Saturday, August 17, 2002, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Govt pegs drought loss at 4,367 cr
Seeks Rs 100 per quintal as bonus on paddy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
As per a decision of the state-level committee on drought and power situation in Punjab, the Rural Development and Agriculture Minister, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, has demanded Rs 100 per quintal as bonus on paddy from the Union Government.

The committee has also decided to request the Union Government to defer the recovery of cooperative loans advanced to farmers for two years and also waive interest on loans. The Union Government would be asked to reduce the premium on insurance of crops. Other important issues pertaining to drought would also be taken up with the Centre.

In an official press note, Mrs Bhattal said today that the total loss in the state due to drought had been assessed at Rs 4367 crore — Rs 2367 crore in the agricultural sector and Rs 2,000 crore in the industrial sector.

The agricultural sector’s loss includes production loss of Rs 1260 crore for the main kharif crops that includes Rs 882.56 crore for loss of paddy. Besides, it includes loss of Rs 462.65 crore because of the area that has remained unsown and Rs 412 crore additional expenditure incurred on diesel, apart from Rs 193 crore spent on deepening tubewells.

Mrs Bhattal said the Union Government would be requested to revise the norms for determining the loss caused due to natural calamities as many things had changed since 1996 when these norms were laid down.


Farmers seek Rs 15,000 as drought relief
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 16
Hundreds of farmers owing allegiance to the Bharti Kissan Union staged a dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office here today, demanding Rs 15000/- per acre as drought relief and various other concessions.

Addressing the dharna, Mr Baldev Singh Mianpur, state president of the BKU said that the compensation of Rs 700 per acre announced by the state government is just a mockery with the farmers as they had paid more than Rs 700 as labour to the migrant laborers for the plantation of paddy per acre. He demanded that the special survey assessment announced by the government should be conducted by experts of Punjab Agriculture University and not by the revenue staff as announced.

He said the revenue staff is not technically suited for this. Moreover, it is not taking into account the land, which had already been ploughed due to drought. He also criticised the norms of the central government prescribed for drought compensation terming these anti-farmers.

He said the government has indirectly imposed taxes worth Rs 600 crore on the farmers by imposing sales tax on fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, milk and animal feed.

He also criticised Dr S.S. Johal and others who are advocating reimposing of electricity bills and terming the farmer community as beneficiaries of getting free power. He said the economic condition of a majority of the farmers is worsening and he is falling in debt trap.

He demanded that the government should make efforts to help farmers by waiving their outstanding loans and further advancing these at a minimum interest @ of 4 per cent.

Mr Balbir Singh Rajewal, Mr Mohinder Singh Railon and Mr Karnail Singh Kadian, leaders of the BKU, also spoke on the occasion.


Change drought criteria, says Amarinder
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 16
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today said the state government would press the Centre to set new norms to facilitate the declaration of Punjab as drought-affected state, so that farmers, who had suffered losses could be compensated.

The Chief Minister told TNS informally here that under the existing norms, Punjab could not be declared drought-affected because of the fact that extent of loss to crops due to drought was less than 50 per cent, which was a mandatory condition for declaring any area drought-affected.

The union minister, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, while endorsing the demand of the state government, said he would also press the Central Government to accept Punjab’s demand.

He said farmers of the state had suffered heavy losses as they had spent huge money for irrigating through tubewells. A section of farmers had also deepened their wells by spending lakhs to draw the water.


45 ‘tainted’ allied service officers to go
PCS association seeks ‘parallel hierarchy’
P.P. S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
The PCS (Executive) Officers’ Association meets here tomorrow at a time when there is disquiet over the selections made by the PPSC to the state civil service. The stigma of “tainted’’ PCS officers haunts the association. Already 46 of them have either been reverted to their original posts or removed from service.

In fact, as the association meets Chief Secretary Y.S. Ratra at Punjab Bhavan here tomorrow, a memorandum is ready for the Council of Ministers to “remove’’ at least 45 officers of the “allied’’ services. Recently, it may be recalled, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had withdrawn court work from 39 PCS (Judicial) officers as well.

The association stand is clear on this issue. It wants “fair play” when it comes to proceeding against the “tainted” officers. The association recollects that in 1995, when it met the fourth Punjab Pay Commission, it had demanded that the PPSC must be “revamped’’ and only persons, known for their highest level of honesty and integrity should be appointed as members and they must also have vast administrative experience. “Most of the ills that afflict the administration today have originated because of the tainted selections made by the PPSC’’, said sources in the association.

An association office-bearer said that often PPSC members were seen keeping a general knowledge book in their laps while asking questions from candidates.

Sources say that the association will tomorrow seek a parallel hierarchy up to the rank of Secretary/Financial Commissioner and reiterate that the state civil service should be delinked from the IAS and not be treated as a “feeder’’ service.

Informed sources told TNS that this demand was as per consensus reached at a conference of state civil services officers in Srinangar in July last, where it was unanimously resolved that the state civil service should be delinked from the IAS. In fact, it was only after Independence that the provincial civil service was made a feeder service to the IAS.

In fact, in 1994 Ms Margaret Alva, the then Union Minister of State for Personnel, had agreed with the proposal that those officers, who are not promoted to the IAS within 15 years of their service, should not be debarred from getting elevated up to the rank of Secretary. She even wrote to all Chief Secretaries in this regard. Consequently, several states have begun to promote state civil service officers to the level of Secretary. In states like Gujarat, Orissa, West Bengal, J and K, North-Eastern states, state civil service officers are posted as Deputy Commissioners/Collectors.

However, in Punjab till 1970s, PCS officers were posted as Deputy Commissioners but somehow the practice was discontinued without any justification, said Association sources.

The association is sore that the government chose to ignore with impunity the suggestions made by it over a period of time to bring about administrative transparency, effectiveness and efficiency to make governance responsive, accountable and corruption-free. One of the suggestions, made in 1998, was to set up an institute of administrative studies, which will give its report directly to the Chief Minister/Chief Secretary regarding improvements in the administration and to remove maladies which have entered the administration.

Likewise, in-house training for the IAS/PCS is also missing. Even in the State Institute of Public Administration there is no subject matter specialist to impart “revenue” training. “Time and again our suggestions were brushed aside. Administration of revenue record and its maintenance is essential for society’s welfare and wellbeing. Ill-kept revenue record is a source of litigation and the law and order problem”.

Though the association has several grievances, it is likely to air only some of these since it will be the first formal interaction with the Chief Secretary. PCS considers itself as the “backbone” of the government, implementing its decisions and policies at the cutting edge. The sanctioned PCS’ strength is 288 and effective 200-odd.


Vedanti shielding bribery accused: Khalsa Panchayat
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
The Shiromani Khalsa Panchayat (SKP) holds Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti “responsible” reportedly for shielding his brother-in-law and personal assistant, Prithipal Singh, in the Baba Dhanwant Singh bribery case besides accusing SGPC chief Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar, of allegedly going back on his word of thorough inquiry of the case before deciding on the charges levelled against the Baba and Prithipal Singh.

Noor Vishav Ruhani Charitable Sansatha chief Baba Dhanwant Singh was alleged to have raped a young girl of Nawanshahr at his dera. The matter was brought to the notice of Akal Takht. The issue caused an uproar in Sikh religious circles and many eyebrow were raised when the Baba was let off following a “mild tankah”.

Here allegations of a bribe - reportedly Rs 70, 000 — allegedly having been paid to Prithipal Singh for securing “mild punishment” surfaced. The SKP is in the forefront for securing justice and also submitted a list of five Independent witnesses who volunteered to appear before Akal Takht to substantiate the allegations of moral turpitude and bribery.

Talking to The Tribune here today, SKP chief Charanjit Singh Channi, who was injured in police firing at Malout on the Noormahalia issue and is recuperating, said that the statement of the SGPC chief had come as a shock. “We are pained that the actions of the Jathedar and the SGPC chief are not above board. How can Prof Badungar or the high priests exonerate the Baba without examining the five devout Sikh witnesses who swear by the supreme authority of the Akal Takht, are willing to testify on oath in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib and ignoring a hand written letter of apology tendered by Dhanwant Singh to Baba Sewa Singh Rampur Khere Wale for not repeating such an act (sexually exploiting a girl) — into consideration?”, he questioned.

He alleged that the panchayat had received an assurance from the Sikh priests that since Prithipal Singh was the Jathedar’s brother-in-law, he (Jathedar Vedanti) should not be associated with the inquiry in the interests of morality or justice. Instead it was agreed that a one-man inquiry commission — Prof Badungar — would go into the allegations and forward its findings to Sikh high priests who then would announce verdict or punishment he pointed out.

Mr Channi said since their agreement has been rendered null and void the SKP now would place the matter before the Sarbat Khalsa and abide by whatever decision was arrived at. “It would also be an opportunity where all like-minded groups would place on record the anti-Panthic activities being pursued by those responsible for guiding the community at such a critical juncture,” he pointed out.

He also added that the SKP would boycott the Akal Takht Jathedar for ethical reasons as per Sikh traditions as had been the tradition of boycott by the people of Jathedars wherever they worked at variancewith the Panth. In this context he quoted the examples of Jathedars Aroor Singh and Puran Singh.

On the Noormahalia issue, he said they — all like-minded organisations — would assemble at the Akal Takht — as commanded by the Akal Takht Jathedar and Sikh high priests — next week, discuss the issue, pass a gurmata and then serve an ultimatum to the government, We will give the government time to act before enforcing the resolution as we deem fit. But one thing is clear, we would not allow anyone to play with our religious sentiments, he stressed.


Dental college chief Harika held
Tribune News Service

Mansa, August 16
Dr Naginder Singh Harika, Managing Director (MD), Khalsa Dental College and Hospital, Nangal Kalan (Mansa), detained in Bathinda Central Jail for alleged involvement in several cases of fraud committed with the students, and who had escaped from police custody while under govt treatment in PGI, Chandigarh, few days ago was nabbed by the Delhi police when it raided a hotel in the Paharganj area recently.

Mr S.S. Shrivastva, SSP, Mansa, said that Dr Harika was being brought to the city today after being remanded in police custody for two days by a Delhi court. The police also had secured warrant to arrest Dr Harika from a local court also.

After Dr Harika escaped from the custody of four policemen of Bathinda district they all were suspended. A case in this connection was registered in Sector 11 Chandigarh police station.

Sources said that Dr Harika, facing various cases of fraud, was shifted to the PGI, Chandigarh from Bathinda Central Jail, as he required medical treatment on July 19. On July 20, he escaped from police custody and saying that he was going out of the room to buy medicines.

Dr Harika, who enjoyed immunity from legal action during the previous SAD-BJP government due to his influence was put behind the bars when his bail plea was rejected by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in a case of cheating candidates seeking admission in BDS and B.Sc nursing course registered against him at Mansa police station.

The parents of affected students in complaints to the police and later in the FIRs alleged that Dr Harika collected crores of rupees for dental and nursing courses being run by him claiming the courses were duly approved by the authorities concerned. The students were induced to the college by advertisements in various newspapers claiming that dental college was duly recognised by the Dental Council of India.

As the college had not been recognised, a number of students, who had paid capitation fee in lakhs, had been finding themselves helpless as the degrees they had received after completing courses could not get them jobs, pointed out parents of affected students.


SAD MLA held for liquor smuggling
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
Even as Shiromani Akali Dal MLA Malkit Singh Kittu, surrendered before the Moga Police today afternoon - after he along with his brother — were booked by the police for being allegedly involved in liquor smuggling, his family members have alleged that he has been framed by the Congress to settle political scores.

As many as 184 cases of country and foreign liquor were recovered from Kittu’s residence in Bilaspur, about 30 km from Moga, late last night. Mr Kittu is the SAD legislator from Barnala.

Confirming the arrest, Mr Shiv Kumar Sharma, SSP, Moga, said the police had received a tip-off that the Akali minister and his brother were involved in liquor smuggling and that a consignment was reaching them today. He said a raid was conducted at his house late last night in which a truck load of smuggled liquor was recovered.

The brands recovered included country made Santra brand and IMFL medium brand Bagpiper. The truck ferrying the consignment has also been impounded. He said Kittu surrendered in the office of Mr Ajit Singh Pannu, DSP, Nihal Singh Wala, at noon today. Meanwhile, his brother - Gurdeep Singh Kittu - is absconding. The raid was conducted jointly by the Moga police and the Excise Department, he added.

On the other hand, Ms Gurdeep Kaur, sister- in -law of the accused said the raiding party - under heavy police escort - reached the village yesterday at about 8 p.m. and parked the truck in the courtyard of the house. Armed guards were reportedly posted all around and no one was allowed to enter or leave the house.

Later on, senior officers reached the house and took photographs and recovered the consignment. She alleged that MLA had gone to the police station to enquire about the matter but was arrested for possessing illegal liquor.

Sources said the raiding party recovered 120 cases of Santra brand from the truck, 15 cases of the same brand were recovered from the room of Gurdeep Singh while 12 cases of IMFL - stamped “For sale in Chandigarh only” - were recovered from the top floor room of Mr Kittu.


Mahajan must quit, say YC leaders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
The president of the Pradesh Youth Congress Mr Devinder Singh Babbu, and the senior vice-president, Mr Pawan Dewan, have demanded the resignation of the union minister, Mr Pramod Mahajan, for his alleged involvement in the murder of Shivani Bhatnagar.

In a joint statement issued here today, Mr Babbu and Mr Dewan alleged that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government was tainted with scams which were unfolding one after another. They pointed out that the allotment of petrol pumps scam, allotment of plots to RSS-affiliated organisations and now the alleged involvement of Mr Mahajan in a heineous crime proved that the government had lost the moral authority to govern.

The Youth Congress leaders observed that the NDA’s tall claims of providing a clean government had already proved false and the people were disillusioned with the government. They claimed that the popularity graph of the government had touched an all-time low, adding that should resign on its own.

Mr Babbu and Mr Dewan also criticised former Punjab Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal for trying to malign the image of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to divert the public attention from various corruption cases against his former ministerial colleagues. They suggested that Mr Badal should own the responsibility and apologise to the people of the state for all the omissions and commissions of the past.


Power supply to tehsil office, police stations cut
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, August 16
Officials of the Punjab State Electricity Board, urban wing, led by Mr Sham Lal Arora, Sub-Divisional Officer, here today disconnected the power supply to the police stations, city and Sadar, office of Tehsildar and the PWD rest house due to non-payment of outstanding bills.

A bill of Rs 54,400 stands against Sadar police station, Rs 35,000 against the city police station, Rs 25,000 against the PWD rest house and Rs 9,100 against the tehsil office. The electricity supply to 11 residential quarters of the city police station and an equal number at the Sadar police station too has been disconnected for the same reasons.

About nine months ago the PSEB authorities had detected that at the Sadar police station and residential colony meters were not installed in the desired number, hence a check meter was installed there. Sources point out that the first bill of the check meter was Rs 1,25,000. Thereafter due to some pressure from the Police Department the next bill of the non-functional meter was issued for Rs 50,000 by taking an average. Thereafter another slashed bill of Rs 25,000 was issued. However the Police Department did not pay the bill and hence the disconnection of the supply.

Mr Arora stated that notices had been issued to all government and private consumers who had not paid the bills. The PSEB sources reveal that till July 31 Rs 15 lakh stands against government institutions and Rs 44 lakh against private sector consumers.


Sale of child from orphanage: accused denied bail
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 16
Four persons allegedly involved in the sale of a child belonging to the Rajindra Dewa Orphanage here, including the chairman of the trust, were refused bail today by the court of the Additional Sessions Judge, Patiala, Ms Archana Puri.

Mr Brijinder Singh Sodhi, prosecution counsel for the Yateemkhana Bachao Action Committee whose convener, Mr H.S. Sodhi, had initiated a case against the orphanage trust, said out of the four accused in the case, the chairman Davinder Pal Singh, senior property manager Jaswant Singh and Industrialist Swaran Singh, who had allegedly bought the child, had applied for anticipatory bail. The fourth accused, Kehar Singh, an employee of the trust, had applied for regular bail.

It may be recalled that a few days ago, the police had registered a case against the management of the Rajindra Dewa Orphanage here for allegedly selling off a child to an industrialist from Ludhiana for Rs 50,000 besides other financial irregularities, on the complaint of Mr H.S. Sodhi to the SSP and the DC. An inquiry was ordered into the case.

Ms Manjeet Kaur, a teacher along with the warden of the orphanage, had complained that a child found abandoned by the Railway police was handed over to the orphanage and after a month it was sold off for Rs 50,000. The money was received and carried away by the chairman’s wife in bag from his office. The children of the orphanage had also come out strongly in protest against the alleged sale.


Memoranda galore for Nitish
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, August 16
The Punjab Transport Minister, Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, in a memorandum submitted to the Union Railway Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, demanded that a model railway station conforming to modern architecture should be established at SAS Nagar.

The memorandum also demanded that the work of laying the Chandigarh-Morinda rail track should be expedited and additional funds for land acquisition at Amritsar provided for the proposed Goindwal Sahib-Tarn Taran rail line.

In another memorandum submitted to the Railway Minister, the Public Grievances Association (PGA) demanded another Shatabdi train between Bathinda and Delhi on the Mansa-Jakhal route. Mr Sadhu Ram Kusla, general secretary, PGA, said direct access to platforms should be provided, as is being done all over the country. Also, changes should be made to facilitate easy entry and exit for old and infirm passengers at platforms. They also demanded the installation of an integrated voice response system at Bathinda railway station.

The Railway Passengers Association (North Zone) in its memorandum demanded that more railway ticket counters should be established, the capacity of Jakhal, Ferozpore and Sriganganagar tracks doubled and the Abohar-Fazlika railway line completed on priority.


Shatabdi flagged off from Patiala
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 16
MP Preneet Kaur today flagged off Shatabdi Express from Patiala during the train’s stop here on its inaugural run from Bathinda to New Delhi.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms Preneet Kaur said that a long-standing demand of the people of this area had been met by starting an express train and the residents of Patiala and adjoining areas would definitely benefit.

Those present included the Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Mr Vishnu Sharma,a senior Congress leader and former MP, Mr Sant Ram Singla and District Congress Chief, Mr Ved Prakash Gupta.

Senior Congress leader Sant Ram Singla welcomed the decision of the government to start the shatabdi and said that the train would prove to be a boon for Malwa region. He, however, added that a Jan-Shatabdi should also be started on this route so as to facilitate the common man.


Few passengers on day one
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, August 16
Union Railway Minister Nitish Kumar flagged off the Shatabdi train to Delhi here at 8.15 am with less than 10 passengers on board. Its scheduled departure time is 5 am.

While the plan was to run this train for five days a week, Mr Kumar gave in to the demands of the people and said it would run for six days. Mr Jagmeet Brar, Congress MP, did not attend the function even as he was in the city.

About 10 memorandums were presented to the Union Railway Minister by various NGOs, the Punjab Government and passengers’ associations. People were seen complaining of the astronomical fares of the Shatabdi and the long time taken to reach Delhi. Mr Simranjit Mann demanded that a train connecting the Malwa region to the holy city of Amritsar should also be started.


Suicide bid on Shatabdi track
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 16
Even as the Union Railway Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, alongwith other leaders, including Chief Minister, Punjab, Amarinder Singh, was flagging off the Shatabdi Express for New Delhi from the local railway station, one of the railway employees made an attempt to suicide by laying down on the same track on which the superfast train was to run today.

Police sources said Bisakha Singh, one of the employees of the Railways posted at local railway station, was picked up from the track and persuaded to go from there.

The sources said no case was registered in this connection.

Mr Harinder Singh, a functionary of the GRP, when contacted, said the police party was able to persuade Bisakha Singh not to commit suicide.

Mr Kanwar Lal Meena, Station Superintendent, when contacted, said no action was being taken against Mr Baisakha Sigh for laying down on the rail track.


... and the train chugged away
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, August 16
The candlelight procession led by Mrs Santosh Chaudhary, Congress MP from Phillaur, illuminations, train crew leaving without receiving felicitations and the prestigious train arriving more than 20 minutes late in its first halt marked the function held at local railway station last night for welcoming the 2013 Up Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi Express during its maiden stoppage at Phagwara.

Nearly 5,000 persons had gathered to receive the train which reached here around 9.15 pm even, almost 25 minutes behind its scheduled time of 8.50 pm. Mrs Santosh Chaudhary, MP, had travelled in it from Delhi to welcome it at Phagwara. The MLA from Sham Chaurasi, Mr Ram Lubhaya, was also with her.

The driver, the guard, the TT and the other staff members of the trainwere to be honoured with mementoes at Phagwara railway station during the first stoppage of the Shatabdi Express there. They had agreed with Mrs Chaudhry that they would come out to receive felicitations at the function to be held at the platform.

However, when everybody was waiting for the crew, people were taken aback when the train started moving. Cries of “stop, stop” by the organisers and crowd were lost in the chugging din as the train left after stopping for two minutes.

Later, addressing the function, Mrs Chaudhary told the public that the train crew were scared by the rush of people and left without getting mementoes because they feared the train would be delayed.

She promised to ensure that the Sachkhand Express and the Malwa Express also stopped at Phagwara.

A deepmala ceremony marked the function even as bands played patriotic tunes.

Since the municipal poll in Phagwara is slated for September 8, the Congress left no stone unturned for making the occasion a show of its political strength.

Earlier, the BJP distributed ladoos in the morning yesterday when the 2014 Dn Amritsar-Delhi Shatabdi Express had stopped here at 6.29 am for the first time.


Railways suffer losses in 8 sections
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, August 16
The Railways has suffered a financial loss in eight branch rail sections of the Ferozepur Division this year. This was stated by Senior Divisional Commercial Manager, Mr V.P. Singh while talking with this correspondent last night. He described these rail sections as Pathankot-Joginder Nagar, Amritsar-Attari, Amritsar-Khemkaran, Jalandhar-Hoshiarpur, Amritsar-Dera Baba Nanak, Ludhiana-Lohia, Phagwara-Nawanshahr and Jalandhar-Nakodar rail sections.

Mr V.P. Singh said the Railways had recorded 6 per cent decrease in passenger traffic in the Ferozepur Divison, but 15 per cent increase in the Railways earning this year, due to long distance travelling.

He claimed 300 per cent increase in the Railways earning in “goods loadings” this year. He said, seven more computerise railway reservation centres were being opened at Moga, Manali, Baramula, Fazilka, Kathua, Jammu Tawi city, etc. He assured more beautification of certain railway stations in the Ferozepur Division soon.


Bail plea of ex-PPSC Secy rejected
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 16
District and Sessions Judge S. N. Aggarwal today rejected the regular bail application filed by former PPSC Secretary Pritpal Singh, who is at present in judicial custody.

The prosecution argued that the Vigilance Bureau was yet to nab more examiners, allegedly involved in the scam and Mr Pritpal Singh, if released, may tamper with the evidence. It may be recalled that an examiner, Dr Jaspal Singh, who had been arrested by the Vigilance Bureau in the PPSC scam had claimed that he had acted on the instructions given by the former PPSC Secretary.

The former PPSC Secretary had applied for grant of regular bail on July 30. The defence counsel had argued that Mr Pritpal Singh had merely carried out the orders of the ex-PPSC Chairman, Ravi Sidhu, and that the Vigilance Bureau did not possess any proof of the former Secretary accepting a bribe from any candidate. He had further pleaded for the grant of regular bail to the accused as Mr Pritpal Singh had already been questioned by the bureau on numerous occasions.


Langah’s remand extended
Tribune News Service

Ropar, August 16
Mr A.S. Kathuria, Special Judge, today extended the judicial remand of former Punjab PWD Minister Sucha Singh Langah till August 29 after the expiry of his earlier judicial remand today. He was produced in the court under tight security arrangements. Even mediapersons were not allowed by the police to enter the court room when Mr Langah was produced in the court.

The Vigilance Bureau had registered a case against Mr Langah, who surrendered in the court of Judicial Magistrate at Kharar on July 25, under Sections 420, 467, 468, 120-B of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act on May 16 at SAS Nagar.

Supporters of Mr Langah today also reached the District Judicial Complex here to meet him. They raised slogans “Sucha Singh Langah zindabad”. Some of them touched his knees.


Panel for quota in private sector jobs
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 16
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes has made representations to the Central Government seeking reservation of jobs for the SC/ST candidates in the private sector. A member of the commission, Mr C.Chilappa, stated this while addressing a press conference here last evening. He said although a majority of the SC/ST educated unemployed youth were hankering after government jobs, due to various constraints it was not possible to give jobs to all of them.

Mr Chilappa, a former IAS officer from the Tamil Nadu cadre, said the state governments must provide liberal financial assistance to these youth for making them self-reliant by enabling them to set up small units.

Citing figures from the Punjab State Scheduled Castes Financial Corporation, Mr Chilappa said the targets fixed for each district by the state government point out that barely 10 per cent of these youth have been provided financial help.

He was also critical of the state government which, instead of giving Rs 500 annually to every girl child during her primary education, had given them only Rs 73 last year. He said the state government had assured him that from the current financial year the funds allocated for girl students would be provided in full. Although the government was providing free text books to SC/ST students up to Class X, the commission felt that the bright students should be given quality education. One such school for bright students should be set up in each district.

Mr Chilappa said vocational training programmes should be started in each district to train unemployed graduates to start their own ventures. The commission had directed the nationalised banks to provide 10 per cent funds, earmarked for the priority sector, to the persons belonging to SC/ST for starting their own businesses.


Power generation for self-use: PSEB told not to claim duty
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 16
The Chief Electrical Inspector of the Punjab Government had directed the Punjab State Electricity Board not to collect electricity duty on power generated for self-use by industrialists who had put up captive power plants or generators to run their establishments.

The Chief Inspector through its letter No. 12437 dated August 2, had advised the Chairman of the PSEB at Patiala that under the provisions of Section 3(2) of the Punjab Electricity Duty Act, 1958, read with rule No. 6, the electricity duty for generation for self-use shall be payable to the state government only.

The letter state that the provisions clearly point out that the duty on power generation for self-use is a state government matter and as such the installation of energy meters for commuting duty on generation for self-use by the consumers does not fall under the purview of the board.

The inspector added that the commercial wing of the PSEB should be told to excercise restraint from issuing the instructions on the duty.


Award for NFL
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 16
The Bathinda unit of National Fertilizers Limited (NFL) has won the Rashtriya Suraksha Purskar, instituted by the Union Labour Ministry, for the second time in a row. A statement issued here said that the unit bagged the awards for the year 1999 and 2000.

The statement added that during the period, the unit achieved a record of 160 lakh accident free manhours. The General Manager, Mr CM Nagpal, has extended his felicitations to the employees of the unit for achieving the awards. He also praised the workers for adhering to the strict safety guidelines formulated by the organisation.


Trust offices shut in protest
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 16
The Improvement Trust offices of all over Punjab remained closed today in protest against the death of the Ludhiana improvement trust employee Nirmal Singh Bhullar in Ludhiana while he was on duty.

Mr Phul Singh Gandhi, president of the Punjab Improvement Trust Workers Union, demanded Rs 25 lakh as compensation for the victim’s family.


IAS, 4 PCS officers transferred
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
The Punjab Government has ordered the transfer of one IAS and four PCS officers. Mr V.K. Meena, ADC, Ferozepore, swaps posts with Mr Gopal Krishan, ADC, Gurdaspur.

Mr Ashwani Kumar has been posted as Assistant Commissioner (General) with additional charge of AC (Grievances), Fatehgarh Sahib. Ms Raghbir Kaur has been sent to Fatehgarh Sahib as District Transport Officer.


Two arrested in murder case

Amritsar, August 16
The police has arrested two persons for allegedly murdering Teju of Jharkhand (at present at Fatehgarh Churian road) here today. Teju was killed by the accused at about 2.00 a.m.

Dr S K Kalia, SP City, informed that Teju alongwith four persons used to work at Goldy Poultry farm at Fatehgarh Churian road. Yesterday Teju and his friends went to a house near the farm where one Raj Kumar was already present.

Under the influence of liquor, Raj Kumar alleged that Teju used to tease his sister, which led to scuffle among them. Raj Kumar left the house after that. But at midnight, Raj Kumar with his friends Sandeep and two others attacked Teju while he was sleeping. The police has arrested Raj Kumar and Sandeep while two others had absconded.


Three killed in accident

Moga, August 16
Three persons were killed in a head-on collision between two trucks near Rode village today, the police said. The victims were identified as — Gurvinder Singh, Karamjit Singh and Jagjit Singh. The driver of a truck was wounded in the accident.

The police said the accident occurred when a Kotkapura-bound truck loaded with construction material collided with the ill-fated truck on its way to Adampur. UNI


2 arrested in rape case
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 16
The Jandiala police has arrested two persons, including a woman, in connection with the rape of a 13-year-old girl of the Shekhupura area in Majitha here on Wednesday.

It is learnt that one of the accused Binder Kaur of the same locality allegedly brought the girl to her house where Mangal Singh of the same area was already present. Mangat Singh committed the crime.


FIR against transport company
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 16
An FIR was registered against Pushpinder Singh, manager of a private roadways, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Road, and its proprietor for keeping a book of fake receipts at their own level at police station ‘D’ Division here today.

Commissioner Jasbir Singh Bir informed that a person came to the octroi office and contacted a record keeper of Octroi Department and produced a copy of fake receipts, showing levying octroi tax amounting to about Rs 85,000.


Man murdered by nephews
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, August 16
Chaman Lal (41) was reportedly murdered with sharp edged weapons near a well at Tehing village late last night allegedly by his nephews Manjit Ram and Gurcharanjit of Naggar village.

A property dispute was said to be the cause of the murder, the police said.

A case has been registered under Sections 302/34, IPC.

The body has been sent to the Civil Hospital here for a post-mortem examination.


Gang busted
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, August 16
The city police has arrested three members of a gang responsible for stealing vehicles. The sources said today that the accused had been identified as Baldev Singh, alias Hardev Singh of Khara, village Kulwant Singh and his son Amardeep Singh and Iqbal Singh.


Dharna by DIET students
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 16
Students of the District Institute of Elementary Training ( DIET) today boycotted the exams and staged a dharna in protest against the alleged beating up of a student during exams, who was later admitted to the local Civil Hospital in an unconscious condition. Later, the Director of SCERT rushed from Chandigarh and initiated negotiations with the striking students and succeeded in resolving the dispute and the students appeared for the practical exams.

Mr Randhir Singh, who was allegedly beaten by Deputy Director Karnail Singh, told The Tribune in the hospital that he reached the examination hall 10 minutes late as his scooter got punctured, as soon as he entered the examination hall, the Deputy Director also reached there and enquired for the delay. He said: “As soon, as I tried to give the reason he immediately slapped and abused me.” He said he fell unconscious and his fellow students took him to hospital. He said as he fell down the bench lying in the hall struck him in forehead and he got injured.

The striking student leader Nirbhai Singh said the Principal of DIET and the other teaching staff were biased against the students.

Mr Sohan Lal, Director of SCERT, after initiating talks with the striking students made the Deputy Director admit his fault and tender an apology, after which the students sat in the exams.


Principals appointed on ‘merit’
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 16
In a memorandum to Mr Khushhal Behl, Education Minister, Punjab, the Gazetted Educational School Association Punjab said 60 school principals/PES-II selected during the tenure of Ravi Sidhu had been included in the tainted list while the principals claimed to be meritorious and experienced professionals.

The memorandum stated that all selected principals had more than 20 years of experience as headmasters/lecturers at the time of their selection and they applied for these posts through proper channel. While selecting them no screening test was given due to lesser number of candidates and was interview-based.

Mr Satwant Singh Gill, convener, appealed to the Punjab Government to reconsider its decision as no one had named any principal guilty of giving bribe for getting the job.

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 |