P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Army order spells doom for villagers
Our Correspondent

Vallah (Amritsar), October 26
For farmers of this border village, the Army’s proximity now signifies doom for their business.

The Army authorities put up red demarcation flags here a few days ago to denote prohibited area in connection to construction.

This is for the first time that the Army has raised objections to constructions in the area despite the base being established in 1965. Almost half of the village falls under the prohibited area and further constructions have been banned.

The timing of the prohibitory orders has come as a surprise. The vegetable mandi in the heart of city was in its final stages of shifting after years of litigation.

Dr Dalbir Singh, former MLA, and Mr Jaspal Singh Vallah, Councillor, alleged that certain influential persons who had monopolised the mandi were behind the order.

Evasion of crores of rupees as market fees has reportedly being going on. “The aim seems to be to stall the shifting of the mandi. About 40 mandi owners were given allotment of shops while the remaining 32, including the Mandi Board Chairman, Mr Om Parkash Arora, were about to shift. They nearly paid Rs 1.8 crore for shops which is about Rs 1.5 lakh more than the earlier allottees”, he said.

The Army through the district administration states that in view of public safety, construction and burning of crop stubble had been banned in the 1000 m radius of the defence establishment. The ban on construction has come as a bolt for villagers of Vallah, Rasoolpura and Kaler. Two schools, four textile-finishing mills, and hundreds of houses now fall in the banned area.

Those who had bought plots in the newly demarcated Guru Teg Bahadur Colony feel cheated as construction has come to a halt, says Ms Balbir Kaur pointing to her half-finished house.

The villagers are demanding the shifting of the ammunition dump to a safer place.


Canadian PM visits Golden Temple on Divali
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, October 26
Wishing a happy Divali to all the Canadian Prime Minister, Mr Jean Chretien, on his two-hour goodwill visit to the holy city of Amritsar, paid obeisance at the Golden Temple here yesterday. “What a great day, happy Divali, wrote Mr Chretien in the SGPC’s visitor’s book.

Enjoying the clear sky and warm sunshine, the Prime Minister mingled with devotees, occasionally breaking the security cordon in the Parikarma. He shook hands with the devotees to offer Divali greetings.

Mr Chretein, who is well-versed with the Sikh traditions offered a ‘rumala’ for Guru Granth Sahib which he had specially brought from Canada. He also offered ‘parsad’ and cash as a humble devotee. He was presented a siropa (robe of honour) by the Head Granthi, Giani Puran Singh.

Mr Chretien created a history of sorts as he was the first Prime Minister of a sovereign country to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple. Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Duke of Edinburgh, had visited the temple in 1997.

The Canadian Prime Minister was accompanied by Mr Herb Dhaliwal, Minister of Natural Resources, Mr Gurbax Singh Malhi, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour, Mr Baljit Singh Chadda, member of the Privy Council of Canada, along with his senior advisers and a strong contingent of the Canadian media who arrived by a special charted Air Sahara aircraft from New Delhi. Mr Chretein also inaugurated the Guru Arjun Dev Niwas, constructed at a cost of Rs 60 lakh, contributed by the Chadda family at a makeshift stand carrying the plaque.

Addressing the gathering after offering prayers, Mr Chretien said he brought with him warm greetings from his countrymen and the large number of Punjabi community settled there for the people of India. He said the two million-strong Punjabi community, majority of them Sikhs, which constituted 2 per cent of the Canadian population had contributed a lot to the development of Canada. The Sikhs play a decisive role in the elections in many constituencies there. He also spoke a couple of words in French for his countrymen in Canada and for the benefit of the large contingent of electronic media covering his visit.

Mr Chretien who drove straight from Rajasansi airport in a bullet-proof ambassador car was warmly received at the Golden Temple by former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, honorary secretary of the SGPC, alongwith senior members of the SAD and SGPC. Earlier, Mr Partap Singh Bajwa and Mr Sardool Singh, both Cabinet Ministers, accompanied Mr Chretein after receiving him at the airport. Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, SGPC chief, could not be present due to his hospitalisation and Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, was conspicuous by his absence on the occasion.

Welcoming the Canadian Prime Minister, Mr Calcutta urged the Canadian Sikhs to work hard to make their adopted country a peaceful and prosperous nation. Mr Badal presented a gold-plated replica of the Golden Temple studded with jewels, a kirpan (sword), a silver plaque, a pashmina shawl and a set of books on Sikh religion. Mr Badal also honoured Mr Herb Dhaliwal, Mr Malhi and Mr Gurmant Singh Grewal, a member of Parliament from Canada.

Meanwhile, the tight security arrangements both inside and outside the Golden Temple caused inconvenience to the devotees who had come to celebrate Divali. In one such incident, a senior police official had a fracas with Canadian mediapersons. In the memorandum present to the Canadian Prime Minister the SGPC demanded that there was need for a permanent exhibition on Sikhism in two or three prominent museums. This would deter any prejudice against Sikhs or their traditions in Canada, it said.

Though the Sikhs had contributed immensely for the betterment of the Canadian society, their presence in the public sector was minimal. More jobs should be given to the Sikhs, it added. Sikhs should not be prevented from taking up any job as they wear turban or keep unshorn hair. Sikhs were being subjected to “unreasonable” searches at airports all across Europe and the USA. Canada could sponsor a special year dedicated to an important Sikh anniversary in the United Nations. The year 2004 could be sponsored as a year of inter-faith understanding or of mutual respect, commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Sikh scripture, Guru Granth Sahib.


Punjab panel a non-starter
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 26
About 18 months after the Punjab Chief Minister set up a committee to advise him on matters related to ex-servicemen’s welfare in the state, the committee remains non-functional, with ex-servicemen claiming that the committee has been “scuttled” by vested interests.

The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had, within a week of assuming office in 2002, set up the Defence Ex-servicemen’s Advisory Committee to the Chief Minister. Major General K.M.S. Waraich (retd), who, as a major, had once been the chief minister’s instructor in the Army, was nominated as the committee’s presiding officer. Eight other prominent retired officers were made its members.

“The committee has not been provided with an office, a telephone or any other infrastructure,” Brig Harwant Singh (retd.), president of the All India Defence Brotherhood, told The Tribune here today. “In the absence of requisite facilities, how can an organisation be expected to execute its tasks,” he added.

Needless to say, the committee has not held even a single meeting since its inception. The committee was to serve as a direct link between the chief minister and the ex-servicemen community so that issues affecting retired personnel could be redressed in as little time as possible.

According to Maj S.S. Dhillon (retd.), the committee was initially offered some office space in Sector 44, but the plans were “sabotaged” by the bureaucracy on the grounds that the office space belonged to a commercial establishment and hence could not be give nto the committee. “The existence of the committee remains just on paper,” he said.

Ex-servicemen said that they have written several letters to the chief minister on the matter, but no response has been received. Even when some of the committee’s members tried to meet the chief Minister, he remained inaccessible, they added. The matter relating to the committee’s defunct status was to be taken up at the state’s Rajya Sainik Board meeting, which is chaired by the Punjab Governor, on October 22, but the meeting got postponed due to the demise of the Governor’s mother.

Though there is a full-fledged Department of Defence Welfare functioning in the state government, ex-servicemen say that it is headed and staffed by bureaucrats, which has more often than not put a spanner in the works when issues concerning their welfare crop up. During the previous governments regime, the department was being looked after by a minister, but presently the portfolio is with the Chief Minister himself.


Daler to join probe today

Patiala, October 26
Punjabi pop singer Daler Mahendi will join investigations in the much publicised illegal human trafficking case in which his name was figured.

According to sources, a battery of his lawyers, including those from the Supreme Court, would accompany Daler.

The Delhi High Court, on Thursday, had given 10 days interim bail and directed him to execute a bail bond of Rs 5 lakh and a surety of the like amount before the competent court.

The pop star would present himself before the SHO, Patiala Sadar at 11 am tomorrow to join the probe in the case.

He had gone underground after the arrest of his brother Shamsher Singh for the alleged human trafficking on a complaint of Bakshish Singh, who claimed that he was cheated by the brothers and their associates of Rs 12 lakh on the promise of facilitating his immigration to Canada. —UNI


But for him, Srinagar would have been lost
Infantry Raising Day today
Amarjit Thind

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 26
It has been a long road from 1947 to the present day and India has had to face many crises in safeguarding her rights. There can be no doubt that any further challenges that might arise in the future will be tackled with the same tenacity. The pity is that the crises were allowed to develop. Had their genesis in Kashmir in 1947 been dealt with firmly and in time, India could have avoided what has proved to be a costly legacy. No words can better sum up the mishandling of the Kashmir issue, code named Operation Gulmarg by Pakistan, in 1947 - 48 than those of Lt-Gen L P Sen, DSO, the then Acting Commander of 161 Brigade that was entrusted with the defence of Srinagar and checked intruders, including Pakistan army regulars, at Uri.

Tomorrow, a grateful country and the Infantry will celebrate the landing of the first battalion of the Army that was to keep marauders at bay. This band of gallant men saved Srinagar from going the way of Baramula and Muzzafarabad, which were run over and looted.

It is impossible to talk about the confrontation without recalling the role of Brig Rajinder Singh, the saviour of Kashmir. A graduate from the Prince of Wales College, Jammu, he was commissioned in the Jammu and Kashmir State Forces in 1921. His rise was meteoric and he was approved to the rank of Major General, when he died defending the motherland.

The refugees were streaming into J&K and The question of accession to either of the two dominions was unresolved. Impatient to grab J&K, Pakistan motivated tribals-from the borders of Afghanistan to marched across the state borders on October 21, 1947, under the command of its Army officers.

This was a trying time for the state. Maharaja Hari Singh’s administration was in the doldrums and the small state army was rocked by mutiny by a large section of officers and men motivated by communal considerations.

The need of the hour was to hold the enemy as far away from Srinagar as possible. After a meeting with the Maharaja and his army chief, Major Gen H.L. Scott on October 22, Brig Rajinder Singh proceeded to head the state army that totalled about a hundred.

They reached Uri by midnight amid a downpour. The first engagement took place on October 23 at Garhi in which heavy casualties were inflicted on the enemy at the cost of losing a platoon. The situation was becoming desperate. The historical state order, dated October 23, 1947, was passed on to him, reading “Brig Rajinder Singh is commanded to hold the enemy at Uri at all costs.” Ironically, the order did not reach the Brigadier, but he on his own took the command of the state forces in the Uri sector. The enemy suffered heavy casualties. As the small Dogra Force was under pressure, it was decided to set up road blocks to slow down the invaders.

At the first road block, the Brigadier’s driver was killed while at the second, he was seriously wounded. His men carried him some distance but the effort was hampering the task of holding back the enemy. Unmindful of his own safety Brig Rajinder Singh ordered the men to leave him under a culvert. Within a couple of hours of his martyrdom, the Indian Army landed at Srinagar airport, saving the valley from falling into the hands of the raiders.

The first Maha Vir Chakra was conferred upon the Brigadier.

During the 14-month campaign, the Army lost 76 officers, 31 JCOs and 996 men of other ranks. Apart from these casualties, the J&K State Forces lost approximately 1,990 officers and men. The small Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF) lost 32 personnel, including nine officers.

The enemy casualties were many times over. By one estimate the enemy suffered 20,000 casualties. The Army won five Param Vir Chakras, 47 Maha Vir Chakras and 284 Vir Chakras. Civilians too played a crucial role in liberating the valley. A washerman, Ram Chander, won a Maha Vir Chakra for rescuing an officer wounded during an ambush, killing several enemy troops.


1,14,780 cases of bogus pension: Mann
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 26
Mr Joginder Singh Mann, Minister for Social Security and Welfare, while addressing a public function at Kotla Bijwara village has claimed that 1,14,780 cases of bogus pensions had been detected in the state, amounting to withdrawal of Rs 27.55 crore every month, whereas genuine persons had been running from pillar to post to get pensions. He said now after proper scrutiny the amount had been released for pensions.

He assured people that the Punjab Government was Committed for the welfare of the SC, the BC and the ST and had initiated various welfare schemes for them, where as the previous Akali Government did nothing for these sections of society.

He said during the tenure of the Badal government only Rs 51.13 crore were spent on various pension schemes, whereas the present government had spent Rs 126.21 crore on these schemes. He said to encourage children of these sections of society to continue their education a special scholarship of Rs 50 to each student was being given and Rs 11 crore had been spent on this scheme.

Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, said Rs 70.76 lakh was being spent on various schemes for these sections in the district through the District Planning Board.

Dr Harbans Lal, MLA, in his address said various development projects like urban estate, herbal park, bus stand were being initiated in the district.

A community kitchen was organised by the District Social Security department on the occasion. Besides this cheques totalling Rs 63 lakh were given to 315 houseless persons of Rs 20,000 each at least 220 sewing machines worth Rs 10 lakh and certificates were given to the girl students, who underwent training in sewing from the department. A sum of Rs 1.25 lakh was distributed among five couples, who promoted intercaste marriage and cheques for grants were given to five panchayats, which worked for the welfare of the SC and the BC section of society in their respective villages.

Mr H.R. Gangar, Director, Welfare Department, Mr Pakhar Singh Salana, Chairman, Zila Parishad, also addressed the gathering.


BJP leader alleges false case
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 26
Mr Surinder Pal Mahindru, general secretary of the BJP, who claims to have been awarded Surya Chakra, in a letter to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani has urged them to intervene in a “false” case of attempt to murder registered against him by a senior police official along with some other police officials of the district. He alleged that he was being harassed by the police.

He also faxed the copies of the letter to the Home Ministry, the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana Court and the DGP, Punjab.

He alleged that the police officials in connivance with Gurmit Singh had registered a false case of attempt to murder against him. He said earlier a case of fraud had been registered against him in 2000 by the same police officials. However, it was later cancelled. He urged the Prime Minister to order an inquiry in this regard.

He said the government had awarded him for bravery during militancy for helping the police arrest of terrorists who were later released. He said he was beaten up in public by the police officials and his security was withdrawn.


New Punjab BJP Executive by tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, October 26
Mr Avinash Rai Sharma, state president of the BJP, while talking to mediapersons here today announced that the SAD-BJP alliance would contest all 13 Lok Sabha seats.

Mr Sharma said the BJP state Executive would be constituted by October 28. He described the Congress government led by Capt Amarinder Singh as anti-people and directionless which had failed on all fronts.

Mr Sharma also addressed a conference organised here in connection with celebrations of Vishvakarma day.

The Congress in this connection was addressed by Rana Gurjit Singh, local MLA.


Kidney scam: victim seeks doctors’ arrest
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 26
Mr Gurdit Singh, who has been rendered partially-handicapped after the removal of one of his kidneys by two Ludhiana-based doctors, today urged the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to make arrangements for the immediate arrest of the accused, who had been roaming scot-free despite the registration of an FIR against them about 10 days ago.

Mr Gurdit Singh, who owns a small piece of agricultural land and is father of six daughters and a son, also urged him to transfer the investigation of the case registered against Dr Baldev Aulakh of DMC, Ludhiana, and Dr Navdeep Khaira, outside Ludhiana district. He said he was apprehensive that both these doctors would tamper with the evidence and try to wield influence on the Ludhiana police.

Mr Gurdit Singh, in a letter to the Chief Minister and the DGP, Punjab, though the case against these two accused was registered after conducting a thorough probe into his complaint lodged to the Kidney Scandal Inquiry Committee constituted by the Punjab Government, the accused was roaming scot-free. He also criticised the Indian Medical Association, Bathinda, which had claimed that the case registered against Dr Aulakh and Dr Khaira was false.

He said though he and his attendants were told by Dr Aulakh that a stone in his right kidney would be removed but during the operation, his left kidney was removed. The operation was conducted in a private clinic owned by Dr Khaira as Dr Aulakh did so on the pretext that there was no vacant room in the DMC.

He said the operation was conducted on the same day he was admitted to the hospital and no tests were done which were required to be carried out before an operation.


Plea to install martyr’s portrait
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 26
The President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), Mr H.S. Hanspal, has appealed to the Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha to get a portrait of Shaheed Darshan Singh Pheruman installed in the gallery of the Vidhan Sabha.

A statement issued by the PPCC here today said the services of the great leader, who undertook fast unto death for 72 days and made the supreme sacrifice for the accession of Chandigarh to Punjab, needed to be recognised.

The statement added that Pheruman was a flag bearer of Punjab and its culture throughout his life and participated in the freedom struggle.


Divali celebrated with fervour

HOSHIARPUR : Divali was celebrated with fervour and zeal in the district. Eight minor fire incidents, however, were reported in various localities of the city. The municipal fire brigade averted these by its timely action. Mr Romesh Chander Dogra, Health and Family Welfare Minister, Punjab, celebrated the festival of lights with the inmates of home for aged and juvenile home at Ram Colony Camp.

BATHINDA : Barring a few incidents, Divali passed of peacefully in the district. Gopal, a resident of Birla Mill road here, sustained injuries on his hand when a cracker hit him while Mr Golam, a local resident, suffered 25 per cent burn injuries on his face.

Meanwhile, reports of celebrations were received from Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Sangrur and Moga.

JALANDHAR: As many as 27 minor fire incidents were reported in the city and surrounding areas on Divali night. However, there was no loss of life and the festival passed off peacefully.

In the Garha area, fire broke out in a general store due to stored fireworks. The fire engulfed two adjoining shops, resulting in loss of property. Similarly, fire broke out at two stalls in Lamba pind chowk and Raj Nagar where crackers were being sold. But fire was immediately controlled by the fire brigade authorities.


Black Divali at village
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 26
Harbans Lal, resident of Jhumba village, 25 km from here, died on October 24 after he was allegedly threatened by a commission agent and the driver of his car.

The residents of the village did not celebrate Divali following the incident.

Police sources said on the complaint of Mr Narinder Kumar, son of the deceased, a case under Sections 304, 452 and 34, IPC, had been registered. He alleged that Kashmiri Lal had come to their house on October 24 with arms and threatened his father who subsequently died.


Sikh secretariat in Pakistan proposed
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 26
Mr Harpal Singh Bhullar, president of the International Bhai Mardana Yaadgari Kirtan Darbar Society, today proposed to establish a Sikh secretariat in Lahore, Pakistan. He also suggested that a Pakistan Sikh gurdwara international committee be set up for the maintenance of Sikh shrines in Pakistan provided Shriomani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee gave its consent to it.

In a press statement issued here today, Mr Bhullar said a number of pilgrims face problems during their stay in Pakistan and while crossing over to India by road or rail. He said the proposed committee would provide them all possible help and liaise with the Pakistan Government to help the pilgrims visiting Pakistan.

Mr Bhullar said the society had started talks with the Central Government for allowing a jatha of about 500 Sikh devotees to Pakistan on the occasion of birth anniversary of Bhai Mardana at Nankana Sahib.


Vishvakarma celebrated

PHAGWARA: Punjab Social Welfare Minister Joginder Singh Mann said on Sunday that the next state-level Vishvakarma, Day function would be held at Phagwara. The government was also considering to set up a university after Baba Vishvakarma, he said. He gave a Rs 1 lakh grant to Shri Vishvakarma Dhiman Sabha.

The Harbhajan Singh Devgan, an NRI, who was the chief guest, donated Rs 51,000 to the sabha. His brother Nirmal Singh also donated a similar amount.

Reports of Vishvakarma Day celebrations were also received from Jalandhar.


Shobha yatra taken out
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 26
An impressive “shobha yatra” was taken out in Bassi Pathana town today by Dhiman Brahman Sabha in connection with the celebration of “Bhagwan Vishwakarma Jyanti”. Mr Nakesh Jindal, general secretary of the District Rice Millers Association flagged of the shobha yatra from Bhagwan Vishwakarma Mandir and it passed through the entire town. A large number of people belonging to every section of society, particularly Dhimans, participated in the yatra.

In his inaugural address Mr Jindal urged the people to follow the path shown by great gurus and said we should celebrate all occasions with brotherhood. Mr Ashok Dhiman, president of the Dhiman Brahman Sabha said Vishwakarma Jyanti would be celebrated tomorrow with great fervor and various religious programmes would be organised.


Release of cane arrears sought

Moga, October 26
Bharti Kisan Union (Punjab) president Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, expressing concern over the failure of the state in releasing arrears of Rs 74 crore of sugarcane growers, by sugar mills, today sought the intervention of Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, in the matter.

Mr Lakhowal said here total arrears amounted to Rs 126 crore. However, at the intervention of the Chief Minister, the state government had released Rs 52 crore, but the sugar mills had not yet distributed this amount. — UNI


Millers hail govt move to suspend official
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 26
Mr Tarsem Saini, President of the Punjab Rice Millers Association, today hailed the state government’s decision to suspend a Deputy Director of the Food and Supplies Department for alleged irregularities and corruption.

In a signed statement issued here, Mr Saini said the government had earlier contemplated action against the said officer while he was posted as District Food and Supplies Controller, Sangrur but he “somehow managed to escape”. He said he would soon convene a meeting of the rice millers to collect details of the acts of omission and commission by the said officer.


2 PCS officers transferred
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 26
The Punjab Government has ordered the transfer of two PCS officers. While Mr Gagandeep Singh has been posted as Joint Secretary, Higher Education, Mr A.P.S. Virk has been posted as Joint Secretary, Planning.


Rape accused not booked
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 26
Even as more than two days have passed, the district police has not registered any case against Dr Gurdev Singh, who allegedly raped a girl patient here on October 24.

Meanwhile, the medical report of the victim has been sent to Patiala for examination.

Dr A.S. Nagi, Officiating Civil Surgeon, while talking to 'The Tribune' confirmed this. He said it would take a few days to get the medical report.

The victim, a resident of Inderpur, along with her brother had alleged that Dr Gurdev Singh raped her at his clinic situated in the Ganga Building area after drugging her. She was suffering from fever. The accused kept her in the clinic on the pretext of medication.

The victims later approached CPI leader Satpal Dang and Mr Amarjit Singh Asal who alleged that the police was shielding the accused doctor.


Body of woman found in canal
Our Correspondent

Kharar, October 26
In what is being suspected as a cold-blooded murder, the body of a 31-year-old married woman was found in the Satluj-Yamuna link canal passing through Rora village, near here, today.

According to an FIR lodged with the police by the father of the deceased, Kaka Singh, a resident of Chappar Chiri village, near here, his daughter Narinder Kaur, was married to Raghveer Singh of Cholta Kalan village in 1991. They had three sons.

The father told the police that his son-in-law Raghveer Singh visited him on October 11 and informed him that she had left for Kharar at 10 am to get medicine. However, she never returned.

Bricks were tied to the body with a rope, probably to make it heavy. The complainant has suspected that his daughter has been killed by some unidentified person.

The police has registered a case under Sections 302, 201 and 34 IPC . The body has been handed over to the relatives after the post- mortem investigations.


6 cops hurt in attack by villagers

Moga, October 26
Six Punjab police personnel were injured, one of them seriously, when the police party raiding an alleged smuggler’s residence in Daulawala village in this district was today attacked by residents of the village.

The police personnel, including an ASI, were attacked when they went to the house of Ginder Singh.

His family members raised alarm and more than 250 men and women arrived on the spot and started pelting stones on the police party.

However, the policemen arrested Ginder Singh, who is facing at least 10 cases under the NDPS Act.

Six women and seven men were also arrested for stonepelting and attack on the police party. — PTI


ZP member attacked
Our Correspondent

Patiala, October 26
The Vice-President of the Gurdaspur Zila Parishad, Major Amardeep Singh (retd), was injured when he was attacked near Budha Dal gurdwara here last night. A case has been registered at the Civil Lines police station.

According to the information, he along with his wife and son was walking near the gurdwara when five miscreants came and made some comment following which Mr Amardeep Singh and his son got into an argument. It took a serious turn when these unidentified miscreants attacked Mr Amardeep Singh and his son with swords.

Major Amardeep Singh (retd) got a fracture on the nose and serious injuries, including on the face. His son also received minor injuries. Both were admitted to the local Rajindra Hospital.


26 hurt in group clash
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, October 26
Twentysix persons, including two women, were injured when two groups of Dalits clashed at Ladda village, near Dhuri, last night.

The clash took place over an old dispute.

The injured were admitted to the Dhuri Civil Hospital last night.

The Dhuri police said the groups had reached a compromise and no case had been registered against anyone in this regard.


Two die in mishap
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 26
Bassi Pathana residents were shocked as two youths belonging to the town died in an accident on the Divali night. Their bodies and the scooter were noticed lying in a deep ditch opposite Usha Mata Mandir on the Bassi Pathana-Chandigarh road this morning.

According to information, two scooter-borne youths identified as Karamjit Singh (20), son of Mr Pritam Singh, Assistant Manager, FCI, posted at Sirhind, and his friend Robin Kumar (19), had gone to see their another friend and in the night near Usha Mata Mandir their scooter fell into a deep ditch along the road. They died on the spot. The bodies were noticed the next morning. The bodies were handed over to the parents without conducting post-mortem examination on the request of their parents. Cremation was held in the evening.


Teaching staff shortage in schools
Our Correspondent

Khemkaran, October 26
The local Government Senior Secondary School for boys and Government Senior Secondary School for Girls have been facing a shortage of teaching staff for the past more than 25 years.

The girls school has not even a single lecturer though six posts have been sanctioned by the Education Department. Besides six of the nine posts in the master category have also been vacant though the post of Principal was filled only a year ago. These posts have been vacant for the past 25 years.

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