Friday, April 5, 2002, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Punjab plan on crop diversification
Seeks Rs 1,000 cr to begin with
P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
Punjab has framed a plan to encourage farmers to shift from paddy and sow maize in kharif and rapeseed and mustard instead of wheat in rabi. This diversification policy is as per the guidelines of the Centre. But unless the Centre assures marketing and a minimum support price (MSP), as in the case of paddy and wheat, farmers will not switch over.

This was explicitly stated by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, during a discussion with the visiting high-level committee on long-term grain policy, constituted by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. The committee is headed by Prof Abhijit Sen. Besides the Chief Minister, the meeting was attended by the Minister for Agriculture, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, the Minister for Finance and Food Supplies, Mr Lal Singh, and officials, including the Principal Secretary, Food and Supplies, Mr B.R. Bajaj, and the Chairman-designate of the proposed Committee on Agriculture, Dr S.S. Johl.

Punjab has worked out the cost of cultivation and comparative returns from 11 principal crops. It has identified that maize can replace paddy in kharif. The net return from paddy is Rs 14,167 per hectare, against Rs 4,142 per hectare in the case of maize. Therefore, if the area under paddy is to be curtailed, farmers will have to be assured of a minimum support price for maize and compensation for parity with paddy to the tune of Rs 10,000 per hectare. In the next kharif, it is proposed to divert two lakh hectares to maize from paddy and pay Rs 10,000 per hectare to farmers of Ludhiana, Sangrur, Jalandhar, Nawanshahr, Moga and Patiala.

The compensation will be paid in September/October after getting girdawri verification from the patwari.

In rabi, it is proposed to divert 1.5 lakh hectares in Ferozepore, Bathinda, Muktsar, Mansa, Sangrur, Faridkot and Moga to rapeseed and mustard from wheat with farmers being paid Rs 10,000 per hectare for the switchover because the net return from wheat is Rs 18,104 per hectare and from rapeseed and mustard, Rs 7,194 per hectare. Punjab has demanded Rs 1,000 crore for this to begin with.

Punjab opposed dismantling and decentralising state procurement and the MSP. In case this is done, Punjab must be fully reimbursed for the losses that accrued. It laid stress on revamping the public distribution system, scrapping the targeted public distribution system and increasing the quota of foodgrains to above poverty line (APL) and below poverty line (BPL) families.

Punjab has 650,209 BPL rural and 2.16 lakh BPL urban families. It has pleaded that the Centre revise its earlier figure of 4.35 lakh BPL families to 8.66 lakh and enhance the foodgrain quota from 25 kg per family, per month, to 80 kg, as per the directive of the apex court.

Capt Amarinder Singh also raised this point: “It is extremely important to examine whether farmers continue to produce and perish or produce a bumper harvest knowing well there are no buyers. Should farmers be forced to commit suicide for producing more? And for how long should the hungry millions wait while the overflowing godowns of grains are devastated by pests and rodents?”

Punjab has favoured a two-tier MSP for paddy — one for the common variety and the other for Grade A. Several specific suggestions in respect of paddy milling and specifications have also been made. It has laid stress on the quicker outgo of wheat. Its stock is 116 lakh tonnes since 1997-98.


MC elections on May 19
Tribune News Service

  • The state Election Commission has directed that no payment should be made out of discretionary grants or funds on the eve of the municipal corporation election
  • The commission has also imposed a ban on new projects

Chandigarh, April 4
Close on the heels of the election for the Malout Assembly seat, the polling for which ended this evening, the Punjab Government today announced the holding of elections to all four municipal corporations in the state next month.

Elections to the Municipal Corporations of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Patiala will be conducted on May 19, the state Election Commission said. A notification calling upon the voters of these corporations to elect their new representatives will be issued on May 6.

The Election Commission has also requested the state government to ban the postings, transfers and shifting of officials at the district level and those connected with the preparation of the electoral rolls and the election process till the completion of the poll process. This request may have come as a big relief to those employees who were anticipating their transfers as per a new policy which is expected to be finalised soon. Since the election process will continue until May 22, all such transfers at the district level in at least four important districts will be stayed for the time being.

Since the term of the Jalandhar Municipal Corporation expires on May 22, the state Election Commissioner, Mr C.L. Bains, said that the entire poll process would be completed before that day. The commission has already issued the programme for the preparation of the electoral rolls in all four corporation cities. The process, which started on April 1, will be completed on April 30 with the publication of the electoral rolls.

Mr Bains maintained that it was a huge task and needed massive manpower to complete it.

Several thousand employees will be put on election duty to ensure the smooth conduct of a free and fair poll.

In a communication addressed to the state Chief Secretary, Mr Y.S. Ratra, the Director-General of Police, Mr M.S. Bhullar, and the Principal Secretary, Local Government, Mr Sarvesh Kaushal, Mr Bains requested that a list of officials available for election duty should be provided to the state Election Commission. The commission wants employees of other directorates posted in the corporation cities to be put on election duty as the staff of the offices of the Deputy Commissioners may not be adequate for the purpose.

Further, Mr Bains maintained that though under the Constitution and the law, the superintendence, direction and control of elections was vested in the state Election Commission, it still needed cooperation and help from the state government, especially the civil administration.

Since the number of polling booths and polling stations will be fairly large, the Home and Police Departments have been requested to make adequate arrangements by deploying security personnel in all four cities well in advance so as to ensure the maintenance of law and order.


Badal: Malout byelection a shameful experience
Tribune News Service

Malout, April 4
The Shiromani Akali Dal President and former Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today described the conduct of the Assembly poll in this constituency as “the darkest chapter in the history of democracy in the country and the most shameful experience for the electoral politics since 1947.

“In my 50-year-long political career, I have never come across such brazen misuse of authority, especially of the police force, by any ruling party. It was the Akali Dal versus the Punjab police with several other government department in tow,” he alleged.

In a statement at the conclusion of the poll this evening, Mr Badal said he had heard stories of such vandalism in Bihar but today’s events made even Bihar experience look civilised in comparison.

Mr Badal said the role of the Election Commission throughout this election had raised doubts about its impartiality. The Election Commission, that had shown such alacrity in reaching even to mild media reports during the February poll, remained a mute witness to the events today.

In February, the Election Commission acted suo motu and suspended officers of rank of the deputy commissioners on flimsy grounds and anonymous complaints. But in Malout despite repeated complaints and well-authenticated and independent media reports, they refused to act against even a single constable, leave aside any senior police functionary, who indulged in widescale acts of terrorising Akali and BJP workers and helped the Congress to capture booths at several places, he alleged.

Even Mrs Usha, R. Sharma, Additional Chief Electoral Officer Punjab was biased against Akalis, he further alleged.


Promotion scam’ in research institute
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 4
The Congress government which claims to have launched a drive to eradicate corruption seems to be in the dock as six employees of the Irrigation and Power Institute here have been promoted, allegedly in the violation of the service rules.

As per details available with The Tribune, Mr Kuldip Singh, laboratory attendant, Mr Ram Sarup, head laboratory attendant, Mr Ashwani Kumar, silt observer, Mr Rakesh Kumar, laboratory attendant, and Mr Aswani Kumar and Mr Om Parkash, both silt observers, have been promoted as research assistants. The same Chief Engineer had earlier promoted two employees by giving “undue relaxation”.

According to sources, this is for the first time that such low-ranking employees have been directly promoted as research assistants. The sources pointed out that these employees did not possess the requisite qualifications. However, a senior official of the research institute claimed that the promotions were made as per the rules but admitted that the Secretary, Irrigation and Power, had sought the record pertaining to the promotion of the eight employees at Chandigarh. He claimed that the Secretary had expressed “satisfaction” over the promotions.

The Punjab Public Works Department (irrigation branch) research assistants state service class III rules, 1956, reads: “By promotion from amongst analysts or silt analysts or other ranks already working in the institute or laboratories under the control of the institute provided, the official so promoted is reported to be fit for research work expected of research assistants and had worked in the institute or laboratories for at lest five years and has also passed the F.Sc examination of a recognised university”.

Interestingly, the employees promoted recently are BA qualified. Students of arts were never promoted as research assistants in the past.

The official spokesman, however, feigned ignorance when asked whether any research assistant or silt observer was ever directly promoted as research assistant. One of the beneficiaries was working in he administrative branch instead of the laboratory.


5,000 cops relieved of VIP security duty
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 4
About 5,000 personnel of the Punjab police have been withdrawn from VIP security duty and put on policing in the districts as part of the exercise to curtain security provided to prominent persons.

The state police authorities have been busy curtailing the security provided to VIPs and VVIPs during the days of militancy. A large number of political leaders, social activists and other VIPs were provided security cover by the state police. After the containment of militancy, there has been a review of the security cover from time to time but still a large number of policemen were on security duty in the state.

The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, has said that the expenditure on the state police has risen to about Rs 1,000 crore from Rs 60 crore in 1980, ordering that measures should be taken to ensure economy.

Inquiries made by this correspondent showed that politicians and others enjoyed the cover of police security during the five-year rule of the SAD-BJP combine in the state.

Under the latest review of the security cover, the state police has curtailed the security cover of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, a former Chief Minister, and his son, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal. However, Mr Badal’s Z-plus security cover has been retained. The security provided to Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, a former SGPC President, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, SGPC chief, and Bibi Jagir Kaur, also a former SGPC President, has also been curtailed.

The Chief Minister, who has a separate security wing, has also reduced his own security cover. The security of former ministers and MLAs has also been reduced.

The Punjab police authorities have also assured the Punjab and Haryana High Court that the security provided to VIPs and VVIPs was being reviewed and the criterion for providing security cover will be the threat perception. This assurance has been held out in a writ petition filed in the high court against the security cover provided to certain persons at the cost of the state exchequer.

A senior officer of the Punjab police told this correspondent that security would be provided keeping in view the threat perception. He said they were now trying to economise the security cover and utilise maximum possible number of policemen for policing.

In future, the security cover will be provided by personnel of the Punjab Armed Police (PAP) and the IRB. Trained personnel of the Punjab police will be sent to the districts for performing law-and-order duty. The review of the security cover has also resulted in the availability of a large number of vehicles.

The security cover of police officials themselves has also been reduced to a great extent.

It may be mentioned here that there had been large-scale misuse of the security cover by politicians and others, including police officials of the state.


Youths kill NRI, son-in-law hurt
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 4
Panic gripped the city when an elderly NRI was shot dead and his son-in-law was injured by two unidentified scooter-borne youths in the Basti Danishmandan locality late tonight.

The victim Joga Singh (65) belonged to England and had come to India on March 20, while his son-in-law Santokh Singh was a local resident.

The incident occurred when Joga Singh and Santokh Singh were returning from latter's property dealer shop situated in the densely populated Basti Danishmandan at around 9.30 p.m.

According to eye-witnesses questioned by the police, two scooter-borne youngsters, followed them and shot resulting in on the spot death of Joga Singh and serious injuries to Santokh Singh, who was later admitted to the Civil Hospital. Assailants, however, fled the scene.

While the police said the incident could be an outcome of some property dispute, it caused panic in the bastis area where people were seen running helter-skelter for security. Later, the police laid nakas in the city to arrest the assailants. Mr Parmjit Singh Gill, SSP, said a red alert had been sounded.


Morcha, SHSAD not to share stage
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, April 4
The Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) will not share the stage with other constituents of Panthic Morcha on April 13 on the occasion of Baisakhi at Talwandi Sabo.

This was stated in a press note issued here today by Mr Ishatpal Singh Khialiwala, District president of the party. He said they would organise a conference on their own.

He further said workers, office-bearers of the party would participate in a meeting to be convened by the district leadership on April 6 at Talwandi Sabo in connection with the conference.

Meanwhile, in a separate press note, Mr Khialiwala has welcomed the recommendations of the committee for constitution review that the Sikhs should be considered a separate community and not be merged with the Hindus.

He said it was a long-standing demand of the Akalis that the Sikhs should be given separate identity. He added that various morchas were launched by them in the past. He added that the recommendations should be adopted in letter and spirit.


End morcha quota, say freedom fighters
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 4
Close on the heels of the ouster of the Akali-BJP government, freedom fighters have appealed to the Punjab Government to do away with the reservation granted to persons who have participated in the Sheesh Ganj and Punjabi suba morchas in the category meant for wards of freedom fighters in various educational institutions in the state.

The Akali-BJP government had granted reservation to wards of persons who had undergone at least three months of imprisonment in connection with the emergency, the Sheesh Ganj morcha, the Punjabi suba morcha and the dharam yudh morcha.

Freedom fighters are also sore that not only has the reservation for their wards reduced from 2 per cent to 1 per cent, but also another category from various morchas have been included which would affect their wards. Freedom fighter and former Principal Prof Hans Raj said the Akali-BJP government had changed the rules last year to include wards of the Punjab morcha and other recent struggles in the head which was earlier reserved for freedom fighters.

Prof Hans Raj claimed the Akali-BJP government had discriminated against freedom fighters whose wards were eligible for admission to various medical and technical colleges and universities.


Cop injured in accidental fire
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, April 4
Head Constable Harbhajan Singh was injured by a bullet accidentally fired from a revolver by a constable at the local police lines today.

According to police sources, the head constable was sitting in the armoury room reading newspaper when Mr Shivdev Singh SHO, Subhanpur police station, came to change his service revolver for being defective and handed it over to Constable Paramjit Singh. But instead of unloading the revolver the constable pressed the trigger accidentally resulting in firing of bullet which hit the head constable in his stomach.

The head constable has been admitted to the local civil hospital where he is said to be out of danger.

Mr R.N. Dhoke, Senior Superintendent of Police, has deputed SP (Operations) to conduct enquiry into the incident.


Keetu’s bail plea rejected
Our Correspondent

Barnala, April 4
In a significant development, the bail application of Mr Malkiat Singh Keetu, MLA was rejected by Mr Rakesh Gupta, Civil Judge (Junior Division)-cum-Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Barnala.

After listening to the arguments of the defence counsel and the prosecution yesterday Mr Rakesh Gupta had said he would pronounce his orders today.


Two injured in firing incident
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, April 4
Nahar Singh and Narinder Singh, both of Kular Khurad village near here, were admitted with bullet injuries to the local Civil Hospital last evening. Both were involved in an altercation which led to a firing incident. Both were out of danger and under treatment at the hospital.

Mr Gurpreet Singh Toor, SP (D), said Mr Kirpal Singh of the same village had sent a box of sweets to Nahar Singh in connection with an engagement ceremony of his grand-daughter.


Canal water till May 15 sought
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, April 4
Mr Hartej Singh Mehta and Mr Balwinder Singh, district president and general secretary of the Sarb Hind Youth Akali Dal (SHYAD), respectively, have urged the authorities concerned that the supply of water in canals and distributaries in the district should not be stopped till May 15.

In a press note issued here today, the two said that they had apprised the Deputy Commissioner and officials of the Irrigation and Canal Department of need of water till May 15 for sowing cotton.

They said that a large part of district was under the cotton cultivation which was sown till second week of May. During that period, the need for canal water was the maximum as the ground water in the area was not fit for irrigation.

They added that since the cotton sown late was more prone to the attack of American bolloworm, farmers preferred to sow it earlier for which they needed water.


CM clips wings of OSDs
Tribune News Service

Hoshiarpur, April 4
In an apparent bid to curtail political interference in administrative matters and to bring more transparency, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has conveyed to all heads of department and Deputy Commissioners that his orders would be conveyed to them only through the Chief Secretary and the Principal Secretary.

These orders have, however, discomforted political functionaries and even some senior Congressmen since they feel their wings have been clipped and cannot influence administrative decisions like transfers of lower and middle-rung officials.

The orders of the Chief Minister, conveyed by the Department of General Administration on March 21, clearly mentions that his orders would only be passed through the two senior officers.

The order warned all heads of department and Deputy Commissioners that they should not act on the “orders” conveyed by political secretaries or Officers of Special Duty (OSDs) else action would be taken against them.

“The Chief Minister Punjab has desired to convey that his orders, instructions, directions, advice or guidelines to any functionary(s) of the Punjab Government will only be conveyed through the Chief Secretary to the government and the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister. Any communication from political secretaries, Officers on Special Duty or any one else on behalf of the Chief Minister, Punjab, should not be acted upon. If any action is taken by any functionary or communication on behalf of the Chief Minister routed otherwise than through the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, and the Chief Secretary, then such an officer will be personally responsible for the consequences,” said the orders issued with signatures of the Under Secretary, Coordination.

The orders further said any communication received directly from the Chief Minister may also be confirmed through the CS of the Principal Secretary before taking any action and advised the officers that the instructions should be complied with “meticulously”.


MC refuses to take back its staff
Our Correspondent

Abohar, April 4
Seventysix employees of the Municipal Council here who were on deputation with the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board (PWSSB) for past two years, were relieved on April 1 by the board but they have not been taken back by the council.

The board had decided to relinquish the responsibility of maintaining the water works and sewerage system as the council failed to reimburse Rs 15 lakh to the board on account of maintenance bills despite repeated reminders, board sources said.

The council had vested the responsibility with the PWSSB as it had no technical staff to run the drinking water and sewerage system. The board had enhanced drinking water tax from Rs 10 to Rs 40 per tap to provide “better services” to the consumers. Flush charges were increased from Rs 100 to Rs 120 per seat per annum. Even then there were complaints of foul smell in drinking water supplied by the PWSSB and sewage, too, had been overflowing. Not only streets, but even public parks remained flooded with sewage for weeks. The PWSSB could not get sewer pipes replaced for more than 20 months at the old Fazilka road, causing cracks in the building on both sides of the road. The citizens were not satisfied with the working of the board even after paying the hiked taxes.

Meanwhile, the Municipal Council, which has been spending nearly 85 per cent of its income on salaries and other contingencies for the past four years, was put in a serious financial crisis allegedly due to wrong policies. The council was to pay more than Rs 40 lakh to the contractors against billing for development works during the preceding five-year period when the Congress was in power. The new administration headed by the BJP increased the debt to Rs 70 lakh by taking up more projects reportedly under political and other considerations.

The council failed to utilise the grant amounting Rs 40 lakh from the District Planning Board, allegedly due to internal frictions. The Chief Minister sanctioned more than Rs 1 crore to the council for specified development works pending in the wards represented by the councillors of the ruling alliance last year. However, the money was received too late and more than 50 per cent of it could not be utilised. The contractors have been struggling in vain to get their bills paid.

The Municipal Employees Union today staged a dharna at the office of the municipal president. The employees, who had been relieved by the PWSSB following unilateral termination of the agreement with the council, resented that the council was not accepting them back. They were allegedly not allowed to mark their presence in the attendance register. The president allegedly turned down their request to issue receipt books and registers so that they could start recovery of taxes from the public.

The employees claimed that more than Rs 85 lakh was to be recovered as arrears of water, sewerage, rent, house tax, etc from the citizens, but the authorities were least interested in speeding up the recovery allegedly due to political considerations. Some employees disclosed that they had been “directed” not to visit the defaulters when the election process was in progress. The authorities did not want to annoy the voters, they said.

The union today faxed a complaint to senior officers of the Department of Local Bodies, protesting against the attitude of the council. They said that the employees had to stage a dharna for 12 days last month, as the council did not pay salary. Finally the council, bearing loss of interest, had to get the fixed deposit receipts encashed prematurely to pay the wages for February. The union deplored the policies of the president, which it said, had ruined the council. The union warned that the authorities would be responsible if the employees relieved by the PWSSB, were not taken back in the council.


MC employees not paid salaries
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, April 4
Municipal employees of Hoshiarpur have not received salaries for March, due to non-payment of compensation money by the Punjab Government in lieu of the octroi income to the council. This was stated by Mr Kulwant Singh Saini, General Secretary, Punjab Nagar Palika Karamchari Sangthan, in a press note, here today.

He said the previous government had abolished octroi without making an alternative arrangement to enhance the income of municipal councils. The state government has given compensation money for February to all councils in the state but some of the presidents and executive officers had utilised the same in contingency work as a result of which the employees of these councils did not get salaries even for the aforesaid month. He demanded action against such presidents and executive officers.

He added that despite instructions by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on March 15 that state government should pay compensation money to all municipal councils.


Registry clerk held on graft charge
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, April 4
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau, Jalandhar range, today arrested a clerk of Shahkot tehsil while demanding and accepting a sum of Rs 5000 as a bribe.

Mr Ishwar Chander, SP (Vigilance), stated here today that Hardayal Singh of Billa Nawab village in Nakodar township, in his complaint alleged that he had made a deed with Harbhajan Singh for the sale of 19 kanals 4 marla piece of land worth Rs 3.5 lakh.

Though the deed had been expired on September 19 last year, the same was extended up to April 4.

The accused Surjit Kumar, who was working as a registry clerk and was a mediator of both parties, demanded a sum of Rs 5000 to prepare the relevant documents.

Subsequently, Vigilance Bureau staff led by its DSP Joginder Singh Cheema arrested the registry clerk while accepting a bribe of Rs 5000 in the presence of two eyewitnesses in his office today.

A case has been registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act.


Book suspects in land-grab case: DC
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, April 4
Mr Rakesh Kumar Verma, Deputy Commissioner, today ordered the police to register a criminal case of fraud under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code against six persons. He said Sukhchain Singh and Labh Singh, both residents of Mahil Kothe village in Sangrur district, Bant Kaur, Surjit Kaur and Kulwant Kaur, all sisters of Sukhchain Singh, and Bachan Singh, lambardar of Bhulla Rai village under Phagwara subdivision, allegedly grabbed land belonging to Ms Bachni. The suspects allegedly forged documents for transferring her land in their names and then selling it to Balwinder Singh.

Mr Verma said Ms Bachni is missing for the past 20 years. Her daughter is residing in Canada, while her son died eight years ago. Her husband died eight months ago. Taking advantage of the absence of heirs of Ms Bachni, Sukhchain Singh, son of Ms Bachni’s brother, in connivance with Bachan Singh, got the land transferred in their names.

The fraud was detected when the daughter of Ms Bachni came to India and lodged a complaint with the Phagwara Tehsildar in this regard.

The Phagwara Tehsildar, after conducting an investigation into the matter, submitted his report to the Deputy Commissioner.

Mr Verma said a show-cause notice had also been issued to Bachan Singh, for removing him from the post of lambardar.


35 kg of poppy husk seized, two held
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, April 4
The district police achieved a break-through with the arrest of two members of an inter-state gang of narcotics smugglers.

Mr Ishwar Singh, in a press note issued here today, said following a tip-off a car, with a red light atop the vehicle was stopped by a police party at a naka near Dunewala village. The occupants of the car tried to dodge the police by using a hooter but were nabbed. As much as 35 kg of poppy husk was seized from them. Those arrested have been identified as Charan Singh of Narang under Kalianwali police station of Sirsa (Haryana) and Manjeet Kaur of the same village.

According to the police, Charan Singh had been smuggling poppy husk for the past about 12 years. He brought poppy husk from Haryana and sold it on retail in Punjab.

Manjeet Kaur, whose husband Baldev Singh has been facing charges for smuggling narcotics helped Charan Singh in his trade. The police also seized Rs 19,500 from their possession. A case under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act has been registered at Sangat police station.


One more held in fake currency case
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, April 4
The Moga police has arrested Mohinder Singh a member of a sang involved in fake currency racket unearthed last month, who had been on the run since March 4.

A police press note issued today stated that Mohinder Singh was one of eight gang members against whom a case had been registered at the Bagha Purana police station last month for printing fake currency notes. Two members of the gang Balbir Singh and Major Singh were arrested earlier, while five other members Gurdeep Singh, Raju, Boor Singh, Naib Singh and Ajiab Singh were still at large.

Mohinder Singh during interrogation admitted that he along with others had bought a currency printing machine from Amritsar.


Grants ‘not given’ to colleges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
The Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union has expressed its resentment over non-release of pending grant amounting to Rs 18 crore due for the last quarter of the academic session 2001-2002 under the grant-in-aid scheme to affiliated non government colleges of the state.

Addressing a press conference here today, Dr Jaspal Singh Randhawa, General Secretary, said that other pending grants relating to release of arrears amounting to Rs 21.75 crore received from the Central Government had also not been released.

Dr K.B.S. Sodhi, president, said the office-bearers of the union had called upon the Chief Secretary, Education Secretary and the Finance Minister in March and requested release of the amount which had not been done.

Dr Randhawa said the office-bearers had decided to launch a contact programme between April 8 and 14 when they would meet senior officials and the Ministers to apprise them once again of the crises which had built up in the non government colleges.

The other demands of the union include release of nearly Rs 65 crore of salary amount due for the period 1997-98.

The office bearers alleged salaries had not been paid to a majority of the non-government aided colleges for periods varying between three to nine months.

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