Monday, October 22, 2001, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Baba case: CM fails to decide on probe panel
Our Correspondent

Saraan Bulara (Amritsar), October 21
The President of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today failed to take any concrete decision on the constitution of an inquiry panel to probe the Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara case. Denying any differences with Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, President of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee, who had mooted a plan for a three-member committee to probe the activities of Baba Bhaniara, the Chief Minister said the inquiry depended on the availability of the Chief Justice of the high court.

The SAD President was speaking to mediapersons at the farmhouse of Mr Manjinder Singh Kang on the occasion of the seventh death anniversary of the latter’s father, Makhan Singh Kang, who was gunned down by terrorists.

On the election strategy and the meeting of the Political Affairs Committee (PAC), Mr Badal said a blueprint for the elections would be prepared in three phases, with meetings of district heads of the working committee to be held shortly.

He said these meetings would focus on the Maharaja Ranjit Singh bicentenary celebrations for which Mr L.K. Advani would be here on November 2.

He said the Panthic Morcha was trying to gain political mileage from controversies like the Bhaniara case. He said the cases of stranded Hindu and Sikh families in Afghanistan would be taken up during the meeting with Mr Advani. The process of granting free visa fees for 40 such families was likely to be expedited after the Home Minister’s visit, the Chief Minister said.


Bibi Jagir set to make comeback
Speculation over SAD-SGPC rift
Rashmi Talwar

Saraan Kalan (Amritsar), October 21
The presence of Bibi Jagir Kaur, former SGPC president, here alongside Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has triggered off speculations over possible differences between the Chief Minister and the SGPC president, Jathedar Jagdev Singh Talwandi.

The disparity was apparent after Mr Badal rejected a three-member inquiry panel mooted by Mr Talwandi to probe into the acts of sacrilege. The Chief Minister today preferred a chief justice to inquire into the matter.

Bibi Jagir’s presence here just prior to the annual elections to the SGPC has fuelled rumours about the possible re-emergence of Bibi Jagir Kaur. Talking to this correspondent, Bibi Jagir Kaur, who is also an MLA, said she was prepared for any kind of election without being specific. Both SGPC and Assembly elections are just around the corner hence she could be making a comeback.

Her upstaging of Mr Talwandi at Akal Takht with the show of strength in the presence of SGPC members can be listed among her achievements. She not only has a strong following in the SGPC, but is also daring to take on Mr Talwandi.

Bibi Jagir Kaur was attending the seventh “barsi” of Makhan Singh Kang. Ministers of State Mr Rattan Singh Ajnala, and Mr Gulzar Singh Ranike, among others, were present.


Badal blaming Cong for govt lapses: Bhattal
Our Correspondent

Barnala, October 21
The Punjab Chief Minister is failing in its duty to bring out the truth regarding incidents of sacrilege in Punjab by blaming the Congress. Mr Badal by blaming the Congress, is trying to cover up his lapses and wrong-doings.

Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, former Punjab Chief Minister, stated this here on October 18. She was talking to reporters at the residence of Congress leader former MLA Bachan Singh Pakho on the occasion of the bhog ceremony of Bhagwan Kaur wife of Mr Pakho. She died a week ago.

Mrs Bhattal said the Congress condemned the acts of sacrilege. She said Mr Badal instead of shifting the blame on to the Congress must introspect and strive to find out the truth behind these acts of sacrilege and discharge his constitutional duty of protecting the honour of Guru Granth Sahib.

Mrs Bhattal asserted the Congress was very much united and would form a government in Punjab after the Punjab Assembly polls. She said differences among Punjab Congress leaders had been resolved.

She said all sections of society were disillusioned with the poor performance of the SAD-BJP combine government in Punjab. On the reinduction of Mr George Fernandes as Defence Minister, Mrs Bhattal said his inclusion in the Union Cabinet was an insult to the judiciary of the nation.

She said the Congress would contest the Punjab Assembly elections on the vital issues, bring back on rails shattered economy of Punjab, upliftment of poor, and restoration of democratic moral values for raked by the Badal government.


Officers for 5 yrs, unemployed for life
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, October 21
“Officers for five years, gentlemen for life”, is the slogan of advertisements published in newspapers by the Army authorities to motivate the youths to join the Short Service Commission (SSC). But those who joined SSC feel that it should be “Officers for five years, unemployed for life.”

A cross section of SSC officers and former short service officers feel that after serving in the Army for about five years, chances of getting the job in the civil sector are not as bright as expected by them before joining the Army.

The SSC officers feel that either one should serve under permanent commission in the Army or should not join it at all. Former short service commission officers said they joined the Army in the prime of their youth and after five years of service they found it difficult to get some job in the civil sector.

These officers are also not satisfied with the seats reserved for them in various states. The seats reserved for them are 13 per cent in Punjab, 10 per cent in Haryana and 1 per cent in Uttar Pradesh. But these officers are of the view that the reservation is negligible as compared to the number of ex-short service officers.

Although those officers who remain in the Army for five years are given the status of Ex-Serviceman but if they get extension for a minimum period of five years and leave the Army before the completion of the extended period, they could not enjoy the status of ex-servicemen.

Sources in the Army said these officers could fill the shortage of the officers in the defence forces. But the problem faced by the former short service officers had created disinterest among the youths who want to join the SSC, the sources added.

The sources further said that the cut off merit in the Combined Defence Examination, which was necessary for admission to Officers Training Academy (OTA), for the Short Service Officer, has been reduced considerably so that more candidates could qualify for the same. Defence experts had raised their voice against the lowering of the merit.

The sources further said although the Army authorities felt that there was shortage of officers in the Army but they don’t want to compromise on the quality. The officers were also working on some solution so that former short service officers could be well placed. The sources said for motivating the youths for joining the Short Service Commission it was necessary that they could be assured of better life after leaving the Army.


PPCC warns Badal on SYL canal issue
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) President, Capt Amarinder Singh, today warned Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal against compromising the interests of the state and alleged that the latter had promised Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala that he would cooperate in the construction of the SYL Canal in Punjab for giving the state’s water to Haryana in lieu of the transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab.

Addressing a press conference here today, Capt Amarinder Singh declared that the Congress would not allow even a single drop of water to be given to Haryana. “Punjab does not have any spare water,” he asserted. He pointed out that Haryana had got 14 million hectares of water (MHW) at the time when it separated from Punjab, while Punjab got only 12 mhw.

On the issue of compensating Haryana for the transfer of Chandigarh, he argued: “It is the duty and responsibility of the state which separates from the parent state to create and develop its own capital. First they separate from us and then they take away our capital”.

About his plans to stand for election, Capt Amarinder Singh said he would like to contest from Patiala. “But the final authority rests with the Central Election Authority of the party which is headed by Ms Sonia Gandhi”, he said. He also clarified that he would contest from only one constituency as he was “absolutely confident” about his victory from anywhere in the state.

On the plans of electoral alliance of his party, he said negotiations were already going on with the CPI and the CPIM. He said both organisations were keen to join hands with the Congress. He also clarified that there were no negotiations going on with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

The PPCC president said he supported any move on the part of the government to enact fresh and stringent laws against terrorism in the country.


2 polio cases detected in Faridkot
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 21
Even as crores of rupees have been spent on the pulse polio programme launched in 1995, detection of two confirmed cases of polio in Faridkot district has frightened the state health authorities.

The two cases of polio were detected in August-end early September. And on September 27, the authorities decided to launch a mop-up round. The decision was taken at a meeting convened in Chandigarh and attended by senior officials of the World Health Organisation and state Health Department.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that one of the patients of polio had gone to his native state Bihar while the second one was residing in Faridkot district.

What has been worrying the health authorities is that the two cases of polio had been detected for the first time in the past three years. They are now contemplating how to check the spread of the polio virus.

They have decided to launch a mop-up round as an ‘end on strategy’ to tackle with the problem from October 30 to November 4. The mop-up round would be carried out in Bathinda, Moga, Muktsar, Ferozepore and Faridkot districts of Punjab.

After the mop-up round, the Intensive Pulse Polio (IPP) immunisation programme would be carried out in Punjab from December 2, 2001 to January 20, 2002.

Dr Bawa Ram Gupta, Civil Surgeon, Bathinda, in a press note issued here today, said that in the mop-up round, house-to-house activities would be undertaken by a team of two workers. Each team would cover 100 to 125 houses in rural and urban areas.

He pointed out that all arrangements had been made to ensure that no child from the age group of 0 to 5 was left without immunisation.


Ashok Gehlot will be gheraoed: Ramoowalia
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, October 21
Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, president of the Lok Bhalai Party, today said the party would gherao Mr Ashok Ghelot, Rajasthan Chief Minister, when he would come to tour various constituencies to campaign for the Congress.

Mr Ramoowalia, who was here to launch the campaign for his party candidate, Mr Balwinder Singh, talking to mediapersons said, while residents of Punjab were not allowed to purchase land and property in Rajasthan, there was no ban imposed on the purchase of land by a resident of Rajasthan in Punjab.

He said an alliance with the Congress, SAD-BJP combine or the Panthic Morcha was not possible. Accusing the SAD-BJP alliance and the Congress, he said none of these parties solved any issue while in power but demanded votes from people claiming to solve them when they would be in power.

He said Punjab had become a directionless and a poor state under the rule of the SAD-BJP combine. The poll plank for his party would be a clean administration and no interference of the “kitchen cabinet”, he said.

He said the state government had allowed the mushrooming of so-called computer centres operating under a contract system of Punjab Technical University. He demanded a judicial probe into the functioning of these centres.

He said an alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party could be worked out but added that his party would not have an alliance with a party which formed an alliance with the Congress.

The names of candidates for 18 Assembly seats had been declared and if the need arises, the party would contest 90 seats on its own.


Talwandi issue to figure at PAC meeting
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 21
The Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, is likely to be under pressure to either discipline SGPC President Jagdev Singh Talwandi or remove him from his post before the forthcoming SGPC election.

This demand is likely to dominate the proceedings at the SAD Political Affairs Committee (PAC) meeting to be held at Chandigarh tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, is being approached with regard to summoning Mr Talwandi at Akal Takht for allegedly presenting a “siropa” to an excommunicated Sikh.


Where traffic chaos rules supreme
Rajnish Sharma

Traffic continues to be a big problem in the town. The local administration has formulated a number of plans to control traffic inside the town, especially the markets, but due to lack of coordination between the local administration and the police, the problem is deteriorating day by day.

Even though signboards forbidding the parking and plying of four-wheelers in markets were installed at several sensitive points, nobody paid any heed. No traffic policeman is ever seen in the markets. For them, the challaning of two-wheelers riders without helmets seems to be the only duty. Cops continue positioned at Patiala Gate, near Radha-Swami Satsang Bhavan, Boran Gate etc, awaiting their prey. The traffic lights at Boran Gate have been lying out of order for the past one year. The Radha Swami road, meant only for light vehicles, has surprisingly been opened to heavy traffic.

The town is a hub of shopping for more than 500 villages around it. Thousands of villagers come to this town using various modes of transport varying from scooters, motor cycles, three-wheelers, tractor-trailers, tempos, ‘marutas’ etc. There is no check on plying of these vehicles in the markets which can hardly cope up with the movement of two-wheelers and rickshaws. This results in long traffic jams and accidents.

Two-wheelers are parked wrongly in front of shops. Even policemen take their four wheelers in the markets. Irregular parking of ‘rehris’ in markets, displaying of goods in front of shops and stray cattle compound the traffic problem in the markets. The movement of four-wheelers, stray cattle and lack of parking space are the chief reasons for traffic chaos in various markets.

Traffic jams are common on the roads extending from Patiala Gate to Bhikhi Mor, Boran Gate to Old Subzi Mandi, Sadar Bazaar, Bhawara Bazaar, Panch Mukhi Mandir, Devi Dwala Chowk.

The main roads and lanes in the town are no better. Trucks remain parked along Cinema Road near FCI godowns which often leads to conflicts between residents and truck owners. A number of LPG-laden trucks remain parked along both sides of the Nabha-Bhawanigarh road in front of the bottling plant. In certain lanes, especially those connecting Hira Mahal to Patiala Road, people are running their ‘‘harvesters combine’’ manufacturing units. They put permanent tents in such lanes under which labourers work, thus closing the lanes even to two-wheelers.

Local people resent the challaning of vehicles parked outside shops for having been ‘‘parked in no-parking zones’’ in the absence of any specified parking area in the markets. They suggest that a yellow line should be drawn on both edges of the markets to demarcate the parking zone and the entry of four-wheelers should be banned from 8 am to 8 pm. The loading and unloading of vehicles should be stopped during these timings. The encroachments in front of shops for displaying goods should be removed. ‘‘Rehris’’ should be shifted to the vegetable market or some other proper sites. The menace of stray cattle should be checked in order to control congestion in the markets.

Mr Zora Singh Thind, SDM said he was planning to construct a platform for ‘‘rehris’’ of the Patiala Gate area and would select appropriate sites to construct such platforms for ‘‘rehris’’ in the other markets.


Indians genetically prone to heart diseases: expert
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, October 21
The prevalence of heart diseases among Indians is due to some genetic disorder besides ‘bad’ eating habits.

This was stated by Dr Harinder Singh Bedi, senior consultant, cardiovascular and cardiothoracic diseases, Fortis Heart Institute, Mohali, while speaking at a seminar here today.

He said the general perception was that Indians, particularly Punjabis, eat such food which caused heart ailments, but he added that the Non-Resident Indians were also found to be affected from these. He said even the second and third generations of NRIs, who were born and brought up in the Western countries and were eating the same food as was being eaten by the natives of those countries.

Dr Bedi was speaking on “Advances in cardiac care,” along with Dr Gurcharan Singh Kalra, senior consultant, invasive cardiology, Fortis Heart Institute.

Dr Kalra said the people of India did not care about their food habits. He added that the heart ailments should be taken seriously.

Both the doctors were happy that research was being conducted in India to tackle the problem of increasing number of heart diseases. They said the state government could play a major role in educating the people about the precautions to be taken for prevention of heart diseases.


A land of smoky evenings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
Punjab has turned into a land of smoky evenings these days.

If you go late in the afternoon from Chandigarh to Patiala, Chandigarh to Ludhiana via Sirhind or on any other route, you will encounter a lot of smog on the way.

All this looks unusual. Farmers, the Punjab Government and the Punjab Pollution Control Board, are, by and large, responsible for such a phenomenon.

Farmers burn paddy straw in their fields shortly after mid-day when it dries up after the evaporation of the early morning dew. Within a short period, one finds smoke all around. And they continue doing this without bothering about how much damage is being caused to the environment.

Agricultural experts, scientists and environmentalists have warned Punjab of the ill-effects of such activity. But in the absence of a clear policy of the political executive, which is more interested in taking populist measures to attract votes than caring for the health of people, no one dares to stop the farmers from burning paddy straw.

Punjab has over 20 lakh hectares under paddy almost every year. This has been the trend for the past five years or so. Farmers mostly resort to the burning of paddy straw after harvesting. It is the easiest method to clear the fields of the crop residue.

Pollution of the air is illegal but there is no one to enforce the law.

A senior bank official, who travels daily by bus from Dera Bassi to Patiala, told TNS that it was difficult to travel these days in the state in the evening. Drivers faced a lot of difficulty while driving. They often complained of irritation in their eyes induced by the smoky conditions.

People allergic to smoke face a lot of difficulty. Some complain about breathing problems because of the smog.

Only a few days ago, a senior scientist of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research had disclosed that the phenomenon of aerosols was detected by a US satellite over Punjab about two years. He had warned that the state could witness such a phenomenon more often.


Tributes paid to police martyrs
Tribune Reporters

Phillaur, October 21
The Police Commemoration Day was celebrated today in the Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, in memory of police martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the protection of the people and the country.

On this occasion, the academy Director, Dr Bhatti, paid homage to the martyrs’ memorial.

A two-minute silence was also observed by all officers and the men of the academy and Shok Shastra was also displayed. Mr Bhatti and other officers of the academy placed wreaths on the martyrs’ memorial.

Mr Chander Shekhar, IGP, MRSPPA, Mr Praveen Sinha, Deputy Director (O), Mrs Anita Punj, Dy Director (Indoor), Mr Kamal Kumar, Deputy Director Administration and other senior officers including trainees of the various courses, also paid homage.

AMRITSAR: The Punjab Police today observed the martyrdom day today as the special parade held at the Police Lines here. The IG, Border Range, Mr Rajan Gupta, said special cells had been established here to redress the grievances of the martyr’s families and look after their welfare.

The BJP MLA, Mrs Laxmi Kanta Chawla, while addressing the parade, said the martyrs were the real wealth of the nation and they provided inspiration to the younger generation.

The IG presented gifts to 478 families.

SANGRUR: Stressing the need to bring changes in the functioning of the police Mr Sanjiv Gupta, DIG, Patiala Range, today called upon the police to work humbly and understand the human rights to bring a good name to the force.

Mr Gupta was addressing a function which was organised at the Police Lines here to observe the “Police Commemoration Day” in memory of those policemen who laid down their lives for the country. In this function, family members of the police martyrs, former police personnel, police officers and employees participated. As many as 59 policemen, SPOs and Punjab Home Guards of the district had been killed by the militants so far.

Mr Mandip Singh Sidhu, SP (Headquarters), Sangrur, read the names of hundreds of policemen who sacrificed their lives while discharging duties throughout the country. Mr Inder Mohan Singh, DSP, Moonak, led the commemoration day parade to pay homage to the martyrs.

Mr Sarvjit Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Mr R.M. Gupta, District and Sessions Judge, Mr Jatinder Singh Aulakh, SSP, Sangrur, Mr D.S. Grewal, Commandant, Home Guards, and others laid wreaths at the police martyrs memorial.

Mr Sanjiv Gupta also inaugurated martyrs’ memorial gallery where photographs of the police martyrs’ had been displayed. He also inaugurated a computer centre in the office of the SSP.

On this occasion, family members of the police martyrs of this district were also honoured.

ROPAR: Fifty two families of the policemen who laid down their life while on duty were honoured at a function organised in the police line here today to mark the police day. SSP Ropar, GPS Bhullar, who presided over the function, gave away mementos to the families. On the occasion a medical camp was also organised under the aegis of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Memorial Society.

HOSHIARPUR: The commemoration day was observed today at the BSF Subsidiary Training Centre, Kharkan, the Police Recruits Training Centre, Jahan Khelan and the local police ground in the memory of those paramilitary and police personnel who lost their lives while performing duty.

Tributes were paid by Mr V.K. Sharma, Additional DIG, BSF, Mr R.S. Khatra, Commandant, PRTC and Mr Sanjiv Kalra, SSP, Hoshiarpur. The officers at their respective centres also read out the names of the martyrs.

GURDASPUR: The Commemoration Day parade in which police officials of Gurdaspur and Batala districts participated was held in the Police Line ground here today. Mr Kulbir Singh Sidhu, Deputy Commissioner, Mr M.R. Batra, District and Sessions Judge, Mr Sukhdev Singh, SSP, Gurdaspur, and Mr S.S. Brar, SSP, Batala, along with other police officers and representatives of political parties paid floral tributes to police martyrs who lost their lives for the country.

Mr Sukhdev Singh, who presided over in function said 85 policemen from Gurdaspur and 128 from Batala district had lost their lives after the Commemoration Day was started to be observed since October 21, 1959.

The next of the kin of those policemen killed were presented a pair of blankets.

KAPURTHALA: Rich tributes were paid to police martyrs at a function organised by the District police at the local Police Lines today. Mrs Gurpreet Deo, SSP, presided over the function while Dr Upinderjit Kaur, Punjab Housing and Urban Development Minister, participated as the chief guest.

Paying tributes to the police martyrs, Dr Kaur said the whole nation was proud of the sacrifices made by the policemen for the unity and integrity of the country.

She announced a grand of Rs 31,000 for the development of a police memorial.

Addressing the function, Mrs Deo said out of the 90 policemen belonging to Punjab who sacrificed their lives during this year three of them belonged to Kapurthala district.

Wreaths were placed by Mrs Gurpreet Kaur Deo and Dr Upinderjit Kaur on the police memorial.

BATHINDA: A seminar was organised in the local Police Lines to pay tributes to those police personnel who laid down their lives while performing duties during last year.

The family members of these police personnel were also present on the occasion. Mr Rajpal Meena, DIG, Faridkot range, Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, SSP, Mr Darshan Singh Grewal, Additional Deputy Commissioner, were among those present.

Mr Meena said 39 policemen who sacrificed their lives were from Bathinda district alone.

The officials laid a wreath at the “Shaheed Police Jawan Laat” to pay tributes to the martyrs.

KARNAL: Mr M.S. Malik, Director General of Police, Haryana, laid the wreath on the martyrs’ memorial to mark the “Police Commemoration Day” here today.

He hoped that the constabulary would continue to perform their duty with sincerity and devotion. They would serve the humanity following the path laid down by their predecessors.

Mr V.B. Singh and Mr Alok Joshi, Inspectors General of Police, Police Training Centre and Haryana Armed Police, respectively, were also present.

FATEHABAD: To commemorate the sacrifices of policemen on duty the district police on Sunday observed ‘police martyr day’ at the mini-secretariat complex. The SP, Mr Hanif Qureshi, presided.

SHIMLA: A police commemoration day parade was held here today to pay homage to 10 CRPF personnel who laid down their lives at Hot Springs in Ladakh in 1959 while fighting Chinese troops.

The DGP, Mr A.K. Puri, took salute at the parade in the police ground. He read out names of 1,117 policemen who laid down their lives while fighting terrorism and anti-social elements during the past one year.

Among the martyrs of the year, 6 police personnel belonged to Himachal Pradesh.

Wreaths were laid on behalf of the Governor and the Chief Minister on the martyrs’ memorial.


‘Only united India can fight terrorism’
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 21
Only a united, strong and self-reliant India can meet the challenge of terrorism. This was stated by Mr Mohan Rao Bhagwat, all-India general secretary of the RSS, while addressing a “shastra puja” and “vijyadashmi” rally of swayamsewaks drawn from Tarn Taran and Batala zone at Gole Bagh here.

He said India would have to fight its own war against terrorism. He criticised the policy of USA to rope in Pakistan which itself was a terrorist state in the war against terrorism.

He said terrorism did not have any religion but international terrorists like Osama bin Laden were attempting to disguise their horrendous deeds in the name of jehad.

The nation would have to remain vigilant against the activities of terrorist elements both inside and outside the country, he said

He lamented that in the face of such a grave crisis people were engaged in fights over trivial issues like religion, languages, caste and river water sharing. Unfortunately, a segment of the political leadership was involved in corrupt practices and nepotism in utter disregard of their responsibility towards the nation.

Earlier, a “shashtra puja” was also performed. As many as 2,500 RSS workers marched through the main bazaars of the city.


Anthrax: SSPs told to form special cells
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 21
The DGP, Mr Sarabjit Singh, has directed all SSPs to form special cells to tackle any chemical and biological threat in view of the anthrax scare in the country and abroad.

He said though technically the Punjab police was not equipped to face any threat, the force was not sparing any stone unturned in this regard. “We have got guidelines to deal with such emergency situations and these guidelines have been directed to all district police chiefs for necessary action. What we can do in such cases is to seal the suspected substance and to send if for chemical examination,” he said.

Earlier, he addressed police officials at the PAP complex here where a function was organised to mark Police Day.


Resident receives suspicious packet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
While the police was yet to ascertain whether the letter received by a Focal Point resident yesterday contained anthrax spores, Avtar Singh, a resident of Bhai Randhir Singh locality in the city, informed the police today about receiving a packet suspected of containing a harmful substance.

The police has sealed the packet and sent it for examination. Some members of Avtar’s family were examined at a hospital but no abnormality was reported. Avtar Singh said when he opened the packet, he found a small envelope inside it. However he did not open it and informed the police.

Meanwhile, Surinder Pal Singh, the resident of Focal Point who received one such letter yesterday, told The Tribune that his family members were safe and well.


Zimbabwe seeks PSEB assistance
Our Correspondent

Patiala, October 21
The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority has sought assistance of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) engineers for implementation and execution of electrification work in Zimbabwe’s rural areas.

In a press note, the PSEB said its engineers, preferably executive engineers (XENs) who specialised in engineering, project management and rural electrification network and had worked on a senior position for a minimum of 10 years, would provide assistance to the Zimbabwe authority.

The PSEB officials said the selection would be initially made on a deputation basis for a period of one year and added that this might be extended up to two or three years depending upon the terms and conditions.


Couple seeks justice
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, October 21
Mr Tarsem Lal Banotra, president, Dinanagar unit of the Bahujan Samaj Party has threatened to go on a strike if a compensation was not paid to a couple whose crop was allegedly damaged by Mirthal sarpanch.

The standing crop on 29 kanals of Darshan Lal and his wife Sudarshana Devi, residents of Bharyal, was ploughed through by sarpanch’s men allegedly at the behest of a minister, his relative, on October 8, 2000.


Kribhco training camp concludes
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 21
A two-day in-service training programme by Kribhco for field officers of Punjab and Gujarat concluded here today.

The training programme was inaugurated by the General Manager (Marketing), Mr D.P. Singh.

On the first day, Dr R.O. Gupta, Prof of Microbiology at PAU, Ludhiana, delivered a talk on importance of biofertilisers and their role in enriching the soil along with organic matters and in improving the texture of the soil for plant growth.

Dr Joginder Singh Brar from the Soil Department spoke on the balanced fertilisation programme with special reference to Punjab and Gujarat soils.

On the concluding day, a marketing review of Punjab and Gujarat was taken. Area managers and marketing officer presented their achievements and targets for the past year and current kharif season. Mr C.M. Pahuja, Chief Manager (F&A), explained various points regarding the improvement in finance and accounts. Dr Satish Maheshawri presented his paper on fertilizer marketing in decontrolled scenario.

An exhibition was also put up.


PSEB transfers flayed
Our Correspondent

Patiala, October 21
The PSEB today transferred 121 assistant engineers (AEs) and assistant executive engineers (AEEs).

An official press note said two Chief Engineers had also been transferred. Mr A.D. Bhandari, Chief Engineer, DSA and Mr S.A. Khan, Chief Engineer, Metering had swapped posts.

Meanwhile, the PSEB Engineers Association has expressed resentment over the large-scale transfers and demanded an inquiry.


Lawyer on MC panel removed
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, October 21
The municipal councils (MC) has decided to remove its labour law advocate, Mr Mohan Lal Garg. The decision was passed on October 15.

The MC at its meeting said two cases were lost as he allegedly did not take interest in the cases.

The resolution said a new lawyer should be appointed and the powers for the same were vested in the executive officer of the council. Mr Bhupinder Singh Bhullar, president of the MC said the resolution had been passed by the council.

Mr Garg, however, said he was not aware of any such resolution.


Computer student granted relief
Our Correspondent

Ropar, October 21
The Consumer Forum, Ropar, has directed the computer center, Computer Pride Inc. (USA), to pay compensation to a student for deficiency in service.

In a complaint before the Forum, Sanjeev Kumar, resident of Ajauli village in Anandpur Sahib Tehsil, alleged that he had taken admission in the said computer center, in the web commerce course, in July 2000. The fee for the course was settled at Rs 45000 against the total fee of Rs 59,000. Out of the settled fee he paid the initial instalment of Rs 17500. The authorities of the center gave the training up to November 13,2000. However, after that no teacher was available for guidance. For the deficiency in service on the part of the computer center, the complainant demanded a compensation of Rs 50,000 and the refund of the fee paid along with an interest of 12 per cent per annum.

The forum found the center service deficient and awarded a compensation of Rs 30,000 to the complainant. It also directed the center to refund the fee of Rs 17500 at 12 percent interest per annum and the litigation cost of Rs 2000.

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