P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Tribune Impact
Rs 27 crore for bonus to farmers
Recovery of abiana suspended
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, said today that farmers who did not get bonus because of the sale of their wheat to private traders would be paid the amount by the state government and the recovery of canal water use charges (abiana) had been suspended.

Both issues were highlighted by The Tribune in its columns last week.

Capt Amarinder Singh said the Cabinet Subcommittee, which met here, had released Rs 27 crore to clear the bonus dues of farmers who had sold their wheat to private traders. He said the subcommittee meeting was attended by, among others, Mr Lal Singh, Food and Supplies Minister, and the Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla.

Tension had started building up at various places between farmers and traders because of the non-payment of bonus on the wheat sold by them to private traders. The farmers had been pressing commission agents, through whom they had sold the wheat to the traders, to get them bonus from either the traders concerned or the state government.

Two days ago, Mr Baldev Prasher, president of the United Arhtiyas Association (Majha), Punjab, had met Mr Lal Singh to inform him that the commission agents were facing problems because of the non-payment of bonus to farmers. He had mentioned three scuffles between commission agents and farmers because of this reason.

The Union Government had announced Rs 50 per quintal as bonus on wheat on April 21 but it was paid only to those farmers who had sold their wheat of the official procurement agencies. The state government had written to the Centre that those farmers who had sold their wheat to private traders should also be given bonus. However, there was no response from it in this regard.

When asked about canal water use charges, Capt Amarinder Singh, said the recovery had been suspended. The farmers who did not use canal water for irrigation would be exempted from paying such charges. He said: “How can the state government ask farmers to pay charges for canal water which they did not utilise?”

On November 12, 2002, the state government had issued a notification directing the authorities concerned to recover the charges from all shareholders in the command area of the relevant canal water outlet regardless of whether they used the water or not. The officials of the Irrigation Department implemented the order accordingly.

However, when farmers raised a hue and cry declaring the order was unjust, the state government issued a modified notification on July 9, 2004, directing the officials to charge the total bill amount from farmers who were actually utilising the water from the outlet. The fresh notification was also faulty because even actual users cannot use the entire water from the outlet.

Following reports in this regard in The Tribune, the Deputy Chief Minister, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, proposed to the Chief Minister to suspend the recovery of charges till the issue was resolved by a high-level inter-departmental committee which should be set up under the Chief Secretary.


3 SAD municipal councillors join Cong
Rural varsity proposed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
The Punjab Chief Minister today claimed that the Congress was on the offensive in Punjab while the principal Opposition party, the Shiromani Akali Dal, was on the defensive. It was for the first time that persons from the Opposition were joining the ruling party ahead of the elections while normally it was the other way around, said the Chief Minister.

He said people now saw the Congress emerging as a national force and hence saw it winning in the elections. These claims were made at a function at which three municipal councillors owing allegiance to the SAD and an Akali leader, Mr Darshan Singh Sultanwind, joined the Congress here. Mr Gurinder Singh Gainda from the BSP also joined the Congress. Earlier, the MLA from Amritsar (South), Mr Harjinder Singh Thekedar, introduced the three councillors as Mr Partap Singh Pakhiwala, Mr Baldev Singh and Mr Amrik Singh Jaura.

Meanwhile, eigth sarpanches and panches owing allegiance to the Akali Dal from the Kumkalan constituency in Ludhiana also joined the Congress.

The Chief Minister rejected speculation that the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, was avoiding functions where Akali leaders joined the Congress. He said: “Mr Dullo is busy with party work and fully approves of these functions”.

While replying to a question whether any Akali MLA was also joining the Congress, the Chief Minister claimed: “ We have had talks with a few of them”. He could not tell with conviction if anybody was joining or not, but claimed to “enjoy the sympathies” of a few Akalis. The Chief Minister then went on to talk about the anti-defection law and how any MLA choosing to leave his party now had to resign.

The Chief Minister while replying to allegations levelled by the SAD that Chetan Gupta, one of the accused in facilitating the oil-for-food scandal was also involved in the alleged Punjab Intranet scam, said: “There is no role of Chetan Gupta as there is no scam by the name of Punjab Intranet. It is all a figment of the Akali imagination and nothing more”. It was just that his family was one of the well-known families of Patiala. Chetan was the grandson of Lala Charan Dass, said the Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, the general secretary of the SAD, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, in a separate statement today alleged that the Chief Minister and his family had long-standing business relations with Chetan Gupta. He also said that the Punjab Government was framing rules to set up a rural university.


Barnala case: CM hints at SAD undercurrents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
Although the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today refrained from commenting on the arrest of the SAD legislator, Gaganjit Singh Barnala, he was quick to score a political point and hinted at the undercurrents within the SAD.

Replying to a query by reporters that Barnala’s wife, Mrs Harpreet Kaur, was alleging that her husband had been framed in the alleged rape case, the Chief Minister said: “ I do not know which side his wife is pointing a finger at. We all know the nature of the strained relations between the Barnalas and Badal,” said the Chief Minister while taking a dig at the principal Opposition party in the state.

Capt Amarinder Singh was talking to mediapersons when he was asked to comment on the developments in the past two days.

“It is a very unfortunate business,” he said. Barnala was arrested on Saturday by the Chandigarh Police after his maid levelled an allegation of rape against him. “Investigations are in progress in this case.

I don’t want to pre-empt matters by commenting on the issue,” the Chief Minister told the reporters.

“It is not yet clear whether it was rape or a conspiracy to frame Gaganjit Singh,” he said. “I can use this issue to demolish the Akalis, but I will not do so and allow fair judgement in the case,” he said and went on to add: “ I cannot give a clean chit till the investigations are complete”.


3 OSDs of GND varsity sacked
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 14
Initiating austerity measures, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, today terminated the services of three Officers on Special Duty (OSDs). They are Mr Ajit Singh, Dr Swaran Singh and Mr Ramesh Sharma. While Mr Ajit Singh was posted at the Vice-Chancellor’s Office, Dr Swaran Singh and Mr Sharma were posted at Regional Campus, Jalandhar and Gurdaspur, respectively.

The Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jai Rup Singh, today also delegated some of his powers to the Registrar for six months to bring efficiency in the administration. He announced this while addressing Syndics.

Now the Registrar would exercise powers to sanction privilege leave, medical leave up to one month in case of Class A non-teaching officers and up to 10 days in the case of teachers as per rules. Similarly, TA/DA sanctions, reimbursement of medical bills, GPF/CPF loan sanctions, award of scholarship on the basis of result of university examinations, approval of late admission of students to departments, affiliated colleges, award of degrees in absentia, except PhD, and appointment of substitute paper setters/ examiners as per the recommendations of chairpersons and the boards of studies.

Similarly, the Registrar has delegated some powers to the FDO, the Deputy Registrar and the Assistant Registrar regarding the release of documents from the bank, customs, post office, medical and privilege leave and granting a special chance of examination.

The Vice-Chancellor informed the Syndics that there was a proposal to grant Rs 25,000 each to the lecturers for preparing national and international-level research projects.

The Vice-Chancellor said the university would make only regular appointments.

Similarly, he said the university had decided to start free bus service from August 15 from the main gate to D-Type houses.


Judicial officers still awaiting justice in seniority matter
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
Who is the cadre controlling authority of the Punjab Civil Service (Judicial Branch) officers? The Punjab Government or the Punjab and Haryana High Court? Conflicting stands via-a-vis this issue have actually resulted in grave injustice being done to some senior judicial officers, who have been denied promotion as District and Sessions Judges due to lack of clarity and speedy decision-making process in this regard.

The problem has been pending ever since the Supreme Court held in Ajit Singh Janjua case that roster points could not be treated as seniority points. Thereafter, the government was to re-determine the seniority of general as well as reserve category employees on a fresh basis.

Sometime back, the Punjab and Haryana High Court was hearing a petition filed by some Additional District and Sessions Judges of Punjab, all belonging to the general category, seeking directions for recasting the seniority of Punjab Civil Service (Judicial Branch) officers of 1982 batch in accordance with the apex court decision in the Ajit Singh Janjua-2 case.

The government has already implemented the Supreme Court order in all other departments.

During hearing, the Punjab Government as well as the Punjab and Haryana High Court took the stand that in case of appointments of judicial officers to the Punjab Civil Service (Judicial Branch), the appointing as well as roster maintaining authority was the government.

The written statement filed by Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, then Special Secretary, Home, Punjab, in the case Rekha Mittal and others versus State of Punjab and others, on January 25, 2005, said the matter regarding the seniority of PCS (JB) officers had not been settled by the government due to failure of the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC), the selecting authority, to send the merit list of the officers.

He also stated that the seniority on the basis of merit had not been finalised due to absence of recommendations by the High Court and non-receipt of combined merit list of general and reserve category appointees from the PPSC.

Similarly, the reply filed on behalf of the High Court by the then Joint Registrar (Rules), Mr H.S. Madaan, stated that the appointing as well as roster maintaining authority for PCS (JB) officers was the Punjab Government.

The reply also said there was no question of the High Court re-determining the seniority of the judicial officers as the same was required to be done by the government.

Even the PCS rules clearly say that seniority of PCS officers is to be “determined by the government in consultation with the High Court”.

Finally, on May 25, a Division Bench of the High Court comprising Mr Justice J.S. Khehar and Mr Justice P.S. Patwalia, observed that during the pendency of the writ filed by Ms Rekha Mittal and other judicial officers, a tentative seniority list had been circulated and objections sought from the aggrieved parties. Therefore, the Bench disposed of the writ with a direction to the cadre controlling authority to finalise the seniority list of PCS (JB) officers as expeditiously as possible.

However, in a fresh twist to the matter, which could result in further delay, the Home Department, Punjab, has conveyed to the High Court that as per the opinion of the Advocate-General, Punjab, the cadre controlling authority of PCS (JB) officers is the High Court and not the government.

The letter dated August 1, a copy of which is in the possession of The Tribune, further requests the High Court to finalise the seniority list of 1982 batch PCS (JB) officers.

“How long will we have to wait? Why can’t such a simple matter of who controls us can be resolved?” wondered a senior judicial officer who did not wish to be quoted.

Another question which arises is why did the government prepare a tentative seniority list and circulate the same if it was not the cadre controlling authority of PCS (JB) officers.


Another survivor of Jallianwala massacre surfaces ?
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 14
Another witness of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, Bapu Fauja Singh (105), surfaced when a private hospital honoured him on the eve of Independence Day here today. He is admitted in the hospital for the treatment of a foot ailment.

The President, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, had honoured the only survivor of the Jallianwala massacre, Bapu Shingara Singh, two years ago.

Narrating the Jallianwala massacre to the hospital staff, Bapu Fauja Singh said it was most horrifying moment of his life. “I was 19 years old and went to Jallianwala Bagh along my friend Bakshish Singh to celebrate Baisakhi”. He recalled that “When Gen O’Dyer and his men opened fire, a ‘fauji’ ( an Army man) pushed me and Bakshish on the ground and asked us to lie low. We saw bodies all over and also saw many women jump into the well”. By Waheguru’s grace we escaped unhurt and reached our village that is 26 km away from Amritsar in Majitha, he added.

Another gruesome incident that Fauja recalls is, of being an eyewitness to the train that carried the bodies of Muslims at Attari railway station in retaliation to similar killings of Hindus whose bodies too were loaded on to a train sent from Pakistan which reached the India during Partition.

He said, he had gone to Attari to look for his in-law’s family from Madhogol village in Pakistan. His family says that Fauja along with his friends safely escorted about 200 Muslims of his own village from the Dera Baba Nanak sector to Pakistan during Partition.

Rajinder Singh, his son, said his father had also done much for his village. He had donated four acres of land for Guru Khalsa High School built by his grandfather in 1933 and had given about three acres to two gurdwaras to sort out differences between Jats and Mazhbis.


Pak team arrives for candlelight vigil
Tribune News Service

Wagah, August 14
Even as two members of the National Assembly Pakistan returned to their country after receiving an urgent call from President Pervez Musharaf, a 24-member delegation of the Pak-Hind Dosti Manch crossed into to India from Wagah Joint Check post to participate in the candle vigil to be held here today.

The delegation was led by Mr Imtiaz Alam, Secretary General, SAFMA and received by Mr Satnam Singh Manak, General Secretary, of the Hind-Pak Dosti Manch.

Mr Alam talking to reporters said India and Pakistan should continue the peace dialogue and not allow it to be held hostage by terror activities. He said they had come here to bring the attention of the two governments to restart the dialogue. He said they would also submit a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh requesting him to start the dialogue to bring peace in the subcontinent.

Dr Rozina Tufail of the PML (Qaid-e-Azam), Parliamentary Secretary (MNA), Ministry of Economic Affairs and Statistics, said that President Pervez Musharaf and the Prime Minister wanted the dialogue to continue. She said the Indian government should understand the problem and bring forth the elements responsible for damaging the dialogue between the two countries.

Mr Pervez Malik of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) (Nawaz Shriaf) and member of the National Assembly (MNA) said people of Pakistan wanted the peace process started by former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to continue. He claimed that Mr Nawaz Shriaf would soon be back and lead the country, as he was popular among the masses there.

Ms Yasmeen Rehman of the Pakistan Peoples Party and a Member of the NA said that party President Ms Benazir Bhutto also wanted the peace process to continue.

The delegation, which started its journey from Minar-e-Pak, also visited the Jallianwala Bagh and paid tributes to martyrs of the freedom struggle.


Chaos marks MC meeting
Chander Parkash and Ravi Dhaliwal

Patiala, August 14
Tension ran high in the general-house meeting of the Municipal Corporation (MC) held here today even as sparks flew between Mayor Vishnu Sharma and MC Commissioner S.K Ahluwalia amidst all the din and confusion.

It is pertinent to mention here that the general-house meeting was held in the backdrop of the alleged bungling of tenders worth Rs 20 crore pertaining to civil works to be executed in the city.

So chaotic were the proceedings of the meeting that two councillors even came to blows with Senior Deputy Mayor Kabir Dass and Deputy Mayor I.S Boparai.

Taking cognisance of the alleged bungling in the tenders, it was decided to place the entire record pertaining to the tenders before the House.

Mr Ahluwalia instructed officials of the MC’s Engineering Department to place the record in the House, which was later handed over to MC Secretary C.L Sharma.

Sources disclosed that Mr C.L Sharma would be handing over the record to a two-member committee, constituted by the Mayor to inquire into the bungling allegations.

It may be recalled that work had been allotted to some “favoured” contractors, owning allegiance to some councillors, even before the tenders were opened leading to a furore in the MC.

Following allegations of bungling, the Mayor had constituted a two member fact-finding committee, comprising Deputy Mayor I.S Boparai and Congress councillor Pawan Nagrath.

The MC’s legal adviser, Mr Rajinder Modgil, had been asked by the Mayor to assist the inquiry committee if any legal problem arose. The committee is expected to finalise it’s report by Thursday.

Interestingly, the Mayor had asked the committee members to submit its report within three days, but sources disclosed that since the Commissioner failed to part with the relevant record, the report could not be finalised even after seven days of the Mayor’s orders.

On his part, the Commissioner had been insisting that the Mayor had no locus standi to ask for the record from him and that he would place it before the general-house meeting, which he did today.

Things started to hot up in today’s meeting when Deputy Mayor Boparai snatched the mike from Senior Deputy Mayor Kabir Dass.

The incident led to various other small incidents in which Congress councillor from Ward No 23 Shiv Khanna and Mr Pawan Nagrath, a member of the MC’s F and CC Committee, were involved.

A councillor later disclosed that today’s meeting was clearly dominated by the Mayor and his men while the Commissioner was relegated to the sidelines.


MCPI(U) protests against anti-people policies
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, August 14
Hundreds of activists and members of the Marxist Communist Party of India (MCPI) (United) today staged a dharna in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner here in protest against the rising prices, destruction of Punjab’s industry and agriculture, Rs 24,000 crore loans due towards the farming community, poor financial conditions of agriculture workers, acquisition of farmers’ lands in a forcible manner, suicides by the farmers and privatisation of government departments.

Addressing the dharna, Mr Kiranjit Singh Sekhon, member of the All-India Preparatory Committee of the MCPI (United), held the government’s policies of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation responsible for all social ills in the country. He said due to these policies, unemployment, illiteracy and prices were rising while the education and health systems were deteriorating.

He called upon the people to gather at a platform to oppose the anti-peoples policies of the government.

Other leaders of the party, like Mr Sher Singh Farwahi, Mr Mangat Ram Longowal and Mr Raj Singh Akoi Sahib, also criticised the government’s new economic policies. They said due to the new policies the prices of the diesel, petrol, flour, pulses, sugar and edible oils had increased manifold in the recent past. Due to this, the weaker sections of society were now unable to buy these commodities.

They also asked the people to come forward to give a befitting reply to the “anti-people” policies of the government.

The protesters also submitted a memorandum, enlisting their demands, to the Sangrur Deputy Commissioner here.

They also took out a protest march through the bazaar.


People should help maintain historical buildings
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, August 14
The preservation of historical buildings is not only the government’s responsibility but also people and NGOs should come forward to extend a helping hand, said Dr K.K. Chakraborty, Secretary, Government of India, and a trustee of the Indira Gandhi National Centre of Arts, here today. He stated this while interacting with mediapersons after visiting Qila Mubarak here.

Dr Chakraborty said while carrying out the renovation work of historical structures all efforts should be made to maintain their originality. He said he would try his best to get historical buildings in Punjab announced as national monuments.

He said, “Though people in our country flock to places of religious importance, their affinity is less towards historical buildings”. He stressed the need to sensitise people from other states about the places of historical significance in Punjab so as to promote tourism in the state.


Ex-soldiers allege exploitation
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 14
The Majha Ex-Servicemen Human Rights Front alleging serious charges of illegal human trafficking and sexual exploitation of women by a religious figure of Haryana has requested Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti to take appropriate action against him.

Addressing mediapersons here today Col G.S Sandhu(retd), chairman of the Front, alleged that the religious figure had amassed property dis-proportionate to his known sources of income. Whereas he owned two acres of land which he had inherited, he added. He said at present he possessed over 350 acres of land besides benami property with the donation of the sangat. He said in order to expose such godmen, a CBI inquiry should be instituted.

He alleged that the Baba, taking advantage of his foreign links, had sent several persons overseas without valid documents and extracted money from them for this favour.

Colonel Sandhu claimed that he had valid documents from the victims and met the Jathedar for his intervention in the matter.


Bhattal’s chopper makes forced landing
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 14
Inclement weather forced Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal’s chopper to land near Patran, 60 km from here, this morning.

Ms Bhattal was travelling from Chandigarh to Ghamur Ghat, near Khanauri, where she was to inaugurate a power station.

As the weather turned hostile, the pilot decided to land the chopper, Pawan Hans, near Garg Rice Mills. After a brief stopover, she again boarded the chopper.


Terrorist victims’ protest today
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 14
Terrorist victims, who lost their kith and kin during the period of militancy, will stage a protest here tomorrow to press their demand for grant of relief package extended to victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Besides, they have demanded that pension and education allowance must be hiked in consonance with rise in inflation.

Mrs Lakshmi Kanta Chawla, state vice-president, BJP, said though pay and other allowances of MPs, MLAs and government employees kept on increasing, no thought was spared for those families who lost their near and dear ones during terrorism. Terrorist victims are getting a monthly pension of Rs 2500.


Security up in holy city

Amritsar, August 14
On the eve of Independence Day, the security arrangements have been beefed up in the holy city in view of a perceived threat of terrorist strike in major cities of the country.

All the vintage points, religious and important establishments, including the Golden Temple, Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar international airport, railway station, bus stand, etc., were being closely scrutinised by various security and intelligence agencies. — OC


CM’s greetings on I-Day

Chandigarh, August 14
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today extended greetings to all Punjabis living in the country and abroad on the eve of the 60th Independence Day. — TNS


MLAs set to get laptops

Chandigarh, August 14
Even as Punjab is yet to computerise its various systems and departments, all 117 MLAs of Punjab are set to get laptops. This will cost Rs 50 lakh in total and the scheme comes just when the five-year term of the Vidhan Sabha comes to an end in February next. — TNS


Lok Chetna March

Amritsar, August 14
The Lok Chetna March of the International Democratic Party (IDP) urging leaders of India and Pakistan to follow the path of talks and not of confrontation, reached here today.

The activists of the party were wearing sky-blue gowns having printed massage for peace in the country and the world. With the motive of stressing message, the march started from Talwandi Sabo on August 6, the day Hiroshima (Japan) was bombed in World War II. — OC


Farmers urged to enter trade markets
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, August 14
Speaking on the topic of “Farmers’ knowledge and marketing”, Dr Bikram Singh Virk from the Post-Graduate Commerce Department of Government College, Kapurthala, appealed to the farmers to enter the trade markets to earn more from their produce.

He said the farmers could not become prosperous till they entered the trade markets. For example the farmers sold wheat at Rs 700 per quintal in the grain markets while the traders sold flour in the trade markets at a rate of Rs 11 to Rs 12 per kg by spending Re 1 to Rs 2 on 1 kg wheat.

Dr Virk was addressing the gathering at a seminar organised by Asha Di Kiran, an NGO, in assistance with the Lok Bhalai Party and the SAD (Amritsar) here today. The function was presided over by Dr A.S. Mann, president of Asha Di Kiran and Mr Jeet Singh Alloarkh, district president of SAD (A).

Dr Virk also asked the farmers not to depend upon the governments for free electricity or free water for irrigation. He also said that the farmers were not paying attention towards the agricultural knowledge.

Dr Buta Singh Romana, Deputy Project Director, Agriculture Technology Management Agency, Sangrur, while speaking on the water problems said there was a need to give a slogan “save water, save Punjab”.

Mr Nishan Singh Pannu, a CM’s award recipient farmer, Dr A.S. Mann and Mr Jeet Singh Alloarkh also spoke on the occasion. Dr Ram Krishan Badlan (Canada), Economist Sardar Ali, Mr Gurpreet Singh Nandpuri, advocate, Principal Harchet Singh, Principal Zora Singh Sidhu, and Mr Karamajit Singh Bhalwan, Mr Avtar Singh, both farmer leaders, also took part in the deliberations.


Farmers’ loans: commission agents agree to follow code
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
As commission agents in Punjab have agreed to follow a code of conduct while advancing loans to farmers, the way has been cleared for framing a law to regulate loans secured by farmers from private parties, including commission agents, moneylenders and finance companies.

The Rural Development and Panchayats Minister, Mr Lal Singh, in a statement here today said that as part of the code of conduct, the commission agents had agreed to issue passbooks, in which all entries of credit and debit would be made to the farmers concerned. Mr Lal Singh had been given the task of taking commission agents and their representatives into his confidence before taking any step to frame the law.

It was also decided that for one-time settlement of dues pending against any farmer, the policy of one plus one would be adopted. For instance, if a farmer, who got Rs 10,000 as loan, returned Rs 20,000 to the commission agent, his loan amount would be considered as paid. He would not have to pay more than double the amount of loan he had secured from the commission agent, moneylender etc.

Mr Lal Singh further said that the commission agents had agreed that they would include nominal overhead expenses in the interest on the loan advanced to farmers by them and they would also charge simple interest. He said these steps had been taken to provide relief to the farmers. This would also help develop cordial relations between the farmers and the commission agents.

Mr Lal Singh, who presided over a meeting of the Cabinet Subcommittee set up in this regard, said the commission agents has also agreed to constitute dispute settlement committees (DSCs) at the market committee, district and state levels to redress the grievances of farmers and for out of court settlement in the case of any dispute.


Farmers neglected: Badal
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, August 14
Former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal visited this border constituency today and listened to grievances of residents of the cantonment. Mr Badal visited Talwandi Bhai, Mudki, and Ferozshah and presided over election meetings in all seven wards. Referring to the MSP, Mr Badal said farmers were being neglected by the Congress regime.


Villagers murdered
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, August 14
Makhan Singh, a son of Mohinder Singh of Alipur in Hoshiarpur district, was murdered by four persons of the same village who after killing him threw his body in the fields last night.

According to Mr Dharshanjit Singh Dhindsa, SP (D), Mohinder Singh, a son of Kabul Singh, Binderjit Singh, a son of Pakhar Singh, Harmesh Singh, a son of Kartar Singh and Sewa Singh, a son of Sohan Singh, all of the same village, allegedly murdered Makhan Singh with sharpedged weapons and threw his body in the adjoining fields.

They chopped off the hands of the deceased and fired in the air to scare the people away. The SP (D) said there was an old enmity between the deceased and the killers and cases under Sections 307, IPC, against them were pending in court.

A case under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC and Sections 25, 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act has been registered against the accused.


3 children found dead in car
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 14
Three minor sons of a migrant labourer, who were missing for the past two days, were found dead in an Opel Astra car parked at a plot here today evening.

Rinku (7), Kaka (5) and Billu (4), sons of Tapa Nath, a migrant labourer from Amrah village in Sant Kabir district, had been missing for two days.

Their bodies had decayed considerably. The incident came to light late tonight when some residents of Amarpura Mohalla felt pungent smell emanating from the plot.


Kalam to meet VCs of Punjab, Chandigarh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 14
The President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, will not only sermonise Vice-Chancellors and heads of as many as 10 universities and deemed universities of Punjab and Chandigarh, on education but will also share his philosophy about the role universities in national development during his brief stay in Jalandhar on August 17.

The main thrust of Dr Kalam’s interaction with heads of the universities will be advanced research in all subjects.

Dr Abdul Kalam will arrive in Jalandhar and reach the main hall of Kanya Maha Vidyalaya (KMV) at about 4.25 pm and will straightway hold a brain storming session with the Vice-Chancellors and heads of the three deemed universities of Punjab and Chandigarh. Thereafter, he will address a gathering of students of KMV before flying back to New Delhi at around 6.30 p.m.


Training in industrial safety
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 14
The Directorate of Factories, Punjab, in collaboration with the Punjab Industrial Safety Council organised a two-day training course on industrial safety on August 10 and 11 on the NFL premises here.

Mr V.K. Bansal, General Manager, NFL, Bathinda, inaugurated the programme in the presence of Mr N.K. Wadhvan, Labour Commissioner and Director of Factories. He emphasised the need for creating safety awareness among all workers, supervisors and managers to prevent industrial injuries. He appreciated the council for bringing together a large number of industrial managers and imparting them the necessary knowhow to avoid accidents.

Fifty participants from Vardhman Polytex Ltd, the Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant, the HPCL, the BPCL, the IOC, Hindustan Insecticides, the GHTP, Lehra Mohabbat, Gujarat Ambuja Cement and other industries interacted with a select faculty from the Directorate of Factories to devise ways and means of promoting industrial safety and prevention of accidents.

The participants were also given a lecture and practical demonstration for giving first-aid in case of an injury. A demonstration on the use of different types of fire-fighting equipment was arranged for their benefit. The participants were awarded certificates of attendance at the valedictory function.


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