P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Plugging of breaches at snail’s pace
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Madaarpur (Moga), August 19
The swelling Sutlej continues to give sleepless nights to people of hundreds of villages in Moga and Ferozepur districts, with slow progress on plugging the breaches developed on its banks.

Farmers’ messiah sips juice

Farmers’ messiah and chairman of the state mandi board Ajmer Singh Lakhowal came to Madaarpur this afternoon to visit spots of breaches. He sat for a while under a make-shift camp of the administration. Just a few metres away from this camp, flood-hit people were struggling to get chlorinated potable water, while Lakhowal was busy drinking grape juice offered to him by officials of the administration.

The water level in the Sutlej that started to decline last evening has again begun to rise. The current of water from the breaches also slightly increased on Tuesday afternoon.

A senior official of the irrigation department said that 36,955 cusecs of water was released from the Gobind Sagar reservoir in the Sutlej and 19,458 cusecs of water from the Pong reservoir in the Beas this morning. The confluence of these rivers is at Harike near Makhu in Ferozepur district.

Keeping in view the rising water level in the Sutlej, an emergency meeting of officials of the district administration, irrigation department and technical experts of the Army was held here on the banks of the river in the morning, in which it was decided to continue raising of wall (ring bundh) of sand bags of about 700 m to connect the main and advance embankments, leaving aside the points of breaches.

Confirming this, officiating district magistrate of Moga V.K. Meena told The Tribune that it was impossible to plug the breaches directly against the current of the river, as the depth of water at these points had gone down to 40 feet.

Meanwhile, officials of the irrigation department said that it would take at least 15 days to complete the wall of sand bag, but if the level of water continues to rise, it could take more time to do this job.

Another official of this department rued that the visits of VVIPs were also hindering the progress of work. The coming of vehicles of the VVIPs, officials of the district administration and the police officials through the embankment often leads to traffic jams, delaying the ferrying of sand on tractor-trolleys for filling the bags.

Joginder Singh Pappi, a former member of the block samiti, satirically commented, “The ministers and senior officials are coming as if it has become a picnic spot. They are sitting in the make-shift camps drinking fruit juices while looking at the river and going back without any announcement of immediate financial relief”.


Govt official to be present in every flood-hit village
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Sultanpur Lodhi, August 19
In view of the problems being faced by people in the flood-hit villages, a functionary of the administration would be present in every affected village.

Orders to this effect were issued by chief secretary Ramesh Inder Singh who, along with SAD chief Sukhbir Badal, visited the affected villages in Jalandhar and Kapurthala districts today.

The chief secretary said he had asked the DCs to depute officials at the level of patwari or panchayat secretary in all affected villages round the clock, who will inform the ADCs on telephone about the requirements every day. The ADCs, in turn, would inform the DCs, who would report to the chief secretary on a daily basis.

This would ensure that the people get all items in the village itself, including fodder for their cattle.

Earlier, on their arrival here, Kapurthala DC J.M.Balamurugan briefed Sukhbir and the chief secretary about the situation in the 18 affected villages and the relief work being coordinated from the Bharoana village camp.

He said food, medicine and fodder were being dispatched to the villages as per their requirements.

After some villagers demanded that the discharge from the Harike barrage should be increased to ease the ground situation, the chief secretary called the authorities concerned, who said additional water could not be released due to technical reasons.

Later, addressing mediapersons, Sukhbir said he would write to the PM to declare the situation in the state as a natural calamity and demand adequate compensation for farmers.

He said there was an acute shortage of drinking water and he had asked the authorities to provide bottled water to the villagers so that they were not forced to drink contaminated water.

He said he had urged the government to ensure that the breaches should be plugged at the earliest.

Sukhbir said no repairs had been carried out since 1997 and the bundhs at places were very weak. “I have asked the authorities to prepare estimates to do the needful so that the state does not face such a grim situation,” he said.

Former minister Tota Singh suggested that the height of the present bundhs should be raised and roads constructed on them.

Later, he also visited the flood-affected Gidderpindi village and listened to the grievances of people.


Sukhbir visits affected areas
Kulwinder Sandhu and Anirudh Gupta
Tribune News Service

Makhu (Ferozepur), August 19
President of the ruling SAD and Lok Sabha member Sukhbir Singh Badal has demanded from the Union government to declare floods in the river basins of Punjab as natural calamity and provide adequate financial assistance to the state government for compensating the flood-affected community.

The SAD leader was here to visit villages in the Makhu area of this border district. He was accompanied by irrigation minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon, chief secretary Ramesh Inder Singh, principal secretary (development) Romila Dubey and principal secretary (power and irrigation) Suresh Kumar to assess the flood situation at the ground level.

He revealed that the state government had released an amount of Rs 1 crore for immediate relief and rehabilitation measures. He also presented a cheque of Rs 1 lakh each to the kin of two persons who were washed away in the flood during the past two days.

He said the state government would soon draft a proposal to reinforce the dhussi bandh embankment of the river all along the Sutlej once the water level receded.

He asked officials of the drainage wing of the Irrigation Department to speed up the work on plugging the breaches. The administration would provide support in form of essential items like cattle feed, dry fodder, food and shelter to flood-affected families who had been dislodged from their homes.

Junior Badal visited the worst-affected villages of Burj Muhar, Akbarwala and Kussuwala on an army boat.


Rs 2 cr contributed towards CM’s Relief Fund
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
In response to an appeal of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to make liberal contributions towards the CM’s Relief Fund to effectively combat the flood situation and extend help to flood victims in the state, cooperation minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh today presented cheques worth Rs 2 crore to Badal towards the fund.

This was done on the behalf of Markfed (Rs 1 crore), Punjab State Cooperative Bank (Rs 50 lakh) and Punjab State Cooperative Agricultural Development Bank (Rs 50 lakh).

According to CM’s media advisor Harcharan Bains, the fund would be utilised to bail out the affected persons for giving them adequate compensation for the loss suffered in terms of crops, property and human life. 


Gurdwara Panel for Haryana
PM to take up matter with Hooda: SGPC
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 19
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today agreed in principle to take up the matter of the proposed separate gurdwara committee for Haryana with Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda with a view to keeping the national character of the SGPC intact.

This was claimed by SGPC president Avtar Singh after meeting the Prime Minister in his office, while talking to The Tribune on phone today. The other two members of the delegation included Raghuvir Singh Virk, senior vice-president, and Dlimegh Singh, secretary, Shiromani Committee.

The SGPC delegation told the Prime Minister that the proposed separate gurdwara committee for Haryana was in gross violation of the Nehru-Tara Singh Pact.

The SGPC chief said the Prime Minister told the delegation that he had already taken up the matter with union home minister in this regard. “I told the Prime Minister that the national character of the Shiromani Committee, being supreme religious body of the Sikh community, could not be changed by carving out a separate committee for Haryana. I told the PM that it would be historic blunder if Haryana was allowed to form a separate gurdwara committee during the tenure of a Sikh Prime Minister,” he said.

Under the provisions of the Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925, the SGPC controls all historical gurdwaras as well as gurdwaras under Section 87 of this Act. Apart from the management of gurdwaras, it runs many educational institutions, medical colleges, hospitals and charitable trusts. The delegation told the PM that the Nehru-Tara Singh Pact clearly states that any amendment like carving out separate gurdwara committee had to be first passed by two-thirds majority in the general house of the SGPC.


SAD core panel warns Centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today accused UPA chief Sonia Gandhi and the Union government of “direct, interference in the internal affairs of the Khalsa Panth and attempts to destroy the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee by setting up a parallel body in Haryana”.

A resolution passed at an emergency meeting of the committee of the SAD held Sonia responsible for using the Haryana government for denigrating the supreme Sikh institution.

The committee declared that Haryana Sikhs would hold a rally in Karnal on August 30 to protest against Sonia and her party’s government in Haryana. Representatives of the Haryana unit of the SAD and religious figures from the state met Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and asked them to take up the case with the Union government.

The committee resolution regretted the “insensitive attitude of the Centre towards pleas made through the SGPC, the SAD and the Punjab government” to dissuade the Haryana government from its “obstinate attitude”.

The committee traced the history of the SGPC in 1925. “Then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru reached a pact with Akali leader Master Tara Singh on non-interference in the religious affairs of the Sikhs. The pact said no decision affecting religious affairs of the Sikhs would be taken except through the consent of majority of the members of the SGPC”.

The meeting was presided over by Sukhbir and attended by patron Badal and senior Akali leaders Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, Balwinder Singh Bhundar, Kanwaljit Singh, Prem Singh Chandumajra, Tota Singh, Sewa Singh Sekhwan, Bibi Upinderjit Kaur and Bibi Jagir Kaur.



Survey to assess damage by floods
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Sailli Kulian (Pathankot), August 19
Even as huge soil erosion on the right bank of the Chakki river has endangered the lives of thousands of people near this village, a high-level team of the state Irrigation and Drainage Department today carried out a survey to assess the damage caused here by the recent flash floods.

Officials of the drainage department have started setting up Cunnette in the Chakki river to divert the flow of the gushing water so that soil erosion could be checked. The officials of the department had to set up Cunnette, as they had been finding it difficult to erect spurs and revetments into the Chakki river due to the fast flow of water into the same.

Sohan Singh Grewal, executive engineer, drainage department, said machines had been put on job and it was expected that Cunnette would be completed within four to five days. He added that other flood-protection measures would be taken after the monsoons were over.

Meanwhile, gushing water also posed threat to the Pathankot-Dalhousie national highway.

The Chakki river witnessed flash floods, as the flow of water was 32,000 cusecs at one point of time today. The gushing water took a heavy toll on the soil in the area falling between the right bank of the river and the Pathankot-Dalhousie national highway running parallel to it. An engineer of the drainage department said that due to the soil erosion, the distance between the right bank of the Chakki river and the Pathankot-Dalhousie national highway had been reduced to 80 ft.

The distance between the right bank of the river and the Pathankot-Dalhousie national highway had come down to about 60 ft, which posed danger to those inhabiting the localities situated on the right bank of the river.

The width between the right bank of the Chakki river and the national highway at this point was more than 150 ft. The width of the river has been increasing and the distance between its right bank and the national highway has been decreasing due to erosion of soil for the past about two years.

The authorities had been giving assurance of safety to people, but they had failed to carry out the necessary measures.

One of the studs and revetments erected in Chakki river had been damaged by flash floods, which took place on June 15. Officials had then said they were confused to handle the situation, as they did not have adequate money to carry out the repair as financial estimates for various works to be executed in connection with the flood-protection measures were not sanctioned by the higher officials.


Farmers’ plea to clear dues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
The Farmers Welfare Association, led by Bhupinder Singh Dhillon, today urged the Council for Citrus and Agro Juicing, Punjab, to clear the dues of farmers. Dhillon said about 100 farmers yesterday met the council officials and asked them to clear the rent of the land.

The council had taken the land on rent to grow citrus orchards in various parts of the state.

Dhillon said the council officials had promised to clear the dues by July 30. However, farmers had given them 15 days extra to clear the dues by August 15. But even till today, dues were not cleared.

He said farmers would meet again on August 21 to take a legal recourse in this regard. He said most of the farmers, who met the officials today, wanted to withdraw from the contract signed by them with the council regarding the growing of orchards.

Earlier, the officials of the council had agreed to allow farmers to withdraw from the contract, but today they backed out.

He said the council was supposed to make the payment of rent by May 1.


17 Pak nationals held, handed over to Pak Rangers
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 19
The BSF and other security agencies today sent 17 Pakistani nationals back to their country who had inadvertently entered the Indian territory while crossing the Ravi in a boat near border village Kakkar. A BSF patrol party noticed a Pakistani boat had entered the Indian side of the Ravi and ordered them to stop and come on the river bank on the Indian territory.

After interrogation of the Pakistani group, officials held a gate meeting with the Pakistani Rangers and handed over the group to Pak officials. The BSF officials said they were satisfied with the antecedents of the Pak residents and decided to return them to their country.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani Rangers today refused to accept the body of a Pak intruder who was shot dead by the BSF at Rattan Khurd BOP yesterday. 


Strike call by airport staff
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 19
Air Force personnel will be deployed tomorrow to maintain essential services at Rajasansi international airport to meet all contingencies in view of the strike call given by the union of public sector undertakings including airport staff.

Director airport Arun Talwar said they had received a notice from the non-officer staff of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to go on strike from 7 am 7 pm and were running the airport operations. The Air Force has been asked to assist in running services like fire operations and other essential services at the airport. He said all officers had been asked to be present round the clock during the 12- hour strike.


PUDA offers land for commercial use
Tribune New Service

Mohali, August 19
The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) under the optimum utilisation of vacant government lands (OUVGL) scheme has offered two chunks of commercial land for auction having a reserve price of Rs 350 crore at Ludhiana and Amritsar. The sites were transferred to PUDA by the government for commercial exploitation under the OUVGL scheme. The sites are located in the heart of both cities with a population of 20 lakh each.

According to a press note, the site at Amritsar is a part of the 26 acres area planned for mega development, a first of its kind in northern India. The site has Basant Avenue residential area on one side and residential area of Medical Enclave on the other.

The area of the site at Amritsar is 5.54 acres and the reserve price is Rs 60,000 per sq yd. The site became available after the demolition of an unsafe structure of a government institute. The land use offered is a multiplex/shopping mall/wedding palace.

The site at Ludhiana is 3.60 acre in the Civil Lines area. The reserve price is Rs 1 lakh a sq yd. The land is for multiplex/shopping mall/hotel/residential etc. The site became available by razing the unsafe structure housing the district courts and administrative offices of Ludhiana district. The site is to be auctioned on September 5.

Som Prakash, chief administrator, PUDA, said the sale of sites was expected to bring more than Rs 500 crore to the state.


Election of MC chief, 2 others declared void
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, August 19
Following the opinion of Punjab advocate-general relating to the election of president and two vice-presidents of the Sangrur Municipal Council (MC), the Department of Local Government, Punjab, has declared the election of Harbans Lal as president and Jaswinder Singh and Ravi Chawla as vice-presidents of Sangrur MC as void. They were elected at a meeting of the MC on July 23.

The MC has 21 municipal councillors, seven of the SAD, four of the BJP, nine of the Congress, and one independent. Besides these 21 councillors, local Congress MLA Surinder Pal Singh Sibia is the 22nd member (being an MLA) of the council.

On July 23, the meeting was attended by nine Congress councillors, Congress MLA and one SAD councillor Harbans Lal who that day joined the Congress and became president of the council. As out of total 22 members, 11 were present, it was considered condition of requisite quorum was met .

In a letter the special secretary, Local Government Department, Punjab, has asked the Sangrur DC to convene a meeting of the Sangrur MC for administering the oath of allegiance to the elected members and electing president and vice-presidents in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Punjab Municipal (president and vice-presidents) Election Rules 1994.

The advocate-general has also advised that as per record, the office of the president was reserved for general category, but in the impugned proceedings Harbans Lal, who belongs to the Scheduled Caste category, has been elected president of the council and this is contrary to the law laid down by the high court, therefore, such election is void. 


SSP withdraws ADC’s security
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran , August 19
District police chief Harinder Singh Chahal today withdrew the security of additional deputy commissioner (ADC) Kirpal Singh without assigning any reason.

In a letter to the SSP, deputy commissioner-cum-district magistrate Khushi Ram asked the former to restore security since the ADC was facing threat to life. ADC Kirpal Singh had written to the DC he had worked as executive magistrate and SDM in Tarn Taran district during militancy hence, he faces threat to life. Kirpal said he was shocked when both of his security personnel were withdrawn by the SSP. He said he had already brought it to the notice of DC.


Health Dept’s drive against adulteration
Samples reveal sale of toxic stuff
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
Health Department officials dealing with toxic material in sweets, spices and milk have revealed “dishonest elements” playing with the lives of people in the state. Though all are not unscrupulous, there are some shopkeepers and dealers selling toxic stuff to consumers.

Use of toxic synthetic colours in spices and sweets, decoration of sweets with non-edible toxic aluminum foils, mixing of used tea leaves with fresh tea leaves, mixing of rice brawn oil in mustard oil, use of urea to prepare synthetic milk, preparation of gur from waste products such as molasses and use of propylene glycol for making palm oil appear as desi ghee are some of the tricks being used for making a fast buck.

Health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla said from January to May this year 1,275 samples of food items were taken by the Health Department and 116 of these were found either adulterated or sub-standard. She said toxic stuff such as synthetic colours that gave a presentable look to chilly powder was most dangerous to human health. Certain synthetic colours were carcinogenic, 
she added.

Spraying of propylene glycol to give palm oil desi ghee look that sells at a higher price has become common. Use of “sangera” flour in milk and sweets produced from milk has also come to light. Chilly plants are also ground with chillies and then synthetic colour is used to give these a better look. Chilly plants increase the ash content in chilly spice. Blending of vanaspati ghee with sesame oil, which is mandatory, is rarely done.

Pickle is never submerged in mustard oil. Department officials say pickle should be submerged in oil, otherwise it remains highly prone to fungus that is dangerous to human health. Recently pickle in large quantities was seized and had to discarded as it was infested with fungus. The use of rice flour in turmeric power and colouring it with synthetic colour is a common phenomenon that has come to light while examining samples. Only eight colours are permitted and that also up to a limit.Their use should not be above 200 PPM.

Use of alkalis, urea and other chemicals for preparing synthetic milk is also dangerous to human health. Urea is a corrosive agent and causes renal failure. Foreign fat, a cheaper substitute, is also mixed in synthetic milk, that can be identified even from its appearance. It appears extra white compared to natural milk. It is sans minerals and natural ingredients available in buffalo or cow milk.

“I have told officers to be tough with those playing with the health of people,” said Chawla.


Implement pay panel report: PCMS docs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
The Punjab Civil Medical Services (PCMS) Association has demanded that the state government should take immediate steps for grating new pay scales to its employees, as has been done by the Union government and certain neighbouring states.

In a joint press statement here today, association president Hardeep Singh, press secretary Ajay Bagga and regional secretary Mukesh Bhatia said the Central government had already implemented the recommendations of the Sixth Central Pay Commission. Haryana and Uttar Pradesh had also announced to implement the new pay scales, they said. “Punjab is a prosperous state having very good per capita income, so the employees deserve better emoluments,” they said.

Representatives of the association also held a meeting with senior officers of the Directorate of the Health and Family Welfare Department in this regard.


Serial on Guru Granth Sahib in English, Hindi, Punjabi
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 19
The shooting of the serial, “Guru Manyo Granth,” by Jalandhar Doordarshan Kendra here and at ancestral places of Sikh Gurus, Bhagats and Muslim seers whose hymns have been enshrined in Guru Granth Sahib, has been completed.

The serial to be telecast in English, Hindi and Punjabi on the national hook-up from October 24 in seven instalments to coincide with the tercentenary celebrations of Gurta-Gaddi will be the first ever attempt by electronic media in this field.

Guru Granth Sahib was first compiled by fifth Sikh Guru Arjan Dev in 1604 AD in Amritsar. Its second and last version was compiled by Guru Gobind Singh and finalised at Damdama Sahib in 1705 AD. The holy book was bestowed the status of the “word Guru” by the 10th Sikh Master at Nanded Sahib, Maharashtra, three centuries ago.

According to Jaswant Deed, producer director of the serial, playback singers, including Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, Pandit Jasraj, Bhupinder Mitali, Sherya Goshal, Alka Yagnik and Suresh Wadaker etc have sung hymns from Guru Granth Sahib in the serial.

The Doordarshan team also visited the places of Bhagats whose hymns are in Guru Granth Sahib. The shooting was done at Hazur Sahib, Bidar, Anandpur Sahib, Kolkata, Varanasi and other states.

The seven episodes include compilation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, completion and Gurgaddi of Guru Granth Sahib, musical arrangement of Gurbani, depiction of nature in Guru Granth Sahib, Bhagat Vani in Guru Granth Sahib, universal message of Guru Granth Sahib and Gavo Sachi Bani.

Script writer of the serial is Punjabi poet Surjit Patar, a Sahit Akedami award winner. It is based on research by Dr Jodh Singh, former head, Religious Studies, Punjabi University, Patiala. The music in the serial is given by Uttam Singh.

Jaswant Deed, producer-director, Avinash Singh, PEX Shelandra Sharma Sateyan, Jeet Raj and Swarnjit Singh are members of the production team. 


Relief for 94-yr-old freedom fighter
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
There is light at the end of the tunnel for Ram Singh, 96-year-old freedom fighter of Ubhawal Road village in Sangrur district, fearing forcible occupation of his land by certain persons, including an ASI of the Punjab police.

In fact, the fight waged by a human rights organisation — Global Human Rights Council — in support of the veteran freedom fighter, bore fruit today with the Punjab State Human Rights Commission(PSHRC) seeking a detailed report from the Patiala SSP. The SSP has been asked to submit the report on or before October 15, the next date of hearing.

The commission wanted to know what action had been taken against the ASI concerned. Besides, the commission directed the SSP to provide details of any case registered against the the persons named in the complaint and status of the the investigation.

On May 20, 2006, ASI Kuljit Singh and head constable Angrez Singh, allegedly at the instance of Bhupinder Singh, Piara Singh and Bhagwant Singh, tried to grab 20-acre land belonging to Ram Singh at Chajju Bhatt village in Patiala district. The said land was rewarded to him by the British for his exploits during the World War-II.

Ram Singh, who reportedly also served as the personal security officer of Netaji Subhas Chander Bose during his last years, was allegedly taken to the Chitanwali police station (Patiala) where he was allegedly maltreated by the accused, including the ASI.

Even as the alleged maltreatment hit the headlines, a departmental inquiry was marked against the police official. The SP(detective), Patiala, in his report, reportedly recommended departmental action against the ASI but no action was taken against the ASI, the complaint before the commission alleged.

The complaint alleged that the accused were still using Ram Singh's land as water passage. Even as the ailing freedom fighter was moving from pillar to post to get justice, he was allegedly being given a raw deal by the authorities concerned, the application said, adding that life and liberty of the complainant should be protected.


Pay for police protection: HC
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
Police protection doesn’t come cheap. If you are not entitled to it, are still feeling threatened and want guards-in-uniform around you, pay Rs 1 lakh per constable for six months — at least this is what a Punjab and Haryana High Court order seems to be indicating.

In an order expected to reduce financial burden incurred on providing security cover to the alleged victims of political vendetta and others feeling the need but not entitled to it, a Division Bench has also made it clear that its continuation would depend upon threat perception.

The ruling by the Bench, comprising Justice Ashutosh Mohunta and Justice Rajan Gupta, follows a petition filed by a Gurdaspur district resident. Feeling threatened at the hands of a local MLA, Parminder Singh of Rahimbad village had moved the high court for security.

Seeking directions to the State of Punjab, the senior superintendent of police and the station house officer (SHO) of Surat Malli police station, Parminder Singh had contended he was a Congress party worker while the MLA belonged to the ruling party. As he had supported the Congress candidate during the general elections, the MLA was feeling annoyed.

Responding to his demand, the state had, on the other hand, contended the cost of providing security through the police would cost him money. Elaborating, the respondents had contended the cost of providing two constables for security purposes worked out to be Rs 4, 76, 402 per annum. As such, the petitioner should be directed to deposit the money, and only then ask for security cover.

To this, counsel for the petitioner had asserted the amount was exorbitant and he was not in a position to pay it. Moreover, it was the state’s duty to provide protection.

After taking into consideration the rival contentions and going through the case record, the Bench ruled: “In case the petitioner deposits Rs 1 lakh, one security person be provided by the respondent station house officer.”

Before parting with the order, the Bench added the arrangement would continue for six months. After that the respondents would review threat perception and act accordingly. 


Punjab amends admission rules after entrance test
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
The Punjab government has amended guidelines for admission to medical colleges in the state after the entrance examination had been held. This has raised doubts among the candidates as well as the academia that the move was undertaken to benefit certain individuals.

The entrance examination, (PMET-08), was conducted by Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, on June 22 and the result thereof was to be declared on June 27 or earlier. A notification exempting candidates in a reserved category from appearing in the written test was issued on June 27.

This could imply that a candidate in the said category, who appeared in the examination but did not perform well, would be able to get admission. Also, a candidate who did not appear for the test could seek benefit. The university conducts entrance examinations for admission to MBBS, BDS, BAMS and BHMS courses in medical, dental and ayurvedic and homoeopathic institutes.

On April 29, a corrigendum (No.5/3/08-3HB111/2728) was issued by Jagjit Puri, secretary, department of Medical Education and Research, which included reservation for tsunami victims, cancer patients and the AIDS affected. This corrigendum was to partially modify the notification issued in March for the conduct of PMET-08.

On June 27, five days after the entrance examination was held, the secretary issued another corrigendum (No.5/3/08-31HB111/3997), further modifying the notification and the earlier corrigendum to the affect that candidates in the aforementioned reserved category were not required to take the entrance test as mandated in the notification.

Punjab government sources said the university had also received an application under the Right to Information, seeking details of the admission guidelines, notifications concerned and names for candidates granted admission under this category. So far the university has released the name of one candidate who has been selected in the cancer patient quota.

This has prompted parents of some candidates to contend that amendment of the admission guidelines after the examination has been held is not legally tenable. They have also contended that inclusion of ailments in reserved categories would open a pandora’s box and there would be no end to demands for including other serious ailments in the reservation list.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |