Wednesday, October 31, 2001, Chandigarh, India

 

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‘Dhadis’ sing Badal’s praises
Fateh Singh’s function turns election rally
Our Correspondent

Badiala (Bathinda), October 30
The state-level function organised to pay tributes to Sant Fateh Singh on his 29th death anniversary here today turned out to be an election rally of the SAD-BJP combine as the speakers, including Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, urged the public to vote for the ruling alliance in the Assembly elections.

Though the function was organised in memory of Sant Fateh Singh, founder of the Punjabi Suba, at his native village, few words were spoken about him by the speakers, including ministers, MLAs, SGPC members and jathedars belonging to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). Surprisingly, “dhadis” sang songs in praise of the Chief Minister and other ministers.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal paid tributes to Sant Fateh Singh and later, addressing the gathering, he said the Congress had always cheated the people of Punjab.

Speaking about the achievements of the SAD-BJP combine government, he claimed that during its rule the state had seen overall development.

Mr Badal refuted the allegations of opposition parties that many youths were lodged in jails of Punjab without any trial for many years. He said at present no one was lodged in any jail against whom a trial was not pending. He said all jail inmates were either convicts or facing trial.

Mr Badal said that to save cotton-growing farmers from becoming debt-ridden due to frequent failure of the crop, the Chief Ministers of some states would urge the Central Government to levy duty on the cotton to be exported.

Praising Sant Fateh Singh, Mr Badal said he was a unique person who had the qualities of a saint, a social worker and a politician.

Mr Badal said Fateh Singh was not only the founder of Punjabi Suba but was also instrumental in the formation of the first Akali Dal government in the state.

Mr Balwinder Singh Bhundar, MP and general secretary of SAD, said the Anandpur resolution had not demanded the formation of a separate state for Sikhs. He said all that was demanded in the resolution was the decentralisation of powers, more industries in Punjab and more representation for Punjabis in Army.

He blamed the Congress for presenting a “wrong” picture of Punjab in other states and Western countries. He alleged that the Congress wanted the Punjab should remain a backward state.

Mr Bhundar alleged that the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) was working as an “agent” of the Congress.

Mr Baldev Singh Khiala, an MLA belonging to the SHSAD, also paid tributes to Sant Fateh Singh. He visited the venue of the function before its start. Later, he addressed the gathering.


 

Badal lays stone of railway overbridge
Tribune News Service

The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, lays the foundation stone of a railway bridge over the Paras Ram Nagar level crossing.
The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, lays the foundation stone of a railway bridge over the Paras Ram Nagar level crossing. The Punjab Science and Technology Minister, Mr Chiranji Lal Garg, is also seen. — Photo Kulbir Beera

Bathinda, October 30
The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, laid the foundation stone of a railway overbridge to connect the trans-railway colonies with the main city today. The bridge will be built at a cost of Rs 19 crore. Asked that SHSAD chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra had pointed out that there was no coronation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh as per the historical facts and Mr Badal was trying to drive political mileage out of it, he said Tohra was trying to sabotage all development programmes of the Punjab Government.

He added that Mr Tohra was spreading rumours of a patch-up between the SAD and the SHSAD. He alleged that Mr Tohra and his associates were playing into hands of the Congress so that they could harm the interests of the SAD-BJP combine government of Punjab.

He claimed that the Punjab Government had fulfilled all promises made to the people before the last Assembly elections and the government was committed to their welfare.

Mr Chiranji Lal Garg, Punjab Science and Technology Minister, who was instrumental in getting the project of the railway overbridge sanctioned, said a new chapter in Bathinda city had been started with the stone-laying ceremony of the bridge.

Mr Bhupinder Singh Bhuller, President, municipal council, Mr Hardev Singh Bahoyatri, chairman, Market Committee, Mr Narinder Mittal president of the BJP, Mandal unit, councillors of the SAD and other prominent citizens were present on the occasion.


 

Cong to hold rallies in Punjab
Prashant Sood
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 30
The Congress is planning to boost its election campaign in Punjab with a series of rallies in each of the 117 constituencies. The programme of rallies would be finalised at the party’s campaign committee meeting in Chandigarh on November 8.

The coordination committee of the party on Punjab, which met here today, decided to give a final shape to the Congress manifesto at its meeting on November 10.

Party treasurer Motilal Vora, who is in charge of Punjab, said that the manifesto and charge sheet against the Badal government would be released after it is examined by the committee headed by Dr Manmohan Singh.

At its meeting in Chandigarh, the 110-member campaign committee of the Punjab Congress would draw up details of rallies in various constituencies. A meeting of the media committee of the party’s Punjab unit is also slated for November 8.

The state Congress, which has held rallies in all zones of the state, is now holding rallies in districts. The party’s next district-level rally is scheduled to be held in Amritsar on November 5.


 

Cong to revamp frontal units
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, October 30
Keeping in view the forthcoming Assembly elections in the state, the Punjab Congress has decided to revamp the structure of all its frontal organisations and cells within two weeks.

