P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Ministers’ performance in LS poll to be main factor, says CM
Pruning of Punjab Ministry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, said here today that the “performance of ministers in the Lok Sabha elections would matter a lot” while pruning the Council of Ministers (CoMs) after the Budget session in the third week of June.

The 25-member CoMs, excluding Parliamentary Secretaries, is to be reduced to 17 to meet the provisions of an Act passed by Parliament. The pruning is to be made by the first week of July. Those pruned from the CoMs would be accommodated as chairpersons of various government organisations.

Talking to newsmen, he said the performance reports of ministers would be put before Mrs Sonia Gandhi, President of the Congress. Those MLAs and ministers who had done well would be rewarded. He declined comment when asked that the party failed to do well in the Assembly segment represented by Deputy Chief Minister, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal. He did not comment on the statements made by Mrs Bhattal and Mr Birdevinder Singh, Deputy Speaker, recently about party’s drubbing in the elections.

“PCC President H.S. Hanspal, the party observer and I have submitted our reports about the Lok Sabha elections to the party high command separately,” the Chief Minister said.

The committee headed by Mrs Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder was also trying to find out reasons for the bad performance in the Lok Sabha elections. Any decision on the restoration of free power and other benefits to the farming sector and power reforms etc would be taken after the Bhinder committee report. “I would not turn my back on reforms which would be in the interest of the state in the long run”, the Chief Minister asserted.

Capt Amarinder Singh said he was hopeful that Punjab would get the same status as given to Himachal Pradesh and J&K.

Capt Amarinder Singh said his government would not interfere in the SGPC elections in any manner.


Probe into SSP’s conduct ordered

Capt Amarinder Singh said that he had asked DGP A.A. Siddiqui to hold an inquiry into the “personal conduct” of Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh, who as the SSP of Ferozepore, had got a criminal case registered against Mr H.S. Randhawa, DIG. “There were complaints against the SSP about his indifferent attitude towards senior officers in the past also”, said Capt Amarinder Singh. Mr Siddiqui had also been asked to probe the matter involving the registration of a case against the DIG and certain junior police officers at Ferozepore. The SSP has now been posted as the Commandant of one of the PAP Battalions at Jalandhar.


All is well, claims Planning Dept
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
The Punjab Planning Department has many landmark decisions in the pipeline, says its Secretary, Mr Sarvesh Kaushal, holding that the entire process of formalisation of the annual state and district plans for the current financial year will be carried out on schedule. He was reacting to a report in these columns today.

“The Department is no way behind the schedule,” he says, admitting that till now plan for the current year is yet to be approved and made public for generating a debate as is being done in other states.

Mr Kaushal has reeled out a list of committees constituted to look into various aspects of planning and fiscal reforms without mentioning even a single report which stands approved and made public.

He says the State Development Report of the Planning Commission has been circulated among all departments for chalking out actionable points. A high-level committee for its institutionalised implementation has been set up under the Chief Secretary.

Mr Kaushal further says for suggesting ways and means to fund the Annual Plan for the current year, the plan resource committee headed by Dr S.S. Johl worked overtime to submit its report on March 23 in a “record time”. The Department of Planning has submitted the report in the form of a memorandum to the Council of Ministers for consideration on May 27.

Mr Kaushal held that as resource mobilisation and provision of matching contribution as per the Annual Plan approved by the State Legislature and Planning Commission of India were within the jurisdiction of the Finance Department, the Planning Department had nothing to do with it.

He said he never took any leave and even while he was away on election duty, Mr B.K. Srivastava was made the Secretary. A Joint Secretary in the department was denied ex-India leave even on compassionate grounds in the interest of work.

Mr Kaushal did not say anything about the plans which, like other states, have been circulated among economists, planners, institutions, industry, trade and others for debate before these are approved.

He claims that a number of landmark decisions are in the pipeline. These include the constitution of elected district planning committees. There is a draft employment policy on which the second-stage discussions are to take place in first week of June.

High-level committees, he says, have also been set up for implementation of actionable findings of the Punjab State Development Report, Punjab Human Development Report, Impact of WTO on the Punjab economy, monitoring of agricultural adjustment and crop diversification, preparation of a state policy regarding outsourcing of research analysis and evaluation and preparation of a state policy for pubic participation in state development through non-government organisations.

Elections may have delayed the Budget, which is normally presented to the Vidhan Sabha in February/March every year. And it is why the Plan for the current financial year, which started on April 1, is yet to be approved and made public.


Badal advised to support Sonia
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
As Congress President Sonia Gandhi has given a great honour to Sikhs by making Dr Manmohan Singh the Prime Minister, SAD President Parkash Singh Badal should now extend all support to her.

This suggestion was given by Mr Jaswinder Singh Honey, Secretary of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee, here today. Addressing a press conference at the Chandigarh Press Club, Mr Jaswinder Singh, who is a son of late Rachhpal Singh, a Jathedar who dominated Sikh politics in Delhi for decades, said Mr Badal should not mislead Sikhs by making false allegations such as Mrs Sonia Gandhi was anti-Sikh. Mrs Sonia Gandhi had proved that she had nothing against Sikhs and held them in high esteem.

He said Mr Badal should explain to the people what he had got for Punjab and the Sikh community from the Vajpayee Government of which his party (SAD) was a coalition partner. “The Congress had given eminent positions to Sikhs. Earlier, Giani Zail Singh was made the President of India and now Dr Manmohan Singh had been given such a big job,” he said. Mr Badal was responsible for destroying all main Sikh institutions, he alleged.

Mr Jaswinder Singh said he had specially come from Delhi to advise Sikhs in Punjab that they should not be misled by the “propaganda of Mr Badal” against the Congress and Mrs Sonia Gandhi. Mr Jaswinder Singh said he was a strong supporter of Congress policies but wanted leaders like Mr Jagdish Tytler and Mr Sajjan Kumar removed from the party.”

About the role of the Congress in Operation Bluestar and the November 1984, anti-Sikh riots, he said these were the two most painful tragedies to occur in the country. “We lodged our protest against these happenings in the party,” he added. 


Pak intruder shot, 9 kg of heroin seized
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 25
The Border Security Force claimed to have shot dead a Pakistani intruder at a Border outpost, Gulgar, in the Ajnala sector last night. At least 9 kg of heroin worth Rs 9 crore in international market was seized from his possession.

Mr Hemant Purohit, DIG, addressing a press conference here today said acting on an intelligence report, they had beefed up the security at the Gulgar outpost. When BSF personnel of 108 Battalion nabbed intruder near the barbed fire fencing another person opened wire from behind.

The BSF retaliated. The intruder was caught in the exchange of fire and was killed on the spot. However, his accomplice-fled.

Mr Purohit said nine packets of heroin were seized form the possession of the deceased. The body was handed over to the police and a case has been registered. 


CISF to handle security of Srinagar airport
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 25
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), will take over the security of Srinagar airport shortly.

The security of the airport is handled jointly by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Jammu and Kashmir police.

The CISF is responsible for the security of over 50 airports across the country, including the Delhi airport, and Srinagar is considered one of the most strategically important airports of the northern region.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr M.S. Bali, the I G of the CISF (North Sector), said the process of handing over the control of the airport to the CISF was on and it was expected to be completed shortly. “Discussions are at the final stage,” said Mr. Bali.

Citing the reasons behind the change of security control of the airport, Mr Bali said apart from militancy, it was due to the CISF’s reputation of providing security at airports in a thoroughly professional but at the same time very courteous manner.”

He said after taking over security of the Srinagar airport, the CISF would also deploy its quick reaction teams (QRTs) there with a view to provide a secure ambience.

Asked whether the CISF was well equipped to take over the security of an airport in a highly disturbed area, Mr Bali said the CISF was fully geared up to take up any challenge.

“We have latest weaponry and trained officials and we are not lacking anywhere as far as the security of airports and PSUs is concerned,” said Mr Bali.


Gastroenteritis claims one more life

Jalandhar, May 25
With one more death in the Bhargo Camp area today the toll due to suspected gastroenteritis, prevalent in the locality of the city for the past week, reached six.

Patient suspected of gastroenteritis, identified as Jaya Ram (54), of Pishourawala mohalla of Bhargo Camp area, who was admitted yesterday to a private hospital died today. The sixth death due to suspected gastroenteritis has exposed claims of the district administration, which claimed that everything was under control and steps that were taken to check the disease. Mayor of the city Surinder Mahey, visited the affected areas and instructed the medical and corporation authorities to be vigilant in the area and provide safe drinking water to the residents.

Meanwhile, 10 samples of drinking water were collected from the area of which five have failed. Result of other samples was awaited.

Dr Kiranjit Kumar, civil surgeon, expressed unawareness fresh death due to suspected gastroenteritis. “We are not aware of any death today but cases of gastro affected patients are still coming to the Civil hospital” he added.

More than 500 cases of gastro-related disease have been reported from the affected areas so far and more were expected, sources said.

The Deputy Commissioner has ordered an inquiry into the causes of the deaths and announced Rs 50,000 ex-gratia grant to the families of deceased out of the Red Cross funds.

He also instructed the officials to supply clean and chlorinated water. He asked the Civil Surgeon and MC officials to organise special medical camps where medicines especially relating to stomach ailments would be provided free of cost and payment of it would be made out of Red Cross funds.

Last week five persons identified as Chanda (10), Rakesh (17), Rahul (9), Dhan Devi (70) and Kamla (40) died due to suspected decease gastroenteritis in affected localities. — PTI


Jeweller shot dead
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 25
Lalit Arora, owner of Madan Lal Jewellers, in the Guru Bazar area, was shot dead in Cash Dhara Bazar last night by unidentified assailants.

The two motor cycle borne assailants decamped with his bag containing gold jewellery and cash. The incident occurred when Lalit Arora was going to the parking lot in Dharam Singh market to bring his car after locking his shop.

As he entered Cash Dhara Bazar the two motor cycle borne youths stopped him and asked him to hand over the bag. Lalit Arora resisted and they fired at him and ran away with the bag.

Sources said that it seemed that the accused had planned the robbery. A case has been registered.


29 lottery sellers held for cheating govt
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 25
The district police has arrested 29 sellers of lottery tickets for allegedly committing fraud with the state government and facilitating the playing of “satta” by giving paper slips to customers instead of lottery tickets.

Mr Kapil Dev, SSP, said at least five police teams were constituted and raids conducted in lottery markets in the city. He said though 29 lottery ticket sellers had been arrested, the kingpins of the illegal business, namely Gattu, alias Tittu, Lavla and Bobby, had absconded.

He stated that the accused used to give paper slips to lottery buyers instead of lottery tickets and hence caused a loss to the state exchequer by not showing the original sale of lottery tickets. He said the total amount recovered from the 29 accused was Rs 24,463.

Mr Dev said some buyers of lottery tickets, who were indulging in gambling on the basis of paper slips issued to them by lottery sellers, had also been rounded up. They were being questioned about from where they had got the paper slips instead of lottery tickets, he added.

He said five separate criminal cases had been registered against the accused in the city police station under Section 420 of the IPC and Section 13 of the Gambling Act.

Those arrested include Panna Lal, Gian Chand, Rakesh Joshi, Jagir Singh, Jaswinder Singh, Shiv Nath, Rajinder Kumar, Sonu, Babbi, Vicky, Tittu, Deepak, Rajesh, Naresh, Sukhdev, Satish, Sukhdev, Pawan, Ashok, Pawan, Tony, Ashwani, Jai Parkash, Sat Pal and Vijay Kumar.


Badal’s dharna plan a political stunt: SAD(A)
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, May 25
The announcement of the SAD(B) president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, that his party would stage a dharna in Chandigarh, on the first day of the Punjab Assembly session to force the government to restore various facilities to people, was a political stunt aimed at misleading the Punjabis. Stating this here today, Bhai Dhian Singh Mand, senior vice-president, Mr Jaskaran Singh Kahansinghwala and Mr Charan Singh Lohara, general secretaries, Mr Gurmej Singh Sandhu and Mr Baldev Singh, executive members, SAD(A), said Mr Badal was adopting an aggressive posture towards the state government while trying to keep the Congress-led Central government in good humour to save himself and his son. It was ironical that Mr Badal during SAD-BJP rule had been subjecting peaceful protestors to lathicharge but was now planning a dharna of party activists.

It was intriguing that while Punjab issues were kept in cold storage during the BJP-led NDA government in which the Badal Dal was a partner, and were never sought to be raised with Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, how come he had now suddenly woken and declared his intention to raise them with the present Prime Minister.

Mr Badal was fooling the people and wanted to save himself from corruption cases by opening channels with the Centre under the garb of apprising the PM of Punjab demands.

They called upon all like-minded Panthic forces to come under one banner by accepting the leadership of the Simranjit Singh Mann for ridding the SGPC of what the called corrupt coterie of the Badal Dal.

They declared that the SAD(A) would hold a peaceful protest dharna outside the high-security Nabha jail tomorrow to demand the release of those Sikh detainees who were languishing in jails for the past several years.


Khaira to contest Kapurthala seat
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, May 25
Mr Sukhpal Singh Khaira, a Punjab Congress leader has announced to contest from Kapurthala Assembly seat as Congress nominee.

Rana Gurjit Singh a Congress MLA from Kapurthala Assembly, was elected to the Lok Sabha from Jalandhar as Congress candidate and the Kapurthala Assembly seat will become vacant if Rana decides remain Member of Parliament.

Mr Khaira, who is a member of the PPCC and president of the Punjab State Progressive Farmers Association.

Mr Khaira urged the Punjab Government to provide power and water free of cost to farmers having seven acres. He also demanded the supply of 150 units of power to Dalits free of cost.


Police congress lays stress on training
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 25
In order to bring professionalism and specialisation in the police, specialists should replace generalists, ranks and lateral entries at senior levels should be reduced and investment of time, energy and money in training should be made for ensuring constant upgradation of skills.

These were important recommendations made by various speakers on the second day of the three-day Police Science Congress, 2004, underway at Jalandhar. The subject of the discussion was, “Reconciling officer-oriented work culture and constable-oriented manpower structure in the police.”

Though mediapersons were not allowed entry in the five star hotel room where papers were presented by various speakers on the grounds of secrecy, a statement issued by the Punjab Police authorities stated that speakers said the 1861 Police Act was archaic, rigid. Moreover there was no provision for reforming the constabulary. The Padmanabhayia Committee on police reforms suggested empowering of the constabulary. The reconciliation of officer-oriented working and constabulary-oriented manpower structure was desirable and possibly this synergy could lead to a motivated and vibrant civil police force in the country. This will also bring reduction in burden on sub-inspectors and inspectors and constables would also exercise discretion, thereby making them more responsible and important members of the team. Though the constabulary constituted about 83 per cent of the police force, but they did not investigate cases. This increased the burden of the investigating officers and harmed the efficiency of the police.

A study conducted by the Patiala and Ludhiana district police indicated that there was no decline in conviction rate when investigations were carried out by constables and there was massive decline in complaints regarding misbehaviour by constabulary.

Speakers (not identified in the statement issued by the police) further suggested that emphasis should be given on the suitability of candidate for constabulary and should be trained. Special emphasis should be laid on behaviourial aspects during the training.

In the second-half, speakers gave presentation on software piracy, cyber crime detection and cyber forensics. Agreeing piracy harmed the industry, they said the reason behind its proliferation were low rate of detection and easy copying. They found that the neither the IPC and nor the IT Act provided a complete solution to the problem.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Lalit Bhatia, Additional DGP (Vigilance, PSEB), suggested that to check the menace of cyber crime a cyber police station should be set in Punjab.

Though the police statement did not mention the names of speakers, sources maintained that those who presented their papers included Dr Nikhil Kumar, DCP Aurangabad, PC Sabhrawal, IG Uttar Pradesh, S.S. Gangwar and Sunil Kumar, both SPs from Bihar, Mr Harpreet Sidhu, AIG (Litigation Punjab), Mr Hansmukh Patel, DCP Surat and Mr Sanjiv Shammi, AIG (Bhopal).

The officers who were present included Mr Sarbjit Singh, Director-General of the Bureau of Police Research and Development, Mr D.R. Bhatti, the ADGP (PAP), Ms Shashi Prabha, Mr R.N. Dhoke and Mr. Pawan Uppal, Commandants (PAP).


Police turns secretive

The Punjab Police turned highly secretive all of a sudden when its officials refused to allow mediapersons to cover the 35th All-India Police Science congress despite having extended invitation cards to all newspapers and agencies.

Mediapersons found themselves in a quandary when they were not allowed entry to the conference room. “You can’t come before 3 pm and at 3 pm you would be give press note about the event,” said DSP Resham Singh.

Later, though they were allowed to enter the main gate after the intervention of SSP, Gurpreet Bhullar and SP Pawan Uppal, but they were not permitted to cover the event as police officials maintained that the event was “highly secretive”. “It might have been suggested by the IB,” said an officer. Later, they were handed over the statement about the event, which, however, did not describe the names of officials who presented their papers today. — TNS


Lack of monitoring led to poppy smuggling: IGP
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 25
Unlicenced growth of poppy is a major problem for the police even as 80 per cent of crime is of petty nature in Rajasthan.

Stating this to the TNS, Mr Kapil Garg, IGP of Ajmer, Rajasthan, who was here to attend the 35th Police Science Congress, said poor monitoring by government agencies had led to the problem of unlicenced growth of poppy in Rajasthan.

Mr Garg admitted that though the state had the Narcotics Department but lack of close monitoring of illegal growers has been encouraging antisocial elements.

He said that Rajasthan had negligible number of addicts even though consumption of opium was part of some tradition in Rajasthan.

Mr S.K. Sharma, IG, Jalandhar, maintained that for checking smuggling of drugs to Punjab from Rajasthan illegal plantation has to be checked in Rajasthan. “We have already moved the Government of India in this regard and have taken up the matter with the Rajasthan Government, but the problem persists for high stakes at different levels,” he added.


Cops turn blind eye to LPG-run cars
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 25
A large number of vehicles running on LPG in the city and its outskirts has exposed the claims of the police that it would bring to book bring such mechanics and small time shopkeepers who lure customers to use this device instead of petrol.

The rising rates of petrol and diesel have succeeded in luring people to use LPG kits. However, the danger in the changeover was exposed in the recent car blast that killed an Akali leader, Niranjan Singh, and seriously injured his son Surinder near Daburji. Another such blast had taken place in a vehicle of another Congress leader on the Lawrence road a few months back .

The kits are openly available at a ranging cost between Rs 6,000 to 7,000. This cuts down the cost by one-fourth.

The kit consists of a converter that can be changed from gas to fuel in case the cylinder becomes empty. Vikram Ahuja, a businessman, says that if the cylinder leaks then it will be confined to the boot, and it will have no mode of escape thus proving dangerous. High speed can generate extra heat, especially during summers, to trigger off a blast.

Despite promises made by the district administration and the police, no concrete step has been taken in this direction to book owners as well as mechanics in this regard.


Sunam MC employees call off strike
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 25
Employees and safai sevaks of the Sunam Municipal Council today called off their strike after an assurance was given by the Sunam SDM and the DSP that action would be taken against the persons who had removed foundation stone unveiled by Ms Geeta Sharma, president of the Sunam Municipal Council, on May 20 for a tubewell in ward No. 1 in Sunam.

Employees and safai sevaks, before calling off the strike, today staged a dharna at the office of the Municipal Council.

Mr Sat Pal Satti, president of the Municipal Workers Union, Sunam, said Ms Sharma told the agitating employees and safai sevaks today that the SDM and the police authorities had assured her that action would be taken against the erring persons. She appealed to the employees and safai sevaks to call off their strike in view of the assurance given by the authorities. Earlier, she also held a meeting with members of the 10-member action committee of municipal employees, he added.

After the appeal made by Ms Sharma, the agitating employees resumed their duties.


Farmers resent harassment by security forces
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, May 25
Hundreds of activists of the Punjab Kisan Sabha, All-India Youth Federation and the All-India Students’ Federation led by Mr Darshan Lal, member, Block Samiti, Jalalabad and president, Kisan Sabha, marched in protest through bazars and held rally before the SDM’s office here today in support of their demands. The activists raised slogans against the Union and Punjab Government.

Addressing the rally, Mr Darshan Ram and Mr Tek Chand, president, Kisan Sabha, Ferozepore, said farmers had been forced to protest because of problems due to government indifference.

They alleged that the government was not allowing thousands of farmers in Punjab to grow cash crops like cotton, maize and sugarcane across the barbed wire fence causing considerable loss to them. Moreover, they are forced to grow paddy which is becoming difficult due to fall in the water table. Besides, there is shortage of canal water for irrigation. The farmers alleged that since 1990 when the barbed wire fence was erected, they were allowed to grow all crops. Now the government was compelling them not to cultivate these crops. The farmers are not allowed free access to their land. Since there are only a few entry points, some farmers have to cover a distance of 2-3 km to reach their fields.

The farmers also alleged that their women folk and children were not allowed free access beyond the barbed wire. Farmers who are keen to take labourers for cultivation also face harassment at the hands of security forces. The security personnel harass them while checking their eatables and wild animals from across the border often damage their crops. They have demanded a five-feet high fencing along zero line. They have also called upon the government to either acquire their land across the barbed wire fence or take their land on contract.

Mr Darshan Lal and other speakers warned the government that the protest would be intensified if their demands were not accepted.


Improvement sought in medical services at college
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, May 25
A deputation of senior district Congress leaders, including Mr Mohanjit Singh, general secretary, intellectual cell, PPCC, Mrs Veena Sharma, vice-president, women cell PPCC, Mr Surinderiqbal Singh Brar and Mr Satish Baghi, president and press secretary, DCC Faridkot, respectively, and Mr S.K. Gupta, Chairman, Improvement Trust, met Mr Santokh Singh, Minister for Medical Education and Research, here yesterday. They demanded improvement in medical services at Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital here.

Lack of proper infrastructure has not only marred the image of the government but was posing great hardships to patients who visited the institution from far-off places. The patients, too, were dissatisfied with the behaviour of many experts, the Congress leaders alleged.

The minister, who was accompanied by Mr Satish Chandra, secretary, Medical Education and Research, had come here to assess the situation arising out of the incident of intrusion in the girls hostel recently.

The minister disclosed that a plan has been finalised to appoint 97 doctors to fill vacant posts in the three government medical colleges soon. Out of the total, 46 will be recruited on contract basis while the remaining would be filled by the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC).

Admitting that the conditions were abnormal due to the financial crunch arising out of the poor economic policies of the previous SAD-BJP Government the minister hoped that things would shortly start improving.


Clarification on water samples
The Tribune Service

Bathinda, May 25
Mr A.K. Singla, Municipal Engineer, Municipal Corporation, and Mr M.L. Bansal, Executive Engineer, Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board, today said no sample of water being supplied in Bathinda city had failed so far.

Reacting to a report published in The Tribune, they said the Civil Hospital authorities had taken water samples from all parts of Bathinda district and only those samples which were taken from rural areas failed.

They said the supply of piped water in the town would remain suspended for more than a day after 8 a.m. on May 28 due to maintenance work.


Guard who foiled robbery bid dead

Moga, May 25
One of the two guards of the Punjab State Warehousing Corporation, who on Sunday night foiled a robbery attempt by about 12 armed miscreants at Ajitwal in this district, succumbed to his injuries at the Moga Civil Hospital last evening. Jaswant Singh along with Babu Singh had put up resistance when the robbers struck and ended up getting serious injuries.

The robbers, armed with weapons, had asked the guards to hand over the keys of the store, but the latter refused. On this, the robbers beat them up.

The Mehan police registered a case on the statement of Babu Singh. — UNI


PSEB launches mobile vans
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, May 25
The PSEB authorities here in their bid to redress consumer grievances today launched special mobile vans for immediate rectification of faults, particularly in rural areas.

Presiding over a meeting of the coordination committee here, Senior Executive Engineer Iqbal Singh Mann stated that a 200 KVA distribution transformer and other electrical accessories would be part of the van. It would also replace damaged transformers with a new one wherever required.

He further said keeping in view the monsoon special arrangements have been done to ensure proper power supply in city.


International Nurses Day celebrated
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 25
Bhai Gurdas General Nursing School in association with Sadhbhavna Heart Institute and Hospital celebrated. The International Nurses Day on the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale here today.

The Director of the school, Prof Baldev Singh Balluana and Dr Tarundeep Bhatia, consultant anesthetist of the hospital, lit the ceremonial lamp.


High Court
Ex-Markfed Chairman’s plea dismissed
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 25
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today dismissed the petition filed by former Markfed Chairman Jagdish Singh Walia, seeking quashing of the order of the Punjab Government to replace him with Harminder Singh Jassi.

Mr Walia had not completed his term as Markfed Chairman when the Capt Amarinder Singh government removed him and appointed Mr Jassi.

In his writ, Mr Walia had claimed that the government had committed a wrong in removing him from his post as he still had time left to continue.

Mr Walia had also asserted that the government did not have the power to remove him before the completion of his tenure without assigning any reason.

However, a Bench headed by Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi did not agree with him and dismissed the petition. Sometime back, orders in the writ had been reserved by the Bench.

Transfer orders

Superintendent of Police Nilabh Kishore, who is presently posted as SP (CM Security), has moved an application in the High Court, seeking quashing of recent transfer orders of senior police officers.

In his application, which is expected to be taken up for hearing tomorrow, Mr Kishore has said that in the last hearing the Punjab Government had assured the court that the representations received by the government by Indian Police Service (IPS) officers against the posting of Punjab Police Service (PPS) officers, who are non-cadre officers, to cadre posts, would be considered.

The court had given the government time till June 30 to consider and decide such representations.

However, by effecting transfers of PPS officers and posting them on cadre posts, the government has violated the undertaking given to the court, Mr Kishore has said.

His application, moved through advocate Harminder Singh, also cites the case of three PPS officers how have been recently posted on cadre posts.

They are Mr Mukhwinder Singh Chinna (SSP, Moga), Mr Harmanbir Singh (SP, Amritsar City II) and Mr Mandeep Singh (SP Ludhiana City I).

Mr Kishore has also said that Mr Rakesh Aggarwal, an IPS officer, has been posted as SP, Mohali, a non-cadre post.

He has sought that the order of transfers of these officers as well as passing of appropriate orders against the respondents for having violated the undertaking given by them to the court.

It may be recalled that Mr Kishore had earlier moved an application to be impleaded as party in an ongoing case -Resurgence India versus State of Punjab and others, which relates to reforms in the police force.

DSPs’ selection

Hearing in the case regarding alleged irregularities in the recent appointment of Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSP) by the Punjab Government was adjourned for tomorrow.

Today, the case came up for hearing before a Special Bench of the High Court. Counsel for the Punjab Government asserted that no wrong had been committed in the selection of the DSPs. Among those who had been selected were the sons of Mr BIS Chahal, media Advisor to the Punjab Chief Minister, and Mr Harinder Singh Chahal, Senior Superintendent of Police, Ferozepore.


Judicial remand for 189 protesters
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 25
As many as 189 protesters, who were arrested while staging a dharna in front of a mill in Bhasor village, near Dhuri, last night and this morning, were today produced in the court of the Dhuri Subdivisional Magistrate, Mr Manjit Singh Narang, who sent them in judicial custody for a week. They were arrested on the charge of breach of peace. The protesters were former workers of Oswal Agro Furane Ltd, Bhasor. They had been staging the dharna in front of the mill gate since May 1, demanding payment of arrears by the management of the Khushi Ram Bihari Lal firm. 


Another hostel intrusion case comes to light
Tribune Reporters

Faridkot, May 25
Even as students of the local Guru Gobind Singh Medical College (GGSMC) held a demonstration in front of the hospital here today in protest against the attack on an inmate of its girls hostel on Friday night by an unidentified intruder, inmates of the nursing hostel today disclosed that a stranger had intruded into their hostel on May 19.

The inmates of the nursing hostel, who joined the students of the GGSMC in their agitation today, alleged that the matter pertaining to the intrusion in their hostel was hushed up by the authorities concerned and the police did not register any case in that connection.

They pointed out that they had made repeated requests to the Baba Farid University of Heath Sciences, which was controlling the affairs of the nursing college, in connection with security arrangements, but in vain.

On Friday night, a girl student of the GGSMC was attacked with a knife in her room in the hostel by an intruder. However, she managed to save herself by showing presence of mind. While saving herself, she suffered injuries on her hands.

Meanwhile, the PCMS Association has extended support to the agitating students and has expressed concern over the “indifferent” attitude of the police and the college authorities with regard to bringing the culprit to book.

The students have pointed out that they will continue the strike till the culprit is arrested and foolproof security arrangements made in the girls hostel, the nursing hostel and the interns hostel.


Gang of car thieves busted, two held

Jalandhar, May 25
The police has nabbed two members of an inter-state gang of car thieves and recovered four stolen cars from their possession.

A police spokesman said here today that the gang members were nabbed yesterday near the Ladhewali level crossing here while they were travelling in a stolen car.

The gang members used to steal cars and sell them on fake documents. The gang had committed crimes in at least two states, West Bengal and Punjab. The police is making efforts to nab two other members of the gang, the spokesman said. — UNI


One killed, 10 hurt in mishap
Our Correspondent

Abohar, May 25
The driver of a Chandigarh-bound de-luxe bus was killed and 10 passengers were injured when the vehicle rammed into the boundary wall of the labour colony on the outskirts of the town.

According to information, the bus of the Indo-Canadian Transport Company had left Fazilka for Chandigarh via Abohar. Driver Daljit Singh made a sudden turn to the right to avert a head-on collision with a tractor-trailer and the bus hit the boundary wall.

The driver died on the spot. Those injured are Davinder Singh Tony of Hoshiarpur, Kunwer Singh and Ravinder Kumar of Abohar and Ranjit Singh of Fazilka. The body of the driver was handed over to his family after a postmortem examination. The police had impounded the bus. 


SHO suspended, 2 cops booked
Tribune News Service

Gidderbaha, May 25
Mr Jaswinder Singh, Station House Officer (SHO), police station here, was suspended following the escape of Gurbachan Singh from the custody of a police team which was taking him a court in Muktsar yesterday.

Gurbachan Singh, arrested recently for alleged involvement in the smuggling of narcotics, was being taken to Muktsar from Gidderbaha jail.

He escaped from police custody near Butter Bakhua village of Muktsar district.

Official sources said policemen helped him escape.

Mr R.S. Khatra, SSP, said that a case against policemen Harbans Singh, Ravinder Singh and accused Gurbachan Singh had been registered under Sections 223, 224 and 120-B of the IPC.


DAV plus II girls top in commerce

Amritsar, May 25
Shardha Mintri (95.4 per cent) and Saniya Khanna (94.6 per cent) both of the commerce stream of DAV Public School here have topped the Chandigarh region CBSE plus two examination.

Principal V. Puri, said here today that both girls of the school had scored highest percentage in this region. One of the students, Rachita Mehra, scored cent per cent in information practical while Shardha Mintri got 99 per cent in Accountancy, Garima Mehra and Saniya Khanna recorded 98 per cent in Business studies and Kriti Wadhwa scored 98 per cent in Economics.

Ms Puri said 15 of their students, including 14 girls, scored 90 per cent and above marks.

Meanwhile other CBSE schools here including Manav Public School, Guru Harkrishan Public School, Spingdale Senior School and Kendriya Vidyalaya also recorded 100 per cent Results.


Simranjeet secures 91 pc in plus two exam
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 25
Students of Budha Dal Public School excelled in both commerce and science streams in the Class XII CBSE examinations, the results of which were declared on Sunday.

In the commerce stream, Sunpreet Singh topped in the school by securing 89.6 per cent marks. Whereas Yamini Bajaj and Jasdeep Kaur secured 89.4 and 88 per cent, respectively.

In the commerce stream, 20 students secured more than 80 per cent marks.

In the science stream, Simranjeet Singh topped in the school by securing 91 per cent marks. He was followed by Tanveer Kaur and Shelly, who secured 89 per cent and 88.4 per cent, respectively.


PCCTU hails Johl panel report
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 25
The Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU), Sangrur district unit, today hailed report of the Punjab Plan Resource Committee, headed by Dr S.S. Johl, vice-chairman, Punjab State Planning Board, wherein ways and means had been suggested for the promotion of higher education, including 100 per cent grant-in-aid to private colleges of Punjab against the 95 per cent at present.

Welcoming the report Prof P.K. Sharma, and Prof Manmohan Singh, president and secretary, respectively of the district PCCTU, said implementation of the report would pave the way for redressing monetary problems of private college teachers.

Both PCCTU leaders urged the Punjab Government to bring unaided private colleges and unaided posts in private colleges under this 10 per cent grant-in-aid scheme.


Decision to reduce marks of Punjabi, English flayed
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 25
The Punjab Government College Teachers’ Association condemned Punjabi University’s decision to reduce marks of Punjabi and English (compulsory) here today.

The association said the proposed decision of the university to introduce computer applications as a compulsory subject in BA and B.Sc at the cost of Punjabi and English was unjustified and wrong.

The president of the association, Mr Bhag Singh Sandhu, said proficiency in both languages was as much important today as it was in the past.

The reduction of the workload of language teachers would lead to their retrenchment and block employment avenues in these subjects in the future, he added.

The members of the association further said that this would also defeat the purpose for which the university was established. Besides, proper facilities and infrastructure for the teaching of computers in colleges were also not available.

The decision also violated the UGC directive to have uniform syllabi in all three universities of the state.

The general secretary of the association has appealed to the vice-chancellor to intervene and reconsider the decision.


Union appeals not to reduce marks
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 25
The Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union has appealed to the Punjabi University authorities not to reduce the total marks of Punjabi and English, which are compulsory subjects at the graduation level, from 100 to 50. The union said that earlier, after withdrawing the

literature part from the two subjects, these were reduced to mere communication skills. Now these subjects were being further cut in size.

The union demanded that organisations of students and teachers should be consulted before taking such strategic decisions.


Strike at Hero Cycles ends
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 25
The three-month long strike by workers of the Hero Group of companies, the largest manufacturers of bicycles in the world, ended here today following an agreement between the striking workers and the management.

An agreement was reached between the two parties in the evening today. About 4,000 workers had gone on strike in March after 60 workers were issued a charge sheet and asked not to report for duty till the inquiry was completed against them. Mr Arora said the no work no pay norm had been adopted and it was acceptable to both parties. Besides, 13 of the 60 suspended workers would be taken back as the charge sheet against them had been withdrawn.

The remaining 47 employees would face the charges and remain suspended till the inquiry is over.

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