P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Kalam offers help to preserve Sikh heritage
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 31
Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam described Guru Granth Sahib as a ‘national treasure’, and offered the services of the Rashtrapati Bhavan to Guru Nanak Dev University to locate all original manuscripts of Guru Granth Sahib and digitise them with a view to preserving the great Sikh heritage in the text and musical form.

In his presidential address at the IV international seminar on “Relevance of Guru Granth Sahib in New Millennium” organised by Guru Nanak Dev University here today, Dr Kalam said he found Guru Granth Sahib as ‘Universal Guru’. Expressing his happiness over the availability of good authentic translations of Guru Granth Sahib, received from various sources, Dr Kalam said those translations alone did not fully capture the beauty of the original one, especially the beauty of music and melody associated with its rendering in the original. He said he was happy to note that out of the 31 ragas of Guru Granth Sahib, the first place was given to Sri Raga which happened to be his favourite raga.

Speaking on the occasion, the Governor of Punjab, Justice O.P. Verma, said if relevance of the scripture in the past 400 years had increased manifold, it was because that it carried a charter of great human values. He said it was also a charter of human rights, rights of the weak, disadvantaged, downtrodden and particularly women who were subjected to all kinds of inhuman indignities. The Guru not only spoke of gender equality, but also of social equality, which was a taboo at that time. The Harimandir where the Guru Granth Sahib was installed, has four entry points which tells the world that all four varnas have an equal and dignified access to Golden Temple and the scripture, he added.

The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, said Guru Granth Sahib was a symbol of humanism, pluralism, universal brotherhood and cosmopolitanism. It is a source of enduring wisdom. The Gurus and the saints whose verses are included in Guru Granth Sahib propagated scientific temper and there was no place for bigotry. He, however, said even after 400 years of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib, society had not been able to practice the teachings of Gurus in letter and in spirit. He said it was unfortunate that we could not do away with the practice of casteism.

Rev Dr Marcus Braybrooke, an Anglican clergyman who is president of the World Congress of Faiths, USA, said the message of Guru Granth Sahib that there was one God and that all people were his children was a universal truth.

Dr Harbans Lal, Professor Emeritus, University of North Texas Health Science Center, while speaking on “Guru Granth Celebrations: What do they all mean to us,” highlighted that If we were to move forward in our mission, we must first empower ourselves in the light of Guru Granth Sahib to define our future in terms of who we have been, what we are today and what we ultimately want to be. He said these celebrations compel us to address the world through the lense of our understanding of the message of Guru Granth Sahib.

Speaking on historical significance of Guru Granth Sahib, Prof Shireen Moosvi, a historian of Aligarh Muslim University, and former secretary of the Indian History Congress, stressed on the universality of the message of the Gurus, and its specificity for contemporary circumstances.

Earlier, Dr Kalam released more than 10 books on Guru Granth Sahib and Sikhism published by the university. The Vice-Chancellor, Dr S.P. Singh, also honoured Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Justice O.P. Verma, Capt Amarinder Singh, Dr Harbans Lal and Prof Moosvi by presenting them silver plaques, phulkaris, a symbol of Punjabi culture and sets of university publications.


Badal seeks Kalam’s help to get back Sikh manuscripts
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 31
The SAD chief, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, while welcoming the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, urged him to ask the Army to release the rare Sikh manuscripts taken away by it during Operation Bluestar 20 years ago.

Mr Badal said precious artifacts and rare handwritten books were taken away by the millitary from the Sikh library and inspite of their best efforts, the Union Government had failed to accede to their request to return these.

When asked to comment on the fact that he had ignored the Chief Minister of Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh, and his wife, Ms Preneet Kaur, Mr Badal said he had acted according to the protocol handed out to him. He added that he did not want to talk politics on a day of religious festivities.

Mr Badal, when asked to comment on the gulf existing between the Congress Government at the Centre, and the SAD in spite of a gap of 20 years since Operation Bluestar took place, the SAD chief said the Congress had not yet offered any formal unqualified apology for perpetrating the Army action during 1984.

Mr Badal said he had also urged the President to declare a national holiday on the occasion of the quadricentennial celebrations in view of their potential to achieve universal brotherhood.

Visibly peeved over the excessive security arrangements in and around the Golden Temple complex during the visit of the VVIPs, Mr Badal, said the security forces seemed to be paranoid over the security of the dignitaries which had left the devotees stranded. He said the large presence of senior police officers of the rank of IGs and DIGs and their subordinates sent a wrong message to the pilgrims.


President goes poetic

The President of India, Dr A.P.J Abdul Kalam, composed a poem ‘Guru Prakasham’ en route to Amritsar for participating in quadricentennial celebrations of installation of Guru Granth Sahib.

Many many years ago our Gurus lit the lamp

And the Parkasham was born carrying power of the soul

This light of truth on the land of five rivers.

It orbited and orbited around the sun

Along with the earth that carried it as Sindhur.

This earthly Parkasham is so powerful

Of human’s universal messages of one god.

Four hundred orbits gone in no time

The great Parkasham has even outglowed the sun.

As it orbits all around the sun, even sun bows in enhanced reverence

And salutes the earth, for all that it carries

The greatest Parkasham of Guru Granth Sahib.


Laser show on Guru Granth Sahib today
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 31
Lakhs of devotees and residents of the holy city will witness the first laser beam show at the Golden Temple tomorrow.

The show to start after the ‘rehiras sahib’ ceremony tomorrow, will brilliantly profile the installation of the Guru Granth Sahib — a unique light that descended on the mankind .

Mr Raman Chaudhary, in charge of the show from Delhi, while talking to The Tribune said that laser technology and animation were being used to create the show that would last 45 minutes followed by fireworks.

Mr Harjeet Singh, assistant secretary, SGPC, who is supervising the show, said the audio-laser-beam-fireworks show‘s storyline revolved around the evolution of the treasure trove of knowledge enshrined in Guru Granth Sahib. A divine light emerged from Gurdwara Ramsar in 1604 where the holy granth was first compiled. The light slowly traced its route to a golden palanquin and then outlined its course to the Golden Temple which shines brilliantly in the light of true knowledge and divine faith.

A massive paraphernelia was being put in place today for the multi-media show tomorrow.

Mr Abhijeet, programmer with a 15-person crew from New Delhi, said a 16-watt intense white light would be broken into colours of the rainbow using a laser bench and a laser gun with mirrors and cannons through a specially designed computer software to create the effect that conformed to the storyline.

As many as 10 audio tracks of holy shabads of 30 seconds each would accompany the story that would be flashed on a 30 feet high and 40 feet wide multidimensional beam, before the open sky would break into a laser rain that would be accompanied by the audio.


CM offers prayers at Akal Takht
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 31
Away from media glare and ignored by the SGPC, the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today offered obeisance in front of Akal Takht, while accompanying the President of India during his visit to the Golden Temple.


35 hurt as truck with crackers catches fire

Gurdaspur, August 31
At least 35 persons were wounded and several vehicles damaged when a truck packed with crackers for celebrations of the 400 years of installation of Guru Granth Sahib in the Golden Temple caught fire here today evening, witnesses said.

As soon as the truck reached Hanuman Chowk, it caught fire, leading to panic among over 2000 men, women and children who had been waiting for six hours the “Chetna March” coming from Jammu.

In the stampede that followed amid bursting of crackers and fireworks in all directions from the burning truck, at least 35 people were wounded. The wounded include four women who suffered burns when flying sparks hit them. — UNI


SAD activists block traffic on GT road
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, August 31
SAD activists, joined by others, this evening blocked traffic on the GT road for 45 minutes in protest against reported lathicharge on some activists serving langar to pilgrims bound for Amritsar to take part in the quadri-centennial celebrations of the parkash utsav of Guru Granth Sahib. However, DSP Jaspal Singh denied any lathicharge.

The blockade was lifted only after the DSP tendered an apology to the sangat in the presence of local MLA and former Punjab minister Joginder Singh Mann and Phagwara SDM Pritam Singh.

According to information, an all-party welcome stage had been put up outside Town Hall along the National Highway No1 since yesterday and the pilgrims going to Amritsar were being served langar, fruit, packed water etc.

The DSP came to the site in the evening and asked the organisers not to do it now, as it disrupted traffic.

He told the announcer and Akali leader Satnam Singh Arshi to discontinue it. When Arshi refused, another sevadar Taranjit Singh Kira had heated exchanges with the DSP.

The DSP reportedly declared that he won’t allow langar to be served forcibly in buses as it affected traffic on the road.

He also said that he had instructions about it from the ADGP but denied it later when newsmen asked about any such instructions.

It was said that the things came to a head when someone from the crowd pushed a gunman of the DSP. At this, the police also shoved off people to push them 


Sikh religion goes high-tech
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, August 31
The multimedia Sikh museum set up at the historic Khadoor Sahib Gurdwara has become great attraction for visitors. The reason is that an ultra modern robotic technology has been installed in the museum for imparting information about the art pieces and paintings depicting the Sikh faith.

This entire equipment was shown to the media and other dignitaries. However, its formal inauguration will be held in the second week of September and then it will be opened to the public. The high-tech equipment will take visitors on a guided tour.

This is probably for the first time that modern robotic technology has been used at a Sikh museum. The museum, which was opened to public in April this year and was dedicated to the 500th centennial celebrations of Guru Angad Dev, is also equipped with LCD touch screens, projectors and many more audio-visual aids, including the robotic technology which is interactive, friendly and easy to use by the people of all ages.

The high-tech equipment has been imported from the USA and the robot ‘commander’ has been gifted by the people of Canada and the USA.

The technology is the idea of Dr Raghbir Singh Bains, author of the Encyclopaedia of Sikhism, who conceived this idea of using robotic technology in museums many years ago from NASA. In a statement he said Khadoor Sahib would get a big boost with installation and working of the robot.

A team of American robotic technologists remained busy in setting up the robot track and doing programming work. The robot will welcome visitors at the main door of museum in English and Punjabi. It will ask them to select either of the languages for conversation so that visitors could get information. After the option is made, the robot will accompany them through a specially designed track and will take them to a full tour of the museum. After the tour is finished, the robot which is equipped with sensors would say goodbye to the visitors.

Dr Bains said it would be a significant education source for students, teachers, scholars and common people. The museum is a storehouse of educational and historical information about how people and societies behaved through the ages. He expressed his satisfaction and said that his dreams had been fulfilled. He added that the robotic technology and contents would inspire the future generations and provide ideal learning environment.

The museum also contained visual and interactive information for people of all ages about the Sikh religion, its history, heritage, culture and Sikh way of life. It contains audio, video, animations, graphics and rich text about Sikh philosophy.

Baba Sewa Singh, chief organiser of kar sewa, Khadoor Sahib, said that the technology would definitely attract the Sikh youth towards the basics of Sikh religion. It would revolutionise the teaching and preaching system of Sikhism, he added.


Miri Piri adopts 400 villages to make them green
Parkash Utsav celebrations
Our Correspondent

Barnala, August 31
The Miri Piri Sewa Dal has decided to adopt 400 villages of Punjab to make them green and pollution-free in commemoration of the 400th anniversary celebrations of Guru Granth Sahib.

Stating this here today, Mr Gurinderpal Singh Dhanaula, chief organiser of the Dal, said that at an emergency meeting of the Dal, the activists of the Dal resolved to celebrate the 400 the Parkash Utsav in a sublime manner.

Mr Dhanaula has called upon every Sikh family to start ‘sehaj path’ on September 1 by reading out one page daily with meaning and devotion. He said Guru Granth Sahib has 1,430 pages. He said every Sikh family had a long span of 1,511 days at its disposal in between the Parkash Utsav (September 1) and the Guru Gaddi Divas of Guru Granth Sahib on October 20, 2008. He urged Sikh sangats to conclude the bhog of paths a couple of days before the Guru Gaddi Divas.

Mr Dhanaula said the Dal had written letters to the President and the Prime Minister of India impressing upon them the need to implement the All-India Sikh Gurdwara Act and the Sikh Marriage Act (Anand Karaj Act), two religious issues of paramount importance concerning the Sikhs, on September 1.

Mr Dhanaula regretted that the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) had failed to provide a religious direction to the Sikh sangats. He said it had remained busy in offering hospitality to Akali Dal leaders and flattering them. He flayed the SGPC for not publishing the translated version of Guru Granth Sahib in Urdu done with tireless efforts of nine years by Bhai Devinder Pal Singh of Rampura. He said the Dal had got in touch with Bhai Devinder Pal Singh and it would try to get the translated version of published after getting his consent.

AMRITSAR: The Miri-Piri Academy of American and European Sikhs has got the services of an American graphic designer and illustrator to decorate the main stage for the quadricentennial celebrations. The stage at the main venue was being given finishing touches this morning. The designer, a baptised American Sikh, was especially flown in from Los Angeles. Workers from Kolkata have been working round the clock to erect the water-proof pandal. For the stage, colours such as turquoise, orange and yellow in nearly 1,000 metres of satin cloth have been used. Thousands of traditional flowers like marigold, chandni and rose petals have also been used. Five Nishan Sahibs along with Khalsa flags dominate each side of the stage. The decorations at a cost of Rs 5 lakh have been contributed by Mr Harbhajan Yogi, a devout Sikh missionary in the US, who started the academy here and at various other places. Mr Raminder Bir Singh, former manager of Golden Temple and an office-bearer of the academy, said it was sad that students of the academy were on a holiday till the first week of September. Therefore, they would not be participating in the celebrations.


Nine books on quadricentennial festivities released
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 31
Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor Swarn Singh Boparai released nine books dedicated to the quadricentennial celebrations of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib here today.

The books released were “Nirukat Sri Guru Granth Sahib (Vol. 4)” by Dr R.S. Jaggi; “Atlas Guru Nanak Dev Ji de Safar” by Dr Fauja Singh and Dr Kirpal Singh; “Atlas Guru Gobind Singh Ji de Safar” by Dr Fauja Singh; “Nanak Parkash Patrika, June 2003 (Vol. 1)” edited by Dr Gurnam Kaur; “Guru Granth Sahib among the scriptures of the World” edited by Dr Darshan Singh; “Puran Singh: An Inflamed Heard” by Dr Gurbhagat Singh; “National Integration and Communal Harmony in India” edited by Dr Baltej Singh Mann; “The Punjab Past & Present, April, October 2004 Vol. 35 Part I & II (Sources on Sri Guru Granth Sahib)” by Dr Sukhdial Singh and “Spirituo-Ethical Philosophy of Guru Angad Dev Ji” written by Dr Jodh Singh.

In addition to this, the Department of Guru Granth Sahib Studies of the university organised a seminar to mark the 400 years of installation of Guru Granth Sahib. Dr R.S. Jaggi presented the keynote address, while the Vice-Chancellor presided over the function.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Boparai said the human, moral and scientific thought in Guru Granth Sahib had the potential to lead the world community. He added that there was a strong need for taking it beyond the narrow politico-geographical boundaries. While presenting the keynote address, Dr Jaggi said Guru Granth Sahib was an invaluable treasure transcending all human barriers. He also threw light on the concept of God, nature of the world and goal of human life in perspective of the “Bani” of Guru Granth Sahib.

Dr S.P.S. Virdi, Dean Academic Affairs and coordinator of the quadricentennial celebrations of the installation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Committee set up by the university, while giving details of the programmes organised during the past one year said it had been decided to hold 18 seminars, symposia, special lectures, conferences and publish 25 books.

In the technical session chaired by Dr Param Bakhshish Singh, Registrar of the university, Dr S.S. Joshi while presenting his research paper said Guru Granth Sahib contained the linguist history of Indian-Arian civilisation from 12-17th century. Dr Gurnam Singh, Professor, Gurmat Sangeet Chair, also presented his research paper.

Dr Gurnam Kaur, Head, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Studies Department, while presenting a vote of thanks appreciated the cooperation extended by various departments of the university in making the quadricentennial celebrations a mega event.


Doctor in soup for suppressing rape evidence
Rape case of three-and-a-half-year-old
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar August 31
In a sensational case, Dr Aushutosh Gupta, owner of the Local Doaba Hospital, who was arrested by the police today, allegedly “tried to destroy” evidence in a case relating to the alleged rape of a three-and-a-half year old girl by son of owner of house in the Bhargo Camp locality.

Kaka (18), son of Jagdish, the owner of the house, has already been arrested by the Jalandhar police on the basis of a complaint filed by the girl’s father Jabar, who alleged that his daughter was raped by Kaka some days ago when he and his wife were away. The victim was immediately rushed to the Doaba hospital where her treatment was started by Dr. Aushutosh Gupta, who also allegedy tried to strike a deal between the accused and the family of the victim. Jabar, it was learnt, also alleged that he was “misguided” by the doctor, who spared no effort to make him believe that it was not a case of rape.

“Preliminary investigation shows that Dr Gupta was at fault and he tried to destroy the evidence. He is being questioned to determine the quantum of his involvement. We are closely examining every aspect of the case and the role of the hospital staff also,” said Mr Rakesh Kaushal, SP. He said ideally the doctor should have informed the police about the incident well within time.

Following the complaint of Jabar, Mr Vibhor Kumar, SHO, Division No. 6 visited the hospital and started investigation, during which the doctor allegedly stated that apparently the girl had received injuries on her sensitive parts accidentally by falling from a staircase. But the medical examination, on the basis of which a case was registered and Kaka was arrested, revealed that the victim was subjected to rape, and she was operated upon at the hospital.

Using his influence, the doctor, it was learnt, had also obtained it in writing from Jabar that “since the doctor had saved life of his daughter he did not want any action against the doctor”. But this plea was rejected by the police and Dr Gupta was arrested under Sections 376 and 201 of the IPC.

Sources in the police revealed that the role of some other doctors in the case was also being scrutinised by the police.

Dr Gupta was, however, released on bail by the court of Mr K.K. Kareer. While the police had sought a remand of two days, Dr Gupta’s case was pleaded by a battery of lawyers as he was produced before Mr Kareer at his residence in the evening.


Voices of dissent at Beant’s death anniversary
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Payal (Ludhiana), August 31
Last-minute efforts of AICC general secretary Mohsina Kidwai and Pradesh Congress Committee president, H.S. Hanspal to pacify the aggrieved family members of late Beant Singh notwithstanding, some voices of dissent could still be heard at Beant Singh’s ninth death anniversary here today.

Acting on reports that Ms Jaswant Kaur, wife of Beant Singh, might publicly abandon her Cabinet status in protest, Ms Kidwai and Mr Hanspal, accompanied by the Chief Minister’s emissary and Rural Development Minister, Mr Lal Singh, straightway went to the ancestral residence of Beant Singh at Kotli and talked to the family members for about an hour. It was reportedly decided there that no controversial speeches would be made at the function nor would be grievances listed in public. Probably for the same reason, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Milkiat Singh Birmi did not speak.

However, former MPs Jagmeet Singh Brar, Shamsher Singh Dullo and legislator Bir Devinder Singh did not mind making oblique references to the state of affairs, albeit in a subtle manner. Mr Brar went to the extent of acknowledging the support of Mr Parkash Singh Badal in rural areas which, he observed, could only be challenged by Beant Singh.

Mr Brar maintained that Beant Singh ensured that every worker was accorded due respect and honour.

Shamsher Singh Dullo, known for his frankness, maintained that the Congress had been turned into a party of sychophants only. He quoted the Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, who had also remarked that the Congress no longer appeared to be a party of workers but of sychophants only.

Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal also condemned the approach of the party to accommodate “intruders” in the party.


Pak frees 36 Indians, India releases 19
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 31
As many as 36 Indians languishing in Pakistani jails were repatriated to India, while 19 Pakistanis were sent to their country via Wagah joint check-post today.

However, in the list released of 40 Indians, four could not make it. The Indians released by the Pakistan Government are Amir Singh of Ferozepore, Baldev Kumar (Karnal), Bashir Masih (Amritsar), Charanjit Singh (Patti), Gajjan Singh (Amritsar), Ghulam Mustafa mir (Jammu and Kashmir), Ghulam Rabbani (West Bengal), Jagjit Singh (Kapurthala), Kailash (UP), Kandia Khan (Jaisalmer), Khamisha (Kutch), Kishan (M.P), Krishan Ram (Orissa), Kundan Gheira (Orissa), Mirza Zahir Ali (Delhi), Mohd Salim (UP), Mohd Bashir (J&K), Mohd Hanif (J&K), Mohd Khushi (Sangrur), Mohd Sayeed (Dehradun), Mohd Latif (J&K), Nimba Ram (Rajasthan), Phukan (Assam), Rajnikant (Tamil Nadu), Rakesh Chander (UP), Robin Massih (Gurdaspur), Satbir (Har), Shamsuddin (UP), Sitaram (Bihar), Subash Chander (J&K), Sukha Singh (Amritsar), Sukhiya (Bihar), Suleman (Gujarat), Tej Singh (UP), Usman Ghani (Gujarat) and Ved Prakash (Haryana).

Amongst the 19 pakistanis repatriated were also women and children. They include Hazara Bibi and her five children Umar Hussain, Sonia, Asif, Narisa, Hanif. Another woman Fatima Akhtar was repatriated with her two children Abdul Wahab and Ayisha. The others include Ahd Azim, Farooq Ahmad, Mohd Nasoor, Ramesh, Purkh Hira, Raman Nag, Jiwat Kumar, Abid Hussain, Hanif Mohammad and Nasir Ali.


NRIs give medical colleges a boost
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 31
Non-Resident Indians are set to improve the state of health of all three medical colleges in he state. Funds generated through NRI seats in the colleges have come handy in importing costly medical equipment with the office of the Director, Research and Medical Education (DRME), making worth Rs 4.70 crore for such equipment. He is in the process of placing more orders worth Rs 1.10 crore.

The Punjab Government had started admissions to the NRI quota in the colleges four years ago with the understanding that fee so collected would be spent on the upkeep of the colleges and their associated hospitals only. Since then the colleges have sums ranging from Rs 15 to Rs 25 crore in their bank accounts. Much of this money could not be spent due to cumbersome buying processes which have since been simplified somewhat. NRIs are paying around Rs 35 lakh per seat. All 60 seats, earmarked for them, have been filled this year with the Patiala and Amritsar colleges admitting 13 students each and the Faridkot institution four students.

Now the DRME office has issued orders for a laparoscopic cholecystectomy basic set worth Rs 31.28 lakh for Amritsar and Faridkot medical colleges, an upper GI flexible fibaroptic video endoscope worth Rs 40 lakh for the Patiala, Amritsar and Faridkot coleges and a digital whole body collour doppler system worth Rs 97 lakh for the Patiala, Amritsar and Faridkot colleges.

