Friday, May 11, 2001,
 Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



‘Sangat darshan’ in cities unnerves Congress
P. P. S. Gill
Tribune News Service

The “sangat darshan” programme introduced by Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, at the start of his five-year term to keep in touch with the constituents at the grassroots level was earlier confined to rural Punjab. Now urban areas are also being covered.

The concept of “sangat darshan” took the shape of mini-courts where people aired their grievances. Often district officials found themselves in the dock. The on-the-spot distribution of cheques for community and development works began to attract the attention of the Congress. It hurled brickbat at the Chief Minister, accusing him of political gimmickry dubbing the largesse as a poll plank. Soon all opposition MLAs woke up to the realisation that their constituencies were being ‘’ignored’’ while those of the ruling alliance, got undue attention.

This sense of ‘’discrimination’’ led to the entire Opposition seeking ‘’fair play’’ from the government for all elected members of the Vidhan Sabha. Even the proceedings of the Budget session were held up on this issue, resulting in suspension of the entire Opposition for the full length of the session.

The programme of “sangat darshan” has, by and large, remained confined to the Chief Minister. He has repeatedly told the Akali and BJP MLAs to keep their eyes and ears open to the needs of the respective constituencies by initiating development works and redressing the grievances of constituents. But to no avail.

He has promised Rs 1 crore to each Vidhan Sabha constituency. The process has begun. Yet the MLAs have taken little initiative. Their grievance has been that officers at the cutting-edge of the administration seldom listen to them. Even ruling party MLAs have joined the chorus, occasionally speaking their mind at party meetings.

The Congress has repeatedly ridiculed the “sangat darshan”, alleging that nothing significant was done for four years and suddenly there is a flurry of activity with money being doled out at “sangat darshan” with an eye on the poll.

The “sangat darshan” also raises doubts on the efficacy of the army of Council of Ministers who are increasingly being perceived as the state’s ‘’non-performing asset’’. “Sangat darshan” in major cities and towns has created a flutter in the Congress that primarily banks upon urban and Scheduled Caste voters. In ways more than one, this perhaps, may make the warring Congress leaders close ranks.

A question often raised is where has so much money come from? There are conjuctures and allegations of ‘’misuse’’ of money. But there is also an official explanation for the cheques distributed at “sangat darshan” camps as also why the same are not being encashed.

The Chief Secretary, Mr N. K. Arora, puts at rest all speculation and apprehensions saying: ‘’There is no ad hoc approach in issuing of cheques. The money is available from accountable sources, proceeds (4 per cent) of sale deeds of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Agency and improvement trusts. Then there is the Urban Infrastructure Development Fund established on the pattern of the Rural development fund. There is Development Cess as there are Plan schemes as well as district schemes provided for the in the Budget.

‘’Therefore, prior to every ‘sangat darshan’ a full exercise is conducted on the problems and needs of a particular constituency or area and estimates made. Accordingly, the cheques are prepared and distributed’’.

Mr Arora emphasised that unless that related formalities are not completed, the cheques are not to be encashed. Every rupee is to be audited by the Accountant-General and a proper utilisation certificate produced. Issuing of cheques is only aimed at saving development and community projects from the ‘’bureaucratic rigmorale’’, says Mr Arora.


Tohra ‘got’ Nirankari issue hushed up
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 10
The Punjab Science and Technology Minister, Mr Chiranji Lal Garg, today said former SGPC president, Gurcharan Singh Tohra managed to get the matter hushed up relating to his (Mr Tohra) visit to the Nirankari Mission, Patiala, during the last Lok Sabha elections by using his “influence”.

He alleged that Mr Tohra, who violated the hukmnama of Akal Takht by visiting the Nirankari Mission as SGPC chief, managed to get the matter hushed up by the then Jathedar of Akal Takht by tampering with the record.

Mr Garg, reacting to the statement of Mr Tohra urging Akal Takht to seek an explanation from Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for his (Mr Garg) visit to the local Sant Nirankari Mandal in connection with the inauguration of an eye camp recently, alleged that Mr Tohra managed to hush up the matter of his own visit to the Nirankari Mission for seeking votes for Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra even though Mr Tohra confessed to the visit at Talwandi Sabo in 1998.

Mr Garg said one of the five jathedars had also alleged in a letter written to the Panj Piaras more than a year ago, that the written confession of Mr Tohra regarding his visit had been changed and a complaint in this connection made to Akal Takht was filed by the then Jathedar of Akal Takht, without taking any action.

Mr Garg, who was instrumental in bringing Hindu organisations close to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), alleged that Mr Tohra had tried to harm the chances of SAD candidates in the Nawanshahr, Sunam and Majitha Assembly byelections by conniving with the Congress.


Sikh conclave put off
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 10
The crucial Sikh conclave, convened by Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, on May 12 has been postponed.

The meeting was convened by the Jathedar at Akal Takht to discuss ways and means to observe ghallughara day on June 6. However, the meeting seems to have been postponed indefinitely to avoid any controversy related to the death of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. Moreover, intelligence agencies had reportedly sounded the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to get the Sikh conclave cancelled as the radical Sikh organisations could use the occasion to embarrass him.

The 10 Sikh radical organisations announced recently that they would organise bhog of Sant Bhindranwale at Akal Takht as they were convinced that he was killed on June 6 during Operation Bluestar in 1984. However, Baba Thakur Singh, acting chief of Damdami Taksal, still feels that the sant is in ‘high spirits’. Though the issue had cropped up during the Sikh conclave last year too, yet Jathedar Vedanti had said he could not declare Sant Bhindranwale as martyr unless he was asked to do so either by the family of the sant or Damdami Taksal. The news about the postponement of the conclave was communicated by publicity in charge of the SGPC in the evening.


Beard trimming case: panel dissolved
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 10
Annoyed with the behaviour of residents of Mangwal village towards the three members of the fact-finding committee formed to probe the trimming of beard of a Sikh, Baba Tek Singh Dhanaula, president of the seven-member fact-finding committee, announced the dissolution of the committee at Gurdwara Nankiana Sahib near here today. The remaining four members did not turn up for the meeting.

Mr Paramjit Singh of Mangwal village near here, who had alleged that the Sangrur police had cut his beard on April 24, was called by the fact-finding committee to appear before it today to clarify his position as on May 1 residents of Mangwal village had given a clean chit to the police that it was not involved in the cutting his beard.

As Mr Paramjit Singh today did not turn up to appear before the committee and Baba Tek Singh announced that Mr Paramjit Singh had informed him the morning that he could not appear before the committee in the gurdwara due to danger to his life, so he had been asked to appear before the committee on May 20 at Gurdwara Amb Sahib at SAS Nagar.

With this announcement of Baba Tek Singh, the villagers expressed their anger and raised slogans against the three members of the committee. The villagers wanted that Baba Tek Singh should announce decision against Mr Paramjit Singh without giving him a hearing but Baba Tek Singh declined.

Baba Tek Singh said in view of these circumstances, he had dissolved the committee. The villagers should now approach Akal Takht to get Paramjit Singh convicted if he had really cut his beard on his own, he added.

Baba Tek Singh said the villagers had virtually gheraoed them and raised slogans against them.

Later, another member of the committee, Mr Joga Singh Phaguwala, who is also a member of the SGPC, visited the gurdwara and met three members of the committee.

Talking to mediapersons, Mr Phaguwala said they could not hear Paramjit Singh now because Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, had announced a few days ago that Akal Takht would form a committee to inquire into the issue.


PSEB to lease out Jalkheri project
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 10
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has started the process of leasing out the straw-base 10 MW Rs 42 crore Jalkheri power plant after having shortlisted two private parties following floating of tenders in this regard.

The board had floated tenders for leasing out the plant for 10-year period with the lessee being responsible for running the power station as well as its maintenance. The tenders were opened on May 7 after tenderers’ were given a 10-day extension with the earlier date for opening of the tenders having been fixed for April 27.

Sources said the final decision on the lessee would be taken at a meeting of the board. Five parties had taken the tender forms but board sources said only two “good” offers had been received. Board Chairman G.S. Sohal when contacted, however, declined to disclose the lease amount which was being negotiated with the parties.

The Chairman, however, said if the lease experiment was successful it would make the concept of decentralisation of power a reality. He said if the private party was able to run the plant sucessfully, other similar plants using straw as fuel could also be established in the state.

He said the board was also thinking on the lines of inviting private parties to establish such plants on build, operate and transfer basis so that the natural raw material — straw from the paddy produce — was available in abundance in the state.

He said the fact that private parties had evinced interest in running the plant on lease basis was an achievement as earlier the board had been unsuccessful in selling off the plant outright as there were to takers despite it being offered on the block three times. He said the project could be successful as even though it would sell power to the state at higher prices than that being produced from thermal power, the board would not have transmission or distribution losses in this project.

The board Chairman said though the board would have to buy power from the plant at Rs 3.15 per unit while it was charging domestic consumers at the rate of Rs 2.50 per unit, he said this tariff structure had been fixed by the Department of Non-Conventional, Energy Resources.

He said lack of transmission and distribution losses as the power generated from the plant would be supplied to nearby areas would also make it competitive. He said moreover there would also not be any problems of theft of electricity in this project.

Sources said the plant, which had been run for only around 300 hours, when it was commissioned in 1995, had been non-functional since then.

They said the inability of the board in producing straw at viable rates was cited as the main reason for the closure of the plant. Earlier, on the insistence of proposed purchasers, the board had even run the plant on demonstration basis, but buyers were not even offering half of the establishment cost.

The plant, situated around 25 km from here, in Fatehgarh Sahib district, is at present in a bad shape due to lack of maintenance. A large number of machinery, including tractors and propellers, are rusting for want of utilisation even though the board officials claimed the machinery was in satisfactory condition and could be used effectively.


No concern for aged prisoners
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 10
Prisons in Punjab do not accord recognition to senior citizens. While senior citizens above the age of 65 are entitled to special concessions, in the state, they are treated on a par with other prisoners and undertrials in the states jails.

There are as many as 107 prisoners in Punjab jails who are 70 or more. There are 183 undertrials also. Interestingly, none of these senior citizens awaiting trial are given any special facility in the jails.

Investigations reveal that of 107 prisoners, there are 99 men and eight women. There are 39 who are aged 70, seven of them are 71, 15 are 72, nine are 73, five are 74, nine are 75, four are 76, two are 77, three are 78, one is 79, five are 80, one is 81, two each are 82 and 83, and one is 86.

Among the undertrials, four are 90 and one is 84. There are 65 undertrials who are 70, 20 are 71, 21 are 72, eight each are 73 and 74, 23 are 75, six are 76, three are 77, four are 78, 15 are 80, three are 81 and one each are 83 and 84, respectively.

While everyone above the age of 65 gets special treatment at government offices and hospitals, and during bus, rail and air travel, these prisoners and undertrials are denied all facilities enjoyed by their counterparts outside.

Interestingly, 65 prisoners crossed the age of 70 while in prison while 21 of the 183 undertrials turned 70 while in jail.

While the highest number of aged prisoners is in Patiala (36), the largest number of aged undertrials are at Amritsar (43).

According to investigations, most of these prisoners and undertrials have no visitors. “No one ever visits them,” remarked a jail official maintaining that certain facilities, especially healthcare and special diet, could be extended to them only if the state wanted.

The undertrials, are entitled to all facilities, including old-age pension and special healthcare.


Tohra: UT transfer to be party’s poll plank
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, May 10
The Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) has declared that the transfer of Punjabi-speaking areas and Chandigarh to Punjab, water-sharing disputes with Haryana and the decentralisation of power would be the main planks of the party during the coming Assembly elections.

The president of the SHSAD Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, while talking to reporters here yesterday, alleged that the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had failed to persuade the BJP-led Central Government to accept the long-pending demands of Punjab.

“Though there are friendly state governments in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh and the SAD is a coalition partner in the Central Government, but still, Mr Badal has not been able to get the due share for the state. We will raise these issues during the Assembly elections,” Mr Tohra said.

He criticised the Punjab Chief Minister for doling out funds in the name of development during his sangat darshan programmes. “The elected representatives of people are being ignored since no funds are being released to MLAs for the development of their constituencies for the past two years,” he alleged.

When asked why he had not approached the Punjab Lok Pal regarding the alleged malpractices of the Punjab Chief Minister and his colleagues, Mr Tohra said the Lok Pal was non-existent in the state since a case was pending in the court regarding the appointment of Punjab Lok Pal.

He alleged that Mr Badal was planning to delay the SGPC elections due to fear of defeat.


Order to register case in ‘encounter’ death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 10
Nearly nine years after a branch manager of a bank was allegedly killed in a “stage-managed encounter”, Mr Justice M.L. Singhal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the Nawanshahr Station House Officer to register a case. The Judge also ordered the state of Punjab to pay Rs 3 lakh as compensation to the family of the deceased.

Pronouncing the orders on a petition filed by Pritam Singh of Nawanshahr district seeking directions to the respondents for producing his son Santokh Singh, Mr Justice Singhal further asked Punjab Director-General of Police to entrust the investigation in the case “to any officer not below the rank of Superintendent of Police”.

The officer, Mr Justice Singhal added, should not be posted in districts falling under the Jalandhar range. The Judge also asked the officer to complete the probe within four months of receiving the order’s copy.

Earlier during the proceedings, Jalandhar’s District and Sessions Judge, in his report, had stated that prima facie Santokh Singh had been eliminated in a stage-managed encounter. He had added that the police version regarding the escape of the accused from custody was not believable.

In his petition, Pritam Singh had earlier expressed apprehension regarding the elimination of his son in fake encounter. He had stated that his son was initially picked up by the police on December 25, 1992, but was released after two days. He was again taken away by the police after a few days and since then his whereabouts were not known.

He had added that a news item had later appeared in a national daily regarding the arrest of his son by the police for giving shelter to militants. The cops had subsequently informed him that Santokh Singh had escaped from custody after a police party, taking him for recovery of arms was attacked, the petitioner had claimed.

Today, after hearing the arguments, Mr Justice Singhal observed: “In my opinion the family of Santokh Singh should be suitably compensated so that they do not remain unprovided for.” The Judge also ordered equal division of compensation between the victim’s wife and children. 


Land case: HC asks DC to file affidavit
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 10
Mr Narinder Kumar Garg, a lawyer, who has filed a civil writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in connection with the removal of encroachments in Subash Park, including milk bar, said the municipal council authorities never claimed the ownership of disputed land.

He said the Punjab and Haryana High Court had also asked the Deputy Commissioner, Bathinda to file a detailed affidavit explaining the reason for not taking action after the receipt of information regarding the demolition of the wall of the school.

Reacting to a news item appearing on April 27 in The Tribune, Mr Garg in a notice to the newspaper said all respondents, in their replies filed in the High Court, had stated that the disputed site was a road and it was abandoned later. The respondents further submitted that there was a park named Subash and the said park was no more in existence. The land of the park was being used for various purposes now.

It may be mentioned here that a controversy arose when the municipal council authorities sold off a piece of land for the setting up of a multi-storeyed complex. To get the encroachments on the land removal, Mr Garg approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court through a writ petition.

He added that as the matter was sub judice, the statement of president, municipal council, Mr Bhupinder Singh Bhuller, regarding this case could not be published.


Rs 2.5 lakh grant for Chair
Our Correspondent

Bhaini Sahib (Ludhiana), May 10
A galaxy of scholars attending the two-day international seminar on “Namdhari Movement: History, Literature and Contribution” were of the view that the contribution of the Namdharis should be projected at the global level. They also concluded that uniform opportunities should be provided to all for development in the educational, religious and economic fields.

The seminar, organised by the Namdhari Guru Ram Singh Chair of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amrtisar under the directorship of Dr Satinder Singh at the Namdhari headquarters, concluded here yesterday.

The scholars further opined that simple life, being led by the Namdharis, should be adopted as a role model by the masses. They demanded that the available Namdhari literature be documented so that the true picture of their contribution could reach the people.

In all, 37 papers were presented by scholars from all over the world during the seminar, depicting all aspects, including history, literature and contribution of the movement, launched by Satguru Ram Singh. Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance Minister, Punjab, presided over the valedictory function and honoured 12 scholars on this occasion.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh observed that the Sikh politics was seeking guidance from the religion and only that government could be termed as national government which was influenced by the principles of religion, including justice, equality, patience, service and brotherhood.

He further said the government would take steps to publish the literature relating to the Namdhari movement and sacrifices of the martyrs. He said Satguru Ram Singh Chair, set up at Guru Nanak Dev University to carry out complete research and publish literature on the Namdhari movement launched by Satguru Ram Singh, had been provided with sufficient funds. He announced a grant of Rs 2.5 lakh for the chair to launch a website and acquire internet connectivity.

Satguru Jagjit Singh, Head of Namdhari Sect, exhorted the scholors to make efforts to collect and compile all valuable historical literature regarding the Namdhari movement and Satguru Ram Singh, lying in different parts of the world, so that the research work taken up by Satguru Ram Singh Chair could reach a fruitful conclusion.

Among others who addressed the concluding function were Sant Surinder Singh Namdhari, vice-president Namdhari Darbar, Mr H.S. Hanspal a former MP and Dr Satinder Singh Noor, Head of Satguru Ram Singh Chair. 


Bibi’s PA to be quizzed
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 10
The seven-member committee of the SGPC will question Mr Harjit Singh, personal assistant of Bibi Jagir Kaur on the alleged misuse of official authority.

The seven-member committee, comprising Mr Alwinder Singh Pakhoke, senior vice president, Bibi Kiranjot Kaur, general secretary, Mr Harbans Singh Manjpur, Mr Onkar Singh Sharifpura — both executive members of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Mohinder Singh Romana, Mr Shingara Singh Lohian, Mr Baldev Singh Sehjrha. Mr Harjit Singh is accused to transferring, recruiting and promoting certain employees, allegedly without the sanction of the executive committee. Mr Harjit Singh who was assistant secretary in the SGPC got himself promoted as additional secretary, a few hours before the removal of Bibi Jagir Kaur as the SGPC chief.


150-year-old building demolished
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 10
The 150-year-old fort-like tehsil building, built during the British regime, was bulldozed yesterday, which led to wide spread protest among heritage lovers.

The tehsil building was built in 1856, a few days after the annexation of Punjab by the British. The thick-walled building was situated on the eastern side of the central bus stand here.

Mr Balvinder Singh, Head, Guru Ram Das School of Planning, Guru Nanak Dev University, and Mr Brij Bedi, husband of supercop Kiran Bedi, condemned the action of the administration in demolishing the building. A government official told the agitated heritage lovers that a magnificent Dr Ambedkar bhavan was being built in place of the tehsil building.

The building had a spacious courtyard, surrounded by small rooms on all sides. No one had valued its historic value. The building was in poor shape due to the apathy of all concerned.

According to Mr Anand Gauba, in 1849, Amritsar was basically a walled city. A massive double wall of unbaked bricks with a double moat, had been constructed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1825. He had also got constructed 12 gates. However, it was a matter of great concern that only one gate Ram Bagh had been left intact. The rest of the gates had been razed to the ground. While the state government had been celebrating the bicentenary of the coronation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh it had failed to protect the heritage of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Mr Balvinder Singh, Mr Bedi, representatives of the Amritsar Vikas Manch and other organisations have said like Rajasthan, the Punjab Government should have made “wise use” of our heritage. They said in Jaipur and other parts of the desert state and Pakistan most of the havelis were converted into hotels which had become a great attraction for foreigners.

Art lovers allege the administration should constitute a committee of NGOs for the identification of all historical buildings in the state which would be a great tribute to Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Mr Balvinder Singh said though the building was built during the British period a few years after the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh yet the building material and architectural design were certainly the same as used in the Sikh period. He said he was personally pained to see the heritage building crumbling down in front of him. Mr Balvinder Singh, who is also convener of the Punjab Conservation Society, said his society was ready for the documentation of all historical buildings in the state.

Disturbed over the demolition of the tehsil building, Mr Brij Bedi said, “We did not require Mughals to destroy our heritage. Their work is being done by our own government which had pledged to govern on the pattern of the regime of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. While the Maharaja was known for raising buildings the Badal government was out to demolish our rich heritage.”


NRI cell set up in Sangrur
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 10
A district-level Punjabi Non-Resident Indian (NRI) cell has been set up in the office of the Deputy Commissioner here.

This was stated here today by Mr G.K. Singh officiating Deputy Commissioner. He said the NRI cell had started functioning from today. He said Mr Gurnam Singh Gill, Assistant Commissioner (Grievances), had been made nodal officer of the cell.

He said this cell would work for the immediate settlement of the grievances and represent NRIs belonging to this district. He also said the NRIs would also be informed by the office of the Deputy Commissioner about the settlement of the problems.

He also said monitoring of the cell would be done once a week at the Deputy Commissioner’s level.

There are about 2,250 NRI families living in the district. 


Minister orders fresh girdawari
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, May 10
Storm and squall that hit the district on May 7 has caused a lot of damage to livestock and property.

According to Mr B. Vikram, Deputy Commissioner, two buffaloes died at Roopa Wali in Dera Baba Nanak subdivision and the house of Pritam Singh was also damaged. His wheat stocks lying inside the house and tyres of a trolly parked in the house were also burnt.

At Talwandi fire broke out suddenly and damaged standing and harvested wheat in more than 100 acre. The worst affected were Manjit Kaur and Dalbir Kaur, both sisters-in-law, whose entire wheat crop was burnt. Their husbands were killed by terrorists in early 1990 and both of them worked in the fields to earn their livelihood.

Damage of wheat crop has also been reported from Pabba Rali, Mallian Kot Molvi Shahpur and Kuthial.

Mr Nirmal Singh Kahlon, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats, in whose Assembly constituencies these villages fall, inspected the sites yesterday. He ordered fresh girdawari to be completed by May 23 to assess the damage and to pay compensation.


Brigadier Sukhdev Singh cremated
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 10
Brig Sukhdev Singh (Retd) was cremated with full military honours here today. His son, Mr B.S. Kang, DIG (Retd), lit the funeral pyre. He is survived by three sons.

Brig Sukhdev Singh, a highly decorated soldier, was born on January 11, 1911, at Bahomajra village, near Khanna, Ludhiana. Brigadier Sukhdev Singh was decorated with the Vir Chakra and the Military Cross.

He went on deputation to the Oil and Natural Gas Commission in 1960 from where he retired and later on engaged himself in social service. Recently he was honoured with the Patiala-Ratan by the Punjab Governor.

Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, Deputy Commissioner, laid a wreath on the body. Prominent among those who were present at the cremation were Maj Gen S.K. Awasti, Col B.S. Waderia, Maj C.B. Singh, Lt Gen (Retd) R.S. Dayal, Lt Gen G.S. Brar, Lt Gen M.S. Chahal, Brig Sant Singh, Brig N.S. Sandhu, Brig Shivender Singh, Brig D.S. Dhaliwal and Brig G S Jind.

Capt Kesar Singh, Deputy Director, Sainik Welfare, Capt R.S. Randhawa, Additional Chief Administrator PUDA and Mr Manjit Singh Narang, SDM, also laid wreaths on the body of Brig Sukhdev Singh.


Imposter case: PCCTU intensifies stir
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, May 10
Even though the administration has ordered independent inquiries by the SDM and the SPO (Headquarters), the controversy over a man posing as SP (Vigilance) fails to end with the PCCTU’s decision to further intensify its agitation.

In a rally in front of the women’s college here, the former president of the state unit of the PCCTU, Prof S.S. Hundal, said an independent agency like the CBI should be entrusted with the inquiry.

A large number of teachers from Abohar, Dharamkot, Moga and Jalalabad participated in the rally. They also demanded an inquiry into various expenses being incurred on the ongoing construction work in the college. The Punjab Subordinate Service Federation has supported the agitating teachers.


Lawyers’ resolution on chambers
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 10
The District Bar Association in a memorandum to the Chief Minister through the Divisional Commissioner has pleaded that chambers for advocates should be constructed in a systematic manner before they were asked to vacate their present chambers.

The resolution passed by the association under the chairmanship of Mr B. S. Billing, president of the association, said that the construction must be done before the demolition of the existing chambers or seats of the lawyers. It said that the work must be carried simultaneously and immediately so as to cause least possible inconvenience to the litigants as well as the lawyers. It was also resolved that the move to shift the courts to far-off place on Jail Road would cause more problems for the lawyers as well as the clients.


Social worker killed in crash
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 10
Nityananda Trihan, a social worker, who died in a helicopter crash near Sessa in Arunachal Pradesh and had gone to attend a function in connection with inauguration of an educational institute of the Art of Living Organisation, was a resident of the city.

Mr Trihan was travelling along with six persons, including the Arunachal Education Minister Deda Natung, all of whom had died while the helicopter crashed after catching fire on Wednesday morning, the family sources said. Mr Trihan is survived by his parents, a brother, two daughters and his wife Sangita.


Vedanti’s views on foeticide
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, May 10
Mr Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, addressing a seminar on foeticide at Jafarpur Tuesday night, said issuing an edict from Akal Takht alone could not prevent foeticide. An awareness would have to be created.

The seminar was organised by the local unit of the Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle. Jathedar Vedanti said women would have to be educated in this regard.

Dr S.S. Sohal, Civil Surgeon who presided over the seminar, said foeticide had disturbed the male and female ratio.


Pak intruder shot
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, May 10
An intruder from Pakistan, while trying to sneak into the Indian territory last night from the Dera Baba Nanak sector, was killed by personnel of 96 BSF Battalion posted on the Indo-Pakistan border in the area.


Absentee staff suspended
Our Correspondent

Ropar, May 10
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr G.S. Grewal, has suspended the absentee employees at government institutions and offices in the remote rural areas of the district.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Mr Grewal said after receiving complaints the Assistant Commissioner (Grievances), Mr J.C. Sabarwal, was directed to conduct surprise checks in the areas.

In Mirjapur, patwari Dilbagh Singh and registration clerk of sub-tehsil Morinda, Rajwant Singh were found absent from duty. Both have been suspended.

In another raid, Mr N.S. Pandori, SDO, Public Health (Rural Water Supply), Morinda, was also found absent from duty. The SDO was found guilty of dereliction of duty as 92 files of papers under consideration and 82 files of water connection were found pending in his custody.

Besides, the entire staff at Government Primary School, Mirzapur, veterinary and ayurvedic dispensaries were also found absent.


20 liquor shops sealed
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, May 10
The Excise and Taxation Department has sealed 20 liquor shops in the city. According to Mr Chander Gaind, Assistant Commissioner, 20 shops were sealed, since the liquor was being sold at rates lower than that fixed by the state government.

These vends are situated near the railway station, Old Railway Road and Qazi Mandi, he added.


Cassette company director booked
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 10
A case has been registered against Darshan Kumar, Director of Super Cassette Industries, which manufacture T-series audio cassettes, for allegedly violating the Copyright Act.

Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, SSP, in a press note issued here today, said the case has been registered on the complaint of` Surinder Kumar, resident of Sirsa. Surinder Kumar, who ran a business of recording audio cassettes, complained that the T-series company had released a cassette of a Punjabi folk singer despite the fact that the singer had made an agreement with Surinder Kumar for releasing the cassette under the same title.

A case has been registered under Section 420, IPC, and Sections 52-A, 63, 65 and 68-A of the Copyright Act, 1957.

The police has also arrested Sewak Singh, resident of Sangrur, for allegedly possessing 12 kg of poppy husk and a case has been registered against him. Baldev Singh of Chak Fatehsinghwala village has been arrested for possessing 10 kg of poppy husk and a case registered against him at Nathana police station.

Under the Excise Act, cases have been registered and four persons arrested. Twentynine litre of illicit liquor, 90 kg of lahan and an illegal distillery have been seized. The arrested persons have been identified as Aiya Singh of Bathinda, Beera Singh of Ghudda, Baljit Singh of Kotli Khurd and Baljit Singh of Kotha Guru villages.

Five persons have been arrested under the Gambling Act from various parts of the district. An amount of Rs 6,405 has been recovered from their possession. The accused have been identified as Jassa Singh, Jagannath, Ajay Kumar and Chhinder Kumar, all residents of Rampura and Rakha Ram of Talwandi Sabo.

The police has recovered a truck which was stolen from the godowns on the outskirts of the city last night. The owner of the truck got a case registered today. The police has arrested Kulwinder Singh of Tungwali village in this regard. 


Two commit suicide
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 10
Jasvir Kaur, a resident of the local Dhobiana basti, and the mother of three children, committed suicide by consuming celphos tablets today.

Police sources said a case in this connection had been registered.

In another case, a 35-year-old person, committed suicide by jumping before a train on the Bathinda-Malout rail section near Pathrala village.


MC closes entrance to school
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 10
The municipal council authorities today closed the entrance of the local MSD Senior Secondary Public School opened on municipal land which had created speculations about the intention of the school authorities.

A news item which had appeared in The Tribune today mentioned that the school had reopened the entrance on the land of a municipal tubewell. The school authorities had recently built an entrance facing the tubewell to facilitate students. This was, however, later closed by the municipal authorities.

Residents of the area had objected to the opening of the gate on government land. Their speculations were that the school might start using the government land as part of school.

The sources said the school authorites had given the law the go by as they were being patronised by a municipal councillor. The Principal of the school confirmed that the said municipal councillor had helped the school authorities in opening up the gate although he didnot reveal the name.


Exam dates clash
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 10
There is a clash of examination dates to be conducted by the Punjab Technical University and the State of Rajasthan. The PTU is to conduct the CET-2001 on May 27, 2001, while Rajasthan is to conduct its RPET 2001 from May 27 to May 29. This is likely to affect those students who are vying for 15 per cent reservation in PTU for “outside Punjab” candidates.

Also, the UGC NET examination is to be held on May 24, 2001, the day when the entrance test for B.Ed colleges is to be held in the city. 

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