Sunday, April 27, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



VIPs seek favour for school admissions
Vigilance begins probe; harassed nuns meet CM
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
Might is not always right, at least that is what the Punjab Vigilance Bureau is trying to tell several officials who have been wittingly or otherwise trying to use their influence to secure favour for a select few in top schools of the city. And guess who heads the list of people making recommendations for admissions? Yes! of course it is the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Aggarwal, himself.

Ludhiana’s prestigious Sacred Heart Convent School alone had received around 3000 applications for 285 seats in the school during the recently concluded process of admission. And the recommendations for the same outnumber the number of available seats several times. Signatories of these recommendations include not only the officers in the district administration, but high-ups as big as Central Ministers. Since the school could not oblige so many people, it resulted in the institution being subjected to all types of harassment and persecution.

Misuse of authority is so blatant that the officers do not mind using all their power to ensure the recommended admission. Interestingly, four officers recommended one particular candidate, while Mr Anurag Aggarwal recommended some names on his official letterhead (see inset).

The issue is being thoroughly debated here these days after the school has been victimised for the same reasons. A leading educationist of the city, on condition of anonymity, pointed out: “On the one hand you are prosecuting and sacking people for jumping merit and using sifarish (recommendations) and on the other hand certain officers are using the same method for getting students admitted indiscriminately by their might only”.

He questioned, “What is the criteria these officers adopt for recommending students for these schools. Are we not teaching such students the wrong methods right at the onset of their career?”. There are allegations that the officials too were making recommendations for gratification rather than purely on basis of personal relationship with the candidate.

The much ado being created by the administration about the alleged donations is also being viewed in the same context. It was based on the complaint of one Mr Rajiv Kalia, whose son Jatin Kalia could not get admission in the Sacred Heart Convent School despite having been recommended by four senior officers of the district administration, including the Deputy Commissioner.

Interestingly, Mr Kalia is raising a lot of hue and cry, alleging that he was asked to pay donation. He is also taking the plea that the “commoners cannot get admission to such schools”. Ironically, he considers himself a commoner with the recommendations of all the top officers of the administration. When he could not manage the admission, he started a malicious campaign against the school.

Quite regretfully nobody seems to be prepared to listen to the nuns who are running the school. Since they are not supposed to mix up much with the outside world, they seem to have been left to their own fate. They had also met the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, during his visit to Punjab Police Academy, Philaur, seeking an end to the harassment.

Surprisingly while the vigilance has started an inquiry into the allegations, the ADC Ludhiana, Mr Rahul Bhandhari, has issued yet another letter, on April 16, to the school seeking the record of admissions as, he claims, he has received some other complaint.


800 posts vacant in govt schools
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, April 26
More than 800 posts of principal, lecturer, master/mistress and other categories of teachers are lying vacant in the government middle, high and senior secondary schools of this district though the current academic session has already begun on April 1. Besides this, two posts of the Deputy DEO, a post of district science supervisor, and a post of administrative officer have also been lying vacant in this district for a long period.

Due to these vacancies studies of thousands of student in various schools have been affected. The district has more than 450 middle, high and senior secondary schools.

Sources told TNS that nearly 80 posts of principal were lying vacant in government senior secondary schools for the past several months while the number of senior secondary schools in the Sangrur district was at least 110. Likewise, at least 110 posts of headmaster or headmistress were also lying vacant.

Sources also disclosed that nearly 95 posts of lecturer of various subjects were also vacant in the schools in the district. The vacant posts of lecturer included Punjabi (20) English (18) and Mathematics (17). They also stated that more than 150 posts of social study master/mistress and 75 posts of science master/mistress were also lying vacant in various schools. Besides, 40 posts of math master/mistress, 45 posts of Punjabi master/mistress and 50 posts of Hindi master/mistress were also vacant in the district.

Besides these posts, several posts of drawing teacher, PTI, vocational master, DPE, and Sanskrit teacher are also yet to be filled. Not only the posts of teacher, a large number of posts of peon, chowkidar, peon-cum-chowkidar, clerk, senior assistant and gardeners are also lying vacant.

Two posts of the Deputy DEO have been lying vacant since February 2002 while the post of the district science supervisor is vacant for the past several years. Besides, the administrative officer’s post has also been lying vacant for the past 11 months. These posts has been entrusted to other persons of the teaching department as a stop-gap arrangement.

Interestingly, though the entire picture about the vacant posts of teachers and top officers of the Education Department in this district is already clear to the Punjab Government and Punjab Education Department authorities for a long period but no concrete steps have been initiated by them so far despite adverse affect on the studies of thousands of student, especially in the rural area schools.


SARS suspect in Fazilka
Tribune Reporters

Fazilka, April 26
Mr Tajinderjit Singh, 32, a Punjab Roadways driver, has been admitted to the local Civil Hospital with fever and chest congestion to rule out SARS infection. He has been quarantined for treatment in an isolation ward of the hospital. Dr Hans Raj Malethia, Medical Officer on emergency duty, admitted the patient who was also examined by Dr D.K. Bhukal, Medical Specialist of the hospital. Dr Bhukal said the patient was possibly a case of allergic bronchitis.

Dr Sarita Karma, SMO of the hospital, said the patient had been isolated as a preventive measure. Mr Tajinderjit Singh, while talking to this correspondent said he had gone to Chintpurni on his duty, where he developed fever. Prior to this, he had gone to Chandigarh for a day.

JALANDHAR: A suspected SARS patient was admitted to Tagore Hospital here last night, from where he was referred to DMC in Ludhiana early this morning. The DMC authorities have put him in the isolation ward where he would be made to undergo thorough diagnostic procedure. The patient had approached the hospital with SARS-like symptoms.

AMRITSAR: Two more doctors arrived at the Raja Sansi Airport here on Saturday to monitor the incoming passengers in view of SARS threat.

Meanwhile, the suspected SARS patient, Mr Partap Singh, an employee of the Amritsar Club, is still being monitored although the Civil Surgeon said his condition was improving. However, he said he could not rule out the possibility of SARS infection until the patient’s blood test results came in.


Ram Bagh trees fall prey to garbage burning
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 26
Plants and trees in Ram Bagh, which was constructed on the pattern of Lahore’s famous Gulmargh Bagh, are facing threat to their existence even as an ancient Pipal tree got damaged as garbage was being burnt beneath it everyday.

The burning of the garbage is causing respiratory problems to newly borns, gynae and other patients of the adjoining Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital. In a letter written to the pollution control board and Commissioner Municipal Corporation Dr H.S. Gill, Medical superintendent, has stated that the smoke emanating leads to suffocation in the hospital. “Harmful gases enter the hospital premises and also affect the plants and trees of Ram Bagh, which has already been declared protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India,”. Dr Gill added.

The burning of the garbage has also caused a certain degree of damage to the watch tower in Ram Bagh, constructed with Nanakshahi bricks.

An expert, Dr Suresh Chauhan, said many rare trees were facing severe threat to their existence due to the alleged indifferent attitude of those concerned. The rare species include “Kadamb” related with Lord Krishma. Some of the trees, however, are also affected by termites and other diseases.

However, INTACH has taken the lead to prepare a list of the rare plants.

Dr Chauhan said certain old plants had dried and there was a need to fill up their hollow trunks on the pattern of Bangalore, where ancient trees were being restored by using this technique.


Parkash Divas as World Peace Year: Jathedar Vedanti
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The 400th anniversary of Parkash Divas of Sri Guru Granth Sahib will be celebrated all over the globe next year as World Peace Year, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar of Takht Sri Akal Takht Sahib, announced at Gurdwara Gurjit Parkash, Chicago, USA, on the fifth day of the eight-day long special celebrations today.

Giani Joginder Singh, who arrived in Chicago to a warm welcome on Wednesday, has been joined by acting Jathedar of Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib, Giani Tarlochan Singh; and Jathedar of Takht Sri Patna Sahib, Giani Iqbal Singh; Head Priest of Gurdwara Sri Sis Ganj Sahib (New Delhi), Giani Ranjit Singh; former Head Priest of Sri Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple), Giani Jaswant Singh and the General Secretary of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, Mr Bhajan Singh Walia, in an unprecedented gathering of Sikh religious leadership. It is for the first time that such a galaxy of Sikh leadership has gathered at one place outside India.

The three Jathedars and other Sikh religious leaders will call on the Governor of Illinois tomorrow to apprise him of the problems facing the Sikh community of the USA. The main problem has been of physical identity as an average American tends to confuse Sikhs with the Arabs and makes them target for “hate crime”.

The Sikh leaders are also expected to visit the New Mexico-based World Sikh Organisation headed by Yogi Harbhajan Singh.

According to Sant Daljit Singh, founder President of the Guru Nanak Sikh Mission of America, the main organiser of this Sikh conclave which will set into motion the year-long celebrations pertaining to Parkash Divas of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, all the Jathedars have in their discourses held that “Sri Guru Granth Sahib” was not the monopoly of Sikhs alone as it contained message for universal brotherhood, communal harmony and peace. They said the celebrations next year would be conducted under the aegis of the Jathedars of all the five Takhts.

Seminars, workshops, discourses, special kirtan durbars and other functions would be organised to spread the message contained in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. They appreciated the efforts of Sant Daljit Singh in organising the special function to mark the beginning of the 400th anniversary celebrations of the Prakash Divas of Guru Granth Sahib.

Jathedar Vedanti said unfortunately the present day world was caught in a spate of conflicts leading to disruption in peace, hatred and communal divide. “We will make every endeavour to reach every part of the world with the message of Sri Guru Granth Sahib for world peace, communal harmony and universal brotherhood. Hatred has to pave way for cordiality and conflict must get replaced by peace to make the world a better place to live in.

“We will try to reach out to all parts of the globe through the United Nations and other organisations of the UN to get next year declared as World Peace Year. The necessary help of the Punjab Government and the Union Government would also be solicited for this purpose,” he said holding that religious organisations need to be freed from the clutches of selfish elements.

Meanwhile, Sant Jatinderpal Singh Sewa Panthi and Mr Mohinder Singh Romana, President, Parbandhak Committee of Takht Sri Patna Sahib also addressed the conclave.


PAC authorises Badal on unity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
SAD President Parkash Singh Badal, who was today authorised by the party’s Political Affairs Committee ( PAC) to decide the issue of unity with former SGPC chief, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, said neither the government nor anyone else would be able to impede the unity bid.

Mr Badal said he had held one meeting with Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra on unity so far. “In fact, the PAC decision today was the first major step towards unity. Things would move foward now,” he added.

When asked that only a few months ago, he had been attacking Mr Tohra in a very harsh manner, Mr Badal said there was no need to dwell into the past but make a fresh beginning by all concerned following the “forget and forgive” policy.

Mr Badal said he would not feel embarrassed sitting in the company of Mr Tohra. No condition had been laid for unity. When asked whether there was a chance of unity with Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, Mr Badal replied in the negative. Aborted efforts were made for unity before the assembly elections also.

The SAD chief said there was no pressure from the BJP or anybody else for unity among Akali leaders. Asked about when he is meeting Mr Tohra again, Mr Badal said it would take some time.


Badal prepared for probe

Mr Badal said he did not own any moveable and immoveable property abroad. The Punjab Government was wasting lakhs of rupees on investigation in this connection. The SAD leader said he was prepared to face any probe through Indian Embassies abroad . It may be mentioned that the state government has sent a senior police officer abroad to collect information about Mr Badal’s property abroad.


Akali unity: Sarna may not dissolve Delhi Akali Dal
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 26
As Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, president Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (DSGMC) a confidant of Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra was not forthcoming the proposed unity with the SAD (Badal), sources close to him said that he (Mr Sarna) is likely to maintain separate entity of his Delhi unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal.

Sources close to Mr Sarna said that he was not taken into confidence by Mr Tohra already authorised by SHSAD for forge unity with the Shiromani Akali Dal. On the question dissolution that Delhi Shiromani Akali Dal, confidants of Mr Sarna said that he would adopt wait-and-watch policy on the issue. However, some leaders of the Delhi Akali Dal said that it would be difficult for Mr Sarna to disband his Delhi unit his supporters had won DSGMC elections against the candidates of SAD despite intensive campaigning by Mr Parkash Singh Badal.


Barrage leakages to continue till Nov
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Water will continue flowing to Pakistan through the Ravi from the Madhopur barrage near Pathankot till November. About 50 to 60 cusecs is flowing to Pakistan because of the leakages from the barrage and sluice gates at the Madhopur headworks. Such leakages sometimes touch about 100 cusecs, enough to irrigate 33,000 acres of land.

Official sources said today it would not be possible to plug the leakages before November. As the paddy transplantation season was about to start, it would not be possible to close the system to carry out the necessary repairs to plug the leakages. At least, 21 days would be required to repair the system which fed the Upper-Bari Doab canal, the Madhopur-Beas Link and the Kashmir canal.

The sources said as the entire paddy belt of Gurdaspur and Amritsar districts was dependent for irrigation upon the Upper Bari Doab canal, it would not be advisable to seek closure of the system at this stage to plug the leakages. The closure would be sought in the last fortnight of November when the requirement of water for irrigation was minimum.

According to information Mr Bhagat Singh Sandhu, Adviser to the Punjab Chief Minister on irrigation-related matters, was deputed to visit the Madhopur headworks to prepare a technical report to stop the leakages. Mr Sandhu has reportedly submitted his report. The sources said boulders were responsible for the leakages. Boulders hit the iron gates causing big dents in the gates and disturbing their adjustment and causing leakages.

Mr Sandhu said the gates should be tightened so as to plug leakages. No money was given in the past 10 years to carry out repairs or even to paint the junked iron gates. Some gates had minor holes that caused water leakages. There were about 54 gates — 30 barrage gates and 24 sluice gates.


4 kanals of Trust land encroached on
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, April 26
More than 40 persons allegedly raised temporary structures’ over more than four kanals of land near CIA chowk, part of friends colony here. The land belongs to the Pathankot Improvement Trust (PIT) and is said to be worth crores. The alleged encroachers with collusion of authorities reportedly secured power and water connections to temporary structures without approval of the trust.

Sources said that the Improvement Trust had planned to build, LIG, MIG, HIG flats on the land but the patronage of certain political leaders the trust schemes remained only on paper.

The encroachers after building huts recently got their names registered in the electoral roll of the Municipal Council using political influence.

Now a “religious place” is being built on the encroached land.

Residents of the jhuggis reportedly make payment every month to their bosses” who helped them encroach the land.

Residents of the Friends Colony are unhappy with the authorities for not taking any action to evict the “unauthorised” colony.

Mr Sanjay Saini President of the Friends Colony Association demanded a probe into the encroachment and removal of the illegal encroachment officials of the Trust were not available for comments.


Police harassed my kin: Gurdev Badal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Narrating the alleged police torture on his family, former Akali Agriculture Minister, Mr Gurdev Singh Badal, today said the Vigilance Bureau did not spare even his 10-year-old grandson. He said his grandson, Bhupinder Singh, who is student of sixth class, had been booked in a corruption case.

Speaking to mediapersons for the first time after his release from the jail yesterday, Mr Gurdev Singh Badal, a close associate of former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, said even his daughters, daughters- in-law and other female members of the family were shabbily treated by bureau police officials.” Mr Gurdev Singh said in the presence of the former Chief Minister.

They wanted that I should name Mr Parkash Singh Badal in a corruption case. “But I preferred to suffer the torture and see my family humiliated instead of naming Mr Parkash Singh in any case as there was nothing against him,” he said. “There was unlimited torture on my family members and many of them had to spend a lot of time away from their homes,” Mr Gurdev Singh, alleged. “If I had been a corrupt politician, people would have thrown me away from political arena a long back and had not elected me for the 11th time in the row,” he said with a choking voice.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal alleged that another Akali leader, Mr M.S. Kang, who was Chairman of the Forest Corporation during the SAD-BJP Government, had been tortured to such an extent that his backbone had been damaged. Mr Kang would have to undergo major surgery , Mr Parkash Singh said. “We will never forget the way the Bureau and other policemen tortured our senior leaders,” said former Chief Minister.


Overbridge construction to begin soon: CM
Our Correspondent

Patiala, April 26
The construction work on the overbridge on the railway crossing No. 22 will begin soon. This was stated yesterday by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh at a function organised to launch the community policing scheme in the city.

The project has been hanging fire despite a foundation stone being laid by former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at the fag end of his tenure.

Capt Amarinder Singh also announced that his government would construct an overbridge on the level crossing No. 21 and this project would be cleared on a priority basis. He said the project had been conceived to ease the heavy flow of traffic in the city.

Meanwhile, the residents of the city have expressed happiness over this decision of the Chief Minister. Mr Harbhajan Singh of Model Town said the construction of the overbridge over the level crossing No. 22 was necessary to ease traffic flow in the area. He said the traffic would increase once the new secretariat on the Passi road started functioning next month.

Shopkeepers in the level crossing No. 22 market, however, said the overbridge should be completed in time so that their businesses did not suffer. Mr Om Verma of Verma Bakeries said the shopkeepers hoped that the crossing would not be closed, as had happened when an overbridge was being constructed close to the bus stand.

The work on the overbridge had been stalled when the Telecommunication Department had demanded a huge amount of money as compensation for likely damage to its cables and wires at the site.


Non-bailable warrants against Badal’s ex-OSD
Our Correspondent

Kharar, April 26
A court here today issued non-bailable warrants for May 10 against Mr Hardeep Singh, former OSD to Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

According to Vigilance Bureau’s application Hardeep Singh when he was OSD to Mr Badal, allegedly amassed wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income.

He also made moveable and immoveable properties through illegal means. He purchased a plot for Rs 12.70 lakh in the name of his son Manpreet at Phase 3B, Mohali, on December 9, 1999.

He then build a house spending Rs 20 lakhs.

He also purchased commercial property worth 15 lakh and spent 15 lakh more on it.

The bureau pleaded that various places in Punjab and other states are to be raided so non-bailable warrants were needed.

The High Court has already dismissed anticipatory bail application of the accused.

The bureau pleaded that the accused had not been arrested although the FIR No 22 of August 29, 2002 was registered at SAS Nagar under the Prevention of Corruption Act.


Lok adalat disposes of 5,000 cases
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
A sort of a judicial record was created in the city today when as many as 5,000 criminals cases were disposed of in a single day by over 50 Benches of judges at the biggest ever lok adalat of the region.

Thousands of persons thronged the new District Courts complex today to take part in the lok adalat. It was the first of its kind regarding criminal cases in the region. However, several persons were dissatisfied with the verdicts. They also alleged harassment as they were called several hours before the proceedings started.

Held under Section 19 (5) of the Legal Services Authorities Act — 1987, the lok adalat was organised in two sessions covering cases pertaining to the jurisdiction of nine police stations, including Div No 6, Div No 7, Focal Point, Shimlapuri, Sadar, Jodhewal, Salem Tabri, Sahnewal and Koom Kalan under SP City-II Division. In the afternoon session, cases pertaining to nine police stations of the division of SP-City-I, including Div Nos 1,2,3,4,5 and 8, Sarabha Nagar, Model Town and Haibowal were taken up.

To assist the work of the courts and lok adalat panels, the Ludhiana police has appointed police personnel to guide the public and coordinate effectively with the officers of Judiciary and prosecution.

The lok adalat took up a record number of 6673 cases for settlement and decision.


Case against Dhumal: hearing put off
Our Correspondent

Ropar, April 26
Hearing of the defamation case against former Himachal Chief Minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal, was deferred to April 28th today. Mr Dhumal had come here to appear in the court of the CJM in the defamation case filed against him by a PPSC member from Morinda Bal Bhushan. The hearing in the case was, deferred as the CJM had gone to Ludhiana to preside over a Lok Adalat.


26 cases settled in 3 lok adalats
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, April 26
Three lok adalats were organised today in the Civil Courts compound. They were presided over by Mr Bhajan Ram, Additional Civil Judge (Senior Division), Mrs Kiran Bala, Civil Judge (Junior Division), and Mr Ranjit Singh, Civil Judge (Junior Division).

As many as 69 cases were taken up, out of which 26 were settled and decided at the spot with mutual consent.

An amount of Rs 2,40,940 was distributed to the litigants.


Bathinda in our blood, say Gargi’s children
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 26
“Our bond with Bathinda is unbreakable. It is in our blood,” said Manu Gargi and Jannat, son and daughter of Balwant Gargi.

“Since my childhood, my father would tell me about Bathinda and its golden sand. So this bond with the town is in our blood and it will never break,” said Manu.

Remembering their earlier visits to Bathinda, Manu and Jannat said they would never forget the love and affection shown by people of the town. They promised to visit Bathinda more frequently.

He said he would make a documentary on the life of his father and had discussed it with Doordarshan. He said he would also make efforts to compile and get published the last novel of his father, ‘Bloodline”.


US honour for Punjab doc
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Thirtyone-year-old Dr Kanan Gupta of Chandigarh was conferred the Fellowship of the American College of Physicians (FACP) at a convocation ceremony in San Diego, California. She is among the youngest doctors to get this honour.

After graduating from Medical College Patiala, she pursued further studies in Philadelphia. She now practices, medicine and teaches at the Medical College for Wisconsin. Dr Kanan is the daughter of Mr T.C. Gupta, a former IAS officer of the Punjab cadre.


PUDA staffer’s house raided
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, April 26
Mr Baljinder Singh Grewal, SP (VB), in a statement here today said the house of Subeg Singh, head draughtsman with PUDA, who was arrested yesterday had been searched and three cheque books and some other documents recording the financial transactions of the accused had been seized.

Mr Grewal said the PUDA flat of the accused was searched and three cheque books issued by the ITI branch of the Punjab and Sindh Bank and National Saving Certificates worth Rs 40,000 were seized. A passbook issued by the same bank was found to record transactions of Rs 80,000 and Rs 1,00,000 from October 28 to 31, 2002.


Dullo reviews govt schemes
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, April 26
Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, MP, Ropar, and Chairman, Vigilance and Monitoring Committee, Fatehgarh Sahib, examined the progress of the Centrally-sponsored schemes for the year 2002-03 in this district at a meeting held at Bachat Bhawan, here today.

He said Rs 2.19 crore had been spent to provide employment to the SC youth; Rs 13.20 lakh to provide shelter to 61 families under the Indira Avas Yojana; Rs 55.5 lakh disbursed among unemployed youth; Rs 19.75 lakh subsidy given under the Sawaran Jayanti Gram Swai Rojgar Yajana; Rs 19.45 crore spent for widening and strengthening of roads in rural areas under the Paradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana; Rs 2.58 crore spent to provide old-age pensions to 19,167 persons; Rs 3.97 lakh spent under the National Old-Age Pension Scheme; and Rs 2 lakh disbursed among 20 widows living below-poverty line under the National Family Welfare Scheme.


Gynae hospital inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Batala, April 26
The old Civil Hospital, Nehru Gate, was today converted into gynaecology hospital.

The Minister for Health and Labour, Mr Ashwani Sekhri, inaugurated the hospital. Mr Sekhri said after some time it would be converted into a general hospital. He disclosed that 25 out of the 50 beds had been provided by the Lions Club Smile.

Mr Sekhri announced that the hospital would have ultrasound and laboratory facilities, besides an operation theatre.

Mr V.M. Goel, district chairman, Lions Club Smile, said that Mr Satinder Singh from Dubai, son-in-law of Mr Rattan Singh Hanspal of Batala, had donated these 25 iron beds for the hospital.

Mr R.L. Bhatia, MP, Mr D.S. Guru, Managing Director, Punjab Health Systems Corporation, and Dr N.S. Suman, Civil Surgeon, Gurdaspur, were among those present on the occasion.


Urology camp at Sohana today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
A major free urology check-up camp will be organised by Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib (C) Eye Institute and Multidisciplinary Hospital, Sohana, tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. where a team of urologists will examine all patients suffering from various diseases of kidneys and urinary track.

Free consultation will be available in endourology, female urology, uronocology, urofloemetry, lithotripsy and other miscellaneous urology problems. Free ultrasound and lab tests will also be conducted.

According to Mr A.K. Suri of the Sohana Hospital, common urological problems including kidney, ureter and bladder stones, problems due to prostrate enlargement and problem of elderly women like stress urinary incontinence and all urological cancers would be checked and diagnosed during the camp.


Protest by junior docs
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, April 26
More than 300 junior doctors, including interns and post-graduate students, of the local Government Guru Gobind Singh College and Hospital took out a march here today. They are protesting against the decision of the Punjab Government to stop their monthly stipend. They also wore black badges.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had stayed a similar decision of the Central Government. If the state government failed to withdraw the decision till May 4 more than 1,000 doctors would go on indefinite strike till the acceptance of their demand, he said.


Veterinary staff gets assurance
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The Punjab State Veterinary Officers Association, which held a meeting today with Mr Harsurat Singh, Director, Animal Husbandry, said the Director had agreed to resolve problems faced by veterinary staff in hospitals.

Dr Rajinder Singh, President of the association in a statement said, the Director was requested to ensure adequate supply of medicine in hospitals and to give more emphasis on artificial insemination to improve the quality of milch cattle in the state. Various vacant posts should also be filled and vaccination drive should be started in a big way.


Two ASIs suspended
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, April 26
Ms Gurpreet Deo, Senior Superintendent of Police here, has suspended Assistant Sub Inspector Munish Sharma, in-charge Model Town Police Station here and Mr Kulwant Singh, Assistant Sub Inspector, also of the same police station today following probe by Mr Dharam Singh Uppal, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Detective).

The SSP said that Mr Munish Pathak, of local Bahadurpur Mohalla complained to her against the above officers on April 19, 2003.

Mr Pathak alleged that the said SHO along with his subordinates assaulted him at government college chowk on April 18, 2003, when he did not reply to his objectionable questions.

He snatched his mobile phone, cash and bike and later called ASI Kulwant Singh who took him to the Police Station, Model Town and did not allow him even to contact his family and detained him there for two hours.

Later they took him to local Civil Hospital for medical check up. He however contacted his friends who came there and got him released.

Next morning he was called to the police station to get back the amount. But due to pain on account of beating he did no go to the police station. He alleged that the said police officer took revenge for his help to a woman teacher of local Dashmesh Nagar.

She was being harassed by the said officer. He alleged that the said SHO started visiting her house and made number of calls. On this act the said officer was annoyed with him.


Two sarpanches suspended
Our Correspondent

Abohar, April 26
Two sarpanches have been suspended by the state government.

According to orders received here yesterday, Mr Baldev Singh Sidhu, Deputy Director, Panchayats, said that during demarcation by the subdivisional Magistrate, Fazilka, through the local commission, it was alleged that Mr Bhupinder Singh, his son Mr Gurminderpal Singh and Mrs Narinder, wife of Mr Sukhminderpal Singh, had illegally encroached upon 2 kanal 14 marla land in New Mohinder Nagar.

Finding the allegations as serious, the Deputy Director suspended Mr Gurminderpal Singh, sarpanch of New Mohinder Nagar, near here. The Block Development and Panchayat Officer, Khuyiansarwer, had been directed to entrust the charge of movable, immovable property of the village panchayat to an authorised member of the panchayat under the rules.

In another order by the same Deputy Director, it has been said that an inquiry into the allegations against Mr Het Ram, sarpanch, Panniwala Mahla, in this subdivision was conducted by the Divisional Deputy Director, Panchayat Department, Ferozepore. As per the inquiry report submitted on January 22, 2003, it was pointed out that a criminal case had been registered against the sarpanch.


Engineer shifted
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 26
Mr S.P.S. Sandhu, Executive Engineer (XEN), Boiler, Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant (GNDTP) was today transferred from this section to Store and Transportation wing after it was found that steam pipes had been connected running by with water pipes in the boiler of unit number-I while it was being restarted after it tripped yesterday.

Mr S.C. Mahajan, Chief Engineer, GNDTP, said that a committee comprising two Superintendent Engineers of Mechanical and Operation wing had been set up to probe the incident. The committee would give its reports shortly.

Sources said that yesterday the unit one of the GNDTP tripped and technical staff was pressed into service to revive it. While the unit was being revived, connections of steam pipes and water pipes were made wrongly.


4-yr-old rescued from kidnappers
Our Correspondent

Ropar, April 26
The Ropar police has rescued Nikil Gupta, 4-year-old son of Sanjay Gupta, a Morinda-based businessman, from the kidnappers with the arrest of Sanjeev Kumar and Ranjit Singh, alias Kala, both residents of Chamkaur Sahib.

The SSP of Ropar, Mr G.P.S. Bhullar, while giving this information to newsmen at press conference here today said the child was abducted from the Garden Colony of Morinda around 6 p.m. on April 25 while he was playing near his residence.

The kidnappers who came on a scooter lured the child to accompany them by telling him that his father had called for him.

Later, the kidnappers rang up the parents of the child and demanded Rs 30 lakh as ransom. The parents informed the police. On the direction of the police, the parents expressed their inability to pay such a large amount. The kidnappers then scaled down their demand to Rs 10 lakh. When the parents declined to pay even that much, the deal was finalised at Rs 2.5 lakh.

The kidnappers asked Mr Gupta to come with the amount on the Chamkaur Sahib-Neelon road adjoining the Sirhind canal, but did not meet him. They once again rang up, asking him to come in the Bela Chowk area of Ropar. They also told him about their identity.

The police, who laid a trap, arrested Sanjeev Kumar when he came to collect the ransom money. On interrogation, Sanjeev Kumar revealed that his accomplice Ranjit Singh was waiting for him near the petrol station on the Nangal chowk along with the kidnapped child.

The police then rescued the child and arrested Ranjit Singh, the SSP said.

Sanjeev Kumar was running a cassette shop in Chamkaur Sahib and was reeling under a debt. A case under Section 464-A of the IPC has been registered against the kidnappers.


