P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Blood donation camp at Bhaddal institute
Tribune News Service

Ropar, November 22
A total 270 units of blood were donated by students and staff of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Bhaddal, in a blood donation camp held to mark the foundation day of the institute here today. The camp was also organised with support of the Department of Transfusion medicine, PGI, Chandigarh.

Sarpanches of the neighbouring villages, students from local schools and distinguished educationists also paid tribute to the founder Chairman of the institute, late Gurcharan Singh. He was remembered for his vision on achieving professional excellence in technical education. The foundation stone of the residential block for the senior faculty was also laid on the auspicious event of the foundation day.

Addressing the gathering, the Chairperson, Kandi Friends Educational Trust, running the institute, Ms Kulwinder Gurcharan Singh said the mission of late Gurcharan Singh was to provide technical education to students.


Spy eagle shot on Indo-Pak border

Ferozepore, November 22
BSF jawans on the international border with Pakistan have been put on alert following shooting down of an eagle on an espionage mission with spying equipment hidden in its body.

Mr R S Powar, DIG BSF, said here today that though spying through eagles used to be common in dry desert areas in the past, it was the first incident of its kind in many years in Ganganagar sector in Rajasthan adjacent to Punjab's Fazilka sector.

The post mortem of the bird revealed presence of spying equipment in its body. The DIG said special vigil was being kept in the region due to foggy weather these days but it would be further stepped up on account of this incident. — UNI


Mansur is council member
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 22
Mr Mansur Ali, an advocate, has been made a member of the five-member executive council of the Punjab Urdu Academy that has been set up at Malerkotla.

He is also a member of the Punjab Wakf Board and the Chairman of the Chandigarh Wakf Board. The state government has set up a 15-member Governing Council to manage the affairs of the academy.


Court reserves order in Navjot Sidhu case
High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 22
A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today reserved its order on the appeal filed by the Punjab Government and another against an order of a Patiala court acquitting former cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu in a murder case.

On September 22, 1999, the Patiala court had acquitted Mr Sidhu. The case pertains to the death of a Patiala resident who was allegedly hit by Mr Sidhu and one of his colleagues in the State Bank of Patiala where they were employed, over a minor issue.


Chauhan files case against Badal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 22
A protagonist of Khalistan, Mr Jagjit Singh Chauhan, has filed a case of defamation against the SAD President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, for allegedly referring him as supporter of terrorists.

In the defamation suit filed in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Mr Chauhan has maintained that he never supported the terrorists. The case has now been listed for December 21.


Schools raided, nine teachers found absent
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 22
As many as nine teachers were found absent from duty and 11 others were marked as late comers during raids conducted on elementary, high and senior secondary schools of the district. Two block resource persons (BRPs) were also found absent from duty in the Ahmedgarh block. The raids were carried out to ensure proper attendance of the school staff for keeping the standards of education high.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Joginder Singh Aulakh, District Education Officer (Secondary), Sangrur, said today that as many as 26 teams, 13 from the elementary wing and 13 from the secondary wing, were formed which under his leadership raided the schools in various parts of the district yesterday.

Mr Aulakh further said during the raids conducted on schools nine teachers were found to be absent from duty in the middle, high and secondary schools while 11 teachers were found to be late comers. He said, however, no one was found absent from duty in primary schools by the raiding teams.

The DEO further said two teachers, including a Headmistress, were found to be absent from duty in Government High School, Bakhshiwala (Sunam). They also found two teachers each absent from duty in Government Middle School, Amarpura (Ahmedgarh) and Government Secondary School, Sehna. One teacher each was found absent from duty in the secondary schools of Nainewal, Handhiaya and Dasaundha Singh Wala villages, he added.

Mr Aulakh said four teachers were found to be late comers at Government Secondary School, Chhaharr village. Three teachers each were caught for coming late in government schools of Amarpura (Ahmedgarh) and Jandali Khurd villages. One teacher was found to be late at Government High School, Handhiaya.

Mr Aulakh added that he had sent his report to the DPIs concerned for taking necessary disciplinary action against the absentees and late comers. 


Resume pension, aided school staff warn govt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 22
Serving an ultimatum on the Punjab Government, the Punjab State Aided School Teachers and Other Employees Union today said if the pension benefits were not resumed by November 25, teachers and other staff of all aided 484 schools would proceed on casual leave en masse on November 27.

All aided schools would remain closed on that day.

Mr Gurmeet Singh, general secretary of the union, said a decision to this effect was taken at a meeting by the executive committee.

Pension benefits were given to employees retiring from aided schools in 1992, but these were stopped on June 1, 2003, with the promise that pension to all those retiring after May 31, 2003, would be given under a new scheme.

Mr Manohar Lal Chopra, adviser of the union, said they were shown the draft of the new scheme two days ago. “We have rejected the new scheme because under that scheme employees were to make a heavy financial contribution. In a way, employees were to be given pension from the funds contribution by them towards it during the service period", he added.

“We have sought the resumption of the pension scheme that was approved for us in 1992,” Mr Chopra added. On November 29, he said, the union would hold a demonstration in Bathinda and hold a black flag march there. After that a demonstration would be held at Patiala.


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