Wednesday, June 11, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Jats, Dalits reach pact in Sangrur
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 10
The ongoing confrontation between Jats and Dalits of Hasanpur village, near Dhuri, today reportedly ended when both sides reached a compromise at a meeting at the district administrative complex held here, on the intervention of the Deputy Commissioner.

The meeting was chaired by Mr Sarvjit Singh, Deputy Commissioner, while the SSP, the ADC, the ADC (D), the Dhuri SDM and the Dhuri DSP also attended the meeting. Five representatives each from the sides of Jats and the Dalits, including members of the Hasanpur village panchayat, also took part in the meeting.

Talking to TNS after the meeting this evening, Mr Sarvjit Singh, Deputy Commissioner, said the Jats and the Dalits had signed an agreement regarding the issues. He said both sides had also assured the administration that they would jointly address the villagers to tell them that the dispute had been sorted out amicably.

The Deputy Commissioner said as per the agreement no one from Jats and the Dalits would enter into the already auctioned shamlat land till the ensuing panchayat elections were over. After the elections, adequate space for village pond would be allocated and remaining shamlat land would be auctioned again. He said earlier, the panchayat had given the shamlat land to someone on lease at a cheaper rate of Rs 2000 an acre, through auction which would be cancelled now.

Mr Sarvjit Singh said land would be given to Dalits temporarily for dumping in the village. He said the Dalits had claimed that due to demolition of their heaps of cow dung cakes allegedly by the Jats, they had suffered a loss of more than Rs 1 lakh. The Deputy Commissioner said he had assured the Dalits that they would be given about Rs 25,000 by the administration as compensation in lieu of the loss, suffered by them.


SAD panel to probe Talhan violence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
The Political Affairs Committee of the SAD (Badal) today passed a strongly worded resolution against the Congress Government in Punjab, seeking resignation of Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh.

Making an appeal to all concerned in Talhan and Jalandhar to maintain peace and live in harmony, the SAD (Badal) today announced a seven-member committee to probe the caste clashes there.

Mr Gurdev Singh Badal, Mr Sewa Singh Sekhwan, Mr Ajit Singh Kohar, Mr Sarwan Singh Phillaur, Mrs Upinderjit Kaur, all former ministers; Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, a former Speaker and Bibi Jagir Kaur, former President of the SGPC have been taken on the Committee.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal, said his party wanted that Dalits should be given justice. Blaming the Congress for violence in Talhan and Jalandhar, Mr Badal said the Congress was back to its divide-and-rule policy.

People should not fall prey to the dirty games being played by the Congress in the state, the SAD leader said. The Congress Government stood exposed following the statement given by Punjab Congress President H.S. Hanspal, holding official machinery responsible for the Talhan and Jalandhar violence.


Chetna march flagged off
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 10
The District Youth Congress organised a chetna march at Bassi Pathana in the district yesterday. Dr Harbans Lal, Minister for Forests flagged off the march. Hundreds of youths and Congress workers would tour the district to highlight the achievements of the government.

Addressing the gathering, Dr Harbans Lal highlighted the various public-oriented schemes initiated by the Punjab Government. He lashed out at the Akalis and other opposition parties for encouraging communalism and planning to disturb the peace in the state. He said the recent incidents at Talhan were a part of the conspiracy hatched by the opposition parties, which do not like the development works initiated by the government.

He urged the people, particularly the Congress workers, to educate the masses about the nefarious designs of the opposition parties. He said only the Congress respected all religions and all section of society. He said the government would not spare those who would try to create communal tension.

Mr Munish Verma, president of the District Youth Congress, who organised the march, called upon the youth to come forward to save society from social evils as well as to expose those who spread communalism. He said the District Youth Congress would involve the workers at the grassroots level in the coming panchyat elections so that the party could win the elections with a thumping majority. He said the youth would be given a due share in the allottment of party tickets. He said more chetna marches would be organised to mobilise the youth and to educate the public about the policies and programmes of the government.

Vaid Hari Krishan, president of the District Congress Committee, said the party was geared up for the panchayat elections. He said block presidents and party workers at the village level have been asked to submit the names of suitable candidates for the posts of sarpanch. He said the party would field only true Congressmen who had a clean image and had contributed towards the party. He said Youth Congress workers would be adjusted. He urged the youths to organise such programes at the grassroots level. He assured full co-operation to the Youth Congress.

The chetna march passed through all the towns of the district, carrying banners and flags depicting the policies and programes of the government. Mr R.N. Sharma, Mr Sadhu Ram, Mr Subhash Sood, Mr Gurwinder Singh Dhillon, Mr Om Parkash Tangri, Mr Gurstinder Singh Jalha and Mr Pradeep Malhotra, senior Congress leaders, also addressed the gathering.


No need for mediation, says French envoy
Our Correspondent

Amritsar June 10
The French Ambassador to India Mr Dominique Gerrad, said here today that India and Pakistan‘‘ can resolve contentious issues at their own level and there is no need for mediation’’. He advised the two countries to follow the example of Germany and France as the two countries that were hostile to each other in the past have resolved their differences and share the most cordial relationships in Europe. The French Ambassador expressed these views after paying obeisance at the Golden Temple here today.

Earlier, he visited the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum in Ram Bagh . He appreciated the relics and said France shared a history with Maharaja Ranjit Singh.


Despite govt reservations, engg college on track
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 10
Even though the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, has conveyed his reservations at Punjabi University’s move to establish an engineering college on its campus, the process of establishment of the college has started, with Punjab Technical University (PTU) including the new college in its state-level counselling which started today, for allocating institutions to engineering students.

The Chief Minister had indicated that Punjabi University had moved in haste while going in for the establishment of an engineering college during an interaction yesterday after an official function. The Chief Minister said he had asked for the mandate of the university to see whether it would be proper for it to start an engineering college. He said from what he understood, the university was established to propagate Punjabi language and culture. He also pointed out that an engineering college which had attained the status of a deemed university — the Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology — was already running in the city.

The Chief Minister also pointed out that if the Principal Secretary, Higher Education, had written to the university on the issue, he probably had a reason to do so. He also pointed out that though the university was an autonomous body, yet it must be run according to its mandate.

The university establishment has apparently been stunned by the Chief Minister’s utterances and did not offer to even comment on the statement . However the university is presently not doing anything to take back its decision on the establishment of the college for which formal permission from academic bodies is yet to be taken. The issue is listed as the main agenda of the meeting of the Academic Council on June 14 following which it will also be put up before the university Syndicate.

The university Director, Public Relations, said he would not like to comment on the statement of the Chief Minister. Asked whether the process of the establishment of the engineering college was on, he again declined to comment. He said as 60 vacancies in the courses of B Tech (computer engineering, electronic communication and mechanical engineering) had already been advertised on last Saturday, admission for the same may be being considered by the PTU.

He said the university had already made it clear earlier that the Vice-Chancellor had not invoked his emergency powers to establish the engineering college. He said a recommendation for the establishment of the college had been made by the Planning Board of the university following which the matter was put up before the Syndicate in March and was approved in principle. He said following this the issue was being put before various academic bodies of the university for formal approval.

Meanwhile, the university does not have a building or staff for the college. The move was made public a few months ago, but the university is yet to recruit staff for the college and earmark a building for it.

Sources disclosed that even though the Principal Secretary, Higher Education, Mr N.S. Rattan, had advised the university not to act in haste while opening the college, the university put the issue on a fast forward mode after receipt of the letter at the end of last month. A core committee approved the setting up of the college on May 28. The Dean approved the proceedings on June 2 following which the Vice-Chancellor approved the same two days later. Three days later, advertisements appeared in the print media informing the public about the courses being offered by the college, besides soliciting admission to it.


Farmer hurt in scuffle with cops
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

The farmers including ones who wear injured in scuffle between farmers and police, shouting, slogans against police high handedness at village Lehra Khanna (Bathinda) on Tuesday. 
— Tribune photo Kulbir Beera

Lehra Khana (Bathinda), June 10
A minor scuffle between policemen and activists of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) in this village today left one farmer injured and triggered sloganeering against the Punjab Government.

The scuffle took place when the policemen tried to free employees of the Primary Agriculture Development Bank, Bhucho Mandi, who had been gheraoed by activists of the BKU along with residents of this and surrounding villages.

Yesterday, the BKU activists had gheraoed employees of the bank when they came to arrest a farmer, a defaulter. A case against 12 BKU activists was registered with the Nathana police station.

