P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



SGPC notice to Bibi Jagir Kaur, Badungar
Dossier on Golden Temple
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 7
The SGPC is in a fix following rejection and withdrawal of dossier on the Golden Temple from UNESCO even as the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission (SGJC) has served a notice on Bibi Jagir Kaur and Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, President and former chief of the Shiromani Committee respectively, and 23 other members, here today.

They have been directed to send their reply by June 13 by Mr Kashmir Singh Patti (president), Mr Ajwant Singh Mann and Mr Amrik Singh Randhawa, both members.

The petitioners Mr Kanwarpal Singh, a spokesman of the Dal Khalsa and Mr Karnail Singh Panjoli, an SGPC member of the Panthic Committee urged to recover Rs 20 lakh with interest from the SGPC functionaries, spent on the dossier. The equal amount (Rs 20 lakh) spent by one Chadda family for completing the dossier be given back to them. The petitioners sought immediate disqualification of the SGPC functionaries including Bibi Jagir Kaur. They also urged to stay the resolution, which had rejected the dossier on the Golden Temple with immediate effect.

The petitioners said that they were neither for or against the dossier yet they urged the SGJC to take action against the entire Executive Committee members of the SGPC for passing and later withdrawing the dossier. They said earlier the executive committee headed by Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar had sent the dossier to UNESCO through the Government of India while his successor Bibi Jagir Kaur and her Executive Committee members had rejected the same without taking other Sikh organisations into confidence.

The petitioners alleged that both decisions (first sending the dossier to UNESCO and later withdrawing the same) were arbitrary, autocratic, illegal and void. These resolutions were allegedly in violation of the Gurdwara Act. At the time of passing of both resolutions, there was no agenda circulated to the executive members concerned. The petition further reads that no discussions were held, no proposal or amendments were forwarded, accepted or rejected. Even alleged nomination dossier copies were never officially supplied to the members concerned of the same and none of the alleged reports of the experts were circulated to the members. No alleged letters of the UNESCO were given to the said members of the Executive Committee body, prior to the meeting.

The Executive Committee members acted as dummy that had given their consent while passing both diametrically opposite resolutions. Interestingly, many of the Executive Committee members were party to both resolutions.

The resolutions simply say,’ introduced with the permission of president and passed’. This shows that the resolutions were passed in a mechanical manner and without applying mind to the document concerned.


Alam orders probe against Mustafa, wife
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
Punjab’s Additional Director-General of Police (Administration), Mr Mohammad Izhar Alam, has ordered an inquiry against Inspector-General of Police Mohammad Mustafa and his MLA wife, Mrs Razia Sultana, in the municipal councillor Sham Sunder murder case, maintaining he had to pass the order after the Governor, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), summoned him to Raj Bhavan.

In a two-page note circulated among senior functionaries of the Police Department, Mr Alam tried to explain the circumstances under which he had to pass the order for the Superintendent of Police (Crime), Mr Bachan Singh Randhawa, to complete the investigations, preferably within 45 days. Mr B.K. Bawa, Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Crime), has been asked to supervise the investigations.

Attempts to contact the Additional Director-General of Police (Crime), Mr Anil Kaushik, for confirmation of the inquiry being undertaken by his wing failed as he was not available.

The Home Department is with the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, who returned from his Canada tour last month.

“I was called by His Excellency, the Governor of Punjab, and accordingly I appeared before him,” says Mr Alam in his note maintaining that a delegation from Ahmedgarh, Malerkotla and the surrounding areas, after meeting him in his office on June 3, went to meet the Governor to demand action in the Sham Sunder murder case.

“The delegation had cried foul against Inspector-General Mohd Mustafa and his MLA wife before him. To his Excellency I admitted meeting the delegation but I explained to him the reasons behind not passing any order on the delegation’s demand. His Excellency spoke to the DGP on the phone. He also made me speak to the DGP, then and there,” wrote Mr Alam in his note.

He maintained that when the delegation met him, he did not pass any order on its petition only because Mr Mustafa and his MLA wife could have alleged bias and prejudice against them due to the ongoing writ petitions filed by her in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against him in connection with Punjab Waqf Board affairs. “I kept the petition pending with me for a decision by the DGP on his joining back from casual leave,” wrote Mr Alam in his note.

