P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Shaukat Ali, wife return home with Aksa
Five more coffins sent across
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Wagah, February 24
"Perhaps it was Allah's wish that we did not take our five children back home", said Rana Shaukat Ali and his wife Rukhsana who crossed over to Pakistan through the Wagah check post today. Five coffins were also sent across.

Talking to the media, Shaukat Ali said that they had come to India on a 10-day visa for the marriage of the daughter of his brother in Ghaziabad in UP. They had got their visa extended. His children had taken meals and were playing with their new toys barely 30 minutes before the blasts in Samjhauta. S

Soon after the blasts, he along with his wife and baby Aksa jumped out from the train but could not save their five children who perished in the fire.

Meanwhile, three more relatives of the victims who arrived here yesterday - Mohammad Ali (70) of Jhang, Mubsher Hassan of Sargodha and Mohammad Nadeem of Lahore - proceeded to Panipat and New Delhi to know the whereabouts of their relatives.Their names were not on the list of those dead.

Mohammad Ali said his brother Salamat Ullah had come to India on February 8 to meet a relative in Muzzafarpur. He said a day before the incident, his brother had informed him that he would return on February 19 by Samjhauta Express. As he had not reached home, he had come to India to know about his whereabouts.

Mubsher Hassan said his younger brother Mohammad Irfan (25) had come to India 10 days before the incident to meet relatives in New Delhi.

Mohammad Nadeem said his uncle Saheer Khan had come to meet his relatives in Shahjahanpur and was injured in the fire. He said he would go to Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi where was being treated for burns.


Widow was paraded naked before gangrape
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Kala Sanghia (Kapurthala), February 24
In a horrifying incident, a widow was allegedly gangraped after being paraded naked in broad daylight at the Moti Nagar locality of Kala Sanghia village in Kapurthala district yesterday.

The victim's sister-in-law (nanad), Rajwinder Kaur, told The Tribune today that Sarwan Singh, Mohinder Singh, their sons and their womenfolk paraded the victim naked while taking her forcibly to Sarwan's house after abducting her from her house in the Moti Nagar locality.

Corroborating her statement, the victim's sister-in-law (devrani), Pooja, said when the victim noticed the armed accused coming to her house at around 11.30 am, she locked the front gate of her house, located on the busy Kapurthala road, from inside.

When the accused failed to break the gate, they went towards the back lane, where a door of one of the rooms of the victim's house was situated. She also locked this door from inside, but it was broken by the accused, said the victim's two minor sons.

At this, she went to the terrace of her house in an attempt to save herself, but the accused chased her and “threw” her from the terrace, said the victim's mother-in-law, Sarwan Kaur.

Rajwinder Kaur said the accused tore her clothes and paraded her naked while taking her forcibly to Sarwan's house. The victim kept on crying for help. She was forced to sit naked on the busy Kapurthala road for a few minutes.

Eyewitnesses said they could not dare to save the victim as the accused were issuing threats.

SHO of Sadar police station Sukhvinder Singh confirmed that the victim had been paraded naked.

Later, she was taken to Sarwan's house where she was mercilessly beaten up and allegedly gangraped.

When she asked for water, she was forced to drink urine, she told The Tribune in the civil hospital, Kapurthala.

When Kala Sanghia police post in charge ASI Gurdial Singh reached the spot, the victim was being beaten up in Sarwan's verandah and was naked.

Later, three of the accused - Sarwan, his son Jasbir Bagga and Mohinder - were arrested from the spot. They were produced in the court of Kapurthala CJM P.S. Dhanoa, who remanded them in two-day police custody.

Meanwhile, three more accused - Malkit, son of Sarwan, and Gurdev and Manjeeta, sons of Mohinder, have been arrested.

The police recovered the torn clothes of the victim, a pair of scissors and two lathis from Sarwan's house.

ASI Gurdial Singh said the accused had told the police they committed the crime to teach the victim a lesson as they suspected she had illicit relations.

Meanwhile, the SSP has set up a three-member team comprising Kapurthala DSP A.S. Powar, DSP (HQ) Lakhbir Kaur and Sadar SHO Sukhvinder Singh to investigate the case.

DC Raminder Singh, SSP Rajiv Ahir and DSP Powar visited the hospital and the spot today.

All family members of Sarwan were absconding after locking their house.


PCS forms withdrawn, aspirants zapped
Chander Parkash and Ravi Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 24
Call it an inadvertent mistake or utter carelessness on the part of the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) authorities, the commission has decided to withdraw the application forms of PCS (judicial branch) abruptly, that too without informing the prospective candidates of its decision.

The PPSC had decided on Thursday evening to abruptly discontinue the sale of the PCS (judicial) forms. The last date of submitting the forms was March 12.

This development has cast apprehensions over the functioning of the commission. Ever since the PPSC was given a new look after the unsavoury Ravi Sidhu episode, the commission has little or no work to do.

Secretary of the PPSC B. Purshartha while disclosing that the forms had been withdrawn from Thursday, refused to reveal the reasons for same. He, however, added that “a decision had been taken by the full house of the commission after deliberations to re-advertise the posts within a week”.

He added that the PCS (judicial) examination, which was to be held on July 15, as per the advertisement, would now be rescheduled.

Interestingly, a commission member had no inkling of what had happened. Preferring anonymity, he said he was not even aware whether the application forms had been withdrawn or not.

He disclosed that the PPSC's conduct was far from smooth as till now only two examinations had been held, one of which was the PCS (executive) which was reconducted after the controversial selections made during Ravi Sidhu's tenure as chairman was cancelled by the state government. He added that yet another exam-the PCS (judicial) had to be conducted under the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that so far a number of candidates had already purchased the application forms by coming to the PPSC office from far-away places.

Chander Mohan Ruby, secretary, Punjab Law Forum, said the PPSC was playing a cruel joke on the aspirants of the PCS (judicial branch) examinations as it had stopped the sale of application forms without informing the prospective candidates. He demanded that the new date be fixed at the earliest possible.


What happens to cases after elections?
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
During every election, dozens, if not hundreds, of cases are registered against candidates and their supporters for violating various laws of the land. Such cases include criminal offences, attempts at bogus voting and luring the voter with freebies etc.

In the ongoing election process to elect the new Punjab Assembly, at least three dozen cases stand registered by the Punjab Police, either on its own or on the directions of the election officials, including observers deputed by the Election Commission. Similar was the condition in the 2002 Assembly and 2004 Lok Sabha polls.

But nobody seems to know the fate of such cases once the election process is over.

While election officials say the law takes its own course, even they accept that they do not have any data about the status of earlier cases.

“It is not as if the police forgets about these cases. Steps under law are taken to ensure that the cases reach their logical conclusion. But we don’t maintain any record about such cases,” an election official admitted.

When contacted, ADGP (Election wing) S.M. Sharma said the police took adequate steps to ensure that the cases reached their logical end.


Bt cotton seed cos asked to slash price
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
The Punjab Government is trying hard to make Bt cotton seed supplying companies to slash the seed price by Rs 500 per packet(of 570 gm). Informed sources said the companies had been told to bring down the price of the seed to Rs 750-850 per packet.

The companies had supplied Bt cotton seed in Andhra Pradesh and other adjoining states in the South at a price varying between Rs 700 and Rs 800. However, in the cotton belt of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, the same Bt cotton seed was supplied by these companies at a price ranging between Rs 1,225 and Rs 1,390 per packet last year.The authorities are insisting that the Andhra Pradesh pattern should be followed in the case of Punjab as far as charging the price of the seed is concerned.

Director, Agriculture,Punjab, Balwinder Singh Sidhu said the companies had been told to reduce the seed price.“ I have clearly told the representatives of the companies to keep the seed price on a par with the states in the South”, said Sidhu. Companies were expected to inform the state government about the price of seed by the coming Tuesday, he said.

The area under cotton is likely to go up to 6.25 lakh hectares this year as compared to the last year’s figure of 5.88 lakh hectares.“Farmers had a good time last year because of the bumper cotton crop. Moreover, now its price has gone up to Rs 2,400 per quintal. Both price wise as well as yield wise, farmers got a good return”, said Sidhu. “Keeping in view these factors, the area was to go up under the crop this year”, he added.

“We have sought 10 lakh packets of Bt cotton seed from the companies”, he said. Reduction in the seed price will also eliminate the market of unapproved seed that was sold clandestinely at a price ranging between Rs 500 to Rs 700 per packet last year.


Case of murder, robbery solved;2 arrested
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, February 24
The police today solved the case of robbery and murder of Balbir Nath,a resident of Takhtu Majra, who was allegedly done to death near Bapror village on the Rajpura-Ambala highway last night.

Acting on specific information, the police laid a naka at Basantpura and signalled a motor cycle to stop. However, on seeing the police party, the motor cycle riders tried to flee. Two of the motorcyclists — Balbir Singh and Pargat Singh — were arrested by the police after a chase. The third person, Raju, managed, to flee.

The duo was later identified as the robbers who had allegedly stragled Balbir Nath to death.

The police said the deceased, along with his brother Pal Nath, was returning to his village from Ambala on his three-wheeler when he was signalled to stop by Balbir Singh.Pargat Singh and Raju allegedly joined Balbir and the trio tried to rob the two brothers.

In the scuffle,Pal Nath succeeded in running away from the scene. Though Balbir Nath put up a stiff resistence, he was robbed of an amount of Rs 15,000 and a mobile phone. Pal Nath lodged a complaint with the police. However, a police party today found Balbir Nath strangled to death.

Police sources said Pal Nath noted down the registration no of the motor cycle (PB-26-C-4035) which allegedly belonged to the trio. The motor cycle was traced to Khanna.

Punjab VOTES ’07

Slain BKI chief’s village sees heavy turnout
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Dassuwal, February 24
There was time when the name of Sukhdev Singh Babbar, slain chief of Babbar Khalsa International, would strike terror in the minds of the people and the police. But in his ancestral village Dassuwala today, it was an atmosphere of festivity with “langar” (community kitchen) arranged by both SAD and Congress workers.

Sources said whereas the village had boycotted the poll in 1992, it had recorded a 90 per cent turnout this time. The village is only 4 km from the border.

Mr Angrej Singh (72), visually impaired brother of Babbar Khalsa chief Sukhdev Singh, exercised franchise and sat in the election camp of the Shiromani Akali Dal till the end of polling.

"The time has changed, I am a votary of democracy. That is why I have been canvassing for the victory of my party," he said.

The village has 1,248 voters. Mr Harbans Singh, a cousin of Sukhdev Singh Babbar, said at least 70 relatives of Mehal Singh Babbar live in the village. Narinder Kumar, a resident of the village, said Mr Angrej Singh had given protection to the family of Hindus at the time of peak of militancy.


RO visits gurdwara to ascertain code violation
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Beas, February 24
Mr Kuldip Singh Chandi, returning officer, today visited gurdwara premises at Baba Bakala to ascertain whether any violation of model code of conduct for elections was done with the holding of an election rally by the Shiromani Akali Dal at Baba Bakala on February 23.

Mr Chandi, however, said no formal complaint had been made by anybody regarding the violation of the code so far. He, however, said Baba Makhan Singh, head of the Taruna Dal could not be contacted during a visit to the gurdwara premises. However, followers of the Baba denied the venue of the rally was part of the gurdwara.

According to highly placed sources, the election commission of India was contemplating action against those who had used religious places, including gurdwaras, churches, temples and other religious deras during election campaign by political parties. The commission might take stern action following public announcement by Mr Desa Singh, block head of dera Sacha Sauda in which he had urged the voters to vote in favour of the Congress candidates at Valtoha in presence of the Chief Minister and PPCC Chief, Shamsher Singh Dullo. Earlier, USA born daughter-in-law of Lok Sabha Surinder Singla had campaigned in a church of Amritsar while some candidates sought votes by visiting mosques .

Meanwhile, H.S. Sharma, poll observer (expenditure) visited the constituency to have first hand information about the expenditures of the various candidates .

On the other hand, the election offices of both the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal wore deserted look following the decision of the Supreme Court. As per this order, the election is likely to be held on March 11.


Beas deserted 

Amritsar, February 24
Election offices of the Congress and the SAD in Beas wore a deserted look today, with top leaders leaving the constituency with the polling date having finally decided for March 11. Some residents said it was a relief to see these leaders away as they were tired of the election cacophony.

The politicians are expected to return after the declaration of election results on February 27. — TNS


Cong candidate booked for manhandling
Perneet Singh/Tribune News Service

Mansa, February 24
Congress candidate from the Budhlada Assembly constituency Mangat Rai Bansal has been booked for reportedly manhandling naib tehsildar-cum-duty magistrate JC Parinda on the day of polling.

As per the complaint lodged by the official, Congress supporters were ferrying voters to polling booths in violation of the Model Code of Conduct. When he started videographing the violation outside Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Mr Bansal and his supporters entered into an altercation with him.They manhandled him. Budhlada SDM Gurjeet Singh said he had investigated the complaint and found Mr Bansal guilty of obstructing a government employee from performing duty.

On the basis of his probe report, a case had been registered under Section 353 of the IPC and Section 133 of the Representation of the People's Act, 1951.

Mr Bansal alleged that Mr Parinda nursed a grudge against him as he had lodged a complaint against him after he misbehaved with his brother in July last year.

Meanwhile, demanding the arrest of the Congress nominee, the Punjab Naib Tehsildar Association, has threatened to launch a statewide stir in case no action was taken.


BSP candidate files PIL on poll expenses
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 24
Bahujan Samaj Party candidate for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat Surinder Arjun has filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court for taking action against political parties and their candidates for spending crores on campaigning, in utter disregard of the guidelines of the Election Commission of India.

Releasing a copy of the petition to the media here today, he said they had urged the court to restrain the respondents from finalising the election results in view of pending petition. The next hearing of the case is February 26.


Just another day
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 24
Even as the residents of the Valtoha constituency in Tarn Taran district had observed holiday to cast their vote here today the hapless labourers could be seen working on the 10-km road starting from Amarkot to Valtoha.

“Hamari kahe ki chhutti hame to roti ke liye dihadi karni he padti ha ab chahe election ho ya kuch or,” they said.


Rights panel dy chief seeks escort vehicle
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 24
Mr Kirpal Singh Randhawa, deputy chairman, Punjab Human Rights Organisation, has demanded an escort vehicle from the security wing of the Punjab police.

In a missive to the chief secretary, Randhawa, who is prime witness in the Jaswant Singh Khalra murder case, said though the district police had provided him a Gypsy as per the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court but it was obsolete and did not serve the purpose.

He said he had approached the district police chief who had asked him to provide his programme to the police in advance.

He said as he was main witness in the murder case he could not expose his security by telling the programme to the police in advance and put his life in danger.

He said if he was not provided the escort vehicle in good condition he would be forced to file appeal in the high court.


Higher tax exemption sought
Seminar on Budget at SVSM
Tribune News Service

Banur, February 24
The Swami Vivekanand School of Management (SVSM), today organised a pre-budget analysis at a one day seminar "Aam Aadmi Ka Budget" at Ramnagar, near here.

Regional director of the PHDCCI P.K.Verma was the chief guest for the seminar. Former dean Commerce and chairman of the University Business School (UBS) Panjab University Chandigarh Prof B.B.Tandon and Reader UBS Dr Ajay Garg were the guests of honour for the occasion. CEO of the institute Manmohan Garg presided over the seminar.

The Director of the SVSM Prof P.P.Arya underlined the topical importance of the seminar in the context of annual Budget to be presented in Parliament.

Verma provided insight into the raising of funds by the Central Government through direct and indirect taxes. He further said that savings should be increased by providing exemption from tax. Benefits of taxation should percolate down to the public and towards development for economic growth and social justice.

Prof Tandon lauded initiative of Garg about attaining mission of excellence in education by establishing excellent group of institutes with needed infrastructure.

Garg in his address highlighted that poverty and unemployment were the real enemies of human race.


SGPC takes notice of assault on Sikh student
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 24
Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) yesterday took serious note of the assault on a Sikh student in Scotland by some unscrupulous persons and urged the Centre and the U K embassy in New Delhi to take effective measures to control such incidents in future.

Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, president, SGPC, said that such incidents like Sanjampal Singh, a turbaned Sikh student of Irwin Medical School in California was allegedly not allowed to enter a restaurant and Balbir Singh, a student of finance in Paisley University in Scotland was assaulted on the pretext of keeping bomb in the turban, were unfortunate.

In a missive to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and U K embassy, he said the government should ensure the safety of the Sikh community.


NRI among 4 killed in mishaps
Our Correspondent

Abohar, February 24
USA-based NRI Dilraj Singh was killed when the car in which he was travelling rammed into a tractor-trailer loaded with sand near Nihalkhera village, 10 km from here, last night.

Dilraj (24) had arrived in India on January 26 to stay with his relatives at Ranjit Avenue, Amritsar, for a month and was last night going to the farmhouse of Roor Singh to meet his relative Mehar Singh, near Nihalkhera village, on the NH 10 when his car rammed into a tractor-trailer parked on the roadside, which had no reflectors fixed on the rear. Dilraj died on the spot, while his co-passenger was injured. Post-mortem was conducted on his body at the civil hospital here. The police has registered a case under section 174 of IPC.

Mangal Singh (40), a resident of Sawaya Rai Utar village, was crushed to death under a car near the BSF headquarters on the Abohar-Ferozepore road yesterday. He was going to the office of the BEPO for some work when the car hit his cycle, sources said.

Two deaths were reported from the neighbouring area of Sriganganagar during the past 24 hours. Budh Ram (64) of Tatarsar village was crushed to death under a bus while crossing road. Pardeep Kumar, alias Nanku (30), a migrant worker from Bhagwatipura village of Samastipur district in Bihar, was killed when he was by a four-wheeler near the Aggarsein chowk on the Sriganganagar road yesterday.

Sandeep Kumar of Bahadurkhera village was seriously injured when his vehicle collided head on with a canter near Sardarpura yesterday. He has been referred to Patiala.


Stone for library funded by NRI laid
Our Correspondent.

Nawanshahr, February 24
Governor Haryana Dr A.R. Kidwai laid the foundation stone of Master Gurbaksh Singh Memorial Block at Sikh National College, Banga, here today. A US-based NRI, Mr John Singh Shergill, had donated Rs 50 lakh for the construction of the block dedicated to the memory of his primary school teacher. The proposed block would comprise a hall and an air conditioned library.

Dr Kidwai, while addressing a gathering after laying the foundation stone, lauded the contribution of the NRIs in infrastructure development for providing better education facilities here. He exhorted the education institutions to work toward the proper channelising of the youth energy so that they could be galvanised into a force to reckon with in the present era of globalisation.

Mr Bharpur Singh, secretary, Sikh Education Society, Chandigarh, said the college, which was founded in 1953, was all set for providing quality education for enabling the rural youth to face the challenges. The liberal donations from the alumni and well wishers of the college settled abroad, especially in the USA, the UK and Canada had started pouring in for the purpose, he said. He added that the college expected to receive donations of Rs 2 to 3 crore.

Besides starting various postgraduate and vocational courses, the UGC had approved special remedial classes for undergraduate and postgraduate students belonging to the SC/STs and minorities, added Mr Bharpur Singh.

Mr Gurdev Singh Brar, president, Sikh Education Society, Mr Tejinder Singh Dosanjh, an old student and NRI, Dr Jaspal Singh Randhawa, principal, among others also addressed the gathering.

The Sikh Education Society honoured a number of NRI donors and prominent personalities on the occasion.


Ministers’ rooms being refashioned
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
Anticipating the formation of the popular government in a week, the authorities concerned have started refashioning rooms of ministers, parliamentary secretaries and others concerned in the Punjab Civil Secretariat here.

Rooms meant for ministers and parliamentary secretaries are being painted afresh. Wornout pieces of furniture are being replaced with new ones.Carpets, wherever required, have also been changed. The office of the Chief Minister is also being redone to give it a fresh look. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had spent a good amount of money to give a new look to his office two years ago.

The prolonged suspense about who will occupy the Chief Minister’s office will be over by 11 am on February 27, the day the counting of the votes of the Assembly elections will be held. Both, Amarinder Singh and his opponent Parkash Singh Badal, are equally confident to be in the chair of the Chief Minister once the polling results are declared. Shrewd voters have kept both of them guessing in this regard for the past several weeks.

It was quite boring to visit the civil secretariat during the past two months.Officials had no worthwhile work to do because of the enforcement of the code of conduct by the Election Commission.The only work for most of them was to discuss who is going to be the next Chief Minister of the state.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Council of Ministers will meet on February 26 to pass a resolution recommending the dissolution of the current state Assembly.The recommendation will be sent to the Governor for the issuance of a notification in this regard.The Assembly will be dissolved on the morning of Feburary 27. The same day, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and his ministers will submit their resignations of the Governor to complete the legal requirement.


SMO for action against pharmacist
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, February 24
The senior medical officer (SMO) of the Sunam civil hospital, Mr Baldev Singh Sahota, has sought action against a pharmacist (on deputation for four days in a week at the civil hospital) for allegedly remaining “absent from duty” for 15 months from December 21, 2004, to March 20, 2006. He has also sought the recovery of the salary and allowances from pharmacist Siri Ram Garg for the deputation period, besides punishment as per rules.

In a letter to the Director, Health and Family Welfare, the SMO mentioned that the pharmacist had neither marked his presence in the attendance register of the hospital nor sent his monthly attendance report to the primary health centre (PHC), Kohrian village, after getting the same verified from the Sunam hospital authorities. During deputation period Garg was basically posted at mini PHC, Gandhuan village (Kohrian).


‘Female foeticide hits law of nature’
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, February 24
Female foeticide is not only a blot on the society but it also affects equilibrium of nature as well as disrupts the law of nature. Determination of sex is purely a misuse of technology for petty personal interests. If this trend continued, there would be chaos in the society and the deteriorating sex ratio would lead to disorder and increase in atrocities on women, said district and Session judge cum chairperson District Legal Services Authority. While addressing the seminar on female foeticide organised by District Legal Services Authority at Bachat Bhawan today, she said that earlier Legal Services Authority was confined to organise only Lok Adalats but now with the motivation of justice S.S.Nijar, they have decided to wage a war against the menace of female foeticide and educate people through such seminars, workshops and meetings. She said that to curb this menace the change of mindset towards female child is equally important as is to implement PNDT act strictly.

Addressing the seminar deputy commissioner Jaspreet Talwar said that it is wrong to say that Fatehgarh Sahib has the lowest sex ratio in the country. She said that as per the 2001 census the sex ratio in district was 760 females for 1000 males. She said that she got door-to-door survey conducted to check the exact position, surprisingly it was not the reality. She said that there are 34 villages in the district, which have more than 1000 females for 1000 males. She also admitted that there are villages having less than 600 females for 1000 males.

She said that now we have to keep close vigil and focus on these villages to identify the cause of less sex ratio making efforts to improve it.

She suggested that the simplified provisions of PNDT Act in form of booklets should be distributed in rural areas, she also suggested that there should be change in syllabus to change the mind set of school and college going youngsters. She said that due to the various steps taken by District Administration, the sex ratio in district has improved from 760 to 820.

Member secy Punjab Legal Services Authority G.S.bakshi said that the reason behind organising seminar in the district was to educate the people here about this menace as the district has the lowest sex ratio in the country. He said that it is unfortunate that all the 17 districts of the State are among the 34 districts of the country, which have lowest sex ratio. He said that each family desires to have a son.

He said that government has initiated various schemes to curb this menace. He demanded the co-operation of the people.

Paramjit Singh Civil Judge Senior Division cum Secy. District Legal Services Authority stressed the need to create awareness in this regard at grass root level and particularly in remote rural areas. He said that Legal Service Authority is making all out efforts in this regard.

On this occasion the teachers and students from Govt. Elementary School, Kapoorgarh, presented an emotional play on female foeticide, which was widely appreciated.


Farmers, NGOs educated on freight corridor project
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, February 24
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), in collaboration with Mantic Consultants, Noida, and the Institute for Spatial Planning and Environment Research (ISPER), organised a seminar-cum-public meeting regarding the dedicated freight corridor project for Government of India at Bachat Bhawan here on Thursday.

Jaspreet Talwar, Deputy Commissioner, and T.S.Puri from ISPER presided over the seminar. Hundreds of participants from various Gram Panchayats, NGOs, leaders and social workers participated in it. As 17 km railway track will fall in Fatehgarh Sahib district, just to take the suggestions and firsthand information regarding the views of the people, this seminar was organised.

Addressing the seminar, Jaspreet Talwar highlighted the importance of the 2,795-km-long freight corridor to be constructed from Ludhiana to Howrah covering 65 districts of the country. She said with the construction of freight corridor there would be great improvement in delivering goods by means of trains within the country. She said 17-km rail track would pass through Sirhind and Fatehgarh Sahib and the farmers whose land would be acquired given compensation.

T.S.Puri said the government would carry out this project with Japan and the Japan government was conducting a survey through such meetings and seminars to know what problems could come.

On this occasion representatives of farmer organisations, social organisations and clubs demanded that the rate of the land should be given as per the market rate and one member of the family whose land would be acquired should be given employment. 


Prof, aide held for attacking reader
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 24
A professor of Punjabi University’s Guru Kashi Campus at Talwandi Sabo and his aide have been arrested on the charge of attacking a reader employed at the centre last evening.

According to police sources, the reader, Gurcharan Singh, was earlier the security incharge of the campus. During his stint he had lodged a complaint about the alleged entry of some outsiders into the campus. He reportedly mentioned that these outsiders visited Prof Sumerinder Singh.

Sources said following his complaint the varsity had recently banned the entry of outsiders in the campus.

Irked at the move, the professor’s aides allegedly attacked Gurcharan with iron rods when he was on his way back from gurdwara last evening. SHO Balbir Singh said the assailants fled from the spot leaving a motorcycle behind. He said a case has been registered against Prof Sumerinder Singh, Jagtar Singh, ex-president of Maur Truck Union, Sikander Singh, Mani Chopra, Tuti, Kuldeep and two others under Sections 307, 323, 148, 149 and 120B of the IPC.

Sumerinder and Jagtar have been arrested, while a manhunt has been launched to nab the others.


M.Pharma student gets award
Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 24
The Punjab Academy of Sciences has conferred upon Sumeet, a student of M.Pharma in Punjabi University, Patiala, the prestigious Young Scientist Award at the 10th Punjab Science Congress held at Jalandhar recently.

Sumeet, who was selected from among 139 young scientists from Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, was given the award for her study of the drug “Acyclovir” at the congress which was held on the theme of “Convergence of Science and Technology for Sustainable Development."

The drug is used in the treatment of herpes simplex reaction. Sumeet's research was supervised by Dr Subheet Jain, lecturer in the department of pharmacology, Punjabi University, Patiala.


National conference on IT, Communication 
Tribune News Service

Ropar, February 24
his era belongs to information technology which has initiated a revolution in every life. The pace with which the Information technology is being adopted, everything is going to be online soon to ease chores for people, said the director-cum-secretary Department of Information Technology Punjab N.S. Kalsi while inaugurating the two-day national conference on the latest research work and technologies in Communication and Information Technology held at Rayat Institute of Engineering and Information Technology RIEIT, Rialmajra, here today.

Speaking on the occasion, vice chairman Rayat Group Gurvinder Singh Bahra said, “the idea of conference is unique in its own kind, both in terms of its scope and the expertise of the participants. We got convergence of ideas from the experts regarding the rapidly changing Information Technology and ways to deal with it. Others spoke on the occasion include former vice-chancellor of Panjab University and the director general Academics Rayat and Bahra Group, K.N. Pathak and the MD, Rayat and Bahra Group, Prof C.M. Bahl.

The experts who presented their papers include country manager IBM Satish Kaushik, country manager CISCO Vijay Shekhar, general manager Punjab InfoTech Col Rajesh Dua and territory sales manager Oracle Inder Deep Dhillon. Besides the students of the institute the participants especially the young IT and communication students from various institutes of the region attend the conference here.

To add colour to the hectic and brainstorming conference, students of RIEIT presented a cultural programme to the delight of eminent personalities from IT and communication world.

Former Vice Chancellor of Panjab University and the Director General Academics Rayat and Bahra Group, KN Pathak was granted fellowship by the University Grant Commission for doing research work on the “dynamics of Quantum for the gases” for two years. He had received intimation from the UGC in this regard yesterday, said Pathak.


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