Sunday, November 10, 2002, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Arrests of SAD workers condemned
Tohra seeks Akal Takht’s intervention
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, November 9
Concerned over the situation developing in the state in the run up to the SGPC elections, the President of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, has sought the intervention of the Akal Takht to diffuse the crisis.

In a statement released here today, Mr Tohra said interference by some non-Panthic forces in the Sikh religious affairs had led to the situation. He said: “As an Akali and humble servant of the Panth, I condemn the arrest of the Akali workers across the state”.

Mr Tohra observed that the sanctity of the SGPC should be maintained at all costs and a confrontation should be avoided. The Akal Takht should come forward and perform its traditional role of maintaining and safeguarding the sanctity of the Panthic principles at this critical hour, he added.

TARN TARAN: Mr Brij Lal Rinwa, state president of the BJP, has condemned the state government for arresting SAD workers only a few days before the SGPC elections.

Mr Rinwa, who was here on Saturday in connection with the ‘gaon chalo abhiyan’, while talking to newsmen, said the state government was crossing all limits as the police was not even sparing ordinary workers of the SAD.

Mr Rinwa addressed rallies at Khadoor Sahib, Thathian Mahantan and Bugha villages and called upon party workers to work in villages.

HOSHIARPUR: Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, a BJP MLA, in a press note issued here on Saturday, said the BJP would oppose the arrests of the SAD workers and apprise the Central Government of the situation in Punjab. He said Congress government was trying to crush Opposition by undemocratic means. He alleged that the Punjab police was behaving as if it was the personal force of the Congress.

Mr Sanjiv Talwar, district president of the Bharatiya Janta Yuva Morcha, also condemned the arrests of the SAD workers. He said youth workers of the party would reach the Harmandir Sahib on the eve of the SGPC elections.

PHAGWARA: The Amarinder Singh government has given a war-like colour to the SGPC poll. The meddling of the government in the religious affairs of Sikhs will vitiate the situation in Punjab and Capt Amarinder Singh will be responsible for it. This was stated here on Saturday by Mr Avinash Jaiswal, general secretary of the Punjab BJP. Flaying the large-scale arrests of Akalis in the crackdown on Friday, he said it would prove fatal for democracy. He said the NDA team could visit any time to assess the situation in the state.

Mr Jaiswal said the BJP had initially supported the government campaign against corruption but later it found that the campaign was a vendetta.

Meanwhile, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) flayed the crackdown on Akali activists by the government, snatching of voting rights from some SGPC members and the entry of policemen in plain clothes into the Golden Temple complex.

Talking to mediapersons here on Saturday, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, president of the SAD (A) and member of the Lok Sabha, alleged that the Friday’s crackdown was reminiscent of the Indira Gandhi’s Emergency days.

It was wrong to arrest common Akali workers, he said. The Government should nab “criminals” like Bibi Jagir Kaur, former SGPC president and Akali MLA, who was guilty of power theft and degrading the dera of Sant Prem Singh by this act, he demanded.

“Arrest the corrupt and my party will support it but we oppose the arrest of innocent workers”, he said.

It was wrong to use the SGJC for snatching the voting rights of some SGPC members, Mr Mann said while referring to the disqualification of five members owing allegiance to the Badal faction.

He demanded the withdrawal of policemen in plain clothes from the Golden Temple complex and asked Ms Sonia Gandhi, Congress chief, and Capt Amarinder Singh to do the needful.


SAD plans show of strength
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 9
In a bid to ward off any possibility of “adverse interference” by the state government and to show its “real strength” just before the SGPC polls at Amritsar on November 12, the Shiromani Akali Dal is planning to parade all SGPC members who owe allegiance to the Badal group before the press. The idea, SAD sources maintain, has been mooted by the party, fearing the state government could go to any extent to enable its rival Akali factions to wrest control of the SGPC.

The SAD is planning the show of strength on the morning of November 12 either at Balasar in Haryana where a number of SGPC members have allegedly been kept at Mr Parkash Singh Badal’s farmhouse or in New Delhi. A similar exercise could also be effected on their way to Amritsar during which media- persons at different places would be asked to count the number of SGPC members loyal to the SAD.

This way, the party top leadership feels, the majority could be proved. The party had earlier planned to secure a “safe passage” for SGPC members to Amritsar by taking them in a procession from Balasar.


SAD (A) men to vote against SHSAD
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 9
Even as the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) which has six members in the SGPC house has convened a meeting of its political affairs committee meeting on November 12 here to take a final decision, the party leaders have given clear indication that the members would definitely vote against candidates of the SHSAD, led by Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra due to its alleged proximity with the Congress.

In a joint statement issued here today, Bhai Ram Singh and Mr Gurjatinder Pal Singh Bhikhiwind alleged that Mr Tohra was responsible for Operation Bluestar in which Sant Jarnail Singh, Bhai Amrik Singh and many other Sikhs were killed. They further charged Mr Tohra for allegedly reaching an understanding with Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister for engineering massacre of the Sikhs in June, 1984.

Earlier, SAD (Mann) had formed a panthic morcha by joining hands with the SHSAD and other panthic factions which was disbanded recently.

The SAD (Amritsar) strongly criticised the state government for barricading the bazars and entry points leading to the SGPC complex. They alleged that Mr Tohra wanted to send the police inside the SGPC complex by reaching an ‘understanding’ with the state government again.

They alleged that Mr Tohra wanted to take control of the SGPC with direct support of the state government. By doing so, the democratic rights of the members were being trampled upon. Mr Harbir Singh Sandhu, office secretary of the SAD (Mann), alleged that the barricading of the SGPC complex was reminiscent of Operation Bluestar when all entry and exit points of the SGPC complex had been sealed.


Langah, 4 others seek permission to vote
Tribune News Service

Adding a twist to the controversy pertaining to the alleged detention of SGPC members in Haryana in view of the coming elections, member Harpinderdeep Singh — whose release was allegedly sought by his wife — today claimed that he had gone to former Chief Minister’s house “on his will” as he was being harassed by the Punjab police.

In an affidavit, he claimed that his wife had been forced to sign blank, and printed papers by the police. The papers, he added, were later used to file the petition “devoid of truth”.

