P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


KAC honours Dilawar’s parents
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 31
The Khalsa Action Committee (KAC) today honoured the father and mother of Dilawar Singh, Harnek Singh and Surjit Kaur, with the Shaheed Baba Deep Singh gold medal at a function here today. It also performed ardas for Jagtar Singh Hawara and Bhai Balwant Singh.

Death anniversary observed
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Dhipali (Bathinda), August 31
The SAD (A) today managed to hold an impressive function in this village to mark the death anniversary of Dilawar Singh, who was the human bomb in the assassination of former Chief Minister Beant Singh in 1995. Though heavy security arrangements were made by the police at the village, where the function was held in a religious place, it attracted a sizeable gathering.

Talking to mediapersons after the function, Simranjit Singh Mann said Daljit Singh Bittu and his associates tried to disrupt today’s function by urging people not to attend the same. He added that only a Sikh state could fulfil the desires of Sikhs.

Presenting the award, Bhai Mohkam Singh, convener of the KAC, said the killing of Beant Singh was the last resort to restore Sikh human rights. Its co-convener Daljit Singh Bittu reiterated that the struggle for achieving Khalsa rule would continue and added that it would take the struggle against the dera to its logical end.

Resolutions read by KAC spokesman Kanwarpal Singh urged the Punjab government to lend financial support to the families of state terrorism. It also asked the government to bring guilty police officers to book who were responsible for extra-judicial killings.

Former minister Manjit Singh Calcutta, former SGPC secretary Ragbir Singh, former Akal Takht Jathedar Bhai Jasbir Singh Rode, SSF president Paramjit Singh Gazi and Akal Federation convener Naraien Singh also addressed the gathering. Members of the families of those who had been awarded life imprisonment in the Beant Singh murder case and those of slain militants who died during the Sikh struggle in the ’90s were honoured.


Beant Death Anniversary
Amarinder, aides fail to turn up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
The death anniversary function of former Chief Minister Beant Singh today once again exposed the sharp divide within the Congress.

Former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and his close aides were missing from the function held here. Those owing allegiance to Congress chief Shamsher Singh Dullo were present in full strength. Jagmeet Singh Brar and Munish Tiwari, both Congress working committee members, were also present. Another person to miss the function was Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, who is away to the UK.

Notably, BJP leader and health minister Luxmi Kanta Chawla paid homage to him, so did A.R. Kidwai, Governor, Haryana.

Congress leaders and workers attended the function in huge numbers to pay homage to Beant Singh whose legacy in the party has been kept alive by his associates and his family.

The function started in the morning with a prayer. His family members, including Jaswant Kaur, his wife, Tej Parkash Singh, Gurkanwal Kaur, Gurkirat Singh and Ravneet Singh, attended the function.

Jaswant Kaur flagged off an anti-drug rally. Girls from Dev Samaj College took out the rally from Chandigarh to Mohali with Punjab Congress general secretary Parminder Singh leading it. He said the party would organise seminars and drug de-addiction camps in the state.

Later, Jagmeet Brar said the sacrifices made by Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Beant Singh were unparalleled in the history of the country.

Maninderjit Singh Bitta, who was also present, continued with his new line of attack and flayed Capt Amarinder Singh for only focusing on facilities for the rich and ignored the completion of the Beant Singh memorial for the past 12 years.


Gurdwara Row
Pak board ousts Muslim caretaker 
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 31
In a significant development, the Pakistan Evacuee Property Trust Board (PEPTB) has removed Muslim caretaker and his family from Gurdwara Shaheed Bhai Taru Singh, Naulakha Bazaar, Lahore, with a view to pacify the Sikhs who were agitating against the last week’s hooliganism by a few local Muslims.

President, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), Parmjit Singh Sarna, and a Dubai-based Sikh J.S. Kochhar while talking to The Tribune on their return from Pakistan, here today. He said the Muslim caretaker had been punished for getting one of the domes in gurdwara premises painted green that led to unsavoury situation.

PEPTB chairman Lt Gen Zulfiqar Ali Khan (retd.) has assured me that the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) will renovate Gurdwara Bhai Taru Singh within two months, Sarna added. General Khan said tenders would shortly be floated so that the kar sewa could be started as per Sikh traditions.

