P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



DSGMC recognises PSGPC chief
Sarna leaves for Pak to invite Mastan Singh
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 2
The Management Committee of Takht Hazoor Sahib has inducted Mr Mastan Singh, president, Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC) in the high-profile committee, constituted for tercentenary celebrations of forthcoming ‘Gur-gaddi Divas’ of Guru Granth Sahib.

President of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) today left for Pakistan through Wagah land route to hand over the invitation. This is for the first time that Hazoor Sahib, one of the five Takhts has given honour to the PSGPC since its inception in 1999.

Addressing a press conference before leaving for Pakistan, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna talked to Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti on telephone for seeking his intervention to resolve the controversy over presenting ‘siropa’ (robe of honour) in the Sikh shrines. He justified presenting a ‘siropa ‘ to Ms Sheila Dixit, Chief Minister, New Delhi after ‘kar seva’ of Bangla Sahib Gurdwara. Strongly criticising SAD (Badal) leaders equating him with Jathedar Aroor Singh, who had honoured General O’Dwyer, main accused in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, Mr Sarna said that he would take this case to the Sikh clergy. He said the Jathedars of all the five Takhts should jointly decide if he (Mr Sarna) had done any wrong in honouring Ms Dixit, then why the SGPC had honoured Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister, who also belongs to the same Congress party. The Sikh clergy should direct Mr Badal to step down as president of the SAD and his henchmen for making ‘irresponsible’ statements against leaders of the rival Akali Dals .

Mr Sarna alleged that Mr Badal had married his children in families of senior Congress leaders of Majha region but attempting to malign those who recognise the services of Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister who had resigned as Member of Parliament after Operation Blue Star. He said Ms Dixit had been helping the Sikh community in New Delhi in every sphere. While on the other hand, Mr Badal had been exploiting religion to achieve political ends.

Mr Sarna said that it was shame on the part of the SGPC that huge fees of MBBS students who are wards of senior leaders were not being recovered. He said it was for the first time that the SGPC chief had openly defied the orders of the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission, which was a judicial body. He said the DSGMC would take up the case for recovering this amount to Akal Takht.


No confrontation with CM, says Dullo
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar August 2
Asserting that he had no confrontation with the Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, on any point, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo has made it clear that the “role of Captain is to run and the government and his (Dullo’s) concern is to run the party for being its chief.”

Meanwhile, equating Congress workers with a “sena”, which has been fighting the real battle and has sacrificed their lives for the party, Mr Dullo, has once again given clear signals to bureaucracy that its job was not only to implement the policies of the government, but they should also honour Congress party workers and give due respect to even opposition leaders.

“It is my advice to the CM that only clean bureaucrats and officers should be made to hold key posts of public dealing so as to ensure that people and workers do not suffer at any point. Our “fauj” can win polls for us and not the officers, who, are there to implement the agenda of the government,” said Mr Dullo.

”It is the ‘fauj’, which come out with results in the battle ground and not the Captain, who fights from behind. Our ‘fauj’ has been fighting for us as many as 26000 innocent people, who, were butchered during terrorism, were Congress workers,” said Mr Dullo in an exclusive chat with The Tribune.

“The Chief Minister is an intelligent man and it is a wrong propaganda that he has any differences with me. He meets party leaders and ministers regularly. I have no confrontation with him and rather I am there to strengthen him by taking his programmes to people and workers. Our roles are well defined. He has to run the government and I have to run the party and see how it is to be reinforced. So, where is the scope of any confrontation?” questioned Mr Dullo, who, was seemingly jubilant over the response of thousands of party workers, led by senior local Congress leaders such as Mr Bobby Sehgal, Sudesh Vij and Mr Tejinder Bittu and veteran Congress leader D.P. Sehgal, who greeted him on the outskirts of the city on his way to Amritsar with party flags and slogans.

About the possibility of reorganisation of the party set-up keeping in view the forthcoming polls, Mr Dullo, who, was accompanied by the PPCC General Secretary Parminder Singh, former ministers Mr Tej Parkash Singh, Dr Harbans Lal and senior Youth Congress leader Mr Gurkirat Singh, indicated that the reorganisation was imminent, at least at certain levels.” Only real workers will stay and there will be no place for those who have been showing laxity towards party affairs. The reshuffle in the Cabinet is, however, the prerogative of the CM,” said Mr Dullo.

Clarifying party position in respect to allegations that it had been trying to “usurp” the “Panthic” agenda, Mr Dullo said the Congress was not interested either in the “Panthic” agenda or in the Gurdwara politics. “Our party, under my leadership, will only implement the agenda which has been chalked out by Ms Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. We have no other interests.”

About the future Congress plans, Mr Dullo said the priority was to establish grassroot level contacts with people and to ensure development of the state. “I am satisfied with the pace of development and working of the government. Financial crunch created hurdles. We will make roads and the process is already on,” said Mr Dullo, who, also expressed his satisfaction over the status accorded to the family of late Beant Singh.


Traffic cop turns saviour
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, August 2
A traffic cop today turned a saviour for an old woman. A large number of Congressmen were waiting for PPCC President Shamsher Singh Dullo near Chachoki village octroi post along National Highway No 1 today. Since Mr Dullo was behind schedule by two-and-a-half-hour, the party workers, cooling their heels in the long wait since 6 am, kept crowding the GT Road.

A private company bus slowed down at around 8 am due to heavy rush on the road. A lady passenger, mistaking the slowing down of the bus for a possible roadside halt near the octroi post, hurried down the bus before the bus had actually stopped.

Naturally, the woman tumbled down on the road and if the traffic Head Constable Baldev Singh deployed on duty there among other cops had not shown exemplary alacrity, she would have been crushed under the rear wheels of the moving bus.

The cop, without batting an eyelid, dragged the woman aside to safety. Local Congress MLA-cum-Chairman, Punjab Agro and Foods Corporation Joginder Singh Mann, who was among the party leaders waiting for Mr Dullo, comforted the confused woman and praised the alertness of the traffic Head Constable.

In the melee, the name of the lady passenger could not be known. Somebody from the crowd was heard thanking the God for saving the woman, thereby also saving the maiden visit of Mr Dullo from turning ominous.


Cleaner power from farm waste possible
Rubinder Gill
Tribune News Service

Mr Badhai Lonia, a research scholar, at work in the workshop of the Department of Mechanical Engineering
Mr Badhai Lonia, a research scholar, at work in the workshop of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Patiala. — Photo by Rajesh Sachar

Patiala, August 2
Every summer as temperature soars, so does demand for electricity. Demand outpaces supply easily. The region leads in food production. Agriculture can possibly show the way for power generation too. What is discarded as waste, after the grains are collected can be used to generate electricity.

Mr Badhai Lonia, a research scholar at the Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Patiala, has developed a technology by which agricultural waste can be used in place of coal.

The Fluidised Bed Boiler Technology makes more effective use of fuel besides using unconventional agri waste products. Generally, boilers are fed fuel from the bottom and combustion is not complete. In FBT the fuel is fed from the top, allowing it to be combusted fully. This allows optimum energy generation from fuel.

This technology shows promise in other areas as well.

Coal generates nearly 45 per cent flyash, which is acidic in nature and a major pollutant apart from producing noxious fumes of sodium and nitrogen. With agri waste no flyash is generated and oxides of nitrogen and sodium are considerably decreased. Sodium dioxide, which can produce debilitating symptoms in plants, is not produced at all. Residual ash, which is in the range of 8-15 per cent is not acidic in nature and can be used in fields.

For every kg of coal burnt, 6,000 kcal of energy is produced. Of the 26 combinations of agri waste developed by Mr Lonia, 13 have been tested. Out of these eight produced energy in the range of 4,500-5,200 kcal/kg while five produced energy between 8,000-10,000 kcal/kg.

Agri-waste, besides all above advantages, is also cost-effective. Coal is bought at Rs 4800/tonne in bulk while agri waste fuel would cost between Rs 1500 and Rs 2100 for every tonne.

If nothing else it can take care of the polluting haze the region experiences in every harvesting season. With wheat and paddy straw being put to constructive use, cases of pollution-related diseases would decrease. According to Mr Lonia, the region produces about 1300 tonnes of agri waste per day.

Agricultural waste material is turned into cakes of various sizes in brigadisers. The moisture content is between 15-20 per cent and rise in humidity levels has no effect on fuel efficiency.

More needs to be done on the technology but constraint of funds is a major hindrance. “The technology is very promising but more needs to be done. No institute has those kind of funds. Help from state or central government is needed to take it further,” says Dr N.K. Nayar of Thapar institute, Mr Lonia’s guide.

With Mr Lonia’s fortunes linked to agriculture, his interest seems inevitable. His father and godparents dealt with farming, though on separate ends of the spectrum. His biological father worked as a farm labourer. He lives in Uttar Pradesh and Mr Lonia has not met him for the past 25 years. Mr Lonia was brought up by Mr Surinder Sidhu and Mrs Satvinder Sidhu, on whose farm his father worked as a labourer.

Maybe, Mr Lonia’s labour on this technology can usher in a change for the power generation sector.


Cops yet to proceed against Hawara aides
Saurabh Malik and Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, August 2
Even though the Chandigarh Police is claiming the extraction of vital information from the Babbar Khalsa International’s alleged chief Jagtar Singh Hawara in the jailbreak and other cases, the cops have so far not proceeded against even a single person on the grounds of assisting him in the great escape.

Hawara was taken into custody by the Chandigarh Police on July 7, in the jailbreak case, after being brought from the national Capital. He was, subsequently, arrested by the police in a couple of other cases registered on the basis of his questioning. His police remand ends on Wednesday.

Senior officials of the Chandigarh Police claim that they have managed to prepare a foolproof case against Hawara and other accused. Refusing to divulge the details, they add that the same will be doled out during a press conference to be organised in the near future.

So far, the police has arrested five persons reportedly on the basis of information provided by Hawara during his interrogation. All accused have been blamed for waging a war against the nation. Some of them have even been accused of preparing themselves to act as human bombs for targeting senior political and religious leaders.

Till date, no one has been taken into custody by the Chandigarh Police for providing assistance to Hawara and his alleged accomplices in the jailbreak case, including Paramjit Singh Bheora, Jagtar Singh Tara and Devi Singh. They had tunneled their way out of the Model Jail in Burail village in January last year. Though Hawara was arrested by the Delhi Police before being handed over to the Chandigarh Police, the other accused are still at large.

The sources in the police headquarters say that despite tall claims of cracking a hard nut like Hawara, the Chandigarh Police has not been get much out of him. “The police would have arrested those assisting the escapees had they managed to gather incriminating evidence against them from Hawara’s interrogation. Apparently, the Chandigarh Police is trying to save its face by claiming major success”.

They assert that in one such “face-saving” attempt, the Chandigarh Police claimed that Hawara had named a senior jail official as his sympathiser but had backtracked from the statement following severe criticism for making “irresponsible statements to the media”.

Analysing the incident, the sources admit that the statement was apparently made by the Chandigarh Police without complete verification of facts as it was under tremendous pressure.

The sources said the media had all along been blaming the Chandigarh Police for its failure to crack Hawara. The newsmen had gone up to the extent of doubting the abilities of the Chandigarh Police to interrogate alleged criminals.

Questions without answers

The Chandigarh Police has not been able to give details regarding the whereabouts of other escapees even after questioning Hawara for almost a month now.

Was the jail staff involved in the great escape ? Where is the mobile phone allegedly used by Hawara before he escaped ? Who had supplied Hawara with money and other stuff used in making good the escape? Why have they not been arrested ? These are some of the questions that still require answers.


Health services ‘sick’ in Dhar subdivision
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Dhar (Gurdaspur), July 29
Health services in the Dhar subdivision of the district are in disarray. Most of the medical staff posted in the newly-constructed hospitals, community health centres and dispensaries of the subdivision have managed deputation to the urban areas.

This has rendered futile huge amount spent by the Punjab Health Systems Corporation by raising a loan from the World Bank to improve health services in one of the most backward areas of the state.

A survey of the subdivision revealed that the non-utilisation and the poor construction of most of the recently built hospital buildings and dispensaries have turned ramshackle.

Water is seeping from the roof of the recently constructed building of the 10-bed community health centre constructed in Dhar, the subdivision headquarter. Bed sheets of the only three beds laid there are covered with dust and fungus dots walls of the ward.

The only doctor posted at the centre has managed deputation to Pathankot. The pharmacist and the staff nurse posted here are also on deputation to Pathankot. The only staff present at the centre was a laboratory technician.

The condition of the 30-bed hospital at Bungal Bhadhani is no different. There are four sanctioned posts of Medical Officers and one Senior Medical Officer (SMO) at the hospital, but just one doctor and an SMO have been posted at the hospital.

The skin specialist posted at the hospital is on deputation to Pathankot. Another doctor posted here is on deputation to RNTC programme, while the surgeon is on long leave. Out of the three staff nurses posted here two are on deputation to Pathankot Civil Hospital. The X-Ray technician posted at the hospital was away on deputation to Amritsar.

Sources said due to lack of staff the emergency, laboratory, X-Ray and surgical facilities at the hospital cannot be put to use. The only doctor posted at the hospital is deputed to check general patient from 9 am to 2 pm. After that there was no one to attend patients so the emergency facilities cannot be put to use.

The 10-bed community health centre at Donera is also without medical staff. The only doctor posted here has been transferred and now the people have to travel at least 50 km to avail of medical facilities.

The Health Department authorities blamed politicians for poor health services in the rural areas. They alleged that the staff posted in a rural and remote area managed ‘DO letters’ from the local MLAs or minister for deputation in the urban areas.


Improvement Trust flouts rules
Dumps development schemes

Ravi Bhushan Puri

Pathankot August 2
The Pathankot Improvement Trust has come under a cloud for flouting rules while framing various development schemes. In some cases though the government had purposed the schemes but the trust authorities dropped these in violation of rules causing huge loss to the state exchequer.

Two such development schemes launched by the local improvement trust have run into rough weather due to the alleged political pressure by the ruling Congress politicians. By abandoning the development schemes, residents have started haphazard construction activities in the laid schemes in alleged connivance with certain politicians.

According to sources the government has, in June 2004, introduced two development schemes, which were to be implemented by the trust within a year. The schemes were known as College Road and adjoining Civil Hospital development schemes with purposed area of approximately 8.5 and 4 acre, respectively, in prime locations.

These schemes were duly published in newspapers. According to rules once a development scheme is initiated it has to be forwarded to the government within a year of its commencement by the trust authorities. The sources revealed that even after the expiry of the statutory period of one year; the trust authorities had not forwarded the same to the government due to some vested interests.

According to rules once the scheme is launched it cannot be abandoned without the prior permission of the government and the trust is not competent to abandon the scheme suo motu. It is only the government, which can take independent decisions.

Earlier too, certain officials of the trust were charge sheeted in a similar development scheme as they allowed unauthorised constructions in the area and about Rs 70 lakh of the trust was spent in an “unmethodical” manner. The scheme is still hanging fire despite the directives of the authorities concerned.

When contacted trust chairman Rajbir Singh feigned ignorance in the matter. Deputy Director Local Bodies, Amritsar, G.S. Bal, when contacted over the telephone said he would personally look into the matter. He also confirmed that the trust couldn’t abandon development schemes.


CDPO accused of making caste-based remarks
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 2
The issue of rotten eatables scam has flared up with two anganwadi in charges accusing a CDPO of making “objectionable caste-based remarks” at the time of handing them notices issued by the department.

According to sources, the Secretary of the Child Welfare Council, Uma Ratra, has issued notices to the centre in charge of Mehma Sawai and Nehiawala villages and sought reply from them within 15 days.

The notice issued to Sarabjeet Kaur stated that her work was not found to be satisfactory during inspection of centres. It was also mentioned that she didn’t receive eatables from the official concerned on July 12. However, she showed two letters that confirmed that the centre was closed on both the days.

The two centre in charge, Sarabjeet Kaur and Darshana Kaur, alleged that when they went to the CDPO concerned to receive the notice she made caste-based remarks against them. They have demanded action against the official under the atrocities Act.

Both the centre in charge belong to the Dalit community. They have handed over a letter to the DC and the SSP in this connection. The incident has intensified the tussle between the two parties.

Meanwhile, members of the Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Union today sat on fast in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office. The union announced that children of anganwadi workers would also participate in their stir tomorrow. They said if any untoward incident took place during the strike, the district administration would be responsible for it. They demanded from the state government to withdraw projects from the Child Welfare Council and to reinstate both the anganwadi in charge.


Family alleges negligence by doctors
Pawan Kumar

Amritsar, August 2
Harvinder Singh Narang, a resident of the Lawrence Road area has died allegedly due to negligence of doctors. This was alleged by members of the family here today.

However, the doctors refuted the allegations. Dr K.S. Gugnani of Kunal Health Clinic said he was just acting as ‘helping hand’ and the patient was under the treatment of Dr Amitabh Jairath of Amitabh Gastric and Liver Care Clinic here. Dr Jairath said the family of patient never took his advise seriously.

Mr Surinder Singh Narang, brother of the deceased said that for three days after his admission to the health centre of Dr Gugnani, they were never told about the actual condition of Harvinder Singh had been suffering from cirrhosis of liver for past several years. Mr Narang said they called the two doctors a number of times but they did not care to come and see the patient.

Moreover, he alleged the patient was not treated properly and given medicines which were not suitable to his health as he (patient) was not passing urine and complained of severe pain in the stomach. The family members alleged that an assistant in the hospital told them that the patient in serious condition while Dr Gugnani said he is well and would be right soon.

Dr Gugnani when contacted said the patient was under the treatment of Dr Jairath and he was giving treatment as per the directions of Dr Jairath. He said Harvinder was admitted to his health clinic, as the family of the patient knew him. However, he asserted that Dr Jairath was giving right treatment to the patient.

Dr Jairath said only the son of the patient had met him and he had made clear everything to the wife of the patient. He said he had never promised them that he would visit their house, as he had to conduct a number of operations. He said he had asked the family to admit him to his hospital so that he could keep him under regular observation. He alleged that the family was saying that their ‘guru’ would make him well and was asking to give him ‘churan’. He added that ‘cirrhosis of liver’ was a dangerous disease and he had never guaranteed any time period for the recovery of the patient.


Roadside eateries or traffic hazards?
Raj Sadosh

Abohar, August 2
Vested interests have not only encroached upon the government land on both sides of the city bypass and highway roads, but also developed the area into a crime zone, according to sources.

The manual maintained by the Public Works Department as well as by the Union Ministry of Surface Transport prohibits any kind of construction within 100 ft on both sides of the highway road. The area for the bypass was 300 ft. But illegal constructions had narrowed down the distance from the highways and the bypass here to a few inches only. Restrictions on fixing publicity boards on these roads and crossings had also been defied with full impunity.

According to a survey initially two tea stalls were opened near the southern bypass here, but now full- fledged restaurants have come up there. The distance of STD PCOs was less than 7 ft from the bypass and maintained by the Central Public Works Division (CPWD), whereas the maintenance of the highways rested with the Public Works Department (Buildings and Roads).

The state and central highways linked Abohar with Sriganganagar, Fazilka, Malout, Hanumangarh and Seeto Gunno. The bypass linked the Malout road with the Hanumangarh road (state highway), the Sriganganagar road (NH 15) and the Fazilka road (NH 15). Encroachments are galore even on crossings and turning points.

Surprisingly, the Punjab State Electricity Board and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd had released connections to alleged encroachers without getting a No-Objection Certificate (NoC) though it was mandatory for them.

Six months ago, a liquor kiosk was put on the crossing that linked the Hindumalkot Defence road with the bypass. It had been converted into a liquor sale outlet by now though it was without mention in the list of approved vends maintained by the Excise Department, the sources said. Such violations were reportedly very common here and other parts of the subdivisional town and rural areas.

The state government had launched an offensive against encroachments on NH 10 on December 2, 2002, and demolished illegal structures near the outer Fazilka road octroi checkpost here. But the liquor shop was spared though it was located on the main road while auctioning such shops the government had cautioned the contractors against opening a sale outlet within 300 ft of either side of the national highway.

With the passage of time, illegal structures had also come up on the Fazilka road besides an unauthorised meat shop that reportedly sold unbranded meet of animals without verification from veterinary doctors.

Well-placed sources said drug peddlers and addicts were frequenting some of the restaurants and dhabas located on the bypass and highway roads. Customers could be noticed consuming liquor/wine in open while occupying chairs close to the roadside. Visitors to these spots generally flouted traffic rules by indulging in triple riding on two-wheelers used not only after sunset but also in broad daylight also.

The PWD had not taken action against the market that had developed on NH 15 at Khuyiansarwer, Gidderanwali, and Kallarkhera villages during the past decade. The shops, including liquor outlets, were located right on the highway.

Some religious places too had been constructed within the prohibited area on all the highways here. Such locations had developed accident-prone zones, police files confirmed.


Scribes hail Hooda’s announcements
Tribune News Service

Kharar, August 2
Hailing the announcements of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda to set up a welfare fund for journalists, institute two awards to encourage mediapersons, withdraw all false cases against scribes by the previous state government and frame a new media policy, the Ropar district unit of the Chandigarh-Punjab Union of Journalists (CPUJ) has termed it as right step, which will go a long way in ensuring welfare of journalists and development of journalism in Haryana.

Presiding over the annual convention of the Haryana Union of Journalists in Bhiwani on July 31, Mr Hooda had made these announcements.

CPUJ Ropar district convener Mr Nitin Jain has urged the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to follow suit and take similar steps for the welfare of journalists working in Punjab.

Jain expressed solidarity with seven journalists who got injured in an encounter between militants and the security forces in Srinagar on July 30 and urged the Jammu and Kashmir Government to provide treatment free of cost, besides financial assistance to them.

The CPUJ district unit demanded that the Jammu and Kashmir government should ensure adequate safety and security for journalists working in the valley in order to ensure their free movement and working.


Village sans power for 24 hrs
Our Correspondent

Kharar, August 2
Residents of Abhaypur village have remained without power for the past about 24 hours.

Mr Ram Singh, president of the Nagar Sudhar Youth Club, complained that residents were facing problems due to power failure. He said when an official concerned of the power board was approached in this regard, he failed to give a satisfactory answer.

A number of villages around Kharar were also not getting adequate power.

Mr Sanjiv Kumar Ruby, general secretary of the Sarpanch Association of Kharar block, said if the situation persisted, residents would be compelled to protest at the 132 kv sub-station at Khanpur.


Association formed to check crime
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 2
An association, Anti-Terrorist and Crime Forum, to check the increasing crime and anti-terrorist activities was formed here yesterday. Mr Satwinder Singh Toni, former police tout, who has been elected president of the forum, in a press conference here alleged that the political interference in the working of the Police Department was the main cause of increasing crime all over the country.


Heatwave claims life
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, August 2
The heatwave, which has been sweeping the region for the past many days, today claimed at least one human life.

As per a press note issued, the body, which was recovered from local Amrik Singh Road, was shifted to local Civil Hospital for a post-mortem examination. The deceased could not be identified.


Judgement reserved in PMET case
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 2
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today reserved its judgment on the petition filed by candidates challenging the result of the second examination for PMET 2005.

During resumed hearing of the petition, the Bench of Mr Justice J.S. Khehar and Mr Justice S.N. Aggarwal came down heavily on the conduct of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, vis-à-vis anomalies in the answer code keys. Expressing strong displeasure with the university, the Bench also pulled up experts appointed by the university.

“We are unhappy with your experts. One must admit one’s mistakes,” the Bench told the university counsel.

Earlier, counsel for some of the successful candidates challenged the maintainability of the writ. The bona fides of the report submitted by the CBSE panel of experts was also questioned, with counsel even accusing the CBSE of giving a one-sided report.

Counsel for Guru Nanak Dev University informed the Bench that the Vice-Chancellor had suggested that the CBSE report could be placed before a panel comprising three Principals of government-run medical colleges in Punjab, suggesting further action.

Counsel for Baba Farid University, Faridkot, stated that the CBSE experts must be commended for doing a fine job. To a poser from the Bench on what could be a possible course of action, counsel stated that something similar to what was done some years back by Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar, could be done. When it found that there were irregularities in the common entrance test (CET) conducted by it, PTU scraped the entire test and carried out the entire process again, he stated.

Counsel for the petitioners, suggested that the entire question paper be got re-checked with a fresh answer key. He, however, prayed that the same be got done through an agency like the CBSE or Panjab University, Chandigarh.

After hearing counsel for all sides for almost four hours, the Bench reserved the judgement.


Remand for three in Kumbra case

Kharar, August 2
A local court today remanded the three accused in the Kumbra case to police custody till August 4.

The three, including two women, Sunita and Santoshi, were arrested along with Rahul by the Mohali police yesterday following a complaint by a minor resident of Kumbra.

The victim had alleged that her two friends had forced her to spend time with Rahul following which she had conceived.

The matter came to light when the parents of the girl realised that she was pregnant and reported the matter to the police.

A case under Sections 363, 366 and 367 of the IPC has been registered. — TNS


Incentive to break wheat-rice cycle
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
In an important decision taken to break the wheat-rice cycle of cropping, the Punjab Government will pay Rs 10,000 per hectare per year for three years to compensate farmers for not sowing wheat and paddy on their land.

Those farmers who will diversify the cropping pattern to plant trees will be given the compensation.

An official spokesperson of the Forest Department said that the government would spend Rs 1 crore to increase tree cover in the state. In order to increase the number of beneficiaries, the benefit would be limited up to 2 hectares per farmer.

The plantation of species such as poplar, eucalyptus, dhrek, bamboo, kadam and semol would be encouraged under this scheme. The cultivation of bamboo would be encouraged in the kandi area as this species was a good soil binder and helped control floods by stabilising rainfed and fast-flowing choes.

The saplings of such plants were being provided to the public by the Forest Department at subsidised rates.


Freebies for farm sector on anvil
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, August 2
The Punjab Government is all set to announce the grant of free water and power to the farmers having three hectares and less holdings. The announcement in this regard is expected to be made by the Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh on August 20 the birthday of the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

The Chief Minister has summoned a high-level meeting to discuss the issue of subsidies to the farm sector tomorrow at Chandigarh.

According to information available with The Tribune today, there are as many as 997372 operational holdings in Punjab and the number of holdings having three hectares of operational land is 510596 respectively. The percentage of holding having three hectares of operational land is 61.19 per cent. The total number of electric motors installed in the farm sector in Punjab are 922813 and the number of electric motors with the farmers having three hectares of operational land is 310655 and their percentage is 33.66.

The enquiries further reveal that the state has very low number of half hectare holdings 42055 which is just 4.22 per cent of the total holdings. The number of holdings from half hectare to one hectare is 80705, one to two hectare 17071, two to three hectares 214765, three to four hectare 113466, four to five hectares 127770, five to 7.5 hectare 118043, 7.50 to 10 hectares 55141, 10 to 20 hectares 60660 and up to 20 hectares the number of holdings is 11696 respectively.

It may be mentioned here that the SAD-BJP Government in Punjab had introduced free water and power supply to the entire farm sector in 1997 with a promise to pay a subsidy of Rs 250 crore to the Punjab State Electricity Board to compensate the PSEB in lieu of the free power. But it did not pay any amount with the result that the PSEB was financially starved. At present the financial status of the PSEB has improved with the support of the state government and enhancement of power tariff.


Three arrested for selling ‘spurious’ pesticides
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, August 2
The Dirba police today arrested three persons, Chatarbhuj, alias Pinki, owner of Singla Khad Bhandar, Dirba, his father Jai Gopal Singla, and Sat Pal, a supplier of spurious pesticides and resident of Balberra village in Patiala district, in connection with selling and supplying spurious pesticides.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Harinder Singh Chahal, SSP, said the police had seized 60 kg of spurious Coro Mandal and 4 G Padan (pesticides) from them.

Mr Chahal said during interrogation the owner of Singla Khad Bhandar told the police that Sat Pal had been supplying spurious bio-zinc, Coro Mandal, 4 G Padan, to them and during 2004 they sold about 15 tonnes of spurious pesticides to the farmers, while during this paddy season they sold 14 tonnes of spurious Padan 4 G, Coro Mandal, to the farmers, besides about 18 tonnes of spurious bio-zinc.

The SSP said during interrogation Sat pal told the police that he had about 70 dealers in 24 towns in Sangrur, Patiala and Ropar districts, to whom he supplied spurious pesticides and spurious bio-zinc after purchasing the same from a Delhi firm owned by Ramesh Bansal. He also said that in this business, his brother-in-law Parminder, a resident of Cheeka village in Haryana, had been assisting him, the SSP added.

Mr Chahal said the accused had earned about Rs 20 lakh in every season by selling spurious pesticides and bio-zinc. He said with the use of spurious bio-zinc and pesticides, the farmers had suffered huge losses this year.

Mr Chahal disclosed that the Sunam police today arrested Sukhpal Singh and Harvinder Singh in a cheating case. He said both arrested persons and Bhura Singh, yet to be arrested, had cheated Gurdip Singh of Heero Kalan village of Rs 5 lakh on the pretext of converting his Rs 5 lakh into Rs 15 lakh.


Reader to SDM held for graft
Tribune News Service

Moga, August 2
The Vigilance Bureau today caught Reader to the Moga SDM red-handed while he was accepting bribe at his office here.

According to sources, the complainant, Vikas Kumar, the hearing of his case against one Devinderpal Singh was on in the court of the SDM, Mr Gurnam Singh Gill.

The Reader to the SDM, Mr Jasbir Singh, demanded Rs 10,000 from him to get favourable verdict. Vikas recorded his conversation with the Reader when he sought bribe from him. Finally, a deal was struck for Rs 6,000.

Vikas lodged a complaint with the Vigilance Bureau. A Vigilance team led by DSP Jora Singh today laid a trap and arrested Jasbir Singh while he was accepting bribe from Vikas Kumar. He has been booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Meanwhile, sources said the verdict was about to be delivered in favour of the complainant and as the accused knew about it he took Vikas for a ride.


Booked for “detaining” SDO, JEs

Tarn Taran, August 2
As many as 20 kisan leaders have been booked for attacking and injuring a police party last night when it came to rescue an SDO who was detained by kisans at Naushehra Pannuan village, 15 km from here yesterday.

Hundreds of kisans started an indefinite gherao yesterday to stress on the demands of the kisans. SDO Mr Sadhu Ram and other JEs were “detained” by the farmers till late night. The police got the SDO and others freed by using force. The case has been registered at Sarhali police station.


Blind murder case solved
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 2
The Jalandhar police has solved a blind murder case, wherein a youngster of Kaki Pind, was allegedly done to death by his friend at Kapoor village on August 7 last year as the latter suspected that the deceased had illicit relations with his girlfriend.

Though the police has not confirmed it as yet, it was learnt that two of the friends of deceased Lucky, who had allegedly connived with their third friend, Sanju, of Dakoha village, have been detained and they have confessed during their questioning that Lucky had been given pesticide mixed with tea by Sanju before he was taken to a secluded place and murdered by them at Kapoor village with swords on August 7 last year. His body was recovered after a number of days after the crime.

They were said to have confessed before Mr Pawan Rai, SP, that Sanju, who was currently in jail on allegations of kidnapping his girlfriend, had allegedly committed the crime as he suspected that Lucky had illicit relations with his girlfriend. A case has been registered at Adampur police station, it was learnt.


Couple found drugged in train
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 2
Manjit Singh (35) and his wife Neelam (32), residents of Kotkapura in Faridkot district, were found in an unconscious state in the Hardwar Express as it reached here this morning.

The couple, who were still in a semi-conscious state, told the GRP that they had gone to Hardwar on a religious tour and were offered toffees by some co-passengers while they were coming back in the train. After that they fell unconscious.

That the couple were unconscious were said to have been detected by GRP officials while they checked the train as a matter of routine. Later they were admitted to the local Civil Hospital where they were undergoing treatment and were said to be out of danger.


Cong leader hurt in assault
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, August 2
Mr Ashok Malhotra, a senior Congress leader and an former councillor of Kapurthala, was injured seriously in a murderous attack on him by unidentified persons here today.

Mr Malhotra, who runs a chemists shop in front of the Civil Hospital, was opening the lock of his shop at 6.45 a.m. when he was attacked allegedly by two persons with sharp-edged weapons while the third one kept on waiting on the motorbike. As soon as Mr Malhotra saw the attackers, he tried to protect himself and in the process he got severe injuries on his arm and in the face. He has been referred to DMC, Ludhiana.


Poll rivalry leads to murder
Our Correspondent

Batala, August 2
The police has registered a case under Sections 302, 364, 450 and 34 of the IPC against Manjeet Singh, Jasbir Singh, Daljit Singh and Charanjit Singh, residents of Cheema Khudi village for kidnapping and killing Prem Singh of the same village on the report of Randhir Kaur, wife of the deceased.

One of the culprits Manjeet Singh is an ex-sarpanch of the village, who had some grudge against the deceased due to panchayat elections.

The police said Manjeet Singh along with his accomplices kidnapped Prem Singh yesterday and took him to his house. There they beat up Prem Singh. He was seriously injured and died at government hospital, at Bham village.


Decomposed body of Dalit found
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, August 2
The decomposed body of Sakattar Singh (45), a member of a Dalit family, a resident of Rasulpur village, five km from here, was found from the canal of Kairon village last evening. The deceased was taken away by seven policemen from his village on July 28 .

A case under Section 302 against seven unidentified policemen has been registered on the complaint of Mr Nishan Singh, brother of the deceased. The family members alleged that Sakattar Singh might have died after he was beaten by the excise staff.

A large number of residents of Rasulpur village were present in the local civil hospital today where a post-mortem examination was to be done. As the residents raised voice against some foul play by the police and others, the authorities sent the body to medical hospital for forensic examination.

Mr Paramjit Singh Grewal, SSP, denied involvement of policemen in the alleged murder of Sakattar Singh.


Woman booked for dowry death
Tribune News Service

Moga, August 2
A woman has been booked for reportedly burning her daughter-in-law to death for dowry at Kale Ke village in Baghapurana.

The complainant, Mr Piara Singh, stated that his daughter, Harjit Kaur, was married to Hakam Singh of Kale Ke village. He alleged that her mother-in-law, Kuldeep Kaur, used to torture her for dowry. He alleged that Kuldeep set his daughter afire yesterday, which led to her death.

On the basis of his statement, the Baghapurana police has registered a case.


Two proclaimed offenders held
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, August 2
The police has arrested two proclaimed offenders, Jaspal Singh, alias Munna, of Mehtabgarh and Kewal Kishen Khanna of Bahoni, New Delhi, according to Kapurthala SSP Tejinderpal Singh Sandhu.

A press note issued here this afternoon said that both the POs were arrested from Delhi yesterday by a police party headed by Sub-Inspector Gurvinder Singh Sandhu, SHO, Sultanpur Lodhi.

They were taken on “rahdari” remand by presenting them before the ilaqa Magistrate at Delhi and brought to Sultanpur Lodhi.

They were today remanded in two-day police custody by the Sultanpur Lodhi Judicial Magistrate.

Jaspal Singh, alias Munna, was wanted in three cases of fraud and was declared PO in all the three cases. He was about to flee the country and was arrested from near Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi.


500 gm of smack seized
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 2
The CIA staff seized 500 gm of smack from a resident here yesterday. The police on a tip-off arrested Nanna, a resident of New Model House, and seized the smack. During interrogation, Nanna was reported to have confessed the crime.


Surprise checking of school by DC
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 2
Deputy Commissioner, Rahul Bhandari checked a government senior secondary school at Paras Ram Nagar here today.

When the DC interacted with the school principal he could not tell about his school’s result and even names of teachers. The DC then headed towards the computer room and was amazed to see that none of the students could switch on a computer. Out of total of 24 students present no one could name any of the computer parts. When the schoolteachers informed the DC that their students had been learning computers for the past many months, he was annoyed.

The school principal, Harjeet Singh, could not tell about the result of board classes of his school. Later, he saw the result from school record.

The DC also reviewed the work of accounts and English teachers. Mr Bhandari said he would take class of students and hold a meeting with the teachers. He would also take a test of the teachers as well as the principal. The DC expressed unhappiness with the teachers and gave them one week to set things right. The PTA chief, Mr Jagroop Singh Gill, was also present. The DC also told him to keep an eye on the activities in the school. He told the teachers that he would not tolerate negligence. He said he would review subjectwise result of the school next week.

The school staff and parents demanded a cycle stand in the school. The DC assured them of providing it soon.


VC for legislation to solve problems of refugees
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 2
There was need of a legislation to tackle problems of refugees, which is dealt with on an ad hoc basis in the South Asian countries in the absence of any legal framework. This was stated by Dr S.P. Singh, Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) while inaugurating a three-day Teachers’ Training-cum-Sensitisation Programme on Human Rights Protection for Refugees being organised at Guru Nanak Bhavan Auditorium by the Department Laws of the University in collaboration with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

The VC said there was also absence of regional declaration or a regional arrangement in South Asian countries or other parts of Asia like Latin American countries and the African countries. He said the refugees should be sensitised, educated and trained so that they could become good citizens of the nation.

In the absence of legislative framework, the Vice-Chancellor said it had become responsibility of the judiciary in the South Asia to enforce human rights of refugees. Judiciary in India, he said had played a vital role in affording protection to refugees under Article 21 of the Constitution, which had received the widest interpretation from the Supreme Court over the years for protecting basic human dignity. The Vice-Chancellor said that the refugee protection should be the concern of all civilised countries since they were victims of persecution in their country of origin and they seek refuge in other countries. Their problem was not only of humanitarian law but of Human Rights Law. Thus, the judiciary had to play highly important role in according this protection to the refugees.

He hope that teachers participating in the present programme from the Northern States would advert to this crucial role played by the judiciary in India in protecting the rights of refugees and developing a new dimension of Human Rights Law.

Ms Sumbul Rizvi, Protection Officer, UNHCR talking about the activities of the Commission said that we should not forget and ignore the fact that the refugees, displaced persons, asylum seekers had left their states and homes due to compelling reasons and not on their own. She said they deserved sympathy rather than rebuke and need to be treated with dignity and respect. These persons have certain rights and a good chunk of world population is in refuge, she added.


Students protest against management
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 2
Students of the Giani Zail Singh College of Engineering Technology today protested against the college management on the campus.

Resentment brewed among the college students when the management, instead of providing medical care, reportedly ignored a student who got injured in a road accident. They demanded suspension of the caretaker and action against the warden for their “negligence”.

In a statement here today, the students said the warden passed by the injured student, but didn’t feel any responsibility to take care of him. They alleged that the college was charging a hefty fee from them, but when it came to amenities they were getting nothing. They said the college didn’t have any ambulance to rush injured to a hospital in case of any untoward incident.

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