P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Dalai Lama to attend quadricentennial celebrations
Tribune Reporters

Alamgir, August 19
President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, former Prime Ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Chander Shekhar have confirmed their participation in the quadricentennial celebrations of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib to be held at Amritsar on September 1.

This was revealed by SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal who arrived here today to preside over a meeting of Akali workers at Gurdwara Alamgir. Those present were told to work with the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) to make the celebrations a success.

Talking to mediapersons later on, Mr Badal said it was purely a religious function being organised by the SGPC and his party was only lending a helping hand. “Chief Ministers of all neighbouring states, irrespective of their party affiliations, have been invited to the function. Since Guru Granth Sahib has compositions of various bhakts across the country, it would be a befitting tribute if the Chief Ministers and the people of these states took part in the celebrations”, he added.

“Things have been planned on such a grand scale that it would go down in peoples’ memory as the event of the century,” he claimed.

On Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s refusal to call a special session of the Assembly to scrap Article 5 of the Termination of River Water Treaty Act, as demanded by the Akalis, Mr Badal said he had suggested that an ordinance should be promulgated for the purpose.

The Chief Minister must work on these lines as any delay would weaken the the state’s case in the Supreme Court, he stressed.

He said the new party set up would be in place during September. He said the next SGPC chief would be announced after a meeting of the executive early next month.

MOGA: Interacting with mediapersons here, Mr Badal said Capt Amarinder Singh’s statement over the state’s right on Chandigarh was nothing but a political stunt to gain popularity. He said that it was the Congress, which had snatched Chandigarh from Punjab. Earlier, Mr Badal had addressed a gathering organised to take stock of preparations for the 400th anniversary of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib.

He said the Central Government had formed a committee for celebrating the anniversary. He is also one of the members of the committee.

Mr Badal said he had urged the Central Government to declare a national holiday on September 1. Punjab should also observe a 3-day holiday to enable devotees to participate in the celebrations. The Dalai Lama has accepted his invitation to participate in the celebrations, he added.


Punjab may allow hunting of blue bull, wild boar
Claims their population needs to be culled
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
The Punjab Wildlife Department is in the process of finalising a proposal to permit hunting of blue bulls and wild boars in the state. It claims the population of the two animals is in excess of the required number and therefore needs to be culled in the interest of the farming community.

The move is however not backed by a scientific survey as to the number of these animals. In might thus be unable to scientifically determine the numbers that need to be culled. “It is a smokescreen for legalizing hunting in a state where a large number of animal species are already endangered,” says Dr Sandeep Jain, a wildlife conservationist and head, People for Animals, Ludhiana.

According to the plan for proposed culling, Punjab is likely to authorise SDMs to issue permits to hunters identified by panchayats of villages where the crop is being affected. The Chief Wildlife Warden, Punjab, when contacted, said, “We are still considering the proposal of issuing shooting permits. We may also provide compensation to the farmers. Moreover, Punjab will not be the first state to allow culling. UP, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have standing orders on shooting of blue bulls. We will determine the exact number that needs to be killed. Recently, we had asked our filed staff to conduct a census. We have found that the blue bulls are in excess in Mansa, Muktsar, Patiala, Sangrur, Bathinda districts.”

As per the official estimates, there are about 7,000 blue bulls in Punjab. Their number needs to be culled in the interest of economic activity. However, conservationists feel that this figure is inflated. Many Wildlife experts favour compensation schemes for farmers, rather than culling by shooting. They feel that in the absence of a proper census, it would be difficult to determine the number of animals to be killed. Also there are fears that if shooting permits are issued to individuals, it would be difficult to ascertain that the same is used to kill the animal for which it has been issued.

Says Lt-Gen Baljit Singh, who has been following this issue for long now, “When there is no census how will they determine how many need to be killed ? Also, how will they maintain the required male-female ratio ? Issuing permits to all and sundry would open the floodgates for hunting.”

The Chief Wildlife Warden, however, allays these fears, saying that the laws would be very strict. “The killed animal will be handed over to the Wildlife Department. Our staff will check that rules are not flouted.” Sources in the Wildlife Department meanwhile say the Department lacks the infrastructure required to ensure such things. It also does not have enough vehicles.

