P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



6 hurt in clash  in gurdwara  land auction
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 27
Six persons were injured during the auction for the annual contract of 360 acres of land belonging to Gurdwara Chohla Sahib, 40 km from here, in no-holds-barred clash between two groups today.

Gurpreet Singh, a local lawyer deputed by the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commissioner (SGJC) to conduct the auction, was also injured. The SGJC deputed the team to conduct the auction on the petition filed by Balkar Singh that the annual rent of the land was meager and he was ready to pay much more than the existing “contract”.

Gurpreet Singh said the warring groups used sharp-edged weapons, apart from pelting stones. Gurdwara employees and bidders assembled on the spot saved themselves by locking them in a room. However, the police had no control that led to the unsavoury situation on the premises of the historical shrine being run by a committee appointed by the SGPC.

Two gurdwara inspectors, Darbara Singh and Swarn Singh Anandpuri, were also present at the auction.

Consequently, the auction was cancelled and the SGJC is likely to order fresh auction soon.

Some mediapersons were also injured in the melee. Manager of the gurdwara Pargat Singh said an FIR was lodged. 

Atta-Dal Scheme
Badal to meet DCs again
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 27
Faced with a difficult situation in the launching of the atta-dal scheme for poor sections of society, the Badal government has decided to convene another meeting of the deputy commissioners to seek feedback from them in this regard.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who held a meeting in this regard with senior officers and ministers here today, directed the chief secretary to convene a meeting of all deputy commissioners shortly.

Badal asked minister of food and civil supplies Adesh Partap Singh Kairon to direct the secretary, food and civil supplies, to make adequate arrangements for the procurement of wheat and dal for supply to the beneficiaries through the public distribution system as per the survey conducted in the state. 



ACs in Golden Temple
SGPC to engage consultants
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 27
The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) has decided to engage the services of consultants to install ACs in the sanctum sanctorum of the Harmander Sahib, apart from installing security cameras and mobile jammers on the shrine premises.

A decision regarding this was taken at a meeting of sub-committee, chaired by Raghujit Singh Virk, senior vice-president, SGPC, yesterday. It is learnt that Surinder Kaur Badal, wife of the Chief Minister of Punjab, has been taking a keen interest in installing modern gadgets in the Golden Temple complex.

The sub-committee also decided to publish a public notice, directing Raghbir Singh, secretary, SGPC, to appear before the inquiry committee to reply to the charges mentioned in the chargesheet already served on him. The meeting took a serious note of the fact that Raghbir had failed to appear before the sub-committee in its three consecutive meetings to clarify his position. Raghbir Singh had contested the recent elections as a rebel Akali candidate from Rajasansi and had levelled serious charges against SGPC chief and SAD supremo Parkash Singh Badal during his election campaign .

Among those who attended the sub-committee meeting were Raghujit Singh Virk, Rajinder Singh Mehta, Kewal Singh Badal Kiranjot Kaur, Jaswinder Singh Advocate, Dyal Singh Kolianwali and Gurbachan Singh Karmuwala.

On the advice of senior SGPC member Kiranjot Kaur, the meeting decided to engage the services of consultants for finalising the design before installation of the AC. However, a representative of a multi-national AC company told the sub-committee members that the holes would have to be made in the ancient structure of the sanctum sanctorum to install the AC.

The SGPC decision to install the air-conditioning system has evoked a mixed response from the Sikh community.

Gurmeet Rai, conservation architect and director, CRCI, while strongly opposing the proposed move said such attempts would cause colossal 'structural damage' to the ancient holy structure. Instead, the SGPC should improve the electrical infrastructure since big holes had been made in the building after laying cable for the live coverage of kirtan. She said the devotees visited the Darbar Sahib for spiritual solace and not for physical comforts and, hence, they (devotees) had never made any such demand till date.


Interference 100 pc, budget 20 pc
State of Finance: Punjabi University, Patiala
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 27
The interference is 100 per cent but the budget allocation is just 20 per cent. This is the state government’s equation with Punjabi University, Patiala.

The annual estimated budget of the university is about Rs 120 crore, but the state pays Rs 24.8 crore. This is around 20 per cent of the total financial requirements of the university.

“The central universities are getting 92 to 96 per cent of their budget from the Government of India,” said vice-chancellor S.S. Boparai.

Almost 50 to 60 per cent of the university’s annual budget is spent on staff salaries.

“Salaries have been increased by the government. But no additional resources are provided. The burden of the increased salaries and other benefits as a result fall on the university,” said A.S. Chawla, in-charge of finance at the university.

The university manages to earn about Rs 25 crore as the examination fee from affiliated colleges and earns another Rs 20 to Rs 25 crore from various professional courses it runs.

“We swallowed the bitter pill and also increased fee to make both ends meet. But it resulted in education going out of the reach of 80 per cent of the state’s youth. This is an unfortunate development,” said the VC.

The fact that the university is virtually hand to mouth is now showing. The number of students in the university has gone up to almost 8,000, while the infrastructure can barely support half the number. The management programme building was designed for 100 students but it now accommodates 400 students. Faculty accommodation and hostel facilities are also in shortage. Despite the state of its finances, one of the most remarkable achievements of this university has been the opening of six regional centres spread over 300 acres donated by villagers and NRIs. These centres have been set up with the aim of providing higher education to rural students. More than 1,500 rural students are pursuing professional courses at these centres.

While no financial support has come from the state government, the Centre has given Rs 10 crore to the university for these centres.

A proposal worth Rs 100 crore for these centres is pending with the state government, said Chawla.

“The Punjab government spends Rs 165 crore on four universities it supports. Almost Rs 158 crore out of this is spent on the urban students of these universities. The former Chief Minister had directed the finance minister to make efforts and allocate at least an equal amount to be spent only on higher education among rural students,” explained the VC.

The financial condition of universities in Punjab is dismal. A Tribune survey of the six universities has found that in almost all universities the government has not increased the maintenance grant it gives for higher education. As a result, the universities are being forced to enhance the fees. This is the first in the series of six articles on a reality check of the financial conditions of universities in the state.

Here goes the first of the series on Punjabi University, Patiala


New transfer policy for teachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 27
The Punjab government today issued guidelines for the general transfer of teachers of the education department in the state for 2007-08.

Education minister Upinderjit Kaur said the transfer of teachers would be completed by June 20.

Giving details of the broad guidelines to be adopted, she said that as per the policy of the government, transfers would be kept to the barest minimum and be made against vacant sanctioned posts.

She added that transfers at the district level would be made by the district education officers and applications could be submitted till May10. Inter-district transfers would be done by the circle education officers up to June 10 and the DPIs would process inter-circle transfers till June 20.

Only those transfer applications would be entertained which were submitted through the proper channel. Women teachers desirous of postings in girls’ schools would be given preference.

She further said that only teachers having a stay of three years could send their transfer applications, but a few categories had been excluded from this condition to mitigate their sufferings.The categories included widows, unmarried and deserted women staff and disabled persons. For postings in urban schools, three years’ service in a rural area was essential, but unmarried, divorced or deserted women employees would be adjusted at the nearest vacant stations.


Sukhbir opens bridge on UBDC
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, April 27
Three more thermal power plants will be set up in the state to provide 24-hour uninterrupted power supply to public. The projects, having a capacity of 1,200 MW each, will be set up in Mansa, Patiala and Amritsar in the next three years, claimed SAD acting president Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Sukhbir was here to inaugurate a newly constructed bridge, costing about Rs 4.57 crore, on the UBDC in the Tibri cantonments area, near Quadian.

Talking to The Tribune, Sukhbir claimed that the second phase of the Lehra Mohabbat power plant would be completed in the next three years, which would help in generating 600 MW additional power. He stressed on the setting up of agro-products-based power-generation plants in rural areas, which would further meet the power demand of villagers in these areas.

To provide education to poor and needy students, the state government would set up 400 Adarsh Model Schools at a cost of Rs 5 crore each. The government would spent Rs 1,200 crore on agriculture and stress would be laid on constructing more canals so that more land could be brought under irrigation.

Public health minister Vikramjit Singh Majithia claimed that Rs 1,280 crore would be spent on various projects to provide drinking water in the state.

PWD minister P.S. Dhindsa claimed that works taken up on various roads in the state during the Congress government would be reviewed. He claimed that an enquiry in all projects would be conducted for detecting embezzlements by the contractors and the politician-bureaucrat mafia.

Agriculture minister Sucha Singh Langha was present. Expressing their resentment against the local MLA for not taking them into confidence in organising party functions, senior SAD leaders of the area along with their supporters did not attend the function.

The leaders, including Swaroop Singh Saini, Gurmeet Singh Pahra, Hardyal Singh Gaznipur, Gurmukh Singh Tibber, alleged that local MLA Gurbachan Singh Babehali, who had joined the SAD after leaving the Congress, was still following into the footsteps of Congress leaders.


SGPC secy seeks apology from Dullo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 27
The shiromani gurudwara parbandhak committee (SGPC) has reacted sharply to PPCC president Shamsher Singh Dullo’s reported statement wherein he had compared the SGPC to a ‘dera’. SGPC secretary Harbeant Singh said such comments reflected Dullo’s desperation after the party’s poor performance in the last assembly elections.

He demanded that Dullo should seek apology from the Sikh ‘sangat’ for making such derogatory remarks against the SGPC. He said it was unfortunate that a leader of his stature did not realise the legal status of the SGPC and compared it to a ‘dera’.


Razia meets CM on demands of Muslims
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 27
A delegation of Muslim leaders led by Congress MLA from Malerkotla Razia Sultana met Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here yesterday with regard to the demands of the Muslim community in the state.

Razia Sultana urged Badal to fulfil the promise made by the previous government to set up a medical college and nursing school for the minority community of the state. She told Badal that the understanding with regard to the college was that it would be purely a Muslim minority medical college to be run by the wakf board which would provide land for setting up the institution. The government was to provide a one-time grant for the college and school. The subsequent expenses were to be borne by the board.

She also urged Badal to set up the minorities commission for the welfare of Muslims in the state. She sought the setting up of a minority financial corporation on the Himachal Pradesh pattern for the socio-economic development of the community. The construction of a Haj house at Malerkotla, development of Malerkotla as a modern city and holding of the sangat darshan programme there were other demands made by the MLA at the meeting.

Besides, she sought “better postings” for Muslim officers in the state. She said the sidelining of Muslim officers by the Badal government had sent the wrong signals.

Raising political issues, the Congress MLA raised the issue of Badal’s association with the BJP. “ Your deafening silence on the anti-minority rhetoric of your political allies is appalling and blood curdling”, she stated in a letter submitted to Badal.

She said the Muslims of Punjab expected Badal and his government to treat them fairly and not give step-motherly treatment to them, she told Badal. She praised former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for doing a lot for the welfare of the Muslim community.


Development authority  in 4 cities by May 5
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 27
An independent development authority each to give a modern look to four major cities - Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Patiala - is to be put in place before May 5. Also, the promise of the SAD-BJP combine to set up boards for industrialists, traders and the youth is likely to be fulfilled by the same date.

These issues were decided at a crucial coordination meeting of the ruling SAD-BJP combine here tonight, sources said. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal chaired the meeting held at his residence which was attended by the top leadership of both parties.

A top source confirmed that the BJP had reportedly made it clear to the SAD that the elections were contested under the leadership of Badal and it was a corollary that he should head the coordination committee for effective implementation of the programmes. Earlier, it was being said that Sukhbir Badal would head the committee.

The government today put its machinery at work to set up the development authority for each of these cities before the municipal elections, which are due in July.

The development authority will not be in addition to the existing system of governance; rather it will be the nodal monitoring agency to channel the development projects and also to meet the aspirations of the people. This will reduce multiplicity of agencies that are working in these cities while politically it suits the SAD-BJP as the corporations at present have Congress-controlled governing bodies. By nominating the development authority, it will neutralise the hold of Congress mayors. Each authority will have nominated chairman and vice-chairman. 


Cong to challenge delimitation of Patiala wards
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 27
The Congress will challenge the delimitation of wards of the Patiala municipal corporation in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The delimitation of wards had been carried out in an arbitrary manner to benefit the ruling SAD, BJP alliance in the forthcoming elections in June this year. This was stated by mayor of the Patiala corporation Vishnu Sharma, while talking to The Tribune here today.

Sharma alleged that the committee formed to delimit the wards comprised of two local MLA’s, including former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and Congress MLA from Samana, Bahram Mohindra. However, the meeting was carried in their absence.

“I attended the meeting and gave a note of dissent that the delimitation was not being carried out as per the laid down rules. I also sent a complaint about these developments to the secretary of the local government. However, despite that, the commissioner of corporation went ahead with the delimitation,” the mayor alleged.

He further added that instead of integrating the wards, they have been disintegrated in the new delimitation. The aspirant candidates of SAD and BJP have got houses or localities of their prospective voters added to their wards irrespective of the fact that the area is geographically far from other parts of the ward.

The Congress will also approach the court of law to seek justice, he said.

The present house of the Patiala corporation is dominated by the Congress, which has 40 out of the total 50 councillors. The rest 10 are from the SAD while the BJP does not have even a single councillor. The present term will end on June 12.


Allegations of vendetta against SAD-BJP absurd: Majithia
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 27
The Punjab public relations minister Bikram Singh Majithia today said the allegations of vendetta levelled against the ruling SAD-BJP combine were “absurd and ridiculous”. Majithia was reacting to allegations of vendetta being levelled by the Punjab Congress chief Shamsher Singh Dullo and leader of the opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal. He said ironically, Dullo and Bhattal were the worst victims of the reign of political vendetta carried out by former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.

He alleged that "Everybody knows how these two leaders had heaved a sigh of relief at the fall of Amarinder Singh's government because they were being stalked by the state intelligence agencies as well as the vigilance bureau during the previous regime of their own party”.

In fact, Dullo and Bhattal, have publicly admitted that the then Chief Minister had conspired to ensure their electoral defeat during the assembly elections. Majithia, however, added that it was clear that the two Congress leaders were merely performing a political ritual by alleging vendetta by the SAD-BJP government. He said the Congress party in Punjab was speaking with a forked tongue on the issue of vendetta. “While they ritualistically talk of vendetta against Congress leaders, they were at the same time distancing themselves from those who are facing charges of criminal corruption”. Referring to the state of affairs within the Congress party, Majithia asked the former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to heed the advice Dullo and Bhathal and end his self-imposed hibernation.

Amarinder regime unleashed vendetta and terror against political opponents. "They carried out humiliating midnight raids on the houses of the opposition leaders, booked innocent minor children, ladies and even elders under trumped up charges and humiliated the elected representatives of the people by subjecting them to third degree torture" None of these things are happening now, so where is the vendetta, Majithia asked. 


Nihangs stage demonstration
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 27
The war of succession between the two groups of Nihangs owing allegiance to Baba Santa Singh, head, Budha Dal, intensified today when members of the group headed by Surjeet Singh staged demonstration here. They demanded the registration of a case against Balbir Singh, the leader of other group, for his alleged involvement in looting the property belonging to the dal.

Hundreds of Nihangs expressed solidarity with Surjeet Singh by announcing that they would not recognise Balbir Singh as the legal heir of the dal. They also alleged that Balbir Singh along with his associates had managed to become legal heir through unfair means.

The Nihangs staged the demonstration in front of the district administrative complex and played ‘gatka’ before submitting a memorandum to the deputy commissioner.

They demanded that false criminal case, which was registered against Surjeet Singh on the complaint of Balbir Singh on April 15, should be withdrawn and he should be released from the jail. They said that if the authorities failed to do so, they would hold demonstration in Chandigarh and New Delhi.

They demanded that a CBI probe should be ordered to find out that how Balbir Singh and his associates had managed to gather a huge wealth.


Veterinary Day today

Amritsar, April 27
The World Veterinary Day function to be celebrated tomorrow will be presided over by minister for animal husbandry, dairy development and fisheries Gulzar Singh Ranike.

On this day, the Department of Animal Husbandry,Punjab, in collaboration with the Punjab Veterinary Council and the Punjab veterinary officers’ association, takes upon itself the task of informing people about the crucial role played by veterinarians. — TNS


Now, cops will save lives

Patiala, April 27
Cops will be now be life saviours as well. “Police personnel will help those injured in road accidents and will also handle emergencies. Many lives have been lost due to lack of timely treatment and ignorance of police personnel about first aid. Now, this will not happen as our police has been trained in first aid,” said DSP Sunita Rani at the final day of the five-day Red Cross first aid training camp held at Police Lines here.

Sunita appealed to the police force to help those in distress, emphasising the need to act immediately in times of crisis.

On the occasion, Sunita thanked members of the Red Cross Society Kaka Ram Verma, Gurdeep Singh and Anil Kumar Salian and also Colonel Bison Das and Dr Jagbir Singh, members of the Society for Accident and Traffic Health, for conducting the camp. — TNS


28 new law officers appointed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 27
The Punjab government today appointed 28 new law officers in the office of Punjab advocate-general (AG). Apart from nine additional AGs, the government has appointed four senior deputy AGs, eight deputy AGs and seven assistant AGs.

The total number of law officers in the AG office has now gone up to 86, three less than the sanctioned strength of 89.

Chetan Mittal, Salil Sagar, Ram Lal Gupta, Arvind Mittal, Piyush Kant Jain, K.S. Dhadwal, Parveshinder Singh Sidhu, N.K. Sanghi and Madhu Tewatia have been appointed as additional AGs.

The new senior deputy AGs are Parveen Chander Goyal, Anil Kumar Sharma, Palwinder Singh and Manoj Bajaj.

Yatinder Sharma, Ambika Sood, Mukesh Kaushik, Anter Singh Brar, Shailesh Gupta, Sandeep Moudgil, Gagandeep Singh Khandebad and Harwinder Singh have been appointed as senior deputy AGs.

Among the new assistant AGs are Om Prakash Dabla, Deepak Khurana, Nidhi Garg, Vijay Kumar Choudhary, Meherdeep Singh Daulat, Amit Choudhary and Jaspreet Singh.

On March 30, the government had appointed 62 law officers, including four for Delhi. Of the earlier appointees, Jagbir Singh Brar and J.S. Puri (both senior deputy AGs), Karminder Singh Sodhi and Sandeep Godara (both assistant AGs) did not join, while Bhupinder Singh (assistant AG) has not come to the office after joining.


CM orders survey on farmers’ suicides
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 27
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today directed the state administration to undertake a survey to determine the actual number of cases of farmers' suicides to ensure a comprehensive application of the relief and compensation scheme of the union and state governments.

He said the problem of rural indebtedness was a cause of great concern as the incidence of suicides by farmers due to the heavy burden of debt had shown an alarming rise over the past five years.

Meanwhile, the BKU (ekta) delegations today called on Badal and presented him a memorandum.


Dismissed staff may be reinstated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 27
In a major relief to 128 dismissed employees of classes III and IV recruited under a special drive for the physically handicapped in the rural development and panchayats department during 2002, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal asked the department to submit a proposal on modalities to reinstate them.

They were dismissed from service during the tenure of the Amarinder Singh government.

He also directed the state revenue department to formulate a policy for the rehabilitation of those victims of the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 who could not register themselves earlier for seeking financial grants and other relief.

The Chief Minister also asked the secretary, higher education, to look into the cases of college lecturers selected by the PPSC during Ravi Sidhu's tenure in view of a representation made by a deputation of affected lecturers who sought the Chief Minister's intervention to give them appointment letters.

The Chief Minister also sanctioned financial grants ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs10,000 to patients suffering from various diseases. 


Harassed for dowry, woman kills two children, self
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bhagta Bhai Ka (Bathinda), April 27
In a bizarre incident, a mother of four today committed suicide after being allegedly harassed by her in-laws for bringing more dowry.

Pinky Devi of this village committed suicide by jumping into the canal, near here. Before committing the suicide, she killed her four-month-old son Lakshya and three-year-old daughter Pooja by throwing them into the canal.

The kin of the victim, including her parents, jammed traffic on the Bhagta Bhai Ka-Bajakhana road by placing bodies on the road for more than two hours. They lodged their protest over the indifferent attitude of the police towards the incident.

Later, the police registered a case under Sections 498-A and 304-B, IPC, on the complaint of Subhkaran, father of the victim, and arrested her husband Muneesh Kumar, her father-in-law and her mother-in-law. The police also booked two brothers and two sisters of Muneesh Kumar.

Villagers working in nearby fields tried to rescue Pinky Devi and her children from the canal. The bodies were later recovered and sent to the Rampura Phul civil hospital for postmortem.

Subhkaran said during the marriage of his daughter he had spent Rs 3 lakh. He said three years back Muneesh Kumar, his father Shri Ram and mother Sheela Devi allegedly demanded Rs 3 lakh from him. When he expressed his inability to give the amount, they allegedly harassed Pinky Devi. 


Tribune Impact
Women panel summons girl, parents
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 27
Taking serious note of The Tribune report about a girl walking out on a “fraud” NRI groom, who was marrying for the third time, the Punjab state commission for women(PSWC) has summoned her and her parents to explain under what circumstances they agreed to the marriage.

PSWC chairperson Parminder Kaur has also issued notice to the Ludhiana and Mullanpur police seeking action taken report on the issue. The police came for both praise and flak in the orders.

She praised Ludhiana SSP R.K. Jaiswal for taking strong action but has sought an explanation from the Mullanpur police on why it did not take action. She has also sought a report on whether the police action was prompt or too much time was taken to actually allow the accused NRI to almost solemnise the marriage.

The chairperson told The Tribune that mediapersons had informed her that the girl had gone into hiding and her parents still wanted to marry her off to the NRI groom.


Tantrik held in child sacrifice case

Rajpura, April 27
A tantrik, who allegedly incited Rajinder Singh, a resident of Dalima Vihar colony here to "sacrifice" his 11-year-old son to cure his wife, has surrendered before the police.

Shamsher Singh was produced before a local court which remanded him to judicial custody.

Rajinder Singh had allegedly killed his son Arshpreet inside a gurdwara. Jagdish Chand, a disciple of the tantrik, said acting on the directions of the tantrik, he had prevailed upon Rajinder Singh to kill the boy. — TNS


Headmistress’ reinstatement opposed
Our Correspondent

Abohar, April 27
The director, public instructions (secondary education), Punjab, has revoked the suspension of Rajwinder Kaur, headmistress, Singh Sabha Kanya Pathshala, here. She joined duty yesterday.

But today the dominant faction of the local managing committee of the school, led by a former PPCC secretary, Jaspinder Singh Jakhar, reportedly restrained her from signing the attendance register stating that they were going to challenge the orders passed by the DPI.

The representatives of the civil and police administration, besides members of the other faction of the managing committee were present today to monitor the situation in the school.

The managing committee had placed Rajwinder Kaur under suspension for not following discipline on June 19, 2006, during summer vacations and banned her entry to the school. This had triggered an agitation and president of the Punjab Government Recognised Aided School Teachers Association had led a demonstration against the management here levelling allegations against the president of the school management.

Four members of the managing committee had also joined the teaching fraternity in criticising the president for his arbitrary and “dictatorial” attitude.

Rajwinder Kaur had alleged that the president had tried his best to humiliate her, to which Jakhar denied vehemently.

The DPI, while accepting Rajwinder Kaur’s appeal, has said the school management never turned to defend its case in spite of notices served through registered post and the district education officer, Ferozepore. The managing committee never sought approval of the director to keep the appellant under suspension beyond the period of six months, which is mandatory under rule 15 of the Punjab Privately Managed Recognised School Employees (Security of Services) Rules, 1981.

The managing committee had not bothered to appear before the DPI even when it was given the last opportunity to defend its case. Additional deputy commissioner Rahul Tiwari had earlier conducted an inquiry and held in his report submitted to the deputy commissioner that Rajwinder Kaur had been suspended improperly.aMeanwhile, a double bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, comprising Justice M.M. Kumar and Justice Rajesh Bindal, while listing the CWP 3162, filed by Rajwinder Kaur against the managing committee, for May 21, has directed to maintain status quo with regard to her service, as the respondents had requested for some time to file their reply.


Was denied permission to go abroad
Punjabi University dean resigns in protest
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 27
Another controversy raged in Punjabi university today. The dean resource mobilisation of the institute, Dr Baltej Singh Mann, today resigned from the post. Sources available here said the dean resigned after he was denied permission to go abroad by vice-chancellor Swaran Singh Boparai.

The VC, when contacted, confirmed that Dr Baltej Singh Mann had resigned. When asked why Dr Mann was denied permission to go abroad, Boparai said Dr Mann was using sponsorships to go abroad and had developed relationships with the sponsors while travelling abroad with him (VC) to mobilise donations for the university.

The committee formed to look into the request of Dr Mannwas apprehensive that he might misuse the sponsorships and this could create unnecessary controversy. Therefore, permission was not granted him to go abroad, Boparai said.

The VC, however, added that Dr Mann still held the charge of NSS in the university and had not resigned from that post.

Dr Mann, when contacted, said he had served the institution for thirty years and despite his dedicated service to the university, he was denied permission to go and meet his son living in the US and his in-laws in Canada. “I felt aggrieved and so have resigned from the post,” Dr Mann said.

About the allegation that he was using university donors as sponsors, Dr Mann said he had not even applied for the visa yet and so there was no question of misuse of sponsorships. “I tried to explain this to the VC but he did not pay heed. Initially, the university had granted me a no-objection certificate to go abroad. It was later withdrawn on flimsy grounds, due to which I was left with no option but to resign to redeem my prestige,” Dr Mann said.

Members of the joint-action committee carrying out agitations in the university have been demanding probe into the alleged misuse of donations received by the university from abroad.

Meanwhile, in a press release issued here today, Dr Kulbir Singh Dhillon, reader in the department of history, who was suspended, termed the university’s decision as illegal.

As a rule, only the syndicate has the power to suspend a university teacher. The VC has no right to suspend me, he said.

The Punjab Agriculture University Employees Union and the joint action committee of Punjabi university, in separate press releases, have condemned the suspension of Dr Dhillon.


State’s first multiplex opened
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 27
The state’s first multiplex, Sarb Multiplex,” opened here today amid much fanfare and with the screening of Hindi movie “Tara Rum Pum”.

Hundreds of cine-lovers thronged the multiplex to watch the first and subsequent shows and the multiplex remained jam-packed.

“The multiplex has two theatres, ‘Aaftab’ and ‘Mahtaab’. On an average eight shows will be run in these two theatres daily. The two theatres have a seating capacity of 723 people and these two will be screening two different prints of the same movie or of different movies,” said Sarvinder Kaur, Ravnit Kaur and Gurjot Kaur, the three directors of the multiplex.

Much to the advantage of moviegoers, the multiplex not only have huge parking space, but also all ultra-modern facilities to make movie watching a memorable experience for them.

The two theatres remained packed to their capacity on the first day. The projection system and surround sound equipment are of the international standards.

“Our multiplex is going to have a fully operational shopping mall, food court, family entertainment and a kids’ zone shortly. Actually, in an affluent Punjab the lack of quality has always been haunting people, so we decided to fill this gap by creating a family entertainment centre,” said Sarvinder Kaur and Gurjot Kaur.

According to the three directors, the management is contemplating to create a special multi-cuisine food court that will serve, Punjabi, Indian, South Indian, Chinese, Mexican and Italian food.

“The children would have all the fun of playing many games under one roof and besides a shopping mall, the multiplex will have a number of national and international brand outlets and factory showrooms. In fact, Sarb Multiplex is a destination for people of Punjab for a wholesome family entertainment,” said Sarvinder and Gurjot.


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