Saturday, March 10, 2001,
Chandigarh, India

M A I N   N E W S

Tohra calls for Badal’s boycott
Our Correspondent

Anandpur Sahib, March 9
Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, SHSAD chief, gave a call for the boycott of Mr Parkash Singh Badal at the Hola Mohalla celebrations here today. He urged the people to boycott Mr Badal for “desecrating” the highest institution of the Sikhs, Akal Takht. He also ruled out any alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in the next Assembly elections. Unity with Mr Badal was not possible till he presented himself before Akal Takht, Mr Tohra said.

He also blamed Mr Badal for promoting family rule in the state. Many old and trusted party workers had been ignored by the nomination of Mr Sukhbir Badal to the Rajya Sabha, Mr Tohra alleged.

He also criticised the SAD-BJP government for failing to protect the interests of the farmers and traders of the state.

Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra criticised the Badal government for failing to release Sikh youths detained “illegally” under TADA during the days of terrorism in the state.



No ‘bhang’ at Hola Mohalla
Tribune News Service

Anandpur Sahib, March 9
Members of the Budha Dal today discarded their mortars and pestles and decided to participate in the Hola Mohalla, the nagar procession, without taking “bhang”, here tomorrow.

The reason — they have voluntarily joined the year-long anti-addiction drive initiated by the Singh Sahiban. And when an anti-addiction awareness march was organised here today at the instance of the Jathedar of Kesgarh Sahib, Prof Manjit Singh, the Budha Dal chief, Bhai Balbir Singh, was the main flag-bearer carrying a message that “bhang” was detrimental to both intellect and health of a person.

Talking to The Tribune, The Akal Jathedar Bhai Joginder Singh Vedanti, and Jathedar Takht Kesgarh Sahib, Prof Manjit Singh, said it was for the first time that all Nihang Sikhs participating in the Hola Mohalla celebrations had decided to keep the holy city free from their mortars and pestles so as not to take any “bhang” or “sukha” preparations.

In the awareness march, besides the Budha Dal representatives, others represented were Akal Purakh ki Fauj, Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, Sahibzada Jhujjar Singh Mission College, Sikh Missionary College (Anandpur Sahib), Azad Kala Manch (Patiala), Anandpur Sahib Public School, Sikh Nari Manch, Isri Sat Sang Sabha, Sukhmani Sahib Sewa Society and Narcotics Anonymous besides others.

The processionists were carrying placards to educate people against drugs .

Prof Manjit Singh and Jathedar Vedanti said the next phase of their anti-addiction awareness campaign would be at Damdama Sahib during “Baisakhi” celebrations. “We started it by organising a quiz for students. During the Hola Mohalla celebrations, a number of youngsters had turned up at the de-addiction counselling centre as they wanted to give up drugs,” they said.

“We have received requests from Delhi and other places to organise quiz contests on anti-addiction. The problem of drugs was not confined to Sikhs alone but it was affecting all, irrespective of religion or area and was becoming a major problem. We have to take our campaign to temples, mosques, gurdwaras, educational institutions, to parents, to teachers and others to seek their indulgence and cooperation to save our young generation”, they said.

In the first phase, we want to free our holy cities from the menace of drugs. After Anandpur Sahib and Damdama Sahib, it will be the turn of Amritsar and Fatehgarh Sahib at next Jor Melas. We will also take it to Chappar Mela and other big fairs so that message is given to all concerned, Prof Manjit Singh said.

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