Saturday, July 7, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Cong to hold rallies in Punjab
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 6
The Congress today decided to bolster its election campaign in Punjab by holding rallies in various zones of the state.

The coordination committee of the Congress on Punjab, which met here today to augment party’s preparations for the Assembly elections, decided that these rallies, would be attended by all senior leaders of the state.

Apart from sending a message of unity to the party workers, the rallies are expected to build the tempo for the series of smaller rallies that the Congress plans to organise in each of the 117 Assembly constituencies. Senior leaders have been made in charge of the zonal rallies in their respective areas.

Today’s meeting, presided over by the Congress treasurer Mr Motilal Vora, who is in charge of Punjab, decided the names of Chairpersons of the manifesto and Campaign Committees. While, Mrs Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder would head the Manifesto Committee, Mr R.L. Bhatia would head the Campaign Committee. Mrs Bhinder and Mr Bhatia would finalise names of other committee members in consultation with senior leaders.

The first of the five rallies will be held on July 21 at Rayya which falls in the Amritsar-Gurdaspur-Tarn Taran belt. Mr Bhatia, MP, will supervise the arrangements for the rally.

The second rally has been planned for August 4 either at Kapurthala or Phagwara.

To be organised under supervision of Mrs Santosh Chaudhary, MP, the rally will involve Congress workers from Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur and Phillaur.

Mr Shamsher Singh Dulo, MP, will look after the arrangements of the August 15 rally at Isru in Ropar while Mr Surender Singla, former MP, has been made in charge of the rally at Samana to be held on September 15. A rally will be held at Muktsar on August 31. Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, MP, has been made in charge of the rally.

Next meeting of the Coordination Committee will be held on July 18. It will likely to finalise the Congress charge sheet against the Badal government. It will also discuss the Part’s manifesto.

Mr Vora said today’s meeting was attended by all coordination committee members including Ms Ambika Soni, Capt Amarinder Singh, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Mr Jagjeet Singh, Mr R.L. Bhatia, Mr Shamsher Singh Dulo, Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, Mrs Santosh Chaudhry, Mrs Sukhbans Kaur, Mr Surendra Singla and Mr H.S. Hanspal.


DSP exam: PPSC accused of irregularities
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 6
The Punjab Competitive Examination Organisation today claimed that the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) had committed gross irregularities in the conduct of the examination for the post of Deputy Superintendent of Police held recently.

In a statement here, organisation president Vijay Kumar Sharma said that according to the brochure-cum-prospectus provided by the PPSC, the general studies paper was proposed to be of two hours’ duration from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and the optional paper examination was to take place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The statement said that according to the brochure, each paper was proposed to be of 150 marks and it was mentioned in the instructions provided to the candidates that they should mark their answer sheets according to a definite series.

The organisation said that to the complete surprise of the candidates, the duration of the general studies paper was changed to 75 minutes which was against the conditions of the brochure. Besides this, it said the number of questions in the general studies paper was changed to 100 with each question being of one-and-a-half marks. Similarly, for the optional subject, the duration was changed to 75 minutes and the number of questions reduced to 100 with each question carrying one mark. Also, there was no separate series and the candidates were instructed in the examination hall not to fill their roll number and name in ink, the organisation alleged.

Mr Sharma said the examination proved to be an eyewash for thousands of candidates appearing for it and only 251 candidates were declared to have passed the test out of more than 4,400 candidates who sat for it. He said the organisation had decided to approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court as well as the Supreme Court to ensure justice was provided to the candidates.


Sikh body to concentrate on human problems
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Putting the past behind it, the World Sikh Council (WSC) has decided to concentrate on neglected areas of human problems, including healthcare, unemployment, drug addiction, eco-friendly environment, non-violent society, restoration of ethical values and to promote the grandeur and splendour that the order of Khalsa stands for.

The WSC, which until a decade ago, figured high on the black list of the Union Government, is now all set to join the “great march of peace, progress and prosperity and to create a global habitat of goodwill, amity and brotherhood”.

How the WSC plans to achieve this stupendous development and social agenda is a million rupee question. Mr Didar Singh Bains, the new WSC chief, says that he “is in touch with the Government of Punjab and its Chief Minister to help in meeting these urgent issues.”

“I also appeal to my brethren and devotees of the mission of the great Sikh gurus to come forward and contribute their best for turning these dreams into reality,” says Mr Bains praying for the closing up of the ranks among the members of the WSC.

Appreciating the gesture of eight villages of the Chamkaur Sahib area for donating land for the proposed World Sikh University campus, Mr Bains said the July 8 meeting at Gurdwara Jand Sahib would be a success.

The USA-based WSC chief is also a strong advocate for panthic unity.

The sudden shift to social and development agenda is significant. Last month, Justice Kuldip Singh had also resigned.

Meanwhile, Mr Jaswant Singh Mann, Secretary, WSC, in a three-page letter to the Jathedar of Akal Takht has urged him to undertake the responsibility of Panthic unity.

Mr Mann says by using the temporal seat as Jathedar of the most scared Takht and with the assistance of well meaning and suitable men, sincere and concerted efforts should be made for unity in the Panth.

Recalling the role of Akal Takht in maintaining its position as the most respectable seat of administration of Sikh religious affairs, Mr Mann appreciated that though the Jathedar of the Takht had already expressed his anguish over infighting in the divisions in the SAD but unfortunately the situation had remained unchanged.

He said the SAD, SHSAD, SAD(A), Rode and Wadala factions of the dal, in order to justify their existence, would dissipate their energies in destroying each other in the ensuing Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee elections thus playing into the hands of forces who keenly await the opportunity for launching an onslaught on the Panth on religious, political and cultural fronts.

Urging the Jathedar for taking the lead for forging unity in the Panth at the universal level, Mr Mann said though initially some forces opposed to the Panthic organisations would get upset, yet the entire Panth would ultimately appreciate such an initiative.

Suggesting setting up of a committee, Mr Mann said eminent personalities like Mr Didar Singh Bains, Yogi Harbhajan Singh of the USA, Mr Surinderjit Singh Ahluwalia of Patna and others should be considered. The Jathedar should himself be the patron of this committee.

Instead of waiting for panthic organisations asking him to intervene, the Jathedar of Akal Takht himself should take the initiative by persuading all panthic organisations to come and sit together to iron out their differences, if any, by ignoring allegations and counter allegations against each other, Mr Mann said.


Bhaura condemns TN Governor’s recall
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, July 6
Mr Bhan Singh Bhaura, MP, said the decision of the Central Government to recall the Governor of Tamil Nadu was condemnable as it was politically motivated.

Talking to The Tribune here today, he said the police in Tamil Nadu did its duty by arresting Mr M. Karunanidhi, former Chief Minister, who was allegedly involved in a scam of Rs 12 crore. He said if it was a crime to nab the culprits, then what was the purpose of the police.

He said the Union Minister, Mr Murasoli Maran and Mr T.R. Balu, interferred with the working of the government officials and under the law it was an offence. He said the police did not do anything illegal by arresting the two ministers.

Mr Bhaura said no one should think that he was above law and if government officials were asked to come to a police station for some investigation they should follow the instructions as humble citizens.

The MP said instead of taking some action against the irresponsible behaviour of the Union Ministers, the Vajpayee government asked Fathima Beevi, the governor of Tamil Nadu to resign. He said there was no need to recall the Governor without holding an enquiry into the incident.

He said the action of the government and the resentment of people were based on the TV clippings which were shown in such a way which made people feel that Mr Karunanidhi was manhandled by the police. He said the clipping showed only the half truth.

He said under a preplanned scheme Mr Balu and Mr Maran interfered with the activity of the police so that it could not arrest Mr Karunanidhi.

He criticised members of Shiromani Akali Dal who demanded that the Jayalalitha government should be dismissed on the basis of the happenings in the state. He said it was not right to take political revenges on the petty grounds.

He said Akalis who had favoured so far that the Article 356 should not be used had now demanded that the same should be implemented in Tamil Nadu.

He said the Union ministers belonging to SAD in order to save his ministership started speaking the language of the Union Cabinet.

He said the Vajpayee government would have to face the consequences if it dared to dismiss any state government on one plea or the other.

He added that the Central Government should not think that it could take the state government for granted.


Textbook Board’s books lying unsold
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 6
The Punjab Government’s attempt to revive the Punjab State University Textbook Board may well be rendered futile with the various departments not showing any inclination to buy books worth crores of rupees lying in various stores of the board, even though they have been provided with money to do so.

Following initiation of a move by the government to buy books for rural and municipal libraries, the Textbook Board had urged it to direct various government departments, particularly the Local Bodies , Education and Rural Development and Panchayats Departments, to purchase books lying in its various stores.

The proposal was aimed at getting the board, established in 1971 with the aim that it would publish books to be used by university students out of the red.

Currently the board is stuck with unsold books worth crores of rupees and is finding it difficult to stay afloat as government funding to the institution has been stopped since 1997. Sources said the scheme to “persuade” government departments to purchase books was mooted as the board had books which had cost it Rs 2.5 crore to produce were lying in its stores unsold. Sources said if the market value of books was taken into consideration the money lying blocked with the board was immense.

Sources said recently the government had sanctioned money to various departments for the purchase of books. They said though sanction had been given to the departments for purchase of books, explicit directions had not been given to them to buy the books from the Textbook Board only. The sources said due to this the departments were making their own plans for the purchase of books and were not inclined to buy the books from the board.

Text Book Board officials said if the government did not make it mandatory for the concerned departments to purchase books from the board only, the entire scheme would collapse. The officials said the board would also not be benefited from the scheme if this was not done. They also argued that it would be helpful for various departments to purchase books from the board as they were available at very reasonable rates as compared to the cost of books published by private publishers. They said if the departments went in for buying books from private parties it would cost the government dearly due to the high costs involved.

The departments who had to go in for the purchase of books, however, feel they were justified in not going in for board books. A major reason was that some of the books had lost their utility, particularly those related to studies. They said many concepts had changed since the books were brought out by the board and that in some cases even the courses had changed but the board had not been able to upgrade its books in time. They said books from private publishers would definitely be more expensive but at lease they would contain the latest trends and information.

Sources said already the purpose behind the establishment of the board had been negated with all universities setting up their own publishing wings and that if government departments were not willing to buy books they could be offered at cheaper rates to them or even sold in the open market so that at least some money could be recouped. They also advocated that the board should be allocated Punjabi language books being used by plus one and plus two students of the Punjab School Education Board so that it would be able to produce books which could be sold easily.


Punjabi elected minister in British Columbia
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, July 6
Dr Gulzar Singh Cheema has done his native village Bariar, opposite the Beant College of Engineering and Technology near here, proud by being inducted as the Minister of State for Mental Health in to the ministry of British Columbia in Canada. He was elected member legislative assembly from “The Riding of Surrey” Pandrama Ridge in May and became a minister on June 5.

Dr Cheema a medical graduate from Daya Nand Medical College, Ludhiana, migrated to Canada in 1979 in search of a better career. He practiced medicine Manito and Winniperg and did his internship from the university of New Found Land. He was resident at Sas Katoon’s University Hospital.

He joined the Liberal Party and was elected member of the legislative assembly from Kildonan constituency in 1988. He was re-elected from the Maples constituency in 1993.

He later shifted to Vancouver, British Columbia. In 1992, he was awarded the Canada 125 Medal for community service.


CBI crackdown on excise officials
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today cracked down on several top officials of the Excise and Taxation Department, Punjab. Simultaneous raids were conducted at 13 places in various cities of Punjab and in the city.

According to sources in the CBI, they had been following leads for some time now regarding certain officials in the department having assets disproportionate to their known sources of income. These officials were alleged to be in league with traders in the state in order to aid and abet the large-scale evasion of sales tax.

It is learnt that searches were conducted in the houses and official premises of the suspected officers in the early hours of the morning. Sources informed that the CBI could recover about 1 kg of gold, 1 kg of silver, utensils and ornaments, Rs 1 lakh cash and documents relating to possession of various properties and investment in banks of about Rs 15 lakh from the residence and official premises of Mr Manmohan Singh, Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Patiala. Thirty bottles of liquor, both Indian and foreign brands, were also seized .

Searches were conducted at Chandigarh, Mohali, Patiala, Ropar and Ludhiana. Houses and offices of Mr. Gurdev Singh Randhawa, Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Ropar, Mr. I.S. Chahal, Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Patiala, Mr. M.L. Sharma, former Deputy Director, Enforcement, Excise and Taxation, Chandigarh, and Mr S.K. Ralhan, Joint Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Patiala, were also searched.

It is learnt that searches are still continuing. A number of suspected officials of the department have reportedly gone underground fearing action by the CBI.

Ludhiana: The CBI sleuths today conducted raids on some serving and retired officials of the Excise and Sales Tax Department on the instructions of Punjab and Haryana High Court. The raids were conducted in various parts of the state and were continuing till filing of this report.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed the CBI to conduct an inquiry into the alleged connivance of some officials of the Sales Tax Department with various truck operators and hosiery manufacturers for their alleged evasion of sales tax about two years ago. The high court directive had come following a writ petition by a Ludhiana transport company seeking release of trucks impounded by the Sales Tax Department.

After conducting investigation for some time, the CBI conducted surprise raids on the residence of these officials who were posted in Ludhiana at that time. The hosiery manufacturers were alleged to be exporting their products out of the state by either false billing or duplicate billing.

In December the CBI had seized hosiery goods at the Ludhiana railway station on the same charges. The high court had also asked for probing the role of some railway officials in the nexus regarding sales tax evasion. The sales tax officials recovered over Rs 1 crore from hosiery manufacturers as penalty after the raids.

The raids were simultaneously carried out in Ludhiana, Chandigarh and Patiala. While no official of the investigating agency was available, the identity of the officials whose residential premises were raided could not be confirmed.

It may be mentioned that the officials posted at the time of the writ petition included Mr Bhupinder Kumar Gupta, Mr S B S Grewal, Mr Dharam Singh, Mr Mitnesh Sethi, Mr Rahlon and Mrs Kiran Rozy. All of them were posted in the enforcement wing of the Sales Tax Department which was later rechristened as mobile wing of the department.


Punjab police owes Rs 2 crore to BSNL
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
The Punjab police faces the danger of being left high and dry in case it is unable to contact its offices if it does not clear its Rs 2 crore dues to the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).

The dues pose danger to the department, with the telecom company through a circular, asking circle heads and chiefs of telecom districts to allow only incoming calls to police stations and hospitals if dues are not cleared.

The BSNL said that the incoming facility is being allowed so that the people in distress can contact hospitals and police stations, which the Punjab Police Inspector of Police, provisions, Mr Shashikant rejected saying if defaulting police stations are not allowed connectivity how can they mobilise logistics and seek help in hours of crisis.

The IG, however, accepted around Rs 2 crore dues are there against the Police Department but expressed his helplessness considering budgetary constraints of Rs 2.85 crore for the current year in this head.

Showing ignorance on any police station being made one way as decision in this regard is taken by SSPs, he said the decision, if implemented by the telecom department may pose problem as the alternative communication through wireless has become obsolete and needs modernisation.

He said there had been newspaper reports saying that connections of police stations at certain places had gone one way.

The IG said that dues had been building up as part of the militancy days “hangover” when expenditure was much higher than allocation considering security needs.

He said the Police Department had been trying to tighten the belt and had even put a ceiling of 1500 calls on department telephone users but it can either pay the current bill or clear the outstanding, which had been accumulating for seven or eight years.

He said the telephones of police stations should not be made one way considering the danger to the people.

But BSNL officials here said that the Telecom Department has now become a company and it will have to concentrate on profit instead of allowing charity.

They, however, said that they did not have any information regarding large-scale disconnections.


BJP to prepare blueprint for poll
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, July 6
The BJP state executive passed a resolution stating that the members of the party would highlight the achievements of the SAD-BJP government and prepare a blueprint for the coming assembly elections in the state at its meeting, which concluded here today.

The resolution said the blueprint would be ready by August 31 and the party would counteract the propaganda of the Congress.

The BJP leadership also criticised the way things had unfolded in Tamil Nadu and the conduct of former Governor, Ms Fathima Beewi. The leaders declared the entire episode as shameful.

Mr Brij Lal Rinwa, state president, BJP, said the SAD-BJP combine had managed to get a package of Rs 100 crore for the farmers who had sold their paddy below the minimum support price during the period September, 2000 to October 2000.

Mr Rinwa claimed that the state government would assure that the interests of the farmers were protected.

All arrangements for the paddy procurement in the coming season had been completed and the state unit demanded that the minimum support price of paddy should be increased.

Mr Anil Sareen, state general secretary, BJP, said the policy to give 5 marla land each to the Dalit families was a welcome step. The policy would go a long way to lift the economic status of the Dalit families.

The long-standing demand of ex-servicemen that equal pensions for retired personnel of equal ranks was also supported by the state executive, he said.


Cong seeks debate between Amarinder, CM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh July 6
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) today threw a challenge to the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, for an open debate with its chief, Capt Amarinder Singh, on the achievements of the previous Congress government and the present Akali government.

Mr Sant Ram Singla, spokesman of the PPCC, objected to the statement of Mr Badal that the Congress failed to undertake any development work in Punjab during the past 50 years. Mr Singla talked about various schemes and development activities undertaken by Congress governments in the state, claiming credit for the highest production of wheat and paddy, the highest per capita income in the country and bringing of all villages under the “unat gram scheme”.

Mr Singla, in a separate statement, said the Akalis had finally decided to play the Sikh card in the coming Vidhan Sabha elections by creating a wedge between the Hindus and the Sikhs thus vitiating the atmosphere in the state. Instead of taking action against militants, the Akali leadership had resorted to making allegations.

He said it was high time that the Punjab Finance Minister took a action on the statement of the Union Minister of State for Finance regarding the state being on the brink of financial emergency

Mr Singla said the Akalis had the habit of making a hue and cry against the Congress.


BJP is farmer friendly: minister
Our Correspondent

Budhlada, July 6
Mr Hukumandeo Naryan Yadav, Union Shipping Minister, while inaugurating the BJP’s campaign here today for the forthcoming Punjab Vidhan Sabha elections, said farmers could get adequate prices for their produce if they succeeded in capturing power at the Centre. He lashed out at the Congress party saying that it had failed to find a leader belonging to the soil of the country. Ignoring senior leader like Mr Arjan Singh and Mr N.D. Tiwari, it had chosen a leader of foreign origin.

He held the former Prime Minister, Mr P.V. Narasimha Rao and former Union Finance Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, responsible for bringing the farmers at the door of bankruptcy by inviting multinational companies and entering into GATT agreement. He said Mr Parkash Singh Badal, whenever went to the Prime Minister with a problem, met with success. He said the Congress was anti-farmer.

The present government led by Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee was framing farmer-friendly policies. Introduction of credit cards and providing laboratories for soil testing were same of the steps taken by the government. The agro-based industries would be set up in the rural areas, he said.

Among others, who addressed the rally, were Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, Food and Civil Supplies Minister, Master Mohan Lal Sharma, Higher Education Minister, Prof Brij Lal Rinwa, president of the Punjab unit of the BJP, Ms Gurcharan Kaur, member, Rajya Sabha and Ms Trishna Manhas, president of the Punjab unit of the BJP Mahila Morcha.


Vikas eye witness to historic events
Varinder Walia and Pawan Kumar

Wagah, July 6
Vikas Singh (36), a globe-trotter, has been an eyewitness to many historic incidents, including the breaking-up of the USSR, civil wars and natural calamities. He was in Afghanistan when the Taliban had bombed statues of the Buddha, unmindful of criticism by the rest of the world.

When these statues were being bombed, Vikas was roaming freely in different parts of the trouble-torn country. “Afghanistan has always welcomed travellers and you won’t be harmed in any part of our country, including the sensitive areas.” This was the offer and categorical assurance given by the liberals and fundamentalists to Vikas. He stayed in Afghanistan for more than nine months before he landed in a Peshawar jail in Pakistan. He, however, spoke with restraint about the condition of minorities in Afghanistan, especially the Hindus, who were forced to wear identification badges.

Vikas Singh was only 22 years old when he decided to undertake a world tour on his specially designed tricycle in 1987. He had passed his civil engineering examination from Sitapur (Uttar Pradesh) in 1986. Now, after the completion of his self-imposed ‘banwas’ of 14 years, he has returned to his motherland with grey hair. However, during his thrilling globe-trotting, he has developed multilingual qualities. He is able to speak and understand at least 30 languages, including French, Persian, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, German and Pushto.

Vikas had a rich experience of civil wars in Cambodia in 1988-89, Tzakistan, Nagornokarbagh (near Iran), Bosnia etc. When asked whether he had ever faced danger to his life during his ‘global peace mission’, Vikas said ‘a traveller had to be prepared for any eventuality’. In reply to another question, he said he had met a number of militants during his tour of 63 countries. On the demands of extremists in different countries, he said if the grievances of people were redressed in right earnest, no civil war could be launched.

Vikas said he was planning to leave for another global journey after spending some time with his parents who are settled in Lucknow. He said he wanted to visit Iraq and other countries also.

On whether he had faced any financial problem during his tours, he said many people and organisations donated money liberally. Most of the people in different countries welcomed him with open arms. He said he was arrested in Pakistan as a ‘doubtful case’.

Since he was on a global peace mission, he was rarely hated by other communities for being an Indian. He said though some of the Muslim convicts in the Peshawar jail wanted to “punish” him, other jailmates opposed them. They said he was on a peace mission and should not be tortured in any way. “I did not find hostility against Indians anywhere in the world, ” he claimed. Even when Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992, and he was in Muslim countries (near Russia), nobody harmed him.

The globetrotter said Raj Kapoor, a legendary figure of Indian cinema, was still popular in China and Russia. “People would mob me on learning that I am an Indian. They would ask me to sing Indian songs”.

Vikas, who stayed in a hotel at Wagha border, spent the whole day in getting his tricycle repaired. The cycle was badly damaged during his jail sentence at Peshawar jail. Though Vikas has so complaint against the Pakistan, his specially designed tricycle seemed thoroughly damaged by intelligence agencies there. He was being helped by the district administration and the Punjab Police to get his tricycle repaired. He was also given full security by the police.

He claims that he has set a world record by thousands of kilometers on his tricycle weighing 200 kg. The tricycle which looked like a ‘cart’ was designed by himself.


Plea to reopen Hussainiwala border
Anirudh Gupta

Ferozepore, July 6
The much-awaited rendezvous between Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Pakistani President Gen Pervej Musharraf has once again provided a moment of hope not only for the residents of this border town but also for the people across the fence. They have been persistently clamouring for the reopening of the Indo-Pak border through this sector.

In a letter written to General Musharraf, Mr Mohammed Hussain, president, Citizens Council, Kasur (Pakistan), Mr Javed Sayeed, president, Bulleshah Yadgari Committee, and Mr Muddassar, president, Press Club of Kasur, have requested to consider the long-pending demand of the people residing along the border on either side to reopen the Hussainiwala-Kasur route for trade.

Residents of Kasur, the town closest to India, have requested President Musharraf to include this demand in his agenda of the forthcoming summit.

Similarly, residents of the Indian town are making efforts for its reopening, but it seems that their requests have fallen on deaf ears. Every time when there is a move towards establishing cordial relations between the two countries, hope prevails amongst the residents whose businesses have been hit by the closure of the gates here.

Every year, a Shaheedi Conference is organised at Hussainiwala on March 23, the martyrdom day of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. The ceremony is attended by the political bigwigs from the state as well as the Centre.

In a letter to Mr Vajpayee, the president of the International Bhai Mardana Kirtan Darbar Society, Mr Harpal Singh Bhullar, has requested to consider the demand of the people of the town to revive the shattered economy of this area.

When contacted, Mr Zora Singh Mann, the local MP, said he would try his best to get the border reopened.


100 villagers down with malaria
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, July 6
More than 100 persons including children, are suffering from malaria at Kohrian village, near Dirba, and other nearby villages, about 40 km from here. Poor sanitation has led to the spread of disease coupled with poor healthcare of the villagers.

When this correspondent contacted Dr C.P. Bansal, Civil Surgeon, Sangrur, today Dr Bansal confirmed that 90 cases of plasmodium vivex (ordinary malaria) had been found at Kohrian village and 10 in nearby villages during the past one month. However, Dr Bansal claimed that there was nothing alarming in the situation.

The Civil Surgeon said two teams of doctors had been pressed into service to provide healthcare facilities to the patients at Kohrian village and other villages. He further said a fogging machine had also been pressed into service.

He added that a meeting of sarpanches and panches of the Kohrian and nearby villages had been convened at Kohrian a couple of days ago in which the villagers were urged to start a sanitation campaign in their respective areas.

Dr Bansal said the health authorities had also opened five extra medicine stores at Kohrian for distributing chloroquin and paracetamol tablets among the villagers.

He also said the district administration had also promised a grant of Rs 1 lakh for controlling the disease in the district.


IA hijack case: plea for records rejected
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 6
The District and Sessions Judge, Mr S. N. Aggarwal, today rejected the application of the accused in the Indian Airlines hijack case, seeking a record of negotiations which had taken place between the Indian Government and the hijackers before the plane was released by the hijackers at Kandhar.

Earlier, the defence counsel, Mr Brijinder Singh Sodhi, had moved an application saying that he be provided the record of the negotiations which had taken place between the parties. The defence counsel had also requested that the audio tapes, which had been recorded during the negotiations with the hijackers, should also be made available.

While declining the request, the Sessions Judge also declined another application moved by Mr Sodhi asking that the notice to be served to the accused regarding the request of the (CBI) to go to Dubai and Bangladesh to collect evidence in the hijacking case. The judge ruled that there was no need to give any notice in this regard. Earlier, the CBI application had been allowed by the judge.

The defence counsel also requested that he be supplied with translations of evidence given by witnesses in Nepal. Mr Aggarwal ruled that the defence would be provided with translated documents at a evitable time. All three accused, Abdul Latif, Dalip Bhujbal and Bhupal Mandamai were present in the court.


Youth Congress seeks action against Chohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
A deputation of the Punjab Youth Congress Committee led by its president, Mr Devinder Singh Babbu, has submitted a memorandum to the Governor of Punjab, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), for onward transmission to the President of India for “seeking his intervention and directing the government at the Centre to take immediate action against Dr Jagjit Singh Chohan for his recent utterances”.

The deputation maintained that the “evil must be nipped in the bud before it was too late and Punjab lost its hard-earned peace. If the government failed to take effective and deterrent action in this regard, the PYC, under the leadership of Capt Amarinder Singh, president, PPCC, and Mrs Sonia Gandhi, would launch a movement to compel the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre to action against Dr Chohan.


Darbar Hall declared unsafe
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, July 6
The district administration has locked horns with officers of the Post and Telegraph Department (P and T) over the vacation of Darbar Hall in occupation of the department.

Darbar Hall is part of the district courts complex and the P and T department has been occupying it on rent since 1950. The building which is more than 100 years old has been declared unsafe by the Public Works Department.

In view of its dilapidated condition, the District Magistrate issued a notice to the P and T Department 15 days ago to vacate the hall within a fortnight.

The notice expired on July 5 and since the department failed to vacate the building, the Additional District Magistrate imposed Section 144, Cr PC, on building barring the employees from entering the office. At present there are 250 employees of the department working in Darbar Hall.

A few months ago, a portion of the district courts building collapsed and to repair the building the district administration entrusted the job to the Archeological Survey of India (ASI).

However, the employees of the department ignored the prohibitory orders and attended to their duties in the office. It is learnt that the Chief Post Master-General has written a letter to Deputy Commissioner asking him not to press for the vacation of the building till alternative arrangements are made.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Vivek Aggarwal, said the administration had already offered alternative accommodation to the P and T Department in Ambedkar Bhavan, but it is reluctant to shift there without any reason.

Mr Aggarwal said the Punjab Govt had prepared a plan to repair the district courts building and all offices, except the Deputy Commissioner and SSP’s offices would be shifted to the proposed new administrative complex near Semein Bank.


Potholes dot highway
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 6
The state government may not tire blowing its trumpet about the “improvement” brought by it in the state of roads, but the poor condition of the Jalandhar-Pathankot highway, which is the arterial road for the disturbed Jammu and Kashmir valley, deflates this claim.

The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and the state PWD Minister, Mr Sucha Singh Langan, have been claiming that their government has brought about a dramatic improvement in the condition of the roads by spending crores, but a drive on the Jalandhar-Pathankot road, particularly a 50-km stretch between Jalandhar and Tanda belies these claims with the presence of countless number of potholes, which turn cesspools during the rainy season.

What is ironical is the admission by the authorities in the shape of a caution board which reads: “Beware, the condition of about 20 km stretch is worst, so drive slow.” This in itself is paradoxical in view of the state government’s general claim about the ongoing improvement of the roads.

Apart from the inconvenience to road users, the potholedotted road has led to accidental deaths and breaking down of scores of vehicles daily owing to its bad condition, which otherwise should have been one of the best roads for it is one of the two main life-lines to Jammu and Kashmir.

A survey of the road by The Tribune team revealed that about 20-km stretch between Jalandhar and Bhogpur has almost been rendered unfit for motoring for lack of upkeep for years together by the state and Central Government authorities.

Though the condition of the road between Bhogpur and Tanda is slightly better, yet this stretch, too, is not without hundreds of potholes which may turn a death bed for road users for lack of berms on both sides.

Airing his grievances, Mr Satish Billa, a Tanda-based astrologer, said the bad condition of the road had resulted in damage to shock absorbers of his brand-new car for the replacement of which he had to spend about Rs 5,000.

Similarly, Mr Jagga Singh, a truck driver, said leaf springs of his loaded truck had been damaged due to a jerk near Nandpur village today. “Normally, truck drivers don’t prefer to use this route because of its poor condition, but I had an exigency which has landed me in trouble,” he rued.

Mr Nand Lal, a karyana store owner, said he had seen a number of accidents taking place due to slush-filled large potholes on the road.

Sevadars at the Sarmastpur gurdwara, who maintain an ambulance for shifting those injured in road accidents, said the occurrence of accidents because of the bad condition of the road was common, but the authorities were least concerned about the betterment of the road.

Similar is the condition of the Jalandhar-Nakodar-Moga road, which is also dotted with potholes.


Who killed cop’s brother?

Bathinda, July 6
Mr Gora Singh, a head constable in the Government Railway Police (GRP) posted at Faridkot, has been running from pillar to post for many months to get the alleged murderers of his brother arrested.

In a letter written to the Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, he said his brother Gurmel Singh, a constable in DAP, 5 Battalion, New Delhi was murdered on March 10, 2001, allegedly by one of his colleagues Dalbir Singh with his service weapon.

He alleged that in order to hush up the case a false FIR was lodged in which it was mentioned that Gurmel Singh was shot accidentally. He added that the FIR was lodged on the basis of the statement of Palwinder Singh, another constable in the same battalion, and a case under Section 304, IPC, was registered against Dalbir Singh.

He said if it was an accident the bullets should have hit some other part of the body rather than the vital parts. He added that the others present in the room at the time of the “accident’ were not injured.

Mr Gora Singh further alleged that when on March 11, he went to New Delhi to receive the body of the deceased, Palwinder Singh and Sukhdev Singh, another constable, asked him to give a written statement that his brother was killed accidentally. He added that a TV reporter was also with them at the moment.

Mr Gora Singh further alleged that when he enquired into the actual cause of death of his brother he did not receive any proper response from the officials concerned.

He revealed that his other brother Iqbal Singh had told him (Iqbal) that he was upset because some of his collegues were involved in illegal acts and had warned them that if they did not mend their ways, then he would inform his seniors about the same.

Mr Gora Singh alleged that this could be the possible reason for the murder of his brother. He has urged the authorities concerned to take appropriate action.

Mr J.S Chahal, Additional Director-General of Police, Railways, Punjab had written a letter to the Commissioner of Police New Delhi, to look into the matter and urged him to take suitable action.

The Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, in turn had asked Mr Ajay Chadha, Joint Commissioner of Police, Northern Range, to look into the matter and take appropriate action.


Militants’ fear hounds BJP workers
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 6
Even as the state leadership of the BJP has been accusing the Congress of creating fear psychosis among the people by raising the issue of the return of Dr Jagjit Singh Chohan and Wassan Singh Zaffarwal to Punjab, the BJP rank and file feels threatened under the present circumstances.

A section of the party’s rank and file, who were here for the past two days in connection with the meeting of the party’s state executive, when contacted by Tribune News Service admitted the fact that they had been feeling threatened from the militants, who had been lying low. Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla, MLA, Amritsar had been informed by the police authorities in the recent past that three militants, who had sneaked into Amritsar district, might attack her. She has been advised to move around with proper security arrangements.

Mr Brij Lal Rinwa, President, BJP, Punjab, when contacted, admitted that he was aware of the threat being held out to Ms Chawla. He said the party had been keeping a vigil on the activities of such elements who had returned to India.

According to information, Ms Chawla has asked the police authorities that instead of informing her about the threat to her life, the policemen should arrest those who will try to attack her.


Saini blames rival for fine imposition
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, July 6
The imposition of a fine of Rs 39,720 on former Congress minister Jai Kishan Saini for using more power than the sanctioned load of 5 KW by the Punjab State Electricity Board here has taken a new turn with Mr Saini blaming the Punjab Medical Education Minister, Mr Manoranjan Kalia, for using board officials to settle political scores with him.

Addressing a Press conference here yesterday, Mr Saini alleged that Mr Kalia had lost popularity among the voters of the Jalandhar (Central) constituency as he had failed to keep his promises in the past four years.

Mr Saini was defeated by Mr Kalia from the constituency during the last Assembly elections in February, 1997. “Ms Parveen Sharma, wife of the Executive Engineer (XEN) of the PSEB, Mr Rameshwar Sharma, who had raided my premises is the president of the district unit of the BJP Mahila Wing. The minister has asked the XEN to impose a heavy fine on me so that he can brand me as a thief during the coming elections, Mr Saini alleged.

The former Housing and Urban Development Minister further alleged that though he had deposited Rs 9,000 for extension of power load to 17.9 KW on June 12, the board had failed to take any step in this regard.

Mr Saini demanded that Mr Rameshwar Sharma be suspended and a departmental inquiry initiated into his conduct, failing which the Punjab Congress would launch a state-wide agitation against the PSEB authorities.

Mr Manoranjan Kalia was not available for comments.


Four dead as road caves in
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, July 6
Four workers, mostly migrants, were killed when they were buried under the debris while digging a sewerage line today. One worker miraculously survived after remaining under the debris for over one-and-a-half hours. Those dead have been identified as Verma Shah, Rajinder, Kedar, Sital and the survivor as Pappu.

They were digging sewerage at the local Satnampura and were over 10 feet deep when the overhead road caved in burying them in the ditch.

Meanwhile, Vivek Aggarwal, DC, Kapurthala, has ordered a magisterial probe into the incident to be headed by the SDM Amarjit Paul. The Deputy Commissioner has declared an immediate relief of Rs 10,000 each for the next of kin of those killed and Rs 5,000 for the injured.


Labourers protest youth’s torture
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 6
An many as 1,500 members of the Pendu Mazdoor Union, Punjab, today took out a protest march against the alleged torture on Mohinder Masih, Dalit, at Ajnala here today.

The associations general secretary, Mr Tarsem Peter, alleged that Mohinder had been working as a bonded labourer for a farmer at Chemayari village for the past 18 years.

However, the farmer implicated him in a case when he expressed his desire to leave after he got married. A case of theft was registered against him by the Ajnala police, which is alleged to have tortured him.

A medical examination of the victim on June 22 revealed 13 wounds on his body after the Chief Judicial Magistrate directed that he be examined at the Civil Hospital, Amritsar.

The union alleged that he had become bed-ridden. It also submitted a memorandum to the SDM, Ajnala, demanding action against the farmer and suspension orders against those responsible for his illegal detention and torture.

The SSP, Majitha, Mr Lok Nath Angra, said an inquiry had been instituted and action would be taken soon after the report.


Private vehicles ply as taxis
Our Correspondent

Mansa, July 6
Hundreds of private cars, jeeps, vans and other vehicles are plying illegally on hire basis in the district. In fact, thousands of such vehicles are plying throughout the state resulting in staggering losses, running into crores of rupees, to the state exchequer.

These vehicles are registered as private vehicles, meant for the use of the owners. The vehicles meant to ply on hire basis have to be registered as taxis, obtain route permits and regularly pay taxes imposed by various state governments.

Some owners own fleet of such vehicles and are doing a roaring business. Such vehicles can be seen parked in taxi stands near railway station, at civil hospital and at main gurdwara chowk.

Transport authorities have failed to check such violations and no action against the owners of such vehicles has so far been taken. The District Transport Officer, Mr Gurpal Singh Chahal, when contacted said around 400 vehicles were booked during past one year.


Withdraw notice, say ayurvedic doctors
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, July 6
A delegation of members of the Rashriya Ayurvedic Parishad (India) led by its vice-president Dr Suman Sharma, met the president of the state BJP, Mr Brij Lal Rinwa, here today and urged him to persuade the government to withdraw its notification by which percentage of marks for admission to the BAMS course in the state had been reduced from 50 per cent to 40 per cent.

The delegation said the notification would have far-reaching effects on the ayurvedic system of medicine. The minimum percentage had been reduced for admission to the BAMS course only and not in the case of BDS and MBBS courses. Dr Sharma alleged the notification was illegal. The government was not making efforts to improve the quality of the course.

She said there were 12 colleges in the state for teaching ayurvedic medicine and surgery having about 50 seats each. Every year about 600 students passed out but there was only one ayurvedic hospital in the state.

Dr Sharma alleged that the notification for granting Class-I status to ayurvedic doctors was not implemented even after getting approval of the state government.


Bank men want release of colleagues
Our Correspondent

Patiala, July 6
The employees and officers of the State Bank of Patiala staged a dharna in front of the Tripuri Saidan branch of the bank today. They were protesting against the arrests of two officers of the bank that were made two days ago on the charges of graft.

A vigilance team of SAS Nagar had arrested Mr Rajeev Kumar Gaur, Branch Manager; and Mr Vasudev Sharma, Assistant Manager; while accepting Rs 2,000 in bribe from a man called Mr Balbir Singh, a resident of Anand Nagar. The bribe was for getting a Rs 60,000 loan sanctioned.

The head of the Punjab Bank Employees Federation, Mr N.K. Gaur, said the employees wanted an independent inquiry into the matter and withdrawal of the case against the officers. He said the employees had been falsely implicated by the Vigilance Department at the instance of a relative of a loan defaulter.

The complainant had alleged that he had been in contact with the Branch Manager for the past four months, whereas, the officer had joined the branch only on April 30. The federation chief said this showed that the case had been fabricated to pressurise the officers. Mr Gaur also said these officers had been pressing this defaulter for the recovery of dues according to rules.


Hoteliers resent police action
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 6
The Patiala Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRA) has condemned the checking of hotels and restaurants of the city by the district police and officials of the Excise Department.

In a press release, Dr H.S Bajaj, president of the PHRA, termed the checking as harsh and undesirable. He added that they were abiding by the laws and were not serving any hard liquor at hotels and restaurants. However, despite repeated assurances in this regard to the Excise and Police Departments , checking was still on which was also resented by the customers.

Dr Bajaj claimed that while checking was on customers started leaving the premises. which resulted in a heavy loss to the hotel owners.

Dr Bajaj added that a deputation of the PHRA met officials of the Excise Department to list their grievances. However, the administration was doing nothing to stop checking of their hotel premises, alleged Dr Bajaj.


Grant for residential centre
Our Correspondent

Patiala, July 6
The upcoming Sadhu Basant Residential Care Centre, which has been constructed for the elderly mentally retarded people, received Rs 5 lakh from HelpAge India as the first instalment for the construction of the building.

Mr Bhawneshwar Sharma of HelpAge Chandigarh delivered the cheque to the chairman of the Residential Care, Mr N.S.Sodhi.

The centre being constructed on a one-acre plot at Sular, near here, has been so designed as to provide the maximum comforts to the retiring people. The residential care centre aims at providing a permanent residential complex for the elderly and mentally retarded persons.

An estimated amount of Rs 80 lakh is expected to be spent on the construction of the centre while the land has been provided by Ms Satwant Kaur, sarpanch of Sular village.


BKU (E): arrest those behind attack
Our Correspondent

Mansa, July 6
Thousands of workers of various political parties, under the auspices of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta), staged a demonstration today demanding the immediate arrest of those involved in an attack on Mr Rajwinder Singh Rana, state secretary, CPI (ML) Liberation, and Mr Ruldu Singh, senior vice-president of the state unit of the BKU (E).

They also demanded the registration of a case against the suspects under Section 307 of the IPC (attempt to murder). The demonstrators gheraoed the city police station. Later, marching through the main bazaars of the town, they reached the district court complex, where union leaders presented a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Mansa, Ms Raji P. Shrivastava. A large number of women also took part in the demonstration.

The demonstrators, carrying placards, raised slogans against the Punjab Government.


Ban on digging brick-kilns
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, July 6
The District Magistrate, Mr Kulbir Singh Sidhu, yesterday ordered the closure of digging brick-kilns, falling along with Chakki river beyond the Chakki bridge and up to limits of the district, till August 25.

Mr Sidhu said the step had been taken to prevent diversion of the Chakki river towards the national highway. At places, the distance had been reduced to only few metres.

Mr Sidhu said if digging was allowed, the national highway was likely to breach, cutting Pathankot and beyond from the rest of Punjab. This would also cause a lot of damage to life and property.


DC reviews flood control measures
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, July 6
The Deputy Commissioner, Gurdaspur, Mr Kulbir Singh Sidhu, today reviewed the flood control measures adopted by the District Administration in Gurdaspur district.

Talking to senior civil and Revenue officials at PWD Rest House, Mr Sidhu said the officers concerned should solve the problems of people residing in the flood-affected areas on priority.

The Deputy Commissioner along with SDM K.K. Garg and other senior officials visited the flood prone areas of the district.

Mr Sidhu said Rs 15 lakh contingency funds had been allocated for people residing in the flood prone areas, besides measures taken to control floods.

While talking to mediapersons, Mr Sidhu admitted that the PWD authorities had started dismantling the pontoon bridges at Kathlour and Khojki Chak on the Ravi and Ujh.


Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
A spokesman of the Punjab Government today clarified that the last date for making applications for Class IV posts reserved for next of kin of terrorist and riot victims in Punjab was August 24 and not August 31.


New Commissioner for Ferozepore division
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
The Punjab Government ordered the following postings and transfers today:

Mr Dharam Vir will be the new Commissioner of Ferozepore division and also hold additional charge of Commissioner, Faridkot division, in place of Mr Jaspal Singh; Mr D.P. Reddy has been appointed Commissioner, Patiala division; Mr Satish Chandra becomes the new Commissioner of Jalandhar division to relieve Mrs Geetika Kalha of the additional charge; and Mr B. Vikram has been appointed Director, Technical Education and Industrial Training, relieving Mr Nirmal Singh Kalsi of the additional charge.

Mr Kalsi will continue to work as Director, Information System and Administrative Reforms, ex-officio Secretary to the state government and Executive Officer (Information Technology), Anandpur Sahib Foundation.

Mr S.S. Srivastava, Mr Chandra Shekhar and Mr Kapil Dev, all IPS officers, have been posted in the Chief Minister’s security.


Govt to stop grant to erring colleges
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 6
In a significant move, the Punjab Government has decided to stop the grant of those private-aided colleges which do not submit real provident fund accounts of their employees within 15 days from July 4 to the DPI (Colleges) for working out the pension and gratuity of the employees from January 1, 1986.

The Punjab Government took this decision when it came to know that certain private-aided colleges had not come forward with the information and had become a major hurdle in the implementation of the pension scheme.

Mr Mohan Lal, Higher Education Minister, talking to mediapersons here today, said out of the total 135 private-aided colleges as many as 27 had not submitted the accounts. He said they had been given a last chance.

He said to fill vacancies in government run colleges, the Punjab Government had written to the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) to recruit 583 lecturers of all subjects.

He said the process of recruitment would start soon.

He said untill the recruitment, lecturers would be recruited on an ad hoc basis.

Ad hoc lecturers who had procured stay orders against being relieved would be dealt as per the decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Admitting he had failed to run rural government colleges due to an acute shortage of staff, he said there was resentment among those lecturers who had been transferred to rural colleges.

He said he would have to cancel all these transfers following “pressure”.

He said the Punjab Government had decided that all lecturers who would be recruited in future would have to serve in rural colleges for three years.

The government had sanctioned 42 colleges to run new courses from the current academic session.

The minister said all universities had been urged to declare results of different classes by July 15 so that admission could be made at the earliest and the next academic session could be made of 180 teaching days.

He said neither the government had made any hike in fees nor had it any proposal to do so.

In another significant statement, he said he had conceded defeat in the dispute going on between him and the Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala, Dr J.S. Alhuwalia. However,, he said what was happening in the university was not good.

The syndicate of the university was inquiring into the matter, he added.


Notice on plea against VC
Legal Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 6
On a petition seeking the registration of an FIR against the Vice-Chancellor of the Guru Nanak Dev University. Mr Justice V.M. Jain of the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued notice of motion for July 11 to the respondent. The notice was accepted by the Deputy Advocate General on the court’s asking.

The petition in this regard was filed by Dr Jaspal Singh Sandhu, Dean and Professor-cum-Head of Department of Sports Medicine, who alleged that a resolution (No. 35) which was never passed at the meeting of the university’s Finance Committee held on October 13, 2000, was forged and recorded in the ministers book of the meeting.

As per the resolution, a post of the Director of Trauma in the Department of Sports Medicine has been created. The post he contended, was created to favour certain persons.

It has been averred in the petition that there was no such item on the agenda nor was it mentioned in the index of items to be considered nor was it passed at the meeting.

The petitioner submitted that he had made a representation to the S.S.P. for registration of a case of forgery against the Vice-Chancellor, but no action on the same has been taken.


PCCTU stir on July 10
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
The Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union will strike work after the third period in their colleges on July 10 to protest against the suspension of Prof Harbans Kaur of Dev Samaj College, Ferozepore.

Mr K.B.S. Sodhi, president of the union said, the district presidents of Ferozepore and Hoshiarpur had been asked to hold a protest rally and demand immediate revocation of suspension.

He said in spite of a relentless struggle by the union, the intervention of Dr K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University and the support of many fellows, of the university Senate the exploitation of women lecturers in girls’ colleges of Panjab University remained unabated.

A press note issued by Mr Sodhi said close on the heels of the suspension of Prof Harbans Kaur, who was staff representative and unit president of the PCCTU, another lecturer, Mrs Harinder Garcha of DAV College for Women, Garhshankar, had been suspended. An appointee of 1997 and confirmed in 1999, Mrs Garcha was suspended by the college management when she claimed her seniority according to rules and full salary as per the UGC norms with four increments for a Phd.

He alleged that apart from these extreme cases of exploitation of women lecturers in the form of underpayment, denial of medical, maternity and earned leave was quite rampant in girl’s colleges of Punjab.

Mr Sodhi sought setting up of grievances cells in universities to alleviate the suffering faced by women. In a telegram to Master Mohan Lal, Minister of Higher Education of Punjab, he demanded his urgent intervention for academic normalcy in the state.


Personality development camp
Raj Sadosh

Abohar, July 6
A seven-day personality development camp for girls was held at DAV Edwardganj Senior Secondary School, Malout, 30 km from Abohar. The message at the conclusion of the camp was that daughters-in-law should give due respect to their in-laws who, in turn, should treat them like their daughters.

The camp, organised by the state unit of the Bharat Vikas Parishad, was inaugurated by Mr Vijay Kumar Chopra, President, Indian Newspapers Society. Mr Sujan Singh, Minister of State for Rural Development and Panchayats, was also present. Mr Chopra dwelt at length on the erosion of moral values and the internal crisis in joint families. He regretted that the youth preferred to adopt the evils of the Western culture but was reluctant to imbibe its qualities like devotion to work, sincerity and austerity.

Ninetysix girls from different districts participated in the camp.

State unit president Sriniwas Bihani said the BVP aimed at developing a good personality among the participants.

Those who delivered lectures at the camp included Principal Sewa Ram Prabhakar (“Role of women in keeping families unified”), Ms Amita Snehi (“Meditation”), Ms Nirmal Aggarwal (“Women in the present social structure”), Prof Gurdip Narula and Mr Deepak Kamboj (“Art of living”), Mr Sat Pal Deora (“Yoga”), Prof Brahm Dev (“Challenges to Indian cultural heritage”), Prof Ram Krishan (“Superstitions”) and Prof S.C. Gupta (“Place of women in Indian society”).

Ms Amarjit Kaur Makkar, organiser, said the paper reading contest, balancing race, quiz competition, group discussions and other activities helped explore the talents of the participants.

Ms Gurcharan Kaur, MP, while presiding over the concluding ceremony, emphasised the need for organising such camps on a larger scale in every district of Punjab.


Union leaders threaten closure of mills
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 6
The textile manufacturing units here are allegedly being threatened by trade unions. The Textile Manufacturers Association yesterday expressed dismay over the administration’s “inaction”. The President of the association, Mr O.P. Mehra, said here that certain trade union leaders were not allowing the clearance of seven containers of Swadeshi Korea Textile Mills.

Mr Mehra stated that while the District Magistrate had proclaimed Section 144, Cr. PC, outside the factory. But the trade union leaders continued to block the entry to the factory in defiance of the orders besides threatening the owners. Moreover, the police and the civil administration were allegedly adopting an indifferent attitude.

He alleged that on June 25 the car of a proprietor was damaged and the manager, Mr Prem Sharma was manhandled. He urged the government to give proper protection to the management and the workers.

Meanwhile, the management of the Swadeshi Korea Textile Mills told reporters that union leaders were threatening workers and their families for going to work.

Besides, the threat to close the export oriented unit, the management alleged that the trade union leaders were also threatening workers of another unit on the Batala road.

The management added that till date the trade union leaders had never presented their demand.

The association has asked the state government to intervene.

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