Tuesday, February 20, 2001,
Chandigarh, India

P U N J A B    S T O R I E S




Minister bashes up Cong leader
Tribune News Service

Majitha, February 19
Mr Sucha Singh Langah, Minister for Industries, his supporters and gunmen allegedly bashed up a Congress leader, Mr Ramesh Sharma at Gopalpura village, during door-to-door canvassing yesterday.

Talking to Tribune News Service, Mr Sharma alleged that he was beaten up in front of his house in full public view by the minister. Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka, Senior Vice-President, Punjab Youth Congress, alleged that he was canvassing in Tarkhanwala village when he was informed that the minister and his supporters bashed up Mr Sharma. He said that the election Observers, SP (operation) and SHO Kathu Nangal have refused to register a complaint.


Kaura to expose RSS agenda
Tribune News Service

Ferozepore, February 19
Threatening to expose the alleged RSS agenda on Sikhs, the suspended BJP leader, Mr Jagmohan Kaura, today said that he would shortly meet the SGPC chief and the Akal Takht Jathedar with documentary evidence for necessary action.

Talking to newspersons here this afternoon, Mr Kaura said he would apprise the Sikh clergy of the RSS game plan that poses potent threat to peace in the border state. He claimed that he has enough evidence to prove how the RSS was bent upon bracketing the Sikh minority with the Hindu mainstream.

Mr Kaura wondered why the Sikh clergy was not taking a serious view of the continued interference of the RSS in their religious affairs. To prove his point, he cited the formation of the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat by the RSS, distortion of Sikh history and derogatory remarks against Guru Gobind Singh by a BJP woman leader.

He also circulated the copy of a news item attributed to the woman leader, who has equated the Punjab BJP chief, Mr Brij Lal Rinwa, with Guru Gobind Singh. He pointed out that even four days after the publication of the news item, neither Mr Rinwa nor any other BJP leader had disowned the woman leader’s statement, indicating their approval to such views.

“This itself reflects the anti-Sikh mind of Mr Rinwa and his mentors in the RSS”, he said. He appealed to the Sikh leaders to take a serious note of these developments that were aimed at vitiating the peace and communal amity in Punjab. He reminded of the turmoil Punjab faced after a Jalandhar-based daily published a calendar equating Guru Gobind Singh with its Editor.

Describing Mr Rinwa as a “rubber stamp” in the hands of the Punjab RSS General Secretary, Mr Devinder Gupta, he said, “Mr Rinwa’s claim on the Chief Minister’s seat is also a part of the RSS secret agenda”.

Asked whether he was not a party to the RSS agenda prior to his suspension from the BJP, Mr Kaura said, “As an Organising General Secretary of the state BJP, I never allowed the RSS to pursue its hidden agenda in Punjab”.

He also threatened to field candidates of his fledgling BJP (Democratic) Front from all BJP seats in the next Assembly elections. “The talks for exploring future alliances with parties opposed to the BJP have already been started”, he added.

Although he claimed to have received feelers from among the dissident BJP legislators and rank and file, he declined to elaborate on his next course of action at this stage.


Malta tragedy: 11 held on way to CM’s house
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Eleven members of the Malta Boat Tragedy Probe Mission and the Malta Tragedy Sufferers Association were booked by the local police on charges of violating Section 144 of the Cr PC They were on their way to meet the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to urge him to request the Government of India for an international probe into the incident.

The members of the association, from various parts of Punjab, led by the chairman of the mission, Mr Balwant Singh Khera, and the president of the sufferers association, Mr Swaran Das, were arrrested and taken to the Sector 3 police station. They were apprehended on the way to the Chief Minister’s residence in Sector 2 in the presence of the Ilaqa Magistrate, Mr Naval Kumar.

They were also demanding relief for next of kin of the victims and bringing to book of the international mafia, including the local travel agents involved in the boat tragedy that claimed around 300 lives. They wanted the Government of India to become a party to several cases in progress in Italy against the accused.

The members, mainly kin of the victims of the tragedy, also demanded that the Government of India should file a case against the shipping company and demand compensation for the 170 persons of Indian origin who were feared drowned.

Later, while talking to TNS, the members of the association, while expressing their anger against the Punjab Government, said that it had not even appointed an OSD to redress their grievances. They lamented that in spite of the Italian Government having sent a 1,000-page report to the Government of India, it had not responded and the Ministry of External Affairs and the CBI were merely shifting responsibility.

Mr Swaran Singh, a former sarpanch of Dhandar Khurd in Ropar, who lost his son, Amrik Singh in the tragedy, said he still hoped that his son was alive. “ The government should at least issue a list of the dead,”he said.

Another member, Mr Malkit Singh of Loha Kheri village in Fatehgarh Sahib, who too lost his 22 year old son in the tragedy in 1996 said that though around five years had elapsed, they could neither get the “Inteqal” of the land done nor get back the post office savings if these were in the name of the victim.

Later, Mr Khera said they would hold a protest in front of Parliament House in the first week of March to press the government to accept their demands.


Court extends stay on arrest of DIG
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 19
A local court today extended the stay on the arrest of Patiala Deputy Inspector General of Police Sanjeev Gupta for his alleged role in the detention and subsequent disappearance of a Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) activist till February 26.

The Additional Sessions Judge Mr Birender Singh, who today extended the stay will listen to arguments on the bail application filed by the DIG on the next date of hearing in the case.

The Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) had filed a chargesheet against the DIG and four other police officials for their alleged role in the detention and disappearance of BKI activist Sukhdev Singh, alias Sukha, from Chamkaur Sahib in Ropar district in February 1993. Mr Gupta was then posted as Senior Superintendent of Police at Ropar.

According to the CBI, which was given the charge of investigating the case after the wife of Sukha filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Sukha had been called to the Sohana police station by then Inspector Ramesh Chander to meet the SSP.

The CBI has claimed that the alleged BKI activist was kept in the CIA cell at Ropar and was transferred from one place to another till July 1993 following which he disappeared and has been untraceable since then.

The DIG and the other police officers have been charged with conspiring to kidnap the BKI activist and subseqently killing him.


Cops with 16 yrs’ service to be promoted
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, February 19
The Punjab government has decided to promote all those Punjab police constables who have put in 16 years of service.

Stating this here today, the Punjab Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, said that the decision regarding the promotion of constables has been taken to end stagnation in the Police Department, especially at the lower level. The decision would benefit about 10 per cent employees.

The Finance Minister said that the Punjab police was one of best forces and the state government has increased budgetary provisions for it, primarily for the role played by it to counter the insurgency in the state which was the result of the nefarious designs of Pakistan. If the annual budget of the force was Rs 950 crore in 2000.

Talking about the forthcoming Budget, the Finance Minister indicated that efforts would be made to save the common people from any new burden. He said that the fiscal position of the state had deteriorated due to wrong policies of the previous Congress government but it had improved due to efforts made by the Akali-BJP government.

He was sure that the SAD-BJP alliance would emerge victorious in the Majitha byelection since people had voted for the positive approach of the alliance, since the government had ensured “alround” development of the state. On the other hand, the faction-ridden Congress had no concrete issue to put up before the electorate.


Institute cheats students; probe on
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
The District Commissioner, Mr S.K.Sandhu, today marked an inquiry against a charitable institute of Raikot, near here to the SSP and the Civil Surgeon of the city.

The Indian Institute of Paramedical Training, Raikot is alleged to have cheated 105 students by charging lakhs of rupees from them for fake paramedical courses.

Dr A.K. Bannerji who is running the institute in the name of Sadbhavna Society, a charitable trust had claimed that the institute was affiliated to the All-India Academy of Paramedical Training Association (AIAPTA), New Delhi. Dr Bannerji is also running a nursing clinic in the town.

The students were admitted in July 2000 with Rs 15,000 as annual fee and Rs 12,000 as other charges for 12 paramedical courses such as medical laboratory technology, nursing assistance, physiotherapy, dental technician, ophthalmic technician, X ray, ECG technology, public health and sanitation. The students were promised employment after completing the course.

Matric and plus two students were allured from the neighbouring rural area with catchy advertisements. The institute claimed that after completing the course they were eligible for service not only in any part of the country but also in the Gulf and European countries.

Lack of proper infrastructure and faculty members in the institute made the students suspicious about the credibility of the course. Some of them approached the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), Ministry of HRD, New Delhi but found that no such institute was affiliated to them. The AICTE had discontinued this course two years ago.

