P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Takht Patna Sahib, Hazoor Sahib to defy Nanakshahi calendar
To celebrate 400th anniversary of Guru Granth Sahib on Sept 15
Varinder Walia
Tribune news service

Amritsar, July 24
The Nanakshahi calendar, having stamp of the Akal Takht and the SGPC today suffered a serious threat from Jathedars of Takht Patna Sahib and Takht Hazoor Sahib who had decided to celebrate 400th anniversary of Guru Granth Sahib’s installation according to traditional calendar.

Talking to TNS here today , Giani Iqbal Singh , Jathedar of Patna Sahib, announced that the 400th anniversary of Guru Granth Sahib would be celebrated on September 15 as per the traditional calendar while the SGPC was celebrating the day on September as per the Nanakshahi calendar.

Notwithstanding the tall claims of the SGPC and Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar Akal Takht, that the Nanakshahi calendar had been accepted by the Panth yet the fact remained that a large section of the Sikh community still celebrated the Sikh Purbs as per the Bikrami calendar.

According to the Nanaksahib calendar all Gurpurbs and other important dates of the Sikh history, were fixed on the basis of 1469 – the year when Guru Nanak was born. The Nanakshahi calendar was tropical, based on “barah maha”, authored by gurus which would be started from the month “chetra” (the first month of the year as per Nanakshahi calendar).

When asked that as to why the Nanakshahi calendar was not being implemented by Takht Patna Sahib and Hazoor Sahib, Jathedar Iqbal Singh said Jathedar Vedanti had not yet discussed the matter with the Sikh Sangat residing outside Punjab so far . He said both the Takhts would continue to celebrate the Purbs as per Bikrami calendar till the SGPC or the Akal Takht did not come forward to reach consensus and satisfy the local Sangat of Patna and Nanded (Hazoor Sahib). He said Takht Patna Sahib and Takht Hazoor Sahib could not implement the Nanakshahi calendar in toto because of its glaring discrepancies.

Jathedar Iqbal Singh claimed that the Sant Samaj led by Baba Sarbjot Singh Bedi and general secretary Chamkaur Singh had also supported the decision of both Takhts on this issue.


Religious marches to converge at Amritsar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Religious marches, which will be taken out from various parts of the country including Varanasi and Sholapur, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Parkash Utsav of Guru Granth Sahib, will converge at Amritsar on September 1.

This was disclosed here yesterday, by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President of the SAD. He said all arrangements in this connection would be made by the SGPC. The SAD would extend all support to the SGPC in this connection.

Denying that he wanted to be the SGPC chief or its coopted member, Mr Badal said he would never enter in this domain. " Earlier, late Gurcharan Singh Tohra was with us to handle all the affairs of the SGPC, but now I, as SAD President, will have to fill the vacuum to help the SGPC authorities organise big religious events", he said.

Asked about the election of a new SGPC chief, Mr Badal said it would take some more time as first 15 members from Punjab, Haryana and other parts of the country would have to be coopted to the House of the SGPC and then a notification issued. After this president and other office- bearers would be elected.

He said elaborate programmes, including seminars in Amritsar and Delhi, had been planned to celebrate the historic occasion regarding Parkash Utsav of Guru Granth Sahib. At one of the functions, the President of India too would be invited, he added.


Parties seek more funds from 12th finance panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Various political parties of Punjab today met the Chairman of the 12th Finance Commission. They submitted representations to the Chairman seeking more funds for the state. Leaders of these parties discussed various social and economic problems being faced by the state at present and also the slowing down of its economy.

Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Longowal), told the Chairman that the state economy was in an extremely precarious condition. The green revolution had petered out long ago. Heavy cost of production, low yields, non-remunerative prices of foodgrains, heavy indebtedness and exploitative and manipulative market were the factors which had a devastating effect on the farming community.

Industry had suffered a lot in the past years. Industry in major industrial towns such at Batala and Gobindgarh was facing a bleak future. There was largescale unemployment, and youth were falling prey to drugs, he stated.

He urged the commission to waive Punjab’s loan and stated that a minimum grant of Rs 10,000 crore should be given for rainwater harvesting. Johl Committee’s report on diversification should be accepted and funds should be released to implement the same. Concessions should be given to Punjab on the pattern of hill states for promoting industry and banks should be told to advance loans on a nominal rate of interest. A sum of Rs 10,000 crore should be given for border area development, agricultural university, installing more power generation units and drinking water etc.

In a memorandum submitted by Mr Balwant Singh, Secretary of the state unit of the CPM, the Chairman has been urged for an equitable, prudent and rational scheme for the transfer of funds to states. The share of states in Central pool of funds should be raised to 40 per cent. Punjab should be given a special debt relief. Concessions should be given to install industry in the state and the public sector investment in projects such as irrigation and power should be enhanced. There should be a reasonable subsidy on electricity to the farming sector.

Dr Joginder Dayal, Secretary of the Punjab unit of the CPI, in his party’s representation said there was a widespread misconception that Punjab was a rich state. Contrary to it, Punjab was one of the slowest growing states in the country now. The number of unemployed youth was nearly 30 lakh. The farming community was under stress and over 3,000 farmers had committed suicides in recent years. The border areas had become the best examples of social and economic backwardness. There was no drinking water available in a large part of the Malwa belt.

He has urged the commission to provide funds for the construction the Dasmesh canal to irrigate the barren belt of Banur-Rajpura, Dera Bassi and Majra areas, and also for the Kandi canal to cater to the needs of the Kandi area. All loans against Punjab should be written off. Devolution of tax revenue from the Central pool should be raised to 50 per cent to states, loans worth Rs 1,00,000 crore from industrialist should be recovered and the bureaucratic burden on Punjab should be cut drastically. The CPI has opposed the direct flow of grants from the Centre to local bodies and panchayats.


Panel urged to give special package to Punjab
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
A deputation of Congress leaders led by the President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr H.S. Hanspal, here today met the Chairman of the 12th Finance Commission.

Mr Hanspal and other Congress leaders urged the Chairman of the commission to give a special package to Punjab as it is a border state. It should be given a different treatment from others while allocating funds for development and other activities. He told the Chairman that the sub-soil water table was going down every year because of the wheat- paddy rotation. There was scarcity of potable water in most of the southern districts such as Bathinda, Mansa, Faridkot etc, he added.

Funds were required for diversification in agriculture. He urged the commission to waive the entire loan taken by Punjab to curb militancy. He also sought that other debts be written off. For more power generation too, funds were needed.

Meanwhile, Mr Hanspal today addressed a meeting of the district presidents of the party. He asked to them to mobilise party activists for the kisan vikas rally that will be held at Talwandi Sabo on August 7.


Patiala has never had it so good
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 24
Citizens across the state may be sweating it out in the season of power cuts, but for the citizens of this city and even this district the present humid conditions are very much bearable. The reason - no power cut in the city and reduced cuts in the rural areas.

Patiala has never had it so good. The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has reserved the city for preferential treatment despite enforcing large- scale cuts across the state as it is unable to meet the power requirement. A power cut is imposed in the city only if there is a breakdown in the system. Otherwise there is no disruption in the electricity supply.

Gaganjot of Punjabi Bagh says power does go sometimes but it is usually for only a few minutes. “I have had no use for my inverter”, he adds. In fact the citizens of the city feel they have never been so comfortable on the issue of power untill now. “Last year also there were few power cuts”, said Amarjit Singh of Model Town, adding the PSEB seemed to have improved upon its supply position in the city this year.

Even in rural areas, residents of this district seem to have got a better deal than their counterparts in other parts of the state. Villages which receive three phase supply are facing power cuts of 16.5 hours in most parts of the state. In Patiala such villages are facing a cut of nearly 14 hours. Farmers are also getting nearly one hour more for running of motors are compared to the average of seven hours supply for this purpose in most parts of the state.

Even though Patiala is getting preferential treatment this fact is not reflected in the Power Supply Position chart released by the Systems Operation and Communication wing of the board. According to the chart released by the wing, important cities in the state will see a power cut of six hours today. The chart does not specify the cuts being imposed on the different important cities. Board Power Controller A S Arora when asked about the cuts being imposed on the important cities in the state, said the cuts varied from three to four hours. When asked about the status of Patiala city, he said the city was exempted from power cuts.

Meanwhile sources disclosed that Ludhiana was the most affected city in the state. They said because of the fact that it was considered an urban industrial city the cut in the city was around seven and a half hours. Besides this they said peak load restrictions of three hours had been imposed on large consumers consisting of mainly of Arc and Induction Furnace users.

