Saturday, April 21, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Rain hits wheat procurement
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, April 20
The rains and storm over the past few days have been posing problems to the farmers waiting to sell their produce in various grain markets and purchasing centres for the past three to four days in Faridkot district.

According to reports, nearly 14,000 tonnes out of the total arrival of more than 25,000 tonnes of the produce was purchased by the agencies till yesterday in the district. But rainfall has impeded the lifting process. More than 50,000 bags of the purchased wheat by the agencies were lying in the local mandi.

It is learnt that nearly 20 per cent of the crop out of the 75 per cent which was yet to be harvested in a large number of villages like Pehluwala, Pipli, Arayianwala, Pakhikalan, Golewala, Memmuana, Machakikalan, Chet Singh Wala, Kauniwala, Rajowala, Sher Singh Wala, Dhab Sher Singh Wala etc. has been damaged.

Expressing concern, Mr Gurditta Singh member of the Rajowala village panchayat and Mr Harpal Singh of Kauniwala village told this reporter that a minimum of 2 quintals to 4 quintals of wheat out of the about 20 quintal yield per acre is likely to be damaged in the affected villages. They urged the Punjab Government to give compensation to the farmers and enhance the permissible moisture percentage from 12 to 15 in view the loss caused to the farmers.

Mr Mantar Singh Brar, MLA, Kotkapura, said that he would take up the issue with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to give relief to the affected farmers besides giving concessions in procurement specifications.

Mr A. Venu Prasad, Deputy Commissioner, said that the state government agencies were taking all measures and efforts to purchase the crop in spite of rains. However, he made it clear that it was not possible for them to purchase the produce that did not meet the specifications.


‘Wheat not being moved out’
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 20
The Punjab Food and Supplies Minister, Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, today said despite an initiative taken by the Union Food Minister, Mr Shanta Kumar, wheat was not being moved out of the state at the desired level forcing the government to create additional storage space besides causing losses to its procurement agencies.

Talking to mediapersons here after assessing the loss caused by recent rain in Patiala and Sangrur districts with a team of department officials, including Patiala Division Deputy Director Bhupinder Singh Rana and District Food and Supplies Controller, Capt H.S. Mokha, he said though wheat had started being transferred out of the state recently on the initiative of the state government, it was still to pick up momentum.

The Minister said around 90 lakh metric tonnes of wheat was stored in Punjab since the past more than two years.

He said around two lakh metric tonnes was being transferred out in special rakes per month whereas the state had demanded that 5 to 10 lakh metric tonnes should be transferred out every month. He said state agencies had to borrow money from banks for storage purchases leading to unnecessary losses for them.

He said keeping in mind the present situation, the state government had created an additional capacity of 60 lakh metric tonnes to ensure that there was no storage problem during the present procurement season. He said procurement, which had been delayed due to recent rains, would pick up within the next two days.

He said there was not much loss to the wheat crop due to the rains and that produce in mandis also was being dried and could be procured. He said the process of giving payments to the farmers would also be expedited.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, disclosed that 1.88 lakh metric tonnes of wheat had been procured till yesterday as compared to 5.42 lakh metric tonnes procured during the same period last year. He said Patiala had procured the maximum amount of wheat till now followed by Sangrur with 1.74 lakh metric tonnes.

Disclosing this after survey of the situation in a meeting with officers of different procurement agencies, Mr Bir appealed to the farmers to be patient and harvest their standing crop only after it had dried properly.

He also directed the commission agents to employ power clearners to dry their wheat procured in various mandis in the district. He disclosed that tarpaulins had been made available to commission agents and that produce placed under sheds would be lifted within 24 hours.


BKU activists burn crops
Our Correspondent

Mansa, April 20
Activists of the Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta) today burnt their crops in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner to lodge their protest.

They said they were being harassed by private traders who were purchasing their barley, mustard and gram crop at rates less than the minimum support price (MSP).

The alleged no government agency had started purchasing these crops at the support price in the purchase centres of the district.

The government had fixed Rs 500, Rs 1,200 and Rs 1,750 as support prices for barley, mustard and gram crop respectively for the current season, but the farmers had been selling their barley at rates ranging from Rs 300 to Rs 350, mustard at Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,075 and grams at Rs 1,400 to Rs 1,500, they said.

Mr Ruldu Singh, senior vice-president of the state unit of the BKU, said the farmers had suffered losses amounting to crores of rupees.

He said on one hand the government was motivating the farmers to grow these crops to break the wheat-paddy cycle, on the other hand it failed to ensure the minimum support price for the crops.

Mr Gora Singh Bhainibhaga, president, said the government was deliberately avoiding purchasing these crops at minimum support prices to implement its new economic policies which were anti-farmer.

Mr Iqbal Singh, general secretary of the union, alleged that earlier they had to sell their paddy at throwaway prices for which they had not been compensated yet despite Rs 100 crore package announced by the government.


Area under paddy to be reduced
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, April 20
The Punjab Government has decided to reduce the area under paddy cultivation for the coming kharif season.

Mr Mewa Singh Sonar, Director, Agriculture, Punjab, while disclosing this at a function organised in connection with district training camp held in Cheettana village said this was being done to overcome the problem of the marketing of paddy.

He added that apart from it, the Punjab Government had decided to increase the area under the basmati rice cultivation. He said for this, 1400 exhibition plots and 70 training camps were being organised in the state. The Punjab Government would give subsidy of more than Rs 52 lakh for this task.

He said for the kharif season, the Punjab Government had fixed the target producing 89.5 lakh MT of pady, 5.70 lakh of maize, 17 lakh bales of cotton, 12 lakh tonnes of sugar and gur and 62,000 tonnes of pulses.

The Director disclosed that to improve the variety of sugarcane three times culture laboratories had been set up in sugar mill. Two such laboratories were being set up at Dasua and Faridkot based sugar mills.

He added that to review the cotton crop in Muktsar district, farmers would be given financial aid to the tune of Rs 7 crore for imparting technical education, providing them with spray pumps and other implements to save the cotton crop from attack by bollworm and other diseases. Mr Manpreet Singh Badal, MLA, Giddarbaha, also addressed the gathering.


Mansa wheat awaits purchase
Our Correspondent

Mansa, April 20
Though the state government was to purchase wheat from April 1, it has not started the process in the district yet.

On a complaint of a farmer, Lok Bhalai Party regional secretary, Mr Veer Singh, and Mr Jagtar Singh visited Matti village in the district. They found more than 12,000 bags of wheat lying for the past 10 days.

The Food Corporation of India has been deputed to purchase wheat in this centre. The farmers complained that there is no arrangement of chowkidar and electricity. An arhtiya said no contract for bag stitching had been given to anybody.

The Lok Bhalai Party has demanded that the purchase of wheat should begin immediately.


Siropa to PSGPC chief ‘no recognition
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 20
Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, President of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has said that honouring the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) chief with a siropa should not be construed to mean official recognition of the PSGPC. 

He said the siropa to Mr Javed Nasir, PSGPC chief, was given as the head of the Pakistani Wakf Board and not in recognition as the head of the PSGPC.

Mr Talwandi’s statement comes close on the heels of Mr Badal’s statement at Mattewal yesterday when he expressed unhappiness over the SGPC gesture and termed the honouring of the PSGPC chief with a siropa as just “garlanding”.

Mr Talwandi was waiting at the Amritsar railway station for the Sikh jathas returning from Pakistan. Mr Talwandi was, however, not averse to the idea of “golak” offerings in Pakistan gurdwaras to remain in Pakistan for the maintenance of Pakistani gurdwaras and added that nothing concrete came out of the talks with Mr Jaswant Singh Foreign Minister, over sending karsewaks for maintaining Pakistani gurdwaras according to Sikh ‘maryada’ and Sikh architecture.


SGPC elections in Nov: Badal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
President of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Parkash Singh Badal said today that the general election to the SGPC would be held on due date — in November.

Speaking to mediapersons after a meeting of the Political Affairs Committee of the party Mr Badal ruled out advancing the date of holding election to the State Assembly. He said that he was prepared to say on oath that election to the State Assembly would be held in February next year.

On the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Mr Badal said his party had not given any recognition to that body. The SGPC was the only democratically elected body of the Sikhs in the world and it was the only body which had the right to manage the gurdwaras. Quizzed about denying right to vote to Sehajdhari Sikhs in SGPC elections, Mr Badal said the voters’ lists had not been prepared so far. He was parried more questions on this issue.

Mr Badal said compensation would be given as per rules to the farmers, who suffered loss because of recent rains and hailstorms.

To a specific question on Panchayat Samiti and Zila Parishad elections, Mr Badal said this issue would be discussed by the Council of Ministers. No date had been fixed for holding the election to these bodies. However, informed sources said this issue came for discussion at the PAC meeting. At its last meeting, the Council of Ministers had approved the amendments to be made in the Panchayati Raj Act for direct and indirect representation on these bodies. The ordinance to effect amendments is expected to be issued soon.

As Mr Nirmal Singh Kahlon, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister, attended the meeting as a special invitee, the impression has gone around that the PAC examined the positive and negative aspects of holding the elections to these bodies before the election to the state assembly. The view of top leaders of the party is to avoid elections to these bodies under one pretext or the other.

Punjab Chief Secretary, N.K. Arora, was also present at Punjab Bhavan at the time of the meeting. What discussion was held with him by Mr Badal not known. One senior Secretary was also called for discussion.

Mr Badal said the discussion was held to mobilise people for party conferences to be held next month in the state. He said his party was trying to strengthen for the Assembly election. “The party is in high spirits at the moment but I want to make it stronger for the Assembly election”, Mr Badal said. He said he was prepared to do what was required for the release of Sikh youths from a jail in Baluchistan.


Clarify stand on Vatican status for Amritsar: Dal
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 20
In an apparent attempt to embarrass the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the Dal Khalsa International today asked the SGPC to clarify its stand on giving status similar to that of Vatican City to Amritsar in its Budget session on March 30.

The Dal Khalsa spokesman, Mr Kanwar Pal Singh, talking to the media said the Vatican is an autonomous zone with full nation status having its own security services, coinage, postal stamps, flag and constitution. “If the SGPC desire such status for Amritsar we shall fully support it”, he added. 

When queried over whether this would mean a call for Khalistan, Mr Kanwar Pal Singh replied in the affirmative and added it would have global representation from Sikhs all over. 

Over status and opposition from other communities and their representation in the SGPC if such a demand was presented he said the SGPC and Akal Takht chief would be the sole decision makers on the issue.

On the issue of the Indian Constitution he said, “We give no sanctity to the Indian Constitution as it bestows no separate identity status to the Sikhs.”

Talking of KCF chief Wasan Singh Zaffarwal’s arrest, Mr Kanwar Pal Singh said the “drama” behind the so-called “arrest” was obvious. 

He blamed the government agencies for exploiting a person and said the government’s claim of expecting more militants to join the social mainstream was “sheer hogwash” to show that the Khalistan movement was petering out. 

He clarified the Dal Khalsa intended to use democratic and peaceful means to achieve its goal of a separate nation. He described Zaffarwal as an opportunist but refused to label him a traitor till Zaffarwal himself openly disassociated himself from the Panthic movement that declared creation of Khalistan from the Golden Temple on April 29, 1986. 


Benefits for teachers with higher degrees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
In what is being considered a boost for college teachers with higher qualifications, the Punjab Government has granted the long-awaited benefit of four and two advance increments to those who had joined service with Ph.D and M.Phil qualifications.

According to a notification released by the DPI (Colleges), Punjab, dated April 17, those lecturers who had joined service with Ph.D and M.Phil degrees on January 1, 1996, or after will be given four and two additional increments. Four increments will be given to those who joined with a Ph.D and two to those who joined service with an M.Phil degree. Additional benefits will be given to those serving teachers who obtained the Ph.D degree in service after January 1, 1996. These teachers will be given two additional increments.

The DPI directed the principals of the 140 aided colleges and nearly 50 government colleges of Punjab to fix the salaries of the teachers accordingly. The benefits have been granted as per a UGC notification dated December 24, 1998, and the subsequent clarification sought by the Punjab Government from the UGC dated February 15, 2000.

The Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) general secretary, Prof Charanjit Chawla, appealed for the immediate release of senior selection grades to nearly 2,000 teachers and the implementation of the pension-cum-gratuity Act, 1999. He also urged the Chandigarh Administration to release Ph.D and M.Phil increments on the Punjab pattern to the teaching staff of seven aided colleges.

This decision of the Punjab Government is likely to benefit more than 1,000 teachers in non-government colleges and nearly 500 in 50 government colleges.


Efforts for third front revived
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 20
At least a dozen political parties today resolved to resurrect efforts for the formation of a third front in Punjab.

It is not for the first time that political parties like the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) and the SAD (Democratic) have joined hands to put up a front against the Congress and the SAD.

Leaders of these parties converged at a nearby village today and decided to form a joint front by involving farmers’ organisations and “democratic” parties. 


Johar meets Sonia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 20
War of attrition in the Punjab Pradesh Congress has become intense with allegations and counter-allegations.

Close on the heels of the statement by Punjab Pradesh Congress chief Amarinder Singh that action should taken against Mr Harnam Das Johar, former Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, the latter today met the Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, and other senior Congress leaders in Delhi and apprised them of the goings-on during a Congress rally in Ludhiana on April 11.

He is understood to have told the Congress President that he was dragged off the stage in front of the public and in the presence of the AICC treasurer and in charge of Punjab affairs, Mr Moti Lal Vora, at the instance of the state Congress chief by Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, MP. He was also abused by other Congress leaders of the District Congress Committee (Urban), he alleged.

Mr Johar alleged Capt Amarinder Singh had hatched a conspiracy to get him eliminated because he had been keeping the Congress high command in touch with the situation in the Punjab Congress.

Mrs Gandhi gave a patient hearing to Mr Johar, according to information reaching here this afternoon. He also met Ms Ambika Soni and Mr Madhav Rao Scindia, general secretaries of the Congress. 


Sonia’s effigy burnt
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, April 20
Members of the district unit of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, the youth wing of the BJP, yesterday took out a march through the town and burnt the effigy of the Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, near the local main bus stand, protesting against Mrs Gandhi’s remark that Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee was a traitor. Later, they also held a rally in the SDM’s office complex.


CPM activists disrupt function
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 20
Activists of Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Kisan Sangarsh Samiti today disrupted the function of the Chief Minister at Rayya yesterday. They were protesting against the lathi charge on a ‘peaceful demonstration’ at Fatehabad in which three persons were injured.


Forensic experts’ conference held
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, April 20
The first conference of the north zone chapter of the Indian Academy of Forensic Medicine experts held at the local Government Guru Gobind Singh Medical College here today called on social scientists to check the increase in the incidence of suicides to build the nation stronger. The conference also underlined the need for providing a pollution-free atmosphere in this connection. It also laid stress on giving proper weightage to forensic medical education on a par with other medical studies in the country.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr T.D. Dogra, Head of the Texocology Department of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, emphasised on setting up an information centre and poison control centres to give better treatment to patients and reveal the truth about the cases.

Dr D.V. Sachdeva from Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, said acute shortage of forensic experts had been causing great problems towards having communication with the masses. Dr Dalbir Kaur, Head of the Forensic Department, Government Medical College, Srinagar, appealed to the women to come forward in an effective way to control the social evils which are a curse on society.

Dr Dalbir Singh from the PGI, Chandigarh, urged different state governments to give better treatment, weightage and status to the forensic experts who play a key role in resolving various problems of the society. He said this section (forensic experts) had been neglected as compared to the other experts of medical education. Dr Jai Roop Singh, Head of the Genetics Department, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, supported opening DNA fingerprinting centres to sort out this problem smoothly. He disclosed that there were only three such centres at Amritsar, Calcutta and Hyderabad.

Mr Manoranjan Kalia, Minister for Medical Education and Research, Punjab, was the chief guest. Mr A.Venu Prasad, Deputy Commissioner, Faridkot, presided.

While highlighting various achievements made by Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital in the field of education, its Principal, Dr T.L. Parmar, appealed to the minister for providing more medical, educational and treatment facilities to the patients in the institution. Dr J.S. Dalal, president of the north zone chapter of the Indian Academy of Forensic Medicine, and Dr R.K. Goria and Dr Sat Pal Garg, president and general secretary of the Punjab Academy of Forensic Medicine and Texocology, respectively, also delivered lectures.


Punjab plan to set up diagnostic centres
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, April 20
The Punjab Government in collaboration with the Central Government plans to set up diagnostic centres with all modern facilities at government medical colleges at Amritsar, Patiala and Faridkot. The scheme was under process and would take final shape at the earliest, said Mr Manoranjan Kalia, Minister for Medical Education and Research, while talking to mediapersons here today.

He said the project would cost Rs 9 crore. Admitting that the medical colleges at Amritsar and Patiala were short of doctors, he said the file regarding recruitment of doctors in these institutions had been lying with the Punjab Public Service Commission and the problem was likely to be solved soon.

He denied there was any proposal from the state government to hand over the local Government Guru Gobind Singh Medical College to Baba Farid University of Health Sciences here. However, he said, efforts were on to increase the MBBS educational seats from 50 to 100 in the local medical college. Earlier a deputation of doctors of the medical college also met the minister and apprised him of various difficulties faced by the institution.


Cop’s charge: dept told to submit report
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 20
The Punjab State Human Rights Commission has taken cognisance of the much publicised allegations levelled by a Gurdaspur-based former Punjab police Inspector that he had been kept in illegal custody by the Pathankot SP and has asked the IG (Litigation) and the Punjab Home Department to submit a report regarding this before May 24.

In his complaint to the commission, Mr Surinder Singh, who was posted at Pathankot as an SHO before his retirement on February 29, had alleged that he was illegally detained for more than three hours by the Pathankot SP, Mr Mohinder Singh and his gunmen when he was supervising a naka at city’s Chakki bridge on February 19.

He had also alleged that he was being harassed at the behest of the DIG (Border Range) Mr Jasminder Singh, who had allegedly got him transferred six times within a period of five months and had been “instrumental” in blocking his leave salary and gratuity to the tune of Rs 98,910.


PWD workers to hold rally on May 3O
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, April 20
The PWD Field and Workshop Union would hold a rally on May 3 in front of the office of Chief Engineer, PWD, at Patiala to press the authorities to fulfil their demands.

This was stated in a press note issued here today by Mr Ranjeet Singh, president of the Sangat Mandi unit of the union. He said the Chief Engineer was not implementing the notification of the Punjab Government issued on January 23 which said that all daily wage employees would be made permanent.

He alleged while their counterparts in other departments had been given the benefit of the scheme, they were not given their due. The Chief Engineer was mentally harassing workers, he alleged.

Mr Ranjeet Singh said the workers held rallies on March 29 at different district headquarters to protest against the behaviour of the Chief Engineer. A rally was held at Patiala on April 3 in front of the office of the Chief Engineer but he did not accept their demands.

He said the indifferent attitude of the officer had forced them to intensify their struggle.


Bhai Lalji clarifies
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 20
Bhai Charanjit Singh Lal today said that contrary to media reports he had participated in a kirtan held in a park in New Delhi and not at the Sanatan Dharm Mahavir Temple as alleged.

The Jathedar of Akal Takht had yesterday sought an explanation from Bhai Chamanjit Singh taking objection to the performance of kirtan by him in a temple during the installation of the idols of Hanumanji and Shivji. He had described the act as “anti-Panthic” and violative of the Sikh “maryada”. Bhai Lalji, explained that at no time had he violated the ‘maryada’.


Army clarifies on recruitment
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, April 20
A recruitment drive for Army at Tibri Cantonment near here has not been cancelled as reported in a section of the press. This was stated in a Army press note issued here today. It was, however, stopped for 2 days.

The statement also said the Army personnel were not involved in the recruitment rally outside the Cantonment. A few persons out of a mob of 12,000 to 15,000 people who went berserk and pelted stones on the police and shopkeepers were arrested, according to the press note.


2 killed in mishaps
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, April 20
Two persons have been killed in two road accidents near here.

A Home Guard personnel, Gurcharan Singh (40), son of Surjan Singh, was killed when he was hit by a truck near Amargarh police station yesterday. The police has arrested the truck driver Karam Singh under Sections 304A and 427 of the IPC.

In another incident, Amrik Singh (27), son of Asha Singh, a local resident, was killed by a truck near the local ITI Nabha Road. The truck driver, however, managed to escape. The police has registered a case.


Sarpanch refutes charges
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 20
Mrs Amarjit Kaur, sarpanch of Udoke village, yesterday alleged that vested interests were spreading rumours that she had supported the Congress candidate at the behest of Mr Manjinder Singh Kang for the Majitha byelection.

She said the report she had accepted a cheque for Rs 3.5 lakh from the Chief Minister’s Fund was also false. She said Mr Manjinder Singh Kang had backed the Akali candidate and reports to the contrary were mala fide.

Sarpanch Bakshish Singh of Udoke Khurd said Mrs Kang’s loyalty could not be questioned. He said of the 17,000-vote lead by Mr Rajmohinder Singh Majithia, 9000 votes came from the Tarsika block comprising 39 villages under Mrs Kang.

He said mischievous elements were trying to create discord in the SAD.


Illicit liquor kills two

Hoshiarpur, April 20
Three persons died after consuming country-made illicit liquor in Nandachaur village under the Bullowal police station last night.

A police report today said while one of the deceased was identified as Naresh Kumar, the other two were cremated by villagers before the police could reach the village.

In another incident, two bodies have been recovered from a well in Sabhanpur village today. The deceased were identified as Balwinder Singh and his elder brother Amrik Singh. According to the police, Balwinder jumped into the well following a quarrel with his mother. Amrik, who jumped into the well to save him, also perished. UNI


Nephew arrested for murder
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 20
The district police yesterday arrested Chotta Singh of Phullawal village for murdering his uncle Santa Singh on March 27.

Chotta Singh killed his uncle over loan repayment and tried to burn his body with acid.

The body was found in bad condition from an abandoned canal near Dhapali village. It bore injury marks of a sharp-edged weapon on the head. After killing his uncle he threw the body in to the canal.

Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, SSP, said the suspect had admitted during investigation that he had killed his uncle as he was not able to repay him a loan of Rs 20,000 do that he had taken to make arrangements for the marriage of his two daughters.

The accused said his uncle was unmarried and owned about 2 acres of land.


MLA booked for beating up man
Our Correspondent

Samana, April 20
The police has registered a case under Sections 452, 379, 323, 148 and 149, IPC, against Mr Jagtar Singh Rajla, MLA, and his supporters on the complaint of Mr Gurbachan Singh of Basti Gobind Nagar. 

He alleged in the complaint that about nine years ago he had taken on rent a shop from Satinder Pal Singh, however, the MLA and his supporters came to the shop and threatened him to vacate the shop. They also beat him up, he alleged. No arrest has, however, been made.

The MLA said the case was false and politically motivated. His wife had purchased the shop and the sale deed had been executed and registered on April 10, he claimed.


Nihang injures wife outside court
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 20
Commotion was created in the District Courts Complex here yesterday when a nihang injured his wife and one of his relatives with a sword. Both have been admitted to the Civil Hospital where their condition was stated to be stable.

Pal Singh, a Quadian-based nihang, had been involved in a marital dispute with Jasbir Kaur who had been staying with her parents in the local Basti area. He was disturbed when a local court issued some order in favour of his wife who had come to the court with one of his relatives.


Parallel PUTA formed in Punjabi University
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 20
In a day of dramatic developments, a faction of teachers of the Punjabi University today formed their own Punjabi University Teachers Association (PUTA) in a bid to replace the elected body which is at loggerheads with the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia.

The formation of the new PUTA today afternoon was preceded by two meetings of teachers earlier in the morning which were addressed by the Vice-Chancellor. The two meetings had been called by the Vice-Chancellor to discuss the “problems” being faced by teachers. While those teachers who are candidates for promotion from Lecturers and Readers were called for the first meeting so that the process could be speeded up, teachers who have been recently regularised as well as new entrants were called for the second meeting.

Sources disclosed that in the first meeting, held at the University Guest House, a teacher tried to pass a resolution seeking to condemn the elected body of PUTA but it was not ratified by the teachers.

The Vice-Chancellor while addressing the teachers said while he was in favour of swift promotions, PUTA was creating unnecessary hurdles in this. Few teachers demanded that promotions should be on the basis of seniority and not on pick and choose basis. In the second meeting the Vice-Chancellor appealed to teachers to “identify” themselves.


No move to close B.Ed colleges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
The Punjab Minister for Higher Education, Master Mohan Lal, yesterday denied that there was any move to close B.Ed. colleges in the state for a period of five years.

He told a delegation of teachers from B.Ed. colleges of Punjab led by Prof K.B.S. Sodhi, president of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union, which met him here yesterday, that the government’s only objective was to absorb the maximum number of unemployed B.Ed teachers during the next five years.

Those who attended the meeting included Mr G.P.S. Sahi, Secretary of Higher Education, Mr Amarjeet Singh, Special Secretary, Higher Education, Mr Gulzar Singh, DPI, Colleges, and Prof N.S. Sangha, Fellow, Panjab University.

The minister directed the state universities to start the process of conducting the entrance test for admission to B.Ed. colleges for the new academic session.

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