P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



CPI to decide on UPA at national convention

Jalandhar, November 4
The Communist Party of India (CPI) will take a decision on its future approach towards the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre at its three-day National Congress scheduled to be held in Chandigarh from March 29 next year.

Talking to mediapersons here yesterday, CPI Secretary General A.B. Bardhan said though his party and the Left allies wanted that the UPA government should complete its full term but it was also true that the support extended by the party to the UPA was not a permanent affair.

He said the support to the government was extended in a specific situation to bring the desired political change in the country.

He said the alternative political alliance in the country prior to the Lok Sabha elections was floated in a bid to fight out the BJP-led communal and opportunist political forces and the people had supported this cause at the hustings and this inspired the Leftists to lend support to a non-BJP government.

“We all are aware of the fact that the BJP has been beaten but this party is still going strong and we are to fight it out and shall fight it out,’’ Mr Bardhan said.

The CPI chief said it was true that the UPA government was neither entirely sticking to the common minimum programme (CMP) nor was paying attention to the concerns of the Left parties. But this was also true that the government had also done several good works and trying to mend the damage rendered to the nation during the misrule of the communal forces during the NDA government.

Mr Bardhan said the purpose of the Left parties now would be to ensure a stable majority to the government with continued efforts to pressurise the government to carry out meaningful and credible welfare programmes for the common man.

The CPI would even resort to agitation in a democratic and peaceful manner against the government to get the problems of common people including the farmers solved.

In this series, a massive demonstration would be held on November 9 in Delhi for the demands of the cotton growers in the country, he said.

Mr Bardhan expressed his dissatisfaction over the manner in which the UPA government had dealt with the issue of reducing interest rates on the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and the “insensitive’’ approach exhibited by the government towards the common minimum programme and the problems faced by the farmers in different states.

He said the CPI, during the next meeting of the UPA-Left Coordination Committee, would stress upon the immediate solution to the problems of farmers, besides urging for carrying out Irrigation Projects in a speedy manner, and beneficial minimum prices of various crops to the farmers.

The party would also demand for three time increase in the allocation for loans to farmers and early solution to other issues confronting the common man. — UNI


Cotton growers being repressed: CPI
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 4
While condemning the alleged repression of farmers who were agitating against the distress sale of cotton during the past few days in the state, Mr Joginder Dayal, state secretary of the Punjab unit of the CPI, said today that officials of the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) in connivance with cotton traders and government officials were "fleecing" the cotton growers in Punjab. This was the reason that the CCI had procured only 2000 bales of cotton, out of the total estimated 17 lakh bales produced this year in Punjab, while the traders had purchased cotton in a big way, he added.

Mr Dayal was here in connection with a general body meeting of Sangrur, Patiala and Fatehgarh Sahib district units of the party. This meeting was held in the local Mandir Shri Mansa Devi complex to mobilise party workers and raise funds for the 19th national congress of the CPI to be held from March 29 to April 3, 2005 in Chandigarh. Among others who attended the meeting were Mr Bant Singh Brar, assistant secretary, Punjab CPI, Mr Achhra Singh, former CPI MLA, Ms Kushal Bhaura, Istri Sabha leader, Mr Sukhdev Duggal, Patiala district secretary of the party, Mr Harpal Singh Ghagga, a senior leader of the party, and Mr Baldev Singh Nihalgarh, Sangrur district secretary of the CPI.

Mr Dayal said the cotton growers had sold the produce at a rate of Rs 2,800 per quintal last year, while this year as the CCI did not enter the cotton market the farmers were selling their crop at a rate of Rs 1,700 per quintal, which was even less than the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 1,760 per quintal. He said in stead of taking steps to ensure remunerative prices for cotton growers, the Punjab Government started repressing them.

Mr Dayal said the CPI demanded that the CCI should enter the cotton market without any further delay and the arrested farmers should be released immediately. Besides, the Punjab Government should put pressure on the Central Government to ensure remunerative prices to the cotton growers, he added.


Canada to back India on terrorism
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 4
The Canadian High Commissioner, Ms Lucie Edwards, today assured the SGPC chief, Bibi Jagir Kaur, that she would take up the issue of Sikh religious symbols with her government.

During her talks with the SGPC President she said Canadians enjoyed warm relations with the large Sikh community in her country and added that they represented the composite Indian culture.

Answering a question on global terrorism, the High Commissioner said Canada firmly opposed any kind of terrorism and would back India and other countries to eliminate this scourge from the face of the earth.

Talking to newspersons after paying obeisance at the Golden Temple, Ms Edwards said bilateral trade between India and Canada was growing annually at the rate of 10 per cent and had doubled during the past seven years, touching the Canadian $ 2 billion mark.

Ms Edwards said Canada was helping India through a unique partnership in agriculture research and development, agro-processing, afforestation, health and child nutrition.

Commenting on air links with India, she said Canada would like to start a flight from Mumbai, but added that the possibility of a flight to Amritsar could be taken up later.

Earlier, she visited the Wagah border post to witness the beating-the-retreat ceremony.


SGPC poll: No response from Centre
on paramilitary forces

Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
The action has commenced.

Less than 72 hours before the SGPC poll in three constituencies, a cop has been transferred and probe into the arrest of a sarpanch has been ordered.

Interestingly, the Gurdwara Election Commission — conducting the elections — has still not received any response from the Central Government regarding the deployment of paramilitary forces in Dhariwal, Gurdaspur and Tarn Taran constituencies.

Giving details of the action, sources in Punjab Police Headquarters here reveal that the government has ordered the transfer of Sub Inspector Wassan Singh of Dhariwal.

The sources claim that the commission had earlier received a complaint from the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) members. They had accused the officer of siding with the rival Panthic Morcha members.

SAD’s secretary D.S. Cheema had alleged that the officer was involved in pressurising party supporters. Dr Cheema had added that the official had developed vested interests as he was posted in the area he belonged to.

Regarding the arrest of a sarpanch, the sources in the commission claim that Chief Commissioner of Gurdwara Elections Justice J.S. Sekhon has ordered a probe into the incident.

They add that action was initiated on the basis of another complaint forwarded by SAD members. They had asserted in their complaint that sarpanch of Agwan village Niranjan Singh was booked in a false case before being taken into custody by the Vigilance Bureau as he was candidate Sucha Singh Langah’s supporter.

Meanwhile, criticing the Chief Minister for stating that paramilitary forces were not required in the state, Dr Cheema asserted that Capt Amarinder Singh was encroaching upon the Election Commission’s territory.

Elaborating upon his contention, Dr Cheema asserted that the Chief Minister had no business of making such a statement as the Election Commission was the competent authority.

The secretary added that the Congress Governments — both at the Centre and in Punjab — were still not co-operating with the commission. It was evident from the fact that the commission had written to the Centre for deployment of paramilitary forces almost a month ago. But the reply had so far not been received. The elections to the constituencies are scheduled to be held on November 7.


Akali factions to join hands against Badal
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 4
The All-India Shiromani Akali Dal (AISAD) would strive to unite all rival Akali factions into a single entity with a view to oust Badal and his coterie from the Akali Dal and the SGPC.

Addressing a joint press conference here today, Mr Jaswant Singh Mann, President, Mr Bharpur Singh Balbir, Senior Vice-President, Principal Hardip Singh Bajwa, general secretary, and Mr Satnam Singh Kanda, organising secretary, of the AISAD, respectively, alleged that the SAD led by Mr Parkash Singh Badal had ruined the age-old Sikh institutions with a view to remain in power .

Mr Mann said Sant Ajit Singh Pariwar Vichhora would be urged to give a call to all Panthic factions to come on a joint platform.

Answering a question, Mr Mann said Capt Amarinder Singh was a right man in a wrong party. Showering words of praise on the Chief Minister, Mr Mann said he was the person who could muster courage to take firm stand on inter- state river waters issue.


SGPC trunks may open Pandora’s box
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 4
The two trunks containing belongings of the SGPC, including a revolver and burnt Indian and foreign currency, which remained in the Deputy Commissioner’s Treasury since Operation Bluestar, are likely to open Pandora’s box , with its chief Bibi Jagir Kaur saying that she would ask the Prime Minister to help in recovering the rest of the 148 trunks during her proposed meeting with him in Delhi.

Both trunks, opened in the presence of media, showed that the material was kept in safe custody with the seals of the SGPC and the Army. However, it is a mystery that the SGPC and the district administration were ignorant about the trunks though the matter was taken up with the CBI and the then Defence Minister George Fernades had given a number of statements in this regard. However, the authorities concerned are still unaware of the rest of the trunks in which the Army had taken some valuable 10,500 manuscripts.

Bibi Jagir Kaur said the material recovered from the trunks would be kept in Darbar Sahib’s Sikh Museum.


Curfew-like situation in hospital
Relatives not allowed to meet BKU activists
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Mansa, November 4
Curfew-like situation prevailed outside the male surgical ward of the Mansa Civil Hospital where 12 BKU (Ekta-Ugrahhan) activists, who were injured in lathi charge at Ralle village yesterday, were admitted.

Relatives of injured activists and mediapersons were not allowed to enter the ward today. A police naka has been set up outside the ward since last night.

The BKU activists were injured when they were on way to Mansa to organise a protest against the fall in prices of raw cotton. Nearly 12 policemen, including a DSP, were also injured.

Ms V. Neerja, SSP, Mansa, admitted that the mediapersons and photographers were not allowed to enter the ward.

“Believe me, all activists, who were admitted here, have got minor injuries,” she said.

When asked how the police would produce them in court today as a criminal case was registered against them under various sections of the IPC, she said those who suffered minor injuries would be presented in the court and two, who were finding it difficult to walk, would not be produced in the court. Their judicial remand would be taken from the magistrate concerned.

The injured have been identified as Gurdial Singh (70), Gurjant Singh (60), Gurcharan Singh (60), Gurmail Singh (65), Gurditta Singh (62), Santokh Singh (70), Karnail Singh (80), Kahan Singh (55), Kartar Singh (70) and Gurdev Singh (70).

Meanwhile, Mr Jhanda Singh Jethuke, president, BKU (Ekta-Ugrahhan), Bathinda, claimed that it was the police which attacked the activists and not the BKU activists attacked the police as appeared in the media. While condemning the police treatment being meted out to the activists in the local hospital, he said the union would announce its new programme in a day or two.


‘Hardip Singh wanted to surrender before police’
Pawan Kumar

Amritsar, November 4
The sensational suicide case, in which five members of a family, including two minor children, had committed suicide, took a fresh turn today when it came to light that Hardip Singh, head of the family, wanted to surrender before the police.

Hardip Singh had “unintentionally” killed his father, Sunder Singh, who was allegedly caught red-handed while molesting his daughter-in-law, Romi. After this, accused Mohinder Singh, his daughter-in-law, Sabrin, Babbu (sister of Hardip) and her husband, Jolly, started to blackmail Hardip Singh.

A maternal uncle of Hardip Singh while talking to The Tribune over telephone, said Hardip Singh wanted to surrender before the police and had asked him to take up the matter with the SSP.

The deceased’s uncle said he had met Mr Kultar Singh, SSP, about 10 days ago in this regard. The SSP had asked him to bring two family members as witnesses to Hardip Singh’s surrender before the police. He said he was ready to become one of the witnesses and asked Hardip Singh to ask another family member to become a second witness. He said Hardip Singh told him that he would speak to his sister, Babbu.

The deceased’s uncle said, however, on October 31 he heard about the shocking incident that Hardip Singh along with his wife, Romi, mother, Jaswant Kaur, and two minor children, Imran and Sanmeet, had committed suicide.

However, Mr Kultar Singh, SSP, could not be contacted for comments even after repeated attempts.

Mr P.K. Rai, SP (city), said Babbu, after coming to know of his crime when he asked her to become a witness, may have started blackmailing him. According to scribblings on the walls of the house, where the family had committed suicide, Babbu and her husband Jolly, based at Jalandhar, were demanding Rs 10 lakh, a car and gold jewellery from Hardip Singh — a demand he could not meet. Hardip Singh had already given a huge amount to Mohinder Singh who was blackmailing him. Babbu later on demanded Rs 3 lakh from him to pay off her debt.

In the meanwhile, the police could not find a suspect police official, who was also allegedly blackmailing Hardip Singh and his family. Police sources said there was no police official in the name of Mukhwinder Singh, Sub-Inspector, in the department. However, the police was following the lead of a motorcycle belonging to the accused police official who had identified himself as Mukhwinder Singh to Hardip Singh.

The police sources said the suspect might have been a fake as no officer of the crime branch is posted in the city. Meanwhile, the police has searched the house of Hardip Singh where, as per reports, it could not find any incriminating material. As per family sources, the police found only Rs 700 in cash, a jewellery box and several silver utensils.


Warrant officer finds man chained in lock-up
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 4
A warrant officer appointed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court has found Mr Rajeev Kumar, a local resident, lodged in the lock-up of local police station with his hands chained.

Mr K.L. Bansal, warrant officer of the high court, who raided the local thermal police station late last night, recorded in the DDR of the police station that Mr Rajeev Kumar was found handcuffed in the lock-up. He could not arrange for Mr Rajeev Kumar’s release as the police official claimed that the latter had been arrested by the city police under Sections 107/151 of Cr. PC.

Mr Bansal was appointed as warrant officer by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on a petition by Mr Sanjeev Kumar, brother of detainee. In the petition filed yesterday, Mr Sanjeev Kumar alleged that his brother Rajeev Kumar was taken into custody illegally and the concerned police official did not release his brother despite his repeated requests.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that Mr Bansal managed to find out Mr Rajeev Kumar lodged in thermal police station around 12 in the night. Asked about the reasons for the arrest the officials concerned told him that Mr Rajeev Kumar was arrested by the city police at 10.10 pm on the complaint of Mr Mandeep Kumar, a resident of Kot Kapura. Mr Rajeev Kumar and Mr Mandeep Kumar were having some dispute. The city police had arrested Mr Mandeep Kumar under Sections 107/151 of Cr. PC.

Mr Bansal was told that Mr Rajeev Kumar was shifted to thermal police station from city police station as there was no adequate space for keeping him in the lock-up there. Activists of the BKU (Ekta-Ugrahhan), who had been taken into preventive custody in connection with the rail roko agitation, were already lodged in that jail. The police official also told him that Mr Mandeep Kumar was lodged in the lock-up of city police station.

When Mr Lachhman Singh, Station House Officer (SHO), Thermal police station, was asked why Mr Rajeev Kumar had been chained, he said that the detainee was not chained in thermal police station. Mr Rajeev Kumar was brought to thermal police station handcuffed from city police station by a police official of the rank of ASI.

He said that the ASI accompanying Mr Rajeev Kumar forgot to handover the key of the handcuffs to them.

Mr Lachhman Singh said that before the key to unlock handcuffs was brought from city police station, Mr Bansal, had already raided thermal police station. He added that he had explained all facts to Mr Bansal last night.


Semester exams of varsities postponed
World Punjabi Conference, Indo-Pak games cited as reason
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 4
In a strange move , the state government has decided to postpone semester/mid-term examinations of Punjabi University, Punjab Technical University , Baba Farid Health University , Guru Nanak Dev University and the Punjab School Education Board and directed these educational institutes to hold the examinations after December 15.

A decision to this effect had been taken in view of the proposed Indo-Pak Games - 2004, scheduled to be organised at Patiala from December 5 to 11 . Before the games , the state government would host the World Punjabi Conference from December 1 to 3.

The state government desired that the dates of examinations should not clash with the proposed Indo-Pak games of the World Punjabi Conference so that the show should be a grand and memorable one.

Highly placed sources in the Punjab Civil Secretariat said the decision to postpone the examinations had been taken by the executive board of the Games , held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Punjab , Capt Amarinder Singh himself.

The decision of the state government would adversely affect the academic schedule , especially in case of professional courses.

The decision has come as a bolt from the blue for the students of professional courses who wanted to take admission at the national or global level . The step could mar the future of brilliant students.

A student of the university said he had tied up with a multi-national company to complete his training . However, the postponement of the examinations may reduce his chances to avail this opportunity.

The postponement of the examination would also adversely affect the next academic session. The next session would now start from mid-February .

The semester of GND varsity, which was to complete on May 15, would now extend to June 15.

The vacations may now start from June 15 instead of the earlier schedule May 15. The new academic session would start from August instead of July in the wake of the re-scheduling of the examinations.

It would also delay the vacation schedule. Normally, the evaluation of the semester examination is done during the vacations which would stand squeezed .

The universities will have to take care of the UGC norms as per the proposed new schedule .

Students of architecture , food sciences, botany and planning departments who normally go on educational tours are sore over the decision of the state government.

They said the state government should have confined the decision of the postponement of examinations to Punjabi University Patiala only where the Indo-Pak games and the World Punjabi Conference are scheduled to be held.

When contacted, Dr S.P. Singh, the Vice-Chancellor said his university would implement the directions of the state government in toto.


Streamline sale of DAP fertiliser, demands SAD (A)
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, November 4
SAD(A) General Secretary Jaskaran Singh Kahan Singhwala today demanded streamlining the supply, sale and price of DAP fertiliser, failing which the party would launch a district-level peaceful protest against its blackmarketing and stage-managed shortage. He demanded cancellation of the licences of all those who were indulging in blackmarketing or blackmailing of wheat-growers as the DAP fertiliser was needed at time of wheat sowing.

In a statement here, Jaskaran Singh sought the intervention of Union Fertiliser and Chemical Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in this regard. He alleged that a 50-kg bag of DAP fertiliser, officially priced at Rs 467.50, was being sold between Rs 482 and 510. Besides, farmers were being forced to buy one bag of zinc with DAP fertiliser thus causing a loss of Rs 100 to them as zinc at this stage of wheat sowing was not required at all, he said. At some places, even bottles of monocrotophos, an insecticide not required now, were also thrust on farmers along with the DAP fertiliser, he alleged.

He said the party would submit memoranda to Deputy Commissioners against it in case the sale of DAP fertiliser was not regulated.

However, he expressed satisfaction over the procurement of paddy by the government.


Vegetation, flower vases, gardens
mosquito breeding grounds
P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Did you know the potential breeding grounds for the larvae of mosquitoes? Read on. Paddy fields, plush gardens with thick vegetation, water plants in flat earthen pots and water-filled flower vases, little cups filled with water placed under the legs of tables to prevent their being overrun by ants etc.

And all this has resulted in great changes in the overall growth, demographic and distribution patterns of the deadly vector, the mosquito species in the region. Consequently, the Anopheles mosquito has been rapidly replaced by Aedes and Culex species, resulting in higher incidence of dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis. More than the simple malaria, since early 90s.

Here is a warning. To combat mosquito-induced diseases in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh and it is imperative to take timely steps to stop further growth of Aedes and Culex before the diseases caused by these became endemic. Also, the mosquito menace has to be tackled by each individual by ensuring that water is not allowed to stagnate in flower pots, vases, cups filled with water under the legs of tables and coolers. And occasional sprays are done on the vegetation and thick growth plants in and around the houses and on the lawns.

This warning comes from Dr Shagan Deep entomologist at Panjab University, Chandigarh, who has been working on tracking mosquitoes’ life patterns in the region for the last 15 years. She is the principal investigator under the Department of Science and Technology ‘’Young Scientists’’ Rs 9 lakh three yearresearch project in the department of Zoology.

She shared her research with TNS today. Mosquito and man are not exactly made for each other. The two, however, certainly make a rather deadly combination. It is the needle-like prick, a little itch, some pain and swelling on the skin that only the female mosquitoes cause, when it sucks blood. That is the beginning of the story of mosquito-induced diseases and ordeal of man.

She says: ‘’Mosquito-bitten diseases stretch from malaria to Japanese encephalitis to dengue fever to any of the four species of plasmodium. The most widespread and dangerous being the plasmodium falciparum, which, if left untreated can lead to fatal cerebral malaria’’. What with over 2,500 species of mosquito around the world, several of these are carriers of a variety of viruses, imagine how annoying a mosquito can be or how troublesome its bite.


3-year-old girl dies in fire
Our Correspondent

Abohar, November 4
A three-year-old girl was burnt alive as a fire broke out in a cotton-ginning factory here today.

The fire broke out while cotton was being processed at a factory located near Burjmuhar village on the Abohar-Fazilka road. Mr Mubarak Ali and his wife from Ferozabad were reportedly working in the complex while their daughter, Jaan (3) and son Arif Ali (4) were playing nearby. Jaan was completely burnt whereas Mubarak and Arif suffered burns on the legs. They were rushed to Nehru Memorial Civil Hospital where doctors described their condition as stable. The fire brigade had a tough time in controlling the fire that caused a loss of several lakhs to the owners.

Meanwhile, in another incident, the house of a Muslim family, engaged in milk business here, was also gutted in a fire today. Neighbours noticed dry fodder stock catching fire around the house of Mr Allhaditta Khan in Ajit Singh Nagar behind the new grain market. His two daughters trapped inside were shouting for help as their parents were not present in the house. Scores of residents used sand and water to bring the fire under control and rescued the minor girls.


1,200 ex-servicemen take part in rally
Our Correspondent

Abohar, November 4
About 1,200 ex-servicemen attended an ex-servicemen rally organised at the Military Station, Abohar, today.

Brig V.P. Singh, VSM, Station Commander, Abohar, welcomed the chief guest, Brig S. Gautham, Deputy GOC, Infantry Division, Army and Civil official and the ex-servicemen present in the rally.

After releasing an information brochure, Brigadier Gautham appreciated the ex-servicemen for their contribution in the development of the nation.

Lt Col C.L. Mahinia spoke about the working of the placement cell while Mr Jarnail Singh, Deputy Defence Pension Officer, spoke on pension disbursement. Colonel Deepak Sharma exhorted the ex-servicemen to join the comprehensive health scheme.

The gallantry award winners were honoured by Brigadier Gautham, Brigadier V.P. Singh and the SDM. Brave women, physically challenged and the needy ex-servicemen, their dependents and widows were presented sewing machine and blankets. All these items were collected from the Army, government agencies, private companies and the local residents.

As many as 14 stalls were provided at the medical camp, which was inaugurated by sepoy Tara Singh, who had joined the Army in 1942. Surgical treatement facilities were also provided.

Ex-servicemen were also provided transportation and food free of cost.


Sustained campaign against corruption
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
A systematic campaign would be launched against corruption by involving all sections of society during ‘Vigilance Awareness Week’ which will continue till November 6. This was today disclosed by Punjab’s Additional Director-General of Police-cum-Chief Director of Vigilance Bureau A.P. Pandey.

In a press release, he said the residents would be educated about the dangers of corruption and sensitised about its consequences. He further said that a pledge would also be taken by all public servants, irrespective of their status, to continuously strive hard to bring about integrity and transparency.

He also asked the officers to display banners and posters for educating the people about the evils of corruption. Informative seminars, lectures and debates would also be organised in educational institutions to check corruption.


Price fixation panel meeting postponed
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 4
Following a demand made by the Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, the Punjab government has decided to postpone indefinitely the meeting of the price fixation committee scheduled to be held tomorrow under the chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, at Kharar.

The meeting was to fix the compensation amount for the villagers whose land was going to be acquired by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA). This was communicated to the MLA today by the Chief Secretary, Punjab.

In a letter to the Chief Minister, the MLA had yesterday pointed out that thousands of farmers residing in villages’ periphery had been protesting against the acquisition of their land for the past six months and a high-powered committee had also been constituted by the government to look into their demands.

Mr Bir Devinder added that the government should offer a rehabilitation package to those farmers whose lands were being acquired.

Meanwhile, the sarpanches of 10 villages met Mr Bir Devinder Singh early today and had decided to sit on dharna in case the meeting was held.

Landowners from Manak Majra, Bairmapur, Sohana, Lakhnaur, Mauli Baidwan, Raipur Khurd, Kumbra and Manauli have been protesting against the acquisition of their land by PUDA since the past six months.


Gill writes to PM on bus service to Nankana Sahib
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Dr M.S Gill, MP, has once again written to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to take action with regard to starting the bus service from Amritsar to Nankana Sahib. He expressed concern that while the Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had recently announced that as many as six buses would be started, four to Nankana Sahib and two to Kartarpur Sahib, no formal ordered had been issued by the government in this regard.

In his letter Dr Gill had stated that while talks were scheduled to be held on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service at Islamabad and on Minabao-Khokhrapar rail link in Delhi later this month, no solid action had been initiated to start the bus to Nankana Sahib nor any formal communication received till date.

He has urged the Prime Minister and the Union Government to expedite the matter and start the first bus to Nankana Sahib, the ‘Mecca’ of the Sikhs on November 27, the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.


Anti-rabies vaccine in short supply
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Even as the incidence of dog bites continues to be on the rise in the states of Punjab and Haryana, the non-availability and shortage of cheap anti-rabies vaccine, Sample, in government hospitals and dispensaries across the region is forcing the victims to turn to expensive alternates available in the market or knock the doors of private hospitals.

Sources in Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, Amritsar, attached to the Medical college confirmed that the vaccine doses of Simple have not been received in the OPD of the anti-rabies clinic for the past eight months even as 100 odd patients of dog bites visit the clinic everyday. Of these 50-60 cases are new while the rest are secondary patients who come for their second or third doses. While the office of the Civil Surgeon, Amritsar, has also not been receiving its supplies, a majority of the dispensaries, particularly in the rural areas, have no choice but to prescribe modern vaccines available in the market. The situation with regard to the supply is no better in Ludhiana, Gurdaspur and Tarn Taran districts.

A doctor on the condition of anonymity said: “Wwe simply prescribe modern vaccines available in the market but since most of the patients do not come back to us after taking the prescription, we can’t be sure if they actually take the medicine or not.” Figures show that three people died of rabies in Amritsar during the past three months due to infection and may not have been able to afford the vaccine.

Poor people living in slums and colonies and labourers who come home late in the evening on foot or cycles have a high-risk of catching the infection as they are more exposed to dog bites, and the cheap vaccine was the only affordable treatment available to them.

But now with the Ministry of Health directing the Central Research Institute ( CRI), Kasauli, to stop production of the nerve tissue vaccine, Sample, it will not be available anywhere after December and that will leave the poor patients with fewer choices.

Poor people, who in some cases have two or three dog bite cases in their families, will have to buy the modern vaccines from the market even as it will be rather heavy on their pocket. While the Sample vaccine was administered in the government hospitals at a nominal charge of Rs 20, till now patients have had to shell out anything between Rs 270 to Rs 300 for a single dose of other vaccines like Rabipur, Verorab, Vacirab or the newly launched Rabivax, said another doctor. Even as these modern tissue culture vaccines are more safe and potent their price would always be a constraint for the masses as a minimum of 3-5 doses are to be taken.

The SMO of the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, Ms Manjit Kaur said: “ no anti-rabies vaccines has been received by them since February and the situation is no better in the district also.

As a result, the number of patients coming to the OPD of the clinic has gone down as the patients prefer to get the vaccine administered from where they buy rather than travel long distances to reach a dispensary and not get the vaccine,” she added.

The Director, Health Services, Punjab, Dr G.L. Goyal, when contacted said since anti-rabies vaccines were not purchased under any separate head, the shortage in some of the hospitals and dispensaries could also be due to arrears to the tune of Rs 12 lakh, which they owe to the institute at Kasauli and because of which the institute might have stopped the supply.

Dr Ashok Goel, secretary-general of the Association of Prevention and Control of Rabies in India. (APCRI), said since the disease is 100 per cent fatal once the symptoms appear , the governments, both the Centre and state, should take immediate steps to replace this toxic vaccine with new modern vaccine at subsidised prices. 


Lawyers allege use of stale khoya
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 4
At least 91 lawyers of the District Bar Association today announced a boycott of mithai during the festive season charging sweet shops of using substandard and stale khoya brought from Uttar Pradesh to prepare sweetmeats during the Divali festival.

The lawyers submitted a representation to the Deputy Commissioner and the Senior Superintendent of Police in which they claimed that sweetmeats were being prepared from substandard khoya.

The lawyers in their representation claimed that sweet shop owners in the city had been hoarding khoya in large quantities for the past two months to use it during the festive season.

The lawyers said most of the khoya had gone stale and fungus had grown on it, besides being infested with worms.

They said khoya was being handled with iron spades in godowns and that labourers stepped on the material freely.

The lawyers also alleged that pesticides were being added to the khoya to kill the worms, risking the lives of consumers.

The District Health Department, meanwhile, checked sweet shops and took milk and cheese samples from five sweet shops in the city besides carrying out a raid on a godown where khoya was suspected to have been stored in large quantity.

The District Health Officer, Dr V.S. Mohi, when contacted, said the Health Department had started a campaign to detect adulteration by sweet shops to ensure safety of people during the festival.

He said under the drive milk and cheese samples had been taken from five sweet shops in the city, including those situated outside the Government Rajindra Hospital and the Military Canteen.

He said four food sampling teams had been constituted for the purpose, adding that more such samples would be collected in the coming week.

On the apprehension of lawyers regarding contaminated khoya, he said he had also received reports in this regard.

He said according to reports received by the Health Department, a number of shopkeepers had managed to import khoya in bulk from Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

It was reported that the khoya was being kept in a few cold storages so that it could be used during the festive season, he added.

Dr Mohi said a Health Department team today raided a godown to verify the authenticity of allegations regarding khoya storage.

he said the godown owners some how got the whiff of it and left the premises after locking it.

Raids on godowns and cold storages would be conducted to reveal any wrongdoing, he concluded.


Zira road turns into a garbage dump
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Moga, November 4
It seems that the municipal council has closed its eyes to the garbage dumps mushrooming in the town. Its height of indifference can be gauged from the fact that about a 100-metre stretch on the Zira road has virtually turned into a garbage dump.

A large number of vehicles including trucks and three-wheelers pass through this road daily. The garbage dump, which attracts stray cattle and dogs, also occupies a part of the road. The stray animals devouring on garbage pose a serious threat of accident, especially to the two-wheeler riders who are in a hurry to cross that stretch owing to a perennial stink emanating from it. Some of the residents and commuters have also contributed to this garbage dump, as they also throw household waste and fruit peels at this point. This stretch of road has become so narrow that if a truck is coming from one direction then vehicles coming from the opposite direction have to wait till it cross a particular point.

The condition of this road was worse a couple of months back. For the last three years, it had deep potholes that later gained the shape of a pit and it was difficult to locate the remains of the road on this stretch. In rainy season this stretch remained waterlogged for most of the time. One can imagine the plight of the road, which also leads to grain market, from the fact that some thieves used to board loaded trucks slowly treading this stretch of road at night and throw sacks of foodgrains towards their aides standing at the roadside before getting down from these vehicles.

Disappointed with the apathetic attitude of the authorities concerned, the gram panchayat of Dhaleke village, which is located on the same road, its youth services club in association with Suraj Nagar residents, took up the repair work of this road. The villagers first laid bricks, which they bought from a brick-kiln at cheap rates, on the stretch followed by a layer of soil. The village panchayat engaged 20 daily wagers for six days to finish the roadwork, besides their tractors to transport the material. They even paid these daily wagers from their pocket. Their endeavour bore fruit and the commuters have got rid of bumpy ride, as the road has been levelled.

The municipal council president, Mr Joginder Pal Jain, could not be contacted for his comments. As far as the construction of road was concerned, sources said the government had already sanctioned Rs 10 lakh for the work and the roadwork would be started soon.


Municipal employees go without pension
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 4
About 200 former employees of the Local Bodies Department, who retired from services after attaining the age of superannuation before April, 1990, have been running from pillar to post to get pension but without any success so far.

In a press note issued here today, Mr Jagdish Rai Bansal, president, Retired Municipal Employees Union, said that these former employees were living in a deplorable condition without post-retirement benefits.

He pointed out that despite written promises of Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, Dr Kewal Krishan and Mr Surinder Singla made to them to provide pension, nothing had been done in this connection so far.


PF not paid for 6 months
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, November 4
Most of the teachers and other employees of the Education Department who retired during the past six months have not received the contribution made by them to the General Provident Fund (GPF).

Mr Raj Kishore Kalara, former president of the Punjab Government Pensioners Association, Fazilka, said the government had vested the powers of disbursing the GPF to the drawing and disbursing officers of schools from April 2002.

The Director of Public Instructions (Secondary) had not provided the final balance statement of the fund for the past one year, due to which the disbursement had been withheld. The Supreme Court had in a verdict ordered that the GP should be paid within a day of retirement. Some employees had visited the office of the DPI in Chandigarh in this regard but nothing had been done so far, Mr Kalara said.


No income limit for prisoners to get free legal aid
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 4
At a function organised in the local Central Jail, Mr K.C. Puri, District and Sessions Judge, said that there would be no income limit for prisoners to get free legal aid, while in other cases the annual income limit was Rs 30,000 to get the same facility.

In a press note issued here today, Mr K.A.P. Sinha, Deputy Commissioner, said that free legal aid scheme should be implemented effectively so that the needy persons could get the maximum benefit of it.

Those addressed the function, in which about 1,427 inmates of the Central Jail participated, included Mr Kapil Dev, SSP, Bathinda, Mr Rajiv Malhotra and Mr Sanjay Kumar Sachdev, Chief Judicial Magistrates (CJMs) of Bathinda and Mansa districts, respectively, and Mr Sukhdev Singh Saggu, Superintendent, Central Jail.


Notice issued on PIL seeking independent probe
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 4
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice for January 7 on a public interest litigation seeking an independent probe into the FIR registered By Sangrur Sadar police against a family for allegedly demanding dowry.

The PIL has been moved by the World Human Rights Protection Council through its President, Advocate Ranjan Lakhanpal, on the basis of a report published in Ludhiana Tribune on September 27, which highlighted how harassment by the Punjab Police, acting under the influence of the in-laws of his son, forced a man, Mohinder Parkash, to commit suicide.

The case, which is an example of how the Punjab Police ignored the law in its quest to harass hapless persons, began when the deceased's son, Anant parted ways with his wife, Anuradha, with whom he was staying at Kufri near Shimla.

Peeved with their son-in-law, Anuradha's family got a case registered against Anant and his family under the provisions relating to dowry on August 20. Following this, Anant secured anticipatory bail from the Himachal Pradesh High Court, which was confirmed on September 9.

The next day, the Gulati family, Anant's in-laws, got allegedly Anant picked up by the Sangrur police from outside the Himachal Pradesh High Court premises as a case had been got registered by them in Sangrur also.

Though Anant was later released on bail, the police allegedly continued to harass his family resulting in his father's suicide.

In its petition, the council has also sought action against the errant cops who registered a case despite knowing that the same case had been also registered by the HP Police.


Youth gets life term for raping sister
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 4
Mr Jagroop Singh, Sessions Judge, Sangrur, today awarded 10 years of rigorous imprisonment (RI) along with a fine of Rs 2,000 to Lakhwinder Singh, a youth from Jagowal village, near Malerkotla, for raping his unmarried sister Rajwinder Kaur and murdering her. He was also awarded rigorous imprisonment for life and fined Rs 2,000 for murdering his sister. Besides, Lakhwinder Singh, Achhra Singh and Amarjit Kaur, father and mother of Lakhwinder Singh, respectively, were also sentenced for life along with a fine of Rs 2,000 each for murdering Rajwinder Kaur. All substantive sentences will run concurrently.

As per the court order, Lakhwinder Singh was convicted under Section 376 of the IPC for raping Rajwinder Kaur while he along with Achhra Singh and Amarjit Kaur were convicted under Section 302 read with Section 34 of the IPC for murdering Rajwinder Kaur on the intervening night of April 6 and April 7, 2003 in their house in Jagowal village, near Malerkotla.

The Sessions Judge observed that no doubt Lakhwinder Singh did not respect the ethics of morality and his lust for sex rendered him blind to make distinction between relations that led to loss of life of a young girl at their hands. The convicts did not deserve leniency. However, as regards the capital punishment demanded by the public prosecutor, the judge did not agree with the public prosecutor’s argument. He sentenced Lakhwinder Singh to 10 years of RI along with a fine of Rs 2,000 for raping and murdering Rajwinder Kaur. He also awarded life imprisonment and Rs 2,000 fine to Achhra Singh and Amarjit Kaur for murdering Rajwinder Kaur.

As per the summary of the case, Chamkaur Singh, prosecution witness, had friendly relations with Rajwinder Kaur. Lakhwinder Singh, learnt about the relations and started blackmailing his sister. Once she was changing her clothes, Lakhwinder Singh entered her room and raped her. She resented and told Chamkaur Singh through a letter that she had been raped by her own brother. Lakhwinder Singh raped her repeatedly thereafter. She became pregnant from Lakhwinder Singh and wanted to make it public. The sexual advances of Lakhwinder Singh towards Rajwinder Kaur were recorded in video cassettes. When Lakhwinder Singh came to know about her pregnancy he asked her to abort the foetus which she declined. Lakhwinder Singh alongwith his parents administered her poison and throttled her. They later had wrapped her body in a quilt.

When the word about her death spread, somebody informed the police. The accused in order to conceal their offence floated the story that Rajwinder Kaur died of electrocution. The doctors, however, ruled it out. When Chamkaur Singh came to know of her death, he made a statement to the police disclosing the accused’s motive behind committing the offence. 


2 nurseries on govt land demolished
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, November 4
Acting on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, local Improvement Trust authorities today demolished two big nurseries, allegedly set up on the government land near the Guru Nanak Mission chowk here.

A team of trust officials, equipped with the court orders for vacation of the land and police personnel, managed to vacate the land in the illegal possession of owners of Harmanpreet Flower Nursery today afternoon by using force after facing stiff resistance from the occupants. The ditch machines of the trust uprooted all flowering plants and demolished the green house erected at the site.

The occupants in an effort to thwart the trust bid even installed Guru Granth Sahib inside the room at the site prior to the arrival of the demolition team. The women relatives of the occupants even sat on the roadside and started reading sermons from religious booklets in order to prevent trust officials from entering the site. The police have to use mild force as over two-hour negotiations for peaceful vacation of the site failed to yield any result.

The plot Nos 291 and 292 in local Lajpat Nagar locality, measuring around 75 marla, was reportedly in the illegal possession of Gajinder Singh for the past over 30 years. The Improvement Trust failed to give possession of the plot to its rightful owner during these years. Owner of Harmanpreet Nursery, Surinder Singh, however, alleged they were victimised as the Improvement Trust failed to give any prior notice for vacation of the plot.

According to Improvement Trust Chairman, Tajinder Singh Bittu, the trust officials acted as per the directions of the court and requested the district administration to provide adequate security for peaceful vacation of the land.


Minor girl dies during abortion; 2 booked
Tribune News Service

Moga, November 4
A youth has been booked for physically exploiting a 14-year-old Dalit girl of Butar Kalan village who died here yesterday after she made an unsuccessful attempt to abort her foetus.

According to a BSP leader, Mr Kashmira Singh, the accused, who owns a chemist shop in the village, was having an affair with the girl for the past six months. The accused, Pawan Kumar, later developed illicit relations with her and physically exploited her under the pretext of marrying her. The girl, whose mother died a few years back, became pregnant. When her father came to know about it he asked Pawan to marry her to which he agreed on the condition that she would abort her foetus. Her family members gave their consent and about 10 days back she approached a nurse in Baghapurana for abortion. The nurse gave her some injections after which her condition started deteriorating. Unable to handle the situation, she referred her to a private clinic in Moga where she breathed her last yesterday. The police has handed over the body of the deceased to her family members after post-mortem examination.

On the basis of Mr Kashmira Singh’s statement, the Badhani Kalan police has registered a case against Pawan Kumar and the nurse, Mrs Gurmit Kaur, under Sections 376, 312, 313, and 314 of the IPC.


Unit raided; 20 quintals of substandard
gachak destroyed
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 4
A person making jaggery sweet (gachak) by spreading the jaggery and groundnut mixture on a dirty floor and then cutting it and packing it under the name of a popular sweet brand in the city was today made to pay for his unhygienic production.

A Health Department team led by the Civil Surgeon, Dr Hardev Singh, which raided the ‘’factory’’ in Dhakka Colony area on the outskirts of the city seized gachak and namkeens in huge quantity and ‘boondi pakoras’ and destroyed it. More than 20 quintals were thrown into a sewerage pond which is situated next to the factory.

The factory which has a number of “bhattis”, drum with oil and other utensils, is running in extremely unhygienic conditions. Besides the shed, there is a room on whose floor the gachak mixture was spread so that it could cool down before it was cut and packed.

Darshan Lal, owner of the factory, did not come on the spot despite being asked to do so. Every possible ingredients used in the jaggery and other things manufactured at the unit are substandard and dangerous to health. The District Health Officer, Dr V.S. Mohi, showed worm infested groundnuts being used by the unit.

The Health Officer also showed that turmeric for colouring “maida” instead of besan were being used to make “pakoras”.

The manner in which the unit was making its top item “gachak” was shocking. The unit was using two kg of sugar and half kg of jaggery, heating them and then adding worm-infested groundnut into the mixture. This mixture was spread on the floor which had at least one inch of filth. It was being marketed under the “Lakshmi” brand.

Dr Mohi said the unit had been raided following a complaint from a government employee last week that his family members had fallen ill after they consumed “bhujia” taken from the unit. He said more such checks would be conducted in the city to check the sale of adulterated sweets and “namkeen” items during the Divali festival.


Blind murder case solved, two held
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, November 4
The district police today claimed to have solved an old case of a blind murder with the arrest of two persons and recovery of weapons used in the crime.

The murder was committed in January, 2004, and the police persevered in its investigation till the mystery shrouding it was cracked. One of the arrested persons is a Punjab police constable serving in a commando battalion.

Mr G.P.S. Bhullar, SSP, said here today that Kuldip Singh of Sugar Mill Colony in Bhogpur in his complaint said that he and his brother Lakhbir Singh had been working in a factory here. On Republic Day, Kuldip Singh did not go to his job and instead accompanied his father to pay obeisance at a gurdwara in a nearby Jora village even as Lakhbir had gone to work as usual.

At around 7 pm, while returning from gurdwara, when Kuldip and his father reached near the sugar mill, they heard of a report of a gun being fired. He hurried towards the source of noise and found that his brother, Lakhbir, had been staggering towards them.

However, before Kuldip could reach, Lakhbir fell down. Lakhbir was bleeding. Lakhbir was rushed to a private hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on January 27. From a post-mortem examination of the body, a bullet of .303-bore gun was found embedded in the back of the deceased.

Mr Bhullar stated that during the course of investigation, the needle of suspicion pointed towards Sahib Hazara of Moga village in Bhogpur and his brother Dharminder Singh. After gathering sufficient evidence, the police arrested both of them today.

The weapon used in the crime — country made pistol — was recovered from the backyard of the house along with three live cartridges.

During interrogation, the arrested persons have revealed that Rajwinder Kaur, sister-in-law of Lakhbir Singh, had been living like a wife with Sahib Hazara without solemnising marriage. Sahib Hazara has been working as a police constable in Ist Commando Battalion, Patiala.

However, Rajwinder’s mother was not pleased with Sahib Hazara and used to berate him frequently. She used to praise Lakhbir Singh. Sahib started nursing jealousy.

Moreover, Sahib’s brother, Dharminder, had run a joint business with Lakhbir Singh and the latter owed him money. Driven by hate for Lakhbir, Sahib conspired with Dharminder to eliminate him. He arranged a country made pistol and a few cartridges from Uttar Pradesh through one of his contacts and gave it to Dharminder. He shot at Lakhbir and fled.


Labourer killed

Kharar, November 4
A migrant labourer was killed when he was hit by a motor cycle near Desumajra village late last night.

According to the police, Ram Singh, who hailed from Uttar Pradesh, was coming from Mohali to Kharar on a bicycle when a motor cycle hit him from behind. Ram Singh died on the spot. His body was taken to the local Civil Hospital for a postmortem. OC


Class XII humanities results today
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 4
The Punjab School Education Board here would declare tomorrow the results of the class XII humanities and vocational supplementary examination held in September 2004.

According to a press note issued by the board today, result gazettes would be available at the district centres of the board and textbook sale counters on Saturday, November 6, 2004, after 4 pm.

As many as 32,196 students had appeared in the examination out of which 51.87 per cent have passed the examination. Last year the pass percentage of such students was 54.04. In the vocational group, as many as 1609 students had appeared for these examination, out of which 41.77 per cent have passed. Last year the pass percentage in such cases was 52.43.

The board authorities have stated that results would also be available on web sites: www.indiaresult.com and www.schoolnetindia.com. These results can also be accessed through sms on Spice, Airtel and BSNL mobile telephones. The candidate will have to type the letters SS followed by a space and the roll number. In case of Spice the message has to be sent on 1012; in case of Airtel the message has to be sent to 234; and 333 in case of BSNL mobile phones.

The results can also be known through the telephone automated result enquiry. Candidates in Ludhiana would call local number 1250112 while those from outside Ludhiana would have to call 951611250112. Results would be available on the telephone automated result enquiry from November 6 to November 7.


NIT imbroglio: Centre urged to intervene
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 4
Demanding intervention of the Ministry of Human Resource Development and Department of Technical Education, Punjab, in the ongoing deadlock between the administration and faculty of Dr B.R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, the teaching staff of the institute has sent a written complaint to both the authorities.

Stating this in a press note today, Mr K.V.P. Singh, press secretary of the NIT Teachers’ Association, said he had written to Mr Arjun Singh, Union HRD Minister, and Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Minister for Technical Education, Punjab, asking them to instruct the administration to work for the improvement of the academic environment and welfare of the faculty.

The press secretary has stated that the administration has adopted an ‘autocratic’ behaviour and most of the decisions were being taken on “pick-and-choose basis”. He said there were four deans in the institute but they did not possess “an iota of power”.

The association members have alleged that the administration had not followed by guidelines of the Senate in toto during the recent Ph.D and M.Tech admissions as well as design and development of the undergraduate curriculum.

The members have accused the administration of discouraging interaction between the sister institutes carrying out research work. The faculty is not allowed academic leave for various academic-related work such as attending impact courses, conducting viva-voce and practical examinations, evaluation of answer sheets and setting of question papers during semester examination.

The members have also pointed out that the career advancement scheme for the faculty is not being implemented as per the guidelines of the MHRD and AICTE.


Rajindra College wins zonal youth fest trophy
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 4
The local Government Rajindra College won the overall trophy in the three-day zonal youth festival of Punjabi University, Patiala, which concluded on its premises late last night.

The local Government Rajindra College got 120 points. The Government Barjindra College, Faridkot, got the second position with 67 points, while Government Nehru Memorial College, Mansa, stood third with 49 points.

About 1,200 students of 22 government and private colleges of Bathinda, Mansa and Faridkot districts participated in the zonal youth festival.

The boys of the local Government Rajindra College got the first prize in bhangra, while Nehru Memorial College, Mansa, got the second place.

The other results of the last-day events are:

Group Skit: Government Rajindra College, Bathinda, 1 and Government Barjindra College, Faridkot, 2.

Group mime: Government Rajindra College, Bathinda, 1 and Guru Nanak College, Budladha, 2.

Mimicry: Nehru memorial College, Mansa, 1 and Government Barjindra College, Faridkot, 2.

Western vocal solo: Government Rajindra College, Bathinda, 1 and Nehru memorial College, Mansa, 2.

Western group: Government Rajindra College, Bathinda, 1 and DAV College, Bathinda, 2.

Quiz: - Government Rajindra College, Bathinda, 1 and Government College of Education, Faridkot, 2.

Rangoli: Government College of Education, Faridkot and TPD College, Rampura Phul, 1, Government Barjindra College, Faridkot, and Guru Nanak College, Budladha, 2.

Cartooning: TPD College, Rampura Phul, and Government Rajindra College, Bathinda, 1, Baba Shri Chand College, Sardargarh, and DAV College, Bathinda, 2.

Embroidery: Government Rajindra College, Bathinda, 1 and SD College, Mansa, 2.

The concluding function of the festival was presided over by Dr Sunita Dhir, Director, Department of Youth and Cultural Affairs, Punjabi University.


Education boards’ council meeting today
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 4
The zonal meeting of the Council of Boards of School Education in India, (COBSE), would be hosted by the Punjab State Education Board here on November 5 and 6.

Issues like modernisation of school curriculum, examination reforms and professional development would be discussed at length by the heads of the various education boards in the country.

Other than heads of boards, member of COBSE, members of the Punjab School Education Board, eminent educationists from NCERT, National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration and evaluation are expected to participate in the meeting.

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