|Wednesday, February 16, 2000,
probe into officer's detention
traced on fiscal crisis
violating code, says Cong
attack Cong policies
takers for free EWS houses
of airport project flayed
flays lifting of security cover
to look after language wing
Rangers told to restrain themselves
water panel: Wadala
quota policy decried
activities based on Indian culture
rally flagged off
dept records to be computerised
rally by employees
closed on Feb 17
on entry of vehicles
Bangla nationals released
puts principal behind bars
vehicle thieves arrested
clue to petrol station robbery
held for stealing temple ornaments
licence issuers arrested
film makes it to Germany
flays GND varsity decision
heads of university depts
CBI probe into officer's
CHANDIGARH, Feb 15 Mr Justice T.H.B. Chalapathi of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today ordered a CBI inquiry into the alleged illegal detention of Mr S.P. Singh, Mining Officer in the Punjab Industry Department, who was allegedly called by DSP, Patiala, as he refused to give mining contracts to firms of Mr S.S. Kairon, son of former Chief Minister, Partap Singh Kairon.
A habeas corpus petition was earlier filed by Mr Harinder Singh, a relative of Mr S.P. Singh, alleging that since Mr S.P. Singh had declined to oblige Mr Kairon, he was threatened and was summoned by the DSP to meet him there. Since then he was missing.
The court then appointed a warrant officer, who could not locate the alleged detainee. The court then ordered the DSP to produce the detainee and even raid the premises of Mr Kairon's firms in this connection. But he reported to the court that despite all efforts he had not been able to find the detainee. The court, therefore, directed a CBI inquiry into the case.
The Judge ordered the
CBI's Joint Director in Chandigarh to register a case
with regard to Mr S.P. Singh's disappearance. The
Director was directed to investigate the matter and file
a report by March 31. He adjourned the case to that date.
Preparing the Budget Part I
CHANDIGARH, Feb 15 While the draft Annual Plan, 2000-2001, is ready and an exercise for the coming Punjab Vidhan Sabha Budget session, beginning March 6, has begun in right earnest, the Department of Finance has circulated a fact paper to enable the elected representatives and the public see things in a proper perspective based on facts and figures, rather than conjectures and half-truths.
Ostensibly, the Finance department mandarins are unhappy the way the media, print and electronic, has been projecting the financial scenario of Punjab with vested political interests out to tarnish the government's image by presenting a distorted picture. The fact-sheet of the department, along with detailed annexures, does give a vivid picture, the bottomline being that Punjab has been a "revenue deficit state" since 1984-85. The candid admission being that "revenue deficit" did increase in the past two years.
Going over the text and statistics in the fact paper, it emerges that the present difficult situation is the cumulative effect of the past 15 years. As expected, the blame for this is apportioned to the period when either the Congress was in power (1992-97) or when the state had a long spell of President's rule when no efforts to mop up resources were made.
Much of what the paper contains is well-known. It needs no reiteration. However, it is interesting to note the concessions, rebates and waiver in various taxes that the previous non-Akali Government gave have been mentioned in detail, yearwise. Perhaps, a justification for SAD-BJP Government's own populism.
The main reason for the
fiscal stress is attributed to the implementation of the
recommendations of the pay commission state's own
and Centre's. At the same time, it has been explicitly
pointed out that decision to give "free" power
for agriculture pump sets and canal water for irrigation
only "symbolised" the government's
"profligacy". Actually its impact on the
finances was not significant. "The revenue sacrifice
involved is about Rs 350 crore of which Rs 320 crore is
being absorbed by the Punjab State Electricity Board from
its own internal accruals", says the paper.
Badal violating code, says
JALANDHAR, Feb 15 Accusing the Punjab Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal of violating the election code of conduct, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee has alleged that the Election Commission was not responding to its complaints in this regard.
Addressing a press conference here today, PPCC chief Captain Amarinder Singh, Mr Balbir Singh MP and Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, General Secretary of the PPCC alleged that Mr Badal was violating every norm to woo voters in Nawanshahr, but there had been no physical response from the EC so far.
Though functioning of the office of the EC has been very good in the past, we feel it is a bit inactive this time as in spite of numerous complaints by the PPCC nothing has been done to check the violation of the poll code, complained Capt Amarinder Singh.
