Saturday, October 13, 2001, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Kidney racket in Ludhiana
Jupinderjit Singh and Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 12
Close on the heels of the incident of kidney removal in Bathinda, well-organised kidney racket active in this city, especially in the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) has been exposed following the registration of a case here today against two persons, who allegedly got removed kidneys of three migrant labourers at the DMCH last year.

Rajesh Kumar and Amritpal Singh, alleged agents of a gang of kidney racket, have been booked under Section 18 of the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994. They are, however, not been arrested.

The exposure has vindicated news reports published recently in these columns, which had given details about the kidney racket thriving in different hospitals, including the DMCH, in the city. The DMCH and other hospitals and the Health Department had, however, been denying the reports.

According to an FIR registered at the Division No 6 police station here today, the kidneys of three persons namely — Sumer Bahadur, Sandeep Kumar and Prem Kumar, all working as waiters in Zoom Hotel, Focal Point, were allegedly removed at the DMCH in October last year. They had stated to the police that they were in urgent need of money and got in contact of the two accused who promised them a payment of over Rs 1 lakh if they donate their kidney. According to the three complainants, they were taken to Patiala at the residence of an unidentified person and signed some papers, which they later learnt was to claim that they were the relatives of the Patiala-based man. They were then brought to the DMCH, where they were operated upon and their kidneys were removed. They stated that they were shown as relatives as only a relative can donate a kidney.

Talking to The Tribune, the complainants said they were given few hundred rupees initially and then told that the remaining payment would be made shortly. Later they were told to forget about the rest of the payment or else face dire consequences.

Meanwhile, all of them began falling ill. Private doctors attending on them told them that they were not fit to donate kidney and thus had been exploited and used. Finally they decided to complain to the police.

Dr Sandeep Puri, Medical Superintendent, DMCH, denied the charge.

A senior police official revealed that investigation into the complaint has begun.


Pension sans gratuity for aided college staff
P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
When the Punjab Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, today announced the decision of the Council of Ministers taken on Thursday to grant pension to the staff of government-aided colleges, he left out the payment of gratuity.

As per the Punjab Affiliated Colleges (Security of Service of Employees) Amendment Act, 1999, the Council should have included even gratuity while approving the intended pensionary benefits. Does this amount to a violation of the Act?

In fact, the statement of “objects and reasons’’ given by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, who moved the Bill in the Vidhan Sabha on March 30, 1999, inter alia reads: “The government has agreed in principle to introduce the pension and gratuity scheme with effect from Ist April, 1992, for the employees of privately managed affiliated non-government aided colleges in the state in respect of aided posts, covered under the 95 per cent deficit grant-in-aid scheme....’’

In fact, even the then Governor had passed executive orders, on April 6, 1998, stating that the state would “implement’’ the pension-cum-gratuity scheme in lieu of the contributory provident fund for the teaching and non-teaching staff working under the 95 per cent grant-in-aid scheme.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh was specifically asked about the exclusion of gratuity while implementing the Act to grant “pension and other pensionary benefits’’. But he kept silent. The truncated decision to grant the pension benefit will accrue from April 26, 1999.

This decision will benefit 4,025 teachers and 2,765 non-teaching staff under the 95 per cent grant-in-aid scheme. The total number of beneficiaries is 6,798 in 140 aided colleges.

The demand for pension-cum-gratuity was first raised by the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union in 1990. During President’s rule, the scheme was accepted, but payment was to be made through the managements of the respective colleges. This was in 1991 but was rejected out of hand by the union.

Interestingly, this demand has been approved thrice by the Council of Ministers — in January, 1996, April, 1998, and again in October, 2001. The final outcome is bound to disappoint the staff.

Now that the government has itself defaulted in implementing the Act in toto, it is pertinent to draw its attention to Section 9 (c) of the Act that, inter alia, states that if any person is guilty of non-compliance with any provisions of the Act he shall be liable to punishment, including imprisonment and fine.

Is the Finance Minister aware of this provision in the Act? Even the Minister of Higher Education, Master Mohan Lal, may have much to explain for the promises he has been making to the union and on the lopsided decision of the Council of Ministers.

Punjab is the only state not to have fully implemented this scheme.


167 Afghan Sikhs, Hindus get visas
Our Correspondent

Attari, October 12
Even as more than 100 families of Afghan Sikhs were stranded at Gurdwara Panja Sahib (Hassan Abdal, near the Afghanistan border) and at the Lahore railway station, the Indian mission in Islamabad has issued visas to 167 Afghan nationals. They are expected to enter India on Samjhauta Express on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the minority commission has urged the Union Home Ministry to grant visas to Afghani Sikhs and Hindus liberally by the Indian High Commission at Islamabad without charging any amount. Mr Tarlochan Singh, Vice President, minority commission, told this correspondent that the Government of India might depute some liaison officers at Peshawar and Islamabad to secure the safe journey of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus.

The two Afghan Sikhs — Mr Partap Singh and Mr Joginder Singh - both from Kandahar who alighted from the Samjhauta said many families of Sikhs and Hindus had been camping at Gurdwara Panja Sahib who wanted to enter India they said most of the families trapped in the war zone in Afghanistan were in pitiable condition and they could not afford to come to India on their own. They said the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) had been looking after the families of stranded Sikhs and Hindus in Gurdwara Panja Sahib.

Narrating the woes of minorities in Afghanistan, they said the women had to wear “burqua (veil)” as per the dress code imposed by Taliban. They had been leading miserable life in Afghanistan.

They said the minorities prefer the Northern Alliance as compared to the Taliban. They hoped that there would be a stable government after the defeat of Taliban.


A ballet on PM’s poems
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 12
A ballet extolling the glorious past of India as well as depicting the present troubled times based on the poems of Atal Behari Vajpayee is being fine-tuned by students of the Department of Dance of the Punjabi University here for showcasing it before the Prime Minister.

The ballet portrays that while the country was at its glorious best in ancient times and man lived a life of freedom and openness, the modern man has hidden himself behind “masks”. The ballet goes on to show how we are “lucky” to have a Prime Minister like Mr Vajpayee, who hopes for a bright future for India. It ends on a note of optimism: “Ayo mil ke diya jalayen” and is titled “Bharat-Kal, Aaj and Kal”.

Punjabi University has taken the permission to translate the poems of the Prime Minister, but has taken the liberty to use them in a ballet being prepared by it. The Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, who is already heading a varsity project along with Dr Satish Verma translate poems of the Prime Minister into Punjabi told TNS that the ballet was being fine-tuned after a performance in the university recently. It was felt that the introduction by the “sutradhar” was a bit long as most of the subject is depicted in the performance. More varieties were planned in the dresses of the 42 girls participating in the ballet, besides the lighting system.

He said the varsity was planning to hold another performance of the ballet in Chandigarh in November and in Delhi in December in the Sangeet Natak Akademi auditorium.

Asked whether the Prime Minister would grace the occasion, he said: “We will request the Prime Minister to do so, but I wonder whether he can spare time for the function with many global developments taking place”. The Vice-Chancellor had earlier announced through a varsity press release that the ballet was scheduled to be presented before the “poet” Prime Minister in November.

Interaction with various officials in the varsity revealed that the ballet has taken one month to prepare by students of the Department of Dance after it was conceptualised by the Vice-Chancellor himself. It is based on classical dance movements with the main stress being on expressional dance and taut choreography. They said various bits of poetry have been borrowed from poems written by the Prime Minister to form the story line of the ballet. These include views of the authors when he was in jail during the Emergency as well as his views on nature and patriotism from his major work “Ekyavan Kavitayen”.

The ballet first shows the glorious past of India with respect to the Vedas and the rich culture. It then goes on to show the present depicting how society has been engulfed by corruption as also terrorist activities and the effect they have had on Kashmir and other parts of the country. It goes on to end with the “kavi” saying time will not remain like this and that the coming generations are more aware of their destiny.


Acid attack: jail official transferred
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 12
The jail authorities have transferred the Assistant Superintendent of the Central Jail here who has been found guilty of neglecting his duty which led to acid attack on three followers of Baba Piara Singh Bhaniarewala in the jail premises on October 6.

Security has been stepped up in the jail following the incident besides isolating the Baba from the other inmates.

The jail authorities said Assistant Superintendent Karamjit Singh, who was the day officer when the acid was thrown on three followers of the Baba when they were being taken to the court, had been found guilty of negligence following an inquiry.

They disclosed that Baba Piara Singh was being kept in the same isolated cell in which former Panthic Committee Convener Sohan Singh had been kept. They said no one, including his followers, was allowed to interact with him and only jail officials were allowed access to him. Two Assistant Superintendents, a warden and a head warden had been made directly responsible for his security.

Officials said precautionary measures were also being taken to ensure that such an incident did not happen again and investigations were also being made how a murder convict had been able to get hold of the acid to carry out the attack.


Kanwaljit defends decision to move Supreme Court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
The Punjab Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, today defended the state’s decision to move the Supreme Court on the World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement signed by the Centre. The Council of Ministers had taken this decision here on Thursday.

Known for his strong views on the likely negative implications of the WTO on the economy, agriculture and industry, he said national rather than political interests were more important. Unlike farmers in the West whose subsidies were transferred to the “green box” before the WTO agreement was signed, farmers in Asia and Africa remained at a disadvantage due to the WTO provisions.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh said that the Empowered Committee of the finance ministers of eight states had met the Union Finance Minister recently and conveyed apprehensions on the WTO, requesting that they should be consulted and their views solicited before the second round of negotiations on the WTO.

“We are demanding changes in the methodology to meet new challenges posed by the WTO. We are not denying that globalisation is not a reality. It is inevitable”. This issue had been discussed even at the Chief Ministers’ conference. Punjab’s decision should not be construed as a step towards “isolation”. It should be viewed as one stressing on re-negotiating the WTO agreement to India’s advantage.

There was no question of asking the NDA, of which SAD was a partner, to “pull out” of the WTO web. The impending implications of the WTO were neither related to the NDA nor limited to political parties. These had a national sweep. These must be understood in that spirit.”We must be consulted before the second round of negotiations and a national consensus evolved so that the same benefits accrue to Asia and Africa as benefit the West”.

In this global battle of wits, India must project a collective, legal and economic view because these aspects were overlooked when the Congress signed the agreement. “We are concerned that the states’ rights should not be infringed. Certainly, the Centre will not succumb to Western pressures. Re-negotiations on the WTO is the felt need”.

Referring to agriculturally progressive states like Punjab, the Finance Minister said their economic interests must be protected. There was nothing called “surplus” foodgrain available for “export”. It was a temporary phenomenon. The real concern should be about millions of starved humans who did not have the buying capacity. Those people were living not only below the poverty line but also below the minimum nutrition level. All this called for re-prioritising national policies, fine-tuning them to take advantage of the WTO agreement in the global market context where quality and competition ruled, he added.


Intoxicants seized from chemist
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 12
A huge quantity of intoxicants were seized from Raju Medical Store at Chheharta here yesterday, during a raid conducted by the Health Department.

Dr Ajaib Sandhu, Civil Surgeon, revealed that at least 13,000 capsules of proxivon, 8000 tablets of lomotil, 65 bottles of corex (cough syrup) and 550 injections of oxytocin were recovered from the shop. The owner, Surinder Singh, also had a manufacturing plant named Spectra Lab.

Bills regarding these medicines could not be found. Meanwhile, an imposter, Mahesh Kumar, was caught by a team headed by Dr Sandhu. Without any degree or registration, he was running his father’s clinic situated at Bagh Ramanand. An FIR was lodged.

Dr Sandhu said a show-cause notice had been served on seven medical stores out of 17 cases recommended by the Health Department.


Illegal construction goes on
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 12
Even as unauthorised construction has been going on in every nook and corner of the city, the local municipal council authorities seem to have stopped bothering about the development of the town in a planned manner.

What the municipal council authorities have been doing is that they issue notices under various Sections of the Punjab Municipal Act to those who have been carrying out unauthorised construction in the city. In most cases, the notices have been issued only after the unauthorised construction was over.

Information gathered by TNS reveals that a leading land dealer, who is considered close to politicians, along with a senior official of the building branch of the municipal council, has been playing a key role in the unauthorised construction.

The matter of unauthorised construction was raised a number of time at meetings of the municipal council and an accusing finger was pointed at a senior official for his alleged involvement in the matter.

Sources said on August 29 two persons died when the lintel of the third floor of a building under construction collapsed in the city. The third floor was being constructed without getting the site plan sanctioned.

Most of the unauthorised construction is being carried out during night time. Money has been playing a great role in this process, sources say. Mr Bhupinder Singh Bhullar, President, municipal council, said notices under Sections 195 and 172 of the Punjab Municipal Act were being issued for illegal construction. He said since the municipal council did not have an adequate force, it was not able to stop such construction at the early stage.

He denied that any municipal council official was involved in promoting unauthorised construction in the city. He added that if any such incident came to his notice, action would be taken immediately.

He pointed out that from April 1, 2000, to September 30, 2001, 354 notices under Section 195 were issued while 15 notices under Section 172 were issued to those who had raised unauthorised structures.

He added that of the 354 notices issued under Section 195, compromise with the parties had been reached in 146 cases after taking the required fee and penalty from them while seven structures of the total 15 structures, owners of which had been served notices under Section 172, were demolished.


Bungling in construction alleged
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 12
The Punjab Contractors’ Association today alleged that a large-scale bungling took place during construction of the office complex of the Municipal Council here.

The association, in the complaint made to various authorities, alleged that the material used in the construction of the building was of inferior quality and not up to the required specifications.

Mr J.S. Brar, general secretary of the association, said the association had urged various authorities, including the Chief Minister, for an in-depth inquiry. Mr Bhupinder Singh Bhullar, President, Municipal Council, when contacted said so far no such thing had come to his notice. He added that the work was done as per the requirements of the council authorities and if anything was found wrong, the recovery would be made from the security deposited by the contractor.


Two cops sent to Police Lines
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 12
As a follow-up to the complaint by Mr Darshan Singh, owner of the Bunty Chicken Corner, near Aam Khas Bagh, Sirhind, regarding the beating up of his son by an ASI and some other policemen of Fatehgarh Sahib police station, the SSP has shifted two of the guilty policemen to Police Lines on Wednesday.

In a complaint to the SP (H), the complainant had alleged that at about 9 p.m., a policeman in civil dress came to his shop and demanded chicken for an official of the local police station, who was sitting at a near by petrol station.

Mr Darshan Singh reportedly refused the order as chicken was not available at his shop and he then went to the market.

After sometime, when he came back to his shop, he saw some policemen coming to his shop who later started beating him and his son without any provocation from his side. The policemen later took both of them to the police station and again beat them up.

However, a police clerk at the police station came to their rescue and saved them from the guilty policemen.

Mr H.S. Saran, SSP, termed it as an unfortunate incident and said he had marked an inquiry and the guilty would be punished.


Seminar on disaster management
Our Correspondent

Patiala, October 12
Earthquakes, floods and other natural calamities have been taking a massive toll of human life and property. This was stated by Dr Harbans Pathak at a seminar organised by the Department of Public Administration, Punjabi University, in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Public Administration, Patiala branch, here today. The seminar topic was “Disaster management — lessons drawn and strategies for future”.

Inaugurating the seminar, Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, Vice-Chancellor, Punjabi University, said the seminar assumed vital importance in the face of rampant disasters both natural and man-made. Dr B.S. Bhatia, Registrar, remarked that the strategies for disaster management should be envisaged at an appropriate time.

Dr S.L. Goyal, Professor Emeritus, Public Administration, Panjab University, while presenting his theme paper, remarked that universities need not merely be academic institutions but should play a bridge role between the community and government.


Two dead as bus hits Tata Sumo
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, October 12
Two persons died on the spot in a road accident last night near village Naushehra Pannuan when a Tata Sumo was hit by a mini bus. According to sources, the Tata Sumo was coming from Patti when the mini bus hit it, killing two persons on the spot, while seven persons travelling in the Sumo had a narrow escape.

The bodies were sent for a postmortem at the local Civil Hospital. The Sarhali police station has registered a case against the driver of the bus.

The deceased have been identified as Parshotam Kumar Narula and Davinder Kumar Chopra, both residents of Zira in Moga.

Narula was a cloth merchant and Chopra his servant. The deceased were in Patti to attend a marriage.


BSP seeks CBI probe into desecration
Tribune News Service

Dirba (Sangrur), October 12
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) today sought a CBI inquiry into the incidents of desecration at different places in the state.

Mr Kanshi Ram National President of the BSP, who was here in connection with a party’s ‘Mazdoor-Kisan Chetna Rally’, said the government should order a CBI inquiry into desecration incidents. He also said “Ask Mr Parkash Singh Badal, why the sacrilege was committed in the regime of the Akalis?

Mr Kanshi Ram also said the BSP would contest all Assembly seats in Punjab as it had 51 per cent voters. He added that the BSP might share five to seven seats with the Panthic Morcha. There were no chances of an alliance with any other party by the BSP in the Assembly elections, he added.


Late train irks passengers
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, October 12
Mr Khushal Dutta, Vice-President, Northern Railway Passengers Association, in a complaint lodged with the Divisional Railway Manager, Ferozepore, alleged that train number 345 (down) running on the Ferozepore-Bathinda-Jind section had been running late for sometime and no action had been taken to improve the situation.

Mr Dutta said the shuttle train connect two trains in the city — the Bathinda-Ambala and the Bathinda-Rewari trains.


Health awareness camp organised
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, October 12
The Naujawan Khatri Sabha and the Youth Welfare Club of Mallan village of Muktsar district organised a health awareness and medical camp in the village today. Mr Jagjit Singh, Deputy Medical Commissioner, Muktsar, inaugurated it.


Kisan Mela at Rakhra on Oct 18
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 12
A Kisan Mela will be held at Rakhra, 15 km from here, on October 18, under the aegis of Punjab Young Farmers’ Association.

The theme of the festival is to augment the income of farmers by taking to the cultivation of Pusa Basmati-I rice which has established its market internationally. Being a high yielder it gives double the profit of the traditional tall varieties of Basmati like Basmati 370.

The focus will be on the sale of the rice of this dwarf variety by farmers themselves. The visiting farmers will be taken to the demonstration plots of Basmati.

Foundation seeds of the new variety of wheat HD 2687 which gives the highest yield on planting from November 12 to November 30 will be distributed among farmers. IARI scientists will discuss the strategy with the participants.


5 commission agents’ licences cancelled
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, October 12
The District Food and Supplies Department, Muktsar, has cancelled the licences of five commission agents for irregularities in the purchase of paddy in the town.

Disclosing this here today, Mr Sukhdev Singh Aulakh, District Food and Supplies Controller, said the licences of 30 arhtiyas had been suspended and Rs 28,000 deposited by them with the department as security had been forfeited in this connection. Show-cause notices had been served on 38 commission agents, Mr Aulakh said, adding that the licences of six fair price shop dealers and four brick-kiln owners had also been cancelled on various grounds in Muktsar district. Similarly, show-cause notices had been issued to 40 brick-kiln owners, he said.


PSEB announces austerity measures
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 12
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has decided to adopt certain economy measures to curtail expenditure by revising its travelling allowance (TA) and dearness allowance (DA) besides freezing leave travel concession (LTC) during 2001-2002.

An official release here said the board officers up to the level of Heads of Departments would be entitled to travel by air only in Economy Class. The release further said that air travel would be allowed only in the journey was more than 1,000 km.

Besides, the officers will now be entitled to reimbursement of actual expenditure incurred towards normal single room rent in a hotel of total rental value, including taxes, not exceeding Rs 2,500 for Grade I and Rs 2,000 for Grade II categories in metro cities and 50 per cent of this limit in all the other cities.

The release said in case of New Delhi, the expenditure on hotel accommodation and daily allowance at hotel rates would be reimbursed only if no accommodation was available in the board guest house and the non-availability certificate was obtained from the Secretary, PSEB, or the Director, Coordination, at New Delhi.

As regards rail travel entitlement, Grade I officers will be intitled to second AC, Shatabdi non-executive and Rajdhani two-tier AC while Grade II officers will be entitled to AC chair car, AC two tier, Shatabdi non-executive and Rajdhani three-tier AC, Grade III and IV officers will be entitled to first class, AC chair car and AC three tier and Grade IV personnel will be entitled to second class sleeper fare.

The board has also ordered a total freeze on availing of the LTC with immediate effect. It will remain in force till March, 2002. However, the officers whose sanction to avail this concession had been issued by the competent authority before the issue of these instructions, will be permitted to avail this concession.


Literacy drive launched
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 11
Mr R. Venkat Ratnam, Deputy Commissioner, said here today that all arrangements had been made to make Bathinda district fully literate district of Punjab.

In a press note issued here today, he said all arrangements had been made to make those in the age group of 15-35 literate for this task, 65 clusters had been constituted in the district. Each cluster would be supervised by a senior officer.


Minister finds health staff absent
Our Correspondent

Moga, October 12
The Punjab Education Minister, Mr Tota Singh, today paid a surprise visit to the health centre at Dhudike village, birthplace of Lala Lajpat Rai, 25 km from here, and found that barring one member the entire staff of doctors and nurses was absent.

Talking to newspersons here, he said he would take note of it. He said the health centre had a strength of 17 members — seven staff nurses and 10 doctors. Ravinder Kaur, the only nurse present there, told the minister that some doctors came from Ludhiana and Jagraon which were far off and hence got late.


Groups clash in judicial complex, four injured
Our Correspondent

Sunam, October 12
Four persons were injured seriously when a group of persons attacked a member of another group with sharp-edged weapons in the judicial complex here today over a land dispute. The police has registered a case and arrested five persons in this connection. According to the police in this attack Mr Pargat Singh, Mr Hamir Singh, Mr Gurcharan Singh and Mr Bawa Singh were injured and Jora Singh, Baljeet Singh, Jagjeet Singh, Budh Singh and Jant Singh arrested. The attackers belonged to Mehlan village while the member of the aggrieved party belonged to Tirangi Khera village.

All four injured persons were admitted in the local civil hospital in critical condition.


Two held for stealing goods
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, October 12
The district police has arrested Charan Singh, and Gurmeet Singh, both residents of Jagraon in Ludhiana, under Sections 420, 406, 467, 468 and 471, IPC, for stealing, goods on the pretext of transporting the same.

Dr Jatinder Jain, SSP in a press note issued here today said the accused would ostensibly transport goods in their truck and a tractor-trailer bearing a fake registration number of course, the goods never reached their destination. The culprits were trying to flee with their truck loaded with stone and marble on October 9 in the city when they were caught by the police. In another case, the district police arrested Subhash Kumar, a resident of Guru Nanakpura Mohalla here for selling drugs and cough syrups without a licence. Dr Jain said the culprit was working as a plate maker at a motor workshop.

He would buy cough syrups from Jaito (Faridkot) and sell the same to addicts at a hefty profit.


Teachers block road
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 12
Teachers of non-government colleges affiliated with Punjabi University today held a protest march and conducted a blockade on the Patiala-Sangrur road, demanding immediate implementation of the pension and gratuity scheme to the employees of the colleges.

The road blockade, which continued for nearly one and a half hours, caused traffic chaos initially. Later the police diverted traffic from Government Rajindra Hospital to Leela Bhavan.

The teachers expressed resentment at the dilly-dallying attitude of the Punjab Government towards their demands which include payment of pay revision arrears, grant for which has already been received from the Central Government, coverage of uncovered colleges and posts, grant of house rent allowance and rural area allowance and revision of pay scales for tutors and demonstrators.

While reacting to the statement of the Punjab Finance Minister regarding grant of pension and pensionary benefits to the employees of non-government colleges, association president K.B.S. Sodhi and general secretary Jaspal Singh Randhawa demanded release of detailed orders for the implementation of pension and gratuity as per the scheme circulated in the colleges in 1996 on the basis of which a Bill was passed in the Vidhan Sabha in 1999.

Addressing the rally, Congress MP Praneet Kaur assured the teachers that her party would include their demands in the election manifesto of the Congress and would ensure that these demands were implemented once the party came to power. Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal general secretary Prem Singh Chandumajra also assured the teachers all help and support of his party.

Union general secretary J.S. Randhawa said as per the decision of the executive committee, a massive dharna-cum-rally would be held on October 19 at Banur in which teachers from all the colleges would participate and offer arrest. He said on October 30 the executive committee members would court arrest at Chandigarh and that a rally would also be held in the Chief Minister’s constituency of Lambi on November 7.

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