P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Governor’s pardon to ex-minister’s son challenged
Maneesh Chhibber
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 27
The controversial pardon granted to Sandeep Singh, son of former Punjab minister Teja Singh, who was serving life sentence in a murder case at Bathinda, has been challenged by the brother of the man he had killed.

Sandeep was sometime back pardoned on the orders of the Punjab Governor, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), after the Punjab Government sent him a request in this regard. Additional Sessions Judge, Bathinda, Jaspal Singh had a couple of years ago sentenced Sandeep and his two accomplices to life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5,000 each for murdering Harpal Singh and Rasal Singh, both residents of Multania road, Bathinda. A land dispute was the cause of the heinous crime, which had sent shockwaves throughout the region when it took place.

The pardon was first reported in The Tribune on July 15.

The petitioner - Mr Jagtar Singh of Bathinda - has questioned the pardon on the ground that since Sandeep, who had been convicted for double murder, had not completed the mandatory minimum of 12 years in prison, he could not have been pardoned.

As per the FIR, on the night of October 30, 1998, when Harpal and his farm labourer, Rasal Singh, were irrigating their land, they saw Sandeep and his two aides armed with 12 bore pistols and a mouser heading towards them. Both were gunned down by the accused. Apart from Sandeep, the other accused in the case were Jagga Singh and Monti.

Incidentally, the pardon was granted despite the fact that about a dozen criminal cases stood registered again Sandeep for offences ranging from murder, attempt to murder, illegal possession of arms to brawl.

After his mother, Rajinder Kaur, filed a petition for pardon, the Governor, exercising his powers under Article 161 of the Constitution, pardoned him.

In his petition filed through advocate Vijay K. Jindal, petitioner Jagtar Singh has prayed that the order of the Governor be set aside. He has stated that the pardon was the result of close political ties between the present Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and Teja Singh, father of Sandeep. As per the petition, both Capt Amarinder and Teja Singh were earlier in the Shiromani Akali Dal and later left the party together.

During preliminary hearing today, counsel for the petitioner told the Division Bench headed by Mr Justice Viney Mittal that as per the 1991 policy framed under Article 161, under which the pardon was granted, the accused in a double murder has to undergo a minimum imprisonment of 12 years before he could be pardoned.

The court was also informed that the pardon was also highly irregular and illegal as the High Court was still hearing the criminal revision petition filed by the father of deceased Harpal Singh for enhancement of the sentence of the accused.

After hearing the petitioner’s counsel, the Bench issued notices to the respondents for August 10.


Cong to file case against Badal in Sikh judicial panel
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Churian (Gurdaspur), July 27
The Congress will file a case in the Sikh Judicial Commission against Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Parkash Singh Badal.

“The SAD president is using the premises of the SGPC for organising political rallies. Recently the SAD organised a rally at Bhai Gurdas Hall in Amritsar. The premise belongs to the SGPC and the SAD has no right to use it for political purposes,” Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Revenue Minister Amarjeet Samra stated this while taking to mediapersons here today.

They were here to organise a rally as a part of the mass contact programme launched by the Congress in view of the coming elections.

Mr Randhawa said the SAD had destroyed the religious institutes of the Sikh. The politics was controlling the Sikh religious institutions. The way turbans were flying in meetings of the SGPC had hurt the sentiments of the Sikhs across the globe.

The Congress would not allow the SAD to use the religious institutions for political purposes. Besides the Sikh Judicial Commission, the party would also move the high court in the matter, he said.

While addressing the public rally, Mr Samra said the Congress had carried out landmark development in the state. The SAD was trying to forge alliance with whatever parties it could lay its hands upon whereas the Congress had already declared that it would go it alone in the elections.

Many top leaders of the SAD had already formed a separate alliance as Mr Parkash Singh Badal was interested just in the welfare of his family. He had never cared about the state or Sikhs, he alleged.

Mr Randhawa termed the recent Dalit rally of the SAD at Gurdaspur a total failure. Though the rally was termed as a Dalit rally, very few Dalits participated in it, he said.


School board textbooks available late to students
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 27
There is resentment among teachers against making various textbooks available late to students by the Punjab School Education Board.

Information gathered by The Tribune has revealed that certain books, including those of English and mathematics of certain classes, were made available by the board authorities only a few days ago. “ Almost a quarter of the current academic session is over, but books of certain subjects arrived in the market only in the second week of this month”, said the Headmaster of a Ludhiana-based school. And textbooks of certain subjects in the Hindi medium are not available in towns like Ropar, it is learnt.

Not only have books been made available late, vital changes have been made in the syllabi of certain subjects. For instance, a major change has been made in the subject of English for Class IX. The are three books of this subject. One is the main course book, the second a supplementary book and the third is a book on grammar. The pattern of the question paper for English has also been changed. “ Now the question paper will be of 80 marks”, said an English teacher of a Ludhiana school. He said there would be certain new aspects such as a passage and a stanza of a poem from outside the book.

Besides, chapters of the book on mathematics for Class IX have been expanded. Likewise, new chapters on environmental science have been added in science books for Classes VI to VIII , it is learnt. Earlier, there were 16 chapters in the science book for Class VIII and now there would be 25 , said a teacher.

Teachers say that if the board authorities wanted to make a change in the syllabus of any subject, they should have done it well in advance and made the books available at the beginning of the academic session.

Mr Manohar Lal Chopra, a former Principal, who had remained a member of the board for three years, said that everything was being done in a haphazard manner in academic matters in the board.

No orientation courses were organised by the board and no discussions were held at the level of subject teacher before making changes in the syllabus of any subject. He said the board had been copying the NCERT model without taking into consideration the existing situation in schools of Punjab. Though the syllabus of English had been upgraded, Punjab had no exclusive cadre of teachers of the subject. Hundreds of schools in the state were without adequate teaching staff, said Mr Chopra.

Mr Chopra said that meetings of the academic council were not held on a regular basis. Besides, there were no serious discussions whenever meetings were held. He said the academic council was packed with nominated members. Rarely were school teachers asked to take part in the discussions of the council.

He said the “ board has no provision to get feedback on a regular basis from subject teachers in schools, headmasters, parents and students.” 


Tribune followup
Abhinav Cotspin a sick unit, say bank records
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 27
Abhinav Cotspin, whose Promoter-Director has been the Punjab Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Ashwani Sekri, was declared a sick unit by the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) at its last hearing on June 21, as it had been a continuous defaulter in the repayment of loans of various banks and other financial institutions. Mr Sekri is also a guarantor of the company.

Abhinav Cotspin has been in the news (The Tribune, July 27, 2006) after the Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner of Gurdaspur, Mr T. S. Virk, was suspended allegedly for disallowing sales tax refund claims of the company and its trading firms.

Investigations by The Tribune reveal that various banks have filed recovery suits against the company.

For example, while the IFCI complained to the BIFR at the last hearing that the company was not making payments as per the agreed schedule and was in default, the Punjab and Sind Bank had filed a suit for Rs 10 crore as the company had raised from it a loan of Rs 250 lakh. Because of non-payment, the loan became an NPA.

The IFCI, before which the company had filed a restructuring proposal in July last year, had allowed one-time settlement (OTS) of its dues by accepting the principal amount of Rs 572.14 lakh in two parts of which the first part — 50 per cent of the amount — was to be paid back from the sale proceeds of the unit.

The other half was to be paid in 20 quarterly instalments.

The company had also entered into a settlement with the State Bank of India as it agreed to pay Rs 215 lakh as OTS against an outstanding of Rs 661 lakh.

The SBI representatives argued before the BIFR bench in June that the company should not be declared sick. The bank wanted permission to continue proceedings in the recovery suit filed by it against the company.

Representatives of the IFCI and the Punjab and Sind Bank also concurred with the SBI stand. The company, however, maintained that it defaulted on payment because the sale proceeds of assets sold were not received. Further, the company argued that Rs 90 lakh was stuck with the government. (This amount is probably a part of the amount the company was seeking from the Punjab Government as refund.)

The BIFR, while declaring the company a sick unit, appointed the IFCI as the Operating Agency with directions to prepare a viability study report and revival scheme for the company. This report is to be submitted within eight weeks.

Interestingly, a company which has been making representations to get it declared sick was showing an increased turnover before the state Excise and Taxation Department.


BJP demands CBI inquiry into refund of sales tax
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, July 27
The BJP has demanded a CBI inquiry into the allegation of fraudulent sales tax redemption by the kin of the Parliamentary Secretary from Batala, Mr Ashwani Sekri.

The state president of the BJP, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, while talking to The Tribune, said that the allegation of corruption was very serious in nature. The Congress government that got voted to power levelling allegations of corruption against opposition parties, was itself now neck-deep in corruption. It had been victimising the leaders of opposition on one pretext or another and registering cases of corruption against them on flimsy grounds.

However, when an officer took stand against corruption carried out by the ruling party leaders, he was victimised and made to bow to the whims of ruling party leaders. 


First company to launch triple play service in Punjab
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 27
Come December and denizens of Punjab will be able to view digital television, get their data through internet and telephone connection through the same optic fibre cable. HFCL Infotel is all set to launch itself as the country's first triple play service operator.

Talking to TNS here today, Mr Surendra Lunia, CEO of HFCL Infotel, said the company had earmarked Rs 400 crore for extending the 4000 km. already laid out optic fibre infrastructure, to homes of customers, across 132 towns in Punjab, over the next two years. The consumer will have to pay Rs 800-Rs 900 a month for availing this service as against Rs 1000-Rs 1200 a month he pays now for availing all three services separately.

"Once the service stabilises in Punjab, by the end of 2007, we will also replicate the triple play service model in neighbouring states of Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and western Uttar Pradesh," he said.

HFCL Infotel has commercially launched the service at Khanna (near Ludhiana), though it is analog TV being broadcast instead of digital TV. The pilot on triple play service with digital TV is also running successfully across 25 homes in Chandigarh and Mohali.

"By the end of 2007, we are aiming at 25 per cent of the market share from the total two million cable homes across the state; increase our telecom subscribers from 3. 50 lakh to 5 lakh; and, double our broadband connections from the existing 25,000," he added.

Mr Lunia said that the company was already in talks with cable operators across the state to hire them as front-end representatives for this service.

"This service, which will allow the true benefits of broadband to emerge, will be sold through franchisee cable operators, who will also collect the bills. The digital cable will ensure exceptional video quality for 80 channels (40 will be free), an interactive programme guide that enables one to search by title, time and theme, pay- per-view and Value Added Services like video on demand and gaming," he said.

The CEO of HFCL Infotel said they were aiming to emerge as the leaders in North India and triple play would be soon launched in Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and western Uttar Pradesh.

"We will initially lease the optic fibre infrastructure of other companies to launch our services by the end of 2007, and slowly build our own infrastructure," he added. 


Punjab Govt promotes 19 IAS officers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 27
The Punjab Government today ordered the promotion of 19 IAS officers to super-time scale.

The 19 officers are: Mr Anirudh Tewari, Mr Vijoy Kumar Singh, Mr Anurag Agarwal, Mr R. Venkat Ratnam, Mr Kulbir Singh, Mr Gurdev Singh Sidhu and Mr Jagjit Puri.

Mr Bidhi Chand Thakur, Mr Roshan Lal Kapoor, Mr Paramjit Singh Aujla, Mr Kulbir Singh Kang, Mr Kanwal Bir Singh Sidhu, Mr Gurinder Singh Grewal, Mr Harjit Singh, Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Mr Surinderjit Singh Sandhu, Mr Babu Lal, Mrs Usha R. Sharma and Mr Balbir Singh Sudan are the other promotees.

Meanwhile, the decision on granting the super-time scale to Mr H.R. Megh has been kept in a sealed cover to due to the pendency of departmental proceedings.

The grant of super-time scale to Mr Venkat Ratnam is without prejudice to any departmental or criminal proceedings which the Government may initiate against him for matters that are being looked into. Also the promotion case of Mr Sarup Singh Dhillon is being looked into separately and orders may be issued in due course.

Meanwhile in a separate development Ms Kusumjit Sidhu, a Punjab cadre officer of 1979-batch has been appointed as Secretary to the Punjab Governor, replacing Mr Navreet Singh Kang, who has been shifted to the Irrigation Department,

Mr Kang is actually proceeding on a 40-day leave from tomorrow. 


Wanted gangster Dhand nabbed
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
The city police late this evening announced the arrest of most wanted” gangster Nirdhosh Dhand who had hoodwinked the state police for the past two years after being involved in a bloody gang war in Ludhiana in early 2004.

DIG Parag Jain told The Tribune that Dhand was now running a racket of duping youths on the pretext of sending them abroad. There were 23 FIRs of different nature registered against him in the state.

Nirdosh was termed as the “don of Punjab” due to his well-knit underworld which indulged in illegal money-lending, charging high interest rates and fraudulently confiscating property, besides murder, attempt to murder, and robbery

He was caught from near Patran in Patiala district by a team led by SI Gurbans Singh Bains and SI Warryam Singh. Nirdosh was a victim of gang wars himself. A murderous attack was launched on him in 2003. He however, hit back eliminating his archrival in the underworld, Anil Kumar, alias Lalla, nephew of a senior BJP leader, in a broad daylight shootout in a crowded Haibowal market.

Nirdosh had many friends among politicians and police officers, whose money he invested in the illegal money-lending business.

The police has recovered a large number of fake passports from his possession.


Two brothers drowned
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, July 27
Three youths drowned in two different incidents in the district yesterday. While two brothers drowned in a canal near Lambi, the body of a youth was recovered from the “sarovar” of Gurdwara Tutti Gandi Sahib here.

Sources said 23-year-old Balkaran Singh of Dabwali was having an affair with a girl and both of them were pressurising their parents to agree to their marriage.

When their parents did not agree, they left for Balkaran’s relative’s home in Malout yesterday. Balkaran’s father, Gurdev Singh, on coming to know of his step followed them with his younger son Balkar and his friends.

They managed to persuade the couple to return home. When they were on their way back to Dabwali, Balkaran stopped his bike at a bank of a canal near Lambi and jumped into it along with his girlfriend.

Within moments, Balkar also dived into it to save his brother. Gurmeet Singh, resident of Adhnia, succeeded in rescuing the girl. However, he could not save any of the two brothers.

Shocked at the turn of events, their father too tried to jump into the canal to save his sons, but some passersby did not let him do so.

Meanwhile, in another incident, a 22-year-old youth drowned in the “sarovar” of Gurdwara Tutti Gandi Sahib here. Though the incident took place on Tuesday evening, his body could only be recovered yesterday.

Sources said the mishap occurred when the deceased, Naresh Kumar, was reportedly swimming across the “sarovar” along with his friends.


Rajnath didn’t meet Vedanti, says BJP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 27
Refuting the allegations levelled by the Delhi Akali Dal president, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, and his associate, Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, here yesterday, the BJP said its national president, Mr Rajnath Singh, did not held any secret parleys with Jathedar of Akal Takht Joginder Singh Vedanti in Amritsar on July 23.

Mr Harjit Singh Grewal, secretary, BJP, made a statement that Mr Sarna and Calcutta’s claim that Mr Rajnath Singh had met the Jathedar of Akal Takht was false.

Mr Calcutta and Mr Sarna had held a press conference in which they had stated that Mr Rajnath Singh had met the Jathedar of Akal Takht.

Mr Grewal said the railway record would substantiate that Mr Rajnath Singh arrived in Jalandhar by the Golden Temple Mail at 4.40 am on July 23 and returned to Delhi the same evening by Shatabadi.


Elections to members of DPCs stopped
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, July 27
The Punjab government has stopped elections of four/ fifths members of the District Planning Committees (DPCs) in all districts of the state.

In a fax message sent to all deputy commissioners-cum-member secretaries of the District Planning and Development Boards, the director of Department of the Planning (Local Plan Division), Punjab, has asked them to stop elections for electing four/fifths members of the DPCs till further orders. The elections have been stopped on administrative grounds.

In Sangrur district 23 members from among directly elected Sangrur Zila Parishad members were elected to the Sangrur DPC on July 24 while elections to elect nine members to the Sangrur DPC from among directly elected member of the municipal councils and nagar panchayats were postponed on July 25 due to lack of quorum as on that day 110 councillors of the SAD, the BJP and some independent councillors had boycotted the election meeting in protest against the alleged “faulty” voting pattern for the elections. Out of total 263 municipal councillors of the district only 136 were present at the election meeting while quorum of 176 members was needed for holding elections. 


Showers breach Rajpura nullah
Tribune New Service

Rajpura, July 27
The first major Monsoon showers seem to have washed away the claims of the authorities concerned about the flood protection works.

The tall claims of the Drainage Department about elaborate flood protection measures went for a toss when a 50-foot wide breach was reported in the “pachhi dare” nullah at Kami Kalan village on the Rajpura-Ambala road, near here, spreading panic in the Ganaur area of Rajpura subdivision. In view of the breach in the nullah, the water started flowing into the SYL canal.

According to sources, the breach was first noticed by a servant of Mr Harvinder Singh Kami, a member of the Zila Parishad. The servant informed Mr Kami, who later got into touch with officials concerned.

Even as panic gripped the area, the officials, including the SDM, Mr APS Virk, and the Tehsildar, Mr Rajesh Dhiman, reached the spot for an on-the-spot assessment of the situation. They had to use a two-wheeler instead of a Gypsy to reach the site, the sources stated.

Drainage Department sources informed that the breach occurred as adequate repair works could not be undertaken on the bundh of the nullah. The department had sought Rs 15 lakh for the repair of the bundh from the Punjab Government last year.

However, only Rs 3.5 lakh were reportedly sanctioned for the repair work.

Mr Virk informed that the work would be completed soon. There was no threat to life and property, the sources added.


Employees’ bodies meet CM on interim pay relief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 27
A joint delegation of the Punjab State Services Federation, the PSEB Employees Federation and the Punjab Kirti Kisan Majdoor Dal met the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinders Singh, and the Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, on Tuesday.

They were led by Mr Charanjit Singh Walia, president of the federation.

Mr Walia said they urged the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to include the clause of interim relief while fixing the terms of reference of the Pay Commission which was to be appointed by the state government.

They thanked the Chief Minister for taking a decision with regard to giving promotional scale to employees on completion of 4, 9 and 14 years of service.


Ludhiana doctor gets national award
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 27
Dr Kuldip Singh, Professor of Surgery working in Dyanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, has been conferred with national award for excellence in medical surgery by the International Study Circle and Economic Institute.

The award was conferred by Minister of State for Planning C.V.Rajashekhar. Dr Singh is the pioneer in laparoscopic surgery in the country and has innovated and contributed to the development of this specialty.


1 killed, 2 hurt in shootout
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, July 27
One person was killed while his father and elder brother were seriously injured in a shootout at Kala Bora village, around 25 km from here, today.

The family of Amrik Singh (son of Shingara Singh) on the one side and Shalvinder Singh (son of Jagir Singh) and Darbara Singh (son of Gurbachan Singh) on the other had a dispute over a piece of land.

They also had political differences as Amrik’s family supported the Akali Dal, whereas Shalvinder Singh and his family members supported the Congress.

A few days ago, both families had an altercation over some issue related to the ownership of a passage to the fields, regarding which Amrik Singh had informed the nearest police station.

He had even expressed apprehension about threat to his life and reportedly requested the police officials to seize the licensed weapons in custody of Shalvinder Singh and his family. But the police did not pay much need to his demand.

Today morning, when Amrik Singh and his two sons, Gurdip Singh and Swaran Singh, were working in their fields, Savinder Singh, a Congress leader, allegedly attacked them with firearms and sharp-edged weapons.

During the fight, a bullet hit Swaran Singh in the chest and he died on way to the hospital. Amrik Singh and Gurdip Singh, father and brother of the deceased, were injured in the incident. They were taken to the Civil Hospital, Ferozepore, for treatment. Their condition was said to be critical.

Mr K.S. Gill, SP, Detective, said the police had registered a case against Shalvinder Singh, Darbara Singh, Saraj Singh, Harbans Singh, Amarjit Singh and Tara Singh. 


Teenaged raped; two booked
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, July 27
Two persons, Nishan Singh and Ajit Singh of Gagrewal village falling under Verowal, police station, have been booked for allegedly raping a teenaged girl of the same village.

A case under Sections 376, 506 and 34, IPC, has been registered on the complaint of the father of the victim, who alleged that his daughter was found missing on July 24 night.

However, the girl said nothing objectionable was done with her by the accused. The medico-legal report (MLR) issued by the doctor confirms the allegation of rape levelled by the father of the victim. The accused were yet to be arrested. 


Patwari caught taking bribe
Our Correspondent

Kharar, July 27
A patwari was arrested by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau officials for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 25,000 from a resident of Chandigarh.

The patwari, Satnam Singh, was produced in a court in Mohali today where he was remanded in police custody for one day.

The raid was conducted by a team of officials headed by Mr Zora Singh Brar, DSP, Vigilance Bureau, Flying Squad I, Punjab, and the bribe amount was recovered from the patwari.

Mr Brar told Chandigarh Tribune that a compliant was made to the bureau by Mr Rajinder Singh, a resident of Chandigarh, that bribe was allegedly being asked by the patwari for getting mutations of his plot done. He said that Mr Rajinder Singh had purchased a plot in Shivalik Enclave which was got registered in 2003 but now he wanted to get the mutation done. The patwari allegedly demanded Rs 50,000 for the work. When Mr Rajinder Singh went to give Rs 25,000 to him he was allegedly caught red-handed.

Mr Brar said that the recovery was made in the presence of two witnesses. They were Mr Jasvir Singh , Deputy Director in the Forest Department , and Mr Ashwini Kumar, another official of the same department. 


7 ultrasound centres sealed
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 27
The district health authorities have sealed seven ultrasound centres on the charge of violating the PNDT Act.

The Civil Surgeon, Dr Dalip Kumar, said the action was initiated against four of these centres for not sending reports as required under the Act, while the rest were sealed due to their erroneous record.


No takers for 50 pc PTU engineering seats
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 27
Engineering colleges in Punjab affiliated to Punjab Technical University (PTU) have been able to fill only 50 per cent of the seats they offered in various branches. The counselling for 85 per cent state quota seats ended at Jalandhar yesterday. PTU would not hold any subsequent counselling for the seats rendered vacant.

Out of the 7,695 engineering seats offered by 49 PTU colleges in the state quota, about 3,754 seats have not been filled. Some colleges have managed to admit only two or three students each.

According to the data provided by the PTU, only two out of the 204 seats offered by the Punjab College of Engineering and Technology, Lalru Mandi have been filled. Similarly, the Shiv Shankar Institute of Engineering and Technology Patti, Amritsar, has been able to get only two students for the 135 seats it offered. The Bhutta Engineering College, Ludhiana, too could fill only three of its 136 seats and the Swami Parmanand College of Engineering and Technology, Jaulan Kalan, Dera Bassi, has only four students admitted for the 136 seats it offered. The Doaba Institute of Engineering and Technology, Kharar, got only five students for its 136 seats and IITT, Pojewal could fill only seven out of its 132 seats. The rest of the colleges have managed to get at least 10 or more students.

On the other hand, some colleges have 100 per cent seats full. These include Baba Banda Singh College Fatehgarh Sahib, Chandigarh Engineering College, Landran, DAVIET, Jalandhar, Regional College Gurdaspur, Regional College Jalandhar, Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College Ludhiana, PAU Ludhiana and the Punjabi University Patiala.

Branch wise, architecture proved to be the most unpopular course. More than 80 per cent seats have remained vacant with only 27 out of 140 seats filled in this branch. Electrical and Electronics Engineering (EEE) and Electrical Engineering (EE) too did not find many takers with 75 per cent seats remaining vacant in each branch. More than 61 per cent of the seats remain vacant in Mechanical Engineering branch and another 55 per cent seats are vacant in Civil Engineering. In the 22 pharmacy colleges affiliated to PTU, out of the total 578 seats, only 286 seats have been filled and 51 per cent seats remain vacant.

The most popular course, however, has been the Computer Science Engineering (CSE) in which out of the 1,696 seats, over 1,200 had been filled. Out of the 731 seats offered in Information Technology by various colleges, only 290 have gone vacant making this the next most popular course. The largest number of seats was offered in Electronics and Computer Engineering (1859) out of which there are no takers for 41 per cent seats.


Principal gives clean chit to one accused
Ravi Dhaliwal

Patiala, July 27
In a new twist to the case, Mohindra College Principal D.I.S Brar, who was allegedly assaulted by a group of outsiders on the college campus on Tuesday, has submitted an affidavit to the police, stating that he had by mistake named Shera Pandit as one of the accused in his initial statement made to the police on basis of which an FIR was registered

Mr Brar denied that it was under any political pressure that he presented the affidavit, which he got signed from an Executive Magistrate, to the police. Incidentally, Shera Pandit is the son of a district-level Congress leader.

According to Mr Puneet Singh, Investigating Officer and in charge of Police Division no. 2, the police moved an application in a local court today, seeking Shera Pandit’s discharge from the case following Mr Brar’s affidavit. The same court today also issued a notice to Mr Brar.

In a related development, the police today arrested another accused, Kuldeep Keepa, who was later produced in a local court which remanded him in police custody till July 28. Two others—Shera Pandit and Kala Mainwala—who were remanded in police custody till today, were sent in judicial custody by the same court till August 10.

Based on Mr Brar’s initial statement, the Kotwali police had named six persons in the FIR, including Shera Pandit, and had even procured a police remand for both Shera Pandit and Kala Mainwala from a local court yesterday.

Sources revealed that the police is on the lookout for some former students of the college who might have motivated the accused to attack the Principal.

Meanwhile, students and teachers of Mohindra College, who sat on dharna yesterday, once again observed a total strike in the college. 


Counselling for MCA on July 31

Amritsar, July 27
Guru Nanak Dev University would hold counselling for admission to the NRI/NRI-sponsored seats in the MCA (three-year) course for 2006-07 on July 31 at Maharaja Ranjit Singh Bhavan of the university. The university would also hold interviews for admission to vacant seats in BSc (hons school) in botany, chemistry and physics on the basis on JET (UG)-sciences on July 31 up to the merit rank 350. — TNS


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