P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Hindu bodies condemn attack on temple
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, July 6
Demanding the resignation of the UPA government, fundamentalist Hindu organisations and temple managements today took to the streets to register their protest against terrorist attack at Ayodhya, yesterday.

Agitated activists of the VHP, the BJP, the Bajrang Dal, the Durga Vahini, the Matri Shakti, the Bharaitya Janta Yuva Morcha, the Brahman Sabha , the Shiv Sena, the Arya Samaj, the Namdhari Samaj, the Sanatan Dharam Mandir management burnt effigy of the Islamic Jihad and the Pakistani flag at the main hall bazaar in this city.

Considering the strategic location of the city, the state BJP president Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, led the protest here starting from Shivala Bhaiyan VHP headquarters to Hall Bazaar and condemned repeal of POTA by the UPA government.

BJP MP Navjot Sidhu called upon all parties to rise above petty politics to jointly condemn the dastardly attempt while noting that the attack should not deter the ongoing peace process between the two countries in the greater interest of the nation.

PHAGWARA: Braving torrential rain, enraged activists of the Bajrang Dal, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the BJP today burnt the Pakistan national flag and the effigy of Lashkar-e-Toiba in the local SDM court complex in protest against the terrorists attack on the makeshift Ram mandir site at Ayodhya yesterday.

Led by Mr Chhavi Bhaskar, divisional convener of the Bajrang Dal,the slogan-shouting protesters submitted a memorandum to SDM Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal for onward submission to the President.

Meanwhile,National Commission for Minorities Chairman Tarlochan Singh also flayed the Ayodhya attack as coward and inhuman act.

PATHANKOT: Setting aside their differences at the organisation level, workers of the BJP, the VHP and the Shiv Sena today burned the effigy of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf to protest against the attack at Ayodhya.

BATALA: The local unit of the BJP along with other like-minded Hindu organisations of Batala sat on dharna at Gandhi Chowk here today against the failure of the UPA government to protect the Ram Janmabhoomi site at Ayodhya.


Dhindsa takes up turban issue with European Parliament
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, MP, and general secretary, Shiromani Akali Dal, has taken up the turban issue with members of the European Parliament urging them to protect Sikh traditions without discrimination.

Mr Dhindsa, who is currently in Austria as a member of a delegation of Indian parliamentarians, submitted a memorandum to the President and members of the European Parliament yesterday.

“The policies of the European Union dealing with discrimination are much admired as a model for many countries around the world,” said Mr Dhindsa, appreciating the laws framed to foster equality of opportunity and the finances made available for programmes to eradicate racism and all forms of discrimination.

“In fact, the European Human Rights Convention is inspiring. However, there are communities which remain victims of unintended discrimination simply because they do not neatly fit in categories accounted in the anti-discrimination drive,” he said in his memorandum.

He argued that the Sikhs were one such community which had tried hard to enjoy equality and status in Europe that many people took for granted. But time and again, the Sikhs had found themselves victims of discrimination that was not generated by any specific prejudice against them but was the result of conceptual and legal paradoxes. The Sikhs were a challenge and also, to some extent, a test of Europe’s commitment to diversity, he said.

“The Shiromani Akali Dal, the lone representative party of Sikhs, takes this opportunity to place the issue of the Sikh turban in France as one of the interesting yet distressing conflicts that caused much hardship to Sikh families with young school-going children”, Mr Dhindsa said.

He held that the turban was an integral part of the Sikh tradition as it signified diversity, choice and the freedom of conscience. The Sikh turban had been a statement against oppressive and imposed uniformity.

“The principles behind the practice of the Sikhs are the same that have come to be identified with European enlightenment. Respectfully reminding you of Europe’s commitment to diversity, plurality and non-discrimination, we appeal to your reason and ask you to appreciate that principles can be expressed in various forms, through different concepts and commitments.

“Europe along with the rest of the world had appreciated the unique situation of the Sikhs when the issues of unintended discrimination were highlighted at the World Conference against Racism in Durban in 2001. It was acknowledged by the world that the Sikhs as a people constitute a complex interplay of factors. As a result, measures to remove discrimination against communities such as the Sikhs was promoted under Para 67 of the World Conference document. We hope that you will look behind the labels and find empathy with the rationale that forms the practices of Sikhs,” he added.

Mr Dhindsa also took up with the members of the European Parliament the issue of agricultural subsidies. He said that it was necessary that there was an even playing field for all and as such Indian farmers should not be put in a disadvantageous position.


Free power to poor, marginal farmers from Aug 15
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
The Punjab Government will give free power to poor and marginal farmers from August 15, the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, said while addressing a press conference after opening the re-vamped Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) here today

The free-power scheme would put an additional burden of Rs 300 crore on the state. The Punjab Mandi Board would foot the bill for the state’s electricity board to cover the expenses on the scheme. Already, the PSEB got a subsidy of about Rs 1,000 crore for supplying power at discounted rates to farmers. Modalities like who would qualify as a marginal or poor farmer were being worked out, said the Chief Minister.

When asked why the scheme of free power was being reintroduced, the Chief Minister said: “People like me or Parkash Singh Badal (the obvious reference was to farmers with big land holdings) do not need free power but there are others who need it.”

Reacting to the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s view that free power supply was a hindrance to reforms in the power sector, the Chief Minister said the Congress had promised free power to farmers in its manifesto during the state Assembly elections. ‘’Dr Manmohan Singh was the chairman of the manifesto committee at that time (during the 2002 state Assembly elections), and he had reservations on the issue, but we all discussed the matter with Mrs Sonia Gandhi to get the clause of free power included in the manifesto,’’ Capt Amarinder Singh said in response to a question.

The facility of free power to farmers had been withdrawn during the previous SAD-BJP regime in the state.

While welcoming the opening of the land route through the Wagah border with Pakistan, the Chief Minister said Pakistan had given an assurance that the next time it invited tenders for procuring wheat stocks, India would be included.

Reacting to Mr Badal’s resolve to launch a ‘’people’s movement’’ against his government, Capt Amarinder Singh said Mr Badal had no real issue to bring us. The Akalis were “a desperate lot’’ resorting to personal attacks on him.

The Chief Minister went on to add: “Unemployment, the agrarian and economic crisis, and efforts to revive industry in the state are the real issues which the government is addressing, while the Opposition has no issue to raise for the benefit of the people.” During the tenure of the Akalis growth had stopped. Only “sangat darshan” was organised, said the Chief Minister.

The Chief Minister went around the CMO and expressed satisfaction over the quality and design of the work.

Capt Amarinder Singh said he would fight it out legally with the President of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, who has levelled allegations against the Chief Minister regarding protection to terrorists.

Answering questions from the media, Capt Amarinder Singh said: “ I have asked the Advocate-General for his comments before I take legal action.” In a democracy, Mr Badal was welcome to criticise anything but not make such irresponsible statements, he added.


21 villages declared flood-prone
Our Correspondent

Pathankot July 6
Due to a heavy rain in the area, the local administration has sounded the (red alert) and declared 21 villages in Pathankot subdivision as flood prone.

All the departments concerned have been directed to keep a close vigil on the rising water level of the rivers in the area. Though there is no cause for panic, yet all the measures adopted by the administration were necessary, said Mr Yash Pal Sharma, Tehsildar-cum-Flood Control Officer.

According to officials, the villages which have been declared as flood sensitive are Ghumrhi, Kiri Khurd, Mairan Kalan, Katani, Kathlour, Repar, Chandigar, Chhorian, Pamma,Nashial, Kajlo, Shahpur, Makhanpur, Khudaipur, Jaidpur,Tash, Samrala, Khozki Chak, Simbal and Sakol.

According to reports received here, the water level in the Beas near Mirthal here has touched the maximum level and several villagers living in the low-lying areas have been evacuated.

According to Ranjit Sagar Dam officials, the water level in the reservoir has already crossed 511 meters which is the highest in this monsoon season.

Meanwhile, the administration has set up four rescue centres in Narot and Bamial blocks in this subdivisions. Four emergency boats with life-saving jackets have been provided to ferry the residents of the possible flood-effected areas. These centres have been set up at Jaswan, Tada, Bahadurpur and Bamials.


Rain inundates several areas
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Phagwara, July 6
Early morning showers rained trouble for residents of Phagwara here on Wednesday. Many areas of the town and surrounding villages were inundated as torrential rain lashed the region.

The Gaushala Road were in three-foot deep water. According to residents and shopkeepers of the area, water-logging in few belts led to traffic chaos. They said water entered their shops due to lack of proper drainage. Household goods and belongings of the shopkeepers have also been washed away. No loss of life has been reported.

With certain low-lying areas across the subdivision and some pockets of the city getting flooded with water, the rain have rung the alarm bells for the local administration, which has yet to come up with a proper drainage system. Among those areas where water entered the houses and shops included Subhash Nagar, Hargobind Nagar, Banga Road, Chahal Nagar, Court Complex and the local bus stand. Most schools reported thin attendance due to non-stop rains.

“This was just the first monsoon shower, what will happen during the height of rains,” asked Madan Mohan Khattar.

Mr Ram Narayan, a resident of Labour Colony in Industrial Area, said, “We are not able to go in for any makeshift arrangement to save ourselves from rain. We shivered all night, trying to protect our children and old people. We could not move out as the area has become muddy.”

“We have put the officials concerned on alert and a control room is likely to be set up,” said an official of the administration.


Woman, daughter die in roof collapse
Tribune News Service

Batala, July 6
Official apathy led the death of two persons in a roof collapse in Dhadhiala village yesterday. Bajni and her daughter Harman died when the roof of their mud house collapsed due to rain. Her sons Raman, Swaran and Roman were injured seriously. Neighbours who tried to rescue the family were also injured when a wall of the house collapsed on them. All injured have been admitted to a hospital here with multiple fractures.

Deputy Commissioner Gurdaspur Vivek Pratap Singh has arranged free treatment of the injured. A case has also been moved for providing an ex-gratia grant to next to kin of those killed from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. However, had local officials acted on the plea of the family earlier the tragedy could have been averted.

Sources told The Tribune that the family had applied for grant under the Indira Niwas Yojna for constructing one pucca room house in place of their ram-shackle house six months ago. The application was made to the sarpanch of the village who sent it to the department concerned for action.

The application kept doing rounds in government offices and the poor family was denied the grant offered under the Union Government’s scheme to provide minimum possible cemented houses to people living below the poverty line. The grant if given on time could have saved the life of two persons and saved another five from getting crippled in the accident.

The said case was not the only one where inordinate delay was being caused for releasing grants to needy people for building one-room cemented house. There are many people especially Dalits in the rural areas of the district who are still living in unsafe houses. Most of these people are either unaware of government schemes for their benefit or do not have influence to get the grants in time.


Villages face flood threat due to swollen Sutlej
Tribune News Service

Ropar, July 6
Swollen Sutlej today disrupted life in villages along Sutlej in Anandpur Sahib, Nurpurbedi and around Ropar city of the district. Water level of Sutlej has increased significantly due to the release of water from Bhakra dam and flow from seasonal rivulets triggered by rain in the region and parts of Himachal for the past two days.

The villagers living in 20 villages along Sutlej include Kuriwal, Rashidpur, Perojpur, Kuran, Dala, Bela, Jindewal, Suratpur situated, 20 Km from Ropar city faced tough time to go to other places when use of boat to ferry villagers to other end of Sutlej was stopped due to high flow in river. The villagers have been using a single boat due to lack of bridge across Sutlej.

Villagers of Shahpur Bela, village in Nurpurbedi also face tough condition due to lack of connectivity. The villagers did not have any boat to reach other places here. “If the rise in Sutlej continues then the villages would be cut off from the rest of areas in a few days. The villagers today represented their case before the district administration to arrange boat for them, said villager Ram Singh.

Other villages where the villagers have been facing problems due to floods include Chandpur Bela, Buraj, Kariwal, Govindpur Bela, Hariwal and Gajpur Bela Hariwala, Jindwala, Lodhipur, Nakiwal in Nupurbedi and Anandpur Sahib town, 40 Km from here.

Meanwhile the Punjab government has released Rs 28 lakh to deal with flood like situation in the district. Deputy Commissioner, H.I.S Garewal, today released amount to the various departments include Health and SDMs at a meeting here.

But the amount is too small to solve the problems of people facing flood in villages situated along Sutlej. Rain in the past one week has expressed the lack of policy of the administration to meet the situation. There are many villages where due to lack of bridges people still make use of boats. There was no repair of seasonal rivulets where the breach had occurred earlier.


Rain brings misery
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 6
Residents of Jalandhar had a tough time as most of the localities and main roads got submerged in up to 3-foot-deep water following a heavy downpour this morning, for failure of the storm water system.

Several vehicles got stranded as knee-deep rainwater accumulated on almost all roads, lanes and localities, did not drain out for hours together for alleged failure of the local Municipal corporation and people were seen pushing their stranded vehicles out of water and using rickshaws for commuting from one place to another.

The worst-affected areas were Model Town locality, where the house of the mayor and the Commissioner were situated, area adjoining to the bus stand, Civil Lines, Milap Chowk, Railway Road, Ladowali Road, Nakodar Chowk, Mai Hira Gate, Adda Hoshiarpur, Hans Raj Stadium, Shahid Bhagat Singh Colony, Guru Nanakpura and Patel Chowk. The roads around the District Administrative Complex, which housed the offices of senior officers such as the DC and the SSP, also looked like small drains as these were full of rainwater.

While in Shahid Bhagat Singh Colony, water entered houses from the Kala Sanghian drain, rainwater accumulated in most of other parts of the city allegedly due to failure of the drainage system and absence of preventive measures which should have been taken by the MC well in time. Residents of Shahid Bhagat Singh Colony protested against the lack of water disposal arrangements.


Alert sounded as water crosses danger mark
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 6
The District Administration today sounded a high alert in Patiala district following the rising level of flood waters in the Ghaggar and other seasonal rivulets.

Official sources reveal that the water in the Tangri was flowing above the danger mark at 14 feet. Similarly, at Makrana in Devigarh tehsil, the flood water was fast approaching the danger mark of 12 feet.

Flood waters in the Ghaggar, whose danger mark is 23 feet, is flowing four to five feet below the danger mark at various villages, including Sarkapra, Marru and Shankergiri.

Meanwhile, the Patiala ADC, Mr Shiv Dular Singh Dhillon, said that bundhs were being erected at various places where breaches had occurred last year.


Gujarat flood may jack up fruit prices
Our Correspondent

Barnala, July 6
The prices of lemon and banana may shoot up following the damage of the produce in Gujarat flood.

Lemon prices can surge upto two to three times whereas those of banana to tune of Rs 200 to 300 per quintal. The crops of the fruits have been inundated in water and subsequently damaged in the wake of recent heavy rains and flash floods ravaging 70 per cent of the geographical area of Gujarat.

Sources revealed that Mehsaana, Bhavnagar and Ahmedabad districts of Gujarat contribute 60 to 65 per cent to the production of lemon in the country. Similarly, Baroda, Anand, Asodhar Chokri and Chhagaria regions in the state are responsible for 70 per cent production of bananas in India.

Mr Pardeep Kumar Singla, president, New Sabzi Mandi Association here, said lemon which was now sold in retail at Rs 6 per kg might go up two to three times within a week’s time and banana which was now sold at Rs 600-700 per quintal might go up to Rs 1,000 per quintal.


3 drowned in Ghaggar
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 6
Two youths were killed while playing in a pool of water in Loh Simbly village near Ghanaur in Rajpura subdivision, while a minor died when a car was swept away by raging flood waters.

The SDM in his report said Amrik Singh had died while trying to save his friend, Banta Singh (15), from drowning.

The DC announced an ex gratia of Rs 1 lakh to next of kin of the victims.

In another incident at Sanjarpur village near Ghanaur sub-division a minor, Rinku, died when the car in which he was travelling was swept away.

The car was being driven by Sewa Singh, an employee of the Punjab State Electricity Board. He was accompanied by his son, Kamaljit Singh, and his son’s friend, Rinku.

The father-son duo managed to come out of the car, while 15-year-old Rinku was drowned.


Close circuit cameras in Golden Temple complex
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 6
The SGPC executive today decided to install close-circuit cameras in the Golden Temple complex and also at the sarais attached to it.

The decision comes at a time when a significant shrine of the majority community in Ayodhya was attacked and the rise in the number of such incidents in South Asia.

While condemning the attack on the Ayodhya temple, SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur stated that government should ensure the security of all important shrines and public places.

The cameras have been proposed to be installed in view of security inside the gurdwara and to keep watch on persons taking lodging facilities at its various sarais.

It may be mentioned that cases of pick pocketing, stealing of garments etc have been reported from the complex. Apart from this a number of children accompanying their families report missing in the complex, which is being visited by an average one lakh persons daily. During the kar seva in March last year and on various other occasions a number of children went missing.

Cases of suicides have also been reported from the sarovar of the gurdwara. All these activities could be kept track of by the hi-tech installation, noted the executive.

Earlier, the executive committee was informed that the offer for guidance and training to granthis, raagis and sevadars of gurdwaras in Pakistan under the Evaquee Trust Property Board (ETPB) by the SGPC had been accepted by the Pakistan board.


SGPC chief creates problems for Badal
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, July 6
Mr Parkash Singh Badal, president of the Shiromani Akali Dal, has always remained on the lookout for issues which could better his position among Sikhs. Initially he had to face the grim fight on the charges of corruption. The hangover of these charges still haunts the Akali.

However, during the last one month the focus has shifted to Sikh issues.

Bibi Jagir Kaur, SGPC president, has created enough difficulties for Mr Badal. First she raked up the issue of the dossier presented to UNESCO regarding the world heritage status for Harmandar Sahib. It is learnt that Mr Badal did not want any controversy over this issue and advised her to keep the issue under wraps. But she brought it in the news by rejecting the same. There was division among scholars. Till today the intelligentsia thinks that the issue has not only been mishandled but has presented the supreme Sikh body in the international arena in bad light.

For the events which took place at the Akal Takht on June 6. Bibi Jagir Kaur alleged that government was not controlling extremist groups who installed the signboard of martyrs gallery at Akal Takht. She invited the government’s intervention in the complex to maintain law and order. The Sikhs as a whole condemned the move. Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, a prominent Sikh leader and a member of the SGPC and former secretary-general of the SGPC took exception to the acts of Bibi Jagir Kaur and wrote an open letter to her condemning her for inviting government interference in the religious affairs of the Sikhs.

The blatant misuse of authority in the SGPC is becoming unbearable for the Sikhs while more than 300 persons were employed by Mr Alwinderpal Singh Pakhoke, acting president, who had to be retrenched. Similarly Bibi Jagir Kaur has also resorted to the same tactics and has appointed hundreds of persons as class IV employees and clerks. Some of the principals of colleges and schools managed by the SGPC complain that they daily receive orders for accommodating person against such posts, particularly when no posts are created.

In the Shiromani Akali Dal, things have come to such a pass that the secretary-general, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, has resigned from his responsibilities as In charge of the Delhi state Akali Dal. His point was that the Delhi chief never consulted him and always acted at the behest of Mr Badal. In such a situation, he could not take the responsibility for the ensuing election to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC). This seems to be the beginning of dissidence in the party. In the political affairs committee of Akali Dal too, members asked questions regarding relationship of the Akali Dal with the BJP, VHP and RSS. The pressure was so marked that Mr Badal had to assure that he would come out with a statement with regard to the assertions of the VHP challenging the identity of the Sikhs and installing of the portraits of Guru Gobind Singh and Guru Granth Sahib in the temples.


ATM “fleeces” bank customer of Rs 10,000
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, July 6
Alleged “fleecing” by an automated teller machine (ATM) has come to light here as an account holder of the local State Bank of Patiala (SBP) has complained to the SBP authorities about the “wrong” debiting of Rs 10,000 by the ATM on June 21 last from his savings account, but to no avail so far.

In his complaint to the Chief Manager of the local SBP main branch, the complainant, Rameshwar Dass, stated that he had operated his account on June 21 twice at the ATM, located at the SBP Extension Counter in the DC office complex here, for withdrawing Rs 10,000, but on both occasions, at 12.50 pm and 12.51 pm, the ATM responded as “Sorry unable to process”, so the cash was not withdrawn.

The very next day, he again operated the ATM, which showed Rs 10,000 less in his account’s balance. Then he gave an application in this regard to the SBP extension counter authorities. They sent it to the Incharge, ATM, SBP, Main Branch here. He alleged that despite meeting the authorities concerned, his problem was not solved.

Mr Rohit Goyal, a son of Mr Rameshwar Dass, who met The Tribune, said his family felt at this stage that they had been “looted” by the ATM.

Mr Rohit Goyal, who is also a Deputy Manager in a bank here, said such type of incidents would certainly create insecurity among the users of the ATMs if timely steps were not taken by the bank authorities at the top-level to rectify such mistakes.

On the other hand, the SBP authorities here maintained that it had happened due to a technical fault.

An officer of the bank told The Tribune that the SBP authorities had sent a fax message and a reminder to the Manager, ATM Switch Centre, Mumbai, in this case.


Bajaj seeks defamation case against Kanjhla
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
While the case of Mr Gangandeep Singh, son of Mr Gobind Singh Kanjhla, MLA and former minister, for appointment as a kanungo on compassionate grounds has been rejected by the Revenue Minister, Mr Amarjit Singh Samra, the Financial Commissioner( Revenue), Mrs Rupan Deol Bajaj, today wrote to the Chief Secretary to file a defamation case against Mr Kanjhla on behalf of the state government.

Mrs Bajaj said that Mr Kanjhla had defamed her and the Deputy Commissioner( DC) of Sangrur, Mr Hussan Lal, by levelling allegations in connection with the appointment of Mr Gagandeep Singh.

Addressing a press conference in her office, she said yesterday that allegations were levelled against her immediately after she put some queries on the case file, she added.

“Obviously, the allegations were made to overawe and intimidate me.” She said that following a detailed inquiry made by her and the DC, several flaws and irregularities were detected in the claim relating to the appointment. Mr Gagandeep Singh had sought the job on compassionate grounds following the death of his mother, Mrs Mukhtiar Kaur, Headmistress, Government High School, Kanjhla. She died in harness on September 8, 2004.

A ruling party Minister and the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had also recommended to the authorities concerned to appoint Mr Gagandeep Singh as kanungo.

Mrs Bajaj said that first of all the certificate of dependent issued by the Additional Deputy Commissioner on behalf of the DC, Sangrur, was wrong. It was issued without showing it to the DC. Already, the DC had declared that the certificate was invalid and had recommended action against the officials concerned. Most of the documents attached in the case file were either unattested or photocopies, she alleged.

Moreover, the statement made by Mr Kanjhla in an affidavit that he had no income and was dependent on his wife was false. Mr Kanjhla was a sitting MLA of the Punjab Assembly and got about Rs 25,000 per month as salary plus perks and allowances. Besides, Mr Kanjhla was entitled to a monthly pension of Rs 5,000 plus DA because he was an MLA earlier also.

Mrs Bajaj said that Mr Gagandeep Singh got about, Rs 8.5 lakh as gratuity and insurance claim following the death of his mother. When he was questioned in this connection, he said that his mother was to return a loan of Rs 16 lakh which she had taken from private individuals and a bank. However, when inquiries were made, it was found that Mrs Mukhtiar Kaur had not taken the permission of the government to take such loans from private individuals and even from a bank. Documents prepared in connection with the raising of loans from private individuals were also doubtful, she alleged.

She said that earlier the redeployment cell and the Chief Secretary had rejected the case of Mr Gagandeep Singh for appointment as kanungo. He was told to approach the Education Department, because that was the parent department of his mother. Moreover, the Education Department had offered the job of clerk to him and had asked for an income report and property returns of the family. But Mr Gagandeep Singh did not respond, though he was given three reminders in this connection by the department.

Asked whether the documents and affidavit, which were alleged to be based on wrong statements, would be referred to the police for investigation, Mrs Bajaj said that she would refer the matter to the state government which was the appropriate authority to take a decision on such matters.


Probe ordered into benami land deals
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 6
Taking notice of some land mafia groups striking benami deals, Deputy Commissioner Rahul Bhandari has asked the revenue officials to probe into the matter.

In a meeting of district revenue officials, the DC said if a registry had been done at a less than collector rate then it should be sent to the collector court after being impounded under Section 47A. He asked officials to list out the details to be examined in registeries in which apart from the details of buyer and seller, area and rate should also be mentioned.

The DC said he had also ordered a separate probe into reports of ex-municipal councillors and nambardars giving wrong testimonies on government papers. The Bathinda SDM has been asked to investigate the matter.

Mr Bhandari also said now onwards only a person having property in his own name could effect power of attorney. He also banned testimonies on payment and a written order to this effect would be issued soon.

Mr Bhandari stated that people undertaking any land transaction could now approach councillors of their respective wards for testimonies. Similarly, the village nambardars would give their testimonies on the registries concerning their respective villages.


Miraculous escape for passengers

Phillaur, July 6
Hundreds of train passengers on the New Delhi- bound 2014DN Amritsar-New Delhi Shatabadi Express had a miraculous escape when the driver of the train observed a broken joint of the track between Phagwara and Goraya on the Phagwara-Ludhiana rail section near Mauli and applied brakes at about 6.30 am.

Railway sources said Ambala- bound 334DN Amritsar-Ambala Express, Delhi- bound 2318DN Shri Akal Takhat Express, 2460DN Amritsar-New Delhi Superfast Express and 5210 DN Jansewa Express could pass on the track with caution speed. The joint was repaired at around 3 pm and normal traffic was restored. — OC


Contractors use govt JCB for 45 days; official suspended
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, July 6
In a blatant case of corruption, an official of the Panchayats and Rural Development Department posted at Pathankot has been accused of giving a government JCB for mining free of cost to private contractors.

The machine was given to private persons allegedly for about 45 days for mining operations in the Chaki river. The move caused an estimated loss of about Rs 2 lakh to the department.

The matter came to the fore when some members of the local Panchayat Samiti reported the matter to the district authorities. The ADC (development), Gurdaspur, Mr M.P. Singh, had appointed a BDO rank officer to inquire into the matter. The inquiry officer came to know from the records that the machine was given on rent to one Parveen Singh of Nangal village on 9th May, 2005, at the rate of Rs 500 per hour.

However, no receipt was found the amount received. When the inquiry officer sent an official to fetch the machine, he found that it was being used by some unknown persons in Khebe village. The person using the machine told they had taken it on rent from Parveen Singh. The machine remained in illegal possession till June 22 when it was recovered by the officials.

It was also found that the Punjab Government logos painted on the machine had been removed by the unauthorised users with paint. The machine was used for mining operations for stone crushers at the Chaki river both in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh areas.

On the basis of the inquiry, the ADC has recommended suspension of Chaman Lal, senior assistant of the department, who was holding the charge of Block Development Officer (BDO), Pathankot. He also ordered to recover the rental value of the machine for 45 days that amounts to about Rs 2 lakh from the accused officers.


Irregularities alleged in buying fogging machines
Our Correspondent

Batala, July 6
Dr Jagdev Mitter Kalia, Municipal Councillor Qadian, 20 km from Batala, has made a complaint to the Deputy Commissioner, Gurdaspur, alleging serious irregularities in the purchase of Swinging Fogging Machine for the Municipal Council.

In a press note issued to mediapersons here yesterday Dr Kalia blamed Mr Manjinder Singh, then Executive Officer, of the Qadian Council for committing the irregularities.

Dr Kalia alleged that tenders had been obtained by Mr Manjinder Singh for German-made fogging machine with specially designed hand trolley. Three firms had submitted tenders which showed discrepancies that there was no clear mention of the specifications, including model of machine/hand trolley and rate of sales tax, etc. The tender of S.D. Enterprises even lacked rubber stamps of the authorised signatory. The prices quoted by all three firms were much more than the price mentioned in price list of Wakay Enterprises, sole agent of the machine. Surprisingly all the three tenders seemed to have been written by one person as could be made out by the hand writing, it said.

It said even after such discrepancies, the tenders had been considered and machine ordered to Choudhary and Sons, Amritsar, a bogus firm, using fictitious PST/CST Registration Certificate number 20313642 dated 15-09-1990. The machine was not as per specification quoted in the tender.

When this correspondent contacted Mr Manjinder Singh today, he said the inquiry was already conducted by the Public Grievances Officer, Gurdaspur.


MC gets loan for laying sewerage
Our Correspondent

Kharar, July 6
A loan of Rs 9 crore for the local municipal council for laying sewerage in the town has been sanctioned by the Bank of Maharashtra.

The letter approving the loan was handed over to the council chief, Mr Charanjit Singh, by the AGM, Mr M.C Goel, at a special meeting here today.

The loan has been sanctioned at an interest rate of 8.25 per cent and has to be paid back in 10 years.

Mr Charanjit Singh told The Tribune that the length of the main sewer lines to be laid under the project was 14 km and the length of the connecting sewers was 35 km.

He said every house in the town would be provided the sewer facility, drawings for which had already been prepared by official concerned.

He said the process of calling tenders would be completed soon and work on the new project would be started in about a month’s time.

He said the total cost of project was Rs 11 crore. The civic body would have to pool in Rs 2 crore as margin money. In order to arrange Rs 2 crore, the council had decided to sell a piece of land owned by it.

The piece of land was lying unutilised in Sunny Enclave and the council hoped to sell it for about Rs 2 crore.

Mr Charanjit Singh said the Managing Director of the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Mr Hargobind Arora, and the Chief Engineer, Mr Pardeep Choudhary, also attended the meeting.

Mr Arora told the council chief that the Kharar Council was the first civic body in the state that was able to get a loan of Rs 9 crore from a bank for development work.

The House cleared the proposal to sink a shallow tubewell in Ward No 3 against an estimate prepared for work for Ward No 10 as the sewerage board had already sunk a deep tubewell in Ward No 10.

It was also decided that the council should make provisions for pumping out rainwater from near GGS College and Nav Enclave to avoid mishap.


Suvidha camp a draw
Surinder Bhardwaj

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 6
The first Lok Suvidha Camp organised by the district administration at Navodaya Vidyalaya generated a lot of interest and enthusiasm among the people of the area here today.

Thousands thronged the camp in spite of rain. They said it was a dream come true. They had never expected that their long pending problems would be sorted out at their door steps.

The overwhelming response of the people brought smiles on the faces of Ms Jaspreet Talwar, Deputy Commissioner, and other officers.

The Deputy Commissioner said the camp was a great success and such camps would be organised at all subdivisions.

The next camp would be organised at the Bassi Pathana subdivision.

A heavy rush was witnessed at the counter of the Social Security Department where senior citizens queued up for pension. Ms Amrit Bala, District Social Security Officer, said forms of more than 250 pension seekers were completed. Their cases would be decided in a week.

The District Transport Department made more than 200 learners driving licences.

The Revenue Department undertook more than 75 mutations. The District Health Department conducted the medical check-up of more than 500 people and issued certificates to the disabled.

The Animal Husbandry Department treated more than 400 animals, the BDPO issued more than 100 yellow cards.

The District Red Cross donated sewing machines and tricycles. The Food and Civil Supply Department made ration cards.

The Police Department had also set up a counter. Five complaints mostly against fake travel agents were received. The police issued police clearance certificates.

All departments participated in this camp and all heads of the departments and officers remained in the camp from 9 am to 5 pm.


63 JCOs get certificates
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 6
As many as 63 Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) and other ranks from various units in the Western Command were awarded certificates during the fifth convocation of the institute here today. They have less than two years left to retire and completed their training for post-retirement rehabilitation by the Vajra Vocational Training Institute.

The certificates to the successful candidates were awarded by Dr S.K. Salwan, Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Technical University (PTU), and Gen Mandhata Singh, the General-Officer Commanding, Vajra Corps.

The institute was affiliated to the PTU and the convocation ceremony was attended by top officials of the PTU and Army officers of the station.

Gen Mandhata Singh said the vocational training was aimed at providing a second career to the troops in their post-retirement phase of life.


Farmers’ panel secretary

Chandigarh, July 6
The Punjab Government has asked Mr Kahan Singh Pannu to look after the work of the Secretary, Farmers Commission.

Mr Pannu, who has been recently appointed to the IAS, is currently undergoing training at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Public Administration here. — TNS


high court
Petition filed to get Indian youth released
from Pak jails
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 6
A petition has been filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking directions to the Government of India to take steps to get Indian youth in Pakistan jails released. Majority of these youth have long completed their prison terms but have been languishing in jail due to lackadaisical attitude of the governments of India and Pakistan.

The petitioner has stated that despite recent bonhomie between the two countries, the politicians have not taken any steps to get these youth released. Most of these youth languishing in Pakistan prisons are from Punjab.

He has also submitted a list of 15 such prisoners, who are currently in Lahore jail. Referring to reports in the media, the petitioner has stated that many of these prisoners have gone mad due to prolonged prison terms. The petition is likely to come up for hearing tomorrow.

Civic conditions

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked the District and Sessions Judge, Gurdaspur, to depute a judicial officer to inspect the area around Meat Market, Pathankot, and give report about the civic conditions prevailing there.

During resumed hearing in the matter concerning alleged unsanitary and poor civic conditions prevailing in the area due to illegal slaughtering in the residential areas, the Bench headed by Chief Justice Mr Justice D.K. Jain also posed questions to the Executive Officer (EO) of Municipal Council, Pathankot.

The EO informed the Bench that the unhygienic conditions, including the stench, were the result of fault in the tubewell that supplies water to the area. However, since the tubewell has been repaired, the unhygienic conditions are no longer prevalent, the Bench was informed.

The Veterinary Officer of the Municipal Council was also present in the court.

Not satisfied with the stand of the Municipal Council, the Bench directed the Sessions Judge to depute a judicial officer to inspect the area and submit a report.

The Bench had taken suo motu congnisance of a news report published in The Tribune on May 10 under the headline “Illegal slaughtering in residential areas cause resentment” and had sought status report from the EO.


Death sentence in murder case upheld
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 6
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has dismissed the appeal filed by Kulwinder Singh against the death sentence awarded to him by the Sessions Judge, Hoshiarpur.

Kulwinder had been found guilty of having brutally murdered his maternal grandmother and cousin (sister). He committed the crime after his attempt to rape his 17-year-old cousin, Ms Hardip Kaur, was foiled. When Hardip resisted the rape attempt, he attacked her. Later, when the older woman confronted him, he attacked her also.

As per the case registered by the police, on August 4, 2002, Sarabjit Singh witnessed Kulwinder attacking his grandmother, Ms Joginder Kaur. On seeing Sarabjit, Kulwinder ran away from the spot. Later, Sarabjit also discovered his sister, seriously injured as she had also been attacked by the accused. Both the women succumbed to their injuries later.

Sarabjit also found a silver locket with the name of Kulwinder inscribed on it in the fist of his sister.

During trial, the accused claimed to be of unsound mind. However, doctors found his claim to be false. The Sessions Judge found him guilty of the offence and sentenced him to death by hanging.

When the accused’s appeal came up before a Division Bench of the High Court, it was remanded back to the Sessions Judge with the order that he be granted the opportunity to present the mitigating circumstances before death sentence is awarded. However, the Sessions Court again ordered the same sentence.

Dismissing the appeal and upholding the punishment ordered by the Sessions Judge, the Bench of Mr Justice Mehtab Singh Gill and Mr Justice Surya Kant held that the case was not a simple case of murder of two unarmed and hapless women or attempt to rape one of them, but it was a case where a pious and sacred relationship had been ravished and trust betrayed. Writing for the Bench, Mr Justice Surya Kant said the accused, by his act, had impaired the social values and had belligerently defied social order.

“Any leniency shown to him is likely to send wrong signals to society, apart from adverse psycho fear among the women. The accused is not only guilty of the murder of two women but also guilty of committing crime against society,” the Bench observed.

It also agreed with the view of the Sessions Judge that the case fell in the category of rarest of rare cases and the accused deserved to be hung till death. The Bench, while dismissing the appeal, allowed the murder reference.


Administrative reshuffle in Punjab
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
In an administrative reshuffle ordered today, the Punjab Government gave additional charge of Forests to the Principal Secretary, Information and Public Relations. Mr D.S. Jaspal.

Mr G.S. Sandhu has been named the new Principal Secretary, Irrigation, while the Planning and Special Economic Package Secretary, Mr A.R. Talwar, has been given additional charge of Transport.

Mr N.S. Kalsi has been given additional charge of Commissioner, NRIs.

The Director of Information and Public Relations, Mr B.S. Sudan, has been entrusted with additional charge of Managing Director of the Punjab Tourism Development Corporation.

Mr Megh Raj will now be the Special Secretary, Finance, and OSD, Litigation.

Mr Kamal Kishore Yadav has been named the new SDM of Talwandi Sabo. Khadoor Sahib will also have a new SDM in Mr Rajat Agarwal.

Mr Satwant Singh Johal now becomes the Director, Small Savings and Hospitality.

Mr Ashok Kumar Singla has been posted as the Additional Secretary, Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs. Mr C.S. Talwar will be the new Commissioner of the Jalandhar Municipal Corporation.Mr Baljit Singh will be the new ADC of Gurdaspur while Mr Gurmel Singh gets additional charge of Executive Director, Backfinco.

Mr H.S. Pabla will be the new ADC of Sangrur. Mr Jagmohan Singh Dhillon has been posted as the Additional Managing Director, Punjab Warehousing Corporation.

Mr Paramjit Singh has been shifted as ADC (Development), Amritsar. Mr N.S. Walia becomes the new Deputy Director, Urban Local Bodies, Ferozepore.

Mr Ashok Kumar Sikka goes as Assistant Commissioner (Grievances), Patiala. Mr Sanjay Popli has been named the Deputy Secretary, Irrigation. Ms Gurpreet Kaur Sapra becomes the Joint Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Jalandhar.

Mr Rajeev Prashar will be the Assistant Commissioner (Grievances), Muktsar. Ms Babita has been posted as the Land Acquisition Officer, PWD (B&R), Jalandhar.

Mr Avtar Chand Sharma will be the Administrative Officer, DPI, Schools. Mr Gurmit Singh will be the Deputy Secretary, Housing and Urban Development, while Ms Preneet Shergill becomes the Estate Officer, PUDA, Patiala.

Mr Ajay Sood has been posted as DTO, Muktsar while Mr Rahul Chaba and Mr Anil Kumar Garg have been made Assistant Commissioner (Grievances) of Hoshiarpur and Muktsar, respectively.


Punjab Police transfers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
A total of 22 Punjab Police Service officers were transferred following an order of the Department of Home Affairs, here tonight. Mr Gurdial Singh, Assistant Commandant VII battalion, PAP, Jalandhar and Mr Raj Pal Singh, Assistant Commandant, Vth CDO, Battalion ( holding additional charge of SP Traffic, Ludhiana) will swap places. Mr Kewal Kumar, SP Headquarters, Batala and Mr Baljit Singh SP Headquarters, Majitha will swap places.

Mr Pritam Singh, SP Headquarters, Khanna, has been moved as SP Chief Minister’s Security vice Mr Gurpreet Singh who has been moved as SP, Vigilance Bureau, Patiala. Mr Balkar Singh, SP, Vigilance, Patiala will be the new Commandant of the Vth CDO Battalion vice Mr Narinder Bhargava who has been moved as SP, CM Security against a vacant post.

Mr Rajinder Singh Dharbhanga, SP in charge of Crime against SC and Weaker Sections has been moved as SP Headquarters, Gurdaspur vice Mr Dharam Singh who goes as SP, Headquarters, Sangrur. Mr Harjit Singh Pannu, Assistant Commandant, III CDO, has been shifted as SP Headquarters, Faridkot vice Mr Mohnish Chawla who will be the Assistant Commandant, Ist IRB.

Mr Jaspal Singh Dhanoa, who is the present Assistant Commandant, Ist IRB, has been moved as SP Headquarters, Ropar.

He replaces Mr Narjinder Singh, who has been shifted as SP Headquarters Fatehgarh Sahib.

Mr Harbhajan Singh, SP Headquarters, Fatehgarh Sahib will be the new SP, Headquarters, Kapurthala, replacing Mr Shammi Kumar, who has been moved as Assistant Commandant, 75th Battalion, PAP, Jalandhar.

Mr Darshan Singh Mann, SP, Headquarters, Sangrur, will be the new SP Headquarters, Khanna. Mr Dilbagh Singh, SP Vigilance, Chandigarh has been moved as SP, ISTC, Kapurthala, at Jallandhar.

He replaces Mr Kamal Kumar, who has been shifted as Deputy Director Administration, PPA, Phillaur.

Mr Amarjit Singh, SP Vigilance has been shifted to the 82 nd Battalion, PAP, Chandigarh.

In addition to his duties he will also work as SP Operation at Patiala. Mr Pawan Kumar Uppal, AIG, PAP, Jalandhar and Mr Amar Singh Chahal, SP RTC, PAP , Jalandhar will swap places.


Man kills granthi, nabbed
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, July 6
A granthi, Davinder Singh (31), was allegedly murdered with a sharp-edged weapon by a youth Balwinder Singh (22) while he was reciting path at Gurdwara Baba Sangh in Sangh Dhesian village here today.

According to a report, few devotees present at the gurdwara nabbed the killer who belonged to nearby Dhandey village. The accused was later handed over to the police.

The victim was taken to the Civil Hospital, BarraPind near Goraya, where he was declared brought dead. The body has been sent to the Civil Hospital here for the post-morterm examination.

The deceased belonged to Gulgarpur village near Pattrra in Patiala district.

The Goraya police has registered a case.


Man held for killing wife
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 6
The police today claimed to have solved a murder case with the arrest of the husband of the deceased.

Addressing a press conference here, SSP Kapil Dev said the victim, Hardeep Kaur, was found dead in her home at Kamalu village on Sunday. On the basis of the statement of the victim’s uncle, Mr Mohna Singh of Kotli Khurd, a case was registered under Sections 302 and 376 of the IPC against unidentified killers.

He said Hardeep’s in-laws had alleged that some unidentified persons had killed her after raping her. However, police investigation suspected her husband Gurdial Singh and during interrogation he confessed to have committed crime, the SSP added. He said Gurdial was suspicious about his wife’s character and after having an altercation with her, over a phone call, he strangulated her to death. Hardeep got married to Gurdial just three months back, he added.


4 killed as car rams into truck
Tribune News Service

Moga, July 6
Four persons were killed and one was injured when the car they were travelling collided with a truck parked on roadside near Kamalke village last night.

The deceased were identified as Sunil Kumar and Parampal Singh, both residents of Moga and Luvpreet Singh and Jeevan Singh of Kotkapura. Another car occupant, Sanjeev Kumar, got injured and was admitted to the Civil Hospital.

Sources said the incident occurred when they were on their way from Chintpurni to Moga in a Maruti Zen car. The car driver failed to notice the stationary truck and banged into it.

Jeevan Singh was rushed to Ludhiana where he succumbed to his injuries.

The police has registered a case against the trucker in this connection.


2 tantriks held for duping man
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 6
The police has arrested two tantriks allegedly for duping people of their money on the pretext of getting their work done. One of them hails from Muzaffarpur in UP, while the other is from Meerut.

Police sources said the arrest came following a complaint of Tejinder Singh, who had approached them for paving his way for migration to the USA. They asked him to pay Rs 5,100 for getting the problem resolved. Tejinder made a payment of Rs 1,000 as advance, but they kept delaying the matter.

The police raided their office last evening and arrested both persons. They had opened offices at Calcuttawali Gali on the Amrik Singh Road and the Ajit Road.

The sources said the tantriks, who were identified as Firoz, alias Rehmani, and Yameen, alias Talib Mia, had got some posters published for their campaign and were also placing advertisements in newspapers.

The accused even had women with marital discord and other problems as their clients and were in touch with them on phone, the sources added.

Three mobile phones have been seized from their possession. A porn clip has also reportedly found in one of the mobile phones.

The tantriks also had their offices at Sector 17, Chandigarh, and in Ganganagar.


Travel agents booked for fraud
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, July 6
The police today booked two brothers and travel agents Gurmel Singh and Sarwan Singh of Raipur village for allegedly duping Jagjit Singh of Fatuwal village of Rs 4.80 lakh under the garb of sending him to France but instead sending him to Tanzania.

The Kapurthala SSP said in a pressnote that on a complaint of Sadhu Singh, father of the victim, the, Sultanpur Lodhi police had booked the accused under Sections 420 and 406 IPC, Section 24 of the Immigration Act.

Jagjit Singh rang up his father from Tanzania following which Sadhu Singh contacted the agents.They demanded more money and we arranged Rs 28,500 and gave it to them.

However, Jagjit Singh was sent back to India instead of France.He was again taken to Delhi and kept there for over a fortnight. Later, he was sent back to his village.The agents promised to return the amount within two months. But they did not do so.


489 pirated CDs seized, 2 arrested

Phagwara, July 6
A police party raided two CD parlours and seized 489 pirated CDs, and DVDs, including 13 blue films, and arrested the owners Satnam Singh of Piparangi and Balvir of Shivpuri mohallas.

Thirteen blue films, 18 duplicate DVDs and 418 pirated CDs were seized from Ralh Video Lab owned by Satnam Singh.

Forty duplicate CDs were seized from Balvir General Store. — OC


Depressed PMET candidates to meet Governor
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 6
Even as the latest PMET results will give vital clues to investigating agencies about the candidates who had bought the paper earlier, it has also led to depression among the candidates whose ranks have gone down considerably.

According to sources, a number of candidates in Bathinda and Mansa had returned disappointed after seeing their answer-sheets at GND University, Amritsar. These candidates are now planning to meet the Punjab Governor under the banner of the Medical Entrance Test Problem Redressal Forum.

The rank of Suhel Singh of Bathinda has gone down from 317 to 504, which has led to his mental stress. His father, Dr Ajitpal Singh, said he was shocked by the result and was undergoing psychological treatment. Another candidate’s rank has declined from 86 to 400 and his parents say he hasn’t had proper meal since the result came out. Dr Singla, a psychiatrist, admitted that many parents had approached him with their children, who appeared in PMET.

Meanwhile, a spokesman of the Medical Entrance Test Problem Redressal Forum, Dr Ajitpal, said those who had returned after seeing their children’s paper rued that wrong answers were fed in the keys used for paper checking.

The forum demanded that key used in evaluation of paper should be published in newspapers. They alleged that there were numerous flaws in the key and varsity officials had unsuccessfully attempted to cover them up.

They claimed that on their return some candidates had even released a list of nine questions whose answers were wrong in the varsity’s key and the varsity also “accepted the same”.

They also warned that they would take up the matter in the Punjab and Haryana High Court if the varsity didn’t agree to re-evaluation after making necessary corrections in the key.


LLB seats outnumber candidates
Rajbir Sekhon

Bathinda, July 6
The exercise of holding the entrance test of LLB by Guru Nanak Dev University seems to have become futile as only 2300 candidates appeared against the approximately 2700 seats of the course in different universities.

Though the university authorities, who conducted the combined entrance test of for Panjab University and Punjabi University, came to know that only about 2,550 candidates had submitted their applications for the entrance test against the total about 2,700 seats, they still preferred to hold the test mislead of filling the seats directly.

Mr Chander Mohan Ruby, joint secretary, of the Punjab Law Forum, said the entrance test should be scrapped and the fee of the candidates should be refunded. He said when the seats were more than the number of candidates, the test made no sense.

He alleged that it was a business cycle when the university conducted entrance test even when the seats were lying vacant year after year. This led to the mushrooming of coaching centres and book publishers.

Mr R.S. Bawa, Registrar, GND University, when contacted said the university had been admitting students to all streams through entrance test.

Admitting that the entrance test had resulted in extra financial burden on the candidates, he said it had been done so that the deserving candidates could get admission in the institute of their choice.

He said the financial burden had been reduced as three universities had conducted a common entrance test for LLB.

Asked about the vacant seats in some institutes, he said admissions might be allowed by the government to those institutions after counselling.

Asked why the admissions could not be made on the basis of merit and through interviews, he said: “Interviews are a farce and totally subjective.”


Students admitted to fill management quota

Jalandhar, July 6
Even as the state-level entrance test for admission to MBA and MCA courses in colleges of Punjab is scheduled to be conducted on July 24, many colleges affiliated to Punjab Technical University have started admitting students into various courses.

College authorities have been holding admissions as they felt that meritorious students, who graduated in different streams, would get themselves admitted to numerous other courses introduced by various universities this year. They started filling one-third seats reserved for the management quota in their respective colleges on the pretext that the seats might remain vacant.

The college authorities said they had been waiting for an admission notice by Punjabi University since May. But it could not advertise due to the delay on the part of the state government in giving them a notification for conducting the entrance test. The authorities said a large number of students had been contacting them since the past few weeks and they felt that students’ anxiety could be put to rest if they were assured a seat in the college.

While Punjabi University gave its admission notice in various dailies on Saturday, most of the management colleges have been advertising about admission to MBA and MCA courses for more than one month. Even as it was normally being held by mid-June, the date regarding the same had not been fixed.

A few top colleges of the state which received good response have been setting their own criteria for selecting candidates on the basis of national-level Management Aptitude Test (MAT).

But many institutes have been admitting students, whatever is their merit. “Earlier most of the colleges used to wait for the test to be conducted before they admitted students. Some top colleges of the state that had been declaring their management seats open during counselling have also started following this procedure by setting their own criteria. So we too have to follow the suit,” said a faculty member from a local college. — TNS


Mansa girl tops B.Ed entrance exam
Tribune News Service

Mansa, July 6
A city girl, Neeraj, doubled the joy of this educationally backward district by topping the B.Ed entrance examination held by Panjab University. Earlier, Nishant Gupta of the city topped the PMET that was held recently.

Daughter of a city-based chemist, Neeraj scored 185.75 marks out of 250 to top the state. Interestingly, she had not taken any tuition for the preparation of the entrance test. Earlier, she had topped in ETT course at a Budhlada centre and was looking for a job.

She now intends to be a lecturer of English after completing B.Ed, though she hasn’t made up her mind regarding the choice of college as of now.

Neeraj said she was proud of her achievement and would do everything in future to dispel fear of English from the minds of children in Mansa.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Raj Kamal Chaudhuri, said Neeraj would be felicitated for her achievement on August 15.


Parents ask govt to withhold medical admissions
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 6
The Association of Parents of those students who all seeking admissions for the medical courses have urged the Punjab Government to withhold the admission process to various medical colleges across the state till their grievances were redressed.

In a press note, the parents said during the re-evaluation of examination papers a lot of discrepancies were found.

The parents alleged that were a number of wrong questions and keys which had forced them to ask the government to stall the admission process.

However, the parents praised the GNDU Vice-Chancellor for having conducted the PMET exam in a transparent manner.


Last dates for MA Hindi, Sanskrit extended

Amritsar, July 6
Guru Nanak Dev University extended the last day for submission of application forms for admission to M.A. (Hindi) till July 25, and M.A. (Sanskrit) till July 31. No tuition fee from M.A. (Sanskrit) would be charged from the admitted students, university authorities said here today.

The students could submit their application forms for admission to M.A. (Hindi) till July 25 and for M.A. (Sanskrit) semester system and M.Phil (Sanskrit) till July 31 without any late fee. — OC


GND varsity results today

Amritsar, July 6
The results of M.Com (part-I), bachelor of fine arts (part-I) and postgraduate diploma in textile designing examinations would be declared tomorrow. The results could be accessed on university website, www.gnduonline.org, after 5 pm. — OC

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