Monday, June 30, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Vedanti invites Patna Sahib Jathedar for meeting
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 29
In a significant development, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, has asked Giani Iqbal Singh, Jathedar, Patna Sahib, to attend the crucial meeting of Sikh clergy, scheduled to be held at the Akal Takht Secretariat here on July 10. The meeting would discuss the issue of Mr Mohinder Singh Romana, president, Takht Patna Sahib, who was declared “tankhaiya” for using derogatory language against the Sikh high priests at Chicago.

Interestingly, jathedars of Patna Sahib and Hazoor Sahib are not called to attend the routine meetings of Akal Takht.

However, it is learnt that Jathedar Iqbal Singh is likely to abstain from the proposed meeting as he has already convened a meeting of the Sikh clergy at Patna Sahib tomorrow to discuss the issue. Giani Iqbal Singh had already declared that he won’t let the case of Mr Romana be transferred to Akal Takht on the pretext that Sikh high priests of Patna Sahib were competent to declare any Sikh as “tankhaiya”. However, Jathedar Vedanti and Mr Romana had stated that Akal Takht had the sole right to take such action as per the Sikh traditions. Mr Romana had also represented to Jathedar Vedanti that he was ready to appear before the Akal Takht and not before the Sikh clergy of Patna Sahib.

Akal Takht has already sought the advice of the religious advisory body to sort out the matter.

It is pertinent to mention here that Jathedar Vedanti and Giani Tarlochan Singh, acting Jathedar, Takht Keshgarh Sahib, were also present in the religious function at Chicago when Mr Romana had used some “derogatory” words against the jathedars. Jathedar Vedanti has also got the recording of the speech of Mr Romana and found he (Mr Romana), in his speech, had also criticised the SGPC for not propagating Sikhism in a proper way, which had resulted in the spread of drugs among Sikhs.

Mr Romana had also stated that ‘Dasam Granth’ (the bani of Dasam Granth Sahib is recited at Patna Sahib and Hazoor Sahib every day) could not be equated with the holy Guru Granth Sahib. The Jathedar of Hazoor Sahib has already supported the decision of Takht Patna Sahib for declaring Mr Romana as “tankhaiya”.


84 pc polling in Bathinda
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 29
Barring a few incidents of heated exchanges among supporters of different candidates, 300 Panchayats of district witnessed nearly 84 per cent of polling. The district election officer postponed the election for Behman Diwana Panchayat after an error was detected in the ballot paper. In the entire district, the polling was nearly peaceful.

After an error was detected in a ballot paper the authorities concerned started making arrangements for reprinting the new ballot papers. However, almost all residents of Behman Diwana decided to boycott the poll if the authorities concerned insisted on continuing the polling. On the demand of the residents, who also staged a dharna, the district election authorities postponed the polling after taking approval from higher authorities.

During a tour to different villages by a team of The Tribune, it was witnessed in one of the villages situated at the outskirts of this city that a member of staff deployed on poll duty was directing the electorate to cast votes for a particular candidate. The Tribune photographer clicked a photo of the employee while he was indulging in the practice. However, the presiding officer of that polling station did not allow The Tribune team to stay there despite the fact that they had passes issued by the district election officer.

One of the presiding officer in a polling station in village Kot Shamir was changed by the district election authorities after a section of electorate lodged complaints against him that he was not conducting the poll as per the procedure while another complaint was also lodged against two other presiding officers of two other polling stations in this village that they were not taking action against those, who had been trying to indulge in bogus voting.

The polling station started witnessing rush of voters after the polling started at 8 a. m. in the morning. The participation of women in the polling was also significant. The supporters of the contestants were using all types of vehicles to ferry voters to the polling station and back. The voters were also served with tea, cold drinks and snacks near the polling stations in most of the villages. In number of villages, a section of contestant also organized the “Langar”.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that a section of contestants also paid handsome amount to the voters for votes. Such instances took place in those villages, where there was a neck and neck fight among the candidates, who belonged to well off families.

Mr Ishwar Singh, SSP, said that polling was peaceful and no untoward incident took place any where.


