P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



No room for dissidents in Punjab Bhavan
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Resentful of denial of accommodation in Punjab Bhavan and Kapurthala House in New Delhi early next week for their crucial meeting with the party observers, Punjab Congress Legislature Party (CLP) dissidents are “all set to make a last concerted effort on January 5 and 6 in support of their demand for change of leadership in the state.”

The meetings scheduled for January 5 and 6 are going to be decisive, said a senior leader of the party. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, he said efforts were on to work out a compromise formula and avoid the change of leadership at this stage when the Lok Sabha elections were being forced on the nation.

“On one hand the Chief Minister and his camp is talking about reconciliation while on the other hand it has outrightly rejected request by ministers and MLAs owing allegiance to the dissident group for accommodation in Punjab Bhavan and Kapurthala House on January 5 and 6 for the meeting convened by the party high command,” remarked spokes-man for the dissidents.

Interestingly, the legislators belonging to the Chief Minister’s camp were asked to be in Delhi by this evening or early tomorrow morning for a meeting with the AICC observers. A lunch was also planned for them at Kapurthala House with the Chief Minister. Late evening developments, however, indicated that the Chief Minister would now go to Delhi only on January 5.

The dissidents have decided to visit Banga on January 4 to attend the death anniversary bhog ceremony of Jagat Ram, a former minister and father of Mr Tarlochan Singh Sund, MLA. After the bhog they will leave in a group for Delhi where they will again impress upon the party high command to change the CLP leader to “save Congress in Punjab”.

Though efforts were being made for reconciliation and compromise, dissidents appeared to be adamant.

Inordinate delay in taking a decision and now denial of accommodation in Delhi has led to widespread resentment among the dissidents and party workers. The possibility of dissidents insisting that instead of them going to Delhi on January 5 and 6, it will be prudent for the special observers to come down to Chandigarh and listen to all legislators here.

Sources reveal that though the party high command wanted all legislators to come to Delhi for final hearing on January 2 and 3, because of shortage of time they could not meet the party deadline. Instead they suggested January 5 and 6, which was accepted.

The dissidents are hopeful that the observers being appointed for the final round will be those, who do not handle Punjab affairs.

Mr Ashwani Kumar, MP, who was here in connection with a meeting of Deputy Commissioners and district police chiefs with Members of Parliament from the state, said the final decision on Punjab crisis was expected in next two or three days.

Asked about the internal bickering in the Congress continuing at the cost of state exchequer, Mr Ashwani Kumar said “in any case, dissident activity should not result in bringing governance to a standstill and it should not be a burden on the state exchequer. Democratic government is accountable to people for how the official machinery and resources are used”.


Badal seeks support for Lok Sabha poll
Our Correspondent

Barnala, January 2
Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President of the Shiromani Akali Dal, as well as the Leader of Opposition, exhorted the people to give massive mandate to the Shiromani Akali Dal -Bharatiya Janata Party combine in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.

Mr Badal was addressing a gathering in Natha Singh Memorial  Gurdwara complex, Dhanaula, today in connection with the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh. Mr Rajwant Singh, patron of the Gurdwara, and Mr Sukhwant Singh, a senior Punjab BJP leader, honoured Mr Badal with Maharaja Ranjit Singh Gold Medal. Mr Darshan    Singh Dhaliwal, an NRI from the USA and Mr Surjit Singh Rakhra, MLA Samana, were decorated with Shaheed Natha Singh award on this occasion.

Mr Badal urged the people of Punjab to judge the performance of political parties in wake of the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.

Mr Badal lauded Mr Vajpayee-led NDA government at the Centre for enhancing prestige of Punjab by installing the portraits of late Master  Tara Singh, a veteran Akali Dal leader, and Baba Khadak Singh in Parliament House and erecting a statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in front of Parliament House.

Among others who spoke included Mr Sangh Priya Gautam, Union Agro-Rural Industries Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh General Secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal, and   Mr Harjit Singh Grewal, Punjab BJP General Secretary. 


12 SAD workers booked
Our Correspondent

Ropar January 2
The Ropar police has registered a case against 12 SAD workers from the district for blocking traffic and burning the effigy of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, at the Bhatha Sahib gurdwara crossing yesterday. The sources here said those booked included Gurinder Singh Gogi, district president of the Youth Akali Dal, Harpreet Singh Basant, vice-president of the Youth Akali Dal, and Gurvinder Singh Dumeheri.

The SAD workers have been booked under Sections 283 of the IPC and 188 of the CrPC.

Mediapersons had to face difficulty in collecting information regarding the case no police official was willing to part with the information. A police official, on condition of anonymity, said they had been told not to give information to mediapersons.

The new SSP, Mr Surinder Pal Singh, who also holds the charge of SP (vigilance), could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

The authorities of the local Press Club have decided to issue an ultimatum through the district administration to the SSP in view of the difficulty being faced by newspersons while collecting information. They have warned that if the situation did not improve, they would be forced to boycott all press releases of the police in the district.


Challan against Shamsher Mehndi presented
Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 2
Though as many as 35 persons had claimed to have given money to Shamsher Mehndi in the human trafficking case, the police today filed a challan against him in a local court, stating that it had been able to find sufficient evidence to challan him in the case on the basis of only four complaints.

The challan said the other complainants had still not submitted any evidence. If evidence was forthcoming from more complainants, a supplementary challan would be filed. The challan is silent on pop star Daler Mehndi’s role in the case. It only states that he had joined investigation as per the orders of the Delhi High Court. It will come up for hearing on January 7. The SSP, Mr A S Rai, said Daler Mehndi was a part of the case, but the police did not have evidence against him. If the situation remained the same after the arrest of other accused in the case, the police would start proceedings to discharge him.

The complainants who have been mentioned in the challan are Bakshish Singh, Jaswinder Singh, Malkit Singh and Shamsher Singh. It stated that they had given sufficient evidence to prove that they had given money to Shamsher Mehndi. As many as 28 witnesses had been listed in the challan including police officials, and a passport office official. Case property details have been attached to the challan.


MP for opening of Hussainiwala border
Our Correspondent

Abohar, January 2
Mr Zora Singh Mann, MP, talking to reporters here today, said the opening of Hussainiwala (Ferozepore) border might be set after the SAARC summit in Islamabad. During a meeting of Indian parliamentarians with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and the Foreign Minister, this issue was discussed in Islamabad last month.

Pakistan seemed willing to open road traffic to Rajasthan and Kashmir, he said.

He said he along with SAD president Parkash Singh Badal and Union Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa had met Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha last month to discuss the reopening of the Hussainiwala border. The issue was likely to be discussed in Islamabad, he said, adding that leaders on both sides favoured free trade and flow of visitors for better ties.

On the rail link between Abohar and Fazilka, he said it was only a runover that preliminary preparations for the 42-km rail line work had already been set in motion. He said the foundation stone would be laid after the Maghi fair.

He said Chief Minister Amarinder Singh was in favour of a judicial commission inquiry into the allegations of corruption against the Badal family but was not willing for a CBI probe into the intranet scam involving his son. 


Terms for absorption of CRPF, BSF officers
into Punjab Police
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The Punjab Government has laid down specific conditions facilitating the absorption of 12 paramilitary (PMF) officers from the CRPF and the BSF on deputation into the Punjab Police. A letter seeking their absorption against newly created ex-cadre posts was taken recently so that the seniority of other officers was not affected.

Turning down the conditional consent given earlier, the letter directs the officers concerned to give fresh acceptance of the conditions stipulated in their letters of appointment within three days of receipt failing which the offer will be deemed to have been cancelled. In that case, they would stand relieved to join their parent departments.

According to sources in the police, the twelve officers, including two BSF officers, whose cases are being considered for permanent retention are Mr Vivek Mishra (CRPF), Mr Ananya Gautam (CRPF), Mr Khubi Ram (CRPF), Mr R.C. Sethi (CRPF), Mr Rakesh Chandra (CRPF), Mr Sunil Kumar (BSF), Mr H.S. Grewal (CRPF), Mr S.K. Sharma (CRPF), Mr S.P.S. Basra (CRPF), Ms Amrit Brar (CRPF), Mr A.K. Pandey (CRPF) and Mr S.K. Singh (BSF). Ms S.K. Dhillon, who is posted at the Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, has already sought reversion to her parent cadre in the CRPF and will be relieved shortly.

As per these conditions, the appointments are to be made against ex-cadre posts which will be stand abolished following their retirement/dismissal or resignation. They will be appointed as officiating SPs in the pay scale of Rs 7,800 -Rs 13,500 and their existing pay will be protected in this pay scale.

To ensure that the seniority of other officers is not affected, the conditions stipulate that they will not claim any seniority in the PPS cadre on the basis of length of service rendered in their parent organisation. Further, the IPS (Appointment by Promotion) regulations, 1955, and other rules applicable for this purpose will not be applicable in their cases.

The issue of service benefits in their parent organisations up to the date of absorption and the issue of terminal benefits i.e. gratuity, pension, leave encashment etc admissible to these officers will be subject to no-objection certificates from the parent organisations. Those who do not possess a certificate of Punjabi language at the matriculation examination have been asked to qualify the same within one year from the date of their absorption from a recognised institution.

Inquiries reveal that the proposal for permanent retention of these officials has been objected to by the Police Department, the Finance Department, the Chief Secretary and even the Union Home Ministry on the ground that there was no such provision for absorption in the Punjab Police Service rules. In fact, the Union Home Ministry had recently directed six of these officials to report to their parent organisations by December 31.


Controversial cop allowed to continue in service
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Apparently buckling under pressure, the Punjab police has set aside the order regarding premature retirement of controversial police Inspector Shamsher Singh Guddu ( substantive rank Sub Inspector), thereby allowing him to continue in service till 58 years of age.

His retirement order, issued by the Mansa SSP, Ms V. Neerja, was to come into effect from December 31. But the DIG, Faridkot range, Mr P.S Sarao, while accepting the officer’s appeal against the said order of the SSP, allowed him to continue in service.

Mr Sarao said he had accepted his appeal on the basis of last five years’ service record, Guddu has, however, been posted at Faridkot.

The SSP, Mansa, had last month issued his orders of premature retirement under the powers conferred under Rule (3) of the Punjab Premature Retirement Civil Service Rules , 1975, on account of the ``bad record’’ of the Inspector during his service, especially in Ludhiana district.

The police records bear testimony to the fact that during his tenure in Ludhiana, he was involved in several crimes and four criminal cases are registered against him there. Another case was registered against him for corruption by the Vigilance Bureau at Patiala in December last. The former SSP of Jalandhar, Mr Varinder Kumar, had in his inquiry report, termed him as a “dacoit in police uniform’’.

Guddu, who is said to be close to a senior IPS officer in Chandigarh, had been trying to get his premature retirement orders revoked and had represented against the order.

A senior police official told TNS that the DIG had no power to set aside the SSP’s order, which emanated from the powers conferred under the service rules.

The controversial Inspector, who had hogged the headlines during the interrogation of Punjabi pop singer Daler Mehndi, had been shifted out of Patiala district by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.

The Chief Minister had stated that he did not want corrupt police officers posted in his home district. He had been posted to Mansa, but he reportedly proceeded on medical leave shortly after joining duty there.


NRI donates Rs 25 lakh for college
Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 2
An NRI doctor, who was invited to the local Government Mohindra College to lay the foundation stone of a Rs 50 lakh auditorium on the college campus today, announced a grant of Rs 25 lakh.

Dr Marwah had been invited as the chief guest on the occasion because of his earlier largesse to the college. He had donated Rs 12 lakh for the Bibi Kartar Kaur hall on the campus.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Marwah said the college was doing pioneering work in the field of education in the Malwa region. He said there was a need to strengthen the college so that it could play an important role in imparting education in the region. He urged for bringing the college on a par with the international standard.

The Principal of the college, Dr R.K. Sharma, while speaking on the occasion, thanked Dr Marwah for the gesture. He said the completion of the project would fulfil a long felt need of the college.


CPI (M-L) rally against Congress policies
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 2
Workers of the Jalandhar unit of the CPI (M-L) held a rally to expose the alleged anti-people policies of the Congress and the SAD at the Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Hall here today.

Speakers alleged that the Congress government had not fulfilled any of its poll promises and its anti-corruption measures were aimed at narrow political gains. They alleged that corruption was rampant in government offices and even some ministers were accusing the Chief Minister’s son of corruption..

Mr Darshan Singh Khatkar, state secretary of the party, said even the meagre concessions enjoyed by workers, farmers, students and employees were being taken away.

Mr Tarsem Peter, another leader of the party, said while unemployment had forced the youth to take the risk of going to other countries, old people were a waiting their pensions.


Doctors operate on war-hit Cambodians
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 2
More than 100 war and polio-affected civilians of Cambodia have been operated upon by a two-member Indian team of orthopaedicians and medical equipment worth $ 10,000 has been donated to the Cambodian medical authorities as part of the Rotary International’s medicare project.

Since Cambodia has remained battered by a civil war for over two decades, most of the patients were above the age of 50 and had suffered war injuries, particularly in landmine blasts. Dr Jashniv Kapoor, a Jalandhar-based orthopaedician and Dr Jayant Tiwari of Dehradun, performed the operations as part of the initiative of Rotary Districts 3070 and 3080. They said polio-affected people were made to undergo surgery but the correction of dead nerves in the legs among war victims was a daunting task.

Dr Kapoor, who just returned from Cambodia’s fortnight tour, said more than two thirds of such patients were old war victims. “These people could not be treated for so long for want of latest ortho surgical techniques and facilities in that country. We were astonished to see victims were roaming around with untreated bullet and landmine injuries,” he said.

He said the Rotary had donated surgical equipment to Narrotam Provincial Hospital (Cambodia). “Since we had anticipated a shortage of equipment we had taken everything ranging from surgical gloves to drills”, he said.


47 JCOs awarded certificates
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 2
As many as 47 Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) and other ranks, who have less than two years left to retire, were awarded certificates during the second convocation of Vajra Sainik Institute at Jalandhar Cantonment here today.

The vocational training to retiring soldiers by the institute, which was affiliated to Punjab Technical University, was aimed at providing them with a second career so that they did not face any problem in the post-retirement phase.

Major-Gen R.S. Jamwal, Chief of the Staff, Vajra Corps, who was the chief guest, awarded certificates to solider students. He said the institute was undertaking a noble cause by making the soldiers self-reliant in the post-retirement phase.

Mr S.K. Salwan, Senior Adviser, Punjab Technical University, assured all assistance of the university in the venture. Brig V.K. Pandey, chairman of the Vocational Training Institute, also spoke.


Four sambars rescued from canals
Our Correspondent

Ropar, January 2
In the past few days, the Forest Department has rescued four sambars, which, due to foggy weather, had fallen into various canals of the district.

A sambar was rescued today from the SYL canal, near village Rangilpur, around 5 km from Ropar. Officials of the Forest Department said they were informed about this by officials of the Irrigation Department.

The sambar was about seven months old and had strayed and fallen into the dry canal last night. It was pulled out of the canal using ropes and brought to the office of the Forest Department. Though in a state of shock, the sambar was in good health. The sambar would be released in the forests near Ropar, they said. Three sambars have been rescued from the Bhakra Canal near Gujran Bassi, Balsanda and Grewal villages in the Chamakur Sahib area in the past few days. One of the sambars died later, while the other two were released into the jungle.

In view of an increase in the number of incidents of wild animals falling into canals, the authorities have stepped up vigil around these. Villagers have also been asked to provide information to the Forest Department officials if they spot a trapped animal.


Cracks appear in recently repaired road
Our Correspondent

Barnala, January 2
Wide cracks have appeared in the courts chowk — ITI chowk road, which was repaired only a month ago under the supervision of the Executive Engineer, Central Works Division (Highways), Patiala. Five members of a family were killed in a car-truck accident on this road, near Kapil Marriage Palace, here on December 12.

Sources said the bypass had been recarpeted without taking into consideration the cold weather. They said the contractor had gone ahead with the project very recklessly. The soil conditions are deemed most favourable for making roads preferrably in or after March.

The sources made it clear that the Central Works Division (Highways), B&R, was not at fault because it was not technically advisable to undertake the project in the winter season. They said the contractor was likely to suffer a loss of about Rs 10 lakh and the road would have to be repaired again.


Justice Nehra to head inquiry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The Punjab Government has appointed Justice B.S. Nehra of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to head of the Inquiry Commission set up to probe the allegations contained in a news item published in an English daily on December 28 under the headline “Curious transactions in name of Punjab Intranet”.

An official spokesman said today the commission would submit its report within two months. The commission has been set up to probe whether Mr Raninder Singh, son of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, is involved in the transactions of $ 1,00,000.

When contacted Justice Nehra said: “I have not received any letter from the Punjab Government regarding my appointment”. Justice Nehra refused comment when asked whether the government had taken his consent for the appointment.


Punjab State Gazetteer released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, released the Punjab State Gazetteer in two volumes here today.

Speaking on the occasion, he complimented the State Revenue Department for undertaking the task of publishing the gazetteer, for the first time, under the Central Government’s scheme “Revision and Publication of State Gazetteers”. He hoped that the publication would be of immense utility to teachers, research scholars, general readers and a reference book for legislators and administrators.

Giving details, Ms Gurbinder Chahal, Financial Commissioner, Revenue, said in the revised editions of the gazetteers they intend to introduce a territory or region in all its dimensions — the land, geography, fauna, flora and other natural features and resources; climate, religion, caste, history, administration, crops, trade, crafts, means of transport and communications; administrative arrangements at various levels and their evolution, besides other useful information. Thus, the gazetteer is an encyclopaedia in miniature of a region.

Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang would be the state editor of the gazetteer.


2 PPS officers transferred
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The Punjab Government today ordered the transfer of two Punjab Police Service (PPS) officers in the Vigilance Bureau. While Mr Dilbagh Singh has been posted as SP, Vigilance Bureau, Jalandhar, Mr Tulsi Ram has been posted as SP, Vigilance Bureau, Chandigarh. Both of these officers have swapped posts.


Fisheries officer booked for cheating
Our Correspondent

Ropar, January 2
The police has booked the Chief Executive Officer, fish seed farm, Katli, Mr S.M. Dogra, on the charges of forgery. He has been booked on the complaint of Sohan Singh of Fatehgarh Sahib who alleged that a few months ago he had gone to the Katli farm to enquire about government schemes regarding fisheries. During the course of the conversation, the officer offered to send him to the USA for which he sought Rs 2 lakh.

Sohan Singh allegedly paid Rs 2 lakh to Mr Dogra in the presence of Amarjit Singh of Samaspur village.

The officer, however, failed to send him to the USA. When the complainant demanded the money back, he was given a cheque for Rs 85,000 which bounced.

When approached for a refund, the officer paid Rs 40,000 in cash and gave a cheque for Rs 45,000 of another bank. The cheque, however, bounced again.

The police has registered a case under Sections 420 and 406, IPC, against Mr Dogra.

Mr Dogra was not available for comments despite repeated attempts.


Six held for selling biris with fake labels
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, January 2
The district police has arrested Rajinder Kumar, Suresh Kumar, Budh Ram, Jatinder Kumar, Sanjay Kumar and Tarsem Lal, all residents of Dhuri, for allegedly selling biris in packets using fake labels of 17 and 77 brands.

Giving this information here today, Mr Paramjit Singh Goriayan, DSP (D), Sangrur, said the police had registered a case under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC and Section 63 of the Copyright Act, 1957, at Dhuri.

The DSP said on the complaint of Mr Gopal Gupta, an authorised dealer of 77 brand biri from Dhuri, the police registered the case and arrested the suspects from different places in Dhuri. He said they had been involved in this activity for the past at least seven years.

The DSP said the suspects brought the biris loose from Uttar Pradesh and sold these at high rates in packets with fake labels of 17 and 77 brands. He said the police had seized 1,230 packets with fake labels of the 17 brand and 81 packets with fake labels of the 77 brand. 


Jawan poisoned to death
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, January 2
A BSF jawan of 181 Battalion here was allegedly poisoned in a train bound to Fazilka. He died at the local Civil Hospital. His belongings were reportedly stolen by those who poisoned him.

According to details, Fateh Karan (38) had gone to meet his family at a village near Jodhpur. He was returning in Jammu Tawi Express when he was offered food laced with poison. As he became drowsy, his wrist watch, cash and other belongings were taken away. 


Ten injured in clash
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, January 2
Ten persons, including eight women, were injured in a clash which took place over the possession of a piece of land at Sihke village, near here, on Wednesday night.

The police has registered a case, against eight persons under Sections 307, 323, 447, 427, 148 and 149 of the IPC and 25, 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act.

The injured are: Nourang Singh, Jangir Kaur, Surjit Kaur, Mukhtiar Kaur, Jarnail Kaur, Harbans Kaur, Sinder Kaur, Bhajan Kaur, Netar Singh and Nacchatar Kaur.

According to the SHO, Mr Sukhram Singh, the case was registered against Bhalinder Singh, Mukhtiar Singh, Iqbal Singh, Satnam Singh, Dhanwant Singh, Binder Singh, Gurdeep Singh and Dipa Singh.


Trader robbed of Rs 96,000
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, January 2
A sum of Rs 96,000 was snatched by three masked motor-cycle-borne persons from a trader in toys near Kadgill village late last night. Sant Parkash was going home after collecting payments. The police has registered a case.


Rs 25,000 looted from petrol pump
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 2
Around Rs 25,000 was looted from a petrol pump on the Sultanwind road in the wee hours here today. Only three salesmen — Rajkumar, Raghav and Maharajdeen — were present on the petrol pump when the incident took place.

Two armed miscreants forced their entry in the office of the outlet and took away the money in safe, besides snatching cash from those present.

Further investigations were on in this regard, police sources said.


Pbi varsity demands Rs 4.36 cr from govt
Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 2
Punjabi University, which is still to get Rs 2.18 crore promised to it by the state government for rolling back the fee hike in October last year, has now requested the government to provide it Rs 4.36 crore to meet the shortfall, including that for the next academic session.

The state government had managed to put an end to the agitation by students on the campus last year by promising to provide the shortfall generated due to the withdrawal of 15 per cent hike in fee structure of all courses, excluding professional ones. The university has now asked the government to provide it Rs 4.36 crore in the next budget, besides the maintenance grant. A proposal for provision of funds for development projects worth Rs 19 crore has also been sent to the government.

The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Mr Swarn Singh Boparai, said the government had released Rs 25 lakh out of the promised Rs 2.18 crore, but it was still to be received. He said he had every hope that the government would release the rest of the amount and also the next instalment of Rs 2.18 crore which would become due in a few months.

Though Mr Boparai may be hopeful of receiving government support, the varsity is on its way to eating into its resources for the past few years. Three years back, it had a reserve of Rs 8 crore which came down to Rs 2.84 crore last year. Dr R.K. Sehgal, in charge (Finance), said in 1993 the grant from the state government was Rs 16 crore, while the varsity used to generate an income of Rs 5 crore. Now, he said, the situation was such that the government grant was Rs 19 crore, while the varsity was generating an income of Rs 30 crore.

He said within 10 years the varsity’s income had increased by 10 times, while the government grant had increased only marginally. He said presently the government was contributing 42 per cent to the total expenditure of the varsity, while even private colleges were getting a grant of 59 per cent of the total expenditure.

The Vice-Chancellor said despite paucity of funds, the varsity had decided to go ahead with new ventures and an engineering college had been established on the campus. He said the college was likely to generate funds for the institution after a gestation period of five years.

He said the varsity was also going in for establishing new projects through funding from social organisations and NRIs. The Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur National Integration Chair was being funded by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, while the Gurmat Sangeet Chair was being funded by the Guru Gian Parkash Foundation. Similarly, a Gurmat Sangeet Bhavan had been planned at a cost of Rs 2.50 crore for which funds would be provided by the Gian Parkash Foundation. He said the Kala Bhavan project had also been restarted with the Punjab Heritage Foundation of the United States donating $ 2 lakh for the purpose. 


Pbi varsity VC demands land for professional college
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 2
Punjabi University, Patiala, has demanded 10 acres in Mohali from the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) to start a professional college. This was stated by the Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor, Mr S.S. Boparai here today.

Mr Boparai was talking to mediapersons following a joint meeting with the PUDA, the administration and the University authorities. The meeting was chaired by the Deputy Speaker Vidhan Sabha, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, at the Punjab University Extension Library, Phase VII, here.

Mr Boparai said since the University was not capable of expanding without assistance from the government, if PUDA could provide 10 acres in Mohali free of cost, the university could start a professional college. ‘‘It could be a medical college or an engineering college. But initially we want to begin with a university school of business studies here,’’ he said.

It was decided during the meeting that facilities at the library would be upgraded, including a proposed increase in the number of MBA and MCA seats at the university extension centre running in the library.

Ms Devinder Kaur, Librarian, Punjabi University, informed that the extension library, Mohali catalogue would be made internet accessible on lines of the main library in Patiala. Out of Rs 5 lakh required for the (online public access of catalogue’) Mr Bir Devinder Singh will give Rs 2 lakh out of his discretionary fund.

‘‘Other than this the children’s section will be supplied with computers, games and new books and a better seating arrangement,’’ added Ms Devinder Kaur. About 1000 books would also be shifted from the main library at Patiala to the Mohali library.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh said in view of the entry of blue chip IT companies in Mohali, the demand for IT and management professionals was bound to increase. The university had decided to increase the number of seats in the MBA and MCA courses being run in the library. ‘‘Currently we have 30 seats sanctioned in each course but we propose to have 60 seats provided space can be utilised to create more classrooms,’’ he said.

It was also decided that PUDA’s land on which the library is situated will be leased out for a period of 30 years to the University when its present lease ends in 2005. The university will however undertake construction of more classes besides adding a separate children’s and art and culture section within the library. Mr Bir Devinder Singh appealed to residents of Mohali, Chandigarh and Panchkula to donate books which were lying unused to the library.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh said that the Chief Minister had announced a grant of Rs 35 lakh for the construction of a students centre at Government College, Mohali. Its foundation stone would be laid by the Chief Minister on January 7 during his visit to the college. 


Teachers not paid salary since October
Our Correspondent

Batala, January 2
Teachers of government-aided privately managed schools of Gurdaspur district have not received their monthly salaries since October, 2003.

Mr Darshan Singh, block president, and Mr Amar Singh Goraya, president of the government-aided School Teachers Union, Gurdaspur district, told this correspondent here yesterday that about 500 teachers working in about 50 government-aided schools in the district had not received their monthly salaries since October 2003. They said it was difficult to make both ends meet with salary in the present time.

The leaders urged the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and Education Minister, Mr Khushal Behl, to make arrangements to release their grant-in-aid at the earliest.


School timings changed
Our Correspondent

Ropar, January 2
Keeping in view the cold wave, the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Seema Jain, has changed the school timings in the district from 10 am to 3 pm from January 6 to January 17.


Schools to remain closed today
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 2
All government and non-government schools will remain closed tomorrow in view of the cold wave in the region. This was ordered by District Magistrate Raminder Singh here today.


Complaint filed against IT company
Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 2
Seven local residents have approached Range Deputy Inspector General of Police I.P.S. Sahota, requesting him to register a case against the directors of the Artex E- Communication Limited, which, they claimed, had defrauded them.

Their complaint stated the company had defrauded their relatives and friends on the pretext of providing internet solutions and on-line and off-line computer education. It stated that the company had also “trapped” many persons under a sales promotion plan under which they were asked to deposit Rs 5,555 each.

Under this scheme, the depositors were to introduce more persons to the company, who were to continue with the making of a chain in which the original depositor was to earn commission. The complainant claimed that the directors of the company earned more than Rs 1 crore from scores of people of the city and nearby areas and ultimately shifted their area of operation to Chandigarh by floating new firms.

They said no action was taken against the directors of the firm, Jasdeep Bains and Sukhminder Sandhu, despite an earlier complaint submitted to the Patiala police. They said the Chandigarh police had arrested Jasdeep Bains on December 5, orders should be given for registering a case against both Directors in Patiala also under Section 120 (b), 406, 420 of the IPC and Section 3 and 4 of the Price Chits and Money Circulation Ban Act, 1978.

The complainants, who have signed the complaint, are Balwinder Kaur, Ranbir Bhalla, Shashi Prabha, D P Goel, Supreet, Vrinderjit Kaur and Sahibinderjit Kaur.

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