P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Dullo gives Bathinda (Urban) charge to
Amarinder’s son
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committees president, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, today gave the charge of party affairs of various districts to recently appointed new vice-presidents and general secretaries of the PPCC.

In all the party’s organisational setup has been divided in 24 districts following the pattern of police districts in the state.

In case of most districts, one vice-president (VP) and one general secretary (GS) have been made in charge of party affairs. However, in certain big and important districts more than one vice president and one general secretary have been given the charge.

Mr Ran Inder Singh son of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, has been given charge of Bathinda (Urban) unit of the Congress party. Mr Ran Inder Singh was recently inducted as general secretary in the party organisation by Mr Dullo.

There is speculation in the party that Mr Ran Inder Singh will contest the Assembly elections from Malwa belt. In Bathinda area, Rampura Phul and Joga constituencies suit most to Mr Ran Inder Singh.

Meanwhile, Mr Abraham Irshad,vice-president, and Mrs Surinder Kaur, general secretary have been given charge of Amritsar (urban) and Mr Lakhmir Singh Randhawa (vice-president and Prof Charan Singh(general secretary) have been given charge of Amritsar (rural) unit of the Congress party.

Chowdhary Santokh Singh, Gulzar Singh (both VPs) and Mr K.K. Nanda and Mr Om Parkash Sareen (both GSs) have been made in charge of Gurdaspur district unit, Mr Tej Parkash (VP) and Mr Bhag Singh (GS ) have been given charge of Hoshiarpur district.

Mrs Satinder Kaur Gujral (VP), Mr Malkit Singh Dakha (GS) have been made in charge of Jalandhar (urban) unit of the party. Mr Raj Kumar Khurana (VP) and Mr Dakha (GS) have been given charge of Jalandhar (rural) unit. Mrs Rajinder Kaur (VP) and Mr Raj Pal Singh (GS) have been given charge of Nawanshahr. Mr Ram Rattan (VP) and Mr Inderjit Singh Basarke (GS) have been given charge of Kapurthala district unit and Mr Vijay Khullar (VP) and Mr Gurbinder Singh Atwal (GS) have been given charge of Ludhiana (Rural and urban) units of the party. Mr Kewal Dhillon (VP) and Ms Sarbary Begum (GS) have been made in charge of Ropar district.

Mrs Prem Lata (VP) and Mr Parminder Singh (GS) have been made in charge of Mohali district unit and Mrs Krishna Mittu (VP) and Mrs Sheelam Sohi (GS) have been given charge of Fatehgarh Sahib district. Mr Sajjan Kumar Jakhar (VP) and Mr Pawan Sharma (GS) have been given charge of Patiala (rural) and Mrs Harchand Kaur (VP) and Mr Pawan Sharma (GS) have been given charge of Patiala (urban).

Mr Darshan Brar (VP) and Mrs Gurdarshan Kaur (GS) have been given charge of Sangrur district and Mr Kewal Singh (VP) of Barnala police district. Mr Bal Mukand Sharma (VP) and Mr Upender Sharma (GS) have been made in charge of Mansa district and Mr Hira Lal Jain (VP) and Mr Jaspinder Jakhar (GS) of Bathinda (rural unit). Mrs Veena Sharma (VP) and Mr Ran Inder Singh (GS) have been given charge of Bathinda (urban) unit.

Mr Avtar Singh Brar (VS) and Mr Inder Singh Sahni (GS) have been made in charge of Ferozepur and Mr Harmohinder Singh (VP) and Mr Ram Pal Dhaipi (GS) of Muktsar district. Mr Anoop Singh (VP) and Mrs Veena Sobti (GS) of Moga district and Mr K.K.Sharma (VP) and Dr Malti Thapar (GS) of Faridkot districts. Mr M.M. Cheema (VP) and Mrs Tripta Mehra (GS) have been made in charge of Tarn Taran district unit of the party.


BSP to go it alone in Punjab
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 1
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati said here today that the party would contest Assembly elections in Punjab on its own and it would have no alliance with any party.

Terming past alliances in Punjab as bad experiences, she asserted that her decision not to forge any alliance would not be reconsidered.

She said the BSP vote was transferable, claiming that certain people had not come out of the Manuvadi mentality.

She stated that the BSP base in Punjab had been growing as its vote percentage had gone up from 3.75 per cent in 2002 to 8 per cent in 2004.

Ms Mayawati was here to interact with senior party functionaries and release a booklet on how the government had hatched a conspiracy to scuttle the implementation of the Bill for granting 27 per cent reservation to OBCs.

She asserted that the BSP would oppose the Office of Profit Bill, which would be tabled in the monsoon session.

She indicated that BSP leader Kanshi Ram’s condition might not improve, adding that the case filed by his relatives had been dismissed.

Ms Mayawati was accompanied by BSP General Secretary Narendra Kashyap, state unit chief Avtaar Singh Karimpuri and state unit general secretary Pawan Tinu.


Amarinder rules out early Assembly poll

Jalandhar, July 1
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today ruled out the possibility of early Assembly elections and said the poll would be held as scheduled in February next.

Talking to mediapersons here today, he ridiculed former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s statement regarding early assembly poll. saying there was no reason for advancing elections.

Over the possibility of holding elections on the basis of new delimitation of constituencies, as suggested by the Delimitation Commission, he said the issue would be decided by the Election Commission or the Centre.

To a question about power shortage in the state, he said the state government was purchasing extra power worth Rs 25 crore daily from the Power Grid and all efforts were being made to tap other sources of power to narrow the gap between demand and supply. — UNI


Campaign to get district status for Fazilka
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, July 1
The Zila Banao Sangharsh Samiti has launched a campaign to demand district status for Fazilka subdivision during a programme held at Shaheedon Ki Samadh Sabha at the border village, Asafwala, here, today. Hundreds of people from the town and its rural area gathered on the occasion.

Mr Surjit Kumar Jyani, former local MLA, and president, BJP Kisan Morcha, Mr Jaspinder Singh Jakhar, general secretary, PPCC, Mr Sher Singh, former Jalalabad MLA, and mr Suba Singh, executive member, SGPC, were present and supported the demand of raising the status of the town.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Ranjit Singh Dhaliwal, president of the local Bar Association, and Mr Rajesh Kumar Angi, president of the samiti, said discrimination had been done with Fazilka by not being compensated after Jalalabad and Abohar subdivisions were carved out of it. Mr Dhaliwal said the local residents had to travel more than 100 km to the district headquarters at Ferozepore for their day-to-day works which was very expensive and difficult.

Mr Jyani said during his tenure he was successful to secure mini district status to Fazilka and the offices of the Additional Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police were set up. The then Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had assured to raise its status, but after the fall of the SAD-BJP government in 2002, these offices were closed.

Supporting the demand, Mr Jakhar assured the samiti members that he would meet Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Chairperson, District Reorganisation Committee, and Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, president, PPCC, to press upon the demand of district status to Fazilka. He also assured to arrange the meeting of the action committee members with these leaders.

Later on, another programme was organised at the crowded clock tower chowk by the Beopar Mandal. Mr Ashok Kumar Gulbadhar, president, and Mr Satish Kumar Dhingra, general secretary, said trade in the area was on the decline. No new industry had been set up by the government on this border subdivision to provide jobs to unemployed youth.

Mr Dhaliwal said a signature campaign had been launched by the samiti and a memorandum bearing 50,000 signatures would be given to the Chief Minister.

Representatives of various organisations, including Bar Association, Border Area Vikas Front, Indo-Pak Sulemanki International Trade Front, Punjab State Karmchari Dal, Arorvansh Sabha, Fazilka Press Club, Bhartiya Yuva Janta Morcha and Bhartiya Kisan Union also joined the protest.


Senior BJP leader joins Congress
Our Correspondent

Abohar, July 1
Prem Kalra, a senior leader of the BJP, and president of the Nasha Virodhi Samiti, today joined the Congress. Working for the BJP for years together, he had unsuccessfully contested the last municipal election on the party ticket.

Mr Kalra said the BJP had lost its original agenda and emerged as a faction-ridden organisation. Mr Kalra had led a large gathering of protesters from Nai Abadi and staged dharna near the old police station few months back to express resentment over drug mafia operating in the locality. Mr Kalra and Mr Naresh Bajaj were allegedly threatened by the drug mafia for spearheading the campaign.

Some senior BJP activists confessed on the condition of anonymity that by joining the Congress along with scores of other workers, Mr Kalra had given a major setback to the BJP, which once considered Nai Abadi as its citadel.


Mann sounds poll bugle
Tribune News Service

Mansa, July 1
The SAD (Amritsar) President, Mr Simranjeet Singh Mann, today said his party was geared up for the Assembly elections in the state and it could enter into an alliance with any party except the SAD-BJP and the Congress.

He also announced that if voted to power his party would waive off debt on farmers and farm labourers, besides facilitating free education for children of farmers and Dalits.

Addressing a party conference here, Mr Mann alleged that the law and order situation was deteriorating in the state.

He said industrialisation was the need of the hour in Punjab, as only it could generate employment for youth holding professional and technical degrees.

He said his party had reviewed the prevailing scenario in the state and concluded that “the Central as well as the successive state governments didn’t have any faith in the Punjab police and IAS officials”. He alleged that officials from other states, “who could not think of Punjab’s interests”, were being given key posts. He alleged that the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, had kept all power in his hands.

He said his party would ensure devolution of power to the grass-root level on coming to power.

Mr Mann also raised question on Z security being provided to All-India Anti-terrorist Front chief Maninderjit Singh Bitta.


Ex-jathedar to appear before Akal Takht
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 1
Prof Darshan Singh, a former Jathedar of Akal Takht, today offered to appear before Sikh clergy on certain conditions. He, however, decided to utilise this occasion to produce “sensational documentary proofs”, including audio recordings of Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti that would “put both the Sikh clergy and Akali leadership in a fix”.

Talking to The Tribune from Toronto today, Prof Darshan Singh alleged that the demand of SGPC members to summon him was raised at the behest of Shiromani Akali Dal supremo, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, who wanted to please senior BJP leaders, who were in the dock for giving clean chit to “Dewan Chandu” who had induced Emperor Jahangir for the martyrdom of Guru Arjun Dev.

The former Jathedar said that he had participated in the religious function, organised by the state government on June 16 to mark the 400th martyrdom anniversary of Guru Arjun Dev and not the Congress function. He described Capt Amarinder Singh as “much better Sikh than Mr Badal”. He said when the SGPC and SAD had forgotten to invite him, being former Jathedar of Akal Takht, there was no harm to participate in the function which was organised for the first time by the state as per Sikh Maryada where kirtan also marked the occasion.

Prof Darshan Singh said that he had indicted both Congress and BJP for the infamous Army Operation. Quoting from the Sikh history, Prof Darshan Singh said that the sixth Sikh Master, Guru Hargobind Sahib, had punished 'Dewan Chandu' who had induced Jahangir for the martyrdom of Guru Arjun Dev and not the Emperor. He alleged that the BJP leaders had lauded the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to order Army operation and dubbed her 'Mata Durga' for ordering the Operation.


“Only 3 travel on Amritsar-Nankana bus on an average”
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
Only three passengers on an average travel during each trip of the Amritsar- Nankana Sahib bus and only 14 passengers travel in the bus from Amritsar to Lahore.

Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, Member of Parliament from this constituency, said various impediments were responsible for the lukewarm response from people. He said difficult visa procedures, police vetting and huge bus fares were discouraging factors.

Mr Sidhu said according to the government report, the Amritsar - Lahore bus, which commenced on January 20, this year, had made 92 trips till June 28 to carry only 1,299 passengers against the expected figure of nearly 4,000 . The Amritsar - Nankana bus, which commenced on March 24 this year, had fared even worse. It made 56 trips to Nankana Sahib to take only 185 passengers against the expected 2,400 till June 28.

At present, a family from Punjab had to spend Rs 3,000 to get visa from the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi. For a common man it was a big amount. In some cases, people were not given visas and had to come back empty-handed .

Mr Sidhu said if the Delhi-Lahore bus fare pattern was applied in case Amritsar-Lahore and Amritsar-Nankana Sahib buses, the rates would be only Rs 169.40 and Rs 411.40 per passenger, respectively. There is an urgent need to reconsider the fare of the two bus routes to Pakistan from Amritsar.

Then there was issue of the police vetting. While getting police clearance certificates (PCC), one has to fill a performa which is to be stamped not only by the local police station but also by the CID Department and a recommendation of a gazetted officer of the area is also required.

However, passengers, who board in Delhi for the Delhi-Lahore bus, need not to give any such police clearance certificate.


Special Report
Strict law needed to deal with NRI marriages
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Dalvir Kaur’s husband is PO

Tej Mohinder Singh, husband of Ms Dalvir Kaur, who got a US court to issue a divorce decree in his favour on January 5, 2004, has been hoodwinking the Punjab Police and the courts also.

In his report sent to the Punjab State Commission for Women on May 26, the SSP, Hoshiarpur, has said that the police started investigating Ms Dalvir's allegation of harassment at the hands of her husband and in-laws after she filed a complaint. An FIR in this connection was registered on July 6, 2003. However, when the cops went to question Tej Mohinder Singh and his mother, they found that both had already left for the US.

When, despite repeated attempts, Tej Mohinder did not join investigations, he was declared a proclaimed offender on October 30, 2004.

The challan in the matter was filed in the court on November 7, 2004.

Chandigarh, July 1
On June 21, the Chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW) talked of the need for enacting a comprehensive legislation within the framework of Indian laws to tackle the problems related to NRI marriages.

Speaking at the concluding session of a workshop on problems relating to NRI marriages, the Chairperson, Ms Girija Vyas, also expressed concern over the rising number of cases, particularly in Punjab, where "holiday wives" are becoming victims of the "pleasure-seeking NRIs who come to India, marry girls in a hurry and then dump them here never to return". Here's something that could enlighten her further.

Between 2003 and April 30, 2006, the Punjab Police registered 117 FIRs against NRIs who have abandoned their Indian wives.

Jalandhar and the rest of the Doaba region is the biggest contributor to these figures.

" A total of 117 is just the number of FIRs that were registered against husbands who have abandoned their wives. If one takes into consideration the other types of cases that stand registered against the NRI grooms, then the figures would be much more. Also, don't forget the cases that go unreported for various reasons," remarks Punjab and Haryana High Court lawyer Charanjit Singh Bakshi.

Mr Bakshi should certainly know what he's talking about.

For, he is himself handling cases of many of the abandoned wives.

According to figures, a total of 42 FIRs were registered in various districts against NRI husbands for having abandoned their wives in 2003. The figures for the successive years are: 35 (2004), 31 (2004) and nine (till April 30, 2006).

What makes the ordeal of the abandoned wives and their families all the more difficult is that not only did the NRI husbands ditch the women, in a majority of cases, they also took the dowry that came with the marriage. And, in many cases, the wife is left to take care of not just herself but also children born out of the wedlock.

"In majority of the cases, the husbands simply marry somebody else in their adopted country. We have seen cases where the girl's family didn't even have the correct address of the groom. A law is certainly need of the hour to tackle this menace," says Punjab State Commission for Women Chairperson Parminder Kaur.

Sometime back, The Tribune had highlighted the case of Ms Dalvir Kaur of Hoshiarpur, whose US-based husband had divorced her by allegedly misleading a US court.

After coming to know that her husband had managed to hood-wink a US court and secure a divorce decree, Ms Dalvir Kaur took legal assistance and informed the US court about her side of the story. Presently, she is in the US to pursue her case.

Following The Tribune report, the Chairperson of the Punjab State Commission for Women, Ms Parminder Kaur, had sought a report from the SSP, Hoshiarpur, about her case and a separate report from the Additional Director General of Police (Crime), Punjab, detailing all cases registered in Punjab regarding NRI husbands abandoning their wives.

If experts are to be believed, Ms Dalvir Kaur's plight is shared by many others too.

"Ms Dalvir somehow managed to come to know about her husband's treachery. There are scores of others like her, who don't even know where their husbands are. And, even the law enforcing agencies express helplessness in dealing with such situations," says Mr Bakshi.

Meanwhile, sources say the Punjab State Commission for Women has already taken up the matter with the NCW and is pushing for a strict law to deal with the situation.


World Bank to fund road project: Amarinder
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, July 1
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today said a World Bank team had been apprised of the project of 1,100 km of roads in the state, for which it would give $ 325 million.

He was addressing mediapersons after inaugurating a suvidha centre and a suvidha snacks counter, set up at an estimated cost of Rs 1 crore, at the Deputy Commissioner office complex here.

He said a four-member World Bank team, led by Ms Isabel Chatterton, senior economist, called on him yesterday and acceded to the long-pending request of the state government to sanction funds for the road project.

He said the World Bank team commended the pace of development and the improvement in fiscal indicators.

The final round of negotiations would be held in September and the project was likely to begin in October.

Appreciating the initiative of the local administration for setting up the suvidha centre within four months, he said it would be a role model for other districts and was a positive step towards ensuring transparency and accountability in the civil administration.

Deputy Commissioner Krishan Kumar apprised him of the services being provided at the centre, where a toll-free round-the-clock telephone (555501) had been installed.

Addressing mediapersons, the Chief Minister said the government had implemented 65 of its 66 poll promises.

He said the Cabinet had approved the Rs 5,000-crore project of the Reliance Retail Limited and a memorandum of understanding would be signed shortly so that the company could establish 350 rural business hubs in the state.

He ridiculed Shiromani Akali Dal President Parkash Singh Badal for raking up the issue time and again for vested political interests.

Capt Amarinder Singh said the empowered committee on mega-projects had approved 218 projects worth Rs 73,000 crore, which were at different stages of implementation.

He said the committee would impress upon prospective investors and entrepreneurs to set up ventures in the Nawanshahr, Gurdaspur and Mansa districts, which were industrially backward.

He said the construction of the Nawanshahr bypass was under the consideration of the government and would be undertaken on a priority basis.

The Chief Minister was accompanied by MLAs Parkash Singh and Tarlochan Singh Soondh.


Irate over poor result, villagers lock school
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

(Saheri) Ropar, July 1
In the second such incident in the district reportedly due to the poor result of Class VIII, villagers and members of the panchayat today locked Middle School, Saheri, near Morinda, about 18 km from here, as a mark of protest.

Of the 33 students who appeared for the examination conducted by the Punjab School Education Board, only one student passed, five got compartment and 27 failed.

The villagers demanded transfer of all teachers, who, they said, were responsible for the poor result.

Earlier, poor results of classes VIII and X at Senior Secondary School, Duggri, led to protest on the schools premises by villagers on June 14. As many as 83 of the 85 students who appeared for the Class VIII examination failed, while in Class X, 31 of the 45 students failed. Here also, the villagers demanded transfer of all teachers of the school.

The situated aggravated in Middle School, Saheri, in the morning when villagers, whose children failed, accompanied by members of the panchayat and the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) gathered on the schools premises to express their resentment against the poor result.

They alleged that in the past few years, the school had shown poor results.

“There are seven teachers for 73 students in the school here, but results indicate lack of interest on the part of the teachers. If the Education Department takes action against the teachers, only then can things improve,” said the president of the PTA, Mr Udam Singh.

Mr Jagwinder Singh, Sarpanch of the village, said the result of the school had exposed lack of interest on the part of the teachers. “We locked the school as no one has taken any action so far despite the repeated poor result of the school,” he added.

The District Education Officer (Secondary), Mr Darshan Singh, said he spoke to the PTA president about the situation and had called him and the villagers to discuss the matter on Monday. He said he had advised them not to lock the school as it would serve no purpose.


Quota no solution for uplift of SCs, BCs: federation
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, July 1
Reservation is not a solution for the uplift of the Scheduled Castes (SCs), Backward Classes (BCs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs), as with caste-based reservation, the economically weak SCs, BCs and OBCs can not reach the desired goal. The major part of the quota benefits are being availed only by the creamy layer of these castes.

This was stated here by Mr Harbans Singh Sidhu, president of the General Categories Welfare Federation, Punjab. He said the federation was not only opposing caste-based reservation in the country but also NRI and management quota in higher educational institutions.

Mr Sidhu said separate reservation for OBCs in higher educational institutions and jobs was virtually dividing society. He said the federation was in favour of helping the poor of all sections of society, but opposed the caste-based reservation policies of the government.

Mr Sidhu further said that due to the wrong reservation policies of the

government, the Jats of Punjab had also started demanding reservation in educational institutions and jobs on the pattern of the Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar etc. He said in place of thinking about reservation for Jats, the government should offer them remunerative prices for their crops and agricultural inputs at cheap rates.


BJP alleges false cases against party leaders
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, July 1
Local members of the BJP today threatened to launch an agitation alleging fabricated cases against its leaders. A former minister of the BJP, Mr Mohan Lal, at a press conference held here today, alleged that the party sarpanches were being harassed on the behest of local Congress leaders.

The Dhar police has recently booked the sarpanch of Donera, Ms Nita Pathania, on a “false” compliant. The sarpanch came to know about the registration of the case against her only when some policemen came to arrest her.

Ms Pathania, who was also present at the press conference, said she had sorted out a land dispute between two villagers — Lodhi Ram and Kishori Lal. However, a few days later, the police registered a case against her and another member of the panchayat Ashok Sharma under Sections 447, 511 and 506 of the IPC for being involved in the dispute.

Mr Mohan Lal said Ms Pathania had been implicated in false case and the party leaders would meet the SSP Gurdaspur, Mr P.S. Umranangal, for getting the FIR quashed. He, however, threatened to launch a protest if the authorities fail to withdraw the case.


15 doctors found absent from duty
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, July 1
Out of a total of 20 doctors, about 15 doctors, were found absent from duty at about 8.10 am yesterday when a Vigilance team of the Punjab Health Department raided the local civil hospital. The team, including Dr Vijay Kakkar, SMO, Vigilance, Health Department, found Dr H. S. Bali, SMO, and only four other doctors present during the surprise checking by it.

Dr Bali told The Tribune in the evening that the Vigilance team had taken photostat copies of the attendance register with it. He also said there was a provision that a doctor could avail two hours’ relaxation in his duty in the morning hours if he had performed duty in the night or performed operations in the wee hours of the morning. He said he would give a reply to the departmental authorities as and when he received any intimation from the Directorate of Health Department about the doctors found today absent from duty.

The Sangrur Civil Surgeon, Dr S. K. Bansal, when contacted at about 6.30 pm said he had not received any report in this regard so far.


Sold for Rs 800, Budhia is  now child prodigy
Chander Parkash and  Ravi Dhaliwal

Patiala, July 1
Like Hollywood actor Jackie Chan, young Budhia Singh too was sold by his mother. Only the rates varied. Jackie Chan’s mother got $ 50 while Budhia was sold for just Rs 800. The other similarity is that both Chan and Budhia are now household names albeit in different fields.

Budhia was at the National Institute of Sports (NIS) here today along with his coach Biranchi Das, NIS qualified judo coach, who had landed at the institute on a personal visit.

It was as a punishment that four years and three months’ old Budhia was asked to run the length and breadth of a judo  hall by Biranchi Das, a coach posted in Bhubaneswar — a city where Budhia first made the world know that a child prodigy had emerged on the athletic firmament.

From then onwards, Budhia has never looked back and now is on the brink of creating history as he braces himself to see his name in the prestigious Guinness Book of World Records.

Biranchi disclosed that when Budhia ran the race of his life covering 65 km from Puri to Bhubaneswar in seven hours and two minutes, there were at least 400 reporters of various newspapers, news channels and websites present to cover the event.

Budhia, after the run, managed to etch his name in the Limca Book of World Records.

The coach disclosed that he would be travelling to London next week to get in touch with the Guinness Book of World Records officials so that Budhia’s name could be entered in the book.


Pak releases 20 fishermen
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 1
The Pakistan Government today released 20 fishermen at the Wagah joint check post here. They belonging to Gujarat and had inadvertently crossed to the Pakistani side due to a thunderstorm in sea.

Major Faizal Haider of the Pakistan Sutlej Rangers and Mr A. K. Badouria, Assistant Commandant of the Border Security Force, were present on the occasion.

Talking to mediapersons after their release from Pakistan, a fisherman, Ashwani, said he was caught while catching fish and had unintentionally crossed into the Pakistani territory.

He claimed there were nearly 422 more Indian fishermen languishing in Karachi Jail. He alleged they were living in pitiable conditions and were not given full meals. They were put to hard labor like digging lands and breaking stones.

The fishermen urged both governments to release their boats as these were their only source of income.


Badal mourns Walia’s death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
The SAD president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and other former Akali ministers have expressed grief over the death of party’s senior leader Jagdish Singh Walia, former Chairman of Markfed from Batala.

In a statement, Mr Badal said Jagdish Walia was a dedicated and loyal party leader.

Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, Mr Sucha Singh Langah, Mr Sewa Singh Sekhwan, Mr Nirmal Singh Kahlon, Dr Daljit Singh Cheema and Capt Kanwaljit Singh also expressed grief over the death of Walia.


Builder-official nexus alleged
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 1
The Majha Ex-Servicemen Human Rights Front has alleged that revenue officials along with policemen and builders are cheating the residents by forcing them to sell their property at throwaway prices.

Addressing mediapersons here yesterday, Col G.S. Sandhu (retd) said the police failed to hand over three kanals of prime land in Patti, a subdivision of Tarn Taran, to its owner despite its own inquiry, which held the auction to sell the property illegal.


Lover kills woman

Patiala, July 1
A young woman, Geeta, was done to death with sharp-edged weapons, allegedly by her paramour in the Aman Nagar locality of this city yesterday.

Geeta, who was admitted to Government Rajindra Hospital, died today and a case under Section 302, IPC, was registered this evening.

Geeta allegedly had a quarrel with Sukhwinder Singh with whom she was living for the past few years, following which she threatened to commit suicide. However, Sukhwinder cajoled her and took her back to their house where he repeatedly stabbed her with a sharp-edged weapon. TNS


Tribune Impact
Acting Principal shifted for harassing martyr’s widow
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Baghelewala (Moga), July 1
Taking serious note of the last week decision of the Baghelewala panchayat to lock Shaheed Zora Singh Government Senior Secondary School located in the village in protest, the state Education Department has transferred its acting Principal Ravindra Shukla with immediate effect.

In its unanimous decision, the panchayat had threatened that if Mr Shukla were not shifted for allegedly harassing Manjeet Kaur, the widow of Kargil martyr and Kirti Chakra awardee havildar Zora Singh, it would lock the school in protest soon after the summer vacation on July 1. Manjeet Kaur has been working as a Class IV employee in the school since her husband’s death.

However, the Education Department shifted Mr Shukla on June 29, two days before the reopening of the school.

The DPI (Secondary) issued the orders of Shukla’s transfer with immediate effect from Baghelewala to Government High School, Amin Ganj, in Ferozepore district on June 29, the sources in the Education Department told The Tribune.

The Tribune had carried three special stories on different dates in June about the alleged harassment of the martyr’s widow.

Meanwhile, expressing happiness at Mr Shukla’s transfer, martyr Zora Singh’s younger brother Gurdev Singh demanded that he should be suspended and an FIR under the SC/ST Act should be registered against him for allegedly using derogatory remarks against Manjeet Kaur’s caste.

Expressing gratitude to The Tribune for highlighting their issue, Mr Gurdev Singh said as many as 35 organisations, including INTUC, BSP, BSM, SC/BC Teachers Union, Moga, and SC/BC Sarpanch Panch Namardar Union, Moga, would hold a demonstration outside the DC office, Moga, to press their demand for lodging an FIR against Mr Shukla and his suspension.

Meanwhile, village panchayat thanked Mr Sandhu for conducting a free and fair inquiry and Mr Karam Singh Chandaliya, state president of INTUC Class IV employees Union of Education Department, for pursuing Manjeet Kaur’s cause effectively.

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


Animated website by Pathankot boy
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, July 1
Don’t get surprised if you receive e-mails with moving text next time on your PC. Mayank Mahajan, a resident of Pathankot and 1st year student of Computer Science and Engineering of Guru Nanak Dev University, has made it possible.

He has designed a website using six computer languages through which one can send moving message. While talking to The Tribune, Mayank said he had named his e-mail service as earthworm animated messaging service. Five computer languages, comprising javascript, HTML, macromedia flash action script, CSS and PHP, have been used for preparing the e-mail service.

The new service would give an option to the users to send moving text in their mails instead of old static format. The website is animated and generates earthquake effect on visiting its homepage. Title of the window also keeps on changing continuously unlike ordinary websites. Various mysterious objects also appear on the website.

Mayank said his next step would be to add visual effects to e-mails and bring about a change in the way of sending e-mails.


All set for PMET today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
Fortyone examination centres have been set up in Chandigarh to conduct the Punjab Medical Entrance Test (PMET) tomorrow by the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot.

Mr S.P. Dhawan, Controller of Examination, said 10,196 candidates would appear in the examination. Those who did not receive the admit card could get it on Sunday till 8.30 am from the Panjab University guest house; Lajpat Rai Bhavan, Sector 15; SD College, Sector 32; SGGS College for Men, Sector 26; and the DRME office, Sector 40.


IT park planned at Banur
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, July 1
Dr IT Planets Limited, a name to reckon with in the field of information technology and IT-enabled services, is all set to convert Banur into an IT hub of the region.

With a view to provide world-class IT education and research, the company will set up “Dr IT Planets Research and Technology Park” at Ramnagar (Banur) on the Chandigarh-Patiala highway.

“The aim is to set up a state-of-the-art education and research facility in Chandigarh’s vicinity,” Mr M.K. Mahajan, Chairman of Dr IT Planets Limited, told The Tribune here today.

To be set under the auspices of the Shrimati Kaushalya Devi Memorial Educational and Charitable Trust, the technology park would be set up on an area of 5.5 acre on the strategic highway located at an equal distance from Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula.

Mr Mahajan said with the Chandigarh capital region emerging as the IT hub of the region, the demand for skilled IT manpower was the need of the hour.

The technology park at Banur would try to fill the gaps in the trained manpower requirements of the IT and IT-enabled services, Mr Mahajan asserted.

In fact, the project got off to a religious start recently with Jagatguru Shankaracharya Madhwashram Ji Maharaj performing the “bhoomi poojan” ceremony.

Dr IT Planets Limited seemed to be having the right credentials for the setting up of such an ambitious venture.

An ISO 9001-2000 company, Dr IT Planets already have a fully equipped 400-seat call centre in operation to cater to the needs of the domestic and international clients. In fact, it is planning another 1,000-seat call centre/BPO facility at Noida, besides similar facility at Mohali.

Meanwhile, the setting up of the technology park has been hailed by the managements of surrounding engineering colleges.

“As Chandigarh’s periphery was emerging a major IT hub, the setting up of the technology park would prove to be a boon for the IT students and IT professionals,” Mr Manmohan Garg, CEO of the Swami Vivekanand Institute of Engineering and Technology(SVIET), said.

Observers felt that strategic location, coupled with the coming IT boom in the region should go a long way in the success of the technology park. Already, the SVIET had announced the setting up of the first private-sector technology park at Banur.


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