P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Attempt to murder and land-grab case
Chargesheet filed against Chahal
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 4
The local police today filed a chargesheet against BIS Chahal, former media adviser to former Chief Minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh, in an attempt to murder and land-grab case. The chargesheet was filed in less than two months from the day of registration of the case.

Apart from Chahal, the chargesheet was also filed against his relatives Kartar Singh, his sons Jagdish Pal Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Jaswinder Pal Singh and one Harjinnder Singh under Sections 307, 427, 379, 447, 148, 149 and 506 of the IPC and Section 25 of the Arms Act.

Chahal and the other co-accused were produced before the court of Judicial Magistrate Harinder K Sidhu here in the afternoon, amidst tight security. As per the directions of the court, the copies of the charge sheet were supplied to the accused.

Thereafter, the Judge adjourned the case to August 14 for scrutiny of the documents.

As per the charge sheet, the police has cited 23 witnesses in the list of witnesses to be examined during the trial. Interestingly, four official gunmen of accused Kartar Singh have also been cited as “eyewitnesses” to the occurrence, which allegedly took place on October 23, 2006.

These eyewitnesses are constables Saudagar Singh, Sukwinder Singh, Gurnam Singh and Avtar Singh. As per the statements of these persons, produced before the court, two gunmen have been quoted as saying that when Chahal along with 50-60 persons, having arms with them, reached the residence of Kartar Singh, they were present there. Thereafter, all the accused left the place. Two gunmen have been shown on the spot and quoted saying that they tried to stop the accused but failed.

The local police had arrested Chahal, when he had come to join investigation before the Vigilance Bureau officials in connection with the city centre scam on June 10. The case was also registered on the same day at Sadar Police Station, following the complaint of Harchand Singh of Dad village.

The complainant said on October 23, 2006, the accused launched a murderous attack on him, in order to grab his agricultural land situated at Dad village.


Syndicate Meeting
Govt, Punjabi varsity VC stand-off likely
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 4
Vice-chancellor of Punjabi University Swaran Singh Boparai and the government are bracing up for another stand-off. The university syndicate meeting, scheduled for August 6, is likely to be stormy. Many controversial agendas are likely to come up for approval at the meeting.

According to the agenda circulated among the members, item number 2 is regarding suspension of two professors, Manjit Singh and Kulbir Singh Dhillon, who are active members of the joint action committee seeking the VC’s removal.

The VC earlier had got their suspension approved from the syndicate of his camp through circulation. Their decision of suspension is to come up for final approval before the syndicate.

The affected members of the joint action committee have lobbied hard with the members of the syndicate to get their suspension dropped. The members of the government, including secretary, education, DPI, colleges, director, languages, principals of the government and aided colleges are likely to oppose the decision of the VC.

The agenda also contains items regarding regularisation of employees who are serving on probation.

In the last meeting of the syndicate, the government nominees had objected to regularisation of jobs of many employees who were recruited in the last one year. They had walked out of the meeting when the VC had insisted on regularisation of the employees.

Thereafter the government, through an order, had restricted the powers of the VC to recruit or promote employees.

Since the last meeting, the political nominees of the new government, including Prem Singh Chandumajra and Raj Khurana, parliamentary secretary and BJP MLA from Rajpura, have also been nominated to the syndicate.

Raj Khurana has written to the registrar of the university agenda regarding extension of probation of Baltej Singh Mann, professor.

Baltej Singh Mann, who was the dean, resource mobilisation, had also fallen apart with the VC after he was denied permission to go abroad. He had exposed the lacunae in the resource mobilisation programme of the university.

The VC also held a meeting with the internal university members to apprise them of the coming meeting.

The members of the joint action committee have termed today’s meeting as illegal. They have alleged that the VC was trying to influence the members of the syndicate before the crucial meeting.

Some of the senior members of the syndicate, including Tarlochan Singh, former chairman of the Minorities Commission, are likely to participate in the meeting allegedly on directions from the government.


Wildlife Crime Control Bureau set up
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
To check the dwindling population of wildcats, especially tigers, the union government has set up a tigers and other endangered species crime control bureau. It will be known in short as the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau.

In the past six years, the tiger population has come down to 1,500 from 3,600. In countries like China, tiger bones fetch a high price. Their skins are also sold at a very high price by poachers in the international market.

The bureau, which will combat the organised illegal trade in wildlife and their derivatives, will be headed by the director (Wildlife Preservation). He will be ex-officio director of the bureau, it is learnt.

All existing four wildlife regional offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and three sub-regional offices at Amritsar, Guwahati and Cochin will now also function as offices of the bureau. Besides, the bureau will set up its new regional offices at Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh.

First, the existing sensitive border Customs posts at Ramanathapura in Tamil Nadu, Moreah in Maniput, Motihari in Bihar, Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh and Nathula Pass in Sikkim will be provided support by the ministry of environment and forests for control the trafficking of wildlife produce and its derivatives.

Officials concerned say there will be little use of converting the regional office at Amritsar into the bureau’s office also. They say if the new sub-office of the bureau is set up at Chandigarh, it will prove to be more useful.

If the bureau office had been set up here, its officials would have found it convenient to coordinate with officials of the wildlife departments of Punjab, Haryana and UT to check the illegal trade of endangered species, said a senior officer.

Among the functions of the bureau will be to collect and collate intelligence related to organised wildlife crime activities and disseminate the same to the state and other enforcement agencies for immediate action to apprehend criminals. It will establish a centralised wildlife crime data. It will also implement the obligations under the various international conventions and protocols that are in force at present or which may be ratified by India in future. It will develop infrastructure and capacity building for a scientific and professional investigation into wildlife crimes. The bureau will also advise the union government on issues related to wildlife crimes.

The union government has allowed the creation of new posts of additional director, Joint Directors, deputy directors, assistant directors, public prosecutors and constables and guards, etc.


Panth Rattan awarded
Our Correspondent

Bhai Jasbir Singh Khalsa Khannewale
Bhai Jasbir Singh Khalsa Khannewale

Amritsar, August 4
The Dharam Parchar Committee of the SGPC today conferred Panth Rattan award on Bhai Jasbir Singh Khalsa Khannewale posthumously for his services rendered to the Sikh Panth.

The award was presented to Daljit Kaur, widow of Bhai Jasbir Singh, by Jathedar, Akal Takht, Joginder Singh Vedanti, Balwant Singh Nandgarh, Jathedar, Takht Damdama Sahib, Giani Tarlochan Singh, Takht Kesgarh Sahib, and SGPC chief Avtar Singh at Akal Takht here. She was given a silver plate, Sri Sahib, siropa and a cheque for Rs 5 lakh.

Chief of the SGPC Avtar Singh announced two awards - Bhai Gurdas and Bhai Mardana Awards - to be given to Sikhs for their selfless service towards the Panth. He said that Bhai Gurdas award would be presented to those preachers who spent their lives in selfless service of Guru and Sikh philosophy. Bhai Mardana award would be bestowed upon those ragis who played a vital role in connecting sangat with shabad through kirtan.


Sukhbir’s poser to Amarinder
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 4
Sukhbir Badal here today fielded a poser to Amarinder Singh, asking him to spell out whether he was a Sikh or a “premi”.

“I would like to have a debate on this issue but that is possible only after the Congress leader gives a straightforward answer to this query,” he said.

Reacting to a statement by Amarinder that the wrong policies of the SAD-BJP alliance would soon plunge the state into a financial crisis, Sukhbir said, “Amarinder himself seems to be in a financial crisis. During his tenure as Chief Minister neither did he attend office regularly nor did he interact with traders. What does he know about financial crisis? He wouldn’t even know the spellings of the two words,” he said.


Govt violating poll code: Dullo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 4
The SAD was misusing the official machinery to intimidate Congress workers by threatening vigilance inquiry against them, alleged Shamsher Singh Dullo, president, PPCC, while talking to the media here today.

Dullo said the state government was violating the election code of conduct as it was pasting party posters and banners on government buildings. Distancing the party from the Dera Sacha Sauda issue, Dullo said the SAD was trying to take political mileage on the dera controversy. The PPCC president was in the city to campaign for the party candidates.


Independent withdraws in favour of Congress leader

Patiala, August 4
Vishnu Sharma, a former mayor of Patiala and a senior Congress leader, got a shot in the arm today when an independent candidate, who was contesting against him in Ward No. 36 for the August 8 municipal corporation elections, retired in his favour.

Addressing a news conference here, Rajinder Singh Saini, who was in the fray as an independent candidate, said he was retiring in favour of Sharma as he was “highly impressed by Sharma’s integrity and the development works undertaken by him during the last five years.”

Saini said he and his supporters would campaign for Sharma and ensure his victory. He added that his supporters, who were spread across the length and breadth of the ward, would now solidly support Sharma.

Sharma had been elected in the 2002 municipal corporation elections as a Congress candidate.

He expressed optimism that he would make a clean sweep in the upcoming elections. — TNS


Jails wait for reforms
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
Two phrases, “proposal pending” and “approval awaited”, describe all attempts to modernise jails in Punjab. Everything seems to have been stuck in a time warp. Video-conferencing, mobile phone jammers, computerisation and even the purchase of new vehicles have been put on hold due to one frivolous reason or the other.

The prison department had drafted the new Punjab Prison Act to replace the one in force that was passed by the British in 1894. The government is yet to adopt it and also the related modern Punjab prison and correctional home manual. “The antiquated jail manual and the present practices and conditions in jails are two different things,” says an observation of the department. The new Act also aims at reforming and rehabilitating a prisoner.

A plan to install mobile phone jammers is pending clearance despite the fact that several high-security prisoners are the inmates of jails in Punjab. The use of cellphones by undertrials and convicts, several cases have been reported, creates a fear psychosis. The plan was shelved fearing it would not be cleared like other modernisation schemes, said sources, pointing out that Chandigarh installed jammers in the Burail jail some two years ago.

Several states have made arrangements for the video-conferencing facility between jails and courts so that trials involving high-profile and high-risk prisoners can be conducted without having to shift prisoners for each hearing. This has been held up as a “legal hitch” was cited as the stumbling block and the money allocated for the purpose during the last budget could not be utilised.

The government of India allowed a five-year scheme for the modernisation of jails between 2002 and 2007 and said it would give 75 per cent of the money while the Punjab government was to put in a 25 per cent share. In 2002 the Punjab government gave its share, but stopped paying after that and the central government also stopped contributing its share. Minister for jails Hira Singh Gabbria has been informed that money is needed immediately to get the remaining funds released from the central government.

Computerisation, often quoted as a magic mantra, has failed to work in jails. If computers have been provided in a few jails and offices, there is nobody to operate these and there is no software that is related to the functioning of jails. Nobody was found “capable” in the prison department to tackle the situation and young IPS officer Neelabh Kishore has been asked to help out.

In the unending story of neglect, the last time new vehicles were purchased was in 1992.

The prison department has already submitted a proposal to finance itself. Most jails are located in prime urban areas. The department wants that the sub-jails at Pathankot, Moga, Dasuya, Fazilka, Phagwara and Bassi Pathana should be closed down and sold. New jails can be constructed in outlying locations in the same areas where land is cheaper. A decision on the proposal is also pending.

The prison department and its functioning has come into focus after a media expose on how 50 inmates have died due to suspected poisoning in the past seven years while no inquiry has been ordered. Another 400 have jumped parole from various jails and have not been traced.


Metro, a pipedream, says Bhattal
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 4
Ridiculing the promises on Metro and mono rail made yesterday by acting SAD president Sukhbir Badal, leader of the opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal today debunked these as Sheikh Chili’s dreams.

Talking to mediapersons at a press conference here before addressing a series of MC election rallies, she said the Congress had already made a proposal on introducing Metro rail during its regime but she felt that it was too lengthy and complicated a project. It would take not less than seven years to get accomplished and that, too, if there were enough funds with the state to bear the expenditure.

Bhattal said the financial situation of the state was such that there could be a state of financial emergency any time. She said her government had left an amount of Rs 812 crore as it stepped out but now the funds suddenly seemed to have exhausted. “Salaries of the government employees have not been paid. Written orders have been passed to the employees regarding not withdrawing their GPF. Never has such a situation arisen earlier”, she pointed out.

“The state government was aware of the problem and it knew that it would not be able to introduce the Atta-Dal scheme on August 15 as has already been announced by it. That’s why they got the MC elections announced at a short notice before the implementation of the scheme. Ward delimitation had not been done properly. There had been no preparations by the candidates at all. Everything happened in a huff for the same reason”, Bhattal alleged.

The next attack came with a comment on changing equations between the alliance partners. “There are clear-cut fissures between the BJP and SAD. Their break-off is imminent. The government will tumble down under its own burden”, she commented.


Hawara, Balwant find support in KAC
Tribune News Service 

Amritsar, August 4
The Khalsa Action Committee (KAC) has expressed solidarity with Jagtar Singh Hawara and Balwant Singh, who have been awarded death penalty for eliminating former Chief Minister Beant Singh, by offering ardas for them at Akal Takht here today.

The programme was organised by the KAC and the ardas performed by Jathedar, Takht Damdama Sahib, Balwant Singh Nandgarh. However, Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti, who was present at Akal Takht, chose to stay away from the function.

Addressing the gathering, Manjit Singh Calcutta, a veteran SGPC member, flayed SAD and other leaders for having failed to stand up against the state repression. He eulogised both convicts for the courage they had shown while discharging their duty towards the Panth.

Bhai Mohkam Singh and Kanwar Pal Singh, convener and spokesperson of the KAC, respectively, said the death penalty awarded would further alienate Sikhs from the Indian state.

Naraien Singh, Surinder Pal Singh and Parmjit Singh Gazi (all members of the KAC) and Bibi Paramjit Kaur Khalra were among those present at the function.


Dera: SGPC, SAD face flak
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 4
Leaders of various Sikh organisations, including former Jathedar of Akal Takht, today flayed the Sikh clergy, SGPC and SAD for emergence of dera culture in Punjab at a seminar organised by the SAD (A) here today.

Bhai Ranjit Singh, a former Jathedar of Akal Takht, alleged that the Chief Minister and his son Sukhbir Badal were frequent visitors to Dera Sacha Sauda. Reading out from a book, “Paras di Watti”, published by Dera Sacha Sauda, Bhai Ranjit Singh said neither the SGPC nor the SAD had bothered to seek a ban on such printed material.

The main organiser of the seminar, Bhai Ram Singh, secretary-general, SAD (A), said it was an attempt to mobilise the Sikh masses against the ill-designs of the deras in Punjab and elsewhere.

Sikh intellectual Balkar Singh, Baba Ram Singh, chief of the breakaway group of the Damdami Taksal, Mohinder Singh, Bhai Dhian Singh Mand, working president of SAD (A), Iman Singh Mann and Baldev Singh Sirsa also addressed the gathering.


MC Vice-president Post
Re-election ordered
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla , August 4
Following the cancellation of the election to the post of vice-president of the Malerkotla Municipal Council by the secretary, Local Bodies , Sangrur deputy commissioner S.R. Laddar today ordered the re-election for the post of vice-president of the council and appointed ADC Dr Indu Malhotra election supervisor.

Earlier, the resolution passed by the Congress municipal councillors electing Sabran Bhappa as vice-president of the council on July 12, was suspended by the deputy commissioner.

He in the letter written to the secretary, government of Punjab , department of local government had said it seemed SDM Jaspal Singh Jassi and executive officer Ved Parkash Singla worked under some pressure and declared the result of the post of vice- president in a hasty manner.

He also forwarded the latter to the government for confirmation and taking further action. Taking action on the letter the secretary, Local Bodies, cancelled the election and ordered the DC for the re-election.

Earlier Akali municipal councillors of Malerkotla appeared before the DC and complained by ignoring the majority .The SDM, Malerkotla had declared Sabran Bhappa as vice-president having support of only 11 councillors along with sitting MLA Razia Sultana in the house of total 27 councillors.


Garbage dumping centre removed
Our Correspondent

Abohar, August 4
Residents of Patel Nagar, most of them migrants from the Sahiwal and Bahawalpur areas of west Punjab province, succeeded last evening in getting the garbage dumping centre removed from the entrance of the locality after decades of struggle. They immediately white-washed it and resolved to develop a small Shiv temple there. Some of them offered heavy donations for the temple project.

They expressed gratitude to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for directing the municipal council to give relief to thousands of “refugees” (as they are still called).

Residents had been allotted houses in this locality as the Muslim population had migrated in August 1947 to the west Punjab province of Pakistan. The migrants changed its name from Sukhera Basti to Patel Nagar. Living in narrow lanes, the residents first struggled to get a pond removed as stagnant water polluted the entire area.

Patel Park was developed on it, but could not be maintained due to the apathy of the municipal council. It had lost boundary walls many a time during incessant rain and turned into a pond again.

The garbage dumping centre located at the entrance to the locality was another nuisance. The residents started the struggle to get it shifted in 1972. Legislators made promises but none were fulfilled. And finally the Chief Minister had to intervene.


60 buildings pulled down
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, Aug 4
As many as 60 buildings were pulled down by bulldozers pressed into service by the local Municipal Corporation and PWD authorities on the Bibiwala road to widen it up to 80 feet for the smooth flow of traffic.

Though the authorities concerned have decided to widen the Bibiwala road to 100 feet as it carried maximum volume of traffic, the decision was later changed for reasons best known to them. The authorities concerned have issued notices to about 150 persons for pulling down their buildings to widen the road up to 100 feet also.

To prevent the happening of any untoward incident, policemen in large number were deployed in that pocket where the buildings, which were raised in an illegal manner, were to be demolished.

The demolition work started early in the morning and continued till late afternoon. The senior officials of the Municipal Corporation, PWD and district administration, including K. P. S. Mahi, who were present on the spot during the demolition work, met with no resistance from the people. The traffic on the Bibiwala road was closed as it was diverted through alternative routes.

However, the officials concerned did not touch two religious places, which had also come up illegally on the Bibiwala road and had been causing a major obstruction in the smooth flow of vehicular traffic.

Those buildings, which had come up in an unauthorised manner, will be demolished shortly. 


Migrant labourers’ dream turns sour
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 4
They came seeking greener pastures here but their hopes have faded into oblivion. The death of two of their children has left them clutching life with a straw.

The dream of earning enough money by working as labourers in Punjab turned into a nightmare for a section of labourers from Madhya Pardesh, who reached the local cantonment a few days ago. They found themselves on the road after they were forced to spend heavily for the treatment of their children, who fell ill suddenly.

About 45 labourers belonging to Damoh district of MP are now being looked after by Sahara Jan Sewa, a local non-government organisation (NGO). The NGO, with the help of a section of private doctors and deputy commissioner, Rahul Tiwari, had made arrangements for the treatment of sick children and for sending them back to their native place.

The labourers were lured when they were told that they would be getting decent daily wages by working as labourers in Punjab by Narinder, a labour contractor. They left their native village, where they were getting Rs 20 as daily wages, for Bathinda town.

However, fate had decided otherwise for them. A few days after they started working as construction labourers in the local cantonment area, their children fell ill.

Though they arranged treatment for them, they could not save two children due to extreme poverty.

The labourers, who were penniless, found themselves left with no other option than to go back to their native place. However, a private practitioner, under whose care two more children were getting treatment, started insisting that he would discharge the children from his clinic only after the labourers paid his bill.

Vijay Goyal, president, Sahara Jan Sewa, said some private doctors jumped into scene and collected Rs 8,000 for paying the bill of the doctor.


Case against Akali MLA to be withdrawn
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
The process has been set in motion by the Punjab government to withdraw the cases against Akali MLA Balbir Singh Ghunas and former Akali MLA Malkiat Singh Keetu.

The Barnala district police had registered a case in connection with mob violence against Ghunas and several others at Bhadur a few years ago.

Sources said the review committee headed by the district magistrate at Barnala had recommended the withdrawal of the case. After examining the case, the committee found that Ghunas was not involved in the violence and was booked for political reasons.

The sources said the committee had also recommended the withdrawal of the case against Keetu, who was booked by the Barnala police in April, 2002, following a complaint made against him by a faction of the truck union. The case against him is at the evidence stage. The case files had been forwarded to the state government authorities for necessary action.


Police remand for Bittu

Amritsar, August 4
Daljit Singh Bittu, senior vice-president, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), was today sent to two-day police remand for raising slogans in favour of Khalistan on Ghalughara Divas on June 6.

He was presented in the court of Lakhwinder Kaur, JMIC, by the Amritsar police on a production warrant as he was currently in judicial custody at Nabha jail. — TNS


Financial company dupes residents
Tribune News Service

Moga, August 4
A financial concern, Syal financial company, has duped local residents, including retired members of the family of a Kargil martyr, of about Rs 80 crore. Nearly 150 persons have complained to the police in search of justice.

The family of the Kargil martyr has invested Rs 6 lakh. Besides, a number of people deposited their heard-earned money after retirement with the company in the hope of getting handsome interest.

Confirming this, SSP Davinder Singh Garcha said Jaspal Singh, DSP (City), had been entrusted with the task of carrying out a thorough inquiry. He said numerous people approached him with their complaints but a case would be registered only after a thorough investigation.

Ashok Kumar of Chownk Shekhan in a written complaint said that he took a loan of Rs 3 lakh at 11 per cent annual interest from the company on March 19, 2005, and added that he had to return the amount in 120 instalments. After paying some instalments of the loan when he checked the company records, he found to his amazement that he had to clear the loan in 180 instalments at 13.5 per cent per annum.

He stated that disillusioned with local officials he consulted the Delhi office of the company and was baffled to find that he had to return the amount in 263 instalments. He quipped that it meant that he had to return Rs 11,94,809 to the company and its interest amounted to nearly 48 per cent.


PPCC secy booked for trespass
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, August 4 T
The police today booked former councillor and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) secretary Raman Bakshi on the charges of assault on a family and trespass.

However, Bakshi, Congress candidate from ward No. 65, alleged the case was politically motivated and registered to keep him away from his ward so that he could not campaign for the elections. He claimed he was not present at the site of the incident as mentioned in the complaint. He said he would withdraw from the contest if anybody proved his involvement in the case.

Demanding the deployment of the CRPF and other paramilitary forces in the state on the day of the elections, Raman said they did not have faith in police officials as they were working under pressure of the government.

Meanwhile, Rajesh Kumar, a resident of Naraingarh, Chheharta, in a complaint to the police stated that accused Chaman Lal, Avtar Kumar, Kali, Harish Kumar, Jajji, Bir Singh had assaulted him and his brother Rakesh Kumar after entering their house. In the FIR registered under Sections 453, 324, 323, 149 and 109 , IPC, at the Chheharta police station they alleged they were targeted by the accused on the directions of Bakshi for helping BJP candidate Satpal in the area.

However, Bakshi said he had met district police chief Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh last evening who had assured them to take any action only after the completion of inquiry marked to the DSP Sadar. But to their astonishment, the police registered a case against them.


Punjabi University prefers retired persons to young talent
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 4
Giving employment to retired persons has become the norm at Punjabi University, Patiala. The forum for education action and reform (FEAR) has released a list of retired persons who have been given employment in the university, just at the whims of the authorities.

President of FEAR Dr Amarjeet Singh Dhillon, while talking to The Tribune, said Dr J.S. Grewal, former vice-chancellor of GNDU, Amritsar, was given Rs 50,000 per month as a visiting professor, besides a free well-furnished room in the prestigious “Waris Bhavan” and a separate furnished room in the history department.

Another person Dr Harjit Singh Gill was given Rs 35,000 and a rent-free A-type house on the university campus, as the chief editor of a magazine of a limited readership. Two other retired persons, Mukhiar Singh Gill and Dr S.S. Joshi, were hired on handsome emoluments for his assistance.

In addition to this, M.P. Kapoor, a retired director of the Thaper Institute, Patiala, was offered Rs 60,000 per month with a rent-free residence and a chauffeur-driven car. But he did not join due to personal reasons.

Dr Baldev Singh, a retired professor of economics, has been hired as chief coordinator examinations without any post on an unprecedented salary for the nearly five years.

G.S. Randhawa, another retired person, has been appointed sports advisor. U.C. Singh of the Punjabi University Mohali Centre has continued working after retirement on a regular salary.

Dr Dhillon alleged that there are several retired persons who have been appointed at inflated salaries at the cost of the students and the public exchequer.

When contacted, spokesperson of the university Dr Gurmeet Singh Mann said the said persons are being given lesser than they deserve. He said the university had employed these persons as it could not find suitable persons for the posts.

When asked if the posts against which the retired persons have been employed were advertised or not, Dr Gurmeet, however, replied in the negative.

The president of FEAR has, however, alleged that the university could have attracted young talent from across the country had the posts been advertised.


Fee Hike
Youth Cong flays Badal govt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
The Punjab Youth Congress (PYC) has criticised the Badal government for buckling under pressure from the managements of private medical, dental and other such colleges on the issue of enhancing the fee.

Yielding to the pressure built by the managements ,the government had yesterday postponed the counselling for admission to such colleges.

For the past four days the managements of these colleges had been pressurising Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to increase the admission fee for their institutions. The government had yesterday increased the fee for management quota seats. In fact, representatives of the managements of such colleges had met Badal in Ludhiana on August 2 in this regard.

Criticising the SAD-BJP government, president of the Punjab youth Congress Vijay Inder Singla today said the government was playing into the hands of private medical colleges. Medical students were left in lurch by the government. A large number of applicants were hopeful of getting admission to the MBBS course.

He said students who had secured a good rank in the PMET would be deprived of admission due to the fee hike. The colleges should charge fee in accordance with the prospectus of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, said Singla.

He, however, justified the fee hike by 15 per cent, but said it would be burden to raise the fee to Rs 3 lakh for the seats under the management quota. He demanded that the management quota fee and the government fee should be on a par.

He suggested that rather than putting a financial burden on students, the state government should contribute some funds to bail the colleges out of the financial crisis.


Private medical colleges under fire
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, August 4
The Punjab Civil Medical Services Association (PCMSA) today demanded strict disciplinary action against private medical, dental and ayurvedic colleges affiliated with the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, for not participating in the counselling for admission to undergraduate and post-graduate medical colleges at Amritsar on August 2 and August 3.

In a joint press note issued here, Dr Hardeep Singh and Dr Ajay Bagga, president and press secretary of the PCMSA, respectively, appealed to the Punjab government not to succumb to the pressure being mounted by the managements of these colleges for making a steep fee hike in admission to the undergraduate and post-graduate medical courses under the management quota.

The state government had already favoured these colleges by allowing them to charge per annum Rs 1.15 lakh for the MBBS and Rs 63,250 for the BDS courses, they lamented.

They severely criticised the proposal of private colleges to allow them to charge Rs 3 lakh per for the MBBS course, Rs 2.3 lakh for the BDS course and Rs 1.10 lakh for the BMS and BHMS courses under management quota.


NRI Quota
Varsity showed ‘undue haste’
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 4
Guru Nanak Dev University showed "undue haste" to accommodate wards of senior university officials while admitting them under the NRI-sponsored (employees category) scheme by overlooking rules.

The official correspondence, which is in possession of The Tribune, revealed that the constitution of the sub- committee, seeking of legal opinion and increasing of B. Tech seats from four to eight were done in less than a week's time . This was done by ignoring the "modified notification", dispatched by the state government to various vice-chancellors in Punjab that removed certain categories from Clause 39 pertaining to admissions for the current session.

The committee constituted by the VC met on July 14 in the office of the Registrar. It recommended admission of the four additional wards in the new unit of B.Tech. The university received the legal opinion on July 15. It opined that these wards should be entitled to the benefit of concessional fees.


Avtar Singh resents move on scrapping department
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 4
Avtar Singh, SGPC president, here today said the alleged move of Punjabi University vice-chancellor to scrap the Department of Sikh Studies was against the sentiments of the Sikh community.

He said the Sikhism was the most scientific and modern religion. The SGPC chief said according to reliable information, the vice-chancellor was not keen on filling posts in the Departments of Sikh Studies and Guru Granth Sahib Research. Instead, he was trying to set up a department on Buddhism and transfer the posts from the two departments there.


70 students attend ICFAI meet
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 4
A career-counselling meet was conducted by Institute of Charted Financial Analysts of India (ICFAI) at the Vision Institute in Kharar.

Mohali branch manager Ankur informed the students about the various career options available to them. About 70 students from various schools and colleges participated in the event.

Navneet Singh Badwal, head of the institute, said the lecture had helped clear many doubts of the students.


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