Tuesday, November 6, 2001, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Badal ‘adopting’ double standards
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, November 5
A former Jathedar of Akal Takht, Bhai Ranjit Singh, today accused Mr Parkash Singh Badal of adopting double standards on the issue of support to the controversial Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO).

Talking to reporters here today, Bhai Ranjit Singh alleged that the SAD representative in the Union Cabinet, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, had already given the party’s nod by not opposing POTO during the last Cabinet meeting, virtually paving the way for its notification by the President. On the other hand Mr Badal was misleading the people of the state by stating that he was yet to study the provisions of the ordinance before taking a final decision to support the Bill in both Houses of Parliament in the next session.

“POTO is totally against the minorities and could be used to settle political scores. The Panthic Morcha has decided to oppose the Bill in Parliament to safeguard the interests of minorities”, he added.

Regarding the recent statement of the BSP President that a former Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Mr Ravi Inder Singh, would be the only candidate for the post of Chief Minister if the BSP-Panthic Morcha alliance come to power in the next elections, he said it was the right of the elected MLAs to select the candidate and there should be no pre-condition for an electoral alliance.

He ruled out any possibility that there was any move on the part of the morcha to join hands with the Punjab Chief Minister on the eve of elections. “Mr Badal should present himself before Akal Takht to seek forgiveness as per the hukamnama issued by me, if the former wants unity among all Akali factions” he said.

Bhai Ranjit Singh, who was in the city to preside over a meeting of representatives of local gurdwaras to discuss the issue of holding of a “Jagran” at a gurdawara in the local Deol Nagar locality tomorrow, said the meeting had decided to oppose the move. “This is a serious conspiracy hatched by the RSS to create disturbance in the state. We have appealed to the Sikh masses to assemble at Abadpura gurdwara on Tuesday and then proceed towards the place of “jagran”.


Khalistanis woo fleeing Sikhs
Rashmi Talwar

Amritsar, November 5
Khalistani elements active in Pakistan are trying every means to win over fleeing Afghan Sikhs trying to reach India following the American strikes in their country.

This was disclosed by three Sikh families that arrived here via Samjhauta Express today.

Intelligence agencies though tightlipped, are jittery over these’ developments which can disturb peace in Punjab.

Interestingly, the 19 persons belonging to the three families talked in hushed tones about $500 that each family had received and said more money was expected to arrive in Pakistan from the Khalistanis.

These Afghan Sikhs named Manmohan Singh Dhillon of the Dal Khalsa and Avtar Singh Sanghera of the Babbar Khalsa, both residing in the United Kingdom, in this regard.

According to intelligence reports, Manmohan Singh has the ‘Sikh-Muslim Friendship Society’ in Pakistan which preaches against the SGPC to please their Pakistani masters.

The money, surprisingly, is not in Pakistani currency. This has baffled the intelligence agencies.

After receiving financial assistance during their gruelling journey from their hometown in Afghanistan, the families of Mohinder Singh (all names changed) Isha Singh, both belonging to Kabul and Harjinder Singh are all praise for these “messiah Sikhs” who had come to their rescue at the time of “abject need”.

The SGPC has done doing nothing to mitigate their plight or of their fellow brethren stranded in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Each of the three families are averse to visiting the Golden Temple or seeking help from the SGPC to tide over the severe crisis in their lives.

They had arrived here from Panja Sahib and Nankana Sahib Gurdwaras in Pakistan after nearly a month’s stay there soon after the September 11 terrorists attack in the USA.

Most Khalistanis we wooing stranded Sikhs arriving from Afghanistan.


Youth stripped, tortured by cops
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
A youth of Mushkabad village was allegedly stripped naked, inflicted burn injuries on his hips, brutally beaten up and tied to a tree by some police personnel at Haaddon police post under Samrala police station in the Khanna police district here yesterday.

The case came to light today when the boy was admitted in Civil Hospital at Samrala. Family members of the victims who contacted The Tribune in the evening, alleged that the boy was beaten up by the police personnel as he had refused to pay Rs 15,000 to them. The money was allegedly demanded by the policemen for not implicating him in a case.

