P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Tension prevails as illegal structure pulled down
Muslims finally get burial ground
Kiran Deep

Tribune News Service

Ropar, September 17
Tension prevailed at Bhagwantpura village, about 12 km from the city, for several hours today when villagers protested against the police action to demolish the illegal construction, where they had placed Guru Granth Sahib.

The incident took place at about 9 am when following the high court directions, about 400 police personnel accompanied by the DSP, Mr Sarbjit Singh and the SDM, Mr G.S. Ghuman, reached the village to demolish the structure from the burail ground. The villagers protested against the move claiming that the land belonged to them and not to a certain community.

Initially, the villagers went inside the illegal construction and did not allow the police to demolish it, pleading that they had organised a sehaj path there. Senior officials then called up more police personnel and sealed the area. Later, the villagers took Guru Granth Sahib to another place. The police rounded-up several persons, including women, to control the situation. They were later released.

The police demolished the structure about 1 pm with the help of two bulldozers. The police had also made an attempt yesterday to remove the structure but following a strong protest from the villagers, it could not be done.

Rosan Ali, a villager who along with his brother won the case in the high court, said as earlier the burial ground was occupied by other villagers and the case was pending in the court, his mother’s body could not be buried for six days. Later, the panchayat allowed them to bury the body in the shamlat land.

He said as per official records, the burial ground was meant for the burial of Muslims but two persons of the village had illegally occupied the land. “We won the case twice in a lower court in Ropar but when the lower court orders were not implemented, we filed a writ in the high court. The order was again not complied with. We then filed contempt petition against the Secretary (Home), Deputy Commissioner, SSP, DDPO and the BDPO. There are 17 members in our two Muslim families and we fear threat to life”, he said.


2 engineers among ten hurt in demolition drive
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 17
As many as 10 persons were injured today when jhuggi dwellers on PUDA land allegedly pelted stones on its official and the police and the policemen resorted to lathicharge during a demolition drive that was started by the PUDA authorities. Those injured included Mr Gurpreet Singh, Junior Engineer, Mr H. S. Sahota, Executive Engineer Rajesh, Raj Kumar, Rajni, Chitr Lekha, Sehdev, Rakesh, Sangeeta and Raghu (all jhuggi dwellers). All injured were given medical aid.

After the police resorted to lathicharge the demolition drive, to get cleared more than 4 acres of encroached land worth more than Rs 50 crore, went on smoothly without any resistance from the jhuggi dwellers. More than 300 temporary and permanent structures, which came up on the PUDA land about two decades ago, were demolished. About three bulldozers and more than 100 labourers accompanied by a heavy police force were pressed into service to get the encroached land absolutely cleared from the encroachers.

The demolition operation started early in the morning and went on till late noon. After the encroachments were cleared, the labourers were put on the job to level the land.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that a section of Congressmen, who went on the spot to prevent the PUDA authorities from carrying out its demolition drive, were manhandled by a section of those who had been living in bungalows and other residents, which had come up in the residential colonies developed by PUDA. Mr Kiranjit Gehri, President, Dalit Sena, Punjab and one woman identified as Rani, who tried to hold an agitation while the demolition work was going on, were taken into custody by the police.

Even a Congressman, who tried to stage a dharna at the demolition site, was forcibly removed by the police from there. Mr Gheri alleged that poor people were being uprooted on the directions of Congress leaders.

Information revealed that most of those, who had been living in the temporary and permanent structures illegally, were active members of the ruling congress of the state.

Even a number of Congress leaders had held various rallies in that area and promised that they would not be removed from that piece of land when Mr Surinder Singh contested assembly elections from Bathinda seat.

Mr Kirpal Singh, Additional Chief Administrator (ACA), PUDA, said a large section of these dwellers were allotted 25 square yards plot bur these allottees had not constructed houses on those plots.

He added that the occupants of these illegal structures were given enough time by the PUDA authorities to remove their structures but they did not move from that site.

He said when the occupants of illegal structures did not shift to their allotted plots, the PUDA authorities were left with no other option than to remove the illegal structures.


Row deepens as engg college shut down
Naveen S Garewal

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
Following a strike by students of Guru Nanak Engineering College (GNE), the college management has ordered the closure of the institute for an indefinite period and all hostels have got vacated.

A clash between some students and a teacher started a row four days ago leading to a complete paralysis of teaching work.

Three days of negotiations failed to end the strike and the students have now approached the Akal Thaktht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vidanti to intervene.

Difference between some students and teachers had been simmering for some time at this SGPC-run institution.

On Monday last, scheduled house tests started in the college in which some students were barred from appearing due to their previous result.

A group of students protested and in the process a teacher, Professor J.N Jha, tried to slap a student whose turban came off.

Ever since the students have been protesting against the behaviour of the teacher, some even giving it a religious colour, striking classes and burning the effigy of the college principal and the professor.

Several rounds of negotiations have been held between the committee formed by the college principal, Dr. R.P Singh, and the students of the fifth semester to chalk out the differences, but no amicable solution has been reached.

The students have been blocking roads and preventing other students from attending classes.

Today, the college principal put up a notice that read "keeping in view the lawlessness created by a few disgruntled students and threat to life and property, it is decided that hostels must be vacated.

So, all students are directed to vacate the hostels today, before 12 noon".

The general body of the Guru Nanak Engineering College Teacher's Association that met late last night expressed its concern over the developments and condemned the various factors due to which such a situation had arisen on the campus.

It appealed to the students to resolve the conflict in a peaceful manner.

According to the students their main complaint is against the high handedness of the college authorities.

They have accused the principal of indulging in derogatory remarks, abusing the students and imposing heavy fine ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000 for minor indiscipline.

They also say the principal summons the parents of the students and insults them. The principal, Dr. R.P Singh, has denied these charges. The students have also objection to the smoking of Dr Jha on the campus.

Meanwhile, the principal claims that the situation on the campus has been caused by some student of fifth semester from GNE and other colleges under Punjab Technical University (PTU) who have been on strike since mid-August due to their failure in university exams.

This has prevented them from studying in the fifth semester as per the university rules.

One student, Mr. Akaljot Singh, has claimed that Prof Jha slapped him and his turban came off in the process.

The principal denies manhandling of the student, but said the claim infuriated the students vitiating the atmosphere on the campus, thereby forcing the management to take a decision to close down the campus. 


Countdown for SGPC chief’s election begins 
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 17
The countdown for the much-awaited election of the SGPC chief and other office-bearers has begun, with the Central Government giving its nod for the general house meeting to be held at the Teja Singh Samunderi Hall here on September 23.

Apart from the election of four office-bearers, namely president, senior vice president, junior vice- president and general secretary, the proposed general house would elect 11 executive members.

As per provisions of the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925, Deputy Commissioner Raminder Singh will preside over the first meeting of the general house .

The general house will also constitute the Sikh History Research Board, Dharm Parchar Committee.

Information regarding holding of the general house has been received by Mr Dalmegh Singh, Secretary SGPC, a copy of which was sent to the Deputy Commissioner by the office of the Chief Gurdwara Election Commission here today.

The coveted post of the SGPC chief has been lying vacant since March 31 after the death of Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra. In the absence of a regular president , the working of the SGPC has been adversely affected.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President, Shiromani Akali Dal, had taken a serious view of the inordinate delay for the nod to hold the general house meeting.

This is the first time that the SGPC has remained without a regular president for about six months. Chaos prevailed as acting president Alwinderpal Singh Pakhoke effected many transfers and postings without bothering about the directives of the Chief Gurdwara Election Commission and rules of the Sikh Gurdwara Act ,1925.

Though Mr Badal is presumably under pressure from Sikh intellectuals to nominate a new face for the post of SGPC chief, Bibi Jagir Kaur is among the front runners on the basis of her loyalty towards the party.


SAD leadership rallies round Baldev Singh
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 17
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal ) supremo , senior leaders of the party today rallied round Baldev Singh who was booked on charges of molesting a wife of a visually challenged Raagi .

In a joint press conference, here , Dr Rattan Singh , an Akali, Mr Veer Singh Lopoke, an MLA and Mr Manjinder Singh Kang , a former chairman of the Forest Corporation and the accused SGPC member refuted the molestation charges.

Baldev Singh reiterated that the alleged victim was perpetual complainant and he had got documentary proof that she had also been levelling similar charges against other employees of the Shiromani Committee.

He said that the alleged victim had even levelled such charges against her own relative. He claimed that he had visited the house of Raagi on the invitation of Manjit Kaur, the alleged victim .

He said Manjit Kaur had sent her son to escort him to the house on the plea that her husband – Raagi Ranjit Singh would also be joining him in his house by that time.Baldev Singh indicted by the two-member fact-finding committee of the SAD (Amritsar) said that he would undergo any punishment if the brother of the alleged victim repeat the charges before Akal Takht that he was an eyewitness to any molestation . He alleged that he was a victim of political conspiracy .


SAD to go by ‘people’s verdict’

Kapurthala, September 17
Former Chief Minister and Akali Dal President Parkash Singh Badal yesterday said his party would abide by the decision of the people of the state, rather than accepting the verdict of the Supreme Court on the Punjab Termination Act on water agreements with neighbouring states.

Talking to mediapersons here, he said the prime duty of his party was to look after the interests of the people of the state.

To a question whether the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) would accept the verdict of the Supreme Court on the Punjab Termination Act, Mr Badal said he was more concerned about the people of Punjab than the verdict of court.

Lashing out at Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, he said the Congress government had failed to implement a single point in its election manifesto.

He said the confrontation policy of the Chief Minister with the Akalis had ruined the economy of Punjab.

He alleged that some bureaucrats were running the Congress government and blamed Mr Amarinder Singh for politicising the bureaucracy in the state.

Mr Badal was here to inaugurate the election campaign of Akali-BJP candidate, Raghbir Singh, who is contesting the Kapurthala Assembly byelection.

He alleged that the returning officer had issued notices to more than 2000 Akali workers, deleting their names from the voters list. — PTI


SAD (A) urges DC to ban entry of Uma
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 17
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) today urged the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Raminder Singh, to ban the entry of Tiranga rally by Ms Uma Bharti, former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, in Amritsar.

In a press statement issued here, Mr Ram Singh, general secretary, SAD (A), termed the rally as a political stunt and suspected that it would create communal tension in the state.

He said his party would oppose the rally which would culminate at Jallianwala Bagh here and it would also not allow Ms Bharti to enter the holy city.


Leave Garhshankar seat for CPM, Cong urged
Tribune News Service

Matta (Faridkot), September 17
The Lok Bhalai Party (LBP) president, Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, said today that the Congress should leave the Garhshankar Assembly seat for the CPM. He said in the Lok Sabha elections, too, the
Congress had been defeated in Punjab as it had caused the division of the secular vote.

Addressing a public gathering at Matta village here, the LBP chief said issues of public interest were missing from the agenda of major political parties. Mr Ramoowalia said these political parties were whipping up people’s religious sentiments to garner votes.

He said politicians were not bothered about the Indians who, in search of greener pastures, were languishing in other countries. He said there were about 8,000 Indians in Spain, 3,500 in Kuwait and 600 in Jordan.

He said the Spanish authorities were asking Indians to produce a certificate from their embassy to show that they belonged to India. He alleged that they were unable to get it from the Indian embassy, even as he promised to help them out. He said travel agents were mushrooming in Punjab due to lack of political will.

Targeting Ms Uma Bharati for her Tiranga Yatra, Mr Ramoowalia said she could have unfurled the Tricolour at any other place, why only the Idgah. Mr Paramjeet Singh, Mr Nachhatar Singh Sidhu, Mr Chhinder Pal Sharma and other party leaders were also present on the occasion.


4 papers filed for byelections so far
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
Three days have lapsed since the by-elections to the Kapurthala and Garhshankar Assembly constituencies were announced by the Election Commission. However, only four nominations have so far been filed.

Interestingly, all four candidates have filed their papers for Garhshankar assembly constituency. Nomination papers have not been filed for Kapurthala constituency till date.

The Punjab Election Department this evening revealed that Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate Rachpal Singh Raju filed his papers for the by-elections. Bhagwan Singh Chauhan, also belonging to the BSP, submitted his papers, but probably as his covering candidate.

The other candidates are Maha Singh Rohri and Raghu Nath — both belonging to the CPI (M). BJP candidate Mohinder Pal Singh’s name has also been announced for the Garhshankar seat. He will contest the election with SAD support. The BJP had won the Garhshankar seat in February, 2002.

As far as Kapurthala is concerned, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and BSP have already announced their candidates. But the Congress is yet to declare the name of its candidate. The party had won the seat by a margin of over 10,000 votes during the last elections.

The last date for filing nomination papers is September 22. The elections are scheduled to be held on October 13. The seats fell vacant after BJP’s Avinash Rai Khanna and Congress party’s Rana Gurjit Sodhi were elected to the Lok Sabha during the last parliamentary elections.

In a related development, Badal-led SAD today urged the Election Commission to order an independent probe into ruling Congress party’s alleged move to delete the names of 2000 electors from the list of Kapurthala voters. The party members also sought immediate deployment of central observers to curb such ‘’malpractices.’’

In their compliant to the Election Commission, SAD secretary Daljit Singh Cheema said 2000 genuine voters had been issued notices asking them to explain why their names should be not deleted from electoral rolls in view of the complaints against them.

In fact, the voters issued notices were Akali Dal supporters. Dr Cheema further alleged that a large number of bogus voters were being registered in the constituency at ruling party’s behest, he alleged.

Meanwhile, in a press statement, the CPI said it had kept “all options open” for the forthcoming by-elections to the two Assembly seats. Punjab CPI secretary Joginder Dyal said “their aim was to defeat the Akali Dal-BJP candidates.”


Opportunity knocked at Manmohan’s door twice
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
It is often said that opportunity does not knock at your door twice. But in the case of Dr Manmohan Singh it did knock twice-- once on the intervening night of June 20 and 21, 1991, and the second time on May 19, 2004.

The first time he was woken up at the crack of dawn around 5 a.m. and informed that he was the choice of the then Prime Minister , Mr P.V. Narasimha Rao, to be India's Finance Minister. The second time it was on May 19 that Mrs Sonia Gandhi decided not be Prime Minister and sprung a surprise by naming Dr Manmohan Singh.

But here is a flashback on how he became Finance Minister in 1991 and transformed the economy of the nation. Revealing the story to a TV channel in an interview, Mr P.C. Alexander, former Governor and Principal Secretary to the late Mrs Indira Gandhi, and her son, the late Mr Rajiv Gandhi, recollected how he woke up Dr Manmohan Singh on morning of June 21 to convey Mr Rao's wish.

Mr Alexander, whose book " Through the Corridors of Power," is in the thick of a controversy, said that he was called late in the evening by Mr Rao on June 20, 1991, to discuss who should be made Finance Minister. Mr Rao had two names in mind-- one of Dr Manmohan Singh and the other of Mr I.G. Patel, another eminent economist. Mr Alexander said that " as Dr Manmohan Singh was my old friend, I proposed his name." Mr Rao, who also had inclination towards Dr Manmohan Singh, immediately okayed the proposal .

" I was asked to contact Dr Manmohan Singh", said Mr Alexander. That night Dr Manmohan Singh had returned from the USA. " Around 5 a.m. I rang up at the residence of Dr Manmohan Singh and he was sleeping. I told his family member attending the phone that I have some urgent issue to discuss with Dr Manmohan Singh and that I would like to come immediately. After some time Dr Manmohan Singh came on the line and he accepted my request. I did not disclose what I had to discuss with him", said Mr Alexander.

As I reached Dr Manmohan Singh's residence, I told him that what Mr Rao wanted. Dr Manmohan Singh had some doubts which he wanted to clear before saying yes.

He asked whether politicians and the party would support him as Finance Minister ? Mr Alexander told him that he could assure that the Prime Minister would fully back him as Finance Minister. Dr Manmohan Singh accepted the offer. The same day he took oath as Finance Minster along with other Cabinet ministers.

Mr Alexander also claimed that Dr Manmohan Singh became Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission in 1985 on his recommendation.

Talking about himself, Mr Alexander said that Mr Parmod Mahajan, a senior BJP leader, had approached him on behalf of the then Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and Mr L.K. Advani to make him consensus candidate for President of India. He asked me to take into confidence the leadership of the Congress party. " As I had taken Congress support for granted, I almost agreed to be candidate".

However, contrary to my belief, the Congress cold-shouldered the proposal regarding my name. It really upset me because I had been working with top leaders of the Congress for so long". He admitted that perhaps Mrs Sonia Gandhi had stopped trusting him following extension given to him as Governor by the BJP-led Government. The impression had gone around that the Shiv Sena played the role in that extension.


Govt asks Thapar institute to fill seats
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 17
The Punjab Government today directed the Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology (TIET) to hold a third counselling at the earliest to fill around 70 seats which had fallen vacant in various engineering courses in the institute after students left it in favour of Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh.

The Technical Education Department today issued this direction after Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal made similar observations on a note prepared by the Additional Director, Technical Education, for her perusal. Sources said the Technical Education Department had conveyed this direction to the Thapar institute authorities and a personal messenger was also sent today to deliver the government direction.

It may take some time for the institute to decide on the matter. Thapar Registrar Brig Paramjit Singh (retd) said the institute was still to receive the directions. He said once these were received the matter would be referred to the Board of Governors.

It is to be seen how the institute acts on the issue as it is not getting any government aid. The sources said aid to the institute was stopped last year after the aid was reduced in a phased manner over four years.

A report prepared by the Additional Director, Technical Education, maintains that the contention of the Thapar authorities that it might fill the seats in the next academic session by inducting Punjab polytechnic students in the second year through a state lateral entry scheme was not legal. The sources said this was because only 10-12 seats could be filled under the scheme.


Bhattal for third counselling to fill vacant seats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
The Punjab Minister of Technical Education, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, has taken cognizance of the Patiala-based Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology refusing admission to students despite availability of over 60 seats in various courses.

In a directive to the secretary concerned, Ms Bhattal said the institute management be asked to conduct third counselling to fill up the vacant seats. These seats, she said in a statement today, fell vacant due to increase in the quota of Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, up to 85 per cent.

The Tribune had first reported the existence of vacant seats at Thapar on September 16.


Army expedition ends successfully
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, September 17
The 105 km rafting expedition of the Beas Brigade of the Vajra Corps of the Western Command ended successfully on the Beas river yesterday evening.

In a press note issued here, the Army authorities said the expedition consisting of 3 officers, 4 JCO’s, and 32 jawans traversed 105 km stretch across the Beas basin starting from Mirthal to Shri Hargobindpur. During the two-day expedition the jawans interacted with locals.

The expedition also recorded the presence of large number of birds like the resident sarus crane and large flocks of spot billed duck in the mand area of the Beas. They, however, failed to locate ‘gharials that at one time were present in large numbers in the Beas Mands.

The only animals they could locate were the wild boars and sambars. Two massive gray coloured cranes with black wings were spotted from distance by a team down stream Mirthal.

But from a distance they could confirm if they were the rare demoiselle cranes. The photographs of the said cranes taken from a distance were being studied to identify the variety of the cranes spotted.

The bar-headed geese have not yet arrived in the wetland of the Beas. They are expected to arrive by the time wheat sowing starts.

On the completion of the expedition, Commander Double Victory Brigade congratulated the rafting team and the engineers for their fine effort. The interaction of the expedition members with the locals was a healthy indication of the good will the Indian Army enjoyed with the people of Punjab.

The ecology study report conducted by the expedition would be sent to the Bombay Natural History Society of India to help the environmentalists.


90-year-old undergoes heart surgery
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 17
In what is claimed to be one of rarest operations of India, advanced beating heart surgery has successfully been performed on a 90-year-old farmer hailing from Sadhupur village of Amritsar district at the local BBC Heart Care hospital.

The patient, Mr Ajaib Singh, was referred to the BBC Heart Care Hospital from Amritsar with 90 per cent blockage in the left main coronary artery in addition to other blockages in the right and the left coronary arteries, claimed Dr C.S. Pruthi, Managing Director of the hospital.

Initially, relatives of Mr Ajaib Singh, who was admitted to the hospital in a serious condition on September 3, had decided to get him discharged on the very next day as his preliminary treatment had offered some relief from chest pain. As the patient was being wheeled out of the hospital, he developed severe chest pain and was rushed to the ICCU in a serious condition forcing the team of heart surgeons led by Dr Sushant Srivastava and Dr Deepak Khurana to perform the advanced beating heart surgery immediately.

“Even during induction of anaesthesia, the patient had a cardiac arrest and during the six-hour-long surgery he suffered cardiac arrest thrice but his heart was revived with open cardiac message,” said Dr Srivastava.

“I was very reluctant at the initial stage for a number of reasons and for my old age. But I gave the go-ahead when I was assured that if successful, the operation could change my life. The operation was performed on September 5 and since then I am all right,” maintained Mr Ajaib Singh.


Billa lashes out at temple management
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 17
Mr Surinder Kumar Billa, president of the All-India Hindu Shiv Sena, and Mr S.S. Sharma, social worker, today lashed out at the Durgiana Temple management for contemplating a move to “debar” them from entering the temple premises. They blamed Mr Surinder Arjun, working president of temple and general secretary of the District Congress Committee for the move.

In a statement, Mr Billa, who has been a member of the temple management committee since 1972, asserted that there was no provision in the temple constitution to debar any member from entering its premises, as all 1,290 members were life members.

He contended that Mr Arjun should not make the religious institution into a political battlefield to settle personal scores and must come out with concrete proof to support his allegations against him.

“In case of notice to him for the restriction by the temple management”, he threatened to take legal recourse in the matter. Mr Billa has been coordinating temple activities for the past 40 years and has raised some vital issues, including that of temple kar sevas, maintenances, expensive repairs, VIP awareness and electricity exemption in the temple premises.

He said the management elections had not taken place since the past 10 years.

In a separate statement, Mr S.S. Sharma, stated that he was not against Durgiana Temple. He said he was against the alleged illegal activities of the temple management and would continue to expose them.


Zila Parishad seeks police help to realise rent
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, September 17
The zila parishad is facing an acute fund crunch which is hitting its development projects. It has failed to realise Rs 41.5 lakh from shops rented out to private persons. The zila parishad has rented about 300 shops to private persons against lease or rent agreements. However, shopkeepers have not being paying the rent. The authorities have written to the Deputy Commissioner Harjit Singh to provide them with police help for getting the rent realised or get the property vacated.

The authorities said the construction of a bus stand was one of the major projects and it was getting delayed because of the paucity of funds.

The zila parishad has also not been able to realise the Rs 25.5 lakh earned from the sale of its land. After the sale of the land, the amount was deposited with the government treasury by the district administration. However, the treasury, due to a fund crunch in the state, has not released the amount to the zila parishad.

The MP, Mr Vinod Khanna, had given a grant of Rs 5 lakh to the zila parishad in the last financial year. Out of that, only Rs 3.5 lakh has reached the parishad.


Traffic jam, mishaps a regular feature
Rajbir Sekhon

Bathinda, September 17
Even as the number of vehicles have been increasing in this city, chaos and road accidents have become a regular feature.
Though the authorities claim that they are putting in their best to regulate the traffic, traffic lights put up in front of the local bus stand have been non functional for the past six months.

The plight of the traffic management can be judged from the fact that not a single day goes without road accident. For the past few years, a number of people have been killed in accidents. It is not only due to the increasing number of vehicles, but also the bad shape of roads.

Interestingly, only 20 traffic personnel are managing the entire traffic in the city. These traffic personnel are performing their duties from 8 am to 8 pm with a rest of two hours daily. Not only this, the main roads here have been facing traffic of heavy vehicles, as there is no ring road to divert it.

Traffic jams have become a routine feature in front of local railway station, near AC Market, Amrik Singh Road and near MSD School. Besides, the main markets of this city is also facing a similar problem.

Information gathered by this correspondent revealed that traffic experts, who were engaged by the district civil and police authorities for making plan to regulate the traffic, have pointed out that a large section of roundabouts, which were set up for the facelifting of the city, has become a major source of bottlenecks. The experts have recommended the removal and redesigning of certain roundabouts.

Mr Kapil Dev, SSP, said a traffic advisory committee had been constituted to manage the traffic in a better way and to make its flow smooth. Some of the recommendations of the advisory committee had been sent to the departments for their implementation.

He pointed out that it was not possible to manage the traffic by increasing the number of traffic police personnel. The time had come when the traffic sense should be inculcated among the people.

He said efforts were on to execute the ring road project at the earliest to divert a major part of the vehicles. 


KLF militant accused of murder
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 17
The Patiala police today brought Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) militant Harnek Singh Bhap to the city and presented him in a local court alleging he was responsible for the murder of a tobacconist in 1991.

The prosecution claimed that the tobacconist had been murdered in 1991 and a case had been registered in this regard in the Sadar police station under Sections 302,34 of the IPC.

It said when the news of Bhap’s arrest was broadcast on television, a viewer had come forward to claim that Bhap was responsible for the murder.

Meanwhile, the accused’s lawyer Brijinder Singh Sodhi said that Bhap had been arrested on August 12 and was kept in illegal confinement for three days before the news was made public. He said after August 15, the alleged militant had been in police custody. He alleged the police was trying to dispose off old cases by accusing Bhap of being involved in them. Adding he said there was no mention of the appearance of the assailant in the FIR registered after the death of the tobacconist. 


Tributes paid to Kanjhla’s wife
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 17
Besides thousands of persons, leaders of various political parties, including the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the SAD (Longowal), the Congress, the CPM and the CPM Punjab (Pasla group), today attended the “bhog” ceremony of Mukhtiar Kaur, wife of Sherpur MLA Gobind Singh Kanjhla, at Kanjhla village, 12 km from here. She died on September 8.

Prominent among others who paid tributes to the deceased on the occasion were Mr Parkash Singh Badal, former Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, MP from Sangrur, Mr Manpreet Singh Badal, MLA, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, former Punjab Finance Minister, Mr Baldev Singh Mann, secretary-general of the SAD (Longowal), Mr Jasbir Singh Advocate, former Punjab minister, and Mr Kewal Singh Dhillon, vice-president of the PPCC.

Mr Gaganjit Singh Barnala read a condolence message, sent by Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, Governor, Andhra Pradesh. The condolence messages were also sent by Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, and Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister. 


DTH service to start soon
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 17
Viewers of all Indian states, barring the Andaman and the Nikobar Islands, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan and Afghanistan, would be able to view about 30 channels, with good audio and video quality, on the DD Direct Plus, the DTH service of the Parsar Bharti within a month.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Fayaaz Shaharyar and Mr A.K. Tiku, the Director and the Superintending Engineer of Doordarshan, Jalandhar, said that the testing of the DTH service was in progress and apart from 30 channels, viewers would be able to enjoy 20 channels of radio through a 60 cm dish with the help of a set top box. “No fee would be charged. They would have to spend between Rs 3,000 to Rs 3500 for the dish.


PSEB reduces power cuts
Our Correspondent

Patiala, September 17
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) today reduced power cuts following a two-day spell of rain as well as increased trading of power.
The power cuts have been reduced from five hours to three hours for category 1 feeders (mixed urban/industrial) while cuts have been reduced from four hours to two hours for category-II feeders (industrial).

Similarly for main cities cuts have been reduced from four hours to two hours. In addition to this, the peak load hours restrictions on category-III feeders arc/induction furnaces have been reduced from five hours to three hours normal. Along with this, eight-hour power supply would be made available to agricultural consumers and three-hour power supply from 5 am to 8 am and 7 pm to 10 pm to rural domestic consumers would be given.

There shall be no power cuts on three phase-three wire and three phase-four wire rural feeders subject to availability. 


PSEB staff assert right to oppose unbundling
Our Correspondent

Patiala, September 17
The PSEB Employees Joint Forum today criticised a statement issued by the state Finance Minister that the employees had no right to oppose the unbundling and privatisation of the board.

The forum said they had every right to oppose the imposition of the World Bank-based model that had “miserably failed” in eight states and had led to burden on the public in the form of increased tariff and enhanced subsidies. They added that even power-sector experts were against the unbundling of power boards.

The general secretary of the forum, Mr Davinder Singh, alleged that the statement of Finance Minister Surinder Singla that the government was paying a salary bill of Rs 1,700 crore annually for the PSEB was misleading. He said the government had not given any budgetary support to the board for the past 10 years.

Meanwhile, the circle-wise dharna in front of the PSEB headquarters today entered the eighth day.


DSP quarrels with HC security staff
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 17
A Punjab Police Deput Superintendent of Police was yesterday involved in a fracas on the Punjab and Haryana High Court premises.
Trouble began when Deputy Superintendent of Police Gurjit Singh was asked by security personnel posted at gate No.1 of the High Court to deposit his mobile before entering the courtroom.

However, the officer, who was in civil dress, entered into an argument with the security staff and allegedly misbehaved with a womanon the staff. the police from the Sector 3 police station was called for help.

At the police station, the Deputy Superintendent of Police apologised , following which he was let off. No case was registered.


High Court
Girl traced
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 17
The warrant officer, deputed by Mr Justice S.S. Saron of the High Court, rescued a 14-year-old girl from the illegal custody of the Amritsar police.
During hearing in a petition filed by one Harbhajan Kaur, seeking directions to the Amritsar police to release the girl, Lachami, from illegal detention, the court appointed a warrant officer to raid the police stationin Division B, Amritsar, where the girl was allegedly being confined.

The petitioner had informed the court that in a bid to force the family to produce one Dilip Singh, father of the girl, earlier her brother had been illegally detained. Later, the girl was also kept in custody .


4-year term for Head Constable

Moga, September 17
The Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr Sukhdev Singh, sentenced a head constable to four-year imprisonment and Rs 5,000 fine for graft. Sources said Head Constable Surjeet Singh had taken a bribe of Rs 400 from Amarjeet Singh for not arresting him. The Vigilance Bureau had caught him while accepting the bribe.


Supply of good quality seeds assured 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
Mr R.S. Jaura, Vice-Chairman of the Punjab Agro Foodgrains Corporation, said here yesterday that he would ensure the supply of good quality seeds and fertilisers at reasonable prices to farmers in Punjab.

Talking to mediapersons after taking charge as Vice-Chairman of the corporation, Mr Jaura said he would go to Delhi shortly to discuss setting up of new agro-based projects in the state.

Those who attended his formal installation at the corporation office include Mr Avtar Singh, Mr Sardool Singh, Mr Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Ms Gurkanwal Kaur, ministers, Mr B.I.S. Chahal, Adviser to the Chief Minister, and Mr Tatpal Singh, brother of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh.


Veterinary Officer caught taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, September 17
Dr Balwinder Singh, Veterinary Officer, Veterinary Hospital, Malout, was caught red-handed by a team of Vigilance Bureau while he was accepting a bribe of Rs 800 from Mehnga Singh, a resident of Phulewala village, for giving him a post-mortem report in connection with the death of a buffalo owned by the complainant.

Mr Raminder Singh said that Dr Balwinder Singh had demanded Rs 1,000 as bribe for issuing the post-mortem report to Mehnga Singh. Mehnga Singh had given Rs 200 as advance payment to the accused and the rest of the amount was to be given today.

He said on a complaint lodged by Mehnga Singh, a trap was laid and Dr Balwinder Singh was arrested while accepting bribe in the presence of government and shadow witnesses. A case in this connection had been registered.


Two killed in road accident
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 17
Two persons, including a woman, were killed and another was injured when a mini-bus belonging to an eye hospital collided with a rickshaw early this morning.
The injured was admitted to a private hospital here and the bodies of the deceased were handed over to their relatives after post mortum. A case was registered at Civil Lines police station. However, no arrest has been made so far.

The deceased were identified as Parkash Kaur (55), a resident of Sultanwind Road here, and rickshaw pullar Sukhdev of Bihar.


One killed, six injured in accident
Tribune News Service

Moga, September 17
The police has registered a case of murder in the accident that occurred near Raunta village. A person was killed and 6 others were injured in the accident.
Sources said that SAD leader Gurmail Singh Khai and his supporters were travelling in a jeep yesterday when a speeding truck coming from the opposite direction collided with their vehicle. Barjinder Singh was killed in the accident and 6 others were injured.

They were referred to the Civil Hospital here. On the basis of Ajmer Singh Kaka’s statement, the police has registered a case against the truck driver and two unidentified persons under Sections 307 and 34 of the IPC.


Associate Prof skips classes for two years
Pawan Kumar

Amritsar, September 17
Dr Ashok Goel, an Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Government Medical College, here has not taken classes for the past about two years. Apart from causing loss to the college exchequer, the studies have also been affected.

This was stated in a letter by Dr Geeta Sharma, Head of the Department to Dr J.S. Dalal, Principal of the medical college. She alleged that Dr Goel did not take the classes on the pretext of court case assignments or going to the Principals office for some work.

The letter, a copy of which is with The Tribune, alleged that Dr Goel had taken only three theory classes from October 23, 2002, to August 23, 2004. Last year, he did not take any class.

She urged the Principal to direct Dr Goel at his own level to take the classes.

She alleged in the letter that the teacher concerned came to the department only to mark his attendance. She said on his free day, when there was no court case, he was in a “habit” of sending leave applications either on account of urgent work or sickness, just before the commencement of MBBS theory lectures. However, she said he could be seen moving around in the department.

She said with the coming of the second batch of students, the teaching load had increased.

When contacted at his house, Dr Goel’s wife said her husband was out of station and he had not taken his mobile with him. He could not be contacted.

Dr Dalal, said he had directed Dr Goel to take classes, besides administrative assignments. He said he had told him that the student’s education should not suffer. 


3 colleges get NAAC accreditation
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 17
Three local colleges received an accreditation report from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) here today.
All the three colleges, Lyallpur Khalsa College for Women, Doaba College and Hansraj Mahila Mahavidyala, got A-plus grade from the council. Three different teams of the council were in the city in the first week of this month to inspect the colleges and interact with the students and faculty to verify the facts stated by the colleges in the reports presented earlier.

Addressing mediapersons at a press conference held at the Lyallpur Khalsa College for Women, Ms Manjit Kaur Grewal, Principal, said that even though the college had a low strength of students, the team had appreciated the fact that the college was playing a significant role in increasing the level of literacy rate in rural areas.

Mr R.P. Bhardwaj, Principal of Doaba College, said that the team had praised the college for teaching and learning practices, evaluation, research, promotion of co-curricular activities and organisational management.

Ms Puran Prabha Sharma, Principal of HMV College, gave the credit to the entire faculty that was striving to uplift the standards of the college. 


Students’ strike enters third day
Our Correspondent

Patiala, September 17
The chain strike of students of Punjabi University in front of the office of the Vice-Chancellor in protest against the alleged anti-students’ policies entered its third day today.

The students led by the Punjabi University Students Confederation (PUSC) alleged that despite several requests the varsity authorities had failed to accept the genuine demands of the students. While addressing the gathering confederation convener Gurpal Singh Dhaliwal stated that the authorities had till date not accepted their demands, including introducing Punjabi as a compulsory subject at B.Sc level, roll back of hike in the fee of NRI students and the hostel fee, providing hostel facility to students and revoking the varsity decision to introduce internal assessment in various courses being offered by the varsity.

The confederation further threatened to intensify the struggle if the administration failed to accept their demands immediately. Meanwhile, the Khasla College Students Union also organised a meeting at the college campus to extend support to the agitating students of Punjabi University.

Speaking on the occasion union leader Navdeep Singh said that there had been a massive hike in the fee of various colleges being run by the SGPC for the past two years. He added that due to this the strength of students seeking admission to these colleges was decreasing by the day.


Punjabi varsity alumni meeting today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
The first ever meeting of the alumni of Punjabi University, Patiala, will be held tomorrow (Saturday) at Punjabi University campus, Mr Jaswinder Singh, professor in charge of Alumni Affairs, said here today.

He said that after formal inauguration of the meeting at the Senate Hall, various issues of the alumni would be discussed before a cultural programme. He said that a large number of alumni who are doing well in bureaucracy, politics, administration, sports, mass media and other areas are expected to participate in the meeting.


Award in memory of artist

Patiala, September 17
A gold medal was instituted in the memory of renowned artist Tarlok Singh “Chitarlok”. The medal will be awarded to the topper of MA (Fine Arts) of Punjabi University.

While handing over the cheque for Rs 1.06 lakh to the Vice-Chancellor here today, Mr Jatinder Singh, son of Tarlok Singh, said it was the desire of his father to institute this medal.

The Vice-Chancellor, Mr Swarn Singh Boparai, while receiving the cheque thanked the Tarlok Singh family for this gesture. He appealed to other philanthropists to come forward in helping the university for the development of academic excellence in all fields.

Among others present on the occasion were Dr Param Bakhshish Singh, Registrar, Dr S.P.S. Virdi, Dean, Academic Affairs, and Dr Anil Narula, Head, Fine Arts Department. OC

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