M A I N   N E W S

Decision to shift Tohra was wrong: CM
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 1
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today expressed surprise at the decision of the Shiromani Akali Dal President Parkash Singh Badal to shift critically ill Gurcharan Singh Tohra to Delhi yesterday from Amritsar.

Talking to newsmen after receiving the mortal remains of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) President at Shambhu on the border with Haryana, about 25 km from here, Capt Amarinder Singh said he did not understand the logic behind the move. He said the best possible medical attention was available to Tohra at the Escorts Hospital in Amritsar and even the doctors were identical as specialists from the Escorts Hospital at Delhi had come to check him in Amritsar.

Claiming that the move was a wrong one, he said everyone should have allowed Tohra’s condition to stabilise. He said shifting a patient when he is critical causes him great inconvenience and could result in further deterioration in his health.

The Chief Minister also announced a pension of Rs 15,000 per month for Joginder Kaur, the widow of the SGPC President. He said the State government would also provide a house to Mrs Joginder Kaur at her choosing in Chandigarh or Patiala. He said a suitable memorial would also be constructed in honour of Mr Tohra after discussing the issue with his family.

Capt Amarinder when questioned on the honour being given to the SGPC President by his government, said his government was paying a “tribute to honesty”. “There is absolutely no politics in it”, he said adding the government wanted to honour a selfless leader who had never used politics as a source of money collection or property building. Besides the Chief Minister, his wife Preneet Kaur, Ministers Jasjit Singh Randhawa and Lal Singh and former Minister Brahm Mohindra were present on the occasion.

Earlier the van carrying the mortal remains of the SGPC chief entered Punjab from the Shambhu border near Rajpura at around 2 p.m. where it was accorded a ceremonial welcome. After a salute by a contingent of the Punjab Police, the vehicle was showered with flowers.

SAD President Parkash Singh Badal, his son Sukhbir and senior leaders Capt Kanwaljit, Balwinder Singh Bhundur and Tohra’s son in law Harmail Singh Tohra were in the van. Others present on the occasion included former SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur, Samana legislator Surjit Singh Rakhra and Surjit Singh Kohli.

People thronged the G T Road all along the route from Rajpura to Patiala to catch a glimpse of their leader. At certain places people recited “Path” by standing in the middle of the road. The vehicle was showered with flowers at the Bahadurgarh gurdwara, Truck Union and the Dukhniwaran gurdwara in Patiala before it took the Sirhind road to the native village of the Akali leader.

The Chief Minister has also convened a condolence meeting of the State cabinet at the Mini Secretariat here tomorrow. The cremation of Mr Tohra will take place at Tohra village at 11 a.m. tomorrow.


Medicine overdose to blame?
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 1
An ‘overdose’ of medicines administered by confidants of Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra following a massive heart attack during ‘kar seva’ of the sarovar of Golden Temple on March 25 had allegedly caused deterioration in his condition. Moreover, it took more than five hours to shift him to the local Escorts Hospital which ultimately played havoc with the life of the octogenarian SGPC chief.

The hospital authorities continued to claim that his condition was improving although it continued to be critical. His dose of medicine was decreased even as he was on the life-support system.

The authorities of Escorts Hospital, Delhi, failed to send a team of doctors for making arrangements for his smooth shifting while his condition was improving. So much so that Dr T.S. Kaler preferred to cross over to Pakistan for making arrangements for Indo-Pak heart summit to be held in Amritsar from April 10. The medical fraternity questioned the wisdom of removing ventilator of Jathedar Tohra at a stage when his condition was not stable.

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