P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Accuse Amarinder of cheating
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 29
Activists of the Aided School Teachers Union and the Punjab Field and Workshop Workers Union today took out separate rallies in support of their demands.

Addressing the protesters, the teachers' union chief, Mr Gurcharan Singh Chahal, alleged that the Chief Minister had duped 14,000 employees of aided school by not fulfilling promises made in Patiala, Anandpur Sahib and Barnala in the recent past. He further alleged that the promise of the Chief Minister to resume the pension scheme also turned out to be false. The general secretary of the union, Mr Gurmeet Singh, said: "The false promises made by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and the Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, have forced us to resort to agitation. Thousands of aided school employees would hold a massive rally in Patiala on December 1. If their demands were not accepted the union would announce their future course of action after their executive meeting to be held in Ludhiana on December 2.”

Mr Gurmeet Singh said their demands included resumption of recruitment, benefit of pension from June 1, 2003, hike in medical allowance, interim relief of 5 per cent, higher scale for clerks and release of grants in time. However, the other group, the Punjab State Aided School Teachers and the Other Employees Progressive Front, termed the rally as "complete failure".

Meanwhile, activists of the Punjab Field and Workshop Workers Union also staged a dharna near the court complex. The protesters sought immediate regularisation of all daily wagers and conduct wage employees.

They also demanded termination of contract system and privatisation, implementation of pension scheme in sewerage board and PUDA and start of promotion channel.


Reject govt proposal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 29
The Punjab State Aided School Teachers and Other Employees Union today rejected the government’s proposal, regarding the formation of a trust for granting pension to the aided schools’ retired teachers and other employees.

As per the government’s proposal 20 per cent from provident fund by the employees and 10 per cent by the managements of the aided schools will be contributed to the pension fund while the government will not contribute any thing for pension through the proposed trust to the aided schools’ teachers and employees.

Mr Manohar Lal Chopra, adviser to the Punjab State Aided School Teachers and Other Employees Union, said the union had rejected the trust proposal.

Mr Chopra added despite assurances by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh was not acting upon his own statements, regarding the restoration of pension scheme of the aided schools’ teachers and other employees from June 1, 2003. He said the government had withdrawn the pension and gratuity scheme of the aided school staff from May 31, 2003. Since then no pension was given to 1500 retired teachers and other employees of the aided schools. He said the union also wanted pension to the retired teachers and other employees of the aided schools on a par with the government employees.

Mr Chopra also stated only Rs 20 crore was to be spent if the government restored old pension benefits to retired teachers and other employees from June 1, 2003 till now. He said in the light of Rs 755 crore package, given to employees by the Punjab Government, Rs 20 crore was a meagre amount.

Mr Chopra said 10,000 teachers and other employees, besides 4500 pensioners, of 484 aided schools of the state, wanted the old pension scheme restored, so the Chief Minister should call union leaders to sort out the matter, he added.


Tribune Special
A Rs 17.58-crore sports fee scam
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
Even as the decline of sports in Punjab is evident, officials of the Punjab School Education Department have kept Rs 12.3 crore, meant for sports in schools, in bank accounts and FDRs instead of using it for the purpose intended.

A sum of Rs 5.28 crore has been used for so-called sports activity, however, records shows that a large part of the money is unaccounted for and was used elsewhere.

The entire money had been collected from schoolchildren by way of sports fee over the past few years and the money collected was to the tune of Rs 17.58 crore.

An inquiry by the Education Department has found that officials have been using the money at their own discretion. The Principal Secretary, School Education, Mr Sarvesh Kaushal, had ordered the inquiry a few months ago. The report has been sent to the government for action.

The inquiry found that Rs 4.48 crore has been invested in FDRs while Rs 7.81 crore is lying in a saving bank account at the Punjab and Sind Bank. Officials have been buying blazers, neck ties, mementoes and sports goods without taking regular bills from suppliers, says the finding of the inquiry. All this is part of the Rs 5.28 crore that was supposedly spent on sports activities.

A sum of Rs 1 crore was withdrawn by various functionaries as “advance amount” to conduct sports events. None of them has furnished any receipt. Some of these officials have since then retired.

A sum of Rs 50 lakh has been spent but no utilisation certificate exists. Sports goods worth Rs 25 lakh were purchased by inviting quotations on plain paper and even the date had been tampered with. The bills of the suppliers were cleared and in 90 per cent of the cases, no regular bill was sent by the supplier. Several payments have been made in cash. Who allowed such huge payments in cash is not mentioned and no entries exist in the cashbook of the department.

A sum of Rs 24 lakh has been shown as “payment of diet charges” to students, however, no bills or vouchers exist in the records. Besides, the officials spent Rs 3 lakh on hiring local transport.

The money collected from students should be used in the school from where it was collected to buy equipment or conduct competitions, some officials said. The Examiner of the Local Fund Account has found that 298 audit objections existed and nobody informed the government about these.

Some of them were more than five years old. Even the Punjab School Physical Education Committee that was to decide on the use of sports fee, had not been informed.


Revenue Dept in dock over transfers
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
Almost all major political parties other than ruling Congress are crying foul over the cancellation of transfers of District Revenue Officers (DROs) by the Punjab Government.

Flooded by complaints from various political parties, the Election Commission has asked the Punjab Financial Commissioner Revenue for a “factual report’, reply to which was still awaited until this evening.

The government had issued instructions on October 11 that all members of the staff deployed for preparation, revision and correction of electoral rolls should be treated on deputation with the Election Commission for the duration of the revision of electoral rolls between October 23 and January 3 next year. No one on election duty should be changed or transferred without the permission of the Commission.

The Punjab Revenue Department, which had ordered transfers of District Revenue Officers (DROs) -Tehsildars - and Naib Tehsildars between September 29 and October 13, has now cancelled all these transfers

Interestingly, the DROs - Tehsildars and Nail Tehsildars - invariably are the Returning Officers (ROs) and Assistant Returning Officers (AROs) of the assembly segments that fall in their respective jurisdictions.

Cancellation of their transfers midway in the revision of electoral rolls has prompted the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and All-India Youth Akali Dal besides others to protest to the Chief Electoral Officer, Mr Sundram Krishan.

They alleged that if the Ministers and ruling party MLAs get the Tehsildars and Naib Tehsildars of their choice posted in their respective constituencies for revision of electoral rolls, a fair and free election would not be possible.

Intriguingly, the political parties had started lodging protests with the Election Commission even before transfers ordered earlier were being cancelled.

In one complaint to the Commission it was held that in some cases some of Tehsildars and Assistant Tehsildars have been transferred three times in last five months.

The directions issued on October 10 said that under the Representation of People Act, those on deputation with the Commission were also subject to the general superintendence and discipline of the Commission.

“So no officer associated with the revision of electoral rolls - Electoral Registration Officer, Assistant Electoral Registration Officer and the District Election Officer - should be disturbed from their places of posting up to January 3, 2007,” read the communication. It makes it mandatory that in case any officer has to be transferred it has to be done in consultation with the Election Commission through the Chief Electoral Officer of Punjab.


1.50 lakh rendered jobless
Rice millers on strike
Dharmendra Joshi

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 29
Over 1.5 lakh employees of about 3100 rice mills across Punjab have been idle as indefinite strike by millers entered the third day on Wednesday.

Rice millers are on strike since Monday demanding relaxation in specifications of rice by the Food Corporation of India (FCI). Leaders of millers have not got any response from the authorities concerned.

A delegation of the Punjab Rice Millers Association met the Secretary and Director of Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Department regarding their demands on Monday but did not receive positive response, said senior vice president of the Association Jaipal Goel.

Subsequently, a delegation led by president of the All-India Rice Millers Association Tarsem Saini met FCI Chairman-cum-Managing Director A.K. Dubey and Joint Secretary Union Food and Civil Supplies Department Sanjay Kaul, Mr Goel said, adding they told the delegation that they would consider the demand of relaxing the specifications only after a recommendation by the Punjab government.

Meanwhile, Mr Goel also Kapurthala district chairman of the association, threatened a dharna at Matka Chowk in Chandigarh next week if the FCI did not relax specifications.

According to FCI specifications, rice will be accepted with not more than three per cent damage and three per cent discolouring but damage and discolouring this year reached five and eight per cent, respectively, due to rain during harvesting of paddy, he said adding, the specification was relaxed to 4 per cent damage and 4 per cent discolouring last year.

Solvent extraction plants and poultry and cattle feed units across the state were hit due to strike of rice millers, he added.

Mr Goel added the price of rice in the state increased from Rs 1050 to Rs 1100 per quintal by the strike.

Sangrur is the most affected district due to by the strike as the highest — 800 rice mills are located there, whereas 150 rice mills are situated in each Kapurthala and Jalandhar districts.


Ex-sepoy wins legal battle
Gets pension, arrears 58 years after suffering injury

Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
Fiftyeight years after he sustained a bullet injury while fighting the enemy in Jammu and Kashmir, ex-sepoy Dalip Singh of Amritsar district has emerged victorious in the battle for survival and justice against administrative apathy.

Taking up his case, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Union Government, the Chief of the Army Staff and three other respondents to “regularly pay service element of disability pension to him every month without any break for the whole of his life”, along with arrears since 1952.

Eighty-plus Dalip Singh’s case is one of the many pending in the High Court. Chairman of Chandigarh-based All-India Ex-servicemen Welfare Association Bhim Sen Sehgal puts the figure of all such cases in this part of the region at over 100.

“Invalidated out of service due to injuries in battles fought for the country’s honour, the soldiers are denied pension after the Controller of Defence Accounts (Pension) decides to reduce the disability on its own, forcing them to take legal recourse, which is not always inexpensive,” he says.

Pronouncing the verdict in Dalip Singh’s case, Mr Justice M.M. Kumar of the High Court, meanwhile, held that the ex-sepoy was entitled to service pension as per the rates fixed from time to time by the Central Government from the day it was discontinued in August 1952 till life.

Mr Justice Kumar directed the payment of arrears within three months of receiving the judgment’s copy. In case of delay, the arrears would carry an interest at the rate of 12 per cent from the date of specified period’s expiry till its actual payment, the Judge concluded.

A resident of Amritsar district, Dalip Singh was enrolled in the Army on October 17, 1941. He was admitted to the military hospital for treatment after being wounded on July 11, 1948, while taking part in the Jammu and Kashmir operation. A medical board, after examining Dalip Singh, found him “permanently unfit for military service due to a bullet injury”. He was boarded out of service on medical grounds in July 1949 after his disability was assessed at 30 per cent “permanent for life”.

Initially, a disability pension for two years till August 6, 1952, was released after the medical board recommendations were sent to the CMA (Pension). But the victim was again brought before the Resurvey Medical Board. Though his disability percentage was assessed to be static at 30 per cent, the Controller of Defence Accounts (Pension) accepted it to be less than 20 per cent and stopped his disability pension.

On November 5, 1999, he was sent a letter saying ,“old soldiers had not been paid enough amounts in the past, so the government and the Army had decided to pay concession out of the Army Central Welfare Fund”. As such, ex gratia of Rs 1 lakh was handed over to Dalip Singh in 2000. But pension, for both service and disability, was not paid to him from August 7, 1952.

Arguing before the court on Dalip Singh’s behalf, Mr Sehgal contended that the action of reducing the percentage of disability to less than 20 per cent and then completely stopping the pension from August 1, 1952, was “wholly illegal, null and void”.

Kin of decorated officer living in fear
Say cops delaying action in criminal case

Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 29
The family of Wing Commander (Retd) D. D. D. Dhanda, a decorated Air Force officer, who has fought three wars for the country, is living in constant fear. The accused against whom he (Mr Dhanda) had got a criminal case registered on November 24 have not been arrested even though four days have passed since. The family, including the retired officer, faced embarrassment when a criminal case was registered against him and his son Jeewanjot Singh at the local Civil Lines police station on the complaint of one Amarjit Singh, a local resident.

The case turned out to be false following an inquiry by SP (City) Mandeep Singh Sidhu. It was found that two persons, Dalbir Kaur and her father Harbhajan Singh, had cheated the Dhanda family regarding ownership of property by preparing forged documents. Amarjit Singh was found guilty of falsely implicating the father and son.

"Though we have managed to get the criminal case registered against us on the complaint of Amarjit Singh cancelled, we are still facing threats as those against whom we have got a case registered are roaming free as the police has failed to arrest them," said Mr Jeewanjot Singh, talking to TNS, said today.

"My father, who has seen action in the 1962, 1965 and 1971 wars, was not given the treatment which a decorated Air Force personnel deserves when called to the police station after a criminal case was registered against us. Now, these police officials are yet to act on a criminal case registered on the complaint of my farther for reasons best known to them," he said.

He said all three accused - Amarjit Singh, Dalbir Kaur and Harbhajan Singh- were running a racket, grabbing pieces of land by preparing forged documents.

Mr Nahar Singh, SHO, Civil Lines police station, when contacted, said the police was busy tackling hundreds of youths who had started a dharna near New Moti Bagh Palace, the private residence of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh. Hence, the accused could not be arrested.


NGO launches awareness against child marriage in slums
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 29
The Koshish Welfare Club, Sunam, a non-government organisation (NGO), has launched weeklong programme to bring awareness against child marriages, especially in slum areas, at Sunam 13 km from here.

Dr Rakesh Aggarwal, president of the club, said today its first interaction programme on marriages of minor girls was held in Jogi Basti at Sunam, besides in other bastis, including, Sainsi basti, Sikligar basti, Dheha basti, Balmiki basti. Programmes were attended by persons from the bastis and other residents of the town, he added.

Dr Aggarwal said due to poverty, illiteracy, backwardness, besides desire of Rs 15,000 under the Ashirwad scheme, some people were marrying minor girls which was not good for the health of girls.

Dr Aggarwal said 50 per cent babies, born to underage girls, died due to weakness, ill health and unhygienic conditions in slums. He also said when club members told slum dwellers not to marry off underage girls, they replied time was not good for girls, so they married girls off as they remained safe in in-laws houses.

Club members like Mr Suresh Bansal, Mr Bharat Hari Sharma, Mr Sri Ram Garg, Mr Suresh Garg, Mr Sinder Pal Garg, Mr Rajinder Goyal and Mr Prem Sagar Laddi, educated slum dwellers not to marry minor/underage daughters rather they should be sent to school for bright future of daughters.

The club also asked the government to take steps to control child labour and pass two-child legislation to control population, besides effective steps against child marriages.


PNDT cell for legal action against five
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 29
The PNDT cell today recommended legal action against five persons, including a doctor, in a case of female foeticide.

The decision was reached at a meeting of the cell held under the chairmanship of he Deputy Commissioner, Mr Rahul Bhandari.

Those who will be booked under the MTP Act include Lakhveer Kaur and her husband Gurmeet Singh from Chotian village, Lakhveer's grandmother Tej Kaur and a midwife hailing from Bugar village.

It was also decided to file a complaint under the PNDT Act against the doctor who performed an ultrasound on Lakhveer Kaur.

As per a release, Lakhveer earlier had three daughters and she aborted her foetus 15 days after her ultrasound was done.

Meanwhile, voluntary organisations expressed concern over the "unnecessary delay" caused by the police in producing challans in the cases registered under the PNDT Act. Reacting to their complaint, the Deputy Commissioner said he would get a list prepared of all cases and would take up the matter with the SSP so that challans could be produced in time.

It was also decided to cancel the licence of ultrasound centres of the doctors against whom cases had been registered.

The ADC (Development) was directed to probe into a suspected case of abortion performed at the Civil Hospital, Rampura Phul.


Dead, but still in harness
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, November 29
The Army while ignoring the objections raised by the Taraksheel Society is still continuing with the services of Sepoy Harbhajan Singh of the 23 Punjab Regiment and even granting 'promotions' though he had died 38 years ago.

So much so, every year his “soul ” is ceremoniously brought to his house at Kuka Talwandi village for two months in September. This year too sepoy’s “soul” was brought to his native village as his leave began from September 15.

His “soul ” was to leave on November 10 for joining his duty on November 15 but the leave was extended for 20 days as his mother Amar Kaur had passed away on November 4, said his sister in-law Satya Kaur. She said as usual his “soul” would again be taken back for duty along the Chinese border on December 1.

Earlier the “soul” of the sepoy was brought to Jalandhar by some Armymen travelling by the Dibrugarh Express train on September 14 and was subsequently taken to his native village. It is supposed that the “soul” of Harbhajan Singh still patrols the border. His “soul” has not only been given the rank of Honorary Captain but also being sent on two months' leave to the sepoy's native village Kuka Talwandi in Kapurthala district along with orderlies and with all military honours. His orderly escorts him to the station where a berth is booked in his name.


Agitation by subordinate staff of DC office
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, November 29
The whole staff of the local Deputy Commissioner (DC) office today went on agitation for indefinite period against the alleged misbehaviour of the DC, Mr 
Jaspal Singh.

The staff of the office staged dharna in front of the office of the DC and decided to go on agitation for indefinite period. The normal functioning was affected in the office due to a pen-down strike by the staff. Mr Rakesh Kumar, president of the District DC Office Employees Association, said that they had been protesting against the alleged misbehaviour of the DC from time to time but he went on misbehaving with the subordinate staff without failure for which they had to adopt the agitational path.


SGPC raises demands for relics

Amritsar, November 29
The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) has once again raised the demand for the plume belonging to Guru Gobind Singh and relics of Maharaja Ranjit Singh with the British Government.

The SGPC today presented a memorandum to a British delegation, including Mike Gapes, Chairman, Foreign Affairs Committee, UK, that was on a visit to the Golden Temple.

The SGPC delegation led by Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, President, Mr Rajindr Singh Mehta and Mr Harbhajan Singh, member of the SGPC, and manager, Golden Temple, respectively, told the British delegation that Prince Charles, during his visit to Anandpur Sahib, had assured that the British Government would think over this issue. — OC


Work on underbridge to start soon: Political secy
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 29
Political secretary to Punjab Finance Minister Anil Bhola today met the DRM, Ambala Cantt, here and requested him to re-start the construction work on underbridge at Gate No. 245-A.

In a memorandum submitted to the DRM, Mr R.K. Tandon, Mr Bhola said the underbridge had got the approval from the authorities concerned and its foundation stone was laid by Finance Minister Surinder Singla.

Later, Mr Bhola and the local railway officials visited the spot.

Sources said there was some confusion over the area demarcated for constructing the underbridge. The work on it was likely to resume soon.

Meanwhile, the DRM was also apprised of need for installing more water tanks for passengers on the railway premises.


5 get life term in triple murder case
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 29
Mr S.K. Goel, Additional Sessions Judge, Sangrur, today awarded rigorous imprisonment for life to five persons in a triple murder case.

Dharam Dass (30), Darshan Dass (43) and Ram Lal (53), all sons of Bachan Dass and residents of Gandhuan village (Sunam), and Lakhdip Dass, alias Lakhi (28), and Harmit Singh (24), alias Mintu, both sons of Ram Lal and residents of Gandhuan village, were found guilty of murdering Sadhu Dass, his wife Mukhtiar Kaur and their son Krishan Kumar on July 4, 2002, in a field in the village.

The court has also ordered the five to pay a fine of Rs 20,000 each for each murder (a total of Rs 60,000 by each).

In case of default on fine, the court has also ordered the accused to further undergo RI for four months each. The court has also ordered that out of the amount of the fine, if realised, a sum of Rs 50,000 shall be paid to the widow and minor children of Krishan Dass and another Rs 50,000 to the minor children of Sadhu Dass and Mukhtiar Kaur.

As per the case history, on July 4, 2002, at about 7 pm Sadhu Dass, his wife Mukhtiar Kaur and their son Krishan Dass were working in Tibbe Wala field at Gandhuan village when Dharam Dass, Darshan Dass, Ram Lal, Lakhi and Mintu, along with Tarsem Dass, son of Dharam Dass and armed with “gandasas, ghop, kuharis and sothi” proclaimed loudly that they would teach a lesson to Sadhu Dass and Krishan Dass over day-to-day quarrelling with them and for not giving them their share of grandmother’s land.


SP Khushwant Pal Singh retired for misconduct
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
After inquiring into charges of misconduct and moral turpitude against a Superintendent of Police (SP) during the elections in Gujarat for over four years, the Punjab government has retired him compulsorily.

Khushwant Pal Singh, a Punjab Police Service officer, was posted Assistant Commandant 2nd Commando Battalion at Bahadurgarh, and deputed for election duty in Mansa town (Gujarat) when the incident took place. At present, he was SP, Home Guards, at Chandigarh.

According to sources, charges against him were he had lost an AK 47 rifle and had “travelled and stayed with a woman of ill repute” while on duty.

Taking serious view of the misconduct, the Punjab, DGP had recommended departmental action against the officer. A charge sheet was served on him under Rule 8 of the Punjab Civil Services (Punishment and Appeal), 1970, on November 10, 2003.

The charge sheet mentions Khushwant Pal Singh was supervisory officer of 2nd battalion Tac Headquarters at Mansa and also C and D Companies of the battalion deployed for assembly elections. A police vehicle was given to him by the Gujarat police for duty on December 9, 2002.

On that day when he went out with some local persons. He left his official vehicle and gunmen but took an AK 47 rifle with 27 cartridges. It is alleged he spent time with a “lady of ill repute” in a hotel room in Mansa. He also forgot the rifle at some place following which a report was lodged with the police there.

The rifle and catridges were found a few days later.

The matter was brought to the notice of senior police officers, who initiated departmental inquiry against the accused.

An inquiry by Mr B.K. Uppal, DIG, Counter Intelligence, concluded it had been established that the officer closely interacted with some local people and often travelled with them. One of the persons named in the case for providing the services of a woman was a son of the hotel owner where the SP had been lodged during the elections.

Mr Uppal observed while it was natural to come in contact with local populace during the course of duty, yet it was unbecoming of an officer to have enjoyed their hospitality. While taking a rifle for personal protection was not illegal, yet the fact that the officer, his gunmen and official vehicle left behind on that day brings it under cloud of suspicion. Doubts were also raised on Khushwant Pal Singh’s administrative capabilities by the inquiry officer.

The charge of moral turpitude was also proved and accordingly a dissent note was issued to Khushwant Pal Singh on January 19, 2006. He was also given personal hearing by the authorities.

Thereafter, the case was considered by the competent authority and it was decided to retire him from service compulsorily.

Orders issued by the Dr B.C. Gupta, Principal Secretary, Home affairs and Justice, mention that the Governor of Punjab was pleased to retire Kushwant Pal Singh compulsorily from service with immediate effect.


Goel is Chief Engineer of thermal plant
Tribune News Service

Ropar, November 29
Mr R.K. Goel today joined as the Chief Engineer of the Thermal Plant, Ropar. He had worked at various positions in 22 years of his career in the Thermal Plant. He had joined the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) in 1973.


Six booked for selling girl
Tribune News Service

Moga, November 29
The Moga police today booked six persons, including two women, for allegedly selling a 16-year-old girl to an aged man who forcibly tied the nuptial knot with the minor. The girl, who was one-month pregnant, was also rescued by the police.

According to sources, the mother of the minor reported the matter to the police alleging that Gurjit Kaur, Manjit Kaur, Bhagwan Singh and Amrik Singh, who were their family friends, took away her daughter assuring that they would take good care of her.

She told the police that after a few days when she tried to contact her daughter, the said persons started avoiding her and did not reveal where her daughter was.

However, she somehow managed to find out the whereabouts of her daughter and when she went to meet her almost after one and a half months, she was shocked to see her daughter pregnant and married to an aged man who had three children from his first marriage.

She immediately reported the matter to the district police, following which the city police raided the house of Jagtar Singh of Hola Wala village in Ferozepur district and recovered the minor even as the accused managed to give the police the slip.

Following this, the police registered a case under Sections 366, 376, 494 and 120 (b) against Jagtar Singh, his father Jeet Singh, Gurjit Kaur, Bhagwan Singh, Manjit Kaur and Amrik Singh.

During preliminary investigations, it was found that the accused had sold the minor to Jagtar Singh for Rs 1 lakh. The police said the statements of the girl and her mother had been recorded and a hunt had been launched to track down the accused persons.


One killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Barnala, November 29
One person was killed and two others were injured near Bhotna village about 20 km from here, on the Barnala-Moga road in an accident today.

According to reports, a tractor collided with a Maruti car in the forenoon near Bhotna village.

Rajan Bhasin, proprietor of a computer centre here, was travelling in the car with his wife and a two-year-old child. The family was reportedly coming from Amritsar.

Rajan Bhasin succumbed to his injuries while his family members sustained injuries in the mishap.


Panel to monitor private colleges: R.C. Sobti
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, October 29
Panjab University, Chandigarh, has formulated a plan to make education viable and result oriented. A committee comprising of experts in various subjects would soon be constituted to ponder on all aspects and prepare a comprehensive plan in this regard. This was stated by the Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, Prof R. C. Sobti, while talking to mediapersons at Vishveshvaranand Vishva Bandhu Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies (VVBIS & IS), Department of Panjab University at Sadhu Ashram here today.

Professor Sobati said the traditional education especially in the field the Arts had lost its utility in the prevailing conditions. New courses like nuclear physics, medical physics and MBA biotechnology were being introduced in the university for the benefit the students. Some more new courses would also be introduced from the next academic session.

Referring to the setting up of various educational institutions and universities by some of the big groups, he said the owners of such groups had professionalised education to earn profit. Instead, people should prefer institutions affiliated with renowned universities for imparting education to their wards.

Referring to the shortcomings in privately- managed BEd colleges in the state, Professor Sobati said a committee headed by Prof Sat Pal Jain had been constituted to conduct surprise raids on such colleges. In case any discrepancies were found and the managements of these colleges failed to rectify the same, the university would not grant permission for enrolling students for the coming academic session. He said as many as 165 colleges in state were affiliated with Panjab University, Chandigarh.

Replying to a question about the shortage of teaching and non-teaching staff at VVBIS & IS, Hoshiarpur, Professor Sobati said he had already constituted a committee to look into the shortcomings of this institute. As soon as its recommendations were received, staff would be recruited.

Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor presided over a session of Maharishi Vishvamitter Ved Vedanga workshop at VVBIS & IS, Sadhu Ashram. Addressing the participants on this occasion, he said the present generation of our country was running after western culture which had shattered the morale value of a common man.

Later, Professor Sobati also visited Swami Sarvanand Gir Regional Centre of Panjab University at Bajwara village. He urged the people of this area to get their wards admitted to this regional centre where education in diploma courses for computer science, electrical, electronics communication and mechanics were being imparted.


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