P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Non-performers to be taken to task: Hanspal
Tribune News Service

Sheikhopur (Kapurthala), September 28
In an open warning to Congress workers, Mr H.S. Hanspal, president, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, today said that all those who fail to discharge their duties well and campaign actively in the Kapurthala byelection may be taken to task.

Mr Hanspal was addressing party workers during a meeting presided over by the Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, at Sheikhopur village here today. The PPCC president said since electronic voting machines (EVMs) were being used in all the booths this time, the party would be able to get complete details of the polling pattern boothwise. The number of votes cast in favour of the candidate in each booth would reveal the performance of the party workers deputed in the area falling under that booth, he said.

Mr Hanspal said the party high command was keeping a complete tab on the developments pertaining to the elections in Kapurthala. He said till the previous years, all the non-performing party workers used to go scot-free. But this time, things would be different and each one must ensure that he works actively in the allotted area, he added. Besides, Mr Lal Singh, Minister for Rural Development, said separate teams would be set up in the assembly segment that would keep a track of the activities of party workers and give a feedback to party leaders.

Earlier, Captain Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Mr Hanspal, Mr Lal Singh, Mr Avtar Henry, Minister for Public Health and Food and Civil Supplies, Mr Mohinder Singh Kaypee, Transport Minister, went to the residence of Mr Devi Dass Nahar, President of Bahujan Samaj Party (Ambedkar), asking him to align with the Congress.

Talking to the mediapersons, the CM said Mr Nahar readily agreed for the alignment as he said he did not want to tie up with the SAD chief, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, with whom he had aligned and fought elections thrice earlier.

Speaking in favour of Mr Dilraj Singh Sandhawalia, outgoing SDM-cum- returning officer, he said he had been discharging his duty well and there was no point in transferring him to Khadoor Sahib. But he said it was up to the Election Commission to take action.

When asked about the fate of unemployed ETT teachers who courted arrest today, the CM said they had been demanding that contractual recruitment system be abolished which was impossible. He said it was not just Punjab but also several other states that had been making contractual appointments for teachers.


Govt officials attend Cong poll meeting
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Mr I.S. Dhami (centre), Assistant Director of Youth Services, Jalandhar, during a Congress election rally at Shagun Palace, Kapurthala, on Tuesday.
Mr I.S. Dhami (centre), Assistant Director of Youth Services, Jalandhar, during a Congress election rally at Shagun Palace, Kapurthala, on Tuesday. — Tribune Photo by Pawan Sharma.

Kapurthala, September 28
Two officers of the Punjab Government today violated on the poll code of conduct by attending a workers’ meeting organised in favour of the Congress candidate for Kapurthala byelection, Ms Sukhjinder Kaur Rana, here. The meeting was presided over by the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, while the PPCC chief, Mr H.S. Hanspal, and several ministers also attended the same.

The two officers were Mr I.S. Dhami, Assistant Director, Youth Services, Punjab, at present posted at Jalandhar, and an Executive Engineer of the Punjab State Electricity Board.

Mr Dhami was first seen outside Shagun Palace, where the meeting was held at 11 am, almost 45 minutes before the CM reached the rally venue. The officer attended the rally and then followed the candidate and the CM again to the grain market and a banquet hall at Sheikhopur village, venue for Congress workers’ meeting where senior party leaders and workers were allocated their poll responsibilities.

Mr Dhami, when asked about his presence at the rally, said that he was accompanying his brother who was a Congress worker. He said that he was not violating any rules as he did not try to influence the voters. “The CM had come to Kapurthala and I just wanted to listen to what he was telling the party workers here,” he added.

The Executive Engineer, on the other hand, refused to accept the fact that he was still working with the PSEB. He said that he had retired from the department and his last posting was at Jandiala Guru in Amritsar. When asked as to what he was doing at Kapurthala, he could not give a prompt reply.

When The Tribune lensman tried to take his picture, he immediately turned his face and moved inside the toilet at the banquet hall. Almost 10 minutes later, he came out of the toilet and the lensman who had been kept waiting for him again tried to take a shot. This time again the engineer sneaked inside the toilet and did not come out for almost half an hour.

The Tribune team kept waiting for him outside the banquet hall where a driver was sitting inside his hired car. Later, the engineer was seen moving out of the banquet hall in a white Zen having tinted glasses. The car finally dropped him at a nearby rice sheller.


Orders to suspend poll officer

Chandigarh, September 28
The Election Commission of India (EC) today directed Punjab’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to place under suspension former Returning Officer (RO) for the Kapurthala byelection Dilraj Singh Sandhawalia.

Mr Sandhwalia was likely to be placed under suspension on Wednesday. Mr G.S. Cheema CEO, could not be contacted. — TNS


Attack on gurdwara condemned, rallies held
Tribune News Service

Chhapar (Ludhiana), September 28
Cutting across ideological affiliations, leaders from various political parties today condemned the mob attack on Nanakana Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan. They urged the Union Government to take up the issue with the Pakistan government at the highest level.

Addressing different rallies, leaders of the Congress, the SAD and the BJP said the government of India must lodge a strong protest with Pakistan since it concerned the emotions of a large number of people across the world.

However, the SAD (Amritsar) president, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, was guarded in his condemnation and generalised the issue, equating it with attacks on Sikhs in the USA and the turban issue in France.

Addressing the Congress rally, Deputy Chief Minister, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, AICC secretary, Mr Manish Tewari, Congress leader, Jagpal Singh Khangura and others lambasted the Pakistani authorities for their failure to provide security at Nanakana Sahib.

The secretary-general of the SAD, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, said the Congress-led UPA government should take up the matter with Pakistan. “No civilised society can allow it or tolerate it”, he said.

The BJP MP from Amritsar, Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, also condemned the attack. He hoped that the Pakistan government would ensure that this did not happen again.


Attack on Nankanasahib flayed
Our Correspondent

Patiala, September 28
Former SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar today condemned the attack on Nankanasahib, birthplace of Guru Nanak Dev, in Pakistan.

In press note issued here, Mr Badungar said that while on one hand both India and Pakistan were furthering the peace process, on the other hand miscreants, who had desecrated the Sikh shrine, were trying to disrupt the process.

He urged the Pakistan Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee to ensure that such untoward incidents do not happen in future.


Book culprits behind gurdwara incident: Badal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
The Shiromani Akali Dal president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, said that the issue of security, free access to Sikh shrines and fundamental rights of the minority sikh community in Pakistan should be kept on the agenda of high-level bilateral Indo-Pak discussions.

In a letter written to the President, Mr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, and the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, regarding the shocking incident of " storming" of Gurdwara Nankana Sahib and Guru Nanak Degree College in Pakistan, Mr Badal urged the Central Government to immediately lodge a strong protest with the Pakistan Government. He said that the Union Government should ensure that all the culprits were booked and given exemplary punishment by the Pakistan authorities.

Mr Badal also demanded that a high-level team should immediately visit Pakistan to have a first-hand information of the situation. This team should also have representatives of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar, which is the representative body of the Sikhs. He further said that the Pakistan Government should be asked to take immediate steps to stop the recurrence of such events in future.

“This attack is the first of its kind in history and has shaken the Sikh community world over. It is unfortunate that such an incident had happened at a time when top leaders from India and Pakistan are talking of improving bilateral relations and people-to-people contact. This unpleasant incident can caste its shadow over the process of normalisation of relations between the two countries,” said Mr Badal.


CPM should bow out in favour of Cong, says CM
Our Correspondent

Garhshankar, September 28
Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab, today said that leaders of the CPM and CPI should support the Congress candidate in the byelection to Garhshankar and Kapurthala segments of the state assembly to give a crushing defeat to non-communal forces. He asked that the CPM to withdraw its candidate from Garhshankar to ensure the victory of secular forces.

Capt Amarinder Singh was talking to mediapersons at the grain market here this afternoon. Replying to a question he said that contesting of byelection by the Congress against CPM in Garhshankar would not affect the UPA Government alliance at the Centre because the CPM and the Congress had an alliance at national level while there was no such alliance between them in the state.

The Chief Minister also condemned the attack on Nankana Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan. He hoped that the Government of Punjab in Pakistan would take immediate action against the guilty. He said he would also take up this issue with the Union External Affairs Ministry.

Capt Amarinder Singh said that work on the second phase of Lehra Mohabat and Shahpur Kandi canals would soon be taken up to generate more power in state.

Replying to another question regarding alleged misutilisation of Rs 450 crore given by the Reserve Bank of India to the state government for procurement of foodgrains, he said that Punjab was not the only state which had diverted this money for other expenditures. Almost all states had diverted the same at one time or another to meet their expenditures, as most of the states were facing serious financial crises since long.

Referring to the paddy procurement, he said that procurement had been started earlier during this season. More than eight lakh tonnes of paddy had arrived in various procurement centres of the state. All necessary arrangements had been done to lift the paddy from the centres soon after the procurement and to make payments to the farmers after procurement of crop within 48 hours.

Referring to the recent appointments of law officers in the office of Advocate General, Punjab, he said that he had already asked to see the entire case details relating to these appointments. He would review the details and would ensure that appointments were on merit basis.

Replying to a question he claimed that he had succeeded in uniting all Congress leaders and workers in the Kapurthala segment. They were now unitedly campaigning for the success of Congress candidate in the byelection there. He was now trying to unit all dissident Congress leaders in the Garhshankar segment.

The Chief Minister said that there was no shortage of coal in state and it had enough stock of it. There was no question of the production of power in thermal plants of state being affected.

Earlier, the Chief Minister inspected the grain market and witnessed the procurement of paddy. He met a number of farmers of the Kandi area who complained about the low yielding of paddy during this season on account of failure of monsoons and irregular supply of power for irrigation.

Later the Chief Minister, along with Mr H.S. Hanspal, President, PPCC, Mr Romesh Chander Dogra, Health and Family Welfare Minister Ch Jagjit Singh, Local Bodies Minister, Punjab, Mr Kuldip Kumar Nanda, President, District Congress Committee Hoshiarpur and many other Congress leaders, met dissident Congress leaders. He also addressed an election meeting at Saila Khurd.


CPI may back CPM in Garhshankar
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, September 28
The general secretary of the CPI, Mr A.P. Bardhan, today hinted that his party might finally support the CPM candidate in the Garshankar bypoll in case there was no unanimity to back the Congress nominee during its meeting on October 5.

Talking to reporters here today, Mr Bardhan said the Congress had fielded its candidate at Garshankar without consulting the CPI.

“The Congress had already lost ground for seeking our support as it decided to go unilaterally even as a final decision in this regard would be taken during the meeting on October 5,” he added.

Mr Bardhan further said that he had already spoken to the CPM general secretary, Mr Harkishan Singh Surjeet, over the issue and a joint strategy was being worked out for the by-poll.

The secretary of the CPI, Mr D. Raja, denied that the Congress High Command had consulted the CPI leadership before putting up its candidate for the poll. Mr Raja, however, termed the development as unfortunate as it would divide the vote share of secular parties to ultimately benefit the Opposition.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, while talking to reporters at Kapurthala this afternoon, said he was hopeful that the Left parties would finally support the Congress candidate.


EC seeks report on copter use by CM
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
Acting on Shiromani Akali Dal’s complaint accusing the Punjab Chief Minister of using the state helicopter for poll campaigning, the Election Commission of India (ECI) today asked state’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to submit a report in the matter. Another report on alleged violation of election code by Education Minister Harnam Dass Johar was also sought.

In a related development, the ECI on Tuesday approved the name of Ajnala’s Subdivisional Magistrate Jai Pal Singh as Returning Officer (RO) for Kapurthala byelections.

The approval came in less than 24 hours after previous RO Dilraj Singh Sandhawalia was directed to be posted out of Kapurthala district by the ECI following protests regarding his alleged involvement in “bogus voters’ scam”.

The Akali Dal, in its complaint forwarded to the ECI, had earlier alleged that Chief Minister Amarinder Singh was using the chopper for poll purposes by clubbing official tour with election campaign.

Referring to an incident, Akali Dal’s secretary Daljit Singh Cheema — in the complaint — had asserted that the Chief Minister had landed in Jalandhar for official work on September 22. But had left for neighbouring district of Kapurthala by road soon after to attend Congress candidate’s function.

The Chief Minister, by resorting to such tactics, was “trying to circumvent the model code of conduct”, Dr Cheema had claimed. Seeking ECI’s intervention, Dr Cheema had demanded the grounding of the state helicopter till the completion of the election process. The addition of costs — incurred during the tour — into the total election expenses was also sought.

Giving details of media reports regarding the violation of poll code by Mr Johar, the sources in the Election Office here revealed that the Education Minister had reached Kaharpur village in Garshankar Assembly constituency in his official car with a red light atop.

Referring to a report published from Hoshiarpur, the sources stated that the minister was scheduled to inaugurate a school in the village. But did not enter the school premises after “getting the whiff of the violation at the last moment”.

The complaint and media reports regarding the violation of code were likely to be referred to some senior officer in the districts by the Election Department here for holding inquiries into the allegations. CEO G.S. Cheema was not available for comments.


CM wishes Elahi speedy recovery
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today wished speedy recovery to Mr Pervaiz Elahi, Chief Minister of West Punjab (Pakistan), who had a successful heart bypass surgery recently, Capt Amarinder Singh said that he hoped Mr Elahi would soon resume his official duties.

Recalling his memorable visit to West Punjab early this year, Capt Amarinder Singh said that it was a good beginning for the revival of cultural and economic ties between India and Pakistan.

The process will be further pushed ahead during the sports and cultural carnival at Patiala in December.


Court do not hear arguments in Badal case
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Ropar, September 28
In a major setback to the Punjab Vigilance Bureau, a Special Court, Ropar, today did not hear the arguments on framing of charges against Parkash Singh Badal, his wife Surinder Kaur Badal and Sukhbir Badal in a case disproportionate assets case registered against them, while taking note of serious allegations of cheating and fraud leveled against the prosecuting agency by the defence during the four-hour-long proceedings. Besides this, the defence counsel also levelled allegation that the investigating agency had been under pressure from the government that the charges against the Badals should be framed before the Assembly elections on three seats to be held next month in the state so that the ruling party would get benefit. Therefore, Punjab Vigilance Bureau investigating officers were making false statements and misleading the courts, the defence counsel alleged.

After hearing the arguments of both the sides, the Special Court Judge, Mr S.K Goel, issued notice to the prosecution to file a reply by September 30. The Judge also said that matter regarding the allegations of forgery along with court documents, be brought to the notice of the High Court.

As the case was fixed for today for the consideration of framing of charges, former Chief Minister of Punjab, Parkash Singh Badal, his wife Surinder Kaur Badal and son Sukhbir Badal appeared in the Special Court, Ropar, in the morning.

As the proceeding began in the morning, the Badals counsel moved five different applications demanding documents related to the case. He pleaded that the case be adjourned as the SLP moved by the Badals and others would be coming up for hearing on October 1. When the Judge, Mr Goel, said that let the arguments on consideration of framing of charges begin, the defense counsel, Mr H.S Mattewal objected it and said that first the prosecution should file reply on the five applications.

When the prosecution filed reply on those application, the defense counsel said, “We want fair trial. The prosecution agency was tampering with the court records and it was not in the interest of justice.

Mr Mattewal also levelled serious allegation against the prosecution that the sanction documents required to prosecute one of the accused in the case, Nirbhajit Singh, an ASI with UT police, were placed in the court records fraudulently and without informing the court by the prosecution. Mr Mattewal said there was no copy of sanction to prosecute him in the challan. He argued that the investigating agency had tampered with the court records by placing a documents later in the file without informing court. He also demanded an enquiry into the case.


News Analysis
Does the government carry non-performance tag?
P.P.S. Gill

Chandigarh, September 28
In a vigilance-oriented administration in Punjab, more wrongs than rights have occurred, governance has become a victim and non-performance is a rule rather than an exception.

This is the perception of political-executive as also of the bureaucracy. It is also widely perceived that implementation of the 91st constitutional amendment restricting the size of the Cabinet to 15 per cent of the strength of the Assembly has failed to improve governance. Also, the civil service too has remained overstaffed and probably under-managed. The same bureaucracy that had taken Punjab to new heights of economic development in yesteryear now follows a laid-back policy.

Why so? TNS asked a couple of politicians and bureaucrats. Their reply was simple. Bureaucracy is under “attack” from three flanks: the Opposition that sends feelers to “teach a lesson” when it returned to power; a state vigilance that has run amuck hunting and hounding the inconvenient ones at the behest of advisers and officers, who are seen to be close to the Chief Minister; and tantrums some ruling party dissidents occasionally throw.

Politicians, on the other hand, admitted they had no control over bureaucrats, who took their own sweet time to reply to routine enquiries and information sought from them. “We are persistently pestered for transfers, as well. We also feel lost and helpless in this given administrative system”.

Some may dismiss these as perceived notions. The fact is both politicians and bureaucrats have lost interest in the state and its people and confess that governance has gone “berserk” for lack of control and management.

“I see such bureaucrats and politicians as children of a ‘fearless’ God, just as there are children (poor people) of the lesser God”!, remarked a bureaucrat. Several others agreed with him, chipping in to say that the “non-performance” tag has come to stick to the government, which has just crossed half of its five-year term.

Some people did all the wrong things fearlessly and in a nasty manner. They were also not above board either. Even those assigned specific jobs to either build the government’s public image or oversee and manage law and order and collection of revenue were today law unto themselves, remarked many a bureaucrat.

Some politicians and bureaucrats talked of “misconceptions and misgivings” about the Chief Minister being spread as part of a conspiracy by none else than his own confidants, ever scheming and screaming for their own vested interests. “Such of the advisers and bureaucrats have eroded administrative discipline and breached political protocol, system and niceties. They neither maintain distance from the Chief Minster nor realise the damage to him due to negative vibes that are generated”.

Why has the government lost track of its own programmes and policies? Why have reforms got stuck? Why is expected money from multi-lateral financial institutions not forthcoming? Why no forward march on infrastructure, tax administration and collection? Why no administrative or PSUs restructuring or implementation of voluntary retirement scheme? And why is only postings and transfers the sole occupation (profession?) of MLAs and ministers and parliamentary secretaries?

Again a simple answer was that Punjab politicians and bureaucrats are children of a “fearless God”, surrounding a “God-fearing” Chief Minister. He intrinsically loves his family, listens to his mother, hates excessive drinking and over eating but loves to lead a good life, read and write, goes to bed early, rises early to work on his book, ‘History of Anglo-Sikh Wars’. Yet, unfortunately, his projection is deliberately distorted in public!


Reservation in posts on contract too
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
There will be reservation for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, backward classes and other reserved categories in the posts filled on contract, daily wages and workcharged basis. This has been made clear by the Punjab Government to all concerned.

Removing the prevailing confusion in this regard, the Punjab Government has directed all the its departments, boards, corporations, even universities and other autonomous bodies that there should be no violation of the reservation policy while filling the posts on contract, daily wages etc.

The government has sent a detailed letter to all the departments and other government organisations concerned in this connection. The letter follows the reports that there is a lot of confusion among certain government departments regarding the applicability of the state government’s reservation policy with regard to the filling of the posts on contract, daily wages etc.

In fact there are departments which have made recruitment dumping the state Government’s reservation policy in the dustbin. The government has got complaints from the various bodies of Scheduled Castes and backward classes. Organisations of SCs and BCs have stated that certain senior officers have been using the excuse of “ contract system” to deny jobs to reserved categories.

The government has told all its organisations that they should fill the posts ensuring reservation for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, backward classes, ex-servicemen, sportspersons, and physically challenged persons while making recruitments on contract basis. In fact the government has circulated a 100-point roster which the departments are supposed to follow while making recruitments. The departments concerned had been told to maintain the roster register of all reserved categories.

Before de-reserving any post, it should be ensured that no eligible person was available from reserved categories to fill the post.


NRI seats in Punjab medical colleges challenged
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 28
The decision of the Punjab Government to fix seats under the NRI quota in the medical colleges, government as well as private, in the state has been challenged in the Punjab and Haryana High Court through two separate writs.

The writ filed by Kanika Bhatnagar and two other students questions the validity of the June 17, 2004 notification issued by the Punjab Government by which 30 seats each have been reserved for NRIs in the three government medical colleges of Amritsar, Patiala and Faridkot.

The writ also seeks quashing of the notification which says that seven seats each in the two government dental colleges of Amritsar and Patiala will be reserved for NRI students or those seeking admission under this quota.

Another writ challenges the fixing of 15 per cent seats in private medical and dental colleges of Punjab under the NRI quota.

In their writs, the petitioners have stated that the Supreme Court in its judgements in the cases of TMA Pai and Islamic Academy of Education had clearly said that there could not be NRI seats in government medical colleges.

In one of the writs it has also been stated that recently the Punjab and Haryana High Court had struck down the decision of the Haryana Government to have paid seats in medical colleges for session 2003-4 referring to them as management seats.

They have prayed that directions be issued to the respondents to fill the seats meant for NRI students by students in the general category as per the merit of PMET-2004.

Notices have been issued to the Punjab Government, Baba Farid University, Guru Ram Das Medical College, Amritsar, and Dayanand Medical College, Ludhiana.

Both the petitions will now come up for hearing on October 7.

Now it remains to be seen whether the government takes notice of what Mr Sachar has advised. 


Goods released on basis of “fake” authority letters
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 28
The All-India Hindu Shiv Sena president, Mr Surinder Kumar Billa, in a communication to the RBI Governor, Union Railway Minister and others has alleged that goods arriving from Pakistan were released by railway authorities here on the basis of letters of authority carrying fake signatures and stamps on the indemnity bond.

The railway authorities have reportedly asked its goods department to look into the matter and report immediately. The complaint has caused a stir as traders and railway authorities were busy locating records today. Even though no railway official admitted to the orders from headquarters to provide records of all recent transactions with Pakistan, some on the condition of anonymity confirmed the same .

Mr Billa alleged that certain high-ranking officials in Northern Railway supervising goods were conniving with top- rung traders to get early release of goods. They even resorted to use of ‘false signatures and stamps’ on release bonds. Hence goods were alleged to have been released even before payments were made in the banks.

He demanded a CBI probe into the matter as the government was being cheated of crores of rupees. He stated that earlier in the sugar import scam a similar practice was in existence to evade octroi running into lakhs.


Atwal endorses Kalam’s proposal on Lokpal
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, September 28
Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal today endorsed the proposal of President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for bringing under the purview of Lokpal, an institution meant to check corruption, the top government dignitaries, including President, Prime Minister and Judges of the Supreme Court.

Talking to newspersons, Mr Atwal was commenting on the President’s proposal mooted yesterday in his inaugural address at the eighth All- India Lokayuktas Conference in Dehra Dun. Mr Atwal also endorsed the suggestion of the President that those states which did not have the office of the Lokayukta should have it within three months.

Flaying the attack on Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan on Saturday by a mob there, Mr Atwal declared to take up the issue with the Union Government at the highest level, including with the Prime Minister. “It is a religious issue and I will take it with all those who matter and with the urgency it merits,” he said.

Mr Atwal urged the Pakistan Government to ensure the foolproof protection of the shrine and security of Sikhs of Nankana Sahib.

Mr Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, MLA from Kum Kalan, and Mr Jarnail Singh Wahid, SGPC member, also flayed the attack on Gurdwara Nankana Sahib.

The Deputy Sepaker disclosed that the National Highway Authority of India had agreed to construct a flyover at the T-junction near Mehtan village on the GT Road on the Phagwara-Nawanshahr bypass at an estimated cost of Rs 20 crore.

Earlier, he had a high-level meeting with senior officials of the Central and Punjab governments, including the National Highway Authority of India, Road Transport Ministry, Railway Board, PWD (B&R), UP State Government Bridge Corporation, etc. The local administration was conspicuous by its absence from the meeting. However, local Congress MLA and Chairman, Punjab Foods Corporation, Joginder Singh Mann, sent his representative as he himself was busy at Kapurthala due to the Chief Minister’s visit there.

Mr Atwal succeeded in sorting out the differences between various parties regarding the ongoing work of road overbridge on the Satnampura railway level crossing. It was decided that the construction work would be expedited before the rainy season next year. The work of three service lanes would be completed in three months, claimed Mr Atwal.

An overbridge would be built at the railway station and the local Nagar Council would foot its bill, informed Mr Atwal in the presence of Mr Malkiar Singh Ragbotra, President, Nagar council.

The matters related to the Morinda, Dhilwan and Satluj bridges were also taken up and decision to expand and renovate these was taken.


Will any school admit HIV positive girl?
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 28
Tragedy struck Neena Goyal (name changed) at the age when she was not able to make a distinction between happiness and sorrow as her father, a truck driver, died more than three years ago while she was still in her mother’s womb. Tragedy again struck to her when her mother died on December 1, 2003, while she was just two-year old.

Indifferent to these tragedies, the worst came in the life of this orphan girl when she was found to be HIV-positive like her father and mother and became an eyesore for a large section of the society. However, lady luck smiled on her and she was duly adopted by Mr Vijay Goyal, a social activist and a state award winner.

Though after her adoption she started getting love and warmth which she would have got from her parents had they been alive, she is feeling disappointed as her desire to get education in school has not been fulfilled yet.

Said Mr Goyal, “Neena has been getting all facilities in her life and she is being loved by each and every member of the family and other kin but she is disappointed over the fact that she is not being sent to any school for her education.” He added that he had tried his best to arrange admission for Neena in a school where she could get proper education apart from necessary care but all in vain.

He said that though the district police chief, Mr Kapil Dev, who also made efforts for getting Neena admitted in any school and could not succeed, had promised that he would arrange a private tutor for her, he (Mr Goyal) would meet the Deputy Commissioner, Mr K.A.P. Sinha shortly in this connection.

Mr Goyal, who has cremated thousands of unclaimed dead bodies, has treated a number of psychologically sick and running small care centres for the destitute, pointed out that Neena could recognise English alphabets and could count upto 10. Neena had learnt it from the other members of the family.

He said he would try his best to arrange school education for Neena and hoped that some school authorities would come forward to admit her.


35 lepers await pension
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Moga, September 28
As many as 35 lepers staying at Nirmohi Kusht Ashram located on the outskirts of the city have not got monthly pension of a mere Rs 200 each for the last one year.

Talking to The Tribune today, the in charge of the ashram, Mr Shrikant Mishra, said the ashram was forced to shift four to five times before it finally settled on the Kot Kapura bypass road. He said the only aid they received from the government was Rs 35,000 that the Red Cross gave them to buy a piece of land at the present site of the Ashram and later Rs 1 lakh from the district administration, which was just enough to raise walls. Rest of the work was completed with the public support, besides financial assistance from an NRI, Mr Bhajan Singh, who also contributed in the construction of a dispensary on the ashram’s premises.

Highlighting the woes of ashram inmates he said out of the 50 inmates, 35 were getting a monthly pension of Rs 200 each, but they had not received a single penny as pension for the last one year. They were getting this pension under the handicapped quota as the disease had crippled various parts of their bodies.

He said the inmates were not receiving any medical aid from the government and they had to deposit money to an organisation, Seva Bharati, for the same.

He said most of the inmates went to far-fledged villages of the district to collect funds for the ashram. They carry with them printed receipts of the ashram ranging from Rs 2 to Rs 10.

Mr Mishra said thrice in a week the inmates move around in various colonies of the city and return with whatever people donate them. “Some people give them foodgrains, while others provide clothes,” he said.

The ashram has 25 rooms for its 50 inmates, a temple and 11 other rooms on its premises. The ashram has given these rooms on rent to some rickshaw-pullers so as to generate funds.

“These rickshaw-pullers prove to be of great help when someone falls sick and needs to be hospitalised at odd hours,” said Shyam Lal, ashram’s secretary.

He said the government had not even waived off their electricity and telephone bills. He said that Mr Parkash Singh Badal had announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh for the ashram during his tenure as the Chief Minister, but they didn’t get anything till date.

He said the ashram had approached the government officials concerned for the inmates’ pension, but they were told that there was no quota for lepers. He said that the government could at least provide education and jobs to their children.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Mandeep Singh, could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.


Recruitment test results of candidates held back
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
The results of the recruitment test of about 60 candidates from Gurdaspur has been held back by the Army authorities, reportedly on grounds of mass copying during the written examination.

While there has been no official announcement by the Army for withholding the results, some of the candidates affected have been intimated verbally by recruitment staff that their cases have been put forward to higher authorities for further action.

Stating this in a legal notice sent collectively by about 40 aspirants to the Defence Secretary, Chief of the Army Staff, Additional Director-General of Recruiting and recruitment establishments concerned, the affected candidates added that the result was published district-wise in local newspapers on September 21, but Gurdaspur did not figure in it.

When some candidates went to the Zonal Recruiting Office, Jalandhar, to inquire about their results, they were told that it has been withheld and their papers have been sent to higher authorities under a sealed cover, the notice, sent through the All-India Ex-Servicemen's Welfare Association, said.

The written test for matric entry recruits was held at Abohar on August 29 for candidates who had passed the initial screening and physical tests.

The notice also alleged that about 500 candidates from Gurdaspur had cleared physical tests at a recruitment rally held there from July 18 to 25 were not issued roll numbers or permitted to take the written examination at Gurdaspur held on July 25.

These candidates were later asked to appear for the written test at Abohar alongwith candidates from Ferozepore.


Protect lives of four, PSHRC tells SSP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
The Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) today directed the Ropar SSP to safeguard the lives of four residents of Sheikhpura village in the district.

The directions were issued on a complaint filed by Mr Jagjit Singh, Ms Nasib Kaur, Mr Nasib Singh and Mr Radhey Shyam Pandey, who alleged threats to their lives from Prem Singh and two police officials.

In their complaint through human rights activists Arvind Thakur and Neelam Singh, the complainants alleged that Prem Singh was trying to grab 18.5 acres of land in the village with the help of the Kharar DSP and the Kurali SHO. The land belonged to the father of Mr Jagjit Singh, who died recently.

The complainants alleged that the land mafia, which had the patronage of the police, was behind the land grabbing. The mafia purchased a piece of land adjacent to Chandigarh at throwaway prices with the police help and sold them to colonisers, they claimed.

While going through the application, the PSHRC directed the SSP that the life, liberty and dignity of the complainants should be maintained keeping in view the threat perception to them.

The application claimed that in August the mother of Mr Jagjit Singh, Ms Lachmi Devi, came to know that Prem Singh was trying to sell their land on forged documents in connivance with the police. Following this, Ms Lachmi Devi filed a civil suit in a Kharar court which is still pending.

On August 25, Mr Pandey was allegedly bundled into a gypsy and taken to the Kurali police station and kept in illegal detention. There he was allegedly beaten up by the police and let off with a warning that he would have to face dire consequences if the matter was reported to anyone.


Gunners’ Day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 28
Inauguration of an integrated health center for gunners and their families marked the 177th Gunners Day that was celebrated by Vajra Corps Gunners here today.

The centre was inaugurated by Lieut-Gen P.K. Singh, GOC, Vajra Corps and Colonel Commandant of the Regiment of Artillery.

The celebrations spanned over four days from September 25 during which an exhibition of the state-of-the-art advanced equipment in the arsenal of artillery units of Jalandhar Garrison was held. A golf tournament was held at Army Environmental Park and Training Area on Sunday.


Hindi Divas celebrated
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 28
The Hindi Department of Guru Nanak Dev University celebrated Hindi Divas here today. Prof Darbaril Lal, Deputy Speaker, Vidhan Sabha, inaugurated the function, while Dr S.P. Singh, Vice-Chancellor of the university, presided over.

Prof Darbari Lal stressed that special efforts should be made for the promotion of the national language.

He pleaded the Centre should ensure that all official work was done in Hindi only.

Dr S.P. Singh said that the Hindi literature was dominating during 1970s but now Hindi lost its identity at the national level.


Red Cross Society to provide artificial limbs
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 28
The District Red Cross Society will set up a centre to provide artificial limbs to the physically challenged in the district. A survey is being conducted to get the exact number of such persons and particularly those, who are financially weak.

This was stated by Mr S. K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, while presiding over a meeting of the District Level Handicapped Welfare Society. He said that a special room would be given to the Handicapped Welfare Association in the district Administrative Complex on the ground floor.

Mr Ahluwalia said that the District Social Security Department would organise special camps at the block level to identify as well as prepare certificates for physically challenged on the spot so that they need not have to visit offices for certificates. He said the District Red Cross Society would pay charges for such certificates of all categories of the physically challenged persons.

Ms Amrit Wala, District Social Security Officer, said it had been decided in the meeting that money would not be charged for the District Red Cross Fund or any other like sports, magazine and PTA funds from physically-challenged students in schools.

The District Red Cross society would provide books, uniforms and other required material to such students.

She said that as per the directions of the Deputy Commissioner the department would sort out all problems of the physically challenged on a priority basis.

Mr Daya Singh, DEO (S), Mr Dev Singh, DEO (E), and representatives of various associations also addressed the gathering.


First aid training classes
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 28
The first aid training classes will be held from October 5 to 15 in the District Administrative complex.

The classes would be organised by the District Red Cross Society, said Mr navjotpal Singh Randhawa, Assistant Commissioner (G)-cum-Secretary, District Red Cross Society, Fatehgarh Sahib. He said those willing to participate in the programme should contact the District Red Cross office room No. 119, on the ground floor of the District Administrative Complex.


High Court
Board files petition to become party in PIL
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 28
The Punjab Pollution Control Board today informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that it has filed an application in the Delhi High Court for becoming a party to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) for use of fly ash in the manufacture of bricks.

During hearing in a petition filed by Mr Shiv Walia and 50 other brick kiln owners of various parts of Punjab, the Bench of Chief Justice Mr Justice B.K. Roy and Mr Justice Amar Dutt was told that the Punjab Government has constituted a committee under minister Avtar Henry to study the issue.

The committee will submit its report within six months.

In their petition, the brick-kiln owners have prayed for quashing of the notifications issued by the Union Government on September 14, 1999, and August 27, 2003, through which use of fly-ash was made compulsory for all brick-kilns falling within a radius of 100 km (earlier 50 km) of a coal-based thermal power plant.

The petitioners claim that the cost of manufacturing of bricks using fly-ash will go up tremendously, making their business to suffer loss as all brick-kilns beyond 100 km radius are not forced to use fly ash. They have also said that the notifications are violative of Article 14.


BT cotton may be introduced in Punjab next year
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 28
The Centre may give its nod for the cultivation of BT cotton in North India, including Punjab, from the next crop season. Giving an indication to this effect, Dr Kirpal Singh Aulakh of the PAU, said the results of various field trials in connection with the cultivation of BT cotton was encouraging and environment-friendly.

He said the PAU had urged the Centre, through the Punjab Government, to give approval in this regard.

Dr Aulakh, who presided over a regional kisan mela organised by the PAU at its regional research station here, said some vested interests were opposing the cultivation of BT cotton.

He said in certain pockets of Punjab, BT cotton had been cultivated and it had given a good yield.

He said with the introduction of BT cotton, farmers would get various benefits as they would be saved from the sale of spurious cottonseeds and would be able to grow pest-resistant cotton varieties.

Dr Aulakh pointed out that everyone should understand that if paddy continued to be grown on a large scale, drought-like conditions would recur as the water table was going down every year.

He said about 10 lakhs acres under paddy should be shifted to other crops.

After introducing two varieties of wheat and a variety of barley developed by the PAU, he said at present about 11 lakh families of farmers were under a debt of Rs 11,000 crore.

He said the PAU authorities had taken up the matter pertaining to the recognition of degrees being awarded by the PAU in Australia with the Australian ambassador.

He said the population of human and cattle, which had been increasing at an alarming rate, should be controlled. Only profit-yielding cattle should be kept, he said.

He released a book on grape and kinnow cultivation in south west Punjab.


CM okays allotment of land for ‘krishi kendras’
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, September 28
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, has sanctioned allotment of land for four Krishi Vigyan Kendras to be set up in four districts.

Disclosing this here today, Dr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, said 25 acres had been allocated from the Birla seed farm at Ropar. This farm is under the control of Punjab Agricultural University.

Besides, 20 acres of land has been allotted in Shamsher Nagar village in Fatehgarh Sahib district, 30 acres in Budhsinghwala village in Moga district and 20 acres in Alawalpur village in Jalandhar district respectively.

Dr Aulakh said the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) would fund the establishment of the Krishi Vigyan Kendras. There would be eight scientists in each kendra and 16 personnel as supporting staff. Now all districts have Krishi Vigyan Kendras except Mansa.

According to the Vice-Chancellor the Krishi Vigyan Kendras have been disseminating useful technical information to farmers and have helped in bringing about awareness among them about the latest technological changes in farming patterns. The Krishi Vigyan Kendras also demonstrate on allied disciplines like poultry, fishery, dairy and mushroom cultivation.

The kisan melas organised by the PAU have attained international status now as this year representative from seven central Asian countries participated in the two-day Kishan Mela held on the campus at Ludhiana from September 23 to 24.

The Agriculture Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Mr Raghuvira Reddy, also participated with a team of officials.


Shift training camp venue, says BKU (Mann)
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, September 28
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Maan) has objected to the Agricultural Department holding farmers’ training camp at the same venue for the past many months and accused it of turning the camp into an exhibition for traders.

The Agricultural Department holds training camps for farmers to impart them knowledge about new techniques and products. The department has been organising the camps at a marriage palace. This time, too, the camp would begin there on September 29. However, the BKU (Mann) in a press note alleged that the department was holding the camp at the venue for vested interests.

Union leaders Sukhdev Singh Bhana and Hajur Singh Bhana said earlier too farmers had protested as they had an audio problem due to echo.

They said the department had its own farm where the camp could be organised.

The union leaders alleged that they were not provided with any seeds and information during the camp and only traders had put up stalls to sell seeds and equipment.


50 cops to help PUDA check encroachments
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
The Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) has decided to requisition the services of 50 police personnel to strengthen its enforcement wing so as to aggressively check and remove illegal constructions and encroachments.

A decision to this effect was taken at a high-level meeting of the officers of Housing and Urban Development Department held here today, which was chaired by Mr Raghunath Sahai Puri, Punjab Housing and Urban Development Minister.

Among the main issues discussed were the growing menace of unauthorised colonies in the state. The minister categorically stated that in future responsibility would be fixed on the concerned officers in whose territory any unauthorised colony was detected. PUDA had so far lodged 887 FIRs against developers of illegal colonies, with the Punjab Police. Since a fresh survey had been conducted to identify illegal colonies, more FIRs were likely to be lodged.

It was also stressed that all the recoverable amount from allottees, both institutional category as well as the residential/commercial categories, would be expedited within the next two months. The minister stressed the need to identify all such properties of PUDA which were under encroachment and directed that field staff to ensure that the encroachments were removed after seeking help from the district administration.

As an allottee friendly measure, it was decided to examine the demand of the public to abolish the requirement of ‘No Objection Certificate’ (NOC) to be issued once the registration of the property was done in the name of an allottee. In view of the fact that a large number of court cases were pending involving PUDA , it was decided that each case would be defended and followed up to a logical end and PUDA’s interests would be secured without any laxity.

It was decided that 300 houses would be constructed for economically weaker sections at SAS Nagar. These houses would be constructed on the land recently got vacated from encroachment at Sector 57, Mohali.

Prominent among others present in the meeting were Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department, Mr A.S.Chhatwal, Chief Administrator , PUDA, Mrs Raji P. Shrivastava , Mrs Ritu Dhillon, Mr Vikas Garg, Mrs Alak Nanda Dyal, Mr Kirpal Singh, Mr Yashvir Mahajan, all Additional Chief Administrator in PUDA. Besides Chief Town Planner, Land Acquisition Collector and senior officers of the Engineering Wing of PUDA were also present.


PUDA for strict action against illegal colonisers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
While addressing a monthly review meeting of PUDA officers, the Punjab Housing and Urban Development Minister today urged all his officers to take a strict action against those continuing with the business of developing unauthorised and illegal colonies. He has asked his officers to identify the upcoming illegal colonies and get criminal cases registered against those indulging in developing such colonies.

He told officers that in case any officer was found wanting in taking action, he would be taken to task. He said that while government was busy in framing the policy with regard to the development of colonies, certain elements were trying to take advantage of the existing situation. 


DC inspects grain market
Tribune News Service

Moga, September 28
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Mandeep Singh, today visited the local grain market to inspect the paddy procurement process.

He interacted with the farmers and inspected the arrangements made by the Mandi Board and arhtyas. The DC said that the quality of paddy was good this year and moisture content was under admissible limits.


Girl raped on pretext of marriage
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 28
A girl was allegedly raped by Ravi, a resident of the Kot Khalsa locality, here by luring her on the pretext of marriage. The case came to light when the girl was brought for a medical examination at Civil Hospital today.

The medical examination was reportedly conducted after court orders. Earlier, the case was registered after court order on September 21 at Vijay Nagar police station.

The family members alleged that the girl used to work as maid servant at Ms Kanta’s house in the Batala Road are and accused Ravi used to come at her house regularly. Talking to media persons, they alleged that about two years back, when Ms Kanta had gone to market, Ravi raped the girl. The girl complained to Ms Kanta who assured to get her married with the boy. Ravi on the pretext of marriage regularly raped her for two years, the family added.

A few months back when the boy refused to marry her, the family approached a police official at Vijay Nagar police station who refused to register a case. They alleged they also approached senior officials but in vain. They filed a complaint in the district court here which ordered registration of a case. According to police sources, the boy has absconded.


Man murdered by wife, paramour
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 28
Ms Kanwaljit Kaur, a resident of Ajnala allegedly murdered her husband, Mr Jaspal Singh, with the help of her paramour and his friends as he objected to her ‘illicit relations.’ The Ajnala police has arrested two persons in this regard while two others, including Kanwaljit, are absconding. A case under Sections 302, 201, 34 IPC has been registered.

Mr RPS Bajwa, SSP Majitha police district, in a press note issued here today, revealed that the accused buried the body at the cremation ground of the village.

However, the incident came to light when some persons who had gone to the cremation ground spotted a leg of the deceased protruding from the ground.

They informed the police which started an investigation after registration of a case during which the deceased was identified as Jaspal Singh, a resident of Gopal Nagar area in Ajnala.

He said during preliminary investigation, the Ajnala police booked Rajinder Singh alias Raju, Kanwaljit Singh and Kanwaljit Kaur, all residents of Ajnala, and Jagjit Singh of Dhariwal Kaler village. The police arrested Rajinder Singh and Jagjit Singh.

Rajinder Singh admitted that he had illicit relations with the accused, Ms Kanwaljit Kaur, and Jaspal Singh had caught them a number of times in an objectionable position. He said Jaspal used to beat her usually.

He said he, along with Kanwaljit, and other accomplices hatched a conspiracy to kill him. On the day of the incident they abducted Jaspal and first strangled him and then hit him with a ‘datar’ (sharp edged weapon). They tried to dispose of the body by burning it.


4 arrested with opium, smack
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 28
Four youths of this city, have been facing a number of criminal cases earlier, were arrested by the police today for their alleged involvement in the smuggling of opium and smack.

Police sources said that the youths, Sanjeev Pardhan, Yadwinder Singh, Sehajinder Singh and Rajiv Kumar, were carrying the narcotics in a Contessa car and they were caught at a police naka manned by DSP, Sukhdev Singh Chahal.

Sources added that about 870 gm of opium and 4 gm of smack were seized from them. The car has also been impounded. A case was registered against them under the NDPS Act.

The accused were remanded in police custody till October 1 when they were produced before the Judicial Magistrate today.


6 hurt in group clash
Our Correspondent

Kharar, September 28
Six persons were injured, four of them seriously, in a clash between two groups of persons at Badmajra village last night.

The seriously injured persons were admitted to the Civil Hospital here.

While one group claimed that they had been attacked by the members of the other group who were under the influence of liquor, a member of other group said that he was attacked when he asked a group of persons why they had gathered in the street late at night.

The police said that a case in this regard would be registered after medico — legal reports were given by the doctor concerned.

However, the statements of both the groups were recorded.


Principal hatched elimination plot to end strike, allege students
Rashmi Talwar

Amritsar, September 28
Even as students of Khalsa College here continue to demand the dismissal of the principal, Mr J.S. Dhillon, the Principal is alleged to have “hatched a conspiracy” to get some of the students eliminated to end the strike that entered its seventh day today.

The Principal has denied the charge, even as the Sikh Students Federation today played an audio cassette at a press conference about the conversation between the Principal with Danish, a former student of the college, who was promised that his wife would be given a job in Guru Harkishan School, if he helped in ending the strike.

The Principal is said to have used “harsh and abusive” language and told Danish to end the strike even if it meant eliminating some boys.

Danish, a world powerlifting champion, and attached with the college bhangra team for 14 years, said some professors of the college arranged a meeting at the Principal’s house on September 26. Danish admitted to having cases against him, said he wanted to expose the Principal .

According to the tape, the Principal is said to be telling Danish to arrange for some “outside elements and he would take some in the college security and others as students. “Uhna nu shanakti card vi mil jangey’ (the boys would get college Identity cards too!,” he said, adding that “goli chaldi hai chalen do , laata tootdi hai tootan do, laata toor deo bawan tor deo, ehna dey do do tootey kar deo, chaadar dey vich ban ke bahar sut deo. Mangalwar to ehna da raaj khatam kar deo “(if firing is needed let that be, if legs break let them, break their legs arms, break their arms , cut them up into two- two pieces and wrap them in a sheet and throw them outside. End their rule on Tuesday.

The federation president, Surinder Singh, Shishpal Singh, its general secretary, Varinderjot Singh, district president, and Davinder Singh played the tape. They also alleged that the Principal has also decided the escape route for these people and said he would give Danish a duplicate key of the back door via which he could first conduct a recee of the plan and later use it as an escape. He said he would not immediately get his wife appointed in the school, where his (Mr Dhillon’s) maternal uncle is in charge as this would raise suspicion.

The Principal, when contacted , said Danish was a mimic and had doctored the tape. He, however, admitted that Danish had visited him for a part in a theatre performance which he had refused. He said the federation was trying to establish its hold on the college.

Mr Charanjit Singh Chadda, vice-president of the college management, alleged some members of the managing committee were involved in this . He said they were trying to malign the Principal.


150 unemployed teachers court arrest
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, September 28
Protesting against the decision of the Punjab Government to hold contractual appointments, 150 members of the Unemployed Elementary Trained Teachers’ Union courted arrest here today.

The union members from all districts of Punjab had been holding dharna outside the district administrative complex since Sunday. Expressing their anger on the occasion of the visit of the Chief Minister, they courted arrest.

While most of the members included men, nearly 10 women also joined the protest and got themselves arrested. A dozen-odd members of the union were lathi-charged by the police outside the venue of the Chief Minister’s rally on the Jalandhar road.

The police has registered cases against union members under Sections 186, 283, 341 and 149 of the IPC. The members have been kept in custody at police stations of the city, Dhilwan, Bhulath and Science City.

Meanwhile, members of the Punjab Subordinate Services Federation from six districts took out a protest march in the markets of the city here today. The demonstrators raised slogans against the government for taking anti-employees and anti-farmers decisions.


ITI students go on strike
Tribune News Service

Moga, September 28
Members of the Punjab Students Union (Shaheed Randhawa) went on strike at the local Industrial Training Institute (ITI), besides blocking traffic in favour of their demands here today.

Addressing a gathering, the state union chief, Mr Pawel Kusa, alleged that the state government wanted to deprive the students of the facility of bus passes. He further alleged that the private bus operators were thrashing students at the behest of the ‘government’. He said that the education was being made costly so as to deprive the poor of it.

The student leaders also demanded that the vacant posts of teacher be filled and colleges be opened in villages. The students also took out rallies in a couple of villages.

The student leaders alleged that the private bus operators were threatening them in connivance with the police. The students demanded that the state government should run Punjab Roadways buses on the routes taken by them.

The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta) also came out in support of the students’ demands. Its district chief Trilok Singh Himmatpura said that they would extend support to the students’ agitation.

Meanwhile, protesting against the private bus operators’ attitude, the students of Industrial Training Institute in Faridkot also went on strike today. 


Private teachers resent non-payment of salary
Our Correspondent

Barnala, September 28
Thousands of college teachers serving in the privately-managed colleges of the state are sore over non-payment of salaries since at least 10 months.

Prof R.S. Brar, president of Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU), today said resentment prevailed among private college teachers of Punjab because of the Punjab Government’s failure to release the grant-in-aid to these colleges regularly, which in turn affected the payment of salaries to these teachers.

Professor Brar said the Punjab Finance Department had not cleared two bills worth Rs 33 crore pertaining to grant-in-aid for private colleges of Punjab. He said one bill worth Rs 14.4 crore pertained to the last year (2003-2004) whereas the second one for over Rs 18 crore was meant for second quarter grant-in-aid of this year.

He said despite assurances in this regard by Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister and Punjab Higher Education Minister to a PCCTU deputation at a meeting in her office at Chandigarh on September 16 no action had been taken yet.

Professor Brar urged Mrs Bhattal to intervene and ask the Punjab Finance Department to clear the two bills soon. He also appealed to Mrs Bhattal to redress other grievances and problems of private college teachers of the state. 


CM gives aid to brilliant student
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, has provided financial assistance of Rs 30,000 to a brilliant student, Navchetan Singh, for presenting a research paper in an international level conference being organised by Cosmos Club to be held at Washington DC from October 13 to 15.

Navchetan Singh, who recently passd his B.Tech in computer science from Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College, Fatehgarh Sahib, is the only graduate student whose paper was selected. All other papers are from reputed scientists with a long experience in the field of research.

Indian Society for Technical Education (ISTE) has also adjudged his research work and project as the best.


Seminar on solid waste management
Our Correspondent

Patiala, September 28
Multani Mal Modi College organised a seminar and an exhibition on ‘solid waste management through vermi-composting’ to mark the occasion of the National Technology Day here today. The Principal Scientific Officer, State Council for Science and Technology, Chandigarh, Dr Neelam Gultai, was the chief guest on the occasion.

In the exhibition, various methods to prepare vermi-compost by using waste organic material to save environment from pollution and increase quality of crops were displayed. In addition, a seminar on nano technology was organised. Dr Neelam Gulati Sharma inaugurated the seminar by lighting the lamp.

On the occasion, Dr H.S. Bhatti, Department of Physics, Punjabi University, presented a paper on ‘basic of nano technology’ and Dr Lalit Bhardwaj, Head of Department Nano Technology, Central Scientific Instrumentation Organisation, Chandigarh, presented his paper on ‘application of nano technology’. The scholars emphasised that nano technology would bring a new revolution in the field of electronics, medical science and material science.


Students remember Bhagat Singh
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, September 28
The birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh was celebrated by the various students’ unions of the region at the local regional college today.

In a press note issued, Mr Rajneesh Rana, regional centre president of the Bathinda unit, Punjab Students Union (Shaheed Randhawa), said that privatisation of education had converted the education institutes into profit-oriented institutes. 


National integration camp held
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, September 28
A national integration camp of the NCC cadets was organised here today. As many as 587 cadets drawn from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Delhi, Karnataka, Goa, Kerala, Lakshadeep, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Pondichery, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Orissa, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Chandigarh participated in the camp.

Brig D.S. Dhillon, Deputy Director-General, NCC, visited the camp and emphasised the need of these camps for unity and discipline.

Brig Dhillon interacted with the cadets and NCC officers who had escorted the cadets.

The Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, organised a dog show and horse show during the camp.

NCC cadets visited Harmandar Sahib, Durgiana Temple, Wagah border and Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, during the camp.


Students attend awareness camp
Our Correspondent

Patiala, September 28
The District Red Cross Society in association with the District Education Officer (Secondary) organised a six-day first aid and health awareness camp at Government Victoria Girls Senior Secondary School, which concluded today.

As many as 125 students and teachers from 12 schools of the city participated. The camp was inaugurated by Reeta Mohindra, camp director.

During the camp, the students were educated on health issues. In addition to this, special talks were organised on pollution, female foeticide and accidents.

On the occasion, Gurcharan Kaur, Charanjit Kaur, Gurdeep Singh and Kaka Ram Verma were honoured.

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