P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



SAD (A), Youth Congress activists held
L.K. Advani’s effigy burnt
Tribune News Service and UNI

Sangrur, March 25
Activists of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), under the leadership of Ms Gurdip Kaur Alloarkh, district president of the women’s wing of the party, today blocked for an hour the Sangrur-Barnala road at Badrukhan village, near here, in protest against the arrest of Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, SAD (A) chief, and 14 other leaders of the party at Dirba yesterday.

However, the traffic remained unaffected as the police diverted it by another route towards Barnala and Sangrur.

The agitators also burnt an effigy of Mr L.K. Advani, Deputy Prime Minister, to protest against his “Bharat Uday Yatra” in Punjab.

The protesters also raised slogans, “Advani go back” and “Simranjit Singh Mann zindabad”.

Meanwhile, the police, as a preventive measure, today arrested 26 more workers and leaders of the SAD (A) from various parts of the district in view of a disruption threat to the “Bharat Uday Yatra” of Mr Advani.

Mr Gurinder Singh Dhillon, SSP, Sangrur, told TNS this evening that with the arrest of 26 persons today, the number of arrested persons of the SAD (A) in Sangrur district had risen to 41. He said these 41 persons included Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, Mr Paramjit Singh Khalsa, Mr Surinder Goyal “Babbi”, Mr Satnam Singh Behhru, Mr Gopal Singh Jawandha and Mr Jeet Singh Alloarkh, all top leaders of the party.

The first phase of Mr Advani’s yatra will conclude tomorrow at Amritsar. After that, all arrested leaders of the SAD (A), including Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, are likely to be released tomorrow evening.

JALANDHAR: About 150 activists of the Youth Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) were taken into custody here on Thursday as a preventive measure in view of their threat to stop and protest against Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani’s “Bharat Uday Yatra”.

An official spokesman said here on Thursday that about 125 Youth Congress workers were rounded up from the organisation’s district office at Tanda Road here on Thursday morning while they were planning to protest against the yatra and to wave black flags during its arrival here on Thursday afternoon.

Besides, about 25 SAD (A) workers were picked up from near Paragpur to foil their bid to protest against Mr Advani’s programme.

Earlier, 17 SAD (A) activists were arrested from different points in the district on Wednesday.

PHAGWARA: The local police on Thursday arrested nine more activists of SAD (A) to foil their attempt to disrupt the yatra of Mr Advani which reached here on Thursday afternoon. The local DSP, Mr Jaspal Singh, confirmed the arrests. Seven SAD (A) activists were arrested on Wednesday. They included district and block level leaders.

Meanwhile, sources said 15 activists, including Jathedar Rajinder Singh Fauji, member, Central Committee, SAD (A), Mr Gurjant Singh Kattu and Mr Sukhwinder Singh Khalsa, senior party leaders, were arrested by the Jamsher police on Thursday. These leaders were planning to disrupt the yatra between Khajurala village and Paragpur on the GT Road but the police foiled their plans.

The seven SAD (A) activists arrested here on Wednesday were remanded in judicial custody and had to spend the night in the police station as they refused to remove their ‘kirpans’ as required by the sub-jail authorities. They were shifted to the Central Jail, Jalandar, on Thursday.


Mann’s arrest, political drama, says Badal
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, March 25
The Shiromani Akali Dal chief, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today termed the preventive arrest of SAD (Amritsar) president Simaranjit Singh Mann as a political drama enacted by the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to ensure political mileage for Mr Mann’s party during coming elections.

Talking to the reporters here today, Mr Badal said that both Mr Mann and the Captain were relatives and the “so-called” arrest of Mr Mann was nothing but an attempt to “befool” people of the state. “Capt Amarinder Singh is hand-in-glove with Mr Mann to oppose SAD candidates during Lok Sabha elections,” he said, adding that such anti-Panthic forces would be rejected by the electorate.

Making a scathing attack on the CM over failure of the state government to pay more than Rs 80 crore as arrears to sugarcane growers, he alleged that the state government was delaying the disbursement of payment on flimsy grounds. “The state government can release payment from its own funds as was the case with my government, whereby, we used to pay the farmers from the Rural Development Fund. The Congress government is trying to put blame on the Central Government while the farmers are suffering without any fault of theirs,” he said, adding that Capt Amarinder Singh was pursuing anti-farmers policies.

Regarding his party’s poll manifesto, Mr Badal said the poll manifesto sub-committee would prepare a comprehensive draft by April 6 and it would include the commitment of the Akali Dal to fight for long-pending demands of the state like river waters dispute with Haryana and transfer of Punjabi-speaking areas and Chandigarh to Punjab.


Yatra a stunt, says Cong Beopar cell
Our Correspondent

Patiala, March 25
Terming Mr Advani’s rath yatra as a stunt aimed at vitiating the political atmosphere in the state, president of the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Cell (Patiala), Mr Ved Prakash Gupta, today lauded the “democratic” decision of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to initiate action against Akali leader Simranjit Singh Mann in order to provide an unimpeded passage to the yatra.

Mr Gupta, who is also the Chairman, PRTC, and president of the District Congress Committee (Urban), said the Centre was creating hurdles at every step for the Chief Minister in order to ‘please’ its ally in Punjab — the SAD . He said this was the reason why the Central Government had not permitted the state government to sell stocks of sugar worth Rs 350 crore, which are at present lying with the state.

He claimed that the Centre had refused to grant liberal industrial packages for the border districts of the state on the lines of those granted to Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh. Mr Gupta also accused the Centre of indulging in ‘petty’ politics as it had blocked the way to finding a permanent solution to the river water sharing issue between Punjab and Haryana.


Heavy deployment marks security for PM
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 25
The heavy security arrangements with regard to the visit of the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, to receive the “Bharat Uday Yatra” of Mr L.K. Advani has affected life here.

Senior state police officers along with the special protection group have sensitised the entire route of the yatra and the airport road. The police has cordoned off the Goal Bagh grounds with heavy deployment of Punjab Police commandos, where Mr Advani will address a rally.

All encroachments on the road from the airport to the city have been removed and trenches on both sides of the road filled up, while the patch work had been going on a war footing to fill the potholes.

A large number of cricket fans returning from Pakistan had to face a lot of inconvenience due to the full-scale security drill this afternoon being conducted by the security agencies.

Mr J.P. Birdi, IG, Border Range, talking to The Tribune said 10 additional companies of the Punjab Police commandos and PAP have been deployed in the city. The venue of the public meeting at the Goal Bagh has been virtually turned into a cantonment.


PM may not visit Golden Temple

Amritsar, March 25
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who will visit Amritsar here tomorrow, is likely to skip the Golden Temple, primarily due to the unprecedented rush of devotees participating in the “kar seva”. However, Mr Lal Krishan Advani, Deputy Prime Minister, may visit the Golden Temple.

Deputy Commissioner, Raminder Singh, however, said he was not sure whether Mr Vajpayee would be able to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal, president, Shiromani Akali Dal, said it was practically difficult for Mr Vajpayee to participate in the ‘kar seva’ due to his knee problem. — TNS


Badal uses Panth to solve his problems, says Gill
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 25
Mr Jagroop Singh Gill, Chairman, Improvement Trust, Bathinda, and senior Congress leader, today cautioned the people that they should be aware of the “tactics” being adopted by former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to get their votes in the Lok Sabha elections.

In a press note issued here today, Mr Gill alleged that it was Mr Badal who played an active role in disturbing the law and order situation in Punjab in 1984 by instigating the ‘dharmi faujis’. Besides, Mr Badal never condemned the terrorist violence, which claimed thousands of lives in Punjab.

“Now, Mr Badal has been instigating the rural people by asking them not to allow any Congress leader to enter villages for campaigning in the Lok Sabha elections. This may disturb the peaceful atmosphere of the state. Mr Badal has been trying to create all sorts of tensions in Punjab to save himself from the corruption case registered against him,” alleged Mr Gill.

He pointed out that Mr Badal had been alleging time and again that the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had scuttled the Bathinda refinery project by selling out the state’s economic interests to a big industrial house, which was untrue. On the contrary, a number of SAD workers staged dharnas and held rallies to oppose the setting up of the refinery in Phulo Khari village in the district.

He alleged that whenever Mr Badal was out of power, he always tried to link his personal problems and issues with the Sikh Panth and by using the Panth, he always managed to save himself from problems. Now, Mr Badal had again been linking the criminal case registered against him for his rampant corruption with the Sikh Panth and was befooling the people.

He said the Congress government had been seeking votes from the people on the basis of fulfilment of promises it made to the people before the last Assembly elections, but Mr Badal was trying to get votes for his party candidates by creating a rural-urban divide among the people.


Revamp of school board after elections
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
Rattled by the question paper leak in the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB), the Punjab Government has decided to go for drastic changes in the existing structure of the board. The restructuring process of the board will start immediately after the Lok Sabha elections in the state.

“We have decided to bring about a major change in the functioning of the board”, said Mr Khushhal Bahl, Primary and Secondary Education Minister, while talking to TNS in his office today. The wake-up call for the State Government to restructure the board has obviously come after the question paper leak, many layers of which are yet to unfold. “I am in favour of trifurcating the board into three wings — academic, examination and publication”, said Mr Bahl.

For achieving this objective, changes will have to be made in the Punjab School Education Board Act, 1969. The board enjoys autonomous status and the State Government has a very limited role to play in its affairs as per the Act. In fact, the board is a high-profile body with all Vice-Chancellors, DPIs of schools and colleges, two principals of colleges, one member from among college lecturers and one each from heads of senior secondary and high schools as its members besides other important persons. The maximum the State Government can do in case of the board is that it can send a reference to the board with regard to any matter of policy or in respect of any violation of the board Act.

Without changing the Act, the state government cannot play any decisive role with important matters such as conduct of examinations, publication of books, improvement in the syllabi, academic standards etc. Once the Act is changed, the government will not only be able to set the agenda for the board but also take meaningful action in case of the board’s failure to do what the State Government wants.

Educational institutions, publishers of books and guides have high stakes in the board. Education in the state has become a full-fledged business. Performance of schools, especially the ones which treat education purely as a commercial activity for making profit, in board examinations mean a lot to those who run such schools.

“We are aware that commerce takes precedence over academic and other related activity because of the high stakes involved”, said Mr Bahl. “ If I have my way, I would change all this to separate the commercial aspects from academic ones”, he added.

Breaking his silence on the question paper issue, Mr Bahl said he had ordered a separate inquiry that was being handled by the Director-General ( DG) of Schools. “No one involved in the paper leak scandal amongst the board or Education Department officials would be spared. I have asked the DG to cover all aspects and submit a comprehensive inquiry report.

He said that four police cases had been registered with regard to the paper leak scandal, one at Ludhiana, another at Dehlon, yet another at Gurdaspur besides one at Mohali. These are all criminal cases.

The board has told to declare the results of the examinations at the earliest possible. The board has been told to declare the result of the middle examination by May 15, matriculation by June 30, senior secondary examination (humanities and other groups) by June 30 and science and commerce groups by May 10.


Missing question paper packet found
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 25
In an interesting development, the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) Chairman today stated that they had ‘found’ the question paper packet that had gone ‘missing’ from Gurdaspur, thought to be the source of Class X question paper leakage.

The Chairman, Dr Kehar Singh, said the Board had yesterday ordered for all question paper packets to be brought back from the various examination centres to the Board following the cancellation of the papers and this packet had now been found intact at the DAV Senior Secondary School centre at Batala. This was brought to the notice of the Education Minister who visited the Board today.

‘‘The bundles are being brought back in order to check their seals. If any seal is tampered with before the beginning of the examination, it can be easily identified that would lead us to know from which particular centre the leakage took place. But all the packets that have been retrieved from Gurdaspur are intact and the seals untampered including the much talked about missing packet. In view of this development we will withdraw the police case in this regard at Gurdaspur,’’ said Dr Kehar Singh.

Dr Kehar Singh also informed that all the unused question paper bundles from across Punjab will reach the Board by tomorrow and there is a strong chance of being able to identify the centres where the leakage started. ‘‘But the needle of suspicion increasingly points to a single centre at Ludhiana which is the source of leakage of both Class X and Class XII papers,’’ he said adding that two employees of the Board had been specially sent to the SSP Ludhiana with certain glaring proofs that would help the police to act. Dr Kehar Singh said he was not withdrawing his request for a police inquiry into the case at Mohali. ‘‘This inquiry is important to find out if anyone at the Board headquarters is involved in the case or not,’’ he said.


Father searching for soldier son for 3 yrs
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, March 25
Naib Subedar Roop Lal (retd), a local resident, is moving from pillar to post for the past three years to get information about his only son, Naik Sukhpal Singh, a serving soldier, missing for the past over three years. Sukhpal Singh, who was serving in Bihar Regimental Centre (BRC) D coy, Danapur Cantt, Patna district, Bihar, disappeared under mysterious circumstances in August 2000. But Colonel Yadav, the then commandant of the battalion in September, 2000, declared Sukhpal Singh a deserter as he was marked absent from duty.

In a representation to the Governor, Punjab, and the state Chief Minister, Roop Lal said his son had joined the Army in 1989 and was posted at Kota. After a year, he was transferred to Patna from where he eventually disappeared. Blaming his daughter-in-law, Anita of Jaipur, about the disappearance of his son, Roop Lal said after their marriage in 1995, the couple started living in Yadav complex, located in the civil area of Anand Bazar, Danapur. The complex belonged to Anil Singh.

Roop Lal alleged that during her stay there his daughter-in-law developed illicit relations with the landlord Anil Singh, who was friendly with many senior politicians of the area. Despite many warnings by Sukhpal Singh to Anita, she continued her relationship with Anil Singh.

Meanwhile, Sukhpal Singh got a posting order to move from BRC to 4 RR Battalion Jammu in August 2000. Before going to Jammu, Sukhpal Singh and Anita came to Faridkot and he left her there. During their visit here, Anil Singh also accompanied them, alleged Roop Lal. Sukhpal Singh then went back to Patna to get orders to resume his duties in Jammu. From Patna, Sukhpal Singh went missing under mysterious circumstances.

When the news about Sukhpal Singh’s disappearance reached Faridkot, Anita, too, left from there, without informing her father-in-law, leaving her two-year-old daughter behind. Suspecting some foul play, Roop Lal went to Jaipur to enquire about her. There he came to know that Anita had reached Danapur, Bihar, where she had given a false statement to the Army authorities that her husband was staying in Faridkot. On Anita’s statement, the Army authorities declared Sukhpal Singh a deserter. Roop Lal then came to Danapur in January, 2001, and apprised the Commandant of the battalion about the matter, who assured him that he would look into the matter. He also told the Commandant about Anita’s illicit relationship and also alleged that she and Anil were responsible for his son’s disappearance. Despite writing many times to the Army authorities to bring to book the accused, nothing happened.

Roop Lal has now asked the Deputy Commissioner and Deputy Director, District Sainik Welfare Board, Faridkot, to intervene into the matter. Taking a serious note of the matter, both the officers had written to the Government of Bihar for its intervention to trace the missing Sukhpal Singh.


BSNL mobile fraud case: official suspended
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 25
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) today suspended its Rajpura-based Junior Telecom Officer (JTO), who was responsible for activating connections of subscribers of the town who defrauded the company of Rs 80 lakh even as further investigation revealed that the racket might be even bigger than the Rs 1 crore figure.

BSNL suspended its Rajpura-based JTO, Kuldeep Singh, who had activated the SIM cards of subscribers who had given false addresses in their application forms. The Rajpura General Manager was given the responsibility of inquiring the case. Senior officials at Rajpura were also being questioned as to how subscribers were able to take connections after giving fake addresses.

Telecom sources disclosed that the racket had crossed the Rs 1 crore figure, with the department discovering another three subscribers who had defrauded the company of between Rs 8 lakh and Rs 12 lakh each last month. These three subscribers had also taken Cell One connections of BSNL in January like eight others who had defrauded BSNL of Rs 80 lakh.

BSNL Patiala General Manager C.S. Kataria said three more persons who had submitted fake addresses and had run up huge bills in lakhs had been detected. He said there could be a few more cases also. He said information of these subscribers had been given to the Rajpura city police station, which had registered a case.

The telecom and police authorities were now veering down to the opinion that the entire fraud was the work of a single gang which had been running one or even two illegal mobile exchanges. The sources said the Chandigarh police and the Mohali police were investigating this angle. They said a police team had been dispatched to Delhi following information that one of the illegal mobile exchanges of the gang was in the Capital.

The sources said the Rajpura police had rounded up some persons who were suspected to be members of the gang. They said these persons were being questioned and that they had also been taken to some places close to Chandigarh and Delhi in a bid to recover the exchanges. The police maintained that it had not nabbed anyone in the case.

The BSNL authorities were also investigating how the subscribers were able to get connections though their addresses were to be verified by an independent private agency. 


Sukhbir Badal accuses Cong of nepotism
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, March 25
Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, General Secretary of the SAD asked people of Punjab not to be misled by propaganda against senior Akali leaders by the government of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.

The SAD General Secretary said that he (Capt Amarinder Singh arranged party ticket for his wife Perneet Kaur for Patiala Constituency and favoured three DSPs in recruitment.

Mr Sukhbir Badal alleged that the Congress promoted nepotism and dynastic rule in the country. Talking to mediapersons at Tehna village 5 km from here in this district today.

Later addressing villagers Mr Badal appealed vote for his party. He also addressed meetings at villages Chandbaja, Mandwala, Mishriwala, Moranwali, Kaler, Pucca, Machakikalan and Deepsinghwala. He was weighed against coins by residents village Mandwala and Pucca.


Cong leader to join SAD
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 25
A senior Congress leader and former vice-president of the state Youth Congress, Mr Raminder Singh Bolaria, is likely to join the Shiromani Akali Dal tomorrow.

Mr Bolaria had unsuccessfully contested the previous assembly elections from Amritsar as a rebel Congress candidate.

Mr Bolaria had also been the Deputy Mayor of the local Municipal Corporation.


Ramesh Singla joins Akali Dal
Our Correspondent

Nabha, March 25
Former local MLA and NCP leader Ramesh Singla joined the SAD today in the presence of party president Parkash Singh Badal, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar and Raja Narinder Singh, former Cabinet Minister.

During the 1992 elections Mr Singla had won elections as an Independent candidate from Nabha but later on joined the Congress. He left the party in 2002 when the party denied him ticket from Nabha and joined the NCP.


Spinal injuries centre before year-end
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 25
The Regional Spinal Injuries Centre at Mohali will start functioning before the end of this year. After three years of the Punjab Government running the centre from temporary premises at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, finally the unfinished building of the centre in Sector 70 will be completed with construction starting this week. Once operational, the centre will cater to patients from Punjab and its neighbouring states.

This was decided at a meeting of the special committee constituted to run the centre held today. The meeting presided over by the Minister for Social Security and Development of Women and Children, Mr Joginder Singh Mann was attended by members of the committee, including the Deputy Speaker, Vidhan Sabha, Mr Bir Devinder Singh.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh said that out of the Rs 3 crore, recently set aside by the Punjab government for the centre, Rs 1 crore had been released and the money sent to the Punjab Small Industries Exports Corporation (PSIEC) to undertake the construction of the building. Till now, the government has spent Rs 1.56 crore of the Government of India grant on the centre.

‘‘The construction should begin as early as possible and will be done in a time bound manner to make the centre operational by October 31. The construction display board at the site will also bear the deadline. We have decided to get the OPD on the ground floor and the operation theatres to be constructed first. But we have changed the design of the operation theatre from what was originally planned. Also we have decided not to get the Centre centrally air conditioned as it will cost a lot,’’ he said.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh also said that the special committee that was running the centre would be expanded to include more people from the local industrial houses at Mohali like Ranbaxy, Quark and the Industries Association. ‘‘This is being done to broadbase the committee so that those involved with its working directly are also able to contribute the most to it,’’ he explained.

Among those who attended the meeting today included Mr J.R. Kundal, Principal Secretary, Social Security and Woman and Child Welfare, Punjab, Mr Som Prakash, Director, Social Welfare, Punjab, and Dr Raj Bahadur, Medical Superintendent of the GMCH-32.

The Regional Spinal Injuries Centre project was started in 2000 by the Punjab Government in collaboration with the Union Government. The total cost of the project was Rs 3.5 crore out of which the GoI had to pay Rs 1.6 crore and once operational, would also pay the recurring costs. The Punjab Government earmarked five acres of land in Sector 70 here for the centre.

Sources disclosed that the total cost of the project had gone up to over Rs 8.3 crore. ‘‘The construction was to cost Rs 1.4 crore and the rest of the amount was to be spent on the equipment etc. Now Rs 5.9 crore have been listed just for the construction. It’s not just because of the delay, certain additional facilities and features have been added to the initial design,’’ said Mr Bir Devinder Singh.


Homecoming for rickshawpuller’s son
Our Correspondent

Abohar, March 25
Four-year-old Gobinda, who was allegedly sold by his father, a rickshawpuller for Rs 4,000 to an issueless milkman here last fortnight, would be restored to his family, sources said.

SDM Inder Yash Bhatti, taking suo motu notice of media reports in this regard, had asked Naib Tehsildar Virendra Garg to inquire in to the matter. Interestingly Mr Garg had registered the adoption deed in this case recently. He later said that both the parties had concealed the fact that Gobinda’s mother Saroj Rani was alive. He today summoned rickshaw-puller Teja Ram, the milkman and his wife and a Congress councillor who had verified the facts of the deed earlier.

Teja Ram was warned that he would have to undergo six months’ imprisonment if he conceded the fact that he had accepted money for handing over Gobinda to the milkman. Frightened Teja Ram then denied in writing that he had “sold” his son. The milkman was also told by law experts that the adoption deed could be declared null and void because according to Section 9 of the Hindu Adoption Act the clause for consent of the mother could be dispensed with only if she was insane/ took sanyas or changed religion. In this case she was mentally sound though she had eloped with Ramveer Shakya and was at present with him in Unthany village in Orayia district of Uttar Pradesh. Both the parties were advised today that it would be better to restore Gobinda to his family otherwise all of them could be booked under a criminal case. The councillor and middle woman could also be booked who had allegedly made both the parties to sign the adoption deed.

Teja Ram later told newsmen that he could not think clearly while signing the deed. He was not also supplied copy of the deed. He was under constant pressure from his seven-year daughter and another two-year son to bring Gobinda back home.


Bid to grab gaushala land alleged
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, March 25
A delegation of representatives of the Bajrang Dal, the Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray), the RSS and temple committees of the town today met the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Rakesh Kumar, in connection with the change in revenue records of the land pertaining to a gaushala.

The representatives, in a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, alleged that a land mafia, to grab the land of the gaushala, had tampered with the entries in the revenue record in connivance with revenue officials.

They told the Deputy Commissioner that the erstwhile rulers of Kapurthala had allotted land measuring 663 kanals for the gaushala.

They said the Gaushala Committee had earlier got the entries in the column of occupation recorded in the revenue records in favour of the Gaushala Committee pertaining to jamabandi of land for 1995-96. The revenue record was corrected in favour of the Gaushala Committee on September 27, 2003, and jamabandi was issued by the halqa patwari on February 10, 2004. The Gaushala Committee was shown in occupation under the column of cultivation.

The representatives alleged that entries in the khasra girdwaries were again changed in the name of two individuals of Kanjli village without any notice to the Gaushala Committee.

They alleged that in the khasra girdwaries of land, obtained by the Gaushala Committee on March 23, the entries were changed in the name of two Surinder Singh and Balwinder Singh, both of Kanjli village, on the basis of a spot inspection made by the District Revenue Officer on October 22, 2003. They alleged that it was done to oust the Gaushala Committee from the land and deprive the 300 cows of fodder.

The Gaushala Committee had been maintaining 300 old and infirm cows on the produce of the land of the gaushala.

The representatives urged the Deputy Commissioner to take immediate steps to protect the land of the gaushala.


Culture endorses bias against women: paper
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 25
More than 24 research papers were presented on Folklore on the second day of the Indian Folklore Congress hosted by the School of Punjabi Studies of Guru Nanak Dev University here today.

Dr Lalita Handoo from Mysore in her paper on ‘Gender Construction and Violence Models’ said violence against women was an ever-increasing problem which extended to violence at home, in society, media and a systematic assault on femininity as a whole. She said factors encouraging violence against women in India were cultural, economic, legal and political. Our language and literary discourse legitimise disparity and discrimination against women, she added.

In their paper “Advertising as Folk Metaphor: Recurrence of Folk Stories in Advertising Discourse, Dr Sukhdev Singh and Divya Kalia of Guru Nanak Dev University tried to capture some elements of folk stories as a vital factor in modern advertising.

Dr Parminder Singh of English literature, speaking on ‘Myths and Discourse of Literary Work: Raja Rao’s Kanthapura’ attempted to analyse the role of myths and folk-tales in building up the discourse of Raja Rao’s Kanthapura.

Dr Baltej Singh Brar, in his paper on “Literature and Folklore: An African Context”, said the modern literature had its roots in oral folk literature and folklore. He said there was close relationship between literature and lives of the people because this literature was real projection of human relationships, culture, traditional life, folk rhythms and history of the African people. He said folklore and folk literature reflected literary aspiration of African people.

Mr Vijay Kishore Mishra, Simi Malhotra, Miss Rosy, Tejbir Kasel, Prof A.K. Maurya, Vijay Rajan, Mark Caroline, Giri Bala, Dr Jatinderpal Singh Jolly, Ms Rupinder Kaur, Ms Prabhdeep Kaur, Mr Paramjit Singh Dhingra, Dr Surjeet Lee, Dr Paramjit Singh Judge, Dr Ranjit Singh Bajwa, Dr Gurmit Singh, Ms Saragi, Ms Kulwinder Kaur, Ms Harjit Kaur and Dr (Mrs) Satinder Kaur Aulakh also presented papers on Indian Folklore.

Dr Ranjit Singh Bajwa, General Secretary of the Indian Folklore Congress, said more than 100 delegates from various states of India were participating in the conference.


Protest against ‘disowning’ of martyrs today
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 25
To lodge protest against the “disowning” of the Kamagatamaru freedom fighters by the Union Home Ministry, which had filed an affidavit in the Punjab and Haryana High Court expressing doubts whether the Kamagatamaru passengers had any link with the country’s freedom struggle, members of the local Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Committee have decided to converge at the Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar tomorrow.

The committee members would also try to meet the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, during his proposed visit to the city on March 26, and apprise him of the serious development which had hurt the sentiments of freedom fighters.

Addressing a press conference here today, Comrade Gandharav Sen Kochar, general secretary Gurmit Singh, spokesman Baba Gurmail Singh, Rajeshwar Singh, Baba Naunihal Singh and Amolak Singh, all trustees of the committee, alleged that the Central Government had virtually “disowned” the Kamagatamaru freedom fighters and this was clear from the affidavit filed in the court.

“This is a conspiracy to create doubts in the minds of people and to distort history according to new political needs. People behind such acts want to delete name of people’s heroes from their minds,” said Mr Gurmit Singh.

Comrade Kochar said the committee was against any confrontation with the authorities concerned the things in order and to make people aware about the original history. No amount of such efforts can dilute the sacrifices made by great heroes, he said.


Octroi collection staff beat up truck driver
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, March 25
Octroi contractors of the Sirhind-Fatehgarh Sahib area and their employees have allegedly beaten up a truck driver for refusing to pay more than the fixed fee for getting a transit pass.

The Sirhind police has registered a case and the truck driver has been admitted to the civil hospital at Fatehgarh Sahib.

Driver Raj Kumar said he was going from Agra to Jammu and he stopped his truck at octroi post 3 on GT Road at Sirhind. He said he gave a Rs 50 note to the octroi clerk and he demanded Rs 60. He said as he refused to pay more, four or five employees pushed him out of the truck and beat him up. He alleged that he became unconscious and started bleeding.

He said another truck driver put him in his truck, but the employees pulled him down. He added that he was taken to a house, where he was given injections and medicines, and the employees then threw him near his truck. He said when he regained consciousness, he went to the police station at Sirhind and got a case registered.


‘India Shining’ hollow claim, says former CBI Director
Ashok Grover

Jalalabad, March 25
Mr Joginder Singh, member Interpol and former CBI Director, has said that  during the past five years of the NDA rule, the economy of country has improved but the claim of “India Shining” seems to be far from  reality. He said the benefits of improvement in the economy had not reached the rural population of the country. He observed that the monster of corruption was swallowing all benefits and these were being denied to those for whom they were actually meant.

He said, according to an estimate, there were about 52,000 slums in the cities of the country and nothing had been done to provide basic amenities like potable water and sanitary facilities to these slum dwellers.   

He was talking to reporters at his ancestral house here. He said a majority of the government employees were living a luxurious life these days which was beyond their means.

Although the CBI had done a remarkable job in the past, but the ever-may increasing pressure from political masters my cripple its functioning in future.


PSSF gears up for today’s rally
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 25
The Punjab Subordinate Services Federation (PSSF) has claimed that there was great enthusiasm among the government employees for the proposed state level protest rally at Patiala on March 26 against the indifferent and apathetic attitude of the state government.

Presiding over a meeting of the district unit to review the preparations for the rally here today, its president, Mr Gurmel Singh Melday, lambasted the Congress Government for its failure to fulfil any of the poll promises made with the employees. While issues like grant of 4-9-14 year promotion scale to all employees, payment of bonus for last 5 years, regularisation of all ad hoc employees, filling up vacant posts, hike in allowances and recruitment on compassionate grounds were still hanging fire, the government had given effect to the anti-employee decisions which included cut in commutation of pension and leave encashment.


Rs 1280 cr credit plan for Sangrur
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, March 25
Mr Sarvjit Singh, DC, Sangrur, today launched the annual district credit plan of Sangrur district for 2004-05, prepared by the State Bank of Patiala at a district-level Review Committee Meeting here.

Mr R.K. Gupta, Lead District Manager, said the bank had planned a target of Rs 1,280.66 crore, to be disbursed under priority sector. The banks had planned an increase of Rs 210.55 crore (20.48 per cent) over the targets fixed for the current financial year.

The banks had planned disbursement of Rs 999.78 crore under the agriculture sector, Rs 137.18 crore under the industry sector and Rs 101.43 crore under the trade and services sector during the financial year 2004-05.

The DC, while reviewing the achievements of different banks up to December 31, 2003, said the banks in the district had disbursed an amount of Rs 1002.35 crore under priority sector upto December 2003, which was 115 per cent of the targets.


Aero-model found in field

Bathinda, March 25
A two-foot-long aero-model was found from the fields of a farmer, Mr Kulwant Singh, of Sivian village in the district yesterday. Police sources said though it looked like a toy plane with an engine, efforts were on to find out from where it had come.

The police has informed the authorities concerned of Killi Bhisiana air force station in this connection. A report in this connection had also been registered in the daily dairy report (DDR) at the Nahianwala police station.

The police has taken the aero-model in its custody late last night after the villagers informed it. — TNS


Dulla cremated amid protests

Jalandhar, March 25
Dulla, a criminal, who was killed in a gang war here yesterday was cremated amid protests by his supporters and residents of Bhargo camp, who forced closure of shops in the area demanding arrest of the accused.

The police cordoned off Bhargo Camp, Mangu Basti, Avtar Nagar and Basti Sheikh cremation grounds to avoid any untoward incident while Dulla’s supporters burnt tyres on leading roads and forced the shopkeepers to close down the shutters to register their protest against the police for its alleged failure to nab the culprits. — OC


Plastic publicity banned
Our Correspondent

Ropar, March 25
The Election Commission of India has banned the use of plastic publicity material by any political party during the Lok Sabha elections.

The Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, Ms Seema Jain, gave this information here today. She held a meeting with the representatives of major political parties.

The notification for the Lok Sabha poll in Punjab would be issued on April 16.

The district president of the BJP, Mr Vijay Puri, the district president of the SAD, Mr Pritam Singh Salomajra, Mr Lal Bahadar (CPI), Mr Charanjit Singh Ghai (BSP) and Mr Jagjit Singh Jagga (Congress) were among those who participated in the meeting.


Rape victim can’t be quizzed about character
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
After amendment to the Indian Evidence Act, an accused in a rape case could not be allowed to adduce evidence for proving immoral character of the prosecutrix, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held in a significant judgement.

In a ruling on a revision petition filed by a 60-year-old rape accused, Mr Justice S.K. Mittal of the High Court added that now it was also not possible to put questions to the victim about her ‘generally immoral character’.

The accused, a Bathinda resident, was earlier booked by the Punjab Police for rape and criminal intimidation under Section 376 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code.

In his petition filed before the High Court, he had challenged the orders of Chandigarh’s Additional District and Sessions Judge declining his plea for questioning the alleged victim after showing a video film to “demolish her credibility” and to establish her immoral character. The accused had claimed that the alleged victim was shown to be physically involved with two men in the recording.

Opposing the plea, the public prosecutor had asserted that the movie could not be shown and “put to the prosecutrix in her cross examination” following specific amendment by the legislature to the Indian Evidence Act.

Mr Justice Mittal dismissed the petition while holding that there was no illegality in the impugned order pronounced by the trial court.

In his detailed order, the Judge observed that the sole objective and purpose of the petitioner was to show the recording to impeach the alleged victim’s credibility. However, the object of the amendment was to ensure that the defence counsel was not allowed to ask questions to the prosecutrix in a rape case about her character and to impeach her credibility.

The Judge concluded that the recording was done in 1990-91 when the prosecutrix was just 19 or 20-year-old student. Such kind of recording, the Judge added, would definitely amount to impeaching the general character of the prosecutrix. This exactly was not permissible under the law.


High Court
Two rescued from illegal detention
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
A warrant officer, appointed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, reportedly rescued two Jalandhar district residents from lock up after raiding a police station late Wednesday night.

No case was reportedly registered against the detainees and the officials present at the station failed to justify the detention.

The officer, Mr Gulshan Khurana, was appointed by Mr Justice K.S. Garewal of the High Court on a habeas corpus petition. In her petition, the sister of alleged detainees had claimed that the two were coming on a bike when they were picked up by the police. The petitioner had added that the police had threatened them with false implication in a theft case if they failed to pay Rs 50,000.

Regular bail

Taking up a petition filed before the High Court by Punjabi pop singer Daler Mehndi’s brother, Shamsher Mehndi, seeking the grant of regular bail in alleged human trafficking case, Mr Justice K.S. Garewal fixed April 20 as the next date of hearing. The petitioner had claimed false implication in the case.

Opposing the plea for bail, Punjab’s Deputy Advocate-General, Mansur Ali, asserted that three of the co-accused in the case had been declared proclaimed offenders in the case. As such chances of Shamsher running away could not be ruled out. He added that the bona fides of the investigating agency were evident from the fact that Daler had been given a clean chit.


Jagir Kaur’s security officer out on bail
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 25
Former SGPC President Bibi Jagir Kaur’s personal security officer and Sub- Inspector Nishan Singh was today released from the Central Jail here after he submitted a surety and a personal bond of Rs 50,000 each on the directions of a local court.

Earlier the Supreme Court had on March 19 given bail to Nishan Singh, who is in judicial custody for the past three years and is being tried for the murder of Harpreet, daughter of Bibi Jagir Kaur. The Supreme Court in its order had instructed the Additional Sessions Judge- cum-Special Judge, Mr S P Bangar, to release the accused on bail.

Nishan Singh’s counsel, Mr Satnam Singh Cler, had submitted the SC order in the local court. After submission of surety and personal bond today, the court issued the release order of Nishan Singh following which he was released from the Central Jail in the afternoon.

With the release of Nishan Singh, all the accused in the case are out on bail. While Dalwinder Kaur Dhesi, Paramjit Singh Raipur, Satya, Vijay and Raghbir were given bail by a Magistrate, Bibi Jagir Kaur had been granted bail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.


Lawyers want judge shifted
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, March 25
Lawyers here continued the boycott of the court of Mr Ranjit Singh, Judicial Magistrate, for the third day here today. They are demanding his transfer.

By a unanimous resolution passed on March 23, the lawyers’ body alleged despite the earlier resolution passed on July 25, last year, the magistrate had not changed his behaviour.

The resolution demanded an inquiry against the magistrate.

Copies of the resolution were sent to the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr Justice Surya Kant of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and inspecting judge for the Gurdaspur district and District and Sessions Judge, Gurdaspur.


Lok Adalat every Saturday
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, March 25
Mohinder Pal, District and Sessions Judge-cum-Chairman, Free Legal Aid Authority, yesterday said quarterly lok adalats would be organised at the District Judicial Complex here on May 1 and at the Amloh Judicial Complex on April 17.

Every Saturday a special lok adalat was organised at the local judicial complex, he said. He called upon litigants to take the benefit of these lok adalats. The District Free Legal Aid Services Committee had nominated five lawyers to provide free legal aid to the litigants recommended by the committee.


Rabi crops’ harvesting banned during night

Moga, March 25
The harvesting of rabi crops in the district has been banned during night till May 21.

The orders under Section 144, CrPC, issued by Deputy Commissioner G. Ramesh Kumar, has assigned no reasons. However, sources said orders had been issued to avoid any untoward incident during campaign for the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.

The Deputy Commissioner was speaking at a news conference here. — UNI


Farmers gherao SDO’s office
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 25
Farmers from various villages under the banner of the Kisan Sangharsh Committee today gheraoed the office of the Sub Divisional Officer of the Punjab State Electricity Board, Lopoke, Mr Satnam Singh Pannu, a farmer leader alleged that the state government’s officials were looting farmers. The farmers presented a memorandum to the SDO who assured to solve their problems.


Inspections reveal anomalies in MC contracts
Our Correspondent

Ropar, March 25
A major bungling in the sanitary contract of the Mohali Municipal Council was detected during the annual inspection conducted by the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Seema Jain.

She said several workers present on muster rolls of the sanitary contractor of the Mohali Municipal Council were found absent from the field. The contractors had been directed to refund the amount to the council and revise the rolls.

The inspection of other municipal councils of the district also reveled absenteeism and anomalies in certain contracts. The Deputy Commissioner had ordered checking of all councils. The councils of Morinda, Kharar, Kurali and Nangal were checked by the ADC (General), Ropar, Mr Surjit Singh.

The Mohali Municipal Council had also been directed to computerise its GPF and EPF accounts and dispose off old records.


6 cops suspended

Batala, March 25
Six police personnel were suspended yesterday by chief of the Batala police district.

Mr Ram Singh, chief, Batala police district told mediapersons here on Wednesday that he had suspended two Head Constables and four constables for negligence of duty. The suspended Head Constables are Prem Chand and Jaspal Singh. The suspended constables include Diwan Chand, Mangat Singh, Ranjit Singh and Gurmukh Singh. — OC


Amritbir Kaur elected MC vice-president
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, March 25
Mrs Amritbir Kaur a Congress Municipal Councillor of the Nagar Council here was re-elected vice-chairperson of the council today. Mr Tulsi Ram and Mr Baljit Singh Gora both Congress councillors proposed and seconded her name respectively in the presence of 20 out of 21 members on the occasion. One member Mrs Bakwinder Kaur, belonging to the SAD could not participate in the poll. Mr Kushaldeep Singh Dhillon MLA of the SAD also did not turn up. The poll process was completed by Mr Mohan Lal SDM Faridkot.


Executive Engineer caught taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 25
Mr Baldev Singh Mittal, Executive Engineer, Public Health, Mansa, was caught by a team of the Vigilance Bureau, led by DSP Vinod Chaudhary, accepting a bribe of Rs 10,000 from a civil works contractor yesterday.

In a press note issued here today, Mr Amrik Singh Waraich, SSP, Vigilance Bureau, Bathinda, said Mr Mittal was accepting the bribe from Mr Ravinder Singh in lieu of the payment of bills pertaining to the execution of civil works worth Rs 40,000 and security worth Rs 1,09,000.

He said Mr Mittal had demanded Rs 20,000 as bribe from Mr Ravinder Singh. Of the Rs 20,000, Rs 10,000 was to be paid in advance while the remaining was to be paid after the bills were cleared.

On receiving a complaint from Mr Ravinder Singh, a raid was conducted by Mr Chaudhary along with two government witnesses — Mr Roop Singh, Block Development and Panchayat Officer (BDPO), and Dr Parshottam Goyal, Medical Officer, Civil Hospital, Mansa. He said the bribe money was found from one of the pockets of the trouser of Mr Mittal.

A case in this connection has been registered.


Patwari held on bribe charge
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 25
The Vigilance Bureau has nabbed Mohan Lal, a patwari, in Sri Hargobindpur sub tehsil of Gurdaspur district while taking a bribe of Rs 6000 for issuing copy of Intakal. This was informed in a press release by Mr Dilraj Singh Gill, Senior Superintendent of Vigilance Bureau here, yesterday.

Mr Gill said Harjit Singh, a resident of Gurdaspur in a complaint alleged that the accused was demanding Rs 6000 from him to give a copy of intakal of his land.

A case under Section 7, 13 (2) of Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered.


3 arrested for smuggling bats
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, March 25
The Pathankot police has arrested three persons for smuggling bats from Srinagar and seized 5,700 bats loaded in two trucks. Their accomplice, however, managed to escape.

According to the district Gurdaspur police chief, Mr Narender Bhargav, those arrested have been identified as Abdul Rashid, Mohammed Ayub, Manzor Ahmed. The missing suspect has been identified as Bashir Ahmed. All are residents of Srinagar.

On the night of March 24 SI Joga Singh, in charge, police post, Sujanpur, along with other policemen laid a special naka on the Defence road, Sujanpur. He stopped the trucks and on searching recovered the bats. The value of the seized goods is estimated at Rs 10 lakh.

A case under Section 420 of the IPC has been registered.


Stir threat by college teachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
The Punjab Government College Teachers Association today threatened to stage a dharna in front of the private residence of the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, at Patiala. The General Secretary of the Association, Mr Jaipal Singh, said that several demands of college teachers were hanging fire for the past several years.

The association, which held a dharna in front of the office of the DPI (Colleges) here today, said that it had been left with no alternative except to sit in a dharna in front of the private residence of the Chief Minister in Patiala in the coming days.

Mr Bhag Singh Sandhu, President of the association said that the demands of the teachers included relaxation to remaining teachers to complete refresher course up to the end of this year, feeder grade benefit, implementation of the UGC notification issued in December 1998 regarding the counting of past service for placement in senior scale, selection grade, raising the retirement age to 62 years from the existing 58 years and special increments as incentive for those who have done M.Phil or Ph.D during service.

Today’s dharna in which college teachers from all parts of Punjab participated was addressed by Mr Jagir Singh Kahlon, Mr Ajit Singh Shahi, Mr Hardip Singh and Mr Darshan Singh.


Notice against leaders motivated, say students
Our Correspondent

Patiala, March 25
The Punjabi University Students Confederation (PUSC) has asked the university authorities to withdraw a notice, banning the entry of three student leaders on the university campus.

The authorities had issued the notice on March 22, stating that the three had been caught consuming liquor in the hostel after breaking open the lock of a room.

University spokesperson B.S. Sandhu said a couple of students were present in the room. They allegedly misbehaved with personnel on duty and tried to flee. The room had been allotted to a student of law but had been locked following the non-payment of mess and hostel dues by the student.

Dr Sandhu said while two persons had been banned from entering the campus as both were outsiders, a hostel inmate had been banned from entering the hostel premises and a fine of Rs 15,000 had been imposed on him. Another student had been fined Rs 10,000 as part of the disciplinary action taken by the university. Dr Sandhu said the students had been summoned before an inquiry committee and they had confessed to the misdemeanour.

The PUSC has, however, raised doubts on the “intentions” of the authorities, claiming that the charges against the student leaders were baseless and that they had been framed.

The spokesperson for the confederation, Gurpal Singh Dhaliwal, today said that as per the agreement reached upon by the university authorities and student unions during an agitation against the fee hike last year, the authorities were bound to fulfil the demands of the students.

He said despite two reminders to the university, the authorities had refused to discuss the issue.

He said the notice was issued after nearly a month of the incident, showing that the authorities were trying to put pressure on the students.

He said a delegation of students would meet the Dean (Academic Affairs) tomorrow to apprise him of the situation.


Teachers denied salary for want of approval
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, March 25
Sanjeev Kumar Grover a JBT teacher who has been teaching in government-aided Satsang Primary School, here since September 20, 2002, has not been paid salary for want of sanction from the Finance Department, Punjab.

Raj Kishore Kalra, an educationist, revealed that the appointment of Mr Grover was made by the school management after it had taken the approval for the appointment of two teachers in their school in accordance with the existing strength of students. The District Education Officer (Primary), Ferozepore, vide letter dated July 30, 2002, had stated that in view of the number of students, two teachers could be appointed against posts which had fallen vacant. Accordingly Sanjiv Grover and another teacher were appointed on September 20, 2002. Their appointment was approved by the District Education Officer (Primary) vide letter dated November 15, 2002, under the grant-in-aid scheme.

Mr Kalra lamented that even after over one-and-half year the Finance Department, had not released the grant for the payment of salaries to the two teachers.

Surprisingly the department issued instructions in January 2003 that no appointment should be made after May 2002. Moreover the Education Department had already given the approval for these two teachers in November 2002.

Mr Kalra said when the Director of the school was contacted he disclosed that the Finance Department had expressed his inability in giving financial approval of these appointments.


Job placement at engg college
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, March 25
Leading placement company VinzinfoZ visited the local Baba Banda Singh Bahadhur (BBSB) Engineering College for campus placements here yesterday.

Recruitment Officer Ramandeep Singh interviewed 107 final year students of electronics and computer engineering of the college.

Twentysix students were shortlisted for final interface with big business process outsourcing (BPO) companies of the country.

Ramandeep Singh said after the final interview selected candidates would be placed in Covergys, Gurgoan , EXL Service, Noida and DAKSH E Service. He said that starting salary of these students would be Rs 12,000.

He said appointment letter would issued in April and students have to join in July after finishing their final semester examination.

Talking about the performance of the students he said that the candidates were very good and the students had bright chances of placements in the corporate world.

College Principal Dr D.S Hira said within a week time second company had visited the campus for placements.

He said that placements of the college students had considerably improved in last two years inspite of global recession in the job market.


Annual function held

Fatehgarh Sahib, March 25
Students should work in tandem with the changing global scenario as only those will survive, who have specialisation and have updated themselves as per the new technology and literature available, said Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, while presiding over the annual prize distribution function of Mata Sundri Public School here on Wednesday.

The school is being run by the District Administration under the patronage of the Deputy Commissioner. He gave away prizes to students who had achieved distinctions in studies. Mr Nirmal Singh Ghuman, Principal of the school read the annual report and highlighted the achievements of the school in various fields. — OC


Development issues discussed at seminar
Our Correspondent

Patiala, March 25
A three-day national seminar on contemporary development issues and economic development was organised by the Department of Economics on the university campus here today. Former Vice-Chancellor H.K. Manmohan Singh delivered the key note address while Vice-Chancellor (Punjabi University) S.S. Boparai was the chief guest.

Dr H.K. Manmohan Singh highlighted the pre and post-effects of economic reforms introduced in the country in 1991. Lamenting the fact that indigenous culture and traditions were vanishing, he said the neo-rich class that had recently emerged had no concern for society and its value-based system.

Mr Boparai spoke on political constraints that hinder the implementation of socio-economic decisions.


Annual credit plan of Mansa launched
Tribune News Service

Mansa, March 25
Mr Raj Kamal Chaudhary, Deputy Commissioner, Mansa, today launched the annual credit plan of the district.

In a press note issued here today, Mr Chaudhary said that Rs 340.31 crore had been earmarked for the coming financial year for sanctioning loans to various sectors including agriculture and its allied activities. He added that annual credit plan of the coming financial year was Rs 59.14 crore more than the annual credit plan of the current financial year.

Mr D.J. Mankad, Deputy General Manager (DGM), State Bank of Patiala (SBOP), who attended that function, sought the help of district administration in recovery of loans advanced to various persons of the district.


Sweetened milk launched
Our Correspondent

Patiala, March 25
The local Milkfed milk plant launched a sweetened flavoured milk under the product name ‘Pio’ here yesterday.

The general manager, of the plant, Dr S.P. Gupta, said the variant of milk was low fat-based milk with high percentage of proteins. He added that initially, it was being made available in ‘elaichi’ flavour and later it would also made available in coffee, strawberry and ‘kesar’ flavour.

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