Tuesday, July 16, 2002,
Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Badal to reactivate SAD
Gets ready for counter-offensive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The SAD headed by former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who is engaged in an intense political fight with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on the one hand with former SGPC chief. G.S. Tohra on the other has decided to reactivate the party to start an agitation against various policies of the state government.

Mr Badal has instructed senior leaders of the party in each district to tour their respective areas to activate party workers in the countryside. Districtwise meetings of the party workers will start from Ludhiana on July 21. Mr Badal will himself participate in these meetings, it is learnt.

The decision to gear up the party to launch a counter-offensive against Capt Amarinder Singh’s Government was taken at a meeting of the legislative wing of the party today. Senior leaders will interact with party workers to probe their mind with regard to the latest political situation in the state. As the Congress Government has either imposed or enhanced sales tax on certain items used in the farming sector, the SAD has selected the most appropriate time to activate its party workers as over 90 per cent of them are from the agriculture sector.

The meetings will be held at Gurdaspur (July 22,) Jalandhar (July 23), Kapurthala (July 24) Ferozepore (July 25) Hoshiarpur (August 3), Mansa (August 4), Ropar (August 5), and Amritsar (August 11). The Dates for remaining districts will be announced later.

The SAD will urge the Union Government to make a provision for (POTA) to check its misuse by the state governments against their political rivals as has happened in the case of Mr Vaiko, MP and General Secretary of the MDMK in Tamil Nadu.

Speaking against POTA, Capt Kanwaljit Singh said it was a “loosely worded piece of law that could be misused against political rivals by any ruling party to stifle political dissent”. The SAD has condemned its use against Mr Vaiko. When asked whether the SAD would also reorganise and activate its frontal organisations like the youth wing, Capt Kanwaljit Singh said it would be done after the organisational elections of the party soon. He reiterated the party had extended its support to the Supreme Court’s directive and the notification issued by the Election Commission of India to initiate electoral reforms.

The party passed a number of resolutions at the meeting of its legislators. It condemned the police lathi charge on employees of DMC hospital at Ludhiana and sought action against the guilty cops. It condemned the killing of 27 innocent persons in Jammu by terrorists and stated that the party would be in the forefront to counter any attack on the unity and integrity of the country.

It passed a resolution condemning the fiscal and other policies of the Amarinder Government and assured full support to the agitations launched by various sections of society, especially employees, against such policies. The resolution said the Government had stopped various relief schemes meant for Dalits and it had also targeted farmers by raising the prices of fertilisers and pesticides. It sought compensation for farmers whose paddy crops had been damaged for want of water and has urged the Government to provide adequate power supply to run tubewells.


CM: Badal’s cowardice fuelled terrorism
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Neither “Operation Bluestar” would have taken place nor terrorism grown roots in the state had Mr Parkash Singh Badal not succumbed on every occasion and showed cowardice, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh reacted today when asked about his comments on the excerpts from “Black Thunder” an eyewitness account of militancy in Punjab, being published in The Tribune. He was an impediment to peace, he added.

The Chief Minister said: “I was part of the negotiation process at that time when the Akalis used to meet the Cabinet subcommittee. I remember one occasion when I was asked to bring around Mr Badal and Mr G.S. Tohra. They had also been deputed by Sant Harchand Singh Longowal. On our way, suddenly Mr Badal said: “stop the car, stop the car”. We wondered what had happened. He just got down and stood there, refusing to go ahead to meet the committee”.

Referring to the book he said: “Those are the views of the Deputy Commissioner, who knew what was then happening in Amritsar”.

About the ego-war between the Vigilance Bureau and the Intelligence Wing, the Chief Minister, decried that “good” officers like Mr A.P. Bhatnagar and Mr S.S. Saini, whom he had hand-picked for the job, should have crossed their brief even after he had personally intervened. The posting and transfer of an officer is the prerogative of the government. Those affected should not speak out of turn and more so to the media against the government. “I am the Chief Minister and also the Home Minister. Why did Mr Bhatnagar not come to me ever, even once, and tell about the so-called disappearance of Rs 2 crore? After we receive his reply we will proceed against him and may also serve a show-cause notice”, the Chief Minister said.

He ruled out any inquiry into false allegations and baseless rumours floating about the disappearance of Rs 2 crore. “There s nothing to inquire”. About the 196 batches selected/appointed by the PPSC during the tenure of Mr Ravi Sidhu, the Chief Minister said: “The departments concerned will scrutinise all selections after the Vigilance Bureau has completed investigations. The proposed ordinance was deferred by the Cabinet last week due to some legal points involved. We will go by the rules and the Supreme Court ruling in this regard”.


Takht chief urged to take action
Use of money, liquor in DSGMC poll
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 15
“Despite clear directives of Jathedar Akal Takht, liquor and money was distributed freely during the recently concluded Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee elections.”

In a communication to Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Mr Tarlochan Singh, Vice-Chairman, National Commission for Minorities sought his immediate intervention in bringing about reforms in the gurdwara polls. He said it was a matter of shame that the candidates also indulged in horse-trading during the election.

Mr Tarlochan Singh said that it was a matter of concern that the “gurdwara funds” were misused during the Delhi gurdwara polls. He said the serious allegations and counter-allegations, levelled by the candidates during the gurdwara poll attracted criticism from all quarters including from the non-Sikhs. He said huge amounts were spent by the candidates to woo voters had made it clear that no ‘clean person’ could contest the gurdwara elections. However, the ‘true and dedicated Sikhs’ could not contest the gurdwara elections due to alleged rampant corruption in the managements.

The vice-chairman said in wake of the ‘pollution’ creeping into the gurdwaras management of this shrines had become a great challenge for even Akal Takht how to take corrective measures to bring reforms. He said in the prevailing situation doubts were being raised about the enactment of the proposed All-India Gurdwara Act. Mr Tarlochan Singh said Sikhs all over the country felt if the prevailing situation continued it would be difficult to give clean administration in the Sikh shrines in the rest of the country.

Mr Tarlochan Singh said that he had confirmed reports that lakhs of rupees were still being offered to woo the newly elected members of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee for the proposed cooption of two members. Similarly money power would be used for the election of the Delhi Committee. He urged that Jathedar Akal Takht to summon all those who indulged in anti-Panthic activities and pronounce exemplary punishment on them.


Govt in spot over MDS, MD/MS results
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, July 15
The result announced by the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences here today of doctors under the PCMS quota for admission to postgraduate courses in various government medical and dental colleges had added another dimension to the move of the Punjab government regarding the termination of the services of the doctors who were chosen by PPSC chairman Ravi Sidhu in 1998-1999.

According to reports over 80 per cent aspirants have been selected for MD/MS and 90 per cent for MDS courses from the above batch. The interview for MD/MS was conducted by a four-member team comprising Dr O.P. Mahajan, Principal, Government Medical College, Amritsar, and Acting Director, Research and Medical Education, Punjab, Dr Vijay Sharma, Acting Principal, Government Medical College, Patiala, Dr Inderjeet Singh Shergill, Principal, Government G.G.S. Medical College, Faridkot, and Dr P.S. Sandhu, Registrar of the university, whereas for MDS the three-member team comprised Dr Amarjeet Singh, Principal Government Dental College, Amritsar, Dr R.L. Jain, Principal, Government Dental College, Patiala, and other member Registrar of the university. The list of the selected candidates include Dr Satwinder Kaur, Dr Kawaljeet Singh, Dr Kamaldeep, Dr Sartaj Singh Sandhu, Dr Gurpreet Singh Sodhi, Dr Muneesh Kumar, Dr Ashok Kumar, Dr Suresh Kumar, Dr Jagjeet Singh, Dr Vishal Verma, Dr Princejit Singh, Dr Paramjeet Gill, Dr Manveer Kaur, Dr Simarjeet Kaur Sidhu, Dr Ajay Gupta, Dr Parminder Singh Kular, Dr Basant Rai, Dr Bharti Singla, Dr Geetika Verma, Dr Kanchan Lata Bhandari, Dr Harbinder Singh, Dr Jaswinder Jally, Dr Jaspal Singh Gill, Dr Harvinder Singh, Dr Gagandeep Kaur, Dr Indu Bala, Dr Deepak Berry, Dr Karan Kumar Saini, Dr Kamal Joyoti, Dr Seema Chopra, Dr Harleen Kaur Sachdev, Dr Manvinder Singh, Dr Baldev Singh, Dr Jagjeet Singh, Dr Simmi Kakar, Dr Pommy Chatratch, Dr Jatinder Kaur, Dr Sahibjeet Singh, Dr Vikas Gupta, Dr Sandeep Kumar, Dr Lalit Mohan, Dr Jaydeep Singh, Dr Harbhupinder Singh, Dr Surinder Sareen, Dr Amita Luna, Dr Sandeep Singh, Dr Ashish Chawla, Dr Sukdev Singh Deeroch, Dr Bharti Tanwar, Dr Suneet Kalra, Dr Parminderjeet Singh, Dr Usha, Dr Sunny Singla, Dr Jasjot Singh Garcha, Dr Ashudeep Rupa, Dr Sujata, Dr Ashu Loona, Dr Dalbir Kaur, Dr Jasmine Gill, Dr Manpreet Kaur Sandhu, Dr Rajnish, Dr Manjot Kaur, Dr Minakshi Gupta, Dr Ritu, Dr Sandeep Shalley, Dr Ravinder Khaira, Dr Harjinder Singh, Dr Dupinder Kumar, Dr Ashok Kumar, Dr Jasvinder Singh Arora, Dr Sukhbir Singh, Dr Prasun K. Chattoeadhyay, Dr Kuldeep Singh, Dr Inderpreet Kaur Kohli, Dr Meena Kumari Shukla, Dr Harpeet Kaur Dhaliwal, Dr Charanjeev Kaur, Dr Rahul, Dr Baldeep Singh, Dr Navdeep Singh, Dr Sukhdev Raj, Dr Gurmej Ram, Dr Kanwaldeep, Dr Indu, Dr Neeru Bala, Dr Radha Goyal and Dr Vipan Arora.

The names of the candidates selected for MDS courses include Dr Puneet Girdhir, Dr Manohar Paltwal, Dr Pardeep Singh Gill, Dr Sangeeta Aggarwal, Dr Amritraj Behal, Dr Pankaj Kumar Gupta, Dr Surinder Kaur, Dr Satnam Singh and Dr Surinder Kumar.

Expressing shock over the adamant attitude of the state government here today, Mr Gurcharan Singh, Principal of Dashmesh Public School here and father of Dr Manjot Kaur who had been selected in the PG course, today had urged the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to take a favourable decision. The Principal said such a move would not only tarnish the Chief Minister’s image but also harm the credibility and sincerity of the state government.

Regretting behaviour of the government towards doctors, Dr Puneet Girdhar, president, PCMS Dental Association, Punjab, appealed to the government to recognise the services of the doctors who were bound to work in the rural areas without any proper infrastructure where as no such condition had been laid for any other category of government officials. He also requested the government to give no-objection certificate to the doctors who had been selected for doing MD, MS and MDS courses for the current academic year.


Power crisis likely to worsen
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 15
Power crisis in the state is likely to deepen with the Ministry of Power increasing the unallocated quota of Delhi from 25 per cent to 35 per cent while simultaneously reducing the unallocated quota of central sector generating stations of Punjab from 15 per cent to 10 per cent during night and from 12.5 per cent to 10 per cent during day.

Official sources said the order, which was passed on July 12, would result in a reduction of as much as 30 MW to Punjab. It said the energy demand of over 8.5 lakh tubewells in the state had further increased due to fall in ground water level which had resulted in increased power input to pump out the same quantity of water.

Simultaneously in order to sustain the paddy crop and save the agricultural economy from irreparable damage the PSEB has taken a policy decision to divert additional power from the urban and the industrial sector to the tubewell feeders to maintain eight hours three-phase uninterrupted power supply per day.

Officials said in addition to the compulsory weekly off on industry, two additional contingency measures had been taken. One evening peak load restrictions on large industry were being extended from three hours to nine hours, an increase of six hours per day, with effect from July 15. Moreover, the officials said the quantum of power cuts on the urban and industrial feeders was being increased to five to seven hours per day.

In addition the PSEB has also decided to impose additional power cuts on rural single phase supply and rural 24 hour-supply feeders to meet the priority requirement of tubewells.

The officials disclosed that efforts were also on to get 100 MW additional power through Power Trading Corporation, 50 MW from Uttaranchal and 50 - 100 MW from Rajasthan during the night hours.

Meanwhile the sources disclosed that due to reduced inflow in the Ravi, the reservoir level of Ranjit Sagar dam was still below the prescribed level of 490 metres leading to a reduction of power generation from 70 to 28 lakh units per day. They said the level at the Pong dam on the Beas was still at 1285 feet as against 1308 feet last year which had resulted in reduction of water releases and loss of power generation at Mukerian by 15 lakh units per day.

The board has also asked all categories of consumers to bear with the power cuts. It said the entire Northern Grid was operating with deficit of power generation and excess of load, leading to low-frequency conditions during the day.