Addressing a press conference at Congress Bhavan here today, Mr Birdevinder Singh, general secretary of the Punjab Congress Committee and in charge of the frontal organisations and cells, said the restructuring would enable the party to approach the people at the grassroots levels with the help of these cells.

“In fact, the whole exercise is aimed at making these cells more active and vibrant to help gain ground at the grassroots level.

Mr Birdevinder Singh, who was in the city to address the meeting of office-bearers of the Punjab Youth Congress and all district presidents, said the Youth Congress had been instructed to depute 20 workers at each booth during the next elections to thwart any move by other parties to capture booths.

Mr Davinder Singh Babbu, president of the Punjab Youth Congress, said the wing had submitted a list of workers to be deputed at 8,000 polling stations to the high command. On the possibility of a poll alliance with Left parties, he said, “Left parties are our natural allies.” 


 

Akali unity: BJP pins hopes on PM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
Worried over disunity in the Akali ranks, the Punjab unit of the BJP has pinned its hopes on the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, to bring about unity among the main Akali factions.

Senior leaders of the BJP in the state have reached the conclusion that their party will be hit the most in the coming Assembly elections if the rift in the Akali ranks continues. So, these leaders want to see the Akalis, especially the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and former SGPC chief, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, united.

Informed sources said that certain top leaders of the BJP from Punjab and the party high command in Delhi had taken up the issue of Akali unity with Mr Vajpayee. He had been requested to ensure unity at least between Mr Badal and Mr Tohra. Mr Vajpayee had , according to the sources, got in touch with some top leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal in Delhi.

The sources said that the response of the Akali leaders contacted by Mr Vajpayee was positive. Akali leaders, it is believed, have told the Prime Minister that they are prepared to settle the issue with the breakaway Tohra faction. In fact, there is a strong move in the SAD itself for unity with Mr Tohra. Mr Badal is under pressure from certain members of the Political Affairs Committee ( PAC) for taking the initiative in this regard.

It is not known yet whether Mr Vajpayee has established contact with Mr Tohra. Mr Vajpayee commands respect among top Akali leaders of various hues.

However, Mr Tohra, with whom this correspondent had a talk yesterday, appears to be completely disinterested in unity with Mr Badal. He is in a mood to fight to the finish with Mr Badal. He admitted that about six months ago, Mr Vajpayee had called him twice to dinner but he did not go there as Mr Badal was also invited.

In recent weeks, he has received no such invitation from Mr Vajpayee or any other leader of the BJP. Nor has any senior leader of the BJP contacted him yet on the unity issue.

Why is the BJP interested in Akali unity? A senior leader of the party said that if the Panthic Morcha put up its candidates in the constituencies allocated to the BJP by Mr Badal, Sikh voters, by and large, would prefer to vote for the Morcha candidates and not the BJP nominees. Sikhs have a significant presence in constituencies like Rajpura, Amritsar, Phagwara, Hoshiarpur, Batala, Ludhiana, and Nangal.

In recent days, the BJP’s top brass has held a number of brainstorming sessions to discuss the political situation vis-a-vis the coming Assembly elections.


 

Storm brewing up in state CPM
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 30
All is not well with the Punjab unit of the CPM as some rebels have launched a counter movement with parallel party rallies being organised across the state almost daily. And the expulsion of the state committee member of the party, Mr Chandershekhar, who is also the general secretary of the state unit of the Centre for Indian Trade Unions, is likely to further deepen the crisis in the state CPM.

Well placed sources in the party said the expulsion was prompted by the party general secretary Mr Harkishen Singh Surjeet. Mr Chandershekhar was expelled from the party at the central committee meeting held in Delhi on October 28. While 28 central committee members supported his expulsion, 24 others opposed it.

Senior CPM leader and former Kerala Chief Minister, Mr E.K. Nayanar, who is also the politburo member of the party, reportedly opposed the expulsion. He reportedly remarked while addressing a rally that the day might not be too far when Mr Surjeet would be left as the lone representative of the party in the state.

Earlier, Mr Tarsem Joda and Harkanwal Singh, both senior leaders, were also expelled from the party after they could not reconcile themselves with the policy allegedly adopted by Mr Surjeet. Although there are several factors responsible for the sharp dissension within the CPM, one of the charges being levelled against Mr Surjeet by the rebels is that he has been compromising the basic principles of the party and surrendering to the Congress.

The sources disclosed that another senior leader of the party Mr Mangat Ram Pasla likely to be expelled from the party. He is already busy with organising parallel conferences of the CPM. Sources close to the rebel CPM leaders said they would soon be announcing the formation of a parallel party in Punjab.

The preparations are already on as the rebels have organised parallel party conferences at Baba Bakala and Patti tehsils in Amritsar, Shahkote in Jalandhar, Raikote in the district, Dhuri and Malerkotla in Sangrur and Barnala in Mansa district. A parallel conference is being organised here on November 2.

Mr Surjeet reportedly appointed Mr Balwant Singh the state secretary of the party. His appointment was reportedly opposed by all district units of the party except the Patiala unit. This reportedly fuelled the dissension in the party.


 

Development funds to lapse from tomorrow
Lalit Mohan

Ropar, October 30
It is just like giving with one hand and taking with the other. The Punjab Government has ordered the lapse of funds deposits for various development works in four departments, namely the Public Works Department (B&R), PWD (Public Health), Irrigation Works Department and Panchayati Raj Department from November 1. With this order, money given by the government for various development purposes before April 1, 2000, will go back into government accounts.

In a letter to the heads of the departments, the Finance Department has stated that all funds lying unutilised since April 1, 2000, under the deposit money schemes would return into the government accounts from November 1. The heads were asked to send requests to the Finance Department, through their respective secretaries before October 20, 2001, against the lapse of those funds which were in the process of being utilised.

However, sources said that in the short time limit given by the Finance Department, it was very difficult to process the requests. Hence most of the deposit money funds would lapse and the payments for the works under construction will be delayed.

Highly-placed sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the government had been forced to take the decision due to the right financial position following the benevolence shown during the recent “sangat darshan” programmes organised by government functionaries. The decision will also have an adverse effect on the already delayed development works of the departments.

The government gives development funds through planning boards and other heads to various organisations or institutes. These institutes deposit the sums in the abovesaid departments for carrying out development activities. However, these departments have to get the clearance of the treasuries before withdrawing the deposit money. For the past two years, deposit works had come to a standstill because of the instructions of the government to the treasuries against clearing the payments of the deposit works. In Ropar alone, development works costing about Rs 1 crore in the abovesaid departments have been lying pending since long due to the non-release of the deposit money from the treasury. The major works which will come to a standstill due to the decision of the government include the construction of rooms in schools, administrative complexes, dharamshalas, etc.


 

Charges framed against former VC, 5 others
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 30
A local court today framed charges against former Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor Dr Joginder Singh Puar and five others in a case pertaining to alleged irregularities committed during the hosting of the 83rd National Science Congress in 1996 besides irregularities in appointments and promotions.

Special Judge M.S. Chauhan today ordered framing of charges against the former Vice-Chancellor and five others, including four academicians — Dr I.J.S. Bansal, Dr Baldev Kumar, Dr J.L. Bhanot and Dr S.S. Joshi and the Manager of Guptaji Tent House, New Delhi, Sarwan Kumar Gupta, after listening to arguments from both sides. He adjourned the case for arguments to January 18 for recording of evidence.

A vigilance case had been registered against Dr Puar and the others following registration of an FIR in the Patiala Vigilance Bureau on 12.7.99 under sections 13(1)D read with 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and 420 and 120 (b).

The former VC has been accused of misappropriating funds in the process of installing tents during the hosting of the National Science Congress. Besides this he has been accused of gross negligence and violation of rules while making appointments and promotions in the university during his six-year tenure as VC.

The prosecution, while presenting its case, alleged that Dr Puar had entered into a conspiracy with four other academicians and Guptaji Tent House to misappropriate funds in the installation of tents. It claimed the conspiracy was substantiated through a statement made by university teacher, Dr Harpal Singh Pannu, in this regard and that charges should be framed against all accused in the case.

Defence counsel Balwant Singh Jandu, while pleading the case said as far as financial matters in installation of tents was concerned, the expenditure was within the budgetary limits and had been approved by the Syndicate. He said charges of gross violation of rules by the former VC did not amount to criminal misconduct besides claiming that there was no evidence of criminal conspiracy.

The defence said the statement of Dr Pannu should not be considered as it was made three years after the Science Congress was hosted.


 
POLITICS

Talks for pact with BSP on: Mann
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, October 30
Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), today described Mr Parkash Singh Badal as a “Khalistani” and an “opportunist”.

He said the entire top leadership of the Akali Dal, including Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra, Jathedar Jagdev Singh Talwandi and Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had jointly submitted & memorandum in 1992 to the then UN Secretary-General for an independent Sikh state and till date nobody had withdrawn his signatures from the memorandum.

Addressing a press conference at the PWD Rest House here, Mr Mann claimed that all Sikhs supported “Khalistan”. But when journalists asked Mr Mann to clarify his own stand on “Khalistan”, he said. No comment”.

Mr Mann stated that the SAD (A) only recognised the panel constituted by ‘Jathedar Jagdev Singh Talwandi, SGPC President, for probing the “burning of birs”. But Jathedar Talwandi should seek the views of leaders of the Panthic Morcha on the terms and references of the panel.

Mr Mann said the Panthic Morcha would support Jathedar Talwandi in the election for presidentship of the SGPC in case Mr Badal tried to unseated him.

The SAD (A) leader also said that Mr Ravi Inder Singh, Jathedar Tohra and Baba Sarbjot Singh Bedi were holding discussions with the BSP for an electoral alliance in the ensuing Assembly elections. He expressed the hope that the talks would be positive.

Mr Mann said his party would oppose the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) in the Lok Sabha, whenever it would be tabled in the House for approval. He said this ordinance had been introduced to target minorities like Muslims, Sikhs and Christians.

He also opposed the decision of the Union Cabinet with regard to the open voting system in place of the secret ballot system for Rajya Sabha election. He also said as the Rajya Sabha MP represented the state, he should be a registered voter of that state.


 

SHSAD rally tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, October 30
Mr Ishtpal Singh Khialiwala, district general secretary, Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD), alleged in a press note here today that those guilty of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots had not been punished so far.

He alleged that the present state government claimed to be the government of Punjabis and Sikhs but even then no step had been taken by it to punish the guilty or to press for their punishment.

He said the SHSAD would hold a rally in this district on November 1 in which senior party leaders and Sikh intellectuals would participate.


 
COMMUNITY
 

Gurdev Badal, son complete ‘tankhah’
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 30
Mr Gurdev Singh Badal, Agriculture Minister, his son Kewal Singh Badal, junior vice-president, SGPC, and Mr Amrik Singh Aliwal, a former MP, who were declared “tankhaiya” for having links with Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara, completed their 15-day punishment today.

Giani Bhagwan Singh, Head Granthi, Akal Takht, performed “ardas” at Akal Takht. However, two leaders of the Mann Akali Dal could not turn up. They are likely to reach here within a day or so.

Interestingly, Mr Kewal Singh Badal and Mr Aliwal today pledged before Akal Takht that they would not dye their beards in future as it amounted to violation of “Sikh Rehat Maryada”. Mr Aliwal suggested that the list of those who violated Sikh traditions and were declared “tankhaiyas” should be displayed in gurdwaras so that it should act as a deterrent. 


 

Bhattal case adjourned
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, October 30
Mr B.C. Rajput, District and Sessions Judge, today adjourned the case relating to the alleged misappropriation of the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund by the former Punjab Chief Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, till November 29.

Mr Rahul Chaudhary, SP Vigilance, who appeared in the court gave a report to the court contents of which were not disclosed. The investigation into the case is on and the next date for the consideration of the facts has been put at November 29, sources said.

Mr Balwant Singh Dhillon, senior vice-president, the Lawyers for Human Rights International, had moved the application before the court alleging corruption by the former Chief Minister. He alleged in his complaint that Ms Bhattal had withdrawn Rs 20 lakh from the fund on December 30, 1996, in her own name for granting money to needy persons and institutions.

The money was dishonestly and fraudulently misappropriated and she had committed a breach of trust within the meaning of Section 13 of the Prevention of the Corruption Act, Mr Dhillon added.

Mr Dhillon said he would move an application praying that he may be allowed to examine the report filed by the police authorities today.


 

Small savings schemes garner record 2,811 cr
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, October 30
The Punjab government claims to have broken all previous records under the small savings schemes. A sum of Rs 2,811 crore has been collected in 2000-01 against Rs 948 crore in 1996-97.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance and Planning Minister of Punjab, revealed this information at a state-level function organised by the National Savings Organisation, Punjab and the Directorate of Small Savings, Punjab, to celebrate the World Thrift Day, here today.

The minister said the savings played a vital role in the economic development. He urged the people connected with small savings to motivate more and more people in rural as well as urban areas to go for savings.

Mr Sher Singh Sidhu, Director, Small Savings, Punjab, explained the role of small savings in economic development of the state. He said small savings contribute 60 per cent and more in the annual outlay of the state. He also explained the incentive scheme for the investors and agents for securing higher collections in the state.

Mr Mohinder Malhotra, Regional Director, National Savings, Punjab, and UT, while welcoming the chief guest and the participants explained the significance of the World Thrift Day.

He said nearly 20,000 agents were operating in the state in mobilisation of small savings schemes in the rural as well as in the urban areas of the state. He also lauded the role of agents in deposit mobilisation.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh, also gave away prizes to “Best Sanchaika” in the country, best agents in SAS, MPKBY and PPF category in the state and also best extension agencies — Pay Roll Savings Scheme and Sanchayika Scheme.

Mr T.S. Negi, Senior District Savings Officer, Patiala, thanked the chief guest and other participants and assured that the targets fixed for the district, shall not only be achieved but will also be surpassed.

The following were adjudged winners of different prizes. Best Sanchayika School in the country: National Award: Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 46, Chandigarh. Best Sanchayika in Punjab: Government M.P Girls Senior Secondary School, Patiala; 1, and Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Railway Mandi, Hoshiarpur, 2.

Best Pay Roll Savings Groups in Punjab: Morinda Co-operative Sugar mills, Morinda (Rupnagar); 1 and PCPL, Bhankharpur (Patiala); 2.

Best SAS agents in Punjab: Mr Rajinder Singh, SAS Nagar, Mohali (Ropar); 1 and Mr Pankaj Mohindru, Nangal (Ropar); 2.

Best PPF agents in Punjab: Ms Sangeeta Luthra, Ludhiana; 1 and Mr Brij Bhushan Marwaha, Jalandhar; 2.

Best MPKBY agents in Punjab: Ms Naresh Kumari Gupta, Ludhiana;1 and Ms Chander Kanta, Ludhiana, 2.


 

Punjabi still not official language
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 30
Even as the Punjab Government is set to launch its annual Punjabi Week celebrations from November 1, Punjabi is yet to become the uniform language of use in government offices of the state.

Contrary to popular thought, it is not only the Punjab Government Secretariat where Punjabi has been given the go-by. The language is still not being used in totality in various district-level offices all over the state.

According to data of the past six months, the state Language Department, which is headquartered here, conducted inspection in 694 offices. During the surprise checks, 261 officers and 431 employees were found not using Punjabi in official work. Mansa district topped the list of defaulters, with 66 officers and 91 employees found not using Punjabi.

In the light of such violations, the Language Department has decided to conduct a special inspection of district offices during the Punjabi Week. The department Director, Dr Madan Lal Hasija, said the aim of the Punjabi Week was to encourage the use of Punjabi in government departments.

When questioned about the violations which had been detected by his department during the past six months, he said these were not considerable. He was hopeful that new steps taken by the government to ensure the use of Punjabi would bear fruit. However, he said he would be checking the large number of violations in Mansa.

The Director said that according to feedback received from the government, following the drive, 86 officers and 260 employees had been proceeded against. He said while some had been warned, services of some were also censured. The Director said the government had already provided for a clause in the Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) of all officials stipulating that their department heads would have to write affirmatively whether the official concerned was using Punjabi in official work or not.

He said the government had also made it clear that it would be the responsibility of the department head to list violations with regard to use of Punjabi in the ACR, failing which action would be taken against him or her. He said the department was also in the process of examining the ACRs of officials who had been censured for not using Punjabi in official work to ensure that the rules were strictly enforced.

Though the Language Department is continuously conducting inspections to ensure the use of Punjabi, violations continue, according to sources. They said the use of Punjabi could be enforced in a better manner if its use was stipulated in the conduct rules of government employees. If this was done, employees not using Punjabi could be hauled up for misconduct.

They said besides this, the enforcement also needed to be started from the top instead of catching clerks and junior officers not using Punjabi.


 

Drinking water scheme for Muktsar
Our Correspondent

Muktsar, October 30
Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab, said here today that soon a long pending demand of local residents would be met as the government had prepared a scheme worth Rs 6 crore for providing drinking water to Muktsar.

Mr Badal was addressing a gathering here at the laying of the foundation stone of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Park.

On the occasion, he honoured 69 freedom fighters and gave them pension certificates. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Badal said the state government was making every possible effort to provide basic facilities to every section of society.

He also laid the foundation stone of a 132 kv grid sub-station at the Muktsar bypass. He said to cater to the increasing demand for power supply in the state, the government had spent Rs 900 crore in establishing 75 new sub-stations and increasing the production capacity of 127 grid sub-stations.

Mr Harnirpal Singh, MLA, Muktsar, Mr K.J.S. Cheema, Deputy Commissioner, Mr Kultar Singh, SSP, Mr Rahul Bhandari, ADC (D), Ms Rakhi Gupta, ADC, and Mr Bhupinderjit Singh, SDM, Mr A.K. Kundar and Mr R.S. Dhillon, Engineer-in-Chief, were present on the occasion.


 

Regiment celebrates silver jubilee
Tribune News Service

Nabha October 30
Several functions and adventure activities were organised to mark the silver jubilee of 84 Armoured Regiment somewhere in the Western Sector today.

Addressing a special sainik sammelan, the Colonel of the regiment, Brig S.S. Sidhu delved upon the glorious history and high traditions of the regiment and inspired all ranks to uphold the values and traditions consecrated by their predecessors.

A number of serving as well as retired officers and other ranks, who had earlier served with the regiment, participated in the celebrations. These included the unit’s two former colonels of the regiment, Lieut-Gen J.M. Vohra and Lieut-Gen Gurinder Singh, and two former commandants, Brig D.S. Chauhan and Col M.K.S. Chauhan. They gave away prizes to winners of various intra-unit competitions and for excellence in the professional field.

A special first-day cover and a silver jubilee newsletter were also released by the General Officer Commanding, 1 Armoured Division, Major-Gen D.N. Desai.

The regiment also paid homage to its founder Commandant, Lieut-Col Tarif Singh Dhiyia, by unveiling his bust during a solemn ceremony at the regimental quarter guard.


 

Killings of Christians in Pakistan flayed
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 30
The Rt Rev P.K. Samantaroy, Bishop of Amritsar and chairman of the Socio-Economic Development Programme (SEDP), and Mr Danial B. Das, secretary-cum coordinator, SEDP, have condemned the killings of 18 Christians in Pakistan when they were offering prayers in a church. In joint press note, they said that such dastardly activities cold only be carried out by criminals and not by any religious person or organisation because no religion allowed killings of innocent people.

The dastardly killings of Christians was condemned by minorities here, especially the Sikhs. The Akali Dal, headed by Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, in a statement, said the killings had shaken up the minorities to the core as communalism had raised its head throughout the world.


 

Suicide case turns mysterious
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 30
A suicide case registered by the Julkan police station after a man was found hanging from a hook in his house yesterday, now appears to be a case of murder with the post-mortem examination of the body revealing internal injuries to the abdomen.

The Julkan police had registered a case of suicide after Jarnail Singh, 42, a government schoolteacher who served at Roshanpur Jhungian and was a resident of Devigarh, near here, was found hanging from a hook on the wall of his rented house yesterday.

However, foul play was suspected in the case as his pyjamas had got stained with blood even though there was no external injury mark on the body. Doctors later revealed that the blood had secreted out from the anus of the victim.

A medical board of the Government Rajindra Hospital today reported that the victim had died of haemorrhage and shock after he was inflicted blunt blows on abdomen.

The board reported that following his death the victim was hanged on the wall. The viscera of the victim has been sent for chemical examination.


 

P.D. Mohindra bereaved
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 30
Mr Ramji Dass Mohindra, (91), brick-kiln owner, died at 47 Club Road here this afternoon after a brief illness.

He is survived by four sons, including Mr Prem Dutt Mohindra, former Senior Special Correspondent, The Tribune; Major Som Dutt, a former Military Secretary to the Governor of Punjab, and Mr O. D. Mohindra, ex-Additional Director-General of CPWD, New Delhi. His youngest son, Mr Braham Dutt is in the family business of bricks.

Mr Ramji Dass, who hailed from Laliton Kalan, a village in Ludhiana district, was a very popular and well known figure in the city’s business and public circle.

His funeral at the Civil Lines Crematorium this evening was well attended.


 

Pollution camp
Our Correspondent

Mansa, October 30
The Lions Club, Mansa, organised a one-day pollution check-up camp here. As many as 370 vehicles were checked and issued certificates on the spot, stated Mr Surinder Bansal, president of the club, on Tuesday.


 
AGRICULTURE
 

Make payments, say arhtiyas
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, October 30
Protesting against the non-payment for the procured paddy by different government agencies for the past more than 20 days, arhtiyas, their ‘munims’ (accountants) and labourers of the local grain market today held a protest march through the town and shouted slogans against the Punjab Government.

They began the march from the grain market which culminated at the office of the Deputy Commissioner. They also submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Sarvjit Singh, regarding immediate release of payments for the procured paddy.

The arhtiyas also observed a complete bandh in the grain market. The labourers also struck their work.

Talking to The Tribune here today, Mr Pradeep Kumar Singla, general secretary of the local Arhityas Association, said the Deputy Commissioner had assured them that he would take up the matter with the state government for the immediate release of the payment.

Mr Singla said the arhtiyas also informed the Deputy Commissioner that non-payment of the paddy had been creating troubles for them and farmers as the latter had no money to buy the seeds for sowing the wheat crop.

Mr Ravinder Singh Cheema, vice-president of the Punjab Arhtiyas Association, Mr Ram Dhari, district president of the Arhtiyas Association, Mr Vijay Gupta, vice-president of the district Industrial Chamber, Mr Anil Verma, general secretary, Beopar Mandal, Punjab, and Mr Bhim Sain Goyal, president of local Arhtiyas Association, also participated in the protest march.


 
CRIME

One killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Banur, October 30
One person died, while two others sustained serious injuries, in a head-on collision of a Punjab Roadways bus and a Maruti van in Jalalpur village on Zirakpur-Patiala highway near here, this evening.

The driver of the van who died in the accident, has not been identified so far. Of the two injured, one has been admitted to Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32, Chandigarh, while another was admitted to the Civil Hospital, Rajpura.

According to the police, the bus, on its way to Mansa from Chandigarh, turned turtle after colliding with the van at about 4.30 p.m. Traffic on the Zirakpur-Patiala road came to a standstill for over three hours due to the accident

Thousands of commuters were stranded. Long-route buses, later, resorted to alternative routes to reach their destinations.


 

1 killed, 2 injured in mishap
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, October, 30
One person was killed, and two others were seriously injured, in a collision between two scooters and a car near Jodhpur Romana village today.

The deceased has been identified as Mohinder Singh. Jasbir Singh and Kulwant Singh, residents of Jodhpur Romana village, were admitted to a local hospital.


 

Impersonator arrested
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, October 30
An impersonator, posing as an ex-MLA from Adampur before the Hoshiarpur Deputy Commissioner in an open darbar, was caught today when he failed to prove his identity.

Official sources said that Faqir Chand Vasera, aged about 55 years and a resident of Kadiana village in Adampur appeared before Mr Iqbal Singh Sidhu, Deputy Commissioner, with a complaint regarding cancellation of a will, while posing as an ex-MLA.

When caught, he claimed to be a reporter of a newspaper published from Jalandhar. He has been handed over to the police. PTI


 
EDUCATION

Bridge gap between industry, varsities: VC
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 30
The Distinction between franchise and collaboration needs to be clarified by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to ensure that universities do not lose out on a huge amount of revenue.

This was stated by the Director of the Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology (TIET) Dr M P Kapoor at the business and valedictory session of the North Zone Vice-Chancellors’ Conference held yesterday. Dr Kapoor’s remarks came shortly after the UGC Chairman said that no university would be allowed to run education on the franchise system.

The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) Vice-Chancellor, Prof H.P. Dixit, said more mechanisms should be evolved to know about the requirements of the industry and the availability of manpower to bridge the gap between the industry and the universities. Prof Dixit said though guidelines had been prepared in this regard by IGNOU they had not been put into operation. The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.S. Sekhon, said agricultural universities had a different educational model under which teaching, research and extension were integrated. He said since universities had adopted a semester system there was no difficulty in introducing 180 days-teaching norm. Similar views were expressed by Dr Parmatma Singh of PUSA, New Delhi.

The Kashmir University Vice-Chancellor Prof J A Khan Tareen, sought certain clarifications regarding the role of different councils of the Union Government vis-a-vis universities. The Punjabi University Pro Vice-Chancellor, Dr R.N. Pal, stressed the need for equating Phd degrees with NET, stating that it was the need of the hour to promote research in the country.

The All-India Universities Secretary, Dr K.B. Powar, said as far as the AICTE was concerned, its role relating to universities was very clear in the light of the Supreme Court judgement delivered on September 24 whereby the universites were brought within the purview of the AICTE.

The UGC Chairman, Dr Hari Gautam, also spoke on the occasion.


 

Pbi varsity to introduce 5 new subjects
P. P. S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
The principals of colleges, government and private, affiliated to Punjabi University, Patiala, today decided to introduce five new subjects at the graduation level from the next academic session. The five are environmental studies, gemology, cosmology, fashion technology and information technology.

The principals’ meeting also expressed concern over the lack of interest among youth in sports and physical education. It was equally conscious of making education value-based and employment-oriented.

The present status of higher education was reviewed at the meeting which took cognisance of the need to encourage physically challenged students to exhibit their talent.

The discussions revolved around six issues: environmental studies, facilities for physically challenged students, raising the standard of higher education, sports and physical education, accreditation and assessment of colleges by 2003 and vocational education.

The Minister of Higher Education, Master Mohan Lal, presided. The Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, and the Secretary, Mrs Geetika Kalha, were among those present. At the outset the Minister clarified that the principals would not raise their own demands and confine themselves to the six-point agenda alone.

The meeting was attended by 36 principals against a total of 56.

The Principal of Government College for Girls, Patiala, Dr Gursharan Kaur Jaggi, spoke at length on the need to create “awareness’’ among students and teachers about certain basics of life, including “home science, personality development, environment, employment-oriented education, sports and physical education and computers’’.

She told TNS that it was time to revive the sports wing in the colleges where hostel facilities existed and also to revise upward the diet, dearness and refreshment allowances permissible to sportspersons.

In order to create “awareness’’ among students and teachers, the meeting agreed to her suggestion that Punjabi University should publish a comprehensive book on the issues raised at the meeting. Rather than expecting the government to do everything, the colleges should take a lead in keeping their own environment clean. National Service Scheme volunteers could play a role in environment spruce-up campaigns. Similarly, subjects like home science should be made compulsory for both boys and girls. A book, “Gyan Sarovar’’, was prescribed at the graduation level and required to be up-dated and expanded.

The UGC had prescribed a system of granting grades requiring teachers to undergo two orientation or refresher courses to become eligible for the next higher slab. Given the shortage of teachers, it would be prudent to organise such courses during the vacations, said Mrs Jaggi.

The meeting also discussed issues like imparting education with the aid of multimedia facilities and computers. It was time to redefine the objectives of education in the changed world order apart from preparing for “distance’’ education, a new concept.

The issue of introducing uniform syllabi was also raised with a view to coordinating policies and programmes through networking of the universities.

All universities in the state are holding such meetings to draw up an education map for Punjab.

The principals informally urged the Minister to redress their grievances in the interest of better education.

A former Vice-Chancellor of the university, Dr S.S. Johl, had submitted a comprehensive education plan to the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, in November, 1997. That needs to be looked into.


 

APJ College wins GND varsity trophy
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 30
It was all Jalandhar affairs in the Guru Nanak Dev University ‘B’ zone youth festival which concluded here today. The APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar, lifted the ‘A’ division women’s youth festival ‘B’ zone trophy. Hans Raj Mahila Mahavidyalya, and Kanya Mahavidyala of Jalandhar remained runners-up and third respectively.

The ‘B’ division women’s youth festival trophy of this zone went to SPSK College, Begowal while DAV, Phillaur and GNBL for Girls, Phagwara, were adjudged second and third respectively.

Mr Nirmal Singh Kahlon, Minister for Panchayat Development, Punjab, presided over the function.

Results of zonal youth festival (women) ‘B’ zone:

Group song: The APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar — first; and HMV Jalandhar — second.

Western vocal: The APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar — first; and HMV Jalandhar — second.

Western group song: The APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar — first; and the HMV, Jalandhar — second.

Folk orchestra: HMV, Jalandhar — first; and the Kn. College for women, Phagwara — second.

Classical instrument (percussion): HMV, Jalandhar — first; and the APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar — second.

Classical instrument (non-percussion): KMV, Jalandhar — first; and Kn College for Women — second.

Classical vocal: The APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar — first; and HMV, Jalandhar — second.

Vaar singing: Hindu Kanya College, Kapurthala — first; and the APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar — second.

Shabad/bhajan: The APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar — first; and the Lyallpur Khalsa College for Women, Jalandhar second.

Geet/gazal: The APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar — first; and HMV, Jalandhar — second.

Folk song: The APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar — first; and NJSA Government College, Kapurthala — second.

Poetical symposium: Doaba College, Jalandhar — first; and KMV College, Jalandhar — second.

Elocution: The APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar — first; and HMV, Jalandhar, and DAV College, Jalandhar — second.

Quiz: HMV, Jalandhar — first; and the APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar — second.

Debate: DAV College, Jalandhar — first; and A. S. Shergill memorial College, Mukandpur — second.

Skit: HMV, Jalandhar — first; and the APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar — second.

Mime: The APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar — first; and KMV Jalandhar — second.

Mimicry: The APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar — first; and HMV, Jalandhar — second.

Histrionics: S.R.S.K. Kh. College Begowal and KMV, Jalandhar — first; and the APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar — second.

One act play: KMV, Jalandhar — first; and the APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar — second.

Clay modelling: The APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar — first; and the GN Nat. College for Women, Nakodar — second.

Phulkari: KMV, Jalandhar — first; and the APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar — second.

Classical dance: The APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar — first; and HMV, Jalandhar — second.

Giddha: The APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar — first; and HMV, Jalandhar — second.


 

Blind honoured at PU fest
Our Correspondent

Abohar, October 30
Two blind students from the Government College of Education, Chandigarh, received appreciation awards at the Panjab University Zonal Youth Festival here in the DAV College auditorium. Dr Ranveer Pratap Asija, convener of the festival, and the college Principal, Dr Chander Mohini, honoured Bindu and Lal Singh for their participation in the singing competition.

Following are the results of various competitions:

SHABAD/BHAJAN: 1 Dev Samaj College of Education, Ferozepore, (1), Dev Samaj College of Education, Chandigarh, (2) DAV College of Education Abohar, (3).

GHAZAL: Shalini of Dev Samaj College of Education Chandigarh, (1), Ramona of DM College of Education, Moga, (2), Puja of DAV College of Education, Abohar, (3)

GEET: Sapna of DAV College of Education, Hoshiarpur, (1), Jyoti of Dev Samaj College of Education, Ferozepore, (2), Vaas Masih of BCM College of Education, Ludhiana, (3).

CLASSICAL MUSIC: Puja of Dev Samaj College of Education, Chandigarh, (1).

COLLAGE-MAKING: Shifu of DAV College of Education, Abohar, (1), Ramandeep of Goverenment College of Education, Chandigarh, (1), Rajan of BCM College of Education, Ludhiana) (3),

CLAY MODELLING: Sandeep Singh of DAV College of Education, Hoshiarpur (1), Kirandeep of Government College Of Education, Chandigarh, (2), Deepak DM College of Education, Moga, (3), Consolation prize: Kamla

VAAR SINGING: DD Jain College of Education, Ludhiana, (1), Dev Samaj College of Education, Chandigarh, (2), Malwa Central College of Education Ludhiana, (3).

FOLK SONG: Dev Samaj College of Education, Chandigarh , (1), Dev Samaj College of Education, Ferozepore, (2), DAV College of Education, Hoshiarpur, (3).

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC(PERCUSSION): Government College of Education, Chandigarh, (1), DAV College of Education, Abohar, (2), GHG Khalsa College of Education, Gurusarsudhar, (3).

(NON PER-CUSSION): Dev Samaj College of Education, Chandigarh, (1), DAV College of Education, Hoshiarpur, (2).

ORCHESTRA: Dev Samaj College of Education Chandigarh, (1), Individual prizes: Aarti 1. Ramandeep. (1).

GROUP SINGING: DAV College of Education, Abohar, (1), Dev Samaj College of Education, Ferozepore, (2), Dev Samaj College of Education, Chandigarh, (3), Individual prizes: Puja of Dev Samaj Chandigarh, (1), Navdeep Malwa Ludhiana, (2), Manisha DAV Abohar, (3).

APPRECIATION AWARDS: Bindu and Lal Singh, both blind students from Government College of Education, Chandigarh.


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