P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



PM has big plan for Amritsar: Singla
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, is eager to shower his love on Amritsar, a holy city where he spent his youth. He is in the process of thinking big for the city as he wanted to put it on the international map.

The PM has given enough indication in this connection to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, the Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla and others, whom he met for about half an hour to discuss various projects for the holy city.

The PM is to visit Amritsar on September 1 to participate in 400th anniversary celebrations of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib at the Golden Temple.

“The PM is thinking something big for Amritsar city. What he has in his mind I cannot say. But it is expected that the PM would make some big statement at Amritsar during his visit”, said Mr Surinder Singla.

“Several projects have been discussed with the CM. The PM has made it clear that money would be no problem for any project to be announced for the city”, said Mr Singla.

Dr Manmohan Singh will be visiting the Golden Temple for the first time as Prime Minister of the country. It was being expected that he would come to Amritsar after taking oath as PM but he remained busy resolving political problems in Delhi.

Capt Amarinder Singh is keen that the Prime Minister should announce a global bio-tech institute for Amritsar. Punjab has already “missed” the information technology revolution in the country and now it did not want to miss the “bio-tech” revolution. That is the view point of the Chief Minister. He has made a specific request to the PM in this connection.

However, the Prime Minister, who is known to be a hard taskmaster and strongly believes in going into all details before making any announcement at his level, has asked to the Punjab Government to first study that whether the bio-tech institute will be viable to be setup in Amritsar. The “project should not meet the fate of other projects which were announced by previous Prime Ministers for the state. Many such projects have been hanging fire for the past several years”, said a senior officer of the Punjab Government. “We are examining all details regarding the bio-tech project”, he added.

It is easy to name any project or institute as global one but very difficult to make the same of international repute. After setting up a global institute at Amritsar, it would be necessary to link that institute with international bio-tech institutions and universities to take up projects having importance world over. Punjab’s desire is that the bio-tech institute should mainly focus on pharmaceutical and agricultural research. To give a new direction to the state’s agricultural economy, it is necessary to set up such an institute.


Security agencies gear up for visit of Kalam, PM
Guru Granth Sahib installation celebrations
Ashok Sethi and Pawan Kumar

Amritsar, August 25
A group of Special Protection Group, the intelligence agencies and the state administration today worked out a special plan for the trouble-free visit of top dignitaries including the President, Prime Minister and former Prime Ministers to participate in the five-day long 400th installation celebrations of Guru Granth Sahib.

A special team has been formed to conduct the President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, who will be arriving here on the morning of August 31 and will be visiting the Golden Temple to pay his obeisance. A spokesman of the district administration said the President would not complete the ‘parikarma’ due to security reasons as well and avoid any unsavoury situation due to heavy rush of devotees.

The SGPC, in consultation with security agencies, has decided to honour the President by erecting a stage outside the information office without disturbing the devotees. The print and electronic media will be allowed to photograph the dignitaries from a specially erected stage at a vantage point near Akal Takht and no mediaperson will be allowed to go with the dignitaries who will be ushered into the temple by creating a human chain for security reasons.

The first-ever visit of Dr Manmohan Singh after taking over as Prime Minister will be on September 1. He will pay obeisance and later lay wreaths at Jallianwala Bagh and also visit the Durgiana Temple before going to the main venue at new Amritsar.

The security agencies have decided to conduct rehearsals on August 27.

The state administration has deputed three DIGs, six SSPs and a number of magistrates for the celebrations to be monitored by the IG, Jalandhar Range, under overall supervision of the DGP. The Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh is expected to personally supervise all arrangements during his four-day stay in the city during the celebrations. The district administration has geared up the entire emergency services and has set up a crisis management group for the smooth conduct of the proceedings as more than 40 to 50 lakh people are expected to visit the city.


SGPC not to allow govt security in Golden Temple
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 25
In a step that could embarrass the state and Central security forces, the SGPC and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) have decided not to allow the proposed 5000 securitymen in mufti inside the Golden Temple during the proposed visit of the President and the Prime Minister on August 31 and September 1, respectively. Instead, the SGPC’s own task force would take care of the security of both the VVIPs.

While President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam would pay obeisance at the Golden Temple on August 31 and would be honoured at the SGPC’s Information Office, the SAD has not disclosed whether the same treatment would be given to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Addressing a press conference at the SGPC complex here today, Capt Kanwaljit Singh of the SAD evaded a direct answer about honouring Dr Manmohan Singh, who is visiting his home town for the first time after becoming Prime Minister. The Akali leader said he would make an announcement about the honouring of Dr Manmohan Singh soon.

He said the government should restrict itself to the arrangements outside the SGPC complex and should not interfere in the religious arrangements and the security inside the Golden Temple was the responsibility of the SGPC.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh appealed to the Central government to create a corridor between Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib (Pakistan) and Dera Baba Nanak (Gurdaspur) so that pilgrims from both the sides could visit the shrines without any visa hassles.

The SAD leader said a jatha of Pakistani Sindhis would reach Amritsar on August 27 by the Samjhauta Express to participate in the 400th centenary celebrations of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib.

Mr Dalmeg Singh, Secretary, SGPC, said apart from the President and the Prime Minister, Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, the Dalai Lama, and former Prime Ministers Chander Shekhar and Inder Kumar Gujral had confirmed their participation.

When asked if an invitation had been extended to the RSS chief or Mr Bal Thackeray, Capt Kanwaljit Singh said it was an open invitation to everybody who had faith in the tenets of Sikhism and the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib.

He, however, confirmed that the Shankaracharya of Delhi would participate in the celebrations.

The SAD general secretary, however, said no political speeches would be delivered by anybody at the function to be held on September 1. The entire function would be dedicated only to Guru Granth Sahib.

He demanded that the state government must release Rs 10 crore as emergency funds to broaden the approach roads to the Golden Temple and Gurdwara Ramsar.


SGPC stops broadcasting Gurbani to UK
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 25
The SGPC broke open a room in Guru Ram Das Serai and seized the equipment through which “Gurbani” was being relayed to the UK based Punjabi radio ‘Spectrum’.

The “Hukamnama” and “Gurbani” were recorded by eminent artiste Satpal Danish from the Golden Temple and were being sent to the radio, owned by Ms Lucky Dhillon.

However, Mr Danish showed the valid sanction given by the SGPC in 1997 for relaying the programme.

Mr Danish had obtained the sanction by the SGPC when Bhai Ranjit Singh was the Jathedar, Akal Takht.

The half-an-hour programme titled “Amrit Wela” is quite popular all over the world.

Earlier, the SGPC had stopped broadcasting of the ‘Gurbani’ to a Canada based radio which did not have any sanction by a competent authority.


Unauthorised colonies to be regularised,
says minister
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 25
The state government was about to finalise a policy for regularising unauthorised colonies in major cities and other towns in the state so that residents living in these colonies could be provided basic civic amenities on a par with others after payment of stipulated development charges.

This was stated by Minister for Local Bodies Choudhry Jagjit Singh while talking to reporters at the Circuit House here today.

The minister was here to review the ongoing and other development projects in the city. He held a meeting with senior officials of the Municipal Corporation.

He said a Cabinet subcommittee had already approved the draft policy for regularising colonies and it would be announced soon after final touches were given to it by the Cabinet.

He reiterated the government’s commitment to overall development of infrastructure in urban areas of the state, while claiming that several major projects, like constructing roads and bridges, water supply and drainage schemes, were in various stages of completion.

Choudhry Jagjit Singh said the MC in the city had undertaken development projects worth Rs 130 crore during the current year. Out of these, projects worth Rs 56 crore had already been completed. He claimed the city population was being provided civic amenities comparable with those available in any metropolitan city in the country.

On a question about the outbreak of gastroenteritis in some of the city colonies, he disagreed that the outbreak was due to the supply of contaminated water in those areas.

“The MC has an elaborate system of taking water samples and getting these tested for contamination. Samples taken from affected colonies in the presence of senior district and health officials were found fit for human consumption,” he added.

The minister rubbished the propaganda by the SAD-BJP combine that the MC and the state government had been indifferent to the woes of gastro victims. “It is just a political stunt to misguide the masses. The attempt by opposition parties to draw mileage even from human misery is reprehensible,” he remarked.

Among others, the City Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, the MC Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, two Joint Commissioners and other civic officials were also present on the occasion.


Militant’s escape: seven placed under suspension
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Logically illogical

Gursewak Singh's escape from custody at this stage has baffled senior Punjab Police officers. Initially booked by the police in approximately 40 cases, Gursewak Singh had been acquitted in at least 30. Chances of his acquittal in other cases due to want of evidence were "quite high".

Otherwise also, he had spent almost 15 years behind bars. He would have been probably released in the rest of the cases even if the courts had convicted him as he would have undergone the punishment. "It is completely illogical," a senior officer said. "We are looking into it".

Chandigarh, August 25
In less than 48 hours after an alleged militant taken to Delhi in connection with a court case escaped from the custody of the Punjab Police, seven personnel escorting him were today placed under suspension. A massive man-hunt has also been launched. "Militant" Gursewak Singh was lodged in high-security Nabha jail before his escape.

A first information report (FIR) under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has also been registered in the matter at the Sabzi Mandi police station in Delhi.

The sources in the Punjab Police headquarters here revealed that the officials placed under suspension with immediate effect included two Assistant Sub Inspectors (ASIs), two head constables (HCs) and as many number of constables.

Giving details, the sources said the suspended officials were ASIs Karnail Singh and Ramesh Kumar, besides HCs Raj Kumar and Jaspal Singh, along with constables Gurinder Pal and Surinder Singh. C II Bhupinder Singh was also placed under suspension. The orders were reportedly issued through Patiala's Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) A.S. Rai.

Gursewak Singh, reportedly belonging to the Babbar Khalsa International, escaped from police custody on the excuse of easing himself after getting out of the police vehicle on Monday evening.

He was taken to Sabzi Mandi police station after being produced before a court in connection with a case registered at Punjabi Bagh police station in 1998. The cops accompanying him took him to a hospital at around 9 pm after he complained of chest pain. On his way back, the accused escaped on the pretext of answering the nature's call. Even though the incident occurred on the evening of August 23, the cops at Delhi were not informed about the escape till Tuesday afternoon.

The sources in the Prisons Department of the Punjab Police, meanwhile, claimed that so far they had not received any report from the officers concerned regarding the incident. They added that necessary action would be taken only after the papers were handed over to them.


Police teams in Delhi to nab militant
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 25
The Patiala police today deputed five teams to conduct raids at different places in Delhi and Punjab to nab militant Gursewak Singh, alias Babla, who gave the slip to a Patiala police team which had taken him to Delhi to appear in a court on August 22.

According to police sources, a case had been registered against the cops who had taken him to the Sabji Mandi police station in Delhi, under Section 224 of the IPC. The team was led by ASI Karnail Singh and included constables Bhupinder Singh, Gurinderpal Singh and Baldev Singh. The team’s in charge ASI Karnail Singh was replaced by ASI Ramesh Kumar when the former complained that he was not feeling well after the three days stay in Delhi. However the militant escaped before Ramesh Kumar could reach Delhi. The Patiala police has also initiated disciplinary action in this regard.

The sources said the five teams had been sent to places in Delhi as well as Babla’s native village in Raikot. Jassa Singh, CIA Staff Inspector, was immediately sent to Delhi after the case came to light yesterday.


6 youths killed in Tata Sumo mishap
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, August 25
Six occupants of a Tata Sumo were killed on the spot, when the vehicle, in which they were travelling from Una (Himachal Pradesh) to Ludhiana, overturned and then collided with a Mahindra jeep near Bhattian between Goraya and Phillaur this afternoon.

According to reports received here, the deceased were identified as Sanjeev, Vishal, Satish, Kapil, Rajesh and driver Raju of Tata Sumo (HP-20A-8025), all youths were residents of Una. They were going to Ludhiana to purchase some computers, when during a heavy rain, the Tata Sumo skidded and overturned. A Jalandhar-bound Mahindra jeep (PB-10A-2421) collided with the overturned Sumo. The driver of the jeep sustained injuries.

All the dead bodies were sent to the Civil Hospital, Phillaur, for a post-mortem examination.

The Phillaur police has registered a case. DSP Kamaljit Singh Dhillon and SHO Jaskiranjit Singh rushed to the spot and informed the family members of the deceased in Una.


Snag hits PTU’s tele-education programme with Kalam
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 25
The maiden attempt of Punjab Technical University to hold a live tele-education programme for its students taking distance education course at five learning centres from Rashtrapati Bhavan today was marred by frequent interruptions in sound and visuals.

This left nearly 100 students, faculty members and guests who had come to attend the e-lecture of Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, President of India, at Red Cross Bhavan, Lajpat Nagar, high and dry. Only a few students could successfully interact with Dr Kalam as many of them, who had come prepared to ask questions failed to get any response from the President as the technical link between the Jalandhar studio and Rashtrapati Bhavan failed to click at that time. From Patiala, only two students could come up with their questions. The students asked questions pertaining to application of management in the field of e-governance and various infrastructural needs and technical support needed for satellite transmission.

The situation, however, was worse for PTU students studying at Gurdaspur, Mohali and Ludhiana as not a single student could come online to ask a question. The employees of Mindlogicx Infotech Ltd, a Bangalore-based company that was assigned the job of arranging the set up stationed at Rashtarpati Bhavan, kept on calling and guiding their colleagues at the three learning centres but to no avail. Dr Kalam finally told the students to e-mail their questions to him through his website www.president@india.nic.in and assured them that they would be given a response in a short time.

The programme, however, started well on time. Dr Kalam talked on various topics including e-governance, paperless offices, tele-education, tele-medicine, online bidding, use of information technology in increasing agricultural productivity, knowledge powered society, design integrated manufacturing, aerospace and providing urban amenities in rural areas. All the topics were supported with graphic visuals that helped him explain the various concepts point wise.

Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Technical Education, Punjab, was the chief guest on the occasion. She said more steps would be taken to improve the standard of technical education in colleges of the state. She said she would personally try to take a round of each college so as to check their standard of education.

Dr M.S. Grewal, Registrar of the university, said PTU had become the pioneer university in Asia to come up with an e-governance project for satellite-based tele-education. Explaining the cause of the technical snag, Mr Suresh Elangovan, CEO and MD of Mindlogicx, said this happened because the transmission from Rashtrapati Bhavan was only a temporary arrangement. He, however, assured that nothing of the sort would happen when transmission through proper studios set up in the university and five learning centres would become operational from tomorrow.

Mr Elangovan said the system was set to hold interactive classrooms wherein students could listen to their teacher, send him his questions and get the response. He said a teacher would write on the computer with a digital pen and the student could underline some points in that text from his centre if he wanted more detail.

The MD added that the system was equipped to take tests of students. “The students can be sent question papers which the students can attempt online. The answer sheets can be sent back, the teachers can mark them and show these to the students”, he explained. He added that the system would end all hassles on question papers. The system could even be used for conducting admission, counselling and payment of fee, he said.


Playwright missing since May 6, yet no probe
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Nabha (Patiala), August 25
Come Raksha Bandhan and Avtar Kaur Jwanda’s Punjabi play “Ruske na Jaeen Veerna” is likely to be staged at various places in Punjab, including Patiala. However, the playwright, who has no brother of her own, may not see any of the performances. She is untraceable since May 6.

Jwanda, who chose not to marry, has devoted much of her life to the cause of Punjabi theatre, says Patiala-based theatre personality Pran Sabharwal, whose troupe will stage the play on the brother-sister relationship on Raksha Bandhan. Fiftyone-year-old Jwanda is credited with having written 25 Punjabi plays, five one-act plays, and the scripts of three television serials and a Punjabi feature film besides a few biographies and light-and-sound programmes.

Even though Jwanda’s sister, Ms Amanjit Kaur, has filed a complaint regarding her disappearance with the Kotwali police station here on May 22, Nabha Deputy Superintendent of Police S.S. Boparai, when questioned on the issue, said he was not aware that the playwright was missing since May. The police officer said what he did remember was another complaint filed by her against one of her relatives.

Kotwali police station SHO Kuldeep Singh said a complaint of disappearance had been filed but no progress had been made in the matter. No headway could be made in a visit to the residence of the playwright, with a family living in one portion of the house not open to any inquiry.

Though the report of the disappearance of Jwanda does not make any allegation against any person, it does mention that she was involved in litigation over the possession of her house on Cinema Road in the city, in which she was living with a close relative. It also mentions that she owns 10 acres of agricultural land on the outskirts of the city.

Ms Amanjit Kaur, who informed the Nabha police of her sister’s disappearance, and her husband, Mr Achhra Singh, who live in Patiala, feel the Nabha police has not done anything since the past four months to locate Jwanda.

Talking to The Tribune, they said the Nabha police had just taken her photograph from them and not proceeded beyond that. “This, despite the fact that we asked them to look into the complaints made by the playwright herself against certain close members of her family”.

The couple claimed they had received a call from Jwanda on May 6, the day she disappeared, saying she had to attend a court hearing regarding a property dispute on May 7. They claimed she disappeared while she was walking back to her house from her farm house on the outskirts of the city. “This fact can be verified from her servant at the farm house”, they added.

Ms Amanjeet Kaur suspected foul play by some miscreants, including certain relatives. She said the portion of the house in which Jwanda lived was still locked.

“We have requested the police to open it to find clues to her disappearance,” she added.

The couple approached Senior Superintendent of Police A.S. Rai last week, demanding a full-scale inquiry into the disappearance. They have also named certain persons as suspects in the case.


DSPs' selections: Punjab creates record in changing lawyers
Maneesh Chhibber
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 25
Whatever be the fate of the petitions, including a public interest litigation, in the controversial selections of DSPs by the Punjab Government recently under the sports quota, a new record-of-sorts seems to have been created during the hearing in the case in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The record, only the Punjab Government might not be very proud of the same, pertains to the fact that almost one dozen senior lawyers from the Supreme Court argued the case of the Punjab Government, none of them managing to continue till the end of the arguments.

Not only this, the law officer of the Punjab Government handling the case was also specially coming from New Delhi.

The State Government also spent a considerable amount of public money to counter the allegations that the selections were irregular and hence tainted.

While the first hearing saw Senior advocate PP Rao accepting the notice on behalf of the Punjab Government, he was nowhere in the picture when the actual arguments began.

Incidentally, Mr Rao was also the lawyer who gave a fresh legal opinion to the Punjab Government in the matter after a law officer had told the government that the selections would be difficult to defend in the court.

Nobody knows why Mr Rao did not appear in the case again. However, his departure saw another Senior Advocate Rakesh Diwedi coming to Chandigarh to argue the matter.

He continued for the longest duration and presented the government viewpoint before the Bench headed by Chief Justice Mr Justice B.K. Roy.

Mr Diwedi's departure was also abrupt. While no confirmations could be made, the timing of his discontinuation gave rise to a lot of rumours.

Mr Diwedi was taken off the case after the issue of missing Sports Department file gathered heat. He had also taken some time from the court on the plea that he had tendered a fresh advice to the government and needed to talk about the same with the Chief Minister.

However, by the next hearing, Mr Diwedi had been replaced by leading lawyer PN Lekhi. Mr Lekhi came for just one hearing after which the judgement was reserved.

However, hearing on an application field by one of the petitioners in the matter saw Punjab Advocate- General Harbhagwan Singh finally making an appearance on behalf of the government.

But, on the very next date, he again went missing, only to be replaced by yet another new advocate from Delhi, Supreme Court lawyer Uday Lalit.

Incidentally, the conduct of two senior law officers of the government, who were dealing with the case - Senior Additional Advocate-General Bharat Bir Singh Sobti and Additional Advocate-General Atul Nanda - had also come under judicial scrutiny after it became known that the file of the Sports Department regarding the selections had not been submitted in the court despite orders by the duo.

Sports Department Joint Secretary D.S. Laungia had, in an affidavit, informed the High Court that even though he had brought the Sports Department file relating to the selections to the High Court for handing over the same to the court, the file was taken away by Mr Sobti.

Mr Laungia has also stated in the affidavit that following the assertion of Mr Sobti that he did not have the file, the Sports Department was contemplating getting an FIR registered in the matter. The file has still not been submitted in the court and counsel for the petitioners have expressed the fear that it could have been destroyed. It also remains to be seen what action is initiated against Mr Sobti for interfering in the judicial process. 


Tribune Impact
Pathankot Fisheries Officer suspended
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
In a major exception to the norm, the Punjab Fisheries Department has placed the Fisheries Officer, Pathankot, under suspension for gross negligence of duty.

The suspension of the officer follows The Tribune expose on the extent of illegal fishing in the breeding season in Taakhi village area of Gurdaspur. The department has also placed fisheries officials of the area on high alert after confirming the veracity of The Tribune report that had highlighted the extent of illegal fishing during the breeding season in the sensitive Gurdaspur belt. A massive crackdown on poachers active in the area has also been launched.

Confirming the suspension of Rajiv Kumar, Fisheries Officer, Pathankot, Director and Warden, Fisheries, Punjab, Mr Baljit Singh Sidhu said, "Poaching of fish cannot be allowed at any cost. Illegal fishing, that too in the peak breeding season, is an act of severe omission. It has been learnt that rules have been flouted with impunity right under the nose of officials responsible for protecting aquatic life and ensuring that poachers think twice before entering the notified waters.

''After reading The Tribune report on August 23, we asked the Assistant Director, Fisheries, Gurdaspur, Mr Karamjit Singh, to furnish a detailed report on the extent of the problem, and also list reasons behind the same. The Fisheries Officer, Pathankot, was found prima facie guilty of dereliction of duty. He was thus suspended with immediate effect."

Meanwhile, a detailed enquiry has been marked against the officer who was to submit his reply to the department today. Apart from this, poachers are also being targeted by the department which plans legal action against those found guilty of fishing in the breeding season that lasts from July to August. The blanket ban imposed on fishing during breeding season will be lifted towards the end of August.

Said Mr Sidhu, "We have been issuing warnings to our officers regarding protection of fish in notified waters, especially during the breeding season. Negligence in this regard will not be tolerated. Meanwhile, under the Fisheries Act, 1914, we are empowered to arrest the poachers even without warrants. The law provides for imprisonment also. We have begun our operation in the areas highlighted in the news report. Soon we will be able to clear the area of poachers."

Poaching of fish has also been going on massively near the confluence of Mukerian Hydel Canal and Beas river. Another favourite spot of poachers is the confluence of Chakki river, the Ravi-Beas link canal and the Beas river.

The Fisheries Department has also expedited investigation in the case involving large-scale poisoning of fish in Beas river, as reported by the Tribune a month ago. Mr Sidhu said the samples of water and fish had been sent to the forensic laboratory in Patiala and a reminder had been sent to them.


Govt jobs given to next of kin of soldiers killed in Kargil
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Even as the Punjab Government cleared the appointment for government jobs for over a dozen next of kin of soldiers killed during the 1999 Kargil conflict, a number of cases continue to remain pending even five years after the promised relief.

A high-powered committee chaired by the Punjab Chief Secretary and comprising the Director, Sainik Welfare and administrative secretaries of different departments accorded its approval to a number of such appointments yesterday.

These included three appointments to the post of assistant sub-inspector in the Punjab Police, three posts in the co-operative department, two posts of warden in the forest department, two posts in the education department and one post in the industry department.

Some appointments have also been cleared for the anganwadi and social welfare departments.

"Appointment letters to some of the beneficiaries were issued yesterday itself, while the remaining will be issued within a week," Director, Sainik Welfare, Brig J.S. Jaswal (retd) said. The appointments cleared yesterday were for Class-II and Class-III posts in the state government.

At an earlier meeting, the committee had recommended 51 cases of next of kin of Kargil martyrs for appointment to various posts in the state government. Out of these 26 appointments are still held up on technical grounds.

The appointments recommended included four Class-I posts, with three being offered Punjab Civil Service (PCS) appointments and one Block Development Officer post.

Of the four posts, two appointments to the PCS have been made so far. An appointment to the post of District Sports Officer is held up on technical grounds pertaining to the applicant's qualification. An alternate appointment for her is being considered.

Brigadier Jaswal said that the Chief Secretary issued directions yesterday that the technical hitches cropping up in the appointments be sorted out at the earliest and the remaining 26 appointments are expected to be finalised in about a month's time.

During the Kargil conflict, the Punjab Government had announced that it would provide a government job to next of kin of martyrs commensurate with their qualifications. This was in addition to enhanced ex-gratia payment and monetary relief. Now, it remains to be seen when pending cases are dealt with.


‘Chidi’ sings in audio tape
Theft at MC chief’s house
Tribune News Service

Moga, August 25
The state vice-president of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Mr Ashok Sathi, today came out with an audiotape, in which, he claimed, the prime accused in the case of theft at the Municipal Council chief Joginder Pal Jain’s home has made sensational revelations.

In a press conference held here, Sathi played the audio tape, which raised many questions about the case and the police probe into it.

According to Sathi, the interaction between him and the main accused in the case, Lakshman, alias Chidi, had been recorded before he produced him before the police.

When asked as to why he did that, Sathi said that the police had arrested the state vice-president of the SC cell of RJD, Mr Pawan Kumar Chawadia, and one of his associates in the case. Pawan Kumar is married to Chidi’s sister. “To get Pawan freed we traced Chidi from Delhi and produced him before the police,” Sathi said.

In the sensational tape, the person, who according to Sathi is Chidi, says that they had stolen three suitcases from Jain’s house and not from his servant’s quarter, as mentioned in the FIR. He said they had committed the crime in connivance with Jain’s driver, Chamkaur Singh, who told them that Jain was out of station and they could easily lay hands on some valuable goods kept at his home.

Chidi said out of the three suitcases, two were full of foreign currency and the other one had three to four kilograms of gold, which included gold coins, biscuits and jewellery, 2-3 kg opium-like substance, and an old pistol.

He said the stolen goods were kept at the house of Rani, one of the accused,

He said Rani became greedy and took out some gold jewellery from a suitcase, which she later sold for Rs 1.34 lakh. The police had also reportedly recovered Rs 1.3 lakh from Rani.

Chidi said he had taken about three kilograms gold to Delhi and handed it over to some persons there. In the audio tape, he told Sathi that he could get the gold seized if he accompanied him, but warned that if the police was involved then they would run away. He said Rani had sent the rest of the stolen goods to Bangalore.

Sathi said he came to know about the theft at Jain’s home when he and Rakesh Sharma of Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) reached the police station to get Pawan Kumar released on bail. He alleged that the police officials had then called Rani and started interrogating her. He alleged that the moment Rani spoke about dollars in suitcases the police took her away.

He said they produced Chidi before SHO Devraj at a gurdwara on Bohana Road.

It may be mentioned here that the police had recently arrested eight persons in this connection and had seized 847 gm gold and Rs 50,000 cash.


Sukhdev’s family ends relay fast
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Makrona Kala (Morinda), August 25
Family members of Sukhdev Singh, one of the Iraq hostages, today ended the fast started by them here yesterday in protest against the inability of the government to resume the talks to secure the release of the hostages held captive in Iraq.

The decision to call off the protest was taken after the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, Mr Surjit Singh, and other officials assured Sukhdev’s aged father Sher Singh that the government was making every possible effort for the release of the hostages. He offered fruit to the fasting family members.

Sukhdev’s parents Sher Singh and Gurdev Kaur, brother Harvinder Singh and other villagers had yesterday started a relay fast.

The administration had discussed the matter with the Ministry of External Affairs Joint Secretary, Mr Ashok Amrohi, who said that the families of the hostages would have now be informed every day about the progress in the talks with the captors.

Sukhdev’s brother Harvinder Singh said that for the past one week his parents’ condition had deteriorated as no news of the developments had been provide by either the government KGL, employer of the hostages.

“The Ropar administration has assured us all help, so we have agreed to call off the protest. But if within two days the administration fails to provide us information about Sukhdev then we will resume our protest.”

Meanwhile, the relay fast being observed by the family of Antaryami, a hostage from Una district in Himachal Pradesh, continued for the 13th day today. Six more villagers joined the protest.


Health institute in a shambles
Kulwinder Sangha

Kharar, August 25
The State Institute of Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, here is in a bad shape lacking various facilities.

Students, who have joined the one and a half year multi-purpose health workers course, complained of inadequate teaching faculty, a leaking classroom, badly maintained hostel building and unkempt surroundings.

A visit to the area today revealed that the teaching block of the institute had seepage and water from the roof was dripping in the classroom. The hostel building was also in a state of neglect. Part of the wild growth around the building had got removed by students by pooling in the money.

As many as 58 students from Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr and Ropar districts have taken admission in the institute and nearly 22 out of them are staying in the hostel. The classes for the course started on July 1.

Narinder Singh, class representative, told The Tribune that the institute had a staff strength of 14 but only six were available at the institute for 15 days in a month as they had also been asked to take classes at a school in Badal village in Muktsar district.

Mukesh Kumar, hostel representative, complained that the water cooler and refrigerator in the hostel mess had been out of order for a long time. As such they were facing problems. During office hours they were using the water cooler installed in the office building but after 5 p.m. they had to depend for cold water on the emergency wing of the adjoining Civil Hospital.

He further said the hostel was not being cleaned on a regular basis and toilets were in bad shape. Some damaged doors had been removed but not replaced with new ones. He said Rs 200 were deposited by hostel students as security but no receipt had been issued to them in this regard.

The students complained that the laboratory of the institute had been shifted to Mohali making them feel handicapped. There were no sports facilities and playground in the area was full of wild growth. They said they had contributed Rs 20 each and hired a tractor for Rs 500 to remove the wild growth.

Pradeep Sharma, another student said they had been deprived of a concessional bus pass facility. Transport officials had refused to give the facility as the authorities concerned were not depositing the required amount of funds with them.

Dr R.S. Saggu, Director, Punjab Health Systems Corporation (PHSC), and also the Director of the institute, said the teachers had been sent to Badal village on the order of the Secretary, Health. He said the school in the village was on the verge of being de-recognised and as such some staff members had to be sent there. Though, it was only a temporary measure, alternative arrangements in this regard would be made soon.

He said he had come to visit the institute and all shortcomings would be removed soon. Things would be provided whenever a demand for them was made by the officials concerned. He said the building had always remained neglected but since it had been transferred to the PHSC this year we were trying to solve the problems. 


Tension in Bhucho Kalan leads to arrest of Dalit Sena activists
Tribune News Service

Bhucho Kalan (Bathinda), August 25
As many as 60 activists of the Dalit Sena, including its state president, Mr Kiran Jit Gheri, were arrested by the police while they were going to Bhucho Kalan village to hold a meeting at Gurdwara Baba Jeewan Singh today to work out a strategy to deal with caste-based discrimination by the people running Dera Roomiwala in that village.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that authorities concerned had taken this step to prevent any untoward incident as the followers of Dera Roomiwala, who had also gathered in large numbers at Bhucho Kalan village, had claimed that they would not allow the Dalit Sena to hold its meeting in the village today.

Tension started building up in the Bhucho Kalan village when activists of the Dalit Sena started assembling in the gurdwara and some people started expressing their displeasure over the meeting to be held by the Dalit Sena in the gurdwara.

Activists of the sena have been holding protests for the past about three months against discrimination against members of Scheduled Caste community by the dera where Guru Granth Sahib was being recited.

Mr Kiranjit Singh Gheri, president, Dalit Sena, said the sena had given an ultimatum to the district police authorities and civil administration to make arrangements for stopping the discrimination against members of a community by the dera by July 20 failing which they would hold peaceful demonstrations and rallies. He added that they had been lodging their protest in a peaceful manner.

The Dalit Sena had been demanding that a case under the relevant Act should be registered against those following the evil practices of untouchablity and discrimination against members belonging to the Scheduled Castes. A delegation of Dalit Sena had also met Jathedar of Akal Takht in the recent past and had submitted a memorandum to him to take steps to prevent discrimination.

On the other hand, a large section of residents of Bhucho Kalan village, who are followers of Dera Roomiwala, have claimed that the dera is a private property and nobody would be allowed to interfere in its management and functioning. They added that they would not tolerate it if anyone tried to violate the traditions of the dera.


Border-Border staged
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 25
‘Border-Border’ — a play that aimed to bring the new generation of India and Pakistan together BY wiping the man made boundaries, was staged here last night. The play with a troupe of 20 Pakistani students under the aegis of Ajoka Children’s Theatre, Lahore, and 19 students from the local Springdale Senior School, was performed at Punjab Natshala.

The play revolved around the theme of hostilities created by the masters of both countries and how the new generation discovered that there was no base for the hatred that had been bred into them for one another.

Madeeha Gauhar, Director, Ajoka theatre group and Manveen Sandhu, principal, Springdales School, said the play would be stayed at Kamani Theatre in Delhi in August 27 and in Alhamra Hall, Lahore and Islamabad Club from September 8 to 11 in Pakistan by the same troupe.


Waters issue creation of politicians: BKU
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 25
Mr Hardev Singh, president, BKU (Ekta), Sidhupur group, today alleged that politicians of Punjab and Haryana were trying to make farmers of both states to fight over the issue pertaining to the sharing of the river waters.

In a press note issued here, Mr Hardev Singh alleged that politicians of these two states had been making efforts in this connection for their own political gains and to consolidate votes for their respective parties. He said that his organisation would not allow the politicians to succeed in their designs. He said that Punjab land had been becoming barren due to the fact that successive governments promoted cultivation of high water consuming crops and failed to make any policy in connection with the low water consuming crops.

He disclosed that at the two-day delegates’ conference held at Fatehgarh Sahib, the leadership of the organisation had also decided not to allow anybody to make attachment or auction of agricultural land belonging to the farmers in lieu of payment of debt. The organisation would also continue the agitation against the corrupt officials and those who had been indulging in the sale of spurious items for agriculture purposes. He claimed that organisation had not been affected in any way after Mr Surjeet Singh Phool left the same with eight delegates only as there were 121 delegates of the organisation. He added that apart from it, out of 100 units of the organisation in Bathinda district, 96 units were with the BKU (Ekta) Sidhupur group.


Pak judicial officials visit Rauza Sharif
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 25
As the crime has been increasing and criminals becoming hi-tech, capital punishment has rightly been incorporated in Pakistan and India.

In Pakistan amendments have been made in the CrPC and the PPC to deal strictly with those involved in rape, gang rape and murder after rape. So more strict laws are needed to maintain law and order, said Mr Mohamad Hanif Khatana, Additional Advocate-General Punjab (Pakistan) and leader of 23-member group of Pakistan judicial officials, while talking to The Tribune at Rauza Sharif here yesterday.

The delegation is on a goodwill mission tour to India on the invitation of Advocate-General, Punjab (India), Mr Harbhagwan Singh, and Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister.

They said they were on a study tour and had come to learn. He said a delegation of Indian lawyers had visited Pakistan and they had invited them, similarly Capt Amarinder Singh had visited Pakistan and had invited his counterpart in Pakistan, Mr Parvez Ilahi.

He said they were impressed by the welcome accorded to them by the civil, police and judicial officials.

He stressed the need to further strengthen the relations between both countries. He said all problems should be solved through dialogue and the war was no answer to any problem. He said both governments could not afford huge amount on defence, so it was better that both countries should cut their budget on defence and should spent all those amount on development.

The delegation will also visit various judicial institutions, including the Supreme Court, to get the first hand information about the working of courts and implementation of laws as well as to study the constitution of India.

Earlier the delegation was received by the district administration and supporters of Dr Harbans Lal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary. All members were presented siropas.


Angry labourers beat station superintendent
Tribune News Service

Moga, August 25
Members of the labour union thrashed the station superintendent, Mr Iqbal Singh Sidhu, at the local railway station here yesterday. They were protesting against the delay in giving compensation to a labourer who had lost both his legs due to alleged negligence of the railway authorities.

It may be mentioned here that both legs of a labourer, Mr Harbhagwan Singh, were amputated on August 18, when an engine hit him while he was unloading luggage from a goods train. Another labourer was also injured in the incident.

The union members blamed Mr Sidhu and the goods clerk, Mr Khairati Lal, for the mishap. The members had reached a compromise with the authorities under which Mr Harbhagwan was to be paid Rs 35,000. Mr Sidhu had called them yesterday to collect the compensation amount, but later refused which led to a heated exchange of words. Enraged union members beat up the station superintendent.

When contacted, Mr Sidhu said the compensation had been given to the injured labourer’s kin. However, railway officials didn’t comment on yesterday’s brawl saying that they were inquiring into the matter.


Insurance staff back bankers
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 25
On the call given by the All India Insurance Association, the employees and officials of Bharati Life Insurance and General Insurance organised a dharna in front of office of Bharati Life Insurance to support the protesting bank employees of the city here yesterday.


Life term for triple-murder accused
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, August 25
The judge of a fast-track court, Mr Hardayal Singh, has sentenced a triple-murder accused to life imprisonment and Rs 6,000 fine. The convict, Santokh Singh, has also been jailed for two years for misusing his weapon.

Sources said that the son of the convict, Balwinder Singh, was married to the daughter of Bhagwan Singh, a resident of Sidhwa. According to the complainant, the girl’s in-laws started harassing her for dowry soon after the marriage. One day the girl’s parents came to know that her in-laws had thrashed her. They rushed to see her and came to know that she had been admitted to a hospital. There both the parties had an altercation after which Santokh Singh brought his. 12-bore rifle and shot three persons dead from the girl’s family.


No computer, but operator drawing salary for 30 years

Kharar, August 25
A health institution here does not have a computer but has been paying salary to a computer operator for the past around 30 years.

Without having a computer, the Primary Health Centre (PHC) in Gharuan was paying Rs 12,000 per month to the computer operator.

This lapse was detected by Kharar MLA Bir Devinder Singh during a special meeting to review the implementation of TB control programme.

Astonished to know that a person, who doesn’t even know the basics of computer application, was posted as computer operator without a computer at his workplace, the MLA directed the Civil Surgeon, Dr Rana Harinder, to order the computer operator to report at Kharar Civil Hospital from tomorrow onwards to get training in computer application and in the meantime, a computer should be arranged at Gharuan PHC.

Assuring to arrange a computer from some voluntary organisation, if the department failed to do so, Mr Bir Devinder said he was told that all six PHCs in Ropar district were paying salaries to computer operators without having computers. The MLA, while quoting the official sources as saying, said similar was the case with other PHCs across the state.

On being told at the meeting that Government Civil Dispensary in Bassian village had been without power and water supply for the past two years, Mr Bir Devinder immediately asked the BDPO to call the village sarpanch and ask him to pay from panchayat funds Rs 1,300 that dispensary owed towards the PSEB, besides asking public health officials to provide water supply connection to the dispensary on a priority. “The dispensary will start getting power and water supply within this week,” he hoped.

When he asked for the minutes of his previous meeting held at Gharuan PHC, with its implementation report, the MLA was surprised to know that the Gharuan PHC authorities were not maintaining the proceedings of official meetings. He said the SMO and the MO concerned were unable to produce any record, following which he recorded proceedings of today’s meeting.

As he found that a majority of the cases referred for TB treatment had tested negative, Mr Bir Devinder was also not satisfied with the implementation of TB control programme. — UNI


House raided
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 25
Much to the embarrassment of the senior officers of the Punjab State Electricity Board the enforcement staff of the board today raided the residential premises in Power Colony of their own Additional Superintending Engineer, Mr Paramjit Singh.


Portraits of 2 suspected killers released by CBI
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 25
The CBI today released the portraits of two suspected assailants of Naresh Mahajan, senior manager, Oriental Bank of Commerce. He was murdered on October 22, 1998. The CBI has announced a reward of Rs 2 lakh to anyone giving information about the suspects.

It states that on the day of murder an eye witness had seen two boys standing besides the car (PB-08-G-0642) in which the body of Mr Mahajan was found. It suspects that the boys could be involved in the murder.

The portraits have been issued by Mr A.K. Hargava, SP, CBI, Special Crime Branch, Chandigarh. He was handed over the case following orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2001 on a writ petition filed by the father of deceased, Mr Banarsi Das Mahajan, who also passed away last year.

The murder hit headlines more than four years ago for allegedly being the case of “parallel banking”.


Woman killed by daughter-in-law
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, August 25
Amrik Kaur (45), wife of slained militant Ravel Singh and her minor daughter Amrit Kaur (17) killed her mother-in-law Swarn Kaur on August 20 at Pakhoke village. The dead body buried in the courtyard of the house, was discovered by the police last night .

Reportedly the mother-daughter duo administered electric shocks to the victim that killed her .

A case was registered under Sections 302, 201, 34 of the IPC for murder and destroying evidence. The body was sent for post-mortem examination at the local civil hospital.

According to the police, Amrik Kaur booked a missing complaint for her mother-in-law and stated that two persons had abducted her. Land dispute was suspected to be the cause for the murder.


Smack worth Rs 2 cr seized, 1 held
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, August 25
The police today recovered 2 kg of smack worth Rs 2 crore in an international market and Rs 15 lakh in domestic market from Puran Chand, a resident of Sadul Shaher of Srigangangar district of Rajasthan, while he was approaching the Malout town from the Defence Road side.

This is the second biggest seizure of smack by the district police in the past over one month. Earlier, the police had arrested Har Bhagwan Singh, a resident of Malout town, and recovered 900 gram of smack worth Rs 1 crore from him on July 19.

Mr R.S. Khatra, SSP, said Puran Singh was dropped by a police team patrolling the Koliianwali village area on the Defence Road and 2 kg of smack seized from him.

He said that the accused was being questioned about persons, who were to receive the consignment. He added that preliminary investigations revealed that the accused was a courier. Puran Chand would be sent to Joint Interrogation Centre (JIC), Amritsar, for further investigation.

A case under Section 21 of the NDPS Act has been registered against the accused.


Woman burnt to death
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, August 25
A young married woman, Laddi, was allegedly burnt to death in Katwalo village last night. The injured woman was sent to Ludhiana hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.

The Phillaur police has registered a case under the Section 304B/34 of the IPC against five persons, including her husband, brother-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law and sister-in-law.


Thieves decamp with goods worth Rs 1 lakh
Tribune News Service

Moga, August 25
Thieves decamped with goods worth over Rs 1 lakh from a grocery shop in Baghapurana.

The shop owner said that the thieves tied the watchman and bundled him into a vehicle in which they took away the goods.

The watchman, Mahinder Singh, said that the thieves dropped him at Samalsar and sped away.

The shopkeeper, Subhash Chander said that last year also goods worth Rs 1.5 lakh were stolen from his shop.

The police has registered a case of theft.


Petrol station owner robbed
Tribune News Service

Moga, August 25
Unidentified robbers snatched Rs 21,000 from a petrol station owner, Mukhtiar Singh, here last night when he was on the way to his home.

Sources said that when Mukhtiar Singh left the petrol station, three scooter-borne youths started chasing him and stopped him in front of the power house on the GT Road. They snatched the bag containing the cash from him and sped away.

However, an octroi contractor’s vehicle followed them and its occupants got hold of one of the robbers and handed him over to the police. The other two robbers ran away with the money.


Minor girls kidnapped

Moga, August 25
Two minor girls were kidnapped from the Hakam Ka Agwad locality of the city when they were on the way to their school yesterday. The police has registered a case against the unidentified miscreants under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC. — TNS


Hari Singh Brar panel sweeps PAUTA poll
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 25
Dr Hari Singh Brar and members of his panel swept the elections for the Panjab Agricultural University Teachers Association (PAUTA), the results of which were announced late this evening. He also created a record by winning the polls for a record ninth time, though not consecutively.

He defeated his rival and fellow colleague Dr Ranjit Singh Brar of the Department of Agronomy and Agrometeorology to clinch the post of president of the association. Dr Brar polled 583 as compared to 375 secured by Dr R.S. Brar.

As many 959 voters exercised their franchise out of a total electorate of 1168, including 208 members from outstation centres, amidst allegations of discrepancies in the voters list by the latter group.

According to the returning officer, Dr Gurdev Singh Deol, three candidates of Dr Hari Singh panel — Dr Jatinder Singh Brar of KVK, Bathinda, Dr Satpal Sharma of KVK, Sangrur and Dr Jaswinder Kaur Brar of the College of Home Science — had been elected unopposed.

The winners (votes polled in parenthesis) of the Dr Hari Singh Brar panel are: Dr Amrik Singh Sohi (vice president - 579), Dr Inder Mohan Chhiba (secretary - 574), Dr Harmeet Singh Kingra (joint secretary - 556), Dr Amrit Lal Saini (treasurer - 562) and councillors - Dr Jagjit Singh (553), Dr Mukesh Siag (533), Dr Swaran Singh Randhawa (536), Dr Jit Singh Sandhu (538), Dr M Javed (547), Dr Bhupinder Singh (541) and Dr Parampal Singh Gill (523).

The votes polled (in parenthesis) by the Dr Ranjit Singh Brar group are: Dr G.S. Bains (vice-president - 373), Dr K.N. Sharma (secretary - 381), Dr K.S. Sandhu (joint secretary - 389), Dr S.C. Sharma (treasurer - 383) and councillors - Dr H.S. Baddesha (410), Dr Tejdeep Kaur (393), Dr S.K. Gupta (396), Dr J.K. Chawla (360), Dr Apminderpal Singh Brar (388), Dr S.P. S. Brar (373) and Dr Parminder Singh (364).


Ph.D theses to be published
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 25
The Punjabi University Academic Council today approved a proposal to publish all abstracts of Ph.D thesis annually to provide update information to researchers in the various fields.

The meeting of the council, which was presided over by Vice-Chancellor Swarn Singh Boparai, also decided that the merit would be calculated on the basis of a person’s performance. In another decision the council decided that if a teacher joined the industry which had annual turnover of Rs 10 crore or above, his industrial experience would be counted for promotion from lecturer to reader and reader to professor in all professional courses.

In another decision the council approved the change in regulation with regard to the post of Pro-Vice-Chancellor which was abolished by the Punjab Government. Now, the Chairman of the council will be the Dean, Academic Affairs, in the absence of the Vice-Chancellor. In case of absence of both, Academic Council would elect its Chairman for the meeting among its members.

The entrance test for the MBA course through CC has been abolished. Now the admission will be made on the basis of criteria adopted by IGNOU.

The council approved the establishment of department of Gurmat Sangeet to start MA classes from this academic session. The council gave its nod to start some other self-financing diploma courses in the Department of Correspondence Courses also.


Punjabi University students hold dharna
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 25
The Punjabi University Students Confederation organised a dharna in front of the office of Vice-Chancellor Swaran Singh Boparai in protest against the “anti-student” policies of the university here today.

Addressing a gathering, the president of the confederation, Gurpal Singh Dhaliwal, said despite several requests, the authorities had failed to accept the demands of the students. He condemned the “anti- Punjabi” decision of the authorities. He said Punjabi University was established for the development and promotion of Punjabi and the university’s “anti- Punjabi” decision would defeat the very purpose of the university.

He said the move of the university authorities regarding acceptance of their demands was a mere eyewash as the core issue, including the hostel facility, roll back of the massive hike in the hostel fee, counselling fee and the decision to introduce internal assessment, had not been taken up.

The confederation demanded that the university should roll back the hike in the fee of professional courses. They also demanded that vacant posts of the lecturer should be filled.

Dhaliwal said the decision to introduce internal assessment should be revoked as students were being exploited because of it. He threatened to intensify the struggle if the university failed to resolve the issue.

Meanwhile, the university authorities claimed that the administration had accepted the major demands of students.


Students jam traffic
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 25
A large number of students today staged a dharna and jammed traffic in front of the local Giani Zail Singh College of Engineering and Technology to lodge their protest against the imposition of “1 to 5” and “2 to 6” rules on them by Punjab Technical University (PTU). The students alleged that by imposing this rule, the PTU authorities had played havoc with about 1,100 students of different engineering colleges affiliated with the PTU. They added that though the students had been lodging protests against it in the state, the PTU authorities had not been taking any corrective steps.

They alleged that today the college authorities had got vacated hostel from those students, including girl students, who had become ineligible to sit in the examination of the fifth semester of their respective courses due to imposition of this rule. Dr P.K. Bansal, Principal, when contacted, said that only those students were asked to vacate the hostel who had ceased to be students of this college after they became ineligible. He added that any student who had agreed to take the examination as per the new rules, had been allowed to stay in the hostel.

He said that the students had been holding agitations to gain public sympathy and to use the same as pressure tactics.


Postal delay ruins student’s career
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, August 25
Postal delay has taken a toll on the career of a bright student, Deepak Garg, as his admission form could not reach its destination in time.

Deepak, who stood 67th in the pre-medical test (PMT) conducted by the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences on August 1, had sent his admission form through speed post on August 6.

However, when he and his father reached for counselling on August 16 they did not find his name in the list of candidates who had to appear for counselling.

On enquiring into the matter they came to know that his admission form did not reach the university.

Though, Deepak’s father produced the duplicate copies of the bank draft and postal receipts, the university authorities were not ready to consider his case due to non-submission of admission form.

The victim has sought intervention of the Punjab Chief Minister and the Vice-Chancellor of the university in the matter, besides filing a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.


DC tells banks to achieve target in farm sector
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 25
Mr S. K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, presiding over the meeting of the District Consultative Committee at Bachat Bhavan, here yesterday directed all bank officials to speed up the process of achieving the target of 30 per cent growth in the agriculture sector, as per the new Central government policy so that maximum farmers could get benefit under this scheme.

The meeting was called to review the annual Credit Plan as well as to take stock of the progress made under various government-sponsored schemes, in the district.

He directed the officials of the banks, government departments and development agencies that lending should be diversified to the areas like rural godowns, cold storages (where subsidy is also available), agriculture clinics, agriculture business centres.

He also stressed that horticulture activities should also be financed. He stressed the need to form clubs for empowerment of women and farmers.

He also said to provide relief to the farmers indebted to non-institutional lenders and provide fresh finance to farmers whose earlier debts had been settled. He said 647 self-help groups had been formed in the district, out of which 459 had been provided loans. He stressed to form more groups. He directed all bank officials to achieve the target within the stipulated period and to clear all pending cases particularly subsidy cases within a week.

Mr Devinder Pal Singh Walia, ADC (D), Mr C.M. Tripathi, AGM, RBI, Mr Ashwini Mahajan AGM, Nabard, Mr Surjit Singh Kharaud, lead district manager and Mr G. S. Multani, Chairman, Malwa Gramin Bank also spoke.


Awareness workshop by LSE
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 25
An awareness workshop was conducted by the Ludhiana Stock Exchange at Gian Jyoti Institute of Management and Technology in Phase-2 here yesterday.

The objective of organising this SEBI-sponsored workshop was to generate awareness among students.

Mr Pritpal Singh, General Manager, Ludhiana Stock Exchange (LSE), highlighted how the transaction in securities took place now in electronic form through the mechanism of depository participants, and NSDL & CDSL.

Mr Jagjit Singh, Listing Officer, LSE, highlighted that how the Regional Stock Exchanges like Ludhiana Stock Exchange could survive the competition from the National Stock Exchanges by coming together. Brokers of Regional Stock Exchanges were now able to make money for themselves by investing in the trading of commodities at Regional Stock Exchanges.

Dr B.B. Tandon, in his welcome address, raised the issue of vanishing companies and fly by night operators and apprised students to make wise investment decisions.

Mr J.S. Bedi, chairman, GJ-IMT, proposed a vote of thanks saying that such a workshop would add to the knowledge of students of MBA at the institute and make them better professionals.

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