P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Mann granted bail, released
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 10
Chief of the SAD (A) Simranjit Singh Mann was granted bail by the court of chief judicial magistrate S.S. Panesar here today. Mann was released from the local Central Jail at 4.50 p.m. as his supporters raised slogans like “Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal”.

He was arrested on the morning of December 6 for his remarks on Shaheed Bhagat Singh who, he said, was “not a martyr or a national hero” as he had killed two “innocent” persons, Saunders and head constable Chanan Singh.

He had been remanded in judicial custody till December 20.

After hearing the arguments of Mann’s counsel Barjinder Singh Sodhi, the prosecution and investigating officer, sub-inspector Kuldip Singh Virk, Panesar granted bail to Mann till disposal of the case, sources said.

Dismissing the prosecution allegations, Sodhi pleaded there was, in fact, no complainant in the case, no independent witness came forward and that none had corroborated the allegations.

“In view of these facts and circumstances, the Section 153-A could not be invoked in his case,” said Sodhi.

Opposing the bail plea, the prosecution stressed the allegations were of serious nature and Mann’s statement on the martyr had hurt sentiments of people so he should not be released on bail.

Though the judgment was pronounced at 1.30 pm by Panesar, Mann’s supporters led by his son Imaan Singh Mann and other leaders, started converging outside the court at 10 am.

Meanwhile, Sodhi furnished personal surety bonds worth Rs 20,000 for the release of Mann.


Khalra Mission men stopped from reaching Lambi
Prabhjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, December 10
The Khalra Mission Organisation activists were stopped by cops of Muktsar while they were on the way to Lambi, constituency of Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal this morning.

They were on way to Lambi from Amritsar when the police stopped their vehicles at Rupana village on the Muktsar-Malout highway, as they were warned any further journey to Badal village would lead to their arrest. The police had blocked the road with the help of tractor trailers.

Led by 'Khalra Mission Organiation' president Paramjit Kaur Khalra, nearly 300 activists traveling in four buses, who were forced to return at Rupana village, had planned a rally in Badal village where they were also scheduled to submit a memorandum to the Chief Minister regarding alleged human rights violations by the state government, marking the Human Rights Day today.

They, however, held a sit-in on the road for three hours, raising anti-Badal government slogans.

They also demanded, through the memorandum, justice to the affected families of those who had gone missing or killed in the alleged fake encounters during days of terrorism in the state.

The copies of the memorandum, which were later distributed to the media persons after futile attempt to reach Badal village, included the list of policemen who were accused in different cases pertaining to either murders or fake encounters. Most of these cops had obtained bail, while the cases against them were still continuing for several years, the memorandum stated.

The Khalra Mission Organisation was formed after human rights activist Jaswant Singh Khalra had been reported missing after he was picked up by the police in 1995.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had awarded life imprisonment to five policemen on October 18 last, after convicting them in the Khalra murder case, while hearing of a separate petition against former DGP K. P. S. Gill for the killing of Khalra was fixed by the court for February 12 next.


‘100 dairy farms by March-end’
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, December 10
The Punjab Government has fixed a target to set up 100 dairy farms by March next year in the state.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh, cooperation minister, said this while addressing a function organised today in connection with the martyrdom day of Major Hardev Singh Grewal, a martyr of the 1971 Indo-Pak war, along with two other martyrs Capt Mohkam Singh and Lance Naik Mukhtiar Singh Sangha at Gowara village, about 10 km from Malerkotla.

The minister said of the 100 dairy farms, 66 had already been set up in different parts of the state while the remaining would be set up by March-end. He also exhorted the farmers to adopt dairy farming to earn more.

Kanwaljit asked Milkfed and other cooperative institutions to give more price for the milk collected to the dairy farmers as compared to private parties to promote dairy business. He also asked the cooperative societies and cooperative banks to sanction loans to dairy farmers for the purchase of at least one cow.

He said the state government was preparing a plan for the economic prosperity of the farmers. He added that under the scheme the government would provide knowledge to the farmers about those crops on which they would have to spend less and could earn more. He promised to the farmers that he would not allow any type of black-marketeering of DAP fertiliser. He announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh for the senior secondary school at the village.

PWD, B&R, minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa said the state government would develop the villages of the martyrs on priority basis. He also assured the villagers that the dilapidated roofs of four rooms of the village school would be rebuilt by the PWD.

Among others present on the occasion included Dhuri MLA Iqbal Singh Jhundan, SGPC member Bhupinder Singh Bhalwan and principal of the school Bhupinder Singh. They also paid tributes to the martyrs.


Action against two doctors for ‘irregularities’
Gosain seeks Badal’s intervention
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 10
Punjab’s deputy speaker Satpal Gosain does not believe the SAD-BJP alliance government in Punjab works on its own. He has, therefore, written to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal seeking his intervention for registration of cases and Vigilance inquiry against two doctors, who he alleges committed serious irregularities, while they held important positions in the Council of Homoeopathic System, Punjab.

In two letters to Badal, Gosain has said he had learnt senior officials in the department were shielding the two officers and therefore he should intervene to get a case registered against these doctors. Gosain has sent his D.O. letter ( PS/DS/ 2074 and 2075) with the copy of notices issued by the secretary, Department of Medical Education and Research to the two doctors for claiming fake travel bills, irregular recruitments, etc besides what Gosain claims “embezzling lakhs of government money”

Copies of Gosain’s letters with The Tribune reflect very poorly on the functioning of the SAD-BJP alliance. Gosain is not only the deputy speaker of the Punjab Legislative Assembly, but also an important BJP leader of the state. The fact that he wrote to the Chief Minister nearly three weeks after the two doctors were issued show -cause notices indicates he has already explored options of action against the doctors at lower levels and failed.

About one of the doctors Gosian has written, “he has been removed by the government from the said post for some other serious irregularities done by him. From this notice it appears that (name withheld) has misused his power and fraudulently embezzled the government money to the tune of lakhs of rupees. He has also committed other irregularities in appointments”.

With regard to the notice issued to the second doctor (both were working in the two most important positions of the council) Gosain has written both doctors in connivance conducted gross misconduct by withdrawing fake travelling bills, recruiting persons beyond sanctioned posts, etc. Without mincing words Gosain has said senior officials in the department were shielding the two and protecting them to avoid any action against them.

The last para of both D.O’s reads, “Keeping the seriousness of the case, I request your goodself to kindly issue orders for the registration of case against him and a Vigilance inquiry may please be ordered immediately so that several lakhs of rupees of the government embezzled by him may be recovered. A strict action against all culprits will be an example for others”.


Sidhu wants Punjab to follow Modi’s development plan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 10
Lauding Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for development, BJP MP Navjot Sidhu, who has been campaigning in Gujarat, said Punjab should follow the formula adopted by Modi in seeking central funds and grants and also in realisation of excise and house tax. He said Punjab could not march ahead on the path of development without taking tough stance on the collection of taxes and mobilisation of resources.

Sidhu was talking to media persons here while on a two-day break from campaigning, said Modi was very popular man in Gujarat. He has changed the face of the state and wiped out poverty. Punjab too needs to follow the Gujarat model in farmer-friendly land acquisition, in collection of municipal taxes and strictness in collecting excise. Punjab cannot survive till it collects the taxes which are genuine. He said Ahmedabad collected crores by way municipal taxes while Amritsar barely collected any. Development today hinged on putting your money in sharing schemes with central government. Just by planning correctly and working efficiently Modi had changed the face of Gujarat. The state is among the first to utilise the central grants while Punjab is the last. And without collecting any municipal taxes the sharing formula will not work.

Poverty in Gujarat had been reduced from 41 per cent to 14 per cent as per latest reports said Sidhu. Modi runs a very good land acquisition policy which makes the farmers as partners in development. The farmer is allowed to retain a portion of his land and can sell it later when prices escalate. In Punjab no land acquisition is possible as no company can pay market prices going up to Rs 10 crore an acre, said Sidhu while demanding that policy be changed.

In Punjab Rs 4,000 crore of worth of excise is evaded. All this can be curbed. We just have mafias in every possible trade sector that is hindering the growth. " we have to consolidate agriculture but digress into manufacturing". Defending Modi's remarks on Soharbuddin, Sidhu said the latter was an anti-national element. The nation has gone soft on terrorism, said Sidhu while adding that the US had managed to stall all terror attacks on itself after the infamous 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. What is happening in India is for everyone to see.


BSF wants dholis to tell Pak villagers where border is

Jalandhar, December 10
If the BSF has its way, villagers in Pakistan living along the international border will soon have dholis telling them where exactly the frontier is.

A peculiar situation has arisen along the 553-km fenced area between both countries as villagers from Pakistan cross into the Indian side thinking that the barbed wire and electrified fence erected on the Indian side is the international border.

The fact, however, is that the fence, erected by India in the early 1990s, is between 100 metres to nearly 1 km inside Indian territory.

“There have been several instances from the Pakistan side where their villagers walk into Indian territory thinking the fence is the border. The majority of them are innocent but get caught,” BSF’s commander at the Punjab frontier headquarters of the force located here S.A. Khader said.

“We will request officers of the Pakistan Rangers to let villagers on their side know where exactly the international border is and make them aware that the fence is inside Indian territory.” The issue will be taken up by BSF commanders with their Pakistani counterparts at their meeting to be held at Amritsar, 100 km from here, next week.

The BSF wants Pakistan Rangers to engage drumbeaters to go to all villages on the Pakistani side along the international border and let villagers know that the fence is not the border. Both countries have border pillars and other signposts along the international border but many of them are not always visible due to wild growth around the area.

The BSF’s assessment of the average Pakistani border villager’s perception of the international border is not wrong. Figures of the past three years substantiate this.

In the past three years, over 100 such innocent villagers from Pakistan have been handed over to the Pakistani authorities after they walked into the Indian territory and were caught by BSF personnel.

The inadvertent crossings from Pakistan were 27 in 2005, 33 in 2006 and 40 this year.

Compared to this, the Pakistan Rangers have handed over only four Indians in the past three years. In 2005, the figure was nil, in 2006 only one Indian was handed over whereas in 2007 three have been handed over to the BSF. One of these three was a mentally challenged girl from the Jammu region.

“Since we have the barbed wire fence on our side, chances of going into Pakistani territory by villagers from Indian border villages are remote,” said Khader.

As part of confidence building measures, it was decided between the Pakistan Rangers and the BSF two years ago that inadvertent border crossers may immediately be handed over to their respective countries within 24 hours. — IANS


Pak youth repatriated after eight years
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Attari, December 10
Pakistani national Mohammad Sharif was only 17 when he had mingled with Indians in Saudi Arabia and accompanied them up to Mumbai on a “fake passport” with dreams of “bright future” in Bollywood in 1999. Then many Indians were forced to leave the Gulf.

However, after spending eight years in Juvenile jails in India, Sharif who is now 25 has been repatriated through the land route of Attari- Wagah to his country from here this evening.

After landing in Mumbai, Sharif went to his relatives in Uttar Pradesh where he was caught due to lack of valid documents. Initially he was to be repatriated to Pakistan on August 14 this year along with his other countrymen on the eve of Pakistan’s Independence . However, he could not go to his country due to some technical resons. Earlier also , his repatriation was delayed because had had fled from police custody . He was brought here by UP police led by Inspector S.L.Verma . He was received by senior Pakistani officials at the Radcliffe Line.

The killings of Indians in the hostage crisis in Saudi Arabia and daily reports of blasts and killings across the Gulf had heightened anxiety, fear and uncertainty in many families across who ultimately came back to their country . However, Sharif took the advantage of the crisis faced by Indians in the Gulf and came to Mumbai along with other Indians on the fake passport, made with the help of his relatives there.

The Gulf is home to some 3.6 million Indians, of whom the largest number, 1.5 million, live in Saudi Arabia. There are one million in the United Arab Emirates, almost half a million each in Kuwait and Oman, and around 100,000 each in Bahrain and Qatar.

The repatriated Pakistani youth is resident of Kurangi (Karachi), Pakistan . On his jail experience in India, Sharif said he had spent good time in this country because the jail staff loved him very much. He said he was carrying lot of love and affection to his country which he had received in India.


College uses students to collect funds for charity
Bharat Bhushan Dogra

Pathankot, December 10
Resentment prevails among parents and guardians of students, mostly girls, studying in Utkristh College here over the collection of funds allegedly by illegal means.

Some parents here yesterday met this correspondent and handed over some fund collection receipt books containing 10 receipts in each with counterfoils and denomination of Rs 50 and Rs 20 printed on the receipt slips. They alleged that money was being collected in the name of charity fund. All students of the college have been given receipt books to collect funds with instruction to submit the filled counterfoils with the amount so collected by the students by 15th of this month.

The parents alleged that the college management had been encouraging students for begging as most of the students studying in the college were from low-income families and could not afford such economic burden and had to go to known persons, friends or relatives to ask for the amount printed on receipt slips.

On being contacted managing director of the college Tarsem Lal, who is also an officer with the Income Tax Department posted at Amritsar, boasted about his high connections in the state and central government and said he did not need permission from any authority in the Education Department or the district administration.

He claimed the collection of funds via students was very much in the management’s purview and he was doing nothing wrong by engaging students in fund collection for the college’s welfare.

Romesh Soni, PA to deputy commissioner, Gurdaspur, Gurkirat Kirpal Singh, on the instruction of the DC said fund collection by using students through charity slips was banned in the district.

He said a meeting was held by then DC Vivek Partap Singh last year with the Education authorities and had warned them to shun collecting funds in the name of charity or criminal complaints would be filed against them.

Soni said collection of funds using students was illegal and district administration had not permitted it in the district and any one doing it would be booked.

Lok Nath Angra, SSP, also denied grant of permission from his office to the college management to collect funds by students in the name of charity.


Mann vows to contest against Sukhbir
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 10
Training his guns on Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and SAD working president Sukhbir Singh Badal, SAD (A) president Simranjit Singh Mann has asserted that he would contest the next elections against Sukhbir.

“No matter which seat of Parliament or Assembly he chooses for this purpose, I will contest against Sukhbir Badal and would not allow him to win the poll. He would have to contest the poll if he is made the Chief Minister. Parkash Singh Badal is following in the footsteps and policies of former Chief Ministers Darbara Singh, Beant Singh and Capt Amarinder Singh.

“Badal, in a way, is propagating Hindutva in Punjab. My job is to educate Sikhs about issues concerning them and I will keep performing this duty,” said Mann as he came out of the local Central Jail.

Mann sought to kick-start another controversy by saying that there was “no scientific or historical significance of Ram Setu”. He added “the Ramayana was an epic that was created by Aryans to coerce Dravids in their own way. Ravana was, indeed, a good character and Sikhs should desist from burning his effigies”.


Modi’s days numbered: Bhattal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 10
Punjab Pradesh Congress president and former Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal has said Gujarat Chief Minister Narinder Modi stands exposed for indulging in separatist politics both within and outside the party. Bhattal, who is campaigning in Baroda along with other senior Congress leaders ,said people in the state wanted a change and it was apparent Modi’s days were now numbered.

Accompanied by other Congress leaders - Avtar Singh Brar, Lal Singh, Parminder Pinky and others, Bhattal has been deputed by the Congress high command to campaign in the Baroda region of Gujarat that has a large number of Sikhs.

Bhattal said the presence of Congress leaders in Baroda had evoked good response from the Sikhs, who felt Modi was involved in destructive politics for which he would have to pay a heavy price during the current elections.

Bhattal said Modi was treating his party in a dictatorial manner.


SAD, BJP meeting on Dec 16
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 10
A meeting of the Shiromani Akali Dal, the BJP and other associate members’ legislature party has been called by Punjab Chief Minister on December 16 at Punjab Bhawan to discuss agenda for the winter session of the Vidhan Sabha commencing from December 17.


SGPC to remove Gen Dyer’s portrait from museum
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 10
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee has decided to remove the portrait of Reginald Dyer , called the Butcher of Amritsar from its Central Sikh Museum, with immediate effect following an ultimatum by an NGO, here today.

SGPC chief Avtar Singh said though the portrait of Dyer was put up with the intention he was killed by Shaheed Udham Singh who took revenge of Jallianwala Bagh massacre after 21 years , even then it (SGPC) did not want to get embroiled in any controversy over this issue . He , however, said a three- member sub committee, comprising three Sikh scholars, including Balwant Singh Dhillon , Jasbir Singh Sabir and Balwant Singh Jaura had been constituted to verify whether the portrait of Dyer conveyed the proper sense . He said the sub- committee would also study other pictures in the Sikh Museum . Any portrait which was not as per Sikh Maryada would be removed . He said if the portrait of Dyer would be conveying the correct sense then it would be re-installed. He , however, said the SGPC employees told him the caption of the portrait was self-explanatory , it was installed to project the bravery of a Sikh who killed the “butcher of Jallianwale Bagh”.

The NGO - the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Yadgari Front has threatened to organise strong action against the SGPC if it failed to remove the portrait of Dyer in a week.

Earlier, the SGPC was embroiled in the controversy following installation of the portrait of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale . Though , Congress , BJP and certain Hindu organisations had been demanding removal of the portrait of Bhindranwale,but the SGPC and Akal Takht had described him (Bhindranwale) a “great Sikh martyr of the 20th century” .

The portrait of the assassins of Gen A.S. Vaidya , a former Army chief , Bhai Amarik Singh , a former president of the All- India Sikh Students Federation and Maj Gen Shabeg Singh who had done fortification of the Golden Temple and Akal Takht before Operation Bluestar were installed in the Sikh museum much before the portrait of Bhindranwale .

Dyer is infamous for the orders which he gave on April 13, 1919 in Amritsar. It was under his command that 90 troops all armed with rifles and the Gurkhas additionally armed with khukris opened fire on a gathering of unarmed civilians, including women and children gathered at the Jallianwalla Bagh in what came to be later known as the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.


Hooter Row
No one booked, says Santosh Chowdhary
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, December 10
Though chairperson of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK) Santosh Chowdhary has handed over her complaint to SP (D) Sushil Kumar on the alleged threats given by chief parliamentary secretary, Punjab, Mohinder Kaur Josh and her son Karamjit Singh Babloo regarding the row over the blowing of hooter last evening, the district police has failed in registering any case. This was stated by Santosh at a press conference at her new residence at Piplanwala this evening.

She alleged that the entire district administration was under pressure from Josh.

She further said many of her supporters, including Narinder Singh, Kulwant Kaur, Balbir Singh and Hans Raj, all sarpanches of Begampur, Pathiala, Arhana Kalan, Talwandi Araiyan villages, respectively, had been implicated in false cases due to their support to her husband Ram Lubhaya during the last state Assembly elections.

She appealed to the Chief Minister to sack Josh from his government.

Meanwhile, a deputation of her supporters and Congress workers led by Ram Lubhaya, Raj Kumar Thapar and Taranjit Sethi, both local municipal councillors, senior Congress leader Bibi Vinod Chadha met the SSP and demanded registration of a case in this regard.

SSP Antia Punj said she had deputed DSP (D) Naresh Kumar to initiate investigation into the incident.


World War veterans denied ECHS benefits
Rajay Deep
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 10
Veterans of World War I and II in the state, who do not come under the category of ex-servicemen are a worried lot. This is because the central government is learnt to have made no provisions for them in the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS). These war veterans fear after the ECHS comes into operation in 2008, they would be deprived of the facility of free medical care.

“The facility is applicable to the spouse, unemployed son below 25 years of age, unmarried daughters, dependents, parents with income less than Rs 2,550 per month and physically challenged children of ex-servicemen. If all these people are eligible, then why such discrimination against us,” rued a war veteran who does not come under the category of pensioners. “We have been receiving some medical care from the military hospitals, but if the ECHS scheme deprives us of this facility, then it will be an injustice to us at this age,” lamented Surbir Singh, a war veteran from Heere Wala village, here.

The beneficiaries of the scheme will be provided healthcare through outpatient facilities at 227 all-India polyclinics and in-patient treatment through service hospitals subject to some conditions.

Brigadier (retd) Indrajeet Singh Gakhal, director, Sainik Welfare, Punjab, said, “There are around 7,033 war veterans aged 65 or above, who had taken part in World Wars I and II, but are not entitled to pension. They were recruited when the Army was being expanded but after the war, they were de-mobilised. Earlier, they were receiving Rs 300 but now they are getting Rs 500. They may not get any benefit under the ECHS scheme if there is no specific column for them.”

“I think their case is pending with the government,” he added.


For them, joining Army is an honour
Raju William
Tribune News Service

Dehra Dun, December 10
Even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today implied lack of attraction among the youth to opt for a career in the armed forces, there are cases of young men and their families coming forward to join the forces for reasons other than the better career prospects.

A product of Punjab Public School, Nabha, Gurpartap Singh of Panjora village in Fatehgarh Sahib district, who passed out from the Indian Military Academy (IMA) today, takes pride in continuing the fine tradition of his alma mater.

“I inspired to join the Army like many students of my school who have risen to high positions. It’s a matter of honour to continue that tradition,” he said before the piping ceremony.

Like his batch mate Gurmukh Singh of Zafarwal village in Gurdaspur district, he is the first generation soldier in the family. Son of a farmer, he, however, got emotional while remembering his grandfather who expired last year and could not see his grandson as an Army officer.

“What consoles me is that my grandfather was alive when I joined the National Defence Academy,” said the young officer, who has opted for the artillery. His another first being the only commissioned officer in his village. Of the 17 pass-outs hailing from Punjab, the inspiration for joining the Army for Gurmukh Singh came from his mother Palwinder Kaur.

“I had a keen desire to see my son in the uniform whenever I saw any officer,” she said while firmly ruling out any reason other than sheer pride in motivating her son to join the Army. Gurmukh Singh will be part of the infantry unit at Kargil. All seven members of the family except his younger sister were here to share the proud moment.


Badal mourns Ajit Saini’s death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 10
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today expressed grief and sorrow over sad demise of veteran freedom fighter and noted journalist Ajit Saini who passed away at Jalandhar after a brief illness.

In a condolence message the Chief Minister said Saini was a multi-faceted personality who served in the Indian National Army (INA). As a noted Journalist and eminent columnist Ajit Saini through his prolific writings in the esteemed columns of regional and national newspapers proved to be instrumental brining social awakening amongst the down-trodden and unprivileged section of society.


V.K. Singh inspects Armoured Division
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 10
The General Officer Commanding 2 Corps, Lt Gen V. K. Singh arrived at headquarters 1 Armoured Division in Patiala on an inspection visit today.

This is his first visit to the Army’s most potent armoured formation since assuming charge as the corps commander.

On his arrival, he was received by the division commander, Maj Gen G. S. Malhi. The corps commander was briefed on operational training and administrative issues at the dvision headquarters.


High Court
Petition against security to dera dismissed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 10
A petition filed in public interest against the Union of India, along with the states of Punjab and Haryana challenging the security cover provided to Dera Sacha Sauda and its associates was today dismissed as withdrawn.

In the petition, taken up by a Bench, comprising Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Mahesh Grover, it was contended that the security was being provided out of the tax-payers’ money without any basis.

The petitioners, Mehar Singh of Ludhiana district and Jasveer Singh of Faridkot district, had added that money should be charged for providing security in case it was necessary for maintaining law and order.

Terming the action of providing security as “illegal” and “arbitrary”, it was added that approximately Rs 3 crore was spent on the security cover and the data was available with the governments of both the states.


Teachers resent ACR criteria
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 10
There is resentment among government school teachers over flaws in criteria laid down by the Punjab Education Department regarding writing of their annual confidential report( ACR). There are nearly 40,000 teachers in middle and secondary schools in Punjab.

Teachers say the biggest flaw is regarding award of points on the basis of percentage of result.

If a teacher is on maternity leave for six months joins duty before three months of the annual examination, her ACR will also be written on the basis of pass percentage of student in the subject taught by her. No consideration will be given to the fact that she remained on leave for six months and did not get adequate time to teach. And in case, a teacher joins in mid academic session in a school, he or she will be judged on the same pattern while writing the ACR as other teachers who taught in the school for entire academic session are to be judged.

Teachers say the Education Department should come out with just formula to write ACRs and it should withdraw the arbitrary criteria.


Longowal Institute students get degrees
Tribune News Service

Longowal, December 10
Degrees, diplomas and certificates in engineering and technology were awarded to 756 students of the Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology (SLIET), now a deemed university, at the 10th annual convocation of the institute on its campus here on Saturday.

Punjab chief secretary Ramesh Inder Singh was the chief guest at the convocation. Director, SLIET, Dr S.K. Pandey presided.


VB fails to arrest forgery case accused
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, December 10
Even though six days have elapsed since the additional district and sessions judge refused anticipatory bail to 14 persons involved in the Lahnga market case, the Punjab Vigilance Bureau has failed to arrest them.

Being politically well connected, the accused have been roaming freely in the district.

The accused, former chief of the Dhariwal Municipal council Satish Kumar, Harjinder Kaur, Thappa, Surinder Kumar, Sita Rani and Kuldeep Arora, all employees of the council; and members of the board of directors of Hindu Urban Cooperative Bank, Pathankot, Sanjiv Sharma, Veena Gupta, Sanjiv Sharda, Bishambhar Dass, Dinesh Sharma, Vikas Gupta, Darshan Sharma, Usha Sharma and Vinay Kumar, had earlier been granted interim bail by the court.

The bureau had registered a case of corruption and forgery on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the accused.


8 pc luxury tax will hit hoteliers: Assn
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 10
The entire hotel industry in Punjab is up in arms against the imposition of 8 per cent luxury tax on hotel room tariff. This had recently been approved by the Cabinet.

The Amritsar Hotel and Restaurant Association today described the decision of the government as arbitrary. This would create a big financial burden on the industry, which was already reeling under severe economic crises.

General secretary of the association A.P.S. Chatha said the state was already a heavily taxed state vis-a-vis hotel and restaurant segment.


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