P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Guru Angad Dev vet varsity approved
State Budget on March 22
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
The Punjab Council of Ministers approved the setting up of a university of veterinary and animal sciences at its meeting here today. It will be named Guru Angad Dev University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences and start functioning from July in Ludhiana where a building is available adjacent to the campus of Punjab Agricultural University.

The proposal regarding the veterinary university had been hanging fire for the past 15 years. It was first time mooted by Mr Harbans Singh, who was the Animal Husbandry Minister in the Beant Singh government. However, that proposal remained on paper. Even during the tensure of the SAD-BJP government a proposal was drawn up to set up the university at Talwandi Sabo, near Bathinda. But that also did not materialise

Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Animal Husbandry Minister, said that this time the university would definitely start functioning in July. “ We have a building that was constructed to set up the Immunology Institute in Ludhiana. Now it will be used to run the veterinary university. Later, its campus may be shifted to another place.”

Quizzed about the recruitment of the faculty, preparation of the curriculum etc, Mr Kang said that he was certain that everything would be in place by July. “ I have asked the officers concerned to spend some extra time daily to complete all tasks well ahead of the proposed beginning of academic session of the university”.

However, the most important task will be the framing of the university bill. “ We are on the job of preparing the draft of the bill and it will be brought in the Budget session of the assembly later this month”, said Mr Kang.

The Council of Ministers also approved the convening of the Budget session of the Vidhan Sabha from March 18 to April 8. The Budget for 2005-06 will be presented on March 22.

The council constituted a group of Ministers to examine and recommend the rules for the redeployment of surplus government employees in the state.

The council also gave approval for the revival of 13 posts of Employment Officer (general).


Ajnala repoll goes off peacefully
Over 75 per cent voters exercise franchise
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Ajnala, March 1
Unlike widespread violence during Ajnala byelection on February 23, repolling in 14 booths, held under the watchful eye of the ITBP, went off peacefully here today. Nobody except candidates and voters with photo identity cards were allowed to enter the villages where repolling was ordered by the Chief Election Commission.

Over 75 per cent of the total 15,330 voters turned out to exercise their franchise. The counting of votes would be held tomorrow in Ajnala. BSF jawans have been deployed to man the strong room where electronic voting machines are being kept.

Though the orders banning the entry of outsiders, issued by the District Magistrate, were violated with impunity on February 23, the same were implemented in toto today.

While, election observers of the CEC kept a vigil on the repolling, Punjab Police personnel guarded the entry and exit points.

The Punjab Police was earlier accused of helping the ruling Congress during the February 23 repoll.

During the repolling today, senior leaders from both the Shiromani Akali Dal or the Congress camped at Ajnala.

However, some SAD activists tried to stage a dharna near Madhu Chhanga village but were later persuaded not to do so by the district police chief, Ms Vibhu Raj.

Some SAD leaders alleged that they were prevented from entering the periphery of the village while Congress workers were given access. However, the Congress alleged that the SAD wanted to sabotage the repoll.

Meanwhile, the district administration has enforced a ban on entry of vehicles or assembly of five or more persons within 500 metres of Degree College, Ajnala, for tomorrow, when the counting of votes takes place.


Govt for equitable growth of urban, rural areas: CM
Tribune News Service

Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab, takes a round of the executed development projects after inaugurating the first phase of the model village
Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab, takes a round of the executed development projects after inaugurating the first phase of the model village of Barhampur in Ludhiana district on Tuesday.

Barhampur (Ludhiana), March 1
Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has said the development of rural infrastructure is the topmost priority of his government. He said his government was committed to the equitable growth and development of the rural areas along with the urban areas.

He said the government had decided to launch a massive developmental programme in 700 villages. He said five villages would be adopted every year from each development block and funds to the tune of Rs 65 crore had been sanctioned for this year.

Talking to The Tribune after inaugurating the first phase of the model village here last evening, the Chief Minister disclosed that his government had chalked out a massive rural development plan for the state.

He said the government had sought the cooperation of the non-governmental organisations for building the rural infrastructure.

He thanked the Village Life Improvement Foundation (VLIF) for taking the initiative to modernise different villages in Punjab.

This small village with about 400 households has been adopted by the foundation for modernisation, which mainly includes providing clean drinking water, laying underground sewerage system, installing streetlights, metaling of all roads, proper hygiene and sanitation, gender equality with empowerment and computer education.

The Chief Minister said Barhampur was the first model village of the state with the active involvement of non-resident Indians of the same village who had spent Rs 1.35 crore for the project.

He appreciated the contribution of the NRIs of the village, like Mr Anantpal Singh, whose initiative helped in transforming the village.

The Chief Minister also handed over a cheque for Rs 24 lakh to Dr Gurdev Singh Gill, president of the VLIF for completing the project.

According to Dr Gill, the initiative was jointly taken up by the Canadian International Development Agency, an organisation formed by NRIs, and the VLIF.

The project was taken up in September, 2003, and would be completed at a cost of Rs 13.47 crore, of which Rs 77.80 lakh had already been spent.


Footprints led to arrest of train dacoity suspects
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
You would have dismissed it as a script fit for a thriller. But if claims of Punjab Police are to be believed, footprints and a shoe box led to the arrest of four migrants allegedly involved in the Ludhiana train robbery.

After receiving information about the robbery on Jalandhar-Delhi Super Fast, Khanna’s Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Mr Parmod Ban, reportedly reached the railway station, along with a police party. Much to their amusement and excitement, they discovered footprints fresh in the adjoining fields.

The dacoits had apparently jumped into the fields from the train at Jaspalon village near Khanna after stabbing a passenger to death and looting about Rs 2,800, besides grabbing mobile sets and jewellery. Little did the outlaws realise that they were leaving behind a trail for the cops to follow.

Before launching operation search, the SSP made inquiries from the passengers. He was told that all criminals were aged between 22 and 24 years, were apparently from Uttar Pradesh or Bihar, and one of them was named Mishra.

The footsteps in the fields running along the tracks towards Ludhiana led the cops to the discovery of a container. On the box, “Shelly Boot House, Vijay Nagar, Ludhiana” was neatly printed.

SSP Ban located the boot house in Ludhiana. He was told that the area was inhabited by migrants. Enquiries from the police station and others in the area revealed that Mishra — a “local bad character” — was seen in the locality with soiled clothes. His image matched with the description.

Encouraged, the cops continued with the probe. Soon, the localites revealed the identity of Mishra’s associates. After a brief encounter, the police managed to arrest Ram Kumar, Rajinder Yadav, Parmodh Sharma and Pankaj Kumar from their hideout near Kauni Bija road in Ludhiana district. Four others of the gang could not be apprehended as they were not present during the raid.

Giving details, Punjab’s Director-General of Police, Mr S.S. Virk, said a country-made pistol, along with an empty cartridge and three knives were recovered from the possession of the arrested. He added that the alleged gangsters, during preliminary interrogation, admitted their involvement in the train dacoity on February 26.

Narrating the sequence of events, the DGP said the gang members entered the train’s last coach on February 26 and started robbing the passengers after brandishing a pistol. One of them stabbed a passenger to death after he tried to resist. They, subsequently, locked the other passengers in the compartment’s toilet before stopping the train by pulling the chain near Khanna.

Admitting their guilt, the accused said they were coaxed by Mishra to indulge in the crime. One of them said Mishra made him drink for “making the job of looting easier”.


Villagers told to return land compensation amount
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, March 1
The land of Mr Pathania, resident of Karoli village, was acquired by the armed forces in 1990-91. He was awarded the compensation for the land.
Now the land acquisition authorities of the Army have issued notice to him that the Army did not acquire his land. He has been directed to return the money paid as compensation to him, along with an interest of 15 per cent.

Similar is the story of about 225 farmers of the village who are in despair after receiving the notices for repayment of the compensation awarded to them by the Army more than 10 years ago.

Sources here said the Army had issued notices for acquiring 10 villages, including Karoli, in 1990-91. The farmers, whose lands were acquired, were awarded compensation. The award included original value of the land plus 30 per cent compensation for forcible eviction and interest of 9 per cent for the first year and 15 per cent for subsequent years for which the payment got delayed.

After awarding the compensation the defence ministry struck down the land acquisition proposal of the village due to higher acquisition price, they said.

Sources added that some influential persons of Pathankot had bought land in Karoli. Later, they had raised temporary structures and orchards to get enhanced compensation. However, the enhanced compensation forced the ministry to strike down the proposal.

However the real sufferers were small farmers who had to repay the amount with interest.

The farmers were awarded a compensation of about Rs 2.37 crore. However, now they are being asked to pay back about Rs 8 crore.

The sarpanch of the village said most farmers were ready to re pay the principal amount. However, they are not in a position to pay back the amount, along with the interest.

The Estate Office authorities of the Army said they were bound by rules to take back the amount paid to the farmers since the land was not later denotifed.

Now the poor farmers were just hoping for a relief to save their properties getting auctioned.


Govt to give more funds for development, says Bhattal
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 1
The Congress-led state government has decided to pump in more funds for development projects in the next two years. Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal said this during a press conference at Children’s Park, where she laid the foundation stone of a proposed 132 KV substation here today.

Ms Bhattal said the state government would spend Rs 700 crore on construction of railway overbridges, Rs 800 crore on repair and upgrade of various corridors and Rs 300 crore on laying of 42,000 link roads. Besides, she said a sum of Rs 50 lakh was being given to each legislative Assembly for development.

The Deputy CM refused to budge on the issue of the recent statement of Finance Minister Surinder Singla in which he called Jagmeet Brar a ‘Khalistani’. She also refused to comment on the issue of unbundling of the PSEB.

On inquiry into PTU’s tie-up with Bangalore-based Mindlogicx, she said the report had not yet reached her table.

She said a medical college at Jalandhar would come up soon.

Mr Y.S. Ratra, Chairman, PSEB, Chief Engineer and Deputy Chief Engineers of the board were also present.


Gold spades row takes new turn
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 1
Baba Amrik Singh Karsewawale has been summoned from Pakistan by the Shriomani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) to ‘arrange’ for the missing gold spades and silver bowls which were donated by Bank of Punjab during the ‘kar sewa’ of the holy sarovar at the Golden Temple last year. This was stated by Mr Joginder Singh Fauji, who had filed a petition in the Sikh Judicial Commission against the SGPC in this regard, at a press conference here yesterday.

However, Baba Amrik Singh denied the allegations regarding his involvement in the controversy and said it was due to alleged bickering in the SGPC that his name was being mentioned . He said he returned from Pakistan last week, where he had gone for kar sewa of Sikh shrines, due to some other work and his return had nothing to do with the missing spades.

He said due to unprecedented rush of devotees during the kar sewa the gold spades and bowls got mixed with other bowls and spades. He said while four out of five spades were in the possession of the SGPC, they would soon find the fifth spade.

Mr Fauji alleged that Mr Ajaib Singh, manager of the Golden Temple had written a number of times to the committee about the theft of gold spades and silver bowls. However, even after a year no concrete action has been taken as yet.

In the meanwhile, Mr Fauji alleged that Bibi Jagir Kaur was misleading the Sikh masses by saying the only one spade was missing.

He further alleged mass bungling of funds during religious celebrations last year.


Five more water samples fail in Pathankot
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, March 1
Five more water samples collected by the district health authorities from various areas of Pathankot have been declared as unpotable. With this nine out of the 12 samples taken from water sources of the municipal council have been found to be unfit for drinking. Earlier four out of five samples were declared unpotable.

The municipal council authorities, when contacted, admitted that the water samples had been found to be unpotable. They, however, added that the samples that failed were taken by the Health Department last month. The municipal council has taken many remedial measures since then. The council has now sent the water samples from the areas affected by jaundice to a Chandigarh-based laboratory.

Only these tests would prove if the measures taken by the council have succeeded or not. They added that out of the 24 jaundice patients admitted to the Pathankot Civil Hospital only 14 belong to the area falling within the Pathankot Municipal Council. The rest are from the surrounding areas.


Ropar roads await completion
Tribune News Service

Ropar, March 1
Even after two months the deadline fixed by the Punjab Government, the development project to widening of the Ropar-Chamkaur Sahib road along Sirhind canal and the Chamkaur Sahib-Bela road is not complete. Potholes have appeared on the various stretches of the roads, which have been partially completed in the past three months.

The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had laid the foundation stone of the widening of the roads on September 29 in view of thee-day shahidi samagam to commemorate the 300th year of martyrdom of Sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh at Chamkaur Sahib in December last year.

Capt Amarinder has granted about Rs 10 crore to complete the project.

Survey of the roads revealed that due to poor carpeting, potholes have surfaced on various places on the half completed roads. In addition, bridge on the Budki seasonal river has also not been completed.

On the 15-km long Ropar-Chamkaur Sahib road along the Shirhind canal and 13-km long Chamkaur Sahib-Bela road only little work has been done. Ironically the administration had fixed December 10 as deadline to complete the project.

Sources added that due to pressure to complete the roads before the shahidi samagam, the department did not completed all the formalities required for the carpeting of the roads. As a result, the potholes appeared on the roads from Ropar to Bela Chowk.

When contacted the XEN PWD (Construction Division), Mr K.S Bhinder, said: “We have yet to add 25mm layer more on the roads. The roads were damaged due to poor weather conditions and the carpeting of the roads could not be continued. We have fixed deadline to complete the work till April 1. 


High-level contamination in rural water supply
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Ropar, March 1
A majority of the people living in the rural areas of the district have been consuming water unfit for human consumption. The fact came to light as the water samples taken by the Health Department in the rural areas were found unfit to drink.

According to sources, As many as 52 samples out of 110 were found unfit for consumption due to the high-level of contamination. The samples came from the various parts of the district, including Nangal, Anandpur Sahib, Morinda, Ropar city and Mohali. The samples were taken in the month of January this year.

The most affected areas are Nangal, Anandpur Sahib, Morinda and Mohali. Despite the fact that untreated water has been the biggest cause for waterborne diseases in this district, little care has been taken by the administration to improve the water supply systems. The water, being supplied to such areas, lacks chlorination.

As per the Health Department records, 15 villages in Nangal are getting untreated water from tube-wells, 13 villages in Ropar are getting untreated water from the Public Heath water supply and six other villages in Anandpur Sahib are drinking untreated water from the Public Health water supply. Similarly, six villages in Mohali and several villages in Morinda are getting water supply which is unfit. According to the report prepared by the Health Department, the water samples which were found unfit for human consumption were taken from Nangal, Anandpur Sahib and Ropar. The Chief Medical Officer, Dr Rana Harinder, has issued notices to officials of the Health Department and the Municipal Councils to improve water supply within ten days. A report was also submitted to the Deputy Commissioner in this regard.


Help remove bitterness, says Mian Mir’s kin
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, March 1
Begum Naila Qadri, second wife of Hazrat Sai Mian Mir Maqdoom Syed Chan Pir Qadri, chief patron, Sai Mian Mir International Foundation and a descendant of Hazrat Mian Mir, who laid the foundation stone of the Golden Temple at Amritsar in 1589 at the request of the fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev, has appealed to Sufi saints in Pakistan and heads of different religions in India to come forward to bring the people of both the countries closer.

“It will not only bring prosperity to both the countries but also prove helpful in understanding each others problems,” she said. Begum Naila Qadri, accompanied by her husband and other family members, are on a visit to India. Talking to mediapersons after her arrival here yesterday to pay obeisance to Baba Farid, she said she would strive to remove the bitterness and misgivings created by vested interests. Hailing the decision of the governments to start a bus service from Srinagar to Muzaffarabad, she said such facilities should also be extended to other parts of the two countries.


Gastroenteritis claims one life
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 1
Gastroenteritis and typhoid cases were today reported in the Khalsa Mohalla area of the city following the reported contamination of the area’s water supply.
One person is reported two have died due to this.

Though officials said that only six cases of gastroenteritis and 25 cases of typhoid had been detected, people of the area said many more were affected by these cases.

Khalsa Mohalla Municipal Councillor Narinder Singh said people had been complaning of fever and malaria-like symptoms for the past few days.

A visit to the Government Rajindra Hospital revealed that a number of patients had been admitted with fever and typhoid-like symptoms during the past few days. Sources said a man Sheeshpal, of Angooranwali Masjid, had been referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, after his health deteriorated. They said Sheeshpal died at the PGI today.

Officiating Civil Surgeon, Dr V.S. Mohi, when contacted, said he had received the report of the death but could not confirm it. He said a rapid response team of the district had been rushed to Khalsa Mohalla. He said 15,000 chlorine tablets had been rushed to the place and people had been advised to boil water before consuming it.


Respite Care for mentally challenged launched
Gurvinder Kaur

Patiala, March 1
Sadhu Basant Residential Care Centre, an institution committed to the care of mentally challenged persons here, has launched a `Respite Care` service which is aimed at providing temporary relief from stress to the family members of special children.

The service refers to short term, temporary care provided to persons with disabilities with a view to helping their families take a break from the daily routine of caring for their special child. According to Dr N.S. Sodhi, Director, Sadhu Basant Residential Care, the centre which has been providing permanent residential facilities to persons with mild or moderate mental retardation, had initiated this service after families of special children identified ‘Respite Care’ as their priority need. This was more relevant especially because the joint family system exists no more in our society, he added.

Dr Hardeep Kaur, executive secretary of the Residential Care Centre stated that Respite Care may involve overnight or extended stay period for the mentally challenged persons . This she said would not merely provide relief from stress to the affected families, but that the gap may also provide an opportunity to build better relationships besides helping the mentally challenged to move towards independence.


Vajra Corps celebrates Raising Day
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 1
Vajra Corps celebrated its 55th Raising Day here today.
A wreath-laying ceremony was held at Vajra Corps War Memorial. Lt-Gen P.K. Singh, GOC of the corps, laid the wreath in memory of gallant soldiers.

The GOC held an interaction with retired Army officers, junior commissioned officers and jawans over a cup of tea. A Barakhana and entertainment programme was also organised.


Two Punjabi writers awarded
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 1
The Sahit Vichar Kendra on Sunday presented “Bawa Balwant award” and “Sujan Singh award” to Mr Ajaib Kamal (Kenya) and Dr Joginder Kairon, Punjabi writers, at a function held at Guru Teg Bahadur College for Women here.

Dr Daljit Singh, an eye specialist, presented them models of the Golden Temple, shawls and citation. Dr Maninder Kang, Mr J.S. Nagi and Mr Parminderjit presented papers on the literary contributions of Mr Kamal and Dr Kairon .


Sri Sri Ravi Shankar casts spell in Patiala
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 1
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, spiritual leader and founder of the Art of Living Foundation, cast his magical spell over a few thousand people who collected to attend his discourse and seek answers for their worries at the Polo Ground late yesterday evening.

The Polo Ground was tastefully decorated with a ‘pandal’ erected for seating of the Guru as well as eminent disciples. The stage was joined with a ramp which had pedestals with rose petals in them. The ramp was erected to facilitate Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in reaching out to people who had come to have a glimpse of him as well as listen to his discourse.

The function started with a session of devotional songs which lasted for an hour. The guru made his entry after 7 pm. He had earlier reached Patiala at the residence of the local chapter head Uppi Ghumman and gave ‘darshan’ to some devotees there.

The guru while speaking, on the occasion said we learn various fundamentals during our life but noone teaches us how to handle our own minds and emotions.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said a man spent half his life in acquiring wealth and then spent half of the wealth accumulated in regaining his health. He said what most men forgot was that while existence was a fact, living was an art. “Sadly most of us just exist by going through all the motions of life without understanding or appreciating the wonderful existence bestowed on us until it is too late”, he said.

The guru said ironically very little was required to acquire control over oneself. ‘’You have to become aware of you body which is your temple. Also become aware of how you treat your body”, he said. Speaking about aberrations which harmed the body, he said these occurred because the body and mind were not in synchronisation with each other. “The mind warns us about wrong doings but we sometimes go with our heart to commit them knowingly.

To acquire control over yourselves you should practise ‘yoga’ besides learning the “Sudarshan Kriya” which served to enhance one’s personal growth.

He also answered questions of the audience which were read out to him. When questioned about tips to imbibe good habits in children, he said one should be aware of the company ones child was keeping. “If he is in good company, you have no cause to worry”. Speaking about family relationships, he said if every member - whether an uncle or aunt - behaved like a good uncle or aunt, they would get similar behaviour from others.

Art of Living Teacher Ms Ritam speaking about the activities of the foundation, said the foundation ran a basic course spread over six days which consisted of talks, simple yogasana, ‘pranayama’, meditation, techniques of self awareness and the ‘Sudarshan Kriya’. Ritam said besides this the foundation also ran a course “Art Excel” for children between the age of eight to 13 and a “young adults” course which was designed specially for teenagers between the age 
of 14-19 years.


Plan to stop Samjhauta Express postponed
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 1
The porters at Attari railway station yesterday postponed their programme of stopping the Samjhauta Express from entering India. Earlier, they had announced to stop the train in protest against the delay in reinstating the porters whose licences were cancelled last year. 


Protest against anti-encroachment drive
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, March 1
Shopkeepers of the Gaushala and Cinema roads today downed their shutters for about one hour and blocked vehicular traffic on the GT Road for about half an hour in protest against the arbitrary action of the municipal and administrative authorities against encroachments.


Amarinder, Badal case adjourned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
The Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Ms Neerja Kulwant Kalson, today adjourned a case filed by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, seeking Rs 5 crore damages from the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to May 11.

However, Mr Badal, who was to be examined by the opposite party, could not be present in the court on account of his engagements in the Ajnala Assembly constituency, where counting is scheduled for tomorrow. Mr Badal had filed a suit demanding Rs 5 crore from the Chief Minister for lowering his reputation in public eye.

In the run-up to the Punjab Assembly elections in February 2002, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), then headed by Capt Amarinder Singh, had launched an intensive advertisement campaign against Mr Badal and his family for amassing huge wealth through corrupt means.


Congress leader Safdipur granted bail
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 1
A local court today granted bail to Congress leader Balwant Singh Safdipur who was arrested on February 11 on charges of criminal conspiracy.

A case was registered against Mr Safdipur after a complaint from the Bahadurgarh sarpanch Darshand Lal stating that the Congress leader nephew Mastan Singh had lead murderous attack against him.

This attack allegedly came about at a time when Safdipur’s supporters were burning effigies of Cooperation Minister who is also a legislator from the area. The minister had earlier ordered the police to remove boards of a welfare organisation being run by Safdipur from along the Bahadurgarh road.

Today a local court granted bail to Safdipur in the case. He will be released from jail tomorrow. 


Patwari suspended for committing fraud
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 1
The Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, today suspended Dilbagh Singh Patwari of Chilla Manouli village near here. The patwari has been suspended following the Kharar SDM’s report, who was asked by the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, to inquire into allegations of fraud levelled by 85-year-old Pritam Singh of the same village. A clerk of local tehsil office Ashok Kumar was suspended in the same case over a fortnight ago.

In a complaint lodged with the police, Pritam Singh had in December 2004 alleged that his land was fraudulently sold by Karamjit Singh , another resident of the village, in connivance with the lambardar of the village, Sher Singh, and the then tehsildar, Mohali, Sucha Singh.

An FIR in the case was registered at the Sohana police station on December 12, 2004, against Karamjit Singh, another resident of the village, his uncle and the village’s lambardar Sher Singh, Devinder Gupta and Anand Mohali ,both advocates, Sucha Singh, Tehsildar, Mohali, and Harbans Singh.

Out of the six persons named in the FIR, the police had in February filed charge sheet against only one of the accused while the names of the others have been put in column No. two, virtually giving them a clean chit in the case.

The case was initially investigated at the Sohana police station and later the inquiry was shifted to the CIA wing, Kharar.


Training programme for cops begin
Our Correspondent

Patiala, March 1
A 10-day training programme for investigating police officers was started in the Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology in the Government Medical College here today.

Inaugurating the programme, district police chief Amarjit Singh Rai said like in advanced countries the time had come to make the investigating agencies more professional. He said this was necessary to solve different types of crime cases. 


One arrested for making fake licences
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 1
A minor girl of Puhla village in this district was allegedly raped by her neighbour, Binder Singh, on the neght of February 27 when the victim went to his house for taking water.

Police sources said that the victim, who was 15 years old, was taken to a room by the accused forcibly when she went to take water from his house. The victim, when resisted the attempts being made by the accused to rape her, was beaten up. After that she was allegedly raped by Binder Singh.

The sources added that after getting the victim examined medically from the local Civil Hospital, a case under Sections 376 and 323 of the IPC was registered against the accused at Nathana police station.

In another case, an accused, identified as Vijay Kumar, who was member of a gang involved in preparing fake registration certificates of vehicles, driving licences and permits, was arrested by the police.

Police sources said that after getting information that the accused had been issuing fake route permits to the people by charging huge money from them, a raid was conducted on his office located in the district court complex here.

On getting information that the accused had been getting fake rubber stamps from Ashok Kumar of the Chandni Chowk area of New Delhi, a case against Vijay Kumar and Ashok Kumar was registered in the city police station. Efforts were being made to arrest Ashok Kumar.


Eight thieves held, nine vehicles recovered
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, March 1
The district police achieved a major success today when two police parties arrested eight members of two gangs of auto-lifters and recovered nine vehicles from them.
Mr L.K. Yadav, SSP, said while four members of the gang, identified as Ramandeep Singh, alias Ramna, Gurmeet Singh, Hardev Singh and Harjeet Singh, were arrested in the Lambi area four members of another gang, identified as Balbir Singh, Avtar Singh, Tarsem Lal and Paramjit Singh Pamma, were arrested in the Kot Bhai area.

He added that two scooters were recovered from the first gang, four motor-cycles and one car were recovered from the other gang.

Both gangs had been selling the stolen vehicles by preparing forged documents.

He said the gang led by Ramandeep Singh, alias Ramna, had been operating in Gidderbaha, Amritsar and Sriganganagar area.

Two separate cases have been registered in different police stations of this district in this connection.


BJP leader beaten to death

Sunam, March 1
A local BJP leader was beaten to death last night by four persons here while he was sleeping in his house with his wife and children, the police today said.

The deceased, Satish Kumar, and his family members were attacked by Amar Nath and his wife and two unidentified persons, according to the complaint lodged by the wife of the deceased.

Satish Kumar was the BJP’s SC cell Sunam block general secretary. While the police has registered a case under Sections 302, 34 of the IPC, no arrest has been made so far. —UNI


Teenager killed over love affair

Moga, March 1
A teenager was killed by a group of youths reportedly over his love affair with a dancer on Sunday night here.
According to sources, 16-yr-old Davinder, alias Sonu, a resident of Friends Colony, was close to a dancer of Dhaleke village and used to frequent her house.

Samma Singh, another resident of her locality, had also developed a liking for her and did not like Sonu’s relationship with her. The two reportedly had had altercations over the issue a few times earlier.

The sources said Sonu, who was employed at a local electronics shop, was on his way home when Samma and his friends waylaid him. The assailants thrashed him, which led to his death, and fled the spot. Sources said Sonu’s shop had closed early on Sunday and had left home in the evening saying he was going to visit his friends.

The victim’s body was handed over to his family members after a post-mortem examination at the Civil Hospital.

The police has registered a case. — TNS


Cop arrested on graft charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau has arrested constable Rajinder Pal on the allegations of demanding and accepting bribe. The constable was posted at Sadar police station in Jalalabad.

A Bureau spokesman said Rajinder Pal was caught red-handed while demanding and accepting Rs 1,000 from the complainant in the case Mahesh Kumar, also of Jalalabad. The matter pertained to gambling. He added that further investigation was in progress.


Wireless operator killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Ropar, March 1
A wireless operator, Gurmukh Singh, working at the residence of the SSP, Ropar, was yesterday killed when he was hit by a bus near Kiratpur Sahib. The deceased was on the way to his village in Nurpurbedi town.

After committing the accident, the driver ran away from the spot along with bus. But he was caught by the police near Ropar. The police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 304 of the IPC against the driver.


DC inaugurates free textbook scheme for SC students
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, March 1
Under the scheme of Welfare Department’s “Supply of textbooks free of cost to the Scheduled Castes’ students studying in first to tenth classes”, free textbooks to the tune of Rs 1.22 crore will be given to more than 1 lakh Scheduled Castes students by April 15 for the academic session 2005-06 in Sangrur district.

Mr Husan Lal, Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur, today inaugurated the scheme by flagging off a tempo, loaded with textbooks, at the local Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) textbooks depot here for handing over the textbooks to various block panchayat samitis and distributing the same among the Scheduled Castes students.

The Deputy Commissioner also ordered the authorities of the PSEB text-books depot here that the entire stock should be sent to the block panchayat samitis in the district by March 15. He also said these textbooks should be handed over to the schools from March 16 to March 31, so that the same could be made available to the students from April 1 to April 15.

Mr Lal also said this was the first occasion when the entire stock of textbooks, to the tune of Rs 1.22 crore, had been received by the authorities here before the starting of next academic session.

He also appealed to the Scheduled Castes students to bring the matter into the notice of the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Block Primary Education Officer or Tehsil Welfare officer, if they did not receive free textbooks by April 15.

The Deputy Commissioner said a district-level atrocity cell had been set up for redressing the grievances of the Scheduled Castes and providing them compensation. This cell had recommended the Punjab Government to give Rs 7.63 lakh to 24 Scheduled Castes families during the financial year 2004-05, he added.


PTU to revamp distance education
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 1
Punjab Technical University is all set to transform its distance education programme from the coming academic session.
The newly constituted council headed by Dr O.P. Bajpai, Director, National Institute of Technical Teachers’ Training and Research (NITTTR), Chandigarh, is likely to hold its maiden meeting on the university campus in the first week of March.

The seven-member council constituted by the Vice-Chancellor comprise Prof R.P. Aggarwal, Professor, Distance Education Programme, IIT, Roorkee; Prof P.V. Gupta, former director and adviser of Apeejay Educational Society; Dr Madhulika Kaushik, Professor and Head of Faculty of Management Studies, IGNOU; Prof H. Chaturvedi, former director of the AICTE; Ms P.K. Tulsi, Professor of NITTTR; and Prof R.P. Singh, Dean of Distance Education Programme.

Various plans on revamp have already been made during a meeting of 70 learning centre heads and academicians of the field held at Barog last week. Several new short-duration value-added courses will be added to the distance education programme from the coming session.

Giving details, Prof R.P. Singh said it was being planned to introduce new courses in polytechnic institutes of Punjab.

It has also been decided to hold admissions annually in September.


Punjab education board exam from today
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 1
As many as 7,37,110 students will appear in the matriculation and Class XII examination of the Punjab School Education Board commencing tomorrow.
According to a press release issued by the board, 3,62,039 students are appearing in the matriculation examination as regular candidates, while 88,015 are appearing privately. In the open school category, 22,754 students are taking their examinations as regular candidates while 1706 as private candidates.

As many as 1,81,224 students were taking their Class XII examination as regular candidates and 76, 422 are appearing privately. The number of regular candidates appearing through the open school are 4,950.

The board has set up 2,960 centres for the examinations while 240 teams of flying squads had been constituted to check copying. The question papers and other related material were despatched by the board on February 25.


US prof addresses budding engineers
Our Correspondent

Patiala, March 1
San Jose University Computer Engineering Department Professor and Chairperson, Dr Sigurd Meldal, today addressed students of the Chitkara Institute of Engineering and Technology. The lecture on computer software engineering was part of expert lectures being organised by Punjabi University, Patiala.

The thrust of the lecture was to make it an easy platform for budding Indian engineers and technocrats to undertake training and masters programmes in university abroad. Incidentally, Mr Mohit Chitkara, vice-chairman, Chitkara Educational Trust, is an alumnus of San Jose State University.

Talking to students, Dr Meldal said: “The key to success is in understanding the need to have an overall understanding and knowledge of the subject.” Science is about knowledge and engineering is about achievement. A scientist builds in order to learn and an engineer learns in order to build.

Dr Meldal said a successful software professional is one who was proficient at different levels ranging from having a solid grasp of computing to being restlessly creative. Indian students are the most dedicated, well prepared and hardworking around the globe, he added. 

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |