P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Jail officials to be shifted every 3 yrs: Birmi
2 high security jails in Nabha, Kapurthala
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, December 19
In order to keep check on the drug peddling in various jails of the state, the government has decided not to allow any jail official to continue at any place of posting for more than three years.

While stating this, Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Jail, said today that the government had chalked out several proposals to bring about reforms in jails. He said two new high security jails on Australian model were being constructed in Nabha and Kapurthala at Rs 240 crore. The construction work of these news jails had been assigned to PJI Company based at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

Mr Birmi said all ultra-modern facilities like administrative complex, community centre, proper water supply and sanitation would be provided in these jails. The old jails would also be given facelift and necessary facilities.

He said no clerical staff would be promoted and posted as Assistant Superintendent of Jail or Superintendent of Jail from now onwards. He said adequate health facilities at par with those available in Civil Hospitals would be provided inside the jail complexes so that the ailing prisoners could be treated inside the prison only.

This would reduce the chances of prisoners escaping from the jail.

Mr Birmi inspected the Central Jail, Ferozepore, and listened to the grievances of prisoners. He was escorted by Mr Rahul Tiwari, ADC, Mr Nirmal Chand, Superintendent Jail, and other officials.


Engineers may face reversion
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
As many as four Superintending Engineers( SEs) of the Punjab Irrigation Department are awaiting the State Government’s response with regard to the implementation of the order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court passed recently.

On November 29, 2004, the Court in its order, passed on a petition filed 20 years ago by Mr Jarnail Singh and other engineers, declared the Punjab Government’s order issued on March 31, 1984, as illegal and quashed it. Through the March 1984 order, the Punjab Government had reverted a number of Executive Engineers to the posts of temporary engineers. The reversion order was passed by refixing the seniority of civil, mechanical and electrical engineers recruited through the Punjab Public Services Commission.

Affected by the reversion order, Mr Jarnail Singh and some other engineers challenged the State Government’s order in 1984. And they have got justice now from the Punjab and Haryana High Court after about 20 years. It remains to be seen whether the State’s administrative machinery would give justice to them by implementing the Court Judgement.

If the judgement is implemented, at least two engineers holding the posts of Chief Engineers would have to be reverted to the rank of Superintending Engineer and those holding the posts of SEs now would have to be promoted to the rank of the Chief Engineers. The seniority list of the engineers would have to be readjusted in the light of the judgement of the court.

According to the petition, the State Government had advertised posts of civil, mechanical and electrical sub-divisional engineers in April, 1972.After the selection made by the Commission, the State Government offered appointment letters to civil engineers on October 4, 1972. Mechanical engineers and electrical engineers were appointed later. On the basis of selection made by the PPSC and appointments of the select candidates made by the government authorities concerned, the State Government issued the seniority lists in January 1975,1976 and 1997showing those as senior who were selected and appointed in the first batch.

However, the seniority list was drastically changed in January, 1981, by the state Government authorities concerned taking the plea that the step had been taken in the light of inter-se (combined) seniority determined by the Commission of engineers appointed in 1972 and 1973.

The Court has held that the petitioners had been appointed earlier than the respondents (except respondent No 2) and hence, the latter could not have been ranked senior to the former. Moreover, the Court has held that the Commission did not have the jurisdiction, power or authority to prepare the combined inter-se seniority of engineers appointed in 1972 and 1973. 


Thaw in CM-Bhattal relations?
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 19
The Chief Minister during the World Punjabi Conference and Indo-Pakistan Punjab Games, did not forget to give Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal her due. As a result there has been some thaw in the estranged relations.

The Chief Minister has asked the administration to get one of the four memorial gates inaugurated from Ms Bhattal on the eve of tercentenary commemoration of the martyrdom of the sahibzadas at Fatehgarh Sahib.

Earlier, Capt Amarinder Singh was supposed to inaugurate all the four memorial gates constructed in the memory of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, Diwan Todar Mal, Nawab Sher Mohamad Khan and Moti Ram Mehra on December 23.

But now in a communication to the district administration, the government has informed that Capt Amarinder Singh will inaugurate only one gate on the GT Road. While one gate will be inaugurated by Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, the other by Chaudhry Jagjit Singh and the fourth by Mr Lal Singh.

With the change of programme all foundation stones, which were earlier prepared bearing the name of the Chief Minister, are being changed and the departments are busy in preparing new stones.

Interestingly, during the last year Shaheedi Jor Mela, the tussle between the Chief Minister and the Bhattal camp was at peak. Both MLAs belonging to the district were in the Bhattal camp and did not attend the mela.

But this time the ruling Congress is presenting a united face.

Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, Minister for Cooperation along with Mr Kulbir Singh Sidhu, Member Secretary, centenary commemoration, reviewed the arrangements for the mela.

They, along with the Deputy Commissioner and the SSP, addressed district officials.

Mr Randhawa said the government was commemorating the tercentenary of the martyrdom all four sahibzadas at Chamkaur Sahib and at Fatehgarh Sahib.

He said all the arrangements had been completed and at Fatehgarh Sahib more than 25 lakh devotees were expected to pay their obeisance.

He said the government had given a grant of Rs 3.46 crore to the district administration for various development works for the purpose. He said for the first time, the government would set up its own stage and there would be “Parkash of Guru Granth Sahib”.

All proceedings conducted from the stage would be totally religious in nature. Various central leaders along with the Chief Minister would pay obeisance.

Dr Harbans Lal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, briefed the minister about the arrangements. Mr Sadhu Singh Dharmsot, Parliamentary Secretary also addressed the meeting. Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, gave a detailed information about various programmes and arrangements.

Vaid Hari Krishan, DCC President, Pt Naresh Sharma, Subhash Sood, Sadhu Ram, Charanjeev Channa, president, MC, Sirhind, also spoke on the occasion.


Murdered Sikh’s mother writes to Iranian Judge, seeks fair justice
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
Mrs Harbans Kaur, mother of Kultaran Singh, who was brutally and allegedly murdered in Teheran on August 7 last year , has reminded the Judge and Jury of the Teheran criminal court of the goodwill and cordial relations Sikhs of Iran have enjoyed with the local populace.

The Jury has already completed its hearing in the case and reserved the verdict.

In a letter addressed to the Jury, Mrs Harbans Kaur, not only corroborated what her daughter-in-law, Mrs Damanpal Kaur Anand, and grandson said in the court last week in demanding death penalty for the accused, but also quoted from the Quran to demand exemplary punishment to the "killer of my son". She said that her petition was also on behalf of Gursimar Singh Anand, her youngest grandson, who was busy in examinations in a hostel in Delhi.

She claimed that she had already sent various petitions to authorities concerned, both in India and Iran, and the Indian Embassy in Iran, demanding death penalty, "Qesas" , for the murder of her son.

"The reasons for my absence are that I am old and unable to walk and travel ," she said in a letter addressed to Mr Yaverzadeh, Judge of the Teheran criminal court.

"Sikh community has been in peaceful co-existence with Muslim Iranian brothers for generations. We respect Islam and its tenets that aspire for fair justice for all. Sikh community comprises rich businessmen who make a valuable contribution to Iranian economy," said Mrs Harbans Kaur, adding that during the Iranian earthquake, Sikh community worldwide arose in unison to collect and distribute aid its Muslim brothers who were victim of this natural disaster of unprecedented magnitude. Pinglewara, an orphanage in Amritsar, collected funds and donated blankets and clothing for the victims irrespective of the fact that this organisation is in need of charity itself, she added.

Kultaran Singh , a Gursikh born in Iran , was brutally murdered last year. "We the family members as part of the Sikh community supported by worldwide petitions from various organisations wanted to ensure that justice is dispensed in accordance with the Islamic laws irrespective of the birth right or religion of the victim. The accused escaped after stealing cash, necklace and other documents.

"We have no doubt that you will dispense the just justice in accordance with the Quran. The life and property of all citizens in an Islamic state are considered sacred, irrespective whether a person is Muslim or not," she said, quoting the Quran and Prophet Muhammad : "Truly your blood, your property, and your honour are inviolable. We should even be just with those who we hate. And let not the hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety".

"I feel secure in the knowledge that you will rightly interpret the Quran and provide justice to the family dependents of the victim Kultaran Singh. Sikh businessmen will continue to contribute to the economy of Iran and rise for any social needs of our brethren with the knowledge that justice has been dispensed with the highest principles of Islam," she concluded.


Bibi Jagir Kaur invites Chief Justice to seminar on martyrdom
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
Making an exception and deviation from traditions, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief, Bibi Jagir Kaur, has invited the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr Justice B.K. Roy, to participate in an international seminar on “Concept of martyrdom in Sikhism” .

The seminar, which is being held as a part of the tercentenary of the martyrdom of Sahibzadas and mother of Guru Gobind Singh on December 22 at Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College in Fatehgarh Sahib, will features several prominent Sikh scholars, jurists, lawyers, academicians and others.

The seminar will be basically dedicated to younger Sahibzadas — Baba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh — who preferred to make the supreme sacrifice rather than bow before the diktats of the Muslim emperors of that time at Fatehgarh Sahib.

Never before the SGPC has invited the Chief Justice or Judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to join any of the religious ceremonies, including Sikh centenary celebrations.

“In fact, there is no parallel in the history of the world where a nine-year-old boy and his seven-yea-old brother, opted for martyrdom than accept worldly titles and honours,” wrote Bibi Jagir Kaur in her letter addressed to Mr Justice B.K. Roy.

She said that people from all over the world would assemble at both Chamkaur Sahib and Fatehgarh Sahib to join the tercentenary of the martyrdom of four Sahibzadas and mother of Guru Gobind Singh.

While the eldest two of the four Sahibzadas made the supreme sacrifice in the battlefield of Chamkaur di garhi, the younger two were buried alive in walls at Fatehgarh Sahib in December 1704, for an unprecedented martyrdom in the annals of world history. Soon after the Sahibzadas attained martyrdom, Mata Gujri, mother of Guru Gobind Singh,too, ended her life before succumbing to the demands of the Muslim emperors of that time.

Meanwhile, Bibi Jagir Kaur has clarified again that at the tercentenary of the martyrdom of Sahibzadas and Mata Gujri, only religious discourses on martyrdom would be permitted from the stage of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. Any political leader, irrespective of his or her affiliation, was welcome and join the martyrdom function to pay tributes to the sahibzadas and Mata Gujri Ji, she said.

The stage is set for holding political rallies at Chamkaur Sahib tomorrow where leaders of all political parties are expected to come.


Jatha to leave for Fatehgarh Sahib on Dec 23
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 19
A jatha of devotees in 101 vehicles would leave for Fatehgarh Sahib on December 23 for the tercentenary celebrations of the martyrdom day of four Sahibzadas and mother of the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh.

This was stated by Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, member, SGPC, at a press conference here today.

Mr Calcutta said the jatha would start from city centre here and would meet a nagar kirtan coming from Gurdwara Gari Gurdas Nangal from the Gurdaspur side at Baba Bakala.


Raikot residents wait for ‘Ganga Sagar’
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Raikot (Ludhiana): Residents of this town are awaiting the rare ‘darshan’ of ‘Ganga Sagar’, a metallic urn of high religious and historical value for the Sikhs, which was gifted to the erstwhile rulers of Raikot by Guru Gobind Singh three centuries ago.

Most enthusiastic is the family of a commission agent, Mr Tejinder Singh ‘Tej’, who has done his best to preserve the archaeological value of the kothi of the Nawabs of Raikot, the proud possessors of “Ganga Sagar”. He has not forgotten the contribution of the Nawabs of Raikot and has preserved the room in which the ‘rare -gift’ was kept for public darshan by the Nawabs for nearly two and a half centuries before they took it away to Pakistan in 1947. The family installed Guru Granth Sahib in the room where prakash is done daily.

He, along with other city residents, wishes that the urn should be brought to the Nawab’s kothi also and placed in the same room where it was displayed for public darshan before Partition.

The urn is being brought back to the city after nearly five decades by Rai Azizullah, a member of the Lahore National Assembly whose father, Rai Faqirullah Khan, had taken ‘Ganga Sagar’ to Pakistan just before Partition. Rai Aziz is a descendent of Rai Kallah, who had received the gift from Guru Gobind Singh in 1705.

The tentative dates for the arrival of the urn are December 27 and 28 when it will be displayed at Gurdwara Tahliana Sahib. “I wish that “Ganga Sagar” is also brought for some time in the room where it was kept,” dreams Joginder Kaur, mother of Tejinder Singh.

Mr Sudarshan Darshi, President, Municipal Council, Raikot, said the arrival of “Ganga Sagar” would be a historic event for the town. Though the residents wish that “Ganga Sagar” would have remained here, they fully realise the significance it had for the Rai family.

The kothi of the erstwhile Nawabs of Raikot is situated in the old town, also known as the fortified part. The ancestors of Tejinder Singh had migrated to the town from Multan in Pakistan. Even though they were allotted the kothi, they took care not to change its facade or tampered with the architectural grandeur. Tejinder Singh remembers that the family of Rai Azizullahj visited the kothi several times in the past and were happy to see us preserve their heritage.’’


All-party reception to Guru’s relic
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, December 19
An all-party reception was given here today to a sacred relic of Guru Gobind Singh, Ganga Sagar, a metal kettle. Rai Azizullah Khan, direct descendent of Rai Kalah to whom the 10th Guru had gifted Ganga Sagar, accompanied the religious procession that took the relic from Amritsar to Chamkaur Sahib.

He was treated as a star by the Sikh sangat for being the proud possessor of the relic. Hundreds of devotees welcomed the march and had darshan of the relic on the GT Road opposite Town Hall. The relic has been specially brought from London by Rai Azizullah Khan in connection with the tercentenary celebration of the martyrdom of Sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh.


Monuments of Guru Gobind Singh’s time no longer there
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

A view of the demolition work at the old Garhi Sahib Gurdwara where a new gurdwara in marble has come up in Chamkaur Sahib
A view of the demolition work at the old Garhi Sahib Gurdwara where a new gurdwara in marble has come up in Chamkaur Sahib. — A file photograph

Chamkaur Sahib, December 19
When lakhs of Sikhs from across the globe will congregate here tomorrow to pay tributes to the two elder Sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh and other “Singhs” on the historic occasion of the 300th anniversary of their martyrdom, they will also come to know how the SGPC has wiped out the great historical monuments associated with the wars fought by the Guru, his Sahibzadas and followers. Thousands of Sikhs have already reached here.

All historical buildings, including Chamkaur-de-Garhi, also famed as Kachhi Garhi, from where Guru Gobind Singh, his two elder Sahibzadas and other “Singhs” fought a great war against the armies of Turks and Pahari Rajas (Rulers of hill states), have been removed from the scene over the years. They have been replaced by modern Gurdwaras made of marble.

Many of the Sikhs turning up here will like to see the original Garhi (fortress) but it will be a disappointing moment for them when they will not be able to see such a structure in the town where Guru Gobind Singh spent two most crucial days — December 20 and 21 in 1704 — of his life. There is also no trace of the war field where the battle was actually fought as Gurdwara Katalgarh Sahib has come up there. Some say that instead of Katalgarh Sahib, it should be named as Gurdwara Shaheedan.

No trace of the original history of the Guru’s period has been left by those who were made the custodians of the Sikh heritage. All old buildings surrounding the original Garhi have also been demolished to build a new gurdwara. “Future generations would never forgive those who have played havoc with the Sikh heritage,” says a Sikh historian.

The Garhi belonged to Rai Sahib Chaudhary Roop Chand and his brother Chaudhary Jagat Singh. They were Rajputs, who migrated from Amber near Jaipur in 1134. Their elders were granted rights over 65 villages in the Chamkaur Sahib belt by rulers of that time.

Chaudhary Roop Chand’s descendants — Mohinder Singh, his son Bhup Chand and his grandson Arjan Singh — now live here at a short distance from Gurdwara Garhi Sahib. Mohinder Singh is from the sixth generation of Roop Chand. Mohinder Singh’s brother Krishan Kumar and his son Bhim Singh also live here.

There is no dependable historical date available with regard to the arrival of Guru Gobind Singh, his two elder sons and other armed Singhs in the Garhi. Seventy-year-old Mohinder Singh says that Chaudhary Roop Chand was a regular visitor to the Naina Devi temple, at a short distance from Anandpur Sahib. On way to Naina Devi and back, Chaudhary Roop Chand used to pay respects to Guru Gobind Singh, who was camping in the Anandpur Sahib fort. He says that Chaudhary Roop Chand had good relations with the Guru.

After marching out from the Anandpur Sahib fort, Guru Gobind Singh arrived at Chamkaur Sahib on December 20, 1704, and camped in a bagh (garden) that belonged to the Chaudhary family. At that place now, Gurdwara Dumdama Sahib has been built. From the bagh, the Guru and his men shifted to the Garhi to launch a counter attack on the invading armies of Turks and hill states. In the war, that continued for two days, the two elder Sahibzadas — Ajit Singh (16) and Jujhar Singh (14) — attained martyrdom along with three — Bhai Mohkam Singh, Bhai Himmat Singh and Bhai Sahib Singh — of the famed Panj Piaras.

Chaudhary Mohinder Singh and other members of his family say that their forefathers had helped the Guru and his followers to shift to the Garhi despite the fact that they were under pressure from the rulers of that time. “Historians have not done justice with our elders and a wrong picture has been painted of them,” they say. Chaudharys lost the ownership of 65 villages in 1852 when the land of these villages was allotted to muhjaras (serfs) by an officer, Kala Rai. But this town even now has a significant presence of the Chaudhary families.


3 Lok Bhalai Party office-bearers quit
Our Correspondent

Barnala, December 19
The Lok Bhalai Party yesterday got a jolt when three of the key office-bearers resigned from their respective posts.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday Mr Jagjit Singh, party chief spokesman and vice president, said owing to increasing indiscipline and corrupt practice by few party members, he, Mr Bhola Singh Virk, senior national vice-president, and Mr Paramjit Singh Sidhwa, general secretary, were resigning from the party posts.

Mr Virk said they were facing suffocated the party. They raised their objections with the party President, Mr Balwant Singh Ramowalia, but he failed to redress their grievances. He said they were all founder members of the party and has served the party for more than two decades.


Need to spread Punjabi culture stressed
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, December 19
The Guru Nanak Mission Medical and Educational Trust, Dhahan Kaleran (Nawanshahr), in collaboration with the Punjabi Sahitaya Academy, Ludhiana, organised a national Punjabi kavi darbar, on the trust premises at Dhahan Kaleran, about 20 km from here, on Sunday. Dr Swaran Singh, Commissioner, Jalandhar Division was the chief guest.

In his address, Dr Swaran Singh, lamented that the teachings of the Gurus, Punjabi culture, literature and heritage had been confined to limited geographical boundaries and a community over the years, which ultimately had shrunk the horizon of rich values of Punjabi heritage, culture and literature.

Citing renowned poet and scholar Ravindra Nath Tagore and historical background of the Indus Valley civilisation, Dr Swaran Singh said that the first-ever civilisation in the world developed in Punjab. He stressed the need to preserve and promote the rich cultural heritage by creating awakening among the masses, especially youth. He gave a call to the writers, poets, social workers, etc to come forward for making this drive a mass movement. Otherwise, the Punjabi culture, heritage would crumble soon as the younger generation is falling prey to the drugs, he cautioned. He lauded the efforts of Dr Budh Singh Dhahan, founder president of the trust, for his commendable contribution towards the social service in the field of health and education.

Dr Karanjit Singh, convener, Sahitya Academy, New Delhi, Mr Surjit Patra, Mr Gurbhajan Gill, president and vice-president respectively of the Punjabi Sahitya Academy, Ludhiana, and Mr Satinder Noor, Head of the Punjabi Department, Delhi University, in their addresses also echoed such feelings and asked the literary and social organisations to join hands to thwart the ‘’conspiracy of shrinking the Punjabi heritage, culture, language and literature’’. They submitted a memorandum to the Commissioner, Jalandhar Division, Dr Swaran Singh for recommending the name of Dr Budh Singh Dhahan for awarding Padam Bhushan.

Earlier, a number of distinguished Punjabi poets — Dr Satinder Noor (New Delhi), Mr Tarlochan Lochi (Ludhiana), Dr Vineeta (Khalsa College, New Delhi), Mr Surjit Judge (Ludhiana), Dr Gurbhajan Gill , Dr Karanjit Singh, Mr Surjit Patra, Ms Sukhwinder Kaur Amrit, Mr Jaswant Jafer, Mr Santokh Singh Safri, Biba Kulwant, Mr Major Singh Mauji, Mr Pargat Singh Bagga, among others, enthralled the audience with their poems touching various burning social issues. Mr Sohan Singh Saini conducted the stage.

Dr Swaran Singh, Dr Budh Singh Dhahan, founder president of the trust, honoured poets on the occasion.


Missing driver: case not registered
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 19
After receiving the information about the disappearance of a driver of the Civil Hospital, Sudhar, the Jagraon police has asked the health authorities to get the complaint registered at the Patiala police station as the driver was reported to have left that city on December 11.

The case will be pursued further by the health authorities in course of time, stated sources at the hospital. The driver of this hospital had reportedly been missing along with the ambulance he took to the site of the Indo- Pak games organised at Patiala in December.

The sources at Sudhar police station revealed that Gurmel Singh, an ex-serviceman of Pipal Majra village in Ropar district, and the driver posted at Civil Hospital, had reportedly disappeared, along with the vehicle and medical equipment, after being relieved by the Health Department at Patiala on December 11.Though the in charge of the hospital had approached the police to get a case registered in the matter it showed their inability to do so as the incidence of disappearance did not take place under the area of the police station.


Power institute to train engineers at Nangal
Tribune News Service

Talwara, December 19
The National Power Training Institute (NPTI) will set up its training institute for engineers and technocrats at Nangal. The BBMB has already allotted 15 acres to the institute at Nangal.

Mr Rakesh Nath, Chairman, Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) said this while talking to The Tribune here today. He along with the Chairperson of the Central Electricity Authority, Mr H.L. Bajaj, was here to supervise various development projects undertaken by the BBMB in the Talwara area.

The chairman said the training institute was being set up by the NPTI on revenue sharing basis with the BBMB. The engineers from across the country and even from other countries would get benefit of modern training in various aspects of power sector in the proposed institute.

The BBMB has also set up its own training centre at Nangal. Its engineers would be imparted training by veterans of the organisation.

Till the NPTI sets up its own facility at Nangal the authorities would be allowed to utilise the facility of the BBMB training institute to run refresher courses. Any technocrat would be free to augment his skills at the proposed training institutes after paying a nominal fee.

Mr Rakesh Nath later visited the rock garden being brought by the organisation at Talwara. He said it was being developed as a recreational spot. The plantation of 11,000 saplings, including colonial eucalyptus, teak, dek, bamboo and fruit orchards was coming up successfully in the garden.

The scrap of the Pong Dam was being used to create statues and other facilities as cafeteria, parks, swings and slides for children in the rock garden. An advisory committee under the chairmanship of Mr Nek Chand was guiding BBMB on the project.

Another Rs12 lakh has been sanctioned for the rock garden project. The first phase of the project would be completed by March, he added.


Villagers threaten stir on water shortage
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, December 19
The Gharota block did not receive water for the second consecutive day today.

The irked villagers have threatened the Public Health Department that if the water supply is not restored they will launch an agitation.

Apparently the field staff had informed officers about the shortage of drinking water, but no initiative was taken.

Earlier, drinking water supply had remained suspended in this block in August.

The villagers said in spite of their repeated requests, no steps were being taken to provide regular supply of drinking water to them.

Mr Rajiv Mahajan, a local resident, said suspension of drinking water supply was causing great hardship to the villagers. Women and children are forced to travel long distances to fetch water.

Sources in the Punjab Public Health Department said due to power cuts, the water supply had been suspended for two days and would be restored shortly.


Free medical camp organised
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 19
Stressing that free medical camps could play the vital role in providing better health services, the Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Minister, Mr Avtaar Henry, today said such free camps should be organised to make the society disease free.

Mr Henry was speaking at a free medical camp, organised jointly by the Rotary Club and the local Devi Talaab Temple Charitable Hospital.

As many as 700 patients were given for complete health check up and free medicines. He said free medical camps, organised by hospitals, charitable organisations, and volunteers could prove to be a boon for countries like India. Others who spoke included Capt Gurdip Singh, president of Rotary Club, Jalandhar, and Mr Sheetal Vij, chairman of Devi Talaab Temple Charitable Hospital.

A team of doctors, including Dr Jashneev, Dr Puja Kapoor, Dr Ajay Yadav, Dr Anil Sood, Dr Randhawa, Dr Handa and Dr G.S. Saluja, examined about 700 patients for various diseases, including diabetes, neuro and orthopaedic disorders.


484 children examined at camp
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 19
As many as 484 children were examined at a medical check-up camp, organised at CT Public School here today.

The camp was inaugurated by the Punjab Revenue Minister, Mr Amarjit Singh Samra, Mr Charanjit Singh, chairman, CT Educational Society, presided over the function.

A team of doctors comprising Dr Ravinder Sareen, Dr Ratna Khullar, Dr Sanjiv Anand, Dr J.S. Anand and Dr Guriqbal Singh examined 484 students of the school. An AIDS awareness camp, organised by the Citizen Awareness and Protection Council, was also part of the camp.

A baby show, bhangra, giddha, one-minute game, tambola, car racing, game stalls and exhibitions on subjects like geography, chemistry history and environment were other attractions of the carnival.


Two commit suicide
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, December 19
Sandeep (24), a resident of Sangowal village and Randeep Kaur (22) of Parjian Khurad village, reportedly committed suicide by consuming poison last night.

The bodies of both were found near the fields of Parjian Khurad. Their hands were tied in a chain, which appeared to have been locked by the two before committing suicide, the police said. The two were wearing bridal dresses.

According to reports, Sandeep was running a readymade shop in Nakodar, while Randeep Kaur was running a sewing centre in her village. The parents of both did not agree to their marriage.

The two had left behind a suicide note, which was found near the suicide place along with a mobile phone and two empty packets of celphos tablets. The bodies were sent to the Civil Hospital, Nakodar, for post mortem examination.


Bank employee killed in road accident
Our Correspondent

Abohar, December 19
Ashok Kumar Babbar, an employee of UCO Bank here, was crushed to death this morning.

Family sources said he was going to attend the weekly satsang at a religious place on Hanumangarh road along with his wife on his motor cycle.

A truck near Sukhmani Sahib Chowk reportedly hit the motor cycle, killing Babbar on the spot. his wife was injured seriously. She was admitted to the Civil Hospital here.

The bank employees’ associations expressed shock and grief over the death.


PCCTU invited for talks tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Barnala, December 19
Mr M.P. Singh, Principal Secretary (Higher Education), Punjab, has invited the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) for talks on December 21.

Disclosing this here today, Dr Jagwant Singh, general secretary of the PCCTU, said that earlier the PCCTU was scheduled to meet Mr A.R. Talwar, the then Principal Secretary, on December 13, but in the wake of his transfer the meeting could not take place.

Dr Jagwant Singh made it clear that the PCCTU leadership would impress upon Mr M.P. Singh to redress the long-standing grievances of thousands of college teachers working in about 175 private colleges in the state.

He regretted that for want of a regular flow of grants-in-aid to the private colleges, the teachers were not being paid their salaries regularly.

Dr Jagwant Singh said that a PCCTU executive committee meeting would be held at DAV College, Dasuya, on December 27 to discuss the future course of action.


Painting exhibition on Lord Buddha’s teachings
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 19
The senseless destruction of historic statue of Gautam Buddha at Bamiyan in Afghanistan by the then Taliban regime, which actually resulted in deepening the faith, is the essence of the series of paintings by Dr Chitralekha Singh, Director of Lalit Kala Sansthan, Agra, whose two-day exhibition opened at Thakur Singh Art Gallery here today.

Dr Chitralekha Singh, who is the Head of the Department of Fine Arts, Agra College, is displaying 12 paintings covering various topics, including world peace, self-realisation and prayer. She is going to take part in the Aman Mela to be held at Lahore from tomorrow.

Claiming to be the first Indian woman to do D Litt in painting, the artist said her each painting had a universal message. Her “Prayer” urge people of all faith to raise their hands to pray to God.

A lover of Gautam Buddha, most of her paintings depict his images. Her painting depicting daughter and son of King Ashoka, spreading the message of peace is particularly attractive.

An author of 12 books on the subject, she has the credit of organising workshops in different cities of the country.


Mandi Board to constitute remaining market committees
Our Correspondent

Barnala, December 19
Mr Sant Ram Singla, chairman, Mandi Board, Punjab, said the remaining market committees of the state would be constituted very shortly.

He said there were 145 market committees in Punjab, out of which, 34 had already been constituted. Mr Singla was in the city to attend the annual day function of Y.S. Public School.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Mr Singla said the Mandi Board had repaired about 5200 km roads so far with an expenditure of Rs 268 crore.

The department is aiming to repair about 1250 km link roads by the end of the current financial year.

Admitting the heavy loss of revenue in the fruit market, Mr Singla said the board had decided to privatise the fruit market of Gurdaspur and Ferozepore city on experimental basis.

Mr Singla said the Mandi Board would soon initiate disciplinary action against the defaulter firms, who owed the board crores of rupees as market fee.

Earlier while addressing the function, Mr Singla inspired the children to inculcate self-discipline and strive hard to reach their goals. He also appealed the educational institutions to impart standard education at affordable price.

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