Tuesday, June 3, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Proposal on entry tax ‘dropped’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
The Punjab Government has almost dropped the proposal of imposing 2 per cent entry tax for raising the local area development fund, to replace octroi from July 1. To abolish the octroi was one of the major promises made by the ruling Congress before the Assembly elections in the state.

Informed sources said that the octroi would continue till the “best” alternative is found to replace it. Earlier, the Council of Ministers had decided to abolish octroi from July 1 and to replace it with entry tax from which it was expecting annual revenue worth Rs 720 crore. The Excise and Taxation Department had assessed that goods worth Rs 36,000 crore were imported in the state every year.

Sources said that a high-level meeting was held today under the Chairmanship of Mr Surinder Singla, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Fiscal Reforms. Among others, who attended the meeting were Mr A.K. Dubey, Principal Secretary, Local Bodies, Mr Mukal Joshi, Principal Secretary, Excise and Taxation, Mr Suresh Kumar, Chief Administrator, Punjab Urban Development Authority.

The main reason of dropping the entry tax is its adverse affect on Punjab’s trade and economy. It was realised at the meeting that with the imposing of the entry tax, all items, especially the raw material, would become costly and it would hit the industry hard. The industry would not be able to compete with their counterparts in other states. Secondly, it was also felt that automobiles etc would also become costlier by Rs 5,000 to Rs 25,000 and no one would like to buy them from dealers in the state under such circumstances. Already several concessions to the industry on Himachal Pradesh by the Central Government has started derailing the Punjab’s economy.

Three alternatives were suggested at today’s meeting. One is levying of the property tax, second surcharge on the Sales Tax and third tax on petrol. A team of the officers of the Finance, Local Bodies and the Excise Department has been set up to study these and other alternatives suggested by experts. The team would visit certain big, medium and small towns in this connection. It may take three months time to prepare its report. However, it has been asked to finish the job at the earliest possible.


Govt's advice goes unheeded
Farmers begin paddy transplantation
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 2
Farmers of this dry belt of the Malwa region have started transplanting paddy even as various agencies of the state government have been warning them against doing so as it will have an adverse affect on the fertility of the soil and the water table, apart from other problems.

A survey of various villages of the Malwa region, which was once ideal for cotton cultivation, revealed that a large number of farmers had been transplanting paddy despite the fact that the state government had still to make arrangements for adequate supply of canal water and power for tubewells.

The authorities concerned had instructed the farmers that paddy should be transplanted after June 10. A section of the farmers had sown Pusa-44 in a large area while the transplantation of some varieties like PR-106 and PR-111 is in progress.

There is a sharp fall in the water table due to intensive cultivation of paddy and government agencies and some NGOs had been urging the farmers to either opt for crops that required less water or for late sowing varieties of paddy. The government had launched a scheme under contract farming to encourage crop diversification but it has failed to persuade the farmers due to the assured minimum price of paddy.

Sources said power cuts had also failed to check the early transplantation of paddy as the farmers had started using diesel and even LPG cylinders to run pumps to irrigate their fields.

The falling water level and the early arrival of paddy at procurement centres are a cause of concern for the government. In the absence of procurement agencies, the farmers had to resort to distress sale.

Agricultural experts said the early transplantation of paddy could actually add to the problems of the farmers. They said if the monsoon was delayed, the farmers would have to irrigate the fields by using tubewells and this would increase their expenses.


War of words between Cong, CPI leaders
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 2
The war of words between the Congress and the CPI leadership over the issue of electoral alliance took a new turn today when local MLA and Chairman of the High-Powered Finance Committee, Punjab, Mr Surinder Singla, accepted the challenge posed to him by a senior CPI leader, Mr Hardev Arshi, of recontesting the Assembly election from this seat without the support of the CPI.

Mr Singla while talking to TNS today said that though he valued the contribution of the secular forces to the Indian political scene, what was troubling about Punjab was that the weak electoral prospects of the CPI had been strengthening communal forces like the SAD and the BJP politically. He added that though the Congress supported the CPI candidates in the last Assembly elections on a number of seats under the alliance, the CPI could not make any impact as it lost all the seats except two.

He said if the CPI wanted that Congress candidate should contest elections without its support then it should promise that it would not demand any seat under the electoral alliance. If it agreed to this proposal, then he was ready to contest the Assembly election again from the Bathinda seat.

The differences between the Congress and the CPI came to the fore yesterday when Mr Arshi demanded the resignation of Mr Singla for making a statement that the Congress’ alliance with the CPI was causing harm to the Congress’ electoral prospects in Punjab.

Mr Singla, while addressing a workers’ convention here on Saturday, had pointed out that the results of various elections, in which the Congress had entered into an alliance with the CPI, proved that the Congress had to lose a number of seats which were given to the CPI under the alliance. He added that the CPI had been strengthening communal forces like the SAD and the BJP by facilitating their victory due to its weak electoral prospects.

He said it was for the party high command to decide whether the Congress should have an electoral alliance with the CPI or not. But he was entitled to convey the sentiments of a majority of Congress workers in this connection to the party high command.

Meanwhile, a section of the Congressmen asked Mr Arshi why he had lost the election from the Budhlada Assembly seat in the last Assembly elections despite the fact that there was no rebel Congress candidate contesting against him.


Ministry’s poser to VC on proposed college
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 2
The Punjab Education Ministry seems to have taken umbrage of a recent announcement by Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor Swarn Singh Boparai regarding the opening of an engineering college on the campus with its Secretary accusing the Vice-Chancellor of not informing the government about the move, besides raising questions about the funding for the proposed college.

The Vice-Chancellor had made an announcement some time ago that the university would open an engineering college on the campus and it would start functioning from the next academic session.

In a letter by Higher Education Secretary N S Rattan to the Vice-Chancellor, the latter has been accused of not informing the government about the university’s plan to set up an engineering college. The letter quoted the first volume of the univeristy calendar, stating that any proposal for opening a new department or a college needed to be routed through a proper channel.

The letter also questioned the Vice-Chancellor as to how much grant the university proposed to take from the government for the purpose. It said the university had not informed the ministry about the annual financial burden the institution would put on the government, adding that this was necessary as the issue had to be approved by the Finance Committee.

Meanwhile, sources said the issue was discussed at a meeting of the top management of the university presided over by the Vice-Chancellor this evening. They said the university had already started framing a reply to the letter.

The Public Relations Director of the university, Dr B.S. Sandhu, said the letter arrived while the meeting was on. He said there was apprehension among some people that the Vice-Chancellor had invoked his emergency powers while proposing the establishment of an engineering college. This was, however, not true, he added.

The process for the setting up of the college had not started and when it would, it would go through all relevant bodies, including the Academic Council and the Syndicate, he said.


PTU makes it ‘distant’ education
J.S. Malhotra

Jalandhar, June 2
The tall claims of Punjab Technical University (PTU) on having provided its students with quality technical education under its Distance Education Programme notwithstanding, the university has failed to even provide them with textbooks and other course material, even though the academic session started two months ago.

Nearly 13,500 students had enrolled themselves for courses like B.Sc. (information technology), M.Sc. (information technology), lateral entry in B.Sc. and M.Sc. (computer science and technology), postgraduate diploma in computer applications (PGDCA) and diploma in computer applications (DCA) under the PTU Distance Education Programme spread over Punjab, Haryana Delhi and other states.

Students have been put in trouble by the unavailability of the course material as they have already paid the university admission charges. The PTU had constituted a task force to review the functioning of its study centres. Its Interim Council had decided on May 10 to refund the cost of books to students to enable them to purchase the books from market to avoid any break in studies.

However, no money has been refunded, so far, which the students making rounds of study centres and the university campus here bitterly resent.

Paramjit Singh, a student of the B.Sc (IT) course, alleged that, though he had been visiting the study centre daily to complete his course, he was stressed due to the unavailability of the course material. “The university is silent over this issue for the past two months. I believe that the PTU is running the Distance Education Programme on ad hoc basis, just to mint money by charging hefty fees. It is least concerned about the future of its students,” he said.

Kiran, who is studying for the PGDCA, said students should not be left at the mercy of the PTU officials, who were unable to even streamline the arrangements for supplying the course material. “The Vice-Chancellor should order an inquiry into this issue which is likely to affect the prospects of thousands of the students for no fault of theirs,” she demanded.

The aggrieved parents of the PTU students said it would be difficult to cover the syllabus in time as their wards would not be able to properly concentrate on studies, which would minimise their chances of doing well in examinations. “This will surely give poor results and lead to bleak placement prospects. The very purpose of job-oriented technical education is defeated due to such indifferent approach of the authorities concerned,” said Mr Bhupinder Singh, father of a PTU student.

Meanwhile, the PTU has decided to get the course material prepared by renowned technical experts, which might delay its release by another two months.

When contacted, the Registrar of the PTU, Mr S.K. Bhatia, said the course material was being prepared and it would be sent to all study centres soon. “We have decided not to refund money for textbooks to our students as we are duty bound to provide them with quality reference material,” he said.


Punjabi mandatory in Punjab schools
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
The Punjab Government has made teaching of Punjabi mandatory for all schools in the state from classes I to X. Those found violating these orders would be dealt with sternly.

A letter to this effect has been issued by the Principal Secretary (Higher Education and Languages), Mr N.S. Rattan, to the Department of School Education.

Mr N.S. Rattan, when contacted, said: “Punjab is the only state where Punjabi is not being taught as a state language along with other languages. This is not the case in most other states like West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Gujarat and Maharashtra etc."

Mr Rattan said so far Punjabi was not being taught in private and recognised public schools in the state. He said he had in the letter to the Education Department, asked it to identify all such schools and sent him a report within 15 days. The department would take this into account while issuing a no-objection certificate ( NoC) required for affiliation.

It is not clear if the department will give relief to students from other states seeking admission in schools mid-session. At present the Punjab School Education Board offers History of Punjab and Culture as option for those with difficulty in Punjabi.


Poaching cases hanging fire
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
A number of cases of poaching have been hanging fire for the past several weeks. Though these were discussed at the last meeting of the Punjab Wildlife Advisory Board, yet no action was proposed against the officials against whom serious allegations were levelled for their failure to stop poaching in the Hoshiarpur belt.

A member of the board told The Tribune that Capt Amarinder Singh, who is a Chairman of the board, was unable to attend the last meeting. Hence a decision regarding the action against the official concerned was deferred.

The issue of poaching and the restructuring of the Wildlife Department would figure prominently in the June 5 meeting of the board which would be chaired by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, he said.

The most serious case is with regard to the killing of sambhar in Hoshiarpur district. It has been alleged that the driver of the van was challaned whereas the influential " shikari" was let off. At the last meeting, members of the board had sought action against the officials concerned for letting off the hunter.

The issue is likely to be raised by Mr Malwinder Singh, a brother of Capt Amarinder Singh, who is feeling concerned about the cases of poaching and lack of proper initiative being shown by officers of the Department of Forest Department to preserve wildlife. At the last meeting also, Mr Malwinder Singh, had shown his anguish over the depleting wildlife in the state for want of proper care on the part of officers concerned.

Besides, there are a number of cases of killing wild boars by ensnaring them. One of the wild boars was allegedly served at a wedding party in that district. Then there is a case of killing of 5 barking deer by using the search light in March this year.

Meanwhile, a proposal has been mooted to reorganise the Wildlife Department. Four new divisions with headquarters at Hoshiarpur, Ropar, Pathankot and Abohar will be set up in addition to the existing Patiala and Harike divisions.

At present the department is in a very bad shape. Earlier, there used to a separate head of the Wildlife Department. But at present its charge is with the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and in the field, Divisional Forest Officers ( DFOs) have been given its control. Most of the DFOs do not take adequate interest in the preservation of the wildlife.

In fact, no sincerity has been shown on the part of the State Government till date to give due importance to the wildlife. Since1995, several officers, who have been posted as Chief Wildlife Warden from the Forest Department , have been transferred. No one wanted to stay in the department as no big money is involved in it whereas the Forest Department is a cash rich department because of the Japan aided forest project worth Rs 400 crore.

Informed sources said that there were 12 wildlife inspectors and 3 wardens. Four inspectors are under suspension and two have got premature retirement and one retired recently. And three of them have been posted elsewhere in the Forest Department and are not doing the duty they are supposed to perform.