Hunting was banned by an Act of Parliament in 1991. Only certain animals could be hunted after a provincial government followed some procedures to allow the same once they become excess in number and caused damage to crops. Later, some states allowed shooting of animals to save farmlands.

Punjab is now framing laws to hunt blue bulls and wild boars, but whether they are followed is difficult to say. As a conservationist puts it, “Once people have the permit, they can move into the forest and hunt. Let us not forget our forests have several endangered species like barking deer, sambhar, hog deer and black buck. Also, the blue bull is native to India. I don’t think killing of blue bulls is needed. There are 12,000 villages in Punjab and I am sure the number of animals does not exceed that number, which means there is basically one animal per village.”


Border trade issue taken up: CM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
Making an important revelation, Punjab Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh said today that the Union Commerce Minister had taken up the issue of opening the Wagah-Attari border for Indo-Pak trade with other ministries concerned at the Centre. He said that the state government had been urging the Centre to open the border for this purpose as it would give a big boost to the economy of all the northern states.

Jeet Mohinder Sidhu to join Congress

In the presence of Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh and president of the Punjab Congress Mr H.S. Hanspal, an independent MLA from Talwandi Saboo, Mr Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu, said today that he would stand by the Congress and extend full support to its programmes and policies. In fact Mr Sidhu was to join the Congress today. However, his case for joining it had not been cleared yet by the Congress High Command. Mr Hanspal said that Mr Sidhu would be formally inducted into the party after approval from the High Command. However, the Congress is expected to face several internal problems in Talwandi Saboo because of the joining of the party by Mr Sidhu. 

Capt Amarinder Singh said that the state government had also submitted a proposal to Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh to provide a corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in India to Kartarpur in Pakistan. He said that the request had been made to the Prime Minister to take up this proposal with the authorities concerned in Pakistan. Kartarpur is a historic place in Pakistan, at a short distance from Dera Baba Nanak. Various Sikh organisations have been making the demand for such a corridor to visit gurdwaras there.

The Chief Minister said that he would be unable to participate in the death anniversary function of Sant Harchand Singh at Longowal tomorrow. “ I, along with the president of the Punjab Congress, Mr H.S. Hanspal, would be rushing to Delhi to attend the extended meeting of the Congress Working Committee tomorrow after attending a function regarding the birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi at Ludhiana”, said the Chief Minister.

He said that he had asked Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister, to go to Longowal function on his behalf.


Woman seeks justice for son
Tribune News Service

Ropar, August 19
A high drama prevailed in front of the office of the SSP, Ropar, today when a 50-year-old Mohinder Kaur, whose son Buta Singh was brutally tortured by Punjab police personnel, failed to meet the SSP. Finding themselves helpless, Mohinder Kaur and Buta Singh raised slogans against the Punjab Police and threatened to kill themselves. They also said that they would appear before the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana Hig Court tomorrow as their all attempts to get justice had turned futile.

Narrating her tale of woe, Ms Mohinder Kaur alleged that his son Buta Singh a resident of Guru Nanak Colony, Phase X, had been tortured by the police as he was not wearing a helmet. “He was detained in the police station and was subjected to third-degree torture for his simple mistake. Later, he was admitted in the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, for several days.

She said all her efforts to get justice failed as even after meeting with the Chief Minister, other police officials, nothing concrete has come out. She said, “ I was called up by the SSP today. So I took a loan of Rs 1,000 from my neighbours to hire a car to produce my son before him. But the SSP did not turned up, even after several hours wait and no other official was ready to cooperate with us”.

Buta Singh, who was lying in the car parked outside the SSP office, claimed that he was not able to move since the police tortured him. He said I have filed a case against the SSP, Ropar, SP, Mohali, SHO, Sub-Inspector and a constable in the Punjab State Human Rights Commission. But it would take time for the final decision.

“Neither I am financially sound nor I knew influential persons. So I have decided to appear before the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court tomorrow”. If we did not get justice, my mother and I would kill ourselves, he said.

The SSP was not available for comment. When other officials were asked, they said he had gone for some official work.


Parents chain ‘disturbed’ youth for a year
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Moje Khurd (Mansa), August 19
Though the entire country celebrated Independence Day on August 15, it appears that it does not hold any relevance for a 20-year-old Dalit youth, Amrit Pal, of this village. Amrit Pal was chained to and tied with a pillar in his house by his parents about a year ago after he was declared mentally disturbed.

Interestingly, no organisation or any individual of the area came forward to secure freedom for Amrit pal despite the fact that his bondage was in the knowledge of a large number of people of the village and its surrounding areas for the past one year.

Mr Raj Kamal Chaudhary, Deputy Commissioner, said that after he came to know about it, he had asked the Station House Officer (SHO), Bhikhi, to go to the place and collect facts. He added that as the SHO had confirmed the incident this evening, he had constituted a team of doctors to go to the place and examine Amrit Pal medically.

He added that the youth would be admitted to the Civil Hospital, Mansa. He said he would also see whether the parents of the youth were criminally liable for chaining him or not.

Amrit Pal was incoherent about himself, but he used to plead for his deliverance whenever he used to come across a stranger in his house. He would also tell that his father had gone to Bhikhi as a labourer to earn his livelihood, his mother had gone to the fields to collect fodder and his brother had also gone for work. He would tell the name of each and every member of his family.

When he was asked about his desire, he said he wanted freedom but with the consent of his parents. He added that as he was having no disease, so any question of his treatment did not arise.

He said he was disappointed over the fact that though he was normal man, he could not be freed till today. He pleaded with the mediapersons, who visited his house today, to ask his father to unlock his chains.

Sources said the youth started suffering from fits about six years ago. He would abuse those who happened to be near him.

Due to extreme poverty of the family, he was treated at a hospital at Dhanaula in Sangrur district where he was given electric shocks. But he could not become normal.

The sources said that now he was getting treatment from a Vaidya of Pakho Kalan village of Sangrur district and had got some relief. He had started sleeping during the night whereas earlier, he used to stand throughout the night.

A section of residents of the village pointed out that only the district administration could do something in this regard as they could not interfere into the family affairs of others. 


Gang preparing fake UK test certificates busted
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 19
The Patiala police has arrested a gang selling fake IELT (international English language test) certificates to candidates for hefty sums. The police has arrested four persons, including Gurpreet Singh of Mohali who runs a computer centre by the name of Twenty First Century Computers in Phase-I.

According to Senior Superintendent of Police A.S. Rai, Gurpreet was responsible for preparing the fake IELT certificate as well as other degree certificates for students of various courses.

The SSP said Gurpreet would give the certificate to Amit Narang, a resident of Malerkotla for Rs 5,000. Amit, would give the certificates to Baljit Singh and Balwinder Singh, both of Patiala, for Rs 10,000.

“These two would sell the certificates for Rs 35,000 to aspiring candidates”.

Police sources said Gurpreet used to make use of roll numbers of persons who had already qualified the IELT while making fake certificates for them. This was done so that candidates for whom fake certificates were made were reassured when they surfed the Net that they had cleared the examination.

The certificates issued to the candidates were copies of those issued by the University of Cambridge.

According to the police, the four accused were arrested while Gurpreet and Amit were handing over certificates to Baljit and Balwinder near YPS Chowk in the city. Subsequently, the police seized a computer, a laser printer, a desk-jet printer and a scanner from them, besides the fake certificates.

A case under Sections 420, 465, 467, 468, 471, 474, IPC, has been registered against the accused at the Civil Lines Police Station. the SSP, A.S. Rai, said it would be verified from the accused as to how many persons had been able to go to the United Kingdom with the help of fake IELT certificates prepared by them.


SAD calls PAC meeting on Aug 23
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Parkash Singh Badal has convened a meeting of the party’s political affairs committee (PAC) on August 23 to finalise the programme to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib on September 1.

Mr Daljit Singh Cheema, secretary of SAD, said yesterday that the meeting would be held in Guru Nanak Niwas at Amritsar.

The President and Prime Minister would participate in the celebrations.


Beant's family not to defy Cong on anniversary issue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
Family members of the late Mr Beant Singh, former Chief Minister, Punjab, will not defy the Congress in any manner as far as observing the death anniversary of Mr Beant Singh is concerned on August 31. This was made clear yesterday by the family. " We w ill remain in party discipline on the anniversary issue", said a member of the family." 

We are loyal soldiers of the party and will abide by its decision with regard to the anniversary", said a member.

Talking in context of the statement made by Mr H.S. Hanspal, president of the Punjab unit of the Congress , requesting the family members to participate in the death anniversary programme chalked out by the party, the family member said they had a positive view with regard to the anniversary
function to be organised by the party.

But at the same time, they made it clear that " the family's difference with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh does exist even now".

It was clear to everybody that " our family had serious differences with the Chief Minister on the samadhi issue and also with regard to the non- development of Payal Assembly constituency.

We have not compromised with the CM on these issues", the family members added.

The family has invited senior leaders such as Mrs Ambika Soni, Mr Moti Lal Vohra and Mr Pranab Mukherjee for the death anniversary function.

An appointment has also been sought from the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to extend invitation to him in this regard. 


Amritsar to be made green city
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 19
Amritsar has been chosen to be made a green city along with four other cities in the state. The other four cities are Ferozepour, Jalalabad, Patiala and Ludhiana. These will be turned into green cities in the current season.

Stating this here today, Mr Hans Raj Joshan, Minister of State for Forests, said at a press conference that 15 more cities in the state would be similarly brought under green cover next year. According to a plan prepared for the city, about 60,000 saplings would be planted on 10 roads, 68 educational institutions, 32 office complexes, five housing colonies, 15 shrines and 12 market areas and cinema houses. About 5,000 tree guards would be used, mostly in congested areas, while barbed wires would be used in open areas.

According to the plan of the Department of Forests, poor coordination among organisations engaged in the green cover drive was regretted. It stated that most of these were working in isolation. “This has often resulted in overlapping, haphazard plantation and less visibility of the effort”, it noted.

To counter this, the Amritsar Environment Society, established last year would be expanded. The plan includes encouraging participation of the local population with help from NGOs, clubs and welfare and social organisations.


Illegal colonies to be put on PUDA website
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 19
The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) today decided to make public a comprehensive list of all the legal and illegal colonies set up in the state. Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, Secretary, Housing and Urban Development, said that a list of all the illegal colonies detected by PUDA so far would be put up on the PUDA website. The list would be available within a week at: http//puda.nic.in.

Panic spread in the state today among buyers regarding the status of their ‘investments’ in various private residential colonies, many of which have been declared illegal by PUDA. PUDA had yesterday forwarded a list of 882 illegal colonisers in the state to the Punjab police for action.

Adding a word of caution to the investors and buyers Mr Sidhu said that any one who is going to buy a plot or a house in a colony carved by a private coloniser/promoter/developer should first ask to be shown the licence granted to the coloniser by PUDA. This licence should be duly signed by the Chief Administrator, PUDA, who is the competent authority to issue these licences.


5 killed in road mishap
Jupinderjit Singh and Mahesh Sharma
Tribune News Service

Dehlon, August 19
A religious trip of nearly 36 persons of Jalaldiwal and surrounding villages turned sour when the truck in which they were returning home met with an accident near Rurka village killing five persons on the spot and seriously injuring 10 others.

The vehicle overturned at a link road near Rurka village late tonight. The toll could rise as some of the injured were admitted in a critical condition to a hospital in Dehlon.

All deceased and injured, barring a woman from Dadahur village, belonged to Jalaldiwal. Bakhtaur Singh, one of the injured, told The Tribune that the accident took place when the driver of the truck failed to negotiate a curve after he was blinded by the head lights of a four-wheeler coming from the opposite direction. Five persons, including two women and two children, died on the spot. The bodies of Gabbar Singh, Balwinder Kaur and Deepi have been identified.


2 killed, 2 injured as wall of well caves in
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, August 19
Two labourers died as the wall of an old well caved in and two injured while they were taking out bricks from it at Bhuno village near Mahilpur, about 25 km from here, last evening.

Teja Singh had given a contract to a family of Dhakon village for taking out bricks from the old well situated in his fields. While they were taking out the bricks, the mud wall of the well caved in. Mohan Lal, son of Kishan Singh, and his cousin Sheetal Singh son of Darshan Singh were buried alive. Their nephews Roshan Lal and Kukku were also buried under the mud wall trying to save them.

Some labourers working nearby rushed to the spot and shouted for their rescue. Roshan Lal and Kakku were rescued with the help of the people of the area. Both were unconscious and were admitted to the hospital. 


ASI killed in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, August 19
Labh Singh, an Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI), posted at the police Control Room here, was killed in a road mishap near local Police Lines last evening. The police said here today that Labh Singh had been returning to his home in the Police Lines from the bazar when his scooter hit a cow. Perhaps, he died of head injury, the police added.

He was cremated at Banbhora village, near Dhuri, today. The local police initiated proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC in this regard.

In another road mishap, six persons were injured this morning when the Qualis in which they were travelling rammed into a roadside tree. Kewal Krishan, Toshi, Rachna, Ashok Kumar Garg, Vijay Kumar Garg and Munish Garg suffered injuries, according to a family member victims.

The occupants of the Qualis were returning to Sangrur from Delhi after performing the “tikka” ceremony in connection with the marriage of the daughter of Dr Vijay Kumar Garg.


Panel formed to evaluate cost of trees
Tribune News Service

Ferozepore, August 19
The Punjab government has constituted a committee under the presidentship of Mr A. S. Dogra, Chief Conservator, Forests, Punjab, to evaluate the minimum cost of different trees and prepare a chart accordingly.

The Punjab Forest Minister, Mr Hans Raj Joshan, while addressing a press conference at Zira yesterday, said report of Mr Dogra would be submitted to the Union Government for fixing the minimum cost of different trees.

Mr Dogra would evaluate the cost of different trees within a month, he added.

He said this was being done as a resolution was passed at a meeting of forest ministers of different states held at Delhi and addressed by the Union Forest Minister, Mr Shri Raja, that minimum cost should be fixed of different trees so that farmers could earn by indulging themselves into the agro-forestry to promote diversification in agriculture.

He added that the Union Government had directed the state forest departments to work out the minimum cost of certain trees by taking all expenditure in consideration so that a decision in that connection could be taken.

He pointed out that in Punjab about 10,500 hectares of area would be brought under forest cover by planting 1.75 crore saplings. Five cities of the state, including Amritsar, Ferozepore, Ludhiana, Patiala and Jalalabad, were being made green cities.

All municipal corporations, municipal councils and industrial focal point authorities had been asked to launch sapling plantation campaign.

Mr Joshan said the Punjab government had also decided to plant saplings on the rural link roads and care of same would be taken jointly by the Forest Department and concerned farmers.

The farmers would also get a share of income, which was generated from such trees.

He said in the semi hilly area falling in Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur and Ropar districts, the farmers had started sapling plantation as on the crop cultivation scale.

Forest cover in Punjab would be increased to 12 per cent from the existing 8.1 per cent in the next three years and by the end of 2014, it would be around 18 per cent, he added.


Modern traffic aid post opened
Tribune News Service

Moga, August 19
A traffic aid post was inaugurated by Mr Paul Stein Kamp, Manager, Nestle India Ltd, at Joginder Singh Chowk here today. The SSP, Mr M.S. Chhina, and other police officials were also present. It has been constructed with financial aid from Nestle.

Later, interacting with the mediapersons, the SSP said the spot was chosen for the traffic aid post, as it was an accident-prone point. The post was equipped with the latest communication technology. A wireless set installed at the post would help traffic cops reach the spot swiftly in case of an accident, he added.

Mr Chhina said traffic cops would be present at the post during the day hours, while the city police staff would man the post during the night.


Brick-kiln owners for action against IT officials
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, August 19
Members of the Sangrur District Brick-kiln Owners Association, led by Mr Kewal Krishan, district president, here today staged a dharna in front of the Income Tax Office, alleging that the Income Tax Department officials demanded huge bribes from them if the latter did not want their premises to be raided.

Members of the association while raising slogans against the department officials demanded a high-level inquiry and immediate suspension of the income tax officer R.N. Tiwana and S.N. Sharma and inspectors Bharpoor Singh and Major Singh.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Kamlesh Kumar Garg, chairman, District Brick-kiln Association, alleged that despite giving huge bribes to the tune of lakhs of rupees to the officials of the local Income Tax Department, they raided the premises of two members of their association and demanded more money.

When contacted, the local Income Tax Officer, Mr R.N. Tiwana, admitted that they had raided the premises of two brick-kilns — Goyal & Company and Rajinder BKO — but it was a routine inspection on the directions of the Commissioner of Income Tax Ludhiana, Mr M.N.A. Chaudhary.

He said the ITOs from Ludhiana, Mr R.M. Chauhan and Mr Ishaq Masih, were also with them during the raid of these two brick-kilns. He said no official of the department ever demanded any bribe from the brick-kiln owners.


Ladies club celebrates Teej
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 19
The local Maharani Ladies Club organised a function to celebrate Teej here today. The president of the club, Ms Shubchint Kaur Sodhi, presided over the function. A cultural programme was organised by members of the club. In singing competition, Nandita Brar and Deepti bagged first and second positions, respectively. Chetna Chhabra got first prize in dance competition.

Ramesh Rani came first in bangles competition, while second prize was shared by Daman and Veenu Garg.

In Punjabi ‘bolli’ competition, Seema Puri and Arvinder bagged first and second positions, respectively. The vice-president of the club, Ms Harash Modi, and secretary, Ms Jaswinder Kaur Pal, presented a vote of thanks.

Meanwhile, students of the Nursery Teacher Training programme under the Indian Organisation for Women Education and Training, New Delhi, being run at the local SD College for Girls, organised a cultural programme to celebrate Teej.

Around 180 students of the college participated in the function. Competitions including mehndi, rangoli, giddha and dance were held on the occasion.


Rotary Club honours six persons
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 19
The Rotary Club organised a function to felicitate six persons for their outstanding performance in different fields here today. Dr Radha Rani Mittal and Dr R.L. Mittal, both recipients of Dr B.C. Roy Award, Director IAS Academy Vinod Sharma, recipient of Patiala Rattan, and three students, Amrish, Asha Garg and Vennu Bansal, who have cleared Civil Services Examination, were honoured on the occasion.

The Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Mr Vishnu Sharma, was the chief guest on the occasion, while Mr Daya Shankar, Commissioner, Income Tax, was the guest of honour.

Earlier, the president of the club, Prof S.C. Sharma, welcomed the guests. Mr Didar Singh extended a vote of thanks.


VB books Markfed’s Senior Manager
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
Continuing with its drive against corruption among public servants, the Punjab Vigilance Bureau has reportedly booked Markfed’s Senior Manager Parmal Singh. The officer, posted at Jalandhar, was yet to be taken into custody.

The sources in the Vigilance Bureau claimed that a case under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act was registered against the officer on August 12. He has been accused of possessing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.


NGO donates medicines worth Rs 25,000
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 19
Sardarni Jaswant Kaur Charitable Trust donated medicines worth Rs 25,000 for poor and needy patients of Mata Kaushalya Hospital here today. The trust was established in 1996 by the late Lt. Gen Gurbachan Singh Buch in the memory of his wife. It is being run by his son Brig D.S Grewal.

The Medical Superintendent, Dr H.P.S Sandhu, SMO in charge, Dr D.S Gill, SMO, Dr Madhurima and Medical Officer Dr Balraj Kaur, conveyed their gratitude to the trust for the help.


Bitumen scam: Bajwa made party to PIL
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 19
Punjab PWD Minister Pratap Singh Bajwa was today impleaded as party by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in a PIL, seeking inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the Punjab bitumen scam. The scam was first reported by The Tribune.

After it was raised in the Punjab Assembly by Mr Balwinder Singh Bhunder of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had announced that the government was inquiring into procurement, storage and use of Crumb Rubber Modified Bitumen (CRMB) in the repair of village roads as well as in the construction of new roads.

It had been revealed that a number of roads made with Crumb Rubber Modified Bitumen (CRMB) by both the Mandi Board and the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) had been stripped off their tops because of poor quality of material used. In some cases, he said, even 10 km stretch of a new road was denuded within a few weeks of its construction leading to suspension of engineers, forcing the State to order fresh carpeting with normal bitumen.

Later, in state-wide raids, the Vigilance Bureau had arrested 27 engineers of Public Works Department (PWD) for their alleged involvement in the scam.

In his PIL, Mr Gurmeet Singh Matharu has alleged that poor quality bitumen was used in the construction and repair of roads.

He has also claimed that bitumen is being supplied by a Panipat-based factory owned by a relative of the minister. His counsel has told the court that while the intalled capacity of the unit was just 250 MT per day, it was supplying over 1000 MT every day to Punjab departments. 


Samra in 4-day police remand
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 19
Gurvinder Singh Samra has been sent in four-day police remand, following a complaint over his fake degrees. In an FIR registered against him in 2002 under Sections 420, 465, 471 and 468 of the IPC, Mr Swaran Singh Bal, Samra’s sister’s father-in-law, had stated that he possessed fake degrees of BAMS.

Samra gave a plea that he had completed the course from Varanasi Sanskritik University, UP. But the university has not been registered with the UGC, it was found.

Samra also stated that he passed out from Kameshwar Singh Darbanga Sanskritik Vishwa Vidyalaya, Bihar. But the university officials said that his name was not registered and he possessed a fake degree.

However, his stay was cancelled on August 6 this year. He was today sent in police remand till August 22.


Court rejects DSP’s bail plea
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 19
A local court today rejected the anticipatory bail application filed by Deputy Superintendent of Police Rajinderpal Singh Anand in a case of seeking a bribe of Rs 1 lakh to “release” a truck seized “illegally” by him. The police officer, who is presently posted in a battalion in Bahadurgarh, near here, was booked by the Patiala Vigilance Bureau last month following a complaint by Hari Krishan of Rajpura. The DSP had filed an application seeking anticipatory bail in the case under Section 438 in the Special Court of Justice G.K. Dhir.

Earlier in his complaint to the Patiala Vigilance Bureau, the complainant had claimed that Anand had impounded his truck near Rajpura when he was posted there as DSP. He refused to pay the bribe and approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which released his truck on a surety.

The complainant also claimed that the DSP had changed the record of the seizure. In the FIR registered with the vigilance bureau, he claimed that even though the truck was never officially impounded, official record had been tampered with to make it appear so.


Malwa farmers face water, power shortage
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, August 19
While farmers in other parts of the state are facing floods, the farmers of Malwa are complaining of water and power shortage. Kirti Kisan Union has demanded compensation for drought and irregular power supply.

On one hand, the state government was making claims of restoring normal power supply after the rains lashed the area around Patiala and on the other hand, farmers of Faridkot, Ferozpore and Muktsar were bearing the brunt of unscheduled power cuts.

The farmers in these areas were getting 6 to 8 hours of power supply.

Jaswinder Singh, a farmer of Mumara village of the district, said that owing to decreasing water-level his tubewells had stopped functioning and now the bores had to be made deep in order to extract ground water.

He said since the quality of water from deeper tubewells was not up to the mark it was adversely affecting the crop. Another farmer Balwinder Singh said they were getting merely 6 to 7 hour of power supply.

When contacted, the electricity board officials said they were giving 8-hour power supply to the rural areas, as per the orders of the state government.


Bribery charge against doctor
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 19
Dr Gagandeep Singh, a resident of Basant Avenue, today alleged that Dr Mukhtiar Singh of Civil Hospital had wrongly entered the injuries in his medico-legal report (MLR) when he declined to give him a bribe of Rs 5000.

In a written statement here today, he alleged that in July he was attacked by Satnam Singh Billa, Sonu and his brother, all residents of Medical Enclave, and inflicted serious injuries on him. He alleged when he went to the Civil Hospital for the MLR, Dr Mukhtiar Singh demanded Rs 5,000, first through his pharmacist and then himself, which he declined. Consequently, he claimed that the doctor wrongly entered his injuries in the MLR and some injuries were left unregistered.

Dr Gagandeep, in a letter to the Civil Surgeon, had urged him to take disciplinary action against the erring doctor.

Dr H S Gill, Civil Surgeon, Amritsar, said since 15 days had passed since the incident took place, Dr Gagandeep had been asked to bring the court orders for the re-examination of his injuries. When asked about the bribery charge, the Civil Surgeon added that inquiry had been going on in this regard.

However, Dr Gagandeep, alleged that he had supplied the court orders but the authorities had not taken any action.


Four get Rs 10.5 lakh US scholarships
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 19
Four former students of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering (BBSBE) College, Fatehgarh Sahib, have been selected for scholarships worth Rs 10.5 lakh by various American universities for Master’s degrees. They have cleared GRE and TOEFL tests for getting admission to US universities for pursuing Master’s degrees.

According to the college Principal, Dr D.S. Hira, Jagtar Singh Dhillon, a 1997-batch student of the Electronics Department, is a resident of Kotli village, Ropar district. He is at present working as a lecturer in his Alma matter. He has been selected for a scholarship of Rs 4 lakh per semester by the Department of Electrical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), New York. He was selected for admission to six universities, but he preferred the NJIT.

Nirmaljit Singh, a 1998 batch student of the Electronics Department, is working as an executive engineer with Punjab Communication Limited, Mohali. He has got a scholarship of Rs 3.5 lakh per semester for pursuing his Master’s degree in digital signal processing in the State University of New York.

Ramandeep Singh Mangat, a computer engineer and resident of Doraha, has got admission in Master’s of computer engineering course in New Jersey. He has got a scholarship of Rs 3 lakh.

Mandeep Kaur, a resident of Patiala, is a 2000-batch student of the Computer Science Department. She has got admission in Master’s in computer science course at Wayne State University, Detroit Michigan, USA.


Protesting engg students cane-charged
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 19
At least 200 agitating students from 13 engineering colleges of Punjab Technical University (PTU) who blocked the Ladowali road were cane-charged by the police here today. The students of the 2002 batch had been protesting against the implementation of a new rule, as per which they were not being allowed to take admission to the fifth semester as they had failed to clear a subject in their first semester. The students said the new rule had left 1,100 students disqualified for admission to the fifth semester.

The students demanded that an amendment be made in the rule, otherwise they would have to waste one academic year. The students came out with a memorandum to present it to the Vice-Chancellor or the Registrar, but none of them were available on the campus today. The students said no official was giving an ear to their demands, which forced them to block the road.

Dr M.S. Grewal, Registrar, PTU, said it was not possible to change the rule for 8 per cent students and compromise with the quality of education. He said the students had flunked the course four times and it was not possible to accommodate them in the fifth semester.


Extra-curricular activities stressed
Our Correspondent

Abohar, August 19
Extra-curricular activities should be made an integral part of the education as these not only help in developing a good citizen but also bring awareness in society. This was stated by Dr U.S. Chaudhry, former Vice-Chancellor of Indore University, MP. He had arrived here as head of a PEER team of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) on behalf of the University Grants Commission to analyse the mechanism for quality improvement and administrative function of the local D.A.V. College. He was accompanied by Dr. B. D. Joshi, Senior Professor (Zoology), Gurukul University Uttaranchal, and Dr Chanchal Sharma former college Principal from Jammu. They had meetings with Principal Dr B.C. Josan and the faculty.

Addressing the gathering at the recently renovated auditorium of the college during a cultural show, Dr Chaudhry said the cultural activities, coupled with syllabus can make students self-sufficient and prove instrumental in changing the thinking of society that needed right direction.

Dr Joshi said residents of Abohar subdivisions, though remotely located in Punjab were able to cultivate a multidimensional cultural heritage as the borders of Haryana, Rajasthan and Pakistan touched had this area.

Dr Chanchal Sharma said pessimism and escapism should be avoided to achieve higher goals in the life. Merely criticising the present system would not help much.

Students presented a play to create awareness against the female foeticide. It was directed by Mr Gaurav Vij. The kuchipudi dance performance by Ms Renuka Jakhar was appreciated. Mr H.R. Gandhar, Director DAV Public Schools, New Delhi and Dr. Josan, Principal of the college, welcomed the guests. 


Harpreet wins Teej Queen title
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 19
Harpreet Kaur was declared Teej Queen at a contest held in the local Swami Vivekanand Girls College on the occasion of the Teej festival late last evening.

Mrs Raj Gupta, Principal of the college, said that Mandeep Kaur was the first runner-up, while Deepika was the second runners-up. Ratti Brar, Miss Word Punjaban, gave away the prizes to the winners.

Mrs Gupta said that the festival was organised with the aim to make the people aware of the Punjabi culture.

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