P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Delhi HC calls for fresh DSGMC executive poll
R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 23
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) today got a shot in the arm with the Delhi High Court calling for a fresh poll for the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee executive committee in February.

The election of the new executive, held in December, has been nullified by the high court.

The court has set February 14 as the fresh date of poll and appointed Justice S.S. Chaddha as chairman and advocate J.P. Singh as vice-chairman to oversee the conduct of the poll in the 50-member DSGMC.

Harvinder Singh Sarna “Palli”, the brother of the then outgoing DSGMC chief Paramjit Singh Sarna, was elected as the president of the gurdwara management body.

The Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi, which Paramjit Singh Sarna heads, and controls the religious management body in the Capital, said it would appeal against the single-bench order of the Delhi High Court. With the general election to the DSGMC due later this year, analysts said the legal tangle could result in the continuation of the present incumbent till the fresh polls to the gurdwara body.

Sources indicated that the Congress-led Delhi Government, which conducts the general elections to the DSGMC, was also keen to conduct the poll at the earliest.

However, analysts said the court order provides the much-needed ammo to the faction ridden Delhi unit of the SAD (Badal) to come together to oust the present body controlled by Sarna.

Even if they fail, due to legal wrangle, they pointed out that the SAD (Badal) could go to the people with this issue and expose the “empty promises” of the present incumbent leadership.

The poll for the executive in December were held amidst high drama and in violation of the directive of Akal Takht.

Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti had asked the DSGMC to hold the executive committee poll on January 18. But, the elections to the executive were held on December 19 in violation of the directive.

Akal Takht later summoned the newly elected DSGMC president and sought an explanation.

The SAD (Badal) had pinned much hope on the executive polls, but Paramjit Singh Sarna, said to be close to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, outsmarted by creating confusion on the poll date.

Explaining the loss of the party in the DSGMC polls, SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal had said that “while the Akal Takht Jathedar had asked the DSGMC to hold the elections on January 18, the DSGMC conducted the polls on December 19, which led to the confusion”.


Indian Canadians ask Pak for liberal visa regime
Tribune News Service

Phillaur, January 23
The Indian community in Canada has appealed to the Pakistani Government to generously extend visas to Indian Sikhs to facilitate their participation in the 400th martyrdom anniversary celebrations of Guru Arjun Dev in Lahore.

A Canadian delegation, led by Mr Ajit Singh Badh, CEO, Shere-e-Punjab Radio Canada, a Vancouver-based radio channel, had met Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Illahi. The delegation, which presented a cheque of Rs 5 crore towards relief of earthquake victims to the Pakistani government, took up several issues aimed at further strengthening bonds between the two nations.

“We urged the government to be liberal in issuing visas to devotees from India who wish to be a part of the anniversary celebrations. The government was also requested to donate a ground, which is in front of Guru Arjun Dev gurdwara in Lahore, so that devotees who visit the place do not face problems. This is the most appropriate time to take action on this front as devotees would turn up in large numbers,” said Mr Badh.

The delegates also urged the government to build a bridge across the Ravi to gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib. “Since a bridge would provide straight passage, it would considerably reduce time taken to reach the place through the Indian side and hence, would be very effective,” he said.

On the issue of 1965 and 1971 PoWs, the delegates opined that the governments of both countries should release those who have been languishing in jails for long. “We talked to them about Sarabjit’s case and requested them to have a considerate view. Besides, even those who have been in jails should be released,” Mr Badh opined.

He said after the control with the Wakf Board, the situation of religious places had considerably improved. “But a lot needs to be done in this direction. For Indians, who go to Pakistan, there are problems related to lodging. If the board looks into this issue, it would go a long way in nurturing the bond.”

The Rs 5 crore, donated by the delegation to the Pakistani Government, would be used towards a project for providing educational and medical facilities to quake victims.

On a month-long visit to the two countries, the delegates would also put forward certain recommendations, including visas for Lahore to be issued from Amritsar. “If one is to go from Amritsar to Lahore, going to Delhi to obtain a visa is a tedious task. It would be much better if the government makes arrangement for visas to be issued from Amritsar only,” he added.


SAD leader appears in court amid high drama
Tribune News Service

Senior leader of Akali Dal (Badal) Kiranvir Singh Kang comes out of the court after hearing in a shootout case in Kharar on Monday.
Senior leader of Akali Dal (Badal) Kiranvir Singh Kang comes out of the court after hearing in a shootout case in Kharar on Monday. — A Tribune photograph

Ropar, January 23
High drama prevailed in the district court complex here today when a senior leader of the Akali Dal (Badal) youth wing, Kiranvir Singh Kang, appeared in court in connection with his alleged involvement in a firing incident during an SGPC election rally held in Kharar on July 2, 2004, in which two persons were killed and several injured.

He was directed by the High Court on January 18 to appear before the trial court here.

A large number of police personnel were deployed in the court complex to arrest Kang since morning. Besides, a special checking drive was launched by the police throughout the district. Kang came here along with his supporters, including SGPC member Gurinder Singh Gogi, but seeing tight security, he stayed away from the court premises. He managed to appear before the court only after his advocate and other supporters reached here in the afternoon.

Later, while coming out of the court, Kang blamed the Punjab Chief Minister and senior officials for his implication in the case. He said despite the fact that the court had stayed his arrest, the police was here after his life.

As Additional District and Sessions Judge G.S. Sarna was on leave, Kang appeared before Additional District and Sessions Judge Karamjit Singh Kang who directed him to appear before the trial court tomorrow. The police also moved an application in the court for seeking the custody of Kang in the shootout case, but suffered a setback when the judge directed the police to move the application before the trial court as he did not have jurisdiction to hear the application.

While talking to The Tribune, Kang said he had moved a petition in the High Court to hand over the case to the CBI. He said he had sustained injuries when supporters of his rival group fired bullets, but the police had falsely implicated him in the case and he feared threat to his life and his other family members. 


Black bucks under threat
PAU team visits Deer Park
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 23
Following 21 deaths due to pneumonia, tuberculosis and trypanosomiasis in the last few months, black bucks are under threat at the local Deer Park.

A Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) team comprising Dr M.P. Gupta and Dr Hardeep Kumar visited the park and collected blood and faecal samples of black bucks.

The doctors, who conducted the post-mortem examination of the black bucks, said the first few had died of pneumonia due to inclement weather while the last three were found to have tuberculosis.

Twenty of the black bucks had died in a single enclosure.

Trypanosomiasis had also been detected in the blood sample of one of the two ailing black bucks.

The park now had 50 black bucks, as against 71 last year.

A park employee said some black bucks had died in September and November, but the figure shot up alarmingly in December and January.

He said scores of black bucks had died at the park four years back.

Talking to The Tribune, the PAU experts said the black bucks diagnosed with trypanosomiasis should be kept in isolation in a fly-free zone.

Though the black bucks suffering from the disease could be cured, giving them medication was a tricky job.

They said there was no oral medication and the medicine had to be injected, but the park authorities were ill-equipped to carry out the job.

The authorities did not have a tranquiliser gun to make them unconscious and administer medicines.

The experts recommended that all black bucks be shifted out of the present enclosure.

Range Officer Gurpal Singh said the PAU team had collected faecal samples of black bucks and the blood sample of a black buck suspected to have trypanosomiasis, which had now been kept in isolation.

They had also taken organs of a ‘neel gai’ that died near the park to detect whether it had any connection with the deaths of black bucks.


Egyptian vultures “holidaying” in Ropar areas
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
As three of the nine species of vultures found in India have become rare to sight, a migrating species, the Egyptian vulture, can be seen these days 'holidaying' in Punjab.

The Egyptian vulture has a close resemblance to the Indian scavenger vulture that is found throughout India. The Egyptian vulture looks more like an eagle. While the adult plumage is mainly dirty white with bare yellowish face and black flight feathers, the young one is blackish-brown with a bare grey face.

It feeds on carrion, insects, eggs, droppings of carnivores and can even be seen sifting garbage. It is known for its ability to break eggs using stones as missiles.

Unlike the Indian scavenger vulture, also known as chitti gidh, the Egyptian vulture can be spotted in flocks.

During a recent visit to the Ropar wetlands area, a large number of Egyptian vultures could be seen feeding on carcasses along with crows and small raptors.

Mr Gurmit Singh, Deputy Chief Wildlife Warden, Punjab, said last week he also sighted nearly 60 Egyptian vultures near Bharatgarh village in Ropar district. The village is located on the Ropar-Anandpur Sahib road.

“I have never sighted such a large number of these birds. Earlier, two or three Egyptian vultures were seen. This means a large number of vultures have migrated to this place this time,” he said.

Dr Vibhu Prakash, Principal Scientist (Ornithology), Bombay Natural History Society, attributed its increase in number to the plenty of food available. Droppings of stray dogs are the preferred food of the Egyptian vultures. Of course, dogs and raptors are multiplying fast because they have free access to carcasses with the decline of vultures.

Mr Prabhat Bhatti, a bird watcher, has sighted Indian scavenger vultures a number of times in Ropar and Nangal areas. Of late, he said, its number had increased.

The endangered Indian species are the white-backed, slender-billed and long-billed Gyps vultures. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists these three species as critically endangered in its Red List.

Biologists blame veterinary drug diclofenac in cattle carcasses for their decline. Other reasons might be the loss of nesting sites and habitat, use of pesticides and competition for food among scavengers.

Mr Gurmit Singh said the white-backed vulture was seen throughout the state in the early '80s. He said this species did not find place even in the book of threatened birds brought out by the UK-based BirdLife International in 1994, “The World List of Threatened Birds”. However, in 2000 the BirdLife International listed this species as critical in its updated edition, “Threatened Birds of the World.”


Arrest Dhindsa ‘for connections with Dawood’
CPM’s “jail bharo” from February 1
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, January 23
The Punjab unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) today asked Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to arrest Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, secretary-general of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), if he (CM) had proofs with him, regarding the allegations that Mr Dhindsa had collected unaccounted wealth in a short span and his relative (father-in-law of Dhindsa’s son) was a smuggler and had close links with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

Prof Balwant Singh, state secretary of the Punjab unit of the CPM, told reporters in reply to a question said Mr Amarinder Singh must have some proofs in his possession and in the light of these proofs the Chief Minister should initiate action against Mr Dhindsa to put him behind bars. If the allegations were wild then Mr Dhindsa should move court and prove his innocence.

Prof Balwant Singh also said the Punjab unit of the CPM would also approach to the Commissioner of Punjab, Right to Information Commission, to seek details of the allegations, levelled against Mr Dhindsa by the Chief Minister.

He said the CPM was of the view that the SAD (Longowal) and the Akali Dal 1920, like the Lok Bhalai Party and the BSP (Ambedkar) were secular parties nowadays, so the CPM would try to form a government of the secular parties, as the next government in Punjab would be a coalition government.

Prof Balwant Singh said the CPM would launch a “Jail bharo andolan” from February 1 in the state on the issues of “Roti, Rozi, Zamin” for the weaker sections of the society. He said that on February 1 about 2000 workers of the CPM would present themselves to court arrest at Nawanshahr.

He also demanded income tax and sales tax holiday for five years in Punjab to save the industry of the state. He also asked the Punjab government to open more ration depots for poor people of the state.


Teenager married to one thrice her age
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, January 23
A teenaged girl of nearby Naurangabad village 6 km from here was lured by her sister and sister-in-law into marrying a person three times of her age. She was allegedly raped by the person whom she was married to without her consent.

The police has registered a case under Section 366A, 376 of the IPC.

Six persons have been nominated in the case. The accused include Sukhwinder Kaur and Amarjit Singh of Ratangarh village sister and brother-in-law of the girl Harjinder Kaur aged 15 (not real name). Other are Hardip Singh who she was married to without consent. Swarn Kaur mother-in-law of Sukhwinder Kaur, Sarmukh Singh former sarpanch and village lamberdar.

Mr Paramjit Singh Grewal, SSP said today here that Harjinder Kaur was lured by false promises by her sister and brother-in-law on December 28, 2005 and was married to Hardip Singh who is 40. Harjinder is fatherless. She was married in a gurdwara of Baba Bakala. After that she was raped by Hardip Singh. Harjinder could be released with attempts of her brother and other family members.


Two youths killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, January 23
Two young professionals were killed and another seriously injured when their car rammed into a truck parked near the Shambhu police post on the Ambala-Ludhiana road this morning.

Police sources said the accident occurred around 6 a.m. when the trio — Tanpreet, Rakesh and Kulwant — were on their way to Ludhiana from Ambala in their Maruti Zen car.

While Tanpreet and Rakesh died on the spot, Kulwant was shifted to the PGI, Chandigarh, in serious condition.

According to information, the car hit the truck (HR-38-J-2501) laden with cement pipes. Such was the impact of the collision, that the front portion of the car was reduced to mangles and the bodies were stuck inside it.

Tanpreet, a resident of Ludhiana, and Rakesh, a resident of Una, both in their early twenties, worked with the Kotak Mohindra Bank in Ludhiana.

Kulwant, who hails from Nangal, was employed with the HDFC, Ludhiana. They were on their way from Delhi to Ludhiana.

Police personnel and passersby had difficulty in extricating the bodies from the car. Heart-rending scenes were witnessed at AP Jain Civil Hospital where the bodies were kept for post-mortem.

The police has registered a case against the truck driver, Akhilesh Kumar, a native of Badayun in UP. He has absconded.


Jagmeet Brar gets prominence at Hyderabad session
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, a senior Congress leader who was virtually sidelined in Punjab politics by the big guns of the ruling party in the state a few months ago, was today given prominence by the party high command at the 82nd plenary session of the All-India Congress Committee in Hyderabad.

A senior Congress leader from Hyderabad told The Tribune that Mr Brar was especially selected by the party high command to speak on the important political resolution. He said Mr Brar was the only leader to speak on this resolution from Punjab. Moreover, he was asked to speak immediately after Mr Rahul Gandhi.

Recently, the party high command had included Mr Brar in the list of top party leaders who are invited to meetings of the Congress Working Committee as special invitees.

The senior Congress leader said that Mr Brar’s speech was well received at the session and a good number of prominent leaders congratulated him on what he said. “It was plain speaking by Mr Brar which was liked by all at the session”, said the senior leader, preferring to remain unidentified.

Mr Brar, the Congress leader said, emphasised the need for giving due credit and honour to party workers at the grassroots level. He said the party should avoid leaders who tried to hijack everything with their money power. Those who worked at the lower level should be rewarded with the party ticket and those who dropped into the party “via parachute” should be ignored.

He said the Congress had at present the best leadership. While Mrs Sonia Gandhi belonged to a family which had made big sacrifices for the country, the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, was a man whose honesty, integrity and intellectual level could not be matched by anyone, said Mr Brar.

What signal did the party high command want to send to senior leaders of the ruling party in Punjab by giving so much prominence to Mr Brar? This question has already become a topic of discussion in the state’s political circles.


Power generation stopped at Mukerian project
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, January 23
Power generation at the Mukerian hydel project has been hit once again.

The PSEB has been suffering a generation loss of about 50 lakh units per day due to the stoppage of generation at the project.

The stoppage of generation at the project also means longer power cuts in rural areas of the state.

Cracks have developed at the tail-end of the canal, where it ends in the Beas.

The PSEB authorities will now have to put crates at the spot to check the damage to the canal.

This will take another 12 days, taking up the generation loss to the PSEB by at least Rs 1 crore per day.

Generally repairs are carried out in the lean season, when the demand for power is the least.

The Chief Engineer, Civil Design and Construction, Mr B.S. Sabharwal, says power generation has been stopped for carrying out repairs at the tail-end of the canal.

The decision has been taken in view of the lesser availability of water from the Pong Dam.

Experts have expressed doubts about the sub-soil strength in the area of the newly constructed portion of the canal.

The cracks in the siphon will be repaired by grouting and use of epoxy material, says the Chief Engineer.

The 18 MW power project planned in the new portion has been delayed by over an year.


Scam: inquiry finds coop staff guilty
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, January 23
The inquiry into the fraud allegedly committed by Mr Baljinder Singh, secretary of the Cooperative Agricultural Society, Ambey Majra, worth Rs 3.78 crore by opening bogus accounts in a bank of members and getting loans sanctioned in their names has found its employees, including the secretary and the salesman, besides the bank manager, prima facie guilty.

Mrs Jaspreet Talwar, Deputy Commissioner, had directed the Deputy Registrar, Cooperative Society, Mr S.K. Batish, to conduct the inquiry and submit a report.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Batish said he had completed the inquiry and would submit the report to the Deputy Commissioner soon.

He said prima facie he had suspended all employees, including the salesman and the secretary of the society, as well as the bank manager.

He said it had been recommended to get a case registered against the employees.

He said to save the affected farmers, various steps were being undertaken and their interests would be fully watched. He said all properties belonging to the secretary, the salesman and the bank manager had been attached.


Netaji’s birthday celebrated
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, January 23
The Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Foundation celebrated the 109th birthday of Netaji here today. The function was inaugurated by Mr Mal Singh, district president of the Freedom Fighters’ Organisation by lighting ‘Jyoti’. Mr Gurtej Singh, SDM, Sangrur; Mr Ranjit Singh Ballian, a former Punjab Minister; Mr Surinder Pal Singh Sibia, former chairman of the Punjab Warehouse Corporation; Mr Jeet Singh Alloarkh, district president of SAD (A); and Mr Pali Ram Bansal, secretary of the All-India Gramin Bank Officers Association, also attended the function.

Mr Harinder Pal Singh, president of the Foundation, urged the government to construct Netaji Memorial Bhavans at all district headquarters in the state.

As many as 55 freedom fighters and widows of the freedom fighters were honoured. A quiz competition, based on the life and works of Netaji was also organised in which the students of the Prem Sabha High School here secured first position while the students of Spring Dales Public School obtained second position.

AMRITSAR: The 109th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was observed by paying tributes, organising prayers, quiz show, and garlanding his statue here today.

Capt Natin Mudgal, hoisted national flag and Army band played national anthem before the bust of Chief of Azad Hind Fauj at Bhandari bridge.

On this occasion the Azad Hind Fauj Association Amritsar (AHFAA) also celebrated its golden jubilee.

The Amritsar Study Circle held a quiz contest on the lives of Guru Gobind Singh, Swami Vivekananda and Subhas Chandra Bose. Mr Jagdish Singh, Director, Sant Singh Sukha Singh Schools, gave a lecture on the life of Netaji. Teams of three schools participated in the quiz and Prem Ashram School won the contest. 


Remove slums, minister tells officials
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 23
Punjab Urban Development Minister Raghunath Sahai Puri today asked the officials concerned to remove slums from the city limits under beautification plan. The direction came at a meeting of District Grievances Committee here today.

The minister said Rs 20 crore had been granted to Bathinda MC for development works. He said Rs 1.88-crore PUDA’s zonal office and Rs 3-crore community centre would be inaugurated in the city on February 17. He told that urban estates were being established in 10 more cities of the state. The meeting witnessed redressal of 19 complaints out of 44, while probe into three was handed over to the ADC. 


SGPC to honour Mattewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
Senior Punjab and Haryana High Court lawyer Hardev Singh Mattewal will be bestowed a rare honour by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) for his exemplary services to the society in general and the "panth" in particular.

According to available information, a resolution to honour Mr Mattewal, who is also the senior standing counsel of the SGPC, was passed sometime back by the general committee of the SGPC. He has been handling all important court cases in which the SGPC is a party for the past almost 20 years without ever accepting any fee.

SGPC sources say the body owes over Rs 2 crore as fees to him, but he has refused to take a single penny.

The resolution passed by the general committee says, "No amount of appreciation will suffice for the services rendered by Sardar Mattewal, through his legal acumen, in getting the educational institutions of the SGPC declared as minority in the face of dilly-dallying by the government. He has not asked for the fees for the cases being conducted on behalf of the SGPC, in spite of being asked to do so, from time to time, by the presidents, past and present."


Another contempt notice to Bibi Jagir Kaur, others
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 23
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued a notice of contempt to former SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur, Dr U.S. Dhaliwal, Director-Principal of SGPC-managed Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Education and Research, Amritsar, and SGPC secretary Dalmegh Singh.

The notice has been issued on a contempt petition filled by Ms Khushdeep Kaur and six other students of MBBS course (pre-final) run by the institute.

In their plea, the students had sought action under the contempt law against the three for not implementing the orders of the High Court dated November 18, 2005.

In its order, the court had directed the Principal and the management of the Institute to allow the students of the second professional MBBS course to sit in the examination and be allowed to pursue their course in furtherance of their original admission after accepting the provisional fee fixed by the fee committee. But the management of the college neither issued roll numbers to the students for the examination nor permitted them to attend the classes for the next professional.

The students have stated that even though the orders of the court were duly served to the respondents, they “intentionally, flagrantly and willfully” did not obey the court orders.

After hearing counsel for the petitioners, Mr Justice M.M. Kumar issued notices to the respondents for March 20.

Earlier, also the court had issued notice of contempt to the three following a similar plea filed by 15 students of the institute.


Special survey to assess loss to potato crop

Kapurthala, January 23
Deputy Commissioner Sameer Kumar today ordered special revenue survey to assess damage caused to the crops, specially potatoes due to the frost and extreme cold in the district earlier this month.

He has directed the revenue officials to submit the report of damage to the crops in a fortnight, official sources said today.

According to a report submitted by the Horticulture Department, more than 9000 hectares of land were under the cultivation of potatoes in the district, of which the farmers had sown 5400 hectares before October 15.

The worst affected villages are Brindpur, Mothanwala and Boolpur.

According to Assistant Director, Horticulture Dr Jagjiit Singh, the tomato growers in the region had also suffered heavy losses due to the frost as half of the crop sown over 500 acres of land in the Sultanpur Lodhi, Phagwara and Dona area has been damaged. — PTI


Farmers submit memo to DC
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 23
Activists of the Kirti Kisan Union held a rally to press the state government to accept their various demands here today.

The farmers converged at Ram Bagh and from there marched to the Deputy Commissioner’s office in procession. After reaching the office of the DC, they raised slogans against anti-farmer policies of the government and submitted a memorandum to be handed over to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

Mr Hardev Singh Sandhu, president of the Union, said that today’s protest was part of the campaign launched in the state from January 20 to February 2. He said under it protest rallies would be carried out at district headquarters to register their protests.

The memorandum included 13 demands some of them country must dissociate itself from the WTO, to grant loan to farmers at four per cent interest, government should supply water to small farmers by setting up deep tubewells, to return the payment of farm motors with interest to farmers, compulsory 16-hours power supply to farmers, diesel, manure, pesticide be made available to farmers at subsidised rates and remaining compensation amount for the farmers whose land were used for laying landmines must be given. 


Doctor, nurse booked for child’s death
Our Correspondent

Batala, January 23
A three-year-old child Ashish Singh died in a private hospital on the Jalandhar road here allegedly due to the negligence of doctor Dr Harpal Singh and nurse Manjit Kaur.

The parents of the child are non resident Indians and the child had come to reside with his maternal grandfather at Masanian village. He was admitted to the hospital for small ailment and was administered an injection by the nurse after which his conditioned started deteriorating. The child breathed his last as he was allegedly left unattended. The relatives of the child gathered in front of the hospital and blocked the road when the police intervened and DSP city Ashwani Kapur reached the spot.

However today on the directions of SSP Batala Jatinder Jain the police registered a case under section 304/34 of the IPC.


Man found dead under mysterious circumstances
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 23
Paramjit Singh of Nagoke village in the Tarn Taran police district was found dead under mysterious circumstances in the Angarh area here today.

The police sent the body for post-mortem examination after registering a case under Section 174 of the CrPC.

Paramjit and his brother Sakatar Singh had come to his in-laws’ house for his brother-in-law’s marriage, where he had a brawl with his in-laws.

Sakatar alleged that Paramjit was killed by his in-laws by giving him some poisonous substance.

The police would take further action after receiving the post-mortem report.


Woman killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

Moga, January 23
A woman was killed and a child seriously injured when a Tata Sumo collided with a Maruti car near Bughipura Chowk here yesterday.

Sources said the occupants of the vehicle were on their way to Jalandhar to attend a marriage. The deceased was identified as Paramjeet Kaur of Daroli Bhai village.

Meanwhile, the police has arrested two persons at Galoti village and seized 5 kg charas from their possession.

They were identified as Balwinder Singh alias Bittu of Moga and Lekh Raj hailing from Nakodar.


Seminar briefs colleges on accreditation
Our Correspondent

Patiala, January 23
A seminar-cum-workshop was organised by the NAAC quality assurance cell of the DPI (Colleges) for non-accredited government and aided colleges affiliated to Punjabi University, Patiala, at the Government College for Girls here today.

A total of 28 principals and coordinators attended the seminar which was presided over by Ms Nisha Sarad, DPI (Colleges), Punjab. Mrs G.K. Jaggi, Principal of the host college, welcomed the participants.

In his keynote address, Dr R.S. Ghuman, Dean (Colleges), Punjabi University, elaborated on the rationale of assessment and accreditation in the present global context.

According to him, there is a need for inter and intra comparative assessment by higher education institutions.

Mrs J.K. Battu, Principal, Government Ranbir College, Sangrur, threw light on the methodology of the accreditation process. Dr Harbir Singh, Principal, Khalsa College, Patiala, spoke about the scenario of accredited higher education institutions at the national level.

Dr Dinesh Chander Gupta, Joint Director, and in charge of the NAAC quality assurance cell, gave tips to the participants about the accreditation.


Govt rejects varsity’s proposal to hand over medical college
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, January 23
The Punjab Government has rejected the proposal of the Vice-Chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) to hand over the reins of local Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital and transfer its employees to the university.

According to the report, in a letter written to the Vice-Chancellor recently, the government has requested him to frame properly all rules and regulations of the varsity before making the demand. It said under the prevailing circumstances the university was even unable to seek the option of the permanent employees of the college either to work on deputation or their regular absorption in it.

The government has also directed the Director, Research and Medical Education, to ensure that the interests of the employees be protected by all means. It is pertinent to mention here that following the proposal of the Vice-Chancellor, more than 300 class III and IV employees of the college and hospital launched a stir during the months of November and December last year expressing their unwillingness to work in the university without assurances from the state regarding their service security and other benefits.

Taking into account the cognisance of the matter, the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Medical Research and Education, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, had held a meeting with the agitators in Chandigarh last month and assured them to look into all aspects before transferring the college and hospital to the university.


Post offices earn Rs 1.96 crore from money transfer
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
Post offices across Punjab are successfully catering to the monetary needs of lakhs of NRIs and their families by way of its international money transfer service. This service offered by post offices, acting as agents of Western Union Money Transfer, has helped the post office earn a profit of Rs 1.96 crore as commission in 2005 — almost double the commission of Rs 1.02 crore earned in 2004.

From a mere 151 transactions in 2001, when this service was launched, to 55,066 transactions till December 2005, through the head post offices and sub post offices in Punjab, the scheme has proved to be a big success. As compared to Rs 59.23 crore paid through this service in 2004, Rs 134 crore was paid in 2005.

This scheme was started across the country in April 2001, after the Department of Posts entered into a formal agreement with Western Union Money Transfer to act as their agents. Since then, post offices across the country have the maximum market share as money transfer agents.

Though 29 per cent of the NRI population hails from Punjab — which is the largest segment of NRIs — post offices in Punjab have 11 per cent of the market share among all Western Union agents. Officials in the Department of Posts say that most of the customers are still using private money transfer companies. ‘‘But, people have a lot of faith in the post offices. This is the reason that within five years we have been able to capture a nice chunk of the market share,’’ says a senior department officer.

The maximum transactions through post offices take place in the Doaba and Majha region, which has the highest concentration of people living abroad. Officials say that the maximum number of transactions take place in Jalandhar, followed by Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur and Kapurthala.

This money transfer facility is available only in head post offices and sub post offices. The branch post offices (manned by grameen dak sewaks) are not included under this scheme. ‘‘We now propose to expand this scheme in sub post offices located in rural areas of the state. We already have this scheme in 320 sub post offices in rural areas,’’ informed a senior official. 

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