Sunday, May 20, 2001, Chandigarh, India

M A I N   N E W S

Refused salary, clerk kills daughters, self
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, May 19
Irked over non-payment of salary, a senior clerk in the office of the Deputy Commissioner here committed suicide after killing his two daughters.

According to information, at 5 a.m. this morning Mr Kartar Singh (38), a resident of the Housing Board Colony in the city, who was working as a senior clerk in the CEA branch of the office of the Deputy Commissioner shot dead his daughters, Rajpreet Kaur (5) and Amanpreet Kaur (6) with his .12 bore gun. Thereafter, he locked himself in a room and shot himself with the same weapon.

His wife, Manjit Kaur and other more children, were sleeping in the adjacent room. The police found a suicide note in which the deceased Kartar Singh had blamed the Assistant Commissioner (General), Mr Rajpreet Singh Brar, for the suicide. 



Dalits barred from temple
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 19
In the land of the Gurus known for brotherhood among all sections of society, gross discrimination is being meted out to Dalits who are not being allowed to either pray at the sanctum sanctorum of a temple located 15 km from here or partake of ‘langar’.

Dalit devotees coming to Sidh Baba Baal Jati Rupal Temple at Rakhra village, near here, are not allowed even at the platform leading to the sanctum sanctorum. They must offer obeisance from one end of the platform. Similarly, those who want to take ‘langar’ at the temple must use separate utensils kept for them and be seated separately. Both Sikhs and Hindus visit the temple.

Devotees usually throng the temple in large numbers on each Saturday according to tradition as this is the day when the Baba, in whose name the temple stands, visits it. According to custom a sewadar stands at the platform leading to the sanction sanctorum and keeps announcing after short intervals that Dalits should not enter the temple premises and should offer their obeisance from afar. Further, another sewadar sits at the entrance of the sanctum sanctorum to ensure that the “tradition” is maintained in toto.

A visit to the temple revealed that not allowing Dalits into its premises has been a tradition which has been continuing since long and has not been questioned till date. However, the temple management is hesitant to comment on the issue with representatives saying the temple committee chairman alone could speak on the issue.

Devotees visiting the temple were unable to explain why Dalits were not allowed entry into the temple. “It is a well-known fact”, said Gurmail of Bagrian village. He said it was not for him to question either the present “Baba” or the temple management on the issue as the practice had been going on uninterrupted since more than a century.

Jethu, a 60-year-Sikh from Lchhewal village, near here, when he sat in a corner at the temple entrance, said he could not enter the temple as he was a Dalit. Jethu and a few others had no answer as to why Dalits were not allowed inside, saying it must be the practice. “I come here to do seva and partake langar at the temple,” said Jethu, adding that he swept the open space in front of the temple with a broom.

Another Dalit, a rehri owner selling toys outside the temple, said: “We partake langar here but have to use utensils specially earmarked for us. Only this morning I was refused a bowl from the utensils meant for the other devotees when I requested for one,” he explained.

The Dalit said few Dalits visited the temple. However, there were regular rich Dalit visitors to the temple who donated handsomely. They too have to offer the donations from outside the temple.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |