P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



World Punjabi Conference ends with promises
Amarinder announces waiver for Punjabi films
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 3
The World Punjabi Conference came to an end with even CPI (M) general secretary Harkishen Singh Surjeet saying that the “movement of the people” would give a new direction to politics in both country. While Pak Punjab Chief Minister Parvaiz Elahi promised cooperation between both provinces in future, Capt Amarinder Singh announced a tax waiver on Punjabi films, besides starting of an annual Punjabi Film Festival.

The Guru Tegh Bahadur hall in Punjabi University, where the conference was being held, witnessed a feeling of goodwill and bonhomie between delegates from both sides of the border. Most parted saying that “we will meet again”.

Mr Surjeet set the tone for the concluding function by saying that the people had forgotten their language after Partition and even given a cold shoulder to their culture.

“This is changing and the movement you have started now will take an even bigger shape when it reaches all homes”. Mr Surjeet said this was destined to give a new direction to politics in both countries and make the impossible possible. However, it depends on how much more ahead you can take this movement, he added.

Mr Elahi said both he and Capt Amarinder Singh were trying to find ways to take steps which could lead to joint progress. He said his government would work together with Punjabi University for development of a software which allowed transliteration of Gurmukhi to Shahmukhi. He said his government was ready to help Punjab to develop its irrigation system while it would welcome help in farm research.

Capt Amarinder Singh got up to thank everyone. However, he also made some announcements, which were welcomed.

These included waiving tax on Punjabi films, a demand which had been enunciated by Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal earlier. Capt Amarinder also announced Rs 3 crore for the building of the World Punjabi Centre in Punjabi University, the foundation stone of which he laid along with Mr Elahi on the campus earlier. He said this money would be in addition to the Rs 2 crore already announced for the university.

The function also saw the awarding of Punjabi Shiromani Awards to prominent writers, poets and journalists. It was also attended by Pakistan High Commissioner in India Aziz Ahmed Khan, Pakistan Punjab Chief Secretary Kamran Rasool.


Muqabala mohabbat ka hai: Pervaiz Elahi
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
“Muqabala mohabbat ka hai (it is a competition of love)”! This is how the Chief Minister of West Punjab, Mr Pervaiz Elahi, views his exchange of gifts with his counterpart, Capt Amarinder Singh.

Mr Elahi was presented an 80-horse power tractor by Capt Amarinder Singh at the Sector 17 Agro-Tech, 2004 Expo here this afternoon in return for a horse he had presented to the latter during his visit to Pakistan in February this year. Incidentally, only yesterday the Union Government gave clearance for importing the horse gifted 10 months ago.

“It is not the gifts. It is the love and affection that people of this Punjab have been showering upon us which is more important,” said Mr Elahi. “All members of my entourage have been moved by the ‘mohabbat’ people of Amritsar displayed for us yesterday. They came out on their own and lined the entire route from Rajasansi to Darbar Sahib. I could see in their eyes love and affection.”

In a brief chat with The Tribune, Mr Elahi said: “This visit is the beginning of a new era of friendship and peace between the people of the two Punjabs.

“We have arrived at a number of decisions, including joint research and development programme for agriculture and joint trade and industry fair. Besides, we want to make East-West Punjab Games an annual feature and also the World Punjabi Conference.

“After the first sports meet between the two Punjabs in Patiala starting on December 5, we will host the next meet in Lahore next year.

This series of exchange programmes will continue to usher in an era of eternal peace, friendship and goodwill,” said Mr Elahi, hoping that political dialogue to find solutions to core problems would continue.

“We also hope that all barriers between the two countries would gradually disappear after we settle the core issues. It is important that the present people-to-people exchange programme and atmosphere of goodwill and trust must continue,” he said.

Fiftynine-year-old Elahi said that he was “delighted to be in Chandigarh and Punjab and was bowled over by the hospitality here. A couple of years earlier, no one would have imagined such a cordial atmosphere to prevail.”

“We also have many problems for which we try to find solutions within our means. Some of our problems are common with you,” he said before the Punjab Chief Minister chipped in to say that “transfer of patwaris and tehsildars is as vexed in West Punjab as it is here.”

Mr Rakesh Bharti, Chairman, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Northern Region, added that the CII would coordinate holding of joint trade and industry shows in both Punjabs.

“Capt Amarinder Singh would lead a delegation of trade and industry to Pakistan in January next year to work out modalities for the first such trade show in Pakistan,” said Mr Mittal.

After addressing a session on business opportunities in East and West Punjab, Mr Elahi took out some time to visit the Sector 20 Jama Masjid for his Friday namaz.

Accompanying members of his entourage, including the Chief Secretary and Chairman of Planning Board of West Punjab, told The Tribune that Mr Elahi had taken a number of revolutionary decisions, including sanctioning a gigantic Rs 10 billion project for providing houses to all government employees besides making school education free. Not only that, girls studying beyond fifth standard get a stipend of Rs 200 a month as an incentive.


Poets skip session, hold kavi darbar
Gurvinder Kaur

Indian and Pakistani delegates gather at an impromptu kavi darbar on Punjabi University lawns on the last day of the World Punjabi Conference in Patiala on Friday.
Indian and Pakistani delegates gather at an impromptu kavi darbar on Punjabi University lawns on the last day of the World Punjabi Conference in Patiala on Friday. — Photo by Rajesh Sachar

Patiala, December 3
The fact that the World Punjabi Conference being held here has more than served its objective of promoting a spirit of camaraderie among Punjabis from both sides of the border was demonstrated aptly today when poets attending the conference decided to hold a kavi darbar on the university lawn instead of sitting through a technical session.

Choosing to do what they are best suited for, poets from both Indian and Pakistan Punjab gave expression to sentiments through their verses. It started with the delegates getting acquainted with each other. On the lawn on Punjabi language and literature and went on to blossom into a full-fledged kavi darbar as more and more people gathered to listen to the poets while basking in the sun.

What delighted the old-timers the most were the different dialects of Punjabi at display, including Siraiki (spoken in Bhawalpur area of Pakistan), Sindhi (belonging to the Sind), Multani (from Multan), Puthwari (spoken around the Puthwar region) and even Lehnda (spoken around the frontier province). Each dialect with its quaint nuances evoked much nostalgia among the older generation.

The Majhi dialect (spoken around Gujranwala and Sheikhupura areas) proved to be the most popular.

Accompanied by informal comments, the darbar elicited praise from a most unlikely quarter, the policemen on duty around the lawns, who at times requested for a second recitation of the same poem. Hogging the most limelight was Baba Khushi Muhommad Nisar from Saiwal, Pakistan, who was called upon the most by the audience. His crisp yet subtle verse proved to be a major hit, especially his composition “chuski”.

Pakistan parliamentarian Bushra Rehman’s poem “Ishq Na kariye Pendoo Naal” (Never fall in love with a rural youth) evoked much laughter as few of her fellow poets reminded her that they too were from a rural background. Puthwari poetry from poetess Kana Singh of Mohali was also appreciated. Dr Raunaki Ram, who teaches Political Science in Panjab University, was another crowd puller.

Pak poet Nisar, perhaps summed up all in his line, ‘Sare Masle Hal Ho Jassan Dil Di Kundi Khol’ (all issues can be settled amicably, open up your hearts first). 


Indo-Pak experts for boost in trade
Our Correspondent

Patiala, December 3
Economic experts from India and Pakistan today called for the upgradation of agricultural produce so that both Punjabs could hold their own in the global market.

Prof M. Ehsan Malik, Director, Institute of Business Administration, University of Punjab, Lahore, focussed on the quality of agricultural products which needed upgradation in the context of the WTO framework.

Dr Lakhwinder Singh, Reader, Department of Economics, Punjabi University, said the cooperation of the two countries should be analysed in the context of global patterns of integration.

He said the identification of areas of cooperation was needed and that proper balance between the market and the state should be maintained by the two Punjabs. Developed countries had been investing huge funds in research and development, however, the share of high-tech exports in overall exports of both countries was very low. Native flora and fauna should be protected by common patenting and exchange of young scholars should be initiated, he added. Prof R.S. Ghuman of the Economics Department, Punjabi University, said both Punjabs should form the lifeline of their countries. Pakistan imported only 600 listed items from India and the present level of trade between the two was poor. Pakistan, though being the largest importer of tea in the world, imported only 1.5 per cent from India.

He said trade by sea ports between the two was very costly.

Dr D.K. Madan from the same department said illegal trade between the two countries indicated vast potential of trade. According to him, the trade potential between the two countries was $ 6570 million in 2001 but the actual trade was just $ 251 million.

Others who participated in the discussion were H.S. Mehta, Naseem Mehmood and Prof U.C. Singh.


Emulate Pak Punjab to raise water table: expert
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 3
Pakistan Punjab could well be its Indian counterpart’s answer for coming out of the present agricultural water crisis. With tubewells no longer a solution due to the decreasing water table, the engineering and designing expertise achieved by Pakistan Punjab to create water linkages after it was left without the Ravi and Sutlej rivers after Partition could well be emulated by Indian Punjab.

“The water crisis you are facing now was faced by us after the signing of the Indus Water Treaty”, said Mr Sulaiman Ghani, chairman of the Planning and Development Board of Pakistan Punjab. Mr Ghani, who is a former civil servant and served as Irrigation Secretary for three years, was one of the participants at the technical session on economy, trade, industry and technology at the World Punjabi Conference at the Punjabi University campus.

Mr Ghani said Pakistan dealt with the problem by going in for water linkages. “Water from the Chenab and Jhelum rivers was brought to the dry bed of the Ravi at great cost”. Following this, a canal was dug up to feed this water into the Sutlej to feed the Bahawalpur canals. He said this was done at a cost of £ 20 crore after the Indus Water Treaty was signed in 1958 and Upper Bari Doab waters was stopped from flowing into Pakistan in 1962.

We were forced to redesign our canals when this happened”, said Mr Ghani and added that an elaborate network of canals was created to feed the dryland areas in Punjab province. This, however, was not achieved through plans only. Mr Ghani said the rural community was also roped in to manage the irrigation systems in their areas. He said like in Indian Punjab, the water table was decreasing in Pakistan also and there was need to enter into joint research to tackle this issue. He called for water resources management, crop planning as a response to water scarcity, and research to create new viable crops which needed little water.

Pakistan Punjab has not only achieved a fair degree of success in designing canals, it also aims to make the entire canal system self sustainable so that there is no additional pressure on the government to maintain it. It is for this purpose that land revenue has been introduced again in Pakistan Punjab so that the water management cost can be recovered from the farmers.

Noted economist and a participant at the session on economic cooperation, Dr Suchha Singh Gill said Indian Punjab had paid a heavy price for over dependence on tubewells. “There are presently nine lakh tubewells in the state which have pushed the water table so down that now only submersible pumps are effective in many parts of the state,” he said. Dr Gill said canals were the answer for long-time agricultural stability. 


Indo-Pak journalists call for cooperation
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 3
For a man who said he always wanted to return to his “Sialkot” after Partition, there was another, albiet a woman, from the other side of the border who claimed that she was a third-generation Pakistan Punjabi to be denied easy entry to her homeland.

For eminent journalists attending a panel discussion on media cooperation in both provinces, the second day of the World Punjabi Conference being held at Punjabi University was a walk down memory lane.

Even as they became emotional about “their Punjab”, media personalities from both sides of the border called for effective steps to ensure cooperation between themselves, be it creating stoppages in Indian Punjab for both the Samjhauta Express and the bus service to allowing free broadcasting, allowing liberal work visas and even establishment of the Indo-Pak Textbook Board to review history lessons in both countries.

Mr Kuldip Nayar, was speaking of a cause dear to his heart while talking about his wish to return to his “Sialkot”. “I was 20 when I left my home in Pakistan during Partition but I had no doubt in my mind that I would be returning soon. But no one did.” He said it was then that he decided that he would try to reconnect with what was his own and ensure the boundary between the two countries became a mere line.

“Fifteen of us collected at Wagah 15 years ago with candles to work towards this end,” Mr Nayar said, adding that this sentiment had now become a mass movement. “There were four lakh people there last year and this year we are planning to call Pakistani artistes and people to the event.” Even as he expressed happiness at the turn of events, which had made people closer to each other, he said governments on both sides of the border could adopt their old postures. “It is then that we must stand up and fight,” he added. Mr Nayar called for the establishment of the South Asian News Service to bring the people of this region closer to each other. “I have already thought of SANS as an appropriate name for this,” he added.

If Mr Nayyar was emotional about the past, noted Pakistani Punjab columnist Afzal Tauseef wanted real changes in the present. “Three generations of Punjabis in Pakistan have suffered due to Partition and the subsequent wars, and also closing of borders.” We have been able to go to Delhi and Punjab but have not been able to visit Punjab.

“Ten years ago I was part of a delegation which was to go to Kolkata following the thaw in relations during the prime ministership of Mr I.K. Gujaral in India. I was excited that I would see Indian Punjab but they started the train at night, kept it running non-stop till Delhi and even switched off the lights of various stations as we were passing by,” Tauseef said.

Hindustan Times Resident Editor Kanwar Sandhu said there was a need for reviewing television and newspaper columns, allowing free access to journalists and allowing printing of Indian papers in Pakistan and vice versa. World Punjabi Conference Chairman Fakhar Zaman called for establishment of an Indo-Pak commission of textbooks. He said this was necessary to stop distortions and to ensure study of history in its proper perspective.

He also urged the Indian Government not to pass films which were against the ideology of Pakistan or were against the Indo-Pak peace initiative. Nawan Zamana Editor Jagjit Singh Anand, former Punjabi Tribune Editor Gulzar Sandhu and Pakistan Punjab columnist Asar Chauhan also spoke on the occasion.


Indo-Pak eye surgeons moot joint research project
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, December 3
Leading eye specialists from India and Pakistan today strongly advocated for undertaking a joint research project with business knowhow and expertise for providing better and economical medical care for the people of this region.

Pakistani eye specialist Dr Zafar Iqbal Sheikh, while talking to The Tribune here today after crossing over to India to participate in the eighth annual conference of the Punjab Ophthalmological Society, said that India and Pakistan provided excellent treatment for eye ailments in the world.

He lauded the research conducted by Dr Daljit Singh who had discovered plasma scalpel, a new fundamental energy instrument, which, he described, was the new revolution in ophthalmology known as Dr Fugo Blade which have now been recently approved by the FDA for glaucoma surgery and bloodless surgery.

His another colleague from Pakistan, Dr Kazmi from Sargoda, said that Indian and Pakistani eye surgeons had much to learn from each other and their regular interaction could help to hone their skills since a majority of the eye ailments in both the countries had common symptoms.

The organising secretary of the society, Dr Rohit Om Parkash said that the cataract was the most common disease in the tropical region. He said that a leading Indian ophthalmologist Dr Amar Agarwal, had developed micro-incision cataract surgery through a small opening which would be presented during the conference.

The secretary said more than 400 delegates, including 30 top eye surgeons, had confirmed their participation in the two-day annual meet.


Pak surgeons take part in dental conference
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 3
The inter-state dental congress and the 44th Punjab state dental conference organised by the local chapter of Indian Dental Association was inaugurated here today.

Justice Umesh C Banerjee, former Supreme Court judge and president, SAARC (law), was the chief guest and Dr Anil Kohli, Dr R.K. Bali president and former president of Dental Council of India, respectively, Dr C.P. Govila, Vice-Chancellor, KG Dental University, Lucknow, Lt-Gen R.C. Dhir Director-General, Dental Services (Army Dental Corps) were the guests of honour.

About a thousand delegates from different states, including Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Rajasthan and Delhi participated.

The three-day conference was joined by several dental surgeons from Pakistan also. Prominent among those included Mr Mohammed Yusuf, Principal, Lahore Dental College and Dr Sufi, a former Principal of same college.


Bonhomie fine, but let’s not go overboard: Saleem
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 3
What next ? This question has started assuming importance as the excessive dose of Punjabi conferences and cultural melas between East Punjab and West Punjab has begun to appear a repetitive exercise.

In fact this question has started bothering writers, scholars and intellectuals of both the Punjabs. Worried over this phenomenon, they have started thinking on new lines to sustain the interest of the people in the promotion of peace and friendship between India and Pakistan.

In fact this question came for serious discussions informally at the three-day world Punjabi Conference, which concluded at Punjabi University, Patiala, today. Obviously, from these cultural meets and festivals, scholars and writers would have to enter into the next phase of doing some constructive work in the field of research, education, agriculture and trade to give a further push to the peace process between the two countries.

So far extreme emotionalism has remained the hallmark of these conferences. Because of this emotionalism, speakers at these conferences sometime cross all limits of reasoning and logic and start talking about removing of borders between the two countries. Pakistani delegates say such speeches made at the conferences in East Punjab have started creating problems for them in West Punjab. Fundamentalists in Pakistan are against the dismantling of borders between the two countries.

Mr Ahmad Saleem, one of the most respected writers in Pakistan and also in India, says: “We should remain close to reality. Both countries should maintain their identities. There should be talk to promote peace between the two countries by people to people contacts as the process is going on now. But scholars and writers should avoid from going overboard while talking about friendship and cooperation between the people of the two Punjabs”.

Mr Afzal Ahsan Randhawa, one of the tallest Punjabi writers in Pakistan, says that the path of peace between India and Pakistan goes through East and West Punjab. “Both Punjabs hold the key to peace between the two countries. People-to-people contact would pave the way for friendship between the two countries”, he adds.

Unfortunately, even the basic issue of visa has not been resolved between the two countries. In fact the issue of visa dominated at the conference. All Pakistani writers and scholars at the conference have been pressing the point that the visa system between the two countries should come to an end and some other alternative should be found at the official level for frequent visits of people to the other country. Mr Fakhar Zaman, a former Cultural Minister of Pakistan and president of the World Punjabi Conference also raised this demand. He was supported with equal enthusiasm by the Punjab Animal Husbandry Minister, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang.

All Pakistani delegates have been bowled over by the beauty of the imposing campus of Punjabi University and the hospitality extended to them by the organisers.

Bushra Ejaz, one of the most beautiful faces at the conference and leading Punjabi writer from Pakistan, says that “there are no words to explain all this”. Mohammad Nisar, a bard, one of the most sought after men the conference, says that his dream to see this part of Punjab had been fulfilled.

In fact Nisar has become a hit with students and policemen. They continue to follow him right from the morning to evening to listen to his creations full of conventional folk wisdom.


Denial of siropa to CM flayed
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 3
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) today took a serious note of denying ‘siropa’ (robe of honour) to Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab, who visited the Golden Temple along with his Pakistani counter part Chaudhary Parvaiz Elahi yesterday.

Mr Harminder Singh Gill, secretary, PPCC, in a press note issued today said the action of Bibi Jagir Kaur, President, SGPC, proved that the committee belonged to one section of the Sikhs (SAD-Badal) and not supreme body of the community. He said if siropa could be given to Mr Om Prakash Chautala, Chief Minister, Haryana, who wanted to snatch Punjab’s river water, why it was denied to Capt Amarinder Singh, who had taken a bold stand on inter-state river waters.

Mr Gill urged the Jathedar of Akal Takht to formulate religious code for reaching consensus on important issues. He said there must be one criteria for presenting siropa to the visiting dignitaries. Mr Gill also criticised the SGPC chief for using harsh language while welcoming Pakistan Chief Minister.


Jathedars on warpath again
Vedanti calls meeting on December 8
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 3
The Sikh high priests are on a warpath again. Apprehending impending Panthic crisis, the Akal Takht Jathedar, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, has convened a meeting of the Sikh clergy here on December 8, which is unlikely to be attended by the Jathedars of Patna Sahib and Hazoor Sahib.

Though the Sikh clerics of Takht Patna Sahib have given an ultimatum to Jathedar Vedanti to clarify his position by December 10 on the controversial book “Mundavni”, authored by Sikh scholar Giani Gurdit Singh, Jathedar Vedanti has also invited Jathedar Iqbal Singh (Jathedar, Patna Sahib) to attend the proposed meeting .

Ironically, the Jathedars, who settle Panthic issues, are not united. Giani Puran Singh, Head Granthi, Golden Temple, does not attend any of the meetings convened by the Akal Takht Jathedar which is mandatory as per Sikh maryada. Jathedar Vedanti, who had been giving calls for Panthic unity since his installation as Jathedar, has failed to forge unity among the Sikh clerics.

Earlier, the then Akal Takht Jathedar, Bhai Ranjit Singh, had banned the entry of Prof Manjit Singh and Giani Kewal Singh, the then Jathedars of Kesgarh Sahib and Damdama Sahib, respectively, in 1998 at Akal Takht. Later, Giani Puran Singh, in his capacity as the Akal Takht Jathedar, had excommunicated them (Prof Manjit Singh and Giani Kewal Singh) from the Sikh Panth, which is unprecedented in the history of Sikhism .

Now, seeking clarification from the Akal Takht Jathedar by the Sikh clergy of Takht Patna Sahib has started a fresh debate among Sikh intellectuals. The fresh controversy is based on the controversial book “Mundavni”, authored by Giani Gurdit Singh who enjoys unflinching support from Jathedar Vedanti.

The book is about the authorship of Ragmala, which comes after Mundavni in Guru Granth Sahib. Mundavni means a legally binding seal that should appear at the end because it indicates the closure or completion of an important document. The question of whether Guru Granth Sahib ends at Mundavni or is Ragmala gurbani is a matter that has been discussed by Sikh scholars for over a century.

In this book Giani Gurdit Singh maintains that Ragmala is a composition of Alam, a Muslim poet. He has supported his stand by quoting from many sources, including rare manuscripts of Guru Granth Sahib.

The issue has remained unresolved since reading of the Ragmala is not mandatory but optional while reciting Guru Granth Sahib, according to the prevalent Rahit maryada, which dates back to 1945.


Suicide case: villagers gherao police station
Want suspects charged with rape also
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bareta (Mansa), December 3
Thousands of residents of this town and surrounding villages, including activists of the BKU, continued the gherao of the local police station for the second day today to press the authorities concerned to register a rape case against those who allegedly forced Paramjit Kaur to commit suicide two days ago.

Mr Bhagirath Lal, a local industrialist and senior leader of the BJP, and a few others, including Ms Golu, mother of the victim, have already been booked by the local police for their alleged involvement in forcing Paramjit Kaur, wife of an employee working in the rice mill being run by Mr Bhagirath Lal, to commit suicide.

Besides Mr Bhagirath Lal, the other booked include Balwinder Singh and Gajjan Singh. The police is identifying other suspects in the case. A case under Section 306 of the IPC was registered at the local police station.

Magisterial probe ordered

Mr Raj Kamal Chaudhary, District Magistrate, has ordered a magisterial probe into the circumstances surrounding the death of Paramjit Kaur.

In a press note issued here today, Mr Chaudhary said Mr Sukhwinder Singh, Additional District Magistrate, Mansa, had been asked to conduct the probe. He had been directed to submit his inquiry report within 15 days. — OC

The body of Paramjit Kaur was handed over to her kin. Thousands of people, who have been gheraoing the police station, participated in the funeral procession.

The case was registered on a complaint of Ms Chinder Kaur, maternal aunt of the victim, Paramjit Kaur, a pregnant woman. A number of social and other organisations and people belonging to all walks of life forced the police yesterday to register the case by organising a gherao of the local police station when they came to know that Mr Bhagirath Lal and others were trying to cremate the body of Paramjit Kaur clandestinely to conceal the crime.

Activists of the Kisan Union, among others, alleged that Paramjit Kaur was first raped by some of the suspects and then forced to consume poison. They demanded that they should be charged with rape. They alleged that the mother of the victim was having illicit relations with one of the suspects and was involved in the crime.

Ms V. Neerja, SSP, Mansa, while confirming that people had been levelling rape allegations against the suspects, said the victim, her husband and her mother had not given any such indication. She said the police would look into all angles.

Paramjit Kaur, who belonged to this town, got married to Kulwinder Singh of Sirsa. A job was arranged for Kulwinder Singh in the rice mill being run by Mr Bhagirath Lal. Kulwinder Singh was given quarters on the premises of rice mill, where he lived with his wife.

Paramjit Kaur consumed celphos tablets under mysterious circumstances on Wednesday. After her condition deteriorated, she was taken to a hospital in Budhlada town and then to the Civil Hospital, Mansa. From Mansa she was referred to Ludhiana. While she was being shifted to Ludhiana, she died on the way.

A duty magistrate could not record her statement as she was declared unfit for making any statement.

Mr Joginder Singh, SHO, Bareta police station, said the police was awaiting the report of the chemical examination of the vaginal swabs of the victim following which, if need be, a rape case would be registered.


Cong using police to harass SAD workers: Badal
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, December 3
The SAD president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, at a rally held near the Deputy Commissioner’s office here today alleged that the Congress government had let the police terror loose against farmers and SAD workers. The workers of the SAD who were gathering here from all parts of the district to protest peacefully against the government policies were stopped and terrorised by the police against attending the party rally, he claimed.

Mr Badal was here to address an anti-repression rally organised by the SAD workers. The farmers are protesting all over the state against the non-availability of fertilisers and the inadequate minimum support price. However, instead of redressing their grievances, the state government was using the police to repress them. It was an irony that Capt Amarinder Singh, who used to stage dharna as Chief Minister in front of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s residence for the demands of the farmers was putting them in jail for genuine demands. The SAD would stand by farmers in their agitation, he said.

Earlier the police raised barricades on almost all roads leading to the town to prevent SAD workers from attending the rally. The SAD workers gathered in large numbers at the barricade. There were heated exchanges between the police and SAD workers. After the news of Mr Badal reaching the town, the SAD workers broke the barricade on the Kanuwan road and entered the town. A clash between the police and SAD workers also took place near the main Post Office of Gurdaspur.

Thereafter a large number of SAD workers entered the Deputy Commissioner’s office complex despite Section 144 of the CrPC being imposed there by the District Magistrate.

Mr Badal, while addressing rally alleged that there was no government in Punjab. All sections of the society were unhappy with the present government. In the forth-coming winter session of the Assembly, the SAD would raise the issue of police repression against the farmers and SAD workers.

Mr Sucha Singh Langah, former minister and district president of the SAD, warned the officials who allegedly harassed the SAD workers. He alleged that false and fabricated cases were being registered against SAD workers in the district at the behest of Congress ministers and leaders.


Badal, other Akalis stay away; Surjeet in limelight
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 3
While Akali leaders like Mr Parkash Singh Badal stayed away from the World Punjabi Conference, Mr Harkishan Singh Surjeet, the CPM supremo, was in the limelight at Punjabi University here.

On the concluding day of the conference today, the organisers, especially the Vice-Chancellor, Mr S.S. Boparai, and the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, took special care of Mr Surjeet, who was extended all courtesies meant for a VIP. Even Mr Surjeet, appearing feeble spoke for few minutes at the valedictory function.

Mr Surjeet, who arrived in the university early in the morning, released a book “G.W. Leitner” authored by Mr Nazar Singh. After that, he left for Patiala city to call on Mr Bharat Inder Singh Chahal, who was hospitalised a few days ago following chest pain. He returned to the university campus in the evening to attend the concluding function. He was accompanied by Prof Balwant Singh, secretary of the state unit of the CPM and others. At the book release function, Dr J.S. Puar, former Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University was also present

No Akali leader except, Mr Tejinder Singh Sidhu, who was chairman of the Punjab Subordinate Services Selection Board during the Badal regime, was seen at the conference.

Mr Boparai said Mr Manpreet Badal, nephew of Mr Parkash Singh Badal had personally collected invitation letters of all Akali and BJP MLAs for the conference. Mr Manpreet even confirmed the receiving of all invitations to the university authorities concerned. But now Mr Parkash Singh Badal was saying that he did not get an invitation. “It would be better if, Mr Manpeet Badal, tells the senior Badal that he had got the invitations. People must know what is the truth,” he added.

A number of BKU leaders were also seen at the conference. Among them were, Mr Satnam Singh Behru, president of the kisan wing of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar).


SAD to submit chargesheet to Governor against CM
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, December 3
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is likely to present a charge sheet to the Punjab Governor in the first week of January against the state Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, for exposing his alleged misdeeds committed during the past three years of Congress rule in the state.

A high-powered committee of the SAD is already scrutinising all related documents in this regard and will complete the entire process before the end of this month. This was stated by Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, Member of Parliament and general secretary of the party, while talking to mediapersons at the residence of Mr Gurdev Singh Badal, former Agriculture Minister, here yesterday.

Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, who was on a one-day tour of Panjgrain Assembly constituency, falling under Faridkot parliamentary constituency, to listen the problems of the area people while describing Capt Amarinder Singh as the king of scandals also accused him of encouraging nepotism and corruption. He alleged that the inhabitants of the state were feeling insecure.

Mr Badal made it clear that after coming to power in the state, his party would constitute a high-powered commission to probe into the alleged corrupt practices of Congress ministers. He also criticised the state government for failing to invite Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Leader of the Opposition to the World Punjabi Conference being held at Patiala.

In a reply to a question, he disclosed that party supremo Mr Parkash Singh Badal was already in touch with Mr Om Prakash Chautala, Chief Minister, Haryana, to make alliance with the BJP to give crushing defeat to the Congress in the next assembly elections in Haryana.


Concessions to industry in HP affecting Punjab adversely: Tandon
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 3
In a significant statement, former Local Bodies Minister and a senior leader of the BJP, Mr Balram Ji Dass Tandon, said extending of various sorts of concessions, including income tax and central excise exemptions to the new units to be set up in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir by the then Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was a wrong decision as it led to migration of industries from Punjab to these states.

Mr Tandon, who was here today to attend a social function, while addressing mediapersons said after Mr Vajpayee extended these concessions to Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir to initiate industrialisation in these states, but it started affecting the industrialisation process of Punjab, which had already suffered a lot due to various reasons.

He said at that time the SAD-BJP combine government and the BJP itself had lodged a protest against it to Mr Vajpayee and he had agreed to reconcile the things. But when the reconciliation was in process, the new UPA government came at the Centre. He said that it was very unfortunate that the present state government led by Capt Amarinder Singh was doing nothing for the development of state.

He said the priorities of Capt Amarinder Singh’s government was to make unprecedented hike in the salaries and perks of the MLAs and ministers and to withdraw facilities, which were extended to all sections of society, including farmers, Scheduled Castes, industrialists, employees, panchayats and educational institutions during the previous SAD-BJP government.

Not only this, Capt Amarinder Singh’s government had tried its best to scuttle the Punjab oil refinery project, which was given as a gift to Punjab to boost its economy by Mr Vajpayee. He added that Congress government had wasted three years in deciding whether to set up HPCL refinery or not.

When asked about his reaction that Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, was not invited to attend the World Punjabi Conference at Patiala, Mr Tandon said that a bad trend had been emerging in the present political scene. He said Mr Parvaiz Elahi, Chief Minister, Punjab (Pakistan), who had come to attend the conference might have got the impression that he was welcomed only by Punjab government and not by the Punjabis.

He disclosed that the BJP would launch an agitation against the anti-people policies of Congress-led UPA government at the Centre and the Congress government in Punjab.


Justice Roy’s transfer: Mann may move SC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) chief Simranjit Singh Mann has stated that he would file a petition in the Supreme Court, challenging the proposed transfer of Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice, Mr Justice B.K. Roy, to the Guwahati High Court.

In a release issued here, Mr Mann asserted that the decision to transfer Mr Justice Roy to another high court would send wrong signals to the public as well as subordinate judiciary as he was doing a good job, honestly.

Mr Mann also questioned the authority of the Supreme Court in proposing the Chief Justice’s transfer, adding that transferring the judges was the prerogative of the executive and not the judiciary.


Eradi tribunal visits Madhopur head, Ranjit Sagar dam
Tribune News Service

Madhopur (Gurdaspur), December 3
The Eradi tribunal members today visited the Madhopur head and Ranjit Sagar dam to take stock of the case presented by Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan for sharing Ravi and Beas waters.

The two members of the commission, Justice P.C. Balakrishan Menon and Justice M.Y. Eqbal, besides visiting the said spot today and listened to the lawyers from the states concerned who were there to present their case. The Chairman of the commission Justice V. Balakrishna Eradi, however, did not come.

Besides the lawyers, Principal Secretary Irrigation, K.R. Lakhanpal and Special Secretary Irrigation, Jaspal Singh were also present. The Advocate-General, Punjab, Mr Harbhagwan Singh, presented the case of the state before the tribunal members.

Later, while talking to The Tribune Mr Harbhagwan Singh stated that they were here to show the factual position to the commission regarding the availability of water in the Ravi and Beas basins.

When asked about the status of the Eradi tribunal award after Punjab annulled the water sharing agreement, Mr Harbhagwan Singh said matter was under the preview of the Supreme Court.

The six-member team from Haryana and three-member team from Rajasthan including the advocates and officials of the Irrigation Departments, also met the members of the tribunal.

Justice P.C. Balakrishan Menon told The Tribune that they would visit the Harike Pattan barrage to take stock of the situation. They would also be holding meeting with officials and advocates from the respective states and ask them to substantiate their claims in the case by providing documents.

The sources said the present visit of the commission might support the case of Punjab that has been claiming that the inflows have reduced over a period of time.

The Eradi tribunal was set by the Rajiv Gandhi government to settle the water dispute between Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan as per the Rajiv-Longowal 

Justice Menon when asked said before announcing its decision the tribunal would also consider the Bill passed by the Punjab Assembly, annulling the water sharing agreement with neighbouring states.


Light and sound show on Sahibzadas
Tribune News Service

Chamkaur Sahib, December 3
The first of its kind light and sound show depicting the sacrifice of Guru Gobind Singh and his Sahibzadas was held at Anaj Mandi in Chamkaur Sahib, about 25 km from Ropar, in connection with the 300th martyrdom year of the Sahibzadas. The show which was held last night continued for about two hours and described the life of Guru Gobind Singh and different battles against Muslim rulers.

Protagonists were used to narrate various incidents of that period. The male artistes with back-ground dialogue delivery, highlighted the religious preachings of Guru Gobind Singh.

Religious songs were sung to describe the sacrifices and a projector was used to show pictures reflecting the incidents in the Guru’s life.

Anaj Mandi was jampacked with hundreds of villagers who came here from all over the district. The show was directed by Sukhjinder Singh and Ashwani Sujati.

Thirty students of Sahibzada Ajit Singh Academy participated. Naveen Mehta performed the role of Aurangzeb, Tasveer Kaur of Zeenat, Arspreet Kaur of Zeena, Arveen of Naseero, Jagpreet of Banno, and Manish Chahal of Tabbasum, Parveen and Amandeep Kaur enacted the role of girls of Aanadpur Sahib.

After watching the show, Deputy Commissioner, Seema Jain announced a Rs 1 lakh grant. Parliamentary Secretary K.P.S. Rana and several other Congress and Akali leaders were also present.


Mobile ICU launched
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 3
A local cardiac care centre has introduced a hi-tech mobile intensive care unit (MICU) with an objective to provide emergency medicare to patients on the doorstep.

With MICU becoming fully operational from today, cardiac patients, their family members and relatives will not have to worry about losing crucial time in shifting the patient to hospital. The patient will now get emergency medicare on the doorstep under the guidance of a cardiac specialist.

The centrally air-conditioned MICU, according to Dr Charanjit Singh Pruthi, Managing Director of the local BBC Heart Care Centre, which has launched the service, is fitted with all facilities available in an ICU of a cardiac centre. “It has an inbuilt ventilator, monitors and facility to provide oxygen. Moreover, in the fully sterilised compartment, minor operations can be performed in case of emergency. Clot-dissolving medicines can be administered on the spot once MICU reaches the patient and precious lives can be saved.” He said the service will be a boon for cardiac patients of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

“With all facilities, we are charging just Rs 25 per km from patients. And this does not cover even our cost,” said Dr Pruthi.


Prove existence of Army man's spirit, win Rs 5 lakh
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, December 3
Challenging news reports regarding of an Army man's spirit carried in a section of media, Tarksheel Society has announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh for anyone who can prove the same.

Announcing the reward at a meeting here, Mr Rajinder Bhador of the society said people yesterday trust media, but sometimes mediapersons do not investigate these kind of stories before releasing them. He said the reports about the soul of an Army man, Harbhajan Singh, encourage superstition.

He stated that Harbhajan Singh had died in an accident on October 4, 1968, and his fiance, Sabhia Kaur, had married his brother, Ratan Singh. He said Harbhajan's family had been spreading all kinds of stories in this regard in the village.

Mr Bhador said there was a temple on the spot where the accident took place and a priest was on round-the-clock duty there. He said when a team of the society visited Harbhajan Singh's village no such incident occurred as claimed by his family. He said Sabhia could not answer even a single query.

He said the Army had also declared him a martyr and his family was being given all benefits and pension. He challenged Harbhajan's family and others to prove their claim and take home Rs 5 lakh. He also demanded government action against those spreading such rumours.


French ban on turban flayed
Our Correspondent

Batala, December 3
A meeting of Youth Congress workers was held here yesterday under the presidentship of Mr Nitin Sharma, secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Youth Congress.

Those present in the meeting criticised the French Government for imposing a ban on wearing turban in schools.

They said it was an injustice with the Sikhs as wearing turban symbolised their bravery, enthusiasm and self-respect.

All members supported the cause of Sikhs in France.

Letters have been sent to Ms Sonia Gandhi, President of the AICC, Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister, and Mr Natwar Singh, External Affairs Minister, to intervene into the matter.

Mr Manjit Hanspal, president of the Batala (city) Youth Congress, Mr Gurwinder Singh Sabi, president of the (rural) Youth Congress, Mr Jatinder Pal Singh vice-chairman of the Punjab Pradesh Youth Congress (Kisan cell), Mr Navjit Singh Randhawa, Mr Lakhwinder Singh, Mr Bikramjit Singh, Mr Gautam Dharowalia, Mr Rajiv Saini, Mr Gagandeep, Mr Manish Seth, Mr Pradeep Pandey, Mr Raj Kumar, Mr Mukhwinder Singh, Mr Arwinder Singh and a number of Youth Congress workers were present in the meeting.


Contractors allege bungling in tenders
Tribune News Service

Mansa, December 3
A section of civil works contractors have alleged that a large-scale bunglings has been made in the tenders floated in connection with the rising of Kotla branch by officials of the Irrigation Branch (IB), Mansa Division, Jawaharke.

In the complaints lodged with the Director-General, Vigilance, the Deputy Commissioner, Mansa, the Principal Secretary, Punjab Irrigation Department, and the Chief Engineer, Irrigation, the contractors alleged that the tender inviting notice was prepared by violating rules and indicated that the same was done to promote nepotism and corruption. The conditions incorporated in the tender notice were non-viable, besides being arbitrary. The purpose of inserting such terms and conditions was to patronise some particular contractors.

The contractors, including Mr Arvind Kumar Garg, Mr Faqir Chand Garg, Mr Vijay Kumar, Mr Avinash Kumar and Mr Jagdev Singh, alleged that by making bunglings in the tender process, there was no competitive pricing and hence it caused a loss to the tune of Rs 50 lakh to the state exchequer.

They claimed that they were ready to execute the same work at 20 per cent less that lowest bid and the department would save about Rs 1 crore.

Mr Sohan Lal Sidhu, Executive Engineer, Irrigation, Mansa, when contacted, while denying all the allegations levelled by a section of contractors, claimed that the tenders had been floated and the process was in accordance with the procedure of law.


Vigilance gives JE clean chit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
A Khemkaran-based Junior Engineer, working with the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), has been given a clean chit in an alleged corruption case by the board's vigilance wing. He was accused of demanding a bribe on behalf of a Sub Divisional Officer (SDO).

The inquiry into the allegations was handed over to Punjab's Additional Director-General of Police (ADGP) Lalit Bhatia — in charge of PSEB's vigilance wing — by the Punjab State Human Rights Commission.

The probe, subsequently conducted under the supervision of a Superintendent of Police attached with the board, had revealed that the complainant in the case was withdrawing electricity for his shop from his residence connection. Acting on the basis of a tip-off, the Junior Engineer had reached the residence of the complainant in October, 2002, and had imposed a fine of Rs 2,000.

The complainant, however, moved the Human Rights Commission accusing the Junior Engineer of demanding bribe. During the probe he admitted that there had been some misunderstanding and money had never been demanded by the Junior Engineer. He accepted that only fine had been imposed.

The sources in the PSEB revealed that the report, prepared by the board's internal vigilance, has been handed over to the Human Rights Commission and the same has been accepted.


Sugar mill workers plan agitations

Chandigarh, December 3
Members of the Punjab Cooperative Sugar Mills Workers Federation has decided to launch an agitation from December 6 in protest against the apathy of the state Government towards their demands.

The federation has also asked farmers and their various organisations to join the state-level dharna in front of the office of Sugarfed on December 6 at 11 a.m. The demands of workers include revision of the orders of the state government of not starting crushing of sugarcane both at Zira and Jagraon this season.

They said neighbouring Haryana was giving farmers Rs 110 a quintal for the sugarcane supplied and workers of sugar mills have been given dearness allowance at par with government employees. — TNS


High Court
Two Punjab officers get contempt notice
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 3
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice for contempt on a petition seeking action against certain Punjab officers for failing to implement orders to reinstate two workmen of the Animal Husbandry Department, whose services had been terminated illegally.

The injustice done to the two workmen, Mr Vijay Kumar and Brij Mohan Shukla (now deceased), had hit headlines when the Division Bench of Mr Justice S.S. Nijjar and Mr Justice J.S. Narang passed strictures against the government for indulging in unnecessary litigation, all with the sole purpose of denying the workmen their due.

In the contempt petition, action has been sought against IAS officer Sarvesh Kaushal and the Animal Husbandry Department Director for failing to implement High Court orders even after the passage of strictures.

Services of Mr Vijay Kumar and the other workman had been illegally terminated by the department, following which they appealed against it in the Labour Court. The Labour Court allowed their plea and ordered their reinstatement. But, the Punjab government moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the decision of the Labour Court.

The High Court too decided in favour of the workmen, following which an SLP was filed in the Supreme Court.

But, the Supreme Court also upheld the order of the High Court. The main reason given by the Government in moving the Supreme Court was that the main thrust of the government had not been argued in the High Court.

In spite of the directions of all the courts, the Government did not take back Mr Vijay Kumar in service. The other petitioner had died during the pendency of the case, leaving behind his widow and five-year-old son.

When the petitioner approached the High Court for the implementation of its orders, the court recommended payment of all dues. It also ordered the government to hold an inquiry and fix responsibility for the relentless litigation and also recover the loss caused to it due to the litigation.

In the contempt petition, the petitioner has stated that despite court orders, he has not been reinstated.

After hearing his counsel, Mr Justice Pritam Pal issued notice to the officers for January 4, asking them to tell the court why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against them.


Release of arrested farmers demanded
Tribune News Service

Moga, December 3
The Kirti Kisan Union has threatened to hold massive protest in the city on December 9 if the farmers arrested from Khosa Pando village were not released unconditionally.

This was announced in a meeting held under the chairmanship of the state union chief, Mr Hardev Singh Sandhu, here yesterday. It may be mentioned here that the police had arrested nine farmers, who were also the union activists from Khosa Pando, on November 30, reportedly for resisting the electricity board staff’s bid to snap their power connections owing to non-payment of bills.

Addressing the meeting, Mr Sandhu said that the farmers’ agitation had left the Amarinder government baffled and by arresting the farmers from Khosa Pando it had proved its “anti-farmer” credentials. He said the Chief Minister, who was once staging dharnas for farmers’ rights in New Delhi, was now suppressing the voice of the farmers.

He said the CM was forcing the farmers’ bodies to intensify their agitation by taking “unnecessary action” against the farmers. Mr Sandhu said Capt Amarinder Singh should turn the pages of history to find out how former Chief Minister Partap Singh Kairon had to pay a heavy price for adopting “anti-farmer” policies.

The state union secretary, Mr Nirbhay Singh Dhudike, said breaking promises had become a “hobby” of the Amarinder government. He said during the meeting with the farmer leaders at the time of indefinite dharna in Chandigarh in March, 2003, it was promised that the agriculture sector would be provided free power and water, prices of crops would be raised, false cases against farmer leaders would be withdrawn, and no farmer would be arrested in a debt case. But, now the farmers’ land was being auctioned and farmer leaders were being arrested, he added.


Kisan credit cards distributed
Our Correspondent

Samrala, December 3
Kisan credit cards worth Rs 1.2 crore were distributed at a function at the local Punjab and Sind Bank branch, today. The function was organised by the bank branches of Hedon, Bagli Kalan, Ghulal, Chakli, Adal, and Sherpur Bet.

On the occasion, the General Manager of the bank Mr Jaspal Singh, highlighted the new schemes started to uplift the farmers. More than 200 farmers of the Samrala sub-division attended the awareness camp and appreciated the initiative taken by the bank.


Woman held for selling sister-in-law
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 3
The district police today arrested a woman for allegedly selling her widow sister-in-law to a middle-aged person after forcefully marrying her.

The arrested woman was been identified as Bhajji, a resident of Basti Mithu area, the police said, adding that the action had been initiated on a complaint of Sarabjit Kaur, who alleged that Bhajji and her mother-in-law Mukhtara had forcibly married her to one Nihal Singh of Jandiala of Amritsar district for Rs 25,000.

The complainant alleged that the accused after the death of her husband used to harass her on one pretext or the other and finally solemnised her marriage with Nihal Singh after intoxicating her at the time of marriage.

While Bhajji was arrested, the main accused in the case was yet to be arrested. Meanwhile, the complainant alleged that instead of assuring her fair investigation into the case, the police was pressurising her to settle for a compromise.


Man shot at, wounded
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, December, 3
Mr Narinderpal Singh of Langarpur village was seriously injured when Sukhdev Singh alias Kala fired gun shot at him last night. He was admitted to the Civil Hospital, Dasuya, from where he was referred to the DMC, Ludhiana under serious condition.

According to police sources, Amritpal Singh, brother of Narinderpal Singh, has filed a complaint against the accused Sukhdev Singh and his brother Jarnail Singh, alias Jaila and his father Nachhater Singh of the same village.

He alleged that last night while he was taking meal at his house, he heard cries of his brother.

He immediately rushed to the spot where he saw his brother was being beaten by the accused. When he tried to intervene they also assaulted him and fired at his brother.

The Dasuya police has registered a case under Sections 307, 34 of the IPC and 25, 27, 54, 59 of, the Arms Act.


Bank manager, 5 others booked for fraud
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 3
The Rambagh police has booked MM Sharma, Bank Manager, Punjab National Bank and B L Gupta, legal adviser along with four others on charges of fraud with the bank.

The case was registered after an inquiry conducted by the SHO of the police station after a complaint from the bank authorities. The other accused include Balbir Singh and Amrik Singh, both residents of Vallah, Jatinder Kumar and Rajkumar.

According to the FIR, Balbir Singh had raised a limit of Rs 20 lakh on March 11, 2004 after showing documents of about 1020 square yard land. He withdrew Rs 18.64 lakh from the bank against the limit. However, when a senior manager of the bank checked the documents the property was found to be less than the reported cost.


7-year-old crushed to death
Our Correspondent

Abohar, December 3
A seven-year-old boy was crushed to death by a machine used for fodder cutting here last evening.

Sources said that Mr Krishan Lal Meghwal, a resident of the Azeemgarh locality, had migrated temporarily with his family to Amarpura village, 10 km from here, to work in the fields owned by Mr Ram Krishan on contract basis.

As he was cutting green fodder on a machine his son Parveen arrived there to convey some message but his hand got trapped in the running belt, causing fracture in the arm and a head injury. The boy died within minutes before getting medical aid.

The body was handed over to the parents after a post-mortem examination at Nehru Memorial Civil Hospital here.


2 patwaris booked for fraud
Tribune News Service

Moga, December 3
Four persons, including two patwaris, were booked in a fraud case here yesterday.

According to information, the complainant, Gurmail Singh of Chak Kania Khurd village had bought a piece of land each from Sandura Singh and Kapura Singh, at Kishanpur Kalan. He had paid them Rs 10 lakh towards the cost of land, but the two brothers didn’t get teh registry of their respective plots in the name of the complainant.

Gurmail suspected foul play in the deal and on inquiry came to know that it was government land allotted to them and they could not sell it till 2019.

The patwaris, Harnek Singh and Nirmal Singh, also knew about it, but concealed the same from Gurmail.

A case has been registered against the four accused under Sections 420, 465, 468 and 471 of the IPC at Dharamkot police station. 


Patwari caught accepting bribe
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 3
The District Vigilance Department today arrested Patwari Mohan Singh posted at Sampla in Bassi Pathana sub division for accepting a bribe of Rs 500. The money has been recovered from him.

According to Mr Banarsi Dass, DSP (Vigilance), Mr Mohan Singh Patwari, was not giving a copy of mutation to Balwinder Singh, a resident of Dadiana, inspite of repeated requests. He demanded Rs 500 from him for giving the copy. Balwinder Singh informed the Vigilance Department and as per plan he handed over Rs 500 note to the Patwari, who put the money in his pocket and handed over the copy of mutation.

Meanwhile a team of the Vigilance Department arrested him in the presence of two government witnesses and recovered the money.

According to the DSP, a case has been registered and Patwari arrested. He would be produced in the court tomorrow.


Sarpanch assaulted
Our Correspondent

Abohar, December 3
Some persons inside the subdivisional complex here assaulted Mr Fateh Singh, sarpanch of Kalatibba village, today.

According to information, the sarpanch was entering the complex in connection with the hearing of a case. Some persons arrived in a Qualis vehicle near the sub-post and allegedly indulged in beating Fateh Singh. Some persons rushed to rescuing him as he shouted for help. The miscreants left the premises.

Mr Fateh Singh said that the miscreants were annoyed over passing of a resolution by the village panchayat against their interests.

The police could make no arrest in this connection.


SSAA not to get textbooks printed by board
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 3
The Sarv Sikhiyaa Abhiyaan Authority (SSAA), Punjab will not get its textbooks printed by the Punjab School Education Board. This decision of the SSAA will not just intensify the ongoing tussle between the Education Department and the board but is also likely to lead to duplication of work and subsequent wasteful expenditure.

While the SSAA issued an advertisement yesterday inviting tenders from private parties for the printing of over 27 lakh school textbooks, the board had less than a week ago tendered out the printing of 1.10 crore textbooks. Sources state that while the number of books to be printed by the board does not include the SSAA component, the board was expecting to increase the final order and sell these textbooks in the SSAA.

The board had been for the past 6 months fighting with the Education Department for retaining its monopoly over printing of textbooks as laid down in the board's governing act. On the other hand, the Education Department has been insisting that the board should get out of commercial activities and focus on academic and examination-related work.

A strongly-worded notification to this effect was issued by the Education Department to the board on April 30, 2004. It was also pointed out in the notification that the books printed by the board were of sub-standard quality.

"After the first year since the implementation of the SSA in Punjab, we never bought books printed by the board. This is the second year we would be printing our own books,"said a source in the SSAA.

Sources alleged that the board was using low quality paper bought locally from a paper mill.

However, the board authorities pointed out that the quality of paper chosen for getting the books printed was laid down by the Director-General of Supplies and Disposal (DGSD), New Delhi. "The DGSD is a government of India body and is responsible for the quality of paper supplied to the board. They simply tell us the mill from where the paper has to be procured. And we do so accordingly," said a source in the board.

The textbooks printed by the board are sold to the Welfare Department, Punjab, and the SSAA other than selling these to the students directly. The Welfare Department distributes these books free of cost to the SC/ST students and has asked the board to print books for them this year too. However, now both the board and the SSAA would be printing exactly the same books for school children. While the SSAA would be providing these books to all general category girl students from Class I to Class VIII in the schools affiliated to the board, the board would be selling these books to all students of all classes in such schools.


Youth festival of Khalsa colleges to start today
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 3
The first religious youth festival of Khalsa colleges being run by the SGPC will commence at the local Mata Gujri College tomorrow. The two-day festival is dedicated to the ter-centenary of the supreme sacrifice of the Sahibzadas.

It will be inaugurated by Bibi Jagir Kaur, President of the SGPC, while Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President of the SAD, will preside over the first session, Dr Gurmohan Singh Walia, Principal of the college, told mediapersons here today.

He said in the morning session competitions in group shabad, solo shabad, on the spot painting, poster-making would be held.

In the second session competitions in war gayan, kavishari and vocal music would be held. In the second session Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta would be the chief guest.

On the second day Capt Kanwaljit Singh would inaugurate the morning session.

In the second session competitions in shashtri sangeet, religious poems, vocal instruments and declamation would be organised. Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa would preside over the function.


PU declares MA results

Chandigarh, December 3
The results of the following examinations, held in September-October 2004, were declared by the Panjab University today.

M.A. Part-I — Punjabi, Economics and Political Science.

M.A. Part-II — Economics, Political Science and Hindi. — TNS

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