Mr Satish Kumar, a local journalist who had accompanied the students said,‘‘ Our investigations revealed that three such institutes were opened in Delhi, Gurgaon and koita also. All of them had already closed after duping the students. Police inquires are going on there.’’

Mr Bannerji could not be contacted.


Punjab MLAs’ meeting on Feb 21
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, February 19
A meeting of all MLAs will be held at Punjab Bhavan, Chandigarh on February 21. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal will preside.

This was stated by Punjab Parliamentary affairs Minister Madan Mohan Mittal while talking to this correspondent here last night. He said the agenda of the coming Budget Session, which would begin on March 1, would be discussed at the meeting.

He said the Business Advisory Committee would meet soon to finalise other agenda items of the Assembly session.

Commenting on the Majitha by election Mr Mittal said the SAD-BJP combine candidate would win with a big margine. He however, ruled out any possibility of mid-term polls in Punjab.

Asked about Bahujan Samaj Party chief Kanshi Ram’s claim about forming government in Punjab after the next general elections of the state Assembly, Mr Mittal said Mr Kanshi Ram had not yet opened his cards till now.


HC notice on doctors’ plea
Our Legal Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 19
On a writ petition filed by Electro Homoeopathic Doctors Association, Punjab, through its president, Dr Manjit Singh Dhillon, challenging the Punjab government circulars of March 12, 1999 and October 17, 2000, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court comprising Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Mr Justice Nirmal Singh issued notice of motion to the state of Punjab and others respondents for August 3.

The petitioners submitted that the High Court had on November 4, 1997, passed a direction in a writ petition directing the Punjab Health and Family Welfare, Director to take action against those persons who were illegally practising as medical practitioners in allopathy and on the basis of that direction the Director of Health and Family Welfare issued a circular to enforce the courts direction and ordered the registration of cyclostyled F.I.R.s in bulk under Section 15 of the Indian Medical Council Act and Drugs Act. On October 17 last year, another circular was issued which, they said, was illegal and unconstitutional and against the decision of the High Court which it purported to enforce.

It was contended by the petitoner that there was no law which prohibited teaching and practising a branch of medical science which was not so far being regulated by any law and that the petitioners under Article 19 of the Constitution, had the right to practice any profession or occupation and the state could not ban it ‘unless it enacted a statutory law.


Councillor’s remark creates controversy
Our Correspondent

Abohar, February 19
The reported utterances of a BJP councillor, Mrs Geeta Chaudhry, has sparked off a controversy here. The matter has been referred to the Akal Takhat and the Chief Minister as well.

A press note released by the Panthak Seva Society said today an emergency meeting of the Sikh religious organisation was held at the Gurdwara Singh Sabha here yesterday to discuss the contents of an interview reportedly given to a leading Hindi daily by Mrs Geeta Chaudhry.

She was quoted having equated the state BJP chief, Prof Brij Lal Rinwa, with Guru Gobind Singh.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Panthak Seva Society, Bir Khalsa Dal, Bhai Kanhaya Sewak Jatha, Shri Sukhmani Sahib Seva Society, Shri Guru Nanak Sevak Dal Simran Society, Istri Jatha Shri Sukhmani Society, Gurdwara Shri Singh Sabha, Gurdwara Nanaksar Tobha, Gurdwara Shri Angad Dev Ji and Gurdwara Damdama Sahib.

All those present at the meeting reportedly expressed anguish over Mrs Chaudhry’s alleged remarks, which had hurt the feelings of the Sikh community, the note said.


A lifeline under threat
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

The Bathinda branch of the Sirhind canal, considered to be the lifeline of the Malwa region, is under threat as it has been choked to a considerable extent by weeds and its banks are beginning to cave in at many places.

The canal, which was originally constructed in 1882, was later remodelled. Its bed width was 45 metres and depth 1.6 metres. It has a capacity of 2, 787 cusecs.

Over the years, the Bathinda branch brought prosperity in general in this region but its condition went on deteriorating. It is feared that at certain points breaches could develop in the canal banks.

Besides, its water, which was being used in most of the district for drinking purposes, has become highly polluted. Residents of various towns and villages through which the canal passes throw garbage and other waste materials into it without any check.

Official sources said that a length of about 80 km of the canal had been adversely affected by weeds. The weeds had now started hampering the smooth flow of water.

The sources said though the problem of clearing of weeds had been taken up by Irrigation Department officials with their superiors and at the level of the state government a number of times, no funds had been given for this task so far.

The authorities concerned, too, had not taken measures to check the dumping of waste materials into the canal.

The sources added that though the demand for water for irrigation purposes was rising, the capacity of this canal could not be increased as its banks were kutcha.

A senior official said that when the Punjab Government had not been giving funds for repairs to the banks of canals which had been bricklined, getting money for the maintenance of this canal was a distant dream

He said funds were being given for repair work and the enhancement of the capacity of distributaries which supplied water in the Gidderbaha and Lambi assembly segments.


2 GNDTP units to be renovated
From Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 19
In a significant decision, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) authorities have approved the renovation and modernisation plan of units one and two of the local Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant (GNDTP) to increase their lives.

Official sources said that PSEB authorities would spend Rs 80 crore to Rs 100 crore on the renovation and modernisation of each unit. The renovation and modernisation of unit number two would start from September, 2001.

Under the renovation and modernisation of the first two units, the boilers would be changed while the turbines and other components would be repaired to increase their lives. The PSEB authorities would also change all those components which had outlived their lives.

The PSEB authorities took the decision to carry out the renovation and modernisation of the first two units of the GNDTP when its management submitted a memorandum in this connection a few months ago. Both the units, which were commissioned in 1974 and 1975, had completed their life span of 25 years, respectively.

Before submitting to the PSEB authorities, the GNDTP management got conducted a Residual Life Assessment (RLA) survey of all four units. In this survey, it was found that lives of all units could be increased by carrying out the renovation and modernisation programme.

The GNDTP authorities said that money which would be spent on renovation and modernisation would be arranged from the Central Government, Power Finance Corporation (PCC) and PSEB authorities by raising loans and grants. Each unit would remain shut down for eight to nine months.

The PSEB authorities had decided to carry out major repairs in all four units at a cost of Rs 300 crores to increase the life span of each unit by 15 years. In the first phase, the memorandum for two units had been approved and for carrying but this plan, open tenders would be floated shortly.

The PSEB authorities would not limit their choice to BHEL and NASL for this task, as was the earlier practice.

Mr R.C. Uppal, Superintendent Engineer (SE), Electrical, said that first all things which were to be repaired and changed would be specified and the list would be approved by the design section of the PSEB. After that funds would be arranged.

The GNDTP authorities had decided to change boilers to overcome the problem being caused to existing boilers due to use of coal which had high ash content. The coal having high ash contents had been causing air pollution on one hand and damaging the boiler tubes on the other.

On account of frequent damage being caused to tubes of boilers due to use of high ash content coal, the GNDTP authorities had been suffering huge financial loss.

On the other hand, the PSEB authorities had engaged a private firm, Chemithom Engineers, to treat the flue gas being emitted from the chimneys and to increase the collecting power of Electrostatic precipitator to reduce the air pollution.


Concert for Gujarat victims
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 19
The renowned Urdu and Punjabi poet, Dr Sardar Anjum, in a highly emotional poem today, made a fervent appeal to the people here to contribute liberally for the victims of the devastating earthquake in Gujarat.

Dr Anjum gave Rs 5000 in cash and the like amount was contributed by the accompanying Ghazal Singer, Mr Neelam Sharma for the purpose.

At the prompting of Dr Anjum, the former Minister for External Affairs and MP, Mr R.L. Bhatia, announced a personal contribution of Rs 10 lakh for the Gujarat earthquake relief fund.

The organizers of the ‘Aawaz aur Andaaz’ concert handed over a draft of Rs 50,000 for the Gujarat Chief Minister’s Relief fund to Dr Anjum.

Earlier, a poetry book written by Ms Tejinder Adaa, an upcoming Punjabi poetess and professor of music at Guru Nanak Dev University, was released by Mr Bhatia and Dr Sardar Anjum.


Blood bank inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, February 19
Punjab Tourism Minister Swarna Ram inaugurated a blood bank in the local Civil Hospital today.

Speaking on the occasion, the minister said as Phagwara was situated on the GT Road, cases of accidents were being reported regularly. With the new blood bank the people now would not have to go to Ludhiana, Jalandhar or Nawanshahr for blood.

Dr G.S. Preet, Director, Health Services, Punjab, disclosed that a stock of 500 units of blood would always be maintained in the bank.

Activists of the Market Association, Satnampura, led by Mr Gurjit Singh Khalsa donated 20 units of blood on the occasion. Mr Malkiat Singh Ragbhotra donated blood for the 50th time today to mark the opening of the bank. Dr Ajaib Singh Sandhu, Civil Surgeon, Dr Buta Ram Gill, Chief Medical Officer, were also present on the occasion. 


2 more cases of hepatitis-B detected
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 19
Two more cases of hepatitis-B were detected at a vaccination camp organised by a voluntary club at Chauke village of the district yesterday.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that two persons suffering from hepatitis-B were detected when the samples of their blood were tested. Earlier, nine such cases were detected in the village, when the district health authorities carried out a survey a few days ago.

Dr Nevatia , District Malaria Officer, said the Medical Officer of the village had been asked to verify the authenticity of the report of the voluntary club.

Dr Narinder Kumar, Medical Officer of Chauke village, said he was verifying the facts about the detection of new cases. He added that it seemed that blood samples of those patients, who were already suffering from hepatitis-B, had been taken and tested in the camp.

He said he would compare the two new cases with the list of patients of hepatitis-B prepared by him when a survey was carried out in the village, last time.


Residents step in to save temple
Pushpesh Kumar

Bathinda, February 19
India is a land of many religious. The followers of these religions have made many places of worship.

Although some of the buildings and monuments have been declared protected by the Centre and the state government, yet the historical temple at Kalyan Malka village, 27 km north-east of Bathinda, is yet to be adopted.

The Shiva temple at Kalyan Malka village is not only historical but beautiful also. Legend has it that the temple was built by Maharaja Gulab Singh of Jammu and Kashmir about 170 years ago when his wish of having a son was fulfilled. A lake was also constructed near the temple for religious ceremonies and water collected from 365 holy places was poured into it to purify it.

A samadhi of Vedantiji Maharaj has also been constructed near the lake. It was with his blessings that the maharaja was blessed with a son.

The Shiva temple has been neglected by the authorities for the past many years. However, now the residents of the area have taken up the cause themselves. The bottom of the lake has been cleaned and a concrete flooring added.

The lake is 32 ft deep. A havan kund and remains of the Har Ki Paudi at the 14th step of the lake have added to the importance of the temple.

A stone idol of Lord Shiva and Parvati and a Shivlingum, which is said to be hundreds of years old, denotes the religious significance of the temple.

Every month on amavasya, devotees come in large numbers and pay obeisance in the temple and have baths in the lake. 


Poisonous barley waste kills 60 sheep
Tribune News Service

Gidderbaha, February 19
As many as 60 sheep of three shepherds Bharu village in Muktsar district died reportedly after consuming some poisonous material in the grain market in this town.

Police sources said 60 sheep were killed when they consumed some waste material in the grain market on February 17 which contained celphos contents.

The sources added that one of the commission agent was cleaning barley crop on the mechanised fan and the sheep consumed the waste.

After some time, the sheep fell one by one and died. So far 60 sheep had died while 40 sheep which had been taken ill were under treatment.

The sources added that two buffaloes were also undergoing treatment as they had also consumed the same waste material.

Mr Jaspal Singh, Station House Officer, said some compensation had been given to the owners of the sheep by the commission agent while the police authorities had requested the district administration for adequate compensation to them.

The sources added that the owners — Gurtej Singh, Sukhdev Singh and Monpal — were poor. No case had been registered as the poison was not administrated to the sheep deliberately.


Sparks in low tension wires
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, February 19
A trail of sparks were ignited in the low tension wires when a truck struck these in the residential area of the local Hargobind Nagar today. Panicked inmates rushed out on seeing a trail of blaze in the overhead wires.

Mr Ajit Singh, senior Ex-En Phagwara division, PSEB, who happened to pass through the residential lane at that time, spotted the sparks and immediately got the power supply of that area switched off which saved the situation.


Shiromani awards announced
From Our Correspondent

Patiala, February 19 
The State Language Department will be organising its annual function here on February 26 to honour writers. Dr Madan Lal Hasija, Director of the department, said the department would give Shriomani Puraskar to nearly 39 writers.

He said Mr Prakash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, will be the chief guest. The department gives prizes each year to 13 writers, playwrights, journalists and television/radio playwrights.

Prof Pritam Singh, Prof Pyara Singh Padam and Mr Ajaib Chitrakar will be awarded with Punjabi Literature Shiromani Puraskar. Dr Ishar Singh, Dr Atam Humrahi and Dr S. Tarsem will be awarded with Shiromani Punjabi Litterateur Puraskar. The Shiromani Hindi Litterateur Puraskar will be given to Mr Devinder Ishar, Mr Suresh Seth and Dr Hukamchand Rajpal.

Shiromani Urdu Litterateur Puraskar will be awarded to Dr Kalidas Gupta, Mr R.D. Sharma Tasir and Dr Mohamad Sultan. Shiromani Sanskrit Litterateur Puraskar will be awarded to Dr Sutdev Singh Hans, Dr Sansar Chand and Mr Padam Nath Shastri. Shiromani Punjabi Journalist Puraskar will be given to Mr Shangara Singh Bhullar, Mr Satnam Singh Manak and Mr Amarjit Singh.

Mr Harbhajan Singh Hundal, Ms Manjit Tiwana and Mr Anoop Virk will be awarded with Shiromani Punjabi Poet Puraskar. Shiromani Punjabi Television/Radio Play Puraskar will be awarded to Ms Nina Tiwana, Mr Ajmer Singh Aulakh and Ms Nirmal Rishi.


7 hurt as cylinder explodes
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, February 19
As many as seven members of a family suffered burn injuries this noon when a cylinder exploded at Ballianwali village about 40 km from here.

According to information, Jagdish Ram and his family was having lunch in the kitchen of their home when the cylinder, being used as a lamp, exploded. The reason of the explosion was reportedly a weak joint in the cylinder and leakage of gas.

The sources added that the cylinder was not of a reputed company and was refilled occasionally by local unauthorised service agents. The injured include Jagdish Ram, his wife, his son and two daughters-in-law and his three grandsons.

The injured were immediately hospitalised at a local private hospital and subsequently referred to Ludhiana.


Remand in gold case extended
Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 19
A local court today extended the police remand of Joginderpal Singh Tony, the main accused in the case of stealing 100 kg of gold from the haveli of the former Prime Minister of the princely Patiala state, to February 24.

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate A.K. Singla who remanded Joginderpal to further police custody after he was presented before the court, asked the police where raids had been conducted in the case.

The police claimed that parties had organised raids in Amritsar, Ajnala, Bakshiwala village and at Heera Nagar in Patiala City and that more raids were necessitated, because of which further remand of the accused was needed.

Joginderpal has already been remanded to police custody twice in the past one week.

A case of dacoity was registered against him on the complaint of a daughter-in-law of the former Prime Minister of the Patiala State. It has been alleged that Joginderpal systematically demolished the ‘haveli’ of the late Prime Minister and then dug out gold from it which was contained in five ‘gagars’.

Heirs of the late Prime Minister claim that a trusted ‘sevadar’, Kesar Singh, had buried the gold in the family haveli at Bakshiwala village near here after the Prime Minister fell out with the management of the Fatehgarh Sahib gurdwara.

Kesar Singh, who is 92 years old has given a statement in this regard under Section 164 in the court here.


Notice issued to regularise staff
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 19
The Punjab Government has issued instructions to all its departments to regularise services of work-charged and daily wager employees who have completed three years of services.

Official sources, in a letter issued to all state departments, said the state government had asked its heads to regularise the services of those employees who had completed three years of service. The regularisation of services of such employees could be done only if vacancies existed in that particular department, the letter said.

The instruction issued by the government said the second condition of regularisation of services was that they would be absorbed against regular posts only. No new post should be created to regularise the services of such employees.

Each department had been instructed to prepare the lists of work-charged and daily wagers, who had completed three years of service and these lists be updated from time to time. The lists should be prepared strictly according to seniority.

According to instructions, first the work-charged in any department would be adjusted under this scheme and only then the case of daily wagers of that department would be taken. The workers belonging to a department should be considered for only that department in particular.

Sources added that the state government had instructed the department that for implementing this policy, the permission from DOP and FD was not required. If the department’s own rules for absorption and regularisation of services of workers as per this policy came in way, such provision and rules stood.

All the departments had been instructed to exercise regularisation of the services of work charged and daily wagers as a consequence of this policy should be completed within a period of four months.


Woman held in murder case
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, February 19
The district police today arrested Parkash Kaur and her son Satnam Singh for allegedly murdering a woman at Ali Khelan village in Kartarpur on last Friday.

This was stated by Mr M.F. Farooqi, SP, here today. He said Balwinder Kaur was beaten to death by Parkash Kaur and Satnam Singh. Balwinder Kaur was the second wife of Parkash Kaur’s husband Baldev Singh.

Mr Farooqi said Parkash Kaur had been living separately with her two sons Gurnam Singh and Satnam Singh for the past 18 years.


Man arrested for fraud
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, February 19
The district police has arrested Jaswinder Singh needed in a criminal case from Sawant Khera in Haryana who had been at large for quite sometime.

Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, SSP, said the accused had purchased a car from a showroom in Chandigarh last year. He had got his car financed from a company here. He got it registered at Dabwali but did not mention that the car was financed.

Jaswinder Singh in June 2000 lodged a complaint with the Dehradun police that his car had been stolen. He allegedly sold his car through Pawan Kumar and Jaskiran Singh, a resident of local Amrik Singh Road. The third companion of the accused was Surinder Singh from Ludhiana.


Seminar on higher education from Feb 21
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 19
Challenges before higher education in the 21st century—the issue which has been uppermost in the minds of academicians and planners of the country will be debated during the three-day international conference which opens here on February 21.

The Principal of the DAV College, Mr M.L. Aeri, who has taken the lead for organising the first such exercise, told newsmen here yesterday that he had received good response from all 28 states in the country. More than 500 delegates had confirmed their participation.

Mr Aeri added that about 150 professors, administrators, and educationists, and Minister for Higher Education from Karnataka, Dr G. Parmeshwara, would lead the delegation from his state.

Leading industrialised nations are sending representatives, including those from the USA, Canada, England, France and some European countries. Mr Aeri added the University Grants Commission had approved the agenda for the meet and the conclusions recorded would be taken into account while preparing the vision documents on the higher education in the country.

The conference is being jointly planned by the Indian Colleges Forum, New Delhi, the DAV College Managing Committee, Guru Nanak Dev University, and sponsored by the UGC.

Mr Aeri pointed out that challenges before higher education were becoming real with the faster growth of knowledge, information technology and internationalisation of higher education. These developments had also thrown several challenges for college managements and principals.

The conference will be inaugurated by the Governor of Punjab, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), on February 21.

The concluding function on February 23 will be presided over by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister.


Controversy over lecturer’s post
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Less than 48 hours after The Tribune carried a report on the irregularities in the running of the Agro-Service vocational course in Malwa College, Bondli, Samrala, on January 20, the teacher concerned, who was an MSc in geology and was teaching botany, was removed from the institution.

The course ran without a teacher for a month, after which an advertisement for a lecturer in botany was issued by the college on February 12, the interviews for which are slated to be held tomorrow, just eight days after the appearance of the advertisement.

The selection to the post still remains mired in controversy as according to a letter written to the Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, by an earlier lecturer, Dr R.K. Singla, he had been selected to the post till March 31 this year but had not been allowed attendance since March 31,2000. He claimed his services had neither been terminated nor had he been informed about his status by the college authorities. 


Pattar casts spell on students
Jaswinder Paul

Bathinda, February 19
Surjit Pattar, an eminent poet and winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award, had students and teachers of the local Government Rajindra College spellbound when he recited his old and new poems.

Pattar was given an overwhelming welcome by the audience when he stood up to deliver his address. He was invited by the college authorities to attend a cultural and literary programme organised today at the open air theatre which was packed to capacity.

The programme was inaugurated by Mr Jaspal Singh, Deputy Commissioner, while the welcome address was given by the Principal of the college, Mr A.K. Kapoor. He thanked Pattar for coming all the way from Ludhiana on their request.

He said they had invited Pattar on the request of the students who had been urging the college authorities for quite some time for bringing face-to-face eminent literary personalities of Punjab.

The students recited the college anthem “Deh Shiva var Moheih iheih” and “amrit bani”. Sarbjeet Singh, a student, recited the famous poem of Pattar “Kuch kaiha tan hanera jarega kimein” who received applause from the audience as well as Pattar.

Prof Amarjeet Singh, recited another poem of Pattar. Shamma sang a folk song while a group skit — “Pagalkhana” — was also presented by the students. The students also performed bhangra and gidda during the programme.

Pattar appreciated the efforts of the organisers for the literary and cultural programme. He said the days of terrorism were very bad as far as poets were concerned as they had always spoken the truth.

He said when a meeting was convened to mourn the murder of famous Punjabi poet Pash only 12 persons had come. He said seeing the situation he had written a poem namely “Pattar”.

Pattar recited his famous poems, including “Dil hi udas hai ji baki sab khair hai”, “Pyara” and “Mombattian”.

Later, talking to The Tribune, Pattar said he would record an audio cassette of his poems in his voice. He said his first album “Birkh Jo Saaz Hai”, had received a good response from the public.


Traders find new ways to evade ST
Chander Prakash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 19
Even as the Punjab Government has been taking steps to check the evasion of sales tax, the traders have been devising ways to hoodwink the tax authorities.

With the setting up of 27 information collection centres (ICCs) all over the state by the Punjab sales tax authorities, unscrupulous traders have changed their modus operandi to evade sales tax. The ICCs set up at various entry points of Punjab bordering Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pardesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh have not produced the desirable results.

Even the equipping of ICCs with the computers and other gadgets has failed to deter the traders from evading sales tax on the goods being brought from other states to Punjab.

Official sources said that some unscrupulous traders, who had floated bogus firms, had started issuing the invoices of goods to evade sales tax. These traders, had been evading sales tax to the tune of crores every year.

The district sales tax authorities had cancelled the registration certificate of one firm of Talwandi Sabo which had been Wading sales tax in this manner, while it had also refused to grant sales tax registration certificate to a firm of Rama Mandi when it learnt that the firm owner would facilitate the evasion of sales tax.

The sources said that traders had been evading sales tax in three different ways. The main modus operandi was floating of bogus firms in pockets situated near the ICCs. Traders brought goods from other states without making entries in the computers installed at nearby ICCs. The traders had been bringing the goods on genuine bills.

After the goods reached these business establishments safely, the traders destroyed the original bills. If these traders were caught by the sales tax personnel while transporting the goods in this way, they would escape penalty on the pretext that they had not crossed any barrier and their bills were genuine.

From these business establishments, located near the ICCs, the traders would move the goods to any part of Punjab without any problem on fake bills and thus evade sales tax.

The traders had been deriving double benefits by adopting this method. First they were not meeting their tax liabilities at the ICCs, as the transactions were not entered in the computer. Secondly, they were dispatching the same goods to any part of Punjab on fake bills without any hindrance.

The sales tax authorities said that a number of such business firms had been detected at Talwandi Sabo, Boha in Mansa district, Kallar Khrea in Ferozepore district, Devi Garh in Patiala district and Rama Mandi in Bathinda district. Some of the business establishments had shifted their firms from other locations of Punjab to Killianwali pocket of Muktsar district because of its close proximity to Haryana.


Dispute sparks tension
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, February 19
Tension prevailed in the local Barra Chowk area for several hours today due to a dispute between the local Truck Union and the Industry Association (including the Rice Shellers Union) over the issue of transportation of goods.

Members of both sides reached the local police station situated in Barra Chowk this morning to settle the issue. Meanwhile, a large number of truck operators and drivers gathered in front of the police station which led to the tension. During this period, both sides continued discussions to resolve the issue. Members of the truck union, however, were asked to go to the union at about 4.15 p.m. by their president.

Later, both sides reached a settlement and an agreement was signed in the presence of Mr Rattan Singh Brar and Mr Kulwant Singh, SHOs of the local sadar police and city police, respectively.

Talking to mediapersons, Mr Rattan Singh Brar, SHO of the sadar police, said a four-member committee, comprising two members from each side, would be formed to decide the rates of transportation of wheat from the rice shellers. Besides, owners of rice shellers could load building material in their trucks for any type of alteration, renovation and addition in their own shellers.

Earlier, Mr Balwinder Singh Kherri, president of the truck union, had stated that if the rice sheller and industry owners wanted to transport goods, they should take private permit in place of public carrier permit. He said this type of practice by the rice sheller and industry owners was objectionable.

On the other hand, Mr Sanjiv Bansal, press secretary of the Sangrur District Industrial Chamber, said they should be allowed to transport their goods through their own trucks. If there was any type of involvement of any third party in the transportation of goods, they could be stopped from doing this, he added.

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