P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Major rail tragedy averted
Engine ‘hijacked’, derailed near Dhanaula 
Tribune News Service

Barnala, November 27
With timely action and presence of mind of the railway authorities, a major rail mishap was today averted when a diesel engine (16751 WDM2-Katni) was “hijacked” from the Dhuri railway station at about 11.10 am by Mithu Ram (42), a resident of Akkawali village in Tohana tehsil in Haryana, who drove it towards Barnala on the Ambala-Dhuri-Bathinda rail section at a speed of about 150 kmph against its normal speed of about 90 kmph.

After getting information that the engine had left the Dhuri railway station without permission, the Ambala railway authorities immediately swung into action and directed the Barnala railway staff to use all their sources and means to stop the engine by way of derailing it at the Barnala railway station to avert loss of life and property.

The efforts of the Barnala railway staff, under the supervision of Mr Manohar Lal, Station Superintendent, paid off as no one was injured in this incident and no damage was caused to public property.

Despite all efforts of the Barnala railway staff, the engine damaged all obstacles (stones, broken rail line pieces and wooden material) erected on the rail lines before derailing and stopping in the middle of the level crossing on the Dhanaula road here.

The rail engine damaged about 100 metres of the rail track near the goods loading and unloading platform of the Barnala railway station. The damage was so devastating that one of the four rail lines was seen shattered into pieces at two places while a side of the pavement of the platform was also hit by the engine badly.

Despite this, rail traffic on the Ambala-Dhuri-Bathinda section remained unaffected as all trains plied in the normal way. The railway authorities were busy repairing the damaged track. A crane was pressed into service to lift the engine from the level crossing and clear the two blocked rail lines.

Mr Anup Kumar Gupta, Additional Divisional Railway Manager, Ambala, who was on the spot, said the staff of the Sekha railway station had seen a person in the engine whereas no one saw that person in the engine here.

Mr Gupta said the driver and assistant driver of the engine,Vinod Kumar and Ashok Kumar, had been suspended as they had left the engine unattended. Besides, a high-level inquiry into this mishap had also been ordered.

He said a three-member inquiry committee would submit its report in 10 days. He said a case would be registered against the unknown person at the Dhuri railway police station.

Besides Mr Gupta, Mr V.K. Dutt, Chief Engineer (Electrical), New Delhi, and three senior divisional railway officers and other officers from Ambala also visited the spot to take stock of the situation. 


Shekhawat to inaugurate Agro Tech-2006 on Dec 1
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
The Vice-President, Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, will inaugurate the four-day Agro Tech-2006 here on December 1, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) announced today. The Governor of Punjab, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (Retd), the Union Agriculture Minister, Mr Sharad Pawar, and Mr Eric F.Ch. Niehe, Ambassador, The Netherlands, will attend the opening ceremony.

The inaugural session will be addressed by Mr R. Seshasayee, President, CII and Mr Fergus Murphy, Countrywide Head, Rabo International.

The theme of Agro Tech-2006 is "Technology in Agriculture: Growing Farmer Wealth". The fair will showcase the latest in agricultural technology, products and allied services. The mega event will also feature seven concurrent expos and five international food & agriculture conferences, covering different sectors of agriculture and related economy.

World-renowned experts from the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Italy, Poland, Spain, Germany, China, South Africa, Wales and France will make presentations on path-breaking technologies and processes.

On December 2, two conference on “Dairy Industry and Integrating the Food Value Chain” will be held. These would be followed by a special session on “Doing Business with the Netherlands”. On December 3, two conferences on “Food Services & Retailing” and “Public-Private Partnership in Agri Infrastructure” will be held. On December 4 there will be a conference on biotechnology.

A number of meetings on new developments in food, agriculture and related fields will be discussed which will be of benefit to farmers.

Over 2,00,000 people are expected to visit Agro Tech 2006. These includes farmers from all over India through organised farmer associations and state administrations, buyers, sourcing personnel, technical experts, contractors and consultants, ministerial and trade delegations, diplomats, governments/PSU officials as well as overseas and Indian media.


Punjab rice millers stop  supply to Central pool
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
Rice millers in Punjab have stopped delivery to the Central pool.

“None of the around 3,000 rice mills in the state today delivered rice to the Food Corporation of India (FCI), which procures it for the Central pool,” said Mr Gurdip Singh Cheema, vice-president of the Punjab Rice Millers Association.

“There are a number of issues that are to be settled with the government authorities concerned. Because of this reason, the millers have stopped shelling of paddy,” he said.

“These issues include relaxation in certain specifications on which rice is accepted in the Central pool,” he added. Shelling of rice had begun at various mills a few weeks ago. Around 70 lakh tonne rice was to be supplied by millers to the national pool by March 31.

Millers are demanding reduction in the outturn of rice to 65 kg from 100 kg paddy. “At present, the FCI demands 67 kg of rice from 100 kg of paddy from us. But as the quality of the paddy procured by various government agencies is not top grade, outturn of rice from paddy is less as compared to that during the past years,” said Mr Cheema.

“We have urged the FCI to reduce it to 65 kg from the 67 kg. Last year, the FCI had accepted 66 kg rice from 100 kg paddy,” he added. While various government agencies procure paddy on behalf of the FCI, it is stacked with various rice millers in the state for converting it into rice, which is later transferred by millers to the Central pool through the FCI.

Another demand of the association is to increase the damaged rice limit to 5 per cent. At present, it is 3 per cent. The association also wants the discoloration limit raised to 8 per cent.

The association is also demanding that no VAT should be charged on rice bran and paddy husk. “We pay VAT when we buy paddy then why should we pay it again on rice bran and paddy husk,” said a senior leader of the association. “No tax can be charged second time on the same product,” he added.

The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had reportedly said recently that no VAT would be charged on rice bran and paddy husk, but the authorities concerned had not implemented the CM’s order so far, he added.

The association said it would not resume rice-preparing operations till all issues were settled. “We had started shelling a few days ago on the promise that all pending issues would be settled, but nothing had been done in that regard so far, the association said.


No action against Jail Supdt in corruption case 
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Nabha, November 27
The Punjab Jail authorities have not taken any action against Mr Kuldeep Singh, Superintendent, Open Air Jail here following the registration of a case against him on November 24 for embezzling funds.

Whether Kuldeep Singh was on leave or absconding after the case, could not be known from any jail official, Mr Jagjit Singh, AIG, Punjab Jail Department said he was not aware of anything. The case was registered against Kuldeep Singh on the direction of then ADGP, Punjab Jail, H.R. Chadha on November 16.

Mr Jagjit Singh said he had asked Mr S.P. Singh, Superintendent, District Jail, Nabha, to provide him a report in this connection.

Mr S.P. Singh, said he was not supposed to know about the activities of Mr Kuldeep Singh as the sanctioning authority of leave sought by him (Mr Kuldeep Singh) vested in Mr Jagjit Singh or higher officers. Hence he was not able to comment whether Mr Kuldeep Singh was on leave or absconding. Mr Kuldeep after knowing that a case had been registered against him, moved application for leave in back date it had been sanctioned.

Mr Jagjit Singh expressed ignorance that he had sanctioned the leave of Mr Kuldeep Singh. He claimed if Mr Kuldeep Singh was found not attending office, he would be marked absent from duty and action taken against him accordingly. He said he would write to higher officials in this connection to bring the matter to their notice.

Embezzlement by Mr Kuldeep Singh in the Nabha district jail came to light when the quantity of eatables stored in the jail premises for use of its inmates was probed by Mr Prem Sagar, then superintendent of the jail. Mr Kuldeep Singh, who was a grade-II Superintendent of jail as per his rank, was heading the jail, when embezzlement took place. A chargesheet was issued Mr Kuldeep Singh was chargesheeted after he was accused of managing jail affairs in casual manner and recovery of mobile phone from militant Daya Singh Lahoria, lodged in the jail.

Punjab jail chief A.P. Pandey was available for comments despite efforts. 


Felling of trees would destroy ecology near temple: UNESCO nominee
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 27
Even as UNESCO nominee Dr Enamul Haque of Bangladesh had pointed out that the government should ban use of vehicles around the Golden Temple complex, move of multi-storey parking by demolishing 155 -year old heritage school, near the Sikh shrine is likely to play havoc with environment.

Proposal to cut over two-century-old trees in the Saragarhi Memorial School will increase pollution in the walled city. Employees of the Bhagat Puran Singh Pingalwara Charitable Trust, headed by Dr Inderjit Kaur, today embraced ‘ancient trees’ as part of first ever ‘Chipko movement’, here.

Dr G.S. Bhalla, Guru Nanak Dev University and Dr Krishan Thakur, President, Indian Society for Health and Environment led peaceful march in lanes and bazaars of the City. They raised slogans to save the heritage building and old trees.

During his visit to the Golden Temple, UNESCO nominee, Dr Haque had suggested that only battery-operated, eco-friendly vehicles should be allowed in the area to save the Golden Temple from pollutants emitted by vehicles. These pollutants could damage marble and gold plating of Harimandar Sahib, Dr Haque had suggested this in personal capacity as he was concerned about one of the most sacred Sikh shrines in the world. He had pointed out the Galliara Project should have green spaces to help beautify and save the shrine from corrosion due to movement of vehicles.

The UNESCO nominee had also felt no petrol and diesel vehicle be allowed within 2 km of the Golden Temple. Only rickshaws or electrically-operated buggies be used to ferry pilgrims to the temple.

The Pollution Control Department had traced impure air around sarovar of the Golden Temple. It had stated pollution level in the city had crossed all limits. What is worse, Amritsar has been found to be more polluted than industrial city of Ludhiana. The suspended particulate matter (SPM) in Ludhiana has been recorded 250 mg to 300 mg per cubic metre while, in Amritsar it ranges from 350 mg to 400 mg per cubic metre against acceptable upper limit of 200 mg per cubic metre.

Chairman of the Anti Terrorist Front, M.S. Bitta and Ms Lakshmi Kanta Chawla, State Vice-President of the BJP have opposed the move to demolish the 155-year old school erected in the memory of 21 Sikh soldiers of Saragarhi Battle. Mr Bitta said it was shocking the decision to demolish the school was taken despite Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister having suggested that it (the school building) be preserved. The Archaeological Survey of India had found the building worth preserving and conserving during inspection.


Patna-Delhi ‘Garib Rath’ to roll in
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, November 27
While Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav’s dream of running “Garib Rath”, the common man’s AC train at cheaper fare, has already taken practical shape with the operation of first such train from Amritsar to Saharsa a few months ago, the second “Garib Rath” may also become operational soon between Patna and New Delhi.

Talking to media persons, Rail Coach Factory (RCF) General Manager S.K. Suri said that while the exact date of starting of the second rath was not finalised yet, it would start within the next 15 days.

The RCF, Kapurthala, rolled out 17 coaches - 14 AC three-tier sleeper and three power cars - for the second rake of “Garib Rath” train today.

Besides the sitting chair cars, coaches with 102 seats for the second “Garib Rath” rake had reportedly been manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory, Perambur.

As many as14 AC three-tier sleeper coaches and three power cars, earlier manufactured by the RCF, are already running in the first “Garib Rath” train from Amritsar to Saharsa in Bihar.

After the second “Garib Rath”, the two remaining “Garib Raths” between Delhi and Mumbai and Delhi and Chennai will be inaugurated.

According to the information provided by the authorities, the RCF plans to manufacture a total of 56 AC sleeper coaches and 12 power cars for four rakes of “Garib Rath” during the current financial year.


Time to vote out SAD, Cong, says Mann
Tribune News Service

Mansa, November 27
The successive state governments under the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Congress had failed to deliver and the time was ripe for people to opt for a third alternative in the coming elections, SAD (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann said here today.

Kicking off his party’s poll campaign, he alleged that for the past many years people of Punjab were “being looted by the Congress and Mr Parkash Singh Badal’s limited company”. He said it was imperative for the state’s electorate to rid themselves of both these parties. He alleged that the state had to face “bias and injustice” on many occasions under the rule of both these parties.

He accused the Congress government and the previous SAD regime of looting the public money to the tune of crores during their tenures. He said if his party came to power he would order a high-level inquiry into this “loot” and both the Chief Ministers would be made party in it. He said “a Chief Minister was responsible for any loot of public money taking place during his rule”.

Lashing out at both the main political forces in the state, he alleged that Mr Badal as well as Capt Amarinder Singh had failed to take any advantage of their governments at the Centre during their term. “They can’t even get a refinery started in Bathinda,” he added.

Outlining his party’s election agenda, he said on coming to power they would write off debt of farmers and farm labourers. He said his party would give a clean administration and good governance.

Senior party leader Daljeet Singh Bittu said there was an urgent need to tackle the threat to Sikh identity.


SAD keeping vigil on rebels: Sukhbir
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Jandiala Guru, November 27
Mr Sukhbir Badal, MP and general secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), said a strict vigil was being kept on those indulging in anti-party activities so that they could not harm the party in the coming Assembly elections.

Addressing a rally held here today in support of Mr Malkit Singh Jania, Mr Badal said those who remained faithful to the party would be given ticket for the elections. He said those who opposed the official candidates during the previous elections were Congress agents and responsible for the defeat of Akali Dal nominees.

He said the poll manifesto of the party would be released during the second week of December.

Three leaders of the party, former MLA Ajay Pal Singh Meerankot, Mr Virsa Singh Lyallpuri and Mr Notti Sultanwind, were conspicuous by their absence.

Coming down heavily on Capt Amarinder Singh for giving excise waiver to the tune of Rs 250 crore to three industrialists, Rana Gurmit Singh, Suraj Gupta and Ponty Chadda, Mr Badal said the Congress government in the state was only promoting the big industrialists thus ignoring the small traders and businessmen of the state.

He said if his party came to power they would constitute a development board of small traders and its members and the chairman would be given the status of a state minister and Cabinet minister, respectively.

Mr Badal said if their party came to power the electricity bills of those farmers who had not paid them for the past four years would be waived off. He said girls of the poor families in the state would be provided education up to the university level free of cost and Rs 51,000 would be given to various registered clubs in the state to wean away the youth from the drug menace.

Dr Rattan Singh Ajnala, MP, Mr Bikramjit Singh Majithia and Mr Gopal Singh Jania, member, SGPC, were among those present at the rally.

Later, he also addressed the people at Chabba, Khaper Kheri, Daburji and Varpal.


Party ticket not promised to new entrants: CM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today stated that leaders of other political parties joining the Congress had not been promised the party ticket for the forthcoming Assembly elections. Interestingly, most of the leaders joining the Congress are seen as front-runners for the party ticket.

Talking to reporters here this evening, the Chief Minister said after seeing the response to the Vikas Yatra, several leaders had approached the Congress with the intention of joining the party. Some of them will be joining on December 8 at the Congress rally at Badal village in Lambi constituency, he said, while refusing to divulge any names. A decision on the party ticket will be taken by the party high command.

In the past month or so, differences had cropped up between him and the state party president, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, over the joining of persons from other parties or rebel Congress leaders.

The Chief Minister said though he could not meet Ms Sonia Gandhi today, a meeting was scheduled within the next few days to discuss the election scenario in Punjab. Mr Jagmeet Brar is not an issue at all, he said when asked if Mr Brar would figure in the discussions.

Meanwhile, political circles were rife with speculation that the Chief Minister had meet Ms Gandhi yesterday and apprised her of the political developments in Punjab in the past few days.

He said he had met the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, who was expected to visit Punjab around December 20. The Chief Minister said the successful outcome of the Vikas Yatra was mentioned to the Prime Minister. “So far the Congress has not been officially briefed about the response of the yatra. However, we understand the party is happy,” he added.

The matter of opening up the Indo-Pakistan border at Hussainiwala has been taken up with the Central Government. Meanwhile, the Government in Pakistani Punjab headed by Ch Pervez Elahi has separately taken up the matter with the Federal Government in Pakistan.

He said the historical gurdwaras at Kartarpur and Sacha Sauda in Pakistan had been added to the visa list, which would enable pilgrims from India to visit these religious places.

On the issue of Chandigarh, he said, going by history the city was Punjab’s, not Haryana’s. “The utterances of Om Prakash Chautala should not be taken seriously,” he added.

When asked if the Projects Approval Board (PAB) cleared the benefits to industries run by the families of Mr Ashwani Sekhri, Mr G.S. Kairon and Mr Ravi Inder Singh, the Chief Minister said: “They all qualify under the one-time settlement scheme offered by the government and they have been given the concessions like any other industry that was eligible under the OTS. There is nothing wrong in it”. 


Left alliance: Seat-sharing list out
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
The CPI, the CPM and the Lok Bhalai Party (LBP) today released the first list of Assembly constituencies where these parties would put up common candidates. The list was released after a joint meeting of the parties that had form a joint front recently.

The CPI secretary, Mr Jagroop Singh, said 17 segments were allotted to his party, 12 to the CPM and 15 to the Lok Bhalai Party.

He said the CPI would put up its candidate at Budhlada, Amritsar, Pyal, Mansa, Lehragaga, Shatrana, Rampura Phul, Bathinda, Dharmkot, Moga, Faridkot, Jalalabad, Valtoha, Majitha, Khadoor Sahib and Hargobind Pur.

The CPM would put up its nominees at Nurmahal, Verka, Sangrur, Sunam, Garhshankar, Banga, Balachaur, Nangal, Dakha, Rajpura, Barnala and Gur Har Sahai.

The Lok Bhalai Party, headed by Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, had been allotted Tarn Taran, Wagah Purana, Kila Raipur, Panj Garain, Raikot, Kum Kalan, Jalandhar (Central), Tanda, Lohinan, Beas, Ludhiana (rural), Malerkotla, Dhanula, Dhariwal and Kotkapura segments.

Mr Jagroop Singh said another meeting of the front would be held soon to release another such list. Among those who attended the meeting were: Mr Ramoowalia, Mr Ramandeep Singh Bharowal, Mr Avtar Singh Mullanpuri, Mr Balwant Singh (CPM), Mr Jagroop Singh, Mr Bant Singh Brar and Dr Joginder Dayal (CPI).


Islamic conference concludes
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla , November 27
A three-day Islamic conference on “Islam and modern era” organised by the Peace and Welfare Trust, Malerkotla, concluded here today

In this conference, Dr Kalb-e-Sadique, vice-president, Muslim Personal Law Board, expressed his views regarding the teachings of Islam.

He said the rules and teachings of Islam were not followed properly by the Muslims. He said the Islam was a scientific religion and was based on logic.

Dr Mohd Rafi, secretary, Punjab Urdu Academy, said there was a great need of education to understand the basis of Islam.

He said that Islam was the religion that could work wonders in every aspect of life. Dr Rafi said the Urdu language was a universal language and it was not the language of Muslims only.

Prof Basir Ahmed, Professor, Islamic Studies, New Delhi, threw light on the basic principles of Islam and requested the audience to walk on the way that had been told by Koran and applied by Hazarat Mohd in his lifestyle.

He urged the Muslims to follow the path of Hazarat Mohd to succeed in life. Muslims from all over Punjab and other states participated in this conference.


High priests ban protests at ‘parkash asthans’
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 27
Five high priests today ordered the Panthic organisations not to hold protests and burn effigies at religious functions where parkash of Guru Granth Sahib is organised or near the religious places.

After a meeting of the High Priests, talking to media, the Jathedar, Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, expressed his deep concern over the rising trend of protests amongst the Panthic organisations near religious places and during religious functions. He said the order had been passed keeping in view this trend and added that the organisations should remove their differences, if any, by mutual understanding.

Meanwhile, the Jathedar, Akal Takht, said that certain unscrupulous persons were spreading false propaganda about Dasham Granth through the media. He said the five High Priests had decided that various intellectuals devoted to true Sikhism would give amicable answers to such unscrupulous persons by giving them historical facts.


Jobless teachers hold rally
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 27
Activists of the Unemployed BEd Teachers Front held a rally to “expose the Vikas Yatra” of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, here today.

The rally reached the city in the evening after passing through villages like Jalal, Bhai Rupa, Bhucho Khurd and Bhucho Mandi. Scores of jobless BEd and art and craft teachers participated in the rally.

The union state president, Mr Sukhdarshan Singh, flayed the arrest of teachers in Patiala yesterday. He said instead of jail the government should send unemployed teachers to schools having inadequate staff. He said they would hold a protest rally in support of their demands in Patiala on December 3.


Netball association to hold state championship
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, November 27
The District Netball Association will hold the Senior State Men and Women Netball Championship from December 1 to 3 at Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College grounds.

According to Mr Surjit Singh General Secretary of the association, in the state championship all district teams have confirmed their participation.

He said Mr Kirpal Singh Libra, former MLA, would inaugurate the championship.

He said that during the championship the state team for men and women would be selected.


Travel agents booked for duping youth
Tribune News Service

Moga, November 27
The police today booked six persons, including two women, on the charge of duping a person of Rs 6 lakh on the pretext of sending his son abroad.

According to police sources, Gian Singh of Dharamkot filed a complaint that Beant Singh and his mother Balwinder Kaur of Samalsar village had introduced him to a group of travel agents who had assured him that they would not only help his son get visa for Spain but would also ensure that he got a job there.

For the purpose the travel agents asked him to pay Rs 6 lakh that could be used to expedite the visa process. He alleged that he had paid the money in February, 2005, but till date no process had been initiated by the travel agents. He also alleged that the travel agents started eluding him and despite his repeated attempts the accused failed to give a satisfactory reply.

The police, after conducting a preliminary inquiry, registered a case against the owners of the travel agency, including Amrit Pal Singh, Tarsem Singh, Jaswant Singh and Daljit Kaur along with Beant Singh and Balwinder Kaur, under the relevant sections of the Indian penal code for duping Gian Singh.


Five booked for minor girl’s marriage
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 27
The case of a minor girl being forcibly married to a 32-year-old man at Patran yesterday has taken a new twist with the police registering a case against the boy and four of the girl's kin under Section 5/6/7 of the Child Marriage Resistant Act, 1929 and 120B of the IPC.

A poor and illiterate 12-year-old Paramjit Kaur was married to 32-year-old Kewal Singh with the knowledge of the girls parents and two other relatives. The minor girl from Bhunkari village in Nabha sub division was sent to her maternal aunt’s place at Patran allegedly be her mother Nirmala Devi to perform some household chores.

However, police sources disclose that the girl was deliberately sent by her mother with the intention of marrying her off to Kewal, a resident of Patran. When the ‘anand karaj’ and other marriage rites were being performed at Guru Teg Bahadur Gurdwara in Patran, the police, who smelled a rat, swooped on the gurdwara and put an abrupt end to the marriage ceremony.

As per Kewal's confession, the boy had allegedly bought the girl for Rs 40,000, out of which he had paid half the amount to the girl's aunt Bimla and uncle Hans Gir, both of whom are absconding after the filing of the case. However, the police has denied this.


Aided school employees hold protest 
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, November 27
Hundreds of teachers and other employees of the aided private schools, including a large number of woman members, protested against the denial of restoration of pension and gratuity by the state government here today.

The teachers and other employees held a rally at Sri Guru Arjun Dev Secondary School and later took out a march in the town. Mr Kashmiri Lal, state committee member, and other leaders of the organisation, while addressing the rally, condemned the state government for not restoring pension and gratuity withdrawn from May 31, 2003. The organisation warned the government that they would intensify the agitation in case the demands were not met.


Teachers of aided schools hold rally
Tribune News Service

Ropar, November 27
Teachers of all aided schools of the district today took mass leave and organised a rally here in protest against the non-implementation of the pension scheme for them as promised by the state government. The call for the rally had been given by the Punjab State Aided School Teachers Union and other employees unions here.

A large number of teachers wearing black badges and holding banners took part in the rally from the main market here to the Nangal Chowk from 10 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. raising slogans against the state government for ignoring their demands despite repeated assurance by the Chief Minister and Education Minister and Finance Minister on different occasions.

The district president of the State Aided Teachers Union, Mr Amarjit Singh Kang, said that the Chief Minister, on February 11, had announced that the pensionary benefits for the aided school employees, which were stopped with effect from June 1, 2003, would be restored as per the 1992 pension scheme. He had also repeated the assurance at Ludhiana on August 15, 2006. But nothing had happened, he lamented.


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