P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



We are pro-Manmohan but anti-Cong: Badal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The predicament of SAD President Parkash Singh Badal over the sudden turn of political events in New Delhi was quite evident in his statement: “We are pro-Manmohan Singh and anti-Congress” he made at a press conference here today.

Finding itself in a quandary over the laudable comments made about Ms Sonia Gandhi by certain Akali leaders, Mr Badal said he had instructed that “no one should issue any policy statements”.

Mr Badal said: “Our stand on the Congress remains the same as it was 50 years ago — it is enemy No 1 of the Sikhs”. When asked that should Ms Sonia Gandhi not be complimented for picking up Dr Manmohan Singh as the prime ministerial candidate after declining the post herself, Mr Badal replied, “Mamla garbar hai (something is wrong). Dr Manmohan Singh has his own merit. He is highly qualified and had transformed India’s economy”.

Mr Badal, who was on the defensive on the Congress-Sonia-Manmohan Singh issue, said: “Emotions have no place. Unless something concrete and visible is done by Dr Manmohan Singh for Punjab and the Sikhs, how can his selection as PM be construed as applying a ‘healing touch’ to the Sikh psyche? The Congress has inflicted enough wounds on the body politic of the country to keep Dr Manmohan Singh busy for the entire length of his tenure if he intends to clean up the mess his party has created. Too much should not be expected or read into these developments. No one can forget Operation Bluestar or the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.”.

Asked what exactly did he expect Dr Manmohan Singh or Ms Sonia Gandhi to do to convince the SAD, he listed all pending inter-state issues and concluded “she has not apologised for Operation Bluestar. “How can one overlook the fact that key characters for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots have been rewarded with the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha memberships”?

Mr Badal maintained: “the Congress has always been anti-Punjab and anti-Sikhs. It has done incalculable damage to the state’s economy and Sikhs social life. “We have little hope that the politics of confrontation will end in Punjab even with Dr Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister”.

Mr Badal, however, said “Regardless of this, we are willing to start with Dr Manmohan Singh on a clean slate. We have always held him in high esteem”. It was obvious that the SAD could not give up its anti-Congress stance as it would then have no political talking points.


Restraint on Calcutta

Manjit Singh CalcuttaMeanwhile, upset over the laudatory statement made about Ms Sonia Gandhi by Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, SGPC Secretary and member of the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of the SAD, Mr Badal said he would shortly appoint party spokespersons, who alone would make policy statements on various issues.

Mr Badal said he contacted Mr Calcutta on the phone and told him not make any policy statement in future.

Mr Calcutta’s statement has created a furore at various levels in the party and senior party leaders have taken up the matter with Mr Badal.

Certain PAC members have even urged Mr Badal to remove Mr Calcutta from the post of SGPC Secretary.


Akali leaders rally behind Calcutta
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 21
Many Shiromani Akali Dal leaders and former SGPC employees have justified the statement given by Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, secretary of the Shiromani committee, in which he had praised Ms Sonia Gandhi for giving a chance to Dr Manmohan Singh to become the first Sikh Prime Minister of the country.

Dr Gurbachan Singh Bachan, a former SGPC secretary, said Mr Calcutta had issued the right statement at the right time by rising above petty politics. He said it was time for celebrations as a Sikh would take over as the next Prime Minister.

Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, President of the Shiromani Akali Dal, New Delhi, said Sikhs should be grateful to Ms Sonia Gandhi, who had selected Dr Manmohan Singh on the basis of his merit, honesty and integrity.

Mr H. S. Dilgir, a former Director of the Sikh Research Board of the SGPC, has also come forward in praise of Mr Calcutta for adopting an independent line.


Bir Devinder asks Badal to support Manmohan
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, May 21
The Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, today advised SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal to extend his party’s support to Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister-designate, since the latter would be the first Sikh leader to occupy the post.

Talking to reporters after attending an inter school shabad gayan competition organised by Guru Amar Dass Public School here, he said it was a matter of pride for the Punjabis in general and for Sikhs in particular that Dr Manmohan Singh was appointed the Prime Minister of the country.

“The Shiromani Akali Dal, which has won eight seats in Punjab, should extend its support to Dr Manmohan Singh-led secular government at the Centre,” said Mr Bir Devinder Singh.

The Congress leader also asked Mr Badal to redefine his party’s strategy in view of Dr Manmohan Singh’s elevation to the post. He hailed the decision of Akal Takht Jathedar, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, to present a robe of honour to the new Prime Minister.

Regarding his desire to relinquish the post of Deputy Speaker, he maintained that he was not doing so in protest or due to any differences. “I want to strengthen the base of the Congress in the state,” he added.

Commenting upon the recent statement of the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, that dissidents were responsible for the party’s poor show in the Lok Sabha elections in the state, he said no individual was so strong that he could engineer party’s defeat in 11 constituencies. “Those who are at the helm of affairs are responsible and they should explain what led to the debacle in the elections,” he said.


SAD urged to vacate LS seat for Manmohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Mr Jagdeep Singh Cheema, Chairman of the Department of Minority Affairs of the Haryana Congress, today urged the Shiromani Akali Dal headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal to vacate a Lok Sabha seat in Punjab and invite Dr Manmohan Singh, son of the soil, to contest the elections from his home state.

In a statement issued here today Mr Cheema said Dr Manmohan Singh should be elected from a Punjab seat unopposed.

Welcoming the selection of Dr Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister, Mr Cheema said by abdicating the post of Prime Minister in favour of the former, AICC President. Sonia Gandhi had conveyed to the world that India was a truly secular country where the Head of the State and the Head of the Government were both from the minority communities. He said this was the “true face of Hindutva”.


Amritsar to celebrate Manmohan’s swearing in
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 21
Illumination of Durgiana Temple, Majith Mandi, where Dr Manmohan Singh used to assist his late father Gurmukh Singh Kohli in running a small dry fruit shop after Partition, Hall Bazaar, Lawrence Road and Hindu Sabha School and college (where Dr Manmohan Singh studied in early 1950s) would mark his swearing in ceremony, here tomorrow.

The old rented house in the city, where Dr Manmohan Singh and his family lived after Partition, would also be illuminated. It is said that the owner of the house has decided not to sell the ‘memorial building’ which was rented out to the father of Dr Manmohan Singh. Mr Raj Arora, president of the Indo-Foreign Chamber of Commerce and Dry Fruit Merchant Association, said fireworks and ‘deepmala’ would be arranged in Majith Mandi and adjoining bazaars. Gurmukh Singh Kohli remained an active member of the chamber and was instrumental in resolving many problems of the dry fruit sellers during his time.

Mr Surinder Arjun, working president of Durgiana Temple and chairman of the Electronic Retailers Association, said the temple committee had decided to celebrate the swearing-in ceremony of the ‘son of the soil’ who had a humble beginning.

The municipal corporation, has done a patch work on all roads leading to the residences of all relatives of Dr Manmohan Singh. The electronic media has made special arrangements to cover the celebrations. Many mediapersons, who have been working for foreign news channels, have been camping in the city to cover the event.

However, only two relatives, Mr Surjit Singh (brother) and Mr Jasbir Singh Chatha (brother-in-law) of Dr Manmohan Singh, have been invited from Amritsar to attend the swearing-in ceremony.


Symbols allotted for SGPC poll
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Apart from political and religious organisations, four Akali parties are set to take part in the SGPC elections scheduled for July 11. These are the SAD (Badal), the SAD (Amritsar), the Akali Dal headed by Mr Ravi Inder Singh and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) headed by Mr Kartar Singh Takkar. The SGPC management is currently in the control of the SAD (Badal).

The Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Committee, a new organisation floated in Haryana, will also contest the elections. Besides, the Dal Khalsa, a radical Sikh organisation, the Bharti Gaon Taj Dal and some other organisations will also be in the fray.

Sehajdhari Sikhs will neither be eligible to contest the elections nor cast votes. However, there will be no ban on the Sehajdhari Sikh Organisation to extend support to candidates.

A spokesman of the Chief Commissioner, Gurdwara Elections, Union Government, told The Tribune that election symbols had been allotted to main political organisations. Tractor has been allotted as the symbol to the SAD (Badal), horse to the SAD (Amritsar), peacock to the Akali Dal headed by Mr Ravi Inder Singh and train to the Haryana Akali Dal. Sunflower has been allotted to the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Committee and fodder cutting machine to the Bharti Gaon Taj Dal. Shield has been given as the symbol to the Dal Khalsa.

As many as 55 lakh voters have been enlisted in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and the Union Territory of Chandigarh to elect the 170-member SGPC house. It is mandatory to elect 30 women and 20 members from the Scheduled Castes. One member each is to be elected from Himachal Pradesh and the Union Territory of Chandigarh, eight from Haryana and the remaining ones from Punjab.

The election process will start on June 1. Polling will be held on July 11 and the results will be declared on July 15.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the representatives of various political parties and other organisations was held today in the office of Justice J.S. Sekhon, Chief Commissioner, Gurdwara Elections. All parties endorsed that there should be a mutually acceptable code of conduct for the elections and no one should be allowed to use drugs and intoxicants to influence voters.


SGPC executive to meet on May 28
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 21
Meetings of the SGPC’s Executive Committee and the Dharam Parchar Committee have been convened at Anandpur Sahib on May 28 and 29, respectively .

The meetings are likely to discuss matters relating to the SGPC’s general house elections, scheduled to be held on July 21. The code of conduct may be enforced from June 1.


From farmers to expert fishers
Lalit Mohan

Bhakra, May 21
Life never stops. It evolves with times and circumstances. The biological law is illustrated in the change adopted in their lifestyle by the people residing in the areas surrounding Gobind Sagar.

There are about 300 villages of Bhakra oustees around the 80 square km area of Gobind Sagar. Before the construction of the Bhakra dam, the primary occupation of the people of the area was agriculture around the basin of the Sutlej.

They lost most of their agriculture land in the Bhakra project. The government gave land to the oustees in various districts of Haryana, but most of them preferred against moving out.

Now 40 years after the construction of the Bhakra project, agriculturists of the area have evolved into expert fishers. Gobind Sagar become a source of their livelihood and catching fish the professional. A visit to the lake reveals a large number of local children, women and adults busy peddling their boats and spreading nets for fishing.

On request they reveal their catch before the camera. Even on small peddled boat they manage to catch huge fish weighing up to 20 kg. The small fishermen of Gobind Sagar have developed their own unique way of preserving the fish till it is sent to the market.

A child shows his catch tied to the boat. After catching fish in the nets, the fishermen pass a thin cotton thread across their fins and tie it to the boat. This way the live fish keeps swimming along the boat till it is taken out for sale. Fishermen were seen having tied up to 10 live fish to their boats.

The work of laying nets in the lake starts in the evening. After laying nets the fishers rest along the banks of the river in their boats. Early in the morning the catch is collected. The work of collecting the catch continues till afternoon when a van of the government contractor comes to collect the catch.

In fact, fishing in Gobind Sagar was started by migrant Bangladeshis settled in the area by the Government of India. Even today there are about 15 families of Bangladeshis settled around Gobind Sagar.

Most of them have now adopted culture and lifestyle. Only a few of them still go for fishing in the lake for contractors and the rest work with the BBMB or have taken up other profession.

Besides, the fishermen have provided livelihood to the local artisans who have perfected the art of making small boats. The boats are made on the banks of the lake with the material brought from nearby towns.

The fishing generates an income of about Rs 5,000 per month for the locals, while the main profit goes to the fishing federation of Himachal Pradesh or the contractors.


Inside Babudom
Police science congress in Jalandhar
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Top policemen of the country, including chiefs of Central police organisations (CPOs), states and union territories, besides of the Intelligence Bureau and Bureau of Police Research and Development will be in Jalandhar early next week to participate in the 35th All-India Police Science Congress.

The three-day conference has been allotted to Punjab by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) which is headed by Mr Sarabjit Singh, country's seniormost police officer. And probably this will be Mr Sarabjit Singh's last major official assignment as he is scheduled to retire on May 31.

The conference will focus on two major issues — cyber crime and narrowing difference between men and officers in the state police forces.

Mr K.P. Singh, Director, Intelligence Bureau, will deliver key note address.

Mr Sarabjit Singh is the only third Punjab police officer in recent years to head a CPO. Besides him, Mr A.P. Bhatnagar, also a DGP, will retire on May 31.

As of now there appears to be no move to promote officers of the 1969 batch to the rank of DGP. There are three officers of the 1969 batch — Mr Parshottam Lal, Mr V.N. Mathur and Mr R.K. Gupta.

Mr Mathur is on deputation with the Union government and is scheduled to retire on August 31.

Next in the line are 1970 batch officers of which Mr Virk — on deputation from Maharashtra — is a member. The Punjab government is keen to retain him and at one time he was tipped for the top position.

Now with the change of government at the Centre, uncertainty over his continuation has almost evaporated.

Meanwhile, Mr Rajinder Singh, Inspector-General of Police, Patiala zone, who had proceeded on leave on eve of elections, has joined back. The fate of other officers, who had proceeded on leave on similar grounds, is not yet known.

Now when elections are over, the administrative reshuffles have started. Haryana has also ordered changes, both in the civil administration and the police. Punjab is likely to follow suit.

In Punjab, the appointment of new PCS officers which were held up for various reasons, are likely to be issued soon. Of 91 officers selected several months, only six appointment letters will be held back while the remaining will get them. The case is before the Chief Minister for a final decision.


Woman kills daughter, self
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 21
Kulwinder Kaur, a resident of Rampura town in the district, committed suicide and administered poison to her one-and-a-half-year-old daughter late last evening after she got fed up with the repeated torture by her paramour Bhura Singh, with whom she had been living after leaving her husband.

Her daughter Anshu died after being given poison.

Police sources said Kulwinder Kaur, who was married at Lambwali village in the Jaitu area of Faridkot district, developed differences with her husband and started living at Dyal Pura Bhai Ka village in the district with her brother Bohar Singh. Bhura Singh, a resident of the same village, who had left his wife, developed illicit relations with Kulwinder Kaur.

Both Bhura Singh and Kulwinder Kaur started living in Rampura town.

After some time, Rano, Bhura Singh’s wife, came to Rampura town and started living with her husband. Both Bhura Singh and Rano started harassing Kulwinder Kaur and used to beat her up.

Yesterday, Kulwinder Kaur was beaten up again by Bhura Singh and Rano. In the evening, Kulwinder Kaur, who was alone in the house, consumed poison and administered the same to her daughter. Both died within a few hours.

A case in this connection has been registered against Bhura Singh and Rano under Sections 306 and 34 of the IPC. Both have been arrested.


Eradi panel in Nangal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Three-member Eradi Tribunal, headed by Justice V. Balakrishna Eradi, reached Nangal for visiting Bhakra Dam and Ropar headworks after their return from Manali this morning. The team, along with other officers and advocates from Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, were expected to carry on-the-spot survey of the area on Saturday also.

The Tribunal had assessed the quantum of water in streams flowing into Punjab and had visited river water headworks, besides sources of river water during their stay in Manali.

The Tribunal was set up by the Union Government in April 1986 for fixing the share of Ravi and Beas waters between Punjab and Haryana, also to resolve the river waters dispute between the two states. The issue is, however, hanging fire since then.

The members are accompanied by Punjab’s Principal Secretary (Irrigation) K.R. Lakhanpal and Advocate-General Harbhagwan Singh. The other members include Chief Engineers of both the states.

The team, during its stay in Manali, visited river streams, besides origin point of different rivulets. They also visited the origin point of Beas, besides Pong Dam and other water sources, including Sutlej.

After its visit, the Tribunal would decide whether Haryana was a part of the basin of rivers the water of which was supposed to be adjudicated between the two states. Punjab had recently taken the plea before the Tribunal that Haryana was not a part of the basin and secondly it was not an inter-state river water dispute. Hence, the Tribunal was not competent to decide the issue of river waters.


Woman breastfeeds fawn, saves it
Our Correspondent

Abohar, May 21
Mrs Vijay Luxmi Sahu of Narainpura village has saved a female fawn by breastfeeding it.

She had gone to meet her parents at Dhaani Jodkian, near Kainchian village, in Sriganganagar district earlier this month. Her husband, Mr Vijay Pal Sahu, accompanied her. One day, when their dog did not return home till late evening, they went to the fields.

To their surprise, the dog was sitting beside a newly born fawn. People said a deer had given birth to two fawns. As stray dogs chased the deer, it escaped, leaving behind a fawn.

The couple said they brought the fawn to their home. They tried to give her cow milk, but in vain. Mrs Sahu, who had a seven-month-old son, had heard that a resident of Nadhoki village in Hisar district had saved the life of a fawn by breastfeeding it.

She breastfed the fawn for five days, after which it started accepting cow milk. The Sahu family now treats the fawn "like a member of the family".


Home Guards refuse to note down order
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 21
Hundreds of jawans of the Punjab Home Guards of this district who came here on the invitation of the Punjab Home Guards District Commander at his office today, refused to note down a speaking order. The order has been issued by the Principal Secretary, Department of Home Affairs and Justice, Punjab. It mentions that as all Home Guards are volunteers so they are not entitled to regular pay scales.

Mr Manohar Lal, District Commander, Punjab Home Guards, Sangrur, said he had received a speaking order through the ADGP, Home Guards, Punjab, related to the issues of pay scales and the regularisation of the services of Home Guards. The order states that as the Home Guards were volunteers, they could neither be paid regular scales nor their services regularised. He said he had called 698 Home Guards to his office today for noting down this speaking order, but the jawans had refused to do the same.

The Home Guards said they would not note down the speaking order before consulting their counsel.

The Home Guards had reportedly submitted a legal notice on December 13, 2003, to the authorities for the regularisation of their service and pay equal to that being granted to regular incumbents.


Diarrhoea stalks Gidderbaha area
Tribune News Service

Gidderbaha (Muktsar), May 21
Gidderbaha town of Muktsar district is in the grip of diarrhoea.

Jaitu town of Faridkot district and many parts of Bathinda district too have been hit by the disease. It seems to have acquired an epidemic dimension in a locality of Gidderbaha as 11 patients of the area were admitted to the local Civil Hospital in a serious condition today.

Two of them, identified as Anjali and Honey, were passing blood along with stool. They have been shifted to the Civil Hospital, Bathinda. Their condition is stable.

In the past two days, 33 cases of diarrhoea have been reported in the out patient door (OPD) wing of the local Civil Hospital.

Dr Balkar Singh, Senior Medical Officer, along with the Executive Officer of the Municipal Council and Tehsildar, have started a cleaning operation in this town. The SMO said that diarrhoea had gripped Thakar Mohalla of this town. He said that medical teams had been going from door to door to detect more cases. Medicines were being distributed and a medical camp had been started in the affected area. Chlorine tablets were being distributed to the residents.

He said today a huge quantity of overripe fruits and vegetables, which were lying on various shops, had been destroyed. The sale of uncertified cold drinks and ice candies had also been checked.


Water shortage in Hoshiarpur
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, May 21
Residents of Hoshiarpur city are facing an acute shortage of drinking water for the past five days.

Mr Vir Partap Singh, a former chairman of the local Improvement Trust and resident of the local Mohalla Krishan Nagar, told this correspondent today that the entire locality was facing an acute shortage of water. They had not received a single drop of water for the past few days. They had approached the municipal authorities in this connection, but in vain. He criticised the Executive Officer of the municipal council, stating that she was never available in her office.

On account of the scorching heat and the continuing dry spell, the water level had gone down considerably and hand pumps installed in some houses had also gone dry, he added.

Similar conditions were prevailing in other localities of the city.

The Executive Officer was not available in the office for comments.

Mr Pawan Sharma, Assistant Municipal Engineer, said there were 52 tubewells in different localities of the city to cater to the needs of a 1.50 lakh-strong population. There were more than 23,000 water connections. He said there was no overhead reservoir in the city where water could be stored for supply. Though five overhead reservoirs had been constructed in various parts of the city, due to some technical defect these could not be made operational. All water pipes of the 52 tubewells were interconnected to supply water to the entire city.

He said on account of intermittent unscheduled power cuts being imposed by the PSEB in different localities daily, all tubewells could not be made operational at the same time. This resulted in low water pressure. He said the PSEB authorities had been requested to impose power cuts throughout the city at the same time. However, they did not accept the request. He said three water tankers had been engaged to provide water round the clock in water scarcity areas. Three tubewells were being dug up at Roop Nagar, Dashmesh Nagar and Bhawani Nagar. Mr Lajpat Rai, a member of the Rajya Sabha, had given Rs 10 lakh from his MP Local Area Development Fund for digging a tubewell at Bhawani Nagar, he added.


Boy dies of gastroenteritis
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, May 21
a nine-year-old child today died of gastroenteritis, which has stalked some localities of the city for the past couple of days.

Rahul, a resident of Ekta Nagar, was admitted in a private hospital two days back and was suspected to be suffering from gastroenteritis. He died this morning.

His family members held the Health and Municipal Corporation authorities responsible for his death. Residents of Ekta Nagar came out of their houses and raised anti-government slogans for the failure of the authorities concerned to take steps to control the situation.

They alleged that the supply of contaminated water through water supply lines of the MC in the recent past and the failure of the health authorities to respond to the disease by deploying special medical teams in the affected areas caused the death of Rahul.

The District Health Officer, Dr Trehan however, ruled out that the boy died of gastroenteritis. But denied that there was no such threat in the locality where the boy was living.

Dr Kiranjit Kumar Civil Surgeon, admitted that some patients suffering from gastroenteritis had been admitted to the local Civil Hospital in the past three days. Most of them were residents of affected areas including Bhargo Camp, Ekta Nagar, Chapli Chowk, he said, adding that the situation was effectively controlled after deployment of special medical teams in these localities.

“We have started distributing chlorine tablets for purification of drinking water,” he added.


Cases of typhoid in Phagwara

Phagwara, May 21
Some cases of typhoid fever have been reported in Phagwara. It is a high-grade fever caused by bacteria Salmonella typhi. Doctors say that flies and contaminated food, over-ripe fruits, uncovered cut fruits/eatables and contaminated water are the causes of the disease.

The disease affects the intestines and a continuous fever, rising in the afternoons, and reddish eruptions on the chest and abdomen trouble the patient. The local SMO, Dr Subhash Sharma, said sporadic cases of fever might have been reported. He said he had written to the local Nagar Council for taking precautionary steps about sanitation, chlorination of drinking water and ensuring that uncovered eatables were not sold.

The council has done fogging in some city areas. OC


Heat wave claims life
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, May 21
The heat wave claimed on life here and the deceased has been identified as Maninder Singh (40), a resident of Fatehbad village, who was residing here these days.

The city police have lodged a complaint under Section 174 Cr. P.C. today. The police said Maninder had gone to the local Gandhi park, where he felt some uneasiness became unconscious. He was brought to the Civil Hospital where the doctors declared him dead.


Police seeks help in implementing plan
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 21
The Sangrur police has sought cooperation from local traders and industrialists of the area with regard to implementation of the social policing scheme.

Mr Gurinder Singh Dhillon, SSP, Sangrur, said the scheme was being launched to beep up security in view of recent incidents of loot and arson. “We have identified 249 ex-servicemen who would be imparted special training at the police headquarters,” he said.


High Court
Halt police harassment, pleads stone crushers’ body
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 21
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice to the Haryana government on a writ filed by the All Haryana Stone Crusher Owners Federation. The federation is seeking directions to the government and district administration of Faridabad and Gurgaon to allow them to carry out stone crushing.

In its petition, the federation had claimed that its members are carrying out crushing activities in some parts of Haryana after bringing material from Rajasthan. They have claimed that the local police interrupted their work on flimsy grounds.

They have said that following the Supreme Court order banning mining in the area they have started bringing red stone from Rajasthan. The stone is crushed in Haryana and supplied to builders.

The petitioner has requested the court to direct the respondents not to interfere in any manner in lawful crushing activity being carried out by them as also not to prevent them from bringing stone from outside.

After hearing the counsel for petitioner, a Bench comprising Mr Justice K.S. Garewal and Mr Justice A.K. Mittal issued notice for May 28.

Termination stayed

A Division Bench of the High Court on Friday stayed the order issued by Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) terminating the services of an assistant professor.

In his petition, Dr Prabhjit Singh, Assistant Professor (Surgery), has challenged the order dated March 24, 2003, through which his services had terminated by the PAU. He has claimed that the order was mala fide and illegal as there was no ground for his suspension and subsequent termination.

The PAU authorities had suspended him on November 11, 2002 on the grounds that he remained absent form his duty without any reason. Dr Singh’s appeal against his termination was turned down by the PAU on December 18, 2003.

After hearing his counsel, a Bench comprising Mr Justice S.S. Nijjar and Mr Justice J.S. Narang, while issuing notice of motion to the respondents for July 13, stayed the operation of the impugned order of termination.


Fruit growers feel the heat
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, May 21
The steep rise in temperature is likely to mar the prospects of a high mango and litchi yield in the district.

The heatwave is continuing unabated and is playing havoc for fruit growers.

Litchi is the main fruit in Pathankot subdivision and is exported.

Besides, there is a good yield of mango also. Mr Paramjit Singh Kahlon, Director, Regional Research Centre of Punjab Agriculture University, fears the yield of both fruits would be affected if the heatwaves continued for some more days.


Encroachment on PSEB land: DC conceals facts
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 21
Instead of initiating action to remove encroachment on prime land belonging to the Punjab State Electricity Board, the district administration has appointed a Tehsildar to hold an inquiry, who himself was accused for favouring the alleged culprits. However, the PSEB has refused to cooperate the ‘inquiry officer’ and sought to appoint some other official with a ‘clean image’.

After publishing news item in these columns, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Raminder Singh, feigned ignorance about the encroachment on the prime land in an official note sent to various officials of the district administration. Though the officials of the PSEB had duly informed the Deputy Commissioner and the district police chief about the ongoing encroachment at the old Power House, but the concerned officials of the district administration failed to take action. The Tribune has also got the copies of the telegrams and other communications sent to higher officials, including the Deputy Commissioner, and the SSP which were reportedly ignored.

Meanwhile, the PSEB has ordered an inquiry into the circumstances, leading to the encroachment of the land worth about Rs 1 crore. The land belonged to old Power House of 132 KV sub station, Naraingarh, on the Amritsar-Lahore road.


MC against land for PPHC within municipal limits
Our Correspondent

Kharar, May 21
The local Municipal Council has decided to write to the Punjab Government asking for acquisition of land for the Punjab Police Housing Corporation (PPHC) outside the municipal limits.

The decision to this effect was unanimously taken by the House at a special meeting of the civic body held here today.

The government plans to acquire 200 acres of land falling within municipal limits for the PPHC to set up a residential complex for its employees in the area.

The House argued that if the land falling within the municipal limits was acquired by the government, the civic body would face a financial loss, as revenue coming, from people buying plots in the area, in the form of development charges would stop. The council was charging Rs 50 per sq yd from persons who purchased land for commercial purposes and Rs 35 per sq yd from those who bought plots for residential purposes as development charges.

Moreover, the civic body had already provided essential services like roads, water supply lines, streetlights in some parts of the area.

Councillors said the market price of the land in question was around Rs 50 lakh per acre and if the government acquired the land, the owners would be given a very low price. There were a number of houses in the area too, which belonged to poor and middle class people who had carried out construction after getting the plans cleared by the civic body.

An executive engineer of the PPHC presented a letter written by the Additional DGP-cum-Managing Director, Mr Anil Kaushik, to the president of the civic body during the meeting. He showed a drawing, according to which there was a plan to acquire land starting from the Landran road and extending up to the Badala road.

In the letter, he disagreed with the statement of the president given yesterday that there were around 500 houses on the land. He said there were not more than 50 constructed units, including shops, He said if possible efforts would be made to remove as many constructed units as possible from the scheme.


Torture case: SHO sent to Police Lines
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 21
Mr Gurdev Singh, Station House Officer at Thermal Plant police station, was today sent to the Police Lines by the SSP, Mr Kapil Dev, for his alleged involvement in the torture of a minor migrant labourer Ramesh Kumar, alias Raju, few days ago.

Mr Dev said an inquiry into this case had also been ordered and SP (D) Ajay Maluja had been asked to conduct the inquiry.

Ramesh Kumar was allegedly tortured by Gurdev Singh in the police station after he was picked up for his suspected involvement in a theft case. He suffered injuries on the spine and was admitted to the Civil Hospital here.


VB books four Punsup officials in paddy scam

Moga, May 21
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau, (VB) has registered a case against four officials of Punsup, including a District Manager, an Assistant District Manager, a Field Officer and an Inspector and also against two partners of a sheller of Kotisekhan in Moga district, on charge of misappropriation of paddy worth Rs 1,14,97,647.

According to bureau sources, Punsup had supplied 1,57,200 bags of paddy for custom milling with the rice sheller during the 2002-2003 paddy season. The firm returned rice after shelling 1,09,782 bags. However, on verification, 47,418 bags worth Rs 1,14,97,647 were found missing.

A departmental probe found that the millers with the connivance of Punsup officials had misappropriated paddy.

Punsup District Manager Hardev Singh, Assistant District Manager Harmesh Jassal, Field Officer Rajwant Singh and Inspector Gurpreet Singh Cheema and rice mill partners Dhiraj Kapoor and Amandeep Kapur have been booked under Sections 409, 120 B of the IPC and the Corruption Act. — UNI


2 youths hurt in attack at Kharar
Our Correspondent

Kharar, May 21
Two youths were seriously injured when they were attacked by a group of boys with swords and metal rods here this evening.

According to reports, Sukhwinder Singh and Manjit Singh were taken to the local Civil Hospital. They received head injuries during the attack.

It is learnt that both of them were going on a motor cycle when they were gheraoed by a group of boys and beaten up in the ward number 8 area.

Old rivalry is suspected to be the reason behind the attack.


Boy crushed under bus
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, May 21
Jaspreet (5), a student of Class I n the local Parkash Model School and resident of the nearby Amargarh village was killed when he was run over by a bus in the village today. The boy fell after alighting from the bus and consequently his head was crushed under the rear wheel of the bus.


Fake CDs seized, two arrested
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 21
In a drive launched by the police against the sale of fake goods, two persons were arrested for dealing in fake CDs.

Mr Kapil Dev, SSP, Bathinda, said raids were conducted on various shops and it was found that four shopkeepers were indulging in the sale of fake CDs. He said 4,316 CDs were seized and two shopkeepers, Parkash Kumar and Hardeep Singh, were arrested. He said the other accused had been identified as Gogi Ram and Surinder Singh. The raids were conducted on the complaint of Mr Ramesh Dutt, field officer, Star Media Copy Right Protection Company.

A case has been registered.


Money stolen from scooter
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, May 21
Two unidentified youths today stole Rs 2,32,000 from the dickey of a scooter of an arhtiya after breaking open its lock.

Mr Mangat Rai today withdrew Rs 2,34,000 from the local branch of State Bank of Patiala today and put the cash in the dickey of his scooter.

On way to his home, he stopped at the local vegetable market and went to purchase vegetables. Meanwhile, the miscreants stole the money and fled. However, nearly Rs 2,000 fell on the ground as the thieves were fleeing.

DSP Mukand Singh Malli said the police had registered a case in this regard.


Varsity invites applications for vocational courses
Our Correspondent

Amritsar May 21
The Guru Nanak Dev University has announced admission to three one-year vocational courses in Dress Designing-Cutting and Tailoring; Textile Designing, and Electronics and TV Maintenance and Servicing.

Candidates (12th pass) between 15 and 35 years of age can submit forms for Electronics and TV Maintenance by June 15. Interviews will be held on June 25.

The Textile Designing course is meant for girls in the age group of 15 and 35 years. Matric pass girls can apply for the Dress Designing -Cutting and Tailoring course. Those having passed the 12 standard can apply for the Textile Designing Course.

Last date for submission of forms is June 15 and interviews for both courses will be conducted by the Department of Continuing Education and Extension Programme on June 28 and 29. 


CET admit cards despatched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The admit cards for CET 2004, being conducted by Punjab Technical University have been despatched through speed post. Candidates who do not receive them by May 27 can contact the Helpline at the Admission Cell in Jalandhar, a statement issued here said.

Candidates have also to check their roll numbers at the university website, www.ptu.ac.in or contact at telephone numbers (0181) 2232583, 2232585.

A duplicate admit card can also be downloaded from the website. Candidates can enter the exam centre with an attested photograph and proof of identity.


BBA results today
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 21
The results of BBA (parts II and III) examinations of Guru Nanak Dev University will be declared tomorrow. The results can be accessed on the university website “gnduonline.org” after 5 p.m.

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