Thursday, November 28, 2002, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Punjab being ignored: MPs
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 27
Punjab Congress MPs today charged the Centre with “ignoring” the state, alleging that the Vajpayee government had not given even a single paisa to it for tackling the severe drought.

Raising the issue during zero hour in the Lok Sabha, Mr Jagmeet Brar said Punjab had suffered a total loss of over Rs 6000 crore as a result of the drought but “the Centre has not given a single paisa for relief.”

People in the state were on the war-path, he said, recalling the state’s contribution to the Green Revolution in the country.

The state had so far submitted three memoranda to the Centre for grant of funds to mitigate the sufferings of people but there was no response, he said.

Tubewells had gone dry and the watertable in 89 blocks had gone down to the level from which it could not be drawn, he said. He was supported by other members from Punjab.

Responding to members’ concern, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan said he would convey the members’ feelings to the minister concerned.

Elaborating on the issue of drought in the state, Lok Sabha MP from Patiala Parneet Kaur told TNS that while the Centre had favourably treated Haryana, giving it speedy drought relief, it had at the same time ignored Punjab where 17 districts were reeling under severe drought conditions.

A Central team had visited the state in early September and had recommended an amount of Rs 3642.74 crore to Punjab, she said, adding that the state MPs decided to raise the issue in Parliament after state Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had given an extensive briefing on the issue.

Despite recommendations not a single paisa had reached the state, she said.

Because of timely measures, Punjab had been able to save the crop in rest of the districts, she said, adding that the state had to spend extra-financial resources for that. The water level had gone down and as a result of it wells and tubewells had to be resunk, she pointed out, adding that the state ensured 10 hours of electric supply to farmers in those months diverting it from industrial centres which made an adverse impact on the industrial production.


PPCC list to be out today
Our Correspondent

Kharar, November 27
Mr H.S. Hanspal, president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, today said that the final list of the office-bearers of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee would be released tomorrow at 4 p.m. at Congress Bhavan, Chandigarh.

He was at Chappar Chiri village near here in connection with the annual function of Guru Nanak Foundation Public School and later spoke to mediapersons.

He said the party high command had already cleared the proposal and the committee would have 48 members, including the vice-president, general secretary, treasurer and the executive committee members. Women have been given a 23 per cent share and young leaders of the Congress have also been included. In addition, special invitees included members of Parliament, former PPCC presidents and former Central Ministers. The list had been prepared on the basis of one man, one post. He added that only those with a “clean” background had been included in the list.

About the reports of factionalism in the Congress, he said since the Congress was a national party, it was but natural to have differences of viewpoints but the party stood united on decisions. He dismissed the suggestion that there were any differences between the Punjab Chief Minister and the Agriculture Minister, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal.

Commenting on the movement launched by the SAD workers to fill the jails of Punjab, he said he had asked the Chief Minister to ignore them. He denied that during the recent SGPC elections, policemen entered the Darbar Sahib complex and said in the past, during the regime of the Akali Dal, the police had entered the complex. He said he was confident that the Jathedar of the Akal Takht was wise enough and not to summon the Chief Minister.

He denied his involvement in a land grab case at Machhiwara. On reports about possible action against the Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, he said since the MLA had clarified his position, no action was being initiated against him.

Mr Hanspal also indicated that the Punjab Cabinet expansion may be done within two months and the Kharar MLA figured among those whom he was going to recommend for a berth in the Cabinet but the Chief Minister would have a final say in the matter.


‘I am a victim of conspiracy’ 
Sushil Goyal and Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Anandpur Sahib, November 27
Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, who was in an upbeat mood after she got reprieve in a corruption case, today said she had been made a victim of conspiracy by her own colleagues in the corruption case. The names of the conspirators would be revealed at an appropriate time, she added.

Ms Bhattal alleged that she had been hurt because in her 30 years of political career, nobody dared to charge her with corruption allegation. However, her own colleagues conspired to defame her in the case.

When asked if the government would go to appeal in her corruption case, she replied: “I don’t think our government would do such an act.” Earlier in the same case the Chief Secretary, Punjab, had given an affidavit in the Punjab and Haryana High Court that the money she had been charged with embezzling had already been accounted for. The Director, Prosecution, Punjab, also changed the stance in the case at least three times, which had compelled her to think that there was someone conspiring against her.

When mediapersons pressed for the name of the alleged conspirators, she reiterated that everybody knew the conspirators. She also declined to comment on the query if the conspirators belonged to her party or opposition.

Ms Bhattal was here to attend the concluding function of the 33rd All-India Rural Sports. She was flanked by Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang and Mr Ramesh Dutt Sharma, both Punjab ministers known to be close to her. The supporters of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh were conspicuous by their absence from the today’s function.


Circus inspection: PFA chief faces action
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 27
The role of the People for Animals (PFA) and its President, Mr G.S. Bedi, who had “inspected” Bharat Circus at Partap Bagh here on the basis of which the district administration had clamped a ban on performance of animals, came under cloud with the Punjab Veterinary Department asserting that no cruelty was being inflicted on the circus animals and that Mr Bedi, who was a veterinary officer of the department, had no authority to conduct an inspection of the circus and had sought no prior permission from the department to be an office-bearer of the PFA.

The Punjab Veterinary Department had constituted its own three-member team to look into allegations made by the PFA and Dr Bedi that cruelty was being inflicted upon the animals in the circus and that the circus management had been running sans any registration with the Animal Welfare Board of India.

Dr Bedi, who apart from being a veterinary officer at nearby Pholriwal village was the president of the local chapter of the PFA, had carried out an inspection of the circus last week along with Dr Sandip Jain, the Executive Member of the board and had “found” that the circus management was indulging in a number of “irregularities”.

The Veterinary Department authorities, which submitted its report to the Deputy Commissioner Mr K. Siva Prasad today after its three-member team comprising of Dr Gurjit Singh, Dr A.K. Saini and Dr H.S. Kahlon, maintained that contrary to the findings of the PFA team, all animals were found to be in good health and were not being subjected to “any cruelty in any form”.

“In fact, the animals were being looked after well and were being provided with adequate open, airy space to live in. The cages of dogs and birds were spacious and hygienic,” said the expert committee in the report.

The committee also observed that wings of Australian parrots were not cut-off, as alleged by the PFA and Dr Bedi and only flying feathers of the birds were clipped. The department has also constituted a three-member committee, comprising of Dr Rupinder Singh Kanwar, Dr Harbinder Singh Kahlon and Dr Jatinder Kumar Chopra, to ensure the compliance of conditions laid down under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The committee has also been empowered to visit any circus for this purpose in future.

Talking to The Tribune, Dr H.S. Sandha, the Deputy Director, Punjab Veterinary Department, Jalandhar, maintained that Dr Bedi had no authority or jurisdiction to carry out any such inspection and his findings had proved to be wrong. He said since Dr Bedi had carried out the inspection in violation of the service rules and since he had sought no permission to leave the station of his duty, strict departmental action would be taken against them.

“We are sending our report to the Director for further action,” said Dr Sandha, adding that Dr Bedi had sought no permission from the department for securing the presidentship of the PFA’s Jalandhar chapter, which again was a violation of rules. The three-member departmental committee also felt that instead of resorting to any such “inspection”, Dr Bedi should have advised the circus management against indulging in any “cruelty”, if it was there.


Bold experiments with folk tales
Sukant Deepak

Patiala, November 27
It may not have production budgets running into lakhs of rupees like the National School of Drama (NSD) budgets or much exposure to international theatre, but its experimental plays have made it popular among all Patialvis, who eagerly await the productions of the Theatre and Television Department of Punjabi University.

All set to open a festival of two plays, ‘Mirza Sahiban’ and ‘Nau Das Barah’, directed by Dr Yogesh Gambhir and Dr Navinindra Behl, respectively, next week on the university campus. The students and the faculty are bold enough to experiment and don’t play “safe” with classics like before.

An effort has been made to introduce the students to total theatre, to acquaint them with everything, from scripting, designing and lighting to assisting the director.

Theatre fans will get to see ‘Mirza Sahiban’, the immortal folk tale of Punjab, presented in the ‘Naqlian’ style, the oldest theatre form of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. Directed by the Head of the Department, Dr Yogesh Gambhir, the play presents the tale in a contemporary way. With music based on ancient Hindu rituals, the production uses techniques of Western and traditional Indian theatre.

“The theme of the play remains untouched,” says Dr Gambhir. He says that it is not an experiment for the sake of it, but an attempt to reach to audience not acquainted with theatre and fed on television.

For the students, this has been a welcome break from the usual productions. The exercise has given them a wider outlook regarding the treatment of scripts and introducing the actor to the director’s perspective.

The second play, ‘Nau Das Barah’, based on a story by Waryam Sandhu and directed by Dr Navinindra Behl, is an experiment on the lines of ‘Kahani Ka Rangmanch’, something she has been working on for several years. It aims to bring forth the drama in the story. Dr Behl has given the play a contemporary packaging, to portray the life of an individual who prefers to live in a self-created world.” This type of a team effort ensures that the students get acquainted with all allied arts and techniques of theatre, helping them become a total theatre artist. There is no mask of intellectualism. The audiences watch such plays without any inhibition and are, therefore, more receptive,” says Dr Behl.


BJYM to obtain 1 cr signatures
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, November 27
The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) will obtain one crore signatures on one lakh meter of cloth against terrorism. The nationwide drive to collect these will be launched on the birthday of Swami Vivekananda, falling on January 12 and will continue till January 26 next year. This was stated here today by Mr Satish Punia, national executive committee member of BJYM and in charge of the morcha’s state affairs.

Prof Rajinder Bhandari, general secretary, Punjab BJP and party’s in charge of the Morcha, Mr Sukhwinderpal Singh Grewal, morcha’s national executive member and Mr Manjit Singh Rai, morcha state unit president, were also present.

Mr Punia said January 12 will be observed as national youth day. Seminars would be held to channelise energies of youths. Each block will obtain 100 signatures on one meter piece of cloth during the anti-terrorism drive, he said. Mr Rai said December 13, the first anniversary of attack on the Indian Parliament will be observed as “sankalp divas” and families of Army martyrs would be honoured, declared Punia.

The birthday of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on December 25 will be observed as “Atal Khel Maha Utsam”, he informed.

Meanwhile, Mr Manjit Singh Rai, president of the state unit of the BJYM today announced a list of unit officer-bearers after consultations with Mr Satish Punia, BJYM national executive committee member and in charge of the Punjab unit, and Prof Rajinder Bhandari, general secretary, Punjab BJP, and party’s in charge of the morcha’s affairs.

Following are the new office-bearers of the Punjab BJYM:- vice-presidents — Mr Arun Khosla, Mr Sukhpal Singh Nannu, Mr Harjit Singh Bhullar and Mr Jarnail Singh Bajwa; general secretary — Mr Kamal Chetli; general secretary (organisation) — Mr Ravinder Singh Dhillon: and secretaries — Mr Arvin Mittal, Mr Arun Sharma, Ms Pawanpreet Kaur and Mr Rakesh Jain. The treasurer will be announced later.


Not invited for jail bharo: BJP leaders
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, November 27
Punjab BJP leaders and its front wing BJYM were at pains to explain away their party’s non-participation in their alliance partner SAD’s jail bharo programme today.

At a press conference here today, Mr Satish Punia, in charge, morcha’s Punjab affairs, declared that among other programmes, the state unit had been directed to mobilise youths against Amarinder Singh’s anti-people policies.

Prof Rajinder Bhandari, general secretary, Punjab, BJP, and in-charge of Morcha’s state affairs was also present at the press conference along with Mr Manjit Singh Rai, Morcha’s state president.

Prof Bhandari declared that the BJP supported the agitation of the SAD. Both Mr Punia and Mr Bhandari termed it as a mere coincidence. When told that the BJP’s senior leader Balramji Das Tandon had said in a statement that the party had kept away from today’s programme because the party had not been invited to join it.


Contract system in PWD opposed
Our Correspondent

Barnala, November 27
The Punjab PWD Field and Workshop Workers Union will not allow the implementation of contract system in the PWD and will resist privatisation of government departments and public sector institutions. These decisions were taken by the union at a two-day Punjab state-level delegate session and annual elections’ session which concluded at the local Simmy Resorts yesterday.

The session was attended by more than 250 delegates from Punjab. The union decided to stage a protest at the division level from January 1 to 20 and a massive state-level protest in Chandigarh in the second week of February in this regard.

Mr Karamjit Bihla was elected president, Mr Gurmej Singh Kapurthala chairman and Mr Ved Prakash Sharma general secretary of the union, respectively.

The other office-bearers elected at the annual elections are Mr Balbir Singh and Mr Balwinder Singh (senior vice-presidents), Mr Makhan Singh, Mr Raj Kumar, Mr Himmat Singh and Mr Chhajju (vice-presidents); Mr Manjit Singh (finance secretary); Mr Ranjit Singh (press secretary), Mr Aroor Singh Malout, Mr Rattan Singh and Mr Gurdev Sodhi (organising secretaries).


Jalandhar DD adjudged best
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 27
Jalandhar Doordarshan Kendra has bagged the “Best Doordarshan Kendra” award at second Annual Doordarshan Awards Ceremony at Mumbai where the kendra director, Mr Ashok Jelkhani, received the prestigious prize from Ms Sushma Swaraj, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting.

There were 36 entries for the coveted prize from all over the country, but the Jalandhar Doordarshan Kendra managed to get the top prize — also called the “best director” prize — for its overall “excellent” performance in fields of human management, production, editing and maximum commercial earnings made by the centre. Last year also, the kendra was adjudged the best technically maintained station and had bagged the best live telecast prize for the “DD Punjabi” channel launch programme produced by Mr Agya Pal Singh Randhawa and the most innovative programme award for “Sanmukh”, a programme produced by Ms Sarbjit.

Mr Jelkhani was received by a large number of employees at the local railway station as he returned from Mumbai after taking the prize.

Talking to The Tribune Mr Jelkhani said: “If output has increased so has the revenue from commercials which jumped from Rs 4.75 crore in 2001 to more than Rs 7 crore this year. This is a big leap and besides performance this might be the one of reasons of us being adjudged the best”.

He gave due credit to his colleagues at the kendra, who had worked overtime to come out with excellent results. Credit also went to a number of innovative live and recorded programmes, which drew greater interest of people, particularly of Punjabis, in India and abroad.

“Keeping in view the demand of viewers we have increased the live programmes’ transmission time on DD Punjabi channel,” said Mr Jelkhani, adding that the award ceremony was also attended by prominent figures including Mr Chhagan Bhujbal, Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, and a number of Bollywood artistes such as Kavita Krishnamurthi, Udit Narayan, Hari Haran and Jaspinder Narula, who also gave performances.

The award, according to Mr Jelkhani, carries a certificate of merit, and a cheque of Rs 25000.


Land for Sikh centre sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
A delegation of the World Sikh Foundation, led by Mr Jaswant Singh Mann, today submitted a representation to the Punjab Governor, Lieut-Gen J.F.R Jacob (retd), to allot a suitable piece of land here to establish an international Sikh centre under the aegis of the foundation. The centre will work for excellence in academics such as legal studies, bio-technology, dental sciences, information technology, environmental sciences, rural and industrial development studies and human resources studies conforming to the world class standards.

The foundation is already engaged in establishing world Sikh universities in Ropar district and Sri Dasmesh University in Haryana for which both governments have given their approval in principle. It has already set an institute of career education at Zirakpur for competition courses. The SGPC and various Sikh organisations have been requested to provide funds for the institute so that free coaching can be provided to Sikh students for competitive examinations.

The foundation has also approached certain NRIs to seek their help for completing certain projects.


1,325 cr highways project on anvil
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, November 27
A Rs 1,325 crore project to strengthen, widen and maintain the state highways is being launched in the state soon. Mr P.S. Bajwa, PWD (B&R) Minister, stated this while talking to newsmen here today after inaugurating the 43rd Junior National Gymnastics Championship.

Mr Bajwa said the finances had been arranged from the World Bank which is likely to clear the project soon. He said a Punjab Government team, headed by the Chief Minister, lobbied with the World Bank to finance building of infrastructure in the state. He said he expected that the World Bank would clear schemes worth about Rs 5,000 crore, including a Rs 850 crore water supply scheme of the Public Health Department and Rs 1,200 crore scheme to provide latrines for the poor in both rural and urban areas.

The minister said he had talked to the Union Minister for Transport who had given clearance for four-laning roads from Chandigarh to Ambala. The Ludhiana to Ferozepore road had also been cleared for upgrading it to four lanes on the BOT basis. He said the Centre had provided funds in the supplementary budget being presented in the current parliamentary session.

Mr Bajwa said the Union Railway Minister had sanctioned building of railway overbridges in Punjab. Work on as many as 25 such bridges would be started this year. It would take about a year to complete and cost Rs 200 crore.


Cops told to tone up professional skills
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, November 27
The 3rd Punjab Police Inter-Zone Duty Meet was held on November 25 and 26 at Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur. Competitions in six disciplines relating to professional policing namely, scientific aids to investigation, computer skills, police photography, videography, dog squad and anti-sabotage checking were conducted during the two-day meet. Police teams from Border Zone, Patiala Zone-I, Jalandhar Zone-II, PAP Zone and Combined Zone consisting of GRP, Intelligence and PPA, participated in the meet. The inaugural ceremony was presided over by the Deputy Director (Indoor), PPA, Phillaur, Dr S.S. Chauhan, who in his inaugural address exhorted the participants and trainees to tone up the professional skills on top priority basis.

Dr G.S. Aujla ADGP-cum-Director, PPA, Phillaur, in his speech, while presiding over the closing ceremony of the meet stressed the need of bringing about significant qualitative improvements in the professional working of the police so as to bring it at par with the other well-acclaimed police organisations of the world.

The trophy for the over-all best performance was won by the Combined Zone Team. The Jalandhar Zone and Patiala Zone teams jointly stood second with the second highest medal tally.

The winners of different events will be selected to represent the state police in the 43rd All-India Police Duty Meet scheduled to be held in Bangalore from December 10 to 15.


Female infant found dead
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 27
An unclaimed body of a female infant was found lying near Ram Bagh (cremation ground) by volunteers of a non-government organisation (NGO), here this morning.

Mr Vijay Goyal, President, Sahara Jan Seva, the NGO whose volunteers found the female infant along with the placenta and a pair of surgical gloves said it was an apparent case of female foeticide.

The post mortem examination was conducted at the local civil hospital and the body was handed over to the volunteers.

In another case, a 50-year-old destitute, Parmeshwar, who was suffering from tuberculosis died here today. The deceased was a psychiatric patient. The volunteers cremated his body after the police handed it to them after the post mortem examination was conducted in the local civil hospital.


Build confidence of drug addicts, says SSP
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 27
Mr Ishwar Singh, SSP, said today that there was a need to build confidence of the drug addicts making them determined to quit drugs.

He was speaking at a drug de-addiction camp at Talwandi Sabo today. He said the police would give all help for generating awareness among people about drug menace. He added that there was a need that special counselling camps should be arranged at different places in the district, in this regard. Earlier, Mr Ishwar Singh flagged off an awareness march. Students from various schools of the town participated in the march. The camp was organised by the civil administration, police and Health Department.


Honour of MLA restored’
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, November 27
Mrs Usha R. Sharma, Deputy Commissioner, today said the honour of Mr Nathu Ram, MLA, Malout, had been restored by installing a new stone in connection with the inauguration of a new building of the Municipal Council complex at Malout a few days ago.

Mr Nathu Ram, who was agitated over the maltreatment meted out to him, as his name was mentioned below the names of about 31 municipal councillors when the complex was inaugurated, had threatened that he, along with other party MLAs, would approach the Speaker, Vidhan Sabha, in connection with the breach of protocol.

He alleged that according to protocol his status was equal to that of the Chief Secretary of the state government, but his name was written below the name of all municipal councillors on the inauguration stone without taking his consent.

He also alleged that it was done by his political opponents deliberately. Mrs Sharma, while talking to mediapersons today, admitted that a mistake had been committed and protocol breached. She added that when she came to know about the same, she immediately got that stone removed and new stone, with the name of Mr Nathu Ram written at the proper place, installed. She said she had also been contemplating taking action against the officials who were found guilty in this episode.


Adopt dairy farming, farmers urged
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 27
Mr Rajinder Singh Grewal, district Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry, said farmers should take to various social and development schemes of the government to supplement their income and adopt dairy farming.

While speaking at a camp held at Sema Kalan village near here, Dr Grewal said with the changing times farmers should bear in mind that old techniques and poor quality standards would not pay them. He said the department had chosen a village each in the eight blocks of the district and had been holding training and awareness camps for the farmers, who wanted to venture into dairy farming.

He said dairy animals of good breed should be reared and they should be provided with quality feed. He urged the farmers to get in touch with the officers of the department of any guidance and help. He claimed that nearly 1000 animals were examined at today’s camp for various diseases and the needy were given medicines.

Those who attended the camp include Dr Harjinder Singh, Dr Rajinder Singh, Dr Harshinder Kaur, Dr Chamandeep Kaur, Dr Navdeep Kaur and Mr Baldev Singh, agriculture development officer. The camp was inaugurated by fromer MLA Jasmail Singh.


Plan to develop Patiala approved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
The Patiala Urban Planning and Development Authority at its meeting held here yesterday, under the chairmanship of Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, approved the blue print for the development of Patiala city and its adjoining areas under the National Capital Region (NCR) project for the next 20 years (2002-2022).

The Chief Minister said the PDA had engaged CB Richard Elis to undertake a detailed study to develop requisite infrastructure and economic activity base in Patiala for long-term sustained growth. The proposed projects/thrust areas to be developed included an agro-park, hi-tech park, IT parks, knowledge zones, bio-tech park, special economic zone, 175-acre urban estate, scheme for extension and augmentation of water supply system, sewerage and solid waste treatment plant, systems to augment existing facility including power generation, transmission and distribution.

Accordingly, project reports for the development of integrated township at Patiala (total project cost Rs 6624 lakh) and augmentation and up-gradation of civic infrastructure (phase I) were submitted by the PDA to the NCR Planning Board for securing loan amounting to Rs 4968 lakh and Rs 4494.92 lakh for the respective projects as 75 per cent of the total cost of the projects. The NCR Planning Board had approved both the above stated projects and sanction letters had been issued later.

It was also approved at the meeting to raise loan amounting to Rs 9462.92 lakh from the NCR Planning Board, New Delhi for the development of integrated township and augmentation and up-gradation of water supply, sewerage and solid waste management at Patiala execution of loan agreement with the NCR Planning Board in the prescribed format and to secure state guarantee amounting to Rs 9462.92 lakh from the Government of Punjab for raising loan from the NCR Planning Board in the prescribed format. The meeting also approved to secure Rs 1500 lakh as grant from the state government towards 25 per cent as the cost of project as margin money for the current financial year for the PDA. The members also reviewed the progress and follow up action with regard to the items approved at the last meeting.


New Excise Commissionerate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
Consequent to the restructuring of the Department of Central Excise and Customs, a new Central Excise Commissionerate has been set up at Jalandhar to cover the districts of Jalandhar, Nawanshahr, Phagwara, Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Pathankot and the whole of Jammu & Kashmir.

The new commissionerate wil initially function from Chandigarh till the required infrastructure and other amenities come up at Jalandhar.

It will have six divisions under its charge — Jalandhar-I and II, Phagwara, Amritsar, Jammu and Srinagar. The target fixed for the new Commissionerate is Rs 1400 crore.

Mr G.S. Narang, who was earlier Commissioner (Appeals) at Chandigarh, will be the first Commissioner of the Jalandhar Commissionerate. Mr Charanjit Singh and Mr S.L. Thakur have been posted as Additional Commissioners while Mr Manmohan Singh, on promotion, has been posted as Commissioner (Appeals) in the new commissionerate.


Clerk transfers self, dismissed
Our Correspondent

Mansa, November 27
Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner here, has dismissed Rakesh Gupta, a clerk in his office, for preparing a fake transfer order purportedly issued by the Financial Commissioner, Revenue, Punjab, in June 1999 for his transfer from Mansa to Jalandhar. Gupta joined duty in the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Jalandhar, and relieved Mr Harbans Singh.

Stating this here today, Mr Ahluwalia said Gupta was charge-sheeted but he pleaded innocence and requested for his reinstatement. Finding his reply unsatisfactory, the Financial Commissioner, Revenue, Punjab, entrusted the department inquiry to Mr M.M. Oberoi, a retired IAS officer, who reported that the charge against Gupta had been proved.

As a follow-up action, Mr Ahluwalia passed an order for the dismissal of Gupta, observing that it was not in the public interest to keep such employees in government service.


Gang evading toll busted
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, November 27
The police has unearthed a gang engaged in evading tax. Mr Varinder Kumar, SSP, talking to newsmen here today said six persons of the gang who had been identified as Iqbal Singh, Sudhir Kumar, Dev Raj and Hans Raj, all residents of Narot Jaimal Singh police station and Vijay Kumar and Raj Kumar both residents of Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir, had been arrested.

The kingpin of the gang, identified as Kewal Krishan, alias Bhapa is still at large.

The gang chief who was running a Karyana shop in Talloor village under police station Narto Jaimal Singh used to transport cement via Narot Jaimal Singh route to avoid checking at Madhopur and also avoid paying toll tax at Lakhanpur in Jammu and Kashmir. On a tip-off three trucks loaded with cement were stopped at Taloor village.

The police took into custody all three trucks and 930 bags of cement loaded in them.

The accused have been indulging in the evading toll for the last seven years. The arrested accused were the couriers of the kingpin of the gang.

A case has been registered against the accused in Narot Jaimal Singh police station.


2 clerks remanded in police custody

Kharar, November 27
Two clerks, one under suspension, were today remanded to police custody till November 30 by a local court in a corruption and forgery case pertaining to the issuance of alleged fake arms licenses, many of which were issued to the suspected criminals of Amritsar district.

Kharar Judicial Magistrate (Class I) Roshan Lal Chohan directed the prosecution to produce both the accused before the same court again on November 30 at 1400 hrs.

The court also directed to get the accused medically examined as and when required.

Arrested on Tuesday by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau, Sunil Kumar posted at Tarn Taran SDM office, and Ashok Kumar, under suspension at Ferozepore Deputy Commissioner office, were produced before the court today VB Inspector Surjeet Singh.

The public prosecutor sought 10 days’ police remand for both the accused on the grounds of further interrogation and investigation in the case.

The prosecution argued that both the accused has remained posted as clerks in Amritsar for nearly eight to nine years and were instrumental in the issuance and renewal of arms licenses to several persons without following the procedure and provisions contained in the Arms Act.

It was submitted that the arms licenses were issued to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and other districts of Punjab without getting their antecedents verified.

It was further argued that both the accused, who dealt with the files of several fake arms licenses, put up the files directly to the officer in-charge without getting them cleared from the office superintendent or assistant concerned. UNI


3 of family killed
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, November 27
Four deaths have been reported in two incidents in the area during the past 24 hours, including deaths of three members of a family. The fourth member was injured seriously in the incident.

Police sources said here today that Harpreet Singh of Sheron village was returning on his scooter from Shangatpur village with his wife Prabhjit Kaur (33), daughter Sukhbir Kaur and son Bikramjit Singh (11) when his scooter had a head-on collision with a Matador. Harpreet Singh (35), Prabhjit Kaur and Sukhbir Kaur were killed on the spot while Bikramjit Singh was injured seriously.

According to another report, Sri Ram of Uttar Pradesh, who came here as a labourer, died yesterday at the local Sant Singh Sukha Singh Public School. The local police has registered a complaint under Section 174 of the CrPC. 


Bank guard arrested
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, November 27
The investigation into the Rs 15.29 lakh robbery took a new turn with the arrest of the bank’s security guard for his suspected role in it.

Mr Paramjit Singh Gill, SSP, stated here today that the bank’s security guard Balwant Singh was arrested to make him join the investigation in the case and a local court had remanded him in police custody till November 30.

“In fact, Balwant Singh did not resist the robbery and handed over his double-barrel gun to them. Besides, none of the bank’s officials, including Balwant Singh, aired the alarm after the incident, which raises suspicion. Interestingly, the gun was later recovered from under a sofa set,” Mr Gill said, adding that the bank staff was creating obstacles in the investigation instead of providing some vital clues about the accused.


School celebrates golden jubilee
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, November 27
M. G. Ashoka Girls Senior Secondary School, Sirhind, today celebrated its golden jubilee function. Dr Harbans Lal, Minister for Forest, was the chief guest. He said that teachers played an important role in the life of a student and those teachers, who did their duty with dedication, were always respected and those,who took the profession lightly, were not recognised by the society.

He said there were black sheepine very profession, who brought bdnameto that profession. He said that the teachers should make self-introspection that why this noble professions loosing its image day by day. He said that earlier the teachers were respected like God but in the present age the students misbehave with them. He urged the teachers to work hard and make sincere efforts so that the lost glory of the profession could be attained. He also urged the parents to devotetime to their children as the future of the nation is in their hands. He said that due to the growing impact of western culture the rest less ness and them oral values were fastlyeroding from the society. He stressed the need for spiritual educational ong with sports and co-curricular activities, so that the students may devote their time in towards positive activities.

Lauding the role of the Ashoka Schools (boys and girls section) in promoting the cause of education in the area, he said that to officers, journalists, leaders, doctors and engineers had been produced by this institution. He recounted his student days in this school and said that these institutions were known for their commitment towards studies as well as towards the service of society. He urged the students to respect their parents, teachers and elders as only those make progress in life, who lived indiscipline and respect the sentiments of their elders. He cautioned them from the menace of drug abuse and othesocial evils.

Mr Vikas Paratap, Deputy Commissioner, in his address, appreciated the efforts of the managing committee of the Ashoka group of schools for providing good education to the students of the area. He urged the management to promote computer education as well as sports in their schools. He announced a grant of Rs 25,000 for promoting computerisation in the school.

Mr K. S. Mehta, Secretary, of the Ashoka Educational Trust, gave a detailed information about the activities of the trust in promoting the cause of education.

Mrs Indira Suri, principal of the Ashoka Girls School read the progress report of the school and highlighted the various achievements of the school in every field. She was honored by the Minister for getting National award.

Mr Chitranjan Vinayak Manager of the school, Subhash Sood, Manager of Boys School, Rajiv Dutta, president of the trust also addressed. Dr Harbans Lal, Minister for Forest gave away the prizes to the children and announced a grant of Rs 1.25 Lakh for the school.

The school children presented an impressive cultural program on this occasion.


Pbi varsity students boycott classes
Our Correspondent

Patiala, November 27
On a call given by the Punjabi University Students Confederation, students of almost all departments boycotted their classes and observed a strike on the Punjabi University campus in protest against the alleged indifferent attitude of the university administration towards students’ demands.

The confederation presented a memorandum to the university authorities early this month stating their demands, which included elections to student council, construction of new hostels, improvement in the quality of food in girls’ hostels, syllabus according to UGC guidelines, recruitment of requisite faculty, infrastructure for departments running professional courses and ban on armed security guards accompanying wards of VIPs.

Students alleged that the authorities had taken no notice of their demands and that they had not even bothered to hold a meeting, as promised earlier with student leaders on various issues raised by them. Leaders of different unions — SSF, SFI, SWF, APUS, ABVP and PUSH — threatened to intensify their agitation if no concrete step was taken by the administration by next week.

Addressing the students, president of the SSF and the SWF Jaspal Singh and Sarabjit Singh, respectively, said the confederation had been pressing the university authorities to hold negotiations with them and had even tried to seek an appointment with the Vice-Chancellor, Mr S.S Boparai, but had received no reply. Alleging that their “genuine demands” had been ignored for a long time, representatives of student unions said the university administration was taking several “frivolous” decisions like holding beauty pageants for girls and boys, and were ignoring concrete and important demands of the student community.

Other student leaders demanded the immediate rolling back of the decision to increase the reappear and late fee that was announced today. Pointing out the quality of food in the girls’ hostels, representatives of several student unions said it was deteriorating day by day and that the university administration should set up a co-operative mess system on the lines of boys’ hostels.

The Dean (Students Welfare), Dr N.S. Kapoor said the memorandum of demands that was presented to him by the confederation had been forwarded to the authorities concerned and the university authorities would consider those genuine demands that did not put pressure on the university resources.



Release salary, say aided college teachers
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, November 27
The Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union (PCCTU) has criticised the state government for not releasing the salaries of employees of at least 139 government-aided privately managed colleges for the last six months.

In a press statement issued here today, the president of the PCCTU, Mr S.S. Hundal, alleged that the state government’s decision to freeze salary grant of 139 aided colleges about six months ago had adversely affected the financial position of these colleges. Besides, the Congress government was perusing anti-employees policies by deciding to impose 10 per cent annual cut on non-planned expenditure, which was highly deplorable, he added.

He alleged that employees of 33 unaided privately managed colleges in the state were also not being paid their salaries.

He further said a sum of Rs 18 crore towards salary grant for the last financial year and Rs 21.35 crore for the University Grant Commission (UGC) arrears was yet to be realised by the government.

While demanding the immediate release of salary grants for the second and third quarter of the current financial year, the union demanded that the state government should enact a law to ensure regular payment of salaries to the employees.

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 |