|Saturday, January 22, 2000,
Rejected stall selected
Govts discouraged Punjabi press:
Woman buried as row ends
No breakthrough in missing
Punjabi University to revive
Ravi Inders plea dismissed
SHSAD shortlists names for bypoll
Vigilance traps cause alarm
Village school named after martyr
Immigration racket unearthed, 1
Telecom engineers hold protest
Jacob pays surprise visit to
Roads to be repaired by June:
Sodhi denies reports
HC judge should probe
Cops mum over firing in air
Special team to probe murder
Three killed in road mishaps
SDO, RA held in graft case
Tatkal Passport Scheme evokes poor
Pollution board nod for power
Bank chief absolved of bribery
stall selected principals fate
CHANDIGARH, Jan 21 Over a score of candidates who were selected as principals for appointment to government colleges, nearly a month ago have not yet received their selection and appointment orders.
The reason is simple : the ones who were rejected by the departmental promotion committee (DPC), which met here on December 8, 1999, have pulled the right political strings. Consequently, the file sent to the Chief Ministers office for approval is held up some where.
The irony of the situation is that among the ones selected are some who are due for retirement on January 31. If the necessary approval is further delayed these college teachers would fail to append the prefix principal to their name, before and after retirement.
Informed sources told TNS today that of the 48 government colleges in the state, at least 32 are without a principal. In all such colleges either a senior teacher is holding current duty charge or is officiating as principal. Thus, only 16 government colleges have a regular, permanent principal.
For the DPC over 40 candidates annual confidential reports and result record were screened and examined. The five-member DPC was chaired by the Principal Secretary, Higher Education, Mr G.P.S. Sahi. The other members were the Director, Public Instruction (colleges); Dr H.S. Deol; Special Secretary, Higher Education Mr Amarjit Singh; a representative of the Department of Personnel, Mr Megh Raj; and a representative of the Department of Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes, Mr Sardari Lal.
Informed sources said the DPC under the watchful eyes of the representative of the Department of Personnel, strictly followed and adhered to the guidelines issued by the Department of Personnel in respect of cases of promotion to class-I and class-II posts. The principals are part of the scheduled posts. As per these guidelines, a bench mark was decided upon and the selection done purely on merit. The October 1, 1999, circular of the Department of Personnel on the said subject addressed to all concerned explicitly states that no person shall be entitled to claim a right to such post on the basis of seniority. In other words, the selection had to be on merit-cum seniority.
In the process, the committee decided on screening the ACRs and result record of candidates pertaining to the past five years and graded them having three very good and two good reports in the ACR. As a result of which nearly 20-odd candidates, who were working as officiating principals or held current duty charge or in DPI office could not make it into the final selection list prepared by the DPC.
It is alleged that among such rejected candidates is the wife of a former Indian Ambassador. She is already working as Assistant Director against the post of a Deputy Director in the office of the DPI (Colleges). She is due for retirement on March 31 next. She was abroad with her husband for five years or so. Besides her, several more rejected candidates have, it is said, successfully stalled the issuing of the appointment orders of the selected candidates, who are waiting the DPC result.
What is being questioned, sources say, is why the deviation from the previous procedure of selecting candidates? Another question which has been asked is how was selection made in the past. Such queries have held up the file.
A source said governments own rules and instructions seem to have come in the way of the selected candidate with the rejected overriding their selection by the DPC. This kind of ad hocism affects the academics and erodes the authority in colleges, a large number of which have not had a regular principal for the entire academic session. Some government colleges are without a principal for the past eight or more months.
In fact even in respect of the proposed postings and transfers of college teachers either against vacant posts or on compassionate grounds, government has dithered since it involved displeasing one or the other MLA either of the SAD or of the BJP. The file has finally been returned to the Department of Higher Education after nine months without a decision affecting 55-odd teachers.
The colleges sans principals are: Patiala (Mohindra College), Ludhiana (both men and women colleges), Mohali, Kapurthala, Tanda, Nangal, Fazilka, Zira, Mansa, Faridkot (Training college), Kotkapura, Dhudike, Mandi Gobindgarh, Guru Tegh Bahadurgarh; and one post of Deputy Director, Public Instruction.
The colleges where
current duty charge is held by a senior teacher are:
Amritsar, Ajnala, Patti, Sathiala, Tarn Taran, Gurdaspur,
Kala Afgana, Bholath, College of Education, Jalandhar,
Talwara, Sidhsar, Pojewal, Dera Bassi, Sangrur, College
of Education, Faridkot; and College of Commerce, Patiala.
discouraged Punjabi press: CM
AMRITSAR, Jan 21 Poets and writers are the literary wealth of the nation. Bhai Veer Singh was a precious gem of Punjabi Literature, said Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, here today while delivering the inaugural address at the centenary celebrations of Khalsa Samachar, a Punjabi weekly.
