P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Ban orders in Nangal as situation remains tense
Tribune News Service

Nangal December 18
Nangal town remained tense for the third day today with the district administration imposing orders under Section 144 of the CrPC in the area. Movement and assembly of more than five persons has been banned in the area. Announcement to this affect was made during the day on loudspeakers and cops patrolled the town.

Situation turned tense on Friday evening. Wards of a few shopkeepers from Gaini Zail Singh market of Nangal were beaten up by slum-dwellers putting up near Chief restaurant. Slum dwellers also stoned a shop in the market. This infuriated the shopkeepers. Who put up the shutters and organised a procession. The mob attacked dwellings of slum-dwellers and set these on fire. They allegedly threw belongings of slum-dwellers including television sets in the Bhakra canal. A few shopkeepers and slum dwellers were injured in a fight.

The police booked slum dwellers and shopkeepers. The shopkeepers who have been arrested include Jagdev Singh Kuku, Subhash Talwar, Moni, Mahindroo. They have been remanded in judicial custody till December 24. Vinod Seth, Menu, Bawa, Tilak Raj and Kallu are the other shopkeepers booked. Soma, Anju, Nishi, Jony and Bittu slum dwellers booked under Sections 323, 452, 148 and 149 of the IPC. Shopkeepers peeved at the arrest of traders blocked traffic on the Nangal-Ropar highway for three hours. Yesterday also the traffic was blocked for three hours forcing the administration to invoke Section 144 of the CrPC.

All the shops and business establishments of Nangal remained closed for two days. Organisations of shopkeepers of the town have vowed to keep shutters up till the cases against traders were withdrawn and slums removed from area. They alleged they had expensive items recovered from slums that are stolen from various households in the area. The police was shielding slums dwellers and helping them in stealing. They demanded transfer of the local SHO.

The issue took a political colour yesterday when former minister Madan Mohan Mittal joined the protestors. He alleged that the district administration had singled out BJP workers in the case. Only workers of the BJP and the SAD had been arrested while Congress men involved had not been touched. He threatened an agitation if the BJP workers were victimised.

Mr KP Singh Rana, local MLA, and Parliamentary Secretary said that the BJP was trying to politicise the situation. The fight was a due to old animosity between shopkeepers and slum dwellers. Nobody be spared, he added.

A delegation of traders under the stewardship of two senior BJP leaders of the area met Mr KP Singh Rana at his residence today. However, nothing came out of the meeting. Leaders of the BSP and a few human rights activists came in support of slum dwellers today. 


Forest scam accused ‘gives’ clean chit to self, others
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, December 18
The government has appointed Chief Conservator Forests, Mr Kuldeep Singh, to inquire into the forest scam. He has been asked to confiscate all records pertaining to the Japan-aided bank project implemented in the Pathankot division.

Though the inquiry officer is yet to visit the area, the DFO Pathankot, Mr G.S. Sahota and the Conservator Forest, Jalandhar, Mr Jarnail Singh, have already given a clean chit to officials accused in the scam. Interestingly the Conservator Forest Jalandhar, has been posted in the area of the last two years. Some of the plantations in the Dhar subdivision took place during his stint also. The inquiry officer is also likely to probe his role in the scam. However, Mr Jarnail Singh has himself issued a clean chit to himself and all other officers of the Pathankot range.

In a joint press release issued here yesterday the DFO Pathankot and Conservator Jalandhar stated that the plantations in Sarti panchayat areas of Donera range were in order. He said some persons, who had been evicted from the forest land wanted to get back at the forest officials and there was no misappropriation in the range.

It is interesting to note that more than 50,000 trees were to be planted under the Japan bank-aided project in about 10 segments across the Dhar subdivision. One can hardly visit one area in a day by trekking these forests on foot. But the DFO and the conservator of forests have reportedly covered the entire area and counted thousands trees planted in the remote areas in a few days and that too when they did not have the services of helicopter at their disposal.

They also reportedly checked the muster rolls of thousands of labourers employed by the department in the last two to three years for maintaining the plantations, for wiring the areas brought under plantations and given clean chit to all those involved. The promptness shown by the Conservator and DFO in issuing clean chit to the officials in the scam ‘displays’ the seriousness of the department in pursuing with the inquiry.

The department has burdened the people of the state with loan of crores. Ultimately the tax payer in the state would end up paying amount back to the international agency. By swindling large amount out of it they have put the burden on people without passing any benefit to them.


HC: Industrial land not for multiplexes
Maneesh Chhibber
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 18
In what could result in spoiling hush-hush plans of the Capt Amarinder Singh government to allot costly industrial land at various focal points across the state at throwaway prices to its favourites for non-industrial activity, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that the decision to divert industrial land for construction of multiplexes was the result of “irrelevant considerations”.

In its recent order allowing a bunch of writ petitions filed by successful applicants in the draw of lots for allotment of 280 residential plots in Industrial Focal Points, phase VIII-A and B, Mohali, the High Court has also set aside the memo dated August 8, 2004 vide which the government had directed the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) not to change the use of land from industrial to residential.

The memo, written by the Secretary-cum-Director, Department of Industries, Punjab, and addressed to Managing Director, PSIEC, said that in the overall interest of the state, it would not be desirable to change the land use.

However, as it transpired during hearing of the petitions, a portion of the same land was reportedly being allotted to M/S AB Motions, owned by liquor baron Ponty Chadha, who is close to the present government.

Challenging the decision to scrap the allotment of plots, even though the PSIEC had already conducted the draw of lots and was on the verge of issuing allotment letters, the petitioners had stated that it was unfair to deprive them of the land, but allotting the same to Ponty Chadha’s company for construction of a multiplex.

“And, by no stretch of imagination can a multiplex be said to be industrial activity,” the petitioners’ counsel had said during the hearing.

While refusing to allow the petitioners’ plea for direction to the PSIEC to give possession of land to them, ruling that mere holding of draw of lots does not confer any right on them for allotment of plots, the High Court noted that the memo from the Secretary-cum-Director, Department of Industries, Punjab, was aimed at helping the company set up multiplex on the land. The court also noted that it was with the same view that the decision for allotment of land to AB Motions had been deferred at the meeting of the Board of Directors of the PSIEC on February 5, 2004.

“Therefore, the decision is primarily based for diverting the land use not as much for industrial activity by for multiplex complexes and as such irrelevant considerations have weighed with the authority in the decision-making process,” the Bench of Mr Justice S.S. Njjar and Mr Justice S.S. Saron ruled.

The Bench also pointed to the fact that the government and the PSIEC had acknowledged that industrial activity was different from multiplex complexes. It held that the impugned decision was vitiated due to “irrelevant considerations”.


Man declared dead to claim insurance
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
A living man was shown as dead by a trickster who tried to dupe an insurance company of Rs 5 lakh insured in the name of the man.

The culprit did plenty of groundwork but there was one gaping hole in his scheme and it has done him in, saving the insurance company of Rs 5 lakh.

The story of fraud and deceit began when a man died, allegedly of a fall from a running train between Phillaur and Lodowal railway stations in Punjab on May 31, this year. The body of the hapless man remained unidentified for 10 days and then, after postmortem, it was cremated. A Chandigarh-based advocate, who specialises in accident claims, saw in the incident an opportunity to make some quick money.

At the lawyer’s instigation, one Punnu Ram, a trusted servant of his industrialist friend, Inder Mohan Singh, presented himself as Lal Bahadar, and identified the clothes and photograph of the deceased as his brother Rajesh Paswan’s.

The servant then made a claim for Rs 5 lakh from the General Insurance Company as he was the nominee in the personal accident policy in the name of Rajesh Paswan.

It turned out that the address given by the fictitious Lal Bahadar was that of the lawyer’s house in Chandigarh. In August, last year, the lawyer had obtained a form for a personal accident policy for Rajesh Paswan from the Sirhind-based agent of the company.

He had also produced the income tax return of Rajesh Paswan to gain the agent’s confidence. Earlier, the advocate had got his own car insured by the same agent. He also took a medical policy from him.

The form, duly filled up and signed by Rajesh Paswan, was returned to the agent. The premium was paid by the lawyer from his own pocket. However, one requisite signature was missing and he assured the agent of bringing Paswan to Sirhind. But Paswan never showed up. In fact, the agent never met Paswan in person. This made the company suspicious.

Harjit Singh, a retired IPS officer, was asked by the company to investigate the matter. He traced the actual Lal Bahadar who said he had known the lawyer during an accident claim case three years ago. Since then Lal Bahadar had returned to Bihar from where he had come to Punjab.

He also informed that Rajesh Paswan, the “dead man”, was a cousin of his wife and he was alive and working at Ludhiana. The investigator contacted Rajesh Paswan and he turned out to be a labourer.

Armed with the findings Harjit Singh again contacted Inder Mohan Singh (who initially claimed to know the whereabouts of Lal Bahadar) and he broke down. He said he was heavily in debt and decided to connive with the lawyer to make some fast buck.

He admitted having helped in the fraudulent identification of the photograph of the dead man. He also admitted to having paid a bribe of Rs 1,000 to the police for accepting their identification of the dead man. Harjit Singh has now recommended action against all culprits and two erring constables.


Kirpan case: Denmark HC accepts Sikh’s plea
Rashmi Talwar and Sanjay Bambroo

Amritsar, December 18
The Denmark High Court has accepted the appeal of a Sikh, Mr Ripudaman Singh, in the high-profile ‘kirpan’ case.

A Danish lower court had imposed a fine of 3000 kroners (about Rs 24,000) on Ripudaman Singh, a student of the Aahrus University, Denmark, for wearing a ‘kirpan’.

Giving a breather to Ripudaman after he was convicted by the lower court, the Danish High Court, in an important development, recently granted him permission to file appeal and asked the lower court to send all records pertaining to the case.

Mr G.S. Lamba, father of Ripudaman and editor ‘Sant Sipahi’, while talking to The Tribune, here today, said according to the Danish law permission for appeal by the HC was rare and was obtained only after prior permission, once the lower court passed some order.

He said it was also to the credit of the Danish law that although the lower court technically convicted Ripudaman it had observed that carrying of ‘kirpan was essential to profess his religion’.

The fresh development gives new hope to Ripudaman Singh who hails from Jalandhar.

Ripudaman had approached the courts for redressal in May last year after he faced a peculiar situation when prior to his entry into the US embassy in Copenhagen for the purpose of seeking a visa, Ripudaman Singh had handed over his “kirpan” and mobile phone to the security staff of the embassy.

“He was stunned, when on his return, the embassy security staff confronted him saying he should have confessed that he was in possession of a “knife”.” Ripudaman pleaded that it was not a “knife” but a religious symbol worn by baptised Sikhs the world over, but Danish police officials remained adamant and directed him to pay fine for possessing of a “knife” or face prosecution in a Copenhagen city court.

In the subsequent case the “kirpan” was confiscated and the judge sent it for forensic examination which opined that the six-inch “kirpan’’ was a weapon, with “blunt edges and a sharp tip’’.

Meanwhile, Ripudaman has found strong support from many quarters for fighting for his religious rights in a foreign country.

The SGPC here has pledged all logistical assistance besides appointing a commission of seven members who can ensure Sikhs freedom of belief in Denmark.

The Jathedaar Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti and the Chairman, National Minorities Commission, Mr Tirlochan Singh, too have taken up the matter of the Sikh religious symbol with the Danish Government.


Badal diluting Akal Takht’s authority, says Ravi Inder
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 18
Holding the SAD chief, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, responsible for “diluting” the authority of Akal Takht, the Akali Dal (1920) has dubbed the SGPC as a “puppet” of Mr Badal, which, had no right to change the “rehat maryada” of the Sikhs.

“Badal has to be changed as he is damaging the ‘Panth’. He is destroying your roots. The SGPC president is not elected directly by SGPC members, but, by Mr Badal. We feel that Mr Badal has been responsible for “kurehats” of the SGPC since 1972. Members of the SGPC are not given a chance to elect their own president. Why?,” asked Mr Ravi Inder Singh, chief of the Akali Dal (1920).

Expressing concern over a steep decline in industrial growth in Punjab, Mr Ravi Inder Singh said because of the grant of a 10-year “tax holiday” to hill states by the Centre industry was shifting to Himachal Pradesh. “But our major concern is that the major share of the savings made by hard-working Punjabis, is being utilised by people of other states, particularly, Maharashtra”, said the Akali leader.

He said the concept of a third front in Punjab was still alive. “We are already holding parleys with the CPI, the CPM, the Lok Bhalai Party and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Longowal) and talks are underway with some Dalit groups. We are of the opinion that we are far better alternative to Mr Badal and his party,” said Mr Ravi Inder Singh.


Tarksheel Mela ends peacefully
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, December 18
Amid tension and tight security, the Tarksheel Mela, organised by the local unit of the Tarksheel Society, Punjab, concluded peacefully in a school ground, near main bus stand, here last night.

Members of various Hindu organisations led by Thakur Jagdish Rai, president of the Sri Sanatan Dharma Dharam Sansad, Sangrur, attended the programme of the Society, so that no one could utter a word of disrespect against the Hindu gods and goddesses at the programme. Some volunteers of the Tarksheel Society were also seen armed with lathis at the venue of the programme. Policemen led by Mr Kuldeep Sharma, DSP, Sangrur, remained present at the site of the programme as measure of security.

Earlier on December 14 several Hindu organisations of the town submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner here, seeking a ban on the organisation of the Tarksheel mela, fearing a repetition of the Tapa (near Barnala) incident in which a scuffle had erupted between members of Hindu organisations and the members of the Tarksheel Society following an alleged disrespect to a Hindu goddess “Mata Jawala Ji” by the Society.

However, the district administration assured the protesters that the Society would not be allowed to show disrespect to the Hindu gods and goddesses.

On the occasion the Chetna Kala Kendra, Barnala, presented a play “Pret” (Ghost) to expose mysterious incidents, like fall of bricks and blood stains in houses. “Kalakh Hanere”, a play on female foeticide was also staged. A choreography on the evil of dowry was also presented.

Mr Raj Kumar from Patiala and Mr Chamkaur Singh from Sangrur also presented scientific tricks, explaining to the gathering that magic was a scientific trick, not any divine power. Some progressive songs were also sung by the Lok Sangeet Mandli, Chhajli; the Lok Sangeet Mandli, Longowal; and the Kranti Sabhiacharak Kendra, Sangrur.

Bhura Singh Mehma Sarja, state president of the society, Mr Rajinder Bhadaur, a state-level leader of the society; and Mr Paramved, president of the Sangrur unit of the Tarksheel Society also expressed views on the occasion.


Book on gurdwaras in Pak released
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 18
Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President, Shiromani Akali Dal, released a book, “Darshan-Didar”, which provides information about 250 historic gurdwaras in Pakistan, here today.

The book is written by a husband-wife duo of Surinder and Anita. They said during their visit to the neighbouring country, they observed that a number of gurdwaras had either disappeared or were occupied by families. They said Pakistani security men escorting them advised not to visit some gurdwaras and were also not issued visas to visit shrines located in border areas.

They claimed to have identified historical gurdwaras that had been forgotten and unattended since Partition. They said it was the only book in which there were references to such a large number of Sikh shrines with their photographs.

The authors said that Pakistani historians were presenting distorted history for their schoolchildren, which is resulting in generating illwill among masses.


Sarna group ignores Vedanti’s directive
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 18
The last-ditch efforts of Akal Takht, Jathedar, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, to postpone the annual elections of the DSGMC fizzled out when the ruling group led by Mr Parmjit Singh Sarna today decided to go ahead with the meeting proposed to be held in New Delhi tomorrow to elect the new body.

This is for the first time that the Akal Takht Jathedar has intervened in the elections of the DSGMC since its inception. The development would dent the image of the Jathedar if a majority of the DSGMC members participate in the proposed meeting tomorrow, ignoring the Jathedar’s “directive”.

Talking to TNS, Jathedar Vedanti said he had directed Mr Ravinder Singh Khuarana, DSGMC general secretary, not to hold the scheduled election tomorrow “in the larger interest of the Sikh Panth”. Mr Khurana who had convened the annual meeting on December 19 at a time when Mr Sarna had gone to Pakistan along with the golden palanquin, said tomorrow’s meeting stood cancelled as per the directions of the Jathedar.

Mr Khurana said he had also written to the Sikh high priests that the meeting had been cancelled. While Mr Khurana said the meeting would be held on January 18, Mr Sarna said “come what may, the annual poll will be held tomorrow”. It is believed that the meeting originally fixed for January 18 by the Sarna group was advanced to December 19 after consulting legal experts.

Mr Sarna alleged that the high priests should not play into the hands of politicians.

It is learnt that the Sarna group which had initially rejected the authority of Mr Khurana to hold the meeting on December 19, has now decided to go ahead with the meeting when the opposite group found itself in minority.


Mobile breast cancer detection unit launched
Pawan Kumar

Amritsar, December 18
The Indian chapter of the Manjit Kaur Chawla (MKC) Roko Cancer Charitable Trust launched its mobile breast cancer detection unit van at Heir village, near here, today. The unit had been purchased with efforts of NRIs in the UK.

The van consisting of mammography ultrasound testing along with generators and air-conditioning facility is India’s first-ever equipped mobile breast cancer detection unit and will be managed and maintained by local units of Freemasons and the Rotary Cancer Care Trust — NGOs.

A team of 12 doctors, including gynaecologist, surgeon, physician and radiologist, will remain with the van. The Indian Medical Association and Freemasons have collaborated for providing doctors for the van.

Mr Ajinder Pal Singh Chawla, founder and Chairman of the trust, told reporters on the Guru Nanak Dev University premises that emphasis by the Roko cancer trust would be in semi-urban areas where there were no facilities and there was a high risk of breast cancer as per the research by various organisations.

The van would visit in block-level areas every weekend and screen every woman with history of breast cancer. Mr Chawla dedicated this mobile van to the memory of his wife Manjit Kaur who lost her life to breast cancer at an early age.

Dr Santokh Singh, a surgeon, said according to the data of an international agency for research on cancer (WHO), 79,000 women were affected by breast cancer in India every year. He said out of every 30 women living in Indian metros one was likely to develop breast cancer during her lifetime. Each year, he said 80,000 women in India get breast cancer leading to 30,000 deaths.

Mr Chawla said the core vision of the trust was to bring awareness of breast cancer leading to early detection, treatment wherever possible, helping hospitals in treatment and care of cancer patients, helping terminally ill patients to survive with comfort, peace, dignity and the support to the family of the victims of this disease.

Dr Santokh Singh elaborated that the trust had established India Unit here a first of its kind in our country.

Mr Paramjit Singh Grewal, a senior doctor, had been appointed Chairman of the MKC India Unit. He said medical specialists Dr K. Lakhanpal and Dr Atul would diagnose patients while Waram Singh Hospital and Mata Kaulan Hospital, both in Amritsar, had offered services for free surgery of such cases.

The first cancer diagnosing camp was organised today at Heir village, Ajnala Road, where more than 1000 patients were examined.


Cut in EPF rate criticised
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, December 18
While inaugurating the two-day state-level session of the Technical Services Union (VK) of the Punjab State Electricity Board, Mr Dev Raj, working president, National Electricity Employees Federation of India, said the federation would start nationwide action in protest against the Central Government for not honouring its assurances regarding making amendments to the anti-employee and anti-people clauses in the Power Act, 2003, according to a press release by Mr Satish Kumar, general secretary of the union, here today.

Mr Dev Raj said that a big protest demonstration would be organised in front of Parliament in March, 2006.

The following office-bearers of the union were elected unanimously; president — Mr Dev Raj (Ludhiana), senior vice-president — Mr Joginder Badan, Sangrur, vice-presidents — Mr Santokh Singh (Hoshiarpur) and Mr Inderjit Sharma (Ludhiana), general secretary — Mr Satish Chander (Hoshiarpur); finance secretary — Mr Bikramjit Singh (Gurdaspur), secretary — Mr Murad Ali; office secretary — Mr Paramjit Singh; and organising secretary — Mr Hardial Chand.


Defence personnel to get plots after 18 years
Our Correspondent

Amritsar December 17
After nearly 18 years of struggle, more than 267 defence personnel will soon get the possession of their plots from the improvement trust.

Along with the plots, an area of 27 acre in the Ranjit Avenue is proposed to be developed into a plush area with three top class hotels, shopping arcades, flats , commercial complexes, parks under the fresh additions in the scheme planned for the area revealed, Mr Jugal Kishore Sharma, Chairman, Improvement Trust, while talking to The Tribune.

The area has been under dispute since 1988 in the Ajnala Road extension scheme of the improvement trust.

The plots were notified early this year.

According to the fresh decision personnel would be allotted plots in different categories such as officers, JCOs and NCOs. The allotment would be against its cost to be paid in 12 instalments.

The improvement trust acquired the land in the Ranjit Avenue 32 years ago for development schemes. The trust had earmarked a small portion of the land for defence personnel wherein 267 plots came under dispute.


Rs 1 lakh grant for pensioners’ body
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 18
The Punjab Government Pensioners Welfare Association celebrated Pensioners’ Day here yesterday. Dr Harbans Lal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, presided over the function and gave Rs 1 lakh to the association.

In his address, Dr Lal said bhavans for the pensioners would be constructed at all district headquarters. He said the government was committed to implement all their demands. He urged the pensioners to engage themselves in social service.

He said the government had directed all district heads that the senior citizens should be given due respect and their work should be done on priority.

Earlier, Mr Balwant Singh Sodhi and Mr Dharm Chand Markan, both office-bearers of the association, in their address highlighted their demands. They 33 years of service an increase of 0.5 per cent should be made after every six months in the pension, dearness allowance of all those families, whose wards had been given service on compassionate grounds should be restored, medical allowance should be Rs 500, 50 per cent discount in bus fare and LTC should be given along with 50 per cent DA.


Superspeciality OPD at Brain Hospital
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 18
Satguru Partap Singh Apollo Hospital is all set to launch superspeciality OPDs at Brain Hospital here from December 22.

The hospital already has regular indoor service for neurology, neurosurgery and orthopaedics under Dr Satwant Sachdeva, Dr Mridul Shahi and Dr Dhanwant Singh, respectively. The thrust is on the management of head injuries.

Apollo Hospital will have superspeciality OPDs for endocrinology, nephrology, gastroenterology, dermatology, urology twice a month in the afternoon. Superspeciality OPDs for orthopaedics will be run by Dr Mandeep Dhillon and Dr Harpreet Singh Gill.


Thermal plant staff hold protest
Tribune News Service

Ropar, December 18
Employees of the thermal plant associated with the RTP Contractor Workers Union and the PSEB Employees Federation (AITUC) on Tuesday blocked traffic on the college road for about three hours. They were protesting against the unbundling of the PSEB, indifferent attitude of the authorities towards contract workers and transfer of an SDO from the thermal plant.


162 vehicles challaned
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, December 18
As many as 162 vehicles were challaned by the police in connection with the violation of various traffic rules in the district yesterday.

Mr Harinder Singh Chahal, SSP, Sangrur, said here today that these vehicles had been challaned on account of driving without licence (27 challan), without wearing helmet (36), without pollution certificate (22), without seat belt (9), without reflectors on the vehicles (7) etc. 


One killed in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, December 18
Gurdev Lal, a resident of Tarn Taran, was killed and five persons, all women, were injured when a bus (PB-11H-9844) collided with a Maruti car (HR-23A-8290) here today.

The injured were rushed to hospital and then referred to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital at Amritsar. The driver of the bus has absconded. The injured are Asha Rani (42), wife of the deceased, his daughter, Sonia (24), Suman (25), niece, Jaspreet, Ranjit Kaur and Suhagvanti, mother of the deceased.


Fog claims 2 lives
Our Correspondent

Batala, December 18
Dense fog engulfing this area led to an accident last night in which two persons, Gulraj Singh Goraya (40 years), resident of Kahnuwan road, Batala, and Surinder Kumar Rishi (48 years), resident of Bada Bazaar, Batala, lost their lives. Their Mahindra Scorpio (PB08-6665) had rammed into a truck parked near Hardojhande village on the Batala-Amritsar road at about 10.30 p.m. 


Council flays PSEB
Tribune News Service

Ropar, December 18
The local Municipal Council, has criticised the PSEB for charging commercial rates on the electricity being supplied by it to streetlights.

During the monthly meeting of the general house, councillors unanimously decided that they would take up the matter with senior functionary of the PSEB.

The president of the council, Mr Ashok Bahi, while discussing the issue at the meeting, said the council was not charging any tax from the public for providing electricity to streetlights but the PSEB had been charging commercial rates.


112 donate blood
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, December 18
As many as 112 persons donated blood at a blood donation camp organised by the Young Blood Donors Club here today.

According to information, 60 persons also pledged their eyes on the occasion. The president of the club, Mr Sunil Puri, donated blood for 70th time at the camp. The camp was organised for the second time in a row. Prominent among those present on the occasion included Mr A.S. Rai, SSP of Patiala, and Mr H.S. Kamboj, member of the Punjab State Electricity Board.


Medical camp for issueless couples
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 18
A free medical check-up camp for issueless couples was organised at Nabipur village in the district. A team of doctors led by Dr S.P.S. Virk checked the patients. At least 200 patients were checked and various tests were conducted free of cost.


Wife, paramour kill man
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 18
Kulwant Kaur with the help of her paramour and his companions allegedly killed her husband, Mukhtar Singh, here late last evening. A case under Section 302 and 34, IPC, has been registered at Ajnala police station in Majitha police district.

According to information, Kulwinder Kaur allegedly had illicit relations with Ranjit Singh, a resident of Salempura village. They conspired to kill Mukhtar Singh. However, no arrest had not been made so far. 


Pvt college teachers call off protest
Our Correspondent

Barnala, December 18
The Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) has decided to call off its December 21 ‘education bandh’ and protest rally at Matka Chowk, Chandigarh.

Disclosing this to The Tribune here today (Sunday), Prof R.S. Brar and Dr Jagwant Singh, president and general-secretary, respectively, of the PCCTU informed that this decision was taken at the meeting of the PCCTU office-bearers held at Chandigarh on Friday.

Dr Jagwant Singh divulged that the decision to call off December 21‘education bandh’ and protest rally at Chandigarh was taken in wake of assurances given by Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister who is also the Higher Education Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, Punjab Finance Minister, and Mr H.S. Barsat, Political Secretary to Captain Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, to redress the long-standing grievances of the private college teachers of Punjab very shortly.

The PCCTU general-secretary further revealed that Mrs Bhattal had assured a deputation of the PCCTU office-bearers comprising of Prof R.S. Brar, Prof P.K. Sharma, Secretary (Punjabi University Area) and Prof V.K. Sareen, Secretary (Guru Nanak Dev University Area) at her residence at Chandigarh on December 7 that PCCTU demands like 50 per cent DA merger in the basic pay, grant of pension and gratuity, continuation of 95 per cent grant-in-aid to private colleges of Punjab would be accepted very soon.

Mr Surinder Singla too on December 7 at his Chandigarh residence had assured PCCTU office-bearers and state executive committee members deputation that their demands like 50 per cent DA merger in the basic pay, pension-gratuity and regular payment of salaries would be conceded very soon. Mr Barsat had himself come to the PCCTU protest rally at Matka Chowk, Chandigarh, to address the private college teachers on December 7 assuring to redress their grievances at the earliest.

Dr Jagwant Singh further revealed that another reason for calling off the December 21 protest action at Chandigarh was that Punjab Assembly Session slated for December 20 and 21 had been deferred, the high-powered committee meeting slated for December 16 at Chandigarh had been deferred to December 23 and Punjab Cabinet meeting had been deferred from December 13 to 27 because of engagements of Captain Amarinder Singh, Mrs Bhattal and Mr Singla out of Punjab.

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