Wednesday, October 3, 2001, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Sacrilege: SGPC wants murder case registered
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 2
Can a case of murder under Section 302 of the IPC be registered against a person who burns ‘birs’ of Guru Granth Sahib?

Panthic circles and legal experts reply in the affirmative. The Sikhs consider Guru Granth Sahib as a ‘living guru’. The Supreme Court has already declared the Guru Granth Sahib as a ‘juristic person’. The debate assumed significance when Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, president of the SGPC, and senior panthic leaders said the government must register a case under Section 302, IPC, against Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara and others who were responsible for sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib in various parts of the state. Bhai Ranjit Singh, a former Jathedar of Akal Takht who has called a meeting of Panthic organisations at Mohali on October 5 before launching a morcha against the sacrilege, said after the apex court had described Guru Granth Sahib as a ‘juristic person’ the state government should not have delayed filing of cases under Section 302 against Baba Bhaniara and his followers.

The landmark verdict of the Supreme Court was reproduced in the Gurdwara Gazette of the SGPC (September, 2000). It reads: “Globally revered Guru Granth Sahib is a “person” in law provided it is duly installed in a gurdwara. But every copy of the scripture cannot be given that status nor can other scriptures followed by other religions be equated with it, says the Supreme Court in a major judgement settling a protracted controversy over the status of Guru Granth Sahib.”

“The last Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh, had also said that, “henceforth there would not be any living Guru. Guru Granth Sahib would be the vibrating Guru”. When with this faith, the scripture is installed in a gurdwara, it becomes a ‘sacred place of worship’. The sacredness of gurdwaras lies only in the placement of Guru Granth Sahib in it, said a Bench, comprising Mr Justice M.J. Rao and Mr Justice A.P. Mishra, while accepting the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee’s appeal against the split verdict by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The high court had said the status of a “juristic person” could not be granted to Guru Granth Sahib placed in a gurdwara”.

“The verdict was a fallout of the legal dispute over the ownership of some property in a Punjab village by a group of individuals, which the Punjab Government had declared as gurdwara property. The SGPC had said the holy Guru Granth Sahib had been installed on these properties while the claimants had admitted before the tribunal that the disputed premises was being used by them as residence and there was no object of worship there.”

The dispute was also over the fact whether a holy look could be given the status of a juristic person. It was argued against the proposition that Guru Granth Sahib was a juristic person; therefore, it could hold property, sue or be sued.

Guru Granth Sahib is a juristic person but cannot be equated with an “idol” said the court, adding that “idol worship is contrary to Sikhism. But Guru Granth Sahib which replaces the ‘Guru’ is not an idol”.

Bhai Ranjit Singh said though the apex court had given the due status to Guru Granth Sahib, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister of Punjab, had been turning a ‘blind eye’ to the torching of Guru Granth Sahib for the past one year. He alleged that no action was taken against those responsible for the sacrilege at Muktsar, the home constituency of the Chief Minister, and other parts of the state. He alleged that the ‘burnt birs’ were taken to an unknown place by Prof Manjit Singh, Jathedar of Kesgarh Sahib, at the behest of Mr Badal instead of carrying them to Goindwal for immersion as per ‘Sikh maryada’. Bhai Ranjit Singh said if the culprits behind the burning of Guru Granth Sahib were allowed to go scot-free, it would be difficult to pacify the Sikh sangat.


Sacrilege acts: Panthic Morcha for probe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The Shiromani Akali Dal Panthic Morcha yesterday urged the government to order a time-bound probe by a sitting judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to uncover the conspiracy behind the acts of sacrilege in the past few days in the state.

Addressing a press conference here, the convener of the morcha, Baba Sarabjot Singh Bedi, said such a probe was must to expose the elements operating in the state to disturb peace. Accompanied by Mr Ravi Inder Singh, a former Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Baba Sarabjot Singh said cases should be registered against those police officers whose photographs were part of the “granth” published by Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara. Such officers should be transferred away from Ropar district.

Baba Sarabjot Singh said that Bhai Ranjit Singh had called a meeting of various Sikh religious organisations at Mohali on October 5 to discuss the issue of sacrilege.

The morcha had also given a call to observe “pashchatap” day on October 7 at Tirkhan Majra village and elsewhere in wake of the recent happenings in the state pertaining to holy scriptures.

He said Baba Bhaniara should be removed from the forest land, which was allegedly encroached by him.

Baba Sarabjot Singh said the failure on the part of the SAD-BJP government to take timely action was responsible for recent incidents of sacrilege in the state. For the past four years, the “activities of Baba Bhaniara” were in the knowledge of the SAD-BJP government but no action was taken. He said while the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, was very quick to take action against the officer who ordered the demolition of a wall of a religious place at Ludhiana, he did not act for a week with regard to “happenings” in Ropar and Fatehgarh Sahib districts.

Mr Ravi Inder Singh said Sikh sentiments had been hurt because of the recent incidents.

He said Mr Badal should quit as he had no moral right to continue as Chief Minister in the wake of latest occurrences in the state.


Meeting of Sikh clergy likely
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 2
The Akal Takht, Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti has announced that strict action would be initiated against those Sikhs having links with Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara who has been excommunicated from the Panth.

Talking to TNS from Birmingham, Jathedar Vedanti said since Baba Bhaniara had been excommunicated from the Sikh Panth due to his alleged anti-Panthic activities and no Sikh could have any relations with him. It may be mentioned here that Akal Takht had directed the Sikhs to sever all relations with Baba Bhaniara as he had failed to appear before Akal Takht.

Jathedar Vedanti is likely to return to India on October 5. On his return, an emergency meeting of the Sikh clergy could be convened at Akal Takht.

Meanwhile, Giani Bhagwan Singh, Head Granthi, Akal Takht, condemned the sacrilege of holy scriptures.


Burning of ‘Birs’: many rounded up
Three copies of Bhavsagar seized
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 2
The police has rounded up dozens of supporters of Baba Bhaniaranwala in the district and making thorough investigation. The police has also seized three copies of the book, Bhavsagar, of Baba Bhaniaranwala. Two copies were seized from Sahpur village in Amloh subdivision and one from Bassi Pathana town, which had been banned by the government. The security of the followers of Baba Bhaniaranwala has also become a matter of concern for the police. The sources told that the police had rounded up various followers and have registered a case under Sections 107 and 151, IPC, and had sent them to jail just for security purpose.

The various religious, social and political organisations continue to condemn this incident. Sukhmani Sahib Sewa Societies, Rotar Clubs, Lions Clubs nad Bharat Vikas Parishads of Sirhind, Bassi Pathana and Mandi Gobindgarh have strongly criticised the incident and demanded strict action against the culprits and to unearth the conspiracy behind this.

Meanwhile, the bhog ceremony of the seven “Birs” burnt at Gurdwara Tarkhan Majra, near Sirhind town, have become a bone of contention for the public as well as for the administration as both warning factions of the Akali Dal have decided to organise separate “akhand path”.

The SGPC with the help of village panchayat today started the akhand path in Gurdwara Sahib where “Birs” of Guru Granth Sahib were burnt by some unidentified miscreants two days back and the bhog ceremony would be performed on October 4. The Panthic Morcha led by Baba Sarvjot Singh Bedi has announced to start akhand path at the same venue on October 5 and the bhog ceremony would be performed on October 7 in which top Panthic Morcha leaders, Bhai Ranjit Singh, other former Akal Takht Jathedars and Sikh institutions would participate. Sources had started mobilising the people to participate in large numbers in their respective functions and are also urging not to participate in functions being organised by the other group.

Meanwhile, the protests continue on the third day against the burning of “Birs”. The protesting people disrupted traffic on the GT Road as Mandi Gobindgarh and raised slogans against Baba Bhaniaranwala. They demanded action against the culprits. Similarly traffic was disrupted on Bassi Pathana-Chandigarh road at Nogawan village where hundreds of rural people and ladies protested the burning of “Birs”.



Five held for inciting tension

Sangrur, October 2
Five persons were arrested today in separate incidents in Sangrur district on the charge of ‘trying to flare up communal tension’ with the intention of hurting the religious feelings of a particular community, the police said here.

The miscreants allegedly intended to burn some copies of a holy book, the police said adding that copies of a banned book had also been seized from them.

Three persons Gurcharan Singh, Nek Singh and Gurwinder Singh were arrested from Thuliwal village while they were "reciting objectionable couplets" from the controversial book.

In another such incident at Kheri Chelan village, Nirbhai Singh and his wife Manjit Kaur were arrested for possessing the controversial compendium.

Recently, the police had arrested the controversial author of the book on the charge of allegedly "instigating his followers" to flare up communal tension in Ropar district. PTI


Two arrested  for burning ‘Birs’

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 2
The Punjab police today arrested two persons for allegedly torching seven‘Birs’ in Tarkhan Majra village in Fatehgarh Sahib district on Sunday last.
Disclosing this here, the Fatehgarh Sahib police chief, Mr Harnek Singh, said the police had arrested Balbir Singh and Ram Pal Singh of Tarkhan Majra village for committing the act of sacrilege. Both of them have confessed their involvement in the crime and more arrests would be followed after interrogation, he added. The alleged torching of ‘Birs’ in Fatehgarh Sahib and Ropar recently had led to communal tension in these districts. PTI



Atonement day on October 6
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, October 2
Over 12 religious, social and political Sikh organisations today decided to observe atonement day on October 6 and gave a call for Phagwara bandh to atone for repeated desecration at various places in Punjab, including Dhak Pandori (Phagwara) and Tarkhan Majra (Sirhind) and near Morinda.

They decided to hold an akhand path and bhog in this regard.

A 21-member surveillance-cum-vigil committee was constituted to oversee the arrangements.


CM defends transfer of MC Commissioner
Our Correspondent

Kartarpur (Jalandhar), October 2
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today justified the transfer of the Commissioner of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, Mr Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, for ordering the demolition of a portion of a temple which was allegedly built on government land.

Mr Badal, talking to mediapersons here during a “sangat darshan” programme, said officials should exercise restraint while removing encroachments on government land as far as religious places were concerned. He said such decisions could prove fatal to the peace of the state. “Every complex issue can be solved through talks and officials should not take such decisions in haste”, he said.

Taking serious note of the recent demolition of the temple portion, the Chief Minister said: “If BJP leaders and members of the managing committee of the temple had already conveyed to the Commissioner to wait for some time before ordering the demolition, what was the hurry? The demolition spree is no answer to the removal of encroachments on government land. Instead, the Commissioner should have waited for some time”.

When asked whether the transfer of Mr Sandhu would not have an adverse effect on the morale of sincere officers throughout the state, Mr Badal said: “We must respect public sentiments first. Mr Sandhu did a good job during his tenure as Commissioner of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, but sometimes one can make a mistake”.

Mr Badal said the state government had already announced a policy to regularise the encroachments on government land. He refuted the allegations that BJP leaders and ministers had pressurised him for Mr Sandhu’s transfer. “I never bow to pressure. It is my own decision to shift him,” he said.

On the recent incident of sacrilege in Fatehgarh Sahib, followed by dharnas and protests by some religious and political organisations, the Chief Minister said it was a deep-rooted conspiracy and the culprits would be dealt with strictly. “I have already instructed the Fatehgarh Sahib SSP to identify and arrest the culprits immediately. I will also appeal to the people of the state to remain clam and maintain peace,” Mr Badal said.

Launching a fresh salvo on the Congress over the corruption issue, he said previous Congress ministers had always minted government money by forcing sarpanches of various panchayats to return half of the development funds as bribe in lieu of allotment of funds for various development works in the rural areas.

The Chief Minister declared that octroi would be abolished in the state after the case in this regard, pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, was decided.

Later, Mr Badal distributed cheques for Rs 4 crore among sarpanches of 130 village panchayats for development work. He also laid the foundation stone of a 30-bed hospital, which would be built at a cost of Rs 1.10 crore.


Statewide power cuts announced
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 2
A sharp decline in hydel power generation in Punjab is leading to a crisis situation, with the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) today announcing wide-ranging cuts throughout the state.

According to sources the recent power cuts, which have increased from three hours earlier to four hours now, are being caused due to abysmal hydel power generation. Even though the state has a hydel potential of around 1150 MW, it is presently able to realise only around 200 MW of power.

Sources said the Ranjit Sagar project, which had an installed capacity of 600 MW, was generating only around 100 MW of power. They said this was because of lack of satisfactory rainfall in its catchment area during September as well as August, besides the need for restricted release of rain water from the dam presently.

Sources also said that the Ranjit Sagar Dam would not be able to generate power to its capacity as long as the Upper Bari Deob Canal (UBDC) third stage was not completed. The sources said that besides the Ranjit Sagar project, other projects, including the UBDC project with a capacity of 90 MW, the Anandpur project with a capacity of 134 MW, the Mukerian project with a capacity of 207 MW and the Shanan project with a capacity of 110 MW were all at a low ebb.

The sources said the present hydel generation was even lesser than what was being generated in the peak of summer when there was little water in various dams. They said the hydel projects were giving out 150 to 170 lakh units of power during the summer months as compared to the present level of only 90 lakh units.

They said that due to this factor, the power demand had stripped power availability in the state. The officials said that against a demand of 810 lakh units, only 760 lakh units were available in the state, adding that there had been a decline in generation of two to three lakh units of hydel power everyday since the past month.

Giving details of the cuts being imposed, the sources said the operation circles of Khanna, Muktsar, Ferozepore, Patiala and Jalandhar would witness a four-hour cut from 10 am to 1200 noon and 2 pm to 4 pm. They said the operation circles of Kapurthala, Ropar, Faridkot, Hoshiarpur, Amritsar and Mohali would witness cuts from 12 noon to 2 pm and 4 pm to 6 pm.

Similarly, the operation circles of Sangrur, Gurdaspur, Nawanshahr, Bathinda and Ludhiana (urban) would witness cuts from 8 am to 10 am and 12 noon to 2 pm. The operation circles of Ludhiana and Tarn Taran would witness cuts from 10 am to 12 noon and 2 pm to 4 pm.

Peak-load restrictions on large-scale consumers falling under south, west and border zones will be in force from 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm and for those under central operation zone from 7 pm to 10 pm. 


Dal PAC meeting on October 7
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
An important meeting of the Political Affairs Committee of the Shiromani Akali Dal will be held here on October 7, according to Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, secretary of the party.

Mr Badungar said the latest political situation in the state would be discussed at the meeting.

It would be presided over by Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

Mr Badungar said the party would set up its central election office in Jalandhar on November 15 for better coordination among all district units of the party.


HC decision cheers councillors
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Sultanpur Lodhi (Kapurthala), October 2
The Sultanpur Lodhi Municipal Council chief and other councillors, currently involved in a tussle with the Kapurthala district administration, got a shot in the arm when the Punjab and Haryana High Court stayed the operation of bank accounts by two officials nominated by the DC to utilise a Rs 1 crore “sangat darshan” grant. The grant was given to the civic body for the beautification of the township by the Punjab Chief Minister.

Elated municipal councillors, led by the Municipal Council chief Jaimal Singh, converged on Municipal Hall and hugged each other after the latter informed them about the stay granted by the court in connection with what they called an “undemocratic and arrogant” action taken by bureaucrats under pressure from Dr Upinderjit Kaur, a Punjab minister.

The tiff between the civic body members, many of whom owe their allegiance to Mr Jaimal Singh, and the district administration started when the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Vivek Aggrawal, formed a five-member committee to supervise the utilisation of the money provided by the Chief Minister to the Municipal Council.

This was followed by the formation of another committee comprising the SDM, Sultanpur Lodhi, and the local SDO (B&R) for the utilisation of the money. The committee had even been empowered to manage the accounts pertaining to the Rs 1 crore “sangat darshan” amount. The move was opposed by the Municipal Council, which in a resolution described it as an encroachment upon its rights.

Interestingly, it was for the first time in the state that a Deputy Commissioner had formed committees at his own level to ensure utilisation of “sangat darshan” money.

The Deputy Commissioner also allegedly withdrew a sum of Rs 79 lakh from the account, though for the purpose of development of the city, by bypassing even the Municipal Council chief, who in turn opposed it by saying that his involvement in the managing of the accounts along with the Executive Officer of the MC was necessary.

As the MC House opposed it by passing a resolution, the DC allegedly returned the money but on the condition that the accounts would be managed by the SDM and the Executive Officer, Sultanpur Lodhi.

This led to the council adopting a resolution to take the matter to court, which stayed the managing of the accounts by the two officers till the next date.

The DC, the ADC and the SDM were not available for comments. Mr Jaimal Singh and most of the councillors alleged that the Deputy Commissioner had included those persons in the committee who had nothing to do with the development of the township and whose only qualification was that they were close to Dr Upinderjit Kaur.



ASI suspended on charge of beating up labourer
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, October 2
Pal Singh, ASI, posted at the Gill Kalan police chowki, who had been shifted to the Police Lines following the incidence of beating up of a youth of Jethuke village by a farmer of the same village, has been put under suspension while an inquiry will be conducted by a DSP into the incidence.

Manjeet Singh a farm labourer of the village was allegedly beaten up by a farmer of the same village on September 27 when the farmer had objected to former’s smoking. The farmer along with three of his relatives and two policemen came to Manjeet’s home and started beating him up. They also allegedly beat up his mother and wife. They took Manjeet to the Gill Kalan police chowki where he was allegedly beaten up by the ASI. Manjeet alleged that the ASI was under the influence of liquor.

He further alleged that the ASI beat him up at the instance of the farmer. When members of his family and panchayat went to the chowki and requested Manjit’s release as he had not committed a crime, the ASI did not listen to them. He was beaten up in front of the panchayat members also. The ASI and the farmer used derogatory remarks against him and threatened him to teach a lesson, he alleged.

Manjeet had to be admitted to hospital after he had been released from the custody. Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, SSP, said action against the farmer would be taken only after the report of the inquiry was received. The ASI had been put under suspension keeping in view the gravity of the incidence, he added.


Scribes’ death mourned
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, October 2
Many senior leaders of the state cutting across party lines have mourned the deaths of Mr Madhavrao Scindia and the four journalists killed in Sunday’s tragic air crash.

Mr Darshan Singh Jeeda, state president, Samajwadi Janta Party, Mr Amritpal Singh Brar, member, National Executive, Nationalist Congress Party, Mr Surinder Kapoor, Member, PPCC, and Mr Avtar Singh Sidhu, state general secretary, Congress, Dr Satpal Bhateja, chairman, Rajiv Gandhi Lok Bhalai Manch mourned the death of Mr Madhavrao Scindia, and the four journalists.


Kidnapping drama exposed
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, October 2
Kulwinder Singh, alias Laddi, president of the Dhariwal Block Youth Congress and a resident of Alowal, who was reportedly kidnapped on September 25 was found by the district police yesterday.

The SSP, Mr Sukhdev Singh, talking to reporters here today, said the ‘kidnapping’ was a drama enacted by Kulwinder Singh himself with the help of Narinder Singh, a resident of Alowal, and Tarsem Singh, a resident of Dhariwal, to join popularity.

He said Kulwinder Singh wanted to win a high position in the government after the coming Assembly elections as he expected the Congress to come to power. Tarsem Singh and Narinder Singh were taken into police custody. They confessed to hatching the ‘kidnapping’ plan.

The SSP said after the reported ‘kidnapping,’ a special investigation team, headed by Mr D.S. Dhindsa, SP (Operation), was constituted which apprehended Tarsem Singh and Narinder Singh on September 27 for interrogation. The duo, during interrogation, confessed that they in cahoots with Kulwinder Singh had planned the kidnapping drama at Dhariwal.


Special Lok Adalat on October 10
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, October 2
A special state-level Lok Adalat will be held on October 10, presided over by Mr Justice H.S. Bedi of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and Chairman of Punjab Legal Service Authority, at the city court complex.

Mr B.C. Rajput, District and Sessions Judge and Chairman of District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) in a press note issued here yesterday said all banks of the district had been issued orders to submit a report with the list of cases related to loans with documents in the office of DLSA, Bathinda. He added that banks were also directed to prepare a list of all those cases which were not registered in the court yet.

He said in the special Lok Adalat to be held on October 10, cases of accident claim, marital disputes, civil cases, electricity board recovery cases, 125 CRP expanses cases and the criminal cases in which mutual agreement would be possible, would be included. He said any other information could be got from the District Judge or from the office of District Legal Services Authority.


NFL retirement age back to 58
Our Correspondent

Ropar, October 2
The retirement age has been reverted back to 58 years in National Fertilisers Ltd (NFL). Highly placed sources in the NFL, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers has finally given consent to the proposal of the NFL board to reduce the retirement age.

The board, a few months ago, had written to the ministry requesting for a reduction in the retirement age. The retirement age in the company had been increased to 60 years after the centre’s decision regarding its enhancement.


VC to translate PM’s poems
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 2
The Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia will translate selected poems of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee into Punjabi.

According to a university note, a decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the Standing Committee for the Development of Punjabi Language under the chairmanship of the Vice-Chancellor. The meeting was attended among others by the Director, Languages Department, Dr M. L. Hasija, the Dean, Academics, Dr T. S. Anand and the Head, Development of Punjabi Language Department, Dr Dhanwant Kaur.

The Vice-Chancellor would translate selected poems of the Prime Minister in a project which would be undertaken jointly alongwith Dr Satish Kumar Verma, Reader, Punjabi Department.

Besides, 27 new projects were taken up under the scheme related to the development of Punjabi. Representative poems and short stories in the language would also be compiled and published. The note said another scheme involving change of medium into Punjabi was also envisaged for meritorious works for which a high-powered committee had been formed under the chairmanship of the Dean, Academics.

The Standing Committee also approved an increase in honorariums for Life Fellows who would now get Rs 5,000 per month instead of the earlier Rs 2,500 per month, Senior Fellows who would now get Rs 7,000 per month instead of the earlier Rs 3,500 per month and Fellows who would now get Rs 6,000 per month in place of the earlier Rs 3,000 per month.


Seminar held on debt problem in rural areas
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, October 2
To free the agrarian society from the claws of usury and debt, a kisan movement should be launched in the country, said Rajni Disai, a famous writer from Mumbai, while speaking at a seminar on ‘Problem of debt in rural areas’ held here on Sunday by Lok Morcha, Punjab.

Rajni Disai, who was the chief guest, said usury was a way adopted by a portion of society to loot innocent people. Saving landless farm labourers and small farmers from the vicious circle of usury was the need of the hour.

She said complaining about usury and raising slogans against it were futile, only a united fight would bring a change. Policies of privatisation, liberalisation and globalisation would make the problem severe, she said.

Mr Amolak Singh, general secretary of the morcha, said debt trap seemed to have become death trap for farmers. The condition of farmers facing successive failure of crops was the worst.

He said the morcha demanded regularisation of the debt policy, fixed interest rates, punishment for those charging greater interest than prescribed and abolition of the receipt system at the time of purchase of crop. Loan schemes launched for farmers should be made easier and rates of interest lessened. Steps should be taken to stop corruption and favouritism while granting loans, he said.

Gurdyal Singh, a Punjabi writer, also addresed the gathering. He said debt problem was the ugly face of the green revolution. The continuous loss of crops had compelled farmers to fall in the debt trap.


Rs 720 paddy MSP sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The Khetibari and Kisan Vikas Front, headed by Mr Maghar Singh Kulrian, yesterday submitted a memorandum pertaining to various demands and problems of farmers in the state to the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

The front sought Rs 720 per quintal as the minimum support price of paddy. If the Union Government was not ready to fix this price, the state government should pay to farmers the difference between the existing MSP and that sought by the front.

The front said all current farm loans should be waived and the interest rate on such loans should be lowered to 4 per cent. The traditional money-lending system should be declared illegal. Agro industries should be set up in the rural areas on a large scale.

The front also demanded that for the introduction of new technology, information centres should be set up at the block level. Cotton growers who suffered losses because of damage to their crop should be compensated. Cooperative institutions should be democratised.

Activists of the front reached here on bicycles after going to various areas of Punjab in the past 15 days.


Commission agents start procurement
Tribune News Service

Budhlada (Mansa), October 2
The commission agents of the local grain market who have been boycotting procurement of paddy for the past two days, started the same today after the district administration assured them that all their genuine grievances would be redressed.

Official sources said a committee comprising four persons had been constituted to hold talks on behalf of the commission agents with the district administration and the police authorities. The commission agents had agreed to this proposal after their meeting with the district administration and the police authorities and Mansa yesterday.

The commission agents had boycotted the procurement on September 30 in protest against the implication of 13 commission agents in false criminal cases by the local police.

They had warned the district administration that if the matter was not solved within three days, the boycott of procurement of paddy would continue.

Mr Bihari Lal, president, Arhtiya Association, Budhlada, while talking to TNS said four members of the committee were Mr Kesho Ram, Mr Ved Parkash, Mr Paresh Bansal and Mr Harinder Singh Shani. He added that the committee would hold regular meetings with the Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) and DSP to sort out the matter.

He pointed out that the district police chief, Mr Dilbagh Singh, had assured them that the matter would be solved within three days.

Mr Dilbagh Singh, SSP, when contacted, said the commission agents had been promised that their genuine grievances would be redressed. He said the commission agents had started the procurement of paddy.

Mrs Raji P. Srivastva, Deputy Commissioner, said the district administration had been making efforts to sort out the matter. She said the procurement of paddy would not allowed to be disturbed.


Clarification on paddy procurement
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The Punjab Food and Supplies Department today said that no restrictions had been imposed on the procurement of paddy harvested by combine harvesters. No order had been issued in this regard.

Mr P. Ram , Principal Secretary, Food and Supplies, Punjab, said farmers had only been advised not to harvest paddy with such machines at night because it affected the quality of the produce.

Meanwhile, about 29 lakh tonnes of paddy had been procured in the state till last evening.


2 IAS, 2 PCS officers shifted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The Punjab Government today ordered the transfer of two IAS and two PCS officers.

Mr Jaspal Singh has been appointed Special Secretary in the Department of Finance against a vacant post. Mr Harjit Inder Singh Grewal has been posted as Special Secretary in Department of Planning.

Mr Chander Gaind has been appointed Estate Officer, PUDA, at SAS Nagar, vice Mr Ajmer Singh, who has been appointed Land Acquisition Officer in the Punjab Industries Department.


14 held under special drive
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, October 2
The district police has nabbed 14 culprits, five of them under the Prevention of Gambling Act, and recovered a stolen tractor, a stolen jeep, 10 litres of illicit liquor and about 70 capsules of narcotics.

Dr Jatinder Jain, SSP, in a press note issued here yesterday said Balbir Singh of Jaga Ram Tirath village was arrested under Section 379, IPC, and a stolen tractor and a jeep were recovered from him. A separate case under Section 25 of the Arms Act has been registered against him for possessing a .12-bore gun and two live cartridges without licence.

In another case a gang of highway robbers was busted by the district police with the arrest of Nirmal Singh, Amarjit Singh and Disa Singh, all residents of Lehra Sondha village. A sum of Rs 1,400 looted from Ranjit Singh, a truck driver, was also recovered from them. A case under Sections 382, and 34, IPC has been registered.

Surinder Singh and Mahinder Singh of Nathana village were arrested for possessing 25 kg of poppy jusk. A case has been registered under Sections 15, 61, 85 of the NDPS Act. Raj Kumar was arrested by the police and 5 injections and 70 capsules of narcotics were seized. A case under Section 22, 61, 85 of the NDPS Act has been registered.

Dr Jain said Sukhdev Singh and Gurjant Singh were arrested and 10 litres of illicit liquor was seized. A case has been registered under the Excise Act. Om Parkash, Raj Kumar, Purshottam Kumar, Diya Chand and Ashok Kumar, all residents of this district were arrested for gambling. Cases have been registered under the Prevention of Gambling Act.


FIR lodged against assailants
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 2
The police is on the lookout for Raju, son of Bihari Lal and a resident of the Karampura New Abadi area at Rattan Singh Chowk, and five of his accomplices who reportedly attacked Jaswant Singh (40) with swords on September 30 and inflicted serious injuries on him. An FIR against the accused was registered at Civil Lines police station. 


Exhibition on ‘Art for peace’ held
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, October 2
Students of more than 50 Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) participated in a two-day regional-level art exhibition which concluded here today. Vivid themes of peace, love and universal brotherhood were exhibited at the art exhibition-cum-competition was held at the local Kendriya Vidyalay (No. 5)

The exhibition under the theme ‘Art for peace” was aimed at cultivating sensitivity among students. Various art forms, including painting, poster making and installations were used to depict terrorism, its ill effects and the message of universal brotherhood.

The exhibition was dedicated to the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, and most of the paintings made by students depicted his philosophy. The terrorist attacks on World Trade Center in the USA and the prime suspect, Osama bin Laden was also figured in the show as the students depicted the suffering and misery of relatives of deceased. Most of the paintings highlighted the need for peace in Kashmir.

Mr Kapil Dev, IPS and one of the judges of the painting exhibition, addressing the students said as of games, art also taught patience and discipline. He urged the students and parents to imbibe the message depicted in the exhibits. “One need not be a painter to be sensitive, being a keen observer will be enought”, Mr Kapil added.

Mr G.H. Yadav, Education Officer, Chandigarh Region (KVs) and Col Arvind Kumar, chairman nominee of the school, appreciated the efforts put in by the students. Mr T.D. Garg, Principal of the school, said “science and art go hand in hand.”

Mr Ajay Kumar Sameer, Art Teacher of the school, played a key role in organising the exhibition. Mr Vikram Kumar, KV Ambala, Mr Suresh Kumar, KV Jalandhar, and Mr Mithun Kumar, the local KV (No. 5) were given Mahatma Gandhi Award, Mother Teresa Award and Nehru Award, respectively. 


5000 students to take Gurmat test
Our Correspondent

Patiala, October 2
Nearly 5,000 students from 85 schools of Chandigarh, Mohali and Patiala district are expected to take the annual Gurmat exam, to be held on October 21.

This was disclosed by Mr Darshan Singh, convener, Guru Arjan Seva Mission, Patiala, here today. He said the exam had been held annually by the mission with a view to spread awareness about Sikh history and culture among children.

The test would be held at 16 centres across Patiala, Chandigarh, Mohali, Fatehgarh Sahib, Sangrur, Rajpura and Barnala. The convener added that the winners would be suitably awarded.

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 |