The function was organised by the School of Punjabi Studies, Guru Nanak Dev University, in collaboration with Bhai Veer Singh Sahit Sadan, New Delhi, at Guru Nanak Bhavan.
Dr H.S. Soch, Vice-Chancellor, presided.
Commending the contribution of Khalsa Samachar, Mr Badal said it had helped in religious preaching, served the cause of women education and made special efforts for the development of the Punjabi language.
The Chief Minister said Punjabi journalism had not received due recognition. He blamed the previous governments in Punjab for the same. He wanted a concrete policy for encouraging Punjabi journalism in the state.
He exhorted the intellectuals to work for the development of their mother tongue.
He announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh for the preservation of the writings of Bhai Veer Singh. He released an index volume of the writings of Bhai Veer Singh prepared by Mr Kirpal Singh, a former librarian in Guru Nanak Dev University.
Dr J.S. Neki, General Secretary, Bhai Veer Singh Sahit Sadan, New Delhi, presented the Chief Minister with the centenary issue of Khalsa Samachar. Dr H.S. Soch presented him with a set of university publications.
Dr Soch, in his presidential remarks, announced that Guru Nanak Dev University would prepare and preserve the works of Bhai Veer Singh with the help of modern technology. All expenditure would be borne by the university.
Dr Soch said the university had decided to introduce spiritual education at the under-graduate level and a book entitled Spiritual Heritage of Punjab by Dr J.S. Neki was being published by the university.
The Vice-Chancellor said the university had established Guru Nanak Heritage Centre in a bid to preserve the cultural heritage of Punjab.
Dr Neki appealed to the state government to preserve the house of Bhai Veer Singh in the city.
Dr S.P. Singh, coordinator of these celebrations, said Bhai Veer Singh, through his writings, especially through Khalsa Samachar, made the Punjabi community aware about Sikh principles, Sikh tradition and gurbani.
Prof Pritam Singh, Dr Narinder Singh Kapoor and Dr Dharam Singh presented papers on Bhai Veer Singhs works Dr S.S. Narang and Dr Joginder Singh read out their research papers on the subject.
An exhibition of
photographs depicting various facets of Bhai Veer Singh
was put up. An exhibition of books by and on Dr Bhai Vir
Singh was also organised in Guru Nanak Bhavan of Guru
Nanak Dev University. It was inaugurated by the Chief
buried as row ends
BHAGWANTPURA (Ropar), Jan 21 Five days after her death, a Muslim woman, Lajo Begum (85), was buried near the grave of her husband here around 5.15 p.m. today.
Her burial was delayed for five days due to a dispute over piece of village land claimed to be a graveyard, which is now in the possession of Didar Singh and Parmatama Singh.
A decision to bury her body near the grave of her husband was taken this morning at a meeting held between the SSP, Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, and a deputation of the Muslim leaders, led by Mr Mohammad Iqbal, President of the Punjab State Muslim Welfare Association.
On the intervention and assurance of the SSP, the Muslim leaders agreed to bury the body near the grave of her husband.
Mr Iqbal said it was decided at the meeting that a piece of land, measuring, about 3 kanals and 6 marlas, would be provided by the panchayat to create a 'kabristan' (graveyard) near the cremation ground in the village.
In view of the seriousness of the issue, the SDM of Ropar, Mr Amarjit Singh Shahi, the Tehsildar of Ropar, Mr Udham Singh and the DSP, Mr Sukhvinder Singh Uppal, along with police personnel, were camping in the police post of the village today.
Prominent Muslim leaders
were also present in the village. They included Mr Dilbag
Hussain and Mr Siraj Ahmad, President and General
Secretary of Punjab Pradesh Muslim Welfare Committee,
respectively, Mr Salim Bakhshi and Mr Mohammad Iqbal.
Mr Dilbag Hussain said they had also held a meeting in the afternoon with the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Gurinder Singh Grewal, at Ropar. The Deputy Commissioner urged them to bury the woman to defuse the tension. He also assured them that land would be provided for a graveyard.
Meanwhile, the 'path' being organised by the family of Didar Singh on the disputed land was in progress in the village.
Mr Amarjit Singh Shahi, SDM, Ropar, talking to mediapersons at the police post in the village, said that the administration was starting a process to declare the promised land as graveyard. He said the administration would also send a proposal to the government for this purpose.
Mr Shahi said the village panchayat had agreed to give the land for the graveyard. He claimed the proposal of a graveyard had been finalised amicably with the Muslim leaders.
breakthrough in missing drivers case
LUDHIANA, Jan 21 A taxi driver, missing for the past 10 days, is believed to have been eliminated. It is apprehended his taxi may be used by militants to disrupt Republic Day celebrations.
Jaswant Singh (42), who operated a taxi from the DMC Hospital taxi stand, owned a green Ambassador (No PJI-7996). His taxi was hired by two persons on January 11 who wanted to go to a village 5 km beyond Sangrur on the Barnala road.
Jaswant Singh set off for Sangrur with the duo at 7 pm on that day. Since then there has been no information about him.
Rakesh Kumar, a taxi driver and a close friend of Jaswant Singh, says in the wake of reports of heightened ISI activities in the country and the stealing of another taxi from Nabha recently under similar circumstances, we suspect that this could be the handiwork of a terrorist organisation.
However, the police dismiss Rakesh Kumars agreement as mere speculation. Says the Deputy Superintendent of Police (Headquarters): Police inquiry into the case so far reveals it may well be a case of theft of car. A similar case was reported in October, involving another taxi driver operating from the same stand. The taxi driver had been abducted by criminals who posed as customers. They later killed the driver and stole the taxi.
He said the police had registered a DDR on January 13.
Bhupinder Singh, the younger brother of Jaswant Singh, who also runs his taxi from the same stand, accuses the police of inaction. Instead of themselves going to look for my brother, the police keep asking me where to search for him. If I knew where he was, would I not myself go and bring my brother back, he asks angrily.
He alleges each time he goes to the police, the police asks him to take one or two policemen with him in his taxi and search for Jaswant Singh in Sangrur area. If I have to take the policemen myself, what is the use of seeking their help, he asks.
He alleges his pleas to senior officials over the past week have fallen on deaf ears.
However, the DSP claims
the police has been doing its best. We have sent
messages to all district headquarters in the state and in
the neighbouring states of Rajasthan and Haryana giving
details of the case and an inquiry is under way, he
Ravi Inders plea
CHANDIGARH, Jan 21 Dismissing Punjab Assembly member Ravi Inder Singhs appeal against the rejection of his application seeking a stay on his expulsion from Shiromani Akali Dal, UT District and Sessions Judge, Mr. B.S. Bedi, today directed counsel for both sides to appear before the trial court on January 28 for disposal of the main suit.
Pronouncing the orders on appeal against SAD and its president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, the Sessions Judge observed: On going through the impugned order one finds that the learned trial court has properly exercised its judicial discretion while disposing of the application under Sections 38 and 39 of the Specific Relief Act read with order No 39 rules 1 and 2 and Section 151, CPC. Therefore, there is no justification for interference by this court.
The Sessions Judge also observed: Consequently, this appeal being without merit, is dismissed, leaving the parties to bear their own costs. However, nothing stated above shall be deemed to be an expression or opinion on the merits of the suit.
The parties through their learned counsel are directed to appear before the trial court at 10 a.m. on January 28 and it shall try to dispose of the suit as expeditiously as possible.
Earlier, dismissing the application for ad-interim injunction against his expulsion, UT Civil Judge (Junior Division) Mr. Mahender Singh had observed: The applicant has no prima facie case in his favour nor he would suffer any irreparable loss in case the injunction is denied to him, rather the balance of convenience lies in favour of the defendant.
The Civil Judge had also observed: As per the pleadings, no action has yet been taken against him.... Thus, the suit as well as the application is still at a premature stage.
Challenging the order, the counsel for Mr. Ravi Inder Singh had stated that the contention regarding the plaintiff not having a prima facie case was not properly founded. The working committee, counsel had stated, vested with the power of suspension and expulsion of any member, had overlived its tenure.
Claiming the body to have become constitutionally defunct, counsel had added that, as per the partys constitution, the working committees tenure was limited to two years. The tenure, he had further added, had expired in July 1997.
Counsel had also stated that the trial court had failed to comprehend the gravity of the situation when the grant of injunction was denied on the condition of mere apprehension.
The applicant, counsel had added, had since then been suspended by the illegally constituted and convened working committee meeting. The appellant, as a result, had suffered an irreparable injury to his right to remain a member of a political party.
Opposing the appeal, counsel for SAD and Mr. Badal had stated that the relief being sought by the appellant was redundant as the meeting had already taken place on December 15 last year and Mr Ravi Inder Singh had been suspended. He had added that the appellant, through another suit, had the option of challenging his suspension.
appellants contention regarding the Working
Committee outliving its tenure, counsel had stated that
the party had written to the Election Commission. The
Commission, he had added, had given them time till
December 31. Another extension till February had again
been sought, he had claimed.
shortlists names for bypoll
JALANDHAR, Jan 21 The Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) today shortlisted candidates for the Nawanshahr Assembly bypoll to be held on February 17. While a formal announcement would be made by party president Gurcharan Singh Tohra at Chandigarh tomorrow, party sources said it would be a choice between Mr Nachhattar Singh and Mr Haripal Singh both of whom met Mr Tohra at Nawanshahr today. The former SGPC president inaugurated the party election office in the town to set the ball rolling for the poll.
The ruling Akali Dal, the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party have already announced their candidates. The Janata Dal (United), too, has announced its decision to contest the election but has yet to name its candidate.
The Congress decision to field Mr Parkash Singh Saini is seen to be a victory for the Capt Amarinder Singh, Charan Singh Channi camp over the camp led by Mrs Santosh Choudhary, the party MP from Phillaur Nawanshahr is an assembly segment of Phillaur. Mrs Choudhary was in favour of either Mr Kartar Singh Sekhon or Mr Iqbal Singh Saini, closed associates of the late Dilbag Singh Nawanshahr. Mr Channi, son of Mr Dilbag Singh, had won the seat as an Independent when he was denied the Congress ticket in 1997. He had defeated Mr Jatinder Singh Kariha, now fielded by the SAD, by 2991 votes. Mr Parkash Singh Saini is the first cousin of Mr Channi.
The selection of candidates has caused resentment in both the SAD and the Congress. While Mrs Choudhary has openly expressed unhappiness over the decision, saying the candidate should have been a grassroots Congressman, Mr Roshan Singh Thirara, Senior Vice-President of the ruling SAD, quit the post as well as membership of the Nawanshahr district development and Planning Board in protest against having been ignored by party President and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
Mr Badal, in an informal talk with mediapersons at Hoshiarpur today, expressed confidence that Mr Thiara would be persuaded to campaign for the party candidate. Mr Thiara had staked claim to the party ticket, saying Mr Kariha had been losing elections since 1980.
Vigilance traps cause
FEROZEPORE, Jan 21 A steep rise in raids by the Vigilance Bureau on account of the Punjab governments policy to reward those reporting corruption has evoked criticism among legal circles.
Eversince the Akali Dal-BJP combine assumed power, the bureau has been flooded with complaints. This is primarily on account of the government policy to reward those bringing corruption cases to light.
Anyone reporting graft by a gazetted officer is entitled to get Rs 50,000, while complaint against a lower official is awarded with Rs 25,000.
It is apprehended in legal circles that motivated complaints aimed at pocketing the reward money can have a serious fallout.
In Ferozepore Range alone 32 graft cases have been registered since February 18, 1997. So far the bureau has disbursed Rs 9.25 lakh as reward in this range.
A section of officers in the bureau feel the complainant should be rewarded only after the accused is convicted as the judiciary, not the government, has the right to decide who is guilty. The complainant should be rewarded only after the accused is convicted.
Experts also argue that immediate payment of reward money can prompt motivated complaints. Besides, there is no guarantee the complainant will support the prosecution during trial.
A former public prosecutor with the Vigilance Bureau, Mr Gurcharan Singh, the policy can prompt false complaints. This may also become a source of income for habitual troublemakers, he points out.
Expressing concern over the unprecedented rise in trap cases, he says: the complainant should be rewarded only after conviction and not immediately to ensure his participation in trial.
Although Superintendent of Police (Vigilance) Hardial Singh Mann attributes the rise in such cases to the state governments policy, he claims the bureau must take adequate action in case of motivated complaints. It is not the reward money alone that prompts the complainant to come forward, but his anger with red-tapism in various offices.
school named after martyr
FAZILKA: The Government High School at Sabuana village in this subdivision has been named after a Kargil war hero. The Deputy Commissioner of Ferozepore ordered that the school in this border village be named as Shaheed Balwinder Singh Government High School with immediate effect.
Balwinder Singh (21), a jawan, who had laid down his life fighting Pakistan-backed militants on the Kargil hills on January 5 1999, was a resident of the Dhani Ajit Singh area of this village. The Dhani is in name of his father, a marginal farmer.
This correspondent met Mr Ajit Singh who said that Balwinder Singh was the second of his four sons. His third son is a constable in the Army.
Balwinder Singh was born on June 4,1979, and studied up to the plus II class in the Government Senior Secondary School at Fazilka. In 1997, at the age of 18, he was recruited into the Army and was trained for nine months at Ramgarh (Bihar).
On completing his training he was assigned to the 20th Sikh Regiment. This was the turning point in Balwinders life as he took a solemn pledge to defend the country.
The martyrs father said even before the Kargil conflict, firing by Pakistan forces and militants took place on hill-tops. In one such long firing on January 5,1999, Balwinder Singh fell to their bullets. After four days he was cremated with full Army honours at his village.
Mr Ajit Singh said even as the government has named the village school after the martyrs son, but the family was never informed. They came to know about the school naming from this correspondent. Besides this school, two other schools in this district have been named after Kargil war heroes. They are the schools at Mallanwala Khas and Sarhali villages.
Mr Ramesh Kumar Sharma, headmaster of Sabuana school, reveals that Balwinder Singh had studied up to the middle class in this school.
Mrs Bachan Kaur, mother of the martyr, still shaken by his death, says it was a coincidence that on the fateful day (January 5,1999), the family had received a letter of well-being and a New Years card posted by her son a few days back. On the same night they got the news of his death.
The parents of the
martyr say although they have got Rs 2 lakh as insurance
yet they have not got financial assistance from
government or any other source. No other family member
has been provided a government job in place of their son.
They feel that they should be treated at par with martyrs
of the Kargil conflict by the Central and state
governments. Despite this, patriotism has not vanished
from their heart as the proud father says that he is
ready to recruit his youngest son into the Army because
he considers service to the nation to be above everything
varsity to revive placement cell
PATIALA, Jan 21 The placement cell catering to students studying in professional courses in Punjabi University is being restarted, with emphasis on interaction with industry and accountability of respective heads of departments. The cell had ceased to exist a few years ago.
A sub-committee has been constituted under the chairmanship of Dean, Academics, Dr B. S. Bhatia. The heads of departments of various professional courses, including business management, computer science and pharmaceutical sciences, besides those from Talwandi Sabo Regional Centre also constitute the cell.
Talking to TNS, Dr Bhatia said the sub-committee had met twice to sort out any possible difficulties in the establishment of the placement cell. He said the last such experiment had not been successful largely because of a centralised system under which the heads of departments were not accountable. Now it had been decided that the heads would be responsible for results and would have to get campus interviews conducted for their students.
Towards this end, it has been decided to improve institution-industry interface, he said. The industry would be involved in a major way in all the professional courses. Besides being invited for lectures and interface with the faculty, the industry would be offered the temporary services of students for surveys. Industry representatives would also be invited at the interview and project evaluation stages so that they could get an idea of the ability of various students.
Dr Bhatia said to avoid centralisation of the placement cell, sub-committees would be formed at the department level. These would be chaired by a department teacher who would look after specific industry needs.
He said the cell would be equipped for the modern information age and hoped it would help students from this year onwards.
The university authorities' meetings with top industrialists have revealed many flaws in the courses. Industry representatives have demanded a complete overhaul of the courses to suit their requirements.
It has been decided to restructure courses according to the need in the field and also get industry representatives to teach in the university on a special basis.
Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, said it had
been revealed that only about 5 per cent of the students
studying in professional courses were able to get
placements immediately on completion of their courses. He
said the placement cell had been planned to fill this
employ rag-pickers for collecting garbage
PATIALA, Jan 21 In the absence of any proper garbage collection system of the municipal corporation here, residents of a few colonies have made arrangements on their own to keep their surroundings clean.
At least three colonies Friends Colony, Bank Colony and a few blocks of the Model Town have employed rag-pickers to collect waste material from each house and then dump it at a common dumping ground.
As a result of this private arrangement, residents dont have to make rounds of the corporation office to request officials for the availability of a safai sewak to come and collect garbage.
Life is smooth for us, says Mr M.J.S. Thukral, Secretary, Bank Colony Residents Colony. We pack all household waste in a plastic bag and in the morning hand it over to the rag-picker we have employed. As the rag-picker goes from door to door no one throws bags full of litter on roads.
The rag-picker is paid a monthly amount of Rs 400, collected by residents. Mr Thukral said now the surroundings remain clean and the rag-pickers who used to search in municipal garbage rehris for things they can use do not do so any longer.
Residents said the need for such private arrangement arose due to harassment faced by them in requesting the municipal corporation repeatedly about providing a safai sewak for the colony. Mr Thukral said initially a safai sewak was provided but he refused to collect garbage from houses and said his duty was only to clean the roads and not to collect garbage from door to door. At that time, residents threw garbage outside their houses which could only be picked the next morning and that too irregularly.
Residents said some safai sewaks even demanded Rs 20 from each house to do the job but the residents refused, saying it to be an act of corruption.
While Mr K.S. Kung, Municipal Commissioner, could not be contacted, an official of the municipal corporation on condition of anonymity said due to shortage of safai sewaks, such a situation had arisen in several colonies. He said the arrangement of the residents was fine but they could have achieved better results by adopting a public municipal participation scheme, under which the MC provides a sweeper and infrastructure for cleaning a colony. The residents also share some of the expenditure. They are free to employ a person of their liking.
The officer said the city is expanding fast and the corporation with its limited resources cannot provide amenities in the whole city. He said under such circumstances the public-municipal corporation participation schemes can help a lot.
Incidentally, it is not
the first time that residents have been frustrated with
the MC and have made their own private arrangement in
this regard. Earlier, residents of Punjabi Bagh and Hira
Nagar spent money from their pockets in restoring street
light facility in their colonies.
City work starts from Baisakhi
PATIALA, Jan 21 The work on the new town of Anandgarh will start from Baisakhi.
Ms Upinderjit Kaur, Minister for Urban Housing and Development, said this while talking to mediapersons after attending a function organised by the Punjabi University Students Association in her honour at the Arts Auditorium of the university.
She said the government had begun the process of acquiring land and selecting architects for the city.
She added that the government would soon announce the reserved price for the land and would take measures to control the prices that might escalate after the announcement was made.
