P U N J A B    S T O R I E S




I am Sonia’s soldier, says Dullo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
“I am Mrs Sonia Gandhi’s soldier”, said Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, newly appointed President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. “ I will implement the policies and programmes of Mrs Sonia Gandhi and the late Mr Beant Singh, who as Chief Minister laid down his life for the unity and integrity of the country”, he added.

When asked about his relations with the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, Mr Dullo said he would extend all support to the Chief Minister in implementing the party’s programme and policies framed by Mrs Gandhi . He said as Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, was a nominee of the party. His emphasis repeatedly was on Mrs Gandhi.

He said he would focus on gearing up the party for the next Assembly elections and would involve the youth in a big way.

Meanwhile, Capt Amarinder Singh, has hailed the decision of Mrs Sonia Gandhi regarding the appointment of Mr Dullo. He said he and his Cabinet colleagues would extend full support and cooperation to Mr Dullo in the process of strengthening the prospects of the party in the state. Describing Mr Dullo as an upright and sincere party leader, Capt Amarinder Singh, said his appointment would boost the morale of the rank and file in the state in the coming days.

Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, senior leader of the Congress, appreciating the decision regarding Mr Dullo said Mrs Gandhi had given a big honour to the Dalits in the State by doing so.

He said he was the first leader to support the candidature of Mr Dullo for the Presidentship of the PPCC. “ I had requested Mrs Gandhi to make someone from Dalits as President of the PPCC”, he added.

Mr Rampal Daipy, General Secretary of the PPCC, said a seasoned politician had been appointed as President. Mr Avtar Singh Joga, another Congress leader, said the appointment of Mr Dullo was a the most appropriate decision.


Bhattal, others hail Dullo’s appointment

Chandigarh, July 13
The Deputy Chief Minister, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Mr Avtar Henry, Mr Lal Singh, Chowdhary Jagjit Singh, Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Mr Mohinder Singh Kaypee, Mr Harnam Dass Johar, Mrs Gurkanwal Kaur, Mr Ashwani Sekhri and the Punjab Pollution Control Board’s Chairman, Mr Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa, have hailed the appointment of Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo as President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. — TNS


Munjal back with promotion
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
On February 10, advocate Chander Mohan Munjal, who was then facing contempt of court proceedings in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, put in his papers from the post of Additional Advocate General, Punjab.

A day before, on February 9, a Division Bench of the High Court comprising the then Chief Justice, Mr Justice B.K. Roy, and Mr Justice Rajive Bhalla had held that it had found Mr Munjal prima facie responsible for scandalising the administration of justice.

But yesterday, the Congress government in Punjab, in a highly controversial move brought back Mr Munjal to the office of Advocate General, Punjab. Not only this, Mr Munjal has also been promoted as Senior Additional AG, a rank which makes him the second seniormost law officer of the Punjab Government. Mr Munjal is learnt to have joined office today.

The Bench of Mr Justice Roy and Mr Justice Bhalla had held that it was prima facie of the view that Mr Munjal “has scandalised the administration of justice of the court of Mr Justice M.M. Kumar in view of the fact that he did not pass any oral directions altogether or had not made the alleged oral direction, as referred to in the note of Munjal”. Mr Munjal, who was also Chairman of the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, had submitted resignation from that post too.

Contempt proceedings were initiated against him after it came out that Mr Munjal had misrepresented facts concerning a court case in which one of his relatives was allegedly a party.

He had written to the Abohar police informing it that Mr Justice M.M. Kumar had “orally stayed” the arrest of one Anil Midha, accused in a criminal case, though no such thing had happened. In fact, the court had not even heard the petition for interim pre-arrest bail to Midha.

On March 9, the Bench of the then Acting Chief Justice, Mr Justice H.S. Bedi, and Mr Justice Viney Mittal had let off Mr Munjal after accepting his apology. However, the Bench directed Mr Munjal to contribute Rs 50,000 to the advocate’s benevolent fund of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association.

Commenting on the government decision to bring back Mr Munjal, a former law officer noted, “This is a highly regressive step. What message is the government sending? After all, doesn’t it claim to be transparent?”


Boat capsize: 10 more bodies found
Anirudh Gupta

Ferozepore, July 13
After more than 48 hours, when the tragedy struck the border villages of Kamalwala-Mutianwala situated along the Indo-Pak border, the rescue operations are still on and 10 more bodies have been fished out of the Sutlej.

At least 25 persons had boarded a boat on Monday evening to return to their homes after a hard day’s work in their fields, but only 13 managed to reach the shore and the rest got drowned. The boat, which was overloaded, capsized due to strong water currents.

Though, the district administration, with the help of the Army and the BSF authorities, swung into action and started the rescue operations on Monday night itself, heavy rains and strong water current hampered the operation.

Divers from the Punjab Police, Home Guards and the Irrigation Department and four motor boats were pressed into service. Ten bodies had been fished out and that of Veero and Kartar Singh were still missing.

Officials are apprehensive that the water currents might have swept the two bodies to the Pakistani side.

Senior BSF officials said they had sounded their counterparts, Pakistani Rangers, about the incident and asked them to hand over the bodies if traced out in their territory.

Mr B.C. Thakur, DC, said the water flow from Harike headworks had been reduced and gates of the Hussainiwala barrage had been brought down so that the bodies could be recovered.

Meanwhile, under directions from the Chief Minister the district administration has started an inquiry under the SDM, Mr Bhupinder Singh.


Boat-making industry not organised, say craftsmen
Varinder Walia and  Gurbaxpuri
Tribune News Service

Harike (Amritsar), July 13
This small township, where two rivers, the Sutlej and the Beas converge, has been the hub of boat making for the past 40 years. It the most popular means of transport in the region, which is low-cost and convenient, especially near the Pakistan border.

The family of Baldev Singh has been making boats for the three generations. However, they have never come across any guideline or specifications by the government, though thousands of people depend on this particular mode transportation. The local administration might wake up from its deep slumber after the boat tragedy at Muthianwala village in which at least 12 persons had lost their lives.

Talking to TNS here today, Mr Baldev Singh said his father had introduced boat making at Harike about four decades ago. He said though the family did not get any formal training in wood treatment or its preservation but they had a practical knowledge of how to season wood and apply material for resisting the penetration of water and protect the wood from decay.

Boat making is still not an organised industry in Punjab, he claimed.

Mr Avtar Singh said the small boats, used by one man for fishing purpose ranges between Rs 2500 and Rs 3000 only, while the big ones cost more than Rs 2 lakhs which ferries passengers as well as tractor–trailers, cattle and other vehicles. He said though boat making was a perennial business, yet they get more orders during the rainy season. However, the profit has declined as most of the migrant fishermen had stopped visiting Harike after it was declared a bird sanctuary. With the result many workshops which had mushroomed in the past had been closed down.

He claimed that most of the boat makers were without professional training and boats were not made in any standard types and shapes. The decline in the boat making industry had taken place largely because of the high cost of construction materials, especially wood, and also because of the fear that the boats made may not be sold in the market. In most cases, boats are now made on piecemeal order basis.

The boat makers Mr Baldev Singh and Mr Daljit Singh claimed that the boat at Muthianwala was capsized due to overloading and fast current of water, coupled with incessant rain and there was no fault in the boat. Mr Ranbir Singh, chairman, Zila Parishad, said long ago the boats used to be steered by trained boatmen. However, there is no longer any trained boatman in the area.


Hi-tech system to monitor rivers
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
The wayward behaviour of major rivers of this region, causing sudden floods and devastation, will now be known in advance. A hi-tech system will be put in place for monitoring changes in the flow of rivers to forewarn people living along the banks or in flood-prone areas.

Using satellite-based images and data, sent in real-time to ground monitoring stations at key locations in Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, the authorities will be able to keep track of any change in the river.

The system is called the decision support system. International consultants will be roped in to draw up parameters of water flow, gradient of water and also advance flood-warning systems besides indicators of less availability of water, says sources.

The Union Ministry of Water Resources in collaboration with the World Bank has cleared this Rs 24 crore project that will help monitor the rivers — the Sutlej, the Ravi and the Beas. Also, the numerous snow-fed and rain-fed tributaries of these rivers will be tracked. The irrigation authorities in the region have been informed about this project, says a senior official closely involved with it.

It will take about two years for the plan to be in place. Similar satellite based river-tracking projects are running elsewhere in the country.

At present, data on river waters is collected manually at stations located along the river banks. It is then conveyed telephonically to the monitoring stations which then collate it and further convey it to the districts under threat. This takes a long time and usually leaves the civil administration with little or no time for crisis management.

The hi-tech system backed by satellites will provide the same data in less than two seconds at any of the monitoring stations. New monitoring stations linked with the latest equipment will be set up in areas along the banks, says an official.

Tracking the rivers can help in the case of widespread rain or cloudburst. The fast melting of snow, as had happened in June this year when temperatures in the upper Himalayas touched 34 degrees Celsius, can also be known.

At present, some images of the rivers, especially those needed to assess the quantum of snowfall, are procured through the Hyderabad-based National Remote Sensing Agency. But these images are obtained against heavy payment and are specific to a few catchment areas of the rivers. These images do not help in the case of floods.

These rivers feed the vast plains of Punjab and Haryana, Himachal Pardesh and parts of Jammu and Kashmir besides Rajasthan. Any excess water can cause panic. In the reverse, when the rivers get less water, it can affect the cropping patterns in the plains.

At least two major highways run close to the rivers and are under constant threat. The highway between Mandi and Manali and the one between Shimla and Kinnuar run close to the rivers. In the past 10 years major portions of these roads have been washed away. The latest was a the end of June, trapping hundreds of cars in the valley of Kinnaur.


Education board staff make a fast buck
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 13
Even as it was the last day for students of Class X and plus two to submit their forms for re-appearing in supplementary examination to be conducted by the Punjab School Education Board, it was time for the employees of the local depot to make money to the tune of thousands of rupees in connivance with owners of various book shops of the district.

While the harried candidates stood in long queues outside the local depot along with their siblings or parents for hours to submit their forms, employees of the depot were busy inside receiving huge piles of forms from owners of bookshops coming from all parts of the city, including satellite towns like Noormahal, Shahkot, Mahitpur and Nakodar. The shopkeepers, who have been charging Rs 50 to Rs 100 per form from students for depositing these with the local depot, have been paying Rs 20 per form to the employees here, just to ensure that they did their work on priority basis and without making them stand in long queues.

The modus operandi has been too perfect as most shopkeepers or their men were seen directly entering the depot office carrying bundles of forms in the morning. They did not stay back to get receipts of forms at that time. Instead, they were seen coming back in the evening after 5 pm to collect their copies of receipts of forms.

This correspondent saw the shopkeepers depositing the forms of the candidates in bundles of 15 to 50 and collecting the receipts for the same from a compartment just on the back of the office of the manager. From a window of the same room, a few employees could be seen receiving such bundles, putting stamps on the forms and tearing out the receipts from the forms.

Without hesitation, the shopkeepers coming to the depot with the purpose revealed that they had been charging Rs 50 to Rs 100 per form from the students who wanted their forms to be deposited through them. “They come to us to buy these forms and tell us to deposit these for an extra sum. So we offer them our help and they accept it wholeheartedly,” said a shopkeeper who refused to settle for a bargain as he added, “I have to pay Rs 20 here for getting the job done, I too must get almost as much for an extra effort that I have to make”.

Most candidates who came to deposit their forms were also aware of the practice. They even correctly named a few peons, security men and employees who they said could be of immense help for quick acceptance of the forms on payment of money.

Sources in the depot revealed that no serial number was being affixed on the forms received on the last day as was evident from the receipts of the students. This, they said, was being done just to accommodate the huge bundles.

The manager of the depot, Mr S.S. Bhullar, confirmed that no serial numbers were maintained in the final days but he said this was not possible because of immense rush. The manager denied any connivance of his employees with the bookshop owners as he said that he was there for the whole day but he did not observe this happening.


Education society not affiliated with it, says CBSE
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Nangal, July 13
In a setback to National Fertilizers Limited (NFL), Nangal, the CBSE Regional Officer, has made it clear that the Rose Marry Education Society, to whom the NFL has leased out its Captain Amol Kalia (CAK) Fertilizer Model Senior Secondary School for 10 years, is not affiliated with the CBSE. More than 1000 students are studying in the school situated in Naya Nangal.

The fact came to light in the four-page reply filed by the counsels of the CBSE on behalf of the Regional Officer (CBSE), Chandigarh, in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on July 8. The CBSE counsels clarified that the Rose Marry Education Society (RMES), to whom CAK School in Naya Nangal had been entrusted, was not affiliated with the Board nor the society had applied for affiliation till date.

The high court had issued a show-cause notice to the CBSE to explain as to why the affiliation enjoyed by CAK Fertilizer Model Senior Secondary School be withdrawn acting on the petition filed by the parents of the children studying in the school, including Hem Raj and others against NFL and others.

Giving details, the counsels said that Capt Amol Kalia Fertilizer Model Senior Secondary School, Naya Nangal, was affiliated with the CBSE earlier. It is apparent that the school has been leased out on the terms and conditions in violation of Bye-law 14-A.

As per the 14(a) transfer sale of school, the board would not allow any property transfer or sale of school by one society or management or trust to another through agreement or sale deed. In case such transaction is affected explicitly or implicitly, the board shall withdraw its affiliation with immediate effect, the counsels added.

It was further stated that the CBSE reserves the right with due permission of the high court to file a detailed written statement in case the same is required.

The NFL had handed over the CAK project school to Rose Marry Education Society on a monthly rent for a period of 10 years on January 20, 2005. Thereafter, parents of students had filed the writ petition for quashing the agreement letter issued by the NFL for handing over the CAK project school to Rose Marry Education Society.

The parents stated that by virtue of the acceptance of the bid of the management of the school, the CBSE would withdraw its affiliation at once and in that case more than 1000 students would suffer and their career would be at stake.

When contacted, the chairman of the Rose Marry Education Society, Mr Vijay Kalra, said that he had applied for the affiliation with the CBSE earlier. Thereafter, we had been asked for the no-objection certificate (NOC) from the DEO (Secondary). Now, we have applied for the NOC from the DEO (Secondary) and are likely to get the same soon. A CBSE official also informed about it, he added.


Mann received money from hardliners abroad: DGP
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
Punjab DGP Sarvdeep Singh Virk today said that Akali Dal (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann had collected huge amounts of money from hardliners abroad recently, but there were no details on how the money was spent. He said some politicians could also fall in the police net for helping Babbar Khalsa International chief Jagtar Singh Hawara.

Claiming that the money given to Mr Mann was in all probability spent on abetting terrorism in the state, the DGP told a press conference that the police was in the process of cracking the case.

‘‘We have definite proof and witnesses have deposed that Mann had received contributions from hardliners abroad. But the money simply seems to have disappeared. It was not found in bank accounts of Mr Mann or that of his party. A search operation at his house and other places sometime ago did not yield any results,” he added.

Taking a jibe at Mr Mann, the DGP said Mr Mann had been demanding transparency in the working of the Punjab Police, but had himself shied away from being transparent about the funding of his party.

The DGP was here to assess the law and order situation in the Ludhiana range. He also chaired a meeting of gazetted officers.


Mann trains guns on Badal
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 13
The Akali Dal (Amritsar) President Simranjit Singh Mann has launched a major offensive against Shiromani Akali Dal President Parkash Singh Badal.

In a letter to Mr Badal, Mr Mann alleged that the SGPC President Bibi Jagir Kaur, met the Prime Minister at his behest to seek his (Mr Mann’s) detention.

Mr Mann pointed out that Mr Badal had ignored the various Sikh issues.

Besides, Mr Badal, Mr Mann also charged Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi and Chief Minister Amarinder Singh backing out of their promises to the Sikhs.

Mr Mann further said even as the Chief Minister of Punjab Mr Badal failed to solve the political problems and there was no economic progress of the state during his time.

Mr Mann also criticised the activities of the VHP and the RSS in Punjab and held Mr Badal responsible for the same. Prof Jagmohan Singh, General Secretary, Akali Dal (Amritsar) said the party had outline a number of programme, including the protests in Delhi and Washington, against the state repression in Punjab.


2 suspected accomplices of Hawara held
Tribune News Service

Ropar, July 13
A team of the Chandigarh Police today picked up two persons suspected to be associates of Jagtar Singh Hawara, main accused in the Beant Singh assassination case, from Dera Sahid Bag in Anandpur Sahib subdivision, of the district about 40 km from here, today evening. The police also conducted raids in Bonga Sahib and other villages in the Nupurbedi area.

The police personnel accompanied by the CIA Inspector, Chandigarh, Mr K.I.P Singh, picked up two persons of similar names, Lakha Singh of Patiala and Lakha Singh of Amritsar, from the dera in this evening. The police reached here around 4 pm here. The police personnel were deployed outside the dera since morning, the police said.

No case has been registered against those held so far.

Mr K.I.P Singh was not available for comment.


Dowry death: singer gets 10-yr jail term
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 13
Sahib Singh, (29) a singer, has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by Mr S.K. Aggrawal, Additional Sessions Judge, who convicted him for causing the death and his wife, Jaspreet Kaur, for dowry.

Sahib Singh, a resident of Masania village near Adampur, had tied the nuptial knot with Jaspreet Kaur of Baring village of Jalandhar district on February 17, 2002 after they had fallen in love with each other, but, Jaspreet was found dead in her in-laws’ house on June 23 the same year.

While Sahib Singh, his father, Mr Dalip Singh and the family had been maintaining that Jaspreet had committed suicide by hanging herself from the fan in one of the rooms of the house, Ms Nirmal Kaur, mother of the deceased, had alleged that she had been strangulated to death by Sahib Singh and her in-laws, who, had been tormenting Jaspreet for bringing inadequate dowry.

Subsequently, a case under Section 302 and 304-B was registered at the Adampur police station against Sahib Singh and two others. Since the charges under Section 302 and the role of the two other accused could not be proved, Sahib Singh has been convicted under Section 304-B of the IPC.

Handing down the judgement, Mr. S.K. Aggrawal agreed with the plea of the prosecution and presumed that dowry was sought and victim was tormented for the purpose and, hence, it was a case of dowry death, particularly, as the death of the victim occurred within the period specified in provisions of Section 304-B of the IPC.

In her complaint, Ms Nirmal Kaur had alleged that though an amount of Rs. 20,000 was paid and other household goods were given to Sahib Singh on demand, yet, Jaspreet was tortured and was constantly kept under pressure to bring Rs 40,000.


PNFC fire: probe ignores many aspects
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Ropar, July 13
The findings of a report into the major fire incident that broke out in 83 acres area of the Punjab National Fertilizers and Chemicals (PNFC) at Naya Nangal on May 24 seems to have ignored many important aspects of the incident. The SDM, Anandpur Sahib, has submitted report to the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, Mr H.I.S Garewal.

The SDM Anandpur Sahib, Balraj Singh Sekhon, in his report stated that the possible cause of the fire was a matchstick which was thrown by a security guard of the PNFC after lighting “biri” or cigarette. The facts were supported by the fact that a bundle of ‘biris’ and a matchbox was recovered from a security personnel deployed at the PNFC, by the SDM added.

But there were many facts that remained unanswered. Firstly, the fire broke out at three different places not at one place. If the possibility of the fire due to matchstick at one place is to be believed, then what has caused fire at other two places.

The report had all praise for the administration for controlling the fire within time stating that otherwise it would had caused major damages. But the facts which were missed in the report was that it took too much time to control the fire as the district did not have fire stations in the all major towns of the district, except Mohali. As a result, fire tenders were called from other places including Nawanshahr, Khanna, Mandi Gobindgarh, Hoshiarpur, Una besides nearby fire Stations of the NFL, the BBMB, Mohali and Ghanauli. Fire began at 5.45 pm and it could be controlled at 2.30 am.

The Deputy Commissioner has also directed the SDM to suggest preventive measure to avoid such incident in future.

But the report forget to mention one major point that the fire incidents could be stopped within time if the district had fire station in some of the major town, including Ropar city, Anandpur Sahib, Nurpur Bedi and Nangal. This will not only help to save the life and property but will also save the lakhs of rupees of the Administration which go waste in hiring fire tenders from the other departments.

The district administration had to pay about Rs 50 lakh to the thermal plant, Ropar, only to pay for the services of the fire tenders hired by the administration to control the fire in various places of the district in past 10 years.

When contacted the SDM, Anandpur Sahib, Balraj Singh Sekhon, said that he had submitted report to the Deputy Commissioner and did not want to comment on the report.

Some important suggestion in the report include no smoking should be ensure in PNFC area, trained security staff who were equipped with knowledge of fire fighting measures should be deployed. Monitoring of the security personnel was also suggested.


Bridge across Sutlej soon
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, July 13
The decades-long demand for the construction of the Rahon-Machhiwara bridge across the Sutlej is going to be met, as the bridge is almost ready and is being given final touches. Capt Amarinder Singh is expected to inaugurate the bridge soon.

The bridge would link the Doaba and Malwa regions and connect J&K, Pathankot and Dasuya areas with Machhiwara and Khanna, greatly reducing the distance to Delhi. The bridge would provide an alternative route and would reduce congestion on the GT road, particularly in stretches passing through Jalandhar, Phagwara and Ludhiana.

Meanwhile, a proposal for constructing a bypass at an estimated cost of Rs 66 crore to divert the heavy traffic outside the town, has been prepared by the district administration.


Raised road bane of Urban Estate
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Batala, July 13
The illegal colonies coming up in the area are turning out to be a bane for Urban Estate. The recent spate of rains inundated a portion of the area. Some of the houses were under half foot water, leading to huge loss to the residents.

The residents blamed it on illegal colonies and raised PWD road. They alleged that as per rules the plinth level of houses in the Urban Estate could be raised by one-and-half foot. Most of the law abiding residents had constructed their houses as per the laid down parameters, they added.

However, the houses constructed in illegal colonies were unplanned and without any proper facilities. Earlier, waste water generated in these colonies used to collect on the main road that linkes Batala with Quadian. It used to damage the road.

The PWD opted for an easy solution to the problem. It raised the road level by 4 feet. This has turned out to be a bane for the residents. The waste water, especially after rains, now collects in Urban Estate.

Residents have been repeatedly writing to the PWD and the PUDA authorities regarding their problem. However, none of the authorities concerned has taken an action yet. The residents also alleged that the local authorities in Batala were planning to extend basic facilities of Urban Estate to the resident of these illegal colonies.

Such acts of the administration were encouraging illegal colonisers, they added.

Despite a recent campaign by PUDA against illegal colonisers, the number of unauthorised colonies was increasing. In the campaign, PUDA had ordered registration of criminal cases against a number of illegal colonisers. This spread panic among them but only for some time. Now every thing is back to square one and the business of curving out illegal colonies was in full swing.

Despite the fact that PUDA Minister, Mr Raghunath Sahay Puri, belongs to the district, the organisation has failed to take up even a single project here. The vital projects in the district, including the construction of a planned colony in Gurdaspur and mini secretariat, have not even being initiated despite the fact that the land for the purpose has been transferred in the name of PUDA.

The ordinate delay in the PUDA projects in the district could only be attributed to the pressure generated by illegal colonisers and local politicians, sources said.


Landlords boycott Dalits
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 13
Landlords of Jangirana village have kicked off a social boycott of Dalits. The boycott came after the members of Dalit community decided that none of the labourers would work on daily wages of less than Rs 70.

According to sources, the Dalits even got an announcement made from the gurdwara that if anybody would work below Rs 70 he would be fined. This spurred resentment among the landlords. Sources said the situation worsened with the Dalits persuading farm labourers to join them. Responding to their announcement, the landlords announced that anybody hiring a labourer at the rate of over Rs 50 would have to pay a fine of Rs 1,000. They also banned the entry of Dalits in their fields. Members of the Dalit community including Natha Singh, Ajaib Singh, Malkit Singh, Babu Singh, Visakha Singh, Jassa Singh, and Bohad Singh, alleged that landlords had openly made the announcement of their social boycott from the gurdwara. They also alleged that they were also being denied feed for cattle and even wood for cremation in case of a Dalit’s death. They alleged that landlords were forcing labourers to work at Rs 50 daily.

On the other hand, the panchayat member, Mahinder Singh, alleged that the Dalits had sparked of the row. He said they took such a step when the Dalits stopped farm labourers from working on their fields.

He said the landlords were paying in advance to farm labourers and preventing them from doing work did not make any sense. He said none of the labourers was working in the village for the past two days. Sarpanch Ganda Singh, who himself is a Dalit, also said that Dalits had taken the initiative in the matter.

Meanwhile, the BDPO, Mr Jaswinder Singh Walia today held a meeting with both the parties to resolve the issue. However, no details of the meeting were available. A delegation of Dalit Sena also met the Additional Deputy Commissioner and SP (City).


SMO manhandled, doctors go on strike
Our Correspondent

Abohar, July 13
Thousand of patients, including women and children, had to return home unattended as doctors at government hospitals observed pen-down strike today to express their resentment over the manhandling of Dr G. R. Garg, Senior Medical Officer (SMO) of the hundred bedded Nehru Memorial Civil Hospital, here on yesterday.

Dr Rakesh Arora, district secretary, the PCMS Association, claimed that the strike was complete at Fazilka, Jalalabad west, Ferozepore and Zira. Emergencies were properly attended, he said. The medical officers regretted that the police had not registered a case against the guilty persons. The civil administration too kept mum over the ghastly incident. It was resolved that the strike would continue till tomorrow and the doctors would wear black badges to express their anguish.

Dr Garg yesterday lodged complaints at the city police station alleging that he was abused, threatened and manhandled by more than 10 persons, including care- taker of the Red Cross medical shop in his office.

Meanwhile, Mr Sandeep Rinwa, district general secretary of the BJP, said the local hospital had become the centre for trouble involving para-medical staff, doctors and patients due to the political interference of the ruling party.

He alleged senior officers of the Health Department had failed in redressing the grievances of the patients.


Sub-postmaster manhandled, postal services hit
Our Correspondent

Barnala, July 13
Postal services at Main Post Office, here were hit following the manhandling of Mr Bahadur Singh, Sub-Post Master of Main Post Office Barnala in his office today (Wednesday) forenoon by Mr V.P. Chhabra.

Mr Bahadur Singh who received injuries on his hand and elbow said today that Mr V.P. Chhabra after getting his payment Rs 66150/- pertaining to his PPF Account at 9.15 a.m. again returned to Post Office at 10.50 a.m.

Then, Mr Chhabra asked him to sign some papers in his office without reading the same.

When he said that he would sign only after reading the papers then Mr Chhabra used hot words and manhandled him resulting in his fall and injuries on his hand and elbow.

Following this, his colleagues paralysed postal services.

Getting information about incident Superintendent Of Post Offices, Sangrur Division, Sangrur reached Main Post Office Barnala and restored the services.


Police-public coordination must to curb drug menace, says IG
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 13
Coordination between the police and public is a must to check the rising drug menace among youths in the Malwa region, stated the Bathinda zone IG, Mr Rajinder Singh, while addressing a gathering at a seminar organised by the Malwa Social Welfare and Cultural Society here on Monday.

Various speakers at the seminar said even school-going children in Malwa were getting addicted to drugs and this trend could only be checked with the collective effort of all sections of the society.

The SSP, Mr Kapil Dev, said the police was taking all measures to curb the smuggling of drugs from Haryana, apart from conducting raids following any tip-off.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Rahul Bhandari, lauded the endeavour of the society and said such seminars played a key role in forming public opinion against drugs.

The society chairman, Mr Tehal Singh Sandhu, informed the gathering that the society intended to hold such seminars in various parts of the district before launching a van for its anti-drugs campaign.

He said the van would have a team of artistes who would sensitize youths against drugs through plays.

It will also have a team of doctors who will make people aware of the ill effects of drugs.

The van will frequent rural areas of Malwa where the drug menace is on the rise.


40 Muktas memorial to be ready by July 31

Moga, July 13
Deputy Commissioner Dalip Kumar today said the construction work of 40 Muktas Memorial Park costing Rs 1.91 crore would be completed by July 31.

The foundation stone of the memorial in memory of those 40 brave Sikh soldiers who earlier had deserted 10th Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh at Anandpur Sahib but later joined the Guru at Muktsar and sacrificed their lives while fighting against the Mughals, was laid by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in April this year.

He told reporters after reviewing the progress of all these projects relating to memory of 40 Muktas and facelifting of the town at Muktsar today.

The park will also have a memorial of Mai Bhago at whose instance 40 brave Sikh soldiers returned to Muktsar from Majha (Amritsar).

He also stated that in the first phase Guru Gobind Singh sports stadium will also be completed by July 31 costing Rs 1.10 crore. — PTI


Sewing centre inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 13
Women should get vocational education to become self-reliant in the changing scenario they have to contribute a lot in the development of the country and the society, said Ms Jaspreet Kaur, Deputy Commissioner, after inaugurating a new sewing centre being started by Nehru Yuva Kendra at Sirhind today.

The centre has been constructed at the cost of Rs. 97,000 by the kendra for which grant was provided by the Union Youth Affairs and Sports Ministry. Every trainee will be given a stipend of Rs 300 per month.

She said if we want a healthy society we must provide all sort of facilities to the women. She said women were not lagging behind in any field rather were actively doing their duties. She urged women to fight for their rights and should not consider themselves weak. She appealed them to lodge a war against social evils, female foeticide and drug abuse. She advised them not to go for sex determination and if any one pressurise them, they should resist.

Mr Paramjit Singh in charge, of the kendra gave detailed information about the working of the clubs in the district. He said Deputy Commissioner had set up a selection committee to identify the best social service club in the district. He said Lok Sangam Yuvak Bhilai Club, Khamano had been declared as the best club and an award of Rs 10,000/- had been given.


NGO helps poor boy
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 13
The Sarav Dharam Welfare Society, a local NGO, come out in aid of a poor boy, Balwinder Singh, whose arms had to be amputated after being electrocuted. The boy is admitted to the Government Rajindra hospital.

According to a press note, the society has donated a sum of Rs 2,100 and Rs 2,000 collected by others for treatment of the boy.


3 die after consuming liquor

Khanna, July 13
Three labourers died while two others were hospitalised after consuming excess liquor at a residential colony on the Samrala road here last night.

Police officials here today identified the victims as Shinder Singh (50), his brother-in-law Hansa and 22-year old Kuldip Singh. Those who were admitted to the local hospital were Saudagar Singh, a nephew of Shinder Singh and Makhan Singh.

The police said that the five belonged to the Bazigar community and were residents of near-by Sehye village. They worked at the local grain market. — UNI


Rotarians urged to serve society
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 13
Newly appointed president of Rotary Club Patiala Mid-Town Dr Satwant Sachdeva has called fellow Rotarians to serve the society.

Dr Satwant Sachdeva, while speaking at a function here today, asked the Rotarians to work for the controlling pollution caused by the polythene bags. He also asked them to motivate other residents to spread the same message.

He said that management of stray dogs and disposal of garbage were other problems in which all the Rotarians would be helping the local administration with full dedication.


Cotton damaged in 20,000 hectares
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, July 13
Cotton in more than 20,000 hectares has been damaged in Panjab due to heavy rains.

Stating this, Mr Manjit Singh Kadian, acting president, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Lakhowal) told The Tribune today that farmers had suffered heavy losses due to the damage caused to the cotton crop as nothing was left in the fields. The farmers had made heavy investment in the shape of Bt cotton seeds and pesticides. The seed of Bt cotton was quite costly as compared to the traditional cotton varieties. A packet of Bt cotton weighing 450 grams costs Rs 1650.

Mr Kadian called upon the state government to provide immediate relief to the cotton growers who had suffered heavy losses and also suggest alternate crops for the area vacated after the rains. It was not possible to sow cotton now in the same area.

He said the state of Punjab at one time had an area of 16 lakh hectares under cotton and the state suffered heavy damage during the past decade due to the attack of pests. This year, there was hope of more area under cotton crop.

Mr Kadian pointed out Bt cotton varieties which were now sown in Punjab had long lint and the Punjab Government had not provided the correct information to the Agricultural Prices and Costs Commission as a result of which, the minimum support price was low. The state government should take up this issue with the commission and seek review of the MSP of cotton.

The BKU chief emphasised that cotton had the potential to provide an alternative to paddy in the diversification programme and the state government should undertake measures to encourage cultivation of cotton. He also sought the withdrawal of the Patent Act on agricultural produce.


BKU to hold rallies on Aug 9
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
The Punjab unit of the Bharti Kisan Union has decided to hold rallies across the state on August 9 to lodge its protest against the “injustice to farmers of poor and Third World countries.”

The units of the BKU in the districts will present memorandums to the Deputy Commissioners for forwarding them to the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister. This was stated in a statement issued by the union here today.


Dept’s nod to action against officials
Substandard eatables at anganwadis
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 13
The Social Security Department has asked the district administration to take action against the officials responsible for the supply of sub-standard eatables to various anganwadi centres in the district. The department Secretary, Mr R.L. Kalsia, has written to the Deputy Commissioner for appropriate action against the officials involved in the case.

On the other hand, the district administration had asked the Zila Parishad officials to lodge a complaint against the Jaipur-based supplier of eatables after recommending legal action against the firm.

Ironically, the Zila Parishad officials, whom the DC has asked to lodge a complaint with the police, are themselves involved in the case. After one and a half months of this scam, no legal action against the firm has been initiated. The SSP, Mr Kapil Dev, said the DC had held the firm responsible in his letter to the Police Department. The DC had also written that the Zila Parishad would take up the matter with the police, but it was yet to make any move in this direction due to which no case had been registered against the firm till now.

The district administration, which had taken a tough stand after the scam came to light, now seems to be going soft on the issue that could have taken a heavy toll on the health of children and expectant mothers.

Earlier, following a series of news reports in The Tribune on rotten eatables being distributed to kids and expectant mothers at anganwadi centres, the district administration had ordered the Talwandi Sabo SDM, Mr Gurkirat Kirpal Singh, to probe the matter. During the investigation, 80 per cent of the samples collected from different anganwadi centres failed. The DC had recommended action against some officials in his report to the Chief Secretary, Punjab, and the Secretary, Social Security Department, besides asking the police to register a criminal case against the supplier of eatables.

Members of purchase and quality control committees were also indicted in the probe, as they were to keep an eye on the stuff being supplied to anganwadis. Members of the Quality Control Committee had allowed the eatables to be sent to anganwadis without even checking their quality.

When contacted, Deputy Commissioner, Rahul Bhandari said he would check as to why the FIR was not lodged against the firm. He admitted that he had received a letter regarding action against some officials of the Rural Development Department. He said the department would soon take appropriate action against these officials.


Chheharta SHO suspended
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 13
The district police chief has suspended Mr Rajvir Singh, SHO Chheharta police station for cane-charging peacefully demonstrating CPM activists on July 10. Mr R.P.S. Brar, SSP confirmed this here today.

The Chheharta police had lathicharged CPM activists who were protesting against the drug menace and law and order situation in the area. Some of the activists were injured in the incident.


Patwari held while accepting bribe
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 13
The vigilance department today nabbed a patwari while he was accepting bribe from Mr Gurmukh Singh, a resident of Wazidpur village for carrying out a mutation of land in his favour.

The department has registered a case and he would be produced in the court tomorrow.

According to Mr Banarsi Dass Wahi DSP, Vigilance,

Fatehgarh Sahib, Gurmukh Singh had lodged a complaint with the department that he had got a share of the land from his father and registry had been made but Patwari Avtar Singh of halka Nandpur had been demanding Rs 3000/- for making mutation in his name.

He said the deal had been struck with the Patwari for Rs. 2000/- and as per plan, Gurmukh Singh had given Rs.2000/- to the Patwari and the vigilance team caught him red-handed and recovered the amount in the presence of Om Parkash from AR Office and Mr Darbara Singh from the Sainik Welfare Office, who were made witnesses.


Poppy husk case takes new turn
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
The case of 11 bags of poppy husk and the ensuing blame game among senior officers of the Punjab police has taken a  new turn.

The Director-General of Police, Mr S.S. Virk, has debunked the inquiry conducted by a DSP of the crime branch of the Punjab police that had blamed several senior police officers for wrongly booking drug dealers.

The integrity of the DSP, Mr S.S. Uppal, has come under a cloud after the DIG, Ludhiana Range, Mr Parag Jain, cast doubts on the inquiry conducted by the DSP. Mr Jain was asked to look into Mr Uppal’s findings which had led to a  controversy.

In his report, Mr Jain says “ the DSP (Mr Uppal) was acting more as counsel for the defence (the drug dealers) rather than an objective inquiry officer. He exceeded his brief in his anxiety to give relief to the accused in the heinous crime”. The report goes on to add that, Mr Uppal could not establish any single fact that would merit discharging the accused.

The DGP has accepted the DIG, Mr Jain’s report on the DSP.

In his inquiry report, Mr Uppal had said the alleged drug dealers, arrested on a charge of carrying the 11 bags of poppy husk, had been wrongly booked and suggested that they should be discharged in the cases. This had cast aspersions on several police officers, including Mr Mukhwinder Singh Chhina, a former SSP of Moga, who was leading the party which trapped the drug dealers.

Mr Chhina had requested the DGP for an independent probe alleging that the crime branch had worked to help the accused drug dealers.

Mr Uppal’s inquiry was the outcome of a request of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission. One of the arrested accused had moved the commission that had in turn asked the crime wing of the Punjab police to inquire and report. Mr Chhina has contested this, saying the commission did not have the powers to order a probe since the matter was pending before the trial court. Also to reinvestigate any case, the permission of the trial court was required, he had claimed before the DGP.

In April this year the DGP had asked the ADGP (Intelligence), Mr J.P. Birdi, to look into the matter, who marked the inquiry to the DIG, Ludhiana Range, Mr Jain. He was asked to specifically look into the findings of the crime branch inquiry carried out by, Mr Uppal.

In his concluding lines Mr Jain says “the cases are under trial and there is no cause of action which lies with the investigating agency to interfere in the judicial process”.


Akali leader, brother booked for trespassing

Fazilka, July 13
A case has been registered against Akali leader Naresh Setia, his brother Bishamber Lal Setia, president of the Karyana Merchants Association Harbans Lal Kamra, his brother Om Parkash and their father Bhagwan Dass on the charge of trespassing.

The case was registered today under Sections 452, 427, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC on the complaint of Dr Harbhagwan Sharma. The complainant had said that he had been running a clinic in a shop rented by Kartar Devi on the local Mehtab Ganj road for the past around 20 years.

About seven months back, the shop and its adjacent property was purchased by Naresh Setia and Harbans Lal Kamra. Since the persons named above were keen to get the shop vacated, they damaged a part of the roof and forced entry into it on the night of July 11. They allegedly threatened him and also damaged the property, he said. On the other hand, Naresh Setia said the case was politically motivated.

The Beopar Mandal, Fazilka, in an emergency meeting held here today flayed the police action at behest of the ruling party leaders.” They expressed surprise that the police had registered a case on the complaint of a tenant against the landlords in utter haste and without verifying the facts.


Cases to be filed against two clinics
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 13
Following confession by two sisters having undergone sex determination tests Civil Surgeon, H.S. Dhillon, yesterday stated that a case would be filed in this connection.

Addressing a press conference Mr Dhillon said that he had a phone call from the Gidderbaha SMO a few days back stating that on Manjeet Kaur had given birth to a boy. She already has three daughters and she reportedly had undergone sex determination test at the clinic of Dr Vijay of Maur. Dr Jagjeet Singh and Dr Gupta from Civil Hospital, Bathinda, reached there. When the team asked Manjeet as to who sent her for the test she named her cousin sister, Simarjeet Kaur. The team interrogated her in Malout and she also confessed having undergone sex determination test at Singla Nursing Home of Dr Satpal Singla in Maur.

Simarjeet has a six-year-old daughter and a four-month-old son. She said she first sent her sister to Dr Singla’s clinic, but he said his ultrasound machine was “not working”.

The Civil Surgeon said at that time they had suspended his ultrasound due to non-completion of records.

He said both clinics had no entry of these two sisters in their records. He said they had got custody possession order of ultrasound machines from the court and a case would soon be filed in this regard.


Head constable arrested  for graft
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, July 13
A head constable posted at Sadar police station has been arrested on the charge of letting off poppy husk smugglers by accepting bribe. He has been remanded in judicial custody till July 27.

The police had arrested Gurmeet Singh and Paramjeet Singh of Rupana village for smuggling poppy husk. The police also seized 2 kg poppy husk and 70 quintals of stolen wheat from their possession. But, the accused, Shamsher Singh, set them free after taking Rs 3,000 for poppy husk and Rs 2,500 for wheat. Both of them had an altercation with the complainant, Vijay Kumar, following which he took up the matter with the SSP. On the basis of his statement, the head constable was booked under sections 13(2), 78, and 88, of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Sections 452, 506, and 34 of the IPC, and section 59 of the NDPS Act.


Ten injured in accident
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 13
An inebriated contractor driving a car injured 10 persons including women and children in Chheharta area here late last night. At least three of them were injured seriously and removed to nearby private hospitals.

Agitated residents of the area beat him up and burnt his car numbering DAL-4CH-7600. He was saved by a police party, which reached the spot after getting the information.

The police arrested accused Inderjit Singh, a resident of Ranjit Pura in Chheharta and registered a case under Sections 307, 427, 337, 338 and 279 of Indian Penal Code at Chheharta police station.

According to information the accused who is reportedly a relative of police official of Delhi police was returning to home from the Naraingarh area about 10.30 pm late last night when he lost control over the vehicle and hit other vehicles and carts on its way to Chheharta.

The injured include Sham Lal (15), Harmanjot Kaur, Dimple, Raju, Kaka Singh, Rajkumar, Sulakshana Devi, Harpreet Singh, Partap Singh Malli, Amrik Singh and Jai Singh, all residents of Chheharta and its nearby areas.

Mr Manmohan Singh said the accused was so drunk and abusing senior police officials. He said the police booked him after a medical examination.


2 die in accident near Chamba
Our Correspondent

Batala, July 13
Two persons belonging to Batala died in an accident near Banikhet in Chamba District of Himachal.

Sandeep Kumar alias Tinka Mahajan (24) was returning from his in-law’s house from Chamba along with his wife and daughter (three-month-old) and son (four-year-old). The family was travelling in a Matador which overturned and fell into a khud, killing Mr Tinka’s wife Poonam Mahajan (20) and daughter (three-month-old).

However, Mr Tinka Mahajan and his son Tushar (5) had a providential escape. The fate of the driver is not yet known.

Bodies were brought to Batala late last night (Tuesday night) and cremation held today (Wednesday) at Makoana Crematorium. A large number of people from all walks of life attended the funeral.


Man, woman jailed for 10 yrs
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 13
Ajit Ram and Chinndo, residents of Sarhali and Lakhanpal villages near Noormahl respectively, have been sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1 lakh each by Mr S.K. Aggrawal, Additional Sessions Judge, here today for possessing 490 kg of poppy husk.

The police had conducted a raid on the house of Ajit Ram in Sarhali village on December 6, 2001 and had recovered 14 bags of poppy husk from the house. 


Doctor held for graft
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, July 13
Vigilance officials here today caught Dr Malkiat Singh of Civil Hospital Hazipur while he was accepting bribe of Rs 1000/- from Gian Singh son of Mansha Singh resident of Bassi Jalal PS Tanda.

According to police sources Dr Malkiat Singh demanded Rs 1000/- from Gian Singh for operating on his arm. A case under the Prevention of Corruption Act had been registered against him.


Suicide by two sisters
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, July 13
Two sisters, Gurvinder Kaur and Balwinder Kaur, residents of Prem Nagar in Gurdaspur committed suicide by consuming pesticides today. Sources send that the sister committed suicide after a minor altercation with each other. While one of them died on the spot, the other died in the civil hospital Gurdaspur half an hour later.


Councillors demand Principal’s transfer
Surinder Bhardwaj

Fatehgarh Sahib. July 13
The academic atmosphere at Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Bassi Pathana, is getting vitiated because of an ongoing tussle between the school Principal and the councillors of the town regarding the transfer of the school principal.

This tug of war has led to loss of studies and academic work in the school as everyday new inquires are being conducted but no action is taken. The elected representatives are being supported by Dr Harbans Lal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary in their crusade against the Principal, who has been charged with gross rudeness and misbehaviour by them. The elected representative have also a grouse that their grievances are neither redressed nor heard by the Education Department..

On the other hand, the Principal alleged that she was being pressurised to do something wrong by certain persons and her refusal to do the same led to a series of complaints against her working.

The atmosphere in the school today was tense as Mr Gurmail Singh, District Education Officer (S), came to the school for conducting an inquiry on the directions of Secretary, Education, on a complaint made by Councillors. Earlier Mrs. Surjit Kaur, Additional DPI, conducted the inquiry in the school. The councillors, who came to record their statements with DEO told The Tribune that earlier they recorded their statements with the ADPI and now they are feeling that they are being punished for complaining. They said that they have made complaint in public interest and it is the first issue on which all the councilors have united otherwise they have always differences and belong to different camps.

When contacted, Mr. Gurmail Singh DEO (S), said that he had conducted inquiry on the directions of Secretary, Education, who has directed him to send the report with in three days but he is already late and would submit his report tomorrow.

When contacted school Principal, she said she had no grudge and complaint against anybody. The councillors have raised a hue and cry without any cause.

She said that she was being pressurised to do something wrong by certain persons and her refusal to do the same led to a series of complaints against her working.


Varsity extends date for forms
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 13
Guru Nanak Dev University has extended the last date for the submission of application forms for admission to some vacant seats in first semester of BA (Hons) in Punjabi till July 22.

The press release from the university said that candidates of 10+2 of Punjab School Education Board with at least 50 per cent marks in aggregate and 50 per cent marks in Punjabi or any other examination recognised by this university as equivalent thereto are eligible for admission to this course. Candidates could submit their application forms in School of Punjabi Studies of the University up to July 22, it added.


Retired college teachers’ gesture
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
The Punjab Government College Retired Teachers Welfare Association at a meeting here today decided to offer 10 one-time scholarship of Rs 500 each to needy and bright students studying in degree or professional colleges in Punjab.

Application forms for scholarship, free of cost, can be had from Prof Bhalla, 1292, Sector 15-B, Chandigarh or Prof S.P. Dhawan, 2280, Sector 35-C, Chandigarh. Last date for applying for scholarship is August 31, 2005. 


MBA test on July 24
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 13
Punjabi University, here will hold a state-level joint MBA and MCA Test on July, 24 on behalf of the Punjab government. The last date for applying for the Test is July 15 without late fee and July 21 with a late fee of Rs 1000/-. The prospectus is already on sale at designated branches of State bank of Patiala.

The prospectus has also been put on University website (www.universitypunjabi.org) and students can download it directly and enclose an additional draft of Rs 600/- drawn in favour of Registrar. Punjabi University, Patiala, according to a press note issued here today.


PSIDC arrears: units to get relaxations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
The Punjab Government is to give “relaxations” to all industrial units which have to repay arrears to the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation.

Sources in the state Government said the matter was discussed today at a meeting of the Project Approval Board headed by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.

The move to amend the policy comes after a Ludhiana-based industrial house sought special concessions over and above the existing one-time settlement (OTS) scheme for defaulting partners of the PSIDC. The meeting did not clear any special concession for the Ludhiana group today. The matter for special concession had been put up before the board at the meeting. This was highlighted in a report in The Tribune which said the state would lose Rs 17 crore if the concession was given.

The change was not aimed at benefitting any single person. The concessions or the discounts for defaulters who paid up faster would now be part of amended policy. The PSIDC has been asked to draw up a list of those 14 industrial houses that had made payments under the OTS scheme. It is not clear if they will be eligible for some discount under the amendment.

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