P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



UK gurdwaras to form council
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 3
In a significant development the Sikh community in England has decided to nominate to Akal Takht and the SGPC all gurdwara properties worth over £ 25 million in case the Sikhs are ousted from that country.

Giving this information, the president of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara High Street Smethwick in Birmingham, Mr Daljit Singh Shergill said that all 250 gurdwaras in England had decided to form the Gurdwara Council of UK to coordinate their activities and protect their religious rights.

Mr Shergill said as per the directives of the UK Government the managements of all Sikh gurdwaras had decided to form a council to meet the December 31 deadline of the UK Government for its due recognition of the Sikh religion. He said a seven-member ad hoc committee had been constituted to prepare the case for recognition from the UK Government. He said that since the UK Government had already recognised Hindu and Muslim religions, similarly the Sikhs had also decided to get due recognition as a religion. The formalities were likely to be completed by the end of November after the general body meeting. The meeting would be attended by two representatives each from the management of the gurdwaras to finalise the draft for recognition.

Mr Shergill said that they were strictly following Sikh maryada in all its gurdwaras and had adopted the Nanakshahi calendar to celebrate all festivals accordingly.

Answering question about the entire gurdwara property in the UK, Mr Shergill said that they had already sent its trust deed to the SGPC President, Mr G.S. Tohra, four years ago. He said the move had been made to nominate the SGPC in case the Sikhs living in England were thrown out of the country.

Mr Shergill said that gurdwaras in Southall and Birmingham had opened schools which would give priority to Sikhs for admission. The UK Government permitted minorities to teach foreign language, including Punjabi, in other English schools. He also offered to donate expensive and latest medical equipment to the SGPC-run medical institutions.

Meanwhile, the honorary secretary of SGPC, Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, welcomed the move of England-based gurdwaras to form the Gurdwara Council of UK to protect the interests of Sikhs and get due recognition from the UK Government. He said that the SGPC and the council in UK would coordinate their activities in a more positive manner.


CM takes DGP to task
Tells bureaucrats to obey or go to Centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today warned the bureaucrats to either obey or proceed on deputation to the Centre.

In what political observers see as a snub to Mr A A Siddiqui, DGP, who ordered the transfer of 25 DSPs in spite of his oral orders not to do so, Capt Amarinder Singh said bureaucrats should respect and obey the orders given by ministers or proceed on deputation. The Chief Minister said he would ask the Chief Secretary to final slots for them in New Delhi.

This is the first time that the Chief Minister has issued such an open threat to the bureaucrats. Of late, his colleagues and MLAs had been complaining to him that despite his orders there was no compliance.

The Chief Minister’s warning came in the background of media reports about the differences over posting and transfer of DSPs between the Principal Secretary, (Home) and the DGP who reportedly ‘’defied’’ the former, saying that since the process of implementing postings and transfers had commenced, it could not be stopped. This was so despite the Chief Minister’s instructions.

As a damage- control exercise, the police today issued a brief press note, saying that postings and transfers were always ordered with the consent of the government and under the directions of the Chief Minister.

At a brief meeting of the Council of Ministers earlier in the day, at least two Deputy Commissioners came under fire from ministers who complained that the officers did not listen to them and seldom returned their telephone calls.

It is learnt that the Chief Minister now proposed to address the administrative Secretaries and ensure that the bureaucrats were more responsive and respectful to the elected representatives and implemented the government policies sincerely.

The Chief Minister also proposed to review the performance of each minister. On the intervention of the Department of Finance, the Council of Ministers had to postpone a decision on at least two major items — one, the imposition of toll on certain roads and bridges, and two, on certain amendments for public-private partnership in infrastructure development.


Distorted history product of Aryans, says Viyogi
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 3
Prominent historian and scholar Dr Naval Viyogi, who is working on a research project entitled ‘History of the Indigenous People of India’, is being conferred with Dr Ambedkar International Literary Award, 2002, for his book ‘Nagas — the Ancient Rules of India, their Origin and History’. This award has been given by Dr Ambedkar International Mission, Canada.

A public function is being held at Mumbai on December 20 wherein scholars, authors and historians from different countries of the world will participate. Dr Viyogi will be given this prestigious honour. According to a letter received from Canada, this award includes a cash of Rs 2,500, a memento and a certificate.

It is worth mentioning that Dr Viyogi is the first historian who has written history of those neglected people who have been ignored by historians so far. In fact, Dr Viyogi has conducted a research on the history of those native people of India who suffered at the hands of invaders from the north-west and the ruling elite. The Nagas moved from one place to another and their generation reached as far as the South and Assam and are still existing in Jharkhand and Orissa.

