Thursday, May 31, 2001, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Bhindranwale is dead, records show
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 30
Insistence by certain radical Sikh organisations like the Damdami Taksal, disputing the claims on the death of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale during the Operation Bluestar in June 1984 notwithstanding records at Gurdwara Patalpuri, Sri Kiratpur Sahib, Ropar, show that the ashes of Bhindranwale were immersed in the Sutlej on June 14, 1984, along with a few of his followers and 200 other unidentified persons.

According to a certificate issued by the record keeper of Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib, a copy of which is with The Tribune, the ashes of the Sant Bhindranwale, his three associates and 200 other persons were brought there by the then Executive Magistrate of Amritsar, Mr S S Dhillon, accompanied by the DSP Anandpur Sahib and the SHO, Anandpur Sahib, in two Army trucks. The ashes were brought in 10 sacks and one ‘tokra’.

The details recorded on page 12 of the record register of persons, whose ashes are immersed in the Sutlej, reveal that the ashes of Sant Bhindranwale were brought there on June 14, 1984. His name is mentioned at serial number 8230, as Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale age 33, of Rode village. It also mentions the date of death as June 5, 1984.

The others whose ashes were immersed along with that of Sant Bhindranwale include Bhai Kartar Singh, son of Sant Kartar Singh, 26, of Bhagu Kotha village, district Amritsar. His name figures at serial number 8231 of the register and the date of death recorded is June 5, 1984. He is followed by Bhai Kartar Singh, whose name is mentioned at serial number 8232. However, but for his age which is mentioned as 40 years neither the parentage, nor the address or the date of death is mentioned.

The person listed at serial number 8233 of the record register is Major Gen Shahbeg Singh, who was also fighting along with Sant Bhindramwale. Besides these four, the ashes of about 200 other unidentified persons were also immersed in the Sutlej on the same day.

Although Damdami Taksal is insisting that Sant Bhindranwale is not dead, the documentary evidence of the immersion his ashes comes at a time when the issue of his martyrdom has been raked by several Sikh organisations. The family members of Sant Bhindranwale are also urging upon the Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti to declare Bhindranwale as a martyr.

On the other hand the former SGPC chief and president of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, has been maintaining that the SGPC had declared Bhindranwale a martyr way back in 1995 during the World Sikh Conference. He also claimed that he had honoured the family of Sant Bhindranwale in recognition of his sacrifices.


Radical forces may realign
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 30
The statement of Wassan Singh Zaffarwal, a former self-styled chief of the Khalistan Commando Force that he will join active politics after his case is cleared has created ripples in the militant rank and file.

The statement by Zaffarwal as well as Dr Jagjit Singh Chohan, self-styled president of Khalistan is clear indication that realignment of radical forces in Punjab is in the offing. Though Zaffarwal and Chohan did not have any mass base, yet both can counter the proposed third front during the coming elections. Such a move can help the ruling Shiormani Akali Dal as radical factions of Sikhs in such a situation may not have much impact on the voters.

It is clear that the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal can ill-afford to have Zaffarwal in its rank and file as the Badal faction has a political alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party. But it can extend tacit support to any radical group. This will help counter Mr Mann and other radical leaders who enjoy a mass base. It is open secret that during the Majitha byelection, Zaffarwal had sent a fax message from Switzerland, supporting the ruling Akali Dal candidate, Mr Rajmohinder Singh Majitha. It was alleged that an Akali minister was behind the stage-managed arrest of Zaffarwal. However, the SAD cannot afford to own Zaffarwal or Dr Chohan at this juncture.

While Dr Chohan is self-styled chief of “Khalistan”, Zaffarwal was one of the five signatories to the declaration on Khalistan announced on January 26, 1986, from Akal Takht at the behest of the Damdami Taksal. Both Zaffarwal and Dr Chohan worked for each other even from foreign lands.

It is being said that Zaffarwal is unlikely to get funds from foreign Sikhs due to his statements made after his “arrest”. Though Zaffarwal was said to be responsible for hundreds of killings at the behest of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence yet he has denied his hand in any massacre.

After his arrest, Zaffarwal stated that he was simply puppet in the hands of the ISI and never supported violence. On the other hand, Dr Chohan is known for political tricks and for that reason is not much respected among the Sikh masses.

Meanwhile, other radical forces are deliberating on the possible adverse impact of the statement by Zaffarwal on their poll fortunes. For the time-being, they have adopted a wait and watch policy.


Minor girl ‘abducted’ by Akali leader’s son
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
A minor girl of Patti town near Tarn Taran sub-division of Amritsar district is alleged to have been abducted by a son of an influential person of the town. The relatives of the girl have alleged that the local police is shielding the accused and no steps are being initiated to trace her.

However, the Patti police maintain that the girl has eloped with the accused. They also contest the claim of the girl’s family regarding her age and say that she is a major.

It is alleged that the 17-year-old-girl is a daughter of a farmer . Her father has been missing for the past 10 years and she is staying with her mother, sister and maternal grandparents.

Talking to The Tribune maternal grandfather of the girl Swaran Singh, said that the girl was a student of a sewing school. “On May 14, while she was returning home from school with her friend, the duo were kidnapped by the sons of two influential residents of Patti in a car bearing (PB-46B-0516) registration number. The father of one of the accused is an Akali leader and enjoys patronage of senior Akali leaders.”

Mr Swaran Singh alleged that while one of the girls was let off after having been sexually molested, but till date there is no clue of his granddaughter. “We had come to know of the kidnapping when the other victim returned and narrated her tale of woes. Inspite of repeated pleas to the police, the FIR was registered only after one day of the incident. The police is also making little effort to track down the accused and bring back our daughter, allegedly under pressure from the family of the accused,” he alleged. However, the Patti DSP, Mr Ashutosh, when contacted by The Tribune over the telephone, said that the case appeared to be of elopement. He denied that the police was under any kind of pressure of the accused and efforts were on to trace them. “ Our information is that the couple is in Ferozepore or Faridkot and all out efforts are on to trace them.”


Badal settling scores with teachers: Umrao
Our Correspondents

Jalandhar, May 30
Veteran Congress leader and the Chairman of the state unit of the Human Rights Department of the party Umrao Singh has criticised the Punjabi University authorities for issuing showcause notices to its two teachers as a result of certain comments made by them on financial matters related to the state government in the recent past.

Mr Umrao Singh, while talking to reporters here yesterday, alleged the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, was behind the move. He was out to settle scores with these teachers who had openly aired their views terming the sangat darshan programmes initiated by him as a waste.

Economist Sucha Singh Gill and Prof U.C. Singh of the Punjab School of Management who received showcause notices have been told to explain their conduct within 10 days.

“If a state government can take advice from economists and financial experts regarding planning of the state how can economists be punished for imparting knowledge to the masses regarding the present financial scenario of the state. People have every right to know and share their views with experts on the financial matters of the state which will have a direct bearing on them,” said Mr Umrao Singh.

Meanwhile, the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) has criticised the Vice-Chancellor and the Syndicate of Punjabi University for imposing alleged draconian laws against teachers.

Mr Jaspal Singh Randhawa, general secretary of the union, has demanded that the VC should be immediately removed from his post for tarnishing the image of the university and the teaching fraternity.

Professor Randhawa further said the intellectual stagnation and repression of academia would create social unrest in the state. The union demanded the six-member disciplinary committee constituted by the Syndicate of the university should be scrapped.

Amritsar: The Association of Democratic Rights, Punjab, took strong note of the issuance of showcause notice to Prof Sucha Singh Gill by the authorities of Punjabi University, Patiala, for his critical evaluation of the sangat darshan programmes of the Chief Minister in the press, terming it as an attempt to gag the freedom of expression.

Dr Parminder Singh, organising secretary of the association, in a press note said a similar showcause notice to Prof U.C. Singh for commenting on the working of Punjabi University. He said these notices had serious implications on academic autonomy and the spirit of free inquiry.


Govt officials collect funds for magic show
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 30
Even as magician Samrat Shankar is to perform for his inaugural show in city on June 1, it seems that it has started holding the officials of various departments of the state government, who have allegedly been asked to collect funds for the Red Cross under the garb of this show, spellbound.

A section of officials of various departments of the state government, including excise and taxation, rural development, industry and others, have started making efforts to meet the target for funds.

Sources said these officials had been given donor cards printed by the District Red Cross Society under the name of Mr Jaspal Singh, Deputy Commissioner and president of the District Red Cross Society, and Dr Kamal Kumar, Assistant Commissioner (G) and honorary secretary of the society, Bathinda, to collect funds for the magic show by Samrat Shankar in aid of MGD Deaf, Dumb and Blind School in Bathinda.

The donor card is valid for one person only. No price had been printed on the card, sources added.

Mr Ajmer Singh Mann, secretary of the District Red Cross Society, when contacted, said though the collection of funds by government officials for the society had been banned by the state government a recent letter sent to all heads of government departments gave the permission that people could be motivated for making voluntary donations for the Red Cross.

He pointed out that as per his information a meeting of heads of various departments was called by the district authorities to take their consent regarding collection of funds for MGD Deaf, Dumb and Blind School. He added that the collection of funds was started only after all heads gave their consent at the meeting. He said that funds collected in this manner would be spent to set up a dining hall in the school. He added that he was not called for the meeting.

Mr Jagmohan Kaushal, patron of the Vigilant Citizen Forum (VCF), while talking to TNS said no official should be asked to collect funds for any extra-governmental activities. He said though all were concerned with the development of the deaf and dumb school, the authorities concerned should also take care of other government schools which were in a very bad shape.

He said nobody could dare to refuse donations to any government official for the Red Cross. He added that to put an end to this the system of collecting funds in any manner should be made transparent.

Mr Jaspal Singh, Deputy Commissioner, when asked whether the collection of funds for the Red Cross through district officials was right or wrong, said only voluntary donations were being taken. He added donations were being taken for a public cause.

He pointed out that at the meeting of district officials, it was categorically made clear to them that nobody was under any compulsion to collect funds for the Red Cross through donor cards.

The Deputy Commissioner, when told that a section of district officials had been giving calls at the local Tribune sub-office to publish a news item in the paper in connection with pressure being put on them to collect funds, said instead of ringing up newspaper officers, these officers should contact him directly.


Pbi varsity ‘punishes’, government ‘rewards’ economist
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 30
While the Punjabi University has punished eminent economist Dr Suchha Singh Gill by serving him a show-cause notice for making a statement criticising the “sangat darshan” programme of the Shiromani Akali Dal-led government, the Punjab government has “rewarded” the economist after the publication of the article by appointing him as a non-official member of the Punjab State Planning Board.

While a disciplinary committee of the university has moved against Dr Gill on May 14 taking umbrage to his statement terming the “sangat darshan” exercise to be a waste of money, the Punjab government in its notification on May 18, has appointed Dr Gill as non-official member of the State Planning Board. Dr Gill is in the august company of former Chief Secretary P. H. Vaishnav, former Planning Committee member, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations Director Isher Judge Ahluwalia and former Vice-Chancellor Dr S S Johl besides others.

Talking to TNS, Dr Gill claimed that Punjabi University was being “more loyal than the king” by punishing him for expressing his views on “sangat darshan” exercise whereas the state government was recognising him despite the views. He said former Vice-Chancellor Prof S S Johl, who had also criticised the sangat darshan programme, had also been appointed a non-official member of the Planning Board.

Terming the appointments as a healthy sign, he said they proved that the government was open to criticism and adding that the university on the other hand had acted in undue haste to issue a show-cause notice to him even though the disciplinary committee formed by the university Syndicate had been given a brief to look into the ‘’ vilification ‘’ campaign being carried on by some university functionaries against the university Vice-Chancellor as well as the senior management.

The president of the Punjabi University Teachers Association (PUTA), Dr Bhupinder Singh Khaira, said the issuance of show-cause notices to Dr Gill and Dr U. C. Singh had been raised at a comprehensive meeting held with the Secretary, Higher Education, yesterday. He said PUTA had given additional matter to supplement the complaint submitted against the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, to the Secretary. He said PUTA was made to understand that a comprehensive probe was being conducted against the Vice-Chancellor as former Secretary, Higher Education G. P. S. Sahi had made out a prima facie case against the Vice-Chancellor but could not hold the complete inquiry.

The Vice-Chancellor when questioned about issuance of show-cause notice to Dr Gill said the disciplinary committee had taken notice of the statement made by Dr Gill and had sought the entire facts of the case. He said after the facts were presented to the committee, it took a serious note of the matter and served the show-cause notice. He said he did not have any say in the matter and did not even attend the meeting of the committee which comprised eminent personalities.

Dr Gill had claimed in a statement that development planning was a long term process and splurging precious funds in a state facing resource crunch on projects which had not been properly prioritised and evaluated or planned in advance, would result in infrastructure development plans being affected. He had claimed that the same money could go into projects which were far higher on the priority list.

The disciplinary committee while taking a “serious view” of this statement had cited Chapter two of the Statutes of Punjabi University which laid down that cases which were not covered with the existing statutes could be decided in accordance with the rules made by the Punjab government for its officers. Taking note of this, the committee served him a show-cause notice asking why action should not be taken against him for going to the press which was against the service rules concerned. 


Badal to meet Advani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said yesterday he again intended to take up the issue of the management of the Sikh shrines in Pakistan and also of 29 Punjabi youths detained in that country with the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee.

Mr Badal said as the Chief Executive of Pakistan, Mr Pervez Musharraf, was expected to visit India in July, and it would be appropriate to take up these issues with the Pakistan authorities through the Union Government.

“I am also going to Delhi on June 1 to meet the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, in this connection”, he said.


CPI launches anti-Mayor campaign
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 30
The District Council (Urban) of the CPI here today started a poster campaign against the Mayor and the municipal corporation for the “step-motherly” treatment meted out to those councillors who were not in alliance with the ruling SAD-BJP coalition. In the posters it was alleged that the Mayor was withholding development works in backward areas of the city.

The CPI gave a call for a chain-fast from June 1 to 4 in protest against the “partisan” attitude of the Mayor. The fast will start from Chehharta. It will be followed by a demonstration at the corporation’s office.

The party alleged that the growing garbage heaps in Chehharta, Putlighar, Haripura, Sultanwind and other such areas and the non-regularisation of sweepers in these areas had lowered the standards of hygiene and led to a number of cases of jaundice, malaria and typhoid. The CPI demanded an early solution to the alleged water crisis in the city. They alleged that there were only two fogging machines at present and demanded that their number be increased.


Probe ordered into lathi charge
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 30
The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has ordered the Sangrur Deputy Commissioner to hold a magisterial inquiry into the lathi charge on lawyers on May 18 when they were going to lay the foundation stone for the construction of chambers for lawyers in the newly-built judicial complex here.

Giving this information here today, Mr Balraj Singh Sohi and Mr Sat Pal Sharma, president and secretary, respectively of the District Bar Association, said the lawyers were not satisfied with the order of the Chief Minister as they wanted the immediate suspension of the local SDM and the DSP, who they alleged were responsible for the lathi charge, till the completion of the inquiry.

They said the Chief Minister issued the order regarding the inquiry day when a deputation of the District Bar Association, met him in Chandigarh, with regard to their demands, including the construction of chambers and action against the ‘guilty’ officers, responsible for the lathi charge on the lawyers.

Mr Sohi said the Chief Minister had also assured them that the state government would release funds, on the Ludhiana pattern for the construction of chambers as and when the building committee of the Punjab and Haryana High Court approved the amended site plan for the chambers. The Chief Minister had also assured members of the deputation that space for the chambers would be provided by the government.


Project to set up handloom centres in 57 villages
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 30
The central government has cleared a project for enabling women to become self-reliant by taking part in the production of various types of clothes through handlooms.

Mr Vivek Aggarwal, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development), in a press note issued here today said the central government had given its sanction to a Rs 7.97 crore project to set up handloom centres in 57 villages of this district.

He added that for this task, the central government would contribute Rs 3.63 crore, the Punjab Government would give Rs 1.21 crore and the rest of the amount would be given by commercial banks. The entire project would give employment to at least 2,280 women.

He said earlier under the self-employment programme for women power handloom centres had been set up in Balluana, Teona and Chakfatehsinghwala villages of the district. One unit for the production of ‘tat-patti’ had been set up at Rajgarh Kubbe village.

He added that in every village a group of 40 women living under the poverty line had been set up as self-help group and their group had been made into a cooperative society. Every self-help group had been given raw material for training.

The arrangements for marketing of the product of these self-help groups had also been made through the phulkari centre opened in AC Market by the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) in the city. He added it had also been decided that phulkari centre would take part in the trade fair at Delhi in future.


Doc told to check Khanpur victim
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the doctor-on-duty at the General Hospital, Sector 16 to examine medico-legally Netar Kaur, injured in the lathi charge by the police at Khanpur. The court also asked her to appear before the duty officer.

Issuing the directions, Mr Justice S.S. Nijjar also ordered the authorities at Patiala Jail to examine medico-legally two other alleged victims Ashwani and Major Singh as they were lodged in the prison.

Mr Justice Nijjar also directed that the report of the medico-legal examination be handed over to senior advocate R.S. Cheema, earlier asked to assist the court.

The judge on the last date of hearing had observed that “it would be in the interest of all concerned if status quo was maintained regarding the possession, as well as, the use of the land in dispute”.

It may be recalled that the president of Dr Ambedkar Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe Advocate Association Mr T.C. Tanwar, had earlier alleged that certain persons were being detained illegally by SHO Jasdev Singh and two others at the instance of two respondents who were “big landlords needing the land occupied by the families of the alleged detainees for constructing a huge factory”.

Notice to PPSC Chairman

On a petition filed by Harjeet Kaur Randhawa of Patiala and two other members of the Punjab Public Service Commission for ensuring multi-member functioning of the body, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice of motion to the respondents.

In their petition against the Punjab Public Service Commission and its Chairman Ravinder Pal Singh Sidhu, the petitioners had earlier stated that the functioning of the commission as a multi-member institution was essential for the “fulfillment of the tasks assigned to it by the Constitution”.

Giving details, the three petitioners had alleged that despite various requests to the commission Chairman, a meeting for discussing material issues was not convened.

After going through the petition, the Bench, comprising Mr Justice N.K. Sodhi and Mr Justice R.C. Kathuria, issued notice of motion to the respondents for July 1.


Registrar of companies: HC notice to Punjab
Legal Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 30
A Division Bench comprising Mr Justice N.K. Sodhi and Mr Justice R.C. Kathuria of the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued notice of motion on a writ petition seeking direction to State of Punjab to appoint Registrar of Companies under Punjab non-Trading Companies Act, 1960 for September 10, next.

Mr Vinod Kumar Arora, a member of the Lumsden Club, Amritsar since the year 1987, alleged that on coming into force the Punjab non-trading Companies Act, 1960, the powers and functions vested by the Companies Act, 1956, were made exercisable by the Punjab State and that the powers of the Registrar under the Companies Act, 1956, were to be exercised by person appointed by the State Government under the Punjab non-Trading Companies Act, 1960. Petitioner submitted that though 40 years have passed after the enforcement of the Act, but till date Registrar and other functionaries have not been appointed. Resultantly, there was no control on the working of non-Trading Companies.

Counsel for the petitioner submitted that in the absence of Registrar, petitioner has been denied legal right for the inspection of documents and loss has been caused to the state exchequer.


Janjua files case against newspapers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 29
Mr Vijay Kumar Janjua, a former Deputy Commissioner of Fatehgarh Sahib, has filed a criminal complaint against editors and reporters of Punjab Kesri, Jagbani and Ajit. Mr Dalip Singh Pandhi, a former Punjab Minister, has also been arraigned as one of the accused in the complaint before the Judicial Magistrate.

Mr Janjua alleged that a false, malicious and defamatory material was published in Punjab Kesri on June 2, 2000, and May 31, 2000 in Ajit on May 19, 2000 and Jagbani of May 21, 2000 after he was transferred from Fatehgarh Sahib. The complainant alleged that baseless and false imputations were made in the newspapers that the former Deputy Commissioner of Fatehgarh Sahib had purchased computers at inflated rates. It was alleged that these computers had been purchased at the rate of Rs 62,000 per piece but actually these were purchased at the rate of Rs 54,500 per piece.

The complainant alleged that wild and impossible allegations levelled in the news items was that the former Deputy Commissioner had settled a commission for supply of computers in Punjab. The allegations were factually incorrect as Deputy Commissioner of one district cannot make purchases for other districts. The complainant claimed that the computers were purchased in a transparent manner by inviting tenders through newspapers.


Visa for visit to Pak shrines ‘denied’
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 30
Mr Gurmukh Singh, a resident of Rampura Phul, had alleged he was not given visa for Pakistan for a pilgrimage to the religious places situated in Pakistan by the officials concerned of the SGPC.

In a letter written to the Punjab Chief Minister, he had said he had submitted his application to the journey committee of the SGPC on May 5 at Amritsar after getting it recommended from Jathedar Satnam Singh Bhairura, an SGPC member. He said he was told by the authorities concerned they would visit Bathinda on May 10 for further action on the application.

He alleged that when he went to Bathinda on May 10 nobody was there. When he asked the manager of the gurdwara where he had been asked to go he showed his ignorance about the visit of the official of the journey branch of the SGPC.

He said when he contacted the officials concerned at Amritsar on telephone he was informed he was at serial number 95 in the list of the pilgrims and they had sent a letter to him in which all terms and conditions had been written and he should act accordingly.

He said he was also informed he should deposit the necessary fee upto May 17 for being eligible for the pilgrimage. He said he was also informed that the jatha for Pakistan would leave on May 18.

He further said he had received a letter on May 14 in which it was mentioned that only those persons would be allowed to visit Pakistan who would deposit the requisite fee till May 12. He alleged the letter was deliberately posted late.

He further said when he inquired on May 16 from Amritsar regarding the issuance of a visa to him he was informed he was not eligible for the same as he had not deposited the fee till the date specified for the same.

He said when he told them he had contacted the officials on telephone and was told he could deposit the fee till May 17, he was not given a satisfactory reply. He said he was informed that what was written in the letter should be considered valid.

Mr Gurmukh Singh further said it was not possible for him to deposit the money till May 12 when he got the information regarding the same on May 14.

He alleged he was not able to go to Pakistan for pilgrimage because of the inefficiency of the officials concerned of the SGPC.

He urged the Chief Minister that the government should prepare a committee for those persons who could not visit Pakistan for one reason or the other. He urged the Chief Minister that special jathas should be constituted for persons who could not be part of the regular jatha. 


Amarnath pilgrims to be registered from June 10
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, May 30
Taking into account the recommendations of the Lt-Gen J.R. Mukherjee Committee, the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, Jammu and Kashmir, has advised those desirous of undertaking the Amarnath yatra to first get themselves registered.

The state government has given permission to 113 religious and voluntary organisations and individuals for setting up langars en route the pilgrimage. The registration of pilgrims will begin on June 10.

According to sources in the state Tourism Department, slips will be issued to pilgrims by the department’s offices at Delhi, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata and Jammu.

The board came into existence on February 21 last year. It was constituted to ensure better management of the Amarnath yatra and the upgradation of facilities to pilgrims. According to official sources, the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has made a donation of Rs 50 lakh to the board. In view of the high altitudes and low temperatures, the board has advised pilgrims to get themselves examined by doctors before undertaking the pilgrimage. The sources said a major issue was ensuring security for pilgrims keeping in mind the attack by militants at the pilgrims camp in Pehalgam last year. 


Bains does not represent Sikhs: WSC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
The World Sikh Council (WSC), America region, has reacted sharply to the election of Mr Didar Singh Bains as President of the council by a Chandigarh-based group. In a statement, Dr Tarlochan Singh, secretary, WSC, America region, said that Mr Bains does not represent the Sikhs even in the USA much less in India or elsewhere and had no qualifications to run the council.

The Chandigarh-based group had no right to elect the President of the WSC or interfere in the internal affairs of the World Sikh Council. The WSC, America region, condemned the actions of this group which seemed to be led by Mr Jaswant Singh Mann.

The statement said Mr Mann was the general secretary of the World Sikh Council at one time but was removed from that position when an entirely new committee was formed “under the directions of the Jathedar of Akal Takht, Bhai Ranjit Singh”. In a written communication on March 3, the Indian head office of the World Sikh Council had asked PSB Housing Finance Ltd, to credit in its account an amount of Rs 18,00,480 (about US $ 38,300) on the expiry of the fixed deposit term.

“This account is still controlled by Mr Jaswant Singh Mann and his group. We argue this group to return all funds belonging to the World Sikh Council in the true Sikh spirit without any further delay to the legitimate office-bearers — Justice Kuldip Singh and Maj-Gen Narinder Singh (retd), general secretary, WSC. These individuals have been appointed by the Jathedar of Akal Takht and are recognised by the Khalsa Panth,” the statement said.

The WSC, America region, the statement said, would like to set the record straight and reiterate that it recognised only Jathedar Ranjit Singh as the legitimate Jathedar of Akal Takht and Justice Kuldip Singh as the President of World Sikh Council. It had never recognised Giani Puran Singh or Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti as the legitimate Jathedars of Akal Takht because they were appointed by the government, not by the Panth. The WSC, America region, was a representative body of 26 gurdwaras and six Sikh institutions in the USA, the statement said.


Ayurvedic officers’ appointments criticised
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 30
The recent appointment of four ayurvedic medical officers under the handicapped category has been flayed by the Punjab Ayurvedic Medical Services Association who alleged that the appointments were in violation of the Punjab Civil Services (III amendment) Rules — 2000.

