P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Jobless teachers’ protest at CM’s rally
Pressure tactics won’t help, warns Captain
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, July 16
Tension prevailed during the “vikas rally” of Capt Amarinder Singh when unemployed PTI and computer teachers raised slogans against the Punjab Government here today. The Chief Minister immediately called the IG, Zonal, Hardip Dhillon and instructed him to take appropriate action. Though the police used force to disburse the demonstrators and rounded up more than 150, it denied it and said only 40 were rounded up and released after the rally.

Addressing the rally, the Chief Minister said Punjab had witnessed buoyancy in its economy. As many as 218 mega projects worth Rs 73,000 crore with 16 lakh jobs was a testimony to our commitment to ensure overall development in the state. He said these investments were likely to cross Rs 1 lakh crore by the end of December. He said there was no dearth of funds in the state as it had deposits worth Rs 2,203 crore with the Reserve Bank of India.

On the agriculture front, he said the state government had tied up with Reliance and Bharti group to give a boost to its programme of diversification of agriculture. He said majority of small farmers owe less than 1-1.5 acres and the persistent hike in the agricultural inputs and old farm practices had resulted in substantial decline in their income. He said he would flag off the two cargoes of fruits and vegetables of Bharti’s venture at Ladowal on August 1.

He underlined the need to adopt better farm practices and marketing strategies to make our agriculture economy far more sustainable and dynamic.

On the power front he said the state government had made arrangements to generate additional 7,200 mw, besides the existing capacity of 5,700 mw. He said the Punjab Government was buying power from Kerala, Maharashtra and Rajasthan and by the end of this month it would also purchase power from the Government of Bhutan through the eastern grid.

Reacting sharply to the agitational approach followed of BEd students, the Chief Minister said such pressure tactics would not help them in achieving their goal. He cautioned them to desist from such uncalled for agitations. He said they were welcomed to discuss their problems with him at any time.

Earlier, he laid the foundation stone of Master Gurbanta Singh community hall at a cost of Rs 1 crore, besides launching a scheme of drinking water and sewerage facilities at a cost of Rs.7.39 crore for the town. He also laid the foundation stone of the new grain market to be built at a cost of Rs 20 crore. He also announced the setting up a government college with multiple courses at Phillaur. He promised liberal grant for the sports clubs.

Later, addressing the mediapersons he ruled out the possibility of any reshuffle in the Cabinet. He said the state government was seriously considering introducing police commissionerate system, but all aspects would have to be considered before introducing it.

Replying to another question, he said the scheme to provide 100 per cent water supply in 137 towns at a cost of Rs 1,600 crore under municipal development fund would be completed by August 15.

On the question of allotment of ticket to prospective candidates in the forthcoming Assembly elections, he fully supported the viewpoint of PPCC president Shamsher Singh Dullo that the winnability of the candidate would be sole criteria.

Asked to comment on the rejection of financial package to Punjab on rural indebtedness on the pattern of Vidarbha, he said the background of Punjab rural indebtedness was different from Tamil Naidu’s as Punjab’s problem of rural indebtedness was primarily based on the loans from money lenders whereas Vidarbha’s rural debt largely consisted of cooperative loans.

Mr Dullo, Ch Santokh Singh, MLA, Local Government Minister Jagjit Singh, Minister of State for Social Security Gurkanwal Kaur, Revenue Minister Amarjit Singh Samra, Parliamentary Secretary, Cooperation, Parkash Singh, Gurdaspur MLA Khushhal Behl, DCC president, Jalandhar, Rajinder Singh Johal and DCC president, Nawanshahr, Kuldip Rana also spoke on the occasion.


Govt to give nod to employees’ demands: Dullo
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 16
All genuine demands of government employees, particularly of giving 4,9,14 time scales, will be accepted and implemented within a week. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has taken a decision in this regard and he will make a declaration shortly. This was stated by Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, president, PPCC, while talking to mediapersons here.

Mr Dullo had come to preside over a function organised by the Rajiv Gandhi Vichar Manch at Sirhind to distribute free ration among 500 widows. He further said within a week the government was going to announce the waiving of interest on loans taken by farmers, landless people and the poor from financial institutions, cooperative societies or banks as per the directions of the RBI regarding one-time settlement.

Mr Dullo said the Congress government was going to start a BPL survey to identify the poor irrespective of caste or creed.

Answering a query, Mr Dullo said it was upto to the election commission to decide whether the elections would be held as per old or new delimitation. He said delimitation had not been done as per guidelines. Giving an example, he said in Lambi constituency there was 39 per cent reserve category population but the constituency had not been reserved just to benefit Mr Badal.

He added that the Congress would start a “jan sampark abhiyan” in all 117 constituencies of the state and it would be completed within one month.

On the occasion many social personalities and Congress leaders were honoured. Dr Harbans Lal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Lakhbir Singh Rai, president, District Congress Committee, along with other Congress leaders also spoke on the occasion.


Governor’s help sought over selection ‘discrepancies’
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 16
Dr Raghubir Singh, Reader, Department of History, in a missive to the Governor, Punjab, Gen (retd) S.F. Rodrigues, who is also the Chancellor of the Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU), has pointed out serious discrepancies in the appointments of professors and Head of Department while setting up the Maharaja Ranjit Singh (MRS) Chair in 2001.

Dr Singh alleged that the university had not sought the approval from the syndicate for the appointment of Dr Radha Sharma, Head of the Department (HoD) of History, as Professor for the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Chair for two years.

The appointment was made after getting clearance from the finance committee only, he alleged.

Dr Singh said the Registrar claimed to have got the approval of the syndicate by circulating the letter regarding the establishment of MRS Chair which was absolutely illegal as it had no legal sanction.

He said as per the university calendar only Vice-Chancellor was authorised to convene the meeting whether it was normal or urgent.

He further said no fresh appointment letter for a similar post could be issued to Dr Radha Sharma as she was already holding a permanent post of Professor besides being the Head in the faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

He further said she could be given additional work of the Chair with extra remuneration for that work.

Mr Singh said she remained Professor of the MRS Chair for more than three years, exceeding her two-year term and later returned to her parent department.

It is pertinent to mention here that to celebrate the bicentenary of the coronation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the GNDU had established the MRS Chair in 2001.

The project had been completed on November 2, 2004, and is being published by the university after evaluation.

Dr Singh talking to the TNS here today said his promotion as the HoD was due on October 1987, but the former Vice-Chancellor, Dr H.S. Soch, and the Registrar, in order to favour their own candidate,Dr Radha Sharma, had ignored him.

He said he had filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court which had given its verdict on July 18, 2001, confirming the order of the High Court in his favour and had directed the university to appoint him as Reader and HoD within three months.

He said since then five years had elapsed but he was still waiting for the coveted post.

When contacted, Dr Radha Sharma said the former VC had invited project reports and she was selected as the Professor of the MRS chair on the basis of merit and after evaluation of her academic work.

She said after completing the project work, she was allowed to return to the parent department as the HoD on November 2, 2004.

Dr Sharma said her tenure as HoD would be completed in February, 2007.

She said as the appointment was made on rotational basis the next person junior to her would take over the charge of the HoD.

She said that Dr Singh was placed sixth in the hierarchy so whenever his term would come he would get the chance.


Badal urges PM to take up youths' issue with Iraq
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
The Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD) President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take up with the Iraq Government and other international organisations the issue of the Indian youths, including two from Punjab, who had reportedly been detained by the Iraqi police.

Mr Badal said there were reports that five Indians, including two from Punjab,were in the custody of the Iraqi police. However, it was not clear for how long had they been in custody. There were also reports about the boys having been kidnapped by ultras.

While one of the youths, Sanjiv Kumar, belonged to Authaula village near Jalandhar, the other, Gurvinder Singh Sony, hailed from Bhagowal near Batala in Gurdaspur district.

Meanwhile, Mr Badal today directed the units of his party in the districts to remain in touch with the families of the two boys and to offer all support and solidarity to them. He also asked SAD Secretary- General Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa to call upon the Centre to treat the case as one of extreme sensitivity. He had also directed the Delhi unit of the party to activate its mechanism for solution of problems being faced by Punjab youths migrating to other countries, especially those going to West Asia.


‘Khandedhar’ manager sacked
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 16
Infighting in the Damdami Taksal, once headed by the Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale group, today took a serious turn when Bhai Mohkam Singh, a spokesman of the Sikh seminary, sacked Mr Tardeep Singh, General Manager, ‘Khandedhar’, a monthly magazine of the organisation.

Mr Tardeep Singh is confidant of Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma, successor of Sant Bhindranwale, who was made in charge Media and Publications of the Taksal. Indicting Mr Tardeep Singh for publishing controversial book - ‘Rise and Fall of Khalistan Movement’, authored by Buta Singh, Bhai Mohkam Singh, said that the matter was being probed. The book based on M.Phil thesis of Buta Singh, a former student of Guru Nanak Dev University, released on ‘Ghallukara Divas’ (genocide day) was suddenly banned by Baba Dhumma yesterday. Bhai Mohkam Singh alleged the book was published under direct supervision of Mr Tardeep Singh. He (Bhai Mohkam Singh) sought unconditional apology from the Sikh Panth for the publication of the controversial book.

Meanwhile, Baba Ram Singh, head of breakaway group of the Damdami Taksal, has urged Sikh clergy to summon Baba Dhumma for publishing the controversial book that had dubbed Sant Bhindranwale and the Dal Khalsa as ‘creation of Congress’. He said it was shocking that while Akal Takht had honoured Sant Bhindranwale as ‘great martyr of 20th century’, the book of Damdami Taksal had portrayed him (Sant Bhindranwale) as ‘Congress agent’. He said the publication of the controversial book was outcome of a ‘deep-rooted conspiracy’.

A storm has already been raised against Baba Dhumma who had sided with the SGPC and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) after a clash on July 2 at Manji Sahib Gurdwara (Golden Temple) while Bhai Mohkam Singh and Bhai Jasbir Singh Rode, a former Jathedar Akal Takht had taken side of the SAD (Amritsar) chief, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, after the clash on July 2.

It is learnt that Baba Dhumma stands isolated among radical Sikh organisations following recent developments. They (the radical Sikh outfits) now have started questioning the role of Bhai Rode and Bhai Mohkam Singh, who were instrumental in the installation of Baba Dhumma as successor of Sant Bhindranwale. Baba Dhumma never courted arrest or held any position in the Damdami Taksal before his installation as Chief of the Taksal. It is learnt that Baba Dhumma was specially brought from the USA to take control of the Damdami Taksal.


3 killed, 15 hurt in tractor-trailer, truck collision
Tribune New Service

Banur, July 16
Three pilgrims were killed and 15 injured, five of them seriously, when a tractor-trailer collided head-on with a truck on the Zirakpur-Patiala road near here today.

The pilgrims, residents of Dhanoli village, near Rajpura, were on their way to Mansa Devi Temple in Mani Majra when the accident occurred near the Gian Sagar Group of Institutes. While Manjit Kaur died on the spot, Seema Rani (17) and Manjit Singh (10) died on their way to the PGI, Chandigarh, the police said.

The injured were shifted to the Civil Hospital, Rajpura, and the Gian Sagar Medical Institute. Amarpreet, Baljeet, Manjeet, Jeet Kaur and Paramjit, who were injured seriously, have been admitted to the PGI.

The police said that after hitting the tractor-trailer, the truck driver sped the vehicle towards Rajpura. The police managed to intercept the truck near the Gagan Chowk. However, the truck driver managed to escape.

A case under Section 304-A of the IPC has been registered.


Water project little help to farmers
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 16
The Rs 178 crore project for remodelling of the Upper Bari Doab Canal (UBDC), sanctioned by the Centre, faces rough days with farmers in border areas raising hue and cry over ‘non-functioning’ of distributaries (water channels).

The remodelling was necessitated as the UBDC system was not taking authorised full-supply discharge because of being very old.

The remodelling was also required for carrying 0.5 MAF discharge which was available after the construction of Thein Dam at Ravi river.

When contacted, Mr Gopal Krishan, an Executive Engineer, confessed that farmers of border areas were facing lot of inconvenience due to non-supply of water at the tail-ends.

He, however, said supply would be ensured within a couple of days.

There are four branch canals, which carry water to the tail-ends in Gurdaspur and Amritsar districts. The names of the branches are: (a) Sabhroan Branch (b) Kasur Branch (c) Main Branch Lower (d) Lahore Branch.

The Lahore Branch and its distributaries were also remodelled and Rs 11 crores were spent for the purpose.

However, remodelling of the Lahore Branch was not done as per the sanction given by the Central Design Office. Empty cement bags filled with earth were used on both inner slopes of the banks.

A large numbers of bags were used and Rs 4 crore was spent without any sanction from the design office.

It was instructed by the design office that inner section of the lower branch should not be disturbed, but the field officers violated the instructions by building new banks and about Rs 5 crore was spent. Thus, out of Rs 11 crores, Rs 9 crore was spent in excess.

This work was got executed by Mr G.K. Nayyer, Executive Engineer, Canal Lining Division, Amritsar, now working as the Executive Engineer, Majitha Division, UBDC, Amritsar.

The modelling of the Ajnala Distributary system was also done and Rs 140 lakh was spent.

The Ajnala Distributory is 41.62-km-long and its minor is 8.71-km-long. It was observed that water in the distributory goes upto R.D. 98000 only i.e. about 14 km stretchis not getting any water.

The people of the Bhalla Pind, Bhoewal, Iasapur, Chhina Karam Singh and Raipur villages are not getting any water for the last many years though the system has been remodelled.

The farmers said they were forced to dig submersible tubewells and were incurring heavy expenditure for running the diesel engines because the electric supply was also not sufficient.


SAD forms panels for coordination with BJP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
For better coordination between the SAD and its electoral ally, the BJP, the Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD) President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today constituted 21 district level coordination committees.

All senior party leaders have been assigned the task of coordination in their respective districts. Mr Badal said the committees would interact with the coordination committees to be announced by the BJP and would ensure that the workers of the two parties work with cohesiveness.

Each committee would comprise the president of the district unit, the local MP and one or two senior leaders of the party's central body belonging to the district. The two parties had already announced a nine-member state- level coordination committee.


Demonstration against Congress MLA
Our Correspondent

Abohar, July 16
Scores of workers of the Shiromani Akali Dal held a demonstration against Mr Parkash Singh Bhatti, Congress MLA from Balluana, today.

According to available information, Mr Bhatti, presently on a development grant distribution spree, faced rough weather on his visit to Jhotianwali village. The SAD workers led by Mr Om Parkash Kamboj, vice-president of the Youth Akali Dal, sat on dharna near the pandal raised for the public meeting to be addressed by the MLA during distribution of cheque for development. They shouted slogans whereas women performed a “siapa”.

Mr Kamboj alleged that the authorities during revision of the electoral rolls had deleted the names of scores of SAD workers. Their objections were not entertained. Mr Kamboj was a permanent resident of the village but entries at serial number 779-86 of his family were missing from the revised list of voters. The others targeted allegedly at the behest of the Congress MLA included Mr Harbans Lal, a member of the panchayat (407-13, 454-55), Mr Puran Chand (672-77) and Mr Tek Chand.

Interestingly, the list exhibited on the spot by the demonstrators was mostly of the non-Sikh supporters of the SAD who figured in the previous list but their names had now been struck off terming them as outsiders. The protesters also blamed Mr Bhatti of discrimination in distribution of cheques, besides bungling in the development works carried in the past.


Thousands attend Dimpy’s ‘bhog’
Tribune News Service

Chand Bhan (Faridkot), July 16
Politicians from various parties were among thousands who attended gangster Prabhjinder Singh Dimpy’s “bhog” here today.

Among those who attended his “bhog” were senior Congress leader Jagmeet Singh Brar, SAD (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann, Punjab Youth Congress president Raminder Amla, Haryana Youth Congress president Satwinder Singh Timmi, Talwandi Sabo MLA Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu, SAD (Amritsar) youth wing chief Barinder Singh Mann, SAD (Longowal) leader Karam Singh Dhaliwal, SAD leaders Karanbir Singh Kang and Surinder Iqbal Singh, BKU leader Manjit Singh Kadian and Bhupinder Singh Mahesari.

Mr Mantar Singh Brar, SAD MLA from Kotkapura, and Mr Mohinder Singh Romana from Takht Sri Patna Sahib also sent their condolence messages.

However, no main member of the Badal and Chautala families, with whom Dimpy was said to be closely associated in the past, was seen.

Mr Jagmeet Brar paid tributes. Avoiding any mention of his criminal background, Mr Brar said Dimpy went astray and it could happen to anybody.

Haryana YC chief Mr Satwinder Singh said a memorial would be raised in Dimpy’s village for which his friends would contribute and no funds would be collected for it. Mr Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu thanked all for their support.


Mann wants continuation of peace process with Pak
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, July 16
Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), today asked the Union Government not to give up peace efforts with Pakistan due to a few bomb blasts in Mumbai a few days ago.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Mann said if a few bomb blasts could deter the Indian leaders, it showed their weakness, not greatness. Mr Mann asked the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to tell the people now what was the alternative to peace with Pakistan?

Mr Mann said the Indian leaders, who wanted to suspend peace talks with Pakistan, must think of the Punjabis because Punjab was a frontline state and if tension between India and Pakistan continued, the Punjabis would suffer a lot.

Mr Mann said many gurdwaras of the Sikhs were in Pakistan and the SAD (A) wanted opening of Indo-Pak borders for trade purposes also.

In view of this, there was a need that India and Pakistan should have cordial relations, he added.

Mr Mann said as India and Pakistan had weapons of destruction so the SAD (A) did not favour tension or war between both countries. He asked the Union Government to go ahead with the peace process for better relations and peace between the two countries.


Permanent Lok Adalat set up
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 16
A permanent Lok Adalat started functioning at the district court complex, Fatehgarh Sahib, since yesterday.

Mr M.L. Malhotra has taken over as chairman of the permanent Lok Adalat. Addressing mediapersons here today, he called upon the people to avail the benefit of Lok Adalat. He said any person or party to a dispute, deficiency relating to public utility service such as transport, telephone, post and telegraph, electricity, water, sanitation, conservancy, insurance and hospital or dispensary could appear before the Lok Adalat with a simple application without paying any court fee.

He said the Lok Adalat held proceedings on the first three days of every week in court room No. 6, first floor court complex, Fatehgarh Sahib.


Dwivedi rules out relief package for farmers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
The Congress party’s central leader and in charge of its affairs in Punjab, Mr Janardhan Dwivedi, yesterday ruled out the possibility of a relief package for farmers in the state to match the one announced for farmers in the Vidharba region of Maharashtra. “Farmers of Punjab are still better off than those of Vidharba”.

The situation was not comparable, he added when asked whether the Centre was considering the Punjab Government’s demand for a special package for poor and heavily indebted farmers on the lines of that given to the peasants in the Vidharba region.

Mr Dwivedi admitted that farmers in Punjab were facing hardships and should get remunerative prices for their produce. The MSP had to be such that its provided enough money to the farmer to cover the cost of inputs while not allowing the prices to be jacked up by private parties. He said the concept of MSP was floated when the price of grain fell much below the expectations and a support price was required.


4 booked for forcing woman to commit suicide
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, July 16
Four persons of an in-laws’ family were booked for forcing a woman to commit suicide at Chaudhri Wala village, near Naushehra Pannuan, yesterday.

Police sources said here today that Baljinder Kaur, alias Bholi, consumed some poisonous substance yesterday as she was being harassed mentally and physically by her husband Baljit Singh, alias Sonu, and others members of her in-laws’ family for dowry.

Bholi was admitted to Amritsar hospital where she died. Her husband Sonu, his brothers Raja and Babli and mother Veero, cremated her at night.

The parents of the deceased suspected some foul play and reported the matter to the police. The Sarhali police registered a case under Sections 304-B, 201 and 120-B, IPC, against Sonu, Raja, Babli and Veero for forcing Bholi to commit suicide, eliminating evidence with the connivance of others.

The case was registered on the orders of Mr Parveen Kumar Sinha, SSP. Bholi was married to Sonu about six years back and had two children.

In another incident, four residents of Chheharta, near Amritsar, have been booked by the city police for demanding dowry from a qualified homoeopathic doctor and daughter of a social worker of the town, Dr Sukhdev Singh Lauka, Municipal Councilor.

According a report, Harpreet Singh, his father Nirmal Singh, mother Parkash Kaur and brother Sukhwinder Singh, all residents of Chheharta, have been booked for demanding dowry from Dr Kiranpreet Kaur, BHMS, who was married to Harpreet Singh about three years back.


One killed in road accident
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, July 16
One person was killed and two others were injured yesterday in a road accident when a Maruti car hit two motor cycles.

The deceased has been identified as Harjinder Singh. The injured are Kashmir Singh and Gurlal Singh.

The Valtoha police has registered a case under Sections 304-A, 337, 338 and 427, IPC, against the driver of the car.


Vehicle impounded

Nabha, July 16
The police has impounded the car of a person posing as a crime reporter under Section 207 of the Motor Vehicle act. Manjit Singh of Assa Ram Colony was travelling without documents in a Maruti car with tinted glasses.

SHO Davinder Attri said that Manjit Singh was already being tried in five cases, including a liquor smuggling case and a dowry case he said a probe was being conducted to verify his claims of being a crime and TV reporter. — OC


College of management affiliated to PTU opens
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 16
The first institute of Management and Technology affiliated to Punjab Technical University (PTU) opened here with Mr K S Kang, commissioner Municipal Corporation performance the opening ceremony of the campus here today.

Speaking on the opening of Swami Satyanand College of Management and Technology, Mr Kang said the present generation was get5ting the best education and exhorted them to excel in professional and technical education to compete with the best in the world.

He lauded the management to set up a modern institution with state of the art infrastructure to provide quality education.

Earlier, Director Placement Cell, Guru Nanak Dev University, Dr Rajneesh Arora, said technically qualified youth had many opportunities to get excellent jobs in India and abroad. .

Deputy Registrar of PTU, R.P.S. Bedi, made a presentation of courses available in the university and said that the PTU would provide all assistance to affiliated colleges.

Welcoming the chief guest, Dr Suresh Seth, Director and Principal of the college said that the quality higher technical education can propel India into the league of advanced nations. He said more than 50 per cent students in advanced western countries take technical courses.


Management varsity at Lehragaga
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
A national-level university in management was coming up at Lehragaga in Sangrur district. This was stated here today by Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister, Punjab.

She said the Indian Chartered and Financial Analysis Institute, Hyderabad, was setting up the modern university campus at Lehragaga on 30 acres. The state government had imposed a condition that all Class III and IV employees would also be appointed from the local area. With the setting up of this university, the economic and social standards of the people would improve.


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