Saturday, December 8, 2001, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Action against Talwandi deferred
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 7
The Sikh clergy today deferred any action against former SGPC chief Jagdev Singh Talwandi for using derogatory language against the high priests on the eve of Divali.

The marathon meeting of the Sikh clergy, which lasted three hours, decided to put off the issue for the second time. Sources said the ruling Akali Dal had reportedly urged the clergy to go slow on the issue as Mr Talwandi had welcomed the appointment of Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar at the recently held Political Affairs Committee of the SAD earlier, the high priests had taken serious note of the tearing of the ballot paper by Mr Talwandi in protest against the nomination of Prof Badungar as SGPC Chief due to his alleged links with the excommunicated Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara. The clerics felt that it was ‘contempt’ of Akal Takht as it had already cleared Prof Badungar of the charge.

Jathedar Vedanti, however, said Akal Takht was consulting representatives of various Sikh organisations before initiating action against Mr Talwandi. “We don’t want to take any hasty decision,” one of the high priests said.

It is pertinent to mention here that Mr Talwandi had earned the wrath of the Sikh clergy criticising the mild ‘tankhah’ (punishment for religious misconduct) given to Messers Jeewan Singh–Chattar Singh, publishers of the holy Guru Granth Sahib. However, the Sikh clergy could not initiate any action against on this issue too.

Mr Talwandi is also accused of presenting a ‘siropa’ to a Canada-based excommunicated Sikh, Mr Kashmira Singh, who had visited the Golden Temple along with Mr Ujjal Dosanj, the then Premier of British Columbia.

Meanwhile, the clergy pronounced ‘tankhah’ on Sant Shamsher Singh Jagera, president, International Sant Samaj, for allegedly having links with Baba Bhaniara even after his excommunication from the Sikh Panth.

Pronouncing the ‘tankhah’, Jathedar Vedanti directed Sant Jagera to clean utensils, dust shoes of devotees and listen to kirtan for five days each at the three Takhts. However, the case of Baba Dhanwant Singh was again put off without assigning any reason.

The meeting was attended by Jathedar Vedanti, Prof Manjit Singh, Giani Kewal Singh, Jathedars of Sri Kesgarh Sahib and Sri Damdama Sahib, respectively, Giani Bhagwan Singh, Head Granthi, Akal Takht, and Giani Jagtar Singh, priests, Golden Temple.

Notwithstanding the claim of Prof Badungar for bringing about a rapprochement between Giani Puran Singh and other Sikh high priests, he (Giani Puran Singh) did not attend the meeting of Akal Takht today.


Cong woos exservicemen
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, December 7
Seeing a potential vote bank among the exservicemen, efforts of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) to rope in retired defence personnel today saw over 100 exservicemen joining the Congress party at an ex-defence officers meet organised here today.

Senior Congress leader, Moti Lal Vora, who was present at the function along with the PPCC President, Capt Amarinder Singh, said in the coming General Assembly elections in four states, including Punjab, exservicemen, women and youth leaders would be given party tickets. He said candidates with good chance to win, clean image and no criminal record would be given the party tickets.

Capt Amarinder Singh said parleys for alliance with the CPI were going on. He said the distribution of seats should be based on the prospects to rout the Akali Dal-BJP alliance. The party chief said a total of 1048 candidates applied for the party ticket and of these 106 were women. The maximum 26 applications had come from Ludhiana. Of the total 21 district units of the party, 20 had applied, he said adding that the PPCC had recommended that the sitting MLA be fielded again. A six-member committee with Mr ND Tewari, Mr Moti Lal Vora, Capt Amarinder Singh and Mr Shiv Lal as its main members would screen the applications of the candidates.

Capt Amarinder Singh claimed there was a Congress wave in the coming general election. Promising to return the lost respect of the ex servicemen, he said: “We will make sure that retired defence personnel get priority in the redressal of their grievances. He said in the Akali-BJP alliance regime, economy had gone down and unemployment was on the rise. “ We will have to work hard to bring the state back on its feet”.

Lt Gen BKN Chibber (retd) , who is said to be instrumental in bringing the retired defence officers in the fold of the Congress, said there were lacunas in the reservation policy for exservicemen, especially for the personnel below the officer’s rank. “ If we come to power more jobs will be created for the jawans. A high-level independent ministry will be created to look into the problems of the defence personnel”, said Gen Chibber.

He said a majority of exservicemen did not vote as the status of a retired defence personnel had eroded. It is time the exservicemen to take active part in the elections and rally behind the party.

In today’s function, at least 18 retired generals and other senior ranking defence personnel led by Air Marshal RS Bedi ( Retd) joined the Congress.


7 killed, 2 hurt as car rams into truck
Our Correspondent

Sunam, December 7
Seven persons were killed and two injured when their car rammed into a truck parked on the Sunam-Patiala road, near here, last night.

Mr Davinder Attari, SHO, City, said the occupants of the car were returning to Sunam after attending a marriage at Cheeka when the mishap took place.

The deceased were identified as Subash Kumar, his wife Pooja Rani, son Puneet and daughter Daizy besides his sister-in-law Kanta Devi, niece Nailcy and driver Jatinder Singh. Two children in the car escaped miraculously and sustained only minor injuries.

A case has been registered under Section 304-A of the IPC and the truck and car have been impounded. The driver of the truck is absconding.

The bodies of the deceased were handed over to their families after a post-mortem at the local Civil Hospital. The bodies were cremated in the local Swarg Dwar cremation ground. Residents of the bus stand road area observed a bandh to mourn the untimely deaths.


I didn’t meet Sukhbir, says Baba Bedi
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 7
Baba Sarbjot Singh Bedi of the Panthic Morcha today denied having met Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal along with Mr Ravi Inder Singh, a former Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha at Chandigarh.

Baba Bedi said Mr Sukhbir Badal had come to meet his aunt who was staying with Mr Ravi Inder Singh . He said he and Mr Ravi Inder Singh were busy in a meeting in a separate room and there was no question of meeting Mr Sukhbir Badal and discussing the unity process of various Akali factions.

Baba Bedi ruled out the possibility of unity with the SAD (B) led by Mr Parkash Singh Badal and said such news were being spread on the eve of the Morcha conference.

The Morcha conference would announce some candidates for the Assembly election. All sitting MLAs having allegiance with the Morcha would be declared its official candidates for the election, he added.

Baba Bedi said invitations had been sent to Mr V.P. Singh, Mr Chander Shekhar and Mr I.K. Gujral, former Prime Ministers for participation in the conference on December 9. Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav had also been invited for the conference, he said.

Baba Bedi said Mr Kanshi Ram, president of the BSP, would participate in the conference. He , however, said that the Morcha would set up a committee to have seat adjustments with the BSP after the conference.


Armed Forces Flag Day celebrated
Our Correspondents

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 7
A function was organised here today to celebrate the Armed Forces Flag Day by the District Sainik Welfare Department. Mr Vilkas Partap, Deputy Commissioner, presided over the function. On this occasion Flag Day fund was collected by Capt Kesar Singh, Deputy Director, Sainik Welfare, by distributing Army flags among various officers present at the function.

Speaking on the occasion, the Deputy Commissioner exhorted the audience to recognise the yeoman service rendered by our brave soldiers while defending the frontiers of the country. He said many soldiers had sacrificed their lives and their families had to face hardships. He said all help should be extended to the ex-servicemen and the families of the martyrs on all occasions.

The Deputy Commissioner presented a cheque for Rs 5,000 to the family of a martyr, Lance Naik Gurmeet Singh of Sampla village, who lost his life recently while fighting terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.

Capt Kesar Singh and Mr Darshan Singh, District Public Relations Officer, also spoke on the occasion.

ROPAR: The local Sainik Welfare authorities observed the Armed Forces Flag Day on Friday by collecting donations for the welfare of ex-servicemen and their families. The campaign was started by pinning a flag on the Deputy Commissioner, Mr G.S. Grewal. The district Sainik Welfare Officer, Major Pashora (retd), said last year the local unit had collected Rs 1.5 lakh under the campaign which had been spent on the welfare of the destitute families of the local ex-servicemen.


Traffic awareness march held
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 7
Hundreds of students from different schools and their principals and NCC cadets participated in a traffic awareness march organised by the district police authorities here today.

The district police, as part of its fortnight campaign, had also launched a highway public address system at major intersections of the city. Earlier speaking at a function at the local bus stand, Mr C.S.R. Reddy, DIG, Jalandhar range, said it was a matter of great concern that more than 100 persons died every year in road accidents in the district.

Mr Gaurav Yadav, SSP, said they were planning to set up a traffic park at the local Police Lines for imparting knowledge about traffic rules to residents, particularly students. “Besides, public address systems (PAS) has been placed at four major traffic chowks, including the Jyoti Chowk, Football Chowk, Adda Hoshiarpur and the bus stand. These PASs will play pre-recorded general instructions about traffic rules and inform the public about directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in this regard”, Mr Yadav said.

Later, the march was flagged off by Mr Reddy. The march passed through the BMC Chowk, Guru Nanak Mission Chowk, Dr Ambedkar Chowk, and Jyoti Chowk before concluding at the Punjab National Bank Chowk. Students of Rabindra Day Boarding School, Innocent Heart Public School, Tagore Day Boarding School, Guru Amardass Public School and NCC cadets from different schools and colleges participated in the march.


Leader behind attack on nursing home: IMA
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 7
The president of the Indian Medical Association, Dr Hardeep Singh Deep, alleged here yesterday that the attack on a private nursing home this week was instigated by a senior Punjab leader causing damage to the hospital.

Addressing a press conference here Dr Deep said the leader provoked the villagers who were aggrieved over the death of a patient in the nursing home. The owner of the nursing home, Dr S.P. Singh, had provided all possible medical care to the patient. The IMA president said some villagers, including a political leader, instigated the crowd against the doctor and later caused damage to the nursing home.

The police registered a case under Section 304A, IPC against the doctor. 


Ultrasound unit refused registration
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, December 7
The District Advisory Committee constituted for the implementation of the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act — 1994 at its meeting here yesterday declined to recommend the registration of ultrasound unit of the Malerkotla Government Civil Hospital due to the absence of an expert doctor there as required under the Act. However, the case of the Civil Hospital has been kept pending for the time being.

The committee reviewed three applications for the registration of ultrasound centres at the meeting. It recommended only two applications submitted by two doctors of Ahmedgarh and Sangrur as they fulfilled the requisite conditions.

The meeting was attended among others by Mrs Kusam Garg, a social worker, Dr Surinder Singla, a representative of the IMA, Dr P.S. Sibia and Dr P.S. Klair, both from the local Civil Hospital, and Dr Suresh Goyal, District Family Welfare Officer, Sangrur.

The committee also recommended to the district health authorities that nursing homes and clinics allegedly carrying out abortions, should be regularly raided by the Civil Surgeon and the raiding team should have at least one woman member of the District Advisory Committee.


German injection for paralytic attack
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 7
A former head of the Department of Neurology of the local Medical College, Dr Ashok Uppal, said there was new hope for the treatment of people suffering from paralysis attack.

Addressing a gathering of over 150 doctors from all over the state, Dr Uppal said the treatment had to start within three hours of the attack with a special German injection which immediately dissolved the clot in the brain.

He said with this treatment the patient would start recovering soon and get cured up to 90 per cent within a few days.

Talking about the preventive aspect, Dr Uppal said people prone to heart attack should get their blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol level checked regularly. 


Former SAD district chief arrested
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 7
Mr Pardeep Singh Walia, former president, Shiromani Akali Dal (Urban), who was wanted in two cases of alleged land grabbing was arrested by the Civil Lines police when he visited the police station with a view to secure the release of some persons.

Though Mr Walia was recently removed as president by the ruling party yet he continues to claim that he was the chief of the city jatha.

Mr Parmpal Singh, DSP, said Mr Walia was arrested under Sections 452, 427, 506, 447, 149 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code. A case was registered against Mr Walia about six months back at the Civil Lines and the Kotwali police stations, on a complaint lodged by Mr Surinder Singh Sandhu and the president of Shiwala temple.

Sources said Mr Walia was arrested on the directions of Mr Harnek Singh, district police chief.

Mr Walia was produced before the CJM who remanded him in judicial custody till December 20.


Police sheltering suspect: villagers
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 7
Residents of Bhikha Nangal village today alleged that the police was sheltering Amarjit Singh who allegedly tried to murder a Scheduled Caste woman of the same village on November 12.

The residents led by the press secretary of the Pendu Mazdoor Union, Punjab, Mr Kashmir Singh Ghugshor, alleged that Amarjit Singh of Bhikha Nangal village in Kartarpur had tried to murder a Scheduled Caste woman Bansho on November 12. Though the matter was brought to the notice of the Kartarpur police on the same day, yet it did not register a case for seven days after the incident, they alleged. A case was registered on November 19 on the intervention of the SSP, Mr Kashmir Singh said.

The 40-year-old Bansho said Amarjit Singh was roaming scot-free and was threatening her with dire consequences, if she further pursued the case.

The residents threatened to hold a protest dharna in front of the Kartarpur police station on December 16, if the authorities failed to arrest the accused. When contacted, the DSP (Rural), Mr O.S. Ghumman, said he was conducting an inquiry into the case and the final report would be submitted to the SSP within three days.


Rlys using anti-collision devices
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Gidderbaha, December 7
To check accidents, the Indian Railways have started using anti-collision devices that are fitted in front of diesel engines.

Stating this at a press conference here recently, the Union Railway Minister, Mr Dig Vijay Singh, said the trials of the anti-collision device were being done on the Northern Frontier Mail and, so far the reports were positive. The anti-collision device, which cost about Rs 4 lakh automatically comes into action when two trains come in front of each other on the same track and are on the verge of collision. The device automatically applied the breaks of both the trains which come to a halt immediately and prevent a collision.

The minister said that for bringing more safety in the Railways’ operations, about 700 unmanned level crossings had been converted into manned crossing with the help of funds given by MPs in their respective constituencies.

He disclosed that about Rs 22,000 crore was needed for laying new railway lines while Rs 10,000 crore was needed for conversion of rail track to broad gauge from meter gauge. Against the requirement of the total Rs 32,000 crore, only Rs. 1400 crore had been spared for the Indian Railway in the current financial year. He added that position of availability of funds showed that it would take a long time for the authorities to execute their projects.

To overcome this problem, the Railway authorities had constituted nine zonal construction corporations with the involvement of states falling in that zones. With the formation of construction corporation, the Railway authorities could execute maximum projects within a short time.

The minister said that priorities of Railway Ministry were track renewal, replacement of old bridges and bogies and wagons. He added that in the past five years the maximum number of railway overbridges and underbridges had been constructed in Punjab as compared to any other state.


Old-age home for mentally challenged
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

A unique old-age home meant exclusively for mentally challenged persons will start functioning next month in Sular village on the outskirts of Patiala.

Set up by Sadhu Basant Trust next to Navjivani School for the Mentally Retarded, the home, in its first phase, will house 30 inmates. It will offer the mentally handicapped persons a package under which they will be provided boarding, lodging and medical care.

The manager of the Trust , Dr N.S. Sodhi, said the home was set up considering the apprehensions of some parents of handicapped adults that the siblings of these unfortunate persons might not look after them when the parents are no more. It was generally felt that siblings tended to neglect the mentally handicapped adults after the death of their parents. He said since these adults also had a share in the property of their parents, many parents had been persuaded to donate a fixed amount to form a corpus fund to be used to look after them. Dr Sodhi also received donations from Indians abroad.

Integrated special dormitories for men and women and a warden’s house have been built in two sections of the building. Space has also been created for recreational activities.

* * *

In the death of Dr N.D. Aggarwal, Patiala has lost a leading light in the field of medicine. Dr Aggarwal was the founder of the Orthopaedic Department in the Government Medical College at Patiala. He was the seniormost Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery among all medical college in Punjab and had a teaching experience of 22 years. He will be remembered as an excellent teacher and an experienced surgeon. He was awarded the Padma Shree in 1982 in recognition of his contribution to orthopaedics.

* * *

The Apeejay Education Society, Delhi, an organisation which runs a large number of schools and colleges, has decided to sponsor Punjabi plays of the National Theatre Arts Society (NTAS). Dr Stya Paul, president of the Apeejay Education Society, has asked the Director of NTAS, Mr Pran Sabharwal, to prepare some humorous and value-based plays to be staged in Apeejay institutions.


Badungar’s notice to ‘Desh Sevak’
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 7
Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar, SGPC chief, today served a defamation notice on the printer, editor and publisher of ‘Desh Sevak’ for publishing his ‘super-imposed ‘picture with excommunicated Sikh Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara.

The press note issued by the SGPC said the paper had been asked to seek an unconditional apology for publishing the picture (allegedly manipulated with computer) otherwise a defamation case would be filed in court.


Water in LPG cylinder
Our Correspondent

Patiala, December 7
A chartered accountant, Mr Sanjay Gupta, alleged that his LPG distributing gas agency in Samania Gate, Patiala, delivered an Indane cylinder (sr no 022949) full of water.

According to him, the manager refused to replace the LPG cylinder in spite of being satisfied that the cylinder was having water in it.


Petrol station looted, attendant shot
Our Correspondent

Ropar, December 7
Robbers struck at a petrol station on the Ropar-Chandigarh road at Kurali, early morning today, killing the attendant and looting cash.

According to police sources, the robbers came to the R.B. Sales Petrol Station, near the Kurali bus stand, on a scooter and a motor cycle at about 5.30 a.m. They asked Mr Manjit Singh, attendant present at that time, to fill the tanks of their vehicles. Later they made the payment and followed the attendant into the building of the petrol station.

Once inside the building, one of the robbers took out a revolver and told the attendant to hand over the cash to them. The attendant resisted and in the causing scuffle one of the robbers allegedly fired from the revolver injuring him. The injured attendant followed the robbers outside the petrol station and grabbed one of them. Unnerved, one of the robbers shot the attendant in the neck. He later succumbed to his injuries.

The SSP, Ropar, Mr G.P.S. Bhullar, said it seemed to be the work of amateur robbers. The police had collected some clues and the culprits would be apprehended soon, he added.

Meanwhile, all petrol stations in the district suspended operations till afternoon today in protest against the killing. The Association of Petrol Station Owners has demanded better security for their workers working during the night.


Arrested for impersonation
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 7
P.K. Sabharwal, who had allegedly swindled about Rs 15 lakh by giving fake appointment letters to 11 persons, has been booked on charges of impersonation.

Mr Manminder Singh, DSP, recommended the registration of a criminal case against Sabharwal who allegedly duped unemployed persons. He told the unsuspecting unemployed youths that he was the director at the Food Corporation of India. They were issued the fake appointment letters under his seal and signature.

However, when the victims took the appointment letters to the FCI for joining their duties, the scam was unearthed. They were told that Sabharwal was not an employee of the FCI. A case under Sections 406, 420, 467 and 468 of the IPC has been registered.


Varsity remembers Maharaja
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
To perpetuate the memory of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Guru Nanak Dev University today presented a set of 17 books on the life, state and administration of the sovereign ruler to the Punjab Governor, Lt-Gen J. F.R. Jacob (retd), here today. The set was presented by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr S.P. Singh, who gave a brief account of what all the university intended to do to spread the Maharaja’s message of ‘’secularism and haleemi raj’’. This would be done by organising sports and cultural events and instituting prizes and trophies in the name of the Maharaja.

General Jacob, as a return gift to the university, presented a rare photograph of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. An outstanding feature of the simple function at Raj Bhavan was that those faculty members who were authors, editors or acted as translators of works related to Maharaja Ranjit Singh were presented by the Governor with a copy each of their own works along with royalty. Apart from the set of 17 books, at least 13 more were in the pipeline in the university’s Publication Bureau.

General Jacob, who has studied the Maharaja as a soldier and strategist to plan training and wars with the necessary logistic support, spoke his heart out in praise of the Maharaja as well as the university that has done ‘’excellent’’ work by presenting to the people the reign of the Maharaja highlighting his civil and military systems. The Governor said: ‘’Legends of the Maharaja’s reign make interesting reading, especially from the folk psychology viewpoint’’. His was the only army that was fully paid and professional with 92,000 infantry, 32,000 cavalry and nearly 400 artillery pieces.

The Maharaja’s French connections and appointment of European Generals to modernise his army speaks volumes of his 40 years’ rule that sparkles with communal harmony, federalism and brotherhood. The Vice-Chairman of the National Commission on Minorities, Mr Tarlochan Singh, suggested that the Chandigarh Administration must also get involved in celebrating the bicentenary of the coronation of the Maharaja.

He said the celebrations that started with a function to mark the release of a stamp at Rashtrapti Bhavan in New Delhi was culminating at Raj Bhavan today with the release of a set of 17 books. He made a pointed reference to historians ignoring the role and reign of the Maharaja.


Minister: pension to govt-aided college staff
as per Act
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
On the controversy of giving pensionary benefits to teachers of privately run government-aided colleges in Punjab, the Minister for Higher Education, Master Mohan Lal, today reiterated that the staff of these colleges would get pensionary benefits as per the Pensionary Benefits Act of 1999.

A deputation of privately managed aided colleges called on him today. He said a concrete proposal would be sent to the Finance Department for its concurrence and a detailed memorandum submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval.

Welcoming the statement of the Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Master Mohan Lal said there was no controversy between the Departments of Finance and Education. The Higher Education Minister also appealed to the teachers, who are on a path of agitation and courting arrests, to resume their duties in the larger interest of the students.


Youth festival put off
Agitating teachers storm meeting
Our Correspondent

Ropar, December 7
The agitating teachers of the aided colleges of the district today forced the postponement of the Ropar zone youth festival that was scheduled to be held at Government College here from December 10 to 12. The striking teachers today stormed into the meeting being held at the college to discuss the arrangements for the festival and demanded its postponement.

The Dean, Human Resources Development, Punjabi University, Mr Daljit Singh, who was here to attend the meeting, told newsperson that taking a sympathetic view of the demand of the teachers of the aided colleges, the youth festival of the Ropar zone had been postponed. He added that it would now be held from December 20 to 22. When asked if the youth festival would again be postponed if the strike continued, he replied in the negative.

The acting district president of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union, Mr Prabjit Singh, while talking to newspersons later said that if the government did not yield to their demands, the aided colleges would not participate in the youth festivals.

Earlier, the private colleges’ teachers of the district staged a dharna in front of the Ropar Mini Secretariat and raised slogans against the government. They also submitted a memorandum of their demands to Mr G.S. Grewal Deputy Commissioner.

PHAGWARA: As part of their ongoing struggle, the private college teachers of the Phagwara block today staged a dharna and demonstration in front of the residence of the Punjab Tourism Minister, Mr Swarna Ram, here in protest against the non-implementation of the Pension and Gratuity Act.

Prof Gurnam Singh Khalon, acting president, PCCTU, Prof Jasbir Singh Dhaliwal, district president of the union, Prof Parveen Kaur, Prof Gurnam Singh, Prof Gurdip Singh Dham, Prof J.S. Gandam, Prof Ashok Chaddha, union leaders from various colleges, addressed the rally.

The speakers gave a “do or die” call to the teachers and blamed the Punjab Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, for creating hurdles in the implementation of the Act. 


Striking teachers get AIFUCTO support
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 7
The All-India Federation of University and College Teachers Organisation (AIFUCTO) has extended its support to the struggle launched by the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union. The national secretary of the AIFUCTO, Dr V.K. Tewari, in a press note issued here today said the teachers were totally justified in continuing their agitation for the implementation of the Pension and Gratuity Act which was notified on April 26, 1999.

He said the Minister for Higher Education, Master Mohan Lal, had said that the government had confirmed to release the pension and gratuity as per the decision of the Cabinet and had blamed the Finance Minister for sabotaging the move to implement the decision. 


PCCTU rally in front of minister’s house
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 7
Members of the district unit of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teacher’s Union in continuation with their agitation held a rally in the city and sat on a dharna in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner here today. They also held a protest rally in front of the residence of Mr Chiranji Lal Garg, Science and Technology Minister.

Mr R.K. Deora, secretary of the union, in a press note issued here today said the teachers would intensify their struggle.

He added that the teachers were up in arms against the callous attitude of state government and alleged that instead of listening to their demands the government had send their representatives to jail. He further said that they would also participate in the state-level rally to be held at Chandigarh on December 10.


ETT candidates jam traffic
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 7
Hundreds of ETT holders, who have been selected as teachers by the Punjab Government in the recent past, along with their parents and others today jammed the traffic in front of the District Education Office (DEO) complex on the Mall Road in protest against the denial of issuance of appointment letters to them by the district education (primary) authorities.

The ETT holders, who have been selected, alleged that for the past three days, they were being harassed by the authorities in connection with the issuance of appointment letters. They added that DEO (Primary) was not available, despite his assurance that all selected candidates would get appointment letters today.

The candidates were also protesting over the fact that merit lists and a list of places where the posts were lying vacant had not been displayed for public use and information, despite the fact that education authorities had promised to do so in front of senior police and civil officials when the candidates had protested against this high-handedness and staged a dharna on December 5.

The protesters were demanding that the candidates should be allotted their place of posting according to their positions in the merit lists and the appointment letters should be issued to them immediately in the presence of senior Education Department authorities.

They alleged that the authorities were not issuing appointment letters to them, despite their selection as they wanted to accommodate, in lieu of some consideration, those candidates who had done B.Ed.

The protesters also submitted a memorandum to the DC, Mr J.S. Dani. The DEO (Primary) was not available for comments.


DC’s directive to teachers
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 7
Mr R. Venkatratnam, Deputy Commissioner, has issued a directive for the teachers of the district to be present on duty from today till Sunday without fail. The directive was issued in connection with a survey to be done under the Sarav Sikhiya Abhiyan in the district.

In a press note, the Deputy Commissioner said in urban areas teachers of secondary schools would take up the task and in rural areas teachers of primary schools will do the job. He said the public should give full cooperation to the teachers as the survey would be helpful in identifying those who wanted to get education.


Disagreement on tariff may delay BSNL project
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 7
Mobile telephone facility through the BSNL may yet take another six months before it is introduced in Punjab with the Punjab Telecom Circle not being able to agree to the tariff structure as proposed by the Swedish company which is collaborating in the project.

Punjab circle Chief General Manager S.C. Chaudhary while talking to newspersons here, said talks with the Swedish company, Riksin, had been held up with both parties not being able to agree on the tariff rates to be charged. He said the BSNL had requested the foreign company to reduce its tariff structure.

Mr Chaudhary said the BSNL had fixed a target of establishing 65 new telephone exchanges in the state by March, 2002, but was able to open only 25 new exchanges. He said the number of connections allotted to new consumers had increased from 1 lakh, last year, to 1.5 lakh during the corresponding period.

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