Dr S.S. Romana, senior vice-president of the association, while talking to this correspondent, said here today the appointments were in gross violation of the service rules of the state government. As per the amended Punjab Civil Services Rules, the Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Government of Punjab, was the appointing authority for ayurvedic medical officers because of group ‘A’ status of the post which was equivalent to that of Class I officers. But in this case the Director, Ayurveda, Punjab, had issued the appointment letters, he alleged.

Dr Romana alleged that the government was giving a step-motherly treatment to the ayurvedic system and the posts of Director Ayurveda Joint Director, Inspector Drugs, Registrar of the Ayurvedic Medical Council, were lying vacant and ad hocism prevailed in the department. The whole Ayurvedic Department in the state was under the administrative control of a non-technical PCS cadre officer, he alleged.

Even the appointment of the licensing authorities appointed by the state government was in violation of the provisions of the Drugs Cosmetic Act 1940 and Rules 1945, he alleged.

All ayurvedic hospitals and dispensaries in the state were ill-equipped and some of them even lacked telephones, he said. The supply of the drugs to various hospitals and dispensaries was so erratic that the seasonal medicines often reached the hospital when the need of such medicines was reduced.

Earlier, the District Ayurvedic Officers were appointed as the licensing authority under Chapter IV-A of the Drugs and Cosmetic Act, 1940, in their respective districts but the decision was later withdrawn.

The purchase of the medicines at the directorate-level of the state was of sub-standard level, he alleged. Dr Romana demanded that full-time, technically qualified persons should be appointed at the earliest.


40 wagons of hay flagged-off
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 30
A train loaded with hay was despatched to Gujarat by the Deputy Commissioner here today.

At least 40 wagons of hay were despatched free of cost for the drought-hit areas of Gujarat. Even the loading and transportation charges were voluntarily paid by the farmers and youth clubs of the district. This move followed district administration’s ban on burning wheat straw, citing environmental, scientific and human reasons to the farmers.

Mr Jaspal Singh, who flagged-off the train, while talking to this correspondent, said the response to the human call of the administration by the residents of the district was praiseworthy. Officials of Rampura Phul and Talwandi Sabo subdivisions had played a key role in making it a mass movement, he added.

The farmers and youth clubs of the villages were asked to create awareness about the ill-effects of burning wheat straw and convert the straw into hay which could be supplied to other states as fodder.

Officials of the district administration said the prime motivation for the youth clubs and the farmers was the cause of charity and humane love for the needy.

No amount of ban or vigil would have prevented the farmers from burning the straw, said a senior official. Earlier, the district administration had flagged-off at least 15 truckload of hay and green fodder to the drought-hit areas of Rajasthan.

Earlier, in January, the residents of the city had sent items worth about Rs 20 lakh to the quake-hit areas of Gujarat.


Yoga classes at Baradari Gardens
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 30
The Red Cross Society will organise yoga classes from June 1 at the Baradari Gardens here. Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, Deputy Commissioner, will inaugurate the classes.

Issuing a press note, the society authorities said that the very idea of starting yoga classes in the morning had created excitement among the people, especially the aged. They said that these classes would help in checking various diseases, including heart, lungs, joints and mental problems.

The press note also stated that the fitness centre set up by Mr Bir on the Jail Road had distributed artificial limbs, clippers and tricycles to about 1,000 physically-challenged people within a span of six months. Besides, free computer education will be provided to the children belonging to poor families so that they could enjoy the benefits of computer education.

As many as 13 lakh plants would also be planted this year so as to keep city pollution free. The society has also started a project to make the city TB free.


Lawyers strike work
Tribune Reporter

Bathinda, May 30
Members of the Bar Associations of Bathinda and Rampura Phul, today observed strike to express their solidarity with the lawyers of Sangrur district who have been demanding chambers. The information was given here today by Mr Mithu Ram Gupta, president of the Bar Association, Bathinda, in a press note issued here.

DHURI: Members of the local Bar Association today observed strike to express solidarity with the agitating lawyers of Sangrur. Mr Ashwani Kaushal president, Mr Maninder Pal Garg, vice-president of Bar Association condemned the lathi charge by the police on lawyers at Sangrur on May 18.

Malerkotla: The local Bar Association held its executive meeting in which the members demanded immediate suspension of DSP Surjit Singh Grewal and SDM Indu Malhotra.


FCI unions stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 30
Members of nine organisations of workers and employees of the FCI, including the All-India FCI Workers Union, the FCI Staff Union, the FCI Class IV Employees Union and the Lal Jhanda FCI Workers and Palledars Union, staged a dharna in protest against the proposed disbanding of the FCI and in support of their demands in front of the office of the District Manager of the FCI here today.

Their main demands included the abolition of contract labour system in all FCI depots, regularisation of services of palledars, implementation of the labour law, lifting of the ban imposed on new recruitment of class IV employees, reappointment of retrenched employees and initiation of steps to deposit the deducted provident fund amount of palledars into their PF pass-books.


Shabad Kirtan from Pak gurdwaras
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
Lashkara Channel will telecast Shabad Kirtan from the historical gurdwaras in Pakistan, Nankana Sahib and Panja Sahib. For the first time in the history of Indian television such an event is taking place. According to a spokesman of the channel, the telecast will commence from June 2 and will continue till June 16 from 6.30 a.m. to 7.30 a.m.

Apart from this, on June 6 devotees will also be able to listen to “Rehraas and Shabad Kirtan” from 5.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m., which will be telecast from Gurdwara Panja Sahib.

“Nitnem and Aasa Di Vaar” will be telecast from 3.30 a.m. to 6.30 a.m. from Gurdwara Panja Sahib between June 6 and 15 and June 2 and 11, respectively. 


Dharna by dhobis enters 15th day
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, May 30
The dharna started by the local Dhobi Mahasabha against the construction of a hall entered the 15th day yesterday. Mr Rakesh Kanojia, state president of the mahasabha, has said the Dhobi Mahasabha will not allow the Pathankot Municipal Council to grab the land of the local dhobi ghat for commercial or any other purpose for the welfare of the community.

Taking a strong view of the construction of a hall on the land in the vicinity of the ghat near the cremation ground by the municipal council here, Mr Kanojia-warned the Sabha would resort to a statewide agitation to protect the land belonging to the dhobi community.


No Tobacco Day today
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, May 30
The Phagwara branch of the Indian Medical Association has mooted five points in connection with No Tobacco Day to be observed all over the world tomorrow.

Dr S. P. S. Sooch, president of the local branch of the IMA, demanded in a press note here yesterday that the sale of tobacco and its products to youths below the age of 20 years should be made unlawful and a total ban should be put on advertisements of tobacco and its products on electronic media. Sponsorships, he said, should be banned, sale of tobacco and its products should be banned around educational and religious institutions.


Rs 1.79 cr relief for flood-hit farmers
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 30
Farmers of 20 villages of Moonak subdivision of the district whose standing crops were damaged due to floods in July, 1999 and July, 2000, will get compensation for their damaged crops soon as the state government has released the requisite funds for the purpose to the district administration.

According to official sources, the government has released Rs 1.79 crore to the district administration for the flood-affected farmers of Moonak subdivision. Whereas Rs 35 lakh has been released for the July 1999 flood victims, an amount of Rs 1.44 crore has been released for the July 2000 flood victims.

The sources say the floods had damaged the standing crops of farmers of five villages namely Nawan Gaon, Mandvi, Therri, Chandu and Banga of Moonak subdivision in July, 1999. Likewise, the standing crops of 20 villages namely Moonak, Salemgarh, Bushera, Fulad, Hamirgarh, Surjan Bhaini, Bhunder Bhaini, Karrail, Wazidpur, Nawan Gaon, Hotipur, Banarsi, Khanauri, Mandvi, Andana, Chandu, Baopur, Makkor Sahib, Banga and Therri of the Moonak subdivision were damaged by floods in July, 2000.

The amount has already been sent by the district administration to the Moonak SDM to distribute the same immediately among the flood victims. The SDM, Moonak, who is on leave for two days, will start the process of distributing the compensation as soon as he returns.


Flood-control steps reviewed
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 30
A meeting of the District Flood Control Committee was held under the presidentship of Mr Sarvjit Singh, Deputy Commissioner, yesterday.

Officials of various government departments dealing with floods and representatives of public took part in the meeting. The representatives demanded erection of a wooden bandh on the Jhambu choe at Chandu village in Moonak subdivision. They said the bundh which would cost Rs 50 lakh, would help save the area from floods caused by the Ghaggar. Mr Sarvjit said the administration would set up flood-control at the district and tehsil-level. He said the control rooms would function round the clock. He asked the health authorities to constitute medical teams and be prepared to face any eventuality in the rural areas.


Area under paddy to be reduced
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 30
The area under paddy will be reduced and that under cotton increased in the current season.

This was announced by Dr Gurdial Singh Khera Joint Director (Agriculture), here yesterday.

Dr Khera, who visited the cotton belt, said the area under paddy was to be reduced from 26 lakh hectares to about 24 lakh hectares and the recommend season of paddy sowing was to begin from June 10.

About 4,74,000 hectares of area under cotton that produces nearly 12 lakh bales last year, would be increased to 6 lakh hectares.

The area under pulses was also to be increased and the department had issued 17,000 mini kits for promoting the cultivation of pulses in the state, he said.


Farmers’ protest over bank notice
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 30
Activists of the Punjab Khet Majdoor Union led by Mr Lachman Singh Sewewala, general secretary, staged a dharna at the Bhuchu Mandi branch of the Oriental Bank of Commerce today.

Mr Sewewala said in a written statement that the farmers of various villages, including Chack Fateh Singh Wala, Chack Ram Singh Wala, Lehra Baga and Jethuke had received notices from the bank on repayment of loans failing which the bank had threatened to attach the land of the defaulters.

The dharna was later lifted when the bank management assured the farmers of “positive help” in the loan cases. 


Financial crunch hits aviation programmes
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 30
The holding up of a budget of Rs 1 crore for the State Civil Aviation Ministry by the State Finance Ministry is adversely affecting aviation programmes as aspiring pilots have to pay heavy fees for training. This was stated by the Civil Aviation Minister, Mr Raja Narinder Singh, who was here to attend a valedictory function.

The minister said, “The four flying clubs in the state are well-equipped to conduct any training programme and attract a large number of trainees every year but the only hurdle is the charges for flying.

He said the flying charges for an hour were Rs 2,000 for general public but for a trainee, a concession of Rs 1,000 was being given to promote flying in Haryana while in Punjab a trainee had to pay Rs 1,750 for the same duration.

He said aspirants were paying more fees for the course as compared to Haryana and other states. The maximum concession of 50 per cent could be given and that was what the neighbouring state was doing to promote flying. “We can not do anything is this regard because of a shortage of funds. Several development programmes in the four flying clubs are being delayed because of the non-allocation of funds,” he said.

Discussing other development in civil aviation, he said Rs 190 crore was granted to the ministry for development programmes at Amritsar and Pathankot airports.

Work was under way on the Amritsar airport and Rs 155 crore had been earmarked for it. A sum of Rs 35 crore had been sanctioned for the Pathankot airport, he said.


Assess land rate for rail link, DC told
Our Correspondent

Abohar, May 30
Hopes of a rail link to be laid between Fazilka and Abohar have been revived following a letter from the Deputy Chief Engineer (Construction) of the Northern Railway requesting the Deputy Commissioner to assess rates of the land to be acquired for the project. Two days time has been given to the field revenue staff to submit the report, sources said.

The sources said besides Abohar and Fazilka towns, land would be required in more than 24 villages, including Killianwali, Burjmuhar, Choohriwala, Dhanna, Dangarkhera, Ghallu, Nihalkhera, Khippanwali, Wajidpur-Kattianwali, Katehra, Ramkot, Bodiwala, Khuikhera, Hiranwali, Shajrana, Balluane, Chuwarianwali, Begawali, Kikkarkhera-Rupa, Jandwala-Kharta, Rampura and Korianwali for laying the track.

The Railway Passengers Association (NZ), while describing the statements of Railway Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, and the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, on the subject as positive and appreciable, said the mega project had been pending for the past 30 years. Due to inordinate delay because of indifferent attitude of the ministry, people had lost hope regarding its implementation. The outlay had increased to Rs 72 crore. The Union Cabinet had not so far given formal financial approval for the rail link. A survey was conducted three years ago for the same but no action had been taken so far. In the meanwhile, the association had been submitting memorandums reminding the Railway Minister and the Punjab Chief Minister of their commitment.

Mr Pawan Tayal, president of the association, today said the Abohar-Fazilka rail link was important not only commercially but would also link two significant Army cantonments at Jaisalmer and Udhampur. Amritsar would also have direct link with Rajasthan as Abohar was already connected with Sri Ganganagar by rail. It was, therefore, required that the project be expedited on war footing.


Union Minister visits Ranjit Sagar Dam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
The Union Minister of State for Water Resources, Ms Bijoya Chakravarty, yesterday visited the Ranjit Sagar Dam and had an aerial view of the Shahpurkandi barrage.

She discussed the progress of these projects with officials and assured them of all possible assistance for the construction of the Shahpurkandi project. The project will ensure the availability of optimum irrigation and power potential in the region.

She said as Punjab was an agricultural state, the needs of the farmers were the primary concern of the Central Government. Her visit was aimed at sorting out various financial problems.


Dr Kulbir Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
Dr Kulbir Singh was promoted and appointed Joint Director, Horticulture, by the Punjab Government here today. Earlier, he was Deputy Director, Horticulture, Jalandhar.


MC officer shifted
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, May 30
The Local Bodies Department today transferred Mr H.S. Bhullar, Additional Divisional Fire Officer of the local municipal corporation, to the Patiala fire brigade department.

In a fax message to the Commissioner of the corporation, the Director, Local Government Department, Mr J.B. Goel, ordered the transfer of Mr Bhullar as Assistant Additional Divisional Fire Officer.

Meanwhile, the dharna staged by members of the Fire Brigade Employees Union entered the 12th day. They are demanding that a vigilance probe should be ordered against Mr Bhullar to look into the alleged irregularities committed in the purchase of fire-fighting equipment last year.

The union hailed the decision to shift Mr Bhullar to Patiala.


Gang of truck thieves busted
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, May 30
With the arrest of four persons, the district police claims to have busted a gang of truck thieves.

Mr Jagdish Kumar Mittal, SSP, stated in a press note here yesterday that the arrested gang members had been identified as Piara Singh of Mannan, Sarabjit Singh alias Babbu, Sukhwinder Singh alias Sonu, both residents of Bhoma village. Ranjit Singh Rana, one of the accomplices, escaped under the cover of darkness. A case under Section 401 of the IPC has been registered.

The SSP claimed that with their arrest, certain cases of truck thefts and looting of goods had been solved.

Meanwhile, the local CIA staff has apprehended four persons who were indulging in pick-pocketing in the area. They have been identified as Binder Singh, Sukhwinder Singh, Bukkan Singh and Kashmir Singh, all residents of the nearby Jawanda Kalan village.

A case under Section 379 and 34 of the IPC has been registered at the city police station.


Body of missing girl found
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, May 30
The body of Vibha, a 12-year-old girl who was missing since May 12, was found yesterday from a ditch on the premises of the local Government Senior Secondary School for Boys. Vibha’s mother, Laxmi Paswan, is a migrant labourer belonging to Darbhanga district of Bihar and she has been working as a domestic servant with Surinder Kumar Ahuja, a businessman of the town.

According to a report lodged with the local police, Vibha had gone to play with some of her relations living on the premises of the government school on May 12 and she had been missing since then. A report was lodged with the police the very next day.

The body of Vibha was found by her family members on the school premises, about 50 yards from the office of the DSP. Later, the police retrieved the highly decomposed body. According to eyewitnesses, the hands and legs of the girl had been tied with stones.

The police has registered a case under Sections 302 and 301 of the IPC. The body of the girl was taken to Civil Hospital, Fazilka, for a post-mortem but doctors at the hospital referred it to the medical college, Faridkot.

Meanwhile, the police has rounded up some persons, including relations of Laxmi Paswan, for interrogation.


Proclaimed offender arrested
Our Correspondent

Barnala, May 30
Proclaimed offender Surinder Singh, who had been absconding and had succeeded in slipping away from the custody of the Chandigarh police on April 4, was arrested by the ASI, in charge of police post at Gehlan village.

Giving this information here today, Mr Ajaib Singh Kaleka, SSP, Barnala, disclosed that Surinder Singh allegedly involved in the illicit sale and smuggling of opium had dodged the police party of Chandigarh with the help of his accomplice Asha Rani at Bathinda where he had come to appear in a court of law. During a raid, 200 gm of opium was seized. Surinder Singh was arrested at Bihla village, where he had come to see his sister.


Tantrik held for duping people
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, May 30
The city police arrested a tantrik, Habib, a resident of Bulandshahr, UP, for allegedly charging huge sums from people for giving them magic potions.

According to police sources, on a complaint by Ashok Kumar of Kathua, the police on Saturday raided a local hotel in which the tantrik was staying and recovered receipt books and several amulets (“taweez”).

According to sources he used to charge between Rs 2,100 and Rs 5,100 for his cures.

The police has registered a case under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code.


Scope of PMET widened 
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
The Punjab Government has widened the scope of the Punjab Medical Entrance Test (PMET) by adding certain courses in the list for admission on its basis. The PMET will be conducted by the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences.

As per a notification of the state government, admission to the Bachelor of Physiotherapy, Bachelor of Nursing and Bachelor of Homoeopathic Medical Science (BHMS) courses will be made on the basis of the PMET from the next academic session, scheduled to start in August. Earlier, only the MBBS, BDS and Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medical Science (BAMS) courses were covered under the test.

The government has also made it mandatory for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and backward class students to secure a minimum of 40 per cent marks in the aggregate in physics, chemistry and biology in the 10 plus one and 10 plus two examinations or other qualifying examination named by the government to be eligible for the PMET. It is, perhaps, for the first time that this condition has been imposed in the case of such students.

Candidates, except government servants and certain other categories, who have passed their 10 plus one and 10 plus two examinations or other qualifying examination as notified by the government as regular candidates from a recognised institution in Punjab only will be allowed to appear in the PMET. This means others will be ineligible to take the PMET or they will at least not be considered against the 85 per cent state quota of seats.

The state government authorities have been more liberal in the case of candidates seeking admission to engineering colleges on the basis of the Central Entrance Test (CET) against the state quota of seats. In their case the government has allowed the benefit to the wards of even those who have immovable property in the state, or can produce the residency and birth certificates of the state.

For students of the general category, the securing of 50 per cent marks in the qualifying examination and the prescribed subjects is mandatory to be eligible for the PMET.

Even for seeking admission to the MBBS and BDS courses, candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the backward classes are required to obtain 40 per cent marks in the PMET.

For admission to the BAMS, BHMS, Bachelor of Physiotherapy and Bachelor of Nursing courses, the candidate should have been placed on the merit list prepared on the basis of the results of the PMET, securing not less than 30 per cent marks in respect of general category candidates and 20 per cent in the case of candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes. Every candidate must have completed 17 years of age on December 31, 2001.

Candidates whose results of the qualifying examination have not been declared will be allowed to sit provisionally in the PMET. However, they will be considered for admission to the MBBS and BDS courses only after providing evidence of fulfilling the conditions laid down for sitting in the PMET.

There will be 25 per cent reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, 5 per cent for the backward classes and 3 per cent for handicapped candidates in the private medical and dental colleges offering the BAMS, BHMS, Bachelor of Physiotherapy and Bachelor of Nursing courses.

In the government medical and dental colleges, the reservation of seats will be 25 per cent for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, 5 per cent for the backward classes, 2 per cent for border and backward areas, 1 per cent for sportspersons, 1 per cent for children and grandchildren of political sufferers and freedom fighters, including those who remained in jail in connection with the Emergency, the Sisganj Morcha, the Punjabi Suba Morcha and the Dharm Yudh Morcha. There will 3 per cent reservation for physically challenged persons.

If any seat from any reserved category remains unfilled it will be converted into a general category one as per the notification.


Design course a big draw
Ashok Sethi

A four-year course for women — bachelor of design — has evoked a tremendous response here.

BBK DAV College for Women which started the course two years ago has more than 100 students on its rolls.

The Principal of the college, Mrs J. Kackria, says she was encouraged by rich Indian textile and craft heritage to start the course.

The syllabus is a blend of traditional art and modern fabrics aimed at creating comfortable, ethnic and outstanding designs.

The course comprises eight semesters while three semesters focus on improving the sketching and drawing skills, the fourth semester branches out into fashion design, textile design and interior design.

The college is the third in the country to offer the course which is recognised by Guru Nanak Dev University.

The college has been able to create proper infrastructure with computer-aided technology for giving extensive professional training to students.

It has tied up with textile industries and garment manufacturers and has been holding interactive sessions with top designers.

The college also held two mega, fashion shows. Leading international designers Mona Lamba and Pali Sachdev from Calcutta conducted a workshop to apprise the students of the latest trends in the fashion industry.

Theatre personality and puppet maestro from England, Mr Purvin, Ms Sarah, organised a week-long workshop where students from the Design Department were taught the technique of making shadow puppet and other stage and theatre accessories. A colour consultant from Mumbai, Dr Shalini Patwardhan, interacted with the students on the role of colour in design.

Mrs Kackria says it is highly satisfying that girls have shown extra ordinary talent in various other fields like designing wrought iron furniture, stained glass articles, garment construction and accessories, block printing and screen printing.


Sorry state of primary education
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, May 30
The primary education system is in a state of utter mess in the district. More than 475 schools are without teachers. There are about 500 vacancies of JBT teachers, 325 head teachers, 65 centre head teachers and eight Block Primary Education officers.

Buildings of primary schools are in a dilapidated condition. Most of the schools have no boundary walls and furniture. Roofs of school buildings leak profusely during rains.

According to official sources, the department received Rs 1.32 crore last year in the four-year rule of the SAD-BJP combine. The amount was just enough to repair only 132 buildings out of the total 1,548 primary school buildings in the district.

Remaining absent is an accepted practice in primary schools in the district. Recently, an inspection of 12 schools in the border area was done. Eight were found closed. These schools are at Chaniye ke Bet, Khaleel Pur, Jaurian, Samra, Accharwal, Mann, Harruwal and Kalan Wali.

Insiders say many schools show more students on roll to have more sanctioned posts of teachers. At Government Primary School, Pabbo, the number of students actually admitted in the school is 30 against the shown strength of 100. In most of the schools having two posts of teacher, they come on alternate days.

The students of Government Primary School, Bakhatpur, having a strength of 100, had to be shifted to the Primary School, Lakhan Kalan, nearby, when no substitute was provided after transfer of the single teacher.

In Dhar block as many as 100 primary schools out of 134 schools are without teachers. The matter was brought to the Chief Minister’s notice in April following which he allowed the panchayat to recruit local youth on a monthly salary of Rs 2,000. Panchayats are poor and cannot afford to pay the salaries. No funds have been allocated for schools so far.


WSIC flays PUTA leaders for row
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 30
The United Teachers Front (UTF) and the World Sikh Intellectual Council (WSIC) today criticised the Punjabi University Teachers Association (PUTA) leaders for creating disharmony even as the Association for Democratic Rights, Punjab, took a serious note of the show-cause notice issued to some university leaders.

The UTF alleged that the PUTA was working on steps to destabilise the government through their disruptive activities and creating an atmosphere of disharmony through anti-teacher activities in the university. Mr H.S. Boparai, convener, UTF, said in a statement that PUTA leaders were unnecessarily raising a hue and cry over the freedom of speech.

Mr Boparai alleged that earlier these persons had connived with the former Vice-Chancellor and victimise the teachers.

Prof B.S. Balluana, President, WSIC, appreciated the formation of a committee by the Syndicate to issue show-cause notice to university teachers in order to maintain discipline. The Sikh Council also appreciated the stand of the Vice-Chancellor for his support to the Punjab Government to maintain peace and harmony in the state.

On the other hand, the Association for Democratic Rights, Punjab, took a serious note of he show-cause notice issued to Prof Sucha Singh Gill and Prof U.C. Singh by the authorities of the university.

Mr Vidhu Shekhar Bhardwaj, Secretary, said it was an attempt to gag the right of freedom of expression.

The district unit urged the Governor for immediate withdrawal of the notices served to university teachers.


GND varsity to launch website
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 30
Guru Nanak Dev University has created a website for administrative affairs. The website ( will be launched by Dr H.S. Soch, Vice-Chancellor, tomorrow. This was disclosed by Dr R.S. Bawa, Registrar, here yesterday.

Dr Bawa said the results of all examinations held in April and May this year would be available on the website. All types of forms, syllabi, date-sheets, information relating to university matters could be accessed in the near future, he added.


Elisa scores 100 pc in Maths
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, May 30
While Gaurav Chopra and Karamjit Singh Atwal of the local Shivalik Public School have scored more than 90 per cent marks in aggregate, Elisa Bhucher got distinction in Mathematics by scoring 100 per cent marks in the matriculation examination of the CBSE. Giving this information in a press note here yesterday, Dr Darshan Singh Bedi, Principal of the school, said out of the 128 students, who had appeared for the examination, 26 had scored more than 80 per cent marks.


MA (Psychology) Part II result today
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 30
The result of M.A. (Psychology) Part-II examination conducted by Guru Nanak Dev University in May this year will be declared tomorrow, according to Dr R.S. Bawa, Registrar.

The results of B.A./B.Sc. Part-I examinations were announced today. 

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