Thursday, June 28, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Govt may scrap privatisation of civic services
MC disheartened over move
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 27
The recent government announcement that the policy of privatisation of civic services was being reviewed and would be scrapped, in all probability, has come as a big blow to the big brass of the Municipal Corporation here, who have been pushing, with all their might, the privatisation of most of the civic services, including sanitation, operation of maintenance of tubewells for water supply, street lights and maintenance of parks. Even most of the administrative affairs of the MC like delivery of water and sewerage bills, computerised billing and data entries in the birth and death register were in private hands or were in the process of being so.

During a prolonged meeting with a deputation of the Bharatiya Valmiki Dharam Samaj (BVDS) in Chandigarh on Friday, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had indicated that in the wake of stiff opposition to the policy of contract system of labour for sanitation work by the groups of safai workers and the the ‘valmiki community’, the government would reconsider the matter and take such a decision that would protect the rights of the safai workers.

Mr Vijay Danav, a member of SAD-B working committee and Mr Ashwani Sahota, state convener of the BVDS, who headed the deputation, told the Ludhiana Tribune that while expressing their opposition to the contract system and privatisation, which was exploitation of and discrimination against the safai workers, the Chief Minister was also apprised that no recruitment of safai workers had taken place in Ludhiana city after 1986. While the city population had touched over 25 lakh, there were only 1,800 workers for the sanitation job as against an estimated requirement of 3,200 workers.

The deputation, Mr Danav further said, had also pointed out that the contract system of sanitation, the mohalla safai committees, the scheme for night cleaning, entrusting the job of filling up the garbage containers to contractors and privatisation of other civic services, had led to many a financial irregularities, with a number of senior MC officials, in league with the private contractors, milking the civic body dry, whereas the quality of services had not apparently improved. The BVDS functionaries impressed upon the Chief Minister the dire need for fresh recruitment of safai workers and other employees to the civic bodies to put an end to the contract system.

The MC administration, however, had a divergent view and still maintained that privatisation of civic services has had desired and encouraging results. Contrary to the popular belief, several officers, requesting anonymity, claimed that the level of sanitation and quality of water supply had improved after private contractors were brought in for the task. ‘‘A classic case of what private participation can do is the transformation of several parks, handed over to committees of residents for maintenance.’’

Several MC councillors, whom the Ludhiana Tribune spoke to, also seemed to be in favour of the policy of privatisation. According to one of them, the safai workers, employed by the MC, hardly put in any work, then there were proxy workers, absentee workers and non-existent workers, eating into scarce resources. As against this, the performance of private contractors, be it for sanitation, water supply or street light, always remained under a microscope and was subject to various checks, specifications and other conditions.Back


Donate money, help govt and earn brickbats
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
What could a benevolent person get in return after spending all life savings in a philanthropist venture? Brickbats, dejection, humiliation and even threats to life is the answer going by the case of a Chotti Haibowal-based couple here, who spent over Rs 4 lakh out of their own pocket to construct a building to house a much-needed dispensary in the colony.

The couple Kartar Singh Bawa and Shanti Bawa, both of whom retired as teachers from the State Education Department, are quite tired by now moving from the proverbial pillar to post to see that their efforts do not go waste.

The couple had laid down only one condition for the venture which was to name the dispensary after Shanti Bawa. Even though the state government, through the Department of Health, had approved the condition a year ago and ordered its implementation, the local Health Department authorities have failed to do so.

The ‘unfair’ treatment given to the couple is quite unfortunate because they spent money on constructing a dispensary which was approved 13 years ago but due to the shortage of funds with the department it could never come up. It was completed last year with the efforts and money provided by the couple.

Not only does the couple thus feels ‘cheated’ at the hands of the government but is presently living under a perpetual fear. It has sent numbers of representations to the Deputy Commissioner and the SSP besides the State Health Department for implementation of the government’s orders and had informed them regarding the threat to their life by certain local leaders and other persons objecting to the naming of the dispensary after Shanti Bawa. However, no one has come to their aid so far.

Petty politics played by some local leaders besides ‘dubious’ role played by some persons in the Civil Surgeon’s office had undone the couple’s hope of keeping their name alive for posterity. The height of unjust treatment could be gauged from the fact that certain local leaders of the colony, allegedly supported by certain politicians, forced the couple to give in writing that they want the dispensary to be named ‘ Government Dispensary’ and not after her name.

Narrating their tale of woes, Kartar Singh showed a thick file of the correspondence related to the case and said he and his wife were always involved in social work and had also donated money for the construction of a school and a dharamshala in the colony. The colony residents had urged them some three years ago to do something for proving health facilities in the colony.

The couple then approached the Civil Surgeon’s office and offered to construct a room for a civil dispensary. Health officials encouraged them to do so and said the dispensary could be named after Shanti Bawa. They said it would be very generous of them if they constructed two rooms. The case was sent to the Health Department. Through letter No. 3/9/99-1s6/4017, the Health and Family Welfare Department approved the name of the dispensary after Shanti Bawa. It said that the couple or their descendants would have no right over the building and would never demand it back.

Kartar Singh said they had already given an affidavit in this regard. All formalities had been completed and the couple constructed two rooms. However, local Health Department officials, in several visits to the dispensary, kept on urging the couple to provide certain more rooms and facilities, which the couple did.

The dispensary was completed early last year. In the presence of the Civil Surgeon, the name Shanti Bawa Dispensary was painted on the facing wall. However, just before the member, Parliament, Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, was scheduled to inaugurate the dispensary on April 15, a mob led by local leaders forcibly locked the dispensary and blackened the painted name on the building.

Civil Surgeon Rajinder Kaur was out of station. Assistant Civil Surgeon Tarlok Nath, commenting on the issue, acknowledged the contribution of the couple but said they had given in writing of withdrawing the condition of naming the dispensary after Shanti Bawa. A document signed by a number of residents and local leaders also claimed that the MP Gurcharan Singh Galib had given consent to them that the dispensary should be named after Guru Ravidass and not after any individual’s name.

But according to the couple, the local leaders, after blackening the name painted on the building on April 15, had called them at a panchayat and threatened them to withdraw their claim pr else they would ‘open a liquor vend in the building’. The couple said they had no option but to give it in writing then. However, later they approached the police and the Deputy Commissioner and State Health Department officials of injustice meted out to them but to no avail.Back


CM offers Nabha open jail land to PAU
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, June 27
The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, is understood to have offered land of the open jail at Nabha to Punjab Agricultural University for carrying out a research and seed multiplication programme. The open jail, Nabha, had about 775 acres of land attached to it which is not being put into use by the authorities.

The Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh, told here yesterday that a team of experts of the university has visited the site and examined the soil. The university experts have found that about 500 acres of land is cultivable and about 150 acres are kallar land. he said that the university would reclaim the kallar land and put the same into use.

The Vice-Chancellor said that the university was facing shortage of land for multiplication of foundation seeds of various crops and now with the emphasis on diversification of agriculture, the university would need more land for research and seed multiplication.

In a letter to the Secretary, Home, Mr Bikramjit Singh, Dr Aulakh has pointed out that at present, the Punjab State Seeds Corporation, the National Seed Corporation and private seed producers are the main source of supply of certified seeds to the farmers. The requirement of the foundation and breeder is met by Punjab Agricultural University. The seeds of two principal crops, wheat and paddy, are available in sufficient quantities, but the stocks of these crops are pilling up due to shrinked market of neighboring states.

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has put up a big challenge to the farmers for the state who are main producers of these crops. The university has suggested to shift a substantial chunk of 20 lakh hectares out of these crops, particularly from paddy to safeguard the environment to conserve water and to produce crops which have a ready market.

The Vice-Chancellor said that the private seed companies were laying more emphasis on supply of hybrid seeds as these need replacement every season and hence were source of recurring income. The farmers are often mislead by attractive wrappers and advertisements put up by the sales promotion programme of these companies. The university cannot supply sufficient quantity of seeds to safeguard the interests for the farmers. For increased seed production of different crops, more area is required as the present the available area in not sufficient to produce even a small portion of the required quantity of the seed.

Dr Aulakh has emphasised on the Punjab Government to transfer the land of the open jail at Nabha to the PAu along with the available infrastructure, including machinery and buildings free of cost. Dr Aulakh emphasised that there was need to increase the seeds of maize, vegetables, pulses and forages which would help in achieving the desired level of diversification.

Meanwhile, the PAU has started establishing the sugarcane research station at Laddowal farm where the university has been given 1,250 acres of land out of the central seed farm land in lieu of the sugarcane farm land taken over by the Punjab Government at Jalandhar for the setting up of the Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences. The PAU had 164 acres of land at Jalandhar where it was carrying out research on sugarcane.

According to the Vice-Chancellor, the university has sown nearly 150 acres under sugarcane at Ladowal farm to undertake research work. The Punjab Government has provided  Rs 18 crore to the PAU in lieu of a sugarcane research station at Jalandhar and out of this Rs 13 crore has already been delivered to the PAU. The remaining amount of Rs 5 crore would be made available to the university when the possession of buildings and land is given to the Punjab Government.

Dr Aulakh said that the university would set up laboratories and residential accommodation at the Ladowal farm for the staff of the sugarcane research station and other departments which would be engaged in the seed multiplication programme. The university will hand over the buildings and other equipment to the state government at Jalandhar by August 31.


Undertrial beaten up in jail
Tribune News Service

Gopal Singh shows his injuries.
Gopal Singh shows his injuries. IV

Ludhiana, June 27
An undertrial prisoner at the Central Jail alleged in the court of Duty Magistrate Balwinder Kumar here today that certain other undertrial prisoners and a constable of the jail police beat him up on June 21 in the prison cell.

The Duty Magistrate ordered his medical examination and directed the Jail Superintendent to submit a report on the incident by July 2.

Complainant Gopal Singh, facing trial in a case of robbery, said he had been lodged in Barrack 4. Last week certain persons against him were also lodged in the jail. Fearing threat to his life, he approached the jail officials to shift him in some other cell but his request was rejected.

He alleged that on June 21 three undertrial prisoners and constable Jarnail Singh beat him up without any provocation with sticks and rods. He said he kept quite all these days as he was fearing further punishment.

The undertrial said he was scheduled to appear in the court today and submitted his application, demanding his medical examination as well as action against the attackers. The jail officials were not available for comments.

Undertrial ‘died of heart attack’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
A board of doctors, which conducted the post-mortem examination on the body of the undertrial prisoner, Mohan Singh, who died in the Central Jail yesterday, confirmed that he had died of a heart attack.

Jail officials were also claiming since yesterday that the undertrial prisoner had died of cardiac arrest and there was no foul play behind his death.

The board, comprising Dr Jasbir Singh, Dr Ashok Rajwant and Dr Jasbir Salhan, conducted the examination in the presence of a Naib Tehsildar as is required under the law. The examination was video-filmed also.

Mohan Singh was 26 years old. He was facing charges under the NDPS Act. His brother is also an undertrial prisoner in the jail. The deceased was said to be a drug addict before being jailed.Back


Aquapark in Dreamland
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, June 27
“I always wanted to create something unique in a small town like Sahnewal and my dream has been fulfilled with the creation of Dreamland, the fun and amusement park,” said Col J. S. Sandhu, the creator of Dreamland.

“When I conceived the idea in 1995, I had a vague picture in my mind of sylvan surroundings, greenery and fresh air at a place where one could get respite from the humdrum of life. However, the primary aim of my creation was to provide the rural children with some sort of entertainment so that they too could enjoy life like their urban counterparts,’’ he added.

The Dreamland project, started in June, 1995, was completed in June, 1997. “Initially, only seven rides, including Express Train, Break Dance, Frog Ride and Fairy’s Wheel, were installed. But he kept on adding new things to retain people’s interest in the park. In 1999, a small water pool was created so that children may enjoy. In the year 2000, the Harakari Slide, that used to operate only in Gujarat till then, was brought from Balsat.

Its introduction gave a new boost to the Dreamland. Finally, the Aquapark, the first of its kind in Punjab, was introduced last Sunday. It consists of a water slide, coming from a height of 35 ft and covering a length of 230 ft. It falls into a water pool, and then it leads to a swimming pool. Special coaches have been employed to teach swimming to adults and children.

In a small town like Sahnewal, one is surprised to find an amusement park. Colonel Sandhu, with the assistance of Mr Yash Chabbra and Mr Rajiv Chawla, is managing it quite well. Though things did not seem easy in the beginning with only a few supporting him, he managed to realise his dream only because of his willpower and determination.Back


SAD(A) reacts to Badal’s remarks
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 27
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amrtisar) has taken strong exception to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s remarks that the SAD(A) was a symbol of militancy and has served an ultimatum on Mr Badal to withdraw the remarks within seven days, failing which a defamation suit will be filed against him.

Addressing a news conference here today, Prof Sukhjinder Singh, acting president of the party, on the contrary, alleged that it was Mr Badal and his party, who had extended overt and covert support to separatist elements, whereas the SAD(A) had always taken a decisive stand against criminals and other anti-social and anti-national elements.

Elaborating his charges against the Chief Minister, he said it was Mr Badal, who was allegedly involved in the political murders of SAD(A) functionaries. Mr Badal had shied away from his poll promise of appointing a commission to probe into a decade-long wave of terrorism in Punjab only because the real truth might have exposed his own involvement and that of other senior leaders of his party.

Prof Sukhjinder Singh further said the case of hardcore militant and the mastermind behind the ‘panthic committee’ Wassan Singh Zaffarwal, was there for every body to see. “An appeal by Zaffarwal in favour of the ruling SAD nominee in Majitha byelection was openly distributed, which followed the drama of his ‘surrender’.

He blamed Mr Badal for eroding the authority of the party, as well as other panthic institutions like Akal Takht and the SGPC. The reigning president of SGPC, Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, he observed, was literally acting like a puppet in the hands of the Chief Minister and had lowered the dignity of the institution. He said Mr Talwandi was guilty of violating the directive of Akal Takht head priest on the issue of ‘martyrdom’ of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and appealed to Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar of Akal Takht, to summon Mr Talwandi and impose ‘tankhah’ (religious punishment) upon him.

The party general secretary, Mr Charan Singh Lohara, who was also present, claimed that the SAD(A) had always been struggling to establish the rule of law and it was the only other recognised regional party apart from the ruling SAD in the state. “Mr Badal, who claims himself to be the champion of the cause of more powers to the elected bodies and decentralisation of power, was in fact, doing the opposite. His government had failed to hold elections to block samitis and zila parishads and the SGPC elections due in October this year.”

The SAD(A) functionaries maintained that having realised his eroding mass base, the Chief Minister was making a desperate bid to regain the lost ground in the wake of coming assembly elections. To counter the ‘panthic morcha’, which could come in existence any day now, Mr Badal was even prepared to don the panthic mask and an exercise to exploit the popular sentiments of the masses was on.


Sewerage cleaning proves nightmarish for shopkeepers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 27
A choked sewerage line and subsequent exercise to clear it, right in front of the Calibre Plaza in the Bhadaur House Commercial Complex, proved to be a nightmare for the shopkeepers in the vicinity here today, as the unimaginative method of clearing the choked line by the O and M staff of the Municipal Corporation, made the matters worse.

In the morning, the shopkeepers, as well as the residents of the area, found to their horror that the entire stretch of road, between Calibre Plaza and Bhadaur House Complex, was covered with a thick layer of sewage, which was being discharged from a pump, being used to clean the choked manhole.

When the MC employees were asked as to why the sewage was being discharged on the road, they said the water had to be drawn out with the help of a monoblock pump to locate and clear the blockade. When further queried as to why a sewer cleaning machine, which has provision for storage of the sludge, was not deployed, they said only senior officers could answer this question.

The MC Zonal Commissioner, Mr O.A.K. Sondhi, and the concerned Executive Engineer (O&M), Mr Narin Das, who later visited the spot, held the shopkeepers in Calibre Plaza responsible for the blocked sewer line. Mr Sondhi told Ludhiana Tribune that garbage and waste material, accumulated during cleaning of the market, was being disposed off in the sewerage line, which had led to choking and overflowing sewers.

The MC officials further said a monoblock pump was deployed to clean the choked sewer to avoid delay and assured that once the blockade in the line was cleared, the entire area would be cleaned up.


Phone bill arrives after 12 years
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, June 27
Strange are the ways of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to show its efficiency or the lack of it. A local subscriber was shocked when the department sent her a telephone bill for November, 1989. The department had also disconnected her phone for not making the payment due twelve years ago.

Mrs Komal Aggarwal, a resident of Gurdev Nagar here, said that she was issued a bill recently for a telephone number (21728) that did not exist anymore. She said the bill was issued in February, 2001, after a gap of over 12 years. Her present number (424728) had been disconnected since February, 2001, due to non-payment of the earlier phone of a mere Rs 568.

Interestingly, the department even sent her a bill for payment of rent from March to September, which she had already paid.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, Mrs Aggarwal said that this was unnecessary harassment by the department. She questioned whether the accounts section of the Telecom Department was sleeping all these 12 years. She alleged carelessness on part of the accounts department and the department should bear the losses, not the customer.

Mrs Aggarwal said that she had also sent two applications to the General Manager, Telecom, regarding the matter but there was no reply by department officials. ‘‘I have requested them to install the connection immediately. I have already cleared the bills till date but the telephone is disconnected and officials care a damn’’, said Mrs Aggarwal. When contacted, department officials said that since the department could not trace any record of the payment, so the onus was now on the subscriber to prove that the bill had been paid.

Mrs Aggarwal has threatened to take the department to court if the matter was not resolved soon.


Industry seeks check on pollution
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
The autorickshaws have become a big nuisance for the common public as they are a big source of air and noise pollution. A number of autorickshaw operators were mixing kerosene with petrol resulting in a high level of pollution that was affecting the health of commuters. Moreover, most of them stop even in the middle of the road to pick up passengers thus disturbing the smooth flow of traffic on the busy roads.

These views were expressed by a delegation of industrialists that met Mr Suresh Arora, Deputy Inspector- General of Police, Ludhiana Range, here.

Some of the other problems discussed were the non-cooperative attitude of the police and increasing traffic and violation of traffic rules. Mr Vinod Thapar pointed out to Mr Arora that the problem of traffic was reaching new heights with the increase in population. The slow moving traffic in the city, which causes slow movement of other vehicles and cause unnecessary delay, especially at the red lights, needed immediate attention.

The delegation suggested that separate lanes should be provided for the movement of slow moving traffic. For the convenience of the general public, there should be spot settlement of challans to save time as in other cities. Some other suggestions included strict enforcement to ensure that rickshaws were parked in the allotted space and not just anywhere on the road.

Regarding the police, Mr Arora was informed that it was often found that police personnel were rude and impolite in their behavior and treat criminals and general public alike. There should be a prescribed code of conduct for the police personnel while they deal with the general public. This will help to improve the image of police.

Mr Arora said that a lot of efforts were made to improve the image of police personnel and regular meetings were held with police personnel to find a solution to these problems. He said that the police was historically created to deal with anti-social elements that were only 1 per cent of the society and the remaining 99 per cent were protected by the police. But now the situation had changed and a lot of changes were desired on the part of the police to serve the society better. He said that spot realisation of challans has been agreed in principle by the authorities and the notification to this effect is likely to arrive soon.

Among others Mr Rajinder Bhushan Maini, Mr Jagmohan Singh, Mr Narinder K Miglani, Mr Darshan Dawar, Mr Jaswant Takkar, Mr Charanjeev Singh, Mr Mangat Rai Goel, Mr Lalit Jain, Mr Suresh Saluja and Mr Varinder King participated in the delegation. 


Minister’s remark angers singers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 27
Promising singers of Punjab at their meeting held today protested against the statement of the Minister of Cultural Affairs, Mr Swaran Ram, that the government would impose a ban on vulgar songs.

Mohammad Sadiqui and Jaswant Sandila said that the minister had not invited any singers from the Punjabi Kalakar Manch or the Lok Gayak Manch. The two singers, Kuldeep Manak and Sukhi Brar, had attended the meeting in their personal capacity and were not representatives of the singers.

They further said that for the 54 years of Independence, the government had never even once raised a voice against vulgarity. Keeping in mind the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha elections, it seems to be part of the election stunt.

They further said that three years ago the singers had started a campaign against vulgarity that was creeping in Punjabi songs, but at that time the government had not cooperated with them.


Screening of Gadar opposed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
After facing opposition from Muslim organisations, the film Gadar, has sparked off protests among Sikh organisations also which have demanded banning the film if certain “objectionable” scenes are not deleted from it immediately.

Mr Parminder Singh Khalsa, general secretary of the Sikh Students Federation has in a press release, claiming support of other organisations, condemned the film as it shows the conversion of a Sikh (Sunny Deol) to Muslim. 


Candidates for DSP exam a harassed lot
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 27
Scores of candidates from the city who had gone to Patiala to appear for the DSP examination held are a harassed lot as they were not allowed to appear for the written test. In their written representations to the Chief Minister, Punjab, Chairman, Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC), Patiala, and Secretary, PPSC, the candidates stated that even when they reached the centre on time, they were not allowed to enter their centres at Mahindra College. They said that they reached the centre 15 minutes before the test was to be held. However, the supervisor and observers at the centre refused to admit them in their centre.

The candidates also alleged that several other candidates were arbitrarily allowed inside the centre even 15 minutes after the test had started. They said that they spoke to the Principal of the college who told the observers to allow them to appear for the test, but even then they were not given permission to appear for the test. They said that police security was deputed at the centre to push them out of the gates of the centre.

The candidates stated that the college authorities did not display any information regarding their seating arrangement at various sub-centres inside the college on the notice board and locating the centre had become very difficult. Mr Baljinder Singh, a candidate, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune, said that after half-an-hour of the incident, he talked to the secretary, PPSC, who expressed his helplessness at that time. He said that he lost the precious chance of appearing in the test for no fault of his. He said that the candidates were pleading with the PPSC to take a fresh examination of more than 40 graduates, who could not appear for the test on that day.


Was it bravery or suicide?
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
Uma Devi Yadav, a woman who was crushed to death by a train at the Ludhiana-Delhi railway line near Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran here yesterday, was cremated by her “poverty-stricken” husband today, though the circumstances of her death remained unclear.

Yesterday, the railway police had said that the woman had committed suicide by jumping in front of the train. However, the police and Uma’s family said it was an accident.

Uma’s husband, Dinesh Yadav, said his wife had lost her life in trying to save her three children — two girls and a boy — from being hit by the train. She saved her daughters, but her two-year-old boy lost an arm and both legs in the accident. The boy is presently in Christian Medical College and Hospital here.

Dinesh Yadav, who makes a living by selling eatables on a ‘rehri’, said his wife had left the house yesterday to visit the gurudwara, which was her routine on every Tuesday. He said that a number of persons had seen Uma and her three children stranded between two trains on the tracks. The boy panicked and tried to cross a track when the woman ran after him to save him, but was hit by the train.

The investigating officer, Mr Nishan Singh of the Railway Police, said his findings showed that the woman had died in an accident, but the police was still looking for more clues. Some of Uma’s relatives, however, said she had been feeling depressed for the past few days due to domestic problems.

Uma’s family, which lives in Singhpura colony here is so poor that her husband did not even have money to arrange for her cremation. The cremation took place only in the afternoon after members of the Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Management Committee, reporters and some other residents of the colony pooled money to bear the expenses of the last rites.Back


Suraksha samiti vice-president, others quit
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana , June 27
Mr Rakesh Kumar Kalia, state vice- president, All-India Hindu Suraksha Samiti, along with several other functionaries, have submitted their resignations, while charging that he was falsely implicated in a case of committing a sacrilege at a religious place in Amritsar.

Addressing a news conference here yesterday, Mr Kalia said he had joined the samiti due to his deep and strong feelings for Hindu religion and his desire to protect and propagate the religion. “At the same time, all of us in the samiti were committed to respect all other religions, their scriptures and places of worship.” He said it was most unfortunate that for unknown reasons, the police had implicated him in the case, even though he had not even visited Amritsar in the last 30 years.

Mr Kalia said he was detained here by local police and later handed over to a police party from Amritsar. After remaining in police and judicial custody for more than a week, Mr Kalia was released on bail.

Others, who had quit the samiti-were Mr Surti Lal, vice-president of the district unit, Dr Lovinder Singla and Mr Rajesh Kumar Bittu.Back

Need to identify new role of women’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
Dr Sarjit Singh Gill, Additional Director Extension Education (Communication Centre), Punjab Agricultural University, emphasised the need to identify the new role of women in the context of 21st century which is going to be dominated by science and technology. Dr Gill expressed this opinion while releasing a book on the theme “Role of Women in 21st Century” by Col Chanan Singh Dhillon.

However, he advised the women to lay equal emphasis on their obligations towards the family and society along with their rights. The mutual relationship between man and woman should be based on equity and mutual understanding rather than on dominance versus submissiveness. Stressing the need for women education, Dr Gill recalled the old Punjabi saying that education of a male resulted in his progress, whereas education of a female member resulted in the progress of the whole family and the next generation.

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