P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Why not plan out and implement reforms on this I-Day?
P. P. S.Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Tomorrow the nation celebrates its Independence Day. While the state-level function in Punjab is scheduled to be held at Hoshiarpur, ministers will unfurl the Tricolour and inspect the guard of honour at assigned places. The ''netas'' will give the usual ''bhashan'', distribute sewing machines, tri-cycles and honour some government and public-spirited individuals. The fanfare will be over with the Governor's ''At Home'' on the plush lawns of Raj Bhawan in Chandigarh. But should this not be an occasion for the politicians and bureaucrats to introspect, plan out and implement the much-needed reforms for development?

The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, has revived the practice of Jawaharlal Nehru of writing to the Chief Ministers. In his first letter of July 12, he has desired the state governments to pay attention to ''development issues, ensure that growth and distributive justice go together, bring back compassion into our ways of thinking and restore to public life the waning spirit of idealism and sacrifice''. The Centre and states should net-work and demonstrate the best traditions of ''cooperative federalism''.

Maintenance of law and order, the letter says, was ''critical in providing an atmosphere conducive to economic development and social harmony''. The focus should be on ending poverty, illiteracy, disease and inequality of opportunity. The stress should be on agriculture, reforming public institutions, holding bureaucrats accountable while ensuring regularity of their tenures. The states must attend to water harvesting, education, health, employment, nutrition and rural industries.

A similar development paradigm was presented by President A P J Abdul Kalam at the Chief Ministers' conclave organised by India Today in New Delhi on August 6. There Punjab had bagged six awards, including one for ''overall performance''. The President had outlined broad contours of his vision of India, where he suggested grouping of states into seven regions for development. And Punjab needs to pay much more attention to all the aforementioned sectors.

Not going into the merits of awards Punjab has bagged, the ground realities are different. Punjab is an enigma, a paradox! Viewed in this backdrop and read in the context of what the recent World Bank Punjab Development Report and Committee of Civil Service Reforms, headed by Mr P C Hota, has recommended, Capt. Amarinder Singh has a readymade blue-print on how to endear himself to the task of steering Punjab to sustainable future development.

The common denominator in the letter of the Prime Minister, address of the President and in the two reports is that Punjab faces immense challenges, when it comes to implementation of reforms, human resource development, delivery and quality of health and education, empowerment of panchayati raj institutions and dove-tailing with the Centre. The state's present overall picture is not bright!

Punjab, the World Bank report says, has to craft an ''overarching vision'' to guide reforms through the transition period. This will be painful, slow and results will be seen only in the long run. In between, special interest groups may mobilise opposition to the proposed reforms. And to overcome that will require public demonstration of political will, motivating bureaucracy and taking people along the decision-making process. Without working closely with the Centre, Punjab may not travel far on the road to sustainable economic development. The state has a unique disadvantage--Rs 8,000 crore debt incurred during the fight against insurgency in the 1980s--- and a unique advantage--- Rs 2,000 crore of annual subsidy to farmers by way of minimum support price for paddy and wheat! Since action is to come from the Centre, development must be packaged into institutional designs, sensitive to local constraints, knowledge and opportunities.

Punjab also must raise public expenditure in health and education, where 94 per cent to 98.5 per cent money goes into salaries and pensions, while service delivery and quality remain low; and absenteeism is all pervasive. Same holds true of power, irrigation, transport services. And, importantly, for any meaningful results, first civil service reforms are imperative. Since Punjab Chief Secretary Jai Sing Gill was a member of the Hota committee, the report can provide the necessary wherewithal and breakthrough on this!

The empowerment of panchayati raj institutions is a political gimmick. Actually, nothing has happened. The World Bank report says neither recommendations of the first nor of the second state finance commission have been implemented. The first one had recommended transferring of 20 per cent of net proceeds on stamp duty, motor vehicle tax, electricity duty, entertainment tax and cinematograph show tax to PRIs. This decision was partially implemented. Yet, 40 per cent dues, Rs 150.98 crore, are pending. The second commission had suggested levy of several taxes and other measures by gram panchayats. Still, no action.


Flight of Tricolour kites

Amritsar, August 14
Patriotism will fly sky-high in this holy city on Independence Day when a city resident sends up ‘kites of patriotism’.

Memories of great martyrs like Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev, Chander Shaker Azad and Subhash Chander Bose will come alive on August 15 when Jagmohan Parshad Kanojia, a gifted kite maker, would fly six to ten feet long kites bearing cut-outs of the national heroes.

“I have crafted special kites — both miniature and giant size — to spread the message of love, peace and fraternity,” Kanojia said. His collection of miniature kites includes one of a thumb-nail size. — UNI



Flag hoisting: ministers in short supply
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 14
The state government has failed to find a minister who could unfurl the National Flag at the official function to be held in the city tomorrow on the occasion of Independence Day.

After futile efforts the state government has deputed Deputy Commissioner K.A.P. Sinha for the function.

The state government changed the chief guest, supposed to unfurl the flag here, thrice as it could not find a suitable VIP for the purpose.

Initially the government decided to depute Finance Minister Surinder Singla, who also represented this Assembly segment, to unfurl the flag. However, after three days, the government replaced Mr Singla with Local Bodies Minister, Mr Jagjit Singh, who was earlier supposed to unfurl the flag at Amritsar. A press note in this connection was also issued by the Deputy Commissioner.

The Punjab Government then again changed its mind and decided that Urban Development Minister, Mr Raghunath Sahai Puri, will unfurl the National Flag in Bathinda town. The invitation cards were distributed in this connection yesterday.

However, today again new invitation cards were distributed in which it was mentioned that Mr Sinha would unfurl the National Flag tomorrow.


JE to get parman patra
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, August 14
Mr Raj Kumar Aggarwal Junior Engineer (45) of the Public Works Department has been selected by the state government for the award of Punjab Sarkar Parman Patras this year. He will receive an award of Rs 11,000, a Shawl, a gold medal and a citation from the state Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh at state-level Independence Day function to be held at Hoshiarpur tomorrow. 

He is known for his credibility and integrity in his department. He also played a significant role in promoting a centrally sponsored Sarav Shiksha Abhiyan. He has been associated with many government and non government organisations undertaking public welfare schemes. He led a 10-member committee constituted by the Unicef to monitor the Polio pulse programme.


Principals express concern over Johal Committee Report
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 14
A meeting of the Association of Principals of Non-Government Colleges, affiliated to Punjabi University, was held at the local Mata Gujri College on Thursday. The meeting was presided over by Dr Gurmohan Singh Walia, president of the association and Principal of Mata Gujri on Thursday.

The association expressed its concern over the Johal Committee Report regarding generation of finances for higher education in Punjab. Talking to The Tribune, Dr Walia said the Johal committee’s report discriminated against the urban colleges vis-a-vis the rural and backward area colleges. He said the colleges which had made rapid strides in introducing professional and vocational courses and had worked hard to upgrade their infrastructure had been clubbed with sick colleges, which had not made any improvement during the past 25 years.

He alleged that the Central Government as well as the state government, having abdicated their responsibilities towards the crucial education and health sectors, had been deliberately shying away from funding higher education in the name of liberlisation, globalisation and privatisation.

He said it was the paramount duty of the state government to fund the core sectors like education. The state government wanted to indirectly take over the finances of private aided and non-aided colleges. He said the association would seek a clarification from the government regarding the report — whether the government would take full responsibility of paying salaries to the teaching and the non-teaching staff as well, whether the state government would release grant for new courses and infrastructure, whether it would also pay salaries to the additional staff, whether it would adopt the past policies of 1977 and 1981.

The association has urged the Punjab Chief Minister, who has been recently honoured by the President of India for Punjab being the number one state in the country, to suitably enhance the funds for higher education.


Pak Senator for forming economic zone
Ashok Sethi

Wagah (Amritsar), August 14
Expressing his optimism, the leader of a visiting Pakistani parliamentary delegation, Mr S.L. Khosa, a Senator, hoped that the thaw between India and Pakistan would bring sincerity in the resolve to solve outstanding issues between India and Pakistan.

Mr Khosa along with his colleagues from the Pakistan People’s Party, Mr Sayad Naveed Qamal and Choudhry Abid Sher Ali both members of the National Assembly of Pakistan, felt that the people on the both sides of border were unhappy with the tardy progress in the dialogue.

Delegation members felt that there was a need to accord utmost priority to the dialogue as the people were keen to resume economic ties. Mr Khosa said the issues like Siachen and Sir Creek should be settled immediately. Like an elder brother India should reach out to Pakistan. There was no need to waste precious lives and resources on the world’s highest battle field,” he said.

Such unilateral offer, he said would sent positive signals .

The former Finance Minister of Pakistan, Mr Sayad Naveed Qamal, said that India and Pakistan urgently need to address the issue of growing disparity among the poor and rich. He strongly favoured the formation of a strong economic zone between India and Pakistan and other regional nations which could became a powerful bloc in the Asian subcontinent. He said the India and Pakistan which constitute the one-thirds of the world population should harness their resources and avoid wasteful military expenditures.

Unable to conceal their disapproval of the present military regime, members of the National Assembly said that the mindset of the army and bureaucrats were responsible for the bloodshed in this region. He said that the military top brass had a vested interest perpetuating in misery and hatred.

Members of the Pakistan People’s Party, while answering queries about the return of their President Begum Banazir Bhutto, said it was difficult to give exact time for her return but said they were hopeful that she would soon make an appearance in the country.

On question of Kashmir the delegates said that all parties to the issues should engage themselves in a sustained dialogue to find amicable solution acceptable to all.

Complementing veteran journalist Nayyar the Pakistan delegates said his untiring efforts generated tremendous goodwill among the people from both the countries.


Bhaur for Sikh head of PSGPC
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, August 14
SGPC member and former SGPC acting president Sukhdev Singh Bhaur today demanded that the PSGPC should be broadbased by including representatives of various Sikh organisations the world over, including the SGPC that represents 50 lakh Sikhs in India.

Talking to this correspondent here today, Mr Bhaur, argued that the broadbasing was necessary for honouring the sentiments of the Sikhs as well as upholding the ‘maryada’ of gurdwaras in Pakistan.

Since the founder of Sikh faith was born in Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, the Sikhs had emotional and religious association with the gurdwaras there, he said.

Mr Bhaur admitted that there was no legal locus standi in the demand since Pakistan was a sovereign country.

We can only request Pakistan to respect Sikh sentiments by giving the PSGPC an international ambit, he opined. Since only a Muslim could head a mosque or Islamic body, a Sikh should be allowed to head a Sikh body, he argued.

In reply to a query,Mr Bhaur hoped that the election to the President of the SGPC next month would go smooth as had been the co-option of 15 SGPC members.

It was the prerogative of SAD President Parkash Singh Badal to choose the President of the SGPC, he said. He was replying to an indication that Bibi Jagir Kaur had become a front-runner for the top post as it Bibi Jagir Kaur had chaired the meeting just for one day and not much should be read into it, he asserted. He also brushed aside a suggestion that the co-option of Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar signalled his being a favourite for the post.


Farmers return richer in experience from UK show
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
Farmers and agri-businessmen of Punjab, who attended the United Kingdom Government's Royal Show, have urged the Union Government to hold similar shows so as to allow farmers the opportunity of receiving information from others.

Interacting with mediapersons here, these people, who attended the show, said that they had come to know about a number of latest farming techniques and better equipment in the show.

"It was a very learning experience. Though we spent money from our own pockets to attend the mega show, it was worth it," said Mr Raghbir Singh, President, Potatoes Growers Association, Jalandhar.

Other participants such as Mr S.S.Shergill, President, Guru International, Chandigarh, Mr Jaswinder Singh Sangha, General Secretary, Potatoes Growers Association, Jalandhar, and Mr Mohinder Singh Grewal, proprietor of Roopa Vegetable Seed Farm, Ludhiana, also said that by interacting with participants from other countries, particularly the developed ones, they came to know about a lot of things.

"We got the opportunity to share our concerns with farmers and officials of other countries, particularly on issues such as WTO Agreement and subsidies. We came to understand that if we also switched to modern farm tools, our produce and its quality could also go up tremendously," Mr Raghbir Singh.

Tanisha Thiara, Trade and Investment Adviser, UK Trade & Investment, Chandigarh, said that efforts would be made to increase the number of participants from the region in such shows so as to give farmers more opportunities to learn about the latest in the field of agriculture.

Dr A.S. Dhatt, Director, Punjab Horticultural Post Harvest Technology Centre, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, who also participated in the show, said he had now better knowledge about the changes in this sector across the world.


Get ready to taste herbal sweets
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
Have you heard about herbal sweets such as " amla burfi, amla ladoo"? If not, wait a little while and you will. Scientists of the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology are on the verge of making a breakthrough on the herbal sweets front.

Believe it or not, several sweets can be prepared from the great Indian " amla". For centuries amla has been used by Indian vaids to cure various ailments. It still enjoys the status of "king" of Indian herbs. Punjab council scientists are in the final stage to give a new dimension to " amla's " properties.

Dr S.S. Marwaha, Director of the council, says :" I am testing the shelf life of the sweets, especially 'burfi' prepared from amla. Results of the tests carried so far are okay. The taste is fine. Shelf life, except little variation in colour from greenish to brownish, is excellent", says Dr Marwaha. " But I want to be very sure on all fronts before finally recommending its commercial preparation", he adds. From amla one can prepare ready-to-serve juice, anti-diabetic juice also, besides solid sweet stuff. Likewise, sweets can be prepared from other herbs.

Mr Marwaha's effort is not confined to sweets only. He is looking at a bigger picture. Punjab's vast part of Doaba and Majha region, especially the Kandi belt starting from Gurdaspur and right up to Chandigarh, and even beyond, is suitable for growing amla trees. If commercial use at a small-scale level is perfected, then the council, which has been encouraging, guiding and helping farmers at the field level to go for herbal agriculture for medicinal purpose, can ask farmers to go for " amla" plantation in a big way in the Kandi belt, says Dr Marwaha.

Along with Dr Jatinder Kaur Arora, Joint Director of the council, and Mr Joyati Sarup, head of the Unati Cooperative Society, Dr Marwaha has prepared a project for growing herbal plants such as ''amla, ashavganda, senna, kavanch, stevia, tulsi,'' etc in a cluster of villages near Talwara. The villages are Bhavnaur, Raugher, Bahtoli, Charada, Patroli, Salangar, Nangal Khanura, Amroh and Talwara.

It will be a self-sustaining project. For processing of herbs and value addition at the farmer stage, extraction and processing plants would be provided by the Department of Bio-technology of the Union Government.

All participating farmers in the project would be maintaining " soil health cards". Experts of the council will be helping them in doing so. All technical advice will be provided under the leadership of Dr Arora, says Dr Marwaha. " For any sort of agriculture, to maintain the profile regarding the health of soil has become a must", he adds. ''Farmers all over the state should prepare for it", he stresses.

In fact, Talwara is suited most for organic farming, which is becoming a worldwide phenomenon. People in advanced countries have started running away from consuming foodstuffs prepared from grains grown by using chemicals such fertilisers, pesticides etc. " Talwara belt has remained relatively free from use of pesticides. Farmers are very poor in that belt. So, in those virgin lands, if organic farming is promoted, it would help the farming community to make substantial increase in its income level", says Dr Marwaha.

In fact, implementation of the project has started. Farmers involved in this venture have been showing great enthusiasm. If this project got a flying start, then one can hope to change the fortune of small farmers whose survival is under tremendous stress all over the state.


Sikh treasure unaccounted for: Mann
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 14
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, on Thursday said experts coming to examine Sikh art, sculpture and architecture from the Smithsonian museum in the USA may have a futile exercise on their hands as precious art and documents had been “stolen” from the Golden Temple during Operation Bluestar.

In a statement here which was released by his party leader, Mr Brijinder Singh Sodhi, here Mr Mann said this fact would be brought to the notice of the experts also so that they could realise that important art pieces and documents of Sikh history were still unaccounted for after the Army operation of 1984.

Mr Mann also denounced the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for speaking out against the Punjab Water Agreements Termination Act. He said both the NDA and the BJP were working against the interests of Punjab and all right thinking people should cut off ties with them.

The Akali leader simultaneously welcomed the decision of the United Progressive Alliance Government for abrogating POTA.


Power consumers a harassed lot

Barnala, August 14
Power consumers of Barnala and Handiaya village, about 5 km from here, are a harassed lot. Lack of coordination between officials of the post office and those of the Punjab State Electricity Board has resulted in hardship to consumers. The Punjab State Electricity Board, Barnala, has authorised the local post office to collect bills for a period of one year.

Ms Kanta Devi, Mr Ashok Kumar, Mr Bhan Dass and Mr Sukhwinder Singh, who paid their bills in the post office counters, said despite having paid their previous bills on time, they found the same amount added in the arrears columns of the current bills.

They alleged that on approaching the board, the authorities asked them to bring the scroll number from the post office concerned. However, when they asked the post office authorities for the scroll numbers, they were denied the same. Dr Ashok Kumar Garg, general secretary, Bharatiya Janata Party, Handiaya, confirmed that the residents of the village too suffered from same kind of inconvenience. Mr Ved Prakash Tallewalia, a local Congress leader, and president of the Kacha Arhtiya Association, has urged the authorities concerned to set the record straight in this connection and establish coordination between them. — OC 


Gala event at Amritsar airport on October 1
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
A three-day gala event to mark the launch of Singapore Airlines first flight to Amritsar on October 1 would be held at Amritsar. This was stated by Punjab Tourism Minister Jagmohan Singh Kang at a meeting held here yesterday to discuss the air linking of Amritsar with Singapore by Singapore Airlines.

Delegates of the international media and business magnates would be invited to showcase Punjab as a tourist destination. Amritsar would be served as a gateway to different places in the region, including Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

The minister said the new flight connectivity will help exploit the tourism potential optimally, and the Punjabi Diaspora settled abroad has welcomed it.

Mr D.S Jaspal, Secretary, Tourism, Information and Public Relations Department, Punjab, informed that there were 33 incoming and as many outgoing international flights at the Amritsar International Airport. And the total number of passengers boarding and disembarking per week was 14,850.

He said to improve air passenger traffic at Amritsar, there is need to focus on proper air conditioning of the airport, computerised check-in facility, improved taxi and transport service, regular police patrolling in the airport area etc. This would also help in creating more employment opportunities for the youth in the state, besides increasing the tourist influx. 


Ex-servicemen’s polyclinic opened
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 14
An Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme Polyclinic was inaugurated by Major-Gen Pradeep Khanna yesterday at the Patiala Military Station. The polyclinic, adjacent to the Military Hospital, will offer comprehensive medical care to ex-servicemen of the city. Speaking on the occasion, Major-General Khanna said the aim of the scheme was to provide comprehensive, quality and timely medical care to ex-servicemen, pensioners and their dependents. He said 400 ex-servicemen had already become members of the polyclinic.

The General said under the comprehensive scheme launched for ex-servicemen, as many as 227 Polyclinics had been established in military and non-military stations all over the country. He said besides, former Army men could get treatment at a number of reputed empanelled Civil Hospitals.

According to a press note issued by the Army, the one-time subscription to join the scheme is from Rs 1,800 to Rs 18,000 depending on the slab of pension of an individual. The amount could be paid in three equal yearly instalments also or in lump sum. Treatment facilities were available all over the country under the scheme.

According to the press note, in Patiala, most of the prestigious hospitals in the civil and diagnostic centres were in the process of empanelment following which superspeciality care will be available to all former servicemen residing in the city.


Nambardars demand office space
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 14
A delegation of the district Nambardars Union, headed by its president, submitted a charter of demands to the Deputy Commissioner on Wednesday. Earlier, nambardars held a meeting at Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib.

They have demanded that the registration work in tehsils should not be done without verification by the nambardar concerned.

They alleged that at present registration is being done on verification by lawyers, councillors, sarpanches and panches.

They also demanded seating arrangements for all nambardars in offices; they should not be deputed on thikari pehra duty; and that they should be exempted from paying parking fee in all government offices.

Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, assured the delegation that he would consider the demands. He also asked the nambardars to sign stamp papers only after proper verification.


Not a decent teacher
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 14
Even as merely one out of more than a hundred women gathers courage to complain against misbehavior of male colleagues, such complaints remain largely un-addressed and mostly ignored despite the Supreme Court order in cases of harassment of women at workplace.

A lady teacher from Government Elementary School, Kherabad, has registered such a case against a male teacher who allegedly used filthy and abusive language against her.

Talking to The Tribune here today the teacher alleged that Mr Bhagwan Singh, a Punjabi teacher, abused her in front of other teachers and in charge of the school on July 29. Following this the victim lodged a complaint to the DEO office.

However, though an inquiry officer was appointed to look into the matter, no action had been taken so far, she alleged. Mr Bhagwan Singh, when contacted admitted that an altercation did take place that day but denied using any abusive language.


Suspend Bathinda SDM, says PCMSA
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 14
The PCMS Association today demanded the suspension of the Bathinda Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) who ordered the registration of a criminal case against doctors of the Civil Hospital there on frivolous charges.

Association patron Dr M.S. Randhawa, president Dr D.S. Gill and general secretary Dr Manjit Singh said in a statement that the state government should issue immediate instructions to all DCs and SSPs to end harassment of doctors in the state. 


Roadways men stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Moga, August 14
Employees of the Moga depot of the Punjab Roadways staged a dharna in front of the District Transport office here. They were demanding that buses plying without permit should be immediately stopped and one bus-one permit policy should be implemented strictly. 

They alleged that private buses were plying illegally in Punjab due to pressure from MLAs and ministers of the previous and the present governments. They alleged that these ministers were hampering the induction of new buses into Punjab Roadways. They also demanded that the authorised bus stand built to “benefit” private bus operators in Amritsar be demolished and shifted to the main bus stand.

They warned the state government that if the operation of private buses was not stopped they would intensify the agitation. 


Office building unsafe: FCI staff
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 14
Complaining of dilapidated condition of their office building and lack of safety norms, employees of the Food Corporation of India (FCI), Ladowali Road, have written to their Regional Manager, the Zonal Manager, the Managing Director and the Deputy Commissioner, here, demanding the shifting of the office to a safer place.

The employees said due to unsafe condition of their building, they were unable to concentrate on their work. They said construction material used in the building was of inferior quality.

A few months ago, the first storey of the building caught fire due to short-circuiting. The building is a rented accommodation and the FCI was paying rent amounting to thousands of rupees.

Mr K. Siva Prasad, Senior Regional Manager, when contacted said he had sought a report from the District Manager. He said he would look into the matter and recommend shifting of the office if the need arose.


Revenue officials told to speed up recovery of loans
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 14
It is a matter of concern that a majority of the revenue officials are not working according to the directions of the government. In certain cases, for petty gains, they have not bothered to ensure whether stamp duty had been paid or not, said Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, while addressing the monthly meeting of the district officials here on Thursday.

He said the district administration had launched a campaign for the recovery of loans taken by various government departments that had turned defaulters. He directed all revenue officials to speed up recovery of loans.

The Deputy Commissioner directed the Executive Officers of all municipal councils to file applications in the courts to get vacated the stay orders against encroachments so that encroachments from government lands could be removed. He urged the municipal officials not to work under any political pressure. He said council employees and officials who encourage encroachers would be identified and punished.

He directed the PWD officials to hand over urban roads, which fall in the territory of a municipal council, to the respective municipal councils, so that these roads could be re-carpeted at the earliest.

He said the primary aim of the administration should be to redress the grievances of the public and to provide them justice. He urged the officials to work in a transparent manner and warned that the corrupt would not be spared.

Mr Ahluwalia directed the district officials to send the utilisation certificates immediately regarding the utilisation of government grants sanctioned from time to time, so that all development projects could be completed in a planned manner.

He said Rs 25 lakh had been received for construction work at Government Girls College, Mandi Gobindgarh, and work would be started soon. Similarly, a grant of Rs 12.5 lakh had been received for the construction of a stadium at Hansali village.

The Deputy Commissioner took the monthly progress report regarding the implementation of various rural development schemes, supply of essential commodities, various schemes of the Health Department, the progress report regarding construction and repair of roads, utilisation of grants sanctioned by the District Planning Board, auction of shamlat lands and removal of encroachments on government lands.

The Deputy Commissioner directed all SDMs to personally supervise all the development works in their respective subdivisions, so that government money was utilised efficiently.


Man for speedy inquiry into daughter’s death
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 14
A city resident, whose 19-year-old newly married daughter was allegedly poisoned by her in-laws at Khanpur Lubana village in Ambala district on August 9, has demanded a swift follow-up action in the case.

The girl’s father, Mr Gurcharan Singh Lamba, said here yesterday that although the police had registered a case against the family under Sections 304, 34 of the IPC and arrested his son-in-law Satnam Singh and the latter’s mother, Sarabjit Kaur, he was not satisfied with the follow-up in the case.

Mr Lamba, a resident of Tej Bagh Colony in the city, said the police did not register a case under Section 302 of the IPC even though the case clearly appeared to be one of murder. He said the police was also not following leads, which indicated that his daughter, Charanjit Kaur, had struggled when she had been allegedly administered poison by her in-laws.

Giving details of the case, Mr Lamba said he had arranged the marriage of his daughter with Satnam Singh of Khanpur Lubana village on February 15, 2004. He said he had sold his house to arrange the marriage in which he had given 20 tolas of gold, besides a television, refrigerator and other household goods as dowry. Mr Lamba said two months after the marriage, Satnam Singh demanded money from him “as the payment of the sugarcane crop supplied to a local mill had been delayed”. The father said he gave Satnam Singh Rs 65,000 four months after the marriage four months after the marriage in the June but the family was still not satisfied and continued to torment his daughter.

He said on August 9, he received a message from his daughter’s in-laws stating that Charanjit had consumed a guava from a tree on which a pesticide had been sprinkled the same day. He said he believed Charanjit’s in-laws and asked them to take his daughter to a hospital. However, later when he reached the village, it was too late as his daughter had expired.

The complainant said he found it hard to believe that his daughter could have knowingly eaten a guave on which any pesticide had been sprayed. “No right thinking person can do this,” he added. He demanded a speedy inquiry into the case, saying the police should investigate how his daughter’s clothes had been torn and how she had received bruises on her hands.


Labourer beaten up by cops

Amritsar, August 14
Mukesh, a migrant labourer from Itawah, was allegedly beaten up by the Islamabad police and kept in custody here late last evening while he was returning from his factory.

Inder, Sri Ram and Sanjay all residents of Putlighar and nearby areas alleged that they were beaten by sticks by the police without assigning any reason. They said the SHO first asked them to run and after catching hold of them they were beaten up with sticks. They alleged that Mukesh was still in the custody of the SHO.

However, SHO Piara Lal refuted the allegations. He said the police was patrolling the area due to a number of complaints of eve teasing. He said the persons were standing in the Putlighar area, when the police asked them to leave the place, they refused to do so and pelted stones on the police vehicle. The SHO denied that any case has been registered against Mukesh. — OC


Man stabbed to death
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 14
One Bintu (20), a salesman in the Rambagh area was today stabbed to death by a former SPO Harpreet Singh, who was dismissed by the department a few years back. According to information, the accused entered the showroom in which Bintu was working on the pretext of purchasing a camera. 

When he denied to give cost of the camera, Bintu tried to stop him. Harpreet Singh stabbed him to death. The accused who fled the spot was later caught by the police. A case has been registered at Rambagh police station.


KLF chief Harnek arrested
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 14
The district police has arrested Harnek Singh, alias Bhap, a terrorist and self-styled Chief of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF). He was arrested at a naka at Madhopur Chowk, GT Road, Sirhind, by CIA in charge Gurmeet Singh Pinky.

Addressing a press conference today, Mr Shiv Kumar, SSP, said in connection with August 15, a special drive to nab anti-social elements had been initiated and the police had information that Harnek had been seen in the area. He said during checking of a grey-colour Santro car coming from Patiala side the police got suspicious and arrested the driver. Later, he was identified as Harnek.

A.38-bore pistol along with cartridges was seized from him. The police also recovered FDRs of Bank of Punjab, Patiala, worth Rs 2.30 lakh.

The SSP stated that he was involved in the assault on Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta.


Kidnapped boy rescued
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
An almost two-day long operation by the Moga and Ludhiana police resulted in safe rescue of a 17-year-old boy of this city whose parents, oblivious of the police operation had almost paid a whopping Rs 50 lakh to the alleged kidnappers. The boy was recovered at about 10 p.m. from Moga.

The boy, Rimpy, is the grandson of Dr K S Nandpuri, former Dean, Horticulture, PAU. He was kidnapped by four persons from outside his school, CFC Public School, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, yesterday. The family members had recently sold property worth over one crore and allegedly agreed to pay the ransom amount of Rs 50 lakh at a scheduled place at Moga.

The youth’s mother had gone to the place when the police informed her that the boy had been recovered. Mr M S Chhina, SSP, Moga, said the police was checking the hotels in the city on the suspicion that the youth could have been kept there.

Mr R K Jaiswal, SP-City-I and Mr Gurpreet Singh, SP-D, who were heading six teams of the Ludhiana police, told TNS on telephone that the boy was back and safe.


Body found in lake
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 14
A dead body, which was floating in the lake number two, was fished out today by the volunteers of the Sahara Jan Sewa, a non-governmental organisation. In a statement issued here today, Mr Gautam Goyal, spokesman of the organisation, said the body was of a boy. He added that one more dead body of a youth was also fished out from the Bathinda branch of the Sirhind canal yesterday.

In another case, the volunteers managed to save the life of a three-year-old boy, who was suffering from diarrhoea. On getting information, the volunteers reached the railway station where a lady alongwith her boy was staying.

The volunteers immediately took the boy to the hospital and arranged treatment for him. The condition of the boy stablised after some time.


Justice Bhan for national law university
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, August 14
Mr Justice Ashok Bhan of the Supreme Court today emphasised the need for setting a national law university in the country to prepare a common curriculum for law colleges and further strengthen the law education.

Mr Justice Bhan was addressing a seminar on “Legal profession in India and its prospects”, organised by the District Bar Association here today. Besides him, six judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court — Mr Justice M.M. Kumar, Mr Justice Jasbir Singh, Mr Justice Viney Mittal, Mr Justice S.K. Mittal, Mr Justice Hemant Gupta and Mr Justice S.S. Saron — attended the seminar.

Mr Justice Bhan favoured a control on mushrooming of law colleges in the country.

He said since the Bench was the reflection of the Bar, moral code needed to be the same for judges and lawyers. He said 100 per cent recruitment for the judiciary was done from among lawyers, while 67 per cent judges of High Courts were appointed from the Bar.

He asked lawyers not to seek unnecessary adjournments from courts in the interest of speedy justice. He added that relationship between the Bench and Bar should be of mutual respect and not of confrontation.

Mr Justice S.K. Mittal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court said it was the duty of every lawyer to assist the court fairly, so that justice could be served to litigants.

Prof Gurpal Singh, a former Head of Law Department of Punjabi University, Patiala, emphasised the need for strengthening legal education in India.

Prof Daljit Singh, Principal, Law College, Jalandhar, said steps should be taken to set up a law university in Punjab & Haryana. He also suggested refresher courses for lawyers for providing them knowledge about new Acts, like the Information Technology Act.

The judges were honoured by Mr Gurtej Singh Grewal and Mr Gurvinder Singh Cheema, president and secretary, respectively, of the Sangrur District Bar Association by presenting them with souvenirs.


Counselling for MBBS courses from tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, August 14
A three-day counselling session for admission to MBBS courses in six medical colleges in Punjab being conducted by Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, will start at the local Government Medical College on August 16.

A four-member team headed by Dr Vijay Kumar Sharma, Director Medical Education and Research, will complete the entire process within the stipulated period.

The other three members of the committee are Dr Rajesh Rani Gupta, Principal of the local medical college, Mr Jetha Ram, District Welfare Officer, and Dr A.S. Sekhon Registrar of the University.


Home roadshow organised
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 14
Samsung India today highlighted its latest high tech digital products like Pasma Display panel, LCD television, Projection television, Home Theatre Systems, DVD players and a host of other products during its Dream Home Road Show organised at the Amar Banquat Hall today.

The road show, which will continue till August 17, is primarily aimed at increasing the brand consciousness of people according to the Deputy General Manager, Sales, Mr Rajesh Khurana.

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