Sarna claimed that the Sikhs and Muslims were living amicably in Lahore. He said the entire building was intact and the DSGMC would assist the PSGPC in carrying out the kar sewa though General Khan had categorically told him that all expenses would be born by the Pakistan government.

The PEPTB has also agreed in principle to open two Sikh shrines, including Gurdwara Bhai Mani Singh and Gurdwara Beri Sahib, to the Sikh. Gurdwara Bhai Mani Singh is currently in possession of a Muslim industrialist. Answering another question, Sarna said the PEPTB, PSGPC and the Pakistani Sikhs were “unhappy” over the flaring up of the Gurdwara Bhai Taru Singh issue by Indian government and the SGPC.


MC Poll
Preneet, candidates meet Sonia 
Lalit Mohan
Tribune New Service

Patiala, August 31
The issue of infighting in the state Congress today reached party president Sonia Gandhi with Patiala MP Preneet Kaur parading around 46 party candidates, who contested the recent Patiala corporation elections, before her.

The Congress candidates, who had withdrawn from the elections on a call of former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, apprised the Congress president of alleged mass-scale rigging carried out by the ruling party in the Patiala corporation elections.

Former Patiala mayor Vishnu Sharma admitted that 46 Congress candidates met Sonia Gandhi today at about 1 pm under the stewardship of Preneet Kaur. We informed the Congress president about the rigging in the elections. She assured us that the developments in the elections were being discussed at the party level, he said.

The meeting of Patiala Congress men with Sonia assumes significance in view of the open criticism of Capt Amarinder Singh by PPCC president Shamsher Singh Dullo and leader of the opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal on the issue of withdrawing candidates from the elections midway.

Dullo had flayed Capt Amarinder Singh for withdrawing the candidates without taking the party high command into confidence. He had stated that the matter would be taken to the party high command.

Capt Amarinder Singh had reacted to his remarks by saying “Dullo was nobody to question him on the issue”.

Sources here said that the crushing defeat of the Congress in the corporation elections with the SAD-BJP combine winning 43 seats was being used by detractors of the former Chief Minister within the party against him.

With most of senior Congress leaders looking after Punjab affairs being against them, the family of former Chief Minister is banking on the support of Sonia, the sources added.

Capt Amarinder Singh has been in New Delhi these days, the sources said


FCI contract exposes cracks in SAD
Tribune News Service

Mansa, August 31
Differences among senior leaders of the SAD of this district came to the fore here when one group started supporting the owners of a private company, which had been allotted the contract by the FCI to transport wheat from godowns to railway station, while the other group started opposing it.

The situation reached such a point that the district police authorities had to deploy policemen at the office of the truck operators union.

Mithu Singh, one of the partners in the private company and national vice-president, All-India Youth Akali Dal, alleged that they were not given trucks to transport bags of wheat from FCI godowns to the railway station by the union on the alleged directions of senior Akali leaders, including district president Harwant Singh Datewas.

He said that in the past four to five days they had suffered huge losses in the shape of penalties, which they had to pay after they failed to load the special trains with the bags to be transported to other parts. He said they tried to transport the same by using canters but the union stopped them. Mithu said that they were being forced to cancel the contract so that the other contractor could get it.

He pointed out that they were given trucks today evening only after the order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court directing the district administration that no one should be allowed to interfere in their work.

Datewas while denying the allegations.

Malkeet Singh, president of the union, said that trucks were not being given to the contractor as they were not offering reasonable charges for using the trucks.

Meanwhile, G.S. Pannu, SDM, said that a compromise had been reached between the parties.


Bitta for DNA test of dera chief
Tribune News Service

Ropar, August 31
President of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front M.S. Bitta has demanded narco analysis and DNA test of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh following the alleged sexual harassment of women at the dera and the murder of a journalist.

Talking to mediapersons here, Bitta claimed that he had got a list of all women at the dera who were subjected to sexual harassment. “When the time is ripe, we’ll come out with the list in public,” he said.

He also demanded a probe into the 1,600 acres possessed by the baba. 


SAD-BJP united: Barnala

Nabha, August 31
Organising secretary of the SAD Gaganjit Singh Barnala today organised a sangat darshan at the local PWD rest house and heard grievances of party workers and leaders.

Earlier, talking to mediapersons, he said there was absolutely no disharmony between the coalition government allies the SAD and the BJP. However, he refused to comment on the non-inclusion of BJP stalwart Navjot Singh Sidhu in the Amirtsar Development Authority, a brainchild of the latter, saying that it was the prerogative of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and other senior leaders. — OC


Tribune Impact
Controversial dean removed 
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 31
Vice-chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University today removed Dr T.D. Narang as dean (academic affairs) following the controversy over the admission of his son to B.Tech (computer sciences) by allegedly flouting university rules. Professor (commerce) Raghbir Singh succeeds Dr Narang.

Dr Narang’s term as dean was to be completed in March next year.

However, the vice-chancellor said Dr Narang had been relieved of the charge on latter’s personal request since he wanted to devote more time to research.

The university had allegedly overlooked rules for NRI admissions in B.Tech (computer science) for the second consecutive year with a view to accommodating the ward of a senior official of the university who had secured low marks in the CET conducted by Punjab Technical University (PTU).

The Governor and the Chief Minister had sought an inquiry in this regard.

The seats for wards of employees under the NRI quota had been increased from four to eight a few days before the admission.

Ajaydeep Singh Grewal, son of a widow, could not get admission though he had submitted a draft of foreign currency the same day. He ranked third in the list.


CM for uplift of Bawaria community
Neeraj Bagga
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, August 31
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal assured the Bawaria community to take up with the Centre its demand for incorporating the community in the ST list and to consider raising its quota in jobs from present 2 per cent to 5 per cent.

The Chief Minister was here today to participate in a function of the community to commemorate deletion of its name from the list of the Criminal Occupation Act on this day in 1952. Acceding to the demands of the community leaders, he assured them representatives of the Bawaria and Vimukt communities would be nominated to the panels to be constituted for development and other decision-making bodies.

He said since the incorporation of the community into the ST category fell under the jurisdiction of the central government, he would recommend the case to it and meet the minister concerned to expedite the case. Badal announced a grant of Rs 10 lakh each for upgrade and repair of the community houses at Muktsar and here.

He said around 17,000 teachers would soon be appointed to boost the education system in the state, especially in villages. 


Nabard to construct Sangrur bypass
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
A 24-km-long Sangrur bypass will be constructed under a special scheme of Nabard.

Parminder Singh Dhindsa, PWD minister, said yesterday that the road would start from Gaggarpur to Badrukan and pass through Kheri-Kular Khurd, Bharror, Chathe Sekhwan and Ubhewal villages. It would be constructed at a cost of Rs 11 crore.

He said the bypass would shorten the distance between Barnala and Patran by 14 km and between Patiala and Patran by 9 km.

Teachers’ issues

The government has decided not to depute the teaching faculty on non-teaching duties. Also a website of the education department will be launched.

Upinderjit Kaur, education minister, said orders had already been circulated to all field officers.

The promotion channels had also been set in motion for the teaching and non-teaching staff In order to address the issue of delayed salary payments, the government had decided to provide “drawing and disbursing” powers to the school heads. Pending inquiries would be sorted at the district level within 90 days.

Bhaini Sahib board

The government has reconstituted the Bhaini Sahib and Rayian Development Board under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister. Charanjit Singh Atwal, deputy speaker, Lok Sabha, has been nominated as its vice-chairman.

The term of the board will be three years with headquarters in Chandigarh.

Cooperation sought

In order to ensure transparency, health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla has asked residents to extend their cooperation in curbing corruption and nabbing corrupt officials of the department.

She said anybody could file written complaint at her official fax numbers: 0172-2740724 and 0172-2747210 between 9 am and 5 pm.


Kanak-dal: Govt examining alternative schemes
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
The state government is studying alternative schemes to the kanak-dal scheme launched on August 15. At present, kanak-dal is given to nearly 14 lakh beneficiaries through public distribution system.

As a large chunk of population has been covered under the scheme, the government is keeping its fingers crossed with regard to the success or failure of the scheme. The main apprehension of the government is reaching of the kanak and dal stock to the actual beneficiaries. The public distribution system is not considered a reliable system in the country.

Sources said the government was studying the cash-coupon scheme as an alternative to the present scheme.

Food and supplies minister Adesh Partap Singh said various alternatives were being examined. He said the government was facing no problem at the moment with regard to the implementation of the scheme and no major complaint had been received with regard to its distribution.

He said the purpose behind studying the alternative system was to further improve the distribution system. Moreover, if any alternative system could save some money in comparison to the present scheme, there was no harm in opting for another one.

" My objective is to ensure that 14 lakh beneficiaries take the optimal benefit from the scheme", he said.


Power board moves PSERC
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 31
Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has moved the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) for allowing it to recover the expenditure of its proposed scheme for training its manpower through tariff imposed on consumers.

The board also proposes to spend 1.5 per cent of its salary budget (Rs 25 crores) in its human resource development. The board has workforce of 2,000 executives and 64,000 other employees. However, the financial burden of updating and training the staff is likely to be levied on the customers if the PSERC allows it to do so.

The policy of training the workforce has been adopted in line with the national training policy for the power sector. As per the policy it shall now be mandatory for all board officers and employees to complete five days training per year for being eligible for promotional scales of 9/16/23 pattern. Senior executive engineers, superintendent engineers and chief engineers shall have to undergo mandatory next-level competency training.


Now, Own Your Tube Well
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 31
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has decided to release tube well connections for agriculture purposes on a priority under Own Your Tube Well Scheme (OYT) with immediate effect.

Chairman, PSEB, Y.S. Ratra said for the registration of application an applicant would have to deposit Rs 25,000 as registration fee along with the application, which would be adjustable against service connection charges at the rate Rs 5,000 per BHP.

Giving details about the scheme, the chairman said for the release of connections the PSEB would install an 11 kv line, distribution transformer and other equipment. The work would be carried out by the board or through contractors approved by the chief electrical inspector of Punjab. The cost of estimate on actual basis in addition to the SCC would be borne by the applicant. Two or more applicants could jointly share the cost of a common 11 kv line. However, they should have separate transformers for their respective tube wells. After the release of the connection, routine maintenance of the 11 kv line, distribution transformer and other equipment would be carried out by the board. 


PRTC to resume Bassi-Delhi service
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, August 31
The Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) is all set to resume bus-service on the Bassi-Delhi road following instructions issued by the Punjab transport minister Mohan Lal.

The directives came in wake of demands raised by the localities of the Bassi-Pathana, who had sought intervention of the Punjab transport minister in restoring the direct bus-service from Bassi Pathana to Delhi.


Integrated computerised check post soon
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, August 31
The state transport department has decided to prepare a comprehensive plan to set-up an Integrated Computerised Check Post at Shambu barrier with an aim to promote and facilitate transporters in the state.

This was stated by D. S. Jaspal, chief secretary Punjab transport department, after he along with senior officials of the state transport department visited the Shambu barrier to oversee the progress of the Modern Collection Center being brought up with an estimated cost of Rs 6 crore.

The chief secretary said the check post would have all the latest equipments to facilitate its working. He said a project report would be prepared and submitted to the state government within a week and the check post was likely to be made operational by the end of next month. He said the check post would be set up in collaboration with the state excise and taxation department.

He said all barriers in the state would be computerised soon. He said compuertisation of the barriers has led to increase in tax collection and the state was likely to witness an increase of over Rs 100 crore in collection of taxes once all the barriers were computerised.

S. S. Sidhu, MD Punjab infrastructure development board, stated that rest houses for drivers and a petrol pump would also be set-up at the check post to provide better facilities to truckers.


Protest out side registrar Sandhu’s office
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 31
The members of the joint action committee today held a protest outside the office of B.S. Sandhu the registrar of the Punjabi University who yesterday resumed his duties after being released from judicial custody in corruption cases registered against him by the Punjab vigilance.

The members of the joint action committee broke the name plate of the registrar and held a drum beat march in the university seeking the removal of B.S. Sandhu.

They alleged that Sandhu has been reinstated by the vice-chancellor illegally. Kulbir Singh Dhillon the reader from the department of history who is now under suspension led the protestors.

They demanded that the registrar who was facing corruption case should be put under suspension rather than being allowed to work against a coveted post.

By remaining on the coveted post of registrar, Sandhu can affect the evidence against him in the corruption case.

The VC cannot appoint Sandhu as registrar as the syndicate has withdrawn the power delegated to him earlier for making such appointments.

The members of joint action committee also raised slogans against Madal Lal MLA Ghanaur who allegedly went to meet the vice-chancellor. 


Insensitive Cops
Body unattended for 6 hours
Tribune News Service

Kharar, August 31
The body of a resident from Teeda village lay unattended for six hours here today.

Lal Singh, a resident of Teeda was going with a woman and her son on scooter towards Chandigarh. On the way between Teeda and Jhampur lies a seasonal canal that was flooded with rain water.

The not-so-well maintained bridge constructed across the water body too was flooded with gushing water. People intending to cross the bridge were waiting at a side for water to recede and even stopped Lal Singh from crossing the bridge. Lal Singh asked the woman and child to get down from scooter and he tried to cross the bridge. A gush of water swept him and he died on the spot. Mullapur police reached the spot at 11 am. They started the investigations when the news came that area lies under Balongi. Mullapur police immediately stopped its investigations and informed Balongi police.

The Balongi police reached the spot at around 12:30 noon and by 2 pm the body was sent to Kharar civil hospital for post-mortem.


ADTO shifted

Amritsar, August 31
Secretary, transport, D.S. Jaspal today transferred Dhyan Singh, an additional district transport officer (ADTO), Amritsar, to Chandigarh on the complaint of the district police chief .

Talking to The Tribune, the secretary said the ADTO was found “harassing” common public in connivance with police employees attached with him. The secretary also directed state transport commissioner R.Venkatratnam to issue instructions to streamline the functioning of the department by taking steps to stop such malpractices.

District police chief Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh personally visited the Jandiala bypass following a complaint that the ADTO was “harassing” the public.

The instructions have also been passed to the department concerned not to attach gunmen and drivers with transport officers. — TNS


Turban Issue Gill’s plea to Pranab

Chandigarh, August 31
Manohar Singh Gill, Rajya Sabha member, has urged external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee to convey to the US resentment among Sikhs against the screening of turbans at US airports. He raised this issue in the Rajya Sabha yesterday.

The US should be told clearly that the Sikhs are law-abiding citizens and they feel humiliated over asking them to remove turbans for security purpose. — TNS


Farmers seek waiver of power bills
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 31
Farmers from Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts, under the aegis of the Kisan Sangarsh Committee, Punjab, gheraoed the SDM’s office for seeking waiver of debts and pending electricity and water bills in the area.

In a memorandum submitted to the SDM, the protesting farmers said the arrears of tube well and canal water bills should be waived off and government should implement the recommendations of the Central Farmers’ Commission for making farming a profitable business.

Kisan Sangarsh Committee leaders Kanwarpreet Singh Pannu and Satnam Singh Pannu said the government should do some rethinking on its policies like land acquisition and creation of special economic zones (SEZs).

They also demanded that the pipes laid by a paper mill on the Amritsar-Tarn Taran road, which were polluting the water features in the area, should be uprooted.


Sidhu may be made member of dev board
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 31
BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu is likely to be nominated as one of the members of the Amritsar Development Board, following pressure from the BJP high command.

According to BJP sources, Sidhu is likely to be nominated member because he was among the first to raise the demand in this regard. He had also led a team of state bureaucrats to Ahmedabad and other metropolitan cities for studying various models for setting it up in the state.

The sources further said Sidhu’s main aim was for the planned development of the holy city, which had remain neglected for quiet a long time.


HC dismisses contempt plea against IT dept
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
Mr Justice Hemant Gupta today dismissed a petition seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against the commissioner and the assistant commissioner of income tax, Amritsar.

The judge did not find any merit in the stand of the petitioner, Inderpal Singh Ahuja. He stated in his order that it could not be inferred that there was any wilful disobedience of the orders of the court when the amount of Rs 58 lakh was released for bonds, though initially the petitioner had sought to purchase bonds worth Rs 68 lakh.

The facts of the case, according to the order, were that the petitioner had sold his land measuring five acres in January 2002 and May 2002. The proceeds of the sale were subject to capital gains tax. On June 26, 2002, the assistant commissioner of income tax communicated to the Bank of Punjab to attach the bank account of the petitioner under Section 281-b of the Income Tax Act.

The petitioner had challenged the order before the high court whereby a “consent order” was passed on August 25, 2003. It was the stand of the income tax department that the attachment had been made for protecting the interest of revenue as there was likelihood of the petitioner taking moeny abroad where he was residing.

According to the consent order, there was an agreement to purchase rural electrification bonds.

The petitioner’s counsel had made a statement before the court that the petitioner had no objection if the amount attached by the department was released directly to the bank from which rural electrification corporation bonds were to be purchased. Also, such bonds be retained by the revenue till the conclusion of assessment proceedings up to the assessment year 2002-2003.

The grievance of the petitioner was that in terms of of the consent order, the petitioner had filled the application form for investing Rs 68 lakh in bonds out of the attached bank account containing Rs 78 lakh but the respondents (income tax department) purchased bonds for a sum of Rs 58 lakh only.

It was the stand of the respondents that such a sum alone was required to be deposited in the bonds under Section 54 (EC) of the Act. The amount was liable to be subject to long-term capital gain.


Lovers get life term for murder
Megha Mann
Tribune News Service

Rupnagar, August 31
District and sessions judge Rekha Mittal today sentenced a woman and her lover to life imprisonment for a murder committed on February 28, 2005.

The woman killed her mother in connivance with her lover as she disapproved of their affair.The court sentenced Inderjit Kaur, alias Laddi, and her lover Deepak (both in mid-twenties) to life imprisonment and fined them Rs 2,000 each. Both were residents of Dhobian Wala Mohalla here.

Victim Bhinder Kaur was sedated and then strangulated to death. In order to make it look like a case of robbery, the accused slashed the wrists of the deceased.

Deepak then left the body at the main gate of the house. Passersby saw the body in a pool of blood the following morning.

In his statement to the court, the brother of the deceased, who runs Punjabi Dhaba near Khalsa School, Landran, said he suspected Inderjit's hand. "A day before the murder, Bhinder told me of Inderjit's affair with Deepak. I talked to Inderjit about it, but she denied the same, saying her mother was lying," he told the court.

The next day Bhinder was found dead. On Kulwant's complaint, the Kharar police booked the duo on March 1, 2005. Bhinder Kaur worked with the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) at Mohali.


Transport dept’s master plan to check tax evasion
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 31
The Punjab transport department will be preparing a master plan as being followed in Gujarat and Bangalore to check the evasion of tax in the state.

Stating this, the principal secretary (transport) D.S. Jaspal, said the master plan would be ready in a week's time and the same would be forwarded to the CM Parkash Singh Badal for final approval. He added that the department would also work closely with the state excise department to set up an integrated computerised check post at Shambu, 26 kms from here on the Patiala-Ambala road, to check evasion. This he added would be operational from the next month.

Earlier, D.S. Jaspal checked the ongoing work at the Modern Information Collection Centre at Shambu which is coming up at a cost of Rs 6 crores on an area of 7.5 acres. The transport secretary added that the department had set up a total of 32 barriers in the state out of which nine had been computerised and revenue of Rs 12 crores had started accruing annually. He added that once all the barriers had been computerised, total revenue of Rs 100 crores was expected to flow to the state's coffers.

Replying to a question that the staff of the transport department was harassing the general public at various barriers, D.S. Jaspal said this sort of harassment would now come to an end since all the barriers in the state would now be fitted with cameras. Replying to another question, he said the practice of truck operators driving overloaded trucks would now be put to an end following the directives of the Supreme Court. 


Home dept for prosecution of Mann
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
The Home Department of the Punjab government now wants to prosecute Simranjit Singh Mann, SAD (A) chief, in alleged cases of sedition registered against him.

Seeking permission to prosecute him, the department has moved a file to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to take clearance from him before proceeding further.

Sources in the government today confirmed the development in this regard. The file details two cases registered against Mann for allegedly being involved in sedition.

Badal is expected to clear the permission to prosecute Mann in the coming days.

Since sedition and hurting the religious sentiments of people are serious charges and Mann is the president of a political outfit, the home department thought it was better to get the clearance from the top executive in this regard.

Meanwhile, in another significant development, a recommendation has been made to withdraw a separate case of sedition registered against Khalistan ideologue Daljit Singh Bittu, who parted ways with Mann last week.


Youth’s Murder
Kin, protesters block traffic
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, August 31
At least 125 people along with Ranjit Kaur and Rajwinder Kaur, mother and sister, respectively, of Harjit Singh (26) of the Baguana Basti , who was shot dead on August, blocked the Sangrur-Barnala road near the Mahavir Chowk and Police Lines for more than two hours.

The protesters even staged a dharna and raised slogans against the Punjab police.

They were demanding closure of Punjab Public School, Baguana Basti, and inclusion of an advocate and a man’s name in the FIR for allegedly conspiring to kill Harjit Singh. Despite the complaints lodged by Harjit’s family members against the duo the police has failed to take any action.

Rajwinder Kaur alleged that his brother was murdered as he had prevented Sanjay Chowhan, owner of Punjab Public School, from encroaching upon the street.

She also asked the district administration to close the school functioning from the residential area and arrest them. The protesters also called for a bandh on September 11 to compel the police for taking action against the guilty.

SDM Mohan Lal pacified the protestors and got the road blockade lifted. He assured them to arrange a meeting between the deputy commissioner and protestors tomorrow to discuss the issue at length.

Harjit Singh was shot dead when he along with his cousin was going on a scooter towards his home at Baguana Basti. Sanjay Chowhan and his driver, Rakesh Kumar, had already been arrested in this connection.

The police has also recovered the revolver used for committing the crime. A case under the Arms Act was registered against the guilty.


Youth found murdered in fields
Tribune News Service

Rupnagar, August 31
A youth was found murdered in the fields of village Rehlon Khurd in district Rupnagar today. The 26-years-old Mahavir alias Manoj has been missing since August 29. A resident of village Sukhrampur Tappariyan, he originally belonged to Garhwal in Uttranchal.

In his complaint to Rupnagar city police, deceased's brother Kalamjeet said that Manoj had an affair with a girl of nearby village. That girl called him up on August 29 night at 11:30 pm and Manoj did not return after that. His family members kept on trying to call at his mobile till August 30 afternoon but could not find him.

His body was found lying in the fields of village Rehlon Khurd today with acid sprinkled on his face in an attempt to conceal his identity.

Police has booked murder case against unknown people and is investigating the matter.


UK award for Nabha school
Our Correspondent

Nabha, August 31
Punjab Public School, Nabha, is the first school in the state to receive the prestigious International School Award for 2007 to 2010 by the British Council. Cmdr I.L. Syal (retd.), headmaster, received the award in Kolkata on August 27 from director,British Council, India and Sri Lanka, Rod Pryde.

The award gives the rights to the school for using the logo of the British Council for International School Award in activities and exchange programmes carried out by it with other institutions.

Commenting on the achievement, Syal said the award had been conferred on it for not only making students aware of their country but the entire world by using latest technology and e-pal projects. The school has entered into partnership for exchanging views with two schools in the United Kingdom-Lodge Park Technology College, Corby, and Derwent Community School, Derwent, Derby. 


Students encouraged to learn French
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 31
Though most of the Indian students go to Canada, the US and Australia for higher education, there are a lot of opportunities for Indian students to pursue higher studies in France also.

This was stated by Pierre Koest, attaché for corporation in education, French Embassy, New Delhi, while interacting with students and faculty of Guru Nanak Dev University here today.

Koest said owing to language barriers, the number of Indian students in France is very less. At present, only 1,700 Indian students are studying in various courses in France, he added.

Talking about the structure of Hindi and French, he said both languages were closely related. As against 19 French tutors sent by France to India in 2006, 33 French teachers had been sent to India this year.

The French language is important to learn for Indian students for sixty countries have adopted it as their language. Moreover, France offers various courses in science, technology, medicine, design and social sciences, he claimed.

Vice-chancellor of the university Jai Rup Singh also addressed the students.


Punjabi varsity create landmark hostels
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 31
Punjabi University, Patiala, has established a new landmark by way of creating capacious hostel accommodation for its students on its campus and at its regional campuses of Talwandi Sabo and Rampura Phul, the sources said, here today.

The campus and its regional centres will now have the additional capacity to accommodate 2020 hostellers as against 1488 till 2002 since the establishment of the university. The vice-chancellor Swarn Singh Boparai told that the dwelling capacity will rise to 2446 with the construction of a women’s hostel and two hostels to accommodate visiting sportspersons and correspondence course students.

He said the raising of these hostels will ease the tough situation that the hostellers have been facing for quite sometime now, in addition to making the environment conducive for their studies in their hostel rooms.

The sources said the inmates of the imposing and the magnificent eight-storey structure of the University College of Engineering hostels for boys and girls, comprising 392 rooms each, will enjoy the incredible ambience of an elegantly designed building and sprawling landscape, he said.

The constructions of these hostels, which have been completed in a record period of just about 15 months, are equipped with the latest gadgets, including internet connectivity.

The sources further disclosed that two new hostels have been completed on the campus for the SC and ST boys and girls to put up 220 students each.


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