P U N J A B    S T O R I E S





SAD-BJP panel may tie up with non-Cong parties
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 17
The Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of the Shiromani Akali Dal today gave its nod to the Coordination Committee of the SAD/BJP to hold talks with non-Congress political parties for forging an alliance for Assembly elections, proposed to be held in February next.

The decision has paved the way for roping in the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and certain like-minded Panthic organisations for forming an alliance before the elections. Though the BSP has not yet decided whether to have political alliance with the Congress or SAD, yet it is learnt that the senior leaders of the Akali Dal have already started a dialogue with top state leadership of the BSP.

Mr Harcharan Bains, who still is an employee of the Punjab Agricultural University, was also present in the PAC meeting. Earlier, Mr Bains has served as media adviser to Mr Badal.

The PAC meeting, presided over by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, SAD chief, has decided to constitute a manifesto committee, which would prepare the manifesto after holding meetings with representatives of farmers, businessmen and government employees etc. Later, Mr Badal said the demand of federal structure, which is part of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution of 1973, would be included in the manifesto of the party. He said the country could not progress without federal structure.

Though most of the members urged Mr Badal to address the Sikh congregation on July 21 to mark “paschatap divas” to repent the clash on July 2 at Manji Sahib gurdwara, yet he (Mr Badal) said that only Jathedar, Akal Takht should address the sangat to avoid any unsavoury situation. Earlier, radical Sikh organisations had taken a strong notice of the speech of Mr Badal, who had sought the cooperation of Sikh sangat to form an Akali government, on July 2.

Later addressing a press conference, Mr Badal said his party would make all efforts to avoid confrontation in the Sikh Panth. To a question, Mr Badal said that Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta was expelled from the party after a long wait since he had been issuing statements against the party.

Almost all members of the PAC, in a voice-vote said that Mr Badal would be the next Chief Minister if the SAD-BJP was voted to power in Assembly elections, though he (Mr Badal) himself said a decision to this effect would be taken by the joint committee of the SAD/BJP after the elections.

Meanwhile, efforts are on to find a solution to the current Panthic crisis, arisen after the clash between activists of Badal and Mann factions. It is learnt that Jathedar, Akal Takht, has called Mr Simranjit Singh Mann and certain office-bearers of his party to find a way out following unilateral directive against them. Certain foreign-based radical Sikh organisations had already decided to boycott Jathedar, Akal Takht, during his proposed visits. 


SAD to bring separate Bill on loan waiver for farmers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) yesterday announced that it would bring a separate Bill on a complete loan waiver for farmers during the September session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha.

The SAD General-Secretary, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, declared here today that the party did not trust the Congress’s intentions on the issue and apprehended that it could try to rush through a half-baked and toothless Bill as a publicity stunt to mislead and hoodwink the hapless farmers on the eve of the election in the state.

Mr Badal also chided Capt Amarinder Singh on the refusal of the Congress to name him as the chief ministerial candidate during the forthcoming elections. This, said the Akali leader, clearly showed that the Congress had finally realised how big a liability the Chief Minister was.

“The Congress had rightly assessed that people of Punjab might not even allow the Congressmen to enter villages and towns if Capt Amarinder Singh was named the prospective Chief Minister,” said Mr Badal, adding that it was amusing that the party in power was so confused about who should lead it in a crucial battle for survival. He, however, said that even without Amarinder, the Congressmen would have to face the wrath of the masses for having supported an arrogant and anti-people autocrat whose only political Unique Selling Point (USP) was his unethical pursuit of leisure-and- pleasure culture throughout his tenure.

About the Bill on loan waiver, the SAD General Secretary said the Congress had back-stabbed the Opposition and the people of the state during the Punjab Termination of River Water Agreements Act when it presented the Opposition with the hurried option of accepting or rejecting the Bill with virtually no time provided for studying its finer details. As a result, the Congress had managed to dishonestly sneak in a clause that provided legislative sanction to the existing flow of water to other states.


Questions raised on pardon to lifer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
The pardon granted to Bathinda-based Sandeep Singh, son of a former minister, Mr Teja Singh, has raised eyebrows and several questions in legal and official circles here.

Sandeep Singh was undergoing a life term and the pardon has come within two years of his conviction. The Punjab Government, while forwarding his application for pardon, had reportedly said that political groupism could have been the motive behind Sandeep Singh’s name being included in the FIR, sources confirmed.

His father was a former minister in the Akali Government in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but had fallen out with senior Akali leaders from the Malwa area. The crime for which Sandeep Singh was undergoing the life term was committed in 1998. Sources in the government said the speed at which pardon petitions were examined usually depended upon the influence one had. In this case Sandeep Singh family members enjoyed close links with Congress men who formed the “inner circle” of advisers around Patiala MP Preneet Kaur.

Exercising powers conferred under Article 161 of the Constitution, the Punjab Governor, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), pardoned Sandeep Singh on Friday last. The sources said the Governor had got an independent inquiry carried out by a 1995-batch Punjab-cadre IPS officer before pardoning Sandeep Singh.

Among the questions being raised are: If Sandeep Singh’s name was included in the FIR due to rivalry, what about action against the policemen who committed the act ? Since the family is well connected it got a review done. Now will the government show the same speed in examining all such petitions of pardon pending with it ? Are there others who are wrongly undergoing sentences in Punjab?

Sandeep Singh and two others — Jagga Singh and Monty — were first convicted in the murder case of Harpal Singh and Rasal on July 14, 2004. His mother, Ms Rajinder Kaur, filed a petition for pardon before the Punjab Governor on August 5, 2004. The trio were booked under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC and Sections 25/27/54/59 of the Arms Act on October 31, 1998.

The deceased, Harpal Singh and Rasal Singh, were residents of the Multania road area, Bathinda. According to the complaint lodged by Jagroop Singh, father of Harpal Singh, with the police, he was engaged in a legal battle over land with Sandeep Singh. He stated that while he and his elder son were settled elsewhere, his younger son, Harpal Singh, used to look after their land on the Multania road. He alleged that on the night of October 30, 1998, when Harpal Singh and his farm hand, Rasal Singh, were irrigating their land, he saw Sandeep Singh and his two aides, armed with .12-bore pistols and a Mauser, heading towards them. He further charged them with opening fire on his son and employee killing them on the spot. He termed it as a “bid to take over his land by force” while a court case was on in this regard. On the basis of his statement, the police had registered a case.

Police sources said 12 separate criminal cases were registered, including that of murder, attempt to murder, illegal possession of arms and brawl, against Sandeep Singh in places like Bathinda, Talwandi Sabo and Hisar between 1991 and 2002.

8 teachers found absent
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, July 17
As many as 28 teams of the Education Department, led by Mr Joginder Singh Aulakh, District Education Officer (Secondary), Sangrur, today checked more than 160 government and aided senior secondary, high, elementary and primary schools in Sangrur district.

As per the reports at the DEO(s) office here till 6 pm, eight teachers were found absent from duty and nine teachers as late comer by 20 teams, while reports of remaining eight teams were still awaited. The DEO(s) checked schools at Malerkotla, Dhuri and Ahmedgarh while Mr Jagjit Inder Singh, Deputy DEO(s), Sangrur, checked five local schools.

Talking to The Tribune here today, Mr Joginder Singh Aulakh, DEO(s), Sangrur, said that aided schools had been checked for the first time in the district. He said he noticed during checking of the aided schools that they did not follow the instructions of the Punjab Education Department, especially related to domestic examinations date-sheet, time-table, division of the syllabus, attendance of the teachers on display board, and proper attendance of the students.

Mr Aulakh further said he today also checked tendency of hoaxed admissions in the aided schools. He said main aim of the checking was to ensure attendance of the teachers in the schools and their performance, besides quality education. He said he only wanted to improve education in schools, not to harass any one.

Mr Aulakh said that 75 per cent aided schools had been checked by the teams today. He said five teams checked schools at Dhuri Sangrur, Barnala, Sunam, and Malerkotla, while remaining 23 teams checked schools in the rural areas.

Mr Aulakh said during checking he found four teachers absent from duty in Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Malerkotla. He said detailed report on the absentee teachers and late comers, besides other issues like standard of education in the schools, would be sent to the DPI(s) for further action. 


Maharaja Ranjit Singh Panorama to be given to Punjab
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, July 17
The Maharaja Ranjit Singh Panorama will be handed over to the Punjab Government by Minister for Tourism and Cultural Affairs Ambika Soni on July 20. The project has been hanging fire for the past one year awaiting inauguration by a VVIP.

Second of its kind in the country, the panorama has been constructed by the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), Kolkata, under the aegis of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Government of India, with a grant of Rs 5 crore. The panorama is spread over 20 kanals in the “protected area” of Ram Bagh. Main structure extends over 2500 square metres. The round-shaped building has inner diameter of 39 metres.

According to sources, the state government has invited Mrs Soni to inaugurate and hand over the panorama to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on that day. The state government reportedly has sent a communication to the local municipal authorities to be prepared to look after the maintenance and running of the project in the holy city.

The paintings were prepared at the NCSM, Kolkata. These were first photographed and then digitally enlarged and mounted on a vinyl base. The paintings were created after consultations with historians, who stressed on the need to have the ‘most authentic’ pictures of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Through rare pictures and mannequins, the panorama re-creates the glimpses of various battles (spread over 40 years) fought by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. This panorama is larger and technically superior.

Former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had laid the foundation stone of the Panorama on November 18, 2001, at New Amritsar to mark bicentenary of the coronation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Though the improvement trust had earmarked at New Amritsar three acres for this purpose, yet the proposed site was shifted to the ‘protected area’, raising many eyebrows.

The delay has also raised the fear of malfunctioning of electronic and costly equipments installed in the panorama. The costly equipments could have produced defects in the system due to non-use.


US milk producers keen on setting up shop in Punjab
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Kurali, July 17
In what is likely to open up a new market for milk producers here, US-based companies have been invited to set up milk plants in Punjab.

Representatives of these companies are expected to visit the state to survey the supply and demand of dairy products before taking a final decision.

According to Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Minister of Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries, Punjab, at least two companies in the USA had shown interest in coming to Punjab and set up milk plants here in case they got a conducive response from the state government.

Mr Kang added that this effort was an outcome of his recent visit to the USA where he had held a formal meeting in this regard and assured companies of all possible help from the government.

Mr Kang was talking to The Tribune after launching a special dairy enterprenuership training course at the Dairy Training and Extension Centre at Chatamli village.

Asserting that a vast infrastructure of milk-processing, procurement and marketing is already existing in the state, Mr Kang pointed out that there were 60 milk plants with an integrated milk-handling capacity of over 56 lakh litre.

Out of these, 11 are in cooperative sector and another 49 were in the private and assisted sector, he informed.

The cooperative milk plants were equipped to manufacture milk powder, butter, ghee, cheese etc and various milk plants in the private sector were engaged in the manufacture of value-added products.

“Other than the fact that demand for milk would increase, bringing more players in the field would also enhance competition and the dairy farmer would get better rates.

“Now, we have to woo farmers to get into dairy farming but if we manage to make dairy farming an out-and-out profitable venture, it can prove to be the best replacement to agriculture,” he said.

Giving the latest statistics on milk production in the state, Mr Anil Kaura, Director, Punjab Dairy Development Board, said Punjab produced 225 lakh litre of milk every day and contributed 10.43 per cent share of the total milk production in the country. 


Farmers hold protest, break barrier, enter SDM’s office complex
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, July 17
Members and activists of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) (Ekta-Ugrahan), the Punjab Kisan Sabha (Sambar), the Punjab Kisan Sabha (Taggar) and the Zamhoori Kisan Sabha today staged a dharna and held a rally in the SDM’s office complex at Moonak, 60 km from here in protest against the acquisition of land by the Punjab government for big industrial houses in the state, especially in three villages, Fatehgarh Chhanna, Sangherra and Dhaula in Barnala subdivision.

Talking to The Tribune on the phone this evening, Mr Joginder Singh Ugrahan, state president of the BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan), said the police today laid a naka at the main gate of the Moonak SDM’s office complex to prevent farmers from holding protest there. But the farmers, without caring about more than 30 policemen on duty at the naka, broke the naka and entered the SDM office complex where they staged a dharna and held a rally for two hours in support of their demands, he added.

The farmers also presented themselves for arrest as part of the agitation, but the police did not arrest them.

Farmer leaders asked the government not to acquire agricultural land of the farmers for big industrial houses. They also asked the state government to scrap the notification, issued in connection with the acquisition of land in three Barnala villages for the Trident group.

The farmers were addressed among others by Mr Joginder Singh Ugrahan, president of BKU (Ugrahan); Mr Hardev Singh Bakhshiwala, district general secretary of the Punjab Kisan Sabha (Sambar); and Mr Major Singh Punnawal, a senior leader of the Punjab Kisan Sabha (Taggar).


Farmers hold protest
Our correspondent

Hoshiarpur, July 17
Activists of the kisan wing of the CPM, the CPI and the Lok Bhalai Party held a protest march in the city and offered to court arrest in front of the SDM office here today to show resentment against the Punjab Government’s policy of “grabbing” land of farmers.

They were demanding the market price for their land to be allotted to big industrial houses.

They were also demanding waiving of loans of Rs 30,000 crore of farmers to save them from starvation and to return the “forcibly acquired” land for the Trident group to the owners.

The protesters later staged a rally in the tehsil complex, which was addressed by farmer leaders.

The leaders criticised the government for forcibly acquiring land of farmers on throwaway prices for industrialists.

They also demanded restarting of the public distribution system to provide essential commodities to the common man.


SAD (Longowal) to hold rallies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
The All-India Shiromani Akali Dal (Longowal) will organise rallies in all Assembly constituencies from July 20 to August 15.

A decision in this regard was taken here today at a meeting of the party’s district presidents, executive members and other senior leaders. Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, president of the party, presided.

Speaking to mediapersons after the meeting, Mr Chandumajra said that after completing the programme of rallies, the party would announce its political programme on August 20 at Longowal. He said that at Longowal the party would hold a conference in memory of Sant Harchand Singh Longowal. Mr Raj Babbar and Chowdhary Ajit Singh from Uttar Pradesh would take part in the conference.

He said during the rallies the party would raise issues relating to unemployment, inflation, loans of farmers and dalits, power cuts, education and health. He said the Shiromani Akali Dal and the ruling Congress were playing politics on the issue of farmers’ loans. These parties were not sincere about improving the lot of the farmers. The farm sector was in crisis because of the anti-farmer policies pursued by governments at the Centre. Farmers had been denied remunerative prices for foodgrains. “Our party submitted a detailed note to the Prime Minister suggesting various measures to improve the lot of the farmers, but nothing was done in this regard”, he added.

Coming to Panthic issues, Mr Chandumajra said his party would not take part in the programme to be organised in the Golden Temple complex on July 21. He said the Jathedar of Akal Takht and other Sikh high priests should frame a code of conduct for all religious functions which were held in the Temple complex and other Sikh religious places. The code was required to restore the prestige of Sikh institutions.

Among the leaders present at the meeting were Mr Baldev Singh Mann, Mr Jasmer Singh Bala, Mr Randhir Singh Rakhra,Mr Jagjit Singh Sidhu, Mr Kuldip Singh Dhoss and Mr Karnail Singh Panjoli.


MLAs not invited to Cong function
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Ropar, July 17
The first workshop of the state Youth Congress here today brought into limelight differences among Congress leaders. While Punjab Pardesh Congress president Shamsher Singh Dullo was here to address youths of the district, none of the MLAs attended the function. The reason — they were not invited.

Mr Dullo addressed a gathering of youth in Ambedkar Bhavan here. He said the workshop was aimed at informing the youth about their veteran leaders and functioning of the party.

The workshop was organised by the camp led by the political secretary of the CM, Mr Harchand Singh Barsat. Besides the national secretary of the Youth Congress, Mr Naresh Sharma, and state president of the Youth Congress Raminder Amla were present to address the gathering. Incidentally, only those Congress leaders, who were not happy with Mr Sharma elevation to the post of the district Congress president were in a large number at the function.

Expressing his resentment, the district Congress president and local MLA, Mr Ramesh Dutt Sharma, said he was not informed about the function. Another MLA and Parliamentary Secretary Industry and Commerce, K.P.S Rana, who also did not attend the function here, was not informed about Mr Dullo’s visit to function.

Mr Dullo advised the leaders to forget their difference and work to strengthen the party.

Later, after the function at the residence of one of the local MLAs, Mr Dullo expressed his anger over the youth leaders for completely ignoring the local MLA’s by not inviting them. 


SGPC member back in SAD(A)
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 17
SAD(A) and its president Mr Simranjit Singh Mann got a relief today when SGPC member Bibi Surinder Kaur, who had joined SAD(B) yesterday along with Dr Jakhu, a senior SAD(A) leader, today rejoined SAD(A) and addressed a press conference at Kila Harnam Dass, official residence of Mr Mann.

Addressing mediapersons, Bibi Surinder Kaur said she had full faith in the policies and programmes of Mr Mann and SAD(A) but certain leaders of the party were not giving due respect to Dalit leaders and workers, so in protest she had decided to quit the party. She said there were certain drawbacks in the working of the party leaders and she had apprised Mr Mann in this regard and he had agreed to streamline the working of the party and give due representation to all. She said she was lured to join SAD (B) and now she had come back in the party fold and it was like coming back home.

Addressing mediapersons, Mr Mann said the SAD(A) had always fought for the cause of Sikh quam. He said the party had always raised the issues related to the quam and the country.

He said he and his party were determined to achieve their goal and follow the principles of Sikhism. He welcomed Bibi Surinder Kaur back in the party. Meanwhile the party has urged Mr Mann to send a delegation led by Mr Iman Singh Mann to contact Dr Jakhu and to persuade him to come back into the party fold.


Losses: roadways staff blame pvt transporter 

Amritsar, July 17
Punjab Roadways is suffering losses in crores due to the entry of 150 buses of the Piyar Bus Service of the Congress MLA from Bias, Mr Jasbir Singh Dimpa, into the local bus stand.

Mr Narinder Pal Chamiari, spokesman of the various roadways unions affiliated to CITU, AITUC, and INTUC, said today during their week-long campaign they had decided not to allow any private bus operator to board and alight passengers at the entry or exist points of the local bus stand. He said this had resulted in the increase in the revenue of the state government to the tune of about Rs 1 lakh per day.

Coming down heavily on the state government, Mr Chamiari said it had been accusing them for the losses. He said the government itself was responsible for the losses as it had issued permits to various private bus operators and allowed them to run their buses on various routes.

He said there was a fleet about 2,400 buses in 1980 and about 12,500 employees but the successive governments, including that of Capt Amarinder Singh, favoured private transporters, leading to a reduction in their number to about 800 and the strength of the employees to 4,000. He said the state government had spent Rs 40 crore on the purchase of 360 buses and had earned a revenue of Rs 62 crore in the past seven months.

Mr Harpinder Singh Gill, managing director, Piyar Bus Service, and brother of MLA, Dimpa, refuted the claims of the roadways unions. He said they had only 38 buses and had the requisite permit for various routes. — TNS


Involve women in rural trade: Mani Shanker Aiyar
Tribune News service

Bhadurgarh (Patiala), July 17
Union Panchayati Raj and Sports Minister Mani Shanker Aiyar today said the reservation of women in democratic bodies was must to empower them.

Mr Aiyar, who inaugurated a two-day seminar on "Panchayat Mahila Shakti Abhiyan", at a local resort here, said the Union Government had made provisions for reservation of women up to 33 per cent in panchayats, state assemblies and Lok Sabha elections but in certain states, the number of women had touched 41 per cent.

He said he was of the view that women should be involved in the rural trade and they should be facilitated to produce items having international acceptance by making self-help groups.

He added that a number of industrialists had shown interest in opening trade centres in the rural areas.

The minister said so far about 842 items, which could be produced by the women by making self-help group, had been identified.

He said that in the 11th five-year Plan, he was trying to incorporate a provision under which sports grounds would be set up in rural areas to initiate the rural youths into sports activities.

Punjab Rural Development Minister Lal Singh said the Punjab Government was spending crores of rupees to train the women representatives of panchayats, block samitis and Zila Parishads to make them aware about their rights and duties.

Ms Preneet Kaur, MP, urged the women to come forward to participate in the creation of a better society.

Ms Girija Vyas, Chairperson, National Commission for Women , expressed concern over the declining female ratio in Punjab.

Mr Hussan Lal, Director, Department of Rural Development and Panchayats, also participated.


Teej festival on July 28
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 17
The District Cultural Society will organise Teej festival at Aam Khas Bagh, Sirhind, on July 28.

Various competitions in the senior and junior category will be organised, said Ms Jaspreet Talwar, Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chairperson, District Cultural Society, while presiding over the meeting of district officials.

She said 15 competitions in rangoli, mehndi, solo dance, painting, and in other categories would be held. Contests to choose Miss Teej, Teej Queen, Baby Teej would be organised in the senior and junior category.

In the junior category, students upto fifth class would be allowed and in the senior category students from sixth to12th class would be allowed.

Entry tickets for both categories would be Rs 20 and for gidhha competition it would be Rs100. She urged the participants to deposit the entry fees with the Secretary, Red Cross, at the District Administrative Complex by July 24


Red Cross camp begins
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 17
The Punjab branch of the Indian Red Cross Society, in an attempt to boost junior Red Cross activities throughout the state, will organise a series of camps for school students.

The first such camp, the fifth inter-district junior camp, commenced at the Red Cross Saket Hospital today and would continue till July 21. A total of 125 students from Mohali, Fatehgarh Sahib, Bathinda, Faridkot, Ferozepore and Kapurthala districts were expected to take part.

Talks would be held on topics like HIV-AIDS, blood donation, drug abuse and the Red Cross movement.


Sikhs in custody can wear patka
Our High CourtCorrespondent

Chandigarh, July 17
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the Punjab Government to permit Sikhs who are in police custody to wear patka henceforth.

Disposing of the petition filed by the Sikh Students Federation (SSF), seeking directions to the Punjab Government and prison authorities to allow Sikhs lodged in jails to wear turbans, the Bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Mr Justice H.S. Bedi agreed with the stand of the government that the length of the "patka" should not be more than half-a-metre square in size.

In its petition, the SSF had alleged that Sikh prisoners in various jails of Punjab were not being allowed to wear turbans, which are mandated as part of the Sikh religion. The petitioner had also stated that many complaints in this regard have been made to the Punjab Government, jail authorities as also the National Commission of Minorities (NCM). But, no action has been initiated in this regard.

Today, the Bench was informed that the Additional Director-General of Police (Crime), Punjab, had in a communication dated July 7 sought comments from the police chiefs of various districts about the plea made on behalf of the petitioner.

The police officers in the field suggested that "patka" of half-a-metre square size could be allowed for the Sikh accused while in police lock-up. The copy of the letter was also submitted to the bench which disposed of the PIL.

Notice issued

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued notice of motion for September 4 on a petition seeking registration of a case against some persons of village Bachhapur in Patiala district for having allegedly attacked and seriously injured a father-son duo some days ago.

In his petition, Mr Surinder Singh has alleged that on March 8, the accused - Jasvir Singh, Dharampal Singh, Randhir Singh and Jagdev Singh - allegedly trespassed on the fields owned by him and started cutting the trees located there.

When the petitioner and his father tried to stop them, they were allegedly beaten and inflicted injuries with sharp-edged weapons. However, despite repeated attempts, the local police did not register any case nor make any arrests.

After hearing the petitioner's counsel, Mr Justice T.P.S. Mann issued notice of motion to the respondents.


Training course in dairy farming
Tribune News Service

Kurali, July 17
An entrepreneurship training course for dairy farmers was launched at the modern dairy development centre at Chatamali village here today. The course was launched by Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Minister of Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries.

The training centre has a mini milk plant, laboratory, model shed and milking parlour. The centre would be offering 30 seats in each batch. The course has been structured to lay special emphasis on value addition to milk, first aid and breeding so that proper benefit of backward and forward linkages is achieved by the trainees. As many as 20 farmers would also be given hostel facilities.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Kang said the course intended to make the farmer self reliant so that milk could be converted into milk products for value addition. He announced a grant of Rs 30,000 for the library. He added that the centre at Chatamli would also be starting special diploma courses in the dairy technology programme in collaboration with Indira Gandhi National Open University. During the year 2005-2006 3239 candidates were trained for adopting dairy farming as a vocation.


2 officials promoted

Patiala, July 17
The Punjab Languages Department has promoted Mr Avtar Singh Hadh from Joint Director to Additional Director, according to a press note. It has also promoted Ms Balbir Kaur from Deputy Director to Joint Director. — TNS


Four of family booked for murder  
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, July 17
The Phillaur police has arrested Bakshish Singh, his wife Asha Rani, son Sohan Singh and daughter-in-law Narinder Kaur under Section 302, IPC, on the charge of murdering Ms Kamla Devi with sharpedged weapons at Noormahal in Phillaur subdivision last night.

Mr Gursharanjit Singh Grewal, DSP, told The Tribune here today that Bakshish Singh and his sister Balbir Kaur were living in their parental house. Due to lack of understanding Balbir Kaur sold her portion of the house to Ms Kiran Kochhar, but Bakshish Singh objected to it. He even tried to take possession of the house.

Ms Kochhar organised a religious path on Sunday. During night Bakshish and his family attacked the Kochhar family with swords and seriously injured Ms Kamla Devi, mother-in-law of Kiran. She was immediately admitted to DMC Hospital, Ludhiana, where she succumbed to her injuries today.


Newborn boy found

Sangrur, July 17
A newborn baby boy was found on the bank of a pond near railway track and the Police Line here this morning. However, it could not be known that who had thrown the baby the police is searching its mother and father. A poor family, which has only four girls, is ready to adopt the baby boy.

Mr Baljit Singh, in charge, City Police Station, Sangrur, said the police had got the newborn baby boy examined medically. Now, it would submit an application in a local court to seek directions regarding the custody of the baby, he added. He said that the police was tracing the parents of the abandoned baby boy to initiate legal proceedings against them as it had already registered a case under Section 317 of the IPC against them. — TNS


Driver booked for negligence
Our Correspondent

Kharar, July 17
The police has booked a driver of a bus on a charge of causing accident by negligence.

The police said that Mr Varinder Singh, a resident of Kharar, had complained that the bus driver had allegedly hit his car and fled from the spot.

The police has registered a case under Sections 279, 337 and 427 of the IPC in this regard.

In another case, the police has arrested a resident of Morinda and recovered 3 gm of smack from him.

According to the police, Lakhwinder Singh was searched during a routine checking at the Kharar bus stand during which smack was found from his possession.

A case under Section 21/61/85 NDPS Act was registered against him.


Second counselling schedule for Law courses

Amritsar, July 17
Guru Nanak Dev University would conduct the state-level second counselling for admission to the LL.B (three-year), BA LLB (hons) and BA LLB (five-year) courses on July 22 at Law Department of the university.

The counselling is being held for admission to these law courses in the colleges in Punjab and affiliated to Panjab University, Chandigarh, Punjabi University, Patiala and Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. — TNS


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