Friday, June 22, 2001, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



PPCC office-bearers’ list today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 21
The Congress high-command has decided to set up a coordination committee to oversee election campaign of the party in Punjab. The party is likely to release names of PCC office-bearers tomorrow.

The decision to set up a coordination committee, which assumes importance in view of tussle between state’s senior leaders for ticket for the forthcoming assembly elections, was taken today at a meeting at the AICC here today.

Convened by Congress treasurer and incharge of Punjab, Moti Lal Vora, the meeting was attended by Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh, former Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and convener of Punjab Congress MPs Forum Jagmeet Singh Brar.

Mr Vora informed The Tribune that the first meeting of the election coordination committee would be held on June 26. The committee would oversee election campaign of the party and implement the strategies to counter the Akali Dal government. The coordination committee, the demand for which was first made by the Punjab Congress MPs Forum, would help the party settle claims for seats by choosing the best available option.

Besides Mr Vora, the committee is likely to comprise Mr Amarinder Singh, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, Mr H.S. Hanspal, CLP leader Jagjit Singh, Mr R.L. Bhatia, Ms Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder besides AICC general secretary Ambika Soni.

Meanwhile, the much-delayed list of PCC office-bearers is likely to be released tomorrow at the AICC here. The Punjab Congress has been struck in its oust-Badal government efforts due to absence of proper organisational structure in the state. Alongside the PCC office-bearers, whose number is unlikely to exceed 55, the party will also be releasing names of district and block-level committees for the entire state. Mr Vora said today that the lists were “almost final.”

AICC sources said that the list would be released only if Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who is leaving for the USA tomorrow, accords it sanction. While both Mr Amarinder Singh and Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar had submitted their lists for office-bearers to Mr Vora, Mrs Bhattal, who is in the capital for the past two days, also conveyed her viewpoint to him.

After meeting Mr Vora today, the three senior Congress leaders also held a meeting among themselves at the AICC here. Yesterday, Mr Brar and Mrs Bhattal had an hour-long meeting with Mrs Soni.

The party has still not decided if it will allow PCC office-bearers to contest elections. In Uttar Pradesh, PCC office-bearers holding crucial posts have been asked not to contest polls.


Kewal Singh ‘violated’ maryada
Tribune News Service

Talwandi Sabo, June 21
Various functionaries of Jathe Bhinderan, who have been participating in “path bodh” (recitation of Gurbani) since May 28, today raised slogans against Giani Kewal Singh Jathedar, Takht Damdama Sahib, and urged the SGPC to remove him from the post.

They said keeping in view the maryada of Takht Damdama Sahib, Giani Kewal Singh should be removed and a deserving person should be appointed in his place.

They alleged that Giani Kewal Singh was involved in the murder of his daughter-in-law Sharanjit Kaur, adding that he had been facing trials and it was not the maryada of any Takht.

They said Giani Kewal Singh along with Bhai Man Singh, who had put in his papers as Head Granthi of Takht Damdama Sahib yesterday, had violated maryada.

They pointed out that the tradition of washing the Takht every day by the sangat was another violation.

They alleged that Bhai Man Singh did not resign due to the violation of “rehat maryada” during “path bodh” but because he wanted to divert the attention from the resignation of Giani Kewal Singh.

Bhai Man Singh boycotted the “path bodh” and made fun of it, they added.

Giani Kewal Singh said he did not want to comment on the action of members of Jathe Bhinderan. He said they were guests at the Takht.

When asked about the demand for his removal, he said such decisions were being taken by the Sikh community as per established principles. He said the demand was of no significance and did not bother him.

He said Bhai Man Singh had resigned on his own.


Vedanti to strive for rapprochement
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 21
Even as Justice Kuldip Singh (retd) has resigned as Chairman of the World Sikh Council, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar of Akal Takht, has said he will try to revive the council by bringing about a rapprochement between the two warring factions.

Jathedar Vedanti has said it is a matter of concern that the WSC cannot do anything concrete to pursue the cause of the Sikh Panth at the international level for which it was formed due to vested interests by some office-bearers. He said if office-bearers of both the warring factions would give him a categorical assurance to accept the directive of Akal Takht in toto, then he would call a meeting of the Sikh clergy to resolve the matter.

Answering a question, Jathedar Vedanti said the appointment of Mr Didar Singh Bains as Chairman of the other faction of the WSC was also a decision taken in a hurry as the matter was pending with Akal Takht. Jathedar Vedanti said efforts would be made to forge unity between the two factions so that the World Sikh Council could propagate the cause of Sikhism all over the world.

Answering yet another question, Jathedar Vedanti said the leaders of both the factions of the WSC would be directed to submit accounts with Akal Takht.

It may be mentioned here that Justice Kuldip Singh was appointed Chairman of the WSC by the then Jathedar of Akal Takht, Bhai Ranjit Singh. The faction, headed by Justice Kuldip Singh felt Mr Didar Singh Bains was appointed chief of the other faction at the behest of Prof Manjit Singh, Jathedar, Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib.

It was the WSC which was basically a bone of contention between Bhai Ranjit Singh and Prof Manjit Singh. In his capacity as Jathedar, Akal Takht, Bhai Ranjit Singh had imposed a ban on the entry of Prof Manjit Singh and Giani Kewal Singh at the meetings of the Sikh clergy at Akal Takht till he (Prof Manjit Singh) submitted accounts of the WSC. However, a few months after this development Bhai Ranjit Singh was unceremoniously removed as Jathedar of Akal Takht.

The then Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Puran Singh, also made vain efforts to resolve the issue of the WSC. He had constituted a 12-member committee to run the affairs of the WSC till the matter was resolved. However, during his tenure as Jathedar of Akal Takht, he had failed to bring about a rapproachement between the two rival factions of the WSC.

The efforts of Jathedar Vedanti in this regard too have failed to yield any result so far. In his capacity as Jathedar of Akal Takht, Jathedar Vedanti is patron of the WSC. However, Bhai Ranjit Singh claims he is the “real jathedar” of Akal Takht and hence he continues to be the “patron” of the council.

Sources say the deadlock over the WSC is likely to continue as the faction owing allegiance to Bhai Ranjit Singh won’t submit its accounts with the present Jathedar of Akal Takht. It may be mentioned here that the meeting called at Akal Takht by Jathedar Vedanti to resolve the issue of the WSC remained inconclusive on May 14. Though three executive members of the 12-member committee had submitted the accounts to Jathedar Vedanti Justice Kuldip Singh was conspicuous by his absence.


No pact with BSP in UP: Bardhan
Tribune News Service

CPI Secretary General A.B. Bardhan addressing a rally in Ludhiana on Thursday.
CPI Secretary General A.B. Bardhan addressing a rally in Ludhiana on Thursday. — Photo by Rajesh Bhambi

Ludhiana, June 21
The Secretary General of the CPI, Mr A.B. Bardhan, today hailed the proposed Indo-Pak summit scheduled between July 14 and 16. However, he cautioned that there should not be high expectations. “This is a long-pending problem which cannot be solved overnight”, he commented.

Talking to reporters after addressing a rally organised by the All-India Trade Union Congress, Mr Bardhan said: “Although it is a belated development, but it should be welcome”. He sought to downplay the assumptions that these talks were prompted by the USA. “Let us not discuss who prompted it. Whether these are guided by the Americans or prompted by the UP elections, that is immaterial. What matters is that this is a good development for peace and religion stability”, he explained.

Asserting that the talks would not produce any immediate results he hoped that this process would continue. “We hope this process is continued as this is a 50-year-old problem which cannot be solved overnight”, he pointed out. Commenting on his party’s stand on the issue, he said, “We believe that India and Pakistan should live like good neighbours as they have no reasons for hostility against each other”.

Commenting on his party’s stand for the forthcoming Assembly elections in UP and Punjab, he said, Punjab was so far not a priority and any alliances or adjustments can be thought of at a later stage. About UP, he ruled out any alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party. He said, negotiations were on at forming a broad-based alliance there led by the Samajwadi Party leader, Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav. He did not rule out an alliance with the Congress.

He pointed out, the Left and other like-minded parties accorded top priority to UP. He said, if the BJP was outstaged in UP it would loose the authority to rule at the Centre. He claimed: “The BJP lost moral authority after the disclosures and it will loose political authority after the UP elections”.

The veteran Left leader apprehended that the BJP might whip up communal passions again in the country, particularly in UP. He said the deposition of the Union Home Minister Mr L.K. Advani before the Liberahan Commission probing the Babri demolition only reflected the set mindset of the Hindutva protagonists who would do anything for the sake of winning elections.

Mr Bardhan said about five lakh employees working in ordnance factories would go for a 48 hour strike on July 23 and 24. This will be followed by a nationwide strike by the government employees to protest against the privatisation process of the Government of India. All Left affiliated organisations would stage a dharna in front of Parliament at the start of the monsoon session against the anti-worker policies of the government.


Govt officers steal power
Jaswinder Paul Singh

Bathinda, June 21
Even as the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) employees are trying hard to curb the menace of power theft more and more government employees are indulging in stealing power. The PSEB sources say the trend has been gaining alarming proportions and was one of the major reasons for the loss of revenue to the board.

The sources said the raids conducted by the PSEB in the past few months in the region had yielded good results and made revelations that could be a cause of concern for the authorities.

Sources said it had been found that government employees, including senior and very senior officials had been found guilty of stealing power. Even the employees of the PSEB who get the power at the concessional rates try their hand at stealing the power although they know that it was against the rules.

The raids conducted by the officials of the PSEB had found some senior officials of the civil administration and police were also found to be using electricity without paying the bill although their number is insignificant as compared to the number of persons who steal power.

The electronic meters introduced by the board in the past few months were not able to stop the menace of power theft. An official at the local office of the PSEB said what could the meter do if the user disconnected the same from the supply line. He added that there was no need to tamper with the meter and take the risk of suffering an electric shock when there were other “alternatives” for power thieves.

Although none of the employees or officials of the PSEB wished to come on record but the general opinion among them was that if the government officials did not follow the rules then what could be expected from the common man.

The PSEB authorities had sometimes back caught senior bureaucrats and police officials indulging in power theft. They had been fined heavily but the action was not able to curb the menace. The theft had been going on unchecked.

Certain residents alleged that the raiding officials did not check the residences of senior officials and if they dared to do so the officials used their contacts in freeing themselves from any penalty. The allegation of the residents was that the raiding employees, if not given instructions by their seniors, did not go the residences of influential persons.

The other practice which is commonly resorted to slowing down the speed of the meters. But this task is generally undertaken with the help of employees of the PSEB. This is the best way to steal power.

The slowing down of the speed of the meter is not easily detectable. If it is detected the consumers escape from getting any punishment on the plea that he was not responsible for the installation of the meter. In such cases the employee of the PSEB who had tested the meter and had given his consent for its installation is said to be guilty because it was his duty to check the correctness of the meter.

A special drive had been started by the PSEB authorities sometime back to check the theft of electricity in the state and it had yielded good results as far as earning money from the penalties was concerned but it was not able to put a check on the problem. Some of the employees of the PSEB on condition of anonymity said the drive against the power thieves could not yield results until the root cause of the problem was not removed. They even said there were some cases. In which the persons who were lined for power theft started doing the same on a large scale in order to cover up the loss they had to face for paying the fine.

A special drive launched by the local PSEB authorities for curbing the power theft had shown good results and they were successful in curbing the menace to some extent.

A senior official of the PSEB when contacted said no discrimination was made while conducting raids on the premises of residents. He said even officials of the civil and police administration were fined recently for stealing power although he declined to divulge details.

He further said nobody would be spared if found guilty of power theft. He said that regular raids were conducted in and around the city.


Safai staff unpaid for 6 months
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, June 21
More than 850 “kohars” and Safai Karamcharis getting Rs 448 per month as wages at government primary schools in this district have not been paid their wages for the past six months. The payments have been withheld due to the non-distribution of budget by the District Education Officer (Primary).

The DEO was allotted budget for allocation under various heads on April 11 and was directed by the Directorate of Primary Education for prompt action in this regard but nothing has happened so far.

Sources said it was likely that the payment of salaries to teachers at primary schools for June might be withheld. The budget was to be distributed blockwise.

The bills of salary started pouring in government treasuries after the 25th of every months. The preparation of the salary bills for June had not been undertaken due to the non-distribution of budget.


Enteritis patient hopes for miracle
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 21
Sakhia, a migrant labourer, suffering from gastroenteritis is hoping some miracle would save her. Doctors have told her family to shift her to a bigger hospital to get a dialysis done else, she could die.

The condition of Sakhia started deteriorating yesterday. According to the civil hospital authorities, her kidneys developed some complications and a dialysis was necessary and it was not available at the hospital. The only solution was to shift her to some private hospital in the city, the fee of which would be exorbitant.

She could also be shifted to bigger hospital in Patiala, Ludhiana or Chandigarh. But both options have no meaning for Raj Kumar, her husband, who works at a brick-kiln, 25 km from here, and has no money for her treatment.

