P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Man forced to chain mentally ill daughter
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, August 31
He took premature retirement from his class IV job in a bank and spent his life's savings on the treatment of her 16-year-old mentally ill daughter. Left with no money and patience to look after her, today he looks helplessly at his chained daughter.

Narrating his woes, Jugraj Singh of Surewala village revealed that he opted for voluntary retirement eight years back to take care of his daughter who would roam around in the village and nearby fields without having food and water. Born in 1990, Amandeep Kaur was alright in her early childhood. She became mentally ill after suffering a head injury at the age of two.

Her father spent more than he could afford to get her treated at Muktsar, Faridkot, Bathinda and Barnala, but she could not recuperate. Showing a bunch of prescriptions and medicines, he lamented that he ended up shelling out Rs 2 lakh on her treatment.

"While it seems that her treatment is not possible, it has now become very difficult to look after her round-the-clock," he averred.

Jugraj said they could not leave her alone even for a second as she ventures out in torn clothes. He said the fear of any mishap with her always haunts them.

Her parents and siblings feed her with their hands. Her father claimed that he had approached the Deputy Commissioners of Muktsar and Faridkot seeking help for her daughter's treatment, but nothing had materialized as yet.

The village panchayat has passed a resolution demanding government aid for her treatment. 


Rallies by PSEB staff
Our Correspondent

Abohar, August 31
Members of the Technical Services Union yesterday held protest rallies at the subdivisional offices of the Punjab State Electricity Board in the Abohar circle to express resentment over the suspension of two employees in Malout subdivision.

Senior office-bearers of the union, including Mr Chiman Lal, Mr Shri Chand, Mr Pawan Kumar and Mr Balwant Singh, addressed the rallies. They said the total strength of technical workers had been cut by 50 per cent by the board. The PSEB had directed that the electricity meters be shifted out of the houses of the consumers and grouped at a common place to facilitate quick reading, besides checking theft of electricity. Extra workers were required for this project but the authorities forced the overburdened technical staff to do this job also.


Environment protection squad formed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
The Punjab Government has constituted an environment protection squad in the state to keep surveillance on the industry to ensure the proper implementation of pollution control laws.

Mr Avtar Henry, Industries, Commerce and Environment Minister, said yesterday that the Pollution Control Board had received many complaints stating that some of the industries in the state were not complying with the pollution control laws and rules. He advised the industries to operate their pollution control devices regularly.


Punjab dispels doubts on vet pharmacists
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
Taking cognizance of apprehensions expressed by the Punjab State Veterinary Officers Association in sections of the press regarding recruitment of veterinary pharmacists as service providers in the rural dispensaries of the state, a spokesman of the Punjab Government elucidated that by this there would be no question of violation of the Indian Veterinary Council Act.

He said these service providers would not be working independently, rather they would be operating under supervision and direction of the nearest veterinary officer and registered veterinarian as the present system was going on.

He further said even in the contract to be signed between the Zila Parishad and the respective veterinary pharmacist service provider, this clause would be incorporated, as per the Act.

He added that in the present scenario veterinary pharmacists were working under the supervision of doctors working in adjoining hospitals.

The spokesman said the decision to appoint veterinary doctors as service providers in hospitals and pharmacists as service providers in dispensaries, had been taken in public interest, to cover maximum institutions in the state.

This was being done in order to provide veterinary services to farmers. So far it was denied to them due to the shortage of field staff in the Animal Husbandry Department.


Expired medicines found at hospital
Tribune News Service

Ropar, August 31
Raising doubt about medicines being given to poor villagers in Government Hospitals, the Punjab Vigilance Bureau has recovered expired medicines worth Rs 3 lakh kept in a store in government hospital, Nurpur Bedi. The medicines found expired in the storeroom include paracetamol and septron said to be purchased in 2003-2004.


high court
Abolition of octroi challenged
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 31
At least three petitions, including two PILs, have been filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court challenging the decision of the Punjab Government to abolish octroi as per the ordinance issued on August 23.

While one of the PILs has been jointly filed by Mathura Das Setia, former Municipal Councillor, Bathinda, and Mr Phool Raj Singh, Municipal Councillor, Mohali, the second PIL has been filed by Mr Kulwant Singh Saini, general secretary, Punjab Nagar Palika Karamchari Sangathan.

The petitioners have stated that abolition of octroi would result in loss in revenue to the civic bodies, thereby affecting the development plans also.

After hearing counsel, the Bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Mr Justice H.S. Bedi adjourned the PILs sine die to await the decision in a similar matter pending in the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, another Division Bench comprising Mr Justice Jasbir Singh and Mr Justice Pritam Pal ordered status quo in the matter of abolition of octroi till further orders.

This order was passed on a petition filed by Mr Gurdev Singh and others, who have the contract to collect octroi on behalf of Municipal Committee, Dhuri.

In their petition, Mr Gurdev Singh and others have stated that they had been awarded the contract till May 11, 2007, and the action of the Punjab Government in abolishing octroi was highly arbitrary and illegal as it amounted to interference in the working of the civic bodies, which are autonomous.


The High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition filed by a Chandigarh-based firm - M/s Vaishnavi Enterprises - seeking an interim injunction against the order of the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Ropar, by which he had dismissed the plea of the firm.

The Ropar court had disallowed the plea of the firm to restrain the respondents from rescinding the agreement dated July 17, 2001, by which the firm had been appointed sole distributor of Verka milk and Verka milk products.

Notice issued

The High Court has issued notice of motion for November 3 on a petition filed by some unemployed graduates, challenging the action of the government in removing their names from the list of selected candidates for the posts of teachers in schools.

The petitioners, Mr Jagvinder Singh and others, all of who are Bachelors in Education, have stated that they were selected for vacant posts meant for ETT candidates due to non availability of ETT candidates.

On August 10, the school allocation list published by way of an advertisement contained the names of the petitioner. However, an amended list released by the Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development), Hoshiarpur, on August 23 did not have their names.


Railway police nabs 3 thieves
Our Correspondent

Phillaur August 31
In its compaign against miscreants, the railway police nabbed three persons in Firozepore division of Northern Railway. The three have been identified as Tameel of Deoband in Saharanpur, Bachitar Singh of Sohian in Majitha and Surinder Paul of Jammu. Several stolen articles were recovered.

The IG, Mr Raj Paul Meena, while talking to The Tribune here yesterday, said Tameel was arrested by the GRP under Sections 379, 411, IPC, and a stolen suit case with cash totalling Rs 14,500, seven sarees, three jeans and six shirts, was recovered. Tameel was a member of the 13-member gang of thieves. His accomplices managed to escape in Jammu-bound train.

The IG said the GRP Jammu had been informed about the gang. Tameel confessed that all 13 members had reservations in the Hemkund Express for August 31 from Jammu.

IG Meena said, in another significant success, the GRP Jalandhar arrested two thieves identified as Bachitar Singh of Sohian and Surinder Paul of Jammu, who unsuccessfully attempted to steal a DVD of a BSF employee Bajrang Bahadur Singh posted in Mizoram who was returning to Jammu. 


Valuables stolen

Barnala, August 31
Unidentified persons broke into the house of a widow last night. The thieves broke open the main gate of the residence of Janak Dulari in Khattian Wali Gali on K.C. Road. Ms Dulari was away to Patiala. The thieves stole 150 gm of gold jewellery, 100 gm of silver jewellery , Rs 55,000 and other articles. Ms Dulari claimed that the thieves stole articles worth Rs 2.5 lakh. A case has been registered. — OC


Man murdered

Abohar, August 31
A youth murdered his father for refusing permission to meet the guru. Waryam Singh (54) denied permission to son Bhagwan Singh yesterday at Tibbi village to go to meet the guru at Mirzapur village in Haryana. After exchanging hot words Bhagwan allegedly attacked his father with a weapon. The police has arrested Bhagwan. — OC


Petrol, diesel to be cheaper from midnight
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
The Punjab Government today issued a notification reducing the prices of petrol and diesel with effect from September 1. In other words, the price would come down from midnight. However, the government did not state by how much the prices of petrol and diesel would come down. Earlier, the government had stated that the petrol price would come down by 93 paise per litre and diesel price by 21 paise roughly.

The notification issued under the signature of the Financial Commissioner, Taxation, is not clear on the issue. It says, “The amount equal to the increase in the prices of petrol and diesel affected on June 6, 2006, by the Government of India, including duty and levies charged thereon, shall not form part of the sale price of these commodities”.


Another beopar mandal formed

Barnala, August 31
Due to tug-of-war between Mr Kewal Dhillon, vice-president, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, and Mr Surinderpal Singh Sibia, president, District Sangrur Congress Committee, a third group of the beopar mandal has been formed in Barnala. It is headed by Mr Dhiraj Kumar Dadhahoor, a local BJP leader, who has the support of Mr Sibia. — OC


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