P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



MC staff dump garbage outside doctors’ houses
Allege negligence behind union leader’s death
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 10
Municipal corporation employees and doctors of Government Rajindra Hospital seem to be headed for a showdown with the former today throwing trolley-full of garbage in front of the houses of doctors who had treated a corporation employee union leader who had fallen victim to an acid attack.

The employee leader, Harjit Singh, had died during hospitalisation following which the corporation employees blamed the doctors attending to him for negligence and demanded that cases be registered against them.

Medical teachers of Government Rajindra Hospital held a meeting after the garbage-throwing incident and went on strike for two hours.

Earlier in the day, two trolleys of garbage were thrown outside the houses of Dr G.P. Singh and Dr Jasbir Kaur, besides Dr S.K. Verma. While Dr G.P. Singh and Dr Jasbir Kaur stay close to the level crossing No. 23, Dr Verma lives in the Model Town locality. Dr Jasbir Kaur was in charge of the ICU where the union leader died while Dr Verma is in the Plastic Surgery Department.

Dr Jasbir Kaur said the garbage had been thrown in such a manner outside the house that it was difficult for her to come through the main gate. “Neither can I take a vehicle out,” she said.

She said Dr Verma had also been subjected to the same treatment. She alleged that earlier the employees had forcibly entered the ICU after the death of the union leader and damaged a ventilator.

Punjab State Medical Teachers Association president Janak Raj and Secretary B.S. Sohal in a statement later said the medical teachers would hold a rally in front of the OPD on Monday.

They said the union leader had died because he had inhaled the acid which had effected his respiratory tract.

Hospital In Service Doctors Wing president D.S. Bhullar said the only hope for the patient after the damage of his respiratory tract was extra corporeal membrane oxygenerator and hyperberic oxygen, which were given to him.

Mayor Vishnu Sharma confirmed that the employees had thrown garbage in front of the houses of the doctors. He said the employees felt that the doctors had been negligent in their duties and that cases should be registered against them.

He said he would make attempts to get the garbage lifted at the earliest. Mr Sharma said that he had briefed Patiala MP Preneet Kaur about the entire incident.


SGPC poll: border with Haryana, Rajasthan sealed
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, July 10
The Punjab Police has sealed its border with Haryana and Rajasthan in order to avoid any untoward incident in view of the SGPC polling tomorrow. As many as four special nakas have been laid down in the border belt in Muktsar district adjoining Haryana and Rajasthan to prevent the anti-social and unwanted elements from entering the state.

The border belt falls under the jurisdiction of Lambi police station of Muktsar district. A DSP of the area told The Tribune that the police personnel deployed on these four nakas had been issued special instructions to be vigilant against the anti-social elements. The police personnel have also been directed to keep an eye on smugglers of poppy husk and other banned substances.

The police officer further said paramilitary forces had laid nakas in the border belt during recently held Lok Sabha elections to avoid any movement of anti-social elements. Further, as many as 22 patrolling parties have been set up in the entire district for peaceful SGPC polling.

The SAD has already won three of the total six seats of the district unopposed. They are -Navtej Singh Kauni (from Doda general), late Punjab minister Sujjan Singh’s wife Mukhtiar Kaur (from Doda SC) and Manjeet Kaur Chrewan (from Muktsar women reserved seat).

However, close contest is expected on two seats of Malout and Muktsar (general) where Dayal Singh Kolianwali and Sarup Singh Sibia are re-trying their luck on SAD ticket, whereas Panthic Morcha candidates Jaswant Singh Ramnagar and Gurdev Singh Lubanowali, respectively, are giving a tough fight to them.

In the Gidderbaha seat, sitting SGPC member and SAD candidate Gurpal Singh Gora is reportedly much ahead than his Panthic Morcha candidate Mahan Singh Karaiwala.


Govt exposed on poll security issue
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
It is a classic case of manipulation. The Punjab Government continued to sit comfortably for over 45 days on Gurdwara Election Commission's plea for deployment of central forces in the state to finally blame paucity of time for its inaction.

It may sound incredible, but it is true. The Commission, after identifying sensitive and hyper-sensitive polling stations in the state, requested the government to ensure the deployment of paramilitary forces during the SGPC polls.

In fact, a letter was written in this regard by the Commission on May 24 to Punjab Chief Secretary and authorities concerned in the Central government. But no reply was received.

Apprehending law and order problem in the state during the elections, the Commission took up the matter with the Centre. But it was verbally told in no uncertain terms that "law and order situation was a state subject". It was told to approach the state government for necessary action, once again.

The Commission reiterated its demand for the deployment of para military forces in the state for ensuring "free and fair" polls. A letter in this regard was shot of to the Chief Secretary and Punjab Government's Home Department on July 7.

This time the Commission was not forced to wait for long. On July 9, the Home Secretary told the Commission that arrangements for the deployment of forces could not be made due to lack of time.

The development is significant as in Punjab alone there are 2157 sensitive, and 203 hyper-sensitive, polling stations. Majority of such stations are in Amritsar constituency. In Haryana, the number of such stations is much less. There are just 118 sensitive, and 23 hyper sensitive, polling stations.

As of now, the Punjab Police has decided to deploy 37,222 personnel for maintaining law and order in the state during the elections. In addition, regular patrolling would also be undertaken. In Haryana, 1,942 personnel would be deployed while in Chandigarh 108 cops would remain on election duty.

Expressing dissatisfaction with the security arrangements in Punjab, Chief Commissioner of Gurdwara Elections Justice J.S. Sekhon said, "In most of the polling stations either Head Constables, or else Assistant Sub Inspectors, were the seniormost police officers".

Giving an example, Justice Sekhon said in Mansa, head constables were supervising security arrangements in almost all the stations while the presence of gazetted officers was a must in sensitive and hyper sensitive polling stations.


12 booths declared sensitive for SGPC poll
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 10
As many as 350 officials have fanned out for duty at 62 polling stations in Mohali subdivision for the SGPC elections tomorrow. Twelve booths have been declared sensitive.

The SDM-cum-Returning Officer, Mr M.L. Sharma, said today that the necessary poll material had been provided to the staff. Ten poll supervisors had been asked to keep vigil in the area till the counting of votes was over at the polling booths.

He said the results would be declared on July 12.

The police has also deployed about 300 police personnel on duty during the election. Extra force has been put on duty at the sensitive booths. The polling and patrolling staff has been asked to remain in touch with the headquarters. The booths that have declared sensitive are located at Shivalik Public School, Phase VI, old PUDA building, Phase 1, Sant Isher Singh Senior Secondary School, Phase VII, government schools in Phases III B 1 and XI, and Sohana, Saneta, Tangori, Kumbra and Pabhat villages.


Gill, Bitta on terrorists’ hit list
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 10
Certain VIPs, including Mr K.P.S. Gill, a former Director-General of Police Punjab and Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta, president, All-India Anti-Terrorist Front, are on the hit list of absconding terrorists — Jagtar Singh Hawara, Jagtar Singh Tara and Paramjit Singh Bheora, who escaped from high security Burail jail on the night of January 21.

This has been revealed in confidential reports of the Intelligence Department which has cautioned these VIPs to restrict visits and take precautions. The confidential communications have also been sent to the VIPs wherein the senior Intelligence officials have apprehended that the absconding terrorists may endeavour to revive militancy.

Mr Bitta has faced several terrorists’ attacks. First attack on Mr Bitta was on August 15, 1983 when terrorists lobbed a grenade in Baba Sahib Singh Chowk here. He was again attacked on May 5, 1992 when he was a Punjab minister.

He was attacked by the Khalistan Commando Force, headed by Paramjit Singh Panjwar, one of the 20 most wanted Indian terrorists taking shelter in Pakistan. Though he was attacked in August 1989 and September 1991 too but the biggest attack was on September 11,1993 outside the office of the Indian Youth Congress in New Delhi. The bomb blast had left 23 dead and 50 injured.

Mr Bitta alleged that certain senior Congress leaders of the state and the Centre wanted to harm him and the central government should expose their ‘nefarious designs’.


Akali leader, son, daughter found murdered
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, July 10
Akali leader Dr Harbhajan Singh(48), his daughter Gagandeep Kaur(23) and son Rupinder Singh(19) were found allegedly murdered with sharp-edged weapons at their residence at Barnala Kalan village near here today afternoon. Blood stains could be seen in the lobby, bedrooms, kitchen situated at first floor of house and bedsheets were soaked with blood. Bodies of the three were lying in different bedrooms. The triple murder occurred on the night of Friday but it came to light today afternoon.

Dr Harbhajan Singh had three children from his first wife, who had died some years ago and two children from his second wife Surinder Kaur, who along with her daughter Amandip Kaur (21) and Mehak and Simer went to Bharta Kalan village, to see her parents yesterday evening.

Dr Harbhajan Singh had a chemist shop here near the Baradari. His neighbour shopkeeper Gurinder Singh said that when the shop of the deceased was not open till 10.30 a.m., he rang him up and his daughter Amandeep, who told she had come to Bharta Kalan village and mobile was with her. Then they tried to contact Dr Harbhajan Singh on his residential phone and mobile phone of his son Rupinder but calls were unanswered.

Amandeep Kaur, a daughter of the deceased told that when his father did not reach Bharta Kalan to take them and could not be contacted on phone tension started gripping them. She, then, gave a call to a neighbour Amarjit Singh at Barnala Kalan village to find out the reality. Amarjit Singh went to the house and found main door of the house open. When he went upstairs he stunned.

Mr M.F.Farooqui, SSP, Mr Navjot Singh Mahil, DSP, Mr Jagtar Singh Kainth, DSP(D) reached the site for investigation.


CAT sets aside AG (A&E) Welfare Officer's selection
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
The Chandigarh Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has quashed the selection and appointment of Mr Pawan Kumar as Welfare Officer in the Office of Accountant General (A&E), Punjab.

The order was passed on a petition filed by Ms Usha Sharma, Senior Accounts Officer in the same office, who was wrongly overlooked for the post.

In her petition, Ms Sharma stated that she along with seven other officers, including Mr Kumar, applied for the post when it fell vacant in February, 2003.

She has claimed that since she was the seniormost officer among the applicants, she was sure that she would be selected. In fact, while she had been given 'very good' in the past five years in her annual confidential reports (ACR), the selected officer got the same grade only thrice.

However, the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) headed by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Member Gurbachan Jagat ignored her claims and selected Mr Kumar.

The petitioner also claimed that she was told that she was not selected as she was a female and was left with less time to serve on the post.

However, the respondents denied that there was any arbitrariness in the selection. They also asserted that seniority could not be the criterion when the selection was on deputation basis.

In the detailed order, a Division Bench of CAT comprising Vice-Chairman Justice O.P. Garg (retd) and Member L.M. Mehta set aside the selection and appointment of Mr Kumar to the post.

The Bench also directed the official respondents to convene a review DPC to make fresh selection for the post within three months.

The Bench also ordered that the review DPC should not consist of the same members who comprised the earlier DPC.


Chatterjee for streamlining House proceedings
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, July 10
Lok Sabha Speaker and senior CPM leader Somnath Chatterjee said he was working at a plan through consensus with all political parties for the smooth functioning of Parliament without frequent adjournments.

Mr Chatterjee, who was the chief guest at the 98th convocation of the 112-year-old Khalsa College here, told The Tribune that he was prepared to conduct proceedings of the House and would sit till to avoid adjournments and allow proper debate on important issues concerning welfare of people and country. The CPM leader and seasoned parliamentarian said that he had urged the members not to disrupt the House proceedings but participate in discussions for strengthening the parliamentary democracy.

Mr Chatterjee said that he was planning to allow five supplementary questions for the members from various political parties during the question hour and sought the cooperation of members to make question hour lively.

The Lok Sabha Speaker pointed that he would give more opportunity to the young parliamentarians to raise vital issues concerning the country. He said this would help them understand proper functioning of the House and participate through positive suggestions for the betterment of Parliament.

Mr Chatterjee said he planned to invite editors of various newspapers and TV news channels for better coverage of parliamentary proceedings as he felt that the frequent boycotts and walk-outs made headlines while the serious debates lose prominence and get lost in inside pages. He felt that it was the duty of all of us to raise important issues both inside and outside Parliament which should catch the attention of the common man and the media can play an important role in projecting the issues raised in the House.

Earlier, Mr Chatterjee in his convocation address said that education was the key factor in the transformation of the country and said that he was proud to visit a century-old institution which had glorious past and excellent future. He said that the country was safe in the hands of students of Khalsa College. He complimented girl students who had excelled in academics and remarked that although the Lok Sabha had not been able to pass the bill for 33 per cent reservation to women but hoped that it would come through soon, so that women got their rightful due in Parliament.

The Speaker gave away 787 degrees to graduate and postgraduate students from various faculties of the college. Earlier president of the Khalsa College Governing Council Satyajit Singh Majithia welcomed the Speaker while principal Dr Jaswinder Singh Dhillon presented annual report of the college.

Some eminent alumni of the college were also honoured. These included Panjabi University Vice-Chancellor S.S. Boparai, PAU Vice-Chancellor Kirpal Singh Aulakh, Jalandhar Municipal Corporation Commissioner T.R. Sarangal and Olympian Kartar Singh.


Punjab Congress issues whip

Chandigarh, July 10
The Chief Whip of the Punjab Congress Legislature Party, Mr Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, today directed all party MLAs and ministers to attend the special session of Punjab Assembly on July 12. The session has been convened to discuss the issue of the “construction of the SYL canal”. — TNS


Bir Devinder quits as Deputy Speaker
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
The Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, Dr Kewal Krishan, has accepted the resignation of Mr Bir Devinder Singh as Deputy Speaker.

In a press note, Mr Navtej Singh, secretary to the Speaker, said today, “Dr Kewal Krishan has been pleased to accept the resignation ( dated: July 3, 2004) of Mr Bir Devinder Singh from the post of the Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha with effect from July 9, the day it was received by him( Speaker).”

Sources said Mr Bir Devinder Singh’s resignation was sent by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to the Speaker through a special messenger from Delhi late last evening.

Attempts to contact Mr Bir Devinder Singh today went in vain. He is camping in Delhi and was to meet Mrs Sonia Gandhi later in the day.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh has been trying to become a Cabinet Minister. However, it seems, he failed to win the favour of the party high command. Known as one of the best political speakers in the state, Mr Bir Devinder Singh has been vocal and forthcoming on important issues pertaining to the state.


Fearing Oppn, Sonia gave up PM’s post: Sushma
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, July 10
Former Union Health Minister Sushma continues her smear campaign against Congress President Sonia Gandhi and other Congress leaders

Addressing a gathering of BJP workers here today, she claimed that Ms Gandhi had refused to accept the post of the Prime Minister fearing her vow. She (Ms Swaraj) had pledged to lead the life of a Sadhvi to motivate the people of the country against the installation of a foreigner as the Prime Minister.

Ms Gandhi gave up the post fearing the Opposition and her inability to handle the coalition. She was still interfering in the working of the government from outside, due to which Mr Manmohan Singh had been reduced to a puppet Prime Minister, she alleged.

Launching an attack against the Union Human Resources Minister, Mr Arjun Singh, she said the BJP government had removed certain anomalies from the textbooks in which national heroes were portrayed in derogatory terms. However, Mr Arjun Singh was changing the textbooks according to the whims of the Communists. The BJP, despite being a major opposition party was never called for a meeting to discuss the contents of the school textbooks, she alleged.

She said the BJP would continue its struggle politically against the removal of Governors nominated by the NDA government and the induction of tainted ministers in the government.

Mr Swaraj was here to mobilise BJP workers for the Swabhiman Week being observed by the party.


Trans-railway residents block rail traffic
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 10
Hundreds of residents of trans-railway colonies today blocked rail traffic near the Paras Ram Nagar locality for about two hours and pelted stones on passengers to protest against the closing of level crossing 245-A, which linked the town with the thickly populated area across the railway station.

The residents, agitating for the past many months for opening the level crossing, where a wall had been constructed after a railway overbridge was constructed, demolished the wall to create a thoroughfare.

Though the police reached the spot, it remained a mute spectator. The station master talked to the agitators but failed to pacify them. The agitators raised slogans against the Centre and the state government.

Mr Vijay Kumar, president of the Railway Phatak Lagao Sangharsh Committee, said after the wall was constructed, the people residing in trans-railway colonies had started facing a number of difficulties while visiting the main town.

He pointed out that the railway overbridge was yet to be put to use officially, but the authorities had constructed the wall illegally.

He said the committee had decided not to leave the spot till a thoroughfare was created. He denied that the agitators had pelted stones on passengers.

Mr B.K. Singh, Station Superintendent, pointed out that the level crossing would not be opened as it would amount to an illegal action. He added that he had not received any complaint in connection with the pelting of stones.

Mr K.A.P. Sinha, Deputy Commissioner, said the civil administration could not stop anyone from lodging a protest. He added that he would write to the Union Railway Ministry in connection with the demands of the residents of trans-railway colonies.


Hospital emergency sans medicines, equipment
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 10
An Emergency wing in name only. This sums up the story of the facility in the Government Rajindra Hospital attached to the local Medical College. The department has neither medicines nor equipment and is usually without the requisite staff also.

Patients coming to the hospital emergency are at the best assured of a bed whose mattress is usually torn and sheet dirty. However, one has to be lucky to get a stretcher and an attendant to wheel the stretcher to the bed in the Emergency.

Once in the Emergency, attendants realise that it has neither any medicine nor equipment in the facility. Painkillers, anti-vomiting medicines or others which are used in case of poisoning, including snake bites, are not available. Friends and relatives of patients have to get medicines from the chemist shops on the main road outside the hospital.

The Emergency does not have any ambu bag, which is necessary to provide artificial respiration to critical patients. It also does not have any gastric tube, which is necessary to wash stomach. A gastric tube costs only Rs 20. Besides, other small things like splints for orthopaedic related cases are also not available.

Medical Officers on duty in the Emergency Wing find it difficult even to function due to lack of even a register to prepare medico legal reports (MLRs). They have to keeping photostat copies of some proforma on their person so that they can prepare the proforma. If they do not have them, attendants of patients have to get them photostat.

The Emergency also lacks in house investigative facility. The replacement of even something like oxygen cylinders is patchy.

Sources say the hospital has become so hopelessly inadequate in dealing with trauma cases that it is not admitting such cases in its Emergency. It is requesting attendants of such patients to take them to the PGI in Chandigarh or some other facility.


Health centre of little help to patients
Ravi Bhushan Puri & Narot Jaimal Singh

Pathankot, July 10
The Community Health Centre (CHC) at Narot Jaimal Singh of Pathankot Sub-Division, near the Indo-Pakistan border here faces shortage of doctors. The government spent lakhs on this centre. No doctor wants to get posted here as a posting here is considered a punishment.

The centre meets healthcare need of more than 20 villages near the Indo-Pakistan border. At present one senior medical officer (SMO) and one medical officer is posted in this centre besides the paramedical staff. The SMO is on leave and only one medical officer examines the patients. It is difficult for one doctor to manage the 30-bed rural hospital.

The government provided sufficient infrastructure and modern medical equipment but there is none to operate the machinery which has been causing inconvenience to public. Mr Karan Singh a resident here said that if a serious case came to the hospital, he is referred to other hospitals.

Mr Davinder Mehta, another resident of the village said, due to shortage of doctors, we prefer treatment from a private doctor going to the CHC. According to people here most of the residents were deprived of healthcare though the problems were brought to the notice of leaders and health authorities, shortage of doctors at the centre continues. Politicians of the area have not bothered about the problem of the people and residents are forced to go for costly private treatment, which poor patients could not afford said villagers. No patient wants to get admitted to the centre as even life saving medicine are not available there.

Given special problems of the border area and its remoteness while poor patients cannot go to centres urban centres such as Pathankot or Gurdaspur, in emergency, their misery gets compounded as there is no bridge on the Ravi because the temporary bridge has been lifted following the arrival of monsoon.

Gurdaspur Chief Medical Officer Dr N.S. Suman said shortage of doctors persisted due to ban on new recruitment problems were temporary and things would improve at the CHC as soon as the government lifted the ban and more funds arrived for providing medicines and other infrastructure.


Package for Punjab border belt sought
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 10
Punjab Congress Vice-President MMS Cheema has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi to give a package to the border districts of Punjab.

In a statement, Mr Cheema said Punjab, which is a border state, had not been given a package in the Union Budget while several other states, including Bihar, had been given grants.

He said nothing had been announced to boost industry in Gurdaspur, Batala and Amritsar. Mr Cheema, who met AICC leaders Mohsina Kidwai, Ahmed Patel and Ambika Soni in the Capital, urged them to demand a special package for industrial towns in border belt of Punjab.


No funds allotted for flood control
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, July 10
Despite the Sangrur Drainage Construction Division sending a requisition, demanding Rs 1.37 crore for flood control works, to the Punjab Irrigation authorities through the Chief Engineer, Drainage, in the first week of May this year, no funds have yet been released to the division by the state government so far.

Earlier, during the financial year 2002-03, the division had demanded Rs 72 lakh for flood control works, but the government released only Rs 19.50 lakh. Similarly, during the financial year 2003-04, the division had sought Rs 52.50 lakh, but only Rs 16 lakh were released for flood control works in that year. The district, therefore, has been facing an acute shortage of funds for flood control and protection works for three consecutive years.

Sources in the Drainage Department told The Tribune about 26 villages almost every year face a flood-like situation or floods in the Moonak and Khanauri areas of the district.

This year the Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur, Mr Sarvjit Singh, had also recommended the case for sanctioning Rs 1.37 crore to the state government in view the urgency to put in place the flood control works. Despite this, the state government has turned a blind eye towards the problem.


Trust funds ‘embezzled’
Tribune News Service

Malout, July 10
Following the detection of alleged misappropriation of funds of the Guru Teg Bahadur Educational Trust and nepotism in the appointment of staff at educational institutions, including several schools and colleges run by it in Malout subdivision of Muktsar district, its Chairman, Dr Pritpal Singh, may soon be removed, it is learnt.

Chief Patron of the trust, Mahant Baba Tirath Singh of Gonianawale, is abroad and certain members of the trust said he had been informed of happenings in the trust.

Trust members said he would return to India next month. The Baba had already decided to remove the chairman from his post after knowing about the misappropriation. A decision to remove him from the post will be taken after his return, trust members said.

Misappropriation of trust funds came to the notice of members when the Chairman withdrew Rs 41 lakh for the purchase of two hostels of the trust, run two institutions Guru Teg Bahadur Khalsa Institute of Engineering and Technology and Guru Teg Bahadur Polytechnic at Chhapianwali village of Malout subdivision.

The trust members called an emergency meeting on June 26 and asked the Chairman to deposit the money withdrawn illegally. Initially, he refused, but finally handed over different cheques of Rs 41 lakh of UCO Bank, Malout to Mr Chaman Singh Chaman and Bhai Jagjit Singh, representatives of Baba Tirath Singh, at Gurdwara Bhai Jagtaji on the GT Road, Malout, on July 6 in the presence of several trust members — Natha Singh Makkar, Mann Singh Makkar, Kartar Singh, Suhel Singh Makkar, Jagir Singh Sekhon and Naagar Mal.

Chairman Pritpal Singh is reportedly also a partner in the two hostels, JDS hostel and Guru Teg Bahadur girls hostel, being run by his two relatives. That was why, he tried to sell them to the trust for Rs 67 lakh and Rs 47 lakh, respectively, while the market rate of these hostels is low, the trust members said.

A trustee, Mann Singh Makkar told The Tribune that it had also come to notice that the Chairman had appointed a number of his relatives in different educational institutions of the trust. He said Babaji would take action against the Chairman.

The Chairman reportedly appointed his sister-in-law’s son Charanjit Singh Saini and daughter Anju Saini to key posts of purchase officer and Dean at the engineering institute. Huge money was allegedly misappropriated during construction during the tenure of the son of his sister-in-law as purchase officer, the sources said adding a bag of cement was purchased at Rs 145 but shown in the record for Rs 170.


Finance corpn chief gives certificates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
Mr G.P.S Sahi, Chairman, Punjab Financial Corporation, awarded certificates to the participants of various state-level financial institutions at a valedictory function held at the Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration here yesterday. Various institutions who participated in the special training programme included SIDCO, the HPFC, the HFC, the HSIDC, the RFC and the PFC.

Delivering the valedictory address, Mr Sahi said keeping in view the dynamics of the financial sector, it was imperative for the executives to keep themselves well-informed of the latest developments in the changing scenario. This will help make their respective organisations more competitive and profitable.

The topics covered in the programme include balance sheet analysis, NPA management, new products, relationship management, leadership and team building.

Training was imparted by faculty members from the RBI (CAB).


SAD (Delhi) ‘disowns’ Chandok
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 10
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi) , led by Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna has said that it had disowned Mr Prahalad Singh Chandok , president, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) who had honoured Mr Jagdish Tytler, a Union Minister in Delhi with a ‘Siropa’ (robe of honour) and a sword at a function at Delhi. Mr Sarna said that SAD (Delhi) won’t cooperate with the DSGMC chief till he was exonerated by Akal Takht for honouring a person who was indicted for engineering Anti-Sikh riots in November 1984 after the assassination of Ms Indira Gandhi a former Prime Minister. 


Villagers lay siege to police station
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar July 10
Residents of Khurla Kingra village yesterday gheraoed the Police Division No. 7 here for their alleged failure to take action against the accused, who misbehaved with two sisters of the village on July 7.

The agitating residents raised anti-police slogans and alleged that despite a complaint against a group of youths, who allegedly misbehaved and tried to manhandle two sisters on July 7, the police failed to take action against them. They alleged that the police officials concerned were trying to shield the accused.

Sensing trouble, the police swung into action and detained four accused identified as Gurmit Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Mukesh and Suresh. 


Goods worth lakhs gutted
Our Correspondent

Kharar, July 10
Goods worth lakhs were destroyed in a fire that broke out in a shopkeeper’s store here today. At least four persons, who had got trapped in the building, were rescued by residents.

The flames not only destroyed goods kept on the first floor of the building, which was being used as a store, but also old records belonging to shopkeeper Vinod Kumar. The building also suffered damage.

The fire broke out in the afternoon and destroyed plastic material and sanitary fittings kept in the building. Smoke engulfed the area. It took about an hour to bring the flames under control.

Mr Vinod Kumar complained the fire brigade did not arrive promptly.

The cause of the fire could not be ascertained immediately.


Badal case hearing adjourned

Ropar, July 10
A local court today adjourned hearing of the disproportionate assets case against Shiromani Akali Dal chief Parkash Singh Badal, his son Sukhbir Singh Badal and others till July 24, when it was expected to consider framing of charges.

The special judge adjourned the hearing at the request of counsel of both parties as Mr Badal’s petition challenging jurisdiction of the court to try the case was slated to come up in the Punjab and Haryana High Court next week.

The judge allowed the applications of Mr Badal and his son seeking exemption from personal hearing today.

The Punjab Vigilance Bureau had filed a chargesheet against the former chief minister, his wife Surinder Kaur, son Sukhbir Singh Badal and two others accusing them of having assets disproportionate to their known sources of income. — PTI


Dharna by BKU activists
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, July 10
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) (Lakhowal) yesterday organised dharna in front of Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) SE’s office here.

According the gathering, BKU leaders said that instead of eight-hour power supply promised by the government farmers were getting power only for five hours, forcing them to destroy paddy crop.

State press secretary of the union Bhupinder Singh Mahesari, said that the government was misleading farmers by promising eight hour power supply. He said that villages were getting power supply for five-six hours and that too erratic. He added that canal water was also not sufficient which was adding to woes of the farmers. District President of the union Binder Golewalia said that the villages, which fall under the 24-hours power supply scheme, were also getting power for 10 hours. The situation was worse in other villages. Due to this crop was drying up, he added. He demanded 24-hour power supply for villages.


Salesman shot at in loot bid
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 10
Two motorcycle-borne miscreants shot as a salesman of a wine shop and injured him seriously, when they failed in their attempt to loot cash from him last night.

The injured salesman was admitted to the PGI, Chandigarh.

Sekhar 45, salesman at the wine shop situated near Sahil Motel, was about to leave the shop, when the miscreants one of whom was wearing helmat and other turban, demanded cash from him threatening him with a gun.

He refused to hand over the cash to them. They entered into a scuffle. When they failed to get the cash, they shot at him and fled the scene.

Mr Shiv Kumar, SSP, ordered to put up nakas and checking of all vehicles.


Murder accused surrenders

Sangrur, July 10
Vinot Kumar, husband of murdered woman Hem Lata from Lehragaga, today surrendered in a court here. He was one of the 11 accused booked. Hem Lata was allegedly murdered by her-in-laws in the house on July 8 last. Later, the in-laws cremated her body in a hurry at Lehragaga and fled the scene. Besides eight members of family of Hem Lata and other relatives, the names of three outsiders also figured in the FIR. Vinod Kumar was today remanded in judicial custody till July 13.

Remaining accused, still at large, are Dev Raj, father-in-law of the deceased Hem Lata; Darshana Devi, mother-in-law; Rajesh Kumar, brother-in-law; Kanchan, wife of Rajesh Kumar; and Meena, Pushpa Devi and Neelam, all sisters-in-law. — TNS


828 kg of poppy husk seized
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 10
Customs officials today claimed to have seized 828 kg of poppy husk worth Rs 50,000 at a naka at the Bhikhiwind-Harike Road at the Patti Mor crossing. However, the accused managed to escape under the cover of darkness.

Mr M.S. Negi, Commissioner, Customs, in a press note issued here revealed that customs staff headed by Superintendent, Narcotics Cell, had, on a tip-off, intercepted the vehicle carrying poppy husk. He said the jeep was searched in the presence of two independent witnesses and 22 bags of contraband were recovered.


Stenography course for SC/BC youths
Our Correspondent

Patiala, July 10
The Punjab Scheduled Caste and Backward Classes Welfare Department will start a free course in Punjabi stenography for the unemployed graduate SC\BC youths whose age is 30 or below.

This was stated by the District Welfare Officer, Mr P.S. Gill, here yesterday. He said the one-year course would have 25 seats and each trainee would get a stipend of Rs 750 per month.

Interested candidates can send their applications to the office of the District Welfare Officer before August 20. Only those candidates can apply who belong to families holding yellow card and whose income is less than 20,000 per annum. 


PTU students’ strike enters 10th day
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 10
 As many as 30 students of Punjab Technical University (PTU) took part in the ongoing hunger strike that entered the tenth day today. A member of the students’ union, who had fallen ill yesterday during the strike, had to be admitted to the Civil Hospital.

The students said that his condition was now stable. They said that the Vice-Chancellor of the university visited them for the first time today and assured them of some help. The striking students have been demanding a mercy chance for getting their compartments cleared in BBA and BCA.

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