Labourers working at the brick-kiln fell ill on Saturday last and when they could not be cured by the doctors, they were brought to the Civil Hospital by volunteers of Sahara Jan Sewa, a social organisation.

Two of the children died even before they could be brought to the hospital. Most of the labourers have left the city.

Sakhia spends most of her time doing puja while her husband and one and a half year old child sit beside her.

Volunteers of an NGO said they were ready to take care of her but were apprehensive that if her condition worsened it might create “human right complications” for them.


Shagun scheme losing sheen
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 21
The shagun scheme launched by the state government with much fanfare has failed to deliver the goods. Red-tapism in government offices and the paper work required for getting the shagun have diminished the charm of the scheme.

It is alleged by various social workers and beneficiaries that touts operating in government offices have been the biggest beneficiaries of these schemes.

As most of the beneficiaries are illiterate they find it difficult to complete the paper work required by the officials. The documents required are a certificate in support of the Scheduled Caste status, date of birth of the girl, an affidavit from the parents regarding the wedding, wedding card and an affidavit of the nambardar/ sarpanch in support of the claim of the applicant. All this coupled with the alleged inefficiency of government officials is responsible for the alleged harassment of the applicants.

In most of the cases either social workers have stood up for the cause of the Dalit applicants or the village panchayats which have yielded results. In Mehma Sarja village, for example, 129 applicants have got cheques of the shagun scheme, the largest in the district, with the help and support of the village panchayat and social workers of the area.


Villagers face water shortage
Our Correspondent

Moga, June 21
A number of villages in the district have been facing on acute shortage of drinking water for the past several months. The department concerned had not bothered to repair the water works, villagers said. The villages include Gajansingh-wala, Bhaloor, Sukhanand, Bambiha-bhai and others.

The villagers told mediapersons here today they were forced to fetch water from remote places during summers they would launch an agitation if prompt steps were not taken, they said. As the ground water level had gone down from 40 feet to 150 feet water could not be drawn through hand pumps.

Residents of Sukhanand complained that the water works in their village had been non-functional for the past several years and no repairs had been carried out despite repeated reminders.


Power cuts make life miserable
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 21
Rising mercury coupled with unscheduled power cuts have made the life of residents of the city miserable and adversely affected the business.

A major part of the city remained without power for more than 24 hours whereas some parts faced power cut for hours together.

Official sources said the power failure occurred due to some snag in the transformer in the MES area. The process to remove the fault is going on. Mr R.S. Dhillon, Chief Engineer, Distribution, PSEB, when contacted, said a fault was detected in the cable box of the transformer and then its breaker developed a fault. Employees had been deployed to remove it, he said.

He said a daily three-hour power cut had been imposed on the urban areas as the power had to be supplied to rural areas for eight hours due to paddy transplantation.

Mr Gurbachan Gupta, former executive officer of the local municipal council, said there had been no electricity in their locality since last night. All telephone numbers on which the complaints could be made remained busy, he said.

A resident of the city, Mr Charanjit Singh, said the city had been facing power cuts despite the fact that there were two thermal plants in the district. Residents alleged that power cuts were rarely imposed in VIPs areas.

Meanwhile, undeclared power cuts have benefited manufacturers of generator sets and inverters a lot. Sale of diesel has also gone up.


Sangat darshan programme
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 21
Manjit Kaur, Resham Kaur, Bachan Kaur and other residents of Kachwa village of Bunerheri block complained against the husband of village sarpanch for accepting bribe for recommending them for old-aged pension. Apart from this version other problems were discussed at the district-level sangat darshan programme held at Red Cross Hall here today. Deputy Commissioner Jasbir Singh Bir has asked the SDM, Patiala, to look into the above matter.

In another case, Ms Rajo, a resident of Jansui village of Rajpura tehsil had complained that despite having been granted pension since past two years, she had not yet received any money.

Mr Buta Singh, a resident of Binjal village of Bunerheri block, complained against the village patwari for accepting bribe to demarcate the passage passing through the panchayati land.

Mr Deshpal, a resident of Ajnaur village, alleged against the naib-tehsildar of the area as well as the patwari for having named his land on some other person’s name. Mr Bir has asked the District Treasury Officer to submit him the detailed report within ten days.

The President of Old Students Association of Government Mohindra College, Dr Joginder Singh, alleged that the illegal encroachments from the area around the college campus should be removed and focussed on bringing various other development projects in order to make the college building look good.

Mr Maha Singh, a resident of Rajgarh village, complained against the village sarpanch for allegedly encroaching the panchayati land. The DC has asked the concerned officers to solve the grievances.


Punjab Mandi Board budget Rs 600 cr
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 21
The budget of the Punjab Mandi Board this year is Rs 600 crore while it was Rs 325 crore two years back. This was stated by Mr Mal Singh Ghuman, Chairman, Mandi Board, while inaugurating a purchase centre set up by Board at Devinagar village, here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Ghuman said that till May 31, this year, the market fees had increased to Rs 17 crore which amounts to 15 per cent hike as compared to last year. He said that the purchase centre of Devinagar had been constructed on a land of one acre which costs around Rs 7 lakh.

Mr Ghuman added that the farmers of about 10 villages, lying in the vicinity of the centre, will be at profit regarding the sale of their grain at the centre. He also distributed cheques worth Rs 1.70 lakh among victims of four thresher accidents. He added that the compensation for those who died in accidents had also been increased from Rs 30,000 to Rs 75,000.


Subdivision sans infrastructure
Our Correspondent

Dhar Kalan (Pathankot), June 21
Dhar Kalan sub-division has been neglected since it came into existence in 1996 following the announcement of Mr H.S. Barar, the then Chief Minister.

The formation of the sub-division was termed a step towards the upgradation of Pathankot to the district status. But neither Pathankot was upgraded nor the problems of residents of the newly formed sub-division were solved.

The place lacks proper offices and accommodation for officials posted here. Hence they are forced to stay at Shahpurkandi, Katori or other places. The SDM posted here has to operate from a shed in the most unhygienic conditions.

As many as nine SDMs were posted at the sub-division within five years. No SDM stayed here for more than a year. Some SDMs tenure lasted for 30 days or so. Mr T.S. Bhatti is presently posted as the SDM, but sources reveal that most of the official work is done through remote control. Some officials have resorted to telephone to monitor work.


Sikh body to honour Head Granthi
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 21
Mr Jaswinder Singh, a ruling party SGPC member and chief of the Akal Purkh ki Fauj (APKF), who is also a close confidant of Giani Kewal Singh, Jathedar, Takht Damdama Sahib, in a press statement issued here today said the APKF had decided to honour Bhai Man Singh who resigned as Head Granthi of the takht last evening.

Even as the SGPC executive has accepted the resignation of Bhai Man Singh, the decision of the APKF is bound to embarrass the SGPC. Bhai Man Singh had resigned to protest against according recognition to the ‘path bodh’ (understanding recitation of Bani) by the Jatha Bhinderan at the takht in alleged violation of the rehat maryada.

The APKF while lauding Bhai Man Singh’s step, has alleged that some ‘so called’ organisations want to run their ‘religious shops’ in violation of the Sikh rehat maryada.


Forest cover to be increased
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
The Punjab Forest Department has decided to launch a massive programme to increase the forest cover in the state.

Mr Surjit Kumar Jyani, Forest and Wildlife Minister, said here today that during the past few years the state had consistently shown an increase in its forest cover. During 2001-2002, an area of 10,000 hectares would be brought under the programme.


Woman burnt to death

Ludhiana, June 21
A 30-year old woman was burnt alive in a fire that broke in a house in Guru Arjun Dev Nagar, here late this evening. Saraswati, a migrant labourer, died in the fire that gutted her one-room house completely. Short circuit is said to be the cause of the fire.


CPI leader cremated
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 21
The body of Mr Karam Singh Gulabgarh, member of the state council of the CPI, who had died on June 18, was cremated at his native village Gulabgarh, 8 km from here, yesterday.

Mr Gulabgarh was injured seriously in a road accident on June 6. He was admitted to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on June 18.


150 traffic cops transferred
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 21
Taking a serious view of the traffic problem and complaints about traffic policemen harassing people Mr Parampal Singh Sidhu, SSP, has passed strict orders regarding the working of the traffic police and transfers.

Nearly 150 traffic police personnel have been transferred following the strictures. These comprise head constables, constables, sub-inspectors and assistant sub-inspectors. However, inspectors on traffic duties have been retained.

The SSP, when contacted, admitted that such orders had been passed. He said the measures were taken after numerous complaints regarding traffic police were received. He added that there would be recruitments to curl corruption.

Regarding the reports of the SP, Traffic being “soft” and therefore less effective, the SSP replied that he would ensure that traffic duties were taken seriously.

Later, SP, Traffic V. Neeraja denied taking her duties lightly.

Meanwhile, an important joint meeting of the traffic police and the corporation took place here yesterday. The meeting assumes significance because of the anti-encroachment drive. Ms V. Neerja stated that the police had started the anti-encroachment drive yesterday in the Hall Bazaar area and the railway link road.

The agenda also included the opening up of the town hall for parking. Another significant proposal mooted was to stop all traffic inflow from Mallika statue chowk to control traffic in the “galiara” and the Golden Temple.


Police Dept to go online in 15 days
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 21
To improve its efficiency and to monitor the working of its officials, the city police has decided to computerise its office within 15 days.

Mr M.F. Farooqi, SP, in a press note, said the move was aimed at fixing accountability of the police officials besides providing up-to-date information to people regarding their cases.

“You see, computerisation of official records in the passport and NRI branches will certainly help us in providing promptly the latest information to people regarding the status of their verification of antecedents and character. This will force the officer concerned to submit reports within the stipulated time frame. He otherwise tends to delay these on one pretext or the other,” he said.

Mr Farooqi added that police officials, who failed to comply with the latest instructions could easily be detected after the installation of the system in the main office. “Erring officials will be dealt with strictly,” he said.

“We have already computerised the official records pertaining to transfers and postings of the entire police force in the district. As many as 20 police officials, including heads of different branches, are being provided with special training in computers and an amount of Rs 3 lakh has been spent on this project”, he added.


Pannu promoted Addl Registrar

Chandigarh, June 21
Mr K.S. Pannu, Joint Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Punjab, has been promoted Additional Registrar, Cooperative Societies.

Mr Pannu, who is at present posted as Managing Director (MD), Punjab State Handloom Weavers Apex Cooperative Society ( WEAVCO), will continue in the same position, but his post of MD has been equated with the cadre post of Additional Registrar, Cooperative Societies, according to a government order.


Departmental exams from July 9
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
The Punjab Government has decided to conduct the next departmental examinations of Assistant Commissioners, Excise Assistant Commissioners, IPS officers, Sub-Judges, Tehsildars and Indian Forest Service officers from July 9 to 13.

A spokesman of the Personnel Department said that these examinations would be held at Lajpat Rai Bhavan, Sector 15, Chandigarh.


2 officials promoted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
The Punjab Government has ordered the promotion of Mrs Saroj Kumari and Mr Sant Lal Khera to the rank of Secretary to Minister. The have assumed charge of their new duties.


Double murder case accused held
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 21
The police has made a major breakthrough arresting Laxmi Narayan and Babu Ram, residents of Alwar in Rajasthan, who were allegedly involved in a double murder case and were wanted by the Rajasthan police.

Dr Jatinder Jain, SSP, said here today in a press note that both the culprits had murdered Mangal Singh and his son Raju in Alwar, Rajasthan, on June 12 this year after a scuffle occurred between them. A case was registered against both of them under Sections 302, 307, 148 and 149 of the IPC at Shivji Park police station in Alwar.

The alleged culprits absconded after committing the crime. The in-laws of Laxmi Narayan were the residents of the city while brother of the deceased Mangal Singh was also a resident of the city.

He said Laxmi Narayan had come to the city to teach a lesson to the family of Mangal Singh. The police further said the aim of Laxmi was to kill the brother of Mangal Singh. It said that he along with Babu Ram searched for their victim for many day.

Dr Jain said they were not able to find him but in the meantime they fell in the police net. He said the main motive of the alleged culprits was that if they were able to kill the brother of Mangal Singh nobody would be there to contest the murder.

He said that the culprits were arrested on the Naruana road by the police party which had laid a naka there for a routine check-up. He said they were stopped on suspicion and two knives were seized from their possession.

The police has registered two separate case under Sections 25, 54, 59 of the Arms Act at the kotwali police station against them.


Father throws girl into well
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, June 21
Jaspreet Kaur (11) who gave a statement against her father Gurwinder Singh for harassing, and allegedly trying to kill her mother Baljit Kaur by setting her on fire was thrown into a well by her father near Madhali village, near here, last evening, the police was said.

Her body has been recovered from the well. the police said Gurwinder Singh was a habitual drinker and ill-treated his wife. One day he sprinkled kerosene on her and set her on fire. Her daughter gave a statement in support of her mother.

The police said when both of them were going out, Gurwinder Singh along with his brother caught them and after an altercation threw Jaspreet into the well.

A case has been registered and the accused and his brother have been arrested.


Gang involved in 32 looting incidents busted
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 21
The district police claims to have busted a gang, involved in looting petrol stations and liquor shops with the arrest of its three members. The police has also seized a scooter, a gold ring, a watch, Rs 14,000 in cash, two pistols of .315 bore and six live cartridges from them.

In a press note here today, Mr Jatinder Singh Aulakh, SSP, said the names of those arrested were Natha Singh, alias Sukhwinder Singh, Balkar Singh and Tirlok Singh, all residents of Kapurthala district. He said they were arrested last night at a naka laid near Gehlan village by a special team comprising Bhawanigarh SHO and staff of the CIA, Bahadur Singh Wala.

The SSP said the members of the gang were active in Punjab for the past six years and were involved in looting petrol stations, liquor vends and houses. He said gang was involved in more than 32 incidents of looting in Nakodar, Tarn Taran, Jagraon, Dharamkot, Abohar, Ferozepore, Ludhiana, Faridkot, Sangrur, Pathankot, Kapurthala, Barnala, Talwandi etc.

During interrogation, the accused confessed that more than 30 persons were involved in such looting incidents. They robbed people by forming small groups.


Parallel PUTA left high and dry
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 21
The parallel Punjabi University Teachers Association (PUTA) organisation, which was given hurried recognition by the authorities replacing the elected teachers’ body and which took on the role of defending the university management against attacks by the elected body, has now been left high and dry by the authorities who have now started negotiations with the elected body.

The Vice-Chancellor has through the mediation of Mr Harcharan Bains, Media Adviser to the Chief Minister, started negotiations with the elected PUTA body to bring about a rapproachement. While the PUTA body had submitted a memorandum to the University Chancellor and Punjab Governor Lt Gen JFR Jacob (retd) as well as the Higher Education Minister into which an inquiry has also been ordered, the university management had taken punitive steps against the PUTA leadership, including the removal of its president from headship of the Department of Correspondence Studies.

Negotiations were held between the two groups through the mediation of Mr Bains without taking the parallel teacher organisation, which had earlier been hastily recognised by the university management to sideline the elected body, being taken into confidence.

The parallel PUTA body, which has even got itself registered, is, however, in no mood to take things lying down. Its president Prof Manjit Singh and secretary Dr D.P. Goyal today expressed shock over the mediatory role played by Mr Bains without taking ‘’ into confidence the leading members of the faculty who enjoyed the confidence of the general house’’. The leaders alleged that a Cabinet Minister with well known Leftist connections was behind this move and that the role of Mr Bains had raised eyebrows in the ‘’pro-Badal’’ academic circles in the university.

The parallel PUTA body even tried to deny the entire negotiation drama which continued for several hours on June 19, claiming there was neither any first round of talk arranged by Mr Bains with the Vice Chancellor on the said date nor was any second round expected on June 26 as claimed. It called upon Mr Bains to clarify his position.

However, Mr Harcharan Bains, in a statement issued here today claimed he had mediated between the Vice-Chancellor and the PUTA leadership on his own accord following a ‘’chance’’ meeting with certain PUTA leaders in the Chief Ministers office recently. He said he had tried to explore the possibility of an understanding between the Vice-Chancellor and the PUTA leadership due to his long association with VC Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia as an academician.

Mr Bains said though the meeting was inconclusive it ended on a cordial note with everyone agreeing to continue with the effort towards an amicable and mutually acceptable solution and to observe utmost restrain in public utterances in the meantime. He indicated that the negotiations would continue.

Sources said the negotiations had got unstuck on certain pre conditions put by PUTA, including the reinstatement of PUTA president Dr Bhupinder Singh Khaira as Head of the Correspondence Department and removal of punitive action against other PUTA leaders. The Vice-Chancellor when contacted said the PUTA leadership had come to him and expressed the desire to start on a fresh note following which talks were held on various issues. 


Bathinda boy 6th in AIIMS exam
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 21
The district which was considered backward a few years ago, has of late started producing toppers in entrance tests of medical and engineering colleges.

In the past few years city boys have shown exceedingly good results in the coveted entrance test of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and various other medical colleges of India. The latest feather in the cap has been added by Kanwal Jeet Garg who has got sixth rank in the AIIMS entrance test.

Information gathered by The Tribune revealed that he was always good at studies. Relatives of Kanwal Jeet claimed that he had not taken any tuitions and had achieved success on his own. They said he always wanted to be a doctor and now has done his parents proud.

Kanwal Jeet said thorough understanding of the fundamentals and clear cut strategy while preparing for exams held the key to success. He had stood first in Mansa district in class X examination by securing 87.8% marks. In plus two he has got the 71st position in the state.

Kanwal Jeet has secured 31st rank in the examination for admission to various medical colleges in the country. He has qualified the entrance test of the Armed Forces Medical College also.

Notwithstanding the humble family background and lack of facilities, Kanwal Jeet has made it to the top. His father runs a chemist shop and his mother is a house wife. Bareta Mandi to which he belongs had been classified as backward.

Another boy, Pavel, has also done the city proud by securing a seat in the AIIMS. He has got 23rd position in the entrance test. He has also qualified various other tests, including PMET, Karnataka, CMC, Vellore, and CBSE medical entrance test. He has also qualified for the AFMC test.


Coping with everyday stress
Parmod Bharti

Stress has become common in everyday life today, affecting different age groups, and its effective management is of immense importance.

Guru Nanak College of Nursing, Dhahan Kaleran, under the management of the Guru Nanak Mission Medical and Educational Trust, organised a six-day workshop on ‘‘Stress and management’’ on the college campus recently.

During the workshop experts from reputed institutions like the AIIMS, the IGNOU, and CMC, Ludhiana, delivered lectures on various topics related to stress, its impact on different age groups, professionals, etc, and the methods of stress management.

Ms Sandhaya Gupta, Lecturer, College of Nursing, AIIMS, New Delhi, inaugurated the workshop. She said stress was an internal state which could be caused by physical demands on the body or by environment and social situations, evaluated as potentially harmful, uncontrollable and exceeding the resources for coping with stress.

She laid emphasis on the management of “burn-out” among professionals, which was the result of work overload, often leading to exhaustion, fatigue, frequent headaches, cold, backache and insomnia. To cope with such situations, professionals should bring “burn-out” into the open and attention should be paid to the physical needs. A balanced programme of rest, nutrition and exercise could prevent “burn-out”, said Ms Gupta adding that professionals should avoid carrying the stress of the workplace to their homes. Problems should be discussed and feelings expressed to persons who had a sympathetic attitude to relieve stress, she added.

Ms Prabhjot Kaur, Ms Jasbir Kaur, Ms Davinder Kaur, Ms Namita and Ms Neelam Mohie participated in the seminar on the second day on the topic of “Asthma and stress”. It is estimated that 10 per cent of adults and 30 per cent of children suffer from asthma due to increasing environmental pollution, which is also proving to be a major cause of stress.

Ms K.J. Gill, Professor, CMC, Ludhiana, spoke about the conceptual model of stress, adaptive and maladaptive responses, coping with the stress mechanism and relaxation techniques. Besides, she explained relaxation techniques with the help of audio cassettes (Jacob’s relaxation techniques) and deep breathing exercises on the third day of the workshop.

Ms Triza Jiwan, Lecturer, College of Nursing, CMC, Ludhiana, delivered a lecture on “Stress in children”.

Ms Jasbir Kaur, Principal, Guru Nanak College of Nursing, Dhahan Kaleran, discussed the impact of stress on aged persons. She said elderly and aged people constituted around 15 to 20 per cent of the world’s population and the reasons for stress among this section were poverty, poor health, economic dependence and inability to work, which led to a feeling of worthlessness. About 35 per cent of aged persons had physical problems, 5 per cent chronic diseases and 25 per cent mental problems. They were subject to stress of bereavement, retirement and impairment of physical functions. The increased longevity in women predisposed them to gynaecological problems. Depression was found in one out of every four elderly persons, she said.

The concluding session of the workshop was presided over by Ms Bimla Kapoor, Reader, IGNOU, New Delhi. She spoke about stress in adults and stress management in old age. She also gave away certificates to the participants.


CITU: govt obeying IMF’s diktats
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 21
The secretary general of the state unit of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Mr Chander Shekhar, alleged that the Union government was favouring multinational companies at the cost of indigenous industry.

Mr Chander Shekhar while addressing a convention of CITU here today, said that the state government criticised the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT) in front of public only but agreed, with the Union government’s decision.

The government was obeying the diktats of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank against the interests of people.

Ban on recruitments, selling of public sector undertakings, liberalising economy and the recent lifting of the quantitative restrictions on about 825 items would ruin the small sector industry and render millions of employees jobless, he alleged.

The convention was attended by a large number of government employees and traders. Leaders alleged that the wrong policies of the government had resulted in the closure of many small-scale industries. The value of the Indian rupee was on decline.

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