Friday, June 1, 2001, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Teachers find fault with education
P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Countrywide, university and college teachers want at least 6 per cent of the gross national product for education with special emphasis on universal free education up to the age of 14 years. The present allocation is approximately 3.4 per cent.

The teachers view the government policy on education as “retrograde”. The Centre is planning to make universal elementary education a fundamental right for children in the 6-14 age group. The teachers say this is against Article 45 of the Constitution that provides for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of 14 years.

Though new and quick changes are taking place in the socio-economic and cultural fabric due to globalisation, liberalisation and market fundamentalism, the teachers feel the policy-makers are slow to feel the impact and react.

These are the broad observations of the All-India Federation of University and College Teachers Organisation. Its general council finds the response of the government to be slow not only to the system of education but also to the teachers’ demands. Even decisions already taken are not being implemented in letter and in spirit, may these be of the University Grants Commission (UGC) or the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD).

The situation is no better in Punjab which is at number 21 among the states and union territories when it comes to expenditure on education. So pathetic is the state of education that the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) had to move the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) to seek justice for the teachers.

The point on which the PCCTU approached the PSHRC is the non-implementation of the pension-cum-gratuity scheme passed by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha as the Punjab Affiliated Colleges (Security of Service of Employees) Amendment Act, 1999. The Governor gave his assent on April 1,1999. The same was published in the Gazette (extraordinary) on April 26, 1999. Till date, on one pretext or the other this has not been implemented, affecting the teaching and non-teaching staff in 140-odd aided affiliated colleges. The commission issued notice to the government asking why the decisions of the constitutional and statutory bodies were not being implemented. The matter rests there.

The annual report (2000-01) of the PCCTU, released recently, is a telling comment. on the government attitude towards education and teachers as well as the conduct of the universities and how UGC and HRD norms are flouted by the states.

Teachers who have cleared the NET are denied salary as per the prescribed norms of the UGC and the HRD by the universities and the government. Private managements employ teachers on an ad hoc or part-time basis or as guest lecturers on a contract basis for four months to six months, paying them Rs 3,500 to Rs 7,500 per month in a full academic year. The number of such teachers is more than 1,500 in Punjab. It is increasing by the day.

The report has questioned the wisdom of ‘’entrance’’ tests that have eroded the credibility of the basic examinations and of also of classroom teaching. “The admission to higher classes should be made on the basis of the results of previous classes”, says Mr Charanjit Chawla, who prepared the report as PCCTU general-secretary.

Even the system of NRI seats with a high price tag for professional courses has come under fire in the report. Mr Chawla maintains that the government policy of starting new courses under the self-financing scheme in the private and government sectors has virtually closed the opportunity of higher education for rural and urban poor students. It is commercialisation of education in Punjab with state help, he adds. Despite tall claims on education and employment, today 14 crore youth are jobless in the country.

The report gives an insight into the working of the bureaucracy and how despite numerous meetings, interspersed with protests, dharnas, strikes and rallies by teachers, their demands remain pending. The non-implementation of the UGC report in full in respect of issues like the number of teaching hours, periods and payment for extra stay in colleges, the career advancement scheme, deduction of contributory provident fund, unequal pay scales for librarians and DPEs, and discouraging teachers under the fellowship scheme finds mention in the report.

The new PCCTU office-bearers and executive are in place. Their task will remain the same — pursuing the pending demands. It, however, goes to the credit of the PCCTU that if it has listed its pending issues it has also acknowledged nearly 24 “actions’’ that the Punjab Government and the Chandigarh Administration took on several aspects favourable to teachers.


AISSF writes to Akal Takht
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 31
The All-India Sikh Students Federation President, Mr Manjit Singh Bhoma in a letter to the Akal Takht Jathedar, Jathedar Joginder Singh Vadanti, has urged that the controversy over Sant Jarnail Singh Bhidranwala be resolved once and for all by summoning Damdami Taksal to Akal Takht.

The AISSF has requested that the matter be resolved by Akal Takht before June 6, the day that radical organisations are likely to observe ghalughara day (genocide day).

The federation has urged the jathedar to ask Damdami Taksal to produce proof about Bhindranwale’s welfare. Along with Damdami Taksal, the federation requested the jathedar to summon the brother of Sant Bhindranwale, Capt Harcharan Singh Rode, and former SP of Punjab police, Mr Apar Singh Bajwa, who have claimed to witnesses to his death and cremation. The above mentioned persons should be asked to explain the needful in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib whether Sant Bhindranwale was martyred or not, the federation said in the letter circulated in the press here today. They said in case anybody insisted on his being alive then that person should be asked about his whereabouts.


‘Mineral water’ companies cashing in on shortage
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 31
Residents of the city have been facing a shortage of potable drinking water for the past many months and some “mineral water” companies are turning the situation to their advantage.

The groundwater of the city has been declared unfit for human consumption due to high levels of fluoride contents and a saline taste. In some parts of the city, especially the old city, Moulvian Mohalla, and other residential areas located on the outskirts of the city, the problem is grave. In the so-called high-altitude areas of the city, the pressure of water is very low and even after hours of struggle, the residents are able to fetch only a few buckets of potable water.

One of the residents of the old city lamented that the water supply was so erratic that they had to wake up late at night just to collect a bucketful of water.

He said the water supply started at about 3 am and lasted for about one-and-a-half hours only. “On one hand the water pressure is too low and on the other hand, residents living in areas near the source of water supply have built water tanks which can store upto 2,000 litres of water, thereby creating an artificial shortage even when water is available in plenty,” lamented a resident of Moulvian Mohalla.

The water supply is not uniform in the city. In some areas, residents “enjoy” the privilage of getting water supply twice a day, while in some other areas, water is not available for days.

To cash in on the water shortage, “mineral water” companies, which usually give no proof to substantiate their claims, have started delivering water to regular subscribers at their doorsteps.

A 20-litre can of “pure” water costs Rs 15. According to estimates, the total sale of canned water in the region is about 2,000 cans per day (40,000 litres). The sale of 1-litre bottles is also catching up in the city.

Sources said that some of the companies were allegedly siphoning off canal water and filling it after filteration in the cans.

The cans supplied to the customers are sold as “mineral water” whereas the name printed on the can is “pure water”.

The residents, being unaware of the difference between mineral water and pure water and due to the shortage of drinking water, end up paying for the “potable” water.

Mr S.K. Mittal, Executive Officer, municipal council, said the council was trying to solve the problem of water shortage. The water supply to the city was based on canal system, he said.

Therefore, the availability of canal water affected the water supply. The problem of absence of water supply in Amarpura Basti of the town would be solved once the construction of the water tank was completed, Mr Mittal said.

The council was in the process of doubling the water supply and had got a loan from HUDCO for the purpose, he added.

Commenting on the water supply timings at late hours, Mr Mittal said the step had taken for the benefit of residents of far-flung areas. “Some residents have illegally installed ‘tullu’ pumps. This malpractice is being checked by the council,” he said.


19 made Addl Dist & Sessions judges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
The Punjab Governor, on the recommendation of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, has appointed four advocates as additional district and sessions judges on probation. The Governor has also appointed several additional district and Sessions Judges by way of promotions.

According to an order, the advocates appointed ADSJs are, Mr Karnail Singh Ahhi, Mr Raj Shekhar Attri, Ms Shashi Kataria and Mr Gurvinder Singh Gill.

The ADSJs appointed by way of promotion are: Jalandhar Civil Judge (Senior Division) D.R. Arora, Sangrur CJM J.S. Khushdil, Patiala Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ashok Kumar Singla, Nawanshahar CJM Gobinder Singh, Faridkot Civil Judge (Senior Division) Baldev Singh -II, Ludhiana Civil Judge (Senior Division) B.K. Mehta, Ludhiana CJM A.K. Mehta, Mansa CJM Sukhdev Singh, Hoshiarpur Civil Judge (Senior Division) Vivek Puri, Hoshiarpur CJM Archana Puri, Amritsar Civil Judge (Senior Division) Amarjot Kaur, Faridkot CJM Sukhdarshan Singh, Bathinda CJM Sanjiv Kumar, Ropar CJM Balbir Singh and Ferozepore CJM Harpreet Kaur. The Judges have been appointed on provisional basis.

Meanwhile, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has announced transfer and posting of following Judicial Officers. Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Mohinder Pal has been transferred from Ropar to Fatehgarh Sahib. ADSJ Harbans Lal has been posted from Nawanshahr to Mansa. He replaces ADSJ Sham Sunder who has been transferred to Barnala.

ADSJ J.S. Chawla has been transferred from Patiala to Moga. ADSJ Jora Singh has been transferred from Ferozepore to Kapurthala. ADSJ Chanan Singh has been shifted from Bathinda to Ferozepore.

High Court Joint Registrar (R) R.S. Sachdeva has been posted from Chandigarh to Barnala as ADSJ while ADSJ B.S. Sidhu has been transferred from Bathinda to Nawanshahr.

Mansa ADSJ A.S. Kathuria has been transferred to Ropar while ADSJ Birinder Singh has been posted from Patiala to Muktsar. ADSJ S.K. Goyal, on recall from deputation, will be posted as High Court Assistant Joint Registrar (Rules).


Need to rewrite Constitution: Kanwaljit
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 31
Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Minister for Finance, addressed a party workers meeting at Bachat Bhavan here today. The meeting was organised by Jathedar Swarn Singh Chanarthal, district president of the Shiromani Akali Dal, to mobilise workers for the forthcoming assembly elections. The call of the Finance Minister to the party workers to spread the message of the government to every nook and corner of the state is a clear indication that assembly elections are round the corner.

The Finance Minister said there was only one Akali Dal in the state and that was headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal. He told the workers the organisation was supreme and no individual was above the organisation. He said whosoever tried to dominate the organisation and projected himself above the organisation met a fate similar to that of Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra.

He said the Shiromani Akali Dal had its own programmes, policies and aims whereas no other political party had any agenda. They had a one-point programme and that was to criticise the government and oppose its development activities. He said workers were the backbone of any organisation and they play a vital role in the success of that organisation. He urged the workers to unite and highlight the achievements of the government at grassroots level.

The country can be stronger only if the states are strong. He said more amendments were required in almost every Article of our Constitution on the pattern of 73 and 74 Amendments which had given more powers to our panchayats, municipal councils and nagar panchayats. He said this while addressing members of the District Bar Association here today.

He said it was the need of the hour to rewrite the Constitution. He said legal professionals who play a vital role in the development of the country should also help to give new ideas to the government so that the demand for amendment in the Constitution may be put forcefully before the Constitution Review Committee.


MoUs on housing loans signed
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, May 31
The local improvement trust has signed memorandum of understandings (MoUs) with four different financial institutions for advancing loans for the purchase of residential flats and plots under various schemes of the trust.

The institutions are Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC), Housing Urban Development Corporation (Hudco), LIC Finance and ICICI Home Finance Co Limited. The loans will be repayable within 15 years.

These financial institutions has agreed to waive the condition of providing loan to only those, who will pledge their registered land deed with them. Instead, the loan will be sanctioned on the basis of the allotment letter issued by the trust authorities to the successful applicants.

“There will be a tripatriate agreement for sanctioning loan between the financial institutions, the Jalandhar Improvement Trust, and the allottee of the flat or plot. The allottee will have to deposit 25 per cent of the total amount with trust as down payment and the rest would be advanced by the financial institutions, the loan would be recoverable in monthly instalments within a maximum time limit of 15 years,” said Mr Sarabjit Singh Makkar, Chairman, Jalandhar Improvement Trust.

The rate of interest chargeable would range between 12 and 13 per cent per annum.

“If a person is allotted an HIG flat, costing Rs 11.50 lakh, he will have to pay a monthly instalment ranging between Rs 5500 and Rs 6000 as per the interest rate charged by the financial institution concerned within 15 years. The arrangement will help middle class families own a house without going through long bureaucratic processes to get a loan sanctioned,” Mr Makkar added.

The possession of the land will be given to the allottee within a period of two-and-a-half years.

The local Government Department had issued instructions to the improvement trust 15 days ago stating that trust should offer 5 per cent discount to the allottees of residential flats or plots, if he agreed to deposit the entire amount in lumpsum.


