Friday, July 6, 2001, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Punjabi youths in Pak jail await release
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
“When will my father be freed by General Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan?” asks Gurmeet Singh, a resident of Mustafabad in Fatehgarh Sahib district.

Gurmeet’s father, Des Raj, is languishing in a Baluchistan jail for the past six months. He is not alone. There are 28 other Punjabi youths belonging to various districts of Punjab and Haryana with him in the same jail. They have committed no crime but continue to be behind bars.

The case of the 29 Punjabi youths is as curious as that of Vikas Singh, a globetrotter cyclist, who was released by the Pakistan-authorities this morning on the intervention of General Musharraf as a goodwill gesture before his arrival in Delhi next week.

However, while the national media focused on Vikas Singh to seek his release, not much has been written about the Punjabi youths who are as innocent as Vikas Singh. In fact, they had no intention to enter Pakistan but were pushed into that country by the Iranian authorities, perhaps with the objective of handing them over to the Indian authorities concerned. However, they were jailed in Pakistan for entering that country without valid documents.

The intelligence agencies in Punjab have verified their antecedents by visiting their respective villages and have submitted the report to the Punjab Government, it is learnt. As they are in no way related to any criminal or anti-national activity, their case was found by the state government to be fit taken up with the Pakistani Government through the Union Home Ministry.

As the wait for their release is getting longer, the disappointment among their family members is growing. However, they continue to press the authorities concerned to take up the issue of the release of their relations with General Musharraf.

Following the release of Vikas Singh by the Pakistani authorities family members of Punjabi youths in Pakistan have become more eager and excited to see their kin back in the country.

In fact, they have knocked on several doors to seek the early release of their relations. They approached the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, in the second week of May. Following this, Mr Badal had taken up the matter with the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, on May 18. Mr Advani promised to take up the matter with the authorities concerned in Pakistan through diplomatic channels. But there is no outcome of Mr Advani’s promise yet.

Besides, family members have also approached the SGPC authorities who sent jathas to Pakistan. Mr Harpal Singh Bhullar, who visited Pakistan recently along with a Sikh jatha and earlier, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, a Delhi-based Sikh leader, had reportedly asked the president of the Pakistan Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee to talk to General Musharraf in this connection. Despite all these efforts made at various levels the Punjabi youths continue to be in Jail.

As a result of the very depressing reports about the living and eating conditions in the Baluchistan jail, family members of the imprisoned youth have become more worried. Recently, a letter was received from the jail. Many of the jailed youth have stated they were suffering from lice infestation.

How the youths reached Pakistan has an interesting background. Most of the jailed youths had been working either in Lebanon or Dubai as skilled workers for the past few years. A travel agent lured them to get them settled in a better country provided they gave him Rs 4 lakh each. They accepted the offer. As they were on way to Greece, they were arrested by the army on the Turkish border. From Turkey, they were pushed into Iran which handed them over to the Pakistani authorities concerned. However, they were jailed in Pakistan for entering that country without valid documents.


Malta tragedy: move to recover bodies
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, July 5
The Malta Boat Tragedy Probe Mission office has received three communications from Italian Senator Tana Dezulueta regarding the progress in the cases and the new findings which were possible with the efforts of Giovanni Maria Bellu of newspaper La Repubblica who, after being tipped off by a fisherman, near Siracusa in Sicily, found the identity card of one of the passengers of the ship, Anapalagan Ganeshu of Sri Lanka.

Bellu contacted relatives of two Ganeshu brothers who died in the 1996 shipwreck and published their story. Last week, she hired a boat with an underwater camera and started searching for the site where fishermen said they had lost some nets.

In a press note here today, Mr Balwant Singh Khera, Chairman of the mission, said she informed him that she intended to table a motion in Parliament to ask the Italian Government to take an initiative to recover corpses which were filmed lying on the sea bed. The request would be made on humanitarian grounds as the wreck was found outside Italian territorial waters. She said La Repubblica was launching an appeal, which would be signed by Nobel laureates, for the recovery of the bodies. She has asked the probe mission to support this appeal and request the affected families from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to join this endeavour.

She was also surprised that the location of the wreck threatened the on- going trial against the captain of the ship, Yusuf el Halal, whose trial was already at risk following chronic delays and the court’s decision last month to release him from preventive custody. The trial was set to resume on October 22. The prosecutor’s office at Siracusa, where the trial was pending, had, however, opened another investigation to ascertain whether those in charge of the search at sea had truly fulfilled their obligations.

Relatives of victims from Sri Lanka had already expressed their intention to file a suit in Italy “to constitute themselves as civil party” in the case.

She has advised mission officials in India to initiate action through the Indian embassy in Rome to become a civil party.

Mr Khera said a communication from Buddies International Ltd, Malta, a premier welfare association of the country, that it would also join the endeavour for recovering the remains of the victims.


Girls get top 3 positions in matriculation exam
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 5
Continuing with the trend in this year’s Senior Secondary examination of the Punjab School Education Board, girls once again secured the first three positions in the matriculation examination, the results of which were declared here today.

Securing 94.92 per cent marks, Sonam Gupta of SDAS Girls High School, Jalandhar city, topped the examination. Manisha Gupta of Bal Vidya Mandir High School, Gurdaspur, and Rajwinder Kaur of Green Wood Public School, Patran, Patiala, came second and third securing 94.46 per cent and 94 per cent marks, respectively.

The Controller of Examinations, Ms H.K. Brar, said a total of 3, 37,433 regular, private and open school candidates had appeared in the examination. Of these 1,67,850 had passed and 56,830 had been placed in the reappear category.

She said the pass percentage of regular candidates was 49.17 and that of private candidates, including open school candidates, 33.53. This year the board had given six grace marks each in Mathematics and English. Candidates of private schools had won most of the top positions. The result gazette would be available at the district text book depots on July 7 after 5 p.m

The names of the first 20 candidates (roll number/marks) in the merit list released by the board are as follows:

Sonam Gupta (684524/617), Manisha Gupta (611587/614), Rajwinder Kaur (910037/611), Sania (739111/608), Kanandeep (929615/606), Samita (604848/605), Gurvinder Kaur (684517/605), Suruchi Gupta (738504/603), Sonam Mahajan (604857/603), Isha (739257/602), Payal Goel (738496/601), Divya Agarwal (684617/601), Rahul Verma (997483/601), Savneel (881240/601), Mukta Garg (791188/600), Amandeep (604846/600), Ravinder Singh Saini (604943/ 600), Pratika (910022/600), Latika (931128/600) and Rena Sharma (739121/598).


Punjab gets 120 cr against FCI’s paddy sale
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 5
The Punjab Government has managed to get a part of the payment of the Rs 120 crore from the Union Food and Civil Supplies Minister of its total claim of Rs 270 crore with regard to the disposal of paddy procured by the Food Corporation of India and state agencies in 1994-95.

The state government has been making efforts to get the remaining payment of its total claim. The state’s loss on account of disposal of paddy amounted to Rs 300 crore, which included interest also.

In 1997 after the state government and rice mill owners raised a hue and cry over the fact that the FCI had disposed of the paddy belonging to state agencies on its own without taking the consent of the persons concerned, the Union Food and Civil Supplies Ministry agreed in principle to make good the loss of the state government.

The Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Minister Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, when contacted, said the state government had recommended the registration of cases against those millers who had sold off paddy on their own.

He added that the state government was trying to get Rs 150 crore from the Centre, because of the distress sale of paddy of state agencies by the FCI.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that unspecified quantity of paddy belonging to the state agencies had been sold off by the FCI.

At certain mills the paddy, which remained unsold, had rotten. The state government issued notices to millers in this connection.

The millers and the state government remained at loggerheads for a long time over the issuance of notices.

Whether the notices had been withdrawn or not by the state government could not be known.

Mr Mittal pointed out that due to storage problem, the state government had urged the Central Government to transport 15 lakh mt of foodgrain from Punjab to other states every month.

He further pointed out that due to less storage space in the state, the milling operation of paddy had been slowed down.

He said about 23 lakh mt of paddy was yet to be milled. He added that presently about 270 lakh mt of foodgrain were lying in the state.

Mr Mittal stated that about 19 lakh mt of covered capacity had been set up in Punjab under guarantee scheme from the FCI and 15 lakh mt more would be set up shortly as talks between the Punjab Government and the Union Food and Civil Supplies Ministry were going on.

The minister said the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, would participate in the meeting of standing committee of food management being held in Delhi to discuss the issue relating to the strengthening of PDS, formation of agriculture policy, crop diversification and procurement.


Fake pensioners cheat bank of 10 lakh
Treasury to take up case with Finance Dept
J.S. Malhotra

Jalandhar, July 5
The ongoing tussle between the district treasury authorities and the State Bank of India over the refusal of the latter to deposit more than Rs 10 lakh with the state exchequer which had been disbursed to 146 fake pensioners by the bank in a period of nine months, took a new turn with the treasury authorities deciding to take up the case with the state Finance Department.

A four-member women gang had withdrawn more than Rs 10 lakh by presenting fake pension documents to the Civil Lines branch of the bank between May 2000 and January 2001.

The gang members, who posed as retired employees or kin of former employees of the state government, continued to withdraw money for more than five days. The bank allegedly flouted rules and regulations of the Finance Department by not inspecting the pension payment order (PPO), a special passbook issued to every pensioner by the Accountant-General, bearing photographs and particulars to identify a pensioner.

The cheating was detected by the district treasury authorities during a routine verification of the payment vouchers on January 18. It was found that the signatures of the Treasury Officer (sanctioning authority) were forged. The matter was brought to the notice of the police and the bank authorities and a trap was laid to nab the culprits on January 19.

Four women identified as Baljinder Kaur of Raja Sansi in Amritsar, Balbir Kaur of Nag village in Majitha, Satnam Kaur of Dalip Avenue in Amritsar and Kulwant Kaur of Humjathwala village in Majitha, were arrested and a case under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468 and 471, IPC, was registered against them.

Interestingly, the police failed to present a challan in court within a stipulated time of 90 days due to the non-completion of investigation in the case. Police officials maintained that they could not present the challan due to the non-availability of original records of these pensioners.

The issue of loss to the state exchequer is still unresolved since the bank and treasury authorities are blaming each other for the lapse. “It is mandatory for bank officials to verify the identity of a pensioner from the PPO. Bank officials are responsible for this lapse and they are liable to deposit the amount in the state exchequer. Moreover, we have decided to approach the Finance Department to issue directions to the bank authorities,” Mr Amarjit Singh Anand, District Treasury Officer, said.

The bank officials, however, maintained that they had “verified” monthly account statements upto December 2000 issued by the District Treasury Officer. It was clearly mentioned in these statements that all payments disbursed to these pensioners were made by the bank as per their guidelines.

They said they had conducted an internal inquiry about the role and conduct of bank employees and was found satisfactory. “Even the police has found no lapse on our part during its investigation,” a senior bank official said.

Interestingly, the bank authorities admitted that they did not check the PPO, which was mandatory while releasing payment to a pensioner since the signature of a pensioner were attested by the District Treasury Officer himself.


Simla pact ‘must be basis for talks’
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 5
BJP National Secretary O.P. Kohli today said his party was in favour of the coming Indo-pak talks being held under the spirit of Simla Agreement and the APHC should not advocate Pakistan’s cause.

Mr Kohli pointed out that thought his party opposed the Simla Agreement when it was signed, it still felt that there should be bilateral talks between India and Pakistan.

When asked whether the Simla Agreement was still relevant, he said it was an agreement between two governments and could not be disobeyed by any successive governments.

Mr Kohli, party in charge of six states of north zone, said apart from Jammu and Kashmir, the economic and cultural issues would be taken up between Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on July 15 and 16 at Agra. He said the party was hopeful that all outstanding issues would be solved in one go.

He claimed if the talks between India and Pakistan produced desirable results, peace in the subcontinent could last forever.

He said the party had not given any guidelines to Mr Vajpayee, but it was of a strong view that Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) should be given to India.

Mr Kohli, who was here to preside over the meeting of the party’s state executive, said the claim of the state leadership of the BJP on chief ministership was not realistic.

He said the BJP was a junior partner in the SAD-BJP alliance and would try to get more seats in the next Assembly elections.

He said the state executive would discuss electoral arrangements and strategies.

The party’s organisational situation would also be reviewed.

He alleged that the Congress was issueless and was trying to disturb peace and create a wedge between the SAD and the BJP by raising the issue of Wassan Singh Zaffarwal and Jagjit Singh Chohan.

Mr Kohli, who was accompanied by the state BJP President, Mr Brij Lal Rinwa, in the press conference, said the state leadership had been keeping a close watch on the activities of Zaffarwala and Dr Chohan.

Asked whether Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal took the BJP into confidence before Zaffarwal and Dr Chohan entered Punjab, Mr Rinwa said Mr Badal had not allowed their party into Punjab and Dr Chohan had come through court.

When asked whether BJP’s silence on this issue would demoralise party workers, particularly those whose family members had fallen to their bullets, he said this would not happen.


PUTA memo against VC to Rinwa
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, July 5
A deputation of the Punjabi University Teachers Association (PUTA) today submitted a memorandum to the state BJP chief, Mr Brij Lal Rinwa, Punjab Food and Supply Minister, Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, and state Education Minister, Mr Swarna Ram, alleging that the Vice-Chancellor, Punjabi University, Patiala, Dr J.S. Ahluwalia, had been misusing his powers and violating university rules.

The deputation led by senior functionaries of the association, who did not wish to be identified, alleged that Mr Ahluwalia had been harassing teachers and victimising representatives of teachers who raised their voice against the irregularities.

In the memorandum, the PUTA demanded appointments as per the rules, allotment of university houses to teachers, which had been withheld for the past six months, end to “privatisation” of the university, particularly subletting the university to private companies in the name of information technology, removal of ban on holding protests in the campus, allowing the elected teachers association to function in a democratic way and freedom of expression.

The other demands of the PUTA were restoration of headship to Dr Bhupinder Singh Khaira, withdrawal of “condemnation” of PUTA president and its secretary during the recent Syndicate meeting and withdrawal of show-cause notices to prof U.C. Singh and Prof Sucha Singh Gill for expressing their opinion in the press.

The deputation pointed out that the Dean, Academic Affairs, the Dean, College, the Dean, Student Welfare, the Director, Research, and the Registrar of the university were function on an adhoc basis and demanded that this system of functioning be eliminated.

The PUTA also demanded that a regular Registrar be appointed as according to the university calender, the Registrar must be a whole-time employee and not a part-time one.

The present Registrar was a full-time Professor and a part-time Registrar, the PUTA pointed out.


Sohi’s death may hit Kanwaljit’s poll fortunes
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 5
The death of Congress leader Ravinder Singh Sohi may well rewrite political fortunes in the Banur Assembly constituency with State Finance Minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh likely to be affected most.

A popular grassroot to leader, Sohi was perceived as the best bet by the party to take on Finance Minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh. The Shiromani Akali Dal, which has been considerably weakened in Patiala district due to formation of the Sarb Hind Akali Dal by former SGPC chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra, is apparently shaky in all Assembly constituencies of the district and it felt that the Finance Minister would face difficulty in seeking reelection if Sohi was given the party ticket.

The Banur Assembly constituency is a traditional Congress belt with former minister Mohinder Singh Gill having won the seat in the 1992 election. Even then though Sohi was a candidate for the party ticket and was supported by former Chief Minister Beant Singh, veteran leader M.S. Gill had succeeded in securing the ticket from the high command due to his seniority in the party.

This time too both Mr Sohi and Mr M.S. Gill were the main contestants for the party ticket. Sohi was trying to build a momentum in his favour by propagating that the party ticket should go to a local man and that this had been the reason for the defeat of Mr Gill in the last Assembly elections at the hands of Capt Kanwaljit.

However, supporters of Mr Gill said he was a veteran Congress leader who had nursed the constituency diligently for nearly 10 years and that it would be foolhardy to have another leader in the constituency.

Supporters of Mr Gill feel Sohi had worked against the candidature of their leader due to which Capt Kanwaljit had turned victorious. They said during the last Assembly elections the Sainis had supported Capt Kanwaljit at the last moment, resulting in his victory.

Sources said though Capt Kanwaljit had lost a formidable opponent in the death of Sohi, he would not be able to play the leaders against each other. Due to the bitter rivalry between Sohi and Mr Gill, it was felt that when any of the two was denied the party nomination, the other would work at cross-purposes against the official candidate. They said this time there was a feeling that Sohi could contest as an independent.

Political sources said with the death of Sohi, all Congress votes would go to Mr Gill due to which he could emerge as a formidable opponent.

They said though the Finance Minister had time on his side till now as he had already started working in the Banur Assembly segment with an eye on the poll whereas the Congress had had two strong candidates working at cross-purposes, this advantage could slip away now with the death of Sohi.


Ex-servicemen’s rally on July 8
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
A rally of ex-servicemen from all over Punjab will be organised by the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) here at Tagore Theatre on July 8 at 11 a.m., it was officially announced here today. The rally would be addressed, among others, by the Punjab Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh and Lieut-Gen Tarlochan Singh (retd).


SAD (A) names two candidates
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, July 5
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), headed by Simranjit Singh Mann, M.P, today released the party’s five-point poll agenda, as well as first list of its candidates for the coming Assembly poll.

Talking to select reporters here, Mr Dhyan Singh Mand, senior vice-president and Mr Jaskaran Singh, general secretary, SAD (A), said the names of candidates had been short listed and the first lot of 10 candidates had already been decided.

While Mr Mand would contest from Ferozepore city, Mr Paramjit Singh Johal would be the candidate from Noormahal, they disclosed. The remaining names of the first list would be released later, they said.

They said coming to power, the SAD (A) will free farmers and the poor from debt trap, provide free health services and free education up to graduation level, order an inquiry against corrupt politicians and officials, give priority to water-related issues and handing over of headworks to Punjab and corruption-free, caste-free, peaceful, orderly and egalitarian rule, based upon “Guru de ashey” (tenets of the Guru).

They called upon Punjabis to reject Congress and the ruling SAD-BJP combine.

The Panthic morcha of the radical Akalis and the progressive parties would give drubbing to the ruling combine and the Congress, they asserted.

On the much hyped Vajpayee-Musharraf summit, they said SAD (A) would present a memorandum to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.

The party would seek time for meeting General Musharraf to discuss issues related to Sikh shrines in Pakistan, they added.


BJP executive meet in Amritsar
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, July 5
Mr Om Parkash Kohli, National Secretary, BJP, said the details of the meetings of the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, with Mr Pervez Musharaff would be available at the BJP national executive meeting to be held at Amritsar from July 18 to 20.

Mr Kohli said this while talking to mediapersons here today when he was here to chair the BJP state-level executive meeting. The BJP executive would be meeting in the state for the first time. Various leaders of the party, including Mr Vajpayee, Mr L.K. Advani, Mr Jaswant Singh, six Chief Ministers the Opposition ex-leaders of the BJP in various state assemblies members of the state executive committee and other senior leaders would attend it.

The meeting holds importance as the BJP would evolve its strategy on the coming assembly elections and the elections to the local bodies in various states. The BJP would discuss the socio-economic and political situation of the country.


Decorated soldier’s statue dishonoured
Chander Parkash and Pushpesh Kumar

Bathinda, July 5
The BJP workers here have brought disgrace and disrespect to the highest decorated soldier of the Commonwealth countries, Jamadar Nand Singh, winner of Victoria Cross and Maha Vir Chakra, today by tying ropes to his life-size statue, installed in the hearts of the city, for tying banners on the occasion of the party’s state executive meeting to be presided over by national secretary, Mr O.P. Kohli.