Two lovers end lives
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, April 26
Two lovers allegedly committed suicide at Gandwan village yesterday.

Charan Das, alias Kala, (27) and Mrs Jaswinder Kaur, (30) residents of Ambedkar Nagar in Hadiabad, Phagwara, allegedly consumed some pesticide at the cremation ground of Gandwan. They were found writhing in pain by some villagers who informed the Sarpanch, Mr Madan Lal. The sarpanch called the police which took them to the local Civil Hospital, but they died on the way. It is learnt that Jaswinder Kaur was the mother of two children and her husband is settled abroad. She had extramarital relations with Charan Das who was unmarried.

They allegedly committed suicide as their affair was scoffed at both by society and their families.


Two scooter-borne boys die in mishap
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, April 26
Jarmanjit Singh (15) and Gurbinder Singh (16), both residents of Malmohri village were killed last night when their scooter was hit by some vehicle.

Police sources said today that the boys were on their way to the local grain market when they were hit and fell down. They were brought to the local Civil Hospital where the doctors declared them brought dead. A post-mortem examination was conducted at the local Civil Hospital today. A case has been registered under Sections 304A and 427 IPC.


Ex-lover charged with cheating
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, April 26
A woman has filed second case against her former lover in less than a week at the local police station here.

Ranjit Kumari, Project Officer, Child Development, in her latest FIR on Friday, has charged her ex-lover Harwinder Singh, a resident of Jandiala Guru, with winning her confidence and depriving her of gold ornaments worth Rs 4,000 and a sum of Rs 24,700 on April 22.

In her reports, Ranjit has stated that her husband was shot by militants in 1988. She fell in love with Harwinder four year ago. They had broken off six months back.


Two arrested for abduction
Our Correspondent

Abohar, April 26
The police here has arrested two persons for allegedly abducting the daughter of a contract worker of the Food Corporation of India in 1999. The arrests were made at Ferozabad in Uttar Pradesh. The suspects were first produced in a judicial court at Ferozabad. Both were produced today in a local court, which remanded them in police custody till May 3.

There have been reports that migrants from Uttar Pradesh, who are employed here in industrial units, had been luring or abducting daughters of poor families and were selling them in UP and other states. The police had carried raids at Nanglabahu village in Ferozabad district and arrested Arvind Kumar and Uma Shanker.


Suicide victim’s husband surrenders
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, April 26
Samir Bansal, husband of Kanchan Bansal, who surrendered before the GRP, was today remanded in police custody for three days. Kanchan Bansal (25) had allegedly killed herself and her daughter Mitali (2) by jumping in front of a train here on April 16.

Her brother Sumit had alleged that his sister and his niece had died because his sister had been tormenting for more dowry by her in-laws. The GRP had registered a case of abetment of suicide against Kanchan’s husband, her father-in-law, mother-in-law and sister-in-law.


Revenue-sharing model for ITIs approved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The Punjab Government has approved a revenue-sharing public-private partnership model to run the new industrial training institutes (ITIs) in the state.

Following a formal decision in this regard by the Technical Education Minister, Mr M.S. Kaypee, the scheme was approved by the executive committee of the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board, at its meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary, Mr Y.S. Ratra, yesterday.

Giving details, Secretary, Technical Education and Industrial Training, Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, stated that 12 buildings of such ITIs were in various stages of completion, but could not be put to use since there were no further funds.

In this scenario, the revenue-sharing model was found to be the only viable alternative. Under this scheme, the state government, through the Punjab Council for Technical Education and Entrepreneurial Development, would enter into an MoU or agreement with reputed private promoters. The gross fee receipts would go into the bank account of the council, from which the private promoter would be paid on quarterly basis.

A pre-bid meeting would be organised soon for these ITIs. Some of these are at Anandpur Sahib, Kahnuwan, Nathana, Shahkot, Jalalabad, Khadur Sahib and Abohar.


College staff await salaries

Batala, April 26
Resentment prevails among the teaching and non-teaching employees of the S.L. Bawa DAV College here due to non-payment of their salaries for March.

Mr Kuljinder Singh, president of the college unit of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU), said here yesterday that they had not received their salaries for the month of March. When contacted, the Principal, Mr V.K. Bhatia of the S.L. Bawa DAV College, said that the college had not received the grant-in-aid since February, 2003. OC

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