The project would begin taking shape by the end of next month, she said.
Anandgarh would be far beautiful than Chandigarh, she claimed. Responding to queries that how the State Government, reeling under an acute financial crisis, would be able to buy land for the new town, she said the Government was taking help from NRIs and loans from agencies like HUDCO would also be taken.
Earlier, the Punjabi University Students Association honoured Ms Upinderjit Kaur.
A cultural programme
featuring, among other items, ghazals by Shamim Iqbal and
Nivedita Singh, was presented. Mr Paramjit Singh Pama, a
former PUSA leader, read out the history and achievements
of the organisation.
support of UPSEB employees
PATIALA, Jan 21 Engineers and employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) today observed strike for two hours in the afternoon in support of employees of the Uttar Pradesh State Electricity Board (UPSEB).
After striking work, the engineers and employees gathered in front of offices of the PSEB and held rallies. A joint rally of engineers and employees was held here in front of the PSEB head office, which was addressed by Mr Padamjit Singh and Mr Manjit Singh Bajwa from the PSEB Engineers Association and Mr Surinder Singh, Mr J.S. Jindu and S.S. Gill, from the PSEB Employees Struggle Committee.
The speakers fully supported the UPSEB engineers and employees and asked the UP government and the central government to immediately withdraw the ordinance splitting the UPSEB into three corporations after holding discussions with UP employees. They warned that if the issues are not settled by January 23, 1 lakh engineers and employees would observe complete strike on January 24.
They said the policy of the government for splitting the electricity boards into corporations would pave the way for privatisation of energy sector, putting huge burden on the common man.
approach to Kashmir hailed
PATIALA, Jan 21 The Rashtriya Ekta Manch today hailed the proactive approach of the BJP-led coalition government to tackle Pakistans proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir.
The national President of the organisation Dr B.S. Mann, said unified command for countering terrorism would produce desired results. He said the national executive committee of the manch met here today and resolved to join the efforts of the government to combat the psychological warfare unleashed from across the border.
The other resolution
passed by the manch commended the Keshubhai Patel
government in Gujarat for allowing government staff to
participate in the activities of the Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh. It was an apolitical organisation
committed to character building and national
reconstruction, the resolution said.
free legal aid
PATIALA, Jan 21 A meeting of the District Legal Services Authority was held here today under the chairmanship of Mr K.S. Garewal, District and Sessions Judge, in which 55 applicants were provided free legal aid at the expenses of the state.
Mr Gurdeep Singh Mahal, Assistant District Attorney (Legal Services) Patiala said in a press note that the lok adalats at Samana, Patiala, Nabha and Rajpura will be held on January 22, 29, February 5 and 26, respectively.
He also said any needy person who wished to avail himself of free legal aid could contact Mr B.S. Mangat, Civil Judge (Senior Division) or Mr Gurdeep Singh Mahal.
racket unearthed, 1 held
JALANDHAR, Jan 21 The police has busted an immigration racket with the arrest of one of the two travel agents who are said to be responsible for sending Karnail Singh to Moscow, where he suffered from frostbite and had to got his arms amputated for want of medical treatment.
According to Mr Gaurav Yadav, Senior Superintendent of Police, the accused Ram Kishan, resident of Kartarpur and his accomplice Sukhdev Singh, resident of Samrala, had taken Rs 3.25 lakh for sending Karnail Singh, resident of Pachranga village under Bhogpur police station, to Italy. Karnail Singh sold his tractor and borrowed money to pay the amount to travel agents.
Instead of sending him to Italy, the agents told him that he would have to go to Moscow first, from where he would be sent to Italy. Karnail Singh complained that in Moscow he was maltreated by people with whom he was asked to stay by the travel agents. He was not provided medical treatment even though he was suffering from infection in his hands and frostbite. Karnail Singh, who is convalescing in a local hospital, said he fled the house with the help of a person of the Punjabi origin and returned to India, where he had to got his arms amputated as the damage was too much.
A case has been registered in this regard.
engineers hold protest
AMRITSAR, Jan 21 Members of the Telecom Engineering Services today held a demonstration here in protest against the non-acceptance of their demands, including lack of promotional avenues.
pays surprise visit to village
KOTLA SHAMASPUR (SAMRALA), Jan 21 The Punjab Governor, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, PVSM (retd), paid a surprise visit to this village, 3 km from Samrala, while returning from Ludhiana last evening.
Accompanied by the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr K. Siva Prasad and the SSP, Khanna, Mr R.L. Bhagat, the Governor interacted freely with the villagers and asked them about their problems. He went to the village Government Higher Secondary School situated on the main road and met the students.
The villagers complained that power supply to the village was erratic and they had no dispensary. The teachers of the school complained that there was no furniture for the students and that the old building of the school needed urgent maintenance as its roof had leaked during the rainy season.
They also wanted that a post of non-medical teacher be sanctioned for the school. The Additional Deputy Commissioner assured the headmistress that he would soon release a grant for the maintenance of the school building, for new furniture and for the construction of toilets and playgrounds for volleyball and football.
volunteered to complete all these projects themselves.
The Governor appreciated their gesture and said that
collective voluntary efforts could help improve the
conditions of our villages.
be repaired by June: minister
LUDHIANA, Jan 21 Under a crash programme all roads in the state whose repair is due from 1992 onwards will be repaired by June 2000 and the construction of new link roads measuring 20 km in each Vidhan Sabha constituency will be completed by this time.
This was stated by Mr Ajaib Singh Mukhmailpur, PWD Minister, while addressing a meeting of officers of the Public Works Department at Circuit House last evening.
Mr Mukhmailpur said all birms along the roads in the state would be properly levelled by deputing beldars and the concerned SDO and junior engineers would be held responsible in case of laxity in implementing these instructions. The minister said with high increase in traffic density, the roads were getting damaged much earlier than the fixed duration. He said the state government had earmarked Rs 600 crore for repair of the roads. The minister said the Punjab Mandi Board had also agreed to release funds of Rs 3.50 crore for patch work on the link roads.
Earlier, addressing a function organised by Sports Club, Sahnewal, and gram panchayats of the area of Sahnewal, Mr Mukhmailpur said the state government was committed to provide maximum job opportunities to the youth under self employment schemes sponsored by different financial institutions.
Minister said year 2000 would be celebrated as the year for road safety.
Minister for Technical
Education, Jagdish Singh Garcha said in this age it was
important to impart technical education to students.
Keeping this in view, the state government had decided to
impart computer education to students at the school
level, he said.
PHILLAUR, Jan 21
The Northern Railway has decided to cancel four trains,
including the 333 up/334 DN running between Amritsar and
Ambala and the 3JMP/4JMP Jalandhar-Pathankot till January
31, according to sources in the Railway today.
AMRITSAR, Jan 21 The BJP President, Mr Daya Singh Sodhi has denied reports appearing in a section of the press that senior BJP leaders had called on the former Jathedar of Akal Takhat, Bhai Ranjit Singh. Mr Sodhi described these as totally baseless and mischievous. He said no BJP leader had met the Jathedar. The said the party alliance with the SAD was a permanent one and not for the sake of sharing power.
HC judge should
probe Behla encounter
AMRITSAR, Jan 21 The Khalra Mission Committee has demanded a probe by a High Court judge into the circumstances leading to the gunning down of nine persons in an alleged police encounter in June, 1992. The encounter was better known as the Behla shooting incident.
In a memorandum to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal submitted through the Deputy Commissioner yesterday, the committee alleged that while two militants Surjit Singh Behla and Madan Singh were involved in the encounter, the other seven persons killed were innocent villagers, who were allegedly used by the police as shields.
The encounter lasting 20 days had led to the seizure of one GPM rifle and one SLR gun, among other things.
The committee headed by Mr Surinder Singh Ghariala claimed it was for the first time that the police had used innocent persons as shields. The killed included a milk vendor and his young son, a 65-year-old person and his 17-year-old grandson. They were working in their fields when they were taken to the place of encounter, the committee alleged.
over firing in air
AMRITSAR, Jan 21 Security personnel are tight-lipped over firing in air in the presence of senior police officials at the wedding reception of a former militant three days ago. A number of rounds were fired on the occasion.
The militant belonging to the Khalistan National Army had surrendered before the police about two years ago. The reception was organised at a three-star hotel where politicians and bureaucrats were present.
Though the district police chief, Mr Parmpal Singh Sidhu, confirmed the reception of the former militant took place in a hotel, he denied that bullets were fired in the air in the hotel premises.
team to probe murder
LUDHIANA, Jan 21 A special police team has been constituted by the district police chief under his direct supervision to look into the case relating to the death of Sunil Jain, a local industrialist, whose body was recovered from his car on December 23.
The team would be headed by Mr Gursharan Singh, SP.
The police had registered a case under Section 174, CrPC and sent the body for post-mortem. The report of the post-mortem is awaited as the viscera have been sent for examination.
killed in road mishaps
JALANDHAR, Jan 21 Three persons died in three separate incidents in the district since last night.
Wazirpal, a resident of nearby Bootan village, was killed when the scooter he was driving rammed into a truck coming from the opposite side near Kang Sahib village on the Nakodar-Jalandhar road late last night. Wazirpal was coming to the city from Nakodar.
In another road accident, Tiwari, a migrant rickshaw-puller, was crushed to death by a private bus near Wadala chowk last night. A case has been registered.
3 die in
JALANDHAR, Jan 21 Three persons, including a school-going son of an Army Major, were killed and two students wounded when an Army bus carrying them to Jalandhar Cantonment was hit by a truck near Dhariwal Dona village on the Jalandhar-Kapurthala road today, the police said.
The killed have been identified as Rishav Kumar, a son of Major Rahul Dev, soldier K. Martian and his wife Bhuma.
held in graft case
BATHINDA, Jan 21 A team of the Vigilance Bureau here has arrested Mr Shiv Dyal, Sub-Divisional Engineer, PSEB, and Mr Surinder Sharma, Revenue Accountant, for accepting a bribe of Rs 1000 from Gurpal Singh, a resident of Madi village.
Mr Vinod Kumar, DSP (Vigilance), who led the team for raiding the premises of the PSEB office at Maur Mandi, said Gurpal Singh had applied for a power connection for his house. He had completed all formalities in December, 1999. Mr Shiv Dyal, SDE, was demanding a bribe of Rs 1000 for giving him the connection.
He said on the complaint of Mr Gurpal Singh, the vigilance team reached Maur Mandi last evening and asked Mr Gurpal Singh to approach Mr Shiv Dyal with the money. He and the Revenue Accountant were caught red-handed taking the bribe money.
Tatkal Passport Scheme
evokes poor response
JALANDHAR, Jan 21 The Tatkal Passport Scheme launched by the Ministry of External Affairs to enable certain categories of applicants to get a passport within a period ranging between seven-28 days has evoked a lukewarm response from the people of the Doaba region.
The scheme was implemented by the ministry on January 1 this year. It is aimed at helping certain categories who need to travel abroad immediately on account of an emergency.
Those who can avail of the facility after paying an extra amount include patients, businessmen, students those whose close relatives are settled abroad and those going to attend a marriage ceremony.
Though the extra charges for the out of turn passport range between Rs 1500 and Rs 2500, excluding the routine passport charges totalling Rs 300, some categories, such as children below 15, patients and students whose parents income does not exceed Rs 2000 a month have been granted exemption as far as the extra fee is concerned.
Under the scheme, the applicants just need verification by a senior police or civil officer.
Interestingly, the Passport Office catering to the Doaba region and some parts of the Majha region is flooded with applications who either want to marry abroad or attend a marriage ceremony. Mr Rakesh Kumar, Regional Passport Officer, says: More and more people are showing interest in the scheme. At present, six applications under the scheme pour in daily but I think most people are not aware of the scheme or else the response would have been greater.
board nod for power units
LEHRA MOHABBAT (BATHINDA), Jan 21 The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) authorities are likely to set up two units of 250 MW each here by the middle of this year.
The PSEB authorities got clearance from the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) today for setting up these two units with modern technology.
Mr Suresh Gupta, Member (Generation), PSEB, while talking to TNS here today, said that clearance for the units from the Ministry for Environment and Central Electricity Authority (CEA) would be received in the coming months.
He pointed out that out of a total of Rs 1700 crore, which was to be spent on the project, the Power Finance Corporation (PFC) would finance 70 per cent, while the remaining would be arranged by the PSEB and Punjab Government.
These two units would be set up on the existing land, where the two units of Guru Hargobind Thermal Plant (GHTP), stage one, had been set up. At a meeting with the residents of this village and surrounding areas, their clearance had also been taken for setting up this project.
Mr Gupta, while pointing out that the demand for power was increasing in the state due to massive industrialisation and intensive agriculture. The setting of two units of 250 MW each here would ease the situation to a great extent.
He announced that the PSEB would give employment to those persons whose land had been acquired for setting up the GHTP, stage one, and who were otherwise eligible also for this project. He added that the PSEB would ensure tubewell connections on a priority to those whose land was acquired for the project.
He said that the CEA would look into only the techno-economic aspect of the two units proposed to be set up here. The project would also generate employment for the local population.
chief absolved of bribery charge
KAPURTHALA, Jan 21 Jubilation prevailed among employees of Kapurthala-Ferozepur Kshteriya Gramin Bank over the news of cancellation of bribery case registered against Mr S.D. Sharma, Chairman of the bank.
The vigilance police had arrested Mr Sharma on the charge of allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 5000 from Lakhbir Singh, a resident of Togawala, for clearing his loan case for purchasing a truck on 30 Nov 1999.
As a result of an agitation launched by the bank employees against the false implication of Mr Sharma, the Secretary, Vigilance, ordered an inquiry and deputed Mr Narinder Sharma, DIG. In his report, the DIG recorded the statement of 18 witnesses, including Mr V.K. Singh, Deputy Commissioner and Mr Balraj Singh Block Development and Panchayat Officer.
The DIG in his report opined that the case registered against Mr Sharma seem to be the result of collusion between the shadow witness, complainant, Satpal Singh, a branch manager and officials of the police.
On receipt of the report submitted by the DIG, the Secretary Vigilance Department, Punjab, Chandigarh ordered the Chief Director, Vigilance, to get the FIR registered against Mr Sharma cancelled.
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