PSEB next on agenda: CM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today announced that the state was forced to introduce power cuts in view of the delayed monsoon, a steep fall (40 per cent) in the water reservoirs level at the hydro-electric power stations and a critical power situation.

Punjab would have to buy at least 100 MW of power to ensure the minimum eight to nine hours of power supply for tube-wells, so as to save the paddy crop. There was no choice but to impose long power cuts in urban areas as well as on industry.

He expressed concern over the fast-depleting water table in the absence of the monsoon.

The next priority on his agenda was the PSEB. He replied in the affirmative when asked about the private sector participation in power generation, transmission and generation.


Mann flays move on BBMB doctors
Tribune News Service

Ropar, July 15
Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, President, Akali Dal (Amritsar), has condemned the decision of the Punjab Government to withdraw doctors working in the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) hospitals.

Talking to The Tribune over the telephone last night, Mr Mann said after the withdrawal of doctors from the BBMB by the Punjab Government, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana would try to get their doctors adjusted in the BBMB hospitals to strengthen their share. He further said since Punjab was the riparian state, it should have more staff in the BBMB.

Mr Mann demanded from the Punjab Government to withdraw the letter in this regard.

Demanding a crackdown on the “corrupt” leaders of the Congress and the BJP, Mr Mann said the president Congress government was only nabbing “corrupt” SAD leaders and former ministers, so that SAD leaders shifted their loyalties to Jathedar Tohra and help him (Tohra) in the formation of a new Akali Dal. He said his party would not join the proposed new Akali Dal.


Ravi Sidhu’s kin proclaimed offenders
Tribune Reporters

Kharar, July 15
Mr Roshan Lal Chouhan, Judicial Magistrate, today declared three family members of Ravinder Pal Singh Sidhu, former PPSC Chairman, proclaimed offenders (POs) and ordered that the SSP Ropar, should include their names in the list of proclaimed offenders.

Those declared proclaimed offenders are Mrs Pritpal Kaur (mother), Reetinder Singh (brother) and Ajinder Kaur (sister-in-law).

These orders were passed after Mr Satpal Singh, Inspector (Vigilance) recorded his statement in the court that the proclamation issued by the court had been affixed outside the residences of the accused, outside the court complex and several other places on June 15.

The court has sent the file regarding this to the court of the Special Judge, Ropar.

Ropar: The challan presented against Ravinder Pal Singh Sidhu on Saturday in the court of the Sessions Judge in charge, Mr J.S. Khushdil, will now be put up before the Sessions Judge, Ropar, Mr Maghar Khan, on July 24 as ordered by the Special Judge, Ropar, Mr A.S. Kathuria, on Monday.

This challan was presented by the Vigilance Bureau against Sidhu in connection with a corruption case registered against him as SAS Nagar on March 25.

Earlier, the Sessions Judge in charge had ordered to put up the challan before the Special Judge, Ropar, on Monday for further proceedings.

In another case relating to the furnishing of fresh bail bonds of Rs 5 lakh by Bhupinder Singh, a relative of Sidhu, for the release of Sidhu, the Special Judge fixed July 17 as the next date of hearing.

The Special Judge adjourned the bail application filed by Madan Lal Bains, a Block Development and Panchayat Officer, and allegedly involved in a wheat scam to July 20.


BJP meeting today
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, July 15
The Punjab BJP president, Prof Brij Lal Rinwa, has summoned an emergency meeting of office-bearers of the party in Chandigarh tomorrow to draw up a plan for an agitation against the “Excesses” of the Congress government.

This was stated by the general secretary (organisation), Mr Avinash Jaiswal, here today.


7 waste treatment plants planned
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, July 15
The Punjab chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) will tie-up with private companies for the setting up of seven biomedical waste treatment plants in different parts of the state.

Presiding over a meeting of the association here yesterday, its president, Dr R.C. Garg, said following directions of the state government to make arrangements for the proper disposal of biomedical waste as per the guidelines of Bio-Medical Waste (Handling and Management) Rules, 1988, by December 31, the association had decided to tie-up with private companies for setting up about seven waste management plants in the state.

“We are negotiating the deal with two major private companies, which will set up about seven plants in the state and will charge nominal rates per bed per day from members of the association for the proper disposal of biomedical waste. They will provide us special bags for carrying biomedical waste to the plant besides making transportation arrangements, Mr Garg added.

Dr Sanjeev Sharma, secretary (public relations), said keeping in view the inability of small private nursing homes to incur huge costs involved in setting up such waste management plants, the association had taken a right step by joining hands with private partners for proper waste segregation, collection, treatment and disposal of biomedical waste. “We are concerned about the environmental hazards being caused by such waste being generated by nursing homes and hospitals daily. The private companies will set up autoclave incinerators in the state for which locations will be selected after conducting thorough study,” Dr Sharma added.

Later, the association unanimously passed a resolution welcoming the decision of the state Cabinet not to go ahead with blanket termination of services of those government employees who had been selected during the tenure of the controversial PPSC Chairman Ravi Sidhu.


Families of 39 slain MLAs honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
As many as 39 families of legislators, who were killed by terrorists, were honoured at a function held in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha here this afternoon. The function was a part of the on-going golden jubilee celebrations of the State Assembly.

Dr Kewal Krishan, Speaker, said it was a humble effort to honour next of kin of those who had laid down their lives upholding democracy and for the unity and integrity of the country.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh paid rich tributes to the departed souls. Recalling the days of militancy, he said the neighbouring country had played a dirty role in supporting terrorism in this part of the country. He unveiled a portrait of Giani Zail Singh in the Assembly’s gallery and also planted a sapling in memory of “martyrs”.

The families honoured at the function were of late Mr Beant Singh, Mr Brij Bhushan Mehra, Sant Harchand Singh Longowal, Lala Jagat Narain, Mr Joginder Pal Pandey, Mr Satnam Singh Bajwa, Mr Darshan Singh K.P., Chowdhary Jagat Ram, Mr Balwant Singh, Mr Bhagwan Dass ( Jaitu), Mr Piara Ram Dhanowali, Mr Hit Abhilashi, Mr Shashpal Singh, Mr Harbhajan Singh Sandhu, and Mr Romesh Chandra. Mr Darshan Singh Canadian, Dr Satpal Prashar, Chowdhary Balbir Singh, Mr Om Parkash Bagga, Mr Chanan Singh Dhoot, Mr Harbans Lal Khanna, Mr Hardial Singh Rajla, Mr Amarjit Singh Samrala, Mr Dalbir Singh Ranike, Mr Sant Singh Gill, Mr Nachhattar Singh Gill, MrBaldev Singh Pakkakalan, Mr Tirlochan Singh Riyasti, Mr Harbans Singh Bikka, Mr Balwant Singh Sarhal, Mr Jagroop Singh Gill, Mr Arjan Singh Mastana, Mr Malkit Singh Sidhu, Mr Sarwan Singh Cheema, Mr Mohinder Singh Sarupwali, Dr Sadhu Ram Phagwara, Mr Gurdial Saini, Mr Gurbachan Singh and Mr Narain Singh Shahbazpuri. Each family was given a shawl and a memento.

Prof Darbari Lal, Deputy Speaker, presented a vote of thanks. Mr Vijay Chopra, Editor-in-Chief of the Hind Samachar Group of Newspapers, also spoke.


CM visits Major Gupta’s family
Our correspondent

Patiala, July 15
Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today visited the ancestral house of Maj Yogesh Gupta who was killed fighting terrorists in J&K and paid condolences to the bereaved family here.

The Chief Minister, while lauding the bravery shown by Major Gupta said that the Major had laid down his life for the motherland. He stated that two other officers of the Major rank belonging to Patiala had earlier laid down their lives in the line of duty and a befitting memorial to the three would be erected soon.

He also stated that the family would be given all due benefits, including a PCS job for the Major’s wife, Ms Saroj Gupta, an ex-gratia grant and another grant of Rs 15 lakh for the construction of a house.

The parents of Major Gupta, while communicating to the CM, said that they were proud of the sacrifice made by their son for the country.

Among others who visited the family were the Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Mr Vishnu Sharma, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Tejveer Singh and the DCC president, Mr Ved Prakash Gupta.


Govt to lay stress on development
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 15
After launching the anti-corruption drive in the state, the state government is going to initiate development projects all over the state and a comprehensive plan has been finalised in this regard, said Mr Vishnu Sharma, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Patiala, while addressing a function here today. The function was organised by the Citizens Welfare Council to honour Mr Vishnu Sharma for the services rendered by him and his family.

Mr Sharma said since the Congress government had been formed in the state the Chief Minister had immediately worked on providing clean and transparent governance, corruption-free administration and had taken steps to put economy back on rails. He said a Rs 125.42 crore pilot project of providing clean drinking water and sewerage facilities has been sanctioned for Patiala. He said the work would shortly start on this project and besides this the town would be given a facelift and would be converted into a model city of the state.

He said “As Fatehgarh Sahib is also part of Patiala, so efforts will be made to provide adequate funds for the development of the district”. He said by unearthing a big scam of recruitment in the state, Capt Amarinder Singh had created history. He said his name would be written in golden words in the history of state.

He said the Chief Minister was working hard to convince the NRIs to come to the state to set up industrial units, which would help in a big way to control the unemployment programme. He said the Chief Minister had a series of meetings with the World Bank officials and shortly a team of World Bank would visit the state to assess the development projects. He urged the social organisations to come forward to help the government in eradicating the menace of corruption from the state.

Speaking on the occasion Mr Vikas Partap, Deputy Commissioner, welcomed the Mayor and gave a detailed report about the achievements of the state government. He said now people had started coming forward against the corrupt officials and urged everyone to co-operate so that this social evil could be eradicated. He said as per the decision of the government a state level vanmahotsav would be organised in the district and urged the social organisations to help the administration in planting the trees.

Mr R.N. Sharma, president of the Citizens Welfare Council, highlighted the services rendered by Vishnu Sharma’s family towards the society and said all his four brothers are serving the people on different posts and they all are known for their honesty in their respective departments. He said the council would also honour all honest officials known for transparency and corruption-free administration.

Mr B. Chandra Shekhar, SSP, Mr Mohinder Pal, District Sessions Judge, Prof Dharminder Ubha, Principal, Mr Hukam Chand Bansal, Chairman, O.P. Bansal School. Bahadur Singh, president of the Rice Millers Association, Vaid Hari Krishan, Subhash Sood, Pt Naresh Sharma, senior Congress leaders also spoke on the occasion.


Cyber cafes woo back clients via porn films; kids ‘oblige’
Gurvinder Kaur

Patiala, July 15
With the craze for online chatting and the Internet somewhat diminished in the last year or so, the eighty odd cyber cafes owners in the city which wore a deserted look till recently have hit upon a rather bold way to attract back the customers. These cafes have taken to screening X-rated movies on the computer. And shockingly 90 per cent of their clients are schoolchildren and adolescents.

With a small cabin, a computer to yourself and practically no possibility of anyone snooping on you, the cafe gives these clients an environment which is about as private as it can get. Small wonder that erotica so easily and cheaply available is drawing young people in hordes to these cafes. The rates are as low as Rs 10 for an hour of viewing and Rs 15 for two hours.

Cyber cafes in the city introduced the screening of pornographic movies when faced with intense competition due to mushrooming of scores of such cafes and after their popularity hit an all time low with computer buffs calling it a day.

A couple of months ago the lone cyber cafe in the university campus was closed down following a raid on the premises during which pornographic CDs were seized. However, the fact that screening of X-rated movies is a cognizable offence under the cyber law Act has failed to deter these cafes. These cafes compound their offence by the added fact that they screen such films for the benefit of mostly minors.

No doubt that numerous pornographic sites are accessible through the Internet, however there is one drawback. The subscribers have to register their credit card number before downloading any X-rated film from these sites and as only adults can possess credit cards the cyber cafes have found a lucrative way to deal with this deterrent.

Moreover, the cafes have to spend even less than Rs 20 to rent a X-rated film CD and copy it onto the computer’s hard disk. Thereafter they charge a nominal Rs 10 for an hour of viewing from teenagers and school-going kids who come in a plenty to see such movies without the incumbent hassles of supplying credit card numbers.

Youngsters at a cyber cafe when questioned why they were there, said it was to make pen pals, chat or check their e-mails. Though none admitted to watching pornography themselves, they knew of others who did so. Most however thought it was just a passing phase whose attraction would ebb away with time.

On a condition of anonymity some cafe owners said that screening such movies was a compulsion not just to rake in the moolah but also the customers demanded it. They admitted to screening X-rated movies for school-going children but said that the children bunked school to watch these movie and turning them away would not deter them but only send them to another cafe which would cater to their demands.


25 buses cross Wagah for Afghanistan
Our Correspondent

Wagah (Amritsar), July 15
The second convoy of 25 buses gifted by the Indian Government rolled into Pakistan for its journey to Afghanistan amid tight security here today. Earlier this year the same number of buses were sent to Afghanistan in an effort to extend help to the beleagured country.

The convoy was thoroughly checked with mirrored metal detectors before being allowed to proceed further. The buses were delayed for more than three hours at the border even after getting custom clearance allegedly due to a communication gap between the embassies and security reasons.

Just before the closing ceremony here these buses designed by Telco were received in Pakistan by Mr Mohammed Hazim, First Secretary in the Embassy of Afghanistan, in Islamabad. Mr Mohammed Akhtar, president, transport arrangement of Afghanistan, led the fleet from Delhi. The buses will pass through Lahore, Peshawar, Jalalabad before reaching Kabul, covering a distance of nearly 1,400 km.

Thanking the Indian Government for the gift, Mr Akhtar said that Afghanistan needed at least 1,500 buses to provide transport facilities to people.


Revenue officials to reveal VB men’s assets
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 15
Decrying last week’s Vigilance raids, the Punjab Revenue Officers Union and the Punjab Patwar Union has decided to make a list of the “benami” and other properties owned by some top Vigilance Bureau officials.

Members of the unions organised a dharna in the District Administrative complex today to protest against the raids and seizure of records from about 20 revenue offices across the state.

Addressing the protesters, Mr Gurmit Singh Nadala, general secretary of the Revenue Officers Union, said revenue officials knew about properties owned by Vigilance Bureau officials. The list would be handed over to the president of the union for chalking out further course of action he said adding that the raids were unjustified and aimed towards humiliating the revenue officials.

Mr Kamaljit Singh, president of the Patwar Union, said revenue officials were doing their job with dedication and as per the rules and any harassment by the Vigilance Bureau would lead to a statewide stir.


Cylinder blast razes 15 shops; 2 workers hurt
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 15
Two persons received severe burns and about 15 shops were reduced to ashes in a gas-cylinder blast in a tea shop here today. Sources said the cylinder at Meeting Point in Royal Complex at Sheranwala Gate had leaked overnight. It burst when a worker opened the shop early today and switched on an electric light. The worker, Sagar, 21, and his friend, Bablu, were hurt.

Nearby shopkeepers said everyone in the market had mistaken the bang to have been caused by a bomb blast. The fire engulfed 15 shops, destroying everything inside.

The blast shattered windowpanes of many shops in the complex. Firefighters came there after some time and put out the flames. Mr K.S. Kang, a former Municipal Commissioner, who happened to be passing by, stopped to supervise the firefighting operations.

The injured workers have been admitted to Government Rajendra Hospital here, where their condition is said to be serious.


Vanamahotsava function
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 15
A state-level vanamahotsava function will be organised at Harbans Pura village here on July 18. Dr Harbans Lal, Minister for Forests, will preside over the function and lay the foundation stone of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Forest Bhavan to be built at the cost of Rs 1 crore, said Mr Vikas Partap in a press note here today.

He said 20-acres of land had been acquired for the purpose and ornamental trees would be planted. He said a state-level exhibition depicting the achievements of the government by various departments would also be organised. He urged social organisations to come forward for planting saplings in the district. He said trees were the only alternative to increasing population. He said the Minister for Forests had chalked out a comprehensive plan for the development of forest, particularly planting ornamental trees in the district.


Bhatia opposes trifurcation of J&K
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 15
Mr R.L. Bhatia, a Congress MP, has opposed the division of Jammu and Kashmir on communal lines.

In a press note issued today, Mr Bhatia said the RSS demand of trifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir was dangerous and it could have serious impact on the unity and integrity of the country. The creation of separate states of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh would not only divide the troubled state on communal lines but would also adversely affect national security, he added.

Mr Bhatia said that the RSS did not know the history of freedom struggle as it had not contributed towards the independence struggle. He said India could not accept the division of the state on communal lines.


Infant killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, July 15
In a gruesome incident, a four-month-old child was killed in a road accident near the Civil Hospital this morning. Hospital sources said Ms Sukhpal Kaur of Bath village, near here, was going on a scooter with her four-month son, Baljinder Singh. The scooter was being driven by her father who lost control due to potholes.

While the woman sustained serious injuries and was admitted to the Civil Hospital, the child was run over by a tractor and killed on the spot.

The Bathinda-Goniana road is in a bad shape. While a part of it has been closed for vehicles and temporary walls have been constructed to prevent the entry of vehicles, the remaining stretch is also not in good condition.


Canal tail-end farmers left with trickle
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 15
The flow of water in canals and conduits at the tail-end of the feeder system has reduced to a trickle, depriving farmers dependent on the state’s canal network for irrigating their fields. At a time when a good flow of water is required to cultivate paddy, the conduits are running dry.

Although as per the norms, water is supposed to be released by the authorities into rajwahas (narrow V-shaped conduits) from the mainline canals, it hardly reaches farms located at the tail-end of the feeder system.

Theft or unwarranted diversion of water along the way or inadequate release are the prime factors responsible for the farmers’ plight downstream.

A visit to several villages adjoining Bathinda reveals that the flow of water in the rajwahas is just a trickle. These include Dhelwan, Nathpura, Jandanwalla, Harraipur, Jidda, Ganga, Gidder and Khemuana.

Villagers say that while only about 180 cusec of water is released daily into the 62-km Dhipali rajwaha, about 310 cusec is released into the 56-km Bhadaur rajwaha. Water level markers at various points along the rajwahas, however, tell a different tale.

“If 180 cusec of water is to flow through the rajwaha, its depth should be about two feet. At present, it is barely six inches,” points out Avtar Singh, a local farmer. “Barely 25 per cent of the water released at the headworks reaches us,” he adds.

The basic reason, affected farmers reveal, is that water is being siphoned off upstream by farmers there to irrigate their fields. This being the paddy season, the requirement for canal water is high. Farmers prefer canal water as it contains more minerals while ground water in this region is polluted by chemicals and effluents.

“A sand bag is thrown into the canal to restrict the flow of water and divert it elsewhere,” alleges Gurlabh Singh, a farmer in Dhelwan village. “It is the responsibility of the Irrigation Department to check this,” he adds. “We have forwarded a number of complaints and representations to the district administration as well as the Irrigation Department, but it has not yielded any results,” said Hakam Singh, a former Sapranch of Khemuana village.

On the assurance of the district administration, local villagers cleared rajwahas of silt and other blockades along a stretch of 50 km in May, 2000. However, they are still awaiting the promised flow of water. Another factor, local villagers say, is that the construction of the rajwahas has not been as per the norms. The soil along the edges which supports the paved channels is eroding at places, thereby weakening the brick-lined rajwahas. Scant attention is being paid by the Irrigation Department in this regard with officials hardly bothering to conduct regular checks, villagers rue. In case of heavy flow of water, there are chances of rajwahas being breached.

Farmers say that canal water is required to cultivate PUSA-44 variety of paddy, which gives a high yield and better returns. Farmers deprived of canal water have to fall back on ground water, which has a high salt content and is only suitable for cultivating varieties like PR-106, PR-111 or PR-116 which have a relatively low yield. With the canal system being rendered ineffective, farmers at its tail-end are being adversely affected.


Govt to boost dairy farming
Our Correspondent

Kharar, July 15
The Punjab Government would soon implement a new policy to encourage dairy farming in the state, said Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fishries Minister, in Kurali today after inagurating a month-long camp under the Self Employment Scheme.

He said under the policy interest of milk producers would be protected and middlemen eliminated. He said before announcing the policy experts would be invited to discuss and give suggestions on the issue. He said the government would take steps to encourage export of milk products to Arab contries. He said an Australian delegation would visit Punjab next month to discuss how to increase milk production in the state.


Agitated farmers lock in sugar mill’s MD
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 15
In a dramatic move, agitated farmers affiliated to the Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta) locked up the Managing Director of the Rakhra Cooperative Sugar Mill near here in his residence today evening.

The farmers were agitating against non-payment of dues to them by the Rakhra Sugar Mill. These dues had accumulated up to Rs 5.5 crore.

Sources said mill’s Managing Director M P Singh came out to talk to agitating farmers, who had camped before his residence, at around 5.30 pm. They said the MD expressed his helplessness in making the payments following which BKU (Ekta) president Pashaura Singh Sidhupur escorted him back to his house following which the main gate was locked.

The agitated farmers announced that they would continue to gherao the MD’s house tomorrow also. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Sidhupur said various cooperative sugar mills in the state owed the farmers around Rs 90 crore. He said though his organisation would launch a statewide stir to ensure that farmers got their dues from the cooperative mills.

Mr Sidhupur also criticised the Punjab Government for failing to get the money released to the farmers. He said the BKU (Ekta) would concentrate its stir in Patiala district as it was the hometown of the Chief Minister. District general secretary Gurmit Singh Dittupur said that a ‘chakka jam’ would be organised in the next phase of agitation following which the organisation would gherao the residence of the Chief Minister at Patiala.

No action had been taken till late evening by the administration to break the blockade outside the residence of the Managing Director. Earlier also though an Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police was present on the spot no action was taken to thwart a lock-in of the MD.


PSEB ordered to pay Rs 10,000

Moga, July 15
The Muktsar District Consumers Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) to pay Rs 10,000 as compensation for delay in granting a tubewell connection to a resident of Lambi village.

Mr Jagdev Singh deposited Rs 480 as security charges on March 30, 1990, for the connection. He also deposited Rs 22,500 more in January 2000, following a demand notice issued by the board authorities after 10 years.

After failing to get a suitable response from the PSEB authorities, the complainant approached the forum for compensation on account of mental harassment and expenses borne on purchasing diesel for running pumps to draw underground water in the absence of power.

Interestingly, the board authorities swung into action only when Mr Jagdev Singh approached the forum. Summons were issued and the connection was released on August 27, 2001, a week before the first hearing of the case by the forum.

The forum observed that the connection was released only after the board received the summons. The orders asking the PSEB to pay compensation were passed on Saturday. PTI


SMO detects fraud by nurse
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 15
Dr Amarjit Singh, SMO, ESI Hospital, Sirhind has claimed that an employee of the hospital committed a fraud by allegedly tampering with her date of birth record in service book, just to continue in service for two more years. The Senior Medical Officer has also sought permission from the higher officials to register a criminal case against her, though on the directions of the Director, Health, the employee had been compulsorily retired.

The SMO told that during routine checking of the service book, he noticed cutting and over writing in the date of birth column in the service book of Amarjit Kaur, ANM, and this overwriting was attested by the then SMO, Dr Prem Kumar Gupta, who is now SMO at Civil Hospital Mandi Gobindgarh. He said the date of birth had been shown as 2.6.1946 in the service book and same DoB has been mentioned in a certificate bearing S.No.4778 and Roll No.3805 pasted in her service book issued by Panjab University of Higher Secondary Core subject. To the surprise of the SMO, in the service book of Palwinder Kaur, a pharmacist, another employee of the dispensary, the similar certificate bearing S.No.4779 Roll No.3806 of the same university and same subject pasted in her service book, interestingly did not contain any reference of DoB.

The SMO said he got suspicious as both the certificates were of the same nature and S.No. and Roll No. too were one after the other but the only difference was in the column of DoB. He said he urged both of them to submit the original certificate. The certificate submitted by the pharmacist did not contain any DoB column. But ANM Amarjit Kaur did not submit the certificate in spite of the repeated written reminders she rather went on leave. It created doubt that Amarjit Kaur, ANM, had super added the entry of DoB 2.6.1946 on her own.

Since both the employees had passed the course from Ashoka Girls Senior Secondary School Sirhind. The SMO office wrote to the school to give the exact information about the DoB of Amarjit Kaur and the school Principal informed that the exact DoB as per the school records was 2.6.1944. Thus it was proved that Amarjit Kaur had tampered with the record. He said now the case was pending with the Director, Health, for further action.


Kapurthala dist to have digital land records
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, July 15
Digitalised copies of land records will be available for people in the district from next week. The land records of Fattu Dhinga Kanungoi village of the district are already available on the Internet as a pilot project. Moreover, “musavis” (land maps) have also been converted into the digital format with the help of the land information management system (LIMS).

This was stated by Mr Bhagat Khurana, an official of Ludhiana-based Ramtech Corporation Limited, which has been assigned the task of computerisation of land records in the district. He said the next plan was to set up Internet kiosks at selected places in the district. From these kiosks landowners would be able to get a copy of their ownership records by paying a nominal fee.

A senior revenue official said the top priority of the administration was proper preservation and validation of land records.


Govt puts stop to all payments
Tribune News Service

Ropar, July 15
Punjab seems to be passing through a financial crisis, as for the first time during the regime of the Amarinder Singh government, the state Finance Department, through a telephonic order to the treasuries, today stopped all types of payments, including GPF, TA, medical, gratuity and leave encashment etc.

Sources in the department said the Finance Department had asked the treasury officers not to pass payment bills until further orders.

Meanwhile, employees are resentful as they feel they will get the same treatment they got at the time of the Badal government on the pretext that the Congress government had emptied the coffers of the state exchequer.


Punjab employees to form united front
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
On the initiative of Punjab Ministerial Services Union (PMSU), six federations of Punjab Government Employees and Punjab Civil Secretariat Staff Association have decided to form a united platform of employees to fight for the reversal of 'anti-worker decisions' taken by the Congress government in the state.

The united front will also agitate for the withdrawal of anti-employee decisions taken by the Badal government and for the implementation of their long pending demands.This was decided in the meeting of the above organisations held here today at Kisan Bhawan.

Mr Kulbhushan Kanwar, state chairman of Punjab State Ministerial Services Union, disclosed that the front would include five representatives of each federation of employees and PMSU and two representatives of each independent employees unions and associations.

He said that the next meeting of the employees organisations would be held at Kisan Bhavan on July 24 to finalise the modalities of the front and future programme for the struggle of employees and to ensure the participation of left out unions. A number of unions could not attend today's meeting due to short notice and lack of coordination and other reasons, he added.

The speakers at the meeting said in joint statement that the united platform would launch a united struggle for the reversal of anti-government employees policies announced in the Budget, grant of promotional scale after 4, 9, and 14 years, 5 year bonus, raising of medical allowance and others.


MES employee shot dead
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 15
An employee of Military Engineering Services was allegedly shot dead by his four colleagues here last evening. The cause of the sordid incident is said to be a dispute within the employees’ union.

According to information available, the accused Santokh Singh, Swarn Singh, Gurdev Singh and Jagsher Singh, called the deceased from his house and took him to a restaurant. They opened fire under the influence of liquor after a brawl. Some military men who were present there overpowered the two accused, Santokh Singh and Swarn Singh, while two others managed to escape. They were later handed over to the police.

Meanwhile in other incidents three persons, including a woman, were killed.

A boy allegedly killed his step father, Inder Singh, for not inviting him to the wedding of his step brother. According to an FIR, Sukhcharan Singh, a resident of Ghanupur, attacked his step father reportedly with liquor bottles which were purchased for the wedding of his step brother, a real son of the deceased. The father was immediately taken to a hospital where he died.

In another incident at Bada Haripura, a 19-year-old, Kashmir Singh, was stabbed to death following a dispute over Rs 30. Kashmir Singh owed Rs 30 to Vijay Kumar. On his refusal to give back the money Bunty, brother of Vijay, stabbed him. Kashmir Singh died on the way to the hospital. Five persons were booked in the case including Vijay’s father, sister and the sister-in-law, Vijay and Bunty in Islamabad police station.

Meanwhile, the police has booked three of a family for the alleged murder of Jageep Kaur. Kudan Singh of Patti Blol, Sultanwind and the father of Jageep Kaur in his complaint alleged that his daughter had consumed some poisonous substance due to harassment by in-laws for bringing insufficient dowry.


Robbers strike in 3 villages, 1 dead
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, July 15
A gang of armed robbers yesterday struck at three different villages of the district and murdered one villager, besides injuring three others.

The gang first struck at the residence of Shingara Singh of Kotli village near here and attacked his family members, including Shingara Singh, Balbir Kaur and Ananat Kaur, before fleeing with looted household valuables.

Later, they allegedly attacked a farmhouse in Nangal Salempur village where Rubi and Gurbachan were sleeping. Both of them were strangulated by the attackers. While Rubi died on the spot, Gurbachan was admitted to a local Civil Hospital.

The gang also attacked a gateman posted at Maqsoodan level crossing while he was on his way to home. He was severely beaten up by the attackers on the Dhade road. They looted his belongings and fled away.


100 bottles of illicit liquor seized in raid
Tribune News Service

Ferozepore, July 15
To check the sale of illicit liquor the Excise and Taxation Department yesterday seized 100 bottles of liquor. According to Mr H.S. Bedi, Excise and Taxation Officer, of Ferozepore, a raid was conducted at the house of Dara Singh early at his native village of Kada Borha falling under Khal Khurd police station. During the search operation, 100 bottles of illicit liquor, one drum of lahan and utensils used for distilling lahan were seized. However, Dara Singh escaped.

An FIR under the Excise Act, of 1961, has been registered at Khal Khurd police station. Officials of the Excise Department revealed that distillation of countrymade liquor continued unabated in this border district despite efforts initiated by the department in the recent past.


Rs 2,500 looted from dera
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 15
At least five persons with muffled faces allegedly looted thousands of rupees from Bangali da Dera located near Maur Mandi town late last night by threatening its occupants, including the mahant of the dera.

Police sources said as per the report only Rs 2,500 had been looted from the dera by some unidentified persons. Whether the accused used any vehicle or not to reach the dera could not be ascertained. However, they did not attack any occupant.


Self-study took them to the top
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

The feeling that these three classmates — Jarnail Singh, Ranjit Kaur and Jagpinder Singh — belonging to semi-literate lower middle class families — have achieved a remarkable feat and done this sleepy town proud is yet to sink in. While Jarnail and Ranjit topped the statewide plus two board examinations of the Punjab School Education Board, Jagpinder Singh was declared fifth.

Little did they realise that what started as healthy competition would see them corner three top positions.

All three were students of the local Shatki Senior Secondary School.

Oblivious of his achievement, topper Jarnail Singh was bowling to his friends at a playground in the middle of the town when a Tribune team traced him out. The shy, unassuming and introvert 17-year-old shrugged off his achievement and agreed to express his feelings after a lot of persuasion. He scored 403 marks out of 450 (89. 6 per cent). The only son of a lineman in the PSEB, he said he had a burning ambition to make it to the civil services. “I am willing to give whatever it takes to make it to the top and this is only the beginning,” he added.

“Apart from remaining engrossed in my books, I also like to keep track of latest news. The feeling of topping the examinations is yet to sink in although all I ever wanted was to score better than Ranjit and Jagpinder,” Jarnail Singh said. “I studied by myself and never went in for special coaching,” he added.

Second topper Ranjit was busy in household chores when the Tribune team reached her residence. She reluctantly came out, thinking that we were from some college who wanted her to join their institution. “I am elated though all I wanted was to score over Jarnail and Jagpinder. We have been in healthy competition for the past many years. In the house tests, sometimes I won and at other times either of them scored better,” she revealed. She scored 398 out of 450 (88. 44 per cent).

Belonging to a marginal farming family she says that she has to milk buffaloes, besides preparing meals at times. “Study hours are flexible and I prefer studying at night. I studied by myself since no one in our family is highly educated,” she added. At this point her father, Gurdial Singh, interjected to say he had told her that” tuitions were no problem but she insisted on doing without them. Unlike most people here, I want my daughter to go in for higher studies, a view shared by my wife, Paramjeet Kaur,” he explained.

“Due to some family circumstances, I have opted for arts at the local National College for Women, turning down offers from other colleges in the district. I am currently pursuing a course in web designing,” she said by way of further plans.

Fifth slot topper Jagpinder Singh, too, was busy playing cricket when the Tribune team tracked him at his native place Sherian village. The shy and unassuming topper, too, is yet to come to terms with his new found popularity in the village. Son of a marginal farmer, he, too, comes from a family where no one is highly educated. I shared notes with my friends, Ranjit and Jagpinder,” he added.

All three were praise for their Principal, Mr Bhupinder Kapoor, who interacted with them on a regular basis to create a conducive studying atmosphere. The school is basking in its newfound glory and the number of queries for admission is remarkable, says Mr Kapoor. The school currently has a strength of over 700 students.


Romila Dube to visit PTU today
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The Punjab Government plans to initiate a series of measures to nurse the ailing Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar, back to health.

Ms Romila Dube, Principal Secretary, Technical Education, Punjab, who has now taken over as the Vice-Chancellor of the university till further orders, will visit to the university tomorrow to interact with the members the staff and faculty and apprise herself first-hand of the situation there. “Things have been bad at the university,” admits Ms Dube. “There is no doubt that the manner in which the affairs of the university had been conducted in the recent years left much to be desired. There was an atmosphere of drift, lack of direction and ad hocism.”

The university had deviated from its mandate of promoting research and development and conduct technical courses like B.Tech and M. Tech. Instead, it had branched out into new fields like opening distance education centres and engineering colleges. More than 100 distance education centres had been opened in Punjab, to which thousands of students had been admitted. Some of the centres did not meet even the basic requirements of an education centre. All these issues had been handed over to the Vigilance, which was investigating and would be submitting its report to the government shortly.

Ms Dube said her attempt would be to bring about transparency in the functioning of the university, end ad hocism and establish credibility of the examination system of the university. She was particularly worked up over the manner counselling was for engineering courses was postponed for the third time by the outgoing Vice-Chancellor on July 11. “We had tried to restrain the previous VC, but he did not heed our advice. Apparently, he wanted to create as many problems as possible before the end of his term. The postponement of the counselling at the last minute for the third time had sent out a very wrong signal to the students and others”, she said. It would now take place on July 18.

She noted that there had been complaints about mass copying, leak of question papers, unfair evaluation of answer sheets etc. The government would try to streamline the whole system so as to restore the faith of the teacher as well as the taught.


Students of de-affiliated colleges threaten stir
Jaswinder Paul

Bathinda, July 15
Even as the single-faculty IT colleges de-affiliated by Punjabi University have taken the legal course against the decision, students of these colleges have decided to launch an agitation if the affiliation was not restored.

A cross section of students doing various courses said today that the university authorities had virtually cheated them. They had completed one year in the colleges which were affiliated with the university now these had been de-affiliated.

The university had in a public notice issued in English newspapers on July 13, warned students not to take admissions in the single-faculty IT colleges as their affiliation would be withdrawn soon. The notice stated that multi-faculty colleges would be allowed to continue some of the IT courses.

The managements of at least five de-affiliated colleges have approached the high court.

Mandeep, an MCA student, said it was not fair on part of the university as it had assured the students that they would get degrees. There was no logic to cancel the affiliation midway, she added.

Other students said they preferred this university to other universities due to its reputation and now the authorities were asking the colleges to get affiliation from Punjab Technical University (PTU).

Nisha Gupta, a students, said the syllabis of Punjabi University and the PTU were different.

The university had even issued a schedule for admissions to BMIT and BCA courses and the colleges concerned had spent a lot on advertisements for attracting students to these courses.

Dr K.S. Sidhu, Registrar, Punjabi University, when contacted on phone at Patiala said the decision taken to de-affiliate the colleges was that of the Punjab Government. He added that as per a letter sent to the university by the government it had been asked to grant affiliations only to multi-faculty colleges for BCA and BMIT courses. He said the government knew the students had been awarded first year certificates by the university and now they had been asked to seek affiliation from the PTU.


34 students of Navodaya Vidyalaya go missing
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, July 15
Thirtyfour students of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, 7 km from Zira, were reportedly missing since last night. According to information, all students were hostellers and most of them were of Class X. Although the exact reason behind the incident has not been ascertained, some reports suggest that the students were perturbed over the improper living conditions of the hostel.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr D.K. Tiwari, who along with SSP P.K. Sinha visited the school and hostel premises today marked an enquiry to the local SDM to look into the sequence of events which made the students take such a step.

Other students present in the hostel said there was no proper facility for drinking water in the hostel and the food being provided was also not good. Another student said the students might have run away as one of the teachers had given them a severe bashing the other day.

The students added that in absence of proper boarding and lodging facilities their condition was more or less like prisoners. To add to their woes there were frequent power cuts with no back up. Staff members said as the school were facing a financial crisis the generator was not being used.

Surprisingly, the students had gone missing since yesterday night but the nearest police station was informed only today. The Deputy Commissioner, Ferozepore, Mr D.K. Tiwari, said he had already marked a magisterial inquiry into the incident. The SDM, Zira, has been asked to personally hold an inquiry into the incident and report to the DC office by tomorrow. The Principal could not be contacted.


State to have more primary schools
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 15
The Punjab Government will be building primary schools to impart education to children between 6 to 14 years of age in a cluster of villages having at least 45 to 50 houses.

This was stated by the Education Minister, Mr Kushal Behal, while addressing a gathering at the local Circuit House here yesterday. Mr Behal said committees would be formed at the village level which would co-ordinate with the state government in an attempt to suggest various means to improve the quality of education in villages.

Those present at the meeting included Mr Tejvir Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Mr Shiv Dullar Singh, ADC, and Mr Ved Parkash Gupta, President, District Congress Committee.


DEO finds opium, cash in office
Tribune News Service

Ropar, July 15
Dr Malti Batra, District Education Officer (Primary), Ropar, today allegedly found nearly 7 grams of opium and Rs 2,000 cash in two drawers of her office table here.

Talking to newspersons in her office today, she said she found opium and cash from the drawers when she opened them while performing her duty in the office. She alleged that the items had been placed in her drawers allegedly in connivance with two officers of the Education Department to implicate her in a false case as they were annoyed with her on different grounds.

Dr Batra said she had informed the SSP, Ropar, about the incident. Mr S.P.S. Parmar, SP (D), and Mr Balwant Singh Majitha, SHO of the city police station, visited the office and took the material in their possession for chemical examination.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |