P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Darbar Sahib manager, two secretaries shifted
Panthic bodies oppose Akal Takht directive against Mann
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 3
A day after the unprecedented clash in the Golden Temple complex, the SGPC President, Mr Avtar Singh, today ordered the transfers of the Manager of Darbar Sahib and two secretaries along with ‘strict warning’ that would be filed in their service books, squarely blaming for the ‘sordid incident’.

With this, the annual increment of these beleaguered high SGPC officials — Mr Roop Singh, Mr Dilmegh Singh and Mr Waryam Singh — would be stopped. The reversion of some employees has also been ordered.

Interestingly, Mr Roop Singh who has been indicted for having failed to make proper arrangements for the quadricentennial celebrations had retuned from the USA to a couple of days before the celebrations. He had gone with the SGPC chief on official duty to the USA even though his services were required in Amritsar to make arrangements for the celebrations.

Meanwhile, the Sikh Students Federation (Mehta) today burnt the effigy of Mr Mann for allegedly creating a ruckus at the time of the 400th anniversary celebrations of Akal Takht yesterday.

Meanwhile, the Akali Dal (Amritsar) has convened an emergency meeting of Panthic organisations here tomorrow against the directive of the Sikh clergy for ‘virtual boycott’ of its president Simranjit Singh Mann and five other senior leaders of the party. The Sikh organisations that have been invited for the meeting include the Shiromani Khalsa Panchayat, SAD and Dal Khalsa.

Bhai Mohkam Singh, spokesman of Damdami Taksal, and UK-based Dal Khalsa leader Manmohan Singh have expressed their concern over yesterday’s incident and blamed Mr Parkash Singh Badal, president, Shiromani Akali Dal, for it.

They said Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar of Akal Takht, had failed to perform his duty. They said it was most unfortunate that the SGPC had played a partisan role by not allowing Mr Mann to address the Sikh Sangat while non-Sikhs were given time.

On the other hand, the radical Sikh organisations have already announced that the Jathedars’ directive against Mr Mann and his party leaders was unacceptable. Leaders of the Dal Khalsa H. S. Dhami and secretary Kanwar Pal Singh in a statement said the jathedar of Akal Takht and four others had divided the community by acting in a biased manner.

Though senior SGPC officials have been made scapegoats, Mr Dilmeg Singh, secretary, has proceeded on four days’ leave.

Former Jathedar Akal Takht, Prof Darshan Singh alleged that the directive against Mr Mann and his leaders was pronounced at the behest of Mr Parkash Singh Badal. He called upon the Sikh masses to liberate the gurdwaras from such mahants.

Mr Parmjit Singh Sarna, president, SAD (Delhi), Mr Harwinder Singh Sarna, president, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, and Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, SGPC member, said the Shiromani Committee tried to convert its religious stage into a ‘Badal rally’ . They said that whenever the SGPC organised religious stages at Fatehgarh Sahib, Muktsar or Chamkaur Sahib, leaders of various Akali factions were allowed to address the sangat from the SGPC stages.


Mann blames SGPC chief, Badal for hooliganism at Akal Takht
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, July 3
Accusing the Sikh priests of acting in a partisan manner, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, President, SAD (Amritsar), stated he was being made a scapegoat under a well-thought out conspiracy hatched by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Mr Avtar Singh, SGPC chief and a few others to humiliate him.

Talking to reporters at PWD Rest House here today morning, Mr Mann termed yesterday’s incident where Sikh Sangat saw attack with swords and lathis in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib as “unfortunate”, but added everything was done at the instance of Mr Badal who gave a political colour to a religious event by asking Sikh Sangat to vote him to power in the coming Assembly elections.

Calling himself a “humble Sikh”, Mr Mann said he had devoted his life for the cause of Panth and even relinquished service as an IPS officer to safeguard interests of the Sikhs but was being labelled a traitor at the instance of people who had hijacked the panthic agenda and were pursuing their interests in the name of Panth.

Mr Mann said he was not given a chance to clear his position and a unilateral decision was taken against him in violation of the principle of natural justice. Mr Mann said he was denied opportunity to speak on the occasion whereas persons like Kuldip Nayyar were allowed to address the sangat.

Mr Mann said there was nothing like Sikh leadership in Punjab and persons like Mr Badal, Mr Barnala, Mr Amarinder Singh had compromised interests of the Sikhs for power and money.

Attacking the Congress regime in the state, Mr Mann said the law and order condition in the state was in a shambles and the Dalit Sikhs were under repression unleashed by the Chief Minister and his coterie. He said the Congress leaders had no faith in officers of the Punjab Police and an outsider was brought in by the Congress government to suit political vested interests.

Mr Mann named several officials, including present DGP, Mr S.S. Virk (Maharashtra cadre), Mr K.P.S. Gill (Assam cadre), Mr J.F. Ribeiro (Maharashtra cadre), Mr P.S. Bhinder (UT cadre) who had been appointed police chief in the state ignoring state cadre officers for the top slot.

Mr Mann further said the Congress government in the state has failed on all fronts. He said though the Congress-led UPA government was at the Centre, Amarinder Singh had failed to capitalise on that and the miseries of the farmers in Punjab had increased. He said there was no electricity for the poor today, whereas four PSEB feeders were supplying uninterrupted direct power at the CM Residence in Moti Bagh Palace, Patiala.


Sikh bodies decry Manji Sahib Diwan Hall incident
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 3
Various Sikh organisations and intellectuals today condemned yesterday’s ‘unfortunate’ incident in Manji Sahib Diwan Hall (Golden Temple) in which the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) led by Mr Simranjit Singh Mann and Shiromani Committee activists clashed and indulged in hooliganism in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib and five high priests on the occasion of 400th anniversary relating to the foundation of Akal Takht.

The incident drew flak from all sections of society and the Sikh community as the Bhog and Ardas of Akhand Path on the occasion could not be performed.

Mr Darshan Singh Khalsa, a former Jathedar of Akal Takht, said the incident had lowered the prestige of the Sikh Panth. He said the so-called Panthic leaders had denigrated the Panth. He said all panthic organisations should come to a common platform to free Akal Takht from the clutches of political parties using the Sikhs’ prime seat for vested interests.

Mr Daljit Singh Sandhu, district president, SAD (1920), urged the Jathedar, Akal Takht, to summon leaders of both factions and issue warnings to them so that such incidents did not reoccur. He said the SGPC chief should not adopt a partisan role but to take it in a balanced manner. He alleged Mr Parkash Singh Badal, president, SAD, was using religion to promote political ends.

Mr Jaswant Singh Mann, president, All-India Shiromani Akali Dal, blamed Mr Badal and Mr Mann for yesterday’s incident. He urged the Jathedar of Akal Takht to take stern action against both groups.

Bibi Jagir Kaur, former SGPC chief, blamed Mr Mann for the incident and said that the incident highlighted inconsistent approach to Panthic affairs. Bibi Kartar Kaur, Chairperson, Sarab Sanjha Rangreta Dal, has also urged the Jathedar that Mr Badal and Mr Mann should be punished for their irresponsible behaviour and role at the function.

Jathedar Akal Takht Joginder Singh Vedanti should summon Mr Parkash Singh Badal, president, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), and Mr Simranjit Singh Mann SAD (A), for the pandemonium, at Manji Sahib Dewan Hall yesterday, said Mr Gurinder Singh (Sabhi) General Secretary, PPCC (SC/ST Cell) in a release to the press.


Paper leak: officials of 2 varsities trade charges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
Panjab University would be declaring results of the Punjab PMET examination within this week. This was decided at a joint meeting of PU Vice-Chancellor Prof K N Pathak and Baba Farid University VC Dr Ravinder Singh held here today.

Preparations for B.Ed exam

Following the CET and PMET fiasco Panjab University would now review the entire preparations for the BEd entrance test to be conducted by the university on July 8. Over 40000 students are appearing for the test for admission to over 114 BEd colleges in the state.

Officials of the two universities also traded charges regarding the leakage of the original question papers which PU had got printed for the test.

Laying all speculation regarding the possibility of cancellation of the test to rest, highly placed sources said it had been established since the question paper has been switched the test which was finally held was entirely fair.

Even as the Baba Farid University authorities squarely blamed the PU authorities for the leakage, PU was also under criticism from all quarters, including the Punjab Government, for the slipshod manner in which it went about doing the job entrusted to it.

The PU VC had been forwarded an e-mail by Baba Farid University warning him about the possibility of a leakage at about 3pm on July 2. However, PU did not have any contingency plan to follow in case of a last-minute paper leakage.

It is learnt while alternative question papers were kept ready by PU, they would have needed at least 24 hours for getting these printed.

As a result the alternative question papers which were finally used were the ones printed and kept ready by Baba Farid University.

Refusing to divulge any details regarding the possibility of involvement of PU employees in the leakage at stages when the question papers were set and sent for printing, Prof Pathak said an inquiry into this aspect had been marked and the report was awaited.

He added that the Chandigarh Police had asked for certain details which had been furnished to them.

Sources also pointed out that PU had given the task of getting question papers printed from the same printer who had been responsible for the cancellation of the CET conducted by the university. The printer had on that occasion failed to deliver the question papers on time.

A preliminary inquiry into the incident had indicted the printer and recommended strict action against him, including blacklisting him.

The report had also asked the university to evolve a foolproof system of conducting entrance tests. However, the university, pointed out sources, did the same mistake again this time.

The Controller of Examination too had been held responsible for the faux pas and was served a charge-sheet in the case.

However, this time too the VC had entrusted the responsibility of conducting the PMET to him.


PMET results on July 6
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
The Baba Farid University of Health Sciences will declare the results of the Punjab Medical Entrance Test (PMET) on July 6.

Mr S.P. Dhawan, Controller, Examinations, said:" We are getting the answersheets evaluated and will most probably declare the results on July 6". The results would be put on the website of the university.

Mr Dhawan said the contingency plan prepared by the university to deal with the situation in the case of a question paper leak had saved candidates and their parents from harassment. Meanwhile, the university has decided not to outsource any job related to examinations.


Duggri villagers lock yet another school
Tribune News Service

Ropar, July 3
In a span of three days villagers today locked another government school in Duggri village, about 10 km from here because of its poor result of Class VIII and X.

The villagers took the step as the Education Department had failed to fulfil their demand for transfer of all teachers of the school till July 1. Eightythree of the 85 students, who had appeared for the Class VIII examination, failed while in the Class X 31 out of 45 students could not clear the examination.

On Saturday the villagers and panchayat members had locked the middle school, Saheri, demanding transfer of all teachers who were responsible for the poor result.

A large number of villagers of six villages, mostly parents of the children studying in the school, gathered on the premises of the Government High School, Duggri, along with panchayat members about 8 am. They said during their protest at the school on June 14 the Education Department had assured them of the transfer of all teachers till July 1, but as no action had been taken they had to close the school.

On coming to know that the school had been locked by the villagers the District Education Officer (Secondary), Mr Darshan Singh, reached the school to pacify the villagers. But, as the villagers remained adamant on the transfer of all teachers.

The DEO (Secondary) assured them that he would forward their plea to transfer the head of school and teachers who were responsible for the poor result to the DPI (Punjab) after checking the details of the results .

Following his assurance the villagers opened the school. The Sarpanch of Duggri village, Mr Manjit Singh, said they would stage a protest if their demand was not fulfilled.

Mr Darshan Singh said the in charge of the school had been divested of the power.


Badal promises to waive farmers’ loans
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
The President of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today declared that his party would completely waive farmers' loans in Punjab if it was voted to power in the coming Assembly poll.

Mr Badal said the refusal of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to announce a waiver of agricultural loans in Punjab showed the neglect of the state by the Congress government.

In a statement here, Mr Badal said the Prime Minister had rubbed salt into the wounds of the Punjab farmers by refusing to accord top priority to the announcement of a relief package related to debt waiver. He also held the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, responsible for the low priority given to Punjab, which was not only the leading agricultural state of the county but also the largest contributor to the national food kitty.

Mr Badal said Punjab was the worst sufferer in the matter of farmers' suicides due to economic hardships. He said the total debt liability of the state's farmers was Rs 24,000 crore at the start of this year and it was likely to go up to Rs 32,000 crore by the end of the year. Mr Badal said successive Congress regimes had been adopting "anti-farmer" policies.

Mr Badal said the gross expenditure on agriculture by the state's farmers had registered an increase of Rs 3,700 crore. The hike in the diesel price alone accounted for Rs 1,700 crore of additional expenditure. Mr Badal said that while diesel was made available to Punjab farmers at Rs 17.50 (peak price) during the NDA regime, its price had doubled during the Congress regime at the Centre and stood at Rs 32.50 per litre.


SAD-BJP dharna before DC’s office tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Abohar, July 3
BJP president Rajnath Singh and SAD (B) chief Parkash Singh Badal will lead a dharna outside the office of the Deputy Commissioner at Ferozepore on July 5. State BJP president Avinash Rai Khanna and other senior leaders will also join them.

Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Shamsher Singh Dullo had announced to hold after taking over charge that district-level rallies to highlight achievements of the governments led by the Congress in Punjab and New Delhi but the party failed to do so. Even after reorganising the state unit the Congress merely reiterated its wish but could not plan it.

The BJP held a rally at Fazilka a few months back with Mr Rajnath Singh as chief guest. Though contenders for party ticket had spent nearly Rs 10 lakh from their “own resources” on fixing hoardings on road-sides to make it eye-catching Mr Rajnath Singh had to cancel his rath yatra due to the death of the party’s secretary Pramod Mahajan.

SAD chief Mr Badal had addressed a public meeting at Ferozepore without involving the BJP. Now the SAD-BJP alliance, all of a sudden, decided to hold a dharna and a rally at the district headquarters on Wednesday. A message was today flashed to all units of the BJP and the SAD in the districts to start mobilising people for the rally.

Dr Ram Kumar Goyal, former BJP MLA and a contender for party’s ticket for Vidhan Sabha elections, this evening lambasted the Congress for unprecedented rise in prices besides wrong import-export policies. He gave a call to party workers to assemble at his clinic on Wednesday morning for joining the motorcade to Ferozepore.


Illegal sawmills throw norms to winds
Tribune News Service

Hoshiarpur, July 3
Closure notices issued by the Department of Forest notwithstanding, illegal sawmills continue to operate in the district with impunity.

These mills operate from the Mukerian-Talwara road, near Talwara and in grave violation of the norms, most of these fall within 10 km of the protected forest area.

According to sources, these roadside mills have not sought mandatory clearance from the Department of Forest.

Such mills can only be set up after deposition of compensatory forest amount with the department as is done in case of opening a petrol station.

However, very few sawmill operators have deposited the compensatory amount with the department.

The department issued closure notice to the illegal mills operating in the district after a special committee formed by the Supreme Court summoned Punjab Chief Secretary to give status report on the illegal sawmills operating in the state.

In its order passed in 2002, the Supreme Court had banned setting up of sawmills within 10 km of the protected forest land. Besides, all saws mills had to get mandatory clearance from the Department of Forest.

The department issued closure notice to over 300 sawmills operating illegally in the district.

However, the closure notices have remained just on paper.

Some of the sawmill operators said they had licence to operate their units issued by the Department of Industry.

The Department of Industry has even renewed their licence in the recent past. “No body has told us that we need a clearance from the Department of Forest,” they said.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, senior forest officials said the matter of illegally-run sawmills was a serious one.

It was the responsibility of the division forest officials to get the mills closed down within their respective areas.

Interestingly, the Supreme Court had sentenced Maharashtra’s Minister of Forest and Secretary Forest to one-month imprisonment following violation of its order.

These mills indulge in disposing of illegally felled trees from forests.

As per the latest Forest Survey of India report, Punjab has lost 80,000 square hectare of dense forest since 2001.


Jatha complains of poor lodging
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 3
Over 1,000 devotees today reached Takht Sri Damdama Sahib through a special train that would take them to the pilgrimage of all five takhts of Sikhs. However, much to their chagrin they didn’t find lodging and board arrangement at the takht up to the mark.

Talking to The Tribune, the in charge of the jatha, Mr Inder Kumar Rahi, said their train chugged into Bathinda railway station this morning from where they were taken to Damdama Sahib in 20 PRTC buses. He said their pilgrimage began from Gondia (Maharashtra) on June 28 and devotees from Maharashtra, MP, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and other states were participating in it.

He accused the takht management of being rude with them. He claimed that they had intimated the management about their visit three months back and had sought proper lodging arrangements. He alleged that they were not provided adequate accommodation on the takht premises and instead were told to stay at a college, which was 1.5 km from the takht. He alleged that the college didn’t even have proper drinking water arrangements.

The jatha would leave for Amritsar tomorrow.

Mr Rahi expressed unhappiness with the takht management. He claimed that it was the first train that would take such a large number of devotees to all five takhts of Sikhs.

On the other hand, denying allegations against the management, the Manager of Takht Sri Damdama Sahib, Mr Bharpur Singh, claimed that they had made all the necessary arrangements for the stay of pilgrims. He said buses were also pressed into service for the transportation of devotees from the college to the takht. He said tea and langar would also be served to them at the college.


Rs 63.18 cr for development
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 3
The Punjab Government released Rs 63.18 crore for comprehensive development of the holy city here today.

Mr Jagjit Singh, Minister of local government cum Chairman , District Planning Board, said under the Punjab Nirman Programme Rs 38.13 crore had been released for the district. Rs one crore each had been released for development of historic villages namely Attari, Wadala Wiram, Pheruman, Kairon and Pahuwind as announced by Capt Amarinder Singh during one of his last visits to the city.

The minister informed that a sum of Rs 661.65 lakh had been earmarked for providing nutritious food to school children, Rs 572.17 lakh for rejuvenation of the existing drinking water supply schemes, Rs 29.68 lakh for the Kishori Shakti Yojna, Rs 63.57 lakh for Indra Awaas Yojna, Rs 45 lakh for re-energizing of tubewells, Rs. 63 lakh for construction of Dr B.R Ambedkar Bhavan and Rs two crore for the construction of a bridge over the Kasur Nallah and Marhi Megha drain.

Apart from this, Rs 34 lakh was also disbursed amongst Municipal Council Ramdas, Ajnala and Majitha.

Mr Jagjit Singh urged the officials to maintain co-ordination for effective administration. Later, he chaired a meeting of the District Grievances Committee and settled complaints on the spot.

Among others who attended the meeting included Mr Harpartap Singh Ajnala, Mr Swinder Singh Kathunangal, Mr Harjinder Singh Thekedar, Mr. Jugal Kishore Sharma, (all MLAs), Mr. Sunil Dutti, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Mr K.S Kang, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, and Mr. Kirandeep Singh Bhullar, Deputy Commissioner.


INTUC to stage dharnas on July 5
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
The Punjab unit of the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), the labour wing of the ruling Congress, will stage dharnas at all district headquarters on July 5 in protest against the state government's "indifferent" attitude towards its demands.

Stating this here today, Mr Roshan Lal Goel, general secretary of the unit, said the Amarinder Singh government had failed to keep the promises it had made to the union.

He said one of the demands related to the grant of the promotional scale to state government employees on the completion of four, nine and 14 years of service. The second related to bonus. Before the last Assembly elections, Capt Amarinder Singh had promised to give bonus to employees. The third demand was with regard to the doubling of the medical allowance.

Besides, Mr Goel said that instead of giving jobs to people on a regular basis, the government had started recruiting employees on contract, which was a source of exploitation.


SGPC honours Kuldeep Nayyar

Amritsar, July 3
Veteran journalist Kuldeep Nayyar was among 10 persons honoured by the SGPC here yesterday.

Those honoured are Mr Kuldeep Nayyar, veteran journalist; Dr Daljit Singh, eye specialist, Dr Sukhdial Singh, historian, Dr Baljit Singh Sekhon, international player, Dr Rajwant Singh Washington, Baba Nihal Singh Harianvelan, Mr Wasan Singh Nijjer, Mr Hardev Singh Sangha, Mr Jagjit Singh and Mr Vijay Pratap, journalist. — TNS


Farmers gherao DC office, block rail traffic
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, July 3
Tension gripped the railway-level crossing area, near the local Police Line on Sangrur-Barnala road, as hundreds of activists of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan) led by Mr Joginder Singh Ugrahan, state president of the union, blocked vehicular and rail traffic for about two hours by staging a dharna in support of their demands here this afternoon.

Earlier, these farmers gheraoed the office of the Deputy Commissioner (DC) for about two hours and raising slogans against the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) and the state government. Senior officers of the administration, including the DC the ADC, were not present in their offices during the gherao.

The protesting farmers were demanding an increase in the load of tube-well motors and replacement of the burnt/damaged transformers of those farmers, who had not deposited power bills of their tube-well motors, for the period the Amarinder government had withdrawn free power supply for tube-wells in the state.

Tension was created in the area following the arrival of a heavy police force, including some SHOs and black commandos. Policemen armed with lathis, cane sheets, fiber sheets, tear-gas rushed to the spot.

Some BKU leaders managed to arrange a meeting with the DC. After the meeting, the DC, Mr S.R. Ladhar, and the SSP, Mr Harinder Singh Chahal, came to the railway-level crossing site to address the protesters.

He assured them that the burnt transformers of the farmers would be replaced within a week. He would also recommend to the PSEB to extend the date for depositing the fee by the farmers for increasing the load of their tube-well motors. At this, Mr Ugrahan announced the lifting of blockade.


Farmers gherao DC’s office
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, July 3
Hundreds of activists of the Kisan Sangharash Committee and the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) gheraoed the office of the Deputy commissioner for hours together today as a results of which the normal functioning remained paralysed.

The farmers were addressed, among others, by Mr Satnam Singh Pannu, Mr Sucha Singh Thatha and Mr Kartar Singh Jand who condemned the state government for its alleged anti-kisan policies.

The kisans in a memorandum presented to the authorities demanded restoration of free canal water to the farmers, besides other demands. The farmers warned the state government against acquiring land of the farmers for private companies.


Probe ordered into milk plant losses
Sarabjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
The Punjab Cooperation Minister, Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, has ordered an inquiry into the alleged fraud in the Mohali Milk Plant. The inquiry has been marked to the Additional Secretary, Cooperation.

The complaint regarding the alleged fraud was made to the Mr Randhawa by Mr Parminder Singh Chalaki and five other elected members of the Board of Directors of the Mohali Milk Plant. The Board members have alleged that the present system of distribution of milk and milk products through a private party was causing a net loss of Rs 1.09 crore per year to the milk plant. In a way, this loss was being suffered by 45,000 members of 856 milk societies contributing milk to the plant. All members of the milk societies are either small and marginal farmers or landless poor. Members have pegged the total loss to the milk plant to the tune of Rs 5 crore in the last five years.

It has also been alleged in the complaint that the Milk Plant authorities have booked expenditure in the head of business, promotions and commercial replacements to the tune of Rs 9 lakh during the year 2003-04 and Rs 3.25 lakh during the period April 2004 to August 2004.

Members of the board of directors have stated in the complaint that under the rules and regulations, the milk plant authorities have the financial power to spend only Rs 1,000 per month on the business and for sale promotion purpose. They have stated that exceeding of the limit by the milk plant authorities should be probed. Members fear that certain officials have pocketed the money by selling the milk products in the open market. However, it has been shown as expenditure on business and sale promotion etc.

The member have demanded a probe into the signing of agreement by the milk plant authorities with a private party with regard to the distribution of the milk and milk products. Members have stated that the plant authorities had no power to amend the sale structure of the milk and milk products to consumers. The authority of such amendment and change is vested in the board of directors of the Milk Plant. Without getting the approval or resolution passed by the board of directors of the milk plant, the Milk Plant authorities had entered into the agreement with the private party. Even the approval of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies was not obtained.

Members of the board in the complaint made to the Minister have stated that the contract to the private party was allotted for three years on the condition that the party would achieve the target given to it which will 10 per cent increase in sale per year and performance of the party was to be reviewed on completion of one year. However, without review of the performance, the agreement has been further extended after expiry of the three year period.


4-yr-old sodomised, strangulated
Tribune News Service

Ropar, July 3
A four-year-old boy of Dashmesh Nagar was allegedly first sodomised and then strangulated to death here. The body of the boy, Aditya Dhanraj (Bilu), was recovered from a sewerage gutter near his house this evening.

The boy had been missing for the past two days. The police has detained some persons, including a youth.

The body of the boy was traced out by his uncle after foul smell emanating from the sewerage gutter near their house attracted his attention. There were injury marks all over the body, including head and private parts.

Senior officials of the police, including the SP (D), Mr Mandir Singh, visited the spot and the body was send for the post-mortem.

Sources said the preliminary examination of the body by the doctors revealed that the boy was first sodomised and then hit by a sharp-edged weapon on his head.

The mother of boy, Poonam, had reported to the police on July 1 that her son had gone missing since he was playing outside the house in the afternoon.

No arrest has been made.


Farm labourer dies under mysterious circumstances
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 3
Nachhattar Singh, a farm labourer of Sher Majra village of this district, died under mysterious circumstances late last evening at the local Rajindra hospital where he was admitted on July 1.

Though the police authorities concerned have taken action under Section 174 of CrPC, wife of deceased, has alleged that her husband died after a landlord of same village beat him up mercilessly.

Mr Bhupinder Singh, a police official, who has been handling the investigations into this case, that some parts of body of deceased had been sent for laboratory examination in the pathology department of local Rajindra hospital and further action would be taken as per the report.

He added that wife of deceased did not level allegations against any one when the deceased was admitted to the Rajindra hospital on morning of July 1.


Rs 1 lakh stolen from car
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, July 3
Miscreants stole a bag containing Rs 1 lakh from a car (PB-54D-7700) at Mukerian today.

According to police sources, Mr Parduman Singh, a son of Mr Joginder Singh of Kichian, withdrew Rs 1 lakh from the Oriental Bank of Commerce branch, Mukerian, and went in the car for purchasing clothes in the market. He parked the car in the committee parking lot. When he returned he found that the window glass of the car was broken and the bag containing Rs 1 lakh was missing.


Family assaults police team, four booked
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, July 3
A police team headed by a Sub-Inspector was assaulted by members of a family at Pandori Sidhwan village last evening. A case under Sections 307, 332, 355, 186, 225 and 224, IPC, has been registered against the family. Besides Charanjit Singh, head of the family, the other accused were Baljit Kaur, his wife, and two of his sons, Jaskaran Singh and Ranjodh Singh.

The police officials said here today that the police team, headed by Mr Kulwant Singh, went to arrest him in a case registered against him under section 420, IPC. When the police team tried to arrest him, the family members assaulted policemen and tried to strangulate Charanjit Singh to death but the other members succeed to save him. All the accused managed to escape.


Few takers for Rajiv Gandhi law varsity
Jalandhar centre for test cancelled

Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 3
Having Failed to have got enough applications for admission into first year of the five-year law course of the newly set up Rajiv Gandhi National Law University, the authorities concerned have reduced the number of its centres set up for taking entrance test from four to three.

Official sources said out of the four centres, where entrance test was to be conducted by the university authorities for selecting 80 candidates for admission into first year of the five-year law course, the centre set up at Jalandhar had been cancelled.

Mr G. S. Sandhu, Registrar, Rajiv Gandhi National Law University, when contacted, said the entrance test centre at Jalandhar had been cancelled, as the number of applicants to appear in that centre was not enough. He added that now three centres had been set up at Chandigarh, Delhi and Patiala. The entrance test would be conducted on July 9.

Mr Sandhu pointed out that though the university authorities had little time to make people aware of the fact that a new university had been set up by the Punjab Government had published around 1,200 prospectus-cum-information brochures, but so far, only 200 people had submitted their applications. He added that last date for submitting the applications was June 30, 2006. He said university authorities were still accepting those applications, which had been reaching late due to postal delays.

He said university, which would be funded by the Punjab and Central governments on 50-50 basis, would start functioning from August 1, 2006, from Mohindra Kothi, located on the local Mall Road here. A site-selection committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner, Patiala, would find a suitable site to set up a permanent campus. He added that from next year, the university could start graduate, postgraduate and diploma courses.

Regarding staff position, he said three teachers having significant teaching experience in their respective fields, had already been taken from other educational institutions on deputation basis, two law teachers would be joining the university shortly. The staff strength would be increased in a phased manner.

He pointed out that university authorities had also made arrangements with a local college to provide hostel facilities to boys and girls.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that less number of applications had been received as the university authorities had little time to launch advertisement campaign as it was set up in April, 2006, and staff recruitment began in May 2006.


School staff sore over non-payment of salaries
Our Correspondent

Batala, July 3
Resentment prevails among the teaching and non-teaching staff of the privately managed government aided schools in the state due to the non-payment of salaries since January 2006.

An emergent meeting of the staff members of these institutions was held here today at Guru Nanak Khalsa Senior Secondary School to discuss the issue. The meeting was held under the presidentship of Mr S.S Bal, president, Government Aided Privately Managed schools, Gurdaspur district.

The members expressed resentment against the state government for not releasing their grant-in-aid papers since January 2006. Mr Bal said 10,000 teachers were working in 484 such schools in the state, and all of them were facing hardship due to the non-payment of salaries.

Mr Ganesh Dutt Shastri, general secretary of the union, disclosed that under the present circumstances it was very difficult for them to get admission for their wards in schools and colleges due to the financial crunch.

Principal Karnail Singh said, ‘‘teachers are called nation builders, but no one seems to care for them.’’

Mr Jatinder Singh Bajwa, president, Batala Block, Mr Davinder Singh, vice- president, Batala Block, and Mr Darshan Singh, former general secretary, urged the Chief Minister, Capt. Amarinder Singh, and the Education Minister, Mr Harnam Dass Johar, to look into the matter personally and immediately release their grant-in-aid paper.


Sanskrit scholarships for 33 students
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 3
In an attempt to improve the standard of Sanskrit language among college students, the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan (deemed university), New Delhi, has awarded the post-matric sanskrit annual scholarships of Rs 1,750 to 33 students of the local Government Mohindra college.

In a press release, Dr D.I.S Brar, college Principal, stated that the students who have been given the scholarships are Megha, Yogita Goyal, Gunjan Singh Arya, Kavita, Arapna Vadhera, Seema Sharma, Sunil Kumar, Shiv Kumar Pandit, Monika, Ruhani, Pawan Kumar, Monika Rani, Meenakshi Pahwa, Kusum, Nidhi Kalra, Gagandeep Singh, Munish Bansal, Anamika Jindal, Shilpa Ahuja, Shelly, Bani Singla, Neeru Bhardwaj, Pooja, Rakhi Rani, Bharti, Nivea Garg, Shelly Garg, Ankita Rani, Shivani Sharma, Jyoti Pahwa, Naina Arneja, Vinod and Vasundha.

Mr S.K Kaushik, Sanskrit lecturer in Mohindra college, said that the students were awarded the scholarships on basis of their excellent performance in the subject in their previous classes.


175 ETT teachers join duty
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 3
All 175 ETT teachers, who were given appointment letters on Saturday by the ADC (D), joined their duties at 107 primary schools of the district. These teachers have been posted on regular basis and they will be employees of the Zila Parishad not of the government.

Mr Devinder Pal Singh Walia, ADC (D), said there were 242 vacant posts of primary teachers in the district and only 212 applications were received. He said the selections were made on the basis of merit through a software developed by the Director, Rural Development.

He said out of 212 applicants, only 175 were selected as per the reservation policy of the government. Out of the remaining 67 vacant posts, 37 would be filled from among reserved category candidates and 30 from among other categories, he added.

He said BEd candidates would be considered for the posts only after all ETT teachers in the district were accommodated.

He said many ETT teachers, who were working on contract basis under the Sarv Sikhya Abhiyan had been selected in the process and the posts they were holding have become vacant in those schools. Those vacancies would also be filled from among ETT teachers after the approval of the government, he added.


‘Implement pension gratuity scheme’

Amritsar, July 3
The Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) has demanded that the government should implement the pension gratuity scheme of December 18, 1996.

The demand was raised at the state executive committee meeting of the union held at DAV College here yesterday.

Prof H.S. Walia, president of the union, said the demand was included in the poll manifesto of the Congress in the 2002 elections.

Though the Chief Minister has reiterated his commitment to grant the gratuity to college teachers of government-aided private colleges many times, nothing has been done so far, he added. — OC


PU results
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
Panjab University has declared the results of BA III (hons), MA-I (geography), MA I and II (ancient Indian history culture and archaeology) examinations conducted in April/May 2006. The result gazettes will be available in the university enquiry office on July 4 from 11 a.m. on all working days except of the BA III (hons) result, which will be available on the university website: www.puchd.ac.in.


248 GND varsity students get placement
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 3
As many as 248 students of Guru Nanak Dev University were offered jobs through campus placements by seven multinational IT companies.

Dr Rajneesh Arora, Director-Placements, said that Tech Mahindra selected 20 students, Satyam 29, HCL Technologies nine, Accenture 44, Wipro 60, Cognizant 36 and Infosys 49.


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