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ETT union supports teachersí stir
Bathinda, February 8
The seventh day of the protest by the AIE/EGS teachers in the city was marked by several anxious moments. Between the dharna and the statements made by the political leaders and leaders of other unions, the teachers realised that the power supply to the air-conditioned glass casket inside which the body of 14-month-old Rooth was kept, had been disrupted.

ETT teachers hold a motorcycle rally in support of AIE/EGS teachers in Bathinda on Saturday






ETT teachers hold a motorcycle rally in support of AIE/EGS teachers in Bathinda on Saturday.
Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma

BKU blames govt for EGS agitation
Bathinda, February 8
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta) Ugrahan today extended its support to the protesting AIE and EGS teachers and held the SAD-BJP government responsible for death of the 14-month- old Rooth, daughter of one of the protestors.


 

EARLIER STORIES



Congress ex-MLA Harminder Singh Jassi consoles Kiranjit Kaur and Taranjit Singh, parents of Rooth, in Bathinda on Saturday
Congress ex-MLA Harminder Singh Jassi consoles Kiranjit Kaur and Taranjit Singh, parents of Rooth, in Bathinda on Saturday. Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma

Cong ex-MLA uses RTI, says over 1,000 ration depots allotted in violation of norms
Bathinda, February 8
General secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) and former Bathinda MLA Harminder Singh Jassi today disclosed the information that the party has received under an RTI query.

Extension of Food Safety Act deadline puts officials in a fix; seek action against violators
Bathinda, February 8
The repeated extension of the deadline for registration under the Food Safety Act has started "haunting" the food safety inspectors who are facing the wrath of the food business operators who have paid the fees and got enrolled.

Health Dept wants info on notifiable diseases
Bathinda, February 8
The private medical practitioners in the city do not always inform the district health authorities regarding the cases received under notifiable diseases. The government has declared 13 diseases as notifiable. A private practitioner who receives any case belonging to these 13 categories in his clinic or hospital has to inform the Health Department.

Police personnel deployed near the site of protest by the mid-day meal workers in Bathinda
On guard: Police personnel deployed near the site of protest by the mid-day meal workers in Bathinda on Saturday. 

Mid-day meal cooks stage a dharna at the Childrenís Park in Bathinda
Mid-day meal cooks stage a dharna at the Childrenís Park in Bathinda on Saturday.
Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma

Tubewell connections soon: Sukhbir
Bathinda, February 8
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said under the agriculture power tube wells policy, power connections against all applications registered prior to 2007 would be released within this month. Besides, all other applicants registered afresh will be allotted tube well connections during the next six months.

Inter-college youth fest held
Bathinda, February 8
Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle held zonal-level inter college youth contests for the districts of Faridkot, Muktsar and Bathinda.

CRIME BRIEFS
Man booked for beating up, threatening estranged wife

Bathinda, February 8
The police have booked Sandeep Sharma, a resident of Model town phase III, for allegedly beating up and threatening his estranged wife. 

Feedback
Time to set police free from political influence
Bathinda is witnessing several protests by unions and associations against the government, which is represented by Harsimrat Kaur, wife of Deputy Chief Minster Sukhbir Singh Badal. So it has become a hub of political activities.

 

 







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ETT union supports teachersí stir
Nikhila Pant Dhawan
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 8
The seventh day of the protest by the AIE/EGS teachers in the city was marked by several anxious moments. Between the dharna and the statements made by the political leaders and leaders of other unions, the teachers realised that the power supply to the air-conditioned glass casket inside which the body of 14-month-old Rooth was kept, had been disrupted.

Covered with a poster on the top and a blanket from the one side, as the glass casket turned warm under the sun, the teachers realised that it could damage the body and took some damage-control measures. Apart from resuming the power supply to the casket, they also arranged for a thick polythene sheet to be spread over the erected poles to save the casket from the sun.

The intervening night of Friday and Saturday also brought along rumours that the police and the district administration were planning to take action and make them leave the city while its residents slept.

Members of the Punjab Government Pensionersí Association on their way to join the ongoing dharna of AIE/EGS teacher
UP IN ARMS: Members of the Punjab Government Pensionersí Association on their way to join the ongoing dharna of AIE/EGS teacher.

At around 12.30 am, when Bathinda Tribune was present at the site of the dharna, the teachers could be seen taking turns to sleep and keep vigil while huddled around a bonfire to avoid being caught unawares by the police personnel. At night, a sense of camaraderie also prevailed at the dharna site as the police personnel and the teachers sat around the bonfire and chatted over cups of tea.

The protesting teachers were given a dramatic support by the ETT Teachers' Union who reached the dharna site riding several bikes. The ETT teachers working at schools under the Panchayati Raj and the Municipal Corporation derided the government for going back on its promises which it had made before the last elections.

They demanded that their services should be brought under the Education Department and that the department initiate the process to promote them to the master cadre and cancel the introduction of Panchayati Directorate.

A handful of police personnel posted at 100-Feet road failed to check the motorcycle rally and in no time, the ETT teachers reached the site of the dharna being staged by the EGS teachers and extended their support to them. They also announced that the ETT teachers would also take out a rally in Bathinda on February 27.

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BKU blames govt for EGS agitation

Bathinda, February 8
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta) Ugrahan today extended its support to the protesting AIE and EGS teachers and held the SAD-BJP government responsible for death of the 14-month- old Rooth, daughter of one of the protestors.

The union demanded a compensation of Rs 20 lakhs for the family of Rooth and assured a government job for her mother Kiranjit Kaur. They also demanded immediate action against the police and the civil administration officials who allegedly snatched away quilts, blankets and tents from the protesting teachers. They said a case of murder should be registered against these employees. The union said the Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union will hold three days of continuous dharna outside the District Administrative Complex from February 12 where the treatment meted out to the teachers would be highlighted. ó TNS

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Cong ex-MLA uses RTI, says over 1,000 ration depots allotted in violation of norms
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 8
General secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) and former Bathinda MLA Harminder Singh Jassi today disclosed the information that the party has received under an RTI query.

Addressing a press conference here today, he stated that it had been observed that a list of close to 6,000 new voters was published on January 1, 2012. After 12 days, a new list carrying the names of as many as 7,000 more voters was published out of which 1,830 votes were cancelled for lack of either authorisation from the block level officers or a proper address.

He also alleged that before the code of conduct for the assembly elections was implemented, more than 1,000 ration depots were allotted in a clear violation of norms and formation of committees for the purpose. He accused the SAD-BJP leaders of gaining political mileage by doing so.

In a memorandum submitted to the Deputy Commissioner, Bathinda, Kamal Kishore Yadav, Jassi alleged that the names of the beneficiaries of the state and Central government schemes were announced close to the elections to woo the public.

Taking a dig at the frequent sangat darshan programmes being conducted by the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal, he pointed out that the officials of almost all government departments and the police were engaged in sangat darshan while the common public suffered due to the absence of officers.

Also present during the conference were Mohan Lal Jhumba, Gura Singh Tungwali, Kuljeet Gogi, Lala Jeet Mal, Hari Singh, Vijay Goyal, Rupinder Bindra and others. 

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Extension of Food Safety Act deadline puts officials in a fix; seek action against violators
Megha Mann
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 8
The repeated extension of the deadline for registration under the Food Safety Act has started "haunting" the food safety inspectors who are facing the wrath of the food business operators who have paid the fees and got enrolled.

Fact file

For the last two years, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had been extending the deadline for the registration of food business operators by six months on each occasion. The latest deadline was February 4, which has been extended by six months. But there is still no clarity as to when the next deadline would eventually be. 
The Health Department employees suggested that the government should fix a penalty for those who do not abide by the deadline, instead of extending it. 
Food Safety Commissioner, Punjab, Hussan Lal said the government was yet to receive orders from the FSSAI over the extension of the deadline which lapsed on February 4.
 

For the last two years, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had been extending the deadline for the registration of food business operators by six months on each occasion. The latest deadline was February 4, which has been extended by six months. But there is still no clarity as to when the next deadline would eventually be.

While the department is repeatedly extending the deadline, it is the field workers -food safety inspectors and Health Department authorities - who are facing the wrath of the people. The food operators, who got enrolled a year ago after paying Rs 2,000, now have to get their licences renewed.

"We are caught in a piquant situation. The law abiding people, who have got registered on time, now have to get their licences renewed for which they will have to pay again. Every time they come to meet us, they resent that nothing has been done against those who did not register on time," said a Food Safety Officer.

The Health Department employees suggested that the government should fix a penalty for those who do not abide by the deadline, instead of extending it. "This way, those who are already enrolled, will have an advantage over those who are not enrolled. It would at least encourage people to get enrolled to avoid any action or penalty," added another officer.

Meanwhile, Food Safety Commissioner, Punjab, Hussan Lal said the government was yet to receive orders from the FSSAI over the extension of the deadline which lapsed on February 4. However, the FSSAI website carries vague orders on the issue. The FSSAI mentions that the deadline for food business operators related to caramel and glazing agents has been extended for another six months or till further notification.

The orders have left the Health Department officials in a fix who have now decided to write to the government demanding exact action against those who have not been registered yet.

It is pertinent to mention here that the food business operators earning more than Rs 12 lakhs per annum are supposed to get licences, while the smaller ones are supposed to get registered.

In Bathinda district, 5,000 have been registered and 650 licences have been issued. There are more than 65,000 small traders and around 5,000 bigger ones. Even the overall enrolment figure for Punjab is not encouraging enough. Till February 4, only 10,860 had sought licences and 85,000 got registered.

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Health Dept wants info on notifiable diseases
Megha Mann
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 8
The private medical practitioners in the city do not always inform the district health authorities regarding the cases received under notifiable diseases. The government has declared 13 diseases as notifiable. A private practitioner who receives any case belonging to these 13 categories in his clinic or hospital has to inform the Health Department.

FACT FILE

The government has declared 13 diseases as notifiable. A private practitioner who receives any case belonging to these 13 categories in his clinic or hospital has to inform the Health Department.
These 13 notifiable diseases include dengue, malaria, tuberculosis, swine flu, cholera, typhoid fever, Hepatitis B and C, anthrax, plague and leptospirosis. 
The private practitioners not reporting these 
cases to the Health Department authorities 
are served notices and sent reminders. They are also sensitised through the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

These 13 notifiable diseases include dengue, malaria, tuberculosis, swine flu, cholera, typhoid fever, Hepatitis B and C, anthrax, plague and leptospirosis.

The private practitioners not reporting these cases to the Health Department authorities are served notices and sent reminders. They are also sensitised through the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

During the dengue outbreak last year, Health Department authorities had taken four of the city's leading practitioners to task for not reporting the dengue cases. Notices were served on them and an explanation was called for.

However, the dengue season being an exception, the Health Department has never issued similar notices to the doctors who keep ignoring such cases received and treated in their hospitals.

Even the pending Clinical Establishment Bill, when implemented, will make it necessary for the private doctors to report these cases. Since the Deputy Commissioner is also in-charge of the District Health Society, he too can take action against the erring doctors.

Though the private practitioners are duty-bound to report these cases, many simply overlook it and do not feel the need to report it. Also running short of manpower, the Health Department does not have an effective surveillance system that can check the doctors.

District Health Officer Dr Raghubir Singh Randhawa said it was mandatory to notify these diseases as they are the emerging epidemics with an unusual syndrome. "The basic aim is to identify the patient and the area based on the input provided from a private practitioner. By doing so, we can contain a situation and control it from spreading further," he added.

He added that the IMA was also asked to encourage the doctors to report such cases.

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Sangat Darshan 
Tubewell connections soon: Sukhbir
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 8
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said under the agriculture power tube wells policy, power connections against all applications registered prior to 2007 would be released within this month. Besides, all other applicants registered afresh will be allotted tube well connections during the next six months.

Badal was in the district today to hold series of sangat darshan programmes in the Talwandi Sabo block.

Talking to mediapersons on the issue of ongoing protest of the Employeement Guaranteed Scheme and AIE teachers in the city, which many other organisations have supported, Sukhbir said Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal would convene a meeting with a delegation of these teachers tomorrow.

Earlier addressing the villagers during sangat darshan at Giana village, Badal said it was the SAD-BJP Government that had cleared pendency of about 75,000 tube well connections to farmers.

He said he had already asked the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) authorities to release power connections to farmers having less than five acres land at the earliest besides optimum utilisation of all existing government tube wells installed for irrigation purposes.

Badal said the state was giving free power facility to farmers incurring an additional burden of Rs 5,000 crore per year.

He also announced that from the next week small and marginal farmers of state would also get benefit of revised Atta-Dal scheme and the Punjab Government would provide wheat at the rate Re 1 per kg to more than 30 lakhs beneficiaries.

He also addressed sangat darshan programmes at Shiekhpura and Jogewala villages and distributed grants amounting to Rs 1.80 crore to 12 gram panchayats for various development works. Among others present on the occasion were constituency in-charge Balbir Singh Sidhu, SGPC member Mohan Singh Banghi, Deputy Commissioner Kamal Kishore Yadav and Senior Superintendent of Police Gurpreet Singh Bhullar. 

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Inter-college youth fest held

Bathinda, February 8
Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle held zonal-level inter college youth contests for the districts of Faridkot, Muktsar and Bathinda.

During the fest, students took part in the poem recitation, turban tying, painting and quiz competitions. Around 230 students from 44 colleges participated in the contest. In the poem recitation contest Kiranveer Kaur from Dasmesh Girls College, Badal, secured the first place, Amandeep Kaur from Bhai Asa Singh Girls College, Goniana, second and Ramandeep Kaur from Guru Gobind Singh College, Gidderbaha, secured the third place.

In the turban tying contest, Gagandeep Singh from Polytechnic College, Faridkot, secured the first, Jagmeet Singh from Malwa College second, Amandeep Singh from Khalsa College of Education, Muktsar, third place and Simarjit Singh from Dasmesh Khalsa College, Muktsar, was given a special prize. In the turban tying contest for girls, Manpreet Kaur from Adesh Dental College, Beant Kaur from Government Barjindra College, Faridkot, and Prabhjot Kaur from Girl College, Mukhanand, secured first, second and third place, while Aman Kaur from Dasmesh Girls College secured a special prize. In the painting competition, Sandeep Singh from Gurukul College, Rupinder Kaur from Guru Gobind Singh College, Gidderbaha, and Manjit Kaur from Adesh Medical College secured first, second and third places, while Sidhant from Baba Farid College and Ramandeep Kaur from Dasmesh Girls College, Badal secured special prizes. ó TNS

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CRIME BRIEFS
Man booked for beating up, threatening estranged wife
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 8
The police have booked Sandeep Sharma, a resident of Model town phase III, for allegedly beating up and threatening his estranged wife. 

In her complaint, lodged with the police, Bharti Sharma, a resident of street number 10 Dhobiana Road, said she was married to Sandeep in August, 2008. However, the couple got divorced. On January 30, Sandeep allegedly went to Bharti's house where he beaten her up and threatened her. No arrest has been made so far.

Man kidnapped, car snatched

A brick kiln owner from the Dabwali area was allegedly kidnapped and car was looted from him. In his complaint to the Bathinda police Arun Kumar, a resident of Mandi Dabwali said on February 7 he was going in his car from Dabwali to Doomwali towards his brick manufacturing unit. A man took lift from him near Dabwali saying that he wanted to buy bricks. Around 500 metre before the Doomali, another man came on his Indica car and kidnapped Arun. The accused abandoned him near Pacxca village and fled away with the car. the police have registered a case against unknown persons.

Two held for stealing taps from hospital

Two people were held for stealing taps from the ground floor of Deol 
Hospital, located on the Power House Road. In his complaint to the police, Krishan Kamal, who works at the Deol Hospital, said on February 7 he was passing by the bathrooms located on ground floor when he noticed some noise in the 
bathroom. He found Surinder Kumar, a resident of area near Woods Resort Dabwali Road and Sandeep Kumar from Deep Nagar area stealing taps. Taps worth Rs 3,300 were recovered from them and they were handed over to the police.

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feedback

Time to set police free from political influence

Bathinda is witnessing several protests by unions and associations against the government, which is represented by Harsimrat Kaur, wife of Deputy Chief Minster Sukhbir Singh Badal. So it has become a hub of political activities. These protests have exposed the incompetence and increasing brutality of the local police in dealing with peaceful protests granted by the Constitution. The main reason is that the police force has inherited the colonial legacy where the British used it as a tool for repression of the common people. It is now being used by the ruling party.

The Bathinda police have recently been very brutal in dealing with the protests against the Akali government, but when it comes to their own like the Youth Akali Dal etc, the administration turns am blind eye. As a health and human rights activist, I have observed a new trend that now, the Akali workers help the police force in beating up the protesters.

Last year, the teachers were protesting when the Akali supporters manhandled them. Subsequent inquiry also gave the police a clean chit as usual in spite of the published photographs. Recently, the police brutality was exposed while dealing with the protesting 
teachers.

The private bus owners who ferried the protesters to Bathinda faced police action and even the tent house owners were prevented from providing tents to the protesters. Members of the Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS) teachers union were protesting at Bhokra village, where they were made to run in the fields and beaten up like animals, forcibly bundled into buses and lathi- charged. The protest by the Youth Akali Dal against Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief Partap Singh Bajwa for maligning the name of Shiromani Akali Dal Minister Bikramjeet Singh Majithia in the drug trafficking case caused a huge traffic snarl but the police didn't round up any worker of the Youth Akali Dal. I strongly feel that unless reforms are initiated, the police cannot be freed from political influence.

Dr Vitull K Gupta, Bathinda

First-aid training for emergency responders must

First-aid training is of utmost importance in saving lives. Knowing what action needs to be taken in an emergency situation can make a difference between life and death.

In Bathinda, many NGOs are effectively providing ambulance services, but some of their staff lack first aid skills. At the same time, the PCR and highway patrolling staff donít even have the basic knowledge about the 
first aid.

The district administration should come up with a plan to train the PCR and highway patrolling staff to respond in an emergency situation.

Trainers for this task can be engaged from the Red Cross Society or the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

At the same time, volunteers of the non-government organisations must also be trained to improve the efficiency of their noble task by reducing some vital mistakes.

These steps will ensure quick and efficient first aid for the sufferers and will play a remarkable role in saving lives.

Dr Harvinder Singh, Bathinda

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