Sunday, August 18, 2002, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Takht may not take up criminal cases in future
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 17
The Sikh high priests are contemplating not to take up cases of criminal nature, including rape or moral turpitude at Akal Takht in future. The “mishandling” of the case of Baba Dhanwant Singh of the Noor Vishav Ruhani Charitable Trust, who has been facing charges of moral turpitude, has made them think so.

The Sikh scholars are of the view that cases like rape should be tried in criminal courts first. If a victim exhausts all channels for seeking justice only then Akal Takht should be approached.

Talking to TNS, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jatheder, Akal Takht, admitted that the Sikh clergy had been receiving a number of letters from all over the world for not taking up criminal cases directly. It may be mentioned here that Bibi Kiranjot Kaur, general secretary, SGPC, had written to Jatheder Vedanti for not taking up such cases at Akal Takht in future. She had stated that Akal Takht should not be treated as a police station.

However, Jathedar Vedanti said henceforth he would refer the cases to the Dharm Parchar Committee of the SGPC or the proposed “religious advisory committee”. He said the members of these Committees would scrutinise such matters before they were taken up at Akal Takht. However, he verified that Akal Takht could take suo moto action of genuine complaints if the victims approached the Sikh high priests after exhausting other channels of law.

It is pertinent to mention here that the charges against Baba Dhanwant Singh boomeranged into a major controversy when members of the Khalsa Panchayat had alleged that the then personal assistant to Jathedar Vedanti had taken bribe for showing favour to the culprit (Baba Dhanwant Singh). However, the charges were found to be “baseless” by the Sikh clergy at the recently held meeting at Akal Takht. On the other hand the Khalsa Panchayat had threatened to take the case to the Sikh masses.

What is disturbing the Sikh intellectuals is that the SGPC had not formed the religious advisory committee despite repeated reminders by the Jathedar, Akal Takht. Disillusioned over the callous attitude of the SGPC, Bibi Kiranjot Kaur had urged Jathedar Vedanti to constitute such a committee at his own level.


Gas agency of Major’s widow sealed
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 17
Ms Rajinder Kaur Aujla, was allotted a gas agency as she was widow of Major Didar Singh, she was allotted the agency after a long wait of 19 years. She feels dejected as officials of the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation reached here to seal the agency.

She is the only beneficiary in five districts of Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar and Kapurthala who was allotted the gas agency in the priority quota for ex-servicemen. After efforts for 19 years she was allotted gas agency last year. She was widowed after five years of her marriage with Major Didar Singh.

Col J.S. Bal, state president of the Rashtriya Raksha Dal threatened stern action if the petrol pumps or gas agencies allotted to ex-servicemen or their dependents were cancelled without assigning any reason. He said ex-servicemen or their dependents could not be equated with politicians who used influence to get the petrol pumps or gas agencies allotted out of turn. Seeking immediate intervention by the Prime Minister, Col Bal said that ex-servicemen or their dependents should be exempted like war widows of the Kargil conflict. Col Bal said that politicians got petrol pumps and gas agencies by hoodwinking the people, ex-servicemen and their dependents got certain benefits by rendering service to the nation.

Major Didar Singh had worked in the Jammu and Kashmir, north eastern states and the border state of Punjab. He was head of the bomb disposal squad of the Indian Army. Major Didar Singh died due to lung infection following bomb explosion while digging the Sutlej Yamuna Link canal.


BJP to hold rally against Cong
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
The state unit of the BJP will organise a rally against the political vendetta campaign launched by the present Congress regime in the state.

This was stated by Mr Sangh Priye Gautam, Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament and Incharge of Punjab State BJP Affairs, here today. He said top leaders of the party, including three Union Ministers, would address the rally and mobilise the public against the atrocities committed by the Congress during its six-months tenure in the state.

He said Union Ministers Vinod Khanna, Satnarayan Jetia and Shah Nawaz would also address the rally at Ludhiana tomorrow.

They were also planning to mobilise the party workers at the district level and organise dharnas and protest rallies at the district level. Lambasting the claims made by Capt Amarinder Singh that he was weeding out corruption, Mr Sangh Priye Gautam said corruption had only increased in the past six months of Congress rule in Punjab.

He accused the Chief Minister of misusing the chair by implicating his political opponents (SAD and BJP leaders) in corruption cases and then forcibly making them sign “confessional statements.”

Talking about Ravi Sidhu, the tainted PPSC Chairman, Mr Gautam said that though the Congress government had accused him of misappropriations during the SAD-BJP regime, it was the Congress itself who had appointed him. He said there was need to probe his appointment in the Commission itself and how his “misdoings were harboured during the previous Congress regime in the state.”

In answer to another question about the BJP losing its credibility over the petrol pump scam and the plot allotment scam, he carefully dodged the queries by saying, “That is why the Prime Minister has cancelled all petrol pump and gas agency allotments.”


Cong failed to keep poll promises: Badal
Our Correspondent

Budhlada (Mansa), August 17
“In the Cabinet of Capt Amarinder Singh there are four ministers indicted by Lok Pal, two have false degrees and one is involved in a murder case”, according to Mr Parkash Singh Badal, president, SAD. He was addressing a meeting of party workers here today.

Mr Badal is touring the district to mobilise workers in connection with the death anniversary of Sant Harchand Singh Longowal. He said the Congress government had failed to fulfil its election promises.

Among others who addressed the meeting were Mr Balwinder Singh Bhunder, general secretary and MLA, Sardulgarh, Mr Harwant Singh Datcwas, MLA, Budhlada, Mr Sukhwinder Singh Aulakh and Mr Makhan Singh, both former MLAs, and Mr Chatin Singh Samaon, former MP.


SAD MLA remanded in police custody

Moga, August 17
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLA Malkiat Singh Kittu, who was arrested yesterday under the Excise Act following seizure of 184 cartons of Indian whisky from his house and the house of his brother at Bilaspur village, was today remanded in police custody till tomorrow by a local court.

Judicial Magistrate Tarsem Mangla, while ordering one-day police remand on a prosecution plea, directed that the accused be interrogated in the presence of his lawyer.

While Kittu was arrested after he surrendered to the police, his brother Gurdeep Singh is still on the run.

Kittu today alleged that he had been falsely implicated in a petty case as part of the continuing political vendetta against him by the ruling Congress party.

The SAD MLA from Barnala had earlier spent 42 days in jail in a case of cheating and fraud after he was charged with embezzling funds of a truck union of which he was the president.

Besides seizing 184 cartons of liquor containing 2,208 bottles, the police had also impounded the truck in which these were smuggled from Chandigarh. Liquor smuggling from Chandigarh for sale in various Punjab towns is a routine affair because of price differential. Liquor is cheaper in the Union Territory. UNI, PTI


UK Asians ‘prefer to keep mum’ on racism
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 17
“Even as hate crimes against Asians are increasing in the UK, most of such crimes still go unreported for a number of reasons”.

These views were expressed by Mr Bhajan Singh Devsi, who is a member of the West Midlands Police Authority and the chairperson of the Wolverhamton-based Black and Minority Ethnic Forum.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Devsi, who hails from Alawalpur village near here, observed that though a number of initiatives were being taken by the UK authorities, hate crimes against Asians in general and Indians were on the rise. One of reasons was that most of the victims preferred to keep mum on racial discrimination. “Victims of Asian origin don’t report such cases although laws have been made stringent and an example of it was last year’s amendment in the Race Relation Act. Just about 10 per cent of racial crimes are being reported by Asians for varied reasons”, Mr Devis said, who was on a visit to his ancestral village.

Citing reasons why Asians shied away from going to the police, Mr Devsi said the biggest factor was inferiority complex, “despite efforts at the government and community-levels Asians still think they are inferior to others and that hardly anybody would listen to their views.

He added that elimination of racial discrimination was now a part of police training. “Since more and more Asians are being inducted in the police and since the participation of Asians has increased at the top-level, members like me go to recruits on a regular basis and ask them whether they were suffering from discrimination. This has led to a big change in the behaviour of policemen”, he said.


Move to set up museum in Mansa
Tribune News Service

Mansa, August 17
The district administration is planning to set up a museum in the town to display artifacts discovered by a team of the Archaeological Department from a mound located in Dhalewan village during the excavation carried out in the past two three years.

After the excavation of a mound measuring hundreds of metres with a height of eight metres, a team of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has linked this district with the Indus valley civilisation, the Kushans and Guptas period as remains of these ages have been discovered.

In a letter to the Director-General, Department of Archaeology Survey of India, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Alok Shekhar, pointed out that the artifacts would be of immense interest to the local people and it would help educate them about their culture, history and heritage.

The Director-General had replied that a decision to display the artifacts in the museum would be taken after discussions with the excavator, Mr J.P. Joshi.

It was found that once it was a place for one of the four earliest ancient civilisations of the Indus valley civilisation. The excavation has also provided the clue that people during the Kushans and Guptas period also lived here.

During the excavation, magnificent remains of planned housing complex made of sun-baked bricks, rooms and pits for storing waste material and hearths as an evidence of non-Aryan habitation and the Indus valley civilisation, were found.

Some of the terracotta figures, lumps with finger impressions and weight belonging to pre-Harappan period have also been discovered. The terracotta bowls, sprinklers, lamps, water pots and containers having different shapes and sizes have also been found.

The other sites in Mansa district, which are linked with pre-Harappan, Harappan and late-Harappan period are located near villages of Alipur Manoran, Baglian-De-Theh, Bare, Chhoti Mansa, Gurni Kalan, Hasan Pur, Lakhmirwala, Naiwala Theh, Hirke, Karanpura, Lallianwali, Laluwal, Ali-da-theh, Bhikhi, Danewala, Nehriwala and Sahnewali.


PPSC scam: Sodhi granted bail
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 17
Former PCS officer Purushottam Singh Sodhi, who had been arrested for allegedly paying a bribe of Rs 15 lakh to the suspended PPSC Chairman Ravi Sidhu through the latter’s former tout Randhir Singh Dheera for nomination to the PCS (allied), was granted regular bail by Sessions Judge S.N. Aggarwal here today.

Sodhi is undergoing treatment at the local Rajindra Hospital at present as counsel for the accused, Mr S.S. Dhindsa, had pleaded that his client be referred to Rajindra Hospital as he was suffering from chest congestion and other ailments.

Sodhi was arrested from his house on August 11 in connection with FIR number 24 registered by the Vigilance Department here on April 30. A raid was conducted on the basis of a list prepared by the Patiala Vigilance Bureau following disclosures made by former touts of Sidhu who have now become approvers in the case.

Judicial Magistrate Ranjit Kumar Jain had sent Sodhi in police remand up to August 14 following which the Vigilance Bureau had again applied for a five-day extension of the police remand for further questioning of the accused. However, the court turned down the request and ordered Sodhi to be remanded in judicial custody. Sidhu was later admitted to hospital for treatment.


4 SAD leaders join SHSAD

Sangrur, August 17
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today suffered a jolt when its certain party leaders joined in the Tohra-led Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD). SAD stalwarts Dhan Singh Chhiaharh, Ranjit Singh, Hardev Singh Dhaliwal and Gurbachan Singh, were among others who joined the Tohra group.

They joined in presence of SHSAD president Gurcharan Singh Tohra at a workers’ meeting at Sunam held to mobilise workers for the commemoration of the 17th death anniversary of Sant Harchand Singh Longowal at Sherpur village. All SAD leaders who deserted the party today belong to the constituency of Union Minister S.S. Dhindsa and were known close to him.

Mr Ranjit Singh Balian, former minister, also paved the way to join the SHSAD when his father Jagroop Singh organised a workers’ meeting in a gurdwara at Bhawanigarh falling under Sangrur constituency being represented by Mr Balian.

Mr Jagroop Singh was accompanied by Balian’s aide Pradeep Kad, former president of the municipal council of Bhawanigarh and other workers. PTI


Akali unity possible, says Dhindsa
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 17
Various factions of the Akali Dal should unite for the overall development of the state and should jointly celebrate the forthcoming anniversary of Sant Longowal. All factions favoured unity and it was possible only if Jathedar Tohra sever his ties with the Congress, said Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Minister for Fertilisers, while talking to mediapersons here today.

He had come to preside over the Giani Dit Singh memorial seminar organised by the dharam parchar committee of the SGPC in Mata Gujri College here.

He alleged that Jathedar Tohra contested the DSGPC elections with the help of the Congress and now in Punjab he wanted to control the SGPC with the help of the Congress government in the state.

He said it was unfortunate that the state government had not yet sent its report to the Central Government regarding the loss to crops due to drought in the state.

Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, president, SGPC, in his address highlighted the role played by Giani Dit Singh in strengthening Sikhism. He cautioned the Sikhs from the danger to Sikhism from Babas like Bhaniarawala and Noormahlia.

Dr Gurtarn Singh, Dr Harinder Singh Mehboob, Dr Balwant Singh and Dr Gurmohan Singh Walia, Principal of the college, also addressed the seminar.


Kapurthala DCC reconstituted
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, August 17
Mr Sadhu Singh, president of the Kapurthala District Congress Committee has reconstituted the committee and appointed 16 vice presidents, 21 general secretaries, 26 secretaries, 20 joint secretaries, and 24 members of the committee.

Mr Sadhu Singh was appointed president of the District Congress Committee following the removal of Mr Gulzar Singh from the post during Assembly elections when he rebelled against the allotment of Congress ticket to Rana Gurjit Singh from Kapurthala Assembly seat for which he was candidate.

Rana Gurjit Singh, Joginder Singh Mann both Congress legislators Mr Sukhpal Singh Khaira, Master Milkhi Ram Rattan were among those who have been appointed members of the executive committee.


SGPC employees suspended
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 17
The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee today suspended 10 employees including three gurdwara managers on charges of embazzlement and irregularities.

The suspension orders were issued on the basis of pending inquiry report according to sources, embezzlement in purchase of gurdwara ration and discrepancies found in the cash books were the main reason for initiating action by the SGPC. During the surprise checking of SGPC stores, conducted by the flying squad many irregularities were noticed though the inquiry was ordered about six months ago yet the matter remained under wrap for the reasons known to the authorities concerned.

Among those who were placed under suspension include Mr Sarbjit Singh, Manager gurdwara Kathunangal, Mr Manmohan Singh, a former deputy manager gurdwara Baba Budha Bir, (now-a-days posted as inspector gurdwaras), Mr Harbans Singh Talawan, a former manager gurdwara Kathunangal, Mr Balwinder Singh Sangatpura, a gurdwara inspector, Mr Narinder Singh an employee of gurdwara Kandh Sahib, Batala and storekeepers of different gurdwaras.

The orders were issued by Mr Harbeant Singh, secretary, SGPC, on behalf of Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, SGPC chief.


BKU(E) to hold protest rallies
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 17
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta) today alleged that the drought-hit farmers of Punjab were being ignored by the state government and the compensation announced by the state was far too less.

At a meeting held here today, state president of the BKU(E), Mr Peshora Singh Sidhpur, claimed that the plight of the farmers was forcing them to sell their cattle to generate money for running tubewells. He said the Rs 700 per acre compensation for drought-hit farmers announced by the government was too meagre and demanded that at least Rs 10,000 per acre be provided as compensation to the drought-it farmers of the state.

The state general secretary of the BKU(E), Mr Gurmeet Singh Dittupur, said the BKU(E) would organise protest rallies at all district headquarters of the state on August 19 to protest against the inadequate relief being provided to the drought-hit farmers. He demanded that all debts of the farmers should be waived.


BKU burns govt’s effigies
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, August 17
Activists of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta) today burnt effigies of the government in numerous villages of the region to express resentment against low compensation being offered by the government.

Mr Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan, state general secretary of the union in a press note issued here today said that the activists of the union burnt effigies of the government in more than 100 villages of the state. He added that these protests would continue till the farmers were offered adequate compensation for their losses.

He alleged that as the stage government had ordered that the special Girdawri being conducted to access the losses due to drought should include the land where crop could not be grown, the losses to standing crop and expenses on the deepening of the tubewell etc but as per the verbal instructions issued to the patwaris they had been asked to mark only the fields where the crops had been ploughed back due to lack of irrigation facilities.


General category staff threaten stir
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 17
The General Categories Welfare Federation, Punjab, has threatened to launch an agitation if the Punjab government implemented the 85th Amendment to the Constitution pertaining the promotions in service career. Mr Tara Singh Brar, Press Secretary of the Federation, in a press note said here today that the Punjab government was trying to get the stay order, granted by the Supreme Court against the implementation of 85th Amendment, vacated.

He added that the Punjab government was trying to harm the interests of general category employees. Earlier, the Punjab government had also stopped promotions of employees. He said issue was discussed at a meeting held recently by the state-level office-bearers of the General Categories Welfare Association here.


13 pilgrims hurt in mishap
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, August 17
Thirteen pilgrims were hurt when a tempo (PB-07 J-4282) they were travelling after pilgrimage to Holy Shrine of Godess Mata Chintpurni, fell into a ditch near Mangowal 18 km from here on the Hoshiarpur-Dharamsala Road last evening. They were admitted in the local Civil Hospital.

The injured were identified as Raj Kumar tempo driver of Bahadurpur his wife Ranjna, Poonam, Shakshi, Monu, Ragni, Saurabh and Situ. Mr G.P.S. Bedi, SMO, Civil Hospital here said that condition of all injured was safe.


Morinda DSP’s arrest stayed till Aug 28
Tribune News Service

Ropar, August 17
Mr Maghar Khan, Sessions Judge, here today stayed the arrest of parampal Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Morinda, till August 28 on an application for anticipatory bail filed by him yesterday in which he feared arrest under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC and 13 (1) 88 of the Prevention of Corruption Act by the Vigilance Bureau flying squad (1) of SAS Nagar; the SAS Nagar police, and the Vigilance Bureau, Patiala.

The Sessions Judge has issued notice to the state government for August 28 in this regard.


176 cases disposed of at lok adalat
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 17
A total of 176 cases were disposed of on the spot during a lok adalat organised by the District Legal Services Authority at the District Courts here today.

Mr R.M. Gupta, District and Sessions Judge, who was also the chairman of the authority, said nine Benches had been set up to deal with 352 cases which had come up for hearing.

He said 128 lok adalats had been organised in Jalandhar so far, during which 13,122 cases had been disposed of and free legal aid had been provided to 2,981 poor persons.


Ministerial staff wear black badges
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 17
Members of Punjab State Ministerial Services Union today wore black badges to protest against the anti-employee policies of the Punjab Government.

Mr Gurjant Singh Grewal, district president of the union, in a press note issued here today, said they had been urging the government to change its decision to ban the recruitment, promotion and LTC. He added that Chief Minister Amarinder Singh should start talks with the union for redressal of grievances.


Banga honoured
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 17
Mr S.K. Banga, District Informatics Officer, Fatehgarh Sahib, has been honoured at an Independence Day function for rendering meritorious services in the introduction of information technology in various offices of the district by Mr Kushl Behl, Education Minister, Punjab.


Job scam in FCI: 10 arrested
Our Correspondent

Barnala, August 17
The police unearthed a job scam in the FCI worth Rs 1.25 crore and recovered over Rs 30 lakh following the arrest of 10 persons who reportedly duped about 1,934 persons.

Mr Gurinder Singh Dhillon, SSP, said yesterday that 10 out of 15 persons involved in the case had been arrested.

Gurmeet Singh, a major link in the case, has absconded.

Vital clues about the scam came to light when in January and March, the police arrested Bhupinder Singh and Surinder Singh Bhaura. In April, the investigations began.

In March, the FCI department had done away with the contract system. Temporary watchmen were fired then.

Amar Nath, in his capacity of the president of the All-India FCI Class IV Union, and Amarjit Singh Chadha, president of the FCI Class IV Kacha Employees Union, allegedly duped many persons and took between Rs 7,800 and Rs 25,000 for securing class IV jobs for them.

The police alleged that the accused possessed property worth crores.


SHO booked for taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Mallanwala (Ferozepore), August 17
The SHO of the Mallanwala police station, Mr Gurbax Lal, has been booked under the Anti-Corruption Act for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 25,000.

According to details available from the police, the SHO picked up Dr Krishan Gopal Dhawan, a local registered medical practitioner from his chemist shop on August 7 on charges of selling drugs without physician’s prescription and demanded a sum of Rs 50,000 from Pradeep Kumar, his son for releasing him. However, the deal was finally struck at Rs 25,000.

Mr Dhawan was released after paying the amount.

Next day, Mr Dhawan reported the matter to the DIG, Ferozepore range. In an inquiry the SHO was found guilty of taking bribe of Rs 25,000 from Pradeep Kumar. An FIR under Sections 13 (2) and 88 of the Anti-Corruption Act was registered. The SHO is reportedly absconding.


Two killed in accidents

Jalandhar, August 17
Two persons were killed and 11 others injured in separate road accidents in the district today.

A police report here said one person was killed and 11 others injured in a head-on collision between two trucks on the outskirts of Malsian village under the Shahkot police station. The report said a majority of those injured were in one truck, which was carrying mourners to Malsian village.

The victim was identified as Barsi Ram, an FCI employee stationed at Shahkot. Among the injured was the son of the victim who was driving one of the trucks.

In another accident a city resident, identified as Sham Kishan, was killed when his scooter was hit by a car near Beant Nagar locality of the city today. UNI


Bus ploughs into jhuggis, 2 dead

Hoshiarpur, August 17
Two migrant labourers were killed and three others injured when a tourist bus ploughed into their roadside jhuggis near Pulheera village on the Hoshiarpur-Phagwara road today.

A police report here said the driver of the bus lost control of the vehicle resulting in the accident. The two victims were run over by the bus and died on the spot, while the three injured have been admitted to the Civil Hospital here in a serious condition.

The bus was on its way to New Delhi from Jammu. A case against the driver has been registered and the bus impounded. UNI


Man blames in-laws for sister’s death
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, August 17
Jaswinder Kaur (32) of Chak Punnawala village died after allegedly consuming poison yesterday. According to an FIR lodged by Lakhbir Singh, brother of the deceased, his sister was married to Gurtej Singh, a farmer of Chak Punnawala village, about 12 years ago. Since her marriage her husband and in-laws used to harass her.

Lakhbir Singh received a telephone call yesterday from his sister Gian Kaur, who is also married in the same village, that Jaswinder Kaur was seriously ill. On reaching the village they came to know that she had been taken for treatment to a practitioner at Ghubaya village. They reached the shop but on seeing them Gurtej Singh and his father allegedly fled. They took her to the Civil Hospital, Jalalabad, where the doctor declared her brought dead.

Lakhbir Singh in the FIR alleged that his sister either poisoned by her in-laws or she consumed poison due to their harassment. The post-mortem examination was conducted at the local Civil Hospital last evening.

A case has been registered under Section 306/34, IPC.


Man gets life term for murder

Sangrur, August 17
A local court today sentenced Ranjit Singh of Gobindgarh Jejian village under the Lehra police station to life imprisonment and fine of Rs 5,000.

In case of default in payment of fine, the accused would have to undergo further imprisonment for one year, Sessions Judge Jagroop Singh said in his order here.

According to the prosecution, the accused asked Gurmeet Singh, a flour mill owner, to play his tape recorder at low volume on October 22, 2000, which infuriated the latter and a scuffle took place.

The accused hit Gurmeet Singh with a stick on his head, following which he collapsed and succumbed to injuries on way to hospital. PTI


2 die in mishap
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, August 17
Two persons were killed when truck hit their scooter near Khurampur village on the Phagwara-Hoshiarpur road yesterday.

They were going to pay obeisance at the Mata Chintpurni shrine in Himachal Pradesh. They were identified as Arvind Kumar and Satish of Raikot.


Affiliation of nursing school cancelled
Tribune News Service

Moga, August 17
The fate of 40 women nursing students is in jeopardy as the Indian Nursing Council has cancelled the affiliation of Government Nursing School (ANM), Moga, for lack of adequate classrooms, laboratory and other infrastructure facilities.

The building was constructed for the nursing school in the early nineties, on the premises of the Civil Hospital. Ever since Moga was accorded the status of a district in 1996, a major portion of the building was allegedly forcibly occupied by the Civil Surgeon for his office.

Mrs Suman Bhandari, Principal, told TNS here today that they had only two rooms in possession with them. One room had been converted into a classroom and the other into an office.

She said the affiliation had been cancelled after an inspection conducted by senior officials of the Indian Nursing Council.

She admitted that the nursing school did not fulfil the required norms laid down by the INC. She further said that INC had banned fresh admissions in the school that were due in October this year.

Mr S.P. Bansal, Senior Medical Officer, said an alternative arrangement had been proposed to the state government to shift the office of Civil Surgeon in the old operation theatre building. A new building had been constructed adjacent to the Emergency Ward for the operation theatre and wards.


GMC bans outsiders, not animals
Pawan Kumar

Amritsar, August 17
Even as the principal of the Government Medical College (GMC) has reportedly banned the entry of outsiders into college premises for morning walks, exercises or playing, stray animals are free to move here. The ban on outsiders was imposed following complaints including that of eve-teasing.

Looking at the premier medical institute, the story of neglect and official apathy comes to the fore. Stray animals enter the college complex for grazing and create a nuisance in the institute. The solid waste substance could be seen spread in the open areas as well as outside various departments. Stray animals such as cows, buffaloes and dogs roam in the hostel premises and outside the offices of various departments.

Even some employees of the college and adjoining Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, who live in college quarters have been keeping milch cattle. The authorities faced heavy resistance from these residents whenever they tried to remove the animals.

When the Tribune team visited the college they spotted many cows and buffaloes near hostels. Heaps of garbage can be seen strewn all over and along the boundary walls of the Government Medical College. The garbage, scattered by stray animals, produces unbearable stink which can be a health risk in recent incident, the carcass of a dog began to stink for two days and was removed when the stench became unbearable.

The hostel building lacks cleanliness and is deprived of toilets and furniture. Hostellers complain of snakes and poisonous insects near the building. Areas such as the backyard, filled with wild growth and garbage, have become a breeding place for these reptiles. The students, while showing the dilapidated conditions of the hostel buildings, said they were allotted rooms with shattered doors and windows. They had to repair them from their own pocket.

the students’ mess and canteen is in a shoddy date as are the conditions of water and air coolers. The hostellers claimed that they themselves had collected money and installed a water cooler. the common room and guest room are no exceptions.

Moreover, gambling allegedly takes place on the campus.

The Principal, Dr O.P. Mahajan, when contacted said the number of stray animals had now receded as the authorities had closed all gates except two entry points to the college and the OPD. Walls have been built in place of remaining gates but miscreants had broken these walls to let the stray animals to graze on the college premises. He admitted that financial problems had hit development work. But he claimed that the authorities provided a colour television and some electrical appliances to the common room.

Mr Charnjit Singh Gumtala, president of Amritsar Vikas Manch, who works for the development of the district, said the Punjab Science and Technology Council had selected some areas for medicinal plants. The medical college authorities should approach the council to provide college land for producing herbs and ayurvedic plants to the council. This could become a good source of income for the college.


Rice millers fear bankruptcy
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 17
The Punjab Rice Millers Association said today that the rice milling industry of Punjab was heading towards bankruptcy due to reduction in allowances and non-payment on part of the Union Government.

President of the association Tarsem Saini claimed that Rs 685 crore was due from the Union Government and that two per cent driage allowance for parboiled rice had been reduced to one per cent for raw rice. Mr Saini alleged that Rs 20 crore stood retained by the Government of India for the double line machine stitching charges since 2000-2001 onwards. Similarly, Rs 15 crore had been pending for the past two years on account of the incidental charges of levy rice delivery, he added.

The association members said the Union Government has been urged on many occasions to accept the millers demands but nothing has been done in this regard as the association members were not involved in the negotiations.

The association has urged the state Chief Minister and the Food Minister to fix a meeting with the Union Food Minister and involve the representatives of the rice millers.

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