P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Punjab Infotech scheme to attract
IT companies fails

Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 24
One of the most-hyped schemes of Punjab Infotech Limited offering small pieces of prime land in Mohali for the setting up of information technology (IT) and related industries has fallen flat on its face. Even though land for these ventures was offered at subsidised rates, the scheme did not attract big players leading the Department of Industries to consider seriously the feasibility of the entire scheme.

While the MD, Punjab Infotech, Mr N.S. Kalsi, today stated that the scheme would be re-advertised, sources in the Industries Department hinted that the option of scrapping the scheme altogether was also considered during the meeting of the “off the shelf” allotment committee held last week under the Chairmanship of the Chief Secretary, Punjab.

Stating that the scheme was not being scrapped, the Principal Secretary, Industries, Mr S.C. Agarwal, pointed out that the scheme would be re-advertised but the terms and conditions would be tightened in order to attract better companies this time.

“We received applications from some local companies and we would not like to give prime land to such companies at these low rates. We are going to change the allotment conditions and the rejected companies can apply again or take their money back,” he said.

Over 15 acres of prime land in Sector 67 here was offered by Punjab Infotech in small chunks of 1, 2 acres each and a single 5 acre plot at less than market rates to experienced IT companies for the setting up of IT, ITES, BPOs communication, telecommunication services and electronics etc. The companies were allowed to develop a residential and commercial component, also in a certain ratio. However, after issuing repeated advertisements for the scheme, only 20 companies applied in various categories.

An allotment committee of the Industries Department interviewed these companies on July 21, 2005, and rejected majority of the applications for not being up to the mark. Interestingly, the Punjab Infotech MD Mr Kalsi did not attend the meeting, excusing himself in the midst to attend to some urgent work. Taking note of the fact that there were hardly one or two applicants which could be termed as extremely good, the allotment committee later pointed out: “The market prices of land in Mohali are quite high and there are many takers for that. In that case whether, it is justified on the part of Punjab Infotech to allot this land at a very low rate, especially in view of the fact that quality applications have not been received.” 


Badal faces rough weather
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, August 24
The Akali cauldron seems to be boiling again. Factionalism in the Shiromani Akali Dal has sharpened and loud voices are being heard which do not seem to be favourable to the Akali supremo Parkash Singh Badal. It is in this background that Mr Parkash Singh Badal had to come out with a statement that his son, Sukhbir, was not a chief ministerial candidate and that he would not contest the next Punjab Vidhan Sabha election. All senior Akali leaders are disenchanted with the style of functioning of Mr Badal. They do not find any room for themselves in the system on which Mr Badal presides. Mr S.S. Dhindsa has already expressed his resentment over the Delhi organisational affairs and given up the responsibility of the same. Captain Kanwaljit, former Finance Minister, in his characteristic style, is functioning with a low profile. The traditional Akali leaders after the death of Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra like Jathedar Jagdev Singh Talwandi have chosen to withdraw from the active field. In Majha area, Mr Ranjit Singh Brahampura finds himself at the receiving end. He has been edged out of the SGPC working and his supporters are dissatisfied.

All others are surrounded by controversies particularly for the non-payment of the dues of the wards who got admission to the MBBS course in the SGPC-run institute Sri Guru Ramdas Institute of Medical Sciences. The SGPC since the death of Jathedar Tohra has remained the centre of controversies and the rank and file of the Akali Dal strongly feels that Bibi Jagir Kaur, president of the SGPC, rakes up controversies to create difficulties for Mr Badal. The dossier controversy attracted criticism from intellectuals. Thereafter, the issue of women performing sewa at Harmander Sahib was brought into the limelight and now according to Bibi Jagir Kaur, the SGPC is considering to appoint a lady jathedar who could be one of the Panj Piaras. All this is a departure from the scheme of SGPC functioning. Earlier, all the Sikh sampardas and Sikh intellectuals, were consulted frequently. But Bibi Jagir Kaur operates in consultation with some handpicked supporters and their interference in the SGPC affairs is resented. In the present controversy Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta has come out with a strong statement and he has given the details of the method adopted for resolving such matters. With all his equipment and proficiency in Sikh affairs, he finds himself left out. He has good rapport in religious affairs within the country and abroad.

The state of affairs in the Delhi unit of the SAD are also depressing. The Delhi Akali Dal led by Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna is in control of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC). He has emerged as a strong urban Sikh leader of Delhi, Punjab and Haryana. Besides, he has also made his place in the Sikh religious circles by taking active part in the renovation, repair and pilgrimages to the Sikh shrines in Pakistan. He has been vocal and effective in the turban affairs too.

Organisationally, the Shiromani Akali Dal has lost much of its influence among Sikhs who have been traditional supporters of the Panth. Mr Parkash Singh Badal has a lot of soul searching to do. His major task is to recast the SGPC hierarchy. He has to answer the pertinent question of the common Sikhs who vocally say — what are the compulsions of Mr Badal to retain Bibi Kaur despite her reputation and her habit of creating controversies which in no way are beneficial to the Panth.


SAD (A) move against SGPC chief
Misuse of gurdwara funds for political rally
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 24
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) here today filed a petition before the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission (SGJC) against Bibi Jagir Kaur, President and Mr Dalmegh Singh, Secretary, Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), Mr Waryam Singh, secretary, Dharam Prachar Committee and Mr Sulakhan Singh, manager Gurdwara Baba Bakala allegedly for using gurdwara funds for organising a political rally at Baba Bakala Gurdwara on the occasion of Rakhar Punnian.

Mr Baldev Singh Sirsa, national general secretary farmers wing of the SAD (A), in a press statement today said the September 14 has been fixed as next date of hearing. He alleged that the Congress party had backtracked from filing the petition.

He alleged that the manager of Baba Bakala, Gurdwara, Mr Sulakhan Singh had floated a tender inviting estimate for the installing pandal on the occasion of annual fair of Rakhar Punnian at Baba Bakala. He claimed that Rs 5.40 lakh were spent for the pandal.

The entire cost was borne by the Dharam Prachar Committee. He alleged that it was not a religious rally as claimed by the SGPC and SAD leaders, but a political 
one as not a single word on religion was uttered during it.

He alleged the Akali 
and BJP leaders levelled only charges and counter charges against rival political parties at the rally.


Harmful chemicals being used to ripen bananas
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

A bottle of chemical that fruit vendors in Bathinda’s fruit market use to ripe bananas early.
A bottle of chemical that fruit vendors in Bathinda’s fruit market use to ripe bananas early.
— Tribune photo by Kulbir Beera

BATHINDA: Banana, they say, is good for enhancing brain power, but think again before consuming it as some fruit traders are using harmful chemicals to ripen them early so as to make quick money. When The Tribune team today visited the local fruit market, migrant labourers were openly dipping bananas in a solution of chemicals to ripen them quickly.

These fruit traders are playing with the lives of people for earning big money in short time. Three labourers were spotted dipping bananas in a coloured solution at one of the stores in the Banana market of the city.

When this correspondent picked up a bottle hidden under bananas, one of them revealed that they dip bananas after mixing the chemical in water. The bottle didn’t have any wrapper. At another store, labourers tore off half of the wrapper on another such bottle. Fruit traders disposed of these chemical solutions fearing collection of their samples. One of the traders said with this solution bananas get ripened within a day. Some other traders, who got the wind of The Tribune’s visit, downed their shutters and fled away.

The District Health Officer was also called to the market. A migrant labourer than took him to a pesticide shop from where they used to buy these harmful chemicals to ripen bananas. The shop owner revealed its name as Crimpone.

According to sources, fruit traders ripen about two truckloads of fruits daily with the aid of chemicals. PAU expert Dr Anirudh Thakur said earlier traders used to keep a small amount of calcium carbide to ripen fruits, which was banned. He said the chemical that fruit traders were using to ripen fruits were normally used for growth of their plants and it is called Ethaphone.

According to rules 44 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules 1955, no fruit can be ripened with the aid of calcium carbide, but the city traders are seem to be hardly bothered about these norms. Sources said there were about half-a-dozen stores in the city where fruits were ripened with chemicals.

The DHO, Dr Kasturi Lal, said the department would throw away the fruits ripened with chemicals and bottles of chemicals seized from stores would be sent to lab for testing. He said that they had already collected eight samples of mangoes and bananas for testing. Sources said chemicals were also being used in maturing mangoes early.

The sources said every year the city residents consume 70,803 quintals bananas ripened in harmful chemicals, while this figure stood at 37,020 quintals in case of mangoes.

Meanwhile, PAU had collected samples of cauliflower, cabbage and ladyfinger from the region in which the quantity of quinalphose was found to be 0.25 mg more, which was above danger mark. According to agricultural experts, about 8,000 tonnes of pesticides are being used in the state every year.


3-yr-old branded with iron rods
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mansa, August 24
A shocking incident of a three-year-old child being branded with hot iron rods over a property matter has come to light at Burj Hari village of the district.

According to sources, the grandparents of the victim, Luvpreet Singh, had seven daughters but no son. Last year one of their daughters, Charanjeet Kaur, persuaded them to adopt her son so as to lend them support in their old age but her brother-in-law Gurpreet Singh got peeved as he was allegedly seeking a share in his in-laws’ property.

He surreptitiously took away Luvpreet to his house in Ghuman Kalan village where he reportedly tried to kill him by branding him with hot iron rods and assaulting him. When Sewa Singh of the same village got a wind of the incident, Gurpreet fled leaving the child behind. Sewa Singh then took Luvpreet to his parents.

Meanwhile, Charanjeet Kaur, the child’s real mother, had approached the Maud Mandi police, which told her to lodge a complaint with the Sadar police in Mansa, as Burj Hari village fell under its jurisdiction. However, the Sadar SHO, Mr Harvinder Singh, said they had received no complaint in this connection so far.


Protesting students lathi-charged
Our Correspondent

Kharar, August 24
The police lathi-charged students of Guru Gobind Singh College of Modern Technology here today when they blocked traffic in protest against removal of some students from the rolls of the institution.

According to the protesters, the college authorities had stuck off the names of 40 students who could not clear semester examinations in number of subjects. They said Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar, had come out with a new policy under which it was compulsory for students to pass in all subjects.

Students said the police lathi-charged them to remove the road blockade.

The police said it had to act tough as the protesters had put the public to inconvenience.

The chairman of the college was not available for comments.


Only landowners can get energy bonus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
A meeting will be held on Monday to finalise the modalities for the disbursement of the energy bonus to eligible farmers in Punjab. The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, will preside over the meeting.

Top officials of various departments met today to prepare the modalities. One of the decisions taken was that only those farmers who were the actual owners of land would be eligible for the bonus. Farmers who had taken land irrigated by tubewells on rent would not be entitled to the bonus.

At today’s meeting a new issue regarding the subsoil water was discussed in detail. The water table is going down in most of the blocks in the state. Who will monitor the declining water table. When will a block be declared a dark block? In a dark block and in the Kandi area, farmers using 7.5 BHP power motors will be eligible for the energy bonus.

The government says that about 72 per cent of the farmers having power motor-driven tubewells will be eligible for the bonus. However, this figure seems to be inflated. According to independent observers, only 30 per cent to 35 per cent of the farmers will be eligible for the bonus.

To avoid inconvenience to farmers, the government is also thinking of reimbursing the bonus through banks. However, nothing has been finalised in this connection. A senior officer said the government had enough time to implement the energy bonus decision. The reimbursement of the bonus to farmers will be due in April next year. “By that time, everything will be in place,” he added.


Kisan sabha says no to energy bonus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
Mr Prem Singh Bhangu and Mr Lakhwinder Singh Buani, president and general secretary of the All-India Kirti Kisan Sabha, respectively, have rejected the energy bonus announced by the Punjab Government because the conditions of 5 acres and 5 HP tubewell pumpsets for it were impracticable and would not benefit even a small section of the farmers.

They said that only 30 per cent of the farmers owned 5 acres but very few of them had power connections for 5 HP pumpsets. Owing to the continuous depletion of ground water, farmers had increased the load to 7.5 HP and 10 HP. Therefore, they would not be covered under the scheme although they might have 5 acres. The government had tried to cheat farmers by announcing the energy bonus instead of giving free power to all farmers as was promised in the Congress election manifesto. 


Major cities to have power cuts
Tribune News Service

Ropar, August 24
All major cities in Punjab will have to face four to six hours of power cuts from today as the power demand in the state has increased manifold. The state has been facing a shortage of 250 lakh units per day, PSEB sources said.

The power demand increased to 1,450 lakh units today while the power supply from all sources was 1,200 lakh units, the sources said.

The power crisis has aggravated as the state has been getting low power supply from the Mukerian hydel and Naptha Jhakri project. The state also did not have rain over the past few days.

The sources said the thermal plant in the state had been supplying 470 lakh units while it was getting 368 lakh units from hydel projects, including the BBMB.

The PSEB has also been getting 416 lakh units from the central grid.


Despite tariff hike, no potable water
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Hoshiarpur, August 24
The Hoshiarpur Municipal Council has allegedly failed to provide potable water to residents, who have been forced to drink contaminated water for the past over three months. This despite the fact that the civic body recently hiked the water charges.

Despite a hue and cry by the residents for potable water, the municipal council (MC) has failed to meet the public requirements. The residents of this densely populated town are forced to quench their thirst with muddy water being supplied from tubewells owned by the MC.

Residents complain that despite increasing the water and sewerage tariffs, the authorities have hardly made any efforts to provide safe drinking water to them. The water is contaminated and unfit for human consumption, they allege.

Enquiries by TNS revealed that a majority of the deep-bore tubewells and hand pumps have dried up. Of the remaining, while some have inadequate discharge of water, others have low contaminated water. Sources in the MC blame it on the declining level of underground water.

Though the civil body has dug 54 tubewells at various places in the city to fulfil the requirement of about 1.50 lakh residents, only 65 per cent of the total population has benefited so far.

The MC had constructed eight overhead reservoirs at different places with the help of the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board about 25 years ago, but all of these are lying defunct due to technical faults, the sources said.

Mrs Shiksha Sood, a resident, lamented that she had to trudge a long distance to get potable water from natural water sources.

Mr Rajnish Tandon, general secretary of the District Congress Committee, Hoshiarpur, has criticised officials of the MC for adopting an indifferent attitude towards the public.

Officials of the MC were not available for comments.

Meanwhile, unscheduled and frequent power cuts for long hours have brought misery to scores of residents of this town for the past over three months.

Residents of this town and surrounding areas have been forced to purchase power generators and go in for other alternative arrangements for electricity.

The situation has worsened after the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, announced power bonus to farmers at a rally here on Saturday. Residents complain that the frequency of unscheduled power cuts has gone up manifold after the Chief Minister’s announcement.

The unscheduled power cuts have not only thrown normal life out of gear, but are also causing huge loses to owners of commercial establishments and industrialists in the area.

The power cuts have also affected the functioning of hospitals, nursing homes and educational institutions.

Mr Amarjit Singh Virdi, Superintending Engineer, PSEB, Hoshiarpur, claimed that shortage in power generation in the state had led to frequent power cuts.


3,200 SPOs still await absorption
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
They faced bullets during the days of militancy, but more than 15 years later nearly 3,200 special police officers (SPOs) are waiting to be absorbed as constables in the Punjab police despite repeated election-eve promises, assurances and even court judgements.

The way their cases are being handled is an example of government apathy. They are paid only Rs 2,700 per month, or Rs 90 a day, which is less than even the wages of a labourer, who earns Rs 100-125 daily.

It all started in 1989 when the Punjab government decided to take in youths as SPOs with the idea of giving jobs on a temporary basis and recruiting policemen in areas where there was a shortfall.

For the next 10 years nobody bothered. The matter went to the Punjab and Haryana High Court which ruled in 2001 that the rules should be relaxed and the SPOs be recruited. The Punjab government still rejected persons who were marginally short on the minimum height requirement, chest expansion and the high jump requirement. The SPOs moved the Supreme Court which said that in view of their long service, they should be given more relaxations and be recruited.

Nearly 4,600 SPOs were then “selected for absorption.” The outgoing Akali-BJP regime led by Mr Parkash Singh Badal absorbed 1,050 SPOs. The rest remained on the “selected list” but were never taken in.

The next lot of appointments was carried out before the Lok Sabha poll in May, 2004, when nearly 1,300 SPOs were absorbed in the Punjab police. This left 3,200 SPOs, who still are waiting for absorption.

Sources in the police said some of these SPOs were also injured seriously in encounters with militants and were not given benefits.

The wages of the SPOs have not been increased in three years. When they started of in 1989 they were paid Rs 30 per day which was later doubled. They now get Rs 90 per day.


Wreckage, mortal remains found after 37 yrs
Anirudh Gupta

Ferozepore, August 24
Braving the inclement weather and the difficult terrain in South Dhaka glacier of Lahaul and Spiti, the members of the expedition Operation Punar Uthan-II launched under the aegis of the Golden Arrow Division found the wreckage of IAF AN-12 aircraft which took off from Chandigarh for Leh in 1968 but had to turn back without landing due to bad weather. On the way back, it crashed with 102 Army personnel aboard, all of whom died.

The expedition, which was flagged off from Ferozepore on 27 June to retrieve the wreckage and mortal remains of the personnel, reached here today after completing the mission.

Major Neeraj Sood, leader of the expedition, said they found some limbs and uniforms of those who had died in the crash 37 years ago.

Major-Gen B. Sivasankar, GOC, while welcoming the team, said the team had lived up to the reputation of the Army of never forgetting one’s comrades. At a function organised here today in honour of the team, he stated that it was the dedication of the team that the limbs of soldiers and the wreckage could be retrieved from an inaccessible area after 37 years.


Pak SAFMA team holds discussions
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 24
In a bid to strengthen the ongoing efforts to create congenial atmosphere between India and Pakistan, delegates of the Pakistan unit of the South Asia Free Media Association (SAFMA) interacted with people from different sections of society on various issues. It was organised jointly by the Hind Pak Dosti Manch and the Punjab chapter of SAFMA here today.

Mr Satnam Manak, convenor of SAFMA, said exhaustive discussions were held by Pakistan delegates with representatives of trade, industry, agriculture, education and other fields.

The Pakistan delegation was led by SAFMA office-bearers Sayyad Manzoor, Shafat, Imtiaz Alam, and Rana Ehsaan, while the group of local representatives of trade, industry, agriculture and other fields was led by Mr Gurcharan Singh Channi, district unit president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), senior Akali leader Mr Surjit Singh Minhas, and Mr Jaswinder Singh Sangha.

Mr Manak who was also an office-bearer of the Hind Pak Dosti Manch, known for its annual candle light vigil at the Indo-Pak border, said the delegate session was organised in accordance with the spirit of feelings of people of two sides who wanted peace and at the same time march ahead in various fields together.


Wild grass buries history
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Ropar, August 24
Ropar is known for no war treaty signed between Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Lord William Bentick on the bank of the Sutlej river here. But the administration has paid little attention to maintain the Maharaja Ranjit Singh park built in his memory. The park is situated on the bank of the Sutlej river where the treaty was signed. It is in a state of utter neglect.

The war memorial built in the park at a cost of about Rs 20 lakh to pay tribute to war heroes is in pitiable conditions and has been closed to public. There existed 12 Sikh misals who fought wars. This memorial consists of 12 compartments — each having inscription on granite stone denoting each misal. Red and white stone was used to denote supreme sacrifice and purity of the soul of soldiers.

Wild grass has grown all over in the park and there are hardly any visitors. The park now is visited by drug addicts during the night. Besides, villagers found it suitable for feeding their animals.

The place which could have become a major spot for the tourists because of its historical importance is now in ruins.

The park was inaugurated by the then Chief Minister, Punjab, Mr Parkash Singh Badal on June 28, 1997. But thereafter neither the Akalis nor the Congress government consider paid attention in maintaining the park.

An effort was made by the then SDM, Mr Daljit Singh, but soon after his transfer few years ago the condition of the park deteriorated. Daljit Singh with help of a social organisation had made effort to make it clean.


Anganwari workers hold rally
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, August 24
Members of the Anganwari Employees Union staged a protest rally in front of the Mini Secretariat here today against the decision of state government to bring children between the age of 3 and 6 years under Sarb Sikhiya Abhiyan. While addressing the rally, Ms Kuldip Kaur, convener of the union, said the government was trying to close down anganwari centres by implementing this decision, which would not be allowed. She said the government was giving a nominal allowance to the anganwari workers and helpers without any other benefit being given to the government employees.

She demanded grant of a monthly stipend of Rs 100 each to the children of workers and helpers under the workers and insurance scheme, monthly TA along with increased allowances, and reinstatement of all the suspended employees. She also demanded more funds for the centres.

Later they submitted a charter of demands to the Deputy Commissioner.


Buffalo electrocuted
Our Correspondent

Abohar, August 24
Eight members of two families, including two women and an equal number of children, had a miraculous escape when of a high-tension electricity cable fell down. Had the wire not got entangled in the head of their buffalo, they would have been electrocuted. The buffalo was killed.

Chetan Ram, Purkha Ram, Bhagi Ram and Murti Devi were sleeping on iron-pipe beds. While their relatives, Faquir Chand, Maina Devi and children Roshani and Chhindi, were sleeping on bullock-carts in Subhash Nagar slum locality situated on the outskirts of the town when the incident took place.


Don’t give in to petty gains, traffic cops told

Patiala, August 24
Lives lost in traffic accidents in Punjab are four times more than in other crimes. Taking note of this. Mr S.S. Virk, DGP, Punjab, asked his men to tone up their working at the first-level Traffic Police Officers’ Conclave held here today.

With about 30 lakh vehicles on the roads in the state and only 1,100 sanctioned traffic police personnel, Mr Virk said the police had a management problem at its hands.

Without mentioning bribe the DGP said policemen should not give in to petty gains and should think of the image of the police. He said strict action would be taken against such policemen.

The conclave started with presentations by police zones. A total of 85 gazetted and non-gazetted officers participated. — TNS


CPM decries CTU mileage reduction

Kharar, August 24
Members of the Communist Party (Marxist), Kharar, have protested against the reduction in the km-length of roads being plied by the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU).

The decision to reduce the mileage was taken in order to end the six-day standoff between the CTU and Punjab Roadways yesterday.

According to Dr G.S. Jammu, secretary of the party, the reduction in mileage would adversely affect the CTU services in Mullanpur and Kharar areas thereby causing inconvenience to the commuters.

He added that thousands of employees, students and patients who travelled from these areas to Chandigarh daily would be affected.

He demanded that the Punjab Government should negotiate with its counterpart in Chandigarh and solve this problem. TNS


high court
Punjab grilled over failure in
rehabilitating ’84 riot victims

Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 24
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today came down on the Punjab Government for having been unable to take a final decision on resettlement of riot victims of 1984 within the time granted by the court.

It may be recalled that on May 2, the court had directed the government to take a final decision on resettlement of the riot victims within two weeks.

Later, on May 19 the court granted four more weeks’ time to place the matter before the Cabinet for final decision.

Today, during resumed hearing of the application filed by the Danga Perit Welfare Society (Punjab), Ludhiana, seeking restraining the respondents, including the government and the PUDA, from conducting draw of lots or making allotment of vacant flats in 504 LIG scheme, Urban Estate, Dugri Road, Phase II, Ludhiana, to persons other than the riot-affected, the Bench comprising Chief Justice Mr Justice D.K. Jain and Mr Justice Hemant Gupta expressed displeasure over the government conduct.

Saying that it would not say anything on the issue at this state, the Bench said if the government failed to take any concrete decision within four weeks, it would presume that it had no stand on the issue.

Earlier, the Bench was informed that the Chief Secretary, Punjab, had, on June 15, submitted a note to the Chief Minister, suggesting therein a review of the policy. This note was approved by the Chief Minister on June 25, but no action was taken thereafter.

Though counsel for the Punjab Government sought three months’ more time to allow the Cabinet to decide the issue, the Bench gave it only four weeks’ time.

Hearing will now resume on October 6.

Notice issued

Mr Justice Rajive Bhalla of the High Court on Wednesday issued notice of motion for October 5 on the application moved by animal rights activist Naresh Kadyan seeking cancellation of bail granted to former Indian cricket captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi and an accomplice in a case of alleged poaching of black bucks.

Mr Kadyan has prayed for cancellation of bail granted to Mr Pataudi and Mr Shashi Singh, saying that the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Jhajjar had no authority to give bail to him.

He has also said that only the Special Court at Faridabad could do so.

The petition says that the Haryana Government had set up two special courts to deal with such offences that fall under the purview of the Wildlife Act.

These courts are located at Faridabad and Kurukshetra. It adds that the court at Faridabad had the jurisdiction to hear the bail plea of Mr Pataudi and Mr Shashi Singh and the Jhajjar court could not have decided the matter.


College gets stay orders on students’ protest
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 24
The Khalsa college management today got stay orders against students’ protest. Confirming this, Dr Daljit Singh, Principal of the college, said that court had granted stay on organising protest and raising slogans.

Meanwhile, the police restricted the agitating students from stopping other students to enter the college for attending classes.

Mr Parampal Singh, leader of the student association, said that by involving the court in the matter, the principal wanted to suppress their protest. He added that he would continue with their protest. He said the Principal was trying to cross the deadline date for admission in the college so that the agitating students could not take admission in the college.

The classes went on peacefully in the college. Heavy police remained deployed at the entry of the college. The students also continued their protest dharna outside the college.

Dr Daljit Singh said the alleged “outsiders” were trying to vitiate the peaceful environment of the college and, therefore, the college authorities had to move court so that the agitating outsiders could not further spoil the environment of the college. He said nobody would now be allowed to protest within 300m periphery of the college.


Farmers hold protest rally

Amritsar, August 24
Activists of five farmer organisations, including the Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, Punjab, the Bharati Kisan Union Ekta, the Punjab Kisan Sabha, the Kul Hind Kirti Kisan Sabha and the Kheti-Bari Vikas Morcha held a protest rally here today.

The activists presented a memorandum to the DC in favour of their demands. The demands included immediate procurement of paddy by government agencies, announcement of MSP of paddy at Rs 780, waiving off electricity bills, stopping of privatisation of the PSEB and addressing of grievances of border area farmers.

Mr Pishoura Singh Sidhu of the BKU Ekta hit out at the government for a frequent increases in the prices of petrol and diesel, and demanded its roll back. — OC


Aruna Chaudhary’s tenure extended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
The Governor of Punjab has extended the tenure of Mrs Aruna Chaudhary, MLA, as Director on the Board of Directors of the Punjab State Civil Supplies Corporation till June 30 next year. Consequently, her tenure as Chairperson of the corporation also stands extended till that date.


Encroachments removed

Phagwara, August 24
Nagar Council, Phagwara, today launched a special drive to remove encroachments along G.T. Road here.

To start with, the demolition squad of the NC removed as many as 25 kiosks near the industrial area along the G.T. Road and the possession of the land was restored to the National Highways Division. — TNS


Brothers assaulted by neighbours
Our Correspondent

Rajpura, August 24
Two brothers were seriously injured when their neighbours allegedly attacked them with iron rods and swords late last night in Abrawan village, near here. The accused are absconding.

Sources in the police said an old feud was the reason behind the assault. Giving details of the incident, the police said, Daljit Singh (23) son of Sarwan Singh, was walking his dog at around 9.30 pm in an ally in front of his residence. His neighbour, Gurmeet Singh was sitting with his brother and a friend in the ally. Gurmeet Singh, who was under the influence of liquor at that time, allegedly hurled abuses at Daljit Singh, to which Daljit Singh objected. They allegedly had a heated arguments following which Gurmeet hit Daljit on his head with an iron rod and the Daljit’s brother attacked Gurmeet with his sword leaving him severely injured.

On hearing the commotion, Parminder Singh (25), brother of Gurmeet Singh rushed out of his house and found his brother lying unconscious in a pool of blood. Gurmeet Singh, his brother Darshan and friend Joginder allegedly attacked Parminder Singh also. Joginder allegedly stabbed Parminder in his stomach with a dagger. Both the brothers were rushed to the AP Jain Civil Hospital in Rajpura, where the condition of Parminder Singh is stated to be serious.

A case under Sections 341, 323, 324, 506, and 34 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered in this regard at the Banur Police station.


Two crushed to death under truck
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 24
Two scooterists were crushed to death as the driver of a truck lost his control over the vehicle which rammed into the scooter near the local Milk Plant on the Amritsar road last evening. The victims have been identified as Bakshish Singh (42), a resident of Ashok Nagar, and Lakhwinder Lakha, a resident of Salempur village. The truck driver, who has been arrested, has been identified as Gurdip Singh, a resident of Ludhiana district.

Bakshish Singh died on the spot, while Lakhwinder Lakha, who was injured seriously, succumbed to his injuries in a private hospital near Kapurthala Chowk. 


One held with huge cache of drugs
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, August 24
The police has arrested a person and seized a huge quantity of intoxicating drugs from his possession.

Police sources said the City SHO, Mr Jalour Singh, got a tip-off that the accused, Vishal, was selling intoxicating drugs from a rented accommodation without any permit. The police raided his house and seized about 2.6 lakh tablets, 1.13 lakh injections and about 13,000 capsules from his possession.

A case has been registered against him under Sections 22/61/85 of the NDPS Act. The police has also taken samples of the recovered drugs and sent them for testing to the Forensic Science Laboratory, Chandigarh.


152 kg of poppy husk seized
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, August 24
The Sultanpur Lodhi police on Tuesday seized 152 kg of poppy husk from Saminder Singh, alias Sahbi, of Bahmnian village.

On a tip of a naka was laid and Saminder Singh arrested, while his accomplice, Harmash Singh, escaped. A case was registered under Sections 15-61-85 of the NDPS Act. 


16-yr-old girl ends life

Rajpura, August 24
A 16-year-old girl ended her life by hanging herself at her residence in Banur this afternoon, near here. The family told the police that the victim was under depression for the past few days.

Sources in the police said Shinder Kaur, was found hanging by her sister-in-law, Pushpa. The police, while quoting Pushpa, said Shinder came back to her house this afternoon and went to her room. When Pushpa did not notice any activity from Shinder’s room she went to check it. She found the door bolted from inside and when she looked through the window and found Shinder hanging.

She raised alarm and people gathered at the spot. They called the police which took the body to the A.P. Jain Hospital, Rajpura. OC


College teachers observe strike
Tribune Reporters

Jalandhar, August 24
On a call of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU), teachers from various non-government colleges observed ‘Save Education Day’ here today.

The teachers went on strike for two hours and held campus dharnas. Addressing the members, Prof V.K. Sareen, Guru Nanak Dev University area secretary, said that the teachers were being forced to resort to dharnas as the state government had not been fulfilling their long-pending demands, including merger of 50 per cent DA with the basic pay, restoration of parity of DPEs and librarians with lecturers, denial of house rent allowance in rural colleges and non-implementation of pension gratuity scheme, 1996.

BATALA: Members of the Punjab Pradesh Teachers’ Union, Gurdaspur district, on Tuesday, held a rally in support of their demands here. The rally was attended by hundreds of teachers. Their demands include the grant of special pay scale after four, nine and 14 years of the service, raising of medical allowance to Rs 500 p.m., regular appointments instead of contractual appointments and the setting up of a new pay commission. 


Aided school teachers not paid salaries
Tribune News Service

Ropar, August 24
As many as 2000 teachers of the aided schools and 60 employees of the government schools in the state have not been paid salaries for the past several months. Some of them have not got salaries for at least eight months. The reason for this is that the financial department has not released their salaries.

The 60 employees, include 15 from Ropar. They include teaching and non-teaching staff, who have been working in other schools against vacant posts, have been running from pillar to post but all in vain.

They complain that while other teachers and non-teaching staff had been paid salaries, they had not been paid salaries. They said they were performing duties as per the government orders so they should be treated equally.

Giving details of the problems of teachers of aided schools, the state president of the aided schools federation, Mr Gurcharan Singh Chahal, said it was ironical that the teachers of Gurdaspur, Ropar, Fatehgarh Sahib, Nawanshahr, Moga and other district schools were being deprived of salaries. He said teachers of aided schools would hold a rally on September 5 in Chandigarh in protest against the indifferent attitude of the government towards their demands.

The DEO (Secondary School), said Mr Paira Singh, he will hold a meeting with DPI (Punjab) in Chandigarh where problems of the teachers would be discussed.


PAU to exchange technology with Pak university
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 24
Punjab Agricultural University will have exchange of technology with the University of Agriculture, Faislabad, Pakistan, to promote research and agricultural production in two Punjabs.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard will be signed in December by the Vice-Chancellors of these universities at the time of the Indo-Pak Games being held in Lahore.

The Chief Ministers of the two Punjabs will also be present on the occasion.

Disclosing this Dr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, said two universities would have exchange of information on various developments, agronomic practices, scientific information, development of joint research programme, post-harvest technologies and warehousing and related infrastructure.

The Prime Minister has already given permission to the signing of the MoU. This will be the first agreement between the two universities.

The College of Agriculture, which is one of the premier constituent college of Punjab Agricultural University was uprooted from Lyallpur (now in Faislabad) and was rehabilitated at Ludhiana. This college was instrumental in the establishment of Punjab Agricultural University.

Government Agriculture College, Lyallpur is the parent institute of undivided India and will be celebrating its centenary in March. A delegation of scientists (serving and retired) of Punjab Agricultural University, who were alumni of the Lyallpur college, would take part in the celebrations.

The decision to have exchange of programme between the PAU and the Faislabad university was taken during the visit of the Pakistan Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvaiz Elahi to Punjab (India).

Dr Aulakh said the programme would benefit both states.


BSNL directory on CD
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
Telephone users are no more required to call up the “ineffective” inquiry or go through the telephone directory while looking for a particular BSNL telephone number. Thanks to the new telephone directory of the Punjab Telecom Circle which is now available on a CD.

The telephone directory, containing 20 lakh telephone numbers, was launched by the Adviser to the Chief Minister, Punjab, Mr B.I.S.Chahal, at a function held at CII here today. Priced at Rs 50, it has been prepared by M/s Indore Info Line on behalf of the BSNL.

Speaking at the function, Mr G.S.Bhatia, Chief General Manager of the Punjab Telecom circle, said apart from the telephone numbers of subscribers in the telecom circle, the CD contained other useful information. Various indicators had been provided to look for a particular name or information.

A user was required to type first three alphabets in the search columns. It also contained telephone numbers of Central and State government, STD/ ISD codes, tourism-related information, contact details of utility services and details of different services provided by the BSNL.

The yellow pages on the CD contain addresses of industrial and commercial units in the major cities of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Madhya Pradesh. The information on the yellow pages has been divided into 1000 categories.

The date on the CD would be regularly updated from time to time. A section on the CD named ‘Resurgence Punjab’ contains details on major policies and contact numbers of Punjab Government officers.

Mr Bhatia clarified that the CD would not be given free to BSNL subscribers. It would be available at the Customer Service Centres. On being asked about the inclusion of the telephone numbers of other telecom service providers, he said the service providers were reluctant to give the information and were also not ready to share the cost of producing the CD. 

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