The use of the statue has shocked retired and serving Army personnel living here and surrounding areas.

Brig Bant Singh (retd), vice-president, District Sainik Board, Bathinda, when contacted, said the board had managed to get standing orders from the Deputy Commissioner that the statue would not be used for tying the ropes or for any other purpose, which amounted to insult. He added that orders had been sent to the municipal council authorities and sainik welfare authorities.

He pointed out that the council officials and sainik welfare officials had been directed by the Deputy Commissioner that whenever they came to know about the misuse of the statue they were bound to rectify it.

He said he along with other ex-servicemen would lodge their protest with the district administration against the treatment meted out by a national-level party to the statue.

Jamadar Nand Singh’s statue was installed by the Improvement Trust authorities in 1982.

Jamadar Nand Singh had won a Victoria Cross during the Burma campaign in the World War-II. During the Jammu and Kashmir operation in 1947 along with his small detachment charged a large group of Pakistani tribesmen lying in wait to ambush. He captured number of bunkers and his daring assault saved the battalion. The brave soldier laid down his life when hit by a machine gun fire from a nearby enemy position. For this gallantry act he was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra, posthumously.

Mr R. Venkatratnam, Deputy Commissioner, when contacted, said he was not aware of it and he would get the ropes removed. He said suitable action would be taken against those who had done it.

Mr Gulzar Singh, president, BJP, Bathinda district, when contacted, said he was not aware of any such incident.


Technology to treat waste water
Jangveer Singh

Tribune News Service

In a project aimed at benefiting polluting industries, the Punjab Pollution Control Board, in association with its central counterpart, has successfully established the root zone treatment system at the Maine distillery here under which certain kinds of reeds are used to cleanse waste water which flows through them.

The project, the first set up under the guidance of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) after the successful operation of a similar plant established for the treatment of waste water at the Mother Dairy unit in Delhi, has reached the second stage with the distillery now approaching the local pollution control board scientists to give clearance for feeding effluent water after secondary treatment to the reeds grown by it.

Giving details of the project, the Patiala Distilleries vice-president, Gp Capt B.P. Puri (retd), said the system worked with the help of particular varieties of reeds (phargmites karka and arundo donax) which cleansed waste water flowing through their roots, bringing down its bio-chemical oxygen demand as well as removing its colour considerably.

He said the distillery was selected by the CPCB during a visit by its team last year, following which CPCB scientists and German specialists laid down the guidelines for preparing the infrastructure at the effluent treatment plant at the distillery. He said after satisfying themselves with the preparation of the root zone technology beds, the CPCB team of senior scientists brought a few imported phargmites and demonstrated their plantation and grooming technique to the distillery staff.

Group Captain Puri said later the distillery management identified such plants in the Shivalik foothills with the help of Punjabi University and Modi College botanists. He said the plants were planted under the guidance of the local pollution control board experts. These reeds had now grown to the required size.

Group Captain Puri said with the successful results of the project, root zone technology systems could be set up at all distilleries in the country under the CPCB guidelines.

He also highlighted the company’s efforts to improve its effluent treatment system. He said an additional aeration system tank would be installed soon. A large number of local farmers had utilised the distillery treated waste water for irrigation for four to five years and the demand was increasing.

He showed a huge green belt in the vicinity having 80,000 to 90,000 eucalyptus and poplar plants which, he said, had been irrigated with the treated effluent.

He said due to its organic base and good nutrition qualities, the treated effluent of the distillery had been cleared for irrigation by the Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI).


Rotary homes for the homeless
Lalit Mohan

The local Rotary Club has set an example by providing dwelling units to poor families of the area. Twenty units, each comprising a room, a kitchen, a bathroom and a toilet, were handed over to the families by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr G.S. Grewal, here.

The project director, Dr R.S. Parmar, said the idea of setting up Rotary Roop Kunj struck club members after they received a grant of about Rs 20 lakh from the Rotary Foundation, Rotary International 6800 USA, the Rotary Club of Port Perrie and Australia RI District 9500. A local philanthropist, Mr Lal Singh Sitta, donated about half an acre of land for the construction of the dwelling units. After arranging more funds through contributions by Rotarians here, the foundation stone of the project was laid in June, 2000, Dr Parmar said.

He said initially nearly 400 persons responded to the advertisement of the club for the allotment of the dwelling units. The club then shortlisted 60 deserving cases and ultimately 20 were allotted the houses.

While selecting the families, the club tried to ensure that only hard-working and poor people got the benefit. According to the eligibility criteria, applicants were considered only if they had been living in Ropar or its vicinity for at least 15 years, were below the poverty line and did not own any property.

The Deputy Commissioner announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh for creating recreation facilities for the residents of Rotary Roop Kunj and Rs 1.25 lakh for providing electricity and water connections. He said the uplift of the economically backward sections in the country was not possible unless philanthropic organisations lent a helping hand.

The club donated an ambulance for public use to the Deputy Commissioner.

The president of the local club, Mr Sanjay Sood, said that the club was planning to develop the new colony into a model place. It would also provide free vocational training to the residents and other poor persons of the area. Land for the project was available with the club and work on it would be started soon.

The setting up of an old age home at Ropar and the organising of community service camps were the other projects likely to be taken up by the club during the current financial year. 


Crisis mars Cardiology Dept of Rajindra Hospital
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 5
The Cardiology Department of the Government Rajindra Hospital is facing a crisis with only the Head of the Department left to man its daily running as two other senior faculty members have taken premature retirement.

The Cardiology Department, which gets one of the highest number of cases in its outdoor patient facility (OPD) as well as having a heavy rush of admissions, has been left virtually unmanned with senior teacher and Professor — Dr SPS Bagga and senior lecturer Dr Dharambir Gandhi — filing in their papers. While Dr Bagga took retirement some time back, Dr Gandhi is due to be relieved on July 12.

Sources said the situation could well turn serious once Dr Gandhi also leaves the once premier institution of the Northern region. They said already the vacation of Dr Manmohan Singh, Head of the Department, was cancelled by the hospital authorities due to shortage of staff. The authorities had informed the government of the latest developments and had asked that post of Associate Professors in the department, which have been lying vacant for some time, should be filled up immediately.

Hospital sources said it was not easy to fill up the vacant posts in the department as only doctors having done the super speciality Doctor of Medicine course were eligible. They said, however, senior lecturers from the department of medicine could be appointed in the department provided they gave such an option. They said otherwise in normal course it would take a long time to fill the vacancies as the government would first advertise the jobs and then invite applications following which the selections would be made.

They said, meanwhile, work in the Cardiology Department had already started to suffer. According to them the Cardiology Department attracted a heavy rush during days on which outdoor patients visited the hospital. They said while OPD of various other departments lasted till around 1pm in the afternoon, the Cardiology OPD continued till around 4 pm in the evening. They said besides this while three days were devoted to the OPD, the other three were spent in conducting specialised investigations.

The sources said only senior doctors of the department could conduct the specialised investigations which included the treadmill test and the coloured doppler test. They said such tests could not be handled by the laboratory technicians. They said besides this the department also had a Intensive Cardiac Care Unit (ICCU) which was equipped with six beds and serious patients admitted in the unit needed regular attention. Besides this they said the department also had to conduct cardio-thoracic surgeries to justify its status as a tertiary centre of medicine. They said this meant that it would be nearly impossible for the lone remaining doctor to attend to all these responsibilities in the coming days after Dr Gandhi is also relieved.

Meanwhile, sources said desertion of a number of senior doctors from the hospital was taking a serious toll on the hospital in terms of being able to provide efficient and quality service. Earlier also a number of prominent doctors have opted to take premature retirement from the Rajindra hospital and opened up their own practices or joined private nursing homes and hospitals. The senior doctors are apparently peeved at the fact that they have to operate using obsolete machinery besides being denied simple equipment and facilities. Besides this red tapism in the matter of promotions and even transfers are the other reasons for senior doctors deciding to quit the hospital.


PSEB’s new timetable for industries
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 5
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) today revised timings for evening peak load hours for industry besides announcing the power cut schedule for urban-industrial mixed feeders.

An official statement said the PSEB had revised timings for evening peak load hours for consumers falling under the North, South, border and West operation zones. For all these consumers peak load restrictions would be effective from 7.30 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. in June and July, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in November, December and January, from 6.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. in February, March, September and October and between 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in April, May and August.

The press statement said for consumers falling in the central zone, peak load restrictions would be effective from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. in June and July, from 6.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. in November, December and January, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in February, March, September and October and from 7.30 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. in April, May and August.

The PSEB has also announced the power cut schedule for urban- industrial mixed feeders.

According to the schedule, power cuts will be imposed from 8 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. and from 12 noon to 1.30 p.m. in the operation circles of Kapurthala, Ropar, Faridkot, Hoshiarpur, Amritsar and Mohali.

The statement said power cut would be imposed from 9.30 a.m. to 11 a.m. hours and from 1.30 p.m. to 3 p.m. for the operation circles of Sangrur, Gurdaspur, Nawanshahr, Bathinda and Ludhiana (suburban).

The cuts would also be imposed from 11 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. in the operation circles of Ludhiana and Tarn Taran. Cuts would be imposed from 12.30 p.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4.30 p.m. to 6 p.m. for the operation circles of Khanna, Muktsar, Ferozpore, Jalandhar and Patiala.

The statement said peak load restriction from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. would continue on large supply consumers and that additional load shedding of up to an hour would be resorted to in case of outage of any thermal unit in the state.


Dal Khalsa refutes charge
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 5
The Dal Khalsa today refuted the charge by Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance Minister, that it had held a press conference at Congress Bhawan, Chandigarh, where the demand for Khalistan was raised.

In a press statement issued here today, Mr Kanwar Paul Singh, spokesman of the Dal Khalsa, said his organisation had held a press conference in 1981 at Guru Gobind Singh Bhawan adjacent to Congress Bhawan. He alleged that it was the Shiromani Akali Dal which had introduced the concept of a separate Sikh state by passing a resolution at its executive meeting in the year 1946.

The Dal Khalsa leader claimed that the demand for Khalistan was raised by its organisation at a meeting organised at Guru Gobind Singh Bhawan by the Chief Khalsa Dewan.

Mr Kanwar Paul Singh alleged that the Shiromani Akali Dal had adopted double standards on the “Sikh agenda”. He asked the SAD leadership to explain as to why Mr Parkash Singh Badal had signed a memorandum submitted to the Secretary-General of the USA wherein the demand of a separate Sikh state was highlighted in the year 1994. 


25 taken ill after eating laddoos
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
At least 25 persons, including women and children, were taken ill at Mullanpur Dakha village, 20 kms from here, today after they ate sweets bought from a sweet-meat shop in Ludhiana.

The incident turned sour the celebrations of a student who had secured admission to an MBBS course.

Eleven persons, including a woman, are undergoing treatment at the Civil Hospital in Mullanpur Dakha. Another woman has been referred to DMC Hospital here. Her condition is said to be stable. The doctors have diagnosed the case as food poisoning.

They said as the patients were brought in time to the hospital, a major tragedy was averted as the stomach of several of them was required to be washed.

The Jagraon police has registered a case under Sections 269 and 273, IPC against the owners of the sweetmeat shop at Ghumar Mandi. The owners, however, could not be arrested till evening.

According to Mr Jaskaran Singh, SSP, Jagraon, Mr Sarbjit Singh, Secretary, Market Committee Mullanpur Dakha, had bought 7 kg of laddoos to celebrate his son’s admission to an MBBS course. However, the moment the guests ate laddoos, they began vomitting and many of them fainted.

The hosts also took ill. The condition of some who had consumed more than one laddoo was worse.

The Ludhiana police has confiscated all laddoos at the shop. Those admitted to the Civil Hospital include Sarbjit Singh, Jagjit Singh, Mukesh Kumar, Piara Singh, Rana Bahadur, Reshap Singh, Amarjit Singh, Harpinder Singh, Gurmeet Singh and Sukhdeep Singh.

Amarjit Kaur has been admitted to DMC Hospital. Others have been discharged. Most of the patients are employees of the Mullanpur Market Committee.

The police said samples of the sweets have been sent for analysis.


Proceedings stayed in minister’s plea
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Issuing notice of motion to Punjab Irrigation Minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon, Mr Justice V.M. Jain of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today stayed further proceedings before Ferozepur’s Senior Superintendent of Police. The proceedings were reportedly initiated on the basis of High Court orders on the minister’s petition seeking the registration of a criminal case against a correspondent of a regional English daily (not The Tribune) and other respondents.

Taking up the minister’s petition describing a newspaper report as “false” and “scandalous”, Mr Justice R.L. Anand of the High Court had earlier directed the SSP to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the allegations and register a case if a cognizable offence was made out.

Mr Sekhon had alleged that the item was published following a conspiracy to tarnish his image. His counsel had stated that the correspondent was told by the petitioner that the tenders pertaining to certain projects in Ludhiana circle were cancelled after the officials informed him regarding the non-commencement of work which was subsequently allotted in accordance with the rules. He had added that the item which appeared in the newspaper after four or five days left the minister and his supporters in Ferozepore shocked.

Seeking directions for transferring the inquiry from the SSP to an independent agency like the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Chairman of Punjab Services Anti-Corruption Council in SAS Nagar A.D.S. Anandpuri, named as a respondent by the minister in his earlier petition, stated that an impartial inquiry could not be expected from the police as the complainant was a Cabinet Minister.

He added that the SSP had no jurisdiction over the matter as the offence, alleged by the minister, had been committed in Chandigarh. He further added that the minister, residing in Chandigarh, had met the correspondent here only.

After going through the arguments, Mr Justice Jain observed: “It has been submitted that if the matter is to be looked into, it should be inquired by the Chandigarh Police and not by the Punjab Police. Issue notice of motion to Punjab Advocate-General as also Irrigation Minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon for August 9. Meanwhile, further proceedings before the SSP shall remain stayed till further orders”.

Chohan’s bail plea hearing

The anticipatory bail application filed by once “self-styled President of Khalistan” Dr Jagjit Singh Chohan will come up for hearing before the High Court on July 12.

His two previous applications had earlier been dismissed by Mr Justice Mehtab Singh Gill and Mr Justice Nirmal Singh of the High Court on technical grounds.

Dr Chohan, it may be recalled, had landed in India after Mr Justice V.K. Jhanji of the High Court directed the Union of India and other respondents to issue travel documents to him.

In his detailed order, Mr Justice Jhanji had observed: “As regard to the contention that the intelligence agencies had not favoured the grant of travel documents to the petitioner in view of his known stand in favour of ‘Khalistan’, it is only to be stated that the return to one’s own country is the fundamental right conferred on a citizen under Article 21 of the Constitution”.

The Judge had concluded: “The right cannot be taken away simply because the intelligence agency has not favoured the issuance of passport to a citizen.... The writ petition is allowed.”

Plea against HPCL appointment rejected

Finding no merit, Mr Justice V.K. Jhanji of the High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition filed by a Bathinda resident challenging the action of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited and the Chairman of the Oil Selection Board regarding the appointment of an LPG dealer.

In his petition, Mr Satish Kumar had challenged the appointment on the ground that the income of respondent, including that of his parents, was more than Rs 24,000 per annum even though, according to the eligibility requirements, the family income should not be more than that amount. Counsel had added that the respondent was also ineligible as he was not an unemployed graduate.

After going through the record and hearing the arguments, Mr Justice Jhanji observed: “Simply because the respondent was a partner to the extent of 20 per cent in a firm which was running at a loss, he cannot be said to be ineligible especially when his income and that of his family was less than Rs 24,000 per annum”.


KMC plans protest during PM’s visit
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 5
Close on heels of the proposed visit of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to Amritsar, the Khalra Mission Committee has announced it will hold a protest to press for the release of 1500 Sikhs languishing in jails. The KMC will file write petitions for these cases shortly.

The KMC chairman, Mr Surinder Singh Ghariala, Mr Balwinder Singh Chabhal and others, addressing a press conference here today, said the committee would press for an apology by the Prime Minister for “Operation Bluestar” during his proposed visit here.

The KMC said Dr Jagjit Singh Chohan and Wassan Singh Zaffarwal were both government agents and their entry in India has been masterminded with an eye on the Assembly elections.

While extending an invitation to Pakistans President Gen Pervez Musharaff to Amritsar, they said the demands of Sikhs would be placed before the Pakistan President. Refuting allegations by the SGPC regarding discriminatory treatment meted out by the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee to SGPC-led jathas recently, the committee chairman said these were merely excuses as the SGPC had lost control over “golak” offerings in Pakistan gurdwaras.


Pilot dies in MiG crash
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, July 5
An MiG-21 aircraft of the Adampur airbase crashed in the maize fields between Ajnoha and Todarpur at 9.35 p.m. last night. Pilot Sandip Mehra was burnt alive.

On receiving information, the municipal fire brigade from Hoshiarpur and Phagwara rushed to the site but due to knee-deep water in the fields could not do much.

Mr Sohan Singh Thandal, Minister for Food and Supplies, Punjab, the SDM of Garhshanker, the SP, Operations, Hoshiarpur, and people of the area tried to control the fire and save the pilot but in vain.

The Air Force authorities also came for rescue purposes but the helicopter could not land in the flooded fields.

According to official sources, pilot Sandip Mehra was on a routine sortie.


Beopar mandal seeks abolition of octroi
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 5
The Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal will press upon the government to abolish octroi levied in the state as promised by the Akali-BJP government in its election manifesto.

Mr Amrit Lal Jain, president of the mandal, in a press note said the mandal would hold its working committee meeting to raise voice against octroi which had already been abolished by all northern states like Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chandigarh.

The mandal also proposed to call for reduction in electricity rates which had been hiked four times which had resulted in a setback to trade and industrial activities.

The matter of reduction in rates of water, sewerage, house tax will also be taken up.


Electrification of rail link begins
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, July 5
The Northern Railways has started electrification work on the Ludhiana-Amritsar rail section. The information was given here today by railway sources.

The sources said the section would be electrified by the end of the year.

The sources said the electrification work was being done in different phases.

The work between Ludhiana and Phagwara would be completed in the first phase, Phagwara and Jalandhar in the second phase and Jalandhar and Amritsar in the third phase.

They said all railway bridges in the section were being heightened. Sources said rail tracks had been strengthened for electric trains. The Railways was committed to provide better rail service to passengers in Ferozepore division, the sources said.


FCI union to launch stir on July 23
Tribune News Service

Ferozepore, July 5
The FCI Executive Staff Union has decided to launch a statewide agitation from July 23 in protest against the issuance of charge-sheets to employees and imposition of penalties on them on the pretext of storage and transient losses of foodgrain.

Mr Megh Raj, state president of the union, in a press note issued here today, said the FCI management had been given a notice by the union in connection with regard to their agitation, which included dharnas at the district headquarters and regional office in Chandigarh and the head office in New Delhi.

He alleged that the charge-sheets to the employees were being issued without any logic or justified cause. He added that the FCI management had failed to lay down the norms of storage and transient losses of foodgrains despite the fact that the Managing Director, Mr Jai Singh Gill, had promised to the union at the meeting few months ago that such norms would be laid down shortly.

He pointed out that Central Warehousing Corporation and the Punjab State Warehousing Corporation had already laid down norms in this connection. Since its inception about 35 years ago the FCI management had failed to do the same.


CITU to launch stir against govt policies
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 5
The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) will launch a state-wide campaign against the “retrograde” and “anti-national” policies of the Central and the state governments.

Mr Chander Shekhar, General Secretary, Punjab state Committee of the CITU, while addressing a workers’ convention at Desh Bhagat Hall said here today that due to its anti-national economic policies during the past one decade, the Central and the state governments were unable to repay their debts. He said economic slow down, massive unemployment and closure of mills, were the results of these so-called reforms dictated by the WTO, World Bank and the IMF, which are working for multi-national and trans-national companies. He sought employment oriented policies instead of downsizing and stressed that instead of privatising the profit making public sector units, these should be modernised. He condemned the recommendations of the task force headed by Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia for setragrade amendments in labour laws and demanded social recurity for workers and new enactment for unorganised sectors. While condemning the joint stand of the BJP and the Congress in favour of the economic policies he appealed to strengthen the Peoples’ Front which is committed to the policies of self reliance and resistance. The CITU decided to hold a state-level rally on July 24 in Jalandhar besides a two-day countrywide strike on July 23 and July 24 by defence employees.

The convention was addressed among others by Mr Amarnath Kumkalan, state city secretary, Mr Inderjit Singh Grewal, Mr Hari Muni Singh, Mr Tara Singh Puadra and Mr Baldev Singh Noorpuri.


Two-day conference on rabies from today
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 5
Nearly 90 per cent of rabies cases are due to dog bite while the rest are due to bites by monkeys, cats etc, Dr A.S. Padda, Joint Director, Medical Education and Research, Punjab, and Dr Ashok Goel, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, said while addressing mediapersons here today on the third national two-day conference on rabies which would commence from tomorrow.

The conference is being organised by the association for prevention and control of rabies in India, in collaboration with the Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Amritsar. Dr Padda and Dr Goel are the Chairman and Organising Secretary, respectively of the association.

Dr Padda said nearly 30 to 40 cases of dog bites were encountered by them daily out of which 2 to 3 had contracted rabies. The count remained the same in both urban and rural population. He said sterilisation of dogs was required to decrease the number of stray dogs. Nearly 300 delegates from home and abroad would participate in the conference.


Mill workers take out procession
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, July 5
Workers of the Punjab Spinning and Weaving Mill today held a rally here as part of their ongoing agitation to get their dues following the closure of the mill.

The workers are demanding salary for June, power and water supply connections of the residential colony of the factory and registration of a case against mill owners.

Union leaders alleged that the mill had received various reform packages by the government from time to time and that the policies were not implemented in the right spirit, hence the workers had to suffer.

They also took out a procession which passed through Sirki bazar and concluded at the office of the Deputy Commissioner.

They submitted a memorandum to the Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) for onward transmission to the Deputy Commissioner.

The ADC assured them that demands which concerned the state government would be sent to it for action. The other demands would be taken care of by the district administration.

They said they would hold a rally on Sunday in which the effigies of the mill management would be burnt.

The closure of the mill will cause loss to the government as it used to pay crores of ruppes as taxes to the state exchequer. This was stated by Mr Amrik Singh, press secretary of the Workers Union of the mill in a press note here.

He said the workers would face problems after the closure as they would be rendered jobless.

He said the mill was running at profit but due to the non-payment of electricity bills, the power connection of the mill had been disconnected.

The union leader said to restart the mill an investment of about Rs 1.5 crore would have to be made.


JEs hold rally, demand 40 lt petrol per month
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, July 5
The JEs of the local Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant (GNDTP) and those of Bathinda circle of the PSEB today held a rally here to press the authorities to give them petrol for their vehicles.

The JEs adopted a unique way of showing their resentment. They emptied the fuel tanks of their vehicles and pulled them on the main roads of the city to show that they were not able to get fuel for their vehicles.

The JEs demanded that they should be given 40 liters of petrol per month for their duty. They said a decision in this regard was taken on March 14, 1998, in a meeting of the union of the JEs and the concerned authorities, but the same had not been implemented.

The other demands of the JEs include revision of pay scales, implementation of proper channels for promotion of JEs and at least three promotions during the tenure of the JEs.

The agitating JEs alleged that they were being victimised by politicians. They demanded that they should not be unnecessarily harassed by their seniors and urged that their duty hours should be fixed. The JEs said if their demands were not fulfilled, they would launch agitation on a large scale in which their counterparts from other regions would also be invited. 


Class IV posts: date extended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
The Punjab Government has extended the last date till August 31 for sending applications for Class IV posts reserved for next of kin of terrorists or riot victims in the state.


Notorious gangster arrested
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 5
The district police claims to have arrested a leader of a dreaded gang involved in snatchings, thefts, killings and exortions in the state and some parts of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana yesterday. Mr K.S. Sandhu, SP (D), said he had been declared a proclaimed offender. With the arrest of the gang leader a large number of criminal cases had been solved. He was wanted in more than 20 cases.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr H.S. Saran, SSP, said on a tip-off CIA staff of Sirhind signalled a scooterist to stop but he sped away. The scooterist was caught after a chase and identified as Jagdev Singh, alias Heera, a resident of Noorwala Road, Ludhiana. During interrogation he revealed that he was a leader of a gang which used to snatch cash and vehicles and after changing the documents used to ply the vehicles as taxis in Dehradun. He said that he was running a taxi service at Dehradun with stolen vehicles.

Jagdev Singh said the Ludhiana police had earlier arrested him but he escaped from police custody when he was being taken to Dehradun for being produced in a court. He then reorganised his gang in Punjab. He said he was also involved in the kidnapping of a child Asish Arora of Ludhiana, and later extorted Rs 5 lakh from the parents, besides looting and killing a manager of a petrol pump in Ludhiana. He said after reorganising his group he had taken a contract Rs 5 lakh for killing a prisoner, Mr Sukhwinder Singh, alias Bhap, who is lodged in Ludhiana jail.


Two accused in rape case held

Hoshiarpur, July 5
Two of the four youths who had allegedly raped a Class VI student of Senior Secondary School, Dasuya, on July 2 have been arrested.

District Police Chief Sanjeev Kalra, in a statement here today, identified the arrested youths as Surjit Singh, Alias Kaka of Keherwali, and Ajay Kumar Alias Kittu, of Kanthan.

Mr Kalra said the 14-year-old girl was kidnapped while she was on her way to school from her village Bajwa. She was taken to the Sangna Panwan road and assaulted. She was taken to a room in Keherwali village where she was again raped by Surjit Singh and an unidentified person. UNI


3 of family die in mishap

Ropar, July 5
Three members of a family were killed on the spot and one was seriously injured in a head-on collision between a car and a truck on the Ropar-Nangal road, about 30 km from here, today the police said.

The family members, belonging to Majowal village in this district, were returning to Kiratpur Sahib from Delhi. The police has arrested the truck driver and impounded the vehicle. PTI


Friend killed over girl
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, July 5
Satpal Singh, alias Satta, a resident of Kothe Kaur Singhwala village of this district, allegedly killed his friend Jagga of the same village when he came to know that his beloved had also fallen in love with Jagga. Police sources said that Jagga’s body was found in the village yesterday. Differences cropped up between the two when the same girl started ‘seeing’ both of them.

The accused used a sharp-edged weapon to kill his friend and fled the scene after committing the crime. An FIR had been registered against the accused. Civil Hospital sources said that post-mortem of the dead body which came here today could not be conducted as the necessary papers did not reach in time. A case in this connection has been registered in the police station, Nahianwala, under Section 302 of the IPC.


Doc booked for negligence
Our Correspondent

Mansa, July 5
An injury suffered by a student proved fatal allegedly due to the negligence of a doctor against whom a case under Section 304-A, IPC, (causing death by negligence) has been registered.

Amandeep Sharma while on his way from Bareh village of Mansa district to Budhlada on his scooter to get coaching for B.Ed, was injured when his scooter was hit by a milk tanker.

At Budhlada, he went to a private nursing home where Dr Pawan Garg stitched the wound. Thereafter, the condition of Amandeep Sharma worsened and he was taken to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMC), Ludhiana, for treatment, where he died. The doctors of DMC are reported to have revealed that the instruments used for stitches at Budhlada were not properly sterilised and they lead to infection.

The body of the victim was brought to Budhlada, where a huge number of workers of the Students Federation of India (SFI), All-India Student Association (AISA), Communist Party of India (CPI), CPM (M), Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) Ekta, staged a demonstration and demanded action against Dr Pawan Garg. They were pacified by Mr S.K. Sabarwal, SDM, Budhlada, who got a report lodged with the police.

The deceased was president of Budhlada unit of the SFI and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sports Club, Budhlada.


Shooting case: one more accused held
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, July 5
The Kotkapura police has arrested another accused Davinder Singh allegedly involved in the killing of two passersby namely Lakhbir Singh and Rajesh Kumar while fighting with an eve-teaser at Kotkapura on July 1.

Davinder Singh, who was injured during the incident and had been getting treatment at DMC hospital, Ludhiana, was discharged yesterday. He will be produced before the judicial court today for getting his police remand. The information was given by Mr Gurpreet Singh Gill, district police chief, here today.

Mr Gill said Mohinder Singh, the other accused, was already in police custody for interrogation. A .32 bore revolver used by Mohinder Singh during the killing had been recovered from his house at Moga. The SSP said the eve-teaser, who was also involved in the case, would be nabbed shortly.


Promotion policy irks lecturers
Our Correspondent

Patiala, July 5
Resentment prevails among college lecturers due to the change in government promotion policy in their regard, which they consider to be illogical and without any base.

The lecturers feel that the new promotion policy puts them completely at the mercy of principals. They feel that this had become evident in the recent promotions made under the new policy in which various meritorious teachers had been ignored.

According to the new norms, importance is to be given to the merit of the candidates, which is to be assessed from their annual confidential reports (ACRs), submitted by the college principals. Seniority is taken into consideration after that. Earlier, seniority of the candidates was the main criterion on which promotions were based. Teachers have resented the latest change in the policy.

Sources disclosed that among women lecturers from government colleges of the city, four proposals were sent from the Government College for Girls (GCG), Patiala, five from Girls College, Ludhiana and one proposal was sent from Amritsar. Out of these colleges, only one woman lecturer from Ludhiana was selected by the departmental promotion committee (DPC).

A senior lecturer in GCG said, “I have a good annual confidential report, and have more than 30 years experience as a lecturer. Despite this, I have a remote chance of promotion.”

Other lecturers also contested the new rule, alleging that it was not being rightly followed by the authorities properly. The lecturers demanded their comparison with their counterparts so as to find out who is more efficient in real terms, and justice is done to them in this regard.

The teachers said that the entire system of writing down ACRs by the principals should be made more transparent. They said that in case any principal recorded any adverse remarks against any teacher, the teacher concerned should have the right to make an appeal against it. They said that presently, even senior teachers did not know how they were being graded by their principals. There should also be a check on Principals so as to ensure that no teacher is victimised. This would ensure end to the present culture of sycophancy, which had become common in colleges of the state, they added.


Minister proposes, VC disposes
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
Ministers, beware of recommending someone for a post. For it could lead the recommended person to trouble. At least this has what happened in the case of a professor with the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) who had hoped to get a coveted post at the recommendation of an Akali minister, but instead faces disciplinary action.

Taking notice of the recommendation made by Akali Minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan for appointment of Dr H.S Dhaliwal to the post of Director, Research, PAU, the Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh, has issued a show-cause notice to him why action should not be initiated against him as he tried to influence the authorities by getting his bio-data recommended from the minister.

The Vice-Chancellor has also attached the recommendation letter written by Mr Sekhwan, Revenue Minister of the state, to the Vice-Chancellor for accommodating Dr Dhaliwal as the next DR of the university. The interview for the post of the DR was held on May 20 and the name of Dr G.S. Nanda was cleared for the post by the Board of Management of the university which met in May-end.

However, Dr Dhaliwal has denied that he sought recommendation of the minister but added that the minister who belongs to his village might have recommended it on his own.

Interestingly, the show-cause notice has been issued more than a month after the interview for the said post was held.

The letter which has been attached by the university with the show-cause notice has been written by Mr Sekhwan and forwarded to the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, who in turn sent it to the Finance Commissioner and the latter sent it to the Vice-Chancellor.

Giving details about the reply of Dr Dhaliwal, sources said he has written that he never wanted a post with political influence. Moreover the letter was received by the VC’s office three or four days after the interviews were held. So, he had not pressurised anybody through a minister.

Meanwhile, the issue has become a talk of the university. While some members of the faculty hailed the action of the Vice-Chancellor, saying that it might end to some extent the political interference in the university functioning, others said the action was of vindictive nature as Dr Aulakh had earlier terminated the services of the wife of Dr Dhaliwal also.


Compartment students not to be ‘admitted’
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 5
Guru Nanak Dev University has declared the compartment candidates of Plus II examination as ineligible for admission to BCA, B.Sc.(IT), B.Com courses, counselling for which is being held on July 8 and 9 at the Guru Nanak Bhavan Auditorium of the university.

Dr S.P. Singh, Coordinator of test said all eligible candidates should bring their original admit card, detailed mark sheet of Plus II examination and its attested copies. The admitted candidates would have to deposit Rs 5000, which will be non-refundable.

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