P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Cells given on rent, allege jail warders
16 transferred for refusing to do ‘patra’ duty
Tribune Reporters

Bathinda, February 6
Members of the Punjab Jail (guard) Association, Bathinda unit, have alleged that jail officials have been committing administrative irregularities as Mr Sukhdev Singh Saggu, Superintendent, Central Jail Bathinda, transferred six warders to Amritsar and Patiala circles.

Mr Saggu said, the six warders, including two Chief Warders, were transferred to other circles as they had refused to perform the “patra” duty and were instigating other warders to do the same.

Mr Rajinder Singh, circle president, Bathinda unit of the association, meanwhile alleged that jail officials had advocated the introduction of patra system to cover their misdeeds.

He alleged that a section of officials had opened up dairy farms in their houses. These officials make convicts and undertrials look after these dairy farms. The fodder for cattle was arranged by the rich inmates. In lieu of their services, these undertrials and convicts were being given “VVIP” treatment and they were also supplied liquor and other intoxicants in the jail.

He alleged that some cells had been given on a monthly rent ranging from Rs 2000 to Rs 4000 to undertrials and convicts by these officials. They also take monthly payments from undertrials and convicts to provide them with better living facilities.

Mr Saggu, while denying the allegations levelled by the association, pointed out that senior officials of the Bathinda Central Jail could keep cattle as per the provisions of the jail manual.

Those who were transferred today included Mr Jaswant Singh, Mr Pirthi Singh, Mr Darshan Singh, Mr Gurmail Singh (warders), Mr Rajinder Singh and Mr Pritam Singh (Chief Warders).

SANGRUR: Nine suspended jail warders of the Sangrur District Jail were today transferred to Amritsar. Their transfer orders were issued by Mr L.S. Jakhar, Superintendent, Sangrur District Jail.

These transferred warders were earlier suspended as they had allegedly refused to implement the ‘patra’ system as per the directions of the Punjab Government.

Mr Joga Singh, Deputy Superintendent of the Sangrur District Jail, said nine jail warders, namely Mr Jiwan Singh, Mr Mohinder Singh, Mr Pargat Singh, Mr Gurjant Singh, Mr Jora Singh, Mr Parkash Singh, Mr Dhanna Singh, Mr Gurnam Singh and Mr Paramjit Kumar, had been transferred to Amritsar.

The Deputy Superintendent also said out of 13 jail warders, to whom final notices were served today for violating the government’s directions 12 warders resumed their duty after tendering a written apology.

Ferozepore: The Ferozepore Central Jail authorities suspended two more guards for refusing to accept the disc circulation system of duty, thereby taking the total number of suspended jail staff to nine. The secretary of the Jail Guards Association, Mr Sat Pal and Mr Manjit Singh were suspended today.

Six of jail staff suspended
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 6
The state jail authorities today suspended six members of the Central Jail staff for participating in an agitation against the disc system (patra).

According to a senior jail official, those suspended are Vijay Kumar, Rishal Singh, Nishan Singh, Shehbegh Singh and Bikar Singh.

Giving details, the official said last night certain jail staff members had gheraoed the Jail Superintendent, who had to seek help of the police to lift the dharna.

Suspended jail guards stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Suspended jail guards hold a dharna against the new policies of the Jail Superintendent in front of the main gate of the Central Jail, Patiala
Suspended jail guards hold a dharna against the new policies of the Jail Superintendent in front of the main gate of the Central Jail, Patiala, on Friday. — Photo by Rajesh Sachar

Patiala, February 6
The local Central Jail guards, who were suspended yesterday for refusing to work under the re-introduced disc system following the security measures taken after the Burail jail break, today staged a dharna outside the jail. The 16 jail guards were joined by 15 more who had been suspended earlier in connection with the escape of two undertrials from the local jail on December 31, last year.

The guards said under the system numbered discs would be rotated among those on duty on the outer wall of the jail. They said this practice was discontinued as it was seen to be difficult for the police personnel manning the walls.

They said if the system was put into use then each constable would have to walk an average of around 30 km in a six-hour shift, which they said was inhuman. The police personnel said they were ready to face any punishment in this regard.

Earlier, Sub-divisional Magistrate T.P.S. Phoolka took stock of the situation in the jail complex following the dharna by the jail guards. The Jail Guards Association has claimed that their dharna will continue till the system was done away.


Amarinder out to woo Malwa voters
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 6
With an eye on Lok Sabha elections Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh has been projecting of the developmental-orientated approach of the Congress government on one hand and on the other trying to make inroads into to the Malwa region, traditional stronghold of the Akalis.

Captain Amarinder Singh has been inaugurating projects, laying foundation stones of projects and announcing new projects in this region by organising public meetings for the past three weeks to make the presence of his government felt among the people.

Some of the projects, announced by the Chief Minister and other senior party leaders in the recent past, were also announced by the previous Congress chief ministers and later abandoned.

The Akalis led by former Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal established hold in five districts of the Malwa region including Bathinda, Mansa, Faridkot, Muktsar and Moga by winning 15 Assembly seats out of total 18 Assembly seats of these districts while the Congress won one seat of Bathinda Assembly segment and the CPI won two seats of Pakka Kalan and Malout.

Mr Gurjant Singh Kuttiwal, MLA, Pakka Kalan and Mr Nathu Ram, MLA, Malout, later joined the Congress.

To make inroads into the Akali dominated belt of Malwa region, Capt Amarinder Singh seems to have made it a point to undertake an intensive tour to this region to address public meetings and to inaugurate projects, to laying foundation stones of the projects and to announce projects to project at a the time when Lok Sabha elections are round the corner.

On February 5, the Chief Minister inaugurated the district administrative complex in this town and then performed dedication ceremony of Yadvindar College of Engineering at Talwandi Sabo. He also announced that the Punjab government would also set up a university of animal sciences in the state in the name of Guru Angad Dev. Tomorrow, he will lay the foundation stone of sewerage treatment plant and sewerage system across the Railway line in Fazilka town of Ferozepore district.

Earlier, the Punjab government organised a rally in this town on January 15 in which AICC, chief Ms Sonia Gandhi inaugurated the process of devolution of powers to Panchayats and Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs). The rally was organised in this town as party’s show of strength in the Akali dominated area. On that occasion, while Ms Gandhi inaugurated the water treatment plant and laid the foundation stone of sewerage system, Capt Amarinder Singh announced that Bathinda would be made a textile city.

Both projects of textile city in Bathinda and university of animal sciences were initiated during the chief ministership of late Beant Singh and Mr Harcharan Singh Brar. However, these projects could not be completed. Now the Congress government has initiated these projects again.

The Chief Minister also revived the development board for Talwandi Sabo, housing fifth Takht of Sikhs, in the recent past.

Mr Surinder Singla, MLA and Chairman, High-Powered Finance Committee, Punjab, said that Capt Amarinder Singh was having a vision for Punjab and doing his best for overall development and revival of economy of Punjab.


Amendment on promotions to be implemented soon, says CM
Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 6
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today said that the 85th Amendment, dealing with the promotions of Scheduled Caste employees, would be implemented in the state shortly to ensure that these employees were able to retain their seniority from the date on which they were promoted.

The Amendment was discussed in the last Cabinet meeting but the matter was deferred due to diverse opinions on the issue. Before the enactment of the Amendment by Parliament, general candidates were adjudged to be senior to their Scheduled Caste counterparts when they caught up with the latter. The SC candidates were claiming that even if they were promoted earlier than their general counterparts, their seniority should hold.

The Chief Minister today said that as the Amendment had been introduced in other Congress-ruled states, there was no reason why it should not be put into force in Punjab. He said the Cabinet had authorised him to take a decision in the matter and that he would ensure the amendment was effected soon.

Capt Amarinder Singh also appealed to all political parties to come together to discuss the issue of the revival of the Eradi Commission. He said all political parties should attend tomorrow’s meeting, keeping in view their moral responsibility on the issue. He said the Eradi Commission had lost its relevance in the present-day situation, saying the parameters had changed completely. The Punjab Government had, on its part, sent a proposal to the Union Law Minister and the Prime Minister, appealing that the Eradi Commission be abolished.

Capt Amarinder Singh handed over a cheque of Rs 60 lakh to the city Mayor Vishnu Sharma for the development of Dalit bastis in the city and also a cheque of Rs 5 lakh for the completion of the Guru Ravidas Bhavan in the city. He also announced that a Guru Ravidas park would be constructed in front of the Bhavan besides announcing the upgradation of a nearby primary school.


Hanspal gives clean chit to Bhattal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Taking a firm stand in support of Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Punjab Congress chief H.S. Hanspal said today that Mrs Bhattal had not resorted to any sort of corruption.

Mr Hanspal said Mrs Bhattal was facing the case because of certain technical errors committed by the clerical staff in maintaining a proper record of the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund distributed by her.

Reacting to Mrs Bhattal’s statement that no help has been extended by the state government in her case, Mr H.S. Hanspal said the government had been extending all help to her. “ The party would extend all support to her in the case.

Meanwhile, Mr C.K. Jaffer Sharief, Chairman of the Congress Minority Cell, said India was shinning only for the Sangh Parivar and not the minorities. He said the BJP and its offshoots should apologise to the Muslim community for what they did to it in Gujarat.

Earlier, Mr Hanspal and Mr Sharief addressed a meeting of representatives of minority communities in Punjab at Congress Bhavan here.


Bhattal to meet Amarinder today
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, February 6
Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister, Punjab, will meet the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, at Chandigarh tomorrow regarding the role of state counsel in presenting her case in a Chandigarh court yesterday. She said the state counsel had worked for the benefit of her opponents rather than help her defend herself. She alleged that the state counsel had aligned himself with her opponents at the behest of vested interests who wanted to damage her political career.

She may also bring the matter to the notice of the central high command of the party, she said.

Talking to mediapersons at the residence of Mr Avtar Singh Brar, vice-president, PPCC, and former MLA here today, the Deputy Chief Minister said she wasn’t out to wrest power from the Chief Minister. She categorically refused that there were any differences with Capt Amarinder Singh.

She disclosed that the list of aspirants for the Lok Sabha elections had been sent to the AICC President. The names are likely to be announced by Sonia Gandhi after the date of elections is declared.


Release Maken killer, says Delhi Speaker
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 6
In a significant development, Mr Ajay Maken, Speaker, Delhi Vidhan Sabha, has written to Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit to sympathetically consider the case of Ranjit Singh Gill, alias Kukki, currently undergoing life imprisonment in Tihar Jail in connection with the assassination of his paternal uncle, Lalit Maken, and his wife, in the coming meeting of the remission committee.

Lalit Maken and his wife Geetanjli Maken were son-in-law and daughter of the then President of India, Shanker Dayal Sharma. Mr Ajay Maken, who is a nephew of the deceased, said that his entire family had forgiven Ranjit Singh Gill and hence there was no reason to keep him behind bars now.

Mr Ajay Maken, who had come here along with Ms Shiela Dikshit to pay obeisance at Golden Temple, however, claimed that Lalit Maken was not involved in the Delhi riots in any way, and there must be some other reason for the assassination of the couple. He said Mr Lalit Maken was a great trade union and the murder could be due to some political rivalry.

Mr Arvinder Singh Lovely, Education and Cultural Minister, and Mr Harwinder Singh Sarna, general secretary, SAD, New Delhi, also took up the matter with Ms Dikshit.

Earlier, Dr Devinder Kaur, a gynaecologist and sister of Ranjit Singh Gill, had pleaded that her brother should be released on humanitarian grounds as he had already lost prime of his youth behind bars. The period of his imprisonment had already exceeded life term, she added.


SGPC honours Sheila Dikshit with ‘siropa’
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 6
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee today honoured Ms Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister, Delhi and her Cabinet colleagues, MLAs and Speaker by presenting them with ‘siropas’ (robes of honour) here.

Earlier, Captain Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab, was denied this honour when he visited the Golden Temple after becoming the Chief Minister which created a controversy. Ms Dikshit thanked Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, SGPC chief, for this goodwill. The senior functionaries of the SGPC and Manager Darbar Sahib were present on the occasion. She spent more than one hour in listening to ‘Kirtan’ in the sanctum sanctorum. Mr Harwinder Singh Sarna, general secretary, SAD (Delhi) and Mr Bhajan Singh Walia, a senior Congress leader from New Delhi also accompanied Ms Dikshit.

While Mr Ranbir Singh, assistant secretary, SGPC and personal assistant to SGPC chief presented the ‘siropa’ to Ms Dikshit, Mr Onkar Singh Sharifpura, Mr Pardip Singh Walia and Mr Ajaypal Singh Mirankot honoured the ministers, MLAs and Speaker of Delhi Vidhan Sabha.

Mr Arvinder Singh Lovely, Dr A.K. Walia, Mr Raj Kumar Chauhan, Dr Yoganand, Mr Mangat Ram Singhal — all ministers and Mr Ajay Maken, Speaker and many MLAs of Delhi government had come here. They also paid obeisance at the Durgiana Temple and paid tributes to martyrs by visiting Jallianwala Bagh.

Ms Dikshit said that the Congress party would accept any verdict on Delhi riots by the court. She said that like former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi the senior Congress leaders who were accused of engineering anti-Sikh riots may also be proved innocent finally.

Ms Dikshit said that the Sikhs had made great contribution for the overall development of Delhi. She said the Congress government was raising a museum on 3.5 acres in Delhi after Guru Tegh Bahadur.

Later, Ms Dikshit inaugurated a girls’ hostel in Guru Nanak Dev University. She was honoured by the university and Khalsa College Amritsar. She also addressed a rally, organised by various unions of Indian Railways.

Earlier, Ms Dikshit was received by senior Congress leaders including Mr R.L. Bhatia, a Congress M.P., Mr Sardool Singh, minister Punjab, Dr S.P. Singh, Vice-Chancellor, GNDU, Mr Inderjit Singh Baserke, president, District Congress Committee (Rural) Mr Joginder Pal Dhingra, District Congress Committee (Urban), Mr Sunil Dutti, Mayor Municipal Corporation, Dr Raj Kumar, Mr Jugal Kishor Sharma and Mr Harjinder Singh Thekedar — all MLAs.

Ms Sheila Dikshit inaugurated a 100-room girls’ hostel building at Guru Nanak Dev University campus here today. The four storey building was built at the cost of Rs 1.25 crore. The Delhi CM had laid the foundation stone of the hostel last year.

The CM also presided over a cultural programme while students from different colleges presented giddha, folk songs, classical dance and folk orchestra. Vice-Chancellor Dr S.P. Singh presented a memento to the Delhi CM.


World Bank team visits water-harvesting dam
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Malewal (Nawanshahr), February 6
Punjab’s green revolution is much talked about. But there is area of the state which has not witnessed a revolution. This belt, known as Kandi area, could be among the most backward areas of the state. The area lacks amenities like as drinking water, net work of roads and health facilities etc.

Now efforts have been started with the World-bank aided projects to improve facilities of the area. A water harvesting dam has been constructed under the Integrated Watershed Development Project near their village. It has been built with the help of local people at a cost of rupees 7.9 lakh. Benefits from the dam would be more compared to money spent on it.

Mr Harjit Inder Singh Grewal, Deputy Commissioner, says that soil in the Kandi belt located in the Shivalik foothills was fragile. During monsoon, because of rain water from tops of the Shivalik foothills, downstream areas are silted. Farmers suffer a big loss due to this reason. To solve this problem, a water harvesting dam has been constructed near the village. The Dam bundh is 9 feet high and it is 53.2 feet long. Pond area of the reservoir is spread over 2.5 acres and dam storage area is around 6 hectares.

Twelve villages with population of 3800 will benefit from this project. World Bank officials led by Ms Jacomine P De Regt, an expert in community development projects, yesterday visited the dam. Officials were happy and asked questions from farmers and the people who had assembled at the project site. The Officials have offered to help them in setting up the medicinal plants’ processing units. Farmers have expressed the desire to various medicinal plants.

Storage of water would help improve subsoil water-level reducing the cost on the installation of shallow tubewells. People would be able to use the water stored in the dam for agriculture purpose through a system set in place by the Village Development Committee (VDC) that will play a major role in the construction of the project.

“It is always difficult to run these projects at the local level because of the complex political character of the village, but it is better to give local residents a chance, said a senior officer associated with the project. He admitted that because of ego problem among the members assigned the task, to run the show, of problems do crop up but these could be sorted out by proper handling”, he added.

Mr Grewal said that besides soil conservation the other projects such as forestry, sowing cash crops, improvement in horticulture and artificial insemination to produce quality live stock have also been taken in hand to improve the income of people of the Kandi belt. He said that there was need to make a big effort to develop quality forest in the Kandi belt. It would add to the income of people in a big way, he added.


News Analysis
What does Punjab expect?
All-party meeting on SYL canal today
by P.P.S. Gill

Chandigarh, February 6
Punjab Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh has convened an all-party meeting on the SYL canal and the sharing of Ravi-Beas waters, here tomorrow. This will be the second meeting on the same subject, the first having been held on January 8, 2003.

Tomorrow’s meeting has been necessitated as much by the “altered circumstances” as by the sudden resuscitation of the Eradi Tribunal after remaining dormant for 17 years.

What are the intended benefits the government expects from the meeting? The issue is before the Supreme Court. The next hearing is on February 10.

The SYL impasse is neither a simple techno-management issue nor merely legal. The Supreme Court on January 15, 2002, directed Punjab to complete and commission the SYL canal within one year failing which the Centre was told to complete the same. It is over two years now. Neither the SYL canal has been completed and commissioned nor the conflict resolved over the sharing of Ravi-Beas waters.

Capt Amarinder Singh wrote to Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee on January 3, 2003, explaining the viewpoint of Punjab and requesting him to intervene and convene a meeting of the Chief Ministers concerned so that all aspects could be “discussed and a solution,” if possible, arrived at.” The same day, Capt Amarinder Singh wrote to his next-door counterpart, Mr Om Parkash Chautala, seeking that the two of them sit down to discuss the issue. There was no response to his letters.

Mr R.K. Lakhanpal, Principal Secretary, Irrigation, briefed the Council of Ministers on the SYL and Ravi-Beas waters issue on Wednesday, when it was decided to convene an all-party meeting. He gave a brief resume of the issues involved and said the government had filed a complaint with the Union Ministry of Water Resources on January 1, 2003. This was in regard to the scarcity of Ravi-Beas waters and to consider the setting up of a fresh tribunal. A review application was filed against the January 15, 2002, order, which was dismissed by the apex court on March 15, 2002.

The issue became more complex after Punjab was re-organised in 1966. Under the Rajiv-Longowal Accord in July 1985, the Eradi tribunal was constituted, which submitted an interim report in January, 1987. Punjab filed a review application against the interim report in August, 1987. “That application is pending and now the tribunal has been revived. Punjab has now contested its revival in the Supreme Court and demanded that the tribunal be re-constituted, as much has changed in the past 17 years”.

Mr Lakhanpal said the Eradi Tribunal had based the allocation of water on the time-in-flow data (1960 to 1980). By that calculation, the availability was 17.17 MAF (million acre feet). However, over the past 17 years, there had been “consistent, continuous and constant” decline. Now the water availability was 14.34 MAF, determined by the time-in-flow data (1980 to 2002) obtained from the Bhakhra-Beas Management Board. To avoid miscarriage of justice, Punjab has adopted a three-fold strategy to “safeguad’’ its interests, which will be placed before the all-party meeting tomorrow.

In the meantime, Haryana which had faced acute water scarcity has helped itself through several measures. It had signed an MoU with Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi in May, 1994 for the allocation of Yamuna waters and had got 4.65 MAF out of 9.73 MAF Yamuna waters. Punjab had protested against this on the analogy that as the Ravi-Beas and Yamuna waters were similarly placed the Centre should not treat the two as separate entities. Haryana is also to benefit from the linking of the Sharda and Yamuna rivers for which an agreement has been signed between New Delhi and Kathmandu. Even without the SYL canal, Haryana was getting 2.6 MAF, through the Bhakhra main line.

Mr Lakhanpal said the Indus basin covering Punjab was “deficit”, whereas the Yamuna basin, covering Haryana, was “surplus”. And water can be transferred only from a surplus basin to the deficit one and not vice-versa. The state has also always maintained that Haryana is not a riparian state as the Ravi, the Beas, and the Sutlej do not flow through its territory.


Expert disputes Haryana claim on Punjab river waters
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Questioning the Punjab Government’s demand for setting up a new tribunal replacing the Eradi Commission to resolve the river waters dispute between Punjab and Haryana, Mr Pritam Singh Kumedan, a river waters expert, said today state government had taken a wrong stand on the issue.

Mr Kumedan has raised the issue even as an all-party meeting has been called by the Punjab Chief Minister on this issue tomorrow. Mr Kumedan said there was no logic in making such a demand, adding that even the setting up of the Eradi tribunal was unconstitutional.

The state government should not only challenge the legality of setting up of the Eradi Commission but also refuse to take any orders from it.

Mr Kumedan said under the Constitution, the Union Government had the powers to set up water disputes tribunals to resolve inter-state river waters or river valley disputes. However, Punjab’s dispute with Haryana was not covered under any of these categories.

The Ravi and Beas rivers from which Haryana wanted a share in water were not inter-state rivers as these did not flow through the state. Neither these were covered under the river valley category.

Haryana was claiming water from Punjab, taking the plea that it (Haryana) was a part of the Indus basin Mr Kumedan, however, said there was no word as basin in any of the clauses and articles that deal with river waters in the Constitution.

He said even Haryana’s claim on being a part of the Indus basin was wrong. The Indus basin was only up to Patiala-ki-Rao, which passes through Patiala district. Haryana’s boundary was far from that basin, he added.

Haryana was also making a claim on the river waters, calling it as a share in the assets. Mr Kumedan said this was a wrong plea. Following the creation of new states, only moveable assets were divided. As river waters were immoveable property, these were not a part of the divisible assets under the law, he added.

Mr Kumedan said various Central Governments had been illegally justifying Haryana’s claim on river waters of Punjab.

The Punjab Government should neither recognise the Eradi tribunal in any manner nor ask for the setting up of a new one. The state government should take a clear stand that Haryana had no right over Punjab river waters under the Constitution, Mr Kumedan advised.


SAD, BJP to boycott all-party meeting
Tribune News Service

CPI to attend

The CPI will attend the all-party meeting. Dr Joginder Dayal, secretary of the Punjab unit, said he would ask Capt Amarinder Singh whether the stand taken by the Congress on river waters in Punjab would also be endorsed by the All-India Congress Committee.

Chandigarh, February 6
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the BJP today decided to boycott the all-party meeting called by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on the SYL canal issue tomorrow.

After a meeting of the political affairs committee of the party, the president of the SAD, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today described the calling of the meeting by the CM as “a massive fraud with the people of Punjab by a person who had only the other day doled out Punjab’s precious waters to some other states for cheap electoral gains for his party”.

He said that “No anti-Punjab verdict regarding river waters would be allowed to be imposed on the state”.

When asked if the Supreme Court started contempt of court proceedings against him, Mr Badal said,” We will dare the Supreme Court to stop us from protecting the rights of the state. Even as Chief Minster, I had declared that I was willing to go to jail rather than accept any verdict that hurts the interest of the state. In a democracy, the executive, judiciary and legislature draw their supremacy from the people, who are sovereign. We will go to the people in case any decision that harms Punjab’s rights over river waters is taken.”

Mr Badal said Capt Amarinder Singh had no moral authority to talk about Punjab waters until he owned the role played by his party’s state and central leaders in starting the digging of the SYL canal by throwing all Akali leaders in jail.

Meanwhile, a BJP spokesperson said the decision to boycott the meeting had been taken by the president of the Punjab unit, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna. He said Mr Khanna was of the opinion that the SYL canal was the brainchild of the ruling Congress in Punjab. It had no moral right to call such a meeting, he added.

Sukhbir promises 25 pc seats to Youth Akali Dal
Tribune Reporters

Jalandhar, February 6
Mr Sukhbir Badal, General Secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), today said that his party would give 25 per cent representation to its youth leaders as far as the disbursal of the party’s Lok Sabha tickets was concerned.

Mr Badal, who was addressing a press conference here, said the party would announce its candidates by February 20 and special consideration would be given to youth leaders.

PHILLAUR: Mr Sukhbir Badal, during his visit to Barra Pind, Masani, Lallian and Goraya villages in Phillaur subdivision today, claimed that the Congress would not be able to win more than 100 Lok Sabha seats. He said there were no differences between the SAD and the BJP on the seat-sharing issue and the matter would be solved through mutual understanding.

Phagwara: Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal said here today that Ms Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin would be very much an issue in the polls campaign. However, Priyanka and Rahul Gandhi were born and bred in India and their birth would not be made an issue in the campaign. Their entry in politics or campaigning for the Congress would not make any difference, he added.


Gujral’s son set to join SAD
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, February 6
Harping on his family’s clean political image and his father’s public standing Naresh Gujral, son of Former Prime Minister I.K. Gujral, is all set to join the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) formally around February 15 and subsequently to contest the Jalandhar parliamentary seat as the SAD-BJP candidate.

Though there has been no formal announcement by the SAD leadership about its intention to field the Gujral junior as its candidate from the Jalandhar parliamentary seat, party insiders and Naresh Gujral himself clearly indicated that he would be the SAD’s choice, and a final announcement about this was just a matter of some days.

“Yes, it is there. But the announcement has to be made finally by the SAD and it is likely to happen during Mr Badal’s Jalandhar visit on February 17 to open the party’s poll office,” said Mr Naresh Gujral, while talking to TNS from New Delhi.

Mr Gujral said his family had contributed a lot towards the development of Jalandhar, Kapurthala and whole of Punjab as such.

A trained chartered accountant, Mr Gujral has been looking after the Pushpa Gujral school for mentally retarded, orphaned and handicapped children.


Ravi Inder for third front in Punjab
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
The Akali Dal led by the former Punjab Speaker, Mr Ravi Inder Singh, today said they would stage a protest rally at Matka Chowk on February 24 to protest against the indifferent attitude of the Punjab Governor, Justice O.P. Verma, on several genuine demands.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Ravi Inder Singh said the protesters would observe a hunger strike on that day. They would express their resentment on issues like transfer of Punjabi-speaking areas, distribution of waters and arrest and detention of Sikhs without trial.

He reiterated that efforts were afoot to float a third front opposed to the Congress and SAD (Badal) in Punjab. He said the party was holding parleys with SAD (Amritsar), CPI, CPM, Lok Bhalai Party, SAD (Democratic) and JD (United) among others for launching a third front to give a tough fight to both the Congress and SAD (Badal) in the state.

He, however, said the “matter is not finalised yet”. But if nothing was finalised, his party would field candidates on all 13 seats in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

He said the SAD Chief and former Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, did not take the river waters issue seriously due to his close proximity with the Chautala family. He was more interested in getting a statue of Chaudhary Devi Lal installed.

Criticising the Centre for early dissolution of the Lok Sabha, Mr Ravi Inder said the NDA government’s hasty decision to dissolve the Lok Sabha gave the impression that it was scared. There was an “ulterior motive” behind the decision of the NDA to hold elections ahead of schedule, he said.


Sarna group to contest Lok Sabha elections
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 6
After sweeping the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee elections, the Shiromani Akali Dal, New Delhi, has decided to field candidates in selected constituencies.

Talking to newspersons here today, Mr Harwinder Singh Sarna, general secretary of the Delhi unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal said party would also support genuine candidates, who were perfect in ‘maryada’.

Mr Sarna, who had come here with Ms Shiela Dikshit, Chief Minister, Delhi, to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple, said the preaching practices of the SGPC would be streamlined. He however, did not disclose the number of candidates being fielded by the Delhi unit.

It may be mentioned here that the Sarna group’ had refused to disband the Delhi unit after rapprochement between Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra. During the tug-of-war between both the Akali stalwarts, the Sarna group had remained loyal to Mr Tohra.


Cong men say no to outside candidate
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 6
Congress leaders of the district today stated before the party observer that neither any outside candidate nor a CPI candidate of the Congress-CPI alliance would be acceptable to them for the next Lok Sabha elections.

They expressed these sentiments before Ms Chandrawati, a former minister of Haryana, who held a meeting here as the party’s observer. She is here to ascertain views of party leaders and workers in connection with the selection of candidate for the Bathinda seat.

Those who attended the meeting included Dr Bhagat Singh Dhaliwal, president, DCC, Mr Inder Singh Sahni, Mr Anil Bhola, president, city Congress, Mr Kewal Krishan Aggarwal, Mr Kewal Singh, former MP, and others. Ms Chandrawati assured to convey their sentiments to the party high command. 


Cong observer visits Sangrur
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, February 6
Ms Chandrawati, a central observer of the Congress, yesterday visited the town in connection with the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.

According to sources, supporters of the aspirants for the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat met her and expressed the desire of their respective leaders in this regard. Though Ms Chandrawati refused to disclose the name of the aspirants, sources said representatives of Mr Kewal Singh Dhillon, Mr Arvind Khanna, Mr Ram Pal Dhapai, Mr Jasbir Singh and Surinder Pal Singh Sibia met her.

Ms Chandrawati said she would send her report to the party high command about the prospective candidates for the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat.

Dadhahoor is Punjab NCP (Sangma) chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Reacting to the statement of Mr Swaran Singh that Mr Gurcharan Singh Dadhahoor, a former MP, has been removed from the Nationalist Congress Party ( NCP), Mrs Jaswinderpal Kaur Grewal, vice-president of the National Congress Party ( Sangma), said today that as Mr Dadhahoor was a member of the national executive committee of the party, the state unit could not remove him.

She said as Mr Swaran Singh had already been removed from the party, he had no authority to take action against any office-bearer of the NCP (Sangma).

Mr Dadhahoor had been made president of the Punjab unit of the NCP, she added.


Rs 400 cr plan to uplift poor
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, February 6
Transport Minister Tej Parkash Singh has exhorted the people to follow the teachings of Ravidas. He was addressing a congregation to mark Guru Ravidas Jayanti at Payal, about 30 km from here today.

He said through his writings Guru Ravidas, tried to wipe out inequality and untouchability prevailing in society during his times. Gurbani written by him had been incorporated in Guru Granth Sahib from which humanity was drawing inspiration for the servicing the suffering people.

The minister said the government had decided to accord top priority to the welfare of the weaker sections of society and chalked out a Rs 400-crore plan on Maharashtra pattern for the uplift of the people living below the poverty line.

Later, he participated in similar celebrations at Sunder Nagar, Doraha. He announced to get required funds released for the laying of sewerage and construction of roads in the locality. Ms Raj Rani, President of the Municipal Committee, Doraha, was also present there.

Phagwara: Guru Ravidas Jayanti was celebrated here on Friday with religious fervour and gaiety.

A congregation was held at nearby Chak Hakim village. Another function was held at the Plahi road Ravidas gurdwara.

Punjab Social Welfare Minister Joginder Singh Mann and senior Congress leader Balbir Raja Sodhi addresses congregations at different places. 


Guru Ravi Dass Jayanti celebrated
Our Correspondent

Patiala, February 6
Students of local Government College for Girls celebrated Guru Ravi Dass Jayanti with great fervour here today.

Speaking on occasion, the Principal of the college, Dr G.K Jaggi, highlighted various aspects of the philosophy of Guru Ravi Dass Bani. Students also recited gurbani of Bhagat Ravi Dass on the occasion. 


Kartar Singh’s village gets Rs 28 lakh
Our Correspondent

Nabha, February 6
Pedhan, the village of Risaldar Kartar Singh Gill, who was awarded the Vir Chakra twice, received Rs 28 lakh from the Chief Minister's discretionary fund for development today.

The amount is out of Rs 1 crore grant announced by Chief Minister at the bhog ceremony of Kartar Singh Gill.

Kaka Randip Singh, MLA, Nabha, said as promised by Capt Amarinder Singh, the village would be developed as a model village. The name of the village had been changed as Pedhan Kartar Singh Wala, he added. The road joining the village to Bhadson had been named as Kartar Singh Marg. He announced an additional grant of Rs 1 lakh for installation of Risaldar's statue.

Cheques worth Rs 40 lakh were given to 74 panchayats on the occasion.

The town has received a total grant of 600 lakh for the construction of three main roads and repairing and strengthening of eight link roads.


Residents, coloniser lock horns over facilities
Kulwinder Sangha

Kharar, February 6
Residents of Janta Nagar here and the PUDA-licensed coloniser concerned have locked horns over the provision of facilities in the area.

While on the one hand the coloniser, Janta Properties (now Janta Estates and Housing Development Limited), argues that the facilities have been provided as promised with the completion certificate having already been given by the authorities, the residents, on the other hand, accuse the company with non-compliance and breach of the conditions of the PUDA licence.

Residents of the colony say they have written to the Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban Development, Punjab, regarding their grievances but have yet to get relief.

The lament that they have been deprived of basic facilities like rainwater drainage system, good roads, medical services, community centre and adequate supply of water by the coloniser.

Members of the residents’ welfare association say that even after a lapse of more than 12 years the licensee has failed to provide a dispensary and a community centre in the area. No creche or school has also been constructed at the licensee’s own cost. On the other hand, they complain that land earmarked for the school has been sold by the coloniser to a private party for building and running a school in violation of the terms of the agreement.

Mr Jasbir Singh, president of the association, says that no boundary wall has been built, especially along the nullah on the north-east side of the colony. The nullah, along which a road runs, creates unhygienic conditions in the area when it rains. The danger of children falling into the nullah always exists.

Mr J.S. Virdi, general secretary of the association, says that in 2002 the residents used to get 24-hour water supply. But now water is being supplied only for about 10 hours a day. When the tubewell motor develops a fault, residents do not get water for days. Though the civic body supplies water during emergencies, the quantity is grossly inadequate.

He says that the width of roads provided is not in accordance with the specifications. As road gullies have not been provided, roads get flooded after rain. Certain roads now require repairs. Adequate plantation has also not been carried out.

Mr Virdi says there is no sewage treatment plant in the colony. No machinery has been installed at sewage collection points which have been linked to the municipal sewer system with an 8 inch pipe. In fact, the area earmarked for the plant has been used by the coloniser for building godowns.

Mr Tarlochan Singh, Chief Engineer, PUDA, who had visited the colony about a month ago, says that it is difficult for him to comment on the issue as he has not seen the layout plan of the colony which was approved long ago. He says he has asked officials concerned to provide the layout plan as he has to present a report in this regard to the Chief Administrator, PUDA.

Mr Kulwant Singh, Managing Director of Janta Estates and Housing Development Ltd, says that he has provided services to the residents of the colony free of cost for more than 12 years though these should have been provided only for 5 years according to the agreement. He says that since the residents of the area are not satisfied, he will soon be transferring the colony to the Municipal Council, Kharar, which will perhaps be able to provide better facilities.

Regarding the absence of rain water drainage system in the area, Mr Kulwant Singh says such a system was not part of the approved plan. A proper slope has been given so that the rain water drains away in the nullah passing near the colony. He says that the coloniser is not bound to provide a community centre, a dispensary or a creche. The colony will be transferred to the government which can get the buildings constructed.

He says that no authority can provide 24-hour water supply to residents. It was possible, two years ago, as only a few houses had been constructed. As more people settled down in the area, the number of hours of water supply have been reduced.


Shatrujit Singh’s offer on memorial
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, February 6
Tikka Shatrujit Singh, a scion of the Kapurthala royal family has offered to erect a memorial to 35,000 Sikhs, including 10,000 children, massacred by the forces of Ahmad Shah Abdali in 1762.

The massacre is known as the Wadha Ghalughara-Day (big holocaust).

After reading a news item published in The Tribune today, Tikka Shatrujit Singh expressed anguish over the non-observance of any religious function by the SGPC in the memory of the massacred Sikhs.

Tikka Shatrujit Singh said members of the Kapurthala royal family and the Trust would visit the site of the massacre in Kup Rohila village, near Malerkotla.


No grudge against Sikh clergy, says Spokesman Editor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Mr Joginder Singh, the Chief Editor of monthly Spokesman, who was declared a “tankhahiya’’ (guilty of religious misconduct) by Akal Takht, today said he had no grudge against the Sikh clergy.

In a statement issued here, he said the decision brought to fore the slippery path writers face on religious matters.

Mr Joginder Singh said he had simply urged the Sikh clergy to abide by the Panth-approved Sikh ‘Rehat Maryada’, which did not allow them to summon people, hold court at Akal Takht and excommunicate those who do not fall in line.

“The accusations levelled by the Akal Takht Jathedar are unsubstantiated, false and fabricated,” he said, adding that the details of the same were not supplied despite being asked for.

He reiterated that the Spokesman did not carry anything objectionable with regard to baptism, Sikh prayers or any other concept of Sikhism. “I did not adopt an egoistic approach towards the clergy and only pointed out that some distortions and wrong practices had crept into the religion,’’ he said.


Bangladesh national’s bid to board Samjhauta
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 6
Alert Customs official at Attari railway station thwarted an attempt by a Bangladeshi national Mehraj (42), when he tried to board the Samjhauta Express which had steamed out of the station.

Giving the details Assistant Commissioner S.L. Duggal said Mehraj was nabbed when a vigilant inspector, Sanjeev Prashar, noticed that he was trying to board the train.

Mr Duggal said Mehraj son of Vilayat, disclosed that he belonged to Rajbani village in Faridpur of Bangladesh and was trying to hoodwink security personnel to go to Lahore. He was handed over to the police.


Notice to kennel club on missing pup
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 6
A notice was issued to the president and the secretary of the Chandigarh Kennel Club by the District Consumer Forum-II, Chandigarh, in connection with a missing prize pup, "Chiny". The missing pup worth about Rs 50,000, was a pomeranian. It was owned by Amritsar residents, Mr Sudhir Sharma and Dr Tanu. The duo claimed their pup went missing due to the negligency of club authorities during a competition held in February, 2003.

An FIR was lodged in the Sector 3 police station, Chandigarh, on March 11 last year. Three months later, the police said the pup was "untraceable". The owners filed a case in a consumer court on January 28 this year.

The president of the club, Col Tirlochan Singh (retd) admitted that a pup went missing during the contest. However, he said he was not aware of the notice.


4 killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 6
Four occupants of a Maruti car were killed on the spot when it collided with a bus on the Bathinda-Gidderbaha road this evening.

The accident took place near Dera Lang.

Police sources said the car was badly damaged. 


Nine injured in clash
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, February 6
Nine persons were injured in a clash at Rawalpindi village last night. Those injured were Joginderpal, Satnam Singh, Shinderpal, Madan Lal, Pardeep Kumar, Mangat Ram, Dharampal and Sukhdev. They were taken to a hospital.

The clash broke out over the levelling of a ditch for clearing the way for a shobha yatra. While members of one group were filling up the ditch, the other group objected to it on the plea that the ditch had been dug up for the drainage of dirty water.


Cops get notice in contempt case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
If allegations in a petition are to be believed, then a .12 bore double barrel gun deposited with the police by a Gurdaspur district resident in 1987 was planted on an accused implicated in a false case. It was not returned despite court orders. In fact, the police failed to register a case in the matter even though the petitioner alleged the commission of a cognizable offence before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Now seeking directions for the initiation of contempt of court proceedings against Batala’s Senior Superintendent of Police Ram Singh, along with two Assistant Sub Inspectors of the Punjab Police, petitioner Puran Singh has submitted that the respondents should be punished for willfully disobeying the court orders.

Going into the background of the case, the petitioner submitted that “English make Stevens .12 bore double barrel gun” was handed over to the police on June 23, 1987, for safe custody as he was receiving threatening letters from “a self-styled General of Khalistan Commando force”. A receipt was also issued by the police.

But after the situation improved in the state, representations were sent to the officers for the release of the weapon. A legal notice was also served, but in vain. His counsel added that after everything failed, the petitioner moved the High Court for the relief.

Taking up his petition in September 2001, Mr Justice K.S. Garewal directed that the gun should be handed over to the petitioner “on the production of a valid licence”. But the weapon was still not returned.

Counsel added that the petitioner came to know from someone in the police station that the weapon had been planted on some other person in a first information report registered in December 1998. Later on, the person allegedly implicated in the case was also acquitted, but the weapon was not handed over to the petitioner.

Aggrieved, the petitioner again moved the High Court seeking directions for registration of a case against the orders. Acting on the same, Mr Justice Garewal directed the Superintendent of Police concerned to either investigate the case himself or direct probe by a subordinate officer if he was satisfied about the commission of a cognizable offence.

Counsel asserted that the authorities have now “blatantly refused to register a case against the guilty officials”. Rather, an attempt was being made to shield them. Taking up the contempt petition, Mr Justice Hemant Gupta of the High Court has issued notice of motion to the officers concerned.


Farmers stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, February 6
Farmers belonging to the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta) in the district staged a dharna in front of The Faridkot Cooperative Sugar Mills here today in protest against the failure of the management of the mills to pay their long-pending dues amounting to over Rs 2 crore.

Addressing the protesters, Mr Jaswant Singh Samag, president of the district unit of the BKU (Ekta), regretted that due to the non-payment of dues to over 3000 cane growers for the past about two years, they were facing great financial problems. Repeated requests to the authorities in this connection proved futile. A memorandum was presented to the Deputy Commissioner, Faridkot, demanding his intervention for redressing the grievances.


Three arrested for killing schoolboy
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, February 6
The police has claimed to have solved the murder of Taranjit Singh, alias Robin, of the local Shiv colony with the arrest of three youths.

Mr S.K. Asthana SSP, said the arrested youths had been identified as Vikramjit Singh, alias Bikka (20), of mohalla Mehtabgarh, Deepak Sharma, alias Deepo (19), of Mandi Wali Gali Shergarh, and Mukesh Kumar (18) of mohalla Arafwala. Robin’s mobile phone was recovered from the accused.

Taranjit Singh (15) a student of the local BSS School went missing from his house on the night of February 1. His body was found in a well in Aujula village the next day. Taranjit was a student of class X.

Talking to newspersons, the SSP said Taranjit was carrying an expensive mobile phone, worth Rs 16,000. The accused hatched a conspiracy to kill Robin in order to get his mobile phone.

Deepak, who was also a friend of Robin took him to secluded place behind the local Government Randhir College where Mukesh Kumar and Vikramjit Singh were wanting for them. They strangulated Robin and then threw his body in a well in Aujula village at night.

All the accused are school dropouts.


Two arrested for murder
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, February 6
The police here has claimed to have solved the murder case of Gurdev Singh son of Hazara Singh of Panjgrain Kalan under Kot Kapura police station who was a sevadar in a dera of Dalits in the village. Shambu (19) alias Gurpiar Singh son of Neela Singh of Malke village under Baghapurana police station in Moga district and Mrs Amarjit Kaur, wife of the deceased, have been arrested. Main accused Chhinda Singh, son of Buta Singh, a Mazhabi Sikh, resident of Malke village under Baghapurana police station in Moga is absconding. At a press conference here today Mr Kulchhinder Singh, SSP, said that Mrs Amarjit Kaur wife of the deceased felt insecure as her husband was allegedly a drug-addict and had mortgaged family’s two acres due to his bad habits. He also use to beat up her daily under the influence of intoxicants. She allegedly developed illicit relations with Chhinda Singh and planned to kill the deceased. They offered supari of Rs 15,000 to Shamboo, of which Rs 10,000 was given on the spot. On the night of January 18-19, Chhinda Singh and Shamboo killed Gurdev Singh.

A case under Section 302 of the IPC was registered against all accused at Kot Kapura. Gurpreet Singh, one of the two sons of Amarjit Kaur, is residing in Manila and the other Gursewak Singh living with her. The SSP also claimed that murder case of tailor Angrez Singh of Rameana village solved. 


One held for demanding ransom
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, February 6
The district police has arrested Jujhar Singh of Govardanpur for allegedly demanding Rs 10 lakh from a Sikh family of Pehowa in Haryana by threatening to kidnap their son if they did not give the money.

Mr Shiv Kumar, SSP, at a press conference held here today said that the CIA staff during a naka at Amloh town last night arrested Jujhar Singh and seized a .12 bore pistol, three cartridges and a Chetak scooter sans registration number. He said the latter was involved in extortion, intimidation and murder attempts at Pehowa town in Haryana.

Giving details, he said Jujhar along with Kuldeep Singh, former constable, and Beera of Govardanpur went to the house of Mr Mann Singh at Budmajra village at Pehowa police station and delivered the threatening letter which was written on the letter pad of the Khalistan Commando Force.

The SSP further said to create terror they also fired some rounds with a 9 mm pistol. On tapping their mobile phone it was detected that the calls were being made from Sirhind.

Mr Shiv Kumar said the Pehowa police contacted the district police and the CIA staff succeeded in nabbing one of the suspects.


Octroi contractor booked on cheating charge
Surinder Bhardwaj

Fatehgarh Sahib, February 6
The district police has registered a case against Kirpal Singh and Company, octroi contractor of the Municipal Council, Sirhind-Fatehgarh Sahib, on the recommendations of the Punjab Government for allegedly cheating and committing fraud by pocketing money collected from vehicle owners by issuing fake transit passes. The police has registered an FIR under Section 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC at Sirhind.

Mr Shiv Kumar, SSP, said the district police had received a complaint from the Director-cum-Secretary, Local Bodies, Punjab, against Kirpal Singh and Company for allegedly indulging in corrupt practices. He said the Director had written to the Vigilance Cell of the Local Self Government. Following a surprise raid and random checking it was established prima facie that the octroi contractor had misappropriated municipal funds by issuing duplicate transit passes.

The SSP said the case had been registered against Kirpal Singh, Kewal Kumar, Parbhjot Singh, Jagpreet Singh, Kulwant Rai, Harchand Singh and Hardeep Singh, partners in the company. He said investigation of the case had been handed over to the Economic Offence Wing of the police.

It may be mentioned that the vigilance team of the Local Self Government had raided the council office on a complaint of Mr Amarjit Singh Dhingra, General Secretary, DCC, alleging that the contractors were harassing traders and fleecing vehicle owner by issuing unauthorised transit passes and pocketing lakhs of rupees daily. After the raid, the Executive Officer and two octroi inspectors of the Municipal Council Sirhind-Fatehgarh Sahib were suspended.

Mr Varinder Rattan, president, District Beopar Mandal, also urged the government to order a high-level probe in the working of octroi contractors and council officials. He alleged that they had collected lakhs of rupees causing a direct loss of revenue to the council and also committed a fraud with the Income Tax Department.


Brothers held on murder, theft charges
Our Correspondent

Ropar, February 6
The Ropar police has arrested two brothers — Sukhwinder Singh and Jaswinder Singh — residents of Sector 37-C, Chandigarh, on charges of vehicle theft and murder. In a press note issued here today, the SSP, Mr Surinder Pal Singh, said the two were involved in a number of criminal incidents in Ropar and adjoining districts.

They were booked for theft and robbery in and around Mohali. Recently, the two had allegedly stolen a white Maruti car (CH-01A-3468) from the Government Hospital, Mohali. They are also accused of killing Piara Singh, a resident of Taroli village on November 8, last year. They also stole a truck (HP-24A-1664) loaded with 200 bags of cement from the Kotkhlur police station in Himachal Pradesh on January 13.

The police has seized a .315 country-made pistol and one live round from the accused. A case under Sections 382, 511, 34 of the IPC has been registered against the two.


Attempt to loot jewellery shop foiled
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, February 6
Two robbers tried to loot a jewellery shop in the main bazar of Sirhind, late this evening. When the shopkeeper raised an alarm, they opened fire and after injuring him fled away.

According to information, robbers came to the shop of Mr Roshan Saniar around 8 pm, posing as customers. Later, they directed him to hand over cash and jewellery to them. In the meantime, a nephew of Mr Roshan Lal came to the shop. When he heard their threats, he threw a chair on them. Following this, the robbers took out a pistol and fired at them. After hearing the gun shots, many shopkeepers pulled their shutters down. The robbers managed to escape on a scooter. The injured was taken to the Civil Hospital. Fatehgarh Sahib.

Mr Shiv Kumar, SSP, visited the site and hospital. He said patrolling would be intensified and the robbers arrested soon.


Amarinder lays stone of engineering college
Our Correspondent

Patiala, February 6
To popularise crop of diversification Guru Angad Dev University of Animal Sciences would be set up in Punjab shortly. Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh made this statement today.

He added a committee  would be set up to select a site and decide infrastructure of the university. This university will work on the pattern of Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana where research and teaching will be undertaken.

He was here to lay the  foundation stone of University College of Engineering at Punjabi University campus.

Mr Amarinder Singh said that an International Punjabi Centre would be established on the university campus and Rs 2 crore corpus created for the said purpose. He added that to strengthen friendship between the people of Eastern and Western Punjabs certain steps were being taken by Chief Ministers of both Punjabs. This would include joint trade, sports, exchange of cultural troupes and exchange of students on the university level.

He also announced that a sports meet of both Punjabs would be held here from December 5 to December 11 this year.

Vice-Chancellor Swarn Singh Boparai said that the purpose of this college was to initiate a process of change in the traditional system of education at university level and make this college a centre of excellence in technical education in the region. He added that this college would strive for solutions to the technical problems of industries and suggest ways and means for overall growth of industry in the region.

Local MP Preneet Kaur, Deputy Speaker Punjab Vidhan Sabha Birdevinder Singh and State Public Health minister Jasjit Singh Randhawa also spoke on the occasion.

GND varsity to host Punjab Science Congress
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 6
Guru Nanak Dev University will host the Seventh Punjab Science Congress to be held from tomorrow. The three-day session is being held under the auspices of the Punjab Science Academy.

Stating this Dr AJS Bhanwar, coordinator said Dr S.S. Johal, Vice-Chairman, Punjab Planning Board, would inaugurate it while Prof IJS Bansal, president, Punjab Science Academy would preside. Honorary fellowships to eminent scientists of Punjab would be awarded.

Three distinguished scientists Prof RNK Bamezai, coordinator, National Centre for Applied Human Genetics JNU, Delhi; Dr SC Saxena, Director, Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Patiala, and Prof SS Gosal, Professor of Biotechnology, PAU, Ludhiana, would give lectures.

Nineteen science and technology scientists are competing for five young scientists awards, to be presented on the concluding day on February 9.

Besides this, eight children would also be awarded for best contribution at the Punjab Children Science Congress.


College teachers for course date extension
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
There is resentment among college teachers in Punjab over the state government’s failure to implement a University Grants Commission decision of extending the last date of attending refresher courses.

The UGC has extended the last date of attending the refresher courses for teachers till December 31, 2004, on a persistent demand by the teachers.

The UGC had made it obligatory for the teachers to attend requisite number of refresher courses to be placed in senior or selection grades.

Dr R.P.S. Josh, a fellow of Panjab University Senate, in a letter to the Education secretary, Punjab, has said “teachers who are to superannuate in the coming three years have been exempted from attending the courses”.

Mr Josh said the Punjab government was “dilly dallying with regard to extending the last date which is causing unnecessary bickering among the teachers”. There were many reasons, particularly professional, because of which teachers were unable to attend the courses.


College authorities insensitive, allege Ashish’s kin
Lalit Mohan

Ropar, February 6
The kin of Ashish Sharma, a first year B-Tech student who was allegedly thrashed by teachers of Rayat Engineering College yesterday, today vented their ire against the management of the institute. Mr Yadhvinder Sharma, a kin of Ashish who had come to visit injured Ashish at the Balachaur Civil Hospital, today said none of the officials or members of the management of the college had come to meet the injured student.

According to the medical report, Ashish received blunt injuries. It is highly irresponsible on the part of the management for not enquiring about the injured student, he said.

The vice-chairman of the institute, Mr Gurvinder Singh, when contacted on phone, however, maintained that he had no knowledge about the whereabouts of Ashish Sharma. None of his kin had met him or told about his admission to the Balachaur hospital, he said. He contended that if Ashish Sharma had received injuries he should have got himself admitted to the hospital on the campus or a one in Ropar. There was no need to go to Balachaur for getting medical treatment, he said.

The vice-chairman also added that the impasse between the students and teachers had been broken and the teaching would resume on Monday.

However, the students protesting against maltreatment meted out to Ashish Sharma maintain that their strike has just been deferred till Monday due to holidays. A notice on behalf of the students pasted on the notice board has warned that if action was not taken against the erring teachers, the strike would continue.

The students of the college went on strike yesterday against the alleged thrashing of the B-Tech student by three teachers. The student was thrashed when his mobile started ringing in the corridor of the college.

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