P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


CM offers Rs 211 crore loan relief to farmers
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 15
With an eye on the forth coming Assembly elections, the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt. Amarinder Singh, utilised the opportunity provided at the Independence Day function to announce different sops for debt-ridden farmers, Balmikis and Mazhabhi Sikhs section of the Scheduled Caste population and for the rural students here today.

Not only this, the Chief Minister also issued a stern warning to the private school managements which had banned the tying of turbans by its students. He declared that he would order the shutdown of such schools.

While speaking at the state-level Independence Day function organised in a local school, the Chief Minister announced that the state government had allowed a One Time Settlement (OTS) of agricultural loans of Cooperative banks to the farmers who had paid 100 per cent or more of their principal loan amount. This would provide a relief of Rs 211 crore to the farmers. He said the Interest rate on crop loans had already been reduced from 14 per cent to seven per cent.

He said the state government would repair water channels in all villages at a cost of Rs 75 crore. The Chief Minister also announced that a legislation would be introduced to ensure reservation for Balmikis and Mazhabhi Sikhs in various government sectors during the Assembly session slated to be held on September 14 and 15, 2006.

A Rural University would be set up at Talwandi Sabo to ensure that all rural area children had access to quality education. He said he had already asked the Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor Mr S.S Boparai, to prepare a draft paper for the establishment of this university.

On the agriculture front, Capt. Amarinder Singh said the state government had tied up with Reliance, Bharti group, ITC and Godrej to give a boost to its programme of diversification of agriculture.

He also hinted that the Centre may soon announce a substantial increase in the MSP of paddy over and above the recently hiked MSP.

Referring to the recent incident of the female foeticide by unqualified private medical doctor couple in Patran, while talking to mediapersons Capt. Amarinder Singh said it amounted to murder and the culprits would not spared in any case.

The Chief Minister said his government was committed to giving promotional scales to its employees after four, nine and 14 years of service. He added that new pay commission had been set up with an aim to make a sufficient hike in the salaries of employees so that they could be motivated to desist from indulging in corrupt practices. He said he would announce the name of Chairman of the Pay Commission soon.

He also assured the staff of private aided colleges in the state that they would be granted gratuity and pension.

Earlier, the Chief Minister inspected the guard of honour and took salute at the impressive march past by contingents of PAP, Punjab Police, Home Guards, NCC cadets (boys and Girls) GRP, Jail Police and PAP Band led by Parade Commander Dr Sukhchain Singh, ASP, Phagwara. A grand gala cultural show was presented by students of different schools and colleges on the occasion. Apart from this, tableaux of Horticulture, Health and Family Welfare, Markfed, Agriculture, Forests, Punjab Sarv Sikhsha Abhiyan Authority and Traffic Police depicted the ongoing progress and developmental activities in the state.

The Chief Minister also honoured 21 eminent personalities from different fields for their outstanding contribution with State Award. These state awardees included: Abhinav Bindra, Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Manser Singh, Nagesh Gupta, Gurdial Singh, Balwinder Singh, Late Raj Mohan and Late Bal Mukand, Rekha Dhal, Pawan Kumar Mehta, Bhula Ram, Dr Harshinder Kaur, Hakam Singh Jawandha, Vinod Bansal, Anil Saraf, Kailash Rashid Masihe, Ms Kashika Singh and Ms Ishta, Dr Khusprit Kaur, Balwinder Singh Sidhu, Dr Baljit Singh Sidhu, Engineer Arvinder Singh and Harpreet Sandhu.

The Chief Minister also honoured eminent Raagi Bhai Harbans Singhji Jagdhariwale for spreading the message of communal harmony and national integration through Sarv Sanjhi Gurbani with a cash award of Rs 51000, a citation and a shawl.

He also honoured three police officers: Mr R.K Jaiswal, SSP Jagraon, Mr Rakesh Aggarwal, SP City Ludhiana and Mr Opinderjit Singh Ghuman, SP Headquarters, Jalandhar , for meritorious service. The Chief Minister also disbursed cheques worth Rs 1 crore of marginal money subsidies of Punjab Khadi and Village Industry Board to the beneficiaries. He also distributed sewing machines and tricycles to the needy women and physically challenged persons.

Prominent among others present on the occasion were Ms Preneet Kaur and Mr Rana Gurjit Singh (both Members Parliament from Patiala and Jalandhar).


People of India, Pak urged to rise above religion, boundaries
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, August 15
To strengthen Indo-Pakistan relations, which suffered a setback due to recent happenings in India, votaries of Indo-Pakistan peace process today called upon people to start a movement for a permanent solution to the problems faced by the two nations.

The intellectuals, politicians and the opinion-makers from both sides of border who attended a seminar on “Indo-Pak relations: Challenges and Possibilities” organised by the Hind-Pak Dosti Manch, Folklore Research Academy and Punarjot viewed that new generations of both countries should be made aware about the true perceptions about the relationships between the people of two countries.

They said that a lot of misinformation based on false propaganda had been fed which had created wrong picture in the minds of the new generation.

Veteran journalist and former member of parliament Kuldip Nayyar asked the participants of Candle Light Vigil from both sides of borders to rise above religious sentiments. He said he had started this mission with a vision that people of both the countries should feel secure irrespective of their religions.

He made a call to the people of this traditionally rich region to abdicate the thought of divisiveness and set an example to live in greater harmony and generate good will for the people of this great subcontinent. He said they should keep their religion aside and move forward for a bright future for both neighbors. He felt religion should not be a bone of contention or bitterness between the people of two countries.

He said there was need to change colonial mindset and move forward without any to lead the region for the betterment of humanity.

Revealing his thoughts about truly secular India, the veteran columnist said that the country should be made tolerant in real sense so that the people of all communities or even from across the country should feel secure.

Mr Nayyar in his solemn statement said that he was hoping to start a new chapter with a clean slate for the relations between the two nations to lay a strong foundation for building a formidable region where the people from both countries could coexist in a peaceful environment.

He said from next year their Pakistani counterparts would also organise a candle vigil march in Pakistan and would like the participation of maximum number of people from India.

The leader of Pakistan delegation and Secretary General of the South Asia Free Media Association (SAFMA) Mr Imtiaz Alam speaking on the occasion said that the peace movement in Pakistan though was limited and a little slow, in its scope.

He, however, hastened to add that they were sincere to push forward the peace process in spite of many hurdles while it was inconsistent in Delhi. He felt that recent incidents should not be allowed to overshadow the peace process between two countries.

Mr Aitezaz Hasan, suggested India and Pakistan should move forward shedding their old thought process and provide a future vision so that the people of both countries could come closer to lead a better life bereft of animosity.

Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, Member of Parliament, tributes to the people who had managed to carry forward the peace movement in spite of many irritants.

He advocated complete metamorphosis in the thought process of both countries to provide new direction to the people.


Candlelight vigil keeps hope of Indo-Pak peace alive
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

MPs Navjot Singh Sidhu and Kuldip Nayar along with members of the Pakistani delegation at the candlelight vigil organised at Wagah on Monday. — PTI photo

Wagah, August 15
The recent bitterness in relations between India and Pakistan triggered by spurt in terrorist activities in the country failed to dampen the spirit of people from the two countries who participated in large numbers in the joint candlelight vigil procession held at the Wagah joint check-post here late last night.

Veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar and Satnam Singh Manak, President and General Secretary, respectively, of the Hind Pak Dosti Manch (HPDM), Justice Rajinder Sachar, Mr Navjot Sidhu, BJP, MP and Mr Ramesh Yadav, President Folklore Research Academy (FRA), led the march from the Indian side, while a 22-member delegation, led by Mr Imtiaz Alam, Secretary General, SAFMA, Mr Parvez Malik of PML (Nawaz Shrief) and Ms Yasmeen Rehman of the Pakistan Peoples Party, took part from the Pakistan side.

Mr Nayar, while speaking on the occasion, said the tradition of holding a candlelight vigil that had started 11 years ago with hardly 15 persons had managed to attract people in large numbers now.

He said the recent terrorist attacks should not derail the peace process and both countries should continue to hold composite dialogue for bringing permanent thaw in relations. He said the candlelight vigil must go on to give a wake up call to all concerned.

Mr Alam said the Indian Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and Pakistan President Parvez Musharaff must fulfil their pledge to not allow terrorism to impede the peace process.

He said the security agencies of the both the countries should coordinate with each other to thwart any attempt of the terrorists to disrupt peace in the subcontinent. He said Pakistani and US intelligence agencies had coordinated with each other to foil the recent terrorist attack planned in London. He said both the governments should liberalise visa regime so that the people of the two countries could interact with each other freely.

Interestingly, members of the International Democratic Party held a separate candlelight vigil march alleging that the members of the HPDM and the FRA were holding the vigil to promote their personal interests.

Thousands of persons gathered to watch the cultural programme organised by the FRA and HPDM to jointly celebrate Independence Days of India and Pakistan that fall on August 15 and 14, respectively.

Renowned Punjabi singer, Hans Raj Hans, ‘Awaz Punjab Di’ winner Roshan Prince, and Lakhwinder Wadali were among the artistes who enthralled the people on the occasion.

The organisers had made elaborate security arrangements to thwart any attempt of the anti-social elements to disrupt the function.

However, a few youths from New Delhi who had come to watch the function alleged that they had purchased the passes by paying Rs 500 each through their relatives in Attari and Amritsar, but they were not allowed to enter the area meant for pass holders. Mr Manak, however, said some persons were bent upon defaming the FRA and HPDM, as they hadn't sold any passes. He said they had distributed free passes in order to ensure the participation of maximum number of persons in the function.


Badal encouraged terrorism, says Dullo
Tribune News Service

Isru (Ludhiana), August 15
Congress leaders today accused Shiromani Akali Dal president Parkash Singh Badal of playing communal and casteist politics and encouraging terrorism in Punjab.

Addressing a political conference organised in memory of Karnail Singh Isru here today, Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Shamsher Singh Dullo, Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Lal Singh and others concentrated more on Badal bashing than talking of their achievements.

Ms Bhattal alleged that whenever the Akalis were in power they never thought about the “interests of Punjab” and when they were out of power they started crying as if they were so sincere about Punjab. She alleged whenever Mr Badal came to power in the state and a friendly government was in power at the Centre, Mr Badal instead of putting up a case for the welfare of Punjab always lobbied for a ministerial berth for his son.

Mr Dullo alleged that Mr Badal was misusing the funds of gurdwaras for his party activities. He said this had led to a movement of Sikhs against him. He claimed the Sikhs had a genuine grievance against Mr Badal as he had never been accountable and answerable to anyone.

The PCC president accused Mr Badal of playing communal and casteist politics for political career. He alleged Mr Badal was responsible for encouraging terrorism in the state as he used to attend the bhog ceremonies of terrorists during the days of militancy.

He claimed it was the Congress and its leader, Mr Beant Singh, who brought Punjab out of those dark days. He said due to the sacrifice of Beant Singh, peace and prosperity returned to the state.

Mr Lal Singh listed various “achievements” of the government. He said the Congress government had created an atmosphere in the state that more and more multinationals and big industrial houses were “rushing” to Punjab with investments. He claimed Punjab had become a promised destination under the leadership of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

Parliamentary Secretaries, Ms Harbans Kaur Dullo, who is also the local MLA, and Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot also addressed the conference.


Badal sees conspiracy against Barnala’s son
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Isru (Ludhiana), August 15
Shiromani Akali Dal president Parkash Singh Badal said here today that he apprehended a deep conspiracy against Dhuri MLA and Tamil Nadu Governor Surjit Singh Barnala’s son, Mr Gaganjit Singh Barnala, who has been facing rape charges.

Mr Badal said although he had not met Mr Gaganjit so far, but his observation based on media reports and the sequence of events suggested there was deep-rooted conspiracy of “political murder” of Mr Gaganjit.

The SAD chief said it appeared more of a conspiracy than based on a real incident. He added it was too early to reach a conclusion as the investigations were on.

Mr Badal ruled out any electoral alliance with the Bharatiya Janshakti Party of Ms Uma Bharti. He said alliance of his party was with the BJP only. He said seat sharing was being worked out and it would be settled amicably.

Later speaking at a conference organised in the memory of late Karnail Singh Isru, who would laid down his life while fighting for the liberation of Goa, Mr Badal criticised the Punjab government for its “all-round failure”.

Mr Badal continued his tirade against the Congress government and the Chief Minister. He observed people of the state were disillusioned with and alienated from Congress government. All sections of population were feeling betrayed and let down, he added

The SAD leader accused the Congress of selling the state to the multinationals. He said, farmers’ interests were compromised and the prices had touched all time high during Congress regime.

Akali leaders Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, Jagdish Singh Garcha, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Ludhiana MP, Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, District presidents of rural and urban units, Mr Hira Singh Gabria and Sant Singh Umedpur, member political affairs committee, Mr Jeevan Dhawan and Mr Mann Singh Garcha were also present on the occasion.


Ex-militant held with weapons
Tribune News Service

Khanna, August 15
The Khanna police today claimed that it had arrested three persons, including an ex-militant, near Doraha tax barrier carrying arms and ammunition besides posters of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale to Issru where rallies of different political parties were under way.

Though the accused claimed the weapons, including two guns and a revolver and about 40 live cartridges, were licensed and belonged to Dr Ajit Singh, father of Mr Daljit Singh Bittu, a Khalistan ideologue and senior vice president, the Akali Dal (Amritsar), the police arrested them as they had no licence to carry these. The police also recovered three swords.

The police claimed that it had recovered a diary containing important links of the accused.

SSP Khanna M F Farooqui and Inspector Mukhwinder Singh, in charge CIA, Khanna, said the accused were being questioned. Interestingly, according to reports from Issru, Daljit Singh was not spotted in the rally. The accused maintained that the weapons were meant for his personal body guards.

The accused include Palwinder SIngh of Shatrana who was released last year after completing a jail sentence of over 13 years in a TADA case of killing 6 persons, Jaspal Singh of Dasuha, an ex-SSF leader and presently senior vice president of the Khalsa Dal, and Malkit Singh , a mason from Barnala.

The accused have been booked under Sections, 25, 27, 54, 59 of the Arms Act.

The recovered weapons include .12 bore and .315 bore guns and a .32 bore revolver and over 40 live cartridges.


Punjab bans staff on long leave from joining any service
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
Under a new policy framework, the Punjab Government has banned its employees going on long leave of five years from joining any government or private service.

Informed sources said today that the Personnel Department had issued a policy guideline in this regard to all Heads of Departments concerned. They had been asked to implement the new instructions in letter and spirit. However, the instructions will be enforceable in case of only those employees who proceed on leave henceforth and not on those who are already on long leave.

The Personnel Department had told all employees concerned that in future they would have to seek the permission of their departmental heads before proceeding on long leave. “Employees proceeding on long leave will only be entitled to engage themselves in self employment ventures and not be able to do any government or private service elsewhere in the country or abroad”, say policy guidelines issued in this regard.

A few years ago, the state government had introduced the provision of five-year leave to its employees to start self employment ventures. Its purpose was to reduce the burden of employees on the State Government. At that time, the thinking in the government was that those employees who succeeded in self employment ventures would quit the Government jobs.

However, sources said, that there were employees who proceeded on long leave and started doing private jobs abroad. And rejoined the service on completing the leave period. It defeated the purpose for which provision of long leave was introduced by the state government.


Mann fights lone battle
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Isru (Ludhiana), August 15
Radical Sikh leader and the president of the Shiromani Akali Dal(Amritsar), Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, appears to be fighting a lone battle today.

Even dozens of posters of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and other militant leaders killed during militancy in Punjab, which were displayed near the stage and the tent, did not seem to enthuse people. The presence at Mr Mann's rally was far too less as compared to previous years.

When asked how could he justify celebrating the martyrdom of Karnail Singh Isru, who laid down his life for the integration of the country (in war for the liberation of Goa) by displaying the photographs of people who stood for disintegration of India, Mr Mann claimed, ‘‘they (pointing towards the posters of Bhindranwale and others) were misguided patriots and nationalists".

Elaborating, he said, in 1947 both Hindus and Muslims got freedom as Hindus got Hindustan and Muslims got Pakistan. But, according to him, the Sikhs continue to be dominated by the Hindus as they still have to have their own nation’’.

The presence at the joint political conference of the Lok Bhalai Party and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Longowal) too was quite dismal. However, both Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia and Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra harped on the formation of a third front. They asserted that the third front was the need of the hour as the Congress and the Akali-BJP alliance had lost the confidence of people.

Left parties, including the CPI, the CPM, the Forward Bloc and the Revolutionary Socialist Party had set up a separate stage. The RSP secretary, and Rajya Sabha member, Mr Abani Roy,was the main speaker. He criticised the state and the central government for failing the expectations of people.

BSP leaders resolved to uproot out "Manuvad" from the society. They asserted that the BSP was emerging as a major force in the state. The state president, Mr Avtar Singh Karimpuri, claimed that the BSP would hold the balance of power when it comes to forming next government in the state.


Two Cong men join SAD
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 15
The ruling Congress suffered a jolt today when two of its leaders joined the SAD (Badal) in the presence of its president and former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at a special function organised in a marriage palace here.

Mr Ram Parkash, a Congress activist and brother of senior Congress leader and senior Deputy Mayor of the Patiala Municipal Corporation, Mr Kabir Das , and Ms Krishna Dari, a former office-bearer of the District Congress Committee, joined SAD (B) today.

Both of them claimed that they had left the Congress as they were fed up with the stepmotherly treatment being meted out to Congress workers by the persons who had been elected as MLAs and had subsequently been made ministers in the Punjab Government. They added that ‘‘instead of taking care of Congress workers, these leaders had been insulting them’’.

A few weeks ago also a senior Congress leader, Mr Sohan Singh Jalota, had joined the SAD (B). A number of Congress workers, including a Municipal Councillor too had joined SAD (B) in the past few months.

However, Mr Ajay Thapar, a Congress leader, who had announced yesterday his intention to join the SAD (B) on Independence Day, changed his mind late last night. Mr Thapar was seen with the Chief Minister most of the time here today at the state-level Independence Day function .

Meanwhile, Mr Kabir Das claimed that his brother Mr Ram Parkash, who had joined SAD (B), was not a Congressman as he was an employee of the Municipal Corporation and always had pro-SAD leanings.

Later, while talking to mediapersons, Mr Badal said Mr Gaganjit Singh Barnala, was victim of a deep rooted conspiracy and demanded a high level probe into the incident. Mr Badal, however, added that his observation was based on the statements being given by the Chandigarh Police from time to time.


Banda Bahadur Chair in varsity sought
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 15
Bairagi Maha Mandal, Punjab, today asked the state government to set up a Chair in one of the state universities in the name of Bairagi Baba Banda Singh Bahadur. This step would go a along way in apprising the younger generation of supreme sacrifice made by this valiant warrior.

Presiding over a state committee meeting of the mandal here last evening, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, president of the body and chairman of Punjab Housefed, observed that hundreds of years ago, the saint soldier (Banda Bahadur) had brought a revolutionary change in the Indian society by giving ownership rights to cultivaters and it would be a grave mistake if his legacy was not preserved.

The meeting discussed in detail the elaborate programme for celebrating the 336th birth anniversary of Banda Bahadur at a function here on October 16.

Mr Baldev Bawa, speaking at the occasion, urged the government to consider victories achieved by Banda Bahadur over Mogul rulers as historical events and a documentary be made to place on record the deeds of the great martyr, who avenged the killing of two sons of Guru Gobind Singh at the hands of the then tyrannical rulers.

Mr Bawa nominated Ms Kanchan Bawa as chairperson of the women wing of Bairagi Maha Mandal, Punjab, during the meeting.

Prominent among others present at the meeting were Mr Hari Das Bawa, Mr Kartar Bawa, Mr Rajiv Bawa, Mr Balwinder Bawa, Mr Surjit Singh Bawa, Ms Neelam Bawa, Mr Nand Kishore Bawa, Mr Surinder Bawa, Ms Kulwinder Kaur Bawa, Ms Rajni Bawa, Mr Neeraj Bawa, Mr Gurnam Singh Bawa, Mr Amarjit Singh Bawa and Mr Charanjit Bawa.


Cops honoured for bringing culprits to book
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 15
Good work done by Ludhiana police in solving the double murder case of a jeweller and his wife has been commended with the case being awarded one of three best detected cases of the state in the last 12 months.

In revised orders, the state government had awarded three cases as the best detected ones. These were the Reema Jain murder case, the jeweller double murder case and a bus blast case of Jalandhar. Earlier, the government had announced only the Reema Jain murder case as the best detected one.

DGP Punjab had also commended the good work done by Ludhiana police in detection of this case. A cash reward of Rs 1 lakh was given to this team, and some members of this team were given local rank promotions.

The double murder of jeweller couple, which took place on the intervening July 3-4 night in the Civil Lines area of Ludhiana, had created an atmosphere of terror and panic in city.

This jewellers murder had come close on heels of Raghav Jeweller murder case and though all accused of latter case had been arrested; panic in jeweller community was palpable as they feared that they were being specially targeted.

The team members honoured for the good work include Senior Superintendent of Police, A S Rai, IPS, SSP Ludhiana, Rakesh Aggarwal, IPS, SP/City-I. Harish Kumar PPS SP/Detective, Bhupinder Singh PPS DSP/Detective, Insp. Jaswinder Singh, CIA/Inspector SI Gurbans Singh, SHO Jodhewal, SI Gurpreet Singh, CIA, SI Dilpreet Singh In charge CIA 2, SI Jaswinder Singh, CIA, SI Anil Kumar, CIA, ASI Dulla Singh, CIA, Head Constable Roop Singh, CIA, HC Dev Raj, CIA.

The SSP said this team went about its task in most meticulous and professional manner. Tasks were assigned to various members of this team, and team members busied themselves in first identifying culprits responsible this gruesome crime, and than fanned out to various parts of country to arrest, and bring culprits to Ludhiana.


Government hospitals in poor shape
Tribune News Service

Ropar, August 15
Poor healthcare facilities in government hospitals and primary health centres in the district are forcing poor villagers to get treatment in private hospitals by paying high fees.

The trust of people has eroded to an extent that most of them are getting surgery, X-rays etc done from private hospitals. This was revealed from the report of government hospitals where more than 50 per cent cases were refused treatment as compared to last year.

It is learnt that 52.8 per cent more cases of gynaecological surgery cases were declined this year in civil hospitals as compared to the last year.

In the government hospitals in Chamkaur Sahib and Nurpurbedi subdivisions, the decline of such cases was registered at 63.24 per cent.

Even the rate of X-ray examination of patients done at government hospitals also showed a decline this year.

Besides, family welfare schemes in some of the areas, including Nurpurbedi, Bharatgarh, and Kiratpur Sahib, showed poor response.The sterlisation target achieved this year was less than 50 per cent.

Taking serious note of the decline in surgery and X-ray cases, the Civil Surgeon, Ropar, Mr Y.P. Singla, sought explanation from the senior medical officers (SMOs) of hospitals concerned on August 9 when all facts came to light.

But as SMOs failed to give him the satisfactory explanations, Mr Singla, asked them to improve the conditions in the hospitals to facilitate the patients. Besides it, Mr Singla initiated a probe to find out the exact cause of problems plaguing city hospitals.

While hospital authorities were yet to find out the exact cause, the facts that surfaced during investigation by The Tribune were that a number of private hospitals had came up recently in Ropar.

In the absence of expert doctors in the government hospitals, the patients had no alternative but to move to private hospitals.

The expert doctors were leaving government hospitals and preferring private practice due to lack incentives and recognition in government hospitals.

Despite the fact that X-rays and surgery facilities were available in government hospitals, patients suffered negligence and were also being prodded by some persons in the hospitals to move to the private practitioners.

The patients in the hospitals complained that non-availability of doctors at appropriate time left them with no option than to shift to private hospitals.

Last week, when Diarrhoea broke out in Tibba, the villagers preferred to get treated in the private hospitals. As a result, government officials remained unaware of gravity of problem in the village.

Even in emergency cases during night, the patients did not get proper attention.

When contacted, the Civil Surgeon, Mr Y.P Singla, said he had sought further explanation from all SMOs “I am also probing the matter to find out the reason,” he said.

He said no one who was found negligent while performing his duty would be spared. 


Independence Day celebrated in Central Jail
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, August 15
This is perhaps the only jail in the country where prisoners belonging to both India and Pakistan participated in the Independence Day celebrations amidst great bonhomie here today.

Greeting each other on the occasion, prisoners also exchanged pleasantries and wished the people of both the countries on the occasion. The prisoners distributed sweets to each other specially made for the occasion.

Presiding over the first-ever Independence Day celebrations in the jail, the Chairperson of the Punjab State Social Welfare Board, Mrs Ratna, said the entire country was concerned about the welfare of the prisoners and said that the government was contemplating reforms so that they could lead a better life.

Mrs Ratna said that her department would soon start a family counseling centre, besides condensed courses for all the inmates. Earlier, Mrs Ratna unfurled the Tricolor in the prisoners’ complex and inspected the guard of honor given by the policemen posted in the jail.


I-Day fervour at vet varsity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 15
Independence day was celebrated at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana, with great enthusiasm.

Mr D.S. Bains, Vice-Chancellor, unfurled the flag and inspected NCC cadets of the College of Veterinary Science.

He paid tributes to martyrs.


One hurt in group clash
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 15
Mr Deepak Sehgal, former district BJP Yuva Morcha, general secretary, was seriously injured during a clash in ward election in a Chheharta area late last evening in the presence of district BJP president Bakshi Ram Arora. He was immediately rushed to a private hospital where his condition was stated to be stable and out of danger.

When the election was being conducted Mr Deepak Sehgal along with his men arrived and reportedly opposed the election of Sunny as president of the ward. Another person Arvind, along with his men who were accompanied with Sunny attacked and seriously injured him.

Mr Bakshi Ram Arora said Sunny was not elected president of the ward. The election was postponed. However, this information could not be given to all the activists of the party, which led to the confusion.

Meanwhile, the district police did not register any case. Mr Sacatar Singh, SHO Chheharta police station, said a case would be registered after medical reports.


3 booked for performer’s death
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 15
Three aides of a performer have been booked on the charge of causing his death in the Janata Nagar locality here on Sunday night.

Sources said the deceased, Preetam Singh of Hisar, was accustomed to cycling for days and then stay under earth for 24 hours. After entertaining people with his cycling skills for about a week, his aides buried him in 3-and-a-half-foot deep and 4-foot wide ditch on August 12. They reportedly committed some mistake in covering the ditch.

When they extracted Preetam out of the pit on Sunday night he was unconscious. He died soon after.

Irate residents of the locality thrashed his aides and informed the police. The police has booked Vinod Kumar, Kala and Ramesh under Sections 306 and 34 of the IPC, while the victim’s body has been handed over to his family members after a post-mortem examination.


Robbery bid foiled, 4 held
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 15
The police today claimed to have foiled a robbery attempt at a petrol station with the arrest of four persons. A pistol, a motorbike and some sharpedged weapons were seized from them.

The SSP, Mr Varinder Kumar, said that the police received a tip-off about a gang of robbers planning to strike at city petrol stations. A police party carried out a raid and arrested four of its members. They were identified as Satnam, alias Satpal, Pradeep, alias Ganju, Sanjeev, alias Mota, and Bharat Bhushan, alias Sonu.

Their interrogation revealed that they were planning to target a petrol station on the Malout road. Police sources said the gang was involved in about a dozen snatching incidents. A case has been registered against them.


Cousin held for girl’s murder
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, August 15
Within 24 hours of the incident, the police solved a murder case involving young girl Jagjit Kaur daughter of Mr Pritam Singh, resident of Baghelewala village who was a student of B.A-II in Baba Kundan Singh College, Kot Ise Khan under Zira Sub division.

According to police sources, at 2.30 pm yesterday, when Jagjit Kaur was on the way to home from college, she was murdered by some unidentified person using sharp-edged weapon. Before someone could reach Jagjit for help, the killer fled as the street was deserted.

An aged woman later found Jagjit lying soaked in blood. After she raised the alarm, villagers took Jagjit to a hospital where she was declared brought dead.

The victim’s father is serving the Punjab Police. After getting the news,the police reached the spot and started investigation. Mr Arpit Shukla SSP said the accused was arrested in six hours of the murder. He was identified as Harjit Singh first cousin of the deceased. Mr Shukla said Harjit Singh did not like Jagjit Kaur joining college in Kot Ise Khan due to which he even had an altercation with his uncle.

Therafter, when she continued studying in the college despite his opposition in a fit of rage he stabbed her with a knife, and she died on the spot.


Property dealer found dead
Tribune News Service

Ropar, August 15
A Morinda-based property dealer, Manjit Singh, was yesterday found dead under mysterious circumstances on the fields in his Baba Sotal village here.

He was missing since the previous evening. The police said after celebrating his son’s birthday, he had left his home to meet his friend in Seonk village.

A passerby spotted his body and his scooter was parked nearby.

A number of injury mark was spotted on his neck and face while his mobile phone was found missing.

When contacted the SSP, Mr Kapil Dev, said the concerned DSP of the area had visited the spot.

From the circumstantial evidence it appeared to be a case of fatal accident. But we are not ruling out other possibilities and waiting for the post-mortem examination report.


2 GND varsity Deans replaced
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 15
Guru Nanak Dev University authorities have appointed Dr T.D Narang, Professor of Mathematics, as the new Dean, Academic Affairs, by replacing Dr Gurnam Singh, a Professor of Social Sciences and Prof. Saroop Singh, Head of Guru Ram Das School of Planning, as Dean, Students Welfare in place of Dr M.D Singh from law department.

Prof. M.P Mahajan from the Department of Applied Chemistry has been appointed Coordinator of University Industry Linkage Programme. Dr Anil Tiwari, Professor and Head of the English Department will be the new Associate Dean, Students Welfare, at Guru Nanak Dev University Regional Campus, Jalandhar.

These appointments have been made by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jai Rup Singh with effect from August 15 to March 31, 2007. Earlier, Syndicate of the university authorised him to make these appointments.

Dr Jagrup Singh Sekhon, a Reader in Political Science Department, has been assigned the additional duties of Warden of Sahibzada Jujhar Singh Boys Hostel while Dr Harbir Singh Mankoo, a Reader in the English department, will be the new Warden of Sahibzada Jorawar Singh Hostel.

Dr Renu Bharadwaj, a Reader in Botanical and Environmental Sciences Department, has been appointed Warden of Mata Nanki Hostel No-1 while Dr Kawaljit Kaur Jassal, a Reader in the School of Punjabi Studies , has been assigned the duties of Warden of Mata Nanki Hostel No-3.

Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor has appointed Mr Baljeet Singh Sekhon as Director Youth Welfare on contract basis after his superannuation for a period of one year or till the time the post is filled on a regular basis, whichever is earlier. Similarly, the contractual term of Mr Sukhdev Singh Chhina, Security Officer of the university has also been extended for a period of one year with effect from August 15 or till regular appointment is made, whichever is earlier.

The university authorities have started a free shuttle bus service from the university main gate to D-Type houses from today for the convenience of teachers, students, employees, hostel and campus residents. It will start from 8.30 a.m.


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