P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



14-day judicial remand for Mann
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, June 17
Mr Simranjit Singh Mann president, SAD(A) was brought here from the Ludhiana Central Jail and presented before the duty magistrate Ranjiv Kumar today in cases registered against him at Kotwali police station.

The Duty Magistrate remanded him in judicial custody for 14 days. The next hearing in the case would be on July 1.

Earlier, when Mr Mann was brought to the court he demanded rest and medical check up before appearing in the court. He was granted that and he rested in the circuit house for an hour and had a medical examination before appearing in the court.

After his hearing his supporters who had gathered outside the court raised anti-Amarinder and anti-Badal slogans. The police had to use mild force to quell tension. A few incidents of pushing and forcing were reported.

Meanwhile, the SAD (A) president handed over two letters, including one addressed to the Chief Justice of the high court, in which he alleged manhandling and misbehaviour by police.

In another letter addressed to Mr Badal he has sarcastically referred to the SAD chief with ‘Jai Sri Ram’ and hoped that his mentors, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Mr L.K. Advani and Mr Sudershan were in good health.

In a letter distributed through his counsels Mr Amanprit Singh Sidhu and Mr S Saini he accused both Mr Parkash Singh Badal and SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur of conniving against him.

ROPAR: Alleging that he was falsely implicated in the sedition case under political pressure, the SAD (Amritsar) president, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, has moved a bail application in the court of the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Ropar, Mr S.K. Goel. Mr Goel today issued a notice to the state to file reply in the case on June 21.

A case of sedition was registered against Mr Mann for allegedly making anti-national speeches during the Ghalughara function held at the Damdami Taksahal in Anandpur Sahib on June 4. 


Mann supporters stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 17
Hundreds of supporters of SAD (A) president Simranjit Singh Mann staged a dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office in protest against the alleged implication of Mr Mann in a false case.

The supporters raised slogans against the government, Parkash Singh Badal and Bibi Jagir Kaur.

Addressing the dharna, SGPC member Karnail Singh Panjoli said it was unfortunate that the president of SAD(A) had not been treated well in judicial custody by the Punjab police.

He alleged that Mr Mann had been implicated in a false case at the behest of Mr Badal and Bibi Jagir Kaur.

He said Mr Mann had already been charged with similar allegations during the Beant Singh government and later discharged. He questioned the validity of him being booked in yet another case of similar nature.

He said Mr Mann had been a Member of Parliament twice and the party believed in peaceful struggle.

He alleged that Mr Mann had been meted out ill-treatment during the custody. Also, his house had been searched and locks of almirahs broken.

He alleged that Mr Mann had been a victim of a well-planned controversy hatched by the government, Mr Badal and Bibi Jagir Kaur.

Advocate N.S. Tiwana, district president of the party Jaswant Singh, youth leader Tarlochan Singh Lalli, SGPC members Surinder Kaur and Ravinder Pal Singh also addressed.

Later, the party leaders submitted a memorandum addressed to the Prime Minister to the Deputy Commissioner urging him to release Mr Mann as well as to withdraw the case.


Delay in new PCC chief’s appointment
worries party men

Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
Inordinate delay in the naming of the new chief of the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) is worrying Punjab Congressmen who feel that any further delay may prove detrimental to the ruling party in the next Assembly elections which are just 18 months away.

Although the Congress high command had announced that the election process would be completed by May 15, no progress has been made even after the release of the list of delegates for the election of the PCC chief last month. Even the extended deadline of June 15 has passed.

“In fact, the election of all PCC chiefs is pending,” remarked a senior party leader saying that “Punjab should be given priority as it will be going to the polls by the end of next year. As of now, the situation is fluid and a lot of confusion prevails in the Punjab Pradesh Congress, whose Mahila Congress and National Students Union of India (NSUI) units are also without presidents.”

Although the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, has reportedly thrown his weight behind the present incumbent, Mr H.S.Hanspal, the party high command appears to be looking for a change, pinning its hopes on a Dalit, preferably a Hindu, as his successor.

The names in circulation are those of Mr Shamsher Singh Dulo (former MP), Mr Mohinder Singh Kaypee (Transport Minister) and Mrs Santosh Chaudhary (former MP).

Loyalists of the Chief Minister want Mr Hanspal to continue for obvious reasons. They say that he not only stood by the Chief Minister when dissidence was at its peak but has also been taking a stand on certain issues besides keeping the communication channels with the rank and file of the party, including the dissidents, open.

They further argue that all Dalit leaders in the run for the PCC presidentship have either been actively involved in dissident activity or were indirectly supporting it. As such, for a new leader to consolidate and unify the party with elections not far off will be a difficult task.

Because of the uncertainty created by the delay in the completion of the organisational election process, little attention is being paid to certain important issues which tend to become major rallying points for the Opposition to attack the ruling party in the next Assembly elections.

These issues, admit Congressmen, include clarity on the privatisation of education and healthcare services, the unbundling of the Punjab State Electricity Board, free power to small and marginal farmers, the abolition of octroi, the payment of arrears of old-age and welfare pensions and speeding up of the pace of development work in the state.

Onerous responsibility will lie on the new PCC chief to clarify the party position on these issues. No Congressman now supports the privatisation of education and the health care services. They, however, agree that participation of the private sector in the delivery of education and healthcare services looks imminent.

The Punjab Congress also appears to be strongly inclined to give free power to small and marginal farmers. Although the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, had at the recent conference of chairpersons of various electricity boards and power secretaries in Shimla opposed free power to any sector, Punjab may push the energy bills to the Punjab Mandi Board so as to keep the power board free from this burden.

Although the Union Government has already deferred for six months the deadline for the unbundling of power boards, the issue will remain alive at the time of the elections. The ruling party will have to take a stand on the issue as the Punjab State Electricity Board is one of the major employers in the state.

To appease urban traders and businessmen, the Congress is yet to take a final decision on the abolition of octroi. Of late, the state did roll back and lower the rate of taxes on numerous items, including CSD supplies, under the new VAT regime, a major hike in the power tariff, both for rural and urban consumers, may not go in favour of the ruling party in the elections.

Unemployment is another major issue on which the Punjab Congress and the government have to do something in the immediate future. Increasing the unemployment allowance of handicapped and other persons may not be enough for success in the electoral battle.


