P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



DSP selection case: petitioner alleges harassment
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
On October 27 last year, the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, described as “nonsense” the events leading to the arrest and harassment of family members of the petitioner in the DSP selection case.

The Chief Minister had also asserted that his government would get to the bottom of the case and indicated that the Vigilance Bureau (VB) might be asked to withdraw the case.

But, over eight months after the Chief Minister’s statements, the Bureau continues to proceed with the case. And, the harassment of the family members of Mr Jaskaran Singh Brar, whose PIL in the Punjab and Haryana High Court led to the setting aside of the selection of seven persons as DSPs under the sports quota, refuses to end.

Forced to attend hearings in a Muktsar court, where the Bureau has even filed a challan in the case, the family is also being continuously harassed.

Mr Kheta Singh and Mr Balkaran Singh, father and brother, respectively, of Mr Brar, spent 10 days behind bars for having allegedly recommended the name of a village woman for old-age pension even though her husband owned over eights acres of land.

“There is no end to the harassment. There are late-night visits from cops telling us to come to the police station and the court. Everything is being done to force us to buckle under state repression,” says Mr Brar.

Incidentally, the recommendation was reportedly made in 1996, while the Bureau action came on October 8, 2004, just a week before the High Court order in the DSP selection case.

The seven selected sportspersons, including the sons of top functionaries in the Amarinder government, were ordered to be ousted from their posts due to irregularities in the selection process.

Mr Kheta Singh, who was numberdar of Bhagsar village in Muktsar district and his son, Mr Balkaran Singh, a panch of the village, were accused of having inflicted “very, very heavy financial losses” to the exchequer by their action.

Following reports in the media, the government promptly shifted out the Bureau SP (Ferozepore) Inderjit Singh Randhawa and also sought an explanation from Bureau chief A.P. Pandey. The Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) had also lapped up the issue and came down heavily on the government.

But, less than two months after his transfer, Mr Randhawa was brought back to the same post.

The challan in the case was presented on May 28. Mr Kheta Singh and his son are currently out on bail.

Incidentally, Mr Brar has also received notices from the Supreme Court on the petitions of the ousted DSPs. He says he will contest the matter in the Supreme Court “no matter that they (government and VB) do”.

But, even as the VB persists with its case, Mr Brar is busy with another PIL seeking regulation of private nursing institutes in the state. This PIL says that a large number of nursing institutes in Punjab are functioning illegally and irregularly.


PTU architecture course losing sheen
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 17
Punjab may be having beautifully designed, plush houses but the demand for course in architecture in the state seems to be low. At least the statistics available from the Punjab Technical University (PTU) counselling centre are a pointer to this. Till now just one seat out of the total 74 seats available in six colleges of architecture affiliated to the university has been filled in the general category.

In fact, the boom of technical education in the state seems to have died down. As many as 13 of the total 43 engineering colleges and five of the total 20 pharmacy colleges are yet to roll down their admission chart for the general category quota in the ongoing counselling.

The admission crisis came this year despite the fact that the university had reduced seats in a number of colleges. Besides, it had even been stringent in adding new colleges to its existing list. Just one engineering college and three new pharmacy colleges have been affiliated this year.

While few select engineering colleges, including Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College, Fatehgarh Sahib, two regional centres of Guru Nanak Dev University and Punjabi University have managed to fill all seats, the list of colleges that are yet to begin admission is quite long.

Butta College of Engineering and Technology, Ludhiana, Baba Kuma Singh College, Amritsar, Bhai Maha Singh College, Muktsar, College of Engineering and Management, Kapurthala, Guru Gobind Singh College of Engineering and Technology, Talwandi Sabo, GGS College of Modern Technology, Kharar, Indo-Global College of Engineering, Chandigarh, IITT Institute of Engineering, Nawanshahr, KC College of Engineering, Nawanshahr, Punjab College of Engineering and Technology, Chandigarh, Swami Parmanad College, Dera Bassi, Shiv Shankar Institute, Amritsar, Swami Vivekanand Institute, Patiala, are yet to fill any seat in the general category.

Besides, four engineering colleges, including Bhai Gurdas Institute of Engineering, Sangrur, CT Institute of Engineering, Jalandhar, Desh Bhagat Engineering College, Mandi Gobindgarh and Sri Sai College, Pathankot, have filled just a single seat, all of them in electronics and communication engineering.

Among the six colleges for architecture, Giani Zail Singh College, Bathinda, has been able to fill a single seat. Rest of the five colleges, including College of Architecture IET, Bhaddal, Chitkara Institute of Planning and Architecture, Rajpura, Indo Global College of Architecture, Chandigarh, RIMT College of Architecture, Mandi Gobindgarh, and Lovely Institute of Technology, Phagwara, have not been able to fill even a single seat of the total 12 general category seats. Guru Nanak Dev University, however, has been able to fill 12 out of the total 13 seats available for the course.

Among pharmacy colleges, GHG Khalsa College, Ludhiana, has managed to fill 16 out of the total 18 seats. Among the rest, Global College of Pharmacy, Anandpur Sahib, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Pharmacy College, Amritsar, Sri Sai College, Pathankot, Swami Vivekanand Institute, Banur, and VMS College of Pharmacy, Batala, have all their seats unfilled in general category list.


Parents seek high-level probe in
PMET re-exam case

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Agitated parents of students who took the now controversy-embroiled Pre-Medical Entrance Test (PMET) examination in Punjab last month have demanded a high-level probe to find out if “any seats were sold.”

This needs immediate attention, said a group of parents, while holding a press conference here today. They claimed that they had reasons to believe that something had gone wrong. Several students, who were placed in the ranks ranging 2000 to 6000 during the first PMT exam which was scrapped, had “managed” to secure higher ranks in the second exam that was conducted.

The parents, who had come from all over the state, said, “It is ironical that on the one hand the Vigilance Department is probing into 2000 cases of those students who have cleared the PMT exam in the past five years, on the other nothing is being done to check the fraudulent cases of this year.”

In a letter to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, the parents have demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Suggesting a way out, the parents have demanded that the investigating agency should be asked to compare the new selection list with the previous one. Then two or three glaring cases should be picked out and interrogated and the scandal will be out, a parent said.

Also media reports about a Kapurthala-based woman, who was questioned by the police for her alleged links within the Medical Education Department of the state, needed to be probed extensively. The parents wanted the Chief Minister to take a tough stand to save the future of children in the state.


Confusion over test reports of desi ghee
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur July 17
Confusion prevails among the Food and Civil Supplies, Police and Health Department officials over test reports of fake ‘Nova Desi ghee’ seized from Pathankot.

Food and Civil Supplies Department officials are maintaining that the test reports of the ghee have been received by the Department of Health. The Health Department officials had told them orally that the samples had failed the test, they said. However, Health Department and the police officials when contacted by The Tribune maintained that they had not received the test reports.

The Food and Civil Supplies Department authorities had confiscated about 2600 kg of alleged fake desi ghee from Pathankot based traders JB Manga Ram and Sons in first week of June.

The godowns containing the allegedly fake ghee were sealed. The ghee was confiscated on a complaint by the original dealer of Nova ghee in Pathankot. The original dealer had complained that while he received ghee from the company at a wholesale price of Rs 130 per kg certain other dealers were selling the same product at below Rs 100 per kg.

The local health officials did not collect the samples of the confiscated ghee for the first few days. It was only after the matter was reported in these columns that samples of alleged fake ghee were collected.

Later a Directorate of Health team from Chandigarh also collected the samples of Nova ghee from Pathankot. The DHO Gurdaspur was also asked to explain the delay in the collection of sample. However, more than a month has passed since the collection of samples of alleged fake ghee but no report has been received.

The accused traders, on the other hand, have issued a notice to the Department Food and Civil Supplies through the Deputy Commissioner, Gurdaspur, to get their confiscated material released.

The sources here alleged that there was an effort on the part of traders to get the sealed material released. If the test reports of the fake ghee are not received for some more time the authorities here might be forced to release the confiscated ghee as it was a perishable item.

This might jeopardize the entire case. The ‘fake’ ghee would once again flow into the market and the case against the accused might get weakened.

Fake food items like ghee are flooding the markets of Pathankot. The fake goods are allegedly coming through trains. The material is generally referred to as boxes in the bills while the real contents of boxes are never declared.

Allegedly due to connivance of the railway and sales tax officials, questions about the contents of the boxes are seldom raised leading to flow of fake goods besides theft of sales and other taxes.


Boat tragedy probe officer has limited jurisdiction
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 17
The preliminary magisterial inquiry into the boat tragedy has established that the ill-fated boat that capsized in the swollen Sutlej was in had shape.

Mr Bhupinder Singh, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Ferozepore, who was deputed to conduct the magisterial inquiry attributed the tragedy to the poor condition of the boat.

Talking to TNS, Mr Bhupinder Singh said he had recorded the statements of the Sarpanches of Kamalwala and Dheera Dhar (both in Ferozepore district) villages, and scores of residents of other villages. However, the inquiry officer, having jurisdiction in Ferozepore district only, could not involve Sarpanches and residents of Amritsar district who use the boat as a mode of transport everyday, even at the cost of their lives. The Block and Development Officer of Valtoha in (Amritsar district) conducts the auction of the boat. The proposed inquiry would be incomplete without involving officials and residents of Amritsar district.

Residents of Muthianwala and adjoining villages had complained that the annual auction of the boat conducted in Amritsar district was faulty. The contractor, Mr Ajaib Singh, who had got the contract for about Rs 44,000 was not present at the time of tragedy. It is not clear whether the inquiry officer would give his recommendations against the contractor. Shockingly, the boat was being steered by an untrained person who had a miraculous escape while two of his family members had died .

Officials of the district administration, including Mr Kulbir Singh Sidhu, Commissioner, Ferozepore Division, had accepted that the government officials had not taken appropriate preventive measures.

Residents of 51 villages, which fall, in Amritsar district, had alleged that certain unauthorised persons of the area were getting a share of the fare collected. The money collected from the passengers was allegedly pocketed by certain officials, too.


Ayodhya attack: driving licence of slain
terrorist ‘fake’

Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 17
The local District Transport Office (DTO) and the police heaved a sigh of relief when a team of the Special Task Force (STF) from Uttar Pradesh found no clue to link Ayodhya attack with Amritsar.

The driving licence of a slain terrorist, responsible for the Ayodhya attack, was found to be “fake”. The DTO, Mr Bhupinder Singh, said he was surprised how the “fake licence” was got prepared.

Talking to The Tribune today, the DTO said the STF team had visited his office and examined records. The team also met senior police officers of the district and found no connection between Ayodhya and Amritsar. He said after scrutinising the records it was concluded beyond any doubt that the terrorist had got his “fake licence” prepared.

The district administration had been on tenterhooks following the publication of a news item that the slain terrorists might have got directions from the border town.

Earlier, there were apprehensions that the slain terrorists had been in touch with their mentors in Amritsar who might had fled to Pakistan through the Samjhauta Express after the attack. The local police had also sounded alert to keep watch on cyber cafes.

However, the development has compelled the DTO office here to computerise its entire record to check any probability of the “fake licence”. The DTO said the department would shortly prepare its own website so that everybody could have access to the information about those who had been issued licences from this office. He said the office was also contemplating to issue computerised learning licences with a view to keep proper record of the persons. He said by taking this step, it would be mandatory for the applicants to appear personally and get himself photographed.


‘Chakka jam’ today; ban orders enforced
Raj Sadosh

Abohar, July 17
A showdown between the Kisan Beopari Mazdoor Sangharsh Samiti and the district administration at Sriganganagar, 40 km from here is likely as the District Magistrate (DM) Mr Kunji Lal Meena enforced prohibitory orders under Section 144 keeping in view a ‘chakka jam’ call given by the samiti tomorrow.

The samiti which had spearheaded a bloody agitation earlier also resolved to give the call, blaming the state government for backtracking from agreement for 58 per cent share in canal water for the border region.

An official spokesman told The Tribune this evening on phone that the orders would remain effective till Monday midnight in areas under subdivisions of Gharsana, Anoopgarh, Vijaynagar, Suratgarh and Raisinghnagar. The Magistrate has barred assembly of five or more than five persons at public place, prohibited carrying of firearms and sharp-edged weapons, including agriculture implements, used for cutting trees. The police was directed to take stern action against those who indulge in cutting of trees, blocking roads, preventing movement of vehicles or any other subversive activities to disrupt normal public life.

All schools in Gharsana subdivision, which had been an epic centre of clashes between the samiti activists and the police, leading to killing of four farmers in firing during similar agitation early this year, will remain closed tomorrow. The administration has requested the parents to not allow their children to move out during the chakka jam call.

The office of the SP, Saurabh Srivastva confirmed that he had visited sensitive areas, including Raisinghnagar, Rawla, Gharsana, Rojri, Patroda and Anoopgarh and held meetings with the station house officers in respective police stations. Those who had been transferred were asked not to relinquish charge till Tuesday.

Sant Lekha Singh, Chairman of the samiti, said that workers had already taken positions in different areas to motivate the farmers, labourers and traders to ensure 100 per cent success of the chakka jam call tomorrow. Though the farmers had not been able to sow crop due to non – availability of canal water for irrigation for a long period, the state government had issued notices to secretaries of the market committee seeking their explanation for not meeting the targets in collection of market fee. The government had betrayed the farmers by not keeping up promise for 58 per cent share on priority basis in canal water for irrigation in areas located near the Indo-Pak border.

Lakshman Singh, a member of the Zila Parishad, said vehicles of the police and civil administration would not be allowed to move on the roads on Monday.

Meanwhile, Mr J.S. Setia, Chief Engineer (North Zone), inspected Shivpur head of canals last evening to monitor supply of water. Officials claimed that Gang canal was running to capacity with flow of 2500 cusecs of water.


Social activist hails Dullo’s appointment

Patiala, July 17
Social activist Balwinder Singh Saifdipur, who has opened a string of free rations shops across the town, has hailed the appointment of Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo as president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC).

Mr Saifdipur, who is president of the International Bhau Bhaichara, in a press note said Mr Dullo’s appointment had been hailed by all sections of society, including the Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes.

Mr Saifdipur said the Bhau Bhaichara, which had hundreds of members all over Punjab, had always backed a SC Candidate for the post of the PPCC chief. TNS


MC told to construct overbridge within 1 year
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 17
Long vehicular traffic queues at the busy DAV College railway crossing may soon be a thing of the past as the Punjab Local Bodies Department has directed the local Municipal Corporation to get the much-needed overbridge constructed within one year.

The Rs 18-crore railway overbridge would be built on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis, for which, the local Municipal Corporation has entered into a pact with a private company, which will be given rights to advertise on the overbridge for a period of 10 years.

“The construction of the overbridge within a specified period has been planned keeping in view the difficulties faced by thousands of students and commuters going to DAV College and other institutions,” said Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, Punjab Minister for Local Bodies, who was addressing a press conference here today.

Talking about the proposed completion of the much-delayed Rs 26.11 crore domoria railway overbridge project, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, said it would be completed within nine months as most of the irritants, particularly with the railways, had been removed. “Apart from the much needed Rs 18-crore DAV College railway overbridge, two underground parking lots and three overbridges were being setup in order to improve infrastructure in the city. Beyond the city, development of slums falling within municipal limits of cities of Punjab is our priority, for which an amount of Rs 60 crore has already been released. Improvement of infrastructure and provision of amenities would be effected in Punjab with the help of private partnership,” said Chaudhary Jagjit Singh.

Referring to the ticklish issue of octroi abolition, which was a poll promise of the Congress, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh said the Captain Amarinder Singh Government was committed to abolishing octroi and the decision to this effect would be taken by the CM shortly.

Denying that the appointment of Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo as president of the Punjab Congress could create fissures in the party, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh said he welcomed the appointment of Mr Dullo.


235 illegal colonies in Jalandhar
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 17
Jalandhar city has over 235 illegal and unauthorised residential colonies, most of which have either been half-developed by influential private colonisers or are bereft of basic facilities like roads for years.

Jalandhar probably tops the list of big cities where illegal colony business has allegedly flourished.

Municipal Corporation sources and statistics reveal that while the mushrooming of illegal colonies has not been checked for two decades, no effort has been made by the MC to provide basic amenities in most of these colonies. There are a very few colonies where MC officials have allegedly gone out of the way to provide facilities.

According to rough estimates an amount of over Rs 375 crore was required to be spent in case the MC wanted to provided basic facilities for residents. But generating funds is a distant dream of the already cash-strapped MC.

Colonisers have not shown any interest in developing such colonies properly, barring a few exceptions. The plea of most of the colonisers, who generally promise the moon while selling plots or flats, is that the dwellers must pay additional money to acquire basic amenities. One solution, according to colonisers, could be that these illegal colonies could be regularised by the MC, which in turn could initiate development process by collecting house tax and other taxes.


Staff pay from pocket to fetch vasectomy cases
Our Correspondent

Nabha, July 17
Resentment prevails among doctors and paramedical staff of the Civil Hospital here as they are being forced to bring persons for vasectomy. As per a circular issued on June 27, by the SMO, they were asked to bring a certain number of vasectomy cases to hospital otherwise an action, will be taken.

Fearing action, no medic or paramedic is openly speaking against it but their outburst is clear when this correspondent talked to them. Many of them alleged that no medico or paramedic union came raised a voice against the order. Some paramedics on the condition of anonymity said that they had paid from their pockets to the poor persons in order to pursue them for vasectomy as they feared their transfer. They added that they were asked to bring 100 cases and till date 44 vasectomy operations had been done at the hospital. Most of them were reportedly paid between Rs 300 to 700 by paramedical staff.

The local SMO when contacted over telephone said that to motivate people for family planning was the job of paramedical staff. However, he said he do not ask his staff to pay money to fetch cases. He admitted that no such special drive was being carried out in the state but said that he got such orders from Civil Surgeon office, Patiala.

An officer of the Health Department when contacted told this correspondent that no money was being given to those who opt for vasectomy but some money was given by the government in order to undertake non-scalpel-vasectomy in camps only. He was of the view that money payment must be discouraged as it showed that vasectomy was meant only for poor people and well to do persons did not adopt this method. He added that in that case many times the persons beyond reproductive age were shown to undergo vasectomy and there were chances of squandering of funds. He added that at present no family planning programme was being run in the state on the lines of Pulse Polio or AIDS control programs.


Milk producers’ union poll runs into rough weather
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 17
The election for the posts of the chairman, the vice-chairman and a special representative of the SAD-dominated Doaba Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union dashed into rough weather once again as all elected directors of the union belonging to the SAD staged a walkout in protest against the effort of the Union Management to include six “non-voter” members in the election.

Interestingly, the election for the top posts of the union, which is dominated by the SAD, as it has eight of the total 12 elected directors, was scheduled to be held on July 14, but it was postponed. The SAD had alleged that the postponement was effected to enable the Congress to usurp the control of the union in one way or the other.

As an emergency meeting was called for the election of top functionaries of the union today, the trouble started brewing when SAD members got wind that the administration of the union was trying to extend voting rights to six “non-elected” and nominated representatives of various government and semi-government agencies like the National Dairy Development Board, the Joint Registrar and the Deputy Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Deputy Directory (Dairy), Managing Director, Milkfed and the Punjab State Milk Producers Union.

Since, voting rights to six nominated representatives could have pushed the eight elected directors of the SAD to minority from majority, a group of directors led by Mr Sarbjit Singh Makkar, Mr Rajinder Singh Nagara and Mr Ajit Singh Kohar, objected to it and raised slogans against the union management.

“It is unprecedented and undemocratic to make an effort to accord voting rights to non-elected representatives of various organisations,” said Mr Sarbjit Singh Makkar. Mr Balbir Singh, a former MP and senior Akali leader, has also condemned the action and said it was an effort of the Congress to gag democracy.

Though, it was learnt that Mr Shangara Singh was “elected” special representative to the Milkfed, the poll for the Chairman and the vice-chairman virtually ran into rough weather and could not be effected practically due to protests and walkout staged by the SAD directors. “We will go to the court,” said Mr Makkar.


World War II PoWs denied ex gratia
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, July 17
The British Government has informed the Indian Exservices League, Punjab and Chandigarh, regarding the denial of compensation to those prisoners of war PoWs of the Indian Army who fought in the World War II and maintained that the Indian Government was not a party to the 1951 Peace Treaty but reached a separate agreement with Japan in respect of matters arising from the world war. Lieut Col Chanan Singh Dhillon (retd), president of the league, had written to the British Prime Minister regarding the denial of exgratia to the PoWs of the Indian Army who fought for the British in the world war.

They were taken prisoners by Japanese soldiers.

In a letter to Colonel Dhillon, a spokesman for the Defence Ministry of the British Government has said: “The old Indian Army and the Burmese armed forces who are eligible for the new ex gratia are those who received a payment in 1950 under Article 16 of the 1951 Treaty of Peace with Japan through the UK government, that is by virtue of their inclusion in the UK lists of former PoWs which were submitted to the International Red Cross at that time. These lists were principally comprised members or former members of the Royal Navy, the British army and the Royal Airforce”.

The communication further says: “The majority of former members of the old Indian Army who had been Far East PoWs were not included in the lists of Article 16. This was because the responsibility for the old Indian Army and its indigenous soldiers had passed on to the new Government of India and Pakistan when these countries became independent sovereign states in 1947. The government of Pakistan signed the peace treaty with Japan in its own right and made its own arrangements under Article 16.

The Government of India was no a party to the peace treaty, but reached a separate agreement with Japan in respect of matter arising from the World War II.

It concludes: “Accord-ingly, the great majority of those who served in the old Indian Army during the World War II are not eligible for a payment under the UK’s new exgratia scheme’.

Colonel Dhillon told The Tribune that Pakistan had paid the compensation to its PoWs. But the Indian Government did not pay any compensation and just ignored them.

Colonel Dhillon, who himself saw action in the world war, said a large number of personnel of the Indian Army had fought in Germany, Japan, North Africa, Italy and other fronts in the world war.


Inter-faith symposium to be held in Pakistan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 17
The first ever-inter-faith symposium will be held at Lahore’s famous Al-Hamhra Convention Centre from November 12 to 22 where scholars and leaders of all world religions will make presentations and lead discussions on the universal teachings of Guru Nanak Dev and its impact on the inter-faith understanding and harmony.

Mr Harbans Lal, founding vice-president, Sri Nana-kana Sahib Foundation and president, Academy of Guru Granth Studies, USA, stated this to The Tribune here today. He said the symposium, first of its kind, was part of a 10- day pilgrimage to Sikh holy places in Pakistan.

He said the programme would begin with symposium in Lahore where people of all faiths would join world Sikh delegation to undertake the pilgrimage of peace in Pakistan on November 12. Later they would join the birthday celebrations in Nanakana Sahib and then undertake pilgrimage to Gurdwara Sri Panja Sahib and Gurdwara Bhai Joga Singh in Peshawar.

The participants would pay their obeisance and pray for peace in the world and pledge to follow in the footsteps of Guru Nanak Dev.


PCMS body demands recruitment of doctors
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, July 17
The Punjab Civil Medical Services (PCMS) Association today demanded fresh recruitment of doctors in the PCMS cadre without any further delay to end resentment and frustration among unemployed MBBS doctors and to improve the health services in the state, particularly in the rural areas, where 1374 posts were lying vacant in the cadre.

In a joint press statement issued here today, Dr Hardeep Singh, Dr Ajay Bagga and Dr Vijay Bodal, president, press secretary and organizing secretary, respectively, of the state unit of the PCMS Association, urged the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, that the recruitments of doctors should not be done on contract basis.

While criticising the present proposal of recruitment, representatives of the association termed it as an unjustified and against the spirit of justice. As doctors perform medico-legal work, do post-mortem and appear as expert witnesses in the courts. The doctors recruited on the contract basis through an agency would be under the pressure of the proprietors while doing such work, they said.

They further stated that under the said proposal Rs 8,000/- to Rs 13,000/- per month had been recommended as salary by bureaucrats and group of ministers.

Describing this, as a cruel joke with unemployed MBBS doctors. They said MBBS students had to burn midnight lamps for five and half years and spent lakhs of rupees to become a doctor. The proposed salary to medical graduates is not justified which could cause frustration and lead to brain drain.

They pointed out that about 500 medical graduates came out from the medical colleges in Punjab and the similar number of students belonging to other states passed out annually. However, no recruitment has been done for the past four years in state.


PSEB officials hear grievances
Our Correspondent

Phillaur July 18
It was a surprise for farmers of nearby villages, Rurrka-kalan and Ghurrka, in Phillaur subdivision when the Punjab State Electricity Board Member (Operation), Mr B.K. Bindal, along with the Chief Engineer, North, Mr N.K. Arora, and the Superintending Engineer, Mr Subhash Kumar Sabharwal, met farmers to hear their problems. They assured the farmers that eight-hour uninterrupted power supply would be provided to tubewells.

Later talking to The Tribune, Mr Bindal stressed on the need to set up nuclear power Plant to met the electricity demand of the state. He said the state government had identified a site near Pattran. The government had urged the Union Government for formal sanction in this regard.

Mr Bindal said an ATM would be installed at Patiala within two days after the successful working of ATMs at Mohali and Jalandhar. He said the board would soon install 70 substations with a cost of Rs 275 crore in the state.


Youth alleges illegal detention, torture
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, July 17
A youth, Kapil Saini, of local Gobindpura Mohalla today alleged illegal detention and torture by the police. However, when contacted, DSP Navjot Singh denied the allegation.

The 17-year-old Kapil Saini alleged that he was beaten up by the inmates of a house in Nangal Colony here last night.

Then the inmates called the police. He was taken to Satnampura police station where two cops tortured him by fixing him in a “shikanja”, he lamented. He was kept in illegal detention in the thana throughout the night, he rued.

It was only after a protesting BJP leader, Ms Sarita Sood, and her supporters converged at the “thana” today that he was released, Saini said.

He was taken to the Civil Hospital for treatment. He showed signs of thrashing to newsmen.

However, DSP Navjot Singh asserted that the youth had illicit relations with a woman of Nangal Colony. When he went there, the family members and others beat him up the DSP said.


Golden Temple manager injured
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 17
Two persons were killed, while Mr Ajaib Singh, manager, Darbar Sahib, is among three injured when their Indica car collided head-on with a bus belonging to the Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (HP-36-0380), near Kathunangal, about 20 km from here, today. Some of the bus passengers also sustained injuries in the mishap. The injured were rushed to the SGPC and private hospitals.

While car driver Avtar Singh died on the spot, Mr Gurnam Singh, sarpanch, Chak Baloe, succumbed to his injuries on way to the hospital.

The ill-fated car was on its way to Amritsar, while the bus was going towards Gurdaspur.


Mobile phones for train drivers
Our Correspondent

Phillaur July 17
The Northern Railway has decided to provide mobile phones to train drivers, guards and station masters of railway stations concerned to prevent rail mishaps and activate their efficiency.

Stating this, railway sources told The Tribune here today that in the first phase this facility would be provided to railway stations of New Delhi, Palwal, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Ferozepore, Pathankot and Jammu and then it would be expanded to other railway stations in the next phases. The sources said that mobile phones will replace the present system of walky-talkies sets.


Anganwadi workers hold rally
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 17
Protesting against the non-fulfilment of their long pending demands, members of the Anganwadi Mulazim Union held a state-level rally at Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Hall here today.

The members demanded that their services be regularised and they be paid incentives for extra efforts and results. The members also demanded that there should be a provision for a provident fund scheme, TA/DA for circle and other meetings and yearly increments.

The members also demanded that such centres should not be handed over to panchayats or NGOs. They said that an anganwadi worker was being paid Rs 1,200 and a helper was given Rs 600 per month which was far too low to meet their daily needs.

Ms Hargobind Kaur, state president, said, unless their demands are fulfilled, an indefinite hunger strike would be held at Matka Chowk in Chandigarh from August 25 onwards.


Notice to SSP in suicide case
Our Correspondent

Abohar, July 17
Mr Justice S.K. Goyal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, while entertaining CRM 36763 filed by Mr Jawahar Lal has issued a notice to motion to the SSP, Ferozepore, and SHO Police Station city here and fixed the hearing for August 25.

In his petition, the complainant, a resident of Shree Bhawani Cotton Mills labour colony here, said when he returned from his native place in UP on May 28 this year he found that Nikka, son of late Mohan Lal, was allegedly trying to maintain a physical contact with petitioner’s wife Kaushalya.

When, his son, Solesh, and daughter, Mamta, tried to stop Nikka from indulging in such act. Nikka tried to molest Mamta also.

Jawahar Lal alleged that Mamta left humiliated and she consumed some poisonous substance. When Kaushalya rushed to get medical help for the daughter, Nikka allegedly kidnapped her on the way with the help of some of his relatives.

Mamta was admitted to the civil hospital here where she died next day. Mamta reportedly told the family before her death that Nikka and his relatives had made unsuccessful bids to molest her earlier also.

The city police arrested Nikka and Kaushalya under Section 309 for moving under suspicious circumstance and trying to hush up the case. Subsequently they were released on bail.

Jawahar Lal prayed that the SSP and the SHO should be directed to register the case against Nikka and his relatives under Sections 306, 376, 366 and 354 of the IPC.


Implement Shetty panel report, says judicial staff
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 17
The Punjab Judicial Courts Personal Staff Association has demanded implementation of the recommendations of the first national pay commission, which was headed by Mr Justice Jagannatha Shetty. A resolution to this effect was passed at a meeting of the association held at the District Courts complex here today.

Mr Gurdial Singh, president of the association, said the commission was constituted to look into the grievances of the staff attached to the judiciary. He said in its report, the commission had asked to improve the working conditions for the staff.

The meeting was attended by office-bearers from across the state.


Akali activist arrested
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, July 17
The Malerkotla police has arrested Chaudhry Mehra Deen, an Akali activist in connection with a fraud case registered against him.

Mehar Deen was sent to one-day police remand today by the Subdivisional Judicial Magistrate.

According to information available, Mohammed Sattar, brother-in-law of Mehar Deen, in a complaint lodged with the police had alleged that Mehar Deen with his (Sattar’s) forged signatures sent complaints against certain police officers to the Punjab State Human Rights Commission alleging that these police officers were demanding bribe from Sattar in connection with a complaint registered against Sattar under Section 307 of the IPC.

During investigation, the police found that these complaints were false. On the complaint of Mohammed Sattar, the police registered a case under Section 420 of IPC against Chaudhry Mehar Deen, Rasihd Shah and Sabar Hassan. The police has arrested Chaudhry Mehar Deen and Rashid Shah but Rashid Shah managed to escape from the police custody.

Meanwhile the house of Chaudhry Mehar Deen was attacked.

Shehnaz Bane daughter of Mehar Deen, and Shugran wife of Ahmed Deen were injured in this attack. They were admitted to the local Civil Hospital.


Couple consumes poison, wife dies
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, July 17
A quarrel between husband and wife led to the consumption of some poisonous substance by both of them. While the woman died yesterday, the man is struggling for life.

According to police sources, Vidhya Devi of Ludhan village in this district had adopted her niece Giatri Devi. Giatri was married to Tajinder Singh of the same village.

Tajinder was unemployed due to which he developed strains relations with his wife. Recently he received an interview call from some company but he showed his unwillingness to appear for the interview. Whereas Giatri was insisting him to appear for the interview. On her persuasion, Tajinder became mentally upset and on July 15 he allegedly consumed poison. When his mother Jaspal Kaur came to know about it, she allegedly tortured Giatri and held her responsible for it. Following her torture, Giatri also consumed poison. Both were admitted to a private hospital in Jalandhar where Giatri died.

The Hariana police has registered a case under Section 306 of the IPC against Tajinder and his mother.


Willow bats, 35 kg poppy husk recovered
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, July 17
The local police has confiscated 35 kg of poppy husk and willow bats worth Rs 13 lakh that were being smuggled into Punjab from Jammu and Kashmir.

Interestingly, such a large number of bats and poppy husk had crossed the checking barrier at Lakhanpur in Jammu and Kashmir. At Lakhanpur each vehicle has to go through intense checking by the J&K authorities which collect the toll and other type of taxes.

The material was being brought in four trucks. It was covered with bags of vegetables. However, when the Sujanpur police checked the trucks thoroughly they found large number of willow bats hidden beneath vegetables. This raised their suspicions. On checking other vehicles poppy husk was also recovered.

The willow bats have been handed over to the Department of Excise and Taxation. A case under the NDPS Act has been registered against the drivers Sukhdev Singh of Sekhwan village in Gurdaspur and Pramod Singh of Ucchi Bassi village from whose vehicles poppy husk was recovered.

Sources said the material was smuggled through the Kathlore area of Punjab. However, these days the route has been rendered useless due to higher inflows in Ravi.

After the recovery of large cache of arms at various places in Punjab in the recent past, the state police propounded the theory that most of the arms and ammunition smuggled into Punjab from Jammu and Kashmir.

The former SSP of Gurdaspur, Mr Narinder Bhargav, had alleged that the smuggled material could not enter Punjab from J&K without active connivance of officials posted at the Lakhanpur barrier.


Two held on murder charge
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, July 17
Mr Arun Pal Singh, SSP, stated in a press note here today that a murder case was solved by arresting Sandip Kumar and Jaswinder Singh. They allegedly murdered Amrik Singh of Jhingra village last night.

According to the SSP, the accused took Amrik Singh to the fields around 9 pm and murdered him. Amandip Singh and Kulbir Singh were witnesses to the murder.

The police has recovered sharp-edged weapons and a revolver used in the crime.


Boy missing; police fails to register FIR
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 17
Arjun Chawla (19), a resident of Katra Sher Singh, has been missing since April 13, the police has allegedly failed to register an FIR.

Ms Tina Aggarwal, sister of Arjun, said that his Kinetic scooter was found abandoned outside Goal Bagh parking on the same evening. She alleged that though they had submitted a complaint to police station concerned, it was yet to register a case. She further alleged that police officials were not investigating the case properly and was under political pressure.

However, the police authorities when contacted, it said that the boy had purchased lotteries worth thousands after borrowing money. But he allegedly failed to repay the money, they added.


Three held for illegal sale of diesel
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 17
Three persons were held for illegal selling of diesel and sale of adulterated diesel in separate cases here today. One accused is still absconding.

Police sources said a police party led by CIA Inspector Kuldeep Singh got information that driver Charanji Lal and cleaner Gora Lal were supplying diesel to various pumps after loading their tanker from a depot in Jassi Po Wali village.

Today after procuring diesel from the depot they parked their tanker near some trees and were supplying diesel to Barjinder Singh, alias Raju, by breaking the seals of the tanker without permit and consent of their employer.

A case has been registered against them under Section 7 of the EC Act and Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC. The police has also impounded the tanker having 11,960 litres of diesel and a jeep.

In another case, the Sangat SHO got information that Bant Singh of Mehta had kept a large quantity of diesel at his home without any licence or permit and was selling it to farmers after mixing kerosene with it. The SHO along with a food supply inspector raided his home at Mehta village, but he managed to give the police the slip.

The police recovered three barrels of diesel containing 470 litres of adulterated diesel. A case has been registered against him under Section 7 of the EC Act and Section 420 of the IPC.


Gang of truck thieves busted, 2 held
Our Correspondent

Batala, July 17
The police has arrested two members of the inter-state gang of truck thieves. They have been identified as Baldev Singh and Hardev Singh.

The accused along with three others used to steal trucks from the other states and sell them.

They had stolen a truck from Urban Estate Batala which was recovered by the Batala police at Ferozepore. The culprits had escaped from there. Two co-accused Ram Singh and Sukhvinder Singh have already been arrested by Batala police.


Compartment cases to get admission
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 17
Guru Nanak Dev University in an important decision today has allowed students, who had been placed under compartment or reappear in their 10+2 examination, to take admission in BA/BSc Part I courses in its affiliated colleges for the current academic session.

The decision comes in the wake of a news item carried in The Tribune today.

Dr S.P. Singh, Vice Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, in a press release, said this decision has been taken by the university on the demand of the students and their parents.

Earlier the varsity had refused admission to the students who had compartment or reappear in 10+2 arts group in its affiliated colleges.


Punjabi Tribune holds literary contest
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 17
A literary competition for children was organised at Government Girls Multipurpose Senior Secondary Model School here today as part of a talent hunt drive launched by Punjabi Tribune.

The competition attracted hundreds of students from 36 schools.

The students participated in various competitions, including story poetry and essay writing.

Government Pheel Khana School, Multipurpose School and Gyan Darshan School bagged the first, second and third positions, respectively.

Prizes to the winners was given jointly by Punjabi Tribune Editor Shingara Singh Bhullar and principal of the host school Charanjit Kaur Cheema.

Mrs Pritpal Kaur, District Education Officer, who inaugurated the function, said it was a must that children be well-versed in literature.

Mr Shingara Singh Bhullar, in his key note address, lauded the efforts of the school in organising the contest.

On this occasion, Mr Sarabjit Singh Bhangu, district in charge, Punjabi Tribune, Patiala, thanked the principal and staff of the host school for the cooperation shown by them.

Mr Rawel Singh Bhinder, journalist, Punjabi Tribune, welcomed the guests.


Unemployed ETT teachers burn govt’s effigy
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, July 17
Hundreds of activists of the Unemployed Elementary Teachers Union today burned the effigy of the state government near the local bus stand to lodge their protest against the state government for not implementing their already accepted demands.

The agitating teachers reached the bus stand after passing through the main markets of the town. Accompanied by their parents, they raised slogans against the state government demanding the immediate release of the teachers arrested at Ludhiana.

While addressing the agitating teachers, Mr Jagsir Singh Sahota, vice president of the union, said instead of accepting their demand of regular appointment of 6,000 unemployed teachers, the government had arrested the unemployed teachers.

He said activists of the union from all over Punjab would gather at Patiala on July 24 for a protest march.


ETT members burn govt’s effigy

Jalandhar, July 17
Continuing their protest against the arrest of youths in Ludhiana, members of the Unemployed Elementary Teachers Union burnt the effigy of the Punjab Government outside Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Hall here today.

Raising slogans against the Congress, the members said that their repeated demand for the release of their members arrested in Ludhiana was not being paid heed to. They said that their long-pending issue of starting regular recruitment of teachers was also going ignored.

Mr Beant Bhadna, district president, said that the members would have to intensify their struggle in case their demands were not accepted. — TNS

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