P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



NDA ignored Punjab’s interests, claims Amarinder
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, May 5
The NDA government has always accorded step-motherly treatment to Punjab and ignored the interests of the state. Launching an attack on the BJP, Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, said today that the NDA government took no steps to open Hussaniwala border. He said that no economic package was offered to Punjab on the lines of that given to Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir despite repeated requests of the Punjab Government.

The Chief Minister was addressing a rally at Guruharsahai in support of the party candidate from this constituency, Mr Jagmeet Brar. Besides Mr Brar, Dr Mohinder Rinwa, Mr Hans Raj Jossan, both Parliamentary Secretaries, Rana Gurmit Sodhi, MLA, Guruharsahai, Mr Prakash Bhatti, MLA, Mr Gurnaib Brar, a former MLA, and various Congress leaders were present.

He said the current price of wheat in Pakistan was Rs 1,500 per quintal and if the border was opened for trade, the surplus wheat could have been exported from Punjab at a much cheaper rate.

Capt Amarinder Singh said if the Congress was voted to power in the Centre, a special package would be given to residents of the border area. He said a compensation would be given to poor peasants and farmers whose crop was damaged due to hailstorm. He announced that special incentives would be offered to industrialists, who are keen to set up industries in this area.

An Akali leader and former chairman, of the Market Committee, Mamdot, Mr Hari Singh, joined the Congress at the rally. While warning the Akalis, the Chief Minister said that no one would be allowed to foment trouble during the elections.

Meanwhile, BSF and CRPF personnel have taken over the security of strong rooms at various counting centres in this constituency.

BSF personnel have carried out flag marches at various locations in Abohar and Fazilka, whereas CRPF troops conducted flag marches in Zira to instil confidence among the voters. Mr Ranjit Singh, Deputy Commissioner said the BSF would carry out flag marches in Ferozepore tomorrow.

He said 4,664 presiding officers and polling officers had been deputed at 1,251 polling stations. 

Capt in favour of exit polls

Phagwara, May 5
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has said he was in favour of exit polls and surveys as these were a “nice and fine democratic device” of gauging public opinion and opposed their ban.

“Exit polls and pre-poll surveys were a nice and a fine democratic device of projecting public opinion,” he told reporters here.

Opposing a ban on the opinion polls, he said it would be tantamount to “muzzling” the freedom of the Press.

He said the “BJP and SAD leaders were now finding faults with the exit poll and surveys because these had gone against the NDA and in favour of the Congress”.

The exit polls had forced Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to hold ‘nukkar’ meetings and had rattled NDA and BJP leaders who knew their “days are over”. A Congress Government led by Ms Sonia Gandhi would be formed at the Centre in the coming days, he said.

Referring to former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s allegations, Capt Singh wanted to know why he was so afraid of Punjab Police that he was demanding deployment of central forces for Lok Sabha polls in the state.

Mr Badal had said that an Akali delegation would meet the Election Commission and request it to deploy central forces as the Akalis apprehended rigging by the ruling party. — PTI


Campaign Trail — Capt Amarinder Singh
‘Raja’ at his eloquent best
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Rajpura (Patiala), May 5
Accompanied by bhangra dancers, a popular Punjabi singer, Nikku, is busy entertaining people assembled under a huge canopy in the heart of the local grain market. It is late Tuesday evening. After downing the shutters of their shops, shopkeepers rush towards the canopy.

The surrounding area is crammed with the police. Barricades on the main road leading to the grain market are manned by CRPF jawans. No vehicles is allowed towards the venue.

People under the canopy appear restive. A long wait for the “Raja Sahib” seems to be the reason for their uneasiness. But all of a sudden feverish activity begins near the stage. Stage secretary starts raising slogans: “Raja Sahib, zindabad, Raja Sahib, ‘Punjab-di-shan’.” The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, who is still not addressed by name but as “Raja Sahib” in the Patiala area, has arrived.

As he takes the stage, local Congress leaders rush towards him. Some bow before him in deference and others try to touch his feet. With a broad smile, Capt Amarinder Singh greets everyone. He does not forget to embrace those leaders who seem to be close to him.

Hugging his close associates seems to have become a part of his style.

And then Capt Amarinder Singh comes to the dais. He begins with his childhood memories. “Main nikka hunda apne father nall itthe aunda hunda si. Hun taan Rajpura kinna badalgiya hai” (I was young when i used to visit Rajpura with my father. But now Rajpura has changed).

He recalls the time of partition when thousands of people who were dislocated from the Bawalpur area (now in Pakistan) settled in Rajpura town. Capt Amarinder Singh’s farther had helped them settle here and in Patiala’s Tripari area.

In a few minutes, he changes gear. “Eh NDA sarkar Tataian-Birlaian di sarkar hai. Ehne jo kuj kita hai, uh vade vapaarian and amira lai kita hai” (This NAD government is for Tatas and Birlas. Whatever it has done so far has been for big traders and rich people), he says. And he goes on in the same tone for several minutes. It is as though he has been trained by some “Communist” leader to deliver such speeches. Harkishan Singh Surjeet’s, who is a close friend of Capt Amarinder Singh, name strikes first to ones mind.

“The NDA government has done little for the poor. Around 30 crore people go without food every day, and millions do not have shelter to sleep,” he continues. A “comrade” inside a “Raja” seems to have taken over for a while. Perhaps politics, a great teacher for those keen to be taught, makes him to be a “communist” whenever and wherever necessary.

In the recent past I have not seen even top communist leaders speak against “pro-rich” policies of the NDA government the way Capt Amarinder Singh did here.

He then points his guns at Badals. “Badal (Parkash Singh) wanted to come to power to again loot Punjab. But I have three years to go as Chief Minister and I would see to it that this man (Badal) goes to jail again,” he says assuredly. Sprinkling some wit in his speech, he says: “When they (Badal and his son) were sent to jail by the court last year, they first sought “moti rajai” (duvet) saying that it was too cold inside the jail.

Then Sukhbir Badal demanded Coke, as water was not to his liking in the jail. And finally they demanded a new bathroom. As Badals continued to make a new demand every hour, I conveyed to them through the Deputy Commissioner that they should realise that the jail was not a five-star hotel. And you are behind the bars for corruption.”

He then shifts to development issues, talks about 30 lakh unemployed youth and ends with a request to vote for the Congress.


Preneet sure of victory
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, May 5
“The Congress will win the Patiala seat with a huge margin of votes as the public has expressed faith in the party and solidarity with me,’’ said Ms Preneet Kaur, a Congress candidate from the Patiala parliamentary constituency.

She said this at an interaction with mediapersons at Lalru after addressing public rallies in about 10 villages in this part of the Banu segment of the Patiala Lok Sabha seat.

While replying to questions regarding leaders from outside Patiala, campaigning for her, Ms Preneet Kaur said they were her family members and could campaign for her. She also said the law and order situation would be maintained during the elections and no one would be allowed to indulge in anti-social activities.

She also claimed development works in the Banur segment of the Patiala parliamentary constituency would be taken up on a war-footing as there were still over two-and-a-half years left of the Congress government’s rule in the state.

She also denied any sort of collection of funds for elections by the police. Those who accompanied her include Rana K.P. Singh, Chairman of the Punjab Pollution Control Board, Mrs Sheelam Sohi, a former member of the Punjab State Electricity Board, Mr Deepinder Singh Dhillon, a former Additional Advocate-General, Punjab, Kunwar Jagat Singh, All-India National Youth Congress general secretary.


Akalis exploited Panth for political gains, says Bhattal
Our Correspondent

Barnala, May 5
Talking of secular credentials of the Congress, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister, Punjab, asserted that the Congress belonged to all religions, castes, and communities whereas parties like the Bharatiya Janata Party claimed “Lord Rama’s” monopoly and the Shiromani Akali Dal of “Panth”.

She was addressing an election rally in support of Mr Arvind Khanna, Congress nominee for Sangrur Lok Sabha seat at Dhanaula, 10 km from here yesterday.

Mrs Bhattal cautioned people of Punjab against Sikh leaders like Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, Mr Kuldip Singh Wadala, Mr Ravi Inder Singh and Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi who exploited sentiments of the Sikhs for political gains.

Highlighting Mr Arvind Khanna’s love for social service she remarked that he had been working for public welfare for a decade before seeking votes whereas other nominees were seeking votes for becoming their MLA or MP.

She called upon people to ask Mr Simranjit Singh Mann and Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa what was their agenda for seeking votes.

Lashing out at Mr Dhindsa Mrs Bhattal said he had been a failure as a Union Minister. He could not press for Rs 720 as the minimum support price(MSP) of wheat and agreed to Rs 620 as MSP of wheat as Union Minister and SAD representative in NDA government.

She said that Mr Mann too had proved a failure as an MP. She reminded the people that after becoming an MP from Tarn Taran in 1989 for the first time, he frittered away the opportunity by sitting at the doorstep of the Lok Sabha not entering it sans his sword. She said that Mr Mann then returned from the Lok Sabha not doing anything for public just getting his TA and DA. She alleged that Mr Mann knew how to play with the sentiments of Sikhs abroad and collect money from them.

Mrs Shagun Khanna, wife of Mr Arvind Khanna sought votes for her husband’s social service in Sangrur.

Mr Rana Gurmit Sodhi, Political Secretary to the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Gurcharan Singh Dirba, former Punjab Minister, Mr Jagjit Singh Dhaula, Mr Sukhwinder Sukhi, former President Municipal Council Longowal and Mr.Gurdev Singh Dardi, a CPM leader from Barnala were among the speakers.


Naidu, Jaitley berate Cong
Ashok Sethi and Pawan Kumar

Vallah/Kathunangal, May 5
All ills plaguing the country were the creation of the Congress misrule of 50 years, said BJP chief M Venkaiah Naidu while addressing election rallies with Mr Arun Jaitly, Law Minister, and Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President SAD, in favour of BJP-SAD candidates, Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu from Amritsar and Dr Ratan Singh Ajnala from Tarn Taran constituencies.

Mr Naidu said the people were aware that the country had suffered during the Congress rule and the BJP-led NDA government had given a new hope by pursuing policies of development, progress and prosperity.

He said the party was seeking vote for Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s five years of good governance against Congress’s 50 years of bad governance.

He attributed major problems dogging the country including unresolved issue of Kashmir, unemployment, militancy, division of country on the basis of caste and creed, poverty and farmers plight, to Congress. He said the Vajpayee government had turned the tide in favour of the country by improving its self-esteem.

Mr Naidu said the country had suffered during the reign of the Nehru-Gandhi family and questioned the wisdom of the people who felt that Mrs Sonia Gandhi could become the Prime Minister.

Taking a dig at Opposition parties, including the Congress, for thereinability to announce their prime ministerial candidate, he said they were trying to outwit each other for the coveted post.

Mr Naidu said the NDA would form the new government and Mr Vajpayee would be the Prime Minister.

Counting achievements of the NDA government, he said the government would spend Rs 60,000 crore for connecting 2 lakh villages with cities with metalled roads by 2007. He said major work on connecting metro cities through express highways was likely to be completed soon. He said the government had provided more than four crore new telephone and LPG gas connections. He said the economy was in a very strong position and the country had the ability to repay loans besides offering funds to 13 countries.

Earlier, Mr Jaitley, while addressing a rally at Kathunangal village, asked people to vote for Mr Navjot Sidhu for strengthening the hands of Mr Vajpayee. He said special grants would be provided for the development of the holy city and it would become a major commercial hub once the SAFTA agreement was completely implemented by 2007. 


CM creating bogus votes, alleges Capt Kanwaljeet
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 5
The SAD nominee for the local Lok Sabha seat, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, who is pitted against Ms Preneet Kaur of the Congress, today alleged that the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, sensing an impending defeat in the forthcoming elections, had become “panicky” and had resorted to creating bogus votes.

Addressing a press conference, Capt Kanwaljit Singh displayed a voters’ list of Ward No. 27 of Patiala city segment in which he claimed that nearly 150 persons had been enlisted as “voters” by the Congress. He claimed that such bogus lists, which were in circulation in the constituency, were the handiwork of the Chief Minister. He added that Capt Amarinder Singh’s claim of providing a corruption-free government had fallen flat, as now even Vigilance Bureau officials were corrupt.

In a move apparently to woo government employees, Capt Kanwaljit Singh said if he was voted to power, he would provide government employees of the district with house rent allowance at the rate of 15 per cent of their basic pay.

Criticising the Chief Minister, the SAD nominee alleged that on the instructions of Capt Amarinder Singh,

DTOs of Patiala and Sangrur districts were forcibly impounding buses to ferry people to Congress gatherings.

He added that his party had taken a serious note of this and had even petitioned the Election Commission in this regard. He added that government officials like DTOs, BDPOs and tehsildars were working overtime to ferry people to Sonia Gandhi’s rally, scheduled to be held at Sunam tomorrow.

The SAD candidate said the CM was leading a fractured government because majority of his MLAs and ministers had lost faith in his leadership.

He went on to say that Capt Amarinder Singh’s government had failed on all fronts due to the implementation of skewed policies leading to fiscal mismanagement.

Terming unemployment as the biggest problem, the former Finance Minister accused the CM of betraying the youth by failing to attract investment and generate jobs. He added that the first thing Capt Amarinder Singh did after coming to power was to impose an indefinite ban on recruitment. However, at the same time Capt Amarinder Singh rewarded his near and dear ones with plum posts, he alleged.

Meanwhile, the Congress received a jolt today when Ms Satya Walia, senior vice-president of the Punjab Pardesh Mahila Wing and general secretary of the Patiala District Congress Committee, joined SAD in the presence of Capt Kanwaljit Singh.

Prominent among others who defected from the Congress to SAD were Ms Narinder Kaur, organising secretary of the Punjab Pardesh Mahila Congress, Ms Surinder Sharma, Ms Shilpy Sehgal and Ms Kanta Dhundia, all vice-presidents of the District Mahila Congress Committee.


Gets support from Arhtiya Association
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, May 5
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) candidate from Patiala Parliamentary constituency has said that the support of people was with him as he had done a lot of work for the development of the area during his tenure as Finance Minister of the state.

He also claimed to have worked for the state without giving any consideration to religion and cast. “The people will vote for a candidate who had worked for them and solved their problems,” he claimed.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh alleged that Ms Preneet Kaur, his rival candidate from the Congress, had hardly been seen in the constituency in the past five years. After winning the previous Lok Sabha elections by misleading the innocent voters, she had not fulfilled the promises made to them. Ms Preneet Kaur was once again making false promises but the voters would not trust her this time, he said.

He said that people would eradicate the Congress like ‘Congress grass’ from the region and would strengthen the NDA alliance government.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh also criticised the ruling Congress Government in the state for withdrawing policies like old-age pension scheme, shagun scheme and for giving relaxation in electricity bills to those belonging to the weaker sections of society.

Members of Arhtiya Association, Dera Bassi, weighed their leader against coins and donated Rs 31,000 as election fund. The association also extended its support to Capt Kanwaljit Singh.


Sidhu campaigns on Batala pitch
Our Correspondent

Batala, May 5
A meeting was organised here yesterday night near Sat Kirtarian by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiromani Akali Dal in support of Mr Navjot Sidhu, candidate from Amritsar seat. The Batala Assembly constituency falls under the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat.

Addressing the meeting Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu said that he had come to seek your support and votes to strengthen hands of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

He said that he would shift his residence from Patiala to Amritsar to serve them. Slogans like “Jo Bole So Nihal-Sat Sri Akal” were raised during his speech by the crowd.

Mr Sidhu lashed out at leaders of the Congress who had criticised him being a resident of Patiala. Addressing the meeting Mr Parkash Singh Badal President Shriomani Akali Dal, said in Punjab the SAD was contesting 10 seats whereas the BJP three seats.

He asked the audience to compare the achievements of five years of the NDA rule with 45 years of the rule of the Congress at the Centre. Former Minister, Punjab, Nirmal Singh Kahlon, former Minister Sucha Singh Langah, former President, BJP Batala and Mohan Singh Saggu were among those present on the occasion.


Cong, Akalis anti-Sikh, says Dal Khalsa
Tribune News Service

Members of the Dal Khalsa pose with 25 families of slain Punjab militants after honouring them
Members of the Dal Khalsa pose with 25 families of slain Punjab militants after honouring them at Takht Shri Damdama Sahib (Talwandi Sabo), Bathinda, on Wednesday . — Tribune Photo by Kulbir Beera

Bathinda, May 5
Mr Kanwarpal Singh, General Secretary, of the Dal Khalsa, declared that the organisation would continue its fight for “Khalistan”.

The Dal Khalsa also honoured 25 families of Sikh militants, who died during terrorism in Punjab, at Takht Sri Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo. Ten families were from Bathinda and 15 were from Budladha area of the Mansa district.

At a press conference here today, he said that the Sikhs lost an opportunity in 1947 to get the sovereign state of “Khalistan”.

He claimed that the movement for “Khalistan” would be democratic and peaceful and all religions would be respected.

Describing various Akali Dals and the Congress as “anti-Sikh organisations,” he alleged that even the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC) had failed to deliver the goods. He said that cultural terrorism of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) would also be challenged.

He said that the SAD and the Congress were not sympathisers of the Sikhs.

Mr Satnam Singh Paonta Sahib vice-president the Dal Khalsa, and Mr Harnek Singh, member, working committee, also addressed the conference.


Moga SSP goes on leave
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
In less than 24 hours after the Election Commission of India (ECI) directed the shifting of Moga’s Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Mukhwinder Singh Chhina, the officer today proceeded on leave till May 14.

In another election-related development, the posting orders of three other senior police officers — named in the alleged change-of-home-district case — were also issued.

As per the orders, Superintendent of Police (SP) S.K. Agnihotri has been shifted to Gurdaspur. He will function as SP (Operations). Tarn Taran’s SP (Operations) Darshan Kumar has been shifted to Majitha. He will continue to hold the post of SP. Mr Baljit Singh Randhawa has been shifted to Batala. He will function as SP (Operations).

The sources in the Punjab Home Department added that SP (Headquarters) Surjit Singh had been given additional charge of SSP, Moga, in the absence of Mr Chhina.

When contacted, Punjab’s Additional Director-General of Police Shashi Kant — in charge of the election cell set up by the Punjab Police — refused to comment.

Mr Chhina, it may be recalled, was accused by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) members of attending a political meeting organised at the residence of Punjab’s former Chief Minister Harcharan Singh Brar. His daughter-in-law was Congress candidate from Faridkot parliamentary constituency.

Meanwhile, BJP candidate Navjot Singh Sidhu alleged the misuse of official machinery in Amritsar Parliamentary constituency.

In a complaint to the Chief Election Commissioner, he alleged “gross abuse of authority by Deputy Superintendent of Police Lakhbir Singh and Assistant Sub Inspector Baldev Singh.

He claimed that the two officers, under the instructions of Verka MLA, were intimidating the cadres of SAD. Accusing them of actively campaigning for Congress candidate R.L. Bhatia, he said the two officers were impressing upon SAD supporters against campaigning for him.

He also alleged the deletion of names from the electoral rolls.

In another complaint, SAD members claimed that the ruling party members were involved in the distribution and telecast of CDs containing uncertified and uncensored publicity material.

SAD Secretary Dr Daljit Singh Cheema added that the cable operators in certain areas were being pressurred by the state administration to run the uncensored CDs on their channels.

These CDs, he claimed, contained highly objectionable material.


Tur gets support from Akalis in Haryana, Delhi
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Sarhali (Tarn Taran), May 5
Shiromani Akali Dals of Haryana and New Delhi, the Sikh Students Federation (Bittu), SAD (A), the Lok Bhalai Party, the SAD (Ravi Inder) and the Bharti Kisan Union today extended support to Mr Tarlochan Singh Tur, who is contesting the Parliamentary elections from here as an Independent.

Giving a call to voters to boycott the SAD-BJP candidates, Mr Parmjit Singh Sarna, president, SAD (Delhi), and Jathedar Kartar Singh Takkar, chief general secretary, SAD (Haryana), described Mr Badal as “the biggest violator of Sikh traditions”, who had allegedly denigrated the age-old Sikh institutions like Akal Takht.

Mr Sarna alleged that the SAD had been ignoring genuine demands of Sikhs and Punjab. He announced that if Mr Tur was elected, SAD (Delhi) would lobby for opening the Indo-Pak border by seeking support from other Parliamentarians. He said SAD (Delhi) would also ensure induction of Mr Tur in the Union Ministry as there were chances of a hung Parliament this time .

Various leaders who spoke on the occasion declared that efforts would be made to “liberate” Akal Takht from the “clutches” of the Badal-dominated SGPC. They said “true Panthic candidates” would be fielded during the general elections of the SGPC, scheduled to be held after two months.

Jathedar Takkar said the Haryana Akali Dal had separated from the SAD as Mr Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal promoted their business interests in the state by supporting Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala at the cost of Sikhs in the Haryana. Jathedar Takkar said now the Sikhs from his state had understood the game plan of Mr Badal and his party and wanted to go alone during the forthcoming elections. He urged voters of Taran Taran to boycott the SAD.

Mr Ravi Inder Singh, president, SAD (Ravi Inder), alleged that Mr Badal had stabbed the Panth in its back by denying ticket to Mr Tur, who belonged to a family which had made supreme sacrifices for the sake of the panth.

Mr Tarsem Singh, chairman, Dharm Parchar Committee, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, said the Majha region had always taken a lead on all fronts, including agitations, but the region was always ignored whenever Akali governments were formed.

Mr Rajinder Singh, convener of the Khalsa Panchayat, described Mr Badal as biggest “enemy” of the Sikh Panth . He said Lok Sabha elections were a real test for the Majha region, where the people would reject the SAD.


Union minister seeks votes for Avinash
Tribune Reporters & UNI

Hoshiarpur, May 5
Mr Sangh Priya Gautam, Union State Minister for Agro and Rural Industries, today claimed that the BJP was the only party in the country which had wider base among the masses.

Talking to mediapersons here, he said the NDA would form its government. He highlighted various achievements of the NDA government.

He appealed to the voters to vote for Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, BJP candidate from the Hoshiarpur seat, to strengthen the hands of Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

JALANDHAR: Mr Gautam said exit poll surveys was a blessing in disguise as it enabled the BJP workers to come out of their complacency to improve the party position in different states.

Talking to mediapersons here on Wednesday, he said he did not want to indulge in the debate on the relevance of exit poll results but what appealed to the BJP leadership was that why should not they take cognisance of false negative reports and put in more efforts to prevent any possible damage.

Mr Gautam said the SAD President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had assured the BJP leadership that the SAD would support the BJP candidate for the Chandigarh seat. 


They have ID cards, not names in voters’ list
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 5
Residents of Bagh Ramanand Mohalla in the city are furious over the deletion of their names from the voter list despite possessing voter identity cards.

However, a surprise inclusion in the list is that of Harbans Kaur (80), who died more than three years ago.

Of the 200-odd voters in the area, names of 32 residents are missing from the voter list.

Interestingly, a majority of the voters whose names have been deleted are above 45 years of age. Among those whose names have been found missing are Mr Jagdish Singh (46) general secretary of the welfare association of the mohalla, Mr Surinder Singh, a 62-year-old former employee of the District Education Office, his wife Sarinder Kaur (59), who recently retired from a government job, Soma (70) and Mr Ishwar Dass (52).

Mr Jagdish Singh has written to the Returning Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner, Mr Raminder Singh, in this regard.

He also faxed a copy of the letter to the election office in Chandigarh . He also sent photocopies of the voter ID-cards.

In the letter, he said that their names were missing from the voter list despite the fact that they had been residents of the area for the past 50 years and had been voters for the past 30 years. He demanded that all deleted names be included in the voter list. 


Bhai Amrik Singh’s son may head AISSF
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 5
Bhai Tarlochan Singh , son of Bhai Amrik Singh, who was killed in Operation Bluestar, is likely to be nominated the next president of the AISSF, in place of Mr Harminder Singh Gill, who joined the Congress recently .

The AISSF will be reorganised at an emergency meeting convened by Bhai Manjit Singh, senior vice-president of the SAD and patron of the AISSF, here tomorrow.


SAD (Ravi Inder) releases manifesto
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, May 5
The Akali Dal President, Mr Ravi Inder Singh, today released the manifesto of his party here today.

Addressing mediapersons, Mr Ravi Inder Singh, Bhai Jasbir Singh Rode, a former Akal Takht Jathedar, and other leaders said the manifesto depicted the Akali Dal’s resolve to fight for basic demands of Punjab, which included solution to river water problem, handing over of Punjabi speaking areas and Chandigarh to Punjab, punishment to those responsible for fake encounters and passing of resolution by Parliament condemning the anti-Sikh riots.

Mr Ravi Inder Singh said his party would also struggle for waiving of loans of farmers and generation of employment avenues for youngsters.


CPM (Pasla), Forward Bloc back Channi
Our Correspondent

Ropar, May 5
The campaign of the BSP candidate from the Hoshiarpur parliamentary constituency got a boost with the district unit of the CPM (Pasla) and the Forward Bloc extending support to him. A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting among Mr Charanjit Singh Channi, BSP candidate, Mr V.P. Saini, state secretary of the Forward Bloc, and Mr Tarlochan Singh Rana, district secretary of the CPM (Pasla).

Mr Saini in a press note issued here said the decision to support Mr Channi was in keeping with that taken by the Left Front at its state-level meeting held in Ludhiana. The Left parties had come together to defeat the BJP and its alliance partners.


Prohibitory orders in Fatehgarh Sahib
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 5
To maintain law and order and peace during polling, Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy-Commissioner-cum-District Magistrate, today issued prohibitory orders under Section 144 IPC on the use of mobile phones strictly within 100 metres of polling as well as counting booths.


Sportspersons’ families threat to boycott poll
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 5
Parents and family members of 337 sportspersons, who were reverted by the Punjab Government on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, today threatened to boycott the elections in case “justice” was not given to their wards by the Punjab police and the government.

The parents urged the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, to intervene in the matter.

Nearly 200 family members, led by Mr Jaipal Chaudhary, Ms Madhu Sharma, Mr Harpreet Singh and Ms Poonam Chawla, threatened to boycott the poll. “They had not extended an undue favour to our children, rather they were given promotions for their hard work in the field of sports. We can go on indefinite fast if our demands are not considered by the government,” said Mr Chaudhary.


Agents visit service clubs for jobs in Iraq
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
In a development which could have wider ramifications, agents are now targeting service institutes and clubs to seek prospective recruits for undertaking security duties for the United States in war-torn Iraq.

There have been reports of officers being approached at institutes like the Defence Service Officers Institute by recruitment agents, not only offering them lucrative jobs in Iraq, but also “much more” if they are able to get together other ex-servicemen who can be sent there.

“A person accompanying a retired officer approached me yesterday at the DSOI, seeking 1,000 ex-servicemen for Iraq,” Brig Harwant Singh (retd), president of the All-India Brotherhood, told The Tribune. “Though he appeared to be a retired officer himself, he began by asking oblique questions about my ability to get together retired soldiers but later slunk away,” he added.

“The grapevine has it that some people already serving in Iraq may have been contacted at the DSOI or the Air Force Institute here,” Brig G.S. Ghuman (retd), president of the All India Veterans Core Group, said. He recalled that about a year ago there had been an open announcement at the DSOI offering a one-year contract to ex-servicemen for serving in Afghanistan.

Establishments such as the DSOI, which are the hub of social activity for the service community, are easily accessible and are frequented by a large number of serving as well as retired officers. In Chandigarh, there are two such establishments, the DSOI and the Air Force Institute, both of which are located in civilian areas. A similar establishment, Shivalik Officers Institute, is located near the entrance to the Chandi Mandir Military Station, though officers say that the chances of agents frequenting it are less as majority of officers visiting it are still serving.

Though a senior member of the DSOI’s governing council, when contacted, said that the management had not been appraised of this so far, any person can accompany a member to the club. “There can be no checks on guests coming in and interacting with members so long they maintain decorum,” he said.

According to reports, about 1,500 Indian ex-servicemen, including those belonging to this region, have been recruited by various firms for undertaking security duties in Iraq. They are being paid up to $ 200 a day.

The crux of the issue, ex-servicemen say, is the government’s complete failure to look after the welfare of the service fraternity. “For them, this is simply a means of post retirement opportunity,” Brigadier Harwant said. “After coming out of service at a young age, there are very little opportunities for them,” he added. After being retired compulsorily at a young age, a soldier is given pension lower that that of a peon in civilian service.

“There is nothing wrong in ex-servicemen seeking employment in Iraq if no rules are being broken,” Brig J.S. Jaswal, Director, Sainik Welfare Punjab, said. “Nor has Headquarters Western Command or any other military establishment sent us any directive or advice on this issue,” he added.

“Lateral induction of officers into the civil services was recommended as far back as 1964. The Kargil Review Committee too recommended lateral induction while a number of recommendations were made by the Khurana Committee. If none of these were implemented despite being accepted by the government, can ex-servicemen be faulted for looking for job opportunities elsewhere,” Brig Jaswal remarked.


2 Pak children get new heart valves
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 5
They came to India last month from Pakistan with fear and uncertainty about future fogging their minds. Today, 12-year-old Mati Ullah and six-and-a-half-year-old Tanzia Malik — operated upon for heart problems — are all excited about leaving the country with gifts of life.

Mati of Hongo near Baluchistan was operated upon for rheumatic heart disease and two defective valves on May 4 at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER). Tanzia, the youngest Pakistani girl to be operated so far, was also treated for heart problem. In both cases, one valve was “repaired”, while another was “replaced”.

Their operations were conducted under Rotary Club of Chandigarh’s “Gift of Life project”. The two, fast recovering after the operations, will be required to stay for another seven to 10 days before they return to Pakistan. Their condition is stable.

PGIMER’s Cardio Thoracic Surgeon Dr R S Dhaliwal conducted both surgeries. The Institute’s Medical Superintendent arranged for the stay of the Pakistani family.

Mati is the fourth child to be treated under the programme. Another child from Pakistan is expected to come soon. It is a part of the club’s peace initiative activity launched with the declaration of Chandigarh as Rotary Peace City.

Significantly, Mati’s operation is the 100th surgery to be completed under the gift of life project of the club started about four years ago.

For commemorating the completion of 100 surgeries under the programme, the club is organising an event on May 12 at the institute “to outline its past achievement”. Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator Justice O P Verma is expected to be the chief guest. 


Painting more than mere hobby for this cop
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Gun-totting and art seldom go together. However, for 43-year-old Balram Chand, life is a harmonious combination of guns and paintbrushes. A Punjab police head constable, Balram Chand’s interest in painting goes beyond being a mere hobby.

Painting since he was 10-year-old, Balram Chand has no technical training in the art. Majority of his works are remarkable copies of works of great artists, but now he has begun to paint, ‘originals’. His ‘copies’, numbering more than 250, have been over the years lapped up by friends and officers and adorn the walls of some of the most beautiful drawing rooms in the state.

His paintings, all oil on canvas, are large realistic works, that depict human life in its various aspects. “I prefer painting human beings rather than an empty landscape. The human face has a million expressions that remain uncaptured and secret. I try and find those in the life around me. But since it is virtually impossible to ask someone to retain that fleeting expression, I cannot use a model. I instead click a photograph and then paint from it,’ explains Balram. One look at his latest work of a village tool seller lying tired on a tattered bed with a priceless expression on her face, and one realises that Balram is right.

Posted for more than a decade at the Dera Beas, Balram Chand says that the serene environment of the place helps him. “My quarter at the dera is more of a studio. The walls are adorned by my finished works and two or three unfinished works are lying about. Since my job leaves me with very little time, I work at my own pace and never under any stress of wanting to sell or earn bouquets.”

But an independent exhibition of some of his works is all that Balram dreams of. “My paintings that have ben taken by friends and officers have earned for me, but I would love to show my work before a more discerning audience, see what the critics have to say about them,” he says.


A baba gets 160-km-long Kali Bein cleaned up

Kapurthala, May 5
A godman in rural Punjab is preaching an unusual way of salvation — through cleanliness. Kali Bein, a sacred rivulet here is a unique example of his efforts at that.

Kali Bein, the rivulet, associated with Guru Nanak Devji’s enlightenment had over the centuries become sewage-ridden and choked due to weeds.

But thanks to the efforts of Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal, Kali Bein today flows clean.

Baba Balbir Singh organised people and cleaned 160 km-long polluted and choked Kali Bein.

One can feel fresh water flowing in this rivulet released from the Tarkiana barrage one year ago.

Earlier he was known as Sarkewala Baba (roads Baba) for he was instrumental in the widening and repair of roads in the area without government assistance but now is known as Bein wala Baba for undertaking the cleaning up the Bein in the past four years.

Kali Bein, which starts from Dhanoa village near Mukerian and culminates at Hari ke near Makhu is considered the backbone of Kapurthala district. Revival of the rivulet has recharged the water table of the area as the hand pumps which had gone dry for the past more than four decades have started pumping out water.

The Baba cleared the Bein of weeds and hyacinth and built bathing ghats at five places. He also built more than 100-km long kutcha road on the bank of the rivulet.

The only problem the rivulet has been facing is discharge from factories and the sewers of Kappurthala, Mukerian, Dasuya and Begowal flowing into it.

The Baba to stop the discharge of sewage into the Bein persuaded the Municipal Committee of Bholath to stop the practice.

The Baba helped the municipal authorities of Bholath dig a pond retaining the sullage.

He also plans to divert the sewage of Kapurthala by pumping it into the fields and will meet the municipal authorities shortly for this.

An NRI from Britain has donated Rs 20 lakh worth JCB machine to speed up cleaning the Bein.

The Baba and his followers are now beautifying the Kanjali by doing pitching work on one side of the bank of the rivulet.

People of the town visit the place to see the kar seva (community service) undertaken by the Baba.

“We will build a bathing ghat at Kanjali and beautify it by planting saplings and ornamental trees,” the Baba told reporters here.

The students of the Kanjala Training Centre and the followers of the Baba are involved in the project.

The Baba has been demanding a notification on the sacred rivulet as announced by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh a few months ago.

He also wants the capacity of the regulator enhanced from 200 cusecs to 500 cusecs being installed at Mukerian Hydel channel and the stoppage of discharge of the factories polluting the rivulet.

Deputy Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma says that water sports would be introduced at the Kanjali picnic spot to attract tourists.

He says sewerage treatment plant would start functioning this year work for which was going on.

He lauded the efforts of the Baba for cleaning up the Bein.

He also welcomed government decision releasing 100 cusecs of fresh water into Bein through simple siphon system from Mukerian hydel channel. — PTI


Surjeet rushed to hospital, advised complete bed-rest
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 5
The CPM supremo, Mr Harkishan Singh Surjeet, was discharged this after noon from the Patiala City Heart Institute after a thorough medical check-up by heart specialists. Mr Surjeet was rushed here shortly before midnight yesterday from Hoshiarpur where he had complained of heart pain and giddiness while campaigning for the CPM candidate, Mr Darshan Singh Mattu, during the day.

Mr Surjeet, who is resting here at the private residence of Mr Bharat Inder Singh Chahal, Adviser to the Punjab CM, has been advised complete bed rest for the next 48 hours. He has been asked to stay away from any exhaustive and physically tiring activity. In other words, Mr Surjeet has been told not to take part in the election campaign.

Dr Gurpreet Singh Sidhu, a cardiologist of the institute, said Mr Surjeet’s heart was in order. All heart and neurology related investigations were conducted at the institute under the supervision of specialists and there was nothing to worry about Mr Surjeet’s health, he added.

However, he said that his medicine had been changed. Besides, he had been advised to effect a change in his daily routine making it more confortable and less exhaustive. Mr Surjeet has been told to stay here for two days. It is expected that after two days, he may be called again for a medical check up for making proper assessment of his vital parameters related to the heart.

Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh, called on Mr Surjeet at the residence of Mr Chahal, it is learnt. 


Women-related issues being ignored
Gurvinder Kaur

Patiala, May 5
Though social groups all over the country have been crying themselves hoarse since long about serious problems plaguing women and youth of Punjab, all major political parties of the state have managed to skirt around core issues like women rights and dissipation amongst the youth without addressing these in their poll planks. What is true elsewhere in the state is also true of the Patiala parliamentary constituency.

While a lot is being said and written about women empowerment and youth power, political masters in the state have chosen to look the other side ignoring with impunity key issues afflicting both these sections. In a state which has earned the dubious distinction of an alarmingly high female foeticide rate besides an imbalanced sex ratio where boys outnumber girls by far, in a state where youth are turning to drug abuse in a big way out of unemployment and large scale land division the need to address these issues is indeed acute.

Though both the Congress and the SAD touch lightly upon the need to create job oppurtunities in the constituency, nothing more substantial is on the offer by any political party. For the cross section of the youth here the need of the hour is the availability of good education facilities besides setting up of a couple of large private sector industries which will in turn generate large-scale employment.

General secretary of the Punjab Youth Congress Vijay Inder Singla is candid in his view of the situation. “Young people here feel that no serious effort has been made to channelise the energy of the youth. Punjab being far away from ports and railheads, besides natural resources like steel or coal mines, setting up of public sector industries may not be feasible here. But what is very much possible is the setting up of industry related to Information Technology or an agro processing unit”, he opines.

“But again”, Vijay Inder adds further”, no industry can flourish as long as a conducive atmosphere marked by the absence of bureaucratic control and transparent administration does not exist”. According to him, the concept of crop diversification which has gained popularity in the area can be further strengthened by an agro processing unit catering to the need of the farmers indulging in the same as this will not only benefit the farmers whose farming income has dipped dangerously low but will also go a long way in rehabilitating unemployed youth in the state who have gone astray. He adds that setting up of vocational training institutes is another long standing requirement in the constituency as employment oriented training will enable youth to set up their own units. “ Sadly these issues have been largely ignored as yet”, laments Vijay Inder Singla.

President of the Youth Akali Dal, district Patiala (Rural), Jaswinder Singh Jassi, also admits that more needs to be done in the field than just promises. “ State policies have to be changed in order to absorb more and more youth into constructive channels. Policies pertaining to self employment and grant of loans at reduced interest rates need to be formulated and the emphasis should be on practical training rather than just free education till the graduation level”, he states.

Similar is the case pertaining to women issues including female foeticide , gender imbalance, under representation in various fields and changes in prevalent work culture. Despite the fact that there are a number of women candidates in the fray from this constituency, in fact the largest number from any constituency in Punjab and many women belonging to political families of the state have taken to the field canvassing round the clock for various candidates, their issues remain buried below political rhetoric.


Two hurt as kar sevaks clash with police
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 5
Two persons sustained minor injuries when kar sevaks, alleged to be followers of Baba Amrik Singh, clashed with police personnel over the construction of a gurdwara near women’s polytechnic at SST Nagar here today.

For the past two days, encroachers, claiming to be followers of Baba Amrik Singh, had been constructing a building on a 15-bigha plot.

However, when they faced the ire of the protesting residents of the area, the activity was stopped and the administration ordered an enquiry into the incident.

Sources said the plot which Baba Amrik Singh said was in the name of Guru Granth Sahib was valued at Rs 5 crore.

The enquiry which was conducted by Mr R.L. Monga, SP (City) found prima facie that the land did indeed belong to the Improvement Trust authorities.

However, when the kar sevaks defied the orders of the authorities today, police personnel of Division No 4 clashed with them in which two labourers — Narinder Singh and Mahavir — sustained minor injuries.

At the time of going to the press, contradictory versions were being given by the police and followers of the Baba.

While the police claimed that the construction had stopped, the kar sevaks said the activity was going on.


Bird Watch Club set up in Ropar
Lalit Mohan

Ropar, May 5
In order to protect bird species in the international Ropar wetland area, a Bird Watch Club has been formed by the district administration.

The club, besides the officials, would have local ornithologists as members who would keep a watch over the birds in the area and suggest measures for protecting their species and habitats.

The Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, Ms Seema Jain, gave this information while talking to mediapersons at boat club here today after inaugurating a workshop on the wetlands of Punjab. The workshop was organised by the Department of Science and Technology under the united national development programme.

She said discussions were on with the ornithologists and experts to decide about the district bird of Ropar. The experts are holding discussions on various local bird varieties before choosing one as the district bird of Ropar.

A special programme would be launched to rehabilitate the selected bird in its natural habitats in the district.

Efforts have also been made to preserve the Ropar wetland area that is home to hundreds of varieties of local and migratory birds. Special map of the 1365 acre of the Ropar wetland that spreads across 13 villages has been prepared with the help of satellite images. These maps would help in controlled development in the area.

A programme for desilting the wetland area has also been started. Besides check dams were being constructed to prevent further silting in the wetland area. An awareness campaign has been launched to check the pollution in the Sutlej river. Encroachments from 86 acre area of the wetland have also been removed. An ornithological track named after Dr Salim Ali has been brought up to help the bird watchers photograph the birds, she said.

In a workshop held here students of various schools of the district and workers of various social and environment organisations participated. They were educated about the role of the wetlands in the ecology by experts from the Department of Science and Technology.

The Chief Scientific Officer (Environment), Mr Satnam Singh Laddar, Chief Bird Life Warden, Mr Gurmeet Singh and Dr Vibhu Prakash of the Vulture Care Centre, Mumbai, were among experts who delivered lectures at the workshop.


PHRO dy chief fears police harassment
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 5
Mr Kirpal Singh Randhawa, Deputy Chairman, Punjab Human Rights Organisation (PHRO) today alleged that certain police officials were planning to register false cases against him in order to pressurise him against giving any statement in the sensational Khalra murder case. He is one of the witnesses in the case.


Tributes paid to Giani Zail Singh
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, May 5
Tributes were paid to former President Giani Zail Singh on his 88th birthday by senior Congress leaders and other at a simple function organised by the District Congress Committee here today. His service to the society were remembered.

Giani Zail Singh also created Guru Gobind Singh Marg.


PSEB employees stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 5
Hundreds of employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) under the banner of the Technical Services Union staged a dharna in front of head office of the PSEB in protest against the state government’s move to privatise the board.

The employees blocked the Mall Road for nearly four hours due to which traffic was diverted. The employees said the state government’s decision to privatise the board was “anti-employee” and “anti people”.


Govt asked whether it would conduct CBI probe
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 5
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today asked the Punjab Government to tell it whether it was ready to get a CBI inquiry conducted into the mysterious death of a Kashmiri singer G.K. Sheikh last July.

The body of Sheikh, a popular Kashmiri singer, had been found near the railway track near Mukerian in Punjab with many injuries

In a letter written to the Chief Justice of the High Court, Huma Sheikh, daughter of G.K. Sheikh, had alleged that no proper investigation had been conducted in the mysterious death of her father. By the time the family came to know about the incident, the body had been cremated by the police. As per the police version, Sheikh had fallen from a running train and had died.

Taking suo motu notice of the letter, in which a CBI investigation has been sought to reveal the truth behind the singer’s death, the Bench headed by Mr Chief Justice B.K. Roy fixed May 2 as the next dater of hearing in the matter.

The Bench also appointed Rajvinder Singh Bains as amicus curiae to assist the court in the matter.


Paddy sowing recommendations
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 5
The PAU vice-chancellor, Dr Kirpal Singh Aulakh, has appealed to farmers of the state that sowing of paddy nursery of recommended varieties i.e. PR 118, PR 116, PR 114, PR 113, PR 111, PR 106, PR 108 and PR 115 must be completed by May 20.

He has recommended 12-15 cartloads of farmyard manure per acre, besides 26 kg of urea, 60 kg superphosphate and 40 kg zinc sulphate per acre at puddling.

Dr Aulakh has advised that the seed should be treated before sowing to prevent primary seed borne infection with .05 per cent Emisan-6 and 1 g Streptocycline.


Inside Babudom
IFS officer wants CBI inquiry to follow his reports
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Not many civil servants like to burn their fingers in a court case, especially when the matter is of immense public interest. Mr Harsh Kumar, an IFS (Indian Forest Service) officer of the 1985 batch, has asked the Punjab Government for permission to vindicate his stand in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the infamous Forest Hillview case.

It was Mr Harsh Kumar who had conducted a preliminary inquiry into illegal mining in Karoran Forest and submitted two reports besides an inventory of the forest of Karoran Hill resort to the government more than a year ago.

His reports had come under criticism on the plea that the second report acquits accused named in the first report.

“All documents submitted by me are open and transparent without prejudice to anyone and are further based on facts and record collected by the subordinate staff attached with the Planning and Investigation Forest Division of which I was a part,” he says in his letter of April 24 addressed to the Financial Commissioner, Forests and Wildlife.

“I welcome any further probe by any other independent agency, including the CBI,” he says holding that there was a separate case of illegal mining in the Garhshanker Forest Division. Even after Supreme Court orders of December, 1996, illegal mining continued in the area and the natural wealth was plundered.

As a forester, says Mr Harsh Kumar, every care and precaution was taken to prepare the inventoy, including each and every tree in the entire area. If a lot of construction had taken place and the Forest Act had been violated with immense impunity, those at the helm of affairs, including the foresters and the district administration must be held responsible.

“I have irrefutable evidence as to how the illegal mining case was being brushed under the carpet by the same very people who had deposed before me,” he adds.


Punjab Forests and Wildlife Department has been unfortunately polarized and divided. If no action has been taken in the recent poaching case reported from Hoshiarpur involving Subdivisional Magistrate of Pathankot, it was all because of intra-departmental wrangling.

Two enthusiastic wildlife wardens had caught him poaching in Naroor forest on February 29 and recovered from his Mahindra jeep a peacock, a pea hen and four partridges — stacked on the back seat. Besides the gun used in the crime was also taken in custody. The post-mortem report and the forensic report about the use of the gun corroborated the story of the honorary wildlife wardens. But the suspect, a PCS officer, was enlarged on bail within 12 hours of his arrest in a non-bailable offence.


Dist admn to honour meritorious students
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 5
All students getting a distinction in academics, sport and cultural activities would be honoured by the district administration to boost their morale as well as to recognise their achievements, this was stated by Mr S. K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, while addressing a Sanman Samaroh at Bachat Bhavan today. The samaroh was organised by the District Cultural Society to honour all those students who secured top positions in various competitions organised to commemorate the 300th year of martyrdom of younger Sahibzadas.

He said parents as well as teachers played an important role in encouraging students to do better. He said the results had revealed that government school students had more talent than students of public schools. He said it was a matter of great pleasure that government schools had quality staff and students because of which students from government schools had won a large number of prizes in various categories.

In shabad recitation competition Jatinder Lakhi of GSS School, Sanghol, won the first prize and Ritika from Sirhind Public School got second prize.

In song competition Sujata from GGSSS, Bassi Pathana, got the first prize and Amrinder Singh from Ashoka SS School won second prize.

In poetry recitation competition Talveen Sunam of GE School, Raipur Majri, won the first prize, Talveen Kaur from Sirhind Public School won second prize. In painting competition Vinay Parbhakar from Sirhind Public School won the first prize. Ajay Kumar from GSSS, Sanghol, got the second prize. In quiz competition Ruvinder Kaur from Govt. School, Mulepur, won the first prize, Parabhjot Kaur from BZSFZ School won second prize.


Students seek grace marks
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 5
A number of students of the local Mohindra College have demanded that the university should grant them grace marks as they claimed that the English literature paper of B.A (III) which was held today was outside the syllabus.

The students claimed that the question on short notes which carried 20 marks was out of course. The students appealed to the authorities to give them grace marks as it was a matter of their future.

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