The power position in the state continues to remain glum. Against a demand of nearly 1300 lakh units, the state had 1161 lakh units at its disposal despite large- scale purchase of power to the tune of 365 lakh units besides taking advantage of banking schemes with Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.


One dies, 3 gastro cases in hospital
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, July 24
A twenty-year-old Dalit girl Sunita Devi of street no. 15 of Santokhpura mohalla here died of suspected gastroenteritis. Three other persons of street no. 14 of this mohalla, including an old woman Lakhi, her young son Pirthi and another old woman Parkasho, were hospitalised after they had a severe bout of loose motions and vomitings.

However, the Civil Hospital authorities today asserted that Sunita Devi was brought dead to the hospital. She had been treated at private clinic. They further said that the three persons, who had been hospitalised, were not confirmed cases of gastroenteritis. The authorities though admitted that these three were suffering from loose motions and vomitings. They said that these three had gone out of Phagwara to attend a social function and had eaten outside. Since the SMO, Dr Subhash Sharma was out of station, the officiating senior doctor was reluctant to go on record.

Meanwhile, as a precautionary measure, the teams of doctors today distributed 2,500 tablets of chlorine in 250 houses of Santokhpura mohalla, said the hospital authorities. Three water samples were also taken, they claimed. It was also said that since laying of sewerage was going on in the locality, insanitary conditions and contaminated water in the mohalla might have caused diarrhoea to certain persons.

Gastroenteristis had spread in certain slum-like localities of Phagwara, including Santokhpura, about a month ago.


Living constantly under the shadow of death
Anirudh Gupta

Along the Indo-Pakistan border, Ferozepore: Hundreds of residents belonging to villages situated along the Indo-Pakistan border north of Hussainiwala barrage pass their nights under the shadow of death as they do not

know when the river may flood their homes. These villages— Kaluwala, Nihaleywala, Alikey, Kilchiyan, Kamaluwala and several others like them— situated on an

enclave formed between the Sutlej and the international Indo-Pakistan border, are surrounded by the river water from all sides, and in the absence of any bridge connecting these villages to the rest of the area, the people have no option but to use boats for their to and fro movement to the city and other neighbouring areas.

Their plight does not end here as almost after 57 years of Independence, these villages are deprived of any basic amenities. There are no schools, hospitals and other facilities worth the name available to these poor peasants, who have no other source of bread and butter but their small land holdings. Due to their topographical locations, they face lot of problems

even to plough their lands. These villagers use big wooden platforms to transport tractors-trolleys to their villages, and more often than not, the tractor-trolleys get submerged in the river water along with the so- called boats.

During monsoons, due to heavy discharge in the Sutlej, these villagers get sleepless nights as any

time the mighty river may flood these villages as it happened in the year 1988 when all these villages had submerged under flood waters.

Baggu Singh, sarpanch of village Tidiyan, said that these villages were the worst affected ones and the first to face the fury of floods. Due to their past experiences, the villagers keep only minimum essential commodities with them for their subsistence as any time they may have to abandon their homes in search of safe shelters.

Due to frequent flooding of these areas and in the absence of any bridge to connect these villages to the rest of the region, the villagers, even females and kids, have become top quality swimmers.

In the wake of these problems, the villagers allege that they do not get good matrimonial alliances for their sons and daughters as people refrain from getting their kith and kin married in these villages. For any ceremonial functions like marriage, the guests have to be transported through boats only.

Another villager said that he had to go to another village through boat for even the basic necessities like grounding of wheat in the flour mill. Mangal Singh of village Tidiyan said that a long time ago, a road from Hussainiwala to village Tidiyan was sanctioned but the project never saw the light of the day as everything remained confined to papers only. The villagers had even completed the earth- filling job thrice with their own meagre resources but things continued to remain in the same strain.

Villagers said that it was extremely perilous to ferry the river during nights and in the late evening as due to huge growth of water hyacinth, it is difficult to row the boats and often numerous boats have sunk. In the name of medical facilities, at times some quacks do visit these villages, from whom the villagers take medical treatment, but if there is any emergency, they do not have anyone to look forward to.

These villagers complain that every time during elections, leaders come and make tall promises and show them Utopian dreams, but it all remains lip service only as no one has ever really come forward to help them. 


Pakhoke seeks removal of Justice Majithia
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Mr Alwinder Singh Pakhoke, acting President of the SGPC, has urged the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to remove Justice G.R. Majithia from the Chairmanship of the Admission Supervisory Committee, set up by the Punjab Medical Education Department.

In a representation, Mr Pakhoke has urged the Chief Minister to also disband the committee. Terming the committee’s decision, to withdraw the minority status of the SGPC-run Sri Guru Ram Dass Institution of Medical and Dental Sciences, as biased and against the Sikh community, Mr Pakhoke said no hearing was held by the committee on this issue.

He has further stated in the representation that the SGPC was granted no opportunity by the committee to submit evidence on this issue. Moreover, no copy of the order, through which the minority status of the Sikh institution was withdrawn, has been provided to the SGPC till date.

Mr Pakhoke said the committee had over stepped its jurisdiction by declaring that Sikhs were not a minority for the purpose of their own admission in colleges run by the SGPC.


Power pacts should have been signed earlier: Badal
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 24
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Parkash Singh Badal today said that the Punjab Government had failed the people of the state by not signing power purchase agreements which could have bailed out the state in this moment of crisis.

Mr Badal, while talking to reporters at the residence of Samana legislator Surjit Singh Rakhra, said the power demand in the state was increasing every summer and the government should have prevailed upon the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) to sign the requisite power purchase agreements. He said the board seemed to have woken up too late and was now scurrying to purchase power from various sources at exorbitant rates. He said with the board unable to meet the power demand it was resorting to extreme power cuts.

The former Chief Minister, while speaking on the SYL issue, said he did not have any faith in the Central Government. He said other Congress governments at the Centre had also discriminated against Punjab. He said as Punjab did not have any surplus water, neighbours could not demand it as a matter of right.

Mr Badal speaking on the issue of nomination of the SGPC President, said the issue would be taken up after co-option of members. He said the co-option would be completed by July 31 following which the President would be chosen through a process of unanimity.


Police fails to arrest accused
Tribune News Service

Malout, July 24
Baljinder Kumar, a youth of this town, has been lying on bed for the past about two months after he was allegedly beaten up by seven students of a college located at Chappianwali, near here, on May 28.

The movement of his left arm and leg have been restricted to a large extent after he suffered head injuries.

However, Baljinder Kumar, who was working with a cell phone company and his family members again came in for a rude shock when they met the police officials concerned to get the culprits arrested and were allegedly told that the police had no time to arrest the accused.

“When I along with others went to a police official with a request that the accused who are involved in the attack on my son should be arrested, the police first refused to listen to me. When I again made a request, the police official demanded that a vehicle should be provided to him so that he could arrest the accused,” alleged Mr Khem Raj, father of Baljinder Kumar.

He added that his son was admitted to the DMC Hospital at Ludhiana in a critical condition where he underwent treatment for 24 days. A case under Sections 307, 324, 325, 148 and 149, IPC, was registered against seven accused who were identified on June 1 in the city police station, Malout. Although 55 days have passed since the case was registered against the accused, none of them has been arrested so far.

He said that the accused had been identified as Paramvir Singh, Bhupinder Singh, Hansraj, Sukhraj Singh, Harbans Singh, Jagtar Singh and Manpreet Singh.

Mr Gurmail Singh, SHO, city police station, when contacted, while admitting the fact that the SSP, Mr R. S. Khatra, had given him an ultimatum to arrest all the accused within five days, pointed out that four out of seven were expected to make surrender before the police. He added that a senior police official and the president of the Truck Operators Union had taken the responsibility for the surrender of two accused.

He said the police parties had been raiding the premises of the accused who had been living in different parts of Punjab. He said that no accused would be spared and the police would act as per law.


Govt still to set up more Benches, says redress panel chief
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur July 24
The Punjab Government has not taken any step to install two more Benches in the State Consumer Redressal Commission. The Centre on the recommendation of the National Consumer Redressal Commission had directed the state government to install two more Benches in the state commission. However, till date no notification or order has been issued by the government in this regard.

This was stated by Justice H.S. Brar, president of the State Consumer Redressal Commission, who was here to inaugurate the building of the district consumer forum here.

Talking to The Tribune today, he said 3,500 cases were pending with the State Consumer Redressal Forum as it was not possible for a single Bench to dispose of all cases. If two Benches were not installed, it would defeat the speedy justice for which the consumer courts had been formed, he said.

Responding to a query, he said the state commission had also recommended the setting up of two consumer forums in Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Ludhiana and Jalandhar districts owing to the workload. The government was yet to respond to the suggestion.

As per the amendments effected in the National Consumers Act in 2002, district-level consumer councils should also have been constituted to spread awareness among consumers. However, no such council has been formed in the state.

He said so far 12,000 consumers had been given speedy justice through the consumer forums in Punjab. About 7,000 cases were pending with the district consumer forums, he said. The government had posted most of the members and presidents of the district consumer forums in the state and the pendency of cases would be cleared soon, he said.


Doctors boycott work for two hours
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 24
Doctors of Government Rajindra Hospital today boycotted work for two hours in the morning but resumed duties later, claiming the State Health Secretary had asked them to give him time till Monday to resolve the issue.

Doctors of Government Rajindra Hospital, which is attached with the local Government Medical College, are demanding the withdrawal of transfer orders of six doctors, including the Principal of the Medical College and Medical Superintendent of the hospital.

The joint action committee (JAC) of the doctors which includes the Medical and Dental Teachers Association, the PCMS Association, the Junior Doctors Association and the Nurses Association held a rally on the hospital premises in the morning. The rally continued for two hours, affecting the functioning of the hospital.

However, later JAC relented after its leaders claimed that Health Secretary Satish Chandra had asked a delegation which had gone to meet him to give him time till Monday to resolve the issue. The leaders said they would wait till Monday, adding that if no “corrective” measures were taken by then, they would intensify their agitation.

Meanwhile, the Director Research and Medical Education, Dr Vijay Sharma, visited Rajindra Hospital and held a meeting with representatives of the Medical Teachers Association and others. The “system failure” quoted by the committee which probed allegations of negligence leading to the death of union leader Harjit Singh were discussed at the meeting. The doctors presented the DRME with the facts of the case besides claiming that the report did not take into consideration the difficulties under which the doctors were functioning in the hospital.

The in service wing of the State IMA today appealed to State Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh to intervene in the matter. Wing leader Dr D.S. Bhullar also appealed to Higher Education Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal to give time to the in service wing so that they could apprise her of the facts of the case.


Rotary Club to tackle stray cattle menace
Prem Kumar Sharma

Barnala, July 24
The Rotary Club here has come forward to tackle the stray cattle menace with co-operation of Mr Amit Prasad, SSP Barnala Police District.

Mr Gopal Sharma, public relations officer of the Club said the club Barnala had been making on efforts to rid the town of this menace. Mr Sharma said Mr Amit Prasad had approached the club to tackle this problem Mr Sharma said the SSP’s also helped in bringing around Municipal Council officials and staff to lend a helping hand to the club Barnala in solving this problem. Because the Municipal Council had so far reportedly been turning a blind eye to this problem.

Mr Sharma further said that approximate number of head of cattle was 500. It was a cause of road mishaps and insanitary problems in various busy parts of the town. He said the club, with the help of local Municipal authorities, was carrying the stray cattle to various cowpens in and around Barnala in tractor-trailors.

Mr Anil Bansal, project chairman, Rotary Club, Barnala, said since it was not possible to accommodate large number of stray cattle in pens of the town, cowpens managers at Ludhiana and other stations were being contacted to adjust some of the stray cattle here too.


BSF jawans to face action
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 24
The Border Security Force (BSF) will take a strict disciplinary action against its 12-odd jawans who had tried to stop three trains at Jalandhar railway station yesterday.

The Additional DIG, Mr S. Chatrath, said that he had sent a detailed report of the incident to the headquarters in New Delhi. He said that the men were likely to face an interrogation as soon as they would reach their destination at Cooch Behar in West Bengal. If the men would be found guilty during the inquiry, they would definitely have to face a suitable action, he added.

Mr Chatrath said that the BSF men had a very tough time when their special train from Sambha was stopped overnight, but that does not justify their behaviour.


Tight security for Shekhawat visit
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 24
Tight security arrangements have been made in the city for the visit of Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Vice-President of India, scheduled for tomorrow.

The police from Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Nawanshahr and Hoshiarpur have been deputed at important locations in the city.

Security has been beefed up especially around Pucca Bagh, near Jyoti Chowk, where the Vice-President will attend a function of the Shaheed Parivar Fund. The function will be attended by 145 families of terrorist victims who will receive a financial help of over Rs 21.75 lakh.


200 disabled identified for rehabilitation
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, July 24
Under the Punjab Government scheme for the rehabilitation of the disabled in collaboration with voluntary organisations in the state, the District Red Cross Society, Faridkot, and the City Club, Kotkapura, organised a mulitpurpose camp at Kotkapura, 12 km from here, yesterday to identify the handicapped in the district.

Over 200 beneficiaries out of 500 were identified. They would be provided with various types of appliances, bus passes, identity cards and loans.

Inaugurating the camp, Mr Alok Shekhar, Deputy Commissioner, said orders had been issued to launch a special survey to identify more handicapped. A team of senior district officers would complete the process during the next six months.

He said the District Red Cross Society had already started the construction of a multipurpose school on the Faridkot-Kotkapura road for the rehabilitation of different categories of handicapped children, including mentally retarded, visually and hearing impaired. 


Erring cops to face music, says Dharamsot
Our Correspondent

Phagwara July 24
Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Parliamentary Secretary, Punjab, looking after the Home, Justice and PWD portfolios today said police excesses would not be allowed and those found erring on this count would be dealt with strictly. He was replying to queries from mediapersons about alleged cases of police high-handedness. For speedy redressal of public complaints related to the police, he said, he would soon start holding meetings with SSPs.


Cops to make habitual absentees face parents
Jangveer Singh

Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 24
The Patiala police has hit upon a unique idea to tackle habitual absenteeism in the force — make regular absentees face their parents and peers.

As far as we are concerned “Pamma” was going to duty regularly, says his mother Arno Devi (name changed). “We believed so because he would step out of the house in his uniform and come back in uniform at the end of the day”, she says. However, the police record displayed to the Pamma’s mother revealed that he had missed duty for nearly three years out of his 10 years in service.

Other parents and peers, including members of the village panchayats and Municipal Councillors who were called to the Police Lines to take part in this unique exercise, were also stumped and saddened that their “boys” had never told them that they were playing truant so frequently. The exercise, held yesterday, saw the district police disclosing the attendance records of more than 50 personnel to their near and dear ones.

The boys on their part had their own reasons for being absent from duty regularly. A few personnel were found to be suffering from depression following the death of their parents, particularly their father. Others were absenting themselves from work while looking for new avenues. Many were not able to decide whether to leave the force or not and kept coming back to duty after they had run out of money. Few were simply too lazy and without any motivation to do duty regularly. There was even a case in which a police personnel’s wife was doing menial work while her husband remained absent from duty.

“We have a system whereby we can go in for major punishment that is dismissing a personnel from service under Section 311 without assigning any reason”, says SP (Headquarters) L.K. Yadav. He said the district police had, however, decided to involve the parents and peers of the personnel in an experimental exercise to reform them.

Mr Yadav said showing the attendance records to the parents had helped tremendously. The parents and other society members wanted us to turn this into a regular exercise.

Besides, the district police has decided to send the attendance record of habitual absentees to their parents on a regular basis.


Two cops pay for undertrial’s escape
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 24
The district police today suspended two constables, Arun Kumar and Tejinder Singh, for their negligence due to which an undertrial, Rajinder Singh, yesterday escaped from the court premises while being taken for hearing in a case.

Earlier, Harvinder Singh, a former Assistant Sub-Inspector and undertrial, had fled from the court on July 13. A constable had been suspended in this regard.

Rajinder Singh was being taken to the court of Mr Sanjeev Joshi by constables Arun Kumar and Tejinder Singh. The accused pushed the constables and managed to escape. Rajinder Singh was wanted in many theft and dacoity cases.

This is the 13th incident since July last year in which a prisoner or an undertrial has escaped from the court premises.

Mr Kultar Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police, said a committee comprising of the SP (Hq), the SP (D) and the DSP (Hq) had been constituted to assess the circumstances under which the prisoners escaped.


Tehsildar, Reader suspended
Tribune News Service

Rampura, July 24
Mr Subash Chander Khatak, tehsildar of Rampura Phul, and his Reader Gurdas Singh were suspended by the Financial Commissioner (Revenue) Government of Punjab, Ms Gurwinder Kaur Chahal, last evening.

In an order issued by Chahal, it had only been mentioned that Mr Khatak and Mr Gurdas Singh had been placed under suspension and the headquarters of Khatak would be at Chandigarh.

Information revealed that Mr Khatak and Mr Gurdas Singh had been suspended on the complaint of a resident of Kehraj village, the native village of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

In the complaint lodged with Capt Amarinder Singh, alleged that Mr Khatak had taken bribe from him when he got a sale deed registered.

Official sources said an inquiry had been ordered by the Chief Minister. It was, however, found that the complaint was false as no evidence could be collected against Mr Khatak.

Mr Khatak could not be contacted despite repeated efforts.


Suspension order revoked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
The Punjab Government today revoked the suspension order of Mr Paramjit Singh, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Zila Parishad, Mansa. He was placed under suspension in January this year. He has been posted at Mansa.


4 Bangladesh nationals held

Amritsar, July 24
The police today arrested four Bangladesh nationals from the Golden Temple complex here during a search operation.

The foursome, identified as Tamil, Refill, Mohd Shorie and Taseer Ahmad, were booked under Section 3/34/20 of the Indian Passport Act and Section 14 of the Foreigners Act. — UNI


Nursing institute chief in lock-up
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, July 24
Many more heads are likely to roll in the cases pertaining to alleged sexual harassment and false documents even as Dr G.D. Sharma, Director of R.N. Tagore Nursing Institute, has been remanded in police custody until July 26 here today.

The police may involve others who had allegedly been helping Dr Sharma in fabricating documents. Many associates of Dr Sharma have reportedly gone in hiding fearing arrest.

On the direction of the SSP, Gurdaspur, a case under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 354 and 506, IPC, had been registered against Dr Sharma yesterday.


NRI’s Rs 8.50 lakh stolen
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, July 24
A bag of NRI Sukhdev Singh Sukha of Bhullarai village containing Rs 8.5 lakh was stolen from the Tehsil Complex here. It was learnt today that the NRI had come to get register a sale deed of land. Village Sarpanch Tirath Singh was with him. Mr Sukha placed the bag aside and started getting the deed papers typed. suddenly he found the bag missing.


Seats for ANM, GNM courses reduced
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 24
The Department of Medical Education of Research, Punjab, has reduced the number of seats for admission to the auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM) and general nursing and midwifery (GNM) courses in many of the institutes affiliated to the Punjab Nurses Registration Council, Mohali. Seats have been reduced in those colleges and institutes which have failed to provide their students with proper infrastructure and were running from rented and hired buildings.

Releasing the list of various approved/recognised nursing institutes in the state, the department has notified that these institutes will strictly adhere to the fee structure and limit admission of candidates to the number of seats laid down by the department for the 2004 session.

The notification issued by Mr Satish Chandra, Secretary, Department of Medical Education and Research, on July 5, 2004 states that as per the government’s, PNRC’s and Indian Nursing Council’s guidelines the requisite infrastructure like land, hostel etc should be in place before admitting students. However many institutes were running merely on the basis of no objection certificates from the department.

‘‘The government in its no-objection certificate had mentioned that the construction of building should be completed within one year and admissions made within two years. This does not mean that institutions can hire a building and start admissions. It only means that NoC once obtained will be acted upon and implemented within two years. It is, therefore, clear that institutes could operate from their own buildings and not from the rented ones,’’ clarified the notification.

“While the department has recognised 26 institutes in the states for admission to the one-and-a-half year certificate ANM course, as many as 60 institutes across the state have been either approved or recognised for admission to the three year diploma course in GNM.

Seats for both the GNM and ANM courses have been reduced in Mai Bhago School of Nursing, Taran Taran. The institute can now admit only 35 GNM students and 20 ANM students. Similarly, the International School of Nursing, Taran Taran, can now admit only 20 ANM students, while Sikh International School of Nursing there can admit only 50 GNM students. The Guru Amar Dass Nursing Training Institute and NRI Institute, both in Amritsar, can now admit only 40 and 45 GNM students, respectively.

Two ANM institutes, Dr Shyam Lal Thapar School of Nursing Moga and Baba Farid Institute, Kotkapura — have not been allowed to admit students since they do not have feasibility certificates from the Indian Nursing Council. Similarly, Anand School of Nursing, Amritsar, Guru Gobind Singh Training Institute, Amritsar, Guru Nanak Nursing Training Institute, Jalandhar, have not been allowed to admit students due to same reasons.


Varsity revokes suspension of two teachers
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 24
Punjabi University has revoked the suspension of former Fine Arts department head Dr Saroj Rani and Law Department Prof Dr Gurpal Singh. Both teachers were suspended last year after challans were filed against them in criminal cases. Dr Gurpal Singh was accused of fudging with the question papers of Punjab Civil Service examination during the tenure of former PPSC Chairman Ravinderpal Singh Sidhu.

Mrs Saroj Rani was made a co-accused in a case filed by former Fine Arts Department Student Saru Rana against former Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia.

The sources said the suspension of both teachers had been revoked because more than a year had passed and they had not been indicted in the cases registered against them.

The university letter revoking their suspension said since the department as well as the students needed their services, their suspension stood revoked subject to the final orders of the court.


B.Ed admission: SC students left in the lurch
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 24
About 40 Scheduled Caste science students, who applied under their quota for admission to the B.Ed. course in Guru Nanak Dev University here have been left in the lurch after the university authorities refused to accept the science combination with computer as a subject.

Interestingly, the same eligibility criterion was accepted for students seeking admission under the general category.

Mr Rajnish Arora, one of the counselling coordinators for the course, explained that during counselling they received a fax from the authorities that the said combination should be considered as the eligibility for admission, following which general category students were considered for admission. SC students, whose counselling was over, could not be accommodated then. He assured that SC students would be eligible in the second counselling. Interestingly, even in the prospectus issued by the university the combination of science with computer as a subject has been allowed.


Magic in schools to fund Red Cross
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 24
To get funds for the District Red Cross Society, the Deputy Commission, Mr K.A.P. Sinha, who also heads the society as its president, has directed the district education authorities to organise magic shows in all government, private recognised and aided schools of the district.

Mr Sinha, in his order issued on June 15 to Mrs Surinder Kataria, District Education Officer (DEO), Secondary directed her to organise magic shows of Jadugar Sagar of Ferozepore district till February 2005. All students, who wanted to see the show, should be charged Rs 5.

The one-third part of the money generated from each show would be deposited with the Secretary, District Red Cross Society.


Two Amritsar boys part of team that won NASA’s contest
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 24
Two local boys have done the city proud as they form part of the 18-member group of aspiring scientists from India that they won a space settlement competition in Florida. They beat seven US teams in the final.

Parikshat Sharma and Rahul Kumar are presently studying at Thapar Engineering College, Patiala.


Beopar Mandal executive committee reconstituted
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, July 24
The Punjab Beopar Mandal has reconstituted its 21-member state executive committee to monitor programme and policies of the mandal in the state. The new members are: President, Mr Madan Lal Kapoor, Senior Vice-President — Mr Sham Lal Anand (Rajpura); Vice-Presidents — Mr Kharaiti Lal Garg and Mr Amrit Vohra, (Rampura and Guru Sahai), respectively; General Secretary — Mr Lachhman Singh Mehta (Bathinda); Additional General Secretaries — Mr Vijay Garg, Mr T.R. Singla and Mr Vinod Sharma (Bathinda and Abohar), respectively; Secretaries — Mr Mehnga Ram, Mr Kasturi Lal aggarwal, Mr K.K. Maheshwary, Mr Satish Dhingra and Mr Major Singh Dhillon (Maur, Bathinda, Fazilka and Malout), respectively; Joint Secretary — Mr Surinder Ladha (Kotkapura), Organising Secretary — Mr Surinder Goyal (Jalalabad); Finance Secretary — Mr Ashok Bansal (Bathinda); Executive Members — Mr Amar Nath Grover, Mr Bhagwan Rai Jain and Mr Ved Parkash Kakkar (Gidderbaha, Raman and Zira), respectively.


Milkfed to end sole distributorship
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur July 24
The Milkfed will discontinue giving sole distributorships of its products as it led to losses.

Mr Gurbachan Singh, Chairman of the Milkfed, stated this here. Sole distributors of the Milkfed did not work competitively, he added. Now more than one distributors of its products at a place will be allowed to introduce competition. He told that the Milkfed had to decrease the price of milk following decrease in prices of powder milk. Private producers dumped powder milk in huge quantities anticipating its prices would go up in summer.

However, there was glut of powder milk in the market and prices of the milk had to be slashed due to low demand.

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