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Tablets fine, what about basic infrastructure?
Ferozepur, July 1
While the government plans to spend hundreds of crores to provide tablets to the students, the vital educational institutions which provide training to the staff and the students continue to function from dilapidated structures juxtaposed with an acute shortage of manpower and resources.
The collapsed roof of the Government Inservice Training Institute at Ferozepur The collapsed roof of the Government Inservice Training Institute at Ferozepur.
A Tribune photograph

Eye on fine, drunken driving no issue for cops
Faridkot, July 1
As speeding and drunk driving are two of the main factors for road accidents, on March 1 this year, the Union Cabinet had approved changes to the Motor Vehicle Act to deal with drunk driving by imposing higher penalty and jail term.


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Chain fast to make Abohar, Fazilka rail link operational
Abohar, July 1
To press for the demand for making the Abohar-Fazilka rail link operational, under the banner of "India against Corruption", on day 50 of the stir launched by NGOs here at the railway complex, women activists, Sudesh Paruthi, Asha Balana, Aarti, Nisha Arya and Murti Sharma, prayed for the success of the agitation.

Beginning the second phase of the 50-day old stir, the first batch started fast at the railway station in Abohar on Sunday. Photo: Raj Sadosh

Beginning the second phase of the 50-day old stir, the first batch started fast at the railway station in Abohar on Sunday

Farmer unions welcome probe into Charason clash
Patiala, July 1
Almost 12 days after the police registered a case against over 50 persons for allegedly attacking policemen during a clash at Balberha and Charason villages following administrationís attempt to get common village land (shamlat) vacated in two villages, farmer unions alleged vendetta and said many of those booked by the police were already dead.

Robbers strike in broad daylight, decamp with gold
Ferozepur, July 1
In an incident of robbery which took place in broad daylight, some masked men entered the house of a retired bank manager in Friend's Colony area of the city and decamped with gold worth lakhs besides other valuable articles.

Another fraud marriage comes to light in Moga
Moga, July 1
In yet another case, a young woman has become a victim of fraudulent marriage by a non-resident Indian (NRI) living in Canada. Earlier, the special police cell, created to prevent frauds and crimes by the NRIs, registered a criminal case two days back against an Australian resident groom and his parents on the complaint of a local nurse for cheating her by fraudulent marriage on the pretext of taking her abroad.

Man beaten to death by grandsonís wife, her kin
Moga, July 1
A 70-year-old man was brutally beaten to death by his grandsonís wife and her parents over a family dispute at Samalsar village in Moga district, police said today. As per the complaint lodged by Lakhwinder Singh, before the local police, his grandfather Zora Singh was beaten to death by his brother Kulwinder Singh's wife Lakshmi Rani, her brother Ravinder Singh, mother Jasmel Kaur and one of their relatives. Kulwinder is in the army and used to come home only during the holidays.

Nine engineers suspended
Abohar, July 1
Acting tough over the serious discrepancies in the widening of the Hanumangarh-Suratgarh mega highway from two to four lanes, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday ordered the suspension of two executive engineers and seven assistant engineers.





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Tablets fine, what about basic infrastructure?
Educational institutions languishing due to apathy
Anirudh Gupta

Piles of broken furniture lying in one of the rooms at the GITC in Ferozepur
Piles of broken furniture lying in one of the rooms at the GITC in Ferozepur. A Tribune photograph

Ferozepur, July 1
While the government plans to spend hundreds of crores to provide tablets to the students, the vital educational institutions which provide training to the staff and the students continue to function from dilapidated structures juxtaposed with an acute shortage of manpower and resources.

A visit to three such institutes in this border district revealed that in utter contrast to the government's claims, the infrastructure of the key educational institutions is decaying in the absence of any funds for its upkeep.

Situated in an old ramshackle building, the Government In-service Training Centre (GITC), which imparts training to thousands of school teachers, is crying for attention.

Out of the five rooms available here, the roof of two rooms has already crumbled whereas the condition of the other two rooms is equally poor and they can cave in anytime. Even the roof of the corridor outside the principal's office seems to be on its last legs.

Lecturers here keep their fingers crossed all day praying for their safety as they fear the roof may collapse anytime. The matter has been brought to the notice of the authorities concerned many times but no efforts have been made to relocate this centre or improve the conditions here.

Out of the 21 sanctioned vacancies, the post of the principal, senior lecturer, clerk, machine man and five sub staff, are lying vacant here. Veer Bala, who is officiating as the principal, said she has already made several requests to the senior officials to provide suitable space, but in vain.

In the absence of adequate funds, the staff finds it difficult even to manage the electricity bills and other recurring expenses. The furniture is decaying for want of repair. There is no provision for water cooler or generator.

The management of the school on the premises of which the GITC is functioning, has already served a notice to the department to vacate the building.

At the District Institute of Education and Training (DIET), all posts of senior lecturers besides that of the principal is vacant. The building is in a deplorable state. "We do not have even a single working computer," said Chander Kanta, who is officiating as the principal. She adds that now, they have been told to send the salary bills online but without any computer, they feel helpless. "Our salaries have not been paid since February," stated another staff member.

The deserted hostel here on which lakhs have been spent speak volumes of the government's apathy. The state of affairs in the Government Polytechnic College is no different. Damaged structure, shortage of staff and equipment has thrown the working of this institute out of gear.

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Eye on fine, drunken driving no issue for cops
Balwant Garg/TNS

Faridkot, July 1
As speeding and drunk driving are two of the main factors for road accidents, on March 1 this year, the Union Cabinet had approved changes to the Motor Vehicle Act to deal with drunk driving by imposing higher penalty and jail term.

But in Punjab, with 273 deaths in road mishaps and 468 road accidents every month on an average in the year 2011, the information procured under the RTI revealed that drunken driving is 'not at all' an issue to worry about for the increased road accidents in Punjab.

While the liquor shops dot most of the road and national highways in Punjab, the RTI information revealed that in three years, from April 1, 2007 to March 1, 2010, out of the total 33,830 vehicles challaned by the Bathinda district police for violating traffic rules, not even a single vehicle has been challaned for drunken driving.

The RTI information revealed that in 14 months, from April 1, 2008 to May 30, 2009, the total number of challans issued by the Punjab Police under Section 185 of the Motor Vehicle Act (drunken driving) in the state was just 1738.

And if the challsns for drunken driving are to be relied upon to gauge the drinking habits in Punjab, in Faridkot, Mansa and Fatehgarh Sahib districts, no such challan was issued in 14 this month period.

While it is Punjabis who are known for gulping down huge quantity of liquor, but as far as drunken driving is concerned, Delhi police seemed to be more vigilant in dealing strictly with the problem.

The RTI information revealed that from April 1, 2008 to May 30, 2009, the Delhi Police issued challans to 11,134 persons for drunken driving. Even the Haryana police showed its serious concern toward drunken driving by penalizing 10,392 drunken drivers during this period. In Himachal Pradesh, the number of drunken drivers nabbed was 1000 and in Chandigarh, the figure was 226 for the corresponding period.

Instead of checking drunken driving, the police in Punjab have the target of collecting more fine from the vehicle drivers for the violation of many other provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act, said Kamal Anand, an advocate and RTI activist.

Last month, when Kamal Anand moved an application under the RTI Act to the Director General of Police to known about the new challans for drunken driving, the IG (Traffic) replied on June 5, 2010, denying having any information and asked Anand to contact the district police chief for the information.

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Chain fast to make Abohar, Fazilka rail link operational
Our Correspondent

Abohar, July 1
To press for the demand for making the Abohar-Fazilka rail link operational, under the banner of "India against Corruption", on day 50 of the stir launched by NGOs here at the railway complex, women activists, Sudesh Paruthi, Asha Balana, Aarti, Nisha Arya and Murti Sharma, prayed for the success of the agitation.

With this first batch of citizens, mostly retired government officials, including Sanjeev Sharma, Ram Swarup Sharma, Ram Parkash Sharma and Hari Ram Solanki, went on a day-long fast.

NGO spokesman, RS Sharma, said the stir would continue till the inauguration of the train on the 42.11 km track. Brahman Sabha Seva Samiti volunteers led by its president Ramesh Kumar Sharma today extended support to the stir.

In another development, former MP, Virendra Kataria, informed that the railways have officially announced the introduction of 14601/14602 Ferozepur Cantt-Sriganganagar Express train with non-stop run on the Abohar-Fazilka track immediately after the inauguration of the new link.

Railway Board chairman, Vinay Mittal, has okayed the tri-weekly run of the 12485/12486 Hazur Sahib Nanded-Sriganganagar with additional coaches. The long pending proposal for allowing its stoppage at Malout along with Sarai Rohila- Sriganganagar AC Express has also been given a nod.

With these changes, the commuters in this area will have four trains for Delhi on three days of the week.

Boys jump into canal to evade bus, killed: Two minor boys were killed as they had to jump in the Gheghra sub-canal on Gharsana road in the neighbouring Sriganganagar to avert getting crushed by a bus. As per the information, Mukesh Sharma along with his brother Vinod and friend Sunil had gone to the sub- canal to beat the heat. When they were relaxing at the bridge, a privately owned bus narrowed margin while offering side to a jeep.

Sensing that the bus might crush them, in panic, the boys jumped into the sub-canal. They were taken to the community health centre in village Damolai but the doctors declared Mukesh as brought dead while Sunil died during treatment.

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Farmer unions welcome probe into Charason clash
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 1
Almost 12 days after the police registered a case against over 50 persons for allegedly attacking policemen during a clash at Balberha and Charason villages following administrationís attempt to get common village land (shamlat) vacated in two villages, farmer unions alleged vendetta and said many of those booked by the police were already dead.

The clash had left 17 persons, including eight policemen and nine farmers, injured.

Members of various farmer unions said they had visited the affected villages and found that the police allegedly attacked farmers. Meanwhile, the police said farmers had first attacked the police party and some of them had also fired at policemen.

Union members alleged that over two-dozen farmers booked by the police were already dead and a couple of others did not even reside in the villages. However, the union members appreciated the decision of the district administration that ordered an inquiry into the incident.

On June 19, following court orders officials of the Rural Development and Panchayat Department escorted by a police team reached Balberha and Charason villages to claim possession of over 100 acres of agricultural land being tilled by local farmers for the past many years without any substantial raise in the annual contract rates.

As senior Rural Development and Panchayat officers accompanied by the police reached the village to take possession of the land, farmers armed with sticks and stones resisted any move on part of the officers to get the land vacated.

Police claimed that some farmers allegedly fired at policemen with .12 bore guns, following which the police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the protesting farmers. ďAn FIR was registered based on initial reports and more sections would be added after the probe,Ē said an official.

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Robbers strike in broad daylight, decamp with gold
Our Correspondent

Ferozepur, July 1
In an incident of robbery which took place in broad daylight, some masked men entered the house of a retired bank manager in Friend's Colony area of the city and decamped with gold worth lakhs besides other valuable articles.

According to the information, at the time when the incident took place, the house owner alongwith the other members of the family was away while his daughter-in-law Sarabjit Kaur and her two children were present in the house.

The robbers entered the house on the pretext of selling some books and forcibly gave a sedative to Sarabjit and later blindfolded. They also locked the children inside the washroom.

Sarabjit said the robbers ransacked the entire house looking for valuables and cash. She said that her father-in-law KS Johal along with other members of the house, had gone to Chintpurni shrine whereas her husband Ranbir Singh had gone to work.

She said that before leaving, the robbers unlocked the washroom, following which the two kids, Manpreet and Amandeep informed the relatives in the neighbourhood about the incident.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Jagjit Singh Saroya alongwith other police officials reached the spot and started the investigations. Police recovered one used injection from the site.

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Another fraud marriage comes to light in Moga

Moga, July 1
In yet another case, a young woman has become a victim of fraudulent marriage by a non-resident Indian (NRI) living in Canada. Earlier, the special police cell, created to prevent frauds and crimes by the NRIs, registered a criminal case two days back against an Australian resident groom and his parents on the complaint of a local nurse for cheating her by fraudulent marriage on the pretext of taking her abroad.

In the new case, Harwinder Singh Gill, resident of a village in Moga district, has lodged a complaint with SSP Surjit Singh Grewal that she became a victim of fraudulent marriage.

She alleged that her parents paid a sum of Rs 25-lakh to the groom and his family. through an agent and an ASI of the state police who acted as a mediator in 2010 to solemnize their marriage. But two years after the marriage, the groom and his family did not take his daughter to Canada. Interestingly, both the agent and mediator ASI had taken their share. The SSP has marked an inquiry to the human trafficking wing of the local police in this regard. ó TNS

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Man beaten to death by grandsonís wife, her kin
Tribune News Service

Moga, July 1
A 70-year-old man was brutally beaten to death by his grandsonís wife and her parents over a family dispute at Samalsar village in Moga district, police said today. As per the complaint lodged by Lakhwinder Singh, before the local police, his grandfather Zora Singh was beaten to death by his brother Kulwinder Singh's wife Lakshmi Rani, her brother Ravinder Singh, mother Jasmel Kaur and one of their relatives. Kulwinder is in the army and used to come home only during the holidays.

During the dispute, his grandfather Zora Singh tried to pacify them but instead of listening to him, Lakshmi and her family members started beating the old man who fell down. He received injuries on his head and died on the spot.

SHO, Samalsar police station, Darshan Singh said he had registered a criminal case of murder against Lakshmi, Ravinder, Jasmel Kaur and Rahul. However, they were yet to be arrested.

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Nine engineers suspended
Our Correspondent

Abohar, July 1
Acting tough over the serious discrepancies in the widening of the Hanumangarh-Suratgarh mega highway from two to four lanes, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday ordered the suspension of two executive engineers and seven assistant engineers.

Gehlot also directed that the inquiry must be completed within six months. Officials said that during the June 8 maiden visit of the Chief Minister, public representatives had alleged the use of sub-standard material and flouting of prescribed norms in the widening of the road.

A three-member committee, headed by DC Katara, adviser to the Public Works Department, was constituted to conduct the inquiry.

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