P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Vedanti refuses recognition to PSGPC
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 14
In a significant statement, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, today said that no recognition would be given to the PSGPC as the SGPC was the only representative body of the Sikhs.

Jathedar Vedanti, accompanied by Bhai Balwant Singh Nandgarh, Jathedar, Takht Damdama Sahib, and Mr Gurpal Singh Gora, senior vice-president, SGPC, made this statement when asked whether Mr Mastan Singh, a Sikh and president of the PSGPC, who would be visiting India would be given recognition in that capacity. He said Akal Takht only recognised the SGPC.

Asked if there was a move to give conditional recognition to the PSGPC, he said it would never happen.

Mr Gora said when the Pakistan government had given no power to the PSGPC to manage Sikh religious places, then the PSGPC was a non-entity and could not be given recognition.

In another significant statement, Jathedar Vedanti, expressing his displeasure over the fact that the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, had not made efforts to settle turban issue in France, said it was the moral duty of Dr Manmohan Singh to strive for it.

He said Akal Takht had passed a resolution in which the SGPC had been directed to take up this matter at all levels so that the dignity of Sikhs could be protected. A delegation of the SGPC would be approaching various authorities in this connection shortly.

Jathedar Vedanti, who was here to attend a state-level convention on female foeticide, when asked why Bibi Jagir Kaur was made the SGPC president even though she was suspected to be involved in the killing of her daughter, he said the matter was pending in court and he could not comment.

Asked about his comment over the allegations levelled by Mr Inderjit Singh Basarke, president of the DCC (R), Amritsar, that Jathedar Vedanti was a puppet in the hands of the SAD, Jathedar Vedanti said he was not invited to the function held by the Congress to mark Bandi Chhod Divas. He said he was supposed to go only to gurdwaras and not other places, including bhavans, where the function was organised.

He said the Jathedar of any Takht should not go to any embassy of any country for visa.


Tarlochan to meet PSGPC chief today
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 14
The Chairman, National Minorities Commission, Mr Tarlochan Singh, will meet Mr Mastan Singh, president, Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC), at Lahore tomorrow. He will also hold meetings with Choudhary Parvez Ellahi, Chief Minister, West Punjab, and other Pakistani dignitaries on preserving all historical Sikh shrines there.

Talking to TNS here today, the commission chairman said there was a need to preserve the historical gurdwaras in Pakistan. He, however, appreciated the Pakistan government’s measures to preserve certain main gurdwaras. He said with the passage of time many Sikh heritage buildings had disappeared, which was a matter of concern. He said he would urge Mr Mastan Singh to ensure preservation of the remaining gurdwaras through kar seva. He said the SGPC should be consulted before carrying out any renovation work in this regard.

Mr Tarlochan Singh, however, urged the SGPC to accord recognition to the PSGPC since the Government of Pakistan had accepted its demand to form a gurdwara committee.

He said he would urge the Government of India to grant visas to NRI Sikhs for visiting India and Pakistan so that they could pay their obeisance at the Sikh shrines of both countries without any hassle. The Government of Pakistan should also reciprocate the gesture by granting visas on a similar pattern.

He further said he would urge the Indian Government to declare Punjab a restriction-free zone. It was declared restricted area during militancy days.


Free education mooted for girls
Tribune News Service

No justice in courts, says judge

In a significant statement, Mr Justice Hemant Kumar of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, today said that in the present judicial set-up, only decisions were being made and justice was not being given to litigants.

Addressing a question-answer session, he said justice could be acquired only from the court of God. He said in a number of criminal cases, witnesses were won over by the accused.

Bathinda, November 14
While the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Punjab unit, has passed a resolution demanding free and compulsory education and interest-free loans for girls to check female foeticide, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, has said village, mohalla and colony-level committees should be set up to protect the girl child. He was addressing a state-level convention on female foeticide here today.

Mr Darbara Singh Guru, Principal Secretary, Health, Punjab, who was the chief guest, suggested that government agencies and NGOs should come on a common platform to check female foeticide.

Dr O.P.S. Kande, president of the state unit of the IMA, said the IMA, which had administered an oath to about 3,000 members for not indulging in female foeticide, decided not to support erring medical professionals.

Mr Justice Hemant Gupta of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Bhai Balwant Singh Nandgarh, Jathedar, Takht Damdama Sahib, Dr Shama Metre, Chinmay Mission, Kangra, Dr Hari Narain Tewari, Kangra, Dr Neelam Singh, Lucknow, and Dr N.S. Bawa, Chairman, state PNDT cell, among others attended the convention at Dr Walati Ram Memorial Auditorium at SSD Girls’ College.

Jathedar Vedanti said expectant mothers should be kept under watch, while Mr Guru said the Punjab Government was planning to launch a “baldi rakhiya yon” and give incentives to panchayats where the sex ratio was adequate. He said the PNDT Act was being implemented strictly and about 55 medical professionals, who had indulged in pre-natal sex determination, were facing criminal charges.

Licences of about 42 ultrasound centres had also been suspended.

He said as per reports from different government-run hospitals, where about 22 per cent of the total deliveries of the state take place, it had been concluded that 849 females had taken birth against 1,000 males in 2003. As per the 2001 census, there were 798 females in the 0 to 6 years age group against 1,000 males of the same group.

Dr Metre said the sex ratio had been falling at an alarming rate in the urban areas.

Meghna Gupta, a class VI student, delivered a speech and put light on various aspects.

Jathedar Vedanti administered an oath to participants that they would never indulge or promote female foeticide.

Meanwhile, Mr Guru said a committee headed by the Chief Secretary, Mr Jai Singh Gill, had cleared the proposal for recruiting about 1,371 doctors to fill vacancies in government-run hospitals.


SGPC presents siropa to Advani
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 14
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) today honoured former Deputy Prime Minister and BJP chief L.K. Advani at the information office of the Golden Temple here.

Mr Advani paid obeisance at the Golden Temple along with his family.

Dr Ratan Singh Ajnala, Akali MP, along with the SGPC authorities honoured him with a siropa and presented a model of the Golden Temple. Mr Navjot Singh, MP, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, MP and president of the state BJP, and other leaders of the party were also present on the occasion.


Police disallows owners to till land; SSP
orders probe

Rashmi Talwar and Gurbax Puri

Manochal (Tarn Taran), November 14
Tension gripped this village today as victims of land-grab case were not allowed by the police to till their fields which had been allegedly grabbed by 40 armed persons on Tuesday.

Mahinder Singh and Joginder Singh, both brothers who live in the same village, alleged that among the armed persons was Manjit Singh, a former militant. However, they alleged that the police pressurised them to omit Manjit’s name from the FIR lodged on November 10 at the Chabbal police station.

Niranjan Singh, Lakha Singh, Mahinder Singh, Jagir Singh, Kashmir Singh, Joginder Singh, Balwinder Singh, Avtar Singh and Dilbagh Singh were booked in the case.

The brothers alleged that 40 armed persons on tractors took away paddy from one acre and destroyed crop on seven acres.

However, only six suspects were arrested while Balwinder Singh, Dilbagh Singh and Niranjan Singh are still absconding.

The land has been under police vigil since the filing of the FIR. The owners alleged that when they went to till their land on that day they were confronted by 25 armed persons who tried to attack them in the presence of the police. They alleged that the police remained a mute spectator and instead told them to file a court case with regard to the ownership of the land.

They claim that they were sons of late Kehar Singh and have been owning the land since 1962 after the land ceiling Act came into force in 1953. The surplus land of Mewa Singh Zamindar, measuring about 18 acres, was transferred in the name of Kehar Singh and his sons by the state government through the Deputy Commissioner, they added. Presenting relevant revenue records to The Tribune, they claimed that since 1962 all girdawaris were in their names.

Mr Rattan Randhawa, district secretary, CPM, Mr Jaspal Singh Dhillon, district general secretary, Jamboori Kisan Sabha, and Mr Atma Singh, village nambardaar, alleged that the family of Mewa Singh was involved in the land-grabbing in connivance with the police.

Apprehending danger, they demanded immediate arrest of all accused, restoration of land to rightful owners, confiscation of illegal arms, besides filing of an FIR against Manjit Singh, who is out on bail. 


Liquor being sold at higher rates
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, November 14
Country made liquor and the India-made foreign liquor (IMFL) continue to sell at higher rates here in the wake of orders for reauction of liquor vends in Ludhiana district. The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered the reauction of liquor vends in all the three excise districts of Ludhiana.

The Supreme Court had also cancelled the auction of liquor vends in Jalandhar, Nawanshahr and Hoshiarpur and had ordered the reauction of the same.

The Punjab Government has held reauction in the three Doaba districts and the reauction in Ludhiana district is yet to take place before November 30.

According to Mr Manmohan Singh, Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Ludhiana, the date for the reauction would be fixed next week.

Meanwhile, enquiries made by The Tribune show that liquor of all brands is being sold at much higher rates compared to the minimum price fixed by the state government.

Country made liquor is being sold at Rs 120 against the minimum price of Rs 85 per bottle. The IMFL is also being sold at higher rates — a bottle of Royal Challenge costs Rs 400 against the minimum price of Rs 285. Similarly, Royal Stag is being sold at Rs 290 against Rs 200 per bottle, McDowell at Rs 260 against Rs 200, Peterscot at Rs 450 to Rs 480 against Rs 300, Bagpiper at Rs 200 against Rs 150 and cheap brand Binny at Rs 170 against Rs 120 per bottle.

Enquiries further reveal that smuggling of all types of liquor is taking place at a large scale despite the fact that the official liquor contractors in Punjab have engaged musclemen who are armed to check of smuggling. These liquor contractors also have the support of the state Excise Department and the police. The smuggling of liquor is being made from Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.

This reporter was informed by a contractor that the men engaged in the smuggling trade buy cheap boxes of liquor from Chandigarh and make “home delivery” at some profit.

The official liquor trade is being controlled by liquor barons of UP and they have raised the prices of retail sale of liquor due to their political clout. Officials of the Excise Department seldom check the hike in the retail sale prices.

Meanwhile, sources close to the Punjab Government revealed that an emergency meeting of the Punjab Cabinet is being held tomorrow to discuss the situation with regard to the reauction of the liquor vends in Ludhiana and also assess the situation with regard to a loss of Rs 17.5 crore incurred at the reauction of liquor vends in Jalandhar, Nawanshahr and Hoshiarpur districts last week.

The sources say that the state government may file an SLP in the high court and seek status quo in Ludhiana in view of the loss suffered in Jalandhar, Nawanshahr and Hoshiarpur districts. Although the state excise duty fell by Rs 17.5 crore, the control of the liquor vends has remained with the group already having the control of the vends in these districts. Only in Jalandhar, a Chandigarh-based liquor baron-turned politician was able to have his say and raise the money by Rs 2 crore.

In Ludhiana district, the liquor vends were auctioned for Rs 235 crore in February last for the whole year, whereas the petitioner, who challanged the auction in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, had offered Rs 253 crore for the same.


Tribune Impact
3 held for circulating obscene photos of girl
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, November 14
The police has arrested three residents of Pathankot on the charges of exploiting a girl and circulating her obscene photographs on mobile phone through MMS message and e-mail.

The SSP, Gurdaspur, Mr Narinder Bhargav, said a special team was constituted to investigate the case. The team managed to arrest Arjun Singh, the main accused in the case and kin of a trustee of a local college. Two other accused who have been rounded up are Naveen Mahajan and Sachin Chowdhary, kin of a former Congress MP. The investigation regarding their role in the case was still going on.

The strictest possible action under the law would be taken against the accused in the case so that it acted as a deterrent for others, he said. However, kin of the victim girl till date were not willing to come forward as complainants and hence the charges of sexual exploitation of the girl could not verified, he added.

A case under Sections 384, 385, 292, 294, 509, 511 and 506 of the IPC has been registered against the accused.

As reported, some politically influential people of Pathankot had exploited a local girl and her nude photographs were circulated around the town as MMS messages on mobiles and e-mail.

Sources said that the case related to kin of politically influential trustee of a local college. The person, along with a few of his friends, exploited a college girl and clicked her nude photographs. The girl was then blackmailed.

She was allegedly forced by the accused to serve many influential persons of the town. The operation went astray when the mobile phone of one of the accused in which he has stored obscene photographs of the girl developed some problem. He went to a local mechanic in Pathankot who secretly downloaded the photographs.

The mechanic allegedly tried to blackmail the accused. However, when they did not yield to his demands, he circulated the photographs among a few of his friends. With this started the viscous circle in which the obscene photographs of the girl got circulated around the town.

The incident has evoked strong reaction from the local social organisations. Demanding a strict action against the accused in the case, these organisations have alleged that incident was just a tip of the iceburg. A nexus of influential people and certain officials of the town has been running a sex racket in the town, they say.

Recently, the Gurdaspur police had busted a sex racket allegedly being run in a hotel at Pathankot. Three local youths and three girls were arrested from a local hotel. If the police managed to crack the present case, many bigways involved in the racket would fall in the police net, sources said.


Blast may affect auction of shops
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 14
The powerful blast that occurred at about 7.30 p.m. today in the posh Nehru Shopping Complex just above The Tribune office located on the second floor is likely to affect the auction by the Improvement Trust, announced for the complex shops today.

The blast that could be heard in far off places like Putlighar and Majitha Road areas is likely to put the trust authorities in a quandary as the complex has reportedly only one chowkidaar on its premises for its security.

The auction was announced for December 6 in a number of national and regional newspapers through advertisements. The mammoth complex comprising nearly 360 shops normally witness a heavy rush of shoppers. Today being Sunday, the complex did not have many people around when the blast occurred shattering window panes and putting off power in the upper storey offices, including The Tribune office. The auction was announced for 17 shops.

A majority of the shops to come under the hammer were on the second floor. The shopkeepers are perturbed over security in the complex as many of the shops on the top storey remain unsold. Although a police chowki has been functioning here, antisocial activities carry on here after dark especially on the terrace and near the unsold shops on different floors. Lack of proper lighting in the complex has given a free hand to miscreants. DSP Ashish Kapoor and SP Harmanbir Singh surveyed the blast spot, and said it appeared to be the handiwork of some miscreants.


Plot hatched in Italy, murder carried out in
Fatehgarh Sahib
Surinder Bhardwaj
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, November14
It is a case of an international contract killing, plot of which was hatched in Italy and was carried out in Fatehgarh Sahib.

An Italian citizen girl, Gurpreet Kaur, developed illicit relations with Bittu, a local PCO operator during her family’s stay at his house. They had come to India on a visit.

Bittu started forcing Gurpreet Kaur to marry him after she had returned to Italy along with her family. When he couldn’t get a favourable reply from her he threatened that he would make CDs of their illicit relations public.

The girl brought the matter to the notice of her father Tarlochan Singh who belonged to Balhari Kalan village of the district. He sent his son to India to get those CDs from Bittu but the boy humiliated him and refused to handover the CDs. He rather threatened that he would distribute the CDs among his friends.

Mr Tarlochan Singh, who had settled in Italy 20 years ago, discussed the matter with one of his colleagues in Italy and both of them hatched a plot to eliminate Bittu.

The colleague of Tarlochan Singh, a resident of Bhadla village in the district, told his younger brother, Rana, a resident of the same village, to get CDs from Bittu or engage contract killers to murder him.

As per plan, Rana engaged three contract killers, two belonging to Bihar and third one Darshan Singh of Fatehgarh Neowan village in the district. They kidnapped Bittu and took him to the floating restaurant at Sirhind and asked him to handover the CDs. When he refused to give the CDs they murdered him and threw his body into the Bhakra canal.

The murder was revealed following the arrest of Darshan Singh. The Maruti car in which Bittu was kidnapped has been recovered.

The SSP, Mr Shiv Kumar, said today that the police would make efforts for the extradition of Tarlochan Singh and his colleague.

Meanwhile, members of Bittu’s family, along with their supporters, organised a dharna in front of the office of the SSP and raised slogans against the police.


Where Akbar was coronated king
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur: It is an obscure place surrounded by paddy fields, about 1 km east of Kalanaur town in Gurdaspur district. At the site is a platform with a concrete throne over it. Along with it is the cistern at its centre.But very few people know the history of this small common looking site that has been conserved by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

At the site Akbar, one of the greatest emperors of India, was coronated as king. Prof Raj Kumar, regional historian and president of the History Society of Gurdaspur, told The Tribune that at the time of the death of emperor Humayun, Akbar was at Kalanaur along with his guardian Behram Khan. As soon as the death of Humayun was received here, Behram Khan proceeded to install Akbar as king.

At the site on February 15, 1556, in the presence of a few loyal men, Behram Khan coronated Akbar as the emperor of India. At the time of coronation Akbar was just 14.

During the reign of Akbar, Kalanaur attained its greatest splendour. A fine garden was constructed around the scene of coronation with a hamam (bathing place) and lukhe-caphe (maze).

But for the place of coronation that has been conserved by the ASI, the rest of the historical structures have now been lost. One of the four minarets of was now present at the site. Even that was now being plundered by the locals for bricks and valuable land.

Another important building constructed at Kalanaur during the time of Akbar (1556-1605) is the tomb of Jamil Beg. Jamil Beg, son of Taj Khan, fell fighting the hill chiefs. He was brought to Kalanaur and buried here by his father. The tomb resembled the tomb of Asaf Shah of Shahdara.

Prof Raj Kumar said that most of the old buildings in and around Kalanaur were ruined during the Sikh times. Baba Banda Bahadur plundered and laid waste the area around Kalanaur from 1710 AD to 1715 AD. Banda Bahadur was captured from Gurdas Nangal, 6 km south-west of Gurdaspur in 1715. A shrine commemorating the visit of Banda Bahadur to Kalanaur also exists in the town.

The historians of the district lament that even the government has been apathetic to the history in and around Kalanaur. Bricks from most of the important historical buildings in and Kalanaur were used for the construction of the Amritsar-Pathankot railway line in 1884.

Besides Mughals, Kalanaur also contains important symbols of history dating back to 1000 AD. In 1000 AD it was the only important town between Lahore and Nagarkot (Kangra). The famous historian attributes the founding of the Nur Tribe of Rajputs who are believed to have migrated from Deccan into Punjab in early times. A famous temple of Kaleshwar Shiva on the old citadel close to Kiran river flowing through the town is a symbol of Rajput rule over the area.

The historians have demanded that history in Kalanaur should be conserved by the government.


Set up pilot projects on flyash bricks: association
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 14
Brick-kiln operators in Punjab have called for setting up of pilot projects at all district headquarters where use of flyash to manufacture bricks can be demonstrated to all operators in the state.

They have also asked the government or the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) to transport the flyash to the brick-kilns, saying that only then would they be able to mix it with mud for manufacturing bricks as per the notification of the Central Government.

Both demands are part of the new initiative by these operators to end the ongoing strike after a meeting with Food and Supplies Minister Avtar Henry last week failed to end it. The state government had expressed inability to withdraw the notification on use of flyash, saying that the direction had been given by the Centre following a court order on the issue.

Brick-kiln operators stated that they were not satisfied with the two demonstrations on the preparation of flyash bricks which were initiated by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB). Mr Surinder Singla, general secretary of the Patiala Brick-Kiln Operators Association, said he was present at both demonstrations which he claimed had failed to remove the apprehensions of the operators. He said even though a consultant from the Science and Technology Ministry was present, the team could not even get a sample of flyash.

“The Central team got fine quality flyash which they said would not be available for us”, Mr Singla said and added that the team had made a rough mixture without ensuring 25 per cent weight of flyash in each brick moulded under their supervision. He said despite such an “unprofessional” demonstration, the end product was not shown to the brick-kiln owners nor was any test of its strength was made available to the association.

“According to the notification, all brick-kilns within an area of 100 km of thermal power stations will use flyash”, Mr Singla said. He said this meant that many brick-kilns who were far from thermal stations would lose out to competition. He said the rule that “polluter pays” should be enforced while asking the PSEB to take charge of the transportation of the fly ash.

However, the PSEB ruled out this by saying that it would not be feasible administratively. Meanwhile, the Punjab Pollution Control Board is trying to persuade brick-kiln operators to try the new technology. “We have given permission to a few brick-kilns to start production of bricks by using flyash”, says Board Executive Engineer Krunesh Garg. He said some brick-kiln owners had already started the process despite pressure from the Brick-Kiln Operators Association.

He added that the cost of implementing the new technology would be marginal even after the brick-kilns transported flyash to their premises on their own. “This is because they would be saving on mud and also on fuel as flyash will need much less heat to bake than mud”, he added.


Henry lauds role of cooperative sugar mills
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, November 14
Punjab’s Minister for Food and Civil Supplies, Avtar Henry today formally inaugurated the 51st All-India Co-operative Week organised by Sugarfed, Punjab, here today.

Inaugurating the function, Mr Henry lauded the role of cooperative sugar mills in the upliftment of rural sector and said more than two lakh families of farmers, 10,000 workers and more than six lakh families were associated with the cooperative sugar industry.

He also revealed that the state government had provided financial assistance to the tune of Rs 468 crore to the cooperative sugar mills and there were arrears of Rs 142 crore pertaining to the season 2002-03 and 2003-04, for which a budget provision of Rs 71 crore had been made in the current financial year. An equal amount had been earmarked from rural development fund for clearing the cane payments, he added.

Mr Kanwaljit Singh Lally, Chairman, Sugarfed, said due to the warning given by the Punjab Chief Minister, the then NDA Government raised the monthly quota of cooperative sugar mills from Rs 1.75 lakh to 3.25 lakh quintals due to which cooperative sugar mills were able to rope in funds and clear around Rs 75 crore from their own sources.

He further said that the country’s production during 2005-06 would be around 125 lakh tonnes against the requirement of 165 lakh tonnes. He also appealed to farmers to grow more sugarcan because this year cane availability to sugar mills was merely 100 lakh quintals against the requirement of 468 quintals. Mr Lally assured farmers that this year all cooperative sugar mills would pay full cane price immediately and the balance would also be released very soon.

Welcoming the chief guest, Mr K.S. Sidhu, Managing Director, Sugarfed, also detailed the working of cooperative sugar mills in the state. He also informed that the cooperative sugar mills would start their crushing season from November 16.

On this occasion, an exhibition was organised in which a model on ring and pit system of sugarcane planting through seed nursery was displayed. Samples of vermin compost prepared by Morinda bio-lab were also displayed.


Nehru Parking Complex inaugurated

Amritsar, November 14
To mark Children’s Day, multistoried Nehru Parking Complex, constructed in an area of 1.28 lakh sq ft adjoining the Nehru Shopping Complex, was inaugurated by Choudhry Jagjit Singh, State Minister for Local Government, Labour and Employment, here today.

The minister said in response to the announcement made by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh regarding declaring the holy city as one of the five districts selected by the Union Government as “economic zones”, the state government had forwarded a comprehensive plan for the development of the city. He said the first instalment of Rs 300 crore was expected to be released by the Union Government soon for the execution of the project.

Mr Jugal Kishore Sharma, MLA and chairman of the Amritsar Improvement Trust, said the parking complex would have the capacity for 250 cars and 350 two and three-wheelers. He said, “The complex also has 23 SCOs and 27 commercial booths and expects Rs 7 crore as income from its auction”.

PHAGWARA: Children’s Day was celebrates at local Adarsh Bal Vidayalya here today. Punjab Agro Foods Corporation Chairman Joginder Singh Mann was the chief guest of the function.

Mr P.L. Kheti, chairman of the Adarsh Educational Society, and Ms Madhu Kheti, school Headmistress, were present on the occasion.

Mr Mann inaugurated Chacha Nehru Children Play Park on the occasion. ‘Bal Mela’ was also organised. Congress workers, led by Block Congress Committee president Manmohan Sharma, distributed ladoos among children.

However, Bal Divas celebrations remained a lacklustre affair in Phagwara block as schools remained closed as it was Sunday today.


10 water samples fail purity test
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 14
Out of 27 water samples, collected by the district health authorities since October 30 from Sangrur and Sunam towns, 10 have failed the purity test.

Out of the 10 water samples, which could not pass the purity test, seven were collected from Sangrur, while the remaining three were collected from Sunam.

After the detection of jaundice cases in the last week of October in Sangrur town, the health authorities started collection of water samples for testing purity of water of different parts of the town. As part of this excercise, the health authorities collected 11 samples on October 30 and 31 from Indira Basti (five samples), Magazine Street (two), Adarsh Mohalla (two), Municipal Tubewells (two) and eight samples on November 10 from Ajit Basti, opposite Railway Station (five samples) and Adarsh Mohalla (three samples) of Sangrur town. Besides, eight water samples were collected from Sunam town on November 10.


Villagers seek relief for fire victim
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 14
A section of the residents of Gehri Buttar village in this district have demanded compensation from the state government alleging that the accidental fire that broke out in the house of Mr Ajaib Singh damaging his cotton crop started due to high voltage switched in by the state electricity board.

Mr Gurtej Singh, president, Yuvak Bhalai Club of the village, in a press release issued here today alleged that on the night of November 12 the state electricity board supplied high voltage in the domestic power supply lines in the village. He claimed that due to the high voltage an electric bulb in the house of Mr Ajaib Singh burst and led to a fire in the cotton lying nearby.

He claimed that the electrical equipment of some other residents of the village also got damaged. He alleged that when they talked to the authorities of the electricity board, the officials pleaded helplessness. He demanded that suitable compensation should be paid to the affected farmer.


Manipur Governor pays obeisance at Golden Temple
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 14
Dr Sawinder Singh Sandhu, Governor, Manipur, today paid obeisance at the Golden Temple here today. The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee authorities presented a picture of the Golden Temple and a set of religious books to the Governor.


Congress leader booked for fraud
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 14
A criminal case was registered today against Mr Sewak Ram, a Congress leader, and four others, including an NRI couple, for their alleged involvement in the sale of a piece of land not owned by them to different people on the basis of fake documents.

Police sources said that a case under Sections 420, 465 and 468 of the Indian Penal Code was registered at Thermal Plant police station on the complaint of Mr Sandeep Singh, a resident of Chak Shere Wala village in Muktsar district.

Mr Sandeep Singh, in his complaint, alleged that Mr Sewak Ram and others had transferred a piece of land in Gillpatti village to private persons on the basis of fake documents.

Police sources added that though the case was registered on the order of a high-ranking police officer, no arrests had been made so far.


Body found hanging from tree
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 14
The cantonment police today found the body of a young unidentified male hanging from a tree near the traffic control post in the Army area.

Volunteers of the Sahara Jan Sewa recovered the body which was badly damaged and had maggots eating it. The body was hanging about 20 feet above the ground and appeared to be about one-week old.

The deceased could not be identified, but from the telephone numbers found from his pocket, he appeared to be a migratory labourer.

The body was handed over to the Sahara volunteers for cremation after a post-mortem examination at the local Civil Hospital.

The police has registered a case in this connection.


Servant decamps with Rs 2 lakh
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, November 14
Anwar, a servant at a sweets shop located in the Charan Kanwal Chowk area here, allegedly stole Rs 2 lakh from the owner’s house and escaped today morning.

In his complaint to the local police, owner of the shop Narinder said he had kept Rs 2.73 lakh in a room at his residence in Dashmesh Nagar. He gave Rs 73,000 to a kiryana merchant and put the remaining Rs 2 lakh in an attache case. Anwar, who belongs to Purnian district of Bihar, was the senior-most worker and knew where the money was kept.

Narinder further said everybody had gone to bed on the Saturday night as usual. But on the Sunday morning, he found Anwar missing. He also could not find the attache case containing the money.

Though Narinder was able to help the local police in arresting Anwar’s brother and a cousin, yet nothing could be known about the whereabouts of Anwar.


Army man held in murder case
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 14
The Nasik district police of Maharashtra yesterday arrested Parkash Bhau, an Army man posted with 174 unit at the local Military Hospital, for his alleged involvement in the murder of a trader, Vikyamal Shroff. Police sources said the accused was arrested today by the Maharashtra police and was produced before a Judicial Magistrate for his transit remand.


Govt lethargy leaves lecturers in the lurch
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
As many as 61 lecturers selected by the Punjab Public Service Commission in January for teaching English language are a harried lot as they wait for the elusive letter of appointment.

Interestingly, the police verification and medical examination of those selected was completed by June itself but there has been no progress thereafter.

The selected lecturers have met the Deputy Chief Minister-cum-Education Minister and written letters to the authorities concerned but to no avail.

Their fervent pleadings have produced nothing except assurances which are still to be implemented.

To make matters worse, there has not been a single acknowledgement of the letters, including registered ones, posted by these lecturers-in-waiting to the officials concerned.

Incidentally, one of the selected lecturers, Amrit Samra, accompanied by several others had visited The Tribune after a meeting with the Education MiMs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal disclosing that the Minister had promised the appointment and posting letters at the earliest.

But that early seems to have stretched to eternal wait for these hapless lecturers. Mr Samra rued that the D-day was still to come even as he stressed that those selected would not wait for too long.

Over the months, these lecturers were loosing faith in the Congress government, he added.

These lecturers wonder why vacancies were not being filled up. Is the government serious about higher education? Why hold interviews and select candidates, if posting is to be delayed for almost one year now? they asked in chorus.

These lecturers were aghast when informed that nearly 23,000 posts of school lecturers were still vacant and the process to fill those posts had not even started.


Youth Festival begins
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 14
More than 900 student artistes are participating in the four-day final Inter-Zone Youth Festival for Men and Women at Guru Nanak Dev University which began here today.

Mr R. L. Bhatia, Governor of Kerala, inaugurated the festival. Speaking on the occasion, he said youth festivals “create a sense of competition among the youth and promote and preserve the rich cultural heritage of a state.” Besides, such cultural competitions were necessary for the overall development of personality of students, he added.

On the opening day, competitions in bhangra, fancy dress, mime, mimicry, one-act play, flower arrangement (fresh and dry), rangoli and phulkari were held.

Dr S. P. Singh, Vice-Chancellor, presided over the function. He said the university had won the National Youth Festival trophy four times.

Mr Baljit Singh Sekhon, Director, Youth Welfare, presented the report of the achievements of the university in the cultural field.

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