|Saturday, July 1, 2000,
Hundreds of Cong men held
Punjab dithers over pension
Abohar girl tops Punjab class 10
Withdraw indemnity bond term
Brick-kilns to close indefinitely
colleges affiliations rolled back
Plan to build 5000 km road in
Avoid World Bank dollars,
engineers caution govt
Ex-Speaker Daleke dead
Arrest of samiti Chairman stayed
Suspend 2 IAS officers: Mann
'They would rather not be business
Hoshiarpur gears up for monsoons
Muktsar to be model city
Tejinder new PSSB chief
Legal panel, CM to hold meeting
DC hears public complaints
Jalandhar blast: grenades
Staff embezzle pension money
Father demands CBI probe
3 held for mixing kerosene in
PSEB cashier robbed of Rs 10.49
CET-based admissions on Sat,
Plea not to shift girls
Hundreds of Cong men held
MUKTSAR, June 30 The PPCC vice-president and convener, of the Punjab Parliamentary group, Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, today said that his party would hold a garib kisan mahapanchayat in this holy city shortly to launch a movement to oust Mr Parkash Singh Badals government.
Mr Brar, who along with hundreds of Congress workers were bundled into Punjab police buses about 15 Metres from his house, alleged that the terror unleashed by the police on Congress workers was an indication that it was the beginning of the end of Mr Badals dictatorship.
The Punjab police had laid nakas on main and link roads, deployed a large number of personnel in towns, of Muktsar, Ferozepore, Moga and Faridkot districts and taken away vehicles to allegedly stop the Congress workers from reaching this town to join the agitation launched by Mr Brar.
Thousands of Congress workers were also taken into preventive custody in the past two days by the police. Hundreds of Congress workers also fled from the houses fearing arrest.
Mr Brar claimed that the Congress agitation was peaceful and the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, was to be ghearoed in protest against the alleged large-scale bungling and beating up of Congress workers in the recently held municipal council elections of Bariwala and Bagapurana towns and sanctioning of old age pension and Rs 1500 under the shagun scheme on the basis of political affiliation.
He added that Congress workers were also protesting against the unprecedented hikes in electricity tariff, unnecessary imposition of sales tax on items of daily use, hike in bus fare and non-development of Muktsar town. He alleged that Mr Badal had deliberately stopped the development of this holy city just to punish its residents for voting in favour of the Congress in the previous parliamentary elections.
Mr Brar said that at the garib kisan mahapanchayat, the Congress would also launch a movement to make Punjab debt-free and to entrust people at the grass root with powers. He added that the party would press the SAD-BJP government to waive the loans up to Rs 50,000 of those people who were living below the poverty line. The garib kisan mahapanchayat would be held after due consultation with the party high command and state leadership.
Later, addressing a press conference at the police station, Kotbhai, Mr Brar alleged that a number of Congress workers had been implicated in false criminal cases. Even a woman Congress workers, Mrs Mohinder Kaur of Kotbhai, was arrested and kept in police stations where no woman police was present.
When asked why the district president of the Congress party, Mr Avtar Singh Sidhu was not taking part in their agitation, Mr Brar said that Mr Sidhu had already condemned the police atrocities on Congress workers. He, however said that it also conveyed a wrong signal as the district Congress leader was not participating in this agitation.
To another question, Mr Brar admitted that the Congress could have played a more effective role as the major opposition party in Punjab by launching an agitation when the state government hiked the power tariff, bus fares, house tax, and the prices of petrol, diesel and fertiliser.
When asked whether there
could be a change in the leadership of Punjab Pradesh
Congress Committee (PPCC), Mr Brar said that Mr Amarinder
Singh, the state Congress president, was an effective
leader and all workers were with him.
Punjab dithers over pension
CHANDIGARH, June 30 The Punjab Government continues to dither over the issue of revision of pension of about 2,500 retired teachers and other employees of the government aided private schools.
Sources said that the file for deciding the issue continues to shuttle between the Punjab Education and the Finance Department for the past several months. Retired teachers are demanding pension as per pay scales revised with effect from January 1,1996 and those retired before this date are seeking pension on the pattern approved by the state government in their case.
The Punjab State Aided School Teachers and other employees union says that the government was not paying pension as per new approved pattern in case of the employees retired before January 1, 1996 and also denying the revision of pension in case of those retired after January 1, 1996.
The Punjab Government has issued a notification on March 31, last year incorporating the terms of agreement reached with the striking employees of aided schools in Punjab. As per agreement 1,338 detained teachers, including 164 women teachers were released from the Burail Jail, Chandigarh and the Central Jail, Ludhiana, on March 20 1999.
Five demands have been mentioned in the notification. While four have been implemented, the demand regarding revision in pension continues to be a victim of the red tapism. Mr Manohar Lal Chopra, General Secretary of the union, said that there was resentment among retirees because of the indifferent attitude of the state government towards them. He said that the Finance Department had not issued its post facto concurrence for increasing the retirement benefit of those retired before January 1,1996.
He said that the employees of aided schools struggled for about 10 years to make the Punjab Government pay the pension benefit in lieu of contributory provident fund to them. The government had accepted the demand in 1987. The scheme was notified in 1992. Even on December 3, 1997, retirees of aided schools were sanctioned seven pending DA instalments and three instalments of interim relief bringing the pensionery benefits of aided schools employees at par with the government pensioners.
Mr Chopra said that as many as 300 cases of pension are pending with the government authorities concerned for sanctioning the pension benefit. He said that they were facing the trouble despite the fact that the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Secretary, Mr R.S. Mann and the Finance Secretary and other top officials of the government were involved in the exercise of inking an agreement with the aided teachers in March 1997.
The union had sought meetings a number of times with the Chief Minister, Finance Minister, Education Minister and the Chief Secretary to break the impasse but so far efforts have gone futile.
Abohar girl tops Punjab class 10 exam
SAS NAGAR,June 30 In the much- delayed result of the class X examination of the Punjab School Education Board declared today ,the regular candidates have fared better as compared to private candidates.
Of the 3,93,948 candidates, both regular and private, who took the examination 1,95,826 have been declared pass.
In the merit list of the first 100 candidates released by the Board most of the toppers are from private schools.
A student of Amrit Model Senior Secondary School, Abohar, Jyoti Bala, has topped the merit list by securing 627 marks out of a total of 650 marks which comes to around 96. 46 per cent. She is followed by Maninder Kaur of New Public High School, Banga Road, Phagwara, who has secured 624 marks. In the third position is Manpreet of Swami Roop Chand Model High School, Banga, Nawanshahr, who secured 620 marks.
The Controller of Examination of the Board, Ms H .S Brar, said the result gazette would be made available at the district text book depots only on July 3. The delay in making available the result gazette was due to delay in printing of the gazette of certain districts and also on account of the recent five- day strike by the employees union of the Board.
Of the total of 3, 07, 949 regular candidates, who appeared in the examination as many as 1,61,824 candidates have passed. Similarly of the 84, 999 private candidates 33, 992 candidates have cleared the examination. At least 61, 7565 candidates have been placed in the reappear category.
Giving Details the controller said as compared to average pass percentage of regular candidates last year, this year the regular candidates have achieved a pass percentage of 52.55 per cent . Last year the pass percentage was 49.17 per cent.
In case of regular candidates the average pass percentage has dropped from 41.51 per cent last year to 39. 97 per cent this year. There has been an increase of 42,000 in the strength of the candidates who took this year`s class X examination as compared to last year.
Ms Brar said those candidates who had secured 577 marks and above in the Class X examination would be given scholarship under two different schemes the National Scholarship scheme and a scholarship scheme of the Board.
She said detailed marks sheet of the private candidates were being dispatched and of the regular candidate would be dispatched from June 3. This year the Board had put 399 candidates in the merit list. The students of Nawanshahr district could be procured by the heads of the institutions. The candidates put in the reappear category and those desiring to appear in additional papers could fill their forms for the supplementary examination to be conducted in September this year.
The controller said candidates requiring the result to seek admission in the next class could approach her for confidential result.
Following is the list of
the first 50 candidates in the merit list of the Class X
examination of the Punjab School Education Board: Jyoti
Bala ( 627), Maninder Kaur ( 624), Manpreet ( 620), Anu
Sharma ( 618), Manpreet Kaur ( 617), Devasheesh Nagori (
613), Arvind Bansal ( 613), Amita Jindal ( 613), Ritu
Thakur ( 612), Surbhi ( 611), Sucehta Malik ( 611),
Tarandeep Singh ( 610), Prabhhjot Kaur ( 610), Anurag
Gupta ( 610), Neena Kathuria ( 610), Pardeep Garg ( 609),
Reedhika Goel ( 609) , Rahul Utrega ( 609), Arpna ( 608),
Aditi ( 608), Puranjot Kaur ( 608), Ajay Pal ( 607),
Sonia Singla ( 607), Navpreet Kaur Jassal ( 607), Supriya
Ghai ( 606), Digvijya Rajan ( 606), Vijay Budhwar ( 606),
Nidhi Gupta ( 605), Isha Kumra ( 605), Deepti Chopra (
604), Ankit Futela ( 604), Supreet Kaur Sandhu ( 604),
Meenakshi ( 604), Dhiraj Kumar ( 603), Pavneet Kaur (
603), Charanjeet Dhir ( 603), Sweta Mittal ( 603), Nitin
Vohra ( 603), Gagandeep ( 603), Rohit Jain ( 603),
Loveena Arora ( 603), Sushil Kumar Goel ( 603), Manpreet
Kaur Manesh ( 602), Rupinder Kaur ( 602), Shelly Jain (
602), Jatinder Singh ( 602), Bikramjit Singh ( 602),
Suvedha Shorey ( 602), Renu Bansal ( 602) and Devinder
kaur ( 601).
Brick-kilns to close
SANGRUR, June 30 With the closing of more than 2500 brick-kilns in Punjab by the brick-kiln owners for an indefinite period from tomorrow, nearly 1,25,000 workers and other employees in this business, will be affected. Other related trades like cement, wood and iron will also suffer adversely.
Besides this, all government development works will be affected by the brick-kilns strike. The rates of the bricks will also shoot up due to their shortage. An increase in the per thousand rate of the bricks from Rs 1200 to Rs 1700 is expected.
Sangrur has the highest number of brick-kilns in the state, which is 275. About 200 persons work directly at each brick-kiln while about 300 persons earn their livelihood, indirectly. Each brick-kiln worker earns between Rs 3000 to Rs 4000 per month, according to a spokesman of the brick-kiln owners here.
Besides an indefinite closure of the brick kilns, the kiln owners will also stop the sale of bricks from tomorrow to July 7 to press the state government for the acceptance of their demands relating to the brick-kiln industry in the state.
Talking to TNS here today, Mr Kewal Krishan Longowalia, president of the Sangrur district Brick-kiln Owners Association, said they were forced by the state government to close the brick-kilns for an indefinite period as the govt had imposed a new tax in the shape of royalty of Rs 45 after every 1000 bricks and 76 per cent increase in the sales tax in the past one-and-half-years.
Mr Longowalia said their another grouse against the state government were implementation of the Bonded Labour Act and Factory Act on the brick-kilns.
The district president further said about one-and-half-years ago, there was a Rs 85,000 sales tax per year on the B-class brick kilns whose number is almost 90 per cent of the total brick kilns in the state. But this amount had now been increased to Rs 1,50,000 per year which was an increase of about 76 per cent in the per year sales tax, he added.
Mr Longowalia said the government had imposed a new tax in the shape of royalty of Rs 45 after every 1000 bricks with effect from January 21, 2000 which was not justifiable as the brick-kiln owners could not recover the royalty amount from the purchasers on the already sold bricks.
He also said as the brick-kiln was a seasonal industry and its workers worked on a contract basis for few months, so it was difficult for them to deduct the provident fund share from the wages of the workers under the Factory Act. Besides, no brick-kiln owner had bonded labour, he added.
Mr Longowalia said the
brick-kiln owners of the state demanded from the
government, abolition of royalty on bricks, withdraw of
heavy increase in the sales tax and non-implementation of
Bonded Labour Act and Factory Act on the brick-kilns.
Withdraw indemnity bond term on
CHANDIGARH, June 30 Mr Jagjit Singh Ghungrana, Chairman of the Punjab Agro Industries Corporation, has urged the Union Government to withdraw the instructions on NRIs.
He said the Union Government had instructions that NRIs visiting India on a multiple visa for more than six months were required to report to the office of the Senior Superintendent of Police concerned with an indemnity bond attested by an executive magistrate.
If NRIs fail to do so
within 14 days a fine of Rs 1330 is chargeable from them.
Terming it as a harassment to NRIs, Mr Ghungrana said
that a large number of Punjabis settled abroad often
visited their motherland, Punjab, and stayed here for a
longer period. They have contributed to in the
states prosperity in many ways. Many of them were
eager to invest in Punjab but conditions of police report
imposed by the Union Government had shattered their
Ex-Speaker Daleke dead
AMRITSAR, June 30 The former Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker, Mr Dilbagh Singh Daleke (76), passed away at his native village this evening after brief illness. Mr Daleke, a member of the all India-Congress Committee and a former MLA had remained the Minister of Transport under the chief ministership of Giani Zail Singh in the early seventies.
Mr Daleke who had been keeping poor health for some time was admitted to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital here, yesterday and was later removed to Jalandhar. The end came this evening at about 5 p.m.
He was first elected as MLA in 1952, and again in 1972 from the Tarn Taran constituency and was declared unopposed member of the Punjab assembly in 1992 from the same area which was the hot bed of militancy. During the 1992 poll, with the Akali Dal boycotting the elections, Mr Daleke won the election from Tarn Taran unopposed .
After having estranged relations with the then Chief Minister Beant Singh, he fought unsuccessfully from Tarn Taran on the Congress (Tewari) ticket against official Congress candidate Gurinder Singh Kairon and Prem Singh Lalpura of the Akali Dal. After the assassination of Mr Beant Singh, 1995, Mr Daleke was inducted Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha for a brief period by Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal.
A colourful and a controversial leader, Mr Daleke was an important Congress leader in the Majha belt. He leaves behind his widow, two sons who live in Canada.
Amarinder mourns death
CHANDIGARH, June 30 The President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Capt Amarinder Singh, Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Chowdhary Jagjit Singh, former PPCC President, Mr M.S. Gill and Mr Santokh Singh Randhawa and former minister, Mr Partap Singh Bajwa have expressed grief over the death of Mr Dilbagh Singh Daleke, a former Minister and senior Congress leader.
Avoid World Bank dollars,
engineers caution govt
PATIALA, June 30 The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) Engineers Association yesterday urged the Punjab Government to learn from the disastrous experiences in Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Orissa, where the state electricity boards were driven to bankruptcy and then virtually handed over to the World Bank.
In a statement here, the association General Secretary, Mr Anil Miglani, said instead of making these state electricity boards self-sufficient by allowing the boards a reasonably tariff, the governments had surrendered to the lure of World Bank dollars, forgetting that it was easy to take the loan, but the crunch would come at time of repayment. It warned the Government not to follow the suicidal path taken by Andhra Pradesh and Haryana as experiments in bailing out the bankrupt boards had miserably failed, causing steep hike in tariffs and mortgaging the power sector to private parties and multinationals.
The association cautioned the state Chief Minister not to take a short-term view to decide tariffs only on the basis of political expediency, as this issue was much bigger and directly linked to privitisation and enslavement of the power sector to World Bank. The disaster of privatisation that had befallen five states of the country must not be repeated in Punjab. It would be a great tragedy if the Punjab Government, in its bid to sustain free power to agriculture, ultimately ended up in dismantling and privatisation, as the consequent steep hike in tariff would be beyond reach of the common farmer.
The association demanded to know from where the Punjab Government would give Rs 200 crore as compensation for tubewell supply, when Rs 934 crore for the past three years had not been paid. It warned the government not to fall to the temptation of World Bank dollars as this would lead to economic slavery, as experience of World Bank in developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America had proved beyond doubt.
It appealed to the Chief Minister to immediately contact his counterpart in Haryana to get first-hand experience of how World Bank, instead of helping HSEB out of bankruptcy, had trapped and enslaved the entire power sector in Haryana to such an extent that now, even if the government wanted, it could not get out of the clutches of World Bank.
Regarding relief from Ranjit Sagar Dam, the association pointed out that there was no guarantee that the dam would be free of defects. It apprehended that snags in the dam could not be ruled out. Even if there are no snags, power generation would not be expected before September 2000 and that would not be more than 150 MV or 36 lakh units per day, while the loss of Rs 6 crore per day was occurring every day on account of free supply to tubewells. While one unit of RSD was expected in September, the question was how PSEB was to meet its operational expenses for coal, energy imports in the most critical months of July and August, when the power demand was maximum and outflow of cash was the highest.
The association pointed out that hike in tariffs would lead to increased tendency for theft of energy and the government was totally silent on anti-theft measures. Controlling theft was primarily a law and order problem, and it was the prime responsibility of the government to declare an all-out war on theft, which had not been done.
It said if populism and
the current soft approach continued, the association had
serious doubts that part of revenue expected for tariff
hike would be lost in thefts, because neither the
government nor the board was showing any seriousness to
tackle this menace.
Mohali colleges affiliations
PATIALA, June 30 The Punjabi University Syndicate, yesterday, rolled back provisional affiliation granted to Guru Amar Das Business School and the Arctic Institute for Computer Sciences, both at SAS Nagar, due to continuing non-fulfilment of the affiliation terms and conditions.
The Syndicate, which met here under the chairmanship of the Vice-Chancellor of the university Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, took this decision after going through a report submitted in this regard by an inspection committee.
However, the Syndicate also decided to protect the academic interest of students of these institutions and authorised the Vice-Chancellor to take all measures in this direction.
The Syndicate also decided that, in future, affiliation should be granted only if the institution concerned fulfilled all conditions laid down by the inspection committee.
In another significant decision, the Syndicate decided to mobilise its resources itself. Dr Ahluwalia told the Syndicate that to generate more resources, the university would increase the seats for NRI candidates, besides curtailing expenditure and rationalising the fee structure.
The Syndicate adopted the UGC guidelines and the career advancement scheme which would benefit a large number of university teachers. It also approved the recommendations of the Academic Council, Library Committee and the standing committee for the development of Punjabi. The university also rationalised various faculties and created a new Faculty of Art and Culture.
The Syndicate approved the proposal of introducing M.Phil courses in selected departments of the university. It also revised the remuneration to be paid to part-time teachers.
It also approved the
selection of Dr G.K. Kataria, Dr S.D. Gajrani and Dr
Dalbir Singh Dhillon as Professors under the Merit
Promotion Scheme and Ms Baljit Kaur Sekhon and Dr Sudha
Singh as lecturers. The Syndicate also approved the grant
of senior fellowship to Dr Harnam Singh Shan, Dr Kipal
Singh, Dr G.S. Nayyar and Dr Harcharan Singh.
Plan to build 5000 km road in
KHARAR, June 30 The PWD Department, Punjab, started a campaign to maintain and upkeep of berms of roads in the state from here today.
Mr Succha Singh Langha, PWD Minister Punjab, inaugurated the campaign near Khanpur bridge on the Kharar-Ropar national highway.
Mr Ajaib Singh Mukhmailpur, State Minister PWD, Mrs Satwant Kaur Sandhu, Printing and Stationary Minister, Mrs Satwinder Kaur Dhaliwal, an ex-MP, Mr Mohinder Singh, Secretary, PWD, and Mr G.S. Grewal, Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, were present on the occasion.
Mr Langha while
addressing a public rally declared that this was a very
revolutionary programme being launched by the department.
He said the government planned to construct 5000 km new
roads during this year. He declared that the construction
of four lanes of Kharar-Mohali, Kharar-Anandpur Sahib,
Kharar-Ludhiana roads would start soon and the survey had
already started. Mr Mukhmailpur, said the campaign was
first of its kind in the history of the PWD. He declared
that within 15 days all roads in the state would be
Arrest of samiti Chairman
CHANDIGARH, June 30 Staying the arrest of Valtoha Panchayat Samiti Chairman Tarlok Singh, allegedly implicated in an attempt to murder case following political rivalry with ex-member of Parliament S.S. Kairon, Mr Justice Nirmal Singh of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice to Punjab Advocate-General for July 17.
Claiming Mr Kairon to be a close relative of Punjab Chief Minister, the petitioner stated that the first information report (FIR) was registered to apprehend and humiliate him in the eyes of the public after the opposite party failed to get him arrested in other cases.
Arguing before the Court, counsel for the petitioner contended on his behalf that six cases were registered against him, at Mr Kairons behest, since September 5, 1999.
Describing the cases as political vendetta, counsel added that the petitioners arrest had been stayed in all of them. Refuting the allegations regarding the petitioners involvement in firing, counsel added that his rifle had been deposited with the police way back in 1998.
Tarlok Singh of the Congress party, it may be recalled, was apprehending arrest in an attempt to murder and a rioting case registered at police station Khemkaran in Amritsar district under Sections 307, 148 and 149 of the Indian Penal Code, along with Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act.
According to the prosecution, Tarlok Singh had taken his pistol out of the holster and fired two shots at a police party on June 16 with intention to kill after he, along with a few others, were stopped by the cops.
Issuing notice to Punjab Advocate-General for August 10, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday directed that IRS officer Satpaul Singh and nine relatives, if arrested, shall be admitted to bail to the satisfaction of the arresting officer, in a case registered on the complaint of the petitioners wife.
Pronouncing the orders in open court, Mr Justice V.K. Bali of the High Court also directed the petitioners to join the investigations as and when directed and not to leave the country without obtaining permission from the court.
Claiming to have been implicated, the petitioners had earlier contended that they were being harassed and humiliated by the police on one pretext or the other at the instance of the complainant who belonged to a highly influential and a well connected family.
Counsel for the
petitioners had contended on their behalf that the
complaints had been filed at Delhi, Patiala and
Hoshiarpur. He had added that the complainant was
trying to involve the petitioners in multifarious
Suspend 2 IAS officers: Mann
KAPURTHALA, June 30 (PTI) The Shiromani Akali Dal (Mann) president, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, today demanded the suspension of two senior IAS officers of Punjab facing CBI inquiries on serious allegations of corruption.
Talking to mediapersons here today after addressing a dharna in the district courts in protest against the interference of the RSS in the religious affairs of Sikhs, Mr Mann alleged that the Principal Secretary, Mr Bikramjit Singh, was allegedly involved in a Rs 1400 crore scam of the Irrigation Department and was also a facing CBI inquiry into other allegations of corruption.
He asked the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal why he was shielding such allegedly corrupt officers.
He added that even Punjab Irrigation Minister Janmeja Singh had levelled serious allegations of corruption against Mr Bikramjit Singh.
Mr Mann further alleged that Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Bikramjit Singh were hand in glove with each other in the irrigation scam.
'They would rather not be
PATIALA, June 30 Women entrepreneurship in Patiala is going through a transitional phase. Traditional jutti and parandi-making industry is giving way to beauty parlours and boutique culture.
However, the scenario of women entrepreneurship is not very encouraging at Patiala, says Mr A.K. Verma, Manager of a Canara Bank branch here. "Women here would rather join the service-sector than the business world," he says.
"Ample opportunities are being provided by nationalised banks to encourage women entrepreneurship. About 30 per cent of the total funds for loans is being reserved for women," he says.
"The District Industries Centre also has 33 per cent reservation for women entrepreneurs, but, not more than 12 per cent of them come forward to avail themselves of the facilities provided by it," says Mr Surjeet Singh, Project Manager of the centre. The enterprise in women here is limited to beauty culture and boutiques only.
"Patialvis are pseudo-modern," says Dr Succha Singh Gill, a senior faculty member of the Economic Department of Punjabi University. "Women are more comfortable serving their own sex and these two professions suit their attitude," says Dr Gill.
Many entrepreneurs say that Patiala does not offer many career choices to a woman. "I wanted to be a designer in some garment-manufacturing company, but, as there were no such units here, I established my own boutique," says Ms Navneet Chopra, who runs a boutique near 22 number phatak. "It is hard for a woman to come out of the house and work," she says.
Still, with a little bit of originality and spirit, one can make it big even here. Ms Amarpal Kaur who runs a successful open-air restaurant, supports it. "Being a woman has helped me in this business. Families find it more easy to approach a woman at the counter than a man," she says.
Lack of professionalism among women entrepreneurs here is a major cause of concern among local bankers. Many units established by unmarried girls close down once they marry and leave for the other towns. The recovery of loans becomes a major problem in such cases. "Many banks now hesitate to give loans to unmarried girls," a source in a nationalised bank said.
Keeping this aspect in mind, the Central Government has ordered that only women above the age of 45 should be given loans. The upper age-limit for men to take loans from the DIC is 35, with the lower age-limit being 18.
Many women entrepreneurs here seem to have established a business just for the sake of it. Ms Hemprabha Behl, who established a beauty parlour here more than a decade ago, has not expanded it as she says that home is where the heart should be. "If expanding the business means going out of house, I would rather not do so," she says.
Hoshiarpur gears up for monsoons
HOSHIARPUR, June 30 As many as 79 villages in the district have been identified as flood-prone areas adjoining the Beas, Nasrala-Mehlanwali, Arniala, Gambowal and Gangian choes (rivulets). This was stated by Mr Iqbal Singh Sidhu, Deputy Commissioner, while giving details of flood-protection measures here yesterday.
Mr Sidhu said as compared to other districts of Punjab, Hoshiarpur has more topographic variety. He said Hoshiarpur subdivision had been divided into eight sectors, Dasuya into nine, Mukerian into five and Garhshanker into nine sectors. A gazetted officer had been made the in charge of each sector. A district control room had also been set up in the Deputy Commissioners office complex. Mr N.S. Walia, District Transport Officer, would control it from July 1 to September 30. Its telephone number was 20412. A police wireless set had been installed in it. Such control rooms at subdivisional headquarters had also been set up in the district. All the SMOs had been instructed to get their teams ready. All Executive Officers in the district had been directed to ensure safe drinking water and launch a cleanliness drive regularly. To look after the animals, a district-level control room had been set up in the office of the Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry Department, here.
Muktsar to be model city
MUKTSAR, June 30 The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today said the holy city of Muktsar would be developed into a model city on the pattern of Anandpur Sahib.
Addressing a function organised in connection with foundation laying ceremony of a community hall here, Mr Badal said that the Punjab Government would release Rs 6 crore soon to complete all pending development works in this town. He added that Rs 20 crore had already been spent on the development of Muktsar in the last three years.
He claimed that with the installation of the SAD-BJP government in Punjab three years ago, an era of development had started in the state. The mega projects, including an international airport, an oil refinery, a science city, a cement plant and a thermal power station at Goindwal Sahib were sanctioned for the state during the last three years.
He expressed surprise that the Congress, in its 45-year rule in Punjab, had done nothing for the state. The previous Congress governments always divided the people on caste and religious lines for its political gains, he alleged.
The Congress governments were responsible for bartering away the interests of state. Due to the Congress governments, the state could not get its capital, was left out in getting Punjabi-speaking areas and a fair distribution of river water.
He advised the people to remain vigilant from those forces which were trying to disturb the hardwon peace in Punjab.
He claimed the SAD-BJP government in the state was leaving no stone unturned for fulfilling the aspirations of the people. The grievances of the people were being redressed without any delay, he claimed.
Mr Badal announced that Rs 2 lakh would be given for starting a primary school in this city and Rs 5 lakh for the construction of community hall.
Tejinder new PSSB chief
CHANDIGARH, June 30 The Punjab Government has appointed Mr Tejinder Pal Singh Sandhu, a Patiala-based advocate as Chairman of the Punjab Subordinate Selection Board (PSSB) which deals with all sort of class III and Class IV recruitments.
He is a son of Mr Jasdev Singh Sandhu, who died in a road accident a few weeks ago. Mr Jasdev Singh Sandhu was Chairman of the PSSB.
A gold medallist in LL.B and Master of Journalism and Mass Communication, 38-year-old Mr Tejinder Pal Singh is a practising lawyer in the districts court, Patiala, and the Punjab and Haryana High Court for the past 14 years. He is also a Managing Director of the Patiala Central Cooperative Bank and a Director of the IFFCO, a biggest cooperative organisation.
Legal panel, CM to hold
CHANDIGARH, June 30 Mr Hardev Singh Mattewal, Convener of the Legal Luminaries Committee set up by the Punjab Government to present its view point before the National Commission set up by the Union Government to review the Constitution, said today that all 13 members of the committee had been requested to participate in the meeting convened by the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, on July 4 for discussing the issue.
DC hears public complaints
PATIALA, June 30 Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, Deputy Commissioner, has asked the Executive Engineer, Irrigation Department, to release water into the Arnaouli drain immediately.
These instructions were issued after Mr Inderjit Singh Mann, sarpanch of Bhunerheri village, complained to the Deputy Commissioner at sangat darshan here yesterday that paddy fields of various villages under Bhunerheri block were drying due to the lack of water.
In another case, residents of Tej Bagh Colony complained that the Municipal Council was throwing garbage near a colony road. The Municipal Commissioner agreed to look into the problem.
Jalandhar blast: grenades
JALANDHAR June 30As many as 15 hand grenades and 705 rifle bullets of 1965 war vintage have been recovered by the local police from a well in Paudhara village during the ongoing investigation into bomb blast which claimed two lives and left another 12 injured in the city on Wednesday night.
The ammunition has been recovered from an ex-serviceman Malkiat Singh, who had fought in the 1962 and 1965 wars, after his confession that he had hid the ammunition in the well after bringing it home after the 1965 war.
Mr Gaurav Yadav, SSP, said the ex-serviceman, who had joined the Army in 1948 and got pension in 1967, cooperated in the recovery of the ammunition and has not been arrested. He said a tip off regarding the hidden arsenal had been given by a former soldier. The ammunition recovered from the well has been deposited in the armoury of the police lines here.
Mr Yadav said Malkiat Singh had hid the ammunition at his house for nearly 10 years before shifting it to the well in the hope that it would get destroyed automatically and had never informed either the police or the Army authorities.
Meanwhile, during investigations after the Wednesday night blast, a police party raided a village near Bhogpur to interrogate former terrorist as the police has still not ruled out terrorists hand in the incident.
drivers of the truck union near Lamba Pind Chowk have
been picked up by the police in this connection as some
officials feel that internal rivalry in the union could
have resulted in the incident. Earlier, the police had
picked up Pradeep Kumar, owner of the tea stall where the
explosion took place, along with one of his relatives
Pawan Kumar, who was working with him at the tea stall.
Staff embezzle pension money
AMRITSAR, June 30 A pension scam allegedly involving the District Social Welfare Department (DSWD) and banking staff was unearthed following an alarm raised by Lakhwinder Singh, token issuing clerk with Allahabad Bank, Sultanwind Road branch.
Two clerks of the DSWD, Vinod Kumar and Sukhwinder Singh and a chowkidar, Rattan Singh, hatched a scheme with Sunder Singh, an agent. The four procured the services of one Gurinder Singh Bhatia for a consideration to pose as Satwinder Singh, a senior officer in the DSWD, and open a fake account in the name of the DSWD in Allahabad Bank.
The fake account received returned drafts from different areas in the district which were sent pension money but where the pensioner was unable to collect the money. The reasons for the return of the draft were wrong address, wrong account number, wrongly fathers name, village name or the beneficiary being dead, ill or out of station.
Instead of giving the returned drafts to the officer concerned in the DSWD and getting reprimanded for carelessness and negligence, the four deposited the drafts in the fake account.
At least 132 return drafts were sent from all over the district involving a sum of Rs 16,58,798. The next step was how to lay their hands on the money.
For this, the four opened more fake accounts in the name of fictitious women pensioners. Seventeen of these accounts were opened in Allahabad Bank, three in the Bank of Baroda, Jalandhar Road, and seven in the State Bank of India Chabal Road.
The cheques issued by the fake account of the DSWD were then deposited in these fictitious accounts. The four then allegedly got the signatures or thumb impressions of the fictitious women on withdrawal slips of the bank, paid each of them Rs 200 for their services and kept the rest of the amount mentioned on the cheques, ranging from Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000 per cheque.
The four managed to withdraw Rs 2 lakh from Allahabad Bank and Rs 80,000 from the Bank of Baroda.
Recently, when they went to withdraw money from Allahabad Bank, Lakhwinder Singh, the token issuing clerk, became suspicious and wanted to verify their claim.
The clerk detected that the cheques were issued by the DSWD, which is not the competent authority to issue pension cheques as only cheques issued by the Deputy Commissioner or SDM are valid.
He kept the cheques on hold for a verification and informed officers of the bank, who further informed the police.
An FIR was lodged under Sections 420, 406, 409, 467, 468, 471, and 120 B of the IPC against the suspects.
Four of the suspects Gurinder Singh Bhatia, who posed as a DSWD official to open the fake account, Sunder Singh (agent), Rattan Singh (chowkidar) and Vinod Sharma (clerk of the DSWD were arrested, while Sukhwinder Singh, clerk of the DSWD, has absconded.
Singh Sandhu, DSP, who is conducting the inquiry into the
scam, informed that the CIA detective wing is
investigating which bank employees are allegedly involved
in this scam. The investigators are also trying to locate
the women pensioners whose names have been used to open
fake accounts. Five women have been traced so far.
Father demands CBI probe
HOSHIARPUR, June 30 At a crowded press conference here today, Mr Mohan Lal, a local transporter, condemned the General Railway Police (GRP) authorities, Jalandhar, for cremating the body of his 22-year-old son Sandeep Ohri by declaring it unidentified on June 8 at the local cremation ground at 8.30 pm. His son had gone missing on June 7 in the evening.
In a voice choked with emotion Mr Mohan Lal said his son went for a walk as usual on June 7 at 7.30 pm and did not return home. He and his family members searched him everywhere but Sandeep could not be traced. On June 12 he gave in writing to the city police information about his son going missing.
In his complaint he mentioned the involvement of Aman and Sham, both local youths, in the disappearance of his son. The police rounded up both of them but later they were released. On June 13 the police registered a case in this connection but did nothing to trace his son. He said on June 25 he came to know that an unidentified body of a youth was found by the GRP, Hoshiarpur, near the outer signal of Hoshiarpur railway station on June 8 at 8.30 am. The GRP got the post-mortem examination of the body done from the local civil hospital on June 9 and cremated it at the local cremation ground at 8.30 pm.
When he approached the GRP, Hoshiarpur, he was shown a photograph and the clothes worn by his son. On seeing the photograph and clothes he was shocked to know that the deceased was his son. He was told that a case of suicide had been registered and the proceedings of Section 174 of the IPC were done to close the file. He said that his sons had a label of a tailor in the inside of collar. The GRP authorities approached the tailor in a bid to identify the body but he was not available at that time. Instead of approaching the tailor again the GRP authorities got a statement from one of his workers to end the matter. They did not keep the body and made no publicity about the body after getting the autopsy done they disposed of the body in the late hours the same day.
Mr Mohan Lal said according to the GRP authorities eyewitnesses the body was lying in the middle of the railway track. Only some head injuries made with some blunt weapon were there on the body. He apprehended that certain youths who had enmity with his son killed him and threw the body on the railway track to prove that it was a case of suicide. After his persuasions and apprehensions on June 26 the GRP, Jalandhar, registered a case under Sections 302 and 201 of the IPC against Tinnu, Amandeep, Sham, Raman, Raju and Lovely, all local youths.
He demanded a CBI inquiry into the disappearance and killing of his son and arrest of those involved.
3 held for mixing kerosene
SANGRUR, June 30 The district police has arrested three persons who were allegedly mixing kerosene in diesel at a petrol station of the Bharat Petroleum Corporation at Dirba village. The police has also seized a tanker from the spot with 12,000 litres of kerosene.
The arrested persons are Gurpal Singh, driver of the kerosene tanker, Balkar Singh, cleaner of the tanker, and Naresh Kumar, an employee of the petrol station. Prem Chand, the owner of the petrol station, and Kewal Krishan, owner of the tanker, fled from the spot after abandoning a Maruti car there. While searching the car, the police found a 9 mm pistol and cash worth Rs 2,80,000.
Giving this information here today. Mr Jatinder Singh Aulakh, SSP, said on a tip-off regarding adulteration of the diesel, the SHO, Dirba, registered a case under Section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act and 420 of the IPC on June 28. A police party, along with the officials of the Food and Civil Supplies Department, raided the petrol station at that time when kerosene was being mixed in diesel from tanker No. PB 11-B 2983, and seized 12,000 litres of the kerosene on the spot.
The SSP said during investigations it was found that the kerosene was supplied to the petrol station by Kewal Krishan, who was the owner of a kerosene depot at Sunam. He said it also came to notice that about 12,000 litres kerosene was mixed in 40,000 litres of diesel to earn a profit of Rs 1 lakh.
PSEB cashier robbed of Rs
AMRITSAR, June 30 A sum of Rs 10.49 lakh was looted from Mr Brij Mohan, a cashier of the Punjab State Electricity Board of the East subdivision area after he was coming out of the State Bank of Patiala branch in Jallianwala Bagh.
The cashier, was leaving the bank after withdrawing the money when a man told him to pick up money that had fallen from his pocket. As Mr Brij Mohan knelt down to collect the money thrown on the floor by the miscreant he placed the gunny bag containing the cash beside him. The miscreant then made off with the gunny bag.
CET-based admissions on Sat,
AMRITSAR, June 30 Guru Nanak Dev University has decided to keep open the office of the coordinator, CET-based admissions, at Bhai Gurdas Library for receiving application forms for admission to B.Tech and B-Arch programmes on Saturday (July 1) and Sunday (July 2).
The application forms shall also be on sale at the university cashiers counter on these two days.
Plea not to shift girls
SANGRUR, June 30 Mr Jasbir Singh, a former Congress MLA from Sangrur and general secretary of the PPCC, yesterday urged the Punjab Government not to shift the local Government Girls Senior Secondary School from its present location as it was situated in the heart of the town and was fully safe for about 2,500 girls studying there.
Mr Jasbir Singh was reacting to the recent statement of Mr Ranjit Singh Balian, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development Punjab about the demolition of old buildings here.
Mr Jasbir Singh said the
new complex for the school building should be constructed
by demolishing unsafe portions of the school building. He
said a new block was constructed at a cost of Rs 5 lakh
in 1993. The MLA said a delegation of local residents
would soon meet Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in
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