Mr Ishwar Singh, SSP, when contacted, said no scuffle had occurred between the policemen and the farmers. One of the farmers had suffered minor injuries on his hand.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that after the scuffle, a criminal case against Motha Singh, who was injured into the clash, Bhola Singh Bugger, Manjeet Singh and Santokh Singh was registered under Sections 353, 342 and 186, IPC. However, it could not be known whether any arrest had been made.

When employees of the bank visited this village again today to motivate defaulting farmers to make payments, the BKU activists began to gather at one point and sent a message to activists of neighbouring villages.

The bank employees, sensing trouble, contacted the police.

When police parties from Bhucho Mandi, Nathana and Rampura reached the village, the BKU activists had gheraoed the employees’ car. An argument ensued that led to a minor scuffle between the policemen and the BKU activists.

The BKU activists alleged that the police deliberately manhandled the farmers. This was denied by the police allegation and claimed that no clash had taken place.

Mr Shingara Singh, general secretary, BKU (Ekta), said the intentions of the bank employees were clear when they visited the village on the second consecutive day today without any arrest warrant.

He said from now onwards all bank officials who came to recover loan instalments without any arrest warrant would be gheraoed.


Agitation if Badal is arrested: SAD
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 10
As speculations are rife that former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal or his son or wife might be arrested, the Shiromani Akali Dal workers today said, if they were arrested, the situation in Punjab could go out of control.

Workers of the party belonging to the Bathinda Assembly constituency today held a meeting at Gurdwara Haziratan here to chalk out the strategy in case of the arrest of Mr Badal or anyone of his family.

The district unit of the SAD has been holding meetings for the past some days, after Mr Badal had, reportedly, said that he might be arrested soon. His statement had been reported in some vernacular newspapers.

Mr Chiranji Lal Garg, a former Punjab minister, in his address at the meeting said the Congress government was taking such steps because it feared that its candidates would be defeated in the coming panchayat elections.

Mr Garg said the decision to hold a protest in case of Mr Badal’s arrest would be taken by the party high command.

Dr Om Parkash Sharma, district press secretary of the party, said such meetings would also be held in other Assembly constituencies and party workers were ready to “make any sacrifice” to prevent their leader’s arrest. On June 8, party workers of the region had also decided to mobilise the workers for any such agitation.


Announcement on Akali unity soon: Badal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
Immediately after a meeting of the Political Affairs Committee of the party, President of Shiromani Akali Dal Parkash Singh Badal said today that formal unity with former SGPC chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra would be announced at the earliest possible.

“I would call on Mr Tohra soon at Patiala, where he is recuperating, to make a joint announcement regarding unity”, he said.

Mr Badal said the announcement was possible any moment, even tomorrow or the day after. Though both parties stood united in principle, formal announcement was yet to be made, added Mr Badal.

About Mr Tohra’s position in the party Mr Badal said: “We both would sit together along with our other senior colleagues to decide whom should be given what”.

Meanwhile, as per the directions given by the Akal Takht Jathedar and other high priests, Mr Badal, will organise “akhand path” at Manji Sahib in the Golden Temple complex from July 14 to July 16. 


Mehta appointed PPCC secy

Chandigarh, June 10
Congress President Sonia Gandhi has appointed Mr Parminder Mehta as secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee.

Ms Gandhi, in a letter to Mr Mehta, has advised him to discharge his duties and responsibilities as secretary of the PPCC whole-heartedly and diligently and “come up to the expectations and confidence reposed in you by the organisation”, a party spokesman said here today. PTI


Irrigation Department to collect user charges
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, June 10
The Irrigation Department has launched a campaign to collect user charges from those farmers who utilised canal water for irrigation in Faridkot division comprising Muktsar, Moga, Faridkot and a part of Ludhiana districts.

Each farmer will have to pay an amount of Rs 80 per acre. Half of the charges will be collected in the first half of the year and the remaining in the end of the year. There are nearly 1.13 lakh farmers who were utilising the facility to cultivate a total area of 7 lakh acre in the division, Mr Hussan Lal, Executive Engineer, Irrigation Department, Faridkot division, said this here today.

He said an amount of Rs 1.53 crore for the first six months of the year had been collected and the remaining process should be completed before the end of this month. The department was releasing nearly 2728 cusecs of irrigated water in the area to meet the demands of the agriculturists, said the Executive Engineer. He made it clear that if any farmer failed to make the payment his supply would be discontinued immediately.

