P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Atta-Dal Scheme
Depot holders refuse to do free service
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
Hundreds of depot holders who have been assigned the task of distributing atta and dal at subsidised rates to targeted beneficiaries in Punjab today refused to do what they described as free service. Nearly 300 depot holders who had come from various parts of the state today gathered here at the SGPC’s Kalgidhar Nivas to make their voice heard to the authorities concerned.

Later, accompanied by Patiala-based Akali leader Surjit Singh Rakhra, they met Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

Janak Raj Garg, senior vice-president of the Punjab Depot Holders Union, said Badal had promised to get the issue resolved tomorrow. “After the meeting with Badal we were told to contact food and supplies minister Adesh Partap Singh. Rakhra has told us that he will speak to the minister in this regard tomorrow to get the matter settled,” said Garg.

“The government provides us wheat at Rs 4 per kg and we give that to the beneficiaries at the same rate. We do not get any commission on it. We have to pay Rs 6 per quintal as loading and unloading charges, beside Rs

25 per quintal as freight charges for carrying the stock to depot from Punsup stack yard. We pay that sum from our pockets,” said a leader of the union. “A depot holder needs Rs 50,000 to run it,” he added. To take the stock from Punsup for distribution among beneficiaries, a depot holder has to deposit money in advance, said Sukhdev Singh, another leader of the union.

Same is true in case of distribution of dal. Besides, a depot holder has to pay rent of the shop, he said.

Kerosene is provided to depot holders at Rs 9.30 per litre and they sell it to ration card holders at Rs 9.35 per litre. Only 5 paise per litre margin is allowed.

The government should not expect free service from us and it must give us adequate commission on the distribution of atta and dal. They have sought the payment of Rs 3 per litre as commission on kerosene distribution and also payment of loading, unloading and freight charges, besides commission on the distribution of atta and dal, said depot holders.


Cops ‘misbehave’ with Army man’s family
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 14
A district police team allegedly misbehaved with female family members of an Armyman Dalwinder Singh Manga posted as Lance Naik with 4 Sikh Light Infantry in Meerut.

The team, led by DSP (Traffic) Rajinder Singh and including SI Avtar Singh, in charge of the Shankar police post at Nakodar police station, as one of its members, allegedly used abusive language with Dalwinder’s mother Kamaljeet Kaur, also a member of the village panchayat, aged grandmother Surjit Kaur and sister-in-law Sarabjeet Kaur.

The team went in three vehicles to Dalwinder’s residence at Bajuha Khurd village in Nakodar sub-division at around 4.30 pm. At that time, no male member was present in the house; only three women and children were there, said Dalwinder’s elder brother Sukhwant Singh while talking to The Tribune.

The policemen used abusive language against them, especially Sarabjeet, and asked each of them to slap one another in an effort to humiliate them, Sukhwant alleged, adding that they asked his family members to produce his another younger brother Kulwinder Singh Sonu (25) at the Nakodar police station.

Sukhwant said the police did not reveal despite repeatedly asked in what case Kulwinder had been wanted.

Kulwinder was an accused in a dacoity case registered against him at the Nabha police station some time ago and released on bail on November 11 last year, he added.

Sukhwant further said the police tried to arrest him illegally about three days ago when he had gone to a Jalandhar medical store for purchasing some medicines for his mother, a heart patient. Since then he had gone underground due to the fear of the police, he added.

Interestingly, when contacted separately, DSP Rajinder Singh and SI Avtar Singh gave opposite versions. The DSP claimed that he had never gone to Kulwinder’s house. On the other hand, the SI said a team led by DSP Rajinder Singh had come from Jalandhar city in Kulwinder’s search.

Avtar Singh said he did not know in what case he had been required by city police, as he just acted as a guide to the team, as the village falls under his Shankar PP. However, he claimed no policeman used abusive language against his female family members.

Meanwhile, Sukhwant said the Ludhiana CIA staff had also picked him up for verification on January 2.


Guv looks up to NRIs to boost development
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
Calling upon NRIs to strengthen their investment partnerships in the country on equal terms, the Governor of Punjab, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), today urged them to help the country, especially Punjab, with their expertise and knowledge in different fields.

Stating that India was on the fast track to development and is attracting favourable attention from all quarters, he said NRIs’ professional expertise and broad vision could give a major boost to the development process in the country.