In an interview with Ludhiana Tribune, Dr Viyogi said: “Modern historians are distorting History and writing history according to Brahmanical thoughts. No one has bothered to pay attention to the marvellous history of native people . Had we followed the footsteps of our natives, we would not have steeped into poverty. Roots of poverty were laid thousand years ago,” says Dr Naval Viyogi

Dr Viyogi says that he was originally a novelist and a short-story writer. Viyogi has written 10 novels and about 120 short stories and articles. He says,” Though one of my short stories was made into a film titled ‘Waris’, yet I was not happy with the literary work that I was doing. Somehow I was not satisfied with my work. I was greatly troubled by the exsisting poverty. The poverty of my country bothered me endlessly. I wanted to know the root-cause of India’s poverty. So I decided to go deep into history of ancient India to find out the causes.”

Dr Viyogi is not satisfied with the work done by historians. He says, “Although the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) is exploring ancient cities and has explored the Indus Valley Civilisation still we need to explore the minds of the people to know their ancient tradition so that historians can write history in the right direction.”

He says that the native people, the Nagas, were great producers of varied products like pottery, weaving, tools and ornaments. Each individual was an adept artisan.The Aryans who came later were non-productive. He says the distorted history is a product of the Aryans who were invaders and ‘barbarians in general’. The Nagas, Dr Viyogi, through a meaningful research have proved that native naga people were highly civilised.

The Nagas, Dr Viyogi says, had highly developed social, religious, economic and political systems. Thus the Nagas were warriors and ideal citizens. Thus they founded the Indus Valley Civilisation, one of the oldest civilisations.

He says that during the Aryan invasion, the Native Nagas were pushed towards the North-East. Their glorious rule of 2500 years ended. Dr Viyogi says that after Aryans the Indians became non-productive. The people developed an attitude of no respect for work. No dignity of labour. Since then this ideology has been followed which is responsible for the poverty. The invaders that came later just exploited us.


Poor girls await Punjab “ashirwad”
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
How long does the Punjab Government’s “ashirwad” (blessings) take to reach the newly wed poor girls? No answer is available to this query in official circles yet.

The number of poor married girls awaiting “ashirwad” of the state government is around 55,000 till date. Of these, over 28,500 pertained to 2002-2003. When the Amarinder Singh Government took over in February, 2002, it terminated the “shagun” scheme and replaced it with the “ashirwad” scheme.

Under the “shagun” scheme, which was launched by the previous SAD-BJP Government headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, a girl belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Christians, etc was given a cheque for Rs 5,100 as a “shagun” on her marriage day on behalf of the state government. However, the Congress Government announced to give Rs 6,100 as “ashirwad” on the marriage day. It also included the daughters of widows irrespective of their caste. Christians were included in the scheme because most people belonging to this community are poor.

Sources said today the draft scheme was submitted to the government a few months ago. “It is difficult to say how long it would take to get the scheme through,” said a senior officer.

About Rs 40 crore was required to clear the pending “ashirwad” cases. As per an official estimate, about 40,000 such girls would be entitled to the “blessings” during the current financial year. However, no provision had been made in the Budget to meet this expenditure in the current financial year. If the government is serious about launching the scheme during the current year, it would have to arrange at least Rs 40 crore to clear all pending cases — a difficult task for a fund-starved government.

The “shagun” scheme had many flaws. Politicians had started exploiting its beneficiaries. Officers authorised to execute the scheme had also contributed to its failure. The delivery of cheques was often delayed for months to the families concerned by politicians just to establish their self-importance. However, certain alterations have been made to make the “ashirwad” scheme a better one.


I am not evading arrest, says Lopoke
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 3
Mr Vir Singh Lopoke, Akali MLA and six members of his family named in a dowry case by his daughter-in-law Navjot Kaur, have reportedly gone to Delhi after the dismissal of their anticipatory bail on October 30.

However, the police told newsmen that it was still awaiting the attested copies of the court orders.

According to details, their daughter-in-law Navjot Kaur had filed a case against her husband Ranbir Singh, his father Vir Singh Lopoke, MLA, brother of Vir Singh, Sucha Singh and other members of the family for allegedly harassing her to bring more dowry.

They were booked under Sections 406, 498 and 34 of IPC for torturing her.

Meanwhile, Mr Lopoke, while speaking to this correspondent from Delhi, said they were not evading the arrest and would reach Amritsar in next two days for joining investigation in the case which was in progress as claimed by him.

Badal case: four declared POs
Our Correspondent

Kharar, November 3
In connection with a disproportionate assets case registered against former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, the Kharar Judicial Magistrate, Ms Baljinder Kaur Bhatia, today declared four accused namely Kamaljeet Singh Sidhu, Krishan Kumar, personal assistant to the SAD General Secretary, Mr Sukhbir Badal, Hardeep Singh Bhamra, OSD to Mr Badal, and Pinki Grover as proclaimed offenders.

Public Prosecutor Jatinderjeet Singh Punn, while appearing on behalf of the Vigilance Bureau, said Inspector Harbhajan Das had recorded his statement on October 22. He stated that, according to the orders of the court, the proclamation orders issued earlier had been pasted at public places on October 24. He pleaded that the accused should be declared proclaimed offenders. Meanwhile, Mr Das today recorded his statement in the court in connection with the same case and arrest warrants of Ashish Kapoor were issued. The court issued proclamation for the arrest of Kapoor for December 15.

Harbans Lal's remand extended
Our Correspondent

Ropar, November 3
The judicial remand of Harbans Lal, a former employee of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, and four others was today extended by the Special Judge, Ropar, Mr S.K. Goel, till November 17.


Expel rebels, demand SAD(A) office-bearers
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, November 3
Even as the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) chief, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, is maintaining silence over recent spurt in rebel activities in the party, senior party leaders of Doaba region have demanded that the office-bearers, who had resigned from the posts, should be expelled from the party for indiscipline.

Addressing a joint press conference here yesterday, the national general secretary of the Kisaan wing, Mr Satnam Singh Sandhu; the presidents of Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahr units, Mr Gurdeep Singh and Mr Hazoora Singh, respectively; and the senior vice-president of Jalandhar unit, Mr Makhan Singh, alleged that 21 of the 51 office-bearers, who had resigned recently were never assigned any post by the party.

They further alleged that former general secretary Paramjit Singh Johl was responsible for growing dissidence activities in the party. “The party president should expel such dissidents from the party”, Mr Sandhu demanded.

Coming to the rescue of the national general secretary, Dr Harjinder Jakhu, whom rebel leaders were targetting for the past quite sometime terming him as anti-Akali, Mr Sandhu said Dr Jakhu had never patronised caste-based politics in the party.

Meanwhile, rebels will hold an emergency meeting on November 5 at Gurdwara Guru Teg Bahadur here to chalk out further strategy to get their demands accepted.


SSP to submit report in kidney case
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
Following investigations into allegations that a Haryana Police inspector had forcibly got the kidney of a minor removed to meet his own medical needs, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission here has directed SSP Amritsar to submit an action taken report before November 7 against doctors and officials of a private medical institute located at Jalandhar.

Recently concluded investigations by the commission had revealed that Bagicha Singh, a resident of Maadar Pura village was forced by Inspector S.K. Sharma, to give him his kidney for Rs 40,000. According to the investigation report, the son of a granthi, he had gone to the Golden Temple in Amritsar in 2000. He met one Baljit Singh, alias Vicki, who brought him to Chandigarh.

At Chandigarh, Vicki and the inspector told him that a new kidney would grow in his body within a year if he donated one. When Bagicha showed his reluctance, he was forced at gunpoint to sign some documents and his hair was cut and beard shaved forcibly. He was also given a new name, Raju.

Bagicha was thereafter taken to a private hospital in Jalandhar where the operation to extract his kidney was performed. After about three days he was taken to Chandigarh and constantly threatened not to disclose the information about the operation to anyone. When he insisted to return to his village, Vicki escorted him and left him at the village bus stop.



Rail mishap averted near Phagwara

Jalandhar, November 3
A rail mishap was averted today near Phagwara due to the alertness of the driver of the Jammu-bound 3074 Himgiri-Jammu Express, who after noticing the missing fish plates on the tracks applied emergency brakes.

According to reports, the train was cleared for Jammu via Jalandhar at 10.50 p.m. but as soon as it reached the outer post of Phagwara the driver noticed that the fish plates were not in place. He immediately applied the emergency brakes and averted a possible derailment.

On enquiring, the guard of the train was told that the fish plates were removed for maintenance but there was probably some communication gap between the maintenance staff and the station traffic and signal staff.

This delayed the train for about 40 minutes and it could roll only after the restoration of fish plates. — UNI


Relatives’ plea for orphaned kids
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 3
Manjit Kaur led too much faith in humanity. A widow who could not even look after her three children, Manjit expected the state and its people to provide medication to her and ensure a kidney transplant to replace her damaged kidney.

Manjit’s brother Balbir offered to provide his kidney for his ailing sister. But with no money for operation, Manjit appealed to the district administration and the office of the State Chief Minister to come to her rescue. Given Rs 6,000 for urgent medical treatment when she needed Rs 6 lakh, Manjit Kaur succumbed to her ailment at the Government Rajindra Hospital this morning.

The woman had been admitted to the hospital four days back by her brother in whose house she had been living for the past few months when her condition started deteriorating. In need of constant dialysis treatment and expensive medical attention, there was no way Manjit could afford the much-needed money for her treatment.

Giving details, Manjit’s brother Jaswant said his sister’s husband had died in a road accident in 2002. Following this she came into conflict with her in-laws who tried to deny her share in her husband’s property. After some time Manjit was able to sell her share of land for Rs 80,000, following which she became seriously ill. Jaswant said most of the money received by his sister was spent on her medication and that she also remained admitted to the Government Rajindra Hospital for a long period.

Jaswant said as dialysis treatment was not available in the Rajindra hospital, his sister had to get the treatment from a private clinic. He said his sister was also told that she would have to go in for a kidney transplant besides regular dialysis until the operation was conducted.

Following this, Manjit appraoched the district administration as well as various social welfare bodies in the city. He said the Deputy Commissioner had ensured a grant of Rs 6,000 from the District Red Cross. The Lions Club (Fort) gave Rs 10,000 and the Patiala Social Welfare Society provided medicines and blood to her.

He said Manjit also approached the office of the state Chief Minister to get immediate relief. Manjit also appealed to the people to take over the responsibility of her three children as she could not fend for them.

Jaswant said the district administration had forwarded the case of the children to a charitable organisation in Chandigarh, following which they had been taken out of a local school but the possession of the children could not be taken over by the organisation.

The responsibility of the three children is utmost in the minds of Manjit’s relatives now. Manjit’s son is 11 years old, while her two daughters are eight and nine years old, respectively. While Jaswant is a labourer, another brother Balwant, with whom Manjit had been staying for the past few months, is a blacksmith and cannot take on the responsibility of her three children. “The family wants that the children should have a better life, unlike their mother”, says Balwant.



Denial of visa to Sikhs resented
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 3
The SGPC has lodged a protest with the Central and the state governments for denying visa to 24 Sikh pilgrims to participate in the birthday celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev at Nankana Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan.

The honorary secretary of the SGPC, Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, stated, that the government was attempting to discourage the Sikhs to visit the shrines in Pakistan. The SGPC had forwarded a list of 300 Sikh devotees to leave for Pakistan on November 5 but the government had deleted the names of 24 persons without assigning any reason.


Three dengue cases in Ferozepore
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, November 3
Three cases of dengue fever have been reported in this borer district. This has prompted the district authorities to initiate steps to prevent this fever from spreading further in this area.

According to Dr R.L. Taneja, DHO, the three cases of dengue fever, which have been reportedly till now, are Arvind Sharma of Fazilka, Raju of Ferozepore, and Gurbhej Singh of Talwandi Bhai.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Vikas Pratap, held a meeting with the officials of the Health and the Local Bodies Departments and instructed them to launch an awareness campaign for the people against this fever.

Dr J.S. Kahlon, Civil Surgeon, Mr S.K. Singla, Deputy Director, Local Government, besides Senior Medical Officers and Executive Officers of the municipal bodies attended the meeting. The DC ordered the officials concerned to immediately spray preventive medicines in the affected areas.

He also ordered the Local Bodies Department to purchase two fogging machines and take other few at rent from adjoining districts to expedite spray of the medicines in the affected areas.


ADC to probe dengue death
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 3
Even as family members of Tarun (20), who died on Saturday due to dengue fever, accused the local health authorities of not providing timely medicare to him, the state government has entrusted the probe into the case to the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr Parveen Kumar.

Earlier, Amit, brother of the deceased, raised the issue at the meeting of the District Grievances Redressal Committee, which was presided over by its Chairman, Mr Ramesh Dogra, held at the District Administrative Complex, here today.

Criticising the functioning of the health authorities for not properly attending to the calls made to seek medical aid, Amit alleged that even the authorities delayed in providing ambulance to shift Tarun to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana. He stated that this was one of the main reasons for his untimely death.

“Had the health authorities provided us with an ambulance in time, the life of my brother could be saved. In fact, no responsible medical or administrative official was available on Saturday,” he alleged.

Even the Congress MLA, Mr Raj Kumar Gupta, condemned the functioning of the Civil Hospital and demanded a probe into the matter.

Mr Dogra, also the Health Minister, directed Mr Kumar to conduct the probe within seven days.

It was also decided to set up a round-the-clock dengue cell in the Civil Hospital, where an ‘information officer would man it. Meanwhile, it was learnt that Satish Kumar, who is suspected to be suffering from dengue fever, was admitted to the Civil Hospital in a serious condition.


Detecting diseases ultrasonic way
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 3
The ultrasound has made an outstanding contribution as an imaging modality in the medical field and has become an indispensable tool in various specialities such as obstetrics, cardiology and medicine, said Dr R.S. Khandpur, Director-General of Pushpa Gujral Science City and formerly Director-General CEDTI, Ministry of Information Technology, Government of India, while inaugurating the 12th national three-day seminar on ultrasonics at Guru Nanak Dev University here today.

The seminar was organised by the Ultasonic Society of India in collaboration with Department of Applied Physics of the university under the supervision of a senior scientist and co-ordinator Dr S.S. Bhatti. Dr Satinder Singh, Pro-Vice Chancellor, GNDU, presided over the inaugural session.

For the first time use of ultrasound in assessment of fracture risk as a result of osteoporosis had been presented quantitatively by a group of researchers from the IIT, Chennai, led by Dr S. Radhakrishnan, Dr Swarnamani and Dr M. Holi. Dr Swapan Sen, Dr Barnana Pal and Dr S. Sarkar of Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata, presented papers on the role of VLSI in ultrasound imaging. Studies on ultrasonic propagation through human tissues and their electrical analogs have been reported by Dr S. Karmakar and Dr M. Roy

Dr Krishan Lal, president of Ultrasonic Society of India, also spoke.

Dr S.S. Bhatti said the national seminar would focus on medical ultrasonics, advanced transducers, micro-electromechanical system (MEMS), 4-D images, air-borne and under water evalution of biological systems. He said more than 75 leading scientists of the country were participating in the seminar.


Keep a check on unaccounted money, says Buta Singh
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, November 3
Mr Buta Singh, Chairman, Public Accounts Committee of India, met the Union Finance Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, two days ago and asked him to check as to where the unaccounted money worth Rs 1.91 crore of the country had gone.

He was talking to mediapersons here yesterday evening in the presence of his nephew Mr Joginder Singh Mann, Punjab Social Welfare Minister. A Supreme Court Branch headed by the Chief Justice in a recent ruling over a PIL had stated that Rs 1.91 crore had been spent by the Union Government without getting the sanction from the appropriate authority, he added.

The Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Finance Minister were aware of this unaccounted money because of late, they had been stating that there was no need of the office of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India and the Public Accounts Committee, Mr Buta Singh added.

He said he would get down to the nitty-gritty of the unaccounted money and present the facts before the nation.

However, Mr Buta Singh refused to comment on Punjab affairs. “I am totally detached from the Punjab affairs and hence would reserve my comments,” he added.


Dairy owners hurl stones at MC team
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 3
About 70 persons, including dairy owners and their supporters, threatened a joint team of the Municipal Corporation and the police, with sharp edged weapons when they arrived at dairies located at the Chhabbal road at 11.30 am yesterday.

The dairy owners allegedly hurled bricks at the team headed by Additional Commissioner, Mr Kirpal Singh. The corporation’s team went there on a tip-off that dairy owners had re-constructed their dairies after the Municipal Corporation got them vacated.

The team along with 40 police personnel returned after dairy owners and others threatened them with wooden staffs, axes, swords, javelins and bricks.

However two hours later, the team returned with police reinforcements headed by the DSP, Mr Ghuman and three SHOs of the division B and C and Kotwali police station along with cops. They surrounded the entire area but all dairy owners had by then fled away. Even animals which were brought back in violation of the High Court’s order were nowhere to be seen.

The Additional Commissioner when contacted said the matter had been brought to the notice of the SSP.

He said the SSP had assured that all SHOs had been alerted to keep vigil on 1,100 dairies which had been vacated under the court’s order.

He said an FIR would be registered in case of any violation.


Writer Shad honoured
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, November 3
Writer and filmmaker Buta Singh Shad today maintained that Punjabi was our identity.

He was speaking at a “sahitak goshti” organised here in his honour by poet Gurnam Gill with the cooperation of the International Punjabi Sahit Sabha and the Navchetna Sahit Manch, Phagwara. (Scholars Dr Sukhwinder Singh Randhawa, Dr Sharanjit Kaur and Dr Gurdarpal Singh read out papers on shad’s novels “Sikh” and “Khalsa”, critics including Dr Rajnish Bahadur, Kuldip Singh Bedi, Surjit Jaj contributed to the discussion on the works.

Shad told the bemused audience that he completes a novel in 15 days. He added that he had written a novel in one quarter less than four days.

He said: “though I am clean shaven, yet I am true Sikh”.

Shad had shot into fame with his novel “Kuttianwale Sardar”. He had acted in some, produced and directed many Punjabi and Hindi films, including “Kulli Yar Di, Sacha Mera Roop Hai, Dharti Sadi Ma, Mittar Pyare Nu, Kora Badan, Nishan”, etc.

He hails from Malwa and has settled in Mumbai. General Secretary of Kendari Punjabi Lekhak Sabha Avtar Jaura, journalist Kuldip Singh Bedi, poet Gurnam Gill and P.S. Purewal, organisers, honoured Shad with a trophy for his contribution to the Punjabi Language and films.

Use of Punjabi language stressed
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, November 3
A state-level quiz, poetic recitation, declamation and debate competition was organised by the State Languages Department as part of “Punjabi Week” celebrations at Mata Gujri College here today. Teams from all districts of the state participated in the contest.

While addressing the gathering, Mr Bir Devinder Singh said it was good to learn other languages but not at the cost of one’s mother tongue. He said it was unfortunate that most of the Punjabi families encouraged their children to learn and adopt other languages like English instead of their mother tongue.

Mr Madan Lal Hasija, Director Languages Department said, the motive of the week-long celebrations was to promote Punjabi language and culture as well as to create interest among the new generation in mother tongue and to acquaint them with rich Punjabi culture.

Mr Sham Singh, News Editor, Punjabi Tribune, urged the state government to take concrete steps towards the promotion of Punjabi language. He said that if we had to compete with other developed languages, we must strengthen our research work and respect.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh released a special issue of Punjabi magazine of the Language Department and a CD on “ Romantic tales from Punjab” prepared by Dharmpal Chaudhry. He also announced a grant of Rs 51,000 to the Language Department for the promotion of Punjabi Language.

Dr Gurmohan Singh Walia, Principal of MG College, Dr Rashpal Singh Gill, Additional. Director, and Mr Mohan Ram Banga, Joint Director, also addressed.


Folk dancers enthral audience
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, November 3
The Punjab Folk Dances Federation in association with at All-India Folk Dances Federation organised an all-India folk dances competition at Aam Khas Bagh today.

Teams from 16 states participated in the competition. Mr Bir Devinder Singh, Deputy Speaker, inaugurated and presided over the concluding ceremony and gave away the prizes to the winners.

In his address, Mr Bir Devinder Singh highlighted the importance of cultural activities and said cultural activities promoted national integration and spirit of happiness. He said though there were different languages, dances, culture and traditions in the country, such occasions helped bridge the gap. He announced a grant of Rs 50,000 for the organisers.

Folk dancers from Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab entertained the audiance with their dances.

Mr Paramjit Singh Sarao DIG, Vaid Hari Krishan, president, DCC, Mr Gurnam Singh Bhaironpur, general secretary DCC, Mr Joginder Maini, secretary, PPCC, Mr Charanjeev Channa, president, MC Sirhind, and Mr Varinder Takyar Bholi, senior Congress leader, also addressed and honoured the folk dancers.



Police shielding murder accused, allege kin
Our Correspondent

Rajpura, November 3
Even after a month, the police has failed to arrest the main accused in the Narinder Kapur murder case. Family members of the deceased alleged that the police has been shielding the accused after registering a criminal case against two brothers and ignoring the role of their father in the murder.

Narinder Kapur (28), a resident of Shamdu village, was allegedly stabbed to death by Arjun Singh, and his sons — Tejinder Singh and Surinder Singh — on October 2. Narinder Kapur had gone to the PCO owned by Tejinder Singh to make a telephone call when the three persons allegedly stabbed at his neck with a paper cutter.

Critically injured Narinder was rushed to Civil Hospital here where he died on the operation table due to excessive bleeding and disconnection of his wind pipe.

The police had nabbed three residents — Arjun Singh, and his two sons Tejinder Singh and Surinder Singh — of Focal Point here on the murder charge the same night.

Interestingly, the police registered cases under Sections 302 and 34, IPC against the three, arrested Tejinder Singh and Surinder Singh while their father was shown absconding, said Mr Shiv Ram Kapur, father of the deceased.

“With an intension to hush up the case the police has arrested Tajinder Singh, a physically challenged person, and his brother Surinder Singh, while their father, Arjun Singh, who is working as an audit inspector in the office of the Block Development Officer at Malerkotla, was let off, alleged Mr Kapur.

“The police also conducted an inquiry into the case on October 13 but instead of the ascertaining the actual facts from owners of the adjacent shops and other eyewitnesses, only relatives of the assailants were questioned,” he claimed.

When contacted Mr Prit Pal Singh Thind, DSP Rajpura, said: “No doubt Arjun Singh was present in the shop while the murder took place, but he was not involved in the act. After investigating the case, Arjun Singh was not found guilty.”



Plots with underground LPG fittings soon
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, November 3
A multiple complex to be called Jalandhar Mall would come up on the Jalandhar-Pathankot road on the outskirts of Jalandhar with first-ever underground LPG fittings in the plots to be carved out of 170 acre of land under the scheme of Jalandhar Improvement Trust.

This was declared here last evening by Punjab Local Bodies Minister Ch Jagjit Singh. There would be plots measuring two marlas to one kanal in the colony for all income groups, the minister said. A tie-up with Punjab National Bank had also been done for loans to the allottees, he said.

On his party’s poll promise of abolishing octroi, the minister said that two private survey companies had been engaged for conducting a survey about it. The government would take any step only after it received report from the survey companies, he said.


Seven injured in bus mishap

Kharar, November 3
Passengers of a Punjab Roadways bus had a narrow escape after the bus turned turtle today near Khanpur bridge on the Kharar-Kurali road. Seven passengers were injured when the bus (PB-12 B-9809), coming from Ludhiana, turned turtle after the bus driver lost control because of failure of brakes.

The injured, identified as Mr Charanjit Singh (Patiala), Mr Baldev Singh (Ludhiana), Mr Rajinder Singh (Dhanaoula), Mr Amarpreet Singh (Sanghole), Mr Varinderpal Singh (Ludhiana), Mr Manmohan Singh (Singpura) and a girl Satoli (Ludhiana) were given first-aid. OC



Tota Singh case
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
Mr Justice Mehtab Singh Gill of the High Court directed the issuance of seven-day notice in case Punjab’s former Education Minister — now MLA — Tota Singh was required either by the Punjab Police or the Punjab Vigilance Bureau.

Apprehending implication due to political reasons, the MLA had earlier filed a petition before the High Court seeking directions to the police or the bureau for the issuance of the notice.

FIR in rape case

The High Court dismissed a petition filed by a Ropar district resident seeking the registration of a first information report on the gang rape of a Kotla Nihang village resident.

In his petition, a close relative of the victim claimed that his kin had lost her balance of mind after the incident. Going into the background of the case, counsel for the petitioner had contended that the victim was raped on August 29, 1997, by three accused after luring her with a job offer.

Arguing before the court on behalf of the petitioner, counsel had submitted that one of the accused, along with another respondent, prepared a fake medical certificate describing the victim as an AIDS patient. He added that a first information report was lodged by the authorities concerned on May 7 last year. The certificate, it was further submitted, was used for launching a defamatory campaign against the victim.



All-India lawyers’ conference in April
Our Correspondent

Kharar, November 3
The All-India Lawyers Union would organise its 8th All-India Conference in April, 2004, at Jalandhar in which the issues of alleged corruption in judicial system, reforms and judicial accountability would be discussed. The delegates from all over the states would participate in it.

This was stated here today by Mr Darshan Singh Dhaliwal, local advocate and press secretary of the Punjab unit of the union. He said the decision was taken in a meeting of the union held in Jalandhar yesterday. The meeting was attended among others by Mr Hardev Singh the general secretary of the union, and Mr K.R. Joshi secretary, Mr Som Duli Sharma and Mr M.P. Singh (both joint secretaries).


Defamation case against CM adjourned
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 3
A defamation suit filed against the Chief Minister of Punjab by the former CM, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, accusing him of spreading and publishing false reports about his assets and properties, was today adjourned for December 16 by a local court. Mr Badal had sought damages of Rs 5 crore.

Mr Badal had alleged in the suit that Captain Amarinder had been spreading and publishing false information about his assets and properties for the past one year and had been persisting with the same after adorning the CM’s chair.

Mr Badal further alleged that Capt Amarinder Singh had defamed him through letters and advertisements issued in the media prior to his taking over as CM of having assets worth Rs 3,500 crore, including assests in Australia, the USA, Switzerland, Delhi and Jodhpur.



6 panchayat members suspended
Our Correspondent

Mansa, November 3
Mr Kuldeep Singh Chandi, Joint Director, Rural Development and Panchayats, Punjab, exercising the power of the Director, Rural Development and Panchayats, Punjab, has placed under suspension six panchayat members, Mr Niranjan Singh, Mr Nikka Singh, Mr Hardev Singh, Mr Jangir Singh, Ms Karamjit Kaur and Ms Jasmail Kaur of Ralla Gram Panchayat of Bhiki block in the district. According to Mr Pritam Singh Dhaliwal, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development), Mansa, these panchayat members failed to attend the meetings of the gram panchayat despite prior information sent to them through a village chowkidar along with the agenda of the meetings. 

They also failed to attend the meeting convened by the Block Development and Panchayats Officer, Bhiki. Mr Dhaliwal further said due to the absence of these members no work could be passed due to the lack of quorum. The above members remained absent from the meetings during the past two months and had misused their powers, he added. 

On the other hand, a representative of the suspended panchayat members said they were not intimated about any meeting of the gram panchayat and no agenda was ever sent to them. He further said there were 12 members in the Ralla gram panchayat, including its sarpanch. The above six suspended members belong to other faction and the sarpanch was not in majority thus the sarpanch had issued the suspension orders.


Rs 20,000 looted from milk plant
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 3
Within 24 hours of busting of an inter-state gang of dacoits, members of another gang struck at a Milk Bottling unit, Wonder Milk, in Mundian Kalan village on the outskirts of the city tonight. They looted about Rs 20,000 and left one person seriously injured.

A group of six to eight armed dacoits, who came on three motorcycles, forcibly entered the diary and looted the cash.

They seriously wounded Yamini Shah, an employee with the unit, who resisted the attempt of the robbers to loot the milk plant. The exact number of dacoits is yet to be ascertained as the main witness was under medication and unable to give any details.

SP(D) Gurpreet Singh Toor said the accused had left a pistol at the diary as they fled after hearing hooters of the special night patrolling police staff.

All this happened within minutes and further damage by the dacoits was controlled due to the night dominance operation launched by the district police.

The milk plant has a major share in the bottled milk business in this district. Senior police officers had rushed to the spot and further investigations were on.


Three die as car collides with truck
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, November 3
Three persons, Sunil Sehgal of Ambala Cantt, Bharat Bhushan and Som Dutt, residents of Pinjore, died on the spot, while Vikas Gupta of Ambala Cantt was injured seriously when their car (Esteem CH-03D-0567) collided with a military truck coming from opposite direction near Chankoya village on Garhshanker-Balachaur-Chandigarh road, about 20 km from here today evening.

The injured has been referred to the PGI, Chandigarh. The car reportedly collided with the truck while overtaking another vehicle.

In another accident, 14 persons were injured when their Tata 407 overturned on the Bhaddi-Balachaur road in early hours today. They were coming from Naina Devi.


Armed men loot Rs 9 lakh
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, November 3
Four armed men today robbed a person of Rs 9 lakh.

Avtar Singh a resident of Kuhala village of Zira sub-division got a cheque of Rs 9 lakh encashed from the local branch of Oriental Bank of Commerce. While he was going back to his village on a motorcycle, four armed men travelling in a white Maruti car, who were following him, forced him to stop between Chaganwali village and Buiyanwala. Two men came out of the car and forcibly took away the bag.

Mr Praveen Sinha, SSP, said that the police had sealed the area and special raids were being carried out at various places to nab the robbers.


YPS Juniors enthral
Our Correspondent

Patiala, November 3
The Junior School students of Yadavindra Public School here captivated many a heart with their splendid performance on the occasion of the annual function of the school here yesterday.

The function included an impressive choir performance with the Junior School choir rendering “Count your blessings” and “The woodpecker’s song”, besides invocation at the beginning of the event.

The fusion instrumental orchestra piece was presented by the students from class I to classV, who harmoniously played classical instruments, like the sitar, tabla and harmonium, besides the guitar, tambourine and the banjo.

The sailor boys drill, accompanied by the sailor song, was presented by the students of class I. These little sailor boys enchanted the audience with their spirited performance. A musical skit, based on the story of Zelda, the zebra, whose stripes were stolen by a tiger, was a visual treat.

The students of class III to class V displayed impressive body control in yoga drills. The jhumar folk dance from Rajasthan formed the grand finale of the programme.

The Deputy Commissioner of Patiala, Mr Tejveer Singh, was the chief guest. Being an old Yadavindrian himself, he fondly reminisced his school days while talking to the audience.

While the Junior School Principal, Ms Brinda Ghosh, delivered a vote of thanks, the Principal, Mr R.P. Devgan, urged the parents to encourage their wards to participate in extra-curricular activities which helped in personality development. 


Bank launches vigilance week
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 3
Mr D.J. Mankad, Deputy General Manger, State Bank of Patiala (SBOP), formally launched vigilance week celebrations here today.

In a press note issued here today Mr Mankad said the the vigilance week had been started under the directions of the central vigilance commissioner. The employees solemnly pledged to strive hard to bring about integrity and transparency in all spheres of their work. Incidentally, the SBOP is rated as a corruption free bank by the Central Vigilance Commissioner and had been declared as a bank with highest probity index.

The local unit of National Fertilisers Limited (NFL) also started vigilance week celebrations today. Mr C.M. Nagpaul, Chief General Manager, administered the oath to the employees. In his address, Mr Nagpaul said the employees should work with honesty and integrity.

Mr Ishwar Singh, SSP, who also attended the function, in his address said honest employees and public servants were an asset for any nation. 

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