P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Pak army firing from across LoC: Gen Prashad
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, January 22
The Pakistani army has been firing from across the Line of Control (LoC) in the past few days and not militants. This was stated by Lieut-Gen Hari Prashad, Army commander of Northern Command, while talking to mediapersons somewhere in the northern sector today.

Responding to queries, he said he had never seen militants firing 82 mm mortar shells in the area in his 15-year stint. The violation of the ceasefire was the work of the Pakistani army, he said. From the intercepted transmissions of the Pakistani army, it seemed that the recent firing was carried out to help terrorists across the Line of Control sneak into the valley, he said.

Due to the offensive carried out by the Army in the past one year, the number of insurgents in the valley had been reduced to about 50 per cent, he said, adding that there were between 1,700 and 2,100 terrorists in the valley. The 700-km fencing brought by the Army along the Line of Control in the past one year had helped check infiltration and sensors had been put along the fencing, making infiltration very difficult, he said.

The Army was not responding to the provocation from across the border, but was analysing the situation, the General said. Though troops had been reduced in the valley as a goodwill gesture, the Army was capable of tackling any kind of challenge posed from across the border, he asserted. He made it clear that efforts to infiltrate into Indian territory had not reduced, but the Army had foiled most of these efforts.

The General stated that the Army had been able to win the hearts of people of the valley due to social and humanitarian programmes. The Army had spent about Rs 40 crore under the ‘sadbhavana’ programme and Rs 6 crore on setting up schools in remote areas, he said, adding that it was setting up many micro-hydel projects in remote areas.

He was here to preside over the second investiture ceremony of Northern Command. During the ceremony, he presented gallantry and distinguished service medals to 25 officers, seven junior commissioned officers and 32 personnel of other ranks.

Col Manmohan Gupta was awarded the Yudh Seva Medal for a counter-insurgency operation. Capt Ajay Singh Rana of Pathankot and soldiers Praveen Kumar and Jaspal Singh were posthumously honoured with Sena Medals. Maj-Gen Manbir Singh Dadwal, Maj-Gen Mahipal Singh and Brig Joginder Singh Mann were honoured with Vishisht Seva Medals. The next of kin of the personnel awarded posthumously were presented gifts by Ms Lakshami Hari Prasad, president of the Army Wives Welfare Association.


CM ‘advised’ Governor on denying headship to don
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 22
Did Chief Minister Amarinder Singh send a communication to Governor-cum-Chancellor of the university to direct the GND varsity Vice-Chancellor to amend statutes denying headship of Sports Medicines and Physiotherapy to Dr G.S. Kang, which resulted in ongoing agitation by the teachers Association (GNDUTA)?

According to sources at the CM’s office, Capt Amarinder Singh did send a one-page letter to the Governor regarding this, which is being seen unprecedented.

The sources point out that neither the Chief Minister nor the Governor have directly intervened in issues pertaining to the headship of any university in the past.

In a letter to the Punjab Governor, the general secretary of the association, Dr Kuldip Singh, said he (Governor) was misguided by certain vested interests who were instrumental in the issuance of directive to the Vice-Chancellor.

He said his (Governor’s) directive would open the pandora’s box: “If the rationale for bypassing Dr G.S. Kang is accepted, this would run counter to the institution of rotation of headship operative in the universities of Punjab for more than 20 years, which was got introduced after a long struggle by the university teachers throughout the country”.

The association’s representation reads: “The situation in this case has become rather complex because the truth was not conveyed to the Governor. The settlement of the issue violative of the university calendar would have very serious implications for the future of universities in Punjab, particularly, for the institution of rotation of headship operative in the universities of Punjab since early 1980s. There are a number of cases of teachers from the related disciplines serving as Head of the departments. The need for interdisciplinary studies in the same department is a well-established fact the world over. Numerous examples can been cited from within Punjab, India and abroad in support of this contention.”

Dr Davinder Singh however claimed that the directive issued by the Governor in his capacity as Chancellor of the university had nothing to do with the academics. He said in the prevailing system, Readers who were junior to Professors in status became Head of the department in rotations. This was so because headship was purely an administrative post.

Had academics been the issue, the architects of the system of rotation of headship would have not allowed Readers to supercede Professors, he added.


Bathinda gets facelift for CM’s visit
Chander Parkash and Rajbir Sekhon
Tribune News Service

A sprucing-up campaign being undertaken by the administration for Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s Bathinda visit on January 26
A sprucing-up campaign being undertaken by the administration for Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s Bathinda visit on January 26. — Photo by Sonu

Bathinda, January 22
A massive exercise has been undertaken by the local Municipal Corporation and the administration to spruce up the town for the visit of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who is scheduled to unfurl the national flag on the Republic Day at the local sports stadium.

While on the one hand an army of sweepers has been pressed into service to clean up the route that the cavalcade of the Chief Minister will take, on the other streetlights that have been out of order are being made functional.

Mr K.A.P. Sinha, Deputy Commissioner, said the district administration is setting up a heritage village at the sports stadium where stamps and coins, which were in circulation during the rule of Patiala dynasty, would be displayed.

Besides, the administration has made elaborate arrangements for parade, police and Army bands, cultural items and tableaux. Capt Amarinder Singh will be the second Chief Minister in the last two decades to visit the town to unfurl the national flag. Last time, the then Chief Minister, Beant Singh, had unfurled the national flag here.

Police sources said elaborate arrangements were being made to provide foolproof security for the function. Policemen have already been deployed in the stadium and a close watch is being kept on unscrupulous elements.

Though the administration has pressed all government wings into service to make arrangements for the occasion, uncertainty prevails among a section of officials about the visit.

During the last year’s Independence Day celebrations, all three chief guests — MLA Surinder Singla, Local Bodies Minister Jagjit Singh and Education Minister Harnam Dass Johar — who were nominated by the government to unfurl the national flag here, failed to turn up. The Deputy Commissioner had to complete the ceremony.

Moreover, district officials had to work overtime to get new invitation cards printed and distributed on all three occasions.

Meanwhile, a section of policemen, NCC cadets and students of different schools, who will be part of the celebrations, have been taking part in their daily rehearsals.


Students forced to sit in open despite chill
Rajbir Sekhon

Bathinda, January 22
Students of several government senior secondary schools are being forced to sit under the open sky in chilly weather due to scarcity of rooms following establishment of computer labs.

Though the state education authorities are yet to decide the date for formally introducing computer education in senior secondary schools, computer labs for the same set up in more than 1300 schools in the past three months have created accommodation scarcity.

Information gathered by this correspondent revealed that the state education authorities, after receiving reports that computer labs had created accommodation scarcity, are contemplating construction of extra rooms through funds allocated under the Sarv Sikhiya Abhiyan.

The state education authorities reportedly showed undue haste in setting up computer labs.

The education authorities took Rs 50,000 from each school where the computer labs were set up. However, the authorities failed to meet the deadline for start of computer education due to various reasons.

A section of teachers of senior secondary schools said when the state education authorities were not in a position to introduce computer education in schools from January 1, 2005, why did they show so much haste in setting up computer labs.

They pointed out the so far the fee structure for computer course had not been decided. It has also not been decided whether Scheduled Caste students would be charged the fee or not. The authorities concerned were yet to decide about the syllabus.

They added that though the state education authorities had conducted a test for recruitment of computer teachers, the names of selected candidates were yet to be announced.

Mr Anurag Aggrawal, Director- General, Schools, Punjab, when contacted said computer education, which was introduced under Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Project, would start from April 1, 2005.

He said all arrangements would be made for imparting computer education and added that the courses had been introduced in only those schools where Principals had given their consent and had given an undertaking to establish computer labs.


Students rehearse for R-Day in rain
Tribune News Service

Ropar, January 22
The rehearsal for the Republic Day here today turned out to be a punishment for hundreds of students of various schools, as despite rain and intense cold, they were forced to practise for various cultural events at the Nehru Stadium. While senior officials were viewing the students’ performance from a well-protected gallery of the stadium, the students were ordered to continue their rehearsal for hours.

The worst sufferers were the students of nursery classes who were seen shivering in the cold and requesting their teachers to look out for protected places. But the teachers ordered the students not to leave the stadium.

The pitiable condition of the students failed to evoke response from the senior administrative officials of the screening committee. The officials who were present there were Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development) H.S Garcha, Additional Deputy Commissioner (General), Surjit Singh Saini and district education officers.

“A few students who were carrying umbrellas have little escape from the rain but most of the students suffered harassment till 12 noon. Despite repeated requests to the teachers, we were ordered to continue,” students told Chandigarh Tribune.

“The administration has not provided buses to carry them from school or drop them. We have been spending money from our own pocket to reach here and to reach home,” the students added.

On the other hand, the officials said just three days were left for the Republic Day and for the better performance the students have to practice.


Jaundice cases reported
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, January 22
Over48 cases of jaundice have been reported from various areas of Hadiabad sub-town, mohalla Dugglan, Kumraman, Sudhiran, mohalla, main bazar’s residential areas and local Adarsh Nagar and its adjoining localities. The patients include children, women and aged persons. Most of them are getting treatment from private doctors.

Contaminated drinking water is said to be the cause of the disease. Ward No 12 is the worst affected. Ward Councillor Rakesh Duggal today said problem of contaminated water had been repeatedly brought to the notice of the authorities. concerned but nothing was done.

Residents alleged that black- coloured water with foul smell was coming from the municipal taps in several other areas, they alleged that somewhere the sullage had got mixed up in the drinking water.

Dr Daljit Singh Bains, SMO, Civil Hospital, Phagwara, said that he and a team of doctors and health staff today visited Hadiabad.


Canadian MP visits Golden Temple
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 22
Mr Liean Myries, member of parliament in Canada and Chairman of the Dairy Commission there, said today that the Bill regarding same sex marriage brought before the House of Commons in Canada would be debated prior to taking any decision regarding its implementation. He said the authorities would first seek the public opinion over the contentious issue.

Mr Myries was talking to mediapersons after paying obeisance at the Golden Temple.

Mr Myries said the Canadian Government favours the Sikh community over the issue of ban on turban in France. He said the Sikhs and Punjabi community played a significant role in the development of Canada. The Canadian Government respects the symbols of all religions, he said.

When asked about the postponement of the visit of the Canadian Prime Minister to Amritsar, he refused to comment.

Earlier, Bibi Jagir Kaur, president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), honoured Mr Myries with a siropa, a model and picture of the Golden Temple.


Cop throws new light on lives of Sahibzadas
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 22
After successfully trying his hand on elaboration of Gurbani, Mr. Iqbal Singh, who has many firsts to his credit as an outstanding police officer, has surprised one and all by making a fresh effort to throw light on the lives and sacrifices of the four Sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh through Lalkaarde Sahibzade, a book which was claimed to have replaced certain poetic anomalies with sheer historical truths about the lives the Sahibzadas.

The most interesting and readable part of the book, which focuses on the lives of the four Sahibzadas from an entirely different angle, was the reproduction of a historical letter of Nawab Sher Khan of Malerkotla to Aurangzeb to spare the four innocent sons of Guru Gobind Singh from tyranny of the state. Whatever aspects of life and sacrifices of the Sahibzadas have been put forth by different writers so far, these have largely been based on poetical depictions available through different sources. But. Mr. Iqbal Singh has asserted that though he had duly taken help of available poetical history in his venture, he has tried to look beyond that by peeping into leaves of history through various other means.

Interestingly, Mr Iqbal Singh, currently serving as SP (Zonal) CID, Jalandhar, who has authored Gurbani Katha Vichar, and Japuji Sahib-Ik Vichar, earlier, has a long list of achievements. He not only arrested Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale in 1981 and investigated 17 cases against him and his followers, but also was the first person to enter the Golden Temple after Black Thunder in May, 1988, to know the exact position of terrorists holed inside the Golden Temple complex. He was not only the first Punjab officer to be deployed for the security of late Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao during his visit to Surajkund in Haryana in August 1995, but has been in charge of security inside the Golden Temple complex during the visits of former Prime Ministers V.P. Singh, H.D. Devegowda, Atal Behari Vajpayee, Inder Kumar Gujral and that of Queen Elizabeth of UK to the Golden Temple.

''What inspired me to write about the four Sahibzadas is their unparalleled sacrfice, which has no matching example in the history of the world.''Another factor is that there are a number of anomalies and factually incorrect inferences in whatever material is available about the lives of the four Sahibzadas and I have made a humble effort to try and remove these anomalies, particularly, the ones found in the poetic versions of history,” says Mr. Iqbal Singh. “I have also tried to establish that Guru Gobind Singh had the concept of Khalsa in his mind much before he laid the foundation of the Khalsa in 1699. My conclusion comes from the names of all the four Sahibzadas who were born before 1699 but at the same time, whose names were preceded by the word “Singh”. So, Khalsa was a well-thought-about concept and not merely an emotional outburst,” said Mr Iqbal Singh.

He said the letter of Nawab Sher Khan, a copy of which has been reproduced in the book along with its translation in Gurmukhi also provides a very valuable insight into those turbulent times when a Muslim chieftain had gone out of the way and dared to advise the all powerful Aurangzeb to not to harm the innocent Sahibzadas as they had done no harm to the Mughal empire. “I acquired the copy of the letter with the help of Prof. Mohammed Rafi of Malerkotla, while I have tried to clear the mist about Palit Sahibzadas (adopted Sahibzadas) with the help of Mr. Niranjan Singh Saathi. But still I feel that there is lot to do to clear so many ambiguities, particularly about various aspects of the lives of Sahibzada Ajit Singh and Juzhar Singh,” said Mr. Iqbal Singh.


Congress leaders at loggerheads over removal of signboards
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 22
The uprooting of signboards of a welfare organisation headed by Congress leader Balwinder Singh Safdipur at Bahadurgarh has taken the shape of a controversy with the leader claiming that the action has been taken at the instance of Cooperation Minister Jasjit Singh Randhawa.

The minister when contacted on the issue admitted that he was behind the action. He said the welfare organisation founded by Mr Safdipur had encroached upon government land and that he could not allow this to happen.

Mr Safdipur was also a candidate for the Ghanaur Assembly constituency and is known to be inimical towards Mr Randhawa who represents Ghanaur in the state Assembly. Mr Safdipur is perceived to be establishing himself in the area through a series of philanthropic activities recently.

The police had yesterday evening, in a surprise action, removed all boards associated with the Guru Nanak Modikhana near the main road at Bahadurgarh.

The boards and some other material were subsequently taken to the police station.

Mr Safdipur said the action was uncalled for as he had instituted ‘Modikhanas’ for distributing ration free of cost to the underprivileged. He said he had opened twelve such institutions in the State and that 4,000 families were getting ration free of cost under the scheme initiated by him.

“These institutions do not serve any political purpose and I am surprised that the minister had chosen to move against them”. He also claimed that the minister could not issue arbitrary orders to close an institution which was serving the poor and the needy.

Meanwhile, Mr Randhawa when contacted by TNS, alleged that Mr Safdipur was encroaching upon the panchayat land through these welfare institutions. He alleged that Mr Safdipur had earlier built a service station on vacant land kept for parking purposes in front of the Stadium at Bahadurgarh.

“Not content with this, he has now encroached upon more land adjoining the road by installing boards of a social organisation created by him”, he added.

The minister said being custodian of the area, he could not allow such encroachments to come up. “He should buy private land to establish any institution he wants and not rely on government land for this purpose”, he added.


Fazilka killing: BJP Kisan Morcha to move high court
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, January 22
Mr Surjit Kumar Jyani, president, BJP Kisan Morcha, Punjab, and former Forest Minister, today said the party did not expect fairplay in the Krishan Kumar murder case and in the prevailing situation, it had been decided to take up the matter in the High Court within one week.

Addressing a Press conference here, he demanded an impartial probe into the Chak Banawala killing and prosecution of ASI Joginder Singh of Sadar Police Station and Kashmir Singh, a resident of Pakka Chisti village in Fazilka subdivision under Section 302 of the IPC.

ASI Joginder Singh had reportedly been taken in custody but allegedly let off under mysterious circumstances.

The former minister, who was accompanied by Mr Rakesh Dhuria, president, BJP Mandal, Fazilka, Mr Bajrang Lal Gupta, former president, Municipal Council, and senior BJP leader Ashok Jairath, also alleged that due to political rivalry SAD-BJP activists were implicated in more than six cases of attempt to murder. He said to protest against police repression, the party had staged several protest rallies against the Fazilka police and at the Khui Khera police station but they did not get justice.

Besides, hundreds of party workers were booked under Sections 107/151, IPC, to intimidate them. Anyone protesting against police functioning was threatened with dire consequences, added Mr Jyani.

He accused the ruling party of false propaganda on development when actually foundation stones only had been laid. He alleged that the fertilisers were being sold at a premium and pointed out that the price of cotton had crashed but the government was not taking any notice of it.

He also alleged that the Fazilka Cooperative Sugar Mill, was not functioning to its capacity and was incurring losses.


Patiala resident alleges torture by SHO
Gurvinder Kaur

Patiala, January 22
A visit to the Civil Lines police station turned nightmarish for a local resident, Kulwinder Singh, when he was allegedly beaten up and humiliated by SHO Rajwinder Singh and others on duty when he demanded that a case be registered against the landlord of his friend Sarabjit Singh.

According to Kulwinder Singh, a resident of house number 19, Guru Gobind Singh Marg, his friend Sarabjit Singh is involved in a dispute over the occupancy of a shop in Preet Nagar, Tripuri, with his landlady Motiawanti. Trouble allegedly started when three persons, including Motiawanti, her grandson Balwant Singh and Charanjit Kamboj, forcibly broke open the locked shop, which has been rented out to Sarabjit Singh.

He alleged that this entry was made possible with the help of some police personnel posted at the Civil Lines police station. He said these persons were, however, forced to return the possession of the shop to Sarabjit when a number of persons of the locality gathered on the spot.

Thinking that the Civil Lines police authorities should be informed of the development, Kulwinder Singh said that he, alongwith others, including Sarabjit, went to the police station. He said when they reached the police station expecting a case would be registered against the trespassers, they were shocked to find that the police was hand in glove with the accused. “They first tried to disperse us and when they did not succeed, they targeted me and took me to a room,” Kulwinder Singh stated.

“Here I was beaten mercilessly by Station House Officer Rajwinder Singh, Sub-Inspector on duty, the munshi of the station and driver of the SHO and another police personnel,” he alleged. He added that the police officials banged his head against a wall, besides humiliating him by dragging him by his beard. “Hearing my cries, the people outside started voicing their protests against the beating, forcing the police to release me,” said Kulwinder Singh.

Kulwinder Singh presented himself before Senior Superintendent of Police A.S. Rai along with other people of the area and demanded action against the SHO. The SSP, when contacted, said he had summoned the SHO after receiving the complaint against him. “I have deputed Assistant Superintendent of Police, Dr K. Sharma, to inquire into it and action will be taken against the police personnel if they are found to be guilty of misconduct.”


Golden Temple to get trained women ragis
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 22
The women ragis who will be well versed with the Gurmat raagas will be available for presenting their performance from the Golden Temple from next year for the first time, thanks to Punjabi University.

Bibi Jagir Kaur, President, SGPC, had publicly announced that whenever there will be trained women ragis, they would be given a chance to perform kirtan from the sanctum sanctorum.

Dr Gurnam Singh, Prof and Head, Department of Gurmat Sangeet and Head of Gurmat Sangeet Chair, Punjabi University, Patiala, said that half of the students of MA, Gurmat musicology, being run by the varsity were girls.


Providing food to needy patients
Romesh Gupta

Faridkot, January 22
Following the Sikh traditions, Baba Ajit Singh, a kar sewak, has started a community kitchen for needy patients at the local Government Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital.

All patients and their attendants are being provided with food free of cost. While the patients get breakfast, lunch and dinner as per the specifications of nutrition expert in their wards, attendants are provided with food in the dinning hall.

A five-member committee headed by Mr Alok Shekhar, Deputy Commissioner, and comprising Dr P.S. Sandhu and Dr Arun Puri, both of the college, Mr Pawanpreet Singh, general secretary, district unit of the CPI, and Baba Maghar Singh, a follower of Baba Ajit Singh, has been constituted to monitor the plan.

Talking to The Tribune at the hospital complex here today, Baba Maghar Singh said nearly 300 patients accompanied by their attendants were being served food and other requisite items daily.

Around Rs 1 lakh was being spent every month to meet the requirement and another Rs 50,000 was being utilised to renovate the kitchen and get other necessary items. All funds for the programme come from donations.


Donations pour in for trauma centre
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, January 22
The ultra modern 39-bedded trauma centre to be constructed at a cost of Rs 15 crore at Guru Nanak Mission Hospital, Dhahan Kaleran here, got a big boost today as a number of industrialists and philanthropists came forward to provide financial assistance for the project.

The digging work for laying the foundation of the trauma centre was started on the Guru Nanak Mission Medical and Educational Trust, Dhahan Kaleran, about 20 km from here, on Thursday.

Mr Jarnail Singh Wahid, SGPC member and Phagwara-based industrialist, inaugurated the digging work. He announced to donate Rs 5 lakh for the trauma centre.

Mr Sukhbir Singh Sandhar, Joint Director, Wahid Sandhar Sugar Mills, Phagwara, announced to bear the expenditure on the construction of the kitchen of the trauma centre.

Mr Inder Sardana, Managing Director, Sukhjit Starch Mills, Phagwara, announced to donate Rs 1.25 lakh.

Mr Kulwant Singh Gill and others members of the Gill family of nearby Gunachaur village have already announced to donate Rs 1 crore for the construction of the emergency ward of the trauma centre.

A Canada-based NRI, Mr Santokh Singh Sidhu, has announced to donate Rs 13 lakh.


Workshop on management of drug de-addiction
for NGOs

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
A two-day workshop on management issues for NGOs working for drug de-addiction programme in Punjab was organised in the Bhai Ghaniya Hall Punjab Red Cross Bhavan here today.

The workshop was organised with the help of National Institute of Social Defence (NISD) and Dr Rajesh Kumar, Executive Director, Society for Promotion of Youth and Masses.

The workshop was inaugurated by DPI Colleges, Punjab and vice-chairperson of the Punjab Red Cross, Nisha Sarad. She highlighted the increasing menace of drug abuse in Punjab while delivering her speech.

Secretary, Red Cross, Ramesh Aggarwal, stressed on the need for having co-ordinated efforts with other NGOs to deal with the drug abuse menace. Others who spoke on the occasion, included Major General P.S. Gill, former Secretary, Punjab Red Cross and Director, NISD, Satinder Prakash. 


SGPC team sends report from Andamans
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 22
An SGPC team currently touring the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to provide relief to victims of tsunami disaster has sent a report to Bibi Jagir Kaur, president of the SGPC, here.

The report mentions that a large number of Sikhs in habit Port Blair and the Koblaya Island that have been affected by tsunami.

The team stated that 119 Sikh families have been reduced to penury in the disaster. There is a need to provide shelter to these families and make arrangements for regular food supply.


Third Hindu jatha for Pak on March 6

Amritsar, January 22
The third Hindu jatha, after years of stand-off for Hindu pilgrims, will leave for Sri Katasraj in Chakwal district of Pakistan.

The jatha will depart on March 6 and visit Katasraj Dham for Mahashivratri Puja and holy bath at Sarovar Amar Kund. They will return to India via Wagah joint checkpost on March 12.

This was stated by Mr Surinder Kumar Billa, president, All-India Hindu Shiv Sena, in a press note here today. — OC


Shiv Sena unit dissolved
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, January 22
The Gurdaspur district unit of the Shiv Sena (Hindustan) has been dissolved. In a communique received here today from Mr Sanjiv Ghanouly, state president of the Shiv Sena (H), it is informed that Mr Ashok Soodan, president of the Gurdaspur district unit, will remain the president of the district unit till arrangements were made.


Life term for murder
Tribune News Service

Ropar, January 22
A resident of Saulakhiyan village, Swaran Singh, was sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday by a local court in a case of murder. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 5000 on the accused. In a case of default in payment of fine, the accused will have to undergo an additional jail term of six months.

Mr Didar Singh, the complainant, stated that he had married a girl of his village against her parents wish. He said on February 4, 2000, he along with his brother, Charanjit Singh, and his friend, Mr Harbansh Singh, were on their way to Nalagarh. When they reached Ropar, his father-in-law, Mr Swaran Singh, stopped them and before they could react, he murdered Charanjit Singh.


Police remand for alleged cheat
Our Correspondent

Kharar, January 22
One of the suspects booked by the police for allegedly cheating an 86-year-old man of Chilla Manauli village was remanded in police custody till January 24 by a local court here today.

Karamjit Singh, the main suspect in the case, was arrested by the local CIA staff from near Landran Chowk yesterday.

It is alleged that Karamjit Singh, also a resident of Chilla Manauli village, sold five acres belonging to Pritam Singh by using his power of attorney. Pritam Singh who can barely see or hear due to old age, had alleged that Karamjit Singh had taken his thumb impressions on a number of documents on the pretext that the documents were to be presented in PUDA.

Karamjit Singh, along with his uncle Sher Singh, who is a lambardar in the village, allegedly used the power of attorney to sell part of Pritam Singh’s land.


Revenue officers to stop work from Feb 1
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
Punjab Revenue officers have decided to stop all registration work across the state from February 1 as the state government has failed to fulfil its assurance of reviewing the cases registered against some officers.

It may be recalled that the Punjab Revenue Officers Union had earlier been on a pen-down strike in Patiala Division for four days from January 7, but had withdrawn it after meeting the Financial Commissioner, Revenue, Ms Rupan Deol Bajaj, in Chandigarh on January 11. The Tribune had highlighted how hundreds of people in the five districts falling under the division had faced hardship in getting their sale deeds executed for the past many days due to the pen down strike.

Talking to TNS here today, Mr A S Tiwana and Mr Gurmit Singh Nadala, president and general secretary of the outfit, said they were aware of the problems that would be faced by the public but they could not work under such circumstances.


Three killed over land dispute
Tribune News Service

Moga, January 22
Three persons, including a youth, were killed at Gajiana village, near here, last night, reportedly over due to a land dispute.

The deceased have been identified as 80-year-old Karnail Singh, his wife, Jagir Kaur, and their grandson, Sandeep Singh. According to sources, two clean-shaven men barged into Karnail Singh’s house at about 1.30 am last night. The assailants were armed with a pistol and some sharp-edged weapons. They locked Karnail’s daughter Harbans Kaur, her son, Pardeep Singh, and his friend, who had come from Aulakh village, in the other room. They then strangulated Karnail Singh to death with his own turban and killed his wife with sharp-edged weapons.

While leaving they took away Sandeep Singh along with them and killed him at about a kilometer away from his home on Burj Hamira road. Pardeep and his friend had a mobile phone each of which the killers snatched one. Pardeep later called up one of relatives who reached the spot and who then after contacting the village sarpanch informed the police.

The Nihalsinghwala SHO and the Baghapurana DSP, Mr Raghbir Singh Sandhu, inspected the crime scene. The bodies were sent to Moga Civil Hospital for post-mortem examination. The police took fingerprints from the crime scene and a sniffer dog squad was also called.

Sources said that Karnails’s son Jaspreet had got married to Harpreet, alias Preeti, of Rode village about 4 years back after his first wife died. Sources said that Karnail had given some of his property to Sandeep Singh in his deed, with which Harpreet’s family was reportedly unhappy.

Karnail’s family members are now pointing finger towards Harpreet's brother, Sukhdeep Singh, who, they alleged, along with his associate killed Karnail, his wife, and grandson. On the basis of the statement of Hardev Singh, Sandeep’s maternal uncle, a case has been registered against Sukhdeep and his associate under Sections 302, 342, and 34 of the IPC.


GND varsity lifts youth festival trophy
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 22
Guru Nanak Dev University created history at the national level by lifting the All-India Inter-Varsity National Youth Festival Overall Trophy for the fifth year in succession.

The university also bagged the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Trophy for securing maximum first positions in the festival.

The university captured music and theatre trophies in respective competitions, while hosts Banaras Hindu University finished runners-up in the festival.

The national festival, organised by the Association of Indian Universities, New Delhi, and hosted by Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, concluded last evening.

More than 1,000 students hailing from 57 universities from all over the country participated in various cultural competitions.

Mr Baljit Singh Sekhon, Director, Youth Welfare, along with students received the trophy on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor from actor Ashutosh Rana, who was the chief guest at the valedictory function.

A group of 35 artistes of the university — from APJ College, Jalandhar, KMV College, Jalandhar, BBK DAV College for Women, DAV College, Amritsar, and University Campus, Amritsar — competed in various competitions to win the top slot.

The university was declared top in classical instrumental (percussion), classical instrumental (non-percussion), classical vocal, ghazal and mimicry.

They were adjudged second in one act play, skit, rangoli and group song (Indian). The university finished third in Western solo and quiz and fourth in group song (Western).

The Vice-Chancellor, Dr S.P. Singh, gave the credit to students, Principals, teachers of various affiliated colleges, and staff and officers of the Youth Welfare Department of the university for the feat.


PU festival from Jan 28
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, January 22
The 46th Panjab University Inter-Zonal Youth Festival will be held on the premises of SPN Postgraduate Degree College, Mukerian, from January 28 to 31. As many as 3,500 artistes from 124 colleges of Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr, Ludhiana, Ferozepore, Moga, Muktsar districts and Chandigarh will participate.

Dr Kewal Krishan, Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, will open it. The Chief Minister, will preside over the concluding session.


Minister visits science city
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, January 22
To keep a track of the various development activities that were on at the Pushpa Gujral Science City, Mr Rakesh Pandey, Minister of State for Science and Technology and Industrial Training, took its round here today.

The minister was taken around the science city and shown its major attractions, including the dome theatre, that worked on a large format film projection system. A documentary on sharks was shown to him. He enjoyed a virtual voyage to the space as he took the ride of the flight simulator, along with Mr R.S. Khandpur, Director-General, and Mr Rakesh Kumar Verma, Deputy Commissioner.

A 3-D polarised stereo animated film was shown to him in the 3-D cinema. A laser show based on high-precision optical engineering was shown out while Anu Malik’s number “India is the best” was played to lend the music. Fog liquid sprayed on the screen helped in forming motion pictures to provide spectacular effects.

The minister also took a round of the space gallery, mini-planetarium, health gallery and interactive science exhibits, including gizmos like energy ball, anti-gravity cone, kaleidoscopes, organ pipes, power bicycles and those explaining hyperbolic activities and magnetic movements. He was also taken around the kids’ park, equipped with swings, bouncers and other rides. 


Workshop on wetlands held
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, January 22
The Punjab State Council for Science and Technology, Chandigarh, organised a one-day training programme on wetlands under the conservation and management of state wetlands project at Rayat Institute of Management, Rail Mazra, about 35 km from here.

The objective of the workshop was to impart knowledge about the importance of wetland eco-systems to government officials, NGOs, teachers, panches, sarpanches, etc so that they could play a major role in educating the young generation to generate public awareness about the need and importance of the conservation of wetlands.

Dr Satnam Singh Ladhar, Principal Scientific Officer, Punjab State Council for Science and Technology, Chandigarh, Brig J.S. Nagra (retd), Director, Rayat Institute, Mr Gurmit Singh, Deputy Wildlife Warden, Chandigarh, Dr Ravneet Uppal, Department of Zoology, Panjab University, Chandigarh, Mr Balihar Singh Bains, district Science Supervisor, among others delivered lectures on different topics including ‘Need of soil conservation for protection of wetlands’, ‘Wetlands are crucial habitats of migratory birds’, ‘Wetland ecology of Punjab wetlands — their significances and major threats’, etc. Group discussion was also held.


Students' gesture towards tsunami victims
Our Correspondent

Abohar, January 22
Students of matric and plus II classes in Jhamku Devi Senior Secondary School, Dhora Mehrajpur village here have resolved to cancel farewell party to be given by their juniors on the eve of the annual exams to help victims of tsunami disaster.

They got inspiration from Mr Kuriacose VK Principal of the school, who suggested they also drop the proposal of giving valuable gifts to the school. Thus, they have been able to collect Rs 13,000 for contributing the same to the Relief Fund launched by the Central Board of School Education.


Seminar on ‘Classical music of Punjab’
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 22
A classical singer, Bhai Tejpal Singh, one of the Singh Bandhus, said the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) must allow the descendants of Bhai Mardana, who accompanied Guru Nanak Dev during his religious journeys, to perform kirtan in the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple, like in the pre-partition days.

He made these comments while talking to mediapersons after presiding over a seminar on “Classical music of Punjab” held at the local Khalsa College for Women in collaboration with the University Grants Commission (UGC) here today. He said the Partition dealt a severe blow to the tradition of Rababi music.

Dr C. L. Verma from Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla, presented keynote address.

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