‘Secret pact’ between Badal, Kanshi
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, May 31
Mr Jagjit Singh, opposition leader in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, has alleged that Bahujan Samaj Party chief Kanshi Ram is playing into the hands of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and the two have made a secret political pact.

Talking to newspersons here yesterday Mr Jagjit Singh said the announcement of Mr Kanshi Ram that the BSP would contest all 117 seats indicated a secret pact between the two.

He said Mr Kanshi Ram wanted to give benefit to Akali candidates in the next Assembly elections. He claimed that the BSP had lost its credibility.

Mr Jagjit Singh claimed that the Dalits of the state were turning to the Congress as they were fed up of the BSP, the Akalis and the BJP.

Commenting on the “sangat darshan” programmes of Mr Badal, Mr Jagjit Singh said all grievances committees, planning boards and development committees had been made ineffective as the programmes had been politicised.

He alleged that Mr Badal was misusing government funds.

Replying to a question about factionalism in Congress, Mr Jagjit Singh claimed that there was complete unity in the state unit of the party.

He said the SC/BC cell of the Congress would organise a state-level rally on June 3 at Jalandhar.


BJP boycotts sangat darshan

Kapurthala, May 31
The district unit of the BJP yesterday boycotted the sangat darshan programme of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in the town to lodge its protest against the “indifferent attitude” of Punjab Transport Minister Raghbir Singh, who also represents the Kapurthala Assembly constituency as an Akali MLA. A meeting of workers and local leaders of the BJP was held at the residence of BJP state General Secretary Narottam Dev Ratti here on Tuesday evening. It was decided to boycott the sangat darshan programme of the Chief Minister as the Transport Minister had allegedly not taken local BJP leaders into confidence in making arrangements for the same.

The leaders conveyed their decision on the boycott to Deputy Commissioner V.K. Singh. Talking to mediapersons here yesterday, the Chief Minister said sangat darshan was for people from all walks of life. 


Cong to launch drive against government
Our Correspondent

Moga, May 31
Congress workers of this district has held a meeting, chaired by former MLC Jagmohan Singh. The meeting has decided to launch a drive against the ruling Akali government for its indifferent attitude towards Congressmen in the district. The meeting has constituted a three-member committee to review the situation under which false cases had been registered against Congressmen.

The meeting condemned the government for the registration of false cases against certain Congress leaders in the district and urged the government to refrain from doing so.


CM sidelining senior Akali leaders: AISSF
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, May 31
The President of the All-India Sikh Students’ Federation (AISSF), Mr Harminder Singh Gill, has criticised the SAD for its decision on the Rajya Sabha seat and termed it as an anti-Punjab step.

Addressing a press conference here yesterday, he alleged that Mr Badal had settled a deal with the BJP high command to secure a ministerial berth for his son Sukhbir Singh Badal in the Central Cabinet in lieu of the Rajya Sabha seat.

“How could a Rajya Sabha seat, which was vacated due to the election of Mr Rajmohinder Singh Majithia to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha from the Majitha Assembly constituency in February, be allotted to the BJP? This clearly reflects the intention of Mr Badal in promoting and projecting his son as the only political heir in the Punjab politics by sidelining other senior Akali leaders.” he said.


Notice to Punjab DPI (schools)
Legal Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 31
Mr Justice V.S. Aggarwal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued notice to Dr Jagtar Singh, Director Public Instructions (Schools) Punjab for September 11, 2001 to show cause why contempt proceedings be not initiated against him for the alleged violation of the High Court order of November 22, 2000 passed on a writ filed by Ms Rattan Kaur, head mistress, Government High School, Mauli Baidwan (near Mohali) in Ropar district. However, personal appearance of the respondent has been exempted till further order.

The petitioner had claimed the grant of one increment for non-participation in the strike observed on Friday 8, 1978 by the Punjab Government Employees which was denied to her on the pretext that the petitioner was working on an ad hoc basis at the relevant time. A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court vide its order of dated November 22, 2000 allowed the petition and held that the petitioner would be entitled to the premature increment for non participation in the strike held on February 8, 1978. However, she shall not be entitled to any arrears as she has approached this court at a belated stage. The benefit of premature increment/additional was directed to be implemented within three months. But even after the passage of seven months the respondents failed to comply with the above said directions which compelled the petitioner to move court for the implementation of court order.

School land sale: SSP told to probe

On a petition of Mr Rajinder Singh, resident of Chamkaur Sahib in Ropar District, seeking the registration of criminal case against Pritam Singh, a member of the SGPC and President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) Ropar district unit and against Harbans Singh Kandola manager Baba Ajit Singh Jujhar Singh Khalsa Senior Secondary School Chamkaur Sahib, Mr Justice V.M. Jain of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, directed the SSP in Ropar to get the matter inquired by a DSP and complete the probe in three months.

The petitioner contended that Harbans Singh Kandola sold the land of the school illegally to the wife of one Pritam Singh despite the fact that he was not the owner of the land. Out of the 13 kanals land so sold five kanals land was in the name of the school and eight kanals of land was on the name of the late Mr Baldev Singh, the first Defence Minister of India, who had transferred the said land to the school. The said two persons in connivance with the revenue authorities got registered the sale deed made and the land of the school was sold illegally for a small amount of Rs 3,17,500/-.

According to the petitioner the prevailing market rate is more than double of the rate charged.

The petitioner contended that since Harbans Singh Kandola had no authority to sell the said prime land to the wife of Mr Pritam Singh, out of which eight kanals land was still in the name of the late Mr Baldev Singh, the first Defence Minister of India, therefore these persons had committed a fraud whereby heavy loss has been caused to school authorities as well as to the villagers, whose children study in the school.


Plea against fund diversion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
In a petition before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, two city advocates today sought directions to the state of Punjab and four other respondents against the alleged diversion of Rs 250 crore by the Mandi Board for distribution by the Chief Minister during the Sangat Darshan. The petition is likely to come up for hearing tomorrow.

Seeking directions for declaring the alleged diversion “illegal and invalid”, Bar-at-Law Karam Chand and Anil Pal Singh Shergill stated that the Chief Minister should also “explain to the court as to how the amount was being spent without specific projects and without the prior approval of the projects by the boards”. Each penny, they asserted, should be accounted for to win public confidence.

Referring to a item published in a regional daily on May 25, the petitioners claimed that even the Chief Minister had admitted taking Rs 250 crore from the Mandi Board. They added that the Mandi Board, acting through resolutions, should also furnish a copy of the resolution vide which Rs 250 crore were sanctioned to be diverted for Sangat Darshan.

Giving details, they stated that “the Chief Minister, for the past few months, had adopted a policy of visiting most of the Assembly constituencies in Punjab under sangat darshan and had distributed approximately Rs 2 crore in each constituency among his chosen local leaders”.

They added: “The attendance in the Sangat Darshan is not open. People are invited after selection and scrutiny. The largesse is distributed among the selected leaders, some times for selected projects. Money is distributed through cheques and these are not to be cleared through the state treasury. It is obvious that amount distributed is independent of the budget and is not open to public scrutiny.”

The petitioners also sought directions against the merger of the Colonization Department with the Mandi Board. This, they added, will “put many more crores in the sangat darshan fund”.


MC chief faces no-trust motion
Tribune News Service

Gidderbaha, May 31
As many as 12 municipal councillors out of 15 have made a written request to the president of the municipal council, Mr Subash Jain, to convene a meeting for discussing and voting on the no-confidence motion moved against him by them.

Mr Jain, when contacted, said he had not received the written request of the municipal councillors and whenever he received it he would immediately fix the date for a meeting.

Mr Prithvi Raj, Regional Director, Local Bodies, Bathinda, said he had received a copy of the requisition of no-confidence motion made by the 12 municipal councillors. He added that within 14 days of receiving a copy of requisition, the president was bound to call the meeting. In case the president failed to do so, the Executive Officer of the municipal council could convene the meeting.

Information gathered by The Tribune revealed that after differences cropped up between Mr Jain and the local Akali leadership, efforts were being made to remove Mr Jain from the presidentship of the municipal council. Mr Jain, who is a close confidant of the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and local MLA, Mr Manpreet Singh Badal, did not attend the ‘sangat darshan’ programme held recently by Mr Parkash Singh Badal in his home town here.

Mr Jain alleged that some of the municipal councillors’ signatures were taken on the requisition after they were threatened with dire consequences by the ruling Akali leadership. He added that some of the municipal councillors had been promised “favours”.

He said the issue of his continuing as the president of the municipal council would be decided only through voting. He claimed that out of the 12 MCs who had put their signatures on the requisition of a no-confidence motion, two belonged to the Congress. He added that it would not be easy to remove him from the post of president as he was duly elected for the post by the same municipal councillors. He said the development works in the town were proceeding unaffected.

Those who had put their signatures on the requisition of a no-confidence motion included Mr Mangat Rai, Mr Parveen Kumar, Mr Sarup Chand, Mr Gurmeet Mann, Mr Ashok Butranwala, Mr Jasveer Singh, Mr Raj Kumar Chottian, Mr Hari Chand, Mrs Gurdev Kaur, Mrs Darshana Devi and one other, said Mr Pritvi Raj.

He added that to pass the no-confidence motion, two-third majority was needed. To move the no-confidence motion, the required number of municipal councillors should be one-third of the total strength of the House.


PRTC management seeks staff support
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 31
The Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) management today asked the employees of the corporation not to resort to unnecessary strikes and dharnas and rather co-operate with the management in the proper functioning of the corporation.

Issuing a press note, the PRTC said the corporation was already running through financial crisis. The corporation said the recent hike in diesel price had put an additional burden of Rs 60 lakh per month while there was no corresponding increase in the fare.

The Managing Director Mr H.S Sidhu stated that it had recently accepted various demands of the employees comprising two per cent hike in Dearness Allowance with effect from May 1, increase in City Compensatory Allowance, implementation of Assured Carrier Progression Scheme in order to remove stagnation in various categories of employees and ordering the promotion of various categories of employees.

The corporation claimed that the long-standing demand of allowing Rural Area Allowance to the employees of PRTC , Budhlada is also under active consideration. It added that recruitments of the drivers and conductors had also been done in the recent past which helped in the improvement of the financial condition of the Corporation. Mr Sidhu appealed to the employees not to disturb the on-going process for their personal interests by resorting to dharna and strikes.

Meanwhile, issuing another press note, the PRTC Officers Association President Mr Pradeep Sachdeva said that the work of inducting new buses in the existing fleet was nearly complete.

He added that recently more than 400 youths had been recruited as drivers and conductors. Mr Sachdeva urged upon the employees not to adopt agitational means.


Civil-military liaison conference held
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 31
To strengthen the existing mutual relations and develop coordination between Army and civil authorities an annual civil-military liaison conference was held in Bathinda military station today.

Deputy Commissioners and police chiefs of Bathinda, Mansa, Ferozepore and Faridkot districts and senior Army officers participated. The conference was presided over by Maj-Gen R.K. Kaushal, Chief of Staff, Corps, Headquarters. Maj-Gen Kaushal, while addressing the conference, underscored the need to further enhance mutual understanding and cooperation in matters needing an intergrated response. He stressed upon all participants the importance of close coordination on important issues relating to the changed security environment, militant activities, growth of drug mafia, assistance to families and dependants of martyrs and unresolved issues pretaining to ex-servicemen, serving soldiers and widows.

Col K.P.S. Khadi, while talking to TNS, said discussion was held on the sharing of resources under civil and military establishments in natural emergencies and help of civil administration in the Army recruitment rallies.

The Deputy Commissioners and district police chiefs, while giving out their perception of security environment in their respective districts, assured wholehearted cooperation to the Army to meet any contingency, ensuring a safe and secure environment and offered all possible assistance to resolve problems of soldiers, ex-servicemen and widows.


Ranjit Singh Bagh to get new look
Our Correspondent

Ropar, May 31
The Punjab Government has decided to develop the historically significant place related to Maharaja Ranjit Singh at Ropar, into a tourist attraction.

A team of architects, including the Chief Architect, Punjab Mr B.K. Luthra, Ms Sumit and Mr K.G. Nanchahal, visited the site of the proposed project here yesterday. They presented a model of the project, proposed to be developed at Maharaja Ranjit Singh Bagh here, to the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, Mr G.S. Grewal.

The Deputy Commissioner told this correspondent that the Punjab Government had decided to develop the site due to its historical significance. As per the historical facts by the year 1831 Maharaja Ranjit Singh had built an extensive kingdom, including Multan and Punjab. He wanted to expand his dominion over Sind also, which was a rich state and a gateway to the west. In this backdrop, a historical meeting was held at Ropar, on the banks of Sutlej, between the maharaja and Lord William Bentinck the meeting was held on October 31, he said.

Later, Mr Luthra, explaining the details of the proposed project to mediapersons, said about 2 acre Maharaja Ranjit Singh Bagh here would be given a new look. 7-foot high statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh mounted on a horse would be developed on a high pedestal of stones in the centre of the park. The high pedestal of the Maharaja would depict his position as a conqueror. The history and achievement of various Sikh misls of the maharaja would be engraved on the sides of the pedestal. Water and musical fountains would surround the statue.

In addition to it, an open-air theatre would be developed in the background of the statue. Provisions would be made to organise light and sound shows there, Mr Luthra said.

The Deputy Commissioner said the rendezvous of the maharaja and Lord Bentinck would also be widened. The architects would submit a proposal regarding it very soon and the estimated budget proposals would be sent to the government for approval.


Thermal plant wall collapses
Squall hits Lehra Mohabbat
Chander Parkash and Pushpesh Kumar

Lehra Mohabbat, May 31
Kuldeep Singh, an employee of a cold store, was severely injured after the roof of his room collapsed. A number of trees and electricity poles were uprooted. Also, a section of the boundary wall of Guru Hargobind Thermal Plant (GHTP), a section of the railing of the lake of the thermal plant and boundary wall of a few other houses in this village collapsed following a squall that his this pocket around 4.30 p.m.

Official sources said so far, the actual loss could not be ascertained and the area of the Lehra Mohabbat thermal plant and the village where the squall had hit was being surveyed.

Sources added that roofs of some of the sheds located in the thermal plant were also blown away.

Sources said the squall hit a region measuring 2-5 p.m. As the electricity poles got uprooted a major portion of the villages surrounding the thermal plant were facing power failure.

Sources said Kuldip Singh, an employee of a cold store located in this village, was severely injured when the roof of the room in which he was living caved in.

Initial information gathered from the spot by TNS revealed sheds of various dhabas dotting the Bhucho-Lehra Mohabbat section of the Bathinda-Barnala main road were also damaged. A number of trees which were located alongside the road were also uprooted and caused traffic blockade at a number of places. However, the administration took the help of villagers to clear the traffic blockades.

Information revealed the boundary wall of the thermal plant collapsed from 11 places. Certain sheds constructed in front of the house of various employees of the thermal plant in the staff colony were also damaged in the squall which struck the region for about 10 minutes.

Even various goods lying on the rooftops were blown away at considerable distance. The boards hanging in front of many shops in the region also collapsed.

The boundary wall of a local public school, graveyard and civil dispensary also collapsed while the roofs of the first storey of the house belonging to Mr Raj Singh and Mr Sat Pal Singh also blow away.

Power supply to Lehra Mohabbat, Lehra Sondha and Lehra Dhurkot villages had been cut.


‘Ganda nala’ needs attention
Anita Tayal

Patiala, May 31
The city’s Municipal Corporation has been incapable of installing Hume Pipes in the “ganda nala” (as it is popularly known as) once proposed by the corporation. Residents have complained that no directives are enforced despite the fact that the corporation is well-aware of the problem.

The project worth Rs 10 crore was proposed last year. Upon the recommendations of the state government, the corporation had decided to install the hume pipes after a detailed study of the ‘nala’. Under the scheme, the entire ‘nala’ was proposed to be covered with the hume pipes thereby restraining the garbage within the pipes.

The scheme was welcomed by the residents thinking that the establishment of such pipes will put an end to squalid conditions prevailing in and around the ‘nala’. However, nothing fruitful has been done in this regard. The Municipal Commissioner, Mr K.S.Kang, when contacted, said that, “The approval of the scheme depend upon government funds as the corporation was unable to undertake such a big project on its own.”

Mr Kang said, “Since the scheme is not revenue earning in nature and is only meant for public interest exercise, the problem lies in getting the loans sanctioned for the proposal.” He added that the ‘nala’ could be covered under some World Bank project as had been done in case of the ‘nala’ in Ludhiana.

The ‘nala’ is extended almost over the entire core areas of the city stretching few kilometres from 21 number phatak, Phowara Chowk and Behra Road, Anardana Chowk on one side and passing through Sabzi Mandi, Ragho Majra, Kadah Walah Chowk, Sanauri Adda and finally dumping into the Badi Nadi.

The residents, specially of Sabzi Mandi, have shown concern claiming that the garbage is so much extended over the road that it hardly leaves place for pedestrians. Shopkeepers are especially falling prey to the degraded condition of the ‘nala’. The residents feel that the corporation needs to assess the pace of development of the ‘nala’ by accelerating measures for installing the hume pipes.

According to Manu, a shopkeeper, “The shoemakers and grocery sellers litter their waste here and there giving a tatty look to the ‘nala’. Even the Municipal Corporation shows slow move in cleaning the entire mess accumulated around the ‘nala’.” He said, “The operation of cleaning usually takes more 20 days and thereafter the garbage is left along the berms of the ‘nala’. He added that as a result of this unhygienic conditions prevail thereby leading to a number of diseases.

Elfy, a student, said, “During monsoons the condition is extremely pathetic when the water level in the ‘nala’ rises and residents have to wade knee-deep through the way to reach their destination.”

Babu Ram, another resident of the area, claims that the corporation was making no plans in order to clean the drains. He added that the scheme of installing of the hume pipes must be launched at the earliest so that the residents are relieved of a major problem.

Ramesh Kumar, a tea seller, said, “The ‘nala’ needs a prime attention and preventive measures should be taken by the corporation either to install the hume pipes or cover the ‘nala’ so that the normal lives are not caught in any mishappenings.”


ESI fails to reimburse treatment cost
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 31
In a letter to Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab, Mr Satya Pal Dang, veteran CPI leader, has taken up a case of critically ill Ms Shanti Devi, wife of Mr Babu Ram, who is working in a woollen mill at Chheharta.

Babu Ram is insured under the ESI scheme. Ms Shanti Devi is undergoing post kidney transplant treatment at the PGI, in Chandigarh. The treatment being expensive and Babu Ram’s salary being just Rs 2,000 per month, it is difficult for Babu Ram to pay for the treatment. He has already incurred a debt of Rs 70,520. Mr Dang has alleged that despite the ESI scheme being contributory and entitles the insured person and his family to the reimbursement of medical bills, the Health Department and the government has done little to help the distressed family. He has said despite his taking up the case with the Health Department and the government, Babu Ram has still not got the payment even against sanctioned bills.


First AC coach for defence personnel
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, May 31
The local Rail Coach Factory (RCF) today rolled out first airconditioned coach for the exclusive use of the defence personnel.

Maj Gen P. Dutta visited the factory to take delivery of the first coach manufactured by the factory within two months. He also flagged off the first coach.

The General Manager of the factory, Mr K.R. Govindarajan, said the RCF had received an order to manufacture 16 airconditioned coaches at the cost of Rs 14.92 crore. He said the remaining 15 coaches would be delivered within six months.

The coaches have improved interiors like screwless internal panelling and snack tables for side berths.


ISRT conference
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 31
Efforts are afoot to hold the annual conference of the Indian Society of Radiological Technologists (ISRT) at Amritsar in 2002.

The executive committee meeting of the Punjab State Health Department Radiographers Association was held yesterday to chalk out the programme for the conference.

The meeting also decided on the participation at this years ISRT Conference to be held in Mumbai from September 29 to October 1.


DC visits flood-prone areas
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 31
Mr Sarvjit Singh, Deputy Commissioner, yesterday visited flood-prone areas in Moonak subdivision of the district and assured residents that the administration was fully committed to their welfare.

He visited Moonak, Mandvi, Chandu, Andana, Banarsi, Baopur and Bhunder Bhaini villages. He also visited Karrail Bundh, Ring Bundh at Surjan Bhaini village and the Jhambo choe which were badly affected by floods every year.


IMA for ban on tabacco ad
Tribune Reporters

Sangrur, May 31
On the occassion of World No Tabacco Day; the Punjab unit of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) today urged the Union Government to enforce the recently passed Anti-Smoking Bill in letter and in spirit to ban smoking at public places and sale of tobacco products to children below the age of 18.

In a press note issued here today, Dr Surinder Singla, press and public relations secretary of the association, demanded a ban on advertisements of tobacco products and sponsorship of sports and cultural events by cigarette and tobacco companies.


Bandh observed
Our Correspondent

Mansa, May 31
On a call of the local Beopar Mandal, a bandh was observed yesterday. All shops and business premises in the town remained closed. The Beopar Mandal held the bandh to express solidarity with members of the Punjab Seeds, Pesticides and Fertilisers Association (PSPFA), who have been on a dharna since Monday in protest against the “high handedness” of activists of the Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta). Workers of the BKU (E) have also been on a dharna in front of the police station since Monday. According to them, a member of the PSPFA allegedly supplied them with spurious hybrid seed of cotton and narma. They also alleged that its members often did not issue bills against the items purchased from them.

Meanwhile, members of the PSPFA from all over Punjab today flocked to the city on a call by their local association. The district administration made efforts to get the issue settled amicably, but in vain.


Appointment resented
Our Correspondent

Mansa, May 31
Resentment prevails among residents of the town and vicinity against the appointment of Ms Bhupinder Kaur, District Education Officer (Secondary), as Chairman of the Elementary Teachers Training Selection Committee for Patiala, Sangrur and Mansa districts.

A criminal case under Section 3 of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, was registered against her. Apart from that, inquiries relating to charges of irregularities and offences of serious nature against her are pending. 


Minister’s assurance to ayurvedic doctors
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 31
Punjab Health Minister Baldev Raj Chawla has assured the ayurvedic doctors that their problems would be solved on priority basis and their genuine demands would be considered.

In a press note issued has today, Mr S.S. Romana, senior vice-president, Punjab Ayurvedic Medical Services Association, said a deputation of the association met the minister on May 29 and submitted a memorandum. It contained demands for quashing appointment orders of four doctors, appointment of a PCS officer as Director, Ayurveda a decentralisation of licensing authority at district level and status of drug inspector to ayurvedic medical officers, inquiry into purchase of medicines by the higher authorities and into all other irregularities.


DBA seeks alternate chambers for lawyers
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 31
The District Bar Association (DBA) today said advocates should be provided alternate chambers before the demolition of their existing chambers.

A memorandum in this regard was presented to the Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, by the president of the association, Mr Balbir Singh Billing, and the secretary, Mr Wirsa Singh Waraich, at a sangat darshan programme here.

As per the memorandum, the association demanded initiation of steps for the construction of chambers for the lawyers. They said the new Judicial Complex was being constructed at a good speed due to the efforts of Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Punjab Finance Minister, and was expected to be completed before the end of March 2002.

The association said the lawyers were apprehensive that their chambers may be demolished any time in order to complete the Judicial Complex.


FCI workers flay dist manager
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 31
The Food Corporation of India Staff Union district committee today condemned the dictatorial attitude of the district manager of FCI towards the employees.

The committee demanded that the district manager should stop the transfer of employees to far-off places, chargesheeting of employees without following any norms, objections raised against filework and hiring of godowns without undertaking rules and regulations. It said if the demands were not fulfilled, the committee would hold a protest rally on June 6 in front of the district office here.


Promotion of medical teachers justified
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 31
The Punjab Civil Medical Services Association, (PCMSA) yesterday maintained that the promotion of two assistant professors under the post partum programme sponsored by the Central Government in the state medical colleges was fully justified as per the rules.

Dr M.S. Randhawa, Dr D.S. Gill and Dr Manjit Singh, patron, president and general secretary of the association in a joint statement issued here today clarified that the PCMSA had nothing to do with certain statements issued recently, which were done only with the purpose of settling personal scores.

Enquiries revealed that even the Medical Teachers Association had not objected to these promotions of non-medical teachers as these neither affected medical teachers nor the PCMS doctors.

These non-medical posts were sanctioned under the National Family Welfare Programme, which was fully financed and sponsored by the Union Government.

Acting on the recommendation of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, the Punjab Government has been upgrading these posts in the Post Partum Family Welfare Programme from time to time.

The Medical Education Department had upgraded the posts in 1995 when Mrs Sarla Manchanda working as lecturer in health education was promoted to assistant professor in Government Medical College, Amritsar.

Similiar promotions had also been welcomed in the past by the lecturers in the Department of Radiology and Physiology.

The association also disclosed that these posts were created with the motive to remove stagnation and to encourage specially qualified teachers to promote the National Family Welfare Programme.

The selection on these posts were governed by the rules approved by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

The prescribed minimum qualification for the posts of lecturer in statistics and demography as prescribed by the Government of India, Health and Family Welfare are master’s degree in subjects concerned with diploma in demography and three years’ research or teaching experience.

The association added that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had been expressing its displeasure to the state government and union territories for not taking steps to remove the stagnated staff working in the medical colleges under the post partum programme ‘leading to frustration among those concerned.

The ministry also recommended the upgradation of the existing post of lecturer to assistant professor in order to strengthen the post partum programme and thereby helping the implementation of the family welfare programme.


Development grants given
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 31
A cheque for Rs 4.25 crore was given by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Punjab Chief Minister, for the development purposes of Sanaur block of Dakala area with the recommendations of 61 panchayat authorities.

Another cheque for Rs 1.68 crore was given for the development of village dharamshalas and roads. A grant of Rs 33.75 lakh was given for the development and repair of the various school buildings. Mr Badal said six roads would be laid down in Sanaur block and a sum of Rs 1.29 crore would be spent for the purpose.

Additional amounts of Rs 9 lakh and Rs 8 lakh each were given under the Indira Awas Yojna Scheme and Shartiya Rojgar Scheme, respectively. Mr Badal said the work must be completed before the arrival of monsoons. He also gave a grant of Rs 50 lakh for the development of nagar council, Sanaur, out of which Rs 23 lakh would be spent for cleaning the dirty water of the area.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Badal said a special scheme had been introduced for the cleaning of dirty water available in the villages of Punjab, on which about Rs 100 crore would be spent. He assured that the selected authorities under the sangat darshan programme would look after the development works going about in the villages.

Mr Badal also asked the gram panchayats to submit the reports regarding the shamlat lands so that the needy schedule castes could be allotted plots on those lands. Talking to reporters, Mr Badal said the people speaking against the sangat darshan programmes should give consideration to various development works that had taken place during the past four years.

He said by holding the sangat darshan programmes, about 90 per cent of the development work as well as the grievances of the people were heard and justice was done to them. He said the programme was beyond political influence and the sole aim was on improving the condition of the people.


Under Secy booked for forging letter
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 31
Mr Dev Kumar Arya, Under Secretary, Guru Hargobind Thermal Plant (GHTP), Lehra Mohabat, has been booked in a criminal case for allegedly forging an appointment letter for getting a job for his son, Mr Rakesh Kumar Arya, in the GHTP.

Police sources said Mr Dev Kumar Arya forged the signatures of the Chairman of the Punjab Electricity Board (PSEB) and other senior functionaries to fabricate a fake appointment letter, for his son.

Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, SSP, in a press note issued here today, said Mr Dev Kumar Arya went to the house of the General Manager of the GHTP on January 30 and showed him a letter regarding the appointment of his son on a work charge basis.

The General Manager, Mr Subash Bansal, initiated the process of appointment and Mr Rakesh Kumar Arya joined duty in the B and M section of the GHTP on February 1, 2001.

Meanwhile, a news item regarding appointments in the PSEB appeared in a Punjabi daily a few days ago and the PSEB authorities sought a report on it from the management of the GHTP.

Before the appointments could be scanned, Mr Dev Kumar Arya put forward the resignation of his son.

When the facts regarding the appointment of Mr Rakesh Kumar Arya were verified, it came to light that the signatures put on the ‘appointment letter’ by the Chairman and other officials were forged.

On the basis of the forgery, a case under Sections 420, 468, 467, 471 and 120-B was registered at the Nathana police station.

No arrest had so far been made in this connection.

The SSP said in another case, two persons namely Surinder Singh Chinda and Lal Ji, alias Lalli were arrested for allegedly making threatening and obnoxious calls to a teacher, Ms Vijay Kumari, residing at Bhucho Kalan.


Policeman named in rape case
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, May 31
On a complaint by a married woman of Chak Raju Singh village, the Hariana police has registered a case of abduction, conspiracy and rape against a policeman and four others.

In her complaint to the SSP, Hoshiarpur, the complainant had alleged that about three months ago while she was waiting for a bus at Girtijia village, Charanjit Singh, alias Sita, a police employee, and Parminder Singh, alias Laddi, forcibly put her in a Tata Estate car and took her to Singriwala village near Hoshiarpur. There she was made to drink a liquid which made her unconscious after which she was raped.

She said she did not disclose this incident to her family as she had been threatened against it. No arrest has been made in this connection so far.


Suspect admits to rape, murder
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, May 31
The mystery shrouding the murder of nine-year-old Vibha Paswan was solved today with the arrest of Lal Paswan, who admitted to have raped her and later thrown the body in a pit near Government Senior Secondary School for Boys, Fazilka.

According to Mr Harchand Singh Sidhu, SSP, Lal Paswan, who was apprehended by the police under dubious circumstances confessed during interrogation that on the evening of May 12, he took Vibha to the roof of the school building where he raped her after tying her hands.

Apprehending that she might narrate the incident to her parents, Lal Paswan became panicky and threw her down from the roof. He dragged Vibha’s body into a pit and covered it with garbage.

According to Mr Ajay Maluja, DSP, Fazilka, the body of Vibha was traced by her father, Laxmi Paswan. The police was informed and the body, which was in a decomposed state, was taken out in the presence of the tehsildar.


Chowkidar held on rape, murder charges
Tribune News Service

Fazilka, May 31
The police has arrested Lal Paswan, a chowkidar in the government school, in connection with the murder of a teenaged girl. In a press note issued here today, Mr Ajay Maluja, DSP, said after receiving information that a teenaged had gone missing the police registered a report on May 14. The girl, daughter of a migrant labourer, was first raped and then killed by the accused Lal Paswan.

After killing her, the accused threw the dead body in the sewerage tank. Mr Maluja said on May 12, the victim went to the house of the accused to play with his four children. At about 8 p.m. the accused told his wife that he was going to leave the girl to her house.

Instead of taking her home, the accused took her to the roof of administrative block of the government school in which he was working as chowkidar, where he raped the girl. When the deceased raised the alarm the accused threw her from the roof. 


Good show in exams by Patiala schools
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 31
Students of various schools affiliated to CBSE have shown excellent results. Girls of these schools have outshined boys. The Class X result declared a few days before has made the teachers as well as parents proud of their wards.

The Buddha Dal Public School gave a brilliant 100 per cent result. Out of a total of 159 students, Parneet Mavi stood first not only in the Class X exams by securing 91.4% but was also first in the district. Punashish stood, second, securing 91% marks, while Goldendeep got the third position with 90.8 % marks. Simran Sharma got the fourth position with a rare margin of 90.6% marks.

Giving this information, Ms H.K. Sandhu, Principal of the school, said that four students got above 90% marks in aggregate, 43 students got above 80% marks, 47 student got above 70% marks while 37 students got above 60% marks in Class X examinations.

In the individual category, Gagandeep Singh topped in English subject securing 93% marks, Parneet stood first in Hindi with 89%, Punashish and Pawan shared the top position in maths by securing 93%, Simran got 97% in science, Raman and Simran shared the top position in social studies securing 96% marks.

The DAV Public School, too, gave a 100 per cent result with Prasun Gupta and Mrinal Mohindra having acquired the first position by securing 91% marks in aggregate.

Gitanjali Aggarwal, of the Our Lady of Fatima Convent Secondary School, secured 91.2% marks and stood second in Patiala in the CBSE Class X examination. Mohit Garg stood second with 89.6% marks while Karanpreet stood third securing 89% marks.

Individual subject wise, Priyank Arora stood first in English securing 93%, Aditi Kapoor stood first position in Hindi securing 91%, Mohit Garg stood first in mathematics securing 98%, Karanpreet Bhutani and Jyotisterna Mittal shared the first position securing 100% marks in science and Neha Kapoor and Gitanjali Aggarwal shared the first position in social studies by securing 93% marks.

Gaurav Sharma of St. Peter’s Academy stood first in the school securing 91% marks in Class X CBSE examinations. He has also stood third in Patiala district after Parneet Mavi and Gitanjali Aggarwal, who stood first and second, respectively.

Meanwhile, in the ISC +2 exams of the Yadavindra Public School, out of 97 students who appeared for the exams, 17 students brought laurels to the school by securing distinction, that is, getting above 75 per cent marks. 58 students got the first division while the others got the second division.

In the ICSE exams, out of a total of 134 students who appeared for the exams, 125 secured the first division while seven others bagged the second division. 15 students secured above 90 % marks in aggregate. Rupakshi Goel stood first with 95.4% marks, Ankur Mohindroo stood second with 94.2 % marks while Abhinav Sharma secured the third position with 93.6 % marks.


Girls top in B.Sc, BA-I exams
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 31
Nisha Jain of HMV Jalandhar, and Shruti Khanna of BBK DAV College for Women, Amritsar have topped in BA Part-I and B.Sc Part-I examinations conducted by Guru Nanak Dev University in April-May this year, respectively. The results of these examinations were declared here yesterday by the university.

Nisha Jain topped the merit list of BA-I securing 631 marks out of 800 while Damanjit Kaur of SR Government College for Women, Amritsar, stood second obtaining 628 marks, Puja Rani of SD College for Women, Jalandhar, was third securing 627 marks.

Similarly in B.Sc-I examination, Shruti Khanna stood first getting 635 out of 800 marks while Alka Arora of HMV, Jalandhar, and Suvidha of BBK DAV College for Women, Amritsar, were second and third, securing 630 and 622 marks respectively.

Dr R.S. Bawa, registrar while giving details said in BA-I, 32,472 candidates took the examination and 10,951 were declared pass. In B.Sc-I 3,400 candidates appeared out of whom 1,827 got through.


VC flouting rules: PUTA
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 31
A large number of teachers from the Punjabi University Teachers Association (PUTA), who are agitating against the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, and constituents of the United Teachers Front, who are in his favour, waited patiently this morning seeking an audience with the Chief Minister at his ‘sangat darshan’ function.

Later in the day, Minister Ajaib Singh Mukhmailpur fixed an appointment for a section of the teachers with the Chief Minister at 4 p.m. However the teachers could not meet the Chief Minister due to shortage of time.

The PUTA President, Dr Bhupinder Singh Khaira, said a delegation of PUTA which wanted to apprise the Chief Minister of the alarming developments in the university could not do so due to paucity of time and a heavy rush of people seeking appointments with Mr Badal. He said the delegation wanted to apprise the Chief Minister of the latest developments on the campus following an appeal by the Chief Minister to both sides to exercise restraint. Dr Khaira said they wanted to inform Mr Badal that the VC continued to ride rough shod over rules and regulations and that he had, in a latest attempt, tried to usurp the powers of the Research Board of the institution to “blackmail” the Higher Education Minister.

Representatives of the United Teachers Front, including Dr Manjit Singh, said three to four members were able to have a word with the Chief Minister. Dr Manjit Singh said the Chief Minister, however, told them to come to Chandigarh to meet him.


Teachers’ bodies flay Pbi varsity VC
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 31
The Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union (PCCTU) took a serious note of the recent developments in Punjabi University.

Dr Hari Singh Brar, president, Punjab Agriculture University Teachers Association (PAUTA), Prof K.B.S. Sodhi, president, PCCTU and Prof Jaipal Singh, president, Government College Teachers Association (GCTA), called upon intellectuals in the state to raise voice against the “fascist designs” of the Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia.

The leaders alleged that by victimising Punjabi University teachers’ leaders including Dr Bhupinder Singh Khaira, Dr Sucha Singh Gill and Prof U.C. Singh, the Vice-Chancellor was making an ugly attempt to weaken the teachers’ movement.

The leaders have urged the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal to intervene and save the university. 

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