P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Gulabi ‘pugs’ will lend lustre to Indo-Pak games
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Over the decades, Patialashahi pug (turban) and Patiala peg have become significant landmarks of Punjabi folklore. There are many absorbing folk tales associated with these two vital symbols of the erstwhile Patiala royal state.

Whether the Patiala peg will be in vogue or not will have to be seen, but Patialashahi pug, also called pagri, will be very much in the limelight at the six-day Indo-Pak Punjab Games beginning at Patiala tomorrow.

All officials assigned the duty to conduct the games have been asked to tie " gulabi" ( pink) turban at the games. Once upon a time, “gulabi” turban used to be the most valuable part of the Patiala royal family's wardrobe. And a particular style was associated with the tying of the turban. In fact, the late Maharaja Bhupinder Singh and Yadavindra Singh were famous for their attractive style of turban tying. Capt Amarinder Singh is also fond of tying " gulabi" turban at all ceremonial functions but his style of tying the turban does not match much with his father and grandfather.

Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, working chairman of the games organising committee, said that “gulabi” is the colour of " ceremonies" in Punjab. Its brightness represents the brightness of distinct Punjabi character and culture. Because of this reason, all officials have been requested to tie “gulabi” turbans and wear grey pants and blue sport coats. In fact, a piece of particular shade of "gulabi" colour was sent to officials asking them to buy turbans matching with that shade.

However, the condition of tying this colour turban will not be applicable to guests, VIPs and spectators. "It would be nice if they also come tying pink colour turban as it would further make the games more colourful and attractive but it is not a must for them”, says Rana Sodhi.

Meanwhile, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly, has confirmed his participation in the opening ceremony of the games. West Punjab, Chief Minister, Pervaiz Elahi will declare the games open. Rana Sodhi said that he contacted Mr Badal on the phone this evening to make a request to him for participation in the opening ceremony. “These games belong to all Punjabis and it would add to the spirit of the games if all Punjabis take part in these, rising above politics,” he added.

Mr Badal said he would be present at the opening ceremony along with other senior Akali leaders, including, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, former Union Minister, and an ardent sports organiser. However, Akali leaders, would be in their traditional 'blue' turban, that is known as the official Akali party colour.

However, Mr Badal would not have tea with Mr Pervaiz Elahi to be hosted at the Punjab Assembly here by the Speaker, Dr Kewal Krishan. Mr Badal is to attend the marriage of his close family friend tomorrow and he would be busy there.

Mr Rana Sodhi said that he had personally contacted on the phone almost all MPs from Punjab to request them to attend the opening and closing ceremonies.


People’s participation must in such conferences: novelist
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
The World Punjabi Conference is over. Punjabi delegates from as many as 26 countries participated in the conference hosted by Punjabi University, Patiala. However, by and large, it was a show of Punjabi writers, scholars and politicians from East Punjab ( India) and West Punjab (Pakistan). Except a few, all other Pakistani delegates today returned to their country.

There are two distinctly dissimilar views with regard to the outcome of this conference. Famed Punjabi novelist, Jaswant Kanwal, says it was a “ sarkari show” dominated by politicians and official machinery. The elite of the two countries met and dispersed without achieving anything after “having good time for three days”.

However, Prof Sucha Singh, coordinator of conference from the university, says that there are three important achievements of the conference. This conference looked beyond Punjabi literature. For the first time, issues such as art and culture agriculture and trade here discussed in a serious manner at this conference.

Mr Kanwal says that he was somehow not very hopeful that much would be achieved by holding conferences in this manner. “Awam ( people) was missing from these conferences’ dominated every time by a few well recognised faces. There was no serious effort to invite representatives of important Punjabi writers’ organisations. “ I got one invitation on December 2 and another today after the conclusion of the conference”, he adds. “ After spending so much money on such conferences, there should be some concrete achievement also”, he adds.

“ People of both countries should be openly allowed to participate in the melas of sufi saints and pirs. Visas should be given by adopting a liberal approach”, he adds. People and not governments should have large involvement in such conferences, he adds. “ The ongoing activities should be converted into achievements”, he adds.

But Prof Sucha Singh says that Punjabi University had got Rs 5 crore to set up the world Punjabi cultural centre. Of it, Rs 3 crore would be spent on its construction and the remaining amount would be used as corps fund. “This centre would play a big role in days to come in the development of Punjabi literature, art and culture”, he said.

Talk has also started at the official level to sign an MoU for the exchange programme between Punjabi University and Lahore University and also between Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, and Agricultural University, Faislabad (Pakistan). Of course all this would be done through proper official channels, he added. Punjabi folk artistes from Punjabi University would be performing at the SAARC meet to be hosted by Pakistan in the coming weeks. Moreover, an atmosphere has been created for furthering the cause of Indo-Pak peace and friendship.

Apart from the views of Prof Sucha Singh and Mr Jaswant Kanwal, there are others who feel that even the contact of the elite in various fields from the two countries is only confined to the “ sweet talk” so fast. After all some day reality would have to be faced. That reality is regarding the settling of old issues between the two countries.


Maharaja bash for Pak delegates
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 4
A maharaja bash heralded the end of the stay of the Pakistani Punjab delegates in the city, with a rich fare of Kashmiri and Patiala cuisine being offered to them in the floodlit lawns of the New Moti Bagh Palace, residence of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

‘’The cooks were brought from Kashmir’’, Patiala MP Preneet Kaur told The Tribune. She said her family was keen on dishing out fare which was familiar to the Pakistani delegates, along with items from the Patiala cuisine. “It was then that we thought of Kashmiri cuisine”, she added.

The Radisson, a five-star chain, brought Wazwan cooks from Srinagar and were responsible for catering. The dishes on offer included traditional Kashmiri dishes like ‘goshtaba’, ‘rista’ and ‘nadru palak’. Punjabis not particularly fond of Kashmiri food had the option of partaking of Patiala cuisine, which included ‘tawa meat’, ‘methi chicken’ and ‘chicken biryani’, besides other non-vegetarian and vegetarian preparations. At least 20 dishes were laid on various tables.

The Pakistani Punjab delegates were awed at the reception accorded to them. The New Moti Bagh Palace was all aglow when they entered it in the evening, with a fountain spray falling on a marble canopy in the front lawns. The dinner was held in the lawns at the rear of the palace. “We are simply overwhelmed at the reception given to us”, said Pakistani Punjab journalist Syed Majid.


Elahi maintains his poise
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, December 4
Amidst the extravagant display of Punjabi euphoria, the three-day World Punjabi Conference at Patiala came to an end on Friday.

The leader of the Pakistani delegation, Mr Pervaiz Elahi, CM of Pakistan Punjab, kept his poise and restricted himself to the issue of Punjabi language. Perhaps most of the people in India do not appreciate that the Pakistanis are more conscious about their identity as Pakistanis and Muslims rather than the identity as Punjabis. Even the word Punjabi at irks them because their primary identification remains with Pakistan. This was very much evident when Mr Elahi visited the Golden Temple at Amritsar. During his brief stay at the information office he felt embarrassed when no siropa was presented to Capt Amarinder Singh.

The memorandum given by the president of the SGPC, Bibi Jagir Kaur, was neither polite nor to the liking of the visitor. Bibi Jagir Kaur mentioned the rights of the SGPC and the Gurdwara Act 1925. Interestingly the gurdwara act is not operational in Pakistan. The ground situation has changed and Bibi Jagir Kaur remains ignorant of the same. The Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee has come into being and the Government of Pakistan is committed to preservation and maintenance of Sikh shrines in Pakistan. The Sikh diaspora in the UK, USA and South East Asia is actively involved in the whole affair. The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee is also not lagging behind. The SGPC president must see the writing on the wall. Mr Elahi made no reference to the points raised by Bibi Jagir Kaur and simply promised that the upkeep of gurdwaras would be maintained in Pakistan.

Mr Elahi during the course of the conference at Patiala committed to the development of Punjabi language and frequent interaction between the writers on both sides of the border. He also admitted that Punjabi had developed more in India and Pakistan Punjab had still a long way to go in this regard. He was equally guarded when he attended the CII meeting at Chandigarh where the demand for more free trade between the two countries through the land route was made. Mr Pervaiz Elahi, as a matter of fact, made his point when he said that first the core issue of Kashmir should be settled... notwithstanding the fact that the Pakistani delegates were also no less enthusiastic on this issue.

The holding of the three-day conference followed by the Indo-Pak Games which start tomorrow at Patiala are decidedly the brainchild of Captain Amarinder Singh. He has shrewdly tried to cash in on the Sikh sentiment for Punjabi and has also tried to win over the Punjabi writers. The proposed Punjabi centre at Punjabi University will bring closer the Sikh diaspora which has been looking towards the Akali leadership. Besides, Captain Amarinder Singh has been projected as a champion of the Punjabi cause and remained in the centrestage throughout. Captain Amarinder Singh has also tactfully tried to mend his relations with the Deputy Chief Minister, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhathal, who incidentally holds the portfolio of languages also. Perhaps, it is because of this that some avowed dissidents within the Congress party are now looking for new alignments.

Although the organisers named the three-day conference as World Punjabi Conference, writers from western countries were not visible.


Elahi, others go sight seeing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
The West Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Pervaiz Elahi, and members of his entourage today flew to Agra, Jaipur and Ajmer on a sight-seeing tour by a special aircraft of Pakistan Air Force.

The visiting Pakistani dignitaries earlier arrived here by four special helicopters from Patiala. They were received here by Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi, Parliamentary Secretary, and Mr Parminder Singh, General Secretary, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee.


Badal to skip meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
The Shiromani Akali Dal president and Leader of the Opposition, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has reportedly expressed his inability to join the Speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Dr Kewal Krishan, at a meeting with the visiting Chief Minister of West Punjab, Mr Pervaiz Elahi, here tomorrow.

Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, secretary, Shiromani Akali Dal, confirmed that Mr Badal had regretted his inability to attend the Speakers’ function.

“Mr Badal has some prior commitments. He has to attend a family function in his constituency for which he had committed himself long time back. There is no other reason for him to skip the function being organised by the Speaker in honour of the visiting Chief Minister of West Punjab,” Dr Cheema said.

Mr Badal will, however, be present at the opening ceremony of the East-West Punjab Games at Patiala in the evening, Dr Cheema added. Mr Pervaiz Elahi, who is scheduled to inaugurate the games on Sunday evening, will have an occasion to exchange pleasantries at Patiala during the ceremony.

Meanwhile, there is yet another change in the programme of Mr Elahi. The joint Press conference which was to be addressed by both, Mr Pervaiz Elahi, and Capt Amarinder Singh at Patiala tomorrow, has been cancelled.


Vatican-like status for Nankana Sahib sought
Our Correspondent

Patiala, December 4
The Sikh Nation Organisation and Culture and Heritage Conservation Initiative welcomed the announcement of Mr Pervaiz Elahi, Chief Minister West Punjab regarding granting of model city status to Nanakana Sahib have demanded Vatican like status for Nanakana Sahib.

Dr Manjit Singh Randhawa, president, Sikh Nation Organization and Convener Culture and Heritage Conservation Initiative said here today that Nanakana Sahib and Amritsar had a very special place for Sikhs as well as whole humanity and should be open for pilgrimage to whole world without any restriction to spread the message of universal brotherhood as preached by Guru Nanak the founder of Sikhism.

Sikh Nation Organization and CHCI appealed to Mr Pervaiz Elahi and Capt Amrinder Singh the Chief Ministers of West and East Punjab to make efforts with respective government of their countries for granting of Vatican status to Nanakana Sahib and Amritsar to provide hassle free pilgrimage at both places to the whole humanity.


Discussion on issues of Sikh Panth
Our Correspondent

Patiala, December 4
The Sociological unit of Correspondence Department, Punjabi University, Patiala organised a discussion on Dr Gurmeet Singh Sidhu’s book “Sikh Panth Navane Yug De sanmukh” (in front of new era.) former Dean Languages and head of this function. In his presidential address he said that this book which deals with contemporary issues and problems of Sikh community is of interest to the community.

Assistant Editor Punjabi Tribune Karamjeet Singh said that Gumeet Singh Sidhu had tried to understand the problems of Sikhs created by the process of modernisation. He stated that the Sikh leadership had failed to avail the “Chances” given to it by the community.

Mr M.S. Gill former Professor and head of Geography Department, Punjabi University Patiala said that this is the first field study to understand the perspective. Bhupinder Singh Khera head of Correspondence Courses department Punjabi University, Patiala in his inauguration address said that in these days there is a need to understand the new issues of life with a fresh perspective.

Professor Darshan Singh, Dr Kuldeep Singh Khiala, Prof Gurmeet Singh Tiwana, Prof Vikram Singh and Prof Kuldeep Singh Dhir, participated in discussion.


76 Sikh youths in Pak prisons
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 4
Pained at the indifference shown by the Punjab Government during the World Punjabi Conference (WPC) in taking up the issue of 76 incarcerated Sikh youths in Pakistani prisons, the International Bhai Mardana Yaadgari Kirtan Darbar Society will hold up traffic on the state highway near the PAP Complex in Jalandhar on December 15.

The organisation has been spearheading the movement to get Sikh youths released from various Pakistani prisons. They have been successful in pleading the cause of several youths who were victims of unscrupulous travel agents. According to an estimate, more than 5,000 youths are languishing in prisons across the world and little is being done by the government to bring them home.

Mr Harpal Singh Bhullar, president of the organisation, alleged the World Punjabi Conference proved to be a government show where only pleasantries and gifts were exchanged between the visitors and the hosts while important issues were not even discussed informally. Other than becoming a forum for voicing politically correct statements and generating bonhomie among a select few, what the outcome of the conference has been, he questioned.

He said they had raised the issue of the detention of 76 Sikh youths from various parts of the state currently being held in Pakistan prisons. “I had faxed a letter to Mr Pervaiz Elahi, the Chief Minister of West Punjab, detailing the plight of the youth who were being forced to sweep the barracks of the prisons and denied even the basic facilities,” he added.

“The Principal Secretary of the CM, Mr Sikandar Mirza, called back to inform him that they had received the fax and that a copy had been forwarded to Capt Amarinder Singh’s secretariat so that time could be allotted to a delegation of the society to enable them to discuss the issue with Mr Elahi during the conference,” he said.

He said this was the second time that they have been disappointed. “We had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and brought the plight of Sikh youths to his notice. He said there was little he could do and it was up to the Pakistan government to do the needful. While the Prime Minister at least gave us a hearing, the Chief Minister did not even bother to acknowledge their letter,” he added.

He said the indifference on part of the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister of Punjab in this context showed their priorities and lack of concern towards the misery and pain of families whose children were languishing in prisons. 


Thirty-year wait for pension
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, December 4
Swaran Singh, who claims to have participated in the Indo-China war in 1965, is fighting a battle for survival today, He is awaiting his pension for the past over 30 years.

Speaking to The Tribune here today, he said he had submitted applications to government officials during different regimes in the state, but to no avail. He has now written to the Prime Minister, the Defence Minister, the Punjab Chief Minister, and other officials seeking their intervention in the matter.

Swaran Singh, a resident of Mandwala village with a poor background, in his letter to the Prime Minister, has said that he was recruited in the Indian Army on November 17, 1956. After being trained in Meerut for 9 months, he was posted in the Naushera sector. He was later shifted to the 5 Training Platoon and the Indo-China war broke out during his stint with that platoon. He fought the enemy on the heights of Mander during which his 13 companions laid down their lives for the country.

After the war, he was sent back as “reserve”. According to him, in pre-1971 days, after completion of a particular term in the Army, soldiers were sent home as ‘reserve’ and were called as and when needed. The Army again called him in 1968 and he underwent training in Meerut for a month.

A month before the 1971 Indo-Pak war, he was to retire as he had completed his 15-year term. When he contacted Army officials in this connection, they said he was called sometime back, but he didn’t join his duty. Responding to this, he said the letter in that regard didn’t reach him in time and when he went there to resume his duties, Army officials told him that he would be called later.

Since 1971, he had written a number of applications to the officials concerned, but none of them responded he said. The ex-soldier, who is in his late 60s, said he had no other source of income and he was finding it tough to make both ends meet. He said he should be given all benefits, as he had rendered services to the Indian Army for 15 years.


Mohali-Ropar highway prone to accidents
200 killed in accidents in three yrs
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Ropar, December 3
With an average of one person dying on the Mohali-Ropar national highway every week, about 200 persons have lost their lives in total accidents during the past three years on the 35 km National Highway-21. The district police is yet to devise a way to control the increasing death toll on this stretch.

The congested road on the national highway has become accident-prone due to uncontrolled traffic from Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Chandigarh and Haryana. Besides roadways buses and trucks from different states, private buses, hundreds of three-wheelers and two-wheelers ply on this stretch every day.

A survey of National Highway-21 shows that the district police seems to be satisfied with putting up only signboards carrying warnings and slogans about traffic rules on this stretch. It has not given any serious thought to work out a suitable solution to avoiding accidents.

On this accident-prone stretch, traffic policemen were seen at the Balongi barrier, the sales tax barrier, the Kharar barrier, the Kurali level crossing and at the entrance of the city. On other places there are about 10 signboards along both sides of the road to avoid accidents. Traffic policemen at the barriers are rarely visible after the evening.

The major cause of the accidents is attributed to speeding, poor maintenance of vehicles and congested roads. Besides, no signboards have been placed where link roads join the national highway. A large part of the road between Kurali and Ropar is missing.

The problems have assumed serious proportions due to little check on speeding vehicles on the stretch. Traffic rules seem to be alien concepts to most of the persons using this route. In addition, most of two-wheeler riders were seen driving without a helmet on this stretch. This is despite the fact that out of 200 deaths during the past three years in road accidents on this stretch, about 150 persons were two-wheeler riders.

The Superintendent of Police, Ropar, Mr Rakesh Agarwal, who has done a study into the causes of accidents on this national highway, said the widening of the highway could solve the problem on this stretch. A decision in this regard has to be taken by the National Highway Authority and the PWD Department. The road on the stretch was congested. He said the Police Department would launch a special drive to check the speeding and drunken driving on this stretch to curb accidents and spread awareness about the traffic rules. Besides, two motor cycles and a Tata Sumo were being used for patrolling on this stretch by policemen.


Heritage haveli being demolished
Rashmi Talwar

Amritsar December 4
Even as heritage festivals are being organised on a large scale in holy city, the administration has taken little note of the dwindling heritage buildings.

A haveli belonging to the period of Maharaja Ranjit Singh situated in the walled city here is being demolished, reportedly for constructing a shopping complex.

This is the third instance of destruction of precious structures. Earlier two heritage havelis were demolished this year which too, belonged to the Maharaja Ranjit Singh era.

The havelis has a unique facade of frescoes of the British era, said Mr Balvinder Singh, a conservation planner and a reader of Guru Ram Dass School of Planning Guru Nanak Dev University.

During a visit to the haveli, this correspondent discovered that grills in its interiors are unique. The ornate doors, windows and almirahs made of teak are very beautiful. The haveli has elegant Japanese tiles with border. Distinctive floral designs and patterns, high quality stain glasses in different geometrical shapes, exquisite floor patterns, tiles and beautiful carved wooden doors and windows are a remainder of precious treasure. A carved fireplace with massive chest was gathering dust. Exquisite metal balustrade stands tall as a mute spectator to the destruction being carried around including the beautiful wooden steps.

In May this year a “Jainian di Haveli” situated in Chatkian Wala Bazaar’ in walled city was demolished. While another near Hindu College was demolished which had unique paintings of a darbar of the maharaja.

Mr Vijay Mehra, principal of a senior study school and an art lover, said he was pained to see the destruction of such a beautiful architecture that was rare and painstakingly constructed. Such exceptional artwork should be taken over by the government.

He urged the government to take strict action to preserve “havelis”. He rued that nothing could be more unfortunate than seeing our heritage being demolished and the labourers pulling down beautiful artwork.

Dr Balwinder has urged the municipal corporation to intervene and stop its demolition. He suggested that an NGO forum should form which would help preserve such building.


‘Opposition supporters booked in false cases’
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 4
On the ‘directions’ of a senior Congress leader and former minister, the Bhikhiwind police has allegedly registered false cases against several residents of Bhikhiwind area for favouring Opposition.

Alleging this at a press conference here today, Col G.S. Sandhu (retd), chairman, Majha ex-servicemen Human Rights, brought these victims before the media and alleged that a retired DSP who had been given one-year extension was harassing them.

Colonel Sandhu has taken up these cases with the IG, Jalandhar zone, Mr S.K. Sharma, who ordered a probe into these and assured action against erring police officials.

He questioned the one-year extension given to the DSP even as the Police Department has surplus officers. He urged the authorities not to repeat this.

Narrating an incident in support of his claim, he alleged that Gurlal Singh of Dool Kona and Daljinder Singh of Ratoke were picked up by the SHO of Ajnala police station on September 9 from their homes and kept in illegal custody for three days. On September 12 a false case under Sections 489A, 489 C, IPC, and 25, 54, 59 of the Arms Act was registered against them. He said the victims had supported the Opposite party during the elections.


No political stages at Jor Melas: Badal
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 4
Mr Parkash Singh Badal at a press conference held here today said the SGPC would celebrate the tercentenary of the martyrdom of the four Sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh on a large scale and SAD would extend all possible help to it in this regard. He said a detailed programme had been chalked out at Chamkaur Sahib and Fatehgarh Sahib. He further said there would be no political stages at both jor melas and the SGPC would set up the stages.

Mr Badal said all organisations and political parties would be invited. He said Bibi Jagir Kaur and Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa have been deputed to contact all VVIPs for inviting them.


Floating feed will cut fish breeding losses: expert
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Punjab ranks third in fresh water fish farming in the country. But the state is getting the aqua delicacy from Mumbai for local consumption. This is not all. Punjab farmers are pumping in too much on too little. In fact, the farmers are spending three times more on the feed than they should be.

Nothing fishy about the entire thing. It is just that the fish being cultivated in Punjab does not tickle the taste buds of food-loving Punjabis — at least this is what Technical Director with American Soybean Association Dinesh T. Bhosale has to say.

In Chandigarh for attending Agro Tech 2004, Dr Bhosale says that the fish being cultivated in Punjab is with “bones” — something which is not liked by the Punjabis.

An expert in the field of poultry, livestock and aquaculture, Dr Bhosale adds that a substantial quantity of fish raised in the state is being consumed by migrant labourers, while the locals are going in for stuff from Mumbai. In the process, they are pulling out more money from their wallets than they are required to.

Otherwise also, the farmers in Punjab are spending too much on the feed. Rather, they are wasting 70 per cent of the feed by just throwing it away in the water, or by putting it in a sack before submerging it.

As a result, the farmers are producing 1 kg of fish by nourishing it with equal amount of feed. “On the other hand, they can easily cultivate 4 kg of fish by providing it with 1 kg of feed. This, he asserts, can be done by following a scientific method of feeding, also by going in for the right kind of feed.”

“We are encouraging the farmers to buy floating feed so that the losses can be minimised,” he asserts. “In fact, we are asking the Punjab Government to convince farmers to go in for this kind of stuff. For the purpose, we are holding seminars and conferences”.

Giving details of their free-of-cost programme funded for this part of the region by the US Department of Agriculture, Dr Bhosale says: “The farmers are also being encouraged to grow Indian Magur and Murrel fish not only for local consumption, but also for the purpose of importing it”.

Punjab and Haryana, Dr Bhosale claims, are ideal for fish farming because there is plenty of water in the two states. “As of now India is number two in the world as far as fish cultivation is concerned. Within the country, Andhra Pradesh is number one, followed by West Bengal. Punjab is third and Haryana is fourth. In Punjab, fish farming is being carried out at a large-scale near Ludhiana and Khanna”.

He concludes: “The states can improve their ranking and the financial status of the farmers, by going in for farming on scientific lines. Rather, they can produce in six months what they produce in a year”. 


Man, wife file complaints against each other
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 4
While Dr Kirandeep Kaur, a lecturer in Faridkot, has moved an application with the National Commission For Women (NCW) for registration of a dowry case against her husband and his kin, her husband Mr Mandeep Singh Dhillon, deputy director, Technical Education Department, Punjab, has moved an application with the Bathinda police for registration of a theft case against her.

In a complaint lodged with the Chairman, NCW, Dr Kirandeep alleged that though she had also moved an application with the Bathinda police for registration of a criminal case against Mr Dhillon and his kin, no action has been taken in this connection so far.

She alleged that as no case was registered and she was facing a constant threat to her life from her husband. She added that all her items had been taken away by her husband.

She alleged that immediately after here marriage she was asked to bring more dowry from her widow mother.

She alleged that since her husband was closely related to a senior IAS officer of Punjab, the police authorities concerned had not be taking any action on the complaint moved by her against him. On the contrary, she was being summoned time and again by the Bathinda police in connection with the complaint moved against her by her husband.

Mr Dhillon said his wife had got frustrated after he had moved a complaint against her and hence she had moved to the NCW to pressurise the Bathinda police.

He added that even the people of their locality were willing to record their statement before the police that Dr Kirandeep Kaur herself had taken away all household goods which belonged to him.


Sikh Front tells club to vacate premises
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 4
Objecting to naming a club library in the civil lines area here after Guru Nanak Dev, the Sikh Front has issued a warning to its office-bearers to vacate the premises by December 31.

Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh, Jathedar, Takht Damdama Sahib, who has taken a serious note of this matter, said he would send a jatha of Panj Piaras to make an on-the-spot inquiry as to what was going on the premises. He added that he would take appropriate action on the report of the Panj Piaras, which would be submitted to him.

Mr Gur Kirpal Singh, president, Sikh Front, in a press note issued here today, said the premises belonging to the Guru Nanak Dev Hall Library must be vacated by the office-bearers of the club for religious functions and after doing so, the office-bearers should make an announcement in the same connection through the print media.

He added that if the office-bearers failed to do so by December 31, the Sikh Front would organise a gathering of Sikhs and would announce its programme in this connection.

Information gathered by The Tribune revealed that the club had remained embroiled in various controversies in the past few years. The club came into controversy when a badminton hall was constructed on its premises at a time when the site plan was not sanctioned. It again came into controversy when the state PWD claimed that it was the real owner of the land and asked the club officer-bearers to prove ownership of the club over the same.

Capt Amarinder Singh, who paid a visit to the club, gave Rs 10 lakh to its management from his discretionary quota about an year ago.

Mr Gur Kirpal Singh said the Sikh Front was also concerned that the RSS was trying to separate all Sikh Takhts by empowering these to award punishment to those who had allegedly been violating tenets of Sikhism. He added that the Sikh Front had written a letter to AICC chief Sonia Gandhi for appointing Mr J.J. Singh, as Army chief.


Surjeet calls on Chahal in hospital
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 4
CPI (M) General Secretary Harkrishen Singh Surjeet today paid a visit to Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh's Adviser Bharat Inder Singh Chahal at a hospital here.

Mr Surjeet remained closetted with Mr Chahal for some time and also discussed his health with Institute's Managing Director. Later he told newsmen that Mr Chahal had been admitted to the hospital after he complained of chest discomfort and breathlessness. The doctor said an ECG on Mr Chahal had shown some changes. He said though the changes remained, Mr Chahal would be discharged in a day or two but would have to rest for another two to three weeks before he could return to his normal routine.


Seminar on Guru Granth Sahib held
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, December 4
A seminar dedicated to the celebrations of the 400th Parkash Utsav of Guru Granth Sahib was organised at Sikh National College, Charan Kanwal, Banga, about 12 km from here today. It was organised under the aegis of the Sikh Education Society, Chandigarh.

Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, Deputy Speaker, Lok Sabha, was the chief guest while Dr S.P. Singh, Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, presided over the programme.

Mr Atwal, said the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib were not confined to Sikhs only but to the entire mankind. He stressed the need to propagate these teachings in true spirit. He lauded the efforts of the Sikh Education Society in organising seminars in educational institutions in this regard.

Prof Jagbir Singh, former professor, Delhi University, New Delhi, Dr Bikram Singh Ghumman, former Dean, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Dr Kulwant Kaur, former Principal, Gurmat College, Patiala, Dr Jaswinder Kaur Dhilon and Prof Harpal Singh presented their papers on different topics touching various aspects of Guru Granth Sahib at the seminar.


Project to de-stress prisoners
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, December 4
Dr Kiran Bedi’s India Vision Foundation yesterday launched a project for jail inmates here.

The project director of the foundation, Ms Shakira N. Scolt, while talking to newspersons said they were encouraged by the response of women inmates and Superintendent S.P. Singh. She said during the past few days counselling and interaction with the undertrials have shown a change in their attitude.

She said more than 60 women had already got registered with the foundation, of which 39 have taken up educational classes for adults.


Patna Sahib Jathedar’s action criticised
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 4
Prof Prithipal Singh Kapoor, president, Master Tara Singh Institute of Studies today regretted that the Jathedar of Gurdwara Patna Sahib, Giani Iqbal Singh, had taken upon himself the task of giving judgement on a matter relating to the Panth.

Commenting on his excommunication of Giani Gurdit Singh, a Sikh scholar by Patna Sahib Jathedar, Professor Kapoor said as per Sikh traditions no panthic matter, had been decided or an edict issued from any seat except Akal Takht.

Professor Kapoor, who is former Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, said the book, “Mandhawni” was based on documentary studies and no scholar would ever think of disagreeing with him. The SGPC on its own had already allowed the likes of Giani Iqbal Singh to recite “raag mala” it they wished.

He asked the Akal Takht Jathedar to resolve the issue at the earliest.


2 jail inmates injured
Our Correspondent

Nabha, December 4
Two jail inmates here received minor injuries during a scuffle that broke up in the jail on Friday over the distribution of medicine. Prisoner Major Singh and an undertrial Parvez Ali were brought to the civil hospital for examination.

According to a police officer, Parvez Ali along with another undertrial assaulted sub-inspector Charan Singh after heated argument, when both went to jail dispensary to get medicines with a complaint of insomnia. Major Singh received blows on nose when he intervened. 


A ‘generous’ pickpocket
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, December 4
Prof Kulwant Singh, Head of Economics Department, Guru Nanak College, Phagwara, who had recently gone to Delhi in connection with his Ph.D project had a unique experience. He said here today that when he took a local bus for Delhi railway station to board a train for Jalandhar, his pocket was picked.

His said his driving licence and some other important documents were in the purse. He said the “generous” pickpocket returned these documents by post.


Notice issued on dentist's petition
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 4
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice of motion for December 15 on a petition filed by a Patiala-based dental surgeon, Dr Ramesh Chand Sharma.

The petitioner has challenged the December 1 order of the Patiala District and Sessions Judge, through which his petition had been dismissed. He had moved a petition under Section 9 of the Indian Arbitration Act, seeking interim relief in regard to holding of election of the President of the Indian Dental Association, Punjab State branch.

In his plea, the petitioner has also prayed that direction be issued to the respondents not to hold any election of the office-bearers of the IDA, Punjab State branch, scheduled to be held on December 5, 2004.

After hearing advocate Vijay Sharma, counsel for the petitioner, Mr Justice Tapen Sen directed that notice be issued through registered post for which necessary requisites are required to be furnished within one week, failing which the petition would stand dismissed.


Lok Adalat settles 165 cases
Our Correspondent

Patiala, December 4
A quarterly Lok Adalat was held in all Judicial courts, situated at Patiala, where 253 cases were taken up for settlement. Out of these 165 cases of various categories were disposed of on the basis of compromise between the parties. An amount of Rs 74787 has been awarded to various parties under the compromise.

Mr S.M.S. Mahil, District and Session Judge, Patiala, addressed the media persons about the advantages of settling disputes through the Lok Adalats. He also sought their cooperation to disseminate information to the general public about the free legal aid schemes in operation for benefits of poor people.


Farmers block traffic for 3 hrs
Our Correspondent

Abohar, December 4
Farmers blocked traffic for three hours in front of the new grain market here today to express resentment over the non-availability of DAP fertiliser against cash payment. The blockade was lifted after the civil administration and IFFCO representatives assured them that those who were issued slips yesterday would be supplied five bags each of the fertiliser.

Most of the farmers who blocked traffic were from neighbouring subdivisions. Some of them admitted that they were not farmers.

Some SAD and BJP activists were seen inciting people at the market today to block traffic and raise slogans against the administration. The plan was reportedly discussed during the visit of some SAD leaders here yesterday.

Mr Nahar Singh Mavi, Area Manager of IFFCO, refuted the allegations levelled by some political activists that there had been irregularities in the distribution of fertiliser. He asserted that field staff from adjoining centres had been pressed into service to ensure transparency in providing five or six bags to each person waiting.

Farmers from Fazilka, Malout and Mukstar subdivisions might have come here on learning that DPA fertiliser was available here, he added.

There was no black marketing or maldistribution and no shopkeeper had been supplied fertiliser by IFFCO, he asserted.


Power cuts hitting raw cotton demand
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 4
The scheduled and unscheduled power cuts being imposed in the state have started affecting the price of raw cotton adversely in Punjab as its demand has been going down. Cotton ginning and pressing mills have been flooded with raw cotton and these have not been working to their capacity due to power shortage.

Even as the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has started making bulk purchases of raw cotton from all markets of Punjab to stabilise prices, which have been falling continuously since the beginning of the season, the flooding of ginning and pressing mills with raw cotton has virtually forced traders out of the markets.

Mr Bhagwan Bansal, president of the Punjab Cotton Factories and Ginners Association, said the association had made a request to the Chief Minister and the Power Minister to intervene for removing peak load restrictions on cotton ginning and pressing factories as the factories were flooded with raw cotton and finding it difficult to run to capacity.

He added that due to low demand from the factory owners and traders, the prices of raw cotton had been going down, affecting the economy of growers adversely.

He said if there was no power shortage, the factories could function properly and could generate more demand for raw cotton, which in turn could boost prices.

The CCI authorities, which had started purchasing between 2,500 and 3,000 bales of cotton daily from the markets of Punjab to keep its prices up, had taken up the matter of power shortage with the Punjab Government, official sources said. They added that the CCI would purchase unlimited quantity of raw cotton from Punjab to ensure its minimum support price (MSP) to the growers.

The prices of raw cotton have been ranging from Rs 1,750 to Rs 1,810 per quintal despite the fact that its MSP for Punjab is Rs 1,815 per quintal. It is for the first time in the past about two decades that raw cotton has been fetching a price less than its MSP despite the fact that its prices at the time of opening of the season in September 2004 ranged between Rs 2,400 and Rs 2,500 per quintal.

The panic which has gripped the farmers has also been affecting the prices of raw cotton adversely. Though the prices have been going down for the past many weeks, the farmers have been unloading their produce in the markets in huge quantities continuously as they do not have holding capacity.

Another factor is that traders, factory owners and textile mill owners have been expecting that size of crop in Punjab alone will be around 18 lakh bales. It was earlier estimated that Punjab would not produce more than 15 lakh bales.


Naib Tehsildar, 4 others booked for fraud
Our Correspondent

Barnala, December 4
The Barnala police today booked five persons, including a Naib Tehsildar, for allegedly misusing a computer meant for registration of sale deeds and openly flouting the state government laws meant for execution of these deeds.

The police has registered a case following the directions of Mr Hussan Lal, Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur. The police has booked Mr Tarsem Mittal, Naib Tehsildar, Nirmal Singh, computer operator, Shiv Pal Sharma, deed writer, Surjeet Singh and Balbeer Singh, both registration clerks. under Sections 465, 467, 468, 471 and 193, IPC.

Information gathered by The Tribune revealed that in connivance with the Naib Tehsildar the registry clerks along with the help of the computer operator executed the sale deeds in the absence of Tehsildar. Both purchaser and seller were told to stand by the chair of the tehsildar and pose for the photograph. Later, with the help of computer graphics the photograph of the Tehsildar, already stored in the computer, was imposed on the empty chair. In this way the deeds were executed. The inquiry was initiated by the Deputy Commissioner.


Two take away hired taxi
Our Correspondent

Kharar, December 4
Two miscreants fled with a taxi which they had hired for going to a village near Kharar.

According to the police, two persons, aged about 25 and 30, hired an Indica car from Pinjore and told the driver of the vehicle, Kamaldeep Singh, that they had to go to a village 7 km ahead of Kharar. On reaching near Hassanpur village, they told the driver to stop the vehicle as they wanted to ease themselves. The driver also got off the vehicle. But soon after they got into the car and fled leaving Kamaldeep Singh behind.

The police registered a case in this regard on the statement of Kamaldeep Singh, a resident of Surajpur, a village falling under Panchkula, on December 2. The incident, however, took place on November 24.


3 held for assaulting SP’s son
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 4
The police today arrested three youths for allegedly attacking the son of a Superintendent of Police and three others with sharp-edged weapons at New Jawahar Nagar locality here.

According to the police, Amandeep, son of Mr Surinder Singh, SP (Security), along with his friends, was allegedly attacked with sharp-edged weapons by a group of more than 100 youths near a restaurant in New Jawahar Nagar locality here yesterday. The clash resulted in injuries to four youths. The condition of one Raghav Kapur was stated to be serious.

The DSP (City), Mr Charanjit Singh reached the spot and saved them from the clutches of attackers. Three youths — Jaspal and Rajpreet, students of Lyallpur Khalsa College, and Jagjit, who had recently come from Spain — were arrested while others managed to flee.

Acting on the complaint of Amandeep, the police registered a case under Section 307 of the IPC. Mr Charanjit Singh said the accused had been identified as Tarun Mahendru, Ashish Madendru, Johny Mand, Jassa, Jinder Jand, Lovely, Abhishek, Sona Rishi Kapur, Surinder, Happy and Manghi. 


Pvt college teachers block traffic
Our Correspondent

Barnala, December 4
Teachers of privately managed colleges of Sangrur district blocked traffic at a chowk near SD College here today. They were protesting against the alleged indifferent attitude of the state government towards their problems.

The protesters assembled in SD College in response to a call given by the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU). Later, they took out a rally and blocked traffic.

Teachers of SD College, Barnala, Arya Mahila College, Barnala, Guru Gobind Singh College, Sanghera, Khalsa College, Sandaur, Akal Degree College, Mastuana, Guru Teg Bahadur College, Bhawanigarh, and Desh Bhagat College, Bardwal Dhuri, etc. took part in the protest.

Addressing the protesters, Prof R.S. Brar, state president of the PCCTU, urged them to make the All-India Federation of University and College Teachers Organisation’s (AIFUCTO) demonstration to be held on December 6 in New Delhi, a success by taking part in it in large numbers.

The protest was to be held to press the Union Government to offer parity to DPEs and librarians with lecturers in scales and the third promotion to lecturers keeping in view the stagnation in the scale of Rs 18,300.

He alleged the indifference of the state government of financial crisis in the private colleges. He urged government to immediately redress the grievances of teachers of private colleges.

He expressed satisfaction over government's decision to clear last financial year's grant-in-aid bill worth Rs 14.40 crore for private colleges.

Prof P.K. Sharma, president of the Sangrur unit of the PCCTU, urged teachers of private colleges to remain vigilant of the dilly-dallying tactics of the government.

He called upon them to get more organised to safeguard their interests.

Prominent among those who addressed the rally included Prof Jit Pal Singh Sandhu, former president of the state unit of the PCCTU, Dr M.L. Bansal, Prof J.P. Garg and Prof Amrish Kumar.


GND varsity wins youth fest trophy
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 4
Bagging the inter-varsity youth festival (north zone) trophy for the fifth consecutive time, Guru Nanak Dev University created a record this year.

Students of Apeejay College of Fine Arts and the DAV Institute of Engineering and Technology once again proved their supremacy by winning many prizes in various fine arts and music competitions during the contest that concluded at Bundelkhand University, Jhansi, recently.

Guru Nanak Dev University participated in as many as 20 items and won 11 first, two second and two third positions. Apeejay College won a first and two second prizes in the individual categories.

Students of the DAV Institute of Engineering and Technology bagged one second and two third prizes.

Sugandha Mishra of Apeejay College was awarded a cash prize of Rs 5000 by the Vice-Chancellor of Bundelkhand varsity for singing, Kunal Jhanji of DAVIET got second prize in western vocal solo.


Religious Youth Festival of SGPC-run colleges begins
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 4
The first-ever Religious Youth Festival of colleges being run by the SGPC started with much fanfare at the local Mata Gujri College. All the 18 SGPC-run colleges are participating in this festival. Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President of the SAD, inaugurated the opening session of the festival and Bibi Jagir Kaur, President of the SGPC, presided over the function.

Mr Badal in his inaugural address said the youth were the treasure of any community, society or nation. It was the moral responsibility of all leaders of the community to impart to them a high standard of education as well as education about religion.

He said the Sikhs had their own schools and colleges but they did not have any university. Now the SGPC had decided to set up a World Sikh University at Fatehgarh Sahib. It would be dedicated to the 300 years of the supreme sacrifice of the Sahibzadas.

Bibi Jagir Kaur said educational institutions were like nurseries and temples. Their main aim was to educate our youth and make them responsible citizens. She said they must also be imparted religious education and taught Sikh history, which was full of sacrifices.

She said the SGPC was spending a major portion of its budget on education and dharam parchar.

The second session of the festival was inaugurated by Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, former minister, and Bibi Surinder Kaur Badal presided over the function. Bibi Surinder Kaur exhorted the students to follow in the footsteps of the Sahibzadas and be ready to fight for truth, justice and a righteous cause. She also appreciated the role of the SGPC in organising the festival, which, she said, would inculcate morality and ethics among the youth.

Mr Calcutta spoke at length about the concept of martyrdom in Sikhism. He said Baba Fateh Singh at the age of seven years and Baba Deep Singh at the age of 82 attained martyrdom.

Dr Gurmohan Singh Walia, Principal of the college, welcomed the guests and highlighted the achievements of the college in various fields.

On the first day of the festival, Khalsa College Patiala won the first position in group shabad competition, Khalsa College, Garhshankar, and MG College, Fatehgarh Sahib, stood second.

In solo shabad, Khalsa College Patiala stood first, MG College, Fatehgarh Sahib, and Khalsa College, Muktsar, stood second.

In on-the-spot painting competition Charanjit Kaur of Mata Ganga College, Kotan, won the first position while Jaswinder Kaur of Khalsa College, Muktsar, stood second.

In on-the-spot poster-making, Gurleen Kaur of the local MG College stood first while Sumanjeet Kaur of the local MG College, stood second.

In Vaar Gayan, Mata Ganga Girls College, Kotan, stood first while Guru Nanak College, Muktsar, stood second.

In kavishari, Khalsa College, Garhshankar, stood first while the local MG College stood second.

In folk instrument, MG College got the first position.


SLIET convocation on Dec 8

Sangrur, December 4
The seventh annual convocation of the Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology (SLIET), will be held on December 8 on the SLIET campus.

Giving this information today, Dr N.P. Singh, Dean, Academic, SLIET, said more than 250 students would be awarded degrees in various engineering trades, while about 500 students would be given certificates and diplomas in different certificate and diploma courses of the institute. TNS


Brick prices increased
Our Correspondent

Batala, December 4
A meeting of brick-kiln owners of Gurdaspur district was held here today under the District Magistrate, Gurdaspur, Mr Harjit Singh. The fixation of brick price for supply to government, semi-government/corporations/boards for development works was discussed. Representatives of the Brick Kiln Owners Associations, Gurdaspur district, and the District Food and Supplies Controller, Gurdaspur, executive engineers, Panchayati Raj, Gurdaspur, Executive Engineer PWD (B and R), Gurdaspur, and other officers concerned were also present.

Later, Mr Bua Dass, president, Brick-Kiln Owners Association, Batala, told the correspondent that the price of bricks had been revised by Mr Harjit Singh with immediate effect. The new price of first-class bricks has been enhanced from Rs 1,460 to Rs 1,790 per thousand. This will be inclusive of all taxes.

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