|Sunday, January 9, 2000,
10 killed in fog-caused road
Cong men to burn
Police fumbles as panic prevails
An NRIs rags-to-riches tale
Id celebrated with fervour
SAD MLA boycotts Badals
Amarinder dares CM to debate
BJP urged to probe dissent in
Punjab Cong men meet in city on
Devolution of powers must: Jacob
220 cr for kandi area: CM
4 drowned as car falls into canal
Sahara rescues deserted woman, her
Fruit growers told to get soil
Shriman, be ready for polite cops
ETT students detained
Municipal works privatised
Staff of govt colleges yet to get
Graft alleged for release of phone
Need for road safety stressed
DIG faces probe
Jarnail Singh was ISI-trained,
Scribe held on rape charge
Concession to Punjab in rice
PACL staff union lists charges
Dhindsa urges NRIs to invest in
Dharna against "police torture"
JALANDHAR, Jan 8 (UNI) Residents of Ughi village held a dharna in front of Nakodar police station today in support of their demand for the arrest of policemen allegedly responsible for the death of a villager in police custody on January 4.
After the residents staged the dharna and blocked traffic on the Nakodar-Kapurthala road last evening in protest against "police brutality" which resulted in the death of Ughi resident Gurdev Singh yesterday, the Nakodar police registered a case of murder under Section 302/34 of the IPC against ASI Mohinder Singh, officer in charge, police post, constable Kamaljit Singh, constable Ram Lubaya and Special Police Officer Gurmej Singh. The four suspect had absconded when reports last came in.
Agitated over inaction by the police in arresting the suspects, the residents led by Ughi sarpanch Mehnga Ram held a dharna in front of Nakodar police station in the forenoon today. After collecting the body of Gurdev Singh from the Nakodar Civil Hospital after a post mortem, the residents, again held a dharna for two hours this afternoon in front of the police station demanding the arrest of the suspects.
They lifted the dharna when SP (Detective) Dilbagh Singh assured them of the arrest of the suspects. It took Mr Dilbagh Singh and SP (Operation) Amit Prasad more than an hour yesterday to persuade the agitators to lift the siege of the Ughi post which was surrounded by them shortly after Gurdev Singh died in a private hospital, allegedly due to injuries inflected on him in police custody.
When the cops locked the door of the post from inside yesterday, the agitators barged in carrying the body of Gurdev Singh, police sources said.
10 killed in fog-caused
BATHINDA, Jan 8 Dense fog engulfing the north appears to have claimed 10 lives in various accidents that occurred due to it in the past week.
Three-member family of the Sarpanch of Harike Kalan village died on January 4 when their jeep plunged into the Rajasthan feeder canal near Thandewala village in Muktsar district as the driver could not see the bank of the canal due to near zero visibility due to dense fog.
Two persons were killed in the Jalalabad area when their scooter hit a fourwheeler due to fog in this week. Similarly three persons lost their lives in three different accidents on various roads of this district in this week.
Police sources said there was unprecedented rise in the number of accidents in these days as the fog had rendered driving dangerous. Most of the accidents, which were not fatal, went unreported.
Mr Ajay Maluja, DSP, Fazilka, said a few days back, due to dense fog, six vehicles collided with each other near Dangakhera village.
The driver of one of the vehicles was injured seriously.
Mr Manminder Singh, DSP, Jalalabad, said efforts were being made to advise drivers to drive at slow speed in fog.
Fog and chilly conditions, which has thrown life out of gear, have also hit construction activity in the region rendering thousands of labourers without job for uncertain periods. Nearly 80 per cent construction activity in the region has come to a halt due to bad weather.
Frequent power cuts also have forced the residents to use generators. Residents are also burning rubber tyres to get heat in the morning and evening time. These activities add to air pollution.
Farm experts said that
longer dry spell might affect the yield of wheat in the
northern region. They pointed out that production of
wheat might come down by 10 per cent compared to last
year if the existing weather conditions continued to
Cong men to burn
JALANDHAR Jan 8 The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (I) has decided to launch a campaign against "inflated" power bills in the domestic sector by torching the bills at the historic Maghi fair in Muktsar on January 14.
Virtually launching the partys poll campaign for the forthcoming Nawanshahr by-election from Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Memorial Hall, Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, Member Parliament and vice-president of the state unit of the party said the economy of farmers, particularly of Dalits living below the poverty line, has suffered a severe jolt because of the power bills.
Holding the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party government responsible for the ongoing financial crisis in the state, Mr Brar said Mr Parkash Singh Badal, who had been projecting himself as a "messiah" of farmers, was adopting "anti-farmer" and anti-poor policies by burdening farmers with taxes and inflated power bills.
Mr Brar said after burning of the bills at Muktsar, Dalits and farmers would be asked not to pay these bills and, if they were forced to do so by the authorities, Congress leaders and workers, including him, would court arrest. Demanding the setting-up of a committee to examine the issue, Mr Brar said the central government was out to destroy the peasantry of the country, particularly, that of Punjab.
The farmers were being killed slowly as on one hand the Public Distribution System has become defunct and, on the other about 200 lakh tonnes of foodgrains were lying with the government which, was importing foodgrains from abroad", said Mr Brar.
He said the state of Punjab, which was once the most prosperous state in the country, had been brought to the brink of bankruptcy by the ruling SAD-BJP combines fiscal policies. "There should be an inquiry as to who had devoured the prosperity of the state, the contribution of which in the central food kitty was more than 70 per cent, and had burdened it under a debt amounting to Rs 24,000 crore," said Mr Brar.
As if that were not enough the Vajpayee government has hiked the diesel prices by 40 per cent overnight without consulting any body, though it was the same Mr Vajpayee who had termed a 15 per cent hike in diesel prices as "anti-people" and "undemocratic," he added.
Talking about the report of the Subramaniam Committee on the Kargil issue and its aftermath, Mr Brar said it was strange that in spite of the Congress demand that the report be tabled on the concluding day of the winter session of Parliament, the government preferred not to do so.
"We suspect that it was trying to conceal something. Moreover, why they are not making it public so that people of the country could know as to who was responsible for the Kargil quagmire," added Mr Brar.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Jagdish Chander, secretary of the All India Youth Congress, exhorted the youth to work wholeheartedly to ensure partys victory in the forthcoming Nawanshahr by-election.
Mr Balbir Singh, the local MP, denied that there was any factionalism in the state unit of the party and blamed the press for exaggerating and "twisting" facts. "Actually, it is a habit of the Jalandhar press to create misinformation and the reports that the state unit of the party had divided into two groups are a part of it.
He did not explain why five party MPs and other leaders were absent during Mrs Sonia Gandhis Amritsar visit.
Others who spoke on the
occasion included Mr Jagjit Singh Chaudhary, Leader of
the Opposition in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Mr Davinder
Babbu, the president of the Punjab Youth Congress, Mr
Umrao Singh MP and Chaudhary Darshan Singh, the former
Chairman of Punjab Mandi Board.
Police fumbles as panic
PHAGWARA(Kapurthala), Jan 8 Even as the police has yet to track down the armed miscreants who barged into the St Joseph "School by some armed miscreants on Tuesday night, the incident has generated a sense of fear among the teachers and students who have sought tightening of security around the school.
The staff and students were bewildered to see nearly 15 miscreants, armed with lathis and stones entering the school premises after scaling the boundary wall and the main gate at around midnight. The unidentified miscreants, in the age group of 22-30 years, even chased and attacked the watch and ward staff of the school, fled the scene after the latter retaliated by crying out for help and by throwing stones on the attackers and after the arrival the police and some neighbourhood labourers on the scene.
The incident, second of its kind in the area within a period of two months, has left the school staff and students, mostly women scared and instilling a sense of insecurity among them. Earlier, in a similar incident on the night of November 2, six armed robbers had looted Rs 1.25 lakh and some gold ornaments after attacking the St Joseph School in Phillaur on the Jalandhar-Ludhiana highway. The police has failed to nab the culprits so far.
Recalling the unfolding of the scary drama on the Tuesday night, Mr Shuk Bahadur, a watchman with the St Joseph School at Phagwara, said he along with two other watchmen was carrying out his duty when he rushed out after hearing some commotion outside. "As I was heading towards the gate, I saw two groups of people, one from the front gate side and the other scaling the wall from a side, entering the premises. After catching hold of Ram Bahadur, another chowkidar, they broke open the front door with the help of iron rods. Then they started abusing in chaste Punjabi and chasing me and the other chowkidar. We saved our life by running upstairs from where we raised an alarm and stoned them. They fled only when hearing our screams some labourers from a nearby colony and later the police reached the spot," said Shuk Bahadur. He feared that as none of the miscreants has been arrested by the police so far they could later a revenge by attacking the school again.
Expressing similar feelings, the principal of the school dubbed the incident as "an effort to scare us away. Giving vent to her resentment over the lack of security arrangements and the "casual approach" exhibited by the police towards incident, she said," They have deputed just two guards on the night duty. What is more painful is that no senior police officer came to inquire into the incident so far." She however refused to say whether it could have been the handiwork of some communal force or not. "We have no enmity with anybody. We have not done anything wrong so how can we blame anybody," she added admitting that the students as well as teachers had panicked after the incident. The principal along with four five teachers and about 15 p1us 1 students were sleeping in the hostel at the time the incident took place and they saved themselves by bolting the doors of their hostel rooms from inside.
A number of teachers and students of the school, who requested anonymity, was of the view that the incident was that of a serious nature and the police should act accordingly. "We are feeling so insecure that we are afraid of venturing out even during day time", said one of the resident teachers while talking to The Tribune. She demanded that more securitymen should be deployed at the school for the safety of the teachers as well as students.
Meanwhile, enquiries revealed that the police had registered a case under Section 457 of the IPC but it has achieved no headway in the case and was still groping in the dark about the identity of the miscreants. "We had rounded up five suspects, all of which have been released after proper investigation," said Mr Ravel Singh, SHO, who added raids were being made at suspected hideouts in and around the city.
When contacted, Mr Iqbal
Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police, Kapurthala, said
no arrest had been made so far. He said an inquiry into
the incident has been entrusted to the SP (Detective). He
ruled the possibility of the involvement of communal
elements in the incident. "I think it is the
handiwork of the gang of thieves," he added.
JALANDHAR: For a struggling Gurdaspur guy doing odd jobs like petrol station attendant, pizza delivery man and security guard, relishing luxuries like an 18,000 sq ft bungalow having an array of facilities like a shooting range, an arcade, a swimming pool and a movie theatre and owning of a business empire worth $ 250 million, is nothing but a distant dream.
But for Jassie Singh, an agriculture engineering graduate hailing from Majara village, who had migrated to the USA in search of greener pastures 13 years back, it was indeed a case of a dream taking the shape of reality, but with a lot of hard work and what he described, "sincerity, dedication and a sense of networking with people".
"I believe in the philosophy that be fair to everyone as whatever good or bad you do is bound to cast a shadow on your", said Jassie, the owner of three big concerns including the (BJS or Jassie Singh Electronics) said to be the third largest US company owned by an NRI. Jassie is the recipient of the, Punjab Rattan Award 1998, conferred on him by the State Government.
Recalling his journey from Majra village to the El Dorado, Jassie said it seemed to be near-impossible to even think of becoming a big shot in the business world. "It is a miracle, though it involved years of hard work and toil. I had just $ 20 the maximum an immigrant could carry with him as per the then US laws the day I landed in the USA. Out of this I spent $ 12 to buy liquor aboard the plane to get myself relieved of the anxiety of stepping on an alien land", said Jassie, who was in town to attend a marriage of one of his relatives.
"Until December 1986, I along with my wife had been doing petty jobs, the earnings from which were not even enough to meet expenses of food and rented accommodation. The situation was so disappointing that we had to send Sunny, our elder son to live with my sister in Canada for six months as we were not in a position to look after him properly", added Jassie recalling the days of struggle.
Lady Luck started smiling on him after he jumped into the business of computer software and started investing his meagre savings in it as advised by a Delhi-based computer software exporter. "It was a day of thrill when I earned my first profit of $ 9 out of a $ 100 order placed by my friend. At the same time inspiration poured in the shape of Prof Nirmal Singh of the Cogswell Polytechnic College, where I had got myself enrolled for the B. Tech (Computers) course".
"Stop crying, it is you and none else who has to decide how far you have to go. Have a dream and work towards its realisation", was the advice of Prof Nirmal Singh, which eventually changed my life", reminisced Jassie, when asked about the driving force in his life. "And soon I found myself dealing in leather and cotton garments business in addition to computers and had taste of success with my annual earnings jumping to $ 70,000 to 80,000. But that was not an easy task. For that I had to work 17 to 18 hours a day", he recalled.
The former student of
the local Seventh Day Adventist Elementary School and
later of Doaba Khalsa College (Jalandhar), visualises
Punjab as a big info-tech market. But he adds corruption
had been discouraging NRIs from investing in their home
state, though they were willing to contribute to the
development of their motherland. "We need
politicians like Chandrababu Naidu. Look, what he has
done to Andhra Pradesh", said Jassie, who is
involved in a number of welfare projects in the USA and
is the first Indian whose picture has found place in the
prestigious Hall of Success Museum of Silicon Valley. The
NRI is also the Civil Rights Award recipient for 1998,
conferred upon him by the local Santa Clara County in
Id celebrated with fervour
MALERKOTLA, Jan 8 Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal announced that an Urdu academy would be set up at Malerkotla in the near future. Addressing a mammoth gathering on Id-ul-Fitr celebration in this historic town here today Mr Badal said that Malerkotla played an important role in Sikh history, and would be developed on priority basis. He announced a grant of Rs 45 lakh for the city.
The Chief Minister also announced setting up of a Muslim Welfare Corporation. Mr Nusrat Ali Khan, Sports Minister of Punjab, expressed his gratitude to the Chief Minister.
PHILLAUR: Id-ul-Fitr was celebrated with great enthusiasm here today. Sayeed Nazir Ahmed general secretary Anjuman Dawati Islamia Committee, talking to newsmen, claimed that Muslims observed Id-prayers at different idgahs in Phillaur, Ludhiana, Malerkotla, Phagwara, Jalandhar, Patiala, Amritsar, Nakodar etc.
was celebrated with great enthusiasm and traditional
fervour by offering namaz (prayer) in a mosque adjoining
Model School. More than 300 Muslims from Faridkot town
and adjoining villages participated.
