P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Ponty Chadha kin slashes investment
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
In a major setback to the Punjab Government, a sugar company promoted by Mr Satnam Singh Chadha, brother of liquor baron Mr Ponty Chadha, has offered to withdraw investment worth Rs 580 crore from the state, limiting itself to investing a little over Rs 25 crore in setting up of a sugar mill in border area of Gurdaspur.

The issue would be discussed at the forthcoming meeting of the Empowered Committee of the Chief Minster to be held on February 28.

In a written request to the Department of Industries dated January 25, 2006, the Director of Chadha Sugar and Industries Limited has stated that the company had envisaged the investment of Rs 580 crore assuming that the state would grant them a particular set of incentives or exemptions but since majority of these incentives had not been granted, the company had changed its business plans.

Sources pointed out that the company had proposed the setting up of a modern sugar mill and derivative plant in Gurdaspur district. Along with this they had planned to set up a potable alcohol unit, an ethanol unit, a co- generation power plant of 20 MW and a high value chemical complex.

This would have entailed an investment of Rs 580 crore. The project was approved by the Empowered Committee as a mega project at its meeting held on September 23, 2004.

The company had demanded a host of incentives or exemptions as part of its proposal.

These included exemption from purchase tax, service tax, cane cess, market fee, sales tax on molasses, sales tax duty on molasses sugar and alcohol for 20 years; capital subsidy on investment at the rate of 10 per cent of total capital as allowed by the Uttar Pradesh Government to sugar mills, exemption from payment to the Punjab Pollution Control Board for approval of consent fee etc.

The Empowered Committee after due consideration, however, agreed to grant the company only exemption from stamp duty and registration fee on purchase of land and exemption from electricity duty for a period of five years.

The company repeated its request for more concessions in November, 2004, pointing out that the UP Government had announced a special package for the development of sugar industry in August, 2004, allowing a large number of incentives.

Stating since they have not been given these exemptions, the company director wrote that “we have been forced to change our business plans”. Now the company has offered to invest more than Rs 25 crore (the minimum mega project limit for border districts) to set up a sugar mill and a co-generation plant only at the Gurdaspur site.

Interestingly, however, less than 10 days before the company wrote to the department stating that it wants to reduce the investment, the company had signed an agreement with the Punjab Government on January 16, 2006.

It was clearly laid down in the agreement that the exemptions agreed upon to be given to the company by the government would be withdrawn in case the company does not invest the stipulated amount promised (Rs 580 crore).

Sources added that the committee members would now also re-consider the grant of these exemptions to the company in the light of the reduced investment offer.


First woman pilot donates ancestral house to village
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Sarhala Khurd (Hoshiarpur), February 26
Sunday proved to be the brightest day for residents of this sleepy village as Ms Beant Kaur, 88- year-old first woman pilot of India and the widow of late Air Vice-Marshal Harjinder Singh not only donated her ancestral house to the village, but also extended a grant of Rs 3 lakh for converting her “Beant Niwas” into a museum in the memories of her legendary husband, who, had breathed his last in 1971.

The house had been a centre of attraction and activity during 50s and 60s as dignitaries like late Chief Minister Partap Singh Kairon, the then Air Chief Marshal Arjun Singh used to visit the house.

Huge black and white pictures of those years are fitting reminders of the fact that Air Vice-Marshal Harjinder Singh, who had designed most of flying clubs in the united Punjab and who had been hand-picked by Kairon to serve as united Punjab’s Technical Adviser, was a true son of the soil and was a dynamic personality who had dreamt of making Punjab a technically advanced state. Air Vice-Marshal Harjinder Singh had raised the Indian Air Force Maintenance Command at Kanpur in mid 50s and was also designated as the first “Hawai Sepoy’’ of India.

His inherent zeal to serve people of Punjab in a selfless manner was so strong that after he was appointed as Technical Adviser to the Government of Punjab in 1963, a year after his retirement from the Air Force, he used to draw a token salary of Re 1 per month.

This entire village still feels indebted to the late Air Vice-Marshal and this becomes evident when Davinder Singh, Sarpanch of the village, says in an emotional tone, ‘‘Our identity is associated with the name of Air Vice-Marshal sahib. We cannot repay what he has done to make our village well known all over Punjab. He had toiled hard to realize his dream of making Punjab a scientifically advanced state. We feel proud that we are born in village of Air Vice- Marshal Harjinder Singh” As a tribute in its own right, the village youth have already formed Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Football Club.

Residents of this village were happy to see when Beant Kaur and her two nephews, Mr K. B. Singh and Canada-based Pritpal Singh Aujla, arrived at the village at about 9 a.m. Perhaps, it was only Sarpanch Davinder Singh who was aware of the visit of ‘daughter of the soil’ to her village after a long time. Within minutes members of 30-40 families surrounded her and Beant Kaur started opening her heart out before them. “I am so elated to be among you once again. I want that people should remember my husband and should get inspiration from his deeds and personality. So, I want to hand over my house to the village Panchayat so that it could be converted into a museum, to be named after my husband,” said Beant Kaur with tears in her eyes.

Immediately after this, she handed over the keys of her 300-marla house to Sarpanch Davinder Singh and a group of villagers along with a cheque for Rs 3 lakh. “This is what I have to contribute towards the museum,” said Beant Kaur. She also gave another cheque for Rs 2 lakh for the renovation of the stadium set up by villagers in memory of her husband.

“Ms Beant Kaur will also give an annual grant of Rs 1 lakh towards recurring and running costs of the proposed museum and the stadium. She had been planning to give her house the people who have always been close to the heart of her husband,” said Mr K.B Singh and Mr Pritpal Singh Aujla, who had come from Canada specially to make the dream of their aunt a reality.

Beant Kaur, who, is currently residing in Phase 11, Mohali, had donated a sum of Rs 1 crore to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation in July last year on the insistence of Mr Parminder Singh, General Secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. It was Parminder Singh, who had accompanied her to Delhi to present the cheque worth Rs 1 crore to the AICC chief, Ms Sonia Gandhi.


Union Minister ‘ignorant’ of Sukhi issue
Our Correspondent

Thathian Mahantan (Tarn Taran) February 26
Expressing ignorance about Punjab militants including ‘Sukhi’ who has been in the news for being rehabilitated by the state in a ‘dubious’ manner, Mr Sri Parkash Jaiswal Union Minister for State for Home Affairs, said he had not read the report sent by the state Home Department regarding this.

He was here to preside over a function regarding the Children Traffic Training park and was accompanied by Mr S.S. Virk, Director General police, and other top police officials besides Mr Sardool Singh Bhandala, Excise and Taxation Minister, today.

Talking to The Tribune, the minister came to the rescue of state government for rehabilitating former militants and said it had been a policy of the government to wean militants from their activities and help them re-join social mainstream. To a query on , the identification of militants to be made public, numbering 300 who had been similarly rehabilitated, as claimed by CM Amarinder Singh, Mr Jaiswal brushed it aside as a state matter.

Incidentally, while exhorting that Punjabis should forget old days of militancy, all those who addressed the audience including the ministers, DGP Virk and top police officials , harped on the days of militancy in Punjab in their speeches and praised the police for facing challenges during the period of turmoil.

Director-General of Police Virk evaded all queries on the undercover operations used to rehabilitate former militants including ‘Sukhi’ during militancy in the state

However he denied the charge of Mr Parkash Singh Badal that he had taken Deputy CM, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, to meet Mr Sharad Pawar during the intra-party rivalry to form a parallel Congress with the breakaway group of Pawar.


Doctors lament ‘pick and choose’ policy
Sarbjit Dhaliwal

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
The functioning of the Punjab Health Department is in a poor shape not only in the countryside but also at the state headquarters. As many as 27 posts of Deputy Director and Civil Surgeon are lying vacant in the state. The Health Department is running the show by posting junior doctors against the posts of Deputy Director and also as Civil Surgeon at certain places.

Already, the government had admitted in the Assembly that as many as 618 health dispensaries are without doctors in the state. How many posts in urban civil hospitals are vacant, no one knows.

A senior doctor posted in the Health Department said that no criteria was being followed in the Health Department to post doctors at senior level. “ Pick and choose policy is being pursued in a most blatant manner”, he added. A doctor, who figured at the top in the senior list was recently replaced by as Civil Surgeon by a junior doctor, who figures at the lower level in the seniority list.

At least in two districts, the Health Department authorities have given charge of Civil Surgeon to junior doctors, who even do not figure in the seniority list of senior doctors.

Source said that even the instructions issued by the personnel department for giving current duty charge were being violated with impunity. Sources said that the Department at certain places posted junior doctors at one step below the post of Civil Surgeon and then they are given powers of Civil Surgeon to manage health services in districts.

There is one post of Joint director( Food). A junior doctor is working on this post. There are 33 sanctioned posts of Deputy Directors/ Civil Surgeon. Only six posts of Deputy Director or Civil Surgeons are manned by promoted doctors.

As many as 21 are held by non promoted doctors while six are lying vacant. The meeting of the departmental promotion committee (DPC) has not been held for the past three years. Senior doctors say that the meeting is not being held deliberately. “ If the DPC is held, then authorities will not be able to post their favourites on important slots such as Civil Surgeons”, said a senior doctors.

Because of the “ pick and choose” policy being followed by the authorities, there is a lot of frustration and resentment among senior doctors. Nothing can be more humiliating and insulting for a senior doctor to see a junior doctor, who enjoys powers of civil surgeon on par with a deputy director, dictating terms to him .

They say that the implementation of national health programmes such as AIDS, Malaria, TB has been seriously compromised because senior doctors are not occupying the posts meant to implement these programmes.


Govt nod for construction of four bridges
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 26
Finance Minister Surinder Singla, during a meeting with the district administration officials here today, said the state government had sanctioned the construction of two railway overbridges and an underbridge, besides another bridge over a canal near Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant.

Mr Singla said the work on a bridge near the thermal plant would start on March 20 and it would cost Rs 1.06 crore. He directed the PWD officials to complete this work before August 15. He said the construction work of an underbridge near Parasram Nagar and two overbridges — one near TV tower and another close to the Milk Plant on Dabwali Road was handed over to a private firm through Punjab Infrastructure Development Board.

He said the work on these bridges would also be kicked off soon. The minister reviewed progress in water and sewerage work underway at trans-railway colonies. He also took stock of other development works being carried out by the MC. He asked the officials concerned to move the electricity poles that were hampering smooth flow of traffic in the city.

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Bhandari and SDM S. K. Singla were among those who attended the meeting.

Earlier, the finance minister participated in a mass marriage ceremony of 12 girls from poor economic background. He announced Rs 21,000 for each newly wed couple. He also handed over a cheque of Rs 2 lakh to SSP Kapil Dev for the Cops Club.


Hoardings of govt’s achievements at the cost of heritage?
Pawan Kumar

Amritsar, February 26
The putting up of a large number of hoardings in the city featuring politicians has proved that ruling government does not implement ban orders imposed by the high court. It also brings to fore the ‘inefficiency’ of the local Municipal Corporation.

Flouting the ban imposed time and again by high court and apex court, huge hoardings cover signboards meant to direct visitors and tourists to their destinations, installed at the main G T Road.

Interestingly the hoardings advertise achievements of these politicians and are placed in several areas that almost cover heritage structures. A huge hoarding in front of Khalsa College is glaring example of it.

Experts feel that the advertisers in connivance with city’s politicians have found a novel way to evade penalty or removal of hoardings by featuring ruling party politicians. This has served a double purpose as no one wants to be on the wrong side of politicians by removing the hoardings.

Even the entrance gate of holy city, where a welcome board was put up earlier has not been left out. This welcome board is now covered by hoarding of Congress government boasting of ‘development works’ along with the pictures of the Prime Minister and the President of the All India Congress Committee.

Some low rung leaders, including councilors, have installed hoarding with their own photographs at every nook and corner of the city. Interestingly, some of these hoardings have the pictures of leaders who had been declared ‘10-numberi’ in police records.

Mr Gurcharanjit Singh Lamba, a resident of Shaheed Udham Singh Nagar, said that Chief Minister, Capt Amrinder Singh, being a votary of the heritage, should not allow this type of invasion on the heritage city. It ought to be rectified at the earliest. He said Amritsar did not belong to a group, party or even government. This was a world heritage centre, even though it might not be officially declared so, he added.

The High Court had banned putting up of such hoardings on railway tracks and roads within the municipal corporation limits as it distracted the attention of people driving vehicles and putting their lives at risk and causing accidents.

Shockingly, the municipal corporation has allowed the installation of unipoles for putting up advertisement hoardings. The contractors have shamelessly erected these unipoles without any rules or considering about convenience of the common man. Unipoles have gobbled up pavements and traffic islands in the city while the civic authorities have turned a blind eye to this menace. The glaring example is green belt in front of the entrance to the Railway station, which is also a traffic bottleneck. The corporation has allowed installation of a unipole right in the middle of the green belt marring the beautiful view.


Love triangle has a tragic end
Tribune News Service

Kharar, February 26
Affection for a girl drove two boys to kill their friend in a village near here even as a crowd watched the entire episode as mute spectators.

The victim, 18-year-old Dildar Mohammad, was allegedly stabbed by his former friend, Sonu, and another boy last night at Nawanshahr Badali village following a fight over a girl the affections of whom both of them sought.

According to the DSP, Kharar, Mr Rajbacahn Singh Sandhu, Sonu and Dildar Mohammad had exchanged blows at Kharar yesterday. The two lived in the same village and were once thick friends but had fallen apart over the issue of a girl who lived in Morinda. Both were reportedly in love with the girl and objected to each other’s interest in her.

He said Dildar Mohammad seemed to have had an upper hand in the fight that took place at Kharar. In a fit of anger, Sonu armed himself with a dagger and took another of their friend, Baji, along to “pay back” Dildar.

“Dildar was sitting in the shop of a hairdresser in the market at that time. Sonu and Baji allegedly threatened and abused him. An altercation ensued outside the shop. Villagers gathered there. In a fit of rage, Sonu allegedly took out a dagger and stabbed Dildar in the neck.

Dildar was rushed to a local hospital from where he was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, where he was declared brought dead.

The accused are on the run now. A case has been registered against them.


For common man’s ‘suvidha’
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, February 26
It is just like a dream come true for the common man. For getting their work done, people do not have to waste time, money and look to give ‘sifarish’ or hanker after middlemen.

Be it preparation of a driving licence, registration of vehicles, ration cards, SC/BC/ handicapped/domicile certificates, birth and death certificates, pension cases under different categories, passport verifications, arms license, getting marriage registered, bank loan cases under various self-employment ventures, depositing electricity bills etc., all facilities are available at the double storey centrally air-conditioned “Suvidha Centre” set up at the District Administrative Complex here.

The centre, equipped with facilities on par with international standards, is the brainchild of Deputy Commissioner Krishan Kumar. He has been introducing new service counters, with a view to providing delivery of services relating to various departments under one roof. It has virtually translated the idea of providing transparent administration into reality.

For NRIs, it has been proving to be a boon as now it has become unbelievably easy for them to get a copy of the ‘farad’ or getting a marriage registered.

Earlier, they used to face a lot of inconvenience and fell prey to middlemen to get the marriage registered.

The centre has been completed within a record time of six months. Its second phase has also been made operational a few days ago. More and more service counters are being introduced at the for the convenience of the people. Besides, talks are underway with the State Bank of India to set up a extension counter and ATM facility at the Suvidha Centre.

Close circuit cameras, with a view to keep constant vigil, have also been installed.


New Mexico to hold peace conference from Sept 22
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 26
Ymelda De Vargas, Director, Tourism Department of New Mexico, USA, was here today as part of her tour to invite leaders of various religions to participate in the first ever "World Peace Conference".

For the first time, New Mexico would hold an international conference in which representatives of all religions would participate. The three-day conference would be held at Santa Fe, capital of New Mexico, from September 22.

Meanwhile, Ms De Vargas was assisted in her task by Dr Bibiji Inderjit Kaur — wife of the late Harbhajan Singh Yogi — who has been appointed New Mexico's Ambassador of Peace.

Bibiji said she came to India to invite and ensure participation of representatives of various religions. She said besides leaders of all faiths, Nobel Peace laureates, political leaders, native Americans, youth leaders and others have been roped in for the conference.

She said New Mexico, which is known as land of enchantment, would witness such a kind of function for the first time.

She said she had extended invitations to Jathedar Akal Takht Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Mr Avtar Singh, President, SGPC, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Swami Saraswati Chidananda.


Randhawa for Rs 100 bonus to farmers
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, February 26
The farmers of Punjab should be paid a bonus of Rs 100 per quintal in addition to Rs 650 minimum support price (MSP) by the Union Government. If the bonus is not announced, the arrival in the government mandis this year would decrease considerably.

Mr Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, stated this while talking to The Tribune. He said the price of wheat flour in the open market had touched Rs 13 per kg. As a result, traders were giving advance to the farmers for procuring wheat.

The union government was also importing wheat at prices ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,100 per quintal.

He further said the Punjab Agriculture Department had worked out the cost incurred by the farmers in producing wheat, including labour and interest on capital investment. It was around Rs 800 per quintal.

He would present the case of Rs 100 bonus for Punjab farmers before the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.

The farmers of the state also deserved bonus as the yield was likely to remain low due to hostile weather. It was likely to remain at about 44 quintal per hectare against the normal 47 quintal per hectare.

Punjab contributes 85 lakh metric tonnes to the central pool out of the total procurement of 162 lakh metric tonnes, he said.

Mr Randhawa also told that the state government had planned to give a subsidy of Rs 1 crore on gypsum this year in the state. The gypsum would be provided to farmers at a subsidised rate to maintain the fertility in lands.


No trace of ‘killer’ father
Tribune News Service

Ropar, February 26
Even after four days of the incident, the police has not been able to trace Mohan Bahadur, a Nepalese who had allegedly killed his six-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son by drowning them in the mini dam at Mirajapur village in Kharar.

The police banked upon eyewitness Bhagat Ram’s account that he had seen the accused strangulate his children and then drown them in the dam water on February 22. But the post-mortem reports revealed that the children had died due to drowning and not due to strangulation.

Earlier, the police was suspecting that Mohan Bahadur might have jumped into the dam after killing his children. But after four days of the incident, there seems to be least possibility of that as the body of any drowned person takes two to three days to surface on water.

According to the police, Mohan Bahadur, a resident of Gauchar village, had heated arguments with his wife over some domestic issue. Thereafter, Bahadur beat up his wife and mother-in-law and left the home taking two children with him in the midnight.

The bodies of the children were fished out from the dam water the very next day of the incident.

The DSP, Kharar, Mr Raj Bachan Sandhu, said, “Despite our best efforts we have not been able to find the body of Mohan Bahadur from the dam. Now, there seems very less probability of his having jumped into the dam.”


Chief Secy surveys Wagah border
Our Correspondent

Wagah, February 26
In a spot survey-cum-meeting with the BSF, Customs and immigration at the Indo-Pak Joint Checkpost (JCP) here yesterday, the state Chief Secretary, Mr K.R. Lakhanpal, disclosed about the setting up of a Local Implementation Committee under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner.

He said the committee would enlist suggestions and forward them to the Core Group of state government, headed by himself.

Mr Lakhanpal stated that to meet the needs of manifold increase in Indo-Pak trade , the development plan should incorporate immediate, short-term and medium-term measures, identifying requisites and demarcating jurisdiction and work profile for different government departments to carry out implementation of massive upgradation.

Mr A.K. Sarholia, DIG, BSF, informed that 38 lakh people visited Wagah last year.

Mr D.K. Singh, Commissioner Customs, suggested the segregation of reception and departure area so avoid intermingling of cleared and un-cleared visitors.

Mr Chandershekhar, ADGP, Punjab Police, felt the need for a permanent police post at Wagah and Attari.


SAD (A) opposes land acquisition
Our Correspondent

Barnala, February 26
The Shiromani Akali Dal (A) held a protest rally at the court complex to protest against the acquisition of 376 acres of three Fatehgarh Channa, Dhaula and Sanghera villages for the proposed sugar mill by Trident Group.

Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, President of the party, said the silence of the Congress and SAD proves that both the parties were acting on the evil designs of industrialists and had failed to safeguard the interest of the farming community.

Mr Mann demanded that the government should take back its notification for the acquisition of land.

He said that the land belongs to farmers and government had no right to take its possession forcefully.

The party kisan wing president, Mr Satnam Singh Behru, also addressed the rally.

Heavy police was deployed at the complex.


Sidhu to sit in dharna today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
BJP star speaker Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu along with the BJP state President, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna and the National Secretary, Mr Harjit Singh Grewal will sit in dharna to protest against the functioning of Punjab Government here tomorrow.

Punjab is reeling under “economic, social and political misrule”, a statement of the BJP said tonight.

A BJP spokesperson said the protest will be on “non fulfillment of pre-poll promises, wrong policies forcing farmers and poor people to commit suicide, migration of small scale industries from Punjab, atrocities on Dalits, police goonda raj in Punjab and clean chit to the Chief Minister’s son and other corrupt ministers”.

The dharna is scheduled at 1.00 pm at the Matka Chowk here. The Vidhan Sabha session will re-start after a two-day break at 2 pm.


Centre sanctions Rs 21 crore for Samana
Tribune News Service

Samana, February 26
The Centre has sanctioned Rs 21 crore for the development of the town.

Official sources said the Centre had sanctioned the amount for the development of urban infrastructure.

A visit to the town revealed that residents were facing problems due to lack of sewerage, piped water supply, streetlights and drainage. Apart from these, the town lacked green belts and parking lots.

Mr Brahm Mohindra, Chairman, Punjab Agro Industries Corporation, said the grant was released on the insistence of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and the Patiala MP, Ms Preneet Kaur.


Salil enthrals audience
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 26
Salil Bhatt's renderings on his new creation 'Satvik Veena' drew applause from the audience at the annual classical music festival held at local art gallery here today.

The music extravaganza was organised by Swar Sangam. Salil, son of legendary musician Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, presented various musical notes on his new creation. About Satvik Veena he said he felt its need for depth, richness and continuity in his dynamic style of rendering the classical ragas.

Three decades ago his father had stirred the musical world by creating Mohan Veena. 


AIGSP to hold dharna on March 6
Our Correspondent

Barnala, February 26
The All-India General Samaj Party (AIGSP) will stage a protest demonstration-cum-dharna in front of Parliament House in New Delhi on March 6 to press the Centre as well as the Punjab Government for restarting work on the Guru Gobind Singh Refinery project at Bathinda.

Disclosing this to this reporter here today, Suresh Kumar Goyal, president, AIGSP, said the AIGSP took this decision in its meeting at Bathinda a couple of days back.


Heroin seized, 5 nabbed
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, February 26
The district police has claimed to have arrested five members of a gang involving in the sale of heroin in Punjab and Chandigarh and seized heroin worth Rs 78 lakh from them.

The members of the gang belong to J & K and the head of the gang is a dismissed constable of the J & K Police. The gang members lived in the garb of milk sellers and kept on shifting their place of stay.

According to Varinder Kumar, SSP, Bassi Pathana, the police got secret information that five persons on two motor cycles were going from Gobindgarh to Chandigarh to supply heroin. He directed the Bassi Pathana police to erect a naka on a bridge near Ferozepur village.

He said the police signalled them to stop but they tried to escape. They were chased and arrested. The police impounded two motor cycles (PB 10BDT-1166 and PB-10Bj-3631).

They were identified as Mohammad Sadiq, Mohammad Safi and Surajdin of Kathua, Mohammad Mirza of Jammu and Safi Mohammad of Chamba.

The police seized 618 gm charas valuing Rs78 lakh.


Father, son killed in road accident
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, February 26
Buta Singh (30), a resident of Amritsar, and his son, Prince, accompanying a barat, were killed, while four others were injured in a road mishap when the car in which they were travelling collided head on with a tractor-trailor. The car was coming from Jhabal side.

The injured were newly wedded couple Kuldip Singh and Gurmit Kaur, Kulwinder Kaur, sister-in-law of Gurmit, and Gurbir Singh, driver of the car. They were admitted to the local Civil Hospital.

According to reports, the victims were returning to Kirtowal village late last evening after the marriage.

A case under Sections 304-A, 337, 338 and 427, IPC, has been registered against the driver of the tractor, who fled from the scene after the accident.


1 killed, 20 hurt in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, February 26
Bawa, a waiter from Patiala, was killed, while about 20 waiters/labourers were injured when the Canter in which they were travelling allegedly rammed into a parked truck on the Sangrur-Dhanaula road, near Badbar village, 16 km from here this morning. The waiters were returning to Sangrur and Patiala in the Canter after performing their duties in a marriage at Bathinda.

According to information, six persons, Lal Singh from Patiala, Beera, Chintu, Shamshad, Bittu and Raju, all from Sangrur, were admitted to the local Civil Hospital.

Mr Amarjit Singh, head of the Sangrur waiters’ team, told reporters at the local Civil Hospital that at the time of this mishap there were about 40 waiters and labourer, in the Cantre. He said a majority of the occupants of the Canter had suffered injuries, while Bawa from Patiala died.


SGPC task force nabs thief
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 26
The SGPC task force yesterday caught Kuldip Singh, a thief from the premises of Guru Ram Das Sarai and recovered a huge quantity of gold and cash from him.

According to a press note issued here, the SGPC said that Kuldip Singh was found roaming in suspicious conditions in the sarai with some electricity instruments. When caught, he said he was an electrician.

The task force recovered 74 grams of gold jewelry, 55 gram of silver jewelry and some artificial jewelry.

During interrogation the accused revealed that he had stolen the material from the Chheharta area.

He was handed over to the police where a case has been registered.


6 Education Dept officials booked
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, February 26
Six Education Department officials, including a former circle education officer, and a DEO have been booked in a case of misplacement of departmental files.

Sources said about 48 departmental files had gone missing in 2003.

DSP Baljinder Singh and DSP (D) Bakshish Singh had investigated the matter. Later, the SP (H), Mr Ajmer Singh Romana, also probed the case and corroborated the misplacement of files.

The Kotwali police has booked the then CEO, then DEO, dispatch clerk, a steno Surinder Kumar and two clerks under Sections 406, 201 and 120B of the IPC. 


Problems of physical education teachers discussed
Our Correspondent

Barnala, February 26
Teachers must be role models and the students must discipline themselves. This was stated by Dr Harkesh Singh Sidhu, Additional Secretary, Punjab Higher Education Department, while delivering his presidential address at the seminar on “Problems of college physical education teachers”. It was jointly organised by the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) and the National College of Physical Education, Chupki, on the college campus yesterday.

Mr Sidhu regretted that teacher-student relationship nowadays was on the decline. Stressing on quality improvement in the field of higher education in the age of consumerism, he made it clear that challenges were there in all walks of life in society.

Dr Jagwant Singh, general secretary, state PCCTU unit, while dwelling on the topic from service point of view, admitted that physical education teachers had been discriminated for long so far as their career advancement scheme and revision of pay scales were concerned and they certainly deserved a fair deal in this regard.

Prof Rajinder Singh of GGN Khalsa College, Ludhiana, spoke about the problems faced by physical education teachers.

Prof R.S. Brar, president, state PCCTU unit, also expressed his views on the problems of college physical education teachers, urging the government to get the needful done to improve their service conditions.


College youth fest held
Our Correspondent

Batala, February 26
The Youth Club of Baring Union Christian College (BUCC), Batala, in coordination with the Punjabi Lok Virsa Chetna Manch, Batala, organised its Annual Youth Festival - 2006 on Saturday.

Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, Minister, Public Works, Punjab, was the chief guest. Rev. B.P. Singh, conference evangelist from Delhi, inaugurated it.

In the folk song competition, Jaswinder Kaur of MA II (Hindi), Ramandeep Randhawa of BA III and Manish of B.Sc. II got the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes, respectively.

In Rangoli, Amandeep Kaur of BA II of RR Bawa DAV College, Batala, won the 1st prize. In flower arrangement (fresh and dry), Harpreet Kaur of BA II and Rajwant Kaur of BA I, both of RR Bawa DAV College, Batala, won the 1st prize.

Renowned Punjabi pop singer Amrinder Gill was the star of the function.

He along with Sukhwinder Singh Hothi and Aojla Brothers served as judges.


US body to spread computer literacy
Tribune News Service

Mansa, February 26
A voluntary organisation from the United States, Village Literacy Without Borders, yesterday announced its plan to spread computer literacy in one of the most backward districts of Punjab. It has joined hands with Prakash Foundation for the purpose.

Addressing a press conference here, the director of the organisation, Mr Manmohan Singh Virk, said he chose Mansa for computer literacy, as nothing much had been done in the field of education here due to which local students trail in today’s age of cut-throat competition.

He said they would give computer training to jobless youths also, as it would open a window of employment opportunity for them. He handed over two laptop computers to Mr Jaspal Singh Chahal of the Prakash Foundation and hoped that computer training would start by March-end. He said he would send more computers from the US.


Baby show winners
Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 26
Blossom Senior Secondary School, Inner Wheel Club (Mid Town) and members of Rajindra Maharani Ladies club organised a baby show at the local Gymkhana Club here today.

In the 0-9 months age group Manbir Singh and Krish Soni were adjudged first and second, respectively. Uday Singh was chosen as ‘blooming baby’ while S.Goel got the prize for ‘cute baby’. In the 9 months to one and a half-year age category Kirat and Riya were awarded first and second prize, respectively, while Swapanjot was chosen ‘blossoms baby’. Special prizes of ‘charming baby’ and ‘cute baby’ were won by Sargun and Tanya, respectively.

In one and half year to three years age group, Taaj Rehat won the first and second prize went to Rimi Dhillon. Khushi Kamboj was chosen as ‘Inner wheel baby’. Special prize for beautiful smile went to Deep Amber Singh. In three to five years age group Shimer Kaur and Tavish Sharma win first and second prizes while Parinaaz won the honour as ‘RMLC baby’. The best attire prize went to Sehajlin Kaur while Sehajbir Kaur bagged the consolation prize.

The students of Blossoms school presented a culture programme. The chief guest, Mr B.M. Singh, Director General of Income Tax (International Taxation), gave away the prizes to winners.

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