|Sunday, August 6, 2000,
secy under a cloud
sentence set aside
leak damaging crops
check through Internet
appointed DCC chief
Excise division to be set up
bank one of world’s top 1,000
Plea to cancel
2 students drowned
Relief sought for flood-hit farmers
Flesh trade racket
Gang of thieves
Three booked on
lab for Ludhiana
opposes idea of greater Uttaranchal
CHANDIGARH, Aug 5 — Opposing the concept of greater Uttaranchal supported by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, the President of the Sarab Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD), Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, today said that SAD should withdraw from the National Democratic Alliance on the Udham Singh Nagar district issue.
Speaking at a "meet the press programme" organised at the Chandigarh Press Club here this morning, Mr Tohra said none was prepared for inclusion in Uttaranchal from the nine tehsils of non hill areas named by SAD. It has been reported that SAD has urged the Union Government to include nine tehsils that are contiguous to Udham Singh Nagar in Uttaranchal to soothe the ruffled feathers of SAD on this issue. The idea of greater Uttaranchal has been floated by the former UP Chief Minister, Mr N.D. Tiwari.
Mr Tohra even opposed the inclusion of Hardwar in the new state. Hardwar and its areas like Roorkie had nothing common with Uttaranchal but these had been included as the government wanted to include Udham Singh Nagar district in the new state. He said Hardwar was an international pilgrimage centre and Uttaranchal would have no resources to maintain such an important holy place.
He said either Mr Badal should quit the NDA or force the BJP led government at the Centre to make amendment in the Bill and exclude Udham Singh Nagar district before the Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha. The Bill is scheduled to be presented in the Rajya Sabha on Monday. The Lok Sabha has already passed the Bill. If Mr Badal showed courage on this issue, the Union Government would have to exclude Udham Singh Nagar from the new state, he asserted.
Extending unconditional support and guarantee for the completion of remaining term to the Badal government, Mr Tohra said if Mr Badal withdrew the support to the NDA on this issue he (Mr Badal) would have no problem in running the government for the remaining period. He said he had no objection if Mr Badal wanted to keep company of the BJP at the state level.
Farming community in Udham Singh Nagar would be ruined as the land holding Act meant for the hill areas would be enforced in case of inhabitants of Udham Singh Nagar district. The Union Government could not give any guarantee in this connection as revenue was a state subject and the Centre had no powers to interfere in revenue matters. He said his party would extend full support to the agitation launched by the inhabitants of Udham Singh Nagar and Hardwar districts for their exclusion from the new state.
"Mr Badal cannot mislead the people on the Udham Singh Nagar issue as I have the copy of the proceedings of the Lok Sabha where Mr George Fernandes had stated that Mr Badal had given his consent for the merger of Udham Singh Nagar district in Uttaranchal", Mr Tohra said. If Mr Badal did not withdraw from the NDA, people of Punjab would decide how they should deal with SAD which failed to protect the interests of Punjabis.
Enlisting several happenings of alleged discrimination against Sikhs and Punjab by the Union Government in the past 50 years, Mr Tohra said that he was not expecting the same from the BJP but it had treated the Sikhs the same way as was done by the Congress during its rule. He said that relations between political parties were always based on extending mutual help to each other. He was commenting on Mr Badal’s statement that his party’s relation with the BJP had also social and cultural aspect in addition to the political content.
Speaking on the autonomy issue, Mr Tohra said that there was no alternative except to give more powers to states. He was for giving Punjabi-speaking areas and Chandigarh to Punjab and to include Meerut division of UP in Haryana to compensate in lieu of the transfer of Punjabi-speaking areas to Punjab.
‘to quit’ on PAC nod
AMRITSAR, Aug 5 — The Secretary-General, Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, has said he would resign as the Union Sports Minister if the political affairs committee (PAC) of the party would desire so.
