29092023-JTR-01.qxd 9/29/2023 12:02 AM Page 1 c m y b Jalandhar tribune MINISTER KICKSTARTS COMPOST PROJECT AT FAIR YOUTH CONGRESS LEADERS PROTEST KHAIRA’S ARREST Youth Congress activists burnt an effigy of CM over the issue of arrest of Bholath MLA Sukhpal Khaira. P2 CLEAR SKY MAX 33°C | MIN 21°C YESTERDAY MAX 34°C | MIN 21°C ‘DENIRO SHOULD BE CALLED NASEERUDDIN OF AMERICA’ Local Bodies Minister Balkar Singh kickstarted ‘Punjab City Compost Project’ at Sodal Mela. P2 FORECAST On Yuvaa’s Be A Man, Yaar! Actor Naseeruddin Shah opens up about his remarkable journey. P4 » » SUNSET FRIDAY 6.11 PM SUNRISE SATURDAY 6:15 AM » FRIDAY | 29 SEPTEMBER 2023 | JALANDHAR Meeting between sugarcane growers & officials inconclusive; stir continues Ashok Kaura Computer teachers hold a sit-in on Banga Road in Jalandhar on Thursday. TRIBUNE PHOTO Computer teachers protest, want govt to fulfil demands Tribune News Service WHAT THEY WANT Jalandhar, September 28 Computer teachers from across Punjab, under the banner of the Punjab Computer Teachers’ Union, have expressed their dissatisfaction with the state government’s failure to address their longstanding demands. In a protest held on Banga Road here today, these educators intended to demonstrate at Khatkar Kalan, coinciding with CM Bhagwant Mann’s visit to commemorate the 116th birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. However, they were denied access to the event’s venue. Scores of teachers gathered for the protest, united in their call for the government to integrate them into the Punjab Government Service Rule, implement the 6th Pay Commission, and directly merge them with the Education Department. They seek to escape the jurisdiction of the Punjab Information and Communication Technology Education Society, an entity under ■ Computer teachers have long been urging the state government to bring them under the Punjab Government Service Rules and Education Department, and extend the benefits of the 6th Pay Commission to them as well ■ They currently come under the jurisdiction of Punjab Information and Communication Technology Education Society, an entity under the Punjab Government the Punjab Government. Harjinder Singh, the district president of the Computer Teachers’ Union, Nawanshahr, criticised the government for evading their demands since their recruitment. Dating back to 2005, when computer subjects were introduced in schools, there are approximately 7,100 computer teachers. Fatehpur pointed out that they have repeatedly protested and engaged in dialogues with government representatives and Education Minister Harjot Bains but to no avail. Promises made, such as those last Diwali, remain unfulfilled. Gurwinder Singh Tarn Taran, the state president of the association, accused the government of exhibiting indifference, particularly toward the families of deceased computer teachers. He highlighted that over 100 computer teachers have passed away in the past 15 years. Despite this, the government has neither provided financial support to their families nor offered jobs to their dependents, leaving them struggling in the face of rising inflation. State committee member Anil Aeri noted that in July 2011, the Punjab Government regularised the services of computer teachers under the Punjab Civil Services Rules. However, they have yet to receive the benefits of this regularisation, including those outlined in the 6th Pay Commission recommendations — a privilege enjoyed by all other Punjab Government employees. Phagwara, September 28 The indefinite dharna of sugarcane growers under the banner of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Doaba) continued on second day today. Consequently, the Phagwara Sugar Mill wore a deserted look with the facility being shut. In a high-level meeting conducted by Agriculture Minister Gurmeet Singh Khudian in Mohali today, farmer leaders made it clear they would not let the mill run for crushing operations this season until the arrears of Rs 41.72 crore with interest were paid to farmers. Mill MD Rana Inder Partap Singh expressed his helplessness to pay the arrears. However the minister said the government could bring new investors to run the mill after paying the arrears to cane growers. Phagwara SDM Jai Inder Singh and BKU leader Satnam Singh Sahni confirmed the development. Sahni said the farmers were protesting over the non-payment of arrears for the past four years. BKU (Doaba) chief Manjit Singh Rai said the dharna would continue as long as the pending arrears were not released. The SDM, who is also the Convener of the Price Fixation Committee, said in order to attach the properties of the former mill owners — Jarnail Singh Wahid, Jaswinder Bains and Sukhbir Sandhar — PWD officials had been asked to assess the value of their assets. Sahni said the indefinite dharna would continue until arrears were paid. The Assistant Cane Commissioner, Punjab; Kapurthala DC Captain Karnail Singh; Phagwara ADC Amit Kumar Panchal, and Tehsildar Baljinder Singh, among others, were also present in the meeting. Sugarcane farmers protest the non-payment of arrears in Phagwara on Thursday; and BKU (Doaba) leaders lock the sugar mill gate. GOVT MAY ROPE IN INVESTORS FOR BAILOUT ■ In a meeting with farmers in Mohali on Thursday, Phagwara Sugar Mill MD Rana Inder Partap Singh expressed his helplessness to pay the arrears amounting to ~42 crore to farmers ■ Agriculture Minister Gurmeet Singh Khudian said the government could rope in investors to run the sugar mill after paying the arrears to sugarcane farmers Farmers start 3-day rail blockade Jalandhar, September 28 The farmers under the banner of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee started a three-day protest by blocking the rail track at the Jalandhar Cantonment Railway Station on Thursday afternoon. The protestors said they would continue their dharna against the Centre over their demands such as Rs 50,000 crore flood relief, guarantee of MSP on all crops, cancellation of FIRs against the farmers over Delhi morcha in the national capital and Haryana and labour costs to remove silt and sand in the fields due to floods. Listing out the demands, state president of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee Sukhwinder S Sabra also said the Centre needed to check the haphazard construction along the highways as a part Farmers squat on the tracks during their ‘Rail Roko’ protest at the Jalandhar Cantt railway station on Thursday. SARABJIT SINGH of Bharat Mala project. Asked if they were planning to hold a meeting with the officials on the issue, Sabra said,”If the government agrees to these demands which we have already made public, we shall immediately call off our protest.” The farmers said trains had been stopped at 11 other locations across Punjab and more sites could get added in the next two days. He said that 19 organisations of the farmers had been holding protests in Punjab. — TNS Former Akali sarpanch shot in Hoshiarpur Khatkar Kalan sarpanch ‘denied’ entry to CM’s event on martyr’s birth anniv Our Correspondent Aparna Banerji Tribune News Service Hoshiarpur, September 28 SAD (Badal) leader and former sarpanch Surjit Singh Ankhi was shot dead in Meghowal Ganjeyan village today. Two assailants who came on a motorcycle opened fire on Ankhi. He was seriously injured and was taken to a private hospital where doctors declared him brought dead. At present Ankhi’s wife is the sarpanch of the village. Ankhi had also once contested the Assembly elections on SAD (Amritsar) ticket and lost. After losing the election, he joined the SAD (Badal). Late this evening, he was present at a grocery shop in the village when two men riding a motorcycle came and stopped near him. The attackers fired a series of bullets at Ankhi, which hit him in the chest and stomach. The attackers fled the spot after the incident. The people of the village immediately took the seriously injured Ankhi to a private hospital where after some time the doctors declared him dead. The police are investigating the matter. Members of All-India Students Federation and Sarb Bharat Naujawan Sabha, Punjab, hold a march to mark the birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh in Jalandhar on Thursday. PHOTO: SARABJIT SINGH Student groups advocate for Bhagat Singh Employment Act sTribune News Service Jalandhar, September 28 Remembering Shaheed Bhagat Singh on his 116th birth anniversary, volunteers of All-India Students Federation (AISF) and All-India Youth Federation (AIYF) came together to stage a volunteer-sammelan at the Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Hall here today. Their unified purpose: advocating for the implementation of the Bhagat Singh National Employment Guarantee Act (BNEGA). Amidst heartfelt tributes paid to the statue of the iconic freedom fighter, a march in support of the Act, which pledges to provide employment to all unemployed youth in India, was taken out from the Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Hall to the Press Club Chowk. Students raised spirited slogans that both honoured the legendary revolutionary and criticised the government for disregarding the aspirations of the youth. Student leaders articulated their commitment to mobilising unemployed youth across the country. They said they view Bhagat Singh’s birthday as a pivotal opportunity to escalate their campaign for the National Employment Guarantee Act, given the alarming statistics of 40 crore unemployed people in India. Student leader Charanjit Singh highlighted the exploitation of youngsters by private companies through the use of low-cost labour. Singh conveyed the Act’s significance as a beacon of hope for the unemployed. Besides, the students’ federation demanded free education in the state and equal employment opportunities. Singh further said, “To transform this ‘Act’ into a reality, it is imperative for the youth to unite and vocally advocate for their rights.” c m y b Jalandhar, September 28 “Sannu tan ji andar hi nahi waran ditta, asi hor ki kahiye (we were not allowed inside, what else can we say),” says Satnam Singh, sarpanch of Bhagat Singh’s ancestral Khatkar Kalan village. While the 3-day Inquilabi Mela at the village on the martyr’s birth anniversary has been lauded as an impressive initiative aimed at reviving his legacy, it has been accompanied by a public outcry, seeking the government’s grassroots connect with the people of the region. Satnam Singh said, “We had to talk to the CM. I and a few others wanted to apprise the CM of our demands. But securitymen said we couldn’t enter without a card. ‘Aa gaye fer gharan nu, hor ki karde?’ (we came back home, what could we do?)” The sarpanch was not alone, members of the Naujawan Bharat Sabha, SAD MLA Sukhwinder Singh Sukhi, Nawanshahr MLA Nachattar Singh and protesting computer teachers were also among those peeved at being prevented from making way to the site. Meanwhile, as the CM announced the construction of a memorial and a library among other features at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Naujawan Sabha members argue with cops at Khatkar Kalan. PHOTO: MALKIAT SINGH AMID MANN’S VISIT, HEATED ARGUMENTS & ANTI-GOVT PROTEST Shaheed Bhagat Singh Naujawan Sabha members organised a motorcycle march to celebrate the martyr’s birth anniversary. They were, however, stopped by the police from entering the martyr's memorial, leading to heated arguments between both the parties. Moranwali, the maternal home of Shaheed Bhagat Singh near Garhshankar, Khatkar Kalan residents were left reminisicing about the unfinished projects promised earlier. A Shaheed Bhagat Singh Yadgaari Library built (by then DC Krishan Kumar) at Khatkar Kalan in 2005, is yet to see visitors. Other announcements — a prom- Meanwhile, members of 1158 Assistant Professors and Librarians Front, Government Colleges, Punjab, who have been on strike for 29 days, visited Khatkar Kalan and offered flowers at Bhagat Singh’s statue. They also raised slogans against the state government. ised tourist corridor at Khatkar Kalan, upgrades to the Shaheed Bhagat Singh museum (the original promised deadline for which was December 2022) — all promises made by CM Mann are also far from complete. Khatkar Kalan villagers themselves have a list of demands which they have aired repeatedly. Satnam Singh said: “The village itself has problems of water drainage, it lacks a stadium or decent playground. A new memorial and a library have been promised at another village today. But we wonder when these will be completed. Our library is yet to see students.” A medical college named after Bhagat Singh and a sports stadium are other demands.
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