P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Mega projects: 6 Cong MLAs for 70 pc job
reservation for Punjabis
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Six MLAs of the ruling Congress today urged the Punjab Government to reserve 70 per cent jobs for people of the state in the mega projects cleared by the government.

Backing the stand taken on this issue by the president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, the Congress MLAs said that the people who had been displaced from the land where the mega projects would come up deserved to be given employment.

The MLAs are Mr Tarlochan Singh Soond, Mr Gurbinder Singh Atwal, Mr Malkit Singh Dakha, Mr Tej Parkash Singh, Mr Raj Khurana and Mr Ramesh Dutt Sharma.

In the statement signed by Mr Tarlochan Singh, the MLAs said land was being provided for the mega projects at nominal rates and other concessions were also being given in this regard.

Mr Tarlochan Singh, under whose name the statement was issued, said that it had been issued with the consent of the MLAs whose names figured in it.

He said that besides him, the other five MLAs were present at the Punjab Congress Bhavan here when the statement was issued. It has been issued on the letterhead of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee.

All six MLAs belonged to the erstwhile Beant Singh group. They are now considered close to Mr Dullo. Recently, Mr Dullo had made his views known on the issue of the mega projects. He had stated that the projects would not benefit the poor or create jobs for Punjabis.

The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, is opposed to such reservation. This issue had earlier come up in the Punjab Assembly.

Replying to a question in the House, Capt Amarinder Singh had stated that the entire country was one unit and it would not be wise to reserve jobs exclusively for Punjabis in the state. He had given instances of how Punjabi youth were preferred at call centres in Chennai and other cities in the South. On certain other occasions, he had also opposed such reservation for locals.

The Congress MLAs said that it had been seen in the past that the owners of big projects in Punjab had been giving employment to outsiders in the name of cheap labour and skilled workers. The MLAs requested the state government to lay a precondition and frame bylaws with regard to the projects to ensure 70 per cent employment to local people in the skilled and non-skilled categories.

The outsourcing of employment should be restricted to only those slots for which local people were not available.

As unemployment is emerging as a big issue in the state, the statement given by the MLAs has political significance.

There are states such as Himachal Pradesh where it is mandatory for industrialists to give a certain percentage of jobs to people of that state.

However, big industrialists are opposing any sort of reservation in jobs in their companies. They have been saying that merit should be the sole criterion for employment.


Sarbjit’s signatures forged by prosecutor, claims letter
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Bhikhiwind, April 21
Pleading innocence, Sarbjit Singh alias Manjit Singh, who has been awaiting implementation of death sentence in Pakistan’s jail, in a letter to his sister, Dalbir Kaur has claimed that his signatures were forged by the public prosecutor and officials of Pakistan agencies to frame him in the series of bomb blasts in 1990.

The letter, written in Devnagri script, addressed to his sister, Dalbir Kaur, expressed satisfaction over the pressure, built by his family to seek his clemency from President Pervez Musharraf.

Sarbjit said his case was not contested properly in the Pakistan court. He alleged that it was mandatory to have thumb impression on the documents which were not taken since the authorities wanted to establish him ''Manjit Singh'' who had engineered blasts in Pakistan, killing innocent persons. ''Had Rana Hamid, his lawyer contested his case properly, I would have been released by now''.

Sarabjit Singh has already sent a mercy petition to President Pervez Musharraf seeking the release on the grounds that he was innocent and wrongly implicated.

He sought pardon under the powers granted to the President by Pakistan’s constitution.

Sarbjit Singh asked his sister to write fresh appeal to Gen Musharraf by including all facts written in his two and a-half-page letter.

He said it was most unfortunate that he could not help in bringing up his daughters. He, however, hoped that his sister might be bringing up his daughters in the way he had dreamt. He said he had never dreamt that in his absence his wife would be compelled to do a job.

Earlier, on September 28 last year, the Supreme Court of Pakistan had rejected the petition filed by Sarabjit Singh, against the decision of Lahore High Court and Anti-Terror Court in Delhi Gate (Lahore) bomb blast case. The Supreme Court had already upheld the Lahore High Court and verdicts in the three cases of four bomb blasts. Rana Abdul Hamid, the counsel for Sarbjit Singh, had filed the review petition before the SC.

While Sarbjit Singh had crossed over to Pakistan in an inebriated condition in 1990, the government of Pakistan had dubbed him as an agent of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) who was allegedly assigned him to carry out a series of bomb blasts in 1990s . It was alleged that he had blasted a number of bombs that killed 14 persons and injured 90 in various cities in 1990.

The Supreme Court in its detailed judgment on appeals filed by convicted Sarabjit Singh said that his sentence ''well-deserved'' and he did not warrant any leniency.

Authored by Justice Mohammad Nawaz Abbasi, the 27-page judgment said petitioner Sarabjit Singh had been convicted by the trial court only on one count in cases of terrorism when he should have been convicted and sentenced separately for each murder in each case.

However, Sarbjit said he had excelled in cooking while remaining in jail and plan to write a book if released.


Unscheduled power cuts are back again
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Ropar, April 21
With the rise in mercury, unscheduled power cuts are back in the state due to shortage of power. The rural areas in the state have been facing power cuts for more than six hours daily, while the duration varies between four to eight hours in cities.

Sources in the PSEB said the power crisis would aggravate in the coming months as there had been 10 per cent rise in power consumption in the state this year.

The power consumption in the state had gone up to 760 lakh units per day, while the available power from all sources was only 690 lakh units.

This was, however, just the beginning the power crisis. The situation would aggravated in May, June and July, they added.

The power consumption in the state was expected to go up to more than 1500 lakh units per day during June.

Accordingly, the power cuts in the cities would extend up to 10 hours while in rural areas these could go up to 14 hours.

Besides domestic and industrial consumption, there would be additional burden of around 300 lakh units due to agricultural sector in June, sources said.

At present, the state was getting around 428 lakh units from thermal plants, 103 lakh units from hydel projects, including 37 lakh units from the BBMB, and 222 lakh units from the Central grid, sources added.

Besides increase in the power consumption, power shortage also being attributed to closure of two units of thermal plant in the state and due to inadequate power supply from hydel projects.

A 210 MW unit of the Super Thermal Plant, Ropar, and a 110 MW unit at Bathinda were lying closed for annual maintenance.

The closure of these two units has been causing a lose of around 74 lakh units per day to the state. A hydel project at Mukerian is also lying shut.


MC resorts to selective demolition
Structures of Ghuman, Nippy spared
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 21
Even as the Punjab Government has been making repeated claims about transparency in its functioning and the implementation of law in a proper manner, the local municipal corporation seems to have been following different yardsticks to deal with different cases connected with the raising of unauthorised and illegal structures here.

It has been leaving illegal structures owned by bigwigs and Congress men untouched and pulling down unauthorised structures owned by those who wield no influence.

Though the municipal corporation today demolished nine unauthorised structures near the Government Mohindra College, it did not touch a huge unauthorised structure raised by Mr Surinder Ghuman, Managing Director of Punsup, in the New Lal Bagh Colony, though the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed it to do so.

Residents of the locality alleged that though they had been fighting to get this unauthorised structure demolished, the municipal corporation had not been touching it, adding that Mr Ghuman was a well-connected person.

The municipal corporation had also failed to take action against one of its councillors, Mr Harwinder Nippy, who had raised an unauthorised structure on the Patiala-Rajpura highway in violation of the law and had been trying to keep the bulldozer away from his unauthorised structure.

A cross-section of residents alleged that anybody enjoying blessings of the present set-up could violate any law and remain untouched, adding that unauthorised structures had been causing a setback to the facelift of the city.

The Mayor, Mr Vishnu Sharma, said legal opinion was being taken in both cases, adding that orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court would be implemented in case of the unauthorised structure raised by Mr Ghuman and action would also be taken against Mr Nippy as per the law.


House demolished for not coming to work
Neeraj Bagga

Amritsar, April 21
The house of Ravel Singh, a Dalit Sikh of Baath village in Ajnala tehsil, had been demolished while he was beaten up in front of his relatives allegedly by his employer as he had taken a day off due to the marriage of a close relative.

The Pendu Mazdoor Union (PMU), Punjab, today shot off a letter to the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC), demanding justice not only in this matter but three others also.

The incident reportedly took place in the first week of this month. Since then Ravel Singh has not visited his village. He alleged that Harjit Singh, a farmer of the village, in whose field he had been working as “athrri’ (bonded labourer) for the past two years, did all this as he did not come to work in the field for a day.

He admitted that he was not feeling well after the day of the marriage as he had consumed liquor and so could not come for work. After the alleged beating he refused to work for him, which enraged Harjit, who then got his house demolished and took away all goods, including the bricks.

Mr Tarsem Peter, president, PMU, said three more Dalit families had to face the brunt of their employers.

Gogi, wife of Bittu Massih of Kala Afghana village, desired to educate her three children. She claimed that her husband’s employer Pradeep Singh did not give them any money to enroll her children in a school. However, when Bittu decided to leave the village for settling in Amritsar they were stopped on the way. Bittu alleged that he was forced to sign a paper as per which he had taken advance of Rs 32,000.

Mr Peter alleged that in another incident Balbir Singh in connivance with the police kept Dalip Singh of Mohan Bhandariyan village in Ajnala tehsil in illegal custody as he had refused to work for him. He added that Dalip Singh had not received justice even after a long struggle.

He mentioned one more incident of Gurnam Massih of Katley village of the same tehsil. Gurnam was bitten by a snake while working in the field. For his treatment his father had to take Rs 10,000 as loan from Malkit Singh of Pandori village. After the death of his father Gurnam had to work in the field of Malkiat Singh. Mr Peter stated that after working for 10 long years for him, he was told that the loan had not been cleared. Gurnam refused to work as a consequence his family was harassed and he approached the authorities concerned, but justice was still not in sight, he added. 


Visa centre not feasible in Amritsar: Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chheharta (Amritsar), April 21
“It is not feasible to set up visa centre in Amritsar as yet, as the number of passengers going to Pakistan is very small.” This was stated by Union Minister of State for Home Sri Prakash Jaiswal at the 6th National Children’s Festival held under the aegis of the National Youth Project of the Government of India here today.

He said a visa centre would not be established here unless an adequate number of international passengers was reached.

On the prevailing situation in Nepal, he said the establishment of a democracy in Nepal was important, as the law and order situation was getting worse by the day.

Mr Jaiswal said any country that was reluctant in bringing democracy was giving a direct invitation to violence.

He said if democracy was not restored immediately in Nepal it would become very difficult to stop violence there.

He said India supported the wishes of the people of Nepal and it would continue to make sincere efforts to bring peace and normalcy to the Himalayan kingdom.

Talking about the smuggling of narcotics in India from across the border, Mr Jaiswal said the Centre was ready to extend all help and infrastructure to the BSF and other paramilitary forces for controlling the menace.

He said with the installation of barbed fencing on the international border, the smuggling of narcotics had gone down considerably but it would be wrong to say that it had stopped completed.

Replying to a question on internal security and communal violence in the country, Mr Jaiswal said the forces behind the recent bombings at New Delhi and Srinagar could not see the rapid economic growth in India.

On illegal immigrants in Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal and North-East, Mr Jaiswal said it was the duty of the state government concerned to identify and throw them out.

He added that the Centre informed state governments from time to time about the situation arising out of the inflow of illegal immigrants from various neighbouring countries.

He said the Centre was extending all possible help to the state governments concerned in this regard.


SC power consumers to get refund
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) will refund Rs 1.85 crore to the Scheduled Caste consumers who have upto 300 watts of connected load and have been issued bills since September last year.

In compliance with a scheme to give free power to such consumers that was to be implemented retrospectively with effect from September 1, 2005, the board was issuing these consumers “negative bills” to be adjusted later.

However, the government has now asked the board to refund money to such consumers and the process is likely to begin by this April 25.

With elections on the horizon, the government has also asked the board to implement the decision to provide free electricity for 200 units to such consumers who have upto 500 watts of connected load again retrospectively from September 1, 2005,on a war-footing

The scheme was announced by the Chief Minister last year and the connected load limit was then fixed at 300 watts. But according to board officials, they have recently received orders to implement the scheme, increasing the load limit to 500 watts.

“When the scheme was announced, the board was to give free electricity to all Scheduled Caste consumers whose load limit was 300 watts. And now with the increased limit, an additional number of consumers have become beneficiaries of the scheme. These are those who have a load limit varying between 300 watts and 500 watts. These will also be refunded by the board later,” pointed out the board Chairman, Mr Y.S. Ratra, adding that a separate data base of such bills would be created and the total amount to be refunded would then be calculated accordingly.

Interestingly, the board only has limited data of the beneficiaries of the scheme. “Unfortunately when electricity connections are given there is no information regarding the reserved category status as a result a fresh exercise of locating the beneficiaries is being undertaken,” said Mr Ratra.

He added that teams of officers at the various PSEB circles would collect this information from towns and villages in the next 10 days. “First we are going to collect information regarding all such consumers. Public announcements will be made for the consumers to contact the nearest subdivision office,” said Mr Ratra.


7000 dam workers face recoveries
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur April 21
The recent directive of the Department of Finance, Punjab, has left workers at Shahpur Kandi dam fuming. The department has ordered the recovery of the extra money paid to about 7000 workers in the past 10 years due to wrong fitment of pay scale at the time of confirmation of service.

If the decision is implemented, each confirmed employee would be liable to recovery of at least over Rs 1 lakh from the pension dues or pay.

More than 7000 worked at work charge during the construction of the Ranjit Sagar dam. Most of these employees were awarded special increments for good work by their supervising officers. Some employee leaders were awarded 10 to 15 increments.

The services of all these employees were confirmed by the Government of Punjab on March13,1996. As a rule, their basic pay should have been fixed at Rs 2420 for class IV employees and Rs 3120 for class III employees.

However, the officials of the irrigation department who regularised their services merged their increments in the basic pay. Due to this instead of Rs 2,420, the basic pay of some employees was fixed at Rs 3,000 or above, that was in violation of the Civil Services Rules (CSR) of the Punjab Government.

The anomaly was first pointed out by Mr Omkar Nath Sharma then financial adviser at Dam during the SAD-BJP government.

About a year ago, the matter was again taken by then Additional Secretary (Finance) Krishan Kumar who suggested to the government that the recovery should be made from employees whose basic pay was fixed in violation of the civil service.

The decision has, however, been flayed by worker unions of the dams. They are alleging that the government should take action against the officers who had fixed the pay in violation of the rules. The poor workers should not be made the victims in the case.

Most of the affected workers are class IV and Class III employees. Those who have already retired are likely lose all benefits if recovery was effected from their salaries, the workers allege.


Shifting of bill-collection centre resented
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, April 21
Although the Punjab Government organised Suvidha Camps, IT Chaos and was going to the doorsteps of people to redress their grievances yet the officials of the Punjab State Electricity, Sirhind, had withdrawn the 50-year-old facility of electricity bill-collection centre set up in the town and shifted it to the head office. Resentment prevailed among residents of the district headquarter, Sirhind, as the lone electricity bill-collection centre had been closed down there and shifted to the main office of the Punjab State Electricity Board on the GT Road, Sirhind, causing great inconvenience to people.

The Citizen’s Welfare Council had threatened to stage dharnas if the bill-collection centre was not shifted back to the town.

The residents alleged that they had to cover 3 km for depositing the electricity bill in the scorching heat. They also had to stand in queues without any shelter, which had made things difficult for them. They demanded that the collection centre be shifted back to the town.

Mr R.N. Sharma, president, Citizen Welfare Council, said that in the era of IT, when everything was becoming user-friendly and the private companies were providing online facilities at the door steps, the PSEB was making things difficult for residents. He urged the district administration to intervene and ensure that the electricity bills of the people were deposited in the town.

Sources said as the cashier had retired and there was a shortage of staff, so the PSEB officials instead of posting someone there preferred to close the centre in town and shift it to the head office.


54 panchayats get Rs 2 lakh each
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, April 21
Much has been said by ruling party leaders regarding development in the state during the past four years. Fatehgarh Churian is one such constituency where development has reached the poor.

Each of the 54 panchayats elected unanimously in the constituency was provided with a grant of Rs 2 lakh at function held here today.

Area representative Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa also gave a grant of Rs 6,300 each to 150 beneficiaries under the Ashirwad Scheme.

The Dalits of the area have been special beneficiaries under various government schemes. Five thousand household of the Dalits have been provided with toilets through grants provided by the Central and state governments under rural sanitation schemes.

So far, Rs 3 crore has been spent in the constituency on building toilets in the houses of poor.

The key to development is not grant, but its right implementation. Mr Randhawa has ensured that funds provided by the government are utilised. For he goes to houses to check the utilisation of the grant.

While talking to The Tribune, Mr Randhawa said he got two BDO’s posted in his constituency suspended for swindling government grants meant for the poor.

This has sent the right message and utilisation of grants has been proper ever since. “I have exposed erring sarpanches also before the people,” he said.

To warn teachers and doctors who fail to come in time, Mr Randhawa has devised a novel method. He has asked villagers to welcome employees coming late to offices by beating drums and garlanding them. The practice has instilled discipline in the erring employees.


2 groups clash, lathicharged
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 21
Two groups gathered outside a C-division police station here today over a land dispute, indulged in a scuffle while the police had to lathi-charge to disperse the warring factions. Several persons including the complainant in the land dispute were injured.

According to information, one of the groups and the complainant had organised a dharna against police inaction outside the police station. The complainant, Kanwaljit Kaur, a resident of New Azad Nagar, had alleged that a plot belonging to her was allegedly grabbed by some unscrupulous persons, having links with police officers. She had lodged a complaint at the Sultanwind police station last year. However, even after one year the police neither took any action nor got her plot released from the illegal possession.

Mr Tomy along with her and residents of area gathered outside the police station for protest.


Rs 1.98 crore given to 99 riot-hit families
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, April 21
The Congress has always expressed sympathy with ’84 riot-affected families and tried to heel their wounds by giving them relief, said Dr Harbans Lal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, while addressing a function organised by the SDM, Fatehgarh Sahib, Mr Daljeet Singh. As many as 99 riot-affected families were given cheques worth Rs 1.98 crore. He said in Fatehgarh Sahib district Rs 3.02 crore would be distributed as compensation among 151 families.


Bhagat Dhanna Jat remembered
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, April 21
The birth anniversary of Bhagat Dhanna Jat was celebrated today at Dera Hansali, near here. Thousands of devotees attended the function. On this occasion, Dr Harbans Lal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, laid foundation stones of link roads leading to Hansali.

He said the government had decided to develop Khera and Hansali as modern villages. He said the village hospital would be upgraded. He handed over cheques for Rs 2.5 lakh for the construction of a stadium in the village.


High Court
Decision to bifurcate PAU upheld
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 21
In a significant decision, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today upheld the decision of the Punjab Government to bifurcate Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, to set up the Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University at Ludhiana.

In doing so, the court also upheld the constitutional validity of the Punjab Veterinary and Animal Sciences University Act, 2005. The Punjab Vidhan Sabha had passed the Bill in this regard in April 2005.

In its judgement on the petition filed by the PAU Teachers Union and the PAU Employees Union, the Bench headed by Mr Justice J.S. Khehar ruled that the State Government was within its right in deciding to set up a new university by bifurcating PAU. The State Government and the legislature can legislate on the subject relating to education as it is on the Concurrent list of the subjects in the Constitution, the Bench held.

It may be recalled that the various PAU bodies had strongly opposed the bifurcation of the PAU on the ground that PAU had been set up following an Act of Parliament and the state legislature could not tinker with its structure.

They had also questioned the logic behind having two different universities, one for agriculture and another for veterinary sciences.

Taking up the petition, the court had on August 9, 2005, stayed the Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University Act which had come into effect from August 9.

The petitioners had challenged the validity of the Act, adding that the establishment of the new university and allocation of staff to it from within the PAU violated Article 14 of the Constitution.

However, the Bench held that the Act under which the new university had been set up was not ultra vires of the Constitution and in fact was inapplicable for purposes of this legislation. The court said that the Act had been validly framed in accordance with provisions of the Constitution and it would prevail and be enforceable in Punjab on account of the fact that it had already received the assent of the President of India.

Notice of motion

The High Court on Friday issued notice of motion for May 22 on the petition filed by terrorist-turned-police informer Sukhwinder Singh Sukhi, who had been declared dead in an encounter with the police but was sometime back found leading a normal life in a Jalandhar locality with his family.

Sukhi has moved the 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 wanted 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 sensationalisation 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.


One-day police remand for Bittu
Our correspondent

Barnala, April 21
Shiromani Khalsa Dal president Daljit Singh Bittu was sent to one-day police remand by a local court today. He was arrested from his Ludhiana residence last night on sedition charge for delivering inflammatory speeches at Fatehgarh Channa village on the Trident land acquisition issue.

Bittu was produced in the court of Mr Ajaib Singh, JMIC. The Public Prosecutor asked for police remand to recover foreign currency from him and a CD of inflammatory speeches. While defence counsel Raj Dev argued that the FIR did not mention any foreign currency so he should be granted bail. Listening to both the sides the court sent Bittu to one-day police remand.

A case was registered against him at Dhanula police station under Section 124-A and 153-A, IPC.

Supporters of Bittu along with two SGPC members, Mr Nirmal Singh Karacho and Mr Harcharan Singh, gathered in the court complex and raised slogans against the police and the administration.


Addl SE caught accepting bribe
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 21
Mr V.K. Jain, Additional Superintendent Engineer, Operations, Punjab State Electricity Board, was caught red-handed by a team of the Vigilance Bureau led by SSP (Vigilance Bureau) Gurpreet Singh Bhuller while he was accepting a bribe of Rs 10,000 from Mr Gurwinder Singh for facilitating the removal of high tension electric wires passing over a vacant plot owned by Gurwinder Singh at Nabha.

Mr Bhuller, while talking to TNS yesterday evening, said Mr Banarasi Dass, DSP, Vigilance Bureau, one shadow witness Mr Narinder Singh, two government witnesses, Mr Gurmail Singh and Mr Jasbir Singh, accompanied the raiding team.

He said the file which was made for the removal of high tension wires from the vacant plot owned by Mr Gurwinder Singh had also been recovered from the office of Jain. The raid was conducted on the compliant lodged by Mr Gurwinder Singh. He said the search of Jain’s house could not be carried out yesterday as no one was present there.


Man dies in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, April 21
A person was killed in a road accident near the SDM’s residence here today. A pall of gloom engulfed his house where his relatives were making preparations for his sister’s marriage.

According to information, Mohammad Awas (22 ), son of Mohammad Hanif, a resident of Matoi village, was coming on his motorcycle near Thandi Sadak when a stray dog suddenly came in front of his motorcycle.

Awas lost control of his bike and fell down. He was declared brought dead at the Civil Hospital. The police has registered a case in this regard. The dead body was handed over to his relatives after postmortem. Awas was the only brother of five sisters. He had come to Malerkotla to purchase some articles for his sister’s marriage.


Driver burnt alive in vehicle accident
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, April 21
Mr Ganesh Dutt, driver of a Swaraj Mazda (HP-14-6535) was burnt alive in his mini-truck following a road accident with a Tempo Trax jeep (HP-32B-0282) at Bora village on the Garhshankar-Anandpur Sahib road, about 50 km from here, today.

According to police sources, the vehicles coming from opposite direction collided head-on due to which Swaraj Mazda overturned as a result fire broke out in the engine which engulfed the front cabin of it in which driver and two other occupants were entrapped. The deceased belonged to Kanda village in Solan district.

Other occupants of Swaraj Mazda were rescued by villagers.


Parhelion 2K6 concludes
Tribune News Service

Kharar, April 21
A two-day techno cultural fest ‘Parhelion 2K6’ ended at the GGS College of Modern Technology here. The prizes were distributed among winners by Mr Darshan Singh Sandhu PCS, SDM-cum-Administrator, Mr M.C. Kharar, and Mr S.S. Gill Deputy Superintendent of Police, Chamkaur Sahib.

The winners include:

Music (solo): Prapti Mukherjee, CEC, Landran, Jagjit Singh, Suscet, Tangori; Cyber design: Taranpreet Singh, Suscet, Tangori, Rahul Dubey, Suscet, Tangori, Nagesh, GGSCMT, Kharar, Aditya, GGSCMT, Kharar; Web sniffer: Ashoka, LCET, Katani Kalan, Sameer, LCET, Katani Kalan, Sunil, GGSCMT, Kharar, Ashwani, GGSCMT, Kharar.


Teachers of 100 schools to get AIDS awareness training
Tribune News Service

Ropar, April 21
With a view to spread awareness about AIDS among students, teachers of 100 schools in the district will be trained from April 24 to May 9 in Khalsa Senior Secondary school here. This will be second phase of the awareness drive launched by the state government in 2004. Earlier during, teachers of as many as 80 schools had been trained, said the District Education Officer (Secondary), Ropar, Mr Piara Singh.


Revised date sheet of MA exam released
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 21
The Guru Nanak Dev University has released the revised date sheet of M.A. (police administration) part I & II, theory examination, annual system, April 2006, for private candidates. The exams will now commence on April 28 at the examination centre at Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur.

Dr R.S. Bawa, Registrar, said the revised date sheet for these examinations had been sent to Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, while the Examination Branch of the university was dispatching a copy of revised date sheet to each candidate individually.


Exporters resent hike in container freight
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, April 21
Hike in container freight by the Container Corporation of India has exporters up in arms. BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, taking up the cause of exporters from Punjab said he would take up the issue with Railway Minister Lalu Parsad Yadav for reviewing the decision as it would affect foreign trade business from this region.

Mr Sidhu said he had received representations from the All-India Rice and Punjab Rice Exporters’ Association which had pointed out unprecedented hike of more than 30 per cent on containers loaded from this area was depleting their narrow margins and had already hit hard the exporters.

Mr Arvinderpal Singh of Lal Qila Rice said first freight in December 2005 was Rs 19,300 it was raised to Rs 23,400 from January 15 and now it had been jacked up to Rs 28,000 for 20-foot container.

This hike of Rs 9000 had hurt export operations from this region. Mr Arvinder Pal said the rice exporters were facing competition from Pakistan and there was price war in the international market which had resulted in small margin.

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