Director, Research and Medical Education, Satish Chandra said orders for more imported equipment were likely to be placed shortly by the Controller of Stores. He said the orders included three blood gas analysers (Rs 24 lakh) three high performance liquid chromatorgraphy (Rs 66 lakh) and nine elisa readers (Rs 27 lakh). Those equipment would be supplied to all three colleges, he added.

Patiala Medical College Principal Kiranjit Kaur said the funds generated through NRI seats had helped the college tremendously. She said a cobalt source for chemotheraphy treatment had been purchased at a cost of Rs 75 lakh to treat cancer patients free of cost after a span of six years. She said the college building had also been whitewashed for the first time in 22 years. Besides, major repairs had been done in all hostels. A proposal had also been drafted to undertake renovation of all staff quarters of the hospital for the first time in 50 years.


Club members allege police excesses; SSP orders probe
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 31
Members of the Shan-e-Punjab Club, Lehra Mohabbat village of this district, alleged that they had been beaten up by the in charge of the Bhucho Mandi police post on August 30 in the presence of those against whom they had lodged a complaint on August 28.

In a complaint lodged with the SSP, Mr Avtar Singh Gora, president of the club, alleged that four persons created trouble when members of the club organised a cultural programme on August 28. They also threatend the club members, he said. He added that club members lodged a complaint against those four persons with Bhucho Mandi police post in charge Rajinder Kumar.

He said instead of taking any action against the ‘accused’, Rajinder Kumar beat up club members in their presence and made them to sign blank papers. The club members were also forced to touch the feet of those persons in the police post.

Mr Gora paraded all those club members, who were allegedly beaten up by Mr Rajinder Kumar, before the SSP, Mr Kapil Dev. He demanded that action should be taken against Rajinder Kumar and all those four persons, who tried to create problems during the cultural function and held out a threat to the lives of club members.

Rajinder Kumar, while denying the allegations, said under the garb of cultural programme, the members started a dance programme, which was objected by members of the Thermal Employees Union of Lehra Mohabbat. Instead of stopping the same, the members of the club, which was not registered and functioning in an illegal manner, started misbehaving with them, who had objected to the dance programme.

He said members of the employees union reported the matter to the police. When the club members were asked about the incident, they confessed their fault and sought a written apology from the members of the employees union. The copy of the written apology was with the police also. After the members of club sought written apology, the members of employees union finished the matter then and there, he said.

Mr Kapil Dev said the DSP, Phool, Mr Raghbir Singh Chahal, had been asked to verify the allegations levelled by the club members in their complaint.


Ex-Armyman wins Rakhi bumper
Tribune News Service

Moga, August 31
Ujagar Rai, a retired army man from Moga, won the first prize of Rs 1.5 crore of the Punjab State Lotteries’ Rakhi bumper yesterday. All his relatives and friends converged at his home last evening to celebrate the occasion.

With this he became the second successive winner of bumper prize from Moga. Earlier, Chamkaur Singh, an electricity board employee of Dhaleke village of this district, had won the Punjab State Lotteries’ Baisakhi bumper.

Ujagar told The Tribune, tha the had gone to buy some medicines yesterday when he bought a lottery ticket (No. A-662524) from Rajesh Agency, situated in front of the medical shop. Unlike others he didn’t have to wait much for the draw as in the evening someone gave him an inkling that he was the lucky winner. “I jotted down the lottery number on a piece of paper and returned home quickly. We were all speechless for a moment after we matched the number. It was like a dream come true,” said Ujagar.

Ujagar, a resident of Gali No. 3, Prem Nagar, retired as a Naib Subedar in 1987. After retirement he took up a private job at SP Battery on the Akalsar road. He said he had been buying lottery tickets in the past too, but the lady luck smiled on him in his seventh attempt.

Ujagar said he would donate Rs 5 lakh to a temple and Rs 2 lakh to a dera in Beas. This big-hearted man hasn’t forgot his near and dear ones after becoming rich. “I would give Rs 50,000 each to my four nieces,” he said.

With the remaining amount he plans to start a wholesale business of clothes or may buy a factory to provide employment to many jobless youths. A noble plan indeed.


Man writes to CM against police inaction
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, August 31
Complaining of police inaction in registering a case against two persons who reportedly assaulted his brothers in Dhakauli village on August 14, a Bartana village resident alleges harassment at the hands of cops.

In a complaint to the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, has already said that Bhag Singh and his son Ranjit Singh assaulted his brothers Karnail Singh and Sukhdev Singh.

In the clash, Karnail Singh was admitted to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi. The police registered a DDR on their complaint at the Lohgarh police post on August 17, but no arrest had been made till date.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Jaswant Singh and family members said the police post were pressurising them to teach a “compromise”. He said that despite representations to the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Dera Bassi, nothing had been done in this regard.


BKU Ekta protests snapping of power connections

Moga, August 31
Members of the Bharatiya Kisan Union Ekta today gheraoed the office of the Executive Engineer of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) in protest against the snapping of power connections of farmers belonging to Ajitwal, Nathuwala, Badhanikalan and Chadik on account of the non-payment of electricity bills.

The agitating union members said the electricity board employees were not replacing the burnt transformers of these farmers. They said the power connection of the state general secretary of the union, Sukhdev Singh Kokri, was snapped for the second time due to the non-payment of bill. The district president of the union, Trilok Singh Himmatpura, said the Punjab Government had promised free power and water to the farmers, but was not fulfilling the same. The union members said they had themselves restored the power connections of these farmers. They demanded that the board officials should stop snapping farmers’ connections due to the non-payment of bills and they should be given 16-hour power supply. The gherao was lifted after the union members held a meeting with Executive Engineer P.S. Sangha.

The district general secretary of the union, Mr Gurmail Singh, said the PSEB had accepted their two demands, which included the replacement of burnt transformers and a seven day notice for snapping power connections. — TNS


Bhakra water level dips
Tribune News Service

Bhakra (Nangal), August 31
Power supply to Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh from the Bhakra Beas Mangement Board (BBMB) is likely to be affected for the next seven months due to fall in the water level in the Bhakra Dam by 90 feet as against its storage capacity this year. The total storing capacity of the dam is 1680 feet while at present the water level is 1589.57 feet which is less by 70 feet when compared to last year.

Senior official of the BBMB said the inflow of the water into the Bhakra was 23,415 cusecs and outflow was 15,000 cusecs today while last year the inflow of the water was 45,400 cusecs while outflow was 27,000 cusecs. As a result, the BBMB will not be able to supply the required quota of power to the five states and Chandigarh till the end of April next year.

“Every year the water is accumulated in the dam from May to mid September. This year water level is very low,” he added.


Punjab releases water in Narwana canal
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 31
The Punjab Irrigation Department has released 500 cusecs of water into the Narwana branch of Bhakra Canal to cater to potable water needs of the people of Haryana.

The Punjab Irrigation Department had failed to release water into the Narwana canal despite claims and two deadlines for the completion of repair work. Sources said the department had resorted to a partial release after an immediate demand from the neighbouring state that water be released for at least drinking needs.

The canal had been carrying around 3,200 cusecs of water before August 3 when water supply to it was stopped following breaches.


PSEB to change peak load timings
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 31
The Punjab State Electricity Board has decided to change the evening peak load restrictions for all large supply consumers, falling under all operation zones of the PSEB, an official note issued here, said.

The new peak load restriction timing for the consumers falling under all operation zones except the central zone, Ludhiana, would be 10.30 hrs to 21.30 hrs and for the consumers falling under the central operation zone, Ludhiana, from 19.00 hrs to 22.00 hrs. 


18 truckers move court
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, August 31
Eighteen truck operators of the town have filed a petition in the court of Additional Civil Judge, Senior Division, here against president, cashier and a member of the Truck Operators Union, Fazilka, seeking a direction to the officer bearers not to hamper their plying of trucks.

The petitioners have stated that the office bearers have been pressuring them to give a monthly donation to the Union. The court has directed the defendant office bearers to file reply on September 9.


Punjab appoints 97 law officers 
Maneesh Chhibber
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 31
The Punjab Government was today again set to cross the 100 mark in the appointment of law officers to represent it in the courts.

While making appointments, the government completely ignored the suggestions of a high-level committee headed by Chief Secretary Jai Singh Gill. While the oft-repeated government line has been that the number of law officers would be brought down by at least one-third, the list of new law officers presented a totally different picture.

The committee had fixed 62 as the number of law officers, including those for Delhi.

However, bowing to pressure from various quarters, the list released by the government tells a different story. An interesting new development is the demotion of Senior Additional Advocate-General Bharat Bir Singh Sobti to Additional Advocate-General.

The orders on law officers released by the Home Department today contained 97 names. However, the appointment letters of law officers for Delhi are yet to be issued.

“The number will certainly go beyond 105,” said a government officer. All three Senior Additional Advocates-Generals have been removed from their posts. Mr Naresh Inder Singh Boparai has been appointed the new Additional Advocate-General.

The number of new Additional Advocates-General is 19, down from the current 31. Twelve lawyers have been made Senior Deputy Advocates-General, while 18 have been made Deputy Advocates-General. At present, the number of Senior Deputy Advocates-General and Deputy Advocates-Generals is 10 and 29, respectively.

As many as 48 lawyers have been appointed Assistant Advocates-General. The present team has 52 Assistants-Advocates-General.

The sway of B.I.S. Chahal-S.K. Sinha lobby in the Punjab Government in the new appointments is too obvious to ignore. According to sources, Home Secretary Sinha took personal interest in pushing the names of his candidates. On his orders, the list was kept a closely guarded secret till late evening.

However, the fact that the government has failed to bring down the number of law officers drastically would come under close scrutiny in the coming days.

Last year too, the large number of law officers was criticised, with even the Punjab and Haryana High Court commenting on the matter during hearing in a case.

The following are the appointments made today:

Senior Additional Advocate-General: Naresh Inder Singh Boparai.

Additional Advocates-General: B.B.S. Sobti, C.M. Munjal, Nirmaljit Kaur, Salil Sagar, Ashok Aggarwal, Ajit Singh Virk, P.D.S. Chinna, Ravi Sodhi, D.V. Sharma, Amarjit Singh, Arun Palli, K.K. Garg, P.S. Thiara, BP Singla, Darshan Singh Bishnoi, Joginder Singh Jandiala, Kulwant Singh Boparai, RK Handa and Sukhjinder Singh Behl.

Senior Deputy Advocates-General: S.K. Bhatia, Charu Tuli, G.S. Cheema, G.S. Dhaliwal, Pardeep Singh Poonia, B.K. Mann, AS Grewal, Gurinder Singh Gill, M.C. Berry, Satish Bhanot, Sarbjit Singh Randhawa and Harpreet Singh Sandhu.

Deputy Advocates-General: Tarun Veer Vashisth, Mansoor Ali, H.S. Grewal, Uttam Singh Dhaliwal, Rajiv Malhotra, Anmol Rattan Sidhu, AS Masih, Sukant Gupta, Satish Chander Bhardwaj, Manpreet Singh Walia, Urvashi Dugga, H.P.S. Gill, Jagdish Singh Bedi, Gurinderjit Singh, Reeta Kohli, Jaswinder Kaur, Amrik Singh Ramgarh and Kewal Krishan Beniwal

Assistant Advocates-General: Mala Choudhary, Sunder Pal, J.P. Bhatt, Radhika Suri, G.S. Batra, Gursimran Singh Sidhu, Harinderpal Singh Raja, Swati Gupta, Rajdeep Singh Cheema, Brajeshwar Singh Chahal, Rajeeta Raj, Manisha Berry, Nirbhow Singh Gill, Inderjit Singh, Nilofar A. Parveen, Vibha Pandey, R.K. Shardha, Rakesh Kumar Verma, Aridman Singh Sandhu, Hari Om Verma, Gaurav Hooda, M.S. Patti, Jayender Singh, Pooja Chaudhary, Ashok Singla, Poonam Josan, Ashish Sharma, Rajeshwar Singh, Sonia Virk, Vikas Bali, Sunita Kaushal, Mohinder Singh Joshi, A.P.S. Rajput, Yogesh Kumar Dahiya, Ashima P. Mohindru, G.P. Goraya, Sachin Midha, Narinder Singh Sitta, Anupam Kumar, Bhupinder Beniwal, A.S. Ladher, Narinder Kapur, H.S. Surjewala, Ashutosh Hoshiarpuri, Ashok Kumar Bhardwaj, Surinder Singh Randhawa, Ashish Verma and Gurpratap Singh Gill 


Dry day in Fatehgarh Sahib today
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 31
In connection with the celebration of the 400th year of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib, a nagar kirtan was taken out from Gurdwara Vishavkarma at Hamayunpur, Sirhind, to Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib. Thousands of people participated in it.

The celebrations are being organised by the 400th Celebration Committee, Fatehgarh Sahib, headed by the DC.

The nagar kirtan started at 5 a.m. and reached the historical gurdwara at 10 a.m. The Panj Piaras were presented siropas by the Sukhmani Sahib Seva Society, the Shabad Chowki Jatha, Sirhind, Baba Vishavkarma Seva Soeicty, Gurdwara Guru Nanak Singh and Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Seva Society.

On September 1 a special kirtan darbar will be organised from 7 p.m. to 12 p.m. at Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib.

Meanwhile, the District Magistrate has declared September 1as dry day and has banned the use, sale and storage of wine at ahatas and dhabas, etc. in the district under Article 54 of the Punjab Excise Act, 1954. 


BSF Dy Commandant suspended
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 31
Acting in the much publicised Rs 23-crore heroine smuggling scam, the Border Security Force (BSF) authorities have suspended a Deputy Commandant and a head constable, who have already been handed over to the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) for their alleged involvement in the case.

The DRI, sources pointed out, had informed the BSF authorities that Deputy Commandant Harpreet Singh was involved in a sensational case relating to smuggling of heroine worth Rs 23 crore alongwith headconstable Roshan Lal.

Though the IG, Mr G.S. Gill, was not available for comment, sources said after getting information from the DRI, Harpreet Singh and Roshan Lal were handed over to the DRI, while the BSF Headquarters have given its nod for suspension of the two officials in response to a letter written by the top officers of the BSF here.

Deputy Commandant Harpreet Singh has been facing another case relating to possession of illegal liquor in the BSF court. In June, 2003, illegal liquor was seized by the Pathankot police from Harpreet Singh.

After completion of the investigation by the DRI authorities, the BSF was likely to investigate the sensational case on its own, it was learnt.


Couple commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Hoshiarpur, August 31
A couple in their early twenties allegedly committed suicide by jumping in front of the Hemgiri Express near Mansar village in Mukerian subdivision today.

Tarsem Singh (26), and his wife Soma Devi (24), residents of Jhadinga village, jumped before the train as it reached the Mansar-Mangala overbridge on the Delhi-Jammu line. The family was reportedly facing acute poverty.

Before jumping in front of the train, they left their three-year-old son Suraj at a safe distance from the rail line. They are survived by another son Akash (6).

The bodies were sent for post mortem at Mukerian Civil Hospital.


Proclaimed offender arrested
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 31
Sukhchain Singh, a convict in a murder case and resident of Mehma Serja village in the district, who was declared a proclaimed offender after he escaped from the jail while on parole, was arrested by the Sadar police along with a country-made .12 bore pistol and four live cartridges.

Mr Kapil Dev, SSP, in a press note issued here late this evening, said the accused was from the canal bridge located near Bir Behman village yesterday.

It was also found that the motor cycle on which the accused was riding was stolen by him from Bathinda city in June 2004 and a case in that connection had already been registered in the city police station.

Mr Dev said that a case in this connection was registered under Section 25 of the Arms Act in Sadar police station.


Student-private bus operator imbroglio worsens
Tribune Reporters

Mansa, August 31
A dispute, which erupted between students and private bus operators few days ago over the denial of free travel facility on student passes, seems to be heading for a major controversy. The students today gave an ultimatum to the district administration that they would not allow private buses to ply on roads on September 6 and 7 if their demands were not met immediately.

Activists of four organisations — the All-India Student Association (AISA), Student Federation of India (SFI), All-India Democratic Students Organisation (AIDSO) and Punjab Radical Students Union (PRSU) — took this decision here at a marathon meeting held today.

Before the meeting, thousands of students, supported by farmers and various political organisations, blocked traffic on the Mansa crossing for hours together.

They also held a rally and condemned the attitude of the civil and police authorities towards their genuine problems.

The students, who have been agitating for the past about one week, intensified their agitation after three students were severely injured in an attack allegedly by a section of private bus operators when they were holding a demonstration to lodge their protest against the denial of free travel in the private buses on student passes.

Yesterday, the district administration tried to resolve the issue by holding a joint meeting of the students and the bus operators. But the meeting could not bring any fruitful results as the students laid down seven conditions for settling the dispute.

The conditions laid by the students included registration of a criminal case against those private bus operators, who allegedly attacked the students, guarantee for permission to allow them to travel in private buses on student passes and identity cards and the assurance from the authorities concerned that it would put a complete check on the high-handedness of private bus operators.

Apart from it, the students also demanded that the authorities concerned should ban the plying of illegal private buses.

Harbhagwan Bhikhi, President, AISA, said students were in no mood to create any problem for the district civil and police authorities.

But the students had also decided to fight against all sorts of high-handedness. He said no private bus would be allowed to enter any village of the district on September 6 and 7.

Meanwhile, about four student unions — the Punjab Student Union (PSU), the PSU (Shaheed Randhawa), the Punjab Student Federation (PSF) and the All-India Student Federation (AISF) — have announced their support to the students fight against atrocities of private bus operators.

BATHINDA: Hundreds of activists of the Punjab Student Union (Shaheed Randhawa) on Tuesday jammed traffic on the Bathinda-Muktsar road, the Bathinda-Talwandi Sabo road and at Talwandi Sabo town to lodge their protest against the alleged attack on the students of Mansa by a section of private bus operators.

They said if the high-handedness of private bus operators was not checked, they would observe a strike in all educational institutions.

SANGRUR: Activists of the Students Federation of India (SFI) on Tuesday boycotted their classes at the local Government Ranbir College. They also held a rally and observed “black day” as part of their agitation.

Addressing the rally, Harpal Singh, state committee member of the SFI, and Satnam Singh Dalion, president of the Ranbir College unit of the SFI, expressed their anguish over a callous attitude of private bus operators towards the students having buspasses.

The SFI also observed a strike at the Government college, Sunam, about 13 km from here and blocked traffic in front of the main gate of the college.


Punjabi University Diary
CSIO chief, ex-VC inducted into Academic Council
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 31
The Academic Council of the University has been infused with fresh life with Vice-Chancellor Swaran Singh Boparai inducting eminent academician into the council — Dr J.S. Grewal, former Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, Dr Harjit Singh Gill, an eminent linguist, Dr G.S. Kalkat, an agro scientist and former Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana and Dr Vajpayee, eminent scientist and Director, CSIO. It is after a long time that intellectuals of such order have been made a part of the Academic Council.

However, it remains to be seen as to what role the academician choose to play in the council. The Academic Council in its meetings usually give its nod to all decisions which have been taken in anticipation of its approval by the Vice-Chancellor before hand. The council meetings have a big agenda making it almost impossible for any meaningful debate on the issues which have been put up for the approval of the council. The induction of eminent academicians in the body may change this trend.

Scholarships okayed

The university is definitely becoming more humane the Academic Council has decided to provide scholarships in each of its affiliated Colleges ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 annually. Besides this the council has also taken a decision to construct a faculty house for the stay of Principals and teachers of affiliated colleges coming to the university for official purpose. Another step which will hope students is the university’s decision to publish all Ph.D thesis annually to provide up to date information to researchers in various fields.

VC motivates policemen

University Vice-Chancellor Swaran Singh Boparai had unusual guests last week. He welcomed a 13-member team of police constables for an interaction under a scheme launched by the district police. Under the scheme, which has been initiated by Superintendent of Police (Headquarters) L.K. Yadav, constables are being sent regularly for interaction with eminent figures.

The team which visited the Vice-Chancellor came back impressed, as Mr Boparari received them as he would normally receive a delegation calling upon him. They were welcomed in his office with tea and more than one and a half hour interaction during the course of which the Vice-Chancellor explained why it was “necessary” to remain honest and how a single blunder could have an adverse effect on their life. Later the constables were treated to a sumptuous lunch. Many of the constables in their feedback to the district police said the interaction had resulted in many of them thinking of redefining their responsibilities.


Science seminar
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 31
Swati Jain, a student of Sacred Heart Convent School, Ludhiana, Ajit Kaur of PD Arya School, Hoshiarpur, and Sabiha of Arya Girls School, Moga, bagged first, second and third position, respectively, at a state-level seminar on “Science awareness needs and prospects” organised by the State Institute of Science Education (SCERT) at Veer Haqiqat Rai Model Senior Secondary School here today.

Earlier, nearly 72 tehsil-level and 17 district-level science seminars for students were held at different tehsil and district headquarters. The winner of state-level competition would represent Punjab in the National Students Science Seminar to be held on October 4 in Kolkata.

Later, Director SCERT Sadhu Singh Randhawa distributed prizes among the winners. Director SISE, Punjab, Surinder Dhingra and District Education Officer (Secondary) Pritpal Kaur were also present on the occasion.


Fertiliser can now be purchased from open market
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
Farmers in Punjab will be able to buy more fertiliser of their choice direct from the open market. This follows the state government's reported decision to further reduce the supply of plant food through the organisation.

The sources in Markfed say that until recently the government was supplying fertiliser to the farmers completely through the organisation. But last year a decision was taken by the government to reduce the supply share by as much as 50 per cent. The sources claim that the authorities have now decided to further reduce the supply share by another 15 per cent. Only 35 per cent of the fertiliser will now be supplied through the agency.

Markfed's Managing Director S.S. Channy was not available for comments despite repeated attempts. However, sources in his office say that the share will gradually be reduced to zero in the coming years.

The sources add that the intention behind rendering the fertiliser through Markfed was not only to ascertain regular supply of plant food but also to ensure quality and quantity of the product. They claim that the farmers in the state were at least sure of what they were purchasing without the fear of paying more.

The farmers, on the other hand, had all along been demanding reduction in the supply share. The agriculturists had been claiming that they were being forced to shell out more for the fertiliser as the same was being supplied through Markfed.

The agriculturists had also been claiming that their options had been reduced drastically as they were forced to buy the product through the organisation, instead of buying it directly from the market.

Some of the farmers were further claiming that the product being supplied through the agency was not upto the mark. They were asserting that the fertiliser available in the open market was of much better quality.

The development regarding reduction in supply share is being considered significant as it will now enable the farmers in the state to explore their options and buy the products of their choice directly from the open market. 

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