SAD MLA boycotts
FATEHGARH SAHIB, Jan 8 For not getting ministership, annoyed an Akali MLA from the district Mr Balwant Singh Sahpur, did not attend the function addressed by the Chief Minister in his constituency yesterday. Rather the MLA sent his supporters to meet the Chief Minister to submit the protest letters of 167 sarpanches for not giving representation to the district in the recent expansion of the Cabinet. As the supporters were not allowed to meet Mr Badal the protest letters were handed over to him through Mr Ajaib Singh Muakhmailpur, Minister for PWD. In these letters the sarpanches have threatened that if Mr Balwant Singh Sahpur is not inducted into the Cabinet, they will resign en masse.
Mr Balwant Singh Sahpur; MLA Amloh switched loyalty from the Tohra camp to Mr Badal camp during the tug of war between the two Akali leaders. According to sources the MLA was present in a village near the function site and sent his supporters from there.
Meanwhile, the infighting in the district unit of the SAD (B) has intensified. On the one hand, the Amloh circle Akali jatha headed by Jathedar Hari Singh Machrai Kalan, who is considered to be close to Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance Minister, Punjab, at a meeting of the circle passed a resolution appreciating the expansion of the Cabinet and said all deserving had been given representation.
On the other hand at a
separate meeting the supporters of Mr Balwant Singh
Sahpur including Mr Mohinder Singh Bagrian, state general
secretary of youth Akali Dal, Mr Karamjit Singh Bhagrana,
Vice-President of the Punjab State Karamchari Dal and
various Akali leaders and workers have passed a
resolution demanding the induction of Mr Balwant Singh
into the Cabinet as he stood by Mr Badal during crisis
and also organised various successful political
conferences in the stronghold of jathedar Gurcharan Singh
Tohra. They said by ignoring the district Mr Badal had
ignored the district.
Amarinder dares CM to debate
PATIALA, Jan 8 Capt Amarinder Singh, PPCC President today challenged Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, to an open debate on issues confronting the state.
Speaking at a function organised by Shaheed Udham Singh Memorial Committee, Punjab to celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of the martyr here today, the state Congress President said he had challenged Mr Badal to an open debate several times before but the Chief Minister had never demurred.
Tomorrow, he and Mr Badal would share a stage at a function organised by the Hind Samachar group in Jalandhar and he hoped Mr Badal would answer a few of his queries, about how a state known world over for its prosperity had reached a point where even disbursement of salary was a major issue.
The Akali government, which had staged many morchas on the demands of the state on coming into power had not raised them, he said.
Mr C.D. Kamboj a senior leader, Mr Lal Singh vice-president PPCC and Mr Jasbir Singh, general secretary PPCC praised the heroic feats of Shaheed Udham Singh. They said that while the Beant Singh government had succeeded in getting the centre to declare Udham Singh a national hero in 1992-93 the Akali government in Punjab had not fulfilled a promise of constructing a memorial to the martyr in this city.
Mr Badal had promised the construction of the memorial two years ago.
BJP urged to probe dissent
in state unit
AMRITSAR, Jan 8 BJP MLA Lakshmi Kanta Chawla, today appealed to the party high command to look into the squabbling in the state unit. Mrs Chawla, in a press note issued here today, expressed unhappiness over the loss of credibility by the state unit. She said losses during the last Lok Sabha elections should be an eye-opener for the party and differences which had been simmering since, then had come out into the open after expansion of the Punjab ministry last week.
She suggested that the party general secretary in-charge of Punjab affairs, Mr Narender Modi resolve dissent.
Punjab Cong men meet in city on
CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 A meeting of the office-bearers and other important functionaries of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee will be held at Punjab Congress Bhavan here on January 10, according to a party spokesman.
Mr Moti Lal Vora, general secretary of the All India Congress Committee, will address the meeting. After being put in charge of the party affairs in Punjab, it will be first visit of Mr Vora to Congress Bhavan.
In fact Mr Vora will arrive here tomorrow evening and flag off "Sankalp yatra" of Punjab Congress workers for Ferozepore on January 10 in the morning before the meeting. The Sankalp yatra started from Amritsar, the day Mrs Sonia Gandhi visited there.
Although senior Congress functionaries say it will be normal introductory meeting as Mr Vora is visiting the state for the first time, sparks may fly at the meeting, keeping in view the on-going tussle between Capt Amarinder Singh and Mr Birdevinder Singh.
Devolution of powers must: Jacob
PATIALA, Jan 8 The Punjab Governor, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, today said devolution of political and economic powers and a proper development strategy which reduced imbalances were essential for ending social tensions.
Delivering the valedictory address on the concluding day of the International Seminar on Ethnicity at Punjabi University here, Lt-Gen Jacob said ethnic problems in the case of India were complex.
Despite the Partition on the basis of religion, there was a substantial number of Muslims in India. The number of Muslims living in India was larger than those who migrated to Pakistan. Besides, many other minority ethnic groups constituted another 10 per cent of the population.
The Governor said the inter-group relationships in India were so complex that no other principle could become the basis of the state. Indias national polity was committed to the principles of secularism, egalitarianism and political equality. Through universal franchise, India sought to inculcate a new ethos of national life, using it as a mechanism to accommodate the ethnic diversities.
