P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Train stopped near Kapurthala; bandh in Jalandhar 
Clash averted at Mansa village after stone pelting 
Tribune Reporters

Mansa, May 19
Tension gripped a few rural pockets of this district when members of the Sikh community and followers of Dera Sacha Sauda resorted to stone pelting at Mojae Khurd village. However, timely intervention by the police averted a major clash.

The incident took place after a few persons burnt the effigy of Baba Ram Rahim Gurmit. When dera followers reached this village from nearby areas, one of their vehicles was also damaged by members of the opposing groups.

SSP Ram Singh was able to bring the situation under control. He said a few other persons also tried to create tension at Bhikhi town of this district by spreading rumours that some members of the Sikh community were gathering at a gurdwara. But these proved to be just rumours.

He said no case had been registered in connection with the incident that took place at Mojae Khurd village.

Police sources said at Salabatpura village of Bathinda district, the situation had become normal. Sources added that some anti-social elements burnt a few mats of a gurdwara at Nathpura village of Bathinda district. However, Rahul Bhandari, deputy commissioner, clarified that the mats caught fire due to some other reasons.

In Muktsar district deputy commissioner Vikas Garg today presided over a meeting of the district peace committee.

SUBHANPUR (KAPURTHALA): Agitated Sikhs belonging to different radical groups forcibly stopped the Amritsar-New Delhi Superfast (2460) train at the Subhanpur railway crossing on the Jalandhar-Amritsar section from 11.35 am to 1.35 pm here on Saturday. The protesters included women also.

The Railway Department itself stopped the Amritsar bound Shatabdi Express (2029) and Howrah Mail (3005) at Jalandhar city and Shan-e-Punjab (2497) at Jalandhar Cantonment railway stations till the lifting of the blockade, Jalandhar railway station superintendent Ashok Kumar told The Tribune.

Some of the protesters raised slogans in favour of Khalistan and Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. Some of them also threw stones at the railway cabin at Subhanpur railway crossing in which its window panes were broken. The GRP registered a case against the protesters in this regard.

Several protesters also blocked the road traffic at Subhanpur on the Jalandhar-Amritsar road on national highway No. 1.

JALANDHAR: On the call of different organisations, including ruling the SAD, a complete bandh was observed here on Saturday. While all education institutions were closed on the direction of the district administration, shopkeepers in almost all major bazaars of the city and its outskirts did not open their shops. Effigies of Dera Sacha Sauda chief were burnt at some places. Several groups of Sikh youths were seen brandishing swords.

HOSHIARPUR: Activists of various Sikh organisations led by Bhagwant Singh, SGPC member, and Jagmohan Singh Baboo, circle president of the SAD, today assembled at Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Dasuya, 40 km from here, and demonstrated against Dera Sacha Sauda head Baba Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh.

Later, they staged a protest march to the SDM chowk and burnt the effigy of the dera chief. They also presented a memorandum to the SDM, Dasuya.

Meanwhile, deputy commissioner, Hoshiarpur, D.K. Tiwari convened a meeting of all parties at the mini-secretariat. Mohinder Kaur Josh, chief parliamentary secretary, Punjab, Sohan Singh Thandal and Sangat Singh Giljian, both MLAs, Dharampal Sabharwal, a member of the Rajya Sabha, Surinder Singh Thakedar and Vijay Aggarwal, both district president of the SAD and BJP, respectively, were those who attended the meeting.

SANGRUR: Following a reported altercation between followers of the Sikh Panth and Dera Sacha Sauda at Bugra village (near Dhuri) on Friday night five followers of the dera sustained injuries. Four of the injured persons were discharged. Sangrur SP (Headquarters) Dharam Singh said no one from among the injured was ready to give statement.

In Dhanaula (near Barnala) hundreds of Sikhs took out a protest march and burnt an effigy. At Cheema Mandi (near Sunam) the bazars today remained closed. Similar protests were held at Dhuri, Khanauri and Dirba. Flag marches were taken out at Dhuri and Ahmedgarh.

Meanwhile, leaders of mass organisations, social activists, intellectuals and students held a meeting held at Gadar Memorial Bhawan.

MALERKOTLA: The district administration has imposed Section 144 of CrPC in Malerkotla on Saturday in the wake of the Dera Sacha Sauda controversy. A flag march was also carried out by the BSF through the main bazars of the town.

BARNALA: Some activists of a Sikh orgainsation attacked Satguru grocery store on Saturday and burnt the shop. Shop owner Charnjeet Kumar said some Sikh youths came on a motorcycle and burnt the shop. Later, some Sikh youths also held a meeting at Gurdwara Singh Sabha and held a protest march in the city.


Vedanti rushes to Ludhiana to meet SGPC chief
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 19
In a development which raised many eyebrows, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti today rushed to Ludhiana to hold an in-camera meeting with SGPC chief Avtar Singh to discuss the Dera Sacha Sauda issue, though he had called an emergency meeting of Sikh intellectuals at the Akal Takht secretariat here.

Initially, Jathedar Vedanti feigned ignorance about his meeting with the SGPC chief. However, he admitted that he went to Ludhiana to hold talks with the SGPC chief on the Sacha Sauda issue. He , however, refused to divulge what transpired in the meeting . His personal assistant, Prithipal Singh Sandhu, accompanied him to Ludhiana while a Cabinet-rank minister attended the closed door meeting on behalf of the Chief Minister.

In the absence of Jathedar Vedanti, Giani Iqbal Singh, Jathedar Patna Sahib, presided over the meeting of Sikh intellectuals at the Akal Takht secretariat . It is learnt that Jathedar Vedanti had to rush to Ludhiana following an SOS message.

When asked about the conspicuous absence of Jathedar Vedanti who had called the meeting , Giani Iqbal Singh refused to give a satisfactory reply. When this correspondent pointed out that he had definite information that he had gone to Ludhiana to meet the SGPC chief , he quipped: “You already know about all the developments.”

The SGPC chief reportedly discussed how to handle the volatile situation in the wake of the three-day ultimatum. The meeting also discussed the call given by Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh to Sikhs to assassinate the Dera Sacha Sauda chief.

On the other hand, the meeting of the Sikh intellectuals, held at Akal Takht secretariat suggested that legal notices be served on the electronic media for inciting the feelings of common Sikhs through “irresponsible coverage.” However, some Sikh intellectuals criticised the role of jathedars who had been working under the diktats of the Chief Minister and the SGPC chief.


Three-day ultimatum
Nandgarh’s statement may echo at Sikh clergy meeting
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 19
Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh, jathedar, Takht Damdama Sahib, has said he had given a call to assassinate the chief of Dera Sacha Sauda with a view to defusing the situation at the cremation of Kanwaljit Singh, who was killed in the firing at Sunam (Sangrur), since the agitated mourners were out to kill the “premis” (followers of Baba Gurmit Ram Rahim), apart from setting their properties on fire.

This issue is likely to dominate the proceedings of the two-day meeting of the Sikh clergy convened here at Akal Takht tomorrow after ending of the three-day ultimatum served on Central, Punjab and Haryana governments for taking stringent action against the dera.

Talking to The Tribune, jathedar Nandgarh, however, reiterated that he stood by his statement. He, however, said that he wanted to save the “common, misguided followers” of the dera. To a question, he said he won’t step down as jathedar, Damdama Sahib, since he had taken a “right decision” in accordance with the Sikh history.

Meanwhile, various Nihang sects today disapproved the call given by jathedar Nandgarh unless it was approved by the Sikh clergy at Akal Takht.

After holding a special meeting at Buraj Akali Phula Sahib, Baba Balbir Singh, chief of Akali Budha Dal, said the dera chief had hurt religious sentiments of Sikhs and the Central and state governments should take strict action against him.

Bishan Singh, president, Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, in a fax message to the SGPC has condemned the blasphemous acts of dera chief .



CRPF deployed
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 19
In view of the ongoing conflict between Dera Sacha Sauda followers and Sikh religious organisations, deputy commissioner Alaknanda Dayal and SSP Nilabh Kishore held a meeting here today to discuss measures to maintain peace in the district. Representatives of the SAD (B), the Congress, the AISSF and several Sikh organisations attended the meeting. The SSP said CRPF personnel had been deployed in the district.

Both the DC and the SSP urged the leaders of the political parties to help the administration in maintaining peace and communal harmony.

The SSP assured the leaders that the lives and property of the people would be protected.

President SAD (B) Swarn Singh Chanarthal, advocate N.S. Tiwana, president district Congress committee Lakhwinder Singh, president Sikh student federation and senior SAD leader Harmohinder Singh Harji were among those who attended the meeting.


Manoranjan Kalia appeals for peace
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
Manoranjan Kalia, local government minister, Punjab, has appealed to the people of the state to maintain peace and communal harmony.

He asked them to defuse the tense situation created due to clashes between followers of Dera Sacha Sauda and Sikh groups.

He said certain forces were out to disturb the hard-earned peace in the state. All political parties, opinion makers and the people should unitedly face the challenge.


SAD, BJP workers hold protest
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, May 19
Activists of the BJP and the SAD, led by Ashok Sabharwal and Amarpal Singh Johar, both presidents of the BJP city mandal and the SAD youth wing, Talwara, respectively, assembled at the BBMB rock garden, Talwara, 80 km from here, yesterday to protest against its management for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus and Sikhs by erecting statues of various deities and gurus decorated with chips of bone-china plates.

They urged BBMB superintending engineer Kailash Chander Mehta to remove these chips from these statues at the earliest.

When the superintending engineer refused to take any action, they forcibly tried to remove the chips as a result of which a few statues got damaged.


Child restored to biological parents
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 19
The joy of Harish and his wife, Manju, knew no bounds here today as they were given the custody of their seven-year-old child, Amarpratap Singh, who was swapped and sold by a midwife seven years ago.

It was a touching scene outside the court room of District and Sessions Judge, Amritsar, as the couple profusely garlanded their child with moist eyes. Amarpratap was presented with gifts of chocolates as a token of their love.

Manju had given birth to the child on July 1, 2000 in a private nursing home, where the accused in the case, Ramesh Rani was working as a midwife.

Manju, who reportedly fell unconscious during the delivery, was later told by the nursing home staff that she had delivered a baby girl. Harish and Manju had prayed before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Varinder Aggarwal on July 6, 2006, that the child be handed over to them. The final order was, however, passed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on May 8.

“How would a mother feel on getting her child back? The child was away for so many years. He has been brought up like a Sikh and we would continue to do so and won’t change his religion,” said Manju, tightly hugging Amarpratap.

On the other hand, it was a testing time for the foster parents, Sukhwinder Singh and Ranjit Kaur, who would now have to be satisfied with monthly meetings with the child they brought up for seven years.

“We are shattered. It is like somebody snatching away one’s dear child. But we do respect the court’s decision,” said the foster parents.

As directed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, a team of psychiatrists, headed by Dr B.L.Goel, head of the local mental hospital, gave counselling to the young boy today to enable him to accept his new parents. The doctors will continue to give counseling till he adapts to the new environment.

The foster parents would be able to meet the child after three weeks for the first time after change of custody. After that, they can meet him after a month’s interval for a period of four months. After that, a decision would be taken on the doctors’ advice and his own decision.

“It is a rare case where the custody of the child has been given to his biological parents after conducting a DNA test. The Punjab and Haryana High Court passed the judgement on May 8, following which an application was moved on May 17 in the court of K.P.Puri, District and Sessions Judge, Amritsar,” said V.P.Singh Bhatia, counsel for the biological parents.

“As of now, the child is not familiar with his biological parents. The counselling may help and over a period of time he will find roots in the new family,” he added.

During the course of police interrogations, the accused, Ramesh Rani, had confessed that Manju had given birth to a male child who had been sold to Sukhwinder Singh and his wife, Ranjit Kaur, of nearby Raipur (Amritsar).

The racket of selling, swapping and buying newborns was exposed after a vigilant relative of a woman; found that the child delivered to her a night ago had an umbilical cord (navel) which was about 20 days old.

The police caught up with the midwife who had delivered the child after she settled with the informer to pay her Rs 20,000 to hold her (midwife’s) silence on the issue.


SP’s clean chit to ex-club chief puts cops in dock
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 19
A diametrically opposite reply in the course of three inquiries against a former Services Club chief by an SP have brought the functioning of the police department under the scanner.

The SP had given a clean chit to Sarabjit Singh Sandhu, former president of the Services Club, who was twice found guilty of financial irregularities. The police had initiated an inquiry against him for the financial irregularities in the funds collected from club members for tsunami victims. However, when the new office-bearers took over the club, they filed a complaint against the former president for embezzling the amount collected from the club members towards tsunami relief and for taking away the records of the club.

S.S. Chinna, executive member and head of the disciplinary and legal advisory committee talking to the media said the matter came to light when under the Right to Information Act they sought the reports of the police officer submitted to the district police chief. He said they were astonished to know from the third report submitted by the police officer that he had given a clean chit to Sandhu allegedly under political pressure.

Despite repeated attempts, the SP could not be contacted and his mobile phone remained switched off. However, when contacted, Sandhu said false and baseless allegations were being levelled against him to malign his image. He said he had nothing to do with the cash received from members as the accounts staff and the honorary secretary Vijay Batra were responsible for maintaining the accounts. He said though the accounts department had issued proper receipts to members against the amount collected, they failed to maintain a separate account for the relief collected. He said after thorough inspection, the SP had cleared his name in the case.

Chinna said they had also complained to the district police chief in this regard who had promised to look into the matter.

Giving details of the case, Chinna said the former president had collected Rs 200 each from 1190 members of the club which came to Rs 1.78 lakh. However, no amount was deposited in the bank account of the club. He said even the former chief had illegally engaged a personal driver, Shatabh Singh, and paid him Rs 2.60 lakh as salary from the club account. He said even on the eve of the elections which were held in July 2006, Sandhu had withdrawn Rs 25,000 through self check which was against the bylaws of the club.


Help pours in for kids of drug addicts
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 19
Moved by the plight of Maqboolpura residents, a majority of whom have got hooked on to one intoxicant or the other, philanthropists have started extending financial help for education of their children after a story titled, “Breaking out of despair,” appeared in The Tribune’s Saturday pullout on April 28.

According to Master Ajit Singh, popular as Masterji, and industrialist and social worker Brij Bedi, who is running a charitable school, Citizens’ Forum Vidya Mandir, financial help from NRIs has started pouring in from different quarters. UK-based NRIs Deedar Singh, Iqbal Singh and Dalip Singh have sent Rs 4 lakh to the school for purchase of a house located next to the old building of the school. Some of the classes will be shifted to the new building, besides using it as langar hall for providing free meals to students.

After reading about the plight of Maqboolpura residents, Balwant Singh, a retired Headmaster from Faridkot, sent across Rs 12,500 out of his pension. “Not keeping well, he asked one of his old students from Amritsar to get my number and also sought more details about our project,” said Masterji.

Affairs at the charitable school have witnessed an upswing with intellectuals from Amritsar and outside offering not just financial help but also volunteering to teach at the school for free.

Subedar (retd) Vasudev Rawal, in a touching letter to Masterji, has offered to teach English and Mathematics up to Class X. Besides, he wants to take care of one helpless single widow from Maqboolpura.

“The campaign started against the well-entrenched drug mafia and the initiative to educate hapless children of the addicts is laudable,” read the letter sent by Rawal.

P.C.Sondhi of F.C.Sondhi Charitable Trust has sent a cheque for Rs 20,000 to the Citizens’ Forum Vidya Mandir. “We came to know from The Tribune about the wonderful job you are doing. Our business associate in Amritsar, Suresh Gupta gave us further information about your work. We are offering a small contribution for the noble cause,” said Sondhi in his letter.

“People who otherwise don’t have a minute to spare from their hectic schedule now come here and get immense joy by interacting with the students. Satdeva Kohal, who is settled in Germany with her daughter, Hariat Kohal, has started a project to put up exhibitions of paintings to raise money for the welfare of children of drug addicts in Maqboolpura,” said Masterji.

Tajinder Singh Ghuman, an NRI from California, has donated a refrigerator to the school and a retired Headmaster, Ajit Singh Basra, distributed free books to the students.

“Manveen Sidhu, principal of the local Springdale School, is considering donating a plot in the area to the school so that classes are not held in the congested existing building,” said Masterji.

Maqboolpura is located about 2 km from Amritsar bus stand. It has acquired the dubious reputation of being the locality of widows, with most male members of the area addicted to drugs.


Protest against water shortage
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, May 19
Hundreds of Muslim women staged a protest outside the local Municipal Council against the non-availability of drinking water in the city. Later, a memorandum was also submitted to local executive officer (EO) Ved Parkash Singla yesterday.

Muslim women had approached the local administration and SDM Jaspal Singh Jassi for a solution earlier also, but to no avail.

They entered the council office and made a ‘siapa’ of the EO and the SDM.

They demanded the immediate suspension of the EO and the other staff responsible for the shortage.

The SDM said he would take appropriate action to control the situation.

He directed the EO to deliver drinking water to the affected areas with the help of a water supply tank.


Malooka’s son is cooperative bank MD
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 19
Son of former Akali minister Sikander Singh Malooka, Gurpreet Singh, has been appointed as the managing director (MD) of Bathinda Central Cooperative Bank in place of Bhagat Singh Dhaliwal.

Interestingly, Dhaliwal, who along with six other Congressmen was first elected as directors of the bank and then made its MD, was removed after a no-confidence motion was moved against him and passed by the directors belonging to his own party.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that when the elections for the posts of director of the bank were held, seven candidates belonging to the Congress were elected as directors while one seat was won by SAD candidate.

At today’s meeting, four directors of the bank belonging to the Congress voted against Dhaliwal and removed him from his post. Meanwhile, the district leadership of the Congress had lodged a complaint against those, who had voted against Dhaliwal.


2 killed, 3 hurt in accident
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 19
In a collision between an oil tanker and a car two persons, including one woman, were killed on the spot and three others, including two children, injured near Balad Kalan village (Bhawanigarh) on the Sangrur-Patiala road this evening.

The deceased and injured persons were occupants of the car, which reportedly was going to Goniana Mandi (Bathinda) from Chandigarh while the oil tanker was on its way to Patiala.

The Bhawanigarh police said tonight it had no knowledge about the names of the occupants of the car so far, but it had informed their relatives at Goniana Mandi. Two children and a man had been referred to Rajindra hospital, Patiala, the police added. 


Indian killed in UAE road mishap
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 19
Charnjit Singh Bajwa (35), a resident of Waan village, Dhaliwal tehsil (Gurdaspur), is among the four persons, the other three being three Pakistanis, who died in a road accident in the UAE. The body of Bajwa will be arrive at Rajasansi Airport tomorrow.

Bajwa and others were returning to their residence by car when it collided with another speeding car, coming from the opposite direction. 


Libra wants train halt at Sirhind

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 19
MP from Ropar Sukhdev Singh Libra, in the Lok Sabha, raised the issue of trains stopping at the Sirhind railway station. He urged the Union railway minister to provide stoppage of trains at Sirhind as it was centrally located and housed major religious places.

Moreover, visitors to the Bhakra Nangal Dam or the gurdwaras at Anandpur Sahib and Chamkaur Sahib have to either get down at Ambala or travel to Chandigarh and arange for transportation from there.

He asked for the following trains to stop at Sirhind: Shan E Punjab New Delhi, Akal Takhat Express, Howrah-ASR Mail, Malwa Express, Indore-Jammu Tawi and New Delhi Amritsar. — OC


Anti-polio camps postponed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
The authorities concerned have postponed the holding of polio-drop administration camps in Punjab tomorrow.

About 70,000 health workers and volunteers were to be deployed at the camps to be held at various places. However, because of the prevailing situation, the holding of the camps has been put off by a few days. Officials said the step had been taken for administrative reasons.


Notice to Centre

Chandigarh, May 19
A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued notice to the Centre and others for August 28 on three petitions filed by ex-naiks Balwinder Singh and Jang Masih and ex-signalman Balwinder Singh challenging the deduction of dearness relief from their pension by the Defence Pension Disbursing Officers from July 18,1997 .

Justice Ashutosh Mohunta and Justice R.S.Madan had also stayed the recovery from their pension yesterday .

All the petitioners, who are ex-servicemen, were re-employed in the telecommunication wing of the Punjab Police Department at the minimum of the scale of pay for the post of Constable at Rs. 400-600 ( with initial start of Rs 420). They were not entitled to draw the dearness relief with their pension from the date of re-employment as per the existing rules.

However, the Fifth Central Pay Commission recommended that the re-employed ex-servicemen and family pensioners, who were re-employed at the minimum of the scale of pay of the post of reemployment, would be eligible to draw the dearness relief with their pension earned from the armed forces w.e.f 18.07.1997. Resultantly, the dearness relief was restored to the petitioner from the date of notification.

The Defence Pension Disbursing Officers, Ferozepur and Moga, respectively, have now raised huge amount of recovery against the petitioners on the ground that their initial pay at the time of joining the police department was fixed at Rs.420 in the scale of Rs.400-600 by giving them the benefits of previous military service.

The counsel for the petitioner submitted that as per the notification , all the constables were given the initial starting scale of Rs. 420 in the grade of Rs.400-600 and the petitioner were not given any benefits of the previous service rendered in the armed forces. But they were given the minimum starting salary of Rs.420 only and hence the recovery from the re-employed ex-servicemen in Police Department was wholly illegal. — TNS


Saini is bar assn president 
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 19
Gian Singh Saini was elected president of the District Bar Association, here today. He won with a 11-vote margin pver his opponent R.S. Grewal who got 88 votes. Young lawyer Mandeep Singh Salana was elected secretary of the bar with 119 votes. His opponent won 68 votes. K.S. Matto was elected the vice-president with 111 votes while his opponent Gurdev Singh got 76 votes.

Nirmal Puri and M.L. Singhi, election commissioners said the election process was peaceful.


Helping farmers make a fortune
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 19
Where government efforts have failed, a private entrepreneur of Patiala has succeeded. Abdul Wahid, managing director of Plantsman’s Seed, a Patiala-based company exporting flower seeds to Europe and the USA, has helped many farmers of the region diversify to flower-seed cultivation.

Talking to The Tribune, Abdul said his family had been in horticulture for the past eight decades. “My ancestors were royal horticulture managers. They were responsible for the upkeep of the garden of the Patiala princely state,” he said.

After Independence, the family ran its own horticulture and floriculture farm near Patiala. However, in the early ’90s, they came in contact with traders of flower seeds in Holland, Germany and other parts of Europe through Internet.

The traders there urged them carry out flower cultivation for the production of seeds that would be exported to Europe.

Initially, the cultivation for exports was limited to the family’s own farm. Gradually, they started motivating farmers of the area to go for contract farming of flowers. They formed a company. Today, the company hires about 1,000 acres of land across Punjab and Himachal Pradesh for contract farming of flowers.

The flowers are an alternative to wheat crop and the farmers engaged in contract farming of flowers earn between Rs 20,000 to Rs 50,000 per acre from a single cropping season depending on the yield and type of flowers.

The company imports flower seeds from Europe and distributes these to farmers interested in flower cultivation. Experts from the company give technical guidance to farmers by paying six to eight visits to their farms in a single cropping season. They then buy their produce.

Abdul said though the flower crop could earn farmers up to Rs 50,000 per acre as net profit in just three to four months, not many farmers from the state were taking it up. The reason for this was over-dependence of farmers on mechanical farming. Floriculture was labour-intensive work. It required a lot of manual labour, particularly at the time of harvest.

Red tape in importing the flower seed from Europe is another bottleneck in the business. While the seed exported from India is cleared by the European authorities, despite their strict standards, in just three days, it takes the Indian authorities more than 10 days to clear the consignments.

This increases the time for the seed to reach Punjab to about 45 days and thus delays the crop in many areas affecting productivity.


Students want board’s field office at Barnala
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 19
Thousands of private students and a large number of booksellers from Barnala areas have been facing harassment for the many years due to the lack of field office (book depot) of the Punjab School Education Board at Barnala.

Booksellers feel harassed as they have to visit board’s field office at Sangrur to procure books, published by the Punjab School Education Board, for sale at shops in Barnala while private students face inconvenience for depositing fee for the annual/supplementary examinations of the board for class X and plus II as they have to go to Sangrur for it. Besides this, many students from Barnala areas, who do not receive roll numbers from the board for class X and plus II examinations in time, have to visit board’s field office at Sangrur to know the fate of their roll numbers.

Talking to The Tribune on the phone yesterday, Barnala bookseller Pawan Prinda said procuring of books, published by the Punjab School Education Board, from Sangrur was inconvenient and a matter of harassment for the booksellers of the Barnala district, so the board should open its field office at Barnala for the benefit of booksellers and private students from Barnala district..

Another bookseller from Barnala Rajnish Kumar also said many private students faced difficulties in depositing examination fee at the board’s field office at Sangrur, as they had to go there specially. So sometimes some students also approached the booksellers to get their examination fees deposited at Sangrur. Besides this, the booksellers had to spend money on taxis to carry books from the board’s Sangrur office to their shops at Barnala, he added.


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