P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Area under paddy shrinking
Punjab farmers keep options open
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Acute power shortage and a substantial increase in diesel prices notwithstanding, Punjab is expecting a third successive bumper paddy crop hoping that a normal south-west monsoon would arrive in time.

“Our optimism stems from the substantial change in attitude of farmers who have either delayed paddy transplantation or are keeping their options of switching over to cash crops like soyabeen and moong open,” says Mr Balwinder Singh Sidhu, Director of Agriculture.

This change in attitude, claims Mr Sidhu, is reflected in the area that has been brought under paddy this time. Until June 1 this year, only 2.50 lakh hectares was under paddy against 5.63 lakh hectares at the same time last year.

“If we are able to reduce area under paddy to 75 per cent of last year, we would have won a battle,” adds Mr Sidhu revealing that as of now only 17 lakh hectares is under paddy. “Normally Punjab has 23 lakh to 34 lakh hectares under paddy. We already have taken out 70,000 to 80,000 hectares from under paddy for cotton. Other cash crops for which Markfed has already announced remunerative procurement price are also in the offing.

If farmers go by the advice and extend the paddy transplantation till June 25 and leave 25 per cent of cultivable area for new cash crops, Punjab would be very comfortable with subsoil water.

“All will, however, depend upon the monsoon. If it is in time and normal, it would certainly be a great relief both for the State Electricity Board as well as tubewell-irrigated areas. In that case, farmers do not have to spend extra money on diesel to keep their fields green,” adds Mr Sidhu.

He said some damage to cotton crop by hailstorms and other natural vagaries was the only area of concern of what otherwise is expected to be another bumper agricultural produce.

Mr P.K. Verma, Financial Commissioner, Development, says that the State Government is committed to providing eight hours of quality power to the farm sector for the paddy season.

“The State Electricity Board will buy from all available sources to keep this commitment of the government. Last year, it spent more than Rs 400 cr for buying power from outside,” says Mr Verma hoping that farmers would not have to use diesel pumps to meet the irrigational needs of their paddy crop.

Mr Sidhu held that even if monsoon was below normal and farmers went by the advice of farm experts and reduce area under paddy to 75 per cent of last year, there would be still saving of water. In that case for the remaining area, the farmers can go for moong and soyabeen for good returns. Other choices, too, are available to them.

Weather experts maintain that progress of the southwest monsoon has been more or less on expected lines. It can arrive a day or two either behind or ahead of schedule. Indications, they maintain, are of a normal rainy season in the region this time.


Hawara used ‘khurpa’ to dig tunnel: police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
A “khurpa” and a set of dumbbells were used by Jagtar Singh Hawara and his three other accomplices to dig the 94-foot-long and 14-foot-deep tunnel through which they escaped from the high security Burail Jail on January 22, 2004. The great escape was further facilitated due to negligence on the part of jail officials.

As being believed by the different investigating agencies and forensic experts that an electrical gadget had been used to dig the tunnel, the escapees dug the entire tunnel with a “khurpa”, sourced from the kitchen garden of the jail and dumbbells were used to compact its inner walls.

The Babbar Khalsa chief in India (BKI), Hawara was in regular touch with his mentors in the West through mobile phones. The jail authorities and the intelligence agencies failed to tap the conversations through interceptors and Hawara was aware of it.

Spilling the beans about his plot to escape from the jail, the Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) chief while being interrogated by the police has revealed that it took about two-and-a-half months to dig the tunnel. At times, Hawara had to literally pull back either of his accomplice, Paramjit Singh Bheora, Jagtar Singh Tara and Devi Singh in a semi-conscious state. As it required stamina to continue with the digging work, they exercised vigorously in their barrack.

It may be mentioned when the 18-foot-long tunnel was detected, an enquiry was ordered and the then SDM reportedly said that there was no concrete evidence of a tunnel. Then, an order was reportedly passed by the administration to tap the phone calls of the jail.

Actually, it was an 18-foot-long tunnel that was being dug, clearly aimed at making an escape. However, the three lost their way while digging. In the meantime a portion of the earth caved in and the jail authorities panicked.

Sources in the police said the BKI chief had admitted that an electrical junction box was used to light a bulb which could enable them to continue in darkness. The loose earth taken out from the tunnel had been adjusted in the compound itself as its level was found seven or eight inches higher than the approved design. In the last days before escaping, the earth was drained through the sewerage system, said the sources.

Hawara disclosed that it was dumbbells which were used to break the concrete slab in the barrack before they hit the earth below. The BKI chief had plotted different aides on need-to-know basis which meant that different facilitators did not know what others were supposed to do. Like Baljit Kaur was alleged to be instrumental in arranging the mobiles and the car in which the undertrials escaped, Narain Singh Chaura was allegedly involved in cutting off the power supply and Narinder Singh was also instrumental in the escape of Hawara from the jail. The entire communication was through coded messages like Durgiana Mandir was the code for Punjabi University and Amritsar was the code for Patiala.

The sources disclosed that after escaping from the jail, Hawara used a particular number to communicate with a particular aide and did not share it with others. He is learnt to have used around 50 different numbers to talk with his mentors and aides. After escaping, Hawara frequently visited Dukhniwaran Sahib Gurdwara in Patiala. 


Four arrested for harbouring Hawara and supplying him ration in jail
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 22
The police has booked four aides of BKI chief Jagtar Singh Hawara for supplying ration and other material to him in jail and harbouring him following his escape.

Sources said their proximity to Hawara had been proved in the police probe. According to sources, one of Hawara’s aides, Amrik Singh Ratakheda, also sent youths to foreign countries under a conspiracy. Sources said he was also involved in formulating plans of the outfit. Sources said Ratakheda also met Hawara many times after he escaped from Burail jail. The police registered a case against Ratakheda a couple of days back and two pistols were recovered from his possession. Sources said Hawara reportedly held meetings with Ratakheda in different districts, at which they zeroed in on their targets and prepared strategy.

Following fresh disclosures, the police has registered a case against Amrik Singh Ratakheda, Kuldeep Singh of Faridabad, Harjinder Singh of Fatehabad, and Anokh Singh of Gurdaspur, under Sections 221, 221A, 122, 124A, 153, 212, 216, and 120B, of the IPC, Sections 25, 54, and 59, of the Arms Act, and Section 415 of the Explosive Act. Sources said the police had also seized some mobile phones from their possession. Sources said all four accused had been arrested, but the police was yet to show the arrest of Harjinder and Anokh.

SSP, Kapil Dev, said that Kuldeep Singh had been arrested and a Tempo Trax vehicle seized from the gurdwara of Chhota Gurusar village.

The vehicle was used for supplying goods to Hawara. He said Amrik Singh was behind sending youths to foreign countries and the police was investigating the matter.


Remand of Hawara aides extended
Tribune News Service

Kharar, June 22
A local court today extended by two days the police remand of Paramjit Singh and Swaran Singh, both alleged accomplices of Jagtar Singh Hawara.

The Kharar police had booked the two along with Hawara, Parvinder Singh, alias Bhinda, a resident of Fatehpur village, Bassi Pathana, and Gurdeep Singh, alias Rana, a resident of Alampur Bassi Pathana under various Sections of the Explosives and Arms Act. Paramjit Singh and Swaran Singh were arrested from Desu Majra village on June 16 and remanded in seven 7 days of police custody on June 17.

The two were presented before the court of Civil Judge-cum-Judicial Magistrate, Mr Ranjan Khullar, today. The public prosecutor requested for the extension of the police remand while Mr Anil Kaushik, a human rights activist and lawyer in the Kharar court, represented the two in the court and objected to the extension of the remand. The judge ordered that the two be kept in police remand for another two days and presented before the court on June 27.


BJP, SAD demand Amarinder’s sack
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, seems to be in big trouble as the two major political parties in the state — the SAD and the BJP — today demanded that he be sacked immediately.

Both parties were reacting to a picture in newspapers today showing Capt Amarinder Singh addressing a gathering at a gurdwara in Dixie (Canada) with the slogan of Khalistan Zindabad splashed in the background.

The president of the Punjab BJP, Mr Avinash Khanna, has written to the President urging him to ask Capt Amarinder Singh to resign and to order a judicial inquiry into the series of terrorist incidents and arrests in Delhi and Punjab after Capt Amarinder Singh’s visit to the Dixie gurdwara, which was once considered a nerve centre of militancy, in Canada.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Khanna said if Capt Amarinder Singh was not sacked, his party activists would take to the streets.

Capt Amarinder Singh had used the pro-Khalistan platform to address the congregation. On the one hand the Congress claimed that it was opposed to Khalistan and on the other hand its Chief Minister had been speaking from the platform where slogans of “ Khalistan zindabad” were written in bold letters.Legal action should also be taken against Capt Amarinder Singh as had been done in the case of Mr Simranjit Singh Mann and others, he added.

In a separate statement, the SAD president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today demanded the removal of Capt Amarinder Singh in the light of the publication of what he described as a compelling and incontrovertible evidence of his direct patronage to and involvement with anti-national forces in India and abroad. “He should also be proceeded against as per the law of the land.”

The Akali leader said, “Amarinder’s support to those out to destabilise Punjab and the country through secessionist violence, aimed among other things at diverting the people’s attention from the abysmal performance of his government, has never been hidden from us”. He said this was arguably the most alarming development in the country since Independence as the hard-earned peace and communal amity in the state had come under the dark shadow of the Chief Minister’s resort to conspiratorial politics with reckless and violent overtones.

Mr Badal said his party would await the response of those charged with the responsibility of running the country before deciding on its next course of action. “The SAD calls upon the President of India and the Punjab Governor to act decisively in accordance with the Constitution to end the ominous drift towards anarchy and communal polarisation in Punjab planned at the behest of the Chief Minister and his accomplices. This is the gravest hour that Punjab’s politics has faced in recent history, with the head of the government indulging in the most heinous activity, prejudicial to peace and national interests,” he said.

Mr Badal demanded a thorough probe into the activities of the Chief Minister, especially while on tour abroad. “It should be easier now for everyone to see the compulsions behind the Chief Minister’s description of the dreaded militant Jagtar Singh Hawara as “ a gentleman.”

This should also demonstrate to everyone why the SAD had consistently cautioned the people against the “unholy and dangerous nexus” between Mr Simranjit Singh Mann and the Chief Minister.


3 Cabinet ministers defend CM’s visit to Dixie gurdwara
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Three senior Punjab Cabinet ministers said today that the controversy raised over the visit of the delegation led by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh to Dixie Gurdwara (Canada) was mischievous and politically motivated. They said it was an attempt to malign the image of the Punjab Government by deliberately distorting facts about Capt Amarinder Singh’s recent visit to Canada.

In a joint statement, the ministers – Mr Pratap Singh Bajwa, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang and Mr Avtar Henry – who accompanied the Chief Minister to Canada and were also present at Dixie Gurdwara, said contrary to what was being projected by a section of disgruntled Akali leaders, the Chief Minister’s visit to the gurdwara was unscheduled.

They said the Chief Minister had merely made an unscheduled stopover at the gurdwara on the fervent request by the local Punjabi community while he was on his way to a dinner reception hosted by the local (Canadian) Member of Parliament, Ms Ruby Dhalla. Respecting the sentiments of local Punjabi devotees, Capt Amarinder Singh and all others in his delegation agreed to briefly stop and pay obeisance at the gurdwara, which incidentally was the largest in North America.

Significantly, former Premier of British Colombia and presently Canada’s Federal Minister of Health, Mr Ujjal Dosanjh, the Transport Minister of Ontario, Mr Harinder Thakhar, and a Member of the Canadian Parliament, Mr Gurbax Malhi (all most prominent liberal-minded Punjabi leaders of Canada) also accompanied Capt Amarinder Singh to the gurdwara. The ministers said senior officials of the Indian High Commission, who were to accompany the Chief Minister to MP Ruby Dhalla’s reception, were also present there.

Referring to statements by some political leaders that Capt Amarinder Singh addressed “Khalistanis” at the gurdwara, the ministers said a large number of devotees had come to meet the Chief Minister only after local radio stations announced his unscheduled visit.


Vigilance Bureau to probe previous years’ PMT results
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, June 22
After completing first phase of probe into the PMT paper leak, the Vigilance Bureau has decided to investigate the past four years PMT result. Following a recent paper leak, speculations were rife that PMT paper of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences had also been leaked in previous years.

Sources said questions were being raised on the credibility of the varsity after a series of goof-ups in the PMT application form and prospectus and the paper leak added to the uproar. Sources said the Vigilance was likely to spread ambit of investigation and seek audit report and record of appointments made in the university in the past four years. Sources said though the Vigilance had detected leakage at the level of superintendent, it was yet to interrogate Deputy Registrar, K.P. Singh, who had reportedly gone underground and the Vice-Chancellor, J.S. Gurjral, who fell sick a few days after the paper leak came to light. Sources said the Vigilance Bureau had also got some clues that pointed to the leakage of whole paper and not just 88 questions.

Meanwhile, varsity superintendent, S.P. Kapoor, has been sent in judicial remand till July 7. Seven others arrested in the case including V-C’s peon Buta Ram have also been sent in judicial custody. The Vigilance Bureau had sought the police remand of Dr Vinod Khanna who had bought the paper for his son, but the court rejected it.


Paper leak: Vigilance probing role of IPS officer
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
New revelations in the pre-medical test (PMT) entrance exam leak case have brought out that the entire set of 200 questions of the now cancelled PMT exam may have been leaked out. Also the Punjab Vigilance Bureau is probing the alleged role of an IPS officer in the episode.

Sources in the Vigilance Bureau confirmed that a DIG-level official was probing if a Punjab cadre IPS officer was also part of the chain of people who purchased the question paper on the days preceding June 5. The DIG is yet to submit a report in the regard.

On the question paper front the Vigilance has definite leads that more than 88 questions had been leaked. It could be the entire set of the 200 questions which were leaked out at least a week before the exam which was held on June 5. On the same morning The Tribune had published how the PMT question paper was being sold at a premium. The examination was subsequently cancelled.

Concrete evidence by the Vigilance Department in this regard will be out soon. Also the Vigilance team is probing if the question papers of the previous years had also been leaked. The team is working on questioning the role of Ludhiana-based doctor, besides a professor who had helped students solve the leaked question paper on the days preceding the exam.

Also the role of a Chandigarh based agent who promised the full question paper on the night before the exam is being probed.

The question paper of the PMT is objective type and has to be returned to the examiners after solving it. No portion of the paper can be taken outside. According to initial enquiries the question paper had been sold from prices ranging up to Rs 10 lakh.

The entrance examination was conducted by Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, at five centres in Punjab for admission to MBBS, BDS, BAMS and BHMS courses. The centres were Amritsar, Faridkot, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Patiala.

After cancellation of the exam the case was handed over to the Vigilance Bureau. Since then a few members of the staff of the Vice-Chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the leak.


Blind murder case solved after two years
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 22
The district police today claimed to have solved a blind murder case of Bilal (21) of the Jan Muhammad mosque, near Kotwali, after two years. Girdhari Lal, a resident of Chhota Haripura, was arrested in this connection.

According to a press release issued here today, Mr R.P.S. Brar, SSP, said that Bilal was stabbed to death on April 27, 2003, following which a case was registered on the statement of Mohammad Isa, father of the deceased, under Section 302, IPC, at Kotwali police station. He had stated that his son had gone to play cricket after “namaz” in the evening. However, he never returned.

Interestingly, the police had booked Lovely, Sonu and Pradeep for his murder on the statement of Prince of Katra Baggian, who was contacted by the father of the deceased. Prince informed Mohammad Isa that Lovely, Sonu and Pradeep had snatched their bicycle and money and Bilal had gone after them. He had, however, added that the accused had stabbed Bilal with a sharpedged weapon and escaped.

After one year the case was shifted to the CIA Staff, which started investigations. During investigations Prince changed his earlier statement and confessed that he had given wrong names to the police out of fear of Girdhari Lal, an old thief and his goons, who were involved in many crimes. He also admitted that Girdhari Lal had killed Bilal along with Satnam Singh of Bhai Majh Road, Ashoka Paharia of Delhi and Raj Kumar of Dinanagar.

Detailing the incident, the SSP said that Bilal and others were used to pick pockets and Girdhari Lal was their leader. He said on the evening of the incident, they had a quarrel with Prince. They, as usual, went to meet Girdhari Lal at Bhandari Bridge where they stabbed Bilal. 


Dip in dam proves fatal for two youths
Tribune News Service

Kharar, June 22
Two college students from Chandigarh were drowned in the Jayanti dam here this afternoon while they were taking a dip to cool off. The victims, Naveen (20) and Ashish (20), apparently got stuck in the marshy waters of the dam when they jumped in for a swim.

Their three other friends who had accompanied them to the dam tried to pull them out but failed. Hours after the incident, the bodies of both boys were recovered by divers called in from Ropar. The two were rushed to the PGI, but were declared brought dead.

According to the police, the five friends - Naveen, Ashish, Vishal, Mukesh and Raman - went on motor cycles to the Jayanti dam, about 6 km from Mullapur Garibdass for a picnic. The five were reportedly drinking beer on the way. They reached the dam at about 1.30 pm and went down the side wall slope of the dam to the water level.

Relating the incident, Vishal, who has just passed his Class XII from a school in Sector 27 told The Tribune: “We were just sitting there with feet inside the muddy water. Naveen and Ashish wanted to take a dip in the water. The two started moving further into the water. We were wondering what to do when the security guard at the dam saw us and told us that the place was dangerous and asked us to come back. We walked back up but by this time both Ashish and Naveen were already inside the water and shouting for help.

They seemed to be stuck in the dal-dal. I and Mukesh jumped in to help them. We caught them but we could not hold on to them. The water was thick and seemed to be very deep. We could feel the pull of the mud and water beneath our feet. We realised that we too were drowning. Raman who was still standing outside managed to pull us out. But by this time we had lost Naveen and Ashish.”

The three boys informed the police which then called for divers from Ropar. The bodies were fished out after almost three hours of the incident. According to the police, Naveen is a resident of Indira Colony Mani Majra and was doing his BBA from Government College Sector 11 while Ashish, a resident of Sector 30 Chandigarh was in BA (I) at the Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26. “Ashish’s father is an employee of the Punjab Irrigation Department. Ashish just came back last evening from Amritsar where he had spent his holidays with his maternal grandparents and today he is no more,” said a relative at Ashish’s house.

The police has started inquest proceedings into the incident. Stating that the incident was unfortunate since two young lives had been lost, the DSP of Kharar, Mr Raj Bachan Singh Sandhu, pointed out that the episode could have been avoided had the two been more careful. “I have been told that the five were warned by the security guard that some other persons had also drowned here and the place was dangerous. These youngsters should have heeded to his warning,” he said.


Power cuts in Patiala from today
Ravi Dhaliwal

Patiala, June 22
Even as the entire state is reeling under massive power cuts with the sweltering heat adding to the woes of residents, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) authorities have decided to shut down two major grid substations which will affect power supply in almost all major areas of the city.

The board management has decided to simultaneously shut down the Bahadurgarh 66 KV grid substation and Rajpura colony 66 KV grid substation tomorrow. The reasons being cited by the board are `improvement of efficiency of the substations’.

This means that residents of the heavily populated areas of Punjabi University, Lower Mall, Mall Road, Gurbaksh Colony, Anardana Chowk, Virk Colony, Nehru Park, Sirhind Road Rai Majra, Jagdish Colony, Hira Bagh, Factory Area, Bhupindera Road and parts of the walled city will have to spend the day without electricity from 6 am to 10 am. All these areas fall under the Rajpura colony grid substation.

The areas which fall under the Bahadurgarh grid station are Bahadurgarh township, where the Escorts factory is located, and adjoining villages. These areas will be facing a power cut from 10 am to 4 pm.

A board source said these cuts were being imposed apart from the regular cuts the board was already imposing in the city. However, an official spokesman clarified that the board management may try to give some respite from the regular cuts.

Today the city had to face more than five-hour power cut. According to a board source, a three-hour regular power cut had been imposed directly from the 220 KV grid while keeping in view the high consumption of electricity, the board management had to impose yet another three hour unscheduled power cut in the city.

Meanwhile, the board Chairman has said due to rise in temperature and due to the ongoing padding sowing season, the board has to deal with a sharp increase in the demand for power in the entire state.

In a press note, Mr Y.S Ratra, Chairman, said the board was making every effort to purchase more power from other sources to meet the increased demand due to the paddy transplantation season.

The press note further added that on June 19, the board had to meet an all-time high consumption of 1290.92 lakh units. To meet this all-time high consumption, 192 lakh units had to be procured from various hydro stations, 166 lakh units were taken from the BBMB, 425 lakh units were procured from the board’s own thermal stations while the rest of the 507 lakh units were purchased from the central sector generating stations and through unscheduled interchange from the central grid.


Bibi Jagir Kaur honours PSGPC delegation
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 22
In a significant development, Bibi Jagir Kaur, president, SGPC, today honoured a delegation of Pakistani Sikhs, including Mr Bishan Singh, vice-president, Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC), and exchanged gifts, here, today.

This has given clear indications that the SGPC chief had softened her stand on the PSGPC as it was for the first time that she herself has come forward to honour the PSGPC’s vice-president and other members of the delegation.

Earlier, Bibi Jagir Kaur had stopped sending Sikh jathas to Pakistan in protest against the formation of the PSGPC, on Baisakhi day of 1999 to mark the tercentenary celebrations of the birth of Khalsa Panth.

However, her successor, Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, the then SGPC chief, had restored the jathas.

The delegation from Pakistan has also extended a formal invitation to Bibi Jagir Kaur to visit Sikh shrines in Pakistan.

The other members of the delegation included Mr Rana Ajaz Ahmad Khan, Adviser to Pak Punjab Chief Minister, Resham Singh, advocate and Shehnaz, Patron, Human Rights Commission .

Talking to the TNS, the SGPC chief said she had accepted the invitation and would visit Pakistan at an appropriate time. The Pakistani delegation has agreed in principle to implement the ‘Maryada’ (Sikh traditions) as prescribed by the SGPC and Akal Takht in all the gurdwaras of Pakistan.

She said it was a positive development that the PSGPC had considered the SGPC as supreme body of the Sikhs.

However, Bibi Jagir Kaur made it clear that the SGPC would give recognition to the PSGPC only if Government of Pakistan gave control of Pakistan’s gurdwaras to the baptized Sikhs there.

She said that if Muslims were exclusively running Waqaf Board in India then why the control of gurdwaras was not given to the Sikh community.

She suggested that if the Pakistan Evacuee Property Trust Board (PEPTB) wanted to keep the management of the gurdwaras under its direct control then it should recruit Sikhs at a large scale, who could implement the ‘Maryada’ of Akal Takht.

Bibi Jagir Kaur said as per the reports, Muslim employees of the PEPTB were managing the gurdwaras in Pakistan which could not be tolerated.

However, the SGPC chief appreciated the goodwill shown by the PSGPC and looked forward to improving the relations between both the Sikh organisations.

She said the SGPC was ready to extend any sort of help to the PSGPC if it wanted to implement the ‘Maryada’ in its true spirit.

She added that it was a matter of principles on which the SGPC had been fighting to give control of gurdwaras to the Sikh Panth.

The delegation also presented, Nanakshahi calendar, published by the PSGPC, holy Koran, and other gifts to the SGPC chief as a mark of respect.

The SGPC made transport arrangements for the Pakistani delegation to facilitate their pilgrimage to other religious places of Punjab.


Regressive customs being banned, says Illahi’s adviser
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 22
“Lately efforts are on to shed the global perception of Pakistan of a state suppressing human rights, women and minorities. Several ‘regressive’ customs have been banned and penalised with death sentences to improve its image abroad”. These views were expressed here today by Rana Ijaz Ahmed Khan, adviser to Chief Minister of Pakistan Punjab, Mr Parvez Illahi, on law and human rights.

He is heading a 16-member delegation of multi-religious representatives and right activists, including three women, on a peace mission to India.

He said his country had given 22 per cent representation to women at the district level and 17 per cent in the provincial and federal sphere. The government was also trying to root out practices like “haq bakshana” wherein girls of feudal lords are married to the Koran and thus the property remains within the family.

The practice has been banned through an edict and is punishable with imprisonment.

Another regressive practice is of “Vini” in which a convict’s family gives its girls to the family of a victim as “compromise” to withdraw the case against their own. Sometimes minors are given in marriage to a single person. The practice has also been made punishable.

Ms Amna Ulfat, state vice-president of the ruling Muslim league (Punjab) and chairperson of the Crisis Centre for Women, admitted that honour killings continued to exist. However, it is punishable with 25 years of imprisonment or death. With the media highlighting issue in developed countries, people have started taking asylum on this pretext in foreign countries by faking it.

Mr Rana claimed that in the sensational Muktaran Mai case of a woman’s gangrape ordered by a panchayat in lieu of illicit relations of Mai’s brother with a woman of another caste, he personally went to the village of the victim and got an FIR lodged and effected the suspension of police staff. She now had about Rs 13 crore in her name funded by various organisations abroad.


Four-laning of Jalandhar-Amritsar highway soon
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 22
The much awaited four-laning of the Jalandhar-Amritsar highway, which was obstructed due to legal tangles, is likely to be commence from mid of July.

Informing this in a press conference here today, Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, MP, said the work would include a total of four railway bridges, comprising construction of 600-m Beas overbridge, and widening of 100 small culverts. He said the Rs 250-crore project would be completed within two years and 80 per cent of acquisition of land had been finished.

He said the highway, which had turned into a killer with an average of four accidental deaths reported in a day, needed immediate attention. He said the project would provide employment to one lakh persons.

Mr Sidhu said the contract had been given to a Hyderabad-based construction company and was allotted by the National Highway Authority of India while the contract of survey had been given to another Hyderabad-based company which had already covered 10 km.

The former cricketer said the construction would speed up the development of the border city, which had been neglected so far besides enhancing the image of the country.


Punjab to give Rs 5 lakh for Bhagat Kabir chair
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 22
To strengthen existing Bhagat Kabir chair in Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, the Punjab government would extend a grant of Rs 5 lakh and organise an international level seminar on the philosophy of Bhagat Kabir on the university campus soon.

This was announced by Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, Punjab Minister for Local Bodies, at a state-level function in connection with 607th birth anniversary of Bhagat Kabir at Red Cross Bhavan here today.

Chaudhary Jagjit Singh said more government aid would be extended to Bhagat Kabir Chair for research on the “Bani” of Bhagat Kabir and participation of scholars from around the world would be ensured. “The translated version of “Baani” of Bhagat Kabir would be distributed by the government among people of the state,” said he adding that the philosophy of Bhagat Kabir ji revolved around compassion, humanity and equality. He said the Punjab government was working towards upliftment of the downtrodden and financial aid was being extended for this purpose.

He also announced a grant of Rs Two lakh for the Bhagat Kabir temple.

Mayor Surinder Mahey, Mr Rahul Gupta, Assistant Commissioner, (General) were among the speakers.


Pak sets up Katasraj Temple board
Rashmi Talwar

Amritsar, June 22
The Pakistan government has formed a five-member board for the upkeep of Katasraj temple, one of the most revered Hindu shrines there.

This was revealed by Mr Munwar Chand, general secretary Krishan Temple Board, Lahore, to The Tribune here yesterday who has been nominated as one of its members.

The five-member Katasraj board is headed by Principal, National College of Arts, Lahore, Ms Sajda Haider Wandal, with members Mr Sham Singh, a former Co-Chairperson Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC), Mr Mighlani and Mr Ravinder Kumar, lone Hindu minority member of the District Committee Chakwal.

However, the shrines continue to be under the Federal Ministry and the Archaeological Department of Pakistan. Work has already started with a demarcation grill around the holy sarovar ‘Amar Kund’. The desilting of sarovar is also underway.

Mr Munwar Chand claimed that the youth hostel that was built on the land belonging to the shrines had also been handed over to the board to be used for devotees visiting the shrine. There is also proposal to build baths near the shrines.

Mr Muhammad Ilyas Bhatti of the Department of Archaeology, Pakistan also the curator, Taxila Museum and Project Director Katasraj temples talking to The Tribune from Pakistan said the Pakistan Government has conveyed to India their need for conservationists and preservationists familiar with the Hindu architecture who could help maintain the shrines.

The repair of Satgarha temples connected with the Pandavas had been prioritised for repair. Many of its gates and structures were vandalised by angry mobs post-Babri Masjid demolition in India. The Pakistan Government proposes to reinstall gates. Efforts were on to install idols in the shrines informed Mr Chand.

The general secretary of Sri Krishan Temple, Lahore, said work on the cremation ground of 24 kanal along the Ravi that was sanctioned earlier this year had started with the initial budget of Rs 50,000 for a 2000 feet wall and other infrastructure. As many as 14 cremation grounds were there in Lahore before Partition. Most of them were encroached upon by land mafias and others.

Giving details of proposals, Mr Chand contended that Krishan Temple had also been renovated with new main hall and ‘parkarma’ had been cleared.

The Federal Government had allocated Rs 25 lakh for Sir Ganga Ram Samadhi in Lahore. Aggarwal serai’s 65 rooms had been handed over to the management of Krishna Temple. The provincial government had earmarked Rs 50,000 for various cremation ground at Multan, Krishan Mandir at Bawalpur, Sherawali Mandir at Uch Sharief, Krishan Temple at Haronabad, Balmiki Mandir at Rawalpindi, a community hall at Taksali Gate, Sheranwali Mata Mandir at Sialkot, he added.


Protest over shortage of drinking water
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 22
Entire Jalandhar city is facing drinking water shortage. Irked male and female residents of Nijatam Nagar locality came out of their houses in scorching heat, held protest, and shouted slogans against the Municipal Corporation and the local Mayor for the inability of the civic body to ensure proper drinking water supply in the area.

Agitated over the shortage of drinking water, residents, displayed empty utensils and alleged that though they were not getting proper water supply for about a week, but, nothing was done by the civic body officials, local councilor and the Mayor to solve their problem. They also threatened that if water supply was not restored to the area, they would gherao the MC office on June 23, for which, the MC administration would be responsible.

“What to talk about bathing, we are not even getting sufficient water for drinking. All of our protests have been felling on deaf ears as nobody has come to our rescue so far,” said Sangeeta, a resident. She said though problem had been there for over a month, but, it had turned unbearable for past about a week.

Ravi Chabbra, the president of the locality, alleged that he had lodged complaints with the area councilor Sardul Singh Kahlon and the MC officials, but, this step failed to yield any tangible result. Sardul Singh Kahlon, however, assured that normal water supply would be ensured as soon as possible.

It is not that the Nijatam Nagar locality was suffering from water shortage alone. Availability of drinking water has become scarce in almost all parts of the city, including, the Cantonment area. The problem is so acute in cantonment area, that residents of certain parts had to purchase water from tankers and one tanker cost them about Rs 500.

Similarly, residents of Mai Hira Gate and other localities, including Suraj Nagar, Ekta Nagar, Kamal Vihar, Bharat Nagar were facing drinking water shortage,. Problem was severe in those localities which were comparatively high as far as their level was concerned.

On the other hand, “Chabbils” surfaced all over the city and these offered some respite to residents. Shopkeepers and other social organisations have put up “Chabbils”, where sweet water was served to people.


Gas leakage spurs panic
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 22
Panic gripped the residents of Ganesha Basti, Ajit Road and a few other localities on Barnala Road last night following leakage of some gas in the area.

Sources said people of these areas came out of their homes between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. as they were feeling suffocated and had burning sensation in their eyes.

The district administration also swung into action and the Bathinda SDM, Mr S.K. Singla, rushed to the spot.

Talking to The Tribune, the SDM said that they inspected all the possible sources of leakage, including Dhillon Ice Factory and National Fertilisers Limited (NFL), but didn’t find anything.

He said later some residents of nearby areas told that a gas tanker had been in the area for some repair work and the gas leaked from it.

The tanker driver sped away after the leakage as a result of which suffocation and burning sensation in eyes among residents subsided within a couple of hours.


SC body seeks implementation of amendment
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 21
The Scheduled Caste and Backward Class Mulazam Sangharsh Committee (SCBCMSC), Punjab, has urged the Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, to use her influence to implement the 85th Constitutional Amendment in the Punjab as early as possible.

In a press note, Mr S.K. Pal, Chairman, SCBCMSC, said though the Punjab Goverment had announced on a number of occasions that the 85th Constitutional Amendment would be implemented in Punjab, but so far nothing had been done in this regard.

He warned that the attitude of the present state leadership of the party could cost the party heavily in the next Assembly elections and even many of the party ministers and MLAs of the community might turn dissidents.


Power cut woes continue
Ravinder Sud

Hoshiarpur, June 22
Residents spent a sleepless last night yesterday on account of the failure of the PSEB to maintain regular supply of power even during normal availability of electricity. Power cuts continued till 12.30 a.m. The first power cut was imposed from 9 a.m. to 3 pm yesterday. The supply was made available from 3 pm to 4 pm and thereafter cuts were imposed again. This situation has been going on for the past few days.

Several persons said they had tried to complaint but the telephone of the complaint centre was either engaged or out of order. Similar was the plight of telephones of the Executive Engineer and the Subdivisional Engineer.

Mr Rajnish Tandon, a social worker, said earlier the supply of power was made available to the area from a feeder of the 33 KV sub-station on the Jalandhar road. To improve the supply, the area was recently attached with a feeder of the 66 KV sub-station of Sadhu Ashram. Following this, frequent power tripping had started and electric appliances had been damaged. He said smooth power supply in the area had yet to be started after the removal of bottle-necks.

Residents alleged that there was no power cut in the residential colony of PSEB employees located in the office complex of the Superintending Engineer, Hoshiarpur. The power supply was round the clock there, they said.

Mr Upinder Singh Khamba, Executive Engineer, PSEB Hoshiarpur Division said on account of heavy increase in power load, some technical faults had developed in the supply line last night. He had monitored the removal of the faults till midnight. He said the attachment of the area with the feeder of the 66 KV sub station would improve the power supply in the future. The snags were being rectified.

Asked to comment on the uninterrupted power supply in the residential colony of the PSEB staff, he said the authorities of the board had allowed it. Moreover, computers had been installed in the office of the Superintending Engineer which required a regular power supply.


Plea to register cases against Punjab ministers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Accusing the Congress party of shielding senior Punjab leaders, including Mr Lal Singh and Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, a Hoshiarpur district resident today sought directions to the chief of the state Vigilance Bureau to register cases against them on the basis of the Lokpal’s findings.

Directions to hand over the investigation of the cases to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or any other independent agency or officer of integrity were also sought. Inquiry into the allegations against Punjab Minister Jagmohan Singh Kang were also demanded.

In his petition filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Gurmeet Singh — former general secretary of Janta Dal — stated that the present set-up of the Vigilance Department did not inspire confidence and its functioning had reportedly been commented upon.

He added that the Lokpal in 1998 submitted separate reports indicting Congress ministers in the Beant Singh Government. They included Mr Lal Singh and Mr Dullo.

Though several years have passed since the reports were tabled before the Punjab Assembly, action pursuant to the recommendations had not been taken by the government. He added that inaction on the part of the respondents amounted to dereliction of duty.

Going into the background of the matter, he said the appointment of Justice Harbans Singh as the Lokpal, and proceedings initiated by him on the basis of complaints, were quashed by the High Court.

But the reports, earlier submitted by him, were placed before the Assembly after the Supreme Court ordered that action as per law may be taken on the basis of the same.

He added that in another petition filed subsequently, directions were issued ordering the conclusion of all pending inquiries and investigations, besides submission of reports to the courts of competent jurisdiction. But the same were also disregarded by the state of Punjab and other respondents.


Drive to promote condoms
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 22
With an objective to create awareness about correct use of condoms, their quality and varieties available in the market to male residents of the city, “Sandesh Doot”, a van, would keep touring different parts of the city for 10 days under a “Yahi Hai Sahi,” campaign aimed at attaining improved maternal health through spacing of children and by preventing sexually transmitted diseases (STD).

The campaign is based on key insights provided by a study involving over 3,000 men aged between 25 and 45 in 30 cities across North India that has been a joint effort of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the ICICI Bank, supported by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

“The venture addresses the social needs of Indian public effectively as it brings together the synergies between private and public sectors. Today, condoms are promoted primarily for HIV/AIDS prevention and general population tends to forget what an excellent method it is in their daily lives — both for contraception and prevention against many sexually transmitted diseases,” said Ms Sashwati Banerjee, programme director and communcation adviser of PSP-One, a health agency funded by the USAID.


Bus operators for hike in fares
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Private bus operators in Punjab today said they would not be able to run their vehicles in the future unless the state government increased the fares and reduced the special road tax levied on private buses.

The operators met under the banner of the Punjab Motor Union in Chandigarh. The union said the bus fares in the state were last hiked in 1999. The price of diesel was Rs 6.50 per litre in June 1993, Rs 16.48 per litre in the year 2000 and Rs 28.03 per litre at present.

Besides, the cost of bus body fabrication, tyres, tubes and other inputs had risen. The union said the special road tax should be reduced from Rs 2.99 per passenger per km to Rs 1.50.


Check smuggling of cows: VHP
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 22
The Punjab unit of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) yesterday asked the Punjab Government to set up special check posts on the Punjab-Haryana, Punjab-Himachal Pradesh and Punjab-Rajasthan borders to prevent the “smuggling” of cows and bulls.

Talking to mediapersons here, Mt Vijay Singh Bhardwaj, a spokesman for the VHP, said time had come to pacify the sentiments of the Hindus over the issue of the “smuggling” of cows and bulls from Punjab, by initiating effective steps.

Mr Bhardwaj, who was accompanied by Mr Satish Kumar, president of Punjab Gauraksha Dal, further alleged that with the help of the administration and the police, cows were being “smuggled” to other states from Punjab for slaughtering.


Mann’s bail plea dismissed
Tribune News Service

Ropar, June 22
A bail application moved by the SAD (Amritsar) President Simranjit Singh Mann, in a case of sedition registered against him was today dismissed by the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Ropar, Mr S.K Goel.

While dismissing the bail application, Mr Goel said that investigation in the case had not been completed yet as the other co-accused in the case were yet to be arrested. Moreover, there are serious allegations in the FIR against Mr Mann which were supported by sufficient material.

There was merit in the point raised by the Public Prosecutor that bail to Mr Mann at this stage would affect the investigation. Therefore, keeping in view all the circumstances it was not a fit case for concession of regular bail to Mr Mann, the judge added.


Danger to bio-safety in cotton belt
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
A danger on the bio-safety front looms in the cotton belt of Punjab. Most farmers, who were not adequately trained to handle the sowing of Bt cotton, have committed some blunders during the souring operations.

Reports from the cotton belt indicate that most of the farmers have not adhered to the safeguards while sowing Bt cotton. As a large number of them had availed themselves of Bt cotton seed from illegal sources, they did not bother to check its purity. And now what is disturbing the farmers is that they are finding growth of a mixture — Bt and non-Bt — of varieties in their fields. Such a mixture can prove harmful from the marketing point of view. It will also have an adverse impact on biological diversity, say experts.

Many of the farmers who got Bt seed from authorised sources also made serious mistakes. They were given a separate kit of non-Bt hybrid cotton seed which was to be sown on the periphery of the field where Bt cotton was to be grown. However, many of them mixed the non-Bt hybrid seed with Bt cotton seed before souring.

While the non-Bt cotton crop is prone to the attack of bollworms, Bt cotton is claimed to be resistant to it. Obviously, non-Bt cotton plants will have to be sprayed to protect them from bollworm attack. But for farmers it will be difficult to segregate Bt and non-Bt plants. “They will have to spray pesticides on the entire field or skip it. Both ways, they will be losers. Spraying of the entire field will jack up the input cost and non-spraying will lead to the attack of bollworms on non-Bt plants.

Moreover non-Bt hybrid seed was to be sown on the periphery as a protective wall to stop the “spillover effect” of Bt cotton on other crops in the adjoining fields and also to play host to various insects for spray purposes. But that objective also stands defeated.

The segregation of Bt cotton from non-Bt cotton in the fields will be a most difficult task for farmers while picking cotton. Though the officials concerned of PAU and the Agriculture Department do not accept that there will be a transfer of the characteristics of Bt cotton to conventional native cotton varieties, there are others who say that it will definitely occur in due course.

Not a single meeting has been held till date of the Punjab Government’s apex State Biotech Coordination Committee which was set up under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary. The main task of the committee is to take measures to counter the “ill-effects” of genetically modified crops. Though much has happened in the cotton belt, the committee is still inactive.

Although government officials deny it, independent experts say that the “spillover effect” can prove very harmful to native crops. For instance, if any person is engaged in organic farming near a Bt cotton field, the “spillover effect” on his fields can hit his farming.

European markets are sensitive to anything related to genetically modified organisms. There are several European countries which discourage the cultivation of Bt crops and the entry of genetically modified organisms by laying down strict regulations.

Dr S.S. Johl, eminent agro-economist, said the state government authorities should have been very cautious about the introduction of crops like Bt cotton. The sowing of Bt crops had been banned by some countries. States like Andhra Pradesh had also banned the sowing of certain varieties of Bt cotton. “Are we aware of the consequences if the Bt gene affects other crops, the environment and even human beings?” he asked. “We should be very careful on this count”. Bt cotton could become a big liability for Punjab and also for the country if adequate precautions were not taken, he asserted.


‘Suwidha’ to give status of applications
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 22
National Informatics Centre (NIC) has replicated and made functional the software, “Suwidha”, for the 17 districts of the state to get the latest status of the various applications submitted by citizens in the state. A website http://www.suwidha.nic.in was being launched for this purpose at the first Suwidha-SDM Centre being made operational here.

According to a press note issued by the Punjab Government, the Chief Secretary, Punjab has issued instructions to all deputy commissioners to implement “Suwidha”. He said that for this purpose, the Government had already provided an outlay of Rs 7 crore under the subhead “Information Technology” in the annual plan 2005-06, out of which, a sum of Rs 3.50 crore had been provided for computerisation in Punjab Government/semi-government offices.

Video-conferencing facility had been established in all 17 districts of Punjab. It was being used moderately. Efforts to increase its usage were on. A programme for the computerisation of driving licenses under the “Sarthi” programme had been implemented at four locations and “Vahan” (Computerisation of Vehicle Registration) at three locations, including a pilot project at Ropar. Soon, these would be replicated in other districts also.


Vigilance arrests two patwaris
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 22
The Vigilance Bureau, Jalandhar Range, has arrested two patwaris while accepting bribes for providing “farads” and other documents to two complainants.

Avtar Singh, a patwari posted at Sadana village in Bhogpur subdivision, was arrested while he was accepting a bribe of Rs 1,000 from Davinder Singh, a resident of Sadana village, for providing him with a “farad -Jamabandi” of a house.

Similarly, Parbodh Kumar, a patwari posted at Khurla village, was arrested for accepting a bribe of Rs 800 from Ashwani Kumar Sharma, a resident of Wadala Colony for providing him with a “farad” of his house.

Gurkirpal Singh, SSP Vigilance, said bribe amount was recovered from the two patwaris on the spot.


Husband, in-laws booked in dowry case
Our Correspondent

Abohar, June 22
The police has booked Vikram Sharma, his father Bhupinder Sharma and mother Nisha Sharma under Sections 498-A and 406 of the IPC for allegedly intimidating Menaka daughter of Mr Baljit Sharma.

Ms Menaka, a resident of street No. 12 in the Nai Abadi locality, had in a complaint lodged with the SSP Ferozepore, on December 30 said that she was married to Vikram, a resident of the same street, on April 30, 2004.

She claimed that her parents spent Rs 15,000 on the ring ceremony and Rs 5 lakh on the marriage. Her in laws were not satisfied with the dowry and started humiliating her.

They allegedly asked Menaka to arrange Rs 2 lakh in cash from her parents so that Vikram could get a government job by paying the amount or start his own business.

As her father Mr Baljit Sharma, accompanied by some friends, went to her in laws to give Rs 30,000 only, they felt insulted and asked her to leave the house.

She told the SSP that the in-laws had tried to burn her alive and also conspired to get her pregnancy illegally terminated with the help of a practitioner on the pretext that this would help her in marrying some one else. She named the practitioner in the complaint.

She was ultimately restored to her parents but the in-laws allegedly misappropriated the istri dhan, gifted by her parents.

As the in-laws refused to return the valuables, including gold ornaments, she approached the SSP for help. The latter directed the city police to initiate action against the in-laws and investigate. No arrest was made in this connection. 


Husband, in-laws booked for murder bid
Our Correspondent

Rajpura, June 22
The police booked three members of a family residing at Abdulpur village in a case of attempt to murder, here today. They have been booked on a complaint lodged by Ms Baljit Kaur, wife of Jaspal Singh, one of the suspects.

In her complaint to the police, Ms Baljit Kaur alleged that her husband, Jaspal Singh, his mother Raj Kaur and brother Nirber Singh, attacked her with a baton when she refused to their demand for dowry, including a car, a fridge and money.

The police said she was admitted to a private hospital by her brother, Daljit Singh. The police has registered a case.


Markfed accountant held for graft
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, June 22
A Vigilance team today caught a Markfed accountant red-handed while accepting bribe from a contractor here.

Sources said the contractor, Mr Bagicha Singh, had Rs 1 lakh due from the department for the last season’s lifting work. When he sought the payment from the department, the accountant, Mr Subhash Chander Singla, demanded a bribe of Rs 8,000 for the job.

The contractor then approached the Vigilance SP, Ferozepore Range, Mr I.S. Randhawa, and lodged a complaint against Singla.

Following the directives of Mr Randhawa, the Vigilance DSP, Mr Raminder Singh, today laid a trap and caught Singla red-handed while accepting Rs 8,000 from the contractor. A case has been registered against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act.


One killed, 3 hurt in road accident
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 22
A person died and three others were injured when a truck carrying calves collided head on with a fuel tanker near Katarsinghwala village last night, killing 25 calves and injuring 65 others

Sources said the truck was transporting calves from Goniana Mandi to Saharanpur. The impact of collision was such as the front portions of both the vehicles were totally mangled.

Villagers rushed to the spot and started rescue operations. A 10-member team of Sahara Jan Seva Society also reached there.

Sahara volunteers admitted the driver and the conductor of the tanker to the emergency ward of the Civil Hospital, while the truck driver, Purshottam Sharma, died on the spot. The truck conductor sustained injuries.

The truck was carrying over 100 calves and they were bundled into it with their legs tied.

The Sahara volunteers also made arrangements for the treatment of injurecalves. 


UGC asked to disclose marks of NET exam
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 22
Even as the Right to Information Bill has been passed by Parliament, the candidates appearing in UGC-NET examination do not have the right to access their mark sheets whether the candidate has qualified or not.

Instruction number 21 of the directions, given along with the roll number slip to the candidates appearing for the examination, scheduled to be held on June 26, clearly states that the UGC would not issue any mark sheet to qualified/not-qualified candidate.

In a letter to the Chairman and Secretary of the UGC, Pushpesh Kumar, a local resident and a candidate, alleged that the secrecy of the mark sheets was being kept by the UGC authorities so that they could play ‘some mischief’. He stated that it was for the same reason that the candidates were not allowed to carry question papers along with them after the examination.

He demanded that all successful as well as unsuccessful candidates should be given the mark sheets or their marks should be available on internet, adding that the candidates should also be allowed to take the question paper after the examination.

He further demanded that the result should be declared before the filling of the forms for the next examination so that successful candidates could save the examination fee.

However, Dr Kishna Swami, Joint Secretary, UGC, said in any examination of the national level question papers were not allowed to be taken away. When he was reminded about UPSC question paper being given to the candidates and the demand of students for the mark sheets, he said the students kept demanding one thing or the other but they were to run the show.


Students to interact with Prince Edwards
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 22
Four students of the local C.T. Public School, who have been selected under the youth exchange programme by a team of the Department of Youth Services, Derby (UK), will interact with Prince Edwards and Mayor of Derby during their 21-day tour of the UK.

The tour, aimed at exposing students to issues of global importance will start from June 24. The visit is being coordinated by Capt I.S. Dhami, Director, Youth Services, Jalandhar.

A group of 10 shortlisted students of the school was interviewed for the visit by Mr David Finn and Ms Jasbir Kaur on November 18 after the Department of Youth Services, Punjab, shortlisted the school for the exchange programme.

“They (students) might even meet prince Charles during their visit to the UK. The basic objective of the tour is to impart a global outlook to students in order to make them more responsible global citizens,” said Mr. Manbir Singh, the Director of the CT Educational Society.

Apart from meeting Prince Edwards and Mayor of Derby, the students, according to Manbir Singh, Director, CT Educational Society, will participate in seminars, discussions and will hold interaction with leading dignitaries.


Students honoured at function
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 22
A prize distribution function was organised to honour students who recently returned from a 10-day hiking and trekking camp at Youth Welfare Department here today.

The function was organised by the Punjabi Cultural and Social Welfare (PCSW) Club, Nabha.

The camp was organised in Kullu-Manali in which 30 girls participated.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Shiv Dular Singh Dhillon, who was the chief guest, said student life was best part of one’s life. He added that students should spend quality time on sports activities along with their studies.

The ADC praised the club for organising the camp to train girls in adventure sports like hiking and trekking.

Assistant Director (Youth Welfare) Jit Singh Butar said under the Central Government scheme this year, 90 students would be trained in hiking and trekking activities.

During this camp students were given training at Sundarnagar, Saket, Bhunter, Kullu and Manali.

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