P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Fresh schedule for admission counselling
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
Cancelling the counselling held for admissions against management quota seats in certain private dental colleges from September 13 to 17, the Punjab Government today issued a fresh schedule of counselling for these colleges.

The counselling that was scheduled to be held on September 20 and 21 in certain private ayurvedic colleges for admission against management quota seats was also cancelled today and a fresh schedule has been notified for these colleges by the state government.

The cancellation of counselling and fresh schedule has been issued in the light of the directions given by the Punjab and Haryana High Court while adjudicating the civil writ petition number 13556 and others on September 17.

The order regarding the cancellation of the counselling and fresh schedule has been issued by the Department of Medical Education and Research, Punjab. Talking to The Tribune in this connection here this afternoon, Mr Satish Chandra, Secretary of the Medical Education Department, said that he would personally supervise the admission process to be started on the basis of fresh schedule in private dental and Ayurvedic colleges. New guidelines were issued to students concerned regarding the submission of forms for admission in college(s) concerned, he added.

Candidates eligible for admission will have to apply on the college admission form to the college(s) concerned by September 22 and after that date, no fresh application forms will be entertained. The admission forms would be available in the respective colleges (i.e. in which the candidate wants to apply) and also in Baba Farid University, Faridkot (for all colleges), from September 20 to September 22 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

The colleges concerned have been asked to set up special counters to receive forms from students, who have been advised to personally submit forms keeping in view the time factor. Students have also been told to make two photocopies of the duly filled form. One photocopy may be submitted to the Registrar of Baba Farid University, Faridkot. The other photocopy may be retained by the candidate for record and carried by him or her at the time of counselling. The photocopy shall be proof of submission of the admission form.

Mr Satish Chandra said that to provide detailed information in this connection to students concerned, public notices would also be got published in certain leading newspapers. Colleges had been told to prepare the merit lists on the basis of the PMET-2004 of students, who would apply for admission. It should be displayed on the notice board. The final merit list of admission will also have to be displayed on the notice board.

Counselling for admissions in Desh Bhagat Dental College, Muktsar, and Dashmesh Institute of Dental Sciences, Faridkot, will be held at Dashmesh Institute of Dental Sciences at Faridkot on September 25, and for admissions in Luxmi Bai Institute of Dental Sciences, Patiala, and Guru Nanak Dental College, Sunam, at Guru Nanak Dental College, Sunam, on September 26. Counselling for admissions in National Dental College, Dera Bassi, will be held on its campus on September 27, and for admission in BJS Dental College, Ludhiana, on September 27. There is a separate schedule of counselling for admission in ayurvedic colleges, Mr Satish Chandra said.


Govt directed to issue ad about counselling
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Punjab Government to issue an advertisement regarding counselling to Bachelor of Dental Surgery course, along with Ayurvedic Medicine and Science course, besides Homeopathy course, on September 19.

A Division Bench of the High Court, comprising Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar and Mr Justice Surya Kant issued the directions after taking into consideration the submission of rival parties. The petitioners had earlier sought directions for quashing public notices by the state government and Baba Farid University of Health Sciences regarding counselling for admission to these courses.

The petitioners had levelled serious allegations against unnecessary interference by the government and the university in their counselling.

On the other hand, the respondents had claimed that there were serious complaints against the petitioners in the manner and modalities adopted by them for giving seats in counselling. These issues were likely to be taken up on the next date of hearing on September 20.

The Judges observed that the advertisement would notify the management quota seats which were to be filled up by the colleges, the place, the date and the time of counselling.

The advertisement would also clearly mention that the application forms could be obtained from the respective colleges or from the Registrar of Baba Farid University on or before September 22.


Cong-Akali ‘bhai-bhai’ bonhomie
P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
Political bells were set jingling by the reported “conduct’’ of the members of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha committee on public sector undertakings at Patiala on September 16, where they had gone for “inspection” of the state electricity board.

A mixture of Congress and Akali MLAs, the members, say sources, took the opportunity to break bread together, courtesy an Akali member of the committee, having spurned the dinner laid out for them by the PSEB. Such unprecedented Congress-Akali ‘’bhai-bhai’’ bonhomie, where the Congress Government was castigated in the presence of PSEB officials. This went on till around mid-night with a lady IAS officer in attendance.

The members had reached the Circuit House at Patiala from different directions on the appointed day. At hand to receive them that day were two members of the board and the secretary. In fact not finding either the Punjab State Electricity Board Chairman or the Deputy Commissioner, members expressed their displeasure and were jittery.

Sources said they then left to be with an Akali member for dinner. “I was at the dinner meeting where the Vidhan Sabha committee members and Congressmen on the board vent their feelings against the Chief Minister, the government and the board”, a political observer said, and added that it was apparent from their conduct that such open dissidence was the fallout of their political frustration.

This government-bashing by Congress MLAs and Congress members on the board was brought to the notice of the Chairman as well the Chief Minister, who was in Delhi. Sources said he had the report crosschecked and took due cognizance of the same.

Political observers also gave a different interpretation to such behaviour. They said that this was Congressmen’s way to build bridges with the Akalis to ensure all would go well, as and when the Akalis would return to power and also to thumb their nose at the Chief Minister! Some of the members of the committee were more outspoken, as they owed allegiance to a dissident leader. Perhaps, they were feeling inspired knowing the mindset of the party High Command regarding handling of the dissident activities in the state. Interestingly, at the formal ‘’inspection’’ meeting the following day, Friday, it was a smooth affair.


VB’s anti-graft drive loses sting
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 18
The much-publicised anti-corruption drive of the Vigilance Bureau has run out of steam, going by the discontinuation of surprise checking of schools and public offices.

To make matters worse, various departments have allegedly not only been sitting over cases of officials nabbed by the VB while taking bribe, but have also not accorded mandatory permission for their prosecution even after a lapse of one to three years.

Vigilance teams had created a scare among government officials by booking a number of middle- rung revenue officials like Tehsildars and Naib Tehsildars, besides teachers, for irregularities during raids on schools, revenue offices, dispensaries etc. just after the Congress came to power in February, 2002.

However, even about two years after the raids and subsequent booking of “erring and corrupt” officials under the Prevention of Corruption Act, the Vigilance authorities are still waiting for permission of respective heads of department to prosecute such officials.

Instead of going ahead with its anti-corruption drive, the VB allegedly preferred to do away with surprise checking altogether after its bitter experience in the Public Distribution System (PDS) case.

In this case, raids were conducted on ration depots of Bathinda, Jalandhar and Amritsar districts to detect the misuse of kerosene oil and sugar distributed through the PDS. The raids, conducted in February, 2003, allegedly left some Congress leaders fuming, leading to pressure on the VB to go slow.

Though Mr AP Pande, Chief Director, VB, was not available for comment, sources said raids had been discontinued immediately after verbal orders were issued from “the top” on March 3, 2003.

The VB has also failed to make any progress in the cases of at least six of the Tehsildars and Naib Tehsildars who were arrested from different parts of the state while taking bribe since February, 2002, as the Revenue Department had failed to extend the mandatory prosecution permission to the bureau.

Similar is the state of affairs in the cases of 10 government teachers and senior lecturers who were allegedly caught while giving tuitions to students. The Education Department is yet to give the prosecution permission.

No worthwhile progress has allegedly been made by the VB in those cases wherein deed writers, alleged agents of revenue officials, were booked.

No headway has been made in the cases of government doctors who were either found absent from duty or had indulged in irregularities during checking of government dispensaries between 2002 and 2003. 


MP takes up case of 2 detained Punjab traders
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
Punjab Rajya Sabha member Ashwani Kumar has taken up with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh cases of two electronic dealers of Dinanagar who have been detained in Myanmar on criminal charges following a complaint by an air-hostess.

“Prima facie, detention of both Mr Gurmeet Singh (50) and Mr Yashpal Mahajan (53) of Dinanagar in Gurdaspur, seems to be harsh and unjustified,” wrote Mr Ashwani Kumar in his letter to Dr Manmohan Singh suggesting that the Indian Embassy in Rangoon should take up the matter with the authorities concerned to secure release of Indian citizens.

Mrs Harinder Kaur, wife of Mr Gurmeet Singh, and Mrs Parveen Mahajan, wife of Mr Yash Mahajan, in their separate letters to Mr Ashwani Kumar stated that their spouses had gone to Myanamar on a promotional tour sponsored by an electronic company in recognition of good sale targets achieved by them.

Mrs Harinder Kaur says that when her husband landed at Yangon airport on September 4, he was detained by the police for allegedly sexually harassing the air-hostess on board. She said that her husband was a law abiding man and could not have dared to harass an air hostess while on board a foreign carrier.

Mrs Parveen Mahajan says that her husband has been charged on the complaint of the same air hostess alleging that he did not tighten his seat belt during the flight.

In his letter to Mr K. Natwar Singh, Mr Ashwani Kumar maintained that both Indian citizens had been detained by Myanmar authorities allegedly on the basis of false report of the air hostess of Myanmar Airways. On the face of it, charges appear to be untenable, said Mr Kumar.


Bank consortium to fund Khalsa Heritage Project
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 18
A consortium of five banks has agreed to help finance the completion of the Khalsa Heritage Project at Anandpur Sahib by giving Rs 66 crore for the purpose.

Disclosing this here today, Cultural Affairs Minister Partap Singh Bajwa said the money would be in addition to the Rs 33 crore promised for the project by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the 400th anniversary of the Prakash Utsav of Guru Granth Sahib at Amritsar last month.

Mr Bajwa said the state government had decided to take steps to complete the project quickly as it had got bogged down during the last years of the Akali - BJP rule. He said the government had now approached the bank consortium for this purpose, adding the money would be given on state guarantee.

The minister said the government was also on way to tying up with international museums to ensure the best possible display and upkeep of the museum envisaged at Anandpur Sahib. He said talks had been held in this regard with Royal Ontario Museum of Canada, besides museums of Great Britain. He said it had been decided that following signing of appropriate agreements, trained museum staff from abroad would be posted in the proposed museum at Anandpur Sahib. This staff would act as curators also till such time it was felt that the museum could be managed by local trained personnel.

The minister said efforts were on to solicit funds for the restoration of the Gobindgarh Fort in Amritsar. He said this was the only existing fort representing the Sikh rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in India. He said the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had personally taken up the matter of releasing funds for the restoration of the fort with the Prime Minister. Once the fort was restored, it was envisaged to create a Sikh heritage museum at the site which could display items from the Anglo-Sikh wars, besides weapons of the Sikh ‘raj’.

Mr Bajwa said the Darbar Sahib at Amritsar was also being brought under the heritage map. He said UNESCO South-East Asia head Imam-ul-Haq had visited the holy place under a plan which envisaged bringing the monument on the World Monument List. He said once this was done, the city would get tourists from all over the world, which would rejuvenate the ‘Majha’ area of the state.

The minister said cultural exchanges with Pakistan Punjab were also on the increase.

Artists from Pakistan were being invited to Chandigarh at year-end for a state-level cultural exchange. Besides this, the department would also be involved in the Punjab Games involving the Punjab areas on both sides of the border which were also being held this year, he added.


Congress factions trade charges
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, September 18
The conflict between the Congress groups led by the Minister for Urban Development and Housing, Mr Raghunath Sahay Puri, and the Chairman of the PTDC, Mr Ashok Sharma, came to the fore today with the rival groups trading charges.

At a press conference, the president of the Municipal Council, Mr Sarwan Kumar, alleged that municipal councillor Anil Vij tried to evade octroi yesterday. Mr Vij is also the Reliance dealer in the town.

Mr Sarwan Kumar alleged that the vehicle carrying Reliance cellphones of the Pacific company owned by Mr Vij crossed the octroi post without paying the local tax. He intercepted the vehicle and found that octroi to the tune of Rs 7,524 was being evaded.

He imposed a 21-time tax on the defaulters and asked them to pay Rs 1,58,844 as octroi. A notice for the payment of the fine was sent to Mr Vij. However, the latter allegedly misbehaved with the council employee who carried the notice.

Mr Vij also allegedly misbehaved with a private octroi contractor, Brij Mohan Kapoor. The latter has lodged a FIR against Mr Vij at the division No. 2 police station in the town, the president alleged.

Meanwhile, Mr Vij, along with other Congress councillors belonging to the Ashok Sharma group, held a separate press conference this evening. Mr Vij termed the levelling of charges against him as a political conspiracy.

He said the vehicle intercepted by the Municipal Council president carried consignments for Gurdaspur and Taran Taran, besides cellphones of his company.

However, without verifying the facts, the council president imposed fine on the entire consignment, Mr Vij alleged. The octroi for the cellphones was paid by Reliance, he claimed.

Company officials had been informed about the incident, he added.

Mr Vij also alleged that he had been highlighting malpractices in the Municipal Council. He accused the MC president of devising a ploy to harm him politically.

Mr Vibhuti Sharma, senior vice-president of the Municipal Council, Mr Panna Lal Bhatia, Mr Gulshan, Mr Bedi, Mr Ramesh and Mr Juggal Kishore were the other Congress municipal councillors who accompanied Mr Vij at the press conference.


Kapurthala voters rarely re-elect leaders
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, September 18
The electorate of the Kapurthala Assembly constituency, whose byelection is scheduled for October 13, has alternately been opting either for the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party combine or the Congress in Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections in the past. Voters have rarely chosen an MLA or an MP of the same party twice.

The Assembly seat fell vacant with the elevation of Kapurthala MLA and Congress leader Rana Gurjit Singh to Parliament during the 2004 Lok Sabha elections after defeating Mr Naresh Gujral of the SAD.

According to poll statistics, the electorate has virtually never voted for the same party or combine in succession since 1972, when Kirpal Singh Dhillon of the Congress had defeated S. Sukhjinder Singh of the erstwhile Akali Dal-Janata Party combine.

The Bholath Assembly segment was carved out of the Kapurthala Assembly constituency during the 1976 delimitation process. In 1977, the seat was bagged by Seth Hukum Chand of the erstwhile Akali Dal-Janata Party combine. The 1980 Assembly elections saw Raghbir Singh of the SAD emerging victorious, while in 1985, Congress candidate Kirpal Singh Dhillon was once again the winner.

In 1992, when just about 25 per cent of the voters dared to go to polling booths for fear of militants, Gulzar Singh, a Congress candidate who was handpicked by the late Beant Singh, managed to win by garnering 10,710 of a total of 24,473 votes polled.

In the 1997 elections, Raghbir Singh of the SAD-BJP recorded victory by fetching 32,405 of a total of 69,665 votes polled. His nearest rival, Gulzar Singh of the Congress, got 20,150 votes.

During the 2002 Assembly elections, it was the turn of the Congress to claim the seat as its candidate, Rana Gurjit Singh, defeated his nearest rival, Raghbir Singh of the SAD-BJP combine, by 10,125 votes.

During the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, when Rana Gurjit Singh defeated arch-rival Naresh Gujral of the SAD, Rana’s big lead shrunk to just about 250 votes in the Kapurthala Assembly segment.

The byelection is likely to be an interesting contest for both the SAD-BJP and the Congress. Despite a sizeable Dalit electorate, the BSP has not been able to do well as the tilt of Dalit voters, particularly the Balmikis, has been more or less towards the Congress in the past.


Lali will be CPI candidate from Garhshanker
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
The Punjab CPI will put up Mr Baljit Singh Lali as candidate for the byelection in the Garhshanker Assembly constituency. This was announced here yesterday by Dr Joginder Dayal, secretary of the Punjab unit of the CPI.

Dr Dayal said that the CPI had a natural claim over this seat as it had put up its candidate in thisconstituency during the last Assembly elections when the party had electoral alliance with the Congress. He said that the CPM had put up its candidate for the Garhshanker constituency this time without consulting the CPI. He was of the view that all secular and democratic forces should unite to defeat the SAD-BJP ''communal'' alliance's candidate in Garhshanker.

He said the meeting of the state council of the CPI was held on September 15 and 16 here to chalk out the programme for hosting the national congress of the party here from March 29 to April 3. He said that about 800 delegates from various states would participate in the congress.


Badal flays Cong govt at gurdwara fair
Tribune News Service

Matta (Faridkot), September 18
Political parties were at their best yesterday to exploit the religious platform during the annual fair at Guru ki Dhab Gurdwara. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) took the lead with top party leaders, including its chief Parkash Singh Badal, addressing the gathering.

Addressing the rally, Mr Badal said Punjab’s populace was lamenting the day when the Amarinder government came to power.

He said developmental works had come to a halt and the state government was not even giving pensions to various sections of society.

He said the Congress government had promised to give Rs 11,000 under the Shagun Scheme, but had not given a penny to anyone under the scheme till now.

He said there was no law and order in the state. He said the Congress had not fulfilled even a single promise mentioned in its manifesto.

He said the Congress government had promised that the farmers would get free power supply for their tube-wells and free water supply from canals, but it did nothing.

He said the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, was not bothered about the state’s interest.

Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, MP, said that successive Akali regimes in the state had worked for the interests of farmers. He said the days of the Congress government in the state were numbered and the Akali rule would soon be back.


DCC chief causes ‘ruckus’
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 18
Mr Inderjit Singh Baserke, District Congress Committee President (Rural), reportedly caused a ruckus in the District Education Office here yesterday.

Following the alleged misbehaviour of the DCC President, the educational staff resorted to a dharna at the DEO office.

According to reports, Mr Baserke, along with 10 supporters, asked the staff about the whereabouts of the DEO, Mr Yashpal Mehra. On knowing about his absence, he started using abusive language for the DEO in his absence. When it was objected to, he, it is alleged, manhandled a staff member of office. He continued to use abusive language and left the place.

Following his departure, the staff under the banner of Ministerial Staff Association and teachers’ organisations staged a dharna to record their protest and marched to the SSP’s office to lodge their complaint. They threatened to intensify their agitation in case the FIR was not registered.

Mr Baserke, however, refuted the allegations and said he did not use any abusive language. He said he had only gone to the office to lodge his protest against an incomplete task.


‘Ho Rahega Kuch Na Kuch’ staged
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 18
Staging of the play ‘Ho Rahega Kuch Na Kuch’ on the first day of the National Theatre Festival, moved viewers. The play portrayed a sensitive relationship between a mother and a daughter. It was staged at the Urvi auditorium of BBK DAV College for Women here, last evening.

The 10-day festival is being organised by the Manch-Rangmanch, Amritsar, in collaboration with BBK DAV College. It was dedicated to the late J.N. Kaushal, a noted writer and producer.

Written and directed by Mohan Maharishi, the play tells the story of a Christian family. It revolves around two characters Lucy and her daughter Jessy. Anjala Maharishi plays the role of the mother while Balpreet characterises Jessy.

In the family of two, Jessy is mentally ill and receives fits occasionally. Her husband has divorced her and her friends have deserted her. Jessy lives with her widowed mother.

Unable to bear the mental trauma Jessy decides to commit suicide and informs her mother her intention. The extreme decision of her daughter frightens Lucy. Subsequently, they are involved in a discussion in which both exchange logic and counter logic. Eventually, Jessy pulls the trigger of her father’s pistol and kills herself.

Maharishi said he wrote this play after being inspired by award-winning American playwright Marsha Norman’s text. He said the play shifted to realism at a time when the theatre movement was actually away from it. The play delineated the story of a mother and a daughter marginalised by a success-oriented society.


Durgiana Temple to have solar power station
Rashmi talwar

Amritsar, September 18
Sri Durgiana Temple may become the first temple in north India to install a solar energy power station. Mr Rajesh Soni of a private firm conducted a survey for an estimate of four stations of 5 KV each to be installed on the temple premises.

The stations would be non-polluting and produce 20 KV electricity.

At present, the temple requires 35 KV of electricity to meet its daily needs, Mr Surinder Arjun, working president of the temple committee management, said here on Wednesday. A fifth station would be installed in the second phase, he said.

The temple management is paying Rs 1.25 lakh as monthly electricity bills. Each of the four stations will cost Rs 1.5 lakh at a subsidised rate.

“Other than cutting costs, the solar station would require no major maintenance and will provide electricity even during overcast skies,” Mr Arjun said.

The stations will work for at least 80 years. The first solar station will provide power to Laxmi Narayan Mandir and later will be extended on to other areas on its premises.

Meanwhile, the first water-recharging system on the Durgiana temple premises also becomes operational today. The environment-friendly system costing about Rs 50,000 will take the sarovar water deep into the earth for the purpose of recharging the groundwater.

The Durgiana Committee in its executive meeting held here decided to form a developmental committee to accelerate the pace of work in the historic temple.


Closure of operation theatres hits medicare
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 18
Medical services in the district have been affected adversely by the closure of operation theatres at civil hospitals in Bathinda, Talwandi Sabo and Rampura Phul in the past week.

Two operation theatres at the local civil hospital were closed by the authorities concerned as these got infected because sewage pipes started leaking and swap culture was found positive. The operation theatre of the Civil Hospital, Talwandi Sabo, was not being used for the past many months as no surgeon had been posted in that hospital by the Punjab Government.

The operation theatre at the Civil Hospital, Rampura Phul, which had been catering to the needs of patients residing in the town and about 50 neighbouring villages, has been closed after swap culture was found positive.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that due to the closure of the operation theatres at these three hospitals, poor patients were left with no option but to get “ expensive” treatment from private hospitals dotting the region. On an average, these operation theatres had been doing 200 surgeries per month. These operation theatres had also been handling emergency and accident cases.

These hospitals and other health centres being run by the Punjab Government and Punjab Health System Corporation (PHSC) in the district have also been facing acute shortage of doctors and members of paramedical staff.

Dr Yash Pal Singla, Civil Surgeon, said the hospital authorities had to close the operation theatre immediately after it was found infected. He said the lives of patients who underwent surgeries could not be compromised. The operation theatre could be put to use only after it was disinfected.

He said he had taken up the matter pertaining to the acute shortage of staff with the higher authorities so that vacancies could be filled at the earliest and people could be provided with good medical care at every health centre. The Civil Hospital, Rampura Phul, has been functioning without a blood transfusion officer (BTO).

Dr Singla pointed out that he had also written to the higher authorities for posting a BTO at the blood bank in Rampura Phul at the earliest.


Dramas on female foeticide staged
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, September 18
Four dramas were staged on the second day of the Sheikh Farid Punjabi Drama Festival. A large number of city as well as rural folks enjoyed the Punjabi dramas at Darbar Ganj Complex.

Patiala Art Theatre was the first to stage its drama”Chhipan to Pahila”, which was based on a patriotic theme.

The drama revolved around the life of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and his associates who sacrificed their lives for their motherland. “Jag Janani”, a drama presented by the artistes of Nehru Yuva Kendra, Faridkot, highlighted the need to check female foeticide and eliminating gender bias.

The third drama, “Chhavia Di Rut” by Punjab Art Club, Faridkot, was based on the Partition and it underlined the fact that all religions in the world give the message of love and peace.

Major Ajaib Singh College for Women, Jeewanwala, presented a play, “Sirjna”, which again was based on the problem of female foeticide. The drama held women equally responsible for the declining number of girls.


TB check-up camp organised
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 18
Quackery and lack of awareness among the masses, especially in the rural areas, are among the major causes of spreading tuberculosis (TB) and complicating other chest diseases, like asthma, pneumonia, etc. About 50 per cent patients suffering from TB and various other chest diseases consult quacks for months before coming to qualified doctors.

This was the point stressed by Dr Surinder Singla, Medical Officer In charge, District TB Centre, Sangrur, at a free TB and chest diseases awareness-cum-check-up camp, organised by the Dr B.R. Ambedkar Club in a dharamshala at Bhawanigarh, about 20 km from here, on Thursday.

More than 250 persons, suffering from various chest diseases, were examined by a team of doctors. The investigation of blood, urine and sputum of the patients were done free of cost. Medicines were also given to the patients by the club free of cost.

Dr Singla told the gathering that one undetected or incompletely treated patient of TB could infect 10 to 15 healthy persons with TB germs in a year.

Dr A.S. Azad, SMO, Primary Health Centre, Bhawanigarh, urged people to take maximum advantage of the government’s revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) by getting diagnosis and treatment of TB free of cost at the nearest government health centre.


Man saves girl from being raped
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, September 18
An alert businessman rescued a four-year-girl from an alleged rapist last night.

Mr Brij Mohan Kapoor, a jeweller, was walking near Maharaja Ranjit Singh Municipal Library here last night when he heard a girl crying for help. He rushed to the area behind the library and loudly said, “what is happening”. At this, the man fled away.

Mr Kapoor said the child was naked and there was blood on her body. He provided her with clothes and took her to the Civil Hospital.

According to Mr Manminder Singh, SP (City), since the parents of the victim did not want to pursue the case, the police has not registered a case.

According to sources, the victim along with her mother had gone to attend a religious procession and the culprit lured away the child on the pretext of providing her sweets.


Literary function in memory of Pash
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
A literary function will be organised at Desh Bhagat Yadgar hall tomorrow in memory of Pash, eminent revolutionary Punjabi writer, who was killed by militants in March, 1988. The programme is being organised by International Pash Memorial Trust.

Prof Jagdamba Parshad Dixit from Mumbai will present a paper on the contribution of Pash to Punjabi and Hindi literature. Mr Balbir Madhopuri of Delhi will also present a paper regarding Pash’s political thought.

Among others who would participate in the discussion regarding Pash’s literary contribution include Dr Parminder Singh, Dr Harbhajan Singh Bhatia, Dr Atamjit, Dr Rajnish Bahadur, Dr Gurikbal, Dr Bhim Inder Singh, Dr Jaspal Singh, Dr Sukhminder Singh Randhawa, Dr Surjit and Dr Tejinder Virli.

A “kavi darbar” will also be held in his memory.

Mr Gursharan Singh, Mr Surinder Dhanjal, Mr Jagir Joshan and Amolak will pay host to all those participating in the programme.


Release of all bulls in custody ordered
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, September 18
Mr Kuljit Pal Singh, Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Rajpura, today granted the release of 465 bulls, stranded at Ghaggar railway station in Mubarikpur village, on “supardari”. Following the death of one bull on Friday, the actual number now is 464. The applicant has also been asked to furnish a supardari bond of Rs 5 lakh with the same amount as surety with the court.

In addition to this, the magistrate has also directed the applicant not to move the bulls out of the jurisdiction of the Rajpura court. The Station House Officer of Dera Bassi has been ordered to release the bulls after getting each bull photographed to establish the identity of each animal. The expenditure on photographs should borne by the applicant.

Earlier, defence counsel of Sher Khan, a cattle transporter, had moved an application before the court seeking the release of the bulls on supardari. Counsel had claimed that the bulls were to be transported out of the state for agriculture purpose with the permission of the District Magistrate.

He claimed that activists of the Vishva Hindu Parishad, the Cow Raksha Dal and People for Animals had misrepresented the fact to the authorities and forced the administration to book the cattle transporters, Sher Khan, Haji Iqbal Ahmed, Haidev Ali and Allias, residents of Muzzafarpur in Uttar Predesh, under Section 4 (A) of the Punjab Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act.


Two-year term for telecom officers
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 18
The CBI Special Magistrate today awarded a two-year concurrent punishment each to a Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) and a Junior Telecom Officer (JTO) of Phagwara, for demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 500 each from a person who wanted to start a STD/PCO service.

Special Judge G.S. Gill awarded both of them two-year imprisonment under Sections 13 and 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and one year imprisonment under Section 120(b) of the IPC, besides fining them Rs 5,000 each.

However, they will serve the term of two years only as they run concurrent.

The SDO, Ajit Singh, and the JTO, Harjinder Singh, both of the Telecom Department, Phagwara, were accused of demanding Rs 500 each from one Lakhwinder Singh who wanted to start a PCO booth in 2000. Both of them were caught while accepting the bribe. Later the case was handed to the CBI which had filed a chargesheet in the case two years ago.


Paddy procurement arrangements complete
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 18
Arrangements for the smooth purchase of paddy in all 31 purchase centres in the district have been completed, said Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, after presiding over a meeting of officials of purchase agencies to review the arrangements.

He said 4.60 lakh metric tonnes of paddy was expected to be brought to purchase centres compared to 4.53 lakh metric tonnes last year. He said a target of 1 lakh metric tonnes had been allotted to the Department of Food Supplies, 71,500 metric tonnes to Markfed, 92,800 metric tonnes to PUNSUP, 92,700 metric tonnes to Punjab Warehousing Corporation and 56,000 metric tonnes to Punjab Agro.

He directed the purchase agencies to ensure that the farmers were paid as per the minimum support price fixed by the government, which was Rs 590 for grade I and Rs 560 for common paddy.

He said gunny bags, tarpaulin sheets, power cleaners, generators and sufficient machines for fast cleaning of paddy would be made available at all purchase centres. He said light, shelter and drinking water arrangements would also be made. He said a daily meeting of all district officers would be held at 10 am in his office. The SDMs concerned would visit the purchase centres so that no farmer would suffer from any problem regarding procurement, he added.

Mr Ahluwalia appealed to farmers to bring ripe and dry paddy in the mandis. He advised them not to indulge in night harvesting of paddy. He said orders would be issued under Section 144 to ban night harvesting by combine harvesters and violators would be strictly dealt with.


Deworming campaign for milch animals
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 18
A deworming campaign for about 25,000 milch animals in Sangrur district was launched by Milkfed here today. Mr R.K. Sharma, General Manager of the milk plant, launched the campaign at Sohi Palasour village, near Dhuri.

On the inaugural day, about 450 milch animals, belonging to 150 milk producers of the Sohi Palasour Milk Producers Cooperative Society, were administered the first deworming dose of fenbendazole salt. As many as 560 animals of two cooperative societies, Sohi Palasour and Bhojowali, were covered under the deworming campaign yesterday.


Demands of PWD staff accepted
Our Correspondent

Barnala, September 18
Threats of fast and protest dharnas by members of the PWD Field & Workshop Workers Union Public Health Barnala have ultimately resulted in the disbursement of the last month’s salary to the employees of the Public Health Department Barnala and acceptance of other demands of the union.

Disclosing this in a press note issued here today, Mr Paramjit Singh, press secretary of the union said led by Mr Malkiat Singh and Mr Kuhshminder Pal, president and secretary, respectively of the union, their struggle resulted in disbursement of salary and acceptance of union’s other demands. Jubilant over their success, Mr Karamjit Singh Bihla, union’s state president, and Mr Anil Kumar, senior vice-president, while addressing a rally termed it as the victory of the field and workshop workers unity.

Mr Paramjit Singh, further added that the workers had not been paid their salary as Executive Engineer and SDO of the Public Health Department Barnala had been arrested in a prevention of corruption case.

As they had not been granted bail by the court, the workers, too, had to face problems for no fault of their own.


Man strangles son to death
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 18
In a brutal incident, Dilbagh Singh, a resident of Manjh village, strangled his one and a half-year old son Nishan Singh to death and threw his body in a canal near Daburji village here.

The police today recovered the body and registered a case.

According to information, the accused had estranged relations with his wife. He kidnapped his son from Khan Kot village where his wife had gone to meet her sister. Later, he strangled him to death and threw his body into the canal. When the mother came to know about Nishan’s kidnapping she complained to the police and the police immediately arrested him.

The accused admitted his crime and on his disclosure the body recovered. Police sources said the accused suspected that Nishan Singh was not his son.


Patient taken away forcibly
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, September 18
As many as six unidentified persons, some of whom were in police uniform and carried firearms, forcibly took away a patient, Vishal, hailing from Dagana Kalan who was admitted to surgical ward of the local Civil Hospital at about 10 a.m. yesterday.

After taking him out from the ward, they took him to some unknown place in Tata Safari.

Mrs Savinder Kaur, mother of Vishal, has made a written complaint to the SSP, Hoshiarpur, in this connection.

When this correspondent contacted the Model Town police station, the ‘munshi’ expressed ignorance about the incident. The SSP was also not available for comment.

Dr G.P.S. Bedi, SMO, told this correspondent that Vishal was admitted to the hospital on the night of September 14, following a clash in the village. He was found absent from his bed at 11.15 a.m. yesterday morning.


CS to head PTU panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
Following the directive of Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, the governing body of the Punjab Technical University (PTU) yesterday set up a high-level committee under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Jai Singh Gill to find the solution of a particular problem being faced by a large number of students of engineering degree courses in Punjab.

The committee has been asked to find how students could be allowed to sit in an examination to clear their compartment without hindering their promotion to the next semester. There are a large number of students, whose promotion to the fifth semester has been held up as they have not cleared compartment of the first semester. Students have been agitating on this issue and seeking at least one more chance to get their compartment cleared without having any affect on their promotion to the fifth semester. Students continue to be promoted till the fourth semester and simultaneously allowed to clear their compartment in the first semester. However, if they fail to clear the compartment till the fourth semester, their promotion to the next semester is stopped.

Mrs Bhattal has assured students that if there would be need to change rules in this connection, she would ask the authorities concerned to do the needful so that students could continue their studies without any break at any level.

Meanwhile, Mrs Bhattal has sought a report regarding a Jalandhar-based institute that is running a nursing training course. Mr Bhattal has asked the authorities concerned to submit a report regarding the institute within 24 hours. A large number of students of the institute yesterday met Mrs Bhattal to complain that they had come to know that the institute was not affiliated with the Punjab Nursing Registration Council and it had got affiliation from some Chattisgarh-based educational institution.

Mrs Bhattal also assured students that the money spent by them during the past one year while studying in the institute would not be allowed to go waste.


2 students kidnapped, beaten up by transport staff
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 18
Resentment prevails among students of different colleges in the region following the kidnapping of two members of the Punjab Student Union (Shaheed Randhawa) and subsequently their thrashing by some employees of a private bus transport firm in their union office yesterday.

After lodging a complaint in the Thermal plant police station, against the transporters, the students issued a threat that if the authorities would not take any action, they would launch a massive agitation at the village level in this district.

Two students identified as Aman and Raju Sivian were allegedly beaten up by some employees of the private bus operator after they were kidnapped from the Bathinda-Sivian road. A dispute between the two students and the bus operator erupted after the students refused to pay the fare on the pretext that they had travel passes.

Mr Sukhwinder Singh, president, Area Committee, PSU (Shaheed Randhawa), in a press note issued here today, said parents of the students, along with other students, had lodged a complaint with the police.

He said money of both students was also snatched by the accused. 


Homoeopathy college Principal arrested
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 18
The police has arrested Alok Agnihotri, Principal of the Institute of Homoeopathy and Medical Education Research at Chunni, on the basis of complaint of a student of the college. He has been arrested under Sections 7 and 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Parabhjot Kaur, student of the institute, had completed her internship in the college and had been demanding her certificate of completion of course and internship, but the principal had demanded Rs 20,000 from her for handing over the certificates. Parabhjot Kaur had complained to the police and after a search of the office of principal, documents related to her completion of course were recovered.


College teachers seek inquiry against Principal
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 18
Demanding an inquiry against their Principal, teachers of the Hindu College unit of the Punjab Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) carried out a protest march from Beri Gate to Hall Gate here today.

The teachers were demanding an inquiry into the alleged misuse of funds. Prof. D. K. Walia, president Hindu College unit of the PCCTU, said they were not on strike, but trying to draw the attention of the authorities through the democratic way. He said they had organised the protest in the evening so that the studies of the students did not get affected.


Punjabi University alumni meet
Our Correspondent

Patiala, September 18
The first alumni meet of Punjabi University was organised in the Senate Hall on the campus here today.

The meet was inaugurated by the Vice Chancellor ,Mr Swarn Singh Boparai.

Mr Boparai congratulated the old students for maintaining affectionate ties with the University.

The Registrar, Dr. Param Bakhshish Singh, an old student of the university and

Dr. Jaswinder Singh, Incharge of the Association, also spoke. Some old students ,including

D. S. Guru, IAS, Mr S. K. Ahluwalia, IAS, Mr. Tara Singh Sandhu, Mr. Chanchal Manohar Singh and renowned Punjabi folk artist Paramjit Singh Pammi Bai also shared their views. Dr. SPS Virdi presented vote of thanks.


Dhawan nominated NAAC member
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
Prof S.P. Dhawan, former Principal of Government College, Ludhiana and Deputy Director, (Higher Education), Punjab, has been nominated as member of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).


Special loan schemes for varsity staff
Our Correspondent

Patiala, September 18
The State Bank of Patiala today announced special loan schemes for Punjabi University employees, including a special concession on car loans, as a prelude to the festival season.

Stating this here today, Mr K S Sandhu AGM, said the concession on car loans was being offered to university teachers as a special case. He said teachers of the school in the university premises could also avail of the concession.

Mr Sandhu disbursed loans of Rs 71 lakh to 87 persons on the occasion.

The loans were given under different schemes of the personal segment.

Mr Subhash Singla, Chief Manager of the university branch of the bank, apprised the teachers and other employees present on the occasion about the various finance schemes of the bank.

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