Saturday, May 25, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


PTU to convert 14 ITIs into engg colleges
Designs all-expenses-paid training with assured jobs
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 24
Punjab Technical University has decided to take over 14 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) of the state this year and convert these to engineering colleges. These institutes would, then, take in more than 3,000 students on the basis of the June 2 CET, said Mr Amarjit Singh, Director Out Reach of the PTU, after inaugurating a fashion technology institute here today.

Mr Amarjit said the decision had been taken at a recent meeting of the academic council of the PTU. The programme would be shaped up further at the June 3 meeting of the Board of Governance. He said that the PTU authorities were concerned about the pathetic condition of the ITIs. He said obsolete courses were being run at these institutes, mostly in incomplete or unsafe buildings.

From this year onwards, courses in computer sciences, communication and electronics engineering and electrical engineering would be introduced in seven ITIs. Courses in biotechnology, mechanical engineering and instrumentation would be introduced in the remaining seven institutes.

The Director said job-oriented off-campus programmes would also be introduced from the coming session. The courses would be run as part of contract with the industry, meaning the university would train only as many students as there were vacancies in the industry.

Training would be according to the demands and expectations of the industry and students would have assured jobs as soon as they completed the training. The PTU had collaborated with several multinationals for such contracts and more than 20,000 students were likely to be trained this year. Students would benefit, as the industry would pay their course fee. They would train on the campus for two hours and, then, visit the industry for practical learning.

Besides, several professional degree courses would be introduced in the PTU colleges from this session, Mr Amarjit said. He said traditional courses in arts and commerce were slowly losing relevance. To restore the significance of these, the PTU would convert these to the BA professional and the B.Com professional and introduce courses in journalism. These would be regular courses in colleges.

The BA professional course would include three compulsory subjects — English, Punjabi and computer applications — and the English course would have sub-topics like communication skills, phonetics, technical writing, computational linguistics, grammar, literature and personality development.

Subjects like political science and economics would be made more relevant by adding topics on data collection, data presentation, election analysis and computer programming. In the commerce courses, advanced topics on electronics commerce and mobile commerce would be added.



Land grab charges against ex-minister to be probed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 24
The Punjab State Human Rights Commission has directed the Home Department to conduct an inquiry by the DIG, Ludhiana Range, on the complaint of a Bhutta village resident, wherein she has levelled allegations of land-grabbing against former Akali Minister Jagdish Singh Garcha.

In the order, Mr M S Chahal, member of the commission, has directed the Principal Secretary, Home, to get the matter investigated through the DIG with sufficient authority, from outside the Jagraon police district. The minister, too, belongs to the same village.

The complainant, Mrs Kulwant Kaur, submitted that the minister had exerted pressure on the police to submit false reports regarding their illegal confinement and torture before the commission to shield himself. She claimed that she had inherited 24 kanals (3 acres) of land from her father at Bhutta in Dehlon tehsil, and that the minister had usurped the land with the connivance of her husband, Darshan Singh, who was a poppy husk addict. She is separated from him for the past many years.

Since she had two sisters, who are married, her father arranged her match with Darshan Singh in 1997 who agreed to stay as a “ghar jamai” to look after him and the land. The trouble started when her sister, Baljinder Kaur, came to stay with them during her pregnancy. During this period, someone instigated her husband who started ill-treating and beating her, forcing her to transfer the land in his name. The relations between the couple got strained and she started living separately.

She alleged that this was being done at the behest of the minister who had eye on the land, and had misused his official position to browbeat the police in filing false reports. She alleged that she and her sister were never called by the investigating officers and it was always recorded that they wilfully abstained from joining the investigation.



Defeated Cong candidates rise in revolt
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 24
The Congress candidates, who lost the recently held municipal elections in the city, are so much upset over the “dubious” role played by a minister and a local party legislator that they have decided to sit in chain dharna at the party office here and burn effigies of the “erring” party leaders from Monday if the party high command fails to initiate disciplinary measures against those who had worked against the official candidates of the party.

After having put up a sterling performance in the Assembly election in the city and outskirts, the Congress performance was dismal in the civic elections and the party could barely muster simple majority, winning 37 of the 70 seats in the civic body, which it contested.

The losing Congress nominees, at a meeting convened here last evening openly alleged that Mr Rakesh Pandey, Minister of State, who represented Ludhiana North and Mr Malkiat Singh Beermi, party legislator from the Ludhiana Rural segment, had overtly and covertly extended support to rebel candidates and those belonging to opposition parties to express their displeasure over the selection of candidates and the refusal of party leadership to accommodate their favourite nominees.

Addressing the meeting, Mr Ashok Thapar (Ward No 63), Mr Rajinder Kapoor (Ward No 64), Mr Pawan Mehta, Mr Jiwan Kumar, Mr Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Ms Barjinder Kaur and many others alleged that Mr Beermi and Mr Pandey had influenced the block and ward level party activists not to campaign for party candidates.

Some of those who had lost from wards falling in the Ludhiana Rural assembly segment minced no words to describe in detail the extent to which Mr Beermi had gone in order to cause the electoral debacle for the party. Mr Pawan Mehta (Ward No 12) said when approached for his support in the municipal elections, Mr Beermi told him to go and seek support from Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, MP and chairman of the selection committee, who had distributed party tickets. If the defeated Congressmen were to be believed Mr Beermi is further said to have remarked, “I will see how the Congress assumes power and elects its Mayor in the MC.”



PCCTU poll a bipolar contest
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 24
The annual elections to various posts of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) are to be held on May 26. It is a bipolar contest this time and about 4,000 lecturers are involved in this process.

The difference between the panels is on the issue of representation to a teacher of Chandigarh — while one wants it, the other doesn’t. The panel in favour of it says that most government offices are in Chandigarh, so, an office-bearer there can pursue the matters easily.

The other issues in these elections are the alleged failure of the All-India Federation of University College Teachers Organisation (AFUCTO) in getting teachers parity in grades fixation and the alleged failure of the PCCTU in getting lecturers’ grades designation for the DPEs. Non-release of grants and the alleged violation of the agreement reached between the government and the AFCUTO on grades, third promotion and the Career Advancement Scheme are the other issues.

The teachers’ demand for one person one post has also not been accepted. The DPEs say that no panel in the fray has given them any representation. Mr K.B.S. Sodhi, president of the PCCTU for the past two years, says: “The teaching community is divided sharply and the rift could have been avoided by accommodating aggrieved parties.”

The candidates of the panels for various posts are as follows: For the post of the president — Dr Shinderpal Singh (Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Chandigarh) and Prof S.S. Hundal (GN College, Moga); for the post of the vice-president — Prof S.S. Parhar (Lyallpur Khalsa College, Jalandhar) and Prof G.S. Palon (Khalsa College, Amritsar); for the post of the general secretary — Prof V.K. Sareen (DAV College, Jalandhar) and Prof V.K. Tiwari (DAV College, Jalandhar); for the post of the finance secretary — Prof Y.R. Handa (DAV College, Bathinda) and Prof Balbir Singh (Modi College, Patiala); for the post of the GNDU area secretary — Prof H.S. Walia (DAV College, Amritsar) and Prof V.K. Sharma (DAV College, Amritsar).

Prof Kanwaljit Singh (GTB College, Dakha) and Prof Amrinderpal Singh (Guru Nanak College, Budhlada) have been the unanimous choice for the posts of the Panjab University area secretary and the Punjabi University area secretary, respectively.



Opening of tenders raises eyebrows
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 24
Going against established norms for government departments and local bodies, the Municipal Corporation went ahead here today and opened the tenders for development works worth over Rs 5 crore. These tenders had been received in the MC office on April 11.

The tenders have been opened after about a-month-and-a-half of receipt, which has led to the motives being questioned. Usually, the tenders invited by the MC or any other government department are opened on the last date for submission. This clause is part of the terms and conditions laid down in the notice inviting tenders (NIT).

The MC administration had hurriedly approved several development works before the municipal elections, under pressure from councillors and the then Mayor, who were desperate to get these works initiated in their wards to woo voters. They wanted to set the tendering process in motion, at least. However, the election code of conduct was enforced when the tenders were received, following which, the State Election Commission and the District Election Officer told the MC administration to stop any further action on the tenders.

A review of the NIT showed that far from being urgent, the development works intended to be executed through these tenders were rather routine. The MC was under pressure from the outgoing government to go ahead with these works. Development works costing the MC Rs 90 lakh were to be carried out in the ward of the then Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal.

Though no one is prepared to go on record, several person have said that the Superintending Engineer concerned has flouted the established norms by opening the tenders after such a long gap, particularly when a new civic body has just been elected. Sources said many contractors had not bid when the tenders had been invited because the election had already been announced. Also, in the then octroi-free regime, contractors stayed away from the tendering process due to frustrating delays in payment release.



Life term for husband, wife
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 24
The District and Sessions Judge, Mr V.B. Handa, has convicted Darshan Singh (32) and his wife Daljit Kaur (30) for murdering his mother, Sarbjit Kaur. Mr Handa sentenced both convicts to life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5,000 each.

The interesting feature in the case was that the only eyewitnesses were father and sister of Darshan Singh. Ram Singh, the father of Darshan Singh, and Baljinder Pal Kaur stated that Darshan Singh had injured the deceased with a sharp-edged weapon, while Daljit Kaur had poured kerosene oil on her and set her on fire on May 4, 1998 at Sangatpur village, Samrala tehsil. The deceased died on the spot. A case was registered on the same day.

According to the public prosecutor, Sarbjit Kaur had executed a will in favour of her daughter Baljinder Pal Kaur and the act had annoyed her son. He further disclosed that the son killed his mother with the help of his wife to take revenge.

The defence council maintained,”Baljinder Pal Kaur gave statement against his client so that she could enjoy the benefit of the property because the Hindu Successor Act debars the murder of parents for inheriting the property of the deceased.” But the court disapproved of this theory and after examining the case convicted both accused and sentenced them to life imprisonment.



Silence in corridors of power
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 24
With the names of two key officials in the district administration figuring in the list of those PCS officers whose services have been terminated by the government, officials here are visibly shocked and guarded in their response. There is an uneasy silence in the corridors of power here.

The two officers — Mr Harsuhinderpal Singh Brar, Assistant Commissioner (general), and Ms Anita Darshi, Assistant Commissioner grievances — were appointed in 1999. Both positions are of considerable importance as these involve a lot of public dealing. Their termination remained the talk of the town in all offices and among officials.

None of the two officers was available for comments. However, they were exploring legal options available to them. Notwithstanding the claims of the Chief Secretary, Mr Y.S. Ratra, that the termination orders were issued while keeping in view all legal aspects, besides some recent rulings of Supreme Court, the candidates are likely to approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court for immediate relief. They have been hoping that the court may come to their rescue, at least for the time being till the investigations are completed.

Most of the officers in the civil administration here refused to comment on the issue. On the other hand legal opinion seems to be divided on whether the government decision will stand the legal scrutiny or not. Some legal experts opine that since the investigations are not yet complete and the matter is already in the court, the government should have waited for the final outcome and the affected candidates may get some benefit on this ground.

However, another section of legal experts feels that the court may not come out with any immediate relief to the candidates. They quoted a recent Supreme Court ruling according to which the government could cancel all appointments made by a person or authority whose services had been terminated. The SC decision had come in a case involving some Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan employees, whose services had been terminated by the sangathan as the officer who had made these appointments was dismissed from the services. Although the High Court had stayed their termination, Supreme Court upheld the KV sangathan orders (of termination). This ruling may weigh heavily against the prospects of some immediate relief to the terminated candidates.



Afforestation drive for Punjab cities launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 24
Under a comprehensive campaign to make all cities of the state green and pollution-free, the Forest Department in co-ordination with municipal bodies and NGOs will engage in large-scale plantation drive across the state. Under this programme, 5000 saplings will be planted in each big city and 2000 in each small city of the state.

This was announced by Dr Harbans Lal, while addressing a state-level function, organised to launch the campaign here today. He formally inaugurated the programme by planting a sapling on the occasion. Dr Lal said the department would make all efforts to bring maximum government and private land under forestry to achieve the target of bringing 30 per cent of the total land under forests as per the National Forest Policy. At present, only 6 per cent land in Punjab is under forest cover.

He said that the Forest Department had asked for bringing more than 10 per cent panchayat land under the forests, where plants would be planted and grown by the department, and at the time of harvesting, the panchayats would be authorised to sell the trees and utilise the money for development purposes. The minister said maximum attention would be paid to provide good-quality plant guards, costing about Rs 1000 each to enhance the survival of plants.

Apart from this, the Forest Department has been geared up to make plantation of around 1 crore plants in the state during this year on government and private land with a view to improving the environment.

On this occasion, 12 NGOs extended their offers for providing 500 to 100 trees guards to the Forest Department. Mr R.L. Kalsia, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana said the corporation had chalked out a programme for the beautification and improvement of the environment in the city. He said the Municipal Corporation had recently set up a mini rose garden and new Leisure Valley was being developed in 12.5 acres along the canal passing through the city.

Mr Jarnail Singh, Divisional Forest Officer, informed that in Ludhiana district, five lakh saplings would be planted on government land during the whole season, of which one lakh would be planted in Ludhiana city alone.



Niharika club to rescue of patient
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 24
Members of the Niharika Ladies Club helped Mr Rajinder Moudgil, a local resident suffering from renal failure by giving Rs 50,000 for his treatment here today.

It may be mentioned that both the kidneys of Mr Moudgil are damaged and he cannot afford the cost of a transplant which is more than 3 lakh. He has already lost his wife and has to look after his two minor children and his mother.

Meanwhile, the club also held a ‘snacks and drinks’ competition for the members. About seven members participated in the competition with at least two entries each. In the snacks category, Ms Sonia Kochar was declared first for making delicious paneer bread kachori, Ms Neetika Bajaj was given the second prize for magical topping basket and the consolation prize was given to Gauri Dalmia for her ‘money bag’ snacks.

In the category of drinks, Ms Rimmy Dang was adjudged first for Strawberry Colada and Ms Simrat was given the second prize for Ginger Ale. The consolation prize was given to Pooja Kapoor.



Amend Act, says PFA
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 24
The PFA has demanded an amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,1960, making cruelty towards animals a criminal and non-bailable offence and also increasing the fines.

The demand was contained in a memorandum submitted by it yesterday to the National Cattle Commission in Chandigarh.

In the memorandum, the PFA said all animals should be registered and a cess or fee should be charged which could be used for care and upkeep of stray and abandoned cattle.

It demanded that a piece of land should be made available to societies and organisations working for welfare of animals and every village panchayat should earmark some land for making animal shelter.

Regarding the role of gaushalas, it stated that while these should be made self-sufficient and should be asked to desist from commercial activities.



Three injured in attack
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 24
A woman resident of Labour Colony on the Gill road , her father-in-law and mother-in-law were injured in an attack allegedly by a neighbour and his two sons last night.

According to information, Ms Harbhajan Kaur was attacked by the tipsy neighbour after a minor altercation between them. The father-in-law and mother-in-law of the woman, who tried to rescue her from the attackers, also sustained injuries. A case has been registered at the Basant Park police post under which the area falls.

Man succumbs to injuries
Jagtar Singh, one of the two injured in an attack on May 20 by dacoits on a dera in Bagli Kalan village falling under the Samrala police station, who had been admitted to the Civil Hospital here, succumbed to his injuries on Thursday.

The other injured, Ramji Dass, is still undergoing treatment. According to Mahant Shanti Dass, the head of the dera, both the injured were sleeping in the dera in his absence when the dacoits hit them with sharp-edged weapons and decamped with some goods and cash.

Beating case
The Division No. 7 police has registered a case of beating on the statement of Mr Piara Singh, a resident of Adarsh Nagar, against Sat Pal, Chaman Singh, Rattan Singh, Amar Singh, Gurmeet Singh and 10 others. The complainant alleged that the accused attacked his house on Wednesday night and injured him, his wife and children.

The Basti Jodhewal police, on the complaint of Mr Jaswinder Singh, a resident of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, has registered a case of beating against Dharam Pall and his sons. The complainant had alleged that the accused intercepted him, abused and beat him up.

Dowry case
The Sadar police has registered a case of harassment for more dowry on the statement of Ms Jaswinder Kaur, a resident of Dolon Khurd, against her husband, Bhupinder Singh, Sham Kaur, Tony Devi, Inderjeet and Paramjit Kaur, all residents of Sudhar village. The complainant alleged that the accused subjected her to mental and physical harassment and demanding more dowry. However, no arrest has been made so far.

Kidnapping case
The Division No. 6 police has registered a case of kidnapping on the statement of Mr Davinder Kumar Verma, a resident of Indira Colony in Industrial Area ‘A’, against Ram Chela. The complainant alleged that Ram Chela, who used to come to his house, kidnapped his wife in his absence along with cash and ornaments.

Fraud case
The Division No. 8 police has registered a case of fraud under Sections 460, 420, 467, 465, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC on the statement of Mr Parvesh Dhall, a resident of Kitchlu Nagar, against Ruvi Soonda and her daughters — Preet, Ayasha, and Niti, all residents of Bhandari Street, near Kailash Cinema. The complainant alleged that he had bought a plot from the accused for Rs 5 lakh. But he came to know later that the accused had already sold the same plot to someone else and had forged the papers to commit a fraud on him.


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