P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Reliance welcome sans freebies: Chief secy
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
The Punjab government said today that Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) was welcome to invest in various sectors but no freebies would be offered to it.

“We are ready to extend all possible help to Reliance for investing in agriculture and allied sectors in the state. Since surplus land is not available with the government it cannot give it on subsidized rate”, chief secretary Ramesh Inder Singh said. In fact, a few weeks ago, the chief secretary had met a senior functionary of Reliance, who had launched a farm-to-fork project in the state. Obviously, Reliance would have to take the land on the existing market price from farmers.

Asked whether the previous government had signed a MoU with Reliance, a senior government officer said, “Yes, the MoU was signed but it was a document related to expression of interest in starting a project in the state. That document is not binding on the government.” Reliance had planned to invest Rs 3,000-crore in the agriculture and allied sectors in the next five years.

There won’t be any problem in extending the concessions to Reliance, which were being given to other big investment-making companies in the state. “ The government is preparing a policy for bringing about an uniformity in concessions to be offered to a few investors and same policy will be applicable on Reliance”, the senior officer said.

The previous government had offered 169.49 acre at Goindwal at a nominal rate. The land belonged to the Punjab small industrial export corporation (PSIEC). The Congress government had also offered 347.22 acre for Rs 41.28-crore at Malout, Abohar, Muktsar, Mansa and Tanda. This land also belonged to the PSIEC.

Besides it, about 20 acres belonging to the Punjab mandi board was also offered to Reliance at Mohali. However, because of the opposition from the departments concerned, the proposal was dropped.

Sources said insiders were of the view that Reliance would not be able to successfully run its farm- to- fork project without investing in the state’s agriculture and allied sectors. Punjab is only state where drought-like situation can not arise because of its wide network of irrigation systems. So, in case of a drought in other states, Punjab will be the only state from where Reliance can maintain its supply line of fresh vegetables and other material for its retail chains spread all over the country. Reliance can not afford to dry up the supply lines to its retail stores at any stage, the sources said.


Recruitment: UPSC response awaited
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
The Punjab government is still awaiting a response from the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) with regard to the recruitment of officers for the PCS and allied cadres.

Not interested in recruitment through the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC), the state government had a few weeks ago made a request to the UPSC to make the recruitment of officers for these cadres. However, responding to the state government’s request, the UPSC authorities had sought some clarifications from it. “ We have sent the clarifications to the UPSC and are awaiting a response from it”, said a senior officer of the state government here today.

About 100 posts of PCS officer are vacant in the state. Besides, several posts like excise and taxation officer are also vacant.

Asked whether there was any proposal to send a requisition to the PPSC because of the delay in a positive response from the UPSC, which had been recruiting officers to the PCS and allied cadres for the past several years, the senior officer said:“ Let us wait for some more days for a response from the UPSC”.

Recruitment to the PCS cadre has not been made for nine years because of the detection of a big fraud in such recruitments in 2002.

Since the formation of the SAD-BJP government, aspirants for the PCS cadre are eagerly awaiting the filling of the vacant slots.

Sources said if the UPSC declined to make recruitment on behalf of the state government for the PCS cadre, there would be no alternative except to ask the PPSC to begin the recruitment process.

Soon an opportunity will be available to the SAD-BJP to fill three slots of member of the PPSC. Most of the incumbent members in the PPSC were appointed by the previous Congress government.

A slot fell vacant as a member resigned a few months ago to contest the Punjab Assembly elections. After the appointment of three members, it appears the SAD-BJP government will send a requisition to the PPSC to fill class I and II posts in various departments.

Meanwhile, the sources said a requisition had been sent to the PPSC to recruit subdivisional engineers for some departments.


Sandhu gets bail; to resume duty
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 29
Registrar of Punjabi University here B.S. Sandhu, who was caught by the Punjab Vigilance for accepting Rs 1 lakh bribe from the chairman of a private B Ed college, was today freed on bail. He was released after 20 days in police and judicial remand against a bail bond of Rs 50,000.

However, despite the Vigilance case against him, he will be back as registrar of the university as soon as he joins duty. As per rule any government employee caught in a corruption case if remains in judicial or police custody for more 48 hours, has to be suspended from service.

However, in the present case university did not suspend the registrar. One day after the arrest of the registrar, vice-chancellor Swaran Singh Boparai had gone on record and said the case on his official was planted and, in fact, the target was the VC himself. He had also promised legal aid from the university to the registrar.

Today also the VC said Sandhu would be back as registrar. The stand of the university in the case was that it was a plant and it would be treated as a plant. The stand still continues to prevail, he said.

By asserting that the case against Sandhu was planted, the VC made it clear he would be back as registrar.

Legally also as the university had not suspended him, Sandhu continues to be the registrar in papers.

Return of Sandhu as registrar despite the corruption case against him is likely to ruffle many feathers in the government and a snub to the Vigilance Bureau.

Syndicate member and SAD general secretary Prem Singh Chandumajra had also stated they would allow the VC to provide legal aid to the registrar caught in corruption case.


Power Cuts
Ratra overrules secy
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 29
Despite the secretary power’s communication, chairman of the PSEB Y.S. Ratra has said no to power cuts for the time being in the state. After the communication of the secretary, Power, advocating less power purchase from other states and imposition of ‘tolerable’ power cuts in the state, officials of the board sought clarification on the matter from the board chairman today.

Sources here said the chairman had told PSEB officials to continue with the purchase of power till there were clear-cut instructions from the government in the matter.

The sources added that financial crisis in the PSEB also came up for discussion at the full board meeting held here today. The member,Finance, had already written to the government purchase of power at exorbitant price by the PSEB was pulling the board into debt trap.

Meanwhile, the engineers’ association of the PSEB in a press note here today alleged the secretary,Power, had quoted selective data from a web site. It has been alleged the PSEB procured more power and at higher price compared to other sates.

The data available on the Internet also shows power was purchased at the highest price by Tamil Nadu and Delhi at the rate of more than Rs 8 per unit and Rs 8.40 per unit, respectively, whereas the costliest power purchased by the PSEB was at the rate of Rs 7.11 per unit. The same power has also been purchased by Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan at the same rates. Even Ranjit Sagar Dam power has been costing the PSEB around Rs 6 per unit.

As per the logic of the secretary,Power, this power was also required to be surrendered or offered to other states. As per data on the web sites, it is evident cost of traded power has increased by more than 200 per cent in three years. Power from Himachal which was available for Rs 2.70 a unit is now being sold for over Rs 7 a unit. Similarly, the eastern region power rates have increased from Rs 2.30 to over Rs 6 per unit.

Last year, despite heavy power purchases, three to four- hour power cuts were imposed on the Industrial/urban consumers and more than seven to eight hours on rural domestic consumers. The power intensive industry was even closed for almost 15 days.

The board is to ensure minimum eight-hour supply to tubewells and remaining power is sold to other consumers of the state. So any shortfall in power procurement means imposing proportionate power cuts.

The failure of the state government to add any new generating capacity in the state in the past six years, is primarily responsible for overdependence on power purchases, the association has alleged.

Meanwhile, to overcome financial crisis in the PSEB the full board of the organisation today decided cut the planned expenditure. Sources said the meeting that concluded at 8 pm today decided the purchase of power from other states would continue. However, the plan expenditure on the purchase of equipment is to be delayed due to financial crisis in the board.

The delay in purchases is likely to affect the planned purchases of the PSEB for improving the distribution system and reducing the transmission losses.


Rebel BJP councillors to quit SAD
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 29
All those rebel BJP councillors who had registered victories the recent civic body elections and had joined the SAD will have to quit the party.

This was stated by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal during a brief interaction with mediapersons at Olympian Surjit Hockey Stadium here this evening. “We have decided not to keep them in the SAD fold. The BJP may or may not let them join their party,” he said.

The issue had become a point of contention between the alliance partners with senior BJP leaders terming the act of the Akalis in making BJP rebels join their party as a “violation of coalition dharma”. State BJP president Rajinder Bhandari and local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia had been quite vocal about the issue.

Four independent councillors who had defeated BJP candidates had joined the SAD.

Asked as to when the new mayors would be elected, Badal replied, “This is up to the minister concerned to decide”.

Regarding his stand on previous government’s agreement with Reliance Industries, he said: “There had been no agreement signed between the Congress and the Reliance. We will give incentives to any business group investing in Punjab but we are not ready to offer land free of cost or help the corporate companies in acquiring it.”


Gurdwara Row
Sarna in Pak, to meet evacuee board chief
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Wagah, August 29
Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president Parmjit Singh Sarna today reached Pakistan to meet Pakistan Evacuee Trust Property Board (PETPB) chairman Zulfiqar Ali Khan and Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) president Bishan Singh in Lahore on the controversy of Gurdwara Shaheed Bhai Taru Singh.

Sarna will urge the PETPB to open three gurdwaras related to Guru Hargobind Sahib and Bhai Mani Singh to the Sikh sangat. He said the continuous recitation of Guru Granth Sahib was likely to take place at Gurdwara Chunna Mandi, Lahore (birth place of Guru Ram Das) from September 9 to mark his Gurpurb. He said the kar sewa of the major part of the birth place of the fourth Sikh Guru had been completed.

The DSGMC chief was accompanied by Jagjit Singh Kochhar of Dubai and Jathedar Harbag Singh, a follower of Baba Jagtar Singh of karsewawale. The latter would carry out kar sewa at Gurdwara Dera Sahib, Lahore, and Gurdwara Janamsthan Nankana Sahib. The DSGMC with the financial support of the Kochhar family of Dubai were planning to construct a beautiful entrance to Gurdwara Dera Sahib.

Sarna said he would visit Gurdwara Shaheed Bhai Taru Singh and enquire into the matter. The SGPC is also contemplating sending a seven-member fact-finding team.

