Friday, November 2, 2001, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Cong preparing ‘charge sheet’ against Badal government
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president, Capt Amarinder Singh, today reiterated that the issue of corruption and property allegedly acquired by the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, was not dead. A “charge sheet’’, supported by facts and photographs, against the present government was being prepared to expose its misdeeds. It would be released at an appropriate time.

Addressing mediapersons, Capt Amarinder Singh held out reassurances on working for the eradication of corruption and effecting recoveries from those who were squandering public money. Without revealing much, he showed the broad contours of what he would do once the Congress came to power after the Assembly elections due in another three or four months.

The issues that would merit his immediate attention were the financial mess, wasteful expenditure, diversification of agriculture and providing linkages with industry, education and employment. “Unless these issues were addressed, Punjab youth would get frustrated signalling another type of terrorism — economic — not emotional, as in the past. Punjab can ill-afford to allow such a situation to evolve’’.

To his mind, the other crucial issues before Punjab were the sharing of water and the transfer of Chandigarh. The Congress would adopt a pro-active approach to resolve these issues. But he hastened to add that he was not absolving the Congress of what had happened in the past precipitating these issues.

Earlier, Capt Amarinder Singh presented Mr Kulbir Singh Prempuri before the mediapersons saying he had joined the Congress feeling “disillusioned’’ with the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).

Mr Kulbir Singh was introduced as the president of the SAD’s New York wing in the USA. As proof thereof, a photocopy of his identity card, issued by the party secretary, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, along with a resolution purported to have been adopted by the New York unit on October 15, breaking away from the parent organisation, was also released.

The reasons given by Mr Kulbir Singh and also mentioned in the resolution were the same: the “failure’’ of Mr Parkash Singh Badal to safeguard the interests of the Sikhs in New York after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. He alleged that Mr Badal, when contacted from New York after the incident, rather than showing concern for his party workers, was more concerned about the fate of his property in the USA.

In fact, Mr Kulbir Singh’s allegations on the property “owned’’ by Mr Badal were a replay of the ones made earlier by Capt Amarinder Singh. He could not substantiate if it was in Mr Badal’s name or “benami’’. Rather, he remarked: “I have not seen the registration deeds”.

Mr Prempuri has been made a special invitee to the PPCC.


Coal stocks down to alarming level
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 1
A cash-starved Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), which is already passing through a financial crisis, is now faced with an alarming position vis-a-vis power generation in its thermal plants with coal reserves down to very low levels.

According to sources the situation is most critical at Lehra Mohabbat thermal station where reserve coal of only three more days is in stock. The station consumes around 7,000 tonnes of coal every day and has only 20,000 tonnes in stock with it.

The situation is also alarming at Bathinda power station where 41,000 tonnes of coal constituting seven days’ supply, with the power station consuming 6,000 tonnes of coal every day, lying in stock. At Ropar thermal plant also, the situation is the same with one lakh tonnes of coal lying in stock which will last for about seven days with a daily consumption of 17,000 tonnes.

The sources said according to the operational yardstick of the Ministry of Coal anything less than 10 days of coal stock is termed as an alarming situation. They said though normal criterion envisaged keeping one month coal in stock at thermal plants this could not be followed as state electricity boards did not want to block too much money to create coal reserves. They said due to this the board had been keeping 10 to 15 days of coal stock in reserve in its thermal plants.

PSEB sources said the board was failing to keep up its coal reserves and that there had already been few occasions when the major coal companies had stopped supply of coal to the board to coerce it to clear outstanding debts. They said the board had, on both occasions, got off the hook by clearing part of the debts after which normal supply was resumed. They said now, however, might not be so easy for the PSEB to continue to evade full payment to the coal companies. They said the companies were now insisting on advance payments before rakes were loaded at the coal source which had put the board in a tight spot.

The financial problems of the board are not limited to coal supplies only. It is also facing a tough time with debts to the Railways accumulating to nearly Rs 50 crore. The sources said the Railways had earlier shown its displeasure at the accumulation of such a huge amount earlier following which part payments had been made to it.

The board has already incurred a further loss of Rs 10 crore by not making timely payments to the Railways, according to the sources. According to an arrangement with the Railways, the board pays one month freight bill in advance in lieu of which it is given a 15 per cent concession. However, if the bill is not paid in advance, the Railways includes the 15 per cent concession as surcharge in its billing to the board. The sources said the board had defaulted on paying its advance bill in May this year due to which the surcharge had accumulated to Rs 10 crore. They said there was little scope of the cancellation of the surcharge as had been experienced by the board earlier in 1999 when it defaulted in making the advance payment and had to pay the surcharge in full.

