P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



SGPC poll
Ravi Inder not to support Mann’s candidature
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 2
The President of the Akali Dal Mr Ravi Inder Singh, today rejected the idea to support the candidature of the SAD (A) President, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, for the post of SGPC chief in the post-election scenario.

Addressing mediapersons here, Mr Ravi Inder Singh said there was no move to support the candidature of Mr Mann. “In fact, Mr Mann is a former police officer and a politician, hence one cannot identify him as a religious personality. Besides, we have decided to support a capable person who can promote Sikhism,” he said.

Regarding the SGPC elections, he said senior party leader Jasbir Singh Rode had convened a meeting of like-minded parties and religious organisations here on June 3 to deliberate upon the issue of identification of candidates, whom his party would extend support.

“The list of candidates to be supported by us will be prepared on June 4 and their names would be announced by June 5. Besides, it is decided to support candidates with clean image, irrespective of their political and religious affiliations,” he said. The SAD candidates with good image could also be supported as his party had ideological differences with Mr Parkash Singh Badal and there was nothing personal against the candidates.

When asked that Mr Badal had time and again dubbed him as a “Congress agent”, Mr Ravi Inder Singh said the former Chief Minister was in the habit of levelling vague allegations against his political opponents as he (Badal) used to mention the late Gurcharan Singh Tohra as a Congress agent till he buried all the differences with Mr Badal.

He said Mr Badal had caused extreme damage to Sikh religious institutions during his stint as Chief minister. “We are fighting for the removal of Mr Badal coterie from the religious institutions,” he added.

Jalandhar: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) received a jolt when SGPC member Partap Singh today resigned from the party to formally join the Akali Dal headed by Ravi Inder Singh.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Partap Singh alleged SAD chief and former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had caused ir-repairable loss to the Sikh Panth during the past one decade. He was leaving the party as he wanted to work for propagating Sikh traditions and culture, which, according to him, was not possible if he remained a member of the SAD.

Earlier also Mr Partap Singh had left the party in protest against election of the then president of the SGPC in November, 2002. He later joined the All-India Shiromani Akali Dal, headed by Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra. He alleged Mr Badal had sold interests of the state to the BJP and the RSS for personal benefits, but it was not acceptable to him being a humble Sikh.


Baldev Mann to revive SAD (Longowal)
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 2
Akali leaders “ignored” by SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal have finally made up their mind to revive the Shiromani Akali Dal (Longowal) by announcing its organisational structure in the second week of this month.

Talking to TNS over the phone this afternoon, Mr Baldev Singh Mann, expelled SAD leader and former general secretary of the party and a staunch supporter of Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, said besides other leaders, Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra, suspended SAD leader, might also be a part of the SAD (Longowal). He said they would request Mr Surjit Singh Barnala to head Dal by resigning from the post of Governor of Andhra Pradesh.

Mr Mann said the modalities were being worked out to announce the organisational structure of the SAD (Longowal) in the second week of June. He said he would also hold meetings and tour different parts of the state for strengthening the SAD (Longowal).

Mr Mann alleged Mr Badal had made the SAD his “personal property”, and he had been expelling or suspending the dedicated SAD leaders from the party. He said he had neither contested the Lok Sabha election as a rebel candidate nor he had supported any rebel candidate, despite this he had been expelled from the party by Mr Badal.

Mr Mann also announced that his group in coordination with Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra and other Panthic organisations would contest the SGPC elections. He had been authorised to select candidates at a meeting held at his residence at Sular Gharat village, near Dirba today. He said he would announce candidates for the SGPC elections for the Sangrur and Dirba areas shortly.

He also criticised Mr Badal for his statement that Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister, was a noble person, but the Congress was very bad for the Sikhs. He asked Mr Badal to explain to Sikhs how Dr Manmohan Singh could be a noble person when he had to implement the policies of the Congress. He also termed the Congress as “number one enemy” of the Sikhs.

Mr Mann also lashed out at Mr Badal for stating that the SAD MPs would raise their voice in the Lok Sabha in favour of Punjab issues, like the transfer of Chandigarh and Punjabi-speaking areas to Punjab, and Punjab’s right over the river waters. He said Mr Badal was adopting “double-standard” in this case, as he had never raised voice in favour of these issues when he was in power from 1997 to 2002. He also stated that Mr Badal was now diverting the attention of the Sikhs by making such statements.

The meeting, held today at Mr Baldev Singh Mann’s residence, was attended, among others, by Mr Kashmir Singh Karrial, a SAD leader; Mr Darshan Singh, president of Nagar Panchayat, Dirba, Mr Kirpal Singh, Chairman of the Punjab Agriculture Development Bank (PADB), Dirba, and Mr Jasbir Singh, Vice-Chairman, PADB, Dirba.


Dist Cong (rural) not to contest poll
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 2
The District Congress (rural) at a meeting held here today unanimously decided not to participate in the coming SGPC elections.

The meeting with district SC, BC, kisan cells, besides youth and Mahila wings, presided over by the district chief, Mr Inderjit Baserke, passed a resolution to stay away from the elections scheduled for July 11, according to a press note.

Talking about the importance of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), members felt that the committee was an appropriate authority to look after the affairs of gurdwaras. Mr Baserke said only religious organisations/persons and not political parties, should associate themselves with the elections.


SGPC backdates transfers
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 2
With a view to circumvent the model code of conduct issued by the Gurdwara Election Commission, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee today made certain backdated transfers.

Mr Raghbir Singh, personal assistant to the SGPC chief, claimed the transfers were effected on May 28. However, it is learnt that instead of issuing formal orders through the Secretary, SGPC, certain officials of the committee were directed to report at particular places on the basis of “relieving slips.”

Earlier, Mr Parkash Singh Badal had refused to oblige Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta for transferring the controversial personal assistant to the SGPC chief, Mr Raghbir Singh, on the pretext that no transfer could be made due to the enforcement of the model code of conduct.


308 polling stations for SGPC poll
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, June 2
Mr B.R. Banga, Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Election Officer, yesterday said that 308 polling stations would be set up for Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections, to be held on July 11.

He said that 90 polling stations would be set up at Malout, 98 at Gidderbaha, 72 at Doda and 48 at Muktsar.


Drive to identify sensitive areas
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
The Gurdwara Election Commission has launched a drive to identify sensitive polling stations in Punjab in view of the July 11 SGPC elections.

Even though Chief Commissioner of Gurdwara Elections, J.S. Sekhon refused to divulge details about the identification drive, official sources revealed that senior officers attached with the election commission were carrying out extensive surveys in all districts to spot booths vulnerable to violence.

According to reports compiled after a preliminary inquiry, the entire Amritsar district was sensitive. Muktsar district too was “susceptible to aggression” during the SGPC poll. They also expressed apprehensions about security arrangements in some pockets of Patiala district.

The sources asserted that the commission would demand the deployment of paramilitary forces at sensitive polling booths during the SGPC elections.


Crisis in Chief Khalsa Divan
Rival group seeks PM’s intervention
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 2
The mediation efforts being made by Akal Takht to resolve the crisis in the Chief Khalsa Divan, the oldest Sikh institution, suffered a setback today when some senior members wrote to the Prime Minister seeking his intervention in conducting free and fair poll at the earliest .

Some of the members, in a letter to the convener of the diwan have raised objections over the ‘backdoor’ entry of Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, honorary secretary, SGPC, and Mr Tarlochan Singh, chairman, National Commission For Minorities, in the ‘four-member advisory panel’ . However, Principal Jagdish Singh (convener) said they (Mr Calcutta and Mr Tarlchan Singh ) were invited to facilitate the functioning of the diwan only .

The letter addressed to the Prime Minister reads, “ It saddens us to bring to your notice a grave undoing of the Sikh cause . It is a matter of shame that the oldest Sikh institution established in 1904 through the intervention of the Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, is today languishing without direction”.

The letter sought intervention of the Prime Minister to ensure that the affairs of the Sikh institution were not meddled with and hence free and fair elections were held as per the Societies Act.

The elections of the office-bearers of the Chief Khalsa Divan were due in November 2003 . The letter alleged the outgoing regime, aided and abetted by Mr Tarlochan Singh and Mr Calcutta, managed to scuttle the elections by resorting to some tactics . The members alleged that out of 543 members, 60 per cent were declared ineligible for casting votes . The ousted members included luminaries like Dr J.S. Neki, Mr Shamsher Singh of Kahnpur , Mr Jaspal Singh and Mr Kewal Singh of Mumbai.


Residents may be consuming infected meat
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Ropar, June 2
Next time you plan to eat meat, think twice. You maybe eating meat of an infected animal slaughtered in unhygienic conditions. The meat consumed could infect you with microbes causing diseases like rabies, TB, gastroenteritis, and skin diseases. Besides you could also get infected with parasites like tapeworms that may be infecting the animals being consumed.

The reason for this is that there is no slaughter house in most towns of the district, leave aside villages. In Ropar, Kurali, Morinda and Nurpur Bedi towns the animals are slaughtered openly in unhygienic conditions in shops or private premises of the sellers without any checking or authorization by any veterinary doctor.

According to the Punjab Municipal Act it was the duty of municipal councils to provide proper slaughter houses.

The slaughtering of animals at places other than slaughter houses or marked places is banned. It is the duty of a sanitary inspector of the municipal council and the local government veterinary doctor to check the sanitary conditions and the health of the animal slaughtered.

According to the rules, a veterinary officer has to check pre-and-post slaughter condition of animals. After ensuring that they are fit for human consumption, he has to stamp them before the meat is sold in the open market. However, in the absence of proper slaughter houses, none of the laid down procedures is followed.

A veterinary doctor on condition of anonymity told this correspondent that he could examine the animals only if they were slaughtered at a proper place.

It was practically impossible to go to different private premises and check the fitness of slaughtered animals.

Even at places like Nangal where the slaughter houses do exist the laid down procedure is not followed. At Nangal in the recent past a lot of birds perished after consuming the 'leftover' of the slaughtered animals. At that time the entire waste of the slaughter house was also being discharged into the river Sutlej.

After the incident the municipal council authorities connected the waste pipe of the slaughter house with the sewerage of the BBMB. However, now once again sewerage pipes have choked and the waste is following directly into the river. The animals are kept in the slaughter houses by the butchers creating unhygienic conditions there.

As per the notification issued by the department of local government the veterinary doctors have to be paid an honorarium of Rs 250 per month for checking the animal slaughtered for human consumption. However, none of the council pays the amount to the veterinary officers that explains no checking of slaughtered animal is being carried out.

The disposal of the waste generated from the slaughtered animals was another problem. In the absence of any suitable place for disposal the river Sutlej and the canal passing through Ropar were a favourite for dumping the waste.

A sanitary inspector of the Ropar council said that they recently confiscated infected meat from the shops and threw in the Sirhind canal. In the absence of any proper place for disposal they have no alternative but to dispose it in the canal or river, he told TNS.

Besides failing to provide healthy meat for human consumption, open slaughtering of the animal also violates the provisions under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960.


Punjab wants educational qualifications relaxed
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Punjab is for a relaxation in the educational qualifications for recruitment of SC/ST youths in the Army. This issue, among others, will be taken up with Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh by Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh next week.

An advance copy of the memorandum to be discussed with the Prime Minister has been sent to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) by the state government. The meeting is likely to be held on June 8. The Chief Minister will be accompanied by five senior ministers and three senior officers.

At present only matriculates with minimum 45 per cent marks are eligible for recruitment in the Army. The state government wants that in the case of SC and ST youths, the marks percentage should be lowered to 33 per cent.

“Most SC and ST youths fulfil all physical requirements but the 45 per cent marks condition becomes a big hurdle for them”, said a senior officer.

Punjab also want a major change in the criteria laid down by the Union Government to enlist below poverty line ( BPL) families. Under the existing criteria, only a few thousand families qualify for the BPL tag. The state government wanted that the cost of living should be included as one of determining factors to select BPL families. Because of the low ratio of BPL families, Punjab gets only a 0.7 per cent share from the total allocation of several thousand crores for poverty alleviation whereas the states like Maharashtra and Bihar take away huge shares”.

Another issue is the allocation of Rs 1280 crore for the implementation of the Johl Committee report on diversification of agriculture. The Union Agriculture Minister has accepted the report in principal and has asked the state government to submit an action plan for its partial implementation. However, the Punjab Government is for implementation of the report in toto.

The state government will also request the Prime Minister to waive the Rs 3772 cr Central loan while Capt Amarinder Singh claims that the loan has not been waived, SAD President Parkash Singh Badal has been misleading people on this issue. “The state government has taken the plea that as loan amount had been spent on the security forces deployed to deal with militancy in the state in the eighties, the Centre should foot the bill”, said the officer.

Punjab would also seek various tax exemptions on industry on the Himachal and J and K pattern. A large number of industrialists have shifted their units to these neighbouring states from Punjab because of the tax exemption factor.


‘I was sold off for 12 lakh by my uncle’
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
A young girl has approached the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC), alleging that her paternal uncle and his wife, who brought her up, forcibly married her off to an elderly rich Non-Resident Indian (NRI) for a sum of Rs 12 lakh.

The girl has also sought protection from the Commission.

In her petition, filed through human rights activist and lawyer Charanjit Singh Bakhshi, Ms Rajdeep Kaur has stated that after her mother died when she was just four-month-old, she was taken by her maternal uncle, Mohinder Singh, and his wife. Her father, she states, was an alcoholic.

Claming that she was abused and tortured by her uncle and his family, Rajdeep has said that sometime back she was sold off to one Baldev Singh Johal, who is a NRI, a divorcee.

The amount taken by her uncle, his wife and his two sons - Rajwinder Singh and Kuldep Singh - was Rs 12 lakh.

Her 'husband', Baldev Singh Johal, she has claimed, informed her about the deal and raped and abused her repeatedly.

She has also told the Commission that her uncle's son and his friend got some documents forcibly signed from her after administering her drugs. These documents, she had claimed, were later used by the respondents for getting her "illegal marriage" registered even though she never went to the office of Registrar of Marriages.

On May 31, she finally escaped from the clutches of her 'husband' and approached the Commission.

Incidentally, the girl has also told the Commission that despite bringing the matter to the notice of the SHO, Jandiala (Jalandhar), nothing was done.

After hearing advocate Bakhshi, Justice N.C. Jain, Chairperson, and Justice RL Anand, Member, of the PSHRC, observed that the matter was of a very serious nature.

They have sought a report from the Punjab Home Department by June 7.

Noting that the girl faced threat to her life, the Commission has also directed the Jalandhar Deputy Commissioner to make arrangement for the safe stay of the girl at Nari Niketan or Sanjivni, an institution managed by a non-governmental organisation.

The Commission has also ordered that the girl be again brought to the Commission on June 7 with proper security.


BSP expels Sahungara
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 2
The BSP has terminated the primary membership of Mr Shingara Ram Sahungara, a former MLA, for anti-party activities.

Mr Narinder Kashyap, national general secretary of the party, and Mr Avtar Singh Karimpuri, state president, in a press note issued here today, said Mr Sahungara had worked against the party candidates during the Lok Sabha elections.

Another party leader, Mr Amar Singh, was also expelled from the party for anti-party activities.


Miss India World respects Lakshmi’s decision
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 2
“I respect the decision of Lakshmi Pandit, who returned the crown of Miss India World — 2004,” said Femina Miss India World — 2004 Sayali Bhagat.

Addressing mediapersons here today, she said though Lakshmi Pandit returned the crown out of embarrassment and pressure, society and the media played a responsible role and helped her to take such step.

Sayali Bhagat launched the admission process of National Institute of Fashion Design. She said she admired Lara Dutta, who was her role model, as a perfect blend of beauty and brain. She said she had worked for the protection of wildlife and providing medical aid to tribal people.

When asked whether she would try her luck in Bollywood, she said she had already acted in a Telugu film and she would not think of joining Indian cinema at least for one year. She pointed out that traditional Indian costumes, jewellery and make-up items had been getting fast recognition internationally and added that even the British girls had started sporting “bindi” as a fashion.

Sayali Bhagat presently occupied with language training and physical fitness for the Miss World Contest scheduled to be held in December in China.

“Chase your dreams and have faith in God,” is her message to the youngsters.


Probe into dismantling of heavy water plant sought
Tribune News Service

Ropar, June 2
Statement of Union Chemicals and Fertilizers minister Ram Vilas Paswan regarding dropping of disinvestment of National Fertilizers (NFL) was hailed here yesterday. Chairman of the Punjab Pollution Control Board K.P.S. Rana claimed that disinvestment of the NFL has been dropped due to efforts of Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.

The Chief Minister told the Union Minister that disinvestment of the NFL, second largest producer of nitrogenous fertilisers in the country, would hit farmers of Punjab. NFL has two plants in Punjab at Nangal and Bathinda. Privatisation of the company would have affected employment provided by these units.

Mr Rana demanded an inquiry into the dismantling of the Nangal-based heavy water plant. He alleged that Rs 200 crore, Asia’s oldest heavy water at National Fertilizers plant at Nangal was dismantled by the Department of Atomic Energy last year.

Six months after the dismantling of plant the disinvestment of NFL was derailed. Why did the government waste a public investment of Rs 200 crore to disinvest the profit-making NFL company, he asked.

Workers of NFL alleged that scarp of the plant that produced 99.9 per cent heavy water for the atomic plants of the country was now lying at Nangal.

Heavy water plant of Nangal with installed capacity of 15 metric tonnes of heavy water a year was set up at Nangal in 1962. It was operated by workers of the NFL under supervision of the Department of Atomic Energy. Besides employment to NFL workers the heavy water plant provided work to local small transporters here.

Workers here had been agitating against disinvestment of NFL.

Dr Arya, a deputy CMO in the NFL Hospital, was shifted to Vijaypur for spearheading the agitation against disinvestment of the company. He resigned and carried on the agitation.

Many workers also took voluntary retirement due to fear of disinvestment.


Mayor’s apology sought over gastro toll
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 2
The existing differences between a group of Congress councillors owing allegiance to the Punjab Technical Education Minister, Mr Mahinder Singh Kaypee, and the Mayor, Mr Surinder Mahey, came to the fore once again when the former sought public apology from Mr Mahey over his recent statement pertaining to cases of gastroenteritis in the city.

In a press conference held here today, the councillors said even though around 10 residents of the locality had died due to gastric problems the Mayor had been covering it up by saying that none of the fatalities were due to the disorder. They said the statement had come as a cruel joke on hundreds of Dalits of the affected area.

Mr Sardari Lal, Mr Balbir Singh Chauhan, both Congress councillors, and Mr Manoj Arora, secretary, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, said Mr Surinder Mahey should publicly apologise for his statement in a week’s time or they would be forced to gherao him.

The councillors said in spite of assurances from the Municipal Corporation authorities, no water pipeline had been installed in the area. They alleged that water scarcity had become a major problem for the residents of the area as the number of water tankers being provided to the residents of the area was inadequate.

Lambasting the authorities and the Mayor for their negligence, the councillors said the problem arose as the water tank in the area had not been cleaned for more than four years. They said the amount of bleaching powder that needed be added in the water tank was inadequate.

The Mayor, when contacted, said he had issued the statement in accordance with the inquiry report of the Deputy Commissioner, according to which there had been just one death due to gastroenteritis. He said the casualties were not due to the illness.


Writer’s Home awaits repair
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 2
The establishment of the Congress government seemed to be a red letter day for the Writer’s Home which is the only residential facility for writers in the state as part of the State Language-Department headquarters here. The Home, which needs repairs, was promised a facelift by Higher Education Minister Harnam Das Johar during a surprise visit to the city, nearly a year ago.

The minister noticed that carpets had been eaten away at the Home by termites and the furniture was broken and toilets unusable. He was told that writers had abandoned the Home because even the electricity supply had been cut off for long periods. The minister had ordered that work should be undertaken to restore the Home to its former glory. He had announced that Rs 50 lakh would be given for the purpose. The promise, however, remained on paper as nothing has been done so far. The Languages Department authorities do not keep the Home open for writers as it is locked most of the time and the key is with an employee who works in the main

building. Writers remember the first five to six years after the building was built in 1992 during the tenure of Chief Minister Beant Singh. It was a modernistic building and had all modern amenities.

Besides air-conditioned rooms, it also had dormitories. All rooms were tastefully decorated with each one having its own theme.

Amarjit Singh, a writer from the city, said the situation had come to such a pass because the state government did not allocate any funds for the maintenance of the Home. No staff had been provided and it could not even be cleaned properly. “Staff was taken from the Languages Department to cater to urgent needs”, he said.


Sewage gives residents a headache
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 2
For residents of Baba Deepsinghnagar and Shakti Nagar, a modern urban town does not exist. Situated on the outskirts of the city, they may as well not be counted as its residents also. This is because they have to time and again face the problem of sewerage water overflowing into their compounds with no help in sight.

At present, the residents of these colonies are dealing with the problem of stinking the sewerage water which has crept close to their doorsteps and shops. Mr Kuldeep Singh of Deepsinghnagar, while talking to TNS, said the problem had occurred when one of the sewer was blocked.

Mr Kuldeep Singh and others, including Mr Teja Singh and Mr Rajinder Kumar, said this time around the sewerage water had been accumulating close to their houses and plots in both colonies for the past 25 days. “We have been approaching the authorities concerned but to no avail”, they added.

Mr Rajinder Kumar said he had submitted complaints at the Tripri complaint centre and also at the A Tank complaint centre but there was no response. He said the residents had first been told that the fault was a major one and could be set right manually. He said following this, they learnt that a machine had been despatched to the colonies nearby to tackle the problem. “But sadly the machine did not come to us because we were told it was required somewhere else urgently. It seems our urgency is still to be understood by the municipal corporation”, they added.

Meanwhile, residents of the area said they were facing problems as there was a profusion of mosquitoes in the area. We fear for our children as they may contact water-borne diseases, they added.


Onset of summer adds to water shortage
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, June 2
With the onset of summer, water crisis in the area has deepened.

In Mission Road, Rampura Mohalla, Bhadroya, Preet Nagar, localities the situation has become alarming and people have resorted to dharnas against the administration demanding restoration of water supply.

Dhar Kalan contrary to claims of the authorities residents claim that they get water twice, that too for short period. Dev Raj of Kuther village here said, some water connections in village were not functional.

The worst affected villages are Harial, Tarheti, Sukhnial, Rog, Bhanguri, and Bhagar. The PSEB officials have disconnected supply of electricity to Lift Irrigation Schemes due to non-payment of bills.

The government had launched lift irrigation schemes (LIS) for Kandi areas, as the people of these areas depend upon rain for their water needs.

The leaders of the Water Users Societies Partap Singh, Sukhnial, Parshotam, Harial Tarheti, Ishwar Pathania, Rog, Anita Pathania, Bhanguri, said, “We had been getting electricity free of Cost during the SAD-BJP regime, but the Congress government led by Capt Amarinder Singh, had not only withdrawn the facility but also billed us heavily.”

They alleged on July 25 last year, the DC Gurdaspur, at Khula Darbar in Dhar area had promised to redress this problem, but nothing had been done.

The people of the area also met PSEB Administrative Member Raman Bhalla in this connection but was not able to solve their problems. The people of the area demanded the restoration of electricity connections and charges according to old tariff.


SGPC for special visas to Pak Sikhs
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 2
SGPC secretary Dalmegh Singh has urged the Union Government to issue special visas to Pakistani Sikhs for participating in the 400th Gurpurb celebrations of the installation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The celebrations begin at the Golden Temple on September 1.

In a communication to Mr Natwar Singh, Minister for External Affairs, the SGPC here today said thousands of Sindhi Sikhs, led by Mr Hari Singh, president, Gurdwara Baba Nanak Sahib Parbandhak Committee, Deharki, District Ghorki (Sindh, Pakistan), had expressed desire to participate in the celebrations. Mr Dalmegh Singh requested the minister to ask the Indian High Commissioner at Islamabad to issue them necessary visas.

He said the SGPC would undertake the responsibility of their boarding, loading and travelling.


‘Rationalists’ visit murdered boy’s house
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, June 2
Two members of the Tarksheel (Rationalists) Society, Punjab, Mr Jaswinder Singh and Mr Ghansham, visited Hussainpur Dulowal village, near Sultanpur Lodhi, where a 12-year-old Dalit schoolboy, Jatinder, was beaten and strangulated on May 15 allegedly by a village farmer and his mother, who suspected the boy had stolen vegetables from their field.

A press note issued by the members here today dismissed the allegation of theft and said it was a case of feudal domination. The members visited the house of the boy’s family.

The Tarksheel Society members alleged that even though the farmer, Kulwinder Singh, had been arrested, his mother Joginder Kaur had not been arrested. They demanded that the Prevention of Atrocities on Scheduled Castes Act should be invoked as well as a case of murder registered. 


Dharna against anti-encroachment drive
Our Correspondent

Jalalabad, June 2
Shopkeepers here yesterday observed a bandh and staged a dharna to protest against the anti-encroachment drive launched by local Municipal Council.

The spokesman for traders alleged that for the past so many years they had been paying a local tax for utilising municipal land and that they had not encroached upon any land.

Mr Sandeep Kumar a general store merchant, said the drive was launched without prior notice.

He alleged that council employees started picking up the goods which were inside the shops.

Dr Ashwani Midha president of the local unit of the BJP, alleged that only those shopkeepers were targeted who had not supported the Congress candidate in the parliamentary poll.

Mr Jagjit Singh, Executive Officer of the Municipal Council, said the anti-encroachment drive was launched as per the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and proper announcement was made before launching the drive. 


Missing demand draft
Tribune News Service

Ropar, June 2
A demand draft for Rs 10,000 has gone missing in the office of District Development and Panchayats Officer (DDPO) Ropar.

Mr Surjeet Singh, a former sarpanch of Teur village in Kharar tehsil, was directed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court to deposit the amount with the DDPO in a subjudice case. The sarpanch has now won the case and the court has ordered the DDPO to refund the amount.

However, when he moved an application for the refund, the sarpanch was told that there was no record of the deposit in the DDPO office.

Meanwhile, the DC has ordered an inquiry.


Council to take note of doc’s negligence
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 2
The Punjab Medical Council has asked people to bring any act of negligence and misconduct on the part of any registered medical practitioner into its notice.

In a statement here yesterday, Dr Yash Sharma, a member of the council, said, “The objective of the council was to create awareness among people, about their rights. He added that the council has semi-judicial powers to inquire into complaints and matters pertaining to doctors.


NZCC holds exhibitions
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 2
The North Zone Cultural Centre today organised a series of paintings and other exhibitions at Banasar Art Gallery here today.

The artists behind the show were from Creative Mind Art Ltd.

One was Mr Balwinder Singh’s oil painting demonstration while the other was a wooden sculpture exhibition which was conducted by Mr Jaswinder Singh.

Mr Daljit Singh depicted various aspects of human life in his colour pencil exhibition.

The exhibitions were inaugurated by the Mayor, Mr Vishnu Sharma, in the presence of Director of the NZCC, Mr R.T, Jindal, and other artists.


Body of missing child found

Hoshiarpur, June 2
The body of three-year-old Jashan, daughter of Pritam Singh of Sataur, was found in a water body of a village field this morning.

According to police sources, Jashan suddenly disappeared while she was playing with the children in the village yesterday. Paramjit Singh, father of the deceased who is a daily wage labourer, searched his daughter everywhere but could not trace her. Sources said children of the village spotted her clothes in the water course while they were playing there this morning. — OC


Freedom fighter dead

Bathinda, June 2
Freedom fighter Partap Singh (90), who died following a cardiac arrest, was cremated here today. A large number of persons were present during his cremation. SDM Bathinda S.K. Mittal was one of them. He paid floral tributes to the deceased. Partap Singh had remained in the Gujranwala jail (now in Pakistan) during the freedom struggle. — OC


Notice issued to Sports Dept Jt Secy
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 2
The court case regarding alleged irregularities in the recent selection of Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSP) by the Punjab Government took a new turn today.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued a contempt notice to Punjab Sports Department Joint Secretary D.S. Longia for non compliance of court orders.

It may be recalled despite court orders to the Punjab Government to produce the file of the Sports Department pertaining to the selections by May 29, the government failed to do so.

The file had been directed to be submitted to the court by the Bench of Chief Justice and two other Judges during hearing on May 27. However, on the request of counsel for the government, the time was later extended till May 29.


Villagers protest against irrigation officials
Our Correspondent

Abohar, June 2
Farmers of the villages located along the Lambi sub-canal sat in a dharna at the Irrigation Office complex here today and held a demonstration against the officials.

The protesters had come from Dodewala, Pattisadiq, Sherewala, Rajpura, Bahavwala, Jhorarkhera and Heerawali villages.

In a memorandum faxed to the Chief Engineer (Irrigation) and the Punjab Chief Minister, they said the local engineers of the department had been “fooling” them for the past seven years and their grievances were not addressed. Their problem was the insufficient and irregular supply of water in the sub-canal. It had resulted in damage to the crop and delayed sowing.

They said the agitation might be continued for an indefinite period, if senior officers failed to respond promptly.


Ban on sale of reflectors on main roads
Tribune News Service

Ropar, June 2
The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Seema Jain, today stepped in to save the truckers and other vehicle owners from being looted by traders selling reflectors in connivance with certain policemen. In an order passed today, she has stopped the sale of reflectors on the main roads of the district.

The policemen reportedly used to stop vehicles, mostly trucks and taxis. Illiterate drivers of these vehicles were told to buy reflectors by the policemen.

While a small reflector was sold at Rs 120 and the big reflector was sold at Rs 200. Mostly the drivers were not issued any receipt for the purchase of reflectors. When The Tribune team inquired about the sale of reflectors from a naka laid on the National Highway, those selling told that they were employees of a Delhi-based company.

They claimed that they had the permission to sell the reflectors and the policemen were there to regulate the traffic. However, inquiries from certain truckers revealed that the reflectors were being forcibly sold to them at the behest of policemen.

Further inquiries revealed that the traders involved in the act were only given the permission to spread awareness among the consumers regarding the use of reflectors on vehicles. Owners of tractor-trollies and other small vehicles that did not have the rear light indicators were their target groups.

They misused the permission by manipulating the police in their favour. They used to take “help” from the constables of the Ropar police stations for forcibly selling the reflectors at exorbitant costs to the commuters.


Govt employees go without salary for months
Tribune News Service

Ropar, June 2
With Congress ministers fighting against each other, governance and administration has taken a back seat in the state. Thousands of employees have been going without salary for the past several months due to the absence of ministers from their offices.

The worst hit are employees of panchayat samities in the state who have been going without salary for the past eight to nine months. The employees include panchayat secretaries who were appointed by the government on contract. They got their last salary in September, 2003.

Some employees told The Tribune that they had been posted in areas far off from their homes. Most employees are being forced to take loans from moneylenders to make their both ends meet.

Enquires revealed that poor administration had forced panchayat samiti employees to go without salary. The grants are issued to panchayat samitis of the state on quarterly basis. In the quarter leading from September to December, 2003 the entire grant for panchayat samitis was deposited in the contributory provident fund (CPF) of the employees as arrears.

The grant for quarter leading from January to March, 2004 lapsed as the authorities concerned failed to withdraw it within the stipulated period. The estimate for the third quarter had been sent to the authorities concerned but it was yet to evoke any response.

Teachers of aided schools are the other category who have been hit hard. Around 10,000 teachers of aided schools in the state have been going without salary for the past five months. They were last paid in December 2003.

Sources revealed that though the grant was available with the DPI (grants), it could not be released due to bureaucratic formalities. The DPI (grants) has been awaiting sanction from the government to deposit the CPF of employees of the aided schools before releasing the grant.

Mr Gian Singh, DPI (grants), when contacted said sanction regarding the deposition of the CPF was expected soon. Once the sanction was received, the grants would be released to the aided schools immediately, he added.

The teachers of the aided school have, however, decided to adopt the path of agitation if their salary are not released. A meeting of the Teachers’ Union of Aided Schools has been called in Jalandhar on June 4 to decide on the future course of action.

Besides, old age pensioners are also feeling the heat. They were last paid pension in haste before the implementation of the election code. But they are yet to receive the next instalment of pension.


Official suspended for aiding octroi evasion
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 2
Three truckloads of textiles from Surat and Bhiwindi divert to a pre-marked access route to the city in the dead of the night. The octroi “moharr” (officer in charge of octroi barrier) issues octroi receipt and lets goods worth lakhs cross the barrier. An octroi evasion of Rs 48,000 takes place in just three minutes.

Rajbir Singh, the “moharr”, issues an entry receipt for the three trucks. In a single receipt, he writes 123 quintals and carefully separates the first digit with a slash, thus making it appear as 1/23 (one quintal and twenty three kg). Octroi is paid for goods that are a little over one quintal at the rate of Rs 150 per quintal.

He makes a smooth evasion of Rs 18,450 in one go. The same night, the other two trucks evade octroi in a similar fashion. The “moharr” carefully avoids the use of carbon paper.

Interestingly, the arrival of the second truck is noted a minute after the first truck’s arrival. After evading the octroi, the trucks are escorted by armed escorts to their destinations.

The fact that all trucks carrying textiles are received by a single officer and their timing raises the suspicion of municipal corporation officials who are keeping a vigil on the octroi officer, after receiving a tip off, says Mr K.S. Kang, MC Commissioner.

He confirmed that the octroi official was suspended and charge-sheeted today and the MC was proceeding to lodge an FIR against him after an in-depth scrutiny of records.

The commissioner said a well-organised mafia was operating in the octroi department, having links to transport companies and supply firms.

He said a three-member internal committee, including an auditor, accountant and another officer, had been formed to make an assessment of the losses incurred by the corporation and expose the high-profile players of the mafia. 


Truckers booked for clash
Tribune News Service

Rampura, June 2
Even as two criminal cases were registered against truck operators belonging to different truck unions, for their alleged involvement in the clashes, that took place at two places in the area yesterday, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr K.A.P. Sinha here today announced that the election for the presidentship of the Truck Union would be held on June 12.

He said the decision was taken after members of both unions, Mehraj Truck Operators Union and the Truck Union, agreed to conduct of The Truck Union’s elections, which was the parent union, in a free and fair manner. The election would be held under the overall control of the district civil and police authorities. Mr Kapil Dev, SSP, Mr Ajay Maluja, SP (D), and other senior civil and police officials were also present, while Mr Sinha held talks with the representatives of different unions.

Two members of the Mehraj Truck Operators Union and The Truck Union were injured a clash in a cement factory situated near Lehra Mohobbat village, here yesterday.

A case under sections 307, 427, 506, 323, 148 and 149 of the IPC and Section 25 of the Arms Act was registered against Giani Jagjit Singh and 45 others on the complaint of Mr Gurdev Singh, President, The Truck Union, Rampura. Another case was registered against Mr Gurdev Singh, his son Mr Paramjit Singh and others under sections 336, 323, 148,149, 506 of the IPC and Section 25 of the Arms Act on the complaint of Mr Jugraj Singh.

Taking a prompt action after getting information about the clash the SSP, Mr Kapil Dev, dispatched a police party, led by Mr Maluja to prevent the situation from taking an ugly turn. Mr Maluja managed to provide a safe exist to Mr Paramjit Sidhu and others, who had been gheraoed by members of the other union.

Mr Paramjit Singh Sidhu, when contacted, said members of The Truck Union, headed by Mr Gurdev Singh would abide by the decision taken by the district administration in connection with election union office-bearers. 


2 of notorious gang held for killing goldsmith
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 2
The district police today claimed to have solved the murder of Lalit Kumar, a goldsmith, who was shot dead on May 24 when he was returning home.

Two persons have been arrested while three suspects are still at large.

The two arrested are Manjit Singh, alias Lati, a resident of Gahri Mandi, and Manpreet Singh, alias Kala, of the Kot Khehra area. The other suspects are Jaspreet Singh Jassa of Tarn Taran, Surjit Singh Raju of the Lohgarh area and Manmohan Singh of Gali Bansa Wali here.

Mr J.P. Virdi, IG, Border Range, said at a press conference here that all the suspects had a criminal background and were wanted in many cases in Tarn Taran, Majitha and Amritsar police districts.

He said the conspiracy to kill Lalit Kumar had been hatched in the Central Jail, where all of them were lodged and had formed a gang.

Jaspreet, kingpin of the gang, had come in contact with Raju and Parkash Nath, both residents of Uttar Pradesh who were facing life imprisonment for the kidnapping and murder of Sourav, a son of Lalit Kumar. Raju and Parkash Nath, who had worked as servants in Lalit’s shop, had provided information about Lalit to Jaspreet.

The IG said four separate teams under DSP, City-II, Rachhpal Singh Ghuman, ASP Dinesh Partap Singh, and DSP Ashwani Kumar had been formed to investigate the case.

It was found that Manmohan Singh had been seen many times near the deceased’s shop before the incident. The other suspects used to visit Manmohan’s house. The Kotwali police had got a tip-off that the accused were moving towards Gole Hatti Chowk in Hall Gate, a naka was laid and the two suspects arrested. One country-made pistol and four cartridges were seized from them.

Mr Virdi said they had confessed to the crime. On the day of the murder, when the bazar was closed, they tried to snatch Lalit Kumar’s bag. However, when he tried to resist, Jaspreet fired three shots that killed Lalit on the spot.

The two had also admitted to committing eight dacoities and looting incidents in Amritsar, Majitha and Tarn Taran. The gang had looted Rs 10.40 lakh from an LIC office on the Sarhali road in Tarn Taran and Rs 1.97 lakh from Punjab and Sindh Bank on the 100-foot road here in 2002 and 2000, respectively. Two persons were killed in the bank dacoity. They had also allegedly killed a cashier of the Punjab State Electricity Board last year.


Swindler who fled with lakhs held
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 2
The district police today arrested Prem Chand of Sirhind, who had fled from the town and started living in Chandigarh to evade arrest in a fraud case registered against him at Sirhind under Section 420 and 406, IPC, for committing fraud and cheating residents, traders and farmers of the district to the tune of lakhs of rupees. He was arrested from the Amloh area.

According to Mr Shiv Kumar, SSP, Prem Chand was running a jewellery shop in Sirhind town. He then started another business as a commission agent also. The SSP said to further expand his business, he took lakhs of rupees on credit from farmers, traders and common people. After some time, his businesses failed and he did not return the money he owed to any of his creditors. Rather he fled from the town and started living in Chandigarh.

Sources said Prem Chand fled after cheating the people of more than Rs 1 crore. The creditors complained to the police and on the complaint of Baljit Singh of Adampur a case was registered against him. The police launched a hunt for him but he always succeeded in dodging the police.

The SSP said today the police got a tip-off that Prem Chand was coming to Amloh town in connection with some court work. The police put up a naka at Dholewal Chowk Amloh and arrested him. The SSP said Prem Chand would be presented in the court tomorrow and he would be remanded in police custody to recover his creditors’ money.

A delegation of hundreds of farmers and residents, led by Mr Sadhu Singh MLA, Amloh, and Mr Mianpur, state president of BKU (Rajewal), had met Mr A.A. Sidiqui, DGP, during his visit to Mandi Gobindgarh town to complain against Prem Chand and had sought his arrest. The DGP had marked an inquiry and directed the SSP to take action. The DSP and hundreds of people deposed against Prem Chand in the inquiry and on the report of the DSP, an FIR was registered against him.


Cheated turns out to be cheater!
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 2
His urge to make a fast buck by enacting a theft drama landed him behind bars. The district police today claimed to have solved a case in which a bag containing Rs 1.60 lakh was said to have been snatched from an employee of a money exchange dealer on May 25, with the arrest of the complainant himself.

Mr G.P.S. Bhullar, SSP, Narinder Sharma, an employee of Bhagwati Forex, a local money exchange dealer, in his complaint on dated May 25, had alleged that two unidentified youths accosted him near the old veterinary hospital while he was returning to his office after getting foreign currency exchanged with Indian currency. The duo, according to the complainant, attacked him with sharp-edged weapons and inflicted injuries on his arm.

Later, the attackers forced open the dickey of his scooter and decamped with the bag, he had alleged. A case was registered under Sections 382 and 34 of the IPC.

During the course of investigation, it was found that Narinder and three of his accomplices had hatched a conspiracy to cheat his employer. Narinder Sharma, along with one of his accomplices identified as Narinder Thapar of Makhdoompura mohalla was arrested. Raids were being conducted to arrest other accused, who were identified as Aman of Ali Mohalla and Jatinder Singh of Nijatam Nagar.

The police has recovered a sum of Rs 15000, a part of the cheated money, from the arrested persons. They were being produced in the court.

Meanwhile, the Phillaur police has arrested three persons including a woman, on the allegations of smuggling poppy husk and seized 525 kg poppy husk from them. Those arrested were identified as Sucha Ram of Mahilpur in Hoshiarpur, Sham Singh of Mukandpur village in Nawanshahr and Kamaljit Kaur of Bharsinghpura. A case under Section 15 of the NDPS act has been registered.

In yet another case, the police has arrested three women pick-pockets and recovered Rs 1000 stolen by them. Those arrested were identified as Anarkali, Pooja and Shalu of Chhattisgarh.


Cop wanted in fraud case held
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, June 2
Proclaimed offender constable Joga Singh wanted in a cheating and fraud case has been arrested by the Garhshanker police, Mr Lok Nath Angra, SSP Hoshiarpur, said here today. Dildar Singh and Beant Singh of Pahlowal village in their complaint had alleged that Joga Singh duped them on the pretext of providing jobs to them in the Railway. They stated in their complaint that they gave some advance money to him for the purpose. Joga Singh took Surjit Kaur, wife of one of the complainant along with Nathu Ram to Delhi on May 4, 2000. He took both of them to the residence of Mr L.K. Advani, the then Union Home Minister while they waited, he went inside Mr Advani’s residence.

After sometime he came back with some papers which were stamped. He handed over the papers to them saying that they were now selected for employment in the Railways. when they went to the office of the Railway Board and presented those papers there, they were told that the documents were fake.

Meanwhile in another case on the instructions of Mr Tulsi Ram, SSP Vigilance Bureau, Jalandhar Range, the police has registered a case under Section 13 (2-88) of the Prevention of Corruption Act against Jaspal Singh, constable, posted in the PAP Jalandhar.

According to Vigilance Bureau sources, Jaspal Singh amassed wealth and property beyond his known income sources. He has moveable and immoveable property worth Rs 16 lakh.

The constable was arrested last evening. He was produced in the court of Mr K.S. Cheema, Chief Judicial Magistrate, today, who remanded him in police custody for one day.


Cong leader, wife assaulted

Jalandhar, June 2
Three persons including the wife of a Block Congress president, were injured, when over 20 persons today attacked them with sharp-edged weapons at their New Rajan Nagar residence here.

According to the police, the injured were admitted to the local Civil Hospital. They are Block Congress president Gurmit Singh, alias Kala, of New Rajan Nagar, his wife Gyan Kaur and a neighbour Paramjit Kaur.

Gurmit Singh, in his complaint, alleged that Shahu, Jassa and Dulla accompanied by more than 10 persons barged into his house and attacked him with sharp-edged weapons. When Gyan Kaur and Amarjit Kaur tried to resist them they too were beaten up.

The attackers fled away in a Tata Safari jeep leaving the weapons behind. The complainant maintained that the incident was result of an ongoing property dispute with his relatives. A case has been registered. — OC


Man accuses in-laws of kidnapping wife, child
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 2
Mr Avtar Singh , a resident of Shimla Puri, who recently returned from Dubai, has complained to the police that in his absence, his in-laws had kidnapped his wife and a child.

The Shimla Puri police yesterday registered a case under Sections 363, 366, 406 and 34 of the IPC on his complaint against Harbhajan Singh, husband of his wife’s sister, sister-in-law Raj Rani, mother-in-law Harnek Kaur, father-in-law Surjit Singh, Jaswinder Singh and Kulwinder Singh, residents of Mahna village in Moga district and Inder Pal, who lives in street No. 3 of Guru Gobind Singh Nagar along the Barota Road in New Shimla Puri.

Mr Avtar Singh had stated that when he returned from Dubai recently, he found that his wife Manjit Kaur was missing from the house in Shimla Puri along with a child.

Later, he came to know that the accused had kidnapped her sometime before March 3 last. No arrest has been made so far.


12 seriously hurt in mishap
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, June 2
About 50 passengers, including women and children, were injured 12 of them seriously, when a Punjab Roadways bus rammed into a tree on the Phagwara-Banga road near Maharaja Palace and fell into a ditch.

The seriously injured were hospitalised here. Others, who suffered minor injuries, did not report at the hospital.

Those admitted to the Civil Hospital, Phagwara, included Surinder (bus driver), Surinderpal (bus conductor), Rakesh Chand, his wife Prabha and son Sonu, Jaswant Das, Nirmala, Mushtqeen, Ranjit, Ravi Kumar, Balbir (12) and Manjit Singh, said Dr Gulzar Singh Virdi, officiating SMO. Out of these, five had sustained multiple, he said. Surinderpal’s condition was serious, said Dr Virdi.

The Nawanshahr Depot bus was reportedly going from Beas to Chandigarh. A motorcyclist, in his bid to overtake a tractor-trailer, suddenly came in front of the bus.

The bus driver, while trying to save the motorcyclist took a sharp turn. In the process he lost control over the vehicle and it rammed into a tree on the roadside. SDM Pritam Singh visited the hospital to enquire about the health of the injured.


Constable among 2 held for smuggling liquor
Our Correspondent

Kharar, June 2
The local police today arrested two persons, including a constable on the charge of smuggling liqour from Chandigarh to Punjab. Sixtyfive boxes of liquor were seized from them.

The police arrested constable, Inderjit Singh, and his cousin, Jasvir Singh, for smuggling liquor. Both of them were produced in a court they were remanded in one-day police custody.

According to a press note released on behalf of the Ropar SSP, a naka was laid by Sub-Inspector Burmah Singh along with police personnel, near Balongi bus stand. The SI got a tip-off that an Esteem car with a red light on it was approaching towards Kharar with boxes of liquor in it. At about 5 am, the police party saw the Esteem car coming which was signalled to stop. On questioning the driver of the car, he identified himself as Jasvir Singh, a resident of Bawakhel Mohalla, Jalandhar. The other occupant of the car, who was in police uniform, identified himself as Inderjit Singh. His belt number was 2159. He also gave the same address that had been given by Jasvir Singh.

On searching the vehicle, the police seized 65boxes of liquor. As many as 23 boxes of Winner whisky had been kept on the seats while 504 bottles were seized from the boot of the car.

The police registered a case under Section 61/1/14 of the Excise Act in this connection.


Hospital hands over man to police on theft charge
Our Correspondent

Kharar, June 2
A man working with the IRP was handed over to the police on suspicion of theft at the Civil Hospital here this evening.

According to staff members of the hospital, the suspect, Surjit Singh, who carried a police identity card, was allegedly trying to steal metal cisterns from the bathrooms of the hospital.

Mr Gurdeep Singh, who works as a driver with the hospital, told The Tribune that he was resting in a room in the hospital when he heard some noise and saw that someone was trying to escape with a metal cistern. He was given a chase and caught from near Dashmesh Nagar.

Mr Gurdeep Singh said the matter was brought to the notice of Dr Rajiv Bhalla, who was on duty at the hospital. The suspect was handed over to the police. The police, however, said that Surjit Singh was under the influence of drugs. he would be questioned after his condition became normal.


Man killed in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 2
One person was killed yesterday when the tractor-trailer which he was driving rammed into a truck near the Pathankot bypass here.

The accident occurred in the wee hours when the deceased, identified as Kuldip, a resident of Uttar Pradesh, could not see the stationary truck due to dim light and rammed his vehicle into it. Kuldip died on the spot, police sources said.

The body has been sent for a post-mortem examination at the local Civil Hospital and a case regarding the accident registered in Sadar police station.


Man kills wife, held
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 2
Rajni, a school teacher and resident of the Gali Bangalia area, was allegedly strangulated by her husband after she refused to give him money here yesterday.

The accused was today arrested and a case under Section 302, IPC, registered at the Vijay Nagar police station here.

The deceased is survived by two children. In a complaint, the father of the woman stated that she was assaulted and strangulated by her husband. A police official said the accused had tried to project it as a suicide. 


College students suspend strike till June 20
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, June 2
Students of the local Guru Gobind Singh Medical College have suspended their 13-day indefinite strike till June 20, following an assurance by the Punjab Government to accept their demands within a stipulated period. They took the decision after a meeting with Mr Satish Chandra, Secretary, Medical Education and Research, who visited the institution here today to reach an amicable solution to the issue.

Students had gone on strike on May 21 after an intruder entered the girls’ hostel in an attempt to kill a girl.

Seeking more time to resolve the issue, the Secretary said the intruder had been nabbed and his identity would be disclosed within few days.

He said the state government had decided to spend a sum of Rs 60 lakh for providing various facilities to the institution. Under the plan, foolproof security be provided to girls, nursing, boys’ and PG nursing hostels by raising their inner and outer boundary walls, besides landscaping on the respective premises.

Also, the library of the college would be provided with latest books besides Internet services. Adequate facilities to promote sports among students would be also provided by setting up playgrounds in the institutions.

He also assured to look into the demand for initiating action against an official of the college who had failed to perform his duties effectively after the receipt of the inquiry report into the episode.

Assuring to release the requisite funds soon, Mr Chandra asked the Principal of the college to ensure that there was no delay in the completion of works.


Mixed response to new subject at Pbi varsity
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 2
The decision of Punjabi University to introduce a new compulsory subject of computer application at the graduation level has received a mixed response from the academic faculty.

Those who favour the decision advise caution to the authorities to introduce it as an elective subject while some consider it suicidal, claiming that the reduction of marks of Punjabi and English will defeat the purpose of establishment of Punjabi University.

Last year, 34,000 students appeared in the BA 1 examination, out of which 12,000 passed. “Computer application is a professional course and is not everyone’s cup of tea. To make it compulsory is not the right decision”, says a faculty member. He says the decision will affect the functioning of colleges in rural and semi-urban areas.

The Forum for Educational Action and Reforms (FEAR) alleges underhand dealings with private computer shops, who may have promised to set up branches in colleges. The president of the forum, Dr Amarjit Singh Dhillon, says before introducing any subject, a committee of experts is constituted.

Dr K.S. Sidhu of Defence Studies believes that anything at the cost of the Punjabi language is suicidal particularly for Punjabi University. With present resources and staff, the decision to introduce computer application as a compulsory subject is not a wise decision, he states. It is a technical subject and should be introduced as an optical subject, he adds.

Prof Lakhwinder Singh Gill of the Department of Economics has appreciated the decision to introduce the subject. He says it will prove to be an attractive subject, particularly for students of rural areas.

A former DPI and Dean Colleges, Prof Harvaksh Singh, has applauded the decision. He maintain that the university should not introduce the subject at the expense of Punjabi and English languages.


IGNOU centres for three Punjab jails
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 2
The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has decided to open special study centres for central jails in Amritsar, Ludhiana and Patiala.

The centres, opened under the Special Study Centres Scheme of IGNOU, will start functioning from July 2004.

According to Dr Umesh Chandra Pandey, Regional Director IGNOU for Punjab and Chandigarh, a memorandum of understanding had been signed between the Department of Prisons, Government of Punjab and IGNOU. MoU says IGNOU will create facilities of student support services in jails for the jail inmates pursuing academic programmes of IGNOU through distance education.

Dr Pandey also said that prisoners would be given self-instructional study material kits by post. The inmates will also get the facility of audio/video CDs carrying lessons by educationists.

Face to face counselling sessions will also be organised for the benefit of inmates and for this counsellors of IGNOU will visit jails. These centres have been activated for graduate Degree Programmes like BA/BCom and Post Graduate programmes in Hindi, English, Political Science and History.

Apart from this programme on awareness like certificate and diploma in HIV/AIDS will also be started in these jails. In Ludhiana central jail Mr Jagjit Singh, Amritsar in central jail, Mr Kuldeep Singh and Patiala in central jail Mr Gursharan Singh Sidhu will be coordinators of IGNOU centres.

Dr Pandey said the decision of Department of Prisons for creating facilities of education for jail inmates in collaboration of IGNOU will help a large number of jail inmates to pursue academic programmes of IGNOU. He informed that examinations for these inmates would be conducted inside the jail itself.

With the opening up of these centres for jail inmates region comprising the Punjab and Chandigarh has the highest number of special study centres for jail inmates all over India.


14,210 students appear in CET
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 2
As many as 14,210 students today appeared in CET-2004, conducted by Punjab Technical University, for admission to different engineering, management and pharmacy colleges of the state.

Talking to mediapersons here, the Vice-Chancellor, Dr S.K. Salwan, said the exam was finally conducted at 62 centres. The result will be declared on June 11 and it will be available on www.ptu.ac in.”

The counselling for admission to different streams of engineering, management and pharmacy will be conducted from June 21 to August 1. While the counselling for the general category students will be held from July 3 to 30, the counselling for admission to architecture course will be conducted on July 31.

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