P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


SAD (A) remembers Giani Dit Singh
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 7
The SAD (A) commemorated the barsi of Giani Dit Singh a great scholar, editor, orator, historian, social reformer and driving force behind the Khalsa News Paper, at his native village, Nandpur Kalour.

Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, president, SAD (A), presided over the ceremony and thousands of people from the area attended the ceremony.

Paying rich tributes to Giani Dit Singh, Mr Mann said that after the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Sikhs were without direction and the conversion of some prominent Sikh families had caused the Sikhs to wake up.

Giani Dit Singh, born in 1853 at Nandpur Kalour, grew up under these uncertain times for Sikhism. He started preaching at young age and refuted the Hindu chauvinism and joined Singh Sabha movement.

He became the driving force behind the Khalsa Akhbar under Prof. Gurmukh Singh, he said. Under his influence the Singh Sabha movement and reversed the declining Sikh population and challenged the inroads that Hindu ideology of idol worship, caste, ritualism, discrimination against women, the worship of different Gods had made into Sikhism.

Mr Mann said though he was a luminary of Sikh movement, he faced the wrath of the established order of Sikh aristocracy.

He said that Giani Dit Singh rote more than 40 books, dealing with Sikh spiritual and cultural revival.

He was a motivating force for the opening of Khalsa Schools. On this occasion, the party passed certain resolutions, by which the sangat demanded that there should be no separation of Gurdwaras and cremation grounds on the basis of Manuvadi scheme of caste and the same Langar should be served to devotees and members of SGPC.


Best Literary Books Award announced
Tribune News service

Patiala, September 7
The Language Department, Punjab, today announced that it has selected a number of Hindi language books, which will be given Best Literary Books Award by it.

Dr Devinder Kaur Uasahan, Deputy Director, Publicity, Language Department, Punjab, in a press note issued here today, said the books, which had been selected for the Best Literary Books Award included “Sathithi Niryantran Me Hai”, which was authored by Mr Yogesh Kumar Marwaha. She added that this book will be given Giani Sant Singh Purskar (poem) alongwith a cash award of Rs 5,000 and a plaque.

“Aise Bani Kahani”, the book authored by Ms Sukiriti Bhatnagar had been selected for Bal Sahitya Purskar, “Samjhuta Express”, the book written by Mr Dharampal Sahil had been selected for Sudershan Purskar, “Nari Mehima Ka Maha Granth - Adhiyatmak Ramayan” written by Madhu Bala had been selected for Inder Nath Madaan purskar and “Kaal Chakra” authored by Mr Manohar Lal Anand had been selected for Mohan Rakesh Purskar.

She said Rs 5,000 cash would be given alongwith each award apart from a plaque. 


Rape victim fears threat to life

Tarn Taran, September 7
A rape victim of nearby Bhullar village, 8 km from here, on whose complaint Sarwan Singh Sandhu, a singer, and five others, including a woman constable of the Punjab police, have been booked, has feared threat to her life.

The girl, while talking to newsmen here today, said that after constant efforts she had succeeded in getting the case registered about 26 days back but the accused had not been arrested, as a results she had been receiving treats from the accused. She said that one of the accused, Sarabjit Kaur, a constable with the Punjab police posted at Chandigarh, was using her influence to hush up the case.

Mr Parveen Kumar Sinha, when contacted, said that the case was being probed by Mr Jaswant Singh, DSP (HQ), and action would be taken after the inquiry. — OC


Govt urged to accept doctors’ demands
Our correspondent

Hoshiarpur, September 7
The Punjab Civil Medical Services (PCMS) Association today urged the recently constituted subcommittee to accept the genuine demands of the PCMS doctors as they were performing their duties under a lot of stress and strain.

In a communique to the Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, under whose chairmanship the cabinet subcommittee had been set up, Dr Hardeep Singh, president, and Dr Ajay Bagga, press secretary, of the state unit of the PCMS Association, demanded conveyance allowance for all doctors equivalent to the price of 75 litres of petrol per month, medical allowance of Rs 1,000, academic allowance of Rs 500 to all specialist doctors, ESI allowance of Rs 400 and three increments to all postgraduate doctors without any qualifying conditions of January 1, 1996. Dr Hardeep Singh and Dr Bagga also demanded a special lump sum allowance of Rs 500 per month for all doctors working in the rural areas.

They expressed dismay over the long delay in the implementation of the recommendations of the Fourth Pay Commission in the case of PCMS doctors. They said the government should have accepted the recommendations much earlier as due to the hard work of the government doctors the Health Department had eradicated smallpox and controlling poliomyelitis in the state.


Bills precede water supply
Our correspondent

Hoshiarpur, September 7
Great resentment prevails among marginal farmers of Sarain and Baroti villages in the Kandi area of Hoshiarpur district against the Chohal Dam authorities for sending them bills for water for irrigation of their lands without supplying a single drop of water from the dam to them.

Mr Tikshan Sud, MLA, said he had taken up the issue with the Superintending Engineer, Dholbaha Dam Construction Circle, to take back the bills and only send the same after making supply of water to the farmers.

He said the Public Health Department had discontinued the free water supply to the inhabitants of these villages from the community water supply standposts causing great inconvenience to them.

A regular water supply from the Saleran Dam was not done to the farmers of Sherpur Bahtian village for irrigation. He said that all farmers located in the vicinity of the mini dams in Hoshiarpur district were getting a regular water supply for irrigation during the SAD-BJP regime without any obstacle.


BBMB Chief Engineer’s security enhanced
Tribune News Service

Ropar, September 7
The security cover of the Chief Engineer, Irrigation (BBMB), Nangal, has been enhanced. He has received an anonymous threat letter to release the water of Bhakra Dam by opening flood gates to avoid flood-like situation in low-lying areas. The computer-typed letter in English is believed to be sent from Ludhiana, the police said.

Confirming that the threat letter was sent to the Chief Engineer, Mr B.B Bedi, the police said that the warning letter to the Chief Engineer stated that if the demand was not met then the Chief Engineer had to face the consequences as faced by the Chairman of the BBMB in 1998(he was killed by Militants).

The SSP, Mr Kapil Dev, said. The DSP, Anandpur Sahib, was entrusted with the task to inquire into the matter. “We have also been getting inputs from other agencies in this regard from Ludhiana”, he added.

The senior official of the BBMB said the situation was not alarming. There was enough space in the dam to retain the water. At present, the inflow of water in the Dam was low. “We have been trying to fill it to its optimum level of 1680 feet. If required, the water could be stored up to 1685 feet safely. So there was no need to open floodgates”, he added.

To cope with the encroachments by locals in low-lying areas of the district along the Sutlej and seasonal rivulets, the district administration had sent a proposal to the Punjab Government.


Brigade celebrates golden jubilee
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, September 7
The Sehjra Brigade of the Indian Army observed the golden jubilee of its raising day here with solemnity. Several functions, including a fauji mela was organised to mark the occasion wherein the brigade remembered the sacrifices of its martyrs.

The history of the brigade was presented through a light and sound show held on the banks of the Satluj river, near Hussaniwala yesterday.

Brigadier Rakesh Sharma, Commander, Sehjra Brigade, said the brigade had a chequered history. It was raised in 1940 at WAH in Pakistan induring the Second World War. It was demobilised in 1946. The brigade was re-raised and re-designed as 48 Infantry Brigade on 6 September 1956.

During its eventful journey of 50 years, it has earned immense glory and honour. During Operation Vijay in Goa in 1961-62, the Sino-Indian conflict at Bomodila in 1962 during the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pakistan wars, the brigade exhibited immense valour.


2,000 examined at medical camp
Our Correspondent

Abohar, September 7
More than 2,000 residents of Panjkosi village in this subdivision, including students, were examined by a team of doctors from the civil hospitals at Abohar and Khuikhera, including the SMO, Dr G.R. Garg, and the SMO, Dr K.N. Babbar, during a four-day free check-up camp organised by the IFFCO Kisan Sewa Trust that concluded today.

Laboratory tests for selected patients who suffered from chronic diseases would be conducted on Sunday, Mr Amarjit Singh, Area Manager, IFFCO, here said today.

The trust has decided to organise free medical check-up camps at nine more villages — Danewala, Satkosi, Telupura, Killianwali, Khuyiansarwar, Sappanwali, Daulatpura, Sayeedwala and Haripura — in Abohar subdivision. Not only medicines but ingredients for lab tests have also been provided by the trust.


Govt urged to uplift nomadic tribes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
The National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-nomadic Tribes chairman Balkrishna Sidram Renke today urged the Punjab Government to make more efforts towards socio-economic and educational development of the vimukt jatis, nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes settled in the state by creating awareness among them.

Mr Renke said due to the wandering nature of these tribes, they lagged behind in the field of education and were not able to get benefit of the welfare schemes due to lack of knowledge and literacy.

The chairman of the commission was presiding over a meeting of the Advisory Committee of vimukt jatis, tapriwas and bazigars here today.

A spokesperson for the government claimed that Mr Renke was impressed with the welfare schemes initiated by the state government for the tribes. Mr Renke suggested that members of these tribes should be listed in below poverty line (BPL) family category so that they could avail themselves of the facilities being provided by the government.

Minister for Welfare and Social Security Mohinder Singh Kaypee assured the commission’s chairman of implementing the recommendation made by the commission so that this unprivileged section of society could get the benefit.


Retirement age increase won’t help staff: panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
The Punjab and UT Employees Joint Action Committee today said the proposed increase in retirement age from 58 years to 60 years would benefit the state government, instead of benefitting the employees.

The employees would not get their retirement dues for two more years while the increase in retirement age would block promotion avenues and also new appointments, said a press release issued by committee chairman Sajjan Singh today.

He said the proposed rally outside the residence of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in Patiala would be held as planned.

The employees are demanding implementation of the “4-9-14” promotional scale. A proposal to this effect was not forwarded to the committee of ministers dealing with the subject, as Finance Minister Surinder Singla was on the board the committee and it was feared that he would oppose the benefits given to employees, alleged Sajjan Singh, while terming Mr Singla “anti-employee”.


Musical nite for troops
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, September 7
The Golden Arrow Army Wives Welfare Association organised a musical evening for troops at the Jyoti Stadium here last evening.

It was attended by at least 5,000 jawans and NCOs, members of their families and Army and civil officials.

The troupe, led by Neeharika Naidu, presented folk and patriotic numbers in Dogri, Rajasthani, Marathi, Gujarati and Punjabi.

Ms Abhilasha Kumari, association president, and Maj-Gen Mahavir Singh, GOC 7 Div, spoke on the occasion.


Resentment among PCS officers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
Resentment brews among PCS officers over their failure to have an audience with the Chief Secretary, despite their repeated requests, to discuss their longstanding demands. On the direction from Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, the Punjab Civil Service (Executive Branch) Officers’ Association had submitted a representation stating their demands to the Chief Secretary on May 19.

Their main demands was to get PCS officers designated as Special Secretaries on the completion 13 years of service.

The PCS officers wanted next scale from January 1 of the year they became eligible, on the pattern of IAS officers. They also sought telephone facility for all officers in the rank of Joint Secretaries and above.

The association wanted exclusion of 33 per cent posts of the Deputy Commissioner from the IAS cadre.

It said their postings against various available slots be made on the basis of their seniority and not in an arbitrary manner, as was the practice now.

The association urged that their retirement age be raised to 60 years from 58 years. Also, the condition under which PCS officers were barred from entering the IAS cadre on attaining the age of 54 years be removed.

They said there should be a parallel progression career scheme for them. Because of the arbitrary recruitment system for PCS cadre, as many as 133 PCS officers would not make it to the IAS cadre. To remove the blockade in their career progression, they should be given the rank of Secretary or Principal Secretary during the course of their service. “Our quota to promotion to IAS be raised to 50 per cent from the existing 33 per cent,” they demanded.


Reshuffle in Police Dept
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
The Punjab Government has ordered a reshuffle in the Police Department. A total of 12 IPS officers and 15 Punjab Police Service officers were transferred or given additional duties. Orders in this regard were conveyed to the Police Department this afternoon.

Mr Chandershekar has been given additional charge as ADGP, Railways. Mr Jasminder Singh is the new IG, Lokpal, replacing Mr Rajpal Meena, who has been shifted as IG, India Reserve Battalion, Patiala. Mr M.K. Tewari has been posted as IG , Computers and Telecommunications. Mr Prabodh Kumar has been posted as IG , Security Wing. He was posted in the Vigilance Bureau and was handling the case pertaining to the multi-crore scam in the Education Department. He has been transferred subsequent to his promotion.

Mr Rohit Choudhary is the new IG, Vigilance, PSEB. He replaces Mr Gurinder Pal Singh, who has been transferred as IG, GRP, Patiala. Mr I.P.S. Sahota has been posted as IG, Punjab Human Rights Commission. Mr B.K. Bawa has been posted as DIG, EOW, Vigilance Bureau. Mr R.L. Bhagat is the new DIG, Border Range, Amritsar. Mr Inderjit Singh Randhawa has been posted as Commandant, 3rd Commando Battalion, Mohali, while Mr Surinder Pal Singh has been posted as SP, CID, in Chandigarh. Mr Sukhdev Singh, posted as SP, Security, Punjab Raj Bhavan, and Personal Security Officer to Mr Parkash Singh Badal, will relinquish the charge of SP, Security, Raj Bhavan, and hand it over to Mr S.K. Singh. Mr Mangal Singh will be SP, Chief Minister's Security.

Mrs Anita Punj has been posted as AIG, Personnel, Police Headquarters, Chandigarh, while Mrs V. Neerja will now work as SP, Crime, posted in Chandigarh while Ms Amrit Brar is the new SP, Computers, posted in Chandigarh. Mr Ashok Kumar Bath has been posted as SP, Crime against Scheduled Castes and Weaker Sections. Mr Savinder Singh has been posted as Assistant Commandant, 9th Battalion, PAP, Amritsar, while Mr Lashkar Singh has been posted as SP, Vigilance Bureau, posted in Chandigarh. Mr Shamsher Jang Bahadur Singh has been posted as SP, GRP, Jalandhar, while Mr Amrik Singh has been sent as SP, Detective, Majitha. Mr Amarjit Singh has been posted as Assistant Commandant, 3rd India Reserve Battalion, Ludhiana.


Bhattal calls officers’ meeting

Chandigarh, September 7
The Deputy Chief Minister, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, who is heading a Cabinet subcommittee with regard to issues related to employees, has called a meeting of senior officers concerned on September 9.

The sources said that except the time-bound promotion scale, the state government was in a mood to accept all other demands of the employees, including increasing their retirement age by two years. — TNS


Three of family killed in mishap

Moga, September 7
Three members of a family were killed as their scooter collided with a three-wheeler near Dharaj village here last evening.

The deceased have been identified as Harbhagwan Singh, his wife Rani and their six-year-old daughter Jyoti of Dharaj village.

Harbhagwan, along with his family members, was returning from his sisters house at Chandiana after seeing his newly-born nephew when the accident took place.

According to eyewitnesses, the collision occurred as the three-wheeler driver had instantly taken a turn to fill oil near a petrol station. The three-wheeler driver fled the spot soon after the collision. While Jyoti died on the spot, her parents succumbed to the injured on their way to hospital. — TNS


Teachers to get holiday on last Saturday
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Kanuwan (Gurdaspur), September 7
The state-level function to give awards of excellence to school teachers today turned out to be bonanza for teachers at government schools in the state.

The ceremony was presided over by the Governor, Lieut-Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), here today.

Punjab Education Minister Pratap Singh Bajwa ceded to most demands of teacher unions and made announcements during the function.

The demand that received maximum applause was that the last Saturday of each month would be a holiday.

Mr Bajwa said though he was against it, one more holiday was being given to teachers on their persistent demand.

Aided schools were allowed to fill vacant posts.

He said the government would allow aided schools to fill vacant posts under the grant-in-aid programme.

He said teachers of aided schools who had retired and opted for the pension scheme would be given pension under the old scheme.

A new pension scheme was being formulated for teachers retiring in the future.

The 50 per cent dearness allowance of pensioners would be merged into their basic pay.

No teacher would be posted on non-teaching duty.

Education Secretary Sarvesh Kaushal was directed to write to Deputy Commissioners against posting teachers on non-teaching duty.

Teachers would not have to cook mid-day meals and the government would make separate arrangements.

Mr Bajwa said the pendency in promotions in the Education Department would be cleared within 60 days.

All state awardees, earlier given re-employment for one year, would be given extension for one year in the future. A total of 10,000 teachers would be recruited in the next three months, for which merit would be the sole criterion.


Bajwa’s sop for teachers may impact education
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
The populist announcement made by Punjab Education Minister Pratap Singh Bajwa to close all schools in the state on the last Saturday of each month comes in the face of opposition from various quarters, including the officialdom.

The announcement also reverses a decision taken by the state government when it was voted to power in February, 2002. Educationists opine that the move will hamper school education in the state.

Mr Bajwa made the announcement at a state-level award ceremony at Gurdaspur today. He had reportedly said at the function that though he was personally against it, he had acceded to the demand of closing schools for an additional day every month.

According to sources, this will mean that 13 lakh students in schools will have to forego their free mid-day meal on the last Saturday of each month.

The mid-day meal scheme has been instrumental in drawing poor children towards taking education in government schools. The meal is managed through funds allocated by the Central Government for the purpose.

Besides, the state government spends a whopping Rs 3 crore every day just on salaries of teachers. The closure of schools by another day every month will mean that Rs 36 crore will be spent annually on teachers’ wages for days when no teaching will be done.

The sources say employees of the state government are supposed to work for 37 hours every week during the five working days. While, the offices function from 9 am to 5 pm with half-an-hour lunch break, schools start at 8 am and close at 2.45 pm. By excluding the time for the recess, it works out to 36 hours for a six-day working week. The additional day off will only reduce the burden of teachers.

The Education Department has also moved a proposal to start special classes for children who are weak in studies.

There has been a shortage of teachers for the past several years, due to which studies have been affected. With fresh recruitment of teachers, the hope of undoing the damage had arisen.


Governor gives awards to 14 teachers
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, September 7
The Governor of Punjab, Lieut-Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), today gave away state-level awards for excellence in service to 14 teachers from elementary and senior secondary government schools of the state.

The Governor urged to teachers to adopt new techniques of teaching. He said that teachers should not shirk experimenting in education techniques as the old methods were increasingly becoming redundant in the modern world. Some of the experiments had been launched in Chandigarh and they should also be adopted by the government schools in Punjab.

The function was presided over by the Education and PWD Minister, Mr Pratap Singh Bajwa.

The awardees from elementary section include Mr Paramjit Lal from Government Primary School, Fateh Majri in Patiala, and Mr Baljit Singh from Government Primary School, Shouria Bet in Gurdaspur.

The awardees from secondary section include Ms Jaswant Kaur Walia, Principal, GSS School, Nurpur Bet in Ludhiana; Ms Ekwinder Kaur, Principal, GSSS School, Batala; Ms Babita Jain of GSS School Jawahar Nagar in Ludhiana; Mr Paramjit Singh of GSS School for Girl, Chaba in Amritsar; Mr Mewa Singh Mehmi of GSS School, Bharat Nagar in Ludhiana; Mr Kanwar Manjit Singh Sandhu of Government Middle School, Mithu Mann in Faridkot; Ms Amarjit Kaur, Headmistress of Government High School, Ucha in Jalandhar; Ms Simrat Kaur of GSS School, Harchowal in Gurdaspur; Ms Amarjit Kaur of Bhai Sher Singh Memorail High School, Bhanhor in Ludhiana; Mr Sukhdev Lal Khullar, Principal of GSS School, Badhowal in Ludhiana; Mr Tarsem Chand of Bhai Hehl GSS School, Faffre Bhaike in Mansa; and Ms Shruti Shukla, Senior Science Officer, Punjab School Education Board (PSEB).

The awardee teachers would be given one-year extension in service after retirement.


Punjabi varsity scholars invited to Portugal
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 7
Four Research scholars and Ph.D students of the Department of Physics of Punjabi University have been selected to present their research papers in the field of radiation in the 10th International Symposium on Radiation slated to be held at the University of Coimbra, Coimbra (Portugal), from September 15 to 22.

The students, who will be presenting their papers on the topic ‘Nuclear and radiation physics’ are Mr Manpreet Singh, Mr M.P. Singh, Mr Arvind Sabharwal and Mr Tejbir Singh.

The students have been getting guidance under Dr Bhajan Singh and Dr B.S. Sandhu, Readers in the Department of Physics, Punjabi University.

The papers of all four students have been accepted by the International Society of radiation Physics. Two of the research scholars — Mr M.P. Singh and Mr Arvind Sabharwal — are working in the Nuclear Science Laboratory at the Punjabi University as collaborators, the other two — Mr Manpreet Singh and Mr Tejbir Singh — are being funded by the International Union of Crystallography in terms of travelling grant.

Several research papers of these scholars have already been published in various International journals of radiation physics.

Mr Manpreet Singh will also be speaking on `Energy and Intensity Distribution of 0.279 MeV Multiply Compton Scattered Photons’ at the symposium.


DAV college prof suspended for taking tuition
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 7
A senior professor of DAV College here was placed under suspension by the management committee when he was reportedly caught taking tuition at a private coaching centre in Nangal . The suspension orders were reportedly served to the professor here today.

The professor, who is to retire in a couple of years, was taking physics classes at Nangal in violation of the service rules of the DAV management. It is learnt that the raid was conducted by the management on a tip-off. It is the first time that any senior professor of DAV college was caught by a high-powered committee of the Management while giving coaching.

It is learnt that the suspended Professor has gone to New Delhi to “use” his “influence” to revoke the orders against him. Sources in the college said the professor was caught taking coaching classes without permission. They pointed out that the professor used to go to Nangal for taking classes on the week-end.

Meanwhile, students of the college today observed a complete strike against the alleged strict behaviour of the new Principal, Mr V.K. Sharma.

Mr Sharma, while talking to The Tribune, said the action was initiated on the recommendations of a committee, comprising six senior professors of the college. He refuted the charges that any student was manhandled today.


GND varsity hostel warden resigns
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 7
The Guru Nanak Dev University Girls Hostel Warden, Dr Renu Bhardwaj, submitted her resignation to the Vice-Chancellor here today. The university students have been agitating for the past three days, demanding removal of the warden.

The warden was under pressure from the students in view of the inordinate delay to provide medical treatment to one of the girl students who had fallen sick late on Monday night.

The university authorities have confirmed that the resignation of Dr Bhardwaj had been received but had been kept pending as the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jai Rup Singh, was out of station and a final decision would be taken after his arrival.


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