Mr Alam also held that before passing the order for inquiry, he had talked to the SSP of Sangrur and also the investigation officer in the case and asked them to bring the case file to him the next day, ie June 4. The DIG and the SP (Crime) were also called.

The family of Sham Sunder, a municipal councillor from Ahmedgarh, had been alleging that his death on the night of May 3 was a case of murder and not suicide. The scooter of Sham Sunder was found parked along a bank of the Jagara canal and his body was removed from below the Kanganwal bridge. On protests from the family, a case of murder was registered on May 31. The family, however, maintained that though the case was changed from that of suicide to murder, no action was being initiated.

Senior officers of the Crime Wing — DIG B.K. Bawa and SP Bachan Singh Randhawa — will investigate the case and “shall take all necessary steps required for the investigation, including interrogation of any suspect, arrest of any person, etc, etc and they will complete the investigation preferably within 45 days,” wrote Mr Alam in his order.

He further held that since the post-mortem report in the case said that there was a fracture at the back of the head (skull), and bruises also with no water in the stomach, the investigating officer should visit the scene of the incident.

Mr Alam also cautioned the new inquiry team that since the delegation alleged that a few of the doctors in Sangrur district were posted on the recommendation of the MLA wife of the IG, it should ensure that if any medico-legal advice was required, “it should be taken with due care and caution”.


New Punjab AG to take charge today
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
The new Advocate General (AG) of Punjab, Mr Rajinder Singh Cheema, is expected to take charge of his assignment tomorrow.

The outgoing AG, Mr Harbhagwan Singh, put in his papers today morning. In his four-line resignation addressed to the Chief Minister, Mr Harbhagwan has also thanked the Chief Minister for having given him the opportunity to serve the state.

Incidentally, he was scheduled to attend a three-day legal conference in Shimla from June 11-13.

His replacement, Mr Cheema, who is a designated Senior Advocate, is a highly regarded criminal lawyer of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

He is considered close to Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and his Media Adviser, Mr B.I.S. Chahal. Incidentally, Mr Cheema has handled cases involving the Chief Minister and Mr Chahal.

One of the biggest challenges facing the new AG is the proposed reduction in the number of law officers of the Punjab Government. While the government has time and again proposed reduction in the number of law officer, which had crossed 110 at one time, nothing concrete has been done.

Another challenge would be how to extract work from the kin of the high and mighty, who are virtually at paid holiday in the office of the Punjab AG. Some changes in the number of law officers and functioning of the AG’s office are also being expected.

However, the man in the hot seat refuses to be drawn into any comparisons.

“I will try to run the office efficiently, transparently and introduce accountability. But, wait and watch,” is all he ventures at the moment.

However, people who have seen his style of functioning over the years say he is a hard task master, who will expect results from his colleagues at the AG office.

Born just months before India achieved Independence, Mr Cheema has defended former Punjabi University, Patiala, Vice Chancellor Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia in a sexual harassment case; SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur in the case relating to her daughter’s mysterious death; Capt Amarinder Singh in an election petition challenging his election to the Vidhan Sabha as also in a defamation case.


Suicides by farmers shock Pak farm experts
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, June 7
A four-member delegation of farm scientists of University of Agriculture, Faislabad (Pakistan) led by Dr Bashir Ahmed, Vice-Chancellor, today expressed shock over the alarming rate of suicides among Indian farmers inspite of India being predominantly an agricultural country.

Talking to The Tribune during their visit at Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) here today Dr Bashir said that in Pakistan agriculture had been stable and there was no case of suicide among their peasantry. He however, added that India and Pakistan could help come out of the present two-crop pattern by sharing experience in agriculture to lead this region into an area of prosperity. The Vice-Chancellor added that value addition to agriculture was very important to pave the way for industrialisation he said that Pakistan had set up large-scale textile units and using cotton crop which was the mainstay of farming community in that country.

Dr Bashir said that they were waiting for working in close collaboration with Indian farm scientists in various agricultural universities of North India especially in the field of horticulture and forestry and organic farming. He said that they had come to India at the invitation of Dr Y.S. Parmar, university of Horticulture and Forestry Solan and Himachal Pradesh.

An adviser to the University of agriculture Faislabad, Dr Hafiz Abdul Qayyum said that Pakistan had been able to improve two-crop pattern of wheat and paddy and have added cotton which had come a mainstay for farmers. He said cotton had been of excellent quality and meeting requirements of many cotton textile mills which had come up in Layalpur — Manchester of Pakistan. He said that the four Indian agriculture universities of North India were off shoots of Punjab College of Agriculture Faislabad. He said that Indian and Pakistani farm experts should jointly do research and work unison for the benefit of farmers of both countries.

Earlier, they interacted with the senior scientists and officers of the University on the socio-economic, cultural, agricultural, marketing challenges faced by India and Pakistan. Welcoming them Dr R.S. Bawa, registrar of Guru Nanak Dev varsity said that the University was interested to have teacher student exchange programmes with Universities of Pakistan.

Dr Qayyum said that University of Agriculture, Faislabad (Pakistan) had great affiliation with Guru Nanak Dev University because founder Vice-Chancellor of this University, Prof Bishan Singh Samundari was a student of their university.


Sukhi returns to Muktsar
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, June 7
Sukhwinder Kaur Sukhi, who hit the headlines by initially denying to return without conquering Mount Everest, is finally on her way back to her home here. Her sister, Baljinder Kaur, today said Sukhi had told her that she would make another bid to reach atop Mount Everest. Sukhi would be home any time tonight.

Talking to The Tribune over the phone, Sukhi, who was on her way from New Delhi to Muktsar by train, said her expedition “wasn’t that good”. Baljinder Kaur said she landed up on the Delhi airport at about 11.30 am. “She was visibly hurt for turning her back towards Mount Everest when she was so close to her aim,” she averred. Baljinder said that Sukhi had frostbites in her feet and had a lot of weakness.

When a Tribune team visited Sukhi’s residence this evening, eyes of all her family members were fixed at the door. Her father, Jagat Singh, was busy in his woodwork and in between he was also answering queries of his acquaintances who had come to enquire about Sukhi. Her mother, Tej Kaur, was attending to relatives who had been frequenting her home since the news of Sukhi’s return reached here.

Sukhi’s parents were tense from the day they came to know that she was caught in a snowstorm and could not go any further with her expedition when she was just 800 metres short of Mount Everest peak. They were also hurt with the reports carried in a section of the media that they were pressurising her not to return without making it to the top.

Later, they were anxious as they could not contact her over satellite phone even after the news came that she was heading towards the base camp. They were relieved on Sunday night when Sukhi called up Pammi and told her that she would soon be with them.


Sunam, Dhuri areas suffer losses due to storm
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 7
Due to a strong duststorm/thunderstorm followed by rain, electricity poles, transformers, towers of high tension transmission lines, trees, industrial sheds and boundary walls of various buildings suffered big losses in the Sangrur, Sunam, Dhuri and Bhawanigarh areas last evening.

As per information, hundreds of trees fell on the roadsides. Besides, thousands of hen of a Poultry farm in the Uppli village, near here, perished after the shed collapsed. The boundary walls of the local police lines and the residence of the SSP also collapsed.

Talking to The Tribune today, Mr H.S. Nagpal, Deputy Chief Engineer, Sangrur Circle, Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), said hundreds of electricity poles were uprooted, while a large number of transformers were damaged. Two towers of 220-KV high-tension transmission lines fell near Badrukhan village, which led to interruption of power supply to many areas for many hours. A tower of 66-KV transmission line also bent near Bhawanigarh, he added.

Mr Nagpal further said 17 substation grids of the PSEB faced closure due to storm last evening, but all of them had now been made functional. About 250 transmission lines had faced breakdown, of which 25 lines were yet to be made operational. He said power supply to all areas would be restored by tonight.

Mr Vijay Gupta, president of the Sangrur District Industrial Chamber, said cement and iron sheets of sheds of various industrial units in Sangrur, Sunam and Dhuri were damaged.

Mr Churchil Kumar, Divisional Forest Officer, said hundreds of trees had fallen in Sangrur, Sunam and other nearby areas.


One more Babbar Khalsa militant held

Jalandhar, June 7
One more activist of the Babbar Khalsa militant outfit was arrested today from a village here in connection with the May 22 cinema house blasts in Delhi and seized weapons from him.

The activist from Malpur village was identified as Rajesh Kumar alias Sonu, Senior Suprintendent of Police Arun Pal Singh said adding one Chinese pistol along with 70 bullets, different types of explosive timers were seized from the accused.

He said the police on a tip off that consignment of explosives used in blasts, were lying with Sonu and arrested him.

He said efforts are on to nab the main accused Jaspal Singh Raja in the case.

Till now four Babbar Khalsa activists have been arrested by the police.

He said that Bahadur, Gurdip and Rajesh Kumar were members of newly formed Babbar Khalsa module led by Jaspal Singh of Simbli village. — PTI


SAD (Longowal) supports Advani on Jinnah issue
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 7
Calling Mohammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, a secular person by Mr L.K. Advani, President of the BJP, is not wrong as all those who fought for the freedom of the country against the British were secular to the core of their hearts.

Stating this today, Mr Baldev Singh Mann, secretary-general of the SAD (Longowal), further said at the time of freedom of the country the leaders of Muslims and Sikhs had felt that justice had not been done to them by the majority community. Due to this, the Muslims demanded partition which had been agreed by every one at that time, he added.

Mr Mann said it was a good sign that both countries were coming closer which was not being liked by Hindu organisations. Supporting Mr Advani on the Jinnah issue, he also asked him to stick to his stand. The BJP as a whole, besides other secular parties, should also support Mr Advani in a big way on the issue at this juncture, he added.


Advani should lead party, says Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
Former Minister and president of the Punjab BJP Balramji Dass Tandon today urged the BJP President, Mr L.K. Advani, to withdraw his resignation immediately.

Mr Tandon said Mr Advani should not bother about what small groups said about him. He should continue to lead the party at this crucial juncture.

Mr Tandon said all BJP leaders had full faith in the leadership of Mr Advani, who had made an immense contribution to build the organisation.


Tandon opposed to proposed memorial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
Former president of the Punjab unit of the BJP Balramji Dass Tandon has opposed the proposal to build a memorial — “Minar-e-Shaheedan” — at Golden Temple. He said here today that the SAD and the SGPC should review their decision in this regard.

Mr Tandon is the first senior leader of the BJP, which has a political alliance with the SAD in Punjab and also at the national level, to oppose the memorial. He said the SGPC and the SAD had stated that the memorial would be raised in memory of the innocent people killed during Operation Blue star.

But, he said, it would be always considered to be raised in the memory of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and Shabegh Singh and others.

He said the SAD should stick to its ultimate goal of promoting Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiat. No such step, which could harm the unity of Punjabis, should be taken, he added.


Secy-gen of SAD cell appointed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
The SAD president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has appointed Col Partap Inder Singh Phoolka (retd), secretary-general of the ex-servicemen cell of the party.

Colonel Phoolka, who belongs to Bhadaur in Sangrur district, was earlier the president of the ex-servicemen cell of the BJP. He had quit the BJP a few months ago. 


Army gives relief to landmine blast victims
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 7
Bringing up her two children on a meagre income as a farm labourer after the demise of her husband Lal Singh in a landmine blast during Operation Prakram was an uphill task for Amber Kaur (30). Therefore, Rs 2,50,000 given to her as compensation by the Army here today has come as a big relief.

A resident of Burj village in Ajnala subdivision, Amber Kaur sometimes works as a farm labourer and at other times as a construction worker. Her nature of work depends on the availability of employment. She says that her husband was a farm labourer who used to earn Rs 25 or Rs 30 a day.

Another landmine blast victim, Raj Kaur of Salyldpur village of the same subdivision, lost her right leg. She was going to deliver her husband’s lunch when the accident took places. Mother of four, Raj Kaur has got an artificial leg fixed, which helps her to handle her day-to-day domestic chores. She was given Rs 1,50,000 as compensation.

The ex gratia amount was handed over to her by Major-Gen S.C. Sharma, GOC, 15 Infantry Division, at a solemn ceremony. Addressing the gathering comprising Army officials, panchayats and families of victims, Gen Sharma said “though they could never fill the void created by accidental deaths in families, yet it was a token gesture to share some responsibility”.

Gen Sharma said the villager’s support was tremendous. Therefore, the Army did not want to leave them alone in their moment of grief and wanted to help them as much as possible.


5-month premature twins born
Tribune News Service

Gurpreet Kaur, mother of five-month premature twins, Luv and Kush, takes them in her lap at a hospital in Jalandhar on Tuesday. The babies weighed 540 and 610 gm, respectively, at the time of birth, but are now out of danger.
Gurpreet Kaur, mother of five-month premature twins, Luv and Kush, takes them in her lap at a hospital in Jalandhar on Tuesday. The babies weighed 540 and 610 gm, respectively, at the time of birth, but are now out of danger. — Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma

Jalandhar, June 7
In a rare case, five-month premature twins were born to a Jalandhar-based couple recently.

While extremely premature children born before six-and-a-half months have a very low survival rate, Mr Harkrishan Walia and Ms Gurpreet have been lucky as their two sons, Luv and Kush, are hale and hearty.

At the time of birth, Luv weighed 610 gm, while Kush was 540 gm, but after 51 days, when they were discharged from Lifeline Mother and Child Hospital, the two weighed 1900 and 1800 gm, respectively.

Dr Gaurav Chowdhary, neonatology expert, said that the babies had to be given incubator care, oxygen, mechanical ventilation and nutrition through veins.

Mr Harkrishan Walia, the father, said that since his wife had developed some infection which could not be treated, she had to be operated upon to deliver the babies early. He said that when the doctors told him about the situation, he was very tense. “Now when the mother and babies are all healthy, it is a moment to rejoice,” he said.


Quacks doing brisk business
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Phagwara, June 7
Treatment for all kinds of diseases for just Rs 20! That is what it takes when you visit so-called specialists from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, who are doing brisk business in the subdivision.

Despite lack of legal medical qualification and experience, medicines without labels, syrups and injections occupy prominent space in their clinics.

According to the Health Department, the number of quacks who got themselves enrolled with the State Council of Ayurvedic and Unani Medicines, Bihar, has shot up.

However, as per Rule 2 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, an RMP means a medical practitioner registered or eligible for registration with the state. The medical practitioners enrolled with the State Council of Ayurvedic and Unani Medicines, Bihar, are not eligible for transfer of their registration to Punjab.

There are 102 villages in the subdivision, where most of these quacks operate.

A survey of some villages revealed that the opening of a large number of chemist shops in rural and semi-rural areas were contributing to the sale of medicines such as paracetamol, proxivon, alprax, cough syrups and morphine injections without the prescription of RMPs as were “karyana” shops and unchecked quacks, who used a combination of ayurvedic and allopathic medicines to “cure” patients, largely with negative results.

A labourer pleading anonymity said : “I earn between Rs 60 and Rs 80 daily and spend around Rs 40 to Rs 50 on procuring drugs.”

This reporter saw a youth of a nearby village with prick marks on his arms, some of them self-administered, who said: “I don’t ask for the price, I simply want the drug at any cost as I do get money from my brother settled in the UK.”

These quacks have made their own body and earned political patronage. People, too, support these quacks as they come in handy and cheap at times. “Nobody comes forward to speak against them,” says a doctor, not wanting to be named.

Sources say when drug inspectors take action against these quacks, they close their clinics, but open them again after allegedly greasing the palms of the persons concerned.

In spite of the strict instructions to all civil surgeons in the state to register cases against all unqualified and unregistered medical practitioners under Section 15 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, little has been done in this regard.


Young legislators’ seminar deferred
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
The Young Legislators Forum, Punjab, has postponed its seminar on crop diversification which was to be held here tomorrow at the UT Guest House. Mr Ashwani Sekhri, Congress MLA from Batala and president of the forum, said in a statement that “we deeply regret for the inconvenience caused to all concerned. New date to hold the seminar will be fixed soon,” he added.

The Punjab Governor, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), was to address the seminar. Informed sources said that Mr Sekhri’s father-in-law was not well and because of this reason, the seminar had been postponed. However, political circles said that the seminar had been postponed under pressure from certain ruling party ministers and leaders, who did not like the idea of the coming of young legislators together, irrespective of their party affiliations, on vital issues of the state.

Sources said that Mr Sekhri was called today by the ruling party managers to tell that he should postpone the seminar.

Asked in this connection, Mr Manpreet Singh Badal, SAD MLA from Gidderbaha and general secretary of the forum, said he was hopeful that the seminar would be held soon.


Pak to release 32 youths this month
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 7
Officials of the Indian Embassy in Pakistan have cleared identification of 32 youths in Pakistan jails and were likely to be released in June.

Informing this today, Mr Harpal Singh Bhullar, president, International Bhai Mardana Yadgari Kirtan Darbar Society, today said that he met the officials who confirmed that executives of the Indian Embassy had cleared the identification of those youths who landed in Pakistan jails after defrauded by fake travel agents. 


Punjab Addl AG killed in mishap

Chandigarh, June 7
Mr Bhagwati Prasad Singla, Additional Advocate-General (AAG), Punjab, and two other persons lost their lives in a road accident near Siliguri, West Bengal, today. Mr Singla and his family live in Sector 15-A here.

According to agency reports reaching here, the 55-year-old AAG and an industrialist, Mr Hemant Sud, were coming back from Jalpaiguri to Bagdogra Airport when their Maruti van collided with a North Bengal State Transport Corporation Bus at Phulwari, about 10 km west of Siliguri.

The driver of the van, Sadhan Mandal (26), was also killed on the spot.

They had gone to Jalpaiguri to meet Divisional Commissioner Balbir Ram, the police said. A case has been registered by the police and the bus impounded. — TNS & PTI


Markfed to procure moong, soyabean
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
Markfed has been appointed as Nafed’s agency to procure moong (pulses) and soyabean crops as per the Government of India’s policy. Nafed has offered a price of Rs. 1520 per quintal FAQ (fair average quality) for moong as the minimum support price (MSP). This is Rs 110 more than last year.

For soyabean the MSP is Rs 1010 per quintal (yellow) and Rs 900 per quintal (black). Markfed and Nafed have signed an agreement in this regard.

Mr S.S. Channy, Managing Director, Marked, said the move was aimed at providing marketing support to farmers for crops like moong and soyabean under the Punjab Government Crop Diversification Programme. Markfed will procure moong crops in the mandies of Mullanpur, Jagraon, Khanna, Nokodar, Malerkotla, Amloh, Rampuraphul, Budhlada and Baghapurana

The farmers who have grown moong can register themselves with District Managers/Branch Managers of Markfed giving information with regard to the acreage, likely yield, dates of crop arrival etc. so that timely and requisite arrangements are made for the procurement. Similar arrangements would also be made for the soyabean crop to be sown by the farmers.

Already PAU Ludhiana has provided the seed of moong variety ML 668 to farmers. About 200 acres of ML 668 have been cultivated in Mullanpur and Jagraon belt.


Non-release of grants hits sanitation project
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, June 7
Failure of the Punjab government to release matching-grants has brought the Total Sanitation Campaign project to a stand still. The said project was started in this district under the aegis of the Union government.

In Gurdaspur district alone Rs 6 crore was to be spent on the campaign. The Union Government was to contribute Rs 2.89 crore, the state government Rs 1.76 crore and the beneficiaries of the scheme Rs 1.74 crore for the project. The Union Government released part payment of Rs 86 lakh to the state to start the project.

The amount was released to various districts for conducting a survey for collecting data for the implementation of the project. In Gurdaspur district Rs 11 lakh was released for survey.

The survey has been completed. It has thrown up some startling facts. Survey says just 20 per cent of rural households in the district have proper toilets. Even well-to-do households in rural areas of the district do not have proper toilets.

According to the survey 30 per cent of the above the poverty line houses and eight per cent of below the poverty line houses in the district have proper toilets.

After the survey progress of the project has halted. Since the state government has failed to release matching grant the Union Government also did not release further grants to the state for the project.

In project all houses identified in the survey which do not have proper sanitation facilities were to be provided modern toilets.

Under the scheme every household to be provided with toilet would have 66 per cent of the cost as grant by the Union and state government would have been contributed by the beneficiary.

The other components of the scheme include providing education to the rural masses on sanitation. Besides improving sanitation the basic aim of the project was the abolition of night soil lifting by the lower classes in the rural households not having proper toilets. The age-old practice was a stigma that the project intends to eradicate.


Farm labourer murdered
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, June 7
In a gruesome murder, a farm labourer was done to death by hitting him with sharpedged weapons on the face and throwing him into a well at Shatabgarh village in Sultanpur Lodhi early this morning.

Fortyfour-year-old Bhajan Singh was working as a labourer in the farms of Mr Nirmal Singh. He had his dinner at the farm owner’s house and had gone to the farm where he used to sleep every night. When Mr Nirmal Singh went to his farms this morning, he kept on looking for the labourer but he was nowhere to be seen.

The farm owner was astonished to see blood stains beneath the cot of the labourer that led him to the well where his body had been thrown. Mr Nirmal Singh called the police and the body, bearing deep stabs on the face, was taken out of the well.

A case has been registered under Section 302 of the IPC.


One killed in family dispute
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, June 7
In a minor family dispute, Rashpaul (22) was allegedly attacked with sharp-edged weapons and murdered by his own elder brother, Ram Labhaya at Chokkra village in Phillaur subdivision yesterday.

According to reports received here today, both brothers were residing in a house and were paying electricity bills jointly, but Rashpaul refused to give his share of the bill of Rs 750, saying he was consuming electricity only for one bulb and one fan. This led to altercation and Ram Labhaya attacked Rashpaul with a knife.

Rashpaul was rushed to a private doctor at Apra, who declared him brought dead. Though the police has registered a case, Ram Labhaya escaped. The body of the deceased was handed over to the family members after a post-mortem examination.


Woman murdered
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 7
Sunita Rani, a resident of the Vijay Nagar area here, was today murdered by her servant, who decamped with valuables and cash.

Her husband, Harish Kumar, who is a businessman, and other family members were not present at home when accused Raju, a migrant labourer from Bihar, entered the house along with others. Raju was working as a servant for the past one year. The police has registered a case.

In another case, the Sultanwind police has arrested Mohinder Kaur, a resident of Pati Bhainiwal village, and seized one kilogram of opium from her. A case has been registered.


GND varsity students get 100 pc placements
Pawan Kumar

Amritsar, June 7
Students of all professional courses, who passed out in May 2005 from Guru Nanak Dev (GND) University, have been placed in highly reputed companies through campus and off-campus recruitments. The varsity students have been placed at prestigious salaries ranging from 1 lakh to 3 lakh per annum.

Dr S.P. Singh, Vice-Chancellor of the university, said 156 students of IT courses: M.Tech. (6 students), MCA (57), B.Tech. Computer Science (48) and B.Tech. Electronics (45); have been placed through campus recruitments. These students of the 2005 batch have been placed in prestigious multinational companies like TCS (23), Quark (14), Satyam (13), Wipro (29), Perot Systems (15), Siemens (4), HCL (4), Kanbay (10), Infogain (10), Nagarro (2), DCM (2), Newgen (4), Canon (1), Avaya (5), Polaris (5), Mind Infotech (5), Hutch (3), Wipro Spectramind (4) and V-Customer (3) with an average salary Rs. 2.20 lakh per annum.

He said for the 2006 batch, in addition to above companies many other prestigious IT companies like Cognizant, AMDOCS, Mahindra British Telecom (MBT), Accenture, CSC, Cellent had confirmed their dates of visit from June 16 onwards. Ten Top students of three IT courses — MCA, CSE and ECE (Total 30) — had already been offered direct jobs by Satyam Computers, Hyderabad, while students of all three campuses, Amritsar, Jalandhar and Gurdaspur, were appearing for campus placements jointly, he added.

He said the students of other engineering courses were also getting good placements with all 13 students of B.Tech (Textile Chemistry) finding jobs: Raymonds (3 students), Vardhman (4), Arwind Mills (2), Oriental Craft (2), Nahar Fabrics (1) and Malwa Industries (1). Similarly students of B.Tech. (Food Technology) have also been placed in companies like Pepsi, Cremica, Amrit Banaspati etc.

As many as 64 students of MBA have been placed through campus placements in companies like HDFC Bank (5 students), ICICI Prudential (12), India Bulls (7), JCT (4), Nestle (3), Kotak Mahindra (5), Cipla (1), CAPART (6), Citi Group (8), Standard Chartered Bank (2), IDBI (1), Khanna Paper Mills (2), Dhanwantri Pharmacy (1), Malwa Industries (3), Eli-Lilly (4).

Not only engineering and management courses, students of M.Sc. (chemistry) and B.Pharmacy have also been placed through campus placements in multinational companies. Thirtytwo students of Chemistry (18), Applied Chemistry (8) and B.Pharmacy (6) have been placed in Ranbaxy (5), Panacea Biotec (10), Jubliant (8), Ind Swift (3), Baxter (10) and Cipla (2). Panacea offered highest pay package of Rs. 1.68 lakh per annum to M.Sc. students. The average pay for these students has been 1.30 lakh per annum.

He said with the initiatives of the students, now companies were also approaching for recruitment of students for courses like L.L.B., M.A. (Sociology), MBE (economics).


Job-oriented courses at varsity
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 7
Guru Nanak Dev University has introduced job-oriented courses in dress designing, cutting and tailoring, diploma in textile designing and diploma in electronics and TV maintenance and servicing from the current academic session. The courses, aimed at encouraging self-employment among youth, would start from this July at university campus at historic border village, Preet Nagar (near Lopoke) and at University Regional Campus, Gurdaspur, for unemployed boys and girls.

These courses have been started under the aegis of the Department of Adult, Continuing Education and Extension.

Unemployed matriculate girls in the age group of 15 to 35 are eligible for admission to the dress designing cutting and tailoring while Plus Two pass girls could take admission in textile designing.

For diploma in electronic and TV maintenance and servicing, Plus Two pass boys and girls, both are eligible.

The admission forms for these courses will be available from Department of Adult, Continuing Education and Extension at Dasmesh Auditorium and could be submitted till June 24.

The interview for textile designing course will be held on July 5 while interviews for diploma in electronics and TV maintenance will be held on July 6 at 10 am and for interviews for the course of dress designing cutting and tailoring has been fixed for July 7.

The dress designing course is also available at Regional Centre, Gurdaspur, and Preet Nagar, would also make available admission forms for the course, that could be deposited till June 24. 


Nursing institute faces fund crunch
Tribune News Service

Badal (Muktsar), June 7
The State Institute of Nursing and Paramedical Sciences is facing fund crunch as ad hoc staff hasn’t got their salaries for the past two months and the institute doesn’t have a single penny for filling up fuel in its vehicles.

The institute, which has nearly 170 students and 20 ad hoc employees, is running three courses.

The institute came into being in 2001 and the Punjab State Health Corporation used to grant funds to it.

Requesting anonymity, an ad hoc employee said they had been awaiting their salaries for the past two months.

Disappointed with the government apathy some of the employees had even started looking for alternative jobs. The fund crunch had also taken a heavy toll on the studies.

Sources said the students, who were supposed to avail training at the Civil Hospitals of Malout and Bathinda for clinical experience, had been unable to attend the training, as the institute had no money to fill up fuel in its vehicles.

The petrol pump, from where the institute used to receive fuel, had also denied any further supply owing to its pending dues.

Earlier, three batches of students used to attend the training at these hospital, but since May 20 none of the batches had gone for it.

Sources in the corporation said Rs 12 crore were spent on building the institute that came up under the planned expenditure.

They said whenever the institute required funds one or the other department raised objection over it thus delaying the sanction of amount.

The corporation was making all efforts to get the funds released for the institute.

The Principal, Ms Anjali Joseph, admitted that she had received a representation of the employees and had informed the authorities concerned about it.


BSc (biotechnology) results today

Amritsar, June 7
The results of the BSc. biotechnology (II and III) examinations conducted by Guru Nanak Dev University in April/May, 2005, would be declared tomorrow. The results would be available at university website, www.gnduonline.org, on same day after. — OC

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