P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Centre nod awaited for SGPC elections
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
Though all Akali parties have become active regarding the general elections of the SGPC immediately after the issuance of notification to debar "Sehajdhari Sikhs" from voting, but the Union Government has not given any clear indication to conduct elections in near future.

The SGPC elections, should have been held in October, 2001, as per the provisions of the law. However, the Union Government, which was to give instructions to the gurdwara election commission in this regard, has remained silent on the issue. It is obvious that there was no green signal from the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), to hold the elections.

Before announcing the dates of the SGPC elections, it is certain that the Union Government will take the President of the SAD, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and the SGPC chief, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, into confidence. In fact, the Union Government will go by the opinion of the SAD in this connection.

According to Mr Tohra, the elections should be held immediately. "We are prepared for the elections and these should not be delayed", he added. The Union Government has accepted a major demand regarding the removal of the names of Sehajdhari sikhs from the voters lists and now we are all for contesting the elections, he said.

The commission is all prepared to conduct the elections in January. It has been processing the voters lists after hearing the objections. The publication of the lists will start on January 2 after which the elections will be held.

Political experts say that the SGPC elections can be held in February and March. These cannot be held in April and May because then the farmers in Punjab and Haryana will be busy in harvesting the Rabi crop. From June, all political parties will be focusing on the Lok Sabha elections. No political party will like the SGPC elections to be held in those months.

Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), has also asked the Union Government to hold the elections at the earliest. In fact, he has written a number of letters to the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, in protest against the delay. 


Sending ‘bir’ to Canada to be probed
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 22
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee today ordered a high-level probe into the issue of sending a rare handwritten manuscript of Guru Granth Sahib to Canada in 1999. Giani Balbir Singh Changiara, a Sikh missionary and the then general secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal, North America, had stated that the ‘bir’ (1,582 pages) was taken to Canada with the ‘blessings’ of Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht.

Talking to TNS, Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, honorary secretary, SGPC, said that a special investigation team had been constituted to probe the matter at the earliest.

The ‘bir’ was taken to Canada for leading a religious procession to mark the Baisakhi celebrations four years ago when Jathedar Vedanti was in the Sikh reference library. However, Jathedar Vedanti claimed that the manuscript had been received back by him. He said Mr Changiara had apologised while giving back the ‘bir’ to him. He said the ‘bir’ was now in his possession.

During the stint of Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi as SGPC chief, an inquiry was ordered into the circumstances under which the ‘bir’ was taken to Canada through the manager, Darbar Sahib, Mr Ajaib Singh. Following the decision of the Dharm Parchar Committee, Sant Vir Singh Madoke, Mr Dalip Singh Mallunangal and Dr Khark Singh were made members of the inquiry committee. However, the committee could not hold even a single meeting on the issue. The matter was then referred to Akal Takht in November, 2001. The then personal assistant to the Jathedar, Akal Takht, Mr Prithipal Singh Sandhu, however, shot of a letter to the SGPC on November 19, 2001, that the matter could not be taken up at a meeting of the Sikh clergy due to some unavoidable circumstances and it would now be taken up in the forthcoming meeting. The matter was never taken up in any of the meetings of the Sikh high priests so far. It is learnt that the manuscript of Guru Granth Sahib, was referred to Sikh reference library from where it was to be taken to Goindwal Sahib for cremation as per Sikh traditions. However, considering the bir’s historical significance, it was kept in the library, where Jathedar Vedanti was working at that time.

Mr Ajaib Singh refuted the charge that he was involved in handling over the ‘bir’ to Mr Changiara. He said it was Jathedar Vedanti who personally handed over the ‘bir’ and then got it back.


Meet organisers out to create schism, says Tohra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
SGPC chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra and SAD (Amritsar) President Simranjit Singh Mann, said today that those involved in organising the vishva Sikh convention at Mohali on October 26 were trying to create chaos.

Mr Tohra said such people were challenging the authority of Akal Takht and other Sikh institutions and using filthy language against the Sikh high priests. It could not be tolerated.

The SGPC, Mr Tohra said was a representative elected body of the Sikhs which alone could take decisions on Sikh issues. “The organisers of the Mohali convention wanted to take control of Sikh institutions, they should contest the SGPC elections. They could do as they please after winning the SGPC elections,” said Mr Tohra.

Asserting that Akal Takht was supreme and no one could challenge its authority, Mr Tohra said that the Sikh “code of conduct” was prepared after holding consultations with all Panthic organisations. It could not be altered at the behest of organisers of the convention.

Mr Tohra clarified that the 21-member Advisory Board had been constituted to advise the SGPC, and not the Akal Takht Jathedar, on various religious matters regarding Sikhism. The Akal Takht’s Jathedar would function independently and there would no check on his authority in any manner.

Mr Mann questioned Mr Tohra for conferring the title of Professor of Sikhism. Mr Gurtej Singh, one of the main organisers of the October 26 convention

Mr Mann said Mr Gurtej Singh and other organisers of the convention wanted to create a “schism” in Sikhism. They were questioning various Sikh holy books and encouraging debate on various matters with wrong intentions, said Mr Mann. 


AISSF threatens to disrupt Sikh sammelan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 22
The All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) today threatened to disrupt the proposed World Sikh Sammelan, scheduled to be held on October 26 by the supporters of ex-communicated Sikh Gurbax Singh Kala Afghana.

Talking to the Press here today, Mr Harminder Singh Gill, president of the federation, however, welcomed the step of Mr Dara Singh, a Member Parliament and former world famous wrestler, for not allowing the conference to be held at his studio. Mr Gill said the federation won’t allow anybody to raise voice against Akal Takht. He said the state government would be held responsible for any untoward incident during the proposed conference.

He appealed to the Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, to summon Mr Joginder Singh, Editor of Spokesman, and Prof Gurtej Singh at Akal Takht and punish them for challenging the authority of Akal Takht.

On the recent suicide by a final-year law student of Guru Nanak Dev University, Mr Gill said the incident had exposed the situation prevalent in the university. He sought the immediate suspension of Mr Sukhdev Singh Chinna, Security Officer of the university, for allegedly mishandling the situation.

PATIALA: A Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) member and her husband, who is secretary-general of the district Shiromani Akali Dal unit, on Wednesday supported the holding of the Vishav Sikh sammelan in Mohali, besides accusing the Sikh high priests of having sold their conscience. Ms Jaswinder Kaur Seona, who is a SGPC member from Samana and her husband Darbara Singh Seona, in a statement here said the conference being organised by Mr Kala Afghana in Mohali was set to create awareness in the sikh panth about the real character of the Sikh high priests. The couple also alleged that the Sikh high priests had failed to give any direction to the Panth and had fallen prey to the conspiracy of the RSS and other such organisations, which wanted to amalgamate the Sikhs in to the Hindu fold. 


Vigilance asks PTU to sack 95 employees

Jalandhar, October 22
The State Vigilance Bureau has written to the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of Punjab Technical University to terminate the services of 95 employees, employed during the tenure the then VC, Mr H.S Gurm, allegedly without following the prescribed norms of the university.

Mr A.P. Pandey, ADGP-cum-Chief Director of State Vigilance Bureau, in his letter No 35447 dated October 15, copy of which has been procured by the PTI, to the Vice-Chancellor of University, Mr Y.S. Rajan, stated that as the cases against the then VC H.S. Gurm, the then Director (Outreach) A.S. Grewal and former Technical Education Minister Jagdish Singh Garcha were registered in October last, in which one of main allegation was that 95 officers/officials were recruited illegally by the then senior officials, the services of the employees should be terminated.

Ignoring the Mr Pandey’s letter, the university has started the process of regularisation of these 95 employees and even the date for the written test has been finalised for October 31. Out of total 100 marks, 40 have been allocated for test, 10 for annual confidential reports (ACRs), 30 for interview and 20 for seniority, sources said quipping that how could 10 marks be allocated for ACRs, which were never written in the past three years.

Although the VB instructed to terminate the services of 95 tainted employees, instead of taking action, the university had appointed few more employees, even without adopting the prescribed norms, sources alleged.

When contacted, Mr Y.S. Rajan, denied to comment on the issue by saying that everything would be done under the directions of Board of Governors (BoG), of which he himself is the Chairman.

On Mr Pandey’s letter he said as these were administrative matters he did not want to disclose anything. — PTI 


Panchhi’s remand extended
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 22
As many as 10 more complaints today poured in against Punjabi film singer Sukhwinder Panchhi, who was arrested on Friday for allegedly duping innocent persons wanting to going abroad.

The Model Town police received 10 fresh complaints against Panchhi today.

In all new complaints, filed by residents of nearby villages, complainants alleged that after his failure to send them abroad, Panchhi had issued cheques worth Rs 1 to 2 lakh each repayment of their money, but the cheques bounced as his account had no money. The investigations by the police revealed that though Panchhi had just Rs 500 in his SBI account, he had issued 25 cheques to different people, of which 10 have lodged complaints today.

Though no fresh case was registered the police was investigating into the matter.

Meanwhile, Panchhi's police remand has been extended by two days by a local court, said police sources.


Wives of Daler, Shamsher withdraw bail pleas
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 22
The spouses of both pop star Daler Mehndi and his brother Shamsher Mehndi, who are accused on indulging in illegal human trafficking, today withdrew the anticipatory bail applications filed by them in a local court.

The applications were withdrawn by Daljit Kaur and Balwinder Kaur, wives of Daler and Shamsher, respectively. Their advocate, Mr Kundan Singh Nagra, said his clients had the right to withdraw their applications.


Mystery shrouds hostage episode
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 22
Even as it is said seven-year-old abducted girl Ashina was rescued due to the efforts of the police, the 11-hour hostage drama and the subsequent police operation which was carried out in the dead of Wednesday night has left a trail of questions.

The questions include the identity of the alleged armed kidnapper, the circumstances in which he “forced” his entry into the victim’s Adarsh Nagar house, the purpose of his entry with arms and whether he was known to the family.

Whether there was no alternative left to the police but to kill the abductor, after a wait-and-watch of over 11 hours is another doubt.

It is said two senior police officials had climbed a stool to fire shots which mainly hit the abdomen of the kidnapper through a 7-foot high ventilator. But in such a situation, there is almost no possibility of bullets hitting the abdomen of the victim. They are likely to have hit the head as anybody pushing a weapon inside the ventilator has to adopt an angle of about 45° to 60° for firing shots. Also there is little possibility of some stray rounds hitting the bathroom wall, situated almost exactly under the ventilator .

According to a senior police official, the shots were fired by a group of commandoes and there was little or no resistance from the other side.

Then there is the question how the police officials knew that the girl was not accompanying the man at the time he was shot as complete darkness had engulfed the area following the unannounced “balckout” effected by the police.

And the ransom theory is also doubtful as the family is said to be not in a position to extend a hefty amount.

The delay in the post-mortem of the body by two days is another mystery which is likely to remain so as no official of the Civil Hospital is ready to comment.


Mukerian canal damaged, generation hit
Lalit Mohan

Tekrian (Mukerian), October 22
Damage to the Mukerian canal has hit generation in four power houses on the canal, causing an estimated loss of about Rs 1 crore per day to the PSEB. The generation in two hydel projects at Hajipur and Uchchi Bassi, near Talwara, has been hit due to the damage to the canal. The power houses together have a generation capacity of 207 MW or about 45 lakh units per day. The loss to the PSEB would increase further since the hydel projects generate power at a rate of about 50 paise per unit, which would now have to be compensated with thermal power that costs about Rs 4 per unit.

The damage to the canal at Tekrian village near Mukerian came to light when some cracks were noticed on October 19 in the area where the canal ends up in the Beas. Due to the damage, the flow of water into the canal was stopped.

When this correspondent visited the spot today, repair work was being carried out by civil maintenance officers of the Mukerian hydel project.

The Superintending Engineer overseeing the repair work, Mr H.G. Ahluwalia, said a major tragedy was averted with the timely detection of the damage to the canal. The repair work would take a few days, he said.

Asked about the reason of the damage to the canal, Mr Ahluwalia sad it was due to a faulty design. He said the portion of the canal where it merged with the Beas was designed temporarily.

The Rural Electricity Corporation had sanctioned a loan of Rs 129 crore for completing the stage 2 of the Mukerian hydel canal that would solve the problem, he said.

Meanwhile, sources said in 1988 a 5-km stretch of the canal was washed away due to a breach in the similar portion. Since then the PSEB did not take any measures to rectify the faulty design of the canal.

Today about 2,500 cusecs of water was released into the canal against its capacity of 11,500. However, it was not enough to run turbines in any of the power houses of the canal.

The concrete-lined Mukerian canal emerges from the Shah Nahar barrage of Pong Dam. with a water-carrying capacity of 11,500 cusecs and a length of 36 km, it ends in the Beas near Tekrian village.


Ex-servicemen denied plot notice for 15 years
Pawan Kumar

Amritsar, October 22
More than 210 ex-servicemen, who were allotted plots at Ranjit Avenue D-block under 97-acre Ajnala Road Extension Scheme in 1988, are running from pillar to post to get the notification of their plots. More than one and half decade has passed, they are still fighting to get their allotted plots notified.

The Defence Personnel Plot Holders Association, had been fighting with the state government and Amritsar Improvement Trust (AIT) for the allotment of plots. The association was headed by Col Gurmej Singh and Capt Gurcharan Singh, who said that the plots were allotted to defence personnel in different categories such as officers, JCOs’ and NCO’s against its cost to be paid in 12 instalments. They said that all instalments had already been paid to the trust.

Col Gurmej Singh said the Punjab and Haryana High Court had also given its decision in favour of AIT in 2001 after a case filed by owners of the land. He said the High Court had passed a decree in September 2001 in which it awarded 10.76 acres of land to the owner and remaining land to the AIT. He said a notification of exemption of 10.76 acres and remaining land was to be issued by the state government. However, this had not been done till now, he said.

Capt Gurcharan Singh said a person, who even did not have any relation with disputed land, had filed a public interest litigation in high court which he withdrawn in earlier this month. He said more than 200 families would become shelter- less, if the plots would not be given to them.

The association alleged that the notification was being delayed due to some vested interests of bureaucratic and political persons. Capt Gurcharan Singh said the association had met various ministers, including Choudhry Jagjit Singh Minister for Local Bodies, but all in vain.

Ms Ratna, Chairperson, Amritsar Improvement Trust, when contacted said that the trust would write to the secretary Local Bodies, for allowing to issue notification to distribute the plots to ex-servicemen as soon as possible. The association members threatened to go on an indefinite fast if the trust did not issue any notification within 15 days in this regard. It urged the Chief Minister to intervene in the matter.


SPCA at loggerheads with Health Dept
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 22
The Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is reportedly at loggerheads with the Public Health Department over the merciless killing of dogs in Verka constituency, the death of a minor boy and several cases of dog bites reported from this area. However the SPCA has taken exception to the killing of hundreds of dogs in the area. It has complained to the police demanding the registration of an FIR against the health authorities under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960.

According to Mr Lajpat Rai Khanna, SPCA general secretary, they have demanded an inquiry against those who have ordered the killing of the dogs. The authorities concerned, however, took days to lift carcasses on public complaint. The dogs, according to the SPCA, were killed at the Primary Health Centre, Verka. Mr Baldev Singh, SHO, Sadar, feigned ignorance about any complaint in this regard.

The Civil Surgeon, Dr Kawaljit Singh, said the health authorities had killed only rabid dogs and those identified as having bitten people and milch animals. Meanwhile, the anti-rabies campaign, which was supposed to be launched with the support of the Municipal Corporation and the SPCA, has been below target. Only 12 sterilisations had been carried out in the past eight days though the authorities claimed to perform sterilisations on 10 dogs each day.


Police action: Mann complains to Speaker
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
SAD (Amritsar) President Simranjit Singh Mann said today that police repression had crossed all limits in Punjab. Using strong language, Mr Mann said "even the personal liberty of leaders like me was at the mercy of Janab Sahibs (SSPs) of the Punjab Police".

Mr Mann said he was detained by the Ferozepore police on October 20 for about half an hour. When asked the reason, a police official said "You have been detained on orders from the Janab Sahib (SSP) and would be freed only after his nod".


Tributes paid to police martyrs
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 22
The nations which forget their martyrs cannot make any progress. We should always recognise, remember and respect the supreme sacrifice made by the Punjab police to maintain the unity and integrity of the country, said Mr Mohinder Pal, District and Sessions Judge, while paying tributes to the martyrs of the Punjab police at the commemoration day parade at the police lines here yesterday.

Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, announced to donate 16 sewing machines to widows of the police personnel from the District Red Cross Society on the occasion.

Sixteen families of martyrs belonging to the district were honoured and presented cheques of Rs 5,100 on the occasion.


Sale of crackers regularised at specific sites
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 22
Mr Anurag Aggrawal, District Magistrate in his orders issued under Section 144 regularised the sale of crackers.

In his orders, the District Magistrate said that due to storage of crackers in shops, residential areas and in other sensitive areas, like the oil dumps, any mishap could lead to a major loss of life and property. He said that such mishaps needed to be prevented at all costs.

He said that keeping in view the safety and security of the residents, the sale of crackers would be permitted only in the open grounds including Sports Stadium, Bathinda, Sports Grounds of Government Rajindra College, Khalsa School, Railway Grounds. Similarly in Rampura Phul subdivision, the sale of crackers would be permitted only at Sports Stadium, Municipal Committee Office and at the Veterinary Hospital of Bhagta subtehsil.

In Talwandi Sabo subdivision the sale of crackers has been permitted at Raman Mandi Cattle Fare Grounds, Sabji Mandi Raman, Old Bus Stand of Talwandi Sabo, grounds at Khalsa school, Talwandi Sabo, SSD School Maur Mandi Grounds and Stadium of Nehru Memorial College.

The orders banned the sale of crackers at places other than these specified and added that the sellers would have to keep fire extinguishers ready to meet any emergency. The orders also specified the sound and pollution limits of the crackers that could be sold and used. The burning of crackers around 100-metre radius of hospitals, educational institutes, courts, religious places and around 500-metre radius of oil dumps at Phoos Mandi had been banned.

Nobody would be allowed to burn crackers after 10 pm, the orders said.


Rs 3 crore for temple
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 22
The Ram Tirath Balmiki Temple Board today decided to allot Rs 3 crore for a temple to be constructed in the sarovar of the ancient Sri Ram Tirath Temple, about 18 km from here.

The work on the temple will start by next month and is proposed to be completed within 18 months. The Chief Minister is likely to lay the foundation stone for the project.

At a meeting here, the board also decided to write to the Union Tourism Ministry to allot Rs 4 crore for providing facilities at the temple, which is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Rama’s sons Luv and Kush.


122 pharmacists regularised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
The Punjab Government has regularised the services of 122 pharmacists working on an ad hoc basis since June, 1997, in the Health and Family Welfare Department, says a press note.

The Health and Family Welfare Minister, Mr Ramesh Chander Dogra, handed over the regularisation letters to them. 


‘Ghadri Babbian daa’ mela from Oct 29
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 22
The 12th annual four-day fair, “Mela Ghadri Babbian Daa”, would start on October 29 at the “Ram Mohammed Singh Azad Nagar” set up in the Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Hall complex here.

Addressing a press conference here yesterday, veteran freedom fighter Baba Bhagat Singh Bilga, Comrade Ghandharav Sen and Mr Gurmeet of the Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Hall Committee, said the fair would start on October 29 with speech contests, followed by singing, painting competitions and ‘Kavi Darbar” on October 30 and October 31.

On November 1, Comrade Satpal Singh Dang would unfurl the “Ghadar Party” flag, which would be followed by speeches by freedom fighters including Baba Bilga and Comrade Ghandharav Sen.

Mr Gurmeet said sacrifices of Mian Jawahar Singh Mandi, who had sacrificed his life in the Lahore Conspiracy case, Mr Hirde Ram, who had played a vital role in the struggle for independence and Mr Madan Singh, who had played a crucial role in the 1946 Navy rebellion would be remembered on this occasion.


Tributes paid to Jassa Singh
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, October 22
The three-day celebrations of the 220th death anniversary of Nawab Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, a great Sikh general and founder of the erstwhile Kapurthala state being organised by the Guru Ka Lal Nawab Jassa Singh Ahluwalia Memorial Trust concluded at a gurdwara last night with organisation of a ‘mahaan kirtan darbar’ in his memory.

Prominent ragi jathas like Bhai Ravinder Singh of Darbar Sahib, Bibi Baljit Kaur Khalsa of Jalandhar, Bhai Sukhjinder Singh of Baba Bakalewale, Nishkam Kirtani Jatha and Hazoori Ragi Jatha recited kirtan. Bibi Jagir Kaur, former president of the SGPC, and Mr Raghbir Singh, former Transport Minister, were among those who attended the celebrations. 


Hike in water tariff opposed
Our Correspondent

Nangal, October 22
Members of the Jan Sangarsh Committee here yesterday burnt an effigy of the Nangal Municipal Council in protest against hike in water and sewerage tariff. Members started a march from the main market area carrying an effigy. Raising slogans against the local council they end the march at the truck union crossing after burning the effigy.


Ex-servicemen to get free treatment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
The Punjab Government has extended free medical services to ex-servicemen and their entitled dependents at the state government hospitals and dispensaries, including the 157 secondary-level hospitals run by the Punjab Health Systems Corporation.

Giving this information here today, Col C.D.Singh Kamboj, chairman of the corporation, said nearly six lakh ex-servicemen and their families in the state would benefit from this.

A sum of Rs 84 crore had been spent on providing the hospitals run by the corporation with new equipment, including X-ray machines, ultrasound scanners and computerised ECG machines. As many as 133 ambulances had also been procured, said Col Kamboj.


Over 100 complaints settled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
Mr Santokh Singh Chaudhary, Medical Education and Research Minister, Punjab, today settled on the spot over 100 complaints at Congress Bhavan under the state government’s grievance redressal programme, says a press note.

The remaining complaints were sent to the departments concerned. 


SDO held for taking bribe
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 22
The local Vigilance Department has caught an SDO of the Punjab State Electricity Board red-handed, while accepting Rs 4,000 from a farmer for shifting his power connection.

According to Mr Paramjit Singh Khaira, DSP (Vigilance), Mr Kartar Singh, a resident of Malewal village, complained to the Vigilance Department that Major Singh, SDO, PSEB posted at Samashpur is demanding Rs 4,000 from him for shifting his power connection to his other fields.

The DSP said the department laid a trap to nab the SDO. Mr Sanjhi Ram Bhagat, Assistant Registrar, Cooperative Societies, and Mr Manpal Singh, Inspector, Agriculture Department, accompanied the Vigilance team as government witnesses.

He said as per the plan, Mr Kartar Singh handed over the money to the SDO and the Vigilance team nabbed him red-handed and recovered the amount. He said a case under Sections 7, 13(2) and 88 of the IPC Act has been registered against the SDO.


3 die in mishaps, suicide by woman
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 22
Two persons, one Sadhu and one woman, who were riding a scooter, were crushed to death by a truck near Gurusarsainawala village, 15 km from here, on the Bathinda-Dabwali road, this after noon.

In another accident, Jeet Singh of Bhucho Kalan village, died after he was hit by a bus on the Bathinda-Barnala road today. In another case, Paramjit Kaur, of Raman Mandi town of this district today committed suicide after she was allegedly denied her husband’s share in family property. A case in this connection has been registered against her father-in-law, brother-in-law and one other kin of deceased. In another case, Rs 23,000 were stolen from PSEB, Talwandi Sabo late last night.


2 taxi drivers shot at

Moga, October 22
Two taxi drivers were injured when an unidentified assailant shot at them while they were travelling in their car near Dala village on the Moga-Barnala road, 10 km from here, last night. According to the police, the drivers, Harinderjit Singh and Jagseer Singh, were going to a village near Dala. — UNI


Ex-sarpanch killed

Phagwara, October 22
A former Sarpanch of Mirapur village and his cousin were killed, while two children were hurt when their scooter was hit by a truck near Mehatiana village on the Phagwara Hoshiarpur road last night.

The injured children, Sonu and Raman, were admitted in the CMC hospital, Ludhiana, in a serious condition. The truck driver sped away after hitting the scooter. The accident occurred when the truck driver lost control of the vehicle. The deceased, Sarpanch Balwinder Kumar and Surinder Singh, were returning from a marriage party. The police has registered a case. — UNI


Notice to non-teaching staff leader
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 22
The Punjabi University authorities today issued a show-cause notice to varsity Non Teaching Employees Association president Malkit Singh Meeta accusing him of spoiling the atmosphere in the varsity by making wild allegations against senior teaching officials during the recent student agitation.

According to the copy of the notice which has been issued by the varsity Registrar and has been procured by TNS, Mr Meeta has been accused of violating varsity rules and regulations and has been asked to send his reply within one week.

The show-cause notice accuses Mr Meeta of making an objectionable speech on August 28 at a rally organised by agitating students in front of the main gate of the university. The notice says Meeta alleged in his speech that some teachers who had protested against the functioning of former Vice Chancellor Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia had been the first to grab ''chairs'' after his ouster.

The notice said Meeta alleged that these teachers were misguiding the Vice-Chancellor for their personal selfish ends so that they could retain their newly acquired positions. It also quoted Meeta as having said that despite having called meetings to discuss the issue of the need for getting the university grant received from the government increased, no leader from the teaching community had come forward to discuss the issue.

The authorities in the notice have accused Meeta of trying to create enmity between teachers and non-teachers through his actions. It accuses Meeta of having disgraced his office through such actions and also alleges he tried to spoil the relations between teachers and students on the campus. The notice while asking the non-teaching employee leader to submit his reply within a week, said that if this was not done, the varsity would be free to take necessary action in the case.

The show-cause notice against Mr Meeta comes one day after state Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh cleared that the Pro-Vice-Chancellor was under the Vice Chancellor for all purposes contrary to the claims made by the Pro VC in this regard. Earlier the Pro VC had issued a statement that he would apprise varsity Chancellor and Punjab Governor Justice (retd) O P Verma of the unprecedented situation created following an agitation by students who were demanding a reduction in the fee structure.

Mr Meeta had been most vocal against the dominant clique of teachers who presently hold all important administrative positions in the varsity. Earlier he had agitated along with this group of teachers to demand the ouster of former VC, Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia. With the teaching community in the varsity refusing to take up the cause of the agitating students, he had become the focal point as the only prominent varsity leader who espoused their cause.


No crackers this Divali, say kids
Our Correspondent

Patiala, October 22
Students of various schools of the city in association with the Punjab Pollution Control Board today organised a rally to create awareness among schoolchildren about the hazards of playing with fire.

The students, both from government and private schools, participated in the rally. The main aim of the rally was to create awareness among students to reduce accidents and also to help them in taking appropriate measures without any delay.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chairman of the Punjab Pollution Control Board, Rana K.P. Singh, urged the students not to play with crackers as it adds to noise and air pollution.

Meanwhile, Dr Sulhdip Singh Boparai, an eye specialist, recommended a list of dos and donts which can go a long way in making Divali safe and more enjoyable.

Dr Boparai recommended to buy standard firecrackers, to store them safely and keep them away from heat. He further suggests to wear cotton and tight-fitting clothes while playing fireworks, to keep a first-aid kit ready and wash the wounds thoroughly with plenty of clean tap water and don’t forget to visit a qualified doctor in case of a mishap.


Students seek refund of ‘excess’ fee
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, October 22
Students of B.A., B.Sc., B.Com. (Part-I) and MA (Part-I) of Government College here today went on strike in protest against the university authorities for not refunding “excess” fee charged by the college at the time of admission.

The Punjab Government at the start of the academic session this year had increased the college fee but later rolled back its decision.

The college authorities argue that they have not received any directions from the government to refund the excess money charged from students.

The students threatened to intensify the stir on the issue.


Honour to varsity scholar
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 22
Mr Surinderjit Singh, a research scholar at Pharmaceutical Sciences Department of Guru Nanak Dev University has been awarded by the Indian Council of Chemists the ‘young scientist award’ for his research paper relating to development of synthetic methodologies for novel molecule, which can be used as building block for new pharmaceuticals.

The award was presented to Mr Surinderjit Singh at the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, at the 22nd annual conference of the council. His work is co-authored by Dr Gajendra Singh and Prof MPS Ishar, both professors at the department.


Seminar put off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
The “Punjab Vision-2020” seminar, which was to be held on October 27 at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, has been postponed owing to the Punjab Governor’s sudden change of programme. 


Traders block traffic
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 22
A large section of traders and shopkeepers of the city today jammed traffic for hours together in the main market and staged a dharna in protest against the alleged high-handedness of the Municipal Corporation authorities. The protesters alleged that the MC authorities were not allowing them to earn their livelihood by Divali festival sales and also denying people to make Divali purchases.

This was for the first time that shopkeepers and traders here had come out on street during the Divali festival days in protest against the MC authorities. The traders also threatened to observe a black Divali if the MC authorities did not change its anti-trader and anti-people attitude. They also wore black badges and took out a protest march. Besides traders and shopkeepers, several politicians cutting across the party lines, also joined them in the agitation.

The protesters jammed traffic and staged a dharna following the refusal of the official of the Municipal Corporation to allow them to display their goods in front of their shops on the occasion of Divali. They pointed out that when they were not encroaching on government land or footpaths then why the MC officials harassing them.

Dr Gurbax Singh, a senior Congress leader, who visited the dharna site, condemned the high-handedness of the MC authorities. Mr Tehal Singh Sandhu, General Secretary, Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee (PPCC), said he had already taken up the matter with the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and the state party president, Mr H.S. Hanspal.

A former minister, Mr Chiranji Lal Garg, and president of the BJP, Bathinda, Mr Narinder Mittal, said the Congress rule in Punjab had become “Ravana raj”.

Mr Anurag Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner, said the district administration had not imposed any restriction on the traders and shopkeepers for displaying their goods in front of their shops on the footpaths. He said he had even asked the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation to do the needful in this regard. The district administration would not allow anybody to sell fire crackers in the markets as per the decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court , Mr Aggarwal said.

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