P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Rail roko agitation passes off peacefully
7 trains cancelled, as many rescheduled; Delhi-Lahore bus service hit
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, June 25
Parts of state rail links remained cutoff from the rest of the country for almost four hours today with activists of various Sikh organisations placing logs and staging dharnas on the tracks in protest against the delay in the arrest of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh for the killing of a Sikh in Mumbai recently. Even the Lahore-bound bus from Delhi was delayed due to the road blockade by activists of the SAD (Amritsar).

However, the protest, triggered off by a call given by Sikh organisations, including the Damdami Taksal, Khalsa Action Committee, Dal Khalsa and All Indian Sikh Federation, remained peaceful. The affected trains included Srigagnanagar-Hardwar Intercity Express and the Sachkand Express. Railway officials had a tough time dealing with the situation as the state police failed to prevent the protesters from halting the rail traffic.

Activist of various Sikh organisations, including the Damdami Taksal, Khalsa Action Committee, Dal Khalsa and the All-India Sikh Students Federation, today stopped trains in Amritsar district.

Activists of the SAD (Amritsar), led by its secretary-general Bhai Ram Singh, blocked the Amritsar- Jalandhar road for two hours, hitting the Delhi-Lahore bus service. The party has sought the cancellation of the pre-arrest bail to the Dera chief. Bhai Ram Singh has asked the state government to move the Supreme Court in this connection.

Around 200 Sikhs, led by Damdami Taksal spokesperson Mohkam Singh, former minister Manjit Singh Calcutta, Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh and SAD (Panch Pardani) Baldev Singh Sirsa staged a dharna on the rail tracks near Amritsar. At Beas, activists of the Damdami Taksal and the Dal Khalsa held a similar agitation to block the Golden Temple Express.

The protesters demanded the immediate arrest of the Dera chief. They raised slogans against the Centre, Maharashtra and Haryana governments for having a lenient view towards the Dera head.

Meanwhile, the railways authorities cancelled two goods trains and five others while rescheduling seven trains in the state.

ABOHAR: The Sriganganagar-Hardwar Intercity Express was halted for more than three hours in the morning. The protesters, some of whom came from far-off villages and neighbouring towns, earlier assembled at Gurdwara Sangat Sar on the Kandhwala road in the Nai Abadi locality here early morning. They marched in a procession to the level crossing on the Bhawani Cotton Mill road and held a sit-in on the crossing.

The railway authorities halted the Sriganganagar-New Delhi Intercity Express, which was scheduled to reach here at 6.40 am, on the Sriganganagar-Abohar section. The Udyan Abha Toofan Express was not flagged off from the local railway station till 8.30 am. Two passenger trains were delayed by 75 minutes.

HOSHIARPUR: Activists of the SAD (Amritsar), led by their district president Avtar Singh Khakh, staged a dharna and blocked vehicular traffic for more than two hours on the Hoshiarpur-Chandigarh road near Chagran to protest the Mumbai firing incident.

MALOUT: Protesters, led by organising secretary of the All-India Youth Akali Dal Pamma Warer, state working committee member of the Akali Dal (Panch Pardhani) Jagroop Singh Chimnewala, district vice-president of the Ek Noor Khals Fauz Manjit Singh and district vice-president of the Youth Akali Dal Jaswinder Singh Chawla stopped a Kotkapura-bound train on the Malout Chowk level crossing for more than an hour.

RAMPURA PHUL: The railway traffic came to a halt in the Malwa region as hundreds of anti-Dera protesters blocked trains. They threatened to stop Dera followers from going to the Salabatpur dera. The protesters, led by Parminder Singh of the SAD (Amritsar) and Simranjit Kaur (women wing of the SAD) squatted on railway tracks.

The Bathinda-Dhuri and Ambala-Ganga Nagar trains for stopped for several hours while the Hardwar-bound train 4712 was suspended at Dhuri and the Ambala-Bathinda train was cancelled by the Railway authorities.

Baba Hardeep Singh, convener of the Bathinda unit of the Khalsa Action Committee, said the committee would meet tonight to chalk out the future course of action. At Bathinda, rail traffic remained disrupted from 12.20 pm to 7 pm.

SANGRUR: Members of Sikh organisation stopped the Jammu Tavi-Chennai Mail Express from 8.45 am to 7.20 pm (more than 10 hours) at the local railway station. General secretary of the SAD (A) Jeet Singh Alloarkh demanded arrest of the Dera head at the earliest.


Cops remain on toes at Salabatpura
Bhanu P. Lohumi
Tribune News Service

Salabatpura, June 25
The security arrangements have been tightened at Salabatpur Dera, the biggest centre of Sacha Sauda in Punjab, following fresh agitation on the call of the Khalsa Action Committee for the arrest of Dera chief Baba Ram Rahim.

A posse of 65 commandoes and supportive police force was deployed in strength both outside and inside the Dera. The inmates of the Dera were not unduly perturbed by the recent happenings and expressed unflinching faith in Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim. A woman devotee said nothing could happen at the Dera as besides the police security, the Dera had its own security arrangements in place.

She said: “Our faith in Baba will remain unshaken and these stray incidents will not make any difference.”

Another follower Jaswant admitted that the Dera supporters were under pressure after the change in government and were being targeted for allegedly supporting the Congress in last elections. He also decried the ban on ‘naam charcha’ and said it was encroachment on freedom of religion and freedom of speech and was ‘undemocratic’.

Local businessmen were the worst hit due to perpetual tension in the area after the Dera row started. Jagtar Singh, a fruit seller, lamented that his sale had come down from Rs 3,000 to Rs 1,000 per day. The plight of other shopkeepers was no difference, he added.


Amritsar Land Scam
House panel action mala fide: Capt  
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
Former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today appeared before the House Committee of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in connection with the “Amritsar land scandal” wherein a 32.10 acres was exempted from acquisition. The former Chief Minister told the committee in writing to the notice served on him since no record was supplied to him, it was not possible for him to make any statement.

Eight legislators considered loyal to him, besides some other Congressmen, accompanied him. Amarinder told the committee with the dissolution of the previous Assembly, all matters of whatever nature automatically lapse and the succeeding Vidhan Sabha starts fresh.

He told the committee legality or appropriateness of an act of the government couldn’t be the subject matter of inquiry by the House; rather it is the domain of the judiciary. He pointed out this matter was sub judice, pending in Punjab and Haryana High Court. Amarinder questioned the fairness with which the chairman of the committee could act under the present circumstances.

Amarinder told the committee all action being taken by it with regard to this inquiry was unconstitutional, against parliamentary practice and procedure, mala fide and arbitrary. He sought adjournment of the proceedings of the committee sine die till the writ pending in the high court was decided. He further asked the House to close the matter as it pertained to the previous House.


Dera Row
‘Inept handling by SGPC, Akal Takht, SAD deepened crisis’
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 25
Inept handling of the Dera Sacha Sauda issue by the SGPC, Akal Takht and the Shiromani Akali Dal seems to have resulted inthe hijacking of the agenda by radical Sikhs leading to complicating the situation.

Instead of taking a clear stand, the Sikh clerics chose the middle path while discussing the apology tendered by Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on May 29 last year at a meeting at Akal Takht secretariat.

Giani Iqbal Singh, Jathedar, Takht Patna Sahib, alleged he was under pressure from Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, to take a “lenient view” regarding the Dera Sacha Sauda chief. He alleged that Jathedar, Akal Takht, was under pressure from the Akali Dal and the SGPC. Such decisions gave much space to hardliners to hijack the matter.

The Jathedar, Akal Takht, is again abroad. He has not issued any statement urging the community to maintain peace.

In an attempt to defuse the Dera Sacha Sauda issue, the Sikh clerics had adopted a midway approach by adopting a Gurmatta that neither rejected nor accepted the apology tendered by the Dera chief for hurting Sikh sentiments at Salabatpura in Bathinda district on May 13 last year. Then the venue was shifted from Akal Takht to Bathinda district by announcing that the call to boycott the Dera made from Takht Damdama Sahib on May 17 would continue. This step on the part of Sikh high priests resulted in bloody incidents because the situation had gone out of control after the Sikh conclave at Damdama Sahib.

Later, Balwant Singh Nandgarh,Jathedar, Takht Damdama Sahib, gave a call to assassinate the Dera Sacha Sauda chief while addressing a gathering on May 19 last year with a view to defusing the situation at the cremation of Kanwaljit Singh, who was killed in firing at Sunam (Sangrur). However, the Jathedar, Nandgarh, was virtually humiliated by Jathedars of other Takhts for not supporting him when he was on dharna on the Rajasthan border in February this year. Finally, Jathedar, Nandgarh, had to lift the dharna because there was no support coming from any quarter though he had announced “Come what may, I will lead the Khalsa March in Rajasthan as announced after the Ardas (prayer)”.

Though the route of the Khalsa March, taken from Fatehgarh Sahib on May 31 last year was shortened at the behest of the SAD though Akal Takht had announced it would culminate in Chandigarh and memorandum would be submitted to Governors of Punjab and Haryana. Instead an ADC to Governor, Punjab reached Fatehgarh Sahib to collect the memorandum.

Now SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal has decided to rush to Mumbai tomorrow following the high-level meeting. The saner elements in the community say the situation should be handled in a way it does not go out of control again.



Block Samiti Key Posts
5 SAD(B) members support Cong
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, June 25
Five newly elected SAD members of the Block Samiti, Dasuya, have joined hands with the Congress for the election of chairman of the Block Samiti.

BJP MLA Amarjit Singh Sahi said the election was held yesterday. Among the 19 members in the House, the SAD had 11, the Congress five and the BJP three. Keeping in view the strength of the BJP-SAD alliance in the House, it was believed that an alliance candidate would be selected. The name of Des Raj Singh of the SAD was proposed, but member, Political Affairs Committee, SAD(B), Sampuran Singh Cheema, along with former state minister and Congress leader Romesh Chander Dogra, proposed the name of Balkar Singh, whereas Congress members had already proposed the name of Girdhari Lal for the said post.

While Girdhari Lal was not able to secure any vote, Des Raj Singh and Balkar Singh secured 10 votes each. Later, Balkar Singh was elected through toss. Criticising Cheema for joining hands with Dogra, Sahi alleged that earlier also Cheema had supported the Congress in the state Assembly elections against BJP candidate Mahant Ram Parkash Dass.

The BJP-SAD alliance has also won the Block Samiti elections at Mahilpur and Mukerian. While Ajay Kaushal of the BJP was elected chairman, Tilak Raj of the SAD was elected vice-chairman, Mukerian. In Mahilpur, Paramjit Singh of the SAD and Kuldip of the BJP were elected chairman and vice-chairman, respectively.


MLA accuses govt of ‘injustice’
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 25
Local Congress MLA Surinder Pal Singh Sibia today accused the SAD-BJP government of doing “injustice” to him by creating hurdles in the way of his participation in the meetings being held for electing chairman and vice-chairman of the Sangrur and Bhawanigarh Block Samitis.

Sibia said the previous day the SDM postponed the scheduled meeting for electing chairman and vice-chairman of Sangrur Block Samiti on the pretext that he (SDM) was taking opinion from the government whether the MLA could cast vote in the election. He alleged that it was done intentionally as the government knew that if he was allowed to cast vote then the SAD might not be able to place its men on the key posts of the samiti.


Ludhiana Sewerage
Centre releases Rs 30 cr
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
The Union government has released the first instalment of Rs 30 crore for the Rs 241-crore sewerage project for Ludhiana city. It has also approved projects for Bathinda, Majitha, Jalandhar, Malout, Pathankot and Zirakpur under the Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT). In all, 40 towns, including all district headquarters, are to be covered under the UIDSSMT.

For Ludhiana, funds have been released under the Jawaharlal Urban Renewal Mission. The Punjab government had submitted the sewerage project worth Rs 355 crore to cover remaining parts of Ludhiana. However, the Union government has pruned it to Rs 241 crore of which 50 per cent contribution will be made jointly by the state government (20 per cent ) and the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (30 per cent).

For Ludhiana and Amritsar, the Punjab government has submitted a proposal of Rs 2267.39 crore for various projects to be covered under the mission. For Mohali, also covered under the mission, a separate proposal of projects has been submitted, it is learnt. In it, the Union government’s contribution will be Rs 1,227 crore, state government’s Rs 407.17 crore and of the Municipal Corporation’s Rs 587.61 crore.

Under the UIDSSMT, for water supply the state government has submitted a project of Rs 26.42 crore and Rs 10.57 crore has been already been released by the Union government for it. For water supply at Majitha, a project of Rs 1.21 crore has been submitted and already 0.48 crore released for it. In all, the Union government has released Rs 75 crore for these six towns against the projects of Rs 180 crore submitted by the Union government.

For Jalandhar sewerage project Rs 49.55 crore, for Malout Rs 22.86 crore and Pathankot Rs 47.66 crore and Zirakpur Rs 41.98 crore has been submitted. Under the UIDSSMT, the contribution of the Union government to fund the projects will be 80 per cent and the contribution of the state government and the municipal committees concerned will be 20 pc.

However, the state government in a presentation to the union government has sought Rs 100 crore for small and medium towns for every district in Punjab. D.S.Bains, principal secretary, Local Bodies, Punjab, said the Parliamentary Committee for Urban Development headed by Mohammad Salim had visited here to review urban development projects.

Bains said the state government had informed the committee Rs 2,000 crore should be given to Punjab for development and basic amenities such as drinking water, sewerage etc in the small and medium towns. 


Passport office to benefit 6 dists
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 25
It’s going to be a golden opportunity for aspirants wishing to go abroad as they will have the benefit of having passports from the newly established passport office in Amritsar to be inaugurated by Pranab Mukherjee, external affairs minister, on June 28.

Stating this here to The Tribune, Amar Jit Singh, passport officer, said people of six districts namely Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran, Ferozepur, Faridkot and Muktsar would now be able to submit fresh application forms at the new office, which would become functional on June 30. He said he was expecting around one lakh to 1.25 lakh fresh applications per year which could go up in the near future.

People of these border districts had to make several visits to the Regional Passport Office in Jalandhar for replying to various queries asked by the department.

Singh said to facilitate the general public, queueless arrangements had been made at the passport office, besides making special counters for senior citizens and physically challenged persons. He said applicants would be issued tokens and be required to submit files only after their number was displayed on the electronic display screen. He said the passports would be issued to the applicants after five days of the receipt of police verification.

The passport officer said they had also made arrangements for online submission of applications for getting passports. People could also deposit application forms, along with requisite fee at Suvidha Kendras established in the respective offices of the deputy commissioners or with the post offices. However, he hastened to add that only fresh applications would be entertained here and they would not be dealing with the forms submitted earlier in Jalandhar.

He said they would also receive the forms under the Tatkal scheme from 10 am to 12 noon on all working days except Wednesday. He said two trained ex-servicemen would also be made available at the office to help those who were unable to fill forms.


Gurdaspur has most accident-prone areas
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 25
There are 340 accident-prone areas in Punjab with Gurdaspur topping the chart and Batala and Ludhiana being in tow. Most of the accident spots identified are public places such as bus stands, interventions at the GT Road and roundabouts.

The police has identified these areas on the basis of frequency of accidents reported from these places. Data reveals that there are 45 such points in Gurdaspur, followed by 38 in Batala and 33 in Ludhiana.

Keeping this survey in view, police officials of respective police ranges have written to the government seeking remedy to the problem by improving infrastructure, removing traffic bottlenecks and constructing flyovers at certain spots.

Sangrur has 33 such spots and Amritsar too remains among sensitive districts with 32 such spots. Police officials point out that at some places the problem can be solved by widening roads or diverting traffic towards state highways, but other areas require overbridges. Railway overbridges are also required at busy points.

Traffic cops at Khanna point out that recently the department surveyed accident-prone points in the city and submitted a report to the IG. Officials added that funds from the World Bank were expected to widen roads from Khanna to Machhiwara and Samrala highway.

However, Harman Singh Sidhu, an accident victim and awardee of IRT Prince Michael International Road Safety Award, says the police has wrongly projected the accident-prone areas. "Instead of undertaking a detailed survey only superficial work has been done," he said.

Sidhu added that 70 per cent of accidents happened due to wrong engineering of roads and this aspect was largely ignored in Punjab. He added that accidents should not be an issue only of the Punjab Police, but that of road engineering departments and politicians as well.

Ludhiana Range DIG Ishwar Singh said they were intensifying patrolling by traffic police at places identified as accident-prone. "Ambulances, extra vigil and instant challaning is recommended at accident-prone areas," he said.


New over-bridge to be thrown open to public soon
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 25
The choking traffic scenario of Patiala may be a thing of the past soon as the much-awaited and upcoming 21 no. railway crossing over-bridge is all set to be opened for vehicular traffic within next fortnight.

With the opening of the Rs 27-crore over bridge, traffic congestion in Patiala will get eased out to a large extent. Traffic bottlenecks were a common sight in Patiala, thanks to the absence of traffic management and lack of attention of the authorities concerned.

Traffic situation in Patiala had turned from bad to as long queues of vehicles could be witnessed at any point of time at almost all intersections of the city.

A larger part of the traffic problem can be attributed to diversion of vehicular traffic through the city for ongoing construction work, initiated at the 21 no. railway crossing over-bridge in September 2006, by the PWD authorities. Residents of the city will now heave a sigh of relief finally after a gap of about two years with the completion of the over-bridge construction. The bridge, PWD sources said was ready to be opened, but it was awaiting inauguration as the poll code was in force in the state till June 30.

The PWD officials said the 18.7-m wide bridge was likely to be thrown open to vehicular traffc in the first week of July. As the bridge was ready and was awaiting its opening, the PWD officials were busy giving final touches to the structure. “ Almost a day’s work is left over there. The work for putting marking and divider signs on bridge road was on,” said PWD executive engineer Paramjit Goyal.

Once the bridge was opened, the authorities will be able to divert most of highway traffic through the bridge instead of following the prevailing arrangement wherein, almost entire highway traffic was passing through the already busy Mall road.

The traffic problem gets compounded at the Mall Road where, the PSEB employees’ dharnas were a frequent sight and quite often a hindrance in the flow of traffic. The officials felt that with the opening of the over-bridge, traffic heading from Rajpura to Sangrur, Sirhind to Sangrur, Nabha to Sangrur and Bhadson to Sangrur could be diverted through the new over-bridge, thus, lessening the burden on the Mall road and easing out of traffic bottlenecks.


Regularisation of medical services sought
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 25
On-going confrontation between rural medical officers (doctors) and rural health pharmacists, working in rural dispensaries under Zila Parishads in the state, is said to be due to the “wrong” and “faulty” policies of the state government. This in turn is affecting villagers, who are facing difficulties in getting proper health care services in several areas.

Aslam Parvez, state president, Rural Medical Services’ Association (RMSA), Punjab,expressed these views in the light of a gherao of the office of the secretary of the Sangrur Zila Parishad by members of the Rural Health Pharmacists’ Association here on Monday. The protesting pharmacists had levelled charges against a rural medical officer of giving less payment to a pharmacist and a Class IV employee.

Aslam said relations between rural medical officers and pharmacists were strained as the pharmacists felt that they had no job security as the government had allowed rural medical officers to appoint them on their own in place of appointing them at the government level.

Aslam said the relations could only be strengthened if both cadres were given regular appointments by the government. 


Food scientists to start 3 research projects
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 25
Food scientists of various universities of Punjab have decided to take up three research projects on “Utilisation of Kinnow Fruits”, “Utilisation of Oat” and “Extrusion Cooking of the Products”.

A decision to this effect was taken at a brainstorming and interactive session at Guru Nanak Dev University here yesterday. As many as 40 eminent food scientists from GND University, Amritsar, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, the Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology (SLIET), Longowal, and CIPHET, Abohar, attended the session.

Director of Research of the university S.S. Chahal said under the new joint plan, head of the Food Science and Technology Department D.S. Sogi would work on kinnow peel under the project on “Utilisation of Kinnow Fruits” as its principal investigator.


Private security for Virk
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
The family of S.S Virk, former director-general of police, Punjab, who at present is DGP, Maharashtra, today hired private security after the official security cover provided to him and his family was withdrawn suddenly yesterday. Virk’s family said since they had become vulnerable after the withdrawal of security, some family friends sent their private men to protect them. The Punjab government’s claim about partial withdrawal of the former DGP’s security was belied by the absence of Punjab Police personnel at Virk’s Sector 27 residence here today. Virk joined as chairperson of the Maharashtra State Police Housing and Welfare Corporation on May 29.

Capt Amarinder Singh the manner in which political vendetta against the Congress leadership was being extended to the officer was very unfortunate. 


Account of chopper use by CJ sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann has written a letter to the Chief Justice of India regarding “the use” of state helicopter by the Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Vijender Jain.

In a press note, Mann has stated that Justice Jain was using the helicopter for his trip to Delhi and elsewhere. The chopper was borrowed from the Punjab government and was used by the CM.

“The matter is of grave concern, keeping in view the fact that there are criminal cases going on in Punjab courts against the CM and his family,” Mann added.


10 pc seats for bright, rural poor in pvt engg colleges
Free education, board, lodging, transportation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
On Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s suggestion, the Association of Punjab State Technical Private Institutions yesterday agreed to reserve 10 per cent seats in their institutions for free exclusively for rural students with first division or above from the 2008-09 academic session.

These institutions will impart education free of cost, including board, lodging and transportation, to eligible beneficiaries.

Members of the association, which called on the Chief Minister at his official residence here late in the evening, gave an assurance to him to this effect. Concerned about the education of students with rural background who were deprived of basic education due to poverty, Badal has called upon managements of private engineering colleges to come forward for this noble cause.

The Chief Minister assured the association of sympathetic consideration of their genuine demands, including enactment of the Punjab State Technical Education Act and streamlining counselling for admissions to technical institutions adopted by the Punjab Technical University (PTU).

Badal also asked principal secretary, Technical Education, Tejinder Kaur to find ways to implement the six-year engineering courses in Punjab after class X on the Haryana pattern. He also asked her to work out modalities for few government senior secondary schools in the vicinity of these private engineering and technical colleges to run 10+2 classes by the management of these institutions as these were equipped with qualified staff and infrastructure as a 'pilot project'.

He said this would improve quality of students to be admitted in these engineering colleges and the schools would act as a nursery for these institutions. Badal also emphasised the need to start evening classes in the institutions for short- term courses in skill development free of cost for the benefit of rural students. He also asked the management of these institutions to start more engineering colleges especially at the block level within a radius of 25km to 30 km for technical education.


Affiliation of Gurusar B.Ed college mired in controversy
Inspection team ‘sent wrong report’
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
The issue relating to the extension of affiliation of a college in Malout district has snowballed into a controversy as there are allegations against members of the Panjab University Senate and representatives of the DPI (Colleges), Punjab, who had gone there for inspection in 2007-08.

The Guru Gobind Singh College of Education at Gurusar village, Malout district, was started in 2006 after getting a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Punjab government. However, the college was opened on the Dabwali road in some other village instead of on the Dabwali Dhab-Gurusar road as shown in the papers at the time of getting the NOC, and 100 students were admitted for the 2006-07 session.

A complaint regarding this was sent to various offices of the government, including those of the Chief Minister, the minister of education, Punjab, the principal secretary, Technical Education, Punjab, besides others. A copy of the complaint was also forwarded to the DPI (Colleges), Punjab, and Panjab University’s VC, seeking action against the two members of the Senate for having submitted a wrong report in 2007.

The university again sent an inspection team comprising Dr Satinder Dhillon, then member of the Senate, and Prabhjit Singh, senator.

The university has been advised by the DPI that necessary action has been taken against Dinesh Gupta, deputy, DPI, who had also gone as part of the inspection team.

According to the complaint, the matter pertains to 2005 when members of the Kalgidhar Technical Education Society, Malout, submitted forged documents of land measuring 5 acres at Gurusar village to start a B.Ed college to the DPI though the land purchased by the society was 3 acres.

It has been added that initially the committee which in 2005 went to inspect and verify, before the college was started, included Panjab University registrar Prof S.S. Bari as well.

Prabhjit said, “I went with the inspection committee comprising Satinder and Dinesh for the grant of affiliation to the college and not to get into the details of college location”.

Vice-chancellor, PU, R.C. Sobti, said, “I have already formed a committee under the chairmanship of Justice S.K. Jain. After the investigation of the matter by the committee, appropriate action can be taken”.


Scholarships for bright, poor students go abegging
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News service

Ludhiana, June 25
Scholarships instituted by the Sikh Human Development Foundation (USA) for poor and deserving college students are not utilised due to lack of information among students by about 1,200 colleges in North India to which the relevant circular was sent.

For 500 scholarships the foundation had received only 200 applications, Dr Rajwant Singh, founding member of the foundation and chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education, USA, told The Tribune here today.

Dr Rajwant Singh said, “We have offered more than 800 scholarships since 2000. We have more funds, however, people have not contacted us. Besides the circular to educational institutes, through a New Delhi-based local office, the organisation also gave advertisements in leading dailies."

He said, “Getting funds for more scholarships was no problem from contributors. But we first need genuine applicants. An applicant, from the entire North India, needs to have secured at least 60 per cent marks in his plus II examination. He should preferably be engaged in a professional course, including medical, engineering, information technology, nursing or alike."

The annual income of the family of the applicant needs to be less than Rs 1 lakh. The scholarship worth $ 400 annually (about Rs 16,000) can be had by the candidate annually, for the period of specialist education. At least 178 persons who graduated with the help of the foundation scholarship have settled down well in life. At present students from 83 different institutes are getting the scholarship. Of the total, 63 per cent beneficiaries are from rural background.

Dentist by profession, Dr Rajwant Singh was invited by Queen Elizabeth for a ceremony commemorating 50 years of her coronation. On a visit here this time, the doctor is carrying a special message from George Bush, US President, for the Sikh community. "I shall pass on the President’s message to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. Regarding the celebrations of 300 years of Sikh history, Bush has congratulated Sikhs for fight against injustice and for equality," he said.

Dr Rajwant Singh said, “There are nearly five lakh Sikhs in the USA. We have about 225 gurdwaras all over the country, but we have no real role in the politics of the country where we have our home today. We are having parleys with political parties for the rightful representation in the country's Congress".


Father, 2 children commit suicide
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, June 25
Bhaga of Bathwala village, along with his two children, committed suicide by jumping before a running train on the Amritsar-Gurdaspur rail section near Fathenangal village today.

The Railway police recovered a suicide note from the site. In the suicide note, Bhaga alleged that his wife and mother-in-law were responsible for the extreme step he had taken. He alleged that he had been facing torture and harassment at their hands for the past many years.

Bhaga, along with his two children Pooja (10) and Bobby (7), left their village early in the morning for Fathenangal village, where the deceased’s sister was residing.

When they reached near the village, he along with his two children, jumped before the running train.

Police sources said the bodies had been sent for postmortem.

A case has been registered in this connection.


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