|P U N J A B||
Tuesday, December 28, 1999
expand ministry on Dec 31
Revamp farm sector: Manmohan
Dogra ridicules DGP's defence
Artistes mesmerise crowd
Villages face threat from Ravi
London doc dupes
Students release ordered
Waiting for an end to hijack drama
Petrol station owner injured,
Badal may expand ministry on
CHANDIGARH, Dec 27 The expansion of the Punjab Ministry may take place on December 31. Political sources in the ruling Akali Dal here said that Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had indicated to his confidants that the ministry would be expanded by December-end. In fact, a quiet message has gone to Raj Bhavan too. Mr Badal today met the Governor, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd). He came straight from the Fatehgarh Sahib conference and met the Governor.
Given the falling graph of the government, Mr Badal's strategy is twofold. One, he has to ensure that the government is stable politically and two, the expansion lends good image and cohesiveness to the working of the government. For the first time, Mr Badal has to satisfy at least 60-odd MLAs, more than one half of the total MLAs of the ruling combine. Official sources here pointed out that if Mr Badal added two from the BJP, he would bring at least 10 from his own party. He could take the number even to 14. He would accommodate more MLAs as Chairmen of boards and corporations. Sadly for Mr Badal, there are not many posts available for any accommodation. "If Mr Badal has his way, he can appoint as many as 20 as Chairmen", one senior officer said.
Some Parliamentary Secretaries, too, could be added. Mr Badal would like to give representation to all sections and also reward talent. "He would like to have those who can really perform as the fiscal crisis warrant ministers who could lead from the front. Since not more than two years are left for the next Assembly poll, Mr Badal is keen that the agenda for development and good governance should take a real shape. He was also expecting the fiscal situation to improve", one senior Akali leader pointed out. Mr Badal was also working hard with an eye on the Nawanshahr assembly byelection, he added.
The expansion would have good impact on the byelection and if the Akali Dal is able to snatch this seat from the Congress, it could see some turnaround in its fortunes. Mr Badal has visited the area at least four times and announced a number of development plans, besides helping out influential people. He has shifted the Nawanshahr SDM to give thrust to development.
But Akali Dal sources said that Mr Badal's job would still be ticklish. There was pressure from many sides. From the Majha area, the name of Mr Adesh Partap Singh Kairon, Mr Badal's son-in-law, is also being pushed forward. But at this juncture when Mr Badal wants to strengthen his hold over the party and the MLAs, he may not do this to avoid criticism. But pressure is very heavy. Even though his brother's, son, Mr Manpreet Singh Badal, MLA from Gidderbaha, is rated high in the political and administrative circles for his sober and a matter-of-fact approach and commitment to development, he too may not be considered. It is learnt that Mr Badal may promote some Ministers of State to Cabinet rank. It has to be an exercise in presenting a better image otherwise the government would invite criticisms for adding a big burden on the depleted exchequer. A minister costs roughly Rs 1 lakh a month.
After the expansion, Mr Badal would target MLAs like Mr Baldev Singh Khiala and Mr Ranjit Singh Chajalwadi. They are two senior MLAs on the hit list of the Badal camp. Mr Balwinder Singh Bhunder, a Rajya Sabha member from Mansa district, is pressing hard to throw out Mr Khiala as he is his main rival in that area. But Mr Badal has so far been just listening to the complaints from Mr Bhunder and others. Now he seems to have made up his mind. If Mr Badal takes this decision, he would add two more to the tally of his vocal critics.
But Mr Badal would still
dangle the carrot of further expansion in front of the
disgruntled elements. He may not oblige the BJP by giving
them important portfolios. The Akalis feel cheated the
way Union Cabinet Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa has been
treated by the BJP. He has been given an insignificant
portfolio of Urban Employment.
Akalis deride each other at Jor
FATEHGARH SAHIB, Dec 27 The historic Jor Mela held here to commemorate the martyrdom of the two sons of Guru Gobind Singh saw Akalis do what they are best in deriding each other.
While the ruling group, led by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, was more sophisticated in its criticism except for a brief tirade by party disciplinary committee member Jagdev Singh Talwandi, the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) flayed the Chief Minister and his family.
While Mr Tohra twisted history to compare Mr Badal with Wazir Khan who had ordered the execution of the two Sahibzadas, Bhai Ranjit Singh referred to the Chief Minister as Suba Sirhind. Both camps used history to show each other in poor light.