70 pc cast votes in Ludhiana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
The polling for the panchayat seats today passed off peacefully as many as 70 per cent people cast their votes across the district here today. Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma said out of total of 876 villages, 155 panchayats were elected unanimously. The polling in 717 villages passed off peacefully since the administration had made elaborate security and preventive measure. Elections to Bhaini Baringan and Chuharwal, cancelled two days ago for various reasons, will be held on July 13.


SAD to launch morcha
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, June 29
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has decided to launch a morcha from the second week of July against the atrocities being committed by the ruling Congress government against senior Akali leaders for the past one and half year in Punjab. The date and the strategy of the stir will be announced in the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) meeting of the party to be held at Chandigarh tomorrow. Party chief and former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal will preside over the meeting.

Stating here today party’s senior vice-president and former Agriculture Minister Gurdev Singh Badal alleged that after coming into power since February last year the state government had made only one point agenda to humiliate the senior Akali leaders. The situation deteriorated recently when the Vigilance Bureau of the government at the alleged behest of the state Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh launched special search of different premises of Mr Parkash Singh Badal causing harm to the image of the chief of the party at national and international level. Mr Gurdev Singh Badal said had the party taken strong preventive measures much earlier in this connection such situation had not come to the surface. He has appealed the entire party cadre to be ready to make the party programme a success besides to oust the present government.


Top Health Dept posts vacant
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
The Health Department is in a state of paralysis at the top level as 21 of the 36 posts of Deputy Director and Civil Surgeon are vacant.

The post of Civil Surgeon, Amritsar, is vacant. The current-duty charge of the post of Civil Surgeon there is with the Assistant Civil Surgeon. Same is the case in Hoshiarpur, Faridkot, Moga districts where the current-duty charge of the post is with doctors below the rank of Civil Surgeon.

The post of Medical Superintendent at the Civil Hospital, Jalandhar, is vacant. The current-duty charge has been given to a doctor posted there. The post of Medical Superintendent at the Civil Hospital, Jalandhar, too is vacant.

The training institutes at Kharar and Mohali are without Principals.

At the head office of the Health Department here, nine of the 10 sanctioned posts of Deputy Director are vacant. Medical Officers and Senior Medical Officers are working on these post.

All these facts have been brought to the notice of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Chief Secretary Rajan Kashyap. The Chief Minister was upset to know that the charge of Civil Surgeon at one place is being held by a doctor, who has been allegedly charge-sheeted a number of times for major and minor penalties. The CM has reportedly called for his file.

The issue of promotion of “eligible Senior Medical Officers” as Deputy Director and Civil Surgeons has been hanging fire for the past several months. A meeting of the department promotion committee (DPC) was held on April 7 under the Chairmanship of Mrs Rupan Deol Bajaj. The DPC approved eight names for promotion but the requisite orders have not been issued.

Meanwhile, doctors who have been affected because of the delay in promotions plead that the Health Department should keep seniority in view while giving the current-duty charge of the posts of Civil Surgeon or Deputy Director.


Homoeopathy Assistant Director retired
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 29
The Punjab Government has ordered to relieve the Assistant Director of the Homoeopathy Department, Dr Ramesh Rattan of his post “for unsatisfactory service record and for possessing doubtful integrity”.

Mr D.S.Jaspal, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, in his order, a copy of which was procured by The Tribune, said that Dr Ramesh Rattan was being relieved of the post of Assistant Director of the Homoeopathy Department with immediate effect “since his integrity was found doubtful in Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) for the year 1997-98,1998-99 and 1999-2000 recorded in latter’s service book.”

Besides, the state government had already rejected all appeals made by Dr Ramesh Rattan against the adverse entries in his service book.

The order further said that the official had also failed to further improve the functioning of the department during his tenure as the Deputy Director of the department.

Dr Ramesh Rattan, the order says, was being given pre-mature retirement under the Punjab Civil Services (Pre-mature Retirement) Rules 1973 with immediate effect and asked the authorities concerned to relieve him immediately by giving him salary of three months.

Meanwhile, the Government Homoeopathic Medical Officers Association, Punjab, has hailed the decision of the state government. Dr Amarjit Singh Rai, president and Dr Darshan Singh Khurmi, general secretary of the association, in a joint press statement issued here, demanded that the state government should order a high-level probe into the alleged irregularities committed by Dr Ramesh Rattan during his stint as Assistant Director.


MC may raise water tariff, sewerage cess
Our Correspondent

Batala, June 29
Municipal Councillors of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), (SAD-B) and an independent Mr Dharam Veer Seth an opposition leader of the House. Mr Surinder Kansra, Mr Sunita Handa (all of BJP), Mr Balbir Singh Bitoo (SAD-B), and Mr Kulwinder Singh (Independent) said here today that the Congress ruling Municipal Council, Batala was going to raise the water tariff and sewerage charges.

They disclosed that these rates are being enhanced only in Batala.

The Councillors urged Local Bodies Minister, Punjab, Choudhary Jagjit Singh to instruct the Executive Officer, M.C. Batala, Mr Ashok Punj and President, MC, Batala, Mr Subhash Sekhri not to raise these rates and water charges.

Municipal Councillors disclosed that at present the existing rate of per water tap is Rs 20 per month for first tap and Rs 7.50 for second tap and Rs 4 for third tap.

However, the sewerage charge is Rs 10 per seat per month.

However, the revised rates for water goes from Rs 240 to Rs 600 per annum for first tap. Likewise sewerage charges had also been revised from Rs 120 to Rs 600 per annum.

The new rates of water and sewerage charges would be enhanced by 10 per cent every year. All municipal Councillors feared disclosed that during the year 2007-2008, water rate per tap would go up to Rs 1,200 per year and the sewerage rate will also go up to Rs 1,200 per year and the sewerage rate will also go up to Rs 1,200 per seat per annum.

They disclosed that the Congress-ruled Municipal Council, Batala was going to pass this agenda at the meeting scheduled for Monday, June 30, 2003. Copy of this agenda also had been sent to all Municipal Councillors Council.

They said that if the Congress-ruled Municipal passed this agenda, they would oppose this.


Durgiana Temple to be gold planted
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 29
The Laxmi Narayan Mandir Dham, Delhi, will do the gold plating of the ‘garbha griha’ (sanctum sanctorum) of the Durgiana Temple. The gold plating will be done in the fourth phase of the kar seva on the premises of the temple on the lines of the Golden Temple, which would be completed in next three years.

Swami Acharya Kumar, who is visiting the holy city to attend a religious function organised by the Durgiana Committee in collaboration with Bhagwan Shree Laxmi Narayan Dham for the first time, after paying obeisance at the Golden Temple decided to allot the seva to the Laxmi Narayan Mandir Dham, Delhi. Swami had also donated about Rs 1 lakh for resuming work.


Cultural society’s website re-launched
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, June 29
The district Cultural Society has relaunched its website 2000 to give information on activities of the different non government organisations, district administration and the Red Cross Society in Faridkot district.

It also carries the history of the religious temples, Sikh shrines, old historical buildings, educational institutions, population besides demographic and geographical data of the district. It also depicts the working of the NRI Sabha constituted by the district Red Cross Society said Mr Hussan Lal Deputy Commissioner-cum-president of the society, here today. The website also gives detail about the completion of different development work or under progress in the district.

It also have the responsive and interactive facility for the people living in the country or abroad said the Deputy Commissioner. It also carry ASP facility about the latest events in the district.

Arrangements are also being made to provide detailed information on website on the nine-day national level mela being organised by the district culture society from September 14 on the eve of the Aagman Purab of Sufi Sant Baba Sheikh Farid. He disclosed that due to some technical fault in the service provider the website stopped its functioning in the last week of March this year. 


Trade union leader dies in Ludhiana

Moga, June 29
Punjab Government Transport Workers Union president and noted trade union leader Balwinder Singh Sandhu, who had received injuries in a road accident a fortnight ago, passed away in a hospital in Ludhiana last night.

Mr Sandhu’s body’s postmortem was conducted at Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, and later it was handed over to his family members late last night, who brought it here.

According to family sources, Mr Sandhu’s body will be cremated at his native village, Munawan, near here, tomorrow after his sister and brother-in-law arrive from Canada.

The Trade Union Council, Moga, and the Punjab Government Transport Workers Union have expressed grief over the death of Mr Sandhu. — UNI


Bodies of jawans brought home
Our correspondent

Gurdaspur, June 29
Bodies of sepoy Dalip Raj of Habibpur in Dinanagar block and sepoy Surinder Singh of Wahini Khader also in Dinanagar block who were killed in a suicide attack on an Army camp near Jammu yesterday were received today. They were from 11 Dogra deployed at Sunjhma cantonment in Jammu sector.

Many residents of the area received the bodies which were given state funeral. Representatives of 86 Brigade and district administration were present on the occasion. Mr KAP Sinha Deputy Commissioner said that the deceased will be given benefits due to a soldier killed in operation. 


Stolen truck recovered
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, June 29
The police has recovered one truck (No. PB 06-C/2192) stolen from Pathankot on night of October 25, 2001. The truck was recovered from Himachal Pradesh on a specific information and efforts are being made to arrest the accused in this case, according to Mr R.P.S. Brar SSP.


Three rice millers held
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, June 29
The Vigilance Bureau today arrested three partners of Marwaha Rice Mills for their alleged involvement in embezzlement of rice belonging to the Warehousing Corporation, Gurdaspur. The arrested persons are Khairati Lal Marwaha, a former president of the Dera Baba Nanak Municipal Committee, and his brothers Gurcharan Singh Marwaha and Ravi Marwaha. The fourth partner Gobind Ram Marwaha is still at large.

According to official sources, the millers got paddy in 2001-2002 for milling from the corporation. They were supposed to supply rice against the milled paddy by the end of June 2002, but they failed to do so.

The official sources said the corporation wrote a letter to the office of the Chief Director of Vigilance Bureau, Punjab, in Chandigarh requesting for the registration of an FIR against the millers on July 19, 2002. The accused did not supplied rice milled against 3,839 bags of paddy worth Rs 2,176,148.

The Vigilance Bureau, Chandigarh, directed the Vigilance Bureau, Gurdaspur, to register an FIR against the millers, and a case under Sections 406 and 420, IPC, was registered at Amritsar on April 10.

It may be mentioned here that the accused had deposited rice with the corporation on April 3.

The bureau, however, insisted that there was a prima facie case of misappropriation of the required rice for about a year.

The accused were produced before the local Magistrate at Batala today.


500 kg of poppy husk seized

Kapurthala, June 29
The police today claimed to have seized about 500 kg of poppy husk from a truck during checking of vehicles near the Fettudhinga octroi post on Saturday.

District police chief R.N. Dhoke said on a tip-off the police held a naka near the Fettudhinga octroi post and intercepted a truck.

The truck driver, Sucha Singh, managed to flee and on the search of the truck, 14 bags of poppy husk, each weighing 30 kg to 35 kg were found. A case has been registered against Sucha Singh and his truck impounded. — PTI


8 teachers placed under suspension
Our Correspondent

Mansa, June 29
Ms Tajinder Kaur, Principal Secretary to the Government of Punjab, Department of Education (Schools), has ordered to place under suspension with immediate effect Mr Inderjit Attari, head teacher of Government High School (GHS) Heron Kalan, Mr Kewal Krishan, Hindi teacher of GHS, Behniwal, Mr Inderpal, science teacher, Mr Kaur Singh, math teacher, Mr Nettar Pal Singh, lecturer, Ms Santosh Kumari, English lecturer and Ms Bimla Devi, Punjabi teacher, all of Government Senior Secondary School (GSSS) Mansa, and Mr Ruldu Khan PTI of GSSS, Budhlada, in the district.

The Vigilance Bureau had raided the above government schools on May 2 and had found a number of teachers absent from duty and recommended proper action against the absentees to the state government.

Meanwhile, the Radical Employees Union Mansa has condemned the order of the Principal Secretary vide which Ms Santosh Kumari, English lecturer of GSSS Mansa, has been placed under suspension. Mr Gurtej Singh, president of the union, said that Ms Santosh Kumari, English lecturer, was present in the school on the day of checking by the Vigilance Bureau and was present at the time of checking by the Vigilance Bureau. Another Hindi teacher of the same name was on casual leave on that day. The teacher was marked absent by the Vigilance Bureau. Due to similarity of names, the Education Department and the Vigilance Bureau mistook her as a English lecturer, whereas the English lecturer performed her duty in the school on the day the Vigilance Bureau visited the place, as her attendance had been marked in the attendance register.

