P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Notice to SAD for dharna without permission
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, September 27
Demanding a clarification for not having taken permission for today’s rally in front of the district administration office, the Returning Officer (RO) has served a notice on the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), claiming that the party had violated the election code of conduct.

The Akalis started dharna at 10:30 am and the RO reportedly immediately called up party workers and even the candidate, Mr Raghbir Singh, asking them to take permission for the dharna. When none follow it the RO sent a notice to the party office situated adjacent to Ramneek Chowk.

CM to visit Kapurthala today

To support Congress candidate, Sukhjinder Kaur Rana, Captain Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab, will visit the city for the second time tomorrow.

He will hold a rally at Shagun Palace, Jalandhar Road, at 10:30 am. Several ministers and senior party workers are likely to join him for the campaign.

Sources in the RO office said the party activists deputed in the office refused to accept the notice and then the notice was pasted outside the party office.

Scorching heat notwithstanding, as many as 3,000 supporters of SAD assembled outside the office to participate in the dharna. The party supporters raised slogans against the administration and blamed it of alleged connivance with the ruling party.

Mr Badal urged the voters to “come out bravely and retaliate against the wave of terror spread by Rana Gurjit Singh and his muscle men”. He alleged that Rana was trying to “befool the public” by ensuring them that industry would be expanded in the state.

He also warned the administration of resorting to any unfair practice till the elections were held.

Bibi Jagir Kaur, President, SGPC, lambasted the ruling party for depriving the public of several welfare schemes, including the Shagun scheme started by the Akalis during their regime.

She said while Mr Badal was in power, the farmers of the state were given free electricity and water supplies but the Congress government took away all such privileges that were offered to them.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh and Mr Balwinder Singh Bhunder, both general secretaries of the party, Dr Opinderjit Kaur, Mr Manpreet Badal and other senior party leaders addressed the rally.

The party held a dharna in protest against the alleged connivance of the officers in the administration with the Congress. They had also been demanding that Deputy Commissioner, Rakesh Kumar Verma, SSP, S.K. Asthana, and Returning Officer, Dilraj Singh Sandhawalia were hand in gloves with the ruling party candidate as they were making all out efforts to influence the electorate on one pretext or the other.

They had also demanded that paramilitary forces should be deputed in Kapurthala till the byelections were held. They also pointed out that poll staff from outside the state should be deputed for duty to ensure free and fair elections.

Mr Sandhawalia, SDM-cum-RO, Kapurthala, confirmed that he had sent a notice in this regard. He said he was also in the process of preparing a report to the Election Commission complaining of violation of the poll code of conduct.


CM’s helicopter makes emergency landing near Pinjore
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Following a snag in the engine, the helicopter in which Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh was flying along with his security and other staff members had an emergency landing near Pinjore this afternoon.

The Chief Minister was on his way to Chandigarh from Manali. The flying machine developed the fault when it was heading towards Chandigarh via the Pinjore aerial route. All of a sudden one of the engines went off, creating an emergency situation for the pilot. It was a twin engine helicopter of Pawan Hans make.

As the pilot noticed heavy leakage of oil from the engine, he took the instant decision to go for an emergency landing. “It was a wise decision taken by the pilot”, said Capt Amarinder Singh, talking to TNS in his office this evening. “Though the second engine was in order and we could have easily managed to fly to the air strip near Pinjore, the pilot thought that the risk was not worth taking”, said Capt Amarinder Singh looking unruffled.

“We landed safe and sound in a school ground near Nanakpur village, about 5 km from Pinjore”, he added. “I have sensible pilots and their judgement is excellent”, Capt Amarinder Singh asserted.

“In fact from Manali we flew over the Pong Dam and the Bhakra Nangal Dam to have a view of the water level in both the reservoirs. After that we were flying towards Chandigarh when the trouble in the engine started”, said Capt Amarinder Singh. He had gone to Manali on a personal visit, it is learnt.

“For a while I had a chat with school kids, teachers and other locals who had rushed to the school at Nanakpur”, he said. In the meantime, a doctor, who belongs to Barnala town and is posted at the village dispensary at Nanakpura, arrived and offered to drop me at Pinjore in his car. “I accepted the offer and reached Pinjore where my official vehicle had arrived to pick me up”, he added.

In helicopter Capt Amarinder Singh was accompanied by his security officer, Mr Khubi Ram, Dr Naresh Sharma, and one of his personal attendants.


Complaints sans affidavits not to be entertained: Bhattal
Surinder Bhardwaj

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 27
Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister and Chairman, District Planning Board, today presided over the annual planning board meeting and the district grievances committee meeting at Bachat Bhavan here today.

Addressing district officials as well as members of the committee, she said only those complaints would be entertained which would be duly supported by affidavits and no ambiguous and ordinary complaint would be entertained.

She urged the members to bring and raise only those complaints which they had verified at their own level and prima facie there was truth in the complaint. She said it was unfortunate that due to petty rivalry and groupism, people started complaining for the sake of complaints and when it was inquired, nothing concrete came out, resulting in wastage of time, energy and money of the government as well as sarpanches.

She directed the officials to work in a transparent manner and to give top priority to redressal of grievances of the people.

Appreciating the working of the Deputy Commissioner Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, she said the state required such dedicated, honest and hard-working officers and all his subordinates must learn from him. She said if all officers started working like him, half of the problems of the people would automatically be solved. She warned officials that corruption would not be spared and service of the people should be their aim. She urged the Deputy Commissioner to prepare a booklet about the ongoing and proposed development projects in the district, particularly dedicated to 300 years of the martyrdom of Sahibzadas and distribute its copies among the people so that everyone could know about the achievements of the government.

Addressing a press conference later, she refused to comment on the election of Bibi Jagir Kaur as SGPC President. She said the Fatehgarh Sahib Development Board had demanded Rs 7 crore from the government for various development projects in the district dedicated to commemoration of 300 years of Sahibzadas’ martyrdom. She said the Chief Minister had called a meeting of the board for September 29 and all projects would be finalised at that meeting. She said the state government would commemorate 300 years of the martyrdom with dedication. Answering a query, she said a campaign committee for byelections had been formed and the Congress would win both seats. She said secular parties must support the Congress to defeat communal forces.

Dr Harbans Lal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Sadhu Singh, Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, MLA, and Dr Sikandar Singh, former president, DCC, raised problems related to their areas.

Eleven complaints out of 17 were solved on the spot. Mr Ahluwalia and Mr Shiv Kumar, SSP, assured her that all the directions of the government would be implemented and transparency would be ensured. A delegation of the Beopar Mandal, led by its district president, Mr Varinder Rattan, presented a memorandum to Ms Bhattal against the atrocities of octroi contractors.

She also inaugurated the paddy procurement process in the district by purchasing a heap of paddy at a purchase centre in the district. She was accompanied by Dr Harbans Lal and Mr Ahluwalia. She was received by the DFSC and officials of all the government purchase agencies.

Ms Bhattal said earlier, the government purchase always started from October 1, but this year, paddy had started arriving in advance and farmers had been demanding start to government purchase, alleging fleecing by private traders. She said for the convenience of farmers, the Cabinet had decided to start procurement of paddy from September 27 and the government had fulfilled its promise. She said smooth procurement of paddy would be ensured and all arrangements had been completed.

Earlier, Dr Harbans Lal inaugurated the procurement process at the Bassi Pathana grain market. Accompanied by officials, he visited the grain market and held a meeting with procurement staff. He directed them to ensure that farmers were paid as per MSP.

Mr Ahluwalia inaugurated the procurement process at the Sirhind grain market. He took stock of all arrangements made for smooth procurement. He urged farmers to bring dry paddy to avoid harassment.

According to Mr Parveen Vij, District Food and Civil Supplies Controller, the procurement of paddy by various government agencies was started today at all 32 procurement centres in the district. He said 8000 metric tonnes of paddy was purchased today by private traders as well as various government agencies. He said the procurement process went on smoothly and no complaint was received.


CM to review appointments
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, said today he would review the appointments of law officers made in the office of the Advocate-General, following representations from certain advocates.

He said he had asked for a comparative statement of salary and other allowances being drawn by law officers after their fresh appointment and during their appointment last year.

He justified the appointment of over 100 law officers, saying there was large number of cases the state government was contesting.

Recently, a committee was set up under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary to determine how many law officers were required to handle these cases.

The committee had favoured reducing the number of law officers while making fresh appointments.


‘Reopen’ anti-Sikh riot cases on Godhra pattern
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
The victims of 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi have demanded that cases of killings be reopened on the pattern of the Godhra riots. The victims, a number of whom have settled here in the aftermath of the riots, told The Tribune that in order to show that the Godhra cases were not being reopened with a political motive, the United Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre should reopen the 1984 Delhi riots cases also and punish the guilty. A number of guilty were still roaming freely and enjoying positions of power, they added.

Mr Surjeet Singh, president of the Danga Peerit Welfare Association pointed out that the anti-Sikh riots cases in Delhi were disposed of hurriedly and there were hardly any convictions. He asked, “If it was miscarriage of justice in Godhra, what was it in Delhi where hundreds of murders were recorded in a single FIR”.

Mr Surjeet Singh maintained that the riot victims were not concerned with the politics of investigation. He said it was fair enough to reopen the Godhra cases as it was being believed that the victims were not getting due justice. “But what about those who were butchered on a single night with the same state support as is being alleged in Gujarat”, he pointed out, while demanding equal justice for the Delhi riot victims.

He observed that in case the UPA Government decided to reopen the anti-Sikh riots cases, it would lend credibility to its efforts of providing justice to people and in case it did not, it would only mean that this was being done with a political motive.


SSP’s guard shoots at shop worker
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 27
A Punjab policeman working at the house of the SSP, Mr A.S. Rai, today used his pistol to settle a quarrel over parking in the Dharampura bazar here. This left a shop worker with two bullet injuries and another one with pistol butt injuries on his body.

The constable had come to a shop to make some purchases in a police vehicle. He was accompanied by a police driver who ran from the spot after the firing. The constable was beaten up by shopkeepers after the incident and later handed over to the police. Both shop-keepers have been admitted to Government Rajindra Hospital.

The shopkeepers pulled down the shutters-immediately and resisted attempts by the local police to take away the police vehicle from the spot. However, they let the police take it away after an assurance that a case would be registered.

Later, a case was registered against the constable, Baldev Singh.

According to the shopkeepers, trouble started when Baldev Singh and another policeman entered a crockery shop after parking the jeep in front of a shop. A worker of the shop asked Baldev Singh to park the vehicle properly so that the entry to the shop was not hindered.

Baldev Singh refused to do so and spoke rudely, following which another worker, Som Prakash, approached him with the request. He then said he was a security guard of the SSP and that the shopkeeper could call up the traffic police and complain against him. This led to a heated discussion. He challenged them to go near the vehicle. When two workers did just that, onlookers said, Baldev Singh started hitting them with the pistol butt on the back of the head and shoulders. Later a shot was fired and the bullet hit the glass door of the shop before injuring Rangi Ram, another worker who was inside the shop.

Baldev Singh allegedly fired two shots and four cartridges were recovered from him.

The shop owner claimed that though Rs 5,000 was recovered from the police personnel on the spot, the police had shown the recovery amount of around Rs 350.

Mr Rai said only one shot had been fired and the two injuries inflicted on Rangi Ram could be due to a splinter from the bullet.

He claimed that the police personnel had, during preliminary investigation, claimed that the pistol had fallen during the quarrel, resulting in accidental fire.


Crucial SGPC meeting on Oct 4
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 27
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee chief, Bibi Jagir Kaur, has convened a meeting of the executive body for October 4, here.

Though the Shiromani Akali Dal President ,Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has reportedly directed the SGPC chief not to touch any ticklish matter for the time being, she would be under pressure from members to reverse the controversial decisions taken by her predecessor, Mr Alwinderpal Singh Pakhoke.

Many steps taken by Mr Pakhoke in his capacity as working president were already described as ‘unconstitutional’ by the Chief Gurdwara Election Commission (CGEC).

Though the CGEC had said that the SGPC had become ‘defunct’ after 15 members were coopted yet the working president ordered many promotions, transfers and postings. So much so that the SAD chief, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had also taken notice of the arbitrariness on the part of the working president and had directed him to obey the directives of the CGEC.

The most controversial promotion was that of Mr Raghbir Singh as secretary. He was promoted by the ‘defunct SGPC’ and the orders were kept ‘secret’ for more than a fortnight. Mr Raghbir Singh is a close confident of the ‘Brahmpura group’ which has totally been wiped out in the new SGPC.

Mr Raghbir Singh had worked as personal assistant to both Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar and Mr Pakhoke.

It is yet to be seen whether the forthcoming meeting of the executive meeting takes any decision to revert him as additional secretary or not. Similarly, the previous working president promoted three officials as assistant secretaries who are undergraduate.

Though hundreds of employees, who were recruited by the past presidents, including Mr Badungar, Mr Pakhoke and even Bibi Jagir Kaur (during her previous term) were sacked during the tenure of Jathedar Gurcharn Singh Tohra, yet more than 200 more employees were employed during the past six months, causing a huge loss to the SGPC exchequer.

The financial, condition of many gurdwaras especially Tarn Taran, had become precarious after the demise of Jathedar Tohra.

It is learnt that the gurdwara management of a district had urged the SGPC to sanction Rs 10 lakh as advance so that it could pay the salaries of the staff and clear dues.


Sikh body stays put on turban issue
Our Correspondent

Patiala, September 27
The Sikh Nation Organisation (SNO) today refused to accept any compromise on the right to wear turban and religious symbols and decided to intensify its stir against turban ban by the French Government. The organisation urged the French Sikhs to refuse any concession by the French Government to fund education of their children in private schools and offered to fund their education with the help of Sikh saints and voluntary organisations.

The president of the SNO, Dr Manjit Singh Randhawa, said the SNO would leave no stone unturned to restore the right to wear turban, religious dress and symbols of French Sikh students.

In a petition submitted to Mr Jean Ping, president of the, 59th UN General Assembly and Mr Valeriy P. Kuchinsky, Chairman, Social Humantarian and Cultural Committee for UN General Assembly’s 59th session, the UNO requested for urgent intervention of the UN to protect the human rights of school-going children in France. 


SGPC plea to PM on attack on Pak Sikhs
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 27
Even as SGPC has taken a serious view of the attack on Sikhs and ransacking of their business establishments at Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, the Government of Pakistan has claimed that the situation is well under control and Sikhs were not facing any sort of threat to their life and properties there.

Bibi Jagir Kaur, SGPC chief, urged the Prime Minister and President of India to immediately take up the matter with their Pakistani counterparts to ensure safety of Sikhs living there.

However, talking to TNS, Mr Izhar-ul-Hassan, Additional Secretary, Pakistan Evacuee Properties Trust Board (PEPTB), said though the students of a college of Nankana Sahib pelted stones on the few houses or shops belonging to the Sikhs, senior officials of the administration immediately rushed to the spot (Nankana Sahib). He said life was normal in Nankana Sahib and the persons who tried to create trouble would be taken to task. Giving details, Mr Hassan said the trouble started when students got agitated over a proposal to transfer the college land to the local gurdwara for constructing serais for the Sikh pilgrims. However, the administration promised the students to shift the college to a new building.

Mr Hassan said minorities in Pakistan were safe and nobody would be allowed to take law into their hands. He claimed that there was no damage to properties of the Sikhs in Nankana Sahib as he had personally visited the historic town to assess the law and order situation there.

Mr Harwinder Singh Sarna, general secretary, Shiromani Akali Dal, Delhi, appreciated the timely action taken by the government of Pakistan to bring the situation under control.

Mr Sarna said he had talked to the Sikhs in Pakistan who had also appreciated the role of the administration at Nankana Sahib in ensuring safety of life and properties of the Sikhs. He said Sikhs in Pakistan were in high spirits.


Johl’s report on giving boost to economy under study
P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Thanks to the indifference of the political executive and bureaucracy, the report on diversification in agriculture by Dr S.S. Johl, submitted to the government in October, 2002, has been consigned to the dustbin of history. Even his 1985 report on the same issues has remained under wraps.

Incidentally, both reports were commissioned by Capt Amarinder Singh.

Nevertheless, unfazed by the unholy treatment meted out to his 2002 report, Dr Johl, who is the Vice-Chairman of the State Planning Board, has submitted yet another proposal to the Chief Minister. It is on how to partially implement diversification in agriculture proposals and save the Punjab State Electricity Board of heavy financial loss on purchasing power to sustain the paddy crop.

The electricity board Chairman, Mr Y.S. Ratra, is having the proposals examined. Dr Johl, it is learnt, has suggested how to partially recover the cost of purchasing electricity, which in turn is diverted to the non-paying agriculture sector from the paying industrial and domestic sectors. This is because of the flat rate
system for supply to tubewells.

Power purchase is a costly proposition. This year alone, said Mr Ratra, the board had spent over Rs1, 30 crore on buying power from other sources.

It is estimated that Punjab will end up by buying power worth Rs 2,000 crore this year. Add to Rs 6,000 crore by way of social cost, excluding the cost incurred by the farmers.

Mr Ratra said it was suggested that a careful “khasra girdawari” be done, specially listing every field where the rice was grown this year.

Next year, based on the field data on “khasra girdwari”, farmers in central districts, to begin with, where the problem was more pronounced, should be offered Rs 4,000 per acre according to acreage under rice this year before April 15.

The only undertaking the farmers should be asked to furnish was that they would not sow paddy in 2005 kharif. For one million hectares diverted it would cost the state only Rs 1,000 crore.

All such farmers should be encouraged to sow oilseeds, pulses, maize etc. Since the Punjab Agro Foodgrains Corporation is the nodal agency, let it enter into an agreement with farmers, assuring them of procuring their produce at a remunerative price.

Such a step, it was expected, could save at least one-fourth of water and electricity at present being consumed in paddy. Thus, by diverting purchased electricity from the non-paying sector, agriculture, to the paying sector, industry and domestic consumers, it would fetch the state or the board Rs 400 crore additional revenue.


PUDA revises norms for colonisers
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 27
The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has revised the various guidelines laid down for colonisers undertaking development and sale of private colonies in the state.

According to the changed guidelines, among other facilities, a coloniser would have to provide adequate space for outdoor sports facility, a community centre, a school and a dispensary in the colony.

Sources in PUDA said this decision was taken following recommendations to this effect made by a committee constituted to revise the norms and standards concerning colony layout for issue of licence under the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act 1995. The recommendations of the committee were approved the Competent Authority on September 21, and are binding on all new applications for issue of licences to colonisers.

The committee, sources pointed out, recommended that a colony with gross area upto 10 acres would provide at least .2 acres of area for one nursery school. For a colony that is of 10 acres to 20 acres gross area would provide .5 acres of area for a school. A colony built on 20 to 30 acres would have to set aside 1 acre of land for a school. In colonies of the size between 30 acres to 40 acres, the coloniser would keep at least 1.5 acres of land for a school and for a colony of size between 40 acres to 50 acres, at least 2 acres of land would be kept aside for a school site. For a colony more than 50 acres of size, the norms laid down for smaller colonies would be repeated.

A coloniser who has developed a colony in more than 50 acres of land would also provide for a dispensary site in at least .5 acre of land. Another .5 acre would have to be set aside for a community centre. The area for the community centre will be increased by .2 acres for every 10 acres increase in the area of the colony above 50 acres in size.

The committee felt that every coloniser should earmark adequate space for outdoor sports facilities in the colony. A colony above 50 acres in size must provide for at least one open space equal to a football ground.

PUDA has also revised certain norms with regard to plotted commercial area in a colony. According to the new norm, this area would not exceed 5 per cent of the total colony area.

PUDA has also laid down that sites for other utilities like water works, sewerage treatment plant, electricity poles etc would be provided by the coloniser in accordance with the norms and standards laid down by the Punjab State Electricity Board and the Public Health Department.


BSP activists join Congress
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, September 27
Mr Hans Raj Josan, MLA, Jalalabad, and Minister of State for Forests, got a shot in the arm today when Mr Harjit Singh Shahri, president, Bahujan Samaj Party, Fazilka, and former member, Zila Parishad, Ferozepore, five women sarpanches, four nambardars, 12 panchayat members and about 500 workers of the BSP joined the Congress today at Dhani Mohna Ram village in Fazilka subdivision under the Jalalabad Assembly segment at the specially organised programme.

Mr Des Raj Kamboj, president, Block Congress Committee, Fazilka (Rural), approved their membership in the Congress in the presence of Mr Josan.

Those who joined the Congress include Bachno Bai, Sarpanch of Dhani Mohna Ram, Gurdevan Bai, Ratto Bai, Kaushalya Bai and Taro Bai, sarpanches of Kanwanwali, Gulaba Bhaini, Gaganke, and Shamshabad villages, respectively, Kashmir Singh, Hamir Singh, Ramesh Singh, Chiman Singh, all nambardars, and Chiman Singh, Pritam Singh, Des Singh, Nihal Singh, Resham Singh, Surjan Singh, Bhagwan Dass, Thakar Singh, Sher Singh, Khushal Singh, Harbans Singh, Sobha Ram, Ram Singh, Fauza Singh, Jarnail Singh, Puran Singh, all members of panchayats, Ranjito Bai, member, Block Samiti, Harbhajan Singh, president, Lok Sewa Committee and their supporters.

Mr Shahri, while addressing a gathering, said he had left the Congress in September, 1985, to join the BSP and it was a homecoming for him following inspiration by Mr Josan, Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar and Mr Satish Kumar Dhingra, secretary, Punjab Pardesh Beopar Mandal.

He said he had got disillusioned with the communal policies of the BSP.

Welcoming the entry of BSP activists into the Congress, Mr Josan said all of them would get due regard in the party.

He said he would strive hard to get crop compensation for poor farmers whose fields were located beyond the barbed wire fencing.

The minister said he had already taken up the issue of pending compensation with Mr Pranab Kumar Mukerjee, Defence Minister, who had assured him that the compensation would be released shortly.

Later, talking to mediapersons, Mr Josan said Rs 75 crore had been sanctioned for the Fazilka-Ferozepore road.


Fill quota seats, says SAD wing
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 27
Members of the Ropar unit of the SCBC wing of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) have demanded that the government immediately fill vacant seats in the reserve quota in various government departments.

Mr Manjit Singh Mehaton, president of the unit, said a meeting was held today, at which it was demanded that the 85th Amendment Bill be implemented at the earliest. The participants wanted that the report of the Mandal Commission be implemented. The welfare schemes for Dalits, which were started by the previous government, should be revived by the present government, he said.

Mr Jagir Singh Jhampur was made district unit vice-president, Dr Gurnam Singh Mundikharar senior vice-president, Mr Sitar Ali Allahpur general secretary, Mr Balbir Singh Mehra secretary, Mr Sewa Singh Tiur propaganda secretary and Mr Surmukh Singh Pipalmajra adviser.


Efforts to increase power generation fail
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Nangal, September 27
The efforts of the BBMB to increase the generation capacity of the Ganguwal and Kotla power houses have failed. Even after an expenditure of Rs 175 crore over a period of 10 years on the renovation of the Ganguwal and Kotla power houses, the generation capacity has failed to increase.

The fact has now been conceded by the BBMB in a board meeting held recently. In the meeting board approved that the generation capacity of the Ganguwal and Kotla power houses would remain 24.2 MW as against the proposed 27 to 28 MW.

The Ganguwal and Kotla power houses have three turbines each. Each turbine had a generation capacity of 24.2 MW. The Wasting House, an American company, supplied the original turbines installed in these power houses in 1954-55. For almost 35 years these turbines functioned without any problem generating on an average 22 to 23 MW power.

However, in early nineties a few of these turbines allegedly started developing snags. The BBMB then decided to get these turbines renovated. The renovation of four turbines (two each from Kotla and Ganguwal power houses) started in 1991 by the BHEL. The renovation work was completed in 1999 at an approximate cost of Rs 175 crore.

After that it was claimed that the power-generation capacity of two turbines of the Ganguwal power house has been increased from 24.20 MW to 27 MW and in the Kotla power house from 24 MW to 28 MW. However, sources told The Tribune that none of the renovated turbines generated at the increased capacity.

The maximum increase in generation registered by the renovated turbines was just 1 MW. Even that extra MW created pressure on the turbines due to which their blades developed cracks. Due to cracks in the blades the BBMB had to shut down generation at regular intervals causing power generation loss of Rs 12 lakh per machine per day.

The BBMB took up matter of development of cracks in blades of turbine with the BHEL. The BHEL agreed to repair the faults developed in the Ganguwal Kotla power houses free of cost. However, this once again led to the generation loss as the machines were shut off for repairs.

The BHEL has now almost completed the repairs of all turbines renovated by them. However, the sources said the renovated turbines were generating just 21 to 22 MW power against the 24.2 MW they were generating before renovation. Whenever, the effort was made to increase the generation to 24.2 MW the machines start vibrating. This has put the question mark on the entire renovation and increase in power generation of the old turbines. The sources said the entire idea of increasing the generation capacity without increasing the water capacity of the head was ill conceived.

However, the BBMB authorities blame the non-compatibility of the old and new parts of the machines for the failure in increasing generation capacity.

The Chief Engineer, (Power), BBMB, Mr Amrik Singh, when contacted admitted that the board had approved the generation capacity of the Ganguwal and Kotla power house turbines at 24 MW against the earlier proposed increased capacity of 27 to 28 MW.

However, the sources said the PSEB authorities had suggested in the board meeting that a penalty should be imposed on the BHEL for failing to deliver the increased generation capacity at the Ganguwal and Kotla power houses.


No takers for Punjab tourism festival
Tribune News Service

Ropar, September 27
The first state-level festival on World Tourism Day organised by the Punjab Tourism Department here today failed to evoke a response. There were no tourists and the function was dominated by officials of the Departments of Tourism and Fishery, and local administration. Schoolchildren and villagers called by the department to exhibit various aspects of rural life left within two hours, after the Minister of Tourism, Mr J.S. Kang,. and the Deputy Commissioner tasted “Makki di roti and lassi” at their stalls and left the venue to address the seminar inside the complex.

Those who came from different states to sell their products were also disappointed.

The three-day fest began in the morning with Mr Kang being given a rousing welcome.

The venue wore a deserted look at 2.50 p. m. as the items displayed by the Tourism Department to promote rural Punjab along the bank of the Sutlej were taken away by the officials or by the schoolchildren and villagers.

Subhas Chander Shah, who had come from Kolkata to sell kurta, saris and other items, said till 3 p.m. , he had sold only one item worth Rs 200. “I have spent about Rs 10,000 on travel. If the situation continues like this for the two days, I will not be able to cover my expenses”, he said.

Chanan Singh of Bhartpur, whose bullock-cart ride was enjoyed by officials said: “I have not got any payment for my services so far. Villagers who had been arranged by the department to display the features of rural life complained that they had not received any payments.

Earlier, addressing mediapersons, Mr Kang said the ministry had decided to go for privatisation with a view to improving the work conditions at the tourist complexes in the state.

He said the PTDC would build a yatri niwas for 200 persons at Mata Vaishnu Devi Temple in Jammu in November so that people from Punjab could stay there at nominal prices.


Tourism staff burn MD’s effigy
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 27
Punjab Tourism Employees Union today burnt the effigy of Mr Jagjit Puri, MD, Tourism, and lodge a strong protest against their harassment.

The employees led by Mr Mangal Singh Hundal and Mr Parkash Singh Nahar, president and general secretary, decried him for the non-payment of salaries of the employees for the past more than 10 months.

Employees from Moga, Kartarpur, Nilo, Pathankot, Madhopur, Hoshiarpur, Sirhind , Shambu and others, also joined them and demanded immediate payment of salaries to 450 tourism employees in the state.

Other demands included full DA payments, granting of uniforms that have been suspended for past five years, payment of arrears of the fourth pay commission, regularisation and minimum wages for daily wagers and immediate payments to those who had taken VRS.


Irate villagers block traffic

Phagwara, September 27
Villagers of Khajurala blocked traffic on the GT Road from 9.15 pm to 11.15 pm last night in protest against loud DJ and bhangra programme going on at a roadside eatery on the road near the village.

The villagers were having a religious function in which play “Sant Sipahi” was being staged. The religious function was being disturbed by the loud noise of the cultural programme going on in the eatery. It irked them.

They urged the owner of the eatery to lower the volume of the DJ system. However, a heated exchange followed between the two sides. Enraged villagers blocked traffic and raised slogans against the owner of the eatery. Former sarpanch Surinder Singh Khalsa led them.

Hundreds of passengers remained stranded for one and a half hour. 


Border areas to get mobile connections
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Discussions are under way with the Central Government for giving approval for providing mobile phone connections to people living in areas which fall within a radius of 10 km from the border areas in Punjab.

Once the government gives its nod, people living near the border areas will also be given mobile phone connections like those in the other areas.

The Chief General Manager of BSNL, Punjab Circle, Mr G.S. Bhatia, said a high-level inquiry was being made into the issue of calls being made to foreign countries, particularly the Gulf countries, by some top agencies in the country besides the departmental authorities.

Though it was difficult to comment while the investigations were on, those employees and officials who were found involved in the scam would be suspended and cases registered against them, he added.

Mr Bhatia said by using NetOne scheme launched for the benefit of the landline consumers, they could now use the internet by paying just 10 paisa per minute.


MC chief faces Vigilance probe
Tribune News Service

Moga, September 27
The local Municipal Council President, Mr Joginder Pal Jain, may have been successful in defeating the no-confidence vote against him last week, but his troubles seem to be far from over.

Already under the Vigilance scanner in various cases including disproportionate assets cases and allotment of municipal council contracts, Mr Jain is now facing another Vigilance probe into a theft that took place at his home last month.

The Vigilance SP, Mr I.S. Randhawa, today said that the VB had sought files relating to the case, besides starting the process to record statements of the accused and other persons concerned.

Mr Jain had also been reportedly summoned a few days back, but he had sought time so as to gather the details following which he was given 15 days' time for the same.

However, Mr Jain denied that he had been summoned by the Vigilance in the theft case probe. On August 14, thieves decamped with three suitcases containing valuables and cash from Mr Jain's home. The police had arrested eight persons and showed recovery of 847 gm gold and Rs 50,000 cash.

However, RJD leader Ashok Sathi released an audiotape in which the main accused, Laxman, alias Chidi, had said that the suitcases contained foreign currency, besides large quantity of gold, cash, an opium-like substance and an old pistol.

Meanwhile, the rebel councillors were not ready to give in so easily and were preparing to bring another no-confidence vote against Mr Jain soon. In a show of unity at councillor Ranwinder Singh Pappu's house recently, the councillors had said that council officials would now follow their orders as they had the majority.

The leader of rebels, Mr Naseeb Bawa, said that Mr Jain should resign on moral grounds. 


IMA organises programme on SC ruling
Our Correspondent

Patiala, September 27
The local branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), under the presidentship of Dr D.C. Bansal, organised a continuous medical education programme on the topic ‘Impact of the recent Supreme Court judgment on the medical profession’ and ‘Safe injection practice’ here today.

Addressing the gathering, Dr Ajmer Singh, a surgeon pointed, out that in alleged deaths of patients by negligence of doctors, the police could not book the doctors directly by imposing section 304 or 304-A of the Indian Penal Code unless the charge of the criminal negligence was proved against the doctor by investigation. He added that the recent Supreme Court judgement had defined the magnitude of criminal negligence and under legal provisions, nothing done in good faith to save the life of the patient was an offence.

He stressed on the need to keep proper records of the patient and improving the doctor-patient relationship, which was deteriorating day-by-day. He said to prove the charges of negligence against doctors, district-level committee’s had been constituted, which included the Civil surgeon of the district, one senior member of the IMA, one legal expert and one social worker, and cases of negligence could be registered against the doctors not below the rank of Superintendent of Police.

Speaking on ‘Safe injection practice’ Dr O.P.S. Kande, president of the State branch of the IMA, said as per observations of the World Health Organisation, 95 per cent of injections the world over were being given to patients in India only for treatment and immunisation. He further said the public in general had the impression that treatment by injection gave quicker relief, which was not true. He cautioned doctors to avoid giving unnecessary injections as a large number diseases could of be treated by giving medicine orally.

Dr D.S. Bhullar, a medico-legal expert and vice-president of the Indian Academy of Forensic Medicine, pointed out that although injections were given in good faith to the patients, but unless medically indicated, giving injection instead of oral treatment, caused unnecessary bodily pain to the patients, which was illegal, as defined as hurt under Section 319 of the IPC.

The programme was attended by at least 100 allopathic doctors of the branch. Dr Shashi Pandhi, senior medical officer and branch secretary of the IMA proposed the vote of thanks.


Dance-drama presented
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 27
An allegory on life through the travails of Ram was depicted in all its sublime forms during the dance drama “Ram” performed by the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra at the National Institute of Sports (NIS) here last evening.

The show, the first of its kind for Patiala, saw the legend of Ram being depicted through a dance drama, which explored various incidents in the life of the Prince of Ayodhya. Artistes of the Shriram Kendra based in Delhi created a spell-binding effect through their excellent choreographed dance sequences. The fact that the show was held behind the backdrop of the Moti Bagh Palace on the NIS complex with lighting being used to good effect lent an ethereal quality to the performance.

The show was inaugurated by Patiala MP Preneet Kaur. Speaking on the occasion, she welcomed the staging of the dance drama, saying the city was always eager to host quality shows.

Later, Mr Siddharth Shriram, chairman, SIEL Limited, Rajpura, said his company had a strong belief that it should give back something to society.

Mr Shriram said all his companies had taken up community development programmes with focus on health, education, family welfare, sports and cultural activities. He said in Rajpura, the company was involved in various health, sports and environment projects in villages close to the SIEL complex.


36 operated upon at camp

Kharar, September 27
As many as 36 patients were operated upon at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Yaadgari free eye camp organised by Lions Club (Umang) with the help of Citizens Welfare Club.

In the camp, which concluded here today, 216 persons were examined. The club provided free medicines and spectacles to the needy.

Mr R.K. Rana, committee chairman of the Lions International District 321 F, said the district had a target to organise free operations for 15,000 persons. OC


Babla in hospital
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 27
Hardcore militant Gursewak Singh Babla was today shifted to the Government Rajindra Hospital here. He was brought to the hospital by the Jagraon police on court directions.

Security personnel have been deputed permanently in the hospital to guard him.

The Khalistan Liberation Force militant had escaped from police custody in August from Delhi. He was recently nabbed by the Punjab Police.


High Court stays recounting of votes
Our Correspondent

Kharar, September 27
The recounting of votes for municipal ward 4 here has been stayed by the high court. The recounting had been ordered by the Additional Deputy Commissioner-cum-Election Tribunal, Ropar.

The ADC had said as he was not satisfied with the counting process, he had ordered the recounting of votes. He had directed the Kharar SDM, Mr Sukhvinder Singh Gill, to present himself at Ropar on September 24 for the recounting of votes, along with the election record related to ward 4.

The SDM said here today that recounting could not take place as his office had received stay orders from the high court. The stay on the recounting was till further orders.

The municipal elections were held in March last year. Ms Joginder Kaur had been declared elected from the ward, but her opponent, Ms Anju Chander, had alleged that irregularities had taken place in the elections. She had filed a petition in the court of the ADC. Mrs Joginder Kaur had approached the high court against the orders of the ADC.


Jalandhar paddy farmers make quick buck in Kapurthala
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, September 27
Anticipating quick sale of their paddy crop and a better price for their harvest, hundreds of farmers of Jalandhar have started turning up in the grain market of Kapurthala this time, keeping an eye on the byelections in the Assembly segment next month.

This was the reason why the Kapurthala grain market had registered an unprecedented arrival of the paddy till this time of the year. While the government agencies started the procurement of the grain today, the farmers from Jalandhar and Kapurthala had started selling their produce to the private agencies since the last one week.

As per the figures available with the secretary of the grain market, over 3,44,720 quintals of paddy had arrived in the market till this afternoon and many more tractors were seen unloading their harvest.

Comparing this data with the arrival last year, it was found that the arrival was almost three times more as just 1,44,190 quintals of harvest had reached the market at this stage last year.

The farmers said that they preferred to come this market as they were expecting better services in the market due to pressure on the market authorities by the ruling party to procure the crop at better prices.

The farmers said that their foresightedness proved correct as they found that not only were they being offered better prices but also quick sales of the crop and payments in cash on the same day.

Sources in the market said that the government agencies had been told to lift every heap of grain that arrived in the market as the ruling party did not want to leave the farmers disgruntled keeping in view the forthcoming elections. The agencies had also been directed to ensure best facilities to woo the farmers.

Mr Tarsem Singh and Mr Gian Singh, both farmers from Jhangi village of Jalandhar, said that they had brought their produce here as they wanted to save themselves from the harassment meted out to them in other mandis.

“We were told that officials here will be more efficient and our crop would be sold quickly, so we came here. We are also expecting our payments for the crop before the dusk,” they added.

While the government had fixed the price of fine paddy at Rs 590, the same quality produce was being lifted by the private agencies for as much as Rs 615.

Mr Sohan Singh, a farmer from Talwandi Pein, said that his produce had already been sold and he was simply waiting for the payment, which he was told to collect in the evening.

Mr Krishan Lal, working in the market for the past 15 years, said that this time the number of farmers coming from Jalandhar was all-time high this year.

Mr Bikram Singh, secretary of the Grain Market Committee, also confirmed that farmers from Jalandhar were coming in large numbers this side. He said that more than 100 farmers from the district had already sold off their produce in Kapurthala grain market till date.


Paddy procurement begins in Kotkapura
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, September 27
Paddy procurement by government agencies began today with Deputy Commissioner Alok Shekhar, inaugurating it at Grain Market in Kotkapura.

Interacting with mediapersons, the DC said that this year the administration had set a target of 4.6 lakh tonnes, while 4.56 lakh tonnes paddy was purchased last year in the district.

He said out of the projected figure, six government agencies would purchase 3.54 lakh tonnes, while traders were expected to buy 1.06 lakh tonnes paddy.

He said 54 purchase centres were opened and the paddy bought would be stored at different shellers. He said all arrangements of lifting and transporting paddy had been made.

He assured farmers that their payment would be made within 24 hours.

The paddy procurement would also solve the space problem in the grain markets of the district as they were overflowing with paddy and the farmers were dumping their stock at places like Sadik Chowk and Railway Road.

They had not even spared the mini-secretariat and heaps of paddy were lying in its premises. This time the paddy stock started arriving in the grain markets owing to the farmers’ preference for its early maturing varieties.

Though the local traders have bought more than half the paddy stock hoping for huge demand of rice, they are yet to lift the purchased paddy from the market.

The farmers also cashed in on the same and got a rate of Rs 620 per quintal that is higher than the maximum support price of Rs 590 per quintal. 


Exhibition plots to popularise zero tillage technique
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Bhogpur (Jalandhar) September 27
Expressing concern over Punjab’s being the largest chemical fertiliser and pesticides consumer state, Mr Kanwaljit Lalli, Chairman of the Sugarfed, Punjab, said today that heavy use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides in farming has hazardous affects on human health as it leads to water and air pollution.

Mr Lalli, who was speaking at a function organised by the Punjab Agriculture Department, said it was stunning to observe that in Punjab farmers used 180 kilograms of chemical fertilisers and one kilograms of pesticides per acre annually.

Mr Lalli further said to move towards the objective of diversification, farmers of the state would be encouraged to sow about 14,300 acres of durum wheat and 95,000 acres of hyola as Rabi crops of the year.

Dr Gurdev Singh Gill, Joint Director, Agriculture, Punjab, said under the ongoing diversification process, wheat farming would be decreased from 33.44 lakh hectares to 32. 50 lakh hectares during the rabi season, while the cultivation of pulses and oil seeds would be enhanced from last year’s 15,000 hectares and 72,000 hectares to 40,000 hectares and 1,40,000 hectares this year. He said the Agriculture Department was also ready to meet the farmers’ requirement of pesticides for rabi crops.

He said in its effort to popularise zero tillage technique for wheat, the department would set up 200 exhibition plots, for which the department would utilise its 50 zero tillage machines. He said the department would also collect 5. 50 lakh land samples from the entire state with the help of its 66 laboratories.

Others who spoke included farm expert District Agriculture Officer Baldev Singh Kahlon, Dr Naresh Gulati and farmers, including Subhash Misra, K.S. Dhillon and Surjit Singh Sekhon.


Liquid bio-fertilisers fail to draw positive response
P. P. S. Gill
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, September 27
The first-ever attempt to introduce Punjab farmers to liquid bio-fertilisers has spilled at the testing stage itself because the government’s dilemma is having two contradictory reports.

Caught in a peculiar situation, the Parliamentary Secretary, Agriculture and Co-operation, Mr Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, is reported to have sought “personal interest” of Punjab Agricultural University Vice-Chancellor K.S. Aulakh, asking him to give the government the correct opinion to decide whether to purchase or permit the use of liquid bio-fertilisers or not.

It all started in the last financial year, when the state department of Agriculture had given out tender notices inviting samples of liquid bio-fertilisers for testing. The same were sent to the Directorate of Agriculture, instead of the department teams collecting the same form the interested companies. The same were forwarded by the department to PAU for testing. The bio-fertilisers tested were ‘Azospirillum’ and ‘Phosphate solubilizing bacteria’.

A purchase committee was formed with Dr Aulakh as chairperson. A three-member experts’ committee was also constituted comprising Dr M.S. Pandher, Head of the Department of Microbiology, Dr R.P. Gupta, Professor of Microbiology, and Dr V. Beri, Professor of Soil Microbiology, all at PAU.

Tests showed that microbial count of the given samples was below the main specifications demanded in the tender. The material shelf-life could not be tested because that required at least one-year period. The committee did not recommend the purchase of these liquid bio-fertilisers as samples provided by the firms did not meet the main specifications. This was on January 14 last.

Meanwhile, a “favourable” report was sent by Dr Beri, one of the members of the experts’ committee, on March 23, directly to one of the firms, which created confusion, as it was contrary to the January 14 recommendation against purchasing the liquid bio-fertilisers.

Consequently, the Vice-Chancellor was asked by the government to send a fresh report, which was received in Chandigarh on August 23. Since then there has been no meeting on the issue. One of the suggestions still was to send a team to the companies concerned to collect samples and send them under sealed cover to PAU.

Dr Aulakh, when contacted, said that relevant details could be had from the directorate of agriculture. PAU had done its job and given the importance of the issue, sufficient time was needed to conduct proper tests. “This is essential as the liquid bio-fertilisers have a direct bearing on the germination of seeds. This was not done”.

PAU, however, the Vice-Chancellor said, took serious view of the letter by Dr Beri to one of the firms that supplied the samples and he had been “warned”. Dr Aulakh did not sound very enthusiastic about the utility of bio-fertilisers, given the state’s agriculture pattern.

Enquiries with the Department of agriculture also revealed that though tender was issued inviting samples of liquid bio-fertilisers, there was not much enthusiasm about it in the state.

When contacted, Mr Randhawa insisted that because of the contradictory opinion and controversy over the entire issue, he would like to probe.


New mandi figures belie traders’ claims
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 27
Contrary to the claims of some fruit and vegetable merchants’ associations about losing business in Vallah Mandi that was shifted from the old mandi in June, the new mandi is recording a business boom.

According to the latest figures, there has been 34 per cent increase in sales as against the sales in the same period last year in the old mandi.

The mandi market committee under the SDM–I has reported a collection of Rs 35 lakh in market fees in less than three months . The collections are 4 per cent of the actual sales.

Mr Harish Taneja, general secretary of the Fruit and Vegetable Merchants Association, brushed aside the market fee figures which he claimed was a result of increase in the prices of goods.

Some disgruntled merchant associations have meanwhile used the “prohibition by the Army” in the area falling under the defence authorities as a plea against the new mandi.

The Army had stated that the administration was aware of the ban by the defence forces on constructions when the land was purchased in 1972. The defence forces took over the surrounding area a year before that.

Nevertheless, the associations negate the new mandi due to vested interests as reports exposed large-scale evasion in the old mandi, besides monopoly by some of them.

The scene today at the new mandi is that a majority of wholesalers and auctioneers are doing booming business in the new location that is spread in 104 acres compared to the old mandi which was spread in six acres.

Meanwhile, even as six covered platforms for auctions have been provided with 230 new licencees, the traders rue that drawbacks have still not been rectified.


Car taken away on fake bank draft
Tribune News Service

Moga, September 27
Two miscreants duped Godawari Motors by decamping with a new Santro car after handing over the firm a fake demand draft of Rs 3.74 lakh.

The fraud came to light when the draft was presented for clearance at the Punjab National Bank (PNB) branch on Partap Road.

Sources said on September 21 evening two persons reached the showroom of Godawari Motors on GT Road. They wanted to buy a Santro car for presenting it to their daughter in her marriage.

After choosing the car, one of them gave a bank draft issued from the Punjab National Bank’s Zira branch to the company’s salesman who asked them to take the car in the morning, but they insisted on immediate delivery, citing their hectic marriage schedule.

Finally, the salesman delivered the car after collecting the bank draft and other payments.

On the next day, the company presented the draft in HDFC Bank, which forwarded it to the PNB branch for the clearance.

Mr Vijay Arora, special assistant of the bank, received the draft.

He got suspicious as the thickness of the draft was comparatively more and its colour was also a bit lighter.

He immediately called up at the PNB’s Zira branch and enquired whether they had issued a draft bearing serial number 268/04.

He was stunned to know that a draft having the serial number was issued in the name of Government College, Moga, and it was worth Rs 100 only.

Interestingly, there is no such college in the city. He asked Zira bank officials to confirm it through fax immediately.

The bank then reported the matter to HDFC Bank and Godawari Motors.

Sources said PNB, Zira, was investigating into the matter so as to trace out the person who got the draft made.

Godawari Motors’ officials swung into action when they came to know about the fraud.

They immediately rushed to the village that the buyers mentioned as their residential place, but there was no one living in the village by that name and nobody was getting married there.

However, the company officials were tight-lipped over the matter and denied to comment on the same.

The sources said similar attempts had been made in Amritsar and Ludhiana in the past few days, but the miscreants failed there owing to the company officials’ alertness. 


Property dealer booked for fraud
Tribune News Service

Moga, September 27
The police has registered a case against a property dealer for duping a woman of Rs 40,000 that he took as advance from her.

According to complainant Narinder Kaur, property dealer Vijay Kumar showed her a piece of land on November 16, 2000, and promised that he would strike a deal for the same on her behalf.

Showing faith in him, she paid him Rs 40,000 for the job.

When after some time the complainant applied for the registry of the plot, she came to know that the plot was in the name of a widow, Bishan Kaur.

She then asked the accused to return her money, but he denied the same.


Miscreants loot three teachers
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 27
In a bizarre incident, three teachers were looted by two scooter-borne unidentified youths at the bus stand of Dullewala village in the jurisdiction of Dyalpura police station today.

As per the information supplied by the SSP, Mr Kapil Dev, Ms Urmila Bansal along with two other teachers, was standing at the bus stand of Dullewala village. Two unidentified youths came on the scooter and snatched two gold chains from them.

They also snatched the purse of one of them and sped away. A case in this connection has been registered in Dyalpura police station.

Mr Kapil Dev said that three persons were arrested at three different places in the district for their alleged involvement in the smuggling of poppy husk. The accused had been identified as Beant Singh, Cheena Singh and Jagtar Singh. About 27 kg of poppy husk had been seized from them.

Apart from it, about 400 gm of opium had been seized from Joginder Singh, a resident of Paras Ram Nagar locality.


Father, son booked for fraud
Tribune News Service

Moga, September 27
The police has registered a case against a farmer and his son for duping an arhtiya of Rs 5.9 lakh.

According to the complainant, Sukhdev Singh of Rania village used to sell his produce to him every year.

This time he approached him and borrowed Rs 5.9 lakh from him promising to give him his agricultural yield, but later he sold the same to some other person.

When Jaswant Singh came to know about it he asked Sukhdev to return his money, but he started dilly-dallying the matter.

He lodged a complaint with the police after the father-son duo refused to return his money and threatened him too.

A case has been registered against them under Sections 406, 420, and 506 of the IPC.


Youth killed in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Moga, September 27
A motor cycle borne youth was killed and another injured when a tractor-trailer hit their bike last evening.

Sources said that the deceased, Navdeep, alias Happy, was on the way from Khosa Randheer to Moga along with his friend Hira Singh, who was riding pillion when a tractor-trailor coming from the opposite direction hit their bike.

Navdeep died on the spot, while Hira sustained serious injuries.

He was rushed to Dayanand Medical College, Ludhiana.

The 22-year-old Navdeep was a nephew of Vigilance DSP Surjeet Singh Khosa.


One killed, 23 injured in accident
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, September 27
At least one person was killed on spot and 23 others were injured when the mini-truck, in which they were travelling, overturned on the Muktsar-Gidderbaha road this morning.

Out of 23 injured, the condition of nine was stated to be serious.

Police sources said that Pala Ram, who along with 39 persons was coming to Gidderbaha from Amritsar after paying their obeisance at the Golden temple, died on the spot, while 23 others out of 40 were injured when the mini-truck overturned on its own.

Information gathered by The Tribune revealed that all those who suffered multiple injuries, had been sent to the Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Faridkot, while the other were being given treatment at the Civil Hospital, Muktsar.

Information revealed that the driver and the conductor of the truck, who did not suffer any injuries, escaped from the spot.

A case in this connection has been registered.


Three of family booked for murder
Our Correspondent

Kharar, September 27
Three persons have been booked on the charge of murder.

Bhajan Kaur, a resident of Sakrullahpur, died on September 25. The police booked her husband, Tarsem Singh, father-in-law, Karnail Singh and brother-in-law, Sucha Singh, for the alleged murder of Bhajan Kaur.

According to police, the case against the three was registered on the complaint of Bhajan Kaur’s father, Mr Joginder Singh, a resident of Adomajra village in Ambala district. He alleged that his daughter was harassed by her in-laws and was often beaten up. He alleged that she died because she was beaten up on Saturday.

The post mortem examination on the body of Bhajan Kaur was carried out today by a board of three doctors at the Civil Hospital. The viscera had been sent to Patiala for chemical examination. The police said further action could be taken only after the report of the viscera was received.


Students burn effigy of Principal
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 27
Wearing black bands and holding black placards, students of Khalsa College burnt the effigy of Dr J.S. Dhillon, Principal of the college, in front of his office here today. The strike entered the sixth day.

The students were on indefinite strike against the alleged misbehavioural attitude and embezzlement in the students’ fund by the Principal.

Mr Tajwinder Singh, president of the Students Welfare Association (SIA), Khalsa College, alleged that the Principal was threatening the protesting students to rusticate them. He said the students were astonished over the silence of management committee even after serious allegations were levelled against the Principal.

He said the association welcomed the outside support of the Sikh Students Federation, the Shiromani Youth Akali Dal, the National Students Union of India and other students associations.


Raids conducted on schools

Bathinda, September 27
A number of teams of the Education Department headed by senior officials today conducted a series of raids on different schools in Bathinda, Ferozepore and Faridkot districts to check the attendance of teachers and students.

Information gathered by The Tribune revealed that nine teachers belonging to government elementary and senior secondary schools in Bathinda district, eight teachers in Ferozepore and two teachers in Faridkot districts were found absent despite the fact that they were marked present in the attendance registers.

Apart from it, a number of teachers were found coming late to their respective schools. One clerk was also found absent in Ferozepore district.

Information revealed that raiding teams also inspected the mid-day meals being supplied to a section of students. They also checked whether the free books had been supplied to the students and how the teachers had been imparting education. The raids were conducted on the directions of the DPI (Schools).

Meanwhile, the Democratic Teachers Front, Punjab, Block Mandi Phool unit, Bathinda, in a press note issued here condemned the fact that a section of the raiding teams had marked those teachers absent who were present in their respective schools. The front leaders said that they would not tolerate this type of high-handedness of the Education Department authorities.


ETT teachers hold rally
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, September 27
Protesting against the decision of the state government for recruitments on contractual basis, the Unemployed ETT Association started a dharna in front of the district administrative complex here today.

Wearing black gowns, the members held a rally on all major routes in the city. They said that they would continue to hold dharna till the day of polling on October 13.

The members of the association are holding protest rallies against the ruling party for not holding recruitment under regular posts. They have been demanding that contractual appointments be cancelled and regular posts be created to ensure employment of thousands of unemployed ETT trained youth. 


Group song competition
Our Correspondent

Patiala, September 27
The local Government College for Girls and the local Modern Senior Secondary School bagged first and second position (senior group), respectively, in a national group song competition organised by the Bharat Vikas Parishad at Parishad Bhavan, here today.

In junior group, Modern Senior Secondary School and Sathya Jyoti Primary School bagged first and second position, respectively. As many as 300 students of various schools of the city participated in the competition.

Speaking on the occasion, organising secretary Harinder Gupta highlighted the different projects being undertaken by the parishad. The acting DGM, SPoP, Mr A.S. Bhatia, and Chief Manager, SBI, Mr D.P.S Chhabra, gave away the prizes to the winners.


Protest against imposition of building fee
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 27
Parents and members of the Sarvopari Mandir Parbandhak Committee today held a demonstration in front of Kaintal School here to protest against a building fee charge of Rs 2,000 imposed on students by the school authorities recently.

The parents and members of the committee said the school authorities had levied a charge of Rs 2,000 without discussing the issue.

They claimed that charging any building fee was unjust as they had not been told about this fee when they had admitted their wards to the school.

Following the protest, committee conveners Anil Dutt and Mintu Singla claimed that they met school Principal Neena Dhundia and the management of the school to prevail upon them to reverse the decision. They said the Principal, during talks, said she would take back the fee, but would also resign.


Open school
Our Correspondent

Patiala, September 27
The local Rotary Club District 3090 today launched an innovative and meaningful crusade to help and guide school dropouts among the less privileged for continuing their studies under open school programmes.

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