|Wednesday, March 1, 2000,
fake currency seizure
price hike to hit Punjab farmers
in Panth will be over soon: CM
to Bhai Manjits offer
to file writ against SGPC chief
election set aside
to get compensation
War II veteran dead
hold up traffic
for punishment to guilty
averse to hepatitis vaccination
of Albel Singh mourned
order on pension
found lying in pit
kills kids, commits suicide
hurt in clash
against police officer
violating UGC norms, says FEAR
technologically advanced: Parthsarthi
import duty to benefit North: FCI
policy on anvil
unit of Beopar Cell established
Biggest fake currency seizure
AMRITSAR, Feb 29 The Customs staff seized fake Indian currency notes worth Rs 20 lakh in the denomination of Rs 500 and Rs 100 from passengers of Samjhauta Express which runs between India and Pakistan twice a week.
According to Mr Amrish Jain, Deputy Commissioner, Customs (Preventive) this is the biggest seizure of counterfeit currency in the country so far. Three Indian passengers, Mohammed Inam and Saiyara Begum (husband and wife) hailing from Saharanpur and Nasim Bano of Delhi have been arrested in this connection.
Each of the accused had got 12 bangle boxes of cardboard packed in a carton. The currency notes were concealed in the side panels and the bottom of the cardboard carton as well as that of the bangle box.
Mr Jain said preliminary investigations had revealed that the three were to hand over the currency to a contact at the old Delhi railway station, a swari operator from Jama Masjid, Delhi.
This is the 20th seizure of counterfeit Indian currency at Attari since April last. Zakir Usman, Tanseen Bano and Wagar Beig all Pakistani nationals were arrested on November 1 last year for carrying fake Indian currency in Samjhauta Express. Another Pakistani national, Naveed Akhtar was arrested with fake currency of over Rs 51,000 on November 22 last year. Similarly, Kulsoom Bibi, a Pakistani, Mohammad Khushuniuddin, Mohammad Saleem, and Khursheeda Begum, all Indian Muslims, Shehzad Ali, Asgar Ali and Nafees Jaher (Pakistanis), were arrested till January 3 this year.
Nandhna, Jaga Ram, Abdulla Ahmed, Waheed Ahmed, Hanif and Anno, all Indians were arrested with a huge quantity of counterfeit currency till February 17 this year.
Row over fake currency
FEROZEPORE, Feb 29 The recent seizure of Rs 2.3 lakh counterfeit currency from five persons in Mallanwala near here is likely to rake up a fresh controversy, with the police claiming it to have been smuggled through a riverine in the international border.
While the Border Security Force (BSF) claims to have plugged all the gaps, the police say that one of the accused Karnail Singh of Kilche village had smuggled the confiscated consignment through a riverine near the Daulat Ram Tapu observation post.
If the police version is to be believed, Karnail Singh during interrogation revealed that he had brought the counterfeit currency through the riverine in an otherwise fenced Indo Pak border some days ago. However, the BSF authorities vehemently deny this, saying the smugglers have a tendency to mislead the police by concealing the actual route, which may be the Indo-Nepal border.
Besides, the BSF officials pointed out that the latest seizure may be a part of an old consignment brought to India by Karnail Singhs brother Sohan Singh. Significantly, Sohan Singh was earlier arrested by the Jalandhar police on similar charges, but the security forces posted at Mallanwala claim that the two recoveries are` not part of the same consignment.
Earlier too a series of seizures had sparked off a row between the BSF and the Punjab Police. While a section of senior police officers attribute smuggling to the riverine gaps, the BSF on its part claims to have plugged all the holes along the border. Leaving nothing to chance, the BSF soldiers have also intensified boat patrolling in the Sutlej river and creaks to check infiltration.
In all five persons, including a woman were arrested last week. While Karnail Singh is said to be a smuggler, who was earlier detained at the Lahore jail by the Pakistani authorities for seven years, the others Lakhwinder Singh, Piara Singh, Guddo Bhai and her son Boor Singh are learnt to have purchased a part of the consignment and circulated it in the market.
Although the police is still groping in the dark about the exact amount of fake money having been circulated in the market, Karnail Singh is learnt to have sold some notes for half the actual price. The fake currency comprised mostly of Rs 100 denomination notes and is believed to have been brought from Pakistan-based smugglers Chaudhary Ashraf Irani, Niamat Ghurki, Balal Ghurki and Rafi.
Urea price hike to hit
CHANDIGARH, Feb 29 Although predominantly agriculture states have a lot to worry about the Union Budget proposals, yet Punjab will gain a neat Rs 350 crore per year. Haryana too will benefit to the extent of Rs 250 crore. The Union Government has accepted some of the important recommendations of the 11th Finance Commission. Devolution of taxes will be 29 per cent, the Punjab Finance Minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh told TNS.
Capt Kanwaljit Singh also welcomed certain other proposals like the creation of a central road fund of Rs 5,000 crore and another fund to help states in times of dire need. The State Finance Minister called it a people friendly Budget. The farming sector will get a push. Other sectors to gain are information technology, roads and housing, he said.
But the Minister like his Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal was not happy with some of the features of the Budget. Mr Badal expressed serious concern over the propriety of the Budget proposals regarding hike in the retail price of urea. In a statement here he said that the Punjab farmers, who were reeling under heavy debt amounting to Rs 6,000 crore, would not be in a position to bear this additional burden which would shatter the viability of farm operations.
He said that an average farming family in Punjab was paying Rs 11,000 per year as interest on the heavy debt burden already suffered by them because agriculture was no longer a profitable venture. In the past 15 years, the input cost index had gone up three times whereas his income index had increased only by one and a half times. The scales were already tilted against the farmers and any increase in the present input cost might prove the last straw on the camels back. He said the Central Government must withdraw the proposed hike and ensure that the proposal for elimination of the price retention scheme should not result in unchecked hike of prices of fertilisers in future.
Mr Badal also expressed his apprehension that the curtailment in food subsidy would reduce the off-take of wheat and rice and add to the swelling food stocks level in Punjab. According to Mr Badal the out-flow of food stocks from Punjab was unsatisfactory, thanks to the indiscriminate imports in the past which had been mercifully stopped on his taking up the matter with the Prime Minister as well as due to poor off-take levels.
The Chief Minister appreciated the provisions made in the Budget for strengthening the rural economy, human resources development, infrastructure development, knowledge based industries, social security for the poor and universalisation of elementary education would pave the way for bridging the gap between the rich and poor. He said that enlargement of the Kisan Credit Card coverage to 75 lakh farmers against 50 lakh in the current year, enhancement of rural infrastructure development fund from Rs 3500 crore to Rs 4500 crore, credit flow to agriculture through institutional channels to the extent of Rs 51,500 crore, dwelling units for 25 lakh families in the rural areas and launching of a new scheme entitled Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yojana with an outlay of Rs 5000 crore for rural people illustrated the far-sighted strategy of the NDA Government. The exemption of medical items from excise and reduction on custom duty on items of daily use would also give relief to the common man.
Crisis in Panth will be over
LUDHIANA, Feb 29 Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today expressed the confidence that the crisis in the Panth over confrontation between the Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Puran Singh, and the SGPC chief, Bibi Jagir Kaur, would be resolved soon.
Talking to mediapersons here, Mr Badal said he would not like to comment over the manner the hukamnama was issued by the Jathedar excommunicating Bibi Jagir Kaur or the way Bibi Jagir Kaur appeared at Akal Takht yesterday in defiance of the edict.
He replied in the negative when asked if Bibi Jagir Kaur had consulted him before going to Akal Takht to accept a siropa from Giani Bhagwan Singh, Head Granthi, Akal Takht.
In a reference to the memorandum containing charges of corruption and misuse of office against the Minister for Local Bodies, Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, submitted by representatives of trade and industry to the Governor at Chandigarh yesterday, Mr Badal said he would look into the matter when it was referred to him.
He, however, pointed out that the government had already set up the institution of Lok Pal where any complaint against a public man could be filed.
On the Akali victory at Nawanshahr, the Chief Minister said the poll outcome was a tribute to the wisdom of the voters. It had been proved that Capt Amarinder Singh and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra had no mass base. He ascribed the Akali defeat in the Adampur byelection in 1998 to internal sabotage by Mr Tohra who was then a part of the Akali Dal.
Mr Badal said the Congress leader knew that his party would not win in Nawanshahr. Therefore, he had started preparing alibis, alleging poll malpractices. The fact of the matter was that the election had been conducted in a most organised and peaceful manner.
Addressing a meeting of representatives of Rice Shellers Association, Mr Badal said the lifting of paddy and rice would be speeded up shortly and Union Food Minister, Mr Shanta Kumar, had issued instructions regarding the provision of more railway wagons to Punjab.
He said the Centre had also cleared the long-pending arbitration cases against the shellers involving Rs 120 crore. The state government would take up a decision to finally settle these cases shortly.
Regarding the lifting of pending levy rice from the shellers, the Chief Minister said the lifting would be expedited and the pending payments cleared soon.
No to Bhai Manjits
AMRITSAR, Feb 29 Even as Giani Puran Singh, Jathedar, Akal Takht, turned down the proposal by Prof Manjit Singh to summon a meeting of all five Sikh High Priests to resolve the crisis in the Panth, the former held a series of meetings with office-bearers of the Gurbani Gurmat Sidhant Sant Parchark Sant Samaj at his residence today in the wake of open defiance of the hukamnama by Bibi Jagir Kaur.
Baba Kashmira Singh and Baba Mangal Singh Saltani, President and acting President of the Sant Samaj, respectively, held a closed-door meeting here to take stock of the situation arising after the show of strength by the SGPC chief yesterday.
Talking to TNS, Baba Mangal Singh said Giani Puran Singh had rejected the proposal of Prof Manjit Singh, Jathedar, Sri Kesgarh Sahib, to hold a meeting of five Sikh High Priests.
Baba Kashmira Singh said the offer could not be accepted as Giani Bhagwan Singh had performed ardas to mark the end of the ekantwas of Bibi Jagir Kaur in violation of Sikh tradition.
Baba Kashmira Singh said the Sant Samaj had adopted the policy of wait and watch. He said he had spoken to Mr Parkash Singh Badal after yesterdays developments.
He was confident that Bibi Jagir Kaur and had not taken Mr Badal into confidence before paying obeisance at Akal Takht and the Golden Temple with her supporters. It was altogether contrary to the assurances given to the Sant Samaj and the Jathedar of Akal Takht by Mr Badal a few days back, he said.
He said the Sant Samajt would not let the anti Panthic forces to achieve their goal. I shall meet Mr Badal along with a number of MLAs against Bibi Jagir Kaur, he announced.
Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, President, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), demanded the resignation of Bibi Jagir Kaur. Talking to TNS from Delhi, he alleged that Bibi Jagir Kaur had violated the Sikh maryada with the show of strength yesterday.
SHSAD to file writ against
RAMPURAPHUL, Feb 29 Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, General Secretary, Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD), today said his party would file a writ in the Punjab and Haryana High Court shortly to stop Bibi Jagir Kaur from acting as president of the SGPC.
Talking to mediapersons here, he said as per the Gurdwara Act, the SGPC President alone could manage the affairs of gurdwaras. As Bibi Jagir Kaur had been excommunicated from the Panth, she had ceased to be the President of the SGPC. Hence, she could not interfere in the working of the gurdwaras.
Behals election set aside
KAPURTHALA, Feb 29 The district election tribunal today upheld the election petition of Mr Mohinder Kumar Aggarwal and declared the election of BJP municipal Councillor, Mr Ashok Behal, as void.
The nomination papers of Mr Aggarwal were rejected by the returning officer on the ground that Mr Aggarwal was removed from the office of presidentship by the Punjab government for misconduct in the discharge of his duties as president hence not eligible to contest the election from ward no. 20 of the local council. The election to the local Municipal Council held in January 98.
Mr Aggarwal had filed a petition before the Election Tribunal headed by Mr V.K. Singh, Deputy Commissioner, challenging the rejection of his nominations by the returning officer from ward no. 20. In a judgement today the election tribunal observed that Mr Aggarwal was removed from the post of presidentship and not from the membership of the council and thus his nomination papers had been rejected wrongly.
Accepting the petition of Mr Aggarwal, he set aside the election of Mr Ashok Behal, a BJP councillor from ward no. 20.
Mr V.K. Singh told newsmen that he was dispatching the judgement to the Punjab State Election Tribunal with the recommendation to denotify the election of ward no. 20 and for holding fresh election to this ward.
Mr Aggarwal had filed his nomination papers from ward no. 20 as an independent candidate in January 98.
Forum doubles relief
ABOHAR, Feb 29 The Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Punjab, rejecting an appeal filed by the General Manager, Telecom (Ferozepore), challenging an award by the District Consumer Forum, has increased the amount of compensation to be given to a widow who had been deprived of a telephone connection for 10 years, from Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000.
The consumer, Mrs Reshma Ahuja, had filed an appeal before the commission requesting that the appeal of the GMT, Ferozepore, be rejected and compensation enhanced. the appeal was heard by Mr Justice A.L. Bahri, Chairman, Mr Jasbir Singh and Mrs D.K. Bhamrah, members of the commission.
A telephone (20938) was installed at the residence of the applicant. She received a Bill on October 4, 1988 for Rs 3177 which was excessive. For non-payment of this bill, the telephone was disconnected. subsequently, a bill for Rs 14501 was slapped on the consumer.
Mrs Ahuja filed a civil suit at Fazilka. The court referred the dispute for arbitration under Section 7-B of the Indian Telegraphs Act. The arbitrator announced the award on February 9, 1995. As per the award, the telephone was to be restored subject to the payment of bills after a relief of Rs 2000 and 11000 besides rent for the intervening period of four months.
The Telephone Department issued a revised bill for Rs 8380 which the complainant paid on September 29, 1995. In spite of that, the telephone connection was not restored and Mrs Ahuja approached the District Consumer Forum. She claimed compensation, saying the department had been delaying restoration of the connection on one pretext or the other.
The Telephone Department said the consumer should have approached the Civil Court for the award. The compensation was also described as highly excessive. The department justified claiming rent from the consumer for the past 10 years.
The commission said in a four-page decision that there was no merit in the appeal of the Telephone Department and the compensation granted in this case was woefully inadequate. The department was wholly unjustified in not implementing the statutory award made under Section 7-B of the Indian Telegraphs Act. The arbitrator had announced that the bill for rentals should be for a period of four months only. Therefore, the demand of the department for rent was uncalled for.
The contention that the award should have been made a rule of the court could not be accepted. Under the Act, if a matter was referred for arbitration, the award was required to be implemented by the department. If such contention was accepted then the department would be burdened with exemplary amount of compensation to be awarded and might suffer loss of revenue. Non-implementation of the award per se amounted to deficiency in service for which the consumer had approached the forum.
The commission held that after the payment of the revised bill for Rs 8388 the department was to promptly restore the telephone. The rent for 16 months was illegal. The consumer was entitled to a refund. Since the complainant was deprived of the utility of the telephone for a period of 10 years of Rs 18,000 was inadequate A sum of Rs 20,000 was a just compensation.
The commission dismissed
the appeal filed by the department and directed that an
additional security of Rs 1200 recovered from the
consumer should also be refunded. The appeal was accepted
Fireman to get compensation
LUDHIANA, Feb 29 The Civil Judge, Senior Division, Mr B.K. Mehta, has asked Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, to Pay Rs 1,000 to a fireman, Mr Joginder Pal Behl, as compensation and Rs 320 as expenses of the civil suit. Mr Behl had pleaded that he be paid compensation for the harassment caused to him due to the alleged adverse remarks written in his annual confidential report (ACR) and his subsequent suspension from service on false charges of burning of the effigies of his seniors. He had, however, asked to be paid Rs 5,000 in all as compensation.
It is learnt that adverse remarks had been written in the ACR of Mr Behl in 1979-80 and he had filed a complaint before the Industrial Tribunal, Chandigarh, in 1981. The Tribunal had decided that these remarks in the ACR would have no effect.
Mr Behl then filed a civil suit in the court of Mr R.P. Nagrath in 1983, the adverse remarks were ordered to be expunged by the court in February 1986. Meanwhile, he was also suspended and chargesheeted on the allegation of displaying effigies in 1984 after a two-year long departmental inquiry. He was, however, reinstated after almost six months.
World War II veteran dead
CHANDIGARH, Feb 29 A veteran of World War II, 90-year-old Brig Hardial Singh Randhawa, perhaps one of the oldest surviving soldier, died at his native village, Ghalib Kalan in Jagraon tehsil a few days ago.
Born in 1910 at Ghalib Kalan, he joined the Army as a soldier in 1926 after his matriculation from the village school. In 1935, he graduated from the IMA for a commission in the Army.
Brigadier Randhawa took active part in military operations in Malaysia (1941), Paiforce (1943) and Iraq (1945). In recognition of his gallant actions, he was conferred with Frontier Medal in 1936, Indian Independence Medal (1949), Africa Star, Burma Star and Defence medals also. He was promoted Brigadier in 1950. It was he who raised 1 Bihar Regiment.
After retiring from active service in 1962, he was recalled five months later following the Chinese aggression in 1962. Subsequently, he served as Director, NCC, Madhya Pradesh, for two years before formally leaving the uniform in 1964.
Traffic violators to face action
LUDHIANA, Feb 29 People commuting on the Ferozepore road, between the octroi post and the Baddowal railway line, can now have a sigh of relief as the district administration is taking a serious note of the traffic jams caused on this stretch due to unauthorised parking during the marriage season. It is also deciding on some corrective measures.
According to a press note, a meeting of officers of the traffic police, PWD, forest and other departments concerned was held under the chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Goel, here yesterday. It was decided that unauthorised parking would not be allowed along the road. Vehicles of violators would be immediately towed away by cranes.
Mr Goel directed the traffic police officers to permanently install two cranes to remove the vehicles parked on the road and two-breath-analysers to check drunken drivers. He also directed them not to allow baraats to perform Bhangra on the road or light fireworks. The baraat would be allowed to move only on the side service-lanes.
The PWD would from now onwards charge the rent for the parking place outside marriage palaces and no vehicle would be allowed to be parked outside the fixed parking place. The marriage palace owners would have to provide extra parking, space, if needed, on their premises.
The Deputy Commissioner also directed the Forest Department to remove barbed wires put up along the roadside to clear more space for parking. It was also decided in the meeting that the stretch of road from the octroi post to the railway line would be widened by 5 ft on both sides to facilitate the smooth movement of the traffic.
Mr S.S. Bhatti, SP, Traffic, informed the meeting that during the campaign launched to check drunken driving, 104 challans had been made so far.
Balmikis hold up traffic
AMRITSAR, Feb 29 Thousands of Balmikis staged a dharna in the Bhandari Bridge area. They also blocked traffic in the Civil Lines area. The agitation started at 11.30 a.m.
They were agitating against the decision of the local administration to suspend and transfer Mr J P Singh, SDM, Ajnala, in connection with the demolition of the Sree Ram Tirath temple on February 19.
Roads leading to the Righo Bridge from the Railway crossing near the SGTB Hospital, the Hukam Singh flyover and the Bhandari Bridge area were blocked.
As a result there were traffic hold ups at various places. The police was seen diverting vehicles. Scuffles, hot words were exchanged, horns were honked, as vehicles started bumping against one another.
Confusion prevailed all over while the police did precious little as agitators stayed put at their positions. Persons who tried to cross the blocked areas with their vehicles got manhandled and their vehicles were overturned. People were seen parking their vehicles in safe corners and commuting to their places of work.
Agitators ran around with stones in hand, manhandling , slapping, pushing the public and using abusive language with the harassed public.
Free-for-all continued till about 3 p.m. At 3.30 p.m. the agitators submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Narinderjit Singh, which said that they supported the action of the SDM, Ajnala. Till the memorandum was submitted both the public and the Deputy Commissioner were unaware of the issue of protest.
Meanwhile, the All-India
Hindu Shiv Sena chief, Mr Surinder Kumar Billa, has urged
the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to register a
case against the SDM, Ajnala, in the temple demolition
case. He termed the dharna as a political conspiracy to
divide the community.
Kikar, tahli face threat
BATHINDA, Feb 29 The mysterious disease, adverse climatic conditions coupled with apathetic attitude of authorities concerned has put kikar (acacia nilotica) and tahli (dalvergia sissoo) on the verge of extinction in Punjab.
Though the process of untimely dryness of these trees started three years ago in Punjab, the authorities concerned woke up to the problem only a few days back.
Official sources said that Punjab State Forest Department authorities had engaged the Regional Centre National Afforestation Eco-Development Board (NAEDB), Solan (HP) to send its scientists for making field survey in Punjab about a month ago for finding out the reason for the untimely dryness of kikar and tahli in the State.
Sources added that forest experts felt that if the present trend of dryness of kikar and tahli continued, Punjab would become like Rajasthan.
Officials of the Punjab State Forest Department pointed out that their higher authorities had engaged scientists of NAEDB when almost all the kikars and thahlis in Punjab had dried up. They added that by the time these scientists would start making their survey, there would be no kikar and tahli in Punjab.
Sources added that at present in certain pockets of Punjab, kikar and tahli tress had completely dried up. In other pockets the mortality rate was more than 80 per cent.
Official sources said scientists of NAEDB would make their survey in four districts including Muktsar, Ferozepore, Sangrur and Bathinda of Punjab. They had been given the task to provide the preliminary information on the extent of mortality of these trees.
Sources added that kikar and thahli trees were drying up untimely due to climatic changes. For the last three years, the duration of fog had become longer while on the other hand, the state had been receiving less rain during the monsoon. For the past three years, kikar had ceased to bear tukka containing seeds.
The Punjab Government has already engaged private contractors and the Punjab Forest Corporation to cut more than 50,000 kikar and tahli (shisham), which has been dried up due to various reasons, including the waterlogging and mysterious disease, in the state before March 31.
Mr Jagdeep Singh Dhillon, President, Punjab Non-Gazetted Forest Officers Union, said on the one hand, the authorities concerned had made considerable delay in conducting the survey for diagnosing the disease which had gripped kikar and tahli trees, on the other hand the project of new plantation running under the patronage of a Japan-based Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund (OECF) was not being executed as per the official directions.
Rally for punishment to guilty
RAMPURAPHUL, Feb 29 The Jethuke Goli Kand Virodhi Action Committee, which organised an all party rally here today in protest against the killing of two Dalit youths at Jethuke village on January 31 in police firing, announced it would continue its struggle till punishment was given to the police and civil officials of Bathinda district who were responsible for the firing.
Representatives of the
CPI, CPM, SHSAD, Lok Morcha, Punjab, Lok Sangram Morcha,
Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union, Technical Service Union and
Nari Mukti Morcha participated in the rally. There was,
however, no prominent leader of the Congress party in the
Tribune scribe dead
SANGRUR, Feb 29 Prem Goyal (62), local correspondent of The Tribune, died of a heart attack here this morning. He served The Tribune for 25 years.
He is survived by wife, two sons and three daughters.
He was cremated at the local cremation ground this afternoon. Hundreds of persons from all walks of life attended the funeral.
Wreaths were laid on the body by Mr Anirudh Tiwari, Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arpit Shukla, SSP, and Mr Narinder Singh, DPRO, Sangrur, on behalf of the Director, Public Relations, Punjab.
Mr Sukhdev Singh
Dhindsa, Union Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, State
Finance Minister, Mr Ranjit Singh Balian, Minister of
State for Housing and Urban Development and Mr Jasbir
Singh and Mr Som Dutt, both former ministers of Punjab,
have expressed grief and shock over the untimely demise
of Prem Goyal.
Dentists averse to
LUDHIANA, Feb 29 Dentists, who are in a high risk category of being infected with the deadly hepatitis-B, seem averse to getting themselves immunised against this disease. This is the finding of a study conducted by Dr Neeraj Taneja and Dr Barjinder Singh, lecturers at Baba Jaswant Singh Dental College and Research Institute.
The study, which took into account 981 dentists and dental students from all over Punjab and Chandigarh, found out that 13.5 per cent of them had not got themselves vaccinated and another 13 per cent of the ones who had started the vaccination process, had not completed the course. It was also found that 90 per cent of the dentists had also not undergone the antibody titter test.
Death of Albel Singh mourned
CHANDIGARH, Feb 29 The Punjab Governor and President of the Indian Red Cross Society (Punjab Branch), Leiut-Gen JFR Jacob, and the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal in separate statements have expressed shock over the demise of Mr Albel Singh Grewal, Secretary, Red Cross Society (Punjab Branch). Mr Albel Singh died of cancer in America yesterday.
The Governor said that Mr Grewal would be remembered for his exemplary work in the field of Red Cross. Mr Badal said that Mr Grewal was a distinguished media person, a prolific writer and a gentleman to the core. The state has lost a philanthropist and a prominent social figure in his death.
Dharna called off
CHANDIGARH, Feb 29 Narendar Singh, who was on dharna in front of the office of the Haryana State Agriculture and Rural Development Bank (HSARDB) for being given a job on compassionate grounds, called off the dharna today following his appointment as peon in the bank.
Mr J.P. Yadav, Managing
Director of HSARDB, handed over the appointment letter to
him, a press statement, by the Joint Action Committee of
Employees, said. Mr Yadav also assured the employees that
their other demands, including cancellation of the
appointment of Mr Sandeep Bhatti, would be fulfilled, the
Medical camp organised
PATIALA, Feb 29
Sardarni Balbir Kaur Charitable Trust, Lions Club Patiala
Central and Rotary club Patiala jointly organised a
medical camp at Basti Daru Kutta (Sullar). A team of
doctors examined 434 patients from Sullar, Kakrala, Jalan
and other villages. Medicines were provided free of cost
to the needy. All identified cases of eye operations will
be done at Model Town dispensary free of cost. Medicines
and spectacles will be provided by the clubs.
JALANDHAR, Feb 29 The newly built St Sebastians Catholic Church was inaugurated by Dr Alan de Lastic, Archbishop of Delhi, at Jalandhar cantonment on Sunday.
A large number of people from the northern part of the country participated in the ceremony.
In his brief message, the archbishop appealed to the people to live the way shown by St Sebestian.
Press gallery panel
CHANDIGARH, Feb 29 The Press Gallery Committee of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha today unanimously elected its new Executive.
Mr Jagtar Singh Sidhu (Punjabi Tribune) has been elected President, Mr G.S. Sidhu (AIR) Vice-President and Mr Sarabjit Singh Pandher General Secretary.
Punjab order on pension
CHANDIGARH, Feb 29
The Punjab Government has decided to do away with
the system of filling the prescribed performa for pension
to freedom fighters. A decision to this effect has been
taken to end the hardships faced by them, according to a
press note issued by the Punjab Government today.
Class I status for BDOs
CHANDIGARH, Feb 29
The Punjab Government has decided to give class-I
status to Block Development and Panchayat Officers,
District Development and Panchayat Officers, and
Development Officers (Women Programme). This was
disclosed here today by Mr Nirmal Singh Kahlon, Rural
Development and Panchayats Minister, Punjab. A
notification in this connection will be issued soon.
Body found lying in pit
LUDHIANA, Feb 29 The body of a youth was found from a pit dug for laying water pipes in Perubanda, village, now called Preetam Nagar, last evening.
The body has been identified as that of a Nepali citizen, Jai Dutt. It was found by two labourers, Jai Narayan Yadav and Mumunna Hansari, while they were carrying out digging at 1 p.m. yesterday.
Talking to this correspondent today, Munna Hansari said: We had dug a pit around 200 yards and 5 ft deep till February 26 and did not come for work on Sunday. We again began digging last morning and at 1 p.m. when we tried to pull one end of a water pipe laid in the pit dug on Saturday to join it to a new water pipe that was being laid, the soil on it gave way and we found the legs of the body.
Jai Narayan Yadav said the body had been covered with a layer of earth. A piece of cloth had been tied around the neck of the deceased. It appeared that he had been strangulated. His clothes smelt of liquor, he said.
The labourers raised an alarm. Residents of the village later informed the police. The body was exhumed two hours later. From a medical slip found in one of the shirt pockets of the deceased, the police identified the body as that of Jai Dutt.
A case under Sections 302, 201 and 34, IPC, was registered.
The fact that the pit where the body had been hidden had been dug on Saturday and the body was not swollen makes us believe that it had probably been buried in the wee hours of the morning of February 28, said police official Piara Lal.
A resident of the village, Mr Narain Das, talking to this correspondent said: This place is deserted during the night. I think the body must have been hidden late in the night. He said during the past 15 years, four bodies had been thrown away in the village after murder.
The 16-year-old wife of the deceased, Nanda, said Jai Dutt had left the house on Sunday at 8 p.m. to visit a cousin who stays nearby.
In a choked voice, a distraught Nanda, who has none of her family members here, said: A picture of my husband was shown by the police on the local T.V. channel. That is how I got to know of his death,.
Woman kills kids, commits
SAMRALA, Feb 29 Kuldeep Kaur (30) of Bhattian village, near here, committed suicide by consuming poison. She also administered poison to her sons, Amandeep (5) and Baljeet (3) and to her buffalo, resulting in their death.
PFC official arrested
FEROZEPORE, Feb 29 A District Manager of the Punjab Financial Corporation, Mr Sudhir Kumar Sood, was today arrested for accepting a bribe of Rs 2,000.
Disclosing this to Tribune News Service, the Ferozepore Range SP (Vigilance), Mr Hardyal Singh Mann, said that Sood was caught red-handed by the flying squad while accepting the bribe from Mr Baldev Singh, a loan applicant from Gidderbaha.
Earlier, in his
complaint, Mr Baldev Singh had charged Mr Sood with
seeking a bribe to release the second instalment of Rs 10
lakh loan advanced to him by the corporation. A
although a draft for the latest instalment of Rs 2.7 lakh
has already been issued by the corporation, the official
was seeking a bribe for handing over the cheque to Mr
Baldev Singh, Mr Mann said.
4 hurt in clash
LUDHIANA, Feb 29 Four persons were injured, three of them seriously, in front of L.M. Civil Hospital here yesterday.
According to information available, Parminder Singh, Sukhminder Singh, Kulwinder Singh and Varinder Singh were attacked by another group of men with kirpans, when they came out of the hospital. The attackers were in two Sumos, one without a number plate and the other bearing number (PB-08 B-0029). The four had come for tooth extraction. They were later admitted to the hospital.
Complaint against police officer
PATHANKOT, Feb 29 A criminal complaint has been filed in the court of Mr K.K. Kareer, Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Pathankot, against Mr Balbir Singh Bawa, Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, and constables Raj Kumar and Joga Singh for atrocities committed by them on Mr Om Parkash, a resident of Ganda Pinda, Marara.
It is alleged that on September 9, 1993 at 10 p.m. the complainant, a catering manager at the Railways Restaurant here was forcibly taken away by the accused in an Ambassador car to the city police station. There he was brutally tortured.
University violating UGC norms,
PATIALA, Feb 29 The Forum for Educational Action and Reform (FEAR) today said Punjabi University was not constituting the College Development Council after its lapse in May last year in utter violation of the mandatory UGC norms and also a policy decision of the Syndicate.
In a statement here today council president Amarjit Singh Dhillon said almost the entire academic session of 1999-2000 was going to be over and the Dean of College Development Council continued without the council. The forum said this had happened for the first time since councils establishment in the year 1978-79.
Dr Dhillon said the college development council (CDC) was to consist of 30 members, including the Vice-Chancellor, and its tenure was two years. He said it was supposed to give due representation to rural and women colleges affiliated with the university through their principals and teachers, who could contribute their list for the development of colleges and also provide a useful feedback to university.
Dr Dhillon said according to the UGC guidelines duly accepted by the university, the CDC was a policy-making body for proper plannings and development of the colleges and it advised the university on all matters relating to colleges. It also prepared a perspective plan for their development, and also opening of new colleges where required. He said the CDC also evaluated the UGC grants given to the colleges and their impact thereon. The council is supposed to meet twice in an academic year.
The forum also noted that as per Punjabi University Act, Section 9-B (7), it is the duty of the Vice-Chancellor to ensure that the Act, statutes, ordinances and regulations are faithfully observed. Therefore, the forum felt that it was the paramount responsibility of the Vice-Chancellor to ensure that the CDC was constituted in time. The forum urged the Chancellor to fix responsibility in this respect, and also direct to constitute it without any further loss of time.
Vice-Chancellor Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia was not available
for comments, However, Dean, Colleges, Dr Jodh Singh,
said the council would be constituted very shortly and
that its file had already been moved.
'Resignation by teachers to be last
PATIALA, Feb 29 Striking teachers of the Government Medical and Dental Colleges here today said they would submit their resignation only if they did not get justice from the Chief Minister.
Dr Ravinder Singh, Secretary, Punjab State Medical and Dental Teachers Association, said they were scheduled to meet Mr Manoranjan Kalia, Minister for Medical Education and Research, tomorrow and would meet the Chief Minister later to press for their demand of getting arrears for the revised pay scales from 1996 onwards. There was no plan to resign from March 1.
He said the out patient department of the Government Rajindra Hospital and Dental Hospital were again closed today to protest against the non-acceptance of their demand. He said the teachers will use mass resignation only as a last resort if all avenues for the acceptance of their demands get exhausted.
He said the teachers had submitted their resignation letters to the association, which will decide after meetings with the Health Minister and the Chief Minister about the date of resignation.
The teachers are on
strike since February 10. Their one-point demand is
getting arrears of the new pay scales. The teachers are
upset over the fact that other government employees have
been given the arrears but only 400-odd teachers have
been ignored by the government.
Transfer of teachers
CHANDIGARH, Feb 29
The Punjab Education Department has invited
applications on a prescribed performa till May 15 from
those teachers who want transfer from one school to
other. No application, which would reach the office of
the District Education Officer concerned, will be
entertained after May 15 according to Mr Tota Singh,
Punjab Education Minister.
PATIALA, Feb 29 A renowned physicist, Mr Ashok Parthsarthi, today stressed the need for nurturing and developing the countrys self-reliance capacity in the field of technology to be able to compete with the world in the new millennium.
Mr Parthsarthi, who has over 100 papers on various aspects of science and technology, planning and management, expressed these views while participating in the millennium series intellectual lectures organised by the Thapar Institute of Technology Engineering and Technology in the institutions auditorium on the topic of Acquisition and Development of Technology: The Indian Experience here this evening.
Mr Parthsarthi said it was a great myth that India was far behind the other countries in technological advancement. On the contrary the country is not only self-reliant in many fields but is actually exporting new techniques or products to other countries.
He said the country was already on the path of rapid progress in science and technology. If continuous attention is given to the sector of domestic technology capacity development then in two or three decades India would be a power to reckon with in the field of science and technology.
Mr Parthsarthi said the country was today deriving rich dividends from investments made in science and technology during the 1970s and 1980s.
He cautioned the planners of the country not to concentrate on importing technology and using it directly in the production sector. In this way, he said, the country would make a product but would again have to rely on technology-supplying country if the said product is to be modified. He stressed the need to invest imported technology in the domestic technology capacity development sector and then modify a given product according to our own needs.
Giving examples, he said the Japan imported the car manufacturing technology from America and kept on modifying it. As a result today the Japanese are selling cars to the Americans. He said our country, too, has many such examples, particularly in the field of telecommunications, information network, railways and petroleum. He said whenever the country has used the technology to modify it to our needs, the country has benefited.
He also informed the gathering that the country had produced a super vaccine to eradicate leprosy. This vaccine is being sought by many foreign countries for worldwide marketing.
Earlier, Dr M.P. Kapoor,
Director of the institute, introduced the topic of the
lecture and gave a detailed introduction about the
physicist. Dr. Kapoor said the present generation has the
advantage of having the latest scientific equipment but
also has the responsibility to develop them to make the
country a super power.
Award for lecturer
PATIALA, Feb 29 Dr Jagbir Singh, a senior lecturer with the Department of Zoology, Punjabi University, Patiala, has been awarded by the National Academy of Vector Borne Diseases.
The award will be given
to him at a national-level function to be held later this
year. Dr Singh had earlier been selected by Kochi Medical
School Tapan and the Japanese Society of Electron
Microscopy as one of the 10 young scientists from Asia.
Wheat import duty to benefit
AMRITSAR, Feb 29 The Food Corporation of India is fully geared up to store a bumper harvest of wheat during the next two months. The Senior Regional Manager, Punjab, Mr DP Reddy, while talking to TNS here on Sunday said that during the current harvesting season more than 90 million metric tonnes was expected to flow into the mandis of the state and the FCI was going to procure over 28 million metric tonnes.
Mr Reddy pointed out that with the recent imposition of 50 per cent duty on the imported wheat, the movement of wheat to southern states would be faster than in the previous years. The FCI already has a storage space for 16 million tonnes and by April-end more space would be available for about four million tonnes.
The FCI official added that the corporation was committed to left the entire targeted purchase within next two months for which the FCI had already planned to have more storage and godown space.
At present, India already has stocks of wheat for more than nine months, with large stocks having been imported. He added that with the heavy import duty, Punjab wheat would start filling the godowns of southern states by the middle of this year.
Mr Reddy pointed out that the northern states, which had been the grannery of the country must rationalise their taxation structure so that grains produced here were more competitively placed not only in this country but could also match the international prices.
The high taxes added up to more than 11.5 per cent on the price which forced some states to opt for imported wheat. The landed cost of such grain was about Rs 650 per tonnes against Rs 715 procured from northern states.
Mr Reddy strongly advocated reduction in the taxes, so that grains produced here were sought by the defecit states without any hassle.
The FCI had made a policy decision for the paddy crop. Mr Reddy said that some shellers in Punjab were not keen to do custom milling and the corporation would move the paddy stocks close to areas where the rice was needed. Although, the rice made out of paddy crop during the 1997-98 season had not been of good quality but during 1998-99 procurement, the FCI acquired 32 lakh metric tonnes of rice which was of excellent quality. This rice was being transported to other states.
While, the shellers in
Amritsar particularly, were not prepared to do custom
shelling, but had given a levy share of 12 lakh tonnes to
the FCI which again was of good quality. The FCI had in
store more than 32 lakh tonnes of rice, he added.
Productivity policy on anvil
CHANDIGARH, Feb 29 The National Productivity Council of India (NPC) is in the process of formulating a national productivity policy, according to Mr Amrik Mohan Singh, Director of the NPC.
He said that international experts like Prof P.G. Ghemawat of Havard Business School, USA, and Mr Johnson Schreple and Dr A. Tolentino ILO, Geneva, would act as resource persons at a convention which had been specially convened on March 12 at Delhi for this purpose.
Samana unit of Beopar Cell
PATIALA, Feb 29 The Samana unit of Punjab Pardesh Beopar Cell has been established with Mr Surinder Kumar Goel, an eminent businessman dealing in rice milling industry and commission agent, as its president.
Mr Ved Parkash Gupta, state president of the Beopar Cell, alongwith Mr Chiman Lal Bansal, state general secretary, and Mr Hardev Singh Balli and Mr Pardeep Mittal visited Samana where a large gathering of local business people and industrialists gathered in the premises of Ganesh Cotton Mill to decide the installation of the Samana unit of Pardesh Beopar Cell. The house, in addition of Mr Surinder Kumar Goel, local unit president, also elected Mr Yash Pal Gupta, Dr Prem Paul, Mr Devraj Goel, Mr Ganesh Chand and Mr Raj Kumar Verma as delegate members in the state body.
The delegates present in the meeting during the discussions showed their resentment and condemned the behaviour of the government and its working machinery towards the business people.
In his address Mr Ved
Parkash Gupta said the Punjab Beopar Cell will serve as a
service club and think tank for the restoration of honour
and dignity of the business people who in spite of being
one of the major force for the survival of any society
and government are being exploited very badly by the
persons in authority everywhere. He said without the
least contradiction and confrontation the cell would
extend cooperation to all the existing organisations
working for the cause of business community. The Punjab
Beopar Cell will start an effective awareness drive for
the redressal of the genuine grievances and problems
being faced by the cross-section of the business
community by holding seminars and opening units at
various places, he added.
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