Thursday, January 6, 2000,
Chandigarh, India





One stop shop for Non Resident Punjabis www.punshop.com
punjab
P U N J A B


Majitha divested of portfolio
CHANDIGARH, Jan 5 — The much-awaited portfolios of the Punjab Council of Ministers were announced here today, five days after the swearing-in ceremony on December 31.

600 engineering seats go abegging
CHANDIGARH, Jan 5 — As many as 600 seats went abegging in Punjab’s engineering colleges in the present academic year. This has happened when students in Punjab want to occupy every available single seat in these institutions.

Fifth day of fog in region
CHANDIGARH, Jan 5 — The cold wave coupled with dense fog sweeping the north-west region for the fifth day today, claimed a life and affected road, rail and air services.An unidentified beggar died of cold in the new grain market at Sirhind, in Punjab, last night.

Land auction move resented
FEROZEPORE: Resentment prevails among residents of over 20 villages, including Dulchike, Alike, Gatti Rajoke, Gatti Khunder and Kilche over a proposal to auction Irrigation Department land, which they have been cultivating since Independence.

Pension beneficiaries found ineligible
FATEHGARH SAHIB, Jan 5 — After comprehensive verification exercise to scrutinise the beneficiaries of various pension schemes, 30 per cent of them have been found to be ineligible.

Cheap power for border districts
GURDASPUR, Jan 5 — Mr Sucha Singh Langah, Punjab Minister talking to newsmen here today said that industrial growth in Punjab during the current term of Mr Parkash Singh Badal rose 12 per cent against 3 per cent recorded by the Centre over the same period.



YOUR TOWN
Amritsar
Chandigarh
Fatehgarh Sahib
Ferozepore
Gurdaspur
Jalandhar
Kapurthala
Nawanshahr
Patiala


EARLIER STORIES
 
POLITICS

Jagjit asked to prove support
PATIALA, Jan 5 — Following senior Congress leader, Mr Birdevinder Singh’s criticism of Pradesh Congress President Capt Amarinder Singh today Prem Gupta asked Congress Legislature Party leader Choudhary Jagjit Singh to prove his authenticity by seeking the confidence of the legislature party.

Kainth has exposed SAD: Chandumajra
CHANDIGARH, Jan 5 — The general secretary of the Sarab Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, in a statement here today said the leader of the Bahujan Samaj Morcha, Mr Satnam Singh Kainth, had exposed the Shiromani Akali Dal’s relations with Congress leaders.

CM decried for giving sops
NAWANSHAHR, Jan 5 — Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, Secretary General, Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, in a press statement here on Wednesday ridiculed the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, for announcing various sops for the Nawanshahr Assembly constituency.

COMMUNITY

Rare medicinal plants cry for care
PATIALA, Jan 5 — An arboretum of rare medicinal plants in Bir Moti Bagh here is lying in neglect due to a dispute over the allocation of funds to it.

University student units formed
PATIALA, Jan 5 — Punjabi University students today formed two units — Bhai Ghanayia Ji Brigade for boys and Mai Bhago Ji Brigade of girls — for following a five-point declaration for betterment of the young generation in particular and society as a whole.

Delegates arrive for ethnicity conference
PATIALA, Jan 5 — Over 300 delegates and scholars from different countries will participate in the three-day international conference on “Ethnicity in the first world, the third world and excommunist” organised by the Punjabi University, Patiala, in collaboration with the International Political Science Association.

Pilgrims’ visit to Katasraj dropped
AMRITSAR, Jan 5 — The proposed visit of 200 Hindu pilgrims to Katasraj in Chakwal district of Pakistan on the occasion of Shivratri, in March, has been dropped due to unsafe condition in that country.

Journalist shot
MALERKOTLA, Jan 5 — Mr Gian Chand Sharma, Correspondent of Ranjit, Chardi Kalan and Akali Patrika newspapers, was shot dead near the octroi post on the Khanna road here this afternoon.

Proposal to shift Sainik School out
KAPURTHALA, Jan 5 — The Punjab Urban Development Authority will develop a multi storeyed commercial building on prime land in local Satnarain Bazaar, which currently houses the DPR.

CRIME

Robbers caught after chase
PATIALA, Jan 5 — The district police, in a space of a few hours, nabbed two of the four robbers, who looted a petrol station opposite Punjabi University here last night.

Sewadar dies as gun goes off
HOSHIARPUR, Jan 5 — A gurdwara chief sewadar was killed, allegedly after his loaded double-barrelled gun went off at Tahli Sahib Gurdwara under Tanda police station yesterday.

‘Fake’ DTO arrested
GIDDERBAHA, Jan 5 — Mohinder Kumar, a local resident, who had been making fake driving licences and registration certificiates for the past two years impersonating as District Transport Officer was arrested by the police today.

Miscreants enter school, chased away
PHAGWARA, Jan 5 — As many as 15 lathi-wielding miscreants entered Saint Joseph Convent School here last night by climbing over the main gate and the compound wall.

Doctor discharged in negligence case
MANSA, Jan 5 — Mr Sukhdev Singh, Chief Judicial Magistrate, has discharged Dr Harmanderjit Kaur of the offence of negligence during the treatment of Meenakshi, punishable under Section 304-A of the IPC.

Purse snatcher arrested
HOSHIARPUR, Jan 5 — The police has busted a gang of purse-snatchers and car thieves .

BUSINESS

Love therapy on Internet
JALANDHAR, Jan 5 — If you are a lover in distress looking for a shoulder to cry on or want to send flowers to a beloved abroad on Valentine’s Day not to worry. Hope is just a mouse-click away, thanks to a newly floated website designed for those in love.

Bonded Labour Act scares kiln owners
FATEHGARH SAHIB, Jan 5 — The Brick-kiln Owners Association has demanded that their trade should be kept out of the purview of the Bonded Labour Act as certain labourers have started misusing the Act.

Capt seeks list of IT defaulters
PATIALA, Jan 5 — Punjab Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh today said the state government had requested the Centre to share information about income tax defaulters so that the Excise and Taxation Department could act on it. Top



Majitha divested of portfolio
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 5 — The much-awaited portfolios of the Punjab Council of Ministers were announced here today, five days after the swearing-in ceremony on December 31.

There is no major change in the portfolios of the present Cabinet-rank Ministers except in the case of Dr (Mrs) Upinderjit Kaur, who moves from Technical Education and Industrial Training to Housing and Urban Development, Mr Manoranjan Kalia from Health and Family Welfare to Medical Education, and Mr Parkash Singh Majitha being divested of the portfolio of Revenue and Rehabilitation and being made a Minister without portfolio. Mr Mohan Lal gets Higher Education in place of earlier Department of Forests etc.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal has shed several portfolios and now retains only four major ones; Home Affairs and Vigilance, Industries and Environment, Information System and Administrative Reforms, General Administration and, of course, departments not specifically allotted to any minister.

The following are the portfolios released to the press. On the expected lines, Mr Adaish Partap Singh, son-in-law of the Chief Minister, gets the key Department of Excise and Taxation.

Cabinet Ministers:

— Mr Sewa Singh Sekhwan: Revenue and Rehabilitation;

— Mr Sucha Singh Langah: PWD (B and R);

— Dr Baldev Raj Chawla: Health and Family Welfare;

— Mr Natha Singh Dalam: Information and Public Relations;

— Mr Gobind Singh Kanjla: Social Security and Development;

— Mr Janmeja Singh Sekhon: Irrigation;

— Mr Sikandar Singh Maulka: Power;

— Mr Ajit Singh Kohar: Defence Services Welfare, Jails, Elections, Welfare of Freedom Fighters;

— Mr Swarna Ram: Tourism and Cultural Affairs;

— Mr Surjit Kumar Jayani: Forests;

— Mr Nusrat Ali Khan: Sports, Matters relating to Wakf;

— Mr Chiranji Lal Garg: Science and Technology, Legal and Legislative Affairs, Justice;

— Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha: Industrial Training.

— Mrs Satwant Kaur Sandhu: Printing and Stationery, Youth Services; Removal of Grievances.

The earlier ministers, Mr Balramji Das Tandon, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Mr Gurdev Singh Badal, Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, Mr Nirmal Singh Kahlon, Raja Narinder Singh, Mr Raghbir Singh, Dr Rattan Singh, Mr Sarwan Singh Phillaur, Mr Tota Singh, Mr R.S. Brahmpura, retain their previous portfolios.

Ministers of State:

A one of the Ministers of State, 10 in all, has been given independent charge of any department. They are all attached to the ministers concerned. They are all new comers, the first-timers.

— Mr Sujan Singh: Rural Development and Panchayats;

— Master Tara Singh: Higher Secondary and Primary Education;

— Mr Ranjit Singh Ballian: Housing and Urban Development;

— Mr Gobind Singh Longowal: Irrigation;

— Mr Ajaib Singh Mukhmailpur: PWD (B and R);

— Mr Balbir Singh Chaudhary: Higher Education and Medical Education;

— Mr Tikshan Sud: Excise and Taxation;

— Mr Gulzar Singh Ranike: Agriculture;

— Mr Sohan Singh Thandal: Food and Supplies;

— Mrs Mohinder Kaur: Health and Family Welfare.

The Punjab Council of Ministers now comprises 41 members of which 31 are Cabinet rank ministers (including the Chief Minister) and 10 are Ministers of State. Among the Cabinet rank five are new faces and 10 are the ones who have been promoted; they were all Ministers of State earlier.Top



 

600 engineering seats go abegging
By Sarbjit Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 5 — As many as 600 seats went abegging in Punjab’s engineering colleges in the present academic year. This has happened when students in Punjab want to occupy every available single seat in these institutions. Not only this, they also venture out to other states to get admission in engineering courses.

The authorities concerned said as some students had approached the court, the second “counselling” was delayed till October. As examination was due to be held in December, it was thought not to hold the second counselling to fill the vacant 600 seats. Students admitted to the engineering courses in October would not have completed their lectures and the course to appear in examination.

However, parents and managements of certain engineering colleges had urged the Punjab Government to allow them to fill the vacant seats as separate special arrangement could be made to hold an examination for students admitted late. However, their plea was turned down. As some engineering colleges survive on the basis of paid seats, they face a financial crisis if seats remain vacant.

Alarmed at what happened this year, the authorities concerned have geared up the system to accomplish the task of admission by July 15 for the next academic year. “We feel concerned with regard to vacant seats this year, and do not want the repetition of the happening next year,” said a senior officer of the Punjab Technical Education Department.

For updating the curriculum in engineering colleges and to cater to the needs of job market, computer education has been made compulsory for all sorts of engineering students. The students would have to pass a paper in computer education. All engineering colleges have been told to have Internet connections and make students well-versed in e-mail and other emerging new trends of information technology.

The period of expansion of engineering education is almost over. “It is time to consolidate what has been done in the past years’” said a senior official of the department. Each student’s attachment with industry of his/her choice has also been made mandatory. Students would have to work in industry of their choice for practical training and also for required exposure. “It will also make the task of placement of students easy as interaction with the management of industry will help them secure job”, said the official.

Meanwhile, as a pilot project the Technical Education department has handed over the management of the Industrial Training Institute in Ludhiana to an Institute Management Committee (IMC) headed by an Industrialist. Salaries to the staff of the ITI would be paid by the Punjab Government.

The IMC has been given a free hand in running various courses and train skilled students as per the requirements of industry. Mr N.S. Kalsi, Director, Punjab Technical Education, said this project was very successful and all students trained in the first batch got jobs. There was a proposal to expand this project to three or four other places.

Even other states have decided to start similar projects on the advice of the World Bank. A World Bank team that visited the institute was impressed by its performance. The World Bank has provided a loan for the spread of technical education in Punjab.

Modern courses like bachelor of Information Technology are also being started in ITIs and polytechnic colleges. Besides, business management courses in information technology have also been planned.

There are more than 120 ITIs and polytechnic colleges and 16 engineering colleges.Top


 

Fifth day of fog in region

CHANDIGARH, Jan 5 (UNI) — The cold wave coupled with dense fog sweeping the north-west region for the fifth day today, claimed a life and affected road, rail and air services.An unidentified beggar died of cold in the new grain market at Sirhind, in Punjab, last night.

With most of the north-west region enveloped in dense fog, schedules of national and international flights to and from Delhi went haywire with many flights delayed by three to four hours.

The Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar bi-weekly flight and Leh-Chandigarh flight were cancelled because of poor visibility.

Train services on the Delhi-Chandigarh-Kalka and Delhi-Ambala-Amritsar sections were disrupted again today. With almost all trains running behind schedule, these included the Delhi-Chandigarh Shatabdi, Himalayan Queen, Shan-e-Punjab, Howrah-Kalka, Howrah-Amritsar and Sealdah-Amritsar express or mail trains.

The Delhi-Chandigarh Shatabdi express and Delhi-Kalka Himalayan Queen were late by an hour and one hour 15 minutes, respectively. The Howrah-Kalka mail was late by 7.30 hours.

Road traffic moved at a snail’s pace with headlights on as visibility was reduced to couple of metres.

For the first time since Saturday, the fog lifted shortly before mid-day. However, by 4 in the afternoon it had started reappearing with a vengeance, portending a drop in night temperatures and ground frost in Punjab, Haryana, lower reaches of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.

Suratgarh (Rajasthan), Saharan-pur, Hindon, Ghaziabad (U.P.) the entire national capital region, Bathinda, Jalandhar, Adampur, Jammu, Udhampur and Pathankot were engulfed by dense fog while Srinagar reported mist.

The Ladakh region and adjoining tribal areas of Himachal Pradesh reeled under temperatures of minus 14 to 15 degrees celsius.

Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded minus 6.3 degrees celsius. Jammu had its coldest night of season with a low of 5.2 degrees celsius.

Sundernagar and Bhunter in the mid-reaches of Himachal Pradesh recorded lows of 0.7 and 0.6 celsius respectively, while Shimla recorded 4.6C.

In the plains Amritsar continued to be the coldest place with a slight rise in the minimum to 3.8C, followed by Hisar and Rohtak with 4.1C and 5.3C respectively.

Delhi had a minimum of 5 degrees C, two degrees below normal.

PHILLAUR: The Northern Railway today cancelled six mail and express trains. Railway sources told this correspondent that 4805Up/4806Dn Jammu-Tawi-Jodhpur express, 3JMP/4JMP Jalandhar-Pathankot and 333Up/334Dn Amritsar-Ambala trains were cancelled till further orders.Top


 

Land auction move resented
From Manoj Dhiman

FEROZEPORE: Resentment prevails among residents of over 20 villages, including Dulchike, Alike, Gatti Rajoke, Gatti Khunder and Kilche over a proposal to auction Irrigation Department land, which they have been cultivating since Independence.

On learning about the proposal, hundreds of villagers in tractor-trailers came here on December 24 and presented a charter of demands to the district administration to restrain the government from auctioning the land.

Inquiries made by The Tribune from the local Central Telegraph Office reveal that about 300 border residents have so far sent telegrams among others to the Prime Minister, the Punjab Governor, the Punjab Chief Minister and the Secretary, Irrigation, Punjab, to drop the proposal, if any, otherwise they would take drastic steps.

According to the villagers, they were allotted the land on lease after Partition. At that time, the land was not fit for cultivation because most of it was uneven and under growth of wild grass and plants. With great struggle the allottees made the land feasible for cultivation.

The poverty-stricken villagers a majority of whom belong to the backward classes, say the land is their “mother”, which gives them food and shelter.

Certain small farmers said in a choked voice,” We have suffered twice in the 1965 and 1971 wars. Besides, financial loss was caused to us several times in the past due to floods in the nearby Sutlej. “And now the recent proposal of the government will render us jobless and homeless.”

Mishar Singh, a farmer of Basti Habibke village, claims that nearly 50,000 villagers will be uprooted if the land is auctioned.

“The villagers can go up to any extent if the proposal to auction the land is implemented”, he warned and added.” The villagers may start fast up to death or commit self-immolation against the proposal.”

The villagers demand cancellation of the proposal. They, however, say if the government wants to enhance its exchequer by way of auction of the land, the same should be sold to them at a reasonable price on easy instalments.

Certain Opposition parties are likely to make this issue a political one. It is learnt that certain border residents have already approached the Punjab Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh, to intervene in the matter and save them from ruin.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Kulbir Singh Sidhu, when contacted, instead of giving his version on the issue put this question before this reporter: “What else does the Irrigation Department do if it does not auction the land?”Top


 

Pension beneficiaries found ineligible
From Our Correspondent

FATEHGARH SAHIB, Jan 5 — After comprehensive verification exercise to scrutinise the beneficiaries of various pension schemes, 30 per cent of them have been found to be ineligible. This was disclosed by Mr V.K. Janjua, Deputy Commissioner, while talking to The Tribune here yesterday.

He said in the first phase, lists pertaining to the beneficiaries of old-age widow and handicapped pensions were computerised and printed villagewise. These lists were sent to the SDM for a thorough verification by the revenue agencies. The tehsildars were directed to conduct 100 per cent verification and the SDMs to do random checking. He said in Fatehgarh Sahib which subdivision 2,509 cases out of 8,893, in Amloh subdivision 869 out of 3,889 and in Khamano subdivision, 1,255 out of 3,564 were found ineligible.

The Deputy Commissioner further said the District Social Security Officer had been directed to stop the pensions of the illegal beneficiaries immediately and recover the amount already paid to them.

Meanwhile, Mr Dalip Singh Pandi, former Akali minister, has urged the government to take action against those who had taken the benefit and even those who had recommended their cases for pensions. He alleged that certain top businessmen and influential people had also been getting the benefit of pension schemes meant for the poor and needy people.

The district administration had received Rs 1 crore from the government and pensions to the genuine beneficiaries were being released, the Deputy Commissioner added.Top


 

Cheap power for border districts
From Our Correspondent

GURDASPUR, Jan 5 — Mr Sucha Singh Langah, Punjab Minister talking to newsmen here today said that industrial growth in Punjab during the current term of Mr Parkash Singh Badal rose 12 per cent against 3 per cent recorded by the Centre over the same period. During the past 50 years investment in industry, both in the public and private sector, was Rs 14,500 crore whereas investment went upto Rs 40,000 crore during Akali-BJP rule in Punjab.

Mr Langah said that once power generation starts after completion of Ranjit Sagar Dam, Punjab will extend a special tariff to border districts of the state on par with neighbouring Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. He hoped that agro-based industries which have potential in the district, will come up after power tarrifs are reduced.

Mr Langah said the government has cleared an action plan of Rs 50 lakh each for the 16 border Assembly segments. The amount will be spent on schools and dispensaries.

He said the Dorangala to Dostpur and Pakiwan to Kalanour roads have been cleared for repair.

Earlier, he was accorded a rousing reception by BJP and Akali workers. Top


 
POLITICS

Jagjit asked to prove support
Tribune News Service

PATIALA, Jan 5 — Following senior Congress leader, Mr Birdevinder Singh’s criticism of Pradesh Congress President Capt Amarinder Singh today Prem Gupta asked Congress Legislature Party leader Choudhary Jagjit Singh to prove his authenticity by seeking the confidence of the legislature party.

In a statement here, Mr Gupta said Choudhary Jagjit Singh did not have any locus standi to discuss the issue of financial emergency as he did not enjoy the support of the Congress Legislature Party.

Calling Choudhary Jagjit an “engine without bogies”, Mr Gupta said the former should also read the provisions of the Constitution on the subject of financial emergency. He said Choudhary Jagjit and other leaders who had differed with Mr Birdevinder Singh seemed to be unmindful of the implications of financial emergency for the people of Punjab.

Punjab Pradesh Mahila Congress Vice-President Rana Shergill in a separate statement also sided with Mr Birdevinder Singh and said she was pained that the Pradesh Congress President did not take the party into confidence before appealing to the President to impose financial emergency in the State.

She said suspension of Mr Birdevinder Singh would not help at the juncture and said Capt Amarinder Singh instead of taking dictatorial action against a senior party colleague should have allowed free and fair discussion to arrive at a collective decision on the subject. She appealed to Mr Amarinder Singh to be realistic, saying that the party was a democratic forum and could not be run on individualistic basis.

In a separate press note, District Congress (Urban) President Ved Parkash Gupta, Secretaries K.K. Sharma, Anil Mehta, organising secretary Jasbir Inder Singh Dhindsa and organising secretary Ajinder Pal Singh said the entire rank and file of the party had full faith in the leadership of Capt Amarinder Singh.

In a separate statement PPCC Ex-Servicemen Cell Chairman Zorawar Singh said Birdevinder Singh had a hobby to criticise his party bosses.Top


 

Kainth has exposed SAD: Chandumajra
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 5 — The general secretary of the Sarab Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, in a statement here today said the leader of the Bahujan Samaj Morcha, Mr Satnam Singh Kainth, had exposed the Shiromani Akali Dal’s relations with Congress leaders.

He said Mr Kainth had stated that SAD leaders in the Phillaur constituency supported the Congress candidate in the last Lok Sabha poll.

Mr Kainth has severed ties with the SAD.

Mr Chandumajra said statements made by two senior BJP MLAs, levelling corruption charges against certain Punjab ministers was another major setback for the Punjab Government headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal. The state government’s "corruption" was only confined to junior government officials and it was not taking any action against certain ministers against whom charges had been made by senior MLAs.Top


 

CM decried for giving sops
From Our Correspondent

NAWANSHAHR, Jan 5 — Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, Secretary General, Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, in a press statement here on Wednesday ridiculed the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, for announcing various sops for the Nawanshahr Assembly constituency. He said the Chief Minister had laid the foundation stone of an overbridge at Machhiwara over the Sutlej on the Rahon road, 15 km away from the actual site.Top


 
COMMUNITY

Rare medicinal plants cry for care
From Jupinderjit Singh

PATIALA, Jan 5 — An arboretum of rare medicinal plants in Bir Moti Bagh here is lying in neglect due to a dispute over the allocation of funds to it.

Unknown to most of the residents of the city, the arboretum occupies more than 50 acres of the deep interior of the Bir, a protected forest.

It has a rich collection of rare plants having immense medicinal value. Many species on the verge of extinction were planted here and given special care to grow in this climate.

The rare collection is on the verge of destruction, thanks to the non-supply of funds for its upkeep. A dispute over allocation of funds to the plant nursery is lingering for the past few years.

On April 7,1990, the arboretum designed by Mr P.L. Kaler, then Conservator of Forests, was inaugurated by Mr Amrik Singh Poonia, Financial Commissioner, Development. Mr Kaler, the brain behind the project, is a disheartened man today. Showing this correspondent the deplorable condition of the arboretum, he said after his retirement a few years ago, the place had deteriorated.

Mr Kaler said he had developed the project through specially created funds for it. He said his experience showed that if plants of medicinal value are grown together at one place, it is a great boon for preparation of medicines. He had hoped that the government, through such nurseries, would generate revenue.

The nursery, with its sprawling lawns, rest house and a bird-watching tower, could also attract tourists.

All that has been lost today, he lamented. The Department of Forests has not provided any money for the maintenance of the arboretum, neither have the staff been directed to take care of the plants. Mr Kaler pointed towards the dead herbs of sarpgandha and saplings of sandalwood trees. He said that tree guards were built around the rare plants, but due to ill-maintenance, wild grass engulfed now the saplings.

Water trenches have been dug, but yet the plants have rarely been watered, leaving them at the mercy of the rain gods.

The rich collection of the arboretum includes several groves of bamboo trees, herbs and shrubs like hari paata, sudarshan amaltas, mushkpura, silveroak, cheel, dek, dhun and breta as also several species of fruit trees and varieties of the eucalyptus.

A senior official of the Department of Forests, wishing not be quoted, said project was not approved in a proper manner. As a result, no funds were provided.

Mr Kaler, however, said all norms were followed and Rs 3 lakh was approved by the department.

Mr H.S. Grewal, District Conservator of Forests, said there is no separate budgetary allocation for the arboretum due to which it cannot be maintained properly. He said he had moved papers to cover the medicinal plants under a new project of encouraging forestry in the state sponsored by a Japanese firm.Top



 

University student units formed
From Our Correspondent

PATIALA, Jan 5 — Punjabi University students today formed two units — Bhai Ghanayia Ji Brigade for boys and Mai Bhago Ji Brigade of girls — for following a five-point declaration for betterment of the young generation in particular and society as a whole.

Each brigade will consist of 50 members and would be headed by a panel. The units were formed in consultation with university Vice-Chancellor Jasbir Singh Bir and the Dean, Students Welfare, Mr D.S. Dhillon.

Mr Bhupinder Singh Cheema, President, Organisation of Punjabi University Students (OPUS), said in a press release here today, that the youth is looking for proper direction to effect it’s own progress as well as serve for the betterment of society. The students held a meeting with the university Vice-Chancellor after Gurpurab celebrations here today in which the five-member panels were elected.

Those unanimosly elected were Mr Harminder Singh Gill, Mr Gurpreet Singh Grewal, Mr Raman Sharma, Mr Harpreet Singh and Mohammed Hussain for the boys’ unit.

For the girls’ unit the panel members were Ms Nimrat Kaur, Ms Manav Gill, Ms Rajwinder Kaur, Ms Kamaljit Kaur and Ms Sanya. The newly elected panel members took an oath that they will work for the implementation of five-point declaration, which includes uplift of society, maintaining moral values, peace and harmony, collective work above the boundaries of religion caste and creed, national integration and following the teachings of Guru Gobind Singh and other saints.Top



 

Delegates arrive for ethnicity conference
Tribune News Service

PATIALA, Jan 5 — Over 300 delegates and scholars from different countries will participate in the three-day international conference on “Ethnicity in the first world, the third world and excommunist” organised by the Punjabi University, Patiala, in collaboration with the International Political Science Association.

The conference, which is part of the multi-faculty millennium series of conferences and lectures: 1999-2001, will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, said the Correspondence Studies Department Head, Prof J.S. Brar.

The conference will be attended by the top-ranking social scientists from different universities and institutions of India, besides a large contingent of eminent scholars from the USA, Israel, Canada, Yugoslavia, France, Northern Ireland, Nigeria, Russia and the Netherlands. Prominent among the foreigner delegates who have already arrived are Dr William Safran, Prof Victor Azarva, Dr Hope Fitz, Prof Leslie Laczko, Dr Dov Ronen, Prof Vucina Vasovic, Dr Jean Tournon, Dr Adrian Guelke, Prof Godwin Onu, Dr John Coakley, Dr Kenia Borichpolets and Dr David A. Campion.

The deliberations will focus attention on the problem of ethnicity in its complexity on social, religious, economic and political levels, particularly in the context of recent political developments in the world, when separatist movements, civil wars and the phenomenon of ethnic cleansing have emerged on a large-scale and where ethnic mobilisation has led to various types of religious, linguistic, racial and political conflicts.

The conference aims at analysing the present-day ethnic conflict on a comparative basis with a view to suggesting effective strategies for resolving such conflicts so as to ensure reconciliation and reconstruction in ethnically divided societies.

The conference will analyse problems of conflict management in the event of ethnic conflicts. Certain case studies of ethnic conflicts, one each from the first world, the third world and ex-communist countries, will provide empirical data to the participants to cross-check their theoretical constructs.

The university Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, said the paper presentations and deliberations will be published by the university in a book form and the conclusions of the deliberations in the form of a concrete blueprint will be submitted to national and international agencies, both government and non-government, for consideration and follow-up action. He said over 50 research papers had been scheduled for discussions in the 12 working sessions of the conference.

Dr Ahluwalia said following the three-day conference, the International Political Science Association will organise a round table on the state of political science in India on January 9 to 10. The round table will review the developments in the field of political science in India and assess the research needs of young Indian scholars. He said both the conference and the round table were dedicated to the ongoing tercentenary celebrations of the birth of the Khalsa.Top

 

Pilgrims’ visit to Katasraj dropped
From Our Correspondent

AMRITSAR, Jan 5 — The proposed visit of 200 Hindu pilgrims to Katasraj in Chakwal district of Pakistan on the occasion of Shivratri, in March, has been dropped due to unsafe condition in that country.

The President of the All India Hindu Shiv Sena, Mr Surinder Kumar Billa in a statement issued here today said the pilgrims would not be sent without guarantee of their safety from the Indian and the Pakistan Governments. Hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane by Pakistani militants has endangered lives of Hindus in Pakistan, he added.

A similar batch of pilgrims, who visited Katasraj in the month of November previous year was dropped due to the Kargil conflict.

Two “jathas” of pilgrims were to be sent every year to Katasraj under an agreement reached with the then Prime Ministers Mr Rajiv Gandhi and the Pakistan Prime Minister, Ms Benazir Bhutto.

Meanwhile, Mr Billa has urged the Indian Government to ban issunce of visas to Pakistani pilgrims who intended to visit Delhi, Ajmer, Sirhind and Agra every year, as Pakistan was sending ISI agents in these jathas. He further sought a ban on Delhi-Lahore bus service.

The SGPC had not been sending Sikh ‘jathas’ to Pakistan since last year in protest against the formation of the Pakistan Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee to manage Sikh Gurdwaras in Pakistan.Top


 

Journalist shot
From Our Correspondent

MALERKOTLA, Jan 5 — Mr Gian Chand Sharma, Correspondent of Ranjit, Chardi Kalan and Akali Patrika newspapers, was shot dead near the octroi post on the Khanna road here this afternoon.

According to information, he was going to his house on a scooter when someone in a car shot him. Mr Sharma died on the spot.

Mr Arpit Shukla, SSP, Sangrur, said that the suspects have been identified and police parties have been despatched to nab the culprits.Top


 

Proposal to shift Sainik School out
From Our Correspondent

KAPURTHALA, Jan 5 — The Punjab Urban Development Authority will develop a multi storeyed commercial building on prime land in local Satnarain Bazaar, which currently houses the DPR. Mr V.K. Singh, Deputy Commissioner, talking to newsmen here yesterday said the district administration had also sent another proposal to the Punjab government to shift Sainik School out of Jagatjit Palace and develop the palace as a tourist spot instead.

If the scheme proved successful then the district administration would consider transfer of other prime land for commercial purposes.

He said widening of the Kapurthala-Jalandhar road from 22 ft to 33 ft had started keeping in mind the setting up of a science city on the road.Top


 
CRIME

Robbers caught after chase
From Our Correspondent

PATIALA, Jan 5 — The district police, in a space of a few hours, nabbed two of the four robbers, who looted a petrol station opposite Punjabi University here last night.

The robbery took place around 10 p.m. according to the police, four persons in a truck (HR-37-5548) came to Rajesh Petrol Pump and Service Station. They got diesel worth Rs 700 filled in the truck, but instead of paying, they threatened the staff with guns and looted Rs 20,000 from the spot.

On being informed of the robbery, the police erected special check posts on all exit roads of the city. One such naka spotted the truck.

A police party, led by Constable Buta Singh, and three home guards chased the vehicle in Tata Sumo driven by a civilian. After a few kilometres, the police fired at the diesel tank and punctured it. As the diesel leaked, the truck came to a stop.

According to SSP Harpreet Singh Sidhu, after a light struggle, the police party managed to nab two robbers while the remaining fled the scene.

The SSP said police parties have been dispatched to different locations to raid the possible hide-outs of the remaining robbers. He also informed that police had information about an inter-state gang of robbers operating in the region.

The SSP said Constable Buta Singh would be promoted in recognition of his bravery. The other police staff would also be rewarded. A special honour would be given to Tata Sumo driver Harjinder Singh who chased the truck, the SSP said.Top


 

Sewadar dies as gun goes off

HOSHIARPUR, Jan 5 (UNI) — A gurdwara chief sewadar was killed, allegedly after his loaded double-barrelled gun went off at Tahli Sahib Gurdwara under Tanda police station yesterday.

Tanda police station SHO Ram Singh today said when Jathedar Satnam Singh, 60, went to lie down after taking his blood pressure medicine, his foot accidentally hit trigger of his .12-bore gun, causing it to go off. He was shot through the head, causing his death on the spot.Top


‘Fake’ DTO arrested
Tribune News Service

GIDDERBAHA, Jan 5 — Mohinder Kumar, a local resident, who had been making fake driving licences and registration certificiates (RCs) for the past two years impersonating as District Transport Officer (DTO) was arrested by the police today.

A diploma holder in the engineering, Mohinder Kumar took to this profession to satisfy his greed of making a fast buck and started making fake licences and registration certificates of about two years ago.

Police sources said he had also been making fake challan fine slips and other documents required for making driving licences and registration certificates.

Mr Ashok Baath, DSP, when contacted, said Mohinder Kumar had confessed that he had learnt making fake licences and other documents from a place located near the Delhi-UP border.

This is the second incident of its kind in the town in the past four months. Earlier, the police had arrested a ‘fake’ election observer during the Lok Sabha elections.

Mr Baath said as per preliminary information gathered from the accused, Mohinder Kumar had supplied thousands of fake licences and registration certificates throughout the country in the past two years.

He said fake rubber stamps of District Transport Officers, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Licensing Officers and general manager apart from 15 fake licences and one registration certificate were seized from the house of the accused.

Mohinder Kumar has been booked under Sections 419, 420, 465, 468 and 471 of the IPC and further investigation are being made.Top

 

Miscreants enter school, chased away
From Our Correspondent

PHAGWARA, Jan 5 — As many as 15 lathi-wielding miscreants entered Saint Joseph Convent School here last night by climbing over the main gate and the compound wall.

However, two chowkidars Ram Bahadur and Babu Ram, who were later joined by a group of migrant workers sleeping near the school, threw stones at the miscreants forcing them to flee.

Meanwhile, the sisters and nuns who reside on the school campus, panicked and bolted their rooms. The school is situated on the G.T. Road.

Mr Ravel Singh SHO, told The Tribune today that several raiding parties had been sent to nab the culprits.

The watchmen when contacted said they ran to the roof of the school building and started throwing stones at the intruders. They raised the alarm and the migrant labourers who were sleeping near the school joined them. The miscreants hurled abuses at them and asked them to keep away.

This reporter saw bloodstains outside the school indicating that some of the miscreants were injured. While the nuns refused to say anything, Father Michael Ani and Principal Sister Ancy Sabs are said to be in Jalandhar to attend a meeting. The school is closed for Christmas holidays and will re-open tomorrow.Top


 

Doctor discharged in negligence case
Tribune News Service

MANSA, Jan 5 — Mr Sukhdev Singh, Chief Judicial Magistrate, has discharged Dr Harmanderjit Kaur of the offence of negligence during the treatment of Meenakshi, punishable under Section 304-A of the IPC.

Dr Harmanderjit Kaur who was summoned by the CJM on a private complaint lodged by Mr Raj Kumar, father of Meenakshi, was discharged by the Magistrate after concluding the no prima facie case could be made out against the accused for offence punishable under Section 304-A of the IPC.

In his complaint Mr Raj Kumar had alleged that his daughter, Meenakshi, underwent unnecessary operation for delivery of child due to greed of Dr Harmanderjit Kaur in her private hospital.

He alleged that after the operation, the doctor did not look after the patient properly and her condition deteriorated due to carelessness and negligence of the doctor. The patient was admitted to DMC Hospital at Ludhiana for treatment and then shifted to the PGI at Chandigarh where she died.

He alleged that he made formal complaint to the local police to register a case against the doctor for her negligence but did not get any response.

Mr Raj Kumar then approached the local court for justice. The CJM summoned the accused to facing trial.

However, Dr Harmanderjit Kaur, moved an application before the CJM for dismissing the complaint of Mr Raj Kumar on the grounds that it was frivolous.

The CJM, after hearing counsels of both sides concluded that there was sufficient ground to review the order dated June 15, 1999 whereby the accused was summoned to face trial for the offence punishable under Section 304-A of the IPC.

The arguments put forward by the counsel for the accused were that the death of the patient was due to cardiac arrest.

The Magistrate, according to the copy of the order, supplied to media persons here today, held that no case of negligence could be made against accused and the accused was liable to be discharged.

Top


 

Purse snatcher arrested
From Our Correspondent

HOSHIARPUR, Jan 5 — The police has busted a gang of purse-snatchers and car thieves .

According to the police two scooter-borne youths snatched a purse from Mrs Prem Lata wife of Mr Manmohan Singh Johar, a resident of Premgarh locality and tried to escape. Mrs Prem Lata raised alarm and came residents of the locality and a police patrol party chased them. They succeeded in nabbing one of the snatcher along with his scooter. He has been identified as Jasbir Singh, alias Kaka and his accomplice who escaped his brother as Harjit Singh alias Vicky. A case under Sections 356/379 of the IPC has been registered.

During interrogation Jasbir Singh revealed that five more youths, Harjit Singh alias Vicky, Pawan Masih, a worker of Mahavir Spinning Mill, Hoshiarpur, Sham Sunder, Kharaiti Lal and Lakhwinder Singh alias Lakha were members of the gang. He revealed that their gang snatched a purse and Rs 3000 from Mrs Asha Rani on Monday, snatched the purse of Mrs Savinder Dhanjam of Milap Nagar on November 21, stole the van of Mr Nitin Jain of Garhi Mohalla on November 2, stole a car belonging to Mr Durga Dass of Danna Mandi on October 29and snatched purses from more than 10 women on different occasions.Top


 
BUSINESS

Love therapy on Internet
From Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

JALANDHAR, Jan 5 — If you are a lover in distress looking for a shoulder to cry on or want to send flowers to a beloved abroad on Valentine’s Day not to worry. Hope is just a mouse-click away, thanks to a newly floated website designed for those in love.

Since its launch in the country the Internet has proved a boon for distant lovers, once at the mercy of the postal department or kind mediators. But this is the first time that they can solicit solutions to difficulties faced in love over the world wide web.

Interestingly the site not only plays the role of troubleshooter for love-lorn guys and gals, it also enables them to exchange pleasantries, poems, jokes, greetings, consult soothsayers or read their horoscopes to know the fate of their ‘venture’.

If Cupid’s arrows have struck deep but the beloved’s father is playing spoil sport, don’t despair. Instead click on the distress section of the site oomphs.com.

“We have programmed the site in such a way that anybody in distress can leave a message in a special slot.

“It is quite possible that out of the tens of readers, one, two or even more might be acquainted with the girls’ family and might help the boy come out of the quagmire by intervening or building pressure to get the affair clinched,” says Mr Nitin Anand, an official of the company, who claimed the site was the only one of its kind wholly devoted to youngsters, particularly lovers.

He said a message board had been created where even those not registered with the company, could leave a message.

Another interesting feature is “Real Love Stories”. “The love stories will be gathered through an online form and the 10 best ones displayed on the home page and the rest stored on another page,” said another official of the company, adding such stories would be replaced by new ones once a fortnight.

“To ensure that only authentic love stories pour in we have developed a system, wherein we will contact the other party also and will seek his or her consent before displaying it on the site,” said the official, claiming the site had received 17,000 hits since its launch on December 29.

“Love Shoppe” at the site offers lovers an array of love gadgetaries ranging from French perfume to chocolates and jewellery which can be purchased with credit cards.Top


 

Bonded Labour Act scares kiln owners
From Our Correspondent

FATEHGARH SAHIB, Jan 5 — The Brick-kiln Owners Association has demanded that their trade should be kept out of the purview of the Bonded Labour Act as certain labourers have started misusing the Act.

Addressing a press conference here today Mr Purshotam Singla, District President and Mr Prem Jindal, secretary of the association, respectively, said after a state-level meeting a delegation of the kiln owners would present a memorandum to the Chief Minister in this regard. They said the labour of the brick-kiln does not come without giving advances in lakhs.

The kiln owners provide them all type of facilities, including medical. The State Labour Commissioner settles work rates and they are paid accordingly. The labourers are put up in quarters at kilns which have no boundary walls. The owners seldom visit the kilns. The entire business is run by them.

They alleged that certain agents have cropped up. They instigate the labourers to take the maximum advance from the owners and take them to the high court for release. They said kiln owners have failed miserably due to this problem and left the business.Top



 

Capt seeks list of IT defaulters
Tribune News Service

PATIALA, Jan 5 — Punjab Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh today said the state government had requested the Centre to share information about income tax defaulters so that the Excise and Taxation Department could act on it.

Talking to newsmen here Capt Kanwaljit Singh said this step would also help the state in mopping up more revenue.

Speaking about the priorities of the government, the Finance Minister said they were diversification of agriculture, improving sanitation in villages and developing infrastructure at the village level.

He said as far as improving sanitation facilities are concerned the government would ensure that financial help reached individual houses in all villages.

He said tenders would be floated for building overbridges at Dera Bassi, Kurali and Morinda railway crossings. He said the government had earmarked Rs 550 crore for roads, of which Rs 250 crore would be spent on major roads in the state.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh said the Congress party in Punjab was on the verge of a split with many partymen having raised a banner of revolt against the Pradesh Congress president. He said such a situation had arisen at the Centre too where the Congress may split further. As it had no programmes and was banking on personality politics. Top


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
|
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | In Spotlight |
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
|
119 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |