Saturday, November 10, 2001,
Chandigarh, India

 

punjab
P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


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Jagmeet Brar meets Vora
Gives clarification on remarks
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 9
Senior Congress leader Jagmeet Singh Brar, whose remarks over the issues plaguing the Punjab Congress have created a storm in the party, today met the AICC treasurer Motilal Vora to give a clarification. He is also scheduled to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi tomorrow.

Standing by the issues he had raised in Amritsar, where the party had held a rally two days ago, Mr Brar said even Mr Vora had endorsed his viewpoint during the campaign committee meeting of the party in Chandigarh yesterday.

Decrying the “personal” attack made at him by some leaders of the rival group, Mr Brar said he stood by the five issues he had raised and was willing to fight for them. Mr Brar said Mr Vora had made it clear yesterday in Chandigarh that the choice of the new Chief Minister would be left to the newly-elected MLAs and no one would be projected as Chief Minister. Mr Brar said he was for evolving a permanent formula for the distribution of ticket, and kith and kin of party MPs should not be given tickets. “Two persons from the same family should not be given tickets,” Mr Brar said.

The Congress MP from Faridkot also pleaded the cause of people who had stayed with the party through the turbulent years of terrorism. He said ticket should not be given to those against whom cases were registered during the phase of terrorism. The Congress leader also opposed those Congress leaders who were thinking of contesting from urban seats of the state by shifting sitting MLAs to other seats.

Mr Brar said he would also take up with the high command the issue of the Punjab PCC issuing about 300 letters of special invitee for its policy-making meetings without sanction from the high command.

Maintaining that the issues he had raised had been endorsed by Mr Vora, Mr Brar admitted that public criticism of senior leaders could hurt the party’s prospects in the coming assembly elections. Mr Brar brought with him clippings of the “derogatory” statements issued by some supporters of PCC chief Capt Amarinder Singh against him. Most of the issues Mr Brar has raised, directly relate to Capt Amarinder Singh, who had a meeting with the Congress president two days ago.

Meanwhile, Mr Vora said the campaign committee meeting yesterday had decided to hold election meetings in each of the 117 constituencies of the state. He said the Congress would hold rallies in each of the 21 districts of the state by the end of this month.



 

3 cousins of Badal join Congress
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
The Punjab Congress today took its political fight to the village of the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

The Congress leadership succeeded in making three cousins — Mr Maheshinder Singh Dhillon, Mr Hardeep Inder Singh and Mr Sarabjit Singh — of Mr Badal join the Congress here.

Mr Dhillon is a son of Mr Teja Singh, who, it is said, had initiated Mr Badal into politics. Mr Hardeep Inder Singh, who had remained politically inactive for the past some years, had been the Minister of State for Transport in the Barnala government.

Mr Baldev Singh Abul Khurana, who served Mr Badal in 1978 as a private secretary, and Mr Amarjit Madhir, a grandson of a former MLA from the Faridkot area, also joined the Congress along with Mr Badal’s cousins.

Besides the PPCC president, Capt Amarinder Singh, a large number of party MLAs welcomed the new entrants to the party at a function organised at a local hotel.

Capt Amarinder Singh said that no commitment had been made to the new faces regarding the party ticket in the coming Assembly elections.

When asked what made them join the Congress, the three cousins said that Mr Badal had failed to provide the right direction to the development of the state and resolve important issues pertaining to Punjab. “We differ with Mr Badal on his political approach and ideology”, they added.

Replying to a question regarding Operation Bluestar, Mr Hardeep Inder Singh said that Mr Badal’s role in the operation had remained hidden till date and it would be exposed in the coming days.

He said that the Congress should not keep itself aloof from the religious affairs of the Sikhs. “By leaving the religious field open to the Akalis, the Congress has allowed the Akalis to do whatever they like”, Mr Hardeep Inder Singh said urging the Congress leaders to become active on the religious front.

When asked whether they had any information with regard to the property owned by Mr Badal, they said that they knew only about 100 acres of land which was inherited by him( Mr Badal) as ancestral property. At one time Mr Badal had only 15 buses and how many he owned now should be investigated by mediapersons, he said.

Meanwhile, Capt Amarinder Singh said that “no nonsense pertaining to party discipline” would be tolerated. He said this while replying to questions in the context of the recent statements made by Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar.

The party high command was looking into Mr Brar’s case.

Capt Amarinder Singh said the presidents of the Muktsar and Faridkot units of the party had been given show-cause notices by the Disciplinary Committee for making statements against the party leadership.

Capt Amarinder Singh said that he was the first to oppose the giving of the party ticket to the kith and kin of Congress leaders except in rare cases. Mr Brar said nothing new in this regard. Secondly, Capt Amarinder Singh said, he had stopped Mr Brar from projecting him (Capt Amarinder Singh) as a candidate for the chief ministership of the state.

Applications would be invited soon from the aspirants for the party ticket in the state and candidates for various constituencies would be named by the end of December, Capt Amarinder Singh said.


 

Police clueless on 206 missing kids
Harwinder Dhillon

Amritsar, November 9
The startling 206 cases of missing children, including 139 cases of kidnapped teenagers in four years in the state, especially in the border belt, has put a question mark on the efficiency of the Punjab police.

The ruling party MLA, Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla, who has raised the problem of crime against children many times, said it was a matter of concern that the state government had not supplied information about the missing children.

She alleged that the investigation in these cases had been progressing at a snail’s pace due to the indifferent attitude of all concerned. The parents of these unfortunate children had been going from pillar to post to seek justice, but in vain.

What is worse, the government has not filled the posts of Superintendent of Police (Operation) at the district level to deal with crime against children even as the Chief Minister had given categorical assurance on the floor of Assembly when the issue was raised by her.

Citing examples on the “callous” attitude of the Punjab police, Ms Chawla said that the 20-year-old fatherless Kiranjit Kaur of Harike Pattan had gone missing under mysterious circumstances. Though this particular case was taken at the level of the Chief Minister who had directed the Inspector-General (border range) to immediately probe the matter, yet the police was clueless. Ms Chawla said her family apprehends that Kiranjit might have been killed. Ms Chawla alleged that there was nexus between politician and criminals.

Quoting another example from Verka (Amritsar), Ms Chawla said that son of Gurmukh Singh was kidnapped in broad daylight in 1999. His father is today disillusioned with the “efforts” of police.

In another case a doctor, whose son was kidnapped from school six years ago has been yearning to meet his beloved child.

Ms Chawla said that as per the statistics, as many as 62 alleged culprits went scotfree while only 17 persons were sentenced and more than 24 cases were scrapped.


 

Bylaws flouted in Ram Bagh
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 9
Even as the notification issued by the state government which declared the historic Ram Bagh as a protected monument (built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh) stands non-implemented, the bylaws too are being violated with impunity.

Ram Bagh was declared a protected monument under the Archaeological Act 1964 on the initiative of INTACH on October 8, 1997. But no concrete action has been taken to implement it.

Though a meeting attended by the then Secretary, Cultural Affairs, Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, last year had decided not to allow activities like holding of marriages, political and cultural functions, yet they are being continued even as the bicentenary of the Maharaja’s coronation is few days away.

Dr Sukhdev Singh, state convener of INTACH (the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage), alleged that it was a matter of concern that only “Summer Palace” and “Deodi” of the bagh were being given a facelift to mark the coronation ceremony. The other important buildings within the precincts had been ignored.

Shocking, one of the monuments Ram Bagh premises, belonging to a commander of Maharaja Ranjit Singh houses the services club and the Deputy Commissioner is the chairman of this club. During the meeting, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Narinderjit Singh, had stated that the clubs functioning within the garden should be shifted.

The rear part of this building is in a dilapidated condition, with garbage littered all over. The garbage attracts a number of stray cattle.

Mr Harkanwaljit Singh, an activist of INTACH, said that if the Punjab Government was sincere about celebrating the coronation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, it must protect the entire garden. Office-bearers of INTACH said that as per the notification, the entire 81 acres of the garden should have been transferred from the Municipal Corporation to the Department of Cultural Affairs and Museum.

The “Summer Palace” which houses the museum relating to Maharaja Ranjit Singh is under the Department of Museum and Archives, Punjab, while the “Deodi” is under the Archaeological Survey of India.

Dr Sukhdev Singh described the attitude of the authorities as “criminal negligence”. He said it was the right time to implement the notification during the celebration of bicentenary of Maharaja’s coronation. He said the clubs should be vacated immediately and the buildings converted into a museum.

Mr Brij Bedi, convener, Citizens Forum, and Mr Charanjit Singh Gumtala, office-bearer of the Amritsar Vikas Manch, said that the state government must involve NGOs to restore the glory of the protected monuments. He said a trust should be formed and the Rs 10 crore which was earmarked for the maintenance of Ram Bagh should be deposited in the bank and its interest used for this purpose. He said security guards should be employed so that the landscaping and heritage of the Maharaja are not spoiled. 


 

Commission agents to go on strike
Non-payment by procurement agencies
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
Good work done by making almost hassle-free procurement of paddy has been washed away by the non-payment of dues by government procurement agencies to farmers and commission agents in various parts of Punjab.

In fact, the government is going to face trouble in the rural areas in the days to come because of the non-payment of dues. Today, commission agents under the banner of their association held a meeting at Khanna, Asia’s biggest grain market, and gave a call to observe a strike in the Khanna grain market for the next three days starting tomorrow. The agents would not cooperate in the procurement of paddy from tomorrow.

Mr Sadhu Ram, president of the association, told TNS that at the Khanna Mandi alone farmers were to be paid about Rs 60 crore by the government procurement agencies for the current paddy season. Commission agents today held a dharna at the office of the Market Committee there to press the government for the early payment of dues. If the payment was not made by November 13, the association would give a call for a statewide strike, he added.

According to commission agents, the Food and Supplies Department has made payment for the paddy procured till October 8, Markfed till October 14, Punjab Agro till October 13, Punsup also till October 13 at in the Khanna Mandi. Nothing was due against the FCI, he added. The case is almost the same at other grain markets.

The government has also not paid about Rs 15 crore to rice millers who have handed over levy rice after milling to the government agencies concerned.

Till date, about 109 lakh tonnes of paddy has been procured. Last year’s total procurement was 106 lakh tonnes.

Informed official sources said today that the procurement agencies were yet to pay about Rs 1,500 crore to farmers and commission agents. They said the release of the money from the state headquarter to various procurement agencies had been delayed because of certain problems.

The state government has been engaged in a running feud with the RBI over settling of the food account for the past many years. The RBI had asked the state government to first clinch the issue regarding Rs 1,200 crore , which, according to the RBI, was due against the state government in its books . Sources said that as the government had paid the money to the RBI by diverting it from funds totalling Rs 6,300 crore sanctioned for the procurement of paddy this year, the release of money to the procurement agencies was delayed.

The sources said that the government today released Rs 1,020 crore for the clearance of the dues of various procurement agencies. About Rs 500 crore more would be required for this purpose. The authorities have been trying their best for the past some days to get more funds approved from the RBI for full and final payment to the farmers and commission agents concerned.

Meanwhile, allegations pertaining to large-scale corruption in procurement have been doing the rounds in grain markets and other circles concerned. Most of the commission agents as well as farmers privately admit that they have paid about Rs 2 per bag (50 kg) to various officials for getting their paddy procured. The money involved as bribe runs into several crores of rupees.

Commission agents and farmers say the giving of bribe to officials had been a part of the procurement system for the past several years. Earlier, it used to be 50 paise per bag (100 kg), but over the years , the rate has gone up to Rs 2 per bag( 50 kg).

But this year, another dimension was added to the corruption. At certain places, rice millers made a fast buck by first rejecting the paddy which was sent to their premises for milling and then accepting it by charging between Rs 2,500 and Rs 3,500 per truckload. This happened mostly in the Ludhiana, Patiala and Sangrur areas.



 

Finance Minister gheraoed
Our Correspondent

Budhlada, November 9
Dissidence in the Shiromani Akali Dal came to the fore here yesterday when hundreds of supporters of Mr Harbant Singh, Chairman, Market Committee, Budhlada, raised slogans against Mr Kanwaljit Singh, Finance Minister, and gheraoed him in a bid to prevent him from visiting Kalipur village in the district.

They told the minister that he was “encouraging groupism” in the party by visiting the village. When the minister told them that he was visiting the village on a personal invitation, they gave in and requested him to address their meeting. But the minister spurned their request and left for Chandigarh.

The minister inaugurated a school at Kalipur village. Addressing the audience, he claimed there was no groupism in the party.

Regarding POTO, the minister said his party would not support any law curbing human rights.

Among others who addressed the meeting were Mr Jaswant Singh Phaphre Bhaike, a former Deputy Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Mr Jagjit Singh Principal, Mr Kaur Singh Khara, both SGPC members, Mr Mohinder Singh Dodra and Mr Balam Singh, sarpanch, Gram Panchayat, Kalipur.


 

Mann clarifies on Morcha-BSP tie-up

Jalandhar, November 9
Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president and Panthic Morcha leader Simranjit Singh Mann today sought to make it clear that the Morcha would not be a junior partner in case of a poll alliance with the BSP.

Talking to newspersons here, he described as “unjustified’’ the claim of Mr Kanshi Ram that the BSP would contest a majority of the Assembly seats in alliance with the Morcha. He claimed the Morcha had a larger base than the BSP and hence it would contest more seats, adding that the matter of seat adjustment would be finalised only after a formal alliance with the BSP.

On the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) presidential election to be held on November 27, Mr Mann said he would extend support to its president Jagdev Singh Talwandi if he is renominated by the ruling SAD. He lauded Mr Talwandi for taking a principled stand on the sacrilege issue, adding that no other candidate of the SAD would be acceptable as SGPC presidential candidate to his party. UNI



 

Shahpur Kandi Dam promise not fulfilled
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, November 9
Repeated assurances by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, and Mr Sat Pal Saini, Minister of State for Information and Technology, regarding the initiation of construction of Shahpur Kandi Dam Project (SKDP) in October have not been fulfilled. According to official sources, the construction is likely to be deferred till the next government is sworn in after the coming Assembly elections.

The sources said that money needed for the project had not been released due to the resource crunch faced by the Punjab Government. The Central Government had promised to release Rs 40 crore but it withheld the amount as the Punjab Government failed to contribute its share. It is said that Punjab is diverting its funds to sangat darshan programmes.

Mr Gian Chand Loomba, vice-president, Punjab unit of INTUC, told this correspondent today said that the machinery which could have been untilised for the project was being sold to junk dealers on throwaway prices.

Mr Loomba said till the SKDP was completed, the total generation capacity of Ranjit Sagar Dam (RSD) could not be harnessed. It requires a release of 24000 cusec of water to operate all four powerhouses of RSD to generate the full capacity of 600 MW of electricity per day. Two of its powerhouses have been made operational in the past. The completion of SKDP will increase generation of 136 MW of electricity and help irrigation in Jammu and Kashmir through a diversion canal being dug from Ranjit Sagar Dar site to Jammu which will meet Tawi river there.

Meanwhile, Mr Loomba said the Punjab Government had failed to honour the commitments made by the Chief Minister with workers of Ranjit Sagar Dam on March 3 before it was dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister on March 4.



 

Patiala’s first bypass surgery performed
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 9
Patiala has achieved a new milestone in healthcare as the city’s first two bypass surgeries were conducted recently at the Patiala Heart and Healthcare Institute, a modern institution with state-of-the-art facilities, which has started these operations recently.

Motia Kaur (75) was the first person to undergo a bypass operation at the healthcare institution. She is recuperating in the hospital and will be discharged after 10 days. Harbans Singh, a son of the patient, said though he worked with the local Escorts unit which had a liaison with the Escorts Hospital of New Delhi, he preferred to get his mother operated here after being convinced of the facilities being offered by the Institute. “Though it seemed like a risk then”, now I am happy that I did not have to go out of town to get the operation done as this would have entailed further problems”, he added.

Providing world class facilities locally seems to be the USP of the promoters of the institute. Dr Gurpreet Singh Sidhu of the institute said it was commonly seen in cases of heart attack that patients were put to severe disadvantage in case they had to travel far for medical care. He said all hospitals wanted patients to come to them as fast as possible following complications of the heart and that the hospitals lost out in cases where there was delay in this regard.

Dr Sidhu said cardio-coronary disease was happening to Punjabis at an epidemic level due to their eating habits, hence provision of quality medical services was necessary at their door step. He said the institute, which had started active operation in October, already had two successful bypass surgeries to its credit. He said besides Motia Kaur the second patient-Karnail Singh of nearby Kalajhar village had blocked arteries which had to be grafted.

The doctor said the hospital team, which included Dr Sunil Sareen, who had worked in Texas Heart Institute for five years, Dr A.K. Chopra from AIIMS and other senior city doctors, had varied experience and could tackle a large variety of cases. Dr Sareen said the hospital was offering “beating heart” surgery in case of bypass operations with the patient not being put on the pump.

He said this involved a shorter stay at the hospital, lesser blood loss and also reduced the risk factor. Dr Sareen said the hospital was conducting cardiac coronary surgery, including angiography, angioplasty, stanting, pacemaker implantations and angio plasty of cerebral and kidney arteries. He said besides this valve replacement surgery and surgery aimed at removing congenital defects in children was also being done.

The hospital, which runs 24-hour emergency services and has also geared up its cath laboratory for 24 hour operations, aims to provide patient care at a very primary level with cost effective management. Dr Sidhu said simultaneously academic studies were also being done by the hospital into prevalence of heart diseases in Punjab and prevention measures needed to be put into force.



 

BBMB derecognises Karamchari Sangh
Our Correspondent

Ropar, November 9
The Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), on directions from the Union Ministry of Labour has withdrawn the recognition granted to the Bhakra Management Board Karamchari Sangh, union of workers of the organisation affiliated with the BMS.

In a letter to the union general secretary, the BBMB management has stated that as per the verification of membership conducted by the Ministry of Labour, it has been found that the Union affiliated to the BMS has lost majority. Instead the rival union affiliated with INTUC, the Nangal Bakra Mazdoor Sangh, has emerged as the majority union and has been accorded the recognition by the BBMB management.

The derecognition of the BMS has come as a major setback to the BJP, especially in the Nangal constituency, which is represented by the prominent leader of the party, Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, Food and Civil Supplies Minister, Punjab. The Nangal constituency has a large representation of the BBMB workers and the sources say that the derecognition of the BMS would have an adverse effect on the prospects of the BJP in the area during the forthcoming assembly elections. The Nangal constituency has about 8000 BBMB employees.

The BMS union had been in the majority in the BBMB since the last two decades before. In the employee-dominated Nangal constituency earlier also the BMS affiliated union in National Fertilizers Ltd (MFL) had lost the elections.



 

Terrorist victims face govt apathy
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 9
Five persons were interviewed in the terrorist victim dependent quota on May 11 this year. All of them received selection letters dated May 28 for the Class III posts of senior assistant in the ITI branch of Katra Sher Singh here. Surprisingly, none of them has yet been appointed against the vacancy despite a lapse of more than four months. All of them are running from pillar to post for the promised jobs.

Three of them — Sumit Kaushik, Vishal Marwaha and Ashok Kumar — met this correspondent yesterday as Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla, BJP MLA explained their plight. The pitiable condition of some 125 families in Amritsar district alone was also highlighted, with 50 of these families being presented here before mediapersons yesterday.

Similarly 13 candidates who were given the selection letter through the office of the Deputy Commissioner to be appointed in Jalandhar corporation are still awaiting appointment as clerks. They include Jasbir Singh of Lohuhk village in Patti, Pankaj Arora, Tejinder Singh of Nangal Dyal village, Harnek from Khadoor Sahib Sarli Kalan.

Promila of Gurdaspur missed the date of the interview owing to a two-month delay in her police enquiry report despite a wait of eight years.

Government apathy can be gauged from the case of Suman Bala and her brother who had been sustaining on pension and help from relatives. After their mother died, the pension too was stopped while no job was allotted to either of them.

Most of these families do small jobs for sustenance. While some are daily wage workers, others embroider shawls and suits, make garlands, stitch clothes or work in factories.



 

SC admits plea on cess
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
While admitting a special leave petition against the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s decision pertaining to the Punjab Social Securities Act, the Supreme Court has issued notice of motion in the case, according to official sources.

Mr Justice S.S.M. Quadri and Mr Justice S.M. Pukhan, of the apex court has admitted the petition after hearing the arguments of the state government’s representatives.

The SLP has been filed by the Punjab Government against the High Court’s decision under which the Punjab Social Securities Act, 2000 was declared unconstitutional on the ground that the cess imposed on the sale and purchase of goods, as a percentage of the sales tax payable under the general law, was beyond the legislative competence of the state legislature.

Secondly, in view of the Article 266 of the Constitution, the proceeds of the cess could not be deposited directly in the fund created under the said Act and should have been deposited first into the Consolidated Fund of the state.



 

Money going to fake pensioners: Dang
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 9
Piari, who was drawing old-age pension via PLA No. 21525 from January 4, 1986, last received her pension on September 11, 1999. Thereafter, her pension was stopped. It was found that the official register of the District Social Securities (DSS) Department had been “tampered” with, revealed Mr Satya Pal Dang, veteran CPI leader, here today. He said her name was struck off and another name (Mohinder Kaur) was inserted in its place. The department made it appear that all arrears had been paid to the rightful person. However, the arrears and pension after 1999 had gone to the “bogus” pensioner.

Similarly Karaj Singh’s (PLA No. 485) pension was discontinued in 1994. Mr Dang said there could be hundreds of such cases throughout the district. He demanded a high-level inquiry into the matter.


 

Seminars mark Legal Services Day
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, November 9
Seminars were today held in various districts and subdivisions in the region to celebrate Legal Services Day.

The participants, mainly judges, lawyers, judicial officials, panches and other citizens, talked of free legal aid being provided. They also discussed the number of lok adalats held in the towns and cities and the number and kind of cases settled by them.

Reports of such celebrations were received from Pathankot, Barnala, Faridkot, Kapurthala, Malerkotla, Balachaur, Sonepat, Kurukshetra, Sirsa, Nahan, Sangrur, Bathinda, Talwandi Sabo, Tarn Taran, Hoshiarpur, Yamunanagar and Jalandhar.



 

Memorial gate inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 9
Mr Rajdip Singh Gill, IG Police, Zone-1, Patiala, today inaugurated a shaheed Police Memorial Gate at Gharachon village, about 12 km from here.

The gate is built with the joint efforts of the police, village panchayat and other prominent persons in memory of ASI Dalel Singh who was killed in an encounter with the militants in the Samana police area and eight other security personnel who were killed in July 1991 at Gharachon village when militants attacked the village police post.

Addressing the gathering on occasion, Mr Rajdip Singh Gill all types of facilities for the families of the police martyrs. He said the police was providing a job to one of each police martyr. He also said the government was actively considering to provide free bus travelling facility to the children of the police martyrs in the state.

Mr Jatinder Singh Aulakh, SSP, said the district police with the cooperation of people had constructed four gates in the district while six more such gates would be constructed to keep the memories of the police martyrs alive.

Mr Gill also honoured family members of nine police martyrs by presenting them mementos.

The function was also addressed by Mr Mandip singh Sidhu, SP (Headquarters) and Mr Paramjit Singh, Sarpanch, Gram Panchayat, Gharachon.

Later, Mr Rajdip Singh Gill inaugurated dental wing of the police hospital and a skating rink at the local police lines. 


 

Ahmadiyas criticise Pak ulemas
Our Correspondent

Qadian (Amritsar), November 9
Leaders of the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiya Organisation used the occasion of their 110 jalsa salana (annual celebration) of the Ahmadiya community here today to come down heavily on Pakistan’s religious heads and politicians who were misleading gullible Muslim masses about the Ahmadiya community”.

Ironically, the flag hoisting ceremony on the occasion of the inaugural session yesterday was undertaken by Mr Syed Abdul Hai Sahib, secretary of Jamaat Ahmadiya, Pakistan.

Castigating Paksitan’s false propaganda about the community disbelieving in the finality of holy prophet Mohammad as the ultimate leader, they alleged that the ‘ulemas’ of other sects had started the disinformation campaign.

Delegates from 15 countries are taking part in the conference.


 

Workshop workers hold march
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 9
Members of the Field and Workshop Workers Union held a flag march in the city and organised a protest rally. The call for the rally in the home constituency of the Minister of the State was given by Daily, Wages and Workcharge Regular Employee Action committee, Punjab, to express its resentment against the indifferent attitude of the state government towards their demands.


 

Arhtiyas stage dharna at DC’s office
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 9
A large number of arhtiyas of the district today sat on dharna in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner here and took out a protest march in protest against the non-payment of paddy, procured by different procurement agencies since October 12, so far.

Earlier, the arhtiyas from Sunam, Dhuri, Barnala, Sherpur, Malerkotla, Tapa, Ahmedgarh and Sangrur etc gathered in the local grain market and held a meeting. Later, they took out a protest march and raised slogans against the Punjab Government and procurement agencies and in favour of release of payments immediately.


 

SSP transferred
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, November 9
Mr Jagdish Kumar Mittal, local SSP, has been transferred from here and has been made the Commandant of the 1st IRB battalion, Patiala in place of Mr Gurdeep Singh. Mr Mittal left to take his new assignment today.


 

Firm stealing power worth Rs 4 cr caught
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, November 9
A team of the Punjab State Electricity board (PSEB) led by the Enforcement staff of the local PSEB circle has detected power theft worth Rs 4.14 crore in a raid on Sada Shiv Castings, an induction Furnance at Dera Bassi. This is the biggest ever power theft detected by the PSEB during the past five years period, claim board sources.

The sources told this correspondent today here that on a tip-off, a PSEB team raided the firm with having the help of the enforcement staff of Kapurthala and Ludhiana districts. Fake seals were being used to tamper with the power system in the firm.

The connection of the firm was disconnected on the spot by the raiding team.


 

Man beats up officials; arrest sought
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 9
The PSEB Engineers Association of the Sangrur region today demanded the arrest of Surinder Singh of Dhuri village and his other accomplices for allegedly “beating up” Mr S.R. Vashist, AEE, City Subdivision, Dhuri, and JEs Surinder Singh and Bhup Singh when they allegedly “caught” Surinder Singh for theft of power during routine checking last evening.

This demand was made at a meeting of the association, held under the presidentship of Mr Amar Singh Walia, regional secretary of the association, at Dhuri today.

The meeting also condemned the beating up of officers of the PSEB by private persons, when they were on duty.

Mr Walia said the AEE and the JEs were undergoing treatment in the Dhuri Civil Hospital.

A case has been registered at the Dhuri police station in this regard.


 

Youth Festival from Nov 16
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 9
Guru Nanak Dev University will be organising a four-day Zone ‘A’ youth festival for women from November 16, while three-day youth festival for men will be held from November 20 to 22.

Mr Bhagat Singh, Financial Commissioner (Revenue), Punjab will inaugurate the Zone ‘A’ festival on November 16 while Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, will preside over the concluding function of the festival on November 19.

The Zone ‘B’ youth festival for men will be inaugurated by Dr S.P. Singh, Vice-Chancellor on November 20 at Jalandhar. Mr Mohan Lal, Minister for Higher Education, Punjab, will preside over the valedictory function of November 22. Students of affiliated colleges will participate in different items of music, dance, folk song, orchestra etc.


 

Talent search competition results
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 9
The MIMIT Institute Malout, organised a talent search competition yesterday. Dr S.P. Singh, regional director AICTE, presided over the function.

Dr Gurdeep Singh, Principal of the institute in a press note issued here today said students were given opportunity to show their talent in 16 categories which were judged by various eminent personalities in their respective fields.

For musical items Parveen Pankaj from Abohar, Nirmal Deol from Malout were the judges. For dance and skit items, Amarjeet Joshi from Muktsar and Gurraj Chahel from Abohar were the judges.

The following students were winners in different items: Shabad gayan- Harmeet Kaur (first) Rajwinder Kaur (second); Poem Mandeep Kaur (first) Vishal (second); solo song — Sumit Singh (first) Mandeep Kaur (second) and Jagroop Singh (third); folk songs— Nirvair Neeru (first) and Jagdeep Singh (second); solo dance — Shweta Sachdeva (first) Nishu Jain (second) and Deepak Malhotra (third); histronics — Avninder Singh first and Vishawdeep Singh (second).

Group dance-Shweta group (first) and Ritu group (second) Ms Rajwinder Kaur was chosen best dancer; folk dance-Sandeep and group (first) Simrat group (second) Karandeep and Gurvir were chosen as best dancers.

Choreography —Shweta Sachdeva; and group skit-Varun and party (first) and Bikram and party (second); collage making —Summet and Niharika (winner); cartoon making — Summet and Niharika; poster making —Neha Gupta and Nidhi Aggarwal (first); rangoli — Shiwani Gupta and Neha Gupta (first) and Nidhi Aggarwal and Suruchi — second.

Awarding the winners, Dr S.P. Singh appreciated the performances of the students. He also lauded the collage for its infrastructure and the quality of faculty. 


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