Meanwhile, Tarlochan Singh, a Rajya Sabha member from Haryana, in a missive to the External Affairs Ministry told him that the central government should take up the issue of hooliganism in the gurdwara with Pakistan.


’84 riots: Govt sticks to old norms
3,000 victims again left in the lurch
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 29
As many as 3,000 riot victims of 1984 have been left in lurch with the government sticking to the previous norms with regard to providing them compensation.

Bureaucratic wranglings have ensured that nearly 95 per cent of the fresh applications sought by the SAD-BJP government for awarding special compensation stand rejected as the norms existing earlier had not been changed. The new exercise thus served not much purpose as these applicants were rejected earlier also for the same reasons.

Verification of the applications showed that only a small number of claimants of Rs 2 lakh compensation could actually furnish proof of being a victim. The norms require a claimant to furnish a proof of his residence in any state engulfed in violence in 1984, documents proving his shifting to Punjab within 13 months after the murder of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and proof of residence in the state after the violence.

However, most of the victims do not qualify under the norms. Among varied reasons, the main problem was that they lost everything to support the claim or were on a visit to the state.

Bhupinder Kaur of Block-R, Model Town, is one such victim, “My husband a, cycle parts trader was on a business trip when the train in which he was travelling was targeted by hooligans. He was one of the several persons murdered in the attack.”

Like many others they cannot be issued a red card, normally given to those victims who cannot give proof of residence in the state. “We have documentary proof of the Railways that my husband was killed in the train. Yet, it is unacceptable.”

Iqbal Singh Gill, a local lawyer, who is taking up the cause of the victims, revealed that the local administration had sought clarification from the state government regarding the claims not coming under the existing norms. “There was no reply by the bureaucrats to the letter sent on June 14. As a result the new exercise would be of no use.”


Fifty SAD(A) office-bearers quit
Neeraj Bagga
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, August 29
Nearly 50 office-bearers of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), including national general,secretaries youth and women’s wings, resigned their offices here today. However, they announced to continue to work as ordinary workers of the party.

They took this decision to protest against the party president's decision to remove Daljit Singh Bittu from the post of senior vice-president.

The decision was taken following one and half an hour-long meeting held under the chairmanship of district president of the party Sukhdev Singh Doad at Singh Sabha gurdwara. Doad said the decision to remove Bittu was autocratic in nature and party rules and regulations were not followed properly in this regard.

Besides him, those who resigned their posts were Gurpreet Singh Chandbaja, vice-president, and Rajpal Singh Hardayaleana,general secretary, both from the youth wing, Rajinder kaur Jaito, general secretary, women’s wing of the party, Harpal Singh Dalsinghwala, working committee member, and Kartar Singh Sekhon, senior vice-president.

Finally, the Khalsa Action committee (KAC) was an apolitical group and was organisng people against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh of the Dera Sacha Sauda.


Baba Bakala function
SAD, BJP leaders stayed away as protest
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 29
The absence of senior leaders and MLAs of the SAD during the political conference at Baba Bakala on the occasion of Rakhar Punia yesterday has raised many a eyebrow among party circles here.

According to sources in the SAD, the local leaders had decided to stay away from the function to show resentment to the party high command over its decision with regard to the post of mayor of the Amritsar Municipal Corporation.

Bikram Singh Majithia, minister for information, Gulzar Singh Ranike, minister for animal husbandry, Raminder Singh Bularia, Malkit Singh AR and Amarpal Boney were among those who did not participate in the function.

Repeated attempts by this reporter to talk to these leaders failed as they were busy holding discussions with the party’s acting president Sukhbir Badal in the holy city. Manjinder Singh Kang, main organiser of the conference, said invitations had been sent to all leaders.

The local BJP leadership, which included Laxmi Kanta Chawla, health minister, Anil Joshi and Navjot Singh Sidhu, MP, and district president Bakshi Ram Arora, also preferred to remain absent from the function to show resentment to the SAD supremo.


Youth Cong launches membership drive
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 29
The Congress lost the Uttar Pradesh and Punjab Assembly elections due to weak organisational structure of the party. President of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) Ashok Tanwar stated this while talking to newspersons here today. He was here to launch a membership drive for the IYC.

He said the shortage of committed youth workers was felt by the party during the recently concluded Municipal Corporation elections in Punjab. The party had to face alleged rigging by the ruling party as there were not enough committed party workers to resist it.

State youth congress president Vijay Inder Singla said the fight was not between the political parties, but between the Congress and the local police.

Ashok Tanwar further said the IYC was aiming to achieve a membership of 2.5 crore in the country. In Punjab the target of enrolling at least 4 lakh active members had been fixed. The cut-off age for enrolment of new members in the IYC was 35 years. During the drive the party would also spread awareness regarding the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Singla also addressed the youth workers from the across the state.


Petrol Station
10 pc space can be used for commercial purposes
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 29
GMADA has allowed the use of 10 per cent area of a petrol station site for commercial purposes. Allottees would have to, however, pay extra lease amount for this.

The authority has notified a new policy for the allotment of petrol station sites in the areas under its jurisdiction. The policy was given the nod by the executive committee of the authority recently.

The sites would be allotted to oil companies, government departments or state government undertakings only on a leasehold basis. In case the number of applications is more than one for a particular site, allotment would be done through limited auction among the applicants.

All private organisations who have got a licence for petrol, diesel and LPG by the union ministry of petroleum and natural gas would be treated on a par with other government companies which are being run on commercial lines.

The lease rates would be calculated on the basis of the formula that has been fixed by the authority. The formula is: The total area multiplied by 1.25 times of the highest residential rate fixed for an urban estate further multiplied by 5 per cent per annum, subject to a minimum of Rs 10,000. The lease per month comes to Rs 45,573 for a 1,000 sq yard site.

For the use of 10 per cent area for commercial purposes, the lease money would be charged on the basis of another formula which is: average reserve price of commercial sites of the urban estate multiplied by the areas, multiplied by 5 per cent per annum.

Additional rates have been levied on the sites on national highways, state highways and scheduled roads. An additional lease amount of 25 per cent would be charged from sites on state highways and state roads and 50 per cent more on national highways.

Initially the lease would be for a period of 15 years, which can be extended, provided the allottees do not violate rules. The lease money would be increased by 5 per cent after the first year, 10 per cent for the second year and 25 per cent for the third year.

After this, the amount would be increased by 5, 10 and 25 per cent for the fourth, fifth and sixth year, keeping the lease amount of the third year as the base. This process would continue for 15 years after which a fresh lease would be fixed according to the terms prevalent at that time.

The money has to be paid annually and the company would also have to deposit in advance an interest-free security deposit equal to one year’s lease money. The number of filling points would be installed at the site according to Government of India norms.


Builders seek review of policy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Private builders and developers today urged the Punjab government to review its latest policy regarding the size of residential and commercial projects that they can develop besides reviewing the hike in charges for external development, conversion and the license fee. This comes a few days after the government notified the new policy with a hope to rope in more investments in the state.

The Punjab colonisers and builders association today submitted a memorandum to the government seeking a review and told it members not to submit applications for fresh colonisation licenses till the government takes decision in this regard. The association feels that the hiked charges would bring all developmental works to a halt.

Association president Kulwant Singh said the government should release licences for all pending applications as per the old policy. A huge amount of money had been invested based on calculations made on the previous policy. Hike in various fees and charges would upset the entire calculations. Various charges had to be reviewed as per the sale potential and the increase. It has to be in a rational manner spread over three to four phased revisions, he added. The government has also decided that the size of the colonies shall not be less than 100 acre in the high potential zone, 50 acre in the medium potential zone and 25 acre in the low potential zone. The size of the group housing has been pegged down to 10-acre and 5 acre depending upon locations for the stand-alone projects.

In case of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, the fees have been increased from approximately Rs 3 lakh per acre to Rs 35 lakh per acre for colonies having plots. It has also been hiked to Rs 1 crore per acre for the group housing and Rs 2.75 crore per acre for the commercial projects. The association has said the proposed investment of almost Rs 1 lakh crore in the state by the real estate investors now stands jeopardized and this will adversely affect the state’s economy. It was irrational to equate the entire area in a particular zone.


CM: Land deals to be reviewed
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, August 29
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said today that land deals struck under the previous government’s policy to offer land to Reliance Industries were being reviewed with the sole purpose of rationalising the process. At the same time he sought to clarify that his government was not against investments by big corporate houses, but only wanted a rational and uniform policy in that connection.

Badal was talking to reporters after paying obeisance at Gurdwara Nanaksar Kaleran on the occasion of the 64th death anniversary of Sant Baba Nand Singh. He justified the hike in the prices of petrol and diesel in the state.


Hooda’s effigy burnt

Amritsar, August 29
Activists of the Bhartiya Valmik Dharam Samaj today burnt an effigy of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in protest against the alleged killing of Dalits in Gohana.

They urged the Central government to dismiss the Hooda government in Haryana besides registering an FIR against the accused and their arrest. — OC


March against Gohana youth’s killing
Tribune Reporters

Hoshiarpur, August 29
Activists of the local Aadi-Dharam Samaj today took out a march in protest against the killing of Balmiki youth Rakesh, alias Lara, in Gohana recently and the arrest of their chief organiser Darshan Ratna Raavan while he was going to participate in the cremation of the deceased. The march passed through main bazars of the town.

The Haryana government had allegedly implicated Rakesh in a false case for which a CBI inquiry had been initiated. Rakesh had been absolved of charges in the inquiry, they claimed.

Later, they burnt an effigy of the Haryana government in front of mini-secretariat and presented a memorandum to the DC.

SANGRUR: Local Dalits held a march here. Supported by the local Beopar Mandal, the protesters forced closure of shops and business establishments for about five hours. They submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner to be forwarded to the President.


Valmiki community protests Gohana incident
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 29
The Punjab Pradesh Valmiki Sabha has condemned the Gohana incident in which a Dalit youth was attacked and killed by Jats, who fired several rounds at him.

In a statement here today, Gejja Ram Valmiki, president of the Punjab Pradesh Valmiki Sabha, said it was unfortunate to note that the Haryana govt had failed to protect the Dalits. He said the state government should take proper steps. He demanded that the family members of the youth, who was killed in the attack, should be provided a monetary relief of Rs 20 lakh and a govt job to his family member. The incident was followed by widespread protests by Dalits of the area yesterday, following which, the police had to resort to cane-charge.


Sort out Sikh issues, SGPC to PM
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 29
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has sought intervention by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in sorting out the issues being faced by the Sikh community at international level.

Speaking to The Tribune here today, SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar said it was the duty of the government to protect the rights and dignity of the Sikhs that can be violated at the airports of the USA after the implementation of the new scanning laws there. He said though a formal missive was sent to the prime minister seeking his intervention, but from the developments so far it appeared that the steps taken by the PM were not adequate.

He said countries like the USA boosted of protecting human rights, but it had failed to realise that by implementing the new scanning laws, it was violating the human rights. He said the prime minister, being a Sikh should realise that it was not only the common man, but such a disgrace can be faced by anyone going to the USA. He said India should apprise the US authorities about the sanctity of a turban to a Sikh and the religious sentiments associated with it.

Speaking about the incident of capturing of Gurdwara Shaheed Bhai Taru Singh at Naulakha Bazar in Lahore, Avtar Singh said as per the latest reports received by the SGPC the matter had been sorted out. However, taking the reports with a pinch of salt, he said SGPC would soon be sending a team of representatives to ascertain the prevailing circumstances at the Sikh shrine.

He stated that earlier the committee constituted by the SGPC to visit Lahore was denied visas by the Pakistani government for reasons best known to them. He said he had taken up the matter with the Prime Minister, the Pakistani High Commission and the chairman of the Pakistan Evacuee Property Trust Board (PEPTB).


Teacher thrashes student
Our Correspondent

Nabha, August 29
A student of one of the most prestigious educational institutes of the state, Punjab Public School, was beaten up mercilessly by house master here on Sunday.

Victim Prabhjot Singh, a student of Class IX, was thrashed by the head teacher of Beas House when he returned to the hostel five minutes late. The student had gone to market with his parents for shopping.

His father, Gobinder Singh, said house head Rajesh Rai hit his son with a stick repeatedly. He showed bruises on the back of his son to mediapersons and demanded immediate suspension of the teacher. 


‘Management responsible for technical snags’
Tribune News Service

Rupnagar, August 29
The employees of Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Plant (GGSSTP), under flagship of PSEB Employees Federation, has held the management responsible for repeated technical snags at the plant that incurs loss worth lakhs of rupees.

In a press statement issued here today, the president of federation R.K. Tewari and other federation office bearers have stated that the incidents of power units tripping have increased manifold in recent times. He added that tripping of one unit brings a loss of at least Rs 15 lakhs and further because of loss of production. He added that a unit costs Rs 3, when produced at the thermal power plant, but because of frequent tripping incidents the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) is purchasing electricity from neighbouring states at the cost of Rs 7 per unit.

He added that in the month of August itself there have been more than 20 tripping incidents of one or the other unit. Lack of maintenance of machinery, alleged lack of expertise and cooperation in staff members has been stated to be some of the reasons behind frequent technical snags.

He alleged that the senior functionaries at thermal plant, transfer union members are frequently without any reason and are subjected to other discriminations.


Move to import cows from Pak
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 29
The Central government has been thinking to import Red Sindhi and Sahiwal breed of cows to India, on reciprocal basis from Pakistan to improve breeds here and increase milk yield.

S.K Mittal, member, Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), under the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, stated this to reporters here today.

Mittal said during his recent visit to Pakistan with a delegation led by human rights activist Nirmala Desh Pande, he had discussions with three members of the National Assembly led by Chowdhary Manzoor Ahmed from Kasur. He said all of them had agreed to take up the matter with the authorities there for the supply two breeds of cows as there were more than 2.74 lakh cows in Pakistan.

He said the AWBI would soon send a proposal to the Central government in this regard. He expected a decision soon cows could be imported on reciprocal basis in two to three months. 


Punjab Round-up
Govt to give job letters to 400 health workers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
The Punjab Government would give appointment letters to 440 candidates selected by the department of health and family welfare. Minister of health Lakshmi Kanta Chawla stated this during a ‘sahyog’ camp organised in the BJP’s office at Chandigarh.

A spokesperson said 40 block-extension educators and 400 multi-purpose health workers (men) would be given appointment letters for which the council of ministers had already given its nod during the last cabinet meeting. All formalities have been completed, she added.

Referring to the health facilities in the state, the minister said besides strengthening the existing health services, 147 posts of specialists, including drug inspectors, lab assistants and chemical analysts, would be filled on the priority basis. Spurious drug and medicines worth Rs 85 lakh have been seized from a few chemists during raids conducted by the health department.

Teachers’ Day

The state government will organise a function on Teachers’ Day (September 5) at Kapurthala to honour the state awardees teachers. It has also decided to organize a special camp to clear all pending cases of the dependents of deceased teachers and others employees of the education department for recruitment on compassionate ground. A special camp will be organized tomorrow at Government Senior Secondary School, Phase III B-1, Mohali, in this regard. She urged the beneficiaries to submit the required documents with the directorate at the earliest.

Incentives to hotels

The hotel business has been declared an industry and the state would soon announce more facilities for it to attract more tourists. Tourism minister Hira Singh Gabrria said as per the hoteliers’ association demand the government would provide land for constructing information centres which would be run at association’s expense. 


Inside Babudom
Govt in a spot on new police dists
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
The Punjab government faces a piquant situation. Three months after it created two new police districts and posted non-IPS officers as SSPs there, the Home Department has been asked by the high court to send its comments on why the new districts were created in the first place.

Resurgent India, a Ludhiana-based NGO that had filed the original court case contesting the posting of non-IPS officers on cadre posts, has raised the issue again in the court. The NGO says the existing police districts of Jagraon and Majithia were scrapped and Ludhiana-rural and Amritsar-rural were created to adjust non-IPS officers. When the new police districts were created, the post of SSP in these districts was automatically under the category of non-cadre posts. Hence, non-IPS officers could be adjusted.

On the other hand, the posts of SSP, Jagraon and Majitha, were cadre posts and only IPS officers could have been posted there. The areas of the two scrapped districts are almost the same under the changed names of Ludhiana-rural and Amritsar-rural.

Sources said the Home Department had been asked how the Punjab government created the new police districts even as the court was hearing the matter of posting non-IPS officers on cadre posts in the state. The department had sought the opinion of the advocate-general on the matter and it remains to be seen what stance the government will take in the court.

The issue of IPS and non-IPS officials had been simmering for more than three years. It all started in 2003 when a few IPS officers submitted their representation to the home secretary and the director-general of police. Later, the NGO filed a case and the high court directed that IPS officers be posted on cadre posts and the same was complied with.

The IPS officers in their representation had alleged that the state government took no prior permission of the central government before giving cadre posts to non-cadre officers, which is mandatory under the Indian Police Service (cadre) Rules.


DCs told to ensure transparency
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
The Punjab government has directed all deputy commissioners to ensure transparency while recruiting aganwari workers and helpers. They have been told not to deviate from the guidelines issued by the government. About 1,500 aganwari workers and helpers are to be recruited in the state.

After short listing the candidates on the merit basis, three to five applications of aspirant candidates will be forwarded by the village panchayats concerned to the zila parishad concerned. After examining the applications, the child development and project officers will issue appointment letters to the selected candidates. Panchayats concerned have been asked to call it general house meeting to shortlist the applications.


Auction of quarries to be video recorded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Punjab chief secretary Ramesh Inder Singh, who presided over a meeting of senior officers with regard to the auctioning of sand and gravel quarries in certain districts here today, has directed the officers concerned to video record the proceedings of all such auctions.

Officers of the departments of industries and commerce, rural development and panchayats were among those who took part in the meeting.


ENT doctors’ forum constituted
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 29
Meeting of ENT surgeons of Patiala region was held here on Monday in which ENT surgeons from Sangrur, Ropar and Fatehgarh Sahib also participated. In this meeting, the doctors constituted a body named as Patiala ENT Forum.

Advisors chosen are Dr S.P. Lamba, Dr B.S. Grewal and T.L. Parmar.

Dr S.K. Verma and Dr B.S. Tuli were named as patrons.

President would be Dr Baldev Singh, Dr Dalbir Singh was chosen as senior vice-president.

Dr B.S. Sohal is vice-president and Dr J.P. Goyal was named as finance secratary and Dr Jaswinder Singh as joint secretary.


Chemists’ Association oppose police interference
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 29
The Punjab Chemists Association in its urgent meeting opposed the interference of the police in spite of the assurance given by the chief minister, Parkash Singh Badal.

Surjit Mehta, president of the association, alleged that the new method adopted by the Drug Department officials is that they make the police search chemist shops before themselves reaching the spot thus causing humility and harassment to the chemists.

He further said the government has appointed microbiologists as drug inspectors. They are not competent for performing the duties of drug inspectors, he added.

They do not have the comprehensive knowledge about the Drug Act. The association further demanded that the appointment of microbiologists, as drug inspectors should be withdrawn immediately and persons with the qualifications as B.Pharma and M.Pharma should be appointed as drug inspectors so that they are able to perform their duties efficiently and satisfactorily. 


Reliance subscribers resent poor signal
Our Correspondent

Bassi Pathana, August 29
The reliance mobile subscribers in and around Bassi Pathana have alleged that reliance network is very weak and subscribers have to face great difficulty. Rajesh Pal Singh Lalli told that though the company has installed towers in the town but even then the location seems to be incorrect for Bassi Pathana.

He said the conversation on reliance costs more because one has to dial three times to complete the conversation as signals disrupts after seconds. He has urged the reliance authorities to improve the signal system otherwise they would approach the consumer court to get relief.


Man stabs wife, son; consumes poison
Our Correspondent

Nabha, August 29
A man, in an inebriated state, nearly killed his minor son and wife here last night.

Laboratory assistant Ravinder Kumar, who works in Bhadson and resides in local Ajit Nagar, stabbed his wife Sunita and son Khushwant while they were asleep. He hit them with a knife repeatedly. Later, he himself consumed poison.

An injured Sunita called up her parents living in Barnala. They reached the town around 3 am and took Ravinder, Sunita and Khushwant to the civil hospital. However, the doctors referred them to Dayanand Medical College in Ludhiana. On reaching the Ludhiana hospital, Ravinder was declared brought dead.


Mata Jagir Kaur Bhattal dead

Chandigarh, August 29
Mata Jagir Kaur Bhattal (90), widow of freedom fighter Hardit Singh Bhattal passed away at Bhattlan village near Dhanula today.

She is survived by her daughter Gursev Kaur Bhattal.

Her mortal remains will be consigned to flames at the village tomorrow.

She along with her husband had taken part in the freedom struggles especially in the Parza Mandal movement. — TNS


Alert sounded

Chandigarh, August 29
The Punjab police has sounded an alert in the state in view of the death anniversary of former Chief Minister Beant Singh falling on August 31. It got inputs from the intelligence wing that radicals were regrouping in the wake of the Dera Sacha Sauda row. — TNS


Beant case convicts file appeal before HC
Question human bomb theory
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
The four convicts in the Beant Singh assassination case- Jagtar Singh Hawara, Lakhwinder Singh, Shamsher Singh and Gurmit Singh- today moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking the quashing of trial court’s order leading to their conviction.

In a 95-page appeal, the convicts, with Hawara sentenced to death penalty and others to life imprisonment challenged the trial court order on various grounds, including wrong interpretation of evidence.

The appeal stated “there was no direct evidence produced by prosecution to connect any of the appellants with alleged crime”. Though the prosecution has examined 248 witnesses and has attempted to rely upon certain pieces of evidence, yet even the said circumstantial evidence is too inadequate to make out the involvement of the appellants in the alleged crime, the appeal mentioned.

Trying to point out loopholes in the ‘human bomb theory’, the appellants said the theory was the main plank of the prosecution but in fact it is nothing but a brainwave of K.P.S Gill, the then DGP of Punjab. The prosecution has failed miserably to prove the said ‘human bomb theory’, they said.

“The prosecution is mainly relying upon the fact that Nanha Ram, inspector and the then SHO of the Sector-3 police station in Chandigarh while appearing as the prosecution witness, had stated that he had seen two severed legs, one of which was found near the Beant Singh’s car and another 6-7 feet away towards the VIP gate, and also found a skull near the car. He had also stated that the torso was missing,” the appellants said.

But importantly, the appellants averred, that no mention of the recovery of these two legs and the skull had been made in the daily diary report. The prosecution also got these severed body portions from Dr Inderjit Diwan who said it was not possible for him to say that the head and legs belonged to the same person without conducting the DNA test.

“Thus, there is no legal material and credible evidence to prove that the two legs and the skull were actually recovered from the spot and were not tampered with till examined by the doctor,” the appellants said.

They said the prosecution had also failed to establish that the legs and skull belonged to Dilawar Singh, the deceased, said to be the human bomb. The appeal also mentioned that Roop Singh, a ballistics expert, too was not conclusive about the veracity of the human bomb theory.

Importantly, the appellants state that Rajesh Pilot, the then internal security minister for state, had, during a meeting, pulled up DGP K.P.S. Gill for coming out with the human bomb theory. The appeal mentioned this even though the defence was not given access to the records of the meeting on the grounds that it was privileged information.

The appeal then moved on to fingerprint evidence and the anomalies in it. Also, the infirmities in the confessional statement of Jagtar Singh Tara too were highlighted. It mentioned that the said confession had been retracted vide an application dated May 6, 1999, wherein Tara gave detailed accounts of the pressure and torture at the hands of the CBI which had resulted in the confession in the first place.


Violation of accident policy rules
Insurance company told to pay Rs 2.50 lakh
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, August 29
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum here has directed the National Insurance Company, Sangrur, to pay Rs 2.50 lakh to Avtar Singh of Banbhaura village in Malerkotla tehsil of this district.

The forum has also asked the company to pay interest on the amount at the rate of 9 per cent per annum from April 6, 2007. The forum also ordered the company to pay Rs 1,000 as litigation expenses to Avtar Singh.

Avtar Singh had got himself insured for Rs 5 lakh on June 12, 1997, under the Janta Personal Accident Policy of the company from June 12, 1997, to June 11, 2009. On May 31, 2000, Avtar Singh met with an accident at Malerkotla while driving a car and received grievous injuries. He was taken to DMC Hospital, Ludhiana, for treatment where he spent Rs 3 lakh. After that he got treatment from the PGI, Chandigarh, by spending Rs 3.50 lakh. He also suffered permanent disability up to 50 per cent. He is still under treatment.

Avtar Singh, after taking treatment, applied for the release of claim, but nothing happened. Thereafter, he served a legal notice on April 21, 2006, despite which the claim was not settled saying it was not covered under clause (a) to (d) of the cover note, issued to him. So he filed a complaint before the Consumer Forum seeking relief of Rs 5 lakh.


2 journalists arrested
Our Correspondent

Ferozepur, August 29
The police has booked two journalists from Jalalabad under Sections 384/34 of the IPC for allegedly blackmailing a patwari.

SSP Dinesh Pratap said the two identified as Ajit Micky and Kulwinder Sodhi had been arrested. The two were working for Dainik Jagran, Punjab Today and Amar Ujala, respectively.

The SSP said both were caught by the CIA in charge Harpal Singh Grewal when they allegedly accepted Rs 20,000 from Daulat Ram, patwari. He added that the patwari had complained in this regard.


From Colleges
Van Mahotsav celebrated
Tribune News Service

Patiala district commissioner D.S. Grewal plant a tree during Van Mahotsav at Government Mohindra College in Patiala, on Wednesday.
Patiala district commissioner D.S. Grewal plant a tree during Van Mahotsav at Government Mohindra College in Patiala, on Wednesday. — A Tribune photograph

Patiala, August 29
Government Mahindra College, in collaboration with the Red Cross Society, the NCC and the NSS organised “Van Mahotsav Day” on the premises of the college, here on Wednesday. Deputy Commissioner of Patiala D.S. Grewal, who was the chief guest, inaugurated the function by planting a sapling in the college campus. Principal of the college Dr Grewal also released “Mohindra”, the college magazine, on the occasion.

COURSE INTRODUCED: The Luxmi Mata Institute of hotel management has become the first institute to start hotel management courses in Patiala. The director of the institute R. N. Sharma in a press release issued here said the institute is affiliated to the Annamalai University.

The courses being offered by the institute include BSc in hotel management, craft course in food production, MSc in hotel management, MSc tourism, diploma in aviation and diploma in aviation and tourism.

The institute is offering cent percent placements to its students. The hotel management courses have been started due to growing demand of students for professional and job oriented courses.

The local hotel industry in Patiala is also cooperating with the institute to train the students of the institute and give them practical exposure.

A Noble Act
Students from Ryan International School distribute food to homeless people in Patiala, on Wednesday.
Students from Ryan International School distribute food to homeless people in Patiala, on Wednesday. — A Tribune photograph

: The department of electronics and communication engineering held an expert lecture on over view and application of signal processing technique on IET Bhaddal campus. Dr Amit Kumar Kohli from the department of electronics and communication engineering (ECE) from Thapar Insititute of Engineering and Technology, a deemed university, Patiala was the resource person at lecture. He delivered lecture to the students and members of faculty of electronics and communication engineering. The lecture highlighted various research areas in the field of signal image processing.

He thanked the college management team and department of ECE giving him opportunity to interact with students. Er. J. Vermani, head of the department ECE thanked Dr Amit for his contribution.

SESSION BEGINS: Dr IT Business School recently established by Dr I.T. Planets Limited, commenced its first academic session today with an induction programme for MBA students. The course is approved by AICTE, Ministry of HRD, New Delhi. Speaking on this occasion, M.K. Mahajan, chairman of Dr IT Business School, inspired students to excel in life and to make the country a superpower by 2020. J.B. Goyal vice- chairman and former secretary technical education (Punjab) while addressing the students on this occasion laid special emphasis on the inculcation of high moral values as education without morality is a body without soul.

Deepti Mahajan C.E.O. of the business school exhorted the students to inculcate a sense of discipline, dedication and devotion. Dr P Parkash Arya, the director of the institute in his address highlighted the changes, which are fast taking place in the structure of society, institutions and inter relationships. He further said since the domestic economy is getting integrated to international economy through the process of globalisation, resultantly it would need more and more skilled manpower and mobility of sources, including capital, creating a great future for the MBAs.

: A seminar on development of interpersonal skills was organised by Chandigarh Business School, Landran, near here today. The students of MBA and PGDM attended the seminar.

Shivali Gupta, senior research scientist, Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd., shared her views on the importance of developing interpersonal skills. She shared her experiences with students and enlightened them about how they can nurture their interview skills. She guided students that how they can fine-tune themselves according changing needs of the industry. Satnam Singh Sandhu, chairman, CGC appreciated the initiative taken by the business school in providing the knowledge regarding the interview skills needed.


City teacher bags National Award

Patiala, August 29
Sukhwant Kaur, primary teacher of Kendriya Vidyalaya No.1, Patiala, has been selected for the National Award 2006, the principal of the school, S.K. Sharma informed, here today.

She will be honoured with the award on September 5 in distribution of National Award to Teachers function to be held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. — TNS


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |