Wednesday, June 20, 2001, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Giani Kewal Singh not to step down
Jaswinder Paul Singh and Pushpesh Kumar

Talwandi Sabo, June 19
Giani Kewal Singh, Jathedar, Takht Damdama Sahib, said today that he would not step down from the post of Jathedar even though a demand for the same was coming in from various religious and political quarters.

Giani Kewal Singh, along with his son Barjinder Singh and a relative Joginder Kaur, has been facing trial in the local court in connection with a criminal case registered against the three under Sections 304-B and 34 of the IPC for the death of his daughter-in-law, Sharanjit Kaur. He said he had been entrusted with the responsibility of managing the affairs of Takht Damdama Sahib and that he would continue to do so.

When asked whether he would resign if the Sikh Sangat so demanded, he said only the appointing authority, the SGPC, could ask for the same. When asked whether he would resign if asked to do so by the SGPC, he kept mum.

It may be mentioned here that the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has already said that it is up to Giani Kewal Singh to resign or not. Mr Badal has also said that the matter relating to the resignation of Giani Kewal Singh does not fall in his purview. He has said that if the Jathedar does not resign, then the SGPC has the powers to take a decision in this connection.

Meanwhile, members of various Sikh organisations attending the “Path Bodh” at Takht Damdama Sahib staged a protest dharna yesterday and today demanding that the Jathedar should resign. They said they would continue the stir till the conclusion of the programme on June 28.

Granthi Sabha members said they would meet Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, president of the SGPC, after June 28 and urge him to ask the Jathedar to submit his resignation.

Some SGPC members, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Jathedar should resign. They said that if Giani Kewal Singh was acquitted, he could then be reinstalled as Jathedar but until the case was in court, he should not remain at his post.

Giani Kewal Singh said the agitation of those attending the Path Bodh was of no significance. He did not reply when asked if it was justified that those who had gathered for a religious purpose should indulge in such an activity.

Although the organisers of the Path Bodh claimed that they had nothing to do with the demonstration against the Jathedar, they did not reply as to why they were allowing those attending the function to participate in the stir.


Rival Akali groups form front
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Monsooran (Ludhiana), June 19
Unity between various splinter Akali groups is understood to have been finalised. The formal announcement is expected to be made shortly at Akal Takht after proper prayers, jointly by the leaders of these groups. This unity was finalised at a meeting of the representatives of these groups held here today at the headquarters of Sant Samaj led by Baba Sarabjot Singh Bedi, who has been appointed as the convener.

Although it was a closed-door meeting, sources said, it was attended by representatives of all groups. While Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal and Mr Sukdev Singh Bhaur represented the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) was represented by Mr Charan Singh Lohara and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Panthic) was represented by Mr Jasbir Singh Rode. Mr Ravi Inder Singh also attended the meeting which was chaired by Baba Sarabjot Singh Bedi. However, Mr Kuldeep Singh Wadala, leader of the Akali Dal (Democratic) did not attend the meeting. He is reported to have conveyed his message and reasons for his absence while extending support to the unity.

The sources said the meeting was mainly called for removing various hurdles that had cropped up during the process. Earlier, it had been decided that a 13-member steering committee would be constituted with Baba Sarabjot Singh as its convener. While four representatives were to be taken from the SHSAD and SAD (Amritsar) each, four were jointly to be nominated by Mr Rode, Mr Wadala and Mr Ravi Inder Singh with Baba Sarabjot Singh as the thirteenth member and the convener.

The meeting, the sources revealed, had been held to bridge gaps and it had achieved its aim. It has reportedly been agreed that the united Panthic Front which would be named later will fight the elections jointly under the bullock cart, symbol of the SAD (A). Besides, a common programme is also being drawn up.

Making it clear that there would be no truck with the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), the sources disclosed that it had been agreed in principle that the Panthic Front would have seat adjustment with the Lok Bhalai Party of Mr B.S. Ramoowalia, the Bahujan Samaj Party and others. The sources did not rule out even the strategic seat arrangement with the Congress.

Sources close to the SHSAD leader, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, revealed that he had given considerable time to Mr Badal for a rapprochement. The sources said, even the broad-based Panthic unity had not materialised, the unity between the SHSAD and the SAD(A) was a foregone conclusion.


Crucial SGPC meeting tomorrow
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 19
The Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) will raise the issue of the call for forging “panthic unity” given by Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, at the SGPC executive meeting being held on June 21 at Patiala.

The executive members belonging to the SHSAD will also seek the immediate suspension of Dr Gurbachan Singh Bachan, secretary, SGPC, who has gone abroad to attend a “peace conference,” allegedly without delegating his powers to any official. Mr Onkar Singh Sharifpura, an executive member, alleged that the working of the SGPC had virtually come to a standstill in the absence of the secretary. He alleged that it was for the first time that a secretary had gone abroad without delegating powers to anybody. More than 600 items passed during the previous meeting could not be implemented in his absence, he said.

Mr Sharifpura said that though Dr Bachan was facing serious charges, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), was shielding him.

The SHSAD members will also ask the executive committee to request the Jathedar, Akal Takht, not to act in a “partisan way.” Mr Sharifpura said it was highly objectionable that while making a call for panthic unity, the Jathedar had alleged that rival Akali factions were devoid of any “panthic agenda.” He said the SHSAD members were of the view that the Sikh clergy should mete out equal treatment to all panthic parties.

Mr Sharifpura said he would also ask the executive committee to force Giani Kewal Singh to resign as Jathedar, Takht Damdama Sahib, even though the District Sessions Judge, Bathinda, had stayed the orders of Civil Judge, Talwandi Sabo, in which he had issued non-bailable warrants against the Jathedar. Mr Sharifpura said Giani Kewal Singh should resign on moral grounds.

The significant agenda items to be discussed at the meeting include the ways and means to publish the Guru Granth Sahib in the UK and the USA. Another item is the issue of “Saachi Saakhi,” authored by late Sardar Kapur Singh. Bibi Kiranjot Kaur, general secretary, SGPC, had sought a ban on the publication of a new edition of the book as it carried “objectionable” material against her maternal grand- father, Master Tara Singh. The Dharam Parchar Committee of the SGPC had recommended the publication of the new edition. The SGPC executive could not discuss the issue at the previous meeting.

Mr Sharifpura said the executive members of the SHSAD would also seek a report on the carrying of a hand-written Guru Granth Sahib to Canada without permission. It was alleged that Jathedar Vedanti himself was instrumental in handing over the “bir” to Canada-based Balbir Singh Changiara.


SGPC probe report in a week
Our Correspondent

Anandpur Sahib, June 19
The SGPC team investigating the corruption charges against the management of Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib will submit its report within a week. The supervisor of the investigating team, Mr Mohinder Singh, while talking to this correspondent, said the detailed report of the investigation into the purchases made in the past five years by the Takht management would be presented to the SGPC President, Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi.

The matter of corruption in purchases came to the fore when the allegations of a local shopkeeper, Tarsem Lal, were reported in a section of the Press. He got hold of the bill books through which the Takht authorities allegedly made payments to bogus firms for the purchase of grocery items. The SGPC President ordered a probe into these charges.

Tarsem Lal alleged that as per the bill books in his possession, grocery items worth Rs 3,03,862 were bought by the Takht authorities in a period of two months from a local shop, M/s Jeewan Lal Kariana Stores. However, no such shop existed in Anandpur Sahib, he claimed.

The Takht authorities had actually been purchasing grocery items from a local shop, Lela Ram Jagan Nath Kariana Stores, for the past 10 years. However, the bills were being raised in the name of “fake” firms. As per the procedure adopted by the SGPC, at least two quotations are needed for any purchase. However, in this case, both quotations were from fake firms, he alleged.

Tarsem Lal also alleged that in many cases foodgrains were purchased in bulk from Lela Ram Jagan Nath Stores even though the shopkeeper did not have the licence to store foodgrains in bulk. No shopkeeper could store and sell foodgrains in excess of 25 quintals without getting a licence from the Food and Civil Supplies Department, he added.

Meanwhile, the SGPC authorities have stopped making purchases from local shopkeepers of Anandpur Sahib following the corruption charges. The move is evoking criticism from local traders who have alleged that they are being victimised for no fault of theirs.

Sources said Mr Mohinder Singh had left Anandpur Sahib to brief the SGPC President about the preliminary findings of the team.


Rekha, Amitabh favourites in Pak
Our Correspondent

Wagah (Amritsar), June 19
“Film actress Rekha and actor Amitabh Bachchan are still favourites among Pakistanis”, said Laila, Pakistani actress.

Laila, along with five other famous artistes of Pakistan, including Khwaja Parvez, Parveen Mehru, Iqbal Bhaoo, a sufi singer, famous comedian of Pakistan Hassan Abbas and singer Jawad Ahmad, came here today on an invitation by the Aalmi Punjabi Parivar, an Indo-Pak Cultural Exchange Organisation headed by former minister Harnek Singh Gharuan.

An exhausted Laila, who had completed three shooting shifts, was enthusiastic to be in India for the first time. She enlisted Aamir Khan and Kajol as top favourites among Bollywood stars in the new generation.

Talking to this correspondent, she said she would perform a dance on a famous ghazal by Noorjahan. “It is not after Kaun Banega Crorepati where Amitabh Bachchan resumed his appeal, he has always been the most favourite actor among Pakistanis, especially Punjabis”, she reiterated.

The 19-member Pakistan cultural delegation with chef-de-mission as former manager and vice-president of Pakistan hockey team, Mr Parvez Bhandara, was accompanied by showbiz special reporter for “The Jung” newspaper, Tahir Sarvar Mir, were here to proceed to Chandigarh to perform at a function organised in the memory of Noorjahan, a famous Pakistani ghazal singer.

Talking to newspersons, Jawad Ahmad said, “My only reason for this trip to India is to be a part of the memorial function of Noorjahan who is one of my favourite singers”.


Tension over demolition drive
Mayor seeks MC chief’s suspension
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 19
The discord between the Mayor of the local municipal corporation, Mr Suresh Sehgal, and the Commissioner, Dr Roshan Sunkaria reached a flashpoint today with the former demanding that the Commissioner be suspended immediately for bringing a bad name to the state government by demolishing scores of shops situated in the Master Tara Singh Nagar locality. A BJP councillor and four others, who tried to stop the civic staff from demolishing their shops, were allegedly beaten up by the police.

Mr Sehgal assured hundreds of agitating residents, who sat on dharna in front of the Commissioner’s office for two hours this afternoon, that he would get the guilty officials suspended.

Earlier, the civic staff along with more than 50 policemen led by the Municipal Town Planner, Mr P.K. Garg, reached the Master Tara Singh Nagar locality at 8 a.m. and started demolishing the shops, allegedly built on government land. The shop owners were not allowed to take out their belongings causing damage to property and equipment worth lakhs of rupees.

As soon as the news of the demolition drive spread the owners and residents reached the spot and tried to stop the civic staff from demolishing the structures. While the agitating owners led by Mr Rajiv Tahkur, a BJP councillor, presented copies of the “stay” orders issued by a court to maintain a “status quo” to the Municipal Town Planner, he refused to stop the demolition drive.

The shopkeepers stood in front of their shops and raised anti-Commissioner slogans. The police tried to displace the protesters by restoring to a mild lathi charge. “I along with four shop owners Rajesh Handa, Manoj Kumar, Sham Saroop and Tilak Raj were beaten up with “lathies” by the police. We are getting an FIR registered against the Commissioner for his unlawful demolition orders in spite of the stay orders by the court to maintain a status quo, alleged Mr Thakur.

Later, hundreds of residents and shop owners staged a dharna in front of the Commissioner’s office and raised slogans against the indifferent approach of the latter to redress their grievances. They were demanding that Dr Sunkaria should be suspended immediately.

Meanwhile, the Mayor, Mr Suresh Sehgal, condemning the incident said: “These shop owners are in possession of the shops for the past 30 years, which is the only source of income for them. The Commissioner has virtually acted in haste and has brought scores of shopkeepers on the road. He is out to malign the image of the state government and should immediately be placed under suspension for unlawful activities”.

“I along with the affected persons will present a memorandum against the Commissioner to the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, during his visit to the city tomorrow. Nothing short of the suspension of Dr Sunkaria is acceptable to us”, he quipped.

When contacted, the Commissioner, Dr Roshan Sunkaria, admitted that only one shop owner had “stay” orders, with him which should have been considered by the civic officials before demolishing the structure. Referring to allegations of bringing bad repute to the state government, Dr Sunkaria said: “Why should I malign the image of the state government in public? It is for the state government whether to suspend or transfer me as demanded by the Mayor and the councillor”.


Punjab Lok Morcha convention
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
The Punjab Lok Morcha, a front comprising the Marxist Communist Party of India (MCPI), the Shiromani Akali Dal (Democratic), the Samajwadi Party, the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Samajwadi Janata Party will organise a state-level convention in Jalandhar on July 7 to mobilise all non-Congress and non-SAD-BJP alliance forces in the State for the coming assembly elections.

Mr Prem Singh Bhangu, a central committee member of the MCPI, said in a statement that the morcha was opposed to the policy of globalisation and the WTO agreement.


Unemployment situation turning explosive
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
The unemployment problem is on the verge of turning explosive in the country. It has been assessed that about 50 million persons will join the labour force during the Ninth Plan ( 1997-2002). The Plan started with a backlog of 7 million unemployed persons.

The country is required to create about 10 million jobs annually to eliminate the chances of further addition to the list of unemployed persons. However, the generation of jobs is far, far less than this figure. Because of this reason, the number of unemployed persons is growing rapidly in the country.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has shown its concern over the increasing unemployment in the country. The ILO has suggested various measures to deal with the problem.

However, the manner in which the Union Government is pursuing the globalisation mantra and resorting to privatisation, it is bound to add to the problem. While the labour force continues to grow at more than 2.2 per cent per annum, employment declined from 0.59 per cent in 1970 to 0.38 per cent during the Ninth Plan period. Despite the 5 to 6 per cent growth in GDP in recent years, the overall employment situation has stagnated . All this means that the country had a “jobless” growth.

Mr A.S. Oberai, Director ILO-South Asia Multidisciplinary Advisory Team, says that there is little hope of improvement in the employment conditions in the country unless the industrialisation strategy is recast. If industrial growth is to be labour intensive, much more stress will have to be placed on the growth of small-scale industries. He says that the setting up of rural industries (agro-based ones) can help ease the situation on the unemployment front. An additional advantage will be that it will check migration from the rural to urban areas.

Why is the situation expected to turn more serious? First, the economic reforms initiated as a part of the process to globalise the Indian economy are not producing the expected employment effects. While initiating these reforms in 1992, the generation of more employment avenues was projected at that time. Second, disguised unemployment in the organised sector carried over from the past is threatening to become open unemployment. And third, the pressure of global competition has encouraged technological change which may slow down the growth of regular wage-employment even further, says Mr Oberai. The authorities concerned will have to strengthen institutions to ensure that the benefits of globalisation are transmitted to the unorganised sector like private workshops, shops, hotels, dhabas,etc, where over 80 per cent of the persons are employed.

Though, according to Mr Oberai, India under its industrial policy has given prominence to rural industrialisation since 1950, its achievements are nowhere as compared to countries like China. One of the reasons is India’s failure to develop adequate social and physical infrastructure in the rural areas. And because of this the production, transaction and information costs have remained persistently higher in the rural areas than in the urban areas.

Second, specific policies and programmes meant to protect, support and stimulate rural industries have not been well-targeted. There is need to set up modern units as a part of rural industrialisation. The new national programme for rural industrialisation focuses on the creation of industrial clusters for rural units to address the issue of economic isolation. However, it may not work since deep rural locations have inherent economic disadvantages.

There is need for promoting sustainable employment-friendly growth. By doing so, the authorities concerned can deal with the unemployment problem to some extent. But there will be shortly more questions before the country. How should it deal with the problems emerging from the downsizing of the administrative machinery and the retrenchment of workers? Though public sector undertakings, while retrenching workers, are offering them voluntary retirement schemes with a handsome package, retrenched workers will become a part of the unemployed labour force soon. In a way, it will be an addition to the existing colossal problem of unemployment.

Mr Oberai says that the process of privatisation or say disinvestment in the public sector units has created another problem on the labour front. Trade unions have opposed such measures of the government. Take the case of Balco in Chhattisgarh state. He says before going in for privatisation of any unit, the government should initiate a dialogue with the trade union leaders concerned. In a number of countries in Asia, the process of dialogue has yielded very good results. Fully understanding the problems faced by industrial units, in certain Asian countries trade unions agreed to a wage freeze, to forgo other benefits and to improve the productivity level, thus making their respective governments drop the idea of privatisation. Similar results can be achieved in this country also.


Girls get a kick from boot polish
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 19
Throwing the age-old social taboos to wind, college girls of Doaba region, both with rural and urban backgrounds are falling prey to alcohol and psychotropic drugs in a big way and are about to surpass the young college neo-rich brats of this area, who have been known for use of costly drugs.

Drugs, cars and mobikes have always been a big allurement for young college and even school going children, particularly those whose parents are working abroad and send back dollars to keep their families in comfort and provide them all luxuries of life. But the use of drugs by girls, particularly, the ones with rural backgrounds studying in cities and townships of this part of Punjab, has been becoming more of a fashion for quite some time. The reason behind this newly emerging dangerous trend may vary from frustration over studies to lack of employment avenues to heartbreaks or lack of parental control. What is more dangerous is that female students, who fail to meet their inflated monthly expenses on account of use of alcohol and/or drugs, sometimes find selective prostitution a solution to their monetary woes.

Information collected by The Tribune from various sources revealed that in every city and township some areas are known as safe dens from where any scheduled drug can be procured. Mostly, these are some chemists’ shops the owners of which have breakneck competition on account of mushrooming of such shops. What is evidence towards the emergence of the new trend is the occasional recovery of empty bottles of cough syrups and strips of painkillers from the toilets of hostels.

Though the police authorities have been finding themselves in a piquant situation in case they come across any such female student and prefer not to register any case they admit complaints against girls using drugs have become a routine. The police authorities blame lack of parental control over wards and unchecked sale of scheduled drugs by some unscrupulous druggists.

“In fact, it is the duty of the Health Department authorities to plug the loopholes. Moreover, possession of a drug or a painkiller is not an offence. So we are just mute spectators,” said a DSP. He admitted he was aware that college girls consume cough syrups and sedatives for getting a “kick” but taking action against either the chemist or the user was an almost impossible task.

Talking to The Tribune, a number of college teachers admitted they had observed the new trend in their respective colleges but were unable to do anything about it. This correspondent too observed some girls, sneaking into a liquor shop near the old bus stand in Jalandhar a number of times and leaving with liquor.

Women in posh localities in Jalandhar city, including Jawahar Nagar and Defence Colony, are said to be dealing in morphine-based drugs and even narcotics like smack and heroin and supplying these to youngsters. A pouch of 50 gram of smack is priced between Rs 400 and Rs 500. Smack pouches are said to be most popular and what users do to get that kick is to put it on silver foil paper, heat it from beneath and sniff the smoke arising from the stuff, which is around 10-15 grams, a one-time dose. A slight overdose can even kill a person.

Sources revealed that girls who are in the habit of taking drugs and are unable to procure costly drugs have started tasting substances like boot polish or muscle relaxant balms to satisfy their urge to get a kick. What they do is to eat these substances after applying it on bread and toasts.

In rural areas, the drug scene is changing as youngsters don’t go in for traditional drug substances like opium and poppy husk and rather prefer synthetic drugs. Old people still go in for poppy though its availability has been shrinking and though its price has been escalating. A kilogram of opium, according to old users, is available anywhere between Rs 6,000 and Rs 15,000.


Will Chandpur bundh withstand the monsoon?
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Mansa, June 19
Even as the Punjab government has started taking all measures to save the state from floods in view of the impending monsoon, the question which has been haunting the residents of Mansa district of Punjab, Sirsa and Hisar districts of Haryana is whether the Chandpur bundh located on the Punjab and Haryana border will withstand the monsoon onslaught.

The Chandpur bundh, which suffered a breach six times since 1955, plays a key role in the flood protection measures of the Punjab and Haryana Governments. With the onset of the monsoon, the residents of various villages surrounding it would become alert.

In 1993 and 1995 the breach in the Chandpur bundh or siphon caused huge devastation and left a trail of despair in these districts. Since then the district administrations of Mansa, Sangrur, Sirsa and Hisar have been making efforts every year to save them from the breach though it is a gigantic task.

The Punjab Irrigation Minister, Mr Janmeja Singh Sekhon, said it was very difficult to save Chandpur siphon because its capacity was 2,2000 cusecs and the flow of Ghaggar river would be two lakh cusecs. He added that till the Haryana Government made a dam near Kalka on the Ghaggar the same could not be saved from floods.

He pointed out that every year water from Haryana caused floods in the Ghaggar. He added the district administration concerned had been put on maximum alert to avoid any loss of life and property.

He added a permanent solution to the flood problem of the Ghaggar river would have to be found by the governments of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. He said the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal had made repeated efforts in this connection and it was hoped that all these states would reach a compromise to solve this problem.

He said that to solve the flooding problem of the Ghaggar and settle all issues among Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, a Ghaggar River Standing Committee had been constituted under the chairmanship of the Union Minister for Water Resources. The main job of the committee would be to work out some solution to save Patiala, Sangrur and Mansa districts from the floods being caused by the Ghaggar in which water from the Shahkanda river, the Sagar Para canal, the B.B. Para lake and the Dhanksu area used to merge.

The minister said the Punjab Government had released Rs 20 crore for taking flood control measures to different districts. The district administration of Patiala and Sangrur had been given special funds to deal with emergency situations.

So far, full control had been made on the Sutlej and the Beas as weak points on their courses had been strengthened. The officials of the Drainage Department of the state government had been working round the clock to strengthen the weak points of the Ghaggar to save it from floods.

Senior officials of the Irrigation and Drainage Department and deputy commissioners of various districts of Punjab had also been reviewing the work being done to save their respective areas from floods at regular intervals.


Residents allege harassment at hands of cable operators
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 19
More than a month having passed since a consumer court handed over its judgement directing the cable operators to provide quality good service to the consumers, in addition to issuing receipts for payment that the operators received every month, yet no stern action has been taken against erring cable operators.

According to the judgement given by the consumer court, the district administration was also advised to regulate the cable network and fix the monthly uniform charges for cable operation in order to check the monopolistic attitude of the operators. The judgement also directed the operators not to disconnect any cable connection of the consumers.

When contacted the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, said that no such case had been referred to him till now. He, however, assured that as soon the case came to him he would look into the matter.

Residents of various colonies from time to time had urged the cable operators to maintain a uniform policy regarding the connection rates. However, residents alleged that the harassment was still there without any increase in number of channels or reduction in rates.

Residents of Officers Colony, Gurbax Colony, Hira Nagar, Urban Estate, Dharampura Bazar and 22-Number Phatak had jointly condemned this attitude of the cable operators. They said the operators, rather than showing flexibility towards their ‘monopolistic attitude’ had now openly started asking for excessive rates for continuing their cable connections.

The Hira Nagar Welfare Society alleged that the required number of channels that should be provided by their cable operator was never sufficient. They said that one day, if one particular channel was missing, the other day, another channel was not aired which inconvenienced the viewers.

Mr H.S.Sodhi, president of Hira Nagar Welfare Society, said that the poor quality of signals and picture quality added to their misery. He added that even the rates charged by the cable operators were not constant every month. ‘‘The rates keep changing despite requests made by residents that this increase in rates every two months is unfair and should not be practised by cable operators at all,’’ said Mr Sodhi.

Residents of Ajit Nagar and Model Town areas complained that the entire system could be improved only if some initiative was taken to break the monopoly system prevailing among these cable operators. They said that threats to disconnect the cable connections made by the operators was also due to the existing monopoly system among them.

The residents urged the government to take necessary steps in this regard. They said that apart from the monopoly system, the rates of cable connections should be made uniform and the quality of service provided by operators too needed to be improved.


BKU men protest over farmer’s suicide
Our Correspondent

Maur Mandi (Bathinda), June 19
Activists of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta) staged a dharna at the local police station to protest against the suicide of Mithu Singh, a farmer.

The activists of the union alleged that an increasing number of farmers were committing suicides due to poor economic condition to which the state government was a mute spectator.

A large number of union activists, including women and farmers, staged the dharna. Mr Jhanda Singh Jhethuke, district president, and Mr Harnek Singh Lehrakhana, district vice-president of the union, alleged that some police officials stopped the activists for about five hours out of the town on instructions given by the district authorities.

Activists of the union alleged that they had prepared langar for their fellow activists and while transporting the same to the dharna site, some persons pelted stones at them.

They alleged that it was the handiwork of arhtiyas.

The activists demanded that case be registered against the arhtiyas who were allegedly responsible for the death of Mithu Singh.

The authorities were not taking appropriate action due to political pressure, they alleged.

Leaders of the union said the activists had to take shelter in the building of market committee office to save themselves from stone pelting.

Many windowpanes of the office were damaged in the incident.

One of the activists suffered injuries and was admitted to the local Civil Hospital.

Mr Jhanda Singh alleged that members of the arhtiya group had pelted stones on the activists.

According to information, more than 500 arhtiyas, most of them armed with weapons, had assembled at the local grain market and they raised slogans against the state government alleging that kisan unions were being supported by the government.

The tractor-trailor on which the activists were transporting the langar was allegedly pushed in a nullah by the arhtiyas.

The tractor driver was hurt in the incident.

Police officials, however, were tight-lipped over the incident.

Residents of the town have demanded that police patrolling be increased for their security.


Ailing kids suffer ordeal
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Kartarpur (Jalandhar), June 19
Two ailing minor children and passengers of the much publicised “Sada-e-Sarhad”, the twice-a-week bus between Delhi and Lahore, had to undergo an ordeal for hours when the bus staff and securitymen attached with them did not allow their parents to arrange medical treatment till their condition deteriorated and the bus reached here this afternoon.

The Delhi-bound bus got delayed for about three hours on this account and left this township for Jalandhar when the adamant staff finally agreed to leave Maria (7) and her 14-year-old sister Mariam and their Delhi based-parents Mohammed and Huma Ibrahim at Jalandhar. The Ibrahim family had gone to Lahore on May 9 to meet their relatives there.

The family had their meals at about 9 p.m. at a restaurant in Lahore. Both Maria and Mariam, according to Mr Ibrahim, had started complaining of nausea and vomiting at around 2.30 a.m. today which led him to take them to Lahore’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital where doctors ruled that they had food poisoning and advised rest. But Mr Ibrahim, said he had no option but to come back for in case he made a change in the travelling schedule he would have had to wait for seats in the bus for about 15 days.

The family left Lahore without knowing that they had another shock in store in the shape of “apathy” on the part of the bus staff and the adamant security guards, who did not allow them to alight at Amritsar despite repeated requests. “As the condition of our kids started deteriorating, we requested them time and again to let us get down so that we could arrange treatment for our daughters after reaching Amritsar but our requests fell on deaf ears and the security men and bus staff did not agree, saying that they had instructions to leave the passengers at their destinations only”, said Mr Ibrahim and his wife while talking to The Tribune at the civil hospital at Jalandhar.

They maintained the bus staff only allowed them to take the kids to some doctor when their condition turned pitiable as the bus reached Kartarpur at 11.45 a.m. Even after the doctors at Kartarpur’s civil hospital diagnosed the kids to be suffering from food poisoning the staff kept the bus grounded for about three hours on the grounds that they would take the children along with them to Delhi.

“They left only when doctors asked us to take our children to the Jalandhar Civil Hospital”, alleged the Ibrahims, adding that they had showed all their documents and told them that they were Indians and there was no harm if they were left at Amritsar.

“What had stunned us was that without assessing the gravity of the situation the bus staff indulged in self-medication on the way as they kept making our kids swallow one or the other pill from the first aid box of the bus. There was no doctor, no mobile phone or any other arrangement to deal with such exigencies despite claims to the contrary”, rued Mrs Ibrahim, adding, “It was a harrowing experience for us”.


Sangat darshan’ to continue: Badal
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, June 19
Mr Parkash Singh Badal has said that the sangat darshan programme, along with development programmes started by the SAD-BJP government, will continue despite criticism by opposition parties, including the Congress.

Addressing a sangat darshan programme at Bilga village in the subdivision today, Mr Badal said free power supply to farmers would be continued. Mr Badal gave grants amounting to Rs 1.75 crore to 80 village panchayats during the sangat darshan.

He claimed that the sangat darshan programme played a vital role in bringing closer the administration and the public and in the removal of public grievances. The Chief Minister instructed government officials to accelerate the pace of development programmes.


Jatha leaves for Pak today
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 19
A Sikh jatha will be leaving for Lahore tomorrow to observe the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh at Dera Sahib.

The jatha will be headed by the SGPC member and Panthic dhadi, Mr Baldev Singh. The jatha will be flagged-off by senior vice-president Jathedar Alvinderpal Singh Pakhoke.

The SGPC in a press note informed that eight persons had been denied visa by the government. The jatha will visit Nankana Sahib, Gurdwara Sacha Sauda, Gurdwara Panja Sahib.

The jatha will reach Lahore on June 26 and pay obeisance at Dera Sahib, Lahore, where a large function commemorating the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh will be observed on June 28.

The jatha will return on June 29.


Beaten up for helping accident victims
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, June 19
Raj Kumar, an auto-rickshaw owner, who got admitted the victims of a road accident, which took place on Saturday on the Kapurthala-Jalandhar road to the local Civil Hospital, was beaten by cops of the Sadar police station.

The incident came to the notice of mediapersons when he was admitted to the Civil Hospital with multiple injuries on Sunday.

Raj Kumar told mediapersons that the victims of the road accident that took place near the Rail coach factory had pleaded with him to take them to the hospital.

He brought Sampuran Singh, along with his daughter and grandson, to the hospital and went to his home located in the same locality. Sampuran Singh succumbed to his injuries later in the hospital.

Raj Kumar alleged that after a few hours the police came to his house and took him to the police station. He was mercilessly beaten and told to confess his involvement in the accident. When Raj Kumar refused to do so policemen allegedly demanded Rs 10,000 from him.

He was forced to spend a night in jail. When his condition deteriorated he was admitted to the Civil Hospital on Sunday.

Kanta, mother of Raj Kumar, alleged that she along with their neighbours went to the police station for her son’s release, but their pleas fell on deaf ears. Ms Gurpreet Deo, SSP, said she would look into the matter and the guilty police officers would be punished.

Gurpreet , one of the injured persons in her statement to the police said Raj Kumar had brought them to the hospital on her request. A matador had hit their scooter on which they were going to Nanomalian village.


Mishandling by cops ‘led to suicide’
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 19
The Lawyers for Human Rights International today came down heavily on the Patiala police for ‘’mishandling’’ the situation by taking an unmarried couple into custody at Nabha on May 26 last which they alleged led to the death of the girl who committed suicide soon after.

In a statement here, the group said alleged humiliation and misbehaviour with the victim, Neha, the 18-year-old daughter of a Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) officer, by taking her to a police station by making her sit on the pillion of a scooter, forced her to commit suicide.

The group said according to their findings the rights of both the boy and the girl were infringed upon as no lady personnel was present when the girl was taken into custody. It said if a major boy and a girl were present in one room it did not constitute a cognizable offence and that even the Station House Officer of Nabha Kotwali had admitted to the team that no case was made out against the couple.

The team comprising of group president Brijinder Singh Sodhi, general secretary Navkiran Singh, Chandigarh unit president Tejinder Singh Sudan and office secretary Arunjeev Singh Walia claimed the role of the police in detaining and humiliating the girl was unwarranted. They said the conduct of the police party which took part in the raid on a house opposite the Panchmukhi temple in Nabha was highly objectionable and that it must be booked for abetment to suicide under Section 306 of the IPC. It said the body had decided to take appropriate action to ensure the guilty were brought to book and an example set to educate the police at large.


Police tortures youth in custody
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 19
The Bhawanigarh police is alleged to have tortured Rajinder Singh, a youth from Nagra village near Bhawanigarh, who was in its “illegal” custody on June 10.

Rajinder Singh was allegedly beaten up by an ASI and a head constable to such an extent that he could not walk. He was given third degree methods.

According to sources, Mr Jarnail Singh, father of Rajinder Singh, today send representations to the Chairman of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission and the DGP, seeking action against those guilty.

Mr Jarnail Singh stated he had some dispute with Nazar Singh of his village. Nazar Singh lodged a complaint with the police against him and his son. On June 10, Nazar Singh brought an ASI, a head constable and a Home Guard jawan to his house at about 11.30 am and took away Rajinder Singh with them.

He said in the evening he along with his wife and a neighbour met the ASI and the head constable at the police station. The ASI allegedly demanded Rs 50,000 from them for releasing Rajinder Singh. However, after their refusal to pay the amount, the ASI and the head constable mercilessly beat up Rajinder Singh.

He said they collected Rs 10,000 from different sources and went to the police station on June 10 at about 11 p.m. to pay the amount. The ASI after several requests agreed to accept Rs 10,000.

The ASI released Rajinder Singh at night.

Mr Jarnail Singh said at the time of his release, his son was unable to walk. He stated they had also been threatened by the ASI and the head constable not to disclose this to anyone.

Mr Jarnail Singh alleged that the ASI had also taken the thumb impression of Rajinder Singh on some blank papers.

He also alleged that due to the pressure of the police, Rajinder Singh had not been “entertained” by the medical officer of the primary health centre at Bhawanigarh. He had been medically examined on June 17 at the Sangrur Civil Hospital.


Construction of petrol station stayed
Our Legal Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 19
Taking up a petition filed by Fatehgarh resident Gurdeep Singh against the allotment of a petrol station by Bharat Petroleum to Suhail Kumar, Mr Justice S.S. Sudhalkar and Mr Justice K.S. Garewal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday stayed the construction of the petrol station.

In his petition, Mr Gurdeep Singh had earlier alleged that allottee Shushil Kumar, in connivance with Bharat Petroleum authorities in Chandigarh, got the site of the station illegally shifted from Lohar Majra Kalan to Lohar Majra Khurd. He had added that the authorities had earlier shown him a survey report before telling him that the site was in Lohar Majra Kalan.

Notice to labour department

On a writ petition filed by Dr Pritam Arora and 17 other doctors of Panipat, running nursing homes and clinics, Mr Justice S.S. Sudhalkar and Mr Justice K.S. Garewal of the High Court issued notice of motion to Haryana’s Labour Department and an Inspector at Panipat for September 25 and stayed the prosecution of the petitioners in the meantime.

The labour Inspector at Panipat, according to the petitioners, had earlier demanded from them the payment of licence fee under the Shops and Commercial Establishments Act. It was contended by the petitioners that their establishments were not commercial and fee could not be charged since the Labour Department was not providing them with any service.

Termination stayed

A Division Bench of the High Court on Tuesday issued notice of motion for September 4 and stayed the termination of Mr Cheat Ram and 16 other daily wagers in Anandpur Sahib range of the Forest Department.

The petitioners submitted that they had approached the department for paying them on the basis of equal pay for equal work and had also demanded pay scales at par with the regular employees, along with regularisation of services, but instead they were sought to be terminated.


Rs 80 lakh aid for flood control
Our Correspondent

Ropar, June 19
The Punjab Government has sanctioned a special grant of Rs 80 lakh for flood control measures in the district. Giving this information, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr G.S. Grewal, said owing to the presence of a large number of rivulets in the district, all flood control arrangements would be completed by June 30.

As a precaution, flood control centres had been established at district, block and tehsil levels. The District Revenue Officer, Mr Sohan Lal Bhumbak, had been given the temporary charge of district flood control-cum-relief officer during monsoon. People had been urged to inform the district authorities if they noticed any alarming increase in water-level, the Deputy Commissioner said.

The Swan, Budki, Sirsa and Siswan are major seasonal rivers which bring floods in various areas of Ropar during monsoon. Last year, nine villages were inundated after the Kucha bandh on the Siswan river broke. 


Salaries of two constables attached
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, June 19
Salaries of two constables of the Punjab police were attached by Mr Karnail Singh, Judicial Magistrate (First Class).

The Magistrate, in two pending criminal cases, registered at sadar police station under the Excise Act, summoned constables Darshan Singh and Om Parkash as witnesses. Despite summons, the constables, failed to attend the court on the fixed date of hearing following which bailable arrest warrants were issued against them.

The constables, however, did not appear in the court on the date fixed, as such the Magistrate ordered attachment of the salaries of the constables.

He directed the Senior Superintendent of Police to attach the salaries of the said constables.


Cong worker implicated: ministers
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, June 19
Mr Hans Raj Jossan, Mr Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, Mr Harnek Singh Gharuan, all former Punjab ministers, and Dr Mohinder Kumar Rinwa, a former local MLA and secretary of the PPCC, in joint press statement issued here today alleged that Harcharan Singh, a resident of Chhibewala village of Jalalabad subdivision, had been falsely implicated in a murder case as he had supported a Congress candidate, Mr Hans Raj Jossan, during the recent Lok Sabha poll for the Ferozepore Parliamentary constituency.

These leaders alleged that Harcharan Singh had been implicated in a false murder case at the behest of Zora Singh, MP, Lok Sabha. According to the police Gurjinder Singh, a resident of Chack Janisar village, registered an FIR with the Jalalabad police station on June 10. Gurjinder Singh said he along with Sandeep Singh and Jasbir Singh were returning to Chhibewala village in a car from Muktsar at about 10.30 p.m. When they reached near Ladhuwala village, Harcharan Singh and two other persons fired at them resulting in the death of Sandeep Singh. In the shootout Gurjinder Singh and Jasbir Singh were injured. The Congress leaders have described the FIR as a bundle of lies. The leaders have demanded a probe by an independent agency.


Registration of false case alleged
Our Correspondent

Mansa, June 19
Ram Singh of Aklia village in the district has alleged that Babu Singh of the same village had buried a bag of poppy husk in his (Ram Singh) fields with the help of two labourers and got a case registered against him by informing the police.

The police raided the fields of Ram Singh and seized the bag of poppy husk. The labourers were also summoned by the police who gave affidavits that Babu Singh had buried the bag in the fields.

According to information, Babu Singh suspicious that the police had arrested his brother, sarpanch of the village, along with poppy husk, on an information given by Ram Singh.

Ram Singh tried to get help from Mr Yurinder Singh Hayer, SSP, by producing the labourers and the affidavits.

He has now sought the DGP’s help. The police has not made any arrest so far.


Dharna by Shahar Bachao Committee men
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 19
Activists of the Shahar Bachao Committee today held a rally in protest against the alleged indifferent attitude of the district administration in arresting the miscreants who had manhandled the tenants of the Mota Singh building. The activists staged a dharna at Sadbhawna Chowk for about two hours and disrupted the normal flow of traffic. They raised slogans against the district administration and the state government.

Those who addressed the gathering today included, Mr K.K. Sharma, Mr K.K. Aggarwal, both general secretaries, District Congress Committee, Mr M.L. Kapoor, president, Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal, Mr Surinder Kapoor, ex-minister, Punjab, and other social activists. The leaders of the committee pressed for a judicial probe into the matter and said if their demands were not met by the administration till June 24, they would launch a state-wide agitation.


Ban on illegal bars sought
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 19
The Bahujan Samaj Morcha (BSM) has urged the district administration to take action against all illegal bars, hotels and restaurants which have been providing hard drinks to the consumers without requisite licence.

Giving this information, Morcha leader Paramjit Singh Kainth said that if action was not taken within a week, the morcha would launch an agitation against such hotels, restaurants and pubs on June 25. Mr Kainth and city convener Prem Pal Chauhan said that a memorandum had been submitted to the Deputy Commissioner in this regard.

Mr Kainth said that there were so many beer bars, restaurants and pubs which were providing hard drinks to customers even though they had no licence for running such a business. They alleged that these pubs and restaurants were evading tax worth lakhs of rupees.

The members said that a list of the names of all bars, restaurants and pubs had also been submitted to the DC.


2 killed, 18 hurt in accident
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, June 19
Two persons, including a tractor trailer driver, died on the spot and 18 passengers were wounded when a brick-laden tractor trailer collided with a Punjab roadways bus bound for Hoshiarpur from Chandigarh, between Golian and Badesron villages on the Hoshiarpur-Garhshankar road, 37 km from here, this evening.

According to the police, 12 of who were injured have been admitted to the Civil Hospital at Garshankar while six others who were seriously wounded have been referred to DMC and CMC, Ludhiana. The driver of the bus is reported to have lost both his legs.

Traffic on the Hoshiarpur-Chandigarh road was disrupted due to the accident.


1 killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 19
One person was killed when a tractor-trailer rammed into a car and dislodged logs of wood onto a rehri near the bus stand on the Patiala-Rajpura road here today. Partap, a kulcha seller, succumbed to his injuries in Government Rajindra Hospital.

Earlier the tractor went out of control after hitting a car and wooden logs fell on Pratap and his rehri. The car driver as well as the driver of the tractor escaped unhurt.


Vasant declines Cong offer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Mr N.S. Vasant, a former Chairman of the Punjab State Electricity Board, who has been nominated a member of a committee by the Punjab PCC chief, Capt Amarinder Singh, has declined to accept the membership on account of his present professional commitments.


TSU to hold rally on June 22
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 19
A meeting of the Technical Service Union (TSU) was held here yesterday in which it was decided to hold a rally on June 22 at Rampura. In a press note issued here yesterday, Mr Gurdeep Singh, President of the Union, said the meeting was held to organise similar rallies at Maur Mandi and Budhlada. He said the government was not listening to their grievances.


CBI probe demanded
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, June 19
The All-India Depressed Classes League of Punjab has demanded a CBI probe into the police action against the Dalits of Khanpur village on May 21. Mr Gurcharan Singh Pawan, general secretary of the league, said the police brutality had not attracted any reaction from the Punjab Governor and the Chief Minister. The league had threatened to launch an agitation if no action was taken against the cops.


Boy rescued, abductor arrested
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, June 19
The police has nabbed Sansar Chand of Kathar village in Jammu and brought him here.

Sansar Chand allegedly abducted Saban Kumar (5) from school in broad day light on June 8 from Phagwara.

The police has already rescued the boy and handed him over to his parents.

Ms Gurpreet Deo, SSP, told newspersons yesterday that a police party, had gone to Jammu on a tip-off that the boy had been spotted at Vijaipur village with Sansar Chand who was moving in the area wearing a police uniform. A raid was conducted on his house on June 14 at Sanghar village and rescued the boy.

The motive behind the abduction was to demand a ransom of Rs 3 lakh from the father of the boy who had recently bought a plot at Dhiansar village for Rs 1,60,000.


Boy admits to matricide
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, June 19
The police claims to have solved a case of murder in which four members of a family were brutally killed with sharp-edged weapons. According to police sources, Paramjit Singh, who was apprehended, admitted that he had killed the four as he did not want to give his sister, Bobby, her share of the family property, even though his mother, Mohinder Kaur, was insisting on getting the same for her daughter.

In a press note, the police claimed that Paramjit Singh, a teenager, came on a Suzuki moped carrying an axe to kill his mother. He eventually killed Mukhtiar Singh (50), son of Kehar Singh, Mohinder Kaur (42), wife of Mukhtiar Singh, Bobby (10), daughter of Pargat Singh, and Hira Singh (8), son of Mukhtiar Singh, and fled from the scene. 

After the incident, a case was registered on the basis of the statement of Boota Singh, father of Mohinder Kaur. He told the police that Mohinder Kaur was married to Pargat Singh, resident of Fatehgarh Sapran, about 20 years ago and she bore him a son, Paramjit Singh, and a daughter, Bobby. Pargat died eight years after the marriage, following which Mohinder Kaur came back to stay with her parents as her in-laws harassed her time and again. 

About 10 years ago, Mohinder Kaur was married to Mukhtiar Singh, of Sastewala village by her father. She had a son, Hira Singh, from her second marriage. Her daughter, Bobby, was staying with her, while Paramjit Singh was with her brother-in-law, Resham Singh. The trouble began when Resham disposed of the ancestral house in Fatehgarh Sapran village. Mohinder Kaur protested and demanded Bobby’s share. Boota Singh and his son-in-law, Mukhtiar Singh, went to Fatehgarh Sapran village and met members of the panchayat to exhort Resham to give Bobby’s share. Resham Singh agreed in principle before the panchayat but allegedly backtracked later. According to information, Paramjit came to meet Boota Singh a few days before the incident and refused to give Bobby’s share.

The police registered a case against Paramjit Singh, Resham Singh, son of Tara Singh and Karaz Singh, son of Resham Singh, all residents of Fatehgarh Sapran village under Makhu police station. The police claimed to have seized the axe used in the crime, the Suzuki moped, a few gold ornaments and Rs 12,000 from Paramjit Singh.


14 cases against narcotics smugglers
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 19
The police has registered 14 cases against narcotics smugglers and has recovered 170 kg of poppy husk, 250 gms of opium, 60 kg of lahan and 26 litres of illicit liquor.

The SSP, Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, said in a press note issued here yesterday that a case under Sections 15, 61, 85 NDPS Act had been registered against Gurmeet Singh of Sandhu Khurd village as 120 kg of poppy husk was recovered from his residence. Gurmeet Singh had absconded.

Dr Jain said Harvinder Singh, a resident of Adarsh Nagar was arrested for carrying 250 gms of opium. A case had been registered.

Bhani Ram of Phulo village was arrested for possessing 10 kg of poppy husk.Gurpreet Singh and Gurdeep Singh of Kotha Guru was taken into custody for carrying 20 kg of poppy husk near Puhli village.

The police had recovered 20 kg of poppy husk Charanjeet Singh and Gurdas Singh of Bhuttar village and had registered a case against them.

Under the Excise Act the police had registered eight cases and arrested eight persons while it had recovered 60 kg of lahan, 26 litres of illicit liquor and 3 litres of country-made liquor. The culprits had been identifed as Lakha Singh of Loolbhai, Gurmeet Singh of Chak Ruldusingh, Darshan Singh of Ghuman Khurd, Jagsir Singh of Kangar, Major Singh of Jhanduke, Manjit Singh of Bhairupa, Pal Singh of Kotfatta and Kaka Singh of Bir Talab.

Under the satta transactions the police had arrested five persons they had been identified as Manjit Singh of Mehraj, Ravinder Singh of Sireawala, Amarjeet Singh, Pawan Kumar and Ajay Kumar all from Rampura.

The police had recovered a pistol with four cartridges. It had also recovered a country-made .12 bore pistol and seven cartridges. No arrest had been made, the police said.


DRDA centre recognised for computer courses
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 19
The district centre of the DRDA has got recognition to run computer courses of Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar.

Disclosing this, Mr R. Venkatratnam, Deputy Commissioner, said the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) had signed a memorandum of undertaking with the PTU and with this Bathinda had become the first district in the state to get such permission.

The DRDA was in the process of setting up computer training centres at focal points of the district and 27 youths would be selected for the purpose.

All these centres would be linked to the city office of the DRDA computer centre. The buildings for the centres would be provided by the state government and the capital would be arranged with the help of margin money schemes of banks.

He said with opening up of such computer centres, rural people would get the facility of quality computer education at their doorstep.

The networking of these centres would help them to communicate with the district administration and bring to their notice their grievances.


Admission to upgraded schools starts
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 19
The state government has started the process of admission to the 1404 schools which have been upgraded recently. In a press statement, the government claimed that the process would help the rural population and steps would be taken not only to enrol but also to retain most of the students in the schools.

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