P U N J A B    S T O R I E S




Warning to states on overdrawing of power
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
As the power crisis in northern region has turned critical, the Union Government has warned the northern states that heavy penalty will be imposed in case any state tries to play havoc with the northern power grid by overdrawing power.

Informed sources in the Punjab State Electricity Board said certain states were resorting to overdrawal of power from the grid, thus destabilising it and creating grave situation for other states in the process.

Sources said a petition was filed by the Northern Region Load Despatch Centre (NRLDC), Delhi, before the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission which took up the matter with the Union Power Ministry, asking it to discipline the wayward states resorting to overdrawal of power.

The Union Government will hold another meeting in this regard with the Chairpersons of the electricity boards in this regard next week, it is learnt.

Asked in this connection, Mr Y.S. Ratra, Chairman of the PSEB, said it was true that the Union Government had given a warning to the states which were overdrawing power.

Mr Ratra, along with other senior officers of the PSEB, will hold a meeting with the Chief Secretary, Mr K.R. Lakhanpal, tomorrow to discuss the power scenario in the state. Mr Ratra said the PSEB at present was buying power from certain North-East and southern states to cope with the growing power demand in the state.

Sources said the situation on the power front was so desperate in the northern region that the PSEB had booked power from a liquid fuel- based plant in Kerala at a very high rate of Rs 6.48 paise per unit for June.

Normally, power should be available in the range of Rs 4 per unit at the maximum. “We have booked 150 mw of power daily for June from a Kerala plant at such a high rate. In fact, the power from Kerala would cost around Rs 6.75 per unit with the inclusion of transmission cost and line losses etc”, said a senior officer of the PSEB.

“It means that the PSEB had utilised all other available options and now has to buy power at such a high rate from Kerala to meet its requirement in June”, he added.

The daily shortage of power at present is in the range of 200 lakh units. And it is expected to go up to 350 lakh units in days to come. Light showers this evening have come as a welcome relief, though temporary one, for the PSEB.

Reports received from the cotton belt have suggested that power is made available only for four hours to tubewells. And most of the canals in the Malwa region, especially in Mansa area, remained closed till April 25.

“ Because of the delayed release of water in certain canals in Mansa area and inadequate power supply, the sowing of cotton has been affected in a big way in the cotton belt”, said Mr Gurdev Singh, a Budhlada-based farmer.

He said as the intake capacity of various canals had gone down tremendously because of silt, farmers were not getting adequate canal water for irrigation purpose.

For instance, he said there was 0.73 cusec less water flowing in the Uddat branch of canal near Mansa.

Farmers were facing lot of problems because of this reason, he added.


Lokpal resumes work after 3 years
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
After a gap of more than three years, the office of the Lokpal, Punjab, will restart functioning tomorrow to deal with complaints of people who feel aggrieved by the political system in the state.

Justice D.S. Dhaliwal (retd), who was recently appointed as the Lokpal, will start holding regular court hearings tomorrow.

The court premises of the Lokpal will be located on the fourth floor of the Punjab Mini-Secretariat, Sector 9, here. No one was appointed Lokpal since Justice D.V. Sehgal died in December, 2002.

Justice Dhaliwal spoke briefly to The Tribune. He said there were 286 pending complaints and he would start hearing them in the order of pendency determined from the date of filing.

The soft-spoken Justice Dhaliwal, who retired as a Judge of the Patna High Court in 1998 has served as a Judge in the Punjab and Haryana High Court besides having worked for the Punjab Government during its hearing at the Eradi Tribunal.

Justice Dhaliwal said he was fully satisfied with the power vested under the Punjab Lokpal Act, 1996. “Absolute authority should not vested in one person,” he added.

The Act empowers the Lokpal to send a special report of a case to the Governor, who then has to send it for tabling before the state Assembly. In routine course the Governor is the competent authority to accept or reject a report sent by the Lokpal. Within 90 days of its rejection, the Lokpal, if he desires, can send a special report on the same subject which will have to sent to the State Assembly by the Governor. There is no bar on the Lokpal on sending a special report on any matter.

Justice Dhaliwal pointed out that a notice had been issued in the newspapers informing the members of the public about the procedure of submitting complaints.

The notice issued yesterday says complaints can be filed only against a “public-man” as defined under the Act. This includes the Chief Minister, ministers, MLAs, Chairmen and members of boards, corporations and government-aided companies.

It will deal with misconduct committed by any of these people and can be filed within five years of the alleged misconduct. The complainant shall be required to file an affidavit and along with a bank draft of Rs 1000 in favour of the Lokpal, Punjab. The complaint can be send through registered post or handed over personally at the office of the Secretary Lokpal Punjab, SCO-198-199, Sector 17-C, Chandigarh.

One of the work on Justice Dhaliwal’s mind is to complete the unfinished agenda of the first Lokpal, Justice S.S. Sodhi (retd), who had envisaged an independent building for the office of the Lokpal. 


Medical students block traffic, raise slogans
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, May 2
Members of Medical Students Association Government Medical College and Sri Guru Ramdas Institute of Medical Sciences and Research here today carried out a massive protest rally and blocked traffic to express their anger against policies of government regarding quota in medical colleges.

Starting from medical college the rally passed through various roads of the city and concluded at Bhandari bridge, where students tore the posters of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh. On the way they also stopped traffic at important roads of the city, including Lawrence road, Crystal Chowk and on Bhadari bridge, resulting in traffic chaos by making human chains.

Holding placards protesting students raised slogans against Mr Arjun Singh, HRD minister.

Dr Gurvinder Singh, President, students union, said that Punjab had nearly 450 MBBS and 500 BDS seats in total out of which about 150 and 200 come for general category, respectively.

Dr Gagandeep Sharma, President of the Medical Students Association, said that the students were against the proposed increase of OBC quota to 27 per cent and also against 10 per cent increase in the All-India Post Graduate Entrance Examination. He pointed out that there was already 50 per cent reservation in Punjab PG entrance examination.

SANGRUR: The students and interns of the Guru Nanak Dev Dental College and Research Institute, Sunam, stayed away from OPD and did not attend their classes on Tuesday in protest against the proposed increase in the reservation quota for the OBCs in the higher educational institutions.

The protesters also held a rally and took out a protest march to express the resentment against the Union Government and raised slogans against the proposed increase in the reservation quota for OBCs in higher educational institutions. The protesters threatened the government that they would observe hunger strike if it accepted the proposed increase in the reservation quota for OBCs in the Parliament.

They also expressed their solidarity with the agitating doctors and students of general category through out the country and ensured full cooperation to them in future also.


BYJM activists to escort Rajnath’s yatra
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 2
While many senior leaders of the SAD (Amritsar) have gone underground to chalk out plans to disrupt the “Bharat Suraksha Yatra”, being undertaken by BJP president Rajnath Singh and proposed to reach here tomorrow, BJP state president Avinash Khanna said his party had deployed a large number Bharatiya Yuva Janta Morcha activists, led by state party chief Laxmi Kanta Chawla, to meet any eventuality.

Accepting the challenge of SAD (A) president Simranjit Singh Mann, Ms Chawla said if the police failed to provide security to the proposed yatra, activists of her party would “handle” Mr Mann’s workers.

She said around 10 vehicles carrying youth activists would accompany the yatra throughout its route in Punjab.

Mr Khanna alleged that Mr Mann wanted to disrupt the yatra at the behest of the Congress government in the state. “Let the Congress directly confront us instead of resorting to proxy war,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Mann today alleged that it was unfortunate that SAD president Parkash Singh Badal and his party leaders had decided to receive the yatra in the city.

Objecting to its proposed stopover at Mudki (Ferozepore), where first Anglo-Sikh war was fought on December 18, 1845, Mr Mann alleged that the Sikhs had lost the battle due to a conspiracy by “Dogras”. The BJP wanted to rub salt on their wounds by visiting the place, he added.

It may be mentioned that after invoking the blessings of Lord Jagannath at Puri, Rajnath Singh began his 35-day 5,500-km “Bharat Suraksha Yatra” on April 6 with a pledge to foil the “appeasement” of the Muslims by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre.

It may be recalled that the 3,500-km “Tiranga Yatra”, led by Uma Bharti, was disrupted by SAD (A) activists on September 25, 2004.

Some women activists of the SAD (A) had shown black flags to Bharti as she stood up to address the gathering in the presence of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Mr Badal and other SAD and BJP leaders. The police had tough time controlling angry BJP workers.

Anticipating a repeat of the event, the Amritsar police has made elaborate security arrangements. Ms Chawla met SSP S.S. Srivastava who assured her of “foolproof” security arrangements.


AICTE cracks whip against private
engineering colleges in Punjab

Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
The All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the statutory body regulating the technical education in the country, has cracked the whip against certain private engineering colleges of Punjab.

Getting tough with the private colleges, the AICTE has reduced the total number of seats of at least 13 colleges bringing bad news for the thousands of engineering aspirants of the state. In fact, the AICTE decision has come as a bolt from the blue for some of the "best colleges" in the state, including a prominent college in Chandigarh's periphery--Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology (SSIET).

In the "status of approval for the AICTE-approved engineering institutions for the academic year 2006-7", it has been mentioned that there would be "no admission" in the SSIET. The SSIET is the only college of the 45 colleges against which "no admission" had been mentioned while seats of the other colleges had been reduced.

The AICTE sources said the proposals of increase in intake/additional courses forwarded to the state government and university concerned up to March 28, 2006, had been processed and the remaining would be processed subsequently.

Meanwhile, the decision to insert "no admission" against the SSIET has come in for criticism from the management with chairman, Mr Avtar Singh, terming it "arbitrary". The SSIET is one of the oldest and best engineering institutes in the state having state-of-the-art infrastructure and the AICTE decision seems to be surprising," Mr Avtar Singh told The Tribune.

The sources said prominent among the institutes, whose seats had been decreased included Adesh Institute of Engineering and Technology, Faridkot; Bhai Maha Singh College of Engineering, Muktsar; Bhutta College of Engineering and Technology, Bhutta (Ludhiana); College of Engineering and Management, Kapurthala; Guru Gobind Singh College of Engineering, Talwandi; Guru Teg Bahadur Khalsa Institute of Engineering and Technology, Malout; and IITT College of Engineering, Pojewal (Nawanshahr)

Lala Lajpat Rai Institute of Engineering and Technology, Moga; Rayat Institute of Engineering and Information Technology, Railmajra (Nawanshahr), SPS College of Engineering and Technology, Ferozepore; and Sant Baba Bhag Singh Institute of Engineering and Technology, Padhiana (Jalandhar) and Institute of Engineering and Technology, Ropar, are the other institutes where the number of seats would be less in 2006-07.

Meanwhile, the AICTE said the institutes which had not hoisted their mandatory disclosures on the websites, were being granted conditional approval.

All such institutes are advised to hoist their mandatory disclosures under the prescribed format on the website before May 31, 2006, failing which action would be initiated according to rules and regulations, including no admission or withdrawal of approval, the sources added.

Commenting on the AICTE approval list, a promoter of a group of institutes in Chandigarh' s periphery, said this was a wake-up call for the engineering institutes to equip themselves with infrastructure and faculty as per the norms of the AICTE.


Cong leaders feeling insecure, says SAD
Tribune New Service

Chandigarh, May 2
The Shiromani Akali Dal described the statement of three Congress leaders, Mr Surinder Singla, Mr Partap Singh Bajwa and Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi, asking the Election Commission to disqualify all Akali MLAs as an effort to influence the election petition filed against Mr Balbir Singh Bath, an Akali MLA from Shri Hargobindpur.

This petition has been filed by Mr Fateh Jang Singh Bajwa, the younger brother of Mr Partap Singh Bajwa and is likely to be decided in few days. In a joint statement issued here today, the three party leaders, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, secretary general, Mr Balwinder Singh Bhunder, general secretary and Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, secretary of the party said the other reason for the Congress 
leaders to issue such a statement is that SAD had filed complaint against 37 Congress legislatures for holding office of profit.

The three SAD leaders further added: “The Congress was caught red handed by the Election Commission while registering 14,000 bogus voters in byelection to the Kapurthala Assembly constituency. On the complaint of SAD, all these votes were cancelled.


Govts not serious about promoting theatre: Madiha
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 2
The governments of the two neighbouring countries are not serious to promote Punjabi theatre and performing arts which enlighten the people on drug menace and female foeticide.

Leading Pakistani theatre personality Madiha Gauhar, Director, Ajoka Theatre, Lahore, stated this to reporters here today on the eve of third National Theatre Festival which opens here tomorrow at Naatshala in collaboration with the Punjab Naatshala Amritsar, the National School of Drama, New Delhi and the North Zone Cultural Centre, Patiala.

Mr Madiha said though their government was providing auditoriums to Ajoka and other theatre groups free of cost but steps should be taken by the government to fund plays staged by various theatre groups. She said artistes of the two neighbouring countries now were able to hold shows as the governments have liberalised visa regime for artistes of both countries for regular interaction.

She said it was a positive sign and still more steps were required to be taken in this direction so that film producers also could screen films during films festivals held in the neighbouring country.

Kewal Dhaliwal, Director, Manch – Rangmanch, said the Cultural Department, Punjab spends crores every year on Heritage festivals in different parts of the state but did not want to promote serious Punjabi theatre, performing arts, which awaken people to dangers of drugs and female foeticide.

Dhaliwal said successive state governments had ignored a blind eye theatre and did not even recognise the services of legendary theatre personalities like Balwant Gargi, J.N. Kaushal and Dr Harcharan Singh for promoting art and culture of Punjab.

He said this was for the first time in India that solo shows were being performed in a theatre festival.

He added Sagrika Vivek Sharma of ACME Mumbai would give solo performance for two hours on the opening day of the festival.

Earlier few people were interested in theatre as they had to move to Chandigarh and Delhi but now more and more people were coming forward to do theatre in Amritsar and surrounding areas. He said they would also hold ‘Panj Pani Theatre Festival” in October.


Villagers take to streets against liquor factory
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, May 2
Burying the hatchet, activists of various political parties today took to streets against the setting up of a liquor factory at Devi Nagar village, near here.

In fact, it was a show of strength by the Ilaqa Bachao Sangarsh Committee before a high-level team of the Punjab Government officials, which had come to the Canal Rest House at Gandkheri village, to hear objections from general public against the factory, to be set up by the Nuway Organic Naturals Indian Limited in collaboration with the Punjab Agro Industries Limited.

The team, led by Ms Usha R Sharma, Special Secretary, Science and Technology Department, had a tough time in listening to the objections filed by people as hundreds of the residents marched in procession to the canal rest house.

Mr Surjit Singh Garhi, a member of the committee, alleged that the discharge from the factory would play havoc with environment and the agricultural land. Not only this, there was not guarantee that the local people would be employed at the factory, he asserted.

Residents of the township and the adjoining villages would bear the brunt of pollution to be caused by the factory, Mr Vijay Bansal and Mr Kishan Singh, members of the committee, alleged. They warned that an indefinite agitation would be launched if the factory was set up against the wishes of the local population.

Ms Sharma said that the team would submit its report to the Punjab Government and the final decision on the project rested with the government. She, however, conceded there could be some pollution from the factory, although it claimed to be having a state-of-the-art equipment and machinery.

Meanwhile, a number of people also assembled at the rest house in support of the factory management. They supported the project saying that it would provide job opportunities to the local youth besides giving remunerative prices to the farmers for paddy and potato crops, which were the raw materials for the manufacture of the vodka.

It may be recalled that the project has been in the eye of the storm from its very inception since last year. On April 7 last year, the protesters had blocked the national highway putting the commuters to a lot of inconvenience.


Khalsa Dal men hold march
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
Hundreds of activists of the Shiromani Khalsa Dal held a march here today to seek the release of their leader, Mr Daljit Singh Bittu. They submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, through his Officer on Special Duty.

Mr Daljit Singh, president of the party, was arrested by the Barnala police a few days ago after he had addressed a gathering of farmers in a village near Barnala.

Mr Daljit Singh is one of those leaders who are opposing the acquiring of farmers' land without their consent for an industrial group near Barnala.

Earlier, the activists also held a rally near the Matka Chowk. They sought the immediate release of Mr Daljit Singh and the cancellation of the case registered against them by the police.

Activists opposed the acquiring of the land of farmers without their consent. Farmers and their kin should also be given jobs in the proposed industry to be set up near Barnala, they said

Among those who addressed the participants at the rally were Mr Swaran Singh Khalsa, Mr Surinder Singh Kishanpura, Mr Satnam Singh Paonta Sahib, Mr Jagsir Singh Katron, Mr Mandhir Singh, Mr Rajinder Singh Khalsa, Mr Surinder Singh Ghariala and Bibi Paramjit Kaur Khalra.


Lawyers’ strike against J&K massacre
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, May 2
Members of the District Bar Association observed a strike here today in protest against the selective killings of 32 innocent Hindus by terrorists in Doda and Udhampur districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

A meeting of the association was held under the presidentship of Mr R.P. Dhir, its president, in which the killing of innocent Hindus was strongly condemned. Members of the association held that these killings of innocent persons had given the signal that there was no law and order in Jammu and Kashmir. The state government had completely failed in protecting life and liberty of the minorities living in Jammu and Kashmir.

They demanded from the Central Government to send more paramilitary forces to Jammu and Kashmir for maintaining law and order.

In a press release, Mr Hari Dutt Kalia, president, and Mr Gurdial Sharma, general secretary, Shri Brahmin Sabha, also condemned the killing of innocent persons in Jammu and Kashmir. They stated that keeping in view the seriousness of the incident, Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad should resign from the Chief Ministership and the Union Government should impose President's rule in Jammu and Kashmir.


Bajrang Dal holds march
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, May 2
Activists of the local unit of the Bajrang Dal, led by Vivek Sharma and Baba Handa, held a march in the main bazar this afternoon to protest against the massacre of Hindus in Doda and Udhampur districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

They also staged a rally in which speakers expressed their resentment against the killing of 36 Hindus.

They said such massacres were being carried out under a conspiracy to bring the community in minority. They alleged that on the one hand the Hindus were being massacred in Jammu and Kashmir, on the other they were being evangelised by Christian organisations in Punjab.

They also condemned the demolition of some Hindu temples in Vadodara by the local administration recently.

He said much hue and cry was raised following the demolition of the Babri mosque at Ayodhya by various leaders, but none of the leaders even condemned the demolitions in Vadodara.

They urged the Central Government to rise up to the occasion, leave appeasement policy of the minorities and take firm stand to root out terrorism from the country.

A two-minute silence was observed to pay homage to the departed souls.


Badal condemns killings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
The SAD President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today condemned the killing of innocent persons in Jammu and Kashmir.

In a statement here, Mr Badal sent his condolences to the members of the bereaved families.


Sex ratio has improved, claims minister
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
As many as 1,4730 anganwadi centres were playing active role to check sex ratio in the state. Anganwadi workers launched door-to-door campaign to identify pregnant woman and educated them , urging them not to get abort their female unborn child. This was stated here today by Ms Gurkanwal Kaur, Minister of the State for Social Security and Development of Women and Children.

She claimed that due to awareness campaign launched by anganwadi workers, sex ratio gap had reduced. She said the block-wise survey report from December 2005 to March 2006 had shown improvement in the sex ratio. It was the result of the successful implementation of awareness campaign launched by anganwadi workers.

She said female ratio in the age group of zero to six years was 793 per thousand in 2001. And it was recorded 809 in December, 2005, 814 in January, 2006 and 820 in February, 2006.

She said the Department of Social Security Woman and Child Development had taken up the challenge of improving the sex ratio in the state. During 2005-06, a provision of Rs 1 crore was made to create awareness among people in the rural areas regarding various schemes regarding child and women health care.


Misbehaviour by Captain: Varsity to write to Army
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 2
The written apology tendered by the Army Captain notwithstanding, the Guru Nanak Dev University authorities today decided to write to the Army headquarters against the alleged misbehaviour of the officer with security staff at the varsity gate.

Mr S.S. Chhina, a retired IPS officer and security officer of the university said the Army officer had been identified as Capt Amandip Singh Aulakh (number SS 40293Y) of 7 Dogra. The Army officer posted in Jammu & Kashmir was currently on leave.

He said though the Army officer could have been booked under various sections of the IPC, the FIR was not filed keeping in view his career.

In his clarification, Capt Aulakh admitted that he had some misunderstanding with the security staff at the university gate who had stopped him for verification. Later, the Army officer went straight to drop his sister outside the girls hostel. Capt Aulakh also had a scuffle with Mr Chhina who had sought his identification.


World Asthma Day observed
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 2
About 14 million of the 20 million asthmatics do not have adequate control over asthma, said Dr Nirmal Kajal, Head of the Department of Chest and Tuberculosis, Government Medical College, here today.

Talking to mediapersons, he said asthmatic students suffered the most as they frequently missed school or college, found it difficult to enjoy a good night’s sleep, stayed away from vigorous physical activity and were often hospitalised.

Dr Kajal said problems caused by asthma could be prevented, but many people, especially parents of asthmatic children, refused to accept diagnosis of asthma and shied away if the doctor prescribed inhalation therapy.

He said inhalation was a modern form of therapy, in which a dose of medication, breathed into the lungs via the mouth using a pocket-sized inhaler, worked effectively.

He further said inhalation therapy had been around for over 30 years and had benefitted millions worldwide.

He said the disease could be identified without expensive tests and treated easily.


VC to be served summons through beating of drums
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 2
A local court has decided to serve summons on Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor, Mr S.S. Boparai, by the beating of drums (munadi) after the VC refused to accept the summons through the normal course in a case filed by a university employee Mr Rajesh Kumar.

The court of Mrs Jatinder Kaur, Additional Civil Judge (Senior Division) today issued orders to this effect after Mr Boparai refused to accept the summons sent to him earlier.

The exact date of “munadi” will be fixed by the court only after the complainant Rajesh Kumar deposits the court fees on or before June 2.


Man gets life term for killing brother’s wife
Tribune News Service

Ropar, May 2
Kulwinder Singh, a resident of Makrona Khurd in Morinda town, was today sentenced to life imprisonment by a local court for killing the wife of his elder brother. The accused had poured kerosene on Gurpreet Kaur, wife of her elder brother, and set her on fire in June 2005.

Gurpreet Kaur, in her statement to the medical officer before her death had said that her husband Bhag Singh who was working in Dubai had sent her Rs 20,000. Kulwinder Singh wanted that money was handed over to him. When she refused to hand over the amount to him, Kulwinder Singh poured kerosene on her and set her on fire. Besides the life imprisonment, the accused was also fined Rs 5000 by the court.


Farmers protest against poor power supply
Our Correspondent

Kharar, May 2
Farmers of a number of villages staged a demonstration here today in protest against the poor supply of power by the Punjab State Electricity Board.

The protest was held at the 132 kv grid substation, Bhagomajra, near here, in which slogans were raised against the authorities concerned. The protesters demanded 24-hour power supply to the villages falling under the Gharuan zone.

Mr Mehar Singh Theri, a member of the working committee of the BKU (Lakhowal), said the affected villages had deposited the required amount with the power board for getting 24-hour power supply. Despite this the villages were getting power only for about four hours daily which was totally unjustified.

He said that the local board authorities had sent a report to the senior officials in which they had claimed that uninterrupted power supply was being given to the villages falling under the Gharuan zone.

He said that villages were also facing water shortage as adequate power was not being provided.


2 IPS officers allocated to Punjab

Chandigarh, May 2
The Union Government conveyed to the Punjab Government yesterday that it had allocated two Indian Police Service officers to the Punjab cadre this year following a request made by the state for three officers.

A communication sent through fax said the demand for the allocation of IPS officers by all states was huge this year. It was nearly double the expected strength of IPS officers to be recruited though the civil service examination. TNS


Lovers commit suicide

Ropar, May 2
Bodies of an unidentified boy and an unidentified girl, believed to be lovers, were fished out by the police from Nangal hydel channel near Alipur village today. Their hands were tied with cloth.

The boy said to be of aged around 28 was wearing black trousers and light blue T-shirt and girl aged around 25 was wearing blue jeans.

Giving details, the SHO, Sadar police station, Mr Varinder Singh, said from the condition of the bodies, it seemed the two had jumped into the channel two to three weeks ago. No suicide note was found. TNS


Arhtiya commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, May 2
An Arhtiya, Baldev Singh, former Sarpanch of Dausundha Singh Wala village and former Director of Child Development Board during Akali rule, yesterday committed suicide by consuming celphos tablets at Kalyan village, near Malerkotla.

According to information available, the farmers of the surrounding areas had borrowed about Rs 45 lakh from him. But when Baldev Singh demanded his money back they refused to give it.

On the other hand, the persons from whom Baldev Singh had borrowed the money were demanding their money back. Baldev Singh sold his land to clear his debt.

Baldev Singh had been upset for the past many days and yesterday he allegedly consumed celphos tablets. After consuming celphos tablets he reached the bus stand of Sandaur village by driving his car.

At the bus stand he started shouting that he had consumed celphos tablets and then some villagers took him to the Civil Hospital, Malerkotla. Doctors referred him to Ludhiana. But he collapsed at Ludhiana. The police has registered a case in this regard.


School board hikes prices of textbooks
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, May 2
Prices of several textbooks of the Punjab School Education Board have been increased by between 20 per cent and 25 per cent this year while prices of textbooks of private publications have been increased by only between 6 per cent and 8per cent.

The board has changed textbooks of Hindi, mathematics and social studies from Class VI to Class X and prices of these textbooks have been increased.

The same textbooks published by the private publishers are available in the market with a negligible price hike.

The private publishers have been earning more from the sale of their textbooks.


ETT teachers get support

Chandigarh, May 2
The president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today extended his party's full support to agitating ETT teachers.

Mr Badal today visited the agitating teachers in their camp near the Matka chowk and also met their leaders in a hospital.

Their leaders, including Mr Lachhman Dass and Mr Kiran Kumar, Mr Balwinder Singh Rai, Mr Jagdip Sharma and Mr Balwinder Sharma are on an indefinite fast. — TNS

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