P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Sending Birs to Canada
Sarna rejects probe panel, ready to appear at Takht
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 18
Harwinder Singh Sarna, a former president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has rejected the five-member committee, constituted by the SGPC to probe attempts of the DSGMC to send 100 Birs (copies) of Guru Granth Sahib to Canada in a container (through shipment), but he offered to appear at Akal Takht to clarify the position of Gurdwara Committee, if summoned by the Jathedar.

Talking to The Tribune on telephone today, Sarna said the SGPC’s fact- finding committee had no locus standi to conduct any inquiry into the matter due to “doubtful credentials” of certain members. “We don’t bother about the results of the proposed inquiry even”, he said.

In a veiled threat, Sarna said the DSGMC would continue to publish the Birs despite any directive (edict) or ordinance by any authority. He alleged the move to constitute the fact-finding committee against the DSGMC was an attempt to stop the DSGMC from publishing Birs of Guru Granth Sahib in future. He said the DSGMC would oppose “monopoly” of the SGPC to publish Birs . By giving exclusive rights to the SGPC to publish Birs would be an attempt to scuttle ‘dharm parchar’ by other Sikh organisations . Sarna said the SGPC chief must understand that like the Shiromani Committee, the DSGMC too was constituted through an Act passed by Parliament . He said the “Sikh Sangat” of New Delhi won’t accept such edict or order by any authority in future. He, however, said the DSGMC would welcome probe by any neutral Sikh organisation of intellectuals with transparent credentials.

Meanwhile , Jagtar Singh Malik , brother of Ripudaman Singh Malik, who has been accused in the 1985 Kanishka bombing case , tendered unqualified apology to the DSGMC for making an attempt to send 100 Birs in a container through Mumbai port. The Birs were being sent to Malik for free distribution on the demand of NRI Sikhs there. He (Malik) said he was ignorant that sending Birs in a container was a violation of the Sikh tradition. He also gave an undertaking not to repeat such mistakes in future. Sarna said the DSGMC itself called back the container when Prof Darshan Singh , a former Jathedar Akal Takht, gave his expert opinion that the holy Birs could not be sent through shipment . Making a frontal attack , Sarna said the SGPC should first order high- level probe into its controversial books on Sikh history which were full of “blasphemous information” .

Avtar Singh president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee had constituted a committee comprising Tarsem Singh Khalsa, in charge of the Sikh Mission Delhi, Jathedar Avtar Singh Hit, Bhupinder Singh Anand, Kuldeep Singh Bhogal and senior secretary of the SGPC Ajaib Singh to inquire into the charges of showing disrespect to the Birs of Guru Granth Sahib.

The SGPC chief urged the Jathedar of Akal Takht to summon Sarna and others responsible for their irresponsible actions so that the facts were brought before the Sikhs.

Meanwhile Avtar Singh said the SGPC would ensure bringing out the most authentic translation of Guru Granth Sahib in English language . The Shiromani Committee will seek the services of noted Sikh scholars Dr Jaswant Singh Neki and Dr Jodh Singh for English translation.


Punjab govt agenda not clear, says Bhattal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 18
Punjab Congress chief Rajinder Kaur Bhattal today launched another attack on the ruling SAD-BJP combine, alleging that there was no clarity in the agenda of the alliance on any issue and said “chief minister Parkash Singh Badal should make his government functional".

It was the first day for Bhattal in her office as the chief of the Punjab Congress when she told mediapersons that in the seven months of Badal-led government, there had been no clarity on the government's agenda, including law and order, running of the administration, the bureaucracy, implementation of development programmes or caring for the common man.

She alleged there were inner-party conflicts between the two alliance partners as also within the Council of Ministers. "Within the two parties and the ruling alliance things are not right," she said, adding that contradictory statements were emanating from the ministers.

Quoting examples Bhattal said Bikram Singh Majithia, public relations minister, had publicly demanded the transfer of a deputy commissioner in his district while finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal had expressed his "helplessness" in implementing his plans and programmes for improving the financial health due to various reasons, including political.

The former chief minister said Manpreet, who was a "right man in the wrong party", should clarify his proposals publicly so that the Congress, as an opposition party, could give its opinion on his plans." The ministers in Badal government are restless.

Bhattal, who is also the Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, appealed to Badal to hike the state government's contribution for the ter-centenary celebrations of ‘Gurgaddi Divas’ of Guru Granth Sahib at Nanded in Maharashtra from the present Rs 8 crore to Rs 101 crore or Rs 151 crore. The contribution of Punjab is a "pittance" as compared to Rs 800 crore to be spent by the Centre and Rs 600 crore by the Maharashtra Government, she said, adding a large number of people from all over the world were expected to take part in the weeklong celebrations.

On the Ludhiana blasts Bhattal said a sum of Rs 10 lakh to each of the dead and Rs 5 lakh for the seriously injured. Blaming the state government for the incident, she said it was a "grave security lapse" as the state government "failed to take action" on the alert issued by the Union Home Ministry regarding some incident.

"Badal should now take steps to ensure that such incidents do not take place again," she added. Bhattal said the Ludhiana incident was aimed at scaring away migrant labourers who contribute considerably to the state's overall development.

The PCC chief also said that Congress president Sonia Gandhi was scheduled to visit Punjab in the third week of November for addressing a rally, tentatively at Ludhiana.

She supported the demands made by some parties that the CBI be called in to probe the bomb explosion to get to the bottom of the conspiracy.

She regretted that despite warnings by central security agencies the state government had not taken adequate measures to prevent such incidents.


Buddha Nullah
With HC monitoring, Punjab chief secy talks tough
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 18
Accountability is not exactly a hallmark of the state’s administration that more often than not revels in buck-passing.

But, prodded by the high court’s censure over the terrible state of Buddha Nullah, the chief secretary, Punjab, Ramesh Inder Singh, has sounded warning bells for officials concerned lest they turn lax in their efforts to clean the nullah.

In his lengthy affidavit-cum-action-taken-report, dated October 16, filed before the high court, he has minced no words in driving home the urgency of the situation. The affidavit states that if any lapse occurs in the efforts to clean the nullah, the officer concerned would be held personally responsible for the failure.

This is not all. The affidavit states that the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) chairman has been specifically requested to play a “proactive” role to persuade industrial houses to achieve zero-discharge by the stipulated dates.

Also, the matter is being regularly monitored by the chief secretary and P. Ram, principal secretary, Technical Education and Industrial Training-cum-Project Coordination.

Given the gravity of the situation, the PPCB chairman too has given a categorical assurance that an online monitoring system would be put in place within two months, the affidavit states.

Interestingly, the affidavit highlights the fact that authorities concerned, including the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, are contemplating outsourcing of the work related to desilting of the nullah.

Also, the management of solid waste too would be handed over to external agencies through bidding.

It is necessary to mention here that the affidavit has been filed following the directions of the high court in the wake of a petition filed by Nirbhai Singh.

The petitioner has sought directions for the cleansing of the nullah and other environmental safeguards to ensure that the nullah doesn’t remain a harbinger of diseases and pollution.

The chief secretary further states in the affidavit that in pursuance of the directions of the high court, a meeting was held on September 24 to review the progress made to clean the nullah.

According to the affidavit, the Ludhiana municipal commissioner has informed that though a significant length of sewers has been desilted, the work relating to 78”dia sewer has been held up as the sewer passes through narrow lanes and congested areas.

Apart from this, the affidavit states, various constructions, including that of religious places, have come up which are covering manholes on this sewer line.

This has slowed down the pace of cleaning work. Moreover, some dyeing units are discharging their effluents into the sewer.

The commissioner has further informed that the municipal corporation has proposed to outsource the work relating to desilting and complete it by March 31, 2008. Importantly, the proposal has been agreed upon by P. Ram.

Significantly, D.S. Bains, principal secretary, Department of Local Bodies, too has stated that work of collection, transportation and disposal of solid waste in major cities of the state would be outsourced.

The chief secretary has advised the said department to initiate independent bidding for allocation of management of solid waste in Ludhiana irrespective of the status of bidding in the rest of the cities.


DSP accuses seniors of shielding officials involved in clash
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 18
A DSP has accused senior Punjab Police functionaries of attempting to shield officers “found to be involved” in a clash between the police and some members of the public that took place over a year ago due to a land dispute between Gurdwara Bhadaur and Nanaksar Thath in Barnala district.

Two cases were registered in the matter. In his petition filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, against ADGP G.D. Pandey, DIG B.K. Uppal, AIG V. Neerja, SP Sukhdev Singh Brar and others, DSP (detective) Baljit Singh has stated that he was being pressured to change his statements made before Patiala's SP (crime) and an Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate.

The DSP added that he was also being pressured to depose in favour of an SSP.

He also said he was being threatened with dire consequences, including implication in a false case, if he refused to change his statement.

Giving details, the petitioner contended that an ADGP should have submitted the reports to a court of competent jurisdiction once the reinvestigation had been completed as ordered by the high court. But an extension was obtained by filing a false affidavit stating that reinvestigations were still on.

Going into the background of the matter, he stated that on October 11 last year two FIRs were registered after a dispute between the two gurdwaras. The high court took suo motu cognizance of the reported incident and the case continued to progress.

On May 8, the ADGP entrusted reinvestigation to Patiala SP (crime). The reports about this were to be submitted within four months.

As such, the reports were submitted on August 16 to the ADGP through a DIG and an IG after they were approved.

The petitioner claimed that he subsequently approached SP (crime) under the RTI Act for getting the reports. But, he was told that they were with the ADGP.

He applied for the copies there but came to know about the extension in time for completing the reinvestigation.

He added that the ADGP "under the garb of extension, again entrusted the reinvestigation of the matter to SP (crime) Sukhdev Singh Brar" without obtaining orders from the high court.

The motive was to protect and shield the then SSP and other erring officials, found to be involved in the incident.

The petition is expected to come up for hearing before the high court on Friday.

It may be recalled that a clash between the police and Bhadaur residents had left a Duty Magistrate, a DSP, five policemen and some villagers seriously injured.

The police had resorted to lathicharge and had used tear gas to disperse the agitators.


Staff shortage hits top college
PPSC fails to make regular appointments
Bhanu P. Lohumi
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 18
Government Rajinder College, Bathinda, is finding it hard to cope with the shortage of regular staff. The college, which celebrated its platinum jubilee in 2004, has ambitious expansion plans but staff crunch is holding back the plans.

Its record in academics and extra-curricular activities has been outstanding. The institute, which is the biggest college in the Malwa region, also figures among the top 10 colleges of Punjabi University in academics and is three-time zone winner in cultural activities.

The co-educational college with a sprawling complex spread over 28 acres has a strength of about 2600 students and it has been maintaining an ideal teacher-pupil ratio of 1:40.

However, with members of the teaching faculty retiring gradually, the ratio has gone up. Contract appointments have been made to meet the shortage of over 28 faculty members. As of now, there are 54 regular teachers against the 82 sanctioned posts. To fill the vacant posts, nine lecturers on contract and six temporary lecturers have been engaged.

Principal of the college, Professor Chintram, said the college is depending on guest faculty to ensure that the students do not suffer.

The recruitment of lecturers is made through the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) and no regular appointments have been made in the past few years. The situation is no better regarding the non-teaching staff where two dozen posts, including those of nine laboratory assistants are vacant.

The science faculty, namely physics, chemistry and biology, are the worst hit with 12 regular posts lying vacant.

A salient feature of the institute is that the admissions are made strictly on merit and the number of girls here is about 1200 which is more than 45 per cent of the total.

Government Rajinder College started postgraduate classes in political science in 1962 but has made slow progress in starting postgraduate courses in other disciplines. It has plans to start a postgraduate diploma in computer application (PGDCA) from next year.


CM: Waterproof Rajasthan canal
Prabhjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Gidderbaha, October 18
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said he would take up the matter of renovating the main Rajasthan canal and to'water proof' it to save the state's fields from waterlogging with the union government and his Rajasthan counterpart Ms Vasundhra Raje Scindia.

Badal stated this while addressing rural people Babania village in Gidderbaha Assembly constituency during his tour of nine villages where waterlogging had devastated paddy and cotton crops over thousands of acres in Lambi, Gidderbaha and Malout blocks.

"The proposed renovation of the Rajasthan canal is not enough as there is need to make its bed and the sides waterproof and I will soon take up this matter with the central government and also with the Rajasthan Chief Minister in Delhi," Badal said.

The Chief Minister also announced the farmers with their water-logged land lying waste for more than six years would get one-time compensation of Rs 6,000 per acre. Similarly, there would compensation of Rs 4,000 per acre for those with their land under the saline water for four to six years and Rs 2,000 for two to four years.

Badal today visited Babania, Ghagga, Lundewala, Channo, Fatehpur Mania, Punjwana and Fattakera villages and the Lambi town on the second day of his two-day whirlwind tour of the 'sem'-affected Malwa region along with the three-member team of the scientists from the Delhi-based Central Ground Water Board, irrigation minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon and senior officials of the state.

Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal was also present at Babania, Ghagga and Lundewala villages of his Gidderbaha Assembly constituency.


Balbir Punj to meet Badal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, October 18
In the light of differences on the issue of hike in power tariff and some other issues between the Punjab BJP and the SAD, in charge of the Punjab BJP affairs Balbir Punj will meet Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on October 19 in Amritsar.

In reply to a question here today, secretary general of the SAD Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa said though there were some minor differences between the SAD and the BJP on some issues, but the BJP leaders should not approach the media in this regard as all issues could be settled amicably.

He further said the issue of the post of the deputy chief minister for the BJP had already been settled while the posts of chairperson of various boards and corporations would be distributed according to the ratio as had been done at the time constitution of the council of ministers.

Dhindsa disclosed that the new sports policy of the state was almost ready for the approval of the Chief Minister. He further said it had been suggested to the Chief Minister to give special cash awards to the winners of all games.


Mann group plans political rallies at Attari and Burail
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 18
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) has decided to hold two political rallies at Attari and in front of Burail Jail in Chandigarh. Party chief Sirmranjit Singh Mann said the rally at Attari was being held on October 28 to hail the efforts put in by the Pakistani president Prevez Mushraf for opening the Indo-Pak border for trader purposes.

Mann said the other rally would be held on November 28 in front of Burail jail to seek abolishing of death sentence and release of innocents Sikhs, who are languishing in jails.

He said his party would also observe 'martyrdom' of Bhai Beant Singh on October 30 at Gurdwara Sri Fatehgarh Sahib.Taking up the case of Punjab farmers, Mann said MSP of paddy and wheat should be in accordance with the price index. He said the state government should allocate land for setting up of hockey stadiums instead of cricket, as was being done by leasing out land belonging to PAU in Ludhiana.


Commissioner takes govt offices by surprise
38 employees found absent
Tribune News Service

Patiala Division Commissioner S.K. Ahluwalia conducts a surprise check at government offices in Patiala
Patiala Division Commissioner S.K. Ahluwalia conducts a surprise check at government offices in Patiala on Thursday. — Tribune photo by Rajesh Sachar

Patiala, October 18
Patiala division commissioner S.K. Ahluwalia conducted a surprise check at various government offices this morning and found 38 employees absent from duty. The employees did not reach their offices in time.

While talking to The Tribune, Ahluwalia said he had been receiving complaints that government employees were not sticking to the time schedule fixed by the government, thus forcing the public to wait for long hours outside the offices.

The officers who were found absent include those from the offices of the ADC (D), the ADC (general) and the SDM.

The deputy commissioner has been directed to take appropriate action against them.

To make his point clear, the commissioner conducted another surprise check in the afternoon. This time again, 10 employees were found absent from duty. Action has been recommended against these employees also. The commissioner said such checks would be done on a regular basis.


Information panel summons DC
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, October 18
The Punjab Information Commission , has summoned the Gurdaspur deputy commissioner for not providing information regarding expenditure by Dinanagar civic body on the construction of a concrete drain to a resident of Dinannagar.

The commission has asked Gurdaspur DC Vivek Pratap Singh to appear in person or through an authorisied officer, not below the rank of an assistant public information officer along with facts, documents before a bench constituted under state information commissioner Rupan Deol Bajaj on November 6, 2007 at 10 am.

The commission has also said in case no appearance is made on behalf of the DC ,who is also Public Information Officer (PIO), Gurdaspur, the case would be decided in his absence.

The PIO has also been directed to carry a copy of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005 and other relevant records for reference. The information commission has further asked the DC to send a copy of the information along with the receipt from the complainant, if already provided to the complainant.

Complainant Gauree Dayal Sharma, a resident of Kotha Bhim Sain, Dinanagar, has complained to the deputy commissioner regarding misuse of funds by the Dinanagar Municipal Council in constructing a pucca drain for d the disposal of waste water in May-June 2005. Sharma has alleged certain influential persons of the locality in connivance with the contractor were constructing the nallah to protect their encroachments on government land. He had also pointed out bungling of funds by the municipality officials in connivance with the contractor and certain influential persons thus causing huge losses to the state exchequer.

The complainant was forced to seek information under the RTI Act after the deputy commissioner allegedly ignored to provide Gauree Dayal Sharma information despite reminders.

Sharma had also sent copies of the complaint to Punjab Chief Minister, the chief secretary, the secretary, department of local government, Punjab Vigilance Bureau director, the minister of local bodies, Punjab, and the deputy commissioner.


Park faces govt apathy, is haven for addicts
Megha Mann
Tribune News Service

Chamkaur Sahib, October 18
The incomplete theme park, set up by the Congress government to commemorate the martyrdom of Guru Gobind Singh's sahibzadas and 40 others, has become a haven for drug addicts. The illustrious park is a victim to government apathy with not even a single grant released for it.

Even iron bars installed in the park are being stolen away and its land is falling prey to illegal quarrying by local residents.

"We invested Rs 5 lakh for developing the flora alone. Now if we do not appoint a gardener, all efforts will go waste and money will be drained. The government has not issued even a single penny, hence we are paying the gardener from our own pocket," said one of the contractors.

The first phase was completed in December, 2006, and former Chief Minister had pompously inaugurated the project. Pegged at a cost of Rs 28 crore, including Rs 60,000 compensation awarded to the locals, the project was to be completed within two years.

The contractors have already spent Rs 3 crore from their own pocket. "Ever since the new government came to power, we have not received any payment. How can we continue shelling out funds?" asked another contractor.

The park signifies the sahibzadas and 40 martyrs with 40 medium-sized pillars and two large pillars installed.

This park was set up to commemorate 300 years of the martyrdom of the sahibzadas of Sri Guru Gobind Singh in the battle of Chamkaur Sahib. DC Ajoy Kumar Sinha said further release of funds was awaited.


Tractor-trailer overturns, 10 students hurt
Tribune News Service

Sandhuana (Moga), October 18
The sleepy village, located nearly 7 km from here, was shocked with cries of students writhing in pain when a tractor-trailer carrying them back from an excursion trip turned turtle here in the noon.

Resulting in serious injuries to 10 students, including seven girls. All of them are believed to be out of danger.

About 35 students of the Government High School, Kothe Maliyan, were returning in the tractor-trailer after viewing a city cinema. The school arranged a trailer for carrying the students.

As per the onlookers, the overloaded tractor-trailer lost control while taking a turn and turned turtle. The onlookers rushed to rescue the children. They even called up nearby villagers and stopped vehicles for carrying the children grieving in pain to the Moga Civil Hospital.

The school authorities reached the hospital. Later, they informed parents of the children about the accident. Perturbed parents started reaching the hospital by evening. Resham Singh Aulakh, DEO, said he was just informed about the accident.


Bathinda expanding sans facilities
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 18
Though Bathinda has been witnessing rapid expansion for many years, its residents have been deprived of facilities, including local bus service and an air link. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, on a visit to the city on Sunday, announced to boost tourism, a shikara facility in the three lakes of the Guru Nanak Dev thermal plant here.

In this regard,deputy commissioner, Bathinda, Rahul Tiwari has submitted a proposal to the chairman, Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB). These three lakes are property of the PSEB.

In 1979, during Badal’s earlier term as Chief Minister, a shikara club was set up for boating on one of the lakes of the thermal plant here. Badal, along with his wife, also took a ride in the shikara and inaugurated the service. The Punjab government then had plans to develop Bathinda as “mini-Kashmir” and introduce the houseboat facility along with shikaras on the lake.

Then principal secretary to the CM M.S. Gill, who later went on to become the Chief Election Commissioner, was instrumental in formalising the shikara scheme.

One of the lakes is also used by the Army for training. Sometimes, these lakes remain in the news for the wrong reasons as well. Cases of suicide have been reported here.

A Vayudoot service, introduced between Delhi and Bathinda, keeping in view industrial growth of the area, was discontinued after some time.


Festival fervour grips Bathinda
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 18
With the 10-day Durga Puja entering into the seventh day today, the festival fervour has gripped entire Bathinda and adjoining areas. Devotees have been thronging puja pandals and temples across the district to have a glimpse of Maa on the Maha Saptami Day.

Celebrating the festival, the residents of the National Fertilisers Limited (NFL) Colony, here, participated in the daily navratra puja, ‘prabhat pheri’ and other rituals on Maha Saptami.

They also organised several programmes, including a painting contest, general knowledge test and a quiz to mark the occasion.

More than 350 students took part in the painting competition, which was based on spiritual themes. Clubbed into four groups like class-I to III, class-IV to VI, and others, students filled colours in the sketches of Durga, Hanuman and Shiv.

Nearly 300 students vied for the top place in the written GK test, which was based on the Ramayana. Winners of the test would qualify for the quiz contest.


Kapurthala fest gets underway
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, October 18
Jagatjit Palace was the venue for the 6th Baba Jassa Singh Kapurthala Heritage Festival, which began today.

The festival began on an auspicious note of devotional renditions of Bhai Manohar Singh. The chief guest for the mystic evening was education minister Upinderjit Kaur.

Bhai Manohar Singh, principal of Guru Sangat Academy of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, not only sang gurbani in rare ragas but also told the audiences about the nuances of the beautiful ragas. He held commercialisation responsible for polluting the sacred tradition.

The main attraction of the evening, Shafqat Ali Khan, began his performance with his khayal gayaki on a romantic note and went on to weave magical tapestry of sur and taan in unique Sham Chaurasi Gharana style.

The minister also gave away prizes to winners of slogan writing and painting competition on the occasion.


IB officials visit Ludhiana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
Senior officials of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) visited the city today and held urgent meetings with the police officials sharing information regarding the likely terrorist outfit that could have been involved in the Shingaar bomb blast incident.

Sources said IB officials took stock of the intelligence inputs reaching them from different sources and also shared the future threat perceptions.

The officials pinpointed certain grey areas in security which could be exploited by the terrorists.


Cheques given to villagers

Bassi Pathana, October 18
Cheques worth Rs. 25,000 each to 64 village panchayats of Bassi Pathana block under ‘Sampuran Gram Rojgar Yojna’ were distributed. Besides, 12 quintals of wheat to each village panchayat and 30 carts (rickshaw rehries) to the unemployed.

D.K. Saldi, BDPO, Bassi Pathana highlighted the various schemes for the rural people. Gurvinder Singh Bhatti, son of MLA Didar Singh Bhatti also spoke on the occasion. — TNS


Mobile court to keep moving in Hoshiarpur
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 18
Stamping down his foot on the functioning of mobile courts in the state, the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today said the mobile court would continue to work in Hoshiarpur where a section of advocates had gone on strike in protest.

Chief Justice Vijender Jain said not only Hoshiarpur but mobile courts would be introduced in other districts of the state on need basis like long distance being covered by litigants and poverty in the area. Launching of mobile court has proved fully successful and during its first week, 100 cases have been disposed by it.

"Strike is no solution for such matters. The mobile courts are an experiment. We would be analysing its pros and cons. If there was any legitimate problem of the lawyers or litigants in the working of the mobile court, it would be redressed immediately, whenever, it came to him.

He was talking to the Tribune on the sidelines of the function organised to lay the foundation stone of a new judicial complex at Jagraon.

The Chief Justice said he had taken up the problems of vacant posts of Judges with the state government and during this year, 100 more Judges were being added. Responding to a question of no promotion for judicial officers during the last four years, he said he was aware of it.

Justice Harbans Lal, Justice Mehtab Singh Gill, Justice Uma Nath Singh, Justice Rajiv Bhalla and District and Sessions Judge G.K. Rai were also present.


High Court
Judicial officers transferred
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 18
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered the transfer and postings of judicial officers in Punjab.

District and sessions judge Fateh Deep Singh has been transferred from Mansa to Kapurthala. He replaces S.P. Bangarh, who goes to Amritsar.

Meanwhile, additional district and sessions judge Bhupinder Singh has been transferred to Mansa on being designated as district and sessions judge.


BKU holds protest, threatens to intensify stir
Tribune Reporters

Bathinda, October 18
Accusing the government of bowing to the wishes of the Barnala-based Trident Group and not implementing the agreement that farmers had signed with it, the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan group) today held a protest rally at 10 district headquarters across the state, including Bathinda. They have now threatened the Punjab government of launching a stir if the agreement is not made operational with immediate effect.

The previous Congress regime had acquired nearly 376 acres of land from three villages Sanghera, Dhuala and Fatehgarh Channa in Barnala district in 2006, reportedly for the Trident group. Around 100 displaced families were paid compensation at the rate of Rs 8 lakh per acre.

BKU (Ugrahan) president Joginder Singh Ugrahan speaking to TNS on telephone from Barnala, said as per the agreement, the Trident Group is to pay compensation at 70 per cent enhanced rate to the affected families.

“The government had also announced that families of three farmers, who got killed during the agitation, were to be given Rs 5 lakh each as compensation, a government job and that their debt would be paid off. Even the 69 injured farmers were to be given Rs 25,000 as compensation but out of them, only 34 have been compensated so far. Only Rs 5 lakh compensation has been paid but promises of government jobs and debt waiver are yet to be fulfilled. “We demand that these promises be fulfilled soon and the agreement be made operational. Else, the government will face the music,’’ Ugrahan warned.

BARNALA: Three farmer unions held a dharna for hours together outside the office of the deputy commissioner Barnala here today. The Bharti Kisan Union Ekta (Ugrhan), the Kisan Sangrash Committee and the Zameen Bachao Committee participated in today’s dharna.

Jhanda Singh Jethuke, vice-president, said after three and half years the state government failed to pressurise the Trident management to get the deal implemented.


Seminar on organic farming held

Daburji (Ropar), October 18
Farmers from various villages attended a seminar oganised on organic farming by the Ambuja Cement Foundation here yesterday. The chief guest of the seminar, Dinesh Kapila, DDM of Nabard, delivered a talk on loans available for farmers. He warned the farming community to be cautious about any kind of frauds. Jaspal Singh, a farmer practicing organic farming from Jalandhar, addressed people on the occasion. He delivered a presentation consisting of clips of his own 30 acres farm, where he has been practicing organic farming. Nirmal Singh from the Nabha Foundation delivered a lecture on ways and uses of going organic.

Yogesh Dahiya, a farmer from Saharanpur and Inderjeet Singh from Kheti Virasat enlightened the gathering about various aspects of agriculture without use of chemicals. They said ensuring no use of chemicals for agricultural practices not only ensures good yield but also conserves environment and protects nature. — TNS


Crime Against Kids
Two police teams constituted
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, October 18
On the directions of the additional director-general, internal vigilance-cum-state human rights commission, the district police here has formed two special teams for dealing with crime against children and to locate missing children in the district.

Hoshiarpur SSP Anita Punj stated here today that DSP (headquarters) Baljit Singh Dhillon had been made in charge to investigate complaints relating to crime committed by boys. The other team members are in charge, women cell, inspector Madan Lal, assistant sub-inspectors Jagir Kaur and Kamlesh Kumari.

To recover missing children, one more team comprising in charge, homicide squad, inspector Rajinder Singh, ASI Baljit Singh, a head constable and two constables had been made.

Meanwhile, SP (D) Susheel Kumar said that according to the instructions from the state police headquarters, special cells had been formed in all 14 police stations of the district to register and investigate cases of missing children. It had been made compulsory to send information relating to the registration of cases of missing children to the state human rights commission, state police control room and head office of the district police within 24 hours, he added.


Tantrik arrested; missing girl found
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 18
The district police today found a 17-year-old girl, abducted by a ‘tantrik’, in Nandpur Kalour village near Bassi Pathana. The 62-year-old ‘tantrik’ has been arrested. The godman had sought shelter in the house of the girl’s parents in Kotla Fazal on October 3, saying there was an evil spirit in the house that he would get rid of.

SSP Nilabh Kishore said the tantrik, identified as Pran Nath, stayed in the girl’s house for at least four months after which he disappeared. He took the minor girl along with him.

Special police teams were sent to various places in search of the Tantrik arrested tantrik. A team also went to Haridwar. The police stumbled upon clues that suggested that the tantrik was visiting places along with the girl.

SP (detective) S.S Boparai said the police learnt that the tantrik, who was referred to as ‘Babaji’ by the locals, was associated with a dera in Gardhiwal in Hoshiarpur district. The police learnt the tantrik had returned to Fatehgarh Sahib district, following which he was nabbed.

The SP said the tantrik was being interrogated. The girl was kept at the dera in Gardhiwal village most of time. The girl was handed over to her parents after a medical examination.


Vehicles collide, catch fire, 2 hurt
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, October 18
Two persons were injured in an accident that took place on the Pathankot-Amritsar road near Parmanand town today.Both were admitted to Dinanagar civil hospital.

The accident took place after a truck (JK-03-7750) and a trailer (PB-04-L-9488) caught fire after collision in a bid to overtake other. Both vehicles after collision caught fire in which two persons travelling on the trailer got injured . Impact of collision was heard at a distance of over 1 km.

Harpreet Singh SP here said both injured were identified as Mukand Lal son of Sukhdev Singh resident of Muktsar and Gagan Deep Singh of Kot Bhai village. He said the truck involved in the accident was on its way to Amritsar carrying apples while the trailer was also leading to Amritsar and in a bid to overtake it collided and caught fire. A case has been registered.


Police gypsy meets with accident
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 18
A police gypsy today met with an accident on the national highway. The gypsy, which was attached as the pilot vehicle of MLA Naraingarh Ram Kishen hit into the road railing between Ramgarh and Barwala after the driver lost control of the vehicle. According to sources the gypsy, which was escorting the MLA had earlier developed a snag and was trying to catch up distance and was thus being driven fast. Those injured include Driver Mela Ram, ASI Ravinder Kumar and constable Satish Kumar. — TNS


Wards of land donors to get jobs in Pbi varsity
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 18
The Punjabi university syndicate today approved the appointment of wards of those who donated land for its neighbourhood campuses.

In a major decision aimed at motivating and honouring those who donated land for the expansion programs of the university, the syndicate decided that the wards of the donors would be adjusted against class III and IV posts by relaxing the basic qualifications.

Vice-chancellor Swarn Singh Boparai was a strong advocate of the move. However, the dissent among members continued over some contentious issues like the appointment of B.S. Sandhu, who had been facing graft charges as registrar. Syndicate member Prem Singh Chandumajra said the the agenda to regularise the appointment of Sandhu as registrar was not ratified as he had not been cleared of the vigilance charges.

He also said the syndicate also upheld its decision to withdraw the powers of the VC of taking decisions on its behalf. The report of the sub-committee of the syndicate that had recommended the reversal of most of the VC’s decisions was also put up before the syndicate. However, no decision was taken over the implementation of the recommendations.

The syndicate gave its approval to extension in service to its employees, appointed on ad hoc and contractual basis. University spokesperson said all minutes of the last syndicate meeting were approved with incorporation of suggestions from some of the syndics.

The members condoled the death of Justice R.S. Sarkaria, former justice of Supreme Court. They decided to start a Justice R.S. Sarkaria memorial lecture in the Department of Law.

The syndicate also approved the merging of men and women sports committees, increasing of sports fee from Rs 150 to Rs 200, block entry fee from Rs 10 to Rs 25 and TA/DA for officials accompanying teams. Extensions were granted to Sucha Singh Gill as dean, academic affairs, B.N. Goswamy as professor emeritus of art and history and Sumhindra as expert of miniature paintings in the Department of Fine Art.


College files complaint against Pbi varsity
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 18
Management of the government Ripudaman College Nabha and authorities of the Punjab University are at loggerheads. The management of the college has lodged a police complaint against the university authorities for forcibly taking away their record.

The move the college authorities alleged was aimed at pressurising the DPI for toning down his dissent against the VC. The DPI also raised the issue in a syndicate meeting today.

The university authorities had picked up the record of the college on the plea that they had received a complaint against them.

The VC Swarn Singh Boparai said they had received a complaint that a lecturer who had given exam duty was not paid his due amount of Rs 2,800. So, the record of the college was seized to inquire into the matter.

However, the logic behind forcibly confiscating the record of the college against the wishes of management for the disputed amount of Rs 2,800 is hard to digest.


US students given warm welcome
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 18
In an exchange programme between Punjabi University and Wilkes University, Pennsylvania, three faculty members and four students from Wilkes University were accorded a warm welcome on their arrival at the Punjab School of Management Studies, Punjabi University, here today.

Two years back, the Punjabi University had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Wilkes University. Under this agreement ,two faculty members Dr S.K. Bansal, head of PSMS, and Professor A.S. Chawla with a group of 10 students went to Wilkies University last year.

Dr Bansal said a faculty interaction session was organised which was an enlightening experience. He further said the students from Wilkies University had prepared case studies on their perception of India, which would help in having a better view of how the real India is different from what they generally perceive. The faculty and students from Wilkies University today left for a visit to industrial units in the region.


From Schools and Colleges
Karandeep crowned Mr ABS
Tribune News Service

Kharar, October 18
Aryans Business School (ABS) organised a freshers’ party for its MBA students on Thursday. The programme commenced with lamp lighting by Anshu Kataria, chairman, ABS. Karandeep and Swati were crowned Mr ABS and Miss ABS, respectively. A lecture on VAT was also organised by the school on Wednesday. Alok Krishan was the keynote speaker at the function.

FUNCTION: The third annual Song and Rhyme Day of YPS kindergarten turned out to be a great success. Principal of the school Dr H.S. Dhillon was all praise for the little ones who showed immense confidence on the stage. The nursery showcased their ‘Rock Band’ on the stage, while it was a puzzle from the lower KG, which had the principal, and the parents wondering what vegetables the kids should eat. The grand finale was a gymnastics display by the upper KG students.

LITERARY EVENING: University College of Engineering organised a literary evening at Punjabi University Kala Bhawan, here on Thursday. Dr Kumkum Bajaj, head of the correspondence department, was the chief guest. A writing and declamation contest was also held on the occasion. Director of the institute Dr R.K. Sehgal presided over the function. Ravneet Singh bagged the first prize in writing while Rimmi and Rohit followed at second and third places, respectively.

camp: A blood donation camp was organised at Multani Mal Modi College, here on Thursday. Dr Shashi Prabha, head, department of transfusion medicine, Government Rajindra College and Hospital, inaugurated the camp. Eighty-five units of blood were collected on the occasion.

COUNSELLING: A mass counselling programme was held at Government Girls College, here on Wednesday. Presided over by Shivdular Singh Dhillon, ADC, the programme was a part of the month-long venture of the Punjab government. A number of resource persons, including Aparna Bakshi from Thapar University and Ayesha Khosla from Khalsa College delivered lectures on various streams and areas of job possibilities.

DONATION: Aid For Suffering Humanity, a voluntary organisation formed by students of Government Bikram College of Commerce, here, donated three nebulizers to the medical superintendent of Government Rajindra Hospital on Thursday. Principal of the college Bhupinder Kaur said the organisation aimed at helping the poor. Professor Neelamjit Kaur, P.S. Rekhi, Ashwani Kumar and Reetu Kapoor were also present on the occasion.


Rice millers, exporters to boycott lifting
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 18
Taking strong stance against the embargo imposed by the Union government to ban the export of non-basmati rice, the Punjab Rice Millers and Export Association today decided to back the all-India call to boycott the lifting of long-grain paddy for next three days, creating a virtual chaos during the peak paddy arrival season.

A senior functionary of the association, K.R.S. Sobti, said at the meeting of the association held here today it was felt that the government had imposed the ban without any rationale as none of these varieties, including Sharbati and PUSA 1121, come under the ambit of government procurement umbrella.

Meanwhile, various unions of farmers have been crying hoarse over this irrational ban by the government as they felt that the community would be the worst sufferer due to this notification.


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