Tribune reporter that Amrik Singh was arrested on July 2 under Section 326 of the IPC after a scuffle with certain persons of the same village.
According to the SSP, Amrik Singh while in custody had complained on the night of July 2 and 3 of uneasiness. Constable Gurcharan Singh had allowed him out of the lock-up and went to fetch water for him. Amrik Singh allegedly tried to escape and while climbing the barbed wire and in the process got injured. Later, his body was found. Mr Brar had placed Head Constable Avtar Singh and Constable Gurcharan Singh under suspension and registered a case under Section 224.
In the meantime, the Deputy Commissioner had ordered an inquest by constituting a special medical board to conduct a post-mortem examination. A complete report of the case had been sent to the Punjab State Human Rights Commission.
The SSP, however, denied
any political pressure in this case and added that
transparency had been maintained. The inquiry would
reveal the truth, he added. Mr Brar said he could
personally also conduct a probe into his death.
KHUSLA (Mansa), July 6 When the body of Naik Nirmal Singh of Sikh Light Infantry of this village was consigned to flames here youths were overwhelmed by anger. Naik Nirmal Singh was killed in the Kargil sector on June 8, 1999.
More than 20 youths rushed to Bathinda and Ferozepore towns to get themselves recruited in the Indian Army.
"I will be the luckiest person in the world, if I get an opportunity to die defending the frontiers of the country. My country comes before anything for me. If country lives, I live and if country dies, nobody will live", said a childhood friend of Naik Nirmal Singh.
Waryam Singh, father of the martyr said, "He is no more physically. But he would live for ever. I am ready to sacrifice all my other five sons for the country."
"I am too old to pick up a gun, but I can fight Pakistani intruders with "lathi" (stick) and I assure you that before meeting death, I will kill dozens of Pakistanis", he added.
Jagir Kaur, mother of Naik Nirmal Singh, said the Indian Government should teach Pakistani a lesson that "Hindustan nall takkar lain da natija ki hunda hai" (What are consequences of confronting India). She added that hers was family of landless labourers. "But sacrificing his life for the country, my son has done proud to us."
"Had I been blessed by a son instead of daughter by the Almighty, I would have sent him to the front to fight against the enemies", said Amritpal Kaur, widow of Buta Singh of 14 Sikh Regiment of Danewala village in this district. Buta Singh laid down his life on May 28, 1999, in the Kargil sector.
"I have killed five Pakistani infiltrators".... I was hit by a bullet.... You keep on firing.... The enemies should not go back unhurt.... My daughter Komalpreet Kaur (2) should get better education. I have tried my best to protect the honour of my motherland", Lance Naik Buta Singh said while he was being brought downhill by other soldiers.
"Why India, which is one of the biggest powers of the world, has taken so long to push back the Pakistani-backed infiltrators"? India should launch a full-scale attack on Pakistani infiltrators to end the confrontation for ever. We have fought three battles with Pakistan. Now there should be no concession to it", said Harnek Singh, father of Buta Singh, a former Punjab police official.
Harcharan Singh, father of Sepoy Rashwinder Singh of 8 Sikh Regiment of Ghurkani village in this district, "My son has paid a tribute to the country. He was very happy when he joined the Army. He happily kissed the death for the honour of motherland".
Sepoy Rashwinder Singh was killed on May 21, 1999, in Kargil. He was barely 22. Before leaving for Kargil, he spent his two-month leave in the village and harvested wheat and sowed cotton in 12 acres owned by his relatives.
"We want to complete the task assigned to our brother. We are strong enough to fight the enemies. We also want to shed the last drop of our blood for the country", said Shavinder, Chinnder and Rani, all sisters of para-trooper Harvinder Singh of Raunta village in Moga district. Harvinder was killed in the Sambha sector on June 13, 1999, fighting Pakistani intruders.
"Earlier Harvinder was my son alone. Now he has become the son of the country. He has kept the high tradition of the village, which has produced a number of martyrs" said Gurinder Kaur, mother of the martyr.
