P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Amarinder writes to Badal
Wants Akalis to back PM on N-deal
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Despite recent verbal duels over politics of vendetta, former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh wants Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) patron Parkash Singh Badal to show statesmanship on the July 22 motion of confidence in the Lok Sabha as he and his party did in passing the rivers waters agreements annulment Act some years ago.

In a letter to Chief Minister Badal, Amarinder has praised the support Akalis extended to his Congress government in deciding to annul all previous agreements on rivers waters, but wants the SAD to take its decision on the nuclear deal keeping in view interests of the country and people, both at the national level and in Punjab.

Earlier, Badal, in the Meet-the-Press programme at the Chandigarh Press Club, used restraint in making personal comments against Amarinder and held that there were “no personal enmities” by referring to Amar Singh and Mulayam Singh Yadav viz-a-viz their relations with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Amarinder’s letter to Badal has come as a pleasant surprise, especially after bitterness in relations they have had for seven years. Though Akalis tried to put behind the politics of vendetta by holding a friendly cricket match at the PCA stadium early this year, yet bitterness continued.

It is an offshoot of the nuclear deal that the Congress and its leaders have started accepting “secular and national” character of the Akalis.

Though Amarinder has focused on issues of “interest of the nation and of Punjab” by referring to energy crisis in the state, the gap in demand and supply of energy has been increasing each year. “This means more power cuts for the consumers - agricultural, industrial or domestic,” wrote Amarinder.

The issue of nuclear energy was before the nation. Nuclear energy is the only source which can bridge the gap between demand and supply as hydel projects have inordinate delays and thermal generation is expensive and coal supply is also precarious.

“As per reports, the SAD has been advised on the benefits of this treaty by former Prime Minister I.K. Gujral. Former President Dr APJ Kalam has also supported the nuclear treaty that our Prime Minister is attempting to move ahead on, despite the efforts of those who put their own interest before that of the nation.

“I am aware of your party’s positive view on the subject. I also faced a similar situation on the rivers waters issue. The option before me was either to safeguard the interests of the people of Punjab, thereby risking my job as Chief Minister, or to let my state and our people down. As you are aware, I decided to defend the interests of Punjab. On that issue the SAD also rose above party lines to support me and we had a unanimous decision in the House,” wrote Amarinder in the letter.

Amarinder wants Badal to do the same as he did on the rivers waters issue in the Assembly.


Delhi Test
SAD core panel endorses Badal
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
In order to stave off criticism for voting against a Sikh Prime Minister, the Core Committee of the SAD today took to the offensive to paint the Congress as an anti-Sikh party.

Though the resolution of the committee to vote with the NDA against the UPA government was on expected lines, it chose strong words to put its view across. It held that it could not side with a party “whose hand was spattered with the blood of thousands of innocent Sikhs and Punjabis who made unparalleled sacrifices for the country”.

Endorsing the statement issued by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in the morning, the committee expressed “complete lack of trust in the Congress that had rolled tanks into the Golden Temple, massacred thousands of innocent Sikhs in 1984, systematically discriminated against the Sikhs and Punjabis on all economic, political, territorial and river waters issues”.

“The Congress is the number one enemy of the Sikhs. How could any conscientious Sikh or Punjabi endorse the Army assault on the holy Akal Takht Sahib and forgive the Congress for depriving Punjab of its legitimate rights” said a resolution passed by the committee. The committee further said the Congress conspiracy to weaken the Panth were still on as was evident from the efforts of the Congress government in Haryana to break the SGPC, the apex body of the Sikhs by setting up a parallel religious body.

It blamed the Congress for the present state of the peasantry in the state. “The Congress had consistently followed policies that crushed Punjab’s peasantry, forcing thousands of them to resort to suicides. Do they expect us to condone the economic exploitation of and discrimination against the state in agriculture debt waiver?


Honour turban, vote for PM, says Bhattal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
President of the PPCC and leader of the Opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal has also appealed to SAD MPs to vote for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as a mark of respect to the turban.

She said this evening since the Akali Dal took up the issue of ban on turban in France schools, it should not step back while supporting a man who had given new respectable identity to the Sikhs in general and turban in particular over an issue of national interest.

“Befitting their image and identity as a representative of the Sikhs, the Akali Dal would enhance its image and prestige by supporting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the July 22 motion of confidence,” said Bhattal.


Issue of N-deal economic, not political: Cong
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) today said the nuclear deal was an economic issue for people of Punjab who were starved of power and not a political one as was being claimed by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

PPCC spokesman Bir Devinder Singh said the Akalis had been consistently demanding nuclear plants for Punjab. “For that you need a reactor and fuel. How will you get them without the deal ?” he asked adding the situation was such in the state the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) did not have any money to purchase power.

Bir Devinder Singh urged the Akali leadership to keep politics aside and vote in favour of the economic interests of the state. He said there was no reason why the SAD could not convince the BJP of the necessity to vote in favour of the deal even while continuing its alliance with the saffron party in the state.

The Congress leader claimed that the Akalis had been raising the issue of identity time and again. He said the nuclear deal was being spearheaded by a Punjabi as well as a Sikh in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. “The message should not go out that the PM’s own community has voted against him,” he added.


NRIs too want SAD to back PM
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
NRIs and their friends who support the nuclear deal will march to the SAD office to request party president Sukhbir Badal to direct his party MPs to vote in support of the deal in Parliament.

San Francisco-based Randhir Singh Goniana, president, International Drug Control Foundation, said he with his friends would march to the SAD office next week to request Sukhbir to support Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Randhir, who is a member of the Anti-drug International Movement, said he was here to muster support in favour of the deal. Nothing in the deal was against the country and the Left parties were making a false propaganda in this regard.

He said supporting the deal in Parliament did not mean supporting the Congress government. The deal had been signed in the interest of the country and it should be supported by the SAD keeping in view the interest of the nation and also of Punjab that also would be benefited by it. The transfer of modern technology will benefit Punjab’s youth for securing jobs in the international market, he added.

Parents contest 5-yr fee for 4-yr MBBS course
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Parents of wards aspiring for admission to MBBS in Punjab’s private medical colleges have objected to charging of fee for five years when the course is of four-and-a-half years. Counselling for admission in medical colleges of the state began today at Patiala. All general seats at the Government Medical College, Patiala, were filled, it is learnt.

Managements of medical colleges in their prospectus that they will charge fee for five years and instead of surety bond, they will get bank guarantee from students and their parents.

Fee for five years makes a lot of difference to students to be admitted against the management and special management quota seats. They would have to pay Rs 1.50 lakh and Rs 2.5 lakh, respectively, more as admission and other charges for five years. Parents say in government medical colleges, students have to pay admission fee and other charges for four-and-a-half years.

Parents say private medical colleges are insisting on bank guarantee for which they have to face a lot of hassles. “Either parents have to pledge property or mortgage other assets to secure a bank guarantee for wards,” said a parent. He said the state government had asked the private medical colleges not to insist on this, but they were continuing with it.

Meanwhile, parents say Punjab government’s decision regarding slashing of fee for students to be admitted against general management quota seats is an eyewash.

“We met the Chief Minister on June 26 and the CM had asked Punjab chief secretary to form the committee to review fee structure of general management quota (35 per cent of total seats in private medical colleges).

The Chief Minister has shown interest for revision as he had admitted fee structure was unreasonable because in one year it is raised to Rs 3 lakh from Rs 1 lakh. At the meeting Badal had expressed concern at the future of medical students.

Parents say by slashing the fee for left-out special management quota seats, the state government has only served the interest of rich people who will pay now Rs 5 lakh per annum instead of Rs 6 lakh per annum for getting admitted wards against these seats in case these are not filled by NRI students.

Parents say they had sought relief for students admitted against general management quota seats because the state government had all of a sudden increased the fee by 200 per cent when parents were expecting an increase by 15 per cent to 20 per cent. They say the CM should fulfil the promise made to parents regarding slashing fee for general management quota seats.


Fee hike leaves medical students in lurch
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Parents of the students of the medical and dental colleges today said Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had left them in the lurch by doing nothing to reduce the fee structure of the general management quota students who form 35 per cent of the total seats in private medical colleges in the state.

The parents claimed that they had met the Chief Minister on June 26 and the CM had asked the Punjab chief secretary to form a committee to review the fee structure of the general management quota.

G.D. Singh, head of the parents association, said the medical colleges, that were facing a problem in selling these seats at Rs six lakh per annum, had reduced the fee to Rs five lakh as an eyewash.

The parents said it was strange that the state government had agreed to reduce the fee for paid seats meant for the rich and let the private medical colleges fleece the meritorious students, many of whom could not pay the enhanced fees.

The students, who joined the MBBS in 2007, have been severely hit. They had applied for the PMT according to the prospectus in which fee for both the government and the management quota was fixed at Rs one lakh. Even though this was a provisional amount, the students only expected a hike of 15 to 20 per cent. The government, under the pressure from the managements of private medical colleges, allowed a hike to Rs 3 lakh, which was not only arbitrary but also exploitive in nature, they alleged.


SAD ‘Terror’
Chawla meets Bhandari, DGP
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 15
Health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla today met state BJP president Rajinder Bhandari and DGP N.P.S. Aulakh to complain to them against a police official of Ajnala who allegedly intimidated BJP supporters during the recently held panchayat and nagar council elections.

Chawla alleged that she had received a number of complaints against SHO of the Ajnala police station Naurang Singh about harassment of BJP workers. She had summoned senior officers of the district administration and the police department yesterday and asked them to ensure the elections of sarpanches were held in a free and fair manner.

Meanwhile, BJP workers, led by district president (rural) Ramsharan Sharma, held a dharna in front of the police station. They raised slogans against the police and local SAD MLA Amarpal Singh Boney. They presented a memorandum to SP (D) Amrik Singh Waraich.

Talking to The Tribune on the phone from Chandigarh, Chawla said she was awaiting the call of the Chief Minister and would bring to his notice intimidation of BJP panches of Ajnala.

Meanwhile, IG (border range) R.P. Meena said on the complaints of the BJP minister against the SHO, he had directed the SSP Amritsar (urban) to hold a probe into the matter.

However, SSP (rural) Iqbal Singh said he had received complaints against Naurang Singh and entrusted an inquiry to the SP.


Punjabis love to wear identity on sleeve

Chandigarh, July 15
The title of Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar’s upcoming film “Singh is Kinng” sure underlines one trait of Punjabis - they love to flaunt their identity.

From having names for restaurants like Punjabi By Nature to wearing T-shirts that proclaim “Pure Punjabi”, these men and women who trace their roots to the northern state of Punjab do it in many ways.

“Punjabis by nature are flamboyant people. If they wear their Punjabiat on their clothes, there is nothing odd about it,” says Citrus County farmhouse owner Harkirat Ahluwalia.

Be it in New Delhi’s Defence Colony or the shops inside the Haveli restaurant complex on the outskirts of Jalandhar city, there is enough of Punjabi slogans available on T-shirts and other accessories. These clothes are even exported.

The slogans are mostly in English and some in Punjabi. “Proud by birth, Sikh by choice,” is one that the Punjabi Sikh youth love to wear.

Another one closer to the Sikh religion is, “Babbe di full kirpa” (Complete blessings from the Guru). For the daring ones, “Paaji no panga” (Brother no trouble) or “Sab changa hi changa” (Everything is good), “Gabru” (Smart youth) are also there. “Singh is Kinng”, “Sher-e-Punjab (Lion of Punjab), “Mitran di gaddi” (Vehicle of friends) and “Putt Jattan De” (sons of Jats - Punjab’s landed community among Sikhs) have been quite common on clothes and vehicles alike.

“Punjabis are enterprising people. They have done well in so many fields from business to films. Scores of them are settled abroad. I am sure that people from other regions and communities would also not mind wearing Punjabi slogans,” says Harman Johal, who is based in Houston, the US. — IANS



SAD puts 2 on notice
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, July 15
On a complaint of the BJP that some leaders of the SAD had opposed its candidates in the recently held elections to the Sangrur Municipal Council, the latter has issued show-cause notices to its two leaders.

District president of the SAD Rajinder Singh Kanjhla confirmed today that the notices had been issued to SAD leaders Amarjit Singh Titoo and Nazar Singh Badrukhan on the BJP’s complaint. He said though the BJP had demanded action against some other local SAD leaders too, the party had issued the notices to these two leaders so far.

Kanjhla said SAD candidates had also complained to the SAD leadership that certain BJP leaders and workers had also worked against the SAD candidates.


Central panel for AC platforms at Amritsar station
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 15
The inspection of the local railway station by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways turned out to be a brief affair. Within 10 minutes, the committee members inspected the railway station and left for Ludhiana by the Amritsar-Jai Nagar Express train.

The committee members pointed out unhygienic conditions at the railway station even though the entire railway staff had been pressed into service for the past couple of days to give the station a clean look. They asked the station authorities to provide better facilities to passengers.

Committee chairman Vasudev Acharya said they would recommend to the railway board for the modernisation of the workshop besides upgrade of the station to the international level with the provision of air-conditioned platforms.

The other members of the delegation were MPs Praasun Acharya, Manak Chaturvedi, S. Subramanyam, Satyavrat Chaturvedi, Kishore Chaturvedi and Gopal Vyas.

Vasudev said more wagons would be provided to the station. He said they also visited the Attari international railway station yesterday and suggested certain changes in the development plan to provide better facilities at the station.

Commenting on the recent reports of cockroaches being found in the food served to the passengers in the Amritsar-Delhi Shatabdi, Vasudev accepted that the quality of the food had gone down as contractors ignore hygiene to save expenses on manpower. He said they would recommend to the railway board for initiating action against the contractor concerned.


CM blames Capt for power cuts
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 15
Holding former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh responsible for burden of toll on people of state, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said his government was not in favour of toll on “ordinary roads” of the state.

Decrying the build, operate and transfer (BOT) policy of the previous Congress regime, Badal made it clear that his government was for toll only on express highways, which were not under the control of the Punjab government. “Amarinder Singh is responsible for putting burden of toll on people of Punjab. He had made the government enter into such clauses of agreement with certain private contractors. These clauses could not be changed by the government later on. It is because of such clauses that people of the state are made to bear the burden of heavy toll,” said Badal, who inaugurated the Rs 27.14-crore over-bridge on the railway crossing 21 here today.

The Chief Minister was accompanied by Punjab PWD minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa, SAD general secretary Prem Singh Chandumajra, chief parliamentary secretary Raj Khurana, SAD’s NRI wing president Surjit Singh Rakhra, former SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar, former ministers Harmel Singh Tohra, Surjit Singh Kohli, Ajaib Singh Mukhmailpur and Hamir Singh Ghagga and Sikh Intellectual 
Council president Baldev Singh Balluana.

On power cuts and power shortage the Chief Minister again rapped the Amarinder-led Congress government. “The Congress is responsible for the ongoing power crisis in the state as it did not make any effort to increase electricity generation in the state,” said Badal.

On alleged harassment of international level athlete and Punjab Police official Harwant Kaur, Badal said his government was supportive of sportspersons and Harwant could meet him anytime so that her problems could be solved.

Badal said the recruitment process of 16,000 teachers had been completed, but appointment letters were not issued to selected candidates for a Punjab and Haryana High Court’s stay on issuance of appointment letters.

Badal also paid a visit to the residence of Shaheed Sewa Singh Thikriwala of the Praja Mandal movement and assured Thikriwala’s daughter Gurcharan Kaur that the state government would install a statue of Thikriwala at his ancestral village Thikriwala near Barnala.


Badal ‘architect’ of modern Punjab?
Jangveer Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal wants to to be remembered as architect of modern Punjab.

Badal conveyed these feelings at a Meet-the-Press organised at the Press Club here today. “I want to do unprecedented things,” said Badal talking about his present term, which could be the fourth. Badal is thinking big. He rates restart of work on Guru Gobind Singh oil refinery at Bathinda as his biggest achievement and said the project was slated for completion in 2011.

He claimed credit for the international airport to be set up at Mohali by acquiring land for the project in the shortest possible time.

The Chief Minister said the industrial sector in the state would also get a boost with the Union government considering extension of the Eastern Freight Corridor scheme from Kolkata to Ludhiana up to Amritsar. He said similarly the Centre had agreed to extend the Western Freight Corridor from Mumbai to Delhi up to Ludhiana. He said efforts were also on to get the corridor road extended to Amritsar.

Badal said it was also for the first time that two universities had been sanctioned for the state with one coming up at Amritsar. He said the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) was being established at Ropar and an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) was coming up at Mohali. He said to develop Mohali as a Knowledge City institutes of Nano Science, Science Education and Research as well as Bio-Technology were coming up there.


Porters pacified, trade resumes across border
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, July 15
After the alleged politically motivated two-day strike by porters at the Attari international check post, trade across the border resumed today.

Sources alleged that certain political leaders were instigating the porters to demand an increase in the loading and unloading charges to an unreasonable level. The porters put forward a new demand for raising the charges from Rs 1,800 per truck to Rs 4,000, which, agents of trade and the clearinghouse said was totally unacceptable.

The two-day strike by the porters had brought the trade across the border to a halt with hundreds of trucks carrying cargo getting stranded on both sides of the Radcliff line.

The district administration, on the direction of deputy commissioner Kahan Singh Pannu, intervened to resolve the matter. It has decided to invite the representatives of traders and porters union to work out an amicable solution on the weekend.

India and Pakistan had last year allowed the movement of the trucks laden with goods across the border to speed up the trade. The decision had created a stir among the porters who were virtually left with no work. However, the matter was resolved and the exporters offered them Rs 1,800 per truck as loading and unloading charges.

Meanwhile, customs commissioner Talkeshwar Singh said 77 trucks laden with perishable and other goods had been stranded for the past two days. Now, with the intervention of the district administration, the trade has resumed, he said, adding that the Customs Department has a limited role to play in the matter.

The work on the integrated check post project, which has received the approval of the Central government, is yet to start as the state government had failed to hand over 120 acres for it. The exporters association said the Pakistani Customs Department had acquired the land for the project and were awaiting a similar move by their Indian counterpart to facilitate a hassle-free and faster movement of cargo across the border.


Father puts conditions for accepting daughter’s marriage
Swati Sharma

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Jagnandan Singh has put a strange condition before his daughter Satveer Kaur and her husband Sukhpal Singh, who had eloped and got married. Agreeing to accept the marriage before the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC), Jagnandan said his only condition was that the couple would not settle in their native village Lambi, near Muktsar, as the marriage had humiliated his family.

Earlier, the couple had filed a complaint with the PSHRC that some of Jagnandan’s relatives had called them to village Patti Sadiq, near Abohar, on pretext of arranging a compromise on April 1. However, when the couple reached the place they were arrested as Jagnandan had filed a police complaint that his daughter was a minor. Satveer was released from custody on April 2 and allowed to go to her parents’ house, but Sukhpal was detained for one more day.

According to Jagnandan, his daughter was born on November 19, 1991, and was a minor. He alleged that the school leaving certificate attached by Sukhpal was tampered and her date of birth was changed to November 19, 1988.

However, Satveer stated before the Commission that she is happily married and wants to stay with Sukhpal.

Meanwhile, taking cognizance of the complaint, the PSHRC observed: “This commission is only concerned with the violation of human rights. Needless to mention, the father of the girl is not happy with the marriage as, according to him, it has lowered his esteem in the eyes of the villagers. He may take recourse to law to get the marriage declared null and void, but cannot interfere in the life and liberty of the complainants. This is especially when they are willing to shift from the village to some other place.”

Accepting the suggestion of Jagnandan, the couple has now decided to leave their native village and settle somewhere else.


6 pc more DA for govt staff, pensioners
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The Punjab government today raised dearness allowance (DA) payable to state government employees and pensioners from the existing 41 pc to 47 pc of basic pay plus dearness pay from Jan-’08. An official spokesman said the whole amount on account of enhanced DA due for the period from Jan 1, ’08, to July 31, ’08, would be credited to the General PF accounts of the employees. From Aug 1, ’08, the enhanced DA would be paid in cash.


Chickenpox: Don’t delay
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
In the wake of recent abrupt increase in the cases of chickenpox, measles, viral infection (fever) in Punjab and Haryana after the onset of the monsoon, Dr S.P.S. Sohal, director, Health Services, Punjab, stated that people should not panic and rush to quacks or magic healers.

He said the apprehension regarding the disease being a curse of God or goddess was false. He said it was a viral infection which was self-limiting and symptomatic treatment was available in all government health institutions of the state. Dr Sohal appealed to all parents, if any of their children was suffering from viral infection with symptoms of fever, vomiting and rashes on the body, face, neck etc, they should take the child to nearby hospital for proper and free treatment. He added that if neglected, the infection could also prove fatal.

Meanwhile, Laxmi Kanta Chawla, health minister, expressing concern at the situation has instructed the department to remain alert and geared up for controlling these viral infections. Instructions have been issued to all civil surgeons for taking necessary action to control the spread of the disease and provide timely treatment to all reported patients.

A mass contact awareness campaign has already been initiated and people are being imparted education on preventive measures.


Temple razed again
Vikrant Jindal

Malerkotla, July 15
The 100-year-old temple of Sheetla Mata, which was demolished by the local administration on July 12 and reconstructed by devotees the next day, was once again demolished by the administration today.

Earlier, the temple was demolished on the orders of High Court.

Today’s demolition was carried out under the supervision of Dhuri SDM Diprava Lakra. Sangrur DC V.K. Ohri and ADC Indu Malhotra, who stayed in the local Rest House, were briefed on the situation.

However, there was no protest by devotees this time. There was heavy deployment of the police in the area. Tents were installed at the temple site and the police deployed to prevent any reconstruction move.

The temple was been constructed on about 4 kanals near the Raikot road at Ravidass Nagar.


High Court
Currency racket: Probe held in ‘unscientific way’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
In its report before the Punjab and Haryana High Court into the resiling of witnesses in the fake currency racket, the Punjab police has assessed that there was a cloud of suspicion over the veracity of seizure of fake currency. The probe committee has also indicted a DSP for “conducting the investigation in a negligent way,” instead of holding the probe “in a fair and scientific manner” keeping in view the seriousness of the matter.

In his report, the DIG has added that the investigation of the fake currency case was “conducted in a negligent, improper and unscientific manner. The repeated search by the police, recovery of fake currency 15 days after the family had run away from the house…resiling of the witnesses, makes the recovery suspicious.”

He added that, "The enquiry team has reached at the conclusion that the investigation of this case was conducted in a negligent, improper and unscientific manner. The infirmities found in the investigation create suspicion over the recovery of fake currency notes.”

In September 2002, the Punjab Police had allegedly confiscated Rs 5.20 lakh fake currency from the house of former senior superintendent of police Gurcharan Singh Pherurai.

The enquiry committee has also recommended to Punjab DGP N.P.S. Aulakh “further in-depth enquiry be conducted” to ascertain the “source and recovery of the fake currency.”

Demand for secret voting

Punjab Congress MLA Jasbir Singh Khangura has asked the high court to direct the state government and the state Election Commission to introduce the system of secret voting for election of gram panchayats to ensure a free and fair choice.

The petitioner added this would also ensure against threats from the ruling party to panches known to belong to the opposition parties. The Division Bench of Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Mahesh Grover asked Punjab counsel to seek instruction from the authorities and apprise them by Wednesday.


Appointment of teachers after HC order: Minister
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, July 15
The government has decided to issue appointment letters to newly selected schoolteachers on getting the decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Punjab education minister Upinderjit Kaur, who was here today, told The Tribune that the government could not issue appointment letters to 14,000 candidates selected as schoolteachers due to the fact that a section of selected teachers had approached the High Court.

She added that now the Punjab government had decided to follow the decision to be given by the High Court on their writ petition, the next date of hearing for which is July 18.

The information gathered by The Tribune revealed that the government could not issue appointment letters to the newly selected teachers due to the election code of conduct

Remaining in force for the past about three months. Now, it was in a hurry to get out of the mess as the selected candidates had warned it of a statewide agitation.

Meanwhile, the minister said the government had decided to fill 5,000 vacancies of head teacher, centre head teacher, principal and deputy director in the education department from within the staff.

Forty more candidates had been identified for appointment on compassionate grounds.

She said the government would take up the matter relating to a pension scheme for private schools whenever the financial health of the state became sound.


RIMC entrance test on Dec 1, 2
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The entrance examination for admission to the Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC), Dehradun, for the July 2009 term will be conducted here at Lala Lajpat Rai Bhawan, Sector 15. Only boys are eligible to apply for the admission.

Distance education

The government has started a flagship programme in collaboration with ISRO to provide quality education through the satellite. Education minister Dr Upinderjit Kaur said the ISRO had supplied 300 SITs to the Punjab EDUSAT Society for this purpose.


2 killed, 25 injured in bus-truck collision
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, July 15
Two persons were killed and more than 25 were injured, 10 of them seriously, when a PRTC bus and an Indane gas agency truck met collided on the Malerkotla-Nabha road at Amargarh village, about 15 km from here, today. Injured persons were admitted to the Civil Hospital here and at Amargarh, while others were referred to Rajendra Hospital, Patiala, by hospital authorities.

The Amargarh police has arrested the driver of the truck and taken the vehicle in its custody. An FIR under Sections 279, 337, 338, 304-A and 427, IPC, was registered against truck driver Rajesh Kumar of Dabaria (UP) on the complaint of bus driver Kuldeep Singh.

The PRTC bus (PB11H, 9849) was going from here to Nabha when a high-speed truck (PB10AN, 9616) of Indane gas agency hit it. The truck was loaded with about 400 gas cylinders filled with LPG. After the collision, the truck overturned and gas from some LPG cylinders start leaking.

Some villagers rushed to the spot and called the ambulance from Malerkotla and shifted the injured persons to hospital.

Injured persons, including Walaiti Ram, Jarnail Singh, Jeeta Ram, Shamim Iqbal, Hina, Mohammed Amjad, Jarnail Singh, Babli, Shamma and Kirna, were admitted to the local Civil Hospital, while Gurdev Kaur, Mohammed Sabar, Jameel Khan, Pritam Kaur and Wadhawa Ram were shifted to the Rajendra Hospital, Patiala.


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