Thursday, May 15, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Khalsa Panchayat ‘white paper’ indicts Badal, Badungar, Vedanti
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 14
The 42-page “white paper” released by the Shiromani Khalsa Panchayat (SKP) today indicted Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President, Akali Dal, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, SGPC chief, and Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, for “damaging age-old Sikh institutions for vested interests.”

After releasing the “white paper” on the gory incident of February 22 when activists of the SKP were beaten up and their beards/hair pulled up by the taskforce of the SGPC, Mr Rajinder Singh, convener of the Khalsa Panchayat, said that he present set of Sikh high priests had no moral right to continue as jathedars, as they had failed to check the “anti-Panthic” activities of the leaders.

Mr Rajinder Singh, while seeking immediate resignation of Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti on moral grounds, said that the appointment of the Sikh high priests should be made through the age-old traditions of the institution of “sarbat khalsa”. The installation of jathedars by a group of the SGPC had been bringing persons, who work as puppets or rubber stamps of their masters, he alleged. This was why jathedars were unceremoniously removed in the past, which amounted to the denigration of the Takhts.

The “white paper carried a number of pictures of the February 22 incident, which the SKP equated with the incident of Nankana Sahib in Pakistan when peaceful Sikhs were killed in firing opened at the behest of mahantas.

The SKP asked why the jathedars remained silent when it was reported that Ms Surinder Kaur Badal, wife of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and senior Akali leaders who used to visit the “dera” of controversial godman, Ashutosh. The daughter and son-in-law of Mr Gurdev Singh Badal, senior vice-president, SAD, openly admitted their links with Ashutosh but the Sikh clergy maintained studied silence. However, the Panthic forces (SKP), which spearheaded the campaign for ousting Ashutosh, were being dubbed as Congress agents.

The “white paper” also carried a question posed by former Jathedar of Akal Takht, Prof Darshan Singh, who asked the Panthic forces to differentiate between “real Panth” and “so-called Panth”. Prof Darshan Singh said that no action had been taken against those who violated the Sikh maryada but action was initiated against those who had endeavoured to safeguard the Panth.

The “white paper” asked what Ms Badal had found in the “teachings” of Ashutosh which she failed to get in the holy Guru Granth Sahib. The “white paper” asked as to why no action was taken against Mr Badal and Mr Sucha Singh Langah, who had arranged “havans” and performed “Ramayana paaths” in violation of the Sikh traditions.

The “white paper” also condemned Jathedar Vedanti for editing “Gur Bilas Patshahi Sixth”, which was later banned by the SGPC due to its “anti-Panthic” contents. The Jathedar was also accused of humiliating victims of Delhi riots, who visited Akal Takht to seek his help.

The SKP took a serious note of the appointment of Giani Puran Singh as Head Granthi of the Golden Temple, who was earlier sacked as Jathedar of Akal Takht. The SKP felt that the appointment of Giani Puran Singh as Head Granthi was against the tenets of Sikhism, as he had described Sikhs as direct descendants of “Luv” and “Kush”.

The “white paper” alleged that SAD was responsible for the promotion of the “dera culture” including Nirankaris, Bhaniara, Ashutosh, Radha Soami, Gobind Sadan etc due to political reasons.

Giving background of the February 22 incident in which a number of SKP activists were injured, the “white paper” said that it started with the demand of taking action against Baba Dhanwant Singh, who was accused of raping a girl at his “dera”. Instead of taking action against the Baba, a former PA of Jathedar Vedanti who allegedly took bribe in this case, was allowed to go scot-free.

The SKP alleged that the SGPC was misleading the Sikh Panth by saying that nobody had ever staged protest in front of the Shiromani committee office. Apart from using the SGPC office for airing their views against the ‘high-handedness’ from time to time, the pro-Badal SAD workers had forced their entry into Akal Takht to lodge their protest for calling Mr Badal in the past.


Badungar's appointment to be opposed
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 14
Mr Rajinder Singh, convener of the Shirmoni Khalsa Panchayat (SKP), said that his organisation would strongly oppose any decision to install Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar as Jathedar of Akal Takht.

Mr Rajinder Singh said that there was a move to install Mr Badunger as Jathedar, as Mr Parkash Singh Badal wanted a pliable man to replace Jathedar Vedanti. He criticised the purported statement of Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, who had stated that he was ready to step down as Jathedar for the sake of “Panthic unity”.

He said the statement of Jathedar Vedanti had vindicated the stand of the SKP that Jathedar had been working at the behest of Mr Badal and hence had no independent opinion. He said the SKP would intensity its agitation if Mr Badungar was appointed Jathedar, as the Sikh high priests should be installed by the “Sarbat Khalsa” only.

On the proposed unity moves, Mr Rajinder Singh said that it would cause more harm in the coming days as the unity of two Akali stalwarts (Mr Badal and Mr Tohra) could not be described as “Panthic unity”. 


Tohra drops term for Akali unity
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 14
Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal President Gurcharan Singh Tohra today gave a new twist to the Akali unity move by saying that the reinstallation of Bhai Ranjit Singh was no longer a precondition for unity with the Shiromani Akali Dal.

Speaking at a function organised in Lung village to inaugurate a new school building, Mr Tohra said, however, he would stick to his other condition — the appearance of Mr Parkash Singh Badal at Akal Takht.

The veteran Akali leader said his party favoured unity among the Akali factions as it was the need of the hour.


Punjab CPI dharna on May 26
Protest to oppose Amarinder govt policies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
The CPI, the best friend of the Congress only one-and-a half years ago, has turned its hardest critic in Punjab, distancing itself from the ruling party.

Both parties contested the state assembly elections together. However, the CPI performed poorly as it could get just one seat. With the Congress support, it got the Malout seat also a few months after the general election. However, the Congress later made both CPI MLAs defect to its fold.

As the Lok Sabha elections are approaching, the CPI has sharpened its Congress-bashing campaign. It has also decided to organise a dharna here in protest against the policies of the Amarinder Government on May 26, the day the Congress ends its campaign of party rallies at the block level.

Punjab CPI Secretary Joginder Dayal misses no opportunity to hit out at Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. Dr Dayal has actually taken his fight against the Punjab Government to the CPI’s national leadership, which has close ties with Congress President Sonia Gandhi. At the National Council of the CPI held in Delhi from May 11 to 13, Dr Dayal got a resolution passed against the Punjab government. The resolution says “the National Council of the CPI notes with distress that the Congress Government in Punjab led by Capt Amarinder Singh is aggressively pursuing the policies dictated by the WTO and causing immense harm to the state’s economy, particularly “agriculture”.

Dr Dayal conveyed to the CPI high command that Capt Amarinder Singh was pursuing anti-people policies that would ensure the return of the SAD-BJP combine to power in the state.

Capt Amarinder Singh, Dr Dayal said, had withdrawn free power to farmers, besides imposing water tariff. He had imposed sales tax on pesticides, insecticides and fertilisers, which was later rolled back. No measures had been taken to lighten the loan burden of farmers, who were in deep trouble.

The industrial sector was also in the doldrums. About 70 per cent of the industrial units had either shut down or were on the verge of closure, said Dr Dayal. Instead of creating new jobs the government had started abolishing posts and identifying surplus staff. Its disinvestment policies had led to widespread panic among those employed in public sector undertakings, which at one stage created new jobs and gave new dimension to the state’s economy.

The government had destabilised organisations like the Punjab State Electricity Board and the PEPSU Road Transport Corporation etc by announcing their privatisation. Employees of these organisations were on the path of agitation. By making a premature announcement about the privatisation of Punjab Tractors Limited, a profit-making organisation, the officials concerned had given a jolt to the standing of this organisation in the market.

The government had made education so costly that it had shut the doors of educational institutions even on well-off persons. Over 70 per cent of the people could not afford to send their wards to professional institutions. He also criticised the state’s health policy Dr Dayal sought the withdrawal of the user charges levied on drinking water, sewerage and the increase in tuition fees.

Criticising the raids on schools and hospitals, Dr Dayal said the Vigilance Department had become a main tool of governance in Punjab. The prevailing situation in Punjab was akin to what it was during Emergency. The government had no communication with people and or even with its own party’s top brass. Even PPCC President H.S. Hanspal himself had admitted that the government had failed to tell people what it was doing for them.


Maharani’ steals hearts at people’s party
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 14
Even though the “Maharaja” was virtually stampeded during his brief mingling with residents of the city and nearby areas at a lunch party hosted to celebrate the birth of his grandson, it was the “Maharani” who stole people’s hearts at the party. The function was organised today in the front lawns of the New Moti Bagh Palace residence of the scions of the erstwhile Patiala royal family.

The state Chief Minister and scion of the Phulkian dynasty, Capt Amarinder Singh, mingled with the people for a brief period in the afternoon after emerging from his palace along with his brother, Mr Malwinder Singh, and other members of his family. The Chief Minister was immediately surrounded by Congress workers and other city residents who had come to his residence. The security personnel of the Chief Minister had a difficult time keeping the milling crowds away with even senior police officers, including SSP Paramraj Singh Umranangal and DIG I.P.S. Sahota, trying to control the crowds.

The Chief Minister had a huge pandal erected on the occasion where people feasted on a meal which included two non-vegetarian and several other dishes. Other members of the family, including son Raninder Singh, daughter-in-law Reshma, daughter Jaiinder and son-in-law Gurpal Singh also mingled with the people for a brief period. The grandson, Yudhvinder Singh, who was born a month ago, remained inside the residence, probably in the company of his grandmother Mohinder Kaur.

It was thereupon left to Preneet Kaur, who is addressed only as “Maharani” in Patiala to fill in for the entire family and she did not disappoint anyone. People besieged her with “shangun” envelopes which she refused to take.

The people took the opportunity to congratulate her on the birth of her grandson as well as submit applications to her for various works. She was approached by party workers and women of her constituency who claimed they wanted her to visit their areas. With some she seemed familiar she told a villager: “I remember your village needs a water tank. I will ensure it will be done soon”. Mr Nirmala Singla, who had come from Lehra Ghaggar, invited her to her home on the occasion while 80-year-old Choudhary Ram Narain said he had come from Sunam to greet her on the birth of her grandson. At least two leaders — Rajinder Deepa from Sunam and Sheelam Sohi from Banur — introduced every worker they had got from their constituencies to Mrs Preneet Kaur.

The lunch itself was a well-organised affair. Everyone coming to the Palace was allowed in with no invitation cards or passes having been issued for the occasion. It was a function for the people and stayed that way with very few politicians, except for Mr Lal Singh and Mr Sant Ram Singla attending it besides city Mayor Vishnu Sharma.


Hoshiarpur boy tops Class XII exam
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, May 14
A student from Hoshiarpur district has topped the science group while a student from Jalandhar district has topped the commerce group of the Class XII examination conducted by the Punjab School Education Board in March this year by securing 92 per cent and 86.88 per cent marks, respectively. The results were declared by the board authorities here today.

Raveesh, a student of Government Arts and Science College, Talwara (Hoshiarpur), bagged the first position in the science group by securing 414 marks out of 450. Jatinder Kaur of Government Senior Secondary School, Jamsher Khas (Jalandhar), was ranked first in the commerce group by securing 391 marks.

Sunaina of RSD College, Ferozepore city, and Bhupinder Singh of Government Senior Secondary School, Fazilka, stood second by securing 413 marks each and Neetu Nayyar of Jagdish Chander DAV College, Dasuya, and Karamdeep Singh of AS College, Khanna, stood third by getting 411 marks each in the science group.

Gagandeep Singh of RS Model Senior Secondary School, Ludhiana, stood second by securing 388 marks while Mohit Mahajan of DAV College, Jalandhar, stood third by getting 386 marks in the commerce group.

Mrs Narinder Kaur, Controller of Examinations, said that 31,197 students had appeared for the examination out of which 22,385 had cleared it, showing a pass percentage of 71.75. Last year the pass percentage was 60.29.

She said the pass percentage of candidates having appeared in the examination privately had come down to 41.87 from last year’s figure of 48.53. The pass percentage of candidates who appeared on a regular basis went up to 73.70. Last year the figure was 61.61.

The Controller said that for the first time in the history of the board the “result later” cases had come down to 0.25 per cent. She said the merit list of the science and commerce groups had been prepared on a provisional basis. The main merit list of the Class XII examination would be prepared after the declaration of the results of the humanities and vocational groups. The result gazette would be made available to the public by 4 p.m. tomorrow at the board’s book depots functioning at district levels.

The names of other students who have been placed in the top 10 positions in the merit list are (marks are given in brackets): (Science group) Shalu Dhamija — GTB Khalsa Senior Secondary School, Malout (408); Sumedha Bhardwaj — DAV College, Hoshiarpur, (407); Gagandeep Singh — Jagdish Chander DAV College, Dasuya, (407); Rahul Gupta — DC Model Senior Secondary School, Ferozepore, (406); Maninder Kaur — GTB Khalsa Senior Secondary School, Malout, (405); Gaganbir Kaur — DC Model Senior Secondary School, Ferozepore; (404); Manish Dogra — Jagdish Chander DAV College, Dasuya (404); Nitin Kumar — Jagdish Chander DAV College, Dasuya (404); Geetika — Hans Raj Mahila Mahavidhyalaya, Jalandhar (404); Jyoti Prakash Verma — SD Model Senior Secondary School, Phagwara (404); Vivek Inder Sharma — Khalsa College, Amritsar (402); Shika Garg — Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Mansa (400); and Vijay Kumar — Government Senior Secondary School, Nawanshahr (400).

Commerce group: Shelly Mahajan — Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Jalandhar (384); Suruchi Gupta — BBK DAV College for Women, Amritsar (381); Isha Bansal — Sanmati Vimal Jain Senior Secondary Public School, Jagraon (381); Payal Goel — Saroop Rani Government College for Women, Amritsar (380); Nidhi Grover — Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Jalandhar (378); Preeti Garg — Sanmati Vimal Jain Senior Secondary Public School, Jagraon (378); Alok Kumar — RS Model Senior Secondary School, Ludhiana (378); Manish Bajaj — DAV College, Jalandhar (376); Vidhu Mahendru — Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Jalandhar (376); Shilpi — Shri Prem Chand Markanda SD College for Women, Jalandhar (375); Amit Kathuria — DAV College, Jalandhar (375); and Jaspreet Kaur — Government Ranbir College, Sangrur (374).


Deepika tops Ropar dist in class XII
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, May 14
Deepika Jindal, a student of DAV Public Senior Secondary School, Ropar, has topped the Ropar district by securing 88.66 per cent in the science group of the class XII examinations conducted by the Punjab School Education Board in March. The result was declared by the board authorities here today.

Deepika secured 399 marks out of a total of 450. She is placed 11th in the provisional merit list released by the board.

Ruchika Dhawan of Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Ropar, got 396 marks and was second in the district. Her rank on the merit list is 13. Gaurav Sharma of DAV Public Senior Secondary School, Ropar, got the third position in the district by securing 394 marks. He is placed 15th on the merit list.

None of the students from schools here could find a place on the merit list. However, Aneerpreet of the local Paragon Senior Secondary School, Sector 71, has topped in SAS Nagar by securing 377 marks in the science group. He is followed by Ramandeep Singh of Government College, Phase VI, who got 373 marks. Shikha Sohal and Vikram Gupta of Government College and Nikhil Kaushal of Paragon Senior Secondary School stood third in the town by getting 370 marks each.

In the commerce group, Sukhwinder Kaur of Government Senior Secondary School, Phase IIB1, has topped in the town by securing 358 marks. She is followed by Reena Rana of Paragon Senior Secondary School, who got 338 marks. Nancy Rana of Sant Isher Singh Model Senior Secondary School got the third position by securing 336 marks. Shefali Mahajan and Parminder Pal Singh, both from Paragon Senior Secondary School, got 331 and 319 marks, respectively.


NRI’s dream goes phut
Dismal performance by students
Nishikant Dwivedi

Mullanpur Garibdass (Kharar), May 14
A UK-based NRI’s dream of providing quality education to children of his native village appears to have fallen flat. An expenditure of over Rs 1 crore incurred by him to provide a building and related infrastructure to a government school notwithstanding, the performance of the students in the recent board examinations leaves a lot to be desired.

Sixtythree per cent students of Muna Lal Puri Government Senior Secondary here, have failed in class VIII examination conducted by the Punjab School Education Board. Out of those who have been promoted to class IX, only six have passed in all subjects while the others have got compartment.

The school does not even have a regular Principal. Despite repeated attempts, the officiating principal, Mr Ramesh Sharma, could not be contacted.

Two students have made it through the examination in the third attempt. “Thank God, my grandson passed this time. He had already wasted two years in the same class,” Ms Santo Kaur, a resident of the village, said.

The village also has a Government Girls High School and here too the result is not encouraging. Out of the 67 girls who appeared in the examination, 21 have failed.

The result of the secondary school declared recently by the board has shattered hopes of 54 parents whose wards failed in the examinations. Out of the 22 students who managed to struggle through the examinations, 16 have been placed in compartment.

Most of the students who failed were taking tuitions. “My son Dinesh Kumar failed in all subjects. I have wasted a lot of money on his tuition,” said Mr Kalu Ram Verma, a shopkeeper.

“At one time the school used to be best in the area and now things have taken a turn for the worse,” said a panch, Mr Lakhmir Singh.

There are other government schools in the Kharar sub-division, whose students have not performed well. As many as 21 students out of the total 32 have failed in the government school of Jayant Majri village and in Majra village only 15 students out of 28 have passed.

A total of 23 students of the government school at Parol village appeared in the examination and only 14 of them passed. At Tira village , 37 of the 111 students failed.

A significant number of the students of government school at Perch village have also disappointed their parents.


Singla strong votary of power reforms
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Mr Surinder Singla, a Congress MLA and Chairman of the Punjab Government’s Advisory Committee on Fiscal Reforms, is an unflinching votary of privatisation of public sector undertakings. He is vigorously pushing the case of “ unbundling” the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB). In fact, the Bill for restructuring of the PSEB was introduced in the State Assembly during the last Budget session.

However, because of the strong opposition by various political parties such as the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and a strong group of PSEB employees, the government did not press for passing the Bill and made a statement in the House that it wanted an extensive debate on the issue before going ahead.

Mr Singla spoke to The Tribune regarding restructuring of the PSEB and other related issues.

Why is the case of “unbundling” of the PSEB being pursued so vigorously by you?

Mr Singla: The delay in power reforms is proving costly to Punjab. It will be in the interest of the people to take immediate steps to unbundle the PSEB. That is why, I am eager to get the process of the restructuring of the board expedited. The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, has done well by introducing the Punjab Electricity Bill -2003 in the Punjab Assembly. The CM, who knows that the state was neck deep in financial mess, wanted to chart a new path on the financial front for the state. It will benefit the state if the Bill is passed unanimously in the next session of the Assembly.

Why is the restructuring of the PSEB important?

Mr Singla: After food and water, electricity is the most crucial necessity in daily life. For allround development and better quality of life, the most strategic input is power. Punjab was the first state to provide power connectivity to every village way back in 1977. But at the moment, Punjab was facing crisis on the power front. Inefficient power sector has shackled the enterprise and growth prospects in the state. Three lakh farmers have been waiting for power connections for their tubewells for the past many years. Other eight lakh farmers, who have connections, did not get electricity for more than eight hours a day. Industrial consumers pay high tariffs and yet suffer power cuts.

Has the monopoly of the PSEB over power generation and distribution adversely affected the interest of consumers?

Mr Singla: The monopoly over power has led to inefficiency, corruption and ineffectiveness in the PSEB. The board generates power worth Rs 11,000 crore every year but it gets revenue worth Rs 6000 crore. For every 100 units sold, another 38 were lost in transmission and distribution of power because of theft and other reasons. The monopoly of the PSEB over power required to be broken. There should be alternative before consumers for power supply. Let the PSEB face competition from private players.

What is the power scenarios at present?

Mr Singla: There is need to generate about 2000 MW more power in the coming years in the state to cope up with the growing demand. For that Rs 10,000 crore were required. About Rs 11,300 crore was required to clean up the balance sheet, which was a demand of engineers. From where will the money come? The state has no money to pay salaries to its own employees.

The only option left is to allow private investment in the power sector. And without extensive power reforms, no private player will take the risk to invest in power sector in the state where the administrative cost is 65 paise per unit, highest in the country. The fact is that the more you invest in the PSEB, more you lose.

What is your assessment in case the PSEB is allowed to increase power generation?

Mr Singla: As per the existing situation, for the addition of every 100 MW in generation and supply, the PSEB will suffer a loss of about Rs 105 crore per annum. The addition of 2000 MW in power generation means a total loss of 2100 crore to the PSEB. And to cover that loss, the PSEB will, of course, ask the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission to increase the power tariff.

PSEB engineers say that power reforms failed to bring about desired results in other states. Your comment?

Mr Singla: It is a wrong perception of PSEB engineers, who refer to Orissa while talking about the failure of power reforms in other states. In Orissa a “single buyer” model was adopted. The sole purchaser of electricity from generating companies was the state-owned transmission company that failed to recover its dues from privatised distribution companies. It caused a setback to reforms in that state. While carrying out restructuring, it is important to ensure open access for introducing real competition in the system.


PSEB employees resent transfer policy
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 14
A large number of employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) today sat on a dharna near the office of the Chief Engineer (Western) near the local thermal plant to show their resentment against the transfer of employees to far-off places.

The employees shouted slogans against the Punjab Government and the PSEB authorities. They alleged that the employees were being transferred to distant places to pressurise them not to resort to agitation against the proposed formation of corporation in place of the PSEB.

The employees said that the pressure tactics of the authorities would not work and they would continue the agitation against the proposed formation of corporations.

Various unions of the employees participated in the dharma, the call for which had been given by the Struggle Committee of the employees of the PSEB.

The employees said that they would intensify the agitation if the “discriminatory” transfer policy was not withdrawn. They said they were making efforts to take the support of employees of electricity boards of other states.

The office-bearers of different unions of the PSEB alleged that the proposed formation of corporations in place of the PSEB was a step towards the privatisation of the board. They also condemned the passing of a Bill in Parliament a few days ago, which would pave the way for the privatisation of state electricity boards.

Mr Pal Singh, convener of the Struggle Committee (western zone) of the PSEB, said that they would participate in the nationwide strike on May 21 by employees of different departments against the privatisation policy of the Central and state governments.


Police fails to reach conclusion
Lalit Mohan

Ropar, May 14
The death of a local octogenarian woman, Sharan Kaur, on November 27, 2001 remains shrouded in mystery.

Sharan Kaur had died here by sustaining burn injuries. Her body was recovered by the police in a burnt condition from her house, which was bolted from outside. After initial investigation, the police registered a case of suicide on the plea that Sharan Kaur had ended her life by sprinkling kerosene and setting here body on fire.

However, it has been pointed out that while registering a case of suicide pertaining to death of Sharan Kaur, the police ignored the fact that just six days before her death the woman had written to the DGP, Punjab, that she was facing a threat to her life from her kin and tenants.

Mr Satish Saini, a resident of Ropar who is locked in a legal battle over the property of the deceased, moved a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, alleging that Sharan Kaur was murdered. In his petition, Mr Saini also alleged that the DSP was protecting the people who murdered Sharan Kaur.

On the petition of Mr Satish Saini, the High Court directed the SSP, Ropar, to get the matter probed from an officer subordinate to him. On the direction of the High Court, the then SP (Headquarter), Ropar, conducted investigation in the case. In his investigation report, the SP concluded that Sajjan Singh and Jaspal Singh, kin of the deceased and Shamsher Singh and Jevan Singh, her tenants, had created circumstances which forced the woman to commit suicide.

On this basis, the police registered a case under Sections 306, 218, 420 and 120-B of the IPC against the accused.

However, not satisfied with the police action, Mr Satish Saini complained to the DGP, Punjab, who directed the crime wing to investigate the matter.

The ADGP (Crime) on the basis of the investigation conducted by his department wrote to the SSP, Ropar, on January 30, 2003, to get the matter probed from a gazetted officer and register a murder case under Section 302 of the IPC in the matter.

The ADGP (Crime) also wrote that Sharan Kaur owned property worth about Rs 50-60 lakh that could be the likely motive behind the murder. One of the accused in the case, Jaspal Singh, a kin of Sharan Kaur, in his statement before the police, had alleged that on the day she died, he was at house no. 479 in Panchkula to attend a marriage. However, occupants of the house in their statement, given on November 27, 2001, had stated that Jaspal had not come to their place. The ADGP also directed the SSP, Ropar, to take action against the Additional SHO concerned and ASI Manjit Singh for not properly investigating the case.

On a communication from the ADGP, the SSP, Ropar, got Section 302 of the IPC added to the FIR registered against the accused. However, even four months after that, no action has been taken in the case.

The SSP, Ropar, when asked to comment about the matter, said that investigation in the case was being conducted by the current DSP (Headquarters) as per the directions of the ADGP (Crime). Any action in the case would be taken after the completion of the investigation, he added.

Meanwhile, Mr Satish Saini has alleged that due to the delay of police action in the case, the accused were threatening to eliminate him. He has also written to the DGP, Punjab, to provide him security in view of the threat to his life.

In the recent past, the accused in the murder case had reportedly attacked Mr Satish Saini in the front of the residence of SSP, Ropar. The police has registered a case in the matter.


Theft bid at Bibi's house

Jalandhar, May 14
Three thieves here today sneaked into the house of a former SGPC chief and sitting Shiromani Akali Dal(B) legislator Bibi Jagir Kaur.

A vigilant passerby however, foiled their attempt by informing the police, which nabbed one youth on the spot.

Senior Superintendent of Police Varinder Kumar said a briefcase was found abandoned outside Ms Kaur's residence. Sensing trouble the passerby raised the alarm and informed the police. Meanwhile, two of the thieves managed to flee but without the booty, while one of their accomplices was nabbed by the police inside the house. UNI


Acquitted in homicide case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
In a complete reversal of events, a Ropar resident convicted and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in a homicide case was acquitted of the charges framed against him by Mr Justice Viney Mittal of the high court.

Ram Sarup was earlier booked by the police under Section 304 — part I of the Indian Penal Code after one Naresh Kumar succumbed to his injuries sustained during a fracas with the accused in February, 1989.

Claiming to be innocent, the petitioner had submitted that he had been implicated in the case. After going through the evidence and hearing the arguments in the case, Mr Justice Mittal ruled: “I find that the prosecution story suffers from many infirmities and does not inspire confidence.... I find that the prosecution has not been able to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore, I accept the appeal and acquit the appellant of the charges levelled against him”.

Poll petition

Continuing with the arguments on the issue of maintainability of a petition challenging the election of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh from the Patiala Assembly constituency, counsel for the petitioner claimed that the CM had spent more money than the prescribed limit.

Arguing before Mr Justice Jasbir Singh, counsel Satya Pal Jain contended that the CM had spent about Rs 30 lakh even though he couldn’t have spent more than Rs 6 lakh. The money, he added, was spent on the use of a helicopter and printing of posters during the election campaign.

Harkirat Singh — a voter from Patiala — had earlier alleged that the CM had used a helicopter during his election campaign, but the expenses incurred in the process had not been specified. Alleging the use of chopper by the now CM for visiting his constituency and for dropping hand bills, the petitioner had added that an expenditure of approximately Rs 3,70,000 was incurred in the process.


Four convicted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
Kulwant Raj, a Punsup Inspector; Gyan Chand, a kanungo and Nirmal Singh; a PSEB lineman, have been convicted in corruption cases registered by the Vigilance Bureau, Punjab.

A spokesman of the bureau said Kulwant Raj had been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment and a fine of Rs 3,000 by the Special Judge, Amritsar. Similarly, Gyan Chand had been sentenced to one-and-a- half years’ imprisonment with a fine of Rs 1,000 by the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Jalandhar.

In another corruption case, Nirmal Singh, had been awarded one-and-a-half-years’ imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1000 by the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Jalandhar.

Gurnam Singh, a patwari, had been awarded one-year imprisonment with a fine of Rs 100 by the Additional Sessions Judge, Amritsar.


Bail plea cancelled
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 14
The interim bail application of former Akali Minister, Dr Rattan Singh Ajnala, was cancelled by Mr M.S. Chauhan, Additional Sessions Judge, here today.

The Vigilance Bureau had filed an FIR on January 17 against Dr Ajnala, his wife, Ms Avtar Kaur, and two sons under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Dr Ajnala said he would move the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the decision of the Sessions Court.


Panchayat poll: EC bans recruitment
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 14
The State Election Commission has imposed a complete ban on recruitments of all kinds, release of discretionary funds and grants in any form for the development projects with immediate effect till the completion of panchayat elections.

The decision of the commission is likely to affect the recruitment of panchayat secretaries initiated by the Rural Development Department at the district level in the state. In a message to the Deputy Commissioners today, the State Election Commission informed them of the programme about the panchayat elections in the state.

The date of notification is June 16. The last date for filing nominations is June 19 and the scrutiny of nomination papers will be done on June 20. The last date for the withdrawal of forms is June 21 and the polling will held on June 29.

The commission has said since the elections have been announced it would not be fair to allot funds to the outgoing panchayats as the panchayat elections are schedule to be held on June 29. The commission has further mentioned that the recruitment of panchayat secretaries being made by the Rural Development Department will affect the fair conduct of poll process, so recruitments should be banned.

Mr Rajesh Pal Singh Lalli, a senior Akali leader, has welcomed the decision of the State Election Commission.


Schools to be open for poll
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 14
Resentment prevails among some government schoolteachers over the orders issued today wherein the school heads have been asked to keep their schools open even as the summer vacation has been declared till June 30.

Sources said that a letter released by the state Education Department today has asked the teachers not to leave their headquarters during the summer vacation, keeping in view the panchayat elections. If the circumstances are compelling, they have been asked to obtain a prior written permission from their respective district education officers (DEOs).

These orders also say that it would be the personal responsibility of the school heads to make sure that the employees perform their poll duties and that the schools are kept open till the process of election of the gram panchayats was completed.

A section of teachers alleged that they had performed poll duties in the zila parishad and panchayat samiti elections during their summer break last year also, but no honorarium was given to them as promised. They pointed out that if the employees were called to perform any government duty on a holiday, they were entitled to an equal number of earned leaves, but the authorities concerned had not announced the same. Some of them alleged that a section of polling staff was paid honorarium in the nearby districts on the day of polling itself.

The sources said the panchayats had also been asked to arrange for furniture, electricity and water and other necessities for the staff on poll duty in their respective villages. As per the rules, the summer vacations are meant only for the teachers, students and schools heads and the electrical and class IV employees are required to come to school daily.

The panchayat elections are to be held on June 29. Some activists of the teachers’ unions claimed that their letter meant that they had been asked to perform poll duty, while the state Education Minister, Mr Khushal Behl, had announced that the teachers would not be asked to perform the duty.


Construction work stopped
Our Correspondent

Jalalabad, May 14
The Deputy Commissioner, Ferozepore, Mr Raminder Singh, today stopped the construction work on the lawyers’ chambers on the premises of tehsil complex here following reports that a few lawyers started encroaching upon the government land in order to extend their chambers.

Sources in the Bar Association confirmed that while laying the chambers’ foundation the lawyers had extended its size. But the problem has come to the fore when the lawyers attempted to encroach upon left out roads in between the chambers. As per the original plan, the size of the roads is 12 feet in width, whereas after the encroachment roads have been reduced to 10 feet.

The allotment of the chambers was done after a prolong row between junior and senior lawyers. Finally, the chambers were allotted on the basis of lottery system. The lottery was conducted in front of the local SDM, Mr Sanjay Pupli,. Most of the Bar members were satisfied with the allotment except some junior lawyers whose names were not included in the draw.

Mr Rohit Watts and Mr Sandeep Ahuja alleged that their names were not included in the draw though they were regular members of the Bar.

Mr G.K. Jindal, who is satisfied with the allotment, said the original plan should not be violated.

Mr Raminder Singh, when contacted, expressed his ignorance about the encroachment but said noone was authorised to change the original plan. He said he had stopped the construction work for the time being.


LPG dealers flout safety norms
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 14
Refusing to learn a lesson from the fire incidents involving LPG cylinders, dealers and residents of the city are stacking LPG cylinders on the roadside and in highly populated areas. Stocks of LPG cylinders could be seen lying at various places in the city.

The situation is even worse in villages. Some of the sub-dealers appointed at villages by authorised dealers do not have godowns for storing the LPG cylinders. They store the cylinders in their houses or shops.

According to rules, the cylinders containing cooking gas should be stored in godowns constructed at some distance from residential areas. However, some dealers bring the cylinders in bulk from godowns and pile these up at their shops in the city for the convenience of customers.

The situation has become worse after the subsidy on domestic gas was reduced. To save the customers the inconvenience of covering long distances for taking delivery of cylinders, they store the cylinders near residential colonies.

To reduce the cost of transportation, some dealers load the tractor-trailers with more cylinders than the capacity of the vehicle.

Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, said surprise checks were conducted to ensure that the LPG dealers followed the rules. He said the frequency of raids would be increased in the coming days. Action would be taken against the dealers who store the LPG cylinders in residential areas, he added.


Traffic experts keep students waiting
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 14
Nearly 100 students from two schools and teachers from 10 schools were kept waiting by the traffic police authorities at the traffic training park here today for a team of traffic experts which failed to arrive.

Sources said the police had planned an interactive session of the students with experts from Chandigarh. They said students from Guru Nanak Dev Public School and Dashmesh Public School and teachers from various schools were ferried in the morning to the traffic park in a police bus. The students were told that experts would give them some tips on traffic management. Trouble arose when the expert team failed to arrive. Even teachers expressed their resentment to officials.

The sources said Mr Mandeep Tiwana from the Institute of Development and Communication, Chandigarh, came to address the children. A teacher said Mr Tiwana only asked the students what they had learnt from the session.

Mr Harbaz Singh, SP (D), who accompanied Mr Tiwana, when contacted, said Mr Tiwana had to attend some other functions. He claimed that Mr Tiwana visited the de-addiction centre at the Civil Hospital and the women cell of the district police.

The sources said due to a sudden change in the schedule of the session, the time reserved for the students was cut short. Interestingly, some officials were not sure whether Mr Tiwana was an expert in traffic management or not, or about the purpose for which he had been invited at the park.

Mr Bharpur Singh, and Mr Harmeet Singh, both traffic training in charges, gave tips to the students.


Historical town lacks industry
Anirudh Gupta

FEROZEPORE: Ferozepore cannot claim to be industrially advanced nor it can boast of any well-established industry. The pre-eminence of this town lies in agriculture. The genius of people did not go towards industries before Independence and after Independence it became a border district with the usual handicaps.

There have, however, existed some cottage and village industries such as pottery, leather tanning, handloom weaving, phulkari work, and enameling etc, which are common in other Punjab villages also.

Trades like woodwork, shoe-making, ‘pawa’ making, carpentry etc are still practised in Ferozepore. In the name of industrial development, only a few rice mills and shellers have mushroomed over the years. Fazilka tehsil was once known for ‘ban’ making “Desi juttis” of Abohar prepared in artistic designs with zari and tilla are still in great demand. With the passage of time, some other agro-based industries came up in this district.

After Partition Ferozepore, overnight became a border town, which proved to be a permanent impediment in its industrial progress. The 1965 Indo-Pakistan conflict adversely affected whatever progress the district had made in the industrial field after Independence.

The entrepreneurs got discouraged the capital became all the more shy. Investment became risky, owing to the ever-present fear of war.

The Pakistan Army has thrice tried to capture Hussainiwala and the main thrust has always been directed at Ferozepore, which was a flourishing town before 1947. Pakistan has always tried to secure Hussainiwala enclave on the outskirts of Ferozepore because by way of securing this important territory, a potential threat to them will be eliminated and also troops deployed to defend Kasur (Pakistani town situated close to Ferozepore) could be used elsewhere.

Moreover, the capture of an area like this where the samadhis of our national heroes — Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev — are situated will raise an emotion upsurge, with far-reaching political implications.

The devastating floods in 1947, 1955 and 1988, played havoc with the economy and industrial prospects of this town. Hussainiwala, 12 km from this district headquarters, was once a vital trade link between India and Pakistan. But after the 1971 war, this border was virtually closed for all sorts of activities.

The economy of this town can be put back on the rails only if the border is opened again or some employment and business-generating industries are set up here.

Although, both state and union governments have offered a number of concessions and facilities to the industrialists to improve the industrial setup in the border belt these measures have proved inadequate and have not brought the desired results nor boosted trade. 


Docs can decide on PMC poll issue: IMA chief
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 14
In the wake of the controversy over participation in or boycott of the elections to the Punjab Medical Council (PMC), Dr R.C. Garg, president of the Punjab unit of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), clarified the stand of the Punjab IMA today saying that all members of the Punjab IMA were free to decide on their own.

Talking to The Tribune over telephone Dr Garg said depriving more than 70 per cent of the registered medical practitioner of their voting right was not justified as the electoral roll for the PMC elections was not complete.

He said the IMA would not oppose the decision of the government if it granted the voting right to all doctors registered with the PMC.

Dr Garg favoured the holding of PMC elections in a democratic manner as the PMC was the supreme body of doctors to regulate standards of medical education and health services in the state.

Dr Garg lamented the lack of response of thousands of doctors to the election notices issued by the PMC.

He accused the election authorities of not sending ballot papers to more than 75 per cent eligible voters till May 13, which was the last date for receiving ballot papers from the PMC authorities.

Dr Garg demanded that the state government should fix responsibility for this lapse.

He urged the state government to appoint an IAS officer as observer for the PMC elections.


Anti-people’ policies flayed
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, May 14
As part of their district-wide protest programme, activists of the BJP and its frontal wings today took out a protest march from the local Gandhi Chowk to the SDM’s office against the “anti-people” policies of the Amarinder Singh government. The protestors presented a memorandum to SDM Pritam Singh for submission to the Punjab Governor.

Speakers at the rally, including former Punjab minister Chaudhary Swarna Ram, and party’s block president Chander Mohan Chawla, demanded immediate rollback of the hike in salaries and perks of Punjab ministers, fees and funds of students, rates of water supply and sewerage, power tariff etc.

They also demanded halt to the politics of “witch-hunt”, growing corruption and “repression” of Akali and BJP activists. They alleged that the government had failed to fulfil its poll promises even after 15 months and had thus forfeited its right to stay in power. The law and order situation had deteriorated and corruption was rampant with judges landing up in the CBI net, they regretted.


Missing girl found
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, May 14
The police has recovered Manpreet Kaur of Bajechack village. She was reported missing on November 20, 1997. She had gone to school that day, but did not return.

Many persons were questioned by the police, but no clue was found and finally, an untraced report was sent. The police continued its efforts and the girl was recovered from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh on May 12.

She said she was not happy with her family. She added that she first went to Ludhiana and worked at a laboratory there for two years.

She said she met Iyaz Ahmed of Devband in the Saharanpur district in 1999. She added that they later got married and she gave birth to a girl, Nagma, who now was three years old.

The girl was produced in a court, where she said she had married with her free will and was leading a happily married life with Iyaz Ahmad. On the directions of the court, the girl was restored to her mother.


Lightning call’

Sangrur, May 14
In a bizarre incident, a man suffered burn injuries due to his mobile phone at Bhattiwal village last night.

According to information, Jagdeesh Kumar, a resident of Bhattiwal village, was on way back to his residence from his work when his mobile phone started ringing, at that time lightning was also thundering in the sky.

Incidentally, Mr Kumar's mobile phone, which was kept in his pocket, interconnected with the lightning and caught fire. UNI


50 animals charred to death

Batala, May 14
At least 50 animals were charred to death in a major fire that broke out at Thakar Sandhu village under the Qadian police station today, the police said.

Farmers had been burning the straw of paddy when the fire was caught by the dera of a Gujjar which resulted into loss of animals. PTI


Arrest culprits, demand ‘halwais’
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, May 14
Local ‘halwais’ today observed strike in protest against the alleged attack by some dairy owners and milk vendors on Sharma Sweet Shop, located near the Chowk Tower, yesterday. Three persons were injured and showcases of the shop were damaged. The ‘hawalis’ are demanding arrest of the culprits.

Mr Kewal Krishan Sharma, owner of the shop, alleged that milk vendors were compelling him to increase the rates of milk for which he refused and told them not to supply the milk to him. Yesterday when a ‘halwai’ came to his shop for supply of milk, about two dozen vendors and dairy owners attacked his shop.

Meanwhile, the police registered a case today.


Autorickshaw drivers strike work
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 14
A strike was observed by autorickshaw drivers here today, causing inconvenience to commuters, especially students.

They were protesting against the alleged harassment meted out to them by the traffic police and the District Transport Office staff.

A three-hour dharna was observed at the Kutchehri Chowk near the Deputy Commissioner’s office. They also presented a memorandum to the authorities.


Plan to build gallery in martyrs’ memory
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, May 14
The District Sainik Welfare Board plans to set up a motivation and information centre-cum-gallery here to highlight the achievements and sacrifices of gallantry award winners and martyrs of the district. Pictures of war heroes will be displayed in the gallery. It will also provide information about various avenues like getting jobs in the Army as officers and technicians. It will also inform ex-servicemen about a number of welfare schemes which include small-scale agro-based, Khadi and village industries so that they can generate income by availing of loans from different national banks besides SIDB and Nabard.

This was stated by Mr A. Venu Prasad, Deputy Commissioner, while presiding over the board meeting convened to review its functioning during the past six months. In a press note issued here today, the Deputy Commissioner said the entire plan regarding the project would be sent to the state government soon for the allocation of funds.

Earlier, Mr N.S.S. Paul, Deputy Director of the board, said the body would ask the Army authorities here to upgrade the computer centre and open a CSD canteen extension counter in the board office for ex-servicemen and their wards. The authorities would be requested to restore bus service from bus stand to MI room and back to the board office.

The Deputy Commissioner also granted an ex gratia grant of Rs 50,000 each to Mr Garib Dass and Mrs Amarjeet Kaur, parents of a martyr, constable Ram Dhan of Bhagsar village. In addition to this, an ex gratia grant to Rs 1 lakh was also given to Mrs Kamaljit Kaur, wife of the martyr. Similarly, a grant of Rs 5000 was given to Mrs Shanti Devi, widow of Sepoy Harnek Singh of Sawewala village in the district.


2763 examined at health camp
Our Correspondent

Kharar, May 14
The Health Department, Punjab, organised a medical and dental camp at Radiala village, near here, today with the cooperation of the Lions Club, Kharar, and the panchayat.

As many as 2,763 persons, including residents and schoolchildren of 10 villages, were examined. Fiftyfour persons were referred to the Civil Hospital for treatment. Vidhan Sabha Deputy Speaker Bir Devinder Singh inaugurated the camp and supervised the services.

He appreciated the efforts of the Health Department for providing quality services to people of the rural areas. He appealed to people not to be misled by private practitioners and to visit qualified doctors in the Civil Hospital.

He said the government had framed a strict Act against foeticide. He urged the people to shun this practice for the prosperity of society. He said Radiala High School would be developed as a model centre of the area and steps would be taken to upgrade it.

During the camp, the Lions Club donated 800 tooth brushes and tooth paste to the schoolchildren. Assistant Civil Surgeon N.K. Singla, SMO (Kharar) S.S. Dhanoa and SM.O. (Gharuan) B.S. Brar also addressed the gathering. An exhibition regarding the health services was also organised.


Mishaps claim two lives
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 14
Two persons were killed and one injured in separate incidents in the district today.

A woman was killed and a man injured when their car collided with a tree near Balluana village on the Bathinda-Malout road, about 13 km from here, today. The driver had lost control of the vehicle.

The deceased has been identified as Poonam, while the injured is Bhagwan Dass. He has been admitted to the local hospital.

In another accident, a truck coming from Abohar towards the city hit a stationary truck near a cement factory, about 6 km from here, on the Bathinda-Muktsar road. The truck loaded with steel rods was parked on a side of the road as it had developed some mechanical snag. It overturned when the other truck hit it and a youth, Atma Ram of Sangria in Rajasthan, sleeping in it died on the spot.


Rs 1,600 cr to be spent on roads

Sangrur, May 14
The Punjab Government will release Rs 1,600 crore during the current financial year to improve the condition of roads in the state.

This was stated by Mr Avtar Singh Henry, Minister for Food and Supplies-cum-Chairman of the District Planning and Development Board, Sangrur, at a meeting of the Board here yesterday. Mr Sarvjit Singh, Deputy Commissioner, said during the previous financial year, Rs 20.63 crore had been released through the board to various departments. TNS


Ahata owner beaten up
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, May 14
The on-going tussle between liquor contractors of the Pathankot circle and the Damtal-Indora circle of Himachal Pradesh over the smuggling of liquor came to the fore yesterday, when an ahata owner of the Damtal area was beaten up mercilessly allegedly by a contractor with the help of Excise and police officials.

Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Siali here, alleged that when he was coming back after closing his ahata yesterday, about 10 to 12 persons, accompanied by some Excise and police officials stopped him and started beating him up. He was seriously injured and later admitted to the Civil Hospital here. The victim said the miscreants had been forcing him to shift his ahata to the Pathankot circle.

A group of people headed by senior vice-president of the local municipal council Romesh Tola held a protest against the attitude of the local contractor and demanded legal action against the accused today. They also threatened to block the road if the accused were not booked.

The SP, Mr Maninder Singh, gave assurance to the protesters on the issue. Sources revealed that the Excise and police officials involved were trying to effect a patch-up.


Woman commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, May 14
A married woman, Damayanti (30), a resident of Khipanwali village 18 km from here, allegedly committed suicide by shooting herself with a rifle yesterday.

Mr Jaspal Singh, father of the woman, in a statement to the police, said his daughter was married to Gopi Ram, a landlord, 11 years ago. On getting information about the death of his daughter, he reached the village and found a suicide note, allegedly written by his daughter.

According to his statement, Damyanti suspected infidelity on part of her husband and hence committed suicide with licenced .315 bore rifle of her husband lying in the house. Jaspal Singh, however, did not blame his son-in-law and said that his daughter took the extreme step due to some misunderstanding. Damyanti leaves behind her seven-year-old son. The police has registered a case under Section 174 of the IPC.


Student hurt in road accident
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, May 14
Mohinder Pal (16), a resident of Karnikhera village, 4 km from here, was knocked down by a speeding scooterist near his village today. Mohinder Pal, who is a class XII student, was admitted to the local Civil Hospital.

The scooterist was overpowered by the villager and handed over to the sadar police, Fazilka.


Varsity starts correspondence courses
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 14
Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, has introduced a number of technical and professional courses under its distance education programme.

Mr S.P. Singh, Vice-Chancellor, said the Union Government had set up a target to raise the percentage of education in the age group of 17 to 23 to 10 per cent from 6 per cent. The courses are MCA, MBA, M.Sc (Computer) M.Sc (Information Technology), M.Com, MA (Mass Communication), Master of Business Economics, LLB (Academic), Bachelor of Mass Communication, B.Lib and Information Science, BCA, BSc (IT), Bachelor in Insurance and Risk Management, postgraduate diplomas (one year after graduation) in computer application; information technology; multi-media; PC maintenance and networking; e-commerce and Internet application; and web designing; advance diplomas in medical transcription; cyber laws and ethics; insurance and risk management; computer maintenance; information technology-enabled services; computer application (teacher education); bio-informatics diploma (one year after plus 2) in computer application; information technology; medical transcription; legal transcription; business statistics and computer application, computer art and design; and computer maintenance; and certificate course (one year after class X) in computer application.

Dr Satish Verma, Director, Distance Education, said these courses would have same programme, syllabus, examination and evaluation as for regular students.

The other courses are MSc (Mathematics), B.Com, BBA, B.Com (Professional), BE (Commerce), postgraduate diplomas (one year after graduation) in journalism and mass communication; marketing management; business management; export management; personnel management and industrial relations; commercial art; interior decoration; textile designing; taxation procedure; guidance and counselling; and dress designing and tailoring; diploma (one year after Class XII) in library science; business management; marketing management; personnel management and industrial relations; cosmetology; commercial art; journalism and mass communication; and home management.

Certificate course (one year after Class XII) in physical education, B.Com, MA in police administration; defence studies; human rights and duty education; philosophy; religious studies; Punjabi; English; economics; political science; Hindi; and history; PG diploma (one year after graduation) in gurmat sangeet; translation (Hindi, Punjabi, English); stitching and tailoring; shastri; prabhakar; and giani; and certificate course (one year after Class X) in gurmat sangeet; folk music; and translation in Hindi, Punjabi, and English.


Moga school wins first prize

Moga, May 14
Students of D.N. Model Senior Secondary School here won the first prize at a competition organised jointly by the Indian Council for Child Welfare and the Delhi Council for Child welfare at a camp “Learn to live together” at Indira Gandhi Holiday Home in Damdama (Gurgaon), which concluded on Monday.

The students in the age group of 10 to 14 — Jaya Simha, Tanu, Anika Lamba and Anu Suri participated in the camp. The Moga school was the only school from the state which was selected for this national-level camp, in which 120 students of this age group from all over the country participated.

The skit on child labour subject was adjudged the best. Similarly, essay on the topic “Important of primary education” by Anika Lamba secured the second position. The bhangra and the folk dance reflecting the culture of Punjab were the most appreciated programmes in the cultural wing.

This was stated by Dr Manju Sharma who accompanied the students to the camp. UNI


Expose vested interests: assn
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 14
The Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology Faculty Association has stated that due to allegations levelled against the institute authorities by the vested interests, the image of the institute is being tarnished.

In a press note issued here today, Mr Jatinder Madan and Mr Birmohan Singh, president, and secretary, respectively, of the association, urged the authorities to expose such vested interests in the larger interest of the institute. They said due to the allegations the development of the institute was being hindered.

They claimed that since the inception of the institute at Longowal all appointments had been made on the all-India basis through the selection procedure laid down by the Government of India. They said nobody was shying away from an inquiry but the protocol and dignity must be maintained.


Dates of exams clash
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 14
Resentment prevails among students of Bachelor of Management and Information Technology (BMIT) of Punjabi University, Patiala, as Himachal Pradesh University has reportedly postponed the date of MBA entrance test from May 18 to May 23.

A number of students complained that the MBA entrance test of Himachal Pradesh University clashed with one of their papers.

Navdeep Kaur, a student of BMIT, said the examination schedule of Punjabi University was announced earlier whereas the change in the MBA entrance examination date was announced only a few days ago.

She said if the date of entrance examination was not changed, a large number of students of BMIT would be deprived of taking the test.

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