Board Chairman Sudhir Mittal was not available for comments despite attempts to contact him.


2 cops planned robbery, says SSP
Varinder Singh

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 1
The Rs 1.22 crore robbery of foreign currency, near the District Courts Complex, on the morning of October 16 was allegedly committed by two Punjab Armed Police constables with the help of their accomplices.

The currency belonged to the Tata Finance Amex Limited, which, initially remained tight-lipped about the amount which had been allegedly robbed by the car borne PAP constables Mr Mohan Singh, alias Maqbool, Mr Darshan Singh and their four accomplices. They had robbed Amandip Singh and another employee of the company when they were going on their scooter, with the cash bag, to board the Shatabadi Express for Delhi. The incident took place at around 5.45 am near hotel Maya when the two were knocked down by the car borne constables, who later fled away with the bag containing foreign currency.

The company has announced a reward of Rs three lakh to anyone who provides clues about Mohan Singh and Darshan Singh, who are still at large, while the district police has already arrested their four alleged accomplices — Munish Kumar alias Monu, Jagdish Kumar, Vijay Kumar, all residents of Dakoha village and Munish Kumar Billa, a resident of Preet Nagar Locality in Jalandhar city.

The police authorities claim to be zeroing in on the accused after the recovery of the Contessa car — PB-08N 5001 — used in the crime from the Doraha canal near Payal in Ludhiana. Mr Gaurav Yadav, SSP, said the police has achieved a breakthrough after the formation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under the leadership of Mr Pawan Uppal, which in turn has arrested the four accused who were travelling in a Maruti car near Patara village alongwith foreign currency worth Rs 5 lakh. The arrested persons have disclosed that the robbery was masterminded by Mohan Singh, Darshan Singh with the help of Munish Kumar Billa, an employee of a local financial company, who was not satisfied with his Rs 7000 per month income. Mohan Singh and Darshan Singh who originally hail from Lang village in Patiala district had allegedly committed a robbery in Pehowa in Haryana but were acquitted by a court later. They had joined the PAP’s 75th battallion in 1993.

After finalising the idea of a robbery to fulfill their dream of going abroad and earning dollars there, the trio roped in other persons including Vijay Chauhan, a clerk in the Syndicate Bank at Sirsa, Jagdish Kumar alias Kaka, a photo studio owner at Dakoha village and chose the Forex company as their target. One of the gang members stationed himself near the Delta chambers, while the other members of the group who were waiting for the company employees in the car later dashed the car against the scooter. While one of the gang members attacked the employees with an iron rod the other snatched the brief case containing the cash.

Mohan Singh and Darshan Singh are believed to be together evading the arrest. Mr Yadav said a Look Out notice (LOC) of the accused has been issued while all the International airports and transit points have been informed about the accused.


5 of 9 awardees attend Punjabi Week function
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 1
The inauguration of the Punjabi week on New Punjab Day saw the State Language Department achieve a dubious distinction. It was able to attract only five writers of the nine, who were awarded on the occasion.

The function was attended by only five prominent writers, including Isher Singh Tang, Anup Virk, Prof Sarwan Singh, Prof Kirpal Singh Kasel and Dr Hukam Chand Rajpal. Even city based and State level writers, including Dr Dalip Kaur Tiwana, Prof Pritam Singh, Kirpal Singh Komal, Jaswant Singh Karnal, Satinder Noor and Balwinder Kaur did not attend the function.

The function was largely attended by teachers from various government schools situated in the New Power House Colony, Gha Mandi, Triprui, Model Town and Sunami Gates.

Sources disclosed that the DEO (Secondary) had warned the teachers to attend the function lest they are marked absent.

The Education Minister, Mr Tota Singh while congratulating the State Language Department on the launch of the Punjabi week said he was presiding on behalf of the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, who happens to be the in-charge of the department. Mr Tota Singh ‘forgot’ to speak anything of the work done by the department but gave a speech in which he lauded the steps taken by him to introduce Punjabi as a subject in the government schools at the Primary level.

Later nine awards were given the Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir award for poetry to Surjit Judge for his book ‘Dard ke Dalleez’, Dr M.S. Randhawa Award for Gian Sahit to Dr Malkiat Singh Saini for his book ‘Punjab diyan Titlian’, Guru Harkrishan award for Baal Geet to Dr Darshan Singh Asht, Dr Atar Singh award in criticism to Dr Jaswinder Singh for the book ‘Navi Punjabi Kavita-Pehchan Chinh’, Teja Singh award for editing to Dr Nahar Singh for his book ‘Rarhe Bhambhri Bole’, Bhai Veer Singh award in biography section to Dr Raghubir Singh Anandpuri for his book ‘Deshmesh Pita ke Sikh ate’ Dharamyudh’, Gurbaksh Singh Preetlari award in travelogue section to Dr T.R. Sharma for his book ‘Jindagi Di Sargam’, Ishwar Chander Nanda award to Dr Gurcharan Singh Jasuja for his book ‘Parian’ and Nanak Singh award to Baldev Singh Dhindsa for his book ‘Kashmakash’. Chahre Prakashan of Lehra Ghagga was awarded the best printer book award for the book ‘Chetna de aar paar’.

Meanwhile, talking to mediapersons after the inauguration, Mr Tota Singh admitted that the computer education programme launched in the government schools of the state through private parties had failed and that a new pilot project was being started in lieu of it in selected schools. Computer education would now be introduced as a subject in the government schools.

He said to make the scheme a success, computer trained teachers would be recruited by the state government to teach in these schools from classes six to twelves. The scheme would initially be introduced in selected schools.

Mr Tota Singh said the computerisation drive in government schools launched with the help of private parties had not met with the required success. He said the private parties were required to provide their own computers and staff in all these schools and charge Rs 80 per student. However, the scheme could not take off because the private parties were not able to get adequate students to run these courses, sources add.

The minister disclosed that work on creating an Elementary Directorate in the state was in progress and that an instalment of Rs 2,500 crore has been released by the Centre for the purpose. He said the project, which was to be completed by the year 2008, would incur an expenditure of Rs 25,000 crore and would cover 1291 middle schools in the state.

He said the government was also working to find a solution to correct the imbalance in the number of students of the Science and Mathematic streams in Government Senior Secondary Schools of the rural-areas. He said that lack of proper Science and Maths education in middle schools made students hesitant to opt for these streams at the Senior Secondary level. He further said Science School clusters would be created in the state under the scheme and that senior secondary lecturers have now been directed to encourage students of classes IX and X to take up these streams after matriculation.

The minister said the government was simultaneously taking steps to open two schools in all the blocks for the benefit of deserving poor students securing more than 60 per cent marks. He said scholarships would be given to these students. He also announced that school teachers who produce above 60 per cent results would be honoured with ‘samman patras’ by the government.


Aided college staff to get ‘all pensionary benefits’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
Employees of the government-aided private colleges in Punjab, including the teaching as well as non-teaching staff, will get all pensionary benefits.

This was stated by the Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, here today.

The pensionary benefits, a press note categorically said, would include gratuity, family pension and commutation of pension and be paid at the same rates and conditions as applicable to other government employees. These would be effective from April 26, 1999.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh said the Punjab Affiliated Colleges (Security of Service of Employees) Act, 1974, was amended by the present government on April 26, 1999, by inserting a new Section 9-B, enabling it to grant the employees appointed against aided posts such pensionary benefits and on such terms and conditions as might be prescribed by the state government.

The Department of Higher Education would notify the rules/scheme in this regard.

More than 6,000 employees in these colleges would benefit from the scheme. The expenditure on this account would be about Rs 45 crore in the current financial year. It would be around Rs 30 crore per annum in the following years.

The department of would also formulate a scheme concurrently to ensure that the corpus fund was regularly augmented in such a way that the pension scheme was self-supporting, the press note added.


TB drug fails test
Sushil Goyal

Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 1
The failure of a batch of an anti-tuberculosis (TB) drug, rifampicin (450 mg capsule), in a test conducted recently, has put a question mark on the quality of medicines being supplied to the government hospitals in Punjab and other states in the region. Thousands of capsules of rifampicin meant for curing TB, had been recently despatched to the government hospitals by the Government Medical Store Depot, Karnal. While the government is continuously urging the TB patients to take right drug in right doses, on the other hand its purchase policy seems to be contradictory to it. The failure of the medicines in the test, have been marring the spirit of the government’s slogan “right drug in right doses”, besides badly affecting the National TB Control Programme.

The Assistant Director-General (MS), Government Medical Store Depot, Karnal, has in a communique sent to the district TB authorities said that the senior district TB officer, Ghaziabad, had informed that rifampicin with manufacturing date as December, 2000, and expiry date as November 2002, had failed in the test.

The Assistant Director-General has directed that the consumption of the drug should be stopped and the unconsumed quantity should be sent back to the manufacturer.

The TB authorities in the local Civil Hospital here had also received 3,000 capsules of rifampicin of the same batch but before they were distributed to the patients, the authorities had received the said communique from the Government Medical Store Depot, Karnal.

When contacted, Dr C.P. Bansal, Civil Surgeon, Sangrur, said whenever a sample of a medicine failed the test, the use of the medicine was immediately discontinued by the doctors concerned. Besides, the entire medicines was returned to the company concerned. Regarding action against the company, the Civil Surgeon said no purchase was made by the government from such a company in future.

Dr Surinder Singla, state general secretary of the PCMSA, while expressing concern over the failure of the TB drug in the test, said drugs like rifampicin which failed the test might lead to drug toxi city (liver damage and jaundice, etc), treatment failure and multi-drug resistance TB where the death rate was as high as 35 to 50 per cent. He suggested that the health authorities should get drug samples checked from a recognised laboratory before these were distributed to the hospitals and dispensaries.


Sainis deplore Kanshi’s remarks
Tribune reporters

Nawanshahr, November 1
The Punjab Pradesh Saini Sabha met at Punjab Mata Vidyawati Bhavan here today. Mr Iqbal Singh, state president of the Sabha criticised Mr Kanshi Ram, BSP leader for his remarks against the Sainis. The sabha decided to submit a memorandum to the SSP and the DC tomorrow demanding the registration of case under Sections 153, 153 A,B, 295 A, 298, 500, 504, 120 B of the IPC against Mr Kanshi Ram.

Mr Iqbal Singh said he had been receiving phone calls from Sainis all over Punjab and abroad resenting utterances of Mr Kanshi Ram. The sabha would also seek explanation of Mr Gurmail Singh Saini, former district president of the BSP, and host of the Saini sammelan at Langroya on October 28.

Mr Jaspal Singh, a Saini NRI in the USA from village Majhoor, who also organises a ‘Talk Show’ at a private Punjabi Radio Channel in the USA and a regular reader of on-line edition of The Tribune telephoned from the USA to know more details.

The district unit of the Congress SC cell here at Punjab Mata Vidyawati Bhavan on Thursday under the chairmanship of Mr Kartar Singh Sekhon, District President also condemned Mr Kanshi Ram for his derogatory remarks against the Sainis.

PATHANKOT: The Gurdaspur District Saini Sabha has taken an exception to Mr Kanshi Ram’s remarks.

Mr Jainik Raj Saini, general secretary of the sabha demanded the registration of a case against Mr Kanshi Ram.

ROPAR: The District Bar Association, Ropar, has demanded registration of a case against the BSP supremo, Mr Kanshi Ram, for his alleged defamatory statement against the Saini community.

Various other Saini leaders of various parties, including Mr Harminder Singh Saini, president of the Congress, Mr L.K. Mundra, president of the local Saini Bhavan, Mr V.P. Saini, general secretary of the All-India Forward Bloc, also flayed Mr Kanshi Ram.

HOSHIARPUR: The Saini Naujwan Sabha, Punjab and the Youth Welfare Association Punjab at a joint meeting held here on Wednesday condemned Mr Kanshi Ram for making derogatory remarks against the Saini community.


Cong warns CM on SYL issue
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, November 1
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) executive member, Mrs Razia Sultana, today warned Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal against compromising the interests of the state.

In a press note issued here, she alleged that Haryana had been given excess share in river waters through the Bhakra main canal by Punjab and now there was no need for releasing water through the SYL canal.

She alleged that Mr Badal 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.

She declared that the Congress would not allow even a single drop of water to be given to Haryana because Punjab did not have any spare water.


Jagir Kaur, Vedanti hold meeting
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 1
Bibi Jagir Kaur, a former SGPC President and Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, held a marathon meeting at the latter’s residence here today. The meeting lasted more than one and a half hours. Both are considered strong opponents of Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, President, SGPC.

Bibi Jagir Kaur studied the banned “Bhavsagar Granth” authored by Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara and discussed its contents with Jathedar Vedanti.

It may be mentioned here that Bibi Jagir Kaur had announced that she could contest the forthcoming annual election for SGPC President if directed by her party President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

Sources said the rapprochement between Mr Badal and Mr Talwandi recently had sent shock waves among the supporters of Bibi Jagir Kaur. On many occasions, Bibi Jagir Kaur openly criticised the working of Mr Talwandi. Though Mr Talwandi and Bibi Jagir Kaur belong to the ruling party, they are sworn enemies of each other.

Mr Prithipal Singh, personal assistant to Jathedar Vedanti, claimed that nothing political was discussed during the meeting. “It was just a courtesy call,” he said.

However, sources said Bibi Jagir Kaur had discussed a number of cases of violation of the Sikh Maryada by certain Sikh leaders.


Giani Mal Singh to be installed as Granthi
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 1
Even as the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has not implemented the directive of Akal Takht for framing rules and regulations for the appointment of Sikh high priests, Giani Mal Singh of Damdami Taksal will be installed as Granthi of the Golden Temple. His installation will take place on November 4.

Sikh circles feel that Sikh traditions are being flouted due to the appointment of high priests without a set procedure. Earlier, immediately after taking over as SGPC chief, Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi appointed Giani Puran Singh as Head Granthi of the Golden Temple.

The appointment raised many eyebrows as Giani Puran Singh had been sacked as Jathedar, Akal Takht, and placed under suspension as Granthi of Darbar Sahib. Afterwards, the SGPC appointed two more Granthis, Giani Jaswinder Singh and Giani Jagtar Singh, close confidants of Mr Talwandi.


SHSAD wants scrutiny panel on ’84 riots
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 1
The Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) today asked the Centre to constitute a scrutiny commission to those behind the killings of Sikhs during the 1984 riots and expedite the process of awarding punishment to the guilty.

This was stated by Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra, general secretary of the SHSAD, while talking to mediapersons at the local Gurdwara Jayoti Sarup where the bhog of “akhand path” of Guru Granth Sahib was performed in memory of Sikhs who were killed during the riots.

Prof Chandumajra said there was now no need to continue with the proceedings of the new commission, appointed by the Vajpayee government to probe the riots as many proofs of killings had already vanished in the long span of 17 years.

He said the Centre, should now set up a scrutiny commission to study the reports on the riots, prepared by the commissions, appointed by the government and other non-government organisations. The commission should then be allowed to submit its report for providing speedy justice to the affected families and punishment to the guilty, he added.

Our Correspondent adds from Bathinda: Members of the youth wing of the SHSAD on Thursday held a rally in the city to show their resentment against the failure of the respective governments to punish those responsible for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Speaking on the occasion, leaders alleged that no government had paid heed to heal the wounds of the Sikhs following the riots.

They alleged that the Congress was responsible for the massacre of Sikhs following the murder of Indira Gandhi.

Those who addressed the rally included Mr Ishtpal Singh Khialiwala, district general secretary of the SHSAD and Mr Hartej Singh Mehta, district president of the youth wing.

They also submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner to be handed over to the Prime Minister.


Mahila Chetna Rally a big draw
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, November 1
A large number of women from 175 villages of Banur Assembly constituency participated in the “Mahila Chetna Rally” organised to educate the women about their rights and their role in society here today.

This was the first convention organised by the Directorate of Small Savings, Punjab, in SAD’s four-and-a-half year rule. The women representatives of 55 Mahila Mandals, including 42 of Dera Bassi, six of Khera and Rajpura each and three of Kharar blocks participated.

Addressing the convention, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance and Planing Minister, Punjab, said the status of women in India in general and in the state was changing slowly.

He said being a weaker sex, to achieve equality had been a dream for them. This was because of traditional attitudes and discriminatory laws. To uplift the women socially as well as financially, the Punjab government had set up a women’s commission to safeguard women’s right’s.

The minister claimed that plans had already been made to give them economic stability. Various training centres had already been started in rural areas to provide them self-employment.

Apart from this, old-age pension scheme had already been implemented to provide financial help to elderly women and widow pension scheme for the widows.

Mr Sher Singh Sidhu, Director, Small Savings, Punjab, said women’s development should not only be viewed as an issue in social development but should be seen as an essential component in every dimension of development, especially the economic development.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh also distributed 571 sewing machines, 53 fashion designing machines, 280 scissors and some other equipment among the representatives of the Mahila Mandals.

Girls of Bhankharpur village presented an impressive giddha while students of Government High School performed bhangra.

Those who spoke on the occasion include Mr T. S Negi, Senior District Savings Officer, Patiala, Brig. (retd.) Ms JK Grewal, an eminent social worker, Ms Sarabjit Sandhwalia, a writer, Ms Amarjit Kaur, President, Istri Akali Dal, Chandigarh, Ms Salita Saini, President, Mahila Mandal, Devi Nagar village, and other prominent leaders.

Ms Sarabjit Kaur, wife of Capt Kanwaljit Singh, who accompanied her husband, came to a public function for the first time today.


PM visit to hit functioning of flying clubs
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 1
In wake of the visit of the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, who is coming here to participate in the national executive meeting of the BJP to be held from November 2, the functioning of the flying clubs in the state will come to a standstill. Except for scheduled flights there would not be any air traffic within a radius of 300 kilometres from the venue for the meeting.

Much to the disappointment of the SGPC, the local Civil Aviation Club has refused showering of flower petals by Pushpak on the ‘nagar kirtan’ to mark ‘gurpurb’ of Guru Ram Dass — the founder of the city. Though the SGPC has paid Rs 20,000 for this purpose, yet the Chief Instructor of the club, Mr Rashpal Singh, has expressed its inability to carry out the work.

On the other hand, the Prime Minister has been advised not to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple on November 3 as it could hamper the three-day religious festival being organised by the SGPC on the occasion. Devotees have already protested the deployment of heavy security force outside the Golden Temple.


Vigilance Deptt gave 26 lakh to informants
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, November 1
The Vigilance Bureau has given more than 26 lakh as award money to all those who have helped the department in arresting officials indulging in corrupt practices.

This was stated by Mr Hardyal Singh Mann, SP (Vigilance), Ferozepore Range, at a seminar on anti-corruption measures held yesterday as part of the ‘anti’ corruption week’ organised in collaboration with the Lions Club. Expressing concern over the rampant corruption in various government departments, Mr Mann said there was a dire need to root out corruption from society for which public cooperation was required. This year till September 27, guilty government officials had been caught red-handed by the Vigilance Bureau and the number was almost double the number of officials caught last year. He exhorted public to inform any instance where any official demanded money to do their legitimate work.


KRIBHCO’s work lauded
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 1
The Krishak Bharti Cooperative Limited, (KRIBHCO), Punjab, organised a function to mark the “Vigilance Awareness Week” here yesterday. The function was held at KRIBHCO Bhavan which was chaired by Mr J.P. Aswal, IPS, Additional Director General of Police; Punjab (retd), and Mr Harraj Singh Sidhu, Director (KRIBHCO), presided over the function.

While addressing the gathering, Mr Sidhu said KRIBHCO staff deserved appreciation for the outstanding achievements of the KRIBHCO throughout the country. He said farmers should also be given technical know how besides supplying fertilisers, seeds and other agro-inputs by KRIBHCO.

The chief guest, Mr J.P Aswal, IPS (retd), while delivering his key address advised everyone to work towards the elimination of corruption.

Mr Aswal said work performed by an individual in a disciplined way, may satisfy the man. Mr Aswal recited sholokes of Gita to pinpoint the ideas.



Councillor remanded
Our Correspondent

Mansa, November 1
A municipal, councillor belonging to the SAD (B), and co-accused Jagjit Singh were remanded in judicial custody for 14 days yesterday by Mr Mohinder Singh, Chief Judicial Magistrate.

The councillor was arrested following the registration of a case under Section 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC against him and two others, including a woman municipal councillor, Santosh Joga, of the BJP. She has reportedly gone underground. 


Power shutdown
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, November 1
Power supply will be suspended in the industrial area on Sadiq road, Bazigar Basti, Bhan Singh and Puri colonies, Ferozepur road, Jatinder Chowk, Mohalla Sethian, Line Bazar, Saraffan and Main Bazar, Dogar basti, Mohalla Bathan and Mahi Khana, New and Old Cantonment road from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on November 6 for maintenance work according to a press note released by the Punjab State Electricity Board office here today.


Railways set up fog signal posts
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, November 1
Northern Railway has set up “fog signal posts” near all railway stations to ensure the smooth running of trains during fog.

Stating this, sources in the Railways told this correspondent yesterday that railway employees would give clearance signals to train drivers by bursting crackers on railway lines during fog.

Meanwhile, the Railways have reduced the maximum speed limits of all “diesel multiple unit” trains due to security reasons.

Stating this the sources said now all DMUs could not run at the maximum speed of 80 km per hour.

An alarm signal would come into operation the moment the train reached the speed limit, they added.


Pirzada to stay on deputation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
Mr Gurnihal Singh Pirzada, an IAS officer of the 1982 batch from the Tamil Nadu cadre, has been allowed by the Union Government to stay on deputation in Punjab till the completion of his five-year term.

Mr Pirzada, who had been on deputation since October, 1998, had been relieved on October 28 by the state government. Sources said that he had submitted his joining report to the state Chief Secretary.


V.K. Mohindru
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
The Punjab State Electricity Board has promoted, Mr V.K. Mohindru as General Manager, Operations and Maintenance, Guru Gobind Singh Thermal Plant, Ropar. Earlier, he was Chief Engineer there.


2 more thieves held
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 1
The police has arrested two members of a gang allegedly involved in stealing vehicles, chain-snatching and smuggling of narcotics. Four other members of the gang had been arrested recently.

The suspects have been identified as Baldev Singh of Nahian Wala village of the district and Gurdeep Singh, a city resident. The police seized a .32 bore pistol, five cartridges and a motor cycle from them.

Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, SSP, in a press note issued here today, said they were making plans to loot a local liquor vend when a police party arrested them. He said cases under Section 25 of the Arms Act had been registered against them at the Sadar police station.

Dr Jain said the gang members had admitted that they were involved in looting two liquor vends near Jaitu Mandi and the local NFL plant, besides stealing a motor cycle in the city and robbing a man at the local Tikoni road. They also admitted that they stole a scooter from the local grain market on Holi, he added.


Man “sells” land that doesn’t exist
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 1
Rajinder Singh, a resident of the city, has been booked for allegedly cheating Jaswant Kaur of Rampura Phul by “selling” her a non-existent piece of land. As per the FIR, Jaswant Kaur gave Rs 79,000 to Rajinder Singh for purchasing a residential plot in Patti Jhulti area of the city. Rajinder acted as the attorney of Sham Lal, Jaswant Kaur alleged that there was no plot at the site mentioned in the land deed. She alleged that she was cheated by Rajinder Singh.

Jaswant Kaur also alleged that she requested Rajinder Singh several times to return the money paid for the residential plot but he did not do so. Jaswant Kaur wrote an application to the SSP before the registration of the case. The SSP marked the application to the Station House Officer, Kotwali police station, for conducting an inquiry into the case.

The Additional District Attorney (legal) also recommended the registration of a case under Section 420 following which a case was registered against Rajinder Singh at the Kotwali police station. 


Spate of thefts worry residents
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, November 1
Fear stalks residents here following a spate of thefts in New Adarsh Nagar and Nayyar Vihar, two thickly populated colonies, during the intervening nights of Monday-Tuesday and Tuesday-Wednesday.

The modus operandi of the thieves in the thefts was the same. They climbed the walls, broke the locks of the doors and almirahs and took away gold ornaments, cash and other valuables worth Rs 1 lakh each from the two houses. The police has registered cases and lifted finger prints from the two houses


Bid to escape from police custody
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 1
The police yesterday foiled an undertrial’s attempt to escape from police custody while he was being taken to a cell in the district court for hearing in a criminal case against him.

Police sources said Gurpal Singh, who was facing trial under Section 307, IPC, pushed away the police personnel and tried to escape while being taken to the cell reserved for undertrials near the courts.

A case has been registered against him under Sections 353, 224, 186 and 511, IPC.

This incident has raised questions regarding the security at the cell. Between 40 and 50 undertrials are produced in the courts daily. 


Scholar who detected error in ‘Ether Theory’ retires
P. P. S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
Dr Vidwan Singh Soni, the senior-most Principal in Punjab, who retired from Government College, Patiala, today, is credited with having detected and corrected a basic error in the theory of the first Nobel Laureate in Science, when he challenged A. A. Michelson’s historical “M-M experiment” of 1887.

The error in the “Ether Theory” was found by Dr Soni 100 years later, in 1987. His work on the Nobel Prize winner was accepted and published in the American Journal of Physics in 1988-1989. He was also invited to the centenary celebrations of that historic experiment at Cleavleand (the USA) in October, 1987. And as his name suggests, literally, he is a “scholar”.

Though he bids adieu to an educational institution, he shall remain in education as a Research Scholar of the University Grants Commission to carry on his work in Palaentology, a three-year project for which he has got Rs 1.75 lakh grant. He is also deeply involved in the Theory of Relativity.

He made a representation to the Principal Secretary, Higher Education, for consideration for appointment as Director, Public Instruction (Colleges), shortly before August 31. But nothing came out of it.

As a teacher, Dr Soni, has won several national and state awards, written 16 books and found 1,000-odd pre-historic fossils and Paleolithic tools. He never studied geology as a regular student but pursued it only as a hobby. His scholarship has remained unacknowledged for want of a political god father.

Born at Fatehabad in Tarn Taran in 1943, Dr Soni did his matriculation in 1958. He obtained his B.Sc degree from Amritsar’s Hindu College and M.Sc/Ph.D degrees in Physics from Punjabi University, Patiala. He joined service in 1967. All his academic achievements were during his teaching career.


Dev Samaj College steals the show
Our Correspondent

Abohar, November 1
Jasmeen of Dev Samaj College of Education, Chandigarh, received best actress award in one act plays from Mr Virendra Kataria, a former MP, at the concluding session of Panjab University Zonal Youth Festival at DAV College of Education here on Monday. Praneet Kaur of the same college was adjudged runners up for her performance in Punjabi one act play “Is Pind Da Koi Naam Nahin”. Prizes to winners of debate and poem recitation competition were given by DSP Gurmeet Singh Chauhan.

Results of different competitions are as under:-

ONE ACT PLAYS: 1. Dev Samaj College of Education, Chandigarh, 2. DAV College of Education Abohar 3. SDS College of Education, Lopon , consolation prize: Pratap College of Education, Ludhiana Individual prizes 1. Jasmeen 2. Praneet, both of Dev Samaj College of Education, Chandigarh 3. Pradeep Kumar of DAV College of Education, Abohar.

HISTRIONICS: 1. Praneet Kaur of Dev Samaj College of Education, Chandigarh 2. Mukesh Sharma of DAV College of Education Hoshiarpur, 3. Paramjit Kaur of Malwa Central College of Education Ludhiana, consolation prize; Raman Mehta of DAV College Abohar.

DEBATE: 1. Mona of Malwa Central College of Education, Ludhiana, 2. Harpreet of DM College of Education Moga 3. Nidhi of Dev Samaj College of Education Chandigarh, consolation prize: Lal Singh (Chandigarh), Jasleen (Abohar) and Poonam (Lopon).

POEM RECITATION: 1. Geetanjali of DAV College of Education, Abohar, 2. Manpreet of SDS College of Education,Lopon, 3. Teenu of DD Jain College of Education, Ludhiana, consolation prizes: Reetu of Government College, Chandigarh, and Meenu of Dev Samaj College of Education, Chandigarh.

QUIZ: 1. GHG Khalsa College of Education, Gurusarsudhar , 2. DAV College of Education, Abohar and BCM College of Education, Ludhiana, 3. Government College of Education, Chandigarh.

CARTOONING: 1. Sandeep 2. Pomal , both of DAV College of Education, Hoshiarpur, 3. Amardeep of GHG Khalsa College of Education, Gurusarsudhar.

POSTER MAKING: 1. Ramandeep of Malwa Central College of Education, Ludhiana, 2. Harmeet of DD Jain College of Education Ludhiana, Amandeep of Dev Samaj College of Education, Chandigarh.

RANGOLI: 1. Guneet of GHGH College of Education, Sidhwankhurd, 2. Rachna of Dev Samaj College of Education, Chandigarh, 3. Jagjit of BCM College of Education, Ludhiana.

ESSAY WRITING: 1. Damanpreet Kaur of GHGH College of Education, Sidhwankhurd, 2. Ashu Kataria of Government College of Education, Chandigarh, 3. Sumidhi of BCM College of Education, Ludhiana.

SHORT STORY WRITING: 1. Prabhjot Mangat of GHGH College of Education, Sidhwankhurd, 2. Anita Aggarwal of DD Jain College of Education, Ludhiana, 3. Supinder Kaur of Government College of Education, Chandigarh.

POETRY (CREATIVE): 1. Dharamjit Singh of DM College of Education, Moga 2. Raman Dhillon of DAV College of Education, Abohar, 3. Gayatri Devi of GHGH College of Education, Sidhwankhurd.

FOLK DANCE – GIDHA: 1. Malwa Central College of Education, Ludhiana, 2. Dev Samaj College of Education, Chandigarh, 3. Dev Samaj College of Education, Ferozepore Individual prizes: 1. Sumanpreet of Ferozepore 2. Jagjit Kaur of Chandigarh 3. Amita of Abohar.

FOLK DANCE – BHANGRA: 1. DAV College of Education, Abohar, 2. GHG Khalsa College of Education, Gurusarsudhar 3. DM College of Education, Moga Individual prizes: 1. Gagandeep Singh of Abohar 2. Harjit Singh of Gurusarsudhar 3. Anil Bhatt of Moga.

Ms Satinder Dhillon, Principal, Dev Samaj College of Education, Chandigarh, complimented Dr Ranveer Pratap Asija, Principal, DAV College of Education, staff and students for hosting the festival.


Stir by IT students intensifies
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 1
The strike by students of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Institute of Information Technology intensified today with students sitting on a dharna in front of the institute premises on the Punjabi University campus and raising slogans against the management of the university.

The students, who have been on strike for the past two days, said that they would not attend classes and would continue their strike till the university authorities clarified the status of the institute.

Mr Hari Gautam, Chairman of the University Grants Commission, has already gone on record saying that no university would be allowed to start institutes in collaboration with private franchisees. The agitating students dissuaded applicants for the B.Tech (IT) course from appearing in the interview. The applicants were to appear for the interview today for taking admission to the course. The agitating students alleged that the university authorities had kept them in the dark about the status of the institute.

The B.Tech students alleged that admission was being given without a test. However, this was contradicted by an official spokesperson who maintained that the proper procedure had been followed.

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