P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


23 councillors ask Mayor to quit, boycott House
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 11
In an unprecedented move, 23 municipal councillors belonging to the Congress, the SAD and independent today boycotted the General House meeting of the Municipal Corporation (MC), and demanded its dissolution and the resignation of Mayor Vishnu Sharma after the Municipal Commissioner, Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, was allegedly asked by the Mayor to leave the meeting.

The 23 councillors including eight women councillors, who came out from the meeting hall along with Mr Ahluwalia, raised slogans against the Mayor. They demanded that the Mayor should resign and the state government should dissolve the House without any delay. The functioning of the House had become messy due to some vested interests, who had allegedly been looting the treasury of the corporation, they added.

Though the Mayor conducted the meeting, Mr C. L. Sharma, secretary, MC, categorically stated that the Mayor never bothered to get the signature of the councillors on the register before conducting the business of the House. He added that the Mayor also asked Mr Gurwinder Singh, an MC employee who was deputed to record the minutes of the proceedings, to leave the meeting hall. He said he was totally embarrassed at the developments.

Mr Vishnu Sharma denied that he asked Mr Alhuwalia to leave the meeting. However, he alleged that Mr Alhuwalia created nuisance because today all those items of the proceedings of the last General House meeting held on August 14 in which some serious allegations were levelled against him were to be ratified.

The Mayor said he along with a section of municipal councillors would report whatever had happened today to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, the MP, Ms Preneet Kaur, and the local Bodies Minister, Mr Jagjit Singh, soon. He alleged that Mr Ahluwalia was involved in encroachment in front of his private house and giving sanction to a private coloniser to develop a colony against the rules. He had thus caused huge loss to the corporation.

Mr Ahluwalia, said he left the meeting hall after he was asked to leave by Mr Vishnu Sharma. He added his only fault was he requested the meeting should be conducted as per rules, which annoyed the Mayor. He said he had declared today’s meeting illegal as it was conducted against the established norms.

He alleged that Mr Vishnu Sharma did not allow the videographers to record the proceedings of today’s meeting despite the fact that an order to this effect was passed by the state government.

Mr Ahluwalia pointed out that he would write to the authorities concerned regarding today’s meeting and would send relevant record to them for evaluation.

A vertical split surfaced among the councillors immediately after Mr Ahluwalia was asked to leave the meeting hall. Most of the councillors cutting across the party lines boycotted the meeting dubbing it as a fraud.


Farmers on Indo-Pak border not paid relief
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, September 11
Hundreds of farmers in scores of villages along the Indo-Pak border in Fazilka sector have not been paid crop compensation for not being allowed to sow long-height crop for security reasons. These farmers are facing another risk from wild animals, particularly pigs, which stray in from Pakistan side and damage their paddy.

Karnail Singh and Satnam Singh, residents of border Mauzam village, whose land is situated along the barbed -wire fencing rued that due to security reasons they were not allowed access to their crop from 5 pm to 8am by the Border Security Force (BSF).

These farmers maintained that adjacent to the cultivated crop in the Indian territory, there was high congress grass growing in the Pakistan area. Hence, nothing was visible of the Pakistan side.

During the night, stray animals, particularly large number of pigs, run in their fields and damage their standing crop. Since there is no cultivation on the Pakistan side, the authorities there do not make any attempt to prevent entry of stray animals in the Indian territory.

The villagers in a memorandum presented to the SDM, Fazilka, have stated that about 300 acre of land was hit by the animal menace. They have urged the Central Government that they be allowed to fix copra wire across their fields, along the zero line, to prevent entry of animals. Some of the farmers have also complained that due to rise in water level in the Sutlej, their standing crop were inundated with over flowing water.

The further said due to adverse geographical conditions they are hit hard by natural calamities too. In view of these difficult conditions the Vajpayee government had allowed compensation of Rs 2,500 per acre annually to farmers whose land was situated across the fencing.

They lamented that the present government at Delhi had not paid them any compensation. They have demanded immediate payment of the compensation along with arrears. 


Medical Supdt clarifies
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 11
The Medical Superintendent of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Dr A S Padda, today refuted the allegations of high-handedness and vandalism leveled by a chemist and general merchants in the government-run Guru Nanak Dev Hospital Complex here. Shopkeepers had filed a police complaint against the Dr Padda and his men in this regard.

In a note issued to the press, Dr Padda clarified that the shops had been allotted to one Ms Savita Kallon and licence in the name of one Rajan Sharma.

However, both of them were not usually present and the shops were being managed by four persons who identified themselves as Sham, Harjit, Karam Singh and Rajiv.

He alleged that the shopkeepers had encroached upon the varandah against the terms and conditions of the allotment. The shopkeepers were also not complying with the government instructions to enhance the rent of the building. They were only instructed to remove the encroachment on which they misbehaved with the staff.

He said the presence of the unauthorized persons in the chemist shop and the genuineness of the fair price shop were being probed.


Sensing danger, Soil Conservation Dept ups the ante
Vishal Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
With the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, expressing fears that Punjab may turn into a desert in 25 years, the Department of Soil and Water Conservation, Punjab, though facing an acute staff crunch, has got into action to stem the downslide in soil and water quality.

The department is in the process of taking soil and water samples from across the state on the basis of which a detailed plan will be drawn up to meet the impending threat.

Mr Anil K. Sondhi, Conservator of Soils, Punjab, told The Tribune: “We are taking samples from across the state and working in collaboration with the Remote Sensing Department to generate satellite-based images of the state’s soil and water wealth for scientific analysis.”

The department had adequate funds and the Centre’s support, too, to carry out its plans though the situation was not particularly good about two years ago, he said.

Unfortunately, the results of the samples taken so far had not been encouraging with most of the regions showing nutrient-deficient soil and a depleting water level.

In an ideal soil, there are 17 nutrients, six major and 11 minor, but the samples taken so far, especially in Mohali district, contain only eight nutrients. The soil showed a high deficiency of iron and zinc which can seriously impede its fertility.

To make matters worse, the groundwater level in the state is also receding at the rate of 30 cm to 100 cm per year which can further erode the soil fertility and its capacity to retain nutrients.

The seriousness of the situation can be gauged from the fact that 94 blocks in the state, the worst-affected being Moga and Sangrur, have been labelled as falling in the ‘‘dark zone’’ by the department and the Central Ground Water Board.

In fact, over the past four decades, the cropping intensity has increased manifold and the fertiliser consumption ,too, has jumped from 1.06 kg to 196 kg per hectare.

The area under paddy cultivation has increased 12 times and under wheat three times. This has put unprecedented pressure on the water and soil resources of the state, resulting in stagnation in agricultural growth.

Mr Sondhi said the remedy lay in switching over to organic farming and curtailing the use of chemical fertilisers heavily. The never-ending wheat-paddy cycle needed to be broken to salvage the situation.

Now, the department was actively promoting rainwater harvesting, drip irrigation and canal-water storage tanks and offering subsidies to farmers to encourage them to change their traditional farming patterns.

“Even the famous Kali Bein is being covered under the drip-irrigation project and an underground pipeline is being laid to put excess water from the Bein to use for irrigation purposes,” Mr Sondhi said. Also in the offing was a study to assess the degree of urbanisation in Punjab and its impact on soil and water quality.

The study would initially focus on two major cities, probably Ludhiana and Jalandhar, and be conducted in collaboration with the Remote Sensing Department.


Uphold dignity of turban: Sidhu
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 11
Navjot Singh Sidhu, BJP MP, along with thousands of Sikh activists, today paid obeisance at Akal Takht and offered prayers to give strength to the Sikh community to protect and uphold the dignity and sanctity of the turban.

Addressing the “Shan-e-Dastar” rally, the MP said Maharaja Ranjit Singh considered the turban a crown put on a Sikh's head by Guru Gobind Singh. He added that it was an integral part of the complete moral, physical and spiritual identity of a Sikh.

He said the history was the witness to the fact that Sikhs had sacrificed their lives rather than renouncing their faith.

Countless examples could be quoted, be it Bhai Mani Singh, who was cut limb by limb, Bhai Deewan Singh, Bhai Mehtab Singh, Bhai Subeg Singh and Bhai Shahbaaz Singh, whose bodies were broken on wooden wheels as a punishment for not renouncing their faith.

He said “it must be kept in mind that we have protected our faith and distinct identity by paying with our blood for centuries and today our faith may not be under question but our identity is”.

He said the French government's decision to bar students from supporting a turban raised a storm among the devout Sikhs in the country. The French authorities should also take into consideration that the ancestors of these very Sikhs fought alongside the allied forces and the French in the World Wars and about 8200 Sikhs were estimated to have lost their lives.

Quoting from the history, he said in the battlefield, Sikh soldiers were told to remove their turbans in order to wear helmets for safety, but they refused to take off their turbans while assuring the authorities that they would not claim any compensation, if they died by getting shot in the head.

Taking a dig at the Congress leadership, he said the Sikh community had expected more from its political leaders, especially when the Prime Minister of India was a Sikh and at the same time the state Chief Minister was also a Sikh. But the community had been let down as these leaders had failed to punish those who had questioned the faith. The weakness shown by them with particular reference to the protection of the faith and identity of the Sikhs was unpardonable and the people would not forget it.


Power ombudsman appointed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission has appointed Mrs Surinder Paul Kaur, a retired IRS officer, as Ombudsman to consider and decide upon the representations by aggrieved power consumers

The Ombudsman will function independently and is distinct from a forum set in this regard by the Punjab State Electricity Board.

With her appointment, an independent appellate authority has come into existence to hear appeals by the aggrieved consumers against the decisions of the Forum.

After superannuation from the Indian Revenue Service as the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, North-West Region, Mrs Surinder Paul Kaur, was subsequently appointed by the Ministry of Finance as Vice-Chairman, Income Tax Settlement Commission.

She is also familiar with the functioning of the power utilities , says the statement.


Anganwari workers block traffic
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 11
Under the banner of the anganwari Mulazam Union Punjab anganwari workers and helpers led by Ms Usha Rani, acting state president of the union, today blocked traffic for more than an hour on the Sunam-Patiala road at the ITI chowk, Sunam, 13 km from here.

This was in protest against the alleged anti-anganwari employee policies of the state government and in support of their demands.

They lifted the blockade when Mr Gurpartap Singh Ahluwalia, Naib Tehsildar, Sunam, came to the site and received memorandum from the protesters on behalf of the administration.

He assured them that he would forward to the higher authorities. 


Protest march by patwaris
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 11
Members of the Revenue Patwar Union, Punjab and Tarn Taran, held a joint protest march and rally against the District Revenue Officer in the court complex here today.

A press release issued by the union stated that the march was led by its local president, Mr Nirmaljit Singh Bajwa. They raised slogans against the DRO, Mr Satpal Garg. They alleged that the officer transferred employees to far-off places, did not pass the legal benefits to the families of dead employees, and did not maintain a seniority list and roster register.


Bumper cotton, paddy crops likely
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
The next eight weeks are crucial for farmers of Punjab, Haryana, and the Ganganagar belt of Rajasthan. If the weather gods remain merciful, the farmers will be having the best of times as far as harvesting of the paddy crop and the picking of cotton is concerned.

And this phenomenon will be happening after a gap of several years, at least in the cotton belt comprising Bathinda, Mansa, Faridkot, Muktsar, Sangrur, Sirsa, Fatehabad, Hisar and Ganganagar districts. Repeated failure of the cotton crop since 1993 had sunk farmers deep in debt in the cotton belt. Many of them are facing abject poverty. A good crop of cotton and paddy will obviously bring cheer to them. Farmers pray for sunny weather in the next two months.

Already 20,000 bales of cotton have arrived in various markets of Punjab and the price varies between Rs 2,000 and Rs 2,150. The good news for cotton growers is that the Cotton Corporation of India, which is expected to get heavy orders for the export of cotton this year, has already entered select markets of Punjab to buy cotton.

And it is buying cotton at a higher rate than the minimum support price— Rs 1,845 per quintal for American cotton in Punjab. Because of the lower production in the country than anticipated earlier and better prospects of the export of cotton this year, its price is expected to touch Rs 2,400-2,500 per quintal by the middle of next month. Its price in the international market is already high by 4 to 6 cent this year as compared to that prevalent last year.

Official estimates say Punjab will be producing 25.45 lakh bales, Haryana 18 lakh bales and the Ganganagar belt 5 lakh bales. The total production in this region will be nearly 50 lakh bales. The total production of cotton in the country is expected to be 250 lakh bales against the earlier estimate of 275 lakh bales. There is a carry- over of 55 lakh bales lying in stock with the Indian industry.

The Cotton Advisory Board of India has estimated that by the end of the cotton-picking season, the Indian cotton trade sector will have a stock of 310 lakh bales against the domestic consumption of 230 lakh bales. Various cotton exporting agencies are expecting export orders to the tune of 60 lakh bales this year.

As far as paddy is concerned, Punjab is once again set to harvest a bumper crop. " We are expecting the arrival of 94 lakh tonnes of paddy in Punjab markets", says Dr Balwinder Singh Sidhu, Director, Agriculture, Punjab. And in Haryana also, the crop is in very good shape. As most farmers in Haryana transplant superior varieties of paddy, they will get better returns this year.

Commenting on the paddy and cotton prospects, Mr Sidhu said that " both crops are free from any disease. If all goes well in the next two months, it will be a good season for farmers in this region".


Millers stop buying paddy
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, September 11
Rice millers of the Fazilka area today stopped the purchase of paddy from the local market. There has been a glut of about 20,000 quintals of the fresh arrivals of paddy.

The reason for stopping the purchase is that the government had earlier announced Rs 650 as minimum support price (MSP) of paddy for the current season but the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, has, in its letter to all Principal Secretaries Food of the state, has fixed the MSP of paddy at Rs. 610 per quintal and has announced that Rs. 40 per quintal is to be paid as bonus to farmers.

The rice millers are facing a piquant situation, as the government shall fix the rate of rice on basis of Rs 610 per quintal. This is not profitable for the rice millers.

The rice millers shall be compelled to purchase paddy at minimum price of Rs. 650 per quintal or more but sell it at Rs 610 per quintal. In this situation if the government purchases paddy at rate of Rs 650 no farmer shall be ready to sell it to rice millers at lower rate of Rs. 610.

Dr. Rattan Lal Thakral, a rice miller, in statement here today demanded that the government should remove confusion and spell out clearly the MSP of paddy as it would not be economically viable for the rice millers to purchase paddy at higher rates.

On the other hand the purchase of paddy by government agencies shall commence from October 1 hence there is an imminent threat of huge glut in the grain market.

Another aspect related to paddy procurement is that the exporters of rice have also stopped purchase of paddy from local market. This shall also cause problems for the farmers.


Award for Nawanshahr DC
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, September 11
The Deputy Commissioner of Nawanshahr, Mr Krishan Kumar, will receive the Baba Farid Award for Honesty at a function at Gurdwara Godri Sahib on September 23. The Chairman of the Gurdwara Godri Sahib Baba Farid Society, Mr Inderjit Singh Khalsa, announced this at a press conference here today.

Mr Khalsa said unlike previous years no individual or institution had been chosen for the Bhagat Puran Singh Award for Service to Humanity as the society found none of the 17 nominees fully devoted to the cause of humanity as Bhagat Puran Singh was. The society then resolved not to give away this award to anybody this year.

Mr Krishan Kumar will be honoured with a cash award of Rs 51,000, a shawl and a citation.


6 held with 485 kg poppy husk
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 11
The police has arrested six persons and seized about 485 kg of poppy husk from their possession during raids at different places.

In the first case, following a tip-off, a police party stopped a Tata Sumo vehicle near Mandi Kalan village and seized nine bags full of poppy husk, weighing 315 kg, from it. While two of its occupants were arrested, the other two escaped. They were identified as Jaswinder Singh and Paramjeet Singh.

In the second case, the police arrested Ujagar Singh who tried to run away after noticing the cops near Chauke village. Four bags of poppy husk weighing about 140 kg were seized from his possession.

In yet another case, the police arrested Dara Singh, Balveer Singh and Baldev Singh and seized 30 kg of poppy husk from them. 


13 stolen computers recovered, 5 held
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 11
The police has seized 13 computer sets (monitors, CPUs, keyboards and mice etc) from two gangs of thieves. The police has arrested five persons and seized eight computer sets from them while three members of the gang escaped leaving five computer sets there.

Mr Harinder Singh Chahal, SSP, Sangrur, said today the police arrested Jaskaran Singh, Mandeep Singh, Rajwinder Singh, Sukhchain Singh and Kuldip Singh from Khanpur village (near Malerkotla) the previous day and seized eight monitors, eight CPUs, eight keyboards, six mice and eight leads, worth to Rs 3.50 lakh, from them.

Mr Chahal said the accused had confessed that they had stolen these computer sets from Government High School, Dolha (Gidderbaha) and Government Senior Secondary School, Bhodipura under police station Dayalpura (Bathinda district). 


Gang of lifters busted
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 11
The police today claimed to have busted an inter-state gang of vehicle lifters with the arrest of two of its members and recovery of seven cars from their possession.

Following a tip-off, the Nehiawala police arrested Pardeep Kumar, alias Babbu, a resident of Jaito, and Ashok Kumar, a resident of Bathinda, and recovered four Maruti cars, two vans and a Tata Indica car from them.

SHO G.S. Romana said one of the accused used to prepare fake registration certificates of stolen vehicles, while the other would strike deals with unsuspecting customers. 


10-kg bomb recovered from nullah

Ferozepore, September 11
A 10-kg live bomb was recovered from a nullah near Army cantonment here today.

The police said the rusted bomb was found when cantonment board workers were cleaning the nullah this afternoon.

The anti-bomb squad of the Army took away the bomb, the police said. — UNI 


One killed in road accident
Our Correspondent

Batala, September 11
Sunil Kumar Abrol (33), alias Papplu, a local crockery businessman, was killed when his Scorpio vehicle collided with a truck near the Batala Cooperative Sugar Mills on the Batala-Gurdaspur road last night.

Sunil Kumar, along with his friend, was coming from Dhariwal. His friend, Sanjeev Kumar Sharma (34), a son of Mr Som Datt Sharma, was injured in the accident and was admitted to Amandeep Hospital, Amritsar. He was stated to be out of danger now.


University teachers meet Bhattal
Request raising retirement age to 62
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
To press for their demand of extension of retirement age from 60 years to 62 years, a deputation of representatives of teachers from three universities — Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjabi University, Patiala, and Panjab University, Chandigarh, — met Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister, Punjab, at her residence today.

They stated that the discussion in the Punjab Council of Ministers on the enhancement of retirement age of government employees from 58 years to 60 years, as reported in the Press, was a welcome step.

It is worth mentioning here that there has been no change in the retirement age of university teachers of Punjab since Independence. On the other hand, the retirement age of other government employees has gone up from 55 to 60 years after two revisions.

According to Dr D.S. Johal, president, Guru Nanak Dev University Teachers Association, the claim for the enhancement of retirement age of university teachers is all the more justified given that they join late in service as they are required to complete their PhD.

“According to UGC Notification 1998, on the revision of pay scales, it was recommended that the retirement age of university teachers be raised to 62. Keeping in view the UGC notification, in all the central universities as well as in many state universities (UP, Gujarat, Uttaranchal, etc) the retirement age of university teachers has already been raised to 62 years,” he stated.

The representatives further requested Ms Bhattal to take personal initiative and let their request be ratified and notified along with other government employees.

According to Prof Manjit Singh, secretary, Panjab University Teachers Association, Ms Bhattal had invited representatives of the different associations on September 14 at Punjab Bhavan to discuss their demands.

Meanwhile, representative teachers of these three universities have decided to call an emergency meeting of the Punjab Federation of University Teachers Association, which also includes PAU, Ludhiana, on September 14 at Panjab University, Chandigarh.


Japanese scholar all praise for Punjabi language
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 11
Japanese are good in writing Punjabi language but their verbal aspect is poor while on the other hand the American youth of Indian origin are good in pronunciation of the language but at the same time they are weak in writing the language, said Dr Tomio Mizokami, Professor of Indian Languages, Osaka University, Japan, while interacting with faculty and students of the School of Punjabi Studies, Guru Nanak Dev University, here today.

Dr Tomio visited the university while coming from Pakistan. He has translated Jap Ji Sahib and literary works of renowned Indian writers ,including Amrita Pritam, Ajit Kaur, Gurmukh Singh Musafir, Kulwant Singh Virk and Sant Singh Sekhon in Japanese. He disclosed that he is translating “the Sukhmani Sahib”.

He also met the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jai Rup Singh, and informed him about the status of Punjabi in Japan and desired that there should be some academic and cultural exchange programme of students and faculty between Osaka University and GND University. Dr Jai Rup Singh assured Dr Tomio that in near future the university would initiate academic and cultural exchange programmes.

While interacting in Punjabi, Dr Tomio said Japanese were very keen to learn Punjabi but due to their limitations they could not reach the desired goal.


PCCTU members to court arrest
Our Correspondent

Barnala, September 11
The Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) state executive committee will court arrest at Chandigarh’s Matka Chowk on September 20 to press for the redressal of the grievances of thousands of college teachers serving in privately managed but government-aided colleges of Punjab.

Giving this information to this reporter here on Saturday, Prof H.S.Walia and Dr Jagwant Singh, president and general secretary, respectively, of the state PCCTU, disclosed that the decision was taken at the state executive committee meeting of the PCCTU held in HMV Jalandhar on August 27.

Professor Walia and Dr Jagwant Singh said resentment prevailed among non-government college teachers of Punjab as the Capt Amarinder Singh-led Punjab Government was not honouring its poll promise and assurances pertaining to the PCCTU’s long-pending demands.

They regretted that many of the decisions taken in the January 25 meeting chaired by Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister, who is also Higher Education Minister were hanging fire despite repeated reminders to the authorities concerned.


Ex-pressions-2006 results
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 11
Gurkanwalpreet Singh, a student of MBA-I, was selected Mr Fresher and Pooja Verma, a student of the PGDCA, was chosen Ms Fresher at the Desh Bhagat Institute of Management and Computer Sciences, Mandi Gobindgarh, during the four-day Exclusive Ex-pressions-2006, which concluded today.

During the function, choreography, quiz competition and a freshers’ party were organised. Many choreographic presentations were made by students, in which Aryabhatt House won the first prize. Results of various events are: Quiz contest — Parwana Team (first), Mastana Team (second).

Solo song — Lakhwinder Kaur of Newton House (first) Sandeep Kaur (Ekalaya), Third Harmeet (Newton); Solo Dance (Classical) — Priyanka first, Priyanka Newton House , Ekalaya House (second) and Solo Dance (western) — Priyanka, Chanakya House (first), Antrpreet, Chankaya House (second).


Student leaders urge Bhattal to lift ban on poll
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
The International Democratic Students Front has urged the Punjab Government to lift ban on elections in various educational institutions of the state.

A deputation of the Front, led by Mr Amarinder Singh, today submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Chief Minister, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, in this regard.

Leaders of the Front have stated in the memorandum that their right to elect students’ bodies in colleges, universities and other institutions in Punjab was taken away by the state government in 1983.

And since then no elections of students’ bodies have been held in the state. Front leaders have urged the government to restore democracy in the state as it was a need of the hour to allow students to elect r bodies in their respective educational institutions in Punjab.


Students’ union chief thrashed
Our Correspondent

Barnala, September 11
Mr Sanjiv Mintoo, state president of Punjab Radical Students Union (PRSU) was thrashed by employees of Himmatpura Transport Company today in a bus when he was going to Pakho Kanchain, about 10 km from here. He was going to talk to Himmatpura Transport Company’s employees for some amicable solution for the bitterness between students and the company employees.

Mr Sanjeev Mintoo, talking to this reporter here today, said the e incident was aimed at intimidating him and other PRSU activists.

The state PRSU chief said the moment he wanted to talk to the bus employees on some solution at Pakho Kanchain, he was roughed up by them and pushed into a bus where he was beaten very badly. The bus employees assaulted him with iron rods and sticks but passengers travelling in the bus came to his rescue.

He alleged that the police, instead of initiating stern action against the guilty bus employees, was raiding students’ houses at Sukhpura village rounding up four students, including one student each of S.D.College, Barnala, and Akal Degree College, Mastuana.


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