Inaugurating a two-day conference on “Indian Diaspora: Migration and Development with Focus on the State of Punjab” at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) here, General Rodrigues said India had emerged as one of the major players in global economy with a vast pool of intellectual workers and professionals.

He said the nation had technology relevant to its needs, manufacturing capacity and marketing infrastructure backed by a 300 million strong workforce as a potential source for meeting global needs. The world was looking toward India for meeting the needs of a skilled and unskilled workforce.

Complementing the NRIs, who despite hostile environments in other countries have made their mark and have achieved excellence in different fields, he stressed that they must come forward with partnerships for rejuvenating the system and restructuring our strategies suiting international requirements.

Expressing concern over the increase in illegal immigration from India to other countries, the Governor said there was a need for institutionalising the system for the flow of the workforce to other countries through legal modes.

General Rodrigues said there was a major scope for participation by NRIs in the developmental process and economic growth of the region, by making investments.

Principal adviser to CRRID Paramjit Singh Sahai said the objective of the conference was to provide an opportunity to the Indian diaspora to give them an overview of socio-economic development and enable them to establish new partnerships with their homeland.

Additional secretary to government of Punjab D.S. Saroya said the government had taken various initiatives for confidence building among NRIs and strengthening partnerships for the socio-economic development of the state. These included setting up of police stations for NRIs in six districts, putting all revenue records on website and establishing two fast track courts at Jalandhar and Ludhiana.

He added that to readdress complaints and problems pertaining to NRIs, all deputy commissioners in the state had been notified as deputy commissioner (NRI affairs) in their respective areas.

Two technical sessions on diaspora and development and socio-economic issues were also held, during which experts in various fields presented their views on a host of topics like NRIs as strategic assets, trends and patterns of development, illegal migration, forced marriages and custody of children. 


State seeks amendment to Panchayati Raj Act
Direct election of sarpanches may soon be history
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
The Punjab government is going to reduce the number of elected representatives at the panchayat level. The government is going to bring about an amendment to the Panchayati Raj Act, 1994, for conducting the forthcoming panchayat elections. 

The amendment will do away with the direct election of the sarpanches - more than 12,000 in number. Now the elected panches will elect their sarpanch and not people of the villages. This will leave a huge scope for “planting” a sarpanch by political parties in power.

The government has sent a note seeking an amendment to Section 10 of the Act. Under this section a sarpanch has to be elected directly by villagers. If this amendment comes through, firstly this will reduce the number of elected representatives in the panchayats as there will be no election for sarpanches and secondly it will take away the right of the villagers to choose their leader.

Sources in the government said the process of election to the panchayats had started and a formal notification should be issued soon keeping in mind the proposed new rules. However, so far there has been no increase in the number of panches of any panchayat to offset the reduction in the number of elected representatives.

The number of panches is always an odd number - the minimum is five and the maximum 13. The number is decided on the basis of the population of the village. In case the state stops direct election of sarpanches then the number of panches should be increased.

It will be the sarpanches who will be part of the district plan committees that are mandatory under various Central schemes for clearing the projects. With so much of political power wresting with sarpanches, it will prudent to have a pliable man or woman. In political circles its is being feared that the police may be used to pressurise the panches to elect a particular person.


Buses for Punjab to start from ISBT-43
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
A majority of buses bound for major cities and towns of Punjab will originate and terminate at the new inter-state bus terminus (ISBT), Sector 43 here, from tomorrow.

The Chandigarh Administration issued a notification, saying the inter-state bus services, other than those destined for areas like Patiala, Sangrur, Barnala, Muktsar and Bathinda among others, will now start from the new terminus here.

This means that all long-route buses to major Punjab places like Ludhiana, Ferozepur, Jagraon, Ropar, Phagwara, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Pathankot and Amritsar will now be operating from the new terminus. Passengers coming from these places will alight at Sector 43 and passengers from Chandigarh wanting to travel to these cities will have to board the buses from the new terminus.

For other areas, that is primarily the Malwa-belt of Punjab, buses will operate from the old ISBT at Sector 17.

Already the new terminus has been catering to a large part of Himachal Pradesh, which includes Kangra, Kulu and Chamba valleys, respectively.

Another thing being added from tomorrow is that all night buses to all these routes in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh would also run from the new terminus and not from the ISBT in Sector 17.

Fourteen new counters in addition to the nine existing counters have been set up to cater to the commuters at the ISBT in Sector 43, officials of the Chandigarh Administration said.

The Administration will run special buses from the Sector ISBT-43 to destinations like the High Court and the Punjab Civil Secretariat. Also, a bus originating from Ludhiana and destined for Shimla or Delhi will stop at both bus stands in Sector 43 and Sector 17. Since buses for Shimla and Delhi will start from Sector 17, this arrangement will be in place.

The CTU, too, has decided to run two buses with frequency of 15 minutes to connect ISBT-17 and ISBT-43 during night time.


Unsung Freedom Fighter
Playwright remembers whom SGPC, India, Kenya have forgotten
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 14
Makhan Singh, an unsung Sikh hero of Kenyan and Indian freedom struggles, who has been forgotten by Kenya, India and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), has been portrayed in a play,“Mungu Comrade” (Mungu is a Swahili word for God), by noted playwright Atamjit.

Few Indians know Makhan (1913-1973) and other India-born persons who had made sacrifices in the freedom struggle of Kenya. He was born at Gharjakh village in Gujranwala, a Sikh majority area in the province of Punjab (now in Pakistan). At the age of 13, he moved with his family to Nairobi in 1927. In 1935, Makhan Singh formed the Labour Trade Union of Kenya and in 1949 he and Fred Kubai formed the East African Trade Union Congress, the first central organisation of trade unions in Kenya.

A Sikh by faith and true Communist leader, Makhan Singh was the founder of East African trades union movement. He spent 17 years in prison during the struggle for Indian and Kenyan independence. Alas ! Makhan has been virtually forgotten both by India and Kenya after their independence.

While the Punjabi version of the play will be staged in various parts of India and other countries, its English version will be arranged in African countries where Makhan waged a non-violent war against British imperialism.

Inspired by Zareena Patel’s book, “Unquiet: The Life and Times of Makhan Singh,” published from Nairobi in 2006, Atamjit visited Kenya twice to write his play “Mungu Comrade”. After reading sessions, one each in Delhi and Ludhiana, amongst a select audience of literary and theatre persons, he read out his long play at Naat Shala, opposite Khalsa College, here. He plans to go to Kenya once again with the English translation of his latest script after one or two more readings in different cities of Punjab. Supported by Makhan Singh’s son Hindpal Singh, Atamjit shall produce the play later.

Explaining the rationale behind all these readings before its production, Atamjit explained that the play depicts an unsung hero who contributed to the freedom struggle of Kenya. He wishes to be sure if the play projecting an Indian situated in an entirely different political and social setup makes sense in an environment where he is totally unknown. Similarly, the author wishes to correct himself if he has given any wrong information on Kenyan politics and society. There are interesting references to Sikh, Gandhian and Marxist philosophy in the play.

The biggest contribution of Makhan Singh was he crossed the race barriers and brought together African and Asian workers on a platform. Though the British offered to release him on condition he left Kenya forever, he did not pay any heed and continued to fight for the struggle of Kenya . Makhan Singh also ignored the advice of his near and dear ones to leave Kenya and save his life.He fought for independence, suffered in the struggle and sacrificed all he had, including his family life and comforts, to see Kenya free from colonial rule.


Ist commercial food testing lab at Ropar
Tribune News Service

Ropar, January 14
Concerned about the quality of food products being consumed, you can now get them tested paying a paltry amount. The first commercial food testing laboratory of North India has been established by Markfed at Ropar.

Talking to The Tribune, Dr V Khalas, in charge of the laboratory, said the laboratory can test any variety of food for over hundred parameters. It has the facility for HPCL test which is used for evaluating pesticide levels and vitamin contents of food items. The atomic absorption test facility at the laboratory can help evaluate levels of heavy metals and minerals in the food items. Any type of packed food item can be tested in the laboratory for its microbiological contents.

Cooperation minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh, under whose directions the laboratory has been established, told The Tribune that during his trip to the European Union countries many companies showed interest in processed food and other farm products from Punjab. However, strict standards for quality of food were required to be maintained for exporting the product in foreign market. The certificate given by this laboratory would have international recognition.

The minister said the laboratory had the facility for Alveograph test which evaluates the baking strength of wheat. It is very helpful for baking industry. 


Rich fuelling drug trade
PSHRC seeks details
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
The Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has taken notice of a complaint filed by a Nawanshahr resident about well-heeled people fuelling drug trade in Punjab. The PSHRC has forwarded the complaint to the director-general of the Punjab police to take action and inform the commission about it.

Parvinder Singh Kittna, general secretary, Human Empowerment League of Punjab, had sent a complaint to the PSHRC attaching a copy of the news item of The Tribune dated November 27. It had been mentioned how the well-heeled in Punjab were fuelling drug trade. Kittna had said it was serious matter. The commission has now said it is concerned with this menace and all illegal activity should be curbed. The commission has said it was the primary duty of the state to ensure that all sources of smuggling are curbed.The commission has sent its order and the complaint to the DGP.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has already asked the DGP to come down heavily on drug smugglers. 


500 unemployed youth to get training from Feb 1
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 14
Amritsar MP Navjot Sidhu said here today that the first batch of 500 unemployed youth from the district would be given training under the Prakash Yojna from February 1 in the service sector. A total of 5,000 youth would be trained in a year’s time.

Addressing a press conference, Sidhu said the district administration had already received around 1,500 applications from unemployed youth. Of these, shortlisting would be done provided they fulfil the condition of holding a graduation degree and were below 26 years.

Sidhu said the training module would be of three months and the candidates could opt for a variety of subjects, including tourism, aviation, public relations and advertising, hospitality, printing and insurance, depending on their aptitude and inclination.

The inability of youth to get jobs is leading to frustration and a majority of them are now going abroad to make a living. It is an unfortunate trend and there is a need to take effective steps to make youth eligible to get jobs, he said.

Amritsar will become the first district to begin training of unemployed youth. About six companies will be hired to impart training, which will include modules in personality development and English speaking, said Sidhu.

He gave an assurance that there would not be any dearth of finances to sustain the scheme. Next year, he said, the target would be to train 8,000 youth. A job festival would be organised at the end of each year. At least 75 per cent placements for the youth taking the training would be ensured.

Sidhu was accompanied by Gulshan Kumar of the Institute of Tourism and Future Management Trends and Satinder Dhiman, who teaches management at Woodbury University, California, Commenting on the widespread unemployment among youth in India, Dhiman said even though China and India were faced with the same set of problems, China seemed to have devised better ways of dealing with it.

He said China had not only got a handle on the population explosion, it had also got considerable success in controlling unemployment by constituting groups of 15-20 experts from the corporate sector, who are sent to the US for training.

The companies roped in for the rural employment scheme for SC and OBS youth include CIDC, Dr Reddy’s Lab and CIPET.


Jail violence: Parole record gutted
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 14
The entire parole and furlough record of the prisoners were gutted in last Monday’s violence in the Central Jail as several inmates had put the record room, store, factory, library, canteen and hospital inside jail on fire.

Confirming this, newly appointed jail superintendent Gursharan Singh Sidhu told The Tribune that the loss was estimated at Rs 50 lakh.

Apart from the parole and furlough record, medicines worth nearly Rs 9 lakh kept in the hospital, about 500 books stacked in four racks of the library, several eatables in the canteen and furniture, soap, phenyl, tents prepared in the factory and raw material was also burnt in the fire, he added.

Sidhu said the Punjab government had given a grant of Rs 25 lakh to rebuild the required infrastructure, fully or partially damaged in the violence. Damaged buildings would be repaired, medicines and required equipments would be purchased with the grant, he added.

To a query, he said the jail authorities would not have any difficulty due to burning of the record as the warrant officer concerned also kept a copy of the same with him.

Under the Good Conduct Prisoners Temporary Release Act, a convict may be allowed to leave the jail from 28 days to six weeks after four months of his total imprisonment and every six months after that, Sidhu said, adding that his parole days are excluded from his imprisonment.

Similarly, a convict may be allowed to leave the jail on furlough for 21 days after completing the three years of his total imprisonment and for 14 to 21 days every year after that. Interestingly this period is included in his or her imprisonment.


Engineers decry privatisation in power sector
Tribune News Service

Ropar, January 14
Padamjit Singh, patron, PSEB Engineers Association, and Shilender Dubey were elected chairman and secretary-general, respectively, of the All-India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) at federal council meeting held at Nagpur. M.S Bajwa from the PSEB was nominated adviser to the AIPEF.

The federal council meeting of the AIPEF was attended by delegates from 18 states. The AIPEF condemned the privatisation of power sector by way of franchise system, being adopted in Maharashtra and Madhya Pardesh.

In the franchisee system creamy industrial areas and selected urban areas are offered to private companies to run the distribution system for a period ranging from 10 to 15 years for fixed revenue to the government. Jambu Khot, vice-chairman, AIPEF, said three divisions of Nagpur were being given to the franchisee who has assured revenue return of Rs 2,600 crore in 15 years, whereas revenue realisation worked out for 15 years would be Rs 4,350 crore.

This means a scam of Rs 1,750 crore is going to take place just in one city of Nagpur. Bhiwandi division in Maharashtra with revenue of Rs 40 crore had been given to Torranto.

H.S. Bedi, president, PSEB Engineers Association, informed the federal council the association had sought legal opinion on the Electricity Act 2003.

Legal requirements of the Act can be met if a trading company is carved out of the PSEB for trading of power. A detailed paper on power reforms experience in the country was also presented by H.S.Bedi at this meeting.

In another resolution, the AIPEF demanded the review of the Electricity Act, 2003, particularly those clauses where the powers of states had been withdrawn. The unbundling of state electricity boards and the model to be adopted should be left to states.

It was noted with concern the planned capacity addition is central sector in the 11th Plan is around 40,000 MW whereas in state sector planned capacity addition is around 22,000 MW. This would further lead to blackmailing of states in future by the Centre while giving unallocated power. 


Virk admitted to PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
Former Punjab DGP S.S Virk was admitted to the PGI in a critical condition today as he was suffering from large pericardial effusion.

It is the second time that Virk has been admitted to the PGI after his arrest by the Punjab Police on September 9 last. Virk had to be admitted to the PGI immediately after his arrest because of increased blood pressure and other diseases.

There was a collection of fluid around Virk’s heart. It is a considered to be a serious condition in cardiology, said the doctors at the hospital.

The heartbeat of former DGP was irregular and fast when he reached the hospital around 11 in the morning. However, the heartbeat was controlled later on.

In fact he had been having fever for the past few days after which he started experiencing difficulty in breathing following which his condition started deteriorating, said the sources.


SGPC to set up panel of NRIs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee( SGPC) has decided to set up a committee of the NRIs to advise it on religious issues and resolve religious problems faced by Sikhs settled abroad. 

Announcing this after addressing a meeting of NRIs here at Kalgidhar Niwas, SGPC president Avtar Singh said there were issues such as of turban, wearing iron bracelets in schools by Sikh students, issue of identity of Sikhs abroad.

With the help of advisory committee of NRIs, the SGPC will try to resolve these issues through various, including diplomatic, channels. On the cooption of 10 NRI Sikhs in the SGPC’s general house, Avtar Singh said the Union government, which was approached on this issue, had sought certain details like the definition of NRI Sikhs and criteria to be adopted for cooption. “The Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission has sent the reply to the queries raised by the Union government”, he said. 


Failure to Serve Warrants on Accused
HC puts Punjab DGP on notice
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
The Punjab Police’s failure to keep a tab on the whereabouts of suspects during the pendency of appeals filed by the state against their acquittal in cases of heinous offences has come to the fore with the disappearance of a rape-cum-murder accused.

Even though the sate of Punjab filed an appeal against the acquittal of Deo Chand of Jalandhar district way back in 1999, and the court has been trying to secure his presence ever since, the Punjab Police has failed to serve warrants.

Taking a serious note of the matter, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered to forward a copy of the order to the state’s DGP.

In what is being seen as strictures against the functioning of the police force, the Bench, comprising Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice S.D. Anand, ruled on the appeal: “The counsel for the state says non-bailable warrants could not be executed. We are surprised at the report received by the court that the Punjab Police is not competent enough to serve a person, whose acquittal is sought to be set aside”.

The Bench added: “We give the last opportunity to the state to serve warrants to the accused, failing which we may be forced to dismiss the appeal on account of incompetence of the Punjab Police to serve the accused, who is sought to be punished”.

The Judges also made it clear that the failure of the police could also result in action “against persons responsible for the non-execution of the warrants”. Directing the forwarding of the order’s copy to the state DGP, the Judges also fixed February 15 as the next date of hearing in the matter.

Deo Chand was booked by the police on October 31, 1997, under Sections 302, 366-A and 376 of the IPC on the allegations of raping and murdering a minor girl of the “Bajigar Colony” in Jalandhar district. But following the failure of the prosecution to prove the case beyond the reasonable shadow of doubt, Deo Chand was acquitted.

Aggrieved against the acquittal orders, the state filed an appeal, but failed to serve him. In an attempt to get the police moving, the court even directed Jalandhar SSP to be present in the court in this regard.

In his reply submitted to the court, the SSP, however, submitted Deo Chand could not trace despite best efforts. Elaborating, he added that the warrants could not be executed as Deo Chand had left his known address of Behran Sharista village in Jalandhar district.


HC to get tough with Dowry Act violators
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
The district police chiefs in Punjab have been directed to ensure prompt against the violators of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, and the cases are being investigated only by an officer of deputy superintendent of police’s rank.

Details instructions in this regard have been issued on September 14, 2007.

The development is significant as action can be initiated against those taking more than 25 members in a marriage party. Action can also be taken if the bridegroom’s parents receive more than Rs 11 as ‘Shagun’, or the marriage party is served more than two meals.

These violations are punishable under Section 3/4-A of the Dowry Act.

A division Bench of the high court, comprising Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Kanwaljit Singh Ahluwalia, was apprised of the instructions during the resumed hearing of a PIL filed by advocate H.C. Arora.

He had sought strict enforcement of law against dowry. The petitioner had prayed for plea to recover penalty from nominated councilors.

Next time you plan to take a large number of barat to the marriage, be careful. Carrying more than 25 persons in a barat may lend you in trouble, as it is an offence and punishable under Dowry Prohibition Act.

Not only this one who gives shagun, the value of which exceeds Rs 11, or serves to the marriage party more than two principal meals, can be punished under Section 3/4-A of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.

Following a PIL pointing out in action by the police in violation of these provisions, the High Court was informed today that instructions have been issued to all the district SSPs in Punjab to ensure that there is no violation of these provisions.

In a communication the additional director general of police (crime), while referring to these provisions has mentioned, “It has been seen that the above said provisions of Dowry Prohibition Act are not being strictly complied with.

Whenever offence u/s 4-A is reported or comes to the notice of the police, case u/s 4-A of the Dowry Prohibition Act should be immediately registered and investigated by an officer not below the rank of deputy superintendent of police.”

The petition, which was filed by Advocate H.C. Arora, came up for hearing before a division Bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice and Justice K.S. Ahluwalia. 


Pvt teachers to burn copies of amended Bill
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, January 14
In response to a call given by the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU), non-government college teachers will burn copies of the Punjab Affiliated Colleges (Security of Service) Amendment Bill, 2007, on January 15 at all district headquarters of the state.

They will do so to lodge their protest against amending the Punjab Affiliated Colleges (Security of Service) Act, 1974, by the Badal government without taking private college teachers of the state into confidence.

This was stated today by state secretary of the PCCTU (Punjabi University area) Prof P.K. Sharma.

Sharma also said a delegation of the PCCTU had called upon Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal recently to impress upon him not to notify the said amended Bill by saying that many clauses of the Bill were “anti-private college teachers,” who were working against un-aided posts. The Chief Minister, as a damage control exercise, ordered the constitution of a three-member committee to look into the matter,he added.


Cong councillor ‘arrested’ 
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 14
The police has reportedly nabbed Congress councillor Sukhmeet Deputy and some other persons in connection with kidnapping of Gagan Mickey, son of a local coloniser, who was later released after paying a ransom of Rs. 1 crore.

While no police official confirmed Sukhmeet’s arrest on record, however, of the record they said he had been arrested and police teams were raiding the possible hideouts to nab his over five aides.

The police officials said the role of Sukhmeet, ward No.26 councillor, in the kidnapping was established during investigation. According to sources, the ransom amount had also been recovered. Sukhmeet has reportedly absconded.

Sukhmeet’s mobile phone was found to be switched off since yesterday, said another Congress councillor from ward 18 Dinesh Dhall Kali.

Gagan was kidnapped from nearby Jandiala village by five masked persons at gunpoint on Wednesday morning.


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