P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Missing minor forced into flesh trade 
Neighbour sold her to pimps in Gujarat
Lalit Mohan and B.B. Dogra

Gurdaspur, August 16
The minor girl, who had been missing from the Shahpur Kandi area of the district, has been recovered by the Gujarat Police from a brothel in Ahmedabad. A Gujarat police team arrested Kamlesh, a neighbour of girl, yesterday night on the charge of selling the girl to Gujarat-based pimps who forced her into flesh trade.

The Gujarat police team told The Tribune that the minor girl from Shahpur Kandi was arrested from a hotel in Ahmedabad on August 12 with another girl Pinki for indulging in flesh trade. On interrogation she told that her neighbour Kamlesh brought her to Ahmedabad on the pretext of attending a marriage of her kin.

At the Ahmedabad Railway station she handed her over to Shankar. Shankar took her to a room where Pinki was already staying. Pinki told her that she has been sold to the flesh traders. Shankar and his associates Munna and Matin who allegedly were pimps forced her into flesh trade. She was forced into flesh trade till her arrest from a hotel.

Though the Gujarat police arrested and took away Kamlesh, the minor girl was yet to be restored to her parents.

Recovery of minor girl has saved Shahpur Kandi SHO Sulakhan Singh from being falsely implicated in case. The said SHO had been investigating the case of the missing minor girl. He suspected Kamlesh’s hand in the case due to which her husband was called to the police station for investigation. Kamlesh’s husband who was an ex-serviceman and BSP leader, however, took it as humiliation and committed suicide.

He had left a suicide note in which he accused the local police of humiliating him in the case. The BSP led by its state president Avtar Singh Karimpuri took up the issue. They did not allow the police to perform a post-mortem examination on the body till the accused police officer was suspended. The BSP had also threatened statewide agitation on the issue.

Under pressure from the BSP, the district administration announced a grant of Rs 3 lakh for the kin of the deceased and ordered the registration of a case against the accused SHO.

However, now since the missing girl has been recovered and the police officer proved right suspecting Kamlesh as the main accused in the case.

The case brought up the issue of increased susceptibility of senior police officers to pressure of dharna organised by groups or parties with vested interests.


400 Indian prisoners’ release delayed
64 to go on fast from August 20
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Ferozepur, August 16
With Pakistan’s media raising hue and cry over the decision of Pakistan’s government to release 400 Indian prisoners, their release has been delayed and 64 Punjabi youths detained in Kot Lakhpat Jail of Pakistan are set to start a fast from August 20, said Mr Harpal Singh Bhullar, president of the International Bhai Mardana Yadgari Kirtan Darbar Society, here today.

In a statement here, Mr Bhullar said various newspapers of Pakistan built pressure on their government through articles and editorials forcing it to postpone the release of Indian prisoners. He said Pakistan media also highlighted the fact that about 478 Pakistani prisoners were lodged in different Indian jails and till the Indian government initiate measures for their release Indian prisoners should not be freed. He said the Indian Embassy had already submitted an identification report of 64 Punjabi youths lodged in Kot Lakhpat jail, 330 fishermen, and other Indian prisoners to Pakistan government. He claimed that the ministry concerned of Pakistan’s government had decided to set Indian prisoners free on the Independence Day.

He told that Pakistani officials said the Indian government had announced the release of Pakistani prisoners three/four times, but it was yet to release even those whose identification report had been submitted to it by Pakistani’s Embassy in New Delhi. He appealed to Pakistan’s media to adopt a constructive approach and pave the way for the release of Indian prisoners.

Mr Bhullar also claimed to have telephonic talk with Gaurav Singh, Gurjit Singh, and Baljit Singh, lodged in Kot Lakhpat jail and brought to a Lahore hospital for treatment. He said these youths told him that Pakistan’s officials had persuaded them to call off their fast on July 11 and promised their release within a month. They also informed him that they would resume their hunger strike from August 20. Mr Bhullar said five more youths - Amolak Singh of Ajnala, Joginder Singh of Phagwara, Pardeep Singh of Banga, Rakesh Kumar of Amargarh, and Sunny Kumar of Nawa Shahr, had been lodged in Kot Lakhpat Jail.

Mr Bhullar said he had a talk with Mr Dilip Sinha, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, who told him that talks are on for the release of Indian prisoners. According to him, the Indian government was also contemplating the release of Indian and Pakistan’s prisoners from both sides of the border simultaneously.


Ludhiana selected for central grants
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
About 50 per cent of the country’s population have to go out of their house to fetch drinking water. Another 50 per cent defecate in the open. Level of pollution in urban areas is rising at 0.8 per cent each year. The speed of vehicles in urban areas has been reduced to just 17/18 km per hour ( this was 37/38 kmph 10 years ago). Only 0.7 per cent of the GDP goes towards setting up services in municipal areas. Lastly, the urban population was growing at 3 per cent each year.

These figures were part of an overview on urban areas of the country, presented by Prof O.P. Mathur, of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi.

He was speaking at a national seminar “Capacity building of the local self-government institutions in Punjab,” at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development, here today.

Mr Mathur went on to inform that Ludhiana was among the 60 cities across India that have been selected for an performance-linked incentive scheme for grants. The Union Government has an outlay of Rs 5,500 crore for this scheme and it aims at improving urban infrastructure.

A former Chairman of the Punjab Finance Commission, Mr J.P. Gupta, pointed out that 35 per cent of the Punjab population was living in urban areas making it the fifth most urbanised state in the country. This is happening as infrastructure of roads, water supply, sanitation, schools and health centres is grossly inadequate in the rural areas. This was resulting in uncontrolled migration of people.

Earlier, while inaugurating the seminar, Mr Jagjit Singh, Minister for Local Government, Punjab, lamented that the establishment expenditure of urban local bodies of Punjab alone accounted for 50-55 per cent of the total annual income leaving very nominal availability of funds for infrastructure and development activities.

Giving an example of rapid urbanisation he said the urban population of Ludhiana district had grown to 55 per cent. As a sequel to the demand of public services in urban area had increased manifold, requiring hefty investments in various infrastructural facilities. The urban local bodies lacked financial resources, to cope up with the increasing demand for basic services. Right now 74 per cent of the urban population in the state was covered with water supply and 52 per cent enjoyed sewerage facilities.

A whopping Rs 2459 crore were required to cover the urban population with water supply, sanitation and installation of sewage treatment plants.

To overcome the current challenges, a Municipal Development fund had recently been created by the Punjab Government for 100 per cent coverage of urban areas with water supply and sewerage facilities.

The minister further said that the state government had also initiated steps to improve the financial health of urban and local bodies.

For this purpose users charges had been revised to generate addition income.

Mr B.R. Bajaj, Principal Secretary, Local Government, Mr Rashpal Malhotra Director-General, CRID, and Prof Lauren Van Depoele, Vice President, Study Group for European Policies (SEP), Brussels, spoke on the occasion.


Badal for setting up truth panel by SC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh August 16
Shiromani Akali Dal President Parkash Singh Badal today called for the setting up of a truth commission by the Supreme Court to go into the causes of the decade-long violence in Punjab and expose the forces behind it.

“Since the issue has national implications because of allegations of the games played by the then central leaders of the Congress to use the Punjab turmoil to unleash a communal backlash in the country, only an inquiry conducted by the apex court can cover the whole gamut. No other probe will have any credibility”, said Mr Badal in a statement here.

Welcoming the proposal for such a commission floated by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, yesterday, Mr Badal said that his party had always favoured such a probe by the highest judicial authority of the country.

He also asked the Chief Minister to come clean on which side he would represent before the commission, having been in the Shiromani Akali Dal for most of that period. “Amarinder Singh is on record having blamed the central leadership of his present party for the tragedy of Punjab . We hope he remains honest to his views expressed at that time.”

He said Capt Amarinder Singh appeared to have been unnerved by the apology offered by Dr Manmohan Singh as he thought that this had vindicated the Akali position. Out of spite, he was now talking about a politically motivated commission to put the blame on the Akali leadership.”

Mr Badal said Capt Amarinder Singh had hit upon the idea of a commission only as a political gimmick. “But if he is sincere, we challenge him to accept our offer of a probe by the apex court,” said the SAD chief. 


PSGPC poll: it’s tough fight for Mastan Singh
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 16
The prestige of Mr Mastan Singh, controversial president of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) who is facing serious corruption charges, is at stake as he is pitted against another prominent Sikh of Pakistan, Mr Ujaggar Singh, for the forthcoming municipal council election of Nankana Sahib, scheduled to be held on August 25.

Mr Ujaggar Singh, who is a cloth merchant of Lahore, enjoys the support of Mr Bishan Singh, vice-president of PSGPC and other prominent Sikhs of Pakistan. In case Mr Mastan Singh loses the election then, it will be difficult for him to win the next election of the PSGPC.

Mr Mastan Singh is facing charges of corruption for carrying out maintenance of the Gurdwara, Nankana Sahib. He was also accused of taking permit from the Government of Pakistan for keeping liquor.

According to Jathedar Pritam Singh Bhatia and Mr Swarn Singh Gill, chairman and president of Nankana Sahib Sikh Yatra Jatha, the chances of Mr Ujaggar Singh of winning the council election are bright. This is for the first time that two Sikhs are in the fray for Council elections.

Mr Mastan Singh had become president of the PSGPC this year by replacing the founder president, Mr Sham Singh. The development had divided the Sikh community.

Mastan Singh has been in the thick of controversy following levelling of charges that he and some of his confidants had taken contracts from the Punjab Evacuees Property Trust Board.

In case Ujaggar Singh wins the election, then the chances of Mr Bishan Singh, who is second in command in the PSGPC, would be bright to succeed Mastan Singh in the gurdwara elections.


Students’ stir: DSW resigns 
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 16
Khalsa College students’ strike here today took a new turn when Prof Udham Singh Shahi, Dean Students Welfare (DSW) of the college reportedly resigned as Dean.

Reliable sources in the college said Prof Shahi submitted his resignation to Dr Daljit Singh, Principal of the college, on the very same day when students went on a strike alleging that a large number of students belonging to the College were not being admitted as they had protested last year against the then principal.

Although Prof Shahi, refused to comment on the issue, sources said that he preferred not to get involved in the ongoing controversy between principal and students.

Dr Daljit Singh, principal, claimed that the Academic Council at a meeting today took a serious note of the ‘so-called strike’ by some ‘outsiders’ in the college premises. The Academic Council claimed ‘unwanted elements’ forcibly entered the college and tried to prevent the students from attending classes. He clarified that the students attended classes notwithstanding the ‘so-called strike by the protesting students’. He said the Academic Council decided not to bow before ‘unwanted elements’ and they were not allowed to enter the college. He also urged parents of students not to be misled by false propaganda.

Meanwhile, Students continued strike on the second day today. They raised slogans against the Principal in front of his office. A police contingent was deployed in the college to avoid any untoward incident. The agitating students did not allow other students to attend classes.

Mr Parampal Singh, leader of students, alleged they and their parents were making rounds of the college but they were not given admission on one pretext or other. He alleged the college authorities were giving assurances for granting admission before refusing admission on August 13.

He alleged this was being done with the connivance of present Principal and former Principal against whom the students had protested and who later was shifted to B.Ed College in college premises. He alleged the authorities earlier tried to lock the main gates of the college.


Retrenched BBMB workers lathicharged
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, August 16
The police led by the Mukerian DSP, lathicharged retrenched daily wage workers of BBMB while they were going to present their charter of demands to the Chairman of the Bhakhra Beas Management Board at Talwara, 80 km from here today. Mr Jagdish Singh Chokha, spokesman of the District Committee, Centre of Indian Trade Unions, Hoshiarpur, said more than 12 wounded workers were taken into custody by the police.

Mr Raghunath Singh, Vice-President, All-India CITU, Mr Gurmesh Singh, Mr Mohinder Kumar and Mr Jit Singh have strongly condemned the lathicharge and demanded strict action against police officers responsible for it. They said the district administration and the BBMB management should learn a lesson from the Gurgaon episode and accept the genuine demands of the daily wagers who had been agitating for the past  137 days.

Mr Lok Nath Angra, SSP, Hoshiarpur, denied ordering lathicharge on retrenched daily wage workers. He said a few workers turned violent when they were stopped from going towards chairman’s office.

They first exchanged hot words and later scuffled with the police. When the latter tried to stop them. He said they also misbehaved with the SHO, Talwara. Some of the workers were rounded up. But later the SDM, Mukerian, reached the spot and pacified the agitated workers. All arrested workers were released later on.


CPM organises ‘jan chetna march’
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 16
To protest against the “anti-people” policies of the government, workers of the CPM organised a “jan chetna march” from Garha village, near Phillaur, today.

The march was part of a nationwide chain of protests being organised by the party on the basis of a call given by the central committee of the party.

The march was led by Mr Gurmit Singh Dhadda, district secretary of the party, and “nukkad” meetings were organised by workers at Indira Colony, Kadiana, Pala, Ladhra, Mandi Raipur and Lasran villages.

Speakers demanded that the public distribution system (PDS) should be revived.


BBMB chief inaugurates rock garden
Tribune News Service

Talwara August 16
Chairman of the Bhakra Beas Management Board Mr Rakesh Nath today inaugurated the first phase of rock garden set up by the organisation on the Talwara-Mukerian road. He was accompanied by Mr Nek Chand under whose supervision the garden has been set up.

The Chairman said the rock garden had helped the BBMB utilise the useless scrap lying in its yards. The garden would prove to be a tourist hub for the area. It would help boost the tourism economy of the area.

Mr Nek Chand appreciated the BBMB for taking up and completing the first phase of the tedious rock garden project in a remote place. He said many organisations across the country invited him to provide guidance for setting up rock garden. However, all of them left the projects incomplete due to the transfer of the officers concerned or bureaucratic attitude. The BBMB was the only organisation that had taken up the project of seriously.

The idea of the rock garden here was conceived by the former Chief Engineer (Irrigation) Talwara, Mr Narinder Sharma. He decided to set up the garden on a 60-acre wasteland that was prone to encroachments.

Instead of using the general solid waste, BBMB engineers decided to use scrap that included nuts, bolts, spares of turbines and other machinery used for the construction of hydro projects in preparing statues at the garden.

The garden, besides providing entertainment to children in the form of parks, games, would also educate them about power utilities. Artificial water bodies and three stages Beas dam have been depicted in the form of model in the garden. It also has the facility of cafeteria, parking and retiring room for the visitors.


Doctors told to follow MCI norms
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 16
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has called for effective steps to stop all kinds of assaults on doctors while making it clear that the medical professionals will not tolerate such acts. The first state council meeting of the body held here last evening under the chairmanship of newly elected president R.C. Garg took various decisions on crucial issues facing the medical fraternity. More than 80 doctors from all over Punjab participated.

Taking serious note of the unethical practices and violation of norms by the medical institutions in the corporate sector, the IMA ethical committee asked all doctors of these institutions to work under the set guidelines of the Medical Council of India (MCI). Further, a three-member body comprising Dr R.S. Parmar (Ropar), Dr Jagbir Singh (Patiala) and Dr Sanjiv Sharma (state finance secretary) was formed to go into the financial matters of the IMA, Punjab.

Giving details of the deliberations Dr Gursharan Singh, state secretary of the IMA, stated that with regard to the bio-medical waste disposal companies the IMA was of the view that the rates for collection of this waste should be brought down. Moreover, it should be the prerogative of the local branches of the IMA to fix these rates. The meeting welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court on criminal liabilities of doctors.

The resolution moved by chairman of the in-service wing condemning the state government for hiring doctors on contract was supported. Dr Garg remarked that the IMA would oppose such a move.

Meanwhile, certain functionaries of the Medical Practitioners Association had also organised formal protests at several places in the district against the proposed action plan of the Health Department.


PR men delay I-Day press notes
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 16
The Public Relations Department of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) seems to have gone on an overdrive to please the bosses.

Officials concerned of the PR Department did not release the press note in connection with the 59th Independence Day celebrations held in its Head Office here yesterday where the Administrative Member (AM), Mr H.S. Kamboj, unfurled the Tricolour. They released the note to the media today to get wider coverage.

When asked why they did not release the note yesterday when the event took place, an official reasoned that “had we released the press note yesterday, we would have got the bare minimum coverage or no coverage at all.” He added that since all organisations release the notes the same day, newspapers found it difficult to give adequate space to every function.

Similarly, the district unit of the National Congress Party (NCP) delayed the release of their press note of the I-Day celebrations held at the IOC road, near Rajpura Colony, yesterday. NCP office-bearers said had they released it yesterday, their photograph would not have appeared in the newspapers.

Though the PR department of the State Bank of Patiala (SBOP) also released its press note in connection with the I-Day celebrations today, the officials concerned, who delivered the press note in various newspaper offices today, when asked about the delay, said that they were of the opinion that newspaper offices would be closed on the occasion of Independence Day.


Paper mill workers block traffic
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Mukerian, August 16
Workers of the Mukerian paper mill today blocked traffic on the Pathankot-Jalandhar road for an hour. They were protesting against non-payment of wages by the management for past five months.

Nearly 200 workers of the mill started a rally from the mill gate today morning. Raising slogans against the mill management the workers came to Talwara crossing at 11 am and staged a dharna on the road blocking the traffic. They sat on a dharna for one hour.

Union leaders alleged the management had stopped production in the mill since March this year and since then 800 workers had not been paid salary.

During these months the management has also retrenched 140 labourers. Even the retrenched labourers had not been paid dues. The management has not paid even the EPF of the retrenched workers, they alleged.

President of the workers union Kehar Singh told The Tribune that the management had moved the Bureau for Industrial and Financial Restructuring (BIFR) for declaring the mill a sick unit. Non-payment of salaries and retrenchment of the employees was a ploy to get the unit declared sick.

The workers also alleged that they had made repeated complaints to the Labour Department and district administration against the non-payment of wages but no action had been taken.

After dharna on the road the workers held a rally in Mukerian town.

They staged dharnas before the police station and bus station before proceeding to the SDM’s office for presenting a memorandum.

The workers threatened to intensify agitation if their demands were not met.


‘Jagriti yatra’ flagged off
Our Correspondent

Abohar, August 16
Mr Rajinder Singh Desujodha, national unit president of the Akhil Bharatiya Samast Baoria Samaj Sangathan today flagged off Baoria Samaj “Jagriti rath yatra” to mark the beginning of the 54th Mukti Divas celebrations. The annual conference will be held on August 31 at Kotkapura in Faridkot district.

Those present at the flag-off ceremony included Mr Puran Singh Ottu, national vice president of the sangathan, Mr Darshan Singh Mohangarh, general secretary, Mr Sarabjit Singh Panjgrain, president Punjab state unit of the sangathan, Mr Gurmail Singh, state unit president, Haryana, Mr Baj Singh Kundal, state unit vice-president, Mr Jasbir Singh Doomwali, secretary, Mr Bhajan Singh Makhai, district unit president, Ferozepore, Mr Atma Singh Doda, district unit president, Muktsar, and Mr Randheer Singh Khudian, general secretary, Punjab Youth Congress.

The yatra will reach Ferozepore on August 18, Moga on August 19, Ludhiana on 20, Bathinda on 22, Muktsar on 24. It will enter villages of Faridkot district on August 26 to finally reach Kotkapura on August 31.


One killed as train hits tractor-trailer
Tribune News Service

Phagwara, August 16
One person was killed and another injured when their tractor-trailer was hit by a train at an unmanned railway crossing near Behram, 8 km from here.

According to sources, the victims were going to Behram when at the railway crossing the passenger train 2 J.R.J coming from Phagwara hit the rear portion of the tractor.

The driver of the vehicle, Paramjit Singh, son of Gurmel Singh of Sarhal Mandi, near Goraya, sustained serious injuries while the other victim, Deep, a labourer from Bihar, was also hurt.

Both were admitted to Guru Nanak Mission Hospital at Dhahan-Kaleran in Nawanshahr district where Paramjit succumbed to his injuries.


Removal of encroachment sought
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 16
The Welfare and Park Maintenance Committee, Shakti Nagar, has lodged a written complaint with the MC Commissioner and the EO demanding removal of illegal encroachment on the park by the Mahashakti Mandir.

Shashipal Garg of the committee said that a retired employee had made a tank in the park for the disposal of sewage, which is polluting the atmosphere and damaging the park. He said they had brought the matter to the notice of the MC officials.


Farmers lathicharged
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 16
Farmers of Kathunangal village were lathicharged when they were protesting against replacement of an out-of-order transformer today.

The farmers under the banner of the Bharati Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugraha) were protesting against the laxity of the PSEB in not replacing the transformer at Hamza village. The police used water cannons to disperse them.

The activists of the union were heading towards the PSEB office at Majitha when they were stopped near Wadala village by the police.

The police detained a number of BKU leaders.


Murder case solved; four arrested
Our Correspondent

Batala, August 16
Dr Jitendra Kumar Jain, SSP, Batala District, addressing mediapersons here today, said the police had solved the murder mystery regarding the killing of Gurdial Singh. He was not traceable since April 6, 2005, and his body, along with his motor cycle, was found on April 10, 2005. The arms and legs of the deceased were tied with a string and the parts bore sharp-edged injuries.

A case was registered on April 10, at the Dera Baba Nanak police station.

However, on an information arrested Inderjit Singh, Hardip Singh alias Kala, Sukhwinder Singh alias Bittu and Surjit Singh alias Laddi yesterday. All four accused confessed to have killed Gurdial Singh and they stated that Hardip Singh had stolen an electric motor of the deceased which was subsequently recovered from him and a theft case was pending against him. Feeling insulted, he asked for the help of his co-accused Sukhwinder and Surjit Singh. Inderjit Singh knew black magic and on this pretext he convinced Gurdial Singh to come to him, along with a string and a “rumali,” to enable him to do some puja to further enhance his power. Inderjit Singh was facing a financial crisis and the remaining three accused promised to pay him Rs. 20,000 to help them in killing Gurdial Singh.

According to a plan on April 6, the four accused called Gurdial Singh for the puja and killed him with sharp-edged weapon. They have been remanded in judicial custody.


Kharar resident held in murder case
Tribune News Service

Kharar, August 16
A special investigation team (SIT) of the Punjab Police today arrested Chajju Singh, a resident of Kharar, for his alleged involvement in the murder of three members of a family who were bludgeoned to death in a brutal attack by a group of 15 persons in Chhajjumajra village in Kharar on August 7.

On August 11, the SIT had arrested Ravinder Singh, a resident of village Khooni Majra, on similar charges. The two were reportedly issuing threat calls to the family of the deceased for the past one month. The family had also complained to the Kharar police about the calls.

The family had alleged that one of them had wanted to marry a daughter of the family, but when she was married to someone else, the suitor reportedly started threatening the family with dire consequences.

Another person named Subhash has been brought by the SIT on production warrants from the Ludhiana police. According to the DSP, Mohali, Mr Rajbachan Singh Sandhu, Subhash was in Ludhiana jail and was known to have connections with criminal tribes.

He was being questioned about his accomplices who might have been involved in the crime at Chajjumajra. Ravinder and Subhash are in  police remand till  August 18.


Rs 25 lakh seized from car
Tribune News Service

Phagwara, August 16
Mystery shrouds the seizure of Rs 25 lakh from a car in the Hadiabad locality here this evening.

According to police sources, Sucha Singh, traffic in charge, laid a naka in the Hadiabad locality and signalled an Esteem car (PB-08-AD-4545) to stop for routine checking. On searching the car, the police seized two bags containing Rs 25 lakh.

The police has arrested two persons, Kamaldeep Singh, son of Mohinder Singh, and Satnam Singh, son of Mahender Singh, both of Dhani village, near Nurmahal, in Jalandhar district.

The police has informed the enforcement wing of the Income Tax Department for further investigation of the case. A case under Section 102 of Cr PC has been registered against the accused.


Criminals held within hours of offence
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 16
Acting swiftly an information, the local police arrested two youths within a few hours after they allegedly looted a couple by attacking them with sharp-edged weapons in Bishan Nagar on the night of August 13.

In a press note issued here today, SSP, A.S. Rai said the two youths had been identified as Harpal Singh, alias Bobby, and Sadama, alias Bittu.

They were habitual offenders and had been sent to jail a number of times. Gold and silver jewellery, a mobile phone set, currency notes, bank cheques and ATM cards were found in their possession.


Two caught taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
A team of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau nabbed Bimla Rani, Senior Assistant, Licensing Authority, Drugs branch, in the office of the Director, Health Services, Punjab, in Sector 34 here while accepting and demanding a bribe of Rs 2000.

Mr Pardeep Kumar of Talwandi Sabo, Bathinda, had lodged a complaint with the Vigilance Bureau. A team led by Mr Kahan Singh, DSP, Vigilance Bureau, Flying Squad-I, Punjab, nabbed Bimla Rani. An FIR was registered today.

In a separate case, Sukhdev Singh Brar, Superintendent in the office of the BDPO, Ghall Khurd, Ferozepore, was nabbed while accepting a bribe of Rs 4000 from complainant Binder Singh, Panchayat Secretary, BDPO, KotKapura, for issuing his last pay certificate after his transfer.


Teachers not paid for months
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 16
A number of teachers of government and aided schools have not been paid their salaries for the past about four months.

The teachers on temporary roles have not received their salaries for the past five to six months. On condition of anonymity, a teacher, who has put in more than 30 years of service, said that she had not received her pay for the last three months.

She said two teachers and two employees from the non-teaching staff, who were appointed under planned jobs, had not got their pay for the past half year.

When contacted, District Education Officer (DEO), Mohan Singh Cheema said they had received funds recently and the salary of staffs would be released soon. He said he did not remember how much amount they had received. 


PTU students hold protest dharna
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 16
Demanding a change in a rule pertaining to the examination system, students from various affiliated colleges of Punjab Technical University held a dharna on the campus here today.

Over 200 students of the B.Tech and B. Pharmacy courses, who received their first-year results recently, gathered on the university campus and said they were being forced to repeat their first year as they had failed in at least five of the total nine subjects as per the new rule framed by the university. The students pleaded that the new rule be withdrawn.

The PTU authorities, however, were adamant on sticking to the new rule as they said that since the students had themselves presented an affidavit at the time of admission taking the new rule as one of the two options placed before them. The students said that they were not aware of the rules at that time and they were “misguided” by their principals.

The students raised slogans and tried to block the road outside the campus. Police officials intervened and asked the students to directly talk to the Vice-Chancellor, Dr S.K. Salwan. The students met the VC who told them that the matter would be discussed at a meeting of the principals scheduled to be held tomorrow. The students said that they would hold a rally tomorrow at Matka Chowk in Chandigarh to lodge their protest.


Pbi varsity adds seats to BCA, PGDCA courses
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, August 16
Keeping in view the demand for BCA and PGDCA courses, Punjabi University has increased 25 per cent seats in these courses in three colleges in the town.

About 25 per cent seats have also been increased in MCA and BMIT courses, being offered by the local Malwa College and SSDWIT, respectively. The three colleges including DAV College, SSDWIT and Malwa College, who were offering these courses were earlier finding it difficult to accommodate the students despite the fact that 30 seats in PGDCA in each college had been increased in the beginning of the session.

A number of students were still in the waiting list for BCA and PGDCA courses.

With the new notice all three colleges will now have 50 seats each in BCA course as against 40 earlier on. DAV College and Malwa College will have a total intake of 113 students each for PGDCA, while SSDWIT will offer admissions to 75 students in PGDCA course. Seventyfive students in MCA and 62 in BMIT will be admitted in Malwa College and SSDWIT, respectively.


Trade union backs kiln owners
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 16
The Punjab and Chandigarh unit of the Centre of Trade Union has supported certain genuine demands of brick-kiln owners, including revocation of the condition of using fly ash in brick making, excluding brick-kilns from the VAT regime and ensuring supply of coal at controlled prices.

In a press note issued here today, Mr Chander Shekhar, general secretary of the union, however, opposed the decision of brick-kiln owners to strike work till December as, in his view, it would be a suicidal step for workers and their families. He feared that striking work at kilns would create a shortage of bricks which, in turn, could create artificial inflation of prices of the commodity.

Mr Chander Shekhar accused kiln owners of collecting Rs 2,000 from each of kiln owner and extending the amount to certain ministers. He said that this aspect should be probed by the CBI. He alleged that the NFL, Nangal, was, “sold off” for just Rs 25 crore even as its market price was much higher.


New Chairman of Milkfed takes over
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
Mr Harpartap Singh Majhail today took over as Chairman, Milkfed, Punjab. He belongs to a family of freedom fighters and is a son of Mr Isher Singh Majhail, former Minister of Punjab and former President of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee.

The new Chairman said Milkfed would render services to milk producers with more zeal so that dairy farming became still more profitable.

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