Monday, October 20, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Political faces on highway hoardings
J.S. Malhotra

Jalandhar, October 19
Contrary to the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court that hoardings should be removed from all highways and main roads as they are a traffic hazard, the state Local Bodies Department in collaboration with nationalised and private banks has put up huge hoardings and neon signboards. Several such hoardings were recently installed along national highways in Jalandhar, Phagwara, Amritsar, Ludhiana and the main road approaching Kapurthala. Most of these were put at traffic intersections.

Most of these hoardings have been erected by respective Improvement Trust authorities with sponsorship from nationalised and private banks.

The Jalandhar Improvement Trust has installed large hoardings at Rama Mandi chowk, the PAP traffic intersection, Pathankot and the Bidhipur level crossing on the GT Road and Wadala on the Jalandhar-Nakodar road. One hoarding has been installed by the Kapurthala Improvement Trust at the main intersection on the Jalandhar-Kapurthala road.

Similarly, such boards have been erected on the Phagwara-Hoshiarpur road at Jalandhar bypass chowk in Lothian and the Phagwara-Hoshiarpur road junction with the GT road.

The slogan on these hoardings is “Zara muskura do aap Jalandhar mein ho” and they bear pictures of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Local Bodies Minister Jagjit Singh, local MP Balbir Singh and Chairman Improvement Trust Tajinder Singh Bittu. The sponsors are the State Bank of Patiala, IDBI Bank and the Bank of Punjab.

According to sources, the financial institutions, in their effort to reach a large segment of people through permanent advertisements, had approached the chairman of various improvement trusts with the idea of putting up such hoardings. The political authorities approved the proposal.

The Jalandhar Municipal Corporation authorities have failed to take action in this regard so far. According to the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, it is the duty of civic bodies to comply with the directions of the court.

Most of the neon signboards are getting power from either streetlights or the PSEB lines nearby. No regular power connections have been sanctioned. Besides, various multi-national companies and religious institutions have also erected such hoardings at bus stands and traffic intersections.


Work on repair of national highway starts
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 19
With the Deputy Commissioner Anurag Aggarwal inaugurating the work pertaining to the strengthening and restructuring a stretch of the national highway passing through this city here this evening, the overjoyed local residents said they could not have asked for more as the road was practically non-existent and had been causing inconvenience to the commuters.

The Bathinda-Goniana road was in dire need of repairs and those with commercial establishments and dwellings on both sides of the road, were living in hell-like conditions. Huge potholes, dusty storms due to the accumulation of loose sand and rainwater for days even after mild showers had been ruining the business of the traders here.

As this road connected the city to districts like Ferozepore, Faridkot and Muktsar, the heavy vehicle operators and commuters had been opting for alternative roads wasting time and oil to save on the wear and tear of the vehicles. The local leaders, cutting across party lines, had been demanding that the road be repaired and the local MP, Mr Bhan Singh Bhaura, even took up the matter with the Union Surface Transport Minister.

Mr Anurag Aggrawal, Deputy Commissioner, said the 5.3 km road, from the municipal road garden to the ITI chowk would be completed by February. He said the quality of work would be ensured. He added that the cost of the project would be about 217 lakh.

Mr D.K. Tiwari, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Mr Ashok Goyal, Executive Engineer, national highway, and a section of Congress party leaders were present during the function.


Police asks banks to seal Panchhi’s accounts
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, October 19
The district police has approached the bank authorities concerned to seal the accounts and lockers of Punjabi singer Sukhwinder Panchhi and his family members.

During preliminary interrogation of the singer in police remand, Panchhi revealed that he had three bank accounts in as many banks here in Jalandhar. “Sukhwinder Panchhi has a joint account with his wife Rajinder Rubi at Ladowali Road branch of Punjab National Bank, while one of the account is at Model Town branch of the State Bank of Patiala. The details about his third account and the lockers are being ascertained,” a senior police official disclosed.

“We have written to the bank authorities concerned to seal the accounts and to stop allowing withdrawals from the accounts,” the police said, adding that it had confiscated some documents from the residence of Sukhwinder Panchhi.

“We will be seeking details of all transactions carried out by Panchhi and his family members through these bank accounts during the past seven years to ascertain the exact amount, which changed hands for immigration of innocent youth to Western countries,” police sources said.

Interestingly, Gafoor Bibi, a resident of Sarinh village, on whose complaint a case was registered and subsequently Panchhi was arrested, had maintained that the singer had returned a sum of around Rs 1.33 lakh through two cheques, which had bounced due to insufficient funds. Though Panchhi had allegedly charged a sum of Rs 2.95 lakh for sending her son abroad in 1999, but he had agreed to return the money after Gafoor’s son was arrested by the Italian immigration authorities for travelling on a fake visa.

Meanwhile, Panchhi had disclosed names of some tour operators of Punjab, who were involved in human trafficking racket even as the police investigation was being hampered due to its failure to nab them so far. The police had conducted raids at about a dozen suspected hideouts in the state, but of no avail.

On the other hand, Panchhi’s wife Rajinder Rubi and Jagtar Singh, a brother of Panchhi, were still evading arrest. “Jagtar Singh is the main link in human trafficking racket. He used to settle deals with innocent youth and their family members in lieu of huge money on behalf of Panchhi and his arrest can put more light on the whole racket,” the police authorities asserted.

The police has also sounded red alert in the state to nab them even as international airports and port authorities were being informed about Jagtar Singh and Rajinder Rubi. “There is possibility that both the accused may leave the country. We are in the process of sending their pictures to the authorities concerned to hamper any such move. Besides, raids are being conducted at some suspected places at Delhi and Chandigarh in this regard,” the sources added.

Panchhi would be again produced before the court of Mr Kuldeep Singh here on tomorrow afternoon after expiry of his police remand.


VB not to grant more chances to Badals
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau has decided not to grant the Badals more opportunities to explain their position in the disproportionate assets case.

SAD leader Parkash Singh Badal, his wife and son had sent their detailed replies to the bureau on Friday.

Sources in the bureau said following scrutiny of the replies, it had been decided to file the challan in the special court by month-end or latest by the first week of November.

A senior bureau officer said the replies sent by the Badals were not in tune with the Vigilance calculations about their properties.

The officer said Mr Badal had stated in his reply “he did not maintain any regular books of accounts on his income and expenditure.” The SAD leader had by and large reiterated the figures mentioned in his income tax returns. Mr Badal had mentioned that during the five-year tenure as the Chief Minister (1997-2002), his earnings were Rs 2.01 crore while his expenditure was Rs 1.95 crore and that he had not invested in the renovation of his son’s Sector 9 house.

His wife, Surinder Kaur, had also denied that there was a difference of Rs 1.31 crore in her sources of income and expenditure, submitting the necessary documents about her investments.

Meanwhile, Mr Badal has refused to apply for bail.


Nanakshahi calendar dates announced

Amritsar, October 19
The SGPC president, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, announced important dates of occasions according to the Nanakshahi calendar for the year 2004 today.

He stated that the New Year would start from March 14. The birth anniversary of the Tenth Sikh Guru would fall on January 5.

The ‘vada ghallughara’ day had been marked for January 8, Maghi January 13, the birth anniversary of Guru Hari Rai January 31, the birth anniversary of Bhagat Ravi Das February 6, and ‘Sakka Nanakana Sahib’ February 21.

The festival of Holi was noted for March 6, Hola Mohalla March 7 and Baisakhi April 14.

The ‘jyoti jot’ of Guru Angad Dev will be observed on April 16, ‘parkash Guru Angad Sahib’ on April 18, parkash ‘Guru Amardas Sahib' May 23, Guru Gaddi Guru Hargobind Sahib on June 11, martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev June 16, martyrdom of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur June 25, martyrdom day of Bhai Mani Singh July 9, the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh on June 29, ‘pehla parkash’ Guru Granth Sahib September 1, Guru Gaddi Sri Guru Granth Sahib on October 20, Khalsa Darbar October 22, Bandi Chor Divas November 12, Shaheedi Baba Deep Singh November 13, martyrdom day of Guru Teg Bahadur November 24, and ‘parkash Guru Nanak Sahib’ on November 26.

The martyrdom day of Sahibzada Ajit Singh and Jhunjhar Singh and the martyrdom day of Baba Jiwan Singh both fall on December 21. The martyrdom day of Jora Singh and Fateh Singh fall on December 26.


Hans Raj Hans’ brother attacked
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, October 19
Six assailants, armed with sharp-edged weapons, attacked the brother of Punjabi pop singer Hans Raj Hans at his Safipur village residence, near here, late last night, inflicting serious injuries on him.

According to the police, the victim, Mr Amrik Hans, Sarpanch of Safipur village, was admitted to the local Civil Hospital, where his condition is stated to be critical. Mr Amrik Hans was in his house when the assailants, armed with swords and other weapons, alighted from a Bolero jeep, barged into his house and attacked him.

When villagers reached the spot, they found Mr Amrik Hans lying in a pool of blood.

The police said Mr Amrik Hans was fighting a court case pertaining to a dispute over 15 acres of panchayat land, which was in the possession of Gurnek Singh and his father Surinder Singh of the same village. “The victim was regularly receiving threats from Gurnek Singh to withdraw the case or face dire consequences,” the police said, adding that Gurnek Singh, his father Surinder Singh and their accomplices had allegedly attacked Mr Amrik Hans.

Surinder Singh has been arrested, while Gurnek Singh and others are at large. A case under Sections 307, 452, 324, 427, 148, 149 and 506 of the IPC has been registered.


Robotic heart surgery at Escorts’ Amritsar hospital
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
Robotic heart surgery, being performed in India only at Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi will be introduced at their Amritsar hospital by the end of the year.

“Seeing the advantages of robotic surgery, we will be introducing it at the Amritsar Escorts Hospital by the end of the year, thereby reducing the trauma, hospital stay and morbidity to a great extent,” informed Dr Naresh Trehan, Executive Director of Escorts Heart Institute, here today. He also hinted that Escorts may consider setting up a hospital in Chandigarh.

Dr Trehan was in the city to address a CME organised by Dr U.P. Singh, Director Prime Academic Society. The CII auditorium was packed to capacity as more than 450 doctors from North India gathered to listen to Dr Trehan and other eminent cardiologists from the AIIMS and PGI.

Dr Naresh Trehan said so far robotic surgery, introduced in India in December last year, was being done at only about 12 medical institutes in the world. “The surgery is performed through key hole, without having to open up the chest and the patient is discharged within 24 to 48 hours, cutting down the hospital stay and cost of medicines,” he said.

Elaborating on the advantages of the procedure, he said unlike human hands small robotic arms could reach even inaccessible areas and do cutting, repair and stitching with utmost precision.


Check antecedents of staff, thermal plant told
Our Correspondent

Ropar, October 19
The PSEB Vigilance has directed the authorities of the Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Plant (GGSSTP), Ropar, to review security and the disaster management plan of the plant. During a visit to the plant yesterday, the ADGP (Vigilance), PSEB, Mr Lalit Bhatia, directed the plant authorities to review the security arrangements of the plant and conduct periodic mock exercises to cope with crisis situations.

Sources said the ADGP pointed out that the antecedents of about 1,000 employees working at sensitive points in the plant were yet to be verified by the police, which was a grave security lapse.

They include about 250 daily wage workers, 600 contract labourers and those working with contractors, most of whom belong to Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

The authorities have been directed to expedite the process of police verification of the antecedents of the employees.

The vigilance authorities expressed concern over about 400 jhuggies that have come up in the plant area. The plant authorities, however said the jhuggies would soon be shifted from the area with the help of the district administration.

Regarding the disaster management plan, the plant authorities were directed to regularly conduct mock exercises.


Chinese buses by November
Tribune News Service

Lalru, October 19
JCBL Ltd that manufactures bus bodies here for Swaraj Mazda and other manufacturers is set to launch luxury buses by next month using Chinese chassis with rear engines in the domestic market. It has entered into a tie-up with Chinese manufacturer King Long, and is awaiting clearance from the Automobile Research Association of India (AARI), Pune, to launch the buses.

Mr Rishi Aggarwal, Director, JCBL Ltd, said the company started with a capital investment of Rs 4 crore in early 90s, and had registered an annual turnover of Rs 48 crore last year. It had emerged as a market leader in the organised sector in the manufacture of bus bodies and cargo boxes. It manufactured 1500 buses every year.

King Long is rated as the biggest Asian bus manufacturer with an annual supply of over 10,000 buses. He said these buses would have more power, greater comfort and quieter operation. The buses would be priced at a much lower price than other imported buses and their Indian counterparts.

Mr Aggarwal said the domestic market was of around 20,000 buses, and was growing at a rate of over 20 per cent. However, it was unfortunate that so far Indian manufacturers had been producing the same chassis for trucks and buses. The new buses would be manufactured keeping in view the Indian road conditions.


For him, purity of music is sacrosanct
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, October 19
Pandit Debu Chaudhuri is bonded with Kapurthala due to its matchless Senia tradition, which gets its name from Mian Tansen. Happy to be in his “musical home”, Padma Bhushan Pt Chaudhuri, better known for his seven-fold personality as a sitar maestro, respected guru, composer, creator of ragas, author of books and a musicologist, could not but be inspired by the rich musical heritage of the city, which has long been home to Senias — the descendants of Tansen.

Himself a product of the Senia gharana, characterised by its style of playing with only 17 frets in the sitar (others play with 19 frets), Pt Chaudhuri was much in form today when he played on the concluding day of Baba Jassa Singh Sharad Utsav at Jagatjit Palace. The day, also saw Parveen Sultana mesmerise the gathering with a vocal recital.

As Pt Debu struck melodies, a tapestry rich in form and content stood carved out, reflecting nuances of a tradition that flourished in Kapurthala, paving way for the Kapurthala music tradition. Kapurthala also houses the mazaar of Mir Nasir Ahmad, founder of the Kapurthala tradition. Mir Nasir Ahmad was a descendant of Tansen and was brought to Kapurthala from the court of Bahadur Shah Zafar.

While history remains history, Pt Chaudhuri talked to The Tribune about reasons behind the disappearance of the Kapurthala tradition. He reflected on his mission to practice pure music or not practice it at all. In his patent style he said: “There are musicians who earn accolades for ostentatious recitals. I have never been able to pick up the art of shaking the instrument or vibrating the body while playing. Unfortunately, people like exhibitionism. But I never do that, nor do I relish those who do that. When the fingers can generate rhythm, why labour to add fake energy to the concert? This is disregard of music.”

The purist streak has caused Pt Chaudhuri much harm. He admits to having been ostracised for having been extremely vocal about upholding tradition. Explained the maestro who has 40 years of teaching at the Delhi University behind him: “My guru Mushtaq Ali Khan Saheb was so touchy about maintaining the sanctity of music that he even avoided recordings. I can at least play the raga while keeping its sanctity in tact. Our music allows scope for creation within the set structure of the raga. Where is the need for distortion?”

Famous as creator of eight ragas, the latest being “prabhat manjari”, which he composed in the memory of his wife, Pt Chaudhur has been commissioned by the UGC to document instrumental music traditions of India.

He informed: “Our gurus passed on selective compositions to disciples. Much of our treasure house has gone with them. Today we have no link with our past musical heritage. I am now trying to document whatever little I can.” An author of four books, including Music of India, Inner Music and Sitar and its Techniques, Pt Chaudhuri has also guided 33 PhD students. As of now, he is trying to catch up with his musician son Prateek’s fancies.“He is fascinated by varied influences, but I don’t let him play something else in the name of classical music. He can play fusion and call it so, but he cannot play fusion and call it classical,” the maestro said.

For Prateek, the road ahead is clear. Having played fusion with the 19 times Grammy Award nominee Dave Peatro, besides Louis Banks and Shiva Mani, is walking a tightrope between tradition and modernism. But he loves to allow his guru the last word and that is, “purity.”


Ban on sale, storage of crackers
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, October 19
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Vikas Pratap exercising power vested with him under Section 144 CrPC procedure has banned the storage, sale and exhibition of firecrackers or explosives which have the potential to cause serious damage to life, limbs and property at any place other than designated for the purpose. He said keeping in view the festival of Divali, it was necessary to take steps to regulate and restrict the sale of firecrackers in public interest.

The Deputy Commissioner has earmarked one open place each in all five subdivisions of the district and ordered the respective SDMs to ensure that there was no retail sale of firecrackers outside these areas. In Ferozepore, Housing Board Colony Ground and Ram Bagh Ground have been recommended as sale point of firecrackers in the city and cantonment areas respectively.

Mr Pratap said the use of firecrackers would be allowed only from 6 pm to 10 pm and no firecrackers should be used near the silence zones, schools and hospitals.


Punjabi writers hold ‘flag march’
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, October 19
More than 100 Punjabi writers from the state gathered in front of the Kahnuwan chowk today and held a flag march in protest against the anti-Punjabi measures allegedly being taken by the Education Minister Khushal Bahl. The march was organised in the Gurdaspur Assembly Constituency as the same is represented by the Education Minister in Punjab Legislative Assembly.

The flag march began from the Kahnuwan crossing here and went through Babri, Babbehali, Tibber, Tibri and Pahra villages.

The participants reached Gurdaspur at 3 p.m. and held a rally in front of the residence of the Education Minister.

The demands of the writers included strict implementation of the use of Punjabi in all departments of the state in their official work, besides teaching of Punjabi from 1st standard in schools as compulsory subject replacing English which should be taught from class VI.


Tributes paid to Halwarvi
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, October 19
Tributes were paid to Harbhajan Halwarvi, a former Editor of Punjabi Tribune and Desh Sewak at a “shardhanjali samaroh” held in the memory of Halwarvi at the Mata Naina Devi temple complex here today. The samaroh was organised by the district unit of the Punjab Chandigarh Pattarkar Parishad and quarterly magazine, “Sarokar” from Patiala.

The speakers lauded his services in the field of journalism and literature and movements run to protect the interests of the commonman in the past years. The speakers also remembered him for his contribution to the Punjabi Tribune when he served the newspaper as an Editor.

Prominent among those who paid the tributes were Mr Arvind Khanna, MLA from Sangrur; Mr Surjit Singh Dhiman, MLA from Dirba; Mr Jasbir Singh, chairman, Punjab Agro Industries; Dr Tejwant Mann, general secretary, Kendri Punjabi Lekhak Sabha; Mr Jeet Singh Alloarkh, district president of the SAD(A); Mrs Mohinder Kaur Mann, a local journalist; Mr Basheshar Ram, district general secretary of the Punjab Chandigarh Pattarkar Parishad; Mr Bhim Inder Singh, Editor of “Sarokar”, and Principal Gurbakhshish Singh (retd).


Rights panel asks SSP to protect complainant

Moga, October 19
The Punjab State Human Rights Commission has directed the Senior Superintendent of Police, Moga, to ensure the safety of life and property of a complainant, Mr Pawan Kumar, and his family.

Mr Pawan Kumar had moved the commission, stating that he was beaten up by Darshan Kumar and some others on September 30, causing injuries to him.

He was shifted to Kotisekhan for treatment after first aid was given to him at a local clinic.

When his brother-in-law went to a police station to lodge a complaint, he was arrested and a false case allegedly registered against him without any inquiry.

A PSHRC member, Justice R.L. Anand, while taking a note of the matter, also asked the state government to submit a report on the issue. — PTI


Two workers sustain burn injuries
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, October 19
Two workers sustained burn injuries in a fire which broke out in one of the plants of a factory here this morning. Both workers, Musafir Yadav of Kotrani village and Umesh Rai of Dashmesh Nagar, were hospitalised at ESI Hospital. The local fire brigade took over an hour to control the flames.

When contacted, higher officials of the factory said the cause of the fire was being ascertained. The exact loss was being calculated. They maintained that either a short circuit or human error could be behind the incident.


Drive against anti-social elements begins
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, October 19
The Military Intelligence unit has launched a crusade against bootleggers, drug peddlers, and other anti-social elements.

According to the information, the Military Intelligence agencies have adopted a proactive and dynamic approach in handling issues concerning the security of the cantonment and surrounding areas.

The unit is also keeping a check on the flesh trade in coordination with the police as it is felt that the locals might be exploited, and later used for anti-national activities by the people indulging in these acts.


Tohra unveils portraits
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 19
No government had ever tried to bring back precious and religious items of the Sikhs, including the ‘Kalagi’ of Guru Gobind Singh and Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s gold chair and Kohinoor back from England, said Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, President, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, while unveiling portraits of Basant Singh Khalsa, a former member of the SGPC and Manjit Singh Jajee at Sikh museum in the Golden Temple complex here yesterday.

Mr Tohra said Mr Basant Singh Khalsa remained member of the SGPC for over 17 years and was also Education Minister of Punjab. Mr Manjit Singh, he said had facilitated the return of ‘Shastar’ (arms) of Guru Gobind Singh from England.


Senior citizens honoured
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, October 19
The local Senior Citizens (Pensioners) Council celebrated International Older Persons Day in Balongi village, near here, today.

A free eye check-up for senior citizens was organised which was inaugurated by Mr H.L. Dhami, member of the National Commission for Older Persons. He also released a directory of life members of the council.

Mr Amrik Singh Bhatti, president of the council, in a press note said nearly 300 persons were examined at the medical camp and were given medicines free of cost. Senior citizens were also honoured on the occasion by presenting shawls and mementoes to them.


Tributes paid to Basant Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
Tributes were paid to former Akali leader Basant Singh Khalsa on his seventh death anniversary at an impressive gathering at Model Town Extension here today.

Those who paid tributes included Shiromani Akali Dal chief Parkash Singh Badal, SGPC President Gurcharan Singh Tohra, Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, Mr Surjan Singh Thekedar, former Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, Mr Inderjit Singh Zira, MLAs Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, Malkiat Singh Dakha and Jagdish Singh Garcha, former MLA H.S. Gabria, A.S. Aliwal and S.S. Dhilon.

Mr Badal said the late leader was an institution and an esteemed colleague, who not only worked tirelessly for the Panth but also played a stellar role as an MLA, MP and a minister. Basant Singh Khalsa had died in a road accident near the local Jagraon bridge seven years ago.


Jassa Singh Ahluwalia remembered
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 19
Sultan-ul-Qaum’ Jassa Singh Ahluwalia Memorial Society Punjab, today observed the 220th death anniversary of Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, renowned Sikh warrior, at Gurdwara Baba Atal Rai in the Golden Temple complex here.

Various Ahluwalia societies from all over Punjab participated. Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta honorary secretary of the SGPC and patron of the society, Ms Kiranjot Kaur, former General Secretary of the SGPC, Ms Ratna Chairperson, Amritsar Improvement Trust, Mr Charanjit Singh Walia former MP and several other personalities were present on the occasion.


Homage paid to Banda Bahadur
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib,  October 19
The SGPC has established an engineering college in memory of Banda Singh Bahadur, said Dr Dilbag Singh Hira, Principal of the college, while paying homage to the Sikh warrior on his 333rd birth anniversary.

He was speaking at a seminar organised by the staff of the college. He said apart from naming the college after him, all blocks and buildings of the campus had been named after Sikh generals, scholars and Muslim leaders who opposed Wajir Khan.

The warden of Baba Binod Singh Hostel, Prof Lakhvir Singh, delivered a lecture on the life of Baba Binod Singh.

Prof Gurpal Singh, Head of the Computer Department, said the college would design a web site on Banda Singh Bahadur.


Vishram Kutir inaugurated

Fatehgarh Sahib,  October 19
Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, today inaugurated Vishram Kutir constructed in the Municipal Council Park at Sirhind town today. The kutir has been constructed by Mr A.D. Ahluwalia and family and dedicated to residents of Sirhind.

Appreciating the efforts of the Ahluwalia family, the Deputy Commissioner urged the people to donate generously for the cause of society. He said by serving the underprivileged section and the senior citizens we get mental peace. He highlighted various schemes and programmes initiated by the District Red Cross Society. OC


43 cases settled at Lok Adalat
Our Correspondent

Barnala, October 19
Forty three cases out of 107 reported were settled yesterday at a Lok Adalat in Courts Complex here.

Compensation claims and other cases worth more than Rs 63 lakh were settled at the adalat. Sources said that compensation and claim cases of general nature amounted to Rs 44 lakh were settled.

Motor vehicle accident claims cases of Rs 16.50 lakh were also settled. Under the Hindu Marriage Act affected parties offered Rs 2.65 lakh compensation.


Punjab Governor bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
Anita Devi (94), mother of Punjab Governor and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, Justice O.P. Verma died today at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) after a brief illness.

She is survived by three sons and four daughters. Her body was taken to her native place Garhmukteshwar in district Ghaziabad where she was cremated.


Justice Tandon dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
Justice J.M. Tandon of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and a former Chairman of the Sugar Wage Board died in New Delhi this morning following a brief illness. He was 80.

Justice Tandon was also a former member of the FERA Tribunal. He was cremated in the afternoon.


Man drowned

Amritsar, October 19
A middle-aged man was drowned in the holy sarovar on the Golden Temple premises here today. According to the police, the unidentified man was having a holy dip when he drowned. The body was later fished out by sevadars. — UNI


Record paddy procured
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 19
The procurement of paddy at all 33 purchase centres in the district is going on smoothly and till today 3,03,511 metric tonnes of paddy have been procured by the various government agencies. This is 34,133 MT more than last year’s purchase and private traders have purchased 28,703 MT. This was stated by Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, while addressing a meeting of the procurement staff here.

He said the lifting of the purchased paddy was going on a war-footing and there was no shortage of gunny bags and space in the district. He said that maximum paddy (67,696 MT) had been procured in the Amloh grain market. Farmers brought the paddy as per specifications and did not face any problem. He said not a single case of harassment had been reported anywhere in the district. It had been ensured that the staff of procurement agencies would not demand bribe from any one and no complaint had been received in this regard, he added.

He said surprise raids were also conducted to check whether the procured paddy was as per government specifications and it was found in order. Besides this, the timely payment to the farmers had been ensured and the farmers were getting payment in time.


Man threatens suicide over temple land
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 19
Pawan Arora, a resident of Tilak Nagar, who claims to be the owner of disputed temple land in Shastri Market, today threatened to commit suicide along with his family if the administration failed to free his land from the clutches of the management committee of the temple within a week.

The Vigilance Bureau had picked up four businessmen who were also the members of the management committee of the temple after Mr Arora’s complaint on October 17. However, the four were later released after the intervention of a senior Congress leader and market association members who had gheraoed the Vigilance office and blocked traffic in protest against the arrest.

Mr Arora, while addressing a press conference here today, claimed that he had bought the land from Pardeep Singh Walia, a senior leader of Shiromani Akali Dal in 2001. He claimed that he had all revenue records of the property. He alleged that the members of the management committee of the temple had forcibly occupied his land.

He said he had filed a complaint with the Vigilance Bureau earlier this year which had booked five persons — Deepak Raj Mehra, Prem Chand Shroff, Rajesh Kapur, Harbans Singh and Subash Kumar, all members of Management Committee and three employees of the Municipal Corporation after investigations and taking the opinion of DA (legal). He said all persons were booked under Sections 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of IPC and 13 (1), 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

On October 17 the VB had nabbed the accused persons who were later released after reported political pressure and when the market association members had gheraoed the office.

He urged Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, to intervene in the matter and to take strict legal action against the accused persons who were threatening his family of dire consequences after their release.


Heroin worth 4 crore seized
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, October 19
BSF personnel of 181 Battalion seized 4 kg of heroin, worth about Rs 4 crore near a border observation post at Gatti No 1 village from a tractor today. Mr P.P. Gupta, DIG, BSF, Faridkot Range, told mediapersons here that Manjit Singh, a resident of Ladhuka village, 14 km from here, had gone to cultivate fields across the barbed wire fencing at Gatti No 1 village in a tractor along with his companion Resham Singh of the same village.

When they came back, Head Constable Indra Ram checked the tractor and found heroin. Manjit Singh even tried to bribe him. The heroin was packed in cloth bags and was sealed by polythene bags. Two packets bore code No. 55 while the other two had code No 99 printed on them. The other printed matter on the bags was in Urdu. Both suspects have been arrested.


2 killed as car, truck collide
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 19
Two occupants of a car died while two others were severely injured today when the car hit a truck near Behman Diwana village, 9 km from here, on the Bathinda-Gidderbaha national highway.

Of the four car occupants, Ripjit Singh and Amarjit Kaur, died on the spot while Sunveer Singh and Kirandeep Kaur suffered multiple injuries.

The bodies were extricated from the badly-damaged vehicle by volunteers of a local organisation, Sahara Jan Seva. The injured were admitted to the local Civil Hospital. Kirandeep Kaur, whose condition was critical, was later shifted to a Ludhiana hospital.

A case had been registered against the truck driver under Section 304 A of the IPC in the Sadar police station. The bodies were handed over to family after a post-mortem examination.

In another mishap, a leg of Mrs Prem Kaur, a resident of Guru Nanak Pura locality of the town, was crushed when she was hit by a tractor. She was admitted to the Civil Hospital.


Drug peddler arrested
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 19
Neeraj Kumar, alias Dana, a resident of the local Ganesha Basti area, was arrested late last evening for his alleged involvement in the smuggling of narcotics.

Police sources said when the residential premises of the accused were searched on a tip-off, about 100 bottles of narcotics were seized.

He was remanded to police custody till tomorrow by the Judicial Magistrate today. A case under the NDPS Act had been registered.


Techfest at SLIET concludes
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, October 19
The two-day “Techfest 2003”, a national-level technical youth festival, at the Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology (SLIET), at Longowal village, ended with a function last night. Dr S.C. Saxena, Director, Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Patiala, was Chief guest at the function. Dr R.C. Chauhan, Director, SLIET, and Dr D.S. Heera, Principal, Engineering College, Fatehgarh sahib, were also present.

Dr S.C. Saxena said that he was really impressed that the SLIET had organised such a mega event successfully, in which local students and students from other technical institutions from various parts of the country had participated.

On the occasion, students also presented a cultural programme, including skits, songs and dances etc.

The winners of various competitions, organised at the “Techfest 2003”, were also given prizes. Dr S.C. Saxena gave away the prizes.

Mr Rajan Vinayak and Ms Monica Bhardwaj, both students of SLIET, were adjudged “Mr Techfest 2003” and “Ms Techfest 2003”, respectively.

Dr R.C. Chauhan, Director SLIET, hoped that the SLIET would certainly get the honour of organising annual function of the Indian Society for Technical education (ISTE), New Delhi, for 2004.


CBSE new courses soon: Secy
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 19
The CBSE will modify its curriculum and new courses are being introduced in economics, accounts and science. Besides this obsolete syllabus has been deleted said Mr B.R. Sharma, secretary Central Board of Education Delhi, while talking to The Tribune here yesterday. He had come to preside over the Founder’s Day celebration and Prize distribution function of Saffron City School here today.

He said new courses on fashion designing, manufacturing of garments, tourism and industry were being introduced as elective subjects. He said as per CBSE rules it was mandatory that the fee structure was introduced only after consultations with the parents body. If the CBSE got a complaint in this regard, an inspection team was sent to check the record and if proved the school was disaffiliated. Many schools had been disaffiliated on this ground.

Later presiding over the school function, he appreciated the efforts of school management in providing qualitative and high standard. Earlier, the schoolchildren presented an impressive cultural programme.

Mrs A. Sakasudha, principal of the school, read out the annual report. Meritorious students were also honoured on the occasion.


SR Govt College lifts youth fest trophy
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 19
The local SR Government College for Women lifted Guru Nanak Dev University Women’s zonal youth festival trophy. The NJSA Government College, Kapurthala, was runners-up while Government College, Gurdaspur, scored third position on the concluding day of the two-day festival here today. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Raminder Singh, presided over the valedictory function and gave away prizes to the winners.

The SR Government College for Women, Amritsar, bagged the first position in a majority of the 33 events. The college topped in mimicry, skit, mime, one-act-play, classical instrument (non-percussion), shabad/bhajan, group shabad bhajan, group song (Indian), vaar singing, classical dance, geet/ghazal, painting (landscape), painting (still life), poster-making cartooning, collage making, clay modelling, rangoli, phulkari, flower arrangement (dry), debate fancy dress and histrionics.

NJSA Government College, Kapurthala, scored top positions in six events. Government College, Gurdaspur won three events. The GTB College, Sathiala, won the lone title in the folk song category.

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