While referring to the tragedy in which the Sahibzadas were bricked alive, Bhai Ranjit Singh said the Chief Minister was being surrounded by walls of greed. The former SGPC chief said Mr Badal had changed the entire philosophy of the party to make it family-centric. He said all Sikh traditions had been violated to attack Akal Takht. He said now it was for the people to decide on who was better.
The same thing was being said at the SAD stage. The Chief Minister narrated the "greed" of the former SGPC chief.
Mr Talwandi was the most vocal. Uttering a few derogatory words, he also asked the people why they allowed the former SGPC chief to enter Sirhind and address a congregation here. Minister Gurdev Singh Badal said Mr Tohra was now not even interested in referring to the Congress while he earlier spewed venom on it.
The Chief Minister narrated the entire sequence of events leading to the split in the party. He said "hang us if we are wrong but at least recognise them for what they are". The Chief Minister admitted that his party had suffered due to the SHSAD in the parliamentary elections.
Surinder Bhardwaj, Our Correspondent, adds: Capt Amarinder Singh, President, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, while addressing a political conference of his party at Shaheedi Jor Mela today demanded the immediate imposition of an emergency in the state because the financial position was going out of control. He said the state was under the debt of Rs 2,300 crore and an instalment of Rs 260 crore was made as interest of the loan. He said at present 65 per cent of the amount was spent on salaries and 35 per cent on development. He said if this continued than there would be no amount for salaries and development.
He stated that a delegation of MPs and other party officials would present a memorandum to the President in this regard. He alleged mismanagement on the part of the government was basically responsible for the present plight of the state. He further said the situation had come to such a point that state guest houses, rest houses and primary lands were being sold to those close to ministers.
He said a notice had been given by the government to auction 305 acres in the state which included 72 acres of Punjab Agricultural University. He warned that the Congress would not remain silent because the land did not belong to SAD.
He demanded a CBI inquiry on the spending of Rs 400 crore in Faridkot on waterlogging. He said just to benefit his family and big landlords free electricity facility had been provided, whereas poor farmers had been deprived of the benefit.
He declared that his party would approach the high court if the present set-up of samiti elections was changed according to the convenience of the government.
Factionalism came to the fore at the conference when workers of the Congress Sewa Dal were not allowed to go on the dais. Capt Amarinder Singh was gheraoed by the dal workers.
Revamp farm sector: Manmohan
AMRITSAR, Dec 27 Dr Manmohan Singh, a former Union Finance Minister, while inaugurating the three-day 82nd annual conference of the Indian Economic Association here today, stressed upon the five major problems which need to be redressed for the economic development of the country in an era of globalisation. He pointed out that the first and foremost problem facing the country was to deal with poverty, ignorance and disease which was affecting the country.
The inaugural session of this conference was held today at Dashmesh auditorium of Guru Nanak Dev University and is being hosted by the varsitys Punjab School of Economics on the eve of its silver jubilee.
Dr Manmohan Singh said there was dire need to end exploitation of poor sections of society. The agriculture sector, he said, should be restructured in such a way that the present developing social tensions were removed.
He emphasised that the country was today facing a fiscal deficit at the Central and state levels, especially revenue deficit which was becoming unsustainable. Tax administration was deteriorating and there was mismanagement in the public sector services.
He called for upgradation of the financial system like banking and capital market. The problem of non-performing assets had to be dealt with.
Lt-Gen J.F.R Jacob, PVSM (retd), Governor of Punjab, who was the chief guest, congratulated the faculty of the Punjab School of Economics on its silver jubilee and said their contribution in the field of Punjab economy was commendable.
The Governor said the wage goods and basic needs models were originally developed in the fifties. Yet the revival of these models after about 44 years indicated the growing concern for the poor and underprivileged. The wage goods model has to be integrated with the process of economic reforms to ensure globalisation with a human face.
Issues of social choice, social justice and distribution highlighted the concerns about the growing inequalities and the need for progressively reducing the widening economic gap.
At this conference, the Financial Express Award for Economics-1999 was presented to Dr S.S. Minhas for his commendable contribution in the field of agriculture economics.
Lt-Gen Jacob presented him with a citation along with prize money of Rs 50,000. Dr Minhas is a distinguished social scientist, an econometrician of distinction and a teacher and researcher par excellence.
Prof Ajit Kumar Sinha, President of the Indian Economic Association, in his presidential address on "Organised crime and political economy of development the Indian panorama", highlighted that it was time to evaluate the political economy of development with more pragmatic considerations to identify the measures to break the vicious circles of crime.
It was time to create mass awareness against the crime syndicates. A crusade for moral regeneration for change is the need of the hour.
Dr H.S. Soch, Vice-Chancellor, hoped that the special session on Punjab economy would delineate the alternatives for the policy makers to meet the emerging challenges of the state successfully.
Lt-Gen Jacob also released a book, "Punjab economy: emerging issues", written jointly by Dr R S Bawa and Prof P S Raikhy and published by the university.
The Governor honoured Dr Manmohan Singh, Dr B S Minhas, Dr Ajit Kumar Sinha, President, IEC, Dr H.K. Manmohan Singh, former Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala, and other past presidents of the IEC.
Dogra ridicules DGP's defence
CHANDIGARH, Dec 27 While the Punjab Police chief, Mr Sarabjit Singh, has vehemently defended the handling of the situation at Raja Sansi Airport in Amritsar on December 24, the day the hijacked plane landed there, his former boss, Mr P.C. Dogra, has ridiculed the defence.
"The handling of the situation was not only unprofessional and inadequate but also devoid of any thought process," former Punjab Police chief, Mr P.C. Dogra said here today while commenting on the handling of the situation at Amritsar.
Mr Dogra said it was rather shocking that when the lives of 189 passengers and the honour and prestige of the nation were at stake the situation was left to be handled at the district level.
Mr Dogra is the second former Punjab Police chief to say it. Earlier, former DGP KPS Gill had made identical remarks about the handling of the situation. However, Mr Dogra has gone a few steps further by questioning the role of DGP Sarabjit Singh and other senior officers of the Punjab Government vis-a-vis the situation at Amritsar.
Mr Dogra said mainly the Deputy Commissioner and the Senior Superintendent of Police with Mr J.P. Birdi, who was no more IGP of the border range, were handling the situation at Amritsar. There was a state-level crisis management group consisting of the Chief Secretary, the Secretary (Home), the DGP and the intelligence head. "Why was this group not activated," Mr Dogra asked.
The state police was informed about the hijacking at 5 p.m. The plane landed at Rajasansi airport at 7 p.m. and took off after 40 minutes. There was enough time for the state machinery to react. Two aircraft were available with the state but what was the DGP of the state doing? He was at his headquarters in Chandigarh. Why did he not rush to Amritsar along with the intelligence chief. Why was the situation left to be handled at the level of the district administration along with the IGP Commando?
Border gaps put BSF on alert
SHAMEKE (Ferozepore), Dec 27 At least four gaps caused by the Sutlej river and creeks along the sensitive Indo-Pakistan border in the district are keeping the Border Security Force (BSF) on its toes.
Although the fencing along the border has prevented major intrusions from Pakistan, the BSF is being extra vigilant near these prospective trouble spots.
A day-long tour along the Basti Ram Lal-Hussainiwala section of the border revealed that the river and creeks have caused almost 150 square yard-wide gaps in four pockets, which are being guarded by special motor boats manned by the BSF personnel.
Despite the inability of the BSF to fence the areas divided by water, barbed wires have been installed from one bank to the other near Mohamdiwala, Kassoke, and Shameke posts. While the gaps noticed in Mohamdiwala and Basti Ram Lal have been caused by the Sutlej river, those in the Shameke and Kassoke areas have been widened by the creeks.
Apart from lights installed near these spots to monitor movements during nights, the BSF jawans are manning the area with the help of seven motor boats. Even as the intelligence agencies and the Punjab police are quick to attribute some recent intrusions to these gaps, the officiating BSF DIG, Mr Balbir Singh, rules out laxity on their part.
"Keeping all possibilities in mind, we have made the best arrangements, he quipped. Though a KCF (Khalistan Commando Force) militant Charanjeet Singh, held in August, had claimed that he had infiltrated through the gap in Mohamdiwala, Mr Balbir Singh rejected the claim by saying, "He may have infiltrated through Nepal. The intruders have a tendency to conceal the actual place of intrusion during interrogation", he added.
The task of manning the gaps caused by the river is more difficult than the stretch of land that is adequately fenced.
Zero visibility during evenings and early mornings adds to the problem. This has prompted the BSF to string bells which are tied around the neck of the bulls, near the fencing. "This was necessitated to keep a check on unwanted movement during fog. These bells alert our jawans, with anyone coming in their contact", Mr Balbir Singh said.
Artistes mesmerise crowd
JALANDHAR, Dec 27The Shree Baba Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan, concluded at Devi Talaab Mandir here yesterday with the scintillating performances by Salil Bhatt, Tarun Bhattacharya, Shubha Maudgil and Pandit Jasraj among others.
The annual musical rendezvous has been an annual feature and a great source of inspiration for classical music enthusiasts, who come here every year to relish the rich feast of classical music.
The gala event took off with Fakhrudin Dhaulpuri elaborating various intricacies of "Raag Madhuwanti" on his saarangi. Mehmood Dhaulpuri, on harmonium and Jai Dev on tabla gave "sangeet" and the trio created magic.
Salil Bhatt, son of Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, on mohan veena alongwith Vijay Ghate on tabla, also chose "Raag Madhuwanti" for their performance.
As the evening progressed vocalist L.G. Tiwari, presented "Raag Hansdhamani" studded with "door kheran mat jaa", a "bandish". After presenting "Raag Madhukali", he concluded his performance with a bhajan.
It was Parbhakar Karekar, who changed the mood of the audience towards romanticism when he came out with a colourful "bandish" lal rang hori kheroon" in "Raag Maaru Bihag". His performance was able to depict the colourful ambience of the splashing colours and the Holi. The mood then transcended to a spiritual firmament with Karekar singing, "aye mann tune ram nijhana re" and unfolding the "bhakti ras" layer enshrined in the raag.
Those who were there to enjoy the instrumental music did not go disappointed as Tarun Bhattacharya, the santoor maestro, was there to mesmerise them when the disciple of Pt Ravi Shankar experimented with "Raag Raageshwari" on his instrument.
Bhattacharya, who is one of the few select performers who have performed at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in the presence of Prince Charles. The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, was also present. Abhijit gave a discreet and a rich "Allarakha-Zakir Hussain jugalbandi" for another half an hour.
Eminent vocalist Shubha Mudgil was also equally impressive when she presented "aye sagun bhajo aaj meri... piharwa mora aao re" and "chunria aa de re more sajan" in "Raag Jog Kauns". A disciple of Ramashrya Jha, Mudgil was assisted by Mithilesh Jha of "Banaras Gharana".
The wait for Pandit Jasraj came to an end when he adorned the stage around 2 a.m. and devoted most of his performance to spiritualism. "Kal na parate unke dekhe bina", a "Bilambat Khayal " and later a "Drut Khayal", "aaj to aaye puran brahm" in "Raag Aheer Bhairav" and a number of Bhajan like, "lal gopal...bhaj govindam. ...hare murare". He wrapped up his performance with a tribute to "Raag Basant", when he sang, " Aur Raaga Sab Bane Baratee, Dulha Raag Basant," towards the conclusion.
Mr Parkash Singh Badal, paid his obeisance to Goddess Saraswati and said he was fortunate having attended the function. He announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh to the organisers of the sammelan.
Earlier, a classical ambience with a touch of spirituality was created at the outset when students of the local Hans Raj Mahila Vidalaya opened the function on Saturday with "Saraswati vandana".
This was followed by performance of "Raag Pat Deep" by Vanita on the sitar. She was accompanied on the tabla by Jaidev, who did full justice. Mahmood Dhaulpuri, a harmonium player, was virtually at his best when he gave sangat to vocalist Rattan Mohan Sharma, a disciple of Pt Jasraj.
Manu Seen, a sitarist and son of Lakshman Seen who is a "gur bhai" of Ustaad Alla Rakha Khan, set the mood of the gathering with his magical performance of Raag Madhuwanti and later a beautiful "bandish" in Raag Khamaj. And what turned out to be a feast for the ears of the listeners was the equally good effort made by tabla player Pawan of the Punjab gharana.
Parkash Sangeet laid stress on spiritualism and came out with a few bhajans. "Santo karam ki gat niyari", was the most well received performance as it was adorned with a good amount of "alaaps". He was accompanied by Mehmood Dhaulpuri on the harmonium and on the tabla by Abhijit Banerjee.
Ronu Majumdar, one of the best young flutists of the country and a disciple of Pt Vijay Raghavi, played with a meticulous perfection.
Ustaad Rashid Khan of
the Rampur Sehaswan "gharana" and a disciple of
Ustaad Nasir Khan gave a chance to audience to get
acquainted with lesser known raags like Jog, Bhag, Desh
and Bahar. He was accompanied on harmonium by Mehmood
Dhaulpuri. Towards the end, sarod player Sharan Rani
played "Raag Darbari" and Raag Chander Andan.
She was accompanied by Ustaad Shafqat Ahmed Khan on the
tabla and Pandit Radhe Shyam on the pakhawaj.
A swami in the Guinness
ABOHAR: The Guinnees Book of World Records (Millennium edition) has hailed an Indian sadhu, Pramukh Swami Maharaj, as a master builder in its section entitled "Knowledge" under subsection "Architects and Master builders".
It says the Swaminarayan Temple at Neasden, London, is the largest Hindu temple outside India. It was built by Pramukh Swami Maharaj (79), and "is made of 2,828 tonnes of Bulgarian limestone and 2000 tonnes of Italian marble, which was first shipped to India and carved by a team of 1526 sculptors".
As it is a collectors item, a staggering 2.7 million copies of the millennium edition have been printed this year, making it the largest initial print run of a colour illustrated non-fiction book. The English edition will go to 70 different countries with 22 editions in foreign languages, a press note said.
Swami Atmaswarup, who is in charge of the temple, told this reporter during his recent visit to Himmatnagar (Gujarat) that this was the first traditional Hindu temple in Europe carved and constructed according to the ancient "shilpa shastras". No steel was used.
In all, 26,300 pieces carved in India, including intricate ceilings of Ambaji marble, were finally assembled like a giant jigsaw within three years. It was a miracle in the modern era done by over 1,000 volunteers and the vision of Swami Maharaj, the fifth spiritual successor of Lord Swaminarayan. The Lord was born on April 3,1781, in the village of Chhapaiya near Ayodhya. In a short span of 49 years he glorified spiritual values and founded the Swaminarayan faith.
Swami Atmaswarup said after two centuries now the Swaminarayan faith, also known as Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushotam Sanstha, had grown into a worldwide movement with over 1750 centres, 1550 youth fora 2500 child fora and a million followers. In UK alone it has reached out to more than 5,000 families. Visitors to the temple include members of the Royal family and Michael Jackson. Youths preferred to celebrate New Years Eve at the temple than going to discos, etc.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj
was born at Chansad village, 12 km from Vadodara, in
Gujarat, on December 7,1921. Known as Shanti Lal in his
childhood, his parents were strict adherents of Akshar
Purushotam Sanstha. While studying in class VI, he
received a call to renounce worldly things. He left home
at the age of 17 and was initiated by Shastri Maharaj in
November 1939. From 1946-1950 he was in charge of the
temple at Sarangpur.
Villages face threat from Ravi
GURDASPUR, Dec 27 As many as 400 acres at Toor, a border village across the Ravi, has been washed away due to lack of flood protection measures taken by the Punjab Government. The threat of further erosion continues to exist.
Mr Karnail Singh, sarpanch of the village, while talking to mediapersons said more than 16,00 acres of Mamke, Rajibeli, Nikka and Majwal villages had already been washed away by the Ravi. Almost no population and houses exist in these villages. Villagers have migrated to safer places.
The sarpanch said Mammi Chakranga village was washed away during the past two years. The villagers have shifted to Behrampur.
The Drainage Department has completed a few flood protection measures which only checked further erosion to a limited extent. Drainage experts are of the opinion that some spurs and studs will have to be built to solve the problem. But this will involve an expenditure of a few crores of rupees which the present government does not appear to be in a mood to sanction, he said.
He said if additional flood-protection measures near Bharial were not strengthened the population of Toor and Kooker will be in danger.
He further said roads in the area were broken, Toor village had a dispensary which was rarely visited by a doctor, he added. Primary school in the area has a one-room building which leaks and is without boundary walls. Moreover, teachers posted here rarely attend to their duty.
Mr Karnail Singh demanded a temporary bridge on the Ravi opposite Bharial so that the villagers could have closer contacts with the district.
Mr Tarsem Singh, sarpanch of another village said bus services on the link routes in the area had been given to private bus operators, which had invited resentment.
He said buildings of primary schools in the area were in a dilapidated state.
administration got a survey conducted of villages falling
beyond the border fence and across the Ravi. A blue-print
of the problems showing expenditure for their solution
was also published to be implemented in phases, but
nothing concrete had been done so far.
London doc dupes
LUDHIANA, Dec 27 The lure of foreign lands has resulted in around 10 city residents losing their lifes savings to one Gurdeep Singh, who allegedly duped these people of lakhs by fleecing them on the promise of taking them abroad.
According to sources, Gurdeep Singh, who claimed to be an eye surgeon in London, United Kingdom (UK), was staying in a rented accommodation in Rajguru Nagar for the past about two months. He claimed that he was also into shirts manufacturing business in the UK and was in India to seek a match for his son and daughter.
Says an angry Harnek Singh, who runs a dairy in Threeke village and has been allegedly duped of almost Rs 1,50,000. "Gurdeep Singh started visiting my dairy two months ago and in the course of a few days became almost like a family member. He, then, proposed a marriage alliance for his daughter with my son, to which we agreed as he seemed a nice man and was also willing to help my son settle abroad."
In due course, Gurdeep Singh gained the confidence of Harneks family and then asked them to pay him Rs 1.5 lakh Rs 1 lakh for exchanging pounds and Rs 50,000 for buying an air ticket.
The family paid the money on December 6 and Gurdeep Singh promised to take their son along with him to London on December 21. However, Gurdeep Singh suddenly disappeared on December 15 with the money.
In another case, Gurdeep Singh allegedly duped Kanwal Nain Singh, a resident of Rajgurunagar, of Rs 36,000. Gurdeep Singh went to his house without any prior introduction on December 5, and said that he was impressed by Mr Kanwal Nains son, whom he had seen doing sewa in a gurdwara.
Gurdeep Singh impressed the family by narrating tales of his "success" in England. He told them that he could have taken their son along to the UK if he had a passport. On learning that the boy had a passport, he allegedly asked Mr Kanwal Nain to pay Rs 40,000 for procuring his sons visa. After the family made the payment on December 12, they were not contacted by Gurdeep Singh. It was only after three to four days that they realised that they had been defrauded.
A resident of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, who wished to remain anonymous, alleged that Gurdeep Singh had taken away Rs 2 lakh from him on the promise of taking him to England and making him a partner in his manufacturing business.
Gurdeep Singh has also allegedly duped two bank employees of Rs 2.5 lakh each, his landlord of around Rs 50,000 and a few other people from Threeke village and Jagraon.
Mr Harnek Singh of Threeke village told this correspondent that Gurdeep Singh had also chosen a girl from Narangwal village as his sons bride and had tried to persuade her parents to send the girl with him. Luckily, the girls parents did not agree to the proposal.
However, none of the victims has so far registered a complaint with the police.
Interestingly, the modus
operandi of Gurdeep Singh in all cases was the same. He
promised to take all aspirants on a foreign trip being
organised by either Thomas Cook Travel Company, Sita
Travels or the SOTC. Since these companies required fixed
deposits and some specific area of land in the name of
the tourist, Gurdeep Singh would try to win their trust
by forging his own FDs and the farad of his
land in their name (He had told all victims that he had
Rs 60 lakh as fixed deposits and another 30 acres of land
in Jamalpur.) He also impressed upon all his victims the
need for secrecy and cautioned them against discussing
the matter with anyone else.
Students release ordered
ROPAR, Dec 27 A local court today issued release orders for the release of 79 ETT students and other persons who were arrested following a lathi charge on the students of District Institutes of Education and Training, and Unemployed ETT students on December 18 here.
Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SSP, said the release orders were issued on the request of the police and the same had been sent to the Central Jail, Patiala, for the release of 79 students.
The association of the DIET students had submitted an application to the police the previous day claiming that the arrested students were innocent. On the basis of application, the DSP (headquarters) held an inquiry. In view of the inquiry report, the police requested the court to issued release orders for them.
Meanwhile, the students of the local DIET and members of the Unemployed ETT Teachers Union today staged a dharna and held a rally in front of the DIET building here.
Students leaders warned the government that their agitation would continue till the scrapping of the Sikhia Karmi scheme.
A joint meeting of DIET
Students Welfare Association and Unemployed ETT Teachers
Union will be held at Jagraon on December 29 to discuss a
solid programme to get the scheme scrapped. Besides, next
programme for the agitation will also be chalked out
Waiting for an end to hijack
LUDHIANA, Dec 27 Anguish writ large on her face and her lips murmuring the "shlokas" of Mahamantar Navekar," Mrs Mamta Jain, wife of Anand Jain the only city resident on board the hijacked IA plane, is desperately waiting for the safe return of her husband and an early end to the hijack drama.
Life has suddenly come to a halt for the Jain family comprising Anand Jains mother, Shanta Jain, his brother, Ravish, his two children, Chinoon (2) and Pranav (eight months) and his uncle, Ajit Jains family. Day and night the family sits glued to their television set.
Anand Jain, who is a shawl trader, had gone to Nepal on a business trip on December 19. He had called up his family on December 23 and informed them that he would be returning the next day. When the family heard the news of hijacking on December 24, they were not sure whether he was aboard the hijacked plane, a fact they later on confirmed with their business associates in Kathmandu.
"We are praying for the safe return of not just our son, but the sons of all mothers, husbands of all wives," says Mrs Shanta Jain.
Lala Lajpat Rai, member
of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, who visited the family of
Anand Jain today, assured the family that the entire
nation was with them and that appropriate steps would be
taken by the government for the safe return of passengers
aboard the plane.
Sharmas death condoled
CHANDIGARH, Dec 27 Punjab Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, today expressed his grief and sorrow over the demise of former President of India, Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma.
Haryana Governor Mahavir Prasad, Chief Minister, Om Prakash Chautala, Chief of the HPCC, Bhupinder Singh Hooda and former Deputy Prime Minister and INLD president Devi Lal have, in separate messages, expressed grief over the demise of former President Shankar Dayal Sharma.
Petrol station owner injured,
JALANDHAR, Dec 27 Three unidentified persons armed with a sword injured and robbed a petrol station owner of Rs 1.60 lakh near Chichoolwal village on the Nawanshahar-Phillaur road today.
According to sources, Harmesh Lal, owner of a petrol station at Lasara village near Phillaur, was going on his motor cycle to deposit the cash when the robbers, standing on the roadside near Chichoolwal, signalled him to stop. As soon as he stopped his vehicle. They attacked him with a sword and injured him before taking away the cash from the dickey of the motor cycle. Harmesh was later admitted to hospital.
Scribes father cremated
ROPAR, Dec 27 Sewa Singh Walia, father of Mr Varinder Walia, a Senior Staff Correspondent of The Tribune posted at Amritsar, was cremated today at Kalwan village (near Nurpur Bedi), about 35 km from here. He died at Amritsar yesterday.
Mr Narinder Pal Singh Walia, elder son of the deceased, lit the funeral pyre in the presence of a large number of persons, including mediapersons and officers from the Punjab Public Relations Department.
Wreaths were laid on the body on behalf of Punjab Public Relations Minister, the Secretary and Director of Public Relations Department, Punjab, by Mr Gurmeet Singh Khangura, District Public Relations Officer, Ropar. Shawls were also placed on the body by the District Working Journalists Association and District Public Relations Office, Ropar. Mr B.S. Sodhi, Joint Director (Border) of Punjab Public Relations at Amritsar, and office-bearers of the Amritsar Working Journalists Association also paid tributes to the deceased.
FAZILKA, Dec 27 Sumitra Bai (25) of Mauzam village of the subdivision has alleged that she was raped by a landlord of Bodiwala Pitha village on Saturday. According to FIR lodged, Sumitra and her husband, Mangal Singh have been working as labourers in the fields of a landlord of Katehra village for the past three months.
On the fateful night,
both husband and wife had gone to the landlords
house to settle their account. Mangal Singh was allegdly
directed to bring some household material from Khui Khera
village. In his absence Sumitra Bai was allegedly raped.
A case has been registered under Sections 376 adn 506,
IPC. The accused has been arrested.
Gang of cheats busted
SANGRUR, Dec 27 With the arrest of five persons, including a woman, the district police chief said an international gang of cheats was busted, who were allegedly selling fake gold as original.
The arrested persons included Mali Devi, wife of Dhani Ram, Seeru, Bal Kishan, alias Chanaya, Dhami Ram and Chaman Lal son of Dhani Ram. All arrested are residents of Delhi, added Mr Shukla. Five kg of duplicate gold worth Rs 20 lakh was seized from them.
Orthodontist dies in mishap
LUDHIANA, Dec 27 Renowned orthodontist, Dr D.K. Sabharwal, died in a car accident near Mandi Gobindgarh here this morning.
He was headed for Yamunanagar alongwith a colleague when the acident occurred near Mandi Gobindgarh.
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