P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Punjab Congress puts out list of office-bearers
Beant group dominates; Jagmeet supporters wiped out
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
While staunch supporters of senior Congress leader Jagmeet Singh Brar have been wiped out, party leaders identified with the Beant Singh group dominate the list of new office-bearers of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee ( PPCC).

The long list of 198 office-bearers and executive members, which has been cleared by the party high command after a long time, was released here this afternoon by the PPCC president, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo.

Mr Jagmeet Brar's name does not figure in the list of permanent invitees of the party's executive. However, Capt Amarinder Singh's supporters have got a reasonable share of the posts.

What is significant in the list is the entry of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh's son, Mr Ran Inder Singh, as general secretary of the PPCC. Though Mr Ran Inder Singh belongs to the royal family which has been associated with the Congress for the past several decades, he became active in politics only a few years ago as a campaign manager in elections contested by his father and mother.

At the time of the release of the list, Mr Dullo said that he had tried to accommodate all groups and sections of society. " I have tried a make a fine secular balance while selecting leaders for manning different positions in the party organisation," said Mr Dullo. Asked about representation to Mr Brar's group, Mr Dullo said certain supporters of his were facing disciplinary proceedings and when the party high command gave the go-ahead, they would also be given representation.

Mr Dullo said that certain district party presidents, who had been replaced, had been promoted vice-presidents or general secretaries. He said 18 new district presidents had been appointed.

Interestingly, certain sitting MLAs have been given the important position of general secretary. That means the formula of one person, one post has not been made applicable strictly. One MP, Mr Dharampal Sabharwal, has been made president of the Hoshiarpur district unit of the party.

Mr Dullo said that most of the young Congress leaders would be accommodated as joint secretaries and organising secretaries. The list would be announced soon. He said there was still scope to adjust more party leaders in the reorganised party set-up in the state. District Congress Committees were to be reconstituted. Besides, the Punjab unit of the Youth Congress was also to be reorganised.

General secretaries would be allocated districts to manage party affairs.

Meanwhile, sources said that Mr Dullo had recommended two names to the party high command from among the supporters of Mr Jagmeet Brar for appointment as district presidents. However, the party high command removed their names from the proposed list, it is learnt. It appears the party high command is taking the violation of party discipline seriously and is not in a mood to spare anyone in this regard.

List of names

District presidents: Mr Yoginder Pal Dhingra( Amritsar-urban); Mr Sukhjinder Raj Singh Lalli (Amritsar-rural); Mr Krishan Kumar(Gurdaspur); Mr Dharampal Sabharwal( Hoshiarpur); Mr Raj Kumar Gupta( Jalandhar-urban); Mr Rajinder Singh Johal (Jalandhar-rural); Mr Rana Kuldeep Singh( Nawanshahr); Mr Sukhpal Singh Khaira( Kapurthala); Mr Bhalinder Singh( Ludhiana-rural); Mr Jagmohan Sharma ( Ludhiana-urban);Mr Romesh Dutt Sharma (Ropar); Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu (Mohali); Mr Lakhbir Singh ( Fatehgarh Sahib); Mr Tarsem Lal ( Patiala-rural); Mr P.K.Puri ( Patiala-urban); Mr Surinder Pal Singh (Sangrur); Mr Ajit Inder Singh Mofar( Mansa); Mr Narender Singh Bhuleria( Bathinda-rural); Mr Ashok Kumar(Bathinda-urban);Mr Gurnaib Singh Brar( Ferozepore); Mr Gursant Singh Brar( Muktsar); Col Babu Singh ( Moga); Mr Pawan Goel(Faridkot);andMr S.S.Shahbazpuri( Tarn Taran).

Vice-presidents: Mr Lakhmir Singh Randhawa; Mr M.M.Cheema; Ms Satinder Kaur Gujral; Ms Prem Lata; Mr Ram Rattan; Mr Tej Parkash Singh; Mr Kewal Singh (ex-MP); Mr Avtar Singh Brar; Mr Vijay Khullar; Chowdhary Santokh Singh; Mr Sajjan Kumar Jakhar; Mr Bal Mukand Sharma; Mr Kewal Singh Dhillon; Mr K.K.Sharma; Mr Gulzar Singh; Mr Raj Kumar Khuarana; Mr Hira Lal Jain; Mr Harmohinder Singh; Mr Anoop Singh; Mr Darshan Singh Brar; Ms Harchand Kaur; Ms Rajinder Kaur; Ms Veena Sharma; Ms Krishna Mittu; and Mr Ibrahim Irshad.

General secretaries: Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha; Mr Tarlochan Singh; Mr Upender Sharma; Mr Parminder Singh; Mr Inderjit Singh Basarke; Mr Om Parkash Sareen; Ms Sheelam Sohi; Mr Gurbinder Singh Atwal; Mr Jaspinder Jakhar; Prof Charan Singh; Mr Raj Pal Singh; Mr Ran Inder Singh( CM's son); Dr Malti Thapar; Mr Inder Singh Sahni; Mr Pawan Kumar Sharma, advocate; Mr K.K. Nanda; Ms Veena Sobti; Mr Ram Pal Daipei; Mr Om Pakash Gabbar; Mr Bhag Singh; Ms Tripta Mehra; Ms Surinder Kaur; Ms Gurdarshan Kaur; and Ms Sarbary Begum.

Treasurer: Mr Yoginder Kumar Aggarwal.

As many as 90 Congress leaders have been included in the executive of the party. Besides , there are 34 permanent invitees of the PCC executive.


Panchayat threatens to lock school
Harassment of martyr’s widow
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Baghelewala (Moga), June 22
In a new twist to the alleged harassment to the widow of Kargil martyr and Kirti Chakra winner lance havildar Zora Singh by acting principal of Shaheed Zora Singh government senior secondary school of Baghelewala village, the panchayat has come out in the support of martyr’s widow Manjeet Kaur.

The panchayat has decided to lock the school in protest soon after summer vacations on July 1, if Acting Principal Ravindra Shukla was not shifted till then for harassing Manjeet Kaur, a class IV employee in the school

Talking to The Tribune, village sarpanch Hardarshan Singh said the eight-member panchayat had taken a unanimous decision of locking the school in protest as they were fed up with the delay by the Punjab government in taking action against the ‘erring’ acting principal of the school.

Demanding transfer of the acting principal, Mr Hardarshan Singh said the Education Department should also suspend him for the alleged harassment and an FIR under the SC/ST act should also be registered against him.

Meanwhile Director administration in DPI (Secondary) APS Sandhu told The Tribune that he submitted the report to State Education Secretary on June 6 of the inquiry conducted by him on June 3 in this case.

To a query, he said that he had recommended the transfer of the acting principal. His transfer was in the pipeline and orders in this regard might be issued within next few days, he added.

On the other hand, Manjeet Kaur’s brother-in-law Jagdev Singh (younger brother of martyr Zora Singh) told The Tribune that a Punjab Minister was shielding the acting principal.

Meanwhile state president of the Class IV Employees Union, Karam Chand Chandaliya also warned the government that if the principal was not shifted at the earliest, he would start an agitation in favour of the martyr’s widow.

Mr Chandaliya demanded suspension and transfer of the acting principal and an FIR under the SC/ST Act for allegedly using derogatory remarks against Manjeet Kaur’s caste.

Ms Manjeet Kaur alleged that principal had asked her when she had returned after participating in a rally in Patiala some months ago. Mr Amarinder Singh ‘ne tainu ki de dita’ (What Amarinder Singh had given to you). Besides he also used derogatory remarks against her caste, she added.

Corroborating her statement, sarpanch Hardarshan Singh said he had used derogatory remarks against her in front of members of the panchayat.

Terming the allegations as baseless, acting principal Ravindra Shukla told The Tribune that Manjeet Kaur was trying to take undue benefit of her husband’s martyrdom and her caste.


No action in youth’s death case
Construction under high-tension lines
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, June 22
After battling for life for a week Manjit Singh an employee of the KD eye hospital, who had come into contact with 132 KV line died today. Body of the deceased youth was handed over to the kin for cremation after a post-morterm examination. However, the police and the PSEB authorities have failed to take action in the matter.

The PSEB authorities have forwarded a complaint to the police that the construction carried out under the 132 KV lines was illegal and so appropriate action should be taken in the matter.

However, the police when contacted said that the PSEB authorities had forwarded the complaint just as a formality that no action should be taken against them.

If they were serious in the case they should not have allowed the building to come up. Still illegal constructions are coming up under high tension wires in the area. The police has closed the matter with the registration of case under Section 174 of the CrPC with nobody being penalised for the death caused due the negligence of PSEB and people who carried out illegal construction.

It is second case of electrocution in one month in Pathankot due illegal constructions and poor maintenance of high tension lines in the town.

On May 18 Radha (5) was electrocuted today in Nehru nagar. Her leg came in contact with an electric pole in the street. The iron pole had current in it and electrocuted her.

The PSEB authorities have failed here to prevent encroachments under tension lines which also poses threat to the life of residents. Houses and commercial establishments have been constructed by people right under the 132 KV lines of the PSEB passing through the city.

As per electricity rules no construction can be carried under 132 KV lines. However, the houses and shops can be seen touching lines enclosed in premises.

Marriage place owners have taken towers supporting thigh tension line premises. Synthetic tents are erected dangerously close to power lines and poles that can lead to a tragedy.

The authorities of the PSEB, when asked, said they had given legal notice to the encroaches and if any accident took place responsibility would be on the encroaches.

However, sources said that PSEB authorities were not serious about removing encroachments. They issued notices just to save their skin. No action had been taken to remove encroachments.

The 132 KV power lines passing through Pathankot were also sensitive technically. It is a vital part of the northern gird as it connects the Joginder Nagar power house with rest of the gird. Any damage to it can cause generation loss of crores. In latest case of electrocution generation at Joginder Nagar power house was disrupted.


MLA, SAD leader among land grabbers: assn
Our Correspondent

Abohar, June 22
The Land-grabbing Victims Association led by Lt Col Onkar Nath Chopra (Retd) today faxed a memorandum to the Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, naming an MLA of the neighbouring constituency in the list of land grabbers. A member of the national general council of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) also figured in the list submitted by the association.

Others present at a hurriedly convened press conference include Ms Tej Kaur, Ms Lakhwinder Kaur, Ms Raj Kumari, Ms Reshma Devi and Ms Sudha Chhabra. They alleged that some senior political workers had not only been shielding the land mafia in the region but have also become a part of it.

Their nexus with the officials of the Revenue Department posted at Jalalabad West, Fazilka and Abohar was so strong that hope for justice had almost faded. No senior administrative officer was inclined to listen to their genuine grievances, the victims said.

Ms Tej Kaur said that her husband Harpal Singh had purchased land measuring 10 kanal in 2005. A legislator of the ruling party had some interest in the same land. Members of the legislator’s family allegedly arrived with official gunmen to press her to give up the possession of the land or else, face the consequences.

The Revenue Department had so far not transferred the ‘inteqal’ of the land in favour of the real buyer but to their surprise, its ‘girdawari’ had been transferred in favour of the family of the MLA. Lt Col Chopra exhibited copies of the official documents in support of the allegation.

Regarding the role of the SAD leader, the association alleged that though the party was out of power, the member of the SAD general council was misusing the services of his nephew posted in the Revenue Department to influence the officials here for maintaining his “illegal” possession on a piece of land that belonged to a member of the association.

Lt Col Chopra urged Ms Sonia Gandhi to get all such cases investigated by a senior officers to break the nexus between the mafia and the administration. He lamented that Abohar had become a paradise for the land mafia.


Punjab land records to be computerised in 6 months
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The Punjab Government announced the expeditious implementation of the Punjab State Area Wide Network (PAWAN), flowing out of the National e-governance Plan (NeGP) that will spend Rs 23,000 crore till next year to take the benefits of the Information Technology (IT) revolution to the common man nationwide. Once in place, PAWAN in Punjab will lead to computerisation of all land revenue records, transportation details and make most government records available at the click of a mouse over the next six to nine months.

Disclosing this here today, the Punjab’s Director I.T, Mr N.S. Kalsi, said the Punjab Government had invited global tenders for establishing of and managing PAWAN that would act as the government’s backbone network for data, voice and video communication up to the block and sub-division level. Computerisation work in general had already started in 17 districts of the state and 54 out of the 74 sub-divisions in Punjab.

The key objective of PAWAN is to make government services accessible to all citizens through a centralised electronic delivery system integrated with every department in the state.

Since the Punjab Government finds itself unequipped to handle the gigantic project on its own, it has invited tenders from reputed IT companies for designing, implementing, operating and maintaining PAWAN on ‘Build Operate and Transfer’ (BOT) basis over the period of next five years.

The company selected after August 4, the last date for submitting the tenders will have to prepare 141 sites across Punjab for the State Network Centres, 19 District Network Centres, 74 Sub-divisions Networks and 142 Block Network Centres. Mr Kalsi said that these Centres would work like “Sampark” centres being run by the Chandigarh Administration and would take information to the grassroots level.

The entire project, he said, was time-bound and will be completed in a phased, but pre- determined time frame. He said that the Punjab Government intended to use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a vehicle for effective governance and to empower its citizens.

He further disclosed that the Punjab Government had proposed to facilitate the establishment of a network of around 2500 internet enabled Information and Communication Technology (ICT) access points, termed as Common Service Centres (CSCs) in the State. The CSCs would provide high quality and cost effective video, voice and data content, in the areas of e-Government, education, health, entertainment and other possible government and private services.

Talking about the state of IT in Punjab he said there had been a tremendous increase in software exports from Punjab that had touched Rs 425 crore during the current financial year as compared to Rs 7.77 crore in 1998-99.

The registration of export units at the Software Technology Park at Mohali had increased from 100 units in 2000 to 225 units during 2005-2006.

Mr Anurag Rastogi, Managing Director, Hartron, also affirmed a similar plan for Haryana. “Haryana too is implementing the State Area Wide Network in all the 20 districts of Haryana”, he said. 


CPI to oppose wheat purchase tenders
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 22
The CPI will oppose the Centre’s move to procure wheat from the domestic market by floating tenders.

Talking to The Tribune here today, Dr Joginder Dayal, member, national executive, CPI, said the proposal to float tenders might put the food security of the country in danger as big farmers would start hoarding wheat in a big way rather than selling the crop at minimum support price (MSP). If it happened then the Central pool of the food grains would certainly face scarcity in the future.

Dr Dayal also urged the Centre to link the MSP for the crops with the price index in the light of hike in the price of diesel. He said if the MSP was linked to the price index then farmers would stop committing suicides due to non-payment of their loans.

The CPI was not in the favour of the formation of a hotchpotch third front at the national level and it wanted only an alternative to the BJP. Right now, the main challenge before the country was to find out a solution to the rising prices, especially of essential commodities.


PCS officer dies in mishap
Tribune News Service

Ropar, June 22
Lieutenant Bikramjit Singh Bajwa (retd), District Transport Officer, Gurdaspur, and his driver Lakhwinder Singh were killed on the spot when the car in which they were travelling collided head-on with a truck near Zamitgar Bhalla village in Nawanshahr district about 10 km from here. The mishap took place at about 9.15 am.

The bodies were handed over to their family members after the postmortem examination was conducted in the civil hospital, Balachaur.

The driver of the truck managed to flee from the spot. The police has registered a case of causing death by rash and negligent driving against the driver.

Lt Bajwa had shown great courage in the Kargil war during which he suffered a disability of 60 per cent. Then, he was appointed PCS officer by the state government in recognition to the great service rendered by him.

His body was cremated in Chandigarh. His cremation was attended by the Chief Secretary, Punjab, apart from a number of senior bureaucrats. 

CHANDIGARH: His father is a retired commandant of the BSF and the family resides in Phase XI, Mohali.

The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today expressed grief at the untimely demise of Lt Bajwa.

While extending his heart felt sympathies to members of the bereaved family, the CM prayed to the Almighty to grant peace to the departed soul and give courage to the family members.

The President of the PCS Officers Association, Capt P.S. Shergill said the association deeply mourned the death and will take up the matter of appointing his wife into the PCS cadre on compassionate grounds. Since Lt Bajwa had died on duty, we will seek the appointment of his wife in the same cadre, said Capt Shergill.

Mr Tejveer Singh, Deputy Commissioner, expressed grief over the untimely death of Bikramjeet Singh.


Drop in power generation leads to cuts
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Ropar, June 22
In view of a major power crisis in the state, the PSEB today imposed nine hours power cuts in small cities, 10 to 14 hours in rural areas and more than five hours in major cities. This has been done due to low power supply from hydel projects.

PSEB sources said the state had been facing a shortage of more than 300 lakh units per day. While power consumption in the state has increased by more than 1,500 lakh units, the state is getting 1,130 lakh units from various sources, including thermal, hydel and Central grid. Earlier, the power supply to the state was 1,370 lakh units per day.

They added that power consumption had increased due to paddy plantation. The farmers are now largely using tubewells for irrigation as the PSEB is supplying more power in rural areas this year in comparison to the last year. The power load due to paddy plantation has increased by about 400 lakh units per day.

BBMB sources said water inflow in Bhakhra has been reduced significantly in the past few days in comparison to the last year. The inflow of water was about 12,000 cusecs today, while last year on the same day it was 29,928 cusecs.

Earlier, the discharge of water from the Bhakhra Dam to Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan was 35,000 cusecs, but today it was 31,000 cusecs.

Mr H.M. Jain, Member Generation, PSEB, said due to less melting of snow in the catchment areas of hydel projects, the inflow of the water had been reduced drastically. 


PPCC forms disciplinary panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, today set up a disciplinary action committee of the party.

Mr Gopal Krishan Chathrath has been made chairman of the committee. Mr G.D.Joshi, Mr Ishar Singh Meharban, Mr Jagtar Singh Multani, Mr Amar Nath Billeshah, Mrs Satinder Kaur Nabha, Mr Naresh Thakur and Mr Subash Grover have been taken as members of the committee.

Mr Dullo said that all cases, including those relating to two Ministers and a Chief Parliamentary Secretary, would be handed over to the committee soon.


Woman drowns daughter, kills self
Our Correspondent

Abohar, June 22
Gurmeet Kaur, a resident of Dhaani Kabul Singh, committed suicide by jumping in front of the Haridwar-Sriganganagar Intercity Express train near Dhaani Chiragh late last night after drowning her daughter in a water tank.

According to information available, Gurmeet Kaur had given birth to twins, of which one was a female child, three weeks back. She, already, had two male children.

Her in-laws launched a search this morning after finding her missing alongwith her daughter.

The GRP took the body of the woman to the civil hospital here for post mortem. The woman’s in-laws found the body of the baby floating in a water tank later.

According to her family, Gurmeet Kaur was in depression due to unspecified reasons.

Meanwhile, another woman, Parveen Rani, reportedly hung herself with the ceiling fan and died because of poverty.

Her husband Roshan Lal had been suffering from cancer. He had been collecting scrap for a living. As his work adversely effected his health, he had to stop working.

Parveen was forced to work as domestic help in some houses. Poverty could be the reason why she committed suicide.


Jaundice cases in Amritsar localities
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 22
Many residents of the Dashmesh Nagar and Dharampura localities have reportedly been suffering from jaundice allegedly due to contaminated water supply in the area for past more than a month.

While the authorities of the Municipal Corporation and the Health Department had turned a blind eye towards the disease, the people were regretting their apathy. Residents alleged that they had written a number of letters to the MC authorities about the contaminated water supply but nothing was done to provide clean drinking water and improve the conditions.

Meanwhile, when contacted, M C officials said they would send a team checking the water supply. 


Separate pay panel sought
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 22
The Indian Ex-Services League, Punjab and Chandigarh led by Lt Col (retd) J S Mand, vice-president sought separate pay commission for Defence personnel at a meeting of the Defence Parliamentary Standing Committee held here and chaired by Mr B S V Patil, MP.

Lt Col Mand today said the terms and conditions of the service of civilian employees were different from the armed forces. Therefore, the pay commission should also be different from civil employees.

The league, putting forward its demands sought induction of retired soldiers into state police and paramilitary forces. The vice-president of league said due to terms and conditions of the military service and to keep the army young 70 per cent personnel retire between the age of 35 and 40 years and at the time of retirement their wards were not settled. He said in the interest of nation and retiring soldiers the league recommended the lateral induction of retiring soldiers up to the age of 58-60 years in paramilitary forces, the state police, private and public sectors which would also help the nation to enrol well trained and disciplined force into paramilitary forces.

Taking up another issue Col Mand also demanded old soldiers who fought world war II for the country should be given Rs 2000 monthly pension till death. He said all of them were above 75 and dependent on meagre Rs 300 pension given by the league. 


Civic elections in 2 towns

Chandigarh, June 22
The Punjab Government has decided to hold elections to two municipal committees — Mohali and Bhogpur— and byelections in seven wards in various towns between July 30 and August 6.

Byelections will be held in ward 11 of Rajpura, ward 7 of Khamano, wards 10 and 11 of Morinda, ward 13 of Kartarpur, ward 13 of Sanoure and ward 7 of Kurali. — TNS


CPM, residents to gherao pollution office

Amritsar, June 22
The Communist Party Marxist (CPM), Punjab, alongwith residents of about 12 colonies would gherao the local Pollution Control Board office on June 26, for its inaction against alleged pollution being caused by Khanna Paper Mills.

Addressing media persons here today, Jagtar Singh Karampura, secretary, CPM, Punjab, said they were forced to agitate as their requests had fallen on deaf ears. He said thousands of dwellers of about a dozen colonies located in and around Fatehgarh Churriyan by pass, where the mill is also located, had been putting up with water, air and noise pollution. He informed that colonies facing the pollution were Bab Deep Singh Colony, Suraj avenue, Chand avenue, Akash avenue, Kamla Devi avenue, Preet Nagar, Dayanand Nagar, Devi nagar, Mohan Vihar, Bhagtan Pura, Rishi vihar and up to Dashmesh avenue (Majitha by pass).

Sumit Kochar, spokesman of the mill, said the unit was located in industrial area. Refuting charges of causing pollution, he said they had installed an electric precipitator for ensuring smokeless chimney. — OC


Docs warned against pvt practice
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, June 22
The Patiala Civil Surgeon, Dr V.S. Mohi, today warned government doctors engaged in private practice. Talking to reporters here today, he said private practice was banned and strict action would be taken against doctors still resorting to private practice.

Acting on the directions of the Punjab Health Secretary, Mr D.S. Guru, Civil Surgeons have launched a campaign against corruption in government hospitals, he added.


Mahant Atma Ram honoured
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 22
Patiala Rotary International honoured Mahant Atma Ram, head of the 240-year-old Udaseen Dera Chhatta Baba Magni Ram during his lecture here.

Patiala Rotary president, Dr Ashok Gupta and the city’s personalities, including Mr Shyam Lal Gupta Navyug, theatre couple. Pran Sabharwal and Mrs Sunita Sabharwal, Mr S.K. Girdhar and Mr Manmeet S.P. Singh presented a memento, a shawl, bouquets and gifts to the Mahant in recognition of his contribution towards the promotion of human values, education, sports, theatre and arts.


20 lakh jobs in Punjab by yr-end
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 22
The Punjab Government aims to provide job opportunities to nearly 20 lakh persons by the end of the current year by going in for large scale investment in the state.

This was stated by Mrs Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha, OSD to the Punjab Chief Minister, here today. She said that mega projects to the tune of Rs 1,00 , 000 crore would be cleared by the government and provided suitable sites. She said that the state would become economically sound when investment in a big way was done here.

Mrs Garcha said recently the high-powered committee had given permission for investment to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore which would help to increase production in various fields.


Farmers begin indefinite dharna
Demand replacement of damaged transformers
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 22
Members and activists of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan), led by Mr Joginder Singh Ugrahan, state president of the union, today started an indefinite dharna in front of the office of the Superintending Engineer, Distribution, PSEB, in support of their demands. They also gheraoed the office for about two hours.

Their main demands are increase in the load of tube-well motors and replacement of the burnt or damaged transformers of those farmers, who have not paid their power bills of tube-well motors for the period when the Congress government had withdrawn free power supply facility for the tube-wells in the state. They were also demanding 16-hour uninterrupted power supply to the tube-wells, besides 24-hour domestic power supply to the rural and urban areas.

Talking to the Tribune here today, Mr Ugrahan said they would continue their dharna till their two main demands were accepted.

Among others who addressed or participated the dharna include Mr Bukan Singh Sadowal, Mr Darbara Singh Chhajla, Mr Dilbag Singh Harigarh, Mr Hardeep Singh Tallewal and Mr Balbir Singh Jhaloor, all prominent leaders of the union.


Murder case solved in 12 hrs
Our Correspondent

Abohar, June 22
The police solved a blind murder case and arrested the culprit in less than 12 hours today.

Mangal Singh, a rickshaw-puller, had not returned home in Government Seed Farm Colony here last night. His wife, Gurmeet Kaur, and son, Veeru, launched search this morning and identified the body of Mangal Singh which was recovered from the shrubs near the seed farm.

The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Arpit Shukla, formed a special investigation team comprising DSP Parampal Singh of Fazilka, Inspector Major Singh, in charge of CIA staff, and SHO Satish Malhotra.

The team zeroed in on Gurvinder Singh, alias Ginder, another rickshaw-puller, who originally belonged to Kuhadka village under Patti police station in Amritsar district.

During interrogation Ginder reportedly disclosed that he had been arranging poppy husk for Mangal Singh in the past. Some time back both of them smuggled poppy husk from Sriganganagar area in Rajasthan.

The Khuyiansarwar police arrested Ginder for smuggling poppy husk six months back but Mangal escape. Gurvinder reportedly told the police that he sent messages to Mangal from the district jail for help in his release on bail but the latter did not respond.

After his release Ginder conveyed resentment to Mangal and sought financial assistance but he expressed his inability. Last night he and Mangal consumed liquor. He offered to give lift to Mangal and on the way he hit him on the head with an iron rod, killing him on the spot.

Ginder has been arrested under Sections 302 and 201, IPC.


Bag containing Rs 1 lakh snatched
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, June 22
Three unidentified motor cycle-borne youths snatched a bag containing Rs 1 lakh from Ajay Gupta, a son of Pawan Gupta, a resident of Suraj Nagar, at Naloyian Chowk here early, this morning.

According to police sources, Ajay Gupta was an employee at a weighing bridge. He was on the way to the weighing bridge on his moped when three youths on a Hero Honda motor cycle (PB-07M-9544) snatched the bag containing Rs 1 lakh and sped away.

The Sadar police has registered an FIR under Sections 382 and 34 of the IPC in this connection.


B’desh national held
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 22
The Border Security Force (BSF) arrested Raju Mian, a resident of Phulwari (in Bangladesh), when he was trying to sneak into Pakistan through the Indo-Pak border in Ajnala tehsil here.

Mr Kulpati, company commander of 70-B Battalion, BSF, in a complaint to the Ajnala police, said on a tip-off that the Bangladesh national would try to cross over to Pakistan, the BSF jawans nabbed him.


One booked for fake relief claim

Hoshiarpur, June 22
A case against a local resident for giving fake documents for compensation for the 1984 riots has been registered at the city police station.

Police sources said Vijay Singh alias Bawa, son of Niranjan Singh of the local Sutehri Road, applied as a victim of the 1984 riots to the Deputy Commissioner for getting compensation of Rs 2 lakh.

However, an inquiry by the Deputy Commissioner’s office found the documents to be false. A case under Section 419, 420, 465, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC against Vijay Singh. — OC


Admission schedule

Amritsar, June 22
Guru Nanak Dev University has announced the admission schedule for the academic year 2006-2007. Dr R.S. Bawa, Registrar, informed that admission to arts, science and social sciences colleges would be till June 30. He said under the distance education programme, candidates could seek admission in arts and social sciences colleges up to August 31.

He said in the teaching departments and regional campuses at Jalandhar and Gurdaspur, students could seek admissions till June 30.

In the education (B.Ed) colleges, admissions would be held for M.Ed. and post-graduate diploma in Computer Applications (Teacher Education) from August 16 to 26.

Admissions to B.Sc. Agriculture (Hons), M.Sc. Agriculture (Hons) and B.Sc. (Food Science and Technology) here would be held till August 31. — OC


Controversy over school for deaf & dumb
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Ropar, June 22
The claim of the Punjab Education Department that it has set up the first deaf and dumb school of the state under a sarva shikhsha abhiyan scheme two days ago in Kherabad here has led to a controversy as the district administration was kept in the dark about the actual position of the project. The point of contention surfaced as the Education Department passed the information to the press on behalf of the Deputy Commissioner (DC), Mr Alok Sekhar, but he was not informed about it.

Besides it, the factual position that was hidden from the DC and the press is that the school has been functioning since 2002 by a nine-member group (NGO) and other supporters from their own resources in Beant Singh Nagar, and had recently shifted to Kherabad village in the rented accommodation. In April the Education Department admitted 33 children to the same school while 22 children had already been there. Now the total strength of the children was 55.

The members of the NGO claimed that they had been paying for the rent of the building where the school was running and also paying the expenses of all 55 children. On the other hand, no money was released to the school under the scheme.

But the Education Department passed information to the press and issued a press note on behalf of Deputy Commissioner on June 20. Besides it, a total Rs 10.60 crore funds had been provided to Ropar district under a sarva shikhsha abhiyan scheme.

When contacted the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Alok Sekhar, said that he was not informed by the Education Department about the information the department had been issuing on his behalf. The various projects of the Education Department had been discussed with officials of the department in the meeting.

The district coordinator of the sarva shikhsha abhiyan scheme, Mr Hazura Singh Gill, said that in the month of April “we have admitted 33 students and, thereafter, I am paying the rent of the residential accommodation of the school and deputed two teachers for students there”. He admitted that the NGO was paying the salary of some of the teachers and taking care of 22 school children.

He said that under sarva shikhsha abhiyan scheme grants has been sanctioned for the deaf and dumb school. “But I have not withdrawn any amount because I have to complete certain formalities”. He said he had spent about Rs 70,000 for school children from his own resources. He said under the scheme there would be free education and residential accommodation for the school children.


CET-Law results declared
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 22
Guru Nanak Dev University today declared the provisional results of the state-level common entrance test for law (CET-Law) conducted on June 18 for admission to the BA LLB (Hons), BA LLB and LLB courses.

Dr Sukhdev Singh, coordinator of the test, said the results would now be available on university’s website, www.gnduonline.org


Tributes paid to IET founder
Tribune News Service

Ropar, June 22
A number of persons here yesterday paid tributes to the late Gurcharan Singh, founder Chairman of IET Bhaddal, on the occasion of his third death anniversary on the college premises.

Dr V.P Singh, Principal of the college, said Gurcharan Singh was remembered for the role he played in bringing the engineering education in the Kandi area of Ropar.

He also spoke on how he made efforts for the development of the rural areas.

The Chairman of the trust, Mrs Kulwinder Gurcharan Singh, Dr H.S. Gurm, vice-chairperson, OSD to Chairperson Surinder Singh, and the DIG, Patiala Range, Mr H.S. Randhawa, paid tributes to Gurcharan Singh.


Truckers’ row ends
Tribune News Service

Ropar, June 22
The district administration yesterday claimed that it had solved the dispute between truck operators of the Ropar Co-operative Truck Operators Goods Carrier Transport Society after holding a meeting with leaders of the two groups and officials of Ambuja cement plant.

In a joint conference addressed by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Alok Sekhar, and the SSP, Ropar, Mr Kapil Dev, it was stated that Bhag Singh was the president of the transport society of Ropar while Magar Singh, who earlier claimed to be the president of the transport society, had given in writing to the administration that he would follow the society norms and would not resort to protest.

Besides it, the Deputy Commissioner said he would also enquire into the allegation of corruption against Magar Singh.

But later the president of the Punjab truck operators, Mr Tarlochan Singh, denied any compromise on the issue with the administration. He said Magar Singh was forced to give everything in writing. The strike against Ambuja cement plant would continue.


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