Ethnicity had both positive and negative aspects. On the positive side, it enabled the members of a group to achieve cohesion and transmit cultural traits and values to the coming generations. Ethnicity also helped them in facing adverse circumstances and various types of onslaughts, as had been the case with the Jews. On the negative side, it becomes a problem when it is deliberately suppressed or intentionally politicised for achieving partisan political ends.
Referring to the present ethnic scenario in India, Dr Ahluwalia expressed concern that deviating from the earlier conception of pluralistic nationalism, certain forces in our country were disorienting the dynamics of nation-building, taking it towards all-inclusive homogenisation of composite Indian society in the name of ethnic nationalism.
In this exercise, the earlier concept of secularism, which aimed at ensuring a united India with social and cultural pluralism as its significant dimension, had also been distorted into an instrument of unitarianism. He contended that the resultant nationalism might have external conformity but not internal unity.
The Vice-Chancellor said composite cultural traditions were getting differentiated more and more into mutually exclusive sub-traditions, which in their turn were becoming identified separately with different religious, social and ethnic groups.
Dr Ahluwalia pleaded for religious, social, cultural and political pluralism with stress on unity-in-differentiation for containing and resolving ethnic and ethno-religious antagonisms.
Prof T.K. Oammen of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, presented a special address. Dr J.S. Brar, convener of the conference, welcomed the guests and Dr O.N. Shukla of Punjabi University presented a report on the three-day conference.
presented a set of books and memento to the chief guest
and the chief guest released five new publications of
Punjabi University. Dr R.M. Goel, Pro-Vice-Chancellor,
presented a vote of thanks.
220 cr for kandi area: CM
NAWANSHAHR, Jan 8 The CM, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, addressing a gathering on the occasion of the 110th birth anniversary of Sant Lal Dass Ji Bhuriwale at Tapparian Khurd village, about 25 km from here today said a Rs 220 crore project to provide basic civic amenities like drinking and irrigational water, roads, schools, dispensaries etc in the kandi area was underway.
He said the previous Congress government did nothing to improve the condition of the people.
A sum of Rs 500 crore was being spent on improving the condition of roads, he added.
He stressed the need for constituting "village development committees" to involve more and more people in the process of development.
Lauding the contribution of Sant Brahama Nandji Bhuriwale towards the field of education in the kandi area, he said, the government before taking over the girls college run by the Bhuriwale Garibdassi Trust, would send a team of experts to explore the possibilities of starting information technology, computer and vocational education courses in the institution.
4 drowned as car falls
PATIALA, Jan 8 Four persons died and one person was injured when a Maruti Esteem car fell into the Bhakra main canal near Khanauri town in Sangrur district this morning.
The accident occurred around 11 a.m. today when five persons, all in their twenties, were travelling towards Gehlan village in a Maruti Esteem (DL-3CD-2226) and it accidentally fell into the canal.
The police, with the help of local villagers, were able to extricate the ill-fated car and the three bodies of Raj Singh, Jagdeep Chand and Jasbir Singh, while the fourth of Amrik Singh was yet to be recovered.
The SSP, Mr Arpit Shukla told The Tribune on the telephone that the car was owned by Mr Rulda Ram a contractor of Dirba village. Amrik Singh, who drowned in the accident, was the driver of the car.
The SSP said according
to preliminary investigation, four youths boarded the car
somewhere on the way and all five consumed liquor near
Khanauri. Amrik Singh was reportedly not driving the car
when it fell into the river.
Sahara rescues deserted woman,
BATHINDA, Jan 8 Volunteers of the local Sahara Welfare Club saved a new-born baby and her mother who were lying on the platform No 7 of the railway station in biting cold on the night of January 5.
The woman, who is mentally unsound and speaks rarely a language not understood by people, first delivered the child on the platform and then kept on lying there.
However, within a few minutes the volunteers of the club led by its president, Mr Vijay Goyal, reached there and took the mother and the child to the hospital. The child was put into an incubator in the local civil hospital.
The woman, who seems to have been deserted after being raped fled from the hospital when the volunteers were looking after the child. She, however, was found by the volunteers last evening.
The woman gets frightened whenever she sees a man and runs towards the corner of room to hide herself. The volunteers were trying to calm her. Mr Goyal told The Tribune that the woman, who was about 20 years old, was unable to tell her name and the place she belonged to. He added that the woman came to the city about 25 days ago.
Fruit growers told to get soil
LUDHIANA, Jan 8 Keeping in view the forthcoming spring season, the scientists of Punjab Agricultural University have advised the farmers to get their soils tested before planting fruit trees in orchards.
According to Dr Mohinder Pal Singh, Senior Soil Scientist of the university, the fruit plants, compared to the field crops, last much longer and their roots too go deep in the soil, Dr Singh added that the soil suitable for crop growing might not be suitable for orchard plantation. Thus, it is imperative to collect a soil sample from upper as well as deeper layers to know the complete fertility status of the soil.
horticulture experts of the university for orchard
plantation, deeper layer of soil should be fertile and
underground water level should be at least 10 feet deep.
The soil should not have any hard layer up to six feet
depth. Soil testing helps to know the physical status as
well as deficiency of macro and micro nutrients in the
soil. As planting of orchard is a long-time project,
farmers must ensure that the field is suitable for
growing fruit crops. Otherwise fruit trees wont
grow properly and the damage will be visible only after
three to four years resulting in huge financial loss.
Shriman, be ready for polite cops
PATIALA, Jan 8 The district police has initiated a novel project called Shriman to bring the cops closer to the public.
The public shall not be addressed rudely by the men in khaki. The citizens would be politely addressed shriman or sir in case of men and Shrimatiji or madam in case of women.
No longer a traffic rule violator would be addressed as: Oye, come here. The police would deal with him politely. The conversation may go like this, Shrimanji, you have jumped the lights. Be ready for a challan.
Giving details about this unique project, SSP, Harpreet Singh Sidhu in a press conference said the aim is to provide a human face to the police. The Punjab police force is notorious for its rude behaviour. This project will provide a changed police personnel who will treat everyone with courtesy and respect and yet be firm in investigation and control of crime.
Mr Sidhu said the change shall not be restricted to the manner of addressing only but will be followed in treatment also. He said the public generally shuns reporting matters to the police, fearing rude behaviour. With such changes, there would be better cooperation.
This scheme, on a trial run since December 1, last year, was not earlier made public because it was felt that the force should be first trained.
He said aberrations or
instances of non-compliance of this scheme by the cops
should be reported to the senior officers. The SSP also
requested members of the public to respond with
politeness and courtesy.
ETT students detained
BATHINDA, Jan 8 Around 300 agitating ETT students were detained at the local Teachers Home for four hours today.
The students of District Institute of Educational Training were detained when they were about to take out a march in the city against the Sikhya Karmi scheme. The police party led by Mr Jaspreet Singh Sidhu and Mr Kaka Singh, both DSPs detained the students. The manager of Teachers Home stated that an ASI snatched his phone when he tried to reach out to the Teachers Home.
The students were lathi-charged. According to DSP Sidhu, the students were detained on orders from higher authorities.
Mr Sukhbir Badal, was in the town in connection with a party meeting.
Police personnel feared that the students may go to the venue of the meeting where the two Cabinet ministers Mr Chiranji Lal Garg and Mr Sikander Singh Malooka were also present.
The students were released on the intervention of Mr Bhan Singh Bhaura, local MP and Mr Surinder Kapoor, General Secretary, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee and various other union leaders.
Mr Surinder Kapoor, the Deputy Commissioner and other senior officers of the district were at the venue of the meeting.
The students took out a march in the town and raised slogans against the State Government and the Chief Minister.
Mr Bhan Singh Bhaura, Mr Surinder Kapoor, Mr Jagmail Singh, President Lok Morcha, Mr Madan Pal, District President, Democratic Teachers Front and Mr Jagmohan Kaushal, a trade union leader, condemned the police and indifferent attitude of the State Government towards the demands of the students.
Municipal works privatised
MOGA, Jan 8 Almost all works of the Moga Municipal Committee have been privatised. The cleaning of roads and maintenance of sewerage and water supply system have been given to private concerns from today.
A decision to this effect was announced by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Kanwalbir Singh, at the Planning Board meeting held here yesterday.
The meeting was presided over by the Punjab Irrigation Minister, Mr Narinder Singh.
Work to clean the GT Road had been started on a war footing. A sum of Rs 384 lakhs had been released to the committee under various schemes to beautify the town. As many as Rs 336 lakh had been released to meet the basic needs of the committee while Rs 542 lakh had been released for other development works.
A sum of Rs 4.70 lakh had been released to the Baghanikalan Municipal Council, and Rs 8.81 lakh to the Baghapurana Municipal Committee for development work.
PATIALA, Jan 8 The National Theatre Arts Society (NTAS) honoured an orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Gurdeep Singh, and Mr Darshan Singh Khokhar, a journalist, for their contribution in their respective fields at a function organised in Lepers Colony here recently.
According to a press
release issued here today by Mr Pran Sabharwal, Director,
NTAS, Mr Manjit Singh Narang, SDM, presented the annual
National Integration Award 2000, consisting of a memento,
a shawl and a cash award to Dr Singh and Mr Khokhar. Mr
Sabharwal said both recipients donated the award money
for welfare of Lepers Colony.
Staff of govt colleges yet to
PATIALA, Jan 8 Staff of government colleges have not yet been paid the salary for December even though the Punjab government had announced the disbursement of salary to all its employees by December 24 last.
Claiming this in a press note issued here yesterday, Dr P S Bhatti, President of the Punjab Government College Teachers Association, said the staff had made several visits to the treasury offices and had also represented to the government, but the salary had yet to released.
Mr Bhatti said it was
for the first time in the history of the government
colleges that the salary has been delayed. He further
said that the new grades were revised in March last year,
but the government was silent on the payment of arrears
to the employees.
Fine ghazals by Shameem
PATIALA, Jan 8 Shameem Iqbal, a student of the Malerkotla gharana, mesmerised delegates of the International Seminar on Ethnicity with a fine ghazal performance in Punjabi University on Thursday night.
Shameem, who has been a student of the university, enthralled the audience with a soulful rendition.
The show began with a note on the heritage of Punjab. There was presentation of Ganesh Vandana by girls of GCG, Patiala. A beautiful Haryanavi folk dance was performed by a group of girls from Haryana.
Graft alleged for release of
MOGA, Jan 8 Nearly forty per cent telephones in this town have been lying idle for the past several days causing great inconvenience to the people particularly the businessmen, industrialists and also commercial establishments.The only thing what the Telecommunication department was doing was sending inflated telephone bills almost every time.
President of the Moga district PCO/STD Association Darshan Singh said here today that new telephone connections were being issued only after the officials of the department concerned were bribed.
He added that although
laying of underground telephone cables was still
continuing the labour hired for this purpose caused
unnecessary damage to sewerage and also water supply
system while doing this job. They have demanded that
telephone consumers should not be harassed while giving
new telephone connections and they should not be forced
Need for road safety stressed
FATEHGARH SAHIB, Jan 8 "Roads have become virtual death traps. Road accidents claim a number of lives. All this happens due to the lack of knowledge of traffic rules and careless driving", said Mr V.K. Janjua, Deputy Commissioner, while addressing a function held at BZSFS Model School here today to observe "road safety week".
He urged the teachers and the school management not to allow under-age students to drive vehicles.
Mr M.S. Jaggi, DTO, educated the students and people on traffic rules and urged them to follow these strictly.
29 schoolchildren hurt in
HOSHIARPUR, Jan 8 Twentynine schoolchildren of Baba Manj Public School, Kang Mahi, were injured when a van carrying them collided with a truck near Hariana today.
Five children who sustained serious injuries were referred to the DMC, Ludhiana.
Move to drop airport project
JALANDHAR, Jan 8 Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, a former Union Welfare Minister, has alleged that the BJP-led government was planning to drop the international airport project at Amritsar.
Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Ramoowalia who is also a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Civil Aviation, said a calculated move by the BJP government was in progress under which either the project would be shifted to some other state or it would be dropped under the pretext of a financial crisis being faced by the country.
Villagers unhappy over water
NAWANSHAHR, Jan 8 Resentment prevails among residents of Sauna village over the working of the local Public Health Department (rural water supply) as it had failed to provide potable water from the Barnala Kalan Water Works.
Mr Mehanga Singh, Sarpanch, alleged that though the Barnala Kalan Rural Water Supply Scheme was launched in 1997 to provide potable water to four villages, including Sauna, the residents till date had been deprived of the same.
Implement calendar, says Dal
CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 The Dal Khalsa has sought the implementation of the Nanakshahi calendar.
Mr Kanwarpal Singh, Chief spokesman of the Dal Khalsa in a statement here today said. We fully back the decision of the SGPC for the implementation of the Nanakshahi calendar.
Newspaper agent dies
AMRITSAR, Jan 8
Mr Rattan Singh, proprietor Bindra News Agency, Fatehgarh
Churian, met with an accident while distributing the
papers and expired on the spot. He is survived by his
mother, widow and three children.
DIG faces probe
FEROZEPORE Jan 8 A Border Security Force (BSF) DIG of this sector, is facing an inquiry for alleged irregularities committed during the beautification of Hussainiwala Joint Check Post, near here, about an year ago.
BSF sources said the DIG, Rao Brijendra Singh, who is presently taking treatment for eye ailment at Gurgaon has been attached to the Faridkot Sector DIG, Mr John Stanely, for three months following the commencement of the inquiry into the matter. The sources said that the DIG, Faridkot, was conducting the probe.
The inquiry aims to dig out the events that led to misappropriation of trees, which were axed for the beautification of Hussainiwala Check Post almost an year ago, DIG John Stanely confirmed.
Rao Brijendra Singh told this reporter on the phone that he had ordered the felling of trees at Hussainiwala for beautification about an year ago, but denied have done any irregularity.
He was seeking treatment for eye at Gurgaon. Mr Rao said that he will shortly come to Faridkot.
Jarnail Singh was ISI-trained,
RODANWALI (Muktsar), Jan 8 Human bomb Jarnail Singh of this village had plans to kill the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal and other key political leaders on Maghi Mela held this month at Muktsar.
Jarnail Singh was married on July 6,1994, the father of a son and a daughter after a few years of marriage, developed differences with his wife. He sent his wife to her parents house at Kabarwala village. Jarnail Singh quarrelled with his in-laws.
Jarnail Singh, born in 1971, passed his primary from Rattewala village in Ferozepore district. He went to the Hazoor Sahib gurdwara.
After passing the eighth class from Akal Academy, Muktsar, Jarnail Singh went to the Chowk Mehta gurdwara and stayed their-for-seven years. He got baptised from Damdamai Taksal.
Jarnail Singh was drafted in for terrorist activities. He crossed over to Pakistan in February 1999 from the Jammu sector.
He was taken to the Central Jail, Multan. He along with other 10 persons were trained in the use of arms and ammunition by I SI personnel.
Police sources said after becoming a human bomb Jarnail Singh returned from the Ferozepore border in June 1999. He joined a group of Gurbani reciters. Jarnail Singh also dumped arms and explosives at different places in Punjab and other States.
Scribe held on rape charge
GURDASPUR, Jan 8 (UNI) The police yesterday arrested a newspaper stringer of Jalandhar and Amritsar dailies on a charge of raping a plus two student whom he had allegedly kidnapped more than a fortnight ago.
The SSP, Mr Varinder Kumar, today said father and maternal uncle of Rohit Gupta, who worked for newspapers published from Jalandhar and Amritsar, too, had been arrested in aiding and abetting the crime.
He said after registering a case of kidnapping and criminal conspiracy under Sections 366, 368 and 120-B of the IPC on December 25, three days after the girl disappeared from the town, Section 376 of the IPC (rape) was added after the girl alleged raped by Rohit Gupta who was arrested along with the girl here yesterday.
The police officer said when three days after the disappearance of the girl her father lodged a complaint with the city police who sent parties to trace her at Ludhiana, Delhi and Mumbai but in vain.
The father alleged in his complaint that Rohit Gupta forcibly wanted to marry of his daughter but he was against it as he belonged to a different caste. The girl, in her statement, alleged that she was intimidated into accompanying him and he first took her to Ludhiana, then to Delhi and later to Mumbai.
Concession to Punjab in rice
CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 While accepting the Punjab Governments plea, the Union Ministry for Public Distribution and Consumer Affairs has made the packing of rice in bags weighing 50 kg optional till May 31.
Following a request by rice millers, the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had taken up the issue with the union ministry. The Centres decision will be applicable both for delivery of custom milled and levy rice.
As per the directives of the International Labour Organisation, the Central Government had made mandatory the packing of foodgrains in 50 kg bags with effect from kharif 1999-2000. However, due to paucity of gunny bags required for 50 kg packing, rice millers in Punjab have urged Mr Badal to get the problem solved.
However, after May 31 there will be packing of all foodgrains in 50 kg bags.
Mr Badal has requested
the union government to expedite the lifting of wheat and
other foodgrains from godowns in Punjab to make space
available for wheat which will start arriving in the
market in the last week of March.
PACL staff union lists
NANGAL, Jan 8 Punjab Alkalies and Chemicals Ltd (PACL) Employees Union leaders including its president, Mr R.K. Dewedi, were agitated when the Managing Director, Mr R. Venktaraman bolted his room and refused to meet them.
Mr Dewedi said the PACL has suffered a loss of Rs 1 crore by paying extra freight for procuring salt after 1996. The dismantled machinery worth Rs 5 crore had been sold at throw away price. He said the amount had not been mentioned in the balance sheet.
He said a boiler worth Rs 2 crore purchased by the PACL from the Sterling Company was a threat to the life of workers.
The General Manager of
PACL, Mr Subash Tandon refuted all charges of the union.
He said it was unfortunate that Sterling Company from
which the boiler was purchased had gone bankrupt. He,
however, added, the legal proceedings have been started
against the company. He said that the issues raised by
the union were irrelevant and basically meant to
sidetrack the main issue of indiscipline and
Dhindsa urges NRIs to invest in
JALANDHAR Jan 8 Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Minister, addressing a seminar organised jointly by the NRI sabha and the state-level bankerss committee here today said NRIs could help its create more employment opportunities for investing in different projects.
Mr Dhindsa said banks should also make efforts in this direction by giving liberal loans to unemployed youth.
He said the existing education policy was faulty and was responsible for unemployment to an extent. The only solution was a uniform education policy in the country.
Rice mills down shutters
PHILLAUR, Jan 8 The Punjab Rice Millers Association today claimed that all the 2600 units in the state had been shut down in protest against the Central and State governments failure to redress their grievances.
Tarsem Sain and legal cell chairman Joginderpal Vij said
the state millers were being forced to operate at less
than 25 per cent of installed capacity making operations
Levy market fee on Haryana
PATIALA, Jan 8 The Federation of Aarhti Associations of Punjab today urged the state government to make the market fee on a par with that being levied by the Haryana Government to ensure that the traders and farmers of the state did not suffer.
In a statement here, the
federation President, Mr Bal Krishan Singla, said while
the Punjab Government was charging 2 per cent as market
fee, Rural Development Fund (RDF) and 1 per cent as
infrastructure tax, the Haryana Government had reduced
its market fee to 1 per cent and was not charging any RDF
or infrastructure tax.
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