Friday, February 7, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



BJP gears up to hit back at CM
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
The Punjab unit of the BJP today opened front against Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, who has politically hit hard against the BJP’s Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal.

In a counterattack the BJP General Secretary, Mr Avinash Jaiswal, said here today that the Punjab Government was being run by “leisure and pleasure seekers”. This government had no time for the people as it remained busy in holding late night parties. What can people expect from a government, the elected representatives of which share drinks with bureaucrats, he added.

Mr Jaiswal said that the Punjab Government was using the police to stop BJP workers and leaders from proceeding to Himachal Pradesh for taking part in the election campaign. “It was a police raj everywhere in the state”, he added. “In Jalandhar the police remained busy the whole day yesterday to take photographs of a factory owned by Thakur Ganpat Rai in partnership with a brother of Mr Dhumal. Thakur Rai is an old RSS activist. All this has been done to engage BJP leaders in Punjab to deal with such matters and to prevent them from going to Himachal Pradesh”, Mr Jaiswal said.

The BJP, he said, will launch a campaign against the Capt Amarinder Singh Government under the slogan “dhokha-hi-dhokha”, which, if loosely translated in English means deception. The Capt Amarinder Singh government had deceived people of the state at every step. Hence the coining of such a slogan, Mr Jaiswal said.

The Congress had been feeling frustrated after its defeat in Gujarat elections. It was now desperate to win Himachal Pradesh elections by resorting to tactics used in Punjab where it won by building its campaign on “lies”. Repeating the same “ bundle of lies” would not succeed in Himachal Pradesh, he added.

Mr Jaiswal said that the police was harassing, Mr Satya Pal Saini, a former BJP minister from Sujanpur( Gurdaspur) at the behest of the Congress minister, Mr Raghu Nath Sahai Puri. Mr Saini had been raising his voice consistently against the “activities” of Mr Puri and his son, Mr Naresh Puri, who had allegedly become a coloniser and trying to establish monopoly over the building of colonies by ousting other colonisers from the job with the help of the police.

Mr Saini, who was also here today, said Mr Naresh Puri had been exploiting the official position of his father. Even a Congress MLA from Gurdaspur district had brought the matter to the notice of the Chief Minister. He said that Sujanpur was a small town with a population of 21,000. But the number of registered voters was 18,000 there. Lot of bogus votes had been entered for the municipal elections in the first fortnight of March, he added.

When asked why was the police harassing him, Mr Saini said that the Punjab BJP had deployed him on election duty in the Gangeth constituency of Kangra. However, the Punjab Government wanted to stop him from going there and engage in false investigations in the state. “Allegations against me are that I own a big fleet of buses and fixed deposits in banks. The reality is that I am under debt to the tune of Rs 9 lakh and have no bus or fixed deposit except Rs 3500 in my bank account of pension”, he added.


Punjab may follow information Bill
P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Punjab is awaiting a copy of the Government of India gazette notification on ‘’The Freedom of Information Act’’, which it proposes to follow in respect of ‘’openness, transparency and accountability’’ in administration.

The Chief Secretary, Mr Y.S. Ratra, has sent the relevant file on “The Freedom of Information Bill-2000” to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh. He has concurred with the opinion given by the Principal Secretary, Information Technology, Mr B R Bajaj. He has stated that Punjab need not go in for a ‘’separate legislation’’ on providing for freedom to citizens to secure access to information under control of public authorities, consistent with public interest, but await the gazette notification and rules that the Central Government may frame.

As per Section 18 of the Act, a state government is required to issue a notification in the official gazette and make rules to carry out the provisions of the Act. But first the rules will be made by the Central Government by notification in the gazette. Since the Centre has done so, Punjab will now follow suit.

The Act, incidentally, extends to the whole of India, except the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr Ratra said the need to enact a law on right to information was recognised unanimously by the Chief Ministers’ Conference on ‘’Effective and responsive government’’ in New Delhi in May, 1997.The Parliamentary standing committee on Home Affairs had recommended that measures be taken for the enactment of such a legislation.

A reading of the statement of objects and reasons reveals that the Act is the outcome of deliberations of a working group on right to information and promotion of open and transparent government. The group was headed by Mr H.D. Shourie.

The Act provides for appointment of public information officers to deal with requests for information for which a fee is to be subscribed. The PIO has the right to accept or reject the request for information. The reasons for rejection will be communicated to the person seeking the same. There is also provision to appeal against the rejection.

But any information that would affect public safety and order or an investigation of an offense or lead to an incitement to commit an offense or affect trial/adjudication of a pending case or on centre-state relations or cabinet papers or record of deliberations of council of ministers etc. would not be disclosed.

The Act will not be applicable to intelligence and security organisations established by the central or state government.


Boycott of Dalits: SC/ST panel seeks DGP’s report
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, February 6
Taking a note of the alleged boycott of Dalits by Jats of nearby Talhan village for 20 days, a team of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes today visited the village for an inquiry.

Mr Vijay Sampla, Vice-President of Punjab unit of the BJP, in his complaint to the Commission, had alleged that though Dalits of Talhan village had approached the management of Gurdwara Shaheedan to allow them to participate in the elections for the gurdwara committee in the light of the judgement of a court, but the latter refused their request.

Later, election to the gurdwara committee was held on January 14 per court directions but Jats taking it as insult attacked Dalits with police help, Mr Sampla contended adding that Jats and the police used derogatory language against Dalits.

Subsequently, the police registered a case against 74 Dalits under Sections 307, 186, 332, 353, 427, 506, 148, 149 of the IPC on January 19 even as Dalits were lathicharged by the police during election to the gurdwara-management committee.

“Further, Jats resolved not to inter-action with SCs. They banned 7 Dalits going to their fields for fodder and some village streets were closed to them. Besides, if the Jat happened to talk with Dalits, he was to be fined Rs 10,000,” Mr Sampla alleged.

The commission, ordered the Punjab Director-General to inquire into and submit an action-taken report to the Commission by January 11. The Director, state office of the Commission, Mr Tanzin Wangyal and DIG, G.R. Marwaha, heading the atrocities wing in the commission, today visited the village and met representatives of both communities. Later, Mr Wangyal said the commission had viewed the incident very seriously and detailed report would be sent to the commission. The special team also took stock of the tension in the village and senior police officials briefed the team on the steps taken by to defuse tension. Meanwhile, it was learnt that the SHO of the Sadar police station was shifted to the Police Lines for failure to take appropriate action.


Relaxation in Punjabi against Varsity Act
Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 6
Punjab Languages Department Director M.L. Hasija today said Punjabi University could not give relaxation in respect of proficiency in Punjabi to those being recruited teachers in the varsity and that the relaxation granted by the Syndicate at a recent meeting could not be given according to the Varsity Act.

Addressing a press conference on the issue here, Dr Hasija said he had opposed the move to do away with the stipulation of proficiency in the Punjabi language for recruitment as a teacher at a recent Syndicate meeting. He said the varsity management had claimed that it was not able to attract talent due to this stipulation and it should be relaxed.

He said, the varsity management had decided to allow this relaxation only for Science candidates. When his attention was drawn to the fact that the varsity had claimed that the relaxation had been allowed to everybody for one year, he said he did not know of this decision. “I will only come to know about this when the agenda which has been passed by the Syndicate is released to all members”, he added.

Mr Hasija — also a member of the varsity Syndicate, said this relaxation was not permissible under the varsity Act. He said giving relaxation to newly recruited teachers to learn the language was also against the spirit of the varsity Act. Releasing a copy of the varsity Act, he said it clearly stated that “An Act to establish and incorporate a University for the advancement of Punjabi studies and development of Punjabi language as a medium of instruction or otherwise for providing of instruction in humanistic and scientific subjects”.

Dr Hasija said the Act made it clear that the varsity should provide instruction in humanistic and scientific subjects in Punjabi. He said by this reason no attempt could be made to dilute this special characteristic of the varsity in the name of relaxing norms for recruitment in Science subjects or allowing time to new appointees to learn the language. “When they are supposed to instruct students in Punjabi how can they be given time to learn the language,” he said.

Meanwhile Mr Hasija also quoted the Official Languages Act of the State which says that Punjabi could be written in Gurmukhi script only. He was reacting to a suggestion by the varsity Vice-Chancellor at a seminar that postgraduate students of Punjabi could be allowed the use of Devnagri script. He said such a move would be a violation of the Official Languages Act.

On the use of Punjabi for office work the Languages Department Director said his department had proposed an amendment in the Official Languages Act making it mandatory for the appointing authority to punish the employee not doing office work in Punjabi. He said this issue was being scrutinised by the government.

On the action taken against officials by his department last year, he said 893 offices had been checked and 207 officers were found guilty of not working in Punjabi while 366 officials had been identified as not working in Punjabi. He said the services of 27 officers and 38 officials were censured while the others had been given ‘warnings’.


Pak national’s body handed over at Wagah
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 6
Body of Mohammad Hussain (70) who died in January was handed over to Pakistani authorities at Wagah checkpost today.

According to information Mohammad Hussain, a resident of Lahore in Pakistan was nabbed by the BSF in August last year while he was trying to cross over into India. He was in jail and his condition worsened. In the first week of January he was admitted in Guru Nanak Dev hospital here for treatment. He died on January 19. However, his body could not be handed over to Pakistan for certain reasons.

WAGAH (AMRITSAR): The Pakistan government today received the body of one of its nationals who died while serving a term for border trespass last month in Amritsar.

The body of Mohammad Hussain (70) was sent to Pakistan through the joint checkpost (JCP) here today.

The body kept in a coffin, was escorted by a posse of the Punjab Police personnel and Nasir Ali Bhatti, an official from the Pakistan High Commission, New Delhi, was handed over to his relatives who were waiting at the JCP Wagah on Pakistan’s side of the border.

According to Amritsar Central Jail Superintendent Hardip Singh Chabba Mohammad Hussain was arrested and booked under the Passport Act and the Foreign Act by the Khalra police station on September 2002 for border trespassing from the Pakistan’s side. A court in Amritsar imprisoned Hussain for six months for the offence. PTI


Amritsar MC spends more on salaries
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 6
Even as the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has been adjudged the best by the Planning Commission of India, Amritsar lags behind not only Ludhiana but also the Jalandhar Municipal Corporation as its establishment expenditure (majority of it as salaries) has risen by most 2.5 times its spending on development.

According to the data collected by the correspondent, of the three municipal corporations for the period from April, 2002, to January 31, the projected budget for Ludhiana Municipal Corporation was Rs 296 crore of which Rs 131 crore was projected to be collected through octroi and Rs 165 from other heads like house tax, building department, entertainment, etc. In this period it was able to collect Rs 93 crore from octroi and Rs 61 crore from other heads, making it the healthiest corporation in the country.

But failing industry/trade with 60 per cent of big textile units closed down, snapping of trade ties with Pakistan and troop build-up on border have taken a heavy toll on the income of the MC.

Consequently, in the same corresponding period, the Amritsar Municipal Corporation here projected a budget of Rs 74 crore of which Rs 45 crore was come through octroi collection and Rs 35 crore through other heads. It was able to collect Rs 38 crore through octroi and Rs 26 crore through other sources. In comparison the Jalandhar Municipal Corporation in the same period projected a higher budget at Rs 87 crore, Rs 53 crore from octroi and Rs 34 crore from other heads. It was able to collect Rs 36 crore from octroi and Rs 24 from other sources.

In terms of expenditure the Amritsar Municipal Corporation was spending the maximum on establishment expenses.

Its contingency expenses too are the highest as compared to the other two corporations. But it was spending a mere Rs 12 crore on development. In comparison Ludhiana was spending Rs 92 crore on development and Rs 55 crore on establishment expenses. Jalandhar was spending Rs 26 crore on development and Rs 22 crore as establishment costs.

While Amritsar is spending Rs 12 crore on contingencies, Ludhiana is spending just Rs 7 crore and Jalandhar Rs 4 crore.

The loss of Rs 1 crore due to the snapping of border trade ties has left it with very little even to change its ageing fleet of sanitation vehicles.


Construction of water tanks: contractors cry foul
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, February 6
Contractors here alleged malpractice in the allotment of contract for the construction of water tanks by officials of the Public Health (RWS) Department, Faridkot. They have urged the Punjab Public Health Minister to cancel the tenders.

Thirteen contractors from different districts have written to the minister concerned, alleging that sufficient tender forms were not issued to the contractors.

Mr Deepak Garg, a contractor, said the official concerned allegedly to favour a contractor misused his power. He said according to norms a contractor could get any number of forms by depositing requisite fee and the earnest money for the form. He alleged that only one contractor was given the required forms, while others were not given the forms demanded by them.

He added that to protest against the behaviour of the authorities concerned the contractors did not submit tenders on the scheduled date — January 30 till 3 p.m. He added that although the authorities did not receive any tender by the scheduled time, yet allegedly to favour a contractor the officials received his tenders after the stipulated time.

Mr Garg and others have urged the authorities that the tenders be cancelled to enable contractors to give lower rates.

Mr Rajinder Singh Khurmi, Executive Engineer, Public Health (RWS) Faridkot was not available despite several efforts. Mr Des Raj Puri, a Superintendent in his office, however, denied all allegations.

He said no discrimination was made while issuing the tender forms to the contractors. He said certain contractors who wanted to form a syndicate for profit, were levelling false allegations in respect of tenders. He, however, added that giving of forms was the discretion of the Executive Engineer.

He also said no tender form was accepted after the scheduled time. He added that there was no need to cancel the tenders.


Bench takes up plea of former PPSC chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Taking up a petition filed by former Chairman of the Punjab Public Service Commission challenging the holding of two trials out of the same first information report, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today fixed February 18 as the next date of hearing in the case.

The three-Judge Bench also clarified that further proceedings before the trial court were not being “restrained”. Arguing before the Bench, his counsel today contended that the holding of two trials, when there was just one FIR, was impermissible, besides being in violation of Article 20 of the Constitution of India. He also handed over a number of Supreme Court judgements to substantiate his contentions.

Giving details, counsel asserted that the FIR alleging the receipt of bribe was registered after a trap was laid, subsequently the police claimed that the accused was in possession of assets disproportionate to his known sources of income following which two trials were sought to be held.

He added that the Court below had also held that the consolidation of both the cases, though arising out of the same FIR, was not possible. This, he added, would cause prejudice to the petitioner’s right of a fair trial.

Pre-arrest bail

Acting on a petition filed by Punjab’s former minister Nirmal Singh Kahlon seeking the grant of anticipatory bail in another criminal case registered against him, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday ordered that the petitioner would be released on bail, in the event of his arrest, to the satisfaction of the arresting officer, till February 10.

Pronouncing the orders in the open Court, the Judge also asked the petitioner to approach the Sessions Judge. Claiming to have been implicated in the case, Kahlon had earlier alleged that the present government had adopted a revengeful attitude towards its opponents, particularly towards the members of the Akali Dal. The Chief Minister, counsel for the petitioner had added, had openly declared that the Dal members and supporters would be taught a lesson.

Panel report

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday read out the report of a sub committee set up to look into the matter pertaining to the PCS officers, while taking up a bunch of petitions.

The three-Judge Bench observed in the open Court that this should be done so that even slightest doubt did not remain in the minds of the petitioners in this regard. The case will come up for further hearing tomorrow.

Notice of motion

Issuing notice of motion for March 3 on a petition by a Kapurthala district resident against the state of Punjab, the returning officer for election to the post of Block Samiti’s President and Vice President and other respondents, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday directed that the result would be subject to the decision of the writ petition.

Seeking the quashing of the election process, petitioner Charanjit Singh had contended that it was being conducted in violation of the Punjab Panchayati Raj Act provisions due to the returning officer’s bias on account of political interference of the local MLA.

His counsel had added that eight votes were polled in the petitioner’s favour, while seven were polled in his rival’s favour. A valid vote in the petitioner’s favour was, however, wrongly rejected by the returning officer.


National Defence College team visits city
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 6
National Defence College team headed by Rear Admiral I.K. Saluja, Senior Directing Staff (Navy), and 16 senior officers of the armed forces, civil services as well as senior officers from armies of foreign countries visited the city today.

Besides, watching the ‘retreat ceremony’ at Wagah border the team paid obeisance at the Golden Temple, Durgiana Mandir, and paid tributes at Jallianwala Bagh memorial. They placed floral wreaths at the flame of liberty’ at the martyrs’ memorial.

The team has already visited some parts of the state from February 3 and is on a mission to collect and equip future policy-makers with an in-depth background for a broad understanding of military, economic, socio-political, scientific and organisational aspects involved in planning the national security strategies.

The review of the domestic scene and internal dynamics of the nation is a significant part of the security, said Rear Admiral Mr I.K. Saluja, senior directing staff (Navy).

Besides, senior officers of the armed forces and civil services, senior officers from the Bangladesh army, the Sri Lankan army and the Kazakistan army are also accompanying the team.

According to Brig K.S. Kahlon, Director Sainik Welfare, who is the coordinator on behalf of the Punjab Government, the team had started its mission with interactions with the state Governor, the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary. It has already held discussions with the village panchayats, and visited the Bhakra Nangal Dam, the Punjab Agricultural University and the War Museum, Ludhiana.


Women pay tributes to Kalpana
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, February 6
Women from all walks of life converged at the Red Cross Society’s “Sanjivini”, a centre for displaced women and children, and paid tributes to Kalpana Chawla, here today.

A two-minute silence was also observed to pay homage to Kalpana who lost her life along with six of her colleagues in the recent space shuttle Columbia’s tragic crash.

Addressing the gathering, Dr Kamala Prasad, president of the Association for Social Health in India, said Kalpana had achieved unprecedented heights in the field of science at a very young age. She said it was nothing but a combination of Kalpana’s flight of thought, dedication and her resolve to do something worthwhile for her country which made her an example before the world and belied the misconception that space science was primarily a field for men which has no place for women.

Ms Suman Sareen, joint secretary of the association, urged the girls to follow in Kalpana’s footsteps by resolving to achieve excellence in their respective fields.

Ms Sudarshan Chopra, vice-president of the association, said though Kalpana belonged to a middle-class family and faced a number of problems, but all this could not prevent her from achieving her cherished goals.

Ms Parminder Berry, general secretary of the association, talked about the achievements of Kalpana which made her stand out in the minds of the people of the country and the rest of the world as well.

Others who paid tributes to Kalpana included Ms Avtaar Kaur Gill and Ms Gurdev Kaur Sangha, Chairperson and Vice-President of the association, respectively, and the girl inmates of “Sanjivini”.


Badungar for revoking Bhullar’s death penalty
Our Correspondent

Patiala, February 6
The SGPC President, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, today appealed to the Union Government to revoke the death sentence of Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar and threatened to create a “Panthic lehar” if the Centre failed to do so. He further said the masses would be mobilised to take up the issue at various levels. Criticising the state government, Mr Badungar stressed that Congress had failed to address the real problems and called upon the people to participate in the anti-state government rally to be organised at different places on February 10.

Speaking on the occasion of Baisakhi at Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran here, Mr Badungar alleged that the Congress government had failed to ensure justice to the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi.

At a press conference, the general secretary of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, said his party would mobilise people to put pressure on the Central Government to revoke the death sentence of Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar. He said the state government had failed to take any substantial step to improve the condition of farmers in the state besides failing to fulfil its pre-poll promises.

In a separate press note, the Sikh Students Federation (SSF) stated that the federation was in touch with human rights organisations on the issue of death penalty to Devinder Pal Singh.


Vedanti for end to death penalty
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 6
Akal Takht has called upon the human rights and other peace-loving groups to prevail upon the world leadership to put an end to the death sentence.

A press note issued by Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, said the practice of awarding the death sentence had already been stopped in most of the countries.

Mr Vedanti appealed to the Sikh sangat to observe February 9 as “ardas divas” to seek mercy for Prof Davinder Singh Bhullar, who has been awarded the death sentence.


BKU blockage enters second day
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, February 6
More than 500 trucks are stranded between Dinanagar and Gurdaspur on the Gurdaspur side and Dinanagar to Parmanand on the Pathankot side due to the road blockage by the Bharati Kisan Union (BKU), which entered its second day today. Passenger buses and light vehicles were being diverted through village link roads.

Mr Bhupinder Singh Mann, national president of the BKU and former MP, said the blockage would continue till the payments were made by the sugar mills of Paniar, Batala and Ajnala. He said the government was adopting a different yardstick in this regard. He added the farmers who were to get the arrears from the Morinda sugar mill have been paid their dues by the government while they were still awaiting the payment of arrears.

He said though government officials had contacted the farmers for lifting the blockage but the union had turned it down on the plea that the government was not serious in implementing the accord reached with the farmers on January 31.


3 killed as water tanker overturns

Anandpur Sahib, February 6
At least three persons were killed and 12 others injured, five of them seriously, when a water tanker in which they were travelling overturned on the Anandpur Sahib-Naina Devi highway near here late last night.

They were pilgrims returning home after paying obeisance at the historic Guru ka Lahore Gurdwara.

Two persons, who died on the spot, have not been identified so far, while the third one has been identified as Jasbeer Singh (18) of Upper Daroli village in Roopnagar district.

The seriously injured have been referred to the PGI in Chandigarh from the Anandpur Sahib Civil Hospital. Their condition was reported to be critical.

The accident took place at around 11 p.m. when a water tanker, which was coming back from Guru ka Lahore Gurdwara, overturned near Kaulanwala Tobhan.

While two persons were killed on the spot after being crushed under the tanker tyre, the third one succumbed to his injuries on way to the Anandpur Sahib Civil Hospital.

The police have impounded the ill-fated vehicle belonging to Ajmer Singh of Gambhirpur village. UNI


Panel favours use of Hindi in govt offices
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, February 6
Parliamentary Official Language Subcommittee yesterday reviewed the use of Hindi as a medium of communication in the Central Government offices here. The eight-member committee, led by its convener, Mr Nawal Kishore Rai, held separate meetings with the officials of the Income Tax Department, the State Trading Corporation and the State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur and issued instructions to promote the use of Hindi as a medium of communication in the government offices.

Later, talking to mediapersons, Mr Rai said the eighth edition of the Parliamentary Official Languages Committee would be submitted to President, Mr Abdul Kalam next year. He said that the committee had already inspected the offices in Delhi, Jammu, Amritsar and was scheduled to visit Ludhiana and some offices in Delhi next week in this regard.


Fervour missing on Basant
Sukant Deepak

Patiala, February 6
Despite hype of Basant being celebrated with much fervour in Patiala, markets and other places in the city wore the usual look. Neither was the clear blue sky punctuated with kites.

Youngsters accompanied their parents to religious places. Few could be seen wearing yellow.

Gurdwaras were, perhaps, the only places where the festival was celebrated with enthusiasm a few years back. Famous for celebrating the festival with much fervour, several gurdwaras like Dukh Nivaran Sahib, Gurdwara Singh Sabha and Moti Bagh Gurdwara including politicians, saw a great rush of devotees. With most of the schools having declared a holiday today, no cultural functions were seen.

Several youngsters who participated in a cultural function organised in the city lamented that the auditorium had only their parents as audience. Dressed in traditional Punjabi clothes, students of one of the private schools said that festivals like Basant gave them a chance to dressing as “they see in Punjabi serials”.

Gurdeep Kaur, a class XII student said festivals like Basant gave them a chance to dress gaudily which was “good for a change”

Although not many kites could be seen on the city sky, kite sellers could be seen at prominent crossings and traffic islands. Balbir Singh, who has been in the business for several years and sells kites at Shera Wala Gate said Basant was no longer celebrated as it used to be.

“What is the point of sitting all day and earning merely Rs 90? This is my last Basant as a kite-seller”, he stated.

Amardeep Sandhu, who has spent a better part of his life in Patiala, did not blame anyone for the “non-celebration” of the festival. Surprised that his grandchildren had no interest in flying kites or wearing yellow, he said.

In our times the urge to celebrate festivals came from within. Nobody forced us to go to any religious place or wear yellow.”

Stating that the educational institutions should acquaint the children with their culture, Mr Sandhu said the younger generation should be told about the significance of festivals. 


Basant Panchami celebrated
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, February 6
On the occasion of Basant Panchami today the SR Government College for Women organised a sapling plantation drive to develop a botanical garden on the college premises. Municipal Corporation Commissioner Jasbir Singh Bir inaugurated the drive. Jyot Singh, an artist, also planted a sapling.

HOSHIARPUR: Basant Panchami was celebrated with great enthusiasm here on Thursday. A fair was held at Baba Bhandari Boeli where sangeet sammelan was organised. Wrestling and kite flying competitions were the main attraction of the fair.

BATALA: Basant Panchami was celebrated here with great enthusiasm on Thursday at Sati Lakshmi Devi Smadh.


Vets’ panel denies buffalo deaths
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, February 6
The local unit of the Punjab State Veterinary Officers Association has categorically denied the deaths of 10 buffaloes due to the disease of rinderpest at Pakka village recently as per press reports published in a section of press yesterday. The association clarified that only 16 head of cattle against 100 as published in the press had perished during the past three months.

In a press note released here, Dr Devinder Singh Sekhon, secretary of the association, said that these head of cattle had died due to haemorrhagic septicernia besides inclement weather and the reluctance of the owners of the head of cattle to got them vaccinated.


Advocate hurt in group clash
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 6
Advocate Satnam Singh was injured seriously in a clash between two groups of lawyers in district court complex here today.

According to information available Kultar Singh, advocate along with five/six more persons reportedly armed with sharp-edged weapons attacked Satnam Singh injuring him seriously. He was admitted in a private hospital here. Sources pointed out that the victim received a head injury when he was hit with a brick.


Judicial remand for Thandal

Kharar, February 6
A court here today remanded Mr Sohan Singh Thandal, former Punjab Minister arrested in a corruption case registered at SAS Nagar in judicial custody till February 13 and ordered that the accused be produced before the Special Judge, Ropar on Thursday. OC


5 FCI officials reverted
Our Correspondent

Mansa, February 6
Following the rejection of consignments comprising 6,000 quintals of rice of the local depot of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) by Mr Prem Singh, Joint Manager, Quality Control of the FCI, Chandigarh regional office, who raided the depot along with Mr Avtar Singh, Assistant Manager, FCI regional office, a thorough inspection of the rice stored in the depot has been ordered. The Joint Manager has also ordered the local FCI officials to replace the rejected consignments.

Mr A.S.S. Rama Rao, District Manager of the FCI Bathinda, said action against the four technical assistants involved in this would be taken by the regional office. Meanwhile, four officials of the FCI have been reverted while an assistant manager, quality control, Sardulgarh, Mr Pawan Kumar Garg has also been reverted. Although all FCI offices have confirmed the reversion but they have refused to disclose the reason.


Vehicle thieves nabbed
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, February 6
The police nabbed three members of an inter-state gang, Sanjeev Kumar ‘Bali’ and Hardip ‘Butta’ of Dosanjh Kalan village and Rakesh Kumar of Indnaklaske village and seized two cars, two scooters, a motorcycle, three mobiles and some jewellery from them, last night.

A police press note said today that two of them were arrested, when they were coming on a scooter, at a naka, near Nihalgarh village on the Phagwara-Nakodar road. The third gangster was following them in a car, the number plate of which had been changed. Among the two seized cars, one had been stolen from Haryana.

The gangsters admitted that they had made an abortive attempt to loot a cooperative bank at Jagatpur Jattan village, but had to flee after hearing the sound of a motorcycle.


Jail inmate booked for attacking prisoner
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 6
A case under Section 324 of the IPC was registered against Krishan Kumar, an inmate of the local Central Jail late last evening after he attacked another inmate Labh Singh with a sharpedged weapon, injuring one of his eyes.

Official sources said Krishan Kumar, who had stolen some items belonging to Labh Singh, had been harbouring animosity against him after Labh Singh had lodged a complaint in the same connection to the jail authorities. Yesterday the former got the opportunity to settle the score and he attacked the victim.


Robbers decamp with 3.5 lakh from bank
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, February 6
Two unidentified youth, armed with pistols in the age group of 25-30 years with muffled faces entered co-operative bank, Bhattian, under the Kahnuwan police station in this district and decamped with Rs 3.5 lakh after procuring the keys of the cash from the manager and the cashier of the bank. While fleeing, the robbers bolted the bank from outside.

Eyewitnesses said there was no security guard in the bank at the time of the robbery. However, the police after coming to know of the robbery beefed up the security of banks, particularly the rural banks. The police rushed to the site with a dog squad but failed to find any clue to the robbery.


2 kids, student die in mishaps
Our Correspondent

Patiala, February 6
Two children and a student were killed in two accidents at different places in the city today. Rohit (12) and Sahil (13) were crushed to death by a speeding truck (PB-13A-7599) opposite the traffic control booth at Sheranwala Gate.

In another accident, Naveen Chadha, a second-year student of Thapar Engineering College, riding a bicycle was crushed to death under the rear tyre of a truck at the busy 22 No. Phathak area. The driver of the truck fled the scene. A case in this regard has been registered at the Model Town police station.


DSP, gunman die in mishap
Our Correspondent

Kharar, February 6
Mr Barinder Singh, DSP of the Punjab police posted at Amritsar, and his gunman Shavinder Singh were killed when their car was hit by a truck near Desumajra village on the Kharar-SAS Nagar road at about 7 am today.

According to information received from the Kharar police, the DSP was going to Amritsar from Chandigarh and his car was hit by a truck which was coming from the opposite side.

The Kharar police has registered a case under Section 279/304-A, IPC, against Jagwinder Singh, driver of the truck, who fled the spot.

Traffic on the busy national highway No 21 was also disrupted for sometime immediately after the mishap.


In-laws booked in dowry case
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, February 6
A case of bride harassment for more dowry by her in-laws was reported at the Mahilpur police station yesterday.

Tajinder Kaur of Bham village lodged a complaint against her husband Jaswinder Singh, mother-in-law Nirmal Kaur, sisters-in-law Poonam Kumari and Vijay Rana, all residents of Mayur Vihar, New Delhi and Sushil Kumari and Davinder Singh Bham village that she was being harassed by the above said.

A case has been registered.


Fund crunch not to hit women’s education
Our Correspondent

Muktsar, February 6
The Principal Secretary, Education, Mr K.K. Bhatnagar, said yesterday that shortage of funds would not be allowed to affect the education of women and the state government was serious about improving women’s education.

Mr Bhatnagar, addressing students of the Guru Nanak College for Women, at a function said that to improve the literacy rate among women, the Punjab Government would take the help of the NGOs working in this field. He said a survey in this connection would be conducted shortly and teachers of women’s institutes would be engaged for the same.

He said the funds received by the government had been released and the next instalments would be released when the same were received from the Union Government.

Ms Usha R. Sharma, Deputy Commissioner, said it was a matter of concern that even after more than five decades of Independence we were lagging in the education of women. She also expressed her concern about female foeticide and the declining sex ratio.

She urged the parents and teachers to help in changing the attitude towards the girl child for the betterment and development of the society.

Mr Bhatnagar later gave away prizes to the participants in the competition, ‘Education of Women is the key for the development of the country’ in which 20 students from 11 colleges participated.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |