P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Dal Khalsa releases report on SGPC mismanagement
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 29
The Dal Khalsa in a report released today described the functioning of the SGPC as poor. The committee has also failed to give proper guidance to the Sikh panth during this period, the report stated.

The report which was released to the press here by Mr Satnam Singh Paunta Sahib, senior Vice-President of the Dal Khalsa, alleged that since 1996 ruling members of the SGPC and the SAD had caused colossal damage to the age-old Sikh institutions, including denigration of the post of the Jathedar of Akal Takht. The report alleged that the Sikh panth was virtually divided during the tercentenary celebrations of the birth of the Khalsa panth which brought a bad name to the community at that time.

The report alleged that the resources of the SGPC which was called ‘mini Parliament of the Sikhs’ had been misused for achieving political ends in the past eight years. A number of petitions filed in the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission was a clear indication of the corruption rampant in the SGPC during the period. The period also witnessed ‘horse trading’ of SGPC members. The members were given permits of buses to shift their loyalty. The report alleged that the ‘kar seva’ used to be given to certain ‘babas’ against alleged favours.

The Dal Khalsa alleged that the indifferent attitude of the ruling SGPC and the SAD led to mushrooming of self-styled godmen. The membership of the SGPC was considered as stepping stone for entering into active politics. Many members of the SGPC and their family members were not baptised as per bylaws of the SGPC.

In the prevailing situation there was a dire need of amending the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925, so that only those who really wanted to serve the community without any material gain could be elected.


Vote honest members to SGPC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
The Shiromani Khalsa Dal today asked the Sikh masses to rise above party lines and vote for honest candidates willing to work for religion during the forthcoming SGPC poll. They also released the election manifesto and a list of candidates who should be voted in.

Addressing a press conference here, the dal members also demanded a change in the system of electing members to the board. In fact, they demanded that selections should replace elections so as to prevent undeserving candidates from making it to the board.


Report on sensitive polling stations sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
The Gurdwara Election Commission has sought reports on "sensitive" polling stations so that additional measures could be taken for fair and free polls to the 170-member Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee's general house next month. The commission was expected to demand the deployment of additional forces at these booths once the process of identifying the booths concludes.

The sources in the Punjab Government revealed that senior officers — attached with the election commission — were already carrying out extensive surveys of all the districts in the state in an attempt to spot booths "vulnerable to violence". The sources said the entire Amritsar district — according to reports compiled after preliminary inquiry — was sensitive.

They added that Muktsar district too was "susceptible to aggression" during the SGPC polls. They also expressed apprehensions about security arrangements in some pockets of Patiala district.

The sources further claimed that the adoption of preventive measures in these areas was necessary during the SGPC elections as even Lok Sabha polls held last month in the state were "not entirely free from incidents of violence" despite heavy force deployment.


SGPC-run medical college: impasse continues
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 29
Even as the high-powered committee headed by Justice G.R. Majithia gave a patient hearing to the views presented by the SGPC delegation, managing the medical and dental colleges here last night, the impasse continues as the state government is yet to amend the rules governing the medical college entrance test by privately-run minority Sikh institutions in the state.

Giving the information here today the Director, Sri Guru Ram Das Medical College, Dr U.S. Dhaliwal, said the committee monitoring the admission procedure had again invited them tomorrow as the meeting had remained inconclusive. Dr Dhaliwal added that the association of unaided Sikh minority medical and dental institutions of Punjab had sought the permission from the government to allow them to conduct separate entrance test on the guidelines of the apex court which had clearly given its verdict.


NRI’s murder planned by estranged wife
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 29
The conspiracy to murder Balbir Singh, a USA-based NRI, who was shot dead at his ancestral house in Raipur Rasoolpur village, near here, on the night of June 18, was allegedly hatched by his estranged wife Tejinder Kaur, mother-in-law Jasbir Kaur and brother-in-law Gurinder Pal Singh in the USA. The murder was executed with the help of their relatives here.

Balbir Singh had come from the USA to his native village on June 8 and was shot dead by some persons on the night of June 18. Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SSP, said the NRI’s estranged wife Tejinder Kaur, hailing from Kingran Choan village near Bhogpur, planned the murder. Tejinder Kaur and Balbir Singh had been living separately in the USA and had filed a divorce case.

Investigation carried out by Mr Opinderjit Singh Ghumman, Mr Rakesh Kaushal, both SPs and Inspectors Pritam Singh and Gurmail Singh revealed that Tejinder, her mother and brother planned Balbir’s murder. It was found that Gurcharan Singh Pamma, a resident of Kullan in Fatehabad district, Haryana, and Surinder Pal Singh Rana, a resident of Bhakla village of Hoshiarpur district who were relatives of Tejinder, were given the task of murder. The murder was committed with a countrymade revolver.

Maintaining that Gurcharan, Surinder, his father Jarnail Singh and mother Tarlochan Kaur have been arrested, Mr Bhullar said extradition process would be initiated to bring the remaining suspects to India.


Cellphone company employee beaten to death; 2 held
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 29
An employee of a service provider to a mobile company was beaten to death while one of his associates got injured on being attacked by four members of a family at Sansarpur village near here late last night.

According to the police, the victim identified as Sanjeev Lakhanpal (27) of the local Ghai Nagar locality, along with his three associates, Gagandeep, Sumit and Vikram, went to the residence of Sukhjinder Singh of Sansarpur village, who had earlier been working with the same mobile company, late last night to get back a mobile phone for the latter’s failure to pay the requisite amount.

When Gagandeep asked Sukhjinder to hand over the mobile phone, the latter started abusing him on the pretext that four of the company’s employee had come to his residence late in the night to get back the set. Sensing trouble, they backed out of the place. Sukhjinder, his brother Jatinder Singh and his parents chased and attacked them. While Gagandeep and Vikram managed to escape from the spot on their motor cycle, Sanjeev and Sumit were overpowered by the family members.

Sukhjinder, according to the police, allegedly attacked Sanjeev with a sharp-edged weapon on his head causing serious injuries. Sanjeev fell unconscious and was later found lying in a pool of blood. Sumit was also mercilessly beaten up by the attackers. Sumit, in his statement to the police, alleged that though they cried for help, but none of the villagers came to their rescue. Later, Sanjeev was taken to a private hospital on the motor cycle by Sumit, where the former was declared brought dead. The police has registered a case under Sections 302, 34 of the IPC. The police has arrested Suba Singh and Baljeet Kaur, father and mother of Sukhjinder, in this regard while raids were being carried out to nab the remaining accused.


16 Pak prisoners to be freed from Indian jails
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 29
Sixteen Pakistani prisoners lodged in various prisons in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir will be repatriated to their country shortly even as a joint meeting of Indian and Pakistani officials would check their antecedents at a meeting, scheduled to be held for the first time here tomorrow. Earlier, such meetings used to be held in Jaipur.

Mr S.K.Dutta, Inspector-General (Prisons), said from tomorrow, the joint meetings to cross-check the identity of the Pakistani prisoners would be regularly held once in four months. Earlier, Mr Dutta and Mr Vinod Bhalla, Additional Secretary, Home (Central Government), had met the higher Central authorities for holding regular meetings in Punjab for taking prompt decisions to repatriate the Pakistani prisoners.

Mr S.P. Singh, Superintendent, Central Jail here, said Mr Ram Ratnam, a senior official of the Ministry of External Affairs and officials of the Pakistani Embassy would visit the jail for identification.

Three prisoners, Mohammad Ibrar Khan, Rashid Mehnaz Khan and Nawabudin, alias Nawab, were brought from a Jammu and Kashmir jail. Thirteen prisoners are lodged in Amritsar and Patiala jails. They are Asid Ali, a resident of Harpal Ke, Mohammad Mian, Zulafkar (from Lahore district). These three are lodged in the Amritsar jail. Alla Ditta, a resident of Lahore, and Sehbaz, a resident of Narowal district, are (lodged in Patiala’s Central Jail.

The eight internees lodged in Amritsar jail include Hanif Mohammad (Sahewal district), Ahmad Ali (Sargoda district), Gunga, Mullan Masood (Narowal district), Asad Mehmood, alias Achhi (of Rawalpindi), Ramzano (Sialkot district), Ziual Rehman (Mansora district), and Mohammad Din (Bahawalpur).


Avail services of District Passport Cell, says RPO
Tribune Reporters

Jalandhar, June 29
While seeking to remove apprehension from minds of residents of Amritsar district that they would be subjected to inconvenience with the closure of the Amritsar Passport Application Collection Centre, Mr Amarjit Singh, Regional Passport Officer, Jalandhar, today urged the passport seekers to avail the services provided by the District Passport Cell and the Speed Post Centre functioning in Amritsar.

Mr Amarjit Singh further clarified that no extra amount over and above the required fee was to be charged by the District Passport Cell, which was also undertaking the work of police reports done at its level which would save the time of sending personal particulars forms from the Regional Passport Office, Jalandhar to the SSP, Amritsar.

“People are advised to avail the services of the cell and through the Speed Post centre and no extra fee would be charged for these services. As regards miscellaneous services, general public is advised either to submit such forms directly at the RPO, Jalandhar, or send these by post. In addition, such services could be applied through authorised travel agents,” Mr Amarjit Singh said.

Mr Amarjit Singh said the Passport Application Centre at Amritsar was started in 1995 when there was no other centre to render the required services.” With the decentralisation of passport-related work, a District Passport Cell has been functioning in the same old complex since March, 2003, in addition to a Speed Post Centre at the GPO, Amritsar,” Mr Amarjit Singh said. The reports of closure of the passport office in Amritsar, catering to needs of residents of Amritsar and Gurdaspur districts, had invited criticism from different quarters, including the Amritsar MP, Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, who had said that he would take up the matter in the Parliament.

AMRITSAR: The district authorities decided not to accept a fee of Rs 100 for submitting passport forms at the ‘Suvidha Kendra’ (convenience center) run by the district administration.

Mr Raminder Singh, Deputy Commissioner, in a press note issued here today said that it was done to save people from inconvenience as the Passport Collection Centre was scheduled to close on June 30. He said the kendra would continue to collect passport forms.

Meanwhile, Mr Inderjit Singh Basarke, President, District Congress Committee (Rural), in a communication to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh sought his intervention to continue the Passport Collection Centre that was catering to needs of the residents of border districts of Gurdaspur, Ferozepore and Amritsar. He stated that in the light of the fact of improved relations between India and Pakistan the office must continue its operation.

He said there was also a popular demand to start a bus service from Amritsar to Nankana Sahib and back. In these conditions the proposal to close down the office would have adverse consequences.


Firm charged with selling contaminated medicines
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 29
A local farmer — advocate has accused a multinational, Intervet India Limited, a subsidiary of a leading veterinary company, of releasing contaminated vials of Tonophosphon VET, which he claims can effect the heath of dairy animals in Punjab.

Mr Inderbir Singh Sahdev claimed during an interaction with The Tribune that his employee had purchased three vials of Tonophosphon VET (20 per cent solution) from a medical store at Nandpur Kesho village in the district on June 15. He said when his village veterinarian was going to inject a buffalo after taking out the solution from one of the vials, he saw foreign bodies in the solution.

Mr Sahdev said he prevented the veterinarian from giving the injection, following which he examined the other two vials. “Both had foreign bodies and seemed to be contaminated”, he said. All three vials were manufactured in June, 2002, under batch number TN2-212008 and were due for expiry in June, 2004.

The complainant said following this, he had contacted the medical store, but he could neither get a satisfactory response, nor get the vials replaced. He said as he was left with no option, he had faxed complaints to the Intervet India Limited head office in Pune and to the international office of the company.

Mr Sahdev said during the monsoon, dairy animals and pets were infected by a number of diseases. He said injections like Tonophosphan were necessary to protect them from infections. He alleged that the contaminated medicines could wreak havoc on the dairy industry. He demanded that the company remove the entire batch of the medicine from the market and destroy it, besides warning the people through the media not to use medicines of this particular batch. He said vials of this batch should be removed from the market in other countries like China, Nepal and Bangladesh, to which the country was exporting injections.

Meanwhile, Intervet India Vice-President V.K. Nayar, when contacted at the company’s head office at Pune, said poor storage conditions could be responsible for what was being referred to as “foreign particles”. He said the vials were supposed to be kept under 20°C and if this did not happen, “oily separation’’ could take place, which made it appear as if there were foreign particles in the solution.

Mr Nayar said the company had consulted its principals abroad as a complaint had reached them. He said accordingly, the area sales manager had been asked to contact the complainant and make an on-the-spot study of the vials which were in the possession of Mr Sahdev. He said the company would replace the vials which had been bought by Mr Sahdev and request him to hand over the vials in his possession for detailed investigations.


People build Rs 2 cr hospital, govt fails to upgrade it
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Moga, June 29
It is a rare case of government apathy. People of Badhani Kalan town here have invested a Rs 2 crore to reconstruct a Primary Health Centre (PHC) building, but the government seems least interested in upgrading the hospital.

This four-block hospital is largely underutilized as only a single block houses the mini PHC and the rest are not used.

The hospital has only one doctor, who too is an eye specialist. Patients suffering from other ailments are referred to the Civil Hospital, Moga. Having provision of 50 beds, the hospital, at present has only 10 beds.

There are no medical instruments and machines in the hospital except two opthalmoscopes, which belong to a doctor.

The mini PHC, which caters to medical needs of thousands of people of 46 nearby villages (in 8 km radius), was in a dilapidated state when a health committee was formed in 1990.

The committee collected Rs 70,000 Rs 80,000 for renovation in 1991.

The committee’s efforts bore fruit in 1992 when the Finance Department sanctioned Rs 18 lakh for the hospital building and the CMO, Faridkot, asked the Director, Health Department, to take up the case with the government, but nothing concrete came out of it.

Same year, three Punjab Ministers announced upgradation of the hospital in Badhani Kalan, but it turned out to a politician’s promise.

The Public Works Department also declared the building ‘unsafe’ in 1999.

Disappointed, the committee, residents and NRIs of the area decided to have a new building with own efforts.

In 2000, construction of the hospital began under the supervision of Baba Man Singh and Baba Mohan Singh. Soon a four-block building spread over 25,000 square feet, was ready.

Again promises from various persons occupying important posts followed, but outcome was the same.

At last, the committee demanded upgradation of the hospital to a 30-bed hospital compared to earlier demand of 50-bed hospital.

Four years have passed, they still are waiting for a positive response from the government.

General Secretary of the Health Committee, Shivender Puri told The Tribune that they had not received a reply from the government regarding their demand and it had always been one-sided correspondence.

Mr Puri said all political parties promised upgradation during-election days, but forgot everything later. He added that they would take up the matter with CM, Amarinder Singh after the Cabinet reshuffle in July.

Chief Medical Officer, Barinder Pal Singh, said they were facing some technical problems in the case, but still efforts were on.

Health Department sources said the Director had sought some details regarding the matter and the CMO had written to the Medical Officer, Badhani Kalan mini PHC, in this regard.


Dharnas against attack on patients, hospital staff
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 29
The staff of the local Civil Hospital and residents of Badri Nath colony here today staged dharnas at different places to protest against the attack on hospital staff and patients by some miscreants late last night.

The hospital staff condemned the incident, in which some patients, admitted in the emergency wing, were beaten up by some miscreants. Besides, medical equipment were broken by the attackers.

The staff members alleged that there was no law and order in the city and even hospitals were being targeted openly. Later, they submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Gupta and the SSP Mr G.P.S.Bhullar, and sought the arrest of the accused.

On the other hand, residents of the Badri Nath colony and relatives of the affected patients sat in dharna on Mahavir Marg and blocked traffic for about one hour to protest against the failure of the police to nab the accused. They demanded that strict action should be taken against police officials who failed to respond to their calls. Later, the dharna was lifted following assurances by senior police officials.

Mr Rajpal Singh Sandhu, SP, said four accused had been identified in the case while two of them, who allegedly got themselves admitted in a private hospital on fake medical grounds, were arrested. They have been identified as Vicky and Rakesh of the Garha locality.


Hospitals report gastro cases
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, June 29
Even as the district administration claims that efforts are being made to check the spread of gastroenteritis, a few isolated cases of the disease continue to arrive at the civil hospital and private clinics here.

As per official records, there were four outdoor patients of gastroenteritis at the civil hospital and two indoor patients at Subhash Hospital today. Two outdoor and two indoor patients of gastroenteritis were reported yesterday. No gastroenteritis case was reported on Sunday while there were 10 patients of gastroenteritis on Friday and four on Saturday.

To bring about awareness on various precautionary measures to be taken this season, banners had been put up at various places in the district. Dr S.P. Jagat, Civil Surgeon, said awareness programmes were being organised in several slum areas. He said chlorine tablets were being distributed and residents were being told not to consume uncovered food. He further said isolated cases of the disease were not unusual in the hot, humid weather.


Illegal fishing continues in Ranjit Sagar Lake
Ravi Bhushan Puri

Pathankot, June 29
Despite being banned, illegal fishing is going on unabated in the Ranjit Sagar Dam (RSD) reservoir, causing huge losses to the state exchequer. Ranjit Sagar Lake, named after Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab, has been formed upstream of the dam extending up to 22 km with a maximum width of 5 km and a depth of 150 metres. The dam project is an inter-state venture of Punjab, Himachal Pardesh, and Jammu and Kashmir.

Though nobody is allowed to visit the dam without prior permission of the authorities concerned, the members of a gang are indulging in illegal activities for more than past one year, sources said.

The RSD Chief Engineer, Mr Bhalinder Singh, said fishing was completely banned. He, however, denied that illegal fishing was going on. On the condition of anonymity, a senior functionary of the RSD said illegal fishing had been going unabated since the lake came into existence. He said the major area of operation of the mafia was Basholi village, at a distance of 7 km from the dam site. Sources revealed that the officials of the Pong Dam auction the lake for fishing and are earning crores of rupees per annum.

According to villagers, the mafia men have hired jeeps, boats, and more than 50 persons who are helping in their illegal operations of catching fishing from the prohibited area. Due to their terror in the area, no one has complained about their illegal activities, said an elderly person of Marwan village.

Mr Karamjit Singh Chahal, Assistant Director (Fisheries), Punjab, when contacted, feigned ignorance in this regard.

Mr Manminder Singh, SP, said the police had booked two persons recently for boating in the prohibited lake area.

Meanwhile Mr Nattha Singh and Mr Harinder Singh Randhawa, president and general secretary, respectively, of the Thein Dam Workers Union, have demanded a complete ban on illegal fishing in the prohibited lake area and also demanded tight security arrangements around the lake to avoid any untoward incident.


Old Sabzi Mandi land cleared; plans for mall
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 29
Almost three acres of the Old Sabzi Mandi prime land occupied by stalls and phariwallas was cleared by Municipal Corporation (MC) today.

Nearly six acres of the MC land in the Old Sabzi Mandi had been under lease to the Mandi Karan Board and some private lessees since 1953. Although the leases had expired years ago, the occupants, despite having been allotted sites at Vallah had created hurdles against the clearance by the district administration.

The MC plans to use the Old Sabzi Mandi prime land acquired today for either constructions of multi-storey parking complex or a posh shopping Mall.

Today’s anti-encroachment drive was completed in two hours in the presence of nearly 500 personnel, including 300 policemen. Demolition of the shops having stay orders was spared.

The MC Commissioner, Mr K.S. Kang, said the majority of the private lessees were defaulting on lease agreement and would not be spared.

The Mandi land is close to the Hall Gate, one of the 12 historical gates of the city. The plan of constructing either a parking complex or a multiplex could earn crores for the cash-strapped MC. The Commissioner indicated that those displaced from area could be given soft options in the complex.

Meanwhile, the MC legal cell and the Mandi Karan Board would prepare data on the ‘feasibility’ of the shops that have obtained stay order.

Mr Harish Taneja, General-Secretary of the Fruit and Vegetable Merchants’ Union, in a press conference held today decried the demolition of 75 platforms in the Sabzi Mandi. He announced the suspension of the business of fruits and vegetable in both the old Mandi and the new Vallah Mandi on July 1.


MC to grow fodder on retrieved land
Our Correspondent

Employees unions raise slogans against scribes

Members of two employees unions staged a dharna at the office of the Municipal Council here today in protest against reports published in certain newspapers on the condition of sanitation in the town. They raised slogans against newspapers and alleged that reports on sanitation were being given after distorting facts. The unions demanded that the action initiated against council officials in connection with the sanitation aspect by the Department of Local Government should be withdrawn.

Kharar, June 29
The Municipal Council has decided to grow fodder in the more than five acre land falling in Mundi Kharar that was retrieved by the civic body a few days ago. A decision to this affect was taken at the monthly meeting held here today.

The council had retrieved 38 kanal and 14 marlas of prime land, worth about Rs 3 crore which remained in illegal possession for almost three decades, on June 24. The House decided that a proper demarcation of the land should be done. The members present at the meeting said that the Executive Officer, Mr Jagjit Singh Sahi, and other officials who got the land retrieved from illegal possession should be given appreciation letters by higher authorities for the work.

Regarding the inability shown by the Market Committee to pay rent to the civic body for using its land for holding Apni Mandi, the House argued that the committee was charging parking fee from people in Anaj Mandi area. If the committee wanted that rent should not be demanded by the civic body for holding the mandi, then it should not charge parking fee in the Anaj Mandi. Moreover, the committee would have to clean up the area after holding the mandi at Dasehra Ground every Saturday.

The House also decided to deposit the water cess amount under protest and if possible in instalments. The civic body had approached the Chairman of Punjab Pollution Control Board to direct officials concerned to recheck the water cess amount as it was on the higher side and not in proportion to the discharge population. But the department concerned had taken no action in this regard.

Regarding the sale of different pieces of land in Mundi Kharar, the council decided that the sale part could be discussed later when the council would have to give its share of the amount after getting a loan from HUDCO. Till then the area should be got fenced.


Shiv Sainiks burn Mufti’s effigy
Our Correspondent

Phagwara June 29
As a part of their protests against the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, the activists of the Shiv Sena (Hindustan), led by its district president, Mr Ajay Mehta, today first “hanged” and then burn an effigy of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed at the Gol Chowk on the GT road here for interfering in the religious affairs of Hindus and for curtailing the duration of the Amarnath Yatra from two months to one month.

They also blocked the vehicular traffic for some time. Shiv Sainiks made make-shift “gallows” with two bamboo poles to “hang” the effigy before Consigning it to flames. They also demanded an end to the exploitation of the pilgrims visiting the Amarnath shrine.

Meanwhile, it was learnt that the Delhi-Lahore international bus also remained stranded for a few minutes during the road blockade.


Complete sewerage project, say residents
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 29
Residents of Lakkar Mandi, near old chungi, on the Patiala-Rajpura road here are sore over the poor condition of the roads of the locality. A sewerage project, which was started nearly eight months ago, has created a nuisance for the residents of the locality.

The residents said the sewerage project, the foundation stone of which was laid by local MP Preneet Kaur, had not been completed till yet. They said this had effected the business of the shopkeepers of the area. The municipal corporation had failed to take up any concrete steps, despite several requests, said one of the shopkeepers of the area.

Being the main lakkar mandi of the area, the usual rush of heavy vehicles in the area leads to daily traffic jams. When contacted, the Mayor, municipal corporation, Mr Vishnu Sharma, claimed that the sewerage project, which included laying down of sewerage lines from Lakkar Mandi to Sanauri Adda, had been completed.


Educational trip for orphanage kids
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 29
Helping Hands, an NGO, in association with State Bank of Patiala (SBOP) took the girls of local Shankutla Orphanage to an educational tour to the holy city Amritsar.

As many as 40 girl students along with teachers were flagged off by the Chief Manager, Community Service Banking, SBOP, Mr Sudesh Verma. The president of the NGO, Mr Vijay Gupta, and programme in charge, Mr Jatinder Narula, were also present on the occasion.

The students visited the Golden temple and Jallianwala Bagh at Amritsar. They also visited the Wagah Border and saw the flag ceremony. When questioned about the idea behind the trip, Mr Vijay Gupta said during the summer vacation children go out with their parents and it was their responsibility to take care of such under-privileged children. In addition, the State Bank of Patiala has also set up a computer lab in the local Shankutla Girls School.


‘Remove names of 32 Sikhs from blacklist’
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 29
The Punjab unit of the NRI Cell of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has submitted a list of 32 blacklisted Sikhs living in Germany, Norway, Holland, England and Canada demanding that the names of these Sikhs be deleted from the list by the Central Government.

The general secretary of the cell, Mr Rulda Singh, said even after 20 years of Operation Bluestar, many of the Sikhs had been still languishing in jails and their cases not finalised by courts.

He added that during his recent visit to England he met some blacklisted deported Sikhs who said they should be allowed to visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar and their villages and to cross the Wagah border to visit gurdwaras in Pakistan.


IMA action plan on TB control
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 29
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has issued an action plan to all its state and local branches to implement a series of activities to support the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) launched by the Union Government.

In a letter to all the state and local units’ presidents and secretaries of the IMA, Dr P.V. George, the national president of the IMA, has urged the doctors to extend whole-hearted support to the RNTCP.

Dr Surinder Singla, the chairman of the Public Relations wing of the Punjab unit of the IMA, said here today that the action plan, issued by the national president of the IMA, should be implemented by all doctors in the state in letter and spirit.

He said under the RNTCP, all tests for TB were done free of cost. He also stated the role of private doctors was vital in the success of the RNTCP, as about 60 per cent patients visited them for treatment at the initial stage.


Improvement trust chairman quits
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 29
Mr Jagroop Singh Gill, Chairman, Improvement Trust, Bathinda, today quit his post to strengthen the hands of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and facilitate the selection of his new team to run the affairs of different government departments.

Mr Gill, while talking to TNS, said he was not asked to resign.


Freedom fighter dead
Tribune News Service

Ropar, June 29
Thakur Gopal Singh, a 90-year-old freedom fighter of Anandpur Sahib, died today. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, he had left his Army job and joined the Non-Cooperation Movement. Mahatma Gandhi had sent him to Punjab to strengthen the movement in the state. He was jailed many times between 1939 and 1945 for his participation in the Quit India Movement. He remained single to devote himself to the freedom struggle.

After Independence, he joined the CPI. The cremation of Thakur Gopal Singh was attended by CPI national council members Bhupinder and Lal Bahadur.


Couple returns Rs 80,000 to bank

Kapurthala, June 29
In a rare gesture of honesty, a couple returned Rs 80,000 to Punjab National Bank’s, Dadwindi village branch situated in Sultanpur Lodhi subdivision of this district.

Reports said Patwari Shingara Singh and his wife Ranjit Kaur of Bhaur village had withdrawn Rs 20,000 from the bank.

On reaching home the couple discovered that the two packets contained currency notes of Rs 500 and not of Rs 100 denomination.

The couple went back to bank and returned the excess money to the cashier.

The honesty displayed by them was highly appreciated by the bank official who thanked the couple. — UNI


Flood-control committee set up
Tribune News Service

Moga, June 29
A district level Flood Control Committee has been formed under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner G. Ramesh Kumar.

The committee comprises SSP M.S. Chhina, Additional Deputy Commissioner Nilkanth Ahavad, besides district officials and social workers. A flood control room would be set up in the Deputy Commissioner’s office.

The DC will be assisted by the District Revenue Officer who is designated as Flood Control Officer. The FCO will coordinate relief measures.

After June 30 revenue officials will not be permitted to leave places of their duty without permission of the Chairman of the Flood Control Committee.

Many villages of Dharamkot sub-tehsil are situated on the bank of Sutlej. The area is flood-prone.


Doctor honoured in USA
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 29
Patiala-based dentist Dr Vinay Goyal was honoured by the Los Angeles-based Punjabi Dental Society recently.

Dr Goyal also delivered a paper on oral surgery for general dentists during a seminar organised by the society. He was presented a memento and a certificate on the occasion.


Fraud case registered
Tribune News Service

Moga, June 29
A case of fraud has been registered against a finance company on the complaint of Mr Beant Singh, of Kot Muhamdakha. The complainant had alleged that the company failed to return him Rs 1.88 lakh, which he had deposited in the firm.

In a complaint lodged with the Ferozepore range DIG, Mr Beant Singh had stated that he had taken a loan from Gill Saran Motor Finance Company, which he had paid back. Later, Sham Singh, a partner in the firm, allegedly lured him into depositing money in the firm, saying that he would get a good rate of interest.

Mr Beant Singh deposited Rs 1.88 lakh in the company, but when he asked Sham Singh him to return the money to him, the latter allegedly adopted dillydallying tactics. Mr Beant Singh lodged a complaint with the Moga police initially, but no action was taken in this regard.

Taking a serious note of the matter, the Ferozepore range DIG ordered the Dharamkot DSP to probe the case. The DSP ordered a case to be registered against the accused.


MLA booked; Akalis protest
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 29
The Akali Dal today staged a dharna at Nagoke Maur, 35 km from here, today in protest against the registration of a case against an Akali MLA from Khadoor Sahib, Mr Manjit Singh Manna, his brother, security guard and three others under the Excise Act following the seizure of a huge quantity of illicit liquor from them by the Vairowal police.

Leading the protesters, Mr Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, a former Akali minister, alleged that the registration of the case was politically motivated. The Akali leaders alleged that the action of the Tarn Taran police was aimed at defaming the Akali Dal at a time when SGPC elections were round the corner.

Mr Gurkirpal Singh, SSP, Tarn Taran, said those booked by the police included Mr Manna, his brother Zora Singh, Head Constable Kuldip Singh (a security guard of the MLA), Santokh Singh and Mukha Singh. He said when a raiding party seized a huge quantity of illicit liquor, Mr Manna and his brother fled the scene while the other three persons were rounded up.


Two arrested in fake currency racket
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, June 29
The police has arrested Kuldip Singh, son of Gian Singh, resident of Dayalpur village, police station Phillaur and Narain, son of Balwant Rai of Tambaccoo Kutta Mohalla, Phagwara on charges of manufacture of fake currency.

The police seized a manufacturing machine from the nearby Nagar village last night. The arrests were made under Section 235 of the IPC.


LLB entrance test on July 8
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 29
Punjabi University was hold a state-level common entrance test for LLB, (three years), BA LLB. (five years) and BA, LLB (five years) (hons) courses for university departments and affiliated law colleges of Punjabi University, Patiala and Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. The entrance test will be held on July 8 in eight towns of Punjab as well as in Delhi.

Meanwhile, keeping in view the difficulties being faced by the students and their parents in seeking information, Punjabi University has set up a comprehensive enquiry and information centre at the main gate of the university campus. It was inaugurated by Vice-Chancellor Swarn Singh Boparai today. This centre would provide information relating to examinations and results.


NCC camp from July 1
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 29
The National Cadet Corps (NCC) will organise a training camp for the cadets on July 1 at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in Bring Khera village near Dabwali town.

Lt-Col Bharpur Singh, camp commandant, said yesterday that 650 cadets, including 120 girls, would participate. The cadets are from colleges and schools in Ropar, Nangal, Patiala, Nabha, Bathinda, Mansa and Budhlada.

The cadets would be trained in drill, cross-country races, use of arms and ammunition, fire-fighting, traffic control, nursing, and first aid. A blood donation and tree plantation will also be held and extension lectures by experts in AIDS and cancer will be organised. 


Varsity wakes up to save language department
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 29
To save the ancient language department, Punjabi University has taken major steps to increase the strengthen of students seeking admission to the Department of Sanskrit. The academic council had recently approved the proposal to lower the eligibility criteria for students pursuing admission in the Department of Sanskrit.

The varsity has lowered the qualifying marks required to seek admission in the department from 50 per cent to 45 per cent at the graduation level. In addition, the varsity has also relaxed the qualifying criteria that the student must have studied the subject at the graduation level.

According to sources, the decision has been taken keeping in mind the long-pending proposal of the department.

The authorities have also relaxed the eligibility criteria for students seeking admission to the Philosophy Department. The varsity has also lowered the total per cent marks required at the graduation level from 50 per cent to 45 per cent. Along with this, the varsity has also opened admission in the Master in Psychology course for B.Sc students from this session.

When contacted, the Dean, Languages, Dr Ranjit Kaur, said the decision had been taken to attract more students. She added that the decision would also help in research work. The Director Public Relations, Dr B.S. Sandhu, said the varsity had taken this decision on the recommendation of the department.


Mandal alleges harassment by tax officials
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 29
The District Beopar Mandal has alleged that the mobile wing of the Sales Tax Department of Chandigarh is harassing tax payers by detaining their trucks.

Mr Varinder Rattan, its president, stated in a press note here yesterday that the officials not only harassing the traders and industrialists but also misbehaving with them. He said Mr H.P.S. Gotra, ETO (Mobile Wing), and Mr D.S. Sarao, AETC (MW), Chandigarh, had been harassing the traders by imposing heavy penalties.

He has demanded a time-bound probe against the working and conduct of the officials and to assess property and assets held by these officials. He has also demanded that till the completion of the probe the powers of these officials should be withdrawn and should be posted where no public dealing is involved. The mandal has threatened that if the government did not take any action, the matter would be discussed at a state-level meeting of the mandal.

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