|Wednesday, March 29, 2000,
hides seized, 3 held
refinery in 48 months: CM
raps Punjab Govt
Lama hails Clintons visit
impersonating Sukhbir Badal held
woman Registrar quits after 18 days
executive approves 173 cr budget
engineers caution govt on accord
probe into carnage sought
formed on gypsum scam
by Punjab Govt employees
gardens to garbage dumps
play on Kashmir problem
to sponsor studies of carnage victims kids
rally at Gurdaspur
banks pose AIDS threat
kidnapped boys rescued
death: SSP told to register case
robbed of Rs 18 lakh
members of timber mafia held
exams cancelled for mass copying
way of copying
Chawla elected MCI panel chief
had opposed Pak
school annual day
33 hides seized, 3 held
GORAYA (Jalandhar), March 28 The chance arrest of three persons and the big haul of 33 hides of rare animals, like the leopard and wild and fishing cats, worth lakhs, may provide many crucial leads to the police and wildlife authorities about a inter-state gang involved in poaching, smuggling and illegal selling of rare animals.
Of the total 33 hides seized by the Goraya police, three are of full-grown leopards and the rest of wild cats and rare fishing cats enlisted in the schedule of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.
The police authorities stumbled upon the hides when the accused Sheesha, the Phillaur-based kingpin of the gang, and two of his accomplices Mangat Rai, a resident of Santokhpura locality of Phillaur, and Nihala, a resident of Quila Mohalla in Ludhiana, were found roaming in a suspicious manner along with their families near Chachrari village on the Jalandhar Ludhiana road last night.
The accused were carrying a large bag, stuffed with the hides, which, according to Mr Gaurav Yadav, SSP, they had planned to sell in Ludhiana, after which these were to be sent to Jaipur for trans-shipment to other places.
The three families were part of deras (cluster of families indulging in poaching and selling of animal skins), based in different parts of the Kangra valley, the upper and isolated reaches of Jawalamukhi, Baijnath and Palampur, where they used to operate with the help of families of bakkarwals (people who rear large herds of goat and sheep). After collecting enough skins during their two to three months stay there, they came to the plains, to sell the hides in different markets, including Ludhiana, Jaipur and Delhi at a price ranging between Rs 4000 and Rs 6000. This was revealed by Sheesha while talking to TNS before being produced in court today. Poaching of hides was also prevalent in Chamba district, where these people operated in the guise of herb collectors.
In Delhi and Kathmandu, the two biggest markets in Asia, from where the hides were further smuggled to parts of Europe, a leopard hide would fetch anything between Rs 50,000 and Rs 60,000, sources in the Punjab Wildlife Department said.
The fishing cat is a rare animal, surviving on fish and staying around wetlands and other water bodies, while big wild cats can be spotted in abundance in the forests of Himachal Pradesh, where the population of tigers and leopards is swelling.
Sheesha said they used to eat the meat of cats after hunting them along with bakkarwals and sold the hides later on.
Nihala admitted that a large number of such groups from Punjab and Rajasthan visited some areas in the hill state and stayed there during winter for collection of hides. He said in Delhi and Jaipur, the hides had enough buyers.
Mr K.S. Malhi, SHO, said on a specific tip-off he found the hides in a bag being carried by the accused.
We were coming in
a truck, the driver of which forced us to alight here and
the conductor of a bus refused to let us in, probably due
to the foul smell emanating from the bag. The police has
registered a case under Sections 29 of the IPC and
different sections of the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals Act, 1960, and the Wildlife Protection Act.
Bathinda refinery in 48 months:
CHANDIGARH, March 28 The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, said today that the Bathinda oil refinery was expected to be completed and commissioned in 48 months.
Answering a question in the Vidhan Sabha, Mr Badal said the HPCL was working for a tie-up with private parties for partnership. Giving details, he said, several civil works were in progress on the 2,000-acre land, which has been acquired and on which boundary wall raised.
Referring to funds released by the HPCL, he said an amount of Rs 66.76 crore was released in 1997-98; Rs 5.63 crore in the following year and Rs 21.68 crore up to February 2,000.
To another question by Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta on industrial development, the Chief Minister said investment incentive (subsidy) being given to the industries was pending for disbursement in cases sanctioned on or after January 1, 1996. The amount outstanding up to 1996-97 was Rs 104.89 crore, and the total outstanding amount was Rs 258.72 crore.
Ms Lakshmi Kanta Chawala was informed that 20, 928 cattle were sent out of Punjab to other states between January 1, 1997 and December 31, 1999. These included 11,938 cows which were lactating, 2,563 were dry cows and other cattle numbered 6,427.
Capt Kanwaljit Singh told the House during zero hour that a sum of Rs 52 crore was released today as UGC arrears for the privately managed colleges. He was replying to a point raised by Mr Ajit Inder Singh Moffar of the SAD (Mann).
The Minister for Medical Education and Research, Mr Manoranjan Kalia, told Mrs Chawla that since the 1999-2000 academic session, medical colleges were charging $ 75,000 per NRI student for the MBBS course. The sum could be paid in three instalments. A total of 13 NRI students have been admitted in the MBBS course in three state medical colleges: six students each in Patiala and Amritsar and one in Faridkot.
There were three calling attention motions: while Mrs Chawala moved two, one on unavailability of medicines for patients suffering from tuberculosis in TB Hospital in Amritsar, and the other on non-supply of medicines to mental hospital there, which kept insomnia patients awake throughout the night, creating noise and tension.
The third call-attention was by Mr Hardev Arshi and Mr Ajaib Singh Raunta on leakages in Mukerian hydel channel.
Mrs Chawala was visibly upset when the Speaker did not permit her to speak on a resolution moved by the Chief Minister, congratulating the Punjab writers for winning Janinpith award, from Gurdial Singh and Nirmal Verma.
The Speaker told her that after the BJP leader, Mr Balramji Das Tandon, had spoken on the congratulatory resolution she could not be allowed and by allowing her a new precedent would be set.
The House unanimously congratulated the two writers.
Bhattal raps Punjab Govt
CHANDIGARH, March 28 The Punjab Assembly today continued the discussion on the Budget presented on March 22.
The key speaker of the day was a Congress leader, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, who devoted a major part of her speech, firing salvos at the Treasury benches and drilling holes in the Budget. She chose to rebut the veiled and otherwise attacks made on the Congress party in the Budget speech and sought to turn the tables on the SAD-BJP Government.
Mrs Bhattal, who is attending the Budget session selectively, also created a commotion in the House by not joining the rest of the Congress legislators, who staged a walkout over the issue of employees demands. When the Speaker, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, repeatedly asked the Leader of the Opposition, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, to take seat and let the proceedings go on but the latter would not relent.Thereafter Congressmen staged a walkout. Mrs Bhattal, however, remained seated and did not join her colleagues in the walkout.
The Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, stood up on a point of order and asked the Speaker to let the Congressmen first state the reason for the walkout.
In her speech, Mrs Bhattal began by questioning the hypothesis of the Finance Minister that while Akalis believed in decentralisation of power and a federal structure, it was absolutely illogical on his part to say that the Congress was for centralisation of all powers. Who introduced the 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendments to empower grassroots democratic institutions? she asked.
She even had a dig at the SAD-BJP alliance since the two adhered to two different ideologies, spoke in two different languages and differed on key issues in every way. She termed the Budget speech a white lie and went on to put forward statistics and facts to tell the House what the Congress had done in five years and what Akalis and the BJP have undone in the past three years, thereby, causing a great harm to the economic interests of the state.
Mrs Bhattal quoted figures to show that the Budget speech was incorrect when it put the blame on the Congress for having left behind empty coffers.
The Budget proved the inefficient functioning of the government. The only evidence that the documents showed was that Akalis wanted to remain in power at any cost and not serve the people. Otherwise, how come all those contentious issues pertaining to Punjab and Punjabis namely, transfer of Chandigarh and other territory or sharing of waters have not been raised by the Akalis, who are fond of dharm yudh morchas on the same? Unlike the Akalis and the BJP the Congress was not power hungry. This remark attracted murmurs from the Treasury benches.
Earlier during zero hour most of the issues were disallowed by the Speaker. But what caught the attention of the House and was listened to with attention by the Treasury benches was the narration by the CPI member, Mr Ajaib Singh Raunta, about a particular police official in his constituency who had openly threatened to eliminate him (Mr Raunta), his son and family. For the past two years the police official was posted at the same place. Moreover, despite 11 months having passed no additional security had been provided to him. The Speaker should ensure members honour, dignity and respect are maintained both in and outside the house, he added.
Mr Ravi Inder Singh intervened to say that the matter should be referred to the Privileges Committee of the House since it was important and any member could be affected anytime. Several members were agitated over the treatment meted out to Mr Raunta. The Speaker, as custodian of the House, sought written notice to consider if the matter could be referred to the Privileges Committee.
The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Mr M.M.Mittal, said the matter will be looked into and security restored.
Mr Inderjit Singh Zira
referred to cancellation of the examination centre in
Zira and hunger strike resorted to by students in Panjab
University, where the Minister for Higher Education, Mr
Mohan Lal, went in the morning. The Minister assured that
no centre would be cancelled.
Dalai Lama hails
LUDHIANA, March 28 His holiness the Dalai Lama today hailed the recent visit by the US President, Mr Bill Clinton, to India and said the move by the worlds two biggest democracies to come closer was not directed against any third country.
Talking to media persons here, the Tibetan spiritual leader said it was natural for the two countries to be closer because India was the most populous democratic nation of the world while the USA was the foremost champion of freedom and liberty in the world. He recalled that certain, American leaders had supported Indias freedom struggle against the British.
He said in view of the changing geopolitical situation in the world, it was important for the two nations to look at bigger issues rather than get entangled in minor issues which divided them. He noted that there had been no military coup in India during the past half century despite the fact that it was a vast country with so many languages, cultures and religions. There was full freedom and rule of law for every individual.
Asked if there could be a shift in power balance in the region as a result of the USA and India coming closer, the Tibetan leader said: wait and see. He did not believe news stories that there was considerable unease in Beijing as a result of the latest US move. He pointed out that Sino-US ties were also very important. Coming together of two countries cannot be at the cost of a third country. It is an outdated concept, he said.
He described as very sad the present situation in Tibet. Certain new roads and new houses had been built there by the Chinese to show to the world that everything was okay in Tibet, but things were very bad there. There was discrimination against the Tibetans in every facet of life. The Chinese attitude towards Tibetan culture,Buddhist religion and language was very negative. The Chinese regarded them as a threat to the unity of China.
Later, speaking at the inaugural function of the Pentavox Industries Pvt Limited, the Dalai Lama urged upon those practising alternative medicine to undertake extensive research in the ancient systems of medicine like Ayurveda, Chinese and Tibetan systems. He urged upon the people that besides a good physical health, it was also important to have good spiritual development.
The Ludhiana citizens Health Council and the National Integrated Medical Association conferred the International Peace Award on the Dalai Lama.
Man impersonating Sukhbir
LUDHIANA, March 28 After a months rendezvous in Mumbai, by duping various industrial houses in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and New Delhi, by impersonating as former Union Minister of State for Industry, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal or BJP legislator, Mr Satpal Gosain, 35-year-old Rajeev Maini has landed up in police lock-up here.
Rajeev, frustrated after suffering major losses in his water-treatment chemicals business, found an easy way of making a quick buck along with Bhupinder Singh, alias Bittu, by impersonating as either of the two politicians, and then calling up certain big industrial houses to make payments.
Talking to TNS here today after his arrest, Rajeev Maini said his business of supplying boiler compounds failed a few months ago. Frustration set in after repeated attempts to start afresh failed. In fact, when I was rebuked by my father, a retired chief manager in a public sector bank, I left home to return only when I had made sufficient money, he says.
Rajeev said he had visited Ludhiana in December to study the feasibility of setting up a business venture It was then that I came in contact with Bhupinder Singh who was a friend of my contact in Ludhiana, Dr Pinky Dhawan. However, it was only after I came back to Ludhiana after a fight with my father that the two of us worked out this plan, he says.
Rajiv, a resident of New Delhi, is married and has a nine-year old son. The police claims that he was the brain behind the entire plan. Earlier, while working for an ion exchange dealer in Amritsar, Rajeev had come across most of the companies which he later duped. The duo also obtained telephone numbers of these industrial houses from the trunk enquiry at Mumbai, informed SSP Kuldip Singh.
The SHO, Focal Point police station Mr Paramjit Singh, said the two had already collected over Rs 1 lakh by impersonating as Mr Badal or Mr Gosain. After working out the plan they went to Mumbai and started contacting the industrial houses on the telephone. One would telephone the industrial house claiming to be PA of the leader and would put the called party through to the leader, he said.
The other, impersonating as the leader (generally it would be Rajeev Maini), would tell the party that one of his friends had lost his money at the airport and would request the party to direct its contacts in Mumbai to send some money to his friend at a specified place.
It is learnt that a number of industrial houses obliged these leaders with Mr Rajan Trehan of Chandigarh paying Rs 4000, M/s Treveni Casting, Parwanoo, paying Rs 10,000, M/s Gobind Rubbers, Ludhiana, paying Rs 15,000, M/s Oswal Agro Rs 20,000 as also Poddar Tyres.
The culprits also cheated M/s Ranbaxy Industries, Mohali, and the Jagatjit Distilleries, Hamira of Rs 12,000 and Rs 25,000, respectively.
Rajeev Maini told TNS that he was sorry that, he had spent the entire money along with Bhupinder and not sent anything to his family. Moreover long-distance telephone calls from Mumbai to these places would cost Rs 1000 per day on an average. Also, there were several who could not be conned as they recognised the leaders.
He said his regret was that Bhupinder cheated him by running away with the remaining Rs 45,000. Bhupinder duped me by saying that he had lost this money in gambling and fled. I had no money left and had to sell my watch to buy a ticket back for Delhi and it was there that I was caught while at the job, he said.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, got wind of this and informed the local police.
It is also learnt that the SSP, Mr Kuldip Singh contacted the Mumbai police and it was then that the PCO from which the calls were made was located and the various telephone numbers where the calls were made were procured.
However, the SSP said Rajeev Maini was nabbed after he made calls to proprietor of M/s Upper India Steels and Mr Randeep Singh Grewal lodged a complaint with the police.
He further informed that it was yesterday that Maini again called up Upper India Steels impersonating as Mr Badal and asked them to pay Rs 25,000 to a friend (actually himself) in Connaught Place, New Delhi. After the police verified that the call had not been made by Mr Badal, a police party went to the already decided police and nabbed him.
Rajiv Maini has been
given a two-day police remand by CJM, A.K. Mehta till
March 30. He has been arrested under Sections 406, 420,
506, 511 and 171 of the IPC. Bhupinder Singh, the other
accused, still at large.
First woman Registrar quits
after 18 days
PATIALA, March, 28 In a surprise move Mrs G.K. Jaggi, the first woman registrar of Punjabi University, today sought reversion to her parent department of Higher Education, Punjab eighteen days after being appointed to the post at a meeting of the University Syndicate held at the campus here.
Mrs Jaggi had been appointed Registrar of the university amid intense speculation and drama with former Registrar R.S. Sarao, who had offered his services to be re-employed in the same capacity , withdrawing his candidature at the start of the last Syndicate meeting which appointed Mrs Jaggi to the post. Mrs Jaggi had earlier been serving as Principal of the local Government College for Girls .
Talking to TNS, Mrs Jaggi said she had requested to be reverted to her parent department as she was not able to devote her time to academic pursuits after taking over as Registrar. When asked that she must have known that the post involved pure administrative work, she said although she was aware of it she had taken up the job as a challenge as she had the unique honour of being the first woman to be appointed to the post.
Mrs Jaggi said she had however, soon felt that she could not do justice to the responsibility as her academic work as well as family life had been disturbed after becoming Registrar.
However, the Forum for Educational Action and Reform (FEAR) alleged that Mrs Jaggi had been repeatedly humiliated by the University authorities which forced her to resign. In a statement here Forum President Dr Amarjit Singh Dhillon said Mrs Jaggis appointment had intentionally been made for one year contrary to university rules which stood for a four-year term .
Besides this Mr Dhillon alleged that the Vice-Chancellor had recently ordered the university Executive Engineer and the Finance Officer to put up all files to him directly whereas the ordinances provided that the officers were to route their work through the Registrar. He also alleged that Mrs Jaggis personal assistant had been chargesheeted without taking her into confidence.
A university release said the Syndicate had authorised the Vice-Chancellor to make temporary arrangement to look after the office work of the registrar till the appointment of a regular Registrar. It said the Syndicate placed on record its appreciation of the qualities of Dr Dr Jaggi and the Vice-Chancellor observed that her services would be availed of by the university in different capacities.
The Syndicate also
approved in principle to have a campus of the university
in the USA to teach Punjabi as a foreign language there.
It said the Syndicate was informed of another proposal
for establishing a research centre in the Department of
Pharmaceutical and Drug Research for developing
alternative systems of medicine suited to Indian
conditions. Foreign collaboration was also being sought
for developing the School of Business Management into a
higher centre comparable to international standards.
SGPC executive approves 173 cr
AMRITSAR, March 28 The SGPC executive today approved budget proposals worth over Rs 173 crore for 2000-2001 to be presented before the general house meeting on March 3o. The proposals were presented at a meeting presided over by SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur and attended by seven members loyal to Badal faction of the executive.
Giving details of the proposals, the SGPC secretary, Dr Gurbachan Singh Bachan told newsmen that due to boycott the SGPC would spend Rs 20 crore on education which planned to open more schools and other professional institutions while providing grants to the existing schools and colleges.
A sum of Rs 18.10 crore had been earmarked for dharam parchar while Rs 98.46 crore would be spent on historic gurdwaras coming under Section 85 of the Act for their upkeep and establishment expenses, he added.
Meanwhile the three
dissenting SGPC members belonging to the Tohra and Mann
factions, including Mr Jaswant Singh Manjpur, Mr Gurbaksh
Singh Purain and Mr Jagdhir Singh Katron, in a statement
challenged the claims of the pro-Badal executive over the
budget proposals. In a signed statement to the Press,
they claimed that a deficit of Rs 15.93 crore shown in
the budget was being covered from the savings of the SGPC
which was against the norms laid down under the Act.
PSEB engineers caution govt
CHANDIGARH, March 28 The PSEB Engineers Association has cautioned the Punjab Government against signing a power purchase agreement with a private company involved in the installation of a thermal plant at Goindwal Sahib.
The association has told the state government that before signing any agreement a debate should be held by involving top technocrats having adequate experience in the field.
It said no technocrat was involved in the negotiations with the company and the matter had been held at the bureaucrats level prior to the appointment of a technocrat as chairman of the PSEB.
Urging the government to make all facts regarding the negotiations held so far public and ensure full transparency, the association said it was taking such a stand as long-term interest of the state was involved in the issue.
Association leaders, who held a lengthy meeting with the Power minister, Mr Sikander Singh Maluka here today, said it had come to their notice that already a memorandum for the Cabinets approval had been prepared and it would be a matter of a few days when it would be approved.
It will be a big blunder to sign on the dotted line, said Mr M.S. Bajwa, president of the association.
The average cost, according to him, for the Goindwal thermal plant, if an agreement was signed, would be around Rs 6 per unit, he claimed.
Pressing the Power
minister to withdraw free power to the farming sector and
to stop subsidised power to other sections, the
association said the government should revise the
prevailing tariff in such a way that at least 3 per cent
rate of return (RR) plus depreciation of machinery was
Judicial probe into carnage
CHANDIGARH, March 28 The Human Rights and Democracy Forum has sought a probe by a sitting or a retired judge of the Supreme Court into the Chitti Singhpora carnage in which 36 Sikhs were killed last week.
Releasing a report regarding the incident, Mr Jaspal Singh Dhillon, the chairman of the forum, said here today that the state and the Central Government should give Rs 5 lakh each to every family affected by the violence in the Chitti Singhpora village.
The government should also give jobs to the dependants of the deceased. Security forces should be deployed in an adequate number to provide security cover to the villages where Sikhs live.
Panel formed on gypsum scam
CHANDIGARH, March 28 The chairman of the Punjab Land Development and Reclamation Corporation, Mr Parkash Chand Garg, said today that a committee of senior officers had been constituted to collect data about alleged irregularities in the distribution of gypsum.
Rally by Punjab Govt employees
CHANDIGARH, March 28 Punjab government employees held a big rally to protest against the indifferent attitude of the government in solving their long-pending demands. They also condemned the killing of 35 Sikhs in Anantnag.
Hundreds of employees, including a large number of women, from various parts of the state arrived in the city in trucks and buses and gathered near the Sector 17 parade ground. They raised slogans against the anti-employee policies being pursued by government. They later held a rally at the piazza before proceeding to the Housing Board roundabout.
The main demands of the protesters include implementation of the recommendations of the anomaly committee, scrapping privatisation of the public sector units, granting time-bound promotional scales after four, nine and 14 years of service, immediate release of bonus for 1997-99, granting equal HRA on Chandigarh pattern, regularisation of adhoc, work charged and muster roll employees.
From gardens to garbage dumps
MALERKOTLA: On the pre-partition map, Malerkotla was a state ruled by a Nawab. Since then this town has seen no appreciable development. Its population has crossed the 1 lakh figure. On account of unplanned growth of colonies and small-scale industries mushrooming in thickly populated areas, this town has become dirty and polluted.
According to a survey conducted by the Health Department, the town has a record number of tuberculosis cases and other health disorders owing to insanitation. Almost every street, corner and even highways is permeated with foul odour.
Dr Satish Kapoor, president of the local Citizens Welfare Council, said the only answer to this grave problem was preservation of the natural flora. He was at pains to say why promises made by elected representatives to set up gardens at various sites had not been kept. He wanted the state government to award this city of composite culture with gardens and amusement parks. This would give residents a reason to smile.
According to sources, various sites have been identified and land allotted for establishing parks. In 1975 Giani Zail Singh, the then Chief Minister, laid a foundation stone near Sirhindi Gate for a park in the name of the then MLA. A grant was sanctioned but the project never materialised.
The site has now become a garbage dump. People often ask who is to account for the misuse of funds meant for beautification of the site.
In 1985, luck favoured the people of the town, when a young dynamic administrator, Dr Swarn Singh, SDO (Civil), took the initiative to beautify the town. With the cooperation of industrialists and social workers, he built attractive and decorative roundabouts. A few mini parks also came into existence. One such mini Rose Garden inaugurated on January 15, 1986, by the then Commissioner, Mr Amrik Singh Pooni, has now been turned into a tubewell and water reservoir.
Impressive play on Kashmir problem
PATIALA, March 28 The burning, bleeding and beleaguered Kashmir, once a heaven on earth, was brought on stage at the auditorium of the Theatre and Television Department here last night.
Directed by theatre personality Navnendra Behl, the play Tapish, produced by students, was one of the most impressive works of the department in recent years.
A soldier rendered insane by the continuous bloodshed around, a Muslim family trying in vain to prevent their son from becoming a jehadi, innocent youths suspected to be terrorists, tortured barbarically and emotive scenes of Hindu families killings and their migration from the valley are depicted force- fully in the play.
It began with a bunch of enthusiastic theatre students in the process of playing a drama on the Kashmir problem. They think that newspaper stories, books and the governments version of the happenings are not projecting the real issue. So four of them decide to visit the valley and have a first-hand experience of the situation in the heaven on earth.
They meet an insane school teacher who was beaten by terrorists when he taught the class that Indian history was true. A soldier, who lost his senses with bloodshed around, was the next victim of the Kashmir imbroglio depicted by students.
Three of the students also get killed in the violence. The remaining student returns to his theatre group, badly shaken and speechless. The play ended on this tragic note but with a message that there are many other stories to tell.
It was a touching and gripping depiction of the happenings in Kashmir.
According to the
director of the play, Prof Navnendra Behl, the play,
comprising 14 scenes with powerful musical interludes,
was an experience that fully satisfied the performers.
Gulzars poetry has been used for linking up the
strands of the plot. In fact, the poetry has provided the
basis for making the play poetically and symbolically
Shops auction evokes
PATIALA, March 28 The Municipal Corporations bid to auction 33 shops adjacent to the polo grounds evoked a poor response here today as only 10 of them could be sold.
The auction of these shops assumed significance as the MC had aimed to generate much-needed revenue from sale. The budgetary allocations had put fund generation from this category only second to collection of revenue from octroi. The shops were recently in the news because of a protest by district sports officials and international sportspersons. They had complained that their to the grounds might hamper proximity sport activity.
The ten shops were sold at around Rs 20,000 per square yard, higher than the reserve price of Rs15,000 announced by the MC.
Mr J.S. Goel, assistant Commissioner, said the poor response was not because of any problem of costs but due to reluctance of buyers to make new deals before the next financial year. He said the shops were auctioned because vacant municipal land was prone to encroachments. The sale also generated resources, he said.
Trust to sponsor studies of
carnage victims kids
BARNALA, March 28 The local Baba Gandha Singh Educational Trust has decided to provide education free of cost to the children of the Sikhs massacred in Chatti Singhpora in Jammu and Kashmir.
This decision was taken here a meeting of the trust held recently under the chairmanship of Mahant Piara Singh. The trustees who attended this meeting included Parminder Singh Bhathal, advocate, Principal Narpinder Singh Dhillon, Sant Baba Tek Singh, Yash Pal and Balwinder Singh.
The trust decided to sponsor the education of these children even up to the university or professional college level.
The kin of the massacre victims could be accommodated in the local Dera Baba Gandha Singh, the mahant said.
Dharna by PRTC workers
PATIALA, March 28 In response to a call given by the PRTC Workers Action Committee, PRTC workers from various depots staged a dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioners office here today to press the Government for their demands.
The demands of the workers are lifting the ban imposed to hold gate rallies on the gate of the PRTC, withdrawal of new transport policy, abolishing of the k.meter scheme, stopping private illegal buses, stopping corruption, maintenance of staff norms, purchase of new buses, orders of DA instalments, arrears of new pay scales, due promotions, 6 per cent rural allowance for the staff of Budladha Depot, assured career progression scheme and new scales for XEN Cell workers.
Addressing the dharna,
Mr Nirmal Singh Dhaliwal, a senior leader, said the
Government of Punjab was winding up government transport
following the policies of privatisation of the Central
Government and there was resentment among the workers
regarding the statement given by the Finance Minister
that there would be complete privatisation of transport.
Recruitment rally at Gurdaspur
CHANDIGARH, March 28 A recruitment rally to select airmen in non-technical trades will be organised by the IAF at Gurdaspur on April 27 and 28.
A statement issued here said candidates hailing from Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Ropar, Kapurthala, Nawanshahr districts and the Union Territory of Chandigarh are eligible.
Candidates should have
passed matriculation or equivalent examination with
minimum 45 per cent marks in aggregate and English as a
compulsory subject. They should have been born between
October 1, 1981, and October 1, 1984.
Blood banks pose AIDS threat
NANGAL, March 28 A few months ago two truck drivers belonging to Humbewal and Burmala villages adjoining Nangal died of AIDS. They are survived by young wives and minor children who are also believed to be infected.
The deaths jolted residents who have demanded that tests be carried out in the entire area to identify other HIV positive patients.
Nangal has one of the biggest truck unions in north India. There are around 1800 trucks and 5000 truck drivers who regularly criss-cross the country. Dr V.K. Jaswal, who runs a private nursing home says he alone has detected 10 AIDS patients, most of them truck drivers, in the past one year. The BBMB Canal Hospital has detected three AIDS cases.
However, despite this
hardly any precaution is being taken to prevent the
spread of AIDS. There are 15-20 nursing homes in Nangal,
most of them with illegal blood banks. Blood transfusion
from one patient to another is carried on a regular
basis, exposing patients to the threat of AIDS.
Treasury hours extended
ROPAR, March 28 In view of the closing of the current financial year, the District Collector has ordered that treasury, sub-treasuries and the banks concerned in Ropar district shall remain open on March 31 up to midnight for government transactions.
Lok Adalat held
LUDHIANA, March 28 A Lok Adalat was organised by the district legal services authority here recently. Mr Paramjit Singh, Additional Civil Judge, senior division, Samrala, and Ms Ranjit Kaur, Civil Judge, junior division, Samrala, organised the Lok Adalat. Nine of the 18 cases were solved on the spot.
6 kidnapped boys rescued
SANGRUR, March 28 The Sangrur police has rescued six poor boys kidnapped by a person from Dhuri and arrested the kidnapper.
Announcing this here today, the Sangrur police chief, Arpit Shukla, said the boys were freed from their kidnapper Mukhtiar Singh, alias Labh Singh, from near the Dhuri railway line. He said one of the boys gave a distress signal to a railway guard, who reported the matter to a police party posted there . He said subsequently the kidnapper tried to run away but he was nabbed.
Mr Shukla said the boys had been identified as Sohan Singh, Mahinder Singh, Raju, Vikas and Joginder Singh from Rajpura and Gurpreet, a resident of Kataniwala village in Ludhiana. He said they had been handed over to their parents by the court.
He said Mukhtiar Singh
had cajoled the boys to come with him in the train,
adding that Gurpreet had been lured to join him from
Kataniwala in Ludhiana. He said a case had been
registered under Sections 363-A, 342, 506 of the IPC at
the Dhuri police station.
Labourers death: SSP told
to register case
CHANDIGARH, March 28 Nearly two months after a brick-kiln labourer was allegedly murdered, Mr Justice T.H.B. Chalapathi of the Punjab and Haryana Court today directed the Patialas Senior Superintendent of Police to get a case registered.
Pronouncing the orders on a petition filed by Ms. Bimla Devi of Kaithal district, the Judge observed : Having gone through the averments in the petition and also the application filed by the petitioner before the SSP on February 7 and also in view of the fact that a post-mortem has been conducted, I am of the opinion that the said averments clearly disclose a cognizable offence. I accordingly direct the SSP to get the case registered on the basis of the averments contained in the application of the petitioner given to him and direct the investigation in the same by some senior police officer not below the rank of DSP under his supervision.
Mr Justice Chalapathi also directed the completion of the investigation as expeditiously as possible preferably within three months and take such action as is required under the law depending on the result of the investigation.
In his detailed order, Mr Justice Chalapathi observed: The grievance of the petitioner is that in spite of her making representations to the SSP on February 7 with regard to the death of her husband on February 1 in a hospital at Patiala no case has been registered.
Earlier, in her petition, Bimla had sought the registration of a murder and criminal intimidation case against two other labourers accused of involvement in the incident under Sections 302, 341, 342, 506, 148, 149 and 120-B, of IPC.
Order on conductors deputation stayed
On a civil writ petition filed by 108 Punjab Roadways conductors, the High Court stayed the operation of an order sending them on deputation to the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation.
In the petition, taken up by Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Mr Justice J.S. Khehar, the petitioners Dhian Chand and others had earlier stated that the order was wholly arbitrary and patently illegal. Seeking the quashing of the order, the petitioners submitted that the same was violative of the statutory rules governing the service conditions of the petitioners.
Calling the order
unwarranted, the petitioners had also stated that it was
also against the settled principles of law, besides
affecting the civil rights of the officials being so
deputed on deputation without determining their service
KCF terrorist arrested
GURDASPUR, March 28 The police today arrested hardcore terrorist Raj Pal Singh, an activist of the KCF (Zaffarwal) resident of China Bidhi Chand, under Jhabal police station in Amritsar district and seized one 32 bore revolver with 6 live cartridges.
His two associates identified as Iqbal Singh, activist of the KCF (Zaffarwal) and Hardev Singh, alias Sadh, an activist of the KCF (Panward) were arrested earlier by the police on the night of March 14.
Mr Varinder Kumar, SSP, briefing newsmen here today, said that he has been active from 1991 to 1994. He had made several trips to Pakistan and brought several consignments of arms and ammunition from Pakistan for carrying out terrorist activities in Punjab.
His associates Iqbal Singh and Hardev Singh, had received training in Pakistan in the manufacture of bombs and carrying out bomb blasts.
He was apprehended by the police while he was returning from Jammu after meeting Jammu-based terrorists and his associates Charanjit Singh and Darshan Singh.
Mr Varinder Kumar said the accused was involved in various cases of kidnapping and extortion.
Man robbed of Rs
LUDHIANA, March 28 Bachan Das, a local businessman, yesterday alleged that he had been looted of Rs 18 lakh by two unidentified youths in the morning.It is alleged that, Mr Das coming from the Chaura Bazar branch of the State Bank of India after withdrawing money, was stopped by two unidentified youths on a motor cycle near the Muradpura railway crossing.
Mr Das alleged that the two threw spices in his eyes and escaped after snatching his bag.
8 members of timber mafia
GURDASPUR, March 28 The police has contained the activities of the timber mafia involved in the felling and stealing of timber from border villages falling in the Narot Jaimal Singh development block in Pathankot subdivision.
According to Mr Varinder Kumar, SSP, the police today arrested eight persons, all residents of Dorangla in the district, and recovered 179 quintals of sheesham wood valued at Rs 30,000 from them. The accused used to cross the Ravi on wooden carts opposite Makoda ferry and Marara ferry and enter border villages from where they used to fell and steal sheesham and eucalyptus trees for sale in Dina Nagar.
Board exams cancelled for mass
SAS NAGAR, March 28 Following cases of mass copying at various places in Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Sangrur and Sunam during the ongoing Class X and senior secondary examinations of the Punjab School Education Board, some papers conducted at 16 centres have been cancelled.
The Controller of Examination, Ms Harcharan Kaur Brar, today said that the papers had been cancelled on the basis of reports given by the board flying squads. The mathematics paper of class X conducted on March 18 ( morning session) had been cancelled at Government Senior Secondary School, Dehpur Fathupur (Gurdaspur), and Government Senior Secondary School, Dargabad ( Gurdaspur).
The social studies paper of the Class X (morning session) conducted on March 22 at Government High School, Pandhal ( Gurdaspur); Government High School, Wadhala Banghar ( Gurdaspur); Government Senior Secondary School, Garbua (Amritsar); Government High School, Pangwad ( Amritsar) and Government High School Chabal (Amritsar) had also been cancelled. Similarly, the science paper of the Class X ( morning session) conducted on March 25 at Government Senior Secondary School, Banga (Sangrur); Government Senior Secondary School (blocks-1 and II), Munak ; Government Girls High School, Kuhanak; Government High School, Hamigarh ( Munak centre no. 4) Sangrur had also been cancelled.
In case of the 10+2 examinations, the General English paper conducted on March 18 ( evening session) had been cancelled at Government Senior Secondary School Examination ( block -1), Sunam-4; Government Senior Secondary School, ( block -2), Sunam -5 and Government Senior Secondary School ( block -3), Sunam- 5 A.
The mathematics paper of the 10+2 Class ( evening session) conducted at Government Senior Secondary School ( block-2), Patti-3, had also been cancelled. The new date and time of the re-examination would be notified at a later date.
Earlier, the mathematics paper of the Class X examination ( morning session) conducted at two centres in B.K.Senior Secondary School, Ghee Mandi, Amritsar 31 ( block -I) and 32 ( block -II ) had been cancelled following reports of mass copying and use of other unfair means.
The Class XII paper of
business statistics ( commerce group) held at the PBN
Senior Secondary School, Hall Gate, Amritsar -38 and the
General English paper at Arya Senior Secondary School,
Dhuri-I (Sangrur) both of evening session) had also been
cancelled due to similar reports.
Novel way of copying
SUNAM, March 28 Matric and plus two students of this area have also adopted novel a method of copying. It has encouraged photostat machine owners and book sellers to make fast buck.
When this correspondent conducted a survey of various examination centres today he found that as soon as the examination started students send their question paper outside to a nearest photostat machine owner. The owner after copying the question paper return it back to the student and sell the xerox copies at premium. The first copy is sold at Rs 50 and the last at Rs 2. Guardian of the candidate hire books, guides of subject concerned from them at premium. Then they send the photostat copy answer to their wards either through windows or staff on duty.
The policemen deployed
there for security hardly take any action. It seems they
are bribed by guardians of the candidates. When
examination staff of various centres was asked about all
this they chase to remain tight-lipped.
L.S. Chawla elected MCI
LUDHIANA, March 28 The founder Vice-Chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Dr L.S. Chawla, has been unanimously elected Chairman of the Postgraduate Medical Education Committee of the Medical Council of India (MCI) for five year term.
Dr Chawla has been a member of the MCI from 1988-1993 and from 1995-2000. During his second tenure he was also elected member of the executive committee.
Talking to TNS here yesterday, Dr Chawla spoke at length about his future plans as Chairman of the Postgraduate medical education in the 169 medical colleges in the country.
The biggest challenge in the postgraduate medical education is that there is no legislation for a regular fee structure in various medical colleges. At present, medical colleges charge around Rs 20 lakh per person for super specialisation and Rs 14 lakh for the broad specialisation, he says.
Dr Chawla said the postgraduate committee would now seek the help of the Union Health Ministry to have a common fee structure and work out a system to have a common entrance test for admission to postgraduate medical courses.
He said he would speed up the regular inspection of all private and government medical colleges to ensure that requisite faculty and upgradation of other infrastructural facilities was being carried out for conducting the postgraduate courses efficiently.
About certain alleged irregularities being ignored by experts of inspection teams of the MCI while giving recognition to certain medical colleges, Dr Chawla said this had now been curbed to a large extent.
This practice is now
almost minimal. In fact, now we ensure that inspections
are foolproof by taking into account if a faculty member
has been transferred to the new college on deputation,
from where he has drawn his last salary etc, he said.
Sikhs had opposed Pak
PATIALA, March 28 On the second day of the three-day international seminar on Sikhism The Religion for the Third Millennium being organised by the Department of Encyclopaedia at Punjabi University, here today, Prof J.S. Grewal, noted historian, in his paper on the Advent of Sikhism a response to religious strife said Guru Nanak was critical of all major systems of religious belief and practices of his time.
Dr Kirpal Singh from Chandigarh in his paper on 1947 the crisis and the Sikh response said the Sikh leadership had been consistently opposing the proposal and subsequent establishment of Pakistan. The Sikhs had bitter memories of religious persecution during the 18th century under Muslim rule.
Dr Muthu Mohan, Head, Guru Nanak Dev Chair, Kamraj University Madurai, in his paper on Sikhism: a futuristic vision for a classless social order said the aim of Guru Nanaks vision of an egalitarian and non-oppressive community way of living was the abolition of oppression.
Presenting a paper on the Globalisation of Sikh relevance in the 21st century, Dr Harbans Lal from the USA said that there was need for open enquiry as also an increase in the ways of sharing and conciliation.
Prof K.L. Tuteja from Kurukshetra University, in his paper on The Sikhs and the Indian nationalism said that although the Sikhs were given a separate electorate with reservation of seats, the domination of Muslims in Punjab politics always posed a threat to the very survival of the Sikh community in the state.
Dr J.S. Neki, speaking
on Religion of creative activism said that
Guru Nanak stood for social justice and identified
himself with the lowest and reckoned all mankind as one.
The Guru stood for the dignity of labour and introduced
the concept of work culture.
Nirdosh school annual day
LUDHIANA, March 28 The annual day function of Nirdosh school, an institution for mentally retarded and a chapter of the Inner-Wheel Club of Ludhiana was celebrated here yesterday.
Nirdosh children welcomed the chief guest, Mrs Saroj Trehan, District Chairperson, Inner-Wheel Club, and other distinguished guests.
Mrs Parveen Narang, chairperson of the institute, said the school had 27 students on the rolls.
Mrs Urmila Bhandari, mother of Subodh, said because of the training given at Nirdosh, my child earns Rs 500 a month in a local factory.
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