Saturday, June 28, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Badal kin decides to support Cong man
Tribune News Service

Badal (Muktsar), June 27
Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal received a setback in his village today when a kin of his and sarpanch of this village, Mr Sanjam Singh Dhillon, decided to support the candidature of Mrs Jaswinder Kaur for the post of sarpanch. She is facing Mrs Gurdas Kaur, a candidate backed by the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal).

While Mrs Jaswinder Kaur has the support of District Congress Committee (DCC), Muktsar president, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Badal, her opponent, Mrs Gurdas Kaur, who is the wife of Mr Joginder Singh (brother of Mr Narottan Singh Dhillon, facing corruption and other criminal cases) is being backed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal and his kin.

In the last panchayat elections, Mr Sanjam Singh Dhillon was instrumental in the defeat on his opponent, Mr Joginder Singh Gagi, a nominee of the SAD (Badal). Mr Dhillon was elected sarpanch of this “VVIP” village despite the fact that the SAD/BJP combine ruled the state at that time. Over the past few years, Panchayat elections in this village have been witnessing keen contest and some political heavy weight families of the village have taken keen interest in these elections.

After some months, Mr Dhillon along with another kin Mr Lalli Badal was persuaded to join the SAD (Badal) by Mr Badal and former Union Minister Sukhbir Badal. Mr Lalli Badal later was made a member of the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) by Mr Badal. Both Mr Dhillon and Mr Lalli Badal made their best efforts in the last Assembly elections to ensure the victory of SAD candidates in this region where they had considerable influence on the rural electorates.

“I am more closely related to Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Badal than to Mr Parkash Singh Badal. By joining hands with Mr Mahesh Inder Singh, I feel that I have come back in the family again. Mr Grandfather, Mr Shivraj Singh and father of Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Badal, Late Teja Singh Badal were first cousins”, pointed out Mr Dhillon while talking to The Tribune on phone and added that he had decided to support Mrs Jaswinder Kaur when asked to do so by Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Badal.

In Sarainaga village of former Punjab chief minister Harcharan Singh Brar, his grandson Mr Teg Bir Singh Brar has been facing three other contestants for the post of sarpanch. Out of three other contestants, two have been enjoying the support of senior Congress leaders, who have been trying to cause political harm to the Brar family by creating trouble for Mr Teg Bir Singh Brar. The election of sarpanch in this village is also keenly contested.

The village of ancestors of chief minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, Mehraj in Bathinda district, which has about nine Panchayat bodies, the election campaign has been going and some panchayat bodies have been witnessing a keen contest.


Punjab to file SLP in panchayat elections case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
In less than a fortnight after the Punjab and Haryana High Court ruled that a large number of reservations for sarpanches in the panchayat elections had apparently been made in “contraventions of the guidelines issued by the government”, the state of Punjab has decided to file a special leave petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court against some portions of the order.

The SLP, sources in the Punjab government claimed, would be filed within “a week or so”. Confirming the information, Punjab’s Advocate-General Harbhagwan Singh asserted: “Certain discrepancies pointed out by the High Court could be reconciled with and, therefore, those findings deserved to be reviewed”. He reiterated that the elections were being held in the state as per the schedule.

Pronouncing the orders on a bunch of petitions on June 18, a Division Bench of the High Court, comprising Mr Justice Hemant Gupta and Mr Justice S.S. Grewal, had ruled: “The respondents may be legally justified in saying that the election process has commenced and, therefore, the writ court may not interfere, but the delay in issuing the guidelines, and publication of the notification close to the elections, definitely makes out a case for the revision of election schedule”.

The Judges had further held: “We are of the opinion that any order at this stage would affect the completion of the elections in the manner published by the Election Commission. However, the fact that the offices of the sarpanches have been reserved in contravention of the guidelines issued by the state government cannot be lost sight of....”

The Judges had also observed: “It may be desirable for the respondents to frame roster which would operate election after election. But we cannot lose sight of the fact that the guidelines have been issued after the election programme was circulated.... The delay in issuing the guidelines and making the reservations may not be fatal to the conduct of the elections, but it definitely takes away the petitioners’ rights to dispute the reservation of the offices of the sarpanches”.

In their detailed order, the Judges had asserted that it was open for the state and other respondents to consider the rescheduling of elections for a week or so. The Judges had further ruled that rescheduling the elections would enable the respondents “to make reservations in accordance with the guidelines issued by the state government”.


Curfew-like situation in Bhikhiwind
Our Correspondent

Bhikhiwind (Tarn Taran), June 27
Curfew-like situation was noticed in this border town where Left party workers were to stage a dharna in protest against June 21 incident in which the police allegedly lathi-charged protesting workers of Left parties and fire into the air to disperse the agitating mob. They were protesting against the alleged irregularities in the filing of nomination papers by the candidates for Panchayat elections. State CPI leader Dr Joginder Dyal alleged that he was manhandled by the police while he was entering Bhikhiwind.

Dr Joginder Dayal, state secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and other Left leaders while talking to The Tribune said that though they were given permission to organise a peaceful demonstration by Mr G.S. Sahota, DIG border range whom they met on June 26 (i.e on Thursday), but the police had put up nakas on all roads leading to this township as a result, they added, they had to stage a dharna at Pahuwind village, 2 km from here where hundreds of Left party workers including a number of women workers came to protest.

The CPI leader has called the incidents of Bhikiwind a blot on the face of democracy and demanded a judicial inquiry and cancelling of false cases registered against the Communist workers protesting in democratic way.

Besides Dr Dyal, Mr Harbhajan Singh, Mr Ratan Singh Randhawa, Mr Hazara Singh Jassar, Mr Pargat Singh Jamarai, Bibi Jagdish Kaur, wife of Balwinder Singh, a Shaurya Chakra winner addressed the gathering. They demanded that the election of the panchayats for which the nomination papers have been cancelled should be given the chance to file fresh nomination papers.

Amritsar: Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla, former BJP MLA, lashing out at the high-handedness used in the pre-poll process in the elections for panchayats stated that it had exposed the anti-democratic forces. She said as the situation stood today the rural voters are being wooed with liquor, drugs, money and muscle power is being used to subdue opposition.

The law of the jungle was prevailing in the state as ‘protectors’ were turning ‘oppressors’ and the police was being misused to suppress any type of opposition. The police and other departments were mute witnesses to the free flowing liquor and drug distribution which is becoming a threat to the Punjabis.


Ban on sale of liquor, listed medicines
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 27
Keeping in view the forthcoming panchayat elections, the district administration has ordered to keep all wine shops closed on June 29 in the district and has also imposed a ban on the sale of liquor under Sections 54 of the Excise Act on that day.

The Deputy Commissioner has also imposed a ban on the sale, storage and carrying of 106 listed medicines in the district. The ban orders have been imposed under Section 144 of the Cr.PC Act, 1973. These orders will remain in force till September 30. The sale of these medicines will be done by chemists only on the prescription of a recognised doctor.


3 held for injuring 5 Cong men
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 27
Five Congress workers, including a former sarpanch, were injured when some Akali workers allegedly attacked them while they were asking for votes in Chogawan village, 30 km from here, under Majitha police district at 9 pm last evening.

The police has registered a case against seven Akali workers, including a former Akali sarpanch Joginder Singh of the area in this regard. Three persons have been arrested while remaining accused fled the spot. The arrested include Bachiter Singh, Surmail Singh and Tejinder Singh.

According to information, Nirvail Singh, a former Congress sarpanch, along with his brother Lakha Singh, Sikander Singh, Sucha Singh and Daljit Singh were asking for votes in front of the house of Narinder Kumar Arora when the accused Joginder Singh, Bachiter Singh, Surmail Singh, Kabal Singh, Karaj Singh, Aman Kumar and Tejinder Singh allegedly armed with kirpans, lathis and gandasis came in a car, attacked and injured them.

The police has registered a case under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 326, 324, 148, 149 of the IPC at the Lopoke police station on the complaint of Lakha Singh, brother of the Congress sarpanch.


Director gheraoed
Tribune News Service

Garhi Fazal(Koomkalan), June 27
Campaigning for the panchayat poll in Garhi Fazal village under the Koomkalan police station in this district took an ugly turn today when a Director of the State Khadi Board, allegedly canvassing for a Congress candidate, was ‘gheraoed’ by Akali supporters, who accused him of using ‘provocative’ language against an Akali candidate.


Sarpanches, panches honoured
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 27
The state government will give special grants of Rs 2 lakh each to the unanimously elected panchayats for development. This was stated by Dr Harbans Lal, Minister for Forests, while addressing a function organised to honour the unanimously elected sarpanches and panches in Sirhind constituency here today. In the Sirhind constituency 33 village panchayats elected their panches and sarpanches unanimously.

The minister said the government was committed to fulfilling the basic needs of the rural people on priority basis without any discrimination. He said the government would ensure free and fair elections.

Mr Lal said the state government was going to initiate development works in the district on a large scale. He said the government had earmarked Rs 39 crore for the development of villages.

Addressing the function, Vaid Hari Krishan, president, District Congress Committee, congratulated all unanimously elected panchayats and urged the others to follow the example set by these panchayats.

Mr Munish Verma, president, District Youth Congress, Mr R.N. Sharma, general secretary of the District Congress Committee, Mr Gurwinder Singh Dhillon, Ms Prem Lata, president, Mahila Congress, and Mr Jai Singh, president Congress Seva Dal, also spoke on the occasion.


Tohra loyalists come to Badal’s aid
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, June 27
After the unification between the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and the Sarb- Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (Tohra), Close confidants of both Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra held a joint meeting here today and strongly criticised the registration of a corruption case against Mr Badal and his son Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal here today.

The meeting, which was held at the residence of Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, a former Akali minister close to Mr Tohra, was attended by Mr Adesh Partap Singh Kairon, son-in-law of Mr Badal, Bhai Manjit Singh, Mr Harminder Singh Gill, president, All-India Sikh Students Federation, Mr Pardip Singh Walia, a former chief of district Akali jatha and Mr Manjit Singh Tarn Tarni threatened to launch a mass movement if Mr Badal was arrested. The Akali leaders alleged that the case against Mr Badal was registered to settle political scores which won’t be tolerated by Punjabis. Launching attack on the Congress high command, the Akali leaders said the party had launched a campaign to damage the organisational strength of the Akali Dal in June 1984 (Operation Bluestar) and the move to arrest Mr Badal was part of the long term strategy of the Congress.

Jalandhar: Two former Punjab Ministers and senior Akali leaders threatened that the SAD would resort to a big mass movement in case the state government tried to arrest the party chief Mr Parkash Singh Badal or any of his family.

Addressing a press conference here, former Punjab Ministers Bibi Upinderjit Kaur and Mr Raghubir Singh said the party was of the view that the cases registered by the Vigilance Bureau held no water and these were part of a conspiracy against Mr Badal and his family. Bibi Upinderjit Kaur, however, hastened to add that the party would follow court decisions in this regard.


DSGMC seeks Dhindsa’s removal
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 27
The crisis in the Delhi Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) is likely to adversely affect the unity forged between the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD), especially in New Delhi even as Mr Parmjit Singh Sarna, President of the DSGMC and close confidant of Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, refused to disband his Delhi Akali Dal.

Mr Harwinder Singh Sarna, general secretary of the DSGMC and younger brother of Mr Parmjit Singh Sarna, alleged that Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Minister and Secretary General, SAD, was behind the conspiracies to stage coup in the DSGMC at a time when its chief, Mr Parmjit Singh Sarna, was abroad regarding some business tour.

Mr Shamsher Singh Sandhu, senior vice-president of the DSGMC, who shifted his loyalty to Mr Dhindsa had announced elections of the committee in the absence of its chief who is in Dubai these days. To embarrass Mr Sarna, Mr Sandhu had also promoted 174 employees of the DSGMC, which would put an annual burden of Rs 1.32 crore.

However, in a fax message from abroad, Mr Sarna withdrew all powers given to Mr Sandhu and declared his decisions null and void (regarding the promotion of employees). He said Mr Sandhu had no locus standi to announce election of the DSGMC which was vested with its chief only.

Mr Harwinder Sarna asked the BJP high command to remove Mr Dhindsa from the Union Cabinet for harming the interests of Delhi Sikhs.

He threatened that if Mr Dhindsa was not removed, Delhi Akali Dal won’t support the BJP in the coming elections.

Talking to The Tribune from abroad, Mr Sarna said he was returning to India on Tuesday cutting short his visit.


Punjab fiscal reforms under stress
P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
Punjab’s financial situation continues to be critical, despite its fiscal reforms agenda. Improvements in tax and non-tax revenue are offset by the increase in revenue expenditure.

There are several indicators that point to the “worrisome” areas, as also how political compulsions contribute to financial stress, thereby creating doubts in the public mind about the seriousness of the Congress government to sustain its drive to implement the reforms agenda.

If the committed expenditure on salaries and pensions consumes 71 per cent of the revenue, interest re-payments take away another 40 per cent. The high revenue deficit and fiscal deficit also mirror ‘’structural imbalances’.

In fact, so wide is the revenue deficit that it has impaired Punjab’s capability of discharging even its basic responsibilities for the payment of salaries, pensions and servicing debt, leave alone undertaking development projects. These basic requirements, simply put, mean Punjab needs Rs 700 crore per month, while the average revenue receipts per month add up to about Rs 550 crore, as per 2001-02 actual.

Therefore, it should not surprise anyone if the Congress too resorted to “unsound, if not illegal” measures, like diverting money from the food account to meet committed expenditure, quite like what the Akali-BJP government did.

The state is saddled with a string of loss-making public sector undertakings (PSU), boards and corporations. Since the returns from these are meagre, steps have been taken to discipline them. The first was to identify ones in which the state should disinvest, the second to close the “sick” ones and the third to introduce a voluntary retirement scheme and also to bring about parity in pay scales between PSU and government employees.

But the recent appointments of chairmen to the 29-odd boards and corporations and scores of directors, bely all government intentions and claim to cap “unproductive” expenditure”. While some of these boards and corporations have been recommended for closure or liquidation or disinvestment, several others have been paid Rs 106 crore for one-time settlement of loans.

These “please-all” political appointments are intended to stem inner disaffection in the Congress, but may not assuage the ruffled feelings of the party men. And now to make these appointments effective, rules are being amended. In fact, the decision of at least one MLA, Mr Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, to forgo chairmanship of Punsup and the grounds he has cited are an indication of the internal strife in the Congress. The sops that MLAs/ministers voted for themselves in the last Assembly session or their acquiring Qualis vehicles are too recent to be retold.

The financial crisis is also attributed to the transport sector, whose operational losses add up to Rs 200 crore annually. Add to this the continuing ‘’stagnation’’ in the collection of sales tax, which makes up for at least 60 per cent of the total tax revenue. So far the collections are around of Rs 930 crore. The non-tax revenue is around Rs 1,000 crore. The list of “worrisome” money-matters also includes the power sector. The government is paying a cross-subsidy of Rs 950 crore to the state electricity board for giving cheap or concessional or free power for tubewells and to Scheduled Caste families.

Debt burden is another worrisome feature. The debt is expected to go up to Rs 35,000 crore by the close of the current financial year. The outstanding debt is more than 45 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product.

This scenario and flashes of improvement, as in the case of good returns from stamp duty and registration fee, up by Rs 115 crore to fetch Rs 590 crore till date, has to be seen in a larger perspective, taking 2001-02 as the base year, which is described as one of the ‘’worst’’ financial years when money-related issues went haywire, resulting in “financial terrorism”.

Thus, despite political compulsions, it goes to the credit of Capt Amarinder Singh that he initiated measures, including withdrawing free power and water for irrigation, to improve the state’s financial situation and open a window to financial institutions to raise loans. The measures included levy of user-charges on socio-economic services the government provided and allowing the departments concerned to retain the revenue for meeting the operational and maintenance costs of these services.


Talhan probes fail to take off
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 27
Despite the announcement by the Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, that the inquiry into the Talhan incident would be completed within a fortnight, notwithstanding, the inquiry has failed to take off after 20 days.

The case of the much-publicised inquiry by another hi-powered committee of five Punjab ministers appointed by the Chief Minister to look into the matter is not much different. The inquiry has virtually been lying in doldrums, despite the assertion of the Chief Minister that the committee would hold a separate probe to ascertain factors responsible for the unfortunate fallout of the Talhan incident in Buta Mandi, where a Dalit youth was killed in police firing on the night of June 5, which, in turn, triggered violence in Jalandhar and adjoining areas.

The Chief Minister had claimed that “though all those who had resorted to mischief had been identified but their names would be revealed later”, during his press conference at the high security PAP Complex on June 7. He had asserted that the magisterial inquiry for which the ADC, Mr G.S. Multani, was appointed, and the probe by the committee of ministers would be completed within 15 days.

On ground, nothing has happened so far. The magisterial inquiry has failed to take off. So much so, Mr Multani, who was to conduct the inquiry has been transferred to Kapurthala. While no senior administrative officials, including the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Gupta, was available for comment, the Bahujan Samaj Party accused the administration of “intentions to scuttle” the inquiry by delaying it. “They want to delay and sweep it under the carpet,” said Mr Pawan Tinu, president of the district unit of the BSP. He maintained that no effort was made by the administration to record the necessary statements. He further alleged that none of the Punjab ministers had visited the trouble-torn area of Buta Mandi and Talhan.

Meanwhile, Mr Rohit Chaudhary, the then DIG Jalandhar range, denied that he had commented on the working of the civil administration or had tried to pass any judgement on it by terming it as ‘callous’ in his June 19 letter to the Director-General of Police. “How can I pass any such judgement. I had only tried to clear my position and to convey that I was very much aware of all the happenings. I also narrated what was done as efforts were being made to create an impression that senior police officers were not aware of developments which led to deteriorating in the situation,” said Mr Chaudhary, adding that the operator of the Jalandhar Division Commissioner had conveyed it to him that the latter was away to the PAP Golf Course on the evening of June 5. “But this did not mean that I had termed the attitude of the civil administration as ‘callous’, said Mr Chaudhary.

The Jalandhar Division Commissioner, Mr R.S. Sandhu, refused to comment on the issue. “I don’t want to say anything on this matter,” he said. Enquires revealed that he was accompanying the Punjab Local Bodies Minister, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, and had attended a series of meetings with him till 11 a.m.


Dalits coopted on Talhan gurdwara panel
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Talhan (Jalandhar), June 27
After initial hiccups, the much-publicised peace agreement between Dalits and Jats finally got a practical shape with the cooption of two members of the Dalit community into the management committee of Gurdwara Sahid Baba Nihal Singh following ardaas at the shrine late this evening.

The new members were taken as members of the committee in the presence of about 200 people from both sides at the shrine, which had shot into controversy following the alleged boycott of Dalits by Jats in the village in January.

The formal ceremony concluded at around 8.15 pm following ardaas in the presence of a number of villagers, officials and leaders, including Mr Kewal Singh Bhango, head of the Gurdwara Management Committee, and Mr Kuldip Singh Wadala, chief of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Democratic).

The two members of the committee are Subedar Darshan Singh and Mr Amarjit Singh. While as per the accord, Subedar Darshan Singh, who is a “Keshdhari” Sikh will start participating in the management of the committee from today, Mr Amarjit Singh, will start performing his duties as and when he became a “Keshdhari”.

During the ceremony, a number of Jats are learnt to have objected to the inclusion of a non-Keshdhari member, but they were pacified when Mr Amarjit Singh vowed to become a “Keshdhari.


Role, status of DGP spark debate
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
An intense debate has started among IAS officers regarding the status and administrative role of the Director General of Police( DGP) in Punjab.

The main reason of such a debate is the “importance” given by the Chief Secretary, Mr Rajan Kashyap, to the office of the DGP. A few hours after taking the charge as Chief Secretary, Mr Kashyap drove to the office of the DGP, Mr M.S. Bhullar, to call on him.

The debate has been initiated by Mr Robin Gupta, an officer in the rank of Principal Secretary. He has written a detailed letter to Mr B.R. Bajaj, president of the Punjab IAS Officers Association, in this connection.

In the letter, which has been also circulated among executive members of the association, Mr Gupta has raised some vital points and requested the association to “officially and seriously take up the matter of defining the role and status of the DGP and if necessary a fresh notification should be issued wherein it is clarified that the DGP, Punjab, is the head of the police directorate and that his reporting and disciplinary authority is the Principal Secretary, Home”. Mr Gupta has desired to present his views personally to the association’s executive body.

The feeling, by and large, among IAS officers is that the status and administrative role of the DGP has been started to be equated with that of the Chief Secretary. The calling of Mr Kashyap on the DGP further reinforced such a perception. Certain IAS officers say, “Since the civil services took its final configuration over 150 years ago, the Chief Secretary has always been the head of the permanent executive government. He can’t be equated with the DGP.”

Mr Gupta says in his letter “that the DGP is the head of the police directorate is incontrovertible. Also that the Police Department is an important directorate, more important than directorates such as Animal Husbandry or Labour and Employment. However, an illustrative parallel directorate is the office of the Principal, Chief Conservator of Forests, who belongs to the Indian Forest Services, all India service.”

Mr Gupta further says in the letter that the DGP according to the rules on the subject ( Punjab Police Rules) is directly under the administrative superintendence of the Home Department headed by the Home Secretary, just as the Conservator is directly under the Financial Commissioner (Forests etc).

Mr Gupta has stated that the “time-honoured and tested practice of placing the police directorate directly under the Home Secretary has its rationale and is rooted in the texture of the Constitution of India which has given the Republic of India a civilian democratic state and, therefore, the police at every level, is supervised by the civilian authority to ensure that the power vested in police officers and wielded by them are carefully and continuously kept in check and superintended by the civilian administrative machinery.”

Mr Gupta, who has also served in West Bengal, Haryana and since 1992 in Punjab, has observed: In each state, particularly in Punjab, I had the distinct impression that the police, which basically in the public eye represents the kind of power that was used by the British Raj to suppress democratic aspirations, when not properly superintended, invariably distorted the entire rubric of civilian administration to the public disadvantage.

Mr Gupta says that there was an urgent necessity to restore the status-quo ante whereby it becomes incumbent for the District Magistrate to write the annual confidential report (ACR) of the district police chief in Punjab on the pattern of the practice followed other states in the country. He has opposed the police commissionerate system arguing that experience and studies in this regard have revealed that such a system “is anti-public, undemocratic and an absolute failure.”

Making a significant suggestion, Mr Gupta has urged for appointing Zonal Financial Commissioners at Patiala, Ferozepore and Jalandhar as it will help not only to dispose of the revenue cases in the field, but also in supervising the developmental activities and law and order. 


Probe disaffiliation issue: VC
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 27
Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor Swarn Singh Boparai yesterday said that an inquiry should be conducted into the manner in which the university had first disaffiliated and within a week reaffiliated around 12 colleges and two Information Technology institutes.

Speaking at a function organised here to honour artistes who had won laurels for the university, the Vice-Chancellor was apparently referring to the functioning of the erstwhile Officiating Vice-Chancellor of the university and at present Principal Secretary, Higher Education, N.S. Rattan. It was during Mr Rattan’s tenure that the university had first derecognised the colleges and the institutes and then reversed its decision.

Mr Boparai claimed that even the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had been misguided on the subject of derecognition. He said an inquiry should be held into how this had come about. The Vice-Chancellor also had a dig at his predecessor by saying that people behaved differently when they reached high positions.

Meanwhile, the Department of Youth Welfare has felicitated student artistes who brought laurels to the university in the Inter-University Youth Festival. Mr Boparai said it was a matter of pride that the university was progressing both in the academic and cultural activities. He added that the University College of Engineering would make the Malwa region rich in technology and would be a centre of excellence.

The local Government College for Girls, won a cash prize of Rs 11,000 for winning the first position in the Inter-Zonal Youth Festival, Government College, Malerkotla, got the second prize of Rs7,500 and Punjabi University won a cash prize of Rs 5,100 for wining the third position in the festival. Besides, zonal prizes of Rs 3,100, Rs 2,100 and Rs 1,100 were also awarded to various colleges for their performance in the zonal youth festivals. The students who had participated in national events and won positions were also honoured.

The Director, Youth Welfare, Mr Daljeet Singh, said Punjabi University had got the second position among 250 universities in the youth festival and the credit for this success went to the Principals of the colleges affiliated to the university. The Dean, Academic Affairs. Dr U.C. Singh, the Registrar, Dr Param Bakhshish Singh, Dr S.S. Khaira and Dean, Colleges, Dr S.P.S. Virdi gave away the prizes to the winners.


PPCC notices to 2 ministers
Our Correspondent

Ropar, June 27
Mr Ramesh Dutt Sharma, Minister for Grievances and Cooperatives and Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Minister for Sports, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, have been issued notices by the Disciplinary Committee of the PPCC for openly stating their views against the installation of Mr Amarjit Singh Saini as the new president of the Ropar DCC.

Mr Sharma when asked about the notice said he had not received any such notice as yet. He, however, reiterated his opposition to the appointment of Mr Saini. He alleged that besides opposing him in the assembly elections, Mr Saini also openly opposed the Congress candidates in the Ropar Municipal Council poll by nominating his own candidates. However, despite his opposition, the Congress won the majority of seats.

Mr Saini after becoming the district president of the council also did not hold a meeting of the Nurpur Bedi block Congress that was his area. None of the Congress MLAs from Ropar was consulted while appointing Mr Saini, Mr Sharma alleged.

Mr Amarjit Singh Saini when contacted said that it was for the party to decide the matter and he had nothing to say about it. About the allegation of Mr Sharma that he did not hold the block Congress meeting, Mr Saini said he had asked the block Congress president to arrange a meeting. He, however, told him that he would arrange a meeting only after consulting Mr Sharma. Later when he informed him of the meeting, “I already had an appointment fixed.” The meeting would be held in the first week of July, he said.

Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang was not available for comment.


Cong rule autocratic: ex-minister
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, June 27
Senior Akali leader and former Irrigation Minister, Janmeja Singh Sekhon said there was autocracy in Punjab and the entire democratic set-up in the state had collapsed.

While addressing a press conference, Mr Sekhon said the Congress government had unleashed terror in the state and “jungle raj” was prevailing.

He said Akali leaders and workers were picked by the police in order to prevent them from contesting panchayat elections and false cases were being registered against them.

He said in Lalle, Karmuwala, Bhangar, Vada Bhaika, Badli, Bhangar and Mirjeke villages the police was forcing villagers to vote for Congress candidates or face its wrath.


CM meets Patialvis on June 30
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 27
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, has decided to meet the people of the city once every month under the “khula durbar” programme with the first such meeting taking place here on June 30.

Disclosing this here today, Mayor Vishnu Sharma said the Chief Minister would hear grievances of the people of the city at the Circuit House on June 30.

Meanwhile, sources said the exercise was being conducted due to the lack of any public interface of the Chief Minister yet. Sources said there was disappointment among the people regarding administrative difficulties being faced by them and the khula durbar was expected to give a forum to the people to vent their feelings.

The Mayor however said the khula durbar had been suggested by him and other Congress leaders so that the people of the city could interact with their representative as well as the Chief Minister on a regular basis. He said the people of the city were happy with the development schemes initiated in the city and the durbar would further alert the administration to work for the welfare of the people.

Listing the achievements of the Congress government as far as the city was concerned, the Mayor said while Rs 126 crore was being made available for drinking water and sewerage schemes, a new township was coming up at Baran village on the outskirts of the city. Besides, massive work was under way to repair and construct new roads and streets in the city and looking into its all-round development.


Travel agent’s victim return home
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, June 27
Rinku Ansal, a resident of Mukandpur village of Nawanshahar district who suffered at the hands of travel agents, had to face misery for nine months in Nairobi (Kenya). Later with help from Mr Vinod Khanna, Union State Minister for External Affairs, and Mr Abinash Rai Khanna, BJP MLA from Garhshanker, he returned home.

In the presence of Mr Abinash Rai Khanna, MLA and Mr Hans Raj Nakra, District President BJP, Mr Rinku Ansal told mediapersons here today. He said that he along with six other youths of the area met travel agent Harbhajan Singh of Kot Fatuhi village who promised to send them to Spain for which he would charge Rs 3.50 lakh from each youth. All of them paid Rs 2 lakh each as advance to him. On September 30, 2002, Harbhajan Singh took all youths to Mumbai and handed them over to Aziz Malik, kingpin of travel agents. Aziz Malik obtained visas for all youths for Kenya. Harbhajan Singh took Rs 2.25 lakh from him before sending the group to Kenya. They were kept in the house of Kartik there. Next day all boarded a bus and after travelling 14 hours they reached Tanzania.

They remained in the house of Romesh Kumar Parva for two months there. During this period they could not get visa and lived there in fear of arrest. During their stay, Tanzania police raided the house and arrested five of his companion. He was shifted to the house of a Muslim family where he spent most miserable and painful life for a month. Later police also arrested him but he managed his release by giving bribe of $ 1000. Others were also released later on. They were sent back to Kenya where they contacted Indian Embassy, but due to unavailability of legal documents with them, they were not entertained there. He said that he contacted his father in India over phone who approached Mr Abinash Rai Khanna, MLA along with photocopy of his passport. Mr Khanna took up this issue with Mr Vinod Khanna, Union State Minister, who through the Foreign Ministry approached Indian Embassy in Kenya. Mr Khanna got prepared and released his relevant passport documents from Passport Office Jalandhar and cleared the way for his coming back to India. He said his father paid money here to the relative of NRI living in Kenya who paid the same to him for air ticket and other expenses. Only then he returned his house. He was very thankful to Mr Abinash Rai Khanna and Mr Vinod Khanna who helped him join his family. He said that four of his companions had also come back, but there were thousands of youths who were living miserable lives there, he added.


Should MC chief be a graduate?
Our Correspondent

Abohar, June 27
Should minimum qualification for the President of the Municipal Council be graduation, this million-dollar question cropped up from the perusal of the orders passed by the Secretary, Local Government, Punjab, on an appeal filed against Babu Ram Arya outgoing president of the local Municipal Council. Mr Arya, a senior BJP activist, had not contested the election this time. A copy of the orders was received here yesterday.

A show cause notice was issued to Mr Babu Ram Arya, the then president of the council, on May 22, 2002, calling upon him to explain as to why he should not be removed from the office of the president for the abuse of powers under Section 35 of the Punjab Municipal Act. The Regional Deputy Director, Ferozepore had intimated that Mr Arya passed an order on February 15, 2002, using powers under Section 35 of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911, to file a case against Mr Ashok Kumar, leading fireman of the council.

Mr Ashok Kumar had earlier challenged the decision of the council for sending a junior employee for advanced training at Nagpur. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had accepted the plea and issued directions to the council. But due to the injuries suffered in an accident Mr Ashok Kumar expressed his inability to attend the training course. He was forcibly relieved by the Executive Officer and then placed under suspension. He also challenged the order in the High Court. During hearing the council withdrew suspension orders. Then in another case only to harass the complainant, manipulation was done in the resolution passed by the council and extra lines, causing prejudice to Mr Ashok Kumar, were added by the President and the executive officer. It was referred to the Regional Deputy Director for inquiry.

It was pleaded before Mr Sarvesh Kaushal, Principal Secretary, Local Bodies, Punjab during hearing of the petition that the council vide resolution NO. 272 (May 22, 2002) had declined to endorse the action of the president in exercising emergency powers against the employee.

Mr Arya pleaded that he was just a matriculate and the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911, was in English. He could not follow the legality of provisions of the Act. He had passed orders on the report of the office. The Executive Officer, being well conversant with the law, should have brought to his notice that the order on resolution was incorrect. As such his action was not malafide.

Discussing the merits of the case, Mr Kaushal observed that extra ordinary powers under Section 35 of the Act were to be used in an event involving or likely to involve extensive damage to the property or danger to human beings.

Mr Kaushal said the action of Mr Arya as the president did not fall under any provisions of section 35. The president should have put the matter before the council in the next meeting. It was crystal clear that his orders were not passed without a motive. The allegations, leveled by Mr Ashok Kumar were proved beyond doubt that the same was passed to harass him. Mr Arya had abused his position as the president of the council, and through negligence and mis-conduct had been responsible for passing an illegal order. But when the president had himself realised the misuse of the powers inadvertently as a bonafide mistake committed by him without properly understanding its motive and implications, he was let off with a simple warning. 


Row over shops’ construction
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, June 27
A controversy over the construction of 26 shops by the District Red Cross Society outside the PWD rest house has started.

Mr Diwan Chand Verma, Executive Officer, Municipal Council, Fazilka has vide an office letter No. 330 dated June 20, a copy of which was available yesterday, informed the Deputy Commissioner, Ferozepore that the construction of the shops was illegal and was an encroachment on municipal property.

He also requested the Deputy Commissioner to intitiate steps to stop the construction of these shops. In the letter it was stated that the issue was taken up with the SDM who in turn presented a copy of zamabandi according to which the area where the shops were being constructed was rakba de.” Experts interpret its meaning as the ownership of municipal authority in town.”

Mr Verma has further stated in the letter that according to the municipal town plan record of year 1938 accepted by the then SDM and the Deputy Commissioner, the land in question was the property of the Municipal Council.

Moreover the Municipal Council had constructed roads and erected streetlight poles on the land. The E.O. also sent a copy of this letter to the Deputy Director, Urban Local Bodies, Ferozepore, the SDM and the Tehsildar, Fazilka.

The controversy has started due to the ownership rights of the land. According to official sources, no site plan for the construction of the shops had been got approved from the Municipal Council.

It is stated that the authorities of the PWD rest house have also verbally expressed their resentment against the construction of these shops outside the boundary wall of the rest house.

The SDM, Mr Bhupinder Singh Saharan, when contacted refused any comment.

The Deputy Commissioner, Ferozepore, offered to comments only after studying the matter.


2 govt employees suspended
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, June 27
Two government employees, namely, Mr Bhupinder Singh and Mr Satnam Singh have been placed under suspension by the District Election Officer for alleged negligence in panchayat election duty.

Mr Ajaib Singh Bhatti, Additional Deputy Commissioner, while talking to TNS said the District Election Officer took this decision after a number of complaints were received against them.

Mr Bhupinder Singh has been working as a steno in the Civil Surgeon’s office and Mr Satnam Singh has been working as a peon in the tehsil office.


Punjab power reforms discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
The Punjab Chief Secretary, Mr Rajan Kashyap, today discussed power reforms with the Electricity Regulatory Commission Chairman, Mr R.S. Mann.

According to a government press note, the issues discussed included implications of the Central Electricity Act, 2003, and provisions related to the Punjab State Electricity Bill, 2003, now pending before the state Vidhan Sabha.

At an earlier meeting on power reforms, as recommended by the Gajendra Haldea Committee, the Punjab Chief Minister had desired that a broad consensus should be reached on these reforms before their implementation. Thus, it was in line with that desire that the Chief Secretary had met Mr Mann today. 


Ministerial staff threaten stir
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 27
The district unit of the Punjab State Ministerial Services Union today resolved to observe one-day pen down strike on July 23 against the alleged ‘behaviour’ of state government in implementing the long-pending demands of employees.

In a press note issued here today Mr Gurjant Singh Garewal, President of the union said that a resolution to this effect was passed at a meeting. He said that the government was not implementing its decisions taken at the meetings held with the union long ago.

He said that the employees deployed for the panchayat elections were not being paid honorarium for performing duties. He said that these employees were ferried in trucks in which they feel uncomfortable and sometime had to travel to far-off places to reach their respective places of work during the election process.


Havildar cremated
Our Correspondent

Ropar, June 27
Havildar Mukhtiar Singh of the 103 Engineering Regiment of the Army, who attained martyrdom yesterday at the Dabi post in Rajori sector of Jammu and Kashmir, was cremated will full military honours at his native Ragian village near Morinda.

Havildar Mukhtiar Singh (30) died in the cross fire with the Pakistan Rangers on the said post. He is survived by his parents, wife and two children. Captain Jai Shikhawat of the 103 Engineering Regiment, the ADC General, Ropar, Mr Vikas Garg, SDM, Ropar, Mr Daljit Singh, Captain Sadhu Singh, president of Ex-Servicemen Association, Ropar, and Major MPS Kakra, Deputy Director, Sanik Welfare Board, Ropar laid wreaths . 


Level of roads upsets residents
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 27
Resentment prevails among residents of Guru Gobind Singh Nagar locality of this town over the way the roads are being levelled by the municipal corporation.

In a letter to Mr D.K. Tiwari, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, the residents said the roads were laid with bricks two years ago and now these were being removed and stones and bitumen were being used instead. They said that by doing so the level would go down and rain water would collect in the area.

They alleged that the authorities had not conducted any survey of the level of the roads before starting the work. The residents had urged Mr Surinder Singla, MLA and Chairman of the High-Powered Finance Committee, to take steps in this regard.


MP Bhora against privatisation of NFL
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 27
Mr Bhan Singh Bhora, MP today said his party would oppose the proposed privatisation of the National Fertilisers Limited (NFL) by the Central Government by extending support to its employees, who have been against the move.

In a press note issued here today Mr Bhora said the NFL had contributed to the progress of the nation in many ways and the privatisation of such a public sector unit would be an anti-people step.

He said the NFL had provided jobs to thousands of people and it had been earning a good profit, apart from encouraging small-scale industries in the area where its plants were located.


Summer camp concludes
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 27
A summer camp organised by the district unit of the Diamond Welfare Society in the local Sanguana basti concluded here late last evening.

Ms Veenu Goyal, president of the society, said the girls who participated in the camp were given training in different vocations including applying mehndi, designing, painting, sewing, stitching, block painting, tie and dye, toy making, jellies and pickles. The girls also took part in cultural programme. This was followed by group discussions and spoken English competition.

Mr D.K. Tiwari, Chairman, Municipal Corporation, who was chief guest at the concluding function, said such camps strengthened the confidence of children and also enabled them to learn from each other. He appreciated the society for organising the camp.


Bridge Baba’ ventures into field of education
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Khiala (Jalandhar) June 27
After constructing a string of bridges and roads with the help of people in this most backward belt falling between Hoshiarpur and Jalandhar, the “Bridge Baba” has now ventured into the field of technical education by setting up an engineering and technology institute for students, of the region.

And hold your breathe, Baba Malkiat Singh, of Dera Baba Bhag Singh and also known as “ Bridge Baba”, since he successfully persuaded people to stop blaming the government for their lot and instead pool in their resources for the construction of four bridges, about half a dozen link roads and setting up dispensaries in the area, is not stopping by setting up just one such institute. His future plans are to set up 10 more institutes and five public schools by the year 2014.

Going by the slogan of “public self-improvement, which has motivated people of the area and a number of NRIs to contribute a whopping amount of about Rs 6.57 crore, spent on the construction of bridges and roads in the past, the Baba has now set up a Rs 7.57-crore Sant Baba Bhag Singh Institute of Engineering Technology on 75 acres of “pollution free” piece of land, near here, again with the help of the people of the area.

Most of the complex building has got completed while separate boys’ and girls’ hostels are likely to be completed by July 15. An ultra modern computer laboratory, equipped with 65 latest branded computers, has already been established,” said Dr H.S. Sagar, Director of the project and a former Principal of the Regional Engineering College, Jalandhar. He said with the institute students of the area would not need to go to far-off places for getting technical education.

“We have decided to impart technical education using the latest technologies, including multi-media, computers and projectors. Besides, we have recently entered into an agreement with renowned multinational companies for the placement of students through campus recruitment,” said Dr Sagar, adding that the institute had also decided to provide subsidised education to bright students belonging to poor families.

Talking to The Tribune, Baba Malkiat Singh said the engineering and technology institute was just a beginning as he was planning to set up nine more such professional institutes to impart education to students of the area in the diverse fields of management, dental science, computer applications, pharmacy, medical sciences, nursing, education, hotel management and catering, arts and crafts and five more public schools.

My objective is to motivate people to stop looking towards the government for everything and rather strive to do something on their own. With this aim and dream I took along people and the results are before you,” said Baba Malkiat Singh.

The “Bridge Baba” has already completed a number of public welfare projects.


Scribe’s bail plea rejected
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 27
Mr Mohinder Pal, District and Sessions Judge, Fatehgarh Sahib, today rejected the anticipatory bail application of Jaswant Singh, Editor, Sirhind-Fatehgarh Sahib. 

He was booked on the complaint of Ms Prem Lata, wife of Dr Harbans Lal, Minister for Forest. Interestingly, the police today added Section 380 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Ranjit Singh of Tarkhan Majra alleging that he had stolen his watch.


SEB scheme for farmers
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 27
The Punjab State Electricity Board has decided to release power connections to farmers who had opted for Own Your Transformer (OYT) Scheme and procured transformers before January 31 and had purchased the conductor by May 31 even though the scheme was closed after May 31.

Under the new scheme all applicants who had procured the material from approved traders of the Board and had already deposited Service Connection charges before May 31 and got lines raised privately have been allowed to submit test reports for the release of the connections.

A Board release here said in case of applicants whose demand notices were extended till May 31 but had not submitted the test reports, their demand notices under OYT scheme stood cancelled and their application would be converted to general category.

It said the applicants under OYT scheme who had opted by December 26, 2001 and had not been issued the demand notices in view of the ban imposed would be allowed to opt for either self-Financing scheme. The Board has also decided to extend the Validity of One-Time Settlement Scheme till December 31 which was earlier valid till June 30.


Parking fee

Patiala, June 27
Deputy Commissioner Tejveer Singh fixed the parking fee of the newly built Mini-Secretariat here today. 

He informed that the parking fee for cycles has been fixed at Rs 2, for scooters the fee has been fixed at Rs 3 and for cars and heavy vehicles Rs 5 and Rs 7, respectively. OC



Watchman held for rape, murder
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, June 27
Sanjay, a watchman of Brilliant Computer Centre Mahilpur, was arrested under Sections 302,376 of the IPC on the charges of raping and murdering Ramtirath Kaur of Daduwal village who was working in the said computer centre on June 21 night. Sanjay was produced in a court today which remanded him in police custody till June 30, 2003.

Meanwhile Mr Upinderjit Singh Ghuman SP (D) Hoshiarpur had a meeting with members of Action Committee of the area at Mahilpur. He assured them that investigation in the case would continue and any other person found involved in this case he would be arrested accordingly. He told the police would complete the investigation up to July 10, 2003.


Father-in-law saves newly-wed

Hoshiarpur, June 27
A woman allegedly made an attempt to kill her newly-married daughter-in-law while she was sleeping but the father-in-law foiled the attempt and saved the girl, police said today.

According to the FIR, Jasvir Kaur was married to Lakhbir Singh on March 4, 2003. Lakhvir Singh went to Greece after 15 days of his marriage.

Harbans Kaur, mother of Lakhvir Singh started torturing her daughter-in-law soon after her son left for Greece for more dowry.

On June 25,2003, she allegedly sprinkled kerosene on Jasvir Kaur when she was sleeping and set her on fire.

However, her husband Jagir Singh, who was in the house rescued his daughter-in-law. — PTI


Two booked for smuggling poppy
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, June 27
The police has registered a case under Sections 15/61/85 of the NDPC Act against Jaswant Singh and Baldev Singh of Sidhwan Dona village on the charge of possessing poppy husk.

In a press-note today Dr R.N. Dhoke Senior Superintendent of Police told that on Thursday on a tip-off the police raided the premises of Jaswant Singh in Sidhwan Dona and found that Jaswant Singh and Baldev Singh were loading gunny bags of poppy husk in Cielo car (D.L.-1-C.F.-6840). On search of the car and premises 15 bags of poppy husk weighing 525 kg recovered from the spot. The police impounded the Cielo car and made raids to arrest them.


Ex-serviceman booked for impersonation

Moga, June 27
A retired soldier, who had joined Army about 24 years ago by allegedly impersonating another youth of the same village, was today booked by the police for cheating and impersonation.

Satnam Singh of Pandori Arian village in the district had joined the Army as sepoy in 1979 by allegedly impersonating in the name of Lakhwinder Singh of the same village, police sources said. The alleged imposter was getting his pension also.

In case came to the knowledge of the police employees of an insurance company arrived at the residence of real Lakhwinder Singh for an inquiry regarding the “insurance” of animals, whereas it was imposter Satnam who had applied for a loan from a bank here. Lakhwinder Singh denied before the insurance company employees that he had applied for any loan.

After investigations it came to light that Satnam Singh had the matric certificate of Lakhwinder Singh to get entry into the Army and even applied for a loan in the same of Lakhwinder Singh, police sources said.

Satnam Singh has absconded police sources said. — PTI


Rice miller arrested

Moga, June 27
The police today arrested a rice miller for allegedly failing to deliver 6,310 quintals of rice after custom milling to Markfed.

Markfed delivered 6,310 quintals of paddy for custom milling to the miller but Rajinder Kumar failed to deliver the milled rice back, the police said.

On enquiry by federation officials, it was established that the rice miller, in connivance with the Markfed district manager, had disposed off the rice after custom milling, police said.

The district manager, Rajinder Singh was arrested on May 23. — PTI 


Writers’ Home to get Rs 50 lakh for overhaul
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 27
A building which has not been given a single paisa ever since it was constructed in 1993, the Writers Home situated in the state Language Department headquarter building here, has struck a bonanza with the state government deciding to release Rs 50 lakh for its renovation and repair.

A decision to release Rs 50 lakh for the renovation of the building was taken at a meeting of writers with Higher Education Minister Harnam Das Johar at Chandigarh today. The decay of the building had earlier been highlighted last month.

With the decision the ambiguity over the future of the building had come to an end. Unable to provide even basic facilities in the building and following its complete decay, the Language Department had even recommended that it be allowed to partly use the building for commercial purposes so that it could be maintained. However, this proposal was objected to by the writers. The writers had also ensured that another proposal pleading that the building be converted into a “Bachat Bhawan” was also shot down.

Due to non-release of funds for the building ever since it was established, the condition of the Home has deteriorated and it has become almost unlivable. Though the eight rooms and dormitories were well furnished originally having wall-to-wall carpets and matching furniture, the situation has become such that almost all the carpets and even most of the wood fittings have been eaten away by termites.

Another practical reason why writers were not able to use the facilities of the Writers Home was nonavailability of power for almost three years at a stretch. The bhawan remained without power for almost three years because its connection was cut off due to nonpayment of dues. It also did not have any staff on its roll due to which writers coming to the bhawan could not get even basic facilities even though the Home has a well equipped kitchen and even common room with a television.

The state of the Writers’ Home had been shown to Higher Education Minister Harnam Das Johar a few months back. Following this the Languages Department had made a Rs 4 lakh proposal to carry out much needed repairs. However, following a demand from writers that comprehensive repairs should be carried out in the Home and proper infrastructure and staff be earmarked to it, the government has decided to provide Rs 50 lakh to it.

Department sources said the money would be utilised to give a complete overhaul to the building. It has been decided to uproot all the carpets in the building as well as change the wood fittings as well as furniture. Besides this the department will have to go in for new bathroom fittings as well as repair of the bathrooms in the building. The sources said it had also been decided to post some employees in the building so that it could be maintained properly.


DIET staff seek release of salaries
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 27
Leaders of various organisations, including teachers’ bodies, have urged the Punjab Chief Minister to stop the salaries of Director, SCERT, Punjab and DPI(Schools), Punjab, immediately, till the salaries of the staff of various District Institutes of Education and Training DIETs are released.

According to these leaders, a large number of employees, including Principals, lecturers and clerical staff of the DIETs had not received salaries for the past couple of months as the Director, SCERT, Punjab, and DPI (S), Punjab, had not made “earnest efforts” to get the salaries of DIETs staff released. They demanded that their salaries for June should be released only after the payment of salaries for April, May and June to the staff of the DIETs.

They also threatened to launch massive stir after July 15 in which dharnas and processions would also be held. 

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