Thursday, July 31, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



State to have new Chief Secretary, police chief
* It’s like home coming: Gill
* Punjabis have great potential: Kashyap
P.P.S. Gill

Chandigarh, July 30
Punjab will have a new Chief Secretary in Mr Jai Singh Gill and a new Director-General of Police in Mr A.A. Siddiqui on August 1. The two will take over from Mr Rajan Kashyap and Mr M.S. Bhullar, respectively.

The orders of the Governor appointing Mr Jai Singh Gill as the Chief Secretary effective July 31 were passed today. He will also be the Principal Secretary, Personnel, General Administration, Elections, Grievances and Power. The orders appointing Mr Siddiqui as the Director-General of Police were passed recently.

All four officers would be together at a dinner to be hosted by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, tomorrow.

JAI SINGH GILLJAI SINGH GILL: The last posting of Mr Gill, a 1968 batch IAS officer, was as the Secretary, Steel and Mines, in New Delhi. He has in all spent over 10 years in different capacities on deputation with the Centre.

Talking to TNS from New Delhi today, Mr Gill said: “It is lovely to come back to the home state.” He had been away for the past three-and-a-half years during which much has changed in Punjab.

Though he was reluctant to talk, he said Punjab was a state with a great potential for development. “I find Punjabis very enterprising, particularly farmers, in everything.”

“My priorities cannot be different from those of the government. The task of the civil services is to implement the government policies and programmes. However, what has been lacking in Punjab is an effort to really harness the available human resources in an optimal way. Punjab is a state ever on the move.”

Mr Gill — though out of direct touch with the happenings in Punjab — the state of its finances and economy, reform agenda, issues pending with the Centre and the political tidings remarked — “I have remained in touch with my state only through the newspapers. I will be able to comment and communicate more when I come back. Let me get the feel of the place, we will certainly talk more once I settle down.”

The new Chief Secretary is an avid rider and a tennis player. He has always teamed up with Mr Kashyap to represent the civil services in lawn tennis tournaments. As a good rider, he was a member of the President’s Estate Polo Club, which has since been shifted to the Army cantonment. He always found time to ride in Delhi.

Mr Gill, who drives down to Chandigarh tomorrow afternoon, is likely to have a game of tennis with Mr Kashyap and take over tomorrow itself.

In contrast to the three-month tenure of Mr Kashyap as the Chief Secretary, Mr Gill would retire in January, 2006.

RAJAN KASHYAPRAJAN KASHYAP: Incidentally, today was not only the last day in office for Mr Kashyap, who took over on April 30, but also his birthday. With his 38 years of service term coming to an end tomorrow, he will retire as the seniormost IAS officer in the country. Even Cabinet Secretary Kamal Pande retired last month. He is on extension.

Mr Kashyap looks back at his career with lot of optimism and little pessimism. Even his address at the farewell function organised by the IAS Association today was in the form of a “report card” with a touch of philosophy and poetry. When TNS met him in his office, he quoted Confucius, whose quote about “objectivity as eternally relevant” is written on a plaque close to the lift meant for VVIPs in the secretariat.

His address was interspersed with quotes from Etienne De Grellet, T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, John Milton, Khalil Gibran, Robert Browning and A Pope. He summed up the career of a civil servant, as it passes through different poltico-administrative phases and gets recorded in the annual confidential reports.

He said: “I would have retired at 58 years on July 31, 2001, which was the ‘vanaprasta” stage. However, the extended two years beyond that was the “sanyas” stage, if one was to consider the ages of Man: ‘balavastha, brahmcharya, grihastha, vanaprastha and sanyas.”

Like his successor, Mr Kashyap also believed that Punjabis had tremendous potential that should enable Punjab to “balance aspirations of the people and compulsions of the politicians”. The real strength and success of the state was in the hands of the leadership and the people. The civil services officers were to act as positive instruments to implement the policies.

The only “disappointment” of his long innings has been that Punjab had failed to realise its own potential and put it to proper use. Of his short stint, he said, his effort was to bridge the gap, if any, between the IAS and the IPS, who form two main streams of administration.


Nakai’s house searched
Akalis burn Amarinder’s effigy
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Rampura Phul (Bathinda), July 30
Punjab Vigilance Bureau officials failed to find anything incriminating in the house of Akali MLA Jagdeep Singh Nakai here today. The police resorted to mild lathicharge to disperse the Akali workers, who were trying to burn an effigy of Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh on the Bathinda-Barnala road to protest against harassment of Akali workers by the Congress government.

The two teams of the bureau each headed by a DSP-rank officer, which searched of Mr Nakai’s house, who was arrested from Chandigarh on the night of July 28 after a case was registered against him at Mohali police station for committing forgery and indulging in corrupt practices while he was the Chairman of Milkfed, Punjab, could not find anything incriminating.

Mr Baljinder Singh Grewal, SSP (Vigilance Bureau), Bathinda range, who supervised the search, told The Tribune that share certificates of Chambal Fertilizer Company, documents of LIC policies worth Rs 1 lakh each in the name of children of Mr Nakai, three licences of arms in the name of family members of Mr Nakai, documents pertaining to three cars owned by Mr Nakai and his family members and documents pertaining to the transactions in lakhs in one of the bank accounts of Mr Nakai in the local branch of State Bank of Patiala were recovered. Apart from it, Rs 50,000 in cash was also recovered from the house. He added that all these things were returned to family members of Mr Nakai.

He said search went on without disturbance by Akali workers. The search was carried out as per the laid out procedure. Office premises of Mr Nakai were searched yesterday and his godowns would be searched shortly.

The Akali and BJP workers, who assembled near the house of Mr Nakai, raised slogans against Capt Amarinder Singh while the search was on. Some workers cut the power supply to the house of Mr Nakai while the teams were searching it.

First the workers tried to block traffic on the Bathinda-Barnala road at the crossing near the house of Mr Nakai when this was foiled by the police deployed there, the workers tried to block traffic at some distance. They could not succeed. When the police dispersed by using mild lathi charge, the workers, including women, burnt an effigy of Captain Amarinder Singh.

After Mr Nakai, an associate of Mr Sukhbir Badal, was arrested from Chandigarh day before yesterday, a vigilance bureau team descended on his house here. The Akali workers, who had assembled in the house, did not allow the Vigilance Bureau team to search, as they did not house search warrant.

To foil attempt of family members of Mr Nakai and Akali workers in connection with the shifting of valuables from his house to other places, Vigilance Bureau team sealed the entire house yesterday and deployed eight guards around it.

Search of Mr Nakai’s house by the Vigilance Bureau was made in presence of his kin.

A section of BJP workers expressed apprehension that the police would implicate their local leaders into false cases to prevent them from supporting Akali leaders against whom cases had been registered. 


Randhawa framed, says rights body chief
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 30
The Punjab Human Rights Organisation (PHRO) chief, Justice (retd) Ajit Singh Bains, today claimed that its activist and Deputy Chairman Kirpal Singh Randhawa had been framed in a rape case to ensure he did not testify as a witness in the Jaswant Singh Khalra disappearance case.

Talking to newspersons here, Mr Bains said the PHRO would fight Mr Khalra’s case. A local advocate and member, Mr Brijinder Singh Sodhi, had been given this responsibility. He said Mr Randhawa had resigned from the post of Deputy Chairman of the organisation keeping the interests of the organisation in view even though he was not guilty of any crime.

The human rights activist also claimed that the PHRO would demand a DNA test to verify the allegation of rape levelled against Mr Randhawa, adding medical tests of both Mr Randhawa and the alleged victim would also be solicited.

Mr Bains claimed that at present there was no rule of law in Punjab. 


Fee revised in private medical, dental colleges
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
While the Punjab Government has revised the fee structure in private medical and the dental colleges, it has directed the Director, Research and Medical Education ( DRME) to submit a report by tomorrow regarding the status of admissions to be made against the management quota seats in the two SGPC-run medical and dental colleges at Amritsar.

The government today declined to send its representative for counselling held for admission by the SGPC-run Guru Ram Dass Institute of Medical Sciences at Amritsar. “We have told the authorities concerned of both SGPC colleges to either abide by the government instructions issued on July 25 in the light of the Supreme Court judgement regarding admission or face action,” said a senior officer of the Punjab Medical Education and Research Department.

“If the SGPC colleges do not implement the Government instructions, then students admitted to these institutions would not be enrolled in Baba Farid University of Medical Sciences,” warned the officer.

The officer said that the SGPC-run colleges were supposed to make admission against the management quota seats (25 in the medical college and 30 in the dental college) with the approval of the respective selection committees set up by the Punjab Government. However, Dr P.S. Bedi, Chairman of the selection committee for admission to medical colleges, said he did not receive any intimation regarding the counselling for admission to the SGPC’s medical college. Neither its admission process had been approved by the Punjab Government.

Both colleges could not make any admission against the NRI seats, which had been abolished in all government and private medical and dental colleges in the state, the officer said. Because of the abolition of these seats, 30 more seats had now become available in common pool in government medical and dental colleges. Besides, a number of these seats had become available in private such institutions.

The SGPC-run colleges had the right to conduct their own test for admission against the management quota seats. However, their merit list had to be approved by the selection committee set up by the government and admissions made under the supervision of the committee, said the officer.

Against the state government quota seats in the SGPC colleges, admission had been made on the basis of the PMT merit list.

The officer said the state government had favoured the SGPC colleges by retaining their status of minority institutions for the current year. However, on the basis of a Supreme Court judgement, the SGPC Colleges had lost the status of minority community institutions.

The matter was brought to the notice of the Chief Minister, who said it was too late to withdraw their minority status at this stage. Let the court order be implemented from the next year. Because of their minority status, there were at present 50 per cent management quota seats in both colleges of the SGPC. But once their status was withdrawn, only 15 per cent seats would be left with the management, the officer added.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Government has brought about uniformity in the fee structure in private medical and dental colleges. Earlier, there used to be free seats, paid seats and NRI seats in such institutions. For free seats, charges were around Rs 13,000, for paid seats Rs 1,10,000 and for NRI seats Rs 35 lakh per seat was charged by a private college.

Now, each student would have to pay Rs 1,50,000 per annum in a medical college and Rs 1,00,000 per annum in a dental college. For ayurvedic and homoeopathy colleges, the fee would be Rs 50,000. Besides, those living in hostels would have to pay Rs 12,000 per year for a single-bed room and Rs 20,000 for a special room with an airconditioner, besides a security advance of Rs 5,000. There is no change in the fee structure in government medical and dental colleges.


Doctors reject government offer on allowance
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Members of the Punjab Civil Medical Service (PCMS) Association today rejected the offer of the government of not seeking any share from their private practice and sought support from patients in continuing their agitation in support of their demand for revival of non-practising allowance (NPA).

Meanwhile, the government delayed the notification on allowing government doctors to do private practice after duty hours. The government changed its earlier stand of taking one-third of the share from doctors’ private practice and now decided to permit them to keep the entire income.

The chances of a review were still not ruled out as the Chief Minister was away to Ferozepore in the morning in connection with the release of water in the remodeled Gang canal and later got busy with farewell functions of the Chief Secretary, Mr Rajan Kashyap, and the Director-General of Police, Mr M.S. Bhullar.

The rejection by doctors of the package made the government to think afresh on the subject on administrative, legal and professional issues.

Doctors teaching in medical colleges could not be allowed private practice as guidelines of the Medical Council of India were clear on the subject. The government could withdraw NPA, but could not allow private practice legally.

Members of the PCMS Association held dharnas and protest rallies at district headquarters today, urging the government to withdraw its decision on NPA.

“A large number of patients have come out in support of us,” claimed Dr M.S. Randhawa, Dr D.S. Gill and Dr Manjit Singh, office-bearers of the PCMS Association. “The patients and their relatives have promised to participate in all our dharnas and rallies till our demand is met,” they added.

“If need be, we will approach the Congress high command,” they said. “The worst-hit will be the poor and underprivileged sections of society,” the doctors added.


NPA issue: docs meet Governor
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 30
Sore over the government’s decision to abolish the non-practicising allowance (NPA), members of the PCMS Association today met the Punjab Governor, Justice O.P. Verma, and held a protest in front of the office of the Principal of the local medical college. The Governor was in the city for the inauguration of the Design and Technology Department in BBK DAV college for Women.

Dr Dinesh Kumar Sharma, a member of the state executive of the PCMS Association, said it was not possible for every doctor to start private practice immediately. He said about 1000 doctors in the PCMS were doing postgraduate courses in medical colleges or preparing for such courses and had no time for starting a private practice. Besides this, many doctors had post graduate degrees in non-clinical subjects.

Dr R.S. Buttar, state senior vice-president, and Dr Navtejpal Singh Sandhu, president of the district unit of the association, said the NPA was necessary because of the nature of their duties. A deputation of the members met the Governor at the circuit house and reiterated their demand to roll back the decision.

Doctors want allowance restored
Our Correspondent

Patiala, July 30
A deputation of PCMS doctors today met the Finance Minister, Punjab, Mr Lal Singh, to discuss the issue of allowing private practice to government doctors by withdrawing non-practising allowance (NPA) .

They said private practise was not in the interest of poor patients, adding that the attendance of the health staff in remote areas would improve with the implementation of the Panchayati Raj Act by the state government.

Dr M.S. Randhawa and Dr D.S. Gill, patron and president, respectively, of the association said the NPA at the rate of 25 per cent of the basic pay was given by the Fourth Pay Commission to the doctors as the nature of their duty was not comparable with any other category of the state services.


Political bodies support doctors’ cause
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 30
Various social and political organisations, which came in support of doctors of government run dispensaries and hospitals, while condemning the state government’s decision of withdrawing the non-practising allowance (NPA), urged the authorities concerned not to take this step. Mr Vijay Goyal, president, Sahara Jan Seva, said instead of withdrawing the NPA, the state government should put curbs on its wasteful expenditure.

Mr Suresh Goyal, organising secretary, General Samaj Party, said instead of withdrawing the NPA, the state government should declare special incentives for the doctors to provide medical care to the people round the clock. He added that the government decision to allow the doctors to carry out private practice would put burden on poor patients.


Minister backs VC, says varsity is autonomous body
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 30
The Minister for Higher Education, Punjab, Mr Harnam Das Johar, today took sides with the Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor, Mr Swarn Singh Boparai, by claiming that the university was an autonomous body. Relations between the VC and the Pro-VC, Dr R.N. Pal, had been soured recently when the Pro-VC complained to the the Higher Education Minister against the Vice-Chancellor.

Earlier, the minister had acted to the contrary as he had summoned the vice-chancellor to a meeting in Chandigarh after receiving a complaint from the Pro-VC that he had been deprived of all powers in the absence of the VC.

Besides this, the minister had counselled both the VC and Pro-VC to act according to the university calendar. He had also stated that he would look into whether the VC was functioning according to the varsity calendar or not.

Mr Johar made a volte-face today claiming that the university was an autonomous body. He even went on to ask the VC whether he had recommended anyone’s case for appointment or other such work.

He even indirectly backed the vice-chancellor by saying that the government would take action against anyone releasing official information to the press. Supporters of the VC and various teacher organisations have accused the Pro-VC of releasing official information to the Press.

Sources claimed the minister had toed the line of the State Chief Minister who had sometime back said that the university was an autonomous body and that the vice-chancellor was capable of taking independent decisions. The Chief Minister had also claimed that the government would support its vice-chancellors on the issue.

Even though Mr Johar claimed that the VC and the Pro-VC were “friends”, this fact did not show during the proceedings. The VC interrupted the speech of the Pro-VC to stress a point and the Pro-VC maintained that his stance was right.

Even during the meeting of the faculty they sat on either side of the minister and did not interact with each other.

The tension between the VC and the Pro-VC was also palpable during the lunch.



Pay Rs 2,000, secure provisional admission
Rashmi Talwar

Amritsar, July 30
Even as colleges in the city are willing to give concessions to attract meritorious students to their colleges, some other have allegedly resorted to “provisional admissions” to secure college seats for commerce, medical and non-medical streams.

Students who had recently competed for their class X board exams were offered coaching in the above mentioned streams at the DAV College for Boys on a payment of Rs 2,000 for two and a half months. The students were allegedly asked to pay Rs 2,000 more as “advance money” for “assured provisional admission” to the college.

The college was thus able to collect lakhs from students.

According to information, 500 students got themselves enrolled for medical and non-medical streams and about 150 students for the commerce stream.

Students allege that while coaching and payment for ‘provisional admission’ started in April, formal admissions started in June-July wherein the rest of the money was adjusted against the aggregate amount for admission.

The students told The Tribune that the college authorities had allegedly refused to refund the amount when certain students who did not want to continue in the institution and wanted a refund.

Mr M.L. Aeri, Principal, said, “provisional admissions” were being carried out throughout the state and nothing was wrong with the practice. He said some adjustments could be made but not the refunds.

Despite a number of calls to Dr Kher Singh, Chairman, Dr Mohinderveer Singh, secretary, and Ms Hardayal Kaur, Vice-Chairperson of the Punjab State Education Board in Mohali they could not be contacted.

Meanwhile, according to reports certain colleges were offering nominal fee besides incentives for merituous students to attract them.


Search report of Badal’s property submitted in court
Our Correspondent

Kharar, July 30
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau today presented search report of properties of Mr Parkash Singh Badal and his family in a court here. The court on July 19 extended the validity of search warrants till July 30. Searches were made as per court orders on June 27 and July 4 regarding 14 properties of the Badal family. The court had also allowed videography and assessment of the Badal family. A case was registered against them on June 24 under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act at SAS Nagar.

The Bureau has submitted that no objectionable and illegal material had been found relating to the properties. Search of the official residence of Mr Badal, 50 Sector 2 in Chandigarh was not conducted as important documents and valuables had reportedly been removed from there. The Bureau has added that there were 23 air-conditioners in Kothi no 256 Sector 9, Chandigarh.

Also eight air-conditioners were found in the ancestral house of Mr Badal.

A detail of the domestic cattle in the Balasar farm of Badal family has also been given videography of these properties would be submitted in the court when asked for the Bureau said.


Reorganisation of party soon: Badal
Our Correspondent

Barnala, July 30
The reorganisation of the Shiromani Akali Dal will take place within two months. This was stated by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, former Punjab Chief Minister, here today while talking to mediapersons at the Barnala residence of Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, Governor, Andhra Pradesh.

Mr Badal had come to make a courtesy call on Mrs Surjit Kaur Barnala. He also met Shiromani Akali Dal workers of Barnala region.

Mr Badal, while answering to newspersons’ charge that his party still suffered from factionalism, asserted that he did not believe in factionalism and his party was united.

When asked to clarify his stand on the Vigilance Bureau raids at his residences and Capt Amarinder Singh’s charge that he had mustered property inside and outside India worth Rs 3500 crore, Mr Badal made it clear that so far Punjab Government has not been able to gather any evidence in this connection.

Mr Badal is on a mobilisation drive to Jangiana, Sehna, Pakho Ke, Cheema Jodhpur villages and Bhadaur and Dhanaula towns.

Golden period gone, says Badal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, July 30
Terming the SAD-BJP alliance government’s tenure in Punjab as the “golden period” and that of the present regime as the “worst period”, former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today claimed good response by the people of Punjab to his tours to different districts. Mr Badal was talking to mediapersons at Gurdwara Nanakiana Sahib, near here, before addressing a big gathering of party workers, MLAs, SGPC members, former ministers and other top leaders.


Where sewage is annual feature
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 30
DAV College is facing a number of problems due to sewage, which has been flowing into its campus for the past many days.

The sewage, which accumulates during rains, has now become an annual feature and the management is finding it difficult to keep the campus clean. The authorities concerned, despite repeated reminders, have failed to solve the problem.

The sewage is also posing a threat to the building of the college.

Mr M.L. Arora, Principal of the college, said the sewage was accumulating in the bicycle strand and near main entry of the college and was becoming a major health hazard.

The condition is pitiable and the sewage gives an ugly appearance to the campus. It speaks about the carelessness of the authorities towards the worsening condition of the campus. I have written many letters and made verbal requests to the district administration and the municipal corporation, but in vain, said Mr Arora.

He said if the sewerage, was extended to the college campus, it would solve the problem of the college and residents of the Bibiwala road-permanently.

The Vigilant Citizen’ Forum has also apprised the municipal corporation of the fact that the sullage was threatening the health of students of both the college and adjoining DAV School.

Mr Prem Bhatia, general secretary of the forum, said the sullage had become a breeding ground for germs of water-borne diseases. 


Udham Singh’s death certificate placed in museum
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The colour of the ink of Independence is red — blood red. A large number of freedom fighters were killed mercilessly by the erstwhile British rulers. But the national chroniclers woke up much later to the need of putting together a credible list of heroes and martyrs.

Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev are immortal names. But it is impossible to remember them without remembering their role model — Shaheed Udham Singh, whose 63rd death anniversary falls tomorrow. His date of execution, mired in a long controversy, has finally been settled 63 years after his death, with the Desh Bhagat Yadgar Committee (Trust) procuring the authentic death certificate in this regard from England. The certified copies regarding the death of both Shaheed Udham Singh and Shaheed Madan Lal Dhingra, also obtained recently from England, can now be seen by the public at the Ghadar Martyrs Museum in Jalandhar.

Udham Singh was executed on July 31, 1940, at Majesty’s Prison, Pentoville. He was 37. His death certificate describes him as an engineer by profession and states that the cause of his death was “a fractured spine after judicial execution of sentence of death”. His death has been registered in the sub-district of Barnsbury in the metropolitan Borough of Islington.

Udham Singh was charged with murdering Sir Michael O’Dwyer, a former Governor-General of Punjab, at Caxton Hall in London on March 13, 1940, when he had just finished his speech at the meeting organised jointly by the Royal Asian Society and the East India Association. Mr Dwyer was the Military Commander-cum-Lieutenant Governor-General of Punjab in 1919, when the carnage at Jallianwala Bagh took place.

The president of the Desh Bhagat Yadgar Committee, Baba Bhagat Singh Bilga, said, “In the history of our country’s freedom struggle, Udham Singh holds a place of prominence for his exceptional courage, bravery, spirit of patriotism, and the supreme sacrifice of his life for avenging the ruthless killing of thousands of unarmed and peaceful Punjabis by British troops at Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, on April 13, 1919. Udham Singh, fulfilled the vow he had taken that night, 21 years later.

Madan Lal Dhingra, was executed on August 17, 1909, at Majesty’s Prison, Pentoville, as well. He was 25. The death certificate claims that Dhingra was a student; the cause of his death “fracture of cervical vertebrae after he was executed by the law.” He was charged with killing Curzeon W.C. Wyllie, an immigration officer, from point- blank range at the Imperial Institute in London on July 1, 1909. Dhingra was perturbed by the brutalities committed by Mr Wyllie on the Indian migrants, especially students who had gone there for studies.

The records available at the museum in Jalandhar have his college photo, the admission form containing his signatures, which testify his date of birth to be September 18, 1883, a picture of the pistol and names of all those who went to meet him there.

The assistant secretary of the committee, Mr Naunihal Singh Chatha, said efforts were on to get the authentic death certificates of other martyrs also. These include Gaddari Baba Rattan Singh Raipur Dabba, who died in Italy and was the main link between the Ghaddar Party and the Communist International Leader Comrade Lenin; Ram Singh Dhuleta, founder of the Kirti Kisan Party, who was killed in a San Fransisco court. The committee has also been able to procure the death certificate of Prof Barak Tula, vice-president of the Ghaddar Party, who died in Sacramento and a picture of his grave in the cemetery and the words inscribed on it are also available in the archives here, he added.


Protest rally by Punjab Recorders staff
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 30
Four women employees of Punjab Recorders Limited here today joined the relay fast started by the Punjab Recorders Workers Union on July 23. Stating that they are facing starvation, the workers alleged that they had not been paid salaries for over eight months. The workers held a protest rally outside the factory gates in the afternoon. Leaders of the union flayed the Punjab Government’s policy of disinvestment and subsequent retrenchment of the employees.

Stating that they had neither been paid bonus nor overtime Mr Ramesh Chand, president of the union, alleged that the management had not deposited the employees provident fund or ESI amounts. The workers on fast are Usha Rani, Sheelu, Minakshi, Tara Devi, Ramesh Chand and Nirmal Singh.

The company, a PSU established in 1977, is being disinvested. Most employees have applied for voluntary retirement.

Employees from PUNWIRE and ESPL also participated in the rally. Addressing the employees, Mr Ramji Dass, leaders of Mohali Industrial Workers Union, stated that the condition of workers had worsened under the Congress regime and in several factories workers were not being paid in accordance with the labour laws.



Sans water since four days
Our Correspondent

Patiala, July 30
Residents of old Bishan Nagar have appealed to the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, to restore water supply in the area which has been without water for the past four days.

A resident of old Bishan Nagar, Mr Harsh Kumar said they had twice registered their complaint with the Complaint Centre and also requested an engineer of the Municipal Corporation, Mr M.M. Syal, to look into the matter. The resident alleged that no action was taken.

When contacted, the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, said the area was facing a shortage of water but necessary action had been undertaken to ease the situation. He said seven tubewells were functioning in the area. Another tubewell had been sanctioned for the area, which would become operational shortly.

Water tankers were being sent out everyday to provide relief to the residents.


Symposium on female foeticide
Our Correspondent

Patiala, July 30
The local branch of the Indian Medical Association organised a symposium on the PNDT Act and female foeticide at Government Medical College here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Assistant Civil Surgeon, Patiala, Dr S.P. Sharma, said under the PNDT Act, ultrasound centres could be operated only by qualified allopathic doctors after registration.

The former Professor and Head, Gynaecology Department, Rajindra Hospital, Dr Phool Chandra, said the screening of pregnant women was a must, especially in the second trimester of pregnancy, to rule out abnormalities in the foetus.

She said incidence of abortions had decreased but the rate of septic complications after abortions had increased manifold as the abortions had gone into the hands of midwives.

The Co-Chairman, State Supervisory Committee on Female Foeticide, IMA, Punjab, Dr D.S. Bhullar, said each member of the IMA should adopt a group and create awareness regarding female foeticide. The President of the local branch of the IMA, Dr Adarsh Chopra, urged the medical fraternity to strictly follow the PNDT Act and counsel the patients and their relatives on the social evil.



Central plan to rehabilitate ex-servicemen
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, July 30
The Central Government has formulated a comprehensive plan for the rehabilitation of ex-servicemen. Under the plan various facilities like one-rank-one-pension, free medical facilities irrespective of any disease, more concessions to generate better sources of income besides right to proxy vote to the serving soldiers would be given. The draft plan in this connection had already been prepared and would be reviewed at a high-powered Central committee meeting to be held at New Delhi on August 9.

Among those who would participate included Mr L.K. Advani, Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, Mr Rajnath Singh, Mr B.C. Khanduri, Mr Chaman Lal Gupta, Mr Parmod Mahajan, Mr Venkaiah Naidu, Mr Mukhtiar Naqvi, and Gen N.S. Malik, National Convener, Defence Cell. This was stated by Col (retd) Partap Singh, state unit general secretary of the BJP Sainik Cell, Punjab, who was also a member of the committee, while talking to mediapersons at Kotkapura today.

He said that the dependents of the retired soldiers would also be issued identity cards to avail all opportunities. He further stated that a proposal was also under consideration to centralise all District Sainik Welfare Boards in the country to monitor the plan more effectively. Several schemes were also being planned for the welfare of the war widows.


Bravery award for Dilbagh Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The Punjab Government has decided to give the state bravery award to Mr Dilbagh Singh of Talwara Majra Barmla village (Nangal) for saving 10 persons of his village from drowning on July 27, an official press note said here today.

Chief Secretary Rajan Kashyap recommended the bravery award for him after seeking a report from the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, about the exemplary courage shown by Mr Dilbagh Singh. The Chief Minister accepted the recommendation. Mr Dilbagh Singh would be honoured during the state-level Independence Day celebrations at Kapurthala. The award comprises a parman patra, a gold medal, a shawl and Rs 25,000.


15 hurt in roof collapse
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, July 30
At least 15 persons, mostly women, were injured when the roof of a building collapsed in Ilwal village, about 8 km from here, last night. 

The mishap occurred when about 25 persons were sitting on the roof, enjoying a religious cultural programme.


35 head of cattle die in roof collapse
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 30
About 35 head of cattle, mainly buffaloes and cows, were killed while three received serious injuries as the roof of a dairy collapsed in Siddharth Nagar area today.

Mr Dinesh Kumar, dairy owner, said the accident took place when his servant had completed his job and was about to leave. “We heard a big thud and saw that the roof had caved in,” he added.


Bribery case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Taking up a petition seeking protection filed by Gurvinder Singh Samra — complainant in a bribery case registered against two judicial officers — a Division Bench of the high court today asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to specify in writing the threat perception to the petitioner's life.

In his petition taken up by the Bench, comprising Mr Justice Amar Dutt and Mr Justice Virender Singh, Samra had earlier claimed that his life was in danger. Giving details, Samra had contended that he had been shot at. Appearing before the court, counsel for the petitioner had initially stated that the bullet had grazed Samra's forehead.


DC for proper utilisation of grants
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 30
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, today said he would ensure proper utilisation of grants in the district so that overall development of the villages could be made in real manner.

He was on a visit to six villages of Sanipur, Khojemajra, Sangatpura, Khare and Sidhwan of Sirhind block, under a mass contact programme today. He said that Sanipur village would be developed under the Integrated Rural Development Programme and Rs 1 crore had been earmarked for it. The Deputy Commissioner urged the villagers to ensure the removal of illegal encroachments and cleanliness. He further appealed to extend full cooperation in checking illiteracy. He said he was for clean and corruption-free administration and if any officer or official was found seeking bribe, he should be informed.

5 designated as Joint Secretaries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The Punjab Government designated 5 PCS (Executive) officers — Mr Narinder Singh Brar, Mr Upjit Singh Brar, Mr Jaspal Mittal, Mr Hari Krishan Nagpal and Mr Surinder Singh Sidhu — as Joint Secretaries, according to a press note issued here today.


Abductors’ gang busted, 3 held
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, July 30
The police has claimed to have busted a gang of kidnappers active in this district and arrested three of its members. Mr RPS Brar, SSP, in a press release today identified the accused as Neeta, Champa Rani and Kailash Kohli all residents of Pathankot.

He said that more persons were involved in kidnapping activities and were likely to be identified after the investigations. The police found from them an 18-month-old kidnapped child and Rs 6,800 and one mobile phone.

On July 29, she went to the residence of Hirat Ram and took away his 18-month-old child when the child’s mother was busy in domestic work. Hirat Ram lodged a complaint at police division No 2. A case was registered.

Mr Brar said that the police, in a raid, then arrested the accused and recovered the child. Neeta had sold the kidnapped child for Rs 10,000 to Kailash Kohli who had further sold the child for Rs 25,000 to an unidentified person.


Class XII (supplementary) exam results out
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 30
The Punjab School Education Board has declared the results of Class XII, science and commerce group supplementary examinations, held on July 20. The result gazettes are available at the various board centres and book depots in the districts. The results are also available on the Internet at and

According to a press note issued by the Controller of Examinations Mrs Narinder Kaur, the pass percentage has been 53.8 per cent. Out of a total of 5,313 students, 2,859 have passed.

Successful candidates can collect their certificates from these centres and depots on August 1 after showing their original admission fee receipt.

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