Saturday, May 24, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



US hate crime worries NRIs’ relatives
Tribune News Service

Banga, May 23
The hate crime against Mr Avtaar Singh, a Sikh truck driver, who was shot at and injured by some unidentified assailants at Phoenix in the USA has generated fear among his relatives and near and dear ones of NRIs from the region.

Avtaar Singh, 52, was shot at and injured on Monday by a group of white men in an inebriated condition, who threatened him to leave “their country” before firing three shots at him.

As the news of the attack on Mr Avtaar Singh trickled down to his native village Jhikka Lidhana near this township, his aquaintances and family friends started making telephone calls to his brother-in-law, Mr Davinder Singh, who runs an STD-PCO at Banga.

Mr Avtaar Singh had left his village for the USA about 15 years back. “We are all worried about his well-being. We have received phone calls from his other relatives and friends, who all want to enquire about his health”, said Mr Davinder Singh and his wife Avtaar Kaur.

“Hate crimes are not new in the USA. I had visited America in the nineties and had sensed much hatred in the air. So much so that a group of youngsters looked at me suspiciously, mistaking me to be an Arab as I was wearing a turban. They were pacified when I told them that I was a Sikh”, said Mr Ekam Singh, another brother-in-law of Mr Avtaar Singh and a resident of Alachaur village near Nawanshahr.

The US government must do something to curb such crimes to avoid clashes between Indians and Americans in future”, observed Mr Davinder Singh. He said two sons of Mr Avtaar Singh had cut their hair to escape being victimised by their classmates.

The house of Mr Avtaar Singh, another brother-in-law of the victim and resident of Rurki Khas village near Garshankar, was also flooded with queries by his well-being. “I had never thought that people in the USA could behave in such manner. But this incident has proved that they are also communal by nature”, said Mr Gurdev Singh. Mr Davinder Singh said that Mr Avtaar Singh was all right and talking to visitors in the hospital.

Meanwhile, relatives of NRIs based in the Doaba region are calling up their relatives abroad to know about their well-being. “We are worried and want to know about the situation there”, said Mr Sardool Singh of Jamsher village, near here.

JALANDHAR: The Punjab NRI Sabha today urged the US Government to take measures to stop racial hatred against Sikhs in that country.

Its vice patron, Mr Balvinder Singh, MP, said the attack on Avtar Singh in Phoenix city of the USA showed that the Sikh community in that country was all the time exposed to hatred and aggressive acts of the “whites” and the US Government had failed to educate them against such acts.

He said the US Government should take stringent measures to curb such tendency of religious and racial hatred. The organisation had also urged the Indian Government to take up the issue with the US administration.

CHANDIGARH: Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, a wellknown Sikh scholar and former Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala, today said that the publication, in a section of the press, of a photograph of Akal Takht Jathedar, Singh Sahib Joginder Singh Vedanti, in the backdrop of the American flag, fluttering higher than the Nishan Sahib (Khalsa flag), had “deeply hurt the Sikh sentiments, for in Sikhism, and in other religions too, divine sovereignty (of which the Nishan Sahib is a symbol) is considered higher than worldly sovereignty”.

In a statement issued here, he said: “It is also ironic that our religious leaders applaud the Sikh sant abroad, while decrying ‘santdom’ in India. It appears in religious market too, a phoren tag enhances the salability of religious goods.”

“True, yoga and tantra, for which Yogi Harbhajan Singh is being bitterly criticised there days, are practices rejected in Sikhism. But in this case, despite Singh Sahib Harbhajan Singh’s yogic way of propagating Sikh religion among Americans, his one contribution would occupy coveted place in Sikh history: Sikhism, mostly bracketed with Punjabi ethnicity so far, has been taken to non-Punjabi ethnicity in the western hemisphere. If Sikhism has to ‘truly’ become a universal world religion, like Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, it has to become multiethnic on socio-cultural level, while remaining uni-focal on religions level,” he observed.


SAD, SGPC charged with discrimination
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
Accusing the traditional leadership of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) of discriminating against Sikhs living outside Punjab, the Himachal Pradesh State Akali Dal and the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee have decided to convene their state-level conventions at Nadda Sahib and Karnal, respectively, for May 25 and 26.

The holding of these state-level conventions on consecutive days has become significant in the wake of developments paving the way for unity between the SAD (Badal) and the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal SHSAD in Punjab.

The Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee has invited the President of the Lok Bhalai Party, Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, an ex-MP, to preside over the Karnal Conference.

Mr Jagdish Singh Jhinda, Mr Harbans Singh Dachar and Mr Didar Singh Kamboj, president, patron and general secretary of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, respectively, have in a joint letter to Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia accused the traditional Akali and SGPC leadership of neglecting Sikhs living outside Punjab.

“The historic gurdwaras in Haryana contribute about Rs 15 crore per annum to the SGPC. Not even 2 per cent of this money is ploughed back in Haryana for “dharam parchar” or for improving the condition of historic gurdwaras. The SGPC has done nothing to create job opportunities for Sikh youths of Haryana. It has also failed to start or set up any technical institution, to facilitate the provision of professional education to Sikh children, who are a minority in Haryana. The SGPC even failed to give any scholarships to deserving Sikh students”.

In fact, Sikhs of Haryana had been fighting for special status under the proposed All-India Gurdwara Bill so that they can have their own independent body to manage historic gurdwaras on the line of Delhi, Patna and Nanded Sahib.

Meanwhile, the Himachal Pradesh State Akali Dal has also convened its convention at Gurdwara Nadda Sahib in Panchkula, near here, for May 25, says its General Secretary, Mr Paramjit Singh Chanana. 


SGPC condemns Kulwant
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 23
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee today alleged that Mr Kulwant Singh Randhawa, former SGPC secretary, was working at the behest of certain forces who wanted to torpedo the proposed Akali unity.

In a press note issued here today, Mr Harbeant Singh, Secretary, SGPC, alleged that Mr Randhawa who had offered to appear before Akal Takht for the sins committed while giving advice to Mr Parkash Singh Badal wanted to get cheap publicity as Mr Badal had many stalwarts to advise him on important issues.


Pension scam: officials to be prosecuted
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 23
The Punjab government will cancel all fake old age pensions allegedly given by the Akalis during their regime and prosecute officials of the Social Welfare Department who had cleared applications for the same, says Social Welfare Minister Joginder Singh Mann. More than 40 per cent of the pensions being drawn on the basis of fake documents are allegedly in Sangrur district alone.

The Minister said he had directed the department to check the number of beneficiaries and identify those who had availed themselves of the pension on the basis of forged or fake documents. Of the total 9. 25 lakh persons drawing the monthly pension, as many as 1. 14 lakh were found to be ineligible for the benefit. All of them had submitted fake documents regarding their age and other particulars, he disclosed.

The Minister said Sangrur topped the list of the beneficiaries with 40 percent of those registered with the department submitting false testimonials. It was improbable that such large scale irregularities could have taken place without the tacit approval of the government or senior officials of the department, he pointed out.

Muktsar and Gurdaspur districts ranked second and third on the defaulting lists with 23 per cent and 16 per cent respectively. As many as 22, 000 persons were found absent during a survey by the department and a special survery had been ordered for them, he added.

On the withdrawal of the shagun scheme for the girls from poor families, it had come to his notice that a large number of influential persons, allegedly in connivance with employees of the department, had been pocketing the funds under this scheme by submitting fake marriage cards.

He said the government would re-launch the scheme after incorporating some safety features so that the families below poverty line were not deprived of the benefit. As per the new scheme, the money — Rs 5, 000 — would be deposited by the government with the insurance company in the name of all girls from the targeted families born after January 1, 1996. The insurance company will pay Rs 100 per month after the girl attained the age of six years, and Rs 200 after she became 12.

Mr Mann said the company would pay around Rs 18, 000 after she became an adult. The scheme would cost the government Rs 25 crore. So far, Rs 18 crore has been earmarked for the shagun scheme for the Scheduled Caste families.

The government would also provide benefits to the handicapped and the visually impaired. Free education would be given to the blind, he added.


Labour Minister’s assurance on EPF rate
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 23
The Union Labour Minister, Mr Sahib Singh Verma, today while disagreeing with the recommendation of effecting a cut in the interest rate on Employee Provident Fund by a subcommittee said that he would take up the matter with the Prime Minister.

He said he was yet to study the recommendation made by the subcommittee but assured that he would by his best to keep the rate of interest on EPF at 9.5 per cent.


PCS main exams from Oct 4
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 23
The Punjab Public Service Commission has decided to hold the main examinations of the PCS Executive and Allied Services (1998 batch) from October 4 onwards.

According to a press note issued by the PPSC Chairman, Lt-Gen Surjit Singh (retd), the date sheet would be released next week.

Meanwhile, PPSC Examination Secretary Satwant Singh Johal said the commission had decided to hold the examinations for all options in the old complex of the local Government Mohindra College had been selected for the purpose.

Mr Johal said the commission had decided to give a day’s gap between each paper for the benefit of students. He said letters were being sent individually to all candidates. He said the candidates could procure their brochure-cum-application from the office from Monday.

The PPSC had held the preliminary re-examinations for the batch, which had been selected during the tenure of former PPSC Chairman Ravinderpal Singh Sidhu last month. Around 900 candidates will sit for the main examinations.


PCS candidates on tenterhooks
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 23
Mr Deepal Sharma name changed is a disillusioned man today and his initial happiness at qualifying the Punjab Civil Services (PCS) preliminary examination, conducted by the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC), has vanished as no date for the main examination has been announced so far and instead contradictory reports regarding these have been doing the rounds.

A cross-section of the candidates who have qualified in the examination said the PPSC had declared the result of the preliminary examination on April 30, just two days after the examination was held on April 27, and they had hoped that the main examination would also be held soon. They claimed that even the PPSC Chairman had stated that the main examination would be held within one month of the declaration of the result of the preliminary examination, but no notification had been issued so far in this regard.

Mr Sharma, who had taken long leave from his government job, said he would be joining duty on Monday and start preparation for the PCS main examination again after the datesheet was announced.

Some other candidates, who have passed the preliminary examination, said a statement of the PPSC Chairman that the syllabus and the pattern of the PCS main examination would be changed after the IAS examination was crucial. They said the syllabus and the pattern of the IAS examination were announced even before the preliminary examination was held. A PCS candidate, who had qualified the IAS main examination twice, said when the date of the IAS preliminary examination was announced, the syllabus and the plan of the IAS main examination was also announced. He said all details regarding the pattern, the syllabus, the datesheet and marks of the candidates, who had qualified in the IAS examination during the previous years, were available, but that was not the case with the PCS examination.

Mr Vinaypal Singh name changed alleged that the PPSC authorities were creating confusion among the aspirants deliberately. He alleged that the statement of the PPSC Chairman that the PCS main examination would be held on the IAS pattern in October-November was carried only by a Jalandhar-based Hindi newspaper and it was neither confirmed nor denied by the PPSC. “Nobody is sure of the authenticity of this statement and another member of the commission has claimed that the PCS main examination would be held in August-September. We have not been able to concentrate on our studies, families or jobs,” he alleged.

The candidates said the level of the syllabus prescribed for the IAS and the PCS was different. While the IAS syllabus was well-defined, the PCS main examination’s syllabus was ambiguous. “The syllabus for chemistry optional for the PCS main examination comprised three words only — physical, inorganic and organic. How one can comprehend the depth of studies required for this,” lamented an engineer.

The candidates from the arts stream expressed views along similar lines as they also alleged that the syllabus of history was also not well-defined. They pointed out that the Indian History (code 31) was described as history of India up to 1,000 AD and Indian History (code 32) was described history of India from 1,000 AD to 1707 AD and no one was sure of the extent of studies expected from the students. “We have decided to prepare according to the IAS syllabus of the optional subjects we have chosen as we do not want to take a chance”, said a student. The students pointed out that rather than giving details of the syllabus, the PPSC had only given headings of the various topics in the prospectus and the newly printed syllabus, which added to the confusion.

An aspirant, who once ran an academy for coaching IAS and PCS candidates at Chandigarh, said the safest bet would be to study the books prescribed for the masters’ courses, for the optional papers, of Punjab or Delhi universities as papers were generally set by the examiners of these universities.

Some aspirants said no changes should be made in the structure, pattern or style of the PCS main examination at this stage as it was only similar to the 1998 examination. The aspirants said the date for the PCS main examination with a subjectwise datesheet should be announced at the earliest. Almost all candidates said the question papers of the 1994 and 1998 batches should be made public.


Common Entrance (error) Test conducted
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 23
Concerned parents, worried students without admit cards trying to prove their identification and the examination staff ensuring that no ineligible candidate enters the examination centres. This was the scene at around 8.30 a.m. at the local Giani Zail Singh College of Engineering and Technology (GZSCET) where the Common Entrance Test (CET) was being conducted by Punjab Technical University (PTU) today.

While parents and students alleged that the examination staff was not cooperative, staff members said they tried their best to accommodate all candidates.

When this correspondent visited the examination centre before the starting of the test, some students who were without admit cards were not sure where to sit. They alleged that the lists displayed outside the centres were not complete regarding information about roll numbers allotted to students.

Mr Jaswinder Singh of Talwandi Sabo, said his son was assigned centre No 1 at GZSCET but his son mistakenly went to centre No 2. Surprisingly, he was allowed to take the test at centre No. 2, added Mr Jaswinder Singh.

Two centres were at the GZSCET while other centres were at the local Government Rajindra College.

Ravneet Kaur Sidhu (name changed), a student, said although the PTU had asked students to download the roll Nos. from the university website, it was of no use as they did not remember the application from Nos, which was needed to download the roll numbers from the website.

Mr V.K. Garg from Mansa said he had to visit the PTU campus at Jalandhar for getting his daughter’s roll number. He claimed that a senior functionary of the university gave him the roll number on a piece of paper. He alleged that his daughter had to face difficulty getting admission to a centre today.

The Superintendent at centre No 1 said they had allowed all candidates to take the examination even though many of them did not have admit cards. He said any candidate who showed his identification was allowed to take the test.

The examination staff at Government Rajindra College also said that as per the instructions of the PTU all candidates who had applied for the CET were allowed to take the examination.

The problem did not end here as some mistakes were reported in the chemistry question paper. Some students said many questions had been repeated.

Rajesh (name changed), a student, said they had to attempt these questions twice. He added that the number of mistakes in the question papers could vary as four set of question papers were distributed.

His father Satwinder Pal said he had brought it to the notice of the university authorities and added that the local examination staff had also talked to the PTU in this regard.

The students have urged the authorities to compensate them for the mistakes in the question paper.

Mr Sadhu Singh, Chief Coordinator-cum-Director, Colleges, PTU, on telephone said the District Chief Coordinator of CET had brought the mistakes to his notice. He said any compensation to be given to the students would be decided after going through the complaint.

He claimed that the examination was conducted smoothly in the state.


Biotechnology board mooted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
A high-level meeting presided over by Mr Y.S. Rajan, Scientific Adviser to Chief Minister, Punjab, today mooted a proposal to set upto Punjab Biotechnology Promotional Board to give boost to bio technology (BT) in the state to meet the challenges of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in the changed scenario of globalization and liberalisation of the economy.

While interacting with the participants at a meeting to review the progress of BT applications in Punjab, Mr Rajan emphasised on the need to develop BT as one of its major thrust areas so that various programmes for the promotion of BT applications at the grass root level could be undertaken. These included drafting of BT policy of Punjab; promotion of solid waste management through vermiculture biotechnology; biomanagement of sullage in rural areas; promotion of medicinal/aromatic plant; biotechnology based programmes for women empowerment and development of educational resource material for national and international organisations.

He said the Punjab Biotechnology Promotional Board would be responsible for networking of the R & D work being carried out by the various institutes of the state, creating linkages for its commercialisation and for attending to the various problems faced by the industries and institutes in the area of BT and giving single window clearance to the biotech industries.

Speaking on the occasion Mr Rajan Kashyap, Chief Secretary, Punjab said that Punjab had a tremendous potential to develop BT because it had a strong agriculture base. He pointed out that the State Government had already embarked upon an ambitious plan to develop BT Park in a big way in which leading concerns of national and international repute were evincing lot of interest to set up their ventures.

Taking part in the deliberations Mr P.K. Verma, Financial Commissioner, Development said that we must bring bio-technological revolution in the state as it was the need of the hour but at the same time we must ensure that conceptualisation of these projects should be undertaken in such a manner that was economically viable and commercially acceptable.


Need to modernise police: Siddiqi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
Both the judiciary and the police are responsible for their failure to send any politician of eminence behind bars for any wrong doing since Independence. This admission was made by none other than a former Chief Justice of India and Chairman of National Human Rights Commission, Justice J.S Verma, while addressing a galaxy of senior police and civil administration officers on the concluding day of the two-day seminar on ‘Challenges before the Punjab Police’ at CII complex today.

He also raised a question with regard to the prevailing mistrust between the bureaucracy, the police and the judiciary. The three were required to work together to serve a common purpose of quality governance in the interest of the public.

Another issue which was debated during one of the sessions was whether the police needed to hire a private agency to know what the public thought were the challenges before it? The suggestion for getting an independent survey done from a private agency came from a former Chief Secretary of Punjab and former Lieut Govenor of Delhi, Mr Tejendra Khanna.

Justice Verma pointed out that independence for the police was as important as for the judiciary because the police was a major partner in implementing the rule of law and sharing a symbiotic relation with the judiciary for that purpose. Citing examples, he pointed out that in some cases judiciary failed to take the necessary action due to lack of required corroborative evidence at the time of presenting challans, but then the judiciary was equally to blame for not getting back to the police asking it to submit the same.

While emphasising the need to perform within the framework of rule of law, he conceded that to curb crime, changes were required in the changed social-cultural scenario. However, he asserted that sufficient provisions existed within the prevailing laws which needed to be utilised by the police in dealing with special situations.

Mr Tejendra Khanna pointed out the lack of professionalism in the general administration and the police force. He observed the quality of professionalism in the elite services had over the years gone down. He stressed the need for introspection, self-regulation and self-awareness, which were required to stem the rot. He exhorted the police to cultivate a people-friendly face and make themselves more responsive and accessible to masses.

Mr A.A. Siddiqi, ADGP, (Law and Order, Ops) suggested the need to modernise the police force in its style of functioning. This, he observed, must begin from the mind. An attitudinal and behavioural change at the recruitment stage itself would help in achieving the desired competence and functional effectiveness in their respective roles.

He also suggested the modernisation of police in terms of gadgetry and equipment. “We still dream of model police station in the country/state with a good building and basic facilities for police personnel. Attention also needs to be paid to poor salaries of officers at lower and middle rungs, lack of housing facilities even as it has been debated in various finance commissions and undue political interference”. He also talked of the recently introduced concept of community policing, in which the principle of reaching out to people would help in crime prevention and ensuring a safer society.

Dr Pramod Kumar, Director, Institute for Development and Communication, elaborated that after Independence, the state excessively relied on the security forces to check the emergence of sub-national identities. This had alienated the police from the community. Hence, there was a need for policing the police. He, however, added that overactivism in this regard by any agency, the judiciary or the bureaucracy, would also bring about distortions, resulting in human rights violations. Thereby, rather than identifying the persons responsible for violations of human rights, the factors need to be identified and addressed.

Various interesting and important questions were raised by the speakers, who had come from all over the state, during the interactive session.


Banks’ security system faulty
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 23
The fourth bank dacoity in just 13 months has exposed several chinks in the security set up of banks and financial institutes of Doaba region of Punjab which have become soft targets for robberies. Interestingly, in most robberies, including the one at Chitti village yesterday where robbers fled with an amount of Rs 1.10 lakh, monkey cap-clad robbers came in a group of eight or nine and first of all overpowered the security man before committing the crime. What is intriguing is the fact that the securitymen turning out to be the softest targets in all these incidents, nothing has been done to revamp the existing system.

Security experts contacted by The Tribune revealed that the biggest lapse in the security arrangements of banks was the position of the bank guard, who usually manned the gate. “ Actually, I have never seen a bank which has realised the actual threat coming from the position of the guard itself which makes him the softest target,” lamented a security expert on condition of anonymity.

Similarly, Mr Iqbal Singh, a senior police officer and a former SSP of Kapurthala, said the most strategic position for a bank guard would be a place from where he could keep an eye on the visitors without coming into their reach but this was not observed by most of the banks.

Experts also maintained that another major factor behind the incident was non-implementation of the security guidelines fixed by the Ministry of Home Affairs about two years ago. According to guidelines, an ultra-modern dual warning system, which could be operated with both hands and feet, should be with the cashier or the official manning the strong room, but this was non-existent in most banks. “The security clubbing system, involving the bank management and the area police can play a vital role in ensuring a fool proof system. Under this system, the beat in charge should make a round of the financial institutes of his area during peak time between 10 a.m. to 12 noon,” observed Mr Ishwar Chander, another senior police officer and a DIG of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau. He maintained that adherence to the guidelines fixed by the ministry alone could solve most of the security problems. “I think that even if a guard is properly positioned, it can prevent many such incidents,” said Mr Ishwar Chanader.

“If you go to any bank, particularly in the rural areas, you can even see a guard bringing tea for the staff or taking files from one desk to another which makes the security vulnerable,” said a senior police officer.

According to Mr Iqbal Singh, use of obsolete weaponry like single barrel .12 bore rifles was also another factor behind the increasing incidents of dacoities.


Badungar’s clarification on hukamnamas

Anandpur Sahib, May 23
Adding a new dimension to the ongoing controversy between the Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, and the Jathedar of Takht Shri Patna Sahib, Giani Iqbal Singh, President of the SGPC Kirpal Singh Badungar said only the Akal Takht Jathedar had the right to issue hukamnama (edict).

While talking to newspersons here today, Mr Badungar said as per “maryada” no jathedar, but for the Jathedar of Akal Takht, could issue hukamnamas.

Giani Iqbal Singh should have conveyed to the Jathedar of Akal Takht the violation of maryada committed allegedly by Mr Mohinder Singh Romana, president of the management committee of Takht Patna Sahib.

“However, Giani Iqbal Singh issued a hukamnama declaring Mr Romana a tankhaiya without following the proper procedure and giving him a chance to clarify his position,” he added.

About the controversy regarding the recitation of the Dasam Granth at Takhts Shri Hazoor Sahib and Patna Sahib, he said there was nothing wrong in it. The decision regarding the matter would, however, be taken by the five high priest. They would also discuss and take a decision regarding the hukamnama issued by the Jathedar of Takht Shri Patna Sahib soon. OC


Chained to bed for 3 years
Bharat Bhushan Dogra

Pathankot, May 23
Madan Lal alias Sagar , a psychiatric patient, has been chained to his bed for the past three years at his parental home in Sehora village about 15 km from here.

Situated on the Pathankot-Jammu link road the village has a population of 5,000.

Madan Lal is the son of Rattan Lal who has a huge family of nine members.

Rattan Lal told The Tribune that Madan was a skilled worker and had been an expert in painting buildings. About 6 ft tall, 35 year-old Madan Lal became cautious when this correspondent entered his room. He was tied in chains.

Mr Rattan Lal said: “We do not want to keep Madan Lal in chains. But constraints are there. Whenever we remove the chains, he becomes aggressive and starts smashing things on the ground. He even attacks other members of the family. And on a couple of occasions he has even fled.”

Rattan Lal said he had spent thousands on his treatment but all in vain. “How much can a daily wager spend to purchase costly medicines. Doctors charge high fee for a visit which is not possible for us to pay,” narrates Rattano Devi, mother of the mentally challenged Madan.

She said her son was a healthy young man at the time of his marriage nine years back. He had two children. But due to some rift, his wife left him three years back. For some time Madan remained normal in the hope that his wife would come back. But when she did not return, he became abnormal and started behaving like a mentally challenged person.

Rani Devi, sister-in-law of Madan, said: “He starts crying for food when he feels hungry or thirsty.

“ We have to take care of Madan. One member of the family always remains with him watching his activities strictly so that he does not harm himself,” said his elder brother Hari Chand.


Missing man’s wife approaches CM
Our Correspondent

Mansa, May 23
Ms Sehnaz Begam, wife of Sikander Mirza, Secretary, District Muslim Welfare Council, Mansa, has demanded from the Chief Minister of Punjab Capt Amarinder Singh, that her husband who is missing since April 15 be found.

According to a copy of the representation, she has alleged that her husband Sikander Mirza, Mr Darshan Singh Achanak and Mr Kheta Singh of Phulluwala Dod had possession of the land of Wakf Board opposite Guru Nanak College, Budhlada, in Mansa district. There was a dispute regarding the partition of the land.

Mr Darshan Singh Achanak was constructing house on that land when her husband reached there on April 15. Ever since, her husband could not be traced despite efforts, she alleged.

She apprehends that he has been either kidnapped or murdered. She could not pursue the matter properly as she has delivered a girl recently.

She alleged that the police had initially refused to lodge her report in this regard.

However, Mr Darshan Singh Achanak and Mr Kheta Singh said they did not have any dispute with Mr Sikander Mirza.


Doc’s negligence confirmed
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 23
The death of a 58-year-old woman on the operation table of a GAMS doctor’s clinic in Morinda four days ago has taken a new turn with the post mortem of the body confirming allegations that negligence was the cause of her death.

The woman, Bhupinder Kaur, had died after being operated upon in a private clinic at Morinda two days ago. According to an FIR registered at the Morinda Sadar police station, her son, Gurmeet Singh, had claimed that the death of his mother had occurred due to negligence on the part of doctors.

Gurmeet had claimed that his mother had complained of pain in the abdomen. He claimed that Dr Ravi Behl who is a GAMS doctor had examined her and had given her some medication. He claimed when the pain subsisted, the doctor conducted an ultrasound test on his mother and had recommended that she be operated upon. The complainant said following this a Chandigarh-based doctor was engaged for conducting the operation.

According to the complainant, when the operation was going on, they heard her screams which were explained by the doctors as normal. Following this, one of the doctor came out and told relatives that the patient required some blood. When the relatives asked about the blood group of the patient, the doctors said they would check it out, indicating that the test had not been conducted earlier. The complainant said following this he and others went to SAS Nagar and got two units of blood from Fortis for Rs 2,500. In the meantime, the condition of the patient deteriorated and the doctors operating upon her bundled her into a car and started for Chandigarh get her admitted to a hospital there. However, the patients died on way to the hospital.


Samra moves court for protection
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
Claiming to have been threatened by the police, Gurvinder Singh Samra, complainant in a bribery case registered against Jalandhar’s District and Sessions Judge and Chandigarh magistrate, today moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking protection. Directions to police officials against harassing him and his family were also sought.

Taking up the petition against the Union of India, the state of Punjab, a Senior Superintendent of Police and other respondents, a Division Bench of the High Court, comprising Mr Justice Varinder Singh and Ms Justice Kiran Anand Lall, referred the petition to another Bench. It is likely to be taken up for hearing tomorrow.

In his petition, Samra had added that he had been receiving threatening calls from policemen. He had added that his life and liberty, along with that of his family, were in danger.

Prayer allowed

Coming to the rescue of an accident victim’s widow, the High Court today ordered the payment of compensation. Taking up her petition, Mr Justice Viney Mittal also directed the setting aside of an order issued by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, directing payment of part amount and deposition of the rest in a nationalised bank for five years.

In her petition, Amarjit Kaur of Sangrur had earlier contended that Rs 90,000 out of Rs 2,54,800 was released. The rest of the amount was directed to be deposited in a bank in her name.

Arguing on the petitioner’s behalf, her counsel had submitted that the tribunal had turned down her plea for the release of the remaining amount even though it was required for purchasing land.

After going through the documents and hearing the arguments in the case, Mr Justice Mittal ruled: “There is no reason for declining the full compensation amount to the petitioner. It was awarded to her on account of her husband’s death. She alone had the right to apply for the money to secure her future.... The order passed by the tribunal is set aside and the prayer for the release of the entire amount is allowed”.

Order reserved

The High Court today reserved order on a bunch of petitions regarding the grant of bail to 34 PCS officers. The state of Punjab had earlier sought cancellation of the bail granted to them by Patiala’s Special Judge in a case registered against them.

The state had asserted that all the applicants had allegedly given bribe through different channels to former Chairman of the Punjab Public Service Commission Ravinder Pal Singh Sidhu. It was added that for proper investigation of the case, it was necessary to ascertain the source of money and other information.

Notice of motion

Staying further proceedings on a petition filed by a police officer for quashing three cases registered against him at Phillaur, Bilga and Nawanshahr, Mr Justice K.C. Gupta of the High Court issued notice of motion for September 11.

In his petition, former Station House Officer of a police station in Nawanshahr Raj Balwinder Singh had earlier claimed that he was being implicated in a false case. His counsel had submitted that the petitioner was being implicated due to political reasons.

Giving details, he had asserted that his father, an MLA, was not towing the line of the present government. As a result of political hostility, the petitioner was being subjected to harassment.


Bhattal case: hearing adjourned till Aug 1

Chandigarh, May 23
The UT Additional Distrct and Sessions Judge, Mr Balbir Singh, today adjourned the hearing of a corruption case registered against the Punjab Agriculture Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, till August 1. Ms Bhattal was allegedly involved in a case pertaining to embezzlement of Rs 20 lakh from the Chief Minister’s relief fund. An FIR was registered against her on May 22, 2002, on a complaint of Mr Balwant Singh Dhillon. OC


Farmer dug out alive after 24 hours
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 23
In a rare case, a farmer Narinder Singh (30), a resident of Kauli village, was dug out alive miraculously after a struggle of 24 hours at Rajindergarh village and his companion Dhola (32) was still buried under the heap. Officials of the district administration led by the SDM and the DSP Fatehgarh Sahib, were making all out efforts to dug him out. Narinder Singh has been admitted in the local Civil Hospital, where he has been declared out of danger. Hundreds of villagers from the nearby villages are also assisting the administration.

While talking to Ludhiana Tribune at the site, villagers told that timely intervention by the Deputy Commissioner Mr S.K. Ahluwalia saved a precious life, while to trace the second one, efforts were going on. They said both the farmers were digging the well for their tubewell as the water level had gone down. At about 10 am yesterday, both of them buried under a heap of earth and their family members raised the alarm. The villagers informed the administration and the Deputy Commissioner immediately directed the SDM and Tehsildar, Fatehgarh Sahib, to start the rescue work.

The DSP, Fatehgarh Sahib, along with hundreds of villagers started the rescue operation and three JCB machines more than a dozen tractors were pressed into service to dug out both the farmers and the operation continued round-the-clock and it was today at about 11 am that Narinder Singh was dug out alive.


Act of mischief at place of worship
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Shambu (Rajpura), May 23
An act of sacrilege was committed in a place of worship at Memmadpur village early this morning. Villagers said some miscreants broke open the locks to gain entry into the religious place. Mr Kaka Ram and Mr Mehr Chand who were on “thikri pehra” (community policing) last night in the village said the incident occurred around 2 a.m. They said they saw smoke emanating from the place at that time and informed Mr Sukhwinder Singh of the village who entered the premises after forcing open a window.

The villagers, who were tense throughout the day amidst rumours that followers of a controversial godman were responsible for the sacrilege, said the incident was a meticulously planned one. They said the miscreants shut off the power before setting the place afire. Deputy Inspector General of Police I.P.S. Sahota, when contacted, said the police was yet to zero in on any suspect in the case and investigations were going on. He, however, ruled out any short circuiting or a natural cause being behind the incident. Meanwhile, some villagers have complained to the police that a mentally disbalanced person who was sited in the village could be behind the sacrilege.

Meanwhile, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) President Kirpal Singh Badungar, Haryana Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal President Kartar Singh Takkar and State Public Health Minister Jasjit Singh Randhawa visited the village. They have condemned the act of mischief.


MC staff remove encroachments
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 23
Three dwellings were demolished fully and seven others partially this afternoon in the local Khaddar Bhandar Street as these had allegedly been constructed on encroached municipal land.

Mr Ramesh Chhabra, Assistant Town Planner, along with officials and employees of the municipal corporation, were present on the occasion. Police personnel accompanied them to control any unsavoury situation.

Owners of the dwellings did not resist the demolition move. Sources said the owners were informed two days ago about the move and were asked to collect their belongings. It is also learnt that they were paid compensation.

The buildings, some of which were double storeyed were razed to the ground in a few hours. The corporation authorities took the debris, stating that it was the property of the government. Residents of the nearby houses said the buildings should have been demolished long time ago, as these were creating traffic bottlenecks. They claimed that even the court had decided against the owners of the dwellings.

It is learnt that the houses were demolished to construct a road, linking the Khaddar Bhandar Street to the main road near the stadium.

Mr Chhabra said the buildings were demolished as part of the ongoing anti-encroachment campaign in the city.


Roads to get facelift
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 23
All main as well as link roads in the district will be given a facelift under the Prime Minister’s rural roads development scheme and work on these roads had been started on a war-footing and 129.64 km of roads at the cost of Rs 19.45 crore will be widened, strengthened and re-carpeted in the district.

This scheme would be fully implemented in the district in two phases and during the first phase all those villages having a population more than 1000 would be linked with main roads by 2004 and villages having less population would be linked with these roads by 2007, said Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, while presiding over meeting of the District Road Committee called to take stock of development in the construction of the roads in the district. He said that while constructing these roads, quality control would be ensured and after the completion of roads, the responsibility of any type of damage up to 5 years would be fixed.

He said that 8.01 km roads at the cost of Rs 99.41 lakh had been completed in the district. He said the main cause of the damage of link roads was that the farmers added the berms in their fields and during rainy season these roads got damaged.


Cyber cafes mint money
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 23
Cyber cafes of the city are minting money with the starting of the “result season”. The cyber cafes saw a significant jump in their earnings today as the plus two result was declared.

A large number of students have been visiting cyber cafes of the city. The cafes have been charging Rs 10-20 for telling the results and some of them have even offered schemes on telling results of a group of students.

A cyber cafe owner said more than 150 students had come to his shop for knowing their results. Some of them asked for the results of their friends also.

The cyber cafe owners connect to the official websites through the leased lines (for better connectivity) and then save all the pages of the result on the hard disk of their computers. When any student comes to them for knowing his result, they open the page of the result from the hard disks and find the roll numbers.


Breach occurs in ash pond of plant
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 23
A mixture of fly ash and water spread to some residential colonies, including that of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), and a 1-km stretch of Sivian road as a 30-feet-wide breach occurred in the ash pond of a fertiliser plant this morning.

Residents were caught unawares when sludge started flowing near their houses early this morning. Most of the residents of Kheta Singh Basti and the CISF colony had got up by that time, as it had rained mildly.

Eyewitnesses said residents of multi-storeyed buildings of the CISF colony took shelter on the rooftops. They said water mixed with ash entered the compound of the colony.

A visit to the area showed that the breach was caused in the side of pond facing Sivian road. The pond is used to dump the ash mixed with water released by the fertiliser plant. The road that connects the city to many villages remained closed for many hours.

The authorities concerned had deployed labourers in the afternoon to clear the road of water. At certain stretches of the road, water had flown away, leaving the fly ash on the road.

Gurtej Singh, a resident of Kheta Singh Basti, was worried about the spreading of fly ash. He said although the road was cleared of the ash, it would create problems for them after it dried up, as it had been dumped on the side of the road.


12-kg tumour removed
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, May 23
Dr Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu, a renowned surgeon of Malwa region, has performed a successful operation removing a tumour weighing about 12 kg from the left side of the abdomen of Chamkaur Singh, a resident of Sanwan village in Moga district at the local Dashmesh Dental College of Research Sciences-cum-Gobind Hospital.

It took him more than two hours to give relief to some extent to the patient. Claiming it to be a rare operation to remove tumour of such a heavy weight, Dr Sandhu, who had joined the hospital four months back after serving all the three state government medical colleges and hospitals for more than 25 years, said it was the first such type of case handled by him in the region.


Timings of power restrictions changed
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 23
Keeping in view the increasing peak load consumption, the Punjab State Electricity Board authorities have reviewed the timings of peak load hour restrictions on the industrial sector across Punjab.

Now all large supply consumers and industrial units falling in five zones — North Zone, Jalandhar; West Zone, Bathinda; South Zone, Patiala and Border Zone, Amritsar, would have to observe peak load restrictions from 7.30 p.m. to 10.30 p.m., while such consumers falling in the Central Zone, Ludhiana, would have to adhere to restrictions between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. said Mr U.C. Saroa, Deputy Chief Engineer (Operation Circle), Punjab.

Earlier, the restrictions on power consumption were from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

“The restrictions are meant for those consuming above 100 kws of power,” said Mr Saroa, adding that the new restrictions would remain in force from June 1 till the end of July.


Delegates discuss power problems
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
The problems of the power sector were higlighted at a one day conference on power systems and energy mangement organised at Institute of Engineering and Technology, Bhaddal. The conference was attended by 62 delegates from all parts of the country including several by eminent personalities from the state electricity boards, research institutions, industries, academicians and research scholars.

The key-note address was presented by the chief guest, Mr SK Anand, Member Operations, Punjab State Electricity Board, in which he talked about the tariff structures and discussed strategies which could bring a turnaround in the distribution sector.

The proceedings of the conference was released by the chief guest. Among other prominent speakers were the Chief Engineer of the PSEB, Mr Padamjit Singh, Dr TK Nagsarkar and Dr PS Bimbhra.


IMA stalwarts lose in PMC poll
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 23
Most of the IMA stalwarts, including the state president, former president and the president elect, were defeated in the elections to the Punjab Medical Council (PMC), counting for which was held in Chandigarh yesterday. The notification of the results was also issued yesterday.

Among the winners were Dr Gursharan Singh of Ludhiana (he is also the district president of the IMA), Dr Neeti Rajan and Dr Amrik Singh Bhatia, both of Amritsar.

Interestingly, the Punjab IMA president, Dr R.C. Garg, polled 66 votes only, former president O.P.S. Kande polled 473 while Dr Kuldip Singh, president elect, polled 429 votes. Dr Gursharan polled a maximum of 693 votes, while Dr Neeti Rajan and Dr Amrik Singh Bhatia polled 660 and 620 votes, respectively.

Surprisingly, the elections received poor response from the doctors. Of 35,000 doctors only 7,000 were issued ballot papers, and only 1,528 doctors cast their votes.


Paramedics, docs reach compromise
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 23
Dr Amarjit Singh Gill, Principal of the local Government Dental College, held marathon meets today between representatives of the paramedical staff and the doctors to defuse the tension in the college arising out of a clash between the two warring factions on Wednesday. Mr Satpal Singh, the representative of the paramedical staff, and Dr Inderjit Singh Chauhan reached a compromise here today.


ASI remanded in judicial custody
Our Correspondent

Mansa, May 23
ASI Avtar Singh has been remanded in judicial custody in a case registered against him for taking Rs 30,000 as bribe from Jaila Singh of Jawaharwala village in Sangrur district.

According to information here today, ASI Avtar Singh, arrested Gurmail Singh on September 15, 2002, under the NDPS Act. His scooter was impounded, whose actual owner was Jagroop Singh of the Jawaharwala village. ASI Avtar Singh went to the house of Jagroop Singh and demanded Rs 20,000 or else threatened to involve him in a case under the NDPS Act. He managed to obtain an affidavit from the latter regarding the sale of the scooter to Jaila Singh.

The ASI demanded Rs 30,000 from Jaila Singh. Jaila Singh mortgaged his 1.5 acres for making the payment. He told this to the sarpanch, who in turn reported the matter to the SSP, Mansa. The SSP ordered the registration of the case after conducting an inquiry.


Trucks, goods destroyed in fire

Malerkotla, May 23
Goods worth Rs 10 lakh were destroyed in a devastating fire which broke out in godown on the Dhuri road here today. Two trucks were also gutted in the fire. The reason of the fire is said to be a short circuit. According to information, the godown was owned by Mr Ramesh Kumar, a cotton merchant. He said the fire brigade from Malerkotla and Dhuri were called but they failed to get any response from them.

Residents of the area raised an alarm when they saw smoke coming out of the godown. They with the help of water from nearby taps extinguished the fire in two hours. OC


Stone laid
Our Correspondent

Mansa, May 23
For improvement of environment, three crore saplings will be planted in Punjab in five years and proper care will be taken of the trees.

This was disclosed by Dr Harbans Lal, Forest Minister, while laying the foundation stone of Old Students Garden here yesterday in Government Nehru Memorial Postgraduate College.

He said during the current year, one crore saplings would be planted at an estimated cost of Rs. 265 crore.


2 die in mishaps
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 23
Chhindi, a 19-year-old farm labourer died late last night after being electrocuted when he came in contact with an electrical wire while trying to operate a tubewell motor in the fields at Rampura village.

A case has been registered in this regard and the body of the deceased was handed over to the kin of the deceased after a post-mortem examination.

In another incident Lakhwinder Singh (20) of the local Gurunanakpura Basti committed suicide by allegedly consuming celphos tablets.


Minister visits diarrhoea-hit area

Phagwara, May 23
Punjab Social Welfare Minister Joginder Singh Mann visited local Onkar Nagar, according to a press note issued here today. He was accompanied by Nagar council president Malkiat Singh Ragbotra and SMO Civil Hospital Subhash Sharma. This was Mr Mann’s second visit to the locality in the wake of reports of gastroenteritis, diarrhoea and fever from the area. OC


10 IAS, 24 PCS officers shifted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
The Punjab Government today shifted 10 IAS and 24 PCS officers.

Mr T.R. Sarangal has been posted as the Managing Director, Sugarfed; while Mr G. Vajralingam becomes the Secretary (Expenditure) and Director, Treasuries and Accounts Mr Roshan Lal Kalsia goes as the ACA, PUDA, HQ, and Policy, Chandigarh; besides being the Special Secretary, Housing and Urban Development.

Mr Kanwal Bir Singh Sidhu becomes the Director, Cultural Affairs, Archives, Archaeology and Museum, besides being the Director, Tourism.

Mr B.R. Banga will be the Secretary, State Election Commission, besides the joint Development Commissioner.

Mr V.K. Meena becomes ADC and ADC (Development), Faridkot; Mr Harkesh Singh is the new Additional Secretary, Public Health; Mr Harbhupinder Singh goes as the ADC, Gurdaspur while Mr Desh Deepak becomes ADC (Development) Ferozepore.

Mr Gian Singh Bal will be the new ADC (General), Kapurthala; Mr Jagir Singh goes as the Deputy Director, Colonisation; Mr Kulbir Singh becomes the SDM, Nawanshahr; Mr Balraj Singh Sekhon is the new SDM of Nabha; Mr NS Walia goes as the ADC (General), Sangrur; Mr Sukhmandar Singh goes as the ACA PUDA, Bathinda; Mr Ashok Kumar Sikka becomes the AC (Grievances), Hoshiarpur; and besides being the LAC, Dolbaha Dam Construction Circle; AC (General), EM, Hoshiarpur;

Mr M.S. Narang will be the new Additional Managing Director, PRTC; Mr Harjinder Singh is the new SDM, Ludhiana (East); Mr Gurwaryam Singh is the SDM Khadoor Sahib; Mrs Indu Malhotra goes as the (SDM Dhuri; Mr Ashwani Kumar has been appointed as the Administrator, Improvement Trust, Patiala and the EO, PUDA.

Mr PS Gill becomes the SDM, Mukerian; Mr TS Dhaliwal is the New SDM, Dera Baba Nanak; Mr Gurpreet Singh Khera goes as the SDM, Nakodar; while Mr Satish Kumar Singla becomes the Deputy Director, Urban Local Bodies, Ferozepore.

Mr TK Gohal goes as the Estate Officer, PUDA, Mohali, and the LAC, PUDA, Mohali, while Mr T.P.S. Phoolka becomes the SDM, Patiala, and Deputy Director, Urban Local Bodies, Patiala.


New DC takes over
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 23
Mr Anurag Aggarwal today held a meeting with officials and prominent citizens here after joining as the Deputy Commissioner of the district.

Mr Aggarwal claimed that transparent and efficient administration would be his top priority. He assured the citizens that efforts would be made to complete the development works in the city.

He said regular meetings among officials of different departments would be convened, so that the functioning of the administration could be made smooth.

Mr Aggarwal, who has been transferred to the district from Ludhiana, said in the coming days he would get information about various projects going on in the rural areas, so that funds could be provided for their completion.

He said cooperation between the police and the civil administration was required to propagate the concept of community policing.


ST on pesticides still in place
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 23
The non-withdrawal of sales tax on pesticides by the Congress government has put the farmers and dealers in a quandary.

As the state Excise and Sales Tax authorities have failed to issue a notification in this connection despite an announcement by the Chief Minister at the party conference at Talwandi Sabo on Baisakhi, both farmers and dealers have been suffering losses.

The farmers have to pay the sales tax on pesticides as the dealers, who have been selling their carry-over stock, have been charging sales tax at the rate of 4.4 per cent. The dealers, who are now not having any carry-over stock, have not been buying the pesticides from manufacturers or wholesale dealers as they will have to pay sales tax on the same.

When the Congress government had come to power in Punjab it had immediately imposed sales tax on fertilisers. Mr Lal Singh, Finance Minister, had stated in his Budget speech that the sales tax on fertilisers would be withdrawn from April 1. However, the notification in this connection was issued after one-and-a-half months, they added.

Mr Babu Lal Mittal, patron, Punjab Pesticides, Fertiliser and Seeds Association, said by delaying the issuance of notification the state government had caused a major setback to the farming community.


8 officials found absent
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, May 23
Mr Hussan Lal, Deputy Commissioner, accompanied by Mr Devinder Singh, SDM, paid a surprise visit to various government offices here today and found eight officials absent. The absentees are Mr Varinder Walia, Tehsildar, Mr Kuldeep Singh, Naib Tehsildar, Mr Manmohan Luthra, District Transport Officer, Mr Balbir Singh, Assistant District Transport Officer, Mr Om Parkash Chaudhary, Deputy Controller, Finance and Accounts Audit, Mr Jaspal Singh, District Manager, PEDA, and Mr Amarjit Singh and Mr Harsangeet Singh, officials of the Revenue Department. In a press note issued here today, the Deputy Commissioner said showcause notices had been served on the absentees. Action would be taken after receipt of reply.

Interestingly, Mr Hussan Lal, who took the charge as Deputy Commissioner of the district yesterday, while addressing a meeting of district officers, exhorted them to be present on time in their respective offices so that visitors did not face any problems in getting their grievances redressed. He made it clear that a major part of the state exchequer was being spent on government employees and they were morally bound to perform their duties responsibly.

Taking a serious note of inadequate drinking water supply, unhygienic conditions and heavy and heavy encroachments in the district, he asked the officials concerned to resolve these problems on a priority basis. The Deputy Commissioner directed senior officers of the Faridkot, Kotkapura and Jaitu nagar councils to work out details plans for the developments of the towns so that a grant of over Rs 1.50 crore given by the state government could be utilised.


600 posts vacant in Punjab colleges
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May23
The Punjab Government College Teachers Association today claimed that more than 600 posts were lying vacant in various colleges of the state. Dr Bhag Singh Sandhu, GCTA President, said this was adversely affecting the studies of the students. He said a deputation had met the Education Minister, Mr Harnam Das Johar, in this regard.

Dr Sandhu claimed that certain clauses of the UGC notification dated December, 1998, had still not been implemented. He said services of teachers of colleges in Mansa, Kotkapura, Naya Nangal and Sardagarh taken over by the Government in 1994,were still to be regularised due to which they were being denied their retirement benefits.


Teachers’ front flays transfers
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 23
The Democratic Teachers’ Front, in a statement issued here today, said the local authorities of the Education Department were not implementing the rationalisation policy correctly.

Mr Madan Pal Bhagta, district president and Major Basant Kumar, secretary of the front, said that the local officers had made a mockery of the guidelines issued by the higher authorities of the Department. They alleged that the instructions issued by the Director, Public Instruction (DPI), on April 23 had been overruled by the local authorities and rather than adjusting posts, near and dear ones had been adjusted. They alleged that rather than following the instruction to shift the teachers to the nearest schools possible (from their present postings), they had been shifted to far-off places.


Sidhu issues receipts to bank customers
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 23
Former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu, who is also an officer of the State Bank of Patiala, yesterday issued about 300 fixed deposit and recurring deposit receipts, worth Rs 2 crore, to depositors. The receipts were duly signed by him.

Speaking on the occasion, the Dy General Manager of the State Bank of Patiala, Mr N.S. Despande, apprised the depositors of various schemes of the bank. He also highlighted the ‘VITT BONANZA’ scheme of the bank.

Mr R.S. Singhal, Assistant General Manager of the bank, and Mr D.K. Sadhana, Chief Manager, were also present on the occasion.

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