Charanjit Kaur, widow of Naik Gurcharan Singh of Bhoapur village in Ferozepore district, said I am proud of my husband as he has sacrificed his life so others could live with honour and dignity. I will spend my life with his "nishani" (son).
"No doubt I have lost my son, but have got country's praise. Gurcharan was a perfect soldier. During leave, he used to work hard on land here while fighting the enemies, he has given his best," said Mohinder Singh, father of Gurcharan Singh. Mrs Jarnail Kaur, mother of the hero could not speak when mortal remains of Gurcharan Singh were consigned to flames with full military honours in this village on June 27.
chauri dharti, yeh khula akash,
Candlelight vigil at Wagah unlikely
AMRITSAR, July 6 Owing to a warlike situation, the much-publicised "candlelight vigil" is unlikely to be held at no-man's-land at the Wagah joint checkpost next month (midnight of August 15). The candlelight vigil, which has now become an annual feature, is organised to promote Indo-Pakistan friendship.
The programme is jointly organised by the Citizens for Democracy (CFD), South-Asian Fraternity, People's Union for Civil Liberties and Hind-Pak Dosti (HPD). Though Mr Dalbir Singh, President, HPD claimed that "come what may" the function would be organised at Wagah to promote 'people to people contact' between both countries, yet officials confirmed the vigil was not possible in view of the dusk-to-dawn curfew in the border strip. The vigil is held at midnight, which is covered under the curfew time.
People of the area feel that there is no relevance of raising slogans like "Hind-Pak dosti zindabad" on the zero point in the wake of the undeclared war by the enemy in the Kargil sector of Jammu and Kashmir.
The chances of cancellation of the vigil increased in the wake of the decision of the Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI) to cancel the annual limited-overs cricket series between India and Pakistan to be held in Toronto in September due to the Pakistani intrusion.
Former cricketer Kapil Dev has already suggested that the Indian cricket team should sever all times with Pakistan till it withdraws its intruders. In such an atmosphere, the candlelight vigil will have no relevance if the warlike situation gets prolonged.
However, Mr Dalbir Singh said he would meet Mr Kuldip Nayar on July 17 to take stock of the prevailing situation. He claimed that the people of both countries still wanted peace and friendship and hence programmes like the vigil should continue.
For two consecutive
years (1996-97), the vigil was a one-sided affair.
However, there was some response from the people of
Pakistan last year. Pakistani Rangers had to resort to a
mild lathi-charge when a group of Pakistani artistes and
human rights activists responded with slogans like
"Hind-Pak dosti zindabad". Eminent columnist Mr
Kuldip Nayar, who is also a patron of the HPD, Gulzar,
director of Hindi movies, and film
actor-turned-politician Raj Babbar were present at the
Wagah joint checkpost last year when Pakistani Rangers
had lathi-charged the Pakistani fans.
Raise Punjabs quota in
forces : Badal
BATHINDA, July 6 Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today said that Punjabis should be given more representation in the armed forces.
Terming the present system of recruitment on basis of quota for each state in the armed forces wrong Mr Badal said he would raise this issue at the Chief Ministers meeting convened by the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, at his residence today.
Mr Badal said the recruitment in the armed forces should be done on merit basis instead of adopting quota system for each state adding the Punjabis deserved more representation as Punjab shared international border with Pakistan and had braved two wars in which a number of Punjabis had sacrificed their lives for protecting the territorial integrity of the country.
Talking to mediapersons here, Mr Badal said the Punjab Government had decided to compensate the widows of the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars suitably.
He added that such widows would be first identified and then suitably compensated.
He said soldiers belonging to Punjab who had received permanent partial disability would be given all benefits which were being extended to the families of those soldiers who had laid down their lives in Operation Vijay.
The Chief Minister disclosed that for the selection of candidates for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, the meeting of Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of the Shiromani Akali Dal would be held at Chandigarh on July 11. At this meeting the party would decide on fielding its candidate in other states and for reaching an alliance with the BSP. He added that BJP would be partys main alliance partner.
To a question, he said that it was unfortunate that while the country was facing a war-like situation, the former SGPC, President, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra and his associates were collecting money in the foreign countries.
He claimed that the floating of a new Akali Dal by Mr Tohra would not affect the poll prospects of the SAD candidates and its alliance partners in the coming Lok Sabha elections.
Mr Badal said he would expand his Cabinet after the Lok Sabha elections adding MLAs who had associated with Mr Tohra had not yet given reply of the show-cause notices issued to them by the disciplinary committee of the party.
Mr Badal who was here to inaugurate Mahant Gurbanta Dass Deaf, Dumb and Blind School, said all people should contribute towards the betterment of the physical handicaps. He added that even one should make effort to support the deaf, dumb and blind in such a way that they would become able to live on their own and to earn handsome money to lead a dignified life.
He said Mahant Gurbanta Dass Deaf, Dumb and Blind School which was being built by the District Red Cross Society would cater to the needs of Haryana, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh.
Mr S.R. Ladhar, Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chairman Red Cross Society, said the school was being built at the cost of Rs 5.5 crore and about 500 deaf, dumb and blind children would be imparted education free of cost up to matric with the provision of free accommodation.
Mr Chiranji Lal Garg, Food Minister, said the school when completed would be one of the best institutes of north India.
Later, Mr Badal honoured Mahant Sarupa Nand for donating 10 acres of land to the Red Cross Society for the school.
LUDHIANA: The Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal said on Tuesday that the Centre had discriminated against Punjab as far as building or roads was concerned in the border belt. While the Central Government had provided funds for constructing less than 10-km road in Punjab in the case of UP and Himachal Pradesh, it had provided funds for laying 1108 km and 647 km roads, respectively. In the case of Rajasthan about 2945 km of roads were constructed by funds provided by the Central Government in border belt.
He said he would raise the issue at a meeting with the Prime Minister.
When asked what had happened to the centre's promise to start a military institute at Anandpur Sahib. Mr Badal said a letter from the authorities concerned had been received by the Punjab Government in this connection.
Our Correspondent ads: Admitting that there was a shortage of funds in the state to run its financial affairs Mr Badal, however, said there was no financial mismanagement.
We are trying our best to tackle the prevailing financial situation in the state, Mr Badal said. When asked who was responsible for inefficiency on the front of revenue collection, Mr Badal refused to name any one in particular.
Mr Badal was here to preside over the state small savings annual prize distribution function.
Later, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, State Finance Minister, also conceded that the state was walking on a financial tightrope.
Mr Badal later flagged
off a consignment of three truckloads of goods for the
Army and Air Force personnel fighting the Pakistani
infiltrators in the Kargil sector. These goods which
included bakery and confectionery goods, sweets, hosiery
goods etc were handed over by the Chief Minister to the
President of Air Force Wives' Welfare Association
(AFWWA), of the Halwara Air Force station, Mrs Pearl
All set to combat floods
NAWANSHAHR: The district administration is all set to combat the apprehension of floods in the ensuing monsoon and has made elaborate arrangements for the purpose. The administration, with a view to averting floods in the Sutlej, has been spending a sum of Rs 2.20 crore on strengthening the Dhussi bundh along the river in the district.
Dr Roshan Sunkaria, Deputy Commissioner, said in Nawanshahr subdivision, four studs and one spur in the Pandror complex, one spur in the Jhungian complex, four studs in the Jullahmazra complex, four studs and one spur in the Lalowal complex, two spurs in the Mirzapur complex, six studs in the Kanaun complex, four studs and one spur in the Dhangerpur complex and three studs in the Tajowal complex had been strengthened, besides four studs and one spur in the Tajowal complex and crate-walls in the Mirzapur and Tazowal complexes had been built to give more strength to the dhussi bundh. In Balachaur subdivision, 16 studs in the Duggri complex, 17 studs in the Paragpur complex and nine studs in the Raimazra complex were being strengthened, said the DC adding that the work would be completed well within time.
The DC along with the SDMs of Nawanshahr and Balachaur and officials of the Drainage Department has also toured the dhussi bundh to oversee the on-going work. He has also met the villagers along the dhussi and heard their grievances and suggestions.
Apart from it, the remaining portion of about 7,000 ft of the 48,000 ft-long Banga-Gopalput drain has also been dug to save farmers of about 45 villages, whose 19,000 acres of agriculture land has been submerged in rain water in the absence of any proper drainage system there. A sum of Rs 84.33 lakh has been spent on it, said the DC.
Besides, a district Flood Control Room (phone 20645) has been set up in the office of the District Revenue Officer. It will work round the clock. Such flood control rooms have also been set up at the subdivision level. With a view to combat the floods, the whole district has been divided into 34 sectors and the Health, Animal Husbandry, Drainage and police departments have been alerted.
Mr Surinder Singh Sodhi,
SSP, said the police had identified 10 vulnerable places
and planned to set up wireless sets there Mobile police
teams had been deputed for patrolling along the Dhussi
bundh, he added.
Retirement age: teachers hold stir
CHANDIGARH, July 6 Teachers from 170 non-government colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh organised a dharna in front of the office of DPI (Colleges), Punjab, here today. The call for the dharna was given by the Punjab College Teachers Union (PCTU) in protest against the decision of the Punjab Government to lower the retirement age of teachers working in non-government affiliated colleges from 60 to 58.
The union leaders lambasted the Punjab Government for the "unilateral and illegal" decision. They pointed out that the ordinances of the three affiliated universities governing the service and conduct of teachers put the retirement age at 60 and accordingly the service contracts between the teachers and the managements had been executed for 50 years. They were of the opinion that the orders must be withdrawn immediately.
The union also decried the "failure" of the Punjab Government to honour the notification of the HRD Ministry and the UGC on pay-scales and related conditions. The Punjab Government had rejected the enhancement of retirement age to 62 counting of past service to give mobility and adjustment of total service for placements.
They also demanded that the Rs 23.61 crore grant for salary arrears be released immediately to ease the financial crisis in the colleges. The leaders of the union have threatened to intensify the agitation if the problems are not solved.
JALANDHAR, July 6 Major K.G. Singh of 32 Rashtriya Rifles, who was killed in an ambush by terrorists in the Kupwara area of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday night, was cremated with full military honours here today.
His 10-year-old son Akashdeep Singh, assisted by Major Paramjit Singh, younger brother of the martyr, lit the pyre and Army bugglers sounded the last post.
A contingent of Army personnel reversed the arms and then saluted the brave solider by firing a volley of shots into the air amid cries of "Major K.G. Singh amar rahe, Bharat Mata ki jai and Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ki fateh".
Vajra Corps Commander Lt-Gen Kamal Davar, his Chief of Staff, Maj-Gen R. Karthikyan and Jalandhar cantonment sub-area Commander Brigadier Surjit Singh were among a large number of Army officers and other ranks who paid tributes by placing wreaths on the body of Major K.G. Singh draped in the Tricolour.
Leaders cutting across political parties also paid tributes to the martyr.
People from different walks of life lined the 8-km route from the Major's city residence to the cremation ground to pay their last respects to the solider who died fighting militants.
Several of them carried the national flag to express solidarity with the soldiers fighting to vacate Pakistan-sponsored intrusion in Jammu and Kashmir.
The cortege carrying the body of the Major was showered with flower petals on the way.
Major K.S. Singh was the third generation soldier in his family. His father Kartar Singh retired as Major from the Army, while his grandfather Garib Singh, too, had served the Army. Besides, his brother Paramjit Singh, a Major of artillery was at present posted in the Akhnoor area of Jammu and Kashmir. His brother-in-law was also in the Army.
The soldiers' soldier, who left Meerut for duty in Jammu and Kashmir early last month, has last talked with his father on the morning of July 3. The same night he sacrificed his life in action. Major K.G. Singh was survived by his wife, a 10-year-old son and a four-year-old daughter.
Major Paramjit Singh, who maintained a soldier's pride at the cremation ground, broke down after lighting the pyre of his brother. His mother Samir Kaur was seen being consoled by women who had thronged the cremation ground.
Class I job for Alka Ahuja
BATHINDA: The Punjab Government has decided to give class I job to Ms Alka Ahuja, widow of fighter pilot Ajay Ahuja who was killed in "Operation Vijay" launched by the Indian forces in the Kargil sector of Jammu and Kashmir.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said class I gazetted post had been offered to Ms Ahuja and it was up to her to accept the offer or not.
Fighter pilot Ajay Ahuja was killed by the Pakistani Army at point-blank range when he ejected safely from his MIG aircraft after it was hit by a missile in the last week of May 1999.
Mr Badal also presented a cheque of Rs 2 lakh to Ms Ahuja as part of the relief being given by the Punjab Government to the widows of soldiers who had laid down their lives in the Kargil sector for protecting the frontiers of the country.
Maj-Gen. Jagjit Singh Herr (retd) who fought in the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars in the presence of Mr Badal raised the issue of neglect of widows of 1947, 1962, 1965 and 1971 wars by successive governments of the state.
He alleged that every time there was a war the existing government announced a number of relief packages for the war widows but the government forgot its promises after the war was over.
He pointed out that there were about 17,000 war widows in the country and most of them were not being looked after by the authorities.
Father performs last rites
GURDASPUR: Thousands of persons, including men, women and children, bid a tearful farewell to Sepoy Satwant Singh whose body was consigned to flames on Tuesday with full civil and military honours at the cremation ground of his native village, Sallahpur, in the bet area of the Beas in this district. Mr Kashmir Singh, father of the martyr, after performing funeral rites lit the pyre.
Sepoy Satwant Singh was a bachelor and had joined 8 Sikh Regiment of the Army in February 1998. Before moving to Kargil on May 7 his unit was stationed at Pathankot. The eldest son of the family, the martyr visited his family on May 5.
The martyr laid down his life while fighting the enemy in Tiger Hill at a height of 5,300 metres on July 2. Sepoy Surjit Singh of Ferozepore is another martyr who died along with the martyr on the same day.
The father of the martyr is an agriculturist with a small land holding of one and a half acres. He was financially dependent on his son.
A large gathering included Mr Sewa Singh Sekhwan, Minister of State for Public Relations, Mr S.K. Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner, Mr Varinder Kumar, SSP, Brig G.S. Randhawa (retd), Col V.K. Sharma, Commanding Officer-9 DOU, Mr Pritam Singh Bhinder, former DG(P), CISF, Mr Chanderpal Singh, DCC President, and Mr Khushal Bahl, former minister.
Ms Sukhdev Kaur, the mother of the martyr, when consoled by the people said in a choked voice that she was proud of the supreme sacrifice of her son. She expressed a wish to send her remaining three sons to join the Army when they came of age.
Mr Sekhwan said the martyr would get economic package announced by the Punjab Government for the welfare of the soldiers laying down their lives while fighting the Pakistani intruders. He promised a class-III government job to one of the brothers of the martyr.
All shops in the nearby small town of Bhainimian Khan remained closed as a mark of respect to the departed soldier.
Kargil martyr cremated
FEROZEPORE: A jawan, Surjit Singh of 8th Light Infantry, was cremated with full military honours at his native village, Hamad, in this district.
The pyre was lit by his father Udham Singh.
Surjit Singh had laid down his life on July 2 in Kargil while attempting along with his comrades to reach the heights of Tiger Hill.
Punjab Minister for Sainik Welfare J.S. Sekhon, district officials and Army officers laid wreaths on the body of the martyr.
A Rs 2 lakh exgratia and Rs 5 lakh house grant were announced by the minister for the martyr's family.
CRPF sepoy cremated
JALALABAD: The mortal remains of CRPF Sepoy Gurnam Singh who died in a joint operation of military and paramilitary forces at Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir was cremated with full military honours at his native village, Lolohion, 25 km from here on Monday evening.
Hundreds of villagers, including bureaucrats and politicians, attended the cremation.
Mr J.S. Sekhon, Minister
of State for Sainik Welfare, Mr Zora Singh Maan, former
MP, Mr Gurcharan Singh SSP, Pherurai, Mr Vimal Setia,
SDM, and Mr Manminder Singh, DSP, on Tuesday visited the
martyr's house and consoled the bereaved family. Mr
Sekhon said the Punjab Government would give aid to next
of kin of CRPF and BSF martyrs on a par with the Army
Excise revenue records all-time
AMRITSAR, July 6 The Central Excise Revenue growth has increased to an all-time high during the first quarter of the current financial year, claimed the Chief Commissioner, Central Customs and Excise, Northern Region, Mr K.L.Verma. The Chief Commissioner, while talking to newspersons here yesterday, said while excise collections had shot up considerably, the customs revenue had only a moderate increase. This, he felt, was an indicator that industrial growth was on rise.
The growth was significant in the core sector , especially steel and cement, which had shown an increase of 25 per cent during the past three months, Mr Verma said. Answering questions about the fallout of the Kargil conflict, Mr Verma pointed out that so far it had no impact on the production in North India.
Talking about the Indo-Pak trade in view of the present crisis, Mr Verma said it had its fallout as the trade quantum had dipped during June. The import of sugar which constituted a large quantity during the last year had become less lucrative now due to price hike in Pakistan.
Commenting about the incidences of gold smuggling from across the border, Mr Verma said there had been no report of such cases during the past three months.
The Chief Commissioner said the Narcotics Directorate in New Delhi had decided to augment its preventive staff at the Jammu border with Pakistan. Two or three cases of heroin smuggling were reported from the Samjhauta Express last month, but there was no cause for alarm.
Earlier, Mr Verma addressed local industrialists at an open-session organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry at OCM Woollen Mills. Mr Verma assured the textile processing and spinning units that their grievances would be looked into expeditiously and be soon redressed.
Later, answering queries
of the basmati rice exporters for designating Amritsar
port for imports, Mr Verma clarified that he would take
up their case with the ministry with his recommendation,
but added that he had directed the local commissioner to
sort out their immediate needs for transferring the
Dilip asked to return
PHAGWARA, July 6 The Bajrang Dal today asked the doyen of Hindi films Dilip Kumar to return Nishan-e-Pakistan, the highest civilian award in Pakistan.
Mr Shavi Bhaskar Bhardwaj, a senior Bajrang Dal leader, said the thespian should do so to lodge protest against the Pakistan aggression in Kargil and to pay home to the martyrs.
Courier service asked to pay
MUKTSAR, July 6 The President of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Mr D.R.S. Thakur, has ordered the local Airman Courier Service to pay Rs 10,000 as compensation to Kanwaljit Singh of Roran Wala village of the district.
The complainant, a student, had sent his admission form for appearing in a pre-medical test on May 12, 1998, to be conducted by Punjabi University, Patiala. The last date for the submission of application was May 15,1998. The complainant said he had scored 58 per cent marks in class XII and had prepared for the test for two years.
According to the terms and conditions of the courier service, the document were to reach to addressee within 24 hours. Therefore, the form and other documents were to reach the addressee by May 13, but it did not reach even by May 15, the last date for submission.
Kanwaljit Singh had claimed a compensation of Rs 2 lakh from the courier service. He said he had lost one year due to the negligence on the part of the courier service.
File from PUDA office
LUDHIANA, July 6 The nation-wide wave of goodwill and generosity created by the Kargil conflict seems to be confined to soldiers in action as ex-soldiers continue to get a raw deal in government offices.
Take the case of ex-serviceman Buta Singh Pannu. He has been making rounds of the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) office to seek refund of Rs 6,000 he deposited for a plot in Ludhiana's Sector 30A, Urban Estate, nine years ago. PUDA officials tell him his file has been lost.
The directorate of Housing and Urban Development Department had advertised plots in Ludhiana's Urban Estate on the Samrala road. Mr Pannu submitted a bank draft (No 093900) of Rs 6,000 dated April 26,1990, along with his application for a 300 sq yds plot. His registration number is 5597/90.
His name did not figure
in the draw of lots. The department then gave the option
to the applicants to either seek refund or opt for
consideration in the next draw. Mr Pannu opted for the
latter. For years there was no communication from the
department. When finely he made enquiries to seek refund
of his original deposit, he was told that his file has
SAD PAC to meet on July 11
Mandi board donates 1.5 cr to
CHANDIGARH, July 6
The Punjab Mandi Board chairman, Mr Mal Singh
Ghuman, today presented a cheque for Rs 1.51 crore to the
Chief Minister as contribution to the Punjab War Heroes
Family Welfare Fund, according to government press note.
Fake currency seized
LUDHIANA, June 6 The police has recovered 29 fake currency notes of Rs 500 denomination, with the arrest of Davinder Singh here yesterday. The accused was arrested during a nakabandi near Krishna Mandir.
According to the information available from the police, Davinder Singh was being supplied forged currency notes by Pamma of Amritsar, who had given him currency notes worth Rs 5,50,000. Davinder Singh had already supplied 171 forged notes of Rs 500 denomination in the open market and the remaining 29 notes were recovered by the police.
It is also learnt that Davinder Singh was involved in dealing with fake currency right from 1989, when $2100 were recovered from him.
Prof Arshi honoured
PATIALA, July 6 Prof Gurcharan Singh Arshi, an eminent poet, novelist and critic, was honoured by the Punjabi Vikas Manch at a function in the auditorium of the College of Education here today.
Prof Manjit Singh, Jathedar, Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib, presented a cash award of Rs 11,000, a robe of honour, memento and a roll of honour to Professor Arshi. A phulkari was presented to Ms Jagdish Kaur Arshi by Ms Kanwaldeep Kaur. Two books of Professor Arshi entitled "Samikhya Drishtian" and "Bimaar Sarhak" (Urdu) were released by Prof Manjit Singh. A souvenir about the achievements of Professor Arshi was also released by Dr Kehar Singh.
Raise retirement age: lectures
PATIALA, July 6 The Punjab Government College Teachers' Association today appealed to raise the retirement age of government college lecturers to 60 years as had been lone in the case of university teachers.
In a statement here, the association president, Dr P.S. Bhatti said both college and university lecturers were governed by the same UGC notification and it was unfair to discriminate against them.
He said even as the Punjab Government was thinking of raising the retirement age of private college lecturers from 58 years to 60 years, nothing was being done to raise the superannuation age of government college lecturers.
Patwar stir withdrawn
FATEHGARH SAHIB, July 6 The District Patwar Union has withdrawn the ongoing pen-down strike which started last month.
In a press note, Mr Darshan Singh, President of the union, said the agitation was being withdrawn on the direction of the State Revenue Patwar and Kanungo Coordination Committee.
Two held for killing dog
BAGHAPURANA, July 6 The local police today arrested two persons of Charik village in the district for allegedly killing a dog.
According to reports,
the owner of the dog had lodged a complaint with the
police about the missing of his dog, a few days ago.
However, the body of the dog was found on a link road
near the village. The body has been sent for a
post-mortem while the accused are being interrogated.
SDE nabbed while accepting
PATIALA, July 6 A Telecommunication Department sub-divisional engineer has been nabbed by the Vigilance Department while taking a bribe of Rs 10,000.
Disclosing this here today, Mr B.K. Uppal, S.P. Vigilance, said Mr Rakesh Kumar Gupta had been nabbed while he was accepting a bribe of Rs 10,000 from Mr Saiya Ram for releasing rent due to the latter from the Telecom Department for his premises.
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