Thursday, May 18, 2000,
Chandigarh, India





THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

REGIONAL POTPOURRI

PUNJAB

DERA BASSI
80 GET DRIVING LICENCES: As many as 80 driving licences were issued by the Motor Vehicle Inspector (MVI), Patiala, at Mubarikpur village, 2 km from here on Wednesday. This was the second visit of the MVI to the subdivision in which applicants seeking licences for heavy and light vehicles and two-wheelers were the beneficiaries.

GURDASPUR
OPEN DARBAR: Mr B. Vikram, Deputy Commissioner, presided over an open darbar which was held at the district courts here on Monday. As many as 25 complaints were redressed on the spot.

LUDHIANA
CHAIN SNATCHED: Certain persons snatched a gold chain from Ms Kamaljit Kaur in Model Town on Monday. A case under Sections 356 and 380, IPC, has been registered.

SAMRALA
SPORTS CLUB: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Sri Charan Kanwal Sahib Sports and Welfare Club, Machhiwara: president — Mr Kanwaljot Singh Batra; vice-president — Mr Amrit Pal Singh; secretary — Mr Gurnam Singh; and treasurer — Mr Karanvir Singh.

ZIRAKPUR
REINSTATED: The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has reportedly reinstated seven employees of Zirakpur subdivision. According to official sources, the board authorities have reinstated two junior engineers, a lineman, three assistant linemen and a meter reader. The board authorities had suspended these employees on the basis of different allegations against them. Members of the PSEB Employees Action Committee has demanded the reinstatement of the rest employees.
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CHANDIGARH

CONCLUDES: A three-day training programme on hepatitis-C virus (HCV) screening test on donated blood concluded in the Department of Transfusion Medicine, PGI, here on Wednesday. The training programme was funded by the National Institute of Biologics, Noida, and the course was attended by 14 participants, mostly from North India. “Such a programme will be useful in generating trained manpower in all recognised blood banks across the country as the HCV screening test is going to be made mandatory nationwide shortly,” says Prof S.K. Agnihotri, Head of the department.

SUCCUMBS TO INJURIES: Swaroop Chand Sharma died at the PGI here on Wednesday almost a fortnight after his wife and three other relatives were killed in the Lalru accident. Swaroop and his relatives were going to Hardwar to immerse his 25-year-old unmarried daughter’s ashes. On the way,the jeep in which they were travelling met with an accident.

FUNCTION: The Pracheen Guga Marhi Rama Krishna Mandir Committee has decided to celebrate the birthday of Lord Buddha on the occasion of Buddha Purnima on Thursday, according to Mahant Vivek Sharma. The main attractions of the programme will be bhajans, kirtan, aarti, and bhog and bhandara.

SHOW: Theatre for Theatre will stage the platinum jubilee show of Swadesh Deepak’s play, Court Martial, directed by Mr Sudesh Sharma. The play will be staged on Thursday at Tagore Theatre. The Minister for Social Security and Welfare, Mr Gobind Singh Kanjla, and the Minister, Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Punjab, Mr Swarna Ram, will be the chief guests.

PANCHKULA
MEDICAL CAMP: The Unnat Bharat Vikas organised a free medical camp in collaboration with the Haryana AIDS Control Society (HACS) at the bus stand in Sector 5 here on Wednesday. About 90 patients were examined by Dr Pradeep K. Kanwar. Material regarding AIDS was distributed among bus drivers, conductors and mechanics. The chief guest at the function, Dr Rajni Lamba from the HACS, spoke on the prevention of the disease. Two suspected cases of AIDS were directed to the General Hospital in Sector 6 after a counselling session. Workers of Haryana Roadways were shown a movie on AIDS and free medicines were distributed.
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HARYANA

AMBALA
OPPOSED: The Ambala Scientific Instruments Manufacturers Association at its meeting has protested against the imposition of 4 per cent purchase tax on imports for more than Rs 10 lakh from outside the state. “The additional burden on the manufacturers of scientific instruments in Ambala is injustice and contrary to the promises made by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, before the elections. In fact, the octroi of Rs 9 per quintal prevalent earlier to the imposition of this new levy was a peanut in comparison to this levy which will indeed cripple the industry already reeling under heavy financial stress and extraordinary recession,” a release said.

COMPETITION: A handwriting workshop was organised at S.D. Kanya Mahavidyalaya, Ambala cantonment, for the students of classes VI to XII. Dr Gurdev Singh, Head of PG Punjabi Department, Government College, conducted the workshop. A competition for better handwriting was also held and prizes were awarded to 18 students, a release said.

HISAR
AWARDED: Dr Naresh Mehta, Associate Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, has been awarded the Manju Utreja Memorial Gold Medal. The award instituted by the CCSHAU is presented for the best Ph.D thesis.

NARNAUL
RESENTMENT: Resentment prevails among farmers of Kanina area over the theft of 101 water supply sprinkler pipes lying in the fields. A case has been registered.

SUICIDE: Gola Ram of Ram Bas village committed suicide allegedly by hanging himself from a tree on his marriage night in Mahendragarh tehsil.

REWARI
WATER SUPPLY: Residents of various villages in the constituency have been facing drinking water problem on account of erratic water supply. They have urged the Public Health Authorities and the district administration to take effective measures to improve the situation.

SIRSA
SENTENCED: The Additional Sessions Judge here has sentenced two persons to five years of imprisonment and fined them Rs 3000. According to the police, Ramesh of the local Guru Nanak Nagar and Shyam Lal of Uttar Pradesh were arrested under Sections 363 and 366, IPC, for raping two minor daughters of their neighbour Umed Singh.
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HIMACHAL PRADESH

HAMIRPUR
ARRESTED: The police has arrested Joginder Kumar and his two wives Lakshmi Devi and Somadevi from a bus when they picked the pocket of Rajneesh Kumar of Delhi. A case under Sections 379/34, IPC, has been registered.

ELECTIONS: The following have been elected presidents of various Himachal Pradesh mandals. They are Mr Jagdish Thakur, Hamirpur, Mr Sada Ram, Mewa (Reserve); Mr Jagdish Verma, Nadaun; Mr Prithi Singh Thakur, Bamsan; and Mr Joginder Singh Banyal.

FIRE: A fire broke out in the house of Mrs Ranjit Kaur at the Ravi Dass Nagar locality here on Monday. The municipal fire brigade controlled it after an hour. A short circuit was stated to be the cause of the fire.Top

 
REGIONAL POTPOURRI

A life devoted to flying pigeons

MR Sarwan Singh, who has been flying pigeons since 1974, was given the first prize in the National Pigeon Variety Show held at Azamgarh (UP) recently.

President of the Sher-e-Punjab Maharaja Ranjeet Singh Pigeons Flying Club Sarwan Singh has devoted his life to pigeon flying and started a pigeon-breeding centre at his residence in Mohalla Gobindgarh, Jalandhar. At present, he has more than 300 pigeons of several varieties. He has won the national-level pigeon-flying championship nine times and been declared a superstar champion twice.

He has 10 pairs of rare green-eyed pigeons. Last month, a six-member delegation of pigeon flyers from England led by Mr Dove Davis called on Mr Sarwan Singh and honoured him with the British flag. It declared 20,000 for a pair of green-eyed pigeons.

Mr Sarwan Singh has also been honoured by the Punjab and UP Governments.

Mehre-Barsar’s woes

Barsar is one of the biggest and oldest subdivisions of Himachal Pradesh. Its headquarters is located at Mehre in the south-western corner of Hamirpur district. The place has nearly 1,000 permanent residents. About 1,000 persons visit the place every day for various purposes. While most of the people come for court work, some come for errands like essential socialising, shopping, medical treatment etc. Nearly 300 buses cross the town every day. These invariably stop at the main bus stand located in Mehre. That nearly doubles the number of visitors to the place.

The main bus stand at Mehre presents a harassed scene of congestion and chaos on the Una-Aghar-Mandi state highway. It is too over-crowded to allow pedestrians, especially women and children, to move about. The chaos, on the road is less due to the increased traffic and more due to unchecked illegal occupation of the state road’s width by kiosk (khokha)-owning musclemen.

The town has no public lavatory anywhere around. While the men ease themselves in odd corners, women have to suffer the inconvenience for almost whole of their stoppage in the town. Here, it is worth pointing out that when the subdivisional headquarters building was raised during the 1980s, one lavatory was also constructed in the same complex. It was dismantled about 30 months ago during the previous government’s time for unknown reasons. It has still not been rebuilt so far.

Capt Saurabh Kalia

“The fierce sense of patriotism inculcated by Capt Saurabh Kalia through his formative years in DAV School made him place national honour before personal safety. We are proud that Captain Kalia laid down his life defending the security of the nation”.

This is how Captain Kalia’s parents, in tears, reacted at a function organised by the DAV College Managing Committee and the Arya Samaj at Talkatora Indoor Stadium, Delhi, to mark the Mahatma Hans Raj Jayanti recently. They were presented a token of Rs 1 lakh by Union Home Minister L.K. Advani on the occasion on behalf of the committee. They received tremendous applause from the audience when they in turn donated the entire money to DAV Public School in Palampur (Himachal Pradesh) from where Saurabh had completed his education.

Twentythree-year-old Saurabh was commissioned into the Indian Army on December 12, 1998, and posted in 4 Jat Regiment (Infantry) in Kargil sector, where he joined in mid-January, 1999. It was in the first fortnight of May 1999, that he went out on patrol duty three times in the Kaksar area of Kargil. He was the first officer to provide information about the intrusion of the Pakistani army and foreign mercenaries in Kargil sector. Though not enlisted for patrol duty, he volunteered to go in the place of another officer to Bajrang post, at a height of 16,000 feet, to check the infiltration.

The patrol party was detected and fired upon by the Pakistani army. Captain Kalia, along with five other soldiers, kept on fighting for over 30 hours. Being outnumbered, they were captured by the enemy and kept in captivity for over three weeks. During this period, Captain Kalia was subjected to horrible acts of torture, to the extent of mutilation of his body.

The others who were posthumously honoured with the Shaurya Vir Award along with an amount of Rs 1 lakh each were Capt Vijyant Thapar (student of DAV College, Chandigarh), Capt Vikram Batra (DAV Public School, Palampur), Major Sandeep Sagar (DAV College, Chandigarh), Parminder Singh Sangwan (DAV Senior Secondary School, Yamunanagar), Lt Sachin and Major Ramon Dada (DAV College, Jalandhar). Miss Gunjan Saxena, a graduate from Hans Raj College, Delhi, who is the first woman to fly an aircraft into the battle zone, was also honoured with the Shaurya Vir Award.

Mr G.P. Chopra, President of the DAV College Managing Committee, presented a purse of Rs 51 lakh to Mr Advani as contribution to the Drought Relief Fund.

Contributed by Sanjeev Kumar, K. L. Noatay and Sameer Sabharwal.
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