P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



SGPC ignored at heritage festival
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 24
Political differences between the ruling Congress and Akalis came to the fore during the heritage festival that saw no participation of the premiere institution managing heritage sites in the city.

For some strange reason, the local administration ended up neglecting the SGPC during the festival that wrapped up last night. Even the pop concert held at Guru Nanak Stadium failed to enthuse locals. Such was the situation that the police had to force youngsters into attending the show featuring singers Pammi Bai and Malkit Singh. Though Pammi Bai managed some audience, Malkit Singh drew no crowds at all.

Meanwhile, the SGPC and even Chief Khalsa Diwan members were conspicuous by their absence during the six-day event. Not a single formal invitation of the festival was extended to any SGPC official or even to the SGPC Information Office outside the Golden Temple.

Speaking to The Tribune, Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, member, SGPC, said the heritage festival was a welcome step but it failed to pay respect to local sensibilities. “Let alone inviting us formally, the district administration did not even inform us about the schedule of this festival. They also completely ignored the Chief Khalsa Diwan which is another body running various educational and cultural institutions in the city. In my opinion the SGPC should have been roped in,” he said.

While DC Raminder Singh was unavailable for comment as he left for training to the USA early this morning, Officiating DC Parveen Kumar said he would have to check from his office whether the SGPC had been invited or not.

Mr Gurbachan Singh, Information Officer, SGPC, admitted that the administration had not invited anyone from their side. “How can anyone celebrated the city heritage without giving due consideration to the body that manages the Golden Temple and many other historic gurdwaras in the city. Moreover, the district administration is doing nothing about cleaning up garbage heaps that remain piled up outside the railway station. It sends a wrong signal to the domestic and foreign tourists.”

About 65,000 to 75,000 domestic and foreign tourists visit Golden Temple daily. They, however, remain harried as they don’t know where to go in the absence of tourism promotion counters at the railway station and airport. A tourist, who alights from a flight or a train, has no literature for guidance. The result is that most end up at the Golden Temple with their luggage, thinking this is the only heritage site in the city.


Cop on hitlist authors book on Gurbani
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

The cover of "Gurbani Katha Vichar" written by
The cover of “Gurbani Katha Vichar” written by Mr Iqbal Singh, SP. — A Tribune photo

Amritsar, November 24
Senior police officer Iqbal Singh who was on the hitlist of terrorists for arresting Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale in 1981 and killing militants in encounters, has been appreciated by the Jathedar of Akal Takht for his new passion for Gurbani.

In the preface of his new 544-page book, “Gurbani Katha-Vichar”, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Akal Takht Jathedar, described Mr Iqbal Singh, SP (CID), as a fine police officer who was committed to contribute in the field of Gurbani. “I pray to Guru Hargobind to give more strength to Mr Iqbal Singh so that he could serve the community through his valuable writings”, he said.

Mr Iqbal Singh who had earned appreciation from the then DGPs, including Mr KPS Gill, for providing confidential reports which led to seizures of arms and ammunition and killing of terrorists, has provided pioneer information to researchers of Gurbani. Dr S.P. Singh, Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, described the book as unique work in this field. The book will help preachers of Sikh Panth to interpret Gurbani in the right perspective.

Dr Jatinderpal Singh Jolly, a reader of Guru Nanak Dev University, wrote that the Punjab police would “now earn good name”. Dr Jatinderpal Singh Jolly, a reader of Guru Nanak Dev University, wrote that the Punjab police would “now earn good name”.

Mr Iqbal Singh was the first senior police officer to enter the Golden Temple after Operation Black Thunder in 1988 for information about the operation. He had been the first police officer assigned to investigate the Sikh-Nirankari clash in 1978 which was the cause of the Punjab problem. He had also retrieved the body of the then DIG, A.S. Atwal, who was shot outside the Parikarma of the Golden Temple in 1983 at the risk of his own life.


Bibi promises probe into charge of harassment
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 24
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) President Bibi Jagir Kaur today said she would get a complaint by a girl student that girls were checked to verify whether they had removed hair from their arms and legs by a screening committee during the hosting of the Khalsa Games probed and action would be taken against those found guilty.

Bibi Jagir Kaur, who is in Nagpur, said she had not received a letter written by one of the participants Gagandeep Kaur. Talking to TNS over the telephone, she said she had directed Principals of all participating colleges to ensure that only “puran Gursikhs” were selected for the various individual and team sports during the Khalsa Games conducted at the Khalsa College here.

When asked about the expulsion of a number of athletes and teams from the games because their members had trimmed their beards or had waxed their arms and legs in case of girls, the SGPC president said she would get the entire issue examined. She said the chairperson of the screening committee had talked to her over the phone in this regard but she was not aware of any harassment caused to students.

Meanwhile a copy of the letter sent by Gagandeep Kaur states that girls were subjected to extreme harassment and humiliation in front of their parents. Gagandeep in her letter says the one of the members of the screening committee insulted them in front of their parents by making insinuations about their character because they had got their arms and legs waxed. She said she herself was insulted in front of her mother and repeated apologies from her mother did not satisfy the member of the committee.

Gagandeep while demanding “justice” on the issue, said the SGPC president was free to get the matter probed and take action against her in case any of her allegations were found to be false. She also claimed that the behaviour of the organisers was very different from the Bibi’s own encouraging manner during the inaugural function of the games.

The Students Federation of India also condemned the “discrimination” meted out to students during the Khalsa Games. Federation convener Gurpal Singh Dhaliwal said the SGPC should not have discriminated against anyone in the name of religion. He said such actions would only result in further division in the Sikh religion and also discourage students from taking up sports as a career in colleges controlled by the SGPC.

Meanwhile, sources said while the SGPC and the screening committee took pains to weed out those who had shorn their hair or had got their beards cut from amongst players from the Sikh community, there was no restriction on the participation of players from other communities. This they said had created a further feeling of discrimination amongst players who were expelled for not being “puran Gursikhs”, they added.


No rift with Amarinder: Vinod Khanna
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, November 24
Mr Vinod Khanna, MP from Gurdaspur, said here that he had no differences with the Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh.

He said the differences between him and Capt Amarinder Singh over the inauguration of Mukerian bridge were due to the Congress Rajya Sabha member from the district Ms Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder.

Ms Bhinder wanted to take the credit for the bridge constructed with his efforts over the Beas near Mukerian that was a long-pending demand of the area.

Recently during he shooting trip at Patiala Capt. Amarinder Singh and Mrs Preneet Kaur even offered him to stay at their palace, he said.

Mr Khanna today visited the constituency for the first time after elections. He attributed his absence from the constituency for such a long period to the slip disc problem.

In a press conference held here today, he alleged that the UPA government had abandoned the work on all national highway projects initiated by the NDA government. This had also delayed the four laning of the Amritsar-Pathankot National Highway that was on the agenda of the previous government. He would, however, take up the matter with the Ministry of Surface Transport for the implementation of the project.

He also said the civil airport project of Pathankot initiated by him had been completed. He would now meet the Minister for Civil Aviation for flight schedules for the airport.

He also alleged that the Congress minister from the area, Mr Raghunath Sahay Puri, was scuttling most development projects. In many cases the grant given by him under the MP Local Area Development fund was not utilised and the fund allotted had lapsed due to non -utilisation.

Responding to a query regarding the Shankaracharaya’s arrest, he said the Tamil Nadu Government was treating the seer as a convict. Though the legal process should take its course, the due recognition should be given to the status of the seer.

He also said he was doing a Hindi or Punjabi film. He would arrange a part of the film shooting in Gurdaspur to boost its economy. Besides, a project to set up one amusement park for children in each assembly block of his area would also be started.

He distributed cheques worth Rs 10 lakh from his fund for various development works.

During the press conference, Mr Khanna was accompanied by the former BJP minister Mohan Lal and Satpal Saini.


Dam authorities under cloud
Ravi Bhushan Puri

Pathankot, November 24
The authorities of Ranjit Sagar Dam here have come under a cloud for not constructing the Shahpur Kandidam.

The Jammu and Kashmir Government has sought the appointment of an arbitrator for assessing the losses accrued for not constructing the project within the stipulated period.

The Jammu and Kashmir Government has written a letter in this connection demanding appointment of the arbitrator at the earliest, but nothing has been done in this connection.

According to information gathered by The Tribune, on January 20, 1979, an agreement was executed between the two states. It was agreed by the Punjab Government that the Shahpur Kandi Barrage had to be completed by it as early as possible so that water could be supplied to the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

However, no action seems to have been taken by the Punjab to honour the commitment.

Sources said the Jammu and Kashmir Government had invested Rs 100 crore on the Ravi Canal Complex, through which water was to flow to the JK from the proposed barrage, said to be the second phase of Ranjit Sagar Dam, near here.

The delay in completion of the project has cost JK, continuous losses on account of non-utilisation of irrigation waters from the Ravi. The loss is estimated to be Rs 850 crore, said a senior functionary.

According to legal experts, Punjab might be penalised for violating the terms of the agreement.

Though the officials of Ranjit Sagar Dam here are tightlipped over the matter, it is learnt that a meeting in this connection was held at Chandigarh three days ago.


Acquaint youth with Gurbani, says Buta Singh
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 24
Expressing concern over the degradation of values among the youth, Mr Buta Singh, Governor of Bihar, said Guru Nanak Dev University should set up study circles to acquaint the youth with Gurbani.

Mr Buta Singh who was here to preside over the 35th Foundation Day celebrations of the university, said in addition to textual knowledge, practical knowledge as enshrined in Gurbani must be disseminated.

Dr S.P. Singh, Vice-Chancellor, welcomed Mr Buta Singh and other speakers including Prof Akhtarul Wasi (Jamia Millia Islamia University), New Delhi, Dr Inderpal Singh, former Pro Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, and Dr S.S. Joshi, former Professor of Linguistics, Punjabi University, Patiala.

Congratulating the university on its achievements in various fields, Mr Buta Singh said India was lagging behind in international sports. He said the university could make a mark in international sports with adequate sports infrastructure and other facilities.

He released the Punjabi version of Guru Nanak Dev University calendar and the bibliography of Guru Nanak Dev in print and CD form.

The Vice-Chancellor said the university had revised the syllabi of most of its courses.

Dr Inderpal Singh, while speaking on education and dharma, said the real message of the founder Guru was that education should be mandatory for all, irrespective of caste, creed and colour.

Speaking on Guru Nanak’s spiritual mission, Prof Akhtarul Wasi highlighted the uniqueness of Guru Nanak’s spiritual vision, saying that he opposed religion bounded by tradition.

He said Guru Nanak passed through an agonising journey of self-awakening and strove to show the world the path of true salvation. He said Guru Nanak was gifted with extraordinary spiritual sensitivity and mastery over words which found manifestation in his Bani which was the finest and most eloquent in spiritual literature.

Prof Joshi, speaking on linguistic variation and homogeneity in Guru Nanak’s Bani, said Guru Nanak was a scholar of Hindi, Sanskrit and Persian. Wherever he went he conversed with people in their language. He was the father of the interfaith dialogue and the only seer who worked for the welfare of all.

The university organised a folklore exhibition depicting Punjabi culture in which students of various colleges participated.


Usha Behn named Chairperson of Cong poll panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
Ms Usha Behn Thakkar, a former Congress MP from Kutch, has been appointed Chairperson of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Organisation Elections Committee, it was announced here today.

Ms Behn would visit Chandigarh on November 26 and 27 for interaction with office-bearers, executive committee members and other senior leaders of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee.


CM fails to keep date with voters
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, November 24
Having won the byelection from Kapurthala for the party, the Punjab Chief Minister failed to keep his date with the electorate here for a thanks giving ceremony organised by Ms Sukhjinder Rana, recently elected MLA, at Shalimar Bagh here today.

This left the residents who had started gathering at the venue even before 11.30 a.m. disgruntled after the show. The gathering was kept hooked for more than three hours by a music group as dignitaries kept waiting for Captain Amarinder Singh to arrive for the inaugural ceremony.

Elaborate arrangements were made by the Rana family at the venue as the pandal was decked up with marigold flowers, rangoli, spotless white shamianas and red carpets. Huge posters of the CM and the party high command were put up on either side of the bedecked.

Scores of banners with the message ‘Welcome Captain Amarinder Singh’ were put up all the way from the police lines, where the CM’s chopper was to land, till the main pandal of the Shalimar Bagh. Banners with a message, “Thank you voters” were put on the stage. Tight security arrangements were made and metal detectors were put up at all entry points. Top police as well as civil officers were seen around the venue.

At noon, Rana Gurjit Singh, MP and brother-in-law of the newly elected MLA was present on the stage along with several party workers. As time passed, his wife, brother Rana Ranjit Singh and star of the show, Ms Sukhjinder Rana, also appeared on the stage and the family took the front row.

Then various speakers kept assuring that the CM would soon be arriving. However, half of the crowd had left after 1.30 p.m. after relishing of tea and lunch.

In the CM’s absence, Mr Amarjit Singh Samra, Minister for Revenue, Rehabilitation and NRI Affairs, presided. The gathering was finally told that the CM could not come for the show as he could not use the chopper owing to inclement weather.

There were two youths who had come all the way from Moga, who said they had been given an assurance by a Congress worker that their meeting would be arranged with the CM to get their work done. Besides, there were several farmers, arhtiyas and Dalits who said they wanted to have a word with the CM pertaining to various social and economic problems being faced by them.

Hundreds of persons who had assembled at Didwindi village on the Sultanpur Lodhi road were also left high and dry as the CM failed to turn up.


Power crisis in Punjab
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, November 24
Power crisis has once again gripped the region. For the past four days, areas in this border district have been facing 8 to 10-hour power cuts, crippling the entire economic and business activity.

Sources in the PSEB said tripping in turbines of thermal plants, coupled with poor generation at hydel project was responsible for the poor power situation in the state.

The sources said yesterday three units of the Ropar thermal plant failed to generate any power. The unit number 2 had been closed down for annual maintenance. The unit no. 5 and 6 tripped yesterday. While the unit number 5 was made functional yesterday evening, unit 6 had developed some fault.

The sources said it would take at least two days to make the unit no. 6 functional. Each unit of the Ropar thermal plant generates 210 MW of power. With two units down for maintenance, the system was short by 420 MW of power.

This, coupled with poor generation at major hydel projects, was creating an adverse power situation.

The BBMB has already reduced the discharges from Bhakra Dam due to lesser availability of water for the forthcoming crop season in the region. This has effected generation not only at Bhakra but also at the Anandpur Sahib, Kotla and Nakian power houses of the BBMB and the PSEB.

The generation from Ranjit Sagar Dam has also been reduced to 120 MW against the installed capacity of 600 MW due to conservation of water for the next crop season. This has further affected generation at the UBDC hydel power houses.

The sources said the power situation might improve for the time being after the under maintenance unit of the Ropar thermal plant became functional.


Families of youths jailed in Pak hold protest
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, November 24
While terming the ongoing peace process between India and Pakistan as “hollow”, families of 67 Punjabi youths, who have been languishing in Pakistan jails, today demonstrated at the “Aman Mela” to demand the immediate release of their wards.

“The efforts being initiated by both the neighbouring countries for peaceful relations will be meaningless if their wards were not let off immediately said their family members, who gathered at the local Company Bagh to hold a protest march against the Indian as well as the Pakistani governments.

“What is the significance of holding joint cultural shows and peace conventions if the attitude of the Pakistani authorities continues to be hostile against Indians. Our wards were sent to Pakistan by travel agents more than a year ago. A majority of them have even completed the sentence but were still languishing in jails of Pakistan,” they said.

Satpal Lahoria of Nadala village, whose son Narinderpal has been in the Lahore jail for the past 14 months, was actually sentenced for six months imprisonment that had completed on April 25.

“It appears that there is a complete lack of coordination between the Indian and Pakistan missions situated on either side of the border.

We have been continuously being communicated by the Pakistan authorities that they will release our wards only if the Indian authorities take up the case with them. However, despite our several rounds to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) nothing has been done so far in this regard,” regretted Mangu Ram of Amritsar whose son Harish Kumar Sharma has been in the Quetta jail since September last year.

“The most disturbing part is that the information pertaining to our children is being provided by the Pakistan authorities only while the Indian authorities are keeping mum over it,” said Shingara Singh of Kandiala village in Gurdaspur district whose son Mohan Singh is in jail at Balochistan.

According to the information provided to the families by their wards, who have been keeping in touch constantly through letters, there are 31 youths lodged in the Lahore jail, 22 in the Balochistan jail, 13 in the Quetta jail and one in the Rawalpindi jail.

Harbans Lal, father of Pardeep Kumar, who is reported to be in Quetta jail, revealed that after meeting with the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh, a fax message was sent to Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. 


Social crusader, historian Bir passes away
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
Sarwan Singh Bir, an unsung hero of Malwa region, passed away this morning at Bathinda.

A World War-II veteran-turned-social crusader and historian, Bir was bedridden for the past few months. He had suffered a paralytic stroke about a year ago.

If lakhs of farmers are owners of lands in Malwa region today, it is all because of the contribution made by Bir, and several of his other colleagues like the late Teja Singh Swantantar, Jagir Singh Joga and Dharam Singh Fakkar. Bir and his other colleagues, who were members of the Red Party, struggled hard in the 50s to force the government to transfer ownership rights of the land to farmers, who were actually ploughing but not owning it.

At that time in Pepsu region, feudal lords were owners of big farms and used to treat actual tillers of the land as bonded labourers.

Bir and others fought a sustained battle against such feudal lords. He was sent to jail in Kishangarh “goli kand” because of the agitation. Author of over 10 history books, Bir also fought for opening of schools and building gurdwaras in Malwa region.

Feudal lords were opposed to the construction of gurdwaras because such places became meeting points for farmers and “muhjaras” (serfs), who had been agitating against them.

They were also opposed to the setting up schools because they had the fear that with the spread of education in the area, people would become aware about their rights and it would be harmful for them (feudals). Bir had been part of several struggles that are now important milestones of Punjab’s history.

Born on October 26, 1926, in Burma, where his father was serving in the British Military Police, Bir was in class IV when World War-II broke out and the British Army forcibly recruited him in the Army on May 23, 1941. He got separated from the family and survived war but his one brother and sister died in Nagaland because of illness.

He quit the Army in June, 1947, and joined the Praja Mandal Movement that was going on against princely states in the region. Though he had formal education up to class V, he was fluent in speaking English.

He also worked with Sarla Sharma for sometime to locate Muslim girls who were separated from their parents during Partition. Such girls were restored to their parents in Pakistan by Mrs Sharma.

Bir, who had a flair for documenting history, remained member of the Punjab History Conference till his last breath and did not miss a single conference since 1970, when he was first called to present his paper at the conference hosted by Punjabi University.

His papers, having valuable grassroot information regarding Malwa region, are part of the proceedings of history conferences.


“Class of ’84” for Amritsar, Jalandhar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
The Durga Das Foundation, Tribune and Spice Telecom which have been consistently bringing quality theatre to select cities of Northern India, this time bring the urbane and slick production, Class of ‘84 to Amritsar on November 26 and to Jalandhar on November 27. Directed and scripted by Rahul da Cunha, the play has an impressive star cast of veteran theatre persons Rajit Kapur, Shernaz Patel, Radhika da Cunha, Rituraj, Sohrab Ardeshir, Dipika Roy and Vikrant Chaturvedi.

The narrative is set in the house of Raveena and Sanjay where seven friends are meeting after 17 years on the occasion of their batch mate Jojo’s sudden and mysterious death. The mourning takes them on a nostalgic trip down memory lane, recounting the times they spent in college. As the friends catch up and get reacquainted, the audience along with them traverses dark and morbid alleys, where secrets get exposed, layers of sophistication peel off, uncertainties emerge and the lesser known sides of their personas gets revealed.

The friends who shared their views on life over endless cups of chai in the college canteen have come a long way in the years that have gone by. From a bored housewife to an angry, out-of-work filmmaker, a TV serial actor and a rich hippie, to one who is paranoid about her biological clock and finally a bitchy gossip columnist, it is an explosive mix of personalities and temperaments. The play explores various dimensions of their relationship, moving back and forth in time and at the end of it you have a number of revelations and surprises.

Class of ’84 has received rave reviews in Delhi and Mumbai and keeps the audience engrossed till the end. Invitations can be collected from the office of Spice Telecom and the Tribune, on a first come first serve basis.


Sonia may visit Chamkaur Sahib for samagam
Tribune News Service

Chamkaur Sahib (Ropar), November 24
Congress President Sonia Gandhi is likely to visit Chamkaur Sahib to participate in the three-day samagam from December 19 to commemorate the 300th year of the martyrdom of Guru Gobind Singh’s Sahibzadas — Baba Ajit Singh and Baba Jujhar Singh. This was discussed at review committee meeting of government officials held at Chamkaur Sahib, about 25 km from Ropar, today.

The government has directed the officials concerned to complete all preparations before December 5. It was decided to use government schools and government offices to make arrangements for lakhs of devotees likely to visit the three-day samagam.

At the meeting, the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Seema Jain, declared a three-day holiday in local schools for the celebrations. With a view to facilitating the devotees, it was decided to set up 11 parking slots, 2000 temporary toilets and tubewells.

The administration has decided to divide the area into nine sectors in order to streamline the flow of the devotees. Officials were directed to put hoardings on all link roads to guide and provide information about different events to be held during the “samagam”.

About 3,000 police personnel and employees will be deployed to maintain law and order. A health centre to provide first aid and an information bureau will also be set up.


CITU holds rally against petro price hike
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 24
The district unit of CITU, led by Comrade Dev Raj Verma, secretary, CITU, Punjab, today held a rally in front of a factory in the industrial area here in protest against the hike in the prices of petrol and diesel. It demanded withdrawal of this hike soon.

Comrade Verma termed the hike in petrol and diesel prices as “illegal” and an unnecessary burden on the common man. He said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had committed that it would not hike the prices of diesel and petrol, but it did not keep its word. He said the UPA government should fulfil its commitment by withdrawing the hike in the prices of diesel and petrol.

Mr Verma asked the state government to initiate effective steps to get the Factory Act implemented in letter and spirit in the state. He asked the Central Government to withdraw its decision regarding manufacturing of bricks by mixing fly ash with soil to make the brick-kilns operational, which were on strike on the issue.

He said brick-kiln workers of northern India would stage a protest dharna on December 13 in front of Parliament.

Others who addressed the protesters included Mr Ram Singh Sohian, district president of CITU, and Mr Balbir Singh, general secretary of the district Lal Jhanda Bhatha Workers Union.


‘Chetna march’ begins
Tribune News Service

Chamkaur Sahib, November 24
A large number of devotees led by “Punj Piara’s today began chetna march” from the Katalgarh Sahib Gurdwara in Chamkaur Sahib, about 25 km from Ropar. The devotees, chanting slogans “Bole so nihal, Sat Sri Akal” and carrying holy “Bir”, move out for Fatehgarh Sahib.

The march will spread awareness among the people on the way about the importance of the three-day samagam to commemorate the 300th years of the martyrdom of the Sahibzadas to be held here from December 19 to 21.

The devotees from different parts of Ropar gathered here in the morning and the local MLA, Ms Satwant Kaur, the district SAD president, Mr Pritam Salomjra, and the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Seema Jain, also joined the “chetna march”.


Cops involved in property grab
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 24
Policemen in three jeeps accompanied by women constables allegedly tried to help certain persons to grab a house situated on the posh Lawrence Road here late last night.

However, the attempt was foiled by the neighbours who intervened in the matter as, Ms Parkash Kaur Samra (70), the resident of the house, was alone at that time.

While the SSP could not be contacted even after repeated attempts as his mobile phone was switched off, a senior police official said there was a property dispute between the two parties and the situation had reached the boiling point. Therefore, the police party had gone there to ward off any eventuality.

Ms Sonia, daughter of, Ms Parkash Kaur, talking to this correspondent claimed that despite having a stay order, the police parties helped, Mr Sudarshan Singh, who had strong police links.

She said her family was living in the house since 1968 and possessed all genuine documents related to the property. However, the accused forged documents and was trying to turn them out of the house.

She alleged that they were being called by the SSP to settle the dispute with the opposite party.

However, they could not go as her mother was not well after the incident.

However, Mr Sudershan Singh, strongly refuted the allegations. He said his name was falsely being implicated even though he did not go to the place.

He said he had purchased the house from, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Samra, an NRI.


Fertiliser dealers observe strike
Our Correspondent

Abohar, November 24
Dealers of insecticides and fertilizer observed strike today to protest against the registration of a case against the distributor of a private fertilizer company.

The case was registered last night at the city police station here under the Section 420 of the IPC and Section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act against M/S Ram Parkash Ravi Nandan.

Official sources claimed that 100 bags of DAP fertilizer had been found in the godown of the dealer without proper authorisation. The Agriculture Department had lodged a complaint with the police in this connection. The traders attributed the action to "corruption" prevailing in the department whereas the officials denied it.

The sources said "misleading reports" published by some newspapers had aggravated the crisis. A newspaper today reported that the Chairman of a cooperative fertilizer company had visited a farmers service centre here last evening and promised that ten sale counters would be opened here on Wednesday to supply DAP.

The farmers thronged the centre this morning only to realise that the news was completely baseless.

Yesterday the centre had been allocated two thousand bags as per a set formula but the police had to resort to lathicharge, as the crowd became impatient. Three farmers were rushed to the civil hospital but discharged after providing first aid.

Besides other manufacturers Indian Potash Limited and Indian Farmers Fertilizers Cooperatives (IFFCO) had supplied one full rake of goods train to make DAP available but the sources said the farmers, due to confusing and distorted reports, had become a major hindrance in normalising the situation even after the arrival of more than one lakh bags of fertilizers.

According to pre-resolved specifications, IFFCO today supplied fertilizers to the village based cooperative societies through MARKFED.


Doors of Darshani Deori not from Somnath Temple: Jathedar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 24
Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti today said that the fact-finding team had confirmed that the ‘darwazas’ (main gate) of Darshani Deori of Golden Temple were part of Sikh heritage and did not belong to Somnath temple .

Talking to mediapersons, at the Akal Takht secretariat, here today, Jathedar Vedanti said that he had received a report from heritage experts who had visited Somnath temple to confirm the authenticity of the gates.

Earlier, it was believed that the silver ‘darwazas’ were looted by foreign invader Ahmad Shah Abdali from Somnath temple and the Sikh warriors had taken them back by chasing them.

Meanwhile, Bibi Jagir Kaur, SGPC president claimed that the ‘darwazas’ were part and parcel of Sikh heritage and hence could not be handed over to anybody. A section of rival Akali faction had spread a rumour that these ‘darwazas’ might be given to the BJP.


64 operations performed at eye camp
Our Correspondent

Abohar, November 24
Sixty-four operations, including some major surgeries, were performed in the 8th free operation camp at a local laparoscopy centre. The camp organised by Sri Sathya Sai Seva Sangathan was concluded last night during 79th birthday celebrations of Sri Sathya Sai Baba at a newly constructed temple here.

The function was marked with 90-minute bhajan recitation, distribution of sweets and bursting of crackers.

Dr G.R. Garg CMO in charge Nehru Memorial Civil Hospital and Mr Kamlesh Dawar, president of the local unit of the sangathan, presented mementoes to Dr Yogender Gupta, Dr Naveen Sethi, Dr Satish Jain, Dr C.L. Bhargawa, Dr Swaran Singh, Ms Santosh Bajaj, Ms Kusumlata, Ms Jasbir Kaur, Ms Roma, Ms Neelam, Ms Saroj Rani, Ms Sausan, Ms Saptali, Mr Ajay Kumar, Mr Om Parkash Mr Sandeep Sachdeva, Mr Krishan Keshav, Mr Raja Ram, Mr Jagjit Singh and other paramedical workers for offering round the clock free services at the camp.

A senior urologist and two eminent surgeons claimed that all surgeries were successful. The Sangathan had provided free of cost medicines.

Dr Garg lauded the role of the Sangathan in serving patients.


Complaint against Nagar Panchayat chief
Tribune News Service

Moga, November 24
A group of dissidents have written a letter to the Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, levelling allegation of misuse of power against the Badhani Kalan Nagar Panchayat chief, Jaspal Kaur, and demanding a probe into the matter.

Sources said the dissidents, in their letter to the CM, alleged that Mrs Jaspal Kaur misused her powers and gave tenders to her “favourite contractors” without seeking an estimate and consent from the Nagar Panchayat members.

They alleged that tiles were laid in a lane of Ward No. 9 twice in four months and funds for the same were released from the Nagar Panchayat account. The rebels also alleged that no monthly meeting of Nagar Panchayat was called between January and July this year, which was clear violation of norms.

When contacted, the Executive Officer said it was the prerogative of the Nagar Panchayat chief to call the monthly meeting and he could not comment on the issue.

On the other hand, Mrs Jaspal Kaur termed the allegations levelled against her as baseless and said she was ready to face a probe into the matter. She said charges were being levelled against her due to political rivalry.


Freedom fighter dead
Tribune News Service

Bir Khurd (Mansa), November 24
Sarwan Singh Bir, a freedom fighter, who took part in the Lal Party movement and the Mujarrah Lehar during the pre-Independence days, died in his house located in Bathinda town this morning. He was 78.

Bir, who had been suffering from paralysis for the past many years, died at 6.40 am. He has authored a number of books connected with the lives of freedom fighters and history of Bathinda town and its monuments.

Information gathered by The Tribune revealed that Bir, who was born in Machina town of Burma in 1926, lived in this village after his family migrated to Punjab, also worked with Late President Giani Zail Singh and late Chief Minister Partap Singh Kairon. After Independence, he remained associated with various Leftists and secular parties.

His body was taken to this village from Bathinda town by his two sons, Raghubir Singh and Sukhbir Singh, with the help of the district administration.

His pyre was lit by his eldest son, Raghubir Singh. His funeral was largely attended.

A contingent of the Punjab police reversed its arms and fired many rounds in the air as a mark of respect to the departed soul. Senior civil and police officials attended the cremation and laid wreaths on the body.


Seminar on food enzyme therapy
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, November 24
Members of the Officers Club organised a seminar on live food enzyme therapy here today.

Delivering the keynote address Mr A.C. Tejpal, Commissioner Income Tax, Bathinda, urged the people to take uncooked food to make life free from various types of chronic diseases like arthritis, diabetes, depression and cancer.

He said cooked food not only disintegrated the bacteria, vitamin C and proteins and white blood corpuscles but also invite a number of diseases.

Mr Tejpal, who had set up Stoneage Wonder Therapy Mission at Bathinda and Ludhiana, also suggested that consuming of fresh vegetables and fruits like peas, carrot, radish, cabbage, tomato, apples, grapes and curd on regular basis helped a person to remain hearty.

He disclosed that with the help of the enzyme therapy system Dr K.B. Kelly had treated more than 30,000 cancer patients in the USA.

Seeking cooperation from the print media to apprise the people about its benefit, Mr Tejpal said he was writing a book in the subject.

Mr Alok Shekhar, Deputy Commissioner, Faridkot, presided over the seminar.


Tamil Nadu CM’s effigy burnt
Our Correspondent

Kharar, November 24
An effigy of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms Jayalalithaa, was burnt here today in protest against the arrest of the Shankaracharya of Kanchi. Members of the party said the Tamil Nadu Government was working on the whims of the Central Government.

Mr Pawan Kumar Gupta, national president of the party, alleged that Ms Shashikala, a friend of Ms Jayalalithaa, wanted to buy a medical college for Rs 50 crore. But the Shankaracharya had purchased that college for Rs 70 crore which irritated the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister leading to the arrest of the seer. Moreover, the seer had criticised the working of the government, he added.

He said the manner in which the Shankaracharya had been arrested had hurt the sentiments of his followers all over the country. This had led to large scale protests.


Barnala denies being party to seer’s arrest
Our Correspondent

Barnala, November 24
Tamil Nadu Governor Surjeet Singh Barnala has said that his permission was not required while arresting the Kanchi Shankaracharya. He said in any criminal case the Governor's prior permission was not required.

Mr Barnala is on a four-day tour in the state. While talking to mediapersons, he refused to comment on the seer's issue.

He said he had made his visit to attend the inaugural ceremony of the project of the translation of Guru Granth Sahib in 12 languages being undertaken at Mohali.

He said he made a suggestion to the Prime Minister to the Guru Granth Sahib translated into Sanskrit language as most of the South Indian people know Sanskrit and the language was also close to other southern languages.


‘Kahani Darbar’ organised
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 24
On the occasion of Punjabi week being celebrated by the Languages Department, Punjab, a ‘Kahani Darbar’ was organised at Sant Singh Sukha Singh Senior Secondary School here today. Mr Raj Kumar, Parliamentary Secretary, presided.

Famous story writers like Mukhtar Gill, Prof Antarjit Suri, Manmohan Singh Basarke, Dr Sukhdev Singh Sekhon, Anwant Kaur and Mrs Jasbir Kaur Kesar read out their stories.

The chief guest gave away a set of books along with a picture of Golden Temple to the participants.


Judicial remand for rape accused officer
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, November 24
Retired Merchant Navy officer, Bishan Dass, who was accused of raping his teenaged maid for keeping up the family lineage, was today remanded to judicial custody till December 6 by Judicial Magistrate Kiran Bala.

The officer was arrested by the Gurdaspur police on the complaint of his teenaged housemaid, who had alleged that the officer raped here repeatedly while she was serving in his house. The accused exploited the girl to further his lineage, as his son did not have any issue. The maid got pregnant and delivered a baby at the local hospital. The child was taken away by the accused and the maid was abandoned.

While talking to mediapersons today, the maid said she did not want the baby back as she was not in a position to bring him up. The council for the maid also demanded action against the hospital staff and doctors who helped the accused in getting the baby delivered.

The police said DNA test of the baby would be conducted to establish the charges of rape against the accused.


Overflowing toilets in admin complex
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 24
The level of sanitation problems in the city can be judged from the overflowing toilets of the district administrative complex, located in the heart of city.

The complex, which was built at the cost of crores of rupees in the heart of this city and formally inaugurated by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh early this year, is not just suffering from overflowing bathrooms, but also stinking with garbage lying all around.

The complex was constructed after demolishing the old deputy commissioner’s office. The foundation stone of this aesthetically designed complex was laid down by former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal in 2001.

Information revealed that the multi-storey building houses about 43 offices of the state government.

The complex was constructed in total area of 3,43,643 square feet while the total covered area of all its floors was 3,06,586 square feet. The DAC is approachable from three sides.

Mr K. A. P. Sinha, Deputy Commissioner, when contacted, while admitting the problem said the idea of bringing private parties for managing the same was being worked out.

He added that plans were also afoot to generate enough funds for the same from the revenue being generated from canteen services.


Four killed in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, November 24
Four persons, including a newly-wed couple, were killed and five others injured seriously in a road accident near Banwala Hanuwanta village, 5 km from here, this morning.

According to the police, a jeep (UP-82-B-3377) on way from Ladhuka village to Sriganganagar in Rajasthan collided head on with a truck (PB-05-F-5266) coming from the opposite direction from Abohar. There were 10 persons travelling in the jeep, of which four were killed and five injured seriously. A child escaped unhurt.

Those killed are Bhim Sain (30), Dharminder, alias Sheenu (22), Asha (18), wife of Dharminder, all residents of Ladhuka village in the subdivision, and Nanak (45) maternal uncle of Asha, a resident of Sriganganagar. While Asha and her maternal uncle Nanak died on the spot Sheenu and Bhim Sain succumbed to their injuries in the local Civil Hospital.

The injured are Monu (20), Deepak (19), both residents of Sriganganagar, Rajesh Kumar (35), a resident of Delhi, Raj Kumar (26) and Madan Lal (25), both residents of Ladhuka village.

Dharminder and Asha had got married on November 22.


Two killed in road accidents
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 24
Two persons were killed and another was injured in three different road accidents which took place in this region after the fog gripped Bathinda district this 

Information gathered by The Tribune revealed that Gurpreet Singh, a resident of this district, died on the spot when he was hit by a jeep while going on a scooter near Khemuana village. Another person, Rudh Singh, succumbed to his injuries which he suffered after his scooter collided with another scooter on the Lalleana-Bhagibander road.

One person, Harminder Singh, suffered multiple injuries after his scooter was hit by a car in the Balla Ram Nagar area of this city. He was shifted to the local Civil Hospital by volunteers of the Sahara Jan Seva.


34 devotees injured in road accident
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, November 24
About 30 persons were injured when a Canter loaded with crates of Coca Cola collided with another canter carrying devotees at Tehna village, near here, today.

Sources said that a Canter loaded with crates of cold drink was heading towards Faridkot, while the other Canter was taking devotees from Chandbhan village to the Golden Temple, Amritsar.

Due to foggy weather these vehicles collided head-on at Tehna village, causing injuries to 34 persons, including both the drivers.

The impact of collision could be gauged from the fact that the body of the Canter carrying crates of cold drink got separated and bottles were strewn on the roadside.

Villagers managed to rush some of the injured to Faridkot Medical College.


2 killed, 14 injured in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Barnala, November 24
At least two women died and 14 others were injured in a head on collision of a mini truck and two jeeps here today. The accident took place in the morning amidst dense fog at the Sangrur-Barnala main road.

Gaulo, wife of Ruldu Singh, and Raamee, wife of Lachman Singh, died on the spot due to head injuries. The injured have been identified as Kuldeep Singh, Kulwinder Singh, Jeewan Kumar, Angrej Kaur, Raj Kaur, Hansa Singh, Darshan Singh, Waliti Ram, Chintau, Surjeet Kaur, Amandeep, Indu, Hardeep, and Parminder.

According to a report, the mini truck, owing to dense fog, hit a jeep from the front following which the truck driver, Kashmir Singh, lost control over the vehicle and hit another jeep.

The passengers in the first jeep were going towards Sangrur to attend a function while Wailati Ram of Dhanuala city was travelling in another jeep along with his family.

The injured have been admitted to the Civil Hospital here while some of them have been sent to Rajindra Hospital, Patiala. The truck driver fled the scene. A case has been registered under Sections 337, 338 and 304 of the IPC.


2 students, 5 others hurt in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 24
Two students and five others were injured when two buses rammed into each other near Deer Park on the Patiala-Dakala road today morning.

A bus of Dieself Modernisation Works (DMW) was carrying two children of Teja Singh Kandhari School. The children have been identified as Abhishek Kumar and Charanjit Kaur, both 12 year old.

The five others who have been injured were travelling in the private bus which was on its way to Dakala at the time of the accident. They have been identified as Ashok Kumar, Rajinder Kaur and Mewa Singh, all of Dakala, and Naresh Rani and Rajinder Kaur, both of Saphera village.

Doctors in Government Rajindra Hospital said both students had suffered simple injuries and had been discharged after first aid. The other persons have, however, been admitted to the hospital with some of them receiving deep wounds.

Meanwhile, police sources said the accident occurred when the DMW bus was overtaking another vehicle, but could not do so completely and rammed into the private bus which was coming from the other side.


Cheques encashed with forged signs
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 24
The city police has registered a case of forgery against Sahil, a resident of Court Road here, on the complaint of Mr Harwinder Singh, who runs a clinic on the same road.

Sources said Mr Harwinder Singh, who runs a hospital, had to frequent nearby towns in connection with business. In his absence Sahil would look after the business.

Sahil used his knowledge about Mr Harwinder Singh’s accounts and got 13 cheques of the ICICI and Canara bank cashed on forged signatures during the past few months. On November 4, the accused withdrew Rs 25,000 from one of the complainants’ accounts. Mr Harwinder Singh got suspicious and asked for the accounts statement, which showed transactions he had never carried out.

On learning that Mr Harwinder Singh had detected the forgery, the accused fled.

The accused had managed to withdraw Rs 42,700 from the two accounts of Mr Harwinder Singh.

The police are yet to make any arrest.


2 corporation JEs arrested
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 24
The Vigilance Bureau today arrested two junior engineers of the local municipal corporation who are accused of defrauding the corporation by receiving money on orders placed in the name of non-existent companies. The engineers — S.C. Sharma and Ram Sharan — were arrested from their houses following a raid by, Mr Banarsi Das, DSP.

According to the Vigilance Department, the engineers had managed to get an order of about Rs 55 lakh placed to the two non-existent companies for the purchase of air-conditioners and benches in 2001. Department officials said while the order for the air conditioners was to the tune of Rs 52.95 lakh, the other order was of Rs 2.70 lakh.

The officials said that on investigation it was found that Amity Hitachi Home Appliances and Krishna Interiors, which were supposed to supply the goods to the corporation, existed only on paper. They alleged that the two engineers had managed to get payments for both orders through front men. The suspects will be presented for police remand tomorrow.


DAV college wins
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 24
The DAV College of Education was adjudged the best in folklore competition which was organised on the eve of the 35th foundation day celebrations here today. The local BBK DAV College for Women and HMV College, Jalandhar, bagged the second and third positions respectively.

Ritu of A.P.J College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar, bagged the first position in the "on the spot vision painting competition" while the BBK DAV College for Women got all three positions in the category of black and white, computer-aided photography and general photography competitions.

Cherry Wadhwa stood first in black and white photography, Ghazal bagged both first position and the second position in computer-aided photography, Neeti Kochhar got the second position in general photography competition. Reema Sukhija of the HMV College grabbed the second position in the black and white photography.

Earlier, Dr Anita Syal, director, Indian Music Society, and counselor of the INTACH, inaugurated the exhibition-cum-competition.


47 students get MBA degrees
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 24
As many as 47 students from CT Institute of Management and Information Technology received MBA degree at the first convocation of the college held here today.

Addressing the students during the ceremony, Dr S.K. Salwan, Vice-Chancellor, said one must keep oneself updated to achieve success. Giving examples of Lal Bahadur Shastri, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, he motivated the students to work for the nation.

Mr Charanjit Singh Channi, Chairman of the CT Educational Society, said he would make all efforts to ensure that the students got quality education and proper placement in the industry. He announced that he would soon start MBA and MCA courses along with some paramedical courses on Ahahpur campus from the coming session.


Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan a ban or boon?
Ashok Grover

Jalalabad, November 24
About 80 government schools of this border belt are lying closed since November 2 as all teachers are getting training under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan.

Teachers are required to attend training after regular coaching from 9.30 am to 11.30 am. But a teacher, on condition of anonymity, said most schools had a single teacher and it was impossible to report at the camp site after attending classes.

Sources also revealed that the December tests were due and the final exams were not far away too. Thus, the absence of schoolteachers at this crucial juncture had adversely affected studies.

When contacted, Mr Niranjan Singh, District Training Officer, admitted the timing of the training camp was not quite right and was affecting studies. But he said as per the guidelines of the government, the training was to be completed before March 31.

The programme was chalked out in a way so that training and classes were carried out simultaneously. For this, the site of training camps had been selected near schools.

He said in coming year, the training would be done before the start of the new session.

“The Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan should be taken in a broader context as the programme has been chalked out to achieve 100 per cent literacy in the state as well to motivate teachers to upgrade knowledge,” he explained.

However, sources said the DC had directed the authorities concerned not to organise camps during examination time.


34 devotees injured in road accident
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, November 24
About 30 persons were injured when a Canter loaded with crates of Coca Cola collided with another canter carrying devotees at Tehna village, near here, today.

Sources said that a Canter loaded with crates of cold drink was heading towards Faridkot, while the other Canter was taking devotees from Chandbhan village to the Golden Temple, Amritsar.

Due to foggy weather these vehicles collided head-on at Tehna village, causing injuries to 34 persons, including both the drivers.

The impact of collision could be gauged from the fact that the body of the Canter carrying crates of cold drink got separated and bottles were strewn on the roadside.

Villagers managed to rush some of the injured to Faridkot Medical College.


Teachers, attend Punjabi week function
Tribune News Service

Moga, November 24
A function was held to mark Punjabi week here today. Teachers from government and private schools and district administration officials attended the function.

Addressing a gathering, litterateur Jaswant Kanwal, who was the special guest, said it was unfortunate that Punjabi was yet to attain its rightful place in the state. He said people were more inclined to speak English.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Mandeep Singh, said he would make efforts to ensure maximum usage of Punjabi in administrative work.


NRI gives Rs 1.71 lakh to institute
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 24
For the welfare of students of Sant Baba Bhag Singh Institute of Engineering and Technology, Khiala village, Mr Harpal Singh Shoker, an industrialist from Vancouver, Canada, has donated a sum of Rs 1.71 lakh.

The NRI donated an amount of Rs 1.6 lakh for the complex and Rs 11,000 towards the students’ sports fund. A volleyball match between the teams of Adampur and those from the institute was played during his visit yesterday.


Big market for Sanchi silverware in Ludhiana
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
The MMTC, the erstwhile Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation, the largest bullion dealer of gold and silver in the country, is all set to roll out an aggressive marketing plan for its Sanchi range of silver and tableware in major cities, including Ludhiana.

Says Ms Preeti Kaur, General Manager, MMTC, “because of the surging demand for our Sanchi silver collections, we are committed to provide these to other cities and towns and increase our dealer base. At the same time we will ensure that customers are satisfied both with quality products and wider range at competitive prices”.

Though the company has already enlisted the cities and towns, the company would unfold its plans soon after finalising a number of outlets and dealers it would rope in for Sanchi silver ware.

“Sanchi products were in great demand during the just concluded Divali festival. It has encouraged us to look at other important towns. We had done our preliminary ground work and got good reports from centres like Ludhiana and Agra, besides others,” she told The Tribune.

So far the success of Sanchi has been attributed to its enchanting look and fusion of traditional designs and emerging fashion statements with touch of artistic marvel. The Sanchi range provides a purity of 92.5% sterling silver hallmarked by MMTC and comes with attractive packaging and enduring designs leaving an indelible impression in the minds of the consumers.

“With silverware emerging as a trendsetter by replacing every other tableware and decorative items from our table and drawing room, Sanchi’s entry into the market and receiving an encouraging response forecasts a bright future for silver in all walks of life,” she adds.

After a prolonged use of glassware, expensive crockery and items made up of various metals, the new trend is for something special and unique with a royal look. Sanchi with its silver-n-style splendour from lamps, candle-stands, vases, jewel boxes, cutlery items, dinner, coffee, tea sets, religious figurines to wine goblets, napkin holders, assortment jug sets and corporate gift sets have captured a big market share, she said.

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |