P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



BJP’s statewide protest against
Amarinder government
Tribune Reporters

Punjab BJP Vice-President Laxmi Kanta Chawla addresses party workers before burning an effigy of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in front of Deputy Commissioner’s office in Jalandhar on Tuesday.
Punjab BJP Vice-President Laxmi Kanta Chawla addresses party workers before burning an effigy of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in front of Deputy Commissioner’s office in Jalandhar on Tuesday. — Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma

Jalandhar, November 2
BJP workers today staged a dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office to protest against the anti-people policies of the state government and the recent unearthing of several scams, including hawala charges, against the son of the Chief Minister and irregularities in the appointment of DSPs and auctions of liquor vends.

Addressing BJP workers, Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla, former MLA, termed the Congress Government as “Government of scams”, and demanded an impartial probe into the recently unearthed scams.

She said the Congress Government’s days were numbered as it has already been exposed. “It is shameful that son of the Chief Minister was involved in hawala transaction and the Chief Minister himself was involved in the illegal recruitment of DSPs, in which son of his media advisor was also appointed,” she said.

“As the court of law has already termed the procedure of DSPs appointments and liquor vends auctions as ‘faulty’, the state government has no moral right to continue in office,” she said.

Former minister Manoranjan Kalia, said in his address that the state government had betrayed the people of Punjab as it had not only backtracked on its poll promises but had also withdrawn social welfare schemes, including Shagun Scheme, old age pension and free electricity to farmers that had been started by the previous government.

Later on the agitating workers burnt an effigy of the Chief Minister and submitted a memorandum of demands to the Deputy Commissioner.

AMRITSAR: The district unit of the BJP burnt an effigy of Capt Amarinder Singh outside Hall Gate in protest against his alleged anti-people policies.

Mr Bakshi Ram Arora, president of the district BJP, said the agitation had been organised all over the state to press for the demand of holding a CBI inquiry against the alleged misappropriation of funds by Capt Amarinder Singh’s son.

GURDASPUR: As many as 100 BJP workers from the district burnt an effigy of the state Chief Minister at Hanuman Chowk here today.

While addressing the workers on the occasion Mr Jagdish Raj Sahni, former MLA from Batala, said the Chief Minister should resign on moral grounds after his alleged involvement in a scam, wrong selection of the DSPs and corruption in the allotment of liquor vends.

The district president of the BJP, Mr Ashok Prashar, said while the government was using the Vigilance to probe alleged cases of corruption against political opponents, but in case of allegations of corruption levelled against the son of the Chief Minister only a quasi-judicial inquiry had been ordered.

HOSHIARPUR: BJP activists from the city led by Mr Swarna Ram, former minister, Mr Vijay Aggarwal, district president BJP unit, Mr Sanjiv Talwar, vice-president of the Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha, Punjab, Ms Trishna Minhas, president, Mahila Morcha wing of state unit of BJP, burnt an effigy of Capt Amarinder Singh, at Phagwara Chowk today.

Earlier, a rally was held in front of the BJP office in Shastri Market.

Mr Vijay Aggarwal, Mr Gopi Chand Kapur, city president and Mr Sanjiv Talwar said the BJP would continue its agitation till the ouster of Capt Amarinder Singh’s government. Later, they presented a memorandum to the Punjab Governor through Deputy Commissioner, Hoshiarpur, in this connection.

SANGRUR: Activists of the district unit of the BJP led by Mr Rajinder Bhandari, general secretary of the Punjab unit of the BJP, took out a protest march from the BJP office to the office of the Deputy Commissioner here and burnt an effigy of Capt Amarinder Singh, at Traffic Lights Chowk, near the main bus stand.

The protesters also held a rally in the District Administrative Complex here. They also submitted a memorandum to Mr Husan Lal, Deputy Commissioner, in his office here, enlisting BJP’s demands, including a judicial probe into the alleged role of Mr Raninder Singh, son of Capt Amarinder Singh, in the alleged hawala scam.

FEROZEPORE: The district unit of the BJP staged a dharna in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner and submitted a memorandum to him demanding the resignation of the Chief Minister. Mr Sukhpal Singh Nannu, MLA, along with hundreds of supporters burnt an effigy of the Chief Minister and raised slogans against the state government.

ROPAR: The BJP district unit today demanded the resignation of the Chief Minister and alleged that corruption, nepotism and favoritism had increased during his tenure. BJP workers led by the district BJP president, Mr Vijay Kumar Puri, raised slogans against the Chief Minister and submitted a memorandum to the Governor through Deputy Commissioner here this afternoon.

Batala: About 1000 activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party led by Mr Surinder Kumar Chhindi, president, Batala unit of the party, burnt an effigy of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, at Hanuman Chowk in Gurdaspur.

Mr Chhindi said the Supreme Court as well as the Punjab and Haryana High Court had held the government guilty in the recruitment of DSPs as well as in the auction of wine shops.

In both cases the CM favoured his men, Mr Chhindi alleged. 


Lekhak Sabha flays Amarinder for
not celebrating Punjab Day

Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 2
Taking a serious note of non-celebration of the “New Punjab Day” on November 1 this year by the state government, the Kendri Punjabi Lekhak Sabha (Sekhon) today said with this the “anti-Punjabi” face of the state Government had been exposed, completely.

Reacting to Capt Amarinder Singh’s statement that “what is there to celebrate when Punjab was reduced to a smaller state” on this day. Dr Tejwant Mann, general secretary of the sabha, said here today this statement of the Chief Minister was a challenge to the language-based state had been secured by the Punjabis by making a large number of sacrifices.

Dr Mann said on the one hand Capt Amarinder Singh was organising World Punjabi Conference in December to earn appreciation in the name of Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiat, while on the other hand he had refused to celebrate the ‘New Punjab Day’ without caring for the cultural and language-based sentiments of the people.

Dr Mann also asked the state government to chalk-out a programme immediately to celebrate the Punjab Day. He also demanded that the Shiromani Sahitkar Awards should be given to the writers immediately. He also urged the state government to constitute Advisory Board of the Punjab Language Department without any further delay.

Dr Mann also asked the state government to put off the proposed World Punjabi Conference and spend the money on the development of Punjabi language and literature.


Power tariff may go down by 5 p.c.
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Will the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission reduce the power tariff rates in the state? It seems to be so if one is to go by a discussion held by the commission in recent days after thoroughly examining the balance-sheets of the PSEB and its revenue requirement projections.

Sources said that there could be a decrease in the tariff in the range of 5 per cent. But all this would depend on the amount committed in writing by the state government to the PSEB as subsidy for supplying power on cheaper rates to the farming sector and certain poor sections of society.

The commission is in a mood to play tough with the PSEB, to which it gave a long rope in the past two financial years. In fact the PSEB, which is awaiting the commission’s order on the petition for the upward revision of tariff to mop up Rs 787 crore to meet its annual revenue requirement (ARR), should not expect much from the commission this year.

Sources said today that after examining the balance-sheets and other revenue records of the board of the past two years, the commission had reached the conclusion that the PSEB collected more revenue than required by it during the past two past financial years by way of tariff revision.

The commission wanted to adjust that amount this year in the ARR submitted by the PSEB to the commission through its petition. This time good news for industry is that cross subsidisation of power tariff would be reduced. Except poor sections, all other sections of consumers would have to pay power bill on the basis of average cost per unit of power.

The commission is ready to announce its verdict on the PSEB’s petition. It is only awaiting government reply with regard to the subsidy to be given to the PSEB for supplying power to the farming sector and Scheduled Castes on concessional rates. The Punjab Government is to inform how much amount it would pay to the PSEB in lieu of the supplying power on cheaper rates to farmers and SCs.

“We would announce the new power tariff order within two days from receiving the government’s letter regarding subsidy,” said a senior officer of the commission.” We expect to receive the reply from the government by next Monday. Already senior officers of the government have held meetings with the commission on the subsidy issue,” he added.

Last year the state government had given to the PSEB Rs 807 crore as subsidy for the farming sector and Rs 50 crore for Scheduled Castes. And during the year 2003-04, the government had given subsidy over Rs 900 crore. How much amount will be offered by the state government this time is not clear yet. The government is in a tight position financially. It is even facing problems in paying salaries to employees. In such a situation what it would offer to the PSEB as subsidy remains to be seen.

Though the PSEB has ushered in profit of over Rs 250 crore, as claimed by the Chief Minister, the commission is not happy with its performance as far as line losses and expenditure on employees is concerned. The commission had directed the PSEB to bring down its salary bill to Rs 1250 crore and also cut the line losses to 24 per cent. But the PSEB has been found wanting on these fronts.

As the board is already in profit, it means that it has in the capacity to meet its revenue requirements during the current financial year from its own resources. In fact with its existing tariff rates, it should show more profit during the next remaining period of the year when it will be supposed to provide not much power supply to farming sector. However, the state government will have to compensate it for purchasing power at a high price during this summer for supplying to the farming sector at the time of drought-like situation in the state.


Drought, deluge loss: Punjab seeks Rs 5,100 cr relief
P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Punjab has sought relief of Rs 5,100.31 crore from the Centre for losses suffered due to drought and deluge in 2004.

The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, on Monday had sent a 68-page memorandum to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, giving a graphic picture of how the state fought drought and deluge. Punjab had first faced skewed, scattered and scanty rain, less than 50 per cent of the normal received from the south-west monsoon between June and September, causing drought situation, and later floods, particularly in four districts — Ropar, Patiala, Sangrur and Mansa — due to unexpected heavy rain in the catchment area.

The summary of requirement of funds showed that damage to the crop due to drought and deluge was Rs 167.26 crore. The loss due to non-sowing of crops in 52,364 acres was Rs 61.24 crore. The additional expenditure farmers had incurred by way of ‘’re-inventing’’ tubewells or on procurement of extra diesel was Rs 670.31 crore. The Cooperation Department because of deferment of recovery of loans suffered a loss of Rs 91.76 crore. The state electricity board logged a loss of Rs 626.61 crore on buying power at a high cost to save paddy and other kharif crops and also by diverting power from paying to non-paying consumers.

Miscellaneous losses due to damage to roads, bridges, syphons, major canal breaches, infrastructure, civil and veterinary hospitals, loss of cattle and fodder etc. was estimated at Rs 3,673.96 crore. The total loss Punjab suffered was Rs 5,291.14 crore, against which the Chief Minister has sought additional financial relief of Rs 5,100.31 crore. The question is will Punjab get this relief?

This is not the first time that Punjab was affected by drought. The economy was impaired by earlier droughts too — in 1978, 1979, 1985, 1987 and 2002. Each time, the resilience of the Punjabis enabled them to weather the worst seasons. However, this season’s drought was ‘’back-breaking’’ for the farmers, who had to struggle hard to stay afloat due to the increased cost of agricultural inputs and additional expenditure by them on tubewells and diesel. Not only rural but every section of the population had to pass through a season of stress.

If agriculture is the backbone of the economy, even business, trade and industry, too, have backward and forward linkages with agriculture. And this summer, diversion of power, 8,564 lakh units, from the industry to the farm sector to save paddy had hit hard the industrial production, which was down by 20 per cent to 25 per cent. Yet, the idle labour was paid wages and also the raw material costs were met

Capt Amarinder Singh has argued in the memorandum that while deciding on the quantum of relief the Centre must not follow the ‘’conventional’’ definition of drought. This could not be made applicable to Punjab, as farmers are progressive and agriculture is capital intensive. Due to large investment, farmers had to make extra efforts to save their crop and have, indeed, produced record paddy but at a high cost. ‘’This farmers did by virtually selling their household silver’’.

In this backdrop, it would be unfair to adhere to the norm of ‘’50 per cent loss’’ to crop to declare any area as ‘’drought affected’’. Given the efforts put in by farmers and the state to face first drought and then floods, the damage to crop area may appear to be small and fall in yield may be less than 50 per cent. But think of the extra cost incurred on tubewells and diesel.

Punjab, the memorandum says, had declared all 17 districts ‘’drought hit’’ on August 13, 2004. While doing so it kept in view certain parametres, when declaring drought. These parametres included less than normal rainfall, excess expenditure on diesel in the farm sector and high consumption of electricity and fall in the water table, 3 metres to 10 metres, necessitating re-inventing 62,972 tubewells either by deepening or re-boring or replacing centrifugal pumps with submersible pumps. The other parameters were damage to crops and area left unsown, 52,364 acres.


Nanakshahi calendar acceptance
near total: Purewal

Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 2
The Nanakshahi calendar, which had caused a lot of controversy in the Sikh religious circles prior to its implementation by the SGPC last year, even though it was dubbed as futuristic, has been implemented by about 98 per cent of the gurdwaras and other Sikh organisations across the globe.

This calendar, unlike the Bikrami one, is based on the tropical year formula and will remain unchanged. The calendar, which shows that Jarnail Sing Bhindranwale is no more, is said to be fully in accordance with Gurbani.

While talking to The Tribune, Mr Pal Singh Purewal, author of the calendar and a renowned Sikh scholar, said that except for a few individuals, gurdwaras and foreign Sikh organisations, the calendar had been implemented by about 98 per cent of the people and organisations, including the Pakistan Gurdwara Management Committee.

“The calendar is being used by over 100 gurdwaras in Canada, about 150 in the USA and a large number in the UK. There are only two or three gurdwaras in each of these countries that are yet to implement it. Those objecting to it are mainly the people who do not agree with our belief that Bhindranwale is dead. Otherwise, Sikhs are very enthusiastic about it across the world. Sikhs in countries like Norway, Germany and New Zealand have also accepted it. The same is the case in Pakistan.

“One thing has to be realised that whenever there is a change anywhere in the world, there is never 100 per cent acceptance. For instance, the Gregorian calendar was introduced in the UK in 1582, but it was actually implemented in 1752 owing to stiff opposition by orthodox people,” said the UK-based Mr Purewal.

On the difference between the Nanakshahi and Bikrami calendars, Mr Purewal said the latter was not in consonance with Gurbani; important days under it may not always coincide with occasions according to the Sikh way of life.

“Under the Bikrami calendar, Sangrand will come 15 days later in the year 3000. Whereas, there will be no difference of time if we follow the Nanakshahi calendar, even after 10,000 years. To ensure accuracy and to synchronise it with the Sikh way of life, I have been working on the Nanakshahi calendar since 1960, and I think it is a milestone in Sikh history,” said Mr Purewal.

“Actually, every nation and community has its own calendar, be it Hindus, Christians or Baha’is. In fact, most nations have two calendars, one civil and the other religious. In my view, the Bikrami calendar is a Hindu calendar,” said Mr Purewal.

On what were the possibilities of a uniform calendar in the world, Mr Purewal said, “Efforts for a world calendar started in 1950, but these bore no fruit. The English calendar is being used the most widely,” he added.


Victimisation of ADGP continues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Punjab Additional Director-General of Police (ADGP) Shashi Kant is apparently paying the price for issuing orders resulting in the removal of red blinkers from atop the vehicles used by over 150 top bureaucrats and police officers.

Punjab Police authorities today directed the withdrawal of charge to issue permission for use of red beacon lights. As if this was not enough, they also took away a vehicle used by his security staff.

This is the second time in less than two months that orders withdrawing the charge were issued by the police authorities. Initially, the charge was taken away from him soon after the issuance of orders directing the removal of lights, but was restored following the Punjab and Haryana High Court's intervention. The charge was withdrawn for the second time today.

Senior Punjab Police authorities, when contacted, described the order as “routine”. Denying the allegations regarding the orders being “punitive”, the authorities insisted that ADGP Kant's directions regarding the removal of red lights had nothing to do with it. Terming the move to withdraw the charge as “administrative decision”, the ADGP refused to comment “any further” on the issue.

Taking a serious view of a report published in these columns after the charge was initially taken away from the ADGP, the High Court had last month observed that retention of power with the officer was in the interest of justice.

Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar — now transferred to Delhi — had observed that the withdrawal of power regarding permission to use red lights atop vehicles, given to an ADGP, was brought to the court's notice, along with the fact that it had been given to an Inspector-General of Police. This, Mr Justice Kumar had added, was not permissible.

The Judge had asserted that it would be in the interest of justice as well as implementation of the court directions to retain the power with the officer specially as he had been attending proceeding pertaining to the matter.

The report had earlier stated that the cop who made so many bureaucrats and police officers red with anger by regulating the use of beacon lights, was no more in the driver's seat following the withdrawal of charge.

Giving details, the report had stated that the ADGP had directed all government officers — except Additional and Principal Secretaries — to remove red blinkers from atop their vehicles. The permission to use the lights earlier granted to them was also cancelled.

All ADGPs were also asked to follow suit.

The orders were passed while complying with the directions issued by the High Court in traffic regulation and pollution control case. In fact, the directions were issued in accordance with a notification issued by the Punjab Government.


HC orders re-auction of liquor vends
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 2
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today ordered re-auction of liquor vends in three excise districts of Ludhiana by November 30.

Passing the order in a petition filed by liquor contractor Mann Singh and others, the Division Bench of Mr Justice N.K. Sud and Mr Justice Hemant Gupta also specified that the new vends must start functioning by December 1.

The petitioners had challenged the validity of the auction at Ludhiana on March 8 on the grounds that the officials on the directions of the Punjab Government did not allow them to participate in the auction.

The contract was eventually awarded to controversial liquor baron Ponty Chadha.

Earlier, counsel of all sides, including the Punjab Government, informed the Bench that they had no objections if fresh auctions were held on the same terms.

However, the Bench, with the concurrence of all parties, fixed some terms and conditions for the re-auction. These include the offer of the petitioners to pay Rs 20 crore more than the bid accepted earlier, which stood at Rs 230.16 crore.

As per the order of March 3, the petitioner was also required to deposit 5 per cent of the bid amount in respect of the unexpired period of four months which comes to 20 lakh. The amount is to be deposited in the court within two days.

The Bench also said that if in fresh auction the government suffered a loss keeping in view the licence fee offered by the present licencee, the loss would be recovered from out of the Rs 5.20 crore deposited.

However, if the loss is more than Rs 5.20 crore, the Punjab Government would be at liberty to recover it form the petitioners in terms of the order of the Supreme Court dated October 25, the Bench said.

The Bench also said that in case the fresh auction does not fetch a higher amount than the amount of Rs 230.16 crore, the present licencee can opt to continue on the terms of the earlier auction.

It also said that the fresh auction would be held strictly in terms of the recent High Court order under the supervision of a committee comprising three Punjab Government officers not below the rank of Principal Secretary.

The petition was later disposed of.


Notice to CBI in Bibi Jagir Kaur case
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 2
A Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court headed by Mr Justice Amar Dutt today issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on a petition filed by Mr Kamaljit Singh, who claims to have married Harpreet Kaur, the deceased daughter of Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Bibi Jagir Kaur.

The petitioner has prayed for directions to the trial court at Patiala to expedite the hearing of the case of mysterious death of his 'wife'.

In his petition, Mr Kamaljit has stated that since Bibi Jagir Kaur has been re-elected chief of the SGPC, she has been interfering in the judicial process and could affect the outcome of the case.

He has also stated that so far only 35 out of the total of about 150 witnesses in the case have been examined by the court.

He has prayed that day-to-day hearing be ordered in the case. In 2000, following a petition moved by Kamaljit, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had handed over investigation of the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Bibi is among the half a dozen persons accused in the case.


CPI seeks Bill to ensure job for
one member of a family

Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Mr A.B. Bardhan, National General Secretary, CPI, along with Dr Joginder Dyal, State Secretary, CPI, Punjab, and Mr Hardev Arshi, former MLA, addresses a press conference in Bathinda on Tuesday.
Mr A.B. Bardhan, National General Secretary, CPI, along with Dr Joginder Dyal, State Secretary, CPI, Punjab, and Mr Hardev Arshi, former MLA, addresses a press conference in Bathinda on Tuesday.

Bathinda, November 2
Mr A.B. Bardhan, National General Secretary, CPI, today demanded that the UPA Government led by Dr Manmohan Singh should take necessary and effective steps to implement its common minimum programme (CMP) to ensure guaranteed employment to at least one member of each family and to save the farmers from the vicious cycle of debt.

Mr Bardhan, who was in the city today in connection with the workers meeting, while addressing a press conference pointed out the UPA Government should introduce a Bill to guarantee employment to one member of each family in the coming session of Parliament.

Apart from this, the UPA Government should take effective steps to check price rise, corruption and increasing number of unemployed persons in the country.

Mr Bardhan announced that party’s national conference would be held in Chandigarh from March 29 to April 3, 2005 to work out its future political strategy and to elect its national council. He also disclosed that a rally would be held in Delhi on November 9 for pressing the UPA Government to implement the demands of cotton growers.

Criticising the economic policies of Manmohan Singh government, the Communist party leader said the CPI was opposed to investment of foreign money in the insurance and banking sector. He added that the CPI was also of the view that the UPA Government should not allow more than 10 per cent of foreign equity in various development works. He said the government should not seek directions from the World Bank regarding its economic policies.

In another significant statement, Mr Bardhan, who was accompanied by Dr Joginder Dyal, State Secretary, CPI, Punjab and Mr Hardev Arshi, former MLA, Budhlada, said there was a need for a front of secular and democratic forces to contest the coming Assembly elections in Bihar, Jharkhand and Haryana states so that communal forces like the BJP and its allies could be kept out of power.

“The BJP and RSS have been trying to communalise the atmosphere of the country by raising the issue of Ram Mandir and Hindutva. The CPI will not allow the BJP and RSS to achieve this. The CPI considers that the UPA Government has not committed any injustice by removing the Governors of different states as the BJP-led NDA Government had also removed Governors, who had been appointed by the Congress Government,” said Mr Bardhan.

He, however, added that the CPI had objected to the reduction of the time of the forthcoming parliamentary session to three weeks only. The CPI had put forward its demand that the time period of the next Lok Sabha session should be increased.

Later Mr Bardhan along with Dr Dyal addressed meeting of party workers of Bathinda, Mansa and Faridkot districts.


A dream came true for Major Sarfraz
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Major Sarfraz Singh atop Mt Nun.
Major Sarfraz Singh atop Mt Nun.

Chandigarh, November 2
For Major Sarfraz Singh of 6 Para Regiment, scaling of 7140 metre-high Mount Nun in the Zanskar Range of Suru region (south of Kargil) as a deputy leader of a 50-member Army team last month, was a dream come true.

A fourth generation soldier, this young Major comes from Sansarpur, erstwhile nursery of Indian hockey. His father, Colonel Balbir Singh, an Olympian, was the youngest to get Arjuna award in hockey.

Twentyseven-year-old Major Sarfraz Singh, named after Pakistan’s former pacer, Sarfraz Nawaz, has now set his eyes on Mount Everest.

Adventure and bringing laurels to the country has been in his blood. His great grandfather, Hav Jagat Singh, a wrestler, had taken part in the World War-I. He was in then 35 Sikh, which later became Ist Sikh.

His grandfather, Sub-Major Gajjan Singh, was initially in 513 Frontier Force and was a contemporary of hockey wizard Dhyan Chand. He had the distinction of playing against Major Dhyan Chand in then what used to be known as native hockey competition. In four encounters against hockey wizard’s unit, Subedar-Major Gajjan Singh’s team won two and lost the remaining two matches.

In 1947, soon after Partition when Pakistan attacked Jammu & Kashmir, Subedar-Major Gajjan Singh was part of the first Platoon of Ist Sikh. He was hit in the shoulder during the action and evacuated to a Delhi Hospital. Incidentally 50 years later, he died in the same hospital.

Sarfraz’s father, Colonel Balbir Singh, also wanted to join the regiment of his father and grandfather but because of a knee injury, he was declared unfit for Infantry. He played for Army Supply Corps (ASC), Services and India in the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico.

It was Ist Sikh which had produced hockey Olympians like Haripal Kaushik and Hardial Singh, besides world cupper H.J.S. Chimni and Olympian wrestler Madho Singh.

Sarfraz, who wanted to try his hand at boxing, was persuaded to take to mountaineering. It was his physical fitness and endurance as a paratrooper that made him the deputy leader of the contingent which attempted to scale Mt Nun from the most challenging west face. Presence of a crevasse filled massive ice fall and its 75 to 80 degree steep gradient made it a difficult peak to scale.

A training camp in Agra for extensive physical fitness training was held before it was flagged off from South Block in New Delhi. A total of six officers, three Junior Commissioned Officers and 22 paratroopers finally went atop the peak. Major S.S. Sekhawat was the expedition leader.

For Lieut-General Nirbhay Sharma, General Officer Commanding, 15 Corps and Colonel of the Parachute Regiment, the aim of the expedition was to train paratroopers for future operational commitments envisaged in mountainous terrain as also to imbibe a spirit of adventurism and “espirit-de-crops”. “We achieved it,” says Major Sarfraz Singh.


Shivrajini dazzles audience
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 2
Local girl Shivrajni Narula today gave a spectacular kathak performance during the All-India Dance and Drama festival. It was organised by the local United Artists Patiala at the Central State Library here.

Besides the performance of Shivrajini, the performance of a child prodigy Isha Dang was also appreciated in the classical category. Group dances of troupes from Assam and Mizoram were also presented.

Earlier in the morning, in the one-act play session, the play ‘Abhimanyu’ drew applause from the audience. Zila Parishad Chairperson Gursharan Kaur Randhawa was the chief guest. She urged the organisers to hold more such cultural functions in the city to foster the feeling of brotherhood amongst people from different states. Festival organisers V.D. Gautam and Ramneek Gautam said the festival was aimed to propagate cultural activities in the city.


Shops coming up on plots meant for SCs’ houses
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, November 2
In a gross violation of rules, certain politicians are converting the land meant for houses of Schedule Castes into shops.

Sources here said five plots of two marla each were allotted by the Pathankot Improvement Trust to the SCs in 1979. The plots were allotted near the Patel chowk area under a Union Government scheme to provide houses to the landless SCs.

As per the rules and regulations of the scheme, the plots were to be used for the construction of houses only. The plots could neither be sold further nor used for any other purpose.

However, the beneficiaries failed to construct the houses. With the passage of time, the price of a plot has gone up to Rs 40 lakh.

Some of the politicians are now trying to take advantage of the situation. Taking the allottees into confidence they have started constructing shops at the site. A section of their rivals have complained to the improvement trust authorities regarding the bungling.

The Executive Officer of the improvement trust, Mr Vijay Kumar Sharma, said two notices had been served on the allottees to stop the construction.

“Whenever we visit to the spot the allottees told us that they were carrying out the construction. Since the construction is not in consonance with the maps approved by the improvement trust, we are taking action against them,” he added.

When this correspondent visited the site today the construction of a shops as a single unit was going on. It was surprising that the plots were allotted to five persons and a single unit was coming at 10 marla.

The Executive Officer when asked if some influential politicians were behind the construction, he said it could be difficult to prove that.


World Bank team visits kandi project
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, November 2
A World Bank team consisting of Mr Daniel Sellen, task manager, Dr Draund, sociologist, Dr Kroop, veterinary expert, Dr Jain, economist, Dr Das, economic expert, and Mr Peter, forest and watershed expert visited the local unit of the Integrated Watershed Development Project Hills- II of Kandi area at Atwarapur village yesterday.

The team members reviewed the project works, visiting sites and interacting with villagers. They saw an exhibition on income generating activities and products arranged by self-help group members.

Later, they visited forestry plantation works undertaken by the project, which included intervention of medicinal plants such as aloevera and tulsi.

They inspected the barrier wall in choes from where sub-surface water tapped by underground fitters is used for irrigation.

They appreciated the introduction of high-value crops such as pineapple, peas and garlic in addition to fodder and traditional crops.

The augmentation of water has resulted in increasing the irrigated area from 60 hectares to 145 hectares at Atwarapur where farmers primarily grow potato, sugarcane and mustard. 


Agnivesh blames religious leaders for foeticide
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, November 2
Swami Agnivesh, Chairperson of United Nations Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery and recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavna Award-2004, spoke on “Parents, have a heart for the daughter” organised by Savera, a social organisation, here yesterday.

Swami Agnivesh said religious leaders, patriarchy and doctors were all responsible for female foeticide. Female foeticide was a sin. The decreasing gender ratio would create serious problems .

Mr Romesh Chander Dogra, Health and Family Welfare Minister Punjab, Mr Iqbal Singh, former member of Rajya Sabha, Mr Kuldip Nanda, president DCC, Dr Y.C. Markan, Civil Surgeon Hoshiarpur, Dr Ajay Bagga, Secretary Savera and Dr Harbhajan Singh, president IMA local branch, also addressed the gathering.


650 examined at eye camp
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, November 2
More than 650 patients were examined and provided free medicines in an eye camp organised by the Bharat Vikas Parishad today.

The camp, which was held in collaboration with the local health authorities, witnessed a large number of patients suffering with various eye diseases.

The patients were operated upon by leading eye surgeons of the region, Dr S.P. Garg from Abohar and Dr Arun Jhamb from Fazilka.

According to the organiser of the camp, Mr Subhash Tuli, during the camp around 26 persons decided to donate their eyes.

The camp would continue for the next two days. 


4 Army School students hurt
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, November 2
The Punjab and Haryana High Court had recently directed to ensure that vehicles carrying schoolchildren were safe. However, the apathy of the local administration regarding the directive led to an accident here on the Madhopur-Pathankot road in which four students of the Army School were injured seriously.

Sources said 20 students of the Army School, Madhopur, were returning home when the vehicle met with an accident with an Army truck coming from the opposite direction.

The students were packed like sardines in the vehicle.

The seriously injured students were admitted to the Civil Hospital, Pathankot. They were Akansha, Anurag, Abhishek and Kunal.


Regiment celebrates Raising Day
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, November 2
The 325th Light Air Defence Regiment celebrated its 22nd Raising Day here yesterday. The Commanding Officer of the unit, Col S.N. Dikshit, during his address to the soldiers and officers, said the unit was raised on November 1, 1983. It had taken part in many operations for internal and border security.

For its services during the Gujarat earthquake, it was felicitated by the Southern Command. The unit had also performed well in checking infiltration from across the border for which it had earned a special place in 616 Brigade.


Bumper paddy crop brings low profit
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Moga, November 2
Though Malwa farmers have reaped a bumper paddy crop this year despite drought-like conditions prevailing in the region, their margin of profit has gone down owing to the rise in input costs.

According to figures released by the Agricultural Department here, the production of paddy has increased to 29 quintals per acre as compared to the 27.1 quintals per acre last year. In many cases farmers also had a yield of 40 quintals per acre.

Speaking to The Tribune, Mr Gurdev Singh, a small farmer hailing from Khosa Randhir village, said he had to spend 10 times more on diesel this year owing to acute power crisis and scanty rainfall. He said only farmers who could bear the high input costs had a bumper crop, while others with limited resources had no option but to plough their fields. Mr Harbans Singh of Dhaleke village said low rainfall was advantageous in a way that the crop was not affected by any disease. He said low production in previous years was due to diseases that generally occur in moist conditions. He said this time they did not have to spend much on pesticides, as there was hardly any infection in the crop. “But the amount we spent on diesel was many times more than what we saved on pesticides,” he added.

Mr Jagtar Singh Mann, a farmer from Kishanpur Kalan, gave all credit for the bumper crop to the farming community and said that they did not think twice before putting everything at stake for ensuring a good yield. He said farmers had to deepen their borewells this time owing to the declining water table. He said though the average farmers had managed marginal profit or no-profit-no-loss, small farmers bore the brunt of drought-like conditions.

Another farmer, Mr Gurmail Singh Sangatpura, said the bumper crop did not come easy and they had to sweat it out in harsh summer to tide over the acute power crisis and irregular canal water supply. He said the farmers had fought on two fronts this season — outside the offices of the electricity board and on their fields. He said the farmers had to protest in many villages to get transformers replaced while their family members made it sure that water supply to their fields was not stopped.

However, after a tough time on the fields, the procurement process brought smiles on the farmers’ faces. The farmers at the local grain market were all praise for paddy procurement, which they termed smooth like the last couple of years. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Mandeep Singh, said 10,19,338 metric tonnes of paddy was procured from grain markets till October 25 as compared to the last year’s total figure of 10,06,000 metric tonnes. He said a payment of Rs 409.61 crore out of the total of Rs 546.31 crore had also been made to the farmers till October 25.


BKU firm on ‘rail roko’ stir today
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 2
The situation in Bathinda and its surrounding districts of Muktsar, Ferozepore and Mansa is becoming tense as the activists of BKU (Ekta), Ugrahhan group, are determined to organise a rail roko agitation tomorrow.

While the police along with the General Railway Police (GRP) are determined to stop the same.

Even as the police officials of these districts along with the officials of the GRP have been working out a strategy for the past two days to prevent the BKU activists from causing any hindrance in the smooth flow of rail traffic, the BKU (Ekta) leadership today announced that they are determined to organise the rail roko agitation for three hours at three places in Mansa, Muktsar and Ferozepore districts.

On the other hand the Railway authorities have taken necessary steps to prevent any untoward incident during the agitation tomorrow.

Mr Nar Singh, Senior Divisional Operation Manager, Indian Railways, Ferozepore, when contacted, pointed out that the Railway Protection Force had been alerted for tomorrow's event. He added that rail traffic would flow as per scheduled and if any incident took place tomorrow, action would be taken accordingly.

Official sources said the police and the GRP had started deploying their personnel on rail tracks in Gidderbaha, Jalalabad and Mansa where the BKU activists are planning to organise the agitation to lodge their protest against the sharp fall in the prices of raw cotton and to press the Centre to make arrangements to stabilise the prices.

Preventive arrests of BKU activists had been going on through out the state and so far nearly 400 activists had been taken into custody.

Mr H.S. Bhullar, AIG, GRP, Patiala, when contacted, pointed out that the GRP in association with the police would maintain the law and order situation tomorrow. He added that rail tracks would be kept clear for the smooth flow of rail traffic at all costs.

He added that more than 200 GRP personnel had already been sent to the areas where the BKU was planning to organise the agitation.

Meanwhile, Mr Jhanda Singh Jethuke, president, BKU (Ekta), Ugrahhan group, Bathinda unit, claimed that so far the police could not arrest any of the leaders of the organisation, who had been preparing for tomorrow's agitation as per schedule.

He alleged that now it had been established beyond doubt that the Centre and the state governments were anti-farmers. 


Frontline farmer leaders go underground
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
As the Punjab Police continues to arrest farmers in connection with their proposed “rail roko” agitation tomorrow, a large number of farmer leaders have gone underground in the state.

In the past days, over 500 farmers, including 35 women, have been arrested at various places in the state. Though the state government authorities have confirmed the arrest of farmers, they are not ready to disclose their number. In fact, though the arrests of farmers are being made for the past several days, the government has not issued any official statement in this connection till date.

Meanwhile, Mr Joginder Singh Ugrahan, Mr Kanwalpreet Singh Pannu, Mr Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan and Mr Amarjit Singh Usma, all farmer leaders, who have given a joint call for the agitation, said that they were firm to stop trains tomorrow at certain places, which they were keeping secret for obvious reasons. Though the Punjab Police and the state government was using all their might to subdue farmers, they would not succeed to do so, said the farmer leaders.

Criticising the statement of the Punjab Police chief, Mr A.A. Siddiqui, the farmer leaders said that instead of using forces against farmers, the police chief should “deal firmly” with traders and commission agents, who were exploiting farmers by using various means. Farmers were being forced to sell their cotton at throwaway prices. DAP fertilisers were being sold in the black market, they added.

They said that all front and second line leaders of the farming community had gone underground as they were knowing well in advance that the government would use tough measures against them to “crush” their agitation. Farmer leaders said that it was wrong on the part of Mr Siddiqui to say that farmers would take law and order in their hands. They said that farmers had no such intention. They were only seeking a check on the steep decline in cotton prices, besides the waiving of farm loans and clearance of the dues with regard to sugarcane.

Urging farmers to peacefully participate in the “rail roko” agitation, farmer leaders said that they would not be provoked by the statements made by the state government regarding their agitation. “We would make the rail roko programme a success”, they said.

Farmer leaders say that the present government had been pursuing anti-farmer policies right from the word go. “No farmer organisations should expect a better treatment from the present government than what is being given to farmers by arresting them”, farmer leaders added.


BKU activists seek payment of dues
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, November 2
Bharatiya Kisan Union (Lakhowal) activists today staged a protest outside the Faridkot Cooperative Sugar Mill demanding immediate payment of the cane farmers’ dues.

Addressing the protesters, the acting president of the union, Mr Manjeet Singh Kadian, alleged that the cooperative sugar mills had misappropriated Rs 100 crore of farmers and had been delaying the payment of their dues for long. He demanded that the sugar mills be started on November 15 every year and the cane price should be fixed at Rs 154 per quintal. Surprisingly, Mr Kadian came out against the ‘rail roko’ stir call given by the BKU (Ekta) and said some farmers’ bodies were trying to “mislead” farmers in connivance with the state government.

The state general secretary, Mr Bhupinder Singh Mahesari, alleged that the farmers were being looted under the contract-based policy started by the Punjab Agro Food Corporation.

He alleged that the corporation was not taking Basmati despite entering into an agreement with the farmers about the same.

The union leaders warned that if the state government did not pay the cane farmers their dues at the earliest, they would intensify their agitation.

The MD of Faridkot Cooperative Sugar Mill, Mr B.S. Tiwana, said the cane farmers’ dues till 2003 had been paid and the rest of the payment would be made soon. 


Drive against illegal colonies from today
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 2
The municipal corporation will launch a three-day drive against illegal colonies from tomorrow.

The Mayor said the three day drive starts tomorrow would target illegal colonies coming up on the outskirts of the city. He said more than 20 new colonies had been identified which were coming up illegally on the outskirts of the city.

The corporation had earlier announced that it would not sanction maps of houses proposed to be built on illegal colonies. It had urged the people not to buy any plot in areas which were not under the municipal corporation. However, this did not have the desired effect and colonisers have been cutting plots in such colonies.

The corporation has identified 66 colonies in the city where construction work is going on without sanction from the corporation.

The corporation during its three day drive will demolish all infrastructure built by the colonisers.


Inside Babudom
SP still holds charge despite CM's orders
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Ferozepur's Superintendent of Police (Vigilance Bureau) Inderjit Singh Randhawa has still not relinquished the charge even though his transfer orders were issued on October 25. He was looking into fake pension case in which relatives of petitioner in DSPs recruitment matter were allegedly harassed.

The orders were issued after Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh expressed dissatisfaction with the explanation offered by Vigilance Bureau's top bass regarding the arrest of petitioner Jaskaran Singh Brar's father and brother. Taking a serious view of the mater, the Chief Minister had also directed the Bureau Chief A.P. Pandey to submit a factual report in the matter.

The sources in the Vigilance Bureau asserted that the Chief Minister had been apprised of the facts. They added that the SP would relinquish the charge if the Chief Minister was still not satisfied.

In a related matter, the Punjab Government has still not proceeded against seven DSPs even though their selections were set aside by a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on October 15. The orders were passed on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Mr Brar.

The candidates included Media Adviser to the Chief Minister B.I.S. Chahal's son Bikram Inderjit Singh Chahal and Ferozepur's Senior Superintendent of Police Harinder Chahal's son Gulzar Singh.

The sources in the Punjab Government asserted that action had so far not been initiated against the DSPs as the government was now working out the modalities for filing a special leave petition before the Supreme Court of India.

They added that at least two of candidates had already decided to challenge the order in the apex court.

Meanwhile, giving details of matter involving Ferozepur's SP, the sources said the orders regarding his transfer were issued in less than 24 hours after a newspaper report claimed that petitioner Jaskaran Singh's relatives were harassed following the filing of PIL in the DSP recruitment matter. 


4.9 quintals of poppy husk seized
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, November 2
The police here has arrested three persons and seized 4.9 quintals of poppy husk from their possession.

The accused have been identified as Mohmmad Gusuf, a resident of Anantnag, Mohmmad Gafi Tar and Nazir Ahmmad, residents of Gafa Nagri, Pulwama (Jammu and Kashmir).

According to police sources, following a tip-off, the police laid a special naka at Simbal Chowk here yesterday.

One truck (JK-01-A-2949) coming from Jammu side, was intercepted and after a close search poppy husk concealed in various parts of the vehicle, which was loaded with fruit, was seized. A case under Section 15-61-85 of the NDPS Act was registered against the accused.


Varsity employee held for cheating
Our Correspondent

Patiala, November 2
The police here today arrested a Punjabi University employee for duping a local resident of Rs 3 lakh by promising admission of his daughter to a medical college in the state.

The police also seized a gun from the possession of university employee Karamvir Singh Anand who is working as a laboratory assistant. A separate case has been registered against the employee in this context besides a case of fraud.

According to police sources, Karamvir Singh Anand had promised Surinder Mohan, a resident of Urban Estate, Phase II, that he would ensure that the latter’s daughter cleared the PMT test. The sources said Anand claimed that he was a doctor and had connections in high places.

Sadar police station Inspector Krishan Kumar Panthey said Anand was able to convince Surinder Mohan that he would ensure his daughter’s selection to a medical college of the state after she cleared the PMT test. The Inspector said Surinder Mohan handed over Rs 3 lakh to Anand as he was not sure that his daughter would clear the competitive examination. According to the FIR, Surinder Mohan later came to know that Anand was a laboratory assistant and not a doctor. Anand had returned a part of the money to Mohan.


Farmer found murdered in fields
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, November 2
A 50-year-old farmer was found murdered in his fields in Bhandal Bet early this morning. The body of the victim, Shingara Singh, bore scores of deep stab wounds on his face as he seemed to be hit with sharpedged weapons. The marks were so deep that the face was mutilated beyond recognition.

The murder took place late last night while the family got the information this morning as the victim had been sleeping alone in the fields. The body was first seen by the servant as he was taking morning tea for him.

The police has been investigating the case since morning. Though no specific reason for the murder could be known, it is considering the facts that the man was involved in some property cases and had some pending dues that were to be cleared.

A case had been registered against him by the police recently. Also his two sons had “illegally” gone to Philippines, though they were involved in some cases.


Nabbed for fraud and forgery
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, November 2
The police has arrested Gurmej Ram of Chachoki village on charges of fraud, forgery and faking revenue documents. a press note issued by the Kapurthala SSP, Mr S.K. Asthana, said today that the arrest was made under Sections 420, 465, 468, 471 and 120-B, IPC.

Gurmej Ram prepared fake revenue records (jamabandi) and showed himself as the owner of a house at Chachoki village for furnishing a bail bond of Kalhan of Bagra under Tawai police station in Muzaffargarh district Kalhan had been arrested under Section 3 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act. He was bailed out after Gurmej furnished a bond with fake documents.

On orders of the Judicial Magistrate, Mr Sanjiv Beri, the case was registered against the accused yesterday.

During preliminary investigations, Gurmej Ram had admitted that he had forged many jamabandis earlier also for furnishing bonds, the press note said.


Woman, paramour commit suicide
Tribune News Service

Moga, November 2
A woman and her paramour hanged themselves from a ceiling fan in a suicide pact at Thathibhai village, near here, yesterday.

The woman, Paramjeet Kaur, was survived by her husband, a son and a daughter.

Sources said that Paramjeet had been having an affair with her neighbour, Ranjeet Singh, for the past couple of years. However, their family members were against the relationship.

On the fateful day, Paramjeet's husband, who was a farm labourer, had gone to attend a marriage function in a nearby village.

The police has handed over the bodies to the family members of the deceased after a post-mortem examination.


Five proclaimed offenders arrested
Tribune News Service

Moga, November 2
The CIA staff has arrested five proclaimed offenders who had been absconding in separate cases that included smuggling of opium and illicit liquor.

Dharminder Singh, who had been absconding in a case of intrusion and assault with sharpedged weapons, has been arrested. A case was registered against him under Sections 326 and 452 of the IPC on July 23, 1998.

Three persons, Nishan Singh of Daulewala village, Sukhdev Singh of Budhsinghwala village, Chamkaur Singh of Dosanjh village, who were at large in cases of smuggling illicit liquor, have been arrested.

Major Singh, a resident of Ajitwal, who was involved in the smuggling of opium, has also been nabbed.

The CIA staff in charge, Mr Tehal Singh, said that these criminals were absconding after getting bail from the court.


Rajindra College wins giddha title at youth fest
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 2
The team of the local Government Rajindra College today won the title in Giddha event organised during the three-day zonal youth festival of Punjabi University, Patiala, which started yesterday afternoon. The girls of Government Nehru Memorial College, Mansa, got the second prize.

About 23 government and private colleges of Bathinda, Mansa and Faridkot districts are participating in the festival. More than 300 students are competing for prizes in different events. According to a press note issued by the Principal, Government Rajindra College, where the festival is being held, the first prize in classical vocal event was won by Government Barjindra College, Faridkot, while the second prize was bagged by Government Rajindra College.

The other results are as follows:

On-the-spot painting: TPD Malwa College, Rampura Phul, first, Government Nehru Memorial College, Mansa, second.

Collage: DAV College, Bathinda and TPD Malwa College, Rampura Phul, joint winners; Shaheed Bhagat Singh Government College, Kot Kapura and Guru Nanak College, Budhlada, joint second. Classical dance: Government Nehru Memorial College, Mansa, first and Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa Girls College, Bathinda, second.

Geet/Ghazal: Government Barjindra College, Faridkot, first and Government Rajindra College and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Government College, Kot Kapura, joint second.

Group shabad: Government Barjindra College, Faridkot, first and Government Nehru Memorial College, Mansa, second.

Orchestra: Government Rajindra College, Bathinda, first and Government Nehru Memorial College, Mansa, second.

Classical Instrument (two categories) Government Barjindra College and Government Rajindra College second one first and one second position each in both categories.

Group song: Government Barjindra College, Faridkot, first and Government Rajindra College, Bathinda, second. 


Dances, skits mark school function
Tribune News Service

Kharar, November 2
At the first annual day function of Sacred Soul’s School students presented a colourful cultural programme on the occasion here today.

Programme began with a welcome song and followed by dances, songs and skits. Students performed Bengali and Arabian dances with ease, swaying to tunes in brightly-coloured clothes. A ballad, “The sound of music”, emphasising the importance of love and attention in the lives of children followed the dance performance.

Bringing alive the need to educate the girl child, the students presented Punjabi skit to drive home the point. The fairy tale “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” were also enacted.

An item on the festivals of India and the unity in diversity marked the finale. From Divali to Holi and Christmas to Id, the diverse cultures which unite its people during celebrations were brought alive on stage.

Chief guest Rana Gurjit Singh, Member of Parliament, Jalandhar, congratulated the school family for a lively show. Mr Bir Devinder, guest of honour, said that he felt proud to have a school like Sacred Soul’s in his constituency. Principal, Mrs Neelinderjeet Sandhu, highlighted curriculum followed in the school.


Patel Memorial College wins 7 positions

Rajpura, November 2
Patel Memorial National here won seven first and five second positions in the Punjabi University zonal youth festival held at Ropar. Ms Sunita Dhir, director, youth Welfare, Punjabi University, Patiala, declared the results. The first position was won by Ms Aman Sharma (elocution), Ms Mandeep Kaur and Ms Navdeep Kaur (debate), Ms Gurdaman Kaur (Poser-making), Ms Mehnag Akhtar (Geet-gazal + folk-song), Mr Jiten Mr Nishant & Mr Saurabh (Quiz).

The college also won second positions in Rangoli, histrionics, classical dance, poster-making and rope-making. Punjabi University Patiala will reward the college with Rs 2100. Dr I.S. Tiwana, principal of the college, congratulated the participants and teachers on this. TNS

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