P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



SAD rebels file nominations
Tribune Reporters

Kapurthala, June 8
The simmering discontent among workers of the Shiromani Akali Dal over the allotment of party ticket to Mr Santokh Singh Padda today came to the fore when Mr Davinder Singh Dhapai, a confidant of Mr Raghbir Singh, a former Transport Minister, filed nomination papers as a rebel candidate from the Kapurthala (general) seat for the SGPC elections. Mrs Davinder Paul Kaur Bawa, president, City Istri Akali Jatha (Badal), also filed nomination papers as a rebel candidate in protest against the allotment of SAD ticket to Mrs Bhajan Kaur Dogranwala.

On the last day of filing of nomination papers for two Kapurthala seats, 13 candidates filed papers before Mr D.S. Sandhewalia, SDM-cum-Returning Officer. The candidates were: Mr Santokh Singh Padda, Mr Davinder Singh Dhapai, Mr Jagir Singh Wadala, Mr Karnail Singh, Mrs Bhajan Kaur Dogranwala, Mrs Davinder Paul Kaur Bawa, Mrs Gurmeet Kaur, Mrs Gurdeep Kaur, Mrs Paramjit Kaur, wife of Jarnail Singh, Mrs Paramjit Kaur, Mrs Swaranjit Kaur Tibba, Mrs Parminder Kaur and Mrs Jaswinder Kaur.

Ms Jagir Kaur, MLA, Bholath, and a former SGPC president, accompanied Mr Padda at the time of filing of papers while Bhai Ranjit Singh, a former Jathedar of Akal Takht, accompanied Mr Wadala, an Akali Dal (Amritsar) candidate.

PHAGWARA: Six candidates filed nomination papers for the SGPC elections on Tuesday from the Phagwara-Sultanpur Lodhi seat, said Mr Pritam Singh, SDM-cum-Returning Officer.

While Mr Gurpreet Singh had filed nomination papers on Monday, Jathedar Jarnail Singh Wahid of the SAD, Jathedar Rajinder Singh Fauji of the Akali Dal (Amritsar), Jathedar Jaimal Singh, Mr Gurmukh Singh, Mr Jaswant Singh Parmar and Mr Kirpal Singh, all independent, filed papers on Tuesday.

Jathedar Jaimal Singh of Sultanpur Lodhi is the sitting SGPC member of the SAD from this seat. He was denied ticket by the SAD this time. He will contest as a rebel candidate against the SAD nominee.

PHILLAUR: Seven Independent candidates filed nomination papers before the SDM for the SGPC elections on Tuesday, raising the number to 13. Ms Sukhwinder Kaur, Ms Narinder Kaur, Ms Gulbir Kaur and Ms Dalbir Kaur filed nomination papers from the Phillaur seat reserved for women, while Mr Kulwant Singh, Mr Manohar Singh and Mr Iqbal Singh field nomination papers from the Phillaur (general) seat.

Sangrur: A total of 122 candidates have filed nomination papers for the SGPC elections for 16 seats in 11 SGPC constituencies of the district, namely Moonak, Sunam, Longowal, Barnala, Bhadaur, Channanwal, Dhuri, Malerkotla, Amargarh, Sangrur and Dirba. Ninetysix candidates filed nomination papers on Tuesday.

Ropar: Forty candidates filed nomination papers for seven SGPC seats in the district. Mr Jarnail Singh Aulakh, a former SGPC member of the SAD from the Anandpur Sahib constituency, raised a banner of revolt by filing nomination papers as an Independent on Tuesday.

The candidates who filed their nomination papers on Tuesday included Mr Gurdial Singh of the Akali Dal (Amritsar), Mr Pritam Singh Salomajra of the SAD, Mr Jaswant Singh, Mr Kuldeep Singh and Mr Ajmer Singh as Independents from the Ropar (general) seat; for Ropar (SC women), Ms Satwinder Kaur Dhaliwal of the SAD and Ms Rajinder Kaur (Independent); from Morinda, Mr Bhupinder Singh, Mr Sikandar Singh, Mr Bant Singh and Mr Balwinder Kaur as Independents; from Anandpur Sahib, Mr Gurinder Singh Gogi of the SAD, Mr Jagjit Singh Bela, Mr Amandeep Singh, Mr Mohan Singh, Mr Malkiat Singh, Mr Jarnail Singh Aulakh, Mr Inderjeet Singh and Mr Hira Singh as Independents; for the Kharar (general) seat, Mr Bhajan Singh, Mr Narinder Singh, Mr Hukam Singh and Mr Tarlochan Singh as Independents and Mr Ujjagar Singh Wadali of the SAD; from the Kharar (reserved) seat, Mr Mokha Singh of the SAD, and Mr Harnek Singh and Mr Bahadur Singh as Independents.

Jalandhar: Several candidates, including rebel SAD leaders, on Tuesday filed nominations papers for the SGPC elections.

Jathedar Jagjit Singh Gaba, who raised a banner of revolt against SAD President Parkash Singh Badal over denial of party ticket, submitted nomination papers on Tuesday. Others included SAD candidate Kulwant Singh Mannan, Mr Partap Singh (Akali Dal), Mr Manjit Singh Reru and Mr Nirmal Singh Bedi.

Fatehgarh Sahib: On the last day of filing of nominations for the SGPC elections, a total of 14 candidates submitted their nomination papers for the four SGPC seats from the district. For the two SGPC seats from Fatehgarh Sahib, one general and one reserved, eight candidates filed their nominations, whereas for one SGPC seat at Bassi Pathana, three candidates filed their nominations. For one seat of Amloh three candidates filed nominations.

Amritsar: As many as 102 candidates filed their nomination papers for the SGPC elections on Tuesday. The names are:

For the Tarn Taran general constituency, Mr Sawinder Singh, Mr Joginder Singh, Mr Rattan Singh, Mr Satinder Singh, Mr Alwinder Pal Singh, Mr Balwant Singh, Mr Kuldip Singh and Mr Balwinder Singh.

For the Tarn Taran (women) constituency, Ms Satnam Kaur, Ms Manjit Kaur, Ms Manjit Kaur, Ms Dalbir Kaur, Ms Dalbir Kaur, Ms Sukhjit Kaur, Ms Manjit Kaur and Ms Jaspinder Kaur.

For the Bhikiwind constituency, Mr Jasbir Singh, Mr Kehar Singh, Mr Hardyal Singh, Mr Gurnebh Singh, Mr Balwant Singh, Mr Sadeer Singh and Mr Jasbir Singh.

For the Ajnala constituency, Mr Baldev Singh, Mr Arpal Singh, Mr Baldev Singh, Mr Mohan Singh, Mr Paramjit Singh and Mr Jagtar Singh.

For the Ajnala (women) reserved constituency, Ms Ranjit Kaur, Ms Devinder Kaur, Ms Sawinder Kaur, Ms Ranjit Kaur, Ms Balwant Kaur and Ms Jasbir Kaur.

For the Chogawa constituency, Mr Baldev Singh, Mr Ranjit Singh, Mr Hardeep Singh, Mr Choohar Singh and Mr Diya Singh.

For the Amritsar (west) constituency, Mr Harjinder Singh, Mr Nirmal Singh, Mr Sawinder Singh, Mr Hardyal Singh, Mr Satpal Singh and Mr Rakhbir Singh.

For the Guru Ka Bagh constituency, Mr Santokh Singh, Mr Harbhajan Singh, Mr Darshan Singh and Mr Guljar Singh.

For the Jandiala constituency, Mr Balkar Singh, Mr Gopal Singh, Mr Ajit Singh and Mr Daljinder Bir Singh.

For the Amritsar (East) constituency, Mr Onkar Singh, Mr Daljit Singh, Mr Balwinder Singh, Mr Amrik Singh, Mr Rajinder Singh and Mr Rajinder Singh.

For the Amritsar central (general) constituency, Mr Surinder Singh, Mr Surinder Singh, Mr Balwant Singh, Mr Gursharan Singh and Mr Rajinder Singh.

For the Amritsar central (reserve) constituency for women, Ms Satnam Kaur, Ms Kiranjot Kaur, Ms Paramjit Kaur and Ms Gurdarshan Kaur.

For the Patti constituency, Mr Chatterpal Singh, Mr Gurdip Singh, Mr Devinder Singh, Mr Kashmir Singh, Mr Sukhdip Singh, Mr Surinder Singh, Mr Kuldeep Singh, Mr Sukhjinder Singh and Mr Resham Singh.

For Valtoha (general) constituency, Mr Jagjit Singh, Mr Raj Singh, Mr Mahinder Singh, Mr Sukhdev Singh, Mr Jasbir Singh, Mr Surjit Singh, Mr Hardip Singh and Mr Raghbir Singh.

For the Valtoha (reserve) constituency, Mr Balwinder Singh, Mr Balbir Singh, Mr Bahal Singh and Mr Sardool Singh.

For the Khadoor Sahib constituency, Mr Joginder Singh, Mr Sukhwinder Singh, Mr Amarjit Singh, Mr Harjit Singh, Mr Bhagwan Singh, Mr Baldev Singh and Mr Kashmir Singh.

For the Naushehra Panuan (general) constituency, Mr Surjit Singh, Mr Gurbachan Singh and Mr Sardool Singh.

For the Naushehra Panuan (reserve) constituency, Ms Harbans Kaur, Ms Surinder Kaur and Ms Parkash Kaur. 


More nominations filed for SGPC poll
Tribune Reporters

Dera Bassi, June 8
Nine candidates, including a couple, filed their papers for the SGPC elections to be held on July 21 from the Dera Bassi constituency. Today was the last day for filing the nomination papers for the ensuing SGPC elections.

Of the nine candidates, the couple — Mr Nirmail Singh and his wife Ms Charanjit Kaur from Jaulakalan village — filed two nomination papers each. The couple belongs to the SAD.

The SAD General Secretary, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, who is also the MLA of the area, helped Mr Nirmail Singh and his wife in filing their nomination papers. Capt Kanwaljit Singh along with SAD candidates reached the office of Election officer-cum-SDM, Mr D.R. Garg, to submit the nomination papers. He also interacted with party workers.

Others who filed their nominations include Mr Labh Singh, Mr Angrez Singh Sohi, Mr Balwant Singh, Mr Rajendra Pal Singh Randhawa, Mr Prem Singh Kamboj, Mr Jagga Singh and Mr Karan Singh Jauli. According to the SDM, 54,725 voters will caste their vote in this Assembly segment. Scrutiny of the nomination papers will be completed by June 11 while the candidates can withdraw their candidatures till June 21. Election symbols would be allotted on June 22, he added.

The local administration has deployed 280 employees from different government departments on the election duty besides adequate police force to conduct the election process peacefully.

Kharar: Four persons filed their nomination papers as Independents and two as SAD nominees here on Tuesday for the SGPC elections scheduled for July 11.

Those who filed their papers were Mr Ujagar Singh (SAD), Mr Tarlochan Singh (Independent) and Mr Hakam Singh (Independent). All three filed their papers in the general category.

In the reserved category, the nominations were filed by Mr Mokha Singh (SAD), Mr Bahadur Singh (Independent) and Mr Harnek Singh (Independent).

Yesterday, Mr Bhajan Singh filed his papers as an Independent in the general category while his son, Mr Narinder Singh Shergill, had filed papers as the covering candidate.

Ambala: Nine candidates have filed nomination papers for the Ambala constituency for Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee poll.

The Shiromani Akali Dal Haryana state candidate Mr Harpal Singh Pali filed his nomination papers. He was accompanied by a large number of supporters. Among others, Mr Kartar Singh Takkar, Mr Ranbir Singh Fauji, Mr Surjit Singh Chauhan, Mr Bhupinder Singh Bindra, Mr Raunaq Singh and Mr Harvinder Singh were present.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) Haryana unit candidate Mr Gurdeep Singh Bhanokheri filed his papers. Mr Surjit Singh Niddar filed the papers as the covering candidate. Mr Khuspal Singh of Batorhan village, Mr Baldev Singh of Bihta village and Mr Trilochan Singh of Tharwa have filed their nomination papers. Mr Pritam Singh, Harinder Singh and Mr Balbir Singh have also filed their papers.

The returning Officer Mr HS Malik, said the inspection of the nomination papers will take place on June 11. The withdrawal of nominations can take place till June 21. He said the voting will take place on July 11 and the result will be declared on July 15.


Nominations for SGPC poll end
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
The process of filing nomination papers for the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections ended today. The elections to the SGPC general House are scheduled to be held on July 11.

The Chief Commissioner of Gurdwara Elections, Justice J.S. Sekhon, said the details would be available on Wednesday. The scrutiny of nominations would be done on June 11. In case of rejection of nominations, candidates could file revision petitions before the commission on June 14 and 15.

The nomination papers could be withdrawn till June 21. The counting would begin soon after the polling on the same day. The results would be announced on July 15.

The last SGPC general House elections were held in 1996. In the 170-member House, Punjab has 157 seats, Haryana 11, and Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh one each.

The seats are spread over 120 constituencies across Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh. As many as 30 seats are reserved for women and 20 for Scheduled Castes. 


Murder accused files papers for SGPC poll
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, June 8
An accused in cases of murder and attempt to murder, Dayal Singh Kolianwali, was among those who filed nomination papers for the SGPC elections in the district on the last day today. Kolianwali filed nomination papers as the SAD candidate from Malout through his nominee, Balwant Singh Uranga.

He was booked under Section 302 of the IPC on the charge of murdering a Congress worker two days after polling for the Lok Sabha elections last month, whereas an FIR under Section 307 of the IPC for an attempt to murder a Congress polling agent, was registered against him on the polling day, May 10.

Both cases were registered at the Malout Sadar police division. The Malout DSP, Mr Hargobind Singh, confirmed that Kolianwali was still a proclaimed offender.

Meanwhile, the SDM-cum-Returning Officer, Malout, Mr Baldev Singh, said SGPC rules permitted a proclaimed offender to file nomination papers through his nominee.

He said Kolianwali had filed two sets of papers through his nominee while his wife, Amarjeet Kaur, had filed papers as the covering candidate. She also filed two sets of papers. Mr Charanjit Singh and Mr Hardip Singh also filed papers from Malout today, while Mr Jaswant Singh had filed papers on the Panthic Morcha symbol yesterday. He had also filed papers as an Independent candidate. His son, Mr Harwinderjeet Singh, also filed papers as an Independent candidate.

BATHINDA: Fortysix candidates filed nomination papers for eight SGPC seats in the district. They included 11 women candidates. Most of the candidates filed papers after paying obeisance at Gurdwara Haziratan here.


Gurdwara Act obsolete: Morcha
Tribune News Service

A former Akal Takht Jathedar, Bhai Ranjit Singh, and Baba Sarbjot Singh Bedi of the Panthic Morcha address a press conference in Amritsar on Monday.
A former Akal Takht Jathedar, Bhai Ranjit Singh, and Baba Sarbjot Singh Bedi of the Panthic Morcha address a press conference in Amritsar on Monday. — Photo by Rajiv Sharma

Amritsar, June 8
The Panthic Morcha yesterday announced that if voted to power in the SGPC poll, jathedars would be appointed by the sarbat Khalsa as per Sikh maryada and Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President of the Shiromani Akali Dal, his wife, Ms Surinder Kaur Badal, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, and Giani Puran Singh, Head Granthi, Golden Temple, would be summoned at the Takht for allegedly violating the age-old Sikh ‘Maryada’.

Bhai Ranjit Singh, a former Jathedar of Akal Takht, and Baba Sarbjot Singh Bedi, while talking about the proposed election manifesto of the Panthic Morcha, said the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925, had become obsolete and should be amended as per Sikh maryada. They said instead of elections to the SGPC, ‘Panthic elite’ should be selected, which could manage Gurdwaras in a better way. Bhai Ranjit Singh alleged that the SAD had been dominated by the RSS ideology and if the Sikh Sangat did not wake up, it would be difficult to save Panthic traditions from the onslaught of anti-Panthic forces.

To a question, both Bhai Ranjit Singh and Baba Bedi said they would consider radical Sikhs while allocating the ticket for the SGPC elections after cross-checking their ‘Panthic credentials’.

Meanwhile, the Panthic Morcha released a list of 19 candidates for Malout, Badni Kalan, Nihal Singh Wala, Bhagta, Moga, Bathinda, Samana, Fatehgarh Sahib, Bassi Pathana, Amloh, Khanna, Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana .

The Panthic Morcha announced that the supremacy of Akal Takht and its Jathedar would be established if it was voted to power. It alleged that Sikh high priests were being treated as ‘employees’ by the present SGPC, which was against the spirit of Sikhism. Bhai Ranjit Singh and Baba Bedi alleged that Sikh identity was under threat as the SAD had allocated the ticket to those who had violated Sikh maryada in the past.

He said Mr Sucha Singh Langah, a former Akali minister who was facing charges of arranging ‘Ramayana paths’ had been given the ticket for the SGPC poll despite the code of conduct enforced by the Jathedar of Akal Takht.


Pakhoke returns vehicles
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 8
Mr Alwinder Pal Singh Pakhoke, working president, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) yesterday returned vehicles provided to him by the committee in view of the implementation of model code of conduct for gurdwara elections on July 11.

He also directed other SGPC members to follow the code.


PSEB service termination notice to 162 labourers
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has served service termination notices to 162 contract labourers working in the coal handling plant (CHP) of the Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Plant (GGSSTP) here. The said contract labourers, who have been working for more than a decade in GGSSTP, were served the three-month termination notices on May 29.

This had brought the contract labourers and the PSEB management at logger heads with each other. The contract labourers had threatened to launch an agitation over the issue. They were planning a protest with bare chests from the main gate of the GGSSTP to the office of the local Chief Engineer tomorrow.

The problem of the contract labourers in the PSEB had been going on in the GGSSTP for almost a decade now. About 2,000 contract labourers had been struggling to get their jobs regularised. They had been maintaining that keeping them on contract was exploitative and in violation of the Contract labour abolition Act.

According to the contract labour abolition Act no government organisation could hire labour on contract at any work that goes on for more than 100 days in a year. The labourer through their union moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court and later the Supreme Court to get their jobs regularised.

The Supreme Court, on the petition of the labourers had directed the contract labour advisory board of the state to constitute a committee to decide about the matter. Subsequently a three-member committee that had the representatives of the workers union, general manager of the GGSSTP and the then labour commissioner, was formed.

The committee recommended the abolition of the contact labour system in the coal handling plant of the GGSSTP. Following the recommendation of the committee the government notified the abolition of contract labour system in the GGSSTP.

After a long struggle and direction of the Supreme Court, the PSEB, about six months ago, had absorbed 662 contract labourers working in the coal handling plant of the GGSSTP as regular employees on daily wages. There services were to be regularised after a six-month completion on daily wages.

However, the service termination notices to the 162 employees had contract labourers fuming.

Mr Tiwari, president of the GGSSTP Contract Labourers Union, alleged that the Supreme Court, as per the Punjab Government notification, had ordered the complete abolition of contract labour system in the CHP. It had also ordered the pay parity to all other contract labourers working in the GGSSTP.

The PSEB was terminating the services of 162 employees despite the recommendation of the GGSSTP officers that they required all labourers for the smooth functioning of the plant. So the PSEB was committing grave injustice with the labourers who had been working in the plant for more than a decade, he alleged.

Some PSEB officials, however, said that they required just 500 labourer to run the CHP. The surplus employees were being retrenched. However, the question remained that if 162 contract labourers were really surplus why the GGSSTP authorities allowed them to continue for more than a decade.


A Profile
First SAD Dalit nominee to become
Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal (67) could not have asked for more. Supported by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), he not only becomes the first Dalit nominee of the Shiromani Akali Dal to become Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha but also the first elected representative of the Phillaur (Reserve) parliamentary constituency to get such an important position in federal politics.

He joins a select band of politicians who had been Speakers in the State Assembly before becoming a Deputy Speaker of the House of People.

Though Mr Hukam Singh (Cong) had been the first one from Punjab to become a Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Mr Atwal becomes the first non-Congressman from the state to get that position.

Mr Hukam Singh was later a Speaker. So was Dr Gurdial Singh Dhillon (Cong), also from Punjab.

In his political career spanning over 47 years, it is only his second entry to the Lok Sabha. He was first elected on the Akali Dal ticket from Ropar in 1984. But his second attempt to retain the Lok Sabha membership from Phillaur was foiled by Mr Harbhajan Lakha (BSP).

This time, he not only knocked out Mr Harbhajan Lakha, an Independent, but also member of the previous House, Mrs Santosh Chaudhary (Cong), by recording impressive wins in all nine Assembly segments of the parliamentary constituency.

In between, he had a five-year stint as Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha during SAD-BJP rule. His defeat in the last Assembly elections in 2002 came as a blessing in disguise as he has now entered the Lok Sabha to become its Deputy Speaker. Though his son, Mr Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, retained the Kum Kalan seat, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal lost from Kartarpur to Chaudhry Jagjit Singh (Cong).

For Mr Charanjit Singh becoming Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha has been a major personal achievement. He comes in place of Mr P.M. Sayeed (Cong), who had seconded his name for the position of Vice-Chairman, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, in London in 2001.

A graduate from GGN Khalsa College, Ludhiana, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal is a practising lawyer. He did his LL.B. from Panjab University. Though he entered electoral politics in 1969, he was elected a member of the Punjab Assembly from Mullanpur (Dakha) in 1977.

It was his grandfather, Sub Fateh Singh of Sikh Pioneer, a Light Infantry unit of the then British Army, who had built the historic gurdwara at Baghdad after the first World War. The gurdwara building was damaged during the recent US attacks and the Punjab Government had offered to get it repaired through “kar seva”.


Rs 3503.81 cr draft Annual Plan approved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
The Punjab State Planning Board today approved the Rs 3503.81 crore draft Annual Plan, (2004-05) against last year’s plan of Rs 2822.00 crore, showing an increase of 24.16 per cent.

The Plan gives high priority to agriculture, rural development, power, transport, science and technology and the social service sector. Out of Rs 3,503.81 crore, an outlay of Rs 524.47 crore has been set apart for implementation of various district-level schemes.

The Chief Minister, Capt. Amarinder Singh, who presided over the meeting, said an additional amount of Rs 410.40 crore was required in the Annual Plan under various schemes of different departments, as highlighted in the pre-Budget review meetings.

A report of the Plan Resource Committee, constituted under the chairmanship of Dr.S.S.Johl, Vice-Chairman, Punjab State Planning Board, to find ways and means to fund the Annual Plan was also discussed. The report suggested the mobilisation of additional resources of Rs 2,550 crore against the requirement of Rs 1,387 crore. In case all recommendations of this committee are accepted, the size of the Annual Plan could be enhanced to Rs 4,500 crore.

Consequently, it was decided that the same be discussed department-wise by the Cabinet subcommittee on fiscal management before putting up these to the Council of Ministers.

The meeting also approved the Punjab Human Development Report and considered the State Development Report, 2002, prepared by the CRRID (Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development) for the Planning Commission. The report contains recommendations such as diversification of agriculture, contract farming, improvement in the financial position of the PSEB, fiscal corrective measures and planned and institutional growth of rural and urban areas.

The report of the Committee on impact of the WTO on the Punjab economy was also discussed. The committee, under Prof. Y.K. Alagh, has proposed the setting up of an agriculture board to build a sound and reliable marketing, information, processing and export infrastructure system. It has also suggested that suitable cropping patterns be worked out for maximum returns to farmers.


Government empowers Panchayati Raj institutions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
The Punjab Government is empowering Panchayati Raj institutions for controlling and supervising the working of various other departments, this was revealed during a workshop on rural decentralisation in Punjab. It was organised by the Government of Punjab and the World Bank at a Sector 10 hotel here. The workshop was inaugurated by Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal.

Addressing the gathering, Ms Bhattal expressed the hope that the Panchayat Raj system would strengthen with the decentralisation of powers. Punjab, she claimed, was among the first few states in the country to introduce Panchayat Raj system in its present form after Independence.

Giving details, she said after 73rd amendment of Constitution, the Punjab Government enacted the Panchayat Raj Act in 1994. The State Election Commission was established under this Act. Since then, the elections to gram panchayats were being held regularly and funds were being allocated to Panchayat Raj Institutions in the state.

The Deputy Chief Minister further said the elections of Zila Parishads and block samities were due in 1999, but were postponed by the previous government. These elections were held successfully when the present government took charge in 2002 and positive steps had been taken to strengthen the system. Apart from holding elections to zila parishads, block samities and gram panchayats, the Chairperson of Zila Parishad was made Chairperson of District Rural Development agency in the district. She added that the "workshop would benefit all the elected representatives of Zila Parishads, block samities and gram panchayats.


Sarpanches for empowerment through Punjabi
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
It was the turn of sarpanches, block samiti members and others to teach a lesson or two regarding the functioning of democracy at the grassroots level to the organisers of workshop " Decentralisation of powers to panchayati raj institutions" in the airconditioned hall of Hotel Mountview here today. The workshop was organised by the Punjab Rural Development and Panchayat Department.

Environs of the venue, which was obviously selected to avoid the heat wave in countryside, started immediately warming up, as participants from various rural parts of Punjab raised a furore over the use of English by most of the speakers at the workshop. As most of the participants failed to understand what was being talked about by speakers, they repeatedly asked speakers to switch over to Punjabi. " In rural areas we interact in Punjabi and there was no logic telling us about the decentralisation of powers in English", said some of the participants opposing the proceedings of the workshop in English.

In fact, the beginning was made by Mr Tarlochan Singh Soond, a ruling party MLA from Banga, who asked the Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayats, Mr G.S. Sandhu, to address the participants in Punjabi, the official language of the state, and could be easily understood by sarpanches and others.

Mr Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister, who inaugurated the workshop in the absence of, Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar, Union Minister for Panchayat Raj, had to tell speakers that they should also explain the subject matter in Punjabi to the participants. But her direction had little effect on the speakers, who had perhaps made it a prestige issue to speak in English.

Mr Daniyal Aziz, a guest from across the border, not only stole the show at the workshop as he spoke in chaste Punjabi but also put those in awkward situation who preferred to speak in English. Mr Aziz, Federal Minister and Chairman of the National Reconstruction Bureau of Pakistan, established rapport with audience in no time, as he talked about the issues with regard to the empowerment of panchayats in simple and educative manner. Every word spoken by him was listened with rapt attention and he got a big applause when he finished the talk. Mr Aziz is an expert on dencentralisation of powers to grassroots level bodies.

Most attending the workshop said they had gained very little from it." We have been hearing all this for the past two years. There was nothing new at the workshop today except one or two points", said Mr Vikramjit Singh, a member of Block Samiti from Tanda. He said practically nothing had been done in the state as far as the empowerment of panchayati raj institutions.

Though notifications had been issued giving certain powers to panchayati raj institutions such as zila parishads, block samitis and panchayats, no effort had been made to implement these notifications in letter and spirit. Even rules had not been framed so far. He said even officers, entrusted with the job to empower institutions, were not clear about the structure of gram sabhas etc.


SAD opposes Amarinder approach
SYL canal, river waters dispute
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
The top SAD leadership is opposed to the approach adopted by the Amarinder Government on the river waters dispute and the SYL canal.

“The CM’s stand on the issue is a classic case of absolute confusion. And it reflects the lack of commitment on the part of the ruling party”, said a close aide of Mr Badal. Mr Badal and other senior leaders have been consulting river water experts on the issue. “We strongly oppose the demand made by Capt Amarinder Singh for a fresh tribunal to decide the river waters issue. We are also against seeking the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,” said the aide.

Capt Amarinder Singh is scheduled to meet the Prime Minister tomorrow to discuss the canal and other related issues.

Why is the SAD opposed to PM’s intervention? Answering the question, Mr Badal’s aide said there was a solid logic for opposing such intervention. “Seeking PM’s intervention now would justify the earlier intervention by Mrs Indira Gandhi, who as the Prime Minister in the eighties, had given an award in favour of Haryana violating all constitutional provisions and other national and international riparian precedents,” said the aide.

The SAD stand was very clear on this issue. “We want that the river waters dispute should be resolved within the constitutional framework of the country without any role for politics and other institutions,” said Mr Badal’s aide. There was no need for a fresh tribunal as it will be violative of the constitutional provisions. As it was not an inter-state river waters dispute between Haryana and Punjab, no tribunal can be set up as per the Constitution to resolve the same. Neither Haryana was a riparian state. “In the light of these facts, Haryana can’t claim any share of water from Punjab,” said the aide.

He said it was an established rule in the country that at the time of reorganisation of any state, fixed assets were not divided. River waters were covered under fixed assets and these were indivisible. And Mr Badal had challenged in court Haryana’s claim over river waters in 1978 by making the re-organisation Act as the basis for his petition. However, Mrs Indira Gandhi later made the then Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr Darbara Singh, who belonged to the Congress, withdraw the petition.

Is there any meeting ground between Mr Badal and Capt Amarinder Singh on this issue? The aide replies Mr Badal had even announced in the State Assembly that he was prepared to cooperate with the ruling party on any issue common to the interests of the state and its people. Mr Badal had no problem in discussing the issue with Congress ministers. But Mr Badal would certainly ask them to clarify the ruling party’s stand on certain issues directly related to the dispute.

First, the ruling party would have to clear its stand on the award given by Mrs Indira Gandhi. It would also have to clarify as to what thought about the withdrawal of the petition by Mr Darbara Singh and also about the laying of the foundation stone for the canal in the eighties by Mrs Indira Gandhi at Kapoori village. The Congress would also have to clear its stand on the Rajiv-Longowal accord, the aide said. For the SAD, it was a dead document which was thrown into the dustbin by Mr Rajiv Gandhi, who as Prime Minister, had even backed out from implementing its first clause — the transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab — in 1986.


1 killed in police firing
Tribune News Service

Balachaur, June 8
Tension gripped this sleepy town as a Dalit youth was allegedly killed when the police opened fire to disperse a mob of hundreds of residents of Rakran Dhahan and other nearby villages today. The villagers allegedly beat up some police officials, including two DSPs, an ASI and three constables. They also tried to set the Balachaur police station on fire.

Residents of Rakran Dhahan, Balachaur and other nearby villages were protesting against the alleged custodial death of Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Rakran Dhahan village. Rakesh had allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from the cell roof in the police station on Monday afternoon.

Though Nawanshahr SSP M.F. Farooqui had suspended a Head Constable and two Home Guard jawans, the residents, who refused to believe the police theory, were insisting that a case be registered against SHO Baldev Raj and some other cops.

Irked residents blocked traffic at the Balachaur-Hoshiarpur road and the Chandigarh-Nawanshahr national highway for over three hours in the evening. Later, the police resorted to firing to disperse the mob from in front of the Balachaur police station, which, according to the SSP, was attacked by the mob. Kewal Krishan, a Dalit resident of Balachaur township, was killed in the firing. Villagers refused to cremate the body of Rakesh Kumar till a case was registered against the ‘erring’ police officials. Another resident, Rajesh, was also injured when a bullet, allegedly fired by the police, hit him in the shoulder.

ASI Sangramvir Singh, DSPs Navjot Singh and Jagtar Singh and two constables were injured following an assault by the mob. ASI Sangramvir Singh, who was seriously injured, was taken to a private hospital. Police officials said the mob pelted the police station with stones while around 50 officials were inside. “The fire was opened only when the mob tried to set the police station on fire,” said a police official.


Diarrhoea cases: situation fluid in Ferozepore
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
The situation due to water contamination continues to be fluid in Ferozepore. Over 30 per cent of the samples collected from different parts of the city after the recent spurt in diarrhoea cases have failed the test of purity. Elsewhere in the state, more than 20 per cent samples have failed.

The sources in the Punjab Health Department reveal that out of 117 samples collected from Ferozepore alone, 36 have tested positive for impurities. Eleven residents have so far died in Ferozepore reportedly due to the malady.

The sources add that 2090 samples were collected from different parts of the state. As many as 427 have failed the test. Samples collection drive has, meanwhile, been intensified in the state, the sources claim. In case of sample failure, directions have been issued to supply potable water through tankers.

Reacting sharply to the contaminated state of health affairs in the state, the authorities have further issued guidelines to all civil surgeons and municipal authorities regarding the chlorination of water, storage of garbage and issuance of new water connections. Ban has also been imposed on the sale of cut and over-ripe fruits.

Orders have also been issued prohibiting the installation of electric pumps to pull water directly from water supply lines. The pump, according to authorities, was sucking in mud and other contaminated stuff while pulling the water from the supply lines.

Giving details, Secretary in the Health and Family Welfare Department D.S. Guru — in city after a visit to Ferozepore — asserts that municipal authorities have been asked to ensure against the issuance of new water connections without clearance from officers below Junior Engineer's rank.

Directions have also been issued to maintain cleanliness of areas around water taps and pumps. The municipal authorities have also been asked to make sure that the garbage containers are not left uncovered.

Claiming that the supply of medicines was more than sufficient in the affected areas, he says civil surgeons — in any case — have been asked to purchase medicines locally if required.

Rapid response teams have also been constituted in each districts for rushing to the affected areas without wastage of time. Instructions have also been issued to ensure against the functioning of ice factories and sale of ice candies without getting the water tested, he adds.

The system of daily monitoring has been introduced in the state and reports were being received from civil surgeons about the situation in the districts. Directions have further been issued to all Municipal Corporation Commissioners and Executive Officers to ensure proper chlorination of drinking water in the affected areas. "Super" chlorination has also been recommended in sensitive areas. 


8 water samples fail test
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, June 8
As many as 200 cases of loose motions and vomiting have been reported in government hospitals in the district since May 23. Of these 190 cases have been reported in the local Civil Hospital, four in Garshankar, and three each in Mahilpur and Dasuya civil hospitals. This was disclosed by Dr Y.C. Markan, Civil Surgeon, Hoshiarpur at a press conference here today. Besides, 59 cases had also been reported in private hospitals, according to a report of the Hoshiarpur unit of the IMA, he said.

He said the main cause of loose motions and vomiting was the use of contaminated water. Keeping in view the outbreak of gastroenteritis, 51 samples of water had been taken from various sources in the district. The results of 30 samples had been received, of which eight were found unfit for consumption. He said 436 wells had been chlorinated in the district, the municipal authorities had been instructed to install chlorinators in all tubewells.

He criticised the local municipal authorities for its failure to remove heaps of garbage lying all over the city. He said six lakh chlorine tablets had been purchased, of which four lakh, including 20,000 in Hoshiarpur, had been distributed.

He said six lakh more tablets were being purchased. Two teams had been constituted to monitor the sanitation work and to check the sale of rotten fruits and vegetables. Besides, nine teams of doctors had been constituted at the headquarters and two teams each at the subdivisional level to supervise preventive measures. Ten beds each in all civil dispensaries and hospitals had been reserved for gastroenteritis patients in the district.

They appealed to the people to use only boiled chlorinated water for drinking.


Residents stage dharna over poor water supply
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 8
Residents of Basti Guzan and adjoining localities, most of them women, yesterday sat on dharna at Basti Guzan chowk to protest against the failure of the local Municipal Corporation authorities to restore drinking water supply for the past over two weeks.

They raised anti-government slogans and alleged that though written complaints were submitted to the MC authorities for early restoration of water supply, but of no avail. They alleged the water supply was not available in Kot Mohalla, Darjian Mohalla, Bord Wala Mohalla, Main Bazaar and Basti Guzan, thus, affecting more than 15,000 population.

The traffic remained suspended for about two hours on Basti Bawa Khel road. The agitators threatened to stage dharna in front of the Commissioner’s office, if their demands were not met immediately. 


NSUI leader’s open letter to Priyanka
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 8
Accusing the District Youth Congress chief, Mr R.S. Sethi, of working at the behest of communal forces, the general secretary of the state unit of the National Students Union of India (NSUI), Mr Manvinder Deep Singh yesterday urged Ms Priyanka Vadra Gandhi to get Mr Rajinder Kumar Raja reappointed to the post for his efforts to rejuvenate the District Youth Congress at the grassroots level during his stint as its chief.

In an open letter to Ms Priyanka, he alleged that Mr Sethi managed to secure the post through money power and his links with the Youth Congress leadership.


Former YC leader contests removal
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 8
Mr Ravinder Sharma former Batala Youth Congress president, challenged his expulsion from the party, by All-India Youth Congress (AIYC) president Randip Singh Surjewala.

In a statement here yesterday he said, Mr B.K. Hariparsad, secretary, All-India Congress (AICC) was the chairperson of the 11-member coordination committee formed before the Lok Sabha elections by Mohsina Kidwai general secretary AICC, in charge, Punjab affairs.

An authorised person like Mr Hariparsad was competent to comment on anti-party activities, he added.

Mr Ravinder Sharma claimed that Ms S.K. Bhinder, Congress candidate for Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat, deputed by the coordination committee had not filed any complaint of anti-party activities against him.

Former Youth Congress leader denied that he was issued a show-cause notice.

Expulsion of the district youth Congress leader was announced by AIYC general secretary Suresh Sharma in a section of the press yesterday.


Fest marks Venus transit
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 8
A festival was organised to mark the transit of Venus by the district unit of the Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti at the Prem Sabha Senior Secondary School complex here today. The festival was inaugurated by Mr Gurtej Singh, SDM, Sangrur. More than 250 persons from various walks of life participated in it and saw the transit of Venus through reflectors, filters and telescope.

Dr Neelam Gulati Sharma, Principal Scientific Officer of the State Council for Science, Technology and Communication, Chandigarh, said the council had taken many measures to popularise science and technology, and the festival by the samiti was also one such measure.


Police fails to arrest MC officials
Tribune News Service

Mansa, June 8
A case was registered against a former executive officer (EO) and a Municipal Engineer (ME) of the Municipal Council here for their allegedly sanctioning a site plan to facilitate land grab by certain persons on May 14, 2004. The police has not arrested them so far.

The EO, now posted in Faridkot district, has secured anticipatory bail the three other accused, including the ME, posted in Kapurthala district, Mohinder Singh and Karminder Singh, both local residents, have been moving abroad despite a case under Sections 465, 467, 471 and 120-B of the IPC registered against them on the complaint of Mr Parshotam Dass. Mr Dass had alleged that the EO and the ME sanctioned site plan of a shop submitted by Mohinder Singh and Karminder Singh on a piece of land which belonged to him, last year. He added that the EO and the ME had done so to facilitate grabbing of this piece of land.

He said he had raised his objection before the Municipal officials against the plan.

Police sources said that in an inquiry into the complaint of Mr Dass, the EO, the ME, Mohinder Singh and Karminder Singh were found guilty of fabricating documents. A case against them was registered.

Mr Satwant Singh Doad, Station House Officer (SHO), city police station, said that there was no pressure on the police to protect the accused.


Cycling for a cause
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 8
After finding a place in the Limca Book of World Records for covering more than 13,000 km by walking in reverse to spread the message of peace, brotherhood, population control and AIDS awareness, D. Muniappan, a resident of Tamil Nadu (TN), has undertaken another arduous task of cycling 10,000 km for creating awareness regarding environment protection, rainwater harvesting, population control and global peace. Hailing from Malliyakarai village in Salem district of TN, 35-year-old D. Muniappan, alias Raju, who entered Bathinda district today, has cycled 6,000 km across 75 districts of seven states and union territories so far. On the way, he has been distributing pamphlets and addressing people to accomplish his mission.

Raju, who has planted more than 12,000 trees so far during his current mission, has created a number of records, including peeling off fresh coconuts in 20 seconds, lifting a 32 kg cylinder and a cycle weighing 36 kg using his teeth. All these records have been registered in the Limca Book of Records.

Besides, Raju, who has a black belt in karate and can speak seven languages, has walked backwards all the way to Tirupati from Thirumala in three hours and 10 minutes and covered Salem to Dharmapuri and back (139 km) in a single day.

Talking to TNS, Raju said he had to face after accomplishing the problems covering more than 13,000 km by walking in reverse.

“Though I was having the swelling in my feet and acute pain in my backbone, I decided to undertake the cycling tour to spread my message,” said Raju, who is an agriculturist and coach in body building and taekwondo.

Regretting that the TN Government and successive governments at the Centre had not come forward to sponsor his missions connected with the welfare of society, Raju said some individuals and business houses had contributed in arranging his current mission.

“During my cycling mission, I have been living in religious places, police stations, roadside dhabas and night shelters. I have been planting trees at every place I make a halt. So far I have been promised by social organisations that they would plant 1.3 lakh trees in the current year,” said Raju.

After completing the cycling mission in August, Raju will make preparations for his next mission. “My next mission is unique. I will arrange a motorbike rally. Residents of 30 states and union territories of India belonging to six religions will cover 4,500 km from the Vivekananda statue in Kanyakumari to Kardunga Pass, the world’s highest motorable road in India in one week,” he said.


Pak national takes back son’s body
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 8
A Pakistani Hindu took back the body of his seven-year-old son, Pawan Kumar, via the Wagah checkpost today.

Mr Vaid Mal, father of the deceased, said he had come to India on May 22, hoping that his son would be cured of a heart problem like other Pakistani children.

His son was admitted to the PGI, Chandigarh.

However, despite the best efforts of the doctors, his son could not be saved.


Residents complain against cable operator
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 8
Residents of Urban Estate, Phase II, and the Residents Welfare Society have lodged complaints with the DC and the SSP against the alleged misconduct of the cable operator of their localities.

They complained that they had tried to arrange a meeting with the cable operator over the fixation of rates but the latter disconnected the connections of the office-bearers of the society. The representatives of the society demanded that the cable operator should be director to restore the connections with immediate effect and unconditionally.

The representatives of the society also demanded a uniform rate for the entire city and that the cable rates should be increased only after prior permission of the administration.


He put her smile back
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
“Doctor is considered to be next to God.” The statement seems to be absolutely true if the case of 32-year-old Kanchan (not real name) is to be believed. A resident of Amritsar district, Kanchan, whose both fallopian tubes were removed a few years back, is today four months pregnant. Thanks to the efforts made by the doctors of Iqbal Nursing Home, who through IVF technique brought back smile on Kanchan’s face.

Dr Iqbal S. Ahuja, Medical Director, Iqbal Nursing Home, who brought the test-tube baby technology to this part of the region, talking to the press said: “The patient belongs to Amritsar district. She had ectopic pregnancies (tube pregnancy) twice, in the years 1999 and 2003. Both tubes were removed by her treating doctors at Amritsar to save the life of the mother. There can be no other alternative but to sacrifice the tubes, if there is tubal pregnancy. Even if they (the tubes) are saved, there are chances of ectopic pregnancy again,” said Dr Iqbal Ahuja.

Dr M.S. Chawla, Medical Superintendent, further added that such cases were rare but took place whenever there was pelvic infection or partial tubal blockage.” Fortunately, the ovaries of the patient were saved. After treating her for a few months the patient conceived through the IVF technique in February 2004. By the grace of God, the foetus and the mother are normal,” claimed Dr Chawla.

Kanchan said “It is a miracle. I could never imagine that I would be pregnant again because every body had declared me a hopeless case. But here, the doctors have given me a new lease of life.”


Six held for plundering Harike sanctuary
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 8
Six persons were arrested for plundering vegetation in the wild life sanctuary at Harike. The offenders used to destroy natural habitat of lotus by removing its fruit and stems called ‘kol dode’.

The six were identified as Jaswinder Singh, Khaira Singh, Balwinder Singh, Channa Singh, Dara Singh and Kulwant Singh, all belonging to Ferozepore.

All have been booked under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. A number of sacks of ‘kole dode’ (aquatic weed) was recovered from them by the Amritsar Forest Division yesterday, said Divisional Forest Officer in a press release here today.


Villagers block traffic over custodial death
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, June 8
Residents of Rakkeran Dhahan and adjoining villages held a dharna in front of the Balachaur police station and blocked traffic on the Balachaur – Chandigarh road here today in protest against the alleged custodial death of Rakesh Kumar (22), a resident of Rakkeran Dhahan village, on Monday. The agitating villagers were demanding the registration of an FIR and the arrest of the SHO, Balachaur, Mr Baldev Raj.

Tension had been prevailing in Balachaur town since morning and the police had made heavy security arrangements at the Civil Hospital, Balachaur. The villagers refused to take the body of Rakesh Kumar and issued an ultimatum to take action against the SHO by 3.30 p.m. But when no action was initiated, the villagers staged a dharna and blocked traffic at four places.

The dharna was addressed by Chaudhary Nand Lal, SAD MLA, Mr Hargopal Singh, former BSP MLA, Mr Shingara Ram Sahungra, a former BSP MLA from Garhshankar, Mr Karan Singh Rana, among others.

Meanwhile, the district unit of the Punjab Students Union, at its meeting held here today, also condemned the alleged custodial death and demanded action against the guilty.

Mr M.F. Farooqui, SSP, said on the phone that the demand of the villagers to register a case against a particular person was not justified at this stage. An FIR had been registered and a magisterial inquiry ordered, he said.


Sikh jatha leaves for Pakistan

Amritsar, June 8
A 1,050-member jatha of Sikh pilgrims today left for Pakistan to participate in a programme to mark Guru Arjan Dev’s martyrdom day at Gurdwara Dera Sahib in Lahore on June 16.

The jatha, led by SGPC representative Dilbagh Singh, left for Lahore by train from the Attari railway station.

Besides participating in the martyrdom day programme at Gurdwara Dera Sahib, the pilgrims will visit Nankana Sahib and Panja Sahib gurdwaras before returning to India on June 17. — UNI


Mann writes to PM on defence varsity
Tribune Reporters

Sangrur, June 8
Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), yesterday wrote a letter to Dr Manmohan Singh, urging him to allot the National Defence University to Punjab and set up the same at Anandpur Sahib.


Inside Babudom
Appointment of PCS officers to IAS set aside
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
Failure of the government to fill vacancies in the year they occur has been a cause of concern for the senior members of the Punjab Civil Service (Executive Branch) aspiring for appointment to the country's premier civil service -the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).

To their dismay, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has not only set aside the recommendations made by the Selection Committee for appointment to the IAS in November, 2000, by clubbing the vacancies of 1998, 1999 and 2000, but has also dismissed the review petition filed by aggrieved officers - Mr R.L. Mehta and Mr G.R. Bansal.

After the dismissal of the view petition, the appointment of Mr R.L. Mehta, Mr Megh Raj, Mrs Amrita Atwal and Mr G.R. Bansal to the IAS stands quashed.

As a sequel to this order now, there are 14 vacancies in the IAS for the Provincial Civil Service cadre - including one of 1998, three of 1999 and four of 2000. Six more vacancies have arisen between 2001 and 2004.

In the absence of appointment to the IAS, the PCS officers are not only losing seniority but also the experience of working at top civil positions - cadre posts - which are reserved for the premier central civil service only.

The ball is now back in the court of the state government which has been asked to hold a fresh meeting of the Selection Committee expeditiously for promotion of PCS (Executive Branch) officers to IAS cadre by preparing separate and distinct zone of consideration for the vacancies of each year and to prepare separate select list accordingly. CAT held that appointments recommended on November 16,2000, by clubbing vacancies of three years were in flagrant violation of the IAS (Appointment by Promotion) regulations, 1955.

Appointment letters

Meanwhile, 26 of 28 PCS officers (Executive Branch) who were cleared for appointment by the Punjab Public Service Commission in November last year got their job letters today. Last week, there was some movement suggesting that those appointed to the Allied Services, including Tehsildars, would get their job letters soon. But all letters were issued today.

The job letters to PCS (Allied Services) are issued by the Financial Commissioner concerned. For example, appointment of Tehsildars is made by the Financial Commissioner (Revenue).


Cops’ bid to rape minor, 1 held
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 8
Two Punjab police personnel allegedly attempted to rape a minor at Focal Point here today. While one was arrested from the spot after his attempt to escape was foiled by the public, the other managed to flee.

The father of the 11-year-old girl, in his complaint, alleged that his daughter went to answer nature’s call near Focal Point this morning. Subsequently, he heard screams of his daughter, who was allegedly being molestated by two persons.

According to the complaint, the duo tried to kidnap her. He was beaten up by them following his attempt to resist their moves. Sensing danger to the life of his daughter, he raised the alarm. People immediately gathered there and saved the girl from the clutches of the abductors. While one of them was captured the other managed to escape.

Later, the suspect was handed over to the police. He was identified as Surjit Ram, a Punjab police constable posted at the Police Lines, Patiala. The other suspect has been identified as Teja Singh posted at the Police Lines, Amritsar. A case has been registered under Sections 354, 366-A, and 511 of the IPC.


Grocer shot at, robbed of Rs 1 lakh
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, June 8
Two armed persons fired at a local grocer, Surinder Kumar Dhuria, in the Kailash Nagar locality of the town last night and fled after snatching a bag containing about Rs 1 lakh.

Surinder Kumar said after closing his shop in the main Sarafa Bazar, near Clock Tower, he was returning home on his scooter when two persons, both carrying revolvers, tried to snatch his bag. Since he resisted, he was hit on the head with the butt of a revolver. The assailants snatched the bag, fired upon him and fled.

Surinder Kumar was admitted to the local Civil Hospital. The doctors attending on him said he was out of danger. On hearing the news of the assault, hundreds of traders and other residents gathered at the hospital. Members of the Beopar Mandal, Fazilka, led by Mr Satish Dhingra, general secretary of the state unit of the mandal, and Mr Manjeet Singh Murli, vice-president of the local unit of the mandal, held an emergency meeting of traders.

On a call of the Beopar Mandal, all shopkeepers of the town, except chemists and hoteliers, who were exempted from the strike, observed a bandh today in protest against the assault. Hundreds of traders took out a protest march from the Clock Tower through the main bazars of the town and presented a memorandum to Mr Upjeet Singh Brar, SDM, Fazilka.

It has been demanded in the memorandum that additional police force be deployed to check increasing crime. The constitution of a special investigation team to probe the assault and robbery has also been demanded.

Since the DSP, Fazilka, is on leave, a police team led by Mr Narinder Pal Singh, DSP, Abohar, holding additional charge along with Mr Davinder Singh and Mr Jaswinder Singh, SHOs, visited the scene of the crime. A case under Section 382 of the IPC and the Arms Act has been registered.


5 held for selling pirated CDs
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 8
The police here has registered four cases relating to the manufacture and sale of fake compact discs(CDs).

Fake CDs manufactured in and around this town find customers in markets of Haryana and Rajasthan.

Mr Kapil Dev, SSP, at a press conference here yesterday, said that the police arrested five persons manufacturing and selling fake CDs.

The police arrested Mohinder Pal, Veer Colony of the town and recovered 5,000 fake CDs and 15,000 wrappers from him. The accused had been making fake CDs for the past four to five months and allegedly earned Rs 1,000 a day. The police arrested Dharampal Singh of Gurusar Sanewala village for manufacturing fake CDs. Nearly 418 fake CDs and 7260 wrappers were recovered from him.

The SSP added on June 4, Vinod Kumar and Vijay Kumar, both residents of the town were arrested, 426 fake CDs were recovered from them. Most of the fake CDs were pornographic. On June 5, the police arrested Harminder Singh, for his alleged involvement in the sale of fake CDs. Nearly 180 fake CDs were recovered from him.

Mr Dev pointed out four cases were registered.


Case against 7 undertrials for escape attempt
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 8
The Kotwali police has registered a case against seven undertrials who tried to escape from a special cell in the District Court Complex here yesterday evening.

According to the police, the undertrials were caught while trying to make a hole in the wall of the cell by a Home Guard jawan who became suspicious when he heard a noise emanating from the cell.

The noise was created after two bricks fell down when the wall was being prised by a metal pipe. Inderjit Singh of Home Guard immediately informed the other cops present on the spot.

The undertrials have been identified as Ranjit Bharti, Ajay Kumar, Sanju, Raju, Subhash and Ranjit Kumar. They had procured an iron pipe from the bathroom attached to their special cell in the court complex which is known as the “Bakhikhana”.

Police sources said one of the undertrials - Ranjit Bharti, had earlier also escaped from the ‘Bakhikhana’ in a similar manner.


Truck carrying poppy husk impounded

Moga, June 8
The police today impounded a truck carrying poppy husk in a drive against smugglers and anti-social elements. Two suspects escaped.

District police chief M.S. Chhina said that the police intercepted a truck on the Moga-Kotkapura road, but Angrez Singh and Bakshish Singh escaped.

Mr Chhina said the two abandoned the vehicle with 40 bags of poppy husk in it.

He said both suspects faced cases under the NDPS Act and had escaped from Ferozepore jail.

He said the poppy husk was brought from Madhya Pradesh for sale in Punjab. — PTI


Panchkula youth, another killed
Our Correspondent

Moga, June 8
Two youths driving a scooter were killed when their vehicle collided head-on with a truck opposite the Moga Sub Jail today afternoon on the grand trunk road. A report said that the scooter was coming from Ludhiana side while the truck was going towards Ferozepore side. The accident occurred when the truck was negotiating a turn from a divider when the scooter collided with it. 

The police has sent the bodies for a post-mortem. The dead were later identified as Amrit Kumar Panchkula and Rakesh Kumar of Vedanat Nagar, Moga. The police has registered case.


2 hurt in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Kharar, June 8
Two persons, including a teenager, were seriously injured when a car and a scooter collided near Mundi Kharar here today.

The injured persons, Mr Darshan Singh (22) and his nephew, Satwinder Singh (13), were taken to the local Civil Hospital by passersby.

It is learnt that Mr Darshan Singh was going to Paintpur village to leave his nephew when the accident took place.

It is alleged that the car involved in the accident belonged to the president of the local Municipal Council.


Youth shot dead
Our Correspondent

Mansa, June 8
A youth, Manpreet Singh Money, was shot dead here on Sunday. 

A case has been registered under Sections 302 and 201 of the IPC.


Technical varsity ties up with CII
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 8
Punjab Technical University has tied up with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Technology Development Board (TDB).

Representatives of the CII, PTU and its five affiliated colleges signed a memorandum of understanding in this regard during a meeting held here today. As per the terms and conditions of the MoU, the students and the faculty of the PTU will be involved in designing projects for research and development activities, product design, development and testing, training of personnel, technology adaptation and other activities pertinent to industry.

The TDB, in association with the CII, has agreed to finance at least Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh for the initial phase of the partnership. They have also agreed to fund Rs 3 lakh to 5 lakh for the next three years to give an impetus to various activities to be taken up by different institutes.

The PTU will act as the nodal centre to be headed by Dr R.P.Singh, Associate Dean and in charge of the planning and development division of the university. The responsibility for marketing, software development and networking has been entrusted with Dr Ajay Prashar of the APJ Institute of Management, Jalandhar. Dr V.J. Dhar and his team from the Indo-Soviet College of Pharmacy in Moga will look after the pharmacy industry of the state.

Similarly, Prof Bhupinder Verma of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Bhaddal, has agreed to interact with the industry involved in virtual instrumentation and automation.

Dr Sanjay Modi of the Lovely Institute of Management, Jalandhar, will deal with industrial problems pertaining to Intellectual property rights, management, law and pharmacy. Mr Anuranjan Sharda of the Rayat Institute of Engineering and Technology, Nawanshahr, will deal with the industry involved in mechanical and production engineering.

Addressing the gathering, Dr S.K. Salwan, PTU Vice-Chancellor, said the linkage would be mutually beneficial to industry and the institutions. He said the PTU could help industry in training man power through tailor-made modules in stress management, team building and effective communication skills.

He said the faculty and the students had the capability of developing software as per the needs of the local industry and institutions for library management, finance and accounts, and ERP systems for institutional governance.

Mr Gursharan Singh, a member of the CII Punjab State Council, said students could take up consultancy assignments with various institutions in preparing them for accreditation, human resource activities, setting up of effective governance procedures, formulating staff and faculty manual. 


Protest against quota in education

Patiala, June 8
The All-India Equality Forum today organised a protest in front of the main gate of the Diesel Component Works here against the decision of the Centre to introduce reservation in education in the private sector.

Punjab General Category Welfare Federation president Shyam Lal Sharma and General Samaj Party general secretary T.N. Sharma said introducing reservation in private institutions would result in a steep drop in merit and would be discriminatory to other sections of society.

The forum decided to start a general awareness movement on the issue. TNS


PCCTU dharna on June 15
Our Correspondent

Barnala, June 8
The state executive committee of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) will organise a dharna in front of the DPI (Colleges) Punjab’s office at Chandigarh on June, 15 to protest against indifference of the Punjab government towards problems of college teachers of 172 private colleges. Dr Jagwant Singh, general secretary PCCTU said here today decision on a dharna was taken by the Executive Committee of the PCCTU recently.

The PCCTU has been demanding 95 per cent grant-in-aid to private colleges of Punjab, Pension Gratuity Scheme from December 18.12.1996. and notification regarding revised UGC pay scales.


Landline disconnections on rise
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 8
Thousands of telephone subscribers in the state have got their landline connections disconnected after the start of mobile services.

As many as 23,000 phone connections have been cancelled in Punjab, said Mr G. S. Bhatia, Chief General Manager, Telephone (GMT). He was here to inaugurate a 10,000-line Tarang (WLL Service) exchange on Guru Ravi Dass Telephone Exchange premises here today.

Mr Bhatia said the disconnection of landline telephones had been supplemented with more than three lakh BSNL mobile connections in 18 months. He asserted that this was not because of any negligence in service.

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