P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Dissident leaders hit back at Bir Devinder
Our Correspondent

Ropar, January 13
The mud-slinging match between the Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Mr Bir Devinder Singh and leaders of the dissident camp entered the second round today with the latter hitting back at him at a press conference.

Mr Ramesh Dutt Sharma, Minister of State for Grievances and Cooperatives, and Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Minister for Animal Husbandry, Sports and Youth Affairs, both members of the dissident camp, called the statement of Mr Bir Devinder as a ploy for gaining publicity. They said Mr Bir Devinder was the fourth person to sign the list demanding the ouster of the Chief Minister. A copy of the list was lying with the Deputy Chief Minister, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal.

Both leaders were reacting to the statement issued yesterday at Ropar by the Deputy Speaker that the BJP had offered Rs 40 crore to the dissident Congress leaders and he was offered the post of Deputy Chief Minister.

Mr Ramesh Dutt Sharma alleged that before he became the Deputy Speaker Mr Bir Devinder had himself asked them to work for the ouster of the Chief Minister. He added that the statement of Mr Bir Devinder as a ploy to please the Chief Minister in view of the proposed Cabinet expansion.

Mr Kang condemned Mr Bir Devinder for dragging the name of Congress President Sonia Gandhi into the Punjab Congress’ fight.

When asked about the reported division in the dissident camp, he said there were no differences. If any individual leader had issued some statement, that does not reflect the opinion of the entire group, he added.

Meanwhile, differences among Congress leaders showed up once again when Mr Kang and Mr Ramesh Dutt held separate meetings with district officials in view of the January 15 rally at Bathinda. Yesterday Mr Bir Devinder had held a meeting at Ropar in this regard.

Mr Kang and Mr Ramesh Dutt, when asked as to why they did not attend the meeting, said they were never informed or invited.

Earlier, both reviewed the arrangements for ferrying Congress workers, panches and sarpanches for the rally at Bathinda.


Reach out to people, BSP workers told
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, January 13
Mr Gurcharan Singh, president, BSP, Muktsar, today urged the party workers to reach out to maximum number of people so that party could be strengthened to form its government in Punjab and other states of the country as the other parties had failed to protect the interests of Bahujan Samaj.

Addressing the party’s conference on the occasion of Maghi Mela, he said the BSP was the only party in the country that took care of all castes and religions. He added that time had come when the people should think twice before forming any government in Punjab or in any other state in the country.

Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, president, BKU, while addressing the party conference on the occasion of Maghi Mela, said their struggle would continue till the farmers became debt-free. He alleged that all those parties, which ruled the country and Punjab so far, always betrayed the farmers despite the fact that farmers played significant role in production of foodgrains and protecting the frontiers of the country. It was shameful for the nation that farmers, who were known as “an data” of the country, had been committing suicides for getting rid of debt and the humiliating life, they had been facing for the past many decades, he added.


Badal hints at new faces for Lok Sabha poll
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, January 13
Former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said today that new faces could be fielded by the party in the next Lok Sabha elections and the selection of candidates would be done after the dates for the elections were announced by the Election Commission.

Mr Badal, while declaring the party had a permanent alliance with the BJP, said the SAD would welcome all other parties except the Congress for an alliance.


Vigilance to challenge bail to Badals
Our Correspondent

Ropar, January 13
The Punjab Vigilance has initiated the process to seek the cancellation of the bail granted by the special court, Ropar, to former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Badal in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The case has been forwarded by the District Attorney, Ropar, to the Director, Prosecution. It will then go to the Secretary, Vigilance, and Advocate-General, Punjab, before being filed in the high court.

Mr Surinder Pal Singh SSP, Ropar, and SP, Vigilance, said this while talking to newspersons here today.

Giving further information, he said supplementary challan against the three co-accused in the case, including Nirapjit Singh, an ASI with the Chandigarh Police, Pavitar Singh and Darshan Singh, was ready and would be filed in the Ropar special court before January 17. Mr Badal and his son are scheduled to appear on the same date.

He added that the process to confirm the foreign assets owned by the Badals was also at an advance stage.

Another supplementary challan against the Badals for charges regarding “benami” properties and misuse of the Chief Minister’s office was also nearing completion.

There were initially 17 accused in the corruption case. Challan against six, including Mr Badal, his wife Surinder Kaur Badal, son Sukhbir Badal, Narottam Singh Dhillon, cousin of Sukhbir Badal, Harbans Lal and Jagnandan was presented on December 1, last year. The challan against the above said three was ready and would be filed soon.

Four other co-accused Kanwaljit Singh, Pinky Grover, Krishan Kumar and Hardeep Singh, former OSD to Mr Parkash Singh Badal have been declared as proclaimed offenders. The process to declare Ashim Kapoor, Baghwan Dass and Anil Kumar, son of Harbans Lal, as proclaimed offenders has also been initiated.


Hanspal flays NDA for sops, poll timing
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, January 13
The PPCC President, Mr H.S. Hanspal, has assailed the BJP-led NDA government for deciding to hold the Lok Sabha poll in advance without considering the pros and cons of different sections of society, particularly teachers, students and agriculturists. Flaying the Centre for giving more concessions to the traders, he said the Congress party was fully prepared to meet the challenge of the BJP in the polls.

Deploring the reported efforts of Mr Parmod Mahajan to dislodge the Congress governments in various states, at a press conference at the residence of Mr Avtar Singh Brar, PPCC vice-president here today, Mr Hanspal said the Congress had started a probe against a “Congress leader,” who was allegedly lured by Mr Mahajan to dethrone the Punjab Government.

Refuting rift among senior state Congress leaders after setting it by the central leadership recently, he hailed the appointment of Rajinder Kaur Bhattal as the Deputy Chief Minister.

However, the PPC President made it clear that the state government would not withdraw the alleged misuse of Chief Minister Fund case against her.


CBI probe ordered into NRI boy’s
disappearance case
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
He came to Ropar all the way from Italy for attending his cousin’s last rites. But stayed back in India when he fell in love with a local girl. All went well till he left his residence one day in August 2001. He did not return. Only his bike was found close to a bridge. Nearly three years after the incident, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, headed by the Chief Justice, Mr Justice B.K. Roy, today directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to look into the matter.

Apprehending elimination by the girl’s family, his mother Kulwant Kaur had earlier claimed that Surinder, alias Sonu, came to their house in Ropar in June 2001 and developed relations with the daughter of a Surtapur village resident.

She added that Sonu left the house on August 19 the same year, but did not return. His motor cycle was recovered on the Ropar-Majri road. Subsequently, a first information report alleging kidnapping under Section 364 of the Indian Penal Code was registered in the matter.

The boy, she asserted, had still not been traced. The mother added that the girl, in a statement before the police, had stated that she, along with Sonu, were caught by her parents.

Arguing before the court, Mr Harmeet Singh Deol had contended on the petitioner’s behalf that Sonu’s parents, concerned about their son’s safety, had even approached the Punjab Chief Minister.

He, in turn, had directed Ropar’s Senior Superintendent of Police to look into the matter. The investigation had revealed that petitioner’s son was beaten by the girl’s brothers with hockey sticks, Mr Deol submitted.

He added that the High Court, acting on an earlier petition filed in the matter by the victim’s father, had directed the crime branch to carry out the investigations, but nothing much was done.

Accusing the crime branch officials of favouring the girl’s father, the counsel added that the police, as per their information, was preparing a cancellation report in the matter. Giving reasons, he said the accused was a police witness in a case pertaining to the murder of Ropar advocate Kulwant Singh, his wife and minor son. As such he was being protected.

Seeking the transfer of the investigation to the premier investigating agency, the counsel added that the police officials were shielding the girl’s father despite the fact that the whereabouts of the boy were still unknown. This was not all. The accused was threatening the petitioner’s family.


Punjab’s kinnow unseats Nagpur orange
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
A few years ago, Punjab’s kinnow was one of the most decried fruits. It used to be a ticklish job for farmers to dispose it of in the market. Its quality was poor and it had a sour taste. But that is a thing of the past now. The kinnow of Punjab has now relegated the famed Nagpur orange to second spot in the national market.

This has been made possible because of the zeal, hardwork, and enthusiasm of farmers like Mr Sushil Kumar Periwal and his enterprising sons — Mr Siddarath Periwal and Shailash Periwal. The Periwals, who have kinnow, malta and musambi orchards spread over 70 acres at Khipawali village near Fazilka have not only made kinnow popular in the country but have also in the process established marketing linkages with countries like Israel. Various expert teams from Israel have visited their orchards.

They have improved the kinnow quality to the extent that it has become one of the most sought-after fruit in the national market. Liking for its juice has grown tremendously. Kinnows grown by the Periwals have become a hit not only in Delhi and Jaipur but also in southern cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Mysore. The Periwals have won several prizes for growing quality kinnow, musambi and malta. Mr Siddarath Periwal says their kinnow got first prize for the current year also at a state function organised at Hoshiarpur by the Punjab Horticulture Department yesterday. Red blood malta grown at their farm got the second prize and the musambi also got the same prize.

“It is the fifth time in a row that our citrus fruits have won prizes in the competition organised by the state government”, says Mr Sushil Periwal, a law graduate-turned-farmer.

“Our next target is to introduce organic farming”, says Mr Sushil Kumar.


9 nursing institutes served notices for flouting norms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
The Department of Research and Medical Education (DRME) today issued notices to as many as nine nursing institutes for blatantly flouting norms laid down by the Punjab Nursing Council. The notices served by the Health Secretary, Mr Satish Chander, direct the authorities concerned to furnish their replies by January 30.

Mr Chander said in case of non-compliance of orders or the reply not being satisfactory, strict action would be taken against these institutes and they would not be allowed to admit students in the forthcoming session in May-June this year. While the government, on its part, can withdraw the NoC ( No Objection Certificates), the nursing council can disaffiliate them also.

The institutes, which are presently functioning from hired buildings, have been directed to shift to their own buildings by the next academic session, besides having a hostel within the premises. They have also been asked to meet the shortfall of teachers, which as per the prescribed teacher-pupil ratio should be 1: 10. During surprise inspections carried out recently, about a dozen institutes across the state were found violating most of the norms laid down by the council.

The institutes which have been served these notices are the Charanjit Memorial School of Nursing, Mohali, Victor School of Nursing, Kharar, Saraswati School of Nursing, Gharuan, Mata Sahib Kaur Nursing School, Mohali, Rattan Professional College, Sohana, Amar School of Nursing, Zirakpur, National Dental College, Dera Bassi, and the nursing institute being run at Fortis Heart Institute, Mohali. Interestingly, a majority of these institutes are being owned and run by political bigwigs, including ministers and bureaucrats.

Some more inspections will be carried out by January 30, covering all other colleges functioning under the aegis of the council, it is reliably learnt.


Induct Rana Gurjit into Cabinet: DCC
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, January 13
The District Congress Committee (DCC) has urged the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to induct Rana Gurjit Singh, local Congress MLA, into the Cabinet in the proposed expansion.

The demand was made at the meeting of the DCC held here yesterday under Mr Navtej Singh Cheema, president of the DCC.

Meanwhile, Mr Surinder Maria, general secretary, DCC, stated that a janta darbar would be organised at Dhilwan village on January 17. It would be presided over by Mrs Santosh Choudhary, MP from Phillaur.


Norms framed for jobs on compassionate basis
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
Decks have finally been cleared for giving employment to next of kin of deceased employees and those killed in terrorist violence.

A top officer told The Tribune today that directions had been sent to all heads of departments, Divisional Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners to start recruitment at the earliest. About 5,000 such appointments are to be made in various government departments.

It would be better if the recruitment process was started before the code of conduct in connection with the coming Lok Sabha elections took affect. Otherwise, such appointments would be delayed by four months or so.

The Department of Personnel had sent the policy guidelines to all departmental heads in this connection.

Such appointments would be allowed against the direct quota of posts in groups C and D. There would be no limit on making such appointments as the earlier cap of 5 per cent appointments on compassionate grounds had been abolished. “Where such appointments are made pursuant to this policy, all posts abolished earlier would stand automatically revived,” he added.

These appointees would not carry the current pensionary benefits. The new contributory pension scheme under formulation would be applicable in such appointments.

At the divisional headquarters, committees headed by the Divisional Commissioners concerned would scrutinise such cases while the Administrative Secretaries would do so at the state headquarters. The Financial Commissioners concerned and the Secretary (Personnel) would head such panels at the Punjab Civil Secretariat.

As far as the recruitment of dependents of terrorists victims was concerned, the Resettlement and Rehabilitation Department would do the job. It already had over 1,600 applications under this category.


SDM begins probe into death of undertrials
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, January 13
Even as family members of two undertrials who died at the local Civil Hospital on Monday were accusing the local central jail authorities of not providing adequate timely medicare to the undertrials, the SDM, Ms Babita, today reportedly started an inquiry into the role of the jail hospital staff and officials concerned in this regard.

The deceased, Devi Dyal and Mukhtiar Singh, who were facing trial under Section 302 of the IPC, were admitted to the hospital in a critical condition. Both had died after struggling for life for about five hours.

Mr Vijay Kumar, brother of Devi Dyal, in a complaint submitted to the SDM, said that Devi Dyal was suffering from some asthmatic-related disease for the past five years. He alleged that though the jail hospital staff and officials concerned were informed about the health problems of the undertrial, the hospital staff failed to refer the latter to the civil hospital in time, resulting in the death of Devi Dyal.

He further alleged that the jail hospital authorities were expressing their inability to provide medicines for want of funds. He demanded strict action against erring officials.

Attempts by this correspondent to contact the superintendent of the Central Jail proved futile as his staff said that he was busy in a meeting and could not answer the queries of mediapersons. Meanwhile, the bodies were handed over to the family members after conducting the post-mortem in the presence of Ms Babita.


Workshop on heritage begins
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 13
A national-level workshop on natural and cultural heritage began at the premises of the Shahzada Nand College here yesterday. The workshop is being jointly held by the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training, Delhi, Union Ministry of Tourism, and the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Punjab Chapter.

As many as 150 teachers from 19 states participated in the inaugural session. Dr Chetan Singh, Deputy Director, CCRT, and Dr Sukhdev Singh, convener INTACH, Punjab, talking to The Tribune said the objective of the 10-day workshop was to familiarise schoolteachers with techniques to help students appreciate the country’s cultural heritage. Mr Chetan said Amritsar was chosen over all cities in Punjab because of its rare combination of pure Punjabi lifestyle.

The workshop aims to create awareness not only about monuments and architecture, but the “living culture” of Punjab. The information thus collected by teachers would be disseminated to students.

Local conservation could mean holding cleanliness drives, removing graffiti and posters. A national-level manual, it is learnt, is being prepared which would later give guidelines on heritage and culture preservation.


PSHRC seeks details on polluting distillery
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 13
Talking suo motu cognisance of the problem of groundwater pollution in six villages around Jagatjit Distillery at Hamira in Kapurthala district, allegedly caused by effluents discharged from the distillery, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission has directed the Punjab Health and Industries Departments to apprise it and give details on the matter by April 20.

Commission members Justice R.L. Anand and Justice B.C. Rajput took notice of the problem of groundwater pollution and the plight of people of nearly six villages around the distillery on the basis of a series of reports published in The Tribune. The commission has issued separate notices to Secretaries of the Health and Industries, Director, Punjab Health Services and Family Welfare and Director, Industries, to file their replies by April 20.


Kidney scam victim: Dang writes to DGP
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 13
Senior CPI leader Satya Pal Dang has urged Director-General of Punjab Police A.A. Siddiqui to register a case of one Rattan Chand of Verka, a victim of illegal kidney transplant case at New Ruby Hospital Jalandhar.

Mr Dang in a letter to the DGP which was released to the press here today claimed that he had information that the then SP City-I, Mr Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh who had been responsible to unearth the major illegal kidney scam in the state had recommended that the case against Jalandhar Hospital be registered on the complaint of Rattan Chand. He pointed out that the delay in filing the case might deny the poor victim justice he had been seeking for past few years.

Mr Dang in his letter had said that he had already written three personal letters to the DGP regarding the case of Rattan Chand but had not received any response in the past five months.


Ban on approval of building plans lifted
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, January 13
Continuing with its spree to announce pre-elections bonanza for the urban voters, the Punjab Government has decided to lift the ban on the approval of building plans in unauthorised colonies throughout the state.

Addressing a press conference here today, state Local Bodies Minister Choudhary Jagjit Singh said keeping in view the problems being faced by urban residents, the state government had decided to lift the ban on the approval of building plans in unauthorised colonies.

The minister said that the department was preparing a comprehensive draft to waive of the water and sewerage arrears of residents of Jalandhar estimated to be Rs 20 crore, which would be presented before the Cabinet for approval.

Regarding the abolition of octroi in the state, the minister said that modalities for its implementation were being implemented in this regard and an early decision could be expected.


Farmers, PSEB staff to block traffic on Jan 20
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, January 13
Employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board block traffic for two hours on all main roads in state on January 20, 2004, in protest against the proposed abolishing of the Punjab State Electricity Board and handing over its control to the Punjab Electricity Production Corporation, Punjab Transco, Northern, Eastern and Western, Electricity Supply Corporations. This decision was taken by the joint forum of the PSEB employees and all farmer organisations at a meeting held here today.

Mr Om Parkash, General Secretary of the PSEB Ministerial Services Employees Union said that PSEB employees and farmers would also hold dharna on February 4, 2004, at Chandigarh and march towards the Punjab Vidhan Sabha. He said that employees and farmers would also block traffic on the day when the state cabinet would take final decision to abolish the PSEB.


‘Rasta Roko’ stir by PSEB staff
Our Correspondent

Patiala, January 13
The Punjab State Electricity Board Employees Joint Forum today announced that a “rasta roko programme” will be organised at the subdivisional level on January 20 to protest against the “anti-employee” policies of the state government.

The members of the forum alleged that the state government’s decision to privatise of the board was anti-employee, anti-people and anti-farmer. The state president of the forum, Mr Surinder Singh, stated that various farmers’ organisations had also decided to extend their support to protest against the state government’s move to privatise the board.

The forum said that a protest march would also be held on January 15 at Jalandhar, on January 21 at Bathinda and on January 22 at Amritsar. They added that they would intensify their struggle if the state government failed to resolve the issue.


Unemployed teachers to campaign against govt
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 13
The Unemployed Teachers Front has threatened to teach a lesson to the state Congress government in the next Lok Sabha elections if it failed to fill the 30,000 posts of teacher in the state. The posts have been lying vacant for the past several years.

Mr Sukhdarshan Singh, president of the district unit of the front, said in a press note issued that the decision to constitute village level teams of workers was taken at a meeting held here today.


Farmers’ forum lists charter of demands
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
The Kisan Organisations Forum consisting of eight bodies — BKU (Ekta), Kirti Kisan Union, BKU (Ugrahan), Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, Kul Hind Kirti Kisan Sabha, Punjab Kisan Sabha, Khetibari Kisan Front and Kisan Sangarsh Committee — met here today under the leadership of Mr Maghar Singh Koolrian. A draft presented by the Kirti Kisan Union was passed with certain amendments at the meeting to take up some common demands of the bodies.

The president of the Kirti Kisan Union, Mr Hardev Singh Sandhu, in a statement, stated that the main demands of the forum were solution to the stray cattle menace, scrapping of loans of farmers who were unable to pay these, restoration of free supply of power and irrigation water to those who were unable to make any such arrangement on their own.

The government should also ensure proper arrangement and remunerative prices for the produce of farmers, guarantee purchase of their crops, immediate payment of arrears of sugarcane from the mill owners, loans for farmers at the rate of 4 per cent on a par with the industry, opening of kheti instruments centres . Besides, the farmers should also be provided loans at cheap rates for meeting social obligations for housing etc so as to save them from the clutches of arhtiyas.

The farmers’ organisations also sought that arhtiyas be directed to issue passbooks to farmers mandatorily so that cheating and forgery could be stopped.

The organisations also chalked out a plan to organise district-level demonstrations in support of their demands in the third week of February and the dates of the same would be announced after their meeting on February 2. They would finally hold protest marches to Chandigarh and Delhi.

The issue of opening agriculture sector directly to the corporate sector and multinational companies for direct contract with farmers was also discussed at the meeting. To begin with, it would be implemented in Sangrur district.

The meeting branded the sops announced by Finance Minister Jaswant Singh as an election stunt, as no major relief had been issued to the farming community.


Campaign on for recovery of loans
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, January 13
The district administration has launched a campaign for the recovery of loans given by various government departments. Revenue officials have been directed to speed up the recovery.

Officials of different departments have been asked to send pending recovery cases to revenue officials concerned and to make liaison with them for the purpose, said Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, while addressing the monthly meeting of district officials here today.

He also directed revenue officials to ensure that all stamp vendors in the district courts had the required complete record. He also directed the officials to ensure transparency in the working of their subordinate staff so that they do not fleece the people.

He directed executive officers of municipal councils to ensure that encroachments on government land were removed. He warned that he would conduct surprise visits to various towns of the district and if he found that any shopkeeper had encroached on government land, the EO concerned would not be spared.

He directed PWD officials to hand over the charge of urban roads which were in the territory of municipal councils to the respective councils so that these roads could be recarpeted at the earliest.

He directed district officials to send certificates regarding the utilisation of government grants so that development projects could be completed in a planned manner.

The Deputy Commissioner took the monthly progress report regarding the implementation of various rural development schemes, supply of essential commodities, construction and repair of roads, utilisation of grants sanctioned by the district planning board, auction of shamlat lands and removal of encroachments on government land.

He directed the SDMs to supervise all development works being initiated in their respective subdivisions, so that government money was properly utilised.

Mr Mohinder Pal Arora, ADC(G), Mr Navjotpal Singh Randhawa, AC (G), and various SDMs also addressed the meeting.


Huge cache of ammunition found

Jalalabad (Ferozepore), January 13
The police today stumbled upon a big cache of ammunition from the dry bed of Gang canal near Lakkogehri village on the Jalalabad-Muktsar road.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Sarbjit Singh said when the police found an empty steel box of olive green (OG) colour along the bank of the canal, the SHO heading the party became curious and sent his men into the canal on a search mission, which led to the cache.

The DSP said the ammunition apparently belonged to a terrorist outfit during the militancy days in Punjab in the eighties and had been dumped out of police fear. — UNI


Illicit liquor seized

Hoshiarpur, January 13
The police seized 21 cartons of whisky (IMFL) smuggled from Chandigarh last night and arrested two persons.

SSP Lok Nath Angra said today that the seizure was made at a police checkpost near Bhilowal village on the Chandigarh-Hoshiarpur road.

He said Raj Kumar of Bahadurpur village in the district and Ravinder Kumar of Ropar were arrested and the car impounded. A case has been registered under the Excise Act against them. — UNI


Man robbed of Rs 3.44 lakh
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, January 13
Three unidentified persons, armed with a pistol, knife and gun, robbed Mr Bhagwan Chand, a dairy owner, of Rs 3.44 lakh at Kakkarwal village, near Dhuri, last night.

Mr Bhagwan Chand had returned to his dairy after collecting payments from Ludhiana traders. He had been sitting at his dairy when three unidentified persons alighted from a white car and demanded money form him on pistol point. Later, they fled from the scene with Rs 3.44 lakh.


Students celebrate Lohri
Our Correspondent

Patiala, January 13
Students of Khalsa College celebrated Lohri here today. The bonfire was lit by the Principal, Dr Harbir Singh. Students danced to the tunes of DJ.

Dr Harbir Singh said that such activities help in spreading cultural awareness among students.

Students of Children Memorial Senior Secondary Public School, celebrated Lohri. Students danced around the bonfire. The chairman of the school Mr Y.R. Pasi, highlighted the significance of the festival. Sweets were distributed among the children.

Students of Smart and Blooming Kids Modern School celebrated Lohri with enthusiasm. A cultural programme was also organised by schoolchildren. Principal Veena Bharti highlighted the significance of the festival and distributed sweets among them.

The Ram Kali Devi Deaf and Dumb School organised a function to mark Lohri.

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