The family members said they met SSP Khanna, R.N. Dhoke, who had marked the inquiry to DSP Samrala Sushil Kumar. While the SSP was not available, DSP Sushil Kumar confirmed that he was inquiring into the incident. According to the complaint lodged with the police by Mr Gurcharan Singh, victim’s father, his son had accidentally consumed poison (DDT) and was admitted in a local hospital last week. Some police personnel of Haaddon police post came to the hospital and said the boy tried to commit suicide and a case would be registered against him. The family pleaded with the police to let them go. At this the police told them to bring the boy to the police station.

The man alleged that after two days when they went to the police station, the police officials demanded Rs 15,000 from them in order to let the boy go. The family refused to pay saying that they did not have money. The police did not say anything to the boy as some panchayat members accompanied them.

However, it is alleged that after two days, four policemen came on bikes and took the boy along. The boy was then allegedly tied to a tree with chains outside the police post and beaten mercilessly by some police personnel in the night. A hot iron was placed on his hips due to which the boy suffered serious burn injuries. The family said medical report had confirmed the injuries.

The DSP, Mr Sushil Kumar, however, said the preliminary inquiries made by him revealed that the complaint was a minor one and claimed that the boy was creating trouble in the village by continuously fighting with some persons. He said the boy was booked under Section 307, IPC, (attempt to murder) recently and was called to the police post concerned in yet another fighting incident. He said due to this background the complaint could be motivated. If any police personnel was found guilty, stringent action would be taken against him, he added.


Farmers stage dharna, seek special girdawari
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, November 5
More than 500 small farmers of the cotton belt of the Mand area today sat on a dharna for about four hours in front of the office of the SDM, Nakodar, near here, in protest against the failure of the state government to conduct a special girdawari to assess the damage caused by American bollworm to the cotton crop this season.

The farmers led by the president of Kirti Kisan Union (KKU), Mr Hardev Singh Sandhu, said more than 2,000 acres under cotton crop had been damaged this year. It had virtually placed hundreds of small farmers at the mercy of government officials for seeking compensation.

“Though we have submitted a memorandum to the district administration seeking compensation for the loss of cotton crop due to American bollworm last month, but nothing concrete has been done beyond making hollow promises. The state government had also failed to conduct a special girdawari to assess the loss so far”, Mr Sandhu said.

The protesters raised anti-government slogans and demanded that each farmer should be given Rs 10,000 per acre as compensation and banks should be ordered to suspend the recovery of loans from these farmers.

“Though the bollworm attack is cited as the main reason, we think seeds which were sold to the farmers at exaggerated prices were spurious. The state government should order an inquiry into the quality of the seeds available in the market,” Mr Baldev Singh, a farmer who lost six acres of cotton crop, said.

The delay in conducting a girdawari would further complicate the matter since the farmers were preparing for the wheat sowing season. “The Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, should intervene into the matter and announce compensation immediately, failing which we will be left with no option but to launch a statewide agitation,” Mr Gurjinder Singh, president of the district unit of the KKU, said.

Later they submitted a memorandum to the SDM who assured them that their demands would be met soon.


Marks card sans result, division
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
The Punjab School Board has reportedly been preparing certificates of students, who have appeared for matriculation and plus two examinations, in a slipshod manner. This has created problems for them, apart from spoiling their academic career.

Amritpal Kaur with roll No 347635 had passed the plus two examination from Dev Samaj College for Women, Ferozepore. When she received the detailed marks card she was astonished to find that her name in Punjabi was written as Amritpal Kaur but in English her name was written as Amripal Kaur. She returned the detailed marks card to the board office in July 2001 for corrections. Since then she has been regularly visiting the board office for getting the correction made but to no avail. She has been unable to get admission anywhere.

On September 17 she again visited the board office with her parents. They were told that the staff was busy in issuing roll numbers for the September examinations and were asked to visit again only when the staff was free from this work.

Another student Mukta Singla passed the matriculation examination with roll No 992469. In the certificate sent to her column meant for filling the division was left blank both in Punjabi and English. Not only this even the marks she obtained out of 650 were not written, nor did the certificate contain the month and the column was left blank.

Alka, a resident of Pathankot, had applied for appearing in Punjabi paper of matriculation examination this year. She had deposited Rs 300 as fee with the Manager, Text Book Depot, Pathankot .She had already passed her matriculation examination from Himachal Pradesh. No migration certificate was required for appearing in examination of an additional subject. She was not issued the roll number despite the fact that the board did not need migration certificate. Many students had already appeared in the examination without producing any migration certificate. The board had not raised any objection to these students.

Beant Kaur appeared in matriculation examination in March, 1999, (roll No 543966) from Dashmesh Public High School, Mansa. In the detailed marks sheet her name was written as Beant Singh instead of Beant Kaur. She returned the detailed marks card to the board for making the necessary correction. But nothing has happened till ate. She has written many letters and send reminders to the board. Her parents had also visited the board office many times but to no avail. Now she has served a legal notice on the board. Only on receiving the notice the examination branch has moved her file.

Insiders say that the orders to the authorities for rectifying this mistake were issued on April 20, 2000. She has claimed damages of Rs 10,000 from the board for the harassment caused to her.

It is learnt that there are many more students who have been harassed by the board like this. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed the board to fill in all columns. But the board appears not to have acted on the directions of the High Court and students continue to suffer.


Surjeet fails to pacify rebels
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) General Secretary, Mr Harkishen Singh Surjeet, seems to have failed in his mission to pacify rebels within the party. Mr Surjeet, along with two Politburo members, Mr Prakash Karat and Mr R.C. Pillai, had come to the state to stem rebellion.

Instead, his visit seems to have intensified the polarisation within the state unit of the party with the group led by former state Secretary, Mr Mangat Ram Pasla, boycotting his meeting. Besides, 15 state council members also boycotted the meeting, conveying a clear signal that they were not in a reconciliatory mood. On his part, Mr Surjeet tread a cautious path by not initiating any action against the rebels. The matter has been left to the Politburo of the party.

The rebels — including former MLA, Tarsem Jodhan, Mr Chandershekhar, state general secretary of the CITU and Mr Pasla — have intensified their campaign by organising parallel meetings. While Mr Jodhan and Mr Chandershekhar already stand expelled from the party, Mr Pasla has been served a show-cause notice, to which he has already replied.

Mr Pasla was charged of instigating the party cadres to boycott Mr Surjeet’s earlier visit, besides organising a parallel meeting on the same day. Mr Surjeet was reportedly in the state to address an “introspection meeting”.

The Pasla group has been demanding action against the state Secretary, Mr Balwant Singh, Mr Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon and Mrs Tara Sharma for their alleged manhandling of several women workers on February 28 at Cheema Bhavan, the party headquarters in Chandigarh. Instead of being punished, the rebels say, Mr Sekhon was rewarded with the post of secretary of Ludhiana district.

Mr Chandershekhar, who was expelled from the party recently, alleged that Mr Surjeet was partial in dealing with workers. He pointed out earlier when they had planned a rally, a parallel rally was planned by Mr Balwant Singh. The party high command asked them to postpone it. While they (the rebels) had postponed it, Mr Balwant Singh had gone ahead with his rally at Raikot.

Later, Mr Balwant Singh violated the party directive by not appearing before Mr Chitbarat Majumdar, Bengal unit general secretary of the CITU, who was heading a one-man commission to inquire into various incidents of indiscipline in the state. The rebels appeared before the commission, but no action was taken against him.

The rebels have been questioning the source of funding for certain costly projects being run by the party in Chandigarh. They point out, the Desh Sevak Trust is being run at a huge cost. Besides, another project is being run by the party at a huge expense.


Sociologists want trading blocks
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 5
On the opening day of the fifth conference of the North-West Indian Sociological Association (NWISA) today, Prof P.N. Pimpley, an eminent sociologist from Nasik (Maharashtra) and a former Professor of Sociology at Panjab University, Chandigarh lamented that India’s powerful role in the trade negotiations had drastically come down because of the dominance of G-7 nations and the absence of any other power block in the world.

Dr Pimpley emphasised that diplomatic efforts must be made for forming regional trading blocks. Prof Pimpley said the concept of globalisation was only theoretically oriented towards an equitable regime. But in practical sphere it was heavily weighted against the developing countries.

He said although there was an overall economic development in our country yet the informal sector like the small scale industry and the labour force were eventually facing the brunt of globalised economy.

Prof S.L. Sharma, president of the NWISA conference talked about the ways and means to face the challenges of globalisation. He termed it a regime which has further marginalised the already marginal sections of the society like the dalits, women, children and the poor.

He said malnutrition among poor children had increased since the formation of the World Trade Organisation.

He also emphasised that developing countries must strive for self-reliance if the thrust of globalisation in favour of the developed countries was to be reversed. And for this, he suggested that a clear and rigorous policy of social welfare was needed.

Dr S.P. Singh, vice-chancellor said it was the cultural aspect of our life which was being threatened because of the present atmosphere of globalisation. He also called upon the sociologists participating in this conference to deliberate on how the culture and education could be saved from the policies of globalisation.


Demand to hand over gold theft case to CBI
Our Correspondent

Nabha, November 5
The case related to the theft of about 100 kg of gold buried in the ‘haveli’ of the last Prime Minister of Patiala state, late Gurdial Singh Harike, at Bakshiwala village near here again came to light when Mr Abninder Singh Grewal, former chairman of a block samiti demanded that the gold should either be returned to the Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib or to the daughter-in-law of Gurdial Singh Harike, Ms Manjit Kaur (70).

He alleged that nothing concrete has happened so far in the case as it appeared that the police was not interested in solving it.

He further added that the head constable, Mr Karnail Singh, who highlighted this case was transferred to Barnala, as punishment instead of honouring him at a state-level function. He complained that the then SSP, Patiala, Mr Harpreet Singh Sidhu, had provided him with security as he had been helping Ms Manjit Kaur in fighting the case, but his security was withheld after the transfer of Mr Sidhu to Ludhiana.

He stated that the case had been sent to the Patiala police and Ms Manjit Kaur was not provided with any information regarding the case.

Mr Grewal said he would tender his resignation to Mr Parkash Singh Badal at his sangat darshan programme at Nabha on November 8 if Mr Badal did not give him an assurance regarding the case being handed over to the CBI.


Govt ignored reports on Baba: Brar
Our Correspondent

Mansa, November 5
“The Punjab Government was informed by its intelligence agencies about the activities of Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara but it kept silent and did not take any action against him”. This was disclosed by Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, member of Parliament and vice-president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, while talking to pressmen here today.

He said the sacrilege of ‘birs’ of Guru Granth Sahib had injured the sentiments of people of all religions. He criticised Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal for shifting its responsibility to the Congress.

He pointed out that such incidents even did not occur during Operation Bluestar and anti-Sikh riots.

He said both Mr Badal and Mr Om Prakash Chautala had failed to get any package for farmers of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan from Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, Prime Minister during his visit to Killanwali. The farmers have suffered a big loss to their cotton crop due to American bollworm.

Mr Brar, also criticised the Vajpayee government for reinduction of Mr George Fernandes as Defence Minister when he was still facing an inquiry. He said his appointment as Defence Minister at this stage was a compromise with the security of the country.


Protecting cultural heritage
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Some eminent doctors who have settled abroad have got together to make a joint effort to protect the cultural heritage of Punjab. They have decided to patronise the Punjab Heritage Foundation which has formed a working group to revive the folk arts of the state.

The foundation, which organised its first folk music festival last year, is planning a bigger event this year and has invited eminent folk artists from all over the state to the festival to be held in Baradari Garden here.

The patrons of the foundation, including Dr Rishpal Singh Aujla and Dr Shivdev Singh Sandhu, both of whom are practising abroad, have taken the initiative to hold the festival along with other colleagues. The foundation aims at reviving the folk culture which has been pushed to the background under western influence.

A special meeting of the foundation, which was attended by its president, Major Gen Trilochan Singh Aujla (retd), the secretary-general, Prof Rs Gill, and other local representatives including Dr Sudhir Verma, Dr HS Wealthy and Dr JS Bahia, decided to take steps to encourage folk arts by inviting old artists to functions for which they would be paid adequately. Besides, workshops will be held for youngsters to acquaint them with the cultural traditions of Punjab.


The ‘Ganda Nala’ remains chokes at several points in the city. These points include parts of Sheranwala Gate adjoining the State Language Department. The main reason for this is the disposal of domestic waste in the drain by the residents besides the garbage from the Sabzi Mandi.

Cleaning of the drain also poses a problem in some areas, particularly near Sheranwal Gate where a parking space has been built by covering a portion of the nala. This prevents the drain from being cleaned regularly.

A proposal to cover with hume pipes the entire drain which crisis-crosses the city, was made a year ago but it has not been executed so far.


Queries on Baba annoy CM
Lalit Mohan

Ropar, November 5
The Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, lost his cool today when questioned on the Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara controversy.

On being asked why the arrest of Baba Piara Singh had been delayed, Mr Badal rebuked newsmen, saying: “You newsmen all over the state have just a set of four questions. Why don’t you people concentrate on other issues. I am tired of answering queries in this regard.” He then left the venue in a hurry.

Mr Badal was here on a visit to the dera of Baba Mann Singh Pehowa, located 4 km from here. He reached the said dera at about 9 am, reportedly to mourn the death of Sardar Banta Singh, father of Baba Mann Singh, who expired on October 24.

The visit was kept a secret. Even district administration officials were not informed about it. Mr Badal remained with Baba Mann Singh for about an hour and reportedly discussed the forthcoming elections with him.

The Chief Minister, when asked about the chances of Akali unity, said all those who had left the party had done so of their own will. However, if anybody intended to come back into the party fold unconditionally, he was welcome.

The manifesto of the SAD was being prepared and would be released next month. He said he would hold ‘sangat darshan’ in Ropar twice within this month.

Baba Mann Singh, later, talking to newsmen, gave a call to Sikhs to observe the coming Divali as ‘black divali’ due to the various acts of desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib in various gurdwaras across the state.


BSP workers block traffic, flay MC
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, November 5
Traffic on the Jalandhar-Moga road was disrupted for about three hours today following a dharna near Ravidass Chowk here by BSP workers and residents of Bootan Mandi and adjoining localities. They were protesting against the failure of the local municipal corporation authorities to start development works in their localities.

They alleged that the civic body had failed to construct roads in Kartar Nagar, Tilak Nagar, Siddharth Nagar and Bootan Mandi during the past more than 10 years. Besides it had been indifferent to their demand to lay premix on the 3 km stretch from this chowk to Wadala Chowk.

Mr Pawan Tinoo, president of the district unit of the BSP, alleged that the BJP Mayor, Mr Suresh Sehgal, was behind all this. “Though former Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujal had sanctioned Rs 10 lakh for the construction of a park in the memory of Dr B.R.Ambedkar at Bootan Mandi about three years ago, no work had started on the project so far, he said.


SHO ‘misbehaves’ with BSP leader
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, November 5
Ms Sawarn Kaur, president of the local unit of the Bahujan Samaj Party (Ambedkar), today made a written complaint to the local police authorities against an SHO for passing derogatory remarks and misbehaving with her when she had gone to the police station for the settlement of a dispute of Satnam Singh of Sarhali village yesterday.

She further stated in her complaint that she was being threatened by the said SHO.

When contacted Mr S.K. Kalia, SP (D), said the said BSP leader wanted to get the matter to be probed by an SP-rank police officer and so she would have to wait for the local SSP to come back, who had gone out of station for some official work today.


Book Kanshi: Saini Sabha
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, November 5
Members of the Saini Sabha and Mr Parkash Singh, PPCC member, today submitted a memorandum to the local SSP demanding registration of a case under various sections of the IPC against BSP supremo Kanshi Ram for his derogatory statements against Saini caste.

Later, talking to mediapersons Mr Iqbal Singh, president, Punjab Pardesh Saini Sabha, and Mr Parkash Singh said Mr Kanshi Ram, who claims to be a national-level leader, should not have behaved in such a manner. Even his derogatory remarks about scheduled castes at his public meetings were condemnable, they said. They criticised some BSP leaders belonging to Saini caste, who had been issuing statements in favour of Mr Kanshi Ram.

Saini subscribing to different political ideologies have constituted a sangarsh committee to launch a stir in this connection.

On the other hand Mr Satish Bharti, secretary of the state unit of the BSP, in a press note issued here today said the Sainis were a major and respectable part of the BSP. Mr Kanshi Ram’s speech at the Saini Sammelan organised at Langroya village on October 28 was ‘misreported’. Other political parties had been trying to create misconceptions among Sainis regarding the BSP but it would not let them succeed.


MC declines Telecom’s request to lay cables
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 5
The local Telecom Department today claimed that it was not able to provide telephone on demand to residents of the walled city as the Municipal Corporation was not giving it permission to lay its cables.

In a statement here, Telecom General Manager, Mr Bhag Singh, said the corporation was not giving the department the permission to lay its cables in the walled city for nearly eight months now. He said the department had deposited the necessary fee with the corporation since then. He said numerous requests had been made to the local authorities in this regard.

Meanwhile, Mr Bhag Singh stated that the city residents would also not be able to avail themselves of the Wireless Local Loop (WLL) service till the end of this financial year. There were indications that the WLL service would be extended to Patiala and Ludhiana during the current financial year after its successful launch in Chandigarh and Amritsar.

He also announced that new exchanges were slated to be opened in Badiana and Beher in Fatehgarh Sahib district within one month adding that both exchanges would have a capacity of 256 lines. He said a Remote Line Unit Exchange was slated to be opened at Sirhind with a capacity of 3,000 lines.


Phone on demand by next year: GM
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, November 5
Telephones in this telecom district will be available on demand from the beginning of the next financial year and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is all set to establish consumer care centres in this region.

This was stated here today by Mr Gail Chand, General Manager, Telecom, Pathankot district.

The district comprising of six SDCA’s (short distance charging area) has total installed switching capacity of 11, 9056 lines and 92062 working direct telephone exchange lines.


Nurses hold rally
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 5
A protest rally by the Punjab Nurses Association was staged at Guru Nanak Hospital here today. Nurses from TB and ESI hospitals also joined the rally.

Mrs Gurcharan Kaur, general secretary of the association led the march. The nurses demanded pay scales on a par with Central Government employees. They threatened to gherao the state Health Minister, Dr Baldev Raj Chawla, tomorrow to press for of their demands.


2 killed as car, truck collide
Our Correspondent

Ropar, November 5
Two residents of Sangrur, Gurcharan Singh and Som Dutt were killed and Harpreet Singh sustained injuries, in an head-on collision between Maruti car DL-3CB-1173 and a truck PB-12B-5359 on the Ropar-Kiratpur Sahib road today.

The police has registered a case against the truck driver.


Insemination scheme for dairy farmers
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 5
Marginal dairy farmers are set to benefit in a large way with the introduction of a “mobile insemination” scheme in Amritsar, Nawanshehr, Kapurthala, Patiala, Ropar and Bathinda districts in the state.

The scheme envisages creation of clusters all over the state where semen containers of 35 litres will be kept in store. These clusters will cater to a fixed number of dispensaries which will each be equipped with a two-litre portable container.

According to the scheme, farmers will inform the nearest dispensary or hospital about the need for artificial insemination following which it will deliver the service at their doorsteps. The service will be delivered to the dairy owners at the same rate being charged earlier which is Rs 8 per injection. They will, however, have to pay a visiting fee of Rs 3 per kilometre with a maximum fee of Rs 20 to the visiting doctor.

The Animal Husbandry Director, Dr G.S. Chahal, who was here in connection with a visit by experts of the Livestock Improvement Corporation of New Zealand, said it was felt that there were problems in bringing the animals to hospitals for insemination and the animals invariably developed temperature due to anxiety. He said the facility at the doorsteps would definitely result in improvement of the inception rate.

The department is also launching a project to improve the number of breeding cattle in the state. Dr Chahal said Punjab had at least 12 lakh breeding cattle and 37 breeding buffaloes. He said out of the 45 per cent breeding cattle population only 5 per cent of the buffalo population was covered by the artificial insemination service.

He said the target by the end of the project was to raise it to 100 per cent. Department Deputy Director Tejinder Sandhu said the training in this connection would be undertaken in batches and the exercise had already started for the district.

Under the programme, training would be imparted to veterinary practitioners. Optimum utilisation of the semen of elite bulls would be ensured by bringing in modern methods to handle, process, preserve and utilise the semen.

Meanwhile, the two-member New Zealand team, including Mr Mark O’ Connor and Ian Hook, visited the progressive dairy farms in the area as well as the department facilities here and at Nabha.

Talking to TNS, Mr Connor said his corporation was viewing the potential of the dairy business in Punjab and searching for means of how it could be involved in it. He said the corporation, which was a trust owned by around 15,000 dairy farmers of New Zealand, could give technical support and genetic material to the dairy farmers.


IAS, 3 PCS officers shifted

Chandigarh, November 5
The Punjab Government today transferred the Public Works (B and R) Special Secretary, Dr Roshan Lal, in the same capacity to the Health and Family Welfare Department, against a vacant post, besides three PCS officers.

Mr Manjit Singh, waiting posting, has been made Additional Secretary in the Department of Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development to fill a vacant post.

Mr Bhagwant Singh, Additional Commissioner (Appeals), Jalandhar Division, has been posted in the Department of Local Government as Additional Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Jalandhar.

Mr Sajmet Singh, Assistant Commissioner (Grievances), Roopnagar (Ropar), becomes Deputy Director, Colonisation, against a vacant post.

Pending posting of successors to Mr Bhagwant Singh and Mr Ajmer Singh, the authorities concerned would make internal arrangements for disposal of the work of the posts, an official notification said this evening. UNI


65 kg poppy husk seized, 5 held
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 5
The police has arrested five persons for their alleged involvement in smuggling of poppy husk. It has also seized 65 kg of poppy husk from their possession.

Dr Jatinder Jain, SSP in a press note issue here today said, Sewak Singh resident of Pakho Kalan, was arrested from near Jassi Baghwali village for allegedly possessing 10 kg of poppy husk. A case under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act had been registered against him at Sangat police station.

Arun Kumar of Ganesha Basti and Krishan Kumar of Lehra Mohabat were arrested from near Naruana village for allegedly carrying 35 kg of poppy husk. A case against them has been registered at kotwali police station.

Gurmeet Singh and Sukhmander Singh of Lehra Dhurkot village were arrested for carrying 20 kg of poppy husk and case has been registered against them at Talwandi Sabo police station.

Under the Excise Act, 12 persons were arrested. The police has also seized 36 litres of illicit liquor, 58 litres of country-made liquor, 90 kg lahan and it has unearthed an illegal distillary.

Under the Gambling Act, eight persons including two women, have been arrested. The police has also seized Rs 11906 from their possession. The suspects have been identified as Raj Kumar, Gurbachan Singh, Rajinder Kumar, Ranjit Singh, Guddo, Indra, Jagdish Kumar and Vinod Kumar.


7.3 kg opium seized, 4 held
Our Correspondent

Barnala, November 5
The CIA here during surprise raids has seized 7.3 kg opium at Mehal Kalan and Bhadaur.

Giving information Mr Kanwaljit Singh Sandhu, SSP, Barnala, stated that a CIA party signalled, a Jeep to stop at a police naka at Mahal Kalan. During checking 3 kg of opium was seized from Jagsir Singh and 1.5 kg opium from Gurtej Singh of Malleke in Sirsa district, Haryana.

In an another case, the police seized about 2.8 kg opium from Manjit Singh of Sirjipur-Hanumangarh (Rajasthan) and 1 kg from Amarjit Singh of Mehraj in Bathinda district.


Man posing as doctor arrested
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 5
The police today arrested Surinder Kumar, a resident of Mansa town, running a chemist shop at the Maur Mandi bus stand for allegedly selling intoxicants to youths on the pretext of being a qualified doctor.

In a press note issued here today, Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, SSP, said the accused, who was not entitled to run a chemist shop, was running the same by taking a licence from the pharmacist on rent. The accused had been selling intoxicants, including syrups, tablets and capsules, to the unsuspecting youth at rates higher than those prevailing in the market.


Rs 4.6 lakh looted at gunpoint
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 5
As many as four unidentified persons looted cash worth Rs 4,60,000 at gunpoint from the house of Longowal, last night. Mr Ranbir informed that the accused were equipped with revolvers and sharp edged weapons such as ‘kirpans’ when they forcibly entered the house. The family members were fast asleep, he said. A case has been registered under Sections 395, 398 and 452 of the IPC at Sadar Batala police station.

In another incident, Jagtar Singh, Satnam Singh and Rajinder Singh, all residents of Malakhpur seriously injured Gian Singh of Ghoba village near Majitha with a sharp edged weapon. A case has been registered at Ramdas police station under Sections 323, 324 of the IPC. No one has been arrested so far. The cause of the incident is said to be a minor dispute over the watering of fields.

Meanwhile, six persons have been booked for gambling. The police has seized Rs 15,200 in cash and 52 playing cards from them. A case has been registered at Kotwali police station.

The police has arrested Avtar Singh, a resident of Sultanwind and recovered 11,430 ml of illicit liquor from him, here last night. A case has been registered under the Excise Act.


Pharmacy Dept soon: VC
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, November 5
A separate Pharmacy Department would be crated at Guru Nanak Dev University as directed by the Pharmacy Council of India, Dr S.P. Singh, Vice-Chancellor, said here last evening. He was talking to this reporter during a visit to the house of an old student, who is a lecturer in Punjabi.

The Vice-Chancellor said the university would be the first in North India to introduce a five-year law course in the next academic session to be started at Maharaja Ranjit Singh Regional Centre, Ladhewal, Jalandhar.

The course would provide a “different perspective, professional approach, updated concepts and global vision” for producing law experts to the corporate sector at home and abroad.

This course was already being taught at Bhopal, Hyderabad and Bangalore, he said.

The university would publish the entire works of noted Punjabi critic and writer Dr Harbhajan Singh of Delhi. Dr S.P. Singh, known for his commitment to the Punjabi language, said works of the late Dr Attar Singh, Prof Mohan Singh, Mr Bawa Budh Singh, Mr Teja Singh and Maula Bakhsh would be published later.

“We plan to celebrate Bhai Vir Singh Day on December 15 and make it a regular annual feature”, he said.

A concise encyclopaedia on Sikhism would be prepared by university in two years in Punjabi and English he added.


Non-teaching staff of pvt colleges begin strike
Our Correspondent

Barnala, November 5
In response to a “cease work stay-in strike” call for a week (from November 5 to 10) given to the private colleges of Punjab by the Private Colleges Non-Teaching Employees Union (PCNTEU), activists of the union all over Punjab and in Chandigarh, paralysed non-teaching work in private colleges.

Talking to this reporter here today, Mr Raj Kumar Singla, general secretary of the union, informed that the strike was observed to press the Punjab Government to accept their demands.

Their demands include payment of the arrears of revised pay scales of non-teaching staff in one instalment and grant of house rent allowance to the non-teaching employees serving in the rural private colleges of Punjab.


SATKAL organises annual function
Our Correspondent

Patiala, November 5
The annual function of the Satinder Kaur Ramdev Memorial Trust for The Advancement of Librarianship (SATKAL) was organised at Punjabi University here today.

Prof P.B. Mangla from Delhi University, while delivering his annual lecture on Library and Information Science Education in India for the New Millennium: Trends and Issues, said librarianship as a profession had largely emerged from the adolescent stage in India and Library Schools had certainly made a vital contribution in the process. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Amrik Singh, former VC, underlined the role of librarians in building a good institute of learning. He, however, lamented that there was a decline in professionalism on the part of librarians and neglect on the part of policy-makers.

Dr Devinder Kaur, Librarian, while introducing the theme, said the main objective of the trust was to promote librarianship by giving scholarships and stipends to deserving students and library professionals. Others who spoke on the occasion, included Prof P.N. Kaula, Dr Jagtar Singh, Dr H.R. Arora and Prof S.P. Narang. Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, Vice Chancellor, presided over the function.

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