P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Committee to run SAD if Badal is held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 31
The Shiromani Akali Dal in the event of Mr Parkash Singh Badal’s arrest in a case of disproportionate assets against the Akali leader and his family.

It would be guided by a coordination committee rather than by an acting president.

The party has worked out details of a high powered committee that would look after the affairs of the party. This was disclosed by the party whip Manpreet Singh Badal in the Lashkara TV’s programme ‘Kharian Kharian’ to be telecast on Sunday evening at 7.45.

Hinting at party’s plans to deal with the situation likely to arise with Mr Badal’s arrest, Mr Manpreet Badal scotched the rumours that on Mr Badal’s arrest Mr Tohra will take over the SAD’s reins as Acting President. He said that instead of nominating an acting President, the party would prefer a high-power committee comprising top leaders.

The names that Mr. Manpreet indicated for comprising the committee include party secretary-general S.S. Dhindsa, the party general secretaries Capt. Kanwaljit Singh and Mr Balwinder Singh Bhunder, besides the SGPC Chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra.

Mr Badal and Tohra had parted ways on the very issue of making someone an Acting President of the party. Mr Tohra had demanded that Mr Badal should make an acting president of the party leading to bitterness in the Badal and the Tohra camps and the two had to part ways.

In the interview replying to a question on the party’s poll strategy for the Lok Sabha elections, Manpreet Badal said that besides continuing alliance with the BJP, the party would also try to join hands with the BSP. Describing the SAD-BJP-BSP alliance as an all time winning alliance in Punjab, he hinted that party had already opened channels to form alliance with the BSP.


Badal properties to be re-assessed?
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau is likely to re-assess the value of the main properties of the Badals, including the Gurgaon-based Orbit Resorts owned by Mr Parkash Singh Badal’s son, Mr Sukhbir, his Sector-9 residence and the Balasar farms near Sirsa.

According to reliable sources in the bureau, this exercise is being undertaken as officials have a doubt about the real value of these properties. The services of a private agency may also be hired.

Sources say the market value of Badal family’s properties evaluated by them is less than the properties actually owned by them. While their present calculations show the properties to be to the tune of Rs 500 crore, the Chief Minister had at the outset alleged that Mr Badal’s own properties were worth Rs 3,500 crore.


5-day notice for five in Harbans case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
Claiming harassment, Kuldeep Singh and four other residents of Muktsar district, accused of paying money to one Harbans Lal for securing work through the Badals, today moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking probe by a Judicial Commission into the matter.

Taking up the petition, a Division Bench of the High Court, comprising Mr Justice H.S. Bedi and Mr Justice Viney Mittal, directed the state of Punjab and other respondents to issue five-day notice in case the petitioners were required. Going into the background of the case, the petitioners submitted that Harbans Lal, also of Muktsar district, was picked up by the Vigilance Bureau on October 3 before being kept in illegal custody till October 5. On October 10, it was reported in the newspapers that Harbans Lal had given a statement to the Vigilance Bureau disclosing names of people who had paid money for securing work through the Badals. He later stated that the authorities had made him sign blank papers and was forced to make statements.

Meanwhile, most of the persons mentioned in the press statement by the Vigilance Bureau, including the petitioners, got together and denied the allegations before the media. They even submitted a memorandum to the Punjab Governor. The petitioners and others clarified that Kuldeep Singh had allegedly paid Rs 2.5 lakh for his son’s recruitment as Panchayat Secretary, but his only son was 10 years old. The allegations against petitioner Baba Bhakhtaur Singh too were false. He had reportedly paid Rs 2 lakh for his sons’ recruitment. Out of his four sons, only one was educated. He too was recruited as a Patwari in 1986.

The factual position, disclosed by the petitioners and others, antagonised the Vigilance Bureau. In an attempt to wreck vengeance, they started illegally raiding the houses and detaining the petitioners and others. Arguing before the court, counsel added that action against the petitioners and others was a part of a larger design to malign the image of the Badal family.

He added that the state of Punjab had lately witnessed an unprecedented reign of political vendetta unleashed by the present government at the instance of the Chief Minister upon Akali leadership and party workers.


Eleven more leaders leave SAD (Amritsar)
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 31
As many as 14 SAD (Amritsar) leaders of Noormahal unit resigned from the primary membership of the party due to differences with the senior leadership over the “restoration of internal democracy”.

Meanwhile, 51 senior party leaders of the Doaba region, who resigned from the posts on October 28, have convened an emergency meeting of the rebel leaders at Guru Teg Bhadur Nagar gurdwara here on November 5 to decide strategy to make party chief Simranjeet Singh Mann accept their demands.

The rebel leaders alleged that they were being ignored by the party high command even as some non-Akali leaders were being given importance over the dedicated party workers for past quite some time. Mr Mann has been keeping silence over the fast developing situation in the party.

Talking to reporters at the residence of former general secretary of the party Mr Paramjit Singh Johl, here this evening, rebels led by Mr Johl demanded that the national general secretary Dr Harjinder Jakhu should be expelled from the party for his role in patronising casteism in the party and for creating dissidence. Mr Johl also asserted that he and his other supporters were ready for probe for allegations against them that they had held a meeting with SAD leader Bibi Jagir Kaur.

Former president of the Kapurthala unit Mr Jagir Singh Wadala said that they were in constant touch with party's overseas delegates, who had extended full support to their demands.

Those who resigned from the primary membership include the senior vice-president of Noormahal unit Baldev Singh and Lakhwinder Singh, general secretary Mr Amrik Singh and Vice president Mr Joginder Singh, Gurnam Singh, Sukhwinder Singh.


Kang moves court to get FDs released
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 31
Senior Akali leader and a former Chairman of the Forest Corporation, Mr Manjinder Singh Kang, has moved the district court to get his FDs (fixed deposits) and saving bank accounts worth about Rs 3 crore opened in different banks of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh released. These accounts were sealed after the arrest of Mr Kang last year. The next date for hearing in the case has been fixed on November 21.

In his application, Mr Kang has appealed that he and his family had accounts in different banks and the Vigilance Bureau had directed the bank authorities not to allow him and his family members to operate their accounts.

Mr Kang said his family members, including his wife Rastinder Kaur, mother Kanwaljit Kaur, daughter Japneet Kaur and son Mehtab Singh had deposited the amount by way of fixed deposits in State Bank of India at Sarhali and Majitha.

He pleaded that he and his mother had a joint saving account in Punjab National Bank, Basant Avenue, Amritsar, which was accounted with the Income Tax Department.

However, the Vigilance Bureau, in its reply, claimed that the accused had maintained bank accounts in the name of his wife, mother, daughter and son.

The bureau alleged that Mr Kang had amassed this amount by illegal means during his stint as Chairman of the Forest Corporation. The bureau alleged that the accused had amassed property and cash worth Rs 5.29 crore during his tenure as a public servant.

The bureau alleged that after becoming the Chairman of the Forest Corporation, Mr Kang had amassed property and cash to the tune of Rs 1.15 crore which he deposited in different banks in Himachal Pradesh.

However, Mr Kang told TNS that his every penny was accounted for and mentioned in the income tax returns. He claimed that he got bail from the Punjab and Haryana High Court on the basis of the proofs of his known sources of income.

He alleged that he was being victimised due to his proximity with former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. Regarding the VB allegation that Mr Kang had no source of income but for an income of Rs 25,406, he said he had huge ancestral property, including rice shellers and agricultural land.


Daler skips date with police again
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 31
Punjabi pop star Daler Mehndi did not join investigations in the human trafficking case till late this evening despite agreeing to report at the Sadar police station at 5 p.m. today.

The pop star did not join investigations as he was reportedly ill. His lawyers, earlier in the day, hinted at the possibility of Daler Mehndi not being able to make it to Patiala today, but later said he would join investigations in the evening.

The special investigation team waited for the singer for hours. The team left the police station after a few hours. Daler’s lawyers did not report at the police station till late in the evening. Daler’s lawyer Anand Parkash, when contacted on telephone, said he did not know about Daler’s programme. He also refused to disclose Daler’s whereabouts.

Meanwhile, the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate extended the judicial remand of Shamsher Mehndi till November 11. Shamsher was presented in the district courts under tight security.


Tension builds up as MC occupies hospital
Tribune News Service

Maur Mandi (Bathinda), October 31
Tension started building up in this town after the local municipal council authorities allegedly forcibly took possession of the premises of a hospital being run by the Aggarwal Charitable Trust late last evening.

Though Mr Tarsem Chand, president of the trust, had moved an application with the police for taking necessary action against the municipal council authorities, efforts were being made by members of the trust to launch an agitation to protest against the ‘highhandedness’ of the municipal council authorities.

In the application, Mr Tarsem Chand alleged that goods belonging to the trust, which were lying on the premises, which was allotted to the trust by the municipal council authorities in 1970, were thrown away late last evening, when most members were away to attend court proceedings at Talwandi Sabo in a case pending against the municipal council authorities.

He alleged that those who took forcible possession of the premises destroyed the evidence which could establish the fact that the premises were in possession of the trust. He added that the municipal council authorities took forcible possession of the premises though a case was pending in the court of the SDM, Talwandi Sabo, in this connection.

Mr Kulwant Singh, president of the municipal council, while denying that the premises were forcibly occupied, claimed that only residential quarters, which were lying vacant, were occupied by the municipal council authorities.

Mr Gurpreet Singh, SHO of the Maur police station, while confirming that a complaint had been lodged against the municipal council authorities, said he had asked for the records from the complainant and legal action would be taken according to the records.


Waiting for jobs on compassionate grounds
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
Undoubtedly, God has been harsh on them. But the Punjab Government, instead of lessening their suffering, has added to their pain and woes. Take the case of Mrs Raj Kaur and her two sons. Her husband, Mr Jaswant Singh Randhawa ( 49), a Superintendent in the Punjab Civil Secretariat, died in December last year. In his death, the family lost the only bread winner.

Likewise, Mr Avtar Chand, Senior Assistant in the Civil Secretariat, died early this year leaving behind his wife, three daughters and a son. The family is in deep distress as there is no other source of income. Then there is Mrs Harjinder Kaur, a handicapped woman, whose husband Mr Shamsher Singh, a state government employee passed away a few months ago. She is facing difficulty in paying for the studies of her school-going son.

The list of such families is long. These families have been waiting for jobs on compassionate grounds. However, the prevailing red-tapism at the top level, has become a curse for these families. To provide jobs to the next of kin of the employees who die in harness is a declared policy of the state. But for the past many months, the government has been playing with the sentiments of the kin of the deceased employees by denying jobs to them.

There are about 2000 employees, who died in harness in the past two years. Cases of their kin are pending with the state government for jobs. “ Every officer of the state government expresses sympathy with us whenever we go to meet him or her. Promise is also made to do the needful at the earliest. However, the promise is forgotten immediately after the meeting”, says one affected family. The only woman officer, who has tried to help us has been Mrs Rupan Deol Bajaj. She had sanctioned 16 posts in the Civil Secretariat for the kin of deceased employees . However, following her transfer the matter has ended there.

“We have formed a sort of association to collectively pursue the cases for job. There are 16 persons, who are to be provided jobs in the Civil Secretariat on compassionate grounds. But posts vacant in the Secretariat are about 600. In spite of this fact, employment to the kin in distress is being denied”, say other affected families. Informed sources said there were about 12,000 applications pending with the government for jobs on compassionate ground. Besides death, there are other cases such as those of handicapped persons, the blind, riot victims etc.

Interestingly, there is no ban on employment to be made on compassionate grounds. But even then, there is no effort on the part of the government to show a little bit of sympathy to the families, who have been destabilised all of a sudden because of the loss of their bread winners. Sources said that maximum cases — about 500 — were pertaining to the Transport Department. Many employees-drivers and conductors-died in accidents leaving the families behind in the lurch. Then there are about 300 cases of the police department.

Sources said a meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee would be held on November 3 to be chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.


PAC to decide on candidate for SGPC poll
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 31
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Parkash Singh Badal today said the Parliamentary Affairs Committee (PAC) of the party would decide on the candidate to be nominated for presidentship of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).

Mr Badal was replying to a question as to whether Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra would be renominated to the post of President of the SGPC at its general house meeting on November 20. The SAD chief said the PAC would meet shortly to finalise the party candidate for the post.

Questioned on reports that a case might be filed against his wife Surinder Kaur Badal, he said it would be unfortunate if this was done. He said he was prepared for cases being registered against him and his son under the vendetta politics of the Congress government, but said the people would not tolerate women being targeted.

Mr Badal also lashed out at the coterie of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. He said this coterie was running the state and ministers and legislators of the Congress did not have any role to play in the administration. He said the Congress would have to pay a heavy price for this manner of functioning.


Punjab borders with Pak to have sensors, says IG
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, October 31
Punjab border with Pakistan has been sealed and not even a single incident of infiltration from the border had been reported this year. This was stated by Mr G.S. Gill, Inspector-General, Punjab Frontier BSF to reporters at Training Centre of the Border Security Force at Kharkan Camp 12 km from here today. He said that some activities of smugglers were being noticed on the border. Recently four kg of heroin was seized from a tractor of a person residing adjoining to the Fazilka sector. One kg of heroin was also seized three months ago in the Khemkaran sector. It was thrown by a Pakistani smuggler to the Indian side.

He said that 3½ kg of Cocaine was also seized from a national of Kenya and another of Nigeria. Cocaine was packed in capsules hidden in their bodies.

Dump of arms and ammunition was also detected adjoining to the border in which nine revolvers, magazines and large quantity of ammunition had been recovered this year.

Mr Gill said sensors machines would be installed on all key points of the Punjab border to check infiltration.

Earlier Mr Gill took the salute from 364 recruits and gave away medals to nine recruits for excellence during training. Recruit Constable Sandeep Kumar and Recruit Constable Ashutosh were adjudged overall best.

Mr S.S. Chatrath, Commandant, STC BSF, Kharkan said that in all 364 recruits had passed out on competition of 36 week training.

A culture programme was also organised after the passing out parade for the entertainment of guests and troops by the recruits of the BSF Training Centre.


Golden jubilee convention of diocese held
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 31
The golden jubilee convention of the Diocese Church of North India here concluded today with the participants taking a pledge to fight against all types of injustice, exploitation and coercion.

On the concluding day, Mr J.N. Noel gave a call to the Christians to rise above all types of sectarianism and follow the path shown by Jesus Christ. While addressing the delegates from various churches in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, he said the Church had launched an unrelenting struggle against the “dark forces” spread in the world in form of exploitation, corruption, gender bias, female foeticide, communalism, casteism and terrorism etc.

A special edition of Masihi Sansar, a bilingual fortnightly, was released by Mr Detlev Knoche, secretary, Protestant Church of Hessen and Nassau, Germany to commemorate the golden jubilee celebration. On the occasion, Mr P.K. Sarnantaroy, Bishop, honoured six priests — Mr Jagannath, Mr Y. Paljor, Mr Barkat Masih, Mr Bela Singh, Mr Sardari Lal and Deacon Samvel Ajnala, who had retired after serving in the diocese. They were presented with mementoes and citations. A debate competition for various age groups was held to create awareness about various socio-economic problems and issues.

The convention came to its closing with a holy communion service which was led by Mr C.M. Khanna and lighting ceremony by Mr Danial B. Das.


Dengue claims seven lives
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
Dengue has claimed seven lives in Punjab so far, Health and Family Welfare Minister Ramesh Chander Dogra said here today.

Confirming 353 cases of dengue all over the state, Mr Dogra claimed that timely preventive steps had succeeded in containing the spread of dengue. The situation was reviewed at a high-level meeting here today.

The minister said the government had ensured sufficient supply of medicines, IV fluids and blood to meet any eventuality. Anti-larval operations and fogging had been carried out in all affected areas. A team comprising the Zonal Malaria Officer, entomologist-cum-parasitologist and epidemiologist, had visited all affected areas to monitor the situation.


Spurned girlfriend throws acid on boy
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 31
Sunder, a youth residing in the Sanjay Nagar locality of this town, suffered 30 per cent burn injuries on his face, neck and upper parts of both arms, after acid was thrown on him by his girl- friend and her sister yesterday.

Civil Hospital sources said that condition of Sunder, who was admitted in the burn ward, was out of danger and he was responding to treatment.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that Sunder was having an affair with a girl residing in the nearby locality for the past many years. When his girlfriend insisted a few months ago that they should get married, Sunder refused to do the same. She started harbouring animosity against him.

Yesterday when Sunder was passing by the locality of the girl, she met him on the way, and invited him, to her house. When Sunder went to her house, she along with her sister allegedly poured acid, which was filled in a jug, on him.

Sunder ran for safety and jumped into a pond situated nearby.


Zoji La hero cremated

Nabha, October 31
Risaldar (Honorary Lieutenant) Kartar Singh Gill, the 90-year-old hero of the victory over the Pak invaders in the Zoji La in Kashmir in 1948 who passed away yesterday, was cremated today at his native Paden village near here in Patiala district with full military honours.

An Army contingent from the 7th Light Cavalry reversed arms sounded the Last Post and fired a volley of rounds during the funeral, which was attended by a large number of people from the village and surrounding areas.

The Punjab government was represented by the Sub Divisional Magistrate and the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Nabha. Wreaths were laid on behalf of the 7th Light Cavalry by Major Ashok Kumar Chauhan and the senior government and police officials.

The 7th Light Cavalry is celebrating Zoji La Day on the November 1 — the day when the Indian troops had captured the strategically important pass in Kashmir in 1948.

Risalder (Honorary Lieutenant) Kartar Singh Gill was the leading troop leader during this attack and had kept his head out of the tank turret despite heavy enemy fire. His last wish was that in case he died before that day, his ashes be immersed at Kiratpur Sahib on November 1.

He was planning to join the 7th Light Cavalry — his parent Regiment — in the celebrations and had in fact postponed his departure for Canada on this account only.

The Bhog ceremony of the brave soldier would be observed at his native village on November 9. — UNI


AIDS awareness camp for jail inmates
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 31
A camp for creating awareness about AIDS was held by the Malwa AIDS Suraksha Sangathan Movement at the local Central Jail yesterday.

Mrs Raj Gupta, president of the NGO, said AIDS was a non-curable disease and could be prevented by behavioural changes. She said by following Indian traditional values, practising safe sex, using sterilised needles and using safe blood, AIDS could be prevented. She added that even hepatitis B and C could spread by needles, blood and unsafe sex.

Mr Sukhdev Singh Saggu, Superintendent Jail, urged the inmates to become good citizens. He said creating awareness about AIDS in every section of society was necessary, as the disease had no cure.


Sabha gives aid to 60 widows
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, October 31
Mr Vikas Pratap, Deputy Commissioner of Ferozepore, distributed financial aid, foodgrains, clothes and other essential household articles of routine use to 60 widows in a function organised by the Shri Geeta Bhavan Ashai Hitkarni Sabha, Fazilka, yesterday.

The sabha has been providing help to poor widows for the past 32 years. He said that helping the poor was true service and religion. The DC announced a grant of Rs 25,000 to the sabha from the District Red Cross Society.

Mr Hari Krishan Bhatia, secretary of the sabha, was spending about Rs 5 lakh annually in providing help to the poor and needy women. He said it also organised marriage of 25 poor girls every year.


Indira’s martyrdom day observed
Tribune Reporters

Hoshiarpur, October 31
The 9th martyrdom day of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was observed as “national sankalp divas” here today. A function was organised under the presidentship of Mr Kirandeep Singh Bhullar, Deputy Commissioner, at the local Zila Parishad hall in this connection.

Mr Bhullar said Indira Gandhi sacrificed her life for national integrity, unity and secularism.

FARIDKOT: A large number of local residents paid rich tributes to late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on her 19 martyrdom day at a district-level function held at the Mini-Secretariat here today. Mr Hussan Lal, Deputy Commissioner, presided over the function. Earlier, a two-minute silence was also observed by the participants.


Zonal Youth Fest inaugurated

Abohar, October 31
Mr I.S. Dhillon the Director of the Youth Welfare Department of Panjab University, inaugurated the Zonal Youth Festival of College of education of B zone affiliated with the university at DAV College of Education here today. The organising secretaries, Mr Jitender Grover and Dr Anita Arora, said more than 500 students from eight colleges were participating in the festival. — OC


Torch procession
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar October 31
Torch procession held today on the third day of the 12th annual 'Mela Gadhri Babeyan Da' was being led by a look-alike of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee controlled by the look-alike of American President Bush The procession passed through the main lanes of the city today with hundreds of artistes participating in the procession.


Evening peak load hours changed
Our Correspondent

Patiala, October 31
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has changed the timing of evening peak load hour restrictions for all large supply consumers with effect from November 1.

The revised timing of the peak load hour restrictions for large supply consumers falling under all the operation zones except the Central Zone will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and the same for Central Zone will be from 6.30 p.m.


High Court
Dairy complex residents move petition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
Taking up a petition filed by 58 residents of Bhagtanwala Dairy complex in Amritsar seeking directions to the state of Punjab and other respondents against interference in their peaceful possession, Mr Justice S.S. Nijjar and Mr Justice S.S. Grewal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed that the petitioners would not be dispossessed till the next date.

Pronouncing the orders, the Judges also issued notice of motion to the state, the Municipal Corporation and another respondent. The case will now come up for further hearing on November 3.

In their petition, Surinder Kumar and others had earlier submitted that they had shifted from within the walled city to the areas outside on “express arrangement with the Municipal Corporation”.

Home Secretary summoned

Taking a serious view of the fact that the provisions for the disposal of contraband were not be complied with, Mr Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel of the High Court on Friday directed Punjab’s Home Secretary to be present in the court for explaining why the “mandate of the legislature and court directions were not being complied with”.

The Judge also directed the filing of an affidavit in the matter. Pronouncing the orders, the Judge ruled: “The Parliament added Section 52-A to the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act for the disposal of the contraband seized by the police with a view to prevent any misuse after seizure and also with a view to obviate the responsibility for safekeeping”.


Five ‘Khalistan’ militants held

Moga, October 31
The Muktsar Police today arrested five members of the Khalistan Commando Force including its self-styled General Paramjit Singh.

The group led by Paramjit Singh were nabbed while they were allegedly planning to rob former Panchayat member Rajpal Singh in Gidderbaha area last night, Muktsar Senior Superintendent of Police Surinder Pal Singh said.

Three pistols were allegedly recovered from them, he said.

The other members were identified as Iqbal Singh, Jalvinder Pal Singh, Gurjant Singh and Jaskaran Singh.

Interrogation of the KCF members revealed that Paramjit Singh was first arrested during Operation Bluestar in 1984 from the Tutigandhi Muktsar Gurdwara and was released from Sangrur Jail after one and half year. — PTI


Five held for demanding ransom
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, October 31
The police has arrested Paramjit Singh Pamma, self-styled chief general of the Khalistan Commando Force (KCF), and his associates Iqbal Singh, alias Kala, Jatinderpal Singh, alias Lovely, Gurjant Singh and Jaskaran Singh for demanding ransom of Rs 10 lakh from Mr Rajpal Singh, a former sarpanch, of Karaiwala village, by using the letter pads of the KCF.

A police team arrested them yesterday while they were going to collect the ransom from Mr Rajpal Singh. Three pistols with 10 live cartridges were recovered. A case under Sections 386 and 387 of the IPC was registered.


Couple booked for fraud
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, October 31
The Bholath police has registered a case under Sections 406, 420 of the Indian Penal Code and under Section 24 of Immigration Act against Gurmit Singh and his wife Bholi both travel agents of Gurala village in Hoshiarpur district on the charge of duping Ajit Singh of Nangal Lubana village under the Bholath police station of this district of Rs two lakh for sending his son Sukhnam Singh to Germany.

Dr R.N. Dhoke, Senior Superintendent of Police told that in a complaint alleged that Gurmit Singh and his wife demanded Rs four lakh for sending his son to Germany and took Rs two lakh and passport of the boy in June 2002 and took Sukhnam Singh to Delhi and he came back after waiting for a month in Delhi.

The travel agents neither sent Sukhnam Singh abroad nor returned money and passport.


10 booked for abducting 2 girls
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 31
The Majitha district police has booked 10 persons allegedly for kidnapping two girls including a minor one here last evening.

The Jandiala police booked Ashok Kumar, a resident of Jyotisar along with his mother Rajrani and two sisters Jyoti and Rajni allegedly for luring and kidnapping a minor girl. Surinder Singh, father of the girl in his complaint alleged that accused sometimes used to follow her. He said on October 1, she went to her school but did not return. He suspected that she was kidnapped by the accused. A case has been registered under Section 363, 366, 120-B of the IPC.

In another incident, Major Singh of village Bhinder under the Beas police station alleged that his daughter was kidnapped by Shamsher Singh alongwith five other persons. He alleged that accused persons entered his house and kidnapped her daughter on October 28. He alleged that the accused threatened him. A case under Section 363, 366, 120-B and 506 of the IPC had been registered at Beas police station.


Four teachers booked for having fake degrees
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 31
The police has booked four teachers of various schools allegedly for possessing fake degrees of bachelor of education here today.

According to information, the complaint was lodged against the teachers on the statement of Mr Yashpal Mehra, District Education Officer (DEO) elementary. Those booked include Ms Harjinder Kaur, Government Primary School Sangarkot Khadoor Sahib, Shashi Bhushan Government Primary School Jagdev Khurd Ajnala-2, Pawan Kumar, Government Primary School Nabgal block Ajnala-2 and Ramanjit kaur Government Primary School Bohila Ajnala-2, the DEO alleged that the accused persons found to possess fake B.Ed degrees from Magadh university.

The police has registered a case under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC at Civil Line police station here.


SAD MLA aide in police custody
Our Correspondent

Kharar, October 31
In a case registered against Mr Jagdip Singh Nakai, SAD MLA from Joga Constituency, under Section 420/467/468/471, 120 of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act on July 28, 2003, the Punjab Vigilance Bureau today produced another accused Gurpinder Singh Grewal in a court here which remanded him in police custody till November 2.

The bureau sought a remand of 10 days of the accused. The bureau pleaded that Grewal used to get bribe Nakai for transfers and promotions of the officers. He also added that during the SAD regime the accused floated Grewal Transport in SAS Nagar spent Rs 40 lakh on a house in Sector 40 A, Chandigarh, purchased a car for Rs 7.5 lakh and deposited Rs 8 lakh in a bank in SAS Nagar. Defence counsel alleged that the accused was tortured by the bureau and medical examination of the accused was not being conducted.


Debt-ridden farmer ends life
Our Correspondent

Jalalabad, October 31
Sukhbir Singh (37), a farmer of the nearby Chak Saiod Ke village allegedly committed suicide by jumping into Gang Canal. On the complaint of the father of the accused, the police has booked a local financier, Vicky Bajaj, under Section 306, IPC. According to DSP Jalandhar Sarabjit Singh, the farmer had taken a loan from Vicky Bajaj.

A suicide note was found in the clothes of the deceased which said that Vicky Bajaj was charging a heavy interest on the loan.

The visibly shocked father of the deceased, Manga Singh, told ‘The Tribune,’ that his son Sukhbir, father of four children, was under a severe depression due to the heavy interest charged.


71 teachers honoured
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 31
As many as 71 teachers of this district, whose students have been showing 100 per cent pass percentage during the past four consecutive years, were honoured by the Director Public Instruction (DPI), Schools, Punjab, Mr Sohan Lal, at a function held here yesterday.

Mr Lal urged the teachers to work with dedication and instil a sense of self-discipline in their students.

Mr Makhan Lal Goyal, Circle Education Officer, Faridkot, said the programme to honour teachers showing good results would be started in other districts also. He claimed that honouring these teachers would motivate other teachers also.

Mr Lachhman Singh Brar, District Education Officer (Secondary), said that earlier this district was considered backward, but now it had made a considerable progress in this area.

Many educationists and representatives of some private and government-aided schools also attended the function.


Teachers from UK college visit schools
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, October 31
A eight-member team of teachers from North Fleet Technology College, Gravesend Kent, UK visited Shivalik Public School and JSFH Khalsa High School here and Government Secondary School, Langroya, yesterday under a project to study the Indian system of education.

The team visited three types of schools — private schools, privately managed government aided schools and government schools. They visited the classrooms, science laboratories, libraries, computer labs and interacted with the teachers and students.

Mr Jagjit Singh Grewal, project chairman and Mr Joginder Pal Singh Dhindsa, local coordinator, said the project was aimed at strengthening the cultural links between the UK and Punjab via professional exchange. The teachers from UK would have a first-hand experience of the cultural background of the Punjabis and it would be helpful for them in handling the students of Punjabi origin in a better way.

Mr Grewal said in North Fleet Technology College, large number of students of Punjabi origin were studying. He said the team members were impressed with the Punjabi culture’ especially the respect the students paid their teachers here.

Mr Mike O’Shea, Assistant Head-Teacher, North Fleet Technology College, while sharing his experiences, said it was a wonderful visit and he was very much impressed with the high cultural traditions, values and hospitality of the Punjabis. This visit would help him handle the students of Punjabis origin in a better way, he added.


Posts of Principal to be filled through promotion

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 31
The Punjab Government has decided to fill 15 vacant posts of Principal in government colleges through promotion with the approval of the Chief Minister. This was informed by Dr Harnam Dass Johar, Higher Education Minister, while presiding over a meeting of district officials at Aam Khas Bagh, Sirhind, last evening.

He said it would be provided that newly promoted Principals would have to serve on the same post for the period of at least two years. The minister further said on the basis of his recent visits to various colleges the presence of lecturers as well as students would be ensured and he would conduct time-to-time inspections in the colleges.

Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, said to provide clean environment at Government Jawahar Lal Nehru College for Women at Tooran village, 7000 plants of various types had been planted by the Forest Department. Dr Harbans Lal, MLA, Sirhind, and Vaid Hari Krishan President, DCC, were also present on the occasion. OC


PTU to start part-time M Tech courses
Our Correspondent

Ropar, October 31
Punjab Technical University (PTU) will start M Tech courses in various engineering colleges of the state. The unique feature of these courses was that these could be pursued on a part-time basis.

Mr Y.S. Rajan, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, stated this while talking to this correspondent today. He was here to inaugurate two-day national conference on Embedded Communication Systems and Networks being organised at the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), Bhaddal.

When questioned about various courses being run by PTU — like M.Sc (IT) — which were neither recognised by the AICTE nor the UGC, Mr Rajan said the university was fully empowered to run such distance-education courses.

About the consistent complaints regarding the examination system of PTU, the Vice-Chancellor said things were being improved.


College teachers hold rally
Our Correspondent

Patiala, October 31
On a call given by the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union (PCCTU), teachers of non- government colleges of Patiala, Bathinda, Mansa, Sangrur, Ropar and Fatehgarh Sahib organised a rally near the Chief Minister’s residence to protest against the “anti- education and anti-staff” policy of the state government.

The PCCTU alleged that the state government instead of keeping its promise of continuing the 95 per cent salary grant to colleges had reduced it to 56 per cent resulting in non-payment of salaries for months. They said even the reduced grant for the second quarter ending August had not been released by the Finance Secretary (Expenditure). Despite decision to withdraw 10 per cent annual cut, the salary grant had not been increased, they added.

The PCCTU leaders also condemned the failure of the state government to grant all benefits allowed by the UGC as per the revised scales. Benefits of total service, past service done in other colleges and two incentive increments for Ph.D had not been granted so far.

The PCCTU has decided to cease work for sometime and hold rallies on November 6 to pressurise the state government to release grant for the second quarter.

The rally was addressed by union president S.S. Hundal, general secretary V.K Tewari, Secretary Surjit Singh, and Prof Aminder Pal Singh.

Recognise teachers’ role, says DC
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib,  October 31
“A teacher’s role in developing the talent of a student can not be ignored so in future if a student qualify at district level in the respective field the teacher of the student would also be honoured with the student,” Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, announced this recently while addressing a gathering at Mata Gujri Government Senior Secondary School here after inaugurating a district-level science exhibition. He announced a grant of Rs 5100 to students presenting models in the exhibition.

The exhibition was divided into six parts named: science and technology, transport and communication, information and technology, industry and bio-technology. At least 97 models by students of 44 schools were presented in the exhibition. The students qualifying at the district-level would participate at the state-level science exhibition.


Kids enthral grandparents
Our Correspondent

Patiala, October 31
It was a visual treat for the grandparents of tiny tots of Blossoms School, as kids presented a colourful cultural bonanza on the eve of Annual Grandparents Day here today. The school Principal, Mr Ravi Singh, while welcoming the guests, said the main purpose of the annual trend was to develop a bond between the grandparents and children.

During the celebration, tiny tots regaled their grandparents in an hour-long performance. The programme started with the nursery kids exhibiting different attires, for different seasons and was followed by a dramatisation of a rhyme, ‘This Old Man’. Kids of nursery class displayed the attire of wedding couples of different religions. Children presented a colourful musical play “Shiv vivah”.The function concluded with a giddha.

BE students on indefinite strike
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, October 31
Students of various BE courses have been staging an indefinite dharna since October 29 in front of the house of the Director of the Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology (SLIET) in protest against the denial of admission to fifth semester to at least 25 students who have to reappear in the first semester examination.

The students are demanding the scrapping of the year-back-rule.


Importance of philosophy stressed

Bathinda, October 31
A seminar on the “Significance of philosophy in contemporary times” was organised by the Department of Philosophy at Government Rajindra College here yesterday. Prof Prem Pali, an eminent philosopher, addressing the students said philosophy should be the guide to see at the world more than the specialised branches of knowledge. — TNS


Programme to promote  small enterprises
Our Correspondent

Patiala, October 31
The valedictory function of five-day entrepreneurs development programme on tailoring and fashion designing organised by the National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC) in collaboration with the National Institute of Fashion Design was held here today.

The main aim of the programme was to inculcate entrepreneurial skills among the participants and to motivate them to start their own small enterprises. NSIC officers informed that the institute had been working for the development of small scale industries all over the country with its schemes for financing, marketing and technical export.

To meet the challenges of growth and competition in changed industrial scenario, the NSIC had now focussed on marketing products of small scale industries through export.

Small scale industries were now assisted by the NSIC in acquiring new technologies and upgrading their production techniques and qualities to compete in international market. The centre Director, NIFD, Mr Vikram Gupta, in his address said a sale outlet for products of these trained participants was being planned to provide them self-employment opportunities. These up- coming enterprises would be motivated to design and manufacture their products in line with customer requirement.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Tejveer Singh, was the chief guest on the occasion. Mr Shivdular Singh Dhillion, ADC, and Mr Ujjagar Singh, DPRO, were guests of honour.

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