P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Punjab indicted for creating excess IPS posts
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
Slamming the Punjab Government, the Auditor General,Punjab, in the latest report on the functioning of the Punjab Police, said there had been excess and wrong creation of ex-cadre posts for the IPS cadre in the state.

Taking a test period from April 2001 to March 2006, it said the Punjab Police had operated with an excess of 10 DGPs and a whopping 163 posts for ADGPs, IGs, DIGs and SPs spread over these 
five years.

For the last year, there were 7 DGPs in excess while in the ‘other category’, 9 posts were in excess. In the latter category, there have been years when more than 40 posts were in excess. 
This is part of the report is on ‘Manpower management of the Police Department’.

The report says the IPS (Cadre) rules, 1954, provide that there is no restriction on the state government for creating ex-cadre posts at the level of ADGP, IGP, DIGP and SP. However, these ex-cadre posts have to be kept within the prescribed number of the State Deputation Reserve that is 19 in case of Punjab.

At the level of the DGP, one ex-cadre post can be created in Punjab. The number of ex-cadre posts can only exceed the prescribed statutory limit with the approval of 
the Centre.

Punjab has a cadre strength of 144 IPS officers that was fixed in November, 2003, by the Union Government.

The break up is: 79 senior posts of IPS officers, 31 posts of Central Deputation Reserve, 19 posts of State Deputation Reserve, 13 posts of Leave Reserve and Junior Posts Reserve and two posts of Training 

The audit report says no approval had been taken from the Government of India and this caused a loss of Rs 4.85 crore just to operate these posts.

Defending itself before the audit inquiry, the Police Department has taken a plea that the Government of India had not taken the IPS officers on deputation hence the IPS officers, who were not on Central deputation were posted in the state against the State Deputation Reserve.

The audit has said, “ The reply is not acceptable because no approval of excess ex-cadre post was obtained from Government of India.”

Apart from this, the audit says irregular promotions in excess of 10 per cent sports quota led to avoidable expenditure of Rs 48.46 lakh.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had said in July,1998, to revert wrongly promoted officers. 128 of them were reverted after a lapse of more than five years, hence excess salary was paid to them.

Another 305 were to be reverted and till May, 2006, there had been no reversion.

The Police Department also failed to recover a sum of Rs 11.70 crore that was to be recovered from other departments and organisations for deploying manpower.

The audit report says that a monitoring and evaluation cell may be created to evaluate the manpower of the police and the work done by its field officers.

This is required to ensure than manpower sanctioned for particular purpose is used 


Deepak Kaul returns before deadline
Denies seizure of documents
Tribune News Service

Wagah, August 7
The expelled diplomat, Mr Deepak Kaul, a visa counsellor at the Indian High Commission, Islamabad today returned to his homeland, through Wagah Joint Check Post, a few hours before the deadline, fixed by Pakistan, here.

Distressed over being handcuffed blindfolded and detained for several hours, Mr Kaul denied that any document was seized from him by Pakistani officials. He, however, made a disclosure about his unlawful detention and misbehaviour with him .

Attired in white shirt and blue pant, Mr Kaul alleged that he was picked up from the Islamabad-Lahore motorway on Saturday morning by a group of persons who pounced on him in bizarre action. He, however, did not reveal the mode of interrogation at the hands of Pakistanis. He said such action showed that Islamabad wanted an excuse to expel him on flimsy grounds.

True to his Indian style, he replied in the affirmative when asked whether he would like to go back to Pakistan for the same assignment.

Mr Kaul, was arrested around 7.30 A.M. on Saturday while he was on his way to Wagah border by road to receive his family. The Pakistan media that lined up with the official version had blamed that Mr Kaul was a RAW official. and was arrested while having tea at a kiosk on the Islamabad-Lahore motorway. However, it is learnt that Mr Kaul went to Pakistan about a month ago and was on his way to Wagah to receive his family members when he was picked up by Pakistanis, believed to be ISI officials.

The expulsion of diplomats by Pakistan and India has further hit the peace process since this Joint Check Post had witnessed great traffic here before the Mumbai serial blasts.

There were anxious moments for mediapersons too who had been waiting for him since morning even as the expelled diplomat arrived here at 5.45 P.M., before the daily beating the retreat ceremony. 

State gets 8 more Indian Forest Service officers
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
Taking up the much-delayed Indian Forest Service (IFS) cadre review for Punjab, the Government of India has given eight additional IFS posts to the state.

This was decided during a meeting of the Cadre Review Committee chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, Government of India, on August 4.

Other than the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests whose post remains unchanged, the state would have two Additional Principal Chief Conservators of Forests (APPCCF), five more Chief Conservators of Forests (CCF) and three more Conservators of Forests (CF).

The strength of IFS officers in the state would now go up from the current 45 to 53. The last IFS cadre review for Punjab was done in 1995 and was due since 2000.

Under the IFS cadre rules 1966, the composition of each cadre needs to be re-examined after five years by the Centre in consultation with the state government concerned.

At present, there is no cadre post of APCCF in Punjab. Now there would be two additional principal chief conservators of forests: APCCF (Development) and APCCF (Wildlife) who would also be the Chief Wildlife Warden.

The post of the APCCF (Development) would be upgraded from the current post of Chief Conservator of Forests (Head Quarters).

The state had in its proposal also demanded that the number of posts of the Chief Conservator of Forests be increased from the current one to seven. However the Cadre Review Committee agreed to give five additional posts of CCF to the state.

Punjab had also proposed that the number of Conservators of Forests (CF) be increased from the current six to nine which was approved as such.

These would be posted for Ferozepur, Bist Circle, South Circle, Shivalik Circle, Projects Policy and Planning, Conservation, Research and Training, Monitoring and Evaluation and Wildlife (Shivalik Circle).

The state had further demanded that the present 20 cadre posts of Deputy Conservators of Forests in the state be reduced to 18 which too was accepted.

Sources added that Haryana has two third the forest area of Punjab and the number of IFS officers in the state is 69 while in Punjab it was 45 for many years and the review was long overdue.

As per the procedure, a cadre review proposal is received from the state government and discussed with the Union Ministry of Environment of Forests.

A joint proposal is prepared which is then placed before the Cadre Review Committee.

The Secretary, Expenditure, Secretary, Personnel, Secretary, Environment and Forests, and the Chief Secretary of the state concerned meet under the chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary and approve the review.

For Punjab, however, the Chief Secretary could not attend the meeting and another officer from the department represented the state.

Recommendations of the Cadre Review Committee would now be placed before the Minister of Environment of Forests and following his approval, the revised cadre is notified by the Department of Personnel and Training.


35 suffering from hepatitis-B in Bhikhiwind
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Bhikhiwind, August 7
Several persons are in the grip of hepatitis B in this border belt due to alleged contaminated ground water.

Mr Chaman Lal, Mr Hardeep Singh, Mr Jaspal Singh, Mr Salwinder Singh and Mr Mehar Singh are some of the names out of the 35 persons who are suffering from deadly hepatitis B and C at Darajke, Pehalwanke and Chela villages in Bhikhiwind block of the newly created Tarn Taran district.

Mr Hardeep Singh, suffering from hepatitis B, told TNS that he was a regular blood donor and came to know that he had been suffering from the disease when he donated blood for his own child at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital some time back.

He said the hospital authorities told him to get treatment for the deadly virus. He said the course for the treatment of the virus continued for almost 52 weeks and he had to spend about Rs 14,000 every week for the injection and other medicines imported from the USA.

He said the doctors claimed that the effect of the treatment would last for 15 years and after that the virus could attack again.

Mr Salwinder Singh of Daleeri village, who is a lab technician himself, is suffering from hepatitis C. He said he had spent about Rs 2.5 lakh on the treatment. He alleged that the government had not organised any camp for giving vaccine for hepatitis B in the past.

He said the tests for detecting virus were costly and out of reach of the poor. He said the PCR qualitative test by Ranbaxy and Zeno Type test cost Rs 11,000 and Rs 3,500, respectively.

Dr Vijay Dhawan, who runs a private clinic in the town, said five per cent of the patients who visited his clinic suffered from the virus.

Dr S.P.S. Sohal, Civil Surgeon, feigned ignorance about the spread of hepatitis B in the area and said he would instruct the Senior Medical Officer to investigate.


Poll: NRI politicians head ‘home’
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
Although the elections to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha are almost six months away, members of the Punjabi diaspora with strong affiliations with political parties here have now started heading for their ‘‘homeland’’.

‘‘I have come here to work for the success of the Shiromani Akali Dal in the coming elections," says Mr Kehar Singh Gill, president of the Canadian unit of the dal. Credited with the drafting of the constitution of the Shiromani Akali Dal of Canada, Mr Gill also undertook a membership drive besides holding organisational elections of various units of the dal.

Many others, including those holding key positions in the Indian Overseas Congress and other wings of the Shiromani Akali Dal, have also started arriving here to work for their respective parties in the coming poll.

Recently, Mr S.S. Grewal, Mayor of Hounslow in England, had also announced that he would accompany a group of political activists to Punjab in time for the Assembly elections. Mr Grewal is a brother of the national general secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Mr H.S. Grewal.

An active member of the Liberal party, Mr Gill, who worked as a school teacher for 34 years before emigrating to Canada in 1988, also claimed that it was he who set up the first unit of the SAD in Canada. ‘‘Although I am keenly involved in Canadian politics, my interest in politics back home continues," says Mr Gill, revealing that a large number of other activists of the Canadian SAD would also arrive in Punjab in time to work for the party candidates in their respective villages and towns.

‘‘ Besides working for the Shiromani Akali Dal overseas, we are also acting as a bridge between the Canadian Government and the Punjab Government. In 1999, I headed a delegation of Canadian Sikhs in the tercentenary celebrations of the Khalsa and carried with me a letter of greetings from Prime Minister Jeane Chretian," says Mr Gill, who was honoured with Queen Elizabeth's Gold Medal in July last year.


CM to unfurl flag in Patiala
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, will unfurl the National Flag and take salute at a state-level function to be held at Patiala on the occasion of Independence Day.

The Deputy Chief Minister, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, would unfurl the National Flag at Sangrur.

A government spokesman today said the Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Dr Kewal Krishan, would unfurl the National Flag at Gurdaspur; Chowdhary Jagjit Singh, Local Government Minister, would do so at Amritsar;Mr Lal Singh, Rural Development and Panchayat Minister, at Ludhiana; Mr Raghunath Sahai Puri, Transport Minister, at Ropar; Mr R.C. Dogra, Technical Education Minister, at Hoshiarpur; Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Minister, at Muktsar; Mr Sardul Singh and Excise and Taxation Minister, at Tarn Taran.

Mr Mohinder Singh Kaypee, Welfare of SCs and BCs cum Social Security Minister, would unfurl the National Flag at Nawanshahar ; Mr Avtar Henry, Industry and Commerce Minister, at Kapurthala; Mr Harnam Dass Johar, Public Health Minister, at Fatehgarh Sahib; Mr Amarjit Singh Samra, Co-operation and NRIs Affairs Minister, at Jalandhar; Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, Revenue and Rehabilitation Minister, at Moga; Mr Surinder Singla, Finance Minister, would unfurl the National Flag at Faridkot.

Similarly, Prof Darbari Lal, Deputy Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, would unfurl the National Flag at Mohali; Mr Rakesh Pandey, State Minister, Horticulture and Science and Technology, at Phagwara; Mr Hans Raj Josan, Minister, Forest and Irrigation, at Ferozepur; Mrs Gurkanwal Kaur, Minister, Cultural Affairs Archives and Museums, at Kharar.


Delhi Sikh body leaders blast SAD on ‘palki’ issue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
The senior leaders of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) — Mr Harvinder Singh Sarna, president, Mr Rajinder Singh Techno, general-secretary, and Mr S. Bhajan Singh Walia, member — today said the controversy over the ‘Golden Palki’ was being raised by leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Panthak) as they had no other issue to raise before the Sikh sangat.

“Neither they contributed anything for this palki nor were they connected with it,” they said.

The entire money for the palki was given through Jagjit Singh Kochhar to Baba Jagtar Singh Kar Sewawale.

“He is the same saint from whom the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhank Committee (SGPC) got two golden palkis made for Gurdwara Ram Sar, Amritsar, and Sri Darbar Sahib, Tarn Taran,” they added.

The opponents of the DSGMC have been accusing that the palki was financed either by Mr Ponty Chadha or by Mr Santa Singh or by Mr Jagjit Singh. All these persons belong to one family.

Interestingly, Mr Jagjit Singh Kochhar, while talking to the press some days ago, had disclosed that all payment for the palki was done through him though he did not say that he had paid the money.

He clarified that his family collected the amount and only they knew the details of the material and money spent on the palki, which was necessary for getting approval from the Reserve Bank of India for taking the palki to Pakistan. According to him, 10.4 kg of gold had been used.

The SGPC, Amritsar, got the golden palki made by Baba Jagtar Singh, Kar Sewawale in the past and were getting it done presently also. 


Karat warns Centre against US diktats
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 7
Mr Prakash Karat, general secretary, CPM, has warned the UPA government at the Centre of losing support of Communist parties if its foreign policies are influenced by diktats of the US.

Mr Karat made this statement at a public rally here today. He said, “When the US Congress could discuss the nuclear agreement with India threadbare before approving it, then why not the Indian Parliament can do the same”.

He maintained that talks between India and Iran on the proposed gas pipeline should not suffer under the weight of American policy.

When asked about the proposed amendment to the Right to Information Act for not disclosing file notings, Mr Karat categorically said they would not support the move in Parliament. His party had already conveyed its views to the UPA leadership against the amendment.

About the downturn in the Indo-Pak relationship, the Communist leader said Pakistan must press its resources not only to contain terrorism but also to eliminate its infrastructure. 


Amarinder urged to revive labour courts
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 7
The District Bar Association, Patiala, has urged the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh to make arrangements for immediately providing necessary infrastructure, staff and other basic facilities to revive the functioning of labour courts in Punjab to secure justice for thousands of workmen and industrial workers at the earliest.

In a letter written to Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, Mr B. S. Billing, president, District Bar Association, Patiala, today said that due to the suspension of work in these labour courts having jurisdiction over 70 per cent area of Punjab, thousands of workmen as well as industrial employers had been adversely affected along with their families. The number of pending cases had also increased in the absence of presiding judges in labour courts.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court withdrew Judicial Officers of three labour courts at Bathinda, Patiala and Jalandhar in March 2006 on account of failure of the Punjab Government to provide proper infrastructure, staff and other basic facilities for the litigants.

The members of bar association as well as members of Bar Association, Labour Court, Patiala, had been facing hardships on account of suspension of work of above stated courts since March 2006.

The Punjab Government had started renovation of the building of Labour Court, Patiala, but the work was delayed as the necessary funds had not been released to the civil works contractor. The Labour Department had also failed to provide necessary staff to the labour courts in Punjab. The Finance Department refused to sanction the posts of required staff for labour courts without any justified reason.

The labour courts could be provided with proper staff on Haryana pattern or they could be provided staff equivalent to consumer courts, which had been established at district headquarters and were directly under the Punjab government.

He added that the Chief Minister should ask Chief Secretary to make arrangements of staff and other infrastructure for revival of functioning of labour courts in consultation with the Punjab and Haryana High Court. 


Revealing love for trees 
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
Mr D.S. Jaspal has joined a selected band of bureaucrats, who, besides holding a key position in the civil administration, continue to pursue their interest in research and academics.

Mr Jaspal, from the 1976-batch of the IAS, has travelled nearly 30,000 km in the past six months to document 48 sacred and historic Sikh shrines, named after 17 species of trees, for completing work on his latest exhibition of photographs.

The shrines studied for the project include Baba Budha Ber Sahib inside the Golden Temple complex, Gurdwara Bohr Sahib in Anandpur Sahib, Gurdwara Jand Sahib in Gumti Kalan (Bathinda), Gurdwara Tahli Sahib in Nawan Shahr, Gurdwara Ber Sahib in Sultanpur Sahib, Gurdwara Datun Sahib in Leh and Gurdwara Ritha Sahib in Uttaranchal.

The exhibition — Tryst with Trees — will be inaugurated by the Union Minister of State for Tourism, Mrs Ambika Soni, in New Delhi, on Tuesday, and is sponsored by the WWF.

In all, there are 27 exhibits. The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, will preside over the inauguration.

A keen photographer, Mr Jaspal, not only visited some of the historic shrines in Pakistan, including Nankana Sahib, but also went up to Leh in support of his thesis that Sikh Gurus were “environmentalists” who had realised the significance of “trees”.

He, during the course of his research, found that in some of the gurdwaras trees as old as 400 years, were being preserved.

It was during his tenure as Principal Secretary, Forests and Environment, that he started evincing interest in the subject.

Using a Nikon 12-mega pixel, D2X digital camera, he has captured some extraordinary images depicting spiritual fervour and devotion centered on sacred trees.

The ‘Dukhbanjani Berri’ in the Golden Temple with its ripe, brown beri fruit, with devotees taking a dip in the holy sarovar, and in the midst a family of pigeons which have made the lamppost beneath the beri as their home, makes for a stunningly beautiful picture by Mr Jaspal.

This is perhaps the first time that anyone has worked on the trees in Sikh temples to emphasise the need for their preservation.


MC cancels tenders worth Rs 1.1 cr
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, August 7
A tug of war between the local municipal council administration and the elected members belonging to the majority group in the council led to the cancellation of tenders worth Rs 1.1 crore by the President of council Simrat Rana Punia today.

Ms Punia cancelled the tenders, which were advertised for carrying out 86 development works, on the ground that the authorities concerned had neither prepared estimates for the development works nor got technical approval before advertising those in the newspapers.

Ms Punia, an Independent councillor, was elected to the post of council President with the support of three BJP councillors, one from SAD, four belonging to the rival group of Congress in the council and five Independent councillors. The election took place on June 8 at a meeting at PUDA Bhavan in Mohali.

Before her election as President, the Congress had remained in power from the first week of April, 2003, to the first week of April 2006.

Talking to The Tribune here, Mr Jatinder Kalra, a BJP councillor, said the President had written a letter to the executive officer (EO) of the council on August 4 last stating that it had come to her notice that the council had invited sealed tenders through an advertisement in the newspapers for various development works without preparing estimates of the development works and getting technical approval of the same. She asked the officer to cancel the tenders and send information to the newspapers in this regard.

Mr Kalra said the President today wrote a letter to the officer saying that as he had failed to prepare the estimates and seek technical approval of the development works, she cancelled the tenders.

He alleged that the administration had allotted development works worth about Rs 60 lakh to eight councillors of the ruling Congress while works worth Rs 30 lakh had been allotted for the Wards of 13 councillors, who were now in power. Remaining funds had been allotted for general works, like construction of dharamshalas, a gymnasium etc. 


Awareness drive
Tribune News Service

Ropar, August 7
The district administration today launched a campaign to make people aware about going abroad through “illegal” travel agent. Giving details, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Alok Shekhar, said that as per the information provided by the state government, it surfaced that fake travel agents were cheating innocent villagers and playing with their lives.

Travel agents, after charging handsome money, were sending youths to Africa through sea route then to Europe through fake documents. Thereafter, the travel agents took back all the documents from youths and left them in lurch. The youths had nothing to prove their identification and were detained by the police.


Recruit service providers, demands vet association
Our Correspondent

Kharar, August 7
The Punjab State Veterinary Officers Association (PSVOA) has sought a speedy recruitment of service providers in the Animal Husbandry Department in order to ensure smooth functioning.

The demand was made at a meeting held under the chairmanship of Dr. T.P.Saini, senior president and Dr. Ashok Sharma, president, PSVOA.

Dr Sharma and Dr Saini said that more than 50 per cent posts of Veterinary Officers and para veterinary staff were lying vacant and as such various schemes of the Punjab Government could not be implemented in a proper way. Even the targets fixed by the department could not be achieved.

They appealed to the government to recruit service providers within three weeks so that they could further recruit veterinary pharmacists and safaisewaks. This would create job opportunities for those who were unemployed.

They further said that if within three weeks recruitment was not done, they would be compelled to follow the path of protest and join the unemployed professionals in their agitation.


Health camp at Arya school
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 7
The District Red Cross Society, in association with the Blood Bank and District Blindness Control Society, organised a one-day health awareness and medical check-up camp at the Arya Senior Secondary School here today.

Speaking after inaugurating the camp, School Principal Kamlesh Sharma said such camps were important to educate children about their health as well as examine them.

Dr Anil Pathak, an eye surgeon, said children suffering from partial blindness would be provided with medicines to tide over their problems.

Blood Bank’s publicity officer Dr Sukhwinder Singh educated students about the importance of blood grouping, safe blood donation, anaemia and blood transfusion.

Red Cross official K.R. Verma guided children about the importance of weight, height and first aid during emergencies.

Health cards of children were prepared and parents of sick children were informed about their wards’ health.


New cancer unit at GND Hospital
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 7
The state government is going to set up a cancer unit at the Guru Nanak Dev Hospital here with Central assistance.

Prof Darbari Lal, Deputy Speaker Punjab Vidhan Sabha, said here today said that the Centre had already allocated Rs 2 crore for the purchase of state-of-the-art rotating cobalt unit as the radiotherapy cobalt plant at government Medical college had become obsolete.

Out of the total estimated cost of Rs 8 crore, the Central Government would provide Rs 5 crore for the unit.

He said the state government had also sanctioned Rs 1.79 crore for providing infrastructure for the hospital. After utilisation of Rs 2 crore, the Centre would allocate the remaining Rs 3 crore, he added.


Soft drink samples seized
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, August 7
Following a recent report of alleged presence of pesticides far higher than permissible limit in soft drinks, the district health authorities have seized 11 samples of various soft drinks, including Coca Cola, Pepsi, Dew, 7 Up and Limca, from various supply sources.

This was disclosed by Dr M.L. Puri, District Health Officer, here today.

He said all samples had been sent to the state laboratory for tests and after receiving report, action would be taken accordingly.

Mr Brij Mohan Batra, a local dealer of Coca Cola products, told this correspondent that on account of adverse publicity by electronic and print media about the report, the sale of Coca Cola products had been affected badly. The sale of these products had gone down by more than 50 per cent causing great loss to him.

Similarly, local agents of soft drinks complained about the decrease in the sale of the products.


Police patrol inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Batala, August 7
The city has been divided into 14 beats to be patrolled by 14 motor cycle-borne cops.

Every mobile motor cycle unit will be equipped with a walkie-talkie for better policing. Two new Gypsies have been added. These have been given phone No. 327200 and the public can approach the mobile units on this number in case of assistance.

The units were flagged off today by SSP L.K. Yadav and were operational from yesterday. Mobile control unit will be headed by Inspector Jaspal Singh.


Panel to probe bungling in tender allocation
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 7
Mayor Vishnu Sharma has constituted a two-member committee to probe the allegations of bungling in tenders pertaining to allocation and execution of civil works in the town.

The inquiry committee will comprise Deputy Mayor I.S. Boparai and councillor Pawan Nagrath, while Municipal Corporation’s legal officer Rajinder Modgill has been asked to assist the committee.

Reports pertaining to bungling in tenders had surfaced in a section of the media, following which the Mayor took the action of constituting the committee.

It had been alleged the MC had floated tenders worth Rs 20 crore but works had been allocated to some favoured contractors even before the tender forms were submitted.

The Mayor has also ordered the MC secretary to hand over relevant records of the tendering procedure to the committee members.

The work of the Finance and Consultative Committee (F&CC) has been put on hold and the Commissioner has been asked not to initiate further work on tenders till the inquiry report is submitted.


Shifting of IT office opposed
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, August 7
Members of the Taxation Bar Association of Pathankot opposed the shifting of Income Tax office from the city. At a press conference here today Mr Rajinder Gupta, president of the association, said the Department of Income Tax was planning to shift the Pathankot-based office to a place 12 km outside the city.

If the office was shifted to the proposed site it would cause inconvenience to the traders and Income Tax payers in the city.

The Pathankot traders also opposed the move to shift the office from the city. The lawyers said that they would submit a memorandum in this regard.


1 more held for driver’s murder
Our Correspondent

Kharar, August 7
The police today arrested one more person in connection with the alleged murder of a driver in Mundi Kharar.

Bahadur Singh was killed on Saturday night after he was allegedly attacked with cricket bats and sharp-edged weapons by three persons.

The SHO of the Kharar city police station, Mr Shaminder Singh, said while Gurnam Singh was arrested today, Kuldeep Kaur, mother of Gurnam Singh, and Anita, wife of Baljit Balli, were arrested yesterday. The women were booked on a charge of trying to destroy evidence in the crime.

Two more persons, Valaiti Ram and Baljit Balli, were still at large.

The police had booked Vilaiti Singh, his son Gurnam Singh, his wife Kuldeep Kaur, their neighbour Baljit Balli and his wife Anita under Sections 302 , 201, 148 and 149 of the IPC in connection with the alleged murder. 


Five arrested for youth’s murder
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, August 7
The police today arrested five persons involved in a robbery in Kotkapura last week.

SSP Arun Pal Singh told that unidentified men had killed 22-year-old Bharat Bhushan, of Kotkapura, with sharp-edged weapons on the night of July 31 and threw his body into a sewer. On his father’s statement, the police had registered a case under Section 302 of the IPC.

The police today arrested Gurpreet Singh alias Bhinda, Major Singh, Nishant Kumar alias Nishu, Desraj alias Desu, and Kulwinder Singh, on the charge of killing Bharat.

Their interrogation revealed that they had a brawl with the deceased over some issue a few months back. On the fateful night when Bharat was attending a “jagraata” they persuaded him to accompany them for a cigarette. On reaching a secluded spot they strangulated him and hit in his neck with sharp edged weapons before dumping the body into a sewer. The police said they were also involved in a robbery of Rs 5,000 from a motorcycle rider in Kotkapura on August 5.


Doctor held for graft
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 7
The Vigilance Bureau today nabbed a doctor posted in local Civil Hospital while he was accepting a bribe of Rs 2,500 from a woman hailing from Naruana. Vigilance DSP Rajinder Singh told that the complainant Rajinder Kaur had stated that the doctor, Kuldeep Rai, had conducted postmortem examination of her mother a couple of months back. She alleged that the doctor threatened that he would come out with the postmortem report that would go against her if she didn’t pay him Rs 10,000. The DSP said the doctor first took Rs 6,000 from her, but his luck ran out of favour today when he was caught red-handed while accepting the second instalment of Rs 2,500 from her.


Sarpanch booked
Our Correspondent

Abohar, August 7
The police has booked Ms Kashmir Kaur, sarpanch, Deewankhera village, and Sher Singh for alleged forgery in the sale of agricultural land. The action has been taken on a complaint referred by the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr Rahul Tiwari.

Gurdarshan Singh, a resident of Ferozepore had stated in the complaint that his sister Veerpal Kaur owned 11-acres of agricultural land at Khuyiansarwar village as ancestral property.

Three residents of the same village allegedly sold out the land to some residents of Sangrur district fraudulently. One of them introduced himself as Gurdarshan Singh and one of the three women accompanying them was introduced as Veerpal Kaur at the time of registry before the revenue official here on June 7.

An agreement was forged on May 25 to justify the sale proceedings. The woman sarpanch of Deewankhera village had reportedly verified their identity.


105 teachers found absent, 107 late
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 7
Pitiable standard of education in the border belt, especially near zero line, has again come to light with 105 teachers being absent, the largest ever absenteeism detected so far. Sixteen high-powered inspection teams, comprising seven DEOs, four Deputy DEOs and four Principals, conducted surprised visits to various schools in the district today.

The entire Amritsar district (excluding Tarn Taran) was divided into 16 zones by the Secretary Education, Mr Sarvesh Kaushal, to conduct surprise visits. A special cell was formed at Chandigarh to monitor the move.

As many as 107 teachers were found reporting late on duty while some of them tried to hoodwink the authorities by producing forged applications.

Mr Kaushal said the absentees would be chargesheeted under Section 8 of he Punjab Civil Services Rule that included break in service for the absent period. The latecomers would be served show-cause notices under rule 10 of the Punjab Civil Services Rules and would be given minor punishment. Some non-teaching staff was also found absent.

The teams covered many schools along the Pakistan border. In a school at Sathiala, six teachers were found absent.

The officials prepared a comprehensive report pointing out glaring inadequacies and haphazard planning in different schools. The lack of cleanliness, stinking bathrooms and leaking roofs were perennial problems at the border schools. The inspection report revealed that proper care was not taken while constructing school buildings.

Mr Kaushal said efforts would be made to fill vacancies at the schools in the border belt. However, the teachers, who were already serving, would have to improve the standard of education by all means. He would make all-out efforts to restore discipline in the schools.


BCI team visits Sidhwan Khurd
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
A team of the Bar Council of India today visited the newly established Guru Hargobind Institute of Law for Women at Sidhwan Khurd, near Ludhiana, for final inspection of the infrastructure and facilities on the campus.

The team was received by members of the Sri Guru Hargobind Ujagar-Hari Trust, which is the managing body of the Sidhwan Khurd educational institutions, including the college of education and degree college affiliated to Panjab University. Incidentally, the newly established law institute has already been granted provisional affiliation by Panjab University.

The BCI team was briefed about the pioneering role of the SGHUH Trust in women’s education in rural Punjab since the last century. 


Implement pension scheme, demand teachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
In response to a call given by Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers' Union (PCCTU) supported by Principals' Federation and Non-Teaching Employees Union, teaching and non-teaching staff of non-government colleges of Chandigarh ceased work after second period and marched from D.A.V. College, Sector 10, here to Punjab Congress Bhawan, Sector 15, to submit a memorandum signed by teaching and non-teaching employees of Chandigarh.

The march was led by Dr Jagwant Singh, general secretary, PCCTU, Mr Sudish Sharma, and Dr Anil Parti, president and secretary, respectively, and Mr R.K. Sharma and Mr Raj Kumar, president and secretary of Non-Teaching Employees Union, respectively.

The memorandum reminds Captain Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister Punjab and the Congress party the promise made in party manifesto at the time of February, 2002 elections to grant Pension-Gratuity Scheme.

Addressing the rally, Dr. Jagwant Singh, general secretary, PCCTU, said that an agreement could easily be worked out ensuring that government did not incur any financial liability up to 2010-11, provided the government showed a little bit sincerely and started serious discussions.

Mr Sudish Sharma, president of Chandigarh District Council of PCCTU, said that Punjab was perhaps the only state which had not implemented such scheme. Dr Anil Parti, secretary, Chandigarh District Council, said that if the government did not pay heed to the genuine demand of teachers and implement pension scheme, teachers of Punjab and Chandigarh will not hesitate to launch an agitation.


Youngsters should have "passion for work"
Tribune News Service

Kharar, August 7
Centre for Management Training and Research (CMTR), Kharar, inaugurated its 9th academic session of MBA program on August 7, 2006. Students of CMTR entered the premises to attend the first day the orientation programme towards their professional career.

This special orientation programme was organized by the institute to propagate principles; values and culture of CMTR to the new comers. Approximately 88 students of MBA attended the orientation programme with full excitement.

Mr Partap K Aggarwal, Managing Director, IDS Infotech Ltd., Mohali, delivered the inaugural address. He highlighted that the young generation must develop curiosity and passion for any task they perform.

He said, "In the current environment, we must do what we say: it is very important to keep your promises". He also emphasized the need to develop domain enterprise and global etiquette.

Mr Vipin K Dewan, Director of the institute, welcomed students in the campus. Speaking on the occasion, he said, "Our vision is to create a pleasant and intellectually stimulating environment through amalgamating theoretical knowledge with real time practices so as to achieve a perfectly blended professional exposure to our students which will also maximize the potential of the our students. It is a beginning of your professional studies, you need to be more focused and result oriented to achieve success in this competitive world while CMTR will not only impart professional studies but it will also focus on building personality and integrity among all its students". 


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