In a petition allegedly filed by his wife Balbir Kaur, it was submitted that the members were being detained at a farm house in Balasar village in Sirsa district, besides another farm house belonging to Haryana Chief Minister’s brother in Lambi village, near Dabwali. 

Chandigarh, November 9
In less than two days before the SGPC elections, five members, including Sucha Singh Langah, today filed different applications before the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking permission to vote.

In a related development, Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission (SJGC) member Dara Singh filed another petition before the High Court challenging the orders of his suspension. SGPC President Kirpal Singh Badungar also filed an application for restraining the commission from passing any order against him during the pendency of the writ petition.

The applications are likely to be taken up by a Division Bench of the High Court, headed by Chief Justice Mr B.K. Roy, on November 11.

In his application, Mr Langah stated that he should be allowed to “function and act as SGPC member”. Permission to contest and vote during the elections were also sought, besides stay on the orders passed by the commission restraining him from participating in the process.

Going into the background of the case, Mr Langah stated that the orders restraining him from voting had been passed just before the elections in an illegal manner. Giving details, he added that ex-parte orders had been pronounced without any authority in a mala fide manner as provision for restraining or suspending members “while petitions under Section 142 were pending” did not exist under the Sikh Gurdwara Act. Otherwise also, orders could not be passed without the issuance of a notice.

Meanwhile, Mr Dara Singh, in another petition challenging the orders of his suspension, sought a high-level probe into the entire episode pertaining to his alleged implication in a “false” case.

Mr Badungar, on the other hand, sought directions for restraining the commission from passing orders adversely affecting his status. He claimed that an undertaking had been given in the court that orders adversely affecting his status would not be passed by the commission, but as per news reports another petition had been entertained by the commission.

Claiming that efforts were being made by the government to oust the petitioner from his post, counsel added that the commission might after all pass orders against Mr Badungar as in case of other SGPC members.


Return to mainstream, Badal asks Akalis
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
The SAD President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, in a statement issued here this evening, urged Akali leaders opposing his party in the SGPC elections to return to the Panthic mainstream represented by the SAD.

“Those supporting the war declared by the Punjab Government against the Khalsa Panth and democratic values have still time to return to the Panthic mainstream”.

Mr Badal has hoped that even at this stage, realisation would dawn upon those celebrating the repression let loose against innocent Punjabis and they would return to the Panthic mainstream represented by the SAD. “ The Khalsa Panth, Sikh values, the sanctity of the holy shrines and the pride of the Sikh community have all come under a gruesome assault from the Congress and anti-Panthic and opportunistic forces”.

Mr Badal said the massive and unprecedented deployment of police and paramilitary forces in Amritsar and the rest of the state was nothing short of “Operation Bluestar under a new garb”. He said by handing over every aspect of Punjab polity to the police force, the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had reposed his total reliance on repression as the sole instrument of governance.

“In the process, he has also taken his confrontation with the Punjabis in general and Sikhs in particular to a pitch never reached before even during the Emergency. The only parallel one can find in recent history is Operation Bluestar and its aftermath”. The Chief Minister had virtually clamped martial law in Amritsar and imposed undeclared emergency in the rest of the state, said Mr Badal.

Ridiculing the statements of the Capt Amarinder Singh and the state DGP that they would sift genuine devotees from politically awakened and aligned Sikhs, Mr Badal said, “Who gave the right to them to decide on the genuineness of the common Sikh’s devotion”. He said “it beats comprehension that the Chief Minister thinks that men in khakhi will be deciding on the religion of those going to Amritsar”. He said “those who have masterminded this massive anti-Sikh and anti-democracy operations have no idea about the spiritual and moral heritage of the Khalsa”.


Akali disunity: Vedanti may intervene
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 9
Jathedar Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti may respond to the appeal of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal for bringing rapprochment among the warring Akali factions.

Sources considered the appeal of the SHSAD for seeking intervention of Akal Takht is significant in forging Panthic unity.


Badal accused of hatching conspiracy
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 9
The Sarb Hind Shiromani Youth Akali Dal (SHSYAD) has charged the former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, with hatching a conspiracy in collusion with the Centre and Haryana Government to regain control of the SGPC by hook or by crook.

In a statement here today, the party Secretary General, Mr Sukhwinderpal Singh Garcha, chided Mr Badal for raising the bogey of 'government interference' in the SGPC elections to be held at Amritsar on November 12. “Mr Badal has no moral right to talk of government interference in the face of what he himself has been doing during his tenure as Chief Minister. It was Mr Badal who had come out with the ignominious idea of electing the SGPC chief by a parchi,” he remarked.

“Moreover, the same Mr Badal, who was raising hue and cry over the alleged interference by Punjab Government in the SGPC elections, was taking assistance of Haryana Government to keep the members of the supreme temporal body of the Sikh community in illegal detention, in several cases against the wishes of the members. Senior Akali leader and Union Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa has been openly calling that Union Government should appoint observers for a free and fair election to the SGPC. “On one hand Mr Badal is decrying government interference and on the other he is asking the government to intervene,” wondered Mr Garcha.

The SHSYAD leader, while extending unequivocal support to the seven-member committee, set up by Mr Mal Singh Ghuman in a bid to rid the SGPC of political interference, observed that flagrant interference by the SAD-B government in religious affairs during five years had damaged the sanctity of the Sikh religious institutions and had eroded the image of the community as a whole. He said the expulsion of Mr Ghuman and his associate Mr Partap Singh from the party by Mr Badal had not come as a surprise. “It is a matter of record that whoever has raised voice against the misdeeds of Mr Badal and company” and tried to uphold the glorious traditions of Sikh panth, has been treated in the same manner and branded a Congressman.”

Taking strong exception to the vilification campaign launched by Mr Badal against the former SGPC President, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, who also heads the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD), Mr Garcha categorically stated that his party was not participating in the presidential election of the SGPC. As such why would Mr Tohra make any attempt to influence the SGPC members. The slanderous campaign against Mr Tohra was a well thought out conspiracy by Badal camp to keep their own acts of omission and commission under a veil.

He said the defeat of Badal group in the SGPC election was a foregone conclusion now and the fact had made the SAD-B activists desperate, who in turn were levelling all sorts of wild and unfounded allegations against their political opponents. “These people can stoop very low and can even go to the extent of disturbing the peace and communal amity in the state, particularly in Amritsar for their political motives.” Mr Garcha added that in the light of these facts, the government and the district administration had an added responsibility to maintain law and order and safety of the people in Amritsar on November 12.


Vehicles from Sirsa being checked
Tribune News Service

Pathrala (Bathinda), November
To prevent the entry of any member of the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC) into Punjab from Sirsa district of Haryana and Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh districts of Rajasthan, all entry points to Punjab were sealed today by the police.

Police parties comprising around 10 men, led by an inspector, had laid “nakas” on almost all roads, including the rural link roads, which approached Punjab from Haryana and Rajasthan.

The policemen are checking all vehicles, including buses, trucks, cars and scooters. The policemen on duty pointed out that had been told to check every vehicle so that no SGPC member could enter Punjab and subsequently in Amritsar town clandestinely to cast their vote in the presidential election of SGPC on November 12.


Pro-Badal men may reach Amritsar by air
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 9
In the wake of the statewide police nakas, the pro-Badal SGPC members staying in Haryana may reach Rajasansi Airport by air.

According to sources, the SAD (Badal) has been toying various other ideas to ferry the SGPC members on November 11, one day before the annual executive election of the SGPC under the tight security of the CRPF.


Arrested Akalis refuse to take off kirpans
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 9
Arrested Akali leaders and workers today took the local Central Jail authorities head on by refusing to take off their kirpans, claiming that they were political prisoners and should not be treated like criminals.

The Akalis raised slogans against the state government and resisted any move to part away with their kirpans. A compromise was effected by the jail staff who presented them with miniature kirpans with threads to wear as lockets around their necks. This move pacified the Akalis who then parted with their kirpans which have been kept in the gurdwara in the jail complex here.

Though some amritdhari Akalis had questioned the necessity to remove their kirpans yesterday also, today the resistance was more fierce as a large number of arrested workers from Ropar and nearby areas were shifted to the Central Jail here. Sources said the Akali workers got agitated after the jail authorities tried to make Amrik Singh Mohali part with his kirpan. Mr Mohali immediately started raising slogans against the government following which the other Akalis who had been rounded up also started raising slogans.

Meanwhile, sources said as many as 35 more Akali leaders had been arrested in the district, taking the total to 113.


SGPC member, husband held
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, November 9
The Faridkot police arrested Mrs Gurdev Kaur, member of the SGPC from Faridkot, her husband Karamjit Singh Dhaliwal and Mr Darshan Singh, former Sarpanch of Bhana village this evening from their residence in spite of resistance by them and took them to an undisclosed place.

Before the arrest, Mrs Gurdev Kaur told mediapersons that the police was murdering her right to exercise franchise in the SGPC elections to be held at Amritsar on November 12. Both the husband and wife alleged that the police had been harassing the family members for the past many days.

Senior Akali leaders, including Mr Kushaldeep Singh Dhillon and Mr Mantar Singh Brar, SAD MLAs from Faridkot and Kotkapura, respectively, have also called the action as a rape of democracy.

They said such actions would disturb the peaceful atmosphere in the state.


SAD unit flays arrests of leaders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
The local unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has condemned the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh for the arrest of Akali workers, equating the act to the days of Emergency.

Mr Gurpratap Singh Riar, president of the unit, said the Congress had always been against the Sikhs and, now by arresting Sikh leaders, it wanted to suppress their voice. The arrests showed that the Congress did not believe in Democracy, Mr Riar said. ‘‘The Congress will be defeated in the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections on November 12,” he said.

The SAD said the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation under the rule of the Congress, had become corrupt. The latest example is the transfer of honest officials and the increased encroachments. Mr Riar said the Congress had been selective in removing encroachments.


Sink differences, urges SGPC member
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, November 9
Mrs Gurdev Kaur, member, SGPC aligned with the Shiromani Akali Dal has appealed to Mr Parkash Singh Badal, former Chief Minister and SAD supremo, and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, President, Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal to sink differences and unanimously choose a candidate for presidentship of the SGPC in the interests of the Sikhs.

Criticising the state government led by Capt Amarinder Singh, she alleged that an undeclared emergency had been imposed in the state under the pretext of maintaining law and order.

Meanwhile, the district police has arrested another five activists of the SAD. They are Mr Dilawar Singh Pakhi Kalan, Mr Jugraj Singh Sadiq, Mr Harnek Singh, sarpanch, Wander Jatana, Mr Harjit Singh, president, Truck Union, Faridkot, and Mr Pritam Singh of Pakka village.


CPI condemns arrest of Akalis

DR Joginder Dayal, secretary of the Punjab unit of the CPI, has condemned the arrest of Akali Dal workers. He said such a step would prove counter-productive as it would surcharge the already vicious atmosphere in the state. Earlier such steps had proved disastrous for the state.

The CPI believed in non- interference in any religious matter and was for freedom of practising any religion and belief by any person. But it was always against mixing religion with politics. The CPI has opposed the interference of Capt Amarinder Singh’s government in the SGPC elections. Dr Dayal said the CPI had also opposed Mr Badal when he used state machinery in the SGPC elections as Chief Minister of the state.


NDA team welcome to visit Punjab: CM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, said today that he would welcome it if any ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) team from the Centre wanted to visit Punjab to have a first-hand report with regard to the prevailing situation in the state.

Reacting to a question that an NDA team led by Mr George Fernandes is expected in Punjab shortly, Capt Amarinder Singh said, “I don’t mind the visit of even 15 NDA teams to Punjab”. But it was the state government’s duty to maintain peace and several steps had been taken in this connection.” When asked that Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal and Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa had a detailed meeting with the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, today, Capt Amarinder Singh said everybody had the right to have such meetings. However, he said, the Union Government should help the Punjab Government for the smooth conduct of the SGPC elections.


Kidney ‘donors’ left high and dry
Rashmi Talwar

Amritsar, November 9
Suffering from multiple complications after donating his kidney besides serving two and a half years in jail for becoming a ‘donor’, Raj Kumar (26), who has lost four precious years of his life and his health, has nothing to show in terms of earnings which he promised his family in Kolkata after leaving it following a major tiff.

Raj Kumar along with Virsa Singh (31), a member of a kidney racket, and another ‘donor’ Som Bhadur were let off after serving jail terms last evening.

Talking to The Tribune, Raj Kumar complains of his poor health because of which he spends sleepless nights. Virsa Singh thanks God for his arrest in the nick of the time because of which he was saved from parting with his kidney in a deal in which he was to be a ‘donor’.

Out of 12 persons who were caught for their involvement in a kidney racket, seven were sentenced to jail, including a hotel owner. About two and a half years ago, the police, while chasing a Bangladeshi citizen, stumbled on some ‘kidney donors’, including some from Bangladesh, who had been lured by middlemen to donate their kidneys for a substantial sum.

While Virsa Singh made Rs 5,000 on every ‘donor’ he arranged numbering from five to six, he had offered his own kidney for Rs 90,000. Raj Kumar and five others were duped by middlemen who promised them Rs 40,000 each but refused to pay later. Raj Kumar names his middlemen as two brothers from Maharashtra, namely Rajesh Arora, alias Ravi, and Rakesh Arora, alias Rahul, who were referred to as “bhai”. These two, he said, were actively assisted by an advocate, who was let off on bail recently, and a person, Vicky, who posed as the advocate’s son.

They all lived luxurious lives even as they squeezed money from patients who needed kidneys, Raj Kumar recalls. He donated his kidney to a businessman from Srinagar, Shakeel Ahmed, who had once told him that he had spent nearly Rs 7 lakh in arranging for his transplant, including bearing various expenses for the donor paying medical expenses.

Buttressing the claim of a tea stall owner, Chunni Lal, in Company Garden (where most of these deals were struck) of having cremated 17 bodies of kidney donors who died after falling prey to complications, Raj Kumar said he had been a witness to the deaths of at least three such persons. Recently when we met the advocate in jail after his arrest, we felt nothing but hate for him, he added.

Virsa Singh, however, says the lure of easy money was strong. While he served as a waiter in a small dhaba, he was offered good money for arranging kidney donors by two regular customers at the dhaba Rajinder and Rajiv of Bihar and Panipat, respectively.

Ms Laxmi Kanta, BJP leader, however, lamented that while the poor donors bore the burnt, the “big fish” were left untouched by the police.


Legal Services Day observed
Tribune Reporters

Hoshiarpur, November 9
On the occasion of Legal Services Day, a seminar was organised today in the Sessions Court Complex here. Mr Maghar Khan, District and Sessions Judge, who is also the Chairman of the District Legal Services Authority, presided over the seminar. Judicials and executive officers, members of the Bar Association and District Legal Services Authority, litigants of the surrounding areas and panches and sarpanches of nearby villages participated in the seminar.

After the seminar, the quarterly Lok Adalat was held at which three Benches were constituted. Different categories of cases were taken up by these Benches.

Out of 85 cases taken up today, 30 cases were disposed of by way of amicable settlement and compromise among the litigants involving an amount of Rs 15,26,432.

Till today, 1,319 applications have been received in the district for grant of free legal aid, out of which free legal aid has been given to 1,314 applicants so far.

Mr Maghar Khan appealed to the litigants and the general public to get their cases settled by way of amicable settlement and compromise through the Lok Adalats.

ROPAR: Legal Services Day was observed under the presidentship of Mr L.R. Roojam, District and Sessions Judge, in the Judicial Complex here on Saturday. A seminar was also held on the occasion.

Mr Roojam said as many as 109 Lok Adalats had been held in the district since 1992, in which 12,539 cases had been taken up out of which 8,125 cases had been settled on the mutual understanding of the parties concerned. An amount of Rs 26.91 crore had been provided as compensation in these cases. He also said free legal aid had been provided to 1,311 persons, so far in the district.

Among others who spoke included Ms Seema Jain, Deputy Commissioner and Mr Surajpal Singh, president of the District Bar Association.

FEROZEPORE: The local Legal Services Authority has provided free legal aid to all 214 poor applicants since January this year.

Stating this at a seminar organised in connection with Legal Services Day, Mr M.M.S. Bedi, District and Sessions Judge, said that besides providing services of advocates to the needy, the Legal Services Authority also paid all other related expenses of court fee, preparation of court documents, summoning of witnesses on behalf of the persons seeking legal help and expenses incidental to the litigations.

He said, “During the current year, 12 Lok Adalats were organised in the district at which 694 cases were taken up. As many as 220 cases have already been settled by awarding compensation of Rs 68,42,138 in all these cases”. A special Lok Adalat was also organised here at which 673 cases were taken up. Out of these, 270 cases were settled amicably by awarding a compensation of Rs 57,26,308, he added.

JALANDHAR: District Legal Services Authority on Saturday organised a seminar on “free legal assistance” on Legal Services Day at the District courts here.

In his inaugural address, the District and Sessions Judge-cum-Chairman of the authority, Mr R.M. Gupta, said most of the beneficiaries covered under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, for free legal assistance were not aware about the availability of such assistance. “We are going to organise seminars in all parts of the district to create awareness among people to seek free legal assistance. Persons belonging to the Scheduled Caste, Backward Class, women and children, handicapped persons, mentally retarded persons, industrial workers and all those, whose annual income is less than Rs 30,000 are entitled to free legal assistance,” Mr Gupta added.

Mr Gupta said the District Legal Services Authority had provided free legal aid to 3,212 persons so far and it had conducted 132 Lok Adalats to settle 14,112 cases in which Rs 29.86 crore was paid as compensation. Besides, the authority had conducted seven pre-litigative Lok Adalats to settle 1,719 bank cases involving awards worth Rs 6 crore.

KAPURTHALA: A seminar was organised on Saturday on the premises of the district courts here in connection with Legal Services Day by the District Legal Services Authority.

Mr Gurdev Singh, District and Sessions Judge, presided over the seminar.

Mr Gurdev Singh, who is also the Chairman of the District Legal Services Authority, said 48 seminars had been organised in the district on free legal aid and 6,134 cases had been settled in 74 Lok Adalats held in the district in which compensation of Rs 8 crore had been given.

On this occasion, four Lok Adalats were held at which 112 cases were settled through mutual consent. A sum of Rs 16 lakh was given as compensation in accident claim cases, Mr Gurdev Singh said.

Meanwhile, members of the District Bar Association observed a strike on the second day on Saturday in response to a call given by the Bar Council of India. The lawyers did not attend the seminar and abstained from the courts. They also did not attend Lok Adalats.

BARNALA: A seminar was organised here today in the Local Courts Complex in connection with Legal Services Day, to discuss free legal aid to weaker sections of society. The seminar was organised by the Free Legal Aid Committee.

Mr Sham Sunder Gupta, Additional District and Sessions Judge, said in Sangrur district, up to November 9, about 10,000 pending cases were taken up at 133 state-level Lok Adalats out of which 4,003 cases were settled. Claims worth Rs 7,89,43,189 were settled in accident and other claim cases. Claims worth Rs 4,80,23,228 were settled in 1,486 bank loan recovery cases.

AMRITSAR: As many as 27,057 cases have been settled amicably and about Rs 41 crore has been distributed till now in the district. This was stated by Mr M.R. Batra, District Sessions Judge-cum-Chairman of the Legal Services Authority, on Legal Services Day here on Saturday. Mr Batra said people had given a good response to Lok Adalats. Therefore, it had been decided to hold Lok Adalats in all districts. Besides, quarterly Lok Adalats were also being organised. As many as 35,247 cases were taken up out of which 25,300 cases were settled with mutual understanding and more than Rs 34 crore was provided as compensation. A total of 6,781 cases were taken up in permanent Lok Adalats, out of which 1,757 cases were settled with mutual understanding and more than Rs 6 crore were distributed as compensation.


Animals not taken away despite orders
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 9
Mr Shekhar Garg, a resident of the city, has alleged that despite the order of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) a hippopotamus and a chimpanzee belonging to the Jumbo Circus were not taken away by the district administration. The circus concluded its shows in the city on November 6.

Following a complaint by Mr Garg that animals were not given proper treatment in the circus.

The AWBI had asked the district administration to look into the matter. Subsequently, performance by animals was banned in the circus.

Later, Dr Sandeep K. Jain, Executive Member of the AWBI, Ludhiana, visited the circus and observed that the hippopotamus did not respond when food was put before it. It reacted to sound or touch only. The chimpanzee seemed depressed, he added.

Dr Jain had asked the district administration to take away the animals and send them to a zoo or a rescue centre.

Mr Garg alleged that the AWBI orders were not implemented. He said when he contacted the authorities concerned he was informed that as the Animal Husbandry Department had given fitness certificates they could not do anything.

Meanwhile, Dr Jain said he would look into the matter that why the animals were not taken away. He said he would ensure that the orders were implemented in future.


Lawyers stay away from courts
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, November 9
More than 200 lawyers in the district stayed away from judicial courts here today in protest against the Legal Service Authority Amendment Act 2002 passed by Parliament recently. Meanwhile, to celebrate the Legal Service Day the district legal services authorities organised a seminar at the Baba Farid Sabhyacharak Kendra to educate people about the benefits of lok adalats.

Presiding over the function, Mr A.N. Jindal, District Sessions Judge and Chairman of the District Legal Services Authority, said with the implementation of the new act special permanent lok adalats would be set up in different parts of the state, where the cases relating to utility services would be decided on merit and no appeal could be made against their decisions.

Mr Jindal said since 1992 as many as 9,718 cases had been decided and a compensation of more than Rs 14 crore had been granted in the district.

Inaugurating the seminar, Mr A. Venu Prasad, Deputy Commissioner, appealed to the people, particularly sarpanches and panches, to settle their disputes at the village level so that they did not require free legal services. Mr Harinder Singh Chahal, SSP, and some other judicial officials also spoke on the occasion.

Later, three lok adalats were held on the local judicial court premises where 45 out of 52 cases were settled and a compensation of over Rs 70 lakh was granted.


Funds for border area bungled, says INLD
Our Correspondent

Abohar, November 9
The Indian National Lok Dal has urged the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to get an inquiry instituted through the CBI into the alleged misappropriation of Rs 1 crore grant reportedly received by the district administration during the SAD-BJP govt from the Centre.

Mr Aad Lal Jakhar, State President of the INLD, said here yesterday that the grant had been released for providing relief to hundreds of residents of the border villages in Fazilka sector. They had to migrate to safer places at the end of last year as the Army had planted landmines in their fields, besides temporarily acquiring certain areas for defence purposes.

The displaced families were to be accommodated in relief camps.

The district authorities were required to provide wheat and other essential items to the affected families and fodder to their cattle at special camps. But, Mr Jakhar said, INLD workers led by him had thrice toured the entire area. No relief camp for displaced persons or the cattle had been set up in the area. Only some NGOs and religious organisations had visited the border villages to distribute relief.

Mr Jakhar said the INLD had raised the issue earlier too but the powerful lobby of “suspected officials” had managed to hush up the matter.

On the Rs 70 per quintal of sugarcane offer, Mr Jakhar said the Centre had purchased sugarcane at Rs 100 per quintal last year. A 30 per cent cut in the rate would ruin the growers as they had suffered losses in cotton and paddy as well.

The INLD would organise a “kisan panchayat” on the eve of the opening of the crushing season on November 12 outside the Fazilka Cooperative Sugar Mills.

The mills had not paid money against the purchase of sugarcane to hundreds of growers last year.

The INLD leader said the state had not only deprived the farmers of free power and water facilities in contravention of the election manifesto, but also imposed an additional four per cent sales tax on the fertilisers and insecticides. There had been no check on the rates of insecticides this year.

He demanded compensation to daily-wage earners of border villages as they had been out of jobs for more than 10 months due to the arrival of the Army there.


Bhuller opposes ‘jatha’ to Pak
Tribune News Service

Ferozepore, November 9
Perturbed over the decision of the Union Government to allow only a limited number of Sikh pilgrims to Pakistan to take part in the functions organised at various gurdwaras in Nankana Sahib, Panja Sahib and other gurdwaras on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, Mr Harpal Singh Bhuller, president of the International Bhai Mardana Yadgari Kirtan Darbar Society, has today faxed a letter to Mr L.K. Advani, Deputy Prime Minister, strongly opposing the government’s “half-hearted decision” saying, “token jatha has no place in the Sikh Panth”.

He demanded that a full-fledged jatha of at least 3,000 pilgrims should be allowed to go to Pakistan though the demand was for at least 5,000 pilgrims. He said the agenda of the meetings of the Union Home Ministry was to allow a full-fledged jatha, adding that the idea of a token jatha was beyond comprehension.

Mr Bhuller said the Sikh Panth would never accept the half-hearted attitude of the Union Government towards the sentiments of the Sikhs who had long been attached to the places of historical importance for them in Pakistan.

“There is no question of any confrontation between the policies of the two nations by allowing a full-fledged jatha as Sikhs assemble twice a year as per their centuries-old tradition at Nankana Sahib to pray for the welfare of all”, said Mr Bhuller.


Punjabi week from Nov 14
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 9
The annual “Punjabi Saptah” celebrations will be organised from November 14 to 21 all over the state.

Disclosing this here today, the State Language Department Director, Dr M.L. Hasija, said the inaugural function of the week would be presided over by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, at the headquarters of the department here. He said the function would also be attended by State Education Minister Khushal Behl and Gyanpith awardee Gurdial Singh Jaito.

The Language Department Director said a special issue of the ‘Jan Sahit’ magazine would also be released on the occasion which would include the works of modern Punjabi short story writers. He said a seven-day long book fair would also be held at the Language Department headquarters here to commemorate the week in which book publishers from neighbouring states would also participate.

Dr Hasija said a special poetry recitation competition for students would also be organised as part of the week at Punjabi Bhavan auditorium in Ludhiana. He said this competition would be open only to students who had got first or second places in the district-level poetry and literature meets organised by the department.

He said besides this programmes would be held by the district language offices all over the state to mark the week. He said a special drive would also be organised during the week to appeal to the people to adopt Punjabi as a medium for writing and reading and not limit themselves to speaking the language only.


Pherurai’s remand extended

Ferozepore, November 9
Judicial remand of former district SSP Gurcharan Singh Pherurai in cases of corruption and fake arms licences was extended by two different courts till November 23.

Pherurai, who had allegedly paid for the selection of his son and daughter as DSP and PCS officers through the PPSC, had been booked for issuing fake arms licences to his relatives during his four-year tenure as SSP of this border district from 1997 to 2001.

The remand in this case was extended by the court of Judicial Magistrate M. K. Bedi.

He was also booked on the charge of having accepted a bribe of Rs 2 lakh from a person to delete his name from a case of attempted murder by Mamdot police station. In this case, his remand was extended by the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate D. S. Johl.

After court proceedings, the former police officer was sent back to Ludhiana’s Central jail. UNI


99 cases settled at lok adalat
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 9
Mr Lakhvir Singh, District and Sessions Judge, today chaired a district-level lok adalat here today in which as many as 99 cases were settled.

In a press note issued here, the district legal services authority said eight lok adalats were held in which case of motor accidents claims, family disputes, civil suits and rent cases were taken up. 99 out of 300 cases involving Rs 77 lakh were settled.

Mr Lakhvir Singh said as per the new directions, the ceiling on the income for getting free legal aid had been increased to Rs 30,000 and those belonging to the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes women, children, prisoners, mentally challenged, industrial workers and those affected by natural calamities were covered. He urged advocate and representatives of NGOs to make the underprivileged aware of the legal services authority and lok adalats.

Mr Upjeet Singh Brar, SDM assured that legal service would be provided free of cost to the needy and the district administration would look into the matter.

Meanwhile, Mr Harbans Lal, in charge, District and Sessions Judge, inaugurated a lok adalat at Mansa by lighting a lamp. He said seminars to make the people aware of the lok adalats had been organised.

He said 78 cases were put before the permanent lok adalat and 18 of these were settled.

He said signboards regarding the facility of lok adalats should be set up at various police thanas and stations.

The judge said the state-level body had been requested to revise the fee being paid to advocates on the panel of the legal services authority. He urged the people to invoke the lok adalats for getting speedy justice.

Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, and Mr S.S. Srivastava, Senior Superintendent of Police, said seminars should be conducted in slum areas. They said women cells had been established at the district level to solve their problems. They assured full cooperation to the legal services authority.


CITU conference starts
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, November 9
The 11th conference of the state unit of the CITU started here today after a flay was hoisted by All-India CITU Working Committee member Mangat Ram Pasla.

Mr Pasla, while inaugurating the conference, condemned the high-handedness of the USA in treating the Third World countries, including India, thereby threatening the sovereignty of these countries.

He played the foreign policy of the BJP-led NDA government, terming it as virtual surrender before US hegemony.

Mr Pasla emphasised the need for fighting economic policies of the NDA government which according to him, were causing rampant corruption scandals, unprecedented mill closures and unemployment, etc.


Commission agent granted bail

Moga, November 9
Additional District and Sessions Judge G.S. Chawala today granted bail to three persons, including commission agent Gurdev Singh, his accountant Vikas Kumar and PUNSUP Inspector Vivek Kumar, who were arrested by the Vigilance Bureau (VB), Moga, under the Prevention of Corruption Act last month.

A complaint was lodged with the VB by a farmer, Nachhattar Singh, alleging that he was not being paid Rs 16,500 for paddy as the commission agent wanted to cut Rs 3 per bag in order to give it to the PUNSUP Inspector.

Acting on the complaint, a VB team raided the house of Gurdev Singh and arrested him and his accountant. Later the PUNSUP Inspector was also arrested. UNI


Warrants issued for US citizen
Our Correspondent

Kharar, November 9
Mr Roshan Lal Chouhan, Judicial Magistrate here, has issued non-bailable warrants for November 13 for Sarabjit Singh, an alleged member of an international gang of smugglers.

The accused is a US citizen and is wanted by the US district court, southern district of Texas, Houston division, which charged him with a conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute a controlled substance in violation of 21 USC 841 and 846, continuing of criminal enterprise in violation of 21 USC 848, money-laundering in violation of 18 USC 1956 and 1957, unlawful use of communication facility and investment of profits from illicit drugs in violation of 21 USC 854.

On August 29, 2002, warrants of arrest were issued by the order of US Magistrate Judge Calvin Botley. Mr Rupin Sharma, Asia Director of Interpol, has already ordered the arrest of the accused.


100-foot breach in Budhlada channel
Our Correspondent

Mansa, November 9
A 100-foot-wide breach took place in the Budhlada rajbaha in the area of Ralli village of the district.

The canal water has caused extensive damage to the crop in 250 acres while the water has spread in over 300 acres. Villagers have been trying to plug the breach. So far, no official action has been taken by the Canal and Revenue Department.


HC seeks report on panel row
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 9
The high court has directed the local Deputy Commissioner and SSP to conduct an inquiry into the alleged “forceful” occupation of the management of the Shri Durgiana Committee on October 6 and to seal the toshakhana (strongroom) of the temple until the court passed the final verdict in the case.

This was disclosed in a press note by Mr Nand Lal Nagpal, general secretary of the BJP-supported Durgiana committee.


High milk yield cows to be registered
Our Correspondent

Muktsar, November 9
The Animal Husbandry Department will soon prepare a list of the farmers who own more than five dairy animals, besides registration of buffaloes which yield more than 18 litres of milk everyday and cows which yield more than 15 litres of milk.

Mr Vinod Gupta, Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry Department, who presided over a kisan training camp held at Mahani Khera village today, said these efforts were directed towards helping the farmers to improve their financial health. He said the registration of animals with high milk yield would help the Department in working for improvement in the reproduction of these animals.

Mr Gupta said a number of dairy animals were affected by the foot-and-mouth disease. He added that most of the dairy animals got rabies which could be prevented.

He urged the people to get their pets vaccinated against rabies adding that the district had 110 animal hospitals and dispensaries.

Mr Surjit Singh Dukhi, district Public Relations Officer, who inaugurated the camp, said the farmers should tie-up with the authorities concerned for getting guidance regarding dairy farming and treatment of various diseases for their animals. He said the help of experts and by using modern techniques of production, the cost of producing milk could be brought down.

Mr Karamjit Singh Chahal, Assistant Director, Department of Fisheries, said by cultivating fishes, the farmers could earn Rs 60,000 to Rs 1 lakh per annum from a one hectare pond. He said at present, the total area under fish farming in the district was about 250 hectares and about 40 hectares would be added during the current financial year.

Other experts, including Mr Karnail Singh, District Dairy Development Officer, said the eligible farmers were being provided with loans ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 11 lakh for farming five to 50 animals. Mr Madan Lal, District Fodder Development Officer, Bathinda, said nearly 80 per cent of expenses on the production of milk were incurred on fodder. He said as the costs of fodder keep varying the farmers should buy the same in bulk during the harvesting season and store it.

Mr Daljit Singh Sidhu, Agriculture Development Officer, said the area under wheat and paddy cultivation should be reduced and that under gram, pulses, sarson and maize should be increased.

Dr I.S. Grewal from Nestle and Dr Harish Verma, Punjab Agriculture University, also addressed the farmers.

Nearly 200 dogs were vaccinated against rabies at the camp.


Farmers’ for non-political agitation
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 9
Even as various kisan unions are making efforts to forge a front to launch an agitation in support of their demands, the Ugrahan group of the BKU (E) said today that it would join the front only on an assurance that no help of any political party would be taken for the agitation.

The Ugrahan group felt that various political parties were trying to get political mileage out of the agitation. Leaders of the group said the struggle of the farmers should remain non-political. They alleged that some of the farmer leaders were trying to join hands with politicians.

Mr Joginder Singh Ugrahan, state president of the BKU (E), said if the farmers wanted to get their demands fulfilled, they should condemn the wrong policies of both Union and state governments. He said for getting their demands accepted a long-term agitation was needed.

Mr Ugrahan and Mr Sukhdev Singh Kokarikalan, general secretary of the union, in a press note issued here today, said some of the union leaders wanted to be part of the group formed by the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, that claimed to launch an agitation against the Central Government.

Meanwhile, the Nathana unit of the BKU (E) held a meeting at Nathana today. Mr Manjit Singh, an office-bearer of the union, said they would launch an agitation against the government decision to bill power supply to farmers.


Drive to remove encroachments on MC land soon
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, November 9
The Punjab Government will soon start a state-level campaign to remove encroachments on municipal lands in the state and instructions in this regard have been issued to all Deputy Director and Additional Directors of the Local Bodies Department, besides all Executive Officers of municipal committees.

This was claimed by the Punjab Local Bodies Minister, Mr Jagjit Singh, while talking to this correspondent here today. He said a state-level meeting of all officers concerned was summoned by him at Chandigarh yesterday and instructions were issued to them to check encroachments at the initial stage daily.

The minister said officials had been asked to dispose of all cases of map sanctioning within the next 15 days and in future all such cases should be decided in one month only.

He said Local Bodies Department officials had been asked to work for increasing the municipal revenue. He said the privatisation of octroi collection could be decided by the municipal committees at the local level but any harassment of people by private octroi collectors could not be tolerated at any cost.

Replying to a question, the minister said the elections of all municipal committees would be conducted according to schedule next year. He said working of all municipal committees would be computerised in phases.


Judge inspects courts incognito
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, November 9
Mr Justice Nirmal Singh of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, in the guise of a commoner, visited judicial courts here yesterday to assess their working. His visit came to light after he found a judicial employee taking bribe.

Mr Justice Nirmal Singh is likely to submit his report to the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court following which action against some judicial employees is expected.

Members of the Bar Association appreciated the honourable Judge’s action and said if such checking was continued, the working of the courts was likely to improve.


Plan to upgrade 6 railway stations
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, November 9
Mr H. C. Punia, Divisional Railway Manager, Ferozepore division of Northern Railway, today said the upgradation of six railway stations of Amritsar, Pathankot, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Jammu and Ferozepore was on the anvil. Computerisation of Moga, Kathua, Faridkot, Jammu city and Kapurthala railway stations would be done by March next year, he told newspersons here. As many as 24 stations in the division had this facility, he claimed.

The tri-weekly Jammu Tavi-Delhi via Saharanpur train would soon start plying daily, said the Divisional Railway Manager. The DMU plying was on the anvil on the Pathankot-Amritsar and Ludhiana-Ferozepore sections, he said. At present 66 services of DMU were being provided by more than 10 rakes in the division, he claimed.

Mr Punia said the electrification of the track from Ludhiana to Jalandhar would be completed by December. The electrification up to Amritsar would be done by March next year.


Authorisation checks for colonies
Our Correspondent

Kharar, November 9
Ms Seema Jain, Deputy Commissioner of Ropar, has ordered that all residential colonies, coming up in and around the town should be checked for authorisation by PUDA, she also instructed the local SDM Mr Sukhwinder Singh Gill and the Executive Officer of the MC to check if the promoters of these colonies had complied with the rules regarding the construction of sewage-treatment plants and if these colonies had been illegally linked to the sewerage system of the MC.

The Deputy Commissioner was in the town to inspect various development works. Later at a press conference, she said the administration had taken a decision to beautify the Khanpur perennial stream.

The administration had also sanctioned Rs 3.25 crore for the Budhki Rao watershed scheme.

She said those who had encroached upon public land would face strict action. She urged religious organisations to keep the PA-systems volume low and asked the SDM to solve the drinking-water problem faced by the villagers of Mundi Kharar.


Security cover of political leaders under review
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today ordered the reviewing of the security cover of political leaders in the state. He has given directions to the IG (Security) in this connection. He said the security personnel provided to political leaders should remain with them for a limited period.

He said there were reports that certain political leaders had been using security personnel to intimidate people. He cited examples of two former Akali leaders, Capt Kanwaljit Singh and Mr Sewa Singh Sekhwan, in this connection. “ I will not allow this to happen”, he added.

He has also ordered the reshuffling of security guards on regular intervals to check that such guards do not become personal loyals of politicians.


Woman ‘strangled’ by in-laws
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 9
Balwinder Kaur, a resident of Sundernagar, was allegedly strangled yesterday by her-in-laws for bringing inadequate dowry. A case has been registered against four members of the family. Rashpal Singh, brother of the deceased, said when the family members and the police reached the spot, they found Balwinder’s body lying in the corridor bearing strangulation marks.

He alleged that his sister, Balwinder, was usually beaten up and tortured by her in-laws for not bringing sufficient dowry. She had been married four years ago. He said after eight months of marriage, her in-laws started harassing her. They had allegedly demanded Rs 1 lakh.

He alleged that her in-laws had forced her to abort three times. A case has been registered at the Civil Lines police station against Jaswinder Singh husband, Harpal Singh father-in-law, Manjit Kaur mother-in-law and Manjit Singh brother-in-law.


Mahindra College to be assessed by NAAC
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 9
Government Mahindra College, which was started by Maharaja Mohinder Singh before Independence, has become the first government college in the state to be selected by the Punjab Government for assessment and accreditation by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). Stating this here today, the college Principal, Dr R.K. Sharma, said a high-powered team of the NAAC was slated to visit the college on November 12-13 to assess its academic standards, its performance and its plans for the future.

Dr Sharma said the team would be comprised of former Gorakhpur University Vice-Chancellor Dr Bhoomitra Dev, Dr K.S. Chalam, Professor of economics and Director, Staff Academic College, Andhra University, Vishakhapatnam, Dr S.N. Bhave, Professor of chemistry, Nagpur University, and Dr Geeta Iyengar, Academic Consultant, NAAC, Bangalore.

The Principal said that NAAC had devised seven criteria, namely curriculum aspect, teaching, learning and evaluation, research, consultancy and extension, infrastructure and learning resources, student support and progression, organisation and management and healthy practices to grade the institution.


Stir threat by students
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 9
Members of the Bus Pass Struggle Committee today alleged that the authorities were not finding a solution to the tussle between students and mini bus operators regarding bus passes as the government did not want rural students to get education.

The students alleged that the authorities were favouring the bus operators. The members of the committee, Shaheed Prithipal Randhawa Manch and the Ugrahan group of the BKU (E) held a meeting at Rampura Phul today to chalk out the next course of action.

The students and mini bus operators are at loggerheads for the past many days. The operators refuse to honour the bus pass concession given to the students.

The operators, on the other, say the passes given by the PRTC or Punjab Roadways are not valid for mini buses. They say the students should pay full fare if they want to travel in the mini buses.

Mr Jhanda Singh Jethuke, district president of the BKU (E), said the union had decided to support the agitation of students as it was an issue that affected the parents too. He said the economic condition of farmers was not sound and they could not spend on the bus fare for their wards.

The students said they would hold a rally on November 22 at Chauke village so as to mobilise support for their agitation.


GND varsity youth festival concludes
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 9
APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar, lifted the Guru Nanak Dev University women’s zonal overall ‘A’ division youth festival trophy. H.M.V., Jalandhar, stood runners-up in the festival. The festival concluded here today at the university Dasmesh Auditorium.

The ‘B’ division overall trophy went to Sant Hira Dass Kanya Mahavidyalaya, Kala Sanghian, while GNBL Ramgarhia College for Women, Phagwara, finished runners-up.

In Gidha competition, HMV, Jalandhar, won the top position while APJ College of Fine Arts stood second and KMV, Jalandhar, stood third.

Mr Rajan Gupta, IG, Border Range, presided over the concluding function and awarded trophies to the winners. Earlier Mr R. S. Bajwa, Registrar of the university, while welcoming Mr Gupta gave details of achievement of the university in the cultural field.


School holds annual function
Our Correspondent

Patiala, November 9
National High School organised its annual prize distribution function in the auditorium of the State College of Education here today.

About 600 students of the school participated in the function which was presided over by Patiala Mayor Vishnu Sharma.

The function, which lasted nearly eight hours, was a gala affair, with students presenting a range of items, including folk dances, skits, fancy dress shows and parodies.

At least 400 students were awarded prizes under various categories, including academics, sports, painting and other extra-curricular activities. Speaking on the occasion, the Mayor said his daughters were former students of the school and he would extend all possible help to the school authorities in upgrading the institution to the senior secondary level.

Principal Rajinder Kaur, presenting the annual report of the school, claimed that the school had for the past decade attained 100 per cent results in both Class VIII and Class X Board examinations.

She informed that NCC had also been introduced recently in the school.

The institution’s Director, Mr Nirmal Singh, thanking the teachers, said they had worked tirelessly in keeping the school ahead in all fields.

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