P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Rain wreaks havoc in Patiala
Residents blame MC for poor drainage system
Tribune News Service

Flooded Mahavir Mandir road in Rajpura on Tuesday.
Flooded Mahavir Mandir road in Rajpura on Tuesday. — Photo by Rajesh Sachar

Patiala/Rajpura , August 3
Rain water today caused flooding in both Patiala and Rajpura, with water entering many households even as traffic in some localities came to a halt with streets submerged in 4 to 5 feet of water.

In Patiala, the most affected areas were Bishen Nagar, Jujahar Nagar and Bajwa Colony, which are situated close to each other. These are low-lying areas. Residents of the area complained that water was entering their houses and had also submerged streets because the Municipal Corporation could not ensure a proper drainage system due to the fortnight-long strike in the city by its workers. Kaku Ram of Bishen Nagar said drainage lines had become clogged in the area because of the presence of a large number of dairies, whose dung had still not been completely cleared from the area due to the strike.

The Tractor Market, Kitaban Wala Street and Anardanan Chowk besides Raghomajra and Kashmiran Wala Toba also saw the accumulation of a large amount of rain water on streets and also in a few houses. Residents said special storm water drains had not been constructed in most of the localities, which resulted in the accumulation of water during a downpour. Reports of areas being submerged under 1 to 2 feet of water were also received from Lehal Colony, Ajit Nagar and Tej Bagh Colony.

Deputy Commissioner Tejveer Singh said that there was no need for people to worry about any flood in the city as the Badi Nadi was flowing at 8 feet only when it could accommodate water till 18 feet.

The administration has, however, established a control room near the river to monitor its water level round the clock. The Deputy Commissioner said the water level was still low in the Badi Nadi, as no water from any other rivulet had spilled into it. However, he said as a precautionary measure, the administration had asked jhuggi dwellers, living along the Badi Nadi, to vacate their premises immediately.

In Rajpura, residents living close to the Grain Market resorted to a dharna in the rain itself, claiming the Municipal Committee had not taken any steps to make drainage facilities in the area. Following this, the committee acted and an indentation was made around the road to facilitate the movement of accumulated water from the area.

Besides, in Rajpura there were problems galore with a massive tree blocking traffic near the new township project. The Model Town and Mahavir Mandir areas were also severely affected with water flowing in them at nearly 2 to 3 feet.

On the outskirts of Rajpura also, there was a severe problem near the Shambhu Check Point at factories which are situated in low-lying areas. The administration had to undertake rescue operations to evacuate more than 35 persons marooned in one of the factories. The rescue team battled speedily moving water at a level of 4 to 5 feet to effect the rescue. There were reports of workers being brought out from other factories also.


Rain spells misery in low-lying areas
Our Correspondent

Kharar, August 3
The rain, which has been going on since Sunday, has brought misery to residents staying in low-lying areas here and thrown life out of gear for others.

Many colonies in the town got flooded and the affected residents have blamed the local administration for failing to take timely action in this regard. They said that no proper disposal of rain water had been provided by the authorities concerned in many colonies.

Flooding has taken place in municipal wards I, III, IV, V, Didar Nagar, Chhaju Majra Colony, Model Town Colony and Dashmesh Enclave in Mundi Kharar. It is reported that two families living in Dashmesh Enclave left the colony for a safer place.

Some residents of the Dashmesh Enclave have blamed the authorities of the Sunny Enclave for flooding the area of Dashmesh Enclave. They alleged that a wall of the Sunny Enclave was broken to release the water from the colony, which led to flooding in the other colony. Some heated arguments also took place between residents of the two colonies in this regard.

The market area adjoining the Jandpur road also got flooded. The shopkeepers lamented that they had met the council officials and even the SDM had demanded a proper disposal system for rain water but nothing had been done so far.

It is learnt that a wall of the local Civil Hospital fell and an electric current was felt passing through some walls of the residential colony of the hospital and the adjoining Government Model Senior Secondary School. Though a complaint in this regard was made to authorities concerned but to no avail.


Hostages’ families hoping for ‘good news’
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Morinda, August 3
Sukhdev’s native village Makrona Kala, 12 km from Morinda, has become a hub of activities after he was held hostage in Iraq.

Besides a large number of villagers from all over the district, various government officials visit Sukhdev’s house every day to console his family members, a team of all national television channel along with OB vans for live telecast and media reporters have been staying there.

The visitors to Sukhdev’s house have been increasing with the day as the hostage crisis in Iraq today entered into 13th day.

His family members remained busy throughout the day attending phone calls, talking to newsmen, villagers and government officials.

PTI adds from Dehlan (Una): With the fate of the captives in Iraq still hanging in balance, their families are hoping that they will soon receive the news of their release and this time for real.

The euphoria that gripped the village after the news of the release of Indian hostages was flashed across TV channels on Sunday took little time to vanish after the news was found to be untrue.

The road blockades had been lifted, crowds of villagers around the house of Antaryami are no longer there and very few visitors and media persons were pouring in.

UNI adds from Jalandhar: Meanwhile the NRI Sabha, Punjab, will give away Rs 2 lakh each to the families of three Indians, who have been taken hostage by militants in Iraq.

A sabha spokesman said here today that the amount would be paid to the hostages’ families on behalf of Canada-based NRIs as a mark of solidarity. Canada-based NRI Joginder Singh Basi has sent the amount collected by him from NRIs there.


‘Fraud’ travel agents flourishing

Hoshiarpur, August 3
The craze for going abroad to earn money has a great attraction for Punjabi youths, especially among middle and poor classes.

Poor youths mostly try to go to the Gulf countries through legal or illegal channels even for jobs like heavy vehicle drivers, carpenters, masons, welders, steel fixer, bar binders and labourers.

While youths of middle class families go on study basis to Canada, Australia and Cyprus or other countries. They generally pay Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh to travel agents or their sub-agents for Gulf countries and Rs 4 lakh to Rs 7 lakh for countries like Australia and Canada for this purpose.

A majority of parents normally raise loans or sell their land/gold jewellery to arrange for the funds. But in many of such cases travel agents either disappeared after getting the money or send these youths to various small countries through illegal means where they are either arrested or deported to India.

Keeping in view the increasing cheating cases of such kind in almost all villages of the district, a special economic cell has been set up in Community Policing Resources Centre.

Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhatti, SP, told reporters here today that 730 applications against travel agents for their cheating had been received by the economic cell during 2003, out of which 94 were recommended for registration of cases.

A sum of over Rs 1.70 crore had been recovered from these so-called travel agents and the money returned to the complainants, he claimed. As many as 389 applications had also been received during January to July 2004, of which 43 were recommended for registration of cases. A sum of over Rs 50 lakh had been recovered from these travel agents and returned some of the complainants.

Mr Bhatti said that 71 cases had been registered under Sections 420, 406, IPC, against 123 travel agents during 2003 and 38 cases against 79 travel agents up to July this year.

He said that action against many of the travel agents could not be taken due to non-availability of proper evidence against them.

Mr Bhatti said that there was also a great rush for verification of the applications for new passports. As many as 25,408 applications had been received by the verification cell of the centre during 2003 for verification for new passports and 15,129 up to June 2004. After making verifications these were sent to the Regional Passport Office Jalandhar for further action.

Meanwhile, Jarnail Singh of Mustapur village who recently came back from Dubai, said that hard labour was necessary in Gulf countries to earn money. — PTI


Poohla helped police kill 7 in fake encounters, say kin
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 3
It was their chance meeting at Gurdwara B block here when they came to know that their near and dear ones were allegedly killed in ‘fake police encounters’ in 1993 at the behest of Ajit Singh Poohla nihang.

To the surprise of the family members of six out of seven deceased persons including Baba Resham Singh, who arrived here to record statements with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), their ‘tragic story’ found to be inter-linked. For the past 11 years, they did not approach any law enforcement agency to narrate the ‘bitter truth’ and the nightmarish experience they underwent due to the ‘terror’ created by Poohla. After the arrest of Poohla, they mustered courage to tell their tragic story.

Mr Amrik Singh, a human rights activist and Mr Kanwarpal Singh, a spokesman of the Dal Khalsa claimed that many persons who were killed in ‘fake police encounters’ at the behest of Poohla had started approaching them and they would write to the state government for registering fresh cases against Poohla.

Mr Balbir Singh, a younger brother of deceased Baba Resham Singh who was shown killed as deputy chief of the Khalistan Commando Force with two others in police encounter at Sabhraon, Patti police station, actually took up the ‘kar seva’ of Damdama Sahib Gurdwara, Sri Hargobindpur (Gurdaspur) which irked Poohla. He claimed that two associates of Baba Resham Singh, including Sukhdev Singh Dhunn and Balwinder Singh Bau were already picked up by ‘private army’ of Poohla on the pretext of producing them before then SSP, Tarn Taran, Ajit Singh Sandhu.

Ms Surjit Kaur, mother of deceased Balbir Singh alias Bau alleged that her son along with Sukhdev Singh Dhunn was tortured at a ‘Dera’ of Poohla for five days before they were handed over to the police. Later, she alleged, her son and six others were got killed in two different encounters at Sabhraon and Harike by the police led by DSP Kashmir Singh. One Kuldip Singh of Jand village and brother of deceased Binder Singh alleged that after the killing of all seven persons including Baba Resham Singh, men of Poohla later assumed control of Damdama Sahib Gurdwara (Sri Hargobindpur), apart from taking possession of vehicles, cash and ‘kar seva’ material. Among other persons killed in the same encounter included Gulzar Singh of Kamboj village, Anaib Singh of Thakkar Kalan and an untraced person.

Ms Parkash Kaur, widow of Anaib Singh alleged that the police did not allow her to go near the bodies of the seven persons killed along with her husband. Subedar Balbir Singh alleged that the bodies of the ‘killed persons’ were decomposed which showed that they were tortured before they were killed. He alleged that the bodies were not handed over to the relatives.

Mr Amrik Singh, a human rights activist, and Mr Kanwarpal Singh of the Dal Khalsa claimed that while the names of three persons including Baba Resham Singh figured in the list of the CBI too, the other four were cremated as unclaimed.

However, while three other persons were identified later, the seventh could not be identified so far.


Bhatti, Sidhu chargesheeted in wireless scam
Saurabh Maliks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Punjab's Additional Director-General of Police (ADGP) D.R. Bhatti and Superintendent of Police Malwinder Singh Sidhu have reportedly been issued chargesheets by the state Home Department in the alleged multi-crore wireless scam. The ADGP is currently posted at Jalandhar.

Though Additional Secretaries in the Home Department R.L. Mehta and Vinod Bhalla were not available for comments despite repeated attempts, the sources at the Police Headquarters revealed that the two officers had been asked to submit their replies within 21 days. The two could not be contacted.

The scam was brought to the fore after a petition in public interest was filed before a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. In their petition, two advocates Ashok Chaudhary and R.K. Kwatra — members of social organisation Lawyers' Initiative — had sought "comprehensive inquiry by an independent agency into the embezzlement of approximately Rs 2.58 crore" during the purchase of wireless sets.

The two petitioners had alleged that "out of purchase price of Rs 2.77 crore, only equipment worth Rs 18.5 lakh was purchased by the respondents without the constitution of a purchase committee" as mandatory under the relevant rules.

They had asserted that the purchases were made "without technical evaluation of the wireless equipment, from a fraudulent company, already blacklisted". This, they had further asserted, "was endangering not only the national security, but also undermining the integrity of the complete police force".

During the proceedings of the case before the High Court, a letter reportedly written by Punjab's Director General of Police A.A. Siddiqui was produced before the Bench headed by Chief Justice Mr Justice B.K. Roy. In the letter, the DGP had reportedly expressed opinion that the matter may be handed over to an independent agency for inquiry.

Directions were also sought by the petitioners for placing on record the report of an inquiry conducted into the alleged scam by ADGP R.K. Gupta — in charge of security. The petitioners had claimed that Mr Gupta had been asked to look into the matter even though he had already submitted his report.


1,124 cases of gastroenteritis in seven months
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, August 3
As many as 1,124 cases of gastroenteritis have been reported from various parts of Ludhiana from January to July 24.

The latest cases of gastroenteritis were reported on July 24 in Mauji Colony and Daba village in which five deaths were also reported. As many as 184 patients were admitted to the Civil Hospital for treatment.

Residents alleged that water pipes had been mixed with sever as a result of which the water was contaminated.

Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the reasons for the spread of gastroenteritis.

The SDM, Mr M.S. Jaggi, said he was awaiting the result of eight water samples which were taken from Mauji Colony and Daba village.

Contrary to the claims of the municipal corporation of supplying clean water, 67 water samples out of 275 water samples had been found unfit for consumption.

The municipal authorities have taken objection to the taking of water samples by the state Health Department. They want the health authorities to take municipal officials along while collecting water samples.

Inquiries show that water samples from congested colonies like Gyaspura, Shimlapuri and Daba were found to be unfit for consumption. Habowal and Ashok Nagar are prone to gastroenteritis.

The Mayor has announced compensation of Rs 50,000 each for the kin of those who died of gastroenteritis on July 24.

Ludhiana has a 100-bedded Civil Hospital for a population of more than 30 lakh. The government has failed to provide a 200-bedded hospital the foundation of which was laid in 1984.

Councillors failed to take up the issue of gastroenteritis at the general house of the municipal corporation which met last week.

Dr L.S. Chawla, former Vice-Chancellor, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, has suggested that an independent body consisting of principals of local medical colleges and experts of PAU should be formed for taking water samples which should be sent to public laboratory at Chandigarh. All medical colleges had microbiology departments which could help in checking water contamination, he said.

Mr Tulsidas Jaitwani, president of the Punjab Beopar Mandal, has condemned the failure of the municipal authorities to supply potable drinking water.


25 fresh diarrhoea cases reported
Tribune News Service

Moga, August 3
Though the number of diarrhoea cases in Mari Mustafa village here has come down, but people from areas which had not been declared diarrhoea hit, are also falling prey to the disease. In the last two days, 25 diarrhoea cases were reported, out of which six were from the areas other than affected localities — Sehna Patti and Bouriasikh. With this the total number of diarrhoea cases has touched 295.

Meanwhile, the District Health Officer, Mr R.P. Mittal, said the water sample taken from waterworks of Mari Mustafa on June 14 had failed. The department had written to the Executive Engineer, Public Health Department in this regard. Speaking about the hand-pumped water in the affected localities, he said it would take about one and a half month for the result of water samples to arrive. Asked as to what would happen till then if the disease had occurred due to contaminated water, he said the villagers had been consuming the same water even before the diarrhoea outbreak. He said the villagers been told to either drink boiled water or use chlorine tablets in water, which were being distributed in the affected areas. He said even if the water of hand-pumps was polluted they could not issue any direction till the probe report was out. However, contrary to the DHO’s remarks, requesting anonymity, a retired official of the Public Health Department said that the results of water samples didn’t take more than 2-3 days to arrive.

Sources said that almost all schools in the village did not get water supply from the waterworks and the students were also consuming the hand-pumped water. One of these schools was located near the pond in which a large number of fish had died a few months back and the water had been disposed in the bore supplying water to the pond. Sources said the water sample of this school had also reportedly failed.

The Baghapurana SDM, Mr Harcharan Singh Sandhu, said that no fresh cases had been reported today and all diarrhoea patients at the Civil Hospital in Baghapurana had been discharged. There were about six cases from other parts of the village, he said. But they were routine cases and there was nothing to worry about, he added.

The SDO, Public Health, Baghapurana, and the Deputy Commissioner could not be contacted.


Sound fiscal policy must for growth: Gupta
P. P. S .Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
A sound fiscal policy has been recognised as the nucleus of any meaningful development in a state or a country. And in either case, relative economic prosperity or human development has invariably been attributed to fiscal performance. Any fiscal imbalance or fluctuation between revenue receipts and revenue expenditure causes lopsided development.

Punjab is no exception to this thumb-rule, where financial instability is a cause of concern and is responsible for breaching economic sustainability.The persistent high-level of public debt and high fiscal deficit has impeded economic growth in the state. Thus, a prudent fiscal policy is imperative to sustain growth and human development, which also works for poverty reduction and improves economic development.

Punjab has taken steps to strike a balance between its fiscal policies and economic development but it has not, so far, succeeded despite all the available instruments that the government has devised.

In this backdrop, a compendium of 19 essays in the form of a book, ''Helping Countries Develop—The Role of Fiscal Policy'' should serve the intended purpose. This 530-page book, published by International Monetary Fund is a sum total of working papers on different subjects inter-related to the title of the book, contributed by 25 international experts.

The book is divided into five sections dealing with macro-economic policy in developing countries, public spending and the millennium development goals, revenue and growth, fiscal policy and aid, and special topics. The last chapter contains two key essays, including one on fiscal consequences of armed conflict and terrorism. The second is on comparison between two public expenditure management systems in Africa.

This team of three Editors, who worked on this IMF book, is headed by Sanjeev Gupta, who is Assistant Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF. The other two Editors are Benedict Clements and Gabriela Inchauste.

Sanjeev Gupta of Chandigarh had worked as lecturer at Panjab University from 1974 to 1976. He is the son of former IAS officer J P Gupta. He is a double graduate in economics and politics from St Stephens College, Delhi University, and Balliol College, Oxford University, from where he also did his MA and later another postgraduate degree from the University of New Brunswick and Ph.D from Simon Fraser University.

This is the second book which Sanjeev has edited. Earlier, he was among Editors who had worked on ''Governance, Corruption and Economic Performance.''

Most of what the book contains is applicable to the Punjab situation as well since the state has to think in terms of both short-run and long-term fiscal policies for sustainable development and see the impact of its fiscal policies on taxation, revenue, expenditure and financing. The book tells the importance of studying these three aspects and poses the question whether higher investment in education, health or infrastructure works to be effective in boosting long-term growth and improving human development. Similarly, the way existing taxation structure and government administration works also matters in dove-tailing fiscal policies and fiscal performance for the desired results.

And in the context of the ''negative'' report card of the state presented in the World Bank Punjab Development Report, such publications should serve as a guide.


Man approaches President to trace wife
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 3
Mr Parkash Singh, a resident of Maur Mandi of this district, has approached the President of India and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for making arrangements to trace his wife who along with several other passengers fell into the Alkanda river, near Gobindghat in Uttaranchal, on July 6.

Mr Singh in a letter to the President and the Chairman of the NHRC, also urged them to direct the authorities concerned of Chamoli district of Uttaranchal to take action against the driver of the private bus in which he along with his wife was travelling on that day and was going from Rishikesh to Gobindghat. The bus fell into the river due to negligence of the driver.

He alleged that though he met the district civil and police authorities to trace the bus and the passengers, they did not bother to do the same. He added that the police and civil authorities asked to return to Maur Mandi, saying that they would inform him about the bus and the fate of his wife whenever the bus was traced.

He said that so far, the authorities had failed to inform him anything in connection with the incident. He demanded that sincere efforts should be made to trace his wife and legal action should be taken against the driver of the bus and the owner of the company.


Man alleges police torture, in hospital for treatment
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, August 3
Jaswant Singh of Deep Singh Wala village has been admitted to surgery ward No 3 of Guru Gobind Singh Medical College Hospital here after alleged police torture. He is frightened and alleged that the police was threatening his family.

He alleged that in the past few days Kotkapura SHO, Nachhatar Singh, tortured him in ‘illegal’ custody. He said that his family got him freed by a warrant officer of the high court. Showing marks of injury on thighs, he alleged that the police tortured him and gave him electric shocks.

He told that he had bought a Tata Qualis vehicle from Ambala and a few days later the police here arrested some vehicle thieves. On the basis of identification by thieves his vehicle was also seized. He produced documents of the vehicle and wanted it back. The police handed over the vehicle to his brother, but later another person claimed ownership of the same. The police then issued the letter to hand over the vehicle to both persons. A court decided in Jaswant Singh’s favour and handed him over the vehicle to him ordering action against the ‘munshi’ of the police station for issuing letters to two persons. The police registered a case against the ‘munshi’, Jaswant and his brother.

He alleged that the case against them was false. He alleged that the SHO wanted to frame him in a case of recovery of a rifle, seized during militancy in Punjab. He alleged that the SHO, also assured him of helping through his “approach”, but he refused. Following this the SHO took members of his family and relatives into ‘illegal’ custody. He alleged that his father had given Rs 50,000 to SHO Nachhatar Singh, for the release of members of his family. Kotkapura DSP Kashmir Singh Bhinder probed the matter.

He alleged that the SHO had got information of warrant officer’s raid on July 27 and he threw him out of the police station. Jaswant Singh said that he met the warrant officer outside the police station and told him the whole story. SHO, Nachhatar Singh said that there was no case against Jaswant Singh. He said that Jaswant Singh was taken into custody in a case a few months back, but on July 27 he got the police station raided by high court’s warrant officer. He said that nothing was found at the police station. during the raid.


Labourers or criminals!
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 3
A lot of criminals have been coming to Punjab under the garb of migrant labourers. In most cases, they go scotfree after committing a crime as their whereabouts are not known to anyone.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that though the population of migrant labourers in Bathinda district was not much, the crime committed by them in the past three and half years was enough to draw the attention of agencies that were connected with the maintenance of law and order.

The labourers had committed crimes like murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, abduction, smuggling of narcotics and illicit distillation of liquor. A sizeable section of these criminals had used firearms.

About 101 criminal cases have been registered against the labourers in almost all police stations falling in the jurisdiction of this district. Out of these cases, 17 cases were registered in connection with the smuggling of narcotics, 15 in connection with the use of firearms and 10 cases in connection with kidnapping.

Two cases of murder have been registered.

It seems that the labourers are inclined to commit crime at places where they had worked as construction or agriculture labourers, apart from domestic help. These labourers belonged to Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Nepal.

The police has been focussing on the stranger verification drive and the labourers are being registered at the community police resource centre here.


Conference on SYL issue at Press Club
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
The president of the Institute of Sikh Studies, Mr Gurdev Singh, who is a keen student of Punjab’s river water issues, has made an in-depth study of the subject and has written a book, ‘’Scramble for Punjab Waters’’, which the institute has published.

He will address a press conference on the SYL issue at the Press Club here on August 6 at 11 am, says an institute press release.

A copy of this book was presented to the Chief Minister, Capt. Amarinder Singh and the three Vice-Chancellors at Bharti Kisan Union seminar on ‘’River Waters’’ here on Sunday last.

This compendium, not a research dissertation, nevertheless, gives a brief account of the various aspects of the problems that trace the development of SYL canal dispute, highlighting the most significant milestones of the recent era to help form a clear perspective of the issues involved. In fact, it is a ready reckoner for a lay reader and a marker for those who wish to do a deeper study of the issues concerning waters of Punjab rivers.

Right from the national and constitutional aspects to inter-linking of rivers to political, technical, economic and spiritual aspects and covering the gamut of measures, including Draconian diktats and flawed implementation of Acts, Mr Gurdev Singh gives a vivid picture and graphic description of various issues in the book. Appended to the text are key awards, agreements and resolutions passed over a period of time from 1955 down the decades.


Punjab Roadways to have 400 new buses
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
In order to meet the shortfall of buses, the Punjab Transport Department has decided to add 400 new buses to the fleet of Punjab Roadways. The buses will be procured from Punbus, a government undertaking, at a cost of Rs 40 crore.

The existing fleet of roadways consists of 1,591 buses, of which nearly 50 per cent of the buses are in the condemned list and could not be taken off the road because of the passenger crisis.

The new buses, which will be purchased by Punbus after taking loan from a bank, will be used to replace an equal number of old buses in the fleet.

Sources in the department said that if the loan is repaid on the basis of monthly instalment in five years and another 250 buses added under the `Golden Rozgar Bus Scheme', the tentative loss of the Punjab Roadways is likely to come down from Rs 90.20 crore to Rs 60.83 crore per annum. The additional buses would be run on those long routes where no buses were plying for the past several years due to the shortage and will spell more comfort for the bus passengers, who had to change buses to reach a destination.

These buses will have a new look in terms of colour and structure and will promise better comfort with leather seats and more leg space. The tubular structure, which would replace the existing steel framed structure, will also give more life to the vehicles, sources add.

The Roadways, which came into being in 1948, with a fleet of 13 buses, had the maximum strength of 2407 buses in 1985.

But things started going bad for it when the Transport Department suffered a setback during terrorism days and 38 of its buses were burnt by terrorists and other anti-social elements. Non-induction of new buses to replace the overage or damaged ones adversely affected the fleet condition and its operational efficiency.

With the number of overage buses (those who have been on the road for more than seven years or have already covered 5.25 lakh km) gradually increasing and the figure touching almost 50 per cent of the fleet in 1997, the government had decided to purchase 1,100 buses for the Roadways by taking loans from the bank through Punbus. But the plan got scuttled and only 534 buses were added to the fleet in 1997-98 and 1998-99.

With the condition of the old fleet being bad, the government decided to ground all those buses which were very old and whose operation was totally uneconomical. The buses were, however, grounded gradually in phases from 1999 onwards, bringing the strength of the fleet to 1,591. No new buses were purchased to replace the grounded ones since the Finance Department refused to stand guarantee for securing loans for purchasing new buses through Punbus.

Further, with a view to providing employment opportunities to specific target groups such as the unemployed youth, ex-servicemen and self employment to the employees of the Punjab Roadways, who wish to proceed on special leave for 3-5 years, 250 buses are also being taken on lease under the `Golden Rozgar Bus Scheme'. The buses will be given to the department on lease ( km scheme) and the government will assist the beneficiaries in securing loans from the banks by even guaranteeing the repayment of instalments out of the lease money.

This step will not only generate employment and business opportunities for the people in the state but the department expects to make a profit of Rs 5 crore out of this.

As many as 333 conductors, who were rendered surplus, will be redeployed and this would also mean a saving of salary to the tune of Rs 3.04 crore, which they had been drawing earlier without work.


50 lakh birth certificates to be issued by September
Tribune News Service

Ferozepore, August 3
More than 50 lakh date of birth (DOB) certificates will be issued by September this year in Punjab. This was disclosed by Mr Inderjit Singh, Director Census, Punjab, while presiding over a meeting of district officials in this connection.

Mr Inderjit Singh took a stock of the progress regarding the second round of issuance of the birth certificates in this district. He said 24.43 lakh birth certificates had already been issued during the initial round of this process. He said in the second round 25 lakh certificates had to be given out of which around 13.83 lakh certificates were ready for the distribution.

He said the process for issuance of birth certificates to school children had been initiated as it had become mandatory at the time of seeking admission in schools in Punjab.

He said within a year of the birth of a child, the Civil Surgeon was authorised to issue the certificate but thereafter the SDM concerned would issue it. He said in order to expedite the process, district and sub-division level co-ordination committees had been constituted.

At today’s meeting DC Ranjit Singh, Civil Surgeon Dr Varinder Pal Singh, Mr Madhav Sham, Deputy Director Census, Dr R.L. Taneja DHO, DEOs, BDPOs, CDPOs, tehsildar and other district officials also participated.

MUKTSAR: As many as 25 lakh birth certificates will be issued in Punjab by the end of this month as a part of nationwide campaign. This was stated by Punjab Director of Census Operations Inderjeet Singh, while talking to mediapersons here today.

The Director said 13,83,000 birth certificates had already been issued in the state in the ongoing second phase. Punjab remained on the top in the country as far as the issuance of birth certificates was concerned, he added.

Mr Inderjeet Singh further said the Centre was planning to issue a multi-purpose national identity card, for which birth certificate would be the basic requirement. So, this is people’s basic duty to get the births of their children registered.


Official figures belie fall in water table
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 3
Groundwater position in Punjab is said to be alarming but the figures supplied by the Agriculture Department on the fall in water table do not correspond with the data of the field officials.

Agriculture Department officials visit villages, block-wise, in June every year and record changes in the water table by examining old wells or gadgets installed at various places. Entries are compiled and submitted to the government for assessment of ground water position.

This data play pivotal role in the planning of water management policies and forms the basis of SYL imbroglio wherein Punjab pleaded that it had no surplus water.

A perusal of entries by the field staff and the figures collected by The Tribune in mid-July from same villages reveal that there is difference of several feet in the figures. Actual fall in water table is more than recorded in officials entries.

In Ludhiana, the official average fall in water table is 2 feet 8 inches while in reality the fall is more than eight feet. The team visited villages — Alamgir, Kadian, Bhundri, Swaddi Kalan, Humbran, Sudhar, Mohi, Gujjarwal and Butari in the affected blocks to assess the situation.

Same is the case in other villages. Variation between official figures and those done by The Tribune is an eye opener. Farmers want fresh survey to know the actual position. The departmental entry on fall in water table this year for Bhundri is 1 feet 2 inches while in reality the fall is 10 feet.

Similarly, official figures and those compiled by The Tribune (in parenthesis) for the following villages show the disparity. Swaddi Kalan 2 feet (7 feet), Humbran seven inches (10 feet), Sudhar one foot (10 feet), Gujjarwal two feet 4 inches (10 feet), Butari two foot 2 inches (5 feet), Kadian 1 foot 1 inch (5 feet).

Bharti Kisan Union (Lakhowal) activists too are of the view that the figures recorded by the department do not reflect ground reality. The official figures and the ones supplied by the BKU (in parenthesis) for the following villages too are a study in contrast. Panjeta 1foot 5 inches/ (5 feet), Leelan Megh Singh 8 inches (10 feet), Manuke 1 foot 6 inches (11 feet), Jalaldiwal 1 foot 3 inches (15 feet), Rauni 5 inches (10 feet), Gahri Tarkhanan 5 inches (7 feet), Sherian 10 inches (5 feet), Sangatpura 2 feet 2 inches (8 feet).

It is not that the ground water level fell after the department recorded the depth in mid - June. If that was the case, then the fall in the water table listed by the department and The Tribune would not have tallied. At Mohi village, the fall is recorded at 49 feet 8 inches by the department and the figure arrived at by The Tribune was the same.

Similarly, at Alamgir village the officials measured the depth of a well and recorded that the water table was 42 feet 4 inches, while the actual fall in the water table recorded in the presence of the village panchayat by The Tribune was only 38 feet. The villagers explained that the officials always left some scope for mischief in their records so that they could claim a marginal fall in the coming years. They also questioned the logic of examining the depth of this well which was adjacent to a pond where level of water was always higher than another old well, hardly 150 feet away, was completely dry since 2001.

Dr S K Mittal, Joint Director, Agriculture (Hydrology), said he could not comment and would have to check with the field staff. Mr J P Gupta, In charge, Ground Water Cell of the Department, blamed farmers for blowing things out of proportion. PAU’s Dr M P Kaushik always accompanies him on field visits, he added.

BKU chief Ajmer Singh Lakhowal said faulty recording was the norm in other districts as well. At a time when the state was passing through a water crisis, such lapses were criminal and the guilty officials should be taken to task. Till it is done, the entire record pertaining to this issue should be sealed and fresh survey ordered by the government, he added.


Jalandhar boy in Limca Book of Records
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 3
Breaking his own record of devising the world’s smallest drilling machine, a Jalandhar boy has made a second successful attempt in getting his name printed in the Limca Book of Records.

A zero cost product, Jasjit Singh Kohli, a resident of Mohalla Karar Khan, designed the machine out of waste material available from home. Broken pieces of electric bell were used for making the connecting flinges of the machine, a washer was used for making work table, badminton racquet shaft was used for making columns of the machine, back of the sketch pen served as mechanism device and gears were used as it is from broken toys.

The whole project, which Jasjit says, was accomplished in a month’s time, helped him come up with a new machine that is now two-and-a-half times smaller in dimension, four-and-a-half time lighter in weight. With a weight of 200 gm , height of 8.5 cm, width of 7.4 cm and thickness of 5.2 cm, the machine can even be carried in the pocket.

Giving more technical details, Jasjit said that the speed of the machine is 2,200 rpm, runs on six volts of DC motor, is capable of generating 1 to 5 mm diameter hole in 1 mm thick sheet of aluminium and plastic with a minimum heat distortion. He said that the machine could be effectively utilised for minute drilling operations in jewellery, electronic circuit board and as a part of demonstration to engineering students.

An overall first rank holder in the country in masters of plastic, Jasjit was a student at the Central Institute of Classical Engineering and Technology, Bhopal. He did his graduation at the Priyadarshani College of Engineering, Nagpur, and an engineering diploma from Mehr Chand Polytechnic, Jalandhar. Before that, he was a student at Government Model Co-Educational Senior Secondary School, Ladowali Road, Jalandhar.

For Jasjit, who is now working as a maintenance engineer with an injection moulding industry in New Delhi, this is not the end of it. Aiming to go for further improvisation of the device, Jasjit said that he was now making different attachments for the machine that would make it four-purpose by making it capable of solving the purpose of lathe, milling and grinding machine as well.

Besides, he said that he was also coming up with another project of devising the smallest pump.


Centre calls meeting of SGPC members
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
The Central Government has decided to call a meeting on August 12 of the newly elected members of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), a Gurdwara Election Commission spokesman said here yesterday.

The meeting will be held at Teja Singh Samundari Hall, SGPC complex, Amritsar, for co-opting 15 members, of whom not more than five will be residents of Punjab as described in clause (iii) of sub-section (1) of section 43-A of the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925. The SGPC general house has a total strength of 185, out of which 170 are elected and 15 members are coopted.

It will be attended by SGPC’s ex-officio members and head granthis of Akal Takht, Amritsar, Takht Kesgarh Sahib, Anandpur Sahib, Takht Patna Sahib, Patna, Takht Hazur Sahib, Nanded, and Takht Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo, Bathinda.


Jathedar urged to stop discrimination
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 3
Mr Gurdeep Singh, general secretary, Akali Dal (Ravi Inder Singh), today urged Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, to make efforts to stop discrimination against members of the Scheduled Caste community in a dera located in this district.

In a letter written to Giani Vedanti, Mr Gurdeep Singh pointed out that discrimination against the members of the Scheduled Caste community was against the principles and tenets of Sikhism which preached equality and tolerance for human beings belonging to different faiths.

He said that though the discrimination was major issue and could snowball into a law and order problem any time, no political or religious group had come forward to oppose the same.


Un-defused tank shell caused blast: experts
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, August 3
Investigation into the death of four rag-pickers at Pathankot recently has revealed that un-defused tank shell fuse might have caused the explosion.

Sources said Army experts who visited the spot opined that rag-pickers might have collected the un-defused shell fuse from Army’s firing ranges. When the rag-pickers tried to extract brass and lead from it, fuse might have been charged leading to the blast.

Due to the blast the material lying in the junk yard turned into splinters causing death of the rag-pickers there.

Army authorities rejected the theory it was mine or a live tank shell. The area in which the explosion took place was congested had it been a tank shell or mine explosion loss of life or material would have much more.

Sources said the Army had fire range at Dasuya in Hoshiarpur, in Beas river’s bed and Hirapur in Kathua district of Jammu.

Rag-pickers keep visiting these ranges to collect waste of tank shells that contain brass and lead metals.

Sometimes they also get live shells that fail to explode or semi defused shells as one of which probably caused explosion at Pathankot. Some of junk collected from firing ranges ends up at Pathankot as it has major junk market of the area, they told.

SSP Gurdaspur Narinder Bhargav also admitted that the un-defused tank shell fuse was probably caused the blast.


Improvement Trust to get back land after 18 yrs
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 3
In what could be an achievement for the Improvement Trust after a long legal battle, the management of the local SGL and Dera Satnamia Trust had offered to hand over a piece of prime land in Guru Ravi Dass Nagar and worth about Rs 3-4 crore, which has been under its possession for the past about 18 years to the trust authorities.

The land, which is said to be that of the Trust, has allegedly been under the possession of the SGL and Dera Satnamia Trust since 1986. Though the Trust of the two religious bodies had been granted a stay in 1990, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had given a verdict in favour of the Trust in 1994. Despite the verdict, none of the former Chairman and top officials of the Trust could take possession of the land.

Efforts made by the Trust Chairman, Mr Tejinder Bittu, however, bore fruit as the dialogue initiated by him with the head of the two religious bodies yielded an undertaking from these organisations that the Trust land would be vacated by March 31, 2005.

“We welcome the decision of the head of the SGL Trust Baba Kashmira Singh to vacate the Trust land and we are thankful to him for this as this would show the way to scores of others who have made illegal encroachments upon the Trust land,” said Mr Bittu.


Confusion over DA merger delays doctors’ salary
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, August 3
Doctors of the Civil Hospital here have not received salaries for July due to alleged confusion over the merger of 50 per cent dearness allowance (DA) with basic pay.

Some doctors today claimed that non-payment of salaries due to confusion was dilly-dallying tactics of the accounts section of the Civil Surgeon’s office. They also stated the authorities should have sought clarification from top health authorities as they had received a letter on the merger of 50 per cent DA with basic pay, a month ago.

The Punjab Civil Medical Services Association (PCMSA) local unit reportedly submitted a memorandum to the Civil Surgeon last week demanding release of doctors’ salaries according to new formula.

Dr Surjit Singh, secretary of the PCMSA said there was a resentment among doctors over the non-payment of salary. He said they would meet the Civil Surgeon.

Dr J.R. Bansal, Civil Surgeon, here said there was a ceiling of Rs 25,500 on the doctor’s basic pay and the NPA, but after the merger of 50 per cent DA with the basic pay, the new basic pay plus NPA would cross the ceiling of Rs 25,500. Without getting a clarification in this regard, salaries to the doctors could not be given as per the new formula, he added.

The Civil Surgeon said doctors of the Civil Hospital were not ready to accept salaries on the old pattern.

But he had decided to get the salaries deposited in the bank accounts of the doctors tomorrow by adopting the old formula or new formula of calculating salaries, as per the directions of the state government, he added.


Bank staff hold demonstration
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 3
A large section of the employees of different branches of the State Bank of Patiala today held a demonstration in front of the local zonal office of the bank to lodge their protest against the apathetic attitude of the bank management towards their genuine demands on the call given by the All-India State Bank of Patiala Employees Federation.

In a press note issued here, the spokesman of the federation alleged that the bank management had not been making appointments of the wards of deceased employees on compassionate grounds. The federation alleged that even the appointments were not made in those cases where the employee had died in harness.

Mr N.K. Gaur, general secretary of the federation, said that as per the decision taken by the federation, day-long dharnas would be held in front of all the zonal offices and head office of the bank from August 16 to 19 and in case the management did not consider the genuine demands, the employees would go on strike for one day through out the country.


Death anniversary of Bhagat Puran Singh
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 3
The 12th death anniversary of Bhagat Puran Singh, founder of Pingalwara, a home of insane, aged incurable sick destitutes, started here today. A painting and drawing competition for schoolchildren was held in the Pingalwara premises as part of Bhagat Puran Singh’s death anniversary here.

A total of 120 students from 23 public and government schools participated in the competition. Vikram Singh won the first prize for depicting the devastating effect of drugs on health. Arunjit Kaur, a deaf and dumb girl, made a portrait of Guru Nanak Dev.

In the junior section, Sidhant Kapur of DAV International School portrayed the different facts of human induced violence. A special prize was awarded to seven year old Tribhawan Singh for his painting on the effects of disobedience of traffic rules.


High Court
Fresh application filed in Kharar shootout case
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 3
A fresh petition was today filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking handing over the investigation in the Kharar shootout, in which two persons were killed, to the Central Bureau of Investigation or any other independent agency.

The petitioner, Mr Dharam Singh Kang, father of Youth Akali Dal leader Kiranbir Singh Kang, one of the accused in the case, has prayed that the lives of Kang and members of his family be safeguarded.

In his petition, Mr Kang has claimed that his son, who is a bitter political foe of the Congress government in Punjab, was booked for his alleged role in the incident despite the fact that he had nothing to do with it.

He has also claimed that the Ropar police has been harassing his family. Kiranbir, it may be recalled, is on the run from the police after escaping from the PGI, where he had been admitted for treatment.

Today, the Bench of Chief Justice Mr Justice B.K. Roy and Mr Justice Surya Kant directed that a copy of the petition be handed over to counsel for the Punjab Government in order to allow her to seek instructions in the matter.

The case will now come up on August 9.


Boy challenges admission process
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 3
The High Court has issued notice to Punjab Technical University and other respondents on a petition seeking quashing of the admission process in Thapar Engineering College, Patiala.

Passing these orders on the writ filed by Mandeep Singh Grewal, a student of Guru Nanak Engineering College, Ludhiana, the Bench of Mr Justice HS Bedi and Mr Justice JS Narang fixed August 5 as the next date of hearing in the matter.

In his petition, the student has stated that he appeared for the Late Engineering Entrance Test. Thapar College had fixed July 18 as the date of counselling of students for grant of admission.

However, as the result of the diploma course examination, which was conducted by the Punjab State Technical Education Board, was delayed by some days - it was finally made public on July 21 - the petitioner and many others were not cleared for admission by the management of Thapar College. However, other colleges had extended the counselling date.

Saying that students who had secured lesser marks than him in the entrance test have been granted admission, the petitioner has sought that the admission process of the college be quashed and he be granted admission in BE (Electrical).


2 killed, 4 injured in firing at Kamalpur village
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, August 3
Two persons were killed and four other injured in a firing incident at Kamalpur village, near Dirba, about 30 km from here, this afternoon. The incident took place following a quarrel between children of landlords and Dalits of the village.

Those killed in the incident were Gurjant Singh (50) and Harshminder Singh (40). Out of the four injured, Dara Singh (55) and Kewal Singh (40), were admitted to the local Civil Hospital in a serious condition.

A resident of Kamalpur village, who accompanied the injured to the local Civil Hospital, claimed about 24 persons, belonging to the landlord group, came to Dalits’ mohalla in vehicles this afternoon. They were armed with rifles, swords and sharp-edged weapons. They opened fire and killed two persons. He said in self-defence, Dalits threw stones on the “attackers” to force them run away.

Mr Gurinder Singh Dhillon, SSP, Sangrur, said as per preliminary reports, the children of landlords and Dalits had quarrelled in a mela the previous day. Following this, Dalits stopped some members of the landlord community today in the village. An altercation ensued. Later, landlords came to the Dalits’ mohalla. A quarrel took place between two groups. Later, the landlords reportedly opened fire.

He said the police had arrested Bhupinder Singh, Harjit Singh and Kanwaljit Singh in this connection. The police also seized a .12 bore rifle from the suspects. A case under Section 302 of the IPC had been registered against some persons, he added.

Keeping in view the tension in the village, police force had been deployed there, he added. About 50 policemen were keeping a watch on the situation, he said.


Businessman’s wife found murdered
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 3
Two robbers today struck at the house of a leading businessman at Mandi Gobindgarh town and allegedly murdered his wife. They fled with cash and valuables.

The incident occurred in the broad day light in one of the safest and most posh areas of the town. Even neighbours did not know what happened in their neighbourhood and it was only when both her children returned from school, the incident came to light.

Someone informed the SSP about the incident and he was the first to reach the site.

According to neighbours, Seema Rani (35), wife of Mr Ashok Kumar of Ramnik Steel, along with other women of the mohalla purchased vegetables and fruits from a vendor, who came to the area around 12.30 p.m., and after making purchase she went inside her house. It was around 2 p.m. that her both children came from GPS School and knocked at the door.

However, on failing to get a response they approached their neighbours who also pressed the door bell.

Apprehending foul play they jumped inside the house and found Seema lying in a pool of blood with her body badly stabbed.

In the meantime, all residents of the locality gathered there and informed the police.


5 boys, 5 teenaged girls held for immoral activities’
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 3
Five boys and five teenaged girls including schoolgirls were arrested on the charges of immoral activities from a sweet shop in a raid by the police here today. The police claimed some ‘illegal and immoral’ activities were going on in the Ashoka sweetshop of the Putlighar area and it raided the complex.

The police also arrested Pawan Kumar who acted as mediator, young boys and girls besides Gopal Singh a waiter and Dharmendar Kumar, owner of the sweetshop while his (Dharmendar’s) brothers Rajkumar Jolly and Ashok Kumar escaped.

The owners had constructed reportedly a room on the third floor of the sweetshop and it was used for immoral activities, the police said.

Pawan Kumar, admitted that everyday seven to eight couples used to visit the place. He said room was given to the ‘interested’ couples for Rs 110. He said mobile phones were not allowed in the room and rates of eatables were double than usual.

Dharmendar Kumar expressed his ignorance about the immoral activities. He said he was not going to the shop for last one year due to personal reasons cases.

The police has registered. The boys were identified as Rajinder Singh and Mandeep Singh, both residents of Lopoke, Gurdev Singh of Chheharta, Amit Kumar of Maan Singh Gate and Sandeep Kumar of Mahal village. The girls caught by the police belong to Chheharta and areas near Putlighar.


60 shops selling petrol raided
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, August 3
After three days of the publication of news item which was carried in The Tribune on July 30 “Petrol being sold illegally”, the Department of Food and Supplies has swung into action and raided more than 60 shops selling petrol illegally.

According to information gathered from the Food and Supplies Department, Ms Rajwant Kaur Ghuman, District Food and Supply Controller, Gurdaspur, has formed eight teams to check the menace of this illegal selling.

The department has also seized certain records of the shops and issued warning to stop the sale of petrol. It is also revealed that the department has sought the help of legal experts to launch proceedings against the offenders.

Ms Ghuman said only authorised petrol pump dealers would be allowed to sell petrol. Dealers further had been directed not to sell petrol in open or containers. Ms Ghuman also clarified that the shops were not being run in connivance with the department.

She alleged that some unscrupulous shopkeepers who were indulging in this illegal trade might be booked.

After raids by the department many shopkeepers had gone underground. According to informed sources, the DFSC had issued strict instructions to his officials to keep regular checking on these shopkeepers.


Man killed by relative

Batala, August 3
An aged person was killed with sharpedged weapons allegedly by his nephew at Bal Purian village under Sadar police station last night, the police said today.

Dhanna Singh (55) was sleeping on his tubewell where his nephew, Kuldeep Singh, alias Pappu, allegedly attacked with sharpedged weapons and killed him on the spot.

The distribution of canal water was stated to be the cause behind the murder.

The police has registered a case against Kuldeep Singh who has absconded. — PTI


Robbers’ gang busted
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 3
The district police claims to have busted a gang of robbers and found two 315 bore pistols, live cartridges, iron rods and a bottle of chloroform from their possession. The gang members were today presented in the court of Mr D.S. Johal, ACJM, Fatehgarh Sahib, who remanded them to police custody up to August 15.

According to Mr Gurmeet Singh Pinki, the CIA staff raided the PWD Rest House at Adampur and arrested the gang members. They were identified as Gurinder Singh, a resident of Guru Nanak Pura, Bassi Pathana, Gurdeep Singh of Udham Singh Nagar, Ranjeet Singh of Kaunke Kalan, Amrik Singh of Fatehpur Araian and Sanjeev Kumar of Udham Singh Nagar.

He said during interrogation, they had revealed that they were planning to strike in Sirhind town and surrounding areas. They had committed several dacoities.


Man rounded up for committing fraud on bank
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 3
A man, who has allegedly committed a fraud with a bank here in June, 2004, and had been trying to commit another fraud on the basis of fake cheques of the USA-based bank, was today rounded up by the city police.

Information gathered by The Tribune revealed that the accused, whose original name could not be known yet, opened an account in a local branch of a famous bank in June, 2004, and deposited a fake cheque of a USA-based bank in the same.

After some days, he managed to withdraw about Rs 10 lakh from that bank.

When the bank officials reviewed its transactions, it came to notice that a fraud of Rs 10 lakh had been committed with it on the basis of fake cheques.


Cash, jewellery stolen from McDonalds
Our Correspondent

Doraha, August 3
Cash and jewellery were allegedly stolen from a car at a highway restaurant, near here, last evening.

Kashmira Singh, a press reporter and a resident of Krishna Park, New Delhi, has alleged that he stopped for a break at McDonalds. When he parked his car, four or five vehicles were already there. He returned after 25 minutes and found both the rear windows open. Two of his suitcases and a bag containing cash, jewellery and costly clothes were found missing.

A case has been registered.


Lecture on Swami Vivekanand’s thoughts on education
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 3
The local Multani Mal Modi College organised a lecture on “Swami Vivekanand’s thoughts on education” here today. A renowned scholar and president of Vivekanand Study Circle, Bathinda, Mr Makhan Lal, was the key speaker.

Mr Makhan Lal said Swami Vivekanand was a rationalist, he was straightforward, well-read and objective in the quest for truth.

He was inspired by Ramkrishan Paramhans who preached simplicity, truth and love for humanity.

Addressing the gathering, he said the Swami defined education as the manifestation of perfection already in man.

He rejected the education system started by Lord Macaulay as it was “negative”.

He laid greater stress on mind, body and spirit. He wanted the youth to be self- dependent.

Earlier, Dr V.K. Sharma, principal of the college, welcomed the speaker.


Jobless teachers to observe ‘Black Day’ today
Tribune News Service

Moga, August 3
The Unemployed Elementary Teachers Union has decided to observe “Black Day” on August 4. The union has also flayed lathicharge on unemployed teachers in Jalandhar who were protesting peacefully in support of their demands.

At a combined meeting of the union and the Diet Students Welfare Association here today, state union president Jaswinder Singh Sidhu said the unemployed teachers would wear black clothes in all districts on August 4 and would stage a protest in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office by holding black flags.

Mr Sidhu alleged that the police had registered “false” cases against the teacher and student leaders at the behest of the state government.

Leaders of both the bodies warned the Punjab Government that if these cases were not withdrawn within 24 hours they would start burning effigies of the government.


Counselling for JET on Aug 10, 11
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 3
The second counselling for Joint Entrance Test (JET) sciences –2004, conducted by Guru Nanak Dev University for admission to B. Pharmacy, B.Sc. (hons) school in chemistry, physics, botany, human genetics and B.Sc (industrial microbiology), would be held at Guru Nanak Bhawan auditorium on the university campus on August 10 and 11.

Dr A.K. Thukral, Coordinator, said that the counselling of all eligible and qualified candidates of reserved categories would start from 10 am while for general categories up to number 250 on the merit list would be conducted on August 11. The result of this test would also be available at http://dobesgndu.tripod. com., he said in a press release here today.


Johar invites youths for talks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
The Punjab School Education Minister, Mr Harnam Dass Johar, has invited unemployed B Ed pass youths for talks. Condemning the lathi-charge on such youths at Jalandhar on Sunday, Mr Johar said that his doors were open for talks and that he was prepared to meet them at any place.

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