In fact, when the Wildlife Department was independent, it provided a lot of valuable information about illegal felling. A number of cases of illegal felling, in fact, were unearthed on the information provided by the wildlife officials, who often used to lay " nakas" at night to catch poachers. However, flow of all such information has come to an end. Now the responsibility of the protection of the wildlife rests with the DFOs. Earlier, about 200 cases of poaching or offences related to the violation of the Wildlife Protect Act used to be reported every year. However, the number of cases has now come down drastically, according to informed sources.


Hyacinth threat to flora, fauna
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
The menace of water hyacinth is again posing a threat to 62-odd freshwater fish species, seven species of turtles and other fauna of the Harike wetlands. The vast green layer of hyacinth is impairing the quality of water, says “Plants of Harike Wetland”, a 152-page field guide. It has been compiled by Dr Satnam Singh Ladhar, Principal Scientific Officer (Environment), Punjab State Council for Science and Technology, and Ms Arshinder Kaur.

The wetlands spread over an area of 41 sq km are a shallow reservoir created by the construction of a barrage on the confluence of the Sutlej and the Beas near Harike Pattan on the outskirts of Ferozepore in 1952.

Around 175 species of plants, representing both semi-arid and sub-tropical acquatic regions, are documented in the guide.

Kurelei or jala is also found in dense mats in shallow waters of the lake. It is second after hyacinth as a menace to water bodies. Its canopies prevent light for fish culture.

It reports that along the embankments of the lake, species like shisham, babul, mango, wild date, neem, dharek and white mulberry trees are found. Occasionally, kabuli kikar trees are found on the road and embankments. Shisham and mulberry trees are found on mounds along the lake and patches near the confluence of the rivers.

The prominent shrubs reported are ‘ak’ and ‘kokan ber’. ‘Ak’ is found along the Ferozepore canal embankments and ‘kokan ber’ in dense thickets along the lake embankments. ‘Datura’ and ‘bhringraj’, both herbs with medicinal values, are found along the lake.

The study was conducted between April, 2001 and 2002.

The council has also published a booklet on the Kanjli wetlands. It contains information on the importance of the Kanjli wetlands and Kali bein, threat to Kanjli ecosystem, conservation strategies and policies, wetlands in Punjab and wetland classification.

The Kanjli wetlands are located 4 km from Kapurthala. The Kali bein, on which the wetlands are located, used to be one of the important tributaries of the Beas. It has become independent of the Beas due to the silting of the bein and westward shifting of the Beas. The bein travels a long distance after originating from near Dhanoa village, a few kilometres upstream of the Budho Barkat regulator in Hoshiarpur district, and feeds the Kanjli lake and wetlands.

The Kanjli wetlands are an important ecosystem in the region. Spread over an area of 183 hectares, they are valuable like the Harike wetlands. They support a diversity of life forms.

However, the Kanjli wetlands are facing problems of excessive overgrowth of hyacinth, increasing pollution levels, deforestation in catchment areas, excessive grazing and soil erosion.


Decision on Ashutosh soon: Vedanti
Tribune News Service

Begowal (Kapurthala), June 2
Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti today said that the controversy surrounding the Noormahal-based Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan and its chief Ashutosh was likely to be resolved within a fortnight.

Jathedar Vedanti was here to participate in a three-day Jor Mela being organised at the Dera of Sant Baba Prem Singh Muralewale.

Talking to newspersons, he said a subcommittee that had been constituted by the SGPC to look into the matter had completed the probe but the final decision would be taken by the Secretariat of Akal Takht.

Replying to a question pertaining to allegations that Mr Parkash Singh Badal’s wife had also visited the sansthan’s headquarters, he said, the decision regarding the allegation could be taken along with the decision about the sansthan and its chief.

After receiving complaints from the Khalsa Panchayat and the SAD, the Akal Takht Secretariat had entrusted the investigation regarding the sansthan to the subcommittee in January. The committee was asked to collect material published by the sansthan and other evidence.

Jathedar Tarlochan Singh of Takht Kesgarh Sahib, Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh of Takht Damdama Sahib, Giani Bhagwan Singh, Head Granthi of Akal Takht, and Giani Gurbachan Singh, Head Granthi of Sri Darbar Sahib, were also present on the occasion. Jathedar Vedanti held a closed-door meeting with them for about half hour which led to speculation, particularly in view of the ongoing unity move between Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra.


DGP to give security cover to Samra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
In just over 48 hours after Gurvinder Singh Samra — complainant in a bribery case registered against two judicial officers — claimed that he had been shot at, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed Punjab’s Director-General of Police to provide him with security cover till further orders.

Fixing July 4 as the next date of hearing in the case, the Bench, comprising Mr Justice Amar Dutt and Mr Justice Varinder Singh, clarified that the security personnel would not interfere with the functioning of the investigating agency looking into the cases against Samra.

Taking up the case, the Judges observed that a sealed report, prepared after Samra was examined by head of the PGI’s Forensic Science Department, Dr Dalbir Singh, for bullet injury had been received.

Earlier during the proceedings, the Judges were informed that material necessary for determining the cause of the wound had been sent to Central Forensic Science Laboratory. Final opinion would be expressed only receiving report from the laboratory, it was added.

The High Court had earlier directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to register a first information report regarding the incident before asking PGI’s Director to have the petitioner “examined medico-legally by a forensic expert” to see “whether the wound could have been caused by the grazing of a bullet”. Haryana’s District and Sessions Judge (Vigilance) was also directed to record the petitioner’s statement in relation to the incident in which he sustained injury.

Appearing before the Court, counsel for the petitioner had initially stated that the bullet had grazed Samra’s forehead. Giving details, he had asserted that Samra was on way to Chandigarh from Kartarpur when his vehicle was hit by a truck between Balachaur and Ropar at about 9 am. He had added that the petitioner was shot at after he got off the vehicle to inspect the damage.


The High Court on Monday fixed July 14 as the next date of hearing on an application seeking the cancellation of anticipatory bail granted to Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee’s former chief Bibi Jagir Kaur in a case pertaining to the death of her daughter Harpreet Kaur.

In his application, Harpreet Kaur’s “husband” Kamaljit Singh had stated that Bibi’s nephew, arrested by the police, had revealed that he had gone to kill him on three different occasions, but could not succeed because of the security. It was further alleged in the petition that Bibi was threatening the witnesses. Kusam, a key witness, had turned hostile during the cross examination though she had fully supported the prosecution case during the examination-in-chief.


Inflows into Bhakra reservoir rise
Our Correspondent

Ropar, June 2
The rising mercury in the region may spell trouble for the common people, but it has come as a blessing in disguise for the authorities of the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB). The inflows to the Bhakra reservoir have increased substantially with the heat wave melting the snow in the upper catchment area of the Sutlej.

As per the data available with the BBMB authorities, inflows into the Bhakra reservoir stood at 51,442 cusecs today against the last year’s inflows at 31,187 cusecs at the same time. Due to the increased inflows, the water level of the Bhakra reservoir was also higher as compared to last year’s level at the same time. The water level in the Bhakra reservoir stood at 1549.45 feet as compared to the last year’s level of 1,537 feet at the same time.

The better inflows in Bhakra have raised the hopes of the BBMB authorities that this year the reservoir may attain the optimum level. The Bhakra reservoir has the maximum storage capacity of 1,680 feet. However, for the past three consecutive years, the reservoir has not been filled to the optimum level. The water in the reservoir attained the maximum level of 1,657 feet in 2002, 1,647 feet in 2001 and just 1,630 feet in 2000.

The Chief Engineer (Power), BBMB, Mr P.P. Wahi, while talking to this correspondent, said efforts were being made for better water management in the reservoir. The outflows from the reservoir had been minimised in the lean period. Today, the outflow from the Bhakra reservoir was 26,664 cusecs against the last year’s outflow of 26,868 cusecs at the same time, he said.

The water level in the Pong dam reservoir of the BBMB that was generally rainfed was also encouraging. Today, the water level in the Pong reservoir was 1,292.56 feet against the last year’s level of 1,291 feet at the same time. The inflows from the Pong dam reservoir had also been kept low by the BBMB authorities.

Sources said better inflows in the Bhakra reservoir would also mean adequate water supply for paddy season through the canal system in the state.


Doc couple to treat ‘man in chains’
Bharat Bhushan Dogra

Pathankot, June 2
A doctor couple of Jhunthra hospital, an institute treating psychiatric and mentally challenged patients at Sirsa, has offered to treat Madan Lal Sagar, a psychiatric patient chained to his bed for the past three years in Sehora village of Pathankot subdivision.

Dr Satish Jhunthra, an expert in psychiatric diseases, has in response to a report about the patient published in The Tribune of May 24, 2003, offered treatment of the patient free of cost.

An ex-senior resident doctor of the All-India Institute of Medical Science, Delhi, Dr Jhunthra has observed that the patient did not require to be chained. He would be given love and affection besides proper treatment at his hospital run by him and his wife Dr Vinita Jhunthra.

When this correspondent visited the house of Madan Lal on Sunday (June 1, 2003) to break the news to his parents, the Sarpanch of the village, Mr Tarsem Lal, also reached the house. On hearing about the services offered by the doctor couple, he expressed his gratitude to The Tribune which highlighted the plight of the dalit family.

Mr Rattan Lal, father of Madan Lal, said God had listened to their prayers. He hoped his son would be cured soon. He said he would accompany his son to the doctors’ clinic.


‘Fazilka needs Sessions Judge’
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, June 2
A post of Additional District and Sessions Judge needs to be created at Fazilka, the demand for which has been raised several times by lawyers and litigants of the Fazilka area.

The population of Fazilka is nearly 80,000, that of Abohar is nearly 1,50,000 and that of Jalalabad is neaarly 50,000. Besides, there is a huge population in more than 300 villages of the three subdivisions. Litigants of these areas have to travel to Ferozepore for hearings.

The people of Fazilka have to cover about 200 km for this purpose and litigants of Abohar living in villages along the Rajasthan border have to travel about 330 km in day to attend the court of the Sessions Judge at Ferozepore. This is a considerable hardship for the poor, in particular.

Mr Rajesh Kumar Angi, a former president of the Bar Association of Fazilka, said litigants, lawyers and prominent citizens of Fazilka had urged Mr M.M. Punchhi, the then Chief Justice of India, and Justice Dr Sarojini Saxena and Justice Ashok Bhan of the Supreme Court of India during their visits here that the court of the Additional District and Sessions Judge be created at Fazilka because the town was located centraly between Abohar and Jalalabad.

There were four courts in Fazilka some time ago, but, now, there are only two courts and the number of pending cases has increased. There is an adequate space here for two more courts and residential accommodation for Judges. The court compound is spacious and there is a subjail, too, here. There is no sub jail at Jalalabad or Abohar. Mr Angi said all visiting Judges had supported the demand.


Check corruption in judiciary: lawyers
Our Correspondent

Kharar, June 2
The Ropar district unit of the All-India Lawyers Union held seminar to organise lawyers against corruption in Judiciary and government offices here in the Bar Room yesterday. It was presided over by Dr Harbhajan Singh Deol, ex-Member, Punjab Public Service Commission.

Addressing the gathering various speakers felt that corruption in judiciary and government offices should be controlled and lawyers could play a major role in the same. Among others Dr Harbhajan Singh Deol, Mr K.R. Joshi (secretary, All India Lawyers Union), Mr Darbara Singh Dhillon (president Punjab unit), Mr Tara Singh Chahal district president), Mr Rashpal Singh (Kharar president), Mr Darshan Singh Dhaliwal (secretary, Kharar unit), Mr Amrik Singh Baidwan, Mr Anil Kaushik, Mr Natrajan Kaushal, Ms Baljeet Kaur Gill (all advocates) and Mr Sidhu Damdami (journalist) addressed the gathering.

Mr Deol demanded improvement in the entire legal system. Appealed to the lawyers to join hands in fight against corruption.

Mr Joshi demanded that corrupt judicial officers should be prosecuted and not merely asked to resign. Mr Dhillon demanded that all citizens, including lawyers, should be allowed to speak against corruption in judiciary.

Mr Sidhu Damdami said a major part of the media was being controlled by the corporate sector and there was lack of missionary spirit in the media.

Mr Amrik Singh Baidwan demanded that those lawyers who were acting like middlemen of judges should be socially boycotted. Ms Gill said “if we failed to raise our voice against corruption in judiciary then people would lose their faith in judiciary and lawyers.”


Power supply to PNFC Colony disrupted
Lalit Mohan

Ropar, June 2
Retrenched employees of the Nangal unit of Punjab National Fertilisers Ltd (PNFC) that has been closed down are facing power problems. The power supply to PNFC Colony has been disrupted since Friday.

Residents said about 150 families of the employees were still staying in the colony and awaiting their dues.

As per an agreement, Punjab Alkalis and Chemical Ltd (PACL), and adjoining unit, was supplying power to the colony in lieu of using the water system of the closed unit. However, the substation supplying power to the colony reportedly developed some fault on Friday night. No one has rectified the fault to restore the power supply.

Sources said the control of the substation was located in the plant of the closed unit. Since the plant had been winded up on the orders of the high court, no one could enter its premises without the permission of the liquidator concerned.

The employees said they had approached the liquidator to get the power supply restored but nothing had been done in this regard.

They alleged that the disruption of power supply was a deliberate attempt to make the employees leave the colony. They also alleged that the liquidator, in connivance with some property dealers, was renting out vacant houses of the colony.

The residents have met the MLA, Mr K.P.S. Rana, who assured them that he would take up the matter with the liquidator.

The liquidator of the PNFC, Mr P.K.L. Shrivastava, said no employee had approached him with any complaint. He alleged that several employees were not paying the rent and electricity and water charges.


Cornices replaced with steps?
Rashmi Talwar

Amritsar, June 2
Ancient cornices and architraves of architectural value have been replaced with “decorative steps” at the ‘parkash asthan’ of Baba Jodh Singh Ramgarhia, a structure on the premises of Gurdwara Shahid Baba Deep Singh, during the course of maintenance work.

These ‘steps’ jar with the octagonal structure which is about 20 feet high and bears a matching octagonal dome that stands in consonance with the Sikh school of architecture. Thousands of devotees from all walks of life who visit Gurdwara Baba Deep Singh to pay obeisance to the martyr who made the supreme sacrifice for securing the sanctity of Sri Harmandar Sahib also visit this structure.

The structure is located close to the sanctum sanctorum of the gurdwara. Architectural expertise is missing despite its historical significance as Baba Jodh Singh was the son of Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia, founder of the Ramgarhia sect, lamented Mr Onkar Singh Sandhu Harijindrawale, patron of the Ramgarhia Federation. The ‘steps’ do not match with the traditional design and aesthetic harmony,” he asserts.

The marble plaques affixed on the structure too are ‘misleading’, which pronounce different aspects and names to the structure.

In another faux pas, a slab in the verandah near the stairs leading to ‘sukh asthan’ listing samadhs includes the name of samadh of Jassa Singh Ramgarhia. Mr Sandhu pointed out that as per the records, Sardar Jassa Singh died in Sri Hargobindpur Sahib and was cremated there.

Mr Sandhu said the structure would become more meaningful if the SGPC notifies a brief history of the gurdwara and the contributions of Ramgarhias, besides rectifying the tampering with ancient art work.


Tobacco dangerous than alcohol: experts
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, June 2
A state-level seminar on continuing medical education (CME) organised by the district unit of the Government Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital of the Punjab, TB and Chest Experts Association Punjab on Anti-Tobacco Day here on Saturday favoured a special drive against smoking to make people aware of its harmful effects on health.

To propagate this effectively more seminars, besides medical camps with the help of non government organisations should be organised at least at every district headquarter regularly. Expressing concern the experts said that nearly 30 crore people of the total population of 100 crore in the country were addicted to smoking causing several problems particularly of lungs.

It was also spreading among the women in the rural areas also. Dr K.B. Gupta, Professor and Head, TB and Chest Diseases Department, Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Rohtak said 40 per cent men and 12 per cent women in the urban areas took to smoking in the past 10 years. In rural areas 30 per cent women were addicted to it, said Dr Gupta. He added that 2000 to 3000 persons die every day in the country due to lung diseases caused by smoking. Effective steps should be taken to check it. Dr Jai Kishan, Professor and Head, TB and Chest Diseases Department, Government Medical College Patiala said that the use of tobacco caused more harm than the consumption of alcohol or marijuana.

He demanded complete ban on the screening of the films which exhibited scenes of smoking. He said the organisation had decided to hold CMEs conferences every month at district headquarter in the state. The next function in this connection will be held at Patiala and Sangrur in the month of July and August respectively.

In his presidential address Dr R.S. Bedi president of the body said no doubt the tobacco industry contributed Rs 70000 million to the country’s exchequer and in addition to nearly Rs 11 lakh million through export earnings besides generating employment for over 40 lakh people yet a study by the ICMR in 2000 revealed that every patient suffering from a tobacco related disease cost the country Rs 2.5 million through direct medicine costs absenteeism for treatment and loss of income due to premature death.

Inaugurating the CME Chaudhury Santokh Singh Minister for Medical Education and Research, Punjab who was the chief guest of the function expressed concern over the schoolchildren to take to smoking disclosed that a special cell had been set up to check the use of this evil at public places in the state. Such units will be set up at this district headquarter. Other prominent speakers were Dr J.S. Dalal, Dr Gian Chand Ahir, Acting Principal and Head of the TB and Chest Department of the local GGS Medical College and Hospital besides Mr Dharamvir Commissioner both Faridkot and Ferozepore divisions and Mr Hussan Lal Deputy Commissioner, Faridkot. More than 200 delegates from different parts of the state attended the seminar.


Warrants against three kin of Sidhu
Our Correspondent

Kharar, June 2
The Subdivisional Magistrate of Kharar, Mrs Preeti Sahni, today issued open-ended warrants against former PPSC Chairman Ravi Sidhu’s mother Pritpal Kaur, brother Reetinder Singh and sister-in-law Ajinder Kaur.

The warrants were issued on an application submitted by the Vigilance Bureau, Punjab. Mr Jaskaran Singh, SP, VB, was present in the court.

The VB informed the court that proceedings against the accused were pending in the court of the Special Judge, Ropar, and the next date of hearing had been fixed for July 30.

The VB said the accused had been declared proclaimed offenders by this court on July 15, 2002.

It said there was a possibility that the accused were in the USA and residing possibly at the address given in the application. The warrants were required for the extradition proceedings which were being initiated against the accused, it added.


‘Minister patronising land mafia’
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, June 2
Mr Rajinder Singh Fauji, a member of the National Executive Committee of the Shiromani Akali Dal (A) condemned the land mafia operating in the garb of religion. In a statement here, he alleged that certain Congress ministers were patronising this mafia and also promoting godmen and derawaad for votes. Such ministers should quit politics and join the “deras” they patronised, he said. He urged the administration to take action against the politicians who had attacked PUDA officials and misbehaved with the police while encroachments on government land were being removed.

Mr Fauji also flayed illegal felling of over 100-year-old “banyan” (bohr) tree at Kaulawalan Talab where now temple was coming up and which had again been patronised by a minister. A Congress minister had attended the installing of a Shivling on this municipal land and thus endorsed the encroachment on government land and the illegal felling of the “bargad” tree, he rued.


USA should ‘divest’ India, Pak of WMD
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, June 2
Commenting upon the annual report of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) that expressed apprehensions about Pakistan’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) falling into the hands of hostile radical fundamentalists, Lok Sabha member and SAD(A) president Simranjit Singh Mann asserted that the same apprehensions could be expressed about India as well since the WMD in India could also fall into the hands of Hindutava forces like the RSS, Shiv Sena and the Bajrang Dal. The USA and the UN should divert both the countries of the WMD, demanded Mr Mann in a statement issued here yesterday.

The report had belittled India by saying that the country faced threat to its major cities from China’s missiles, Mr Mann said.

Israel and China had built sub-marine, aircrafts, tanks etc and we had not, though the three nations gained independence around same time.

He said while Defence Minister George Fernandes says the infiltrations had declined, the Army chief says it had increased, Mr Mann urged the Prime Minister to clarify the stand.


Anandpur Sahib girls to be honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
The SAD will honour two baptised Sikh girls, Tejinder Kaur and Jaspreet Kaur, for the exemplary courage shown by them in protecting their lives and honour at Anandpur Sahib recently.

This was stated by a former SGPC President, Bibi Jagir Kaur, in a press note. They will be honoured by a former Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, at a function being held at Begowal tomorrow to mark the 53rd death anniversary of Sant Baba Prem Singh Murale Walian.

The two girls, who had gone to receive their parents at the Anandpur Sahib railway station last week had to protect their honour by using kirpans when two cops first followed them and then tried to take liberty with them. One girl and a cop were injured in the scuffle.


Cops arrested on molestation charge

Patiala, June 2
Two constables who were accused of molesting two girls at the Anandpur Sahib railway station few days ago have been arrested.

Railway Additional Director-General of Police S.C. Jain in a statement here today said a case had also been registered against Anandpur Sahib Assistant Station Master Prabhat Kumar. He said the action had been taken following an inquiry conducted by DSP Pritam Singh.

He said constable Gurcharan Singh and Jagseer Singh had been arrested on the basis of an FIR registered against them under Sections 294, 354, 323 and 34, IPC.


Pooja crowned Miss Unique
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 2
Pooja from Dehra Dun won the Miss Unique title at a talent hunt programme organised by the Mentokling Club and City Cable Opera at Dhillon Farms here last evening.

Rimpi Thakur from SAS Nagar and Sheena Bhatia from Ambala were first and second runners-up. In the boys category, Soravdeep Singh from Patiala won the Mr Unique title.

In the senior category of solo dance competition, Abhilakshya, and in the junior category, Isha Dang won the first prize. In the couple dance competition, Piyush and Neha won the first prize.

The winners were adjudged by a team of judges comprising Ms Radhika, Mr Gavvy Chahal, Mr Devinder Singh, Mr Sunil Thakur, Punjab Folk Singer Bhupinder Singh Babbal and Ms Rajdeep Kaur. The Punjab Vidhan Sabha Deputy Speaker, Mr Birdevinder Singh, was the chief guest.

Among others Mr Rajesh Attri, Mr Kumar Vishesh and Mr Satish Aneja were present.


100 huts of labourers destroyed in fire
Our Correspondent

Ropar, June 2
More than 100 huts of migrant labourers located near Birla farm, about 7 km from Ropar, were destroyed in a fire today.

Sources here said the fire started around 4 p.m. and due to the heatwave and wind, it spread fast in the area. Though no casualties have been reported, almost the entire belongings of the labourers have been destroyed.

Fire engines reached the spot about one hour after the fire started. By then most of the huts had been destroyed.

The Deputy Commissioner of Ropar, Ms Seema Jain, visited the spot in the evening. She met the affected labourers and deputed officers to assess the loss. She said fire engines from the Ropar Thermal Plant and Mohali were pressed into service to control the fire.

The fire has once again brought up the issue of lack of fire-fighting machinery at the district headquarters of Ropar.


Funds sanctioned for road repair
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 2
The Ministry of Surface Transport and Highways has sanctioned about Rs 3.5 crore for the repair of the Jalandhar-Hoshiarpur national highway while the sanction of Rs 7 crore for the improvement of the riding quality of parts of the Jalandar-Nakodar and Jalandhar-Hoshiarpur national highways is on the cards.

Some stretches of the roads have virtually disappeared since the past about two years.

Despite a number of accidents on the two roads on account of their bad state, the authorities concerned did nothing to even repair the two national highways.

The ministry’s sanction follows persistent efforts by former Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral and his son Naresh Gujral, both of whom had taken up the matter with the Union Surface Transport Minister, Maj-Gen B.C. Khanduri (retd).


Passport office staff call off strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
The indefinite strike call given by the All-India Passport Employees Association was today called off following an agreement between the association and the Ministry of External Affairs late last night. The Regional Passport Officer, Mr Arvind Kumar, announced this here today.

The offices at Chandigarh and Jalandhar today remained open but the number of visitors to these normally busy offices was less than the normal days.

Association sources said here today the details of what demands had been accepted between the all-India body and the ministry had not yet reached the regional office but instructions of continuing work had come last night. The association and the ministry had earlier reached agreements which could not be implemented in the past.


Amritsar train fire: probe ordered

Ferozepore, June 2
Ferozepore Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Hukam Chand Punia today ordered a fresh probe into the burning of a railway coach at Amritsar railway station yesterday, expressing his dissatisfaction over the report submitted to him by the Amritsar railway authorities.

Mr Punia today directed a three-member team from here to conduct on-the-spot inquiry and submit their findings to him within 24 hours. UNI


Reservation policy is a ‘failure’
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 2
The General Categories Welfare Federation, Punjab, today said that the caste-based reservation policies being pursued by the government for the past 50 years had not produced the desired results. The Dalits had not been uplifted and the present policy was creating bad blood in society.

Mr Harbans Singh Sidhu, district president of the federation, in a press note issued here today said that by creating castesim in Indian society, the politicians had been ruling over the people, adding that no political party was really interested in the creation of a casteless society.


New TV channel to be launched
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 2
“NRI”, a new Punjabi channel, will be launched soon, according to Mr Arunjot Singh Sodhi, spokesman for the channel.

He said news and cultural items would be telecast besides other programmes. Zonal reporting centres at Bathinda, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Amritsar would be set up.


Cleanliness drive inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Ms Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha, OSD to Punjab Chief Minister, inaugurates a "cleanliness month" campaign at Kharar
Ms Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha, OSD to Punjab Chief Minister, inaugurates a “cleanliness month” campaign at Kharar on Monday. 

Kharar, June 2
Mrs Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha, OSD to Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today inaugurated a “safai month” campaign being launched by the Municipal Council, Kharar.

Mrs Garcha along with Mr Charanjit Singh, President, Municipal Council, Kharar, Mr Kuljit Singh Bedi, President, Block Congress Committee, and a number of municipal councillor kicked off the campaign by cleaning the road.

Mrs Garcha said the Punjab Government would extend financial help to the local Municipal Council in its various development works. She praised the cleanliness drive and asked residents to extend full cooperation to the council.


WTO figures in grape show
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 2
Dr Mohinder Kumar Rinwa, Parliamentary Secretary Horticulture and Environment, Punjab, today urged horticulturists to follow the norms and standards fixed by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) while producing grapes and other fruits, so that, these could be marketed worldwide.

Dr Rinwa, who inaugurated the seventh state-level grapes exhibition here, said in his address at the function that, by following this practice, horticulturists could get remunerative prices of their produce in the international market and earn a handsome profit. He said state government had been extending financial help to horticulturists for creating infrastructure to set up orchards.

Dr Jagtar Singh Mann, Director Horticulture of Punjab, said that only perllete variety of grape was being cultivated in five districts of Punjab. In terms of area under vineyards, Punjab stood fifth in the country. According to production, it was second. The grape production in Bathinda, Mansa, Muktsar, Faridkot and Ferozepore districts was significant and Maur Mandi town of this district had been declared a grape estate by the Punjab Government.

A number of facilities for storage and marketing of grapes was being given to horticulturists by the state government. They were also getting soft loans to set up vineyards and being supplied healthy grape plants by the Horticulture Department.

In the grape show, Bathinda got the first position. The grapes of Bathinda were also declared the best fruit. Nearly 3,000 varieties of grape and its derivatives were displayed.

Earlier, scientists of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) educated the participating horticulturists on methods of producing quality grapes. They also answered queries on grape cultivation.


Punjab promotions

Chandigarh, June 2
The Punjab Government today announced the following promotions in the Labour and Employment Department.

Ms Gurinder Kaur, Deputy Director, Employment, has been promoted as Joint Director, Employment; Ms Kamlesh Bhandari and Mr Devinder Singh Cheema, District Employment Officers as Deputy Director, Employment; Mr Kanwaljit Singh Ghuman, Mr Malkiat Singh, Ms Gurmeet Kaur, Mr Nishan Singh Multani, Employment Officers to the post of District Employment Officer (DEO); Mr Mani Ram, Statistical Assistant to the post of technical assistant and Mr Sher Singh, Mr Ramesh Chander and Mr Ramesh Dass, Superintendent Grade II to the post of employment officers.


Cop held for killing beloved’s husband
Tribune News Service

Maur Mandi (Bathinda), June 2
A police constable has been arrested for the murder of a resident of Sandhoa village, Bikkar Singh, which took place in December last.

Sources said constable Satnam Singh, a resident of Beer Behman village of this district and posted in Mansa district allegedly killed Bikkar Singh get his wife Baljeet Kaur, with whom the cop was having illicit relations for the past many years.

Sources added that both Satnam Singh and Baljeet Kaur hatched the conspiracy to kill Bikkar Singh. After killing him, they allegedly threw his body into a branch of Bhakra main line canal near the Golewala head falling in Talwandi Sabo subdivision. The body is still untraceable. However, the police impounded the car which was allegedly used in the crime by the accused.

The DSP of Talwandi Sabo said Bikkar Singh had been missing since December 8, 2002. A case in this connection was registered under Section 364 of the IPC in the local police station.

When Satnam Singh was questioned, he confessed to the crime and was arrested. A case in this connection has been registered under Sections 302, 201 and 364 of the IPC. Baljeet Kaur has not been arrested.


Drug peddlers on the run
Raj Sadosh

Abohar, June 2
Drug peddlers in the region have been shaken by the arrest of Asha Rani alias ‘Asha Aunty’ from Sadulshehar, 27 km from here. Sources said the Rajasthan police has raided the Ward 17 house of Asha Aunty late on Sunday and seized 156 gm smack that had been packed in a black polythene bag. She was charged under Sections 8 and 21 of the NDPC Act.

After the arrest of a Rohini (New Delhi)-based girl and here male accomplice by the Abohar police and the arrest of a smack supplier from old Delhi by the Rajasthan police a new months ago, drug smugglers had changed their area of operation. The couriers surrendered a sizable quantity of the contraband on their arrest.

As the police in this subdivision had tightened its noose around peddlers and addicts of smack recently, the suppliers based in the Union capital had established sale and supply polints at Sadulshehar (Mateeli) bordering Abohar. Poor women have always been pushed into this illicit business, so, the smack traders, too, chose a widow, Asha Rani, to be their dealer. Better known as Asha Aunty, the widow had three daughters with one still to be married. The family survived by doing domestic chores for others.

Smack addicts and petty suppliers have been frequenting Sadulshehar to get the drug. As the police had intensified search in buses on all routes from Rajasthan to catch couriers, smack addicts had, now, been travelling to Sadulshehar on two-whellers. The Sadulshehar police had recently arrested five of them when they had been returning to Abohar. Their interrogation led to the know edge that they had purchased the smack from a woman known as Aunty. The seizures from them were too small and the police could not arrest Aunty as she enjoyed the patronage of political heavyweights.

The smack had been supplied to Abohar and Sriganganagar from Sadulshehar by Asha Aunty and her contacts. Her interrogation may lead to busting of the nexus between the drug mafia in New Delhi and petty suppliers in the region.

Sadulshehar was also a centre of ‘satta’ busienss. A Bharatiya Janata Party legislator had named a senior Akali leader as godfather of the ‘satta’ trade at Sadulshehar and earned the wrath of SAD leadership for it till the expiry of the term of the BJP-SAD government. Not only Abohar, but also the entire region had been affected ‘satta’ menace, even after the change of the government in the state. By the time the nexus was broken, it had spread to rural areas, where lottery-ticket sellers had picked up this business. The police in Haryana and Rajasthan had expelled most of them their areas.


Couple, driver killed in mishap

Hoshiarpur, June 2
Prof Darshan Kumar of Government College, Amb, and his wife were killed when their Maruti car (HP-19A-0516) coming from Radha Swami Dera at Beas rammed into a truck (HP-23-1993) parked on the Hoshiarpur-Jalandhar road at Mandiala yesterday. Dev Raj, their driver succumbed to his injuries on his way to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital at Ludhiana. The Hoshiarpur police has registered a case in this connection.

In another accident, Sarbjit Singh of Khokhra was killed when a Maruti car hit his motor cycle while trying to overtake a truck on the Dasuya-Mukerian road late yesterday.


Cash, jewellery stolen
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 2
A group of thieves looted Rs 30,000 in cash and gold ornaments worth Rs 3.2 lakh from the house of a businessman in the Central Town locality here late last night.

According to the police, Mr Sharanjit Singh along with his family members was away to Ludhiana to see a relative since Saturday. The thieves, it was learnt, barged into his house late last night and decamped with cash and jewellery. The family members found the main door open on their return. They went inside the house and found the belongings scattered here and there. They reported the matter to the police. A case has been registered.


Suchi tops in BA-I exam
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 2
Suchi Bhutani of the local BBK DAV College for Women and Arti of KRM DAV College, Nakodar, have topped in the BA-I and B.Sc-I examinations of Guru Nanak Dev University, respectively. The results of these examinations were declared here today. Suchi secured 61 marks while Arti got 658 marks in their respective examinations.

Puja Dhir of SD College for Women, Sultanpur Lodhi, secured the second position with 658 marks while Sonika Gupta of KRM DAV College, Nakodar, stood third secruring 635 marks in the BA-I examination.

Palk Khanna of the local BBK DAV College for Women obtained the second position in the B.Sc-I examination secruring 652 marks while Neetu Rekholia of HMV, Jalandhar, stood third with 645 marks. As many as 32,748 students appeared in the BA-I examination out of which 12,001 were declared pass. In the B.Sc-I examination, 3,923 students appeared and 2,039 got through. The pass percentage of this examination was 51.98 against last year’s percentage of 50.85.


M.Sc (IT) exam in July
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 2
The papers of the second and third semesters of the M.Sc (IT) course, which were cancelled earlier this year by Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar, due to paper leakage, will be held along with other semester examinations in July-end.

Mr V.P. Singh, Coordinator, Distance Education, PTU, said the modalities of the datesheet were being worked out and the same would be announced soon. Students of the second and third semesters said they had stopped preparing for their cancelled examination since they had not received any communication in this regard from the PTU.

All four papers of M.Sc (IT) second semester and three papers of the third semester had been cancelled by the PTU.


MBA interview, BMIT paper dates clash
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 2
Students of Punjabi University, Patiala, have expressed concern over the clash of dates of one of the papers of the Bachelor of Management and Information Technology (BMIT) course and the date of group discussion and interview for the MBA course of the same university.

A cross-section of the students said it was strange that even as both exams were to be conducted by Punjabi University, their dates clashed. They pointed out that the date of the Strategic Management paper (BMIT, III year), June 16, and that of the group discussion and interview for the MBA course of Punjabi University were the same.

They said if the date of one of these exams was not changed, they would be deprived of a chance to compete.


Teachers allege bias in transfers
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 2
The transfer of more than 100 teachers of government schools has created resentment in a section of teachers. They allege that the transfers had been done on political considerations.

A section of teachers alleged that most of the teachers, who had been transferred were kin of Congressmen and the sympathisers of the previous SAD-BJP combine government had been spared.

Major Basant Kumar, District Secretary, Democratic Teachers Front, Punjab, alleged that district education authorities (elementary) pointed out that of 48 transfers, half were done by violating the rationalisation policy.

A number of teachers of secondary section approached the local MLA, Mr Surinder Singla, who called on the DEO (Secondary), Mr Lachhman Singh Brar, at the latter’s residence.


Fee hike: students send Rs 37 to CM

Pathankot, June 2
Activists of the ABVP took out a procession here today in protest against the decision of the state government to enhance college fees. The activists, as a token protest, also begged for money.

Mr Sunil Rana, president of the local unit, said they had collected Rs 37 through begging which had been sent through a bank draft to the Chief Minister to be deposited in the state exchequer to meet the expenses. OC


Sekhon takes over as varsity Registrar
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 2
A Senior Community Medicine specialist, Dr A.S. Sekhon, has taken over as Registrar of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences at Faridkot.

Dr Sekhon retired as Medical Superintendent of Government Rajindra Hospital on May 31 after serving in various capacities for 35 years.

Summer camp ends
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, June 2
A week-long summer camp organised by the district Red Cross Society, Faridkot, to impart training in fabric painting, clay modelling, art and craft, flower arrangements, photography, music and dance to special children concluded here yesterday.

More than 30 children, including deaf and dumb, mentally challenged and visually handicapped displayed their work made under the guidance of renowned artists.

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