Saturday, July 21, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Vedanti advises restraint to writers
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 20
The Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, took a major initiative to advise writers and religious commentators to show total restraint while writing against any religion. The Jathedar said this in a letter to Mr Tarlochan Singh, Vice-Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, who had taken up the matter of the book written on the life of Guru Nanak Dev by Satnan Singh, advocate, who used derogatory remarks against the Christian community.

Giani Joginder Singh had suggested that all must profess and practice religious tolerance and never hurt the religious sentiments of others. The Jathedar had conveyed this instruction in a letter addressed to the Vice-Chairman that the author of “Satguru Nanak Devji (Sampuran Jeevan)” had been directed to delete the portion containing sacrilegious remarks, should be deleted while publishing the next edition of the controversial book.

The Jathedar had also instructed all Sikh writers to refrain from writing anything which may hurt the religious sentiments of the people belonging to different sects and religions.

The chairman of the National Commission for Minorities has welcomed the initiative taken by Jathedar, Akal Takht, for having taken steps to prevent the occurrence of any such writing which could create bitterness among various religions.

In the meantime the Punjab Government issued instructions yesterday to ban the publication and the sale of the controversial book “Satguru Nanak Devji” for derogatory and malicious remarks intended to hurt the religious sentiments of a particular community.

The controversial book has hurt the sentiments of the Christian community which has launched a major agitation in the state seeking the arrest of the author and demanded an unconditional apology. The Punjab Government had arrested the advocate who had clarified his position to the Akal Takht Jathedar and had given a written assurance to delete the portion in the book in the next edition.

The Vice-Chairman of the Minorities Commission said this was the first time that the higher Sikh spiritual authority had taken up the matter for universal religious tolerance and advised all writers to show respect and reverence for other religions in the world.


Rail officials speed up land acquisition
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
The proposed Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail line has put an additional burden on the Railways in helping the Punjab Government speedily acquire land for the project courtesy the state’s improper procedures in this regard.

“The railway officials who are supposed to do the survey for identifying the land and hand over the money for acquiring the land in advance and then leave the acquisition to the state government, have been shuttling around for helping the administration move fast on a number of no-objection certificates, preparing papers, maps and physically carrying them to different authorities,’’ official sources attached with the project told The Tribune here today.

They said the experience was in total contrast to that in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal where the Railways, after identifying the land, deposited money in advance for the acquisition of the land and setting up an office having an acquisition collector and his full-fledged staff, paid by the Railways, to take care of the acquisition work.

Punjab had not set up any such office despite advance payment for the purpose by the Railways, resulting in Railway officials working from 7 a.m. to 10.30-11 p.m. liaising with the state agencies concerned to get things moving faster than the snail’s pace of Punjab Government officials, they said.

The officials said that the Railways had deputed certain clerks to do the running about carrying papers from one office to another and from one government official to another in the same office to shorten the process which normally took 15 days or more.

Engineers of the Railways have been studying the procedures for land acquisition by the state government and preparing the necessary papers, maps and studies accordingly, leaving the state officials only with the option of approving and signing these.

The state government officials have only been kind to the Railway officials in the sense that they have not been disapproving of railway officials’ work on state procedures to acquire land again courtesy the pressure from the top brass of the Railway Board who have been in direct touch with the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, his Principal Secretary, Mr. R.I. Singh, and the nodal officer of the project, the Secretary, Public Works (Building and Roads) Department.

The Railways has been encouraging the state government to call monitoring agencies every two months under the chairmanship of Mr R.I. Singh, but the shortage of state government staff, who are already burdened with their other routine work, has been leading to slow progress on the front.

State government officials with understanding of land acquisition work said the grant of compensation to villagers had been awaiting approval with a minister for more than two months and instead of the SDM being given the responsibility, a regular Special Land Acquisition Collector for the project was required.

The Punjab Government, however, had a Land Acquisition Collector for the whole state stationed in Jalandhar, they said.

The sources said that Standing Order 28 issued by the Financial Commissioner, Railways, was also a big hurdle in moving ahead fast on the project.

Punjab Government officials admitted the Railway officials’ extra efforts in helping them move relatively fast and said that a kanungo and a clerk were kept on contract for the purpose with an expenditure of Rs 4,500 to Rs 5,000.

The project approved till Morinda from Chandigarh in the initial phase has been moving at a fast pace with around Rs 8.5 crore already having been paid as compensation to residents of six villages in Mohali. A draft award for eight villages has already been prepared and has been lying with the Secretary and Minister concerned for some time.

The project is estimated to be completed in four years to facilitate Chandigarh and Amritsar being linked by a Shatabdi Express.


CISF to man Rajasansi security
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 20
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is likely to replace Punjab Police personnel on airport duty by August. This was indicated by the three-member team that surveyed a high level security appraisal of CISF personnel to be deployed at the Rajasansi airport replacing the Punjab Police.

More than 160 CISF personnel will be deployed here, Mr V.S. Mulekar, Director Airport said.

The survey comes after numerous “hitches” for the deployment of this (CISF) elite force for Rajasansi after it was declared sensitive by the Airport Authority of India (AAI).

The three-member team comprised Mr Shekawat, Deputy Inspector General DIG (CISF), Mr R.K. Singh, Additional Commissioner of Security Bureau of Civil Aviation and Mr Anand Kumar Director Airport Security of the Airport Authority of India AAI.

In his recent address Mr Chaman Lal Gupta, a Union Minister, expressed concern over the Rajasansi airport security in view of the 1999 hijacking and recent sneaking in of Wassan Singh Zaffarwal of the KCF on January 9 after hoodwinking the security on a fake passport. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has proposed special security status for Rajasansi after a number of hijacked flights had used the airport to gain easy access in neighbouring Pakistan.

Earlier the CISF was proposed to be deployed at this sensitive airport owing to its “specialised training” and transfer procedures restricted to only “inter-airport exchange” as opposed to the transfer pattern of Punjab Police (PP), inter departmentally. Experts feel training of Punjab Police for airport security was a futile exercise as trained personnel may be transferred to another department within short intervals.


Application fee — Govt way to amass money
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, July 20
Adding insult to injury, the state government has started filling its coffers through job advertisements.

The Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had announced the lifting of a ban on filling of vacancies a few months ago. Various departments have been placing advertisements for the same in papers, inviting applications from unemployed youth with demand drafts of varying sums.

Official sources said the number of applications for the 7,230 vacancies of ETT were more than 40,000. The applicants had paid about Rs 86 lakh as application fee. The vacancies were advertised in April, 2000, and the interest at 20 per cent on the fee collected per annum would amount to about Rs 17 lakh.

The number of applications for the recently advertised vacancies of B.Ed. teachers and School Lecturers (2098 vacancies) would cross 70,000 and the department was expecting to collect about Rs 288 lakh as application fee.

Not only this the results of various exams conducted by departments during the past four years have not been declared yet. Keeping the Assembly elections in view, the SAD-BJP government has started the ‘procedure’ of announcing the results of these competitive exams.

The results of the competitive exams for the post of Junior Assistants held on April 4, 1999, were announced today by the Subordinate Services Selection Board. The results of various other competitive exams have been ‘withheld’ for ‘administrative’ reasons.

Mr Tota Singh, Education Minister, who was here today in connection with a meeting of the District Grievances Committee, talking to The Tribune, said the application fee was not to earn profit as the amount which was not spent on the “processing” went to the Revenue Department. “It was a minor issue,” the minister asserted.


One post of Pro-VC to go to ‘BJP man’
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 20
The Punjab Government is likely to fill the posts of Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala, and Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, within a week with one of the vacancies going to a Bharatiya Janata Party man.

This was announced by Higher Education Minister, Master Mohan Lal, while talking to mediapersons here today after presiding over the convocation ceremony of Mohindra College here.

Sources said the minister was keen to have one of his men as Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University. They said among the frontrunners for the post of Punjabi University Pro-Vice Chancellor were former Head of Department of Correspondence Studies M.P. Kohli and former Head of Political Science Department R.N. Pal. However, there could be a dark horse from the minister’s area if he was able to have his way.

When questioned on the controversy generated by the establishment of Information Technology Institute in Punjabi University under the name of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in collaboration with a private party, he refused comment. ‘’ Please address your queries to the Vice-Chancellor as any comment from my side can be miscontrued’’, he said.

Master Mohan Lal even refused to comment on the issue of inquiry ordered by him against the Vice-Chancellor. He said the Chief Minister had told both to ensure the university was run in a smooth manner and he did not want to say anything. He, however, said he had handed over the inquiry papers to the Chief Minister and it was up to him to take a decision on the matter.

However, the minister could not hide his animosity for the Vice-Chancellor, saying he would not like to go the university. ‘’I think I should avoid going to the university when the expected respect is not there’’. This, he said, did not amount to a “boycott” of the university. Asked whether he had interacted with the Vice-Chancellor after the Chief Minister brokered peace between them, he said: “I have not met him and do not want to meet him’’.


PPCC rally at Rayya today
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, July 20
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee has planned a meticulous election campaign for the forthcoming assembly elections in the state.

The Chairman of the Punjab Election Campaign Committee, Mr R.L. Bhatia, while addressing newspersons here today said the PPCC would formally open their poll campaign with a massive rally at Rayya, near here, tomorrow.

He said national leaders, including Mr Moti Lal Vora, Ms Ambika Soni, former Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, MP, Capt Amarinder Singh, PPCC president, besides other Congress MPs and MLAs would converge at Rayya to launch their poll programme.

Mr Bhatia while answering questions about the differences among the top leadership in the state said he had ensured that there was total unity between the leaders and asserted there was no discord.

He advised the media not to spread canards alleging disunity as all leaders would be campaigning with great zeal and vigour.

The former Minister for External Affairs said the main focus of these rallies would be to expose the massive corruption prevalent in the SAD-BJP government in Punjab.

He added that people of the state were concerned over the patronage provided by the Chief Minister to the terrorists like Wassan Singh Zaffarwal and Khalistani ideologue Jagjit Singh Chohan.

The state was totally deprived of development projects as the Akali government had misused the funds provided by the Centre, added Mr Bhatia.

He expressed his serious concern that the funds under Jawahar Rozgar Yojana given by the central government had not been handed over to the needy for providing them employment opportunities.

He added Mr Badal had made tall promises before coming to power.

Issues, like the transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab, the river water dispute and the inclusion of Punjabi speaking areas were all forgotten after he became Chief Minister.

These empty promises would be brought to the notice of the people who, he felt, had been cheated. Mr Bhatia said the PPCC had divided Punjab into five zones and during the next two months zonal rallies would be held.

The second such meeting had been planned at Phagwara on August 5.

The third rally would be held at Issru near Ludhiana on August 15. The fourth would be held at Lambi on September 2 and the final rally at Samana on September 15.

The Congress party on the eve of the election campaign was in an upbeat mood and foresaw a return to power in the coming poll, he asserted.


Badal encouraging terrorists: Amarinder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
If voted to power, the Congress would set up a judicial commission to probe the charges of corruption levelled against the Badal government and family members of Akali and BJP ministers.

While speaking at the meet-the-press programme today at the local Press Club, Capt Amarinder Singh, President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee( PPCC), said Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court would be requested to spare a sitting judge for heading the commission. He reiterated that posts were being auctioned by the Public Services Commission.

All sections of the society especially urbanites had lost faith in the Badal Government because of the rampant corruption in the state. The law and order situation was also turning from bad to worse. Police officer and jawans who fought against the terrorists by putting their as well as their lives families at a great risk were facing cases in courts. The Congress would come to the rescue of such police officers, he added.

Alleging that akali leaders, including Mr Badal, encouraged the terrorists in the state, Capt Amarinder Singh, said if the Congress came to power the party, would try its best to get the terrorists punished. The Congress would not give a red-carpet welcome extended by the Badal government to the terrorists like Wassan Singh Zaffarwal and separatist leader Dr Jagjit Singh Chohan.

Admitting that his party got a state-wide survey conducted from a professional agency to weigh the chances of the Congress in the ensuing Assembly elections, Capt Amarinder Singh, said that he got the survey report just a few days ago but did not get the time to go through it fully. However, he asserted that the report says that the Congress was in a “commanding” position to form the next government in the state.

He said the corrupt elements would not be given the party ticket in the ensuing Assembly elections. However, the congress leaders, who had been victimised by the Badal government because of political reasons would not fall in the category of “corrupt elements”, he added.

Asked about any possibility of an electoral alliance with any party in the state, he said the party was already in touch with the CPI for this purpose. “ I would like to tie up with secular parties to defeat the SAD-BJP alliance in the state”, he asserted.


Acting president of SAD (Mann) dead
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 20
Prof Sukhjinder Singh (48), acting president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), died at Mohandai Oswal Hospital here on Thursday. He was suffering from leukemia.

Prof Sukhjinder Singh had been a sports teacher at a college at Bhiwanigarh in Sangrur and left his job after joining the Akali Dal headed by Mr Simranjit Singh Mann. He worked as general secretary of the party and was later promoted senior vice-president. During Mr Mann’s sickness, he discharged the duties of the party. He is survived by his wife, Jatinder Kaur, and two sons. He was cremated at Kaalia village in Sangrur district in the afternoon. The funeral was largely attended.

Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, president of the party, who is now convalescing at Dalhousie, in a condolence message expressed sorrow at the death of Prof Sukhjinder Singh.

Prof Jagmohan Singh, general secretary of the party, has expressed shock at the demise of Prof Sukhjinder Singh and expressed sympathies with the bereaved family.


Hospital needs care

Services in the Civil Hospital here are non-functional. Medical officers of the hospital have generated the feeling among patients that they would get proper treatment only if they visit them at their houses. These doctors do private practice, though they are paid non practising allowance (NPA) regularly. They charge Rs 30 per examination. For ECG and other tests charges are extra. No medicine is given from the hospital to the poor and needy. The patients have to purchase x-ray films from market.

At night the staff on duty either sleeps in their rooms or go back to their houses after marking their attendance.

When this correspondent paid a visit to the hospital at night, he saw an indoor patient writhing in pain. This correspondent woke up a class IV employee to attend to the screaming patient. The class IV employee changed the drip of the patient.

Heaps of garbage can be seen lying here and there. There is no arrangement for the disposal of bio-medical waste which is thrown in the open.

Dr S.P. Gupta, Senior Medical Officer, who recently took over, agrees that the conditions in the hospital are not very congenial. He says possible steps to improve the working of the hospital will be taken.


DC appeals to BKU (E) to end stir
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, July 20
Traffic remained disrupted on the Bathinda-Mansa road for the fifth day today due to the dharna of the activists of the BKU (E) near Maiser Khana village in protest against the inaction of the authorities concerned into the suicide of Mithu Singh, a farmer of Sandoha village.

The activists of the union alleged the administration sheltered those who were responsible for the suicide of Mithu Singh. They said the administration did not pay any heed to their agitation. They said they would continue their struggle till their demands were fulfilled.

They alleged the administration was not serious about the matter as it did not want to book the culprits who made the life of the farmer miserable that led to his death. They were raising slogans against the Punjab Government and the district administration.

The BKU leaders of the union wanted to come to some sort of compromise and had held a round of talks with the administration but the latter wanted to divert attention from the main demands, they alleged. They said a nexus prevailed between the arhtiyas and the ruling party leaders. They alleged that the main reason behind the failure of the talks was that the government did not want that the agitation of the farmers should come to some conclusive end. They said the union wanted that some solution should be reached in the matter but added that until the administration adopted a lenient view towards their problems it was not possible.

Meanwhile, Mr R. Venkatratnam, Deputy Commissioner, appealed to the agitating activists to end their stir in the interests of the public. He said a magisterial inquiry had already been ordered into the death of Mithu Singh.

He added the culprits could be identified only after the result of the magisterial probe came out. He added that when the administration was ready to listen to the grievances of the farmers then why were they adopting the path of agitation.


Beopar Mandal chief, secy get interim bail
Our Correspondent

Abohar, July 20
The Sessions Judge, Ferozepore, has issued an interim direction that: Mr Rakesh Dhuria and Mr Vinod Sharma, President and Secretary, respectively, of the Yuva Beopar Mandal, Abohar, be released on interim bail in case of their arrest in the case registered against them under Section 170 of the Indian Panel Code.

The city police had registered FIR No. 140 under section 170 of the IPC on July 7, 2001 on a complaint lodged by Dr Resham Singh alleging that Mr Dhuria and Mr Sharma had impersonated as members of the “flying squad” and inspected the local Civil Hospital.

Mr Dhuria and Mr Sharma moved an application in the Sessions Judge’s court under section 439 Cr.P.C. seeking directions to the police authorities to release the petitioners on bail in the event of their arrest. They apprehend arrest for a non-bailable offence in this case. Their counsel contended that there was a delay of two months in the registration of the case. A press note dated May 11, 2001 was referred to wherein the newspapers had published reports to the effect that the applicants had visited the hospital and requested the doctors to improve their working (in the interest of the patients) and also restrained the doctors from prescribing sub-standard medicines.

The learned Sessions Judge while fixing July 25 as next date of hearing issued a notice to the state, granted an interim direction also that in case of their arrest the petitioners would be released on interim bail on their furnishing personal bond of Rs 5000 each with one surety to the satisfaction of the arresting officer.


Quadruplets born to 22-year-old

Tarn Tarn
Mrs Manpreet Kaur (22), wife of Mr Lakhwinder Singh, a resident of the town, has given birth to quardruplets (all male) at the local Sahib Nursing Home. The babies were born by a caesarean section after 37 weeks of pregnancy on July 14.

The average weight of the babies is 1.7 kg and all are reported to be doing fine.

Dr Arpna Gill, senior consultant at the nursing home, claimed this was the first case of successful full-term quadruplet pregnancy in the past decade in Punjab.


Admn plans on paddy procurement
Our Correspondent

Patiala, July 20
About 13.25 lakh tonnes of paddy is expected to be procured this year from the district mandis and plans for its procurement are being undertaken by the administration so that farmers do not face any problem regarding the sale of paddy in market.

This was stated by Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, Deputy Commissioner, at a meeting held with the authorities of procurement agencies here today. He said 109 centres had been made in the district for the procurement of paddy.

The Deputy Commissioner asked the Manager of the FCI to make proper facilities regarding the storage of paddy.



MC’s directive on NOC from Fire Department
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 20
The Municipal Corporation has issued directions to commercial establishments in the city to obtain no objection certificates (NOCs) from the Fire Department. The NOC will be made mandatory before any completion certificate is issued to commercial establishments. The order will also hold good for commercial complexes already in existence.

A notification in this regard has been issued to the Municipal Town Planner on the instructions of the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Mr B.R. Banga, to enlist all buildings under six categories for scrutiny into facility of fire fighting in these complexes. These buildings include hotels, marriage palaces, factories and industries, shopping complexes, hospitals and educational institutions.

The Assistant Town Planner (ATP), Head Draftsman (HD) and Building Clerks (BC), who keep the data and files of buildings, have been directed to conduct a survey and make a list of all commercial establishments.

The notification to the ATPs, HDs and BCs was issued yesterday directing them to form a list and submit it to the Fire Department following which the Fire Department Officer ADPO would conduct a ground survey of the buildings and issue NOCs.

The Municipal Town Planner had been directed to approve the sanction layout plans of the establishments only after an NOC by the Fire Department was submitted, along with the building plan. The notification also directed that the completion certificate of the structure be sanctioned only after the owner submitted a copy of the NOC prior to the issuance of the certificate.


Registration of outside employees
Our Correspondent

Patiala, July 20
Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, Deputy Commissioner, today directed the industrialists and house owners to take complete information about the workers and employees coming from outer regions and submit the same along with their recent photographs to the nearby police stations.

He told the owners that if this process was not undertaken, then they would be responsible for any mishappening. He even asked such employees to go to the nearby police stations and get themselves reported with the authorities to get their identification.


Three held for killing boy
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 20
Close on the heels of abduction of an 11-year-old boy and his merciless killing Wednesday at Rajasansi Airport, a mother and son were found murdered in their house yesterday.

The case of abduction and killing of 11-year-old boy, Sahil, son of a fireman at Rajasansi Airport, was solved with the arrest of all three accused. The SP city, Mr Jagdish Singh Kahlon, told newspersons here yesterday that they had been able to arrest all three accused who had allegedly kidnapped the boy and later killed him.

Mr Kahlon said the three had planned to kidnap, Sahil, son of Suresh Kumar, employed as a fireman at the international airport.

The three kidnapped the boy when he had come to get his cycle repaired near the airport gate at around 11 a.m. Later, they called up Sahil’s father and told him to bring Rs 6 lakh at a place near Jandiala Guru in the afternoon. He said Jatinder Pal, one of the accused, had been working as a sweeper at the airport.

Jatinder Pal and his companion Harinder Singh entriced Sahil to accompany them as he got out of the airport gate.

They were, then, joined by another accused, Harjit Singh. Sensing that Sahil had recognised them and had understood their intention, the three accused strangled him and buried his body in the nearby fields.

When Sahil did not return home by afternoon, a search was launched to locate him. In the meanwhile, the accused stopped at a PCO at the Meerankot road and called up his parents demanding ransom of Rs 6 lakh to be delivered at Jandiala Guru by evening.

Some residents of a nearby village saw Sahil’s cycle and his slippers. Suspecting foul play, they informed his parents. The body of Sahil was buried in the field. It was found that the three were seen accosting Sahil in the morning. Following the tip-off, the police arrested the three accused and registered a case under Sections 365, 302, 34 of the IPC against them.

In another double murder case reported to the police on Thursday the SP city said Parkash Kaur, aged around 70, and her son, Surinder Singh (40), who was not mentally sound, were found strangled to death on Wednesday night in their house at the Ghee Mandi Area.

According to Mr Kahlon, their bodies were found by their daughter on Thursday morning who came to visit them.

The SP said the daughter had called up her mother at about 10 p.m. on Wednesday. When she was unable to get any response, she went to see her mother and brother who were found dead.

The SP further informed that in 1962, the husband of Parkash Kaur had also been murdered. Although the house showed some signs of having been ransacked yet no valuables were seen to have been missing except for some important property papers. 


Five held for robbery bid
Our Correspondent

Abohar, July 20
The city police arrested five armed persons during Operation Night Dominance from near the local graveyard. They were allegedly planning to commit a robbery.

Police sources said a police party was present near the Railway crossing on the Hanumangarh road when it was informed that certain persons identified as Pardeep Kumar alias Titu, Bikram Singh alias Bikar, Sonu, Sukhdev Singh Sukha and Tarsem Singh had allegedly tried to snatch a purse containing Rs 12,000 from Gokal Chand a resident of Nai Abadi at 11 p.m. The tip-off further indicated that the same group was conspiring to commit another major crime shortly after making abortive attempt in Nai Abadi area.

The police said that a raid was made at the grave yard and all suspects were arrested . The police claimed to have recovered two country-made .12 bore revolvers and three knives from them. They were booked under various Sections of the IPC and the Arms Act.

The suspects were produced before Mr L.K. Singla JMIC who remanded them into custody for further interrogation.


Dharna by college teachers
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, July 20
Members of the local unit of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union today sat on a dharna in front of the office of the Principal of the local DAV College to protest against the indifferent attitude of the state government regarding their demands. The teachers observed strike and sat on a dharna on July 16 and July 18 also. Their grouse is that the government was not implementing the decisions regarding the giving of gratuity-cum-pension to the teachers of private aided colleges.

They alleged that a decision was taken by state Assembly on March 30, 1999, but so far no order has been issued regarding the decision.

Mr Y.R. Handa, district president of the union said they would continue the agitation until their demands were fulfilled. He said the other demands of the teachers included giving the lecturer status to the librarians.


College students get degrees
Our Correspondent

Patiala, July 20
Master Mohan Lal, Higher Education Minister of Punjab, awarded degrees to students at the convocation ceremony of Government Mahendra College here today.

Dr Vidwan Singh Soni, Principal of the college, gave away 266 degrees to students of the previous session, out of which 56 were students of MA classes, 36 of B.Sc classes and 174 of BA courses.

In his address, the minister said, in this age of competition, students should pursue their studies with dedication and teachers should be more committed.

He said the Punjab Government was paying its teachers well, but students lacked motivation to succeed, which was retarding the growth of the nation. He announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh for getting the college building whitewashed.


Varsity counselling from Aug 8
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, July 20
The counselling of the candidates for admission to MBBS, BDS, ayurvedic, homoeopathy, physiotherapy and nursing courses will be conducted by the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences from August 8 to August 14 at the local Baba Farid Sabhayacharak Kendra on the Faridkot-Kotkapura road.

Dr P.S. Sandhu, Registrar of the university said here today that nearly 1500 students would be admitted after the completion of the process in 40 colleges in Punjab. More than 700 aspirants appeared in the PMET conducted by the university this month.


Campus rally by college teachers
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, July 20
Teachers of the local R.K. Arya College, on a call given by the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) have been observing stay-in-strike and organising campus rallies in the college for the past four days.

They are protesting against the callous attitude of the state government towards their demands, which included the implementation of pension-cum-gratuity scheme, career advancement scheme, selection grade to DPEs and librarians and release of arrears, Mr Manjir Singh Lally, a PCCTU leader said in a press note here today.


Pvt college teachers hold protest
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 20
On a call given by the PCCTU, teachers of private colleges of Amritsar held a rally on the DAV College campus today in protest against the non-fulfilment of their demands.

BJP MLA Laxmi Kanta Chawla, while addressing the gathering, criticised the dilatory tactics adopted by the Punjab Government in the implementation of the accepted demands of granting pension and gratuity to teachers of private colleges.

She wondered why the Punjab Government was taking so long to implement the Pension and Gratuity Act passed by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in 1992.


Principal denies he was hurt
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 20
Dr M.S. Dhillon (Principal) Khalsa College here today issued an clarification that he had intervened to prevent some antisocial elements from trying to disturb peace in the campus. He added that as reported in a news item that he was injured during the melee was totally baseless without any iota of truth.

He added that the police had started action and arrested two persons and seized a motorcycle from them. 


Uniforms, books distributed
Our Correspondent

Patiala, July 20
As many as 97 needy students were given uniforms and books by Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, Deputy Commissioner, on behalf of the Red Cross Society here today.

Mr Bir said that the availability of proper study material was a must to ensure uplift of students, especially those who wanted to explore the field of knowledge.

He urged the social organisations to contribute towards the welfare of these students.

The others who spoke on the occasion were Mr Rahul Gupta, Assistant Commissioner (General), and Mr Mohan Lal Gupta, Chairman of Bir Dasondhi Ramji Foundation.


Book rice mill for fraud: DC
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, July 20
Mr A. Venu Prasad, Deputy Commissioner, here has directed the police to register an FIR against Ms Surinder Kumar Kulbir Inder Singh Rice industries, Sadiq Road, for committing a fraud of Rs 85 lakh with the Punjab Government in the custom milling of paddy in 1999-2000.

Disclosing this here on Thursday, the Deputy Commissioner said the District Food and Supply Department, stored 29890 quintal paddy in the mill for its conversion to rice. However, the firm returned the rice after milling only 16,367 quintal paddy and the remaining rice was not returned to the department. The fraud came into light when a team of Food and Supply Department headed by Mr Mohinder Singh Dhillon, Assistant Food and Supply Officer, Jaitu, visited the premises of the mill on July 3 and July 13 this month for the physical verification of the stock.

The Deputy Commissioner said that in a similar case he has also recommended to the police to register a case against Narula Agri Export Private Limited for playing a fraud of Rs 39 lakh in the custom milling of paddy with the state government during 2000-2001. In this connection 19,050 quintal paddy was stored with the firm in 2000-2001. Out of the total only 9926 quintal paddy was returned to the District Food and Supply Department and the remaining was not accounted to by the firm. Mr Hemraj Mangla, DFSO, Faridkot, detected the embezzlement during the physical verification of the stock on July 4 and July 12 this month.

Copies of the cases have also been sent to the Tehsildar for forfeiting the properties of the parties to recover the amount. Mr Dhani Ram Banga, district food and Supply Controller said Mr Hem Raj Mangla DFSO, has been deputed to follow both the cases to ensure the recovery of the amount at the earliest.

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