The collection would be made by senior officials of the Irrigation Department. He appealed to all farmer to cooperate with the department in this connection. Mr Hussan Lal said the money collected by the department would remain at its disposal and be spent for the maintenance of the canals and to make the payment to the management body of the rivers which released the irrigation water. He said the scheme was earlier withdrawn by the SAD government in 1997 when it suffered a loss of Rs 2 crore due to the collection of user charges of Rs 19 crore against the expenditure of Rs 21 crore every year.

However, on reintroducing the scheme, the government will earn Rs 80 crore every year without bearing any expenses, he said. Mr Lal said the government had also released a revolving grant of Rs 20 crore for the desiltation of channels and canals to ensure uninterrupted canal water supply to cotton growers. Directions had been issued to senior officers of the Irrigation Department to invite tenders in this connection to accelerate the work, said Mr Lal.


Splitting of tubewell connections allowed
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 10
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has decided to allow the splitting of tubewell connections to avoid hardships to farmers in case of family partition.

The splitting of the agricultural power connections from one to two would be allowed only on the undisputed portion of land, authenticated with the relevant revenue records to be produced in the operation sub-division concerned for tubewell loads of 10 bhp and above.

The connection released under this head would not qualify for sale, lease and transfer or change of name for five years from the date of release of the connection.

The differential of the advance consumption deposit (ACD) and service connection charges would be charged from all consumers to whom connections are allowed after splitting at the latest prevalent rates or the actual cost of shifting, whichever is higher.


Husband refused pre-arrest bail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today dismissed an anticipatory bail application moved by a Fathegarh Sahib-based husband accused of subjecting a married woman to cruelty.

The husband — Ranjit Singh — was apprehending arrest in a case registered on April 15 under Sections 406 and 498-A of the Indian Penal Code. His application for pre-arrest bail was dismissed by an Additional Sessions Judge on May 28.

Claiming to have been implicated in the case, the petitioner had submitted that the first information report in the matter was registered even though the couple had been living separately for over two years.

Arguing before the court, his counsel asserted that the case was registered to harass the petitioner and his family. He added that a car had already been returned, while the family was willing to return the remaining articles also.

Counsel further submitted that the petitioner’s brother had already been granted bail. The petitioner, if released on bail, would abide by all the conditions, he had concluded.

After going through the documents and hearing the arguments in the case, Mr Justice S.S. Grewal, holding the court during the summer vacation, dismissed the petition after ruling that the grant of bail to the petitioner’s brother did not support his case as the allegations were different.

Cheating case

Taking up a petition filed by a Jalandhar district resident, accused of being involved in an alleged cheating and forgery case, Mr Justice S.S. Grewal today ruled that the petitioner would be released on bail in the event of her arrest to the satisfaction of the Chief Judicial Magistrate or the Duty Magistrate.

The petitioner was apprehending arrest in a first information report registered on April 7 under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code in an alleged property dispute case.


CMs no to funds for flood control
Our Correspondent

Ropar, June 10
“No flood no funds”, this is what Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has told the Drainage Department authorities of Ropar.

The department had sought Rs 3 crore from the government to take up flood-control measures in the district before the onset of the monsoon.

However, sources said the Chief Minister at a recent meeting rejected the proposal. He also reprimanded the district administration for seeking funds for drought relief on the one hand while demanding funds for flood-control measures on the other hand.

Officials of the department said on condition of anonymity that the denial of funds was a matter of concern. The district had many seasonal rivulets and choes which had flashfloods in the monsoon. Their catchment area fell in the Shivalik ranges in Himachal Pradesh. It was difficult to gauge the amount of rainfall in the catchment areas due to which damage due to flashfloods was at times colossal. The Siswan, Budki and the Daroli Khud rivulets were the most unpredictable rivulets in the district. Flashfloods in Siswan inundated nine villages in the Surtapur farm area near Ropar in 2001. Last year flashfloods in the Daroli Khud inundated crops in some villages of the Anandpur Sahib block. The breach in the Siswan and Budki rivulets had also inundated the Birla farm area and the PAU research centre in the past.

This year, the Drainage Department has declared some portions of the Siswan and the Budki as highly sensitive in the bet area near Ropar. These portions developed breaches over the past few years. If there are flashfloods this year water from these breaches is likely to inundate many village in and around the bet area.

Besides this, the other areas facing the threat of flashfloods include the Manoli choe near SAS Nagar and the main state highway and the rail track near Kiratpur Sahib.


Shiv Sena, Sikh row settled
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, June 10
The local administration today arranged a meeting between leaders of the Shiv Sena (Thackeray) and Akali and Sikh bodies and succeeded in defusing tension between the two brewing since June 7 following the burning of posters of Sant Bhindranwale by Sena activists here to protest against his declaration as “martyr”.

In retaliation Sikh bodies had burned an effigy of the Shiv Sena here yesterday.

The meeting was arranged by SDM Pritam Singh and SP Harmanbir Singh Gill this evening. The row was amicably settled.


Vigilance probe against ex-VC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) today ordered a probe against Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, a former Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, for allegedly commiting irregularities and violating rules in setting up the Information and Technology Institute on the University campus in Patiala. Mr A.P. Pandey Chief Director-cum-ADGP, Vigilance Bureau, Punjab, said the probe had been ordered on the basis of a complaint received from the University.

The role of Capt Balwinder Singh, Administrative Officer, Civil Aviation; Mr S.K. Mittal, Secretary; Inder Singh, Quality Controller-cum-Manager; Mandeep Singh, Assistant Engineer; Narinder Pal, Pump Operator, Civil Aviation Club, Patiala; Balwinder Singh, Accountant, Government Aircraft Repair workshop, Patiala, was being probed in this case.


Arshi against giving full medical reimbursement to MLAs
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 10
Mr Hardev Singh Arshi, former MLA and senior CPI leader, yesterday condemned the proposal of giving full medical reimbursement facility to the present and former MLAs while saying that the move would increase the burden on the state exchequer.

Mr Arshi in a written statement issued yesterday said while on one hand the government was saying the economic condition of the state was poor, on the other hand it was giving unnecessary benefits to the MLAs, thereby increasing the financial burden of the state.

He said such a decision would be resented by the people in general and the employees of government departments in particular. He said move to increase the medical allowance of MLAs, whose salaries and allowances had been increased by nearly 200 per cent, was uncalled for.

Mr Arshi said while the Class III and IV employees were paid only Rs 250 per month as medical allowance, the bill of MLAs and former MLAs would run into crores of rupees after full reimbursement was allowed.

The senior CPI leader said there was every possibility that the facility would be misused. He added that full reimbursement of medical bills had been discontinued some years ago, when it was found that some MLAs has submitted fake medical bills.

Mr Arshi further said the proposal would bring disparity between government employees and the MLAs. He added that there should be one provision for the MLAs and government employees as far as giving some allowances was concerned.


Protest against liquor shops
Our Correspondent

Talwandi Sabo, June 10
Activists of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) held a march and a dharna today in protest against the opening of liquor shops here.

The activists first held a march and later staged a dharna near the office of the SDM. They roused slogans against the state government. They also gave a memorandum to the SDM in this connection.

Mr Barinder Singh Mann, president of the district unit of the party, said the sentiments of Sikhs were hurt when the government gave permission for the opening of the liquor shops. He said although the town had been declared holy by the Central Government, the state government allowed the opening of these shops.


Probe ex-Subedar’s complaint, PSHRC orders DC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
The Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has directed the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, to get an inquiry conducted into the complaint of Sher Singh (65), a resident of Samrala district, about alleged torture by the CIA staff, Khanna.

The Deputy Commissioner has been asked to get the inquiry conducted by an officer other than those posted at Samrala and submit a report to the commission within six weeks.

In his petition to the Chairman of the Commission, Mr N.C. Jain, Sher Singh had demanded the registration of cases against the guilty CIA staff and three others.

Mr Sher Singh, a retired Subedar, had alleged that Ram Gopal, Sant Parkash Kalra and Y.N. Sethi, residents of Samrala, hatched a conspiracy to get him kidnapped by the CIA staff on May 23. The cops who forcibly took him to Khanna in a Gypsy did not have any complaint or arrest warrants against him.

Sher Singh alleged that he was threatened, abused and insulted during detention. He was also asked to dole out money to two Samrala residents present there even though he did not owe any money to them. Sher Singh alleged his son, Davinder Singh, was also asked to arrange money or face consequences.

The next date of hearing in the case is August 1.


Boycott panchayat poll: union
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 10
The Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union has urged the farm labourers and small farmers to abstain from the panchayat elections, as the elections will not solve their economic problems but only encourage factionalism in the villages.

Leaders of the union while speaking at a rally at Bandi village in the district yesterday said that the elections would be of no use for the labourers who were finding it difficult to earn a living. They urged the labourers and marginal farmers not to ‘waste’ time by indulging in politics.


Chief Electrical Officer gets police remand

Patiala, June 10
The Chief Electrical Officer, Punjab, Mr T.N. Sharma, has been sent in two days’ police remand, for possessing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Earlier, the Vigilance Bureau here had registered a case in this connection against Mr Sharma. Mr Sharma has been accused of accepting a bribe of Rs 20,000 from a Ludhiana businessman. He was caught red-handed by a Vigilance Bureau team at his office near Khalsa College while accepting the bribe. On June 6, a local court had issued a production warrant against Mr Sharma. OC


Dental bodies’ plea on DRME’S post
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 10
The Indian Dental Association (IDA) and the Punjab Civil Medical Services Dental Association, in a letter to the Minister of Medical Education and Research, have urged him to appoint the seniormost Principal from state dental colleges as Director, Research and Medical Education (DRME).

The post of DRME would fall vacant on June 30, they said.

Dr Puneet Girdhar, state secretary, IDA and PCMS (Dental), in a press release issued here yesterday said even though the Principals of state dental colleges enjoyed the same administrative status and pay scales and were doing similar duties and responsibilities, they had been ignored in the past couple of decades.

He said the government of India vide a memo issued in November, 1984, had declared the post in the field of dentistry as a medical post. Following the instructions, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu had appointed Principals of respective dental colleges as DRME. He said even the Head of the Dental Department of the PGI Chandigarh on becoming seniormost professor was appointed as Sub Dean of the PGI following the instructions.


Railway employees hold dharna
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 10
Members of the Northern Railway Mazdoor Union today sat in dharna at the local railway station to express resentment against the “non-acceptance” of their demands. 

The agitating members raised slogans against the authorities. They alleged discrimination by certain officials of Ambala Division.


Clash in courts complex: 19 held
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 10
As many as 19 persons have been arrested in connection with a clash between followers of Baba Bhola Singh and Baba Bhupinder Singh, both of Gurdwara Satlani, in front of the courts of Ms Harpreet Kaur Randhawa, CJM, in the District and Sessions Court complex here today. 

According to reports, they had come for a case hearing. 


De-mined fields handed over to farmers
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, June 10
The Army today handed over 500 acres of de-mined agricultural land in four villages to its owners.

The de-mined lands are situated in the villages Mohammad Amira, Mohammad Islam, Gulshah and Mohammad Pira. Mr Sushil Moolri, nambardar, Guranditta, and farmer Mohinder Pratap Dhingra put forward problems of villagers whose land had been acquired for laying mines. They said the government should make lumpsum payment of compensation instead of making payment in instalments. They said the BSF officials should open the barbed wire fencing gates in time to allow farmers to cultivate their fields across the barbed wire fencing. 


90 kg poppy husk seized
Our Correspondent

Jalalabad, June 10
The police has arrested five women and siezed 91.5 kg of poppy husk from them.

According to an FIR registered with the sadar police station Jalalabad, two police teams were on a routine patrol near Lamochar Kalan village when some women, carrying sacks on their head, on seeing the policemen threw the sacks on the ground and started running towards the fields. The police caught the women and during search of the sacks, found poppy husk in them. Later during investigation, poppy husk was also seized from their houses.

The women were identified as Pasho Bai and Surinder Kaur of Lamochar Kalan village and Kaushaliya Bai, Chanoo Bai and Chindoo Bai of Sukhera Bodla village. They are already facing a number of charges under the Excise and the NDPS Act.

The police said that the accused, Pasho Bai, was the main supplier, who used to bring poppy husk from Rajasthan. In another incident, the police arrested Niranjan Singh and seized 30 kg of poppy husk from his car. The police has impounded the car and a case under sections 15,61,85 of the NDPS Act registered.


Inter-district gang of robbers busted

Kapurthala, June 10
The district police today claimed to have busted an inter-district gang of robbers with the arrest of its nine members and recovery of four pistols, two revolvers, six mobiles, four motor cycles, a scooter and Rs 2 lakh in cash.

Senior Superintendent of Police R.N. Dhoke said the gang was responsible for the dacoity in the post office at Bholath in February this year. It had looted Rs 5 lakh on April 11 from an exchange at Jalandhar, Rs 1 lakh from the State Bank of India branch at Chitti near Jalandhar last month and Rs 5 lakh from the post office at Tanda in Hoshiarpur district on June 2.

The arrested were identified as Lakhbir Singh of Dhilwan, Gurmukh Singh of Bholath, Amrik Singh of Khera Aali Chak, Satpal Singh of Gilla, Balbir Chand of Kapurtala, Sonu of Jalandhar, Manjit of Wadala Kalan and Sukhbir Singh of Khusropur village. UNI


Nangal MC sacks pharmacy college Principal
Our Correspondent

Ropar, June 10
The Municipal Council of Nangal has sacked Mr R.C. Roy, acting Principal of the Shivalik College of Pharmacy. At a resolution adopted yesterday evening, the council relieved Mr Roy of the charge of the acting Principal that he had been holding for more than a decade. A senior lecturer of the college, Mr D.N. Prasad, has been appointed the acting Principal in his place.

According to sources, members of the council sub-committee on education — Harminder Kaur Minhas, Anita Sharma, Vidhya Sagar and Vijay Kaushal and the Executive Officer — went to the college to inform the Principal about the council decision and to hand over the charge to the new incumbent. However, Mr Roy refused to relinquish the charge, saying he would do so only on the orders of the Director, Local Government, Punjab, who was the chairman of the college.

On this, the council authorities put a lock on the already-existing lock on the room of the Principal and delivered the orders of the council to him. Mr R.C. Roy was not available for comments today as attendants at the college said that he had gone to Chandigarh to meet the Director, Local Government.

The Municipal Council Nangal is financing the Shivalik College of Pharmacy. However, it was being managed by the managing committee comprising prominent residents of Nangal town, the MLA of the Nangal Assembly constituency, the Executive Officer and the President of the municipal council and pharmacy experts from Chandigarh.

The managing committee of the college could only take any decision regarding the appointment of the Principal.

However, the authorities of the council said that the term of the old management committee of the college had lapsed and notification of the new committee had not been issued yet.

In the absence of the committee, the council, under Section 57 of the Municipal Act, had powers to remove the Principal of the college.

The Executive Officer of the Nangal Municipal Council, Mr A.L. Bansal, when contacted on phone, also maintained that the council had every right to remove the Principal. If the Principal wants to get the resolution of the council endorsed by the Director, Local Government, it would be supplied to him, he said.

The Principal of the Shivalik College of Pharmacy had been in controversy after no student qualified in the final examinations this year. The parents of the students, alleging mismanagement, had threatened to withdraw the students from the college if the Principal was not changed.


Teacher arrested for securing fake degrees
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 10
Gurjeet Singh, a resident of Khemuana village of the district, was arrested by a team of the Vigilance Bureau after it was found that he got the job of the Mathematics teacher in a government school in Mansa district on the basis of fake B.A. and B.Ed. degrees.

In a press note issued here today, Mr Baljinder Singh Grewal, SSP, Vigilance Bureau here said the accused had been remanded in judicial custody till June 22 by the Duty Magistrate when he was presented before him on June 8. The accused was arrested on June 6 after a case against him was registered under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 of IPC read with Section 13 (2) 88 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

He said accused Gurjeet Singh, who was posted as a mathematics teachers at Senior Secondary School, Akkawali in Mansa district, passed his matriculation in March 1988. He secured the B.A. degree from Sapurana Nada Sanskrit University, Varanasi, under the roll number 6101 and then secured the B.Ed degree from same university in 1994 under the roll number 927. He was selected in 2001 as mathematics teacher.

He said certificates presented to the selection committee by the accused at the time of getting a job was sent to the Vigilance Bureau for verification and these were found fake. Following this a case was registered against Gurjeet Singh, who is now lodged in Bathinda Jail.

He said in another case, the Vigilance Bureau had presented a challan in connection with the corruption case registered against the Inspector, Food Corporation of India (FCI), Laxmi Narian, in the local Sessions court.


B.Ed entrance on July 20

Chandigarh, June 10
The entrance test for joining the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) two-year correspondence course will be conducted by Panjab University on July 20, an official press note has said here today. The course is exclusively for in-service teachers.

The prospectus and application forms for admission are available in the State Bank of India branches on the campus, at Civil Courts in Hoshiarpur, Civil Lines in Ludhiana and Old Abohar Road in Muktsar.

The last date for the submission of forms is June 24. TNS

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