P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



PMET: govt asked to appoint observers for evaluation
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 30
After re-conducting the PMET, Guru Nanak Dev University has asked the state government to appoint two observers from the non-medical stream to be present during the evaluation of answersheets from the opening of packets till the declaration of results.

The decision seems to have been taken after the publication of a news in these columns that claimed ‘assured seats’ for huge money .

The Vice-Chancellor, Dr S.P. Singh, said with a view to maintain transparency, the university had decided to do videography of each packet before the start of the evaluation in the presence of observers. Moreover, candidates would be allowed to see their own or other candidate’s answersheets by paying prescribed fee for the purpose.

The state government had entrusted the responsibility to re-conduct the test to Guru Nanak Dev University keeping in view of its past credibility as regarding conducting state-level tests in different disciplines.

The Vice-Chancellor said the university had requested the government to appoint at least two high-ranking officers as observers from the non-medical stream.

He said the evaluation of answersheets would be done both through computer and manually in the presence of the state government observers. No staff member, except those on duty, would be allowed to enter the evaluation centre, he added.

Dr Singh said the evaluation would start immediately after the arrival of answersheets at the evaluation centre created by the university here. The evaluation would be done round the clock and the result would be declared only after tallying both the manual and computerised evaluation.

Dr R.S. Bawa, Registrar, said the test was re-conducted at 41 examination centres set up at Faridkot, Jalandhar, Patiala, Ludhiana and Amritsar today and 10,000 candidates took the test. No untoward incident from any of the centre had been reported, he added.


Ex-servicemen flay decision to abolish quota
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 30
The ex-servicemen wing of the SAD (Punjab) has criticised the Punjab Government for its decision to abolish the quota in PMET examination for the wards of ex-servicemen.

In a press note issued today, Col P.I.S Phoolka, secretary general of the SAD (Punjab wing) said the state government apart from abolishing the quota for ex-servicemen’s wards had also reduced the quota of serving armymen from two per cent to one per cent.

Colonel Phoolka has termed the exclusion of ex-servicemen’s wards as arbitrary, illegal and violation of Articles 16 and 21 of the Indian Constitution. He added that such quotas should not have been abolished as soldiers serve in different conditions and in inhospitable terrains for almost their entire careers.

Colonel Phoolka appealed to ex-servicemen of the state to rise above party affiliations and also urged them to start an agitation against the Capt Amarinder Singh government.

Meanwhile, Brig K.S Kahlon, president of the ex-servicemen wing of the SAD (Punjab) has said if the state government does not take back its decision of abolishing the quota, then the ex-servicemen would be left with no option but to start a statewide agitation against the government apart from taking legal recourse in an attempt to stall the government’s decision.


Swollen Sutlej causes panic in 6 villages
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Anandpur Sahib, June 30
There was panic among residents of six villages in the Anandpur sub-division today when water entered their fields due to overflowing in the Sutlej. Besides it, water also entered Dasgrnai village.

Increase of water in Sutlej due to increase in outflow of water from Bhakra dam and high inflow in seasonal rivulets due to rainfall that joined the river here. There was increase of 15 feet in water level of Bhakra in the past five days due to leakage of water from Pareechu lake in Tibet.

Villages affected due to overflowing of water, include Chandpur Bela, Harwal, Buraj, Gajpur, Lodhipur and Shahpur Bela. Villagers Rattan Chand Kaushal and Gurbhajan of Anandpur sub-division said that due to overflow of the water not only several acres of fields submerged in the water but also posed a threat to three bridges in the area.

They said bridges in the area were main link with the sub-division situated at Chandpur Bela, Ramgarh Bela and Jindbadi.

BBMB official sources said that the out flow of water into Sutlej from Bhakra dam was today 10,350 cusecs while yesterday the outflow was 23,50 cusecs. In addition to it, water of Sutlej rose due to seasonal rivulets falling into it.

Water level of Bhakra today was 1575.14 feet. Inflow of water in the Bhakra dam was today 65,417 cusecs and outflow from Bhakra dam has been 32,557 cusec. Water supply to Anandput hydel canal was 12, 500 cusecs while Anandpur Hydel Canal was 10, 500 cusecs.

Deputy Commissioner, H.I.S Garewal, said that situation was under control as water entered in fields of a few villages and he had directed the SDM, Anandpur Sahib, to monitor the situation.

SDM, Anandpur, Balraj Sekhon, said that due to overflow in Sutlej water in fields of four villages situated along the Sutlej had been filled with water. Village was away from Sutlej so there was nothing to worry about. He had sent an official to visit the villages to check damages, he added.

Records at Ropar headworks also revealed that due to heavy inflow in Sutlej today 10,180 cusecs water has been released into Harkpattan, which is considered as wastage. Besides it, from Ropar headworks 10,394 cusecs of water has been supplied to Sirhind canal while 1450 cusecs to the Bristwa canal. Sudden increase in the water flow was noticed last evening.


Adviser to Pak Punjab CM to get Indian youths freed
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 30
Rana Ijaz Ahmad Khan, adviser to the Chief Minister of Pakistan’s Punjab Chaudhary Pervez Elahi for Law and Human Rights, here today assured family members of 47 Indian youths detained in Pakistan prisons for their early release.

Mr Khan said this before leaving for Pakistan via Wagah Joint Check post after a ten-day tour of the 16-member multi-religion delegation.

They (family members) presented their case before Mr Khan with the help of the Nankana Sahib Sikh Yatri Jatha. Mr Khan assured the families and near and dear ones of the youths that he would take up the case of their release with state’s as well as the Federal government of Pakistan.

Parents alleged that their wards were forced to live as prisoners though they had undergone their term. They termed it inhuman.

Mr Khan remarked that he would raise their issue as his area of specialisation was law and human rights. He said he often visited different jails of his country and advised his government to improve conditions there. He informed that prisons of Pakistan were overcrowded and hoped his government would release Indian youths who had served their term.

Expressing his thanks to the Indian community for extending warm welcome to them, he said their purpose to have seemed accomplished. He said various educational institutions had expressed willingness to facilitate students’ exchange programme, which he would convey to his provincial government. He said this step would open new horizons for the youth of both countries.

He informed that four persons each from Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and Christian religions were brought during this tour to convey the message that all communities were safe provided adequate opportunities of growth.

Besides, he said he had noticed opportunities of trade between the neighbouring countries. He said wheat and automobile products were available at low prices here compared to Pakistan. He commented that some luxury cars, which were available in Indian market for Rs 10 lakh, were being sold in Pakistan for Rs 40 lakh. He said these cars were being imported from Japan and Korean countries.

Similarly, he said Pakistan had surplus power whereas India was facing electricity shortage. He said that Pakistan was a big exporter of quality cotton and sugar too.

Mr Bishen Singh, Vice-President, Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (PSGPC), said that five Sikhs had been employed in each gurdwara by the PSGPC for maintaining maryada.


Siti Cable scam: hotels give guest lists to CBI
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 30
At least dozen hotels of Amritsar, Jalandhar and Himachal Pradesh have submitted details about the stay of certain VIPs, including senior politicians of the ruling party, top police officials, businessmen and bureaucrats of the Central Government in connection with the infamous Siti Cable scam that had rocked the city about two years ago.

Earlier, the CBI had served notices to the owners of the hotels, which read, “Production of the documents/ articles including ‘hotel guest/visitor register’ alongwith the bill books in original, any other record relating the stay of visitors/guests’ from the year 1998 to 2002.

The CBI notice had warned that non-compliance of the notice was punishable under Section 174, 175, 176 of Indian Penal Code.

The notices were served from Lodhi Road, New Delhi, CBI Special Investigation Cell II.

The hotel owners were reportedly summoned to submit the details at the camp office of CBI at PIMTI Guest House, here.

Mr Jagroop Singh, Sub-Inspector, CBI, recorded the details alongwith the counter signatures of the hotel owners.

It is learnt that the CBI official had also sought verbal record from certain accused, who are on bail, by personally summoning them in the camp office.

It may be mentioned here that six persons were picked up from here in the first week of this month, including a former mayor of Municipal Corporation, a top businessmen and a social worker.


Woman beaten up for expecting female child
Our Correspondent

Abohar, June 30
An attempt was allegedly made to terminate pregnancy of a woman by beating her at Dhaani Latkan village located on the outskirts of this subdivisional town.

The victim, Darshana Rani, told the police at Nehru Memorial Civil Hospital here that was married to Kashmir Singh, a small farmer of Khubban village, in 2002. She gave birth to twin female children a year after the marriage. This virtually turned her life into a hell as her in-laws had been harassing her for not bringing sufficient dowry, the victim said.

When she again became pregnant in January this year, her in-laws got sex determination test done which suggested that she would give birth to a female child. The in-laws put pressure on her for illegal termination of pregnancy, but she refused.

As they adopted a coercive attitude, she went to her parents home where the in-laws allegedly stormed in last night and started beating her and her mother, a weeping Darshana alleged. The police said the complaint was under investigation.


Services Club poised for a heady showdown today
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 30
Even as the ruling group of the Services Club, one of the oldest clubs of the pre-British period, has decided not to allow the ‘expelled members’ to participate in the extraordinary meeting, scheduled to be held here tomorrow, the Opposition group announced that ‘come what may’ they will enter the Club.

However, the district administration announced that it would intervene only if the warring groups clashed at the time of the meeting. Taking no chances, the district administration has decided to make elaborate security arrangements outside the Services Club situated in the historical Ram Bagh.

Earlier, both the groups led respectively by Mr Sarbjit Singh Sandhu, president of the Club, and Mr S. S. Chhina, a retired SP and Security Officer of GNDU, who is also convener of the Opposition group, failed to reach any rapprochement when Mr Manpreet Singh Chhatwal, SDM, called them to his office today.

Some of the members of both the groups entered into a verbal altercation outside the office of the SDM after the meeting.

Mr Sandhu described Mr Chhina as a ‘self-styled’ convener of the Opposition group and said he had no authority to speak on behalf of the ‘expelled members’.

He claimed that the members were expelled on account of non-payment of the membership fee as per bylaws of the club.

While Mr Sandhu said more than 1000 members, most of them officers, were likely to attend the extraordinary meeting of the club, Mr Chhina said his group would insist on the entry of about 300 members who were expelled on ‘flimsy grounds’.

However, Mr Sandhu said the date for fresh elections could be fixed in the meeting proposed to be held tomorrow. He said the general house might allow voting rights to the women members by amending the bylaws of the club. At present, the women members don’t have voting rights.

Mr Sandhu claimed that the women members were given due respect in the club and kitty parties were held frequently and disrespect was never shown to them as alleged by the Opposition group.

He said during his tenure an international-level swimming club was added to the club while many dignitaries including the then Governor, ambassador, DGP and Army Generals were honoured.

Mr Sandhu, however, admitted that some of the members had been placed under suspension on charges of nuisance they had created in the club.

Mr Chhina, IPS (retd), while talking to the TNS here today, said the club’s elections were to be held every year as per the bylaws of the club, but no elections had been held since 1994 and also mentioned that no person could hold a post for more than two consecutive terms.

He alleged that Mr Sarbjit Sandhu, president, had shown scant regard for the democratic norms and traditions of the club.

He said that earlier Dr Hakumat Rai had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Mr Sandhu that they would run the affairs of the club alternatively for six months.

But after the completion of six months, Mr Sandhu did not relinquish the office and continued to hold the post of the president through his machinations to stall the understanding with the other group, Mr Chhina alleged.


Another Babbar Khalsa man in police net

Amritsar, June 30
The Punjab Police today said it arrested a Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) militant, Tarsem Singh, from Butala village in the district, while his preliminary interrogation revealed that he had been trained as a human bomb.

Tarsem Singh has been arrested under Sections 25, 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act as one AK 47 assault rifle, and some ammunition was recovered from him when he was nabbed, DIG (Border Range) Hardip Randhawa said today.

While his arrest has been shown today, sources said that Tarsem Singh was nabbed on June 25 by the Majitha police.

The DIG said Tarsem was trained by the Hawara group as a human bomb to target local self-acclaimed Godman Ashutosh in Punjab.

He was today produced in a court in Amritsar and sent in police custody. — UNI


Satnam brought to Ropar for recoveries
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 30
The Delhi Police today brought Satnam Singh, alias Langra, a Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) activist, to Ropar for recoveries. Satnam Singh was arrested by the Delhi police on June 28 from North Delhi and was reportedly being trained to be used as a ‘human bomb’ for the BKI.

Sources in Punjab police stated that Satnam Singh was taken to Anandpur Sahib where he was residing for the past many years and worked as a ragi at a gurudwara. He was also taken to Ropar and brought to Kharar during the day. However, the Delhi police failed to recover anything from him here said police sources.

Sources added that Satnam Singh lived for many years at the Damdami Taksal, Chowk Mehta, Amritsar, where he and Sukhdev Singh (an alleged BKI member, now under arrest) were both disciples. Satnam Singh graduated to a ragi and also taught young disciples Gurumukhi at the taksal before he shifted to Anandpur Sahib. Though he was in regular touch with Sukhdev Singh, he did not have links with other members of the outfit, said police sources.


State govt exaggerating terrorists’ issue, says Badal
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, June 30
SAD President Parkash Singh Badal said here today that the recent arrest of some terrorists and seizing of RDX and firearms from them by the Punjab Police was either a drama or an exaggeration of the issue by the state government. The intention was to create fear in the minds of people for sidetracking serious issues like unemployment, irregular supply of electricity, recent increase in power tariff, petrol and diesel prices and deteriorating law and order situation, he said.

He was speaking at a press conference here this afternoon.

It was the Delhi police that arrested some of the terrorists from Punjab in connection with the bomb blast cases in two cinema houses in the national capital, he said.

He alleged that terrorists were being patronised by some of the Congress leaders for their selfish motives. He further alleged that some forces were also trying to divide Hindus and Sikhs in Punjab and it would not be tolerated.


Muktsar’s sewerage in a shambles
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, June 30
Rain on Tuesday night was sufficient to expose the city’s poor sewerage, as several localities were inundated after a few hours. Sources said though the city enjoyed the status of a district headquarter it was yet to have a proper sewerage. Sources said a separate arrangement for the disposal of rainwater would have helped the sewerage in good shape, as mud and other things get stuck after finding way into sewers during rainy season. Localities like Abohar Road, Gandhi Nagar, Adarsh Nagar, Udekaran Road, Ucha Vehra, Pati Tambu Sahib, Goniana Road, and Maur Road etc virtually turn into a “living hell” during rains. Sewage flows out of tanks and makes its way to bylanes and houses in these localities. Residents of some areas have also complained about the mixing of sullage with drinking water.

According to information, work on the city’s sewerage began in 1995 and got over in 1998. Sources said crores were spent on 110 km long sewerage pipeline and three pumps were installed to re-direct the flow of sewage.

Sources said the sewerage pipeline had got blocked at various points due to lack of cleanliness, as a result of which sewage water was either getting accumulated or going haywire. Sources said various buildings had been constructed at places where “chhapars” existed earlier and they were utilised in the disposal of rainwater. A school for girls has come up on “chhapar” on Bathinda Road, while Guru Gobind Singh Park has been raised on “chhapar” on the Kotkapura Road.

Executive Engineer Public Health, Jaswinder Singh, said due to power shortage level of water in sewerage tanks could not be reduced and in such a situation, sewerage pipes could not be cleaned. He said still they were trying to get the pipes cleaned. He said they had arranged generators for motors to pump out sewage from pumps located at Dussehra Ground and Jalalabad Road, while efforts were on for the one at Balamgarh Road. He said though the sewerage system was not for disposal of rainwater, still they were making necessary arrangements for it. 


MC chief involved in mangur farming?
Tribune News Service

Rampura Phul, June 30
Days after the Deputy Commissioner took serious note of mangur fish farming in village ponds of Phul town, speculations are rife that those involved in the case will soon be booked.

Sources said the needle of suspicion was pointing towards MC chief Parmod Kala, who is facing the charge of allowing contractors to go ahead with fish farming after allegedly accepting bribe from them.

Sources said some private contractors were involved in fish farming at a couple of such ponds located near Bibi Paro’s temple and on the Mehraj road. Sources said the police had rounded up Pirthi Singh, one of the contractors of Dhaipai village, and interrogated him in this regard. He had also reportedly reiterated charges against Kala.

Sources said the majority of the fish in these ponds were mangur despite it being banned by the DC, as it is dangerous for milch cattle.

The sources said the EO of the MC had intimated the Fisheries Department, police, and higher authorities concerned in this connection, but no action was taken. But now with the DC taking note of the issue, private contractors and others involved in the matter are running for cover.

Meanwhile, the MC chief has rejected the allegations.


Journalists’ body holds blood donation camp
Our Correspondent

Kharar, June 30
A blood donation camp was organised by the district administration in association with the Ropar unit of the Chandigarh-Punjab Union of Journalists at the Civil Hospital here today.

As many as 89 units of blood were collected at the camp. The camp was inaugurated by Mr Rajan Kashyap, former Chief Secretary to the Punjab Government, and Chairperson of the Rotary and Blood Bank Society, Resource Centre, Chandigarh. Mr Kashyap also donated blood on the occasion.

Later, while talking to mediapersons, Mr Kashyap said the resource centre had been set up at the cost of about Rs 3 crore and possessed the latest equipment. Equipment worth about Rs 1.5 crore had been donated by the Rotary Club. He said the centre remained open round the clock and demand for blood could also be made on a telephone.

Mr Kashyap said every month 600 to 700 units of blood were collected and the centre catered to Patiala, Ambala, Ropar districts apart from Chandigarh. Only handling charges were taken from the persons in need of blood. The organisation did not believe in making any profits by providing blood. Moreover, no replacement of blood was demanded from persons who needed it as was being done by various other institutes.

He said with the help of technical machinery, known as a separator, the blood was divided into four components. This helped the centre in giving one unit of blood to four persons and did not lead to any wastage.

He said he had requested the Ropar Deputy Commissioner, Mr H.J.S. Garewal, to have a long term agreement with the centre which was ready to provide blood to any hospital in the district within an hour of the demand. But the centre wanted that the district administration should organise blood donation camps for it.

Mr Garewal said there was a need to create awareness among the public for donating blood. He said administration also wanted to organise camps for drug addicts as the problem was on the rise.


SGPC gets Pak Wakf Board’s nod to train staff
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 30
The Pakistan Wakf Board (Evacuee Trust Property Board) has accepted the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee's offer to train the staff at Sikh shrines situated in Pakistan so that the 'rehat maryada' could be properly be observed.

This was disclosed by Mr Onkar Singh Sharifpura, member of the SGPC and leader of the 166-member Sikh jatha that returned from Pakistan here today.

The jatha had gone to observe the death anniversary of Sher-e-Punjab Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Lahore.

Mr Sharifpura talking to The Tribune at Atari railway station said that the 'maryada' was not being properly observed in the Pak-situated gurdwaras.

He said on the behalf of Bibi Jagir Kaur, president of the SGPC, they offered to train the staff at a special meeting with Lieut-Gen (retd) Zulfkar Ali Khan, chairman of the board, Mr Izhar-Ul-Hasan, Additional Secretary, and Mr Sayad Faraz Abbas, Deputy Administrator, Shrines, during the visit.

He said members of the board had accepted their offer and assured to send a formal request regarding it to the SGPC.

Mr Harbir Singh Bhanwar, media advisor of the SGPC who also accompanied the jatha, said the board wanted to invite Bibi Jagir Kaur, president, SGPC, to Pakistan. He said they would extend a formal invitation to the SGPC soon in this regard.

Mr Bhanwar said Mr Mastan expressed his commitment to extend all possible facility to the Sikh devotees visiting gurdwaras.

Mr Onkar Singh Sharifpura said this was for the first time after the Partition that 'Amrit Sanchar' was performed at various gurdwara's in Pakistan in which about 92 persons were baptised.

He said 55 persons were baptised at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Nankana and 22 persons in Gurdwara Panja Sahib.

Hasan Abdal and 15 persons were baptised in Gurdwara Dera Sahib in Lahore.


Proper implementation of reservation policy sought
Our Correspondent

Kharar, June 30
The local unit of the Dr Ambedkar Bhalai Manch has demanded that the reservation policy should be implemented in a proper way during admissions to medical and para-medical courses in Punjab and Chandigarh.

In a memorandum presented to Dr Suraj Bhan, Chairman National Commission for Scheduled Castes, Chandigarh, Mr Kirpal Singh, president of the manch, pointed out that many scheduled castes (SC) candidates of Punjab origin were deprived of admissions in medical and para-medical colleges of Punjab for the past many years despite clear orders of the Punjab State Commission for Scheduled Castes.

Mr Kirpal Singh brought to the notice of Dr Suraj Bhan that the Secretary, Medical Education and Research, Punjab, had not implemented the orders of the Ministry of Home Affairs which were duly adopted by the Welfare Department Reservation Cell, Punjab. He said that even the orders of the chairman of the state commission, Mr Niranjan Singh, were not implemented despite several reminders at the highest level.

It was pointed out that the notification for the PMET, 2005, was issued without implementing the orders of the commission adversely affecting the admissions of Schedule Caste candidates of Punjab origin. It was feared that PPMET, 2005, notification would also not be amended as per instructions of the reservation policy.

The president requested Dr Suraj Bhan to issue the necessary orders to the Chief Secretary, Government of Punjab, to ensure implementation of the order of the Chairman of the Punjab State Scheduled Castes Commission immediately. A request was also made to give directions to the Director, PGI, Chandigarh, to admit two more Scheduled Caste candidates at the next counseling scheduled to be held on July 8.

Mr Kirpal Singh alleged that the PGI authorities had given two seats less to the SC candidates in the B.Sc. nursing (four-year course) during the counseling held on June 23. He said that there were 50 seats out of which 39 were meant for the general category and seven reserved for SCs and four for ST candidates.


7 Infantry celebrates raising day
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, June 30
The 42nd anniversary of raising of the 7 Infantry Division was celebrated here with enthusiasm and pride. With a glorious history and splendid past, the 7 Infantry has established an enviable record in all fields of professional activity.

Maj Gen B. Sivasankar, VSM, General Officer Commanding, said the division had played a stellar role in preserving the territorial integrity of the nation and had acquitted itself with honour during the 1965 and 1971 India-Pakistan conflicts besides various counter insurgency operations in Punjab.

He said all ranks of the division had displayed resolute steadfastness, combat readiness of highest order and a will to execute the assigned task with finesse and élan keeping in consonance with its motto, “ Excel and Prevail”.

On the occasion, wreaths were laid at all war memorials in divisional sector by the GOC and brigade commanders to commemorate the gallant martyrs and comrade in arms. A 'barakhana' was also organised for troops and sweets were distributed to the patients under going treatment at Military Hospital by Ms Omana Sankar, president, Golden Arrow AWWA.

An entertainment programme was also organised that was enjoyed by the troops and their families members.


CM agrees to install statue of Master Tara Singh
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 30
Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today agreed in principal to install a lifesize statue of Master Tara Singh, former SGPC chief who played a historical role in steering the Sikhs into India at the time of Partition, at Matka Chowk, near Jallianwala Bagh.

Assurance to this effect was given by the him to a five-member delegation of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC). The delegation was led by its president, Mr Parmjit Singh Sarna. Mr Bhajan Singh Walia , Mr G.S. Walia, Mr Harwinder Singh Sarna and Mr Gurbachan Singh Gatka Master, were among other members of the delegation.

Mr Sarna said the Chief Minister had also agreed to name the road leading to Jallianwala road after the name of Master Tara Singh .

Earlier , the Shiromani Akali Dal , and the SGPC had received flak from the Panthic circles for having ignored the legendry Akali leader. 


7-yr-old boy drowned
Our Correspondent

Abohar, June 30
Deepak (7), son of migrant Nikku, drowned here today.

Wailing parents said Deepak had gone to Government Basic Elementary School in Nai Abadi locality to play along with a friend Bittu. Rain water had accumulated there after yesterday morning rain.

As Deepak tried to take a bath in the middle of the water, he was trapped in mud. Some onlookers had fished Deepak out and rushed to the Civil Hospital. However, the doctors declared Deepak brought dead.


Patwar union to step up stir
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, June 30
The Revenue Patwar Union, Punjab, after observing a strike and staging a dharna at the tehsil complex has decided to intensify its stir against the alleged implication of Puran Singh, a patwari at Kapurthala, by the Vigilance Bureau in a fraudulent sale of land.

According to a press note, two members of the union will go on fast everyday till their demand is met. A dharna at the district-level will be staged at the Deputy Commissioner’s Office complex on Monday. The union has been demanding the withdrawal of the case against the patwari.


Liquor vends closed from July 1 to 3
Tribune News Service

Ropar, June 30
Keeping in view of the Zila Parishad elections in Chandigarh on July 3, the District Magistrate, Mr H.I.S Grewal, today ordered for the closure of all liquor vends in the district and adjoining areas of Chandigarh from July 1 to 3 and on the day of counting on July 5.

Mr Grewal said the order would be applicable to Naya Goan, Nada, Kansal, Badi Karor, Chhoti Karor, Togan, Milkh and Mullanpur along with the periphery of Chandigarh. In addition to it, liquor would not be served in any restaurants, clubs, pubs, and hotel in these areas, he added.


Riti Bhatia does the city proud
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 30
Riti Bhatia, a local girl, has again done the city proud by getting selected into the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) entrance, result of which was declared yesterday.

Earlier Riti, who is a student of local Mohindra College, got selected to the CBSE PMT, AFMC Pune and Manipal PMT. Although Riti , daughter of a doctor couple, had many options yet her first choice turned out to be the prestigious New Delhi-based AIIMS.


St. John’s workers invited
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 30
A team of six Red Cross St. John’s workers of the Diesel Loco Modernisation Workshop Railway, Ambulance Division, has been invited by the Indian Red Cross and the Orissa Red Cross.

In a press note issued here today, the District Training Supervisor, District Red Cross, said Mr A.K Gupta, Chief Administrative Officer, DMW, and Mr Mool Narayan had selected Mr Anil Kumar, Divisional Commander, Mr Charanjit Singh, Mr Surjit Singh, Mr O.P Devedi and Mr Balbir Singh for this task.

Mr Tejveer Singh, Deputy Commissioner-cum-president, District Red Cross Society, had already given a permission to send the team.


Panel on diseases constituted

Chandigarh, June 30
The Punjab Government has constituted a 21-member high-powered committee under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to check the growing incidence of incurable diseases like cancer in certain parts of the state.

A government spokesman said here today that the committee would approve an action plan to check the diseases. It would also decide the relief to be given to patients. — TNS


Bus overturns, 18 hurt
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 30
A Punjab Roadways bus overturned on the Jagraon-Ludhiana G.T. road yesterday in which 18 passengers were injured. Two of the injured are serious and had been shifted to a hospital in Ludhiana while others were discharged after providing first-aid.


77 patients discharged
Our Correspondent

Barnala, June 30
Seventyseven out of 80 patients of Pandori Kalan who were admitted to the Civil Hospital, Barnala, after drinking sweetened water from a chhabeel have been discharged.

Dr Baldev Raj Gupta, Senior Medical Officer (SMO), Civil Hospital, Barnala, informed that a temporary medical camp which had been started in Gurdwara Pandori too had been wound up after treating the patients.

Several persons had fallen ill after consuming chhabeel water in the village on June 21.


Colony welfare body

Patiala, June 30
The following have been elected office-bearers of the DLF Colony Welfare Association: President — Mr Tejwant Singh Jaspal; general secretary — Mr Darshsn Singh Deepak; senior vice-president — Mr K.K Bansal, junior vice-president — Mr D.S. Bhar; joint secretary — Mr J.L. Goyal; finance secretary — Mr G.S. Khanna. TNS


Quality control drive of fertilisers launched
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, June 30
The Agriculture Department has launched a quality control campaign of fertilisers and pesticides in the district.

The Chief Agricultural Officer, Mr S.S. Kandhari, said under the drive they had sent 57 samples of fertilisers and pesticides to a laboratory for testing. He said a flying squad had been constituted to carry out checks in various markets and collect samples of fertilisers and pesticides.

He said the department had taken 126 samples of seeds, out of which six had failed. Appropriate action was being initiated against two dealers of these seeds.

He said the flying squad had collected samples from Crop Care Chemicals, Nagarjuna Chemicals, Dayal Fertilisers, P. Stane Company and Sri Ram Industries.


Kisan manch threatens statewide dharnas
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, June 30
The Joint Kisan Manch, comprising Punjab Kisan Sabha, BKU (Ekta) and Kisan Sangharsh Committee, today stated that statewide mass dharnas and rallies would be held outside offices of Chief Engineers of the PSEB to highlight power related demands.

Comrade Lehmber Singh Taggar, general secretary, Punjab Kisan Sabha and a manch leader said memorandums would be submitted to Chief Engineers for submitting these to Punjab Chief Minister and Chairman, PSEB.

Comrades Rashpal Singh, Kanwaljit Singh Pannu, Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan, Joginder Singh Ugrahan, Shawinder Singh Rautala, attended the meeting held in this regard.

Their demands included end to discrimination with rural areas with regard to power supply, scrapping of the decision of unbundling, corporatisation and privatisation of the PSEB, restoration of free power and water facility to farmers, etc.


Mavi gets extension
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
The Secretary of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Mr Nachhattar Singh Mavi, has been given one-year extension. Sources said an order in this connection had been issued by the state government.

It is, perhaps, the third service extension given to Mr Mavi. He had been given extension because no other person was available in the Vidhan Sabha Secretariat to hold the post.

The sources said there was a move to appoint an IAS officer as the Secretary of the Vidhan Sabha. But it was strongly opposed by MLAs and other politicians concerned.


Wanted criminal held, 2 trucks recovered
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 30
The district police claims to have arrested a hardcore criminal wanted in more than 12 cases of theft, cheating, fraud and looting in Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana. It has seized 5 kg of poppy husk and impounded two trucks loaded with iron, goods bathroom tiles and other goods worth more than Rs 15 lakh. These trucks were allegedly stolen from Rajasthan and Punjab. Cases have been registered under the NDPS act and the IPC.

Mr Varinder Kumar, SSP, told The Tribune that during a naka ASI Sukhbir Singh arrested criminal Kabul Singh, a resident of Mandofal village in the district, and seized 5 kg of poppy husk from his possession.

The SSP said during interrogation Kabul Singh revealed his identity. He also admitted to stealing trucks loaded with goods by changing their number plates, defrauding traders and businessmen and lootings. Kabul Singh disclosed that on June 22 he stole a truck No. HR-38-8038 loaded with bathroom tiles parked at the Multani dhaba at Sirhind. Following his interrogation the police recovered the truck and goods worth Rs 8 lakh.

The police also seized 3 kg of poppy husk cancealed in the truck.

Mr Varinder Kumar said the police also recovered a truck having fake registration number PIP 5349 loaded with iron goods stolen from Rajasthan.


Three arrested for duping
Our Correspondent

Barnala, June 30
The Barnala police busted a racket which was involved in duping the public. The police has arrested three persons, including two women.

Bimla Verma, who was the leader of the gang, collected money from the people on the pretext of sending them abroad.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr G. Nageshwar Rao said Bimla claimed herself as the state president of the National Congress Party (NCP). Two of her companions have also been arrested in this connection. Mr Rao said Bimla was arrested by the CIA staff at Cheema village check post.

He said the police had received about 11 cases of duping in which Bimla had collected Rs 60 lakh from various people on the pretext of sending them abroad. She also promised some persons of securing them government jobs.

Bimla, who is a resident of Ludhiana city, has three cases of duping pending against her. The court has sent all three accused to two-day police remand.

One of the complainants, Mr Gurpreet Singh, said he had paid Rs 14.5 lakh to Bimla for sending him abroad.


Drugs come in handy for greedy kin
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, June 30
Two cases, in which rivals and kin used drugs to eliminate ‘obstructions’ to gain land or position, have been reported to the authorities of the drug de-addiction centre here.

One of victims is 12-year-old Sarabjit Singh, resident of Bhagowal village, near Gurdaspur. The teenager was taking drugs when he was brought to the drug de-addiction centre being run here by the district Red Cross. He was addicted to psychotropic drugs like morphine.

His ailing grandmother, lone member of his family, brought him to the centre for treatment. The case history of Sarbjit Singh, collected by the psychologists, revealed some startling facts about how he took to drugs at such a tender age.

Parents of Sarbjit Singh had died in an accident. Being the only son, he became the heir to about 4 acres of land, which a paternal kin of Sarabjit was eyeing. At a tender age of about eight they started giving him psychotropic drugs. The child, trusting his kin, took to drugs and became an addict. His demand for drugs was fulfilled by his kin who wanted to turn him into a cripple dependent on drugs.

The motive of the said kin of Sarbjit was to retain control of land belonging to him by turning him into an addict.

He has now returned home after treatment at the drug de-addiction centre.

In another case, the drugs were used as a weapon to settle scores with sarpanch of Baro Nangal village in Batala tehsil of the district. The 19-year-old son of the sarpanch was brought to the drug de-addiction centre for treatment.

His case history revealed that his father Satnam Singh was elected as a sarpanch of the village thrice in a row.


Patwari arrested on graft charge
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 30
The Vigilance bureau (VB) today caught a revenue patwari, Kaur Singh, for accepting a bribe of Rs 3,000 from Mr Harbhajan Singh for giving him a copy of the mutation record of his landed property.

Mr Amrik Singh, SSP, Vigilance, said that the accused, who was posted at Ghania, demanded a bribe of Rs 5,000 from the complainant for giving him the copy of the mutation record, but the deal was stuck at Rs 3,000.

The accused accepted the bribe and handed it over to Ms Kamaljeet Kaur, a sweeper working in the office of the accused, when he saw the Vigilance team led by Mr Baldev Singh, DSP, Faridkot, approaching his office. The vigilance team recovered the bribe amount from Ms Kamaljit Kaur in the presence of government witnesses.

A case in this connection has been registered. 


Two robbers arrested
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, June 30
The Gurdaspur police yesterday claimed to have arrested Baldev Singh, a resident of Pathawala village, and Kamaljit Singh, a resident of Dulowana village under Dhariwal police station, for committing robberies in the area.

Police sources said the two used to rob passengers on the national and state highways of cash and jewellery. They had also been declared proclaimed offenders. A countrymade pistol and live cartridges were recovered from them.


Hefty pay offers for PAU’s MBA students
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Do you know Shreya Bhardwaj? I guess not. It will be worthwhile to tell you about her. She will complete the MBA course from Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana.

And in the first week of July, she will join as Manager (Marketing) in the Yarn division of the Trident Group. She will get a whopping pay package of Rs 8.5 lakh per annum. Shreya’s pay package is as high as that offered to top students of the Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad).

Shreya had her higher education in Ludhiana. Before joining MBA, she did engineering (electronics) from Guru Nanak Engineering College there. She is not alone in getting such a hefty salary package. Her senior, Nidhi Arora, who passed MBA from PAU last year, got a pay package of Rs 8.5 lakh from the same group. She is working as Deputy Manager (Exports). She did graduation from Khalsa College, Ludhiana, before joining MBA and got the job before completing the course.

Similar is the story of Rohit from Khanna. He did BCom from SD College, Chandigarh, and joined MBA at PAU. He passed out in 2000-01. He is getting a salary of more than Rs 8 lakh. He is working as Deputy Manager (Marketing) in the Terry Towel Division of the Trident Group. Then there is Shalini. She got a job in a leading finance company before completing MBA from PAU. Though she is not ready to reveal her pay package, she says it is in lakhs of rupees. She is working as a personal loan Manager in City Finance, Jalandhar, and belongs to that city.

Deepika Sharma also did MBA from PAU and is now posted as Manager (Corporate Planning) in Abhishek Industries. She had joined at Rs 3 lakh per annum but is now getting a salary of Rs 9 lakh per annum on completing two years of service.

Shreya, Nidhi and Deepika are not the only ones to get such a big salary package at an early stage of their careers. There are many other students, who passed MBA or obtained a degree in agricultural engineering from PAU, who are getting high salaries.

How come students from PAU are doing so well? Shreya, Nidhi and Deepika praised the university’s MBA department. “It is one of the best in the country though it has not found mention in magazines which often publish grading lists of the best professional institutions, universities and colleges every year,” they say.

Former students of the department are employed in almost all top companies, including multinational, in the country and abroad, they say. “The best thing about PAU’s MBA department is that it admits only a limited number of students and tries hard to make them employable,” they add.

The MBA department, where admission is through an entrance test conducted by PAU, was set up in 1971 with the active support of Lala Sri Ram of the DCM group. One of its alumni, Mr U.P.S. Gill, is holding a top executive post in the Reliance group. Likewise, other former students, including Mr D.L. Sharma, Mr G.S. Dhiman and Mr V.G. Jindal, are holding important positions in various corporate houses.

Even students of PAU’s College of Agricultural Engineering have got good placements. During the last three academic years (2002-03 to 2004-05), as many as 135 students did graduation from that college and through campus recruitment, 57 per cent of them got highly paid jobs. Mahindra and Mahindra, TAFE, Kirloskar Oil Engines, LT (Larsen and Toubro), Punjab Tractors Limited and Sweeny Associates of USA have been readily accepting engineering graduates from PAU.

Besides, the Vice-Chancellor of PAU, Mr K.S. Aulakh, told The Tribune that 46 interviews by various corporate houses were held on the campus during the past three years. As many as 80 graduate and postgraduate students of the College of Agriculture got placements in companies such as Pepsi Foods, Hindustan Lever Limited, Monsanto India Ltd, Vardhman Group, Punjab Agro, Eicher Tractors and Triveni Engineering.

While top students of various professional courses at PAU have been offered huge salary packages, “good” and “average” students are getting offers ranging between Rs 1.5 lakh and Rs 3 lakh per annum.


Teachers protest against DDO’s suspension
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, June 30
Members of the Democratic Teachers Front (DTF) staged a dharna in front of the DEO office here today demanding the reinstatement of suspended DDO Sukhdev Singh Sidhu.

Mr Sidhu, the then DDO of Government High School, Jwalapur, who had additional charge of Government High School, Bhanolangah, was suspended last month by the Director, Education Department (Secondary), on the basis of report submitted by the DEO, who recommended departmental action for the delay in relieving Ms Gurmit Kaur, a teacher posted at Government High School, Durgapur, who was transferred elsewhere.

However, DEO said he recommended departmental action against the DDO after he refused to comply with the official orders.


Functioning of SBoP reviewed
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 30
The State Bank of Patiala today organised a meeting of the standing committee to review the progress under various Government sponsored schemes. Mr Devinder Pal Singh Walia, ADC (D) presided over the meeting. He expressed satisfaction over the progress of banks and advised the heads of various Government departments and representatives to co-ordinate with the banks for the disbursement of sanctioned loans within a week.

He impressed upon Child Development Project Officers, Development Officers Women Programme and banks to form self help groups and to achieve the targets allotted to them.

Mr Ashwani Mahajan, AGM, NABARD, said that 845 self help groups had been formed in the district and 624 had been provided loans by various banks. He impressed upon the banks and department to identify cases under the NABARD schemes of capital investment subsidy schemes for organic farming, interest subsidy schemes for dairy, poultry and water harvesting scheme for SC and ST farmers.

Mr S.S. Kharaud, LDM, urged the banks to advance at least two cases in each quarter under Swarozgar Credit Card Schemes.

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