Sunday, September 14, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



CM to give free hand to Punjabi University VC
To deal with students’ issue
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 13
Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today said that Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University here, Swarn Singh Boparai would be given a free hand to resolve the impasse following a student’s rejection of the terms of agreement drafted by government nominee Deputy Speaker Bir Devinder Singh.

Talking to newsmen here after attending a function, the Chief Minister said the University was an autonomous body and the government would not interfere in its day to day functioning. He said the State government had taken an initiative to give a grant to the varsity so that it could further reduce fee for general courses.

The Chief Minister said Deputy Speaker Bir Devinder Singh had been asked to talk to students to lift dharma from outside the office of the Vice-Chancellor. He said following the lifting of the dharna talks with student leaders failed and now it was up to the varsity to deal with the situation as it deemed fit.

The varsity authorities on the issue, said they had fixed a time for hearing the five student leaders who had been suspended from the institution during the period of agitation due to disruptive activities by him. Varsity spokesman Dr Baldev Singh Sandhu said two of the students — Gurnam Singh Virk and Swaranjit Singh had been asked to present themselves before a High-Powered Committee headed by the Dean, Academics on September 18. He said the three other students — Raminder Singh, Navdeep Daher and Shireen had been asked to report to the Committee on September 22. He said the Committee had been instructed by the VC to here the students.

Four to five departments from which most of the striking students hail continue to remain with no information on their reopening. The police is still present in strength in front of the main gate besides the posting of an anti-riot vehicle, a fire engine and police buses. Varsity Security staff has also been deployed in strength outside the main gate to check the antecedents of all those who enter the university.

The student leaders of the Punjabi University Students Confederation which comprises several student organisations, today said they would not apply for bail following the registration of cases against them. The student leaders talking to The Tribune said they would attend the rally slated to be held opposite the varsity gate on September 16 besides participating in protests planned all over the State on September 18. They also criticised what they called “undemocratic” steps being taken by the varsity administration which they claimed was taking undertakings from students that they would not indulge in any agitation on the varsity campus before admitting them back.


Badal blames CM for Punjabi varsity fiasco
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
The Shiromani Akali Dal President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, expressed his deep concern over the developments in Punjabi University and held the Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, responsible for the sorry mess in the education system.

“Punjabi University today symbolises the utter irresponsible and casual approach of the present government to the sensitive issue of education. It also demonstrates how completely unaware of the gravity of the situation the Chief Minister was,” said Mr Badal while strongly condemned the government’s bid to apply “naked force of official machinery rather than compassion and understanding to solve the problem.”

Mr Badal said developments over the past few weeks pointed to a very dangerous and potentially volatile situation on the ground and there was a very real danger of it getting out of hand, endangering the future of the students.

Mr Badal said he saw no wrong in the students demand for a withdrawal of hike in the fees. If the government had been serious about education and about the problems of the students, it could have foreseen these problems and taken timely steps to remove the grievances of the student community.


Withdraw cases against students: Youth Federation
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 13
All-India Federation of Democratic Youth (AIFDY) today accused the Punjabi University authorities and the state government of paying the way for “vitiating” the atmosphere of state’s colleges and on the university campus by adopting adamant attitude over the revocation of suspension of student leaders and getting criminal cases registered against seven student leaders.

Kiranjit Singh Sekhon, national general secretary of the AIFDY said here today with the backing out from assurances by Mr Bir Devinder Singh, Deputy Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, and a mediator of the Punjab Government, the “anti-student” face of the Amarinder Government had been “unmasked”. He alleged Mr Bir Devinder Singh had been siding with university authorities to “please” Capt Amarinder Singh.

The AIFDY leader extending support of his organisation to the agitating students of the university and urged the Punjab Government to direct the Punjabi University authorities to honour commitment on the revocation of suspension of the student leaders. He also demanded withdrawal of “false” cases registered against seven student leaders.

Mr Sekhon also asked Capt Amarinder Singh, Punjab Chief Minister, to clear government’s position on the issue.


Withdraw cases against students: Arshi
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 13
Senior CPI leader and former MLA Hardev Singh Arshi today condemned the registration of false cases against students of Punjabi University, and urged the Punjab Government to withdraw these immediately.

Mr Arshi warned that students were already restless because of expensive education and the registration of false cases against them would make things worse.


No need for separate Shiromani Committee for
Haryana: Tohra
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 13
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) President, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, said yesterday that there was no need to form a separate committee of Haryana-based Sikhs to manage the gurdwaras in Haryana.

Earlier, a group of Sikhs who have formed a “Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee” met the SGPC chief here and requested him to support their demand for a separate committee on the lines of the SGPC to manage gurdwaras in Haryana. The SGPC chief told the delegation that he would put their demand before the general house of the SGPC.

Talking to newspersons after inaugurating a computer laboratory at the local Khalsa College here, Mr Tohra said the demand did not carry weight as even the 11 SGPC members of Haryana did not support the move.

He said the position was such that the SGPC even wanted to manage gurdwaras in Pakistan and it was inconceivable that it should not manage gurdwaras in Haryana. When questioned about the allegations levelled by the self-styled committee that the SGPC was taking away more than the allowed quota of funds from gurdwaras in Haryana and not investing anything in the state, he said the committee did not seem to know the facts.

Meanwhile on the issue of votes of Sehajdari Sikhs in the SGPC elections, he said according to him Sehajdari Sikhs were those who had long hair and who supported a beard but were not ‘Amritdharis’. He said the SGPC was holding talks with the Centre and he hoped that the problem would be solved soon.

Earlier the SGPC chief inaugurated a computer laboratory in the Mata Sundri block of computer sciences and blessed the students at the beginning of the new academic session. College Principal Dr Harbir Singh while welcoming the SGPC chief said the recent achievements of the college had only been possible due to the long leadership provided by Mr Tohra.


Pak business delegation arrives in India
Varinder Walia and Neeraj Bagga

Wagah (Amritsar), September 13
Businessmen in Pakistan will pressurise the Pakistan Government to give the most-favoured nation (MFN) status to India when talks between governments of the two countries commence. This was stated by Mr Amin Hashwani, leader of the 11-member business delegation of the Young Presidents Organisation, which entered India through the Wagah joint checkpost here this afternoon.

Members of the delegation would hold a meeting with the Foreign Minister and other dignitaries at Hotel Taj Mansingh in New Delhi tomorrow. The formal launch of the India-Pakistan CEOs’ Business Forum, having 15 CEOs from both countries, a website and an exhibition to showcase made in Pakistan products and services in India would be announced at the meeting. Members of the forum would meet every six months. The main objective of the website was to facilitate bilateral trade and investment.

An Indian delegation was likely to visit Pakistan in November. The Pakistan delegation came here on a three-day visit on the invitation of the forum in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry.

Mr Hashwani said the aim of the visit of the delegation was to find ways for sustainable business opportunities and to identify new areas. He said both countries had the same concerns in trade at international forums.

Mr Anand Mahindra, President of the Confederation of Indian Industry, said there was tremendous possibility of increasing trade between India and Pakistan. He said according to an estimate, unofficial trade between India and Pakistan was up to Rs 2 billion.

Mr Suketu V. Shah, chairman of the presidents’ body, Mumbai chapter, said his organisation had 8,100 members in 73 countries. He said businessmen met each other in different countries.

Other members of the delegation are Mr Syed Arif Masood Naqvi, Mr Farrukh Khan, Mr Tariq Shafi, Mr Deewan M. Yusuf Farooqui, Mr Asif Jooma, Mr Amin Mohammad Lakhani, Mr Sikandar Mustafa Khan, Mr Aslam Faraque, Mr Sohail Wajahad H. Siddiqui and Mr Ayaz A. Karim. Mr Sikandar Mustafa Khan said his visit to Amritsar was like a homecoming. The wives of nine of the delegates are accompanying the delegation.


No govt plan on jobs to youth, says Kanwaljit
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 13
Even after one-and-a-half year of rule, the Congress has not come up with any plan to provide job avenues in government and private sector forcing 30 lakh youth to opt for wrong paths.

Frustrated, despite having good academic record, the unemployed youth have been becoming drug addicts day by day.

This was stated by Capt Kanwaljit Singh, General Secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), while talking to mediapersons after attending the 59th anniversary of the foundation of the All-India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) at Gursagar Gurdwara near Sukhna Lake here today.

He criticised the government for not making efforts for providing more job avenues to the Punjab youth. He appealed to the youth to launch a ‘mass education programme’ to create awareness about rights and duties at the grass-roots level.

“The imposition of new taxes worth Rs 4,500 crore on the public in the past 18 months clearly shows that the Congress has failed at every front and deteriorated financial situation of the state,” said Capt Kanwaljit Singh, a former Finance Minister of Punjab.

Moreover, the government has betrayed the trader community of the state after making filling of ‘exim forms’ mandatory. Owing to financial crises, the treasury had faced closure thrice last month and the salaries of government employees were also delayed, he alleged.

He also flayed the resolution passed by the government at the previous Cabinet meeting to recruit more employees in the offices of ministers and chairmen of different Corporations.

Over 30,000 employees are already surplus in various government departments, he claimed.

Mr Karnail Singh Pir Mohammad, President, AISSF, demanded the release of 170 youth who had been implicated in false cases. The government should make it mandatory that only the Punjabi youth be employed in the industrial sector of the state, he said.

Former president of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) Kirpal Singh Badungar said that he had sacrificed the presidential post for the sake of the unity of the SAD.


Protesters burn WTO effigies
Tribune Reporters

Jalandhar, September 13
Members of the Joint Platform for Mass Organisations (JPMO) today burnt an effigy of the WTO here to register their protest against the ongoing ministerial-level talks at Cancun in Mexico.

The protesters assembled at Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Hall here and later held a protest march while moving through the main streets of the city. They raised anti-government slogans and alleged that the developed countries were trying to dictate the policies, which were detrimental to the interests of developing countries, including India.

Opposing India’s participation at Cancun talks, they demanded that the BJP-led Central Government should either safeguard its industry, agriculture sector and business establishments or withdraw from the GATT agreement, which would otherwise ruin the country’s economy.

Criticising the Central Government for its failure to own responsibilities, they alleged that the privatisation of education, health and water sectors was a clear indication that the government was more concerned about the dictates of international monetary agencies than its own people.

SANGRUR: On the call of the Punjab Mulazam Sanghrash Committee, employees of various departments on Saturday burnt the effigy of the WTO at the Iightawala chowk near the main bus stand here. They also held a rally in the district administrative complex against the WTO meeting.

The rally was addressed among others by Mr Gurbakhshish Singh, Mr Karamjit Behla, Mr Harbans Singh Cheema, Mr Harcharan Channa, Mr Tarsem Lal, Mr Bhagwant Singh, Mr Lal Singh Dhanaula, Mr Amar Singh and Mr Manjit Dhaner.

Almost all speakers opposed the WTO policies.

The ralliest also urged the Punjab Government to withdraw the like in fee of the students. It also asked the government to withdraw all “false” cases, registered against the students of Punjabi University, Patiala, and at other places.

KURUKSHETRA: Activists of the Jaagrook Chhatra Morcha, the Grameen Mazdoor Union and the Naujwaan Dasta under the banner of the Anti-Imperialist Globalisation Forum on Saturday marched from the Birla Mandir Chowk to Old Bus Stand here where they held a rally in protest against India joining the WTO.


Bring back remains of Prithvi Raj
Chauhan, say Rajputs
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 13
Accusing the Central government of backing out from bringing back mortal remains of Prithvi Raj Chauhan from Ghazni in Afghanistan, Partap Jyoti Yatra leaders here today, alleged that no effort was being made to bring back mortal remains of the great patriot despite end of Taliban rule in Afghanistan.

Partap Jyoti Yatra, which started from Chittoragarh in Rajasthan on August 31 and reached here this afternoon, is being taken out by 121 “Kshatriya” organisations from all over the country to cover 18 states before yatra’s culmination at New Delhi on November 16.

Addressing a press conference here today, Captain Vikram Singh, main organiser of the yatra, Jagadguru Balmukandacharya of the Ayodhya Peeth, Mr Satbir Singh and Kunwar Raunak Singh, Working President and General Secretary of the Rajput Mahasabha Punjab, alleged that the central government had done nothing in the mortal remains case of Prithvi Raj Chauhan, who had killed Mohammed Ghauri 900 years back, and whose mortal remains lay buried in Ghazni. “We have already met the Prime Minister and the Home Minister in this connection, but nothing has moved ahead as yet. On the other hand, France observed national holiday to observe the return of Napoleon Bonaparte’s mortal remains from the St Helena island and so much so Pandit Nehra formed a special committee to oversee bringing back mortal remains of Muslim King Bahadur Shah Zafar,” said Captain Vikram Singh. He said the Prithvi Raj Chauhan Foundation headed by him had already taken up the matter with the Karzai government in Afghanistan, but, the latter responded by saying that the matter should be taken up at the government to government level.

On objectives of the yatra, Captain Vikram Singh said the main aim was to spread brotherhood among people and to make them aware of the perils of caste-based politics being played by vested interests. He said it was due to wrong policies that even people from the Rajput community, have started demanding reservation due to a feeling of insecurity among its members.

“Our aim is to awaken the people. “See the deterioration. There are 14,000 posts lying vacant in the Army, which used to be a preferred career till a few years back. We are giving message to people to shun casteism and contribute to the development of nation. We are also telling them to throw away those who are dividing them on narrow casteist lines,” said Captain Vikram Singh, travelling along with his supporters in a specially designed “Rath” made of a truck.


Doctors await posting orders
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
Eight Senior Medical Officers (SMOs), who had been promoted as Deputy Directors, are still awaiting their new posting orders from the Health and Family Welfare Department. The doctors who were promoted on the recommendation of the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) include Dr S.K. Bansal, Dr Dharampal, Dr H.S. Gill, Dr H.P.S. Sandhu, Dr Hardev Singh, Dr Jujhar Singh, Dr Yashpal Singh and Dr Nirpal Singh.

The issue regarding the promotion of eligible SMOs as Deputy Directors and Civil Surgeons has been hanging fire for the past several months. A meeting of the DPC was held on April 7 under the chairmanship of Mrs Rupan Deol Bajaj after almost an year-long struggle. The committee had approved the names of the eight doctors for promotion but the requisite orders have not been issued.

As per the orders, all acting Civil Surgeons and Deputy Directors in the state were to be replaced with regular ones. But presently, while the senior doctors are yet to get their new posting orders, officiating Civil Surgeons continue to function at Amritsar, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Faridkot and Moga. This has led to resentment among the promoted doctors.

The Secretary (Health), Mr D.S Jaspal, said there had been some delay but the orders would be issued shortly.

One of the promoted doctors, on the condition of anonymity, alleged that the department had been harassing them on the issue of promotions for the past two years. Earlier, several scheduled meetings of the DPC were cancelled just to deny promotions to the deserving doctors. And now, that the promotions had been ordered, the authorities concerned were dilly-dallying in issuing the promotion orders, he added.

The doctor said that the matter had also been taken up with the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, who had sought a report from the authorities regarding the appointment of junior doctors as officiating Civil Surgeons.


Excise raids on cracker dealers
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 13
After getting information about large scale evasion of sales tax, the Excise and Sales Tax Department has started conducted raids on the business premises of cracker dealers.

Official sources said that raids on the premises of cracker dealers, which started yesterday evening, would continue till the Divali festival. The department had given instruction to its field staff to make efforts to bring down the evasion on crackers to zero.

Mr Krishan Kumar, Additional Excise and Taxation Commissioner, when contacted, said that two raids were conducted on the premises of cracker dealers in this town yesterday. During the raids, it was found that one of the dealers was having huge stock of crackers while the other dealers had stocked the crackers in a place which had not been declared as godown for storing crackers by him.

He said that some loose paper slips were also recovered from one of the premises, which carried some information pertaining to the transactions.

He said that it would also be verified that whether the stocks of crackers, which had been brought to Punjab by the dealers through the road transportation, had been registered at the sales tax barriers dotting the border pockets of Punjab.

He said that apart from it, two godowns of a leading road transport company were also searched and an inventory of all goods lying in those godowns had been prepared.

Meanwhile, sources said that a section of unscrupulous traders, who had been indulging in evasion of sales tax, had been trying to stop the sales tax department from conducting raids on their premises with the help of a local resident, who claimed himself to be a close confidant of ruling politician.


Sikh Judicial panel seeks more powers
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 13
President of the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission, Mr Man Mohan Singh Brar yesterday sought more powers for the members of the commission.

Talking to mediapersons, here Mr Brar said that giving more autonomy to the judicial commission would help employees of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to get their disputes settled at the local level instead of moving the high court.

Mr Brar said there should not be any political interference in the working of the judicial commission. The president of the Sikh Judicial Commission also supported the enactment of an all India Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee as proposed by the SGPC. However, the draft of the Act has been pending with the Central Government.


Former MLA’s father goes underground
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 13
Mr Gian Singh, father of former Congress MLA, Late Baldev Singh Pakka Kalan today went underground after the police allegedly tried to round him up. He had threatened to commit suicide on September 14 to protest against the indifferent attitude of Congress towards their family.

Mr Baldev Singh Pakka Kalan, died in terrorist attack on Mr Beant Singh on August 31, 1995.

The police today morning visited Mr Gian Singh’s house and asked him to report to DSP (R), Sukhdev Singh Chahal. Mr Gian Singh refused to go with the police team and went underground thereafter.

The police while denying the bid to detain Mr Gian Singh added that a complaint lodged by widow of Late Baldev Singh Pakka Kalan was pending against Mr Gian Singh and he (Mr Gian Singh) was asked to come to the DSP’s office.

Mr Angrej Singh, In charge, Police chowki, who was sitting in the house of Mr Gian Singh in the evening when this correspondent talked to him, said that he had come to house of Mr Gian Singh as he was a friend of Mr Sewa Singh, elder son of Mr Gian Singh.

However, Mr Sewa Singh said that the policemen in plain clothes surrounded his house since morning so that his father could be rounded up.


Felling of trees: school to face legal action
Our Correspondent

Nabha, September 13
The Forest Department of Punjab has alleged that Punjab Public School at Nabha had cut dozens of trees without taking permission. The department is planning to take legal action against the school.

Giving this information the Forest Officer, Mr Gaganjit Singh, said the land from where the trees were cut belonged to the Forest Department and the school did not make any estimate, which was mandatory, before felling the trees. He added that action would be taken against the school under the Forest Act, 1980, as the land in question could not be transferred to the school without fulfilling the conditions mentioned in the Act. He said if the school wanted to get the land transferred to it, then it would have to submit Rs 46 lakh with the Forest Department. He further added that he had sent the file pertaining to the matter to the DFO, Patiala, for further action.

The Headmaster of the school, however, claimed that the land was given to school by the Punjab Government in 1960.


Forum calls for release of ‘betaaj badshah’
of corruption
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 13
The princely city of Patiala today saw a crowning of an unlikely sort. Incarcerated PPSC Chairman Ravi Sidhu was proclaimed as the “betaaj badshah” of corruption on his birthday by the Galat Malat Manch which celebrated the day as “World Corruption Day”.

The organisation which is headed by artist Bhagwant Mann saw his colleagues celebrating the birthday of Ravi Sidhu by taking out a procession from the AC Market to the PPSC office in Baradari Gardens, demanding that the government freed Ravi Sidhu immediately to save the cause of corruption.

Mann’s friends and colleagues Rana Ranbir and Gurinder Dimpi said the Manch wanted to celebrate the “auspicious day which marked the birth of a man who would make his own laws of corruption”.

The Manch came out strongly against the government, saying it had tried to sabotage the movement by putting Ravi Sidhu in jail and conducting raids and checks on “chuglis” by “unhappy people”. Ranbir Rana said if Sidhu was released from jail the movement would get a fresh impetus as people were not experiencing “freedom”. He said the Punjab Government must remove all “restrictions” on corruption as people were being harassed under the new order. “Work which took one minute now takes months and the rates have also increased due to which people feel they are being needlessly fleeced in the new set-up”, he added.

Ironically, the Manch provided a solution to students of Punjabi University agitating for withdrawal in their fee. “All they need is to make their parents aware of the various new possibilities of corruption. Once this is done there would not be any need for future strikes”, said Ranbir.

The Manch ended the celebrations with announcement of an award to the “Most Corrupt Genius” next year.


Rights panel asks SSP to probe inmate’s case
Our Correspondent

Mansa, September 13
The Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has directed the SSP, Mansa, to inquire into the complaint of Mr Balwinder Singh of Malakpur Bhimra village of the district and take strong steps to provide justice to him. Mr Balwinder Singh, who is confined in the Central Jail, Bathinda, since October, 2002, in a case registered against him under Section 420 of the IPC on a complaint of his wife Ms Daljit Kaur had moved the PSHRC from the jail. According to the complaint submitted to the PSHRC, Mr Balwinder Singh got married to Ms Daljit Kaur, daughter of Mr Balbir Singh of Gobindpura village of Bathinda district in 1996.

He owned 7 acres of land at his native village. His wife, Ms Daljit Kaur, with the help of her father, Mr Balbir Singh, and her maternal aunt, Ms Shinder Kaur managed to dispose off the land and kept the money with her. Ms Daljit Kaur filed a case in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Sirsa, which was withdrawn by her on November 12, 1998, and she again started residing with Mr Balwinder Singh. When he demanded the money from his wife she managed to get a case registered against her husband in Sardulgarh police station under Section 420 on August 3, 1999. He was acquitted in the above case by the court of the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mansa, in December, 2001.

Ms Daljit Kaur again with the help of her maternal aunt tried to remarry in August, 2002. Mr Balwinder Singh threatened to take legal action upon which Ms Daljit Kaur again managed to get a case registered against him under Section 420 of the IPC in Mansa police station in connivance with the then SHO on October 25, 2002. Mr Balwinder Singh hads moved the PSHRC which has directed the SSP, Mansa, to inquire into the complaint.


Khera claims to have probed pigeon scandal
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, September 13
Mr Balwant Singh Khera, a former Janata Dal state president, said here today that he had made an inquiry into the pigeon scandal and had collected facts and figures. He claimed that Mr Balbir Singh Changiara, an NRI Akali leader, had hatched a conspiracy with Mr Sohan Singh Thandal, a former minister, Mr Tarlochan Singh Dupalpura, an SGPC member, other members of the SGPC and office-bearers of the Shiromani Akali Dal to allure youths of Punjab to Canada.

Mr Khera filed a criminal complaint in the court of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, New Delhi, on August 21 against Mr Thandal, Mr Dupalpura and Mr Changiara. He claimed that they had allured some unemployed youths of Punjab and taken them to Canada, impersonating them as Panj Piaras, after taking between Rs 8 lakh and Rs 10 lakh each from them and had had carried a hand-written Bir of Guru Granth Sahib and so-called weapons of Guru Gobind Singh.


Farmers to disrupt rail, road traffic
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, September 13
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of three farmer organisations today announced to disrupt rail and road traffic in the state on September 29 in support of farmers’ demands.

At an emergency meeting of the JAC, comprising representatives of the Kisan Sangarsh Committee, BKU (Ekta) and the Punjab Kisan Sabha, it was resolved to launch a statewide agitation against the indifferent attitude of the Punjab government towards farmers’ demands.

The meeting criticised the CM for issuing false statements regarding fulfilling of 90 per cent of promises made to the farmers. “It is shocking that the CM had no time to listen to the grievances of the farmers and they have been left at the mercy of the anti-farmer bureaucracy,” the meeting said.


Villagers without power for 10 days
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, September 13
Residents of Purowal under Dhariwal development blocks in this district have been without electricity for more than 10 days. Mr Karam Singh, sarpanch, said that the transformers installed at the nearby Langah village supplying power to the village were damaged around 15 days back.

Mr Karam Singh said he and other villagers met the authorities concerned many times to urge them to restore the power supply to the village, but to no avail. He said that the PSEB authorities despite promising to replace the transformer at the earliest had not done so, yet. The villagers demanded immediately restoration of power supply to the village.


Lovers commit suicide
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, September 13
Monica Handa (21), of the Local Professor Colony and Anil Narang (32) a father of three children, committed suicide at Grodu village in Joginder Nagar, Himachal Pradesh, on Thursday.

It may be recalled that Monica had eloped with Narang after drugging her parents and her brother on February 17. Her parents had lodged a complaint against Anil Narang for abducting their daughter.

When family members of Anil Narang came to know after nearly seven months that their son was staying near Joginder Nagar, they left for the place on Thursday to persuade him to come back. They also informed the local police which left for Joginder Nagar to arrest Anil Narang. However, when the police party reached the place yesterday they were told that the two, who had been living there as husband and wife had committed suicide.

Meanwhile, Anil was cremated last night. The cremation of Monica took place today.



Editor jailed for life
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, September 13
Sessions Judge S.N. Aggarwal here has sentenced Editor of “Jan Sangthan” a local daily, Yogesh Suri to life imprisonment and fined him Rs 10000, in a murder case. The court, in another case under the Arms Act, sentenced Yogesh Suri to six year jail and had imposed a fine of Rs 1000. Yogesh Suri had killed one of his associates Rajnish Kumar alias Puppi on the Punjab Technical University premises on February 3, 2002. On the complaint of Balwant Rai, the father of the deceased, the police registered a case under Section 302 of the IPC and various sections of the Arms Act.


HC Judge conducts surprise visit
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, September 13
Mr Justice Jasbir Singh of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today conducted a surprise inspection of the local courts here.

He inspected the courts and offices of the court. Later he heard the problems of the lawyers and promised to solve them.


Dowry case against 8 persons

Tarn Taran, September 13
The Patti police has booked eight persons under the Dowry Act.

Police sources told this correspondent here yesterday that the case had been registered on the complaint of Ms Sarabjit Kaur who was married to Tejinder Singh resident of Patti about a year ago. Besides Tejinder, the others accused are Harinder Kaur, the mother-in-law, Happy, Mintoo, Dimple and her husband Joti, Lakhwinder Kaur and her husband Bikram Singh. A case under Sections 498, 406 has been registered. — OC


11 employees found absent
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, September 13
As many as 11 employees out of 15 employees of local District Social Security Office were found absent from office during a surprise visit by Rana Gurjit Singh a local Congress MLA, yesterday.

Rana Gurjit Singh said the surprise raid was conducted in order to provide transparent administration to the public.

He said the District Social Security Officer along with his driver had gone to Phagwara. They had not marked their presence in the office before leaving. Out of the four employees who came to office two left the office after applying leave for two hours. He said the office had not maintained any movement register.


Recovery of Rs 33.4 lakh ordered
Our Correspondent

Mansa September 13
The District Mandi Board, Mansa authorities have ordered to recover Rs 33.40 lakh from seven of its employees for causing loss to the Market Committee due evasion of market fee on Sarson crop in 1989. Of the seven employees three — Mr Sukhdev Singh Gill, secretary, Mr Iqbal Singh, Mandi Supervisor and Mr Tribhawan Nath, auction recorder has died and the authorities have ordered the recovery of this amount from four of its employees namely Mr Gurjit Singh, Mr Gora Singh, Mr Ajaib Singh all mandi supervisors and Mr Amarjit Singh auction recorder.

According to sources a case of evasion of market fee of Rs 19 lakh on Sarson was noticed in 1989 but it was hushed up.

The case was again taken up by the authorities a few days ago and recovery of Rs 33.40 lakh was ordered with interest from the above employees.


Three cops attacked, injured
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 13
Three policemen, including a head constable and two SPOs were reportedly beaten up and injured by 10 persons, when they went to resolve a dispute in gali Ganda Singh on the Majitha road here late last evening.

Head constable, Sukhwinder Singh, escaped, two SPOs Bachittar Singh and Sahib Masih were detained by the accused persons.

Some of the accused were reportedly armed with sharp-edged weapons.

The police has arrested three of the accused while remaining accused fled the spot. These, include Satnam Singh, his sons Manpreet Singh and Tejinderpal Singh all residents of same area.

The police has registered a case under Sections 353, 186, 332, 148, 149 of the IPC at Sadar police station here.

The police sources said that head constable got an information that the accused who were inebriated were quarrelling with some persons.

However, when the HC and two SPOs went there, they started abusing them, they attacked them and tore up their uniforms.


2 held, 525 kg poppy husk seized
Our Correspondent

Mansa, September 13
The Bareta police has arrested Sewa Singh and Subeg Singh, residents of Tarn Taran district police and has seized 15 bags (525 kg) of poppy husk from them. An accomplice of them Iqbal Singh of Ratoke village of Amritsar district escaped.

The police has also impounded a truck (No. PB 55-1919) in which they were carrying the poppy husk. A case under the NDPS Act was registered. They were produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Mansa Harsh Mehta who remanded them into police custody for two days.


3 lakh children ‘do not go to school’

Kapurthala, September 13
More than three lakh children in Punjab do not attend school.

To impart basic education to such children, more than 1000 centres under the Education Guarantee Scheme of the Centre had been opened in Punjab, Mr R.K. Misra, consultant in the Education wing of the Ministry of Human Resources and Development, told reporters here.

Over three lakh children in the age group of 6 and 14 years in Punjab have never been to school, Mr Misra, who was here to monitor the functioning of EGS, said.

He said 12 per cent of the population of the country was between the age group of six to 14 years and the Centre was determined to give education to them by 2007 under the scheme. Sarav Shikhiya Abhiyaan Assistant Director Rajbir Singh said that EGS centres would be soon opened in deras, slum areas and remote villages in the state. —PTI


Govt to impart computer education from Class VI
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 13
The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, said today that the government would impart education in Information Technology in all government schools from the sixth standard onwards within a period of three years.

Speaking at a function here after inaugurating the new Judicial Court complex and unveiling the foundation stone of the lawyers Chambers, the Chief Minister said the Microsoft had agreed to provide computer education in all government schools in a phased manner. He said Microsoft would provide this facility free of cost and added that it hoped to sell its hardware to the learners at a later stage.

Capt Amarinder Singh said it would be the endeavour of his government to make children of the government schools computer literate. He said this was necessary to bridge the gap between government and private schools.

He said the government was also trying to usher in a IT revolution and that the multi-national Quark was coming up with an IT Park in Ropar which would be established in 5,000 acre and employ 13 lakh persons. He said besides this the government was committed to the diversification of agriculture for which various steps had already been taken.

The Chief Minister also assured the Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice, Mr B.K. Roy that paucity of funds would not be allowed to hamper the construction of the complexes in the state. He said Rs 35 crore had been earmarked for the purpose in the current financial year. He also announced a grant of Rs 1.50 crore for the construction of the lawyers' chambers in Patiala and handed over a cheque for Rs 50 lakh as the first instalment to the District Bar Association.

Earlier speaking on the occasion Mr Justice Roy inaugurated a Rs 17 crore District Judicial Complex. Among those who were present on the occasion were Justice G S Singhvi, Justice N.K. Sodhi, Justice V.K. Bali, Advocate-General Harbhagwan Singh, High Court Registrar-General Mr Pritam Pal, District and Sessions Judge Amar Nath Jindal and District Bar Association President Rakesh Gupta.


School pays homage to martyrs of Saragarhi battle
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 13
The 107th anniversary of the famous Saragarhi battle was observed at Saragarhi Memorial Government Senior Secondary School here yesterday. Homage was payed to the 21 martyrs of the one of the most fiercest battles fought in 1897.

The function was organised under the aegis of the National Welfare Society headed by Dr Kishan Thakur.

Students, teachers and employees of the school as well as the Principal, Mr Davinderpal Singh Dhillon, paid homage to the 21 Sikh soldiers who died fighting a horde of 10,000 tribesmen to save the fort. All 21 soldiers received the Indian Order of Merit equivalent to the Victoria Cross for their supreme sacrifice in the face of the death. The Saragarhi battle has been recognised by the British, the French and even in the history books of UNESCO as one of the bravest battles ever fought.


Kuchipudi dancers regale students
Our Correspondent

Nabha, September 13
Husband and wife team of Guru Jaya Ram Rao and Vanashree Rao, who have the distinction of representing India in 45 countries captivated the students of Punjab Public School, Nabha, with Kuchipudi dance in the school’s auditorium.

The function was organised under the aegis of SPIC-MACAY. Their dance on the brass plates was the highlight of the one-hour show. They have popularised the Kuchipudi dance from throughout the world. The husband and wife team not only performed but also explained the important aspects of the dance.

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