Friday, September 12, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



SGPC lacks funds to set up varsity, says Tohra
Our Correspondent

Anandpur Sahib (Ropar), September 11
The new President of the SGPC, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, seems to be in a mood to reverse the major decisions taken by his predecessor, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar. Indication to this effect was given by Mr Tohra while talking to newsmen here today.

While responding to queries of newsmen Mr Tohra rejected the idea of creating a separate directorate of the educational institutes run by the SGPC and setting up of a Sikh university that were diligently pursued by his predecessor. He said that due to the prevailing government policies of reducing grant-in-aid for the colleges and schools the SGPC was finding it hard to run its institutes, leave aside the formation of the directorate.

Punjabi University was formed basically as a Sikh university, however, the successive governments had changed its scope of work. The SGPC did not have funds to open another Sikh university.

Asked about the demand being raised regarding the separate Haryana Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, Mr Tohra said that the idea was baseless at a point when the government was thinking bringing All-India Gurdwara Act. He also said that the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, had been requested to get the SGPC elections conducted at the earliest.

While responding to a query, Mr Tohra also said that the project of construction of Nishana Khalsa in the Khalsa Heritage complex at Anandpur Sahib had been dropped. He, however, evaded queries regarding the stay on the appointment of Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta as Secretary of the SGPC.

Mr Tohra, who was on his first visit to Anandpur Sahib after resuming charge as SGPC president, also visited Bhai Gurdittaji Gurdwara in Kiratpur Sahib. He endowed the duty of construction of a 50-room inn in the gurdwara to Sant Baba Labh Singh. Mr Tohra also inaugurated a bus service, launched by the SGPC, for the pilgrims coming to visit gurdwaras in and around Anandpur Sahib.

The bus service, that would be available free of cost to NRIs and at a nominal cost to others, would carry the pilgrims coming to Anandpur Sahib to all historic places and gurdwaras in the area.

Mr Tohra also welcomed the procession carrying ‘pratap jyoti’ at Anandpur Sahib. He presented a siropa to Capt Vikram Singh, national president of Rajput Sabha, who was carrying the ‘pratap jyoti’ to mark the tercentenary of the martyrdom of Maharana Pratap.


Talks to end impasse with students fail
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 11
Punjab Deputy Speaker Bir Devinder Singh today failed to effect a compromise on the issue of revocation of the suspension of student leaders who had participated in the recent agitation in Punjabi University with the students refusing to accept the agreement hammered out by him in consultation with Vice-Chancellor Swarn Singh Boparai.

Talking to newsmen after the failure of the talks, the Deputy Speaker made it clear that the government would not mediate between the students and the authorities again. He also said that it seemed that outside forces were at work and that these forces had not allowed the students to compromise on the issue. He said the government would not stand with the university and that the district administration had been directed to take action in case students disrupted its functioning.

The student leaders had approached Deputy Speaker Bir Devinder Singh at Chandigarh yesterday claiming that the authorities were not sticking to their part of the agreement which had also been hammered out by Mr Bir Devinder. Under the agreement the authorities were expected to revoke all suspensions after the students had expressed “regrets” for the incident which occurred in the university gurdwara during the course of which the VC was allegedly heckled by the students and was forced to walk barefoot towards his house.

The Deputy Speaker disclosed that he had discussed the entire issue with the Vice-Chancellor, Public Health Minister Jasjit Singh Randhawa, Deputy Commissioner Tejveer Singh and SSP P.S. Umranangal and made a draft of an agreement.

The student leaders objected to the word “apologise” and said it should be substituted with the word “regret”. This was not agreed to by the VC and led to the breakdown in the talks.


Vigilance team again raids Sekhwan hospital
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, September 11
A team of the Vigilance Bureau headed by Mr Bakshish Singh, DSP and a team of Medical Officers headed by Dr Niranjan Singh Suman, Civil Surgeon, raided Ujagar Singh Sekhwan Charitable Trust, Sekhwan near Batala in this district yesterday. The team had conducted raids to access the equipment and other heavy machinery meant for the dental college.

Earlier, a team of doctors visited the trust on September 6 and assessed the assets of the hospital attached with the trust at Sekhwan. The team could not assess the assets of the hospital because it could not get the keys to open the hospital building.

The assets of the trust are being assessed as a part of the move of the Vigilance Bureau to gather evidence in a corruption case registered against Mr Sewa Singh Sekhwan, former Revenue Minister, who established the trust in the memory of his father during his tenure as the Revenue Minister in the SAD-BJP government.

Sekhwan has not provided the list of equipment of the hospital to the Vigilance, he said.

The Vigilance Bureau is examining the sources from where the money was collected. Prominent ministers of the previous SAD-BJP government contributed money from their discretionary funds.

Meanwhile, supporters of Mr Sekhwan condemned the government’s move to implicate former Akali ministers in corruption cases.


Vigilance Bureau questions PSEB officials
Our Correspondent

Ropar, September 11
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau has summoned officials of the PSEB hydel wing for questioning in a case of alleged poor construction of stage-2 dyke of Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Plant (GGSSTP), Ropar. The sources said four officers of the hydel wing, including the executive engineer at Ropar, had been given a questionnaire regarding the construction of the dyke and were directed to record their statements with the DSP (Vigilance), Ropar.

The officers today presented themselves in the office of the DSP (Vigilance). Their statement, however, couldn’t be recorded due to inadequacy of the record. They were directed to come tomorrow with the record regarding the case and get their statements recorded.

The Vigilance Bureau has started an inquiry into the case on a complaint of the contractor, M/s Sandhu Builders. The contractor was allotted the work to construct the escape channel from the thermal plant along the stage-2 dyke of the thermal plant. He, however, left the job with a complaint that the construction of the escape channel could not be carried out due to the seepage of water from the stage-2 dyke.

The sources said the contractor complained that the water seepage from the dyke was being caused due to the poor construction material used in the dyke. The clay content in the dyke was 2 to 3 per cent against the specification of 7 to 8 per cent. Due to the poor clay content water seeped out of the dyke consistently that made the construction of the escape channel an impossible job.

As Sandhu builders has left the job the work of the construction has come to a halt. The PSEB was planning to construct one mw power plant on the escape channel. Besides its construction would also reduce the water logging in the surrounding areas.

The people of many villages in the areas surrounding the stage-2 dyke of the thermal plant have been protesting against the water logging problem. The sources said the water logging in the area was caused due to the faulty construction of the stage-2 dyke of the plant. The official concerned allegedly in connivance with the contractor dug the earth from the bottom for the construction of dyke walls in violation of the norms.


PSEB’s SDO in vigilance net

Moga, September 11
The Vigilance Bureau, Moga, today arrested SDO Jagdish Singh of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) posted at Smadhbhi in the district while allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 1,000 to favour a workshop owner Jagdev Singh for extending electric load beyond permissible limits.

The Vigilance Bureau DSP, caught Jagdish Singh red handed and recovered the bribe money. A case has been registered against the SDO under various sections of the Corruption Act.

Anita Punjab, Superintendent, Vigilance Bureau, said the SDO while visiting the workshop of the complainant at Gholia Kalan village threatened to impose penalty as his workshop was available excess load and demanded Rs 2,500.

The matter was settled for Rs 2,000 and the complainant paid him a fortnight ago and for remaining amount of Rs 1,000 the SDO again visited his workshop and demanded money. The complainant approached the Vigilance Bureau at Moga yesterday. — PTI


Farmers urge Governor to intervene
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Representatives of six farmers’ organisations from Punjab today submitted a memorandum to the Governor, Justice O P Verma, stating that the state government had not fulfilled the promises made in the Congress manifesto.

The Governor was informed that the government had also backed out of the demands agreed upon by the Chief Minister at a meeting with the kisan organisations in March. The memorandum appealed to the Governor to intervene to prevent the situation from becoming volatile.

The memorandum was submitted by a delegation comprising Mr Pishaura Singh of the BKU (Ekta), Mr Prem Singh Bhangu, President of the All-India Kirti Kisan Sabha, Mr Kulwant Singh Sandhu of the Jamhoori Kisan Sabha; Mr Bhupinder Samber of the Punjab Kisan Sabha; Mr Maghar Singh Kulrian of the Khetibari Kisan Vikas Front, and Mr Ruldu Singh Mansa of the Kirti Kisan Union.

Later in an emergency meeting, the six organisations contested the statement of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh that he had considered a majority of the demands of the farmers. They also took a serious view of the same statement in which the Chief Minister said there would now be no negotiations with the farmers.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh later told mediapersons that the government had fulfilled the farmers’ demands.


3 Cavalry celebrates Asal Uttar Day
Tribune News Service

Somewhere in the Western Sector, September 11
3 Cavalry, one of the most elite and distinguished cavalry regiments of the Indian Army, celebrated the 38th anniversary of the Battle of Asal Uttar on Tuesday. The regiment relived the coveted victory over Pakistan in the 1965 war, in the Khemkaran sector. The regiment is being commanded by Col Kulpreet Singh and the colonel of the regiment is Maj-Gen K.D.S. Shekhawat, VSM.

This day 38 years ago, Pakistani tanks thrust across the Sutlej in the Khemkaran sector were spearheading advance to capture the Beas bridge. However, the “colossal dream” of Pakistan turned into a painful mirage. Moving up to the challenge was 3 Cavalry with the invincible Centurion.

Around the Asal Uttar village, the regiment gave the Pakistani armour the answer. Soon, 103 Patton tanks lay burning, silently proclaiming their defeat. Another chapter was written in blood in Indian history. Indian and regimental honour was reasserted.

For the gallant action the regiment was bestowed with the battle honour of Asal Uttar and theatre honour “Punjab”. Besides the Commandant, Lieut-Col Salim Caleb being awarded the coveted Maha Vir Chakra, one Vir Chakra, eight Sena Medal and 11 mentioned-in-despatches and three commendation cards were the fruit of the hard work of the gallant soldiers of the regiment.

The graveyard of Pakistani tanks which came to be known as Patton Nagar at Bhikiwind stood in mute testimony to the reassertion of regimental honour in defence of the nation’s integrity. A captured Patton M-48 A-1, now a war trophy stands in front of the regiment today as being one of those vanquished by the mighty 3 Cavalry which since 1965 the proud cavalrymen carry wherever the regiment is stationed.

“Asal Uttar Day” was celebrated by the regiment with fervour and gaiety over three days. The celebration was attended by a number of retired officers, junior commissioned officers and other ranks, including those who took part in the battle. The celebrations included paying obeisance at the mandir and gurdwara, a sainik sammelan, wreath-laying and paying homage to the martyrs.

The other activities included bara khana with the troops, lunch with the sardars in the JCO mess, welfare function for the families and the officers’ mess function.


Ex-CPM legislator joins rebels
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, September 11
The state unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) today suffered a jolt when its state secretariat member and former MLA Chand Singh Chopra, along with other senior party leaders from Sangrur, resigned from the party to join the Communist Party (Marxist) led by rebel leader Mangat Ram Pasla.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Chopra also senior vice-president of the Central committee of the All-India Agriculture Workers Union, alleged that the general secretary of the CPM, Mr Harkrishan Singh Surjeet, had abandoned the revolutionary path and was conspiring with monopolists and landlords by openly joining hands with the Congress.

He said 14 members of the Sangrur district committee and 18 members of Dhuri, Malerkotla, Sangrur, Barnala and Sunam tehsil committees, along with hundreds of party workers, had resigned from the party. He announced the merger of the party’s Sangrur unit with the Pasla faction.


VP Singh to address Dalit rally
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, September 11
The Bahujan Samaj Morcha would organise a state-level rally at Phagwara on September 24 to mark Pune Pact Divas. At a press conference here today, Mr Satnam Singh Kainth, national president of the morcha, said former Prime Minister VP Singh would address the rally against globalisation and privatisation.

Mr Kainth said the present government had not implemented even a single scheme for the Dalits. Rather, the Shagun scheme, the promise of hiking pension and giving job to a member each of the Dalit families had been swept under the carpet, he said.

The state leadership of the Bahujan Samaj Party had also failed as it was remote-controlled by its leaders in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, he said.


Delhi unit of SAD not to be disbanded, says Sarna
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 11
The withdrawal of support by the SGPC chief, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, notwithstanding, Mr Parmjit Singh Sarna, President, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, has announced that he won’t disband the Delhi unit of the SAD, headed by him.

Talking to TNS on telephone today, Mr Sarna said he and his supporters had won the DSGMC elections on the ‘panthic agenda’ which was allegedly discarded by the SAD, headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal. Hence, any decision to disband the Delhi unit could only be taken by taking ‘Sikh sangat’ of Delhi into confidence.


Rally by ministerial staff union
Tribune Reporters

Bathinda, September 11
Hundreds of activists of Punjab State Ministerial Services Union, Bathinda unit, today staged a dharna and held a rally in front of building of new district administrative complex to protest against the indifferent attitude of state government towards their demands.

In a press note issued here today, Mr Baldev Singh Mahal, state press secretary of the union, said that members of unions had been protesting for a long time to draw the attention of state government towards their problems. Their main demands were the implementation of Rakhra Committee report, sanctioning of new pay scales after four, nine and 14 years of service and opening of promotion channels for the clerks, stenos and assistances up to the post of Additional Director of their respective departments.

He said their other demands included the government should empower the DDOs to give general provident fund (GPF) to the employees, releasing of instalment of dearness allowance on July 1 and removal of ban imposed on the new recruitment. He said that members also demanded that employees posted in Bathinda town should be given 15 per cent house rent as the town had been given the status of a municipal corporation. He said that union would intensify its agitation, if the state government failed to accept their demands.

Ferozepore: The Punjab State Ministerial Staff Union (PSMSU) held a protest rally in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner on Thursday and submitted a memorandum of their demands to him. The rally was addressed by Mr Ajmer Singh, patron, PSMSU, Mr Indeer Singh Gogia, chairman, Mr K.L. Gabbha, president, Mr Sukhdev Singh, general secretary, and Mr Harbhajan Singh, Mr Deepak Singh and Mr Ashok Mehta.

Mr Ajmer Singh said that the Congress government in the name of bringing financial stability was destabilising the well-earned rights of the employees to fill the government coffers. He said that the Capt Amarinder Singh had sidelined all promises made in the election manifesto. He said that in the next stage, similar protest rallies would be organised at Patiala, Jalandhar. Pathankot and Chandigarh and on October 22, all employees would go on mass leave in protest against the apathetic attitude of the state government.


Ministerial staff urge govt to accept demands
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 11
The district unit of the Punjab State Ministerial Services Union, at a meeting, held under the presidentship of the chairman of the union, Mr Raj Kumar Arora, here today, urged the Punjab Government to accept the long-pending and already accepted demands of the ministerial staff, including promotional scale after four, nine and 14 years of service.

Union members had gathered to organise a protest rally at the district administrative complex here today against the ‘anti-employees’ policies of the government, but the rally was suspended in view of sudden demise of Giani Narinder Singh, DPRO, Sangrur, and two members of the ministerial staff, Tarsem Chand, a Junior Assistant in Education Department, and Devinder Kaur, an employee in Health Department. The meeting expressed grief over the demise of the DPRO and others. The union also submitted a memorandum to Mr Ravinder Singh, Assistant Commissioner (General), Sangrur.


Rs 3.5 cr grant for 10 villages
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 11
For the overall development of 10 villages selected under the Integrated Rural Development Project, Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, today released a sum of Rs 3.5 crore in this regard, while presiding over a meeting of district development officials here.

He said under the scheme, Suhavi, Faraur, Khera, Chunni Khurad, Salana Jeevan Singh Wala, Sonti, Damheri, Raillon, Sanipur and Muleepur villages would be provided with urban facilities like sewerage, community centre, cemented streets, community latrines, solar streetlights, parks, 24-hour power supply and bio-gas plants. Tree plantation would also be carried out in the villages.

Mr Ahluwalia said all development works would be carried out by the agencies concerned as per the rules and regulations laid down by the government. He said initially a sum of Rs 35 lakh had been released and after the utilisation of the money, the second instalment would be released.

He said the survey had been completed and the work would start within days and added that the quality of material would be checked from time to time. He directed the officers concerned to see that the projects were completed within the time frame.


Sewerage project inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Patiala, September 11
Municipal Corporation Mayor Vishnu Sharma today laid the foundation stone of two roads to be constructed by the corporation in Kailash Nagar and Mohalla Sood Vatta localities of the city here today.

These roads are being constructed under an extensive repair programme undertaken recently by corporation which entails lying down of tar roads, water supply lines and sewerage lines. Besides, providing proper lighting facilities for various wards of the city.

Whereas the above mentioned two roads being constructed in Ward No 31 and 34 respectively will be built at a cost of nearly 7 lakh. A pucca road will also be constructed adjoining the Ward No 34 at the cost of Rs 1.6 lakh shortly.

Meanwhile, MP Parneet Kaur inaugurated the sewerage project of Ward Nos 3, 4, 5 and 6 here yesterday. A 45,000-feet-long main sewerage line and 120 km long branch lines will be laid down in these areas. Addressing the gathering Mayor Vishnu Sharma said the work was expected to be completed within one year.

These wards include mainly Dashmesh Nagar, Anand Nagar-B, Manjeet Nagar, Grewal Avenue and Deep Nagar.


Private hospitals fleece patients: NGO
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 11
A survey by three (NGOs) non-government organisations found attitude of private hospitals towards rural and poor persons callous.

Representatives of the Folklore Research Academy, Mr Bhupinder Singh and Mr Ramesh Yadav, Mr Talwinder Singh Janwadi Lekhak Sabha, Mr Yash Pal Chabbal of the Association for Democratic Rights in a survey on 20 hospitals here and 200 patients found that most people found the attitude of many doctors based on patient’s bank balance. The survey also found that many people had taken loans or mortgaged land, homes and jewellery for treatment.


WTC victims remembered
Our Correspondent

Nangal, September 11
Youth organisations of the town under the aegis of the Citizen Welfare Society observed an anti-terrorism day here today by holding a rally to remember those who had died fighting terrorists.

The president of the Citizen Welfare Society, Mr Paramjit Singh and Mr K.P.S. Rana, local MLA and chairman of the Punjab Pollution Control Board, spoke on the occasion. Local Congress and workers union leaders attended the rally.

HOSHIARPUR: The district unit of the Muslim National Front, Punjab, today paid tributes to those killed during the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in the USA on September 11, 2001. In a special meeting, Muslim leaders Maulvi Syad Azhar Hasan, Master Mohamad Sharif, Dr Jamil Bali, Mr Rafi Malik and Mr Gulam Hussain condoled the deaths of innocent persons in the USA, Afghanistan and Iraq.


Menace of stray dogs, pigs

Amritsar, September 11
Stray animals and pests — dogs, pigs and rats have become nuisance for residents here. Ms Laxmikanta Chawla, a former BJP MLA in a letter to Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, Minister for Local Bodies yesterday demanded a check on these.

She said stray animals — dogs and pigs had become a big accident hazard. Dog bites too had increased. Commuters or those on two-wheelers or those travelling on foot or bicycle often become victims of dog bites and accident.

Apart from this, an increase in the number of rats, in the walled city has caused destruction. Food, clothes and other household articles are attacked by the vermins. Even report documents are reported to have been eaten away. Rats also become carriers of diseases. — OC


Addl Civil Judge’s post lying vacant
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, September 11
More than 3,000 litigants, directly or indirectly involved in the cases pending in the court of Additional Civil Judge, Senior Division (ACJSD) here, are worried a lot about the future of their cases on account of non-filling of the post.

Mr Bhajan Ram, ACJSD, posted here was transferred on June 5, this year and till today, the post was lying vacant.

Sources said that at present 1,465 cases are pending in the court of ACJSD.

More than three months had elapsed since the post had been lying vacant as a result the litigants were facing inconvenience.

Not only the litigants but the lawyers working here were also affected. Most of the lawyers said that their clientele had been considerably affected as the people were fed up with the delayed justice.

When contacted, Mr Surjit Singh Rana, president of the local Bar Association, said he had met Mr A.K. Sharma, District and Sessions Judge, Gurdaspur, and had apprised him about the difficulties being faced by the litigants here. Mr Sharma had assured him about early posting of ACJSD here, he added.


Two smugglers sentenced

Sangrur, September 11
Special Judge B.S. Mangat here has sentenced two smugglers to 11-year imprisonment and also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh each in a poppy husk smuggling case.

Another accomplice of the smugglers, Karmjeet Singh, had died during the trial.

The judge said yesterday that in default of payment of fine, their imprisonment would be extended for an year.

According to information, on July 10,1997, the Khanauri police had seized 12 quintals of poppy husk from the trio from Banarasi village. After hearing the arguments of the defence and the prosecution, the judge sentenced Kashmir Singh and his son Bhupinder Singh of Kathala village to imprisonment. — UNI


Narottam’s remand extended
Our Correspondent

Ropar, September 11
The judicial remand of Narottam Singh Dhillon, a cousin of Sukhbir Badal, was today extended till September 22 by the Special Judge, Ropar, Mr S.K. Goel, in a case of disproportionate assets and corruption registered against him and former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau.

In another case, the judicial remand of Jagdeep Nakai, MLA from the Joga Assembly constituency, was also extended till September 22.


Farmers hold rally on WTO talks
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, September 11
Hundreds of farmers and landless labourers today held a rally here to protest against India’s participation at ministry-level talks of the WTO at Cancun in Mexico.

Addressing the rally at Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Hall here, the general secretary of Punjab Kisan Sabha, Mr Lehmbar Singh, alleged that the Central Government was pursuing anti-farmers policies under the influence of International Monetary Fund (IMF), which was highly deplorable.

They burnt an effigy of the WTO and raised anti-government slogans.


ST Dept attaches defaulting cinemas
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 11
In a significant move which could have far-reaching impact on the deteriorating economy of Punjab, the Department of Excise and Sales Tax has started the process of attachment of various cinema houses dotting the state to effect the recovery of arrears of the entertainment tax pending against these for the past many years.

Official sources said entertainment tax worth crores was pending against the cinema houses. In certain cases, cinema house owners had been defaulting in making payments of the entertainment tax since 1991-92, but these were running as usual.

The Punjab Government has launched a move under which defaulting cinema houses are being attached by the department of Excise and Sales Tax.

Mr Krishan Kumar, Additional Excise and Taxation Commissioner, said the move to attach defaulting cinema houses had been launched in almost all districts of the state.

The sources said seven cinema houses of the eight in Muktsar district had been attached to recover arrears of Rs 82 lakh and one in Faridkot district to recover arrears of more than Rs 50 lakh in lieu of the entertainment tax.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that except two or three districts, a number of cinema houses in other districts had been found defaulting in the payment of the entertainment tax.

Mr P.S. Parmar, Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Ferozepore, pointed out that the government’s move to attach defaulting cinema houses had started paying off as some owners had started clearing their liabilities.

The sources said if the arrears were not cleared, the cinema houses would be auctioned. The auction process would start by the end of this month.


MC issues notices to nine departments
Our Correspondent

Patiala, September 11
The Municipal Corporation has decided to confiscate funds or properties of several government departments to recover dues accumulated against them by way of house tax.

It has issued notices to nine departments for the recovery of arrears. At present, the corporation has Rs 3.5 crore pending as dues from departments as well as individuals. However, stays have been obtained by parties concerned on recovery of nearly Rs 2.5 crores out of the outstanding amount. That leaves the corporation with no alternative but to get tough with the rest of its defaulters. The first to be targeted are government offices with substantial house tax dues pending against them.

Pending payment of house tax amounting to nearly Rs 21 lakh due to be recovered from nine departments, including the Xen office of the PWD and B&R, which has arrears, of Rs 13.6 lakh pending against it. The corporation has obtained the bank account number of the office and is preparing to lay claim to the funds therein.

It has also zeroed in on the bank accounts of five other departments namely the Civil Surgeon’s office which owes the corporation nearly Rs 1.5 lakh, the SSB office, Nabha Road, which owes Rs 1.7 lakh; the SDO, Irrigation, Devigarh Rs 1.1lakh; the Xen, Drainage office, Rs1 lakh; Xen, Irrigation, Lehal Division, Rs 61,000.

For the remaining three departments, whose account numbers could not be ascertained, the corporation aims to lay claim on their immovable property using Letters of Credit. These are the Improvement trust office, the government press and the Canal Department, which owe arrears amounting to Rs 94,000, and Rs 43,000, respectively.

The corporation Commissioner, Mr Sanjay Kumar, said the corporation had been corresponding with the departments concerned for the recovery of the dues. He said the notices had been sent now because the departments had failed to pay up despite numerous reminders.


10 IAS officers transferred
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
The much-awaited postings and transfers were done in Punjab today, affecting 10 IAS officers. Among them is Commissioner, Jalandhar Division, and Deputy Commissioner, Nawanshahr.

Mrs Gurbinder Chahal is the new Financial Commissioner, Revenue. This post fell vacant following the sudden death of M Rajesh Chhabra.

Mrs Rupan Deol Bajaj is now Principal Secretary, Transport, vice Mr Vijay Kain, who goes to Public Works (Public Health).

Mr V.N. Ojha is now Director, Institute of Public Administration, and Dr Swaran Singh is Commissioner, Jalandhar Division, in place of Mr R S Sandhu, who has been shifted to Public Works (B and R). He will also be Commissioner for persons with disabilities in place of Mr Sudhir Mittal, who goes as Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, New Delhi.

Mr Surjit Singh Rajput is posted as Special Secretary, Personnel, and Mr Kulbir Singh Sidhu as Managing Director, Sugarfed.

Mr Mandeep Singh is now Special Secretary, Elections, and also Coordination.

Mr H.I.S. Grewal is the new Deputy Commissioner, Nawanshahr, vice Mr Surinderjit Singh Sandhu, who is yet to get a posting. 


9 Punjab police officers shifted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Nine police officers in Punjab have been transferred with immediate effect. According to a government order issued here today, Mr Rohit Chaudhry has been posted as DIG, Personnel, at Chandigarh, while Mr Parag Jain has been posted as DIG, CM’s security. Mr Ram Singh, Mr S.K. Asthana and Mr Kapil Dev have been posted as Senior Superintendents of Police at Batala, Mansa and Khanna, respectively. Mr Harminder Singh has been posted as SP (HQ), Batala, while Mr Baljit Singh Randhawa and Mr Harminder Singh have been posted as respective commandants of 27th Battalion, Jalandhar, and 13th Battalion, Chandigarh, of the Punjab Armed Police. Dr Naresh Kumar has been posted as commandant of 4th Commando Battalion at Mohali


Book SITI cable, says DC
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, September 11
Taking suo motu notice of media reports about screening of a blue film for the second time in a fortnight at SITI cable network, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Gupta, has ordered registration of a case to investigate the issue.

The district police registered a case under Section 294 of the IPC against some persons, who allegedly tampered with SITI cable network to screen a XXX movie for about 20 minutes.


In-laws arrested for dowry death
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 11
Dinesh Bansal and Kailash Bansal, husband and father-in-law, respectively of Ritu (26), daughter of Mr Mohan Lal, an arhtiya from Narwana in Haryana, were arrested by the local police last night in connection with a dowry death case. Ritu died at 4 pm yesterday at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital at Ludhiana after struggling for life for about a week.

The father and brother of Ritu had alleged that she had been continuously harassed by her in-laws for bringing insufficient dowry for the past four years. They had alleged that Ritu’s in-laws had administered the poison on September 3, due to which her condition worsened and she had to be taken to Dayanand Medical College, Ludhiana.

Earlier, on the complaint of Mr Mohan Lal, father of Ritu, the local police had registered a case under Sections 498-A and 406 of the IPC against four persons, including Dinesh Bansal, Kailash Bansal and Sushma Bansal, mother-in-law of Ritu. Now after the death of Ritu, the police has added Section 304-B to the FIR. The mother-in-law and Mr Ram Dass Bansal, brother-in-law of Ritu, are still at large, according to the police.

A post-mortem was conducted by a board of doctors at the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana today. Later the body was handed over to Ritu’s father and other family members. Ritu will be cremated at Narwana.

Mr Mohan Lal demanded the arrest of Ms Sushma Bansal, Ms Durga and Ram Dass Bansal, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and brother-in-law of Ritu in this case. He also alleged that after getting Ritu admitted to Dayanand Medical College, Ritu’s in-laws fled away from there.

Mr Mohan Lal also said they don’t know the whereabouts of Ritu’s three-year-old daughter.


Electronic goods haul from tourist bus
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 11
Electronic goods worth Rs 10-15 lakh were today seized from a tourist bus which was intercepted here. The goods were hidden in a base compartment of the bus (HP-01-1558). The police has not ruled smuggling of narcotics and arms by tourist-bus operators.

Mr Kultar Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police, said five persons — Jagdish Raj (owner of bus) Rakesh Kumar and Avtar Singh (drivers), Manoj Kumar (conductor) and Nirnal Singh (helper), all from Amritsar — had been caught in this connection.

A team led by Mr Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh, SP (city-I), was formed after getting an information regarding the smugglers. The bus was still being searched. The SSP said any box might contain narcotics or arms.

The tourist bus used to run between Delhi and Jammu, where these buses were loaded with the goods to be smuggled. The owners of the buses alerted the drivers on mobile phones and give new routes whenever they saw police checkposts ahead. The owner did not have a valid route permit and even had two registration cards. He had shown the goods a worth a little over Rs 8,000 and paid an octroi of just Rs 270 in connivance with the octroi staff.

The conductor used to take back and destroy all tickets before arriving here.


Baba caught from Nanded with abducted girl
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, September 11
The Mehtiana police has recovered a girl of Pandori Bibi from Gurdwara Mata Ji Sahib at Nanded (Maharashtra) and arrested Baba Tarsem Singh ‘Roopa’ alias ‘Baba Sarup Singh’ who had abducted her on August 2, 2003.

The girl studied in a village school at Atowal. A person informed the police on telephone that Baba Tarsem Singh was in Nanded with the girl.

After her rescue, the girl told the police that the Baba had been raping her in captivity. The girl was medically examined today and rape has been added to the charges against the Baba.


Schools told to fill vacant posts of teacher
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Resolving the decades old issue, the Punjab Government today allowed private Government aided schools to fill vacant posts of teachers. The approval was given today at a meeting of the Council of Ministers where the issue was discussed by all the Ministers concerned.

However, no official statement has been issued regarding this decision by the State Government. Informed sources said the aided schools would be allowed to maintain the teaching staff strength what it was in 1967 in these aided schools. For instance if in a particular aided school there were 30 sanctioned posts in 1967 and now the number of teaching staff is 20 there, the school would be allowed to fill 10 posts.

The government has also allowed the Education Department to fill 2010 posts of teachers under the Sarab Sikhsha Abhiyan. These teachers will be recruited for 10 years on a contract basis. They would be given Rs 7000 as salary per month. The Union Government would provide 75 per cent of the amount to be paid as salary to these teachers. This issue had also been hanging fire for the past two years. The recruitment of these teachers would be made by the Education Department.

To fill vacant 15000 regular posts of teachers in government middle and high schools etc, the recruitment process will start from October 2. In fact, on that day, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, President of the All India Congress Committee, would address a meeting of panches and sarpanches at Bathinda.

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