The union has demanded from the Punjab Government that the matter be looked again and the mistake be corrected so that the teacher who is not at fault may not suffer.


DIET staff resents non-payment of salaries
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 29
Resentment prevails among employees of the District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) Deon, village due to the non-payment of salaries for the past three months.

In a press note issued here today, Mr Labh Singh, convener of the DIET staff association, Punjab, alleged that the Education Department was not releasing salaries of the teaching and non-teaching staff of the institution. He lamented that the employees were facing problems due to the step-motherly treatment of the government. He said some members of the teaching staff had to borrow money at high rates of interest.

Mr Labh Singh said most of the employees of the institute had been trying to get themselves transferred to institutes in other districts. He added that if the employees got themselves transferred to other places teaching work in the institute would be badly affected as no employee from any other district would be willing to come here.

He said the employees had also not been paid travel allowance (TA) for the past three years, although they were required to go out of the state for training as per instructions of the state government.

Mr Labh Singh said the employees would launch an agitation against the indifferent attitude of the government towards their demands. 


DAV Engineering College gets AICTE approval
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 29
The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has recognised DAV Institute of Engineering and Technology here and allowed it to run new engineering courses from current session.

According to Mr C.L. Kochher, Director-cum-Principal of the DAV Institute of Engineering and Technology, the AICTE team had conducted special inspection of the institute recently and allowed it admit students to mechanical and civil engineering streams.

He added that they had received a communique from the AICTE allowing to run mechanical and civil engineering courses, with an intake of 60 students each. Subsequently, the Punjab Technical University (PTU) gave permission allowing the institute to participate in the ongoing counselling session for admission of students to these approved courses.

He said that the institute was presently running four courses including electronics and communication engineering, computer science engg, information technology and electrical engineering.


Fee hike in colleges flayed
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 29
Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla, former BJP MLA, in a press note here today, expressed concern over the steep hike in the fee structures of colleges and universities. Ms Chawla said that before the Assembly elections, the Congress had promised to issue 95 per cent grants to the colleges, but after coming to power, it had forgotten all its promises. She said the government had even decreased the grants to 65 per cent to the colleges, besides increasing the fees in government and non-government colleges and universities. She said education was now accessible only to rich people.


Urdu teaching camp for children
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 29
In a bid to revive the Urdu language, the Ladies Club of Guru Nanak Dev University has organised a month-long summer camp to teach the language to children.

The president of the club, Prof Jagjit Kaur, said some of the finest verses had been written in the language. She, however, lamented that no attempt had been made to revive the language.

Prof Kaur said that to make children conversant with the language, services of university teacher, Prof Aziz Abas, were being taken. Prof Abas takes a 30-minute class daily for teaching the basics of Urdu to children. On the concluding day of the camp, a written test in Urdu will be conducted and prizes distributed to students in handwriting and translation. Seventyone students are taking part in the camp. 


Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, June 29
Mr Amar Singh Goraya, headmaster Khalsa High School, Gurdaspur has been nominated member of the Punjab School Education Board for two years beginning from this month. 


Beopar Mandal’s anti-graft panel
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, June 29
The Punjab Beopar Mandal has constituted a six-member anti-corruption committee headed by its patron Mr Bimal Gupta to check malpractices of the senior officers of various departments in the state. The other members of the committee include Mr Amar Nath (Giddarbaha), Mr Amrit Vohra (Guru Harsahai), Mr Sham Lal Anand (Rajpura), Chaudhary Mehnga Ram (Maur Mandi) and Mr Lachman Singh Mehta (Bathinda). Disclosing this here today Mr Mandan Lal Kapoor President of the state body of the mandal said that the committee will collect the complaints from traders against officers and later forward it to the Punjab Government for necessary action. The committee members will also visit different areas from time to time to hear problems of the business community to find out the solution after discussing with the state government added Mr Kapoor.

Criticising the previous government for allegedly looting the people, Mr Kapoor also accused them of giving special privileges and facilities to a particular section and ignoring the interests of the trading community which was the main partner in promoting the state exchequer. He appealed the state Chief Minister to work out a special plan for resolving the different problems of the traders who were particularly suffering at the hands of the Excise and Taxation Department, said Mr Kapoor.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |