P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



PMET results declared
Patiala girl, Mansa boy bag top honours
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 2
Karanjot Kaur (roll number 471120) of Patiala and Nishant Gupta (roll number 475001) of Mansa shared the first position in the Punjab Medical Entrance Test-2005 by securing 672 marks each.

Interestingly, Riti Bhatia-Patiala (477074), who stood first during the previous result declared by Baba Farid Health University, was now declared third.

Nishant Gupta, who stood third last time, has bagged the top position (bracketed with Karnjit Kaur), while Akashdeep Singh Bawa of Jalandhar (431049) who had bagged 19th rank earlier stood third this time.

This test was re-conducted by Guru Nanak Dev University on June 30 and the result of the same was declared here today. About 10,000 candidates appeared in the test.

Navdeep Kaur (423115) of Faridkot and Ravneet Kaur Sandhu (477024) from Chandigarh were declared second obtaining 668 marks. Akshdeep Singh Bawa-Jalandhar (431049), Mehakinder Singh-Chamkaur Sahib (473065), Sukham Preet Kaur- Amloh (District Fatehgarh Sahib (479154) remained third in the test with 660 marks.

This test was held by the Guru Nanak Dev University for admission to MBBS, BDS, BAMS and BHMS courses in the Medical, Dental, Ayurvedic and Homoeopathy colleges/ institutes affiliated to the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, as per notification issued by the state government (Department of Medical Education and Research).

The whole evaluation work was carried out round the clock under the strict vigil and in the presence of two state government observers — Mr Narinderjit Singh, Director, Technical Education, Punjab, and Mr Harkesh Singh Sidhu, Additional Secretary (Higher Education), Punjab, besides the Vice-Chancellor, Dr S.P. Singh, and the Registrar, Dr R.S. Bawa, in a transparent way as committed by the Vice-Chancellor.

The Registrar, Dr R.S. Bawa, said both the manual and computerised evaluation was done and the result was prepared after tallying both the evaluations and duly signed by the authorised university and state government officials.


Governor must seek details of CM’s Dubai visit: SAD
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
The Shiromani Akali Dal mounted pressure on the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today with the party general secretary, Mr Balwinder Singh Bhunder, urging the Governor, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), to exercise his constitutional prerogative and summon details of the Chief Minister’s secret mission to Dubai.

“The whole episode stinks of foul play. In his capacity as head of the state, it is part of his constitutional obligations towards the people to pull off the conspiratorial veil of secrecy from the Chief Minister’s mysterious adventure,” said Mr Bhunder in a statement here. He said this had become imperative in the larger public interest, especially in the light of Capt Amarinder Singh’s silence on the issue.

Mr Bhunder also had a dig at the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, who had sponsored the Chief Minister’s trip. “It is strange that the head of a Sikh religious body should be hand in glove with liquor barons like Ponty Chadha. Mr Sarna also must explain the deal behind his doling out favours to Congress leaders like Capt Amarinder Singh.” Interestingly, Mr Sarna had been publicly chiding the Akali leadership for failing to check the menace of drug abuse in Punjab.

The Akali leader said that people were intrigued by the possible reasons behind the Chief Minister’s insistence on hiding the trip even from his security staff.

Mr Bhunder expressed surprise over reports that the Chief Minister had slipped away from his own security umbrella in Patiala to travel by road to Delhi before flying to Dubai. “This clearly suggests that he was accompanied by persons whose identity he wants to hide even from the most trusted inner security ring. Who were these persons? What is the nature of their relations with the Chief Minister?,” asked Mr Bhunder, adding that it was worrying that at least one of the aides of the Chief Minister, whose name had figured in the present controversy, allegedly did not have a reputation for high moral conduct.

In addition, said Mr Bhunder, people had the right to know about the activities of the Chief Minister in Dubai.

The Governor must seek a detailed report on the Chief Minister’s itinerary in Dubai to find out why the latter was afraid of his actions becoming public. He said the presence of controversial liquor baron Ponty Chadha and billionaire Delhi industrialist Sarna had further deepened the mystery surrounding the real reasons for the Chief Minister’s trip.


Sikh militants find new route to Pak for arms training
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 2
Intelligence agencies are baffled about the modus operandi of Sikh militants who have been checkmating them by adopting novel ways to get arms training in Pakistan.

After abandoning the infamous Nepal route, Sikh militants, especially Jagtar Singh Hawara, Babbar Khalsa chief in India, successfully sent fresh recruits to get training in weapon handling in Pakistani camps. They would board a flight in New Delhi’s for Bangkok, where they got visas on arrival. Then they would board a flight for Dubai, which had a stopover at Lahore.

According to sources, Hawara revealed to his investigators that the fresh recruits would alight at the Lahore airport with the help of their Pakistan-based militants and then go to training camps without getting any entry in their passports. The sources said that after brainwashing sessions and training in firearms and explosives, the youths were taken to Dubai for some days.

The sources said the interrogation of the arrested militants revealed that Hawara was not enjoying good relations with Pakistan-based Babbar Khalsa chief Wadhawa Singh. The ISI wanted Hawara to replace Wadhawa Singh to give an impetus to militancy in the border state.

Intelligence agencies pointed out that Jaspal Singh, the main accused in the Delhi cinema blast case, had gone to Pakistan by taking the Delhi-Bangkok-Dubai route. He had gone to Pakistan when Hawara was also there. Then Balwinder Singh Hyala of Nawanshahr, Ashwani Dadwal, Sukhmander Singh of Khare village (Muktsar district) and Hardip Singh of Faghan Majra village in Patiala also went to Pakistan through the same route. The previous Nepal route had virtually been abandoned by the militants because of increased surveillance in the Himalayan Kingdom .

The intelligence agencies claimed that Tarsem Singh, arrested by the Majitha police, was a human bomb and made several attempts to strike his targets.


Police may have killed Bheora, fears father
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Bheora (Ropar), July 2
Rumours about the arrest of Paramjit Singh Bheora, who escaped from Burail Jail, continued to do the rounds today even though his family members at Bheora village in Ropar district appeared to be unmoved by the development.

Neither any police personnel nor any investigating agency visited Bheora’s house to question his family members or anyone else in the village.

The village was in the news when Bheora, accused in the Beant Singh assassination case along with Babar Khalsa International chief Jagtar Singh Hawara, escaped from Burail Jail on January 12, last year.

Jagjit Singh (85), father of Bheora, said: “I still fear that my son might have been killed by the police after his escape.”

“Last time I met Bheora while he was lodged in Burail Jail. After his escape from the jail, I have no information about him. I have filed a case in a Chandigarh court fearing that my son might have been killed by the police. The case will come up for hearing on August 22,” he added.

The mother of Bheora, Paramjit Kaur (75), said “only God knows the wheareabouts of my son”.

Villagers were not ready to comment on Bheora.


Markfed starts lifting substandard DAP
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 2
After receiving complaints from a section of farmers, Markfed has started lifting substandard DAP from the cooperative societies in various villages of the district.

Sources said Markfed had supplied substandard DAP of Oswal brand to about 64 cooperative societies. Some farmers had even denied purchasing the same. Sources said samples gathered from Khayaliwala village had failed. Three more samples were taken from Markfed godown in Bathinda. Of which the result of one sample had come out and it has failed.

Ten samples were taken from other cooperative societies and their test results were awaited. Sources said the farmers of cotton belt were not interested in buying Oswal’s DAP, still Markfed provided them with the same.

Markfed supplied 1,400 tonne DAP to these societies a few months back, of which 800 MT was lying in its godown. Sources said the Registrar of Cooperative Societies had shot off a missive to Markfed stating they be not supplied old DAP, but no attention was paid to it.

The Deputy Registrar of Cooperative Societies in Bathinda said old DAP was now being replaced with the new one. He said this time they would not accept Oswal’s DAP. He said for 65 per cent of the societies DAP was purchased directly, while Markfed supplied it to the remaining 35 per cent.

Sources said Markfed was now lifting old DAP from every village. The district manager of Markfed, Mr S.S. Brar, admitted that they were replacing DAP.

Meanwhile, the farmers who had already used substandard DAP in their fields were apprehensive that their crop production might go down.

The Chief Agricultural Officer, Mr Jarnail Singh, said the failed samples of DAP had 26 per cent phosphorus as against the required 46 per cent. Similarly, nitrogen was 15 per cent against the required 18 per cent. He said the yield in the field of farmers who had already used it, might get affected.


AG suggests re-tendering on Ludhiana City Centre project
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
The Punjab Advocate General (AG), Mr R.S. Cheema, is learnt to have suggested to the Local Bodies Department to re-tender the Ludhiana City Centre project.

A meeting in this regard was held recently in which Punjab Local Bodies Minister Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, officers of the Department of Local Bodies and the Ludhiana Improvement Trust and the AG were present. During the meeting, the AG is learnt to have suggested that in view of allegations of irregularities and a pending court case, the best course would be to re-tender the entire process.

A New Delhi-based company — Today Homes and Infrastructures Private Limited — had been awarded the contract by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust to develop the ambitious Rs 350-crore Ludhiana City Centre project. However, just days after finalisation of the tender, another company — MGF Developments Limited — had moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court, challenging the process that culminated in Today Homes securing the contract.

During hearing of the petition, Today Homes had assured the High Court that no further activity would take place in the project. Only the letter of intent (LoI) had been signed and the court had ordered status quo in the matter.

The project, spread over 25 acres of prime land in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Ludhiana, also saw the then AG, Mr Harbhagwan Singh, declining to appear in the High Court for the trust, maintaining that interest of the Punjab Government and the trust might clash over the project and it would be difficult for him to argue the case for the trust.

In its petition, MGF Developments has claimed that Today Homes did not fulfil even the basic eligibility criteria laid down by the trust for development of the City Centre.

Mr B.R. Bajaj, Principal Secretary, Local Bodies, is also learnt to have ordered annulment of the contract. A representation against his order is still pending with the government.

When contacted, Mr Cheema refused to acknowledge or deny the information that he had suggested re-tendering. “It is between me and the government,” he said.

However, despite the AG’s suggestion, reliable sources say that Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has told some close confidants that he will not allow re-tendering as it would be a step in correcting a wrong.

He is also learnt to have taken a dim view of the activities of some bureaucrats via-a-vis the project. It is an open secret that some senior government officials were opposed to the awarding of the contract to Today Homes and lobbied for some other company.

Interestingly, Local Bodies Minister Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, when contacted, denied any knowledge of proceedings of the meetings chaired by him. “I don’t remember anything. Wait for the minutes of the meeting to come,” he said.

But, the same minister, in a release issued after a section of the media said that the Punjab Government had scrapped the controversial project, had said that a meeting was being held on June 14 to take a final view on the matter.

The release quoting the minister had also said that the meeting, which would also be attended by the AG, would also discuss the issue of legality of the May 27 order of the government. He had said that any further action would only be initiated on the basis of the advice tendered by the AG.


80,000 homeless to get plots
Tribune News Service

Bhawanigarh (Sangrur), July 2
With a view to giving relief to homeless families of weaker sections and those residing in villages, the Punjab Government has prepared an ambitious scheme to give plots, measuring 5 marlas each, free of cost to about 80,000 such families for construction of houses. This scheme will be implemented by August 15 throughout the state.

As per a survey conducted by the state government, there are 80,000 such families in villages. The government has drawn up a scheme, “cluster house”, (Nawan Pind) to construct at least 100 houses on 5 acres in every cluster. These clusters will be made for the beneficiaries of five to six nearby villages.

This information was given by Mr Lal Singh, Irrigation, Power, Rural Development and Panchayats Minister, Punjab. He was addressing a function at a marriage palace here today after inaugurating the 66 KV grid sub-station at Bakhopir village, near here, set up at a cost of Rs 2.64 crore. Earlier, he also dedicated a 66 KV grid sub-station at Bhalwan village (Dhuri) to the people. The power transformer’s capacity had been increased at a cost of Rs 1.60 crore. Among others who were present on the occasion included Mr Arvind Khanna, MLA from Sangrur and chairman of Umeed Khanna Foundation, an NGO of Sangrur, Mr Jasbir Singh, former Punjab minister, Mr Subhash Grover, president, Sangrur District Congress Committee, Mr H.N. Jain, Member (Generation), PSEB, and Mr H.S. Sohi, Member (Finance), PSEB.

Mr Lal Singh further said that around every cluster a 40-ft ‘phirni’ would also be made. Space would also be earmarked for a school, hospital and dharamshala, etc. Besides, plot of 5 marlas an extra 1 marla would also be given to every beneficiary for creating garbage dump.

The minister also disclosed that 40,000 new tubewell connections would be given by the PSEB to farmers this year.


Sukhbir Badal escapes unhurt in mishap
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 2
SAD MP Sukhbir Badal had a narrow escape on the Bathinda-Faridkot road today morning when his car collided with a Peter engine.

According to sources, the incident occurred when Mr Badal was on his way from Badal village to Faridkot around 8.30 am. A Peter engine loaded with vegetables, which was on its way from Bathinda to Baluana village, collided with Mr Badal’s Mercedes when his convoy had just got on to the main road from the Naruana road.

The rear wheel and axle of his car got damaged. Sources said the mishap could have been serious, as Multania Bridge was at a stone’s throw away from the accident site. The police rushed to the spot and arrested the driver of the Peter engine, Bohad Singh of Baluana village, for negligent driving. A case has been registered against him under Sections 279 and 427 of the IPC.

SAD activists gathered at the spot as soon as the news of mishap spread.


SAD dharna on July 5
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
Led by the SAD’s president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, members of various decision making bodies of the party will stage a dharna here on July 5 at Matka Chowk in protest against the hike in the power tariff and the prices of diesel and petrol.

Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, secretary of the SAD, said, all members of the political affairs committee, the working committee and the general council, district presidents, MPs of the SAD, MLAs, members of the SGPC would take part.


Rs 50 cr project to monitor subsoil water
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
As the subsoil water crisis has turned grave in Punjab, the Union Government has approved a Rs 50 crore project for the state for constant monitoring of the situation in a scientific manner.

Officials said today that it was a World Bank-aided project got approved by the Union Government for 13 states, including Punjab, where the subsoil water level was going down at an alarming rate. The data collected under this project, would be pooled at the national level to tackle the crisis.

Punjab’s Water Resources and Environment Directorate, which is a wing of the state Irrigation Department, will implement the project, according to Mr Jarnail Singh, Chief Engineer, Drainage, who also holds overall charge of the directorate. Experts of four national organisations — the Central Water Commission, the National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee, the Indian Meteorological Department and the Central Ground Water Board — will also be involved in the implementation of the project.

As part of the project, which will function under the banner of the Water Resources Organisation, a hydrology bhavan will be set up at Mohali. “ The state government has given us permission to get land allotted from PUDA at Mohali”, said Mr Jarnail Singh. “ We will be approaching PUDA soon in this regard”, he added.

The latest equipment would be put in place at various stations to monitor the level of subsoil water on a regular basis and collect exact information on rainfall, rivers and choes.

The selection of monitoring stations would be made on the advice of experts of the national organisations. Even, Punjab Agricultural University would be approached to be an active participant in the project.

At present, the state has an undependable system to collect data on various water resources. It is, therefore, difficult to make any scientific analysis on the basis of that data. “Proper evaluation of the situation is the need of the hour to tackle the crisis”, said a senior officer of the directorate.

The Irrigation Department has divided the state into 137 water blocks to monitor the situation. Of these, 109 are “dark” blocks, which means there is overexploitation of subsoil water in these areas.

The situation in 17 blocks is grave. In these areas the exploitation of water is up to 125 per cent. In certain parts of the state, the water level is going down by 20 cm per year. Among the worst-hit areas are Moga, Sangrur and some parts of Ludhiana and Patiala.

Water recharging will be one of the components of the project. Already, the Central Ground Water Board, the state Agriculture Department and the directorate are handling various projects for the recharging of ground water in critical areas. With the implementation of the project, the focus on recharging will increase.


Rains bring troubles for villagers
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, July 2
With the onset of monsoon, people have got relief in various parts of the Pathankot subdivision but villagers living in areas adjoining Ravi and Ujh rivers are a worried lot as the temporary bridge has been removed by the PWD fearing floods.

Following the removal of the bridge, the entire area has been cut off from the rest of Punjab. However, most of the villagers have chosen Kathua roads in Jammu and Kashmir for coming to Punjab.

The villagers have no other alternative except to depend upon boats of private contractors. According to villagers. tall claims were made by the politicians and officials to provide all necessary help.

They said none of the government machinery had come forward to provide necessary agreed help.

They accused the private boat contractors, for charging exorbitant rates from the villagers.

The villagers had to pass sleepless nights, as the government had not set up any emergency medical assistance centers, said Nar Singh, resident of the Narote block.

Another member of a NGO, Vicky Mahajan, said residents of more than two dozen villages near Ravi and Ujh rivers apprehended flashfloods and had no source of transportation.

However, Yash Pal Sharma, Tehsildar, and Incharge, Flood Control Room, here refuted the charges and said the administration was ready with any eventuality.

PWD officials disclosed that removal of ‘Pontoon Bridge’ was a annual feature for the safety of the people and bridge.

The water-level of Ranjit Sagar Dam had touched 511 meters this year which was the highest in this season, said official sources.


Hospital plays host to undertrial, wife
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, July 2
The local Civil Hospital reportedly played the role of a “generous host” to the family of an undertrial prisoner at the district jail, Kapurthala, last week.

Dheeraj Kumar, the undertrial, got admitted to the medical ward of the hospital after he complained of pain in his chest on June 20. Dheeraj Kumar, son of Hakeekat Rai, a resident of Jalandhar, was arrested by the Phagwara police in March 2005.

As per records of the hospital, on June 22 his wife Monika was also admitted to the same ward and stayed in private room No. 9. According to sources, the couple stayed in the hospital till the day Dheeraj was discharged by the hospital authorities on June 28. Interestingly, regarding Monika no record is available in the hospital except an entry in the register made at the time of admission to the ward after depositing a fee of Rs 20.

Surprisingly, the entry of Monika in the register bears the signatures of Dheeraj Kumar who was in police custody at the hospital at that time.

The paramedical staff of the medical ward admit that the wife of Dheeraj Kumar stayed in private room No. 9. However, they could not explain the absence of any entry regarding the patient in their registers.

The case file of the patient is also untraceable.

Monika was admitted to the hospital on June 22 after depositing Rs 20 against file charges by her husband but was never discharged and the money against the use of private room by her was also not deposited

File entries show that both cases were handled by the same doctor.

The SMO of the hospital, Dr Sharanjeet Singh, ordered the record-keeper and the ward staff to present the file and other records of the patient, but after the staff failed to trace the file, he said he would look into the matter.


Poisoning case: residents stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Malerkota, July 2
Relatives of Mohammad Nasar, who died here yesterday, and residents of Malerkotla staged a dharna in front of the DSP’s office and the SDM’s residence here today. They were demanding immediate arrest of the persons responsible for the death. Representatives of various political parties and social organisations also participated in the dharna.

Mohammad Nasar (24) has died due to consumption of some poisonous substance. The Malerkotla police has booked three persons, Mohammad Bhola, Mohammad Dilshad and Mohammad Arshad, for allegedly compelling Mohammad Nasar to consume poision.

Mohammad Nasar had borrowed Rs 1,200 from Mohammad Bhola, who was demanding his money back. He and two other accused allegedly beat up Mohammad Nasar for money. Due to fear, Mohammad Nasar consumed poision.

A case was registered on the complaint of Jamila, wife of the deceased. The relatives of Mohammad Nasar, have alleged that the police has booked the accused on wrong charges.

They say these accused had given poison to Mohammad Nasar, and not simply compelled him to consume it. They said Mohammad Nasar had in his statement to the police before his death, had alleged that the accused had given him poison forcibly. But the police has not mentioned this in the FIR.

Mohammad Azad Sadiqui, social worker and Akali leader, said they would stage a dharna in front of the DC and the SSP’s offices if the police did not arrest the accused.


Suvidha camp to start in big way on July 6
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 2
The district administration has made all arrangements to hold the first lok suvidha camp at Navodaya Vidalya, Faror, in the district on July 6.

Ms Jaspreet Talwar, Deputy Commissioner, today held a meeting of district officials at Bachat Bhavan to review the arrangements made by the various departments for providing on-the-spot services to the public.

These camps are being organised on the directions of the government for elimination of middlemen, harassment, delays, corruption and to educate people about government procedures and policies.

The Deputy Commissioner directed all heads of the various departments and officers based at the sub-divisional level to be available at the camp from 9 am to 5 pm. She said in this camp applications regarding allotment of plots to houseless people, death and birth certificates, driving licences, opening of bank accounts, water , sewerage connections, grants under the Ashirwad Scheme, attestation of affidavits, registration of unemployed youths, SC and BC class certificates will be considered. Also sewing passports, arms licences and electricity connections would be sanctioned on the spot after completing all formalities in this camp itself.

She said besides providing services to the public on the spot during this camp there shall also be provision for redressal of grievances of the public. She said as applicant for most of the government services do require identification, recommendation from sarpanch, panch, numberdar, so it would be ensured that these persons remain present in this camp. Besides them a photographer, typist, form vendor and stamp vendor would also remain there. She appealed to the people to come in this camp to take the benefit of the services being provided by the government.


All for the sake of childhood friendship
Bipin Bhardwaj

Dera Bassi, July 2
Childhood bondage with a classmate led an Uttar Pradesh Minister, Ambika Chaudhary, to travel down to Fatehpur Jattan village, near here, to take back Mr Harish Chandra, who had reportedly left his native place after some dispute with his family a couple of months ago.

Sources in the village revealed that Mr Chandra had been working with Mr Karnail Singh, a village nambardar, as a domestic help for the last three months. The villagers were surprised when a cavalcade of vehicle reached the village this afternoon and asked for the nambardar.

The minister was a close friend of the family and they reported the matter to him. To get his friend back to his residence, the minister called upon the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) and enquired about the village. He then sought assistance from the local police in reaching the village and searching Chandra’s house.

The SDM asked the police to assist the minister in reaching the village and in locating the house where Mr Chandra was working. Mr Jarnail Singh, a Sub-Inspector, led the minister’s cavalcade to the village and found minister’s classmate at the house of Mr Karnail Singh.

After pacifying his classmate, the minister took him along this afternoon, revealed Mr Manmohan Kumar Sharma, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Dera Bassi.


VHP vitiating communal harmony, says Dalit leader
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, July 2
All-India Samta Sainik Dal president and Ambedeker Sena, Punjab, patron Lahori Ram Bali has urged the government to stop any type of political reservations at Assembly or Parliament level and said reservations should be given in jobs and education.

Addressing a news conference here this morning, Mr Bali alleged that most of the political Dalit parties, including the Bahujan Samaj Party, were playing in the hands of other political parties due to their selfish motives of getting power.He said a casteless society was the need of the hour.

Mr Bali criticised the provocative statements of several leaders of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and said the VHP and its sister concerns wanted to destablise the country on communal lines, but their designs would not be allowed to materialise at any cost.

He alleged that 16 different Hindu organisations were getting financial aids of Rs 5,000 crore from foreign powers and a high-level probe should be ordered into this deep-rooted conspiracy.

He condemned the statements of SGPC President Bibi Jagir Kaur that Guru Granth Sahib could not be installed in mandirs etc. He said the statement of Bibi Jagir Kaur was entirely anti-Constitutional.

He announced that their party was following the teachings and preachings of Dr Ambedeker and would stand for the protection of Dalit rights through out the country.

Mr Bali alleged that VHP leader Acharaya Dharmender was also working against Dalits. He alleged that 80 per cent Dalit bridegrooms were beaten up in Rajasthan but no political party raised voice against atrocites and victimisation of the Dalits.


Freedom struggle: claims of 2 movements not to be contested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
The Union Home Ministry has decided not to challenge the claims of both the Komagatu Maru and Kuka movements to be a part of the national freedom struggle.

Responding to a letter written by Mr Ashwani Kumar, MP, to the Prime Minister, the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Mr Manikrao Gavit, said the matter was reviewed at the level of Home Minister and the stand of the ministry was re-examined.

It was decided that the Home Ministry in its submissions before the Punjab and Haryana High Court should not challenge the fact that the Komagatu Maru and Kuka (Namdhari) movements were part of the national freedom struggle.

Mr Gavit said that additional affidavits had accordingly been filed before the high court clarifying the stand of the ministry. In the additional affidavit filed in the Komagatu Maru movement case, it had been submitted that after reconsidering the matter, the ministry had decided not to challenge the fact that this movement was part of the freedom struggle. And, in the additional affidavit filed in the litigation relating to the Kuka (Namdhari) movement, it had been submitted that the ministry was not challenging the fact that this movement was a part of the freedom movement.


Ambedkar Sena activists to embrace Buddhism
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, July 2
The Ambedkar Sena Punjab today declared that its 5000 activists would embrace Buddhism on October 14 next year.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Lahori Ram Bali, chairman, All-India Samta Sainik Dal, and Mr Harbhajan Suman, president, Ambedkar Sena, Punjab, called upon Punjabis, especially Dalits, to shed Hinduism and convert to Buddhism because “the philosophy of Hinduism neither satisfied the test of social utility nor did it satisfy the test of individual justice”.

They stated that October 14 was selected for this purpose to mark the historic conversion of 10 lakh Dalits to Buddhism under the leadership of Dr BR Ambedkar at Nagpur on October 14, 1956.


Rail factory workers end stir
Tribune News Service

Hussainpur (Kapurthala), July 2
The six-day-old deadlock between the management and employees of Rail Coach Factory (RCF) has been cleared today after the management assured the employees of implementing the new attendance system in phased manner after consultation with the staff council and considering their other demands sympathetically on merit.

Today, after a long meeting with staff council, the management decided to withdraw its earlier orders and agreed upon the demand of the employees to keep the attendance cards in the time shops after the employees marked the attendance.

The management also agreed upon to forward the case of salaries to the employees for the agitation period to the Railway Board.


Northern Railway cancels trains
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, July 2
The Northern Railway today cancelled Mumbai-bound 2926Dn Pashchim Express, 9024Dn Ferozepore-Mumbai Express and 2472Dn Jammu-Mumbai Express trains for one day only as their corresponding trains 2925Up Pashchim Express, 9023Up Mumbai-Ferozepore Express and 2471Up Mumbai-Jammu Express trains could not reach Amritsar, Ferozepore and Jammu, respectively, due to floods on the Delhi-Mumbai rail sections.

Railway sources told The Tribune here this evening that 2904Dn Golden Temple Express train would leave Amritsar at 11.30 pm instead of its scheduled time as 9.30 pm and this train would reach Mumbai via Nagda, Bhopal, Jalgaon and Surat due to floods on other sections.


MC removes encroachment
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 2
The local Municipal Corporation today demolished an encroachment by some private persons at Dasondha Singh Road here. District BJP president Bakshi Ram Arora had complained about the encroachment which had narrowed the main road while the Municipal Corporation had chosen to turn a blind eye.

In a letter to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, Mr Bakshi stated that the main road was merely 40 feet wide and was sanctioned for widening it to 60 feet.


Cassette released
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 2
Pangs of a young NRI about loosing both his mother and motherland for greener pastures and dollars are depicted in Barry Garcha’s “Dil Bulbul Warga” launched here today.

The music of the album has been composed by music director Sham Bhateja. The album was released by Prof. B.S. Narang. Songs of the album have been written by Sham Bhateja, Chann Jandialvi and Amrik Singh.


Inside Babudom
11 DIGs file caveat in Supreme Court
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
Eleven IPS officers belonging to the Punjab cadre are yet to get their due.

Even though Punjab Government's appeal against the orders directing refixation of their pay was dismissed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court two months ago, the authorities have neither implemented the orders, nor moved the apex court.

Leaving nothing to chance, the officers have, however, filed a caveat before the Supreme Court. The development is significant as the officers will now be heard before the pronouncement of any order by the apex court on further appeal that may be filed by the state government.

Meanwhile, an IAS officer — issued notice by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on an application seeking initiation of contempt of court proceedings for non-implementation of orders — has stated that he is no longer associated with the case following his posting to another department. Taking up his affidavit, along with the complete case, CAT on Friday adjourned the matter. It will now come up for hearing in two week's time.

The officers posted as Deputy Inspectors-General of Police (DIGs) had earlier contended that the orders, pronounced by CAT on January 7, were to be implemented within two months of receiving the order's copy. It was handed over to the state of Punjab and other respondents on January 27, but so far nothing has been done to implement the orders.

In its order, CAT had earlier imposed a cost of Rs 22,000 on the state and other respondents. It had also directed them to “fix the officers’ pay in the scale of Rs 12,000 and Rs 15,500 as on January 1, 1996, in the substantive post of Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSPs) held by them on that date....” The applicants included officers Paramjit Singh Gill, Tehal Singh Dhaliwal, Bhushan Kumar Garg, Roshal Lal Bhagat, Jagdish Kumar, Balbir Kumar Bawa, Parampal Singh, Rajinder Parshad Mittal, Nirmal Singh, Sham Lal and Kawaljit Singh. They had claimed that their juniors were drawing more salary than them. As such, they were “entitled to correct fixation of pay”.

The sources in the Punjab Government say that the matter was not handled properly from the beginning. Though the rules were “clear” and a clarification was issued by the Central Government in the officers' favour, the government opposed the pay-fixation case Then, the government, instead of implementing the orders issued by CAT in favour of the officers, filed an appeal which too was dismissed.


3 held in dowry case
Our Correspondent

Amloh, July 2
Following a complaint by Ms Renuka, the local police has arrested her husband Suresh Kumar, mother in- law Sushila Devi and brother in-law Amrish, all residents of Khanna, in a dowry case. Vandana, sister of Suresh Kumar and resident of Kanda Ghat in Himachal Pradesh, is still at large.

The police registered a case under Sections 466, 498-A and 506 of the IPC against the four persons on July 1 for demanding Rs 2 lakh as dowry from Renuka’s parents.

Ms Renuka has stated in her complaint that she was married with Mr Suresh Kumar on December 4,1998. At the time of marriage Rs 21,000, a gold ring and a gold kara, as per demand by her in-laws, was presented to her husband, besides a gold jewellery set to her mother in-law. They gave costly gifts to other family members of Suresh.

The complainant is an ayurvedic doctor by profession. She was in government service at the time of marriage.


Blind murder case solved
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 2
The district police claims to have solved the mystery of blind murder of a chowkidar, which was committed on June 25 in the godown of Nakesh Steel, Mandi Gobindgarh, by arresting the culprits. A case was registered at Mandi Gobindgarh police station.

Mr Varinder Kumar, SSP, in a press note issued here today said on the night of June 25 a gang of looters entered in the godown of the Nakesh Steel for committing a theft, but chowkidars on duty raised the alarm. He said the looter fired a shot at a chowkidar, Rajesh Kumar, who died on the spot, whereas the second chowkidar saved his life by hiding himself.

The SSP said the looters had hidden their weapons in the nearby area.

He said a team led by Mr Daljit Singh Rana, DSP, Amloh, and Inspector Harbans Singh, SHO, Mandi Gobindgarh, were deputed to solve the case. The police team nabbed them when they were trying to take back their weapons. He said the culprits had been identified as Sunny, alias Rahul, and Tonny residents of Dhaya Colony, Patiala. It also recovered the weapon which was used for the murder. During further interrogation more cases of theft and crime were likely to come out, he added.


2 killed as trucks collide

Sangrur, July 2
Two persons were killed on the spot while four others were seriously injured in a collision between three trucks and a car today near Dhanaula on the Sangrur-Barnala road.

According to the police, a truck which was coming to Sangrur from Barnala collided with two other trucks that were moving in the opposite direction.

A newly married couple who were on their way to Shimla sustained injuries when their car hit the trucks following the collision.

Sandeep, driver of one of the trucks and his assistant Ravi were killed on the spot.

The injured couple was identified as Yogesh Goel and his wife Deepika.Two others traveling in the trucks were also injured in the collision.

The injured were admitted to the civil hospital at Barnala. — UNI


2 die in road accident
Our Correspondent

Barnala, July 2
Two persons were killed and two sustained serious injuries in a road mishap on the Barnala-Dhanaula road, here today.

According to sources, two trucks on the Barnala-Sangrur road collided with each other. At the same time another truck hit a car on the same road.

Those who died on the spot were Ravi (28), son of Mr Nand Kishore and Sandeep (20), son of Mr Suresh Kumar, both from Panipat. Those who sustained injuries were referred to the CMC Hospital, Ludhiana.


1 dies after inhaling poisonous gas

Phagwara, July 2
A migrant farm worker died after inhaling poisonous gas at Nangal Majha village yesterday. Two farm workers had gone to repair the motor of a tubewell. Vimal, who hailed from Orissa, went down into a tubewell pit, where some poisonous gas suffocated him to death.

His body was brought to the Civil Hospital for the post-mortem examination. The second worker is safe. — OC


Woman dies as gun goes off accidentally
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, July 2
Manjit Kaur, wife of Mr Gurpreet Singh and daughter-in-law of a former Janta Party MLA Gurdial Singh, died at her residence at Sunam last night. She was hit by a bullet. Her son too received a bullet injury and he was admitted to a hospital in Patiala.

The Sunam police said the rifle suddenly went off when Gurpreet Singh was cleaning it. The bullet first hit his wife who died on the spot and later hit his son.


Watchman succumbs to injuries
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, July 2
Mr Veer Singh (45), resident of Sabhra village, who was a watchman at a local rice-sheller on the Goindwal road succumbed to the injuries at a hospital today.

Police sources said here that Veer Singh was seriously injured by two persons who forcibly entered the sheller last evening. the local city police have registered a case under Section 302, IPC.


Gang of car thieves busted
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 2
The police has arrested two members of a car thieves’ gang, who allegedly used to kill drivers after snatching vehicles.

Jewellery and other goods have also been recovered from them. The accused have been identified as Inderjit Gandhi, a resident of Kapurthala district, and Rakesh Kumar of a village near Goraya.

They were arrested while sitting in a dhaba at Saraikhas.

During interrogation, the accused have confessed that apart from indulging in swindling people, they had been snatching vehicles and even killing drivers of those vehicles.

Mr Ishwar Singh, SSP, said in a press note that Sarbjit Sabi was the kingpin of the gang and was yet to be arrested.


Thieves decamp with gold, cash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 2
Thieves struck at three homes at Nehiawala village last night and decamped with gold and cash worth lakhs. They managed to escape before the villagers could lay hand on them.

The unidentified thieves targetted the home of Mehnga Singh from where they took away about 100 gm gold and Rs 2,000 cash. They stole Rs 25,000 cash and goods worth Rs 5,000 from Inderjit Singh’s home. They then struck at Gurjant Singh’s home and took away 130 gm gold and some cash.

The police has registered a case.


Students allege unavailability of admission forms
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, July 2
Candidates aspiring for admission in D. Pharmacy conducted by the Department of Technical Education and Industrial Training, Punjab are a harassed lot. The centre authorised to provide forms has been unable to provide the students the requisite forms and prospectus even though the last date for submitting the application forms is July 5.

The department had designated Mehar Chand Polytechnic College, Jalandhar, for distributing admission forms for candidates in this region. But on reaching the centre the candidates were told to collect the forms from the Government Polytechnic College for Women, Ladowali Road, Jalandhar. However, they had to return empty handed as they were told by the authorities there that the forms were not available with them either.

“I am going there for the past three days regularly after traveling 50 km, just to be told that the forms were not available,” rued Karan from Sultanpur Lodhi here today.

“The authorities should have at least published in the paper about the change as well as non-availability of forms to save the candidates the hassles,” said Suman Lata from Kapurthala.

Mr S.K. Sehdev, Principal of the polytechnic, said: “Though the name of their college was published in newspapers as a centre for forms, they were never sent the forms. Now we are been instructed by the directorate to accept admission forms only.

According to sources, the polytechnic received only 50 forms on Wednesday and these were sold on the same day.


87 students clear talent search exam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
As many as 87 students from Punjab have cleared the National Talent Search Examination conducted by the (NCERT). This was stated here yesterday by Mrs Inderjit Kaur Chawla, Director of the State Institute of Science Education which functions under the control of the State Council of Education, Research and Training (SCERT), Punjab. She said all these students were given pre-examination coaching by the institute.

She said to prepare the students for the final interview, which would be conducted by the NCERT to give scholarship, two-day coaching classes would be held at the institute.

On July 4, the students who had passed the examination from Amritsar, Bathinda, Faridkot, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Patiala, Ludhiana, Ferozepore and Sangrur districts would be given tips for the interview. On July 5, students from Jalandhar, Ropar and Nawanshahr would be given guidance.


BDS students seek grace marks
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 2
The final year BDS students of two local dental colleges, whose result was declared on June 28, have written to the Vice-Chancellor, Baba Farid University, Faridkot, to grant grace marks in prosthodontics paper.

Students of Government Dental College and Guru Ram Dass Dental College while talking to The Tribune said students of all colleges affiliated with the varsity, had got compartment in the same subject. They said out of the 200 students 95 have got compartment. The figure included even brilliant students.

The students said they couldn’t even got for re-evaluation as it means the recounting of the marks only.

Dr C.S. Bal, Principal, Guru Ram Dass Dental College, confirmed there had been more compartments this year in comparison to previous years.

He said the trend had been witnessed in all colleges affiliated with the university. He said this was due to strict marking.


Workshop on blood donation
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 2
In keeping with the motto “no one should die due in want of blood” Blood Transfusion Council (blood bank) conducted a workshop on “ Retention and recruitment of voluntary blood donors” at Medical College here today to promote the voluntary blood donation among citizens and recruit potential blood donors.

Around 80 participants representing the various organisations participated in the workshop to chalk out a plan to encourage people for this cause. Dr. Harpal Singh, Senior Lecturer, Blood Bank, taught the nuances organising blood donation camps. Dr Rajinder Singh Athwal, Senior Medical Officer, Blood Bank, emphasised the need to ensure safe blood for the patients.

Dr Kusum Thakur, Senior Resident, Blood Bank, referring to the statistical report about the blood banks disclosed that voluntary blood donation in Patiala was highest in the state and the number of donors was increasing with every passing day..

The function was presided over by the Dr Surinder Singh, Acting Principal Of Medical College, Patiala. Ms Poonamdeep Kaur, SDM, was also present on this occasion.

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