CPI to discuss Punjab situation with PM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
The CPI will discuss the law and order situation in Punjab, including the arrest of Jagtar Singh Hawara and his aides and other related issues with the Union Government. This was stated here today by Dr Joginder Dayal, secretary of the CPI unit of Punjab.

Addressing a Press conference, Dr Dayal said the national secretary of the party, Mr A.B. Bardhan, had sought a detailed report from him regarding the situation in Punjab especially on the law and order front. Mr Bardhan would discuss it with the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, the AICC President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, and also with the Union Home Minister, Mr Shivraj Patil, he said.

He said it was surprising that after the arrest of Hawara and his aides, the police officers at various places were now making startling revelations almost on daily basis regarding his movement in the region, recovery of RDX and his hideouts.

Speaking about the political scenario, he said the Left parties would try to form a third alternative in the state with other like-minded parties. He added that there was no possibility of tie-up with the ruling Congress in the state in the next Assembly elections as it had even surpassed the BJP in following the World Bank and IMF agenda.

Dr Dayal said his party had extended its support to the strike call given by various organisations of the PSEB employees on June 22 and 23.

He urged the government to give free power to the farmers having land holdings up to 7.5 acres and added that the loans of farmers should be waived to give them relief from debt.

He also urged the government that the recent hike in power tariff should not be implemented and said that rampant corruption, heavy line losses and inefficiency on the part of management were responsible for financial loss to the PSEB. 


Hawara’s aide jumps into well
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, June 17
Mr Lok Nath Angra, Senior Superintendent of Police of Hoshiarpur, said here today that Mandip Singh (26), alias Deepa, son of Joginder Singh, a close associate of Jagtar Singh Hawara, chief of Babar Khalsa International (BKI), had committed suicide by jumping into an abandoned well located behind his house at Khera village, Mahilpur.

The village panchayat had gone to his residence to take him for producing before the police yesterday.

The SSP that Mandip Singh was serving as a granthi in the gurdwara of Bharta Ganeshpur village. He had taken a room adjoining to the gurdwara where he used to live. The police had an information that Mandip Singh had fire arms and RDX in his possession. Policemen searched the room in the presence of the members of the panchayat and seized one .30 bore pistol along with 16 cartridges and two magazines from the harmonium box lying there.

A case under Sections 25,54 and 59 of the Arms Act has been registered in Mahilpur police station in this connection.

Another accomplice of Hawara was arrested by the Sadar Police under Section 295 A of the IPC, Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act and Sections 4 and 5 of the Explosives Substances Act, 1908, from the local Indira Colony today. He was identified as Ashwani, son of Chaman Lal.

Meanwhile, the body of Mandip Singh was recovered from the well and after post-mortem, handed over to his parents. 


Punjabi varsity clarifies

The Tribune has received the following communication from the Director, Public Relations, Punjabi University:

The university issued a press release on June 16, 2005. However, a totally distorted version was published in Chandigarh Tribune in the issue dated June 17. The heading of the news item was "Pbi varsity admits Hawara's arrest outside gate." The heading was totally out of context.

The university communication says that Jagtar Singh Hawara's name in the context of his arrest does not figure anywhere in the press release. "It is surprising that how such type of inference has been drawn", the Director, Public Relations, of the university adds.

The news tends to tarnish the image of the reputed university and create an un-called for controversy, the university communication concludes.


Take care of farmers in debt: panel
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
The State Farmers Commission has asked the Punjab Government to take urgent steps to tide over the immediate financial crisis faced by the families of those farmers who, reeling under heavy debt, tend to end their lives.

“The fact that the Punjab farmer is under heavy debt is universally known. Those farmers who are on the verge of bankruptcy are required to be saved,” says the Commission which has started drawing up strategies for helping farmers undertake financially viable and environmentally sustainable farm practices.

The recommendations of the commission have come at a time when a number of farmers in the Malwa belt, who defaulted in the repayment of loans, have been arrested. In a few cases, decree orders for the attachment of their property have also been passed. Of late, there have been agitations following the growing conflict between money-lenders and commission agents, on the one hand and farmers on the other.

Even the Rajya Sabha member from Punjab and former Development Commissioner of the state, Dr Manohar Singh Gill, wanted the government to desist from repressive measures in the name of recovery of loans advanced by cooperative institutions to farmers.

Another major issue taken up by the commission is healthcare in the rural areas. Expressing deep concern over the ever-rising pesticide and environmental pollution leading to an alarming incidence of cancer and drug-related diseases in the rural areas, it proposes to take up various schemes for the healthcare of farmers and their families.

The commission has also expressed its anguish over the growing incidence of drug abuse and wants the state to devise a new healthcare policy for rural Punjab , where incomes are reducing and chronic diseases are increasing.

The commission, headed by Dr G.S. Kalkat, has suggested that to wean farmers from paddy cultivation, the growing of moong with zero tillage followed by soyabean should be encouraged. These crops will not only give the same income but also minimise damage to the soil and the environment.

The commission says that growing of the S668 variety of moong and the 525 variety of soyabean has the potential of replacing paddy in substantial areas. “A pilot project is being launched at about 200 locations in Punjab during the coming kharif season,” says Dr Kalkat, maintaining that the “procurement of the produce will be guaranteed at an agreed price.”

Another recommendation made by the commission is the cultivation of fruit and vegetables to the certification level of European markets. Potato growers of Jalandhar and vegetable growers of Bathinda and Patiala have already enrolled themselves for Eurepgap - the European quality certification.

The commission has also recommended Jatropha cultivation in the kandi area. “A detailed project is being prepared to undertake the commercial cultivation of Jatropha whose oil is used as bio-diesel. This plant has great potential to save India foreign exchange by reducing our dependence on mineral oils,” says Dr Kalkat claiming that private industrial houses in Punjab have shown great interest in the bio-diesel industry.


Acquire land only for public welfare: DC
Punjab Police Housing Corpn scheme
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 17
In a report submitted to the Financial Commissioner, Revenue (FCR), Punjab, the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, has stated that the acquisition of land by the government for purposes other than public welfare should not be allowed.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr H.I.S. Grewal, had been asked by the FCR, Mrs Rupan Deol Bajaj, to investigate the proposed acquisition of land for the Punjab Police Housing Corporation (PPHC) scheme in Kharar to construct houses for retired police and other government employees.

Rejecting the grant of a non-objection certification (NOC) for the project, the Deputy Commissioner stated that the issuance of an NOC would be unjust, inequitable and wholly unwarranted. Stating that there were two public purposes, namely acquisition of land for retired police and other government employees and the uprooting of land owners whose land was being acquired, Mr Grewal concluded: “I am of the definite considered opinion that the latter should prevail over the former. A welfare state like India cannot be so callous as to uproot its citizens and deprive them of their livelihood.”

Quoting from various judgements on the matter of acquisition of land by the state, the fortified report of the DC was submitted to the FCR yesterday. Reproducing the Punjab and Haryana High Court decision regarding the acquisition of land for the setting up of Anandgarh in his report, the DC reminded the Punjab Government that “lands are tilled, amongst others, by the landless labourers. They have to live in the village in their homes and huts. The land is being taken away by the state. Where shall they work? What will they be able to do when the land and the jobs are gone? Nothing at all. Perforce they will have to leave. Yet, the state claims that it is working for the weak and the needy. It shall provide civic amenities to the persons residing in the area within the ‘lal lakir’. It is merely a tall claim which is wholly lacking in concern.”

The PPHC had on June 24, 2004 notified the acquisition of over 200 acres of land near the township for the construction of houses for retired and serving government servants in the state. More than 4,100 applications had been received for the said housing scheme. While most of the land to be acquired by the PPHC fell within the jurisdiction of the Kharar Municipal Council, over 70 acres of land was a part of the Khooni Majra village. Other than the objections raised by the land owners against the acquisition of their land, the MC had passed a resolution that the land should not be acquired for the PPHC scheme.

The rather interesting conclusion that the Ropar DC came to in his interim report was repeated in part by the DC in his final report. It stated: “Some of the land owners whose land is being acquired for the scheme first migrated from West Punjab in 1947 in the vicinity of Chandigarh. the maxim of and then ultimately built houses on the land which is being acquired. They are being doubly disturbed and punished which is against the maxim of natural justice that a person cannot be punished twice for the same act.”


Razia for dissolution of Punjab Waqf Board
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
It is a classic example of how mistakes are committed and rectified by the Punjab Government.

On June 8, the state government orders the dissolution of the Punjab Waqf Board. Then it goes through the Waqf Board Act and realises the board cannot be dissolved till show-cause notices are served.

So, in an attempt to rectify its mistake, the government issues notices on June 15 under Section 99 of the Act. It gives a week’s time to the Chairperson for forwarding her comments on the dissolution of the board.

Sources in the Punjab Government say the authorities concerned have passed another order under Section 97 of the Act restraining the members from holding board meetings.

They said the notice had been issued by the state Home Secretary. It reportedly says the board has been involved in disputes with members levelling allegations and counter-allegations against each other.

Reference has also been made to an inquiry conducted in the matter by the Home Secretary himself. He reportedly says in the inquiry report that the board is certainly not in a position to function. As such, the board Chairperson-cum-Congress MLA from Malerkotla, Ms Razia Sultan, should give details of her stand.

The sources assert that real reason behind the controversy is the fight for administrative control. The tug of war for supremacy is between Ms Sultana and Punjab’s Additional Director-General of Police (Administration) Mohammad Izhar Alam, they add.

They claim that Ms Sultana, taking serious view of the infighting and other problems affecting the day-to-day functioning, has herself recommended the dissolution of the board in a letter written to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh. Ms Sultana has reportedly written that she is in no position to continue and the board should be reconstituted after being dissolved.

She has expressed similar sentiments in a reply forwarded to the Home Secretary. Describing the situation as unfortunate, she has reportedly written that the members are more concerned about their own interests than those of the board.

Moreover, the functioning of the board has not been smooth since its inception. Five writ petitions and nine miscellaneous applications are pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. In four cases stay orders have been passed.


Storm ruins cotton crop on 14,000 acres in Malwa
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 17
A week after a fierce storm hit almost the entire Malwa region agricultural losses are coming to light. The storm has taken a heavy toll on cotton crop spread over 14,000 acres in the cotton belt. This has added to the farmers’ woes, as they are already facing power crisis and getting irregular supply of canal water.

Earlier too hailstorm had adversely affected cotton crop during the sowing season. It seems that nature’s fury wouldn’t allow them to reap a good harvest. Many of these farmers were shelling out money on generators so as to save their crop. Sources said the Agricultural Department had already taken a stock of the situation and had sent its report to the state government.

According to the sources, the storm ruined cotton crop on 4,650 acres in Talwandi Sabo, of which 3,500 acres was 100 per cent affected. Similarly, 7,660 acres having cotton crop in Ferozepore and 1,800 acres in Muktsar had been badly hit. The worst affected were Punjab villages bordering Haryana, which included Fatta Balu, Natheha, Gayana, Kanakwal, Kalalwala, Teona, Mainuana, Rama, and Malkana etc. Jaspal Singh of Lahiri village said the farmers had bought costly Bt seeds, but the storm destroyed everything. Some of the farmers were also considering resowing of cotton.

This year cotton crop had been sown in 5.8 lakh hectares in the state. Authorised firms had sold 1.84 lakh packets of Bt cotton. In Bathinda, cotton had been sown on 1.53 lakh hectares, of which permissible Bt cotton covers an area of 15,000 hectares.

The Director of Agriculture Department, Mr Balwinder Singh Sidhu, said the storm mainly affected cotton crop in Malwa and a report in this regard had been sent to the government. He said a PAU team was being sent for scientific inspection of affected crop so that the farmers could be guided in a proper way.

Surprisingly, while the storm hit cotton crop in a majority of areas, hailstorm did the damage to the crop in the Ablu area of Goniana.

Meanwhile, long power cuts have added to the gloomy farm scenario in the area. Sources said the rural areas were facing the power cuts of 10-12 hours daily and the agricultural sector was hardly getting power supply for 6-7 hours. Villages like Bakhtu, Manawala, Sukhladi, and Jajal, were having power cuts of 12 hours daily. Sukhpal Singh, a progressive farmer from Ghuman Kalan village, said they were not being given any prior information about power cuts and they had been managing their work with the aid of generators.

Some villages in Talwandi Sabo were also facing shortage of canal water supply. Harchet Singh, a farmer from Kotshamir village, said they were largely dependent on diesel for their farming. But, with the prices of diesel about to increase in coming months these farmers were clueless as to how long they could afford to continue farming in this scenario.


SAD candidate declared winner
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar/Lohian, June 17
In an interesting case, a Shiromani Akali Dal candidate, whose counting of votes after the poll of the Notified Area Committee (NAC), Lohian, in March, 2003, had been stayed by the then SDM despite his securing the maximum votes, has finally been declared as the winner by the Election Tribunal.

Counting of votes of Mr Jasbir Singh, general secretary of the circle jatha of the SAD, who had secured 297 votes against 204 votes secured by his nearest rival, Congress candidate Surjit Kumar who was later elected as President of the NAC, was suspended on the order of the then SDM on the had grounds that he had not paid some panchayat arrears which were standing against his name during his tenure as the sarpanch of Lohian Khas in 1991.

Though on the contrary, Jasbir Singh, had been claiming that there was no fault of his and he was being “victimised on political grounds” as he had never been a sarpanch in 1991, but despite this he had to fight a prolonged legal battle for over two years to “get justice”.

Mr Mohinder Singh Kainth, Additional Deputy Commissioner and head of the Election Tribunal, has declared Jasbir Singh as the winner as a municipal councillor on the grounds that he had secured more votes than Mr Surjit Kumar. 


Bonded labour: DC orders probe
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 17
About 100 Dalits, who had been staging a protest dharna in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner here since June 15, today suspended their dharna when the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Husan Lal, today asked the SDM, Mr Gurtej Singh, to conduct an inquiry into the charges levelled by them against the police and the landlords of Rajpura village, near Bhawanigarh, in an alleged case of bonded labour.

When The Tribune contacted, Mr Gurtej Singh in his office here this afternoon, he said the Deputy Commissioner had asked him to conduct an inquiry into the case. He said he had invited both the parties to his office on June 21 to know their viewpoints. After that he would submit his report to the Deputy Commissioner.

Mr Jai Singh, national coordinator of the Dalit Dasta Virodhi Andolan, today said they would wait for the outcome of the inquiry. In case, justice was not provided to the affected Dalits, they would again resort to dharna in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner here.

Meanwhile, the police today produced six persons, Kulwant Singh, Dev Singh, Makhan Singh, Bant Singh, Charan Singh and Mohinder Singh, in a local court, which remanded them in judicial custody till June 30. They were arrested by the police for allegedly “beating up” and “making an attempt to kill” Mr Malkiat Singh, alias Kala, a landlord of Rajpura village, on June 14.

The Dalits had been holding a dharna in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner since June 15.

Mr Jai Singh said that it was a case of bonded labour. He claimed that Sat Singh of Rajpura village had remained with Kala for about two years in lieu of just Rs 10,000. When Sat Singh told Kala about two months ago that he wanted to leave him, then Kala demanded Rs 10,000 from him. But Sat Singh refused to give the money, saying that he had already worked for him for two years in lieu of Rs 10,000.

After this, about a month ago Kala “snatched” three animals from Sat Singh. A complaint to this effect was made to the SC/ST Commission and the Sangrur Deputy Commissioner. The Deputy Commissioner sent the District Welfare Officer for an inquiry on June 14, who invited both the parties. During inquiry the landlords “beat up” supporters of Sat Singh there, but the police apprehended seven-eight persons from the Dalit side, he alleged.


Despite court orders, Dalits denied access to well
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, June 17
Dalits of Jangala village today organised a protest in front of the tehsil office here today. They were protesting against the failure of the local administration to help them secure the control of their well as per the court orders.

The Dalits, including large number of women, led by former BJP MLA Ram Lal raised slogans against the naib tehsildar of Pathankot. They alleged that he was helping some influential people of the village keep control over their well at the behest of a local minister.

Talking to The Tribune, the Dalit leaders alleged that some influential people tried to take control over their well about five years ago. They moved court that decided in their favour in 2002. On the basis of the court order, they met various administration officials seeking their help for control over the well. However, none of them came to their rescue.

Recently, they approached the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Vivek Pratap Singh, who ordered the SDM of Pathankot to restore the control of the well in favour of the Dalits as per the court orders. The SDM further ordered the naib tehsildar to go to the spot and carry out the implementation of the court orders. The villagers alleged that instead of carrying out the orders, the naib tehsildar sat in the house of those occupying their well illegally.

When the Sarpanch and Dalits of the village tried to take control over the well, the naib tehsildar allegedly stopped them from doing so and left without doing the needful.

On the contrary, the illegal occupants of the well started raising illegal structures on the disputed land. This forced the Dalits to organise a protest today, they alleged.

Mr Ram Lal said the illegal occupants and its surrounding land were throwing dirt in the well. This has made the well water unfit for drinking. The Dalits were forced to drink contaminated water due to inaction of the local administration.

The local administration was not implementing the court and the Deputy Commissioner’s orders due to the alleged interference of a local minister, he alleged. The protestors also gave a memorandum of their demand to the SDM.


Jat kept as bonded labourer for two years
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Phillaur, June 17
Not only Dalits but even Jats are being allegedly kept as bonded labourers. This has come to light with the case of a farmer belonging to the Jat community, who was allegedly kept as a bonded labourer by a landlord of Baupur village in Kaithal district of Haryana.

Jarnail Singh Randhawa, a farmer with small landholdings, was allegedly forced to work in the fields of his landlord round-the-clock for two years because he was unable to pay the borrowed money. And when he fell sick for a few days, the landlord allegedly imposed a fine of Rs 200 per day for his absence from duty.

He was allegedly beaten up by the landlord and forced to work in the fields even at nights. After learning about an NGO, Dalit Dasta Virodhi Andolan, Jarnail Singh was here today and pleaded the NGO to rescue him.

“I had borrowed Rs 10,000 from the landlord two years ago. I stayed with the landlord for 24-hour everyday for two years. Still I owe Rs 21,000 to him. My landlord imposed a huge fine for absence from duty and the amount kept on increasing,” he alleged.

The NGO has decided to file a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court for his rescue. Mr Jai Singh Gill, president, of the NGO said they would file a suit shortly.

A father of three children, Jarnail Singh had been earning bread and butter by selling buffalo milk. The 36-year-old farmer had pledged his 1.5 acres for borrowing Rs 10,000 at an interest rate of 3 per cent per month.

He was assigned a duty of spraying pesticides, looking after the cattle and crops.


6 accomplices of labourer held
for attack on landlord

Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 17
The Channo police, under Bhawanigarh police station, yesterday arrested Kulwant Singh, Dev Singh, Makhan Singh, Bant Singh, Charan Singh and Mohinder Singh, for allegedly beating up and making an attempt on the life of Mr Malkiat Singh, alias Kala, a landlord of Rajpura village, near Bhawanigarh, on June 14.

The police said an FIR had been registered against 10 persons under Sections 341, 323, 324, 307 (attempt to murder), 452, 148 and 149 of the IPC at Bhawanigarh police station. It said Malkiat Singh, alias Kala, had been admitted to a hospital for treatment.

On the other hand, nearly 100 supporters of the arrested persons yesterday staged a dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner office here, alleging that the police was biased against the labourers of the Rajpura village.

Mr Jai Singh, national coordinator of the Dalit Dasta (slavery) Virodhi Andolan, who is leading the agitation against landlords, said it was a case of bonded labour. He claimed that Sat Singh of Rajpura village had worked with Kala, the landlord for about two years in lieu of Rs 10,000, but when he wanted to leave, Kala demanded Rs 10,000 and later “snatched” three animals from Sat Singh.

A compliant in regard was lodged with the SC/ST Commission and the Sangrur Deputy Commissioner. The Deputy Commissioner had sent the District Welfare Officer to hold an inquiry on June 14, who invited the two parties. He alleged that the landlords “beat up” supporters of Sat Singh there, but the police instead apprehended seven labourers.

Mr Jai Singh said they had submitted an application to the Deputy Commissioner, demanding action against the police and the landlords.


CM undergoes MRI scan for ankle sprain
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 17
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, underwent an MRI scan at a private diagnostic centre here this morning.

For the past couple of days the movements of the CM have been restricted due to ankle sprain he suffered while taking a walk at the New Moti Bagh residence.

The CM has been holding his camp office here and even a meeting of the Punjab Cabinet was held at his residence early this week. The exercise to transfer some bureaucrats was also held by the CM at his residence on Wednesday night.

Sources revealed that the MRI scan did not reveal much following which the CM along with his aides, flew to New Delhi in a chopper.


Cops foil bid to form Taksal faction
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 17
The Bathinda police has foiled a plan to establish a new Damdami Taksal by arresting the key leaders involved in the process. The police has kept the operation a closely-guarded secret and the CIA is interrogating these leaders.

Sources said the police had not even shown the arrest of these leaders. They said the brain behind the new Taksal, Amrik Singh, was to announce the third faction of Damdami Taksal on June 18 or 19.

Sources said a row was sparked in Damdami Taksal when this faction of the Taksal denied accepting Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale as martyr. This led to differences among the Taksal members as this faction was terming Bhindranwale as “alive”.

Apart from Amrik Singh, the police has arrested Kuldeep Singh and Ram Singh. Sources said Amrik Singh was in charge of issues relating to ‘Panj Piaras’ in the Taksal.

When the Taksal announced Bhindranwale as martyr, Amrik headed to Nanded Saheb where he talked to Baba Sher Singh. Sources said Baba Sher Singh had carried out “kar seva” of the gurdwara at Gurusar Mehraj village of Bathinda and the Taksal had the possession of the gurdwara.

Amrik Singh wanted to run his activities from this gurdwara and a strategy was formulated. In the meantime, Baba Sher Singh formed a committee of panchayats of the area. He handed over the keys of the gurdwara to the committee on May 17. He had come to the gurdwara.

When Amrik Singh and his aides were about to announce the formation of a third faction of Damdami Taksal, the police arrested them on the night of June 14.

Sources said a group of 50 persons in Damdami Taksal not consider Bhindranwale as martyr. They included Bhai Thakur Singh.

Meanwhile, the committee of panchayats led by block committee chairman Gurjit Singh Mehraj today met the SSP, Mr Kapil Dev.


Sikh jatha returns from Pak, complains
Rashmi Talwar

Attari (Amritsar), June 17
About 950 devotees who returned from Pakistan today after paying obeisance at various gurdwaras on martyrdom of fifth Sikh Guru Arjun Dev complained about lack of accommodation and langar.

SGPC member Raghbir Singh heading the jatha told The Tribune that he impressed upon Mr Mastan Singh, president, Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) to recognise supremacy of the SGPC over other Sikh committees.

He admitted that the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara management committee was given more importance and all facilities compared to them. The jatha head also took up the matter of accommodation, langar and rail reservations from one Pakistani township to another, for the purpose of paying obeisance at various gurdwaras including Dera Sahib Gurdwara, Panja Sahib, Sacha Sauda and Nankana Sahib. He said pilgrims were made to stay in tents at Dera Sahib gurdwara, Lahore. While langar was grossly inadequate at Nankana Sahib gurdwara.

Ms Sandeep Kaur another jatha member complained of the violation of ‘maryada’ in most observances including the ‘langar’ where it was even being served outside the langar hall. Langar at most places was inadequate. She complained that ‘maryada’ was also flouted in the recitation of ‘kirtan’ that did not to set ‘ragas’ and ‘kachi bani’ was recited along with kirtan.

She also revealed that the new block of accommodation at Nankana Sahib was not allotted to visiting pilgrims at first and later was only given to selected members and those who opposed their move. “It is by the sangat’s money and kar seva that the new block was built. Then why were Sikh pilgrims not allowed to use it “, she asked.

Mr Avtar Singh another jatha member said organisers were rude to the devotees. He said that cooks and ‘ration’ were not enough for the jatha and many had to from outside eating places. He said offer of staying in Aggarwal Sarai some 3 km from gurdwara in Lahore was declined by the jatha members who preferred to stay in tents. Mr Avtar urged that jathas should be accompanied by cooks and granthis who can take care of the food and teach and correct ‘maryada’ in Pakistan gurdwaras gradually.

Meanwhile a jatha of 500 Sikhs led by Mr Onkar Singh, Shariefpura, a member of the SGPC will leave for Pakistan on June 21 and return on June 30 after observing death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh there.


Flood control steps reviewed
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, June 17
The Commissioner, Mr K.S. Sidhu convened a high-level meeting of the senior officials of Ferozepore, Faridkot, Mansa, Bathinda, Muktsar and Moga districts to access the preparedness of the government machinery to deal with any flood- like situation.

Addressing the officials, Mr Sidhu instructed them to reinforce Dhussi bundhs constructed on Sutlej and Ghaggar rivers on priority basis. He said the state government had a released an additional amount of Rs 2 crore to the Drainage Department for the cleaning of various drains and distributaries.

Mr Sidhu said the SDMs should keep a master plan ready to deal with situation arising out of floods and places should be identified for establishing camps for people from the affected areas. He also instructed the officials to keep adequate stock of food, clothes, medicines and other utility items under their charge.

He asked the respective Deputy Commissioners to ensure that motorboats, tarpaulins, sacks and other necessary equipment were available in advance.

Mr B.C. Thakur DC Ferozepore, Mr Mandeep Singh DC Moga, Mr Raj Kamal Chowdhry DC Mansa, Mr Dileep Kumar DC Muktsar and other senior officials from Irrigation, Drainage, Electricity, Health, Animal Husbandry Departments were present at the meeting. Later, Mr Sidhu along inspected the Dhussi Bundh at Ruknewala, Gat Badshah and other places.


Sale of green trees: Naib Tehsildar to hold probe
Our Correspondent

Abohar, June 17
The Department of Colonisation, Punjab, yesterday asked the Naib Tehsildar, Ferozepore, to rush to Abohar on Friday to probe into the alleged sale of green trees in the new grain market by the local market committee without authorisation, sources said.

Officials at the state headquarters when contacted on the telephone by some commission agents and newspersons said they were surprised at the development. The grain market plantation was property of the department and the market committee was only to take care of the trees. These could not be sold. Moreover, cutting of green trees without permission was an offence.

According to information, local officials of the market committee, taking undue advantage of the high velocity storm that hit the region on Thursday last, had prepared a report that many trees had been uprooted.

The secretary of the committee claimed that 25 trees were auctioned in favour of Mr Kharaiti Lal Handa with the permission of the Administrator for Rs 48,000. Some of the trees, he confessed, were located in the 16 feet stretch left at the disposal of the shopkeepers/commission agents who had purchased plots from Department of Colonisation in an open auction. The amount would be adjusted.

The visiting newspersons saw a large number of green trees had been cut and were in the process of lifting by the bidder who was an active worker of the ruling party.

The commission agents alleged that at least 50 trees had been uprooted by the storm but the number was put at 25 in the said auction.

No notice was got published in any newspaper before taking up the auction, the complainants said.


Admn asked to probe minor girl’s marriage
Tribune News Service

Kharar, June 17
The Punjab State Human Rights Commission today asked the Ropar Administration to inquire into the alleged marriage of a minor girl in Rani Majra village in Mullanpur Garibdas near here.

According to sources, the chairman of the commission, Justice N.C. Jain and another member Mr R.L. Anand have ordered the Ropar DC and SSP to personally inquire into the marriage that reportedly took place on May 15.

The human rights commission has also asked for a report in the matter from the Home Department of Punjab. Sources said that a resident of the village, through his lawyer had represented before the commission alleging that one of his 13-year-old relative was married off to a resident of Saketri in Panchkula.

It had been earlier decided that the girl would be sent to Saketri only after she becomes a major. But now her in-law were allegedly pressuring her to join her husband.


Social activist to donate land for school
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 17
Social activist Mr Balwinder Singh Saifdipur, who has opened a series of ration shops (modikhanas) across the city which provide food and ration to the poor, has announced that his organisation-Bhau Bhaichara-will donate a piece of land for the opening of a school for the deaf and dumb at Saifdipur village near Punjabi University.

Mr Saifdipur, who is also the patron of the Bhau Bhaichara, a voluntary social organisation, said that all formalities to acquire a one-acre plot at Saifdipur village had been completed. He added that the land would soon be handed over to the school management which is already running a similar school in the Amar Ashram marriage palace.

Mr Saifdipur said that a hostel would also be constructed on the land for the underprivileged children.

The Bhau Bhaichara, which is having nearly three lakh members across the state, is already running a gaushala at Saifdipur village apart from having opened ration shops in the Ghanaur assembly segment.

Mr Saifdipur thanked the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh who, he said, was instrumental in getting many of the ration shops run by his organisation reopened. Many ration shops had been shut down due to the rivalry between Cabinet Minister Jasjit Singh Randhawa, who is also the sitting MLA from Ghanaur from where Mr Saifdipur too is seeking a ticket for the next assembly elections.


One killed, 3 hurt in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Phagwara, June 17
A man was killed and three others were injured in a road accident on the GT Road near Chaheru village just after midnight last night.

Police sources said a truck driver tried to overtake another trucks. He lost control of the vehicle and rammed into the other truck. The driver of the truck (HR-37-6422), identified as Raj Kumar (33) of Purewal village in Gurdaspur district, died on the spot. It took more than six hours for the highway patrol party to take out the body of the deceased from the mangled remains of the truck.

The injured were identified as Joginder (25), brother of the deceased, Satish Kumar of a truck (HR-58-2528) from Hardwar, and Tirath Ram (25) of the truck (PB-08-9128) of Pratapgarh (UP).

The injured were admitted to the local Civil Hospital.


AG for action against coach
Neeraj Bagga

Amritsar, June 17
The Advocate-General, Punjab, Mr Harbhagwan Singh, has recommended disciplinary proceedings against Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) volleyball coach Bhupinder Pal Kaur, who was convicted here on July 20, 2004, for levelling false and frivolous sexual harassment charges against a senior colleague.

On the request of GNDU, Mr Harbhagwan Singh stated in a communique to the university, “The accused in this case has been found to be guilty of the offence under Section 500 of the IPC by the court, which is defamation”.

He wrote, “Since there is a categorical finding against her, the department will be within its jurisdiction if disciplinary proceedings are initiated against her”.

The coach had levelled allegations of sexual harassment against the then Director, Sports, Dr Kanwaljit Singh, on May 25, 1998. 


Training centre for farmers inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 17
Farmers, Punjab National Bank officers, politicians, and Congress workers who converged here from all over the state in the morning to listen to Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, during the inaugural of the PNB farmer’s training centre at Shamsher Nagar, were disappointed when the Chief Minister failed to keep the date.

The moment they got to know that he was not coming, they started leaving and only a handful of people were left to listen to Mr Jasjeet Singh Randhawa, Co-Operation Minister. The district administration and the PNB officials had made elaborate arrangements for the CMs visit.

Addressing a press conference before inaugurating the centre Mr Randhawa said due to ill health, the Chief Minister could not turn up and had asked him to preside over the function.

He said the top agenda of the Government was to improve the economic condition of farmers.

He said the Johl Committee had submitted a report and the Government had demanded Rs 1,280 crore for the diversification of crops but the centre had sent back the report for certain modifications. After the modifications, the report had been sent back if approved, the farmers of the state would get a benefit of Rs 3,800 crore annually.

He said the farmers could not make efforts on their own as they didn’t have resources, but the PNB had taken the initiative to impart training in cropping pattern, diversification, irrigation techniques and loans. He said other banks should also follow suit.

Mr S.C. Gupta, Chairman-cum-MD, PNB, said to achieve the target of doubling of credit flow in three years to the agriculture sector as fixed by the Union Finance Minister, the farmers were required to be motivated to adopt diversification.

Deputy Commissioner Jaspreet Talwar highlighted the facilities being provided agencies by banks and government to the farming community.

Dr Harbans Lal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Harwant Singh GM, PNB, and Mr DPS Rathore, Regional Director, Reserve Bank of India, also spoke.


Insurance scheme for paddy crop

Chandigarh, June 17
ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company today announced a weather insurance cover for the paddy crop in Amritsar, Patiala, Ludhiana and Sangrur regions. This insurance will help the farmers to protect their additional expenses incurred on irrigation in case of a shortfall of rainfall.

The insurance cover is applicable from June 20 for a period of 83 days. The farmers would have to pay a premium of Rs 400 on a sum insured of Rs 4,000 per acre of irrigated land. The compensation, if applicable, is payable within 30 days from the end of the policy period. — TNS


Bid to smuggle 42 bags of poppy husk
Our Correspondent

Abohar, June 17
A bid to smuggle 42 bags of poppy husk, weighing 40 kg each, was foiled by the Sriganganagar police last evening by intercepting a truck (RJ-31-G-5516) near the inter-state border. Bhola Singh, a son of Bhajan Singh, and Nirmal Singh, a son of Gurdev Singh, residents of Tapa (Sangrur), were arrested under the NDPS Act.

Sources said that the poppy husk consignment was covered with 270 bags of onion which were to be delivered at Rajpura, whereas the poppy husk bags were to be unloaded at the Handiyaya bypass, near Barnala, on the Abohar- Patiala road.

Interrogation of the accused revealed that onion bags were loaded at the office of Andhra Punjab Transport Co, Nagaur bypass.

A person standing outside the goods office lured Bhola Singh to load 42 bags of poppy husk offering Rs 1,000 as freight each bag.

The consignment was to be received by a person of the Sansi community. The driver was reportedly paid Rs 10,000 as advance.

Last week, the Nokha police had seized a truck carrying 100 bags of poppy husk from Nagaur. The consignment was to be smuggled to Punjab area through Abohar.


Wife, 2 others held in murder case
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, June 17
The local police has solved a blind murder case of “hudda rory” owner Tarsem Lal, who was found murdered at his “hudda rory” near Mahilpur town on May 30, 2005. It arrested all the accused, including his wife, here today.

The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Lok Nath Angra, said here today that on the complaint of Sohan Lal, brother of the deceased, the Mahilpur police had registered a case under Sections 302, 34 of the IPC on May 30, 2005.

In complaint, Mr Sohan Lal stated that some unidentified persons had murdered his brother and injured his son, Sunil Kumar, while they were sleeping at the “hudda rory”. Sub-Inspector, Ravinder Singh, SHO, Mahilpur Police Station, while investigating the case came to know that Kamlesh Rani, wife of the deceased, had illicit relations with his brother-in-law, Kulwinder Singh, alias Jiwan Dass, of Mukho Mazara village.

When Tarsem Lal came to know about their illicit relations, he advised his wife to put an end the relations. Later, Kulwinder Singh hatched a conspiracy with Kamlesh Rani and his nephew, Raju, son of Ram Bhagat, of Khushi Paddi village to eliminate him. They assaulted Tarsem Lal with daggers while he was sleeping.

Mr Angra futher said Kamlesh Rani informed Sohan Lal, about the murder of her husband by some unknown persons. He said during interrogation, all the accused had confessed the crime.


Criminal escapes from police custody
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 17
A criminal, who was caught in a joint operation by the Ludhiana and Bathinda police, escaped from police custody near Barnala when he was being brought back to the city.

Sources said the criminal, Vicky, who hails from Jagraon, was wanted in a murder case.

He was produced in a Ludhiana court today.

The SSP, Mr Kapil Dev, said he would be nabbed soon.

He said the Bathinda police officials, who were bringing him back, had been placed under suspension. 


4 held in fake currency racket
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, June 17
Four members of a gang dealing in fake currency have been nabbed by the local police. Fake currency, a Zen car, a computer system including a scanner, have been recovered.

The accused have been identified as Raman Kumar alias Seth of Marri Gaur Singh, Major Singh of Bhikhiwind, Amrik Singh of Mattar Uttar (Mamdott) and Daljit Singh of Dialpur village.

The police said, the gang was being led by Raman Kumar who had installed a computer system in his house and used to print fake currency notes. A case under Sections 489 A,489B, 489C, 489C, 411, 379 of the IPC has been registered. 


B.Ed aspirants protest against delay of admit cards
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 17
Hundreds of B.Ed aspirants and their parents today protested against the Panjab University at the DAV College here where they were awaiting test admit cards for B.Ed entrance test of the varsity since morning. A team of the university reached the city with admit cards in the evening.

Mr Makhan Lal, who had come to collect the admit card of his daughter, Meenu, told The Tribune that distribution of cards was supposed to start at 9 am today. The candidates were informed that they could collect cards from the college on June 17 and 18. The test would be held on June 22. He said he had also contacted varsity authorities, which said that officials had already left for Bathinda in the morning with cards. On the other hand, the college authorities were clueless about the delay of officials’ arrival and its whereabouts, he added. He rued many candidates had come from far-off villages by paying bus fare and they had also wasted a day that could have been used for the preparation of the test.

Mr Davinder Kumar, who had come to collect the card of his sister, said they were waiting for the varsity team since morning and they didn’t know whether they should return or wait for some more time.

He said the varsity had also taken Rs 22 for postage but didn’t post the admit card to the candidates. Jasvinder Kaur, a candidate who was suffering from jaundice, said she could barely manage to reach the college for her card.

The students then protested against the delay in arrival of admit cards and also raised slogans against the varsity. Similar reports have also been received from Abohar where too candidates were awaiting admit cards.

Chaos prevailed when the Panjab University team reached city in the evening, as they arrived in Rajindra College instead of DAV College. A team member told The Tribune they were on the way to DAV College and would start distribution of admit cards as soon as they were allotted a room for it. He said they started from Chandigarh at 11 am, while varsity authorities stated that the team left early in the morning.


BEd applicants left waiting for roll numbers
Raise slogans against Pbi varsity authorities
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 17
Applicants for the BEd entrance test, to be conducted by Punjab University next week, and their guardians today held a demonstration and raised slogans against the university authorities for not issuing roll numbers on time.

Braving hot weather, around 300 applicants and their parents held a demonstration and staged a dharna to lodge their protest against the apathetic attitude of the university authorities towards the issuance of roll numbers for the test.

The applicants, who had assembled in front of the local Mohindra College in the morning to collect their respective roll numbers as directed by the university authorities, ran out of patience when no one turned up to distribute the same till noon.

Some candidates, who awaited their roll numbers in the hot weather, fell unconscious.

The applicants said Punjab University had to conduct the entrance test for BEd this year.

They added that the university already had in possession envelopes carrying postal stamps worth Rs 22 each, which the applicants had submitted along with their application forms for sending them the roll numbers. But the university later on asked them to collect their roll numbers in person from the local Mohindra College.

Today, when they came to collect their roll numbers, none of the officials of the university turned up at the venue till late in the afternoon.

They said if the university authorities had asked for stamped envelopes from them for delivering the roll numbers, why did it direct them later to collect the same in person from the college.

Moreover, they added, the authorities had failed to turn up on the given date and made them wait under the sun for hours at a time when the test was round the corner.

The applicants pointed out that most of them had come from far away places and had been left with no other option but to stay in the town in the anticipation of getting the roll numbers later.

Information gathered by the TNS revealed that the university authorities had issued roll numbers to only those candidates who had opted Chandigarh as their examination centre.

The university authorities had asked the remaining applicants to collect their roll numbers from different places on June 17 and June 18.

The applicants demanded the Chancellor of the university to take necessary action against the university authorities.


Cognizant opens doors to
Banda Bahadur college students

Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 17
Twentythree students of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College (BBSBEC), Fatehgarh Sahib, were selected by the Cognizant Technology Solutions Private Limited (CTSPL), Pune.

Talking to mediapersons, the Principal Dr D.S. Hira, said Cognizant Technology was a company having annual turnover of $ 845 million. It had earlier shortlisted 51 students of B. Tech (third year) after a written test and out of that 23 were finally selected following an HR interview.

He said that all selected students were in the third year of B.Tech and would still have one more year to complete their degree.

He added that those selected would get their appointment letters within two weeks. Mr Hira said they would join the company after one year on a salary of 2.1 lakh per year along with additional benefits

The Training and Placement Officer of the college, Mr Moon Inder Singh, said the BBSBEC was the first college of the Punjab selected by the Cognizant for campus interview. He said the selected third-year students include Raminder Kaur, Amandeep Singh, Sajjan Singh , Vikas Dhawan, Sumit Sahdev , Inderpreet Singh , Kulbir Singh Sandhu , Jasvir Singh, Jasmine Kaur, Ritika Sharma , Manmeet Singh , Anshul , Navjot Kaur, Gagandeep Singh, Gurnimrat Kaur , Puneet Kaur, Ivneet Kaur , Nidhi, Ranjeet Singh , Jaskarn Singh , Sandeep Singh, Navinderjit Singh and Nishant Garg . Mr Moon Inder Singh said the selection of the third-year students at this moment was a landmark achievement in itself.

Talking about the placements of final-year students, he said that 80 percent of them had already been placed and still a number of companies were in the pipeline to conduct campus interviews. He said the results of last week HFCL campus interview of final year students were also received in which Willianjeet Singh , Uday Sharma ,Satwinderpal Singh , Jatinder Singh, Japneet Kaur ,Vikas Rattan, Tejinderpal Singh, Manoj Maggu and Govind Paul had been shortlisted for final interview.

He added that Indian Sucrose Limited, Hoshiar-pur, would visit the college for campus interview of final-year students of Mechanical Engineering in the last week of June.

The Member-Secretary of the college, Mr Kirpal Singh Libra, congratulated the third-year students’ achievement and praised the college, staff and students. He said the placement of the college students reflects the standard of quality education being imparted by the institute.

Aditya Debraj, Senior Manager, JS Bajwa and Saryu Sahajpal from the HR Department, Cognizant Technology, conducted the interview. 


MA, BSc results today
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 17
The results of the MA-I (Hindi, religious studies), BSc-III (home science) and Punjabi praveshika examinations conducted by Punjabi University in April, 2005, will be declared tomorrow.

Giving this information, Dr Baldev Singh, Chief Coordinator, Examinations, said that the results would be available on the university website www. universitypunjabi.org, on June 18 after 8 p.m.


Scheme for industrial workers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
A contribution scheme has been launched to augment the resources of the Punjab Labour Welfare Board. The intention is to carry out better welfare schemes for the industrial workers. This was stated by the Labour and Employment Minister, Mr Jagjit Singh, here today.

He said as per the scheme each employers would contribute Rs 24 per month. The employee’s contribution would be Re 1 per month.

Keeping in view the current financial status of the board, it was also decided to launch a voluntary retirement scheme.


Industrialists flay power tariff hike

Mandi Gobindgarh, June 17
In joint press statement Mr J.P. Sharma and Mr Joy Kutty, president and general secretary, respectively, of Steel Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mandi Gobindgarh, have flayed the power tariff hike. The tariff revision has caused concern amongst industrialists, who claim that the industry is already passing through recession and tariff hike with retrospective effect would aggravate problem.

The steel industry in the state is facing tough competition due to sops given to industries in adjoining states and are now on the verge of closure, the statement said.

The chamber urged the government to withdraw the tariff hike and to take necessary steps to provide benefits like that of the nighbouring states so that the industry would become more competitive. — OC

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