P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Five die of gastroenteritis

Ferozepore, June 3
Five persons, including two girls, died of suspected gastroenteritis overnight in and around the city even as more and more persons were today rushed to various hospitals, which admitted over 100 patients for the treatment of the water-borne disease yesterday.

City BJP MLA Sukhpal Singh Nanu today threatened to immolate himself in front of the Congress-controlled municipal council tomorrow if the government did not take immediate and effective measures to check the spread of the disease which has caused panic in the city.

He demanded suspension of the council and appointment of an administrator in place of its woman president Nirmal Kaur Sahota in view of the total failure of the civic body to perform its duty. While Ms Sahota remained incommunicado, her husband Ulfat Rai Sahota, also a Congress councillor, said the council had no money to repair only two water tankers with the civic body at a cost of Rs 40,000. But the BJP legislator asked where did the council get money from to buy a new car costing over Rs 5 lakh last month.

Those who died have been identified as Shintu, 4, Anshu, 8 , Teja Singh, 55, Hanso Devi, 55, and a 34-year-old unidentified migrant worker from Uttar Pradesh

District Health Officer (DHO) R.L. Taneja, while declining to confirm or deny deaths in private hospitals or at homes, however, admitted that hundreds of persons had been found suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting in various localities of the city caused by drinking of contaminated water. He said of the 29 water samples taken from various schools in the district last month, 15 had failed and they had informed the Deputy Commissioner and District Education Officer.

Dr Taneja said 10 samples were drawn today from the affected localities in the city and would be sent to the state laboratory in Chandigarh for analysis tomorrow.

Leading a team of five doctors, which visited the affected areas of the city today, Dr Taneja said antibiotic drugs were distributed to ‘’ a large number of affected people’’ in Zeera Gate, Basti Balochawali, Basti, Sheikhan, Basti Baghwali, Basti Bhattianwali, Bazar Durga Das and the old bus stand area. Barring Teja Singh, all deaths were reported from the affected localities. Teja Singh died in nearby Ratta Khera village.

The city Beopar Mandal, which served a 72-hour ultimatum on the district administration yesterday, held a dharna in front of the

residence of Deputy Commissioner Ranjit Singh who declined to meet the deputation led by mandal president Ashwini Mehta. Today being a government holiday on account of Kabir Jayanti, the mandal decided

to hold a dharna in front of the council office tomorrow.

Besides Civil Hospital, where about 30 patients are under treatment, more than a 100 others, including women and children, are being treated in private hospitals. — UNI


Today is Bhagatji’s birth centenary
Bhagat Puran Singh’s spirit lives on

Reema Anand

Bhagat Puran Singh: A portrait by Kuldip DhimanPINGALWARA marches on, on the very ideals and principles laid by its founder Bhagat Puran Singh.

It has been a long journey for the institution — from 1952 to 2004 — but it stands stronger than ever on a foundation of love, tender care for humanity, and dressing the physical as well as mental wounds of its inhabitants.

Dr Inderjit Kaur, zealously follows the guidelines laid down by her mentor and father-figure Bhagat Puran Singh. One can sense the love flowing from her maternal figure to the underprivileged children, who form 50 per cent of the population of Pingalwara. The way they call out to her ‘Bibi ji’ and the manner in which she responds by waving her hands and patting them, reveals how much of an effort has gone into this kind of interaction.

When Bhagat Puran Singh founded Pingalwara, he had many unanswered questions then. One of them was: “Would the caretakers of Pingalwara be able to look after the inmates with as much love as he had showered on his adopted child Piara?”

Today, on his birth centenary, his admirers can proudly answer: “Yes! not only has his Pingalwara progressed every minute, his legacy too has progressed”.

Dr Inderjit Kaur, a doctor by profession, has sacrificed her family life as well as active professional practice at Sangrur to make her life and home among the inhabitants of Pingalwara, just as Bhagatji had done. Bhagat Puran Singh made the right choice in handing over Pingalwara to her.

The Pingalwara following in Babaji’s footsteps has started a school for financially deprived children, as well as a prosthetic limb centre under its aegis.

Every year special efforts are undertaken to promote the vision of Bhagat Puran Singh. For the people involved with this institution, his humility, his endeavours undertaken from 1947 till his death in 1992, his love for the needy and poor, add to his stature. For Punjabis world over, he and his legacy are priceless. Today on his birth centenary, he looms larger than life. His faith in Sikhism, and his ideology of Sewa, made his institution an exceptional one.


Tributes paid to Bhagat Puran Singh
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 3
The Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, today described Bhagat Puran Singh as a man full of compassion who devoted his entire life to serve the suffering humanity.

Presiding over the first birth centenary celebrations of the founder of Pingalwara at the Guru Nanak Dev University auditorium, Mr Barnala, delivering his keynote address on “Peace and harmony through righteousness”, said he had been a great admirer of the Bhagatji and had been associated with his missionary work which provided succour to a large number of destitutes, mentally sick and the handicapped by offering them shelter, food and medicines.

Mr Barnala said Bhagat Puran Singh had left behind a great legacy of sacrifice which required to be emulated by all to serve the sick and those neglected by the society. The Governor said a lot of work still needed to be done to help the sufferers in this country.

The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Dr S.P. Singh, while addressing the gathering said the university was proud to host the centenary celebrations and added that it had established a special Chair for Bhagat Puran Singh to do comprehensive research on his life of sacrifice and compassion for the poor and the needy.

A renowned environmentalist and the founder of ‘Chipko’ movement, Mr Sundar Lal Bahuguna, who shared a long friendship with Bhagat Puran Singh said he was a great lover of nature and always spread the message of protecting the environment so that the ecological balance was not destroyed by the blatant destruction of forests.

The Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government in exile, Mr S. Rinpoche, said the Tibetans regards Bhagat Puran Singh as a man who rendered selfless service to the humanity without any ego and fanfare.

Gandhian leader Nirmla Deshpande exhorted the people of the historic city of Amritsar to adopt the mission of Bhagat Puran Singh whom she described as the beacon light for the entire humanity.

Former Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune V.N. Narayanan, while delivering his concluding remarks, said it was a pity that the present generation was not aware of the selfless one-man mission of Bhagat Puran Singh, who devoted his life for the welfare of the most neglected members of society. He urged the people to work for the mission to become a movement in the country.

Meanwhile, Mr Barnala said it was difficult to commit now as to what future holds for him. Addressing mediapersons after presiding over the centenary celebrations, Mr Barnala said only time would tell as he was not in a position to comment on either quitting the governorship or joining active Akali politics.


Dal Khalsa flays SGPC leadership
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, June 3
Activists of the Dal Khalsa gathered at Gurdwara Singh Sabha here today to pay homage to those killed in Operation Bluestar.

Dal Khalsa president Harcharanjit Singh Dhami came down heavily on the SGPC leadership for failing to build a memorial to 84 persons, who were killed in the operation.

Mr Dhami said their organisation would contest the SGPC elections in alliance with like-minded groups. He said the organisation had already struck an alliance with the Akali Dal led by Simranjit Singh Mann.

He said their election plank would be to bring reforms in the management of gurdwaras and to free religious institutions from favouritism and corruption. He said they were preparing a report on failures and achievements of the members of the present house to present before the Khalsa Panth during the election campaign.

“The Dal Khalsa will play the role of a watchdog during the SGPC poll,” he said.

Mr Satnam Singh Paonta Sahib, vice-president of the party, lambasted SAD president Parkash Singh Badal and his coterie for attempting to dub all his adversaries as Congress agents.

Mr Gurnam Singh Khun Khun, Mrs Swarn Singh, Mr Rajinder Singh, Mr Daljit Singh Maula and Mr Gurnam Singh, all from SAD (A) spoke on the occasion. Mr Shinder Pal Singh of Nawanshahr of the Dal Khalsa, Dr Manjinder Singh and Mr Ranbir Singh, president and general secretary of the local unit of the Dal Khalsa, also expressed their views.


SGPC poll: first SAD list likely today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
Lobbying is on to secure SAD nomination for the SGPC elections, Senior Akali leaders, including party MLAs and MPs, are trying hard to get the party ticket for their confidants.

Sources said today SAD President Parkash Singh Badal would to retain most candidates who had won the SGPC elections. He had also decided to give the erstwhile Tohra faction its due. Sources said the SAD would bring about 40 new faces (this time. Some of the SGPC members are bedridden and thus unable to contest the elections.

Besides, there are some SGPC members who were found wanting in their support to Mr Badal, when he was fighting a tough political battle against Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. Such members would be denied the ticket.

As many as 12 SGPC members belonging to the SAD have passed away. Mr Badal has been consulting party MLAs, MPs and district Jathedars to select candidates for the past three days. The first list of candidates is expected to be released tomorrow.

Various Akali factions are trying to give a united fight to the SAD candidates even though serious ideological differences are hampering their efforts.


Chandumajra criticises Badal
Our Correspondent

Former MP Prem Singh Chandumajra at a press conference in Patiala
Former MP Prem Singh Chandumajra at a press conference in Patiala on Thursday. — Photo by Rajesh Sachar

Patiala, June 3
Former Akali MP Prem Singh Chandumajra has virtually distanced himself from the mainstream Akali Dal by claiming that he neither had received any notice regarding his suspension from the party, nor did he hear anything from the three-member committee formed by SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal.

Mr Badal had formed a committee comprising, Mr Tota Singh, Mr Gurdev Singh Badal (former ministers) and Charanjit Singh Atwal (MP) to look into the allegations levelled by Capt Kanwaljit Singh Lok Sabha candidate from Patiala Constituency, that Mr Chandumajra had encouraged dissidence during the elections. Capt Kanwaljit Singh had squarely blamed him for his electoral defeat. Coming out strongly against Mr Badal, Mr Chandumajra said the SAD chief had earlier privatised the Akali Dal and now he was out to do the same with the SGPC by fielding candidates who were loyal to either him or his family members. Mr Chandumajra said he would organise gatherings at various places in the state from tomorrow to ascertain public opinion.


PCS officer seeks nod to contest SGPC poll
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
Mr Harkesh Singh Sidhu (PCS), Additional Secretary, Public Health, has sought permission from the Punjab Government to contest the coming SGPC elections from his home district of Sangrur. The Chief Secretary, Mr Jai Singh Gill, has to decide this request by June 7 to enable the officer to file his nomination papers. The last date for filing papers is June 8.

A doctorate in religious studies from Punjabi University, Mr Sidhu stated in the request that he is keen to contest the elections because of his religious leanings and beliefs and that he will not take part in any political activity. Mr Sidhu has stated that he will contest the elections as an independent candidate.

Interestingly, there is no provision in the Punjab Civil Service rules to debar Mr Sidhu from being in the fray. The civil service rules only debar state officials from contesting the elections to the state Assembly and local bodies.

This is perhaps for the first time that a serving PCS officer has sought permission to contest the SGPC elections.

Mr Sidhu, who served as the sarpanch of his village in Sangrur district before joining government service, has also written on various religious issues. A good Punjabi story writer, he regularly contributes to newspapers.


Right to vote sought for Sehajdharis
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, June 3
Mr Surinderiqbal Singh Brar, president of the District Congress Committee (DCC), Faridkot, has appealed to the Central Government to grant the right to vote to Sehajdharis in the coming SGPC elections in the state.

Depriving them of their right would create hatred among the Sikhs and would be against the interests of society, Mr Brar said.

In a press note issued here today, he criticised the previous BJP-led NDA govt for disallowing Sehajdharis the right to vote at the behest of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, a former Chief Minister.

He said such type of discrimination would cause harm to Punjab.

Charging Mr Badal with amassing huge wealth and property through unfair means during the five-year SAD-BJP regime, the senior Congress leader said Mr Badal had shattered the economy of the state.


Answersheets sealed following complaints
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 3
Guru Nanak Dev University today sealed two bundles of answersheets following written complaints about alleged tampering with award sheets of M.A. (Punjabi) during table marking, here.

The Registrar of the university, Dr R.S. Bawa, said he had ordered a high-level inquiry and stern action would be taken against the examiners if found guilty. The complainants belong to the local Khalsa College, and were also doing table marking, in their written complaint alleged that they were eyewitness to the tampering of award sheets. They have also given code numbers of the answer sheets in their complaint lodged with the Registrar. The sub-examiner, in a separate statement given to officials of Guru Nanak Dev University had reportedly alleged that his signatures were forged while making cuttings on the award sheets. The complainants alleged that two award sheets were changed by the examiners. They demanded a thorough probe into the charges.

However, Mr Hirdejeet Singh Bhogal, Head, Punjabi Department, Bering Union Christian College, Batala and head examiner, said that certain educationists had hatched a “conspiracy” to defame him and his college. He alleged that some teachers of certain colleges were jealous about the remarkably good results of his college in the past. He asked how another teacher could have access to the answer sheets or award sheets of another examiner? The leaking of secrecy of the table marking speaks volumes about the alleged conspiracy, Mr Bhogal alleged.

Mr Bhogal, however, admitted that he had to get one of his award sheets changed officially through the employees of the university by adopting legal procedure in wake of “over-tampering”. The reason for the cutting on award sheet was due to an overdose of medicine, he claimed. Mr Bhogal, however, refuted the charge that he was responsible for any tampering in the award sheets of his subexaminer. He said he would soon expose the alleged conspirators, aimed at defaming him shortly.

It is alleged that some of the ineligible lecturers who have been appointed on ad hoc basis in certain colleges had been given the assignment to do table marking without the required experience. It is reliably learnt that during the re-checking of the answer sheets some senior lecturers have found glaring discrepancies in the markings.


‘Purchased’ male child becomes his bane

Moga, June 3
In a bizarre incident, a man has absconded after his conspiracy to inherit property worth crores of his father-in-law by adopting a “purchased” male child came to light.

Police sources said Sanjeev Kumar had married one of the four daughters of Mr Bhag Singh here, who owned property worth crores of rupees. Mr Bhag Singh had no male child and Sanjeev’s wife, too, had given birth to a daughter in the course of their four years of marriage.

Sanjeev’s wife for the second time was carrying a female foetus as was determined by an ultrasound test. He, in connivance with has friends, including a chemist shop owner managed a new-born male child from Delhi from a gang, including in lifting new-borns from hospitals.

Sanjeev informed Mr Bhag Singh that he and his wife had been blessed with twins, which included a male child. After a medical check up of the new born in Ludhiana, Sanjeev impressed upon Mr Bhag Singh to adopt the child. Meanwhile, about seven months collapsed.

Sunita Rani of Duneka village, local suburb started ringing up Mr Bhag Singh to inform that the male child belonged to her was born out of illicit relations with Sanjeev.

Suspecting foul play, Bhag Singh reported the matter to the police. During sustained interrogation, Sanjeev, Sunita and friend Rakesh alias Pala confessed to having bought the child from Chhedi Lal with the consent of the parents of the new-born. The child was returned to Chhedi Lal for restoration to his parents.

The things starting taking new turn a week ago when Sanjeev, running a bakery shop here, disappeared even without informing his wife of his whereabouts.


Drive to target deras telling fortune
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Talwandi Sabo, June 3
A significant number of persons have set up their deras in some rural areas of Bathinda and surrounding districts and have been allegedly insulting Guru Granth Sahib and cheating innocent villagers by posing as fortune-tellers.

Over the past few years, a trend has emerged in the rural areas where anti-social elements dupe people by posing as fortune-tellers in so called deras. The worst of it is that copies of Guru Granth Sahib are placed in the deras.

A number of such incidents came to light when Bhai Balwant Singh Nandgarh, Jathedar, Takht Damdama Sahib, along with Baba Baljit Singh Daduwal, a Sikh preacher and students of Gurmat Institute, Talwandi Sabo, started touring the area to curb anti-Sikh activities in this region.

Bhai Nandgarh, Jathedar, Takht Damdama Sahib, pointed out that it was also noticed that gurdwaras, being built on the basis of caste were fast coming up in various pockets of this region.

Apart from it, there were attempts by unscrupulous elements to grab a piece of land by putting Nishan Sahib” (a religious symbol of Gurdwara) on it. During the campaign, they also confronted the situation where some people had placed Guru Granth Sahib in temples, pir khanas and samadhs against the principles of Sikhism.

“In certain dwellings, besides the room where Guru Granth Sahib was kept cigarette packets and bundles of ‘bidis’ were found. A copy of Guru Granth Sahib was found in Vishvkarma temple despite the fact that Lord Vishavkarma has no connection with the Sikh history and religion,” he pointed out.

However, in certain cases, those, who had committed this sacrilege had sought an unconditional apology.

He said the people who had insulted the faith were being made to realise the mistake Takht Damdama Sahib would also organise camps to train the granthis of gurdwara to educate the people to prevent them from indulging in such activities. He said it had also been decided to take the help of the civil and police administration to curb such trend.

He had appealed to all Akali Dals and other Sikh religious organisations, which wanted to contest the forthcoming SGPC elections, to nominate only those candidates, who were baptised Sikhs and who had been following the tenets of Sikhism in its true spirit.


A treat for art lovers
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 3
The Creative Mind Art Limited, a company started by three artists of Khanna, has a rare treat to offer to the art lovers of the city. Balwinder Singh, Jaswinder Singh and Daljit Singh have a collection of oil paintings, sculptures and pencil sketches, respectively, exhibited at the Banasar Art Gallery, Sheesh Mahal.

The 10-day exhibition has been organised by the North Zone Cultural Centre. Jaswinder Singh has exhibited as many as 24 pieces of wooden sculptures depicting various aspects of daily life, including a labourer taking rest after work, speed of a women in 21st century, a female trying to break barriers of society, a mother and her child eagerly awaiting for the male head of the family and a pregnant woman praying for her baby. Most of his works depict freedom, hope, wait and joy.

Informing about his work, Jaswinder Singh said he had only used Deobar wood and fire to carve out sculptures. Most of his sculptures include bird and feet as a bird symbolics freedom and feet are symbols of an effort to break barriers and to come forward. One of his work entitled ‘old age’ has also won a national award. ‘I simply cannot imagine what I would have been if I was not an artist’, says Jaswinder.

While Balwinder Singh has exhibited nearly 30 oil paintings of wellknown religious, political and film personalities, including Guru Nanak Dev, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Mahatma Gandhi, Dharminder, Madhubala. In addition to this, paintings depict melody of youth, portrait of a negro, an opium smoker and a woman waiting for her mate.

Daljit Singh, has exhibited eight pencil sketches depicting beauty. ‘I am working in a District Transport Office, Ludhiana, and for me sketching is just a hobby and at present I am not planning to take it up as my profession’, he said.


BBMB to limit desilting work to monsoon months
Tribune News Service

Nangal (Ropar), June 3
In a major relief to farmers of Mandi district in Himachal Pradesh, the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) has decided to limit its desilting operation in the balancing reservoir of the Dehar power project to just monsoon months — June-end to September.

The Chairman of the BBMB, Mr Rakesh Nath, said here today.

The balancing reservoir of the Dehar power project, used to link the Beas and Sutlej rivers in Mandi district of Himachal, faces an acute silt problem. Earlier, the BBMB used to take out silt from the reservoir throughout the year. The silt was thrown in the Suket khud. Farmers of the area were protesting that the silt thrown by the BBMB was sporting their fields.

The problem was that the silt was not flushed further and gathered at a single point. Now that the desilting operation will be limited to monsoon months, the silt thrown in the Suket khud will be flushed into the Beas, thus preventing its deposition in the area.

The Chairman said the BBMB was planning to celebrate the golden jubilee of the Nangal Hydel canal on July 8. During its 50-year operation, water in the canal has not been stopped even for a single day.

To a query, the Chairman said the BBMB had submitted a Rs 27-crore hydrology project-2 to the Government of India for approval.

About the recent letter from the Personnal Department of the Punjab Government calling back all its employees from the BBMB, the Chairman said the matter had been referred back to the authorities concerned. The BBMB could not dispense with the services of all experienced staff, owing to the sensitive nature of its operations, he said.


422 ITBP recruits take oath
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 3
Following 44 weeks of intensive training, 422 recruits of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) took oath at 20th Battalion, Jalandhar, during an impressive passing-out parade here today.

Justice O.P. Verma, Governor, Punjab, inspected the parade and took salute. He exhorted the recruits to maintain their cool even while facing the worst provocation and to ensure that they did not violate human rights. He said that the ITBP jawans had been performing their duties commendably well by guarding the frontier of the country and sensitive institutions.

He advised the recruits to respect the dignity of citizen and ensure that they were treated equally despite differences of caste, creed or colour. He appreciated the emphasis that was being laid on special training in urban and rural insurgency, field craft, weapon and battle tactics, counter insurgency, global terrorism and mob control.

A large number of officers from the state government, the Chandigarh administration, the PAP, the CRPF and the ITBP were also present on the occasion.

Mr K.J. Singh, ADG, ITBP, highlighted the achievements and spoke about duties being performed by the ITBP, excelling besides in mountaineering, water rafting, judo, karate and shooting skills. He congratulated the new entrants.

Justice Verma gave away the best trainee awards in various disciplines. Rohit was declared the best in drill, Kailash Kumar won the award in physical training. Ajyender Singh was declared the best in weapon training, while Mukesh Bhatt won the prize for tactics. Rohit Kumar won the overall best trainee award.

The function concluded with a colourful cultural programme, Mr Dulap Singh, Commandant, 20th Battalion, ITBP, extended a vote of thanks.


ITBP getting ready for disaster management

Jalandhar, June 3
Additional Director-General of the ITBP K.J. Singh said here today that the force was getting training in disaster (natural and nuclear) management. By October two battalions of the force would be ready to be sent anywhere to meet any challenge in case of a natural, nuclear and biological disaster.

Four companies have already got training to meet any challenge in case of natural or nuclear warfare. Ramgarh and Noida — have been earmarked for training ITBP personnel,” he said.

The move to train ITBP personnel in disaster management is being seen as an attempt to free the Army from the responsibility of internal security.

He said the process of modernisation of the force was already on and there was no crunch of funds for the purpose. — PTI


Five ITBP battalions to move from J-K to North-East

Jalandhar, June 3
Five battalions of the Indo-Tibet Border Police (ITBP) will be shifted from Jammu and Kashmir to north-eastern states of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh for deployment along the Indo-China border.

ITBP Additional Director-General Kanwal Jeet Singh said today that 10 battalions of the ITBP were currently deployed in Jammu and Kashmir to support anti-insurgency operations.

Five of these would be shifted to guard the Indo-China border in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh by November, he said.

The ITBP currently had 25 battalions, including two disaster-management units.

Mr Kanwaljeet Singh was here to participate in the passing-out parade of 422 recruits. — UNI


Cold drinks found contaminated
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 3
Be careful while buying a cold drink. A casual approach while quenching your thirst with a bottled cold drink can put you in trouble.

For the past many days, markets in this area have reported cases of contaminated cold drinks of famous brands Besides, sale of fake cold drinks has been going unchecked despite the fact that this town is in the grip of jaundice and gastroenteritis.

Mr Rajesh Kumar, a shopkeeper of Goniana town in this district, bought a bottle of a branded cold drink and noticed a cockroach in the bottle. He went to the supplier to lodge his protest, but did not get a positive response. He added that his complaint in this connection was not entertained by the district health authorities also.

Mr Bhagwan Garg, a resident of Talwandi Sabo, who purchased a branded cold drink, found fungus and meat pieces inside the bottle. He said when he lodged a protest with the supplier, he was told that nothing could be done in this connection.

Dr S.K. Goyal, Civil Surgeon, Bathinda, said the district health authorities could not take action against the supplier. He said in such cases, the buyer should go to a laboratory directly to proceed against the supplier. He added that the district health authorities had launched a campaign to check the sale of spurious items in the market.


Kartarpur residents block traffic
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 3
Shopkeepers and residents today blocked traffic on the Jalandhar-Amritsar road at Kartarpur, near here, for half an hour in protest against the failure of the Municipal Council to clear the chocked sewerage system for the past two months. They raised slogans against the Local Bodies Minister, Choudhary Jagjit Singh, who represents the Kartarpur Assembly segment, the president of the council, Mr Mohinder Singh Billu, for not taking effective steps to redress their grievances.

The protesters said the sewage was moving in streets, thus making it difficult for the residents to move.

Later, Choudhary Jagjit Singh reached the spot and pacified the shopkeepers and residents by assuring them that the problem would be solved immediately.


Woman sustains burns as stove bursts
Our Correspondent

Kharar, June 3
A married woman sustained serious burn injuries when a stove on which she was cooking allegedly burst in Sahora village, near here, today.

It is learnt that Ms Kulwinder Kaur (23) was brought to the local Civil Hospital from where she was referred to the PGI.

According to a doctor who attended on her at the local hospital, she sustained 30 to 35 per cent burns.



High Court
Registrar records girl’s statement
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 3
The Registrar of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today recorded the statement of Ms Harpreet Kaur, a young girl, who along with a boy had been allegedly picked up by the Patiala police on May 31.

However, the whereabouts of the boy, who had reportedly married the girl against the wishes of her family, remained unknown today also.

The Vacation Bench of Mr Justice Amar Dutt and Mr Justice Rajive Bhalla, which heard the matter today, adjourned it for June 7.

Patiala Senior Superintendent of Police AS Rai was also present in the court on the orders of the Bench.

It may be recalled that a habeas corpus petition had been filed on June 1 by a relative of the boy, Bahadur Sharma.

The petition claimed that Bahadur and Harpreet had married against the wishes of the family of the girl, following which they started receiving threats.

They were allegedly taken by the police on May 31 when they were returning from Chandigarh. On June 1, the court had directed the Senior Superintendent of Police, Patiala, to trace and present in court the newly married couple.

The Bench had also ordered that the SSP be present in the court on Thursday if the couple remains untraceable.


Sheetal Vij bail plea declined
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 3
A city court today dismissed the bail application filed by an industrialist and exporter of Jalandhar, Sheetal Vij. The court also declined the bail applications filed by two co-accused, Ravinder Jain and Rajinder Kumar.

The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr Arun Vir Vashist, dismissed the bail application after hearing the arguments of both prosecution and defence. Sheetal Vij, president, Devi Talab Mandir, was accused of evading the custom duty.

He was arrested on May 28 by officials of the Directorate of Revenue Vigilance (DRI) on the basis of confessional statements of the co-accused. Thereafter, he was produced before the Duty Magistrate, Mr Sangeetpal Singh , who remanded him in judicial custody. The officials of the DRI had not sought any police remand.

A few days ago he had got himself admitted to the local Civil Hospital on health grounds. A large number of lawyers represented the three accused and argued on their behalf. Vij’s counsel had submitted an application in the court stating that his client was innocent and was being falsely implicated. Moreover, the DRI had already interrogated the accused and seized his bank account and record.

The alleged confessional statements of the co-accused, on the basis of which he was arrested, were already in the possession of the DRI. The defence counsel added that the accused was ready to co-operate in investigation. But after perusing the record and taking into consideration legal aspects, the judge not found it a fit case to grant bail.


Gang involved in looting passengers busted
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 3
The police today busted a gang involved in looting passengers at railway stations and lifting their luggage on trains with the arrest of two of its members from near the local railway station.

Police sources said the suspects used a unique modus operandi while looting passengers. First they made passengers unconscious by offering them drug-laced biscuits, tea and “parshad” and after their victims fell unconscious, they took away their cash and belongings.

The sources said the suspects — Harpal, alias Bala, alias Pala, and Sonu, who were arrested by the police, disclosed that they had been involved in such activities for the past six years.

Mr Jagjit Singh, in-charge of the police chowki, at Canal Colony, said the duo was arrested during a routine verification of strangers near the railway station. He added that other members of the gang had gone to Patiala today to commit crimes.

He said the gang used to target passengers going to Dera Beas and Dera Sacha Sauda for attending “satsang”. Besides, it was also involved in theft of vehicles.

The gang members had been operating in the Bathinda, Rohtak, Ambala, Sriganganagar, Hanumangarh and Sirsa areas.

A case has been registered in this connection.


Ex-sarpanch booked
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 3
A case against a former sarpanch of Pathrala in this district and his mother was today registered in the Raman Mandi police station for their alleged involvement in forcing his wife, mother of two daughters, to commit suicide.

Manpreet Kaur, a resident of Kot Shamir village, was married to Jasvir Singh. She was forced to commit suicide allegedly by her husband and mother-in-law, Jarnail Kaur.

However, the victim’s relatives alleged that Manpreet was not forced to commit suicide but she was murdered by Jasvir Singh and his other relatives. They demanded that a case against sister and brother-in-law accused Jasvir Singh, should be registered.

They alleged that the accused had destroyed all evidences and also tried to destroy the body. The police however, registered a case against Jasvir Singh and Jarnail Kaur under Sections 306 and 34 of the IPC.

In another case, an elderly woman living in Sukhladi village of this district was injured in her house on June 1 by robbers. They removed her earrings.


Undertrial escapes from police custody
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 3
An inmate of the Ferozepore Central Jail escaped from police custody today when he was being brought to a Malout court in Muktsar district. The escaped jail inmate has been identified as Sukhdev Bittu.

According to jail sources, Bittu is an undertrial in several cases, including a case of murder. He was being taken to a Malout court for his appearance in a criminal case under the custody of head constable Gajnath Paul and constable Darshan Singh of the Ferozepore police when he escaped.

Jail Superintendent Swaran Singh could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. However, the sources confirmed that the jail inmate was an undertrial in a murder case under Section 302 of the IPC in Rajasthan and in a theft case under Section 411 of the IPC in Malout.

Meanwhile, Ferozepore Senior Superintendent of Police H.S. Chahal confirmed the escape of the undertrial. The SSP has suspended the head constable and the constable for dereliction in their duty. He has also ordered an inquiry into the incident.

Mr Chahal said a case under Sections 223 and 224 of the IPC had also been registered against the erring police personnel and the escaped jail inmate at the Malout police station. The SSP said the jail inmate had asked permission to urinate. The head constable and the constable had allowed him to do so and both of them kept standing aside. 


Martyr’s family robbed of Rs 65,000

Jalandhar, June 3
A robbery took place in the house of a Kargil martyr, Major Kanwal Gulzar Singh, in Bank Colony near Maqsoodan today. Three unidentified persons entered the house after breaking open the locks and decamped with Rs 65,000 and jewellery worth lakhs of rupees from the house.

The theft occurred in the afternoon when the mother of the martyr went out for a medical check-up along with her daughter. Major Kartar Singh (retd), father of the martyr, said when he came back to his house he found the locks were broken and everything in the house was in disorder.

The owner of the house also revealed that he saw a man standing with a Zen car outside of his home and when he enquired about his staying in front of his house, instead of giving a satisfactory reply he fled away from the scene. — OC


Computer in charge, student booked in abduction case
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, June 3
Harbinder Kaur Khalsa, in charge of the local NIIT computer centre, and her student Aman have been booked under Sections 363,366 and 120-B for abducting a girl student of the centre.

The local police said today that the case had been registered on the complaint of the father of the victim, who stated that her daughter had been abducted by Aman of Harike village in the connivance with Harbinder on May 11. He alleged that the crime was committed to get his daughter married to Aman.

Harbinder could not be contacted. However, her father Satnam Singh said she had gone out of station and added that he was not in a position to comment.


18 bottles of liquor seized
Our Correspondent

Kharar, June 3
The local police seized 18 bottles of liquor from a person which were smuggled from Chandigarh.

According to the police, Piara Singh, a resident of Kharar, was possessing 18 bottles of Officer’s Choice whisky which he was selling at a shop in the Anaj Mandi here.

The police had booked him under Section 61/1/14 of the Excise Act.


PTU panel to make draft on online education
J.S. Malhotra

Jalandhar, June 3
The Punjab Technical University (PTU) today constituted a four-member academic council committee to formulate a comprehensive draft for restructuring online education system to impart technical education to students by using latest technologies.

During a meeting of the academic council of PTU held near here today, which was presided over by the Vice chancellor, Dr S.K. Salwan, it was felt that online education system could not be neglected as this was the one of the best available procedures to impart technical education to the working professionals or those, who could not complete their studies due to their domestic problems.

The four-member academic council committee comprise Dr M.S. Sikri of the Khalsa Institute of Management and Technology, Dr Gurdeep Singh of the Malout Institute of Management, Malout, Dr A.S. Bansal of the Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology, Ludhiana and Dr G.D. Bansal of Chandigarh Engineering College, Landran was constituted to suggest steps to be initiated for promotion of non-formative education system through online techniques.

The committee, according to the Registrar of PTU, Dr M.S. Grewal, would submit its report before the next meeting of the academic council for approval.

“In fact, the committee will suggest the means to impart education, including use of web camera to ensure identity of a student, the time period for which a student log in and log out at his computer and procedures to be adopted for the delivery of lectures through video conferencing,” Dr Grewal said, adding that there was great scope for online education system in the present global context.

The academic council also approved the proposal for the conduct of viva-voce through Internet using web camera and Internet telephony. “We have been approached by several students and their parents for the introduction of such system since students, who got selected for overseas jobs their final year during campus recruitment, have to face difficulty in joining their assignments for the delay in conduct of viva-voce. Now, such students will be able to appear for viva-voce through Internet telephony by using web camera,” Dr Grewal said, adding that PTU was first to introduce such system in the entire Northern region.

The proposal to consider upward revision in fees for BBA, BCA and B.Sc. (MLT) courses was deferred till the next meeting as it was decided to refer the issue to the state government.


Bir Devinder writes to VC on language issue
Monica Ahluwalia

Patiala, June 3
Punjab Vidhan Sahba Deputy Speaker Bir Devinder Singh, who is also member of the Syndicate, Punjabi University, has today written a letter to the Vice Chancellor condemning his decision to reduce marks of Punjabi and English language at the graduation level while introducing a new compulsory subject of computer application in all affiliated colleges of the varsity.

According to the copy of the letter available to The Tribune, Mr Bir Devinder said regarding the on-going controversy of Punjabi language that the Vice Chancellor had handled the entire issue in a undemocratic and arbitrary manner he further added that such a vital issue should have been discussed in the concerned Board of Studies, faculty, academic council, senate and syndicate and even with the Chief Minister before implementing it, as it defeats the very purpose of the establishment of Punjabi University.

He added that for quite sometime Punjabi University had been in the limelight but unfortunately mostly for the controversies. The letter further said that the varsity is a statutory body created by an act of the Punjab Legislature and the mode of appointment of the Vice Chancellor and other functionaries, teaching, non teaching and their powers and functions are governed by the statutes and ordinances incorporated in the university calendar.

The VC who is appointed by the Chancellor on the recommendation of the state government, has functional autonomy in respect of working of the university and the government is not interested nor does it interfere in the academic and administrative functioning of the university. However, when certain actions of the varsity violates the norms and basic objectives, the controversy are bound to arise.

“As a senior bureaucrat you would appreciate that educational administration specially running university was basically different from administering a government department. Here continuous discussions and interaction with the faculty, students, non teaching staff, constituent colleges, senators, syndics and government representatives were basic and vital ingredient of effective management.


New session of PTU from July 26
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 3
The new academic session of Punjab Technical University (PTU) will start from July 26. The academic calendar of the university was planned during a meeting of the academic council held at Lovely Institute, Phagwara, today.

The meeting was chaired by Dr S.K. Salwan, Vice-Chancellor, PTU. Giving details of the meeting, the VC said that it had been decided that the BBA and BCA admission forms would be made available from June 7 and admissions would begin on June 24.

Widening the eligibility criteria for admission to M.Tech, the members decided that candidates who had completed B.Tech be allowed to take admission in M.Tech in related subjects. For instance, students who have done B.Tech in mechanical engineering, material science or production would be allowed to take admission in M.Tech in power engineering or designing.

On the suggestions of members of the Board of Studies, the council approved some modifications in the syllabi of B.Tech, MTech, BBA and MCA. The council, however, asked members as well as outsiders to come up with suitable suggestions in the syllabi of the courses within 10 days. The council gave approval to the university to hold the annual convocation on June 9. The members also planned to modify some rules and regulations for admission to Ph.D.


Kabir Chair to be revived, says minister
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 3
The Bhagat Kabir Chair which was established in Guru Nanak Dev University some years ago will be revived and the government will provide adequate funds for this purpose. This was announced by Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, State Minister for Local Government during a state-level function organised by the government to celebrate 606th birth anniversary of saint-philosopher, Kabir here today.

The minister said a seminar on the Kabir scriptures and the papers read out by eminent scholars and would be published in the book. He said the government would provide maximum financial assistance to construct a Kabir Bhavan, a library and a dispensary. He also directed the Mayor to rename a chowk in the city on Kabir.

Speaking on the occasion, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh called upon the people to establish a new society by rising above petty considerations. He said this would be our meaningful tribute to Kabir. Saint Kabir fought against social traditions and reformed the society during the medieval period. He played a pivotal role in shaping a casteless society.

Earlier, the ministers paid a floral tributes to Saint Kabir. Chaudhary Jagjit Singh inaugurated the function by lighting a lamp.


Remove Boparai, demands sabha
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 3
The Kendri Punjabi Lekhak Sabha (Sekhon) today urged the Punjab Government and the Governor to remove Dr S.S. Boparai from the post of Vice-Chancellor, Punjabi University, Patiala, for his anti-Punjabi attitude.

Dr Tejwant Mann, its general secretary, said here that Dr Boparai had been making continuous efforts to harm Punjabi from the day of his appointment as Vice-Chancellor.


Contractors not to bid for govt projects
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 3
The Punjab Government Contractors Association has decided not to bid for any government project as the rates have not been enhanced. The contractors said against this the rates of various input materials used in the project had increased manifold.

A meeting of the association was held here today, which was presided over by Mr Deep Sodhi. Later talking to mediapersons, he pointed out that during the past three years the contractors had been pleading with the government to revise the rates.

He observed that under these circumstances it was not possible to work for the government projects.


Credit plans of banks reviewed
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 3
To review the progress of banks in the district under the district credit plan, a meeting of the District Consultative Committee was convened by the State Bank of Patiala here yesterday. Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, presided over the meeting.

Mr M.L. Guru said banks in the district had disbursed Rs 427.80 crore under the priority sector against a target of Rs 415.71 crore. He said Rs 313.44 crore was disbursed under the agriculture sector whereas Rs 44.54 crore and Rs 69.81 crore were disbursed under the small-scale industry sector and other priority sectors, respectively, achieving the sector-wise target. He said though the overall targets had been achieved under all sectors, the performance of the Bank of Rajasthan was nil in the district whereas the progress of the Central Bank of India, the Bank of Punjab and the Bank of India was not satisfactory.

Mr Ahluwalia appreciated the performance of banks and agencies and urged them to exceed targets under the annual credit plan and government-sponsored schemes during the current financial year. He urged banks to help the poor and needy in setting up business.

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |