Thursday, December 12, 2002, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



SAD rebels to be penalised: Badungar
Tribune News Service

Talwandi Sabo, December 11
SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar today said action would be taken against the SGPC, members who had shifted loyalty from the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) to other groups during the election to the SGPC executive Committee held last month.

Professor Badungar, who was here in connection the first annual function of Mata Sahib Kaur Grils College, while addressing a press conference here said the SGPC had started identifying the members, who had played mischief and supported those, who tried to weaken the Sikh Panth.

He pointed out that indiscipline in the party would not be tolerated and no leniency shown to any leader if he or she was found guilty in discipline. He, however, refused to disclose the details of action, which the SGPC would take against those who had defied the party decision.

To a question, he said a ban was imposed on the use of Nanakshahi Calendar by Bhai Ranjit Singh by issuing an edict when he was Jathedar of Akal Takht. The use of that calendar was still banned as considered that edict still valid.

On other edicts issued by Bhai Ranjit Singh after a controversy erupted between former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal former SGPC chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra, he said Bhai Ranjit Singh had issued only one edict in connection with the banning of Nanakshahi Calendar and he still followed that.

He pointed out that the SGPC had decided to organise a sports event every year under the name of “Khalsa Sprots”. National and international-level veteran players would be honored in the games.

The SGPC would also organise seminars and stage plays to motivate the youths not to indulge in drugs. for training Sikh youths for state and centre-level competitions, a coaching centre would be opened at Chandigarh in 2003.

Later, he distributed prizes to the students who had made a mark in the fields of education, sports and cultural activities. He also released the college magazine.

Badungar ‘driving wedge among different sects’
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 11
Terming the decision of SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar to appeal against the verdict of the Supreme Court, which had pronounced that udasi deras were not gurdwaras, as an attempt to grab the property of these deras, the Bairagi Mahan Mandal, Punjab, in a press note issued today, criticised the former for driving a wedge among different sects which had faith in Guru Granth Sahib.

SSF wants to raise Bluestar memorial
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 11
The Sikh Students Federation (SSF), led by Mr Gurcharan Singh Grewal, today held a meeting with Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, president of the SGPC, and urged him to hand over the federation the work for raising a memorial for those killed in Operation Bluestar.

The meeting emphasised the need for approaching the Centre to get back invaluable documents and rare reference books which were seized by the Army during Operation Bluestar.


Badal ‘trying to scuttle’ socio-religious bodies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
Being branded as a “Congress agent” by SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar, the Shiromani Khalsa Panchayat has accused Shiromani Akali Dal President Parkash Singh Badal of trying to scuttle religio-social bodies working for the awakening of the panth.

“Whenever any socio-religious body came up to awaken the Panth, Mr Badal moved immediately to brand it a Congress agent,” panchayat convener Rajinder Singh said at a press conference here today, reacting to Mr Badungar’s reported comment.

The panchayat sought to distance the organisation, claiming to have 63 member bodies and around 40,000 signatures gathered for the resignation of Mr Vedanti, from political activities, saying it or its members would not contest the SGPC elections directly, but support religious figures to sanitise the politics of the SGPC.

Mr Rajinder Singh, whose organisation’s campaign against Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh on allegations of violating the Sikh code had been supported by former SGPC chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra, said the former SGPC chief was not supporting the organisation, but one of the issues raised by it.

In an effort to remove the misgivings that the organisation had any connection with Mr Tohra, he said, “Mr Tohra had caused a heavy loss to the Panth during his 25 years of tenure as the SGPC chief.”

Mr Rajinder Singh castigated Mr Badal, saying, “The last five-year rule of Mr Badal had been the worst for Sikhs.”

The panchayat convener said it had started protesting against the booking of Sikhs for refusing to wear helmets, terming the High Court verdict against ‘Rehat Maryada’. He said a symbolic protest was lodged yesterday at SAS Nagar and it had not been started in Chandigarh as police had not yet started booking Sikhs in this regard.

Quoting the “Maryada,” he said the High Court verdict included exemption for women wearing turbans, but as per the “Maryada,” turbans for women were not compulsory.

Mr Rajinder Singh said the Akalis had been afraid of the organisation after having emerged as a non-political body fighting for the causes of the Sikhs.

Mr Rajinder Singh said the Shiromani Akali Dal had stopped to be a party of the Sikhs after the Malout Declaration, when the party itself had said the party stood for Punjabis.


Vedanti ‘failed’ to check ‘deras’
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 11
Justifying the demand of the Khalsa Panchayat pertaining to removal of Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, for supporting the cause of Baba Dhanwant Singh, a rape accused, the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) made a scathing attack on the jathedar, accusing him of doing nothing against the growing influence of “deras” among the Sikhs.

Talking to mediapersons here yesterday, the Secretary-General of the SHSAD, Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, alleged that Jathedar Vedanti had failed to stop mushrooming of “deras” in various parts of the state. “Instead of preaching Sikhism in the country, Jathedar Vedanti chose to visit western countries without any purpose,” he alleged.

Reiterating the demand for removal of Jathedar Vedanti, Mr Bhaur said that the former should tender his resignation on his own. 


Police Commissioner system not for now
P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
The issue of setting up the Police Commissioner system in three Municipal Corporation cities — Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana — was today put on hold.

This was decided at a meeting held here today to discuss ‘’problems’’ of the police and ‘’innovative’’ ideas of policing. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh chaired the meeting.

Sources told TNS the meeting felt that there had never ever been a formal proposal to introduce the Police Commissioner system anywhere in the state and only announcements had been made from time to time. Therefore, the matter was left to a committee comprising the Chief Secretary and the Principal Secretary (Home) will examine any proposal that the police would submit in this connection. The same would then be put up to the Council of Ministers.

There was inbuilt strong opposition to the police proposal from the IAS lobby, which had launched a ‘’whisper campaign’’ to thwart the proposal. There are apprehensions that such a move could divide the rank and file of the two sister organisations, IAS and IPS, and even create political cleavage. Some police officers, on condition of anonymity, said: ‘’All proposals put up were accepted in principle’’.

Likewise, several more items listed on the agenda were referred to committees for examination . These issues pertained to permitting the police to compound traffic challans and also to retain at least 50 per cent of the proceeds that accrued from traffic challans. The police wanted this money to be used for traffic management and traffic education.

The Finance Department raised certain objections, saying that the diversion of funds that normally belonged to the state exchequer would be a violation of financial rules and procedures. But it offered to examine any proposal that the police might submit on traffic challan collections and, if found acceptable, some provision could be made in the state Budget for traffic management and traffic education.

On the demand that the police personnel on duty be allowed ‘’free’’ travel in buses operated by the PRTC under the ‘’km scheme’’, the Transport Department gave a brief. The state has to decided which of the two options be allowed to the police, free travel in both PRTC and Punjab Roadways buses or the km scheme travel facility in PRTC buses, say sources.

On the issue of ‘’own rank and pay’’, the meeting was informed that a writ petition was pending in the Supreme Court and the state could take a final decision only after the writ was decided upon.

In respect of certain amendments to the archaic Police Act, 1861, it was felt that Punjab had lagged while several other states had already drafted their respective Acts. For this also a committee was constituted to go into the question of amendments and prepare a draft for the new Act.

Though not on the agenda, the Additional Director-General of Police (Jails) talked about the condition of existing old central jails in the major cities. These are located on prime land. If these were to be shifted to new sites, the land itself would fetch a handsome price that would meet the expenses involved in setting up new jails.

It was also pointed out that jails, by and large, had just one tubewell. If it was to develop a snag or go out of commission, it would create serious problems. Therefore, more tubewells were needed.

The jail authorities are now to get in touch with PUDA to work out the modalities for disposal of the existing sites of jails and re-establishing new ones.


PSEB engineers on warpath
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 11
Engineers of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) today said they would pursue the issue of award of a power-supply contract to a private firm by holding a protest rally. They claimed that Punjab’s entitlement of power from the eastern region had been given to Haryana and Delhi due to government’s insistence to give the contract to the private firm.

The protest rally is also the first step in the agitation plan drawn up by the PSEB Engineers Association to protest against the transfer of its Chief Engineer Padamjit Singh to allegedly favour the private firm as well as institution of a vigilance case against president of the association M.S. Bajwa.

The association members, including Chief Engineer Padamjit Singh, who was recently posted as the CE, Enforcement, said the state had lost 50 mw of power which it could have obtained from the eastern region through the Power Trading Corporation since the offer of the private firm, KERPL, remained on paper only.

It said on account of the failure of the KERPL to deliver 100 mw of power as per contract, the entitlement of the state was being given to Haryana and Delhi through the PTC starting from 4 pm yesterday. The members demanded that even now the board should try to get back its due share from the eastern region as failure on this account would lead to unbearable cuts in summer months.

Association general secretary H.S. Bedi said their stand had been fully vindicated with Mr R.K. Medan of the KERPL himself admitting, as reported in a section of the press, that his company was in no position to supply power to the PSEB from GRIDCO at 206 paisa per unit and was now looking for alternative sources of supply. He said events had proved that the board, by relying on the KERPL, had lost 50 mw round-the-clock power that had been contracted with the PTC and which it could have immediately supplied.

The association also condemned steps taken by the board in the recent past, which it said were proving counter productive and had demoralised the cadre of engineers. It decried the board’s decision to abolish top-level posts without a scientific study, withdrawal of vehicles for Chief Engineers and restricting mobility of engineers.


BSF pays homage to ’71 war heroes
Anirudh Gupta

Mamdot, December 11
Keeping in view the onset of winter and foggy conditions, the BSF has intensified patrolling operations and launched special drives to thwart any attempt by anti-national elements and ISI agents to sneak into the Indian territory by taking advantage of inclement weather conditions. This was stated by Mr S.N. Jain, Inspector-General, BSF (Punjab frontier), while talking to mediapersons on the occasion of Raja Mohttam day observed every year in honour of the gallant BSF officers and jawans who sacrificed their lives while fighting the Pakistani forces on this day during the 1971 conflict.

Mr Jain said in those pockets where the cobra fencing could not be done due to topographical restraints, special boat nakas had been laid and round-the-clock vigil was being kept by BSF troops. He said that in the event of withdrawals of Army troops from the forward locations the BSF would revert to the peace-time deployment and all those border outposts, hitherto manned by the Army, would be brought back under BSF troops.

Mr Jain, while ruling out a spurt in ISI activities, said a few infiltration bids had been reported, but the BSF troops were vigilant enough to defeat any sinister designs of the enemy.

About a proposal mooted by the state government to deploy women volunteers of the Home Guard along with BSF personnel to assist them in frisking the women who go on the other side of the fence for farming, Mr Jain said that to date, the government had not made available the services of women Home Guards.

Earlier in the day, during an impressive ceremony at 124 battalion headquarters in Mandot, Mr Jain, along with Mr Anupam Sarolia, DIG, BSF, Mr Dharamvir, Commissioner, and Mr Praveen Sinha, SSP (Ferozepore), along with other senior Army, BSF and administrative officers, paid floral tributes to the officers and jawans of 31st battalion of the BSF who had sacrificed their lives while fighting the Pakistani army at Raja Mohattam picket during the 1971 Indo-Pak conflict. BSF troops reversed their arms and observed a two-minute silence to pay homage to the soldiers. Mr Jain admitted that BSF jawans were discharging their duties under enormous stress, but he maintained that their morale was high and in consonance with their motto, “Duty unto Death”, they were geared up to guard the nation’s frontiers.


Punjabi among top 10 languages of Canada
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
Punjabi has emerged as the top non-official mother tongue in Abbotsford while it emerged as one of the top 10 non-official languages of Canada, the 2001 Census report of the country released yesterday said.

Abbotsford is the city where in September this year Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien had given the national heritage recognition to the country’s oldest Sikh gurdwara.

Interestingly, the Census figures revealed that a majority of the Punjabi-speaking population was young and generally below 14 years of age. Though Chinese and German emerged as other top non-official languages, the number of those speaking Urdu and Tamil also increased substantially. Intriguingly, Hindi did not figure in the list of non-official languages of Canada.

In Abbotsford, there has been a strong increase in Punjabi as the mother tongue. Almost 16,650 persons reported Punjabi as their mother tongue on May 15, 2001, up 51.9 per cent from 10,960 in 1996. This increase was mainly due to an influx of people with Punjabi as their mother tongue. Almost nine out of 10 allophones who joined Abbotsford’s population between 1996 and 2001 had Punjabi as their mother tongue. Altogether, allophones accounted for 24.4 per cent of Abbotsford’s population, up from 21.5 per cent five years earlier. Of this group of allophones, Punjabi represented 47.0 per cent, up from 37.9 per cent in 1996. German accounted for 21.7 per cent, down from 28.6 per cent.

The population with Punjabi as the mother tongue represented 11.4 per cent of Abbotsford’s total population in 2001. About 10.1 per cent of Abbotsford’s population reported speaking Punjabi most often at home.

The top five non-official mother tongues in Abbotsford were unchanged from 1996: Punjabi, German, Dutch, Chinese and Spanish.

In 2001, youngsters aged 14 and under accounted for 26 per cent of Abbotsford’s Punjabi population, 21 per cent of the Chinese and 18 per cent of the Spanish. In contrast, they represented only 2 per cent of the Dutch and the German population.

In Toronto, Chinese reaffirmed its position as the leading non-official mother tongue while Punjabi was one of the top five. A total of 3,55,270 persons reported Chinese as their mother tongue in completing the census questions on language on May 15, 2001, a 20.5 per cent increase from 2,94,875 in 1996.

The Census enumerated 18,98,500 allophones in Toronto, people with a non-official language as their mother tongue, compared with 16,11,300 five years earlier, a 17.8 per cent increase. The top five non-official mother tongues in 2001 were Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, Punjabi and Tagalog. In 1996, they were Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, Polish and Spanish.

The number of people with Punjabi as their mother tongue increased from 68,365 in 1996 to 99,600 in 2001. They accounted for 5.3 per cent of the allophone population in 2001, up from 4.2 per cent five years earlier.

The number reporting Tamil as their mother tongue increased 31.9 per cent to 77,060, and the population reporting Urdu far more than doubled to 57,635. Tamil represented 4.1 per cent of the allophone population in 2001, and Urdu 3.0 per cent.

The population with Chinese and Punjabi mother tongues was relatively young compared with the Italian population. Children aged 14 and under represented about 15 per cent of the Chinese population and 24 per cent of the Punjabi in 2001, as opposed to only 3 per cent of the Italian population.

In Ottawa, Chinese replaced Arabic as the leading non-official mother tongue. In Winnipeg, German remained the leading non-official mother tongue.

Chinese maintained its number one position as the leading non-official mother tongue while Punjabi retained its position among the top five here. The other four leading non-official mother tongues in 2001 were German, Punjabi, Tagalog and Spanish. Five years earlier, they were German, Punjabi, Polish and Spanish.

The numbers of those with Punjabi as their mother tongue increased from 8,900 in 1996 to 13,820 in 2001, and Tagalog rose from 7,350 to 10,600. Punjabi accounted for 7.3 per cent of Calgary’s allophone population, and Tagalog 5.6 per cent.

Calgary’s population with Chinese and Punjabi as their mother tongues was relatively young compared with the German population. In 2001, children aged 14 and under represented about 16 per cent of the Chinese population and 24 per cent of the Punjabi, as opposed to only 2 per cent of the German.

In Edmonton, Chinese reaffirmed its position as the leading non-official mother tongue The population with Chinese as the mother tongue represented 3.6 per cent of Edmonton’s total population in 2001. About 2.9 per cent of Edmonton’s population reported speaking Chinese most often at home.

The five leading non-official languages were unchanged from 1996: Chinese, German, Ukrainian, Polish and Punjabi. However, the number of people with mother tongues from European countries declined, and those with mother tongues from Asian countries increased. The number with Punjabi as their mother tongue rose from 8,260 in 1996 to 9,705 in 2001. They accounted for 5.3 per cent of Edmonton’s allophones, up from 4.8 per cent in 1996.

Those with Chinese and Punjabi mother tongues were relatively young, but those with German and Ukrainian were relatively old. About 16 per cent of the Chinese population and 23 per cent of the Punjabi were aged 14 and under in 2001, compared with only 3 per cent of the German and Ukrainian populations

In Vancouver, one in six persons has Chinese as the mother tongue. The four other leading non-official mother tongues in Vancouver in 2001 were Punjabi (12.2 per cent of the allophone population), Tagalog (4.9 per cent), German (4.5 per cent) and Korean (3.5 per cent). The five leading languages in 1996 were Chinese, Punjabi, German, Tagalog and Italian.

Those with Chinese, Punjabi and Tagalog mother tongues were relatively young compared with the German population. Youngsters aged 14 and under accounted for 15 per cent of the Chinese population in 2001, 23 per cent of the Punjabi and 12 per cent of the Tagalog. In contrast, they represented only 2 per cent of the German population.

It may be mentioned here that it was British Columbia which returned in Mr Ujjal Dosanjh, a Punjab-Canadian, as its Premier besides sending Mr Herb Dhaliwal to the Federal Cabinet as a Revenue Minister.

Punjabi Divas celebrated
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, December 11
The Punjab Sahitya Sabha, Amardeep Singh Shergill Memorial College, Mukandpur, organised a function to mark Punjabi Divas on the college premises, about 20 km from here, yesterday. Besides a Kavi Durbar, a poetry recitation and story writing competition of college students was held.


Heritage complex could have been designed better: architect
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
The design of the multi-crore Khalsa Heritage Complex at Anandpur Sahib should have been handled with more subtlety to conform it with Sikh ethos, values, history and religion. A debate in this connection has been set in motion by Mr Gurpreet Singh, a young architect from New Delhi.

In fact, Mr Gurpreet Singh, while doing graduation in architecture, has studied the complex design in detail. A former student of Sushant School of Art and Architecture, Mr Gurpreet Singh has won appreciation from eminent architects for approaching, what he describes as the design problem of the complex, in a different innovative manner.

“My idea of studying this project and to prepare its alternative design keeping Sikh history in focus was to prove the point that India has very talented architects and their services should be utilised to design important projects,” he said.

He says not only “Architecture and Design”, published his work on the heritage project but eminent architects of the country also have shown interest.

It may be mentioned that the main part of the complex has been designed by world renowned architect Moshe Safdie. It has been under construction for the past two or three years.

He feels that having been brought up in a Sikh family helped him in truly realising and comprehending the nature of the project and hence moulding the design of the complex into a self-speaking one which will take one through the Sikh history spanning three centuries in a few hours.

Mr Gurpreet Singh says that to depict the historical facts in a monotonous and silent manner was not his idea of a heritage museum. He has designed the complex, as a part of his study project, to be a journey from the past to the present. The topography of the site has been divided into three parts — high ground, ravine and the hillock. The ravine acts as a natural depression and hence has been converted into a lake. The main museum incorporated the sanctity of the Golden Temple by virtue of a pedestrian bridge, silhouetted over the ravine and connecting the high ground to the main museum complex. He has made Nishan-e-Khalsa as its focal point.

The museum complex has been perceived as a fort evolving from the natural sand promontories. The visitor starts its journey from the central piazza which in turn links various piazzas.


Home Guards’ families protest
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 11
Holding banners and raising slogans against the Punjab Government and Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, hundreds of family members of Punjab Home Guard jawans today demonstrated at the Hall Gate here today. Families from the Patti and Ajnala tehsils, also protested along with them. This is for the third time that they have demonstrated against the government.

Even as Mr Baldev Singh Tiger, Commandant Home Guards, Amritsar, had assured to distribute the salaries during 42nd anniversary of the Punjab Home Guards on December 6, they are yet to get the same till now.

Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla, a former BJP MLA and renowned social worker said the Punjab Human Rights Commission and the Punjab and Haryana High Court should take suo-motu action. They should direct the government to immediately release the salaries of the home guard jawans, whose families were finding it difficult to make both ends meet.

The plight of their families could well be imagined as children were starving and even the schools had started to expel them. They were even being harassed to bring the monthly fees.

A home guard jawan, on condition of anonymity, said that they were being given a paltry sum of Rs 2,700 for working with the FCI while as SPO was given Rs 3,300 for the same. Ms Chawla alleged that the FCI and the military had given their dues to the department concerned, but the finance ministry had not yet okayed their (home guards) salaries.

Darshan Singh, (70), father of a jawan, pointed out that his family had seven members and he (jawan) was the sole breadwinner. He generally remained unwell and that it had become difficult for them to make both ends meet. Normally, they had to pledge their belongings to meet their family expenses.

However, Mr Tiger could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.


Girl saves kin from robbers
To be recommended for bravery award
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 11
Showing exemplary courage and presence of mind, a 14-year-old girl, Anubha Garg, saved three lives, apart from saving herself and her brother from armed dacoits who raided their house here last evening.

Mr Ishwar Singh, SSP, said Anubha’s name would be recommended for the National Bravery Award through the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma.

On seeing three armed robbers attacking her mother, grandmother and caretaker with sharp-edged weapons, Anubha acted swiftly. She, along with her younger brother, entered a bathroom and bolted its door from inside. From there, she called her father on his mobile phone and explained the situation.

Using a cordless telephone set, she kept on trying to contact their relatives and family friends, while keeping a tab on the activities of the robbers. After receiving her call, her father, Mr Anil Kumar, called his friends and asked them to reach his house.

Mr Anil Kumar, along with his friends reached the house while the robbers were still inside. They forcibly opened a door and entered the house. On this, the dacoits fled from another door. However, one of them was overpowered.

On the basis of a tip-off got from the robber, the friends of Mr Anil Kumar managed to catch his accomplice. The three women Ms Deviki Devi, Ms Radha Rani, wife of Mr Anil Kumar and the caretaker, Ms Seeto, who were injured by the robbers, were given first-aid.

Mr Ishwar Singh said the robbers, who were identified had worked in the house of Mr Anil Kumar. He said a case had been registered at Police Station (City) in this regard.


Mann flays ‘rasta roko’
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, December 11
The SAD (A) President and Lok Sabha member Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, in a statement issued here today, flayed the ‘rasta roko’ call given by the Badal Dal for February 10, next year.

He said that the Akali Dal headed by Parkash Singh Badal should shed disruptive politics and adopt a constructive approach for the welfare of the state. As a partner of the NDA govt at the Centre, the Badal group should instead getting work towards the international border of India and Pakistan opened via road and rail so that the people on both sides, particularly the Punjabis could meet and business becomes prosperous, he said.

Mr Mann alleged that Mr Badal was only paving a way for the ascendancy of his son Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal to Sikh politics by showing doors to all senior leaders of his party.


Non-Sikhs to head Youth SAD units
Tribune News Service

Ropar, December 11
In a significant move, the Youth Wing of the Shiromani Akali Dal has decided to appoint Hindu members of the party as presidents of the Youth Akali Dal’s units of mandis (small towns) while restructuring the district units of the Youth Akali Dal in the first week of January next year.

Talking to mediapersons at Gurdwara Bhatha Sahib here today, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, president of the Youth Shiromani Akali Dal, further said besides Hindus, Scheduled Castes, Muslims and Christians would also be made presidents of the dal’s units to give proper representation to the minorities.

Mr Dhillon said SAD leaders were conducting interview for the constitution of district units of the Youth Akali Dal. He said educated youths were appearing in the interviews to become office-bearers in the district units. He said he had already conducted interview of youth leaders in Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahr districts while in Ropar, the interviews were going on.

The president of the Youth Akali Dal announced that the process of holding interview would be completed by the end of December and announcement of office-bearers made in January.

The Youth Akali dAl president also disclosed that the party would launch a special drug deaddiction campaign in January in schools and colleges. The party would reorganise seminars and camps for creating awareness among the youths. He said the party would also compel the administration to take strict steps for the stoppage of sale of drugs in the market.

Mr Dhillon also criticised the Congress Government in Punjab for withdrawing powers from panchayats. He said the Youth Akali Dal would launch a campaign for the restoration of powers to the panchayats which had now been handed over to the Panchayat Secretaries.


Kanwaljit meets Kohar, Garcha
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 11
The general secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, met the former Akali ministers, Mr Ajit Singh Kohar and Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, at the Central Jail here yesterday. He assured them that the Akali Dal would provide them legal assistance on fighting the case.


Bid on Cong man’s life: BJP councillor booked
Our Correspondent

Abohar, December 11
Senior BJP Councillor Satish Narang and five others have been booked by the city police under Sections 307, 323, 324, 148 and 149 of the IPC for alleged attempt on the life of a Congress activist Dev Raj Ahuja during the scrutiny of votes by a high-powered team headed by the Labour Commissioner, Mr Sanjay Kumar.

The Election Commission, Punjab, had deputed two senior IAS officers for an on-the-spot verification of the complaints alleging mass rejection of claims for enrolment of votes by the BJP workers and deletion of existing electorate from the lists during revision. As the complainants were not satisfied with the hearing given by the district officials, the CEC, Mr C.L. Bains, deputed two separate teams for Jalalabad west and Abohar towns.

According to information available, Mr Vinod Kumar Jain, an aspirant for the Congress ticket in the forthcoming municipal council elections, yesterday lodged a complaint with the police alleging that an attempt on the life of a party activist Dev Raj Ahuja alias Nanha was made during the scrutiny of the voters lists by a special team led by ward councillor Satish Narang and others. Mr Ahuja was immediately rushed to the Civil Hosptial. Those named in the FIR included Mr Narang’s son Dr Rishi Narang, both brothers-in-law Chander Kukkar and Kukku Kukkar and two supporters Ram Kishan Gumber and Ved Parkash. The complainant reportedly alleged that the BJP activists were having sharp-edged weapons also. Mr Ahuja had suffered an injury on the head, he said.

The BJP workers today staged a dharna outside the office of the ASP here today for an hour. Former Forest Minister of state Surjit Jiyani and Dr Ram Kumar Goel ex-MLA were among the protesters. The alleged that the FIR was false and politically motivated. They have sent fax messages to the district and state authorities warning that action against the party workers would create law and order problem.

ASP Rakesh Aggarwal said the incident should not be given a political colour. The police party had gone to the Civil Hospital to record Dev Ahuja’s statement but could not do so as he was lying in an unconscious condition. Meanwhile, the teams formed under the supervision of the observer from the state election commission had reportedly turned down the plea that there had been large-scale bungling in the revision of electoral rolls. 


Anti-corruption panel honours honest officials
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 11
A campaign should be launched to control the menace of corruption, as public awareness is must because the government alone cannot succeed. If people strengthen their willpower and stop giving bribes the corruption would be automatically eradicated from society, said Mr B. Chandra Sekhar, SSP, while addressing a state-level function of the Anti Corruption Action Society, Punjab, here today. The function was organised by the society to create awareness among people to control corruption and to honour the honest officials.

The SSP said that the recent campaign against corruption launched by the Chief Minister had been widely appreciated all over the country and had been getting a good response and positive results. He said that due to this campaign the people had started thinking about this menace and started forming societies to expose the corrupt and corruption, which was a good sign. He said that this menace had reached saturation point, which the nation could not afford. He said that during the recent survey conducted by the UN to identify the corrupt countries, the position of our country was slightly better than two or three countries. He said that our country had all natural resources, rules and regulations but even then the menace of corruption was increasing day by day. He said that we should think about ourselves before calling anyone corrupt. He urged the people to make sincere efforts to at least control this menace if could not eradicate completely. He said that it was the need of the hour.

Addressing the function Mr Ranbir Singh Jajji, press secretary of the society, said that corruption was like “AIDS” and required immediate treatment. He said that his society would educate the public about this menace and would also prepare the lists of corrupt officials, politicians and government employees and would submit it to the Chief Minister.

Mr Inderpal Singh Gujral, state unit president of the society, gave detailed information about the activities of the society and said that the district presidents would be nominated soon and a campaign would be launched on a war footing to curb this menace.

On this occasion Mr. B.Chandra Sekhar SSP, Mrs Raghbir Kaur Khera, DTO and other honest officials were honoured by the society.

Mr Ajit Kumar Manga, municipal councillor, and secretary of the society, Mr Ashok Gautam, vice-president of the society, Mr G.S. Rupal, journalist and Dr Puri also addressed the function.


4 of family die due to food poisoning
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Thatha (Amritsar), December 11
Tragedy struck the house of a poor farmer, Major Singh, when four members of his family died here today due to food poisoning.

The farmer was so disturbed that he started throwing stones at whosoever tried to visit him to express grief.

Major Singh, who lost his two-year-old child, father-in-law, mother-in-law and uncle, would not allow anybody, including a medical team, to enter his house till evening. However, it was after a lot of persuasion that neighbours and doctors entered his house to provide help.

Dr K.K. Sharma, Civil Surgeon, despatched the medical team which visited Thatha village and the surrounding areas to take samples. Dr Sharma said that samples of contaminated water and food items had been taken.

Food Inspector Manjinder Singh Dhillon and Mr Hansa Singh, Senior Sanitary Inspector, who went to Thatha, said the child of Major Singh died in the village itself while his father-in-law, mother-in-law and uncle died in Muradabad village, near Tarn Taran, where they were taken in a critical condition.

Meanwhile, on the orders of the Civil Surgeon, a flying squad raided five medical stores in the border belt and seized a huge quantity of drugs which were allegedly being sold to addicts without a medical prescription.

The team comprised district Drug Inspector, Mr Ajay Singla and Mr Gurbinder Singh, and Dr Sanjiv Bhagat. Dr Sharma said samples had been sent to Chandigarh for analysis.


Snag hits overbridge project
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 11
The much hyped Railway Crossing Number 22 Overbridge project has run into another snag with the Department of Telephones putting up a demand for an astronomical Rs 1.97 crore to relay its cables which are presently beneath the Railway Crossing area.

The Telephone Department has recently made this demand when asked about the compensation it would require for relaying the lines. As the lines are very old and the department itself is not sure about their exact location, it has said it would have to relay the entire section beneath the area which is to be dug up to start construction of the overbridge.

The demand has understandably delayed the project for some time. Deputy Commissioner Tejvir Singh said the total amount of the overbridge construction cost of Rs 7.5 crore and that it was unconceivable to pay nearly Rs 2 crore to the Telephone Department as compensation for relaying of its cables. He said he had taken up the matter with the department and that it would also be taken up at the state government level as the Chief Minister was keen that the overbridge project be started soon.

The Deputy Commissioner said the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) wanted to first shift the utility services like the lines of the telephone department and the State Electricity Board before starting work on the project. He said this was being taken up and that the project would start once these lines were taken care off.

For the people of the city, the construction of the overbridge has been like a mirage for many years. The project had been conceived nearly nine years back and has been under active consideration for nearly five years now. During this period its foundation stone was also laid in November last year by former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. Even the Congress government had committed itself to construct the Overbridge after taking over the reins of power in the State but construction work has been delayed for various reasons.

Though earlier there was a lot of resistance from shopkeepers of the area against construction of the overbridge, even the shopkeepers have accepted the fact that the overbridge is a fait accompli. In fact the shopkeepers now only want that the overbridge should be constructed within a span of one year or less which assurance has already been given to them by the Deputy Commissioner. Besides this shop keepers want that the Railway Gate should not be closed which demand will have to be put up before the Railways which follows a set of norms on such issues.

The construction of the overbridge is also being eagerly awaited by businessmen. This is because once the overbridge is constructed the commercial area on both side of the Railway Crossing will lose its sheen and markets away from the Railway Crossing will gain in importance. Businessman Paramjit Singh said there was already enthusiasm for acquiring area which at both ends of the overbridge and that area around the Sham Bagh could do well.

Besides this the project is also needed because of the construction of the District Administrative Complex on the Jail Road. The complex is likely to be ready in a few months and the Railway Crossing 22 route will be one of the two important routes taking employees to the new complex. Speedy construction of the overbridge would be important from this context also.



Firing by Mayor’s guard: traffic blocked
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 11
People following the anti-encroachment drive launched by the Municipal Corporation, turned violent when the gunman of the Mayor, who went there to ‘listen to their problem’, fired into the air to disperse them, here today. The residents and kiosks’ owners resorted road blockade which led disruption of traffic for more than three hours.

The corporation today removed more than 15 kiosks from near the Government’s Guru Nanak Dev Hospital on the Majitha Road here. The agitated people held a dharna and blocked traffic. They shouted slogans against the MC and the government. The residents alleged that when the Mayor came there, his gunman allegedly opened fire with his carbine without provocation. They alleged that he was under the influence of liquor.

When contacted, Mr Datti refuted all allegations and said his gunman opened fire to disperse the violent mob which was advancing towards him. Shielding his gunman he said, he fired to protect him.

He further alleged that the MC officials should have inform him before removing encroachments, Mr Datti claimed that he had gone there to listen to their problems.

After the incident, Congress MLA, Jugal Kishore Sharma, Mr Ram Lal Sharma, and Mr Narinder Tung, both councillors, visited the spot and assured the residents and advised them to complain in the corporation office. Meanwhile, Mr Ashwani Kumar, DSP, assured the residents of registering a case against the gunman.

The shopkeepers included Ritu, Palsinder Singh, Narender Bhalla and Papu whose kiosks were removed by the corporation said the corporation should have sent notices to them. They said they paid rent to the MC and claimed they had receipts of the rent paid.


Phone numbers changed
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 11
The BSNL telephone numbers of Amritsar and Tarn Taran will be prefixed with 2 with effect from December 13. This was informed by Mr G.S. Garia, General Manager (Telcom), at a press conference here today. Earlier, digit 2 had been prefixed with telephone numbers of Rayya, Patti, Goindwal and Ajnala SDCAs.

He said nearly 3,200 connections of Cellone and Excel mobile services introduced by BSNL in Amritsar had been sold. Till now, only Excel (pre-paid) service was available in the SDCAs of Rayya, Tarn Taran and Patti. Cellone service was also introduced today in these SDCAs, Mr Daria said.

The GM said BSNL planned to establish five new rural telephone exchanges, of which one has already been established at Padrikalan village. The remaining four exchanges would be set up at Dagtut, Dal Ratoke and Bhuchar Khurd villages.


3 dead, 10 hurt in accident
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, December 11
Three persons were killed and 10 injured as a bus and a tempo collided head on at Rahon bus-stand 7 km from here today at 9.30 a.m. According eye-witnesses, the bus (Janata Bus Service PB 09A-3851) and a three-wheeler collided when the bus driver tried to save a scooterist coming from the Jadla road. Two persons-travelling by the three-wheeler Swaran Chand (50) former Municipal Councillor Rahon and Sadhu Ram (50) nambardar of by Neelowal village died on the spot. Tempo driver Gurnam Singh died at the Civil Hospital here.

Ms Gur Iqbal Kaur Babli, wife of local MLA, Parkash Singh along with volunteers of youth Congress and the Blood Donors Council reached the accident site to assist in rescue operation by arranging ambulance and blood for the victims in the Civil Hospital here. Two seriously injured persons-Surinder Kumar advocate (35) of Rahon and Jaswinder Singh (22) of Mallpur village have been referred to the PGI, Chandigarh. Other injured persons — Gauray Dutta, Raj Rani, Pankaj, Joga Singh, Pardeep, Harvinder Singh, Kulwinder Kaur, and Simro were hospitalised.


Probe into demand for bribe ordered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
Taking up a petition alleging the demand of bribe by an Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax and two other officers for “not opening his case”, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax to hold an inquiry into the petitioner’s complaint in the matter.

Pronouncing the orders in the open Court on the petition filed by Fatehabad-based Development Officer with Life Insurance Corporation — Mohinder Singh Malik — the Bench, comprising Mr Justice N.K. Sodhi and Mr Justice S.S. Saron, also issued notice of motion to the respondents for February 11 next year.

The Judges also stayed proceedings in pursuance of a notice issued to the petitioner for reopening his case regarding income tax return for assessment year 1995-96. In his petition, the Development Officer had earlier alleged that Rs 40,000 was demanded by the officers for not reopening his case. Following his refusal to comply with the wishes, a notice under Section 148 of the Income Tax Act for reopening the case was issued, counsel had added.

Arguing on the petitioner’s behalf, he had claimed that the respondents were openly demanding bribe from the assesses and threatening them with heavy fine. He had added that “many more assesses had filed affidavits, but action had not been taken”.

Notice of motion

Mr Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday issued notice of motion for March 10 on a petition filed by Nishan Singh, personal security officer of SGPC’s former President Bibi Jagir Kaur, in Harpreet Kaur’s alleged murder case.

Claiming to have been implicated in the case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation, Nishan Singh submitted that there was nothing in the statement of the approver, Dr Balwinder Singh Sohal, to indicate his participation in the alleged conspiracy.

FCI under fire

A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday came down heavily on the Food Corporation of India and other respondents for not assisting the Court on a petition filed by a transporter.

Taking up a case filed by Gurdaspur district resident Jagdish Walia seeking the quashing of an order against the termination of his contract, the Bench, comprising Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar and Mr Justice Viney Mittal, ruled: “Counsel for the petitioner obviously pressed for interim orders and that was the precise reason we issued notice for today from yesterday. Counsel for the respondents plead that he has no instructions. We are unable to see any reason behind the attitude. Once a notice was issued least expected from the Corporation was proper assistance to the Court. In these circumstances, the party shall maintain status quo as of today....”

Services rules

Punjab Civil Services Rules, regarding the withdrawal of resignation by an employee, do not deal with a situation where the resignation has already been accepted by the authorities concerned — Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar and Mr Justice Viney Mittal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court ruled on Wednesday in a significant judgement.

Delivering the verdict on a petition filed by a pharmacist seeking directions to the state of Punjab and other respondents for allowing him to rejoin, the Judges ruled: “Petitioner whose resignation was duly accepted by authorities concerned was sought to be withdrawn. The request was declined. Counsel for the petitioner contended that as per the rules, he could withdraw the resignation within three months even after it has been accepted. We are unable to agree with the contention. The language of the rules clearly indicate that it operates between the date of submission of the resignation and the date on which it has been effective”.

The Judges concluded: “Rules obviously do not deal with a situation where the resignation has already been accepted by the authority concerned and has been effective. Otherwise also, the petition is hit by the doctrine of delay and latches....”


Sonia has lunch with Amarinder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
The hop-stop visit of the Congress President, Sonia Gandhi from Delhi to Himachal Pradesh and back via Chandigarh today had Punjab Congressmen and ministers rush to the airport here to catch the Madam’s eye.

In fact, her passage through the city also impacted the meeting that Chief Minister Amarinder Singh held with the police to discuss its problems. Since she arrived much before the scheduled time at the airport for her journey back to the Capital, it gave time to Capt Amarinder Singh to offer her lunch at the VIP lounge. It was “makki di roti and sarson da saag” that Ms Gandhi had for lunch in the company of just two others, Capt Amarinder Singh and Ms Moshina Kidwai.

Several Punjab ministers, including Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Mr Lal Singh, Mr Partap Singh Bajwa and Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, reportedly waited outside. Besides exchanging notes on the Gujarat and Himachal Assembly elections, the political situation in Punjab having been discussed at the closed-door lunch meeting is not ruled out.


Minister’s effigy burnt
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 11
Activists of the General Categories Welfare Federation, Punjab, took out a march to protest against the grant of quick promotions to employees of the reserved categories and also burnt an effigy of the Punjab Social Security and Welfare Minister, Mr Santokh Singh, here today.

The activists, which included a large number of women, started from the local Teachers Home and gathered in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner, after passing through various bazars in the city. They raised slogans against the caste-based, discriminatory reservation policy of the country and alleged that the political parties used it to gain political mileage.

Mr Rajbir Singh Sidhu, district president, General Samaj Party said the reservation was meant for the uplift of the downtrodden and the underprivileged but the government employees were not so. He pointed out that in the present set up the wards of senior government officers and class-I officers, including IAS, IPS, PCS officers were getting the reservation benefits even as they were amongst the most privileged sections in the society.

The district president of the federation, Mr Harbans Singh Sidhu, pointed out that reservations in promotions were not being given in all states. In the neighbouring Haryana, employees in the Class-I and Class-II categories were not being given the benefits of caste-based promotions.


Farm labourers lament joblessness
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 11
Farm labourers of the district on Tuesday staged a dharna near the office of the Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development) to show resentment against the policies of the state government that have rendered them jobless.

Earlier, the farm labourers held a march in the city and a rally near the office of the Deputy Commissioner. The office-bearers of the district unit of the union of farm labourers, said the dharna would continue for 24 hours.

Mr Lachhman Singh Sewewala, state general secretary of the Punjab Khet Mazdoor Sabha, said it was shameful that even to get basic needs fulfilled, they had to stage dharnas.

Mr Sewewala said the Congress government in the state had curtailed various welfare schemes.


Dharna by killed woman’s kin
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 11
Relatives and members of family of Sonia, who was allegedly poisoned to death by her husband on Saturday night, sat on a dharna in front of the police station 7 for one hour against the role of some police officials for favouring the accused.

They raised anti-police slogans and alleged that two police officials had been seen having liquor with Sarwan Kumar inside the police station last night. Sarwan Kumar who was arrested for murdering his wife by forcing her to swallow some poisonous substance.

They demanded the suspension of the erring police officials. The protesters including women started assembling outside the police station since 9 a.m. and it became a mob. The mob burnt tyres at Garha Chowk and sat on a dharna forcing the shopkeepers of the area to put the shutters up.


BSNL staff stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, December 11
Under the banner of National Federation of Telecom Employees (NFTE), the BSNL employees posted here staged a dharna in front of the TRA office, here today to protest against the misbehaviour of Mr Varinder Kumar, son of Mr Gurbachan Dass, resident of the Bassi Datta Ram Bharwain road, Hoshiarpur, with the women staff of the TRA office yesterday. 

The staff was much agitated over calling outsiders in the office who threatened the women staff. 


M. S. Gill enrols as voter
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, December 11
Mr Mohinder Singh Gill, a former Chief Election Commissioner, has applied as a voter from his native village Aladinpur near here.

His other family members have also applied for enrolment as voters.

Mr Gill along with his other family members had left the native village long time back for Chandigarh.

The family land is being tilled on contract basis. The ancestral house is in a dilapidated condition.


Water supply disrupted for two days
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 11
Residents had a harrowing time as the water supply to parts of the city remained disrupted for the past two days.

A cross-section of the residents contacted by The Tribune said that their taps had been dry for the past two days and they had to depend on water being sold in cans.

Mr Jatinder Sharma, a resident, said he had to depend on water bought from shops.

Some residents complained that the piped water supplied to them was turbid and the water pressure was low.

They said the municipal authorities pumped water from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. and they had to make up at that time to collect a few buckets of water.

Mr Kamal Kant, Executive Officer, Municipal Council said the water supply had been restored. All areas were expected to get water from tomorrow.


New traffic plan for holy city
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 11
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Iqbal Singh Sidhu, yesterday unveiled a new traffic plan for the city. Addressing a meeting of officers of the district administration, police and municipal authorities, along with the representatives of transporters and traders, Mr Sidhu said the plan would be implemented after launching an awareness drive in this regard.

He said the government, with active participation of the public, would ensure free flow of traffic through the main bazaars of the city. The Deputy Commissioner said the municipal corporation would paint zebra crossings, yellow lines for parking and remove encroachments from roads.

He said that the timings for the entry of trucks would be regulated while the buses would not be allowed to enter the city. The administration is planning to notify heavy traffic roads as one-way and also no-parking areas as tow-away zones. 


Submit report on fake votes, DC told
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, December 11
The State Election Commission has directed the Deputy Commissioner here to submit his report on the alleged irregularities in the enrolment of votes of the Nagar Council in wards number 3, 4, 8 and 9. The commission threatened to appoint an I.A.S. officer from the state headquarters if the district administration failed to submit the report by December 17.

A contingent of the BJP workers had approached the State Election Commission alleging that the ruling party had made fake votes for coming Nagar Council elections in the said wards. The commission marked the complaint to the Deputy Commissioner here.

The complaint said that in ward No. 9, vote numbers 376 to 427 were fake and made in two houses of the ward which are too small to accommodate such a big number of persons. In this ward, in shop No. 355 and 356 respectively vote numbers 2814 to 2821 and 2822 to 2828 have been made. However, the owners of the shops have given in writing that nobody, either from their family or their employees resides in the shops and said votes are fake. In ward number 8, as many as 60 votes are fake.

The complaint said 30 votes made in ward No. 17 also figured in ward number 9. As many as 60 votes made in ward No. 8 also figure in ward number 9. They demanded that this duplicacy in enrolment of votes be rectified.


Officials told to remove encroachments
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 11
The district administration today warned officials, failing to comply with Supreme Court directions regarding the removal of encroachments from the government land on priority and for not taking measures to recover loans advanced by various government departments.

Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Raj Kamal, presiding over a meeting of district officers of different government departments here today, said the officials concerned should make all necessary arrangements to remove encroachments from the government land in the district.

He added said that Rs 6 crore would be spent on development projects including construction of Primary Health Centre at Dhaliwal, Roli and Salempur villages, Office of Director Land Records, setting up of soil test laboratory at Phillaur and Noormahal and drinking water supply project at Yusufpur Darewal village. “The work on these projects is at final stage and will be completed within a period of four months,” he added.

The ADC admitted that the rate of recovery of water bills and octroi had reduced in most of the Municipal Councils in the district. 


Our Correspondent

Mansa, December 11
Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, Mansa, has suspended Karamjit Singh, Patwari of Lalianwali Halqa in the district for dereliction of duty and absence following the report of tehsildar and SDM, Sardulgarh.


Ex-minister’s house ransacked
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 11
Three miscreants ransacked the house of a former Punjab Minister, Late Mr Kasturi Lal, in the city yesterday at 5.30 p.m. Two of them managed to escape with some cash and valuables after injuring two family members.

Sources said that the three men assaulted three women of the family as they refused to part with cash and valuables.

The wife of the deceased minister Devki , 70, her daughter-in-law, Radha and helper Seeto were injured.

Sources said Radha was injured when the looters forced her to part with the mangalsootra.

The house of the former minister is walking distance from the official residence of the District Magistrate, district police chief and the Civil Lines police chowki.

The sources added that one of the looters had been nabbed and handed over to the police.


Dacoits injure 3; loot cash, jewellery
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, December 11
Sixteen suspected members of the kale kachhewale gang-struck the house of Mr Mohinder Singh on the Shahpur Kandi road and a poultry farm of Mr Gurdas Mal at Lamini early today and assaulted them with sharp-edged weapons and lathis. Mr Mohinder Singh, who is working as a driver with the local Improvement Trust, his wife Rani and Mr Gurdas Mal of the Khanpur area were injured in the incident. The injured have been admitted to the local Civil Hospital.

Family members of the victims said around 2 a.m. today, sixteen persons, armed with sharp-edged weapons and lathis assaulted Mr Mohinder Singh and his wife Rani and forcibly took away gold ornaments, Rs 2,300 and other articles.

Later, the gang members forcibly entered the poultry farm of Mr Gurdas Mal.

The Gurdaspur SSP, Mr Varinder Kumar, who visited the sites of robberies, said the dacoities were committed by members of the kale kachhewale gang. The police has registered a case in this regard.


Woman tricked, loses ornaments
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, December 11
Poonam of local Baba Balak Nath Mohalla was tricked into parting with her gold chain, a locket and the LPG documents by a fraud posing as an LIC official.

A middle-aged person came to her around noon. She was alone in the house. He told her that her LIC policy had matured and she was to get Rs 70,000. He asked for a security of Rs 3300 and an identification proof. Poonam got up to ring up her husband Mohinder Pal Bhatia. The trickster asked for a glass of water and offered to put her through. As Poonam returned with a glass of water, the cheat hung up. And told her that Mr Bhatia wanted her to give the money and the papers. The trickster persuaded her to part with her gold ornaments and the LPG papers instead.


Excise inspector held for graft
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 11
The Vigilance Bureau (VB) today arrested an excise and taxation inspector for demanding and accepting Rs 5000 as bribe from a businessman to process his application for the allotment of a licence.

According to Bureau sources, Sarabjit Singh, in his complaint alleged that Randhir Singh, who at present was posted at Jalandhar office of the Excise and Taxation Department, had beenn demanding Rs 7000 for the work.


2 cops get RI for smuggling liquor

Moga, December 11
Judicial Magistrate Tarsem Mangla here today sent two constables to one and a half years of rigorous imprisonment on the conviction of liquor smuggling.

The constables, Gurmel Singh and Hakam Singh, were nabbed in January, 1998, when 240 bottles of liquor had been seized from their possession. Both the constables had been posted at the city police station.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 2,000 each on them. UNI 


School’s annual function opens
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 11
The two-day annual function of Om Parkash Bansal Modren School, a premier institution of the area, started here today. Mr Hukam Chand Bansal, founder chairman of the school, presided over on the opening day of the function, whereas Mr Hari Jaisingh, Editor, The Tribune, would preside over the concluding day of the annual function tomorrow.

In his presidential address Mr Hukam Chand highlighted the achievements of the school and said that this premier institution had been set up for providing quality, value-based and technical education. He said that the school was started with a missionary spirit and not for commercial purposes, so that the students of the area may get international standard education. He said that Information Technology had made its impact on the education systems all over the world, but unfortunately very few schools in our country were making good use of multi media system to make the education system more meaningful. He said that this institution had developed its own textual and the related software for the primary section, which will give not only advanced textual software based on a functional curriculum but also make students free of the clutches of the text book burden. He said that besides this a separate prenursery wing, having global specifications, air-condition rooms, multipurpose activity hall, audio-visual library, art, music and dancing room would be introduced and from the next session water splashing pool, mock post office, bank etc to create children’s awareness of these institutions would be added.

In his address Mr P.K.Dhar, principal of the school, said that in this school concept teaching for better insight into the scholastic subjects and for higher growth of thinking skills, perceptual organisation, laying emphasis on comprehension and retention through comprehension rather than by routine learning were some of the strategies followed for teaching for cognitive development. 

He said that learning by doing activities had been identified in key areas of each of the scholastic subjects and had become a compulsory part of the syllabus. He read the annual progress report and achievements of the school in various fields.

Mr Chaman Lal, vice-chairman of the school also gave detailed information about the school and its management.

On this occasion the school students presented an impressive cultural program, which was highly appreciated by the audience.


Students get prizes
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 11
Public schools and their managements can assist with the district administration in providing quality education in rural areas to the weaker sections of the society by giving concessions in school fee for them, said Mr Vikas Partap, Deputy Commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib, while presiding over the annual prize distribution function of Mata Sundary Public School at Attewali village 2 km from here yesterday. Deputy Commissioner said that many talented children belonging to rural background remained uneducated unknown to the society due to lack of proper guidance.

 While highlighting the performance of the Mata Sundari Public School, the Deputy Commissioner said that students of the school had been invited to take part in 20th World Scout Jamburi at Bangkok (Thailand).

Earlier the Deputy Commissioner inaugurated a five-room block of the school attached with bathroom. He announced a grant of Rs 5,000 for the school library on the occassion.

Mrs Annu Partap distributed prizes to students. Mr Nirmal Singh Ghuman, director of the school, read the progress report. Songs and dances marked a colourful cultural program was also presented by the schoolchildren on the occasion.

Among others who participated include Mr Baldev Singh Sidhu ADC (D), Mr Mohan Lal SDM Fatehgarh Sahib, Mr Rakha Singh Jangu SDM Bassi Pathana, Mr Jatinder Singh Tung Secretary, Zila Parishad (all government members of the school trust), Mr S.K. Mehta and Mr Purshotam Singla (non-government members).


DAV school wins quiz
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 11
DAV Public School was adjudged the winner of the regional final round of the Limca Book of Records Quiz 2002 organised here yesterday.

A press note said the first runners-up were Sacred Heart High School and second runners-up Holy Heart Presidency School.

This year, the quiz was conducted in 10 cities in the country and the winners of each city would be taken to New Delhi for the finals.


Special chance for aspiring lecturers
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 11
Guru Nanak Dev University will grant a special chance to improve score at graduation level to those candidates who were otherwise eligible for lectureship at the postgraduate level and had cleared the UGC NET.

A university press note said the interested candidates who had secured less than 50 per cent marks in graduation could avail themselves of the special chance to improve their performance with a special fee of Rs 5,000.

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