P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Loud firecrackers banned
Tribune News service

Patiala, September 29
Mr I.B. Purushartha, Additional District Magistrate, Patiala, today imposed a complete ban on the use firecrackers between 10 pm and 6 am. However, this restriction would not apply on the use of colour or light emitting firecrackers.

The ban would apply on the manufacture, sale or use of firecrackers generating noise exceeding 125 db (AI) or 145 db at four meters distance from the point of bursting.

Firecrackers should not be used at any time in silence zones. A silence zone is an area comprising not less than 100 meters around hospitals, educational institutions, courts, religious places or any other area.

Firecrackers shall not be used at any time within the area of 500 yards from oil dumps of IOC, BPCL and HPCL etc.

Mr Purushartha, in a separate order, said no person shall store, exhibit or sell any firecrackers or explosive materials normally used in Dasehra and Divali except at those open places identified by the respective Sub-Divisional Magistrate for this purpose and public safety.

This order will remain in force from the date of its issuance up to November 30.


Girls’ number up in Bathinda
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 29
The PNDT cell’s campaign against female foeticide has started bearing fruit as the birth rate of girls has shot up from 808 in 2005 to 821 in July, 2006. This was stated at a meeting of the cell held under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner Rahul Bhandari here today.

It was also decided at the meeting that a copy of the magistrate’s report in the case of Dr Gurbaksh Singh and Dr Beeja Mal, which had been rejected by the court of the Additional Sessions Judge, be given to NGOs so that the officials who failed to pursue this case properly be exposed.

The SSP, Mr Varinder Kumar, said at the meeting that in a case dating back to January 22, 2003, the police had arrested multipurpose health worker Harbans Kaur. Regarding last month’s case against Talwandi Sabo’s former SMO Shamlal Thukral and his wife, the SSP said the police was carrying out raids to arrest

Dr Ramesh Rani Thukral. The Deputy Commissioner directed the officials concerned to file an appeal in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the cases of Dr Gurbaksh Singh Chahal and Dr Lakshmi Garg.


Bhanwar quits DSGMC
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 29
Mr Harbir Singh Bhanwar, media adviser, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), today resigned from his post. He submitted his resignation to the management committee at New Delhi after serving for about six months.

Earlier, he was media adviser to the SGPC and after completion of his term, he joined the DSGMC at New Delhi in April this year.

In his resignation letter, Mr Bhanwar said he was appointed as media adviser for six months by the committee for the centenary celebrations of the death anniversary of Sri Guru Arjan Dev.

He said as the celebrations were completed and the souvenir was also released at the international seminar organised to mark the centenary celebrations, he decided to resign from his post.


6 Army teams to take part in car rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29,
Keeping up with its long- standing tradition of encouraging adventure sports, the Army is fielding six teams representing various regiments in the 8th Raid-de-Himalaya - 2006, which is scheduled to be flagged-off from Shimla tomorrow.

The rally will traverse the rugged Shimla-Manali-Leh-Shimla Circuit and culminate on October 7.

Though the Army has been participating in motor sports and car rallies at the national level since the early eighties, it first entered the Raid-de-Himalaya in 2004 and fielded nine teams. Army teams have won the overall Team Championship Trophy for the past two years.


Seeds not available at kisan mela: farmers
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 29
Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan today flocked to the daylong kisan mela organised by the Punjab Agricultural University at the regional station here.

Farmers visited the stalls set up by various seed and fertiliser companies, while seed sale counters of the PAU witnessed long queues. Wheat varieties that saw brisk buying included PBW-343, PBW-373, PBW-502 and PBW-509. However, a section of farmers alleged that they were standing in the queue for a couple of hours, but they were “being denied seed due to one reason or the other”. Darshan Singh, a farmer from Faridkot, said the clerk on the counter told them that the variety of seed, which they wanted to purchase, had been sold out. Kuldeep Singh, another farmer from Gumti Kalan village alleged that he himself had seen a roomful of seed and they were being “unnecessarily harassed”. The farmers rued that they would now have to purchase seed from private players which would be costlier. On the other hand, the regional station officials said last year there were no takers for PBW-373 and PBW-509 varieties of wheat, but this year the farmers who opted for late sown varieties of cotton went for brisk buying of both these varieties. “We had ordered 50 quintals each of both the varieties, which were sold out in a couple of hours of opening of the counter. Unpredictability in purchase trend among the farmers has led to the problem,” they added. They revealed that the station had 900 quintals of PBW-502 and 800 quintals of PBW-343, which would also be available after the mela. Regarding stock towards which the farmers pointed out, they said it had already been sold out, but was yet to be lifted by its buyers.

Meanwhile, Member, PAU Board of Management, Supinder Kaur Cheema exhorted the farmers to avoid wasteful expenditure on non-productive purposes. Director of Extension Education, Dr S.S. Gill said agricultural diversification needed careful planning and implementation. “Unless there is assured price and market for alternative crop rotation, diversification cannot succeed,” he added. Mr Sant Singh Brar, Member PAU Board of Management, Dr G.S. Hira, additional director of research, and Dr Lee Jacob, Professor, Michigan State University, USA were also present. Earlier, Regional Station Director, Dr Dulcha Singh Brar, welcomed guests and farmers at the mela. 


Tehsildars await posting
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
For a civil servant having no work is like a punishment. The tehsildars who joined the PCS after clearing the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) re-conduct test in 2004 are being forced to while away their time, after their training ended in June.

As many as 17 out of the 19 tehsildars selected that year are either without a posting or posted at insignificant non-cadre posts even as their own posts are being occupied by Naib Tehsildars. The remaining two were already PCS officers and have re- joined their posts.

Sources added that Naib Tehsildars who have been occupying their field postings have nothing to show other than a dated order from the Personnel Department which authorised them to hold the current-duty charge for six months while these Tehsildars were under training.

The order is dated May 19, 2005 and was valid for six months. This period ended almost 11 months ago, but for reasons best known to the government, no efforts were made to relieve them of their current duty charge and post Tehsildars in their place.

With their own posts occupied, a majority of these Tehsildars were forced to join the non-cadre posts. In some cases, the Punjab Government even sent the new recruits to other government concerns like the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) and some civic bodies. But they were sent back as these departments had no use of them.

The tehsildars have been running from pillar to post to get their posts back. However, they have been told that transfers in certain wings had been banned by the Election Commission in view of the Assembly elections in Punjab.

Incidentally, the Revenue Minister, Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, had also assured these tehsildars that they would be posted the day the order of the Election Commission regarding transfers was vacated.

The last date for these orders was September 20 and the situation is still the same. Two tehsildars, who have not been posted anywhere till now, reportedly approached the Election Commission in this regard and got orders directing the state government that they be posted. But, despite that, nothing has been done. Mr K.K. Bhatnagar, Principal Secretary, Revenue, and Mr S.S. Rajpoot Secretary, Personnel, Punjab, could not be contacted for their comments despite repeated attempts. 


Drug addicts kill mother, brother
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, September 29
Two sons murdered their mother and the youngest brother at Bodiwala village in the Malout area over a property dispute last night.

According to sources, the accused, Manjeet Singh and Darshan Singh, were drug-addicts due to which their father Ajaib Singh had given their share of property to his grandchildren, apart from his youngest son Kulwinder Singh in his will before he died four months back. The mother of the accused, Surjeet Kaur, had also got four acres of land from her parents in Barnala, which she had sold and purchased a piece of land at Bodiwala village.

Sources said the accused were building pressure on her to give them their share in the land bought by her. They would say that earlier their father had denied them their share, but she should not follow him. However, she said she would not part with her land till she was alive.

Irked at her adamant stand on the matter, they murdered her and Kulwinder with sharpedged weapons last night and fled after perpetrating the crime. The Malout police has registered a case against them and has launched a manhunt to arrest them.


4 kidnappers nabbed by Patiala police
Tribune News Service

Ropar, September 29
The Punjab Police today arrested four kidnappers from Anandpur Sahib sub-division of the district and also managed to get released two businessman from their custody this evening.

A gang of seven persons had kidnapped two businessmen of Uttaranchal and were reportedly demanding Rs 1 crore as extortion money from their family members. Those arrested included Sukhdev Singh Ladi.

The CIA staff of the Patiala police, accompanied by senior police officials, on getting specific information about the kidnappers’ whereabouts had been conducting the search operation since late night here.

The kidnappers when came to know about the police activity tried to escape. The police opened fire in air to deter the kidnappers but they did not surrender and made an attempt to escape from the spot. Senior police officials did not confirmed the shootout incident.

While one of the kidnappers was arrested near the gurdwara, another accused was arrested from Attari Mohalla. The police also recovered two vehicles from the kidnappers.

When contacted, the SSP, Ropar, Mr Kapil Dev, confirmed the arrest of kidnapper Sukhdev Singh Ladi by a team of the Patiala police. He denied that police had opened fire to arrest the kidnappers.


Gamma picked up by CBI
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 29
Gurcharan Singh Gamma, brother-in-law of Khalistan idealogue and senior vice-president SAD-(Amritsar), Daljit Singh Bittu, was allegedly picked up by a team of the Central Bureau of Investigation from his village, Rattan, 12 km from Ludhiana, this afternoon.

Gamma had spent about 12 years in jail under various offences, including TADA, and was released recently. He was the organising secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal-(Amritsar).

According to Mr Major Singh, a spokesperson of the party, Gamma was picked up at about 1 pm. He claimed there was no pending case against Gamma.,

He said the SAD-(Amritsar) strongly criticised the CBI move.


Residents nab 4 women thieves
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 29
Residents of Green Lehal colony managed to capture four thieves, all women, involved in stealing of iron grills, covers of manholes and other things in that area for the past few weeks after giving a long chase, last evening.

Mr Jaswinder Singh Kalsi, President, Green Lehal Welfare association, in a press note issued here today, said since the past few months case of theft were on rise in various parts of the city.

He added that for the past two three days thieves were active in their area stealing items like iron grills and manholes covers. 


Innovation camp ends
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 29
The technopreneur promotion programme innovation funding camp, a programme to assist individual innovators to convert an original idea, invention or knowhow into working prototype or processes, concluded at the Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology here today.

Dr T.P. Singh, Dean of Academic Affairs at the institute, said entrepreneurship development had to become an integral part of any educational institution.

Mr P.K. Goyal, a functionary of Hartron, emphasised on trapping grassroots innovation and providing financial and infrastructure support to individual innovators.

Mr Gurmeet Singh, Mr Partap Singh and Mr P.K. Agarwal, officials of the DSIR, gave a detailed description of their activities and achievements.

They talked about different schemes of the DSIR and had one-to-one interaction with innovators.

Thirty innovative ideas were presented by students, teachers and innovators.


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