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‘Murdered’ servant produced in High Court!
CBI probe ordered; Batala police in the dock
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
On June 21, 2002, Mr Sukhjit Singh, then a resident of Chhichhrewal village in Batala tehsil, was booked by the Batala police for having allegedly murdered his neighbourer’s servant for having illicit relations with his two teenage nieces. A case in this regard was registered at the police station, Fatehgarh Churian, Batala. Three of his alleged accomplices were also named in the FIR.

On June 24, 2002, DSP Rachhpal Singh Ghuman even made a statement before the media, highlighting the achievement of the police in cracking the case of murder of the servant, Naresh Mirdha. Naresh was reported to have been killed in February 2002 but his body was never recovered.

Mr Sukhjit Singh was also picked up by the police and kept in illegal detention. He was let-off only after he allegedly paid a hefty bribe to cops. After being released, he shifted base to Canada along with his two nieces as the family name had been “destroyed” by the police.

However, even after moving to Canada, Mr Sukhjit Singh continued to make frantic efforts to clear his and his family’s name. Finally, the servant, the same whose murder had been pinned on Mr Sukhjit Singh, was traced to his village in Jharkhand.

Mr Sukhjit Singh brought Naresh Mirdha to Chandigarh and his lawyer, Mr Hemant Saini, produced Naresh before the high court, which ordered that he be provided security so that the police, in order to justify the case, did not cause any harm to him.

Now, taking note of the alleged high-handedness committed by the Batala police of Gurdaspur district in falsely implicating innocent persons in the murder that never was, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered a CBI inquiry into the matter.

In his order, Mr Justice Baldev Singh has directed the CBI to establish the identity of the persons responsible for registering the false case against Mr Sukhjit Singh. In his petition, seeking quashing of the FIR and holding a CBI inquiry into the matter, Mr Sukhjit Singh had alleged that the case was the result of political rivalry between his mother and MLA Sukhjinder Singh. He stated that in order to ensure that his mother did not seek re-election as sarpanch of their village, MLA Sukhjinder Singh took the services of the police, which allegedly pressured him to get his mother to withdraw her candidature.

The petitioner also alleged that he paid a heavy bribe to be released from the illegal confinement of the police. One of the officers, the then SHO, police station, Fatehgarh Churian, allegedly asked the petitioner to get him an imported air pressure pump.

Earlier, the high court had also passed strictures against the police for having registered the case in such a reckless manner.

In his order, Mr Justice Viney Mittal had observed that the case reflected a very sorry state of affairs and also reflected the working of the police in Punjab.

“The irresponsibility in the conduct of the investigation by the police is writ large on the face of records. The harassment meted out to the petitioner and his co-accused was wholly unwarranted and needs to be deprecated by the court also. Not only was a living man shown to be dead, but even the motive was also attributed for the alleged killing,” Mr Justice Mittal observed.

During the hearing, Mr Hemant Saini, counsel for the petitioner, had also pointed out that not only had the police tried to implicate the petitioner in a murder that never took place, but the reputation of the entire family, particularly his nieces, was tarnished beyond repair.

 

 

Centre defers PSEB’s unbundling!
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 7
In a move which is likely to give respite to various agitating board employees and farmers unions, the Centre has decided to extend the deadline for unbundling of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) till December 9.

Mr Alok Kumar, Director, Ministry of Power, Union Government, has written a letter to the Secretary, Energy Department, Punjab Government, that “it had agreed to the request of the Government of Punjab for the continuation of the PSEB as the state transmission utility and a licencee for a period of six months beyond June 9 to December 9.”

Meanwhile, taking cognisance of this decision, various employees unions, including the PSEB Employees Joint Forum, has postponed tomorrow’s strike. This decision was taken after a meeting held today between the representatives of the forum and the board management, which included its Chairman Y.S Ratra.

A separate meeting was also held by the Joint Struggle Coordination Committee of the PSEB and Mr G.S. Sekhon, Member (Distribution), and Mr R.P. Pandove, Director, Industrial Relations.

Mr Manjit Singh Chahal, a spokesman of the forum, said the PSEB management had also agreed that it would continue its dialogue with the employees unions in connection with the contract system and outsourcing of the board’s work. He added that the management had also agreed that it would look into the other demands raised by the forum.

Mr Gurdial Singh Bhangal, convener of the Joint Struggle Coordination Committee of PSEB, said the management had made an appeal to the unions for suspending their proposed strike on June 8 on the pretext that unbundling of the PSEB had been deferred. He added that they were not satisfied with the management’s role as it was still implementing some parts of the Electricity Act, 2003, including outsourcing, appointment of franchisee and contract labour system and was not ready to stay the operation of the same till the next regular meeting of the coordination committee with the management.

He pointed out that they had decided to postpone tomorrow’s strike as strike by a single union would not make any impact.

 

Contract farming of paddy on 20,000 acres
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
The Punjab State Cooperative Supply and Marketing Federation (Markfed) has been able to rope in farmers for contract farming of the basmati and sharbati varieties of paddy on 20,000 acres across 12 districts in the state.

Two varieties of basmati — PB1 and PB1121— and long-grain non-basmati, sharbati, will be bought by leading exporters of rice — KRBL, Dhuri, and Shiv Nath Har Narain, Delhi. Markfed is acting as a facilitator for contract farming with pre-determined quality, price and trade parameters.

For this purpose, contract farming will be carried out in Amritsar, Faridkot, Ferozepore, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, Ludhiana, Moga, Muktsar, Nawanshahr, Patiala and Ropar, with the maximum area in Amritsar (3,000 acres), followed by Gurdaspur (2,000 acres), being covered under this arrangement. While the PB 1121 variety of basmati will fetch farmers Rs 1,200 per quintal, those sowing the PB 1 will be paid Rs 1,000 per quintal. For the sharbati variety, the farmers will get Rs 750 per quintal.

With the success of the contract farming model for rice, the Marked authorities have now decided to initiate contract farming in the case of wheat in the next season. "We propose to bring 1,00,000 acres under wheat cultivation and mustard for contract farming. The area for contract farming under paddy, too, will be increased to 1,00,000 acres next year. Considering the viability of contract farming, Markfed has decided to open a Contract Farming Division to give focused attention both at the corporate and field levels," said Mr M. B. S. Sandhu, Chief Manager, Foodgrains, International Trade and Projects, Markfed.

He said Markfed would be providing physical inputs by way of quality seeds, chemicals for seeds and fertilisers on a cost-to-cost basis, besides technical inputs. Agricultural scientists who had retired from Punjab Agricultural University and agri-consultants would be functional in all districts of the state. "The aim is to enhance produce and its quality so that both farmers and buyers are benefited ," he said.

Contract farming for maize and soya bean has also been initiated. For this purpose, contracts for the farming of soya bean on 100 acres and of maize on 10,000 acres have been made. "While contract farming for soya bean has been carried out at the behest of the Punjab Farmers Commission, maize will be bought by the domestic food giant, Venky's," said Mr Sandhu.

 

Rural dispensaries given on contract
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 7
Turning down the request of pharmacists of not shifting them from rural dispensaries following the handing over of the charge of rural dispensaries to service providers, the state government finally has issued orders to shift them to rural hospitals, primary health centres (PHCs), community health centres (CHCs) and civil hospitals. These orders have been issued by the Director, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab.

These orders have been issued without giving sanctioned posts of the pharmacist to the rural hospitals, PHCs, CHCs and Civil Hospitals. So these pharmacists now will work at their new places of posting, but nobody knows from which head these pharmacists will be paid salaries.

As per information, 102 pharmacists have been shifted from rural dispensaries in Sangrur district. As many as 88 pharmacists have been adjusted in the district while 14 pharmacists have been transferred to other districts, Patiala and Fatehgarh Sahib.

Mr Swaranjit Singh, state general secretary of the Punjab State Pharmacists Association, said here on Tuesday that with this action of the state government the pharmacists felt that they were a harassed lot as they were uncertain about their future. He expressed apprehension that a large number of rural dispensaries would be on the verge of closure after the shifting of hundreds of pharmacists. The number of service providers had not joined the rural dispensaries but the government had already issued adjustment and transfer orders of the pharmacists, posted in all rural dispensaries. He said for example, as many as 102 service providers had to be posted in rural dispensaries in Sangrur district, but only 58 had signed service contract with the authorities. Thus, 44 rural dispensaries would not have now a doctor or a pharmacist, he added.

Mr Swarnjit Singh also expressed apprehension that the state government would ultimately retrench the pharmacists in near future, as it would express inability in paying salaries soon to the surplus pharmacists, shifted from rural dispensaries to other places. He said as per an estimate with this step of the state government more than 900 pharmacists had been made surplus in the state.

Mr Suresh Goyal, Assistant Civil Surgeon, Sangrur, said the district health authorities had sent the shifting orders of 81 pharmacists from the rural dispensaries to the SMOs concerned. However, he claimed that no pharmacist would be relived from that rural dispensary which had not a service provider now.

Meanwhile, the Sehat Sewawan Bachao Sangharsh Committee, Punjab, has decided to hold a state-level dharna in front of the office of the Director, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, at Chandigarh on June 8. After the dharna, the health employees will march towards the Punjab Secretariat to compel the state government to withdraw its decision, regarding the appointment of service providers.

 

Sidhu rides elephant to protest against petro price hike
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, June 7
Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, BJP MP rode an elephant through streets of the holy city today to protest against steep rise in the prices of the petroleum products by the UPA government. Mr Sidhu along with other BJP workers used this unique way to protest by riding an elephant, which was pulling a Maruti car, and other workers with scooters on horse carts.

Meanwhile, Mrs Ratna, Chairperson of the Punjab State Social Welfare Board, in a missive to Congress president, Mrs Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has urged to roll back the hike in petroleum products.

The SAD (Longowal) also in a missive to PM has urged him to roll back the prices of the petrol and diesel as it would affect the debt-ridden farming community.

Ms Lakshmi Kanta Chawla, State Vice-President of the BJP, not good at riding a horse cart received injuries during the march held here today. The situation became worse when over anxious supporters in an effort to save her also fell on her. She was taken to the hospital where she was discharged after treatment.

HOSHIARPUR: State BJP chief and Hoshiarpur MP Avinash Rai Khanna led a cycle rally from Garhshankar to Hoshiarpur. Covering distance of 40 km, BJP mobilised public opinion against the Congress-led government at the Centre.

Hundreds of BJP workers, led by Mr Tikshan Sud, local MLA, assembled in front of their office at Shastri Market here and staged a demonstration against the petro price hike.

 
POLITICS
 

SKD merges with SAD (Amritsar)
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 7
In a significant development, Shiromani Khalsa Dal (SKD) of Daljit Singh Bittu today merged with Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), led by Simranjit Singh Mann.

This announcement was jointly made by Mann and Bittu at a press conference held at Circuit House here today. While SAD (A) was formed at the behest of the then Jathedar Akal Takht, Prof Manjit Singh, the SKD was formed in April, 2004, even before the release of Bittu from Nabha Jail.

With the merger, the SKD stands disbanded. While Mann will continue to be the president of the party, Bittu will be the Senior vice-president. The list of more office-bearers will be announced shortly.

Mann and Bittu said they had joined hands to defeat the designs of the Congress and the SAD-BJP.

They claimed that the merger would be in the larger interest of the Panth. To a question, they said more Panthic factions might join the unified Akali Dal.

Earlier, the Dal Khalsa and the SKD were contemplating to merge into one entity by accepting Bittu as president. However, this unity could not be forged. However, Bittu said efforts were being made to rope in the Dal Khalsa and other factions, which were interested in defeating the Congress and the SAD-BJP in the coming elections of the Assembly, scheduled to be held in February next year.

However, both the leaders evaded questions on their previous demand of Khalistan.

Ram Singh and Gurjatinder Singh Bhikhiwind, both general secretaries of SAD (Amritsar) and senior leaders of the SKD were present on the occasion.

 

SAD to hold dharnas from today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
The Shiromani Akali Dal today decided to hold dharnas at all district headquarters in Punjab from June 8 to 11.

These will be organised in front of the offices of the Deputy Commissioners.

The party President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, is in touch with leaders of all major non-UPA political parties to launch a well-coordinated national campaign against rising prices in general and the hike in petrol and diesel prices in particular.

Mr Badal has asked leaders of several national and regional parties to join hands to expose the “hypocritical” stand of the Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, on this issue. He has also stressed the need for a nationwide public awareness campaign against what he called “the shocking double speak” of the Left parties, which were enacting the “tamasha” of opposing the “anti-people” policies of the government such as the hike in the petrol and diesel prices while supporting the same policies on the floor of Parliament.

Mr Badal today directed all senior leaders and office-bearers of the party to oversee the protest dharnas in their respective areas. The hike, according to him, would not only hit the middle and poor classes but also gravely paralyse the agricultural and industrial sectors. He said farmers in Punjab were already bearing the brunt of the policies of the government with the rise in the prices of fertilisers, pesticides, weedicides and other agricultural inputs while the government had been stubbornly refusing a remunerative hike in the minimum support price of wheat, paddy and other farm produce.

 

MLA praises Amarinder to the skies
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 7
People of the state are willing to vote Capt Amarinder Singh back to power. The Akalis can no longer fool voters in the name of the Panth. The Chief Minister gave the status of district to Mohali and Tarn Taran, said Dr Harbans Lal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, while addressing the gathering at Balahra village after laying the foundation stones of various development projects and roads in the area.

Dr Harbans Lal highlighted various achievements of the government, including the Bill concerning SYL water dispute.

He said the government ensured 8 hour regular supply by purchasing electricity worth Rs 5,500 crore, released 1,01,761 tube well connections and lowered service charge for new connections from Rs 5,000 to Rs 3,000.

Dr Harbans Lal said an investment of Rs 53,000 crore had been ensured in the industrial sector, which would generate employment for 10 lakh youths.

He announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh for the construction of a pucca road to Gurdwara Sahib and Dharmshala Sanian in Balahra village. Mr Jasbir Singh, sarpanch, Balahra, Mr Parkash Singh, sarpanch, Boran, Mr Kanwaljit Singh, Mr Jaspal Singh also addressed the gathering.

 
COMMUNITY
 

Tubectomy death: AFDR for case against doctor
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 7
The district unit of the Association for Democratic Rights (AFDR), Punjab, has found woman doctor responsible for the death of Rajinder Kaur (25) of Kammo Majra Khurd village, near here. Mrs Rajinder Kaur had died after a family planning operation at the Civil Hospital here on May 29. Her condition became serious after tubectomy operation and died two to three hours later.

The district unit of the AFDR had formed a five-member team to go into the death of Rajinder Kaur. In the team, besides district president of the AFDR Karam Barsat, other members were Mr Basheshar Ram, Mr Hardev Singh Rathi, Mr Mandhir Singh and Ms Gurpreet Kaur. The team talked to the parties concerned before releasing its report.

According to the report of the AFDR, 40 women were operated upon for tubectomy on May 29 last at the Civil Hospital here after finding them medically fit. The woman doctor started performing tubectomy operations at 1.30 pm while deceased Rajinder Kaur had been operated upon at number seven. After the operation when the staff tried to shift Mrs Rajinder Kaur from the operating table, she fell down. On this, the woman doctor examined her and told the staff to call Dr Jagmohan Singh, medical specialist.

After that she started performing tubectomy operations of remaining women. Later, Mrs Rajinder Kaur was shifted to the emergency ward where she died two to three hours later.

In the inquiry report it has been stated that Mrs Rajinder Kaur was fit before the operation, but her condition deteriorated after the operation. She came to the hospital at 8 am while she was operated on at 1.45 pm. At the time of operation she was on empty stomach for the past 18 hours as she had been asked to come to the hospital on an empty stomach. The report also stated that Mrs Rajinder Kaur had died due to excessive bleeding because of cut on a blood vessel or organ during the operation. Had she been provided proper care at that time, her life could have been saved.

The inquiry team has held the doctor concerned and poor management of the Civil Hospital responsible for the death of Mrs Rajinder Kaur. The AFDR has demanded the registration of a case into her death. It has also demanded a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the family of the deceased and free education for her children.

 

Dharna against ‘police excesses’ on widow
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 7
Residents of Jhumba Bhaika village today staged a dharna in front of the Sadar police station against the alleged police excesses on the issue of possession of a widow’s land.

The protesters demanded withdrawal of a “false case” registered against a section of villagers and check on alleged police attacks on Veerpal Kaur. They also urged the police to “stop violating the orders of District Collector” on the issue. They sought a magisterial probe into the action.

Addressing the protesters, state executive member of the CPI Jagjeet Singh Joga announced that they would launch a massive agitation on the issue. He warned that if the “police officials involved in attacks” of May 25, May 29 and June 3 were not booked, the action committee would move the high court.

He alleged that the police was doing injustice under the “influence of money and power” and the district administration and the top police officials were turning a blind eye to it. He cautioned that the ruling party would have to pay a heavy price for such activities in the coming Assembly elections.

Representatives of the Punjab Kisan Sabha and Khet Majdoor Sabha also participated in the dharna. They took out a rally and also submitted a memorandum to the IG and the DC. The action committee announced that if justice was denied to them they would gherao the Baluana police post indefinitely.

 

SGPC to take nagar kirtan till Lahore

Amritsar, June 7
Even as the government of Pakistan and the Pakistan Evacuee Property Trust Board (PEPTB) have decided to advance the date of nagar kirtan to Lahore from June 13 to June 12, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) today decided not to organise any procession from New Delhi to Lahore to mark the 400th martyrdom anniversary of Sri Guru Arjan Dev.

With this, the SGPC will take the jatha by road. DSGMC president Harwinder Singh Sarna has conveyed this decision to Izhar-ul-Hassan, Additional Secretary, PEPTB . However, Mr Sarna clarified to PEPTB that the decision of the DSGMC should not be misconstrued as ''boycott''.

''It is not possible to organise the ‘nagar kirtan’ from Delhi to Lahore in one day. Moreover, the DSGMC did not want to belittle the mega event by taking out symbolic procession on this occasion''. He alleged that SGPC president Avtar Singh had played a negative role by accepting ''symbolic nagar kirtan'', the term which had no sanctity in Sikhism.

The SGPC chief said Pakistan had allowed a 200 members for Kirtan to enter its territory on foot to participate in the 400th martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev. — TNS

 

None from admn attends soldier's funeral
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 7
The mortal remains of veteran soldier Subedar Sher Singh, who had taken part in the World War -II and also fought on fronts in Assam Burma, Malaya and J&K, were consigned to the flames here today. Sher Singh (96) was awarded the Jangi Inam and the Mention-In-Dispatches twice .

However, the Indian Ex-Servicemen League (Punjab and Chandigarh) has said even though a number of friends and relatives attended his cremation, yet no one from the district administration turned up at the cremation ground.

In a press release, Prabhjot Singh, general secretary of the league said even after the release of the last pay commission, Subedar Sher Singh was being paid a sepoy's pension despite having retired as a Subedar. Mr Prabhjot Singh urged the Punjab government to clear the case pertaining to the Jangi Inam award money and said the government would do a yeoman's service if it paid life time arrears of the award money to his wife Mrs Gurbachan Kaur.

 

Plea for NRI cells at Indian missions
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 7
The NRI cell of the BJP has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to set up separate cells in Indian missions at Canada, UK and USA to deal with people of the Indian community living in those countries without passports.

In a press release, Mr Rulda Singh, general secretary of the NRI cell said he was in the process of preparing a list of such people and added that the cell would soon be sending a team to these countries to compile a comprehensive list of such people.

 

Summer camp inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 7
In an attempt to wean away youth from the clutches of drugs and other social evils, Bahadurgarh-based Punjab police commandos and the Punjab Armed Police (PAP) have jointly organised a summer fun camp for children between the age of 10 and 18 years at the historic Bahadurgarh Fort.

The camp was inaugurated by Mr V.K. Bhawra, IG (Commandos) by planting a sapling in the presence of Mr T.S. Dhaliwal, DIG (Commandos), Mr S.R. Sharma, Deputy Director, Punjab Police Cultural Troupe and other police officials and children of various schools. The camp will run till June 17.

 
COURTS
 

Meeting on free legal aid held
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 7
To give free legal aid to the needy and the downtrodden, the District Free Legal Aid Services Committee held its meeting under the chairperson of Mrs Sabina, District and Sessions Judge, in the judicial complex on Monday. Various cases relating to free legal aid were decided at the meeting.

Mr Sabina said people belonging to SC/ST, unemployed youths, industrial workers, those living below the poverty line, mentally retarded children, women, physically challenged persons and any one having income less than Rs 30,000 annually could apply for free legal aid. She said the committee had nominated five lawyers on the panel who would provide free legal aid to litigants recommended by the committee.

She said for free legal aid the application forms could be taken from the office of the District Attorney, respective SDM offices, Additional Civil Judge offices and from her office. Besides free legal aid, the charges of lawyers, court fee and expenses of witnesses were also given. She appealed to the needy of society to take the benefit of the scheme.

Mr R.S. Kang, president of the District Bar Association, Mr R.N. Sharma, social worker, Dr G.K.

Shalley, Mr P.S. Kalra, DPRO, also attended the meeting.

 
AGRICULTURE
 

Dala angora rabbit farm faces closure
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur June 7
The angora rabbit farm at Dala village of Dhar block faces closure. The three-member committee formed by the Department of Animal Husbandry has recommended the closure of the farm. The Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry, Gurdaspur, when contacted, said the report of the committee had been forwarded to the higher authorities of the department who would take a final decision.

Though the farm was set up here in 1996 to help the people of hilly areas improve their economy by breeding angora rabbits, there are hardly any takers in the area.

The farm has failed to promote the business of angora rabbit breeding due to lack of promotion and high price of angora rabbits. About 250 angora rabbits were imported from Germany at the time when the farm was started. The number of rabbits remains the same even nine years later.

The staff at the farm attributes the low number of rabbits to the high mortality rate among the angora rabbits. They said as per the government direction they were supposed to sell a pair of angora rabbits to the local farmers at Rs 900. However, since the area was very poor, hardly any farmer came forward to purchase the rabbits.

The sources said that a staff, including one veterinary pharmacist, five labourers, one watchman and one accountant had been posted at the farm. A post of assistant director, rabbit farm, has also been created. A house of the said officer was built at the farm. However, the officer concerned has never been stationed at the place. The creation of the post has just remained as the medium for the promotion of veterinary officers.

The government spends about Rs 30 lakh per annum on the maintenance of the farm. However, the total yield from the farm is just 126 kg of angora wool. The cost of this wool in the open market was Rs 450 per kg. It meant that the total earning of the farm was just Rs 96,700 per annum.

If the government could not earn profit from the angora rabbits then how could the local farmers adopt the trade, said the sarpanch of Dala village. The people of the area alleged that the department of animal husbandry had never cared to run the farm scientifically. A veterinary pharmacist was in charge of the farm, whereas in papers it was an assistant director level officer. How could one expect high yields from the farm with untrained workers working under the supervision of semi-trained staff.

 

Banned pesticide sold in market
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, June 7
The Department of Agriculture has unearthed a scam in which the highly poisonous banned pesticides meant for government supply are being sold in the open market.

Celphos is a banned pesticide. The Union Government has banned its sale in the market. The pesticides can only be procured by government procurement agencies in big commercial pouches. The agencies use the pesticide for preserving the foodgrains in stores.

Mr Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, told The Tribune that he got the information that celphos was being sold openly in the market. Mr Gurdev Singh Gill, Joint Director, Agriculture, was appointed to check the facts in case.

He raided two firms in Amritsar in a few days ago. It was found that the celphos meant for government supply was available with the unauthorised pesticide dealers. Packing with imprints ‘’meant for government supply’’ were recovered on the premises of two firm, V.K. Enterprises and Jairam Trading Company.

As many as 1248 tubes containing celphos tablets were seized from the premises of V.K. Enterprises and 71 from Jairam company. In the inquiry, it was found that the accused dealers used to procure empty tubes of celphos tablets from Delhi. Then the tablets, procured from certain officials of the government procurement agencies, were filled in tubes and sold in the market.

The companies from which the dealers had shown to have procured the banned pesticide in their record were also fake.

The celphos tablets that are being sold openly in the market despite the ban are responsible for large number of suicides. Besides the celphos, 48.250 kg of zinc phosphate meant for government supply was found from the premises of the accused dealers. Other pesticides that have been supplied from the government agencies to pesticide dealers are streptomycin sulphate and melathyane 50 CC.

An inquiry would be instituted. Any official found guilty in the scam would not go unpunished, Mr Randhawa claimed.

A case under the Insecticide Act 1968 has already been registered against the accused traders.

 
ADMINISTRATION
 

23 found absent from duty
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 7
The ADC and the Assistant Commissioner yesterday found 23 officials and other staff missing from duty during a surprise check at the mini secretariat here.

Those absent from duty included the ETO, Mr P.K. Garg, Mr R.C. Arora, Mr S.S. Manshahia Inspector Harjeet Kaur, Ms Seenam, and clerks Balwinder Singh and Gurtej Singh.

In the PWD, wing, Executive Engineer S.K. Gupta, SDO Gurnaib Singh, Mr Raj Kumar Bansal, Mr R.K. Goel and Mr Sukhjeet Singh were missing from duty.

The Deputy Director of the Fisheries Department, Mr Sher Singh, and Mr Ranjeet Singh were also absent while Mr Gurjeet Singh and Ms Kamlesh arrived late.

Some employees of the Soil Conservation Department and Cooperative Department were also found absent. The DC, Mr Rahul Bhandari, said he had recommended appropriate action against those found absent.

 
CRIME
 

Factory making spurious drinks raided, 2 held

Hoshiarpur, June 7
The police today raided a factory making spurious soft drinks of various popular brands like Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Limca, Maaza, etc.

On a complaint of Sanjay Kaushal, representative of Pepsi, the police raided the house of Partap Singh at New Jagatpura Mohalla and found a running drink factory.

During the raid, the police seized 236 bottles of spurious soft drinks, chemicals, fruit colours and corking machine. The police arrested Partap Singh and his accomplice Suresh Kumar of new Fatehgarh. — OC

 

Shopkeeper booked

Ropar, June 7
The city police on Monday booked Goki Kumar, a sweet shopowner for outraging the modesty of a minor girl.

The incident took place in the morning when the parents of the four-year-old child sent her to bring milk from Goki’s shop near the hospital road. When the girl entered the shop, Goki caught her and outraged her modesty. Later the girl narrated the incident to her parents. A case was registered in city police station in the evening. TNS

 
EDUCATION
 

Salaries of 105 school heads withheld
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 7
On account of non-submission of expenditure statements for April to the office of the District Education Officer (Secondary), Sangrur, by a large number of heads (Drawing and Disbursing Officers) of schools of the district, the salaries of school heads will not be released by the treasuries till further orders.

In a letter to the District Treasury Officer, the DEO (Secondary) has asked the DTO not to release the salaries of Heads (DDOs) of 105 high and secondary schools of the district as they had not submitted expenditure statements of their respective schools.

Some schools where the salaries will not be released are Harigarh, Shaheed Udham Singh Wala (Sunam), Dhadhogal (Girls), Aspal Kalan, Khetla, Sangatpura, Namol, Duggan, Dhanaula (Girls), Sehna, Bhasaur, Sherpur, Bhawanigarh (Girls), Channo, Chhajli, Dirba, Mehlan, Namol, Sangherra, Ladda, Ballian, Tunga, Mauran, Jhaloor and Khandebad.

 

B.Com III, CET results declared

Chandigarh, June 7
The Panjab University has declared the result of B.Com. III examination conducted in April/May 2006 and the same has been put on the university website - www: puchd.ac.in. According to a press note issued by the Controller of Examinations, Panjab University, no result enquiry would be entertained on telephone.

The university has also declared the results of the O-CET-2006 conducted last month for admission to Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.), M.A. (English) and Master of Mass Communication (MMC). The result is available on the website: www.puchd.ac.in and will also be available at old Enquiry Office (CET), PU, from 9 am on June 8. — TNS

 

MBA/MCA results
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 7
Monika Sood (15478) of Nabha topped in the state-level management entrance Test (MET) with 124.25 marks, while Vipan Singla (25161) of Patiala got the first position in the MCA (PAM-CAT-2006) with 123.75 marks, conducted by Guru Nanak Dev University here. The results were declared here today.

In the MET-2006 Simarjot Singh Khalsa (13412) of Nawanshahr and Jakaran Singh Chugh (10868) of Amritsar remained second and third with 123.75 and 121.75 marks, respectively.

In the MCA-2006 Amit Kumar (25309) of Abohar got second and Rohit Kumar Sharma (22178) of Kathua (J&K) remained third with 118.25 and 116 marks, respectively.