P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



SGPC delegation to meet Musharraf
Our Correspondent 

Phagwara, March 4
The SGPC General Secretary, Jathedar Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, who is heading a 3,000-strong Sikh jatha to Pakistan on Baisakhi, said here today that a delegation comprising SGPC members and representatives from the jatha would meet the Pakistan President Gen Pervez Musharraf, and apprise him of poor maintenance of Gurdwaras there. The delegation would also demand that the management of the gurdwaras should be headed by a Pakistan-based Sikh.

 Addressing mediapersons at Gurdwara Sukhchainana Sahib, Jathedar Bhaur said the SGPC had no objection to the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara  Parbandhak Committee if headed by a Sikh, who is well-versed in the Sikh code of conduct. He said that while he would be the leader of the jatha, Mr Gurwinder Singh Shampura would be the deputy leader. The jatha would leave for Pakistan on April 6 and return to India on April 15. 

Regarding the three Sikh centenary celebrations this year, Jathedar Bhaur said the fifth centenary celebrations of Guru Angad Dev would be dedicated to research, propagation and expansion of the Gurmukhi script. A minaret with 35 letters of Gurmukhi embossed on it ,a high-tech research centre museum would be set up at Khadoor Sahib. A nagar kirtan would start from Muktsar on April 18 for Khadoor Sahib. Similarly a nagar kirtan would start from Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan on the same day for Khadoor Sahib, he said.

A university would be set up at Fatehgarh Sahib in the name of the Sahibzadas to commemorate the third centenary of their martyrdom.

The fourth centenary celebration of the installation of  Guru Granth Sahib would promote the credo of humanity. The anniversaries of all those saints and bhagats whose “bani” had been included in the scripture would be celebrated at Divan Asthan Manji Sahib in the Golden Temple complex, he said.


Plan to erect Gurmukhi minar at Khadoor Sahib
K.S. Chawla

LUDHIANA: The Shatabdi Committee, set up by the SGPC to chalk out a programme for the celebration of three centenaries of the Sikh religion, has decided to erect a 35-foot-high metallic “Gurmukhi minar” at Khadoor Sahib to commemorate the 500th birth anniversary of the second Sikh Guru Angad Dev. The Guru had made a rich contribution in the popularisation and modernisation of the script. Khadoor Sahib was the headquarters of Guru Angad Dev and his birth centenary falls on April 18.

Prof Prithipal Singh Kapoor, former Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, who is a member of the committee told this reporter that a decision to this effect was taken at Fatehgarh Sahib at a meeting of the committee which was presided over by Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, President, SGPC.

According to Professor Kapoor, the committee was set up to contact linguistic experts and sculptors to execute the project.

He said a symbolic procession of 101 men would be taken out on April 15 from Kartarpur Sahib which would go to Matte ki Serai village in Ferozepore district, the birth place of Guru Angad Dev, where a function would be organised by the SGPC.

The main function to celebrate the birth anniversary of the Guru would be held at Khadoor Sahib on April 18.

Meanwhile, Mr Tohra has condemned the alleged sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib at Ludhiana at a function organised by Congress MLA Surinder Dhawan. The participants had allegedly gone there with shoes on. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh was also present at the function along with Mr H.S. Hanspal, President, PPCC. Mr Tohra said Guru Granth Sahib is a living Guru for the Sikhs and they would not tolerate any disrespect to the same.


Sonia PM candidate, says Singhvi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 4
Ms Sonia Gandhi is the prime ministerial candidate of the Congress and is the undisputed leader of the party, Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi has said. Mr Singhvi was here to attend a meeting of the Congress block presidents organised by the District Congress Committee.

Talking to The Tribune here today, Mr Singhvi sought to clarify that there was no ambiguity within the Congress about its prime ministerial candidate. But, he added, the Congress was working for a broad-based secular front in the country which could provide an effective alternative to the National Democratic Alliance.

He claimed that the Congress had adopted a democratic approach. Since the process of constituting the secular front had already started, whichever constituent group gained maximum number of seats, its leader would be chosen as leader of the group and the Prime Minister, he pointed out.

Commenting on the party agenda which mainly revolved around the omissions and commissions of the NDA government, rather than being a proactive one, Mr Singhvi admitted that the Opposition had not been able to set an agenda. It can only observe, evaluate, assess and analyse the performance of the government and suggest alternatives and put these up before the people. This, he added, did not mean that the Congress had abandoned its policies and programmes.

“Rather it is our agenda of technological modernisation initiated by Rajiv Gandhi and the economic liberalisation initiated during the regime of Mr Narasimha Rao which the NDA government is following and encashing,” he pointed out, while adding that the Congress vision continued to hold significance even now.

Mr Singhvi claimed that the ‘feel good’ factor had been artificially created by the NDA government at the cost of tax payers’ money. The government had “wasted” over Rs 600 crore of public money for its own publicity, which was unprecedented in the country’s history. The NDA will have to account for that, he asserted.

The Congress spokesman also refused to agree that the party had shown progressive decline during the last three general elections. He observed that there were several other factors responsible for it and the party had staged a successful comeback. Only a few months ago the Congress was ruling in 16 states and it would be repeated in the coming elections too, he said.

He maintained that the party was working out alliances and adjustments with the like-minded parties which have a secular outlook.


Brahmpura dares Kairon to defeat official nominee
Tribune Reporters

Tarn Taran, March 4
The cold war between Mr Surinder Singh Kairon, a close relative of Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, a former Akali minister, intensified yesterday with the latter openly challenging the former to defeat the official Akali nominee during the Lok Sabha elections.

Mr Brahmpura claimed that the Akali candidate, Dr Rattan Singh Ajnala, would win the Lok Sabha election from here with a thumping majority despite opposition by the ‘Kairon group’. While launching a formal poll campaign from here today, Mr Brahmpura said if Mr Kairon had the guts he should come out in the open to challenge Dr Ajanala in this constituency. Mr Brahmpura claimed that SAD candidate would win the election due to ‘anti-incumbency’ factor. Though Mr Kairon, a former Congress MP, has not joined the Akali Dal yet he has been taking active interest in Akali politics due to his being close relative of Mr Badal.

Mr Alwinder Pal Singh Pakhoke, senior vice president of SGPC, had unsuccessfully contested the previous Assembly elections against Mr Harmeet Singh, a close confident of Mr Kairon, who had contested from Tarn Taran as an Akali rebel.

Mr Pakhoke alleged that Mr Kairon, who had announced that the ‘history of previous Assembly election’ would be repeated if SAD opted to field any candidate without consulting him.

However, Ms Parneet Kaur, daughter-in-law of Mr Kairon and daughter of Mr Badal, who was also an aspirant for the Akali ticket from Tarn Taran, had already announced that she would support the official candidate of the party. Ms Parneet Kaur’s husband, Mr Adesh Partap Singh Kairon, an Akali MLA, is currently abroad. Mr Harinder Singh Gill, president, All-India Sikh Students Federation, who was also an aspirant for the Akali ticket, has also started campaigning for the official nominee.


Liquor auction ‘hijacked’
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, March 4
The auction for liquor shops falling in three districts— Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahr —was completed within 10 minutes of its start with a marginal revenue increase than last year. Higher bids by local liquor contractors were allegedly ignored in some cases with an aim to favour the nominees of a Uttar Pradesh-based liquor baron.

Though the state government has earned Rs 233.16 crore from this auction, the liquor consumers will face the heat as liquor shops in all three districts have now been allotted to the nominees of Uttar Pradesh-based liquor baron Ponti Chadha. The consumers would witness a major hike in liquor prices in the coming financial year with monopoly of Mr Chadha over liquor trade in these districts being duly formalised following the controversial auction.

The whole process of auction took only 10 minutes wherein the liquor shops of Jalandhar-1 and Nawanshahr were, allotted on the reserved prices of Rs 41.12 crore and Rs 37.64 crore, respectively, as local liquor traders, who had been demanding formation of small groups of about Rs 15 crore since long, played the role of mute spectators due to financial constraints.

The shops for Hoshiarpur district, which had been sold for Rs 68.87 crore during the year 2003-2004, witnessed a battle as one of the major state liquor contractor Mohinder Pal entered to the auction with a bid of Rs 72 crore, but the group was allegedly allotted for Rs 70 crore in clear violation of the state excise policy.

Later, talking to reporters, Mr Mohinder Pal alleged that the officials concerned were hand in glove with Mr Ponti Chadha as his bid for Rs 72 crore for Hoshiarpur vends was not considered against Chadha’s nominee, who was allotted the license for Rs 70 crore.

“The state government has incurred a revenue loss of Rs 15 to Rs 16 crores during the auction, which is mere an eyewash,” he said, adding that the facts regarding this alleged mischievous auction would be submitted to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which was scheduled to listen a PIL in this regard on March 8.

Similarly liquor vends in Jalandhar-2 was allotted for Rs 84.40 crore as against Rs 84.35 crores during the year 2003-2004. The liquor traders alleged that the Congress government in the state was hell bent to empower Mr Ponti Chadha with exclusive rights to run the state’s liquor business while ignoring the interests of the people of the state.

The liquor shops in Jalandhar-1, Jalandhar-2 and Nawanshahr witnessed a marginal increase of Rs 5 lakh each against last year’s auction. The state-based liquor traders condemned the Punjab government for irregularities in the auction process.


Shah Rukh, Preity star in film on Partition trauma
Ashok Sethi and Gurbaxpuri

Harike, March 4
The resumption of the Samjhauta Express allows a young couple from Pakistan to bring an urn containing ashes of their beloved for immersion at the confluence of the Ravi and the Beas, near the Ishar Dham Nanaksar Gurdwara.

The couple is Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta.

The atmosphere was somber and the location was ideal for shooting. The opening scene of the untitled Yash Raj Film production touches an emotional chord on the Indo-Pakistan relations after the recent thaw which allows a number of people to come to India to fulfil the wishes of their parents, who had been separated by the Partition.

Commenting on the story line of his latest film, Dada Sahib Phalke award winner Yash Chopra said, “It is an emotional movie about the trauma of the partition which had caused lot of misery to people”. He, however, refused to elaborate on the story.

The attractive Priety Zinta, wearing self-designed white salwar-kamiz was sitting with the copper urn on her lap, while Shah Rukh Khan was requesting the granthi of the gurdwara to allow them to fulfil the wishes of their beloved for the immersion of their ashes at confluence of the rivers. The opening lines of the granthi “Aulad se zayada aapne apna farz nibhaya hai,” while Shah Rukh Khan greets the granthi with “Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh”. Yash Chopra completes the shots after six takes on the banks of the Asia’s biggest wetland.

The shooting started in the morning with in the opening scene Shah Rukh and Zinta arriving at the Gurdwara by bus.

Star of the millennium Amitabh Bachchan, dream girl Hema Malini and Rani Mukharji are other members of the multistarer movie, who will join the shooting at Chandigarh and Ropar.

Talking to ‘The Tribune’ Shah Rukh Khan wearing denim jeans and khaki open shirt said he was delighted to shoot the film on Indo-Pakistan emotional ties, which required Punjab background. He said he was impressed by the warmth and cordiality shown by the rural folks of the area. He was willing to do more films in Punjab provided film directors wished to have a story with Punjabi flavour. Asked about the story, Shah Rukh said it was the prerogative of the director to divulge the details of the script but he was enjoying every bit of the shooting.

Shah Rukh said he would love to go around the city of the Golden Temple provided that he got enough time during day time. He would pay obeisance at the Golden Temple during his five-day shooting schedule in and around Amritsar.

The heartthrob of millions with her dimple cheeks, Preity Zinta, was at her charming best in her Punjabi attire. Talking to The Tribune she said she loved Punjab and Punjabis. The place was extremely beautiful. She would offer prayers at the Golden Temple, she added.

Leading film fashion designer Manish Malhotra had been specially brought by Yash Chopra for providing authentic Punjabi costumes for the movie.

Yash Chopra with over 100 unit members have planned a seven-day shooting stint in and around Amritsar. He had brought along Anil Mehta, chief cameraman, and young technicians to manage the outdoor locations schedule.

The security was tight around the shooting area. A large number of people had gathered to get a glimpse of the stars.


Income Tax Dept raids 11 premises
Tribune News Service

Kot Kapura, March 4
Continuing its campaign to check evasion of income tax, the sleuths of the Income Tax Department carried out raids on about 11 premises, including a general merchant’s shop, shops of commission agents, cotton ginning industries, a sortex plant, hospitals, an educational institution and jewellery shops, here today.

The raids were conducted after the Income Tax authorities found that a section of businessmen of the town were not showing their actual financial transactions in full in their account books.

Mr L.R. Nayyar, Commissioner, Income Tax, in a press note issued here today, pointed out that preliminary reports in connection with the raids indicated that the modus operandi used by the businessmen was to earn unaccounted income and to re-route it in the form of bogus credits or bogus purchases made in cash.

He pointed out that incriminating documents had been found and taken into possession by the various teams which conducted the raids. He added that at one of the jewellery shops, stocks worth crores of rupees had been found. Approved valuers from Bathinda were called to evaluate the stock. He said it was being investigated now that how much stock was recorded in the account books and how much had been concealed.

He said the investigating teams were examining other documents and stocks. It would take some time to quantify the concealment of income by the income tax assessees.

He said raids were conducted under the supervision of Mr B.K. Karkara, Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, Ferozepore range, and Mr Sanjay Mishra, Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, Bathinda.


Burail jailbreak accused in country, says DGP
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, March 4
Mr A.A. Siddiqui, Director-General of Police, today put all speculation to rest about three accused of the sensational Burail jailbreak case having fled to some other country by saying that the accused were very much in India.

He said though the three accused were trying to flee to Pakistan or some other foreign country, the police all over the country had put on red alert to arrest them.

The DGP, who was talking to mediapersons during the inauguration of a charitable hospital in Goindwal Sahib, about 23 km from here, said anti-social elements had been kept under close watch for ensuring free and fair Lok Sabha elections scheduled to be held in May. He said the state government had demanded 140 companies of paramilitary forces from the Central Government for the coming Lok Sabha elections, out of which 100 companies would reach soon.

Expressing concern over the growing drug mafia in the state, Mr Saddiqui admitted that there was lack of drug inspectors in the state. He said he had taken up the matter with Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh for providing more powers to SHO-level police officials for checking the menace. He claimed that the Chief Minister had assured him that he would look into the matter.


DSP’s arrest sought in custodial death case
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, March 4
The Ravinder Katal Kand Virodhi Action Committee today served an ultimatum on the civil and police administration that if the police district authorities Barnala did not arrest DSP Gurjit Singh and others, allegedly responsible for the death of Ravinder Singh (25) in police custody, and present challan in the court in 90 days against the accused, the action committee would take out a massive protest march in Patiala during Lok Sabha elections.

This was announced by Mr Sukhdev Singh Barri, convener of the committee, after the bhog of “Akhand path” of Shri Guru Granth Sahib at Gurdwara Sri Akal Parkash at Sherpur.

Mr Barri also levelled allegations on the Barnala police that it was protecting the DSP on the pretext of an inquiry in progress in the case. He said the committee would not sit idle till all accused were arrested.

Mr Barri said though they had planned a traffic jam at Sherpur today for the acceptance of their demands, but it was postponed after an assurance from the Barnala police district SSP that the remaining accused would be nabbed soon and the challan against the accused would be presented in 90 days in a court. He said if the police failed to fulfil its assurance, the action committee would implement its ultimatum.

Among others who spoke on the occasion included Mr Harbans Singh Sherpur, president of the Rashtriya Mulajam Dal, Tarsem Jodhan, member of the state secretariat of the CPM (Pasla group), Mr Sarbjit Singh, member of the Sangrur Zila Parishad, Mr Raj Singh Kherri, former MLA, Mr Jora Singh Cheema, BSP leader, and Mr Surjit Singh, sarpanch of Kala Bula village.


T.S. Shergill, Mai Rup Kaur to take oath today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
Lieut-Gen T.S. Shergill (retd) and Mai Rup Kaur will be administrated oath as Chairperson and Member, respectively, of the Punjab Public Service Commission tomorrow by the Punjab Governor, Justice O.P. Verma, according to a spokesperson for the state government.

Lieut-Gen Shergill, who belongs to the renowned political family of late Gen Rajinder Singh Sparrow, replaces Lieut-Gen Surjit Singh Sangha (retd), who will attain the the age of superannuation as Chairperson of the PPSC on March 6.

Mai Rup Kaur replaces Ms Harjit Kaur Randhawa, who has completed her term as member of the PPSC.

Lieut-Gen Shergill was commissioned into The Deccan Horse on February 9, 1964. During his service in the Army, he held various command, staff and diplomatic assignments. He was a troop leader in the Khem Karan sector during the 1965 Indo-Pak War, and was awarded Mention-in-Dispatches for gallantry. During the 1971 Indo-Pak War, he rejoined the regiment from the President’s Bodyguard to take over command of a squadron in the Chhamb sector.

He commanded his regiment, the Deccan Horse, an Independent Armoured Brigade, an Infantry Division and a Corps. He has vast experience of counter-insurgency assignments both in Jammu and Kashmir and in the North-East.

He has been Adjutant of the President’s Bodyguard, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Brigade Major of a brigade in High Altitude, General Staff Officer-I (Operations) of an armoured division and has been the Defence and Military Attache in the Indian High Commission in Washington DC. He was also the General Officer Commanding of a corps in the Eastern sector. He has also been the Commandant of the Indian Military Academy (IMA).

Mai Rup Kaur, a former Chairperson of the Sangrur Zila Parishad and Backfinco, belongs to a famous family of Bagrian village in Sangrur district. Her family has an association with the family of Capt Amarinder Singh. She had been elected chairperson of the Zila Parishad in 1993, when Mr Beant Singh was the Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, sources said the former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has objected to the holding of the oath ceremony tomorrow. However, the state government has said that it has taken permission from the Election Commission of India to hold the function.


Seal record of DSPs’ selection process, orders HC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
Acting on a petition for quashing the selection and appointment of five candidates as Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSPs), a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed that the record of the entire selection process should be sealed and kept with Punjab's Advocate-General.

Pronouncing the directions in an open court, the Bench, comprising Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Mr Justice Nirmal Singh, also issued notice of motion for admission and final disposal of the petition. The judges also fixed April 1 as the next date of hearing in the case.

In their petition against the state of Punjab, the Director-General of Police and other respondents, Mr Pardeep Singh Sandhu of Ludhiana and Mr Ajay Raj Singh of Jalandhar had earlier contended that they were higher on merit and comparatively better than some of the other candidates.

Giving details, Mr Pardeep Singh had added that he was an international cyclist with several medals to his credit. Mr Ajay Raj Singh had, meanwhile, claimed that he had participated in Sidney Olympics.

In a similar petition, a national-level handball player had earlier sought directions for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the appointment of "ineligible persons". He had claimed that the process initiated for recruiting DSPs in Punjab was merely an eyewash.

Sehajdhari Sikhs

In a reply filed before the High Court in the Sehajdhari Sikhs' voting rights case, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) today claimed that an amendment to the Sikh Gurdwara Act regarding the definition of a Sikh was carried out as otherwise it was not possible to "weed out" non-Sikhs from the voters' list.

In its reply, the SGPC asserted that as per the existing provisions, a person, claiming himself to be Sehajdhari Sikh, was just required to fill a declaration form for enrolling as a voter. "There was no way non-Sikhs could be weeded out," it was asserted.

This, it claimed, was "posing a serious threat to the very foundations of the SGPC". The whole purpose of having the Act for vesting the management and control of the gurdwaras with the Sikhs would have been defeated. Therefore, the SGPC passed a resolution at a meeting held on November 30, 2000, and recommended an amendment to the sections containing the definition of Sikhs.

It was recommended that a Sikh be defined as a person who followed the teaching of 10 Gurus and Guru Granth Sahib only, kept unshorn hair and did not use tobacco in any form.

The Sehajdhari Sikh Federation had earlier challenged a notification issued by the Union of India, whereby the voting rights of the Sehajdhari Sikhs had been taken away.

In its petition, the federation, through national president Paramjit Singh Ranu of Raikot, had earlier contended that Sehajdhari Sikhs, constituting a majority of the Sikh population, had been exercising their franchise in a peaceful and democratic manner for the past 59 years. But their rights were curtailed.

Cinema sites

The High Court today issued notice of motion on a petition filed by Panchkula-based cinema hall KC Palace for quashing a decision taken by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) on the conversion of the existing cinema sites into "shopping malls which included multiplexes".

The decision on alteration of Panchkula's Sector 5 zoning plan "without following the due process of law" was also challenged. The petitioner claimed that there were only four cinema sites as per the zoning plan of Sector 5. However, HUDA had now changed the zoning plan. Now, a provision for eight shopping malls and 32 theatres had been made.


NDA blocking women quota Bill, says Cong leader
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
The Punjab Mahila Congress Committee today accused the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre of blocking the Women Reservation Bill, besides accusing the Union Government and NDA partners-ruled states of their failure to check crime against women.

Talking to newsmen here this afternoon, Mrs Gurkanwal Kaur, President of the Punjab Mahila Congress Committee, said the incidence of female foeticide and crime against women had been on the rise in the country.

“It is only the Congress which works for the wellbeing and betterment of women in the country,” she said, blaming the BJP and the NDA for their failure to get the women reservation Bill through. When pointed that the main opponents to the Bill were going to be alliance partners of the Congress in the coming elections, she said her party always supported the cause of women.

Mrs Gurkanwal Kaur said that the NDA Government had not done much for women who were suffering from malnutrition, anaemia and other diseases because of poverty and lack of any special healthcare programmes.

Besides, the criminal justice delivery system was far from satisfactory. The present NDA Government had also failed in improving literacy and living condition of rural women.

Mrs Gurkanwal Kaur said all activists of the Punjab Mahila Congress would sign a 50-metre-long piece of cloth in their petition against the NDA Government to be submitted to the Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi. This piece of cloth would be taken to all district headquarters on March 8, (International Women’s day) before it was sent to Mrs Gandhi.


Sukhbans Bhinder fails to make it
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
Newsmen covering Congress beat were in for some surprises as two press conferences organised at Punjab Congress Bhavan this afternoon took place half an hour behind their scheduled time.

In the first conference when former Gurdaspur MP Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder failed to show up even 30 minutes after the scheduled time of 2 p.m., the Punjab Mahila Congress chief, Ms Gurkanwal Kaur, addressed newsmen.


Panthic board LS nominees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
The Panthic Parliamentary Board( PPB) today announced the candidature of Prof Rachhpal Kaur Bains, wife of Justice Ajit Singh Bains, a human rights activist, from the Hoshiarpur Lok Sabha seat. The board had decided to nominate Mr Amar Singh Chahal, an advocate, from Chandigarh.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Jaswant Singh Mann, Secretary-General of the board, said his organisation had extended support to Mr Simranjit Singh Mann in Sangrur, Mr Sarabjit Singh Khalsa in Bathinda and Mr Tirlochan Singh Tur in Tarn Taran. The board had already announced the candidature of Mr Kuldeep Singh Wadala and Mr Talib Singh Sandhu from Jalandhar and Ludhiana, respectively.

The process was on to shortlist candidates for the Gurdaspur, Patiala, Amritsar, Ferozepore and Phillaur constituencies. The board would release a booklet “exposing” how Mr Parkash Singh Badal had damaged Panthic institutions and compromised on various Sikh issues.

The SAD headed by Mr Badal smacked of opportunism, corruption, nepotism.

About the differences with Mr Ravi Inder Singh, Mr Jaswant Singh Mann said he would meet the former soon to sort out various matters pertaining to elections. “ My purpose is to set up a third front as an alternative to the SAD and the Congress in Punjab. I would request Mr Ravi Inder Singh to extend support to the third front. The PPB is ready to extend all cooperation to Mr Ravi Inder Singh’s party”, he added.


Advani’s yatra to enter Punjab on March 25
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, March 4
The “Bharat Udai Yatra” of Mr L.K. Advani, Deputy Prime Minster, will enter Punjab on March 25, 2004. It will reach Chandigarh on March 24 evening from where it will proceed to Ludhiana on March 25 morning. This was stated by Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, president of the Punjab BJP while addressing mediapersons here today. He said from Ludhiana the yatra would proceed to Hoshiarpur and after Mr Advani addressing a public meeting there, the yatra would leave for Gurdaspur. On March 26, the yatra would proceed to Amritsar where Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister, would receive it and address a big public rally.

Mr Khanna said Mr Raj Nath Singh, Union Minister for Agriculture, would address election meeting of the BJP at Amritsar tomorrow.


Mann to stop ‘rath yatra’ at all costs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 4
Adopting a tough posture, SAD (A) chief Simranjit Singh Mann said today that the rath yatra would be stopped from reaching Amritsar at all costs. He said it was a clever ploy to further the agenda of Hindutva at the cost of the minorities.

Mr Mann said the Sikhs would not tolerate any attempt of the BJP to marginalise regional parties. Alleging that Mr Parkash Singh Badal has given up the Panthic agenda, he said the Congress and the BJP had no love lost for Punjab could be gauged from the fact that outsiders were being brought to contest poll in the state.

Commenting on the import of sugar from Pakistan, he said it smacked of sheer discrimination against the Punjab farmers. Huge stocks of sugar are lying unused in godowns across the state, yet the NDA government has decided to import sugar from our neighbour. Why can’t the government supply sugar from Punjab which would also settle the dues of the cane farmers, totalling almost Rs 100 crore, he asked.


BSP activists block traffic
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, March 4
Traffic remained disrupted on the Jalandhar-Ludhiana road near Paragpur village here for over half an hour following a clash between villagers and BSP workers over the refusal to serve “langar” to the latter.

According to the police, a truck carrying BSP workers was stopped by a group of villagers, who organised a “langar” for the devotees on way to Anandpur Sahib for Hola Mohalla celebrations. When the villagers came to know that they were actually BSP workers, they refused to serve langar to them resulting in a clash.

Agitated BSP workers blocked traffic on the GT Road for half an hour to register their protest. The state general secretary of the BSP, Mr Pawan Tinu and DSP Rajinder Singh reached the place and pacified the protesting workers. Later the dharna was lifted on the assurance of the police.


PSEB Member yet to be given powers
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 4
Congress leader Sheelam Sohi, who was recently appointed Member of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), has still not been delegated powers despite attending office regularly.

Ms Sohi, who lost to former Finance Minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh by a narrow margin from the Banur Assembly seat, had been appointed Member of the PSEB last week. The board had then claimed that she would be given powers soon.

The Congress leader when questioned on the issue said she was still awaiting grant of powers to her. Earlier, sources said Ms Sohi had been appointed Member of the PSEB to elicit her support for the candidature of Ms Preneet Kaur, who is the party candidate for the Patiala Lok Sabha constituency. Banur legislator Kanwaljit Singh is the SAD nominee for the Lok Sabha seat.

Pathankot legislator Raman Bhalla is also finding it difficult to get powers for transferring engineers in the board. The board Chairman had through an order earlier asked that all transfer cases be referred to him. Though this order has been taken back, Mr Bhalla has been virtually rendered without any power with the Chairman insisting that he should be consulted before any mid-term transfer.


PSEB concerned over erratic coal supply
Lalit Mohan

Ropar, March 4
The position of coal stocks in thermal plants of the state continues to be critical indicating a grim power situation during the coming paddy season which starts from May 15. Highly-placed sources told this correspondent that coal stocks in both major thermal plants in the state — Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Plant (GGSSTP), Ropar, and the GNDTP, Bathinda — were in a critical state.

Both plants have just 70,000 tonnes of coal, sufficient for only three days as against a mandatory coal stock for 12 or 15 days. The daily consumption of the GGSSTP, Ropar, is about 17,500 tonnes. Five out of six turbines run daily. The sixth turbine is undergoing overhauling. When all turbines run, about 20,000 tonnes of coal is required daily, the sources said.

The supply of coal the thermal plants continues to be low. The GGSSTP received just three racks of coal on March 1, two on March 2 and four yesterday whereas five racks are required daily. Each rail rack contains about 3,000 tonnes of coal. The rest of the demand for coal is being met from reserves.

If supply of coal continues to be erratic for just two more days, the coal position of the thermal plants would further aggravate.

The erratic supply of coal these months is adding to the concerns of the thermal plant authorities. In these months, when the demand for power usually remains low, the thermal plant authorities boost their coal stocks for the paddy season.

Generally the thermal plants stock about 2.5 to 3 lakh tonnes of coal by the first week of April. It helps them tide over the reduced supply of coal during the paddy season. The coal supply reduces due to the arrival of monsoon in Jharkhand.

However, this year the low supply coal even during February and March is going to give tough time to the PSEB in the paddy season, the sources said.

The sources said the problem had been prevailing for the past 10 months. Coal fields of the CCI in Jharkhand were the major suppliers to the thermal plants as per the allocation by the union government. The coal fields had been facing labour problem leading to an erratic supply of coal in Punjab.

The thermal plant authorities are contemplating requesting the Union Government to shift their source of coal supply from Jharkhand to some other state.

The Chief Engineer, GGSSTP, Mr R.S. Sohal, admitted that the coal supply to the thermal plant was low. He, however, expressed hope that the supply of coal would improve in the coming days.


Sikh heroes forgotten, laments scion
Amarjit Thind & Mahesh Sharma

Rohira, March 4
“Sikhs are bound to repeat history if they do not learn to respect and honour their heroes. It is a matter of great concern that elders do not educate their children about our glorious past and the supreme sacrifices made by our forefathers so that we could lead a peaceful life,” says Tikka Raja Shatrujit Singh, a scion of the Kapurthala royal family.

He was here to hold parleys with the trust which is constructing a gurdwara in the memory of 35,000 Sikhs, including children and women, who were massacred by the forces of Ahmed Shah Abdali on February 5, 1762. The Afghan was on his sixth invasion of India and the day has been observed as Wadha Ghallughara Day.

Shatrujit Singh, the 10 descendant of Nawab Jassa Singh Ahluwalia who bravely held the superior forces at bay 243 years ago, had expressed his desire to visit the battlefield where his ancestor had fought after The Tribune carried a story on how no memorial service was held on that day.

In an exclusive interview with The Tribune, the Tikka, who lives in Delhi and arrived by road yesterday said he was pained at knowing that no memorial service was held this year by any Sikh organisation, including the SGPC. It is a shame that we forgot to honour the spirit that enabled thousands of men, women and children to face death, he added.

He said he was ready to extend all possible help to the trust so that a befitting memorial could be raised to showcase the valour and hardships suffered by the ancestors. “Persecution was a byword once anyone embraced Sikhism in the past, but what pains us today is that nobody even remembers the heroes and generals of that era,” he said.

He said while he would extend help to the trust, he wanted to raise a memorial on the lines of the ones in Europe. A memorial should be a place for us to contemplate and pay our respects for those who died for our today. It should also be a beacon for our future generations, he pointed out.

The scion of the Kapurthala royal family said he was working on a blueprint and would study the memorials abroad before constructing one at Rohira. “My aim is to have a one-of-its-kind memorial which has no parallel in the country. Funds are no constraints”, he added.

On the delay in highlighting the contributions of their forefathers, he candidly admitted that the previous generations were too aligned with the British and were afraid to annoy the Crown. “Now things are different and there are no such complications. Moreover, I want to give something back to the community and the younger generation, which is unaware of our tumultuous past”, he added.


Plea for CBI probe into Poohla’s cases
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
Col G.S. Sandhu (retd), Chairman of the Poohla Eviction Committee, today demanded a judicial or a CBI inquiry into the alleged cases of murder, extortion and land-grab by Tarna Dal chief, Ajit Singh Poohla.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Colonel Sandhu said as Poohla was enjoying the patronage of certain politicians and senior police officers, it was imperative that investigations into his alleged misdeeds be conducted by an impartial agency.

Flaying the police inability to nab him despite several criminal cases registered against him, Colonel Sandhu pointed out that Poohla possessed about 30 weapons and had a band of armed followers. He claimed that a controversial former Punjab Police chief had “propped” him up.

Colonel Sandhu said he had the serial numbers of all weapons provided to Poohla by the police as well as the details of some police officers helping the Nihang chief. He also had a fleet of 15 vehicles equipped with red beacons.

Colonel Sandhu said that a gurdwara in Poohla village, which had been illegally occupied by the Nihang chief, would be got vacated on March 10. He also gave out the details of various properties held by Poohla, including those occupied by force.

Mr Sewak Singh, President of the Sikh Students Federation, who was also present, termed Poohla as a rogue responsible for gross violations of human rights and torture of scores of Sikh youths.


Tension over land grab attempt
Our Correspondent

Abohar, March 4
Tension prevails in the Dalit-dominated Ram Dev Nagri area here as the police is reluctant to arrest miscreants who tried to grab the complex on Monday even.

The police had registered a case under Sections 457, 380, 148, 149 and 295 of the IPC against several persons. These included Raj Kumar, alias Raju Kabadia, his wife and sons, Nopa Ram his wife and sons, Reshma Devi etc.

It was alleged in the FIR that these accused armed with sharp-edged weapons ransacked the complex and removed some property from there. Though the police was informed immediately, it arrived after the accused had escaped.

The Tehsildar, Mr M. L. Puri, who visited the locality along with some police officers was expected to submit the report to the Deputy Commissioner today but was relieved under general transfer orders issued by the Financial Commissioner (Revenue).

The authorities could not brief the Press in this regard even after repeated efforts. The managing committee of the temple said Mr Kuldeep Sharma had donated the land for the construction of a shrine seven years ago but certain persons had been trying to grab the complex by force.


Rare coins put on display
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, March 4
Thousands of ancient and rare coins starting from the Magadh period to the present day were displayed in the local Government College by the History Society of the college today.

According to Ms Paramjit Khokhar, Head Department of History, these coins were collected by Mr Sheikh Iftikhar Hussain of Malerkotla and the efforts of Sheikh Sahib were highly appreciated by the visitors.

Ms Harinder Kaur, Principal of the college, said that staff students and particularly the History Society deserved praise for the effort.


PM urged to ensure medicare of Kanshi Ram
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, March 4
The Samta Samaj Party today urged Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to ensure proper treatment of ailing BSP leader Kanshi Ram.

Talking to reporters here today, the convener of the North Zone of the party, Mr Harbhajan Lakha, alleged that the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP President, Ms Mayawati, was not providing proper medicare to Mr Kanshi Ram for obvious reasons.

Making a scathing attack on Ms Mayawati, Mr Lakha, a former MP, alleged that even the family members of Mr Kanshi Ram were not being allowed to meet him.

He urged the Prime Minister to send Mr Kanshi Ram to the USA for treatment on government expenditure.


Industrialisation has hit eco-system
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 4
The rapid development in industrialisation and urbanisation has eroded the eco-system said German Humboldt fellow, Prof (Dr) G. Kost while delivering a lecture on “Fungal diversity and sustainable development” at Guru Nanak Dev University here yesterday.

The lecture was organised by the Department of Botanical and Environment Sciences of the University.

Prof Kost stressed on sustainable utilisation of natural resources and need of taxonomic studies to be done in this direction.

He also spoke about the Indo-German DAAD fellowship programme and said Indian universities should encourage scholars and academicians to participate in collaborative programmes so that national bio-diversity conservation programme could be encouraged.


Seminar on human values
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 4
During a seminar organised at Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya here yesterday, speakers stressed the need for human values.

In a press note issued here today, B.K. Kamlesh in charge of the local unit of the NGO, said modern materialistic culture had given all comforts of life to people, but happiness still evaded them.

Brahmakumar Amir Chand, national vice-chairman, social service wing of the NGO, in his address, said selflessness, true love, compassion and cooperation were the seeds of a successful life. He said human values made life worth living.

Representatives of a large number of NGOs of the city attended the seminar.


Explosion at cop’s house
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, March 4
There was a blast in the house of a Punjab Police Havildar, Mr Ajit Singh Sodhi, in Sangrur last night. Doors, windows and other household goods were damaged. However, no one was injured. The Havildar could not explain the cause of the blast.

Sources said a member of the family felt that their house was shaking. On this, all members of the family woke up and came out of the house. After this, the blast took place.

Mr Sarvjit Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur, and Mr Gurinder Singh Dhillon, SSP, Sangrur, today visited the house. Both officers were of the view that the blast took place due to leakage in an LPG supply pipe. He said the gas accumulated in the kitchen and caught fire due to sparking in the refrigerator lying in the kitchen. He ruled out any type of sabotage in this case.


Punjab Home Guards for poll duty

Chandigarh, March 4
About 15 companies of Punjab Home Guards will be put on election duty in other states, Mr P. Lal, ADGP, Punjab, said today.

The Union Home Ministry had approached the state government for sparing Home Guards for election duty.

Meanwhile, the Finance Department has released Rs 5 crore to pay salaries to Home Guards, who have been without salary for the past three months. — TNS


Hike in sewerage, water charges stayed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana March 4
The Punjab Government has stayed the increase in user charges for water and sewerage in the state, which was given effect in May 2003, for an indefinite period.

The stay in the hike in water supply and sewerage charges has come close on the heels of the one time facility earlier granted by the government to the urban population for the payment of accumulated arrears of water supply and sewerage as well as house tax without interest till March 31, 2004. According to sources in the Local Government Department, Punjab, a notification issued on February 27, 2004, said the revised rates of user charges for water supply and sewerage were to be kept in abeyance till further orders.

With the increase in user charges having been stayed, the urban local bodies (ULB’s) all over Punjab would have to undertake an exhaustive exercise for issuing fresh bills for water supply and sewerage, which were issued twice a year. The bills already raised on revised rates for the second half of the current financial year would have to be cancelled or rectified. It was not yet clear whether the difference in amount of previous and revised rates in bills, which had already been paid by the users, would be subject to adjustment or not.

After water and sewerage bills were issued on revised rates by the Municipal Corporation here on the basis of plot area towards the end of last year, there was a lot of outcry by the people that a large number of bills were inflated and were made out mentioning bigger plot area. The matter was also raised in the general House meeting of the corporation by various councillors and the civic officials had given an assurance on the floor of the House to further improve the billing system and set up special counters for correcting inflated bills.

The increased water and sewerage charges, both for domestic and commercial connections, fixed in accordance with the recommendations made by the Empowered Cabinet Sub-Committee on Fiscal Reforms, were to be based on size of plot for domestic use and flat rate for commercial and industrial connections. Not only this, the rates were to be further increased every year in a phased manner for next five years.

While earlier the corporation here was charging a flat rate of Rs 50 per month for water supply and sewerage services each, the revised rates were Rs 50 per month each for water supply and sewerage for a five marla house, Rs 75 for houses up to 10 marla and Rs 100 for plot size up to one kanal. For houses built on plot size beyond one kanal, only metered supply was being provided. A provision had also been laid down for annual increase in a phased manner for a period of five years and by 2007-2008, the domestic consumers were to pay Rs 100, Rs 105 and Rs 140 per month each for water and sewerage, depending on the area of the house.


Eunuchs held for castrating youths
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, March 4
Mr M.F. Farooqui, SSP, said here today that the local police had busted an inter-state racket of eunuchs involved in forcibly castrating youths. The castrated persons were “sold” at handsome prices.

The police has arrested two eunuchs namely Hasina and Pammi of Rahon under Sections 367, 326 and 34, IPC, on a complaint of Gur Iqbal Singh.

Gur Iqbal, alias Sonu (22), who was an artiste, alleged that Hasina and Pammi had castrated him after giving him some intoxicant at the residence of Hasina. When he regained consciousness he found himself at the dera of Rajni in Una. Hasina, Pammi and Pamma, a disciple of Rajni, were present there.

Hasina and Pammi allegedly sold him to Rajni for Rs 2 lakh, said Gur Iqbal, adding that when he tried to flee from the dera he was taken to a police station.

At the press conference, the SSP presented another youth Sudhir Kumar, alias Chander Kanta, of Phagwara. Sudhir alleged that Kirna of Phagwara took him to Saharanpur where he was administered female hormones injections. Sudhir was later allegedly sold to Bobby of Moga.

Another “eunuch” Sanjiv Kumar, alias Kajal (21), of nearby town Rahon also narrated his tale of woe. He alleged that he was “kidnapped” by Pammi of Rahon about 11 years ago and he was castrated three years ago. He alleged that he was sold for Rs 70,000 to mahants of Talwara about six years ago then to mahants of Nadaun and then to Bimla of Nurmahal for Rs 1 lakh. He alleged that Bimla even tried to kill him.


Firearms recovered from choe bed
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, March 4
The CIA staff recovered firearms and explosive material from the bed of a choe at Nanga Isher, 22 km from here, last night.

According to police sources, 70 detonators, one stick bomb, five timers, 5 country-made bombs, 3 single barrel .12 bore guns and one .303 revolver had been recovered. The sources said some terrorist outfits had hidden the firearms and explosive material during militancy period in Punjab.

They said terrorists Surinder Malewal and Iqbal Bagha were active in the area during militancy in Punjab.


Kidnapped boy got freed
Our Correspondent

Batala, March 4
Six-year-old Prince Pal, son of late Ajit Singh of Kotli Surat Malhi village, who was kidnapped on February 24, has been traced. Disclosing this, Batala district police chief Ram Singh, told mediapersons here today that a police party headed by Mr Param Pal Singh and Mr Ranbir Singh raided the house of Daljit Singh of Khoja Khera village in Sirsa district, Haryana, and got the child freed. The kidnapper is a close relative of the family of late Ajit Singh, he added.

Prince Pal was handed over to his mother, Ms Raj Kaur.


Mother-in-law booked
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, March 4
A case for setting ablaze a woman by her mother-in-law at Datarpur village was reported in Hajipur police station of this district yesterday.

Saroj Sharma, wife of Ashvani Kumar of Datarpur, alleged in her complaint that Binso Devi, her mother-in-law, sprinkled kerosene on her on March 2 night and set her on fire. She sustained burn injuries.

The police has registered a case under Section 307, IPC, against Binso Devi.


10 bags of poppy husk seized

Moga, March 4
Sukhwant Singh has been arrested for his alleged involvement in smuggling of narcotics.

Mr M.S. Chinna, SSP, said today that two associates of Sukhwant Singh, who had been identified as Ranjit Singh and Jassa Singh, escaped when a police party put up a naka to catch them while they were bringing the poppy husk from Rajasthan.

He said 10 bags of poppy husk, weighing 35 kg each, had been seized. A case under the NDPS Act has been registered. — TNS


Man booked for sodomy
Our Correspondent

Abohar, March 4
The police has booked Ravinder, an employee at the Rural Waterworks, Jandwala Handwanta village, under Section 377, IPC, for allegedly sodomising a 13-year-old mentally retarded boy.

Ravinder had allegedly taken the boy to a school building on some pretext. The victim has been hospitalised and the miscreant was missing the police said today.


Afghan youth arrested
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 4
The Border Security Force has nabbed Avaidullah (20), a resident of Kabul, who was trying to sneak into India from the Ramdass sector on Tudesday evening.

The BSF handed over the accused to the police which has registered a case on the complaint of company commander Diwan Singh under Section 3/34/20 of the Indian Passport Act at Ramdass police station.


1 held with smack
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, March 4
The local police today arrested Daljit Singh of local Udham Singh Nagar and seized from him 250 gram of smack. DSP Jaspal Singh said in a press note that Daljit Singh was arrested by a patrolling party in Dhillon Nagar, Satnampura, and booked under Sections 21, 16 and 85 of the NDPS Act.


Students boycott exams, allege leak of paper
Tribune News Service

Mansa, March 4
Students of Class XI (Commerce) of Government Senior Secondary School here today boycotted annual math examination to lodge their protest against the “misdeeds” of a teacher of the school.

Official sources said the students earlier boycotted the same examination on February 26 after it was found that the teacher, who was giving tuition, had allegedly leaked the question paper to students who were attending his tuition classes.

When the students protested against the paper leak, the teacher started “harassing” them. After this all students, including those who were taking tuition, had decided to boycott the examination. The students also lodged a complaint with Ms Bhupinder Kaur, Principal.

The students demanded an action against the teacher. They also tried to meet the Deputy Commissioner and the District Education Officer.

The Principal admitted that the teacher had been “harassing” the students.

She said she was trying to solve the matter at her own level. She said even some senior lecturers condemned the action of the teacher.


Consortium of engineers launched
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, March 4
The DAV Institute of Engineering and Technology today launched the Consortium of electrical and electronics Engineers here.

The consortium was formally launched by the General Manager (Telecom), Mr K.C. Jindal, on the institute premises. Later, engineering students of the college participated in technical paper presentation, technical poster-making contest and debate over “Who is the winner? CDMA or GSM technology”.

The Principal of the institute, Mr C.L. Kochher, in his address said the consortium would set as a platform for the budding engineers to enhance their presentation skills. “We are of the view that the students must realise the importance of competitiveness in the present global context. They should, besides being imparted traditional technical education, should be given exposure in dealing with the practical problems by interacting with the experienced industrial and services professionals,” he said, adding that this would enhance their chances of getting better jobs in this global era.


Technical poster-making contest: Rajat Bansal, Rachit Jain and Varun Diwan — Ist; Manpreet Singh and Charanjit Singh — IInd and Rahul Sharda and Himanshu Wadhwa — IIIrd.

Cross talk: Rahul Sharda and Baneesh Baswesh — Ist and Prince Jain and Shilpa Puri — IInd

Technical paper presentation: Megha Gupta and Tanushree Sood — Ist; Puneet and Kulpreet — IInd and Rachit Jain and Rajat Bansal.


Need for more science festivals stressed
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, March 4
Professor Bhajan Lal of Ch. Devi Lal Institute of Engineering, Sirsa, has laid stress on holding science festivals on regular basis to explore talent more effectively in the country.

Mr Bhajan Lal, who alongwith a group of students, had arrived to attend Scintilla-2004, a technical Spark organised by the Adesh Institute of Engineering and Technology Machakikalan, 10 km from here, yesterday said such festivals helped the participants develop human values. Mrs Monila Arora, a lecturer from Bhai Maha Singh College of Engineering, Muktsar said such festivals generated opportunities to develop the personality of the participants. More than 400 students accompanied by their teachers from 19 colleges from Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Punjab took part in the Scintilla.

Earlier, speaking at the festival, Mr V.K. Sood, Principal of Adesh Institute, said the festival had given students the opportunity to learn new things from each other.


Strike against attack on student
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 4
Government Medical College students today went on a strike following an attack on a final-year student by some junior students of the college who along with some armed outsiders allegedly fired into the air and injured Gagandeep Ghuman here last evening.

According to information, Gagandeep Ghuman, a student of old final (IIIrd profession), had tried to stop the juniors students of new final (IInd profession) on March 2 from ragging first year students for which he was attacked.

The junior students allegedly beat up the Gagandeep Ghuman and later fired into the air. The attackers have been identified as Gagandeep Sharma, Ankush Goyal, Rohit Goyal, Rajiv Jain, Jasdeep Singh Bedi, Jagdeep Basra, Manish Gupta and some outsiders. Gagandeep Ghuman has been admitted to Civil Hospital.

The police has rounded up Gagandeep Sharma, Dr P.S. Bedi, Principal of the college told this correspondent. He said an enquiry committee, including Dr A.S. Padda, Dr B.B. Goyel and Dr Amarjit Singh, hostel Superintendent, has been constituted in this regard.

The striking students sought the registration of a case against the guilty students. The students alleged that the Medical Students Association was playing a negative role in the episode.

However, Mr Ravinder Singh, president of the association, refuted the allegation.


Seminar on Yashpal’s novels concludes
Our Correspondent

Patiala, March 4
A two-day national seminar on ‘The Novels of Yashpal’ organised by the Department of Hindi, Punjabi University, concluded with former Principal Secretary for Higher Education and Language N.S Rattan presiding over the function.

Speaking on the occasion Sahitya Ackademi award- winner Giri Raj Kishore talked of his close association with Yashpal and underlined the objective approach of the writer towards his writings.

Sharing his own views, the convener of the seminar, Dr Chaman Lal, emphasised on the stronger aspects of Yashpal’s novels which, according to him were his rational approach, depiction of Partition sufferings and democratic views on women.”

Prof J.M Parikh from IGNOU, Prof Pardeep Saxena AMU and Dr Gyan Chand Sharma made presentations on the theme of “Historic and rational vision in the novels of Yashpal.

Mr Anand, son of Mr Yashpal, talked of contemporary programmes on Yashpal held all over the country. The Dean, Faculty of Languages, Dr Ranjit Kaur Kapoor, presented a vote of thanks.


Lecture on bio-ethics and Sikhism
Our Correspondent

Patiala, March 4
The Department of Philosophy, Punjabi University, organised a lecture on “Bio-Ethics and Sikhism” by Dr Surjit Kaur Chahal of the University of Pune as part of the 400th Parkash Utsav celebrations of Guru Granth Sahib series here today.

Prof Param Bakhshish Singh said spirituality was the main thrust of Sikhism. Dr Gursharan Singh Sandhu, Head of the Philosophy Department, the Vice-Chancellor, Mr Swarn Singh Boparai, Dr Harpal Singh Pannu, Dr Bikram Singh and Prof Nirmal Singh Azad also spoke.

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