P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



3 girls allege being duped into impersonation
Jupinderjit Singh and Mahesh Sharma
Tribune News Service

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 31
Three girls of this town claim to have become victims of a Republic Day Parade impersonation scandal in which they were allegedly asked to participate under different identities to benefit three other girls related to influential persons.

The three have not received the certificates or the Rs 3800 each on account of daily allowance for participating in the parade and the19-day camp. The girls are pleading innocence and knocking at doors to get justice. None of the security agencies had a clue about this alleged impersonation.

The state government has now ordered an inquiry into the incident. Mr Hem Raj Kalia, Joint Director, Public Relations Department, and leader of the Punjab tableau at the Republic Day camp, told The Tribune that the inquiry would fix responsibility as well as find out if the girls were willing partners in the scandal.

The state government has ordered the inquiry only now, even though the girls had complained a day before the Republic Day Parade. Mr Kalia admitted that the girls had informed him and he had reported the matter to his seniors.

The three girls, Manjit Kaur, Chanranjit Kaur and Rajji Verma, students of local educational institutions, claim they were approached by Mr Gurjit Singh, an official associated with the Punjab tableau and entrusted with the presentation of a folk dance, “Sammi”.

A couple of days before the parade, an official informed them that they were not to reveal their true identity to anyone, instead they were given new names, ” allege the girls. While the camp was in progress at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi, they were photographed and issued identity cards with the new names. As directed, Manjit Kaur posed as Rupinder of Chandigarh, Charanjit Kaur as Devinder Shergill of Mohali, and Rajji Verma posed as Shinder Paul of Mohali, according to them.

After returning from the camp, they informed Mr Kalia about the alleged cheating. The girls were assured that justice would be done and they would get the due certificates and allowances. But none of that came.

Ms Charanjit Kaur, mother of Rajji, alleges that organisers had misused the talent of rural artistes to please wards of influential people.

“They have proven their worth at the national level, and should be given certificates and the money as promised,” she adds.

Certain documents related to the case in possession of The Tribune indicate that blank documents were being used as a routine in the whole process, which could be tampered with easily. Anybody could make use of the documents and commit a subversive act at national-level events like the Republic Day Parade. Mr Kalia, admitting concern over security, said: “The state government has taken serious notice of the incident.”


Badal shortlists nominees for SGPC elections
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 31
Leaving nothing to chance and suspecting a foul play by the Congress government, the SAD (B) president and former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal today started evolving a strategy for contesting the forthcoming SGPC elections.

Though, he has been expressing the apprehension that the SGPC elections, which are to be held on July 11, is likely to be postponed by three months by the Centre on the demand of the state Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, Mr Badal today held a close door meeting with the party MPs, MLAs, former MLAs, SGPC members, district unit presidents and other office-bearers of Ferozepore, Muktsar, Faridkot, Bathinda and Mansa districts to evolve the strategy for the SGPC elections.

Information gathered from SAD (B) circles revealed that Mr Badal had shortlisted the names of prospective party candidates for the SGPC elections with the consent of MLAs, MPs and other leaders.

Mr Badal was of the opinion that only those party workers, who had clean image and acceptability among the masses, should be given ticket for the SGPC elections.

Mr Badal, later talking to mediapersons, pointed out that though the intentions of the state government and the Centre were not “clear” in connection with conducting the SGPC elections on schedule, the SAD (B) had started preparing for same.

He said when the Punjab and Haryana High Court had asked the Gurdwara Election Commission to conduct the SGPC elections by July 11, the proposal of the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, made to the Union Home Minister, Mr Shiv Raj Patil, for postponing the same, was irrelevant. He said the Gurdwara Election Commission had already announced the entire programme of the SGPC elections.

He said the political affairs committee (PAC) of the SAD (B) would meet on June 1 in Amritsar to take decision to deal with the situation if the Centre Government postponed the SGPC elections. He hinted that the SAD (B) could approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court against any such decision of the Centre as the high court had ordered the Gurdwara Election Commission to hold the SGPC election by July 11. He said if the Centre postponed the SGPC elections, it would be contempt of high court.

He said on one hand the Congress claimed that it was a secular party on the other hand it had been interfering into the religious affairs of Sikhs. He claimed that Capt Amarinder Singh had been pushing for getting the SGPC elections postponed, as the Congress had tasted a crushing defeat in Punjab in the last Lok Sabha elections.

Meanwhile, Mr Zora Singh Mann, MP, Ferozepore has demanded that the Hussainiwala border should be opened immediately for the convenience of people living both sides of Indo-Pakistan border. He said he would meet the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, in this connection shortly.

Mr Mann, who was here today to attend the meeting called by SAD (B) president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, in connection with the formulation of policy for the forthcoming SGPC elections, said he would also give a representation to Dr Manmohan Singh in this connection. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) would also be contacted in this regard.

Talking to TNS, he said the Centre should open the Hussainiwala border and allow the Sikh and Hindu jathas to visit religious places situated in Pakistan. The Centre government should also promotes trade between two countries.

He said that he would urge the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to continue all those welfare schemes, which were launched by the previous BJP-led NDA government. He demanded that the Centre Government should also approve the proposal of the BSF authorities to shift fencing wire, erected inside the Indian territory, near to Zero Line so that thousands of acres of land could be cultivated. 


Sehajdharis’ body moves court on SGPC poll
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 31
The Sehajdhari Sikh Federation has sought staying of decision of the Union Government to hold elections of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).

The federation has moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court in this regard.

In its application, the it has prayed that the respondents, including the SGPC, be restrained from notifying the proposed elections of the SGPC in the interest of justice. It may be recalled that the petition filed by the Sehajdhari Sikh Federation, praying for grant of voting rights to the Sehajdhari Sikhs, is pending in the High Court. Taking up the application, a Division Bench of the High Court comprising Mr Justice Rajive Bhalla and Mr Justice Surya Kant today issued notice for July 1.

The federation has also prayed for staying of the notification dated October 8, 2003. The notification debars the Sehajdhari Sikhs from contesting or participating as voters in the proposed elections of the SGPC.

The application moved by the President and General Secretary of the federation says that the SGPC convened a meeting on May 21, 2004, allowing registering of parties and allotment of symbols to those interested in contesting polls.

However, the federation President and General Secretary claim that though they were present at the meeting, they were not allowed to participate in the proceedings on the premise that Sehajdhari Sikhs do not have right to participate in the SGPC elections.

The federation has also said that the tentative date for the elections was set for July 11, with a notification in this regard expected to be issued on June 1.

Saying that in case elections are held as per this schedule, its petition for voting rights will become infructuous and lakhs of Sikhs will be deprived of their right to use their franchise. The federation has sought that the respondents be restrained from issuing any notification in the matter.

The case will now come up on July 1.


Tohra wanted Advani to put off poll
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, May 31
Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President, Shiromani Akali Dal is blaming the Punjab Chief Minister for interference in the religious affairs of the Sikhs and getting the SGPC elections postponed. It has come to light that late SGPC chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra had suggested to the Union Home Minister to postpone elections to the general house of the SGPC till early 2005. Mr Tohra had said Sikhs during 2004 would be busy on in celebration of Sikh three centenaries — 500th birth anniversary of second Sikh Guru, Guru Angad Dev. 400th year of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib and martyrdom of four sons of Guru Gobind Singh in December. Preparations for the centenaries are being made by the SGPC.

In view of these activities in 2004, Mr Tohra had suggested that the elections to the SGPC should be held early 2005. Mr Tohra had also consulted Mr Badal at that it is learnt. Further, the general house of the SGPC which met at Amritsar on March 15 under the presidentship of Mr Tohra and passed the budget of the SGPC for 2004-2005 also recommended to the Home Ministry to redemarcate constituencies of the SGPC and restrict the number to 100 only. Out of the 100, 10 seats could be double for the Scheduled Caste and 10 double constituencies for the women candidate.

At present, the SGPC has 120 total constituencies with 50 double constituencies-20 for the Scheduled Castes and 30 for the women candidates. Number of elected members is 170 and 15 are coopted members and the House consists of 185 members.

Sources close to the Shiromani Akali Dal say that Mr Badal changed his mind and sought early elections of the SGPC in view of the victory of the SAD-BJP candidates in the Lok Sabha poll. Mr Badal keen on cashing in on the pro-Akali Dal wave and had been pressing for the SGPC elections as scheduled by the Chief Commissioner, Gurdwara elections the other hand, Captain Amarinder Singh was opposed to the decision of the Home Ministry to debar the Sehajdhari Sikhs from voting in the SGPC elections. Two writ petitions are before the Punjab and Haryana high court in connection with the Sehajdhari issue which would come up for hearing on July 17. Captain Amarinder Singh at a meeting with the Home Minister L.K. Advani where then SGPC Chief Kirpal Singh Badungar and representatives of Himachal and Haryana were also present had opposed the plea of the SGPC for denying the right of vote to the Sehajdharis. The NDA Government under pressure from the Akali Dal had issued the notification debarring the Sehajdharis from voting in the SGPC elections.


Plea for reforms in elections
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 31
Prof Prithipal Singh Kapoor, Chairman, Master Tara Singh Institute of studies in contemporary Sikh politics, has pleaded for reforms in the gurdwara elections.

Prof Kapoor said yesterday that the Central Election Commission had made the registration of political parties compulsory asking them to make certain amendments in their constitutions. No political party could be organised on the basis of religious minority community. The Akali Dal and the Muslim League and such other parties had to amend their constitution and swear by secularism.

Prof Kapoor maintained that the gurdwara elections were held under the Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925 and the Sikhs with specific qualifications could be registered as voters to take part in the elections.

He pleaded that parties and the Sikh groups taking part in the gurdwara elections must affirm in the name of Guru that they were concerned about the Sikh religion, its sanctity and upholding of Sikh traditions as taught by the Gurus. ‘It is the duty of the gurdwara election commission that a code of conduct was formulated for the elections and a specific provision for expenditure on elections, qualifications of the candidates and their standing and reputation as a Sikh must also be taken into consideration’, he added.

Prof Kapoor cautioned that if the gurdwara elections were held in conditions as these prevailed, it would tend to destroy the Sikh institutions.

He also appealed to the Sikh thinkers, and well-meaning Sikhs to ensure that gurdwara elections were held only after the necessary changes were made.


Filing of nominations for SGPC poll to begin today
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 31
Filing of nominations for the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections will start from tomorrow even as the Returning Officers were appointed for all eight constituencies in the district today.

The Returning Officers were appointed for the Samana, Nabha, Bhadson, Dakala, Patiala City, Sanour, Dera Bassi and Rajpura constituencies after a meeting presided over by Deputy Commissioner Tejveer Singh.

An official press note here said the district administration had started the poll process for the SGPC elections following the directions of the state Chief Election Office. While Samana, Rajpura and Patiala City seats had been reserved for general women candidates, Bhadson had been reserved for Scheduled Caste candidates.

A total of two candidates would be elected from all the constituencies.

The press note said while nominations would be invited till June 8, scrutiny would take place till June 11, objections would be invited on June 14-15, last date for the withdrawal of nominations would be June 21 and polling would take place on July 11.


Sarna’s move to unite bodies for SGPC poll
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 31
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi) led by Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna has initiated a move to bring all Sikh religious bodies, cutting across the party lines, on a single platform to remove the “indirect control of the RSS” on the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC) in its coming elections.

The SAD (Delhi), which managed to take over the control of the Delhi Gurdwara Parbandak Committee in the last elections, has been contacting almost all Sikh religious bodies for achieving the purpose. Mr Sarna will hold a meeting of the bodies in Chandigarh on June 3.

Mr Sarna has urged the heads of various Sikh bodies to come on one platform and work out a strategy to defeat those forces who had facilitated the indirect control of the SGPC to the RSS.

Meanwhile, the Sikh Front International, a Sikh religious organisation, has demanded that the SGPC elections, which were to be held on July 11, should be postponed as a number of bogus persons had been enlisted as in the lists.

Mr Gurkirpal Singh, President, Sikh Front International, pointed out that, though the Sehajdhari Sikhs had been barred from voting in the SGPC elections, the voters’ list still carried their names. He added that former Chief Minister and President SAD (Badal) would use such voters in favour of his party candidates for the SGPC elections.

He said the Sikh Front International had also demanded that the SGPC election should be postponed for atleast three months and all voters should be issued identity cards so that the same could be held in free and fair manner. He added that the front might approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court to seek the postponement of elections if the Centre failed to do so.


SGPC objects to Gyan Singh’s statement
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 31
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) took serious note of the statement of Mr Gyan Singh, member, National Assembly, Pakistan, that before the formation of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC ), the SGPC used to take back offerings and donations collected at Pakistan gurdwaras.

Taking objection to the statement, he asked what the contribution of the sikh member was towards achieving ‘maryada’ in gurdwaras.

Mr Dilmegh Singh, secretary, SGPC, in a press note said Sikh ‘jathas’ from India to Pakistan could not even meet the expense of their visit from the offerings collected these, what to talk of bringing offerings from Pakistan gurdwaras to India.

He said the cost of things taken on credit from various shopkeepers in Pakistan was sent by the SGPC through its next scheduled ‘jatha’ to clear the accounts.

Regarding structural maintenance and improvement of Pakistan gurdwaras, he said donations offered by Sikhs settled in foreign countries were being used for it. The PSGPC did not make any effort in that regard, he said.

The SGPC chief, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, had allotted Rs 1 crore in the committee budget for Pakistan gurdwaras which could be verified from records, he added.

The SGPC secretary said the SGPC had made repeated requests to the Pakistan Government to let Baba Harbans Singh perform ‘kar seva’ at Pakistan gurdwaras, but permission was consistently denied by successive governments .

“About 170 historic gurdwaras were in a poor condition. These have even lost their ‘Nishan Sahibs’. Besides, thousands of acres of land belonging to these gurdwaras had been encroached upon,” he said.

Mr Dilmegh Singh said Mr Gyan Singh should desist from making misleading statements that could cause misunderstanding in the ‘sangat’. If maintenance was actually carried out in these gurdwaras, there would be no dearth of funds, he added.


Raise Bluestar martyrs’ memorial, SGPC urged
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 31
Dal Khalsa, a radical Sikh organisation, has appealed to the SGPC to raise the promised martyrs’ memorial at the Golden Temple to mark the 20th anniversary of Operation Bluestar.

At a press conference here on Friday, Mr Harcharanjit Singh Dhami, working president, and Mr Kanwarpal Singh, spokesperson for Dal Khalsa, respectively, charged the SGPC with lethargy, neglect and influence of BJP and RSS forces for stalling the raising of the memorial despite two earlier announcements, in 1985 and 2002.

The Dal announced a three-day programme to mark the anniversary of Operation Bluestar with “shaheedi” conferences in Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana on June 3 and 4, respectively, and the release of “shaheedi directory” on June 5 at Amritsar. The Dal said it would observe “Ghallughara divas” on June 6 along with the SGPC.

The Dal appealed to the Jathedar, Akal Takht, to fix a ‘code of conduct’ and ensure its implementation in the forthcoming SGPC elections. The leaders said it was shameful that illegal and immoral activities were being done to woo voters in elections for the formation of a religious body.

The Dal announced that it had aligned with Mr Simranjit Singh Mann of the Akali Dal (Amritsar) for the elections.

The leaders also announced the formation of a five-member committee led by Mr Sarabjit Singh Ghuman, which would list the achievements and failures of the SGPC.


Transfer of DIG inquiry raises eyebrows
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 31
Before booking his senior officer, Mr H.S. Randhawa, DIG Ferozepore range, on charges of illegal confinement , misappropriation of case property and embezzlement, the then SSP Ferozepore Mr Vijay Partap Singh, had reportedly written to the Director-General Police and the Inspector-General (Border Range).

However, having failed to elicit any response, the SSP ordered the registration of case against the DIG, a day before relieving the charge as the district police chief.

The controversy embroiling the Police Department today took a curious turn when the DGP transferred the inquiry from the ADGP (Internal Vigilance) Mr Chander Shekhar to Mr J.P. Birdi, Inspector-General Police (Border Range) without assigning proper reason. Though Mr Chander Shekhar, ADGP feigned ignorance that the case had been transferred to IG, Mr Birdi confirmed that he had received the orders of the DGP to conduct the inquiry into the matter. When contacted, Mr Birdi said he would complete the inquiry at the earliest. Mr Birdi, said he had taken immediate action after getting a report from the then SSP Mr Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh about the alleged involvement of the DIG by seeking his explanation within a week. He said the case against seniors should be registered only after getting permission from the DGP.

Meanwhile, Mr Satya Pal Dang, a CPI leader, in a letter to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, expressed his surprise over the sudden transfer of inquiry from an ADGP to an IG. He said reasons given for handing over the case were flimsy. He said Mr Chander Shekhar enjoyed a reputation of an upright officer.

Mr Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh during his two-year stint as SP had busted several rackets and worked to provide justice to the helpless. He said he had cracked the multi-crore kidney racket too.

Mr Dang had also written to the MP, Mr Gurdas Das Gupta, who is also General Secretary, All-India Trade Union Congress, urging him to take up the matter with the Central Government. Mr Dang alleged that following the registration of FIR against the DIG the said officer was immediately transferred to the PAP, Jalandhar. He said the police officer during his two-year stint as the SP had busted several rackets and was instrumental in providing speedy justice to the helpless.


Cong tussle affecting state affairs: BJP
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 31
The ongoing tussle for power in the Congress was proving to be a setback to running the state affairs. This was sated by the BJP vice-president, Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla, and district party chief Mr Om Parkash Kalia.

The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and the Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, were camping in Delhi, locked in a power struggle that was having a detrimental effect in the development works in the city and the state.

All important meetings were on a standstill even as the power equations were going on in the capital. The law and order situation had worsened in the state, said Ms Chawla.


CPI supports agitating workers
From Suhil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 31
Dr Joginder Dayal, secretary, Punjab unit of the Communist Party of India (CPI), today extended his party’s full support to the agitating former workers of Oswal Agro Furane Limited, Bhasor, near Dhuri, who are demanding payments of their arrears due from Oswal, from the new management of the mill KRBL Limited, besides jobs.

Fifteen former workers of Oswal Agro Furane today courted arrest as part of their agitation programme at Dhuri. With their arrest, more than 250 old workers of the mill have been arrested so far.


PAC meeting to decide on Calcutta, Pakhoke
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 31
A crucial meeting of the Political Affairs Committee, highest decision-making body of the Shiromani Akali Dal, scheduled to be held here tomorrow, would decide the future of Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, honorary secretary of the SGPC. He has been boycotting the office since the recent administrative reshuffle in the SGPC. Incidentally Mr Calcutta is also a member of the PAC.

The meeting would also decide the future of Mr Alwinder Pal Singh Pakhoke, who courted certain controversies after becoming working president of the SGPC. A group loyal to the late Gurcharan Singh Jathedar Tohra would like Mr Pakhoke replaced.

During a closed-door meeting, leaders of the erstwhile Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal had been assured that the SAD (Badal) would continue to give them due representation in the SGPC and the Akali Dal. Mr Badal had also promised to “restore the honour” of Mr Calcutta.

Meanwhile, Bibi Jagir Kaur and Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar have started lobbying for the seat. The Tohra faction would prefer Bibi Jagir Kaur to Mr Badungar in case a Tohra loyalist failed to get the post.


Reopen probe against TB officer, says Dang
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 31
Senior Communist leader Satyapal Dang, in a letter to Mr Jai Singh Gill, Chief Secretary, Punjab, sought reopening of inquiry against the district TB officer. He also demanded an inquiry in the working of the TB hospital.

He said the doctor was arrested on August 23, 2003 for alleged fraud and suspended later. However, his suspension was revoked on his release on bail. Mr Dang, said the then SP Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, registered a case against him and started investigation, but he was transferred and the case was allegedly hushed up.

The Communist leader stated in the letter that patients were forced to purchase medicines from shops outside the hospital premises instead of getting these from the hospital. He claimed that a former head of the T. B hospital had started a factory in the name of his son to manufacture substandard TB medicines. The factory is still manufacturing medicines.

The district TB officer could not be contacted despite attempts.

Meanwhile, Mr Dang in another letter to member of Parliament Gurdas Das Gupta, who is also general secretary of the All-India Trade Union Congress, has urged him to take up the matter of Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, a former SSP, Ferozepore, with the central government .

The SSP had registered an FIR against a DIG for ‘illegal detention’. He stated that an inquiry in this connection has been ordered against the SSP, who enjoys clean, fearless and upright reputation.

Following the registration of the FIR the said officer was transferred to the PAP at Jalandhar.

Mr Dang said the police officer during his two-year-long stay as SP Amritsar had busted several rackets and worked to provide justice to the helpless. He said he had cracked the multi-crore kidney racket. However, when continuation of the said officer was needed in the interest of prosecution and for important pending cases the said officer was transferred to Mohali.

He urged the MP to take up the matter of this officer with the central government and ensure justice to him.

Mr CPI leader said, “Ideally, the law should have taken its course ensuring fair investigation. Unfortunately, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh while speaking to newsmen passed remarks about Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, which can result in preventing a just investigation,” he added.


Rallies, seminars mark World No Tobacco Day
Tribune Reporters

Hoshiarpur, May 31
The District Health Department, Hoshiarpur, in collaboration with the State Bank of India main branch, organised a seminar on “Tobacco and poverty” to mark World No Tobacco Day at the Urban-slum dispensary, Canal Colony, here on Monday.

Dr Y.C. Markan, Civil Surgeon, Hoshiarpur, said about 50 lakh persons lost their lives annually due to use of tobacco throughout the world. If the current pattern continued, the figure would be more than 10 million death annually.

Dr Ajay Bagga, in charge, School Health Programme, said majority of poor persons were tobacco addicts. About 10 lakh persons died annually in India due to the use of tobacco. Mr R.R. Sharma, Assistant General Manager, State Bank of India, inaugurated and exhibition depicting ill-effects of tobacco use.

Sangrur: Various religious and social organisations here on Monday urged the Union Government to order the removal of all kiosks, meant for selling tobacco products, which were situated within 100-metre radius of educational institutions. They also demanded the removal of hoardings of tobacco companies from roadsides.

Mr Surinder Pal Singh Sidqi, zonal secretary of the Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, said a memorandum was submitted to the Sangrur ADC, Mr N.S. Walia, in this regard. He said the ADC assured them that he would take steps to check smoking at public places.

AMRITSAR: Mr Balwinder Atri, field publicity officer, delivered a lecture on Anti-Smoking Day.

A painting exhibition and a debate were also organised at Company Bagh here. Speaking on the occasion Mr T.S. Raja of Nehru Yuva Kendra urged the government to strictly enforce the ban on smoking at public places. The Amritsar Vikas Manch, an NGO, gave a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner in this regard. A lecture was also organised in which Dr Sham Sundar Deepti, Assistant Professor of a medical college, addressed rickshaw-pullers.

Bathinda: The local unit of Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya organised an exhibition near fire station to mark No-Tobacco Day today. The aim was to motivate people to quit smoking and chewing tobacco.

ROPAR: The Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, Ropar zone, submitted a memorandum to Deputy Commissioner Seema Jain seeking the implementation of the Anti-Tobacco Act to mark No Tobacco Day today. Mr Inderpal Singh, chief spokesperson of the study circle, releasing a copy of the memorandum to newspersons said their organisation had been struggling to get the Act implemented. In the memorandum submitted today, they demanded that as per the Act all shops and vends selling tobacco products within 100 yards area of educational institutions should be closed down. Those violating the Act should be prosecuted and there should be strict implementation of the ban on the use of tobacco at public places.


Tributes paid to Dr Pahwa
Our Correspondent

Moga, May 31
A statue of Padma Vibhushan Rai Bahadur Dr Mathura Das Pahwa, a world famous eye specialist, was today installed on the premises of the local Mathura Das Civil Hospital, of which he was the founder.

The Additional Director-General of Police, Dr Bhatti, while paying tributes to the renowned eye specialist said he was a great son of India as he performed all eye operations free of cost. It was recalled that Dr Pahwa performed thousands of eye operations in Civil Hospital during his time (before the Partition of the country).

Those who participated included president of the Bharatiya Jagriti Manch, Dr Deepak Kochar who organised the function, Director, Health Services, Dr J.N. Goel and industrialist K.K. Puri.

In the evening a function was organised by the Bharatiya Jagriti Manch in Chokha Palace which was presided over by Dr Bhatti.

Dr Pahwa was also the founder of DM College, DM High School, DM Arya Girls Secondary School and also some other institutions of the town.


Shoppers avoid Rani Jhansi market
Our Correspondent

Abohar, May 31
Nearly 100 shopkeepers of the Rani Jhansi market feel insecure as law enforcing agencies are not taking notice of suspicious looking elements.

The market, was developed by the Improvement Trust in 1980. The Trust built a fountain in the U-shaped market. Its showers hit stocks in 24 shops. The authorities closed it but did not remove fountain. Shopkeepers repeatedly requested the Trust that a parking place be developed in place of the fountain so that visitors to the Railway station could park vehicles. This would have fetched the trust income.

The Trust and the Council have not settled disputes over the control of open space and compensation for the land acquired by the Trust even after 20 years of the completion of the project. All streetlights have been non-functional for past few years. Customers had no easy access to the U-shaped market. Sewers always are overflowing and making it difficult for the people to pass the main road linking the market. Roads on both sides of the Rani Jhansi Market are in poor condition. Encroachments make conditions miserable. Shopkeepers on the Railway road earlier encroached upon the verandah now they have occupied the footpath also. Sources said that shopkeepers allegedly were charging monthly rent from the rehris parked in front of their shops though such rehris were licensed moving ones. Pedestrians are insulted if they ask the rehri wallahs to leave space for movement. Thousands daily use the road for going to Nai Abadi across the Railway station.

Shopkeepers were concerned as the market allegedly had emerged as a centre of illicit satta operators. They reportedly started working in 1997 when the SAD-BJP coalition came in to power, under the pretext of selling one-digit daily lottery tickets but such tickets had never been found during raids by the Punjab State Lotteries Department and the police. The Rani Jhansi Market Association, in several of memorandums to the authorities in the past, had alleged that the satta operators “enjoyed” patronage of the police and political workers. Political influence made some shopkeepers to sublet premises to anti-social elements for satta and liquor ahatas. Footpath now is misused but neither the Improvement Trust nor the Municipal Council tried to remove the encroachments. The police never raided the premises where liquor was served illegally in the evening to daily wage earners and others. Such persons visit the so-called lottery ticket sellers in the hope of earning more.

Although old satta operators migrated to Bathinda few weeks back after having been booked under the gambling prevention act but the situation deteriorated after that. The satta operators now hired musclemen to “deal” with their critics and complainants. They could be seen moving around suspiciously to create a panic among people. Women have stopped going to the market. This has affected business of shopkeepers.


Draft medico-legal manual afresh, says expert
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 31
There are more than 45 legal Acts, directly or indirectly related to medical professionals but a majority of the doctors are not well-acquainted with the legal aspects of medical practice. This was stated by Dr L.C Gupta, a noted medico-legal consultant from Delhi during a Continuous Medical Education (CME) programme organised by the local branch of the Indian Medical Association here today.

Dr R.K Gorea, Head of the Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology of Government Medical College, said while taking consent from the patients for examination and surgical procedures, the doctors generally do not inform them about the details of treatment or procedure for which the consent had been taken which sometimes put them in trouble leading to litigations.

Dr D.S Bhullar, vice-president of the Indian Academy of Forensic Medicine, said the state government should formulate the medico-legal manual afresh with guidelines for a medico-legal examination of patients keeping in view the latest advances in the medical field and various court judgments and directions.


Service for cancer patients launched
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 31
The SGPC-run Guru Ram Das Rotary Cancer Care Hospitals here today launched a unique free home medical care service for terminally ill patients. The acting President of the SGPC, Mr Alwinder Singh Pakhoke, inaugurated the service.

The Director-Principal of the Medical Science and Research Institute, Dr U.S. Dhaliwal, said the project had been started in collaboration with Global Cancer Concern, which had specially trained their nurses to take care of poor and weak patients who are unable to visit the hospital regularly.

Brig B.V. Ahuja, Executive Director of Global Cancer Concern, said that they had provided an autorickshaw for the nurses to visit cancer patients, provide them free medicine and also monitor their condition. The nurses would counsel the patients and give them proper treatment to bear the pain.

The Guru Ram Das Cancer Hospital group would continuously monitor the condition of the patients and offer round-the-clock advice on telephone.


Highway flooded with canal water
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, May 31
The Jammu-Pathankot national highway and adjoining village of Nawapind were yesterday flooded with water, due to the alleged negligence of Irrigation Department employees who did not open the emergency gates of Upper Bari Doab Canal (UBDC).

According to the residents of the area, no employee of the department was present to open the emergency gate of UBDC at point no 11000 RD. They said the gate was opened three hours after their informing of the department. Their crops had been affected from the stagnating water on their fields.

When contacted, Mr A.K. Juneja, SDO, UBDC, said on Saturday night 5800 cusec of water was received from Ranjit Sagar Dam. However, later more than 10,000 cusec water was received.

However, Mr G.S. Gill, Director, PSEB, said it was on the permission of the Power Controller that 10,000 cusec of water was released. He also informed that the UBDC canal had the capacity of 14,000 cusec water.


Postal Dept to collect power bills
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, May 31
The Postal Department has entered into an agreement with the Punjab State Electricity Board here for the collection of electricity bills through post offices in this division.

According to Mr A.K. Tomar, Superintendent (Post), to begin with, this facility would be available at 87 post offices from tomorrow.

The facility would be later extended to a few more post offices in Abohar, Fazilka and Dharamkot sub-divisions. This scheme has so far been introduced in five districts, including Patiala, Gurdaspur, Sangrur and Ropar.

Separate codes had been allotted to all post offices offering this facility for accepting bills.


Kapoor seeks reforms in gurdwara elections
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 31
Prof Prithipal Singh Kapoor, Chairman of the Master Tara Singh Institute of Studies in Contemporary Sikh Politics, has sought electoral reforms in gurdwara elections and has urged the Chief Commissioner, Gurdwara Elections, to understand the changes that have taken place in the past 50 years in the electoral system in the country.

In a press note issued here today, Professor Kapoor said the Central Election Commission had, in its endeavour to introduce reforms, made the registration of political parties compulsory and had asked them to make certain amendments in their constitutions. No political party could be organised on the basis of being of a religious minority community. The Shiromani Akali Dal and the Muslim League had to make amendments in their constitutions.

Professor Kapoor maintained that gurdwara elections were held under the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925, and the Sikhs with specific qualifications could be registered as voters. The matter concerned the religious affairs of the Sikhs and no secular political party could take part in these elections. Only those parties concerned with the religious affairs and betterment of Sikhs were to take part in gurdwara elections, he asserted.

Professor Kapoor questioned the meeting of political parties with the Gurdwara Election Commission and said the commission had made a mistake by inviting political parties. The parties and Sikh groups taking part in gurdwara elections should affirm in the name of the Guru that they were concerned only about the Sikh religion, its sanctity and Sikh traditions. The Gurdwara Election Commission should formulate a code of conduct for the elections, he said. Provision for expenditure on elections and qualifications and reputation of candidates should be taken into consideration, he added.


Meeting of development board on June 10
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 31
A meeting of the Fatehgarh Sahib Development Board would be held on June 10 at Chandigarh, in which all development projects to be initiated in Fatehgarh Sahib keeping in view the commemoration of tercentenary of the martyrdom of Sahibjadas, would be finalised, Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner-cum-member secretary of the board, said.

A preliminary meeting of all district officials had been convened on June 2 in which requirement of funds and estimates for various projects would be discussed.

The board was constituted during the previous Badal Government and neither any meeting of the board was called nor any project finalised during its five-year term. The present government had also constituted the board and it was for the first time that the meeting had been convened.

Mr Ahluwalia said major projects likely to be finalised included the completion of four memorial gates, whose foundation stones were laid by Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, and sewerage and disposal plan for Sirhind-Fatehgarh Sahib, beautification of surroundings of Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib, and widening of roads.

The district administration had chalked out a programme for the commemoration of the 300th year of the supreme sacrifice of the Sahibjadas.


PSEB union plans rallies
Our Correspondent

Abohar, May 31
Finding the state and Union governments confused over the implementation of the Electricity Bill, 2003, the Technical Services Union of the Punjab State Electricity Board has resolved to burn copies of the Bill during rallies on June 4.

While releasing a copy of the resolution adopted at the meeting of the ad hoc committee of the union, a spokesman said the rallies would be held in the state. On June 8 the union will stage dharnas and hold demonstration in front of sub divisional offices of the board. The employees would completely suspend work on June 9 from 9 am to 5 pm. To make the agitation more effective, all allied unions will be meeting at Desh Bhagat Yadgar Hall, Jalandhar, on June 2.


Punjab seeks more power from Centre

Moga May 31
The Punjab government has sought additional electricity from the Centre to meet the shortage of 150 lakh units of power needed for paddy sowing. Punjab State Electricity Board officials said yesterday the Board required at least 1,300 lakh units during paddy season.

This is necessitated to meet the deficit of power and ensure eight hours uninterrupted power supply to the agriculture sector, the official said. The Punjab government has demanded 150 mw from the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station, the Nathpa Jhakari Power Corporation and Jammu and Kashmir. — PTI



Mr Onkar Kedia, Director (PR), Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation, New Delhi, writes: Apropos the report entitled ‘Planning Commission accepts Johl report’ (The Tribune, May 7) that “the Planning Commission of India has accepted the report of the Johl Committee on diversification for implementation in the State”. The report also mentioned that “this information has been conveyed to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, by the Union Agriculture Ministry”.

The news is not correct. At no stage has the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC), Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, intimated the State Government of Punjab or anyone else about the acceptance of the Johl Committee report by the Planning Commission. DAC, in fact, is not aware of any reaction of the Planning Commission on the report. There is, therefore, no question of any intimation of the kind referred to in the said news-item from this department.


Bar protests against judicial complex site
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, May 31
Members of the District Bar Association observed a strike here today in protest against the proposed shifting of the local judicial complex to Ram Colony Camp, 5km from the city. The construction of a new complex has been proposed at Ram Colony Camp, for which the site has been selected.

The association is demanding the new construction be done at the existing District Court Complex, from where the offices of the Deputy Commissioner, SSP, Additional Deputy Commissioner and the Treasury Officer had been shifted to the new mini secretariat.


Paddy sowing goes on
Our Correspondent

Jalalabad, May 31
Despite agricultural experts’ guidelines not to sow paddy before June 10, paddy sowing is on in this border belt. Nearly 50 per cent of paddy-sowing process has already been done.

Dr Gurbax Gagneja, an agricultural expert, said early sowing of paddy gave lower yield and exposed the crop to diseases and pest attacks. According to the Punjab State Electricity Board policy, power supply to the tubewells before June 10 was only four hours a day, he said. Farmers had to depend on diesel engines for running tubewells, which also increased cost.

He said the early sowing would also affect water table as early sown paddy was supposed to depend upon irrigation by tubewell for longer period.

Mr Gurbachan Singh, a Food and Supply official, said that paddy sown before June 10 was supposed to arrive in the market before October 1, whereas the government purchase of paddy normally started from October 1. The Minimum Support Price did not apply to the paddy which arrived before the government purchase. Last year the farmers had to sell paddy for a price less than the MSP because it arrived in the market before the fixed date.

A majority of the farmers sowing paddy in advance are unanimous in their views, that paddy was being sown in advance due to past experience as last year the crop sown after the given time was exposed to diseases. The shortage of labourers for sowing at later stage is also one of the reasons for the border farmers going for early sowing of paddy.


Inside Babudom
Planning, Sports Secretaries shifted in Punjab
Prabhjot Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
In the first major administrative reshuffle after Lok Sabha elections, the Punjab Government today shifted Sports and Planning Secretaries besides naming Mr Parag Jain as new Deputy Inspector-General of Police of Ludhiana Range.

In all 18 officers, including seven of the Police Department, were shifted and given new postings while two Directors-General of Police - Mr Sarabjit Singh and Mr A.P. Bhatnagar - retired today.

Since the Department of Sports was in a thick of controversy over the production and subsequent disappearance of file relating to the selection of six Deputy Superintendents of Police under sports quota, Mr Sarvesh Kaushal was named the new Secretary of Sports and who will hold all additional charges , including Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development, held by his predecessor, Mr D.S. Bains.

Incidentally, Mr Bains was left with the charge of Commissioner, NRIs, only.

The Department of Planning was also under a scanner for inordinate delay in finalising the State and District Plans for the current year.

Mr A.R. Talwar, who has been Registrar, Cooperatives, will be the new Secretary, Planning and Special Economic Package. Mr Talwar will also the additional charge of secretary, Higher Education and Languages.

Though Mr S.K. Sandhu has been named new Registrar, Cooperatives, the new Financial Commissioner, Cooperatives has not been named. At present, Mr A.K. Dubey is holding the additional charge after Mr Jagbir Singh Kesar retired on April 30.

Dr A.S. Chhatwal, who was with the former Union Minister of Chemicals, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, has returned to the state to be appointed Chief Administrator, PUDA, and Chief Administrator, Anandpur Sahib Urban Development Authority.

Mrs Kusumjit Sidhu will be the Secretary, Power and Mr Sanjay Kumar, will be the new Director, Industries and Commerce, and in addition will hold the charge of Secretary of these departments also. Mr G.S. Grewal goes to the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation as its new Managing Director.

Among the three PCS officers shifted today, Mr Kulwant Singh becomes Special Land Acquisition Collector in Amritsar while Mr Parveen Kumar moves to Amritsar from Hoshiarpur as Additional Deputy Commissioner. Mr Gopal Krishan has been named new Additional Deputy Commissioner of Hoshiarpur.

Police transfers

Of the seven police officers transferred today, Mr Parag Jain has been named a successor to Mr Dinkar Gupta, who on promotion as Inspector-General has gone on deputation to Intelligence Bureau as a Deputy Director.

The Chief Minister’s security is being reorganised with the appointment of a new Deputy Inspector-General and two SPs. Mr Jain’s place in the Chief Minister’s security would be taken by Mr Kanwaljit Singh Pannu.

Mr Nilabh Kishore, who has moved an application in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against posting of non-cadre officers against cadre posts, has been shifted from CM’s security and named Superintendent of Police, Special Staff, Crime, at Chandigarh. Mr Ranjit Singh becomes SP, Crime.

Another SP taken out from the Chief Minister’s security is Mr Vivek Mishra , who has been made Assistant Commandant, 13th Battalion, Punjab Armed Police at Chandigarh. Mr Nilabh Kishore and Mr Mishra are being replaced by Mr Gurdial Singh and Mr Kashmir Singh Gill in the CM’s security.


More dairies shifted out from Jalandhar city
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 31
The shifting of dairies from certain areas of the city to the Jamsher dairy complex by the municipal corporation in view of increasing gastroentritis cases continued for the second day today amidst protests by dairy owners.

The Punjab and Haryana High court, it was learnt, had given directions to the corporation to shift dairies out of the city by June 15 even as the administration felt that the major factor behind the proliferation of stomach diseases was the reported release of animal excreta on directly into sewer lines by certain dairy owners.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Gupta, had, directed the police to provide additional police force to the civic body to facilitiate the ongoing shifting of dairies and to avoid possibility of any trouble on the part of dairy owners, some of whom today complained that they had not received the notices regarding the shifting of their dairies.

With today’s action, 80 per cent of dairies from Gopal Nagar, Dhann Mohalla, Charanjit pura, Mallkan chowk, Mohindru Mohalla, Amrik Nagar, Gurdev Nagar, has been shifted.

Meanwhile, Mr Parminder Singh Kala, President of the Shastri Market Association alleged that gastroenteritis had gripped the city due to negligence on the part of civic body officials. He said the civic body water tanks had not been cleaned for a long time, which had contributed to the problem.


Four held for pilfering LPG
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, May 31
The police last night arrested four officials of Gupta Gas Service on charges of fraud, forgery, pilfering gas, selling underweight LPG cylinders and black-marketing gas. They have been booked under Section 7 of Essential Commodities Act and Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC.

DSP Jaspal Singh said godown of the agency on the Khothran road and its office on the Lohamandi road had been sealed. While owner of the gas agency Munish Gupta, a resident of New Model Town, managed to dodge the police, his father Pawan Gupta, brother Vishal Gupta, manager Jaspal Parmar, alias Bunti of Prem Nagar, and another employee Hardip singh of Daulatpur village in Una district of Himachal Pradesh were arrested. Both Pawan Gupta and Vishal Gupta had the authority to sign documents in the absence of Munish, the DSP said.

A raid was conducted on the office and godown of the agency on the direction of SSP Kapurthala S.K. Asthana following a report that pilferage of gas was being done by the owner and other officials of the agency. The pilfered gas was being filled in empty cylinders for further sale. Fake vouchers were being made and fake connections were being released by the agency, said the DSP.

The police siezed 98 seals meant for being used on IOC cylinders, seven gadgets used for pilfering gas, 1,440 domestic gas cylinders, 12 commercial cylinders, 43 Bharat Gas cylinders, four four-wheelers of the company, one truck loaded with gas cylinders and 13 autorickshaws, the DSP said. Efforts were on to arrest Munish Gupta, he added.


Vehicle thieves arrested

Amritsar, May 31
The district police today arrested Randip Kumar, alias Vijay Kumar, alias Topi, who was allegedly involved in a number of theft and looting cases along with other gang members.

This was the same gang which had opened fire on a police party on May 7 near the railway station here. A girl injured in the firing

Addressing mediapersons, Mr Kultar Singh, SSP said the accused had admitted that the gang had stolen 12 cars which it sold in Jammu and Kashmir. He said Topi, who belonged to Jammu and was living in Amritsar for the past 10 years, was wanted in many theft and rape cases. The other accused include Tejinderpal Singh alias Billa. Daljit Singh “Rocky” and Simranjit Kaur.

The SSP said the Majitha police arrested them from a place near medical enclave. A pistol, 12 cartridges and Rs 7905 in cash were seized from them.


Sub-Postmaster held on graft charge
Our Correspondent

Pharwara, May 31
Mr Gurdip Singh, Sub-Post master at the local railway station post office, was today arrested by the railway police under Sections 420 and 409 IPC for fraud and criminal breach of trust.

Two postal agents, Ms Umad Kumari and Ms Chander Kanta of Prem Nagar here, had deposited Rs 3.8 lakh at the office.

Mr Gurdip Singh gave them receipts but allegedly did not deposit the amount in the office account.

A departmental inquiry was conducted into the case by the Assistant Superintendent of the post office.


Woman ‘poisons’ daughter, self
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, May 31
A Dalit woman and her minor daughter died due to poison at Bakipur village.

According to the police, Gurmeet Kaur (45) and Narinder Kaur (17) consumed some poisonous substance mistakenly yesterday. Narinder died on the spot, while Gurmeet died at the local Civil Hospital.

The Chabal police has registered a case. Gurmeet is survived by her two sons, aged 16 and 14.

Mr Bachan Singh, a relative of Gurmeet, said Gurmeet, who was living in poverty, gave poison to her daughter and then she consumed poison.


Institute’s courses unlikely to begin by 2005
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 31
Even as the SGPC-run Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences has been permitted to start eight new postgraduate courses by the state government, the procedure to get the final nod for the new courses is quite lengthy.

The institute Principal-cum-Director, Dr U.S. Dhaliwal, had recently announced that the institute had obtained permission from the state government to start courses such as medicine, surgery, obstetrics, gynaecology, ENT, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, anesthesia and radio diagnosis in the institute.

However, according to the procedure, the permission from the state government is just the first step following which the institute needs to get permission from the Baba Farid University for Sciences.

Subsequently, the institute has to apply to the Medical Council of India, which inspects the institute for facilities before its recommendations to the Union Ministry of Health to get the final nod.

Dr Dhaliwal said they were going by the procedure. He said the institute would manage to start the courses by 2005.

However, this seems unlikely, as the MCI reportedly takes up applications only once in a year and that, too, in January for which the last date is January 31. This would be followed by a inspection by the MCI team.

The team would gives its recommendations to the Union Ministry. Accordingly, the courses were unlikely to start before 2006.


Varsity gives Punjabi a jolt
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 31
Punjabi University today passed a proposal for reducing marks for Punjabi at the graduation level after the university’s Punjabi Department Board of Studies rejected the proposal, saying that it was against the very idea under which the university had been founded.

The university today held a meeting of college principals on the campus, which was presided over by Vice-Chancellor Swarn Singh Boparai. The meeting was attended by 60 principals of various colleges, the Dean, Colleges, the Dean, Language facility, and the Registrar of the university.

A proposal was passed to reduce the marks allocated to both Punjabi and English at the graduation level from 100 to 50, besides creating a 100 marks paper on computer application. The proposal was adopted with only a few principals speaking out against it. These principals said the university should ensure equal marks for Punjabi, English and computer application. A university press note. claimed that only five of the 60 principals did not agree to the proposal.

Earlier, the university had involved college principals in February to get the same proposal through. However, the proposal fell in rough weather, with the university's Punjabi Department Board of Studies rejecting it recently. The then department head, Ms Balwinder Kaur Brar, said she could not betray the language she was serving. The new Head of the Department, Dr S.K. Verma, said he did not have any information of the latest decision.

Sources said the proposal would now be put before the Academic Council following which it would be adopted.


School improves performance in CBSE exam
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 31
In the results of the CBSE Class X examination, declared recently, Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 37-B, has achieved an overall pass percentage of 84.86 compared to 73.9 per cent last year.

The principal of the school said the school had registered an increase of around 10 per cent in the overall pass percentage compared to the previous year.

The pass percentage of other model schools were, GMSSS, Sector 20 (78.9 per cent), GMSSS, Sector 21 (77.7 per cent), GMSSS and Sector 35 (87.5 per cent).


PTU repeats last year’s question paper
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 31
A major incident of negligence by the management of Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar, has came to light with the university repeating exactly the same question paper of pharmaceutical chemistry (part III), set in the last semester, here today.

According to sources, the university has repeated the same question paper which was set for the semester examination held in December last year. They added that even the sequence of questions was the same. “It appears that the university has tried to save funds by not inviting any papersetter from outside’’, they added.

Students demanded that a high-level body should probe the issue and the guilty should be punished as it was a matter of their career. They further alleged that even the revaluation results of the December examination had not been declared yet.


B.Com III result today
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 31
The result of B Com (professional) III examination held in April by Guru Nanak Dev University would be declared on June 1. The result can also be seen on the university Website, www. gnduonline.org, after 5p.m.


Egyptians visit Rail Coach Factory
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, May 31
A delegation of the Egyptian Railway (ENR) comprising ENR East Delta Director A.M.A. Khudier and Engineering Director S.A.S. Orikat today visited Rail Coach Factory (RCF) here to explore the possibility of importing coaches from India.

The delegation visited the workshop and appreciated the efforts of the factory to adopt German technology. Salient features of the various types of coaches produced here were explained to visitors.

RCF has placed bids to export coaches to Bangladesh, Sudan and other countries. Delegations from these countries had also visited the factory a few months ago. RCF is expected to get export orders from these countries negotiations are at the final stages, according to official sources.


Banks disburse Rs 645 crore in Ropar district
Tribune News Service

Ropar, May 31
Banks extended a credit of Rs 645 crore in the Ropar district against the target of Rs 412 crore for the financial year 2003- 2004. The Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, Ms Seema Jain, gave this information after chairing the meeting of the district consulting coordination committee today.

Congratulating the banks for exceeding the target, Ms Jain said more than 68 per cent for the total credit in the last financial year was extended to agriculture sector and Rs 67 crore credit against a target of Rs 58 crore was extended to the small-scale industry.

The credit in the housing, retail business and education also saw a phenomenal increase in the district. Against the target of Rs 80 crore loan, Rs 291 crore were disbursed in the above said sectors.

Under the Prime Ministers Rozgar Yojna, banks distributed Rs 4.5 crore to 500 educated youth. The total deposits in the banks of the district also increased from Rs 2098 crore to Rs 2270 crore, she said.

The meeting was attended by Mr V.K. Puri, Chief Officer, UCO bank, Mr Ram Krishan, AGM, RBI, and Mr Dinesh Kapila, DDM, NABARD, among others.

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