P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Rs 817 cr for Gurgaddi tercentenary
“SGPC not representative of all Sikhs”
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 16
Even as the Maharashtra Government has sanctioned Rs 817 crore plan for the overall development of Abchalnagar, Nanded, town of Sachkhand Sri Hazoor Sahib for forthcoming “Gurgaddi” tercentenary of Guru Granth Sahib. Sikhs have sought the re-constitution of the Gurdwara Board held in abeyance for the past five years.

Mr Gurcharn Singh Sangha, Editor, ‘Sachkhand Pattar’, official monthly of the Gurdwara Board, Takht Hazoor Sahib, in an editorial has stressed the need of reviving the Gurdwara Board forthcoming tercentenary celebrations could be organised in a befitting manner. The editorial said that though the Maharashtra government had appointed senior Sikh officers of the state government to manage Gurdwara Board affairs, yet it was a matter of concern that it (Gurdwara Board) was disbanded five years ago.

Earlier, Governor of Maharashtra, S.M. Krishna had sanctioned the project of Rs 817 crore for the overall development of Nanded in wake of the ‘Gurgaddi’ centenary that would fall in 2008.

The gurdwaras at Nanded commemorate the visit of Guru Gobind Singh to this place during the last days of his life. Here he bestowed Guruship on Guru Granth Sahib and Guru Panth by bringing an end to the line of living Gurus. Maharaja Ranjit Singh got those gurdwaras built and endowed. However, during the regime of Nizam Hyderabad, the gurdwaras were administered by a central committee and local committees. Now the Nanded Sikh Gurdwara Sachkhand Sri Hazoor Sahib Act 1956, regulates the management of Sikh shrines in Maharashtra. Mr Parmjit Singh Sarna, President, Shiromani Akali Dal, Delhi in a communication to the Maharashtra government sought the re-constitution of the Gurdwara Board. He, however, appreciated the government of Maharashtra for sanctioning the grant of Rs 817 crore for overall development of Nanded town.

Meanwhile, Mr Sangha questioned the supremacy of the SGPC in the field of Sikh Panth. He said though the SGPC had been controlling Sikh shrines of Punjab and Haryana since its inception in 1925, yet it could not claim to represent the whole Sikh community. ‘Sachkhand Pattar’, official mouthpiece of Takht Hazoor Sahib alleged that the ‘divided’ Sikh community had also done colossal damage to the Panth.

He said the Sikh Panth suffered due to the appointment of Jathedars of Akal Takht, Damdama Sahib and Takht Kesgarh Sahib, ignoring the aspirations of the entire Sikh Panth. The Sikh community could not celebrate the previous centenaries collectively and hence the Sikh circles apprehend that the forthcoming ‘Gurgaddi’ tercentenary may mar celebrations if it was not celebrated collectively.


Rs 10 crore in SGPC budget for Sikh university
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, March 16
The SGPC has made a provision of Rs 10 crore in the present SGPC budget for the Guru Granth Sahib World Sikh University to be set up at Fatehgarh Sahib. He said that the Architects are busy in finalizing the model of the university and the first block of the university would be ready by the end of this year, said Mr. Avtar Singh Makkar, president SGPC, while talking to the media persons here today. He said that it would be a unique university having all the modern facilities and latest syllabus.

Answering a query, he said that SGPC has called a meeting of Sant Samaj at Akal Takht on March 27th and they have received good response from the Sant Samaj. He said that After the World Sikh Samelan held at Fatehgarh Sahib organised by Harnam Singh Khalsa of Damdami Taksal and Sant Samaj, the impression was being given as the Sant Samaj is against the SGPC, where as the entire Sant Samaj is with SGPC and it would be proved.

He termed the TV telecast " Desh Daroh" by Zee TV as a planned conspiracy to bring a bad name to entire Sikh Community, to project them as anti National, projected Golden Temple as a centre of anti National activities. He strongly condemned the telecast and said that Sikhs have played a major role in the freedom of the country, brought Green and white revolution made country self sufficient in food, brought laurels to the country in sports, defense and in every field. He said that Golden Temple is not only of Sikhs but the entire Humanity get inspiration from there. He demanded high level enquiry. Answering a query about the boycott of Spokesman News Paper, he said that till its editor Joginder Singh appear before Akal Takhat and seek pardon, the boycott as well as opposition of the paper would continue. He demanded that Punjab Govt. should immediately release the list of those innocent persons, who have been killed during terrorism by the police in place of hard core terrorist, who worked as police cats as well as list of those Cats, who are living under changed names and identity and of those police officers who got the rewards and promotions by showing them dead.


New policy on clearing farmers’ coop loans
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
The Punjab Government will introduce a one- time settlement policy to clear the outstanding cooperative loans taken by farmers in the state, the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, announced in the Assembly here today

The Chief Minister did not spell out his detailed plan but said "some relief" would be given to the farmers. At present, the total outstanding loans amounted to Rs 3,305 crore and the borrowings had been made through cooperative banks.

Earlier, the Minister for Cooperation, Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, informed the House that Rs 2,376 crore was outstanding as loans in the short-term loan sector. A total of 8.05 lakh farmers were members of various schemes and the average debt for each farmer stood at Rs 29,941. In the case of long-term borrowings, the outstanding amount was Rs 929 crore. The total number of farmers who had borrowed was 3.74 lakh and the average debt for each farmer was Rs 24,903.

The scheme for loan settlement offered by Nabard had been accepted, he said.

The Minister for Revenue, Mr Amarjit Singh Samra, informed the House that Rs 111.80 crore had been received as compensation for farmers when the Army laid landmines in the state. Out of this, Rs 52.31 crore compensation had been paid to farmers in Ferozepore district. A sum of Rs 2 crore was lying unclaimed.

Replying to another question, the Minister of State for Welfare, Ms Gurkanwal Kaur, admitted that nearly Rs 23 crore could not be released during the last financial year for post-matric scholarships to students belonging to the Scheduled Castes. This year, she said, the entire allocation of Rs 37 crore would be released till March 31.

The Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Mr Raghunath Sahai Puri, told the House that an urban estate spread over 66 acres was coming up in Sultanpur Lodhi. A common rate of Rs 900 per sq yd would be charged from old and new applicants.

The Chief Minister, while replying to a call attention notice, said the salary of policemen recruited under the sports quota had been paid for February. The arrears of all previous un-paid salaries would be cleared shortly, he added.

The Chief Minister also announced a special girdawari to assess damage caused by rain in the past few days. A sum of Rs 7 crore had been released to potato farmers whose crop was damaged by winter frost. 


‘Lower’ floor prices surprise many
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, March 16
The process of disinvestment of the Punjab Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) is again in the news. The advertisements inviting tenders for the disinvestment of the PTDC complexes were issued in newspapers recently.

Floor prices of the tourism complexes as fixed by the government have surprised many. In an advertisement floor price of the Gulmohar tourist complex at Pathankot has been fixed at Rs 4.5 crore. However, the said floor price was just half of the price of the property assessed by the district administration through the Public Works Department.

The PWD had evaluated the cost of the land of the complex at Rs 9 crore. Besides the land the depreciated cost of the complex building was evaluated Rs 25 lakh.

The Gulmohar tourist complex is on 30 kanals in the heart of Pathankot city.

The complex is located is elegant area of the city. Market value of land in the area ranges between Rs 30 lakh to Rs 40 lakh a kanal. So the PWD had evaluated the minimum price of the complex at Rs 9.25 crore. The PTDC recently gave the Gulmohar complex on lease at a rent of Rs 17 lakh a year.

Floor price of Coral tourist complex of the PTDC at Madhopur has been fixed Rs 2.95 crore. Price is Rs 50 lakh lower than the minimum price of the property evaluated by the district administration through the PWD. The district administration had fixed the price of Coral complex at the 3.45 crore.

Sources said that the price of Coral complex might be higher. The complex is located on the Pathankot-Jammu road on the banks of UBDC canal. It also has Indian Oil petrol station in its complex. The complex has been in profit and meeting major share of the expenses of the PTDC.

The recent advertisement was criticised by those who had taken the complexes on lease. They alleged that they had spent a large amount on renovating the building of the complexes. By releasing the advertisements the government once again had created doubts in minds of their customers. They alleged partisan attitude on the part of the PTDC. While tenders for the sale of all other tourist complexes have been called, two complexes given on lease — Water Lily at Ropar and Neelon near Ludhiana have been put up for sale.

Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Minister for Tourism Punjab when contacted, said that he was not aware that the floor prices of certain complexes had been kept lower than what was evaluated by the district administration. He assured to look into the matter.


40 hurt as police, labourers clash
Jupinderjit Singh and Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 16
A clash between labourers and police personnel outside Oswal Woollen Mills at Sherpur Kalan Chowk here left 40 persons, including five policemen, injured.

Workers of Oswal, who were agitated due to retrenchment of nine workers a few days ago and registration of cases against 200 labourers yesterday, resorted to stone-pelting when they found Oswal Woolen Mills closed this morning. To disperse the crowd, the police had to fire in air, which left 40 injured.

While the factory officials there was "some inordinate delay in opening the gates", the labourers alleged that it was to harass them that the management "closed the factory". They took to streets and vent their anger at the police when ordered to disperse.

A posse of policemen outnumbered by the labourers soon. The labourers later fled towards the railway line when the cops ordered baton charge. The union activists threw stones at policemen.

The police had to open fire and throw tear gas to control the mob. Later, additional enforcement were called from all the police stations in the city to prevent further clashes.

While the management blamed workers, who were sacked a few days ago, and "outsiders" for the situation, Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Punjab, joint secretary Mr Jagdish Chand alleged that the company was not adhering to the labour laws and was not paying even minimum wages and other benefits due to workers.

Mr Sandeep Jain, Director, Oswal Woollen Mills, said : "A few days back our supervisor was manhandled by aggressive workers, due to which he was admitted in a hospital in a serious condition. An FIR was also lodged."

He said a few workers were sacked in this connection. On the evening March 14, the sacked workers in association with outside elements, raised slogans and stopped other workers from carrying out their duties. Today morning, when the workers come for their duty, those sacked workers, along with several others, threatened them."

Mr Jain also refuted the charges levelled by workers unions regarding non-payment of minimum wages. "These are baseless allegations and we pay the wages as per labour laws," he said.

Workers, on the other hand, alleged that the management was not paying them in accordance with the labour laws. "It is only two months since CITU's unions was formed here. We are aware of the violations by the management. The company does not want workers to demand their rightful due, which is why it turned them out," Mr Chand said.

Demanding that those sacked be taken back, CITU leaders said they had no problem if the management allowed workers to get back to their duty.

Workers also met the Labour Officer today. They said they would decide further course of action soon. "We are not allowed to sit on dharna due to imposition of Section 144. We will soon decide our plan."

The police has, in the meantime, booked a number of labourers including Bhola, Jagdish Chowdhry, Jagdish Singh, Ram Brij and Vinod Tiwari, for attempt to murder and violating the section 144 orders of the District Magistrate.

Tension prevailed in the area throughout the day as workers also blocked the National Highway I for several hours.


Farmers seek genuine seeds, relief
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 16
While spurious Bt cotton seeds are flooding the market, the Agriculture Department has failed miserably in curbing its sale, the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Punjab, alleged, urging the department to make available genuine Bt cotton seeds to the farmers.

Meanwhile, the BKU (Ekta) has sought compensation for wheat growers whose crop suffered damage due to unexpected rain in the past few days.

In a joint statement released from Ferozepore, Punjab BKU chief Ajmer Singh Lakhowal and its secretary-general Prof Manjit Singh Kadia said last year cotton farmers purchased costly Bt cotton seeds, half of which turned out to be spurious, which led to decline in cotton production and subsequent heavy financial losses to them.

They demanded that the Agriculture Department be made vigilant on the matter. They sought strict action against those selling spurious seeds and substandard fertilisers to unsuspecting farmers.

They said spurious seeds and fertilisers had an adverse impact on the farmers’ yield forcing them to procure loans that ultimately led to their suicides.

They demanded that to decrease area under paddy and wheat cultivation, the government should start supplying adequate canal water from April so that more and more farmers took to cotton cultivation.

The union leaders blamed the FCI for “misleading” the government on the country’s wheat stock, which led to the decision of wheat import.

They expressed apprehensions that the farmers in Punjab and other northern states might fetch low prices for their wheat in wake of the government’s decision.

They claimed that a huge quantity of wheat was lying in FCI godowns, which its officials had termed “rotten”, while it was okay. They sought a CBI probe into wheat stocks lying with the FCI, which, they claimed would expose a multi-crore scam.

The union’s general secretary, Mr Bhupinder Singh Mahesari, said they would announce their future course of action following a massive Kisan Panchayat at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on March 21.

On the other hand, BKU (Ekta) president Joginder Singh Ugraha and its general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokri have demanded compensation for the wheat farmers whose crop had suffered “immense damage” due to recent rainfall and strong winds.

In a joint statement, they said the farmers could not bear the burden of huge losses and the government should extend a helping hand to them. They sought “girdawari” for the assessment of exact damage caused due to freaky weather.


Reshuffle reports baseless, says Amarinder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today said that he had no plan to reshuffle his Council of Ministers. He said reports regarding the reshuffle, appearing in print media, were speculative and had no basis. “I have not taken any decision to drop any minister from my Cabinet,” he asserted.

Reports had appeared in a section of Press that the Chief Minister had planned to drop three ministers from his Cabinet. It was also reported that the party high command had given green light to the Chief Minister to drop three ministers.


Joint protest for Sarbjit’s release
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 16
Ms Dalbir Kaur, prayed at Jama Masjid Khairuding here today for the release of his brother Sarbjit Singh, who has been awarded death penalty by Pakistan Supreme Court. She swore to visit the mosque along with her entire family after the release of her brother.

Demanding the release of Sarbjit Singh, activists of Congress, BJP and All India Hindu Shiv Sena (AIHSS) held a joint road blockade.

Activists raised slogans against the dictatorial Army regime of Pakistan and urged the political leadership there to come forward for the rescue of an innocent person.

Ms Dalbir Kaur urged the Indian leaders to convince Pakistan government of the innocence of Sarbjit. Sharing her concern was Ms Jagir Kaur of Mustafabad Sydan village (Gurdaspur), whose brother Kirpal Singh also crossed over to Pakistan inadvertently in 1992 and was facing serious charges in Pakistan.

She said that she would go to Delhi to meet President Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and request him to use his good offices for saving his brother.

Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, MP, Ms Lakshmi Kanta Chawla, former MLA, both from BJP, Mr Joginder Pal Dhingra and Mr Inderjit Singh Baserke, both presidents of district Congress Committee urban and rural, respectively, and Mr Surinder Kumar Billa of AIHSS addressed the protestors.


Badal opposes converting RCF into PSU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
The issue of converting the Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, into a public sector undertaking (PSU) was taken up by the Congress and also the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly here today.

The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, promised that he would take up the issue with the Union Railway Minister, Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav.

Separately, the SAD chief, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, protested against the move. He has also written to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to lodge a protest against converting the RCF into a PSU.

Mr Badal said this unexpected and ill-conceived proposal was mooted in the Railway Budget for 2006-07. This had caused widespread resentment among the employees of the RCF.

The RCF was now Asia’s biggest production unit and had so far manufactured 16,000 coaches, which was 40 per cent of the total rolling stock in the country. On an average it was producing 1,400 coaches annually, which was the highest among all production units in the country. It had developed rail coaches of the latest designs and had been successful in exporting these. At present, it had a trained staff of 6,600, said Mr Badal.


PRTC to connect Patiala with religious sites
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 16
Pepsu Road Transportation Corporation (PRTC) has decided to introduce bus service to connect this town directly with different religious places dotting Himachal Pardesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pardesh.

While disclosing this at a function organised in connection with the flagging off ceremony of Patiala-Jaipur direct bus service, Mr Ved Parkash Gupta, Chairman, PRTC, said that the PRTC had taken this decision on people's request.

He said that the bus service would link Patiala with Ajmer Sharif, Shri Pushkar Raj, Agra, Manikaran Sahib and Mathura. He added that the PRTC had also increased its bus service on the Amritsar-Chandigarh -Delhi route during the night .

The chairman disclosed that next year, the PRTC was going to add hundred buses to its fleet. The PRTC had also got permission to ply its buses on the Chandigarh-Jaipur route. 


830 treated at eye camp
Our Correspondent

Barnala, March 16
As many as 830 patients were treated at a four-day free eye operation camp organised by the Bhagat Mohan Lal Sewa Samiti at the Civil Hospital here.

Mr Jagir Singh Jagtar, senior vice-president of the samiti said this was the 45th free eye operation camp organised by the samiti. Mr Vijay Chopra, Editor-in-Chief, Hind Samachar Group, inaugurated the camp. SDM Jora Singh appealed to the people to donate eyes.

Mr Jagtar said two patients underwent cornea grafting. As many as 47 patients were planted eye lenses, while 43 operations of white cataract were conducted.


10 hurt as temple roof falls
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, March 16
Nine labourers and a mason were today injured at Bhawanigarh, 22 km from here, when an under-construction roof of a hall of the Bhawani temple (Kali Mata Da Mandir) collapsed.

Talking to The Tribune, Dr A.S. Azad, SMO of the Bhawanigarh hospital, said 10 persons were admitted to the hospital with minor or major injuries.

He said three-four persons had fractures on their body parts while one had a suspected spinal or head injury.

The injured were Ranjit Singh, Kuldip Singh, Ratti Ram, Sher Singh, Bhan Singh, Mohan Singh, Rajiv Kumar, Rimpi Singh, Gurdip Singh and Ram Anuran Singh, he added.


Cotton mill causing pollution, say residents
Our Correspondent

Abohar, March 16
Doctors have confirmed that residents of Friends Colony located on the old Fazilka road were suffering from respiratory problems, including chest infection, due to pollution caused by a cotton processing mill.

The residents on Tuesday faxed a complaint to the Chief Minister in this regard.

The TB hospital authorities here maintain that 80 per cent of TB patients are residents of labour colonies.


High Court
Restrain govt from releasing names of CATs: Sukhi
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 16
Terrorist-turned-police informer Sukhwinder Singh Sukhi, who had been declared dead in an encounter with the police but was recently found leading a normal life in a Jalandhar locality with his family, has moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking directions to the Punjab Government and the Punjab Police not to disclose to the media information about government policy via-a-vis people like him.

Apart from Sukhi, two more former militants, Balkar Singh and Kewal Singh, are also petitioners in the writ.

Claiming that he is being victimised at the behest of politicians, particularly former Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal chief Parkash Singh Badal, who only wants to settle political scores with the ruling Congress, Sukhi has alleged that publication of news articles about former terrorists like him is against public interest and results in needless sensationalism of a serious issue.

In a bid to clear the mystery concerning the dead body that was shown in pictures to facilitate his being declared dead, Sukhi has claimed that the entire affair was a stage-managed drama.

He has claimed that he was asked to act dead and his photographs were clicked so that terrorist groups did not seek his release.

He has also stated that disclosure of names of other persons like him would not be in public interest as the same would jeopardize their lives as they would stand exposed.

Questioning the source of information behind the publication of news stories in a section of the local media, the petitioners have asserted that some of the information could not have come from anywhere other than official files.

Incidentally, Sukhi has also claimed that many of the news stories, particularly the ones which alleged that he influenced transfers of police officers, were concocted and baseless.

The petition prays for directions to the respondents to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the officers who leaked sensitive information about Sukhi. It also seeks directions to the management of a newspaper and some news channels not to publish/telecast anything that could revive terrorism in Punjab.

Today, the Division Bench headed by Mr Justice H.S. Bedi ordered that the writ would be heard along with the PIL in the same matter.

The PIL, filed by the World Human Rights Protection Council (WHRPC) through its chairman Ranjan Lakhanpal, seeks that directions be issued to the respondents to initiate action against the erring police officers who declared living persons dead. It also prays that the practice of declaring living persons dead by the police be put an end to.

It also seeks directions to the respondents, including the Punjab Police, to make public the names of all those persons who have been declared dead.

Hearing of the PIL is scheduled for April 6 and the writ filed by Sukhi and others could also be heard on the same day.


Illegal custody of youths: SHO suspended
Tribune News Service

Batala, March 16
The SSP of Batala, Mr Jatinder Jain, has suspended the SHO of Qudian, Mr Sanjeev Kumar, after the warrant officer of the Punjab and Haryana High Court recovered two persons kept in illegal custody at the police station on Monday.

Sources available here said that two youth, Raman Kumar and Ravi Kumar, had been allegedly kept in illegal custody at Qudian police station for the past three days. Kin of the said youths moved the High Court against the alleged illegal detention of the youths. The court appointed a local commissioner who recovered the youths from the police station. The youths were taken away by the warrant officer for production in the court.

However, the accused police officials described it to be conspiracy. They said the youths came and sat in the police station just a few minutes before the warrant officer arrived. They feigned as if they were being kept in the police station in illegal detention to evade a police inquiry going on against them.

The SSP, when contacted, said the SHO had been suspended, pending inquiry into the case. An inquiry would be held to ascertain if the youths recovered by the warrant officer were really kept in illegal custody or enacted the scene to evade the police inquiry.


Jail inmate commits suicide
Tribune News service

Patiala, March16
Gurnam Singh, a youth of Pathan Majra village, who has been in the local central jail, today hung himself from the roof of the toilet of his barrack with a piece of cloth being used by him as his head gear.

Gurnam Singh, who was found dead in the toilet by jail officials, was facing murder charge in the district court here.

A case under Section 302 of the IPC was registered against him in Julkan police station after he allegedly murdered his wife Manjit Kaur.

Gurnam Singh had also attempted suicide when he was arrested by the police for his alleged involvement in the murder of his wife in 2005. However, he survived and was jailed.

Mr Rajendra Dhoke, Commandant, Central Jail, said that the deceased was normal till 11.30 a.m. When the jail officials carried out the head count of the inmates at 12 noon Gurnam Singh was found missing and when a search was carried out, he was found hanging in one of the toilets of the barrack in which he was lodged.

He said that the District Magistrate was informed about the incident immediately and he was also requested for instituting a magisterial probe into it. A panel of three doctors would conduct the postmortem of the deceased.

Mr Harpreet Singh, SHO, police station, Julka, said that the family of the deceased had been informed The local police has taken legal action in this connection.


Pilgrim killed, eight hurt in road accident
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, March 16
One pilgrim died on the spot and eight others were injured when their Mahindra jeep (PB-2L-4524) in which they were travelling, collided head on with a TATA-407 truck (PCP-6975) near Sehbajpur village (Tanda), about 45 km from here, yesterday.

According to police sources, the deceased was identified as Kundan Singh (60), a son of Harnam Singh of Hatimpur (Amritsar). The injured were identified as Rajbir Singh, driver of the jeep, Charanjit, Lakhwinder Singh, Pritam Singh, Balwant Singh, all of Hatimpur, Kashmir Singh of Rani Ke (Amritsar), Balwinder Singh and Kishan Singh, both of Dharampur (Dhoori).

In another road accident, two members of a family, Mohinder Kaur (60) and Gurpreet Kaur (12) of Safdarpur Kullian, were killed on the spot while Manjot Singh (2) was injured when a Mahindra jeep (PB-07-8916) hit them on the road, near Miani, last evening.


SGPC chief honours 20 students
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, March 16
Mata Gujri College here today organised its annual prize distribution function on the college campus. Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, president, SGPC, was the chief guest. Jathedar Kirpal Singh Badungar, former SGPC president, was also present on the occasion. Addressing the gathering, the SGPC president said it would release funds to the institution. He called upon students to work hard and to get ready to face the challenges.

Dr Gurmohan Singh Walia, principal of the college, said the college would introduce 18 new professional and vocational courses from the next academic session.

Four university toppers and second position holders were awarded roll of honour in academics. They included Nitakshi, topper of postgraduate diploma in insurance business, Monika Sharma, who stood second in PGDIB, Navneet Roop Rai, topper in BA final (Hons), and Harmeet Singh who secured second position in BCA final.

In sports, roll of honour was awarded to 14 players. In cultural activities, Tejinder Kaur, Sandeep Kaur, Jagdeep Kaur, Harpreet Kaur, Simarjeet Kaur and Ramandeep Kaur were awarded. As many as 17 students were given scholarships and 43 got college colour.

As many as 18 students were given special prizes who excelled in sports while merit certificates were awarded to 79 students in various activities. During the function, two books on computer, written by Dr Dharminder Singh Ubha, head of commerce department of the college, were also released by the SGPC president. Mr Ranjit Singh Libra, additional secretary of the college, Mr Dalmeg Singh, secretary, SGPC, Principal Dilbag Singh Hira, Principal Manjinder Kaur, Randhir Singh Cheema and Principal R.S. Bajwa were also present on the occasion.


Protest march by ETT members
Our correspondent

Hoshiarpur, March 16
On a joint call of the State Unemployed Elementary Teachers Union, the Elementary Teachers Union and the Diet Students Welfare Association Punjab, unemployed ETT teachers of Hoshiarpur district staged protest march in the main bazars of the town. They went to the Zila Parishad office in a procession in support of their demands here today. They raised slogans against the Punjab Government and staged a rally in the Zila Parishad complex.

Leaders of unemployed ETT teachers criticised the government for its indifferent attitude towards their demands. They said on the basis of diploma, the state government started the ETT course, but it had not earmarked reservation for them.

They demanded priority to ETT teachers while filling vacant posts according to the directions of the Supreme Court and relaxation in the age of those ETT teachers who had crossed 37 years. 


School principal’s transfer recommended
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 16
Taking serious notice of the charges levelled by Chughe Kalan residents against a school principal, the Deputy Commissioner has recommended his transfer to the Education Department.

A lecturer, who too was facing similar charges, has already been shifted out of the school.

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Bhandari said he had received a complaint from a section of the villagers against the principal and a lecturer of Government Senior Secondary School in Chughe Kalan.

He said the villagers had accused the duo of playing politics and spoiling the school’s atmosphere.

Charges of misappropriation of funds were also levelled against them.


AICTE Chairman to address convocation
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 16
Prof Damodar Acharya, Chairman, All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), New Delhi would address the campus convocation of science, engineering and technology, physical planning and architecture faculties of Guru Nanak Dev University on March 18.

The Vice-Chancellor, Dr S.P. Singh, would preside over and confer more than 500 degrees upon the students of these faculties on this occasion.

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