He said the PPCC had apprised the EC of large-scale development work being undertaken by the government in the constituency, I have come to know that as many as 80 roads are being constructed in different parts of the constituency. Mr Badal and his workers are even offering poppy husk and liquor to attract voters. He is providing money to religious places in the constituency. Keeping in view all this, the EC should depute at least five observers for checking violations of the poll code in the constituency, citing instances. For its part the PPCC, to check booth-capturing will depute 8900 Youth Congress workers to man the 179 polling booths.
He also demanded a high-level probe into an alleged Punjab State Electricity Board move to award a Rs 500 crore contract for captive coal mining to a private company without inviting tenders. The government can save at least Rs 150 crore if the job is done by anybody at competitive rates, he said.
He sought the
resignation of Mr Balramji Dass Tandon for the
recruitment scam in the Local Bodies
Department and demanded fresh physical verification of
foodgrain stocks in godowns of state agencies like PUNSUP
and Markfed, following unearthing of a scam in the Food
Corporation of India.
Leaders attack Cong policies
NAWANSHAHR, Feb 15 On the last day of campaign for the Nawanshahr byelection, the SAD, the BJP and the BSM organised a massive rally here today, which was addressed by film star Vinod Khanna, MP, and Mr Shanta Kumar, Union Minister for Food and Civil Supplies, besides, the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and other ministers.
Mr Shanta Kumar, said the Congress, which had ruled the country for about 45 years had belied the hopes of the people, especially martyrs, who had dreamed of a prosperous country.
He said even after 52 years of Independence, 32 crore Indians were living below the poverty line and 10 crore were unemployed.
According to a UNICEF report, about 24 lakh children in India had become blind. Ironically, as per an estimate, Rs 95,000 crore had been deposited in Swiss Banks, he said.
Mr Shanta Kumar said the NDA government led by Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee was committed to find out solutions to these problems. It had constituted a commission to review the Constitution. But the Congress was opposing it for no reason at all, he alleged.
He said the NDA government in the Centre had been bringing revolutionary a changes to reverse a number of wrong policies pursued by the Congress. He cited the example of stopping the import of wheat and sugar as it had been affecting the interests of farmers.
Mr Vinod Khanna said he had toured Bihar and Orissa recently and was touched by the plight of the people.
He said the Dalit leader, Ms Mena Kumari, had left the Congress and several other leaders would leave it.
Mr Parkash Singh Badal called upon the people to give the SAD-BJP-BSM candidate, Mr Jatinder Singh Kariha, a chance.
Mr Satnam Kainth,
president, Bahujan Samaj Morcha, Mr Sukhdev Singh
Dhindsa, Union Cabinet Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh,
Finance Minister, Mr Balwinder Singh, Bhunder, MP, Mr
Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, Mr Gurdev Singh (both ministers),
and Mr Jatinder Singh Kariha, SAD candidate, among
others, addressed the rally.
No takers for free EWS
MALERKOTLA: Built houses lying idle for years. Quite a mystery, one would say but only as long as one does not visit them. Once you do, you come to realise the actual facts.
The houses do not have any amenities - no water, no electricity, no toilets. Built as part of welfare scheme for Harijans at Hakimpura on Riakot Road, 5 km from here, these were not occupied by the allottees because these were not worth living. The story is same with other houses elsewhere in the town.
According to the village residents, the material used in their construction was substandard. The house has a 7 ft by 9 ft room and a 2 ft ungla-zed verandah. A bachelor may find the accommodation small, leave alone a family. The panchayat had always opposed this kind of construction.
Of the 33 houses planned, 11 two-room blocks were constructed. The houses are two feet below the road level.
The houses have become a haven for anti-social elements who frequent them off and on. The village panchayat has only provided six bighas from the shamlat land of the village as per the governments demand. The houses were raised through the Block Development Office in Ahmedgarh.
The Harijan allottees,
when contacted, said a joke had been played on them in
the name of free houses. We put a thumb on the
possession letters just because they were not in the
habit of complaining, said one of them. They said
that if an inquiry were to be held, a major scam would
Shifting of airport project flayed
LUDHIANA, Feb 15 Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, MP and President of the Lok Bhalai Party, today alleged that the project to establish an international airport at Amritsar had been quietly shifted to another state of the country.
Talking to mediaperson here, Mr Ramoowalia said a sum of Rs 108 crore had been earmarked by the Centre for the project. It would have put Amritsar on the international map of aviation. This money, too, had now been diverted for some other purpose with the approval of the Punjab Government.
Mr Ramoowalia, who is a member of the Standing Committee of Parliament on Transport and Tourism, alleged that the Badal government had failed to safeguard Punjabs interest.
The project was announced by a former Prime Minister, Mr Inder Kumar Gujral, but Mr Badal failed to get the project executed. He alleged that Mr Badal had earlier failed to protect Punjabs interest on Udham Singh Nagar issue.
Buta flays lifting of
PHILLAUR, Feb 15 Former Union Home Minister Buta Singh has condemned the decision to withdraw the security cover of eight VVIP politicians including himself and described the decision as politically motivated.
Talking to The Tribune during his two-day tour of Nawanshahr Assembly constituency, he said that the decision had exposed the hatred-based politics of BJP government.
Commenting upon a ten-member committee, constituted to review the constitution, he said the BJP wanted to snatch the moral and fundamental rights of Dalits and introduce gradation citizenship in the country. He opposed any move to alter the present structure of the constitution. Saying necessary amendments in the IPC and CRPC could be made in Parliament itself.
He opposed continuation of Samjhauta Express saying train or bus should ply till complete understanding was reached.
Replying to a question
about the RSS he said the BJP-led government was adopting
a dual policy encouraged BJP-ruled states to allow
government employees to attend RSS functions while
barring Central Government employees from such functions.
Badal to look after language
CHANDIGARH, Feb 15 The Governor of Punjab on the advice of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab, has made minor changes in the portfolios of the ministers with immediate effect.
According to a Punjab Government notification, Mr Badal will also hold the charge of the language wing of the Education department along with his other departments. Mr Madan Mohan Mittal has been allocated the Department of Parliamentary Affairs besides the Food and Supplies department.
Pak Rangers told to restrain
HUSSAINIWALA, Feb 15 In a bid to avoid any unpleasant incident at the joint check post (JCP) here, the Border Security Force (BSF) has asked its Pakistani counterparts the Sutlej Rangers not to let its soldiers make hostile gesture during the ceremonial retreat between the two sides.
Taking a serious view of frowning and other hostile gestures by two Rangers during the ceremonial retreat, the BSF is understood to have asked their counterparts to show restrain. Sources in the BSF revealed that senior authorities in Pakistan had been cautioned against any unpleasant development at the JCP, where civilians from both sides come to watch the retreat everyday.
The BSF has expressed concern at the hostile behaviour of two Rangers, who often frown during the retreat, compelling civilians to make remarks. Only recently, a few visitors complained of an unpleasant development at the JCP, when some Indian and Pakistani civilians had a heated exchange.
BSF officials said Pakistani civilians appeared to be army officials in mufti. It was apparent from their hair cut and shoes, a senior BSF officer said, adding that we also have information of their being stationed near the Indo-Pak border. Perhaps, that is what prompts them to visit the JCP to watch the retreat ceremony.
The BSF on its part
claimed that it had restrained Indians from making
remarks. Although no major hostile incident at the JCP
was reported during the last six months, the authorities
were not willing to allow the civilians from both sides
Controversy over pipes
GIDDERBAHA, Feb 15 Even as the dust raised by the Rs 2.5 crore scam detected by the Bathinda district administration a few months ago is yet to settle down, the matter of using substandard pipes in the shallow tubewells installed along the Sirhind feeder canal for removing waterlogging in Muktsar district and its surrounding areas has come to light.
Official sources said in the estimates prepared for the instalment of tubewells, the provision was made for C-class delivery suction pipes, but inferior B class pipes were used.
In a number of letters written to the field staff deployed for removing waterlogging in Muktsar and its surrounding areas by the vigilance and quality control wing of the Irrigation Department, Punjab, it was mentioned that apart from substandard pipes, some of the submersible pumps were also not of prescribed standard.
In another note, Mr S K Goyal, Chief Engineer, Vigilance and Quality Control, has mentioned that some pump houses were found tilted and sunk.
He has also pointed out that a provision of Rs 1.25 crore had been made in the estimates for the work of making ramps from the bank of Sirhind canal to the site of tubewells. He added that this provision was a job facility and had not been mentioned in the notice inviting tender (NIT). He had asked the superintendent engineer concerned to send a report as to why this item had been included in the tender document.
Sources said job description in the NIT floated in April 1997 contained the installation of 500 shallow tubewells, for waterlogged areas, development of tubewells, construction of pump houses and commissioning of tubewells only. The making of ramps was not included in the NIT.
Interestingly, Mr B S Virdi, Superintendent Engineer, Drainage, Gidderbaha circle said he was not aware of all this, though Mr Goyal had mentioned this discrepancy in his note in March 1998.
Mr Virdi, however, pointed out that since the matter had come to his knowledge now and he would examine it. He added that work for installing the shallow tubewells had been sanctioned and allocated before he took over the charge] of the circle.
Regarding the use of B-class pipes in the tubewells, he said actually only B-class pipes were suitable as per the condition of work. He added that he had recovered the difference amount in the rate of C and B-class pipes from the contractors who had installed the tubewells. He said the contractor had used B-class pipes on their own without any specific instructions from the department in this regard.
He said tilted pump houses were being repaired by the contractors at their own cost. He added that about 15 pump houses were yet to be repaired.
Mr Virdi claimed that out of 325 tubewells installed along the bank of Sirhind canal, about 240 were functional. He added that all the letters written by the vigilance and quality control wing of the Irrigation Department regarding the tubewells had been replied to.
Mr Harminder Singh
Jassi, General Secretary, PPCC, had demanded that all the
works related to the Irrigation Department, including the
drainage wing, executed in the past three years should be
probed by the CBI.
Constitute water panel: Wadala
PHAGWARA, Feb 15 Shiromani Akali Dal (D) President Jathedar Kuldip Singh Wadala today demanded the constitution of water and linguistic commissions to settle the inter-state disputes between Punjab and Haryana. However, the water commission should be constituted as per the Indian River.
Water Dispute Act, Mr Wadala said. In case the new commission, that should have a Supreme Court judge, a high court judge and an expert, found that Punjab had surplus water, then that water should be given to Haryana on royalty as Bihar was charging royalty for coal, Mr Wadala said. He was commenting upon the Haryana Congress poll manifesto that promised the completion of the SYL canal.
On the Hindi-speaking area issue, raked by the Congress manifesto, Jathedar Wadala said a linguistic commission could decide the issue by considering village as a unit. The concept of corridor was harmful for the country as then Punjab would lay claim to even Ganganagar, Mr Wadala said.
Caste-based quota policy
LUDHIANA, Feb 15 In an open letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, the General Category Welfare Forum (India) has demanded a ban on the caste-based reservation.
The Forum demanded the repeal of the Constitutional Amendment Bill extending the reservation period for another 10 years and urged that reservations be made on the basis of economic backdwardness without any caste consideration.
The Forum demanded that
promotions in services should be made as per instructions
issued by the Personnel and Training Department. The
Forum has urged that the Constitutional Amendment Bill,
if passed, will deny the Fundamental Rights of equality
in services, so it should be withdrawn. The entire
reservation policy should be referred to the proposed
constitutional review commission.
Consumers ultimatum to PSEB
LUDHIANA, Feb 15 Around 100 persons from various walks of life today gave an ultimatum to the Punjab State Electricity Board to withdraw the decision of setting up its own police force to check power theft within a month or face an agitation.
They were participating in a debate organised by the apex chamber of commerce and industry here today.
The participants expressed concern over possible harassment at the hands of the police following setting up of these police stations.
The consent was that in
case of detection of power theft, PSEB officials
conniving with the consumers should also be booked and
meter readers who helped consumers in tampering with
electric meters apprehended. Similarly lists of officers
under whose jurisdiction major power thefts took place
should be made public.
RSS activities based on
PATIALA, Feb 15 Mr Hasti Mal, RSS parcharak of Rajasthan, while addressing an assembly of RSS activists here today, said the organisation was growing because of its philosophy of action based on the Indian history and culture.
The assembly was held at Rajkamal Marriage Palace. A substantial number of RSS activists took part.
Describing the RSS as a cultural and civilisational organisation aimed at arousing national consciousness among the Indian people, Mr Mal said the present controversy over the lifting of government ban on their staff to participate in RSS activities was unfortunate. He said the RSS never sought lifting of the ban as it was already growing. The senior RSS leader claimed that the organisation had 40,000 units, 5,000 parcharaks and over six lakh swayamsewaks.
In his presidential remarks, Mr Baldev Singh, a former aeronautical engineer, lauded the role of the RSS in propagating moral and cultural values among the swayamsewaks. He said that the ideology and mission of the RSS had an organic link with the philosophy of Hindu thinkers like Swami Vivekananda, Maharshi Aurobindo, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and B.C. Pal.
The prominent organisers
of the RSS who were present during the assembly included
Mr Ashok Prabhakar, Punjab staff RSS chief, Mr Mahavir,
joint organiser of the RSS, Mr Praveen Bhai, regional
organiser of the RSS, Mr Pramod Kumar, district RSS
organiser, and Mr B.S. Mann, RSS pramukh, Punjabi
Cycle rally flagged off
Ludhiana, Feb 15 A cycle rally comprising of 20 officers, JCOs and jawans of the 17th battalion, Brigade of Guards, who had taken part in the Kargil conflict, was today flagged off from here to Ahmedabad by Mr Arun Goel, Deputy Commissioner.
The rally will cover the distance of 1375 km in 22 days. Passing through Punjab and Rajasthan, the rally will reach Ahmedabad in Gujarat on March 7.
The rally was organised to honour the soldiers of the Indian Army. The participants will en route meet ex-servicemen and war widows.
Protest stalls demolition
AMRITSAR, Feb 15 Six persons received minor injuries as the local Improvement Trust authorities used force to disperse a large number of shopkeepers who tried to resist demolition of their shops in the Krishna Square area on the Batala road here today.
The shopkeepers and their family members blocked the Improvement Trust staff from continuing their work. However, they demolished two of the 35 shops, mostly occupied by motor mechanics and spareparts dealers.
In the face of immolation threat by a few demonstrators, Improvement Trust staff was withdrawn on the orders of the magistrate on the spot.
Excise dept records to be
CHANDIGARH, Feb 15 The Department of Excise and Taxation has decided on comprehensive computerisation of the records in order to streamlining the registration of dealers, filing of returns and getting information about the arrears.
It has signed an agreement with a subsidiary of a US-based firm for computerisation of the entire records within a year.
Mr Sarabjit Singh, Additional Excise and Taxation Commissioner, said today that as per the computerisation plan all the 218 offices and 27 information collection centres at the interstate borders of Punjab would be computerised and inter-linked. Information relating to any office would be available in other offices. As many as 1,300 employees would also be trained to handle the computers.
Mr Sarabjit Singh said with the computerisation of the records, exchange of information, cross verification of sales and detection of defaulters would become easy. At present many cases go undetected because of a very large volume of documents, which need to be scrutinised.
Delay in filing returns, non-filing of returns, existence of defunct registered dealers, bogus registered dealers, billing of non-existent dealers are some of the problems which are difficult to handle in the absence of computers. Trade volumes have grown manifold and it is difficult to keep track of all activities. Computerisation would enable the officials concerned to provide precise information for policy formulation. The Break down of tax collection on a particular commodity with manual compilation of returns of nearly 200,000 dealers in the state is virtually impossible.
Victory rally by employees
PATIALA, Feb 15 A victory rally was held by postal and telecom employees in front of head post office here today.
Nirmal Parshad, convener, P and T employees coordination committee said in a press release all three federations NFTE, BTEF, FNTO of telecom employees had deferred the token strike of February 15 on the assurance by the Centre not to corporatise the department of telecom services.
Factories closed on Feb 17
CHANDIGARH, Feb 15 The Punjab Government has declared February 17 a closed day for the factories covered under the Factory Act within the jurisdiction of the Assembly constituency.
This has been done in view of the byelection on that day in the Nawanshahr constituency.
Ban on entry of vehicles
LUDHIANA, Feb 15 The Municipal Corporation has declared the Chaura Bazar area as no entry zone for all type of vehicles with immediate effect.
18 Bangla nationals released
AMRITSAR, Feb 15 As many as 18 Bangladeshi have been released from the local Central Jail. They had completed their sentence, but could not be released as their government had refused to own them.
They have been handed over to a representative of the Union Government through the Additional Director General (Intelligence) for their repatriation to Bangladesh.
Mr Jagjit Singh, Jail Superintendent, said all the 18 Bangladeshi nationals, including a woman, were released from the jail on Saturday. They included Fizer Ali, Sayaroon (female), Mohammad Zar Mian, Samat Ula, Hailal Abdulesh, Kamru Din, Abdul Salam, Mohammad Zamin, Mohammad Suraj Mian, Mohammad Abdul , Noor Islam, Janab Ali, Bahuran, Mohammad Muhedin, Abdul Aziz, Chann Mian and Mohammad Jahangir.
However, many more Bangladeshis and 40 Pakistanis lodged in the Central Jail here have yet to be rescued.
Hug puts principal behind
MUKTSAR, Feb 15 The local police today arrested, principal Jugraj Singh of Government Senior Secondary School, Thandewal village in this district, on the charge of molesting a student.
Police sources said that a teenaged student of class eight was allegedly molested by the principal when she was alone in the classroom yesterday. When other students noticed his actions the principal ran away.
Mr Kultar Singh, SSP, said that the student who was molested had arrived at the school late as she was feeling unwell. Instead of joining morning prayers she went directly to her classroom.
The principal came into the classroom while prayers were on and asked the student why she had not joined in. To this she replied that she was not feeling well.
After a few minutes, the principal allegedly asked the student to stand up from behind her desk. When she did, he hugged her.
When the girl objected to this the principal allegedly told her he was hugging and holding her so that she would get better.
Emboldened, the principal even tried to disrobe the student. While he was trying to do this, another girl entered the classroom. The principal asked her to leave the room immediately. He even threatened the victim with rustication from the school if she protested or reported the matter to anyone. When the victim returned home she complained to her parents. The father of the victim accompanied by panchayat members of his village approached the police. The enraged villagers sought exemplary punishment for the principal.
Mr Kultar Singh, SSP,
said the principal, who was booked under Sections 354 and
506 of IPC by the Sadar police station yesterday, was
arrested today. Tempers were running high in the village
but the police persuaded the villagers not to take
precipitate action against the principal.
2 vehicle thieves arrested
LUDHIANA, Feb 15 The police arrested two persons, for allegedly stealing two-wheelers and reselling these vehicles after preparing fake registration numbers.
In a press note Mr Kuldip Singh, SSP, said Jagjit Singh and Jasbir Singh were arrested on February 9 and four stolen two-wheelers were recovered from the possession of Jagjit Singh.
The SSP said Jagjit Singh was arrested during a naka at Simlapuri, while he was driving a stolen motor cycle. During interrogation, he confessed having stolen it from Dandi Swami Chowk and informed that he had asked Jasbir Singh to prepare fake registration certificate of the vehicle.
Later, Jasbir Singh was
also arrested from Shahpur village and rubber stamps of
the DTO, Amritsar and Ludhiana, fake driving licences and
registration certificates were seized from him. The SSP
said Jasbir Singh had been posing himself as the District
LUDHIANA, Feb 15 The police has booked the printer and publisher of a local magazine, Ms Suman Bhagotra, allegedly on the complaint of the Press Council of India under Section 3, 4 and 6 of the Indecent Representation of Women (prohibition) Act, 1986.
In a press note, the SSP, Mr Kuldeep Singh, has stated that the magazine, Adult Pals-Worldwide carried photographs of men and women in provocative postures. Copies of the magazine have also been siezed, he informed.
The Press Council of
India had complained to the Information and Broadcasting
Ministry about the magazine. The ministry forwarded the
case to the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Goel.
The local police, after seeking the opinion of the
district attorney (legal), has registered the case
against the editor.
No clue to petrol station
ABOHAR, Feb 15 Employees of the petrol stations located on the state and national highways in this sub division are feeling insecure as the police is still unable to nab the culprits responsible for Friday morning robbery at a petrol station near Asmaankhera village on the Abohar-Sriganganagar road.
At least six persons had reportedly scaled the rear wall of the petrol station, sub division, at 2 a.m. and demanded keys of the safe from employees at gunpoint.
They escaped after emptying the safe which had nearly Rs 1 lakh and also snatched a wrist watch and a gold ring from employees. One of the staff member, Mr Rajinder Kumar, was hit on the leg with a bullet.
Mr Virendera Kataria, former MP today expressed concern over the robbery and said this was the fourth such incident in the sub division.
3 held for stealing temple
LUDHIANA, Feb 15 The police has solved the case of stolen ornaments from Ram Darbar Mandir at Haibowal Kalan with the arrest of Dharam Pal, Prem Singh and Satish Kumar.
Fake licence issuers arrested
PATIALA, Feb 15 The Rajpura Police today claimed to have busted a gang involved in the preparation of fake driving licences and registration copies by arresting two persons here today.
Mr Rajiv Ahir, ASP, said
in a press release here today that the police had
recovered some fake copies after which an investigation
was launched. He said the two accused Rajinder
Kumar and Devinder Kumar were caught in a trap
laid by the police. A case under Sections 420, 467, 468,
471 of the IPC has been registered against the two who
have been remanded in the police custody.
Professors film makes it to
PATIALA, Feb 15 Prof Navnindra Behl, a name to reckon with in the field of theatre, TV, and films, has added another feather to her cap.
A senior teacher in the Department of Theater and Television of Punjabi University, she has a number of big awards in her kitty. In addition to this a nine-minute silent film made by her along with her husband, Lalit Behl, has been selected to represent the country in the International Festival of Films to be held in Germany in March.
The short film titled Dost is the only Indian entry in the festival. The theme of the silent film is cultural exchange, but, with a unique presentation. A European family is on a visit to Rajasthan. A kid of the family has brought along a robot which attracts the attention of a typical Rajasthani boy attired in ethnic wear. The boy, through gestures, demands the robot from the European boy who refuses to part with it. The infuriated Rajasthani boy calls his friends. All of them together erect a small stage and make kathputlis. The European boy is attracted to the dancing puppets. He readily exchanges his robot for these. The film ends on this note.
Talking to this correspondent here today, an excited but modest Navnindra Behl said Doordarshan had invited entries from all over the country and our film was lucky to get selected.
She is well-known for her role of a militants suffering mother in the film Machis. A joint production of the couple, Vaid Vyas Ek Potte, is currently being telecast on Doordarshan every Thursday. Prof Behl became a household name after her popular serial Afsaane was aired in 1993.
She already possesses an
array of awards. These include Best of the Year Award
1990 for Chirion Ka Chamba at the first Indo-Soviet Video
Films Festival. It was written and directed by her. She
also got the Akashwani Award 1985 and Best Play of the
Year Award 1984 given by the Sahitya Kala Parishad. Apart
from these, the couple has many other popular films,
plays and serials to their credit.
Union flays GND varsity
AMRITSAR, Feb 15 An emergency meeting of the Guru Nanak Dev University Employees Union (non-teaching) held here today urged the university authorities to withdraw the decision in which an executive engineer (electrical) was redesignated, as deputy (electrical) and Mr C.P. Arora was redesignated as deputy registrar. It sought that the post of the deputy registrar be filled immediately.
In a meeting held under the presidentship of Mr Suvinder Singh, president, the union also decided to hold a protest rally in the varsity complex on February 17 against the decision of the syndicate to appoint Mr Rajesh Kalia as an assistant registrar although he has no administrative experience.
A resolution passed on the occasion said that the syndicate had acted beyond its jurisdiction in making Mr C.P. Arora, XEN deputy registrar.
indicated that they would dissociate themselves from the
class on officers association of the university for
merging into the GNDU employees union (non-teaching), for
its failure to safeguard their interests.
Govt teachers threaten stir
AMRITSAR, Feb 15 The Government Teachers Union, Punjab, has threatened to resort to legal remedies, apart from launching an agitation, if the state government would promote teachers on the basis of wrong merit.
In a press statement issued here yesterday, Mr Joginder Singh Gill, secretary of the union, said the government was contemplating to promote B.Ed. teachers as high school Principals on the basis of the provisional seniority lists of June 30, 1987. He claimed that this list was provisional, wrong and incomplete. He further claimed that the list contained the names of certain retirees, promotees, deceased and even those who had left the Education Department.
While the promotions of other category of teachers of the Punjab Education Department were being made on the basis of dates of joining service, B.Ed. teachers were to be promoted on the basis of June 30, 1987, seniority lists which was absolutely wrong. According to the governments circular the statement claimed, women B.Ed. teachers who had joined service in 1976-1977 would get promoted. But their male counterparts working since 1971-1972 would not get promotions.
New heads of university
PATIALA, Feb 15
The Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jasbir Singh
Ahluwalia, under the rules of headship by rotation, has
appointed Dr Surinder Singh and Dr Paramjit Singh heads
of the Department of Economics and Department of Law,
respectively, for three years. By another order, Dr S.S.
Khaira of the Department of Law has been made in charge
of the evening law classes which are conducted in the
Unionists could have averted
PATIALA, Feb 15 Partition could have been averted if the Unionist Ministry of Punjab had resisted the move as it was a shining example of inter-community cooperation.
Talking to TNS, Professor Emeritus V. N. Datta , who delivered a lecture at Punjabi University here today on the ''Concept of history'', said the political developments in Punjab and the country might have been different if the Unionist Ministry had resisted Partition.
Professor Datta said Mr Jinnah regarded Punjab as the cornerstone of Pakistan and an indispensable part of his scheme of partition. He said even British Prime Minister Attlee had described the Ministry as the most promising experiment in joint government of Punjab. He said it was, in fact, the biggest experiment in coalition governance in the country extending over two decades.
The historian said the Unionist Ministry was the single most powerful constitutional party which had its ups and downs like any vibrant political party. He said the party continued in office for two decades even as in Bengal and Assam there were four ministries in 1937-45 and in Sind, three during the same period.
Professor Datta said the Sikh position changed with the downfall of the Union Ministry. He said while in the 1937 elections, the unionists claimed 71 of the 75 Muslim rural seats, the Muslim League got only one seat. He said in 1946, the tables turned with with the unionists coming down to 22 and the Muslim League acquiring 75 seats. He said most crucial were the byelections in the Muslim constituencies in central and provincial assemblies between 1938 and 1942 during which time the Muslim League bagged 46 of the 56 seats to which elections were held.
Earlier, while delivering his lecture on concept of history, Professor Datta said, "The concept was a comprehensive term denoting a system and organised mode of thought for simplifying issues." He said behind every historical work stood the historian and his milieu. He said the historian belonged to the present, but the theme of his focus related to the past. But for the post-modernites there is no historical truth, no hard facts, on this view there is no history, only a plurality of history, all emanations from the subjective present.
Professor Datta said post-modernism argued that freedom from improved objectivity allowed silenced voices to be heard, chiefly those of suppressed minorities. Countering past modernist approach to history, he said a good historical work was self-critical and scrupulous and, therefore, allowed for these factors and the goal of objective historical knowledge was attainable. He argued this is not to deny the value of post-modernisation because it makes us think more carefully about evidence, suggests new areas of research, brings individuals back into historical focus and alerts the historian to his own limitation.
Prof Y. P. Bajaj, Professor in the Department of History, said in historiography one faces a large number of conceptual problems like whether a historian can be objective and that of hyper-relativism. The recent problem is that many historians have started rejecting reason and progress in history and attaching importance to the extraordinary in the past. but the ultimate solution to these problems lies in reverting to discovering and not inventing.
In his presidential
remarks, Prof Prithipal Singh Kapoor, noted historian and
former Pro Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University,
said defining the concept of history had always remained
a baffling problem for thinkers and historians alike. The
concept that history has to be constructed only on the
basis of empirical evidence is relevant even today. The
historian has to struggle to find out truth the
search for truth is his quest. Prof Kapoor pointed out
that even the diaries of daily reports cannot be said to
be absolutely reliable, as the whims of the diarist lend
colour to the accounts recorded by him. He described Dr
Datta as the greatest living historian and an objectivist
in the matter of interpretations.
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