Tuesday, December 4, 2001, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



SAD to give priority to youth
Bipin Bhardwaj

Dera Bassi, December 3
The Shiromani Akali Dal will give priority to the youth while distributing the party ticket for the forthcoming Assembly elections in the state. This will not only help make a strong government but also make the youth aware about their responsibility for the nation.

This statement was made by the general secretary of SAD and the Finance and Planning Minister of Punjab Capt. Kanwaljit Singh, while addressing a massive rally of the youth wing of SAD. Organised by the All Youth Clubs of Banur Assembly constituency, the rally was well attended by the youth workers and villagers of the surrounding areas.

This is the first rally by the youth organised in the past last over 50 years in the state. Thousands of Youth Akali workers from Zirakpur, Dera Bassi, Lalru and Banur circles joined the rally and showed their solidarity with the minister.

Addressing the gathering, Capt Kanwaljit Singh said that a country prospers only with the participation of the youth in its leadership. To provide political training to them, various youth clubs have already been opened in the state.

Attacking the Congress. the minister alleged that the youth had been ignored and kept away from joining the of political mainstream in the past 45 years. No representation was given to them in Parliamentary constituencies as well as Assembly segments, following which problems like unemployment and corruption cropped up.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh raised slogans “Naujawan Shakti” and received an enthusiastic response from the audience. The workers also raised slogans “Bole so ni hal, Sat Shri Akal.”

Capt Kanwaljit Singh also held the Congress responsible for terrorism in the state. He said the Congress had always adopted the “divide and rule” policy. As a result, the country, instead of progress, had gone on the path of fall.

He said SAD had spent Rs 4,500 crore on various development projects in the past over four and a half years against the Rs 1,800 crore spent by the Congress in the past over 45 years. Apart from this, the government had waived a loan of Rs 85,00 crore and also generated finance. The SAD government had also established industries worth Rs 1,600 crore and provided employment to over 1 lakh youths in the state.

Moreover, the government had started various welfare schemes for the youth, elderly persons, widows and downtrodden. The government was spending nearly Rs 24 crore on the old age pension scheme per month. To help the poor and needy the Shagun scheme had been started.

Over 1000 Congress workers from various villages also joined the SAD and expressed their solidarity with Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

Those who spoke on the occasion included Mr Karnail Singh Pir Muhammad, President of the Sikh Students Federation, Punjab, Mr Jasvinder Singh Jassi, general secretary of the Youth Akali Dal, Punjab, Mr Gurnam Singh Saini, Adviser, Minor Irrigation, Punjab, and other prominent party leaders.

Famous Punjabi pop singer Gurdas Mann and Ms Satinder Bitti performed on the occasion.


PPCC chief’s brother applies for ticket
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 3
Even though PPCC chief Amarinder Singh has announced that ticket would not be given to relatives of senior Congress leaders for the Assembly elections, his younger brother Malwinder Singh has filed his application for ticket from the Samana Assembly constituency.

Mr Malwinder Singh today submitted his application at the PPCC office in Chandigarh, according to party general secretary Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha. Mr Malwinder’s claim to the ticket assumes significance as he has chosen to apply despite the announcement of the PPCC chief on this issue.

The PPCC chief’s younger brother, who was not actively associated with the party before Capt Amarinder’s entry into the Congress, had started evincing interest in the Samana seat after Capt Amarinder fought elections from the Patiala parliamentary seat of which Samana is an Assembly segment. He had also been involved in the distribution of discretionary funds of Ms Preneet Kaur, MP and wife of the PPCC chief, in the Samana segment. He had announced his decision to contest from Samana by presenting his credentials to the AICC observer who had come here recently.

Mr Malwinder’s application is likely to put the PPCC chief in a tight spot not only on the policy front but also because very senior leaders are also seeking ticket from Samana. These include former legislator from the seat and MP Sant Ram Singla and former Rajya Sabha member Surinder Singla. Both of them are considered political heavyweights whom the party cannot ignore easily in favour of Mr Malwinder.

Mr Sant Ram Singla had during the visit of the party observer pointed out that he was the only Congressman to win from Samana in 1980 and that he had also won the Patiala Lok Sabha seat. Mr Surinder Singla is asking for the Samana ticket as it is his home constituency and he has held important positions in the party. Besides, party leader Birdevinder Singh has also filed his application from Samana. Sources said the application of Mr Harinderpal Singh Mann, a supporter of senior leader Jagmeet Brar, had also been filed in Chandigarh for the Samana seat.

There is likely to be a tough competition for the Ghanour assembly constituency where heavyweights are lined up against each other. These include former minister Jasjit Singh Randhawa and former MP Amarjit Kaur, besides youth leader Hardev Singh Bhangu, among others. From the Dakala Assembly segment, former Patiala Improvement Trust Chairman Nirmal Singh Bhattian is likely to be the main rival for the ticket against former minister Lal Singh. Mr Bhattian filed his application at the DCC office here today.

The sources said the main contestants from the Rajpura Assembly segment were DCC president Hardial Singh, and former ministers Prem Gupta and Raj Khurana. From Shutrana, former legislator Satwant Singh Mohi and former minister Hamir Singh Ghagga are the main applicants. From Nabha, former legislator Ramesh Singla has filed his application. The sources said former minister Gurdarshan Singh’s son Randeep Singh had also filed his application in Chandigarh.

Among the applicants from Banur are the late Ravinderpal Singh Sohi’s widow Sheelam Sohi, former minister Mohinder Singh Gill’s son Sahabjit Singh Dhillon and Mr Deepinder Singh Dhillon.


Punjab officers stake claim to BBMB post
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
A controversy has started over the post of Financial Adviser-cum-Chief Accounts Officer in the Bhakra Beas Management Board.

Officers concerned in the Punjab Finance Department have urged the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to ask the management of the board to fill the post by appointing an officer from the state’s Finance and Accounts cadre.

Though Punjab is a major partner state in the board but its (board’s) authorities have not sought the panel of officers from the state to fill the post. Earlier, Mr B.S. Mangat, a Punjab officer worked on this post from 1988 to 1995. After this, Mr Satish Loomba from the Indian Audit and Accounts Services was appointed. Mr Loomba’s tenure ended on November 30.

Sources said that the BBMB, through the Union Minister of Power, had sought a panel of names for this post from the Comptroller-and-Auditor-General of India. It did not seek panels of names from the partner states of Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana.

Interestingly, the Secretary of the BBMB, in a letter sent to an Under Secretary of the Union Power Ministry, has stated that the Financial Adviser and Chief Accounts Officer of the board has always been selected after calling panels of names from the Comptroller-General of India and partner states.

A top functionary of the BBMB admitted that no panel of names for the post has been sought from the partner states. He said the board had decided to fill the post from among the CAG officers.

Officers of the Finance and Accounts cadre from Punjab have urged Mr Badal that the state should lay its claim over the post and it should not be surrendered to the BBMB. They said that a large number of competent officers were available in the Finance and Accounts cadre of the state. They said Punjab’s share in the BBMB employees has come down.

At the time of the setting up the BBMB, its was decided that 60 per cent employees in the BBMB would be taken on deputation from Punjab. In fact, as per rules, only the Chairman of the BBMB is supposed to be appointed from non- partner states to maintain neutrality at the top level. Other officials are supposed to be taken on deputation from the partner states. However, this has not been followed in practice.

Sources said that two officers — one from the Indian Revenue Service and other from the Indian Audit and Accounts Services — were in the race for the post.


Punjab not to raise varsity staff retirement age
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh December 3
The Punjab government has communicated to the Ministry of Human Resource Development that the “state government does not agree with the proposed amendment increasing retirement age from 60 years to 62 years in its universities.

The communication was forwarded by Mr D.S. Mangat, Deputy Secretary Higher Education Punjab to the Department of Secondary and Higher Education in November recently.

The department says that it will start a chain reaction among government and aided college employees who will also demand to be retired of the same age.

The response by the state government has been sent in “response to a demi official” letter from the Centre.

The first point raised in the DO was ‘increase in the subscription of an employee and the university to the Provident Fund from 10 per cent to 12 per cent’.

Panjab University says “the State government does not agree with this proposed amendment, as it will not be in a position to bear the additional liability on account of increase in the subscription of the Provident Fund”.

Another point raised by the Centre was “increase in the retirement age of non-government colleges affiliated to the university from 60 to 62 years”.

The State government “does not agree to this proposed amendment, as already the retirement age of the teachers in aided colleges is 60 years and in case it is increased to 62 years, there will be a lot of discontentment as the gap will further increase by four years for government employees”.

The letter says that the Finance Department has also not agreed to amendments proposed in the letter under reference.

The issue has been left hanging in the balance in the Panjab University with certain teachers still continuing in the university following cases pending in courts.

There were already whispers among academic circles criticising the demand to increase the retirement age from 60 to62. A principal said that “there were scores of eligible candidates from the university level who would fit the bill for appointment as fresh teachers. Seniors continuing in the same capacity meant loss to several freshers”.

Senior teachers however feel that PU, not increasing the retirement age was a discrimination because all Central Universities had increased the retirement age to 62. The university Senate decided that the teachers would continue till a final decision was taken.

Another point was that while universities of Punjab were funded by the state it funded only 40 per cent of the PUs finances. Another senior teacher said that “decision with regard to PU will have to be taken in consultation with the UT administration because it funded 60 per cent of the resources”.


Vedanti ‘garnering’ votes for Badal
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, December 3
Former SGPC acting President and Panthic Morcha stalwart Jathedar Sukhdev Singh Bhaur today took strong exception to Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti’s statement that the hukamnama (edict) issued by Bhai Ranjit Singh on December 31, 1998, as the then Akal Takht Jathedar was not valid and that a single high priest cannot issue an edict due to the “panj pardhani prampara.”

Talking to reporters here, Jathedar Bhaur, who is also the secretary-general of the SHSAD, said he saw behind this statement a “sinister design” to garner non-Sikh votes for Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, by giving a clean chit to the Nirankaris against whom Singh Sahib Sadhu Singh Bhaura had issued a hukamnama single-handedly in 1978 as the then Jathedar of Akal Takht.


Jaswinder is BSP youth wing chief
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, December 3
Ms Jaswinder Kaur Jassi has become the first woman president of the newly constituted youth wing of the Punjab BSP. This announcement was made here yesterday by BSP supremo Kanshi Ram.

Ms Jassi said today that 40,000 vacancies would be filled on priority and backlog in jobs cleared if the BSP came to power. She lambasted those who had become “lackeys of the Congress” after availing themselves of reservation benefits.


YC arranges Badal's ‘property darshan’
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 3
The Youth Congress has pledged to arrange transport for "property darshan" of Mr Parkash Singh Badal's assets. While addressing a gathering, after gheraoing the SDM of Patti, the District Youth Congress president, Mr Maninder Singh Patti, said they would form a special team comprising panches, sarpanches and a few village elders to guide the people for this "property darshan". He said a bus would start on December 7 from Patti. It would visit the property sites of Mr Badal at Badal village, Chandigarh, Kasauli, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.


When PM’s Office belies hope
Lalit Mohan

Ropar, December 3
Kewal Krishan, a yellow card-holder labourer of Pachranda village, about 30 km from here, is a dejected person today. He has lost all hope after he failed to get the grant sanctioned to him from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund in 1999, even after two years of struggle.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, a copy of which was provided to this correspondent, Kewal Krishan alleged that he had developed a serious heart problem in 1999. Despite the poor economic condition his children borrowed money and he underwent a heart surgery at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. The treatment costed him about Rs 76,000.

Sensing his poor economic condition some wellwishers at AIIMS advised Kewal Krishan to apply for relief from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. He applied for the relief and got a letter from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on October 26, 1999, stating that the Prime Minister had sanctioned a grant of Rs 20,000 to partially defray the expenses incurred on his surgery and treatment.

However, the letter just proved to be the beginning of the ordeal for him. He was asked to furnish the attested photocopies of the bills paid to the hospital along with the no-due certificates. Expecting that he would soon get the relief, Kewal Krishan collected the bills from AIIMS and sent them to the PMO. After about two months when he inquired from the office regarding the status of his grant, he was told that he had not furnished the necessary documents. Kewal Krishan once again sent the documents, but in vain.

He then went to the PMO personally and submitted the documents personally. This also did not evoke any response. Once again he visited the PMO and submitted the documents to the official concerned, but instead of the grant he just got assurances. Finally a few months ago a peeved official of the PMO answering his call allegedly said, “Why did you went in for the treatment, if you did not have the money for it”.

After about two years of struggle when the local BJP minister, Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, and the local MP, Mr Charanjit Singh Chani, also recommended the case of Kewal Krishan, he received a letter from the PMO on October 29 that the grant sanctioned to him had been cancelled as he had submitted the request after getting the treatment and not before.

A dejected Kewal Krishan, now says that if he cannot get the grant under the rules why the officials concerned harassed him for two years. “I am not expecting any grant now, but I want to inform the Prime Minister about the plight and working of his office,” he says.


Badungar visits gurdwara
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 3
Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, newly elected president of the SGPC, today came to pay obeisance at Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib for the first time after becoming the chief of the religious organisation. The manager of the gurdwara, Mr Devinder Singh, and local SAD leaders, accorded him a warm reception and the Head Granthi, Giani Baldev Singh, presented him a siropa. Mr Badungar also presided over the meeting of the Mela Committee and had an interaction with the local SAD leaders and SGPC members.

Addressing the committee, he issued a strict warning to the SGPC staff and the organisers that the process of auctioning of the mela site should be totally transparent. He said pilgrims to the annual “Shaheedi Jor Mela” should not be allowed to be fleeced by stall owners. Moreover, proper arrangements should be made for the pilgrims. He said the proper attention should be given towards cleanliness, there should be improvement in the langer, and proper medical and board and lodging arrangements should be made. He directed the SGPC staff particularly to adopt courteous behavior towards the pilgrims and warned that if someone misbehaved with anyone, he would not be spared. He said he would also talk to the DGP and the local SSP to ensure that the behavior of the police towards the pilgrims was courteous. He also urged the organisers not to allow any gambling dens in the mela territory. Rather, the mela should be organised in a true religious spirit.

He made it clear that the Opposition would be allotted the same sites as usual for their respective conferences. He urged all other parties to install the sound system in a manners that it might not disturb each other’s proceeding. He said that the SGPC would impart its duty impartially and would avoid a confrontation at every cost. He said that if any problem arose, it would be sorted out amicably.

He assured the sangat that it would not face any hardship this year during the annual Shaheedi Jor Mela.


Octroi staff not to be retrenched: Tandon
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, December 3
Mr Balramji Das Tandon, Local Bodies Minister, talking to newspersons at Narot Jaimal Singh on the Indo-Pak border in this district said today Punjab would have to bear a burden of Rs 425 crore per year due to the abolition of octroi. He said the government was trying to find alternative funds to meet this deficit.

He said a committee headed by the Chief Secretary and comprising the Finance Secretary, the Local Bodies Secretary, Financial Commissioner (Taxes) and Director, Local Bodies, had been constituted to give recommendations for the creation of additional funds in view of the recommendations of the Shakar Commission.

Mr Tandon said there would be no retrenchment of octroi employees. The government would compensate the municipal committees against the loss on a monthly basis on the pattern of Rajasthan.

He said the allotment of seats would depend on the winnability of the candidates. The final decision on ticket rested with the high command. Mr Tandon refuted the charges that there was discrimination against SAD leaders in connection with the distribution of grants.

Mr Kulbir Singh Sidhu, Deputy Commissioner said the district had received Rs 15 crore during this year from the Central government for development works.

Mr Tandon distributed cheques amounting to Rs 3 crore among 181 panchayats of the Narot Jaimal Singh Assembly constituency.


Octroi employees sit on dharna
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 3
Hundreds of employees of the local municipal corporation today sat on dharna at Nehru Garden Chowk to register their protest against the failure of the state government to place the octroi employees according to their seniority.

More than 200 employees, who were earlier working in the octroi department of the corporation, have not been assigned any work so far. The employees alleged that the government was secretly preparing a list to appoint some junior employees on higher posts in violation of the prescribed norms.

They raised anti-government slogans and blocked traffic for two hours. They burnt effigy of the Local Bodies Minister, Mr Balramji Dass Tandon. Some of the protesters hurled stones at a board near the chowk causing damage to the photo of the Punjab Chief Minister.


Exclude media from POTO purview’
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 3
Mr Bharat Ram, president, Crime Free India Bureau (CFIB), appealed today to the Central Government for exclusion of the print and electronic media from the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) so that freedom of the Press could be ensured.

Talking to mediapersons after a police-public meeting, here today, Mr Bharat Ram said the Press could not function freely if any draconian law was imposed on them.

Interestingly, the police officials who were invited to the function did not turn up on the “pretext of busy schedule”. Hence, the meeting turned out to be a one-sided affair.

The CFIB president said his organisation was formed to check crime and corruption.


Bhai Ranjit favours open debate
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 3
For the first time, a former Jathedar of Akal Takht, Bhai Ranjit Singh has asked the present incumbent Mr Joginder Singh Vedanti to hold an open debate on Sikh traditions.

Taking serious note of the statement of Mr Vedanti that the directive issued by him (Bhai Ranjit Singh) on December 31, 1998, directing the warring Akali factions to maintain truce, had no relevance, the former Jathedar claimed that it was still valid and he would soon summon Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Bibi Jagir Kaur, the then SGPC chief and nine other executive members who had allegedly violated it after “resuming” the “seva” (charge) of the Takht. Bhai Ranjit Singh said Mr Vedanti tried to misguide the Sikh sangat by stating that the edict in question was issued by him alone and hence the sangat was not bound to accept it.

He said the fact was that the directive was issued under the signatures of five Sikh High Priests, including Giani Mohan Singh, the then Head Granthi, Golden Temple, Giani Bhagwan Singh, Head Granthi, Akal Takht and Giani Gurbachan Singh and Giani Charn Singh, granthis of the Golden Temple.

He asked Mr Vedanti to tender unconditional apology. Describing him as “sarkari jathedar” Bhai Ranjit Singh alleged that he had been working at the behest of the Chief Minister.


DGP: more active role for women in police
Tribune News Service

Phillaur, December 3
Striving to reduce gender bias in the police, the Director-General of Police, Punjab, Mr Sarbjit Singh, today announced that women officers and personnel would be appointed in each police station of the state and entrusted with investigation task. Mr Sarbjit Singh stated this while addressing a regional conference of police personnel of seven states at the Punjab Police Academy (PPA) here.

Representatives from the Chattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra police participated in the conference. Giving details about the conference, Ms Anita Punj, Deputy Director, PPA, and co-ordinator of the conference, said the conference had been titled “Forging a New Future for Women in the Police” and aimed at raising the awareness level about the existing and the required opportunities in the police job. Mr D.R. Bhatti, Director, PPA, and Dr D.J. Singh, Deputy Director, PPA, welcomed the participants. Ms Sheeja Nair of the British High Commission, New Delhi, presented the partnership address.

The DGP, talking to The Tribune, said he had elaborate plans to recruit more women but financial constraints stood in the way. He said the decision to appoint women as investigating officers was a significant one and would give a fresh impetus to women officers.


Prayers for speedy recovery of CM
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 3
An ardas divas for the welfare and speedy recovery of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister was organised by Mr Didar Singh Bhatti and Mr Rajeshpal Singh Lalli, senior SAD, leaders at Bassi Pathana in the district today.

Thousands of people from all walks of life participated. The occasion was also used by leaders as show of strength before the Assembly elections.

Five resolutions, including demand to give the SAD ticket from the Sirhind constituency to Mr Bhatti, were passed.

Mr Bhatti and Mr Lalli appreciated the policies and programmes of Mr Badal and highlighted the various public-oriented schemes initiated by the Punjab Government for the every section of society. The leaders assured the gathering that they would continue to serve the people without any caste or creed.

Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhatti, president, Youth Akali Dal, Mr Avtar Singh, state general secretary, BSM, Mr Ashok Sood, president, Municipal Council, Sirhind, Ms Parminder Kaur Sodhi, district president, Istri Akali Dal, Mr Som Nath Gupta, a former president, MC, Sirhind, Mr R.S. Virk, councillor, among others, addressed the gathering.


Naiks to be listed as SCs: Verma
Our Correspondent

Mansa, December 3
Dr Sahib Singh Verma (MP), former Chief Minister of Delhi and Senior Vice-President of the BJP said the Naik community would shortly be included in the list of Scheduled Castes. He said he had already spoken to the Prime Minister in this regard. He was addressing a public meeting organised by the Naik community here today at the old grain market.

Dr Verma said around 20 lakh persons of the Naik community had no particular profession or land holding to make both ends meet. He said with the inclusion of the community in the list of Scheduled Castes, its members would be able to avail financial benefits and avail reservation in the matter of employment. He said owing to the increasing costs of agricultural inputs, cut-throat competition and decreasing income, a large number of farmers were thinking of giving up agriculture.

Mr Verma further said the Union Government was formulating a plan to revive agriculture in Punjab. He said he would talk to Mr Parkash Singh Badal for granting relief of Rs 15,000 per acre to the farmers whose cotton crop had been damaged by the American bollworm.

He added that if a suitable candidate for the BJP was found he would certainly be given the party ticket to contest elections to the forthcoming Punjab Vidhan Sabha.

Justifying Sangat Darshan programmes, he said Mr Badal was doing a yeoman’s service for the villages of the state.

Mr Jagpal Singh Chahal, senior BJP leader, said the district unit of the party would organise rallies in Mansa. Among others who addressed the rally were Mr Madan Lal, advocate, district president, Mr Radhey Lal, former district president, and Ms Santosh Joga Municipal Commissioner, Mansa.


Park lacks maintenance
Jaswinder Paul Singh

Bathinda, December 3
Non-functional fountains, wild growth of weeds, poorly maintained swing is what remains of the Nehru Children’s Park, which was once the hub of activity.

Situated in the Civil Lines area of the city the park has lost its beauty due to the indifferent attitude of the authorities concerned. The park was developed by the authorities so that the children of the area need not to go to far-off places for playing.

The park which was once a place of enjoyment and excitement for the children now bears a deserted look.

The indifferent attitude of the authorities could be gauged from the pathetic condition of the park. The pool, which was once used by the children for swimming is now filled with stagnant water.

Mr Rameshwar, retired government employee, who seemed worried about the condition of the park said before his retirement he had thought that for his morning and evening walks he would come to the park, but looking at the condition of the park he could not even think of going inside.

Ms Rosy Mehta, mother of two kids, who lives nearby said on weekends they had to take kids to the Rose Garden, which was situated on the outskirts of the city.

The authorities concerned when contacted gave the reply that efforts were on to improve the condition of the park. “Paucity of the funds is a big hurdle,” said one of the senior officials of the department.


BSP (A) workers seek SHO’s transfer
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, December 3
To lodge their protest and stress for the transfer of Mr Bhola Singh, SHO, Sarhali BSP (Ambedkari) workers today staged a dharna in front of the office of the local SDM. The dharna will go on till December 17.

The workers were addressed by Mr M.M. Bhatti, Mr Mangal Singh, Ms Gurmeet Kaur, Ms Sawarn Kaur, Mr Lalit Kumar Lovely and others. They condemned the alleged mishebaviour meted out to a woman worker of the party by the said SHO. The leaders warned that the party would intensify its agitation if the SHO was not transferred without delay.


Dandavate hails JP as revolutionary
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, December 3
Prof Madhu Dandavate, former Union Finance Minister, addressed a gathering at Lajpat Rai Senior Secondary School here last evening. He said Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan was a great revolutionary. Having been a close associate of the Lok Nayak, Mr Dandavate talked about his aims.

The aims of the Lok Nayak had justified the means, he said. He had showed affinity with the Non-Cooperation Movement of Mahatma Gandhi and left college and went to the USA for higher studies under Gandhi ji’s influence.

Professor Dandavate said after coming back home in 1932, he had launched a socialist movement and proved himself as a great revolutionary. He was a pioneer of the permanent negotiating machinery in the field of trade unionism, he said.


Punjab has freed 1,315 prisoners
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
As many as 1,315 prisoners have been released due to special remission granted by the Punjab Government so far. In a statement issued here today, a spokesman of the state government said that 326 prisoners having short-term imprisonment had been released as a part of remission announced on the occasion of the bicentenary celebrations of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and 231 prisoners undergoing life imprisonment would also be released.


Water supply project opened
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 3
A Rs-77 crore project to provide potable water to residents of the district is underway. Under its first phase, 23 water supply schemes are being framed, improved or expanded, said Mr Chiranji Lal Garg, Science and Technology Minister, here today. He inaugurated a project of laying 4,700 feet of water supply pipes at Virak Kalan village of the district.

Mr Garg also laid the foundation stone for a project worth Rs 20 lakh to construct concrete distributaries here. While addressing the gathering Mr Garg said the state government had given special attention towards development of rural areas. He added that the work on all projects would be completed in time.


It’s do or die for BKU (E)
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 3
The Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta) BKU (E) has decided to adopt the do or die attitude for pressing the state government to accept their demands and for it an action plan under the same was being launched all over the states on December 13. It would be launched at a state-level conference of the union to be held at Badal village, native place of Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

Mr Pishora Singh, state president of the union, in a press note issued here today said in December blocks conferences would be held in the state and in January the same would be done at the district-level.


Bathinda gets best ophthalmology society award
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 3
The Bathinda Ophthalmological Society has been declared the best ophthalmology society in the state. This was announced at the fifth annual conference of the Punjab State Ophthalmological Society held at Faridkot on December 1 and 2.

Dr J.S. Gujral, Vice-Chancellor, Baba Farid University of Medical Sciences, Faridkot, gave the running trophy to the society. It was awarded for promoting scientific knowledge among the eye surgeons in and around the district and propagating the philosophy of eye donation. The branch has won the trophy for the second time in the past five years.

The Bathinda branch will also host the next annual conference of the state society.


‘Coop society profits not paid for 66 yrs’
Our Correspondent

Moga, December 3
Mr Kuldeep Singh Sandhu, former president of the Punjab unit of the Bharatiya Kisan Union said here yesterday that the members of the Maheshri Village Cooperative Society in the district had not been paid their annual profit for the past 66 years.

He said the society was inaugurated in 1935 by the then Deputy Commissioner of Ferozepore. He alleged that the profits of the said society had been misappropriated and demanded an inquiry into it.


Tubewell connections for blind
Our Correspondent

Patiala, December 3
The Punjab State Electricity Board [PSEB] has decided to process the issuing of demand notices to blind/handicapped applicants for agricultural tubewell connections who had registered their applications by August 31.

The PSEB, in a press note, informed that the applications of those who had registered after August 31, would be scrutinised as per the board’s future policy for release of tubewell connections.


Punjab fills slot of Commissioner
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
Mr N.S. Rattan has been posted as Financial Commissioner (Development) against a vacant slot by the Punjab Government. The post was vacated by Mr C.L. Bains, who has been appointed as Commissioner, State Election Commission.

Mrs Ravneet Kaur has been transferred to the Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration as its Director General. Mr G.K. Bhatnagar has been posted as Principal Secretary of the Department of Defence Services Welfare.


3 killed in road accidents
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 3
Three persons were killed and an equal number were injured in separate road mishaps in the district and nearby areas last evening.

One unidentified person was killed near Supal village when a Tata Sumo (PBO2-X-9877) after colliding with a horse cart lost its balance and struck him. The two persons driving the cart also sustained serious injuries in the accident. The driver of the Tata Sumo, Sukhdev Singh, of Manan village reportedly fled from the spot. A case has been registered on the statement of Swarn Singh, a resident of Jahangir village.

In another incident, one person was killed and another seriously injured in a car and tractor trailor collision. The trailor was reportedly over loaded and, hence, lost its balance and collided with the car. The driver of the car, Harwinder Singh died on the spot and his companion Karan Randhawa sustained serious injuries. The driver of the trailor reportedly ran away from the spot.

A case was registered under Sections 304-A, 279, 337, 338 and 427 of the IPC.

Meanwhile, one Bakshish Ram was run over by a bus (PB01-5068) at Batala, near here. According to reports, the victim died on the spot. A case has been registered on the statement of Om Parkash an eye witness and resident of Bank Colony, Batala, under Section 304-A.


Man killed by brother-in-law
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, December 3
Gurbax Singh (40), a resident of Lakhna village was reportedly killed by his relatives for money. The Khalra police has registered a case under Sections 302, 201 and 34, IPC, against four persons who allegedly killed him and also disposed of the body.

The police sources said that Gurbax Singh, who was a truck driver in Kolkata, came to Punjab with a large amount to purchase a new truck and stayed with his brother-in-law (sister’s husband) on the night of November 25 and 26 but went missing after that.

Santa Singh, father of the deceased, lodged a report with the police that his son-in-law Bakshish Singh, a resident of Bhandal village in connivance with Kulwant Singh of the same village and Chamman Singh and Bagicha Singh of Lakhana village killed his son to grab his money.


Contribution of public schools lauded
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 3
Private educational institutions are playing a big role in providing quality education to children in the state whereas the government has its own limitations and it had to plan the education system keeping in mind every section of society, said Mr Ajaib Singh Mukhmailpur, Minister for PWD, while addressing of foundation day-cum-annual function of Saffron City School.

He said public schools had contributed a lot to the uplift of education in the state. He said by providing quality education they had enabled the youth to complete with students of the other states. Appreciating the efforts of the school management to impart quality education as well as moral and character building education to the students of the area, particularly the rural youths, he said such schools were the need of the hour as still a large section of the society was outside the ambit of basic education, which must be provided at all the costs. He said in the present age of competition only those who had complete knowledge in every sphere would survive. He said the government would ensure all types of help to such institutions. He announced a grant of Rs 11,000 for the school.

Dr S.S. Dosanjh, Political Secretary of the Chief Minister, presided over the function. In his address, he called upon the parents to provide compulsory education to their children according to their capacity. He said it was the desire of every parent to provide the best education as these public schools were contributing a lot in serving the state and the community. He said the government was also making allout efforts to improve the standard of the education in the state.

Ms Jasdeep Kahlon, chairperson of the school, read the annual report and the achievement report of the school.

Mr S.S. Kahlon, president of the trust, gave a detailed information regarding the future plans of the trust in promoting the cause of education in the area. He said the needy and the deserving students were being provided education free of cost.

Ms Arvind Sakarsudha, Principal of the school, and Ms Amrit Kaur Guram, director of the school, also addressed the gathering and highlighted the achievements of the school.

On this occasion the children of the school presented a colourful cultural programme. Outstanding students as well as the winners in various competitions were honoured.


Pension scheme for aided colleges
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, December 3
Master Mahan Lal, Minister for Higher Education, talking to reporters at Narot Jaimal Singh today, said the Punjab Government had agreed in principle to cover employees of all 140 government-aided colleges in the state under the Pension Gratuity Scheme on par with their counterparts in government service.

Master Mohan Lal said the scheme had the approval of the Chief Minister and the Ministry for Higher Education. However, the Finance Ministry had imposed a condition that the scheme would be implemented by the college managements. He added that the Ministry for Higher Education was in constant touch with the Finance Ministry and was trying to bring it round to the point that the managements had inadequate funds at their disposal and could not implement the scheme in letter and in spirit.

The Minister for Higher Education appealed to the employees of the government-aided colleges not to resort to agitation as the Ministry for Higher Education was determined to get their demands conceded by the Finance Ministry.

Master Mohan Lal said all 140 managements of government-aided private colleges had contributed to the corpus fund for distribution of pension and gratuity to the employees. The rules in this regard could be amended from time to time in view of the prevailing conditions to regulate the grant of pension and gratuity to the employees of government-aided colleges.


Bathinda boy to do research at Canada institute
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 3
Harash Sukhija, student of BMIT (Ist year), DAV College, here has done his family, college and the region proud by getting selected for training and continuation of research work at the Canadian Institute of Scientific Computer Technology. Harash is one of the two Asian students who have been selected by the institute. He has been offered the annual salary of Rs 15, 84, 600 besides other perks.

Mr S. Marriya, Principal of the college, said Harash had topped an all-India-level competition conducted by the institute recently.


First DPS in Punjab to start at Jalandhar
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 3
The Delhi Public School Society has decided to open its first branch in Punjab at Jalandhar.

Stating this at a press conference here today, Mr Vipan Mahajan, Managing Trustee of Delhi Public School, said the school, recognised by the CSBE and spread over 10 acres of land on GT Road, would start functioning from March, 2002.

He said the school had famous personalities on its board, including renowned journalist Khushwant Singh, Chairman of the DPS Society Narinder Kumar, eminent educationists Rajiv Bhatnagar, S. Chona and Sharda Nayak.

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