Wednesday, November 6, 2002, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



SHSAD plans to ‘free’ SGPC members
Our Correspondent

Sema (Bathinda), November 5
The General Secretary of the SHSAD, Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, said here today that party would send jathas to Nada Sahib and Balasar in Haryana to free members of the SGPC “kept in captivity” by former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. He was addressing members of his party.

He said the campaign was to be launched from today, but due to unavoidable circumstances the programme had to be postponed to November 7. He said during the campaign, help would not only be taken from the people, but legal help also sought to get the members “freed”.

Mr Chandumajra said the members had to be “freed” so that the election of the president of the SGPC was free and fair.

He alleged Mr Badal had imposed several restrictions on the members confined at Nada Sahib and Balasar. He said they were not allowed to meet their family members for Divali.

He said the trend of selecting the SGPC head as per the wishes of Mr Badal during the previous years was a bad one and had to be stopped.

Mr Chandumajra said due to the “adamant” behaviour of Mr Badal, the Congress had succeeded in forming government in the state. He said if Mr Badal did not mend his ways, it would harm the Panth. The SGPC members should be allowed to vote as per their will.

He said the SGPC had come into existence for maintenance of gurdwaras and propagating Sikh teachings, but Mr Badal had used it for “political” purposes.

He said the SHSAD was against interference by either the state or the Union Government into the SGPC affairs. He said the SHSAD President had written to the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani in this regard.

He alleged a Union Minister had approached SGPC members and pressurised them to vote for a particular group. He said these “tactics” would bring a bad name to the SGPC in particular and the Sikh Panth in general.


Congress interests in SGPC poll

Amritsar, November 5
The Congress has always criticised the Akalis for their religio-political policies, in the past, there have been ample instances wherein the Congress influenced the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) annual poll.

The Congress under the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, is ensuring the defeat of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) headed by Parkash Singh Badal which initially had the support of 120 members amongst the 176 which have the voting right in the general house.

At least 20 to 25 members have been influenced from certain quarters and they have openly declared that they would vote as per their conscience.

Prominent among these members who have raised the banner of revolt are former SGPC general secretary Mal Singh Ghuman and Partap Singh Advocate who even held an ‘ardas’ before the Akal Takht and even accused Mr Badal of denegrating Sikh values.

Another prominent member who raised the banner of revolt was Mohinder Singh Ramana, a close confidant of Mr Badal.

The accusations of the Congress interfering in the affairs of the Sikhs and the SGPC have not only come from SAD quarters but also from Akali Dal (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann, who has gone on record of claiming that the Punjab government was helping the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra’s group to win the November 12 annual presidential elections, which would also elect two vice-presidents and a general secretary.

Though in the 1996 annual general elections of the SGPC, the then Congress government did not play any role or interfere in the election process, one of its members Jagtar Singh Multani, who was also an MLA, was elected to the SGPC general house.

It is a wellknown fact that in the 1978 SGPC general elections, the Congress government under the then Chief Minister Darbara Singh took keen interest in the elections with the motive to ensure the defeat of the then united Akali Dal.

The Congress indirectly extended support to the candidates put up by supporters of Jarnail Singh Bhinderwale against the official Akali candidates.

However, the Bhindrawale supporters could win only nine odd seats and even lost the prestigious Beas seat where Amrik Singh, the then All India Sikh Students Federation president and close confidant of Bhindrawale, tasted defeat at the hands of late Jiwan Singh Umranangal.

According to SGPC, till 1955, a number of Congress men who were then in the Akali party contested the SGPC polls and even emerged victorious. Prominent amongst these was Giani Kartar Singh who joined the Congress in 1960 and became a minister in the Partap Singh Kairon ministry.

Then there was Sohan Singh Jalalusman who too was a SGPC member and later joined the Congress and became minister.

The other Akali SGPC members who later became Congress MLAs included Mohan Singh Nagoke, who was the SGPC president from 1944 to 1948 and later became MLA, Waryam Singh and Sikander Singh.

However, the first direct interference in the presidential polls of the SGPC was in 1958 when, through the indirect support of chief minister Partap Singh Kairon, Prem Singh Lalpura defeated Akali stalwart Master Tara Singh.

In 1960, the Congress influenced certain Akali leaders of the Majha belt who formed the ‘saad sangat board’ and contested the SGPC presidential poll. But, much to the surprise of the then Congress leaders, they were humbled by Master Tara Singh.

Another little known fact is that the Communists too contested the SGPC general elections, once in 1955 to win 21 seats and even had one of their members elected as the senior vice president of the SGPC. Thereafter the Communist never entered the SGPC poll arena. UNI


Elect ‘clean’ persons to lead Panth: Vedanti
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 5
In his message, on the occasion of “Bandi Chhor Divas” (Divali) from Akal Takht, rostrum Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti called upon Sikhs to elect “clean Panthic leaders” to manage Sikh shrines.

The message assumes significance preceding the election of SGPC chief and other office-bearers. The message reads that the “Khalsa Panth” is surrounded by a number of crises. The leaders with vested interests were instrumental in the degradation of Sikh institutions. The “weaknesses” of the leaders was also responsible for the current crisis. This was the reason that the “anti Panthic forces” were active these days. He lamented that the allegations and counter allegations by one Sikh organisation against another other had already caused immense loss to the Sikh institution.

Jathedar Vedanti called upon all right thinking Panthic leaders to work for the high spirit of the community even as “self-styled” saints or “Babas” had created a lot of confusion in Panthic circles.

He said that religious persons should come on one platform to streamline the existing system. He indicated that the management of Sikh shrines should be the sole responsible of truly religious persons only.


PGPC appoints new Chairman
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 5
In view of the efforts to motivate Sikhs to visit Pakistan by the Pakistan Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PGPC) and placate hurt Sikh feelings over the embezzlement of gurdwara funds and pilferage of offerings besides gurdwara land frauds committed allegedly by two former chairmen of the PGPC, the Auqf Board and PGPC has appointed Lt-Gen Mohammed Naim Akbar Khan as the Sikh body’s new Chairman in Pakistan.

The decision to appoint a new Chairman comes after Lt-Gen Javed Nasir relinquished office. Later the new Chairman Lt-Gen Inayatuallaha Khan Niazi took over and allegations against them surfaced in August leading to their removal. The decision on sending Sikh jathas to Pakistan is to be finalised on November 6 by Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani.

Mr Harpal Singh Bhuller, president of the International Bhai Mardana Yadgari Kirtan Darbar Society, stated that Mr Tirlochan Singh, Chairman of the National Minorities Commission, and Mr Madan Lal Khurana, former Delhi Chief Minister, were making efforts to get permission from the Home Ministry for Sikh pilgrims. He said a proposal by Mr Advani was turned down as he had offered to permit only about 25 Sikh leaders to go on the annual pilgrimage to Pakistan on the ‘gurpurb’ of Guru Nanak Dev. Mr Bhuller, while talking to Mr Sham Singh and Mr Ijaz-ul-Hassan, co-Chairperson and joint secretary of the PGPC, respectively, in Pakistan today said they had raised the issue of gurdwara land grab cases by local residents.

While talking to The Tribune, Mr Bhuller said PGPC officials gave assurances of taking up kar seva of Nankana Sahib which was to be gold plated besides the Chuna Mandi Lahore gurdwara of fourth Sikh Guru Ram Dass. The PGPC has formed three committees for receiving jathas from India. These are the welcome committee, religious stage committee and langar committee, Mr Sham said. Mr Bhuller said about 12 more Punjabis had landed in Quetta jail in Pakistan due to being misled by travel agents. This had brought the total number of Punjabis in Pakistani jails to 23. He said a list of 141 devotees had already been sent to the Pakistan Government by the Society for clearance. Meanwhile, Jathdar, Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, has urged the Central Government to make arrangements for sending Sikh jathas to Pakistan.


Army man held for helping ultras
Tribune News Service

Batala, November 5
The local police has arrested Avtar Singh, an Army official and a resident of Bhattian village, for supplying government ammunition to extremists of the Khalisatan Liberation Force during the heyday of terrorism.

The district police chief, Dr Naresh Kumar Arora, stated here today that Avtar Singh was arrested on a tip-off from Kotla Mansa village by a police party led by Mr Harjit Singh, Additional SHO, Qadian police station, during a naka. The police recovered one artillery shell weighing 25 kg which was buried at a secret place and apprehended the culprit.

The SSP said Avtar Singh had confessed that he used to supply government ammunition to Surinder Singh, alias Chhinda of Gallowal village, Bikram Singh, alias Bika, of Bhattian village and Gonna of Shri Hargobindpur — all from the Khalistan Liberation Force — during 1991 and 1992.


Akali morcha will flop: Hanspal
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, November 5
The PPCC president, Mr Hanspal today said the Punjab Government would fulfil in letter and spirit all promises made in the Congress poll manifesto, including declaration of assets by party MLA’s. Talking to the media here, Mr Hanspal said that whosoever was found corrupt, should be booked. He was replying to a question as to whether Akalis alone were corrupt.

I am against witchhunt,” he stated. On the Akalis’ “Jail bharo agitation from November 15, Mr Hanspal said in his opinion the morcha was destined to flop as it was aimed at saving the skin of ‘corrupt” elements.

We pointed out that the government had yet to take action against “tainted” Congressmen indicted by the Lok Pal, Mr Hanspal remarked the indictment had taken place during the Badal regime and he should have acted in the regard.

Mr Hanspal gave out figures to prove that development was going on at speed contract farming had started to free farmers from the debt trap that the Badal government had landed them into. About 60-65 overhead bridges had been approved.

The truth was that Mr Badal had been meddling in the SGPC affairs during his chief ministership by selecting its President through “parchi, he said. Even now he was holding SGPC members captive in Haryana, he vainly alleged. On Cabinet expansion, Mr Hanspal said the exercise was being withheld due to financial constraints but the PPCC Executive would be announced this month.

Mr Tarsem Lal Batra of the New Frontier Cloth House have presented a memorandum to Mr Hanspal on behalf of the Shopkeepers of Bansawala Bazar, demanding a parking enclave in the town.

Mr Hanspal, later addressed a congregation at the local Vishvakarma Temple. Local MLA Joginder Singh Mann accompanied him.


BJP to support SAD agitation: Rinwa
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
The BJP will wholeheartedly support the agitational programme launched by SAD but the form of participation will be decided in a day or two, says state BJP chief Brij Lal Rinwa. He was in the city today to announce the new office-bearers of the unit.

Mr Rinwa said SAD had done the right thing by focussing on the failure of the Congress on every front. “None of the poll promises have been fulfilled and the people are fed up with the non-performance of the government so far. All developmental activity has come to a standstill and many anti -people decisions have been taken,” he alleged.

Reacting to a query he said their alliance was stronger then ever and the party high command was of the view that the oppressive measures launched by the Congress had to be checked. The decision has been conveyed to us but the form of participation would be announced in a day or two in consultation with the new office-bearers, he said.

Answering another question he said the need for a reshuffle was being felt for a long time since many persons had become inactive. Although the tenure of the earlier team was to expire in March, certain ground realities called for a change at this stage. The views of the team were being complied for ensuring that the unit worked to strengthen the party at the grassroots, he added.

He later introduced the new office-bearers to the mediapersons. They are as follows: vice -presidents — Bibi Gurcharan Kaur, MP (Panjgrain — Faridkot), Jathedar Sukhwant Singh (Dhanaula — Sangrur), Mr Shakti Sharma (Ludhiana) and Mr Vijay Sampla (Jalandhar rural).

General secretary (organisation) — Mr Avinash Jaiswal (Amritsar).

General secretaries — Mr Harjit Singh Grewal (Sangrur) and Prof Rajinder Bhandari (Ludhiana).

Secretaries — Mr Vinod Sharma (Jalandhar urban), Mr Anil Sareen (Ludhiana urban), Mr Arunesh Shakar (Mukerian) and Mr Om Parkash Kalia (Amritsar).

Treasurer — Mr Ashok Juneja (Ludhiana).

Dr Balbir Chand Kapila (Ludhiana urban), president, Gaon Chalo Movement’, and state executive member.


Akali PAC meeting tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, November 5
The SAD will convene an emergency meeting of its political affairs committee (PAC) at Gurdwara Alamgir in Ludhiana for Novemeber 7.

In a press statement issued here today, the press secretary of the SAD, Dr Daljeet Singh Cheema, said the meeting would be presided over by the former Chief Minister and SAD President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

He said the PAC meeting was convened to discuss the prevailing political situation in the state and to formulate party strategy for the forthcoming elections to the executive committee of the SGPC, in particular reference to the alleged interference of the Congress government in the religious affairs of the Sikhs.

Besides, the PAC would formulate a comprehensive plan to ensure huge participation of Akali workers in the proposed “Jail Bharo Andolan” on November 15 in protest against the alleged atrocities being committed by the Congress regime on the Akali leaders and workers by implicating them in false cases.


Badal made wary of ex-minister’s designs
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, November 5
Two SGPC members, Mr Mohinder Singh Romana and Mrs Gurdev Kaur, from Faridkot today cautioned the former Chief Minister and Akali Dal supremo, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to be wary of Mr Gurdev Singh Badal, former Agriculture Minister and Senior Vice-President of the SAD, as he had “never” remained sincere towards the party.

In a separate press statement here, both members refuted the claim of the former Agriculture Minister that he had the support of 18 SGPC members. He had, in fact, two members, Mr Kewal Singh his son and Makhan Singh Nangal with him. Expressing concern, Mr Romana said the SGPC of late had been functioning like a government office.


BSP threatens stir for ‘ignoring’ Dalits
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, November 5
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has threatened stir against the Punjab government for its failure to implement schemes for the welfare of the Dalits. The decision was taken at a meeting of the state exceutive committee of the party presided over by Dr Mohan Singh Phaliwalan, president. Releasing proceedings of the meeting to reporters here today, secretary of the BSP Satish Bharti said that it was decided to organise meetings of party workers at the sub-division-level in the state to mobilise the cadre against the “wrongdoings” of the government.


Minor incidents of fire on Divali
Tribune Reporters

Devotees place candles at the Golden Temple complex on Divali in Amritsar. — PTI photo

Amritsar, November 5
The festival of lights Divali was celebrated in the holy city with traditional fervour and joy. Devotees from far-flung areas visited the Golden Temple and took a dip in the sarovar. The Durgiana temple was also beautifully decorated on the occasion. A number of devotees were seen thronging various shrines here yesterday.

According to information, as many as five minor fire incidents were reported but nobody was seriously injured. A rush of revellers was seen at the city’s prominent commercial areas where traffic was blocked.

KAPURTHALA: Household articles worth Rs 1 lakh were destroyed in a fire which broke out in a house due to bursting of a cracker on the Divali night at Mohalla Mohabat Nagar.

The police said on Tuesday Om Pal, a tenant, was away to his native village in Uttar Pradesh and had locked the upper portion of the house.

The neighbours notices smoke coming out of the room and informed the landlord.

Fire tenders of the municipal council brought the fire under control.

The police said the house caught fire from a cracker missile which went inside the room from a window which was left opened by the tenant.

HOSHIARPUR: A colourful Divali on Monday brought cheer to the lives of inmates of juvenile and old age home at the local Ram Colony Camp. Despite ill health, Mr Romesh Chander Dogra, Health and Family Welfare Minister, Punjab along with social ativists of the city visited the homes of these inmates and distributed fruits, sweets and crackers to celebrate the festival of lights. All gift packs of fruits and sweets which were presented to Mr Dogra by his well-wishers and admirers during the day were distributed among the inmates.

Mr Kuldeep Nanda, president of the DCC, Dr M.L. Kakkar, Civil Surgeon and Dr Harish Ohri were also present there. Divali was celebrated with great enthusiasm here.

PHAGWARA: Minor fires were caused due to bursting of crackers on the occasion of Divali here on Monday. Some tarpaulins and paddy straw were burnt at the local loha mandi and Santokhpura, respectively. However, no major damage was caused as the local fire brigade extinguished the fires in time. A few children also got minor burns due to bursting of crackers in their hands. Meanwhile, Divali and Bandi Chhor Divas were celebrated with traditional fervour here. Sikhs observed Divali to celebrate the liberation of 52 kings from the Gwalior Fort by the sixth Sikh Guru Hargobind Rai — also called Bandi Chhor.


NGO adopts family on Divali
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 5
The Aasra Welfare Society, an NGO working in the city, has adopted a family from Sirsa on Divali this year and resolved to help it financially.

Mr Ramesh Mehta, president of the NGO, said a girl child, Bittu, and her brother were spotted by volunteers of the society. He said the volunteers learnt that the family was finding it difficult to find two square meals a day and the society gave the family Rs 500 in aid.

Mr Mehta said the society had decided to help the family financially every month.


CPM to identify illegal property
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
The Punjab CPM will launch a mass movement on November 18 to “forcibly occupy illegal and benami landed property” of big landlords in the state, Prof Balwant Singh, secretary of the State CPM, said here today. The CPM would simultaneously start a “ jail bharo” agitation to press the government to concede the demands mentioned in the memorandum submitted last month.

Prof Balwant Singh said the recent investigations made by the Vigilance Bureau in certain corruption cases had revealed that people like Gurcharan Singh Pherurai, a former SSP, and certain other big guns own hundreds of acres of agricultural land. These land holdings had been illegally held by these people. As per the state’s Land Ceiling Act, no adult person can hold 17.5 standard acres of land.

The CPM leader said the government should declare all land holdings beyond the permissible limited as surplus for distribution among landless labourers and farmers. The CPM would start the identification of such landlords from November 11 by sending 10-member jathas of the party to various parts of the state. Such landed property had been amassed by the people concerned by resorting to corrupt means, he asserted.

From November 11 to 17, CPM activists would hold camps in the district administration complex in each district to collect affidavits and complaints against government officers indulging in corruption. These affidavits would be handed over to the Chief Minister, the Vigilance Bureau and others concerned for necessary action.

Prof Balwant Singh said the campaign against corruption had made no impact in districts. There was rampant corruption in government offices. The bribe rate for getting any work done in government offices was the highest in Punjab in the country. “Our party would expose the menace of corruption at district level”, he added.

The party had also decided to gherao officers such as District Education Officers, Civil Surgeons, Veterinary Officers and others concerned who had failed to make their subordinates attend their duties properly at their places of posting. Teachers were not attending schools and doctors were staying away from dispensaries in rural areas. Women activists of the party would gherao District Welfare Offices for not paying widow and other pensions to destitute women.

The state government should charge full power bills from big landlords such as Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Mr Harcharan Singh Brar, Mr Bal Ram Jakhar, Mr Adesh Partap Singh Kairon etc and power to their tubewells should not be subsidised. However, poor farmers having a single motor connection should be given free power. The CPM wanted that inter-state issues pertaining to Punjab should be resolved on priority.


Drug-addiction: focus ‘beyond camps’ needed
Tribune News Service

Ferozepore, November 5
The local district administration has been finding it difficult to tackle drug-addiction which has became wide spread.

In the past few years, consumption of drugs has gone up in urban and rural areas of Ferozepore district, leading to socio-economic strains in society. The youth of the region has been the most affected.

“It is believed that smack is smuggled into this border district from Meerut or Gaziabad via Delhi while opium and poppy husk come from Rajasthan,” said Mr Parveen Kumar Sinha, SSP, here.

He said apart from police efforts, a social awareness campaign was needed from the government and non-government organsations to check the menace.

Apart from poverty and privation, unemployment especially among the educated youth, is said to be the main reason for drug-addiction.

Government efforts to stamp out drug-addiction have failed to pay-off because the focus has not been beyond holding of de-addiction camps.

A senior government doctor said medical practitioners could only help drug-addicts referred to them for treatment. They cannot educate people on the hazards of drugs because there was no coordinated efforts by the NGOs.

Although the police has launched a campaign against drug-addiction and nearly 100 addicts have been rehabilitated, those involved in this illegal business of drugs have not been nabbed.

The government and NGOs need to work in unison to curb the menace so that it does not pose threat to the socio-economic fabric.


Artisans worship tools
Tribune reporters and PTI

Chandigarh, November 5
The Vishvakarma Day was celebrated with religious fervour in Punjab and the Union Territory of Chandigarh today.

Artisans and industrial workers performed puja at their establishments and worshipped their tools to mark the day of Lord Vishvakarma.

A report from Moga in Punjab said the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) held a state-level function to mark the occasion.

The INTUC conference asked the state government should set up agro-based industrial units so as to improve the economic condition of the poor.

In Hoshiarpur the day was celebrated at Shakti Temple. A yajana was performed and prayers offered to Lord Vishvakarma. Langar was also served.

A bhog ceremony was performed at Gurdwara Vishvakarma. The Dhiman Sabha at Phagwara held celebrations at Vishvakarma Mandir on the Banga road. The BJP-Akali Dal and the Congress organised separate functions at Shalimar Garden and Jallowkahapa Chowk in Kapurthala.

Similar reports were received from Batala and elsewhere.

Mr Balbir Singh, MP from Jalandhar, presiding over a function to mark the birth anniversary of Bhagwan Vishvakarma at Chania village in Nakodar subdivision, urged the people to follow the path shown by the great craftsman. He announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh for development of Vishvakarma Mandir and Chania village from his MP Local Area Development Fund.

Mr Amarjit Singh Samra, Minister of State for Agriculture, in his address, said the teachings of Bhagwan Vishvakarma were still relevant in the present context and it was the duty of every craftsman to follow his teachings.


PWD draughtsmen unhappy lot
Our Correspondent

Ropar, November 5
The Punjab Draughtsmen Association has rued the delay in promotion of its cadre in the Irrigation Works Department.

The president of the Nangal unit of the association, Mr Sharnjit Singh, in a press note issued here today, alleged that promotions of draughtsmen had not been held in the office of the Chief Engineer, Irrigation (Canals), since February, 2000.

Most recruitment had taken place at the junior level. As per the rules, a junior draughtsman became eligible for promotion after 12 years and a division head draughtsmen and circle head draughtsman after 20 years.

However, despite the fact that several posts of division head draughtsmen and circle head draughtsmen were lying vacant, none in the department had been promoted.


BSF offers sweets to Pak Rangers

Wagah (Amritsar), November 5
The BSF here presented sweets to their Pakistani counterparts on the occasion of Divali. The DIG, Mr Hemant Prohit, said “special traditional sweets wrapped in a colourful pack were given to Pakistani Rangers.”

Pakistani Rangers’ Wing Commander accepted the sweets, he said adding, the Commanders “exchanged pleasantries with their Indian counterparts and shook hands”.

People of nearby villages assembled to have a view of the “rare gesture” hoping that this would mark the “beginning of border normalcy and tranquility”. PTI


5,000 boxes perish in fire
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 5
A fire incident was reported from the grain market here today when some wooden boxes being used for storage of fruits caught fire accidentally.

Sources said the wooden boxes were stored in the open near the grain market branch of the State Bank of Patiala. Dry straw to be used in these boxes was also being kept nearby, which caught fire when sparks from a fire crackers fell on them. The sources said about 5,000 such boxes were destroyed in the fire that took four hours to be extinguished. The operations at the State Bank of Patiala were also hampered for quite some time. The Fire Department said as many as nine fire tenders were pressed into service.


3 die as car rams into truck
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 5
As many as three persons died and two others were severely injured when their car rammed into a stationary truck on the Bathinda-Rampura Phul road late last night.

Police sources said the accident took place as the truck was parked wrongly and the rear lights were off.

The dead have been identified as Bhushan Kumar, Raj Kumar and Babu Ram. Bhushan Kumar died on spot while Raj Kumar and Babu Ram succumbed to their injuries at the local Civil Hospital. Two others who were injured were identified as Sukhpal Singh and Ashok Kumar.

The sources added that Sukhpal Singh had been referred to DMC, Ludhiana, and his condition was serious.

A case in this connection has been registered.

In another mishap one person was killed while another was injured when their Canter collided head-on with a mini bus near the local thermal plant today.

The deceased has been identified as Bahadur Singh of Himachal Pradesh while the injured is Ram Singh, driver of the Canter.

Meanwhile, Mr Vijay Goyal, president of Sahara Jan Seva, a local NGO, said in a press note that a body was found from a cotton field near Bhagibander village under Talwandi police station area. The body was in a mutilated condition and could not be identified. The police handed over the body to Sahara after a post-mortem examination.

In another incident a patient of tuberculosis died near a temple on the Mall Godam road today. The 50 year-old patient was an orphan.


Mann has people running to their doorstep
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 5
Harbhajan Mann may be a Patialvi but his commitments keep him out of the town for most of the year. So it was a pleasure for people of as many as six colonies, specially The Tribune readers, when Mann came to their doorstep, courtesy their favourite paper to sign autographs and to give away prizes.

Mann was a favourite with young boys and girls who came out in droves to follow him requesting him for autographs wherever he went. Most kept asking him about his latest film “Jee Aayaan Nu”. Mann said he would try to make the film tax free in Punjab to give a fillip to the Punjabi film industry.

Right from morning there was tremendous excitement in the city with The Tribune team announcing Mann’s arrival in each colony. People came to their gates with copies of The Tribune as well as diaries seek the pop singer’s autographs. Mann gave prizes to five persons in each colony.

But it was not the gifts people were hankering for but a chance to interact with their favourite singer. Youngsters were keen to know about his future projects with many of them egging him on to go in for a “sufina’’ album which could trace the rich sufina kalaam of the state. Mann promised to go in for some classical singing in the future.

An avid reader of The Tribune since 1977, Dr D.R. Handa said this newspaper had never wavered from giving quality unbiased news since then. He said mutual goodwill existed between the readers of the paper and the organisation because of the special concern shown by the paper in echoing the sentiments of the people.

Shivani Sharma and Ramanjit Kaur, readers of the paper, said “both The Tribune and Harbhajan Mann are winners”. Shivani said she read the paper for the balance it maintain between all sections of society, particularly the importance given to the views and sentiments of the younger generation.

Noted theatre personality Pran Sabharwal, whose house was also visited by Mann, said bringing the singer closer to the people was a thoughtful gesture on the part of the paper. He said this would bolster good ties between the people and the paper and also create goodwill for it. He praised the Tribune, which he said, was an embodiment of how a paper run by a welfare trust should function.


Restore welfare pensions: sabha
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 5
The decision to withdraw the “shagun” scheme, increase in electricity bills and withdrawal of welfare scheme pensions had exposed the Amarinder Singh government. This was stated by Mr Darbara Singh Chopra, secretary of the Barnala unit of the Dihati Mazdoor Sabha, in a press note today. Mr Chopra alleged that the state had failed to fulfil the promises made during the elections.

Mr Chopra further said there was no scheme for providing employment to weaker sections of the society. He said the union would stage a dharna on November 11 at Sangrur in protest against the policies of the government. He said corner meetings were being organised in various villages.


New technique for fracture repair in dogs

Moga, November 5
The Department of Veterinary Surgery and Radiology, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), has introduced a technique of interlocking intramedullary pinning for fracture repair in dogs.

Disclosing this here today, a PAU spokesperson said it was for the first time that interlocking intramedullary nailing technique had been used for repairing long bone fractures in dogs.

The technique had been used in over 20 clinical dogs. Dr M. Raghunath, Assistant Professor, said the technique involved cost effective indigenously-designed aiming device through which the nail was interlocked by using screws. PTI


IG, SSP visit SGPC complex
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 5
IG (Border), Mr Rajan Gupta, and SSP, Mr Narinder Pal Singh, today visited SGPC complex in plain clothes to review the security arrangements to be made for the forthcoming crucial annual election of SGPC chief and other office-bearers, slated for November 12. Mr Gupta said he, along with the SSP, had gone there to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple. The SAD, led by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has been alleging that the state government had been interfering in Sikh affairs by using police force.


3 hurt in mishap
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, November 6
Three members of a family were injured today when their car fell into a 20-foot deep ditch along the GT Road across the Bein bridge, 10 km from here.

The injured have been identified as Satish, his wife Neelam and mother Kaushalya. They were admitted to a hospital in Jalandhar. The three were coming from Delhi.


Killed by father, brothers
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 5
Tirath Singh of the Gumtala locality here was allegedly killed by his father and brothers over a property dispute here late last evening.

Tajinder Kaur, wife of the deceased, in the FIR registered stated that the accused Bachan Singh (father), Balbeer Singh and Baldev Singh (brothers), Mohann Singh (uncle), Vajeer Singh, Charan Singh, Swaran Singh and Kashmir Singh, all cousins attacked Tirath Singh when he was working in fields. She said the accused were armed with two double-barrelled guns and kirpans. The accused first wounded him with kirpans and then shot him dead. She said that Tirath Singh had property dispute with his family. A case has been registered at Sadar Police station. No arrest has been made.


Sadhu murders 60-yr-old man
Tribune News Service

Talwandi Sabo, November 5
Hem Raj, a 60-year-old man was murdered last night by Sain Dass, a sadhu.

Police sources said Hem Raj had been reportedly hit on his head with a log of wood by the accused. Sources said Hem Raj died on the spot. Personal enmity was said to be the reason behind murder. The accused had been arrested under Section 302 of the IPC and a case registered in the local police station.

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