Mr Dhindsa, who is also member of the PAC, said it was the duty of every party member to abide by the decision of the high command. He admitted that the Vajpayee-led NDA government had virtually ‘ditched’ the party by not accepting the genuine demand of the Shiromani Akali Dal for excluding Udham Singh Nagar from Uttaranchal Pradesh. He, however, said Mr George Fernandes, Chairman of the three-member committee on the UP Reorganisation Bill, 2000, had clarified on the floor of Lok Sabha that he had submitted the report in his personal capacity and not on behalf of the committee.
Replying to a question, Mr Dhindsa said the Vajpayee government had been finding a ‘way out’ to satisfy the residents of Udham Singh Nagar. He said it was unfortunate that the demand of Udham Singh Nagar was being dubbed as a "Sikh demand". He said Sikhs constitute only 18 per cent of the total population of Udham Singh Nagar. Without naming the Congress and other Opposition parties, Mr Dhindsa said it was a matter of satisfaction that only the Shiromani Akali Dal fought for the cause of Udham Singh Nagar. "The other parties had been silent spectators when we (SAD) were fighting for the issue."
He, however, indicated that the SAD might not take the drastic step as many demands of other partners of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) could not be conceded. He said there was a ‘ray of hope’ as Mr L.K. Advani, the Union Home Minister, had committed on the floor of Parliament that some sugarcane rich belt would be included in Uttaranchal. He indicated that the Vajpayee government was ready to satisfy the SAD on the Udham Singh Nagar issue.
Replying to yet another question, Mr Dhindsa, who is also a Rajya Sabha member, said his party would oppose the inclusion of Udham Singh Nagar in the Upper House also. When asked that being a Union Minister he could not vote against the Bill, Mr Dhindsa said the final decision would be taken at the PAC.
In yet another significant statement, Mr Dhindsa said the party would draft its recommendation to be presented to the Constitutional Review Commission on the basis of the Anandpur Sahib resolution. He said the SAD had been fighting for more autonomy to states and setting up of a federal structure. He said the SAD was firm on the stand that except for four departments, the rest should be given to the states.
On the match-fixing issue Mr Dhindsa said the report of the CBI would be filed within a month. The report of the income tax raids was also awaited. He emphasised that the guilty won’t be spared. Expressing grief over the death of Lala Amarnath, the legendary-cricketer, Mr Dhindsa, said the Union government would raise a suitable memorial to Lala Amarnath.
When asked if his party would support the Anandpur Sahib resolution if moved by the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal and the SAD (Amritsar), Mr Dhindsa said his party had already clarified its stand on this issue in the Governor’s Address and hence there was no need to bring the resolution on the floor of Assembly again. The Governor’s Address was sufficient to clarify any party’s stand, he added.
While paying rich tributes to the founder of the Pingalwara, Bhagat Puran Singh, Mr Dhindsa described him as the man of the century, who dedicated his entire life providing succour to the destitutes, handicapped and needy. He was speaking on the occasion of his eighth death anniversary.
Mr Dhindsa said he would take up the issue of the release of a postal stamp to commemorate the contribution of Bhagat Puran Singh.
Earlier, well-known environmentalist Sunder Lal Bahuguna expressed his dismay over the sustained neglect of natural resources, which was causing havoc. He resented the government’s total disregard for the sentiments of the people and going ahead with the constructions of dams.
Several speakers, including the Income Tax Commissioner, Mr S J S Pall, renowned Punjabi writer Narinder Singh Soch, environmentalist from Himachal Pradesh, Dr R S Pirta, and Rajya Sabha member, Mr Rajmohinder Singh Majitha, addressed the gathering.
alleges SAD-Centre deal
JALANDHAR, Aug 5 — The president of the Lok Bhalai Party, Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, has predicted that Mr Surjit Singh Barnala was expected to be appointed Governor of the proposed Jharkhand or Chattisgarh states in lieu of "sacrificing" interests of people of Udham Singh Nagar by the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal).
Mr Ramoowalia, who was addressing a press conference here today, said the issue of Udham Singh Nagar was consciously downplayed by the Shiromani Akali Dal since its leadership had struck this deal with the Centre. He said the choice of the SAD was Mr Barnala, who would be appointed the Governor within a month.
Mr Ramoowalia, said the meeting of the political affairs committee of the Shiromani Akali Dal on August 6 was a farce and the SAD leaders would just deliberate upon face-saving measures and would do nothing to save the people of Udham Singh Nagar. He said the Akali leadership should tell people of Punjab and that of Udham Singh Nagar district as to why the Akali MPs remained absent when the Bill in this regard was tabled in Parliament why they failed to seek an amendment in the Bill.
Ridiculing the "self-contradictory" stance of the SAD, Mr Ramoowalia said on the one hand a five-member delegation of the SAD met the Prime Minister on July 7, 1998, and demanded exclusion of Udham Singh Nagar district from the proposed Uttaranchal state, on the other Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, one of the five members of the delegation signed in favour of the inclusion of the district on behalf of the Akali Dal on August 5, 1998.
He further said the Akali Dal should explain the exact status of the three-member committee, of which Mr Parkash Singh Badal was a member, and also whether the committee functioned officially or unofficially?
He said the SAD should also explain
whether it had changed its stance towards its 1999 PAC resolution,
which had asserted that the party would dissociate itself from the
Union Cabinet in case a Bill in this connection was tabled in the Lok
secy under a cloud
FEROZEPORE, Aug 5 — The association of a minister’s secretary with a former District Manager of Punsup, who was arrested under graft charges by the local Vigilance Bureau on July 27, has raked up a controversy.
The accused, Kishan Chand, was arrested for allegedly causing a loss to the state government by awarding paddy for milling to a fictitious firm during his tenure as the Punsup District Manager in 1998-99.
Although the Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Minister, Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, has sought a parallel report on the matter from his Special Secretary, Mr Harbans Lal Mehmi, the latter visited Ferozepore on August 3 to take Kishan Chand back to Chandigarh after he was granted bail by a Special Judge.
Shortly after Kishan Chand was released on bail, Mr Mehmi took him to Sher Shah Wali Dargah to pay obeisance, raising many eyebrows in the department. Even the Vigilance Bureau is considering to caution the higher authorities in Chandigarh of Kishan Chand’s association with Mr Mehmi for suitable action.
Bureau officials are also expressing fear of vendetta by Kishan Chand, who apparently enjoys political support. Pleading anonymity, these officials said they would now inform their seniors for appropriate action.
Mr Mehmi confirmed having visited Ferozepore to take Kishan Chand back to Chandigarh, from where he was earlier rounded up. He, however, sought to play down the controversy saying that Kishan Chand was his personal friend and they both were neighbours for many years in Mohali. "No meaning should be attributed to my Ferozepore visit as I won’t let my official position to be eclipsed by the friendship," he added.
Mr Mittal confirmed having assigned Mr Mehmi the task to submit a report on the arrest of Kishan Chand. He, however, said that Mr Mehmi might have visited Ferozepore in his personal capacity.
Kishan Chand was arrested following
an investigation into a report suggesting irregularities in awarding
of paddy to a fictitious firm being run by — Rajinder Kumar and
Joginder Paul, both of whom are absconding. The paddy was not awarded
for milling in accordance with the procedure, causing loss of over Rs
25 lakh to the state government.
sentence set aside
CHANDIGARH, Aug 5 — Acquitting a Patiala district resident sentenced to life imprisonment by the trial court for shooting the relative of a fellow villager who had passed comments at his sister, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has, however, dismissed the appeal filed by the girl’s father.
The two — Narinder Singh and his father Kirpal Singh — were earlier booked by the Punjab police for murder under Sections 302, 307 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.
According to the prosecution, the two, along with three others, had fired at one Darshan Singh and others on May 12, 1991 about three days after relative Hakam Singh, instead of allowing the girl to take water, had cut an indecent joke.
Darshan Singh, the prosecution had stated, had died on the way to the hospital while two others — Sukhdev Singh and Ajaib Singh — were admitted to Rajindra Hospital at Patiala.
After hearing the arguments, the trial Court had sentenced Kirpal Singh and Narinder Singh to life imprisonment, while accused Tejender Singh, Gurbax Singh and Bhadur Singh were acquitted.
Pronouncing orders on the appeal, Mr. Justice H.S. Bedi and Mr. Justice A.S. Garg observed: "the counsel has urged that Narinder Singh has been a patient of polio. He was allegedly armed with a stick. According to him, a polio patient could not run and manipulate things and as such he was innocent".
The Judges added: "The circumstances justify such an argument as it is apparent that Kirpal Singh would not hand over his gun to his disabled son and would ask him to fire at one of the victims and involve him in a murder case".
The Judges concluded: "We are of
the view that when Kirpal Singh was firing at the victims, there was
no chance to hand over his gun to his son to fire at the victims.
Therefore, we agree with the contention raised by the counsel and
Narinder Singh as such deserves the benefit of doubt".
leak damaging crops
BATHINDA, Aug 5 — For the past 15 years, a section of farmers of Sivian village of this district have been suffering huge losses as their paddy, cotton and fodder crops are being damaged due to leakage of Ammonia gas from the adjacent factory of National Fertilizer Limited (NFL).
Fed up with the ‘indifferent’ attitude of the authorities concerned, the farmers started an indefinite dharna in front of the factory gate from yesterday. The farmers alleged that their repeated pleas to the district administration for finding out a solution to their problem had fallen on deaf ears.
Mr Hardas Singh, a farmer, told TNS that for the past seven years, he had been getting only one crop a year as his paddy and cotton crop was being damaged due to leakage of ammonia gas from the factory.
Mr Kala Singh, another farmer, said that paddy crop on 16 acres belonging to him had been adversely affected due to leakage of ammonia. Mr Boota Singh said that his five acres, on which paddy had earlier been growing well, had also been affected.
Mr Karam Jit Singh, said that cotton crop on his 4 acres and paddy crop on 2 acres of land had been damaged due to the leakage of ammonia gas.
Mr Gurmail Singh, who owned only one acre of land, said that vegetable sown on this piece of land had been completely destroyed. He added that now he was left with no option but to work as a labourer to earn money.
Mr Gurmail Singh, another farmer, who is sarpanch of the village, said that ammonia had been leaking for the past 15 years. He pointed out that in July, ammonia gas had leaked twice and caused extensive damage to the standing paddy and cotton crop. His paddy crop on 5 acres and cotton crop on an equal area had also been affected adversely due to leakage of ammonia.
Mr Sukhdev Singh, president, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta), said that if the district administration did not take any action to solve their problem, they would intensify their agitation. He alleged that if the NFL management continued to leak ammonia gas in this village, the soil would lose its fertility.
check through Internet
FAZILKA, Aug 5 — Dr Baldev Raj Chawla, Health Minister, Punjab, revealed that to ensure attendance of doctors in the urban as well as rural areas the government was thinking of checking their presence through Internet, for which constitution of four zones was being considered.
Dr Chawla was here to lay foundation stone of the local 50-bed civil hospital, which would later be upgraded to 100 beds. About Rs 1.54 crore will be spent on the expansion of the hospital. Earlier, talking to mediapersons he disclosed that the health system corporation would spend Rs 422 crore for constructing 154 new hospitals.
Out of these, 40 hospitals were nearing competition and the remaining would be completed by 2002. In Ferozepore district 11 new hospitals would be constructed as a cost of Rs 9.67 crore. The construction of seven hospitals would be completed by the end of this year. For improvement of health services two mobile health vans and 100 postgraduate doctors would be appointed in rural areas shortly. The issue of rampant corruption in civil hospital, Fazilka, dominated the press conference.
Dr Chawla directed the offices concerned to display the rate tariff in hospital permanently. He said the result of a survey conducted on schools and hostels of the town on drug addiction revealed that the situation was quite alarming. According to the survey 53 per cent of the students in towns and 48 per cent in villages were taking drugs, and one out of every 10 girls students was also involved with drugs. He said according to a report of the United Nations, youth in Punjab have switched from alcohol to drugs.
He said the Punjab Government would set up de-addiction centres at the district levels. In reply to a question on adulteration of food articles, the Health Minister admitted that the malpractice was prevalent on a large scale. Expressing concern over increasing number of TB patients, he said there were 3 lakh cases of this disease and there were around 40,000 additions every year. The disease claimed around 30 people every month. For the eradication of the disease, a joint committee of the officers of the Health Department, headed by the Deputy Commissioner would be constituted.
Dr Chawla said anyone giving information on spurious drugs manufacture would be awarded suitably. The civil surgeon and drug inspector of the district would be held responsible wherever a spurious drug manufacturing unit was detected.
The minister warned doctors and staff
of stern action if reports of corruption were received. The minister
revealed that Pakistan had worked out a nefarious design to propagate
addiction amongst youth in Punjab. According to sources it had
earmarked Rs 100 crore for this purpose. He urged Punjabis to be aware
of such anti-national designs. Mr Surjit Kumar Jyani, Forest Minister,
Punjab, and MLA Fazilka, who presided over the foundation laying stone
programme, said Rs 15 crore had been spent on development projects in
the Fazilka Assembly segment in last three years and a half.
appointed DCC chief
FEROZEPORE, Aug 5 — Mr Sajjan Kumar Jakhar, a former minister and son of senior Congress leader Dr Balram Jakhar, was sworn in as president of the District Congress Committee (DCC) for the second tenure. Addressing a gathering, Mr Jakhar gave a call to all party leaders to sink their differences in the interest of the party. It is pertinent to mention that the Congress party had lost in all the nine Assembly constituencies during last Vidhan Sabha polls.
Flying not likely to restart soon in Patiala
Aug 5 — Flying training, which came to a halt since the closure of both the Patiala Flying Club and Northern India Flying Club housed in the Aviation Grounds here on July 20 following an accident on the runway earlier, is not likely to start soon. This has affected students of both the clubs. Flying activity was completely closed on the Aviation Club grounds by the Director-General of Civil Aviation when a Pushpak aircraft belonging to the Northern India Flying Club hit a jeep after landing . A wing of the aircraft was completely crushed in the accident . Sources said flying was not likely to start soon as the Deputy Director General, Civil Aviation, Mr R. L. Biala, who came to the Aviation Grounds here to conduct an inquiry into the incident. Inspecting the runway and the grounds also, he took adverse note of the lack of security arrangements in the flying compound. He noted that the runway was not fenced, putting aircraft in danger of being hit by stray cattle. Besides this, overgrown grass on the Flying Grounds was also objected to by him, the sources said. The Patiala Flying Club authorities said they had repeatedly written to the government of the need to fence the grounds surrounding the runway. They said villagers from nearby areas sneaked their milch animals into the ground in the night for grazing, causing a hazard to flying. They said the aviation authorities had taken serious note of the recent accident, which was the third accident in the grounds. The housing of two clubs at the Aviation Grounds here is also likely to hamper quick start of flying. The Pushpak aircraft belonging to the Northern India Flying Club had hit a jeep belonging to the Patiala Aviation Club. While the Patiala Club authorities claimed that the jeep was static when it was hit, the Northern India Club claims it was moving on the runway at the time of accident. There is rivalry between both the clubs and the Patiala Club wants the Northern India Club, which shifted here six years ago from Jalandhar, be relocated elsewhere. The Patiala Club authorities disclosed that the presence of another club in the same compound had halved their flight hours as well as revenue, besides causing difficulty in coordination on safety issues . A visit to the grounds revealed that repair work on the damaged wing of the Pushpak aircraft was on. The authorities did not disclose when it would be completed. As the Jalandhar Club has only one air-worthy Pushpak. Around seven to eight students registered with the club have gone home. Some students of the Patiala Flying Club have shifted to Pinjore as the club has taken its two air-worthy planes — a Pushpak and a Cessna — there. Employees of the Patiala Club are also suffering due to lack of revenue as well as the non-implementation of a decision taken three years back to establish a Civil Aviation Authority to revamp all the clubs in the state. Patiala Club Workers Union President Balinder Singh said all 22 workers had not got salary for the past three months, besides not being paid intermittently for 15 months since 1996.
Flying activity was completely closed on the Aviation Club grounds by the Director-General of Civil Aviation when a Pushpak aircraft belonging to the Northern India Flying Club hit a jeep after landing . A wing of the aircraft was completely crushed in the accident .
Sources said flying was not likely to start soon as the Deputy Director General, Civil Aviation, Mr R. L. Biala, who came to the Aviation Grounds here to conduct an inquiry into the incident. Inspecting the runway and the grounds also, he took adverse note of the lack of security arrangements in the flying compound. He noted that the runway was not fenced, putting aircraft in danger of being hit by stray cattle. Besides this, overgrown grass on the Flying Grounds was also objected to by him, the sources said.
The Patiala Flying Club authorities said they had repeatedly written to the government of the need to fence the grounds surrounding the runway. They said villagers from nearby areas sneaked their milch animals into the ground in the night for grazing, causing a hazard to flying.
They said the aviation authorities had taken serious note of the recent accident, which was the third accident in the grounds.
The housing of two clubs at the Aviation Grounds here is also likely to hamper quick start of flying. The Pushpak aircraft belonging to the Northern India Flying Club had hit a jeep belonging to the Patiala Aviation Club. While the Patiala Club authorities claimed that the jeep was static when it was hit, the Northern India Club claims it was moving on the runway at the time of accident. There is rivalry between both the clubs and the Patiala Club wants the Northern India Club, which shifted here six years ago from Jalandhar, be relocated elsewhere.
The Patiala Club authorities disclosed that the presence of another club in the same compound had halved their flight hours as well as revenue, besides causing difficulty in coordination on safety issues .
A visit to the grounds revealed that repair work on the damaged wing of the Pushpak aircraft was on. The authorities did not disclose when it would be completed. As the Jalandhar Club has only one air-worthy Pushpak. Around seven to eight students registered with the club have gone home. Some students of the Patiala Flying Club have shifted to Pinjore as the club has taken its two air-worthy planes — a Pushpak and a Cessna — there.
Employees of the Patiala Club are also suffering due to lack of revenue as well as the non-implementation of a decision taken three years back to establish a Civil Aviation Authority to revamp all the clubs in the state. Patiala Club Workers Union President Balinder Singh said all 22 workers had not got salary for the past three months, besides not being paid intermittently for 15 months since 1996.
HOSHIARPUR, Aug 5 — On the joint call of all political parties, including the Congress, BJP, SAD, CPI, CPM, BSP, Shiv Sena, Janata Dal, Samata Party, and social and religious organisations, a total bandh was observed by all the business establishments in Hoshiarpur today in protest against the killings of more than 100 persons in Jammu & Kashmir by the militants.
Leaders in different groups took out processions and demonstrated against the killings. They shouted a slogans against Mr L.K. Advani, Union Home Minister, Mr Farooq Abdullah, Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and the Inter Services Intelligence of Pakistan. Vehicular traffic at Session Chowk, Government College Chowk, Phagwara Chowk and Clock Tower was disrupted. Effigies of Mr Farooq Abdullah and ISI were burnt. The protesters closed the local educational institutions. Some of the activists of the Shiv Sena also forcibly tried to close the branches of Oriental Bank of Commerce, Bank of Maharashtra and Punjab National Bank at Balmiki Gate.
Later a rally was also staged at Shastri market. The speakers condemned the massacre. Compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the next kin of the victims was demanded. Dismissal of the Farooq Abdullah government and resignation of Mr L.K. Advani from the Union cabinet was also demanded.
No untoward incident was reported from the city.
SANGRUR: The shopkeepers observed a complete bandh in the town to protest against the killings of Amarnath pilgrims. The bandh call was given by the BJP, Beopar Mandal and various religious organisations.
ABOHAR: The representatives of various social organisations
assembled at Geeta Mandir on Friday night to mourn the deaths of
Amarnath pilgrims. The meeting sponsored by the Rashtriya Suraksha
Samiti demanded the dismissal of the Farooq Abdullah government and
burnt the effigy of Gen Parvez Musharraf at Gandhi ground.
CHANDIGARH, Aug 5 — A President’s Police Medal awardee, Mr Malkiat Singh Bariana, Commandant, Central Reserve Police Force (20 Battalion), has retired after 34 years of distinguished service.
Born in Nangal Isher village of Hoshiarpur district, Commandant Bariana was commissioned in the Sikh Light Infantry Regiment in 1965. After having served for seven years in the Army, he joined the CRPF in 1973 as Deputy Superintendent of Police.
He has played an active part in military and para-military operations in Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Assam, Tripura and Jammu and Kashmir. He also served as SP (operations) in Punjab during the militancy problem.
The 27 Bn which remained under his command was adjudged the best operational unit in Jammu and Kashmir in 1995-96.
Excise division to be set up
CHANDIGARH, Aug 5 — The Chandigarh Commissionerate of Central Excise will create a new Central Excise division at Mandi Gobindgarh under a Deputy Commissioner to cater to the needs of industrial units at Khanna, Mandi Gobindgarh and Sirhind, Mr Inder Raj Soni, Commissioner, Chandigarh Commissionerate-I, announced today.
Mr Soni said that the jurisdiction of the newly created Central Excise Division would cover areas falling in the districts of Fatehgarh Sahib and Khanna, Samrala and Payal tehsils of Ludhiana districts.
Previously, the work relating to this industrial belt was being looked after by the central Excise Division, Patiala. With the creation of this new division, it would be very convenient for about 400 industrial units and large number of dealers to get their Central Excise problems solved at their door step.
Patiala bank one of
world’s top 1,000
MALOUT, Aug 5 — Mr R.S. Nanda, General Manager (P&D), State Bank of Patiala, has said 70 per cent of the total branches of the bank will be computerised by the end of 2000.
Talking to mediapersons after formally inaugurating the fully-computerised branches here yesterday Mr Nanda said so far 141 branches had been fully computerised to give better services to customers.
He disclosed that the Verma Committee had adjudged the State Bank
of Patiala as one of the two best banks out of the 27 public sector
banks in the country on the basis of seven financial parameters. The
operating profit of the bank had increased by 100 per cent as on March
31, 2000. He added that the State Bank of Patiala with its working
capital of Rs 16,000 crore also figured in the list 1,000 top banks of
Plea to cancel
BATHINDA, Aug 5 — The Government Polytechnic Lecturers Association has urged the Punjab Government to cancel all promotions done by the departmental promotion committee (DPC) on August 1, as these were allegedly not based on seniority.
In a press note issued here today, activists of the Association pointed out that DPC had given promotions of senior lecturer and head of the department to certain lecturers and senior lecturers, respectively, on the basis of their "good" annual confidential reports (ACR’s) and not on the basis of seniority. They alleged that these promotions were illegal and in violation of various judgements of the Supreme Court and high courts.
They said lecturers and senior lecturers who had been denied promotion on the pretext that their ACRs were "average" had not been informed about their ACR’s within the stipulated time.
2 students drowned in sarovar
AMRITSAR, Aug 5 (UNI) — Two school-going children were drowned in the sarovar of the historic San Sahib gurdwara at Baserke Gill village under the Chheratta police station of the district yesterday.
A police report here said the students, identified as Amandeep Singh and Kawaljit Singh, had gone to take a dip in sarovar and drowned
Relief sought for flood-hit farmers
PATIALA, Aug 5 — The Lok Bhalai Party (Sanaur branch) has urged the district administration to compensate those farmers who have been affected by the fury of the Ghaggar floods.
In a press note, the Bhalai manch leaders said there were several villages of the Sanuar block which had been severely hit by floods and crops and livestock worth thousands of rupees had been destroyed. The leaders demanded that the administration should take up special girdawari in the villages to know the extent of the damage.
Flesh trade racket
GURDASPUR, Aug 5 — The dust raised by a flesh trade scandal in this town last month is yet to settle down and the police has exposed another flesh trade racket.
Briefing newsmen here today, Mr Varinder Kumar, SSP said Asha Rani, a resident of Sant Nagar here, had been arrested for allegedly indulging in flesh trade. Four girls and four boys were arrested yesterday in this connection.
The SSP said that yesterday, Mr Puran Singh, DSP, Headquarters, and Sub-Inspector Gajinder Singh, raided the house of Asha Rani and apprehended her. Harjinder Singh of Dhariwal and Rani, resident of Sidhwan Jameeta, were also apprehended.
The police also arrested Makhan Singh, Rajinder Kumar, and Pawan Kumar all residents of Gurdaspur, along with Biro, resident of Nabipur under police station Sadar, Rani and Shana, both residents of Gurdaspur.
Mr Varinder Kumar said that Asha Rani was running a brothel in her house. On preliminary interrogation it was learnt that Asha Rani belonged to Patna and was married to Basant Singh, now a retired subedar, about 15 years ago.
Gang of thieves
FATEHGARH SAHIB, Aug 5 — The district police claims to have busted a gang of thieves with the arrest of Vinod Kumar and Sukhwinder Singh, both resident of Hoshiarpur district.
Addressing a joint press conference Mr H.S. Saran SSP and K.S.
Sandhu SP (D) said on July 7 four armed men in a Maruti car planned to
loot a branch of the nationalised bank at Amloh town, but the
alertness of the police averted the incident. Since then the police
has been active to nab the gang.
JALANDHAR, Aug 5 — To protest against the arrest of the secretary of DAV college Non-Teaching Employees Union a dharna was held in front of the principal’s office here today.
Yesterday the principal had called the police in the college premises and misbehaved with the protesting employees.
"The entry of Mr Ram Sunder, Secretary, of the union in the college had been banned. The police arrested him outside the college on principal’s orders", Mr C.S. Seth, president of the union alleged. A case against him has been registered.
Three booked on
ABOHAR, Aug 5 — Three brothers — Zail Singh, Zeba Singh and Kala Singh — have been booked under Sections 376 and 342 of the IPC for allegedly raping a married woman at Burj Hanumangarh village on July 22, official sources said here today.
According to Jeet Singh, the victim’s husband, he took her to the local Civil Hospital soon after the incident but the police allegedly did not register an FIR even when the Subdivisional Magistrate asked for necessary action.
The victim then approached the court, which directed the Senior Medical Officer of the Civil Hospital to get her examined. the police said the medical report was awaited.
lab for Ludhiana
CHANDIGARH, Aug 5 — The Punjab Government will set up a hi-tech veterinary laboratory at Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana, at a cost of Rs 67 crore for scientific examination of medicines for animals.
The Punjab Animal Husbandry Minister, Dr Rattan Singh Ajnala, said another well equipped laboratory at a cost of Rs 19 crore for the diagnosis of chronic and acute diseases of animals would be set up at Jalandhar.
Giving details of the projects, Dr Ajnala said the institute to be set up at Ludhiana would be the first of its kind in the country where research and development of imported and indigenous medicines would be undertaken to ensure their quality. The minister said the laboratory for the diagnosis of diseases of cattle at Jalandhar would be beneficial to dairy farmers of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.
The minister revealed that a centrally sponsored scheme of Rs 37
crore had been framed to improve the breed of milch cattle so that
milk production in the state could be increased and also to make
Punjab disease-free zone in the country. Out of Rs 37 crore, a sum of
Rs 3.27 crore had already been released.
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