P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Sukhbir’s wife to meet Jaitley
Says Badals being denied basic facilities in jail
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 4
Mrs Harsimrat Kaur Badal, wife of Mr Sukhbir Badal, has accused the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, of denying basic facilities to her father-in-law, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and her husband, besides violation of their rights in Patiala jail. She said she would take up this matter with the Union Law Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley, to ensure their “security and safety”.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Sukhbir Badal were sent to judicial custody by the Special Judge, Ropar, on December 1 in connection with a corruption case registered against the Badal family by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau a few months ago. The Special Judge has asked Mrs Surinder Kaur Badal, wife of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to appear in his court on December 13.

Alleging that all sorts of atrocities were being committed on her father-in-law and husband in “dingy rooms” of the jail, Mrs Harsimrat Kaur said Capt Amarinder Singh had been treating them as his personal enemies.

She said she would bring to Mr Jaitley’s notice the rights violation in the jail, besides the fact that no sanction for prosecuting and sending Mr Sukhbir Badal to jail was taken from the chairperson of the Rajya Sabha. Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Sukhbir Badal were not being allowed to meet their lawyers.

“I suspect that Capt Amarinder Singh is trying to harm them as the kind of food and water being served to them in jail is not fit for human consumption. Yellow water is being given to them,” she said.

Mrs Harsimrat Kaur, who has approached the Supreme Court seeking the transfer of the disproportionate assets case against the Badal family out of Punjab, alleged that Capt Amarinder Singh had come down to such a level that he was trying to prevent SAD workers from participating in the bhog ceremony of akhand path to be held on December 8 in Patiala in connection with the birthday of Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

“My father is a Congressman and I will ask him to bring the activities of Capt Amarinder Singh and the rights violation to the notice of the Congress high command,” she added.


Badal’s OSD declared PO
Tribune News Service

Kharar, December 4
A local court has declared an alleged former hawala operator of New Delhi proclaimed offender (PO) in a case of corruption and disproportionate assets registered against former Chief Minister and SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal’s trusted lieutenant and OSD Hardeep Singh Bhamra by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau at Mohali.

The Subdivisional Judicial Magistrate pronounced these orders on the request of the bureau, wherein it was submitted that the accused was wanted in the case, but despite repeated issuance of non-bailable warrants and proclamation against him, he had been evading arrest. The court also ordered the sending of a cop of the orders to the Roopnagar SSP for entry of the name of the accused in the relevant register.

After the return of the unexecuted warrants against him, the court issued a proclamation against the accused on September 16 for giving him an opportunity to appear in court till December 3. Since he failed to give up, the court formally declared him a proclaimed offender.


Akalis submit memo to Governor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Akali leaders led by SGPC chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra submitted a memorandum to the Punjab Governor, Justice O.P. Verma, here today. Mr Tohra claimed the Governor had assured of taking up the issue of repression on Akali leaders with the state government.

A large number of present and former Akali MLAs and senior BJP leaders led by Mr Tohra met the Governor this morning and submitted the memorandum.

“The Governor was concerned about the happenings in the state”, asserted Capt Kanwaljit Singh, General Secretary of the SAD, who was a part of the Akali delegation. When asked whether the Akalis have demanded the imposition of President’s rule in the state, Capt Kanwaljit Singh said this demand was not made as it was against the SAD policy.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Tohra said Capt Amarinder Singh visited the jail about two weeks ago to tell jail officers where former Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal and his son, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, were to be kept. The Chief Minister had selected a condemned cell for Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, Mr Tohra said Mr Parkash Singh Badal had also been kept in isolation.

When asked the Badal family had moved the Supreme Court to transfer the case to another state, he said this step had been taken because Capt Amarinder Singh was treating Mr Badal and his son in a most inhuman manner.

Reacting sharply to Capt Amarinder Singh’s statement that what to talk of an Akali agitation even a leaf would not be allowed to stir in the state, Mr Tohra said the Akalis would even shake Moti Bagh Palace. “The registration of false cases against SAD President Parkash Singh Badal and members of his family comes as the climax of a sustained and bitter onslaught against the party in which many of its stalwarts, including former ministers and members of Parliament and the state legislature were hounded with a single-minded pursuit of decimating the SAD”, Mr Tohra said.

SAD General Secretary Balwinder Singh Bhunder said over 12,000 Akali workers had either been arrested or detained illegally in police stations in the past few days. Those detained in police stations were being moved from one place to another to avoid judicial intervention. SDMs were not accepting the bail applications of those arrested under section 107/51, IPC.

“ Even though we offered bail bond security in cash the arrested Akali workers have been sent to judicial lock-up by SDMs”, Mr Bhunder added.


PPCC hails action against Badal

Ludhiana, December 4
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), legal cell, has hailed the action initiated by the Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, against the former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and his family members to expose their ill-gotten wealth during the tenure of SAD-BJP government in Punjab.

Presiding over a meeting of the cell here last evening, its president, Mr Dharamjit Singh Khera, observed that action against one of the top politicians should serve as a warning to others of his clan who misuse their political power to amass wealth rather than serve people and work for development of the state.

Mr Khera said the legal cell of the party had procured a detailed list of the properties of the Badal family which would be soon distributed among the members of the Bar. — OC


SAD mistaken in defending Badal: Dal

Hoshiarpur, December 4
The Dal Khalsa said that the Shiromani Akali Dal (B) would be “making a mistake” if it launched a morcha to defend it’s tainted leader Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

In its monthly executive meeting here today, chaird by Mr Harcharanjit Singh Dhami, all Dal Khalsa senior members, including Mr Kanwar Pal Singh, Mr Ajit Singh Pannu, Mr Dalbir Singh Bath, Dr Manjinder Singh and Mr Sarabjit Singh Ghuman took exception over the manner the Akali Dal had announced to launch an agitation against the arrest of Mr Badal and his son Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal.


Seven held for burning bus
Akali ex-MLA booked for abetment
Tribune News Service

Mansa, December 4
Seven persons were arrested today allegedly for burning of a bus in the city on November 23. A case against former Akali MLA. Sukhdev Singh Aulakh was also registered for hatching a conspiracy with these seven committing the same crime.

In a press note here today, SSP, Ms V.Neerja said that all accused were incited by Mr Aulakh to damage government property when a challan against SAD (B) leader, Parkash Singh Badal was presented. She added that Mr Aulakh even provided his jeep for committing the crime.

Those arrested are Mr Rajinder Singh, Mr Mewa Singh, Mr Mithu Singh, Mr Gurjeet Singh, Mr Darshan Singh, Mr Amrik Singh and Mr Gurjant Singh. All arrested are from Biro ke Kalan native village of Mr Aulakh.

The SSP pointed out that on November 23, the accused came in a Jeep and broke windowpanes of a bus of the PRTC, parked in front of a shop in the city. When Mr Lakhbir Singh driver of the bus, who was sleeping inside the bus, came out, two of the accused caught him while others took out fuel from the oil tank and poured it on tyres and set it on fire. The accused fled the scene but a case was registered in this connection under Sections 436, 427, 148 and 149 of the IPC.

She said that during investigation of the case, Mr Malkit Singh, conductor of the bus, recorded his statement before the police that when he was waiting for a vehicle at Thoothianwali crossing to go to his village nearby he came to know about the fact that his bus had been set on fire, he rushed towards the spot. While he was going towards the spot, a jeep in which all the accused were travelling was coming from the opposite direction.

When he was going to extinguish the fire, the accused, kidnapped him with the intention to kill. Malkit Singh, however, escaped from the clutches of the accused when he was being taken in a jeep and when they reached near Khiala village. He escaped from their custody when the accused started removing a truck, parked in the middle of road after a breakdown and narrated the incident to the police.

The SSP said that on the statement of Mr Malkit Singh, Section 364 of the IPC was added to the offences made out against the accused in the FIR registered by Mr Lakhbir Singh, driver of the bus. Another offence under Section 120-B was made out against the accused after their interrogation revealed that Mr Aulakh incited them to commit the crime by providing them with his own jeep.


Poll outcome buoys up Akali, BJP spirits
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
The astounding BJP victory, especially in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, has come at the most appropriate time for the SAD-BJP combine in Punjab. This made a perceptible change in the mood of Akali and BJP leaders, who had gathered here to discuss the cases against Badals and other Akali leaders.

The renewed confidence, enthusiasm and excitement was visible among them. They celebrated the victory with the beating of drums and distributing sweets. SGPC chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra visited the Punjab BJP office here this morning to share sweets with Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, President of the state BJP, and senior leaders such as Mr Balramji Dass Tandon and Mr Madan Mohan Mittal. In fact, Mr Tohra was the first Akali leader to give “mubarakbad” to the BJP leadership at the Centre and in the state.

Only a few months ago, SAD and BJP leaders were a demoralised lot with the Vigilance Bureau chasing them. Akali and BJP leaders said today’s results would not only provide them with required energy to hit back on the Amarinder Government but also intensify the process of “dissidence” in the ruling party in Punjab.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh, General Secretary of the SAD, said in view of today’s results, the general election could not be ruled out in March.

On the other hand, Congress leaders were disappointed and dejected. “While the Akalis were in an aggressive mood, our party was facing an internal crisis that may accentuate in the days to come”, said a senior leader of the Congress. At a meeting yesterday, all Congress MPs from Punjab, except for two, told the party high command to do something extraordinary to raise the party’s declining popularity graph in the state”, he added.

A show of strength has been going on between the two factions of the ruling party in the state for the past few days. “No one from the party high command has stopped us from visiting Delhi to meet senior leaders of the party”, said a senior leader of the dissident group of the Congress. “We would proceed to Delhi after attending the marriage of the son of a minister on December 5 here,” he added.

The Amarinder Singh group is trying all out to deal with dissidence. Supporters of the Chief Minister have been establishing contact with party MLAs, ministers and other senior leaders to keep them in good humour.

When the Chief Minister appeared in a local court yesterday, his supporters ensured the presence of most senior ministers and MLAs outside the court complex. Capt Amarinder Singh’s supporters have planned a campaign to discredit the Akali agitation by branding it as an attempt to protect the “corrupt” Akali leaders.


Punjab BJP congratulates Vajpayee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Senior leaders of the Punjab BJP today congratulated Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani and party President Venkaiah Naidu for party’s victory in Assembly elections of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, president of the Punjab unit, Mr Rajinder Bhandari, Mr Harjit Singh Grewal and Mr Vijay Sampla, general secretaries of the unit, said it was a vote for the performance of the BJP at the Centre and failure of the Congress governments in states concerned.


PWR to spread message of Guru Granth Sahib
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 4
In a significant development, the Parliament of World Religion (PWR) has decided in principle to coordinate with Sikh institutions and various organisations for spreading the message of oneness enshrined in the holy Guru Granth Sahib.

This was disclosed by Mr Howard Sulkin, chairman of the PWR who was here to participate in the third international conference on “The Guru Granth Sahib and interfaith understanding to world peace”, here today. Bhai Harbans Lal, a board member of the PWR said in view of the quadri-centennial celebrations of the installation of the Guru Granth Sahib, which falls next year. NRI Sikhs and the PWR had made an ambitious programme to make the event a big success.

For the first time langar would be served at Barcelona, in Spain to delegates of the fifth international conference of the PWR to be held from July 7 to July 13 next year. Bhai Harbans Lal, a famous Sehajdhari Sikh leader from the USA said special kirtan darbars would be held to mark the PWR conference. He said to spread the message of Sikhism in all corners of the world, the PWR had constituted two awards, named after Guru Tegh Bahadur and Bhai Ghanaya from next year.

Earlier, more than 30 research papers were presented by distinguished scholars on various aspects of Guru Granth Sahib on the second day of the conference held at Senate Hall of Guru Nanak Dev University.

The conference is being held by the Department of Guru Nanak Studies of the university in collaboration with the Academy of Guru Granth Studies, USA to mark the quadri-centennial celebrations of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib.

Major-Gen Himmat Singh (retd), who chaired the first session of the conference, said religious intolerance and the spread of fundamentalism in Asia and the Middle East and Europe had created an unsavoury situation in the world. He said message of the Guru Granth Sahib should be imparted to humanity to bring peace in the world.

Dr Davinder Singh Chahal from Canada speaking on “Acceptability of Nanak philosophy in the science age” said although the Sikh theologians keep science and Nanak philosophy separate nevertheless, Nanak philosophy was based on science and logic. He said Nanak philosophy could become universally acceptable provided it was preached scientifically and logically.

Dr N.Muthu Mohan in his lecture on “the themes of dialogue and justice in the Guru Granth Sahib” was of the view that dialogue and justice were very fundamental and interwoven themes, which were dealt with not only at the empirical level but are also achieved fundamentally in the philosophy.

An eminent historian, Dr Kirpal Singh from Chandigarh, delivering his lecture said one of the fundamentals of inter-faith understanding was the recognition of efficacy of other faiths and Guru Granth Sahib recognised that all religions dispensations were capable of elevating the human soul. He said the emphasis of the guru’s was on creating communal understanding with the assertion that the essence of true religion consisted of love of God and good conduct.

Dr Nanak Singh Nishter from Hyderabad opined that Guru Granth Sahib had played a significant role to unite Hindus and Muslims for co-existence.

Brig Sangat Singh of Delhi said the Guru Granth Sahib, the common spiritual treasure of mankind, emphasised on a direct path of realisation of God based not only on logic but on self-enlightenment.

Prof Neol Q. King from the USA said the basic tenets of Guru Nanak’s faith is revelation of one God and in his oneness. Dr Balwant Singh Dhillon said the holy book inspired the people to work for all-round development of society.


Khalsa Diwan row: groups depose before panel
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 4
Both warring groups of the Chief Khalsa Diwan (CKD) today deposed before the Committee, constituted by Jathedar Akal Takht, separately, even as the offices of the Dewan continued to be locked for the second consecutive day today.

Out of the five, only three members of the Committee, including Dr Prithipal Singh Kaur, a former pro-vice-chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, Dr Kharak Singh, a member of the Dharam Parchar Committee (of SGPC) and Principal Ram Singh were present while Justice Kuldip Singh and Justice R.S.Narula did not attend. The absence of the two members has indicated that the committee is unlikely to submit its report to Jathedar Akal Takht by December seven — deadline fixed by Jathedar Vedanti. The committee asked the group, led by the outgoing honorary secretary of CKD to give in writing that they had full faith in the institution of Akal Takht and would abide by any decision pronounced by the Jathedar on the basis of the report.

The Committee members heard grievances of both groups who submitted proofs of the “mis-deeds” in the past.

Another group led by Mr Manjit Singh Tarn Tarani, a former Education Secretary of the Dewan also met the Committee members and urged them to take action against four officials of the Dewan who allegedly had violated the ‘Maryada’ of Akal Takht by organizing ‘sampat paths’ in the premises of a school being run by the Dewan in Tarn Taran. He also urged the committee members to initiate action against Mr Ankhi allegedly for disrupting an educational conference held at Dhanan Kaleran in the past. However, Mr Ankhi denied the charges of Mr Tarn Tarani.

Mr Ankhi gave pictures of the leaders of the rival group, published in various news papers, violating the directives of Akal Takht which had banned both groups from approaching the media. However, Mr Charnjit Singh Chadda, the leader of the opposite party said that the Committee members gave them a patient hearing.


Newborn thrown into septic tank, rescued
Our Correspondent

Barnala, December 4
A seven-day-old infant was rescued after she was thrown into a septic tank , a village latrine, at Taajoke village about 25 km from here following laudable efforts of the Taajo Ke Panchayat near Tapa Mandi.

The infant, a girl, was reportedly thrown into the 50-foot-deep tank by Kiran Kaur , mother of two daughters, in the wee hours today. She resorted to this inhuman act as she reportedly found it unable to bring up a third daughter.

The infant is undergoing treatment at the Civil Hospital, Barnala. Mr Mukhtiar Singh, village sarpanch, and two other women panchayat members, Mrs Amarjit Kaur, and Mrs Baljit Kaur made efforts to rescue the infant.

The cries of the infant from the tank was heard at around 7 a.m. The lintel of the tank was broken and a villager Kala Singh got down into the tank and brought the girl out after an hour’s struggle. Mrs Amarjit Kaur washed the infant While the mother of the infant says that infant was thrown into the tank yesterday while the sarpanch and panchayat members are convinced that the infant was thrown this morning.

The infant was taken to Tapa Hospital for first aid and then shifted to Civil Hospital, Barnala, for treatment in the ambulance of the Mini Sahara Welfare Club, Tapa. The sarpanch said Kiran Kaur was now repenting her act and urging them to give the child back to her.

Meanwhile, the police has booked Kiran Kaur under Sections 307 and 201 of the IPC.


Pt Jasraj charms Holy City
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 4
As we prepare to meet contemporary doyen of north Indian classical singer, Pandit Jasraj, a musical voice hails us from behind. After greeting us with “Jai mata ki” from a distance, he settlers comfortably, ensuring that the distance is maintained. In the next moment, he requests, “I hope you are not wearing a perfume? If you are, please excuse me. I am highly allergic to scents. These interfere with my vocal capacity.”

As we set his doubts at rest, he beams an assuring smile, sharing the joy he feels on returning to the Holy city. After arriving here today for a classical vocal presentation at the ongoing Heritage celebrations, the first thing Pandit Jasraj did was to ask the organisers to arrange two particular sets of sequences from the Gurbani, which he wished to render. These included, Guru Nanak’s “Harcharan Sharan Kalyaan Karan” and another one, of Guru Gobind Singh reading “Mittar pyare nu haal muridaan da kehna”...

Conceding his reverence for Gurbani to The Tribune in an interview this afternoon, Pandit Jasraj said, “Gurbani has rich structural and melodic base. While in Amritsar for heritage festival celebrations, I must pay obeisance to the Gurus, by presenting their baani.” Pandit Jasraj kept his promise by including the “baani” in his presentation at Khalsa College later. Overwhelmed over being in Punjab after “an age”, the only musician in India, given so much honour in his lifetime (several awards have been instituted in his name) talked about his Haryana connection and the Mewati gharana.

Panditji’s greatest contribution to music is his unique ‘jugalbandi’ based on the ancient system of “moorchanas,” between a male and female vocalist, each singing in his/her respective scales and different ragas simultaneously. This has been so acclaimed that music lovers in Pune have named it “Jasrangi Jugalbandi”. “Classical, as the term suggests, has to be everlasting. It’s sad that music now is being made for money. We now have harmonies that hardly rise to the level of music. I never commercialised my music. I sing only for my son Sharang Dev, who knows how to keep purity of the tradition,” said the vocalist, known for blending austere elements with opulent ones. He has also conducted research in Haveli Sangeet.

In his peculiar style, the vocalist charmed the holy city today, juxtaposing the traditional musical sequences with the contemporary. It is this ability of Pandit Jasraj which makes him the most revered musician abroad. Six centres of the Pandit Jasraj School of Music Foundation run in America, and one in Canada. His merit is also recognised by a scholarship instituted by the University of Toronto in his name for young Canadian students wishing to train in Indian music.

While awards trail him, Pandit Jasraj admits, “Rewards inspire you, but only till the extent you can handle these. The moment you get conscious of fame, God ceases to bless you. Music, as such, changes flavours when it crosses over from the presenter to the listener. Sometimes when I feel I have not touched base with the divine during my recital, people compliment me for my so-called sonorous presentation. The effects of music differ because it is something divine. Its interpretations vary.”

Rooted in tradition, the musician continues his musical journey, keeping all obstacles at bay, including scents and onions.


Pak poet Ahmad Faraz to attend heritage fest

RENOWNED TV announcer Sadhna Srivastava, while comparing the cultural recital featuring Pt Jasraj at Khalsa College tonight, announced that renowned Pakistan poet Ahmad Faraz was coming especially to Amritsar to attend the poetic symposuim to be held here on Saturday. The Wagah border would be especially opened for the poet who would cross over to Amritsar tonight.

Rs 500 for Jagjit Singh!

Yesterday, when Jagjit Singh was singing at Khalsa College, a transporter embarrassed him. Swayed by his presentation, the inebriated man, to appreciate the singer, took out a currency note of Rs 500 denomination and offered it to the singer. Offended Jagjit, in a satirical style, said : “Sardar ji ne panj damde ditte ne. Parmatma aina di kamai ch vada pave” Thereafter, the singer wanted two security personnel to be posted on either side of the performance place. This discomfited all VIPs.

No takers for heritage seminar

A seminar on “The Historic City of Amritsar: Towards Conservation and Urban Planning” organised by the Indian National Trust for Art, Culture and Heritage (INTACH) failed to evoke response from people. The seminar had speakers like Ms Gurmeet Rai, who authored the document that supports Harmandar Sahib’s case for World Heritage Site, Dr Savyasachi, Reader, Department of Sociology, JNU, and others. There was hardly any one from general public in the seminar, which talked of urban pressure on heritage sites. The crowd mainly comprised INTACH and reporters.


He walked the Great Wall
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 4
A 50-year-old Malaysia-born Buddhist monk, Dr Sumana Siri, who had made a history of sorts by covering the 7,000-km Great Wall of China in nine months without a break, now wants to walk around the world to promote peace. His earlier expedition had started from the deserts of Ganzu province in China, which runs along the North Korean border, in October, 2000.

Dr Siri was here to attend the third international conference on Granth Sahib and inter-faith religion, organised by the Department of Guru Nanak Studies of Guru Nanak Dev University here.

Regarding his earlier expedition, Dr Siri said he had to put his life in danger many times during the nine-month religious journey.

He described the journey as a discovery of the self. He said it was his dream to visit the Great Wall.

He has travelled vastly and is the founder of the Vihara, an organisation which propagates the ideals and teaching of Lord Budha.

Dr Siri also met Gen Himmat Singh Gill (retd), who was the Commanding-General of Twang, the second largest monastery after Lhasa.

Dr Siri said on his expedition to the Great Wall of China, he was accompanied by seven friends.


Arrangements for Shaheedi Jor Mela
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 4
During the four-day annual Shaheedi Jor Mela starting here from December 24 to commemorate the supreme sacrifice of the younger sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh, who were bricked alive here, a bhakti sangeet sammelan, ‘var gayan’ competition, paintings on sahibzadas and ‘shabad gyan’ competitions will be organised by the district administration to pay homage to the sahibzadas. No gambling, live dances and other obscene kind of stalls would be allowed during the mela, said Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, while presiding over a meeting of the district officials convened here today to finalise arrangements for the big event.

He said after identifying the exact time of the bricking alive of the sahibzadas, the district administration would play a siren on that exact time so that the devotees may pay homage by standing at that exact time. The event would be commemorated strictly in a religious spirit according to the sentiments of the devotees. A special souvenir on the sahibzadas would also be released. Lakhs of devotees throng the gurdwara here from all over the world to pay obeisance to the sahibzadas.

The Deputy Commissioner said according to the tradition, the district administration would not utilise the occasion for earning money by permitting amusement, circus, swings, dances, gambling and other entertainment stalls to operate within the surroundings of the gurdwara. He said the devotees come from far-flung areas of the country and such stalls hurt their sentiments. He said all wine shops would remain closed during the mela and it would be ensured that no intoxicant was sold at the mela.

For the convenience of the devotees, special parking sites had been earmarked and to control the flow of traffic, service roads would be utilised and the repair work of all roads was in progress.

He said an impressive exhibition depicting the various achievements of the state government in different fields and public-oriented schemes initiated by various government departments would be put up. He said the Public Relations Department would organise a special light and sound programme “Sirhind Ki Dastan”. Besides, all basic civic amenities like toilets, drinking water and cleanliness would be ensured and five enquiry centres and dispensaries would work round the clock.

Mr Shiv Kumar, SSP, said the police would make elaborate security arrangements so that the devotees could pay obeisance without any apprehension. He said nakas, barriers and police posts would be erected and cops in plainclothes would be deputed to arrest criminals. He said the traffic would be regulated through link roads and two special buses would be operated up to the gurdwara for the old people.


11 kids hurt as school bus overturns
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 4
As many as 13 persons were injured, including 11 children, when a school bus of Narain Public School overturned near Meerapur, a few kilometres from here, while ferrying children back to their homes after the school hours.

Sources said the bus overturned after its steering got locked. They said a private bus which was coming from the opposite side also met with an accident due to this.

They said the private bus hit a tree while trying to swerve from the way of the oncoming school bus.

The driver of the private bus, Harjinder Singh was injured when his bus hit the tree.

Meanwhile, a school teacher, Ms Kamaljit Kaur, and 11 children — Harinder Singh (15), Jasjeet (5), Sunny (7), Harjit (8), Daman (11), Lovepreet (8), Rajbinder (8), Lovinder Kaur (10), Maninder Kaur (8), Amarinder Singh (8) and Pardeep — were injured in the accident. All of them were admitted to Government Rajindra Hospital in the city. Most of the children have suffered minor injuries while some suffered bruises. Doctors attending on them said most of them would be discharged by tomorrow.


JEs demand more posts of SDO
Our Correspondent

Patiala, December 4
The Panchayati Raj Junior Engineers Association today demanded that more posts of SDO (Electrical) should be created to supervise the electrical works in the state.

General secretary of the association Sohan Lal Sharma said junior engineers of the department must be promoted as it would not put any extra financial burden on the government. He added that at least one electrical division was essential for proper handling and utilisation of funds.

Mr Sharma said as the funds for electrical works were at present kept with the Executive Engineer (Civil) at District Headquarters, many times these funds were consumed in civil works and building remain without electrification.

The members of the association added that one post of Executive Engineer (Electrical) Punjab should be created.


Raids on four nursing homes
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 4
The district health authorities today raided four private nursing homes here and found that three chemist shops in as many nursing homes were selling medicines without getting mandatory licence from the authorities concerned. Medicine stock worth about Rs 1 lalh was seized from these shops.

According to Mr Pardeep Kumar, district drug inspector, a team of the state Health Department led by Dr Bhag Singh, assistant Drug Controller, raided four private nursing homes — J.P. Nursing Home, Sikka Hospital, City Hospital and Chabra Nursing Home.

“During raids, it was found that chemist shop at Chabra Nursing Home had obtained the licence to sell the medicines, while three others are involved in illegal practice,” said Mr Pardeep Kumar.

Acting on a tip-off, the health authorities, sent decoy patients to these chemist shops to purchase medicines.

Health officials maintained that after the seizure of the stock and other documents, they would file complaints in the court of the chief Judicial Megistrate (CJM) under Section 18 (c) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. The accused could be sentenced to three years of imprisonment and a fine upto Rs 10000 under the Act.


Experts deliver lectures on ayurveda
Our Correspondent

Patiala, December 4
A four-week re-orientation training programme in the Department of Ras Shastra of Government Ayurvedic College concluded here today.

Nearly 20 ayurvedic medical officers attended the programme. During the programme eminent ayurvedic experts and scientists delivered lectures related to Ayurvedic speciality and pharmacology and on current topics.

Speaking on the occasion the Principal of the college Dr D.P. Rajanwal, awarded certificates to all participants and said that he would make efforts to carry on such an informative programme in future also.

Dr Vinay Kumar Sharma , retired Principal of the college, spoke on the pathogenesis of the disease in ayurveda and prophylactic measures to prevent the disease. Dr S.R. Vats, member Scientific Advisory Committee in Ayurveda, India, Dr S.N. Singh, Deshbhagat Ayurvedic College, Gobindgarh, Dr Sunil Joshi, Principal, S.S. M.D Ayurvedic College, Moga, Dr B.N. Singh, Principal Mast Nath Ayurvedic College, Rohtak, delivered lecturers during the workshop. 


Blast victims’ kin allege apathy
Our Correspondent

Khasa (Amritsar), December 4
Relief was distributed among kin of blast victims, who complained that they had not been provided with jobs promised to them by authorities.

The family members of the deceased demanded jobs for one of their family members in the Army or in the civil administration.

Talking to ‘The Tribune’ during the distribution of 75 per cent of compensation for the victims of Amritsar and Gurdaspur districts here yesterday, Sukhwinder Kaur, a resident of Mahawa village and mother of Gurjit Singh (21) who died during ‘Operation Prakram’ following attack on Parliament on December 13, 2001 alleged that the government had not given the job to her other son. She alleged that the government had also promised her pension.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Lakhwinder Singh, father of one Pargat Singh of Aman Wasu village in Ajnala Tehsil who was a driver of a truck on Army duty which was destroyed in mine blast on January 5, 2002. He said the Deputy Commissioners on their visits assured jobs to his son Karaj Singh who was ignored for the job in the Army.

Major General B.S. Nagal, General Officer Commanding, Panther Division said there was no policy of providing jobs. However, he said the Army authorities would urge the Defence Ministry to consider such cases. He said the Army would also urge the civil administration to reserve jobs for persons disabled in such incidents.

Rupees 18.37 lakh was distributed among the kin of the deceased and disabled persons.


One killed as cylinder bursts
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 4
One person was killed and three others were injured when the lintel of a house at the local Sidharth Nagar collapsed due to a LPG cylinder blast in the wee hours today.

According to the police, the deceased has been identified as Sunny, a student of BA, final year, at the local Lyallpur Khalsa College, while the injured are Ms Kamlesh Kaler, her son Parshotam Lal and their neighbour Balbir Singh, who was involved in rescue operations.

The police said the blast was so loud that residents of the colony initially thought it as an earthquake. The residents, along with the police, and fire brigade officials managed to extricate the body of the victim from the debris after two hours.

Though the exact cause of the blast is yet to be ascertained, the fire brigade officials maintained that there was possibility of a short circuit, which in turn may have resulted in the blast due to leakage of gas from the cylinder.



Dalit-landlord clash: 11 allowed bail
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, December 4
A court here today granted bail to 11 persons, said to be involved in a ‘clash’ between Dalits and landlords of Hasanpur village, near Dhuri. The clash took place on November 11 over a piece of shamlat land (common land) in the village.

Those granted bail today are: Gurmeet Singh, Nirmal Singh, Sukhwinder Singh “Maddi”, Jagpal Singh, Achhra Singh, Chhota Singh, Jagjit Singh, Mela Singh, Balraj Singh, Avatar Singh and Jagtar Singh, Avatar Singh was arrested on November 27 while remaining 10 persons were arrested on November 25, and all were in judicial custody since then.

Following the clash between Dalits and landlords of Hasanpur village on November 11, in which 20 persons from both sides were injured, the Dhuri police had registered a case against 18 persons, belonging to the landlords’ group, under various Sections of the IPC and Section 3 of the SC Act, 1989.


Fazilka polytechnic penalised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh on a polytechnic in Fazilka. The orders were issued on a petition filed by a Jagraon student against the institution and another respondent.

Pronouncing the orders in an open court on Manpreet Singh’s petition, the Bench, headed by Mr Justice J.S. Khehar, also directed that the payment should be made within a month.

The petitioner had earlier sought directions to the Punjab State Board of Technical Education and the institution to declare the third semester result in the medical lab technology course.

The respondents, in their reply, had, on the other hand, claimed that the petitioner had concealed material facts. The orders of detention were passed against the petitioner by the then college principal as the petitioner had failed to attend 75 per cent lectures as required under the rules.

NRI’s petition

Alleging police inaction, a non-resident Indian has moved the High Court seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into his maternal grandmother’s murder.

In a petition, Amardeep Singh Chohan — now settled in the UK — has alleged that the police had refused to take action against the culprits in spite of his best efforts. Giving details, he had stated that the cops had not registered any criminal case despite his representations.

Taking up the case, a Division Bench of the High Court, comprising Mr Justice S.S. Nijjar and Mr Justice S.S. Grewal, issued notice of motion to the state of Punjab and other respondents for January 8.


Farmers’ dharna continues
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, December 4
Dharna by the Kisan Sangharash Committee entered the second day yesterday.

They were staging dharna for demanding the payment on the pending sugarcane price and against cutting the power supply to the tubewells who have failed to pay the bills.

Hundreds of farmers, including women, staged dharna at Piddi village, five kilometres from here.

More than 200 farmers belonging to the BKU (Ekta) today came in support to the agitating farmers.

Mr Kanwalpreet Singh Pannu, convener of the sangarash committee, said the dharna would continue till the acceptance of their demands.


Income tax teams carry out surveys
Tribune News Service

Abohar, December 4
Eight teams of income tax officials, which carried out surveys in different business premises and of those who with real estate business, have succeeded in detecting transactions worth crores of rupees on which the income tax has been evaded.

The eight teams, comprising about 80 income tax officials drawn from Ferozepore, Faridkot, Muktsar, Mansa and Bathinda offices, started survey of various firms in the morning and it was continuing till the last reports came in. The income tax authorities also took the police help to prevent any untoward incident.

Today’s survey was second in the series of survey launched by the income tax authorities to detect the evasion of income tax by real estate firms and other establishments. Earlier, the income tax authorities had carried out a survey in Bathinda town and its surrounding areas about a week ago.

Today income tax officials carried out survey of a leading garment dealer and some cotton factories on the information that these establishments had been keeping unaccounted huge stocks. After that premises of those, who had been developing residential colonies, were also surveyed. During the surveys, the income tax officials took away a large number of documents pertaining to the accounts of real estate business and other dealings.

Though a number of business firms and individuals offered to the income tax officials that they were willing to surrender their unaccounted income to the income tax authorities so that tax could be levied on the same, the income tax authorities declined to accept their offer.

Mr L.R. Nayyar, Commissioner, Income Tax, Bathinda, who coordinated the surveys, said that during the surveys it had also come into light that a section of businessmen had been converting their black money into white money by showing that they had generated that money (black money) from agriculture practices.

He added that modus operandi of such tax evaders was that they had taken a piece of agriculture land in nearby villages and had been showing their black money as income generated from the agriculture practice from the same piece of land.

He said that these surveys were carried out after the income tax authorities received inputs from market sources and intelligence agency sources that huge evasion of income tax was being done by a section of traders and real estate developers of this area. He added that income tax officials would work out the total evasion done by these people soon.


18.69 cr to be spent on Ropar schemes
Our Correspondent

Ropar, December 4
The Punjab Government will spend Rs 18.69 crore on various schemes in Ropar district in the current financial year through the District Planning Board.

Out of this Rs 9.09 crore has already been released.

The Chairman of the Planning Board of Ropar Mr Tej Prakash Minister for Transport Punjab gave this information after chairing a meeting of the board today.

During the meeting he directed non-official members to keep vigil over development works in the district. If any discrepancy was noticed it should be brought to the notice of the District Planning Board, he said. At the meeting held here today the board released Rs 47.64 lakh for development schemes in the district.

The Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, Ms Seema Jain informed that till date 25 per cent of the total amount received had already been spent on various development schemes in the district. She also said 14 complaints were received of which seven were redressed on the spot.

On a complaint of a widow the Bhanupli village branch of Punjab and Sind Bank has been directed to pay her six-year pension dues within one month. The SDM Anandpur Sahib has been directed to conduct an enquiry into the case and take action against guility officials. Besides the General Manager Roadways was directed to allow free travel facility to pass holder students, she told.


Proclaimed offender arrested
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 4
The district police has arrested a proclaimed offender who was booked in a case of theft 21 years ago.

According to the police, the case was registered against Gobind Kumar of Basti Danishmanda on October 19, 1982, when he was 21 years old. He had absconded.


Watchmaker found murdered

Batala, December 4
A city watchmaker, Jaswant Lal (32), was murdered for cash and valuables here last night but the crime came to light today when his body was found in a field outside Hathi Gate, the police said.

City police station SHO Santokh Singh said the victim’s wristwatch had stopped at 9.30 p.m., indicating the time of the murder, adding that Jaswant Lal was struck with bricks. The police official said Jaswant Lal’s gold ring, kara, chain and cash were missing. The watch was found near the murder scene. — UNI


211 items on display at science exhibition 
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 4
A three-day state-level science exhibition was inaugurated by Deputy Commissioner S.K. Ahluwalia, at BZSF Senior Secondary School here today, as Prof Darbari Lal, State Minister for Education, failed to turn up to inaugurate the exhibition.

The exhibition has been organised by the State Institute of Science and Technology in which more than 1000 students and teachers from 17 districts of the state are participating. The main theme of the exhibition is “science and technology in the changing world.

Addressing the students and teachers, the Deputy Commissioner said science and information technology had a vital role to play in the development of a country. Tremendous progress had been made in this field, but much had to be achieved in relation to developed countries. He said such exhibitions provided a platform to students to exhibit their skills.

Lauding the role of the teachers in the development and motivation of students, he called upon the teachers to provide qualitative education. He urged parents to motivate the children to adopt science and IT as career.

According to Mr Hardeep Singh, district science supervisor, 211 items had been displayed by the students as many as 89 items were in the senior secondary section, 109 in the secondary section and 13 in the elementary section.

The main theme had six sub-themes like food and health, transport and communication. Only those models were being displayed, that had won the first prize at district-level competitions.

Teaching aids competition and teachers extempore were also organised. Besides Dr M.L. Manchanda, head of the Aeronautics Department, and Dr Amrik Singh Ahluwalia, head of the Botany Department, Panjab University, Mr Chris Kapila, a scientist from Canada, also delivered a lecture.

The teachers and students said neither the state Government nor science and technology institutes gave weightage to those who had certificate of excellence for participating